Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

I hate conspiracies

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I hate conspiracies, conspiracy theorists and I truly laugh out loud at times at those who keep conspiracies alive and kicking.

The latest conspiracy du jour is what has been called the Big Lie. It’s the one pitched, promoted and perpetuated by Donald J. Trump, the ex-POTUS who lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden. He keeps feeding the conspiracy that the election was stolen by rampant vote fraud. It wasn’t. That should be the end of it, but oh no-o-o-o!

The Big Lie lives on.

We know all about the other big conspiracy theories that do not die as dead as the victims of the original act.

Lee Harvey Oswald pulled the trigger three times and killed President Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963. A commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren confirmed that Oswald acted alone. I believe the Warren panel. I do not buy into the nutty notions that have been kicked around for 58 years since since that terrible day. They talk about the mob conspiring to kill JFK; or the CIA; or it was President Lyndon Johnson. They talk about a second shooter that day in Dallas, or a third one, maybe even a fourth shooter.

Accordingly, Sirhan Sirhan shot Sen. Robert Kennedy in the head in June 1968, delivering a mortal wound after RFK won that state’s Democratic Party presidential primary. He was wrestled to the ground by those accompanying the senator. Now, though, comes the conspiracy theorists led by the late senator’s own son, RFK Jr., to suggest that Sirhan didn’t do it or that he didn’t act alone.

In both of those cases I am left only to ask what I consider the threshold question: How in the name of state secrets does anyone keep such a conspiracy hidden from public view for nearly 60 years? Answer: They don’t because there is no conspiracy to keep hidden.

We hear conspiracies all the time. Most of the time they make for silly entertainment. Nothing more.

The Big Lie, though, is a conspiracy theory that presents a serious danger to our cherished system of government.

That one needs to die a quick death.

Crackpots come up with phony conspiracy theories

The right-wing crackpot machine is cranking out conspiracy theories in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

Yep. They’re out there. I’m guessing they’re going to get even more ramped up the more this health crisis mounts, the more deaths we suffer, the more illness our nation has to endure.

Some demonstrators who have gathered in places like Lansing, Mich., and in Austin have told reporters, for example, that they disbelieve the casualty count being released. They say the numbers of deaths and illness are actually much lower. They tell the world that people are dying of causes unrelated to the COVID-19 unique virus, but that medical authorities are blaming the disease.

Yes, the authorities are making it up! That’s what the nut jobs are saying.

George Soros, the progressive political activist, billionaire philanthropist and all-round bogeyman for damn near every right-wing cause you can imagine, also has been dragged into the conspiracy muck. The right-wingers suggest Soros is feeding false information because he detests Donald Trump so much that he is willing to foment lies about the disease just to ensure that Trump loses the November presidential election.

Same for Bill and Melinda Gates, who earned their fortune through Bill Gates’s founding of Microsoft. They’re liberals who are financing false narratives being told about the virus. Their motive? It’s the same thing that’s driving Soros, the wackos say.

I have long been an anti-conspiracy American. I’ve never bought the conspiracies that suggest, for instance, that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald murdered President Kennedy; or that men didn’t actually walk on the moon; or that President Bush lured the terrorists to attack us on 9/11.

The coronavirus erupted in central China. It came to the United States when infected passengers arrived in Seattle. It has exploded around the world.

Tragedies happen. It has happened in this instance. We are being subjected to unprecedented restrictions. Our nation’s economy has all but been shut down. The restrictions have angered many Americans, too many of whom have been concocting dangerous and hideous conspiracy theories designed to take our eyes off the target and to distract us from examining how we can find ways to repair what has gone so terribly wrong with our response.

These conspiracy nut jobs make me sick.

Conspiracy theories live forever and ever

They will never die. Not ever. They will live far beyond all of our time on Earth. They’ll outlive my sons’ time, too.

What are “they”? Conspiracy theories! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Jeffrey Epstein’s death in the Manhattan, New York City jail cell has spawned ’em by the dozens. Already! You see, Epstein was supposed to stand trial after he pleaded not guilty to charges that he peddled young girls for sex.

Epstein had some high-powered friends. Two of them became “former friends” for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. Their names are Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.┬á

Now that Epstein is dead, the conspiracists have developed some hideous notions that Clinton might have been involved in killing him. Others have suggested Trump played a role in murdering Epstein.

These theories are going to take root. Their roots will run deep.

We’ve had our share of eternal conspiracy theories.

  • President Kennedy’s murder in Dallas couldn’t possibly have been committed by a lone rifleman.
  • ┬áThe 9/11 terrorist attacks were the work of those within the George W. Bush administration looking for reasons to go to war.
  • ┬áPresident Barack Obama was born in Africa and was not qualified to run for the office to which he was elected twice.
  • ┬áThose pictures from the moon’s surface were shot in a studio somewhere on Earth.
  • ┬áGood grief, there are those who have suggested that President Roosevelt goaded the Japanese into attacking us at Pearl Harbor.

And so they have gone. They’ll go on forever.

Indeed, conspiracy theories already exist involving former President Clinton. They involve bogus allegations of people with dirt on the president and his wife ending up dead. Indeed, those phony rumors are thought to be the source of the latest defamatory rumors surrounding the death of the miserable pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Are there questions that need answering? Surely, yes.

However, I believe I can predict today that no matter how thorough the explanation, or how much evidence they produce to back whatever conclusions they draw about Epstein’s death, there will be those who will purport to disbelieve what they see and hear.

They will trade on conspiracy theories. What’s worse is that there will be those who are willing to take the bait.


Here come the Epstein conspiracy theories

If I were a betting man I might be willing to wager a lot of real American money on the prospect of conspiracy theories exploding all over the place in connection with the weird death of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

The former friend of presidents and assorted high rollers was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell this morning. He had been on suicide watch, which supposedly would have made a suicide a virtual impossibility. The lockup took him off the suicide watch, reportedly.

And then he hanged himself. Poof! Just like that the guy allegedly with tons of secrets about what he did with whom was gone. Forever. He’s deader’n a doornail.

Can’t you just imagine now how the conspiracy theories can develop?

I mean, he was friends with Bill Clinton and Donald J. Trump. He was worth many millions of dollars. He had been convicted already of a sex charge involving underage girls in Florida. The alleged prosecution of that case cost Labor Secretary Alex Acosta — who was a federal prosecutor in Florida when Epstein got caught — his job in the Trump administration.

As for former President Clinton, let’s just say he’s a conspiracy/scandal magnet. He’s been vilified amid myriad phony conspiracies dating back to when he was governor of Arkansas. Why stop concocting goofy conspiracies now?

Yep, there can be little doubt that the so-called theories are going to start flying. Who knows? They might rival the John F. Kennedy assassination, moon landing and Jimmy Hoffa conspiracies in their longevity.

Frankly, these theories sicken me.

I do, though, want answers on just how this low-life managed to kill himself while in the custody of law enforcement and corrections officials whose job was to ensure Jeffrey Epstein lived long enough to have this case adjudicated one way or another.

Talk to us. Now!

Deep State? What in the world is it?

I want to tell you about an encounter I had this morning with a stranger. He lives near my wife and me in North Texas.

He is a nice enough fellow. I didn’t get his name. I suspect I’ll see him again. We chatted this morning for a few minutes. He is politically astute and apparently is concerned about the deep divisions that exist in our great country.

Then he tossed out the term du jour, the current bogeyman of the right and far right: Yep, I’m talking about the Deep State.

I recently looked it up. It is meant to define institutions and people immune from voters’ wishes and whims. The fellow I met this morning says the Deep State exists. It’s real and its a profound threat … he said.

The Deep State — whatever it is — has taken form in the eyes of many Americans. I cannot confirm this, but it seems that those who believe in the Deep State threat appear to entertain a lot of conspiracy theories.

They find conspiracies at every turn. They don’t believe historians’ accounts of certain monumental events: political assassinations, huge terror attacks, mind-blowing technological and scientific achievements.

My neighbor didn’t get into too much detail about the Deep State or how he believes it is manipulating current events. He said the Deep State “has always existed.” He referred to big-money movers and shakers, huge financial institutions. Those are historical Deep State activists who have pulled the strings that dictate how our elected leaders should act.

A member of Congress is under investigation for allegedly looking the other way while a college sports doctor sexually abused athletes; he blames the Deep State for concocting this controversy. Donald Trump’s allies say all the attention being paid to allegations that his presidential campaign “colluded” with Russians spooks are part of the Deep State conspiracy.

The Deep State, whatever the hell it is, has become a throwaway term. It has become the term of art that some Americans want to blame for everything that is going wrong these days.

I am not wired that way. I don’t consider myself to be naive. I’m closing in on 70 years of life on this good Earth. I’ve been able to travel around the world. I had a modestly successful career in journalism. I managed to keep my eyes and ears wide open as I pursued by craft.

The Deep State is not entirely a figment of right-wing conspiracy goofballs’ imagination. Nor is it, in my view, a mysterious monster lurking in the shadows.

The Deep State is getting far too much “credit” than it deserves.

Please, no conspiracy theories about rally violence


Donald J. Trump says Bernie Sanders has planted protesters at rallies to stir things up and provoke violence.

Sanders denies it categorically.

Now a Florida congressman — a Trump supporter — says Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign is guilty of prodding the Trumpsters into striking back at the protesters.

No word yet from the Clinton campaign; I’m quite sure there’ll be a categorical denial there, too.

Conspiracy theories have this way of never dying. JFK assassination? Area 51 cover-up? 9/11?

It might be that long after this campaign has ended, we’ll hear conspiracy theories kicked around about who started the violence at the Trump rallies as the candidate stumps for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Here’s my theory.

Trump started it by inflaming his crowds from the podium.

Punch people in the face? Beat the “crap” out of someone? Offer to pay legal fees for those charged with crimes?

The candidate is inciting the violence and that — all by itself — is what gives this story its staying power.

I get that violence has occurred over many decades. The 1968 Democratic National Convention provoked a full-scale series of street riots in Chicago. Police vs. Protesters turned into the stuff of hideous, actual “reality TV” for those of us who watched it unfold.

It spilled onto the convention floor. Security personnel beat up delegates and media reporters.

Do you recall hearing pols exhorting protesters from the stage? Neither do I.

Yes, this campaign is vastly different.

It has brought the level of political campaigning to a level not seen by anyone, near as I can tell.

It’s also prompted the goofballs among us to suggest that it’s all being orchestrated by mysterious evil political opponents.

It’s not so complicated. The violence is a result of a candidate fomenting the anger expressed by those who support his bid for the presidency, which has dared those who oppose him to respond with protests.

Why in the name of sanity — and decency — can’t Donald J. Trump start delivering a positive message of change?

I hope it isn’t too late.


JFK murder conspiracy theorists will come out … again


Wait for it.

It’s coming. I almost can guarantee it. New “information” about what a late CIA director knew about President Kennedy’s murder in 1963 is certain to ignite more speculation — as if there needs to be more of it — over whether someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald had a hand in the crime of the century.

John McCone, who died in 1991, reportedly withheld information from the Warren Commission — appointed by President Johnson — that might have shown that Oswald had help in killing JFK.

Stop, already!

Oswald did it. Of that I remain convinced.

And, yes, he almost assuredly acted alone. He was a Marxist, former Marine, lone wolf nimrod who was pretty good with a high-powered rifle. He was good enough with the weapon that he fired three shots from the School Book Depository Building in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 and killed the 35th president of the United States.

McCone, though, didn’t tell the Warren Commission about the CIA’s repeated attempts to kill Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and overthrow his communist government. The commission was unable to ask probing questions of witnesses about whether the Cubans had a hand in JFK’s murder.

Readers of this blog know that I am no fan of conspiracy theories. I’ve rested quite comfortably for the past nearly 52 years believing that Oswald did the terrible deed all by himself.

I also continue to believe that the never-ending conspiracy theories are the work of people with (a) too much time on their hands and (b) who just cannot abide by the notion that a loser such as Oswald could take down the Leader of the Free World.

Let’s just accept that he did.

Bugliosi was more than a prosecutor

Vincent Bugliosi earned his chops when he prosecuted one of the most hideous crimes of the 20th century and sent several ruthless killers to prison for the rest of their lives.

He then became a successful author and in the process wrote, in my view, a definitive historical account of another infamous murder.

Bugliosi died overnight of cancer at the age of 80. He’ll be remembered mostly for putting Charles Manson behind bars for his role in the 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate and several others. Manson remains in prison. He becomes eligible for parole every few years. It’s a waste of time to consider this guy for release, even though the law gives him the opportunity to be heard.

Bugliosi’s prosecution of Manson will be the highlight of the lawyer’s stellar legacy.

Then he wrote “Reclaiming History,” which took more than two decades to complete. The 2,000-page tome spells out in excruciating detail that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.


The way I see it, anyone who reads this massive piece of research should understand that the idiotic conspiracy theories that have lingered since JFK’s death — and which will live forever — do not hold up under scrutiny.

Bugliosi’s essential┬ápremise in debunking the conspiracy theories┬áis that the idea that a loser such as Oswald could commit such a horrific crime and change the course of world history just cannot be accepted by some. But he did.

This man left two distinct marks on society during his time among us: He imprisoned a fearsome killer and his band of followers and he sought to put to rest the nutty notions surrounding the murder of the president of the United States.

Thank you for both, Mr. Bugliosi.



Conspiracy theories are for the birds

Conspiracy theories drive me nuts.

I mean it. I think I’m going crazy listening to any and all of them.

The latest spate of conspiracy theories centers around downtown Amarillo. There’s a segment of our city population — and I’m not convinced it comprises even a significant minority of residents — who keep concocting nefarious schemes dealing with business relationships within (a) city government (b) the business community or (c) between them both.

These theories are coming from individuals — or perhaps small groups of individuals — who don’t believe the city’s master plan for reviving downtown is going to work. They won’t give it a chance. They are willing to toss it out at the front end because, by golly, they just know something underhanded is going on.

I forged a fairly decent career in daily journalism over the span of 37 years. I am wired to be skeptical of matters at a lot of levels. However, I am not such a cynic as to believe out of hand that a high-dollar business deal is simply a bad thing because it involves a fair amount of money.

And yet, that’s what I keep hearing.

Conspiracy theories have this way of growing legs and even wings. They feed on themselves. They produce conspiracy spawns, that themselves grow into full-fledged conspiracies.

Here’s one that came to me today — second-hand to be sure, but I trust the source who mentioned this tidbit to me: A young member of my family told another member of my family that “it has been proven” that a Secret Service agent killed President Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. It wasn’t Lee Harvey Oswald. It wasn’t any of the other so-called conspiracy theories: the mob; the Cubans; hell, it wasn’t even Lyndon Johnson.┬áThe killer was a member of the Secret Service, the agency charged with protecting the life of the president of the United States. And it’s been proven that the Secret Service did it.

I’m glad I didn’t hear my young family member┬ámake that idiotic assertion. I would have stroked out.

That’s the kind of thing that has infected much of the discussion surrounding the downtown Amarillo story.

How about we just keep our eyes peeled and our ears open and actually witness and listen carefully to the things being discussed?


MH 370: Still missing one year later

Conspiracy theories usually are the province of those with too much time on their hands.

Idle minds concoct notions that defy description, let alone credulity.

That all said, the mystery behind Malaysia Air 370’s disappearance from Planet Earth one year ago is sorely testing my skepticism of conspiracy theories.

I’m still skeptical of anything other than the obvious result, but man, it’s been tough to resist the notion that something truly strange happened to MH 370.


My belief remains that the plane crashed into the drink somewhere in the Indian Ocean. No one seems to know whether it was a hard crash or a “soft” one, if that’s possible.

A hard crash would have produced debris as the plane broke apart. It was a Boeing 777, one of the airline industry’s bigger birds. It carried 239 passengers and crew members. There’s been zero sign of debris or human remains spotted, despite all the efforts of several nations’ best efforts, not to mention some of the most sophisticated search technology in use today.

A “soft” crash is another matter. Was the flight deck crew able to land the plane on top of the water, only to have the plane sink over time? If that’s the case, why┬áwas there no┬ácommunication with anyone┬áabout what was happening?

The victims of this crash, beyond those on board, are the loved ones who are awaiting discovery of what actually happened to MH 370. There’s been a boatload of misinformation coming from the Malaysian government; the plane, remember, took off March 8, 2014 from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. It fell on the Malaysians to tell the world what happened to the aircraft.

A year later, nothing is known.

I shudder to think that this mystery will remain unsolved until the end of time.