Which conspiracy theory do you think is the truth?

Everyone believes at least one conspiracy theory,” says Asbjørn Dyrendal, a professor in NTNU’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies who specializes in conspiracy theories.

The more conspiracy theories you bring up, the more people answer yes to one of them.

That fact leads American conspiracy researcher Joseph Uscinski at the University of Miami to posit that all people believe in at least one conspiracy theory. Dyrendal basically agrees, but he modifies Uscinski’s statement slightly, saying all people believe some conspiracy theory “a little.”

As they do in many belief systems, degrees of belief can add up and sooner or later a generalized accumulation of quantitative beliefs topples over into a qualitative change. You’re now convinced.

It’s a conspiracy.

Death threats are just another part of Trump’s political legacy


Georgia election official calls on Trump to stop inspiring death threats over election

As the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump approaches, federal officials are investigating threats to attack or kill members of Congress. This comes in the wake of the Capitol riot, when a mob stormed the building where members of the House and Senate were preparing to certify the presidential election. Some rioters reportedly threatened the lives of elected officials in both parties…

These threats do not simply reflect increased levels of anger and depravity among individual Americans. Rather, they appear to be evidence of a more systemic use of fear and intimidation in U.S. politics, seeking to force fealty from Republicans and reinforce the authoritarian turn that defined Donald Trump’s leadership.

With the advent of social media and the Trump presidency, however, the risks for public officials have grown substantially. As a professor of human rights and a practitioner of democracy-building and the rule of law, this trend symbolizes the depth of deterioration of democracy in the U.S.

Reasonably calm article befitting reporting from The Conversation. Don’t kid yourself, though. The nutballs who worship Trump are capable of exactly the sort of acts of violence feared by Republicans…and anyone else trying to keep democracy as a reasoned alternative to autocrats and penny-ante fascists like Trump.

Trump True Believers march in D.C., no masks, no sense


Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

One week after the presidential race was called for Joe Biden, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in Washington to protest the results and echo his unfounded claims of voter fraud.

While aides say that Trump is coming around to the reality that he lost, the president’s public attacks on the validity of the election results and his unwillingness to concede has allowed for conspiracy theories and misinformation to fester, particularly among his most devoted fans…

Top government and industry officials said in a statement on Thursday that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history” and that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.”

Trump’s true believers are like those who came before them. They loved Gov. Wallace and his racist message just like they love Trump.

The New American Fascism

American fascism will be ultra-American. It will reject the atheism and statism of European models; it will be self-righteous, certain of its own innocence, and understand itself as libertarian. Nativist agrarianism goes to the heart of these American populist mythologies, as it did to the rhetoric of both Mussolini and Hitler, promising to regenerate the nation – to make it great again. It elevates an authentic, preferably rural, national folk and defines them as “real Americans”, while denying first the loyalty, then the citizenship, then the humanity of everyone else. That authoritarian, nativist solutions to political problems did not find traction in the US in the 1930s does not prove that they never could; American exceptionalism did not immunise it against fascism, and it had its own organically ­fascistic movements that enjoyed popular support and sought entrenched power ­during the interwar years.

A sound, informative and interesting article. Something the average American isn’t likely to read. Certainly not in their local newspaper. A useful addition to your mental stack of political history and analysis.

Or do you think the bigots, hate-filled profiteers and just plain fools marching behind the figurehead of Donald Trump will vanish in a puff of stage-magician smoke when he finishes losing his re-election bid?

Trump nutball rallies turn into a great place to risk death

Donald Trump held a rally Tuesday night at Omaha, Nebraska’s Eppley Airfield that attracted somewhere between 6,000 people (the Omaha World-Herald’s estimate) and 29,000 people (Trump’s personal estimate, LOL). When the event ended at 9 p.m., the temperature was just above 30 degrees. Because of traffic and/or a shortage of buses, hundreds of attendees were stranded at the airport, some until 12:40 a.m., waiting to be shuttled back to their cars.

A Twitter account that follows Omaha emergency-services radio traffic conveyed chatter indicating that several people at the airport had to be treated for exposure to the cold; authorities say six or seven attendees were taken to the hospital, though not all those cases were necessarily related to the weather. Regardless of temperature issues, rallygoers were also at risk of contracting the coronavirus: Eastern Nebraska is home to some of the hottest COVID hot spots in the country, and photos from the event show that the crowd, which included many people who were not wearing masks, was packed tightly together.

…An article published last week by USA Today noted that countywide rates of coronavirus infection increased, by varying amounts, after five recent Trump 2020 events in the Midwest…

…The downside for voters is that, like former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain—who attended a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20; tested positive for COVID-19 nine days later; and permanently ceased making America great on July 30—they could die. Marathon County, Wisconsin, currently has a new daily case rate 17 times as high as New York City’s; on Monday, 11 Marathon County coronavirus patients were hospitalized, and one death was reported. One way or another, these rallies could be the last time Trump fans get to see him.

I could almost feel sorry for some of these True Believers – if it wasn’t for the bigotry that is part of the Trump belief system they embrace.