Virtual Skeptics, Episode 7 (26 Sept 2012)

September 27, 2012

Looky-looky! A new episode of Virtual Skeptics is up! Hooray!

Virtual Skeptics, Episode 7 (26 Sept 2012)

This week on the “Virtual Skeptics”…

  • Bob brings us a pretty corny story;
  • Eve channels Mrs Jesus;
  • Sharon wonders, “What IS it with Siberia?”
  • and Tim…well, we love Tim.

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (9 Sept 2012)

September 9, 2012

Apparently, the entire Internet did not appreciate the meaning of last week’s conspiracy-related snark. What I was trying to say was that you should not take conspiracy theories at face value because they are often unreliable. So I’m going to do another week, and I would very much appreciate it if the entire Internet would give me its full attention. Surely that is not too much to ask? Please try to keep up, Internet.

Nope.

Twit of the week:

Alex Jones, who just couldn’t be more of a scam artist:

My gut tells me #Gold is only going up. Call Midas Resources & Ask about the ‘Alex Jones Specials’ 800-fwe-f2w7 — Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones)

As Carl Sagan said in the reading I just assigned my students, “I try not to think with my gut.”

That’s what I have. We’ll have another episode of the Virtual Skeptics live on Wednesday night at 8:00PM Eastern. Keep your eyes here or watch for the #virtualskeptics hashtag.

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


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


New Conspiracy Guy post up at CSI site

June 21, 2012

My most recent “Conspiracy Guy” column is up at CSI. It’s called, “Tim McVeigh’s Must-Read List: The Turner Diaries.” As always, I encourage comments here, as the CSI site does not offer that option. It’s a pretty goddamned awful book I’m discussing with a pretty goddamned good scholar, Tom Lolis.

RJB (codename: Defiant Taco)


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


This Week in Conspiracy (19 May 2012)

May 20, 2012

Oh, things are coming together. NATO in Chicago? Bilderbergers in Virginia? It can’t be a coincidence!

Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff)
5/19/12 12:41 AM
Arizona keeping Obama off state ballot until he presents documentation proving that he won’t still be black in November.

This Creature from the Ocean’s Floor, better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, has been created and written specifically to undercut America’s sovereignty and move us towards global governance and a New World Order where the constitutional rights of the American people, our national sovereignty and the military power of the United States would be subordinated to the whims of a group of corrupt, unelected, third-world bureaucrats who have no interest in Freedom and Liberty.

Headline of the Week:
Conspiracy Theorists are known for their subtle understatement. Take what Paul Krugman described as “bank jog” becomes: “BREAKING!!! DOOM ON!!!! Bank Run Greece… NOW!!!!


Twit of the Week:
This week’s conspiracy themed tweet of the week goes to Melissa Lee, who wasn’t even looking for it:
Dear Roger Ailes, I’ll think about it. -Shadowy Leftist Forces #ActuallyGoFuckYourselfhttp://pic.twitter.com/gKE62iXq

The Conspiracy Theory of the Week:
…is not a conspiracy theory, rather a conspiracy spoof from Comedy Central called: “Birthers Divided on Whether or Not to Get Behind Ridiculous Nonsense.”

That’s it for now. I’m off the clock.

UPDATE! I’m back on the clock. I went back to William B. Bruer’s Unexplained Mysteries of World War II to try to find the reference to the cartoon I mentioned above. Instead, I found a reference to 2 suspicious advertisements in the New Yorker that were investigated by the FBI after Pearl Harbor. When I went to look for a website to link to, now having the ad, I found that some toilet hack had basically plagiarized Breuer’s entire chapter. So enjoy. Still looking for the cartoon reference!

UPDATE AGAIN! Ken has straightened me out on the “cartoon” I was looking for. This was another crossword puzzle, where words like “Omaha” and “Overlord” appeared. The story is here. In appreciation, I include a thank you specifically tailored to awesome Kens:

 

LAST UPDATE! I SWEAR: Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III pointed out that the authorities got concerned when Lex Luthor rolled out his own atomic bomb in the Superman series. Unfortunately, I do not have any fun MST3K videos about people named Bodsworth, so I will just have to send him my deep thanks! It’s a fun find from yesteryear!

RJB

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