12.27.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Border Fence Chaos (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Border Fence Chaos

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
December 27, 2011 2:24PM

BorderAuthorities in Finland have allegedly discovered 69 smuggled U.S. Patriot missiles and 150 tons of explosives bound for China in crates labeled “fireworks.”

Controversy over the National Defense Authorization Act, which some civil rights groups thinks will legalize indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, is heating up on the internet right before Obama is set to sign it into law.

In related news, Twitter is again accused of censoring news about SOPA, OWS and the National Defense Authorization Act. The company has denied all previous conspiracy theories about coverups.

Some will try anything to conquer an annoying cold. But brain-eating amoeba might be a bit of overkill…

Some suspect these overwhelming displays of grief from North Koreans over the death of dictator Kim Jong Il to be mass-staged for state television. But it’s not like he’s still watching them… or is he?

How did a former British paratrooper manage to run a thriving bar in Baghdad right next door to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq? Apparently, they had one great Iraqi fixer.

These former Texans now living on the Mexican side of the border fence insist they are still U.S. citizens.

On a related note, it looks like the only immigrant population the Arizona border fence has succeeded in reducing are black bears. To be fair, the bears admitted they were here to take our jobs.

12.26.2011 – Occupy Wall Street Using Toy Helicopters to Record Cops (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Occupy Wall Street Using Toy Helicopters To Record Cops

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
December 26, 2011 2:43PM

CopsCount Occupy Wall Street down, but not out.

The NYC faction of the movement has just invented a whimsical, but potentially effective, tool in response to what they say is overbearing surveillance, police violence, and the barring of photographers and journalists from protests: a toy helicopter.

Bought cheaply online, the device is controllable from an iPhone and rigged with a tiny camera that can record and stream video in real time to the social video website, Ustream…

Though just successfully tested a couple of days ago, the so-called “Occucopter” already has a Facebook page and is chronicling its adventures in counter-surveillance on its very own Twitter feed.

The mini-chopper is the brainchild of Tim Pool, a New York-based tech specialist, multimedia journalist and OWS supporter who has already gained some fame for his live chat-enabled Ustream broadcasts from Occupy encampments nationwide. Pool’s latest innovation: installing 3G cellular controllers to vastly extend the Occucopter’s range.

Will we soon see police battling hundreds of hovering, buzzing toy spy drones controlled by multiple operators, who could be thousands of miles away? And could this technology, intended to keep tabs on police abuses, be turned used for more nefarious purposes?

Some observers fear the ramifications of an escalating drone race much like the nuclear arms race of the 1980s, where authorities could justify their own use of drones by pointing to devices like the Occucopter. Think about it: a remotely-operated drone chopper could live-stream your wife taking a shower.

We may not have to wait long for the brave new world of Big Brother warfare. But for now, the live-streaming of Occupy events continues. Recently, Occupy Albany was being forced to move out of their encampment. Tim Pool – and his Occucopter – were there, documenting the eviction live on Ustream.

12.22.2011 – Mystery Robocalls Push Hillary Clinton for President (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Mystery Robocalls Push Hillary Clinton For President

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
December 22, 2011 10:43AM

Hillary-Clinton-2008Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly denied that wants to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination against her boss, Barack Obama. But that hasn’t stopped those disappointed in Obama from pushing her to run.

Now there’s a bizarre twist. This week, voters around the country reported a wave of annoying robo-calls from an anonymous group calling itself Hillary Run 2012. Suspiciously, the calls started right after two Democratic pollsters wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal urging Obama to step aside for Clinton…

The group’s website claims they are a “project of the 99%” and links to an online petition urging Hillary to go for the nomination. But it identifies no administrator and gives no contact information, and so far journalists’ attempts at finding out who is behind it have come to naught.

The most obvious culprit would be Hillary supporters. But the sheer amount of robo-calls, their tendency to target journalists who will then publicize them, the co-opting of Occupy Wall Street’s popular slogan, and their occurrence in key battleground states have spawned rumors that conservative interests are actually behind them. After all, any Republican nominee stands to benefit from a fracturing of Democratic support for Obama, and no less a conservative than Dick Cheney has argued that Clinton should run.

Listen to a clip of the robo-call and make your own judgment.
Image: TalkAbout at en.wikipedia

12.21.2011 – Covered-Up UFO Spotted in Kansas (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Covered-Up UFO Spotted In Kansas

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
December 21, 2011 2:55PM

X47BIs the military transporting a UFO cross-country under our noses?

An unnamed transport company asked the sheriff of Cowley County, Kansas to keep quiet about a mysteriously shrouded 32-foot silver spheroid they hauled down Highway 77 yesterday. Though not flying or even hovering, the massive unidentified object did rest on a flatbed truck and was so wide, county officials were forced to remove traffic signs to make way for it.

It took over an hour for the craft to cross the county, and in that time police and local news outlets received a barrage of UFO calls from alarmed residents.

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman said the object was actually one of that company’s unmanned aerial combat crafts, the X-47B (seen above), which, with wings tarped and folded up, might resemble a classic UFO. The company said they were hauling the drone cross-country to Maryland for military test flights.

But why all the secrecy for an aircraft whose existence is public knowledge, and that the company admits probably won’t be operational until 2014?  And why no comment from the military?

12.16.2011 – Could These be the Dumbest Holiday Songs Ever? (Multimedia for TruTV.com Dumb as a Blog)

10 dumb songs that will make you hate the holidays

by Benjamin J Spencer
December 16, 2011 12:02 PM

SantaThe holidays are the season for giving.

Unfortunately, they are also the season for taking into your earholes those most stubborn of modern social engineering tools: Christmas songs.

These jaunty dirges are hammered into our brain every December, and they mostly sound like a civilization dying. The only way to escape them is to sequester yourself for a couple of months in a nuclear bunker.

We’re not talking about Ye Olde Yuletide Carols of yore. At the very least, those are at least still good for guzzling mead and cracking greedy old miser’s hard hearts.

No, we’re talking about a commercial trend crafted by 20th century record companies and their songwriting cronies to make some scratch off of a public increasingly desperate for a little holiday joy.

But the following 10 holiday classics go beyond cynical and enter the realm of the truly dumb.

1. Do They Know It’s Christmas? –
Band Aid

Could this be the dumbest holiday song ever? Let’s consult our “Earnest 1980s Charity Song” checklist. Lurid, bash-you-over-the-head lyrics? Check. The vocal talents of Boy George and Phil Collins? Got it. Deafening wash of tubular bells and synthesized drums? Done. This 1984 single was meant to highlight hunger in Ethiopia – where the lyrics claim “the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears” – and happily it raised over $100 million for famine relief there. But to today’s ears the lyrics represent heights of pampered rock star cluelessness only eclipsed by Band Aid’s next hit single: We are the World.

2. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
– Elmo & Patsy

It’s time to permanently retire this novelty one-off about a terrible family tragedy. Unless you think there’s something inherently hilarious about a lonely alcoholic grandmother, neglected by her family on Christmas Eve, stumbling off alone into the woods only to be fatally mowed down by a hundred tons of venison on the hoof. Dear old Grandpa then celebrates her death on his recliner while the family contemplates raiding her gifts. Good old-fashioned fun, this “holiday classic”.

3. A Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney & Wings

The only explanation for what is surely the laziest, most dispirited, and ugliest-sounding Christmas song ever committed to tape: Sir Paul must have lost a bet with Ringo. Now the world should rise up and demand an explanation for why every soft-rock station in the country plays this joyless piece of crap at least once an hour throughout December.

4. I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake

The holidays are here.  So just kick back by the fire with a flagon of eggnog, forget your troubles, flip on the old stereo – and treat yourself to an insufferably whiny, self-righteous political diatribe masquerading as a Christmas song. As if the finger-pointing at all us consumerist saps (and the onslaught of Moog synthesizers) weren’t enough, we also get Floyd-ish dark sarcasm and blood-curdling images of war and death.  Merry Christmas, baby-killers!

5. The Chipmunk Song – Alvin and the Chipmunks

This unaccountably popular holiday ditty was originally performed in 1958 by a pre-teen rodent boy band who were being exploited by a wily producer. Can you say animal abuse? But sell records – and “h-u-u-u-la  h-o-o-o-ps” – it surely did. A pop-punk update, featured on the recent Chipmunks animated movie, is even more annoying than the original, if possible.

6. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

The cheery holiday message of this song: forget about all that spirit of giving stuff and appreciating the company of friends and family. Instead, wallow in self-pity and mope about the girl who ran out on you. I can’t imagine why she’d want to leave such a bundle of joy.

7. A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris de Burgh

This Nativity song for the New Age crowd re-imagines the angel Gabriel as a wise alien from another world who appears to Mary and her saintly tot on an interstellar mission of peace. In de Burgh’s version, which he supposedly penned after reading Erich Von Daniken’s UFO- religion staple Chariots of the Gods?, the star of Bethlehem is actually the alien’s ship hovering above the manger.  ‘Nuff said. De Burgh would go on to achieve 1980’s junior prom immortality with his top 40 Billboard hit Lady in Red.

8. Any and all recordings where dogs/cats meow/bark along to “Jingle Bells

This abomination needs to end, once and for all. If Congress is forced to amend the Bill of Rights to allow an exception to free speech protections, so be it.  Until that glorious day, please: I am begging you. Stop sampling dogs and cats and inserting their pitched yowls into Christmas songs.  You may think it is “cute.” You may even think it is “clever”. You are unequivocally wrong.

9. Santa, Baby – Eartha Kitt

As much fun as it is to watch Ms. Kitt growl these lyrics, let’s all remember that she is purring about Santa.  This nauseatingly graphic come-on to everyone’s favorite fat jolly old elf is possibly the creepiest, most lecherous popular Christmas song ever, reinforced by the original Catwoman’s coy vocals. Let’s just hope the narrator never got her claws into dear Santa – where is Mrs. Claus anyway? – and that she got some help for her sex addiction.

10. Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas) – John Denver

The late, great John Denver must have been (Rocky Mountain) high when he dropped this miserable honky-tonk track lamenting alcoholic dysfunction at the holidays. Of course, the golden-voiced Denver couldn’t have sounded melancholic if he tried, so the whole affair ends up a queasy mismatch between his sunny, swelling vocals and the unimaginably dark material. Nonetheless, the song inspired even more spirit-crushing covers by the likes of Alan Jackson and the Decemberists.

12.3.2011 – Martian Probe: Failed Alien Bio-Weapon? (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Martian Probe: Failed Alien Bio-Weapon?

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
December 3, 2011 12:23PM

ProbeEarth has plenty of reasons to worry when the failed Russian probe Phobos-Grunt eventually hurtles, flaming, out of orbit and crashes onto our planet. On Friday, the European Space Agency gave up trying to contact the craft, and even Russia appears ready to abandon hope a month after they mysteriously lost contact with it.

Not to worry, you might say. After all, didn’t German and U.S. satellites hurtle out of orbit much the same way earlier this year? That turned out fine. After which I would reply: you poor, deluded fool.

Phobos-Grunt, which could crash land as soon as January, is far deadlier than any hunk-of-junk satellite. First, it is loaded with tons of highly combustible rocket fuel intended to propel the craft on a course to the tiny, mysterious Martian moon Phobos (which, incidentally, may not be a moon at all, but a hollow satellite built by the Martians to house the remains of their dying civilization – or even a ship).

Compounding the insanity, a California lab decided to infest the probe with live microbes before sending it on its way to Mars, to the unease of scientists everywhere (the microbial morons also apparently forgot that deadly microbes become even deadlier in space.)  The only explanation for this move: it was a naïve college experiment to test the plot believability of Grade Z 1980s zombie movies.

Now to the real question: Was the probe even designed for space travel? Or was it intentionally prepared by Russia and China to become a giant flaming biological weapon and wreak havoc among Western governments? Or even worse: wage interplanetary biological war against Martians? (A dedicated YouTube researcher has laid out just such a chilling case.)

Ah, an alien nemesis. We knew it couldn’t have been just a coincidence that so many Mars probe missions have been mysteriously cursed.

But wait, there’s more. Now the Russians themselves have suggested that HAARP – the remote and high-tech Alaskan U.S. radar site that America claims is innocently studying the ionosphere – disrupted their communications to the probe, causing the failure. The HAARP project, well-known to the Conspiratorium, has been blamed for deliberately unleashing deadly storms and earthquakes. Could it be a giant weather weapon that took down little Phobos-Grunt?

So much intrigue surrounding one dead probe circling the Earth. No wonder that in Greek and Russian, Phobos-Grunt means, literally “fear soil.”
Photo by MKonair.

11.26.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup – What China and the Mall Have in Common (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: What do China and the Mall Have in Common?

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 26, 2011 10:37AM
Mayan ProphecyA Mexican museum recently revealed the “Comolcalco Brick”, an ancient Mayan fragment containing the only other known reference to the end of Baktun 13… a.k.a. the rumored end-of-world date of 2012. But the museum secreted the brick away in storage for years, and even the ancient Mayans kept the inscription hidden behind stucco. Why?Are these Occupy Wall Street protesters really stockbrokers and cops?A truly Black Friday: some malls have started using covert antennae to track shoppers from store to store using their cell phone signals.

But that’s not all. Recent government reports suggest that Chinese telecommunications equipment such as servers and routers might contain spyware.

And the conspiracy to discredit global warming has a new trick up its sleeve: a new scientific study claimsthat all the dire warnings of catastrophic climate change have been greatly exaggerated, despite doubling CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.A British church told HIV-sufferers that they were cured by prayer and that they could throw away their medications. Six of them died, and others infected partners. The church then blamed them for not praying “genuinely”.

11.23.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: the Case of the Runaway Millionaire (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: The Case of the Runaway Millionaire

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 23, 2011 6:36AM

Hugh GrantWhat could have spooked a suspicious man in surf shorts into fleeing a Sydney, Australia Italian restaurant today? More importantly, what could have possibly spooked him enough to abandon a suitcase stuffed with $1.28 million in that restaurant??

No celebrity is safe. Hugh Grant is convinced that tabloids are still hacking his phone lines and using other illegal spy techniques, even after Murdoch’s NewsCorp debacle.

The mysterious group of Anonymous activist hackers has a new target: the UC Davis police officer who was filmed pepper-spraying peaceful student protestors.

Speaking of pepper spray: though it’s largely seen as harmless, turns out it’s more dangerous than we think.

Thirty years later, the case of Natalie Wood’s suspicious death has been reopened by the LA County Sheriff’s Department in light of substantial new information from an eyewitness.

Global warming, HAARP, or the end of days? No matter the explanation, the world’s weather has been flip-flopping more rapidly from warm to cold and rain to shine.

11.22.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Aliens, Yeti and Dolphins (Oh My!) (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Aliens, Yetis and Dolphins

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 22, 2011 7:14AM

Dolphins photo by Jesslee Cuizon
Those smelly Yeti are leaving their tree-nests all over Siberia again, angering environmentalists with their wanton destruction. Patience, tree huggers. Give the Yeti time to develop ecological consciousness.

In Southern Ranches, Fla, elected officials secretly kept their plan to let the federal government build the nation’s largest illegal immigrant detention center from their own constituents for a decade. The town’s immigrant activists and immigrant-fearers now agree on something: they’re pissed.

The U.S. military may soon be able to identify you – yes, you there, hiding in that crowd – by your heartbeat, with Star Trek-style life-form readers.

Could this bizarre skull, mummified in a Peruvian city, be an alien?

After receiving an unspecified number of death threats, Herman Cain is officially the first Republican candidate to request and receive permission to employ the Secret Service as security.

Egad. Do we have yet another foiled New York City bomb plot?

Bored with simply smuggling us blow, Sinaola, the largest Mexican cartel, has been plotting to deliver major strikes to U.S. targets,in Mexico City.

Meet America’s elite marine mammal fighting force!

Italian scientists conducting experiments in what resembles the Galactic Senate Chamber from Star Wars (sans crappy CGI) thumb their noses at Einstein and conclude that neutrinos are faster than light.

11.18.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Goodbye Monkey Crotch. Hello Censorship (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Goodbye Monkey Crotch, Hello Censorship

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 18, 2011 2:56PM
Gobi desert
Could the Congress-proposed Stop Internet Piracy Act result in censorship of the World Wide Web? Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL,  and eBay seem to think so.

What are the gigantic, mysterious patterned structures spotted by Google Maps satellites in China’s Gobi desert? Messages to alien visitors? Target practice for missiles? Or simply an innocent tool to calibrate China’s spy satellites?

If upstate New Yorkers didn’t have enough reasons to distrust hydro-fracking, here’s another one: it’s suspected to have caused hundreds of small earthquakes in the Midwest.

Well, perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to follow Pakistan’s lead and ban “monkey crotch” on the internet and in text messages. No good can come from that phrase.

Why have the Feds suddenly become reluctant to continue declassifying decades-old spy satellite imagery? (And did anyone even know we have something called a “National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency”?)

And  Russia’s military chief warned that NATO expansion to its former satellite republics could provoke nuclear wars.