Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm Turning In My Tinfoil Hat

I have seen the light. I have had an epiphany that has helped me get my mind right, as they say. No longer will I subscribe to loony conspiracy theories in political and economic matters. I must say that I came to my senses in the nick of time, because some of the things that I was coming up with were just downright wacky.

For instance, I used to think think bizarre things like: "A corporation's sole purpose for existence is to maximize profit. If it is efficiently managed, it will use every avenue of opportunity to do so." Pretty crazy, no? It gets worse. I have even said insane things such as, "The money that corporations and their associated PACs give to political campaigns equates to legalized bribery. These contributions cause politicians to forego their constituent's best interest for the best interests of the contributors." Daft, indeed.

In order to warn those of you who may have thought similar things, I have provided some of the kooky ideas that I have hatched, so that you may guard yourself from such foolishness.

1. I used to think that the War in Iraq had nothing to do with fighting terrorism, WMD, or bringing democracy to the region. Instead, I had this silly notion that an organization known as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which has openly called for American military domination of Iraq as early as 1998, was influencing the Bush administration's policies. I even cited "evidence" like the fact that many of the administration's ranking members (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz) had both key positions in the PNAC and close ties to the petroleum and defense industries. This led to the formulation of the nutty conclusion that the War in Iraq was designed to generate massive profits for military defense contractors and provide access to Iraqi crude to the oil conglomerates. How confused I was. Sure, Halliburton booked a 218% (pg. 31) increase in operating income last year, with tactics like no-bid contracts, but nobody said that democracy comes cheaply. Now that I'm enlightened, I realize that victory in Iraq is only a matter of time. Wow! That last sentence just demonstrates how dangerous this dangerous this conspiracy thinking really is. Allow me to correct myself: Now that I'm enlightened, I realize that victory in Iraq has been achieved and our mission accomplished.

2. Another ludicrous conspiracy theory that I'm almost ashamed to admit thinking is that Bankruptcy Reform was a brazen effort by the banking and credit industry to protect itself from the effects of current trade policies. To explain the fact that American consumer debt is at all time high, I would say insane things like, "Outsourcing and immigration are holding wages stagnant, while prices are consistently rising. Credit is bridging this gap." Of course, I would point to left-wing propaganda , regarding the record campaign contributions of credit companies immediately prior to the passage of the law, to convince myself that I was correct. I can see now, that I was only fooling myself. I'm sure that the real purpose of those contributions was to promote our great electoral process.

3. I had, yet, another one of these batty "evil corporations buying legislation to increase profits" conspiracy theories about Bush's Social Security Reform initiative. Now, it's no secret that Wall Street stands to benefit from privatized retirement accounts. So, when I took the top ten contributor's to Bush's 2004 presidential campaign and subtracted the credit companies buying Bankruptcy Reform, all but one were Wall Street brokerages. In my twisted thinking, I said, "Aha! Here is the real reason Bush is pushing for this. Wall Street wants to recreate the 401K-driven stock market bubble of the '90s." What a screwy conclusion that was. It is apparent to me now, that Wall Street has nothing but the best interests of Joe Lunchbucket and his heirs in mind when it encourages our government to enact such legislation. The possibility of a stock market crash is just more that nutty conspiracy garbage.

4. This blog is prima facie evidence that conspiracy thinking can even lead to paranoia. As you might have seen, I posted an absurdly unfair tirade about Constellation Energy and deregulation in Maryland. Before I published that post, I sanitized and even deleted previous blog entries, with the paranoid expectation that the post would generate unwanted traffic. What a wacky delusion that was!

I'm sure that Constellation Energy hired the nice folks at Cyveillance to google the terms "mayo shattuck" and "constellation energy" to get a handle on minimizing the adversity that their impending 72% rate hike is going to cause. Sure, I could listen to other nutjobs (1,2,3) internet who say that Cyveillance has little to do with web security and everything to do with identifying unfavorable content about its clients. Sure, I could point out that if Constellation is so strapped under price caps, how can the afford to pay Cyveillance for this service? That would just be more crazy conspiracy talk.

In conclusion, I am a changed man. I know, now, that our beloved democracy hasn't been breached by corporate profiteers. With all the progress that our country is making, I'm certain that a system will in place, within the next 20 years, to identify and assist other wrong-thinkers, just like I used to be. As the title states, I am, indeed, turning in my tin foil hat. Had I not have come to my senses, I would make some remark like, "I'm hoping to exchange my tinfoil hat for a stainless steel pie pan that can be affixed to the rear of my pants to prevent breaching of another sort." Those days are over. In fact, I'm off to celebrate Iraqi Liberation Day.


At 7:19 PM, Blogger Cham said...

You'll make George Bush oh so proud, what a good good American patriot! Now pony up your savings and your 401K to pay next months utility bill like a good boy, those energy corporations need your full support!!!!

Mission Accomplished.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger elcapitanhink said...

So! I'm too late. It seems the people over at the Egg Council have already gotten to you.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Broadsheet said...

THAT was a good piece of work. Must have taken you quite a while. Great links and great parody. My tin foil hat is off to you sir.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger eebmore said...

One visit for zero seconds, huh? Wow. Have you secured a good fake passport so you can flee the country yet? I’ve been wishing people a happy Iraqi Freedom Day all day today too.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger tfg said...

Cham-Does this mean I have to start liking Ann Coulter? I mean, I get to draw the line somewhere, right?

hink- It's better this way. I let my teevee do my thinking now.

broadsheet-Thanks. It didn't take too long. It takes longer when I try to be funny.

eebmore-Sitemeter can only compute visit times if the visitor goes to more than one page. The hits from an intellectual property law firm in CA, are the ones that I like.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Kira said...

i didn't realize that about sitemeter.
anyhow you will have to rent "the corporation" and we will have to reprogram you :)

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Lori said...

My TinFoil Hat off to you, good sir. Stephen Colbert will be proud.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger AnonymousCoworker said...

Welcome to the club. The line for the lobotomy starts to the right.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger doggerelblogger said...

I'm also thinking that, if Cyveillance hasn't figured out how (or the need) to mask their IP address, they're a bit short in the 'veillance department.

At 8:23 PM, Blogger elcapitanhink said...

The User Agent must be spoofed, as no self-repsecting robot runs through IE6.

What if its just some desk jockey over at CV Inc. who appreciates snarky commentary and pictures of random hairy body parts as much as we all do?

Maybe he's like Orwell's protagonist -- part of the apparatus but not down with the impetus: taking the paycheck while struggling to NOT be a total assclown spy?

Nah, Cyveillance don't just do it for the money.

They are all total shitbags.

At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And thus concluded the next chapter in "1984"...

Bush probably thanks god for Bin L. because without that event, he would have never been able to manipulate everything so far, so fast...


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