Archive for the ‘conspiracy’ Category


It’s been awhile since I wrote about this, but World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah’s argument with RightWingWatch prompted me to revisit it, even though we’re still two years away from the Obamapocalypse.

First, there was on Thursday a column published by Joseph Farah, “Will Obama Leave Office in 2017?” It got 715 comments (so far). This was followed up on Friday by a published e-mail from a Frances Haase: “How Obama Could Stay in Office in 2017.” Just speculating about civil unrest and martial law and suspension of elections. It got one comment.

Then, in response later that day, Miranda Blue published on RightWingWatch: “Joseph Farah Is ‘Just Asking’: Will Obama Actually Leave Office in January 2017?” RWW noted this:

“[W]hy do we assume Obama will step aside willingly from the presidency following an election in 2016?” Farah asks in a column today. “I’m not saying he won’t. I’m just asking why.”

It’s a pathetic phrase that is often used by people who want to say something they know will be controversial and, for some reason or another (since Farah has said far more controversial things and been forthright about it), they don’t want it coming back on them, or they want an excuse to say, “Hey! I didn’t actually say that, I was just asking the question!”

Richard Hoagland does this a lot when claiming that every asteroid and comet is a space ship.

Despite RWW and WND going head-to-head for years, apparently it rubbed Joseph Farah the wrong way. He actually responded in a column on Sunday: “Who Would Oppose Obama 3rd Term?” Who indeed? He starts out his column as such:

In this space on Thursday, I raised a question that Americans had only been whispering about among trusted friends: Will Barack Obama leave office in 2017?”

People for the American Way’s “Right Wing Watch” didn’t like it.

I trust that means the group will use all of its influence and legal firepower to oppose any attempt by Obama to subvert the law – though there was no hint of that in its response.

Rush Limbaugh responded to the question Friday when a caller raised the possibility Obama might ignore the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution as he has ignored so many other laws since taking office.

[…] Limbaugh speculated that Obama might actually consider the possibility of a third term given the Democratic Party’s weak field of potential presidential candidates for 2016. He imagined Obama going on television and making a case to the American people that he is in the best position to stop a Republican from capturing the White House – “not after eight courageous years of transforming America!”

So, “Not only am I ‘just askin’,’ but so is Papa Rush!”

RightWingWatch responded today with a post by Peter Montgomery: “Birther Joseph Farah Wants PFAW Help To Block Third Obama Term. Let’s Make A Deal.” Here’s his proposal:

Farah was apparently bothered that Miranda’s RWW post did not include a pledge that People For the American Way would “use all of its influence and legal firepower” to stop Obama from chucking the Constitution in a White House power-grab. Of course we don’t take the possibility seriously, but since Farah seems to, let’s offer him a proposition: If President Obama refuses to allow a constitutional transfer of power to his successor, we will join you at the barricades. If the American republic miraculously survives, you will stop polluting the public discourse with toxic nonsense. Deal?

I think that’s fair.


Sticking your head in the ground is a popular scheme of all science deniers, and for some reason that I’m still unsure of, the basic science of climate change, and a manifestation of that – global warming – has become incredibly politicized over the last few decades. The science really is settled as to the basics of what’s going on. Politicians and deniers will have you believe otherwise.

They often turn to ridiculous conspiracy theories and rants. One of the latest is by Christopher Booker from The Telegraph and parroted by Greg Corombos on World Net Daily: “Climate Guru: Brace for Massive Cover-Up.”

I’m not even going to get into his argument. It’s the same old tired crap, but it pleases people who desperately need confirmation that their conspiracies could possibly be real.

I experienced something similar when I did a massive, thoroughly researched podcast episode into claims of scientific foreknowledge by Billy Meier about Jupiter and Saturn. I showed without a doubt that the information Meier wrote about was known or already shown as very likely to be the case (as in, hypothesized and put out as specific predictions) by scientists before Meier wrote about it. Meier fans picked through it and harped on minutia (like the exact definition of “craters” or “rings”) rather than the overall point in order to disclaim my entire episode and analysis. In other words, complaining that one tree that looks a little sicker than all the healthy trees, and saying therefore the entire forest is dead.

Anyway, Phil Plait has utterly lambasted this latest attempt in his post, “No, Adjusting Temperature Measurements Is Not a Scandal.” In it, he explains what is meant by scientists when we “process” data. And he shows that independent groups have gone through completely different analyses of the data and gotten the same results.

It’s pretty thorough. I recommend just reading that instead of the WND article. Unless you want a headache.


I’m at the point that when I see Aaron Klein’s name in the byline of a WND story, I assume it’s fake. It may not be a completely accurate heuristic, but it’s developed over the lifetime of this blog. Let’s start this time with the debunking itself, and then get into Klein’s claims: “Right-Wing Smear Baselessly Links Obama Admin to Anti-Netanyahu Campaign” by Hannah Groch-Begley on Media Matters.

Hannah comes out swinging, debunking the claim – or at least mollifying it – in the first paragraph, by pointing out “American political consultants from both parties have been independently working in Israeli campaigns for decades — including former Obama aides who have worked for Netanyahu.” I actually recommend reading Hannah’s article in full because it points out the path of the “Chinese Whispers” that have been blown out of any proportion or context due to a desire to undermine President Obama for any reason – real or not. (And to be fair, I don’t think everything President Obama does is good or fair or reasonable, I’d just rather dislike his actions if they’re real, rather than dislike his actions that are shown to be fake.)

Here’s the basic idea, or claimed evidence: “[… A] former Obama campaign staffer went to Israel “to oust Netanyahu,” suggesting the former staffer would not do this work “if he thought Obama opposed it” and implying the administration was “actively working to defeat Netanyahu.””

Here’s the reality: “Two policy groups in Israel, OneVoice and Victory 15, are currently working together to promote platforms that reportedly “are not friendly” to Netanyahu ahead of the upcoming election. The groups have also partnered with American consulting group 270 Strategies, which is headed by Jeremy Bird, a former Obama campaign staffer. OneVoice began working with 270 Strategies in 2013, long before the Israeli elections were announced.”

But, as she stated at the beginning: “There is a long history of U.S. political consultants from both parties working for Israeli political campaigns.” She then lists ones from US presidential campaigns that have worked both for and against various parties in Israel. But, apparently, this one is somehow different. The rumor that it’s different is possibly in response to House Speaker John Boehner inviting Netanyahu to address Congress — a major faux pas in Washington because foreign dignitaries are supposed to be handled by the State Department, part of the Executive Branch. This was seen as a major snub to Obama both by the House for offering it and Netanyahu for accepting. And so, “Conservatives claim that 270 Strategies’ work with OneVoice proves Obama is either retaliating against Netanyahu or engaging in a similar effort to meddle in foreign politics; but again, 270’s work on the ground in Israel began long before this most recent disagreement, and it is typical for American political consultants to engage in Israeli politics.”

This was then hyped by the Drudge Report, by Sen. Ted Cruz on Brietbart, and even Megan Kelly on Fox “news” who suggested “that the administration sent an Obama “field general” to help Israel “elect Netanyahu’s opponent.””

This took another twist because of money: “Many of the media outlets took the smear further, by also claiming that tax-payer dollars were funding the campaign. OneVoice briefly received a one-time grant for about $200,000 from the State Department, which ended in November 2014. As State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki noted in a briefing, the grant “ended before there was a declaration of an Israeli election.””

So, because some organization got a grant at one time, that means everything they do in the future is linked to that funding source? Uh huh …

That’s the extent of that. So, now we have WND:

*Reposted under the headline, “FOR TRAINING ONLY – Netanyahu fires back at U.S. election meddling” on February 6, but the link on February 6 returns a 404 Error (file not found).

Really, you can read down those headlines and check off each conspiracy that I explained above. But, with very sensationalistic headlines. For example, with the “Cruz Grills Kerry” one, it’s not a grilling. It’s a letter that Sen. Cruz sent to Sec. of State Kerry asking to make sure that no US taxpayer funds are being used. That’s it. Oh, except that in the WND story, there are many quotes from anonymous internet commenters who are opposed to what they are being mislead to think is going on.

The only one not in there is the one about Netanyahu “firing back” at an “Obama Army.” To quote from WND: “During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S. and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.” The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to “ensure the integrity of the election.””

It may be a tu quoque fallacy on my part, but I would like to point out that there is plenty of foreign money in US politics, too. Something that is generally advocated for by conservative groups by trying to remove caps on spending and general accountability, and/or lessening funding for groups meant to watch for potential campaign spending violations.

In the end, what makes more sense? Scenario 1 is a vast, nefarious plot of one world leader plotting against the leader of an ally state. Which takes pace in a scenario where the former world leader’s every move is being watched by an incredibly hostile group of lawmakers. Or, Scenario 2 which is where a political campaign team that has a proven track record is either hired by or volunteers to help the campaign of someone else. Just happens to be that the new campaign is in a different country.

One of the reasons that I consider myself part of the modern scientific skepticism movement is because of crap like this. You need to question things. You need to look into sources and look for the story behind what you’re being told. You need to look at the evidence and get beyond the hype. Otherwise, you’re just a drone. And WND commenters are mainly drones. They just get riled up because they’re supposed to by stories like this. As “Envoy Master” wrote, “A sitting US president actively trying to cause a regime change in an ALLIED country is arguably treasonous as such an act is likely to benefit our enemies.” Yup, WND has done its job.


How’s that for a convoluted subject line? This is one from my archives from late September / early October of 2014, and it took place only a few 10s of miles from me. There were no less than three World Net Daily posts about it:

I think that, most objectively, one can state the situation as this: A school board decided to modify the AP US History curriculum (note: AP curriculums are strictly set by the College Board (for-profit company) and if you do not follow them, you can lose AP accreditation and the students will not get college credit). The modification was as such:

Tensions have run high in Jefferson County schools since three conservative candidates were elected to the school board. These new board members have suggested an extensive rewrite of the way history is taught to the area’s students to a model they believe is more patriotic.

The right-leaning board-members said they believe history teachers should teach nationalism, respect for authority and reverence for free markets. They should avoid teaching any historical events or acts that promote “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

As a consequence, teachers protested by calling in sick en masse, and then students held their own protest with over 1000 in three different schools simply walking out. In protest. The very thing that the school board was trying to prevent them from learning (civil disorder). I found that particular irony quite delicious. It’s also midnight and I’ve been up for 15 hours and got little sleep the previous night.

From what I can tell, the conservative members of the board succeeded in their proposal, but they also formed some sort of review board with student/parent/teacher involvement for some curriculum matters. Meanwhile, people are working to recall those board members and replace them.

With that in mind, can you guess how the WND commenters reacted? Top-rated on that first post is by “Pi10107” whom I’ve quoted a lot on this blog: “I don’t believe that these kids came up with this protest on their own. Of course, they are not patriotic and have been brainwashed, but behind the scenes were adult commies pushing this. I totally agree with Annolyze that these kids didn’t even know what they were protesting.”

Or “ratamacue76” wrote: “I suspect that this was started by some leftist teacher who is doing their part to make sure that the current “hate America” curriculum stays in place. The kids being saturated by the Leftist view of the nation know none the better and most probably don’t even know what they are protesting in the first place. This is a dress rehearsal for useful idiots who are still in training.”


This one doesn’t quite make it into my “Fake News that WND Posts” series because the story itself is real. It’s the spin that’s not. In this case, Joe Kovacs wrote on December 2, 2014, “Disney Goes Goofy Over Mention of ‘God.'”

To make a long, blown way out of proportion story short, Disney lets people given input on their website of “What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?” (Notice another “issue” there: They don’t say Christmas!) When young Lilly Anderson tried to write, “God, my family, my church and my friends,” Disney’s automated form flagged the word “God” and said, “Please be nice!” without further elaboration.

Cue the Christian Persecution complex! Of course, instead of reaching out to Disney, the mother, Julie Anderson, took her crusade straight to Fox “news” where Todd Starnes, perpetual exaggerator (or maker-upper) of Christian Persecution, was more than happy to take on the case.

The mother and daughter even got to be on “Fox & Friends” that Tuesday morning to talk about it, while the tag line at the bottom of the screen read, “WHY DID DISNEY BLOCK GOD?”

For a very good reason, as Kyle Mantyla explained in Right Wing Watch’s “Todd Starnes: Wrong Again” on December 3, had the statement from Disney:

“Disney employs word filtering technology to prevent profanity from appearing on our websites. Unfortunately, because so many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word “God” in conjunction with profanity, in an abundance of caution our system is forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on our websites. The company would have been happy to explain our filtering technology to the inquiring family had they contacted us.”

Disney would’ve been happy to explain that had they been asked. Obviously, since they would like to avoid negative publicity. But no, instead, the Good Christian Soldiers soldiered to Fox to present their case instead:

Disney certainly seems to be implying that thanking God is not nice. Well, neither is blocking the Almighty from a website.

Julie said her daughter is a very loving and accepting child who was raised to understand that not everyone believes in God.

“We’ve always told her that inevitably there would come a day when she would be discriminated against for her faith but we never thought Disney would be the source,” she said.

Had Todd Starnes been any kind of journalist with any sort of integrity, he would’ve attempted to contact Disney about it before publishing his story. But, that would’ve interfered with what he was trying to sell. And, the über-conservatives wouldn’t’ve bought it anyway because, of course, the 903 comments on the WND post predominantly ignore the official explanation and call Disney liars, such as top-rated comment by “pablof:”

I’m a software developer and I can tell you that Disney’s answer regarding the word “God” and profanity etc. is pure BS.

Software can easily filter out the profane use of “God ****” and the singular use of the word for “God”.

THEY ARE LIARS.


I’ve only really done two WND Watch posts on Benghazi, mostly because it’s a ridiculous conspiracy that had six official congressional investigations to try to blame President Obama or then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of some sort of wrong-doing. At the end of November, after wasting hundreds if not thousands of hours and untold thousands of dollars in a seventh investigation, the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee released their report.

And … nada. To quote Right Wing Watch, it “cleared the Obama administration of wrongdoing, and follows a report from the GOP-controlled House Armed Services Committee, which also debunked many right-wing Benghazi myths.”

Not to be outdone by other conservative sources, WND’s Aaron Klein (who has a habit of reporting rumors and fake stories as FACT), posted “5 ‘Significant Problems’ with GOP’s New Benghazi Report.”

His first is that the US facility was wrongly labeled, second is confusion about Ambassador Stevens’ travel, reasons 3-4 are Klein’s typical innuendo/speculation/rumors, and reason 5 was that no air support was available. None of these give any sort of smoking gun to implicate President Obama or then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of some sort of wrong-doing. If anything, they show a general incompetence among institutions, and Congress itself must take some blame for that since the State Department repeatedly asked for more funds for security of embassies overseas, but Congress refused.

Try telling that to the 132 commenters, though, or to the people who are promising an eighth Congressional investigation, and you’ll likely get banned.


I’ve written about this EMP stuff before, and for those who are new to the thing, you should see my first post about it which presents a summary. One of the more recent WND scare pieces is an article from August 31, 2014, which is unattributed, and it is entitled, “Expert: ‘Imminent’ ISIS Threat to U.S. Power Grid.”

Their expert is a former CIA officer who was speaking to Aaron Klein, who readers may remember I wrote Part 7 about yesterday for how he keeps writing fake news thinking its real because he appears to lack the basic ability of a journalist to fact-check.

I have the same problem with this as I did with George W. Bush constantly keeping the terror alert level at “elevated” or orange or yellow or whatever it was. For over six years. The problem is, you can only claim something is “imminent” for so long before people who actually did believe you at first realize you’re full of excrement.

In this case, since I’ve been writing about EMP “threats” related by WND for over a year, each threat has been imminent and immediate and yet nothing has happened. Just as I said nothing would happen.

The only thing new this time is that it’s a new delivery group. While in the past when I wrote about it it had been the generic “terrorists” or China or Iran or the Sun, this time, it’s ISIS. Or ISIL. Or IS. Whatever they want to call themselves in English.

Annoyingly and perhaps expectedly, there are a lot of comments that support the article’s position — 612 of them, in fact. Even more annoying is that most of the comments are only peripherally – if at all – related to the topic at hand. Rather, most use it as a jumping point to complain about the standard über-conservative boogey man du jour, including Obama, Muslims, immigration, and Democrats.