Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

The Science of Bullshit

So I had a decision to make- I could collect another half dozen recent stories in Russia that demonstrate the maddening hypocrisy of this corrupt government, or I could not waste my time since there will probably be another half dozen such stories by the end of the week. What can I say? Some days I’m just not in the mood.

In compensation I’d like to look at the broader topic of critical thinking, starting with a story that has been making the rounds lately. Apparently an academic study found that people with lower cognitive abilities (i.e. intelligence) were more susceptible for falling for pseudo-profound, intellectual-sounding bullshit. Yes, they used the word bullshit in the study, 200 times in fact.

What do they mean by “pseudo-profound” and “intellectual sounding?” Well basically it seems they’re talking about the sort of thing people tend to share on their Facebook walls. For example you’ll see a photograph of someone doing yoga on a pristine beach and superimposed on this you see text reading: “Hidden meaning transforms unparalleled abstract beauty.”

That particular example comes out of the study. Judging from other such statements quoted by the media, it would seem that the study focused on “hippy”-like statements, the kind of thing you’d expect from Deepak Chopra. I can do one now: “The only tragedy greater than a full life not lived is the unrealized dream of an empty life lived alone.” Or how about: “Spirituality isn’t found inside of an ancient tome written in archaic language, but in the subtle interplay of the elements that make up our daily surroundings.” It’s pretty easy.

But this got me thinking, and the implications are quite scary. For one thing, Silicon Valley and the tech industry is similarly laden with statements that are little more than buzzwords arranged in different ways. “Innovation makes it possible to leverage the platform’s scalability exponentially, making it ultimately more disruptive.” I know from experience with such bullshit that this kind of empty nonsense is being used to woo people out of millions and in some cases, billions of dollars. Sure, these people are in most cases investing in highly profitable corporations which may indeed possess the key to disrupting entire markets and industries. On the other hand, we could be in for another dot com bubble brought on by idiots with money throwing cash at things they don’t understand because it was “innovative.”

There’s another aspect of this phenomenon that is far more interesting to me, and this is how this pseudo-intellectual bullshit is used in politics. I regret that I cannot dig up the exact post, but Ed at Gin & Tacos once referred to certain conservative rhetoric as (I’m paraphrasing here): shit that sounds intelligent to smart people. This is an interesting concept and I think it is very much related to this susceptibility for “pseudo-profound” statements. If someone can read a collection of random words about life, happiness, balance, and spirituality and come away with a feeling that this was profound and enlightening, it’s not too far fetched to suggest that posts containing random historical facts or complex political terminology could leave some with the impression that they are astute and politically savvy. Actually I think this kind of tactic is more dangerous in the world of politics.

I think this explains how, for example, people can fall so easily for endless regurgitation of Russian geopolitical theories. People who rarely really think about economic policy and who don’t have much experience in the world can easily be wowed by “sober” analysis about the BRICS alternative, trading in local currencies, the BRICS development bank, etc. Of course there are usually prerequisites that cause them to tumble down the rabbit hole. For example, they’re upset at their government and want to believe there’s some kind of powerful alternative bloc out there keeping their own leaders in line. But if that person is not sufficiently informed, they can easily fall for this sort of rhetoric.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not only aiming at the pro-Kremlin people here. Plenty of foreign Ukraine supporters jumped on the bandwagon of Maidan and Ukraine’s war effort without really fully understanding Ukraine’s history or its relationship with Russia. “European Ukraine” and “democracy” can be just as persuasive to the same sort of people as “NATO encirclement.”

The problem with all this is that in the case of politics, it’s not often a matter of cognitive ability. Sure, maybe it is with certain ideologies that require a major lapse in critical thinking, but it’s actually quite easy to fall for pseudo-intellectual bullshit in politics because oftentimes we have a severe lack of information.

To give one example, I didn’t really pay much attention to the Syrian civil war until about 2013. By that time, the dichotomy of Assad vs. jihadists, at that time Al Nusra and not ISIS, was dominant. And no, it wasn’t just coming from the Russian press or alternative media. For example, when debating airstrikes against the regime in the wake of an apparent chemical weapons attack in August of 2013, one Pentagon official reported to Congress that such airstrikes would most likely benefit Al Qaeda. This plus a lack of information and the flaws of memory could lead anyone to buy the “Assad is the lesser of two evils” narrative, even without regularly consuming pro-Assad media.

Maidan was another example. In the beginning I hardly had any reason to care. Then the media, including the Western media, began portraying the protests as being all about Ukraine joining Europe. Russian media went right along with that. At the same time, I started seeing these UPA, OUN, and Svoboda flags and symbols popping up in the protests, and my initial reaction was negative specifically for that reason. Like most Ukrainians, I had always been opposed to the idea of Ukraine joining Russia’s Customs Union or the Eurasian pseudo-union. European integration was, for me, a non-issue. But rehabilitation of fascists and Nazi collaborators, in any country, is something I simply cannot abide. As I said back then, I had no fear at all that Ukraine would actually be taken over by fascists. What I was afraid of was nationalists getting into key positions where they could impose their revisionist historical narrative on the country with the help of the state, something they basically ended up doing.

There were some points about Maidan I always conceded. I naturally have more respect for people who resist poor treatment even if I despise their politics. But the real reason why I eventually took a pro-Maidan position, long after the fact, was that I actually started talking to people who were involved in the movement, and I also learned how both the Western and Russian media essentially collaborated to paint a picture of Maidan that was false from the start, even without Russia’s tall tales of a Nazi putsch.

What could have prevented my mistake? Well if I’d been paying close attention from the very beginning in November 2013, this might not have happened. But there lies another problem- in the beginning there was little reason for anyone outside of Ukraine to suddenly take notice and start paying attention. Speaking personally, there was even less reason for me to start closely following the details of the peaceful uprising in Syria before the civil war started. You can try following Twitter but the problem is that you’re not likely to know which stories are going to be mundane and quickly disappear from view and which are going to snowball into something much bigger and historically significant.

There’s another element to all this, which is that a person who is actively trying to sell you a certain narrative can take advantage of this in order to deceive you. All they have to do is spit out a series of “facts,” some real, some distorted, some entirely made up, assertively and confidently. That and some ideological hook designed to get you on the same “side” can be more than enough to get an otherwise reasonable, intelligent person to fall for political bullshit.

Want to see this in action? Try my little quiz. The following statements are bullshit, but you should think about what you would say in response, off the top of your head, without access to Google and the internet.

Situation #1: You’re discussing WWII history with a fellow at a gun show (bear with me). The topic of the Holocaust comes up, and he starts talking about how it was “grossly exaggerated.” He asks how it can be that 6 million Jews were gassed to death, yet not a single autopsy ever showed that a concentration camp victim died of poison gas. He points out that Zyklon B was a commercial delousing agent, and that there were delousing chambers at all concentration camps, including those which were never “death camps.” He says that it would be impossible to kill people with carbon monoxide using diesel engines, as diesel engines don’t generate enough CO. Lastly he tells you how the whole thing was Communist propaganda, and points out how the plaque at Auschwitz used to say four million Jews died there, only to later be revised to 1.2 million after the fall of the Polish Communist government.

Situation #2: You’re at the same gun show (you need to stop engaging gun show patrons in political discussions), and you meet a guy who says the US government had foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attacks. One of his strongest pieces of evidence is that the carriers which were based at Pearl Harbor were curiously missing on the day of the attack. According to him, this means that Roosevelt knew the attacks were coming and so he or the conspirators made sure that the war-winning carriers wouldn’t be in port when the attack came.

Situation #3: You’re online and a pro-Kremlin poster talks about how George Bush promised Gorbachev that NATO “wouldn’t expand one inch” if the Warsaw Pact broke up. Instead, NATO expanded, thus posing a threat to Russia, which is only responding to NATO’s encirclement.

Situation #4: You didn’t learn your lesson about talking to people at gunshows and this guy starts telling you that 9/11 was an inside job. He tells you that WTC property owner Larry Silverstein said in an interview with PBS that he made the decision to “pull” building 7, and “pull” is a demolitions industry term for taking down a building via controlled demolition.

Situation #5: A radical Ukrainian nationalist denies OUN involvement in Holocaust related crimes, claims that the OUN fought against the Nazis as well as the Soviets, and points out that Bandera was arrested by the Nazis and locked in a concentration camp in 1941.

What would you say if you were confronted with these claims, some of which are factual or at least half-factual, if you didn’t have the background knowledge on the specific topics, you didn’t have internet access at the moment, and the person is delivering them in a confident, assertive way, as though they know what they’re talking about? What if they try to pull credentials out on you? A history major, a former expat in Russia, a diesel engineer- would you be prepared to dispute them, especially in public? By all means try, put your answers in the comments here if you wish. 

I think what this little lesson demonstrates is how easy it is to sell bullshit when it comes to politics and history. Spiritual buzzwords and feelgood phrases might be more effective on people who are literally dumber, but technical jargon, info-dumps, and random historical facts can be used to dupe otherwise intelligent people into believing very stupid things.

The good news is that we have a toolkit against this, and it’s called critical thinking. What is more, once we have enough info, we can make a choice whether to be stupid or not. Many people who have stupid ideas about the world don’t fall for those ideas because they are stupid. They become stupid because they believe those ideas, and doing so requires you to be stupid by ignoring mountains of contradictory evidence. When it comes to important political and historical events, I think if you’re unable to catch them and follow them critically from day one, the best course of action when confronted with any ideological narrative is to go back to the beginning of the event and try to get all the basic facts from as many points of view as possible. In other words, before adopting someone’s “alternative theory,” you need to be sure you know the “official story.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Perpetual Pessimists

Let’s do a thought experiment: Suppose we work in an office and you were home sick one day, missing a staff meeting as a result. Having returned from work, you hear a rumor that employees will have to work a full shift on Saturday from now on. Naturally you’re not too happy with this, especially since no explanation as to why everyone should work six days a week was given.

Now one day I hear you grumbling about this in the break room. I was actually at the meeting and it becomes apparent that you were given bad information. As it turns out, working on Saturday won’t be mandatory. In fact, what was really discussed was allowing some employees to work on Saturdays if they needed the hours, and they could only work a half day schedule.

How would you receive this information? I think most people would be relieved. Turns out you were upset about nothing. In fact, since you know you won’t have plans every Saturday, this is actually an excellent opportunity for you to make some extra cash when you’ve got a free weekend. Not bad at all.

But suppose I tell you the same information and you react in a different way. You get upset and insist that yes, we are going to have to work all day on Saturdays, and it sucks. You attack me for being a mindless sheep, or insinuate that I’ve been paid a bonus by the management to spread disinformation about our new weekend timetable. When I point out that I was actually at the meeting, thus having an edge in knowledge about the topic, you totally dismiss this. You’ve been to meetings too. Perhaps there was no meeting. Maybe it was called but never held so as to give the new weekend timetable a faux-democratic character. No sir, you know the truth! And the truth is that we’re definitely going to have to work weekends. I suggest not going to work on Saturday to see the reaction from the management. You refuse, saying that they will surely fire you. Since you don’t want to give them the satisfaction and don’t want to sit through that conversation, you have decided to quit this afternoon.

Obviously this second reaction is absurd, at least in this simple scenario. Having to work weekends at a job where you never had to do so before can be an outrage, but it’s easy to calm down when someone informs you that you were mistaken and will not be required to give up your Saturdays. Strangely, however, the second reaction tends to be more common when the outrage is many times more severe.

Take your average GMO opponent or anti-vaxxer. If we get at the root of these trends and strip away the context, is logical to be concerned about potentially tainted food or the possibility that a widely-used substance causes autism in children. Most of these people are simply ignorant about genetic engineering and the microbiology associated with vaccines. The problem comes from when they are confronted with the truth- that genetically modified foods aren’t inherently dangerous because the genetic material of all life on Earth is remarkably similar and has the same origin, and the fact that there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism, whose causes are in fact still unknown. A rational person, having their ignorance extinguished when confronted with the facts, ought to be quite pleased. No need to worry about the hazardous effects of “contaminated” food. No more worrying that protecting your child from diseases that used to kill scores of people might be a trade-off with autism.

Of course in the real world, this isn’t what happens. In the real world, you’re accused of being a shill for Monsanto and “Big Pharma.” If you’re not getting paid to put this “disinformation” out there, you must then be a hopeless, conformist sheep who just believes whatever your government or “the corporations” tell you.

It’s hard to run out of examples of this kind of idiotic thinking whether you’re talking about the US or Russia. Imagine how much happier your Fox News-viewing relatives would be if they actually woke up and acknowledged that no, illegal immigrants aren’t taking jobs and sucking our nations resources dry. No, the government isn’t going to come take your precious guns. No, US sovereignty is not going to be given away to form a North American Union with Canada and Mexico. Welfare queens, common core, martial law, voter fraud, Shariah law…The list is endless. Just look at the kind of behavior grown adults are capable of engaging in when they subscribe to this kind of chicken little thinking.

In Russia there is a fine example. Every good Russian “knows” that the US is trying to destroy Russia. It always has been. It wants Siberia and its resources. Of course the country that could barely manage to handle Iraq and Afghanistan is secretly planning a 21st century Barbarossa invasion against nuclear armed Russia! You can point out the massive reduction of US military personnel in Europe, which while halted after almost a year of Russia’s war in Ukraine, is still moving forward. You can point to all the US investment in Russia, which with other foreign investment made massive contributions to Russian living standards during the last decade. You can point out that the economy of the US is geared towards selling products and services, especially to large overseas markets, thereby making it ridiculous that the US would deliberately want to deliberately cripple one of those large markets. You can point out the fact that since 1991, the vast majority of Americans don’t give a shit about Russia. Yeah let’s all laugh about how many Americans can’t find Russia on a map, but let’s never mention the fact that they don’t have to.

None of this matters: Dulles’ Plan! Grand Chessboard! NATO encirclement! Color revolutions! Does this sound familiar to you? Here’s the American version: Gun grab! Death panels! Common core! Benghazi! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI, GOD DAMN YOU! BENGHAZI!  

This thinking is really strange to me because while in my life time I have bought into my share of conspiracy theories, I was often somewhat relieved to find I was wrong. In my youth I was constantly hearing from talk radio, relatives, and youth pastors that once I got to high school, I’d find myself in the liberal lion’s den. On one hand we’d be forced to sit through incredibly raunchy sex ed lessons and receive condoms on our way out, but if we males looked at a woman for more than three seconds we’d be arrested for sexual harassment. I’m guessing that contradiction was to be resolved by the mandatory homosexuality lessons. I was taught that the Bible and prayer were banned in public schools, and our teachers would extol the virtues of Communism.

Needless to say, none of that happened. In fact, none of a lot of things I was worried about for years ever happened, and in some cases the opposite happened. To me, the fact that something I was worrying about turned out to be false was a relief. There was one less thing to worry about. I simply do not understand why some people actually prefer to be afraid of things that do not exist. I’m not even talking about religion or the supernatural here. Things like confiscatory gun control or a planned NATO invasion of Russia are testable topics. We can look at the history of US military deployments and downsizing in recent years. We can supplement that by looking at the nature of the US economy and questioning the idea that it would make such an idiotic decision, from an economic point of view, all for the sake of hobbling a country whose economy is comparable to the state of California. In the US, we may look at the history of US gun control legislation. The fact is they aren’t going to go from barely even suggesting any new legislation to a full force confiscation program without a lot of incremental changes in between.

Ah but that’s just what they want you to think, of course! You’re either a sheep or a shill. No thanks; they’d rather continue being scared shitless about things that are literally not happening. I’m not sure how to explain this sort of thinking. Perhaps it’s an evolutionary thing. Humans with a heightened sense of danger or external threats probably survived due to the busted clock axiom. What I do know is that it is annoying as hell in the 21st century, because people have more access than ever before so as to research and identify real problems. Yet it always seems that the more intense a particular chicken little is about who’s trying to kill us, take our jobs, or leech off our tax dollars, the less they actually do to solve any problems whatsoever, including the ones they’re upset about.

Follow-up: Devil’s Advocate

In yesterday’s post, I addressed the issue of Russian propaganda vs. “Western” propaganda, explaining why they aren’t the same. I realize that my conclusions and arguments might not satisfy some. Obviously I’m not going to pander to every audience out there, but I have a special place in my heart for the person who is a dissident in a Western country and who is ready to listen but still skeptical about appearing to be on the side of “the West.” I get weird feelings when I find myself on the same side of the fence as the US government. But then again if the US government says wearing pants in public is a good idea, I’m not going to start running around outside without the southern necessity.

Today I want to expand on the problem of taking the “anti-hegemony” side when it comes to Ukraine via a thought experiment. I also want to demonstrate why it is that I simply cannot in good conscience side with any Kremlin-supporting outlet or organization, knowing what I know now. The inspiration for the thought experiment came from an encounter I had many years ago, when I was foolish enough to engage in endless debates with 9/11 truthers. By simply questioning their claims, I earned the ire of a whole posse of the conspiracy theorists. One thing I started to notice was that many of these individuals had conflicting narratives of what supposedly happened that day. In spite of these contradictions, they never got into arguments with each other; everyone was unified against me. I started to get this idea that you could believe anything you wanted, as long as it was a conspiracy theory.

At one point, I was getting exasperated so I posed a question to my main opponents. Basically I told them that I gave up, that I was wrong and I was now convinced that 9/11 was an inside job. I just had one problem, though. I decided to believe one particular narrative of the conspiracy, but some of my other opponents had different narratives. For example, some said a remote-controlled plane hit the Pentagon, but others insisted it was a cruise missile and not a plane. Obviously I couldn’t believe both. So I wondered aloud as to what I should do when confronted with someone saying the towers were brought down by unmarked military planes replacing the airliners, holographic projections of planes in conjunction with “micro-nukes,” missile hitting the Pentagon vs. remote controlled airliner hitting it, etc. Wouldn’t you know, I never got an answer. They continued to attack me, accusing me of working for numerous intelligence agencies.

The question remains. What would I do if someone convinced me of their particular 9/11 conspiracy theory, and then I confronted someone with another theory which included things which conflicted with my narrative? Do I demand evidence from Mr. No-planer? I don’t really have any real evidence of the remote controlled planes theory, or the unmarked military planes theory. His “evidence” is going to be just as good as mine. And of course to him, me asking for evidence is going to sound an awful lot like someone who believes “the official story.” In fact, that’s basically what it is, because if his story isn’t right, he doesn’t have that esoteric knowledge of “what really happened.” I think this is why for the most part you will rarely see these people seriously debate conflicting theories in forums, and why people who advocate conflicting theories will put any and all differences aside to pile up on anyone guilty of believing the “official story.” To be sure, debates do exist within such movements, but they tend to be between authors or leaders of organizations, in other words, people with something to gain from their theory being the most popular. This is also why rather than debating, participants will usually accuse each other of being shills for the government or “disinfo” agents.

Thought experiment: I give up! You win!

Now let’s return to the present. Many of us on the left are told not to listen to the propaganda of the “Western” media when it comes to Ukraine. Ignoring for a moment how easy it is to find articles and other examples from that same media criticizing the actions of the Ukrainian government, talking about the right-wing aspect of Euromaidan, or allowing pro-Russian sources or politicians speak their piece, I feel I must first ask how we define “Western” media in the first place. I’m not playing a semantic game here based on the actual location of these media outlets. It’s been my experience that any media outlet which fails to tout the Kremlin line on Ukraine, including the few remaining independent media organizations in Russia, will be dismissed by the pro-Kremlin side as “Western,” or if not that, totally false and somehow connected to the CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, or whatever. If some of you more masochistic readers out there like debating RT fans online, I encourage you to play to test this hypothesis. For example, choose one media outlet that’s pretty evenhanded and ask for comments on an article that is very critical of Ukraine’s government. After they respond, present them with another article from the same publication(BONUS: same author), and ask them about that. Perhaps ask them if you think the publishing of two articles means that venue isn’t biased against Russia. Note the responses.

It doesn’t matter where it’s from, the content and narrative matter. So if it’s pointing out the massive social problems in Russia, critical of the annexation of the Crimea, or fair to Ukraine, it’s nothing but Western propaganda which can be totally dismissed. At best, a piece that really strives to be evenhanded will be praised for everything but those parts which contradict or question the narrative of the Russian government. So basically, “Western” media can mean anything that isn’t the Kremlin’s narrative. With the definitions out of the way, we can get on with the main thought experiment.

It goes like this. Russia Insider, Sputnik, RT, you were right. I was wrong. Putin is a wise leader. Russia’s cause in the Donbass and Crimea is just. Russia is the right side in this battle against the global corporate hegemony.  I just have a couple of problems though. Maybe some of your “political analysts” can help me out.

The first is MH17. I now acknowledge, for no reason in particular, that all those investigations carried out by official European bodies, though they are almost entirely consistent and in at least one case also put some complicity on the Ukrainian military, were of course fraudulent and aimed at framing Russia. Obviously the Ukrainian government, with the complicity of the US, shot down MH17 in order to provide a pretext for bringing sanctions against Russia, sanctions which, according to the Russian government, media, and a lot of you guys are actually helpful for Russia while simultaneously being the reason behind any negative economic changes in the country. Okay that last bit’s a little confusing, but I’m really trying to follow along here.

This is my question. I’m ready to accept the narrative that anyone but Russia and its proxies in the Donbass was responsible for shooting down MH17. I support Russia’s alternative hypothesis. My only problem is which alternative hypothesis do I go with? First the Russian media said that it was shot down from the ground because the Ukrainians thought it was Putin’s plane. Shortly thereafter, a Spanish air traffic controller at Boryspil airport tweeted that he had heard something about a Ukrainian fighter shooting down the aircraft. Unfortunately, it turns out he never existed and Boryspil airport doesn’t employ foreign air traffic controllers. Next the Russian ministry of defense came out with a slick presentation, but even that said that MH17 could have been shot down by Ukrainian airplanes or a “Buk” SAM system operated by the Ukrainian forces. Then of course Russian TV showed a fake satellite photo showing a Ukrainian Mig-29 shooting at MH17, but the other plane theories all said it was an SU-25. In fact, the next theory came from the Investigative Committee and they said they had an anonymous eyewitness who told them a Ukrainian SU-25 shot down the airliner. Even more recently, the Russian government has voiced claims that a Ukrainian SAM shot down the plane, and the DNR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said he personally saw two Ukrainian planes shoot down the airliner. Which one of these alternative explanations do I go with? It can’t be all of them.

If only it were just MH17. Russia’s role in the world itself is in question. If I join you guys and your global internet-based movement against the Anglo-American Atlantic hegemony, I can still be a leftist, right? As I understand, the neocons running the US and EU overthrew Viktor Yanukovych because he stood in the way of their plans to advance NATO to the borders of Russia, even though that already happened in 2004. According to some of your pundits, the Americans installed a fascist puppet government in Kyiv, and now racist, neo-Nazi thugs are establishing an authoritarian, discriminatory regime that will implement neo-liberal austerity policies. But I’ve read a lot of your side’s material, and some of you guys have been telling the world that Ukraine has been taken over by wacky European liberals who want to force gay marriage and gender-bending sex education on that country. Also I’ve noticed that a lot of the people on your side, especially the ones who talk about this, happen to be associated with far right parties in Russia and Europe. How am I supposed to square all that with my left wing politics? I thought that Kyiv is run by fascists, so why is it when I look around on the net, it seems almost all the actual fascists or far-right wing extremists I find enthusiastically support Russia? Why don’t they have their international conferences in Kyiv?

I could go on with this little thought experiment, but I think it’s clear enough for the reader. Once you actually know Russia, and more importantly once you know how their media spits out multiple, often contradictory narratives as fast as an MG42 spits out bullets, it becomes virtually impossible to believe that side. At that point, you have to make a conscious decision not only to ignore any and all evidence which contradicts the Kremlin’s line, you have to pretend as though the Kremlin itself isn’t putting out conflicting versions of the particular narrative you went with.

Whenever one gets to that point, the stupidity takes root, and they begin to look increasingly ridiculous. This is the point where you start believing more and more absurd things not because you are stupid, but rather you have to become stupid in order to believe. In my lifetime I have believed some pretty stupid things. But once I learned I was wrong, I had to discard those ideas. I will not deliberately remain stupid for the sake of a belief. And that’s why I can’t side with international Putin fan club. Sorry, guys.

A potential solution

In another recent article about the so-called information war, I threw out an example of what I feel is a more effective way of countering the propaganda of the Russian media, compared to some of the proposals that have been floated recently. This method consists of cataloging and condensing all Russian narratives according to topic, both those stories intended for foreign audiences and those in the Russian Federation. Essentially what we’re talking about is like Stopfake.org on crystal meth. The crucial difference would be that whereas Stopfake.org posts fake news stories as they come, this resource would not only present the latest claims, but it would have everything organized by topic.

Here’s how it would work. Someone sees a Youtube video produced by a pro-Kremlin source on the topic of MH17. It’s got CGI graphics, “experts,” etc. But let us imagine this person is a bit skeptical because they never knew much about the case. So with some Googling they come across this hypothetical resource, and they see the section on MH17. When they go to that section, they are confronted with a summary of all Russian MH17 stories to date, complete with examples, explanations, and links to the real investigations. Ideally, of course, a person would run across this site first, before seeing any conspiracy videos, of course.

The idea is that many people will get drawn in to conspiracy theories when they don’t know the basic details of an event in the first place, and then they see something promising to impart hidden knowledge “they” don’t want you to know. The deal is sweetened if pitch contains messages that resonate with their political beliefs. But what happens if they’re confronted with the fact that the video they just watched or the article they just read isn’t in fact “the” alternative explanation? What if they learn that it’s one of potentially dozens of different hypotheses, many of which are contradictory? They can’t all be “what really happened,” particularly when some of the mutually exclusive hypotheses are actually coming from the same source. Lastly, they will be even more skeptical when they find out that these claims are aimed at different audiences, including those whose political beliefs are diametrically opposed to their own.

Hopefully when more people are confronted with concrete evidence that they are being lied to, they will have no choice but to reject pro-Kremlin propaganda or look incredibly stupid. One thing is for sure, however, and that is no one should risk looking ridiculous by deliberately adopting foolish beliefs simply because they are afraid to be on the same side as a government they disagree with, including their own. It is precisely that fear of looking like a “sell-out” that has led many self-proclaimed and actual leftists in the West to make utter fools of themselves. I understand that if one made one’s career off of criticizing everything the US does, they stand to lose some fans should they admit that there’s an even worse government out there, though it supposedly “opposes” America. Personally I think those supporters are expendable. The worthwhile people will respect someone who stands up for truth and reason. As I said in that recent article, if you still feel uncomfortable because it looks like you’re taking the side of the “Western” media, blame the Kremlin for producing such sloppy, incoherent propaganda as to make Western governments and their media organs look far more credible by default.

Distractions

Recently I was thinking about how folks love talking about how the media “distracts” us with celebrity gossip and sports while not reporting on major issues. In a way, that is true. Of course many times if you ask why this is, the real reason is monetary. The fact is that the media puts this out there because people watch it, and people watching things is how they make their money. What is more, hard-hitting news is likely to contradict someone’s worldview, thus turning them off and ensuring that they won’t go to that source for news anymore.

Seeing as how many of the people who make this criticism of media tend to be a bit more politically radical, however, I sometimes wonder if they are guilty of indulging in another form of sensationalist, frivolous, and ultimately distracting news. Let’s start big, with Alex Jones. Here he is screaming about how the media distracts us with Justin Bieber.

Sure, celebrity gossip, entertainment news, and sports are not serious issues and people should try to avoid spending undue amounts of attention on any of them, but who is Alex Jones to judge here? Alex Jones distracts the populace by talking about serious issues and distorting them into idiotic conspiracy theories. At other times he talks about issues that don’t even exist. What is worse than with the mainstream media and their celebrity gossip, Jones is telling his audience that they are informed, in fact more informed than the rest of the populace. Jones’ conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve actually distract people from learning about how the Federal Reserve and monetary policy actually work. Conspiracy theories about 9/11 don’t teach people about decades of shortsighted American foreign policy and the various ideological struggles in the Middle East. While people are busy “prepping” for the upcoming economic collapse/FEMA concentration camp roundup, they are ignoring all kinds of real issues they could actually have an impact on if they took the time to find out what they can do and went out and did something. They could do this, but instead a few of them will occasionally attend unrelated protests with signs reading “INVESTIGATE 9/11” or they will stump for Ron Paul. The vast majority of Alex Jones fans don’t do jack.

Of course the American mainstream media is more selective in its conspiracy theories. Aside from those you will see on Fox, most of the conspiracy theories you see will appear on supposedly “educational” channels like the History Channel. These American networks can’t risk alienating viewers with 9/11 conspiracies, but a lot of other things are fair game, from Nostradamus predictions to Templar-linked secret societies.

Russia Today, of course, isn’t necessarily bound by the same concerns as American media corporations. The conspiracy theories you see peddled on RT are but a small fraction of those which appear on Russia’s domestic TV channels, but despite this one can’t help but notice that many of the “alternative” viewpoints or conspiracy theories on RT aren’t necessarily related to Russia’s foreign policy goals. This is the case with domestic Russian TV as well; it’s not all political. Why is this the case?

My guess is that conspiracy theories, paranormal stories, and pseudoscience are basically just an equivalent to celebrity gossip and sports. If you aren’t into the latter, the former will get you. Of course unlike sports and entertainment, these materials serve another purpose- they break down critical thinking abilities. Like RT says, question more. But it doesn’t necessarily mean challenge things critically. I like to interpret it as “question reality.” As myself and others have pointed out before, Russian propaganda isn’t about getting you to believe a different viewpoint, but rather it is about destroying the very idea that any viewpoint could possibly be right.

Clearly the men who devised this kind of strategy consider themselves to be very clever. Indeed various Russia-watchers seem to stand in awe of their “information warfare.” I’m not going to doubt its efficacy, at least at the moment, but in the long run it will fail. Russia’s war on reality won’t simply lead to its downfall, but it will prevent it from creating a coherent political, cultural, and social system for quite some time. Like the child who keeps lying about their schoolwork, that report card is still coming.

In the mean time, I suggest people stop looking at chemtrails, fed conspiracy theories, or 9/11 “truth” as being anything significantly different from celebrity gossip or major league sports. And to the latter’s credit, at least it doesn’t break down your critical thinking skills and make you think you have superior knowledge to everyone else. Ultimately, you’d be better off watching the news about Justin Bieber than taking people like Alex Jones or networks like RT seriously.

Provocations. Provocations everywhere.

If you just started following Russian politics in the past year, you might have noticed the constant use of the term “provocation”(провокация). For example, when someone like foreign minister Lavrov speaks about civilians being killed by artillery strikes on areas under government control, he’ll refer to “provocations.” The downing of MH17 is also referred to as a “provocation.” Now when Ukrainian forces shell areas under the control of the Russian military totally local, armed tractor drivers and miners and civilians die as a result, that’s not a provocation. That’s just the junta committing genocide. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov labeled Boris Nemtsov’s recent murder a “provocation.” What’s the deal with all these provocations?

One must start by understanding that provocation doesn’t mean the same thing it does in English, or its equivalent in any other language in the sane world, for that matter. For example, if I want to provoke a fight, I might insult someone, shove them, or get up in their face. Now this might get them to throw the first punch, but the point is that I am doing something to the other person in an attempt to get them to do something in return. I am not hitting myself.

In Kremlin-speak, labeling something a provocation is essentially a passive-aggressive way of accusing your opponent of being the real culprit behind the thing you are clearly guilty of. For example, in mid-January the rebel forces in Ukraine started an offensive. On 25 January, they launched numerous attacks including an artillery strike on Mariupol. During this time, Zakharchenko, the rebel commander,  was telling journalists about how they were going on the offensive all along the front. While he was talking tough in front of journalists who were tweeting his quotes all over the internet, a number of artillery rockets struck a residential area in government-held Mariupol. As reactions from the press and OSCE flooded in, Zakharchenko announced that there was no offensive. Henceforth, any time Russian politicians referenced the shelling of Mariupol, it was always a “provocation.”  Of course on domestic and social media, Russia’s troll armies invented all kinds of explanations as to how the Ukrainian army routinely shells its own civilians in territory it controls, but people like foreign minister Lavrov can’t say something like this in public; he already gets enough laughs as it is.

Consider the latest “provocation,” the murder of Boris Nemtsov. As the story goes, Nemtsov was killed by a conspiracy involving the CIA, Praviy Sektor, the Russian opposition, or a coalition of all three. You can pretty much blame anyone except the Kremlin, or someone who had been inundated with so much propaganda about “fifth columnists” on the verge of overthrowing the government that they decided to act.

It is interesting, however, to note that while the conspiracy theorists are theorizing, alleging that this “provocation” was designed to embarrass the Kremlin, they don’t seem to be sticking to their normal tactics of pointing out coincidences and “holes” in the “official story.” For example, Nemtsov was shot in view of the Kremlin, in one of the most secure areas of Moscow. In fact, there are numerous security cameras watching the bridge and even the area where Nemtsov was shot. See for yourself.

cameras

But get this- A number of cameras in the area were apparently shut down “for repairs.” Coincidence? Coincidence?! Come on, where are all the coincidence hunters now? Imagine the reaction from RT’s fanbase if Ron Paul were shot a block away from the White House. Hell, imagine their reaction if Ron Paul had a heart attack while taking a dump. We’re talking about people who label spree shootings “false flags.”

In fact, just take a look how quickly police responded to activists hanging a Ukrainian flag on the same bridge:

Of course the conspiracy theorists are labeling this a sort of “false-flag” by calling it a provocation, but by doing so they are basically saying that the Russian government, despite having numerous ex-KGB officers in its highest ranks, is utterly incompetent. They allowed a CIA hitter team to murder a Russian politician within sight of the Kremlin. I guess that whole “Anti-Maidan” movement is pretty useless, huh? One has to wonder why Kremlin-supporting celebrities like Evgeniy Fedorov and “the Surgeon” aren’t in hiding right now. If the CIA can gun someone down within two minutes walk to the goddamned Kremlin, I think it’s a safe bet to say they can take out any Russian “patriot” in his luxury dacha. If they don’t send Navy SEAL teams to get them in the Crimea or Sochi, they can just use a sexy female assassin posing as a high-class escort. Why aren’t these people living in underground bunkers right now?

Getting back to the subject of provocations, what the reader must understand is that this is essentially a Russian version of the “false flag”  claim. The only difference is that it is more vague, therefore it appears more respectable. Certain Russian leaders cannot just come out and accuse Barack Obama of being responsible for killing Nemtsov or ordering the Ukrainian military to shell its own cities in order do…uh…do something. Thus they use this open-ended, ambiguous word provocation.

Why is this important to you, the readers? Well if we live in a Russian world, this could be a major advantage. Don’t like something that somebody said? Punch them in the face. When people call you out for using violence, call it a provocation. Nobody really knows who hit whom, and of course you hope that there will be a thorough and objective investigation into the matter. Same goes for if you want something really bad but don’t have the money to pay for it. Just take it off the shelf and leave. If you’re caught and accused of shoplifting, it’s a provocation. We need an impartial investigation to make sure that the retailer didn’t deliberately “lose” the plasma screen TV so as to frame you. It doesn’t matter if numerous witnesses saw you walk into the store loudly shouting “I want a plasma screen TV so badly I’m willing to steal one!” Provocations. Everything is a provocation. Declare it a provocation, call for an objective, impartial organization, and if there is such an investigation and all the evidence points to you, claim you haven’t seen it.  Meanwhile, come up with a dozen, possibly contradictory “alternative” theories.

Essentially, provocation is just another way in which Russian leaders and their vatnik supporters to piss on people’s legs and tell them it’s raining. It’s the Russian equivalent to the phrase “It wasn’t me,” in the hit song by Shaggy. They just say it and consider the matter at hand settled. Of course the matter isn’t settled, and eventually reality always crushes fantasy.

The Sky is Definitely Going to Fall by 2016!

We’ve had a lot of fun at the expense of Russian pseudo-intellectuals predicting the immanent collapse of the United States, that’s for sure. Though to be fair, with Russian intellectuals born in the middle of the Cold War, often with no experience in the United States or even a working knowledge of English, it’s possible to cut them a little slack when their predictions don’t come true. The most likely explanation for their predictions is that with the help of translation they are reading and listening to America’s home-grown chicken littles and appropriating their message out of wishful thinking.

Today, for your viewing pleasure, I will provide you with a sampling of “America’s gonna collapse” videos from actual Americans and others who ought to know better. Enjoy.

America will collapse by 2016 

Mark your calenders, folks. This prediction says “by 2016”, indicating that we will see clear signs of collapse within this year.

BRICS will crush the dollar!  

Oh…Waaaaait…Noooo.  This video was published in June of 2014. Of course roughly six months after the video was published, the ruble got nuked, not the dollar. Russia is now facing double digit inflation; today it was reported that pharmacies have raised prices 20%. Mass layoffs are already occurring, including in state-owned enterprises like ITAR-TASS. The minister of labor also reported that as many as 20% of Russian citizens may be left without pensions. But you’ll see! You’ll all see! Either acknowledge the dollar is on the point of collapse or admit you’re an idiot who thinks the dollar will last forever, even after the death of the sun! Fools!

Mayan Calender + Youtube = Moron

Do you even need my commentary on this one?

America = Soviet Union in spite of massive political and economic differences

This was uploaded in March of 2009. To be fair, no date is given, but as usual there is the ubiquitous sense of urgency.

America actually has collapsed.

This video is entitled “Economic Collapse America has Collapsed.”  It was published on 3 March 2010. Sadly, English speakers generally don’t learn grammar in school. Were that the case, they would know that the present perfect generally implies that something has happened, i.e. it is finished, prior to the present time. Example: “He’s arrived at the airport.” Past action- He arrived. Present result- He’s at the airport now. So using the present perfect and saying “America has collapsed” means this actually happened, in 2010, apparently. Nnnnnnope!

2015’s the year!

Here’s another one predicting the collapse of the dollar in 2015. I’m sure this guy never predicted or believed any prediction that the dollar would collapse in 2014, 2013, 2012, or earlier. I’m sure this guy crunched all the numbers, took into account every factor, and through objective analysis calculated the dollar would go ruble in 2015. Remember this video, folks. If 2015 passes and the dollar is still doing fine, relatively speaking, feel free to leave a comment on this video.

LEAVE NOW! GET OUT! 

The next video in our series is called, I shit you not, “Leave America Now 300 Million Will Die in Civilization Collapse in the next 5 Years Warns Researcher.”

The “researcher’s” name is not given in the intro as you might expect, and a label in the top right tells us this publicly available Youtube video is “Top Secret.” Okay.

It was published on 27 February 2013, and claims that America will collapse in the next five years. To be sure, there are three years to go, but usually when a disaster is coming and the best advice is “leave the country now,” you should start seeing clear signs pretty early.

I could make this a ridiculously long article with dozens of examples just from Youtube alone, but you can have a lot of fun on your own just by Googling or doing a Youtube search for “America is going to collapse in.”  Let the auto-complete do the rest. For some odd reason, these people don’t remove the evidence of their failed predictions.

I don’t know, I guess it could happen. I mean, imagine if America’s economy shrank down until it was about the size of California’s current economy, i.e. about $2 trillion as opposed to its current $15 trillion. Then imagine the dollar lost 50% of its value in one year, with about 20% of that occurring in one day. Imagine if the US  were financing a secret war and getting hit with sanctions over it. That could cause a collapse. Not in a country like Russia, of course. Russia can survive anything! But if that happened in America in spite of its much stronger economic and legal foundations, it would surely lead to chaos in the streets. Also the collapse of America would only make Russia stronger. Russia won’t be negatively affected by the collapse of the United States because reasons.

All joking aside, it’s interesting to ponder what makes these people tick. I’m not going to lie- I used to follow this line of thinking too, when I was much younger. I’d look at the news and the deteriorating situation in Iraq and imagine what would happen when the budget and military get strained to the breaking point. The problem is that much like all these other people, I had very little understanding of economics and also the science of government and laws which govern developed countries.

I think people who follow disenfranchised political ideologies, regardless of whether that disenfranchisement is just or not, have a strong desire to believe that something will happen which will somehow make their movement instantly relevant. They feel totally shut out of mainstream politics and have decided there is nothing they can do to change that. Obviously how realistic that is really depends on what ideology we’re talking about, but people often tend to forget that politics isn’t always a matter of elections.

They also forget that actual total economic collapses or emergency scenarios have broken out in developed or semi-developed countries, and the result wasn’t Mad Max. Argentina experienced such a scenario. Even with the chaos in the eastern part of Ukraine, the rest of the country has yet to devolve into anarchy. Correspondents I’ve spoken with who worked in Donetsk and Lugansk reported that assuming no fighting was going on at the time, things could be more or less ordinary. If that’s what happens in Ukraine at war, why should America suddenly turn into 90’s Somalia over a recession? America’s economy actually made gains recently, and is expected to be the only major country with a positive outlook for 2015. If the shit didn’t hit the fan in 2008, there’s no reason why it should in 2015 short of a meteor or a nuclear war.

Ukraine also gives us another example of why radical fringe political groups won’t necessarily gain power via a total breakdown of order. Praviy Sektor and the thugs from Svoboda played a major role in the streetfighting during Maidan, but as soon as Yanukovych was gone the political elite closed ranks and the electoral process shut them out.  For all its problems, Ukraine’s capitalist elite is realistic enough to prevent those who don’t live in the real world from wielding any real power. Were it not for the war in the east and Russia’s involvement, they would most likely crack down harder on radicals, though they will still maintain the pseudo-historical narratives which feed Ukraine’s nationalist right.

I hate to break a lot of hearts out there, but if you want to see radical change in your developed country you’re going to have to get off your ass and do something about it. You will have to do a lot of real research, not watching Youtube videos, and you might want to get in shape as well. Revolutionaries who double over panting after running ten yards to the bus stop aren’t going to become the Che Guevara of the 21st century, mark my words. Whatever you do, realize that some kind of apocalypse is not going to sweep in and do all the work for you. People have been predicting catastrophe and anarchy for decades. Those who think they have “woken up” are still dreaming.

Lake of Lies: The truth about Edmund Fitzgerald

It goes without saying that everything you have been told is a lie. Well, everything except what I am telling you.  Because if I were really lying I wouldn’t tell you that everything you hear is a lie, as this would make you suspect that I am lying.  Then you would be all like, “Hey, are you lying?” And I’d be like, “No man, I mean that other people are lying to you.”  And you’d be like, “But how can I be sure?” And I’d say something like, “Dude, LOOK at my face, I am TOTALLY not lying to you right now!”  And then…Okay hold on a second.  This is getting off to a bad start.

Alright let’s start this over again.  Sometimes in a nation’s history there are tragedies so painful that we accept them at face value and refuse to hear any uncomfortable questions which threaten to re-open old wounds.  What is more important, knowing the truth, or suppressing the pain?  Well the answer to this is obvious.  We must know the truth, or if not the real truth, a version of the truth which helps us to believe we are enlightened independent thinkers as opposed to mindless sheep, also known as everyone else.  What truth am I speaking of here? What truth separates we independent minds, who do our own research, from the mindless sheep who suck down Big Macs and drive their cars to Wal-Mart where they buy “products” and listen to pop music on their factory radios?  I am of course speaking of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

 LAKE OF LIES: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgI8bta-7aw (The evidence is right in front of your eyes)

Let us begin with the official story, if only for the laughs.  HA HA HA! I am laughing at how ridiculous and absurd the official story is! HA HA HA!  The idiotic, totally unbelievable, official story would have us believe that the Emund Fitzgerald, an ore freighter with a deadweight tonnage of 26,000, sank during a storm on 10 November 1975 in Lake Superior.  The event was made famous by the folk-singer Gordon Lightfoot in a song appropriately named “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”  As it turns out, this is no coincidence.  The shocking, horrifying truth which will be revealed shortly is that the Edmund Fitzgerald was in fact sunk by none other than Gordon Lightfoot himself.  Some people, or shall I say “sheeple”, react to this with incredulity.  But I am merely asking questions.

BACKGROUND

When considering any historical event, it is important to ask the question, “qui bono?” Or if you aren’t Catholic, “who benefits?”  In the case of the Edmund Fitzgerald the answer is obvious- Gordon Lightfoot.  But to understand his motives, we must look back into the past, specifically to the American folk music revival of the 1960’s.

In the late 50’s and 60’s, folk music made a short-lived comeback.  By the late 60’s it started to peter out as the popularity of rock and other styles grew.  It stands to reason that some of those who found themselves with great popularity during this phase expected it to last.  But with folk music waning on the musical scene, especially by the beginning of the 70’, some artists were driven to desperation.  One of them would be Gordon Lightfoot.  In an attempt to save his career and preserve the popularity of folk music, he sank the Edmund Fitzgerald so that he could write a hit song about it in 1976.  Up until now, the plan worked. The song was a hit, and Gordon Lightfoot would forever be associated with the Edmund Fitzgerald. But now the truth has caught up with the musical terrorist.

THE OFFICIAL STORY IS FULL OF HOLES

Obviously anyone who is not a sheep can see that the official story of the Edmund Fitzgerald is full of holes. First of all, we’re supposed to believe that this massive ore freighter sank, in a lake.  Right. How many freighters do you know of which sank in a lake?  I’m guessing zero.  Seriously, name one.  Can you do it? I didn’t think so.

This is Lake Maracaibo, in Venezuela.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Maracaibo  As you can see, it’s very big.  Oil tankers go in and out of Lake Maracaibo all the time. Have any of them sank? No.  Well, maybe some did.  But I submit to you, dear reader, that none of the ships which sank in Lake Maracaibo were the Edmund Fitzgerald.

So we’re supposed to believe that this huge freighter was rocked by a storm on a lake so strong that not only did it sink, but it could not make for the shore and ground itself.  Right.  Perhaps this kind of thing happened in the 19th century, but in 1975? Sorry, but I don’t believe in fairy tales.

This thing sunk in a lake. Right.

This thing sunk in a lake. Right.

 THE SMOKING GUN

Of course the most damning evidence against the musical folk-terrorist Gordon Lightfoot lies in the lyrics of his famous, or shall I say, infamous song.  Let us look at a few clues from the song itself.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called “Gitche Gumee.” The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy.

Here we see two important facts.  The first important  fact, which will come up several times later in this expose, is that Lightfoot had intimate knowledge of not only Lake Superior itself, but also of the surrounding areas and the other lakes.  This would prove crucial in his mission to sink the freighter.  Second, note how he mentions that the lake ‘never gives up her dead’, in other words, he was counting on the fact that nobody would find the bodies.  No bodies, no autopsies, no signs of foul play.

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,

that good ship and true was a bone to be chewed

when the “Gales of November” came early.

 Here we see that just as Lightfoot knew the territory, he also knew the target.  He had intimate knowledge of the ship, its cargo, and most importantly, how vulnerable it would be to attack.  The only lie here is the accusation regarding the “gales of November.”  Gales, Mr. Lightfoot?  Is that what you call naval mines?  Never mind that for now, we’ll get to it later.

The ship was the pride of the American side

coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.

As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most

with a crew and good captain well seasoned,

concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms

when they left fully loaded for Cleveland.

And later that night when the ship’s bell rang,

could it be the north wind they’d been feelin’?

 Note how Lightfoot points out that the ship was “the pride of the American side.” In other words, the ship was an important asset in the Cold War, and obviously sinking it would garner much attention and sadness.  He also knew the ship’s destination.

At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,

 Here we might have the biggest smoking gun; Lightfoot actually knew the time that the main hatch caved in.  How could he have known that had he not been involved in the “accident?”

They might have split up or they might have capsized;

they may have broke deep and took water.

And all that remains is the faces and the names

of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

 They “might have split up or capsized”?  Yes, Mr. Lightfoot, they might have had they been struck by an explosive device like a naval mine.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings

in the rooms of her ice-water mansion.

Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams;

the islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario

takes in what Lake Erie can send her,

And the iron boats go as the mariners all know

with the Gales of November remembered.

 There is little of value in this verse, save for the fact that we once again see that Lightfoot had intimate knowledge of the territory.

 HOW DID HE DO IT?

This is an article about naval mines:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_mine

Note this sentence:  Mines can be laid in many ways: by purpose-built minelayers, refitted ships, submarines, or aircraft—and even by dropping them into a harbour by hand. They can be inexpensive: some variants can cost as little as US$1000, though more sophisticated mines can cost millions of dollars, be equipped with several kinds of sensors, and deliver a warhead by rocket or torpedo.

 Note that they can be inexpensive.  In any case, it is clear that in 1975, Gordon Lightfoot could have easily afforded a few mines at $1000 each.

There is also one more crucial detail, perhaps the most damning of all.  On the night of 10 November 1975, where exactly was Gordon Lightfoot?  Nobody knows, but I know where he wasn’t.  He wasn’t aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald.

CONCLUSION

Gordon Lightfoot sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in a callous attempt to preserve his career and the folk music genre.  It may seem unlikely, but nobody can say without a doubt that it is impossible.  Spread this story to your friends so that you can wake them up and demand a new investigation into the events of 10 November 1975.