November 10, 2010

Plans for a “Manchurian Candidate” sequel?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , — Bob Patterson @ 3:00 pm

[Note: This column is a work of fiction. It is chock full of speculation, hypothesis, and conjecture and is slated to be the World’s Laziest Journalist’s official entry in the 2010 Lunatic Organization of Conspiracy Theorists’ Nutty Idea of the Year competition (which, like Fight Club, can’t be discussed).]

Sometime between 1973 and 1998 a clandestine group of patriots met (in secret, of course) and selected a group of young Democrats who were screened by a committee of psychologists as being fully qualified to be manipulated clandestinely for Republican Party purposes at a future date.

Members of the group were young, intelligent, highly motivated members of various Democratic minority splinter groups.

The psychologists were, like their highly paid associates who specialized in advising lawyers about the selection of potential citizens for jury duty in a specific case, looking for more than just a high IQ. The right candidates had to show several specific qualities such as a tendency to be headstrong, proud, strong willed, arrogant in private, eager to please, and have high moral principles.

Interesting sidelight: some tests used in the selection questionnaire used in the past by various Personnel Departments to evaluate potential employees contain the question “Do you ever lie?” All applicants who respond “Never” were automatically eliminated from further consideration.

The selectees were then subjected to a close inspection of their paper trail and a few who had interesting inconsistencies were advanced to the next elimination round.

The best candidates had to show a strong aptitude for self-deception. For instance, a guy with a minor speech impediment, such as a slight bit of teeth whistle (it would be noticeable in words with an “s”) while speaking, had to be susceptible to flattery especially the kind that promoted the idea that he was a powerful and charismatic orator. That’s just one example. There are others, but we assume you get the picture.

The Democrats who made it to the “groom for success” elimination round, were then given some stealth boosts to their career. We are not suggesting that the art of election deception via electronic voting machines was being used at that point in the history of democracy in action, rather, we are asserting that some bits of “off the record” assessments, such as “don’t say I said this, but we are really afraid of candidate X (Is that a deliberate pun on Malcolm X’s name?)” were fed to eager political pundits, who dutifully spread that idea as far and as fast as they could.

In America, it is absurd to maintain that the journalists, who value the fact that (as Mike Malloy is wont to say) theirs is the only profession with Constitutional guarantees (The First Amendment – Freedom of the Press), would play the Judas role for forty pieces of silver because we all know that America has the best journalists that money can buy. They would never knowingly play along with this hypothetical scenario which suggests they were played by Republican strategists, but it could happen in another country and so we will press this impossibility into use for this example of a lunatic theory. (Didn’t Sinclair Lewis say it best in the title to one of his books: “It Can’t Happen Here!”?)

Back to our ridiculously absurd (Welcome Dadaists) confabulation (If Word says it is a word and you still want to challenge it; we say: “Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls.”): Some of the unwitting Democrats were put on the fast track to success and subjected to some extensive media fawning. They were given more “we really fear that guy” boosts.

The best was selected (by this point in history, the electronic voting machines were “in play”) to become the Democratic Party nominee to play the rodeo clown who would divert America’s attention away from the budget bloating effects of the invasion of Iraq, Osama bin Laden’s miraculous escape from the trap in the Tora Bora mountains (which was just like a Three Stooges episode?), the 2004 election results in Ohio, the questions about Building 7, the convenient timing of the Spectrum 7 Energy Corp’s stock deal with Harken Energy, and last, but certainly not least, the biggest blunder in 43’s life when he traded Sammy Sosa. [Not to mention the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Ronald (St.) Reagan’s former costar, Bonzo.]

The backroom Swengalis aren’t done with their fall guy yet. His greatest service to the Republican puppeteers is yet to be played. When the Republican majority in the House is sworn in next January, our hypothetical hero would (subjunctive mood for conspiracy theories) be called on to play the greatest victim role in the annals of American History.

What could be a better way to divert America’s attention away from JEB Bush’s campaign than the Impeachment Process? Our hero shut down the idea of a war crimes trial for Dubya. It worked so well in the past, why not make a sequel? Gees, do you have to be a Hollywood insider to know how well the sequel gambit works?

When the hapless fellow is accused of lying he’ll have to deny it, even though all the personnel departments in the world expect honest applicants to admit that they have told lies. It’s OK to tell lies, just don’t take it to the level where the bogus information is supposed to be considered “true under penalty of perjury.”

Like a rookie baseball player who is goaded into taking a lead off first that is one step beyond the point of no return, this hypothetical example fellow, unfortunately, has however inadvertently provided the Republicans with a bit of paperwork that will be terrible binary choice: either the fellow has committed perjury and should be impeached or he wasn’t born in the USA, which disqualifies him for the office he holds.
Maybe an Impeachment Hearing would finally answer the nagging question: “Who would want to kill Dorothy Kilgallen and why would they want to do it?”

Some pundits will urge the fellow to resign before things get that bad. No way, Jose! The Republican psychologists are staking their professional reputations on their profiling abilities and are predicting that their guy will hold fast and challenge the Republicans to “bring it on!” He will challenge the legitimacy of the paper work.

When Bruno Hauptman was forced to provide the police with an example of his handwriting, wasn’t he also coerced into using the same misspellings found in the kidnapper’s’ ransom demand? Wasn’t that “fact” later used in court against him?

Note: the same experts who would testify that the signature “could” be a forgery would be challenged on the basis that their “expert” testimony was just as valid as that given by so-called scientists who are helping drive up the cost of polar bear (Uris martisimus) memorablia by asserting that the white creatures are on the verge of extinction. Didn’t one of the signers of the Constitution once warn his fellow Americans: “Never trust a scientist farther than you could throw him!”?

One clear hint that the Impeachment process is just about to start will be the fact that the Republicans will steal the focus of attention and the media coverage for the State of the Union Speech by boycotting the event. Fox News will cue the Journalism Industry that the only possible explanation is that the Republicans have “evidence” that the President isn’t qualified to sit in the Oval Office and they will refuse to endorse the charade. They will drop hints about what makes them think like that. Then a day or so later, they will again take the initiative and the offensive by announcing the grounds for Impeachment.

When the Vice President gets sworn in as the replacement, all the GOP politicians will then resume their sit-down strike in the legislative branch of government and start ridiculing and belittling the non-Republican President.

If the above isn’t good enough to win the Conspiracy Theorists’ Nutty Idea of the Year Competition, what would be?

Well, don’t say you read it here, but some people say that this year’s dark horse nominee will be a column submitted by a crazoid who asserts that if you hold a photo of the once prominent Ayatollah Khomeini next to one of the few pictures in existence of Howard Hughes, you will immediately come to an astounding conclusion.

That conspiracy nut columnist is quick to point out that no one ever saw those two men in the same room at the same time. “Gee, Lois, did you ever notice that Clark Kent has yet to be a witness for any of Superman’s amazing feats?”

The fact checker is still working on the idea that the first words that Lee Harvey Oswald said to newsmen in the Dallas jail were: “I’m a patsy!”

We need a better closing quote than that one.

Texas congressman, Martin Dies Jr. (not to be confused with his father Martin Dies Sr., who was a congressman from 1909 to 1919), who was the Chairman of the House Un-American Committee during World War II, in a 1932 statement about the fundamental issues, said: “During the past decade a radical change has taken place in our economic life. Although we still retain the external form, the professions and precepts of a democratic Government, there has grown up in our midst an industrial and financial oligarchy as absolute in its sway as ever existed in the heyday of mediaeval feudalism.”
(Martin Dies The John Day Company hardback page 33)

Is it too late to mention that Australia is celebrating Remembrance Day?

Now, the disk jockey will play “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and Sloppy Secondz’ “Whacky Weed.” We have to go and participate in a Veterans Day debate on the topic: “If Bush and Cheney are War Criminals are they entitled to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery?” Have a “Why didn’t the NTSB reassemble (in a nearby warehouse) the jet airliner that hit the Pentagon, just like they did with TWA flight 800?” type week.

July 26, 2010

The Right-Wing Echo Chamber – Pigboy and Squirrelly Show How It’s Done

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:25 am


February 28, 2010

One for the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 5:01 pm

[Note: Conspiracy theories, like astrological forecasts, should be read only for their entertainment value. They belong in the file labeled: “fictionalized speculation.”]

When the Ayatollah Khomeini shot to the top of the current events chart for his shenanigans in Iran, it seemed to this columnist, like we had seen him before. One day while plowing through our massive collection of totally irrelevant cultural events file, we stumbled upon a photo of
Howard Hughes.

Voila! It wasn’t just one of those identical twins separated at birth things; it was a “same guy, different photos at different ages” type deal (IMHO). Just compare a photo of the Ayatollah and one of Hughes. Note the similarity of the folds in the ears, the nostrils, and the eyes. Eliminatory, my dear Watson, it’s obviously the same guy in different stages in his life.

We asked around. No one had ever seen Howie (we used to live in Marina del Rey, which has Hughes Aircraft as an adjacent neighbor) and the Ayatollah in the same room at the same time.

“Lois, have you ever noticed how Clark Kent always misses being able to write an eyewitness account of Superman’s greatest feats?” Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. If you know what we mean.

We tried our best to pedal our theory to the mavens of contemporary American culture but alas we garnered as much attention as a voice crying in the wilderness would.

If a conspiracy theory (CT) is to flourish, it has to be theoretically possible. You can’t go for stories about the captain of the Titanic being found 60 years later with his pipe still lit. You have to cook up something that just might squeak by on a level of marginal feasibility.

We went back to the drawing board.

James Dean and Elvis were rumored to be still alive long after their deaths had been reported in the news media. So we asked our self: How much documentation was there for the death of Che Guevara?

What if he had promised to turn states evidence and rat out his amigos in the Cuban Revolution in return for amnesty? Could he have been taken in to the “Witness Protection Program” and given some phony ID and a few bucks to start life over after allegedly being “shot down in an attempt to flee”?

We came up with a mental image of Che being on a city council in a small University somewhere in California and fighting with the college kids. (Gosh now that we live in such a city, maybe one of these Tueday nights, we should skip Qi Gong class and attend a city council meeting?)

We ran this bit of unsubstantiated speculation past a high school buddy, several years ago, and he did his best to refute our theory. He reassured us that he personally had seen a photo on the desk of the guy who worked next to his that showed Che dead on the ground. Our good buddy mumbled some esoteric exotica about JM/Wave, Ted Shackley, Phat City, and the like as his evidence to substantiate his claim that Che was buried in Bolivia.

We countered that this guy, whom he called Felix Rodriguez, was most likely in on the ruse and had agreed to pose with Che’s prone figure for the photographic proof that the revolutionary had been mortally wounded while attempting to flee. (Didja know that in the days of B&W movies Hershey’s chocolate syrup was often used to simulate blood?) In return, we asserted, Che spilled the beans about such things as the kidnapping of Juan Manuel Fangio and other historic Cuban events which preceded Fidel’s putsch.

Now that photoshopping changes are readily available to any photographer with the bucks to buy the program and a lap top where he can run it, photographs are (to the best of our knowledge) no longer accepted as evidence in any court proceedings.

We used to work with an ad sales rep who, we adamantly asserted, used an assumed identity that had been provided by the witness protection program folks. They had assisted her in the efforts to erase all traces of her life as “Eva Braun.” She did a Dr. Strangelove-like denial of the idea.

Our efforts to dabble in a one man plot to concoct something that would be described as a cutting edge conspiracy theory that belongs in the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame pale in comparison to what we have recently found on online. We were Googling around with things like “Blond Ghost” and “Dealey Plaza” when we stumbled on the most outrageous conspiracy theory we’ve ever encountered in a lifelong fascination with conspiracy theories for fun and profit.

If we couch the views in the form of a question that means that this columnist doesn’t personally substantiate their wild assertions. We just want to bring some new theories to the attention of the people who are connoisseurs of concocted conjecture.

Cub reporters are always urged, for legal reasons, to pepper their stories with words like “allegedly,” “reportedly,” “assert,” and to inundate the readers with phrases like “according to a police spokesman,” and “unsubstantiated conjecture.”

So we were sure that we found the next candidate for the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame when we found folks asking: “Was George W. Bush’s real father JFK?” They follow that up by asking “Did George H. W. Bush, play the role of jealous husband, and hire killers to rub him out in Dallas?”

Their wild assertions do seem to tie up loose ends and nagging question concerning JFK’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963, in an Occam’s razor sort of way.
Folks (not just the good ole boys in Texas) can readily comprehend the “jealous husband” rational for using a gun.

According to this new way of explaining the Dallas Assassination, the common connecting thread is the CIA. Here are some links for readers who want to do their own play-along-at-home sleuthing and fact checking about this wild bit of speculation. (Embedded links seem so Tyler Durdin-ish.)

If a columnist writes about a new dance craze sweeping the discos, that doesn’t mean he has to be the fellow who “invented” the dance. It doesn’t mean that he has to be able to do the dance. It just means that, as a reporter and critic of the contemporary culture, he wants to point out what the latest development in that sphere of culture is. For those who are fascinated by conspiracy theories, this columnist just wants to bring their wild, intriguing question to the attention conspiracy theory fans. When it comes to drawing conclusions; you are on your own.

Herb Caen, who has his own room in the (imaginary) Columnists’ Hall of Fame, defended his columnistic style thus (From “Don’t Call it Frisco” Doubleday hardback pages 25 – 26): “That brings us to the third type – the “scattershot” column, crammed with short items on a variety of subjects. This kind of column is, obviously, a lot more work, but it attracts a wider audience, at least theoretically. As that great practitioner of the art, Walter Winchell, once expressed it: ‘People don’t get bored if you change the subject often enough.’”

Now, our disk jockey will play: Jimmy Dean’s song “Big, Bad John,” Dion’s song “Abraham, Martin, and John,” and Tom Clay’s overdubbed version of “What the World Needs Now.” (It is on Youtube and guaranteed to make surviving hippies weep.) Now, we gotta skedaddle. Have a “you’re not gonna believe this . . .” type of week.

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