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Hurricane Watcher @GodlessNZ
, 28 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
(1) "Conspiracy theories being closed systems indifferent to probability and immune to evidence, the report did nothing to curtail speculation about the cause of Hastings’s death."

A detailed, 7-page article on "who or what killed Michael Hastings?"…
(2) I've spent most of my life (48yrs) thinking about how people can determine what is real & what is not. In college I learned how to write in a "scholarly way," then learned on-the-job how to write credible policy reports 4 politicians, then retired & did "self-directed study."
(3) Medical issues forced me to retire far younger than I wanted to. I LOVED my job analyzing policy options, advising decision makers (Cabinet members), & drafting PR talking points. Still, I gained "intellectual freedom" to study & say whatever I want.
(4) My newly freed mind wandered onto examining the Christian faith in which I had been raised but, oddly, not the liberal politics that went with it. That came in 2016, when my disgust at the DNC for nominating the worst presidential candidate in modern history caused #WalkAway.
(5) Throughout 2016 & 2017 I considered the merits of many conspiracy theories. My self-directed education process changed my understanding of world history, particularly concerning the causes, events, & effects of WWI & WWII. These are of critical relevance to politics today.
(6) There are conspiracy theorists on the left & right (or *however* you want to describe the political spectrum or scene; getting unduly hung up on semantics is one of the most effective to waste the time of yourself & others.)

No political party has a monopoly on gullibility.
(7) I consider myself a Republican first, a conservative second, & everything else after that. IMO the only way to stop the slide towards violent communism-fascism is to support the largest conservative-leaning party. In NZ, I vote National now. I'd #VoteGOP in the US.
(8) Therefore, I enjoy seeing gullibility among Democrats & their: voters, foreign friends, & PR arm, the MSM.

I believe those at the top KNOW they're lying, & they laugh at the gullibility of their voters.

But I don't enjoy seeing conspiracy theorist gullibility on our side.
(9) Crucially, I don't believe all the conspiracy-believing folk who *say* they support the GOP President ARE on our side. There's strong evidence that many of the peddlers of it are NOT on our side. Trying to determine the genuineness of every Twitter a/c I see wd take forever.
(10) Which brings me to all this "Q" nonsense. A (very) small number of Twitter a/cs by people I have conversed with by DM, some for years, are open to "Q" being at least a benign phenomenon, potentially raising awareness among some groups among the public. Fine. I let that go.
(11) I'm talking about the hard core "Q" believers here. The ones whose comments are duplicitous, ignorant, & rude in an interpersonal sense.

You're free to be rude & disrespectful to me here if you want. I'm free to enforce boundaries of my choosing.
(12) Recently, while reading the tweets of an interlocutor I came across his or her claims about the death of Michael Hastings after the car he was driving hit a tree in LA. I've written about cases of celeb/public figure sudden death dozens of times on Twitter...
(13) My previous govt jobs sometimes required me to read coroner's reports on homicide, suicide, road traffic accidents, & so on. Thinking about how coroners assess evidence & use judicial principles to determine cause of death taught me a lot about these kinds of cases.
(14) In the real world, judicial officers like coroners have to use time-honored methods & principles, so I try to use them too. Coroners don't think like conspiracy theorists do.

I can tell, right away, when I'm reading or hearing a conspiracy theorist.
(15) The 7-page 2013 article at the start of my thread is very detailed. Unusually, the journalist has done a thorough investigation. The number of such articles has dwindled to a trickle in 2018. Which encourages amateur conspiratorial "thinking."
(16) I predict that those who feel Hastings was murdered for political reasons will attack my reliance on a NYMag article, & the really reckless among them will even comment on the ethnicity of some in the media industry. Which gets an instablock from me.
(17) I consider the NYMag in 2018 a highly dubious source. However, for longer than I can remember, I have tried to assess MSM articles on a case by case basis.

Dismissing everything written in the liberal media obstructs my work to address conspiracy theories.
(18) While my support for the GOP & similar parties outside the USA is a binary, non-negotiable thing, my assessment of information sources is not. The facts of a case can be reported through a media outlet that is anti-American, anti-freedom & anti- the rule of law. OK with me.
(19) If it were possible to ensure I never see on my laptop any sources that are anti-American, anti-freedom & anti- the rule of law, I'd have very few information sources left.

#PrincipledRealism is the foreign policy #TrumpDoctrine. It works in every area of life, too.
(20) "What harm does it do to question things?"

This is a strawman assertion (see: logical fallacies.)

They're not merely questioning things. They have lined up behind a "theory" or set of beliefs about a situation, with an agenda they want to see happen.
(21) For the more innocent believers, the conspiracy theory gives them a feeling of comfort, of special knowledge. A lot of them couldn't cope with accepting the reality that the world really is a dangerous, uncertain, unfair place. Substance abuse can lead to tragedy.
(22) Of course I accept that *some* sudden deaths are politically motivated hit jobs.

It's just that whether a case belongs in that very small group depends on the evidence/facts of the case, & if those are insufficient, my default is a benign cause, unless new info arises.
(23) Substance abuse disorders are so common that all of us will know someone who has/had one. When a loved one dies from their illness, there is a lot of (unwarranted) shame, guilt & blame thrown around.

The family of Michael Hastings don't believe he was murdered.
(24) Now, Seth Rich clearly *was* murdered. And the DC Police bosses are notoriously suspect in cases of potential political homicide. There are many unanswered questions.

But some speak with absolute certainty about the cause of his death.

IMO it doesn't do us any favors.
(25) As many have argued, including me, promoting the belief that posts by "Q" are special inside knowledge from within the Trump WH is unhelpful at best, & dangerous at worst.

False beliefs can lead some people to commit acts of violence. Now,
(26) I'm not saying that ALL false beliefs can lead some people to commit acts of violence, or that suppressing speech about false beliefs is possible or supportable. Clearly it's neither.

Q promoters will keep doing it, forever. I can't talk them out of it. But I can...
(27) I can offer my thoughts on the situation, & they may help people understand it & express their views on it.

I find I have to detail in threads my reasons for my opinions, so I can link the thread in response to a comment. Otherwise I have to constantly reinvent the wheel.
(28) Most online criticism of Q promotion is made by the Democrat side. They laugh, like I laugh at the gullibility on their side. Few on the GOP side are writing detailed critique of Q promotion.

I offer my ideas to all. Suggestion: take what you like & leave the rest.

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