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The late unpleasantness in Las Vegas has the media and the people in a tizzy. Not much is known at this point, especially about the shooter’s motive(s). There is an evolving official narrative. And speculation abounds.

Of course, when anything like this happens, it spawns conspiracy theories. Some are so far-fetched as to defy imagination, literally sounding like bad science fiction. Yet others represent critical thinking, seemingly a dying art in America.

I’ve heard a little condemnation of the whole label of “conspiracy theory.” It’s like some want to only believe the official narrative repeated by the media and asserted by the government. There are several problems with this.

One: how, without a full investigation, can anyone claim to know much beyond the plainly obvious (i.e., that shots were fired at a mass of people in Las Vegas)?

Two, the government and their media pets have a horrible, centuries-old record of … misleading us. I’ll leave it at that.

And, three, the government itself loves a good conspiracy theory. The feds alone bring 4,000-5,000 conspiracy theory cases in court every year. They have a law for it, 18 U.S. Code § 371, (well, one specific, and maybe a dozen attendant acts).

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.

They use this law as an extra hammer in order to extort more guilty pleas. It works.

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If the feds charge Marilou Whatshername in connection with the LV shooting, rest assured they’ll charge her with a “conspiracy.” Any outside the box thoughts you might have are pure nuttery.

The same outfit that will criticize your sanity and your questioning of their stories – like even suggesting that the LV shooter might not have acted alone, that he, say, could have conspired with ISIS (who keeps claiming as much) – is the same crowd who will ask you to believe that any number of common criminals engaged in the same sort of outside conspiracy. Do as we say, not as we do.

Keep up the critical thinking if you can. Otherwise, keep the TeeVee warmed up.

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