First, I should tell you that I am not a conspiracy theorist. I don't believe that Diebold rigs elections, that the deaths of Paul Wellstone and Mel Carnahan were the result of anything but bad-weather aviation accidents,and that we are covering up UFO's. I even believe that Oswald could have been acting alone.
But there are ten things I've always been curious about. Some are related to politics, some to popular culture and one to a deeply personal experience. I will mention each of them briefly here. These are only hunches, and I have not a smidge of proof on any of the possibilities I raise here.
Still,I'd love your comments and feedback.
1-Was The Al-Tipper Gore "Kiss" Planned By Consultants?- You likely remember the big,wet, enveloping kiss Al planted on Tipper during the 2000 Democratic National Convention. I remember two things at the time: 1-Al was trailing Bush in the polls among white males; and 2- he was already acting like a focus-group tested, consultant-driven robot. Al has always denied the kiss was planned, but I remain unconvinced that it wasn't.
2-Do We Know Where Osama Is, But Have Him Contained?-Let's say we have Osama's current location specifically triangulated. If indeed we do,there might be a defensive calculus that he is less harmful in hiding than he would be as a slain martyr, or a martyr on trial.
3.Do We Actually Have Osama?- This one is way out, so way out that I doubt it. But we keep on hearing about secret CIA prisons. The only time Osama has come out with a fresh video in the last three years was the weekend before the last Presidential election. An Osama-in-captivity could have been made available for such a video by selling him a bill of goods that this would help the re-election of a President reviled in much of the Muslim world.
4.Were the 2001 anthrax attacks a horribly botched exercise?-In those terrible weeks after 9/11, much was said about our inefficient infrastructure to respond to a biological terrorist attack. I can't totally dismiss that the anthrax mailings were a twisted exercise by some agency,or even a rogue agent, designed to test the response of our infrastructure. Keep in mind that various military authorities perform war games and exercises all the time. Could this have been a case of one gone horribly wrong?
5.Have Hillary and Bill always had an arrangement? - I would support Hillary for President in a heartbeat. I also know about the power of denial. But I have trouble believing she didn't know about Bill's infidelities. More likely, she always has known but put up with it because she's always recognized his brilliance, and that a Bill and Hillary team had benefits for both partners.
The next four are pop-culture related:
6.Are strings being pulled to block indictments in the Natalee Holloway investigation? Aruba is a Dutch colony, and the Dutch justice system has an unexcelled reputation for honesty. But still,it is an island. I would hope that indictments haven't been forthcoming because to do so would either involve implicating sons of island bigwigs, or force them to testify against violent individuals who would surely seek retribution.
7.Why did Michael Jordan suddently quit the NBA to go into minor league baseball? - The official reason given for this early 1990s move was that he was burned out on basketball, loved baseball and wanted to see how well he could do. That's plausible, even probable. But if you remember the circumstances back then,there was lots of talk about Jordan and high-stakes card games. I hope the real story was not that the NBA had some additional information on his gambling activities - but given Jordan's iconic status as a marketing machine, brokered the sabbatical in exchange for expunging his record and a perpetual vow of silence on the part of all parties.
8. Did Ben Affleck and Matt Damon really write all of "Goodwill Hunting?"- They won an Academy Award for writing this great flick. I thought and still think they were and are perfectly capable of writing a thorough treatment. But having been around writing and the entertainment industry for awhile,I know that it takes months of solitude to hammer out a script, and that ghostwriters are often used. If it ever came out that Ben and Matt wrote a lengthy treatment but a ghostwriter was used to fill out the script, I wouldn't be shocked.
9. Is there point-shaving in professional sports? We've never had a real scandal of this type in North American professional sports. But given that more than a few athletes have been involved in other illegal and immoral pursuits, am I to believe that no professional football, baseball or basketball game has ever had the final result affected by anything less than a complete effort on the part of every participant and official?
Now to something really personal:
10.Am I in communication with my late grandfather?- That may sound way up the woo-woo meter. But decades ago, sitting in a classroom at 11 a.m. on a warm May morning, I shivered for five seconds. Later that day I learned that he had died at that very instant. Four years later came the first life crisis that I beseeched him to request divine intervention on my behalf. Against long odds, it worked. In the more than three decades since then, I have gone that route about 20 more times. In each and every case, blessings have come that solved or diffused the crisis.
So -given that plus the fact that there were a couple of psychic connection moments with him even before his death- I have to wonder if that shiver I felt at the moment of his death was a signal from him that the protective closeness he had always provided to me would still be available somehow.
What do you think?