Looking for Truth: The Moon, Jesus, 9/11 and Taxes

I contact juggle throughout most of the day, this isn’t a surprise to many of you. Here is a typical dialogue:Not 1 goddamn star.

Q: “What is that?”
F: “A ball.”
Q: “No, I mean, what is it your doing.”
F: “It’s called contact juggling, it involves-”
Q: “Are you using magnets?”
F: “No, it’s really just a matter of balan-”
Q: “Or strings…”

Would you say Q is skeptical or denying the facts?

The point I’m trying to illustrate with this banter is that skeptics do not refute reality in the face of evidence, deniers do. Lately I’ve found an alarming amount of popular material purported as skeptical of common events. I’m going to highlight a few of these and hopefully give you the facts you need to battle this sort of absurdity.

Moon Landing
This classic is being shot down first because it’s relatively simple and most people will agree outright that Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon on July 12th, 1969.

This illustrates my first point: You were lied to.

Not that the moon landing didn’t happen, it did. It happened on the 20th of July in 1969, not the 12th. If you were reading this, however, you probably didn’t second guess me when I said the 12th, because I presented it as fact and I’m reasonably well written (spoken?). Presentation is what make the vast majority of conspiracy theories believable.

For the sake of the article consistency:

Claim: The moon landing was a US government orchestrated hoax to win the cold war.

There weren’t any stars in any of the photos.

  • The photos were shot during the daytime, which means it was too bright for any stars to be seen. Take a camera and take a picture of the sky during the day, light doesn’t act any differently on the moon than on earth.

The flag can be seen waving in the photos, despite being in a vacuum.

  • Of course air wasn’t moving the flag, but the astronaut moving the pole around.

If you would like to read more about the Moon Hoax, check out Phil Plait’s blog over at Bad Astronomy.

Claim: The Federal Reserve Bank is a private entity and the Income Tax is Voluntary.

  • Absolutely not. It’s an independent bank within the US Government that doesn’t make profit. I could explain more, but their own website really clarifies this more than I ever could. I honestly don’t know how this load of garbage gets around.
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/faq/faqfrs.htm#5
  • Taxes Voluntary? Tell that to tax protesters who deal with fines and imprisonment. Straight from the horses(IRS) mouth:”Some [people] assert that they are not required to file federal tax returns because the filing of a tax return is voluntary. Proponents point to the fact that the IRS itself tells taxpayers in the Form 1040 instruction book that the tax system is voluntary. Additionally, the Supreme Court’s opinion in Flora v. United States, 362 U.S. 145, 176 (1960), is often quoted for the proposition that “our system of taxation is based upon voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”The Law: The word “voluntary,” as used in Flora and in IRS publications, refers to our system of allowing taxpayers to determine the correct amount of tax and complete the appropriate returns, rather than have the government determine tax for them. The requirement to file an income tax return is not voluntary and is clearly set forth in Internal Revenue Code §§ 6011(a) , 6012(a) , et seq., and 6072(a). See also Treas. Reg. § 1.6011-1(a).”

Claim: 9/11 was an orchestrated hoax so that ____ could ____

Before linking to facts, I want you to say this line aloud:

“I firmly believe that thousands of government officials are a part of a well orchestrated conspiracy to cover up the truth about the events that happened on September 11th, 2001 that is so bulletproof that only a couple kids on Youtube can uncover it.”

Now say:

“I firmly believe that 19 terrorists hijacked planes and intentionally crashed them into three buildings that was witnessed by millions of people all around the world and by hundreds of media outlets.”

Then read: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

Claim: That all religions are sun-god worship attempts to control society.

I’m about to make Christian friends. I’m not going to say God is fake. I’m saying that this conspiracy theory about Jesus is easily debunked.

As a sun god: Sure, Christianity has a lot of holdovers from pagan religions. Anyone who took a Religion course in high school or college can tell you that, but is Jesus Christ really a Sun God Myth used to control the masses? No.

Proper Skepticism
I’m not going to sit here and tell you to question everything, to trust no one and to further this X-Files bullshit. I’m wanting everyone to actually listen to the information they are hearing when watching movies like Zeitgeist or Loose Change and ask themselves questions when they come up.

Here are a few short examples of why I raised eyebrows at these myths, and then proceeded to do my own research into the matter.

My favorite argument used to further the 9/11 hoax in Loose Change is “But a plane couldn’t fly that low to the ground” in reference to the pentagon attack being a missile. Of course a plane can’t fly that low, It would crash.

The red flag for Zeitgeist was, for me, the equating of Jesus Christ to Bacchus Dionysus. I know next to nothing about biblical history, but I did study Latin pretty extensively in high school, which told me that this -1- important fact in the first 10 minutes of the movie was absolutely bullshit. I did a quick google search on the other deities mentioned and realized that the video had a stunning 0% credibility, despite “citing references” on its web page.

I raised my eyebrows at the moon landing hoax in the same way that I do for Holocaust Deniers. Bullshit absolutely reaks.

Signed,
Floyd Zamarrripa
Skeptic

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