Catchy title, huh? The question is: “How many people know what it means?” Chances are, with the exception of the most avid conspiracy theorists, not many.
And, this is a GOOD thing, too. It’s one of millions of unsubstantiated—no, STUPID—conspiracy theories that abound on the Internet.
This particular one began in New York City in 1992, a short time after Microsoft released version 3.1 of Windows. Its proponents claimed that Microsoft was using a font called Wingdings to send secret messages.
What was Microsoft’s purported message? Well, for people with non-functioning cerebral cortexes, it’s always been crystal clear: killing Jews is OK, especially those living in New York City.
What else could the letters, NYC combined with the symbols of a Skull and cross bones, a Star of David, and the “thumbs up” gesture possibly mean when displayed in this particular order?
Coincidence? Impossible! At least this is what the conspiracy theorists say. The order in which the symbols appear, absolutely rules out coincidence.
And, I agree! But, what these theorists fail to tell people is that someone created the whole thing by inserting the symbols in such a specific order; the Wingding font does not list them in the same adjacent order.
I’m not attempting to debunk this theory. People with 3-digit IQs know it’s pure fertilizer. My point is that some people will believe anything—level of wackiness ignored—especially in light of a “delicate” predisposition for doing so.
Here’s another one: Kentucky Fried Chicken makes black men impotent. To some racists; black, white, or whatever; this is an “etched-in-stone” fact.
These folks “know” something that the rest of society doesn’t: the Ku Klux Klan owns Kentucky Fried Chicken! And, they’ve laced the chicken with a top-secret chemical that makes ONLY black men impotent.
Impossible chemical reactions aside, the originator of this one simply failed to mention that numerous African-Americans own KFC franchises, in some instances… multiple franchises.
If it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right? So beware! George W. Bush, and others like him, belongs to a species of alien lizard-like shape-shifters out to conquer the world.
As well, the Jews own Hollywood and Wall Street, not to mention that scheming scientists developed AIDS in the “lab” as a genocidal means to wipe out the gays.
Unfortunately, these are but a handful out of thousands of far-fetched conspiracy theories, all as equally devoid of independent substantiation and enthusiastically subscribed to, in droves, by the intellectually incurious!
Regardless, maybe you’re wondering what set me off about conspiracy theories in the first place.
Well, more than anything, it was the receipt, this past week, of numerous emails urging ME to “demand” that the Secretaries of the various United States refuse to validate election results unless Barack Obama “proves” his U. S. citizenship. But, I’ll come back to this later on.
There is a much older conspiracy theory that has bugged me for about thirty years. Since we’ve just passed the 45th anniversary of JFK’s assassination (November 22, 1963 at 12:30PM), let me say a few words about IT first.
As many times as the “experts” have analyzed those horrible events using their fine toothcombs, the debate over the number of shots fired, number of assassins involved, and the origination point of the fatal shot still rages on.
Over the past ten years, I’ve viewed several televised analyses of JFK’s assassination, each one, in sequence, using technology that is ever more “modern.” The Discovery Channel did the most recent one, JFK: Inside the Target Car, on November 16, 2008.
It’s the best one, so far, in my opinion. They used state of the art blood spatter analysis, new, highly accurate artificial human body surrogates, plus very sophisticated, minutely detailed 3-D computer simulations to develop their findings.
In terms of sophistication, these modern investigatory tools are light-years ahead of anything we’ve had over the past 30-years.
As such, I accept Discovery Channel’s conclusions: the shots—all of them—came from the schoolbook depository and a lone assassin could easily have done the job.
Yet, some “experts,” many of which are self-appointed conspiracy buffs, still look for faults with the findings. And, they always find some, even if they have to make them up.
Conspiracy buffs cannot permit facts to supplant baseless preconceived notions. Doing so, even with new, precisely based evidence, may well lead people to the “wrong” conclusions.
Now, back to the status of Barack Obama’s U. S. citizenship and the myriad subjective Internet sites purporting that the man is NOT a United States citizen and, therefore, ineligible to hold the Office of President.
Mind you, none of them has “proof” for such claims, only rumors supported by innuendo and wishful thinking.
After all, how in God’s name—the Christian God, of course—could an obvious “socialist,” especially a black one with an “Arab” middle name like Hussein, be a genuine U. S. Citizen, let alone become President of the United States?
I’m a scientific researcher by professional choice. This makes me a colossal skeptic, one who accepts NOTHING at face value.
Three sources: two independent fact-checking websites and the difficult to search Congressional Record, have concluded that Barack Obama is a U. S. Citizen. Check them out.
Both www.factcheck.org and www.politifact.com investigated the issue and found it without merit; he’s a bonafide citizen of this country. You can read a practically based but highly logical conclusion by clicking here.
While the reference carries the full text of the conclusion, in its complete context, I’m including a short excerpt below.
“…Because if this document is forged, then they all are.”
“If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud. They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies…”
As a dedicated skeptic, I audit everyone and question everything. Like Bill Cosby, I’m even skeptical of children beyond the age of 4-years. They sometimes lie like the dickens!
So, I’m surely not going to trust that any politician would not subvert the truth in order to win an election. And, this includes Barack Obama, my admiration for him notwithstanding.
However, when a mountain of circumstantial evidence surrounding his citizenship points to the likelihood that he did no such thing, sound reason dictates that cerebral reasoning dominate visceral hunches.
Granted, I supported Barack Obama because I think he’s precisely what this country needs right now: an unapologetic practicing intellectual, interested in ideas and quite comfortable with complexity.
Simply stated, he avoided using worn out sound bites during his long campaign because he’s routinely understood that contradictions and uncertainties permeate the real world, regardless of misguided, politicians’ pandering attempts at mollifying our fears.
Not once during his campaign did he ever “test the waters” to see what we were buying. He remained resolute to his vision as to where he wanted to take the nation.
Steadfastly, he remained true to his belief that either an electorate majority would agree with him or it wouldn’t. If it turned out to be the latter, he was resolved to the fact that he would not be the 44th President of the United States.
And, he was comfortable with the notion. Had John McCain conducted his campaign in a similar fashion, he might now be the President-elect. But, he failed to do so!
Political mileages vary, however. I respect the variances. But, in this case, something more substantial than a phony charge of non-citizenship was stupidity personified.
In politics, subjective, preconceived notions on behalf of the clueless have always trumped objective facts. It’s a matter of human nature. We hear what we want to hear.
As Mark Twain so aptly put it, ”The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.”
Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. You may comment on his column by clicking here.