July 14, 2006

Alan Colmes Unfurls His Nightwings

Kathy Shaidle;

I wonder if the nuts even believe what they are saying. Because if something like 9/11 happened in Canada, and I believed with all my heart that, say, Stephen Harper was involved, I don't think I could still live here. I'm not sure I could stop myself from ripping up my passport and ID and running screaming to another country.

How can you believe that your President killed 2,000 people and in between bitching about this, just carry on buying your vente latte and so forth? I would have to be literally locked up, as a danger to myself and others. That's why I think a lot of this is just adolescent style posturing on the part of conspirazoids. They want to bitch about their dad but still want to use the pool and borrow the car.

Read the comments at Damian Penny's, too. There's something to this observation;
Not that I'm a poster girl for mental health today, but when I was into conspiracy stuff years ago, I was also really messed up. I have a pretty good insight into what makes some of these folks tick, and it isn't pretty. I hope they get the help they need.

It is like a kind of autism -- seriously.

Following the debating "techniques" of some of the more extreme commentors here and elsewhere, (not just on conspiracy theories, but on virtually any hotly debated topic) one often sees this "something not quite right going on there" trait in other aspects - cognitive problems that include an inability to recognize hyperbole and sarcasm, along with serious issues with reading comprehension.

Is it a result of a failed education system, is it organic brain damage, or a little of both? A good many of these people seem to gravitate towards professions in education, after all.

Posted by Kate at July 14, 2006 10:50 AM

Part of Kathy Shaidle's post was quoted by Mark Steyn in a conversation with Hugh Hewitt. Nice job, Kathy.

Posted by: Mississauga Matt at July 14, 2006 12:03 PM

I think that conspiracy theories are a way of dealing with shock of something that undeniably occured which was of such incongruous, stupendous, awesome, deranged significance,

If it can't possibly be, then it must be something else. The planes didn't bring down the WTC, it was secreted explosives.

Oswald didn't kill Kennedy, there were other snipers.

BTW, there certainly was a consiracy to kill Kennedy and it was successful. We don't know who organised it though; it may have been Oswald by himself.

Posted by: Wimpy Canadian at July 14, 2006 12:09 PM

well didnt you all know ??? you were supposed to buy oil stock in 2000. before 9/11, gulf war 2, and now this lebanon thing.

all to get the price of oil up to its record high $78.

p.s., if we have a 200 year supply countering the call for alternative energy sources, why is the stuff so expensive ??? we have a 200 year supply of concrete and its still reasonably priced, considering how long the stuff lasts. except when used in certain tunnels in eastern seaboard american cities. (think 'tea party' 1700s)

ya, ya, big oil. the whole t'ing is big oil.

'ignore the guy behind the curtain' LOL !!!

Posted by: Robert J BA BSc at July 14, 2006 12:26 PM

You know what they say, the mentally ill become psychiatrists/psychologists, those with criminal tendencies become law enforcement officers and thus, those who are incapable of independent thought become TEACHERS.

Posted by: Doug at July 14, 2006 12:33 PM

It all boils down to the fact that some people would rather have a bad answer that no answer at all.

What's going on is so overwhelming for some that they can't get a hold of or don't wish to face reality. So they hang onto a simple answer not caring that it is stupid, stupid, stupid. They even deny what they have seen with their own eyes. Plane flying into buildings.

Posted by: Wayne in Wetaskiwin at July 14, 2006 2:18 PM

I had a pretty good education and no one told me I had brain damage when I had eegs and cat scans for other stuff. My IQ is above average. However, had I had training in "critical thinking", more science, less poetry, I think I would have been better able to fend off the seductions of conspiracies.

But you'd be amazed at what a combination of depression, a vivid imagination that is driven to seek out patterns, and alcohol will do to some people.

And I am probably borderline Asperger's (although, aren't ALL the cool kids??) and still think there is something "autistic" about the obsessive "knowledge" (i.e. private member gnosticism) conspiracy people get into.

I'm not proud of my crazy past but I don't mind bringing it up if it will shed light on what seems to be a metastacizing (sp.) problem.

Posted by: kathy Shaidle at July 14, 2006 2:27 PM

As I did at Damian's, I recommend Ron Rosenbaum's book "Better Parts of Fortune" about his life among conspiracy buffs:


Buffs also tend to be into alternative medicine -- maybe it is all about "false hope" somehow...

Posted by: kathy Shaidle at July 14, 2006 2:41 PM


right on Ms Shaidle.

I wuz watching an episode of law & order CI when aspergers was mentioned so I looked it up and did the checklist thing on myself. definite tendencies, ie, utter long term abyssmal failure at reading body language; very literal minded, etc etc.

also my OCD has now been pummeled into a permanent coma. gawd that felt good doing that. shades of 'a beautiful mind' visa vi John Nash cured himself of schizophrenia by reasoning his way out of it.

watch the personal attacks fulminate now.

hint: I DONT GIVE A F**K.

Posted by: Robert J BA BSc at July 14, 2006 5:10 PM

I don't know why someone would attack you for that Robert. At least I hope they wouldn't.

Posted by: kathy Shaidle at July 14, 2006 5:46 PM

Kevin Barrett is only scratching half of the truth.
The rest is here:

Posted by: Nico Haupt aka ewing2001 at July 14, 2006 6:01 PM

those who, those who can't...teach.

Posted by: kelly at July 14, 2006 7:47 PM

I hear you! I'm a teacher. I really know what I'm doing and I make difference. That said . . .

The public education culture is utterly decrepit. (If I ever win the lottery, I'll write a book about it.) "Critical thinking" is a skill we're supposed to teach the kids. What happens if a teacher can actually think that way, and does, to question the gulag's diktats?

What happens is not a pretty picture: Our generally political, ill informed, and self-important ministry and board overlords have a set of big, bigger, and biggest whips to keep us in line.

It usually works. Teachers are generally sheep.

As I said: not a pretty picture.

Posted by: lookout at July 14, 2006 8:22 PM

It all boils down to the fact that some people would rather have a bad answer that no answer at all.

That, in a nutshell, is religion.

Posted by: Drago at July 14, 2006 11:26 PM

Let me fly to him and give him nasty poke in the read with my beak SQUAWK SQUAWK i could realy make him move

[editor's note... this has to rank as the number one fscked up comment to SDA in the history of the site. Congratulations. You don't win a prize, but I confess, I've read this several times in disbelief.)

Posted by: spurwing plover at July 14, 2006 11:41 PM

I do not like to read too much into an internet debate.

I try to include the /s sign when I am kidding because without seeing a face or hand gesture it can be hard to tell.

Personally I prefer an internet debate as I am not that good at containing my disgust and anger at some of the political positions my so called friends and family support./s

Many of the lefties around me (and I am in red commie central) really believe what IMO is magical thinking.

That does not bother me that much until they force their left wing political agenda on everybody.

Which in Canada they can do pretty easily.

A huge national wealth with only 30 something million people, in their minds really should support everyone pretty well.

The fact that it doesn't because socialism has never worked anywhere and has done immeasurable harm to millions( because IMO it denies and goes against our own human nature ) does not deter or even sow the seed of doubt into someone who is a committed commie or socialist.

IMHO many seem to have no shame for all the suffering and economic damage done and in fact have a renewed commitment to do more.

For an example of what I am referring to, see the NDPs newly announced "Greener Homes Strategy" where the consumer is once again going to foot a huge bill for 5 NDP proposals that include an ammendment to the National Building Code to legislate low energy use in your home and to require proof of compliance to qualify for the CMHC Mortage Insurance Program.

The NDP promises to make Canadian homes the most efficient in the world.


When the left says efficient they mean it in the Soviet sense of the word, government run.

In my experience, inefficient (and corrupt) use of public money is the real and predictable result from any and all strategys that I have seem enacted by the NDP.

Posted by: concrete at July 15, 2006 11:43 AM

I’m hoping this isn’t OT. I wrote this yesterday, and for various reasons couldn’t post it. Now I feel compelled to send it after reading Drago’s response to W in W:
W in W: It all boils down to the fact that some people would rather have a bad answer that no answer at all.
Drago: That, in a nutshell, is religion.
My response below:

Yeah. LOTS of disconnects with the left libbers. They either don't read links or Kate's comments--let alone posters' comments--or they have processing problems which makes them, poor dears, incapable of connecting VERY LARGE AND VISIBLE DOTS.

Yup, "something not quite right going on there," for sure. Why?

Without being facetious, one of Canada's biggest problems, besides our lamentable education system which results in brain torpor and a complete inability to think, is the breakdown of the centrality of faith in our communities (read: Judeo-Christian).

Now, now, socialists, secularists, and lefties, don't get your knickers in a knot: You'll be saying that it's RELIGION that CAUSES war, mayhem, and chaos [right, Drago?]. And you'd be wrong. In the case of Islamo-fascists you'd be right, but not when it comes to what is taught in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, the principles on which our civilized laws have, until recently, been founded.

’Spend any time in a classroom these days, or in a schoolyard, and you’ll see a total breakdown of civilized society: It's dog eat dog, whack the kid who looked sideways at you, and don't expect too many grown ups (sic) to do anything about it. There is so much chaos and disorder in our schools today, that most of the teachers and administrators have gone into hiatus: Let's pretend that all of this isn't happening; let's invoke "zero tolerance" which is a euphemism for "zero thinking," as Barbara Coloroso puts it, etc., etc.

I’m old enough to remember when the Scripture was read every day in every classroom and the day was begun with the Lord’s Prayer—a prayer, BTW, that cannot be offensive to faiths other than Christianity, as it articulates Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim aspirations. Students could opt out of saying the prayer, while the vast majority of students did not. The day both practices were suspended is the day that disorder and chaos became the order of the day.

Of course, this is totally politically incorrect to point out. Many who read this post will be yelling at the computer, “YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!” Well, I just did say it. And I stand by it. A society cut adrift from spiritual truths and observances, especially ones that their judicial and civil life is based on, is a society ripe for descent into mayhem, chaos, disrespect, defiance of law and order, rebelliousness, you fill in the blanks. It’s the society we now see in Canada in most classrooms, major cities, and increasingly, in small towns and communities.

May I end by pointing out that societies that lived by “isms” in the 20th century instead of faith, and I’m talking Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Nihilism, Socialism, descended into murder and enslavement of their populaces on a massive scale, something that we did not witness, and still haven’t witnessed, in societies based on Judeo-Christian values and principles—though we are beginning to as these values are trashed? Until we are honest enough to acknowledge this fact and to acknowledge that spiritual aspirations are as important as technological, secular, and educational ones no amount of improved education or ability to use our brains is going to pull us out of the chaotic bedlam we’ve created for ourselves and, saddest of all, for our children.

Posted by: new kid on the block at July 15, 2006 11:49 AM

I should have added Secularism in my last post.

Posted by: new kid on the block at July 15, 2006 12:56 PM

Have fun in church then.

Posted by: red ant at July 15, 2006 1:35 PM

I'll have more than fun, red ant. I'll be praying for those who are in need of healing, love, and mercy--including myself. You know? "Love your neighbour as yourself."

I won't curse the darkness, but will light a candle, instead.

Vaya con Dios, red ant!

Posted by: new kid on the block at July 15, 2006 2:31 PM

New Kid -

While it may seem odd, even as an atheist I'm in agreement with you regarding your response to Drago.

Posted by: KevinVB at July 15, 2006 5:07 PM

"Spend any time in a classroom these days, or in a schoolyard, and you’ll see a total breakdown of civilized society."

Amen, new kid.

Like a prairie storm approaching, I've seen this coming for over two decades. And I'm altogether in agreement with nk: It has EVERYTHING to do with the complete deep sixing of traditional religion, vs the every-bit-as-much-a-religion that secular political correctness has become. However, unlike the Judeo-Christian dispensation, this "to hell with religion" creed includes no obligation to "Love thy neighbour as thyself". In fact, the new commandment is, "Get there before your neighbour. Then take whatever advantage you can." (Reference? The above classrooms and schoolyards, in which, BTW, I've spent more than 30 years.) Now, Drago and red ant, isn't that conducive to an altruistic society?

(Is Drago like the Latin "draco" for dragon? I guess red ant is as it suggests: a stinging, scavenger insect. Year by year, I see more of both predator species in my classroom. Also in front offices in schools, boards, and ministries. Here. In Canada. I'm not making this up. I'd be very scared if I were you.)

Some of those who discriminate against traditional religion and its adherents may need to look up the meaning of "altruistic". In today's schools--and elsewhere in Western society--one rarely sees flesh and blood examples of this VIRTUE. (Some might need to look up that word too. Anti religion's not too keen on such imperatives.)

Posted by: lookout at July 15, 2006 7:34 PM

New Kid:

There's a lot of irony in your post. You talk about "processing problems" that afflict some people who comment here, but you seem to have inferred a whole lot from my one line statement when you could not possibly have a clue about whether I subscribe to those sentiments or not.

To elaborate on my original statement, I was simply talking about the origins of religion and theology - when people started to have great philosophical questions, religion (in many tribal forms around the world) gave them answers, even if not always the right ones. That's all I was saying. I made no judgment whatsoever regarding the societal merits of religion. I can argue other sweeping generalizations you made in your response as well, but that'll have to wait until they're on topic.

You'll be saying that it's RELIGION that CAUSES war, mayhem, and chaos [right, Drago?].

What was that you were saying about processing?

Posted by: Drago at July 16, 2006 12:03 AM

"Is Drago like the Latin "draco" for dragon? I guess red ant is as it suggests: a stinging, scavenger insect. Year by year, I see more of both predator species in my classroom"

This comes from a one-line comment implying my preference for the separation of church and state.

I get the impression that lookout may not be cut out to be a teacher. I sure wouldn't want the job. It could be burnout. Ever think about a career change?

Posted by: red ant at July 16, 2006 10:02 AM

What a cop out, Drago. (At least you've copped out reasonably politely.)

You say to new kid, "I can argue other sweeping generalizations you made in your response as well, but that'll have to wait until they're on topic." BIG TIME COP OUT!

Smarten up, Drago! Why don't you say what you mean and mean what you say? Following is a primer for you. Short Essay Writing 101:

First of all, you need to state your thesis clearly, using precise vocabulary.

Your thesis (you were quoting)? "It all boils down to the fact that some people would rather have a bad answer that no answer at all." (Fact: based on what? What people? Answers about what?)

Then what you need to do, Drago, is expend some effort to EXPLAIN your thesis. As part of this process, giving concrete EXAMPLES, like nk does, is highly recommended. Your explanation (sic) for your altogether vague thesis? "That [bad answer], in a nutshell, is religion."

Your minuscule "essay" definitely appears to diss religion (as does your infantile response). But you demur. You say, "I was simply talking about the origins of religion and theology." You most definitely were not doing anything of the sort--even if you were thinking it. As I tell my grade school students, Drago, one's reading audience is not clairvoyant: If you want the reader to know something, you need to state it PRECISELY.

I'm actually very interested to know exactly what it is about new kid's post that you dispute. (You say nk's off topic. You're free to hold your opinion. But to be fair, you need to say on what basis you've made your judgment.)

If you have something to say, Drago--you claim you do--then SAY IT! (See instructions above.)

Posted by: lookout at July 16, 2006 10:04 AM

Living in a town where conspiracy theories reign and are taken as absolute truth, I have to agree these people are really mentally messed up. There is no way to have a normal conversation with these people. Go to these sites to see what I mean. (once there, click on the 'forum' link and read to your heart's content.

Posted by: AirborneVet at July 16, 2006 11:08 AM