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Old 01-17-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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Sandy Hook good samaritan harrassed by conspiracy nuts.

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“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?”

“The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said. So much so that a friend shields him from most of it by doing daily sweeps of the Web so Rosen doesn’t have to. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who took the complaint seriously but said police probably can’t do anything at the moment; he plans to do the same with the FBI.

What did Rosen do to deserve this? One month ago, he found six little children and a bus driver at the end of the driveway of his home in Newtown, Conn. “We can’t go back to school,” one little boy told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.” He brought them inside and gave them food and juice and toys. He called their parents. He sat with them and listened to their shocked accounts of what had happened just down the street inside Sandy Hook Elementary, close enough that Rosen heard the gunshots.

-SNIP-

Rosen, a 69-year-old retired psychologist who now runs a pet-sitting business and volunteers to read books to kids in schools, initially called me to ask if I thought he should reach out to the FBI about the harassment. I said it probably couldn’t hurt. When I asked if I could tell his story, he was reluctant at first. “Here’s my fear: If I start talking like this, will one of these truthers read this and will it embolden them? Will they say, screw that guy, how dare he impugn our credibility or question our intellect, I’m going to go one step farther? Am I being stupid?” he asked.

After thinking about it, Rosen decided that he had to speak out: “I talk to you about this because I feel that there has to be some moral push-back on this.” Rosen said he’s a staunch believer in free speech, and realizes there is little legal recourse possible unless he gets direct threats, so he had a different idea.
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/this...rassed_for_it/

In truth, I feel sorry for these people. It's like they either can't comprehend that sometimes bad things happen for no logical reason or they fear chaos worse than an evil conspiracy so they come up with any story they can latch a hold of.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #2
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In truth, I feel sorry for these people. It's like they either can't comprehend that sometimes bad things happen for no logical reason or they fear chaos worse than an evil conspiracy so they come up with any story they can latch a hold of.
I feel disgusted and appalled by them.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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I feel disgusted and appalled by them.
This.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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I remember these people coming out of the woodwork after the Aurora shooting and just thinking 'Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Are you allowed out of the house unsupervised?' Where do these people come from? Why do the other humans they come in contact with not DO SOMETHING about their obvious total detachment from reality? WHAT ARE WE COMING TO?

*wrings hands in distress*

Also, that poor guy.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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Also, if you wanted to come up with a group of people who really shouldn't be allowed to have automatic weapons...
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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I knew a girl who was on Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon Her poor, poor parents. The conspiracy theories on that break my heart. "There were no funerals", etc, etc. Some people are just idiots; I firmly believe that.

I understood that mindset with some folks I knew in Hungary (where most of my pals and work colleagues were refugees from the Bosnian wars, right after the fall of Soviet Communism in Hungary). But our history doesn't support that kind of paranoia, imho.

OTOH, so many Hollywood movies influence what people see as truth about America all over the world. Americans might not be immune to that, I guess, even though we live here and should know better what things are like. All of those evil-CIA and shadow government movies may have ended up being a form of accidental propaganda.

And then there is some truth, for sure. The medical community certainly was disgustingly Nazi, frankly, about certain studies and 'treatments', right up through the 70's for certain populations. The government was involved when it came to group homes and reservations. Maybe people have more empathy for that than I expected (them being of a different group of Americans), and that's why they fear our own government. Maybe it's a combination of the movies and the truths? I don't know, but it's sad all around.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Maybe people have more empathy for that than I expected (them being of a different group of Americans), and that's why they fear our own government. Maybe it's a combination of the movies and the truths? I don't know, but it's sad all around.
I don't think this comes out of being empathetic at all.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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I don't think this comes out of being empathetic at all.
Yeah, granted I haven't talked to many American conspiracy-theorists. But one (white) guy I did talk to brought up the syphilis experiments as an example of what government 'does'. Those experiments weren't done to people like him, and yet it does sound like he thinks of them in relation to himself and government.

He's a fool overall (racist, etc), so who knows? But his mention of Tuskegee did stand out to me.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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Yeah, granted I haven't talked to many American conspiracy-theorists. But one (white) guy I did talk to brought up the syphilis experiments as an example of what government 'does'. Those experiments weren't done to people like him, and yet it does sound like he thinks of them in relation to himself and government.

He's a fool overall (racist, etc), so who knows? But his mention of Tuskegee did stand out to me.
Yeah, it's a talking point. "I just don't think it's plausible that [atrocious conspiracy] is true," you say. "But Tuskegee!" they say. It doesn't imply that they give a toss about Tuskegee, just that they can counter a debating point.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:12 PM   #10
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Yeah, it's a talking point. "I just don't think it's plausible that [atrocious conspiracy] is true," you say. "But Tuskegee!" they say. It doesn't imply that they give a toss about Tuskegee, just that they can counter a debating point.
I thought of my discussions with this guy (my handyman), and I think that's exactly what he does, yeah. So I don't get it. What is up with American conspiracy theorists like this?

I do know he resents the government because he expected more out of his life. It serves as a scapegoat for him (damn cop arrested him when really...). Maybe the folks are truly just that immature and self-centered.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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As disgusted as I am by this, the psychologist in me thinks it makes sense, too. I think, for a lot of people, it's easier to believe in a government conspiracy and big bad evil government than it is to believe that 20 first graders were horribly murdered. It's a terrible, terrible thing. I think there's an appeal to the conspiracy because it makes it untrue. It means all those little kids are still alive. It makes the evil big bad someone other than a kid who could have lived down the road from you.

The fact that they're harassing these people, though, is beyond reprehensible. I don't care what people believe, but when they start mocking the tragedy these people went through and the pain they're going to feel for so long, there's a serious, serious problem.

I wish I could send this guy a letter and say most of us out there understand and feel for him. Or donate money to a charity in his name in a way that he'd find out about it. Something to show that we're not all crazy asshats.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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I thought of my discussions with this guy (my handyman), and I think that's exactly what he does, yeah. So I don't get it. What is up with American conspiracy theorists like this?

I do know he resents the government because he expected more out of his life. It serves as a scapegoat for him (damn cop arrested him when really...). Maybe the folks are truly just that immature and self-centered.
My boyfriend used to work with someone who believed conspiracy theories (like all of them). He used to talk about how the earthquake in Japan was caused by a satellite, for instance.

The really interesting thing is that he believed completely contradictory conspiracies and totally didn't see the problem with it. For instance, he believed that Bush had killed Osama bin Laden a long time ago and that they were just holding out on releasing his body. Then, after Osama was killed, he talked about how obviously he hadn't really been killed because they didn't release pictures and how he hadn't even been found and it was all a PR stunt. He'd say both in the same conversation, but didn't seem to get that you really can't have it both ways.

I'm a lover of a good conspiracy myself (I lean a little suspicious and I'm sure there are crazy things out there, and I love writing about them), but the lack of logic behind a lot of these blows my mind.

I read an article yesterday talking about how one of the pieces of "evidence" is that a girl, Emilie, was pictured with Obama after the shooting because there was a photo of a similar looking girl in the same dress. It was her sister, a perfectly logical explanation for a similar looking girl in a hand-me-down, but the conspiracy theorists don't believe that because it goes against the theory. It's kind of sick, in my mind.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:24 PM   #13
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It is sick. Maybe they just think they are being clever, and that beefs up their feelings of self-worth? They do seem to expect a lot of 'hmmmms' when they explain their stuff.

The ones I knew years ago thought other people weren't smart enough or were too naive (and they had a point about some things, but again: Soviet Communism, Bosnia, etc.). Sometimes smart people can just go too far, and other times really dense people seem to latch on to the strangest beliefs, imho.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:26 PM   #14
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As disgusted as I am by this, the psychologist in me thinks it makes sense, too. I think, for a lot of people, it's easier to believe in a government conspiracy and big bad evil government than it is to believe that 20 first graders were horribly murdered. It's a terrible, terrible thing. I think there's an appeal to the conspiracy because it makes it untrue. It means all those little kids are still alive. It makes the evil big bad someone other than a kid who could have lived down the road from you.
I've heard another explanation that makes more sense to me, no offense to you.

It says that that the reason people are doing this is because a government conspiracy is easier to accept than the thought that there really is a problem with gun laws.

As she explained it, there is a powerful (if erroneous) belief in the US that if you have a gun you control a situation; you can control what other people do. People want guns because, if something bad should happen to them and theirs, they want to be able to control that situation and make things right for themselves. She says this is why people are terrified of losing their guns--that means the government will have all the power and they won't be able to defend themselves. (Another erroneous belief--if the government wants to take you out, they have MUCH more than you do, c'mon.) Having a gun makes them feel powerful.

Problem is, to have control of a situation, you need to have training in doing that. Having a gun doesn't control any situation. You don't know what someone else will do. (She also suggests this is what happened with Trevon Martin--that Zimmerman thought because he had a gun, he could control the situation and Martin just didn't get that memo.) Having a gun means you can END a situation, but it doesn't mean you control it.

She points to the person who talked down the other teen who had killed someone shortly after Sandy Hook. The one with the gun didn't control everything--the one who communicated did.

Just a viewpoint I thought was interesting for the discussion.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:18 PM   #15
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I've heard another explanation that makes more sense to me, no offense to you.

It says that that the reason people are doing this is because a government conspiracy is easier to accept than the thought that there really is a problem with gun laws.

As she explained it, there is a powerful (if erroneous) belief in the US that if you have a gun you control a situation; you can control what other people do. People want guns because, if something bad should happen to them and theirs, they want to be able to control that situation and make things right for themselves. She says this is why people are terrified of losing their guns--that means the government will have all the power and they won't be able to defend themselves. (Another erroneous belief--if the government wants to take you out, they have MUCH more than you do, c'mon.) Having a gun makes them feel powerful.

Problem is, to have control of a situation, you need to have training in doing that. Having a gun doesn't control any situation. You don't know what someone else will do. (She also suggests this is what happened with Trevon Martin--that Zimmerman thought because he had a gun, he could control the situation and Martin just didn't get that memo.) Having a gun means you can END a situation, but it doesn't mean you control it.

She points to the person who talked down the other teen who had killed someone shortly after Sandy Hook. The one with the gun didn't control everything--the one who communicated did.

Just a viewpoint I thought was interesting for the discussion.
I'm not giving my thought as a for-sure reason. It's just something that makes sense to me.

As for the gun issue, I'm sure there are some people for whom this is the issue. Though not every conspiracy theorist is a gun activist.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #16
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Deylen- who is she?

I think Kaite is on the right path. I think people want to believe in conspiracies beucase it is easier than accepting that there is evil, not becuase of gun laws.


I am glad this man helped those people and I think it is terrible to do what these people are doing to him.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:23 PM   #17
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One thing I have noticed about people who expound a lot on conspiracy theories, is that logic does not work the same for them as for normal folks. Most of us use what I call linear logic--it goes from point A to point B, EG, I am hungry, therefore I should go eat some food. Some folks, though, use lateral logic, eg, I am hungry, therefore I should put on my shoes. Or in this case, the gov't used a mind control laser to empty my stomach.

We all engage in some of both--great volumes have been written about the errors people make in their logic, after all--but the dominant use of lateral thinking is a very striking symptom, IMO, of a deeply disordered mind.

You literally cannot reason with these individuals because their brains cannot move from point A to point B. They jump instead to point triangle.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:57 PM   #18
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Meh.

Having conspiracy theorists in my immediate family, I want to point out that they're not all, by simple virtue of being conspiracy theorists, people who cannot understand simple logic.

One issue is trust. Most of us trust information from, say, NASA (just to throw an agency out there.) A conspiracy theorist, on the other hand, may feel that NASA is controlled by the government, and is therefore not trustworthy. If someone on the internet has credentials the CT *does* trust, for whatever reason, that credentialed individual will seem like a better source than NASA.

Another issue is "common sense" versus specialized education. Many conspiracies make logical sense on a "common sense" level, even though those same theories are completely dismissed by those who have specialized education in the fields tied to them. "Common sense" may lead a person to believe that (as one example) a building hit by a plane will not fall neatly into its own footprint. That seems a very reasonable conclusion. Someone with very specialized education, examining the actual building and the actual plane, on the other hand, might come to the conclusion that in a particular instance, that's exactly what happened - for very logical reasons.

9-11 Truthers often use NASA or other official sources of information to get illustrations of heat signatures or various other statistics... then ignore the conclusions of those same agencies because they feel those agencies are being pressured by the government to come to certain, predetermined conclusions. Instead, they rely on individuals such as firefighters whom were present, or someone in demolitions - people whose credentials they DO trust - to give them answers... and those answers often *seem* more logical on a "common sense" level.

Because those answer seem logical - sometimes they even seem so self-evident someone "would have to be BLIND" not to have come to the same conclusions on their own - they seem far more believable than anything "officials" might come up with. Specialized education gets dismissed in favor of "common sense." This is especially true when those with specialized education are not trusted due to their affiliations.

There are other things at play, too, and different things affect different peoples' patterns of thought, of course, but a distrust of the official story and a reliance on their own common sense instead of on the word of others who have specialized education that they do not, themselves, possess, seem to be hallmarks of the vast majority of people who tend to subscribe to conspiracy theories. Neither are inherently illogical.

And if you really do believe that Sandy Hook was nothing more than a cynical ploy to break the heart and will of the public, you're going to see the good Samaritan in the OP as a heartless and cruel manipulator doing the bidding of people with dark intent. You might even see it as a duty to expose him, thereby exposing the entire charade.

My family member believes that Sandy Hook was real, but it was instigated by the same people who control all our media, with the express purpose of manipulating the public in favor of more gun control. The Aurora shooting was instigated by the same people for the same reason. To "prove" this, they point at very real news articles showing our media being controlled by fewer and fewer people. They point at scenes in entertainment that seem to foretell the tragedy. They have found out that the map of Gotham used in the Batman movie has "Sandy Hook" written over one area, even though the map in the book that the movie was supposedly based on had that area labeled completely differently. "How do you explain THAT?" they ask.

And honestly, I don't know how to explain that one. But it doesn't sway me at all... which is why my CT relative thinks of ME as the illogical one. I'm the one who listens to the official story and the media. They're relying on common sense and a willingness to scour the internet for hours...
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #19
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I get what you are saying. They are relying on their "common sense." But it sounds to me that the "common sense" they are relying on isn't what I would call common sense. To me common sense would mean relying on experts for the truth, etc. Ockham's razor and all that jazz.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:19 PM   #20
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Obviously, to most of us, anyway, the incident happened as it was reported on the news. However, in my opinion there is more at work in the conspiracy theorists than a psychological need to explain this terrible event.

The government does not tell the truth, a lot. Presidential spokespeople, both Republican and Democrat, are paid to not tell the truth, by definition. The word Politician is synonymous with liar for many people.

There is also deep distrust of law enforcement in the United States. One of the reasons Casey Anthony got off, in my opinion, is that jurors were taken from Pinellas County, an inner city area in St. Petersburg. Who on that jury didn't have a husband, brother, or neighbor that the police had worked over?

Whenever I hear stories like this, I think 1) the conspiracy theorists are looney tunes, and 2) but it's not surprising that they don't trust what the government tells them.

You and I are smart enough to know when the government's lieing and when they're telling the truth, right? Some people, though, may not have the education or life experience to distinguish between situations where the government is likely to tell the truth and likely not to tell the truth. They are surely aware that the government has lied to them many times before though. How could they not be?

Just for reading interest, and out of word association with "NASA", here is a link to a retrospective analysis of the Apollo program, from NASA's own history server. http://history.nasa.gov/Apollomon/Apollo.html Most people believe that we funded NASA heavily in the 1960s out of interest in researching outer space for the good of humankind. Not true. We were interested in being able to launch nuclear weapons at Russia. ICBMs go into orbit and return to earth, just like the Apollo rockets did. Don't believe me? Start reading.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #21
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The latest one I've seen is that the coroner was either mistaken or lying when he named the AR-15 as the murder weapon - there's a video that's been dug up of Matt Lauer talking to someone and corresponding FB posts labeled 'NBC News admits the AR-15 wasn't used in the killings'. Trouble is, it's a video from the day after the killings, when there was still a huge amount of fog-of-war misinformation floating around.

Sigh. If your argument that these things should be legal hinges on the dubious proposition that they weren't used at Sandy Hook, it's a weak argument indeed.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:06 AM   #22
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Maybe there should be a conspiracy theory about the existence of conspiracy theorists.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:32 AM   #23
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Maybe there should be a conspiracy theory about the existence of conspiracy theorists.
There was but the government covered it up.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Maybe there should be a conspiracy theory about the existence of conspiracy theorists.
There is. They're there to make the people who really know the truth look like "crazy conspiracy theorists" and thus easy to dismiss. If you make up a hundred competing wacky theories the real one gets lost in the noise.

They'll even use things like microwaves and low-frequency sound waves to make the people who are on the right track crack up, which is why you can't dismiss something that bolsters your belief system just because the person who told you is an obvious loon.

The fact is you can prove anything to yourself with enough epistemological contortionism. If you assume all authorities are Satanic deceivers, you just put a bracket round most things you hear with a minus sign outside it. Pick and choose what terms you want to ignore in any logical equation.

The root of these kinds of belief systems always seems to me to be a wish-fulfilment fantasy. If you think all policy is directed towards facilitating an all-out race war, it's probably because you'd like to fight in a race war. If you think the Feds are coming to confiscate your guns, it's because you'd like a chance to shoot some feds. The wish is father to the thought.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:16 AM   #25
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I think a case could be made, though, that the wish of people to believe that authority is telling the truth is stronger than the wish of people to see things as they are.

The emperor's new clothes, and all that.

Those of us in the U.S. who claimed immediately, as in the very day George Bush announced his intention to attack Iraq, that all the W.M.D. stuff was a load of hooey, and the U.S. was only interested in protecting oil resources, and invalidating Saddam's contracts with France, China, and Russia, were conspiracy theorists.

The Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists err not because they don't take the government's version of events at face value, but because they skip fact-checking, or fact-check in a biased manner, before drawing a conclusion.

Not only do I believe that the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists are loons, I also believe the government told the truth about 9/11. I also arrived at the conclusion that the government exaggerated and lied about Saddam's W.M.D. capability, and I didn't arrive at that conclusion after the war, but in 2003, as soon as the W.M.D. justification was mentioned, long before the invasion. I did a lot of research on the issue though, in two spurts, the first in 1991 after the first Iraq War. Anyway, that makes me 3 for 3, a better track record than people who might have believed the government on all points.

What authority manipulates very well is the tendency for people to believe that they are telling the truth when they are flat out lying. It doesn't matter how big the lie (the bigger the better, in some ways), it doesn't matter how many times they tell it, people will give them the benefit of the doubt and still believe them. Even angry, counter-culture, university educated types will give them the benefit of the doubt and still believe them. The W.M.D. baloney was a perfect example. People really, really want to believe that the government and their parents are telling the truth, and they go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to convince themselves that it's so, in spite of clear evidence in many cases that it's not.

I'm not being sarcastic, despite the tone of this post, when I say that people's trust in government makes me feel good about the world. People tend to see others in their own self-image. Most people are good people. They don't lie, and they don't think that others lie to them. They haven't been touched or hurt by the lies, and forced to modify their opinions. They still trust. That's awesome. That's the world I want to live in.
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