Shilling for Big History

March 11, 2014

Note: This essay is cross-posted at Skepticality.

Last December, a metal detectorist named Bruce Campbell was plying his retirement hobby in a tidal mud flat on Vancouver Island, when he came across a rare Edward VI shilling. The silver coin was minted between 1551 and 1553, the span of Edward’s brief reign. You’ll remember that Edward was the son of Henry VIII and the half brother of Elizabeth I. The date of the coin has recently fueled speculation about the earliest date that Westerners explored the northern Pacific and the west coast of Canada. If the deposit of the coin is roughly contemporary with the date stamped on it, say within 30 years or so, it would push back the earliest visitation of the coast by the English some 200 years.

The metal detectorist shared his find with an online hobbyist community, and when they recognized the coin, one of them contacted an independent scholar named Samuel Bawlf, who had written about the idea that perhaps Sir Francis Drake had visited the region, and perhaps even made it as far as south Alaska, in 1579, during his eventual circumnavigation of the globe. Bawlf is excited because other 2 other old coins have been found in the area, a 1571 sixpence dug up in 1930 and another coin with a similar date unearthed on Quadra Island, which is nearby. This it seems supports Bawlf’s idea.

To Bawlf.

I honestly don’t know where to begin, so let’s start with who Drake was.

Sir Francis Drake is best known for being a pirate, harassing Spanish galleons in the years before the Spanish Armada. He was extremely successful, seizing the modern equivalent of tens of millions of dollars worth of cargo from the Spanish. It is generally accepted that in the summer 1579, Drake was along the Pacific coast of what is now the United States, and there is much speculation about how far up the coast he made it. There are some fairly good indicators of the extent of his travel; he certainly made it as far as mid-California and might have even made it as far as Oregon (which seems to be about the farthest north that mainstream scholars are reasonably comfortable placing him). The method of placing him comes from ethnographic work deriving from detailed descriptions of the natives, their dress and culture stemming from the trip. During this summer sojourn, he apparently encountered flows of ice. Drake completed this journey by circumnavigating the globe.

The idea that Bawlf puts forward is that Drake was looking for a Northwest Passage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, an endeavor which would have economic and military implications that the rival Spain could not know about. Therefore, at her order, it was a completely secret mission. While on this secret mission, however Drake deposited coins along the way to the natives in the region to show that they had been there in case some other European power showed up. On the face of, this seems incompatible with the idea that it was a super-secret mission that nobody could know about.

Also, there is the matter of how countries staked claims of new territories. While I may not have examined enough, I don’t see examples of Brits claiming territory through depositing coins in the literature–and the idea seems problematic to me as there are other ways that coins could make it to unexplored territory, such as trade. As such, coins alone would not establish a presence. As best I can tell claiming territory during this time is a messy process. It starts with discovery and landing with the intention of making claims of land. The strength of new claims is improved by establishing settlements and colonial government, extensively mapping an area and waterways, setting up commercial ties with natives, initiating exploration of the region, fortification, and active defense. Matters of territorial ownership might also be clarified through negotiation and treaties. Nothing remotely like any of these patterns appears in the historical record until the late 18th century, when Spain and England vied for control of the region and almost went to war over it. If the British staked a claim…they did absolutely nothing with it for 200 years, and they seem to not have invoked Drake’s prior claim to it in the later squabble with Spain.

So, what does the discovery of this shilling tell us? The coin by itself tells us very little. Interpreting finds like this is all about determining context. Without context, the coin tells us only that at some point a coin ended up in the tidal mud. The only hint of context that we have is that on the same outing, according to the Tribune-Review, Campbell found the shilling: “along with a rare 1891 Canadian nickel, a 1960s dime and penny from 1900.” Now, it doesn’t say that they were physically clustered together. That’s frustrating, because if so, we’d be able to say that the deposit was dropped no sooner than the 1960s, which would not require us to rewrite our understanding of the Pacific Northwest. Nonetheless, it was a grand day out for a new metal detectorist.

The hobbyist who contacted Bawlf (named Herbst) about the find speculated about the context:

“You don’t find things like that in Victoria,” Herbst told the Times Colonist. “The fact that it was found in a layer of mud on the foreshore, to me, I recognized that that was probably an ancient aboriginal village down there. … I knew it was possibly significant.”

So, it was probably an aboriginal village, said some guy on the Internet. I spent a little time looking for aboriginal archaeological sites in the region and haven’t had much luck–I know that’s because I am researching outside my area, since Canadian authorities have well established protocols for documenting and reporting finds of archaeological materials including human remains. According to the rough description of the site given in the Times Colonist, that Campbell was poking around at low tide “on the mud flats on the Gorge, just down by Curtis Point.” That seems to place him in the Victoria Harbor region, and that entire promontory of land is the aboriginal home of the Songhee people. There’s comparatively little written about this tribe, though their later history is intertwined with the growth of Victoria. This would likely have been the tribe that Drake would have encountered. I have been able to find no tradition of stories of contact with European sailors in the Songhee tradition before 1790, at which time the Spanish reached the region. The Herbst hypothesis at this point it looks like speculation that is not bolstered by anything, and certainly no evidence is offered. As best I can tell, the coin is being used to argue for the existence of an aboriginal settlement and the aboriginal settlement is being used as an argument for why the coin was there in the first place. This seems shaky.

So the coin is apparently completely out of any independent or meaningful context, at least as far as news reports are concerned. For that reason it does not clarify anything, only become fuel for speculation. An interesting side note about this part of the shore. The area that the coin was found in was a popular area for swimmers at least up until the 1930s. There might be no end to the cultural contamination of the site that might influence what one might find in the area. We should perhaps not be especially surprised if anything that a swimmer or tourist could possibly bring out there ended up there. Coins are small, portable, and completely losable. We are being asked to accept that the true context of these coins are other old coins throughout the region, occasionally on other islands, without convergent supporting evidence that that should be the case.

Another problem that the Drake hypothesis faces (or, in a turn of classic conspiracy theory benefits from) is that the original records of Drake’s travels were destroyed in a fire. But some contemporary accounts remain. None of them indicate travel to areas recognizable as Canada or Alaska. But what about the ice that appears in those early accounts? Does that not suggest that Drake was summering far further north than historians have given him credit for? Well, probably not.  Apparently, the dendrochronology of giant redwoods from the years surrounding Drake’s travels suggest that there was little growth in the trees that year, suggesting that the weather was unusually dry or cold. There is therefore apparently no pressing reason to extrapolate from the observation of ice that Drake had to be so far north.

The takeaway of all this, I think, is that the breathless reporting of a single find that overturns the entire known history of a region is to be taken with a grain of salt in much the same way we should avoid concluding that a single observation should completely overturn decades of established science. Of course, it is tempting for a journalist to report the bigger, slightly more sensational story, though it beggars belief how someone could not think that the exploits of Drake and his crew were not sensational enough to hold our interest.

 RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (3 Sept 2012)

September 3, 2012

The summer has almost ended. In the morning, I teach my first class in Wisconsin. I’m teaching two different syllabi this semester, the first time I’ve done that in a while. I’m teaching 2 sections of “Conspiracy Theory” and a section of “Extraordinary Claims.” The extraordinary claims course will be for more developmental writers, but it is still a seminar class, which is fun.

As you might imagine, I have been rather busy over the last few days, getting things together for the class and so on. Add to that the fact that my smart phone (where I first pick up most of my leads for this feature) committed suicide this week, and you will see that my offerings are somewhat limited. Nevertheless we persevere!

Is this the end of cover up establishment Warren Commission Puppet Arlen Specter? http://t.co/XACbCEkx — Jason Bermas (@JasonBermas)

Headline of the Week:

That gem was closely followed by this one from the Village Voice blog:

Twits of the Week: 

Not only does Obama’s birth certificate not exist, OBAMA DOESN’T EVEN EXIST. #eastwooding — Paul Fidalgo (@PaulFidalgo)

Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox)
8/30/12 5:33 PM
Uh, the Ron Paul people are putting on black armbands.

(Unfortunately, it was later reported that Ron Paul was in fact still alive and healthy.)

That’s all for now, people! Now, where do I pick up my big government shill check?

FYI, we have another edition of the Virtual Skeptics coming up this Wednesday at 8:00PM Eastern in our Google+ On Air hangout. As far as stories go, we’ve scooped the most popular skeptic podcast two weeks in a row. We’re going for a three-fer!

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (26 Aug 2012)

August 26, 2012

I am reliably informed that another week has passed and that it is time for another dumpster dive into the week that was weak. Lots of stuff competed for the top spot on the list this time around. Let’s have at it.

 

TWIT OF THE WEEK

An embarrassment of riches this week, really.

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
Conspiracy Theorist Convinces Neil Armstrong Moon Landing Was Faked http://onion.com/RNPcUe  #InFocus

David Allen Green ‏@DavidAllenGreen
Already woo-woos are disputing both the shadows and flags of Neil Armstrong’s funeral service.

Tom Dullemond ‏@Cacotopos
Today it is every person’s solemn duty to punch a moon-landing-hoax conspiracist. #RIPNeilArmstrong

And then there was this guy:

Murad Merali ‏@OhSweetArabia
400+ died today in Syria but they get NO recognition. A man dies who supposedly went to the moon is everywhere. Our society is diabolical

The response to Mitt’s birther joke was swift on the Internet:

Mitt Romney: “I’m not racist for bringing up Obama’s birth certificate. I’m just PANDERING to racists. Totally different.” — Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat)

Mitt Romney: “No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They only do that to demean black people, which I am clearly not.” — Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat)

Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff)
Rush Limbaugh loved Mitt Romney’s birther joke. That’s like John Wayne Gacy raving about one of your clown paintings.

BREAKING: Tampa is reporting a serious shortage of tin foil. #p2 #uppers — Joseph J. Santorsa (@Marnus3)

Oh, what the hell. Let’s just make this the “All Jon Kay, All the Time” edition of the roundup.

“@JosephFarah: County plans no-church zone http://t.co/5deqws64 R we still living in USA?” Ha! this from guy who led Ground 0 mosque freakout — Jonathan Kay (@jonkay)

And that’s all for now. I’m going to go pick deer ticks off myself after my birdwatching romp in the woods this afternoon. Now that I don’t have to wear a “Live Strong” bracelet anymore, perhaps I should consider putting a flea and tick collar around my wrist?

 

RJB


Article about my work…

August 26, 2012

Hey, ho!

I thought I’d let you know that my work was profiled in an article in Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. It’s “The Article They Don’t Want You to Read.”

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (19 Aug 2012)

August 20, 2012

What ho! The Virtual Skeptics has gotten off to a real whiz-bang of a start. It streams live at 8:00PM Eastern on Wednesday nights. It’s like Meet the Press, but with chupacabras.

But not all of the free, live content in the world could keep me from plucking the ripest lowest-hanging fruit from the tree of conspiracy and hurling it at your head. So, head’s up!

We have mass graves dug all over America for the planned killing of millions of the Middle Class of America. We have had a large number of guillotines that have been shipped to America. Chopping off of heads is the Islamic way of killing off your enemies. We have secret federal concentration camps set up all across America. C.I.A. and other intelligence sources are supposed to help engineer terrible economic conditions in America for October to help stir up the people to mass discontent, rioting in the streets, etc. and this gives Obama the legal excuse to place America under martial law. Foreign soldiers are already arranged to help mass disarm the American people of all their guns. Homeland Security for example has already been notified to prepare for massive uprisings in America in October.

The mocking of conspiracy theories in the American press and Western media is based on the simplistic argument that reason is on the side of the government and officialdom, not on the fringe of society and civilization.

Conspiracy Theory of the Week:

My favorite report of the week came from the venerable Weekly World News:

That’s it for this week! Check out the Virtual Skeptics this Wednesday at 8:00PM Eastern! Pip pip!

RJB

 


This Week in Conspiracy (8/9/12)

August 11, 2012

I’m coming to you from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, the new home of Skeptical Humanities. I’m teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire this fall, where I am a Visiting Assistant Professor. It will be an exciting, cheese-filled odyssey, to be sure.

But just because we’ve traded in the hustle and bustle of Atlanta for lethargic moo-cows doesn’t mean we’ve slowed down here. Oh, no. As a matter of fact, Eve and I, along with Tim Farley of whatstheharm.net and skeptools.com, and Sharon Hill of doubtfulnews.com, have started a google+ On Air Hangout skeptical news show that is hosted and produced by Brian Gregory, who started the Virtual Drinking Skeptically franchise. Brian has long wanted a panel discussion show, and this is it. We are going through a test run, mastering the technology and getting our shtick down at undisclosed times and places, but I can tell you the name of the show is The Virtual Skeptics (#virtualskeptics). Last night we had our first run through, and there were some rocky bits, but overall I was quite pleased with what we came up with. We’re taking inspiration from Fraser Cain’s work with the Weekly Space Hangout and The Universe Today. I know that Brian has been in touch with Fraser about the project.

So stay tuned.

But we have conspiracies to get to–before they get to us!

As you would have seen on our pilot episode, I thought that the conspiracy theories related to the shootings in Aurora and Milwaukee were the big stories this week.  As the Aurora story has developed, conspiracists have fixated on the news that a university psychiatrist was attending to James Holmes. In a very Scientological type of move, they make the post hoc fallacy, imagining that because the shooting happened after Holmes saw a psychiatrist, that somehow the psychiatrist made the guy pull the trigger. Vigilant Citizen sees it as a ritual killing, but probably should just stick to analyzing pictures of 2nd rate pop stars. One guy has found a way to, through a Byzantine tangle of distant “connections”, tie the President to the shootings. No wait! It was by bank fraudsters who wanted to silence Holmes’s DARPA daddy! And finally despite the really rather tepid response to the mass shootings by government, at least as far as gun control has been discussed, people have been afeared that the gummint’s comin to take away their guns. This is an old narrative, and every mass shooting can be and has been THE event that was finally going to let the NWO swoop in and disarm the “real” patriots(tm).

Oh, also an Illuminati card game predicted the Colorado shooting. Or at least some nitwit is willing to entertain the idea.

The other mass shooting, of course, is the shooting at the Sikh Temple here in Wisconsin, where all the flags remain at half-mast. This one has a couple of different facets. First is the revelation that the shooter, Wade Michael Page, who it seems killed himself at the scene, was a white supremacist in a hate metal band. (The Southern Poverty Law Center, I believe, broke this story and had followed him.) On the face of it, it seems to be yet another example of something we’ve seen before: a racist white veteran who kills a lot of people. The most prominent example of this was, of course, Tim McVeigh. An interesting angle on his hate metal bands seems to be an attempt to incite action on the part of other dipshit subnorms. It seems possible that the shooter, like McVeigh, Breivik and other derps thought that a violent act might lead to a race war or something, like in The Turner Diaries. If nothing else, it seems to be a reoccurring theme on the part of the racist right.

But others have other, dumber theories.

Take Alex Jones, for instance, who reported: “Speaking with the Associated Press, an eyewitness stated, ‘Between ten and ten-thirty, four white males who were dressed darkly, dressed in all black clothing, came in and opened fire on our congregation.'” I simply can not find this in print in any AP story. But at least this unverified quote is substantiated by someone who is unnamed and was apparently not there: “UPDATE: A separate source has corroborated the other eyewitness claim – a family member whose parents were victims of the shooting said his parents told him there were ‘multiple shooters’ involved in a ‘coordinated’ attack.” I’m going to say that this is just a manufactured load of bull-droppings.

There is also the view of Pete Santilli, which incorporates Jones’s made up story but takes it one step farther, placing it in the same category as the plot of Enemies Foreign and Domestic, which you should never read:

[Santilli describes] the narrative of the alleged Sikh shooter developed by the main stream media as being staged and he calls it a ‘rookie mistake’ by their demonizing white, military veteran, racist, gun-toting, 9-11 truthers as the enemy of our society. Pete essentially quashes their attempts to conceal the facts communicated by eyewitnesses who observed 4 men in black clothing commit a well organized attack. The secret government motive for demonizing white, veteran, 9-11 truthers is fully exposed, especially in the second hour.

But a decidedly more whimsical conspiracy theory has emerged, one which I suspect will become decidedly more irritating in the weeks to come. It turns out that one of the victims was the father of someone working with Steven Greer about a movie about the Disclosure Project. Part of Greer’s schtick is that he wants to raise a metric assload of money to build a research facility to develop free energy technologies that he claims he already has. He needs the money, he says, to protect his scientists. So when this came across my twitter feed, I thought, “Oh, hell.”

Godlike Productions ‏@glptweets
Sirius Film-maker’s Father SHOT in PROFESSIONAL WISCONSIN HIT!
http://bit.ly/QuYC4n

Here is an ad fundraising for the documentary. Of course, the sad fact is that even crime victims have gullible children, and one needs not posit that the shooting was a “message” being sent to alien disclosure filmmakers.

It was a bad week for religious hate in this country, as @ChrisDStedman pointed out:

This week in the U.S. a mosque was burned down, another was shot at, at least 2 others were vandalized & 7 people were killed in a gurdwara.
Other conspiracy theories:

I hereby revoke Jerome Corsi’s adulthood. He is now claiming that Obama was gay-married to a Pakistani.
My favorite post of the week at Above Top Secret demonstrates nicely how a genuinely good observation (seriously, the guy who noticed it should be proud) depends on context to make sense:
I live in Florida. I am looking now at the sunset. I have done this many times but I haven’t looked in a while. It setting too far north. I wish I had a compass to measure it. Anyone else noticing this? Anyone interested who has a compass handy if you can record your position and the position of the sun maybe we can figure this out?The sun isn’t supposed to move. Therefore, I can only assume (if I am not crazy or disoriented) that the rotation of the earth is changing. I have read that the ice caps in Greenland have melted a significant amount in the last few days. Some say it is global warming or climate change. If the earth’s rotation changes then the climate in many areas definitely would change. Essentially think about the equator… It is the hottest place on the planet because that is the middle. Directly east to west or vice versa. If the poles shift a little bit then the equator could begin to run through some other direction.

The Watch, a new movie, satirizes American paranoia. Unfortunately, it’s a Ben Stiller movie, and I’d rather choke on my own eyeball than see it.

OK, News With Views of course gets it wrong, but GLP gets it wrongerer: “PENTAGON INDOCTRINATING US TROOPS WITH ISLAMIC PROPAGANDA…… SHARIAH LAW IN AMERICA” (opening comment: “How the fuck can this retchid religion be taught as law to our soilders.”)

The Major Media Remains Silent On The Death of Prince Bandar Bush” Perhaps because he is still alive? Or he’s dead and has been replaced with Billy al-Shepherd.

Is the declining, nay, free-falling brand of National Geographic being used to prepare us for disclosure? Or is the cable channel pumping out more sensationalistic crap?

Are chemtrails hiding the Nibiru flyby as they brainwash us and depopulate the planet? Boy, our overlords sure can multitask!

We need to come up with a term to use instead of New World Order, because when people hear it, their brains shut off.

Boy, they really turned on Rand Paul, didn’t they?

Little nepotist #RandPaul exposed as police state thug! Calls cops on #WeAreChange and #AbbyMartin of #RT #RonPaul http://t.co/6ryEheXf — WebsterGTarpley (@WebsterGTarpley)

FINAL, INDISPUTABLE PROOF OF UFOS!!!! IN SPANISH!!!! OR SHAKY BLUR?!!?!?!

TWITS OF THE WEEK

My cup runneth over this week:

  • NASA pic showing all spacecraft parts. Hey, that looks like Death Valley. Um…I feel a conspiracy theory coming on… http://t.co/P6dEemkk — Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer)
  • Happy “birthday,” “President” Obama! — Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack)
  • Today is not Obama’s birthday. We know that birth certificate was part of a 50-year conspiracy to put America under Romneycare. — Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat)
  • Now remember, climate change is a conspiracy. Clearly, all these drought zones are in on it. http://t.co/XUw5yoBw — The Justicar (@Integralmathyt)
That’s all, folks! I have a much larger backlog that I’m working on, believe you me! Also, keep an eye out for the hashtag #VirtualSkeptics, and make sure you have circled me or Eve in your Google Plus account. We’ll be going live and advertising broadly within the next few weeks!
RJB

#wordpressformattingfail #sigh


The Week in Conspiracy: Post TAM 2012 edition

July 17, 2012

For the last several weeks, I’ve been teaching, packing, hunting for a house, and preparing for my TAM panel. It turns out that when I’m not writing this feature, I do feel as if something is lacking, so I am making a great lunge at normalcy by coming back and writing another Week in Conspiracy. After TAM, a new project is in the works that is going to take this to the next level. More to come. But we are assembling the super-friends to start this sucker up. Needless to say (a phrase that should not exist) when you get a couple hundred skeptics in a bar together, the ideas come fast and furious (another phrase that shouldn’t exist, but for different reasons). I’ve been meticulously gathering the woo as I always have, so there are no gaps in the coverage, just gaps in publication.

STOP THE PRESSES!

Well, it looks sort of unavoidable that I’m going to have to talk about the mass shooting in Colorado. Damn it. But were not 24 hours into the aftermath and I’ve seen the CIA, FBI, MK-Ultra, and Obama targeted as possible culprits. I’m only going to point out a couple of the worst…people in general who have decided to fap furiously to the misery.

Lone Deranger ‏@postielinley
Alex Jones Says Aurora Shooting Was Staged By Obama
http://lgf.bz/LyGrFo  // Proof Alex Jones is a complete fucktard
Retweeted by Rhys Morgan

Enough of that. On with the other not news at all:

Twit of the Week

This week’s twit award goes out to the IntelHub, who sent (or “communicated”) this highly ironic tweet:

Obama Seizes Control of All Communications Systems With Executive Order: http://t.co/D7E7m8Qd — IntelHub (@IntelHub)

I would be remiss if I did not mention Josh Bunting’s quip on twitter:

Josh Bunting (@josh_b42)
7/22/12 6:13 PM
Michele Bachmann = M.B. = Muslim Brotherhood. Coincidence?

Conspiracy Theory of the Week

This week’s winner was flagged by Brian Gregory, and it made me very happy: “Earth landing ‘totally faked,’ claim Martian conspiracy theorists.”

That’s all for now, folks! Expect another slight hiatus as I finish up my summer class and move to Wisconsin. I leave in, like, a week and am pretty excited. Got a little house with…gasp!..an office. No more typing in the living room, no siree! I also have a couple of badass projects in the works, as always. But these are super-badass. For real. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (12 June 2012)

June 22, 2012

I’ve been sitting around Atlanta for weeks waiting for classes to start. To keep myself occupied, I’ve been combing through the conspiracy literature, reading for my upcoming class on the Cold War, and generally puttering about contentedly. I also watched a disturbing amount of Deadliest Catch (which is “any Deadliest Catch,” by the way).

Currently, I am up in Minnesota, where I failed to find a house for the next semester. I met members of my new department in Eau Claire, WI, which was delightful, and I have a jump on how to think about my upcoming class. So that was productive. I also hit n00b night at the Minnesota Skeptics and met some of the people who live in my electronic friend box. But not all the squeaky cheese in the world would keep me from bringing you up to speed on the weak that was weak! Perhaps delay me for a week or two, but that’s it.

Or how about Mark Dice’s reaction?

Mark Dice (@MarkDice)
6/8/12 1:27 AM
And Rand Paul announced it on #SeanHannity‘s show!!#ScrewRandPaul.

“So if there was weird stuff going on,” he said, “I actually think it was happening back in his college days because I think he has spent $1.5 or $2 million through attorneys to have all of the college records and all of that stuff sealed. So if you’re spending money to seal something, that’s probably where the hanky panky was going on.”

Twits of the Week

This has become a favorite feature-within-a-feature for me. I get a lot of joy/agony out of the twitterverse. Here’s agony:

#DefineObamaInOneWord Satanist — Kn0Wledge[!] (@An0nKn0wledge)

Here’s joy:

In KENYAN. // RT @UberFacts “Barack Obama has read every Harry Potter book to his daughters.” — BillCorbett (@BillCorbett)

Here’s some unintentional irony, in tweet form:

Dear Occupiers who hate me, just remember I was at the #BilderbergProtest aka #OccupyBilderberg for four straight days. Were you? — Mark Dice (@MarkDice)

Anyway, Eve and I are both going to be appearing at TAM in a few weeks, and my classes have started up again. I will do my best to keep the conspiracy coming!

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (3 June 2012)

June 4, 2012

Eve and I are back from a whirlwind tour of Savannah, GA, and the whole time I was there I kept thinking how screwed I would be if a tsunami hit. We did ghost tours (ouch), we kicked around tide pools, and I got my first mild sunburn in years. Meanwhile, the Bilderbergers were meeting in Virginia, attracting every damned nut with a enough coin, or enough chutzpah to beg enough coin, to go and protest. This week in conspiracy was a week in Bilderberg conspiracy theories.

Alex serenades the NWO with “In Your Eyes.”

  • Some of the biggest fake news was that the Bilderbergers were discussing ways to off Ron Paul. (The number of Ron Paul signs in front of that hotel was significant.) The source for this is an “unnamed insider” working for Big Jim Tucker, who is still not dead from heart failure somehow and has been following the Bilderbergers since I was knee-high to a horny-toad:

The one that struck me as the second-dumbest allegation was made by a guy who was arrested and then said that he was forcibly to be vaccinated under penalty of being denied bail. When I first got the tweet, I replied:

@kr3at That was funniest thing I’ve read all day. Ha!
I got a response:
@rjblaskiewicz Actually happened, his arrest is up on YouTube. They told him take a TB vaccine or be held until your trial
My analysis? Well, usually this might be the type of thing that we could verify. We could look at the arrest record. We could draw blood from the guy (who is a veteran) and see if his TB antibody count goes up over the next few weeks. TB vaccine is not routinely given in the US and is not a part of the standard military vaccine schedule. Of course, when you look at the video, the arrest is not there, and the “forced vaccination” is not shown. The guy is being interviewed by Luke Rudkowski, who will believe almost anything.
One of the places that TB thrives is in prisons–Russian jails, for instance, are rife with TB, and the bacteria jumps between all those people in close contact with one another. In fact, some police departments give a Mantoux TB skin test to every single prisoner. This means that they give you a scratch with a protein associated with TB, and if your body reacts, you may have TB. This is completely different from being injected with the vaccine, as that is a live, though attenuated, bacterium. I can’t find anything that says that this is standard operating procedure at the Fairfax police station, but it may well be. The scratch test is administered far more often than the vaccine; the scratch test seems far more likely than the vaccine. So, you know, shut up, Luke.

This Week in Plain Old Conspiracy

A Philadelphia witness reports that he or she saw a UFO on 22 May 2012 according to testimony supplied from UFO Sightings Daily.

The kind of UFO which the witness showed is consistent with the “lights” described in the “Book of Revelation” which the ancient Pagan Gnostics linked to an alien orchestrated “false flag” scenario designed to lead into the New World Order.

Headline of the Week

It comes from The Guardian, and is more of a subtitle:

“Protesters at Bilderberg up their game: ‘What do they want? Hegelian dialectics! When do they want it? Now!'”

It was closely followed by a headline from the Weekly World News:

“Zombies vs. Cannibals: The War is On!”

Twit of the week:

A lot of goofy things were flying this week. Very quotable. Take Steve Martin’s comment:

When you see a White Supremacist interviewed, you are immediately impressed at how they are so…so…supreme. — Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo)

Jon Ronson (who was on the DisinfoCast this week) tweeted about a conversation he had with a cab driver:

3m jonronson ‏@jonronson Taxi driver last night. Used to be a whale hunter in the Antarctic…now he writes about “the history nobody knows about”…

3m jonronson ‏@jonronson …like how “Bilderberg and the Trilateral commission are the secret world government” I said, “EVERYONE has heard of that.”

2m jonronson ‏@jonronson He looked annoyed that I’d heard of the thing nobody has heard about. He said “in 100 years the Jews will rise up and take over. Yes? YES?”

jonronson ‏@jonronson I shrugged and said, “well I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.”

There was this nugget from Bilderberg, which is so true, since Luke Rudkowski is not a reporter:

Truth Excavator ‏@TruthExcavator FAIL: Mediaite calls @Lukewearechange “a reporter working for Alex Jones” http://bit.ly/KlBS6k #OccupyBilderberg #MSM #Media #Bilderberg

The Center for Inquiry had a good one this week too:

CFI On Campus (@CFIOnCampus)
6/3/12 1:05 PM
“Skeptics Censor Skepticism of Paul Offit’s Book” Apparently, we at CFI are puppets of big pharma. @center4inquiryow.ly/bj9h0

The Truth Excavator needs a derivative hashtag timeout, I think:

9/11 Truth Spring And Bilderberg Spring http://t.co/06zVwXw1 #OccupyBilderberg #Bilderberg #BilderbergSpring #TruthSpring #September11 — Truth Excavator(@TruthExcavator)

Sean Carroll found something unpleasant in his hotel:

The hotel I’m staying at is hosting an Oath Keepers meeting. The gun-toting wing of Ron Paul Nation. http://t.co/njQSzyTO — Sean Carroll (@seanmcarroll)

This one made me happy:

Illinois rep EXPLODES on the House floor! IT’s ALL FALLING… http://t.co/sxmvEQAb — 911truth (@911Truth)

But legislators aren’t the only things exploding this week:

B4IN Featured (@B4INFeatured)
5/30/12 4:03 PM
2012 Firearms & Ammunition Sales Exploding bit.ly/M8r0JE

Conspiracy Theory of the Week

I like this one because I’m a U2 nut. Bono is the frontman for global genocide:

That’s it, people. More is coming. More is always coming.

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (27 May 2012)

May 27, 2012

It’s been a sporadically busy week, moments of frantic activity followed by stretches of soul crushing boredom that would kill weaker bloggers. I should have something coming up at the Swift Blog in the next few days, and Eve and I filmed the first episode of a new online video series for the Independent Investigations Group–Atlanta and Doubtful News called, The Week in Woo, which is a survey of goofy news. The “pilot” is very brief, and I do not expect to be able to keep working on it once we move to Wisconsin, but we’d like to bequeath the show to IIG-Atlanta. Here’s a brief, quick-and-dirty clip that basically shows off our virtual set, made by Mark Distler of Abrupt Media.

But all the digital wizardry in the world can’t stop the never-ending, crushing torrent of conspiracy theory. So let’s have at it:

First is the pope’s “Holy Roman” 14th Amendment, cartel-corporate, socialist-fascist, socialist-communist, de facto American Empire, the de jure government of the 14th Amendment American “National” Republic founded in 1868 having been cleverly replaced with a de facto Emergency War Powers government by an executive order of that wicked Masonic president, Commander-in-Chief FDR, on March 6, 1933.”

Twit of the Week:

ben goldacre (@bengoldacre)

5/23/12 6:18 PM @jonronson @aperks these shadowy global one world government conspiracies get a bit samey after a while.

Ain’t that the truth, Ben?

Conspiracy theory of the week:

That’s it for now. As always, I have a couple of irons in the fire, so stay tuned!

RJB


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,576 other followers