QotD: What Is and Is Not a Conspiracy Theory

 

To count as a conspiracy, a plan involving two or more parties must be covert. Not even Alex Jones would talk of a Democratic Party conspiracy to field a candidate who can beat Trump. The term “conspiracy theory” is to be used and understood accordingly. Had Lee Harvey Oswald spoken just before his death of a second gunman on the grassy knoll, one would not be a conspiracy theorist for taking him seriously. The information could still be wrong, but someone disagreeing with it would have to engage in actual refutation. The same goes for all who seek to dismiss talk of the ROK government’s confederation drive as a conspiracy theory.—Brian Reynolds Myers

B. R. Myers was speaking of conspiracy theories in responding to another writer and in relation to perceptions of the South Korean President. Yet his point is more widely applicable. It’s not a conspiracy theory if the people involved are coming right out and saying, “Yes, we did this, and here is why.” As a perfect example of this, we have several people testifying before Congress while admitting to crimes because Orange Man Bad. Those crimes need to be prosecuted.

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  1. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    The conspiracy is the effort to remove a duly elected president.

    • #1
  2. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Clavius (View Comment):

    The conspiracy is the effort to remove a duly elected president.

    If I’m understanding the quote correctly that’s not a conspiracy because it’s not covert.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clavius (View Comment):

    The conspiracy is the effort to remove a duly elected president.

    If it is a conspiracy, it is not a conspiracy theory anymore, since it is opening wider every day. There are real conspiracies. Calling something a “conspiracy theory” implies that it is a fringe idea with no proof.

    • #3
  4. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Calling something a “conspiracy theory” implies that it is a fringe idea with no proof

    Is you example here “Gary McVey shot Kennedy”? LOL!


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many days available on the December Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #4
  5. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Calling something a “conspiracy theory” implies that it is a fringe idea with no proof

    Is you example here “Gary McVey shot Kennedy”? LOL!


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many days available on the December Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    Your lack of video evidence showing McVey not shooting Kennedy is pretty damning. 

    • #5
  6. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Calling something a “conspiracy theory” implies that it is a fringe idea with no proof

    Is you example here “Gary McVey shot Kennedy”? LOL!


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many days available on the December Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    I was waiting for someone to bring that up. Look, I was eleven. Kids do dumb things. We made mistakes. Sometimes history gets altered. 

    Oh, yeah, like Arahant has nothing to do with altering history. Sure. He’s the “Grand Vizier of the PIT”, the “Sage of the Great Lakes”, “God’s gift to Ricochet’s readership numbers”, so when he does it, it’s cool. 

    We should never have let a Rosicrucian witness of the Avignon Captivity amass so much R> power. 

    • #6
  7. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Clavius (View Comment):

    The conspiracy is the effort to remove a duly elected president.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    Is you example here “Gary McVey shot Kennedy”? LOL!

    I like to have fun with the tags. Gary was only 11 at the time.

    • #8
  9. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Most Americans are less prone to conspiracy theories than people who grew up in countries where the fix is always in. They find us naive. They tend to think, “Of course (JFK was murdered by a right wing conspiracy) (the Moon landing was faked) (crack cocaine was invented by the CIA to keep Black people down) (OJ was innocent) (9/11 was an inside job)”. 

    Not to say that some of our boys aren’t, well, kooks. “Muslim plotters not only planted Obama’s birth certificate, but they managed to find and remake every single microfilmed copy of that day’s paper in every library in Hawaii…back in 1961. Now that’s forward planning!” “Hundreds of boys are being held captive in the basement of a busy pizza parlor. You want proof? The slices are triangular. Need I say more? Grab a gun!” “All your money is in radio contact with the Federal government. Buy our lead-lined wallet with a built-in Faraday cage! It’s Uncle Sam’s worst nightmare!”

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    (Of course, Gary, with its being November 22, and Oswald’s being mentioned in the quotation, they think that referred to JFK. But I know you were sixteen when a different Kennedy was shot.)

    • #10
  11. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    “All your money is in radio contact with the Federal government. Buy our lead-lined wallet with a built-in Faraday cage! It’s Uncle Sam’s worst nightmare!”

    The ones they sell to stop credit card skimming also take care of that.

    • #11
  12. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Arahant (View Comment):

    (Of course, Gary, with it’s being November 22, and Oswald’s being mentioned in the quotation, they think that referred to JFK. But I know you were sixteen when a different Kennedy was shot.)

    Well, if it was November 22nd, then he was almost twelve.  Hey, today is November 22nd.  What a coincidence!

    • #12
  13. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I recall when 9/11 “truther” Rosie O’ Donnell claimed “Fire can’t melt steel”, someone–probably Greg Gutfeld–made a grimly hilarious montage of speeded-up stock newsreel shots of bright, glowing liquid metal being poured and formed. 

    Of course, real conspiracies do exist. When I have to evaluate one, here are some of the questions I have: 

    Is this source credible? Do we even know who the source is?

    Is it even physically possible?

    Is it suspiciously convenient, tying something we hate into someone we hate? That doesn’t automatically make it wrong, but it should give some pause before automatically assuming it’s right. 

    A simple example is OJ. Have police ever framed a Black man? Yes. We can’t rule out a conspiracy yet. What if the irrefutable timeline means that two or three dozen people, most of whom don’t even know each other, some of whom are actually at home asleep, had to have been in on the conspiracy, even though it could have landed any of them in jail for years? Technically possible, but getting pretty remote. Let’s say, though, that if all of white America is burning with racism, maybe you couldn’t rule it out. But let’s also say this particular Black man has been enormously popular with whites for his entire adult life, including the LAPD? Getting kinda slim odds. 

    Oh, and did I mention that his DNA is unique among 6 billion living people?

    • #13
  14. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    (Of course, Gary, with it’s being November 22, and Oswald’s being mentioned in the quotation, they think that referred to JFK. But I know you were sixteen when a different Kennedy was shot.)

    Well, if it was November 22nd, then he was almost twelve. Hey, today is November 22nd. What a coincidence!

    Coincidence? In the Eighties and Nineties, the Dead Kennedys sent me a complimentary copy of every new album. That’s gratitude. 

    • #14
  15. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Oh, and did I mention that his DNA is unique among 6 billion living people?

    We can’t be sure of that unless we test everyone.

    • #15
  16. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I recall when 9/11 “truther” Rosie O’ Donnell claimed “Fire can’t melt steel”, someone–probably Greg Gutfeld–made a grimly hilarious montage of speeded-up stock newsreel shots of bright, glowing liquid metal being poured and formed.

    Of course, real conspiracies do exist. When I have to evaluate one, here are some of the questions I have:

    Is this source credible? Do we even know who the source is?

    Is it even physically possible?

    Is it suspiciously convenient, tying something we hate into someone we hate? That doesn’t automatically make it wrong, but it should give some pause before automatically assuming it’s right.

    A simple example is OJ. Have police ever framed a Black man? Yes. We can’t rule out a conspiracy yet. What if the irrefutable timeline means that two or three dozen people, most of whom don’t even know each other, some of whom are actually at home asleep, had to have been in on the conspiracy, even though it could have landed any of them in jail for years? Technically possible, but getting pretty remote. Let’s say, though, that if all of white America is burning with racism, maybe you couldn’t rule it out. But let’s also say this particular Black man has been enormously popular with whites for his entire adult life, including the LAPD? Getting kinda slim odds.

    Oh, and did I mention that his DNA is unique among 6 billion living people?

    Gary, Gary, Gary. The glove didn’t fit. 

    It’s been a commonly understood principle since the signing of the Magna Carta that if it’s not his mitten, you’d better be aquittin’. 

    • #16
  17. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Oh, and did I mention that his DNA is unique among 6 billion living people?

    We can’t be sure of that unless we test everyone.

    Great idea. You can’t put a price tag on injustice. 

    • #17
  18. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    The funniest part of Rosie’s theory was that about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    It doesn’t have to melt.  She doesn’t understand tempered steel, or pre-stressed concrete, or anything else about how fire affects things.

    • #18
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The funniest part of Rosie’s theory was that about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    It doesn’t have to melt. She doesn’t understand tempered steel, or pre-stressed concrete, or anything else about how fire affects things.

    Comedians aren’t structural engineers? Next you’ll be saying that actors aren’t climate scientists. 

    • #19
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    …about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    Was that the one in Detroit?

    • #20
  21. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    BTW, for any newcomers on the thread, be nice to Arahant. Otherwise, you’ll appear in his next book as an insect that will have to be reincarnated 640 million times to return to human form.

    You have been warned. 

    • #21
  22. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    …about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    Was that the one in Detroit?

    Dunno.

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    …about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    Was that the one in Detroit?

    Dunno.

    Detroit was apparently in 2009. That was very close to my veterinarian’s office.

    Bologna, Italy had one last year. Taiwan had one this year. Apparently it happens more often than one would hope.

    • #23
  24. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I’m engaged in a vast conspiracy to subtly let on what time it’s about to be on the West Coast. Most of you, I’m sure, are still midway through 300 pushups and your morning prayers. See you perpetrators of cosmic skullduggery on the other side of the night. 

    • #24
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Oh, and did I mention that his DNA is unique among 6 billion living people?

    We can’t be sure of that unless we test everyone.

    Great idea. You can’t put a price tag on injustice.

    Actually my graft rates are quite reasonable. 

    • #25
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    BTW, for any newcomers on the thread, be nice to Arahant. Otherwise, you’ll appear in his next book as an insect that will have to be reincarnated 640 million times to return to human form.

    You have been warned.

    True. All that Samsa guy did was cut him off in traffic and look at him now. 

    • #26
  27. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    See you perpetrators of cosmic skullduggery on the other side of the night. 

    Pleasant dreams.

    • #27
  28. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    …about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    Was that the one in Detroit?

    Dunno.

    Detroit was apparently in 2009. That was very close to my veterinarian’s office.

    Bologna, Italy had one last year. Taiwan had one this year. Apparently it happens more often than one would hope.

    Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

    • #28
  29. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Calling something a “conspiracy theory” implies that it is a fringe idea with no proof

    Is you example here “Gary McVey shot Kennedy”? LOL!


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many days available on the December Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    I was waiting for someone to bring that up. Look, I was eleven. Kids do dumb things. We made mistakes. Sometimes history gets altered.

    Oh, yeah, like Arahant has nothing to do with altering history. Sure. He’s the “Grand Vizier of the PIT”, the “Sage of the Great Lakes”, “God’s gift to Ricochet’s readership numbers”, so when he does it, it’s cool.

    We should never have let a Rosicrucian witness of the Avignon Captivity amass so much R> power.

    Gary, so what was it like hanging out with Ted Cruz’s dad back in the early 60s?

    • #29
  30. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    …about three weeks later a gasoline tanker crashed on a freeway overpass and caught fire, and the bridge collapsed from the heat.

    Was that the one in Detroit?

    Dunno.

    East Bay — Alameda County in 2007.

    • #30

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