It seems U.S. officials have confirmed there is a U.N. conspiracy afoot by denying there is a conspiracy afoot, and then taking precautions against said conspiracy. Confused yet? Good, that’s how we like the electorate.
But seriously, I’m writing this opinion article today in response to an article by a fellow named Josh Smith that was posted both in the National Journal as well as NextGov.com. The title of the article is “U.N. Internet Regulation a Conspiracy Theory? U.S. Officials Don’t Think So,” which I find very curious because the first line of this story is;
Although some have dismissed fears that other countries will use international telecommunications negotiations later this year to hand the United Nations a greater role in governing the Internet, the United States government doesn’t seem to be taking any chances.
How do you feel about your reading comprehension today? I am the first to admit that I am not the brightest crayon in the box, and I have made many mistakes in my life, one of them may have been majoring in English. However, we must learn to learn from our mistakes, and I have a very fancy piece of paper that states that I am overly qualified to read words, and that may come in handy helping our readers, who may or may not have fancy pieces of paper declaring their word reading capabilities as superb, understand exactly what’s being said in articles like these.
Now, I have nothing against this Josh Smith person, who had the grave misfortune of being born after the dictionary definition of ‘conspiracy‘ went out of style, and now is tossed around mainstream media circles to mean anything that’s not true. However, the topic covered in this article is too important to allow such failures in reading comprehension, and I am taking it upon myself today to clarify why exactly we can now say with confidence that there is a conspiracy to control the internet, at least according to government officials.
So, back to the quote up there and our test in reading comprehension. The title of the article states that apparently U.S. officials do not think there is a conspiracy happening, and yet, the first line of the article says, in simpler terms “Many countries don’t think the UN will be given a greater role in Internet regulations, but the US government is acting like they are.”
This means, U.S. officials believe other countries are conspiring for more Internet control. Conspire is a verb (a verb is an action word that nouns, which are naming words, do). The most simple meaning of the verb ‘conspire’ is ‘to act or work together for the same result or goal.’ Normally this also implies the acting together is done in secret, and if you think China and Russia do all their dealings openly, I’m afraid there’s very little hope for you in politics, and I would recommend you abstain from voting ever.
There is also this sentence which I’d like to break down to show the cognitive dissonance found in today’s media.
The issue may smack of a U.N. conspiracy theory, but (emph. added) now the State Department has officially outlined plans focused almost entirely on preventing a more government-centered system of Internet governance.
My issue with this sentence has to do with the conjunction ‘but’ which I have bolded to emphasize. ‘But’ is a conjunction, and conjunctions are used to combine two clauses into one sentence (normally). Another common conjunction is ‘and’ and there is a very important difference between the two. ‘And’ is usually used to add a clause that agrees with the previous clause, while ‘but’ is used to add a clause that contradicts the previous clause (in this case “The issue may smack of a U.N. conspiracy theory,”).t
The problem here is that the following clause basically sums up to “now the State Department has officially outlined plans to deal with this conspiracy,” which, obviously does not disagree with the first clause.