Tag: conspiracy theory

Birtherism, The Newest Lost Cause

Now that Birtherism has become the latest cause célèbre in the public consciousness, it has progressed from a half-mad conspiracy theory to a half-baked political platform.  Once the sole purview of the reactionary Right, questioning Barack Obama’s American citizenship is now the stock in trade of would-be-politicians and public figures.  But now, having embraced this fabrication, they will live or die by it.  A long, ignoble history of similar conduct exists, particularly when an outright fallacy is believed by enough people that cynical opportunists seize fast to it to increase their own power.  I could cite any number of examples from history, but I’ll focus my attention on two.

Conquered peoples, or at least defeated peoples have a way of perpetuating and substituting legends and myths when the truth is too painful to admit.  The Dolchstoßlegende, or stab-in-the-back legend insisted that the German army lost World War I due to the betrayal of its own citizens, not opposing armies.  Fact and scholarship prove that this was a colossal lie, but the proud German people, who believed themselves nearly invincible in the field of battle did not willingly accept the reality.  And before someone calls Godwin’s Law, I will say no more on this subject.

Most appropriate for the 150th anniversary of the conflict, I note that I myself grew up something of a believer in the Lost Cause of the Confederacy.  The kind of complete destruction brought on by four years of destructive war could only be softened away by romanticism and a deliberate disregard of the facts.  Denial is a powerful force in the minds of men and women, and when it becomes collectively embraced, it is powerful still.  Those who are natives of the Southern states refuse to let the conflict go, while those in more Northern localities often cannot understand why such an emphasis is placed upon an epoch they associate more with history books.  History is written by the victors, but the defeated never forget.  So it doesn’t surprise me a bit that the epicenter of Birtherism is the South.

How To Count Pipe Leaks Better Than ABC- So Easy Even a Prog Can Do It

Because it is Saturday Night and we all needed a humor piece-  

There is a blog that was published 2 hours ago uhm, ….  somewhere else. It is called “About that third leak”    It was wreckomended.

It uses pics and video from a breathless ABC news report and tells us:

But we have not seen them installing a valve and closing it on, from the video above appears to be the very worst leak?.

No video has been released of the third leak valve installation operation therefore no-one can trust, but verify, that they have dealt with this effectively.

Geebus H. Cricket on a Swamp Canoe.

I’ll start close to the source of the oil and methane gas coming out – the wellhead, with the BOP and riser pipe, and work my way out.  

This is the first leak.  It is coming out of the bent over riser pipe and the drill pipe inside of that, at the wellhead above the Blow Out Protector.   Hold up your thumb.  That’s one. 1.

Riser Pipe Cut,BP oil spill,BOP plume

6/1/2010 The Plume Coming off the bent riser pipe near the BOP top. & Sawing machine working on pipe.

This is the second leak.  They capped it first.  Hold up your index finger. That’s two. 2.

BP oil spill,drill pipe

Drill pipe leak

Look familiar ?  Back atcha.

re: The broken off piece of drill pipe. This was inside the riser pipe but sticking out further. It was near the top of the water originally.  Know why it’s bigger on the end ?  That’s a joint where pieces join together. It came apart there.   They used different sizes of pipe in the well.

This is the “third leak.”  It’s at the middle of the riser pipe. Technically, it’s the 2nd in line going from the well out the pipe.   It was the end that was attached, then broke loose, from the Transocean oil drilling rig floating above the surface on the Gulf waters. It’s 5000 feet long, and it folded as it bent over and landed on the ocean floor. Where it folded, it has kinked, broken, and leaked. There is one pipe inside the other, and both were leaking, which meant the cement failed on the well casing bore hole.  It has the “sippy tube” collection device in it here.  Hold up your pinkie.   That’s three. 3.

Sippy tube,sippy straw,Oil collection device,BP Oil Spill 2010,Climate,Nature,Tragedy,Gulf of Mexico,Oil Spill,Gulf of Mexico Satellite Picture

Endpipe, riser + drill, sippy tube

Here is a drawing that shows how the bent over riser pipe with the drill pipe inside of it looks on the ocean floor.  Leak 1 on at the top of the BOP.  Leak 2 where the pipes bent on the seafloor, and they used a sippy tube to experiment with collecting the oil, but it says “tophat.”   Leak 3 is the very end, or beginning, of the pipe, where they capped it.  The end farthest from the well has the smallest leak.  It is not a government or BP conspiracy.  It’s hydraulics.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…  The science of liquids.

bp oil spill,Bent riser pipe

Graphic of the bent pipes from the well laying on the sea bed.

On Tues, June 1st,  they started sawing on the bent over pipes coming out of the top of the Blow Out Protector on top of the well head on the seafloor.

They used one of these

Pipe Cut,BP pipe saw,Climate,Nature,Tragedy,BP Oil Spill

Rotary Pipe Saw

And then they used one of these

BP Oil Spill,pipe saw,BOP,climate,nature,tragedy

Diamond Rotary Pipe Saw Machine and Clamp On Bracket  

And when that didn’t work, they went to THIS.  

pipe cut,BP pipe shears,mother of all pipe shears,Riser Pipe Cutter

Mother of All Pipe Shears

Eventually, they sawed, crimped, and nipped all the pipes off the Blow Out Protector, leaving a single big riser pipe stub coming out of the top, which looks like a tree stump painted white. (The smaller drill pipe coming from the well is inside this. Both pipes are leaking. ) The rough edges of the riser were ground down with another polishing tool.     Then later last week, they lowered a collection cap “Lower Marine Riser Package” over it, after they fitted it with a rubber gasket.

BP oil spill,drill pipe,riser pipe,edge polish,pipe cut

Here’s stumpy getting his edge polished 6/3/2010

BP Oil Spill,LMRP CAP,Top Cap #3,Climate,Nature,Tragedy,Gulf of Mexico,Oil Spill,Gulf of Mexico Satellite Picture

LMRP CAP -illustration by BP

6/3/10 BOP CAP LMRP #4

LMRP BOP CAP #4  webcam voyage to the bottom.

Yes, it leaks.

BP Oil Spill,LMRP CAP,BP riser cap,BOP CAP,BOP,climate,nature,tragedy

BOP CAP #4,  IN SITU  Saturday June 5, 2010

Hold up your thumb.  

In the shape of an “L” on your forehead.  “Lost”

There is only one leak now. 1.  The other 2 leaks were in the pipe pieces they cut off.

See how easy that is ?

And this is how we knew the leak was releasing a lot of oil, BEFORE May the 12th.  

Climate Nature

Government satellite of the Louisiana Mississippi Delta, picture April 29, 2010. This was published by NOAA/NASA on the internet and subsequently picked up by Louisiana State University ES Lab and republished on their website, with permission to republish.  

The size of the area may be estimated.  There are formulas which can be used to calculate how much oil spreads out how far.  On the internet.  What you see is like looking down on top of a funnel cloud here, only one dimension.   There is more.

They knew. In April.  There is no way the Commander in Chief the President did not know this was going to be a large spill a few hours after the flaming, smoking hulk of Deepwater Horizon toppled into the sea.  It looked like a monster Tiki torch.  Once it stopped burning, the oil and gas was not coming to the top anymore, but in the water.  BP knew. The rig survivors knew.  The MMS knew, they had the plans for the well on file, which would indicate how much it was going to produce per day, by its design. The Coast Guard knew. The blogs knew.

Did they want to admit the potential, right off ?  Of course not.

The MSM was, of course, reluctant to admit that everything was going to go to slow motion hell.

There is a ship called the Enterprise, with a pipe going down to that LMRP BOP CAP,  attempting to process the oil they manage to bring to the surface. It can process 15,000 barrels a day of oil maximum.  This might be half of what is coming up out of the well.  It might not be.  The #4 CAP won’t capture all the released oil/gas.  Without a way to shut it off precisely, totally, and quickly at the bottom, in case of emergency,  the oil gathering ship above doesn’t have a way to safely emergency disconnect in case of a sudden gusher of violent gas, aka a bubble or “kick,” which did in the first well drilling rig.  So it’s a sloppy connection, by design.

Nobody is happy about this, but who wants to see the Enterprise go up in a fireball.

The well bore hole is thought to be badly damaged because the cement liner failed. (thanks, Halliburton, you b*stards.)   Without an intact borehole, this thing could get very dicey suddenly.  This is why they are not attempting to put another Blow Out Protector on top. You can shut it off at the top for a while, but you want to be able to then PLUG it much farther down before the BOP shoots off like a cork.  

Some of the plume you are seeing in the picture is methane gas coming out of liquid solution and expanding rapidly.  It is getting flared off at the surface ship, what doesn’t turn into methane hydrates at the bottom of the Gulf because of the extreme pressure and cold temperatures.  Methane is not going to wash ashore onto the Gulf, and a lot of the crap coming from this well is methane. That is the good news.

I am not trying to minimize the severity and danger and ecologic catastrophe of the situation, I have been one of the ones trying to push the alarm button from the beginning.  I have lots more screen captures of that webcam, and thank Heavens that Rep. Markey got after them to show us something.

But can we dispense with the crazy rumors about some “third leak” now ?  

Repeat. Some of the plume is methane.  Methane isn’t going to wash ashore.

Don’t worry about the plume size coming from some jackwipe ABC video. This is the same channel that gave us the “Path to 9/11” and Mickey Mouse.  See how there is a dispersant wand at the supposed giant, mysterious “third leak?”   WTF, as they are only applying dispersant at the wellhead near the BOP.  That’s where the biggest plumes have been.   What utter tripe.   Worry about the volume of oil, the pressure, and the rate of flow.  Worry about the visible sheen of oil now covering about a third of the Gulf. Or the oil patches that have been documented or will be.  Worry about protecting the cleanup workers from toxins.  Worry about the wildlife and plants and fish and birds. Worry about the deteriorating well bore.  Worry that the government and BP in collusion,  jointly lowballed the initial amount of the leak by a huge factor to the public.  Worry that anybody believes that ABC couldn’t find somebody to explain this to them, and that they are busy spinning an alternate CT storyline already.  I saw the old “industry expert” peddling this “Government is still hiding a Secret Leak” routine on cable television.  One blogger said, paraphrased,  “he used to be a real industry expert. Something has happened with age. I hope there is someone to look after his affairs now.”



photos taken as screenshots off of live webcam feed as provided by BP to the American people because of Rep. Markey, and definition and color bumped by me.  some photos by NASA and NOAA, LSU/ESL, or from the Unified Command US government website which had the BP graphics.  UC JIC also has a good twitter feed which leads to other links. http://twitter.com/oil_spill_2010

Oil Drum is the recommended blog to continue to find explanations as to what may be going on, along with satellite photos from NRL Monterey, NASA, and NOAA.  http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/nex…

GOP House Rep thinks Bush might have caused 9/11

Crossposted at Daily Kos

   If Republicans and Fox News pundits were embarrassed about looking like birthers, loony bins and white supremacists, well, they just got a whole lot more to worry about.

    Recently, a truther organization called “We Are The Change” spoke to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) – a friend of (Glenn) Beck and a frequent guest on his show – about reopening an investigation into 9/11. Chaffetz agreed with the activist, and even noted that he had spoken to professor Steven Jones, leading 9/11 truther, who Chaffetz said had done “interesting work”


     Houston, we have a WTF.

A transcript and more below the fold.

HARP and Airplane Crashes

If you’ve watched Jesse Ventura’s new show, “Conspiracy Theory”, you would have seen an episode about the HAARP program — High Frequency Active Aural Research Program.

In the segment, it comes out that, if so directed, the high frequency radio waves generated by the massive antenna farm could knock an airplane out of the air.



Why Propaganda Trumps Truth

Paul Craig Roberts was a prominent member of the Reagan administration.  

He served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration earning fame as the “Father of Reaganomics”. He is a former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Scripps Howard News Service. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He was a post-graduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.[1]

Smart guy, right?  Smarter still that he turned on his masters and now speaks his mind, and the truth (as he knows it) to anyone who will listen.

Check out what he’s saying about 9/11, and propaganda.

An article in the journal, Sociological Inquiry, casts light on the effectiveness of propaganda. Researchers examined why big lies succeed where little lies fail. Governments can get away with mass deceptions, but politicians cannot get away with sexual affairs.

The researchers explain why so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it has become obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with the event. Americans developed elaborate rationalizations based on Bush administration propaganda that alleged Iraqi involvement and became deeply attached to their beliefs. Their emotional involvement became wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality. They looked for information that supported their beliefs and avoided information that challenged them, regardless of the facts of the matter.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the believability of the Big Lie as compared to the small lie: “In the simplicity of their minds, people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation.”

What the sociologists and Hitler are telling us is that by the time facts become clear, people are emotionally wedded to the beliefs planted by the propaganda and find it a wrenching experience to free themselves. It is more comfortable, instead, to denounce the truth-tellers than the liars whom the truth-tellers expose.

This is why we see the extreme emotions displayed at a place such as Dailykos, where people get absolutely hysterical when anyone brings up the facts of 9/11.  That is the power of good PSYOPS, and it is why the military has a PSYOPS division.  

9/11 was a trauma for everyone.  We were all wedded to what we thought happened that day, and our minds and our brains adjusted, as best they could, to what we thought was the reality of it.  When we start to learn that what happened that day may have been completely different than what we not only believed, but what we mourned and grieved, we get angry.  

They’re like the emotions you’d experience if you found out someone you loved, who you thought was dead, who you had mourned and grieved, had actually staged their death.  You’d be pretty pissed.

The psychology of belief retention even when those beliefs are wrong is a pillar of social cohesion and stability. It explains why, once change is effected, even revolutionary governments become conservative. The downside of belief retention is its prevention of the recognition of facts. Belief retention in the Soviet Union made the system unable to adjust to economic reality, and the Soviet Union collapsed. Today in the United States millions find it easier to chant “USA, USA, USA” than to accept facts that indicate the need for change.

Or to change “Obama!  Obama!  Obama!” than to recognize that Obama is just another one of “them”.  

The staying power of the Big Lie is the barrier through which the 9/11 Truth Movement is finding it difficult to break. The assertion that the 9/11 Truth Movement consists of conspiracy theorists and crackpots is obviously untrue. The leaders of the movement are highly qualified professionals, such as demolition experts, physicists, structural architects, engineers, pilots, and former high officials in the government. Unlike their critics parroting the government’s line, they know what they are talking about.

Here is a link to a presentation by the architect, Richard Gage, to a Canadian university audience.  The video of the presentation is two hours long and seems to have been edited to shorten it down to two hours. Gage is low-key, but not a dazzling personality or a very articulate presenter. Perhaps that is because he is speaking to a university audience and takes for granted their familiarity with terms and concepts.

Those who believe the official 9/11 story and dismiss skeptics as kooks can test the validity of the sociologists’ findings and Hitler’s observation by watching the video and experiencing their reaction to evidence that challenges their beliefs. Are you able to watch the presentation without scoffing at someone who knows far more about it than you do? What is your response when you find that you cannot defend your beliefs against the evidence presented? Scoff some more? Become enraged?

Another problem that the 9/11 Truth Movement faces is that few people have the education to follow the technical and scientific aspects. The side that they believe tells them one thing; the side that they don’t believe tells them another. Most Americans have no basis to judge the relative merits of the arguments.

Now he brings up something I’ve written about here, more than once:  The Lockerbie bomber case.

For example, consider the case of the Lockerbie bomber. One piece of “evidence” that was used to convict Magrahi was a piece of circuit board from a device that allegedly contained the Semtex that exploded the airliner. None of the people, who have very firm beliefs in Magrahi’s and Libya’s guilt and in the offense of the Scottish authorities in releasing Magrahi on allegedly humanitarian grounds, know that circuit boards of those days have very low combustion temperatures and go up in flames easily. Semtex produces very high temperatures. There would be nothing whatsoever left of a device that contained Semtex. It is obvious to an expert that the piece of circuit board was planted after the event.

The Lockerbie case was similar to 9/11 in that people swallowed the government story, digested it, integrated it with their horror and grief at the tragedy, and now what they believe about the case is part of their actual belief system.  To throw evidence at them that their belief system is actually flawed makes them angry.  They feel insulted.

And now he gets to something that has confounded me for quite some time:

What I find puzzling is the people I know who do not believe a word the government says about anything except 9/11. For reasons that escape me, they believe that the government that lies to them about everything else tells them the truth about 9/11. How can this be, I ask them. Did the government slip up once and tell the truth? My question does not cause them to rethink their belief in the government’s 9/11 story. Instead, they get angry with me for doubting their intelligence or their integrity or some such hallowed trait.

The problem faced by truth is the emotional needs of people. With 9/11 many Americans feel that they must believe their government so that they don’t feel like they are being unsupportive or unpatriotic, and they are very fearful of being called “terrorist sympathizers.” Others on the left-wing have emotional needs to believe that peoples oppressed by the US have delivered “blowbacks.” Some leftists think that America deserves these blowbacks and thus believe the government’s propaganda that Muslims attacked the US.

I think he’s right about the emotional needs of people being a part of this, but he stops far short of the emotional truth of it.  Like I said above, people mourned the event, they grieved it, they emotionally digested it until what they thought was the truth about it became a part of them.  

To hear something that suggests that your very reality, that which you think is literally “the world that exists around you” is actually not true, is going to be met with fierce emotional resistance.  There’s going to be a knee-jerk emotional response of “no!”  To use the word “denial” to describe this would be somewhat accurate, but this is actually something far more powerful than simple garden variety denial.

And this is what the propagandists understand.

And that is why they have power over us.

It is, perhaps, the greatest power you can have over people.  It is greater than the power of force, because people will fight force.  Force is obvious.  Using force against people results in a similar knee-jerk emotional reaction, but against you.  Good propaganda results in them cheering for you, as I saw somewhere else (here?) it’s like the chickens rooting for Colonel Sanders.  

Now THAT’S power.

In the next section he talks about this power, but he attributes it to the power of the government.  I attribute it to the power of the media.  For most people, their window to the world, quite literally, is their television set.  Their sense of reality beyond their little tiny slice of the world is the television.  If they don’t see it on television, it’s not “real” and it didn’t really happen.  We all know what I’m talking about because almost all of us, whether we care to admit it or not, experience this to some degree or another.  I know I do, still, to this day (conditioning is hard to lose).   People simply do not question the media.

As far as I can tell, most Americans have far greater confidence in the government than they do in the truth. During the Great Depression the liberals with their New Deal succeeded in teaching Americans to trust the government as their protector. This took with the left and the right. Neither end of the political spectrum is capable of fundamental questioning of the government. This explains the ease with which our government routinely deceives the people.

Democracy is based on the assumption that people are rational beings who factually examine arguments and are not easily manipulated. Studies are not finding this to be the case. In my own experience in scholarship, public policy, and journalism, I have learned that everyone from professors to high school dropouts has difficulty with facts and analyses that do not fit with what they already believe. The notion that “we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead” is an extremely romantic and idealistic notion. I have seldom experienced open minds even in academic discourse or in the highest levels of government. Among the public at large, the ability to follow the truth wherever it may lead is almost non-existent.

The US government’s response to 9/11, regardless of who is responsible, has altered our country forever. Our civil liberties will never again be as safe as they were. America’s financial capability and living standards are forever lower. Our country’s prestige and world leadership are forever damaged. The first decade of the 21st century has been squandered in pointless wars, and it appears the second decade will also be squandered in the same pointless and bankrupting pursuit.

I Need Some Help Here, I’ve Gone Over the Edge.

Apparently I have gone over the edge, into an abyss of conspiracy where the devils advocate is just that, a devil.  I can see now that I was somehow born with the programming that has led me into this abyss.  I came of age during the sixties and early seventies when we had the Vietnam war and Civil Rights and the Cold war.  So I suppose I was affected by that in some way.  But evidently there were far many others from that time that were not affected in the same way so it couldn’t have been just that.  Other than that, I’ve lived the “normal” American life with a wife, two kids, a two car garage, a career and of course, a divorce. But I really started toward that abyss about 18 months ago.

That’s when I retired.  I’m fortunate in that respect because I have a pension after a thirty year career.  Of course, then I had lots of time.  I started sitting in front of the computer and learned to Google.  I found a few political websites, the first Huffington Post, then DailyKos.  I started getting into it and enjoyed reading the political stuff.  Then I went to the dark side.  9/11 conspiracy theory stuff, federal reserve conspiracies, antiwar sites, you name it.  It was like getting trapped in the porn section of a major city, not that I would know, I’m just imagining.