On April 4th, 2014, this column will observe its 1st year aniversary. Beginning with a request by Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills that Kim Jong-Un bomb Foxboro, Massachusetts, this column has endeavored to call attention to the purveyors of the most irresponsible, most incendiary and most reality-impaired of political rhetoric in America and offer common sense rebuttals.
And immediately upon this column's conception, it became bombarded with the same complaints over and over again.
- "How dare you call this journalism!"
- "This isn't nonpartisan!"
- "You're a yellow journalist!"
- "You should be hanged for treason!"
- "You're a fat loser who will never get laid!"
- "You will suffer an eternity in Hell!"
Apparently, in this post-Tea Party world of 21st century politics, if you refuse to lend your voice to those of people who insist that President Obama is a racist Kenyan Satanic Muslim secular socialist Saudi mass-murdering Communist pedophile Nazi Antichrist, that means you are evil and hate America.
But this column has not kept its ridicule exclusive to conservatives. On the contrary, I actually spend a fair ammount of extra effort looking for extra-crazy statements from the left. Ingrid Newkirk, Bob Filner and Lizz Winstead, for example, did not escape this column's notice.
But the reason I wrote about these voices on the left was because their remarks were irresponsible, and not because of some feeling of being required to keep the ridicule of liberals and conservatives to an even spread.
I also feel no compulsion to either refrain from addressing all of the lunacy that comes to my attention from one side, or to nitpick at the other side whenever one side so greatly dominates the other.
In a perfect world, sanity would never be considered partisan territory. But in the 21st century United States, I find myself caught between one party that offers ideas while calling for compromise and for their opposition to come together as Americans, and an opposition party that peddles conspiracy theories while calling for violence and for their opposition to be murdered.
This is hardly a new dilemma. Jon Stewart found himself in a similar predicament with his Rally to Restore Sanity. He tried to pretend the insanity was an even spread, but he wound up only sufficing to prove the notion false when the liberals and progressives cheeered his message and Keith Olbermann suspending his "Worst Person in the World" segment, while Fox News, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party lashed out at him and called him a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.
Bill Maher wisely said of Stewart's Rally, and of all media, for that matter, that "the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake. That the Left is just as violent and cruel as the Right," and that "there's a difference between a mad man and a madman."
Maher also once famously said that, if the religious cannot stop insisting that atheism is a religion, then they should compromise and let atheists do "all the looney stuff" that religious people do, after which he performed an un-baptism ceremony of Mitt Romney's posthumously baptized dead father-in-law.
I, in turn, would like to live up to this example by offering this compromise to America's extreme far-right: If you are going to insist that the Democrats are just as plagued by insanity and corruption as the Republicans, you have to let liberals peddle the same kind of ridiculous conspiracy theories that fundamentalists and libertarians revel in every single day.
And in the spirit of April Fool's Day, the one day of the year when I can write something and not be taken seriously, I would also like to get the ball rolling.
Here are ten ridiculous conspiracy theories for liberals to pass around to other liberals while pretending they are undisputed facts just like far-right extremists do.
Ted Cruz is a double-agent for Al-Qaeda
The Tea Party, especially those affiliated with the American Taliban, are quite fond of insisting that President Obama wasn't just born overseas in Kenya, but that he is a double-agent for Al-Qaeda plotting to destroy America from the inside.
But due to their intense hatred of the current Democratic president, they have all failed to take notice of a very real threat hiding in plain sight among their own party's ranks.
Ted Cruz is known for a fact to have been born in another country, a trait which the Tea Party insists disqualifies Obama from the presidency even though it isn't true. Cruz himself has freely admitted that this is the case and claims to have been born in Canada.
Everything else there is to know about Cruz, on the other hand, would imply otherwise. He is ethnically Hispanic, has a Hispanic full name (Rafael Edward Cruz) and was fathered by a Cuban national.
Nothing against Hispanics, but why would Cruz so adamantly insist on being Canadian when his roots are clearly across America's southern border?
It could be because, thanks to the tireless efforts of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), we now know that radical Islamists are being trained to act like Hispanics so they can gain entry into the United States.
The implications are clear: Ted Cruz was one of these radical Islamists trained to infiltrate, not just America, but the highest offices of the U.S. government.
Fortunately, America became wise to the charade, forcing a hasty reinvention of the Ted Cruz persona as a Canadian.
George W. Bush destroyed the economy on purpose.
A bad economy is good for big business.
It's a strange notion, but deceptively simple in its reasoning.
Simply put, when the economy dips into a prolonged recession, the smaller companies die first. Mom & Pop establishments typically treat their employees well and operate on smaller profit margins, while young upstart companies lack substantial financial reserves. As such, when business suddenly dries up, they often cannot stay in business for very long.
Ergo, when the recession ends and the economy starts booming again, only the big businesses are still standing and in any position to take advantage of that recovery.
We already know that 95% of the wealth generated during the recovery went to the richest 1% in America. We also know that George W. Bush freely referred to the richest 1% -- "the haves and the have-mores" who benefited from America's great recession -- as his "base."
The implications are obvious: George W. Bush didn't just destroy the American economy. He did so deliberately to the benefit of his base.
The NRA and GOA are staging mass shootings
Wayne LaPierre and Larry Pratt, the figureheads of the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America respectively, have both proven a remarkable devotion to increasing gun sales in America no matter the cost.
For years, they have operated under a very simple model: Neuter the government's ability to prevent criminals and crazy people from buying guns, as well as its capacity to provide adequate police forces to defend citizens against them. When this is accomplished, the only means of legal protection available to everyday Americans is to also buy a gun.
Recently, they have found an even more effective way of increasing gun sales: Stoking paranoid fears that big government is coming to take your guns.
One of the Tea Party's most favorite conspiracy theories is to insist that the recent string of mass shootings -- Aurora, Oak Creek, Sandy Hook, etc. -- are being staged by the Obama administration as an excuse to confiscate their guns.
Yet there LaPierre and Pratt are, every single time after every single mass shooting, telling both the gun enthusiasts that they are about to lose their guns and everyone else that the only way they can protect themselves is to get a gun.
The NRA doesn't even leave room for an adequate mourning period anymore; they have their press conference scheduled and their response prepared before the body counts have even been released.
That by itself seems obvious enough. But there's more.
Typically, the shootings occur in liberal communities or locations often stereotyped as liberal gathering sites (schools, non-Christian temples, etc).
There has only been one exception to the rule, and conveniently enough, that one exception is also the only attempted mass shooting where there were no fatalities: The D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council.
The killers themselves generally originate from the NRA's base, but they always conveniently leave something behind that allows conservatives to insist the far-left is to blame.
But it's always the exact same evidence: Literature by famous communists. Which might as well be a letter saying "I made him do it. ~Barack Obama" written in crayon -- it's so obvious it cannot be considered credible.
A favorite mantra of 2nd Amendment purists is a willingness to fight and die for the cause. And the evidence is insurmountable that they have not only been dying, but committing the greatest of atrocities for the cause.
The G.O.P. wants to establish a Plutocracy.
Honestly this one shouldn't even count as a conspiracy theory. It's so obvious in everything they do that it's a wonder they haven't made depriving rights to everyone but the ruling elite a part of their official party mantra.
First and most obvious is the G.O.P.'s recent obsession with Voter ID laws. These have been frequently derided as nothing but a shallow ploy to suppress Democratic voters, and many a Republican have even flat out admitted that this is the case.
More recently, even more Republicans of all variety have announced their staunch opposition to immigration on the sole grounds that they suspect most immigrants will be Democratic voters.
But these are not the full extent of the G.O.P.'s push for a plutocracy. They're the tip of the iceberg.
Were it up to the G.O.P., voting rights wouldn't just be denied to minorities. They would also be denied to the poor. Bryan Fischer and Ted Nugent, despite representing opposite camps within the G.O.P. base (a theocrat and a libertarian respectfully) have both called for voting rights to be denied to non-property owners.
Christopher Monkcton of WorldNetDaily would push back voting rights even further, insisting they should be denied to recipients of any form of federal aid; more than half of the U.S. population.
But it isn't just voting rights that the G.O.P. has attempted to deny to the non-elite. It's rights in general. From Paul Ryan's budgets slashing welfare and medicaid to pay for farm subsidies and corporate welfare, to Louie Gohmert's direct call to raise taxes on the poor, the evidence is insurmountable that the G.O.P. cares for very little beyond punishing the poor for being poor, more and more, until there is nothing to stop them from abolishing democracy completely.
It would certainly explain why so many Republicans have been publicly displaying their raging boners for Vladimir Putin even after his annexation of Crimea. Nothing sums up the Republican's platform greater than a military invasion followed by a sham of an election.
Darrell Issa orchestrated the attack on the Benghazi consulate
Republicans in Congress have spent countless hours ranting and raving that Benghazi needs to be investigated further, but very little time at all doing any actual investigative work.
That might be because, if an actual unrestricted and uncensored investigation of the Benghazi attack did occur, the findings would implicate the House of Representatives itself, if not the entire Republican party.
We do know, for example, that the raid was most likely orchestrated and ordered by Abu Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was released in 2007 by George W. Bush.
We also know that, before the attack, the House of Representatives approved deep budget cuts to embassy security, leaving the Benghazi consulate ill-equipped to deal with such an attack.
Finally, the attack occurred only two months shy of the 2012 presidential election, which conveniently allowed Mitt Romney and his allies to declare the President soft on terror, an allegation that had previously died in 2011 with Osama bin Laden.
Republicans have long insisted that Obama permitted -- even orchestrated -- the attack on the Benghazi consulate, but the time line implies the blood is on their hands; that bin Qumu had been released from prison in exchange for a conveniently timed attack to make the future Democratic President look weak just before his reelection.
The G.O.P. is allied with Al-Qaeda in their hatred of Democracy
It is also not farfetched to believe that Abu Sufian bin Qumu may have attacked the Benghazi consulate on orders from Republicans, given that the G.O.P. has frequently courted al-Qaeda in the past.
Al-Qaeda's great ambition is, of course, to destroy democracy and replace it with a fundamentalist dictatorship.
Conveniently, this is exactly what the G.O.P. wants.
At least three times a week, this column has reported that someone tried to insist that any show of support to a group of non-Christians is discriminatory against Christians. In fact, spokespersons from both sides of Republican extremism -- Bryan Fischer of the authoritarians and the Williams Tea Party of the libertarians -- have both stated flat outright that they consider freedom of religion to be a right exclusive to Christians.
More recently, Fischer even tried to trick Americans into thinking that the American theocracy already exists with his insistence that government office holders are actually church ministers.
The clear implication is that the Republicans want exactly what Al-Qaeda wants: A strict non-democratic theocracy.
The obvious question, of course, is why militant Christians and militant Muslims would ever deign to ally with people who are supposed to be their sworn enemies. The simple explanation is that neither side is truly faithful and only uses the religious labels to justify what would otherwise be easily recognized as pure fascism.
The only essential difference between fascism and theocracy is that the former entails the tyrants pretending to be the higher power while the latter has the tyrants pretending to be taking orders from the higher power.
The evidence that they not only share goals, but have actually worked together in pursuit of said goals, is readily apparent with the U.S.'s greatest enemy of the 21st century: Osama bin Laden.
First, former U.K. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has reported that bin Laden received arms and training by the CIA during the 1980s under Ronald Reagan for the purpose of waging jihad against the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan. This claim has been backed up by former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, both of whom stated that bin Laden had very pro-American views at the time.
It is believed that the first bombing attack involving bin Laden was on December 29, 1992, less than two months after George H.W. Bush, Reagan's former Vice President, lost his reelection bid to Democrat Bill Clinton. Clinton was later revealed to have signed a directive authorizing the CIA to apprehend bin Laden in 1998, and had also authorized the use of deadly force if taking him alive was not an option.
What happened next hardly needs any introduction. George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in a highly controversial election, and during the first year of his presidency, jihadists under orders from bin Laden hijacked and crashed three airliners into the two World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.
Bush vowed to bring bin Laden to justice and invaded Afghanistan, but when the criminal mastermind was presumed cornered in the mountains, Bush suddenly diverted military attention to Iraq, resulting in the ousting and execution of Saddam Hussein, which bin Laden had personally been calling for as early as 1990.
Biden Laden escaped justice completely for the entirety of Bush's presidency, and in 2011, was finally brought to justice during the presidency of another Democrat.
While Bill Clinton and Barack Obama tried to bring Osama bin Laden to justice (and ultimately succeeded in doing so), Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush aided him by giving him arms and killing off his enemies.
How much more obvious could they possibly have made it?
Herman Cain and other black Republicans do not exist
During the last presidential election, 93% of African Americans voted for Barack Obama. That leaves fewer than one in ten who would even give a Republican the time of day.
So what are the odds that the select few black Americans who do lean to the right would lean to the extreme right in absolute guano loco territory?
I mean good Lord, look at them all!
- Erik Rush, who accused obama of wanting to detonate a nuke on U.S. soil and has called multiple times for non-extremists to be executed as traitors.
- Allen West, who called Chuck Hagel a traitor and Eric Holder a greater threat than al-Qaeda.
- Mychal Massie, who accused Obama of brainwashing kids into being gay, and who told other black Americans that racism is over (so go back to Africa!).
- Alan Keyes, who challenged Obama's birth certificate and oath of office, and who accused Obama of working with terrorists to introduce martial law.
- Ken Blackwell, who said severing millions of from aid is an act of Christian compassion.
- D.L. Foster, who said legalized homosexuality had destroyed America's freedom.
- Kevin Jackson, who called immigration reform a "euphemism for treason."
- Joshua Black, who called for Obama to be hanged on Martin Luther King Day.
- James David Manning, who accused Obama of fathering an illegitimate love-child and then having the mother murdered.
- E.W. Jackson, who said government aid was more harmful to blacks than slavery.
- Ellis Washington, who believes there ever was such a thing as "Hitlercare" and that is comparable to Obamacare.
- Jesse Lee Peterson, who insists undocumented immigrants don't want citizenship.
- And last but not least, Ben Carson, who said Americans were losing their First Amendment rights to marriage equality.
They clearly have no problem finding black Americans to share their message, but they can't find even one who hasn't suffered the same tragic fate as Gary Busey.
A cynic would suggest that this could be used as proof that conservatism is actually a mental disorder, but the more likely explanation would be that none of these people actually exist.
They are either paid actors who will disavow all of their extremist rhetoric as soon as their checks bounce, or they're all the same guy with blackface makeup and an impressive wig collection.
Jim Garrow and Erik Rush are both gay pedophiles
Speaking of Erik Rush: He's gay. Especially for little boys.
First and foremost, Garrow has repeatedly accused Obama of being a pedophile, which follows the traditional G.O.P. practice of overcompensation through projectionism -- of accusing their ideological opponents of the very vices and weaknesses they know themselves to be guilty of.
More telling, Garrow ran the Pink Pagoda charity, which he claimed worked to rescue unwanted baby girls from China and put them up for adoption in North American homes.
Garrow claimed that his organization had saved 34,000 baby girls since 2000, which would have accounted for exactly half of all the children adopted internationally from China as a whole.
That by itself would be highly unrealistic, but is even more so when you consider, not just that his charity only appealed to one gender, but that the Pink Pagoda was not even a registered charity.
Garrow's employees were also alleged to have been passing out vouchers in China offering money for relinquishing a child, which prompted an investigation by the RCMP for alleged child trafficking.
These implications combined with with Garrow's insistence on frequently accusing his opponents of being pedophiles strongly imply that Garrow himself is one. And given his very open relationship with Erik Rush, it would stand to reason that Rush prefers them young too.
Sure, this is a very tenuous reach towards a very serious accusation, but neither Garrow nor Rush can offer concrete proof that they are not pedophiles.
That is proof of guilt enough. Which, incidentally, I learned from Erik Rush.
It was Rush who called the practice of asking for proof "a fairly transparent ruse", and who also continues to insist that people who question his accusations are also guilty. Ergo, per his own standards, Erik Rush is guilty until proven innocent, as is anyone else who questions his guilt.
Congress caused the snowy winter
Conservative talking heads love to respond to snow in the winter by declaring it proof that global warming is a hoax (then in the summer, the entire state of Texas bursts into flames while liberals try to hold their tongues).
They continue to say this even though it has been pointed out to them that snow cannot form at lower temperatures, ergo the increasingly snowy winters could actually be considered proof that global warming is real.
Fortunately for the global warming hoaxers, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. The alternative, however, is something far worse to consider: The possibility of a conspiracy to disprove global warming to the benefit of Congress's plutocratic sponsors.
Few G.O.P. contributors are as infamous as the Koch Brothers, co-owners of Koch Industries, which include the Koch Pipeline Company and Flint Hills Resources refining company. Likewise, few corporate connections are more infamous than former Vice President Dick Cheney's close ties to the oil field services company Haliburton.
A switch by the United States over to green and renewable energy sources would be devastating to both of these companies. Which would explain why, in addition to pushing for further taxes and restrictions on green energy even though they are supposedly pro-business libertarians, the Republican party has an intense interest in disproving global warming as a hoax, no matter what the cost.
According to Alex Jones, the U.S. government has the capacity to manipulate the weather. Jones made this claim in relation to a string of tornadoes in Oklahoma, a claim for which he was thoroughly ridiculed. Artificial snow, on the other hand, actually does exist.
As a native New Englander, I can testify that the months of December and January, historically, seldom ever had any snow due to the air being too cold and dry during those months for it to ever accumulate.
That all changed in 2007, right after the release of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", when the push for green energy was in full swing but the pro-oil George W. Bush was still in the White House.
The timing is far too convenient to be attributed to dumb luck, so the implications are clear: The Republicans are responsible for our brutal winters.
The G.O.P. wants to destroy the world
The problem with propaganda is that only the first generation knows it is a lie. The next generation will have been raised on it from birth and be fully adherent to it.
We are seeing this perfectly demonstrated with the Tea Party, a generation of Americans who were raised on Cold War propaganda.
For the most part, Cold War propagandists knew the United States and Soviet Russia would never actually come to blows. They just insisted otherwise as a means of keeping their citizenry in line, and after the U.S.S.R.'s collapse, to sell doomsday prep kits.
This is a practice Glenn Beck, Alex Jones and many other conspiracy theory peddlers have kept up to this day. They continue to insist that government tyranny and/or economic collapse is right around the corner, not necessarily because they believe it, but because it increases the sales of Goldline gold coins, Food Insurance packets, ProPur water filters, and all the other products marketed directly to doomsday preppers on their radio shows.
But Glenn Beck and Alex Jones are the last remaining relics of the previous generation; the generation that knew doomsday was just a great marketing pitch and didn't actually believe in it. The Congressional Tea Party is the current generation; the generation that was raised on doomsday propaganda.
Compounding matters further is conservatism's natural intense loathing of change in general in what is undoubtedly a rapidly changing world. Conservatism appealed to many in the 50s and 60s because it promised a comfortable future (as long as you were white) where everything was essentially promised to them by birthright and guarantees could be made down to the finest of details.
Today, conservatives find themselves in a world where absolutely none of the things they were promised have sustained:
The President of the United States is black, the richest man on Earth is from Mexico, and the new Pope is from Argentina.
The Red Sox have broken the curse, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins both suck, and NASCAR's biggest celebrity is a woman.
Little boys want to watch R-rated movies, little girls want to watch movies about bloodthirsty monsters, and grown men want to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
The list goes on.
Their hostility to change in a rapidly changing world, combined with a lifetime's worth of doomsday propaganda, has created a generation of Americans who do so much more than just expect the world to end within their lifetimes. They are actively praying for it, and in many instances, are even trying to accelerate the process.
This is reflected in so much more than just the Tea Party's devotion to climate change denial. It is reflected in Michele Bachmann's call to bulldoze the Florida Everglades to drill for oil that isn't there there, in Sen. Ted Cruz's vow to fight Agenda 21 (a non-binding list of suggestions) and his attempt to cause a default on the U.S.'s debt, the bill proposed by Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Dean Heller to end protections for most endangered species, the across-the-board opposition to any efforts to address America's obesity epidemic, and in Sarah Palin's call to settle problems with Russia with nuclear weapons.
The end of all life on Earth is now the literal core of the G.O.P.'s agenda, and the entire media is too afraid of being accused of partisanship to dare call attention to it.