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A great big mea culpa to (almost) all conspiracy theorists everywhere

Older readers may remember the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. First published in 1975, but clearly a product of the wild 1960s, it’s a mad, non-linear romp through political conspiracy theories, drugs, sex, and pretty much anything else you want to read into it.

It begins with the assumption that every single conspiracy theory about the assassination of President Kennedy is absolutely true, then goes on to encompass the birth of the Illuminati in 1776, ancient Egyptians, John Dillinger, the American Medical Association, and the thoughts of a squirrel in New York City. Among other weirdness.

Its plot (to whatever extent it has one) involves one vast, global conspiracy to “immanentize the eschaton” — that is, to bring about the end of the world.

At the time I read it, I thought it was all in good fun and a terrific challenge to conventional thinking.


I now wish to apologize to the late Mssrs. Shea and Wilson and (almost) all other conspiracy theorists who have ever set my brain spinning with their ironclad, though often thinly sourced, convictions that “somebodies” up there at the top and hidden among us were conspiring against the rest of us.

You were (almost) all right and I was wrong.

The reasons for my rejection of conspiracy theories were sound, even though I turned out to be tragically mistaken.

The most credible theories always revolved around elite organizations like The Bilderberg Group, The Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission, The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank, and more recently The World Economic Forum (aka the Davos gang).

My answer to the conspiracy theorists was always twofold:

1) Sure, these people all went to the same (or similar) schools. Sure they belong to the same clubs and travel in the same social circles. Sure they all want to run the world. I grant you they share a similar mindset and may do us similar harm. But I’ve encountered a few of these people in my life and they are all way too egotistical, brutally competitive, and fixated on their own goals to conspire successfully with their equally obnoxious peers. Any conspiracy among them would break apart before it got started, as they all tried to stab each other in the back.

2) Even if there’s some truth to what you say, conspiracy theories are mostly an excuse to do nothing. They’re a way of endlessly chasing your own tail when you should, instead, be taking active steps to get free. Focusing on obscure conspiracies that you can’t stop induces the mindset, “There’s nothing we can do! With such giant forces against us, we’re helpless!” And that’s a bad, bad way to approach freedom.

Based on decades of watching conspiracy theorists operate, point 2 is still valid. But it doesn’t matter. Because (almost) all the conspiracy theorists are right. About everything.


At this point, I must add a caveat to my mea culpa.

There are some conspiracies I’m absolutely not going for.

QAnon and Pizzagate are/were made-up nonsense for the gullible. (Yes, elite males and their elite female acolytes are often child-molesting perverts, but they’re not running their operations out of pizza parlors.)

I still can’t conceive that David Icke’s bizarre theories about elites being descended from lizard-brained aliens continue to receive serious hearings 30 years after he first promulgated his nonsense.

And no, the world is not being run by “the Jews.” Sure, there are Jews among the evil elite, but there are also WASPy Episcopalians, agnostics, Muslims, atheists, Jesuit-trained Catholics, and bunches of “humanists,” whatever that is.

Frankly the religion most involved in globalist conspiracies is Ego. Or Power. And Worship of Mammon.

To sum: I’m not apologizing to QAnon, Icke, or Jew-bashers anywhere. But to the rest of you, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

The last two years has proved (almost) every accusation of conspiratorial evil to be Capital-T True.

But the question remains: What are you (and I and everybody else who value freedom) going to do about it?


We still speak of “left” and “right,” though the terms have never been more than marginally useful.

Lately and sadly, people who once believed anyone could succeed, speak of the elite vs the working classes. Or the peasants.

Ironic, isn’t it? We recognize the elite as mostly “left” though they are the big corporate moneymen and their minions. And we accept that the working class is mostly “right,” despite being the famous Marxian “workers of the world” who are now busily uniting. The world turned upside down!

N.S. Lyons, in a Substack piece about Trudeau and the truckers, proposes more accurate description of our cultural Great Divide: Physicals and Virtuals.


The first is a class that has been a part of human civilization for a really long time. These are the people who work primarily in the real, physical world. Maybe they work directly with their hands, like a carpenter, or a mechanic, or a farmer. Or maybe they are only a step away: they own or manage a business where they organize and direct employees who work with their hands, and buy or sell or move things around in the real world. Like a transport logistics company, maybe. This class necessarily works in a physical location, or they own or operate physical assets that are central to their trade.


The second class is different. It is, relatively speaking, a new civilizational innovation (at least in numbering more than a handful of people). … They don’t interact much with the physical world directly; they are handlers of knowledge. They work with information, which might be digital or analog, numerical or narrative. But in all cases it exists at a level of abstraction from the real world. Manipulation and distribution of this information can influence the real world, but only through informational chains that pass directives to agents that can themselves act in the physical world – a bit like a software program that sends commands to a robot arm on an assembly line. To facilitate this, they build and manage abstract institutions and systems of organizational communication as a means of control.

I would add that Physicals can also be people who live in and around places and people who live by the physical world and are aware of their importance. For instance, nearly all people who live in communities that rely on farming, fishing, or logging would be Physicals under this definition.

Whether or not you agree with Lyons’ distinction, the linked article is worth a read. And the bottom line if you accept the Physicals/Virtuals divide is this:

  • Virtuals, who are mostly urban, have vastly more in common with other Virtuals around the globe than they do with Physicals in the rural sections of their own countries.
  • Their control of technology enables them to be in constant contact with, and engage in conspiracies pursue joint plans with, a global Virtual community.
  • They believe that by “controlling the narrative” (through media ownership and influence, censorship, useful idiots, or other methods), they can control the world. So far they have made enormous progress doing exactly that. Globally, they have become the absolute ruling class, culturally, intellectually, and politically.
  • In addition to controlling the narrative, they have come to control the global supply of capital.

End Lyons and my Lyons paraphrasing. It’s me talking from here on.

Yep, it’s a vast, global conspiracy, just like some of you “conspiracy theorists” have long claimed. The elite or the Virtuals or whatever you may call them aren’t conspiring to immanentize the eschaton, but they’re certainly conspiring to bring about the death of Western civilization, depopulate the world, and leave only a small, placated servant class to meet their needs.


However … it’s just possible they may, along the way, be immanentizing their own eschaton.

For all their control, wealth, and cultural influence, they don’t like to acknowledge, even to themselves, how much they need truckers, farmers, warehouse workers, merchant marines, weavers, seamstresses, ranchers, plumbers, electricians, assembly line workers, miners, fishermen, mechanical engineers, loggers, masons, janitors, and other members of their most despised class.

How much they need physical reality and the dirty, deplorable little little creatures who actually know how it works and operate its day-to-day functions.

But even worse.

These Virtuals can get so carried away that they completely forget not only their dependence on Physicals, but the entire nature of reality. Young Virtuals have been known to say things like, “Why do we need farmers when we have grocery stores?” or to be shocked when they transition from one gender to another only to discover that, somehow, despite surgery and hormone treatments, their DNA reports still show them as belonging to their original sex.

They live in a world, and in a mindset, where they can imagine that something called the metaverse can actually substitute for real life — that you can virtually live in such a thing — and they have the power to create and inhabit it. (Also to impose it on us, but that’s another story.)

They tell us that one day we’ll “own nothing and be happy.” presumably because of these virtual new worlds they’re planning to create and the clean, pure planet they imagine they can bring into being via by wishful thinking, decree, and force.

Having very little grasp of physical reality, and in fact believing (at least tacitly) that they are above physical reality, they imagine they have the power to make all that happen. And so far, many feedback signals have said, “Yes, you can.”

But this is their weakness. They disregard Physicals at their own peril. They disregard reality at even greater peril.


Up north, amid the ongoing crisis, we have a perfect exemplar of how the conspiracy of the Virtuals works — or doesn’t.

It looks to a lot of us as if Pajama Boy Trudeau merely threw a giant, statist tantrum, meeting ardent but peaceful, traditional protest with outsized fits of privileged rage. He justly earned himself such hilarious nicknames as Vladimir Poutine, Mooselini, and North Pol Pot (according to intrepid Canadian Brad, whose “Canadians are Revolting” reports have been invaluable).

But viewed from the perspective of insecure, dependent, isolated men and women whose real power is not merely political but also based on “control of the narrative” (which they equate with control of the world) the peaceful truckers and their supporters really were — and are — a terrifying (if not actually terroristic) threat.

Are Justin and friends acting like a bunch of spoiled ninnies who just happen to hold the reins of power (as the late, great P.J. O’Rourke said, like teenagers who’ve been handed both car keys and whiskey)? Absolutely.

But are the truckers and the rest of us peasants a genuine threat to them? Of course we are and we’re beginning to remind them of it. As terrible as it is to watch courageous, decent, non-violent freedom fighters being brutalized, and to anticipate the same happening here) it’s a delight to witness the naked terror of the ruling class.

In the long campaign ahead for our freedom, being physical (and Physical) is one of our best and most underrated strengths. The great thing is that it’s not just one weapon against their totalitarian power; it’s many weapons — millions of weapons for millions of people with different skills and inclinations.

Think of the myriad ways elites or Virtuals are vulnerable to ordinary people, once those ordinary people decide to exercise the power of the physical world and their own physical skills and knowledge against fools who think their virtual control gives them control of reality.

Lyons printed a map whose pattern we’ve seen before (after November 2016 the blue areas went by the name The Hillary Archipelago) and should never forget. It shows only the U.S., but similar maps could be drawn for other parts of the globe that have developed in similar ways.

Look at it, remember that the strongholds of power may be richer now — much, much richer thanks to the success of their COVID-enabled conspiracies of power — but they’re also weaker and more vulnerable today thanks to a growing rejection of their overreach and their anti-reality policies. View — and rejoice.


  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X February 21, 2022 4:24 pm

    There was a day not long ago where if Alex Jones was purporting it that in itself was a good reason to blow it off however today for me at least, Alex is making a lot more sense than anyone on CNN, MSNBC, in the White House, most people who call themselves doctors,…..

    The only true conspiracy theorists today IMHO are the one’s espousing things about horse dewormers, that Ukraine is a democracy, experimental drugs are now vaccines, that peaceful protestors are NAZI’s,…….

    When I see a sea of red surrounding small islands of blue I have to wonder if those who really have the upper hand only need to realize it for it to be true?

  2. Ash Williams
    Ash Williams February 21, 2022 5:00 pm

    “(Yes, elite males and their elite female acolytes are often child-molesting perverts, but they’re not running their operations out of pizza parlors.)”

    You are conflating Qanon with Pizzagate (and misrepresenting Pizzagate). VIsit to see repostings of all notables form the Q boards.

    “I still can’t conceive that David Icke’s bizarre theories about elites being descended from lizard-brained aliens continue to receive serious hearings 30 years after he first promulgated his nonsense.”

    Icke is not perfectly accurate accurate, but he’s closer than you are. THEY believe they descended from aliens, but they are semi-aquatic (Nummo). Which, might actually be bona fide aliens (per the Dogon).

    “And no, the world is not being run by “the Jews.” Sure, there are Jews among the evil elite, but there are also WASPy Episcopalians, agnostics, Muslims, atheists, Jesuit-trained Catholics, and bunches of “humanists,” whatever that is.”

    True, but they are (un?)surprisingly over-represented in that group (much like they are over-represented in in other organizations, and they are shielded by claims of “muh antisemitism” when their crimes are exposed, which ain’t good for regular Jews that don’t truck with that).

    At least you didn’t include the Georgia Guidestones (although perhaps you aren’t famliar with them). Because those are proving pretty accurate these days…

    You have a considerable ways to fall down the rabbit hole, I’m afraid. Don’t worry, as long as you are committed to truth you’ll come out the other side OK.

  3. stevefromMA
    stevefromMA February 21, 2022 7:24 pm

    Great post, Claire. Quite a few of us folks who thought people like Jeff Berwick were nuts over the years grudgingly admit that those wacky ideas and fears about the Davos crowd are probably true. Can they do it…time will tell.

    Virtual/physicals is a useful dichotomy to keep in mind as actions happen. Secure/insecure is also helpful, at a different level. I thought the Vietnam War era was bad but now we have exponentially more characters; the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy and you have no friends.

    I wish I were not old and enfeebled as the spaghetti starts to fall towards the fan. No running and gunning anymore; the light at the end of the tunnel is that reflecting off the Reaper’s blade for some of us. Sic transit.

  4. Simon Templar
    Simon Templar February 21, 2022 9:10 pm

    “We still speak of “left” and “right,” though the terms have never been more than marginally useful.”

    I think these terms can be quite useful, if one thinks not of a linear representation of them, with each end going off in a completely different direction, but rather of a circular representation of them, where the two ends wrap around to join each other in an essentially identical authoritarianism / totalitarianism. The paths to get to that point may differ, but the end result is the same.

  5. NuclearDruid
    NuclearDruid February 22, 2022 5:04 am

    I am reminded of Buckminster Fuller’s GRUNCH of Giants.

    “Who runs GRUNCH? Nobody knows. It controls all the world’s banks. Even the muted Swiss
    banks. It does what its lawyers tell it to. It maintains technical legality, and is prepared to prove
    it. Its law firm is named Machiavelli, Machiavelli, Atoms & Oil. Some think the second Mach is
    a cover for Mafia.

    GRUNCH didn’t invent Universe. It didn’t invent anything. It monopolizes know-where and
    know-how but is devoid of know-why. It is preoccupied with absolute selfishness and its
    guaranteed gratifications.”

    It can be found in PDF on the interwebs, in the unlikely event you do not already own a copy.

  6. Jolly
    Jolly February 22, 2022 6:35 am

    The Physicals run the world and always have – but are too busy and too ethical to “lord it over” the Virtuals.

    Physicals understand cause-and-effect at the most basic level. Farmers are among the most intelligent people I’ve met. Except for the giant single-crop-only ( usually subsidized corn ) farms, farms are tiny fully-fleshed-out ecosystems requiring constant intervention and maintenance. Each season of the year different priorities keep different aspects of farming going. It’s effing HARD. Farmers get up when it’s still dark, and usually are working until dark.

    Anybody ever notice that software that attempts to mimic reality is ALWAYS easier than reality? Kids can play “Call of Duty” for hours at a time – get shot dozens of times, and at the dinner bell – just pull off the headphones and scamper into the kitchen for the pizza or chicken nuggets. They’re not fatigued at all, and the only odor assaulting their nostrils is of food and drink.

    Want to “build a city” – Sim City allows you to do that – and you’ll NEVER have a problem attracting simulated people to move in and start being “industrious.” It’s almost impossible to NOT “win” at Sim City it’s so easy. The only creativity involved is what kind of wacky street layout you give it.

    If electrical power disappeared one day – the Virtuals immersed in these faux “simulations” [sic] ( yeah, double phony ) will sit there, blinking, unable to know what to do with themselves. When their phones die, too, then even their stupid little point-and-plink games will run down.

    At that point, they’ll get mad and start bellowing – but not one in a hundred will know what to do if the water stops flowing ( literally ).

    THOSE people are the main part of the Virtual army that the Physicals will be up against.

  7. Cube64
    Cube64 February 22, 2022 6:49 am

    My own thoughts have evolved in a similar direction as yours.

    I used to believe that what seemed like conspiracy theories was actually just a convergence of interests instead of a secret (or not so secret plot). The elitist interests frequently converge in the same direction for various reasons and when they happen to diverge or they are competing to control the same prize, then they might fight amongst themselves. But especially these days, it seems like there is a more coordinated plot than a mere convergence of interests.

    While they are largely in the virtual world, they also recognize the importance of the physical world, and the importance of controlling it. Hence they control of the very physical entities such as the police, the military, heavy weaponry, etc., and they use that power to compel a lot of real-world people like tow-truck drivers to do their dirty work.

    It’s hard to know what to do about it. I’m sure your readers will have already thought about these things, but here are a few ideas anyway.

    1) I used to think that the best thing to do was to just focus on taking care of yourself and the people you care about, and ignore the madness of the elites. But that’s become more and more difficult, as the elites have become better at inserting themselves into your private affairs.

    2) Withdraw as much as you practically can from government-controlled institutions such as government schooling or quasi-government banking.

    3) Utilize the virtual world to build or maintain virtual communities that share your values.

    4) Expose the hypocrisy, impracticality, wrong-headedness, biases, etc. of the elites, to subvert their control of the narrative. Increasingly, this has to be done through channels that are harder to centralize and control. As big tech has convincingly demonstrated, they can quickly coordinate with their allies in government and the legacy media to stifle dissent or critical thinking.

    5) Support others like the truckers who are willing to take on huge direct personal and financial risks to protest against elitist controls.

    6) At best, political movements are indirect ways of achieving your goals, but the ones that seem to have the most promise are those that seek some sort of decentralization of power. Of course, getting involved with any kind of secessionist movement will often be used to smear you as an extremist kook. For example, they recently used this as a smear to try to discredit/dismiss one of the organizers of the trucker protest because of a former association with a Quebec separatist movement.

  8. Dagr
    Dagr February 22, 2022 9:19 am

    You’ve heard it before, but gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.
    Politics is exerting control over information and money.

    Those who want to exert control cannot allow challenges to their power. If they give an inch, they know they’ll have to give more. If they admit to error, they’d have to self-reflect on other errors or (even worse) admit that the “other side” was right (those Nazi terrorist white supremacists can’t possibly be right; and such awful people cannot be allowed to make their own choices).

    “I used to believe that what seemed like conspiracy theories was actually just a convergence of interests instead of a secret (or not so secret plot).”
    “But especially these days, it seems like there is a more coordinated plot than a mere convergence of interests.”

    I’m still on the convergence of interests theory. A bunch of like-minded nitwits who share an erroneous belief system and common goal is not an organized conspiracy. Sadly, the outcome is the same because even if they are not working in concert, they are working toward the same vision.

    When their policies fail, they believe that more power and control will succeed. The solution is always more power, more money, and more control. That looks like a conspiracy rather than a shared desire for control, or desire to impose their shared version of utopia on everyone.

    Advocates for freedom are not in a conspiracy to overthrow the government. We’re just a bunch of people (unorganized) who share the same vision and goals. But leftists believe there’s a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” There isn’t. We’re just a bunch of like-minded freedom-loving people who don’t want their vision forced on us. But they want a conspiracy to oppose.

    We want to see a conspiracy because the “other side” is trying to force it’s vision on us. We want to be left alone, but “don’t tread on me” is the enemy of those who desire control. We want to believe that attacks on freedom come from some organization that can be brought down. The alternative is frightening: That many misguided individuals share a vision for societal control that is obviously flawed, and with no group to resist.

    I do agree that @Cube64’s list is a start, and it works no matter if there’s an organized conspiracy or simply a unorganized yet shared vision for control.

    The map illustrates that there are no blue states, only blue cities. Those cities are entirely dependent on the red areas for food, fuel, waste disposal, energy, and pretty much everything else (the Physicals). That may be key to the eventual downfall of the Virtuals.

  9. Tom
    Tom February 22, 2022 11:03 am

    (Yes, elite males and their elite female acolytes are often child-molesting perverts, but they’re not running their operations out of pizza parlors.) <—–I stopped reading right there. Eyes wide shut much?

    The Podestas are great people with fun taste in art and Jimmy Alefantis' twitter was probably just bad jokes about selling and buying babies. If ya can't handle the horror get off the battlefield. Shit's ugly and it's gonna get much worse before it gets better.

  10. Noah Body
    Noah Body February 22, 2022 12:09 pm

    “For all their control, wealth, and cultural influence, they don’t like to acknowledge, even to themselves, how much they need truckers, farmers, warehouse workers, merchant marines, weavers, seamstresses, ranchers, plumbers, electricians, assembly line workers, miners, fishermen, mechanical engineers, loggers, masons, janitors, and other members of their most despised class.”

    The problem is the elites, the Virtuals, believe (and it may actually come true) that most of these jobs can be replaced by automation and AI. The truckers are revolting? Well, pretty soon, those trucks will drive themselves. So they think. And there’s no way they will want to pay UBI to those put out of work by technology. Hence COVID and the “vaccines,” which are bioweapons to thin the herd.

    The Physicals has voiced their supposed power before, in the populist movements, and during the Depression: we’ll keep the food we grow and eat it, while the elites in the eastern cities can eat their gold.

    But, as long as property taxes exist, which you have to pay with cash money, you have to earn money or you will be taxed off your land. Property taxes have made subsistence farming or ranching impossible.

    I don’t pretend to know what the answers are, but I know it’s essential to keep speaking up for liberty. Unfortunately, with sites like this, we are mostly just talking to each other, as in preaching to the converted. And even if there were a wider audience, many people won’t be receptive to the message until something in their personal lives hits them, to make them think.

  11. bryanjb
    bryanjb February 22, 2022 12:11 pm

    Claire, consider the villains you acknowledge above, are now exposed to see not because they are feeling confident, or are stupid (which they are due to being broken, as far as I can see) or because they are evil and deranged, but because they are tools of what remains in the shadows, pulling strings.

    One of my favorite books was Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, because it gave me an appreciation for the truly long view in manipulating human affairs (though a benign effort in Asimov’s formulation, genius when you consider – readers will internalize the good more readily when experiencing something profound).

    I am confident that unless our awareness encompasses the real end game of ultimate control, which is for there to be an all seeing eye at the center of every human exchange, we are missing the point.

    Nothing in our current outrage has pointed out how all this will lead to the cashless society, CBDC, central bank digital currencies. Turdeau clearly tipped that hand a little in pursuing a permanent seizure of the protester’s bank accounts, but just see if that particular thread leads the rest of us to rise against the abstraction that is money and it’s control as a consequence.

    I posit that nothing will get people outraged and sufficiently enabled (the important part), to be able to tear that net to pieces before it captures us all.

    I used to cringe when I saw this – now I just wonder at the mind that saw it:

    Revelation 13:16-17
    And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

    Thanks again for being thoughtful, peaceful, and most of all, insightful.

  12. Cube64
    Cube64 February 22, 2022 1:45 pm


    I suspect we’re mostly on the same page.

    I think that you can find examples of pure conspiracies as well as ordinary converged interests, and that both exist. It’s not always clear cut how to categorize them. For example, leaked emails between Fauci and Collins about discrediting the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration or the emails about how to discredit the lab origin theory for covid involve actively conspiring with other parties and go beyond just ordinary convergence of interests. Certainly, the CIA has a proven history of actively conspiring to implement their plots. The G. Edward Griffin story about the origin of the Federal Reserve smacks of conspiracy. And most famously, the Kennedy assassination.

    Then there are things that can be labeled as open conspiracies, where some kind of formal agreement is forged. Even though the agreements themselves are publicly available, I’m sure there were a lot of backroom deals struck. Examples of this would be things like the WEF or the Trusted News Initiative.

    There is convincing evidence for a lot of these, and big gaps in our knowledge for others, so some of them get down to exactly what one means by the term conspiracy.

  13. Granny
    Granny February 22, 2022 1:56 pm

    Catching up! Nice post Claire. My perspective I’ll share: “pizzagate” has truly nothing to do with that pizza parlor – it was just an example and the media spun it. “Pizzagate” is about child sex trafficking, which is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Child molesters and pedophiles use code language to communicate, according to the FBI, and “pizza” is a small child. Epstein didn’t kill himself and yes these evils exist in spades.

    So what did I do to fight The Powers That Be? Welp, I bought a dairy cow (think: butter, cream, yogurt, cheeses of all kinds!), and she’s gorgeous with the biggest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. So, almost the last connection to the outside world has been cut – going to town for milk and other dairy products. I met some of the nicest, sweetest, hard working “Physicals” this past week, from the rancher who sold me his favorite cow, to the man who sells hay on the side to help with costs on his small farm. I felt so blessed to have met these people, heard their stories, and took custody of their hard work. Wow, it was so heartwarming. THIS is what our country is about. I wouldn’t mind if the Internet went kablooey – think how peaceful things would be. I’d miss y’all, but I wouldn’t miss the absolute cr@p that is beamed out every day at everyone with a television, computer, or phone.

    But net-net: It is a battle between Good and Evil and it is mostly a spiritual problem, in my opinion. I enjoy blabbering to the Lord about my every concern, and asking him to strike down the wicked. For me, God is not some mystical, unknowable, nothingness. He is all powerful, all seeing, and all knowing. The thing He gave us was Free Will and I often wish He had not because mankind can be so desperately wicked. That’s it in a nutshell, from my world view.

  14. larryarnold
    larryarnold February 22, 2022 3:16 pm

    It will be very interesting to see what the next Red/Blue map looks like, come November. In my backyard, I suspect there will be major changes to the Blue band along the South Texas border.
    Whether it makes any difference is another question.

    Looking at that map, however, does give a whole new meaning to the idea of a Red State/Blue State split. Particularly when you realize that even in the Reddest of counties (like mine, where there are no elected Democrats) there is still a Democratic party holding meetings, attracting members, and scheduling speakers. And vice-versa for the Bluest counties.

  15. Dagr
    Dagr February 22, 2022 4:57 pm

    Cube64, I agree. There are some real conspiracies out there. Too much has gone on for too long with negative results for me to believe that EVERYONE could be so stubborn.

    Had the thought recently, remember that movie Dirty Harry? Hit the screens 50 years ago, about “soft on crime” politicians in San Francisco. The same movie could be made today (well, not in Hollywood). But the same problems exist, stemming from the same policies.

    Some people in SF must be so locked into their beliefs that they cannot see the plain facts in front of them (that does happen, and probably is happening to many). But others who have been in power the entire time would see the failures, one would hope. Yet promoting those failed policies helps keep them in power by appeasing the masses. That’s a good enough definition of conspiracy for me.

  16. Cube64
    Cube64 February 23, 2022 5:50 am

    > Had the thought recently, remember that movie Dirty Harry?

    Of course! I saw it when it first came out, which dates both of us. I can’t remember whether or not I’ve seen a lot of movies even one year afterwards, but Dirty Harry was one of the unforgettable ones.

  17. John
    John February 24, 2022 6:01 pm

    @ Granny
    Thanks for sharing that link.
    Almost makes it sound like a sure win when you stack things that way 🙂 .

  18. Antibubba
    Antibubba February 24, 2022 8:47 pm

    “The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Illuminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening – Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.” – Alan Moore

    Maybe not 100% true, but truer than most want to believe.

  19. larryarnold
    larryarnold February 24, 2022 11:51 pm

    Such a great read as it compares the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent actions to the election steal of 2020 and our subsequent actions.

    There’s another parallel. The Japanese regarded their attack on Pearl Harbor as a success because they sank or damaged most of the Pacific battleships, essential elements in the sea battles of WWI. Unfortunately, for them, the U.S. aircraft carriers were out to sea. Therefore, instead of the WWI battleship engagements, the U.S. was pushed into developing a new strategy to control the seas. Most of the pivotal engagements in WWII, starting with the raid on Tokyo, were decided by carrier-based aircraft.

    Fast forward to 2022, and Tucker Carlson is drawing more young Democrats than CNN. “Team red is still there, and like the ‘sleeping giant’ that was America in 1941, they are now slowly waking up and starting to use their own power, on their own terms, in order to fight back.”

  20. Granny
    Granny February 25, 2022 9:47 am

    I agree. The world is chaotic and if we can just accept that and move on, it’s not nearly as upsetting. If I turn off the Internet/smartphone, my life is very peaceful and beautiful. Even the weather app is annoying! We used to “read the weather” by going outside and looking at it, also by being familiar with the seasons. Now, I’m constantly looking at the app to decide how I’m going to spend my day. A major annoyance, which is completely silly, is expecting the weather app to be right. The weather today is opposite of what the app says and was forecasted. LOL.

    Constant bombardment by “the news” is bad for one’s health. There’s been way too much fear mongering the last few years. I think it’s taken a toll on everyone (anxiety, depression). The last few days has been no exception. I’m not fishing around for a gas mask and wondering how to secure the home from “fall out”. I’m reading a really good book in my spare time and ignoring the Idiots at the helm of our Idiot government, praying for the protection of innocent people around the world.

  21. Eric Wilner
    Eric Wilner February 25, 2022 4:58 pm

    Much to agree with here.
    What you call the Virtuals, I’d been tending to call the Cloud Minders; H. G. Wells of course called them the Eloi. The Beautiful People, utterly disconnected from those who make their existence possible.
    And I particularly agree that they are utterly delusional as to the nature (or, indeed, the existence) of reality.
    The connectedness of the transnational ruling class is nothing new; consider the European ruling class of old. Kings (and CEOs) are fungible, which is how Russia ended up with a French-speaking ruling family and England with a German-speaking king. Alas, the rulers have forgotten that peasants are not fungible – all the more so in these days of trades involving specialized skillsets – and just assume that any worker can do any job on command, and will be happy to do so. They’ve also forgotten that their chesspieces have opinions of their own.
    (And it’s funny how kings who have no ties to the lands they rule, and CEOs who have no roots in the companies they run, don’t necessarily do such a great job – but they have the right social connections, and within their class that’s what counts.)
    Regarding the Lizard People: Eric S. Raymond has an essay somewhere explaining how that’s a useful metaphor for those whose brains don’t work like ours – lunatics, psychopaths, and such: the people whom alienists used to study and attempt to treat.
    A re-reading of Doc Smith’s Lensman series might be… enlightening? An alarming amount of what I dimly remember is seeming prophetic, minus of course the spaceships and ray guns and all the cool stuff.
    I just realized today that someone seems to have turned on the stupid ray; I’d always assumed that Putin, while clearly evil, was fairly smart as world leaders go… and yet his choice of a short victorious war in Ukraine at the beginning of mud season is starting to look like a true bonehead move.

  22. Mike-SMO
    Mike-SMO February 25, 2022 11:01 pm

    I’m with Granny.”Pizza” is obviously a code word for child abuse. In our area there has been an eatery of some kind since the main road was a gravel trace between the “River City” and the new Capital city way inland for the wagons and coaches. Want something from “Betty’s , with cheese or plain” and you have arranged for the sexual abuse of a boy or girl at the “Big Guy’s” house. Maybe “Hunter” will show up.

    The Washington pizza shop probably was known to everyone and triggered the slang due to the chance similarity of an advertising squiggle with the artwork the EfBeeEye associated with child abuse gangs. There was nothing actually at the pizza shop. It was just a convenient place that everyone knew and from which everyone had ordered a snack or meal. The menu at any well known snack-shop would have worked as well. “Want pistachio plain or with candy sprinkles?”

    Of course, everyone knew what an investigation would lead to, or who it would lead to, so the pizza shop and the jargon was mocked. The child abusers were ignored lest the “authorities” disrupt their meal ticket.

    The pizza jargon was designed to protect those who are now running our country and our economy. Enjoy.

  23. larryarnold
    larryarnold February 26, 2022 11:12 pm

    I guess I’m old-fashioned. I remember the Robert Heinlein quote:

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

    I suspect Claire, Granny, Comrade X, Silver, are very comfortable neighbors.

  24. Simon Templar
    Simon Templar February 26, 2022 11:23 pm

    “The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number.”

    I generally like Heinlein, but I think he was completely wrong on this one, unless he was being very sarcastic. The same, or similar, goes for the second sentence, too. I think he really missed the mark here as well. The last sentence I can agree with.

    P.S. @larryarnold: How did you get your Heinlein quote to indent with the vertical line? That is a much more effective way to present a quote than my simple use of quotation marks as above.

  25. Eric Wilner
    Eric Wilner March 1, 2022 1:48 am

    Another aspect of the Virtuals, especially in the Age of Zoom, has just come to my attention: they seem to have no concept of scale.
    We may all have laughed, over the decades, at European tourists who don’t grok the travel times involved in visiting all the landmarks of North America, but… it seems that the current Enlightened Ones believe that, e.g. China is “a place” in the same way that Seattle is “a place”, and that everything in Downtown China is within easy walking distance.

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