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.

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11.11.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Satanic Rituals? (for TruTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Satanic Rituals

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 11, 2011 4:49PM

Poster_363px_REUTERS-LandovThere’s a new drug war brewing. This time, it’s between Anonymous and the Mexican cartels, as their campaign of terror against bloggers and social media continues.

Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s “doctor,” speaks! We still want to know if MJ actually faked his death.

The mysterious (and very, very obscure) Lake Ogopogo Monster – revealed? This guy with a video camera seems to think so.

Was a “Satanic ritual” (and threesome) behind the alleged sexual assault and stabbing of a man?

How much does the internet weigh? About as much as a strawberry, according to this dude. (Here’s another ridiculous fact, courtesy of yours truly: if all the sites on the internet were a strawberry, the non-pornographic sites on the internet would only comprise about the stem and maybe a couple of those leaf thingies.)

And Japanese researchers have taken a giant robotic step toward our inevitable future subjugation by… robots, of course. Asimo, the world’s most advanced robot, has been vastly improved.

11.4.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: TSA Coverup? (for truTV.com Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: TSA Coverup

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
November 4, 2011 8:11AM

TSA
Seriously, is Mitt Romney just messing with us now? And we called John Kerry a flip-flopper; this other Massachusetts Presidential hopeful has even more explaining to do do.

The U.S. Dept of Homeland Security is hoping that terrorists are just as insecure and self-obsessed as many Twitter users are.

The power of cold fusion: it’s not just for god-awful Keanu Reeves action movies anymore. A new Italian thingamajigger appears to prove the mysterious energy reaction exists; but not one scientist has any earthly explanation how.

Surprising no one, it turns out the TSA glossed over cancer concerns caused by full-body scanners.

Somehow, we knew this, but still: a whopping 30 U.S. companies paid not a dime in income tax over the last three years.

10.29.2011 – Conspiracy Roundup: Population Control Shocker (for truTV.com’s Conspiratorium)

Conspiracy Roundup: Population Control Shocker

Benjamin J Spencer
By Benjamin J Spencer
October 29, 2011 3:21PM

What a coincidence: ABC and CBS both claimed “technical difficulties” at the same time protesters getting teargassed by the coppers in Oakland, then cut away.

We agree: this conspiracy theory about how John Elway wants Tim Tebow as a starting quarterback so he can fail and they “can get rid of him” is a head-scratcher.

Jonathan Nolan, writer of the new show “Person of Interest” and brother of director Christopher, talks about his Facebook conspiracy theory.

There’s an obvious attempt by the mainstream media to discredit Occupy Wall Street by painting its goals as confusing or hard to understand. Not so, says Slate.

This liberal blog explores the “reason” Rick Perry wants to see Obama’s report card.

Am I alone, or a Neo-Luddite, to think that this Glorious Vision of our Shared Utopian Future has a sinister edge to it?

Major food companies are starting to reject genetically-modified Monsanto corn.

And is population control just a conspiracy by rich countries, threatened by change, to keep the poor down? Or is it a new form of eugenics? This is an interesting take on a usually unquestioned assumption.

10.08.2011 – Florida County Bans “Toxic Substance” In Your Drinking Water (for truTV.com)

Florida County Bans “Toxic Substance” In Your Drinking Water

By Benjamin J. Spencer
October 8, 2011 5:13PM

The Tea Party hates pearly white teeth, or at least their latest publicity stunt might have you believe.

On Tuesday, despite organized dissent from a conspiracy of dentists, Pinellas County, Florida commissioners voted to stop placing fluoride in the area’s drinking water. This comes after heated testimony like that of one local Tea Party activist, who told the St. Petersburg Times that fluoride was a “toxic substance” pushed by “so-called globalists in our government.”

Another resident informed the county commission that the Nazis fluoridated the water supplies of Jewish ghettos – a claim the Times found was refuted by historians.

Remarks like these echo long-running theories about the possible health hazards of fluoride. Among the rumors: a sinister industrial and pharmaceutical disinformation campaign, fueled by greed and money and dating back to the 1920s, is using the chemical to turn Americans into compliant “zombies.”

But not all of the objections to water fluoridation are overheated, historically dubious or just plain crazy.

Some scientists don’t seek a full ban, knowing fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, but they cite health concerns from ingesting too much of the chemical, and the Centers for Disease Control recently recommended that the level of acceptable fluoride in water supplies be reduced, as children in some parts of the country have been found to have too many spots on their teeth, an indication of excessive fluoride.

According to the same CDC, however, the flouridation of water was “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,” but it’s a tough sell to people still stuck in the 1770s.

02.24.2011 – New York’s Asian Immigrants MIssing Social Services – CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS

NY’s Asian immigrants missing social services

The Asian-American communities in New York City have grown too quickly for social services to keep up, according to a new report released Thursday.

By Benjamin J. Spencer
Published: February 24, 2011 – 3:58 pm
A new report from a Chinatown nonprofit concludes that Asian-American communities in New York City have grown so fast over the past decade that their constituents no longer have adequate access to social services like health care and English-as-a-second-language programs.Asian Americans for Equality, a longtime booster of immigrant education and housing equality in the city, released the report Thursday. The research focused on nine neighborhoods throughout the city whose Asian-American populations totaled 25% or more. It found that although Asian-Americans represent over 12% of the metropolitan area’s population, Asian-American-led community groups receive only about 1% of the city’s social service contracts.“Asian-American communities have really grown beyond the traditional enclaves in New York”, said Douglas Nam Le, author of the report. “The question is, are they represented? Have the community boards kept up?”

Mr. Le said traditional Asian family structures favor economic cooperation among family members, and because of high rents and low wages, a large number of family members are often squeezed into the same house or apartment to cut costs. This distorts household income reports, he said. For his report, Mr. Le analyzed data from U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys, conducted monthly from 2005-2009.

“The way that these social service contracts are set up sometimes excludes certain ethnicities,” Mr. Le said. He added that in many of the city’s Asian-American families, “even though there’s relative parity in household income, per capita income is lower than the neighborhood average.”

Mr. Le said he hopes the results of the 2010 Census, to be released later this year, will help spur more affordable housing and better social service access for the emerging and rapidly shifting groups, who often must travel far from their own neighborhoods to Flushing, Queens, or Manhattan’s Chinatown to obtain needed services.

“We get a lot of calls from the outer boroughs, like Brooklyn,” said Vanessa Leung, deputy director of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families. Long travel times mean that “people probably are not going to seek preventative care from health clinics,” she said. “It’s an additional barrier, especially if they have to take time off work.”

The report also found many smaller Asian-American groups lacked access to English language instruction in their neighborhoods.

Kelly Magee, a spokeswoman for City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who co-founded Asian Americans for Equality back in 1974 and represents the Chinatown district, issued a statement saying that, without basic ESL programs, immigrant “access to social services, jobs, and engagement with the wider political arena is limited.”

“Furthermore, as the makeup of traditional immigrant neighborhoods evolve, it is important for long-term residents to have the capacity and organization to influence such changes, not be victimized or further isolated by them,” the statement said.

Deep cuts in city social services due to the economic downturn have only worsened the isolation, said Linda Lee, an executive director of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York.

As one of the largest Korean-American social service groups in the city, the nonprofit runs an adult daycare center, two senior centers, a meals-on-wheels program and an ESL center. But Ms. Lee said a more than 30% cut in city funding last year led to a 100-person wait list for English language instruction.

“We try our best to accommodate the needs,” Ms. Lee said. “But it’s kind of difficult.”

01.21.2011 – Slideshow – NYC Job Sectors: Growing and Slowing – CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS

Job sectors: growing and slowing

By Benjamin J Spencer

Photography by Buck Ennis