Is Alexa Spying On Me?

It’s a question we here at Common Sense Conspiracy get a lot these days.  All of these cool AI-driven devices are becoming popular, and naturally, people start to wonder just what else they might be up to.

Devices that include Amazon’s Alexa are ultra-convenient because all you have to do is just say her name (or the name you assign to her) out loud, and then she is ready to fulfill your every command.  The obvious problem there is that this must mean that Alexa is listening all of the time, or this kind of functionality would not be possible.  So, is Alexa spying on you in her downtime?  Collecting data to sell you more Amazon products?  Worse, sending information to the government?  Let’s have a look at the scenarios.

What’s In It For Alexa?

For starters, let’s look at this conspiracy theory from the way we approach a lot of these.  What’s in it for Alexa and Amazon to listen in to what is going on at your house 24/7?

Well, that’s an easy one.  Remember, the Internet and companies like Amazon revolve around advertising and trying to figure out what you want to buy before you even know what you want to buy.  Your conversations open up this portal for them.  While Amazon will try to tell you that Alexa is only listening for the keyword that activates her and that’s all, it’s mighty hard to believe that a company that thrives on mining the Internet to find out what you are looking for would take a pass on that treasure trove of information.

While the CSC certainly cannot prove this is the case, it is our opinion that Amazon probably at least uses Alexa’s listening capabilities to at least capture keywords for future advertising.  There are plenty of stories of people getting emails or seeing Google ads for items that they had never actually searched for, but only mentioned to their spouse in their homes.  This would be a textbook example of how Alexa could benefit Amazon’s quest to sell you more stuff all the time.

But Isn’t There Privacy Laws About Stuff Like This?

Sure, there are laws, but when you first get your pretty little Echo or whatever device you have in your home that uses Alexa, you probably breeze through a huge Terms and Conditions document where you agree to all sorts of things before you ever use the device the first time.  No one reads these things, right?  No one that uses the device, but the lawyers for Amazon… you can bet they know that terms and conditions document backwards and forwards.  That is why when something comes up they haven’t thought about yet, they quickly make an addendum and you have to agree to the terms again.

Now, we’re not advocating that you read over the terms and conditions on all this stuff because you would literally spend your entire life reading terms and conditions.  However, it doesn’t take a hardcore lawyer to know that you are probably giving up some rights and privacy by agreeing to those terms.

What’s In It For the Government?

Well, this is an easy one, isn’t it?  Is the government using Alexa to listen in on you?  Tracking terrorists?  Tracking the next mass shooter?

Let’s start with number one here.  They certainly would love to use Alexa’s listening app.  There’s no question this would be a great asset to the government in a hundred different ways.  However, a lot of times we see a clash between private companies and the government on things like this.  Remember Apple’s much-publicized dispute with the FBI about cracking into phones?

Amazon probably isn’t real enthusiastic about having to work with the government all the time handing over information.  However, the way our legal system works, if the government ever has a good enough reason, they could require Amazon to hand over that information.  If they have access to it, a judge could force them to give it to the government.

There are already multiple cases going on in the United States where data from Alexa is being sought in criminal proceedings.  It is still being fought out in the court system, but at the end of the day, sooner or later it’s going to come to a head.

The only way Amazon could avoid being involved in cases like this is to simply not allow Alexa to listen.  This is the only way to be 100% safe.

So What Are You Telling Me Here?

Yes, we know.  We just gave some answers that went around in a circle.  It’s true.  No one on the outside can be 100% certain whether Alexa is really listening to more than she should.  We have outlined the reasons here that it would be beneficial to Amazon if she did, and we have outlined the reasons why it would not be beneficial.

The bottom line is that if you are paranoid about this, you have all the power in your hands.  Get those devices out of your home.  Remember though that they have implanted themselves in our day to day life so well that your life is going to be difficult.  Every smartphone has some Alexa-like entity.  Smart TVs have functionality like this built into the units.  If you stream anything, whatever device you use probably has something like this as well.  These days, even your toaster oven might be listening in on your conversations.

You can eliminate the chance of them listening, but you are going to put up with doing away with a lot of modern conveniences in the meantime.  Whether it’s worth it or not is completely up to you.

Did Police Lie About Alabama Mall Shooter? Is the Shooter Still Out There?

A shooting incident at the Galleria in Hoover, AL on Thanksgiving night captured national headlines.  It was right in the middle of all the Black Friday (which has now morphed into Black Thursday Night) hoopla.  There were extra police already on the scene anticipating mischief from holiday shoppers, so the shooter was neutralized quickly, according to police.  However, there are people questioning the official account of things, including the alleged shooter’s family.

Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., known as EJ to friends and family, is the son of a police officer and was home for Thanksgiving leave as an active officer of the army.  His family is adamant that he was not the shooter and may have even been trying to stop the real shooter.  Hoover Police not only shot EJ but then refused to get medical attention as he passed away from gunshot wounds at their hands.  Meanwhile, his family insists, the real shooter escaped.

The family is saying that the Hoover Police knew this, but went ahead and declared this young man the shooter in order to calm a frantic public.  After all, Black Friday shopping is important to the economy, and they certainly didn’t want anyone to be afraid to come back to the Galleria.  The family also claims to have video of the officers refusing to help the young man as he was passing away.

EDIT:  The Hoover Police have now bowed to the pressure and admitted that the shooter is still “most likely” at large.  This means they are possibly admitting to a major conspiracy.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Midterm Elections Prove That the Elite Haven’t Lost a Step

The election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States seemed different.  He had usurped the Republican Party somehow and bent it to his will.  It was exciting to those of us in conspiracy circles regardless of whether you actually supported the man himself.  The bottom line is he brought a new hope that maybe the one-party two-party political system could be beaten if the right person came along.

Maybe that was true and maybe it wasn’t.  However, sitting here two years out, the midterm elections are proving that the powers-that-be behind the scenes are as strong and powerful as ever.

What is the Deep State?

It’s not just a term that knuckleheads like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh use.  It’s real, and we’ve been preaching about it here at Common Sense Conspiracy as long as we’ve been around.  Now, the actual term “deep state” may be new, but basically this is the shadow government, the movers and shakers that pull the strings behind the scenes and really run the United States of America.  Now, in past times, this was something that would have had everyone laughing at you and offering you a hat made of tin foil if you dared bring it up.  Oh, how the times have changed!

Enter Donald Trump.  Conspiracies used to be fodder for sites like us, not the mainstream news.  Fox News, CNN, you name it, all the mainstream media services are now broadcasting conspiracy theories without any evidence around the clock.  We’ve even referenced the media sometimes having to back off the conventional rhetoric that to be a conspiracy theorist means you are off your rocker.  It’s definitely hurt our livelihood here at the CSC to have to compete with global media magnates to discuss conspiracy theories, but that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.  Anyway, the deep state is nothing new, although for major media outlets to be recognizing it as factual certainly is.

How “The Donald” Changed the Game

The same pattern has been going on for decades, orchestrated by the deep state, if you must call it that.  You have presidential elections with two folks that call themselves either Republican or Democrat.  They toss a lot of crap around, but when it’s all said and done, they are pretty darn similar, and one of them wins.  Then, the other side goes all indignant and in the midterms, the side that is not in power takes over a little bit just to keep everything in this perfect state of denial.  You probably think that Democrats and Republicans want to control the House, Senate, and the Presidency (as both Donald Trump and Barack Obama did have it for two years each).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Actually, it terrifies them.  That means you have no excuse for not doing anything, and it really reveals what you are all about.

When Barack Obama had the big three, he pushed through the controversial ObamaCare legislation, but left virtually all of George Bush’s policies in place.  He could have done anything he wanted.  That was it.  The midterms came and everything stayed the same for six more years.

Donald Trump could have disassembled ObamaCare.  He tried, but the Republicans refused to do it.  This made them look bad to those that oppose the health care bill.  Here, they finally had the power and they still chose not to do it.  Why?  Because Donald Trump changed the game.

If a normal Republican politician had came into power, he wouldn’t have even tried to repeal ObamaCare because he would have obeyed the deep state’s explicit instructions not to do so.  Trump didn’t listen and pushed anyway, and the Republicans had to stop him.  They would have much rather not have had to take the blame for that, which is why they much prefer the current situation with the split-party Congress.

Why Does Doing Nothing Appeal to Them?

All those agendas and all that trash talk in campaigns, and then you are telling me these guys would rather sit and do nothing and point fingers at each other.  Absolutely.  It’s easy, it keeps the equilibrium that they want, and it keeps the rest of the nation bitterly divided.  That is what those folks in the deep state call a real win-win situation.

They don’t want to change anything.  Neither side does.  Don’t be fooled.  The current situation is what they like and do best.  The Democrats will blame the Republicans for why they can’t get anything done.  The Republicans will blame the Democrats.  Trump will blame everybody.  Ordinary Americans that support either side will be mad, but they will once again take the bait and resign themselves to that position of “if we just had the House we could really do something.”  Ignoring the fact that when they did have all three, still, nothing was done.

History repeats itself and nothing changes except the roots of the deep state ever grow stronger.

Why Do Americans Fall For It?

To be quite frank, because they are really good at what they do.  They get Americans ready to strangle each other talking about issues that have nothing to do with anything.  Issues that have already been decided even.  We’re talking abortion, gay marriage, religion.  They are programmed over time to think that there are so many obvious lines of division that it never occurs to them that their two-party system is actually just one-party playing a really fun game of chess with the pawns, which in case you haven’t figured it out yet, are the American people.

There is no viable third option in most cases, and that is another reason that Americans find it hard to rise up and cast out this silliness.  They do have the power to do it with their ballots, but there’s no other real choice, and when there is a third choice it’s some joke that has no chance of winning.  So, then you fall back into that classic “lesser of two evils” way of thinking.

Yes, there is some logic behind voting for the lesser of two evils, but as they saying goes, if you vote that way, you will inevitable end up with evil one way or another.

Bottom line:  Americans haven’t had enough of it yet.  So, enjoy it.  You are laying in a bed that you make every two years and you have no signs of changing the sheets.

Why Kanye West May Be The Most Rational Voice We Have Right Now?

Rapper, public figure, and significant other to really, really public figure Kim Kardashian Kanye West has been in the news quite frequently here of late, and it’s created quite a stir, as always.  Kanye West has always been a fixture in the news since he reached superstardom, and nothing has changed.  However, the tactics have.

There’s a lot to analyze here.  Kanye’s controversial support of Donald Trump has drawn massive headlines, but his message isn’t really as crazy as the mainstream media would like for you to believe.  Then, his sudden distancing himself from “Blexit,” the media-appointed name for the call for African Americans to leave the Democratic Party (which has done absolutely nothing for them) and join the Republican Party (which has done absolutely nothing for them), has only added to the controversy.  Now, let’s get down to what is Kanye all about and where did all this mess come from.

Make America Great Again — Kanye West’s New Slogan

Donning (isn’t that an appropriate verb) that now infamous red hat, Kanye has been very vocal in his support for President Donald Trump and not just after he won the election.  He also has expressed his love for Hillary Clinton, the Donald’s competitor in the election.  Kanye loves everybody.  However, he has run into a pretty momentous backlash after on a rant on Saturday Night Live in which the actors now claim false imprisonment, and an actual meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office which has now become the ultimate Uncle Tom meme fodder.

The latest in this controversy is the “Blexit” movement.  It is a movement that doesn’t actually exist.  Almost no one believes that African Americans are likely to change their voting habits.  For starters, a huge percentage of them don’t vote.  Those that do tend to lean Democratic and what Kanye and Trump are right about is that they have absolutely no fact-based reason for doing so.  They just do.  Like we state before tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that neither party gives a flying you-know-what about African Americans.  They might as well flip a coin, or even better yet, save that gas money and just stay at the house.

We Need a “Poliexit” Not a “Blexit”

If you’ve been paying attention so far, we have pointed out on two totally separate occasions that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party (which we at Common Sense Conspiracy will always argue are one and the same) both don’t care about African Americans.  That sucks, I guess, but we want to clarify our comments.  It’s not just an African American problem.  It’s an American problem.

See, the same can be said for whites or Native Americans, or whatever other ethnic group you want to dream up.  The Republican Party has never done anything for them either.  Nor has the Democratic Party.  At least not in recent memory, that’s for sure.  The reality is that Kanye is right, but he should distance himself from this so-called “Blexit.”

We don’t need African Americans to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican one.  We need for Americans to join “Poliexit” where they reject two political parties that have very obviously been colluding against the American public for decades now.  It’s time to turn them all out and find a better way.

Kanye probably doesn’t understand that all the way, but he is actually a lightning rod for free thought.   That counts for a lot in our book.

Kanye’s Message Actually Mostly Makes Sense

It’s fascinating to watch, really.  A prominent and famous African American asks the President of the United States about a lot of critical issues, and he is ridiculed and called crazy.  Meanwhile, an awful lot of what Kanye had to say makes perfect sense, if you stop carrying your party flag.  Kanye spoke out against some things that have been wrong about the political and judicial system since the beginning of the United States.  He gets absolutely 100% zero credit for this.  As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite.  Kanye has been written off as crazy by the mainstream media because he has at least kind of sorta sided with Donald Trump.

Remarkably, in all the voices we see right now, Kanye’s might be the most coherent.

But Isn’t Kanye Illuminati?

There are plenty of theories that both Kanye West and his superstar wife Kim are big-time Illuminati members.  We all remember the famous spectacle when Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards to give his public endorsement that Beyonce should have won her award.  That has long been labelled as the moment a new Illuminati priestess was appointed.  Taylor’s (and Beyonce’s for that matter) success certainly seem to validate this theory.

Is Kanye still that figure?  Does that even make sense?

Ironically, yes.  The Illuminati would take probably take more pride in his newsworthiness than anything else.  To the Illuminati, Kanye only matters as long as he has an audience and an outreach.  He has proven with his stands for making America great again that he still has that appeal.

See, it doesn’t matter if they are mad or not.  What matters is they are still talking about you.

Game, Kanye.

The Truth About Making Money Online — Wealthy Affiliate is a Gamechanger

No this may not be exactly about conspiracies.  Well, maybe.  Everyday, all of the time, we see people falling for terrible scams on the Internet revolving around making money online.  There’s no shame for the victims here.  Everyone is looking to make a few extra bucks, and the online world is very inviting.  No commute.  The promise of easy money is alluring.  Common Sense Conspiracy is a blog at heart, and while we were not created to make money, we do employ some ads around to try to pay the bills.  Hosting a website costs money, and sometimes it’s not cheap (especially if you start having some real traffic).  So, we understand, and many of us here have also sought ways to make money from the comfort of our own home.  The conspiracy here is that there is no conspiracy.  The truth is you can make money online, but it’s not going to be easy.  It’s going to be hard.

But What About <insert company>?

Truth be told, there are reputable companies where you can make money online, especially if writing is one of your talents.  Unfortunately, there are so many scams and promises of easy glory out there, that it can be next to impossible to actually find those opportunities that are legitimate.

Without being ultra-discouraging, we think there are a couple of things that you can count on as signs that a company is legitimate.  First, they are not advertising quick riches for little effort.  Legit companies will tell you that this is going to be a drag, and you have to be in it for the long game.  Common Sense Conspiracy didn’t see any real traffic for many months after its inception, and it didn’t see any real money for its efforts for years.  This doesn’t happen fast, and it isn’t going to be life-changing money.  Real legit online opportunities are probably going to be supplemental income, like a part-time job but without the hassle of having to go somewhere.  You might invest quite a few hours with little return for literally years.  The reputable companies will tell you this up front.  The bottom line is that if you are reading about an online money-making opportunity and they act like it’s easy, it’s probably not the real deal.  And you know how we at Common Sense Conspiracy feel about BS.

So What are the Real Opportunities?

The most common, reputable ways to make money online are either by providing a service for money (no dark web drug selling, either… we said reputable) or by providing an opinion.  That’s about it, unless you have created a physical product that you are pushing.  In that case, you have all the logistics of production and shipping and all that stuff.  We aren’t going there, although it is very possible to start such a business online.  We are going the route where you don’t have a physical product, but you are selling either entertainment, advice, or an opinion about a product.

Writing an entertaining blog may get you some subscribers and a little ad revenue, but it would take multitudes of traffic to make a real change in your bank account.  The CSC has received over 3 million visitors in its time and still doesn’t really make that much money.  Blogging is a good way to engage with others and maybe blow off some steam, but it’s really difficult to make real money that way.  That’s why affiliate marketing is all the rage these days.

Affiliate Marketing 101 — Wealthy Affiliate

At first glance, Wealthy Affiliate does look like some click bait.  They are promising that you can make money through affiliate marketing and they will help you do it.  That’s all they really promise, and if you look a little deeper into it, you’ll find that nowhere do they ever imply that it will be easy.

Kyle, one of the founders of Wealthy Affiliate, even wrote a very detailed article explaining to the newbies that it may take as much as six months to just see organic traffic on your site, much less see conversions and profits.  Some take longer, and some can do it sooner.  Some of that is luck of the draw, but it’s mostly getting what you put in.

Wealthy Affiliate’s training program takes you from square one of getting an idea for a niche-related website and then designing said website.  From there, it teaches you about SEO, how to attract traffic, and how to eventually use all of this positivity to make money through affiliate programs.  The most beautiful part is that Wealthy Affiliate lets you try all this on in the fitting room 100% free of charge.   That’s right.  A guest account is free and requires only an email.  No credit cards or subscription BS.  We like the sound of that.

So, What’s the Catch?

There is always a catch.  We at the CSC would never claim otherwise.  The catch here is that the premiere part of the Wealthy Affiliate service costs some real money.  At $49 a month, it’s not cheap.  They do offer an introductory month at $19.  There is also huge savings if you go yearly instead.  We recommend starting with a free account for sure, but we will warn you.  This ultra-supportive community is infectious, and you will find yourself wanting to plunk down your hard-earned money to give this thing a try.  Should you?  Well, that’s the question isn’t it.

Wealthy Affiliate makes no bones about the work it’s going to take to get your online business in affiliate marketing off the ground.  This is not a short-term thing.  You are looking long game here, and if you’re not, then you are just chasing the shiny gold that the sites we talked about above are hawking.  This is about putting in the work, day in and day out for maybe years before you really see the fruits of your labor.  That may not sound encouraging or exciting, but it’s real.  The real world works that way, and unfortunately, even the online world still exists in the real world.

So What Does $49 Get Me?

This is the part that really put us here at Common Sense Conspiracy feeling like we could willfully advocate this product without compromising our morals.  The $49 a month fee seems a little steep, but it includes hosting for your websites.  We can tell you that if you wanted to start five or even ten websites, you would pay a whole lot more than $49 a month to host all of them with decent bandwidth.  Honestly, this almost makes it worth the monthly subscription alone, even if the rest of the site was rubbish.

It’s not rubbish though.  These people are super-supportive, and everyone seems to be on the same page.  The whole community revolves around helping each other reach goals, and the infrastructure encourages this as well.  The only caveat here is to not get so lost in the community that you forget to do your work on your business.

On top of the very attractive website hosting deal, you get tons of training videos, articles, and live webinars.  You also have access to their community for everything from templates for creating keyword-rich SEO-driven content to actually getting real live comments from people through their SiteComments system.

Is Wealthy Affiliate Worth It?

Worth what?  It’s free to try it out.  It’s definitely worth that.  Give it a look and take your time.  Maybe now is not the time for you to get into something like this, but keep it in mind somewhere down the road.  This community makes the work seem fun and engaging even if you are working two jobs and struggling to find the time.  That’s what really stands out here is the community and the resources.

We failed to mention that WA also includes a lite subscription to Jaaxy, an unbelievable keyword tool that will help you immensely in your quest to find keywords that don’t have so much competition.  This really can kickstart your website by becoming an authority on the right words that will help search engines like Google really start to steer people your way.  We advocate it because it works.  On a slow news day, Common Sense Conspiracy often uses Jaaxy to find out what people are looking for.  We want to help, and finding out what is popular on the search engines can point you in the right direction to providing a quality product that people will enjoy.

Give Wealthy Affiliate a try.  It may not be for you, or more importantly, it may not be something that you can find the time to give it the attention that it demands.  This is work.  Make no mistake.   But the possibility of passive income stream can really light your fire.

Common Sense Conspiracy doesn’t make a practice of advocating products like this.  Our history backs this up.  The bottom line is that this is a legitimate life-changing product, and we wanted to share it with our readers.

Conspiracy Theorists Ask the Question — Are Suspicious Packages a False Flag Operation?

It is now a major news story all over the world.  Suspicious packages are turning up in different places in America, some with explosive devices.  They have no targeted some pretty high-level political figures, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (and therefore former President Bill Clinton) and the Obama family.  Packages were also targeted at George Soros and former Attorney General Eric Holder.  This is only a few of the names.  This is an ongoing news story, and more instances are being revealed as we write this.

For those in conspiracy circles, the question here is who is responsible?  Are these attempted attacks really seriously trying to hurt these targets?  Does anyone really think they can successfully mail a bomb to Barack Obama and expect that mission to be successful?

Most people of normal intelligence would expect that to fail.  And it did.  The Secret Service intercepted the packages, and neither Hillary Clinton nor the Obama family were ever really in imminent danger.  This is not to say that the actions are not despicable because they certainly are.  Our point is just that it seems like a mission doomed to fail, which makes conspiracy theorists wonder if that isn’t exactly what it was.

Would this count as a false flag?  Well, maybe.  What if the Democratic Party was actually behind these attacks?  Wait, you’ve got it backwards, you are thinking right now.  What if the Republicans are behind these attacks is what you meant to say.  Nope, we had it right the first time.

The targets of these attacks thus far have all been people aligned with the Democratic Party.  Now that could change any minute now, but so far that is the case.  So, based on these facts, it is safe to say that the majority of Americans probably believe right now that the origination of these packages will eventually be found to be a Republican sympathizer.  But what if the packages were just designed to create even more bad will toward the Republicans just before an extremely important midterm election cycle that is now not even two weeks away.  After all, a big part of the Democratic battle cry right now is to brand the other side as terrible, heartless people.  This would just be one more nail in that coffin.

Sending packages that you know have no chance of accomplishing their perceived goal means that no one was ever really in danger, so it could be a political ploy.  If this theory held true, that would indeed fit the definition of a false flag operation.

We will continue to monitor this situation as more facts become available, and we will discuss any and all theories.  This is just the first thing that is being tossed around as this story develops.  A suspicious package turning up at a prominent Republican’s doorstep would change the game quite a bit and lead the theories in a radical new direction.  In any case, there is something going in America this week, and Common Sense Conspiracy will be watching it closely.

Khashoggi Crisis Highlights Years of Conspiracy Theories About Saudi Arabia

The apparent murder of the 59-year-old journalist (and harsh critic of the policies of Saudi Arabia) Khashoggi has caused quite a stir this past couple of weeks.  Now, President Donald Trump is calling this a cover-up.  The United States is proclaiming that those responsible will be punished, and it is openly questioning the official account of things by the Saudis, which is that the journalist was murdered in a Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia is a longtime ally of the United States in an area of the world not known for allies of the United States.

Further clouding the situation is a slowly revealed narrative that shows that this was no chance happening, but a premeditated plot to savagely murder a person.  The motive, most believe, is just to silence someone who frequently and provocatively spoke out against the Saudi Arabian government.  Now, a fragile dance is going on between Donald Trump and the Saudi prince as they try to look tough on the international scene while attempting to preserve an alliance that has stood the test of time.  Yet, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is frequently the target of conspiracy theories.  Let’s have a look.

Saudi Arabia and 9/11

On September 11, 2001, we all know what happened.  It would lead to the wars in Afghanistan and eventually Iraq.  Yet, Saudis were proven to be a major part of the plot, not just in terms of being on the planes, but in terms of the Saudi Arabian government financing parts of the operation.  It is well known in conspiracy circles that the Saudi prince and a collection of other notable Saudi figures were actually with President Bush just mere hours before the attacks happened.

Conspiracy theories about the Saudis involvement in 9/11 are all over the place, and there is not a lot to discredit them.  As a matter of fact, multiple news outlets publicly reported that Saudi Arabia had been proven to have financed a “dry run” before 9/11.  The concept was that Saudi Arabia footed the bill to allow a couple of nationals to try to test out their theories on how to get around American airline security protocols.  This led to the real deal on September 11 that would change the world and kill thousands.

Saudi Arabia and The Oil War

No doubt the abundance of oil Saudi Arabia is sitting on is a big reason America plays nice.

Oil is the most valuable resource on Earth today, and the Saudis have unbelievable stockpiles of it.  It has long been suspected that this is one of the only reasons that the United States continues to play nice with Saudi Arabia despite numerous acts of hostility believe to be perpetrated by the oil-rich country.   It has also long been suspected that Saudi Arabia squeezes the United States at times by arbitrarily raising or lowering the cost of crude oil.

Saudi Arabia was virtually untouched by the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and has enjoyed even more wealth and success through its relationship with the United States, especially in the wake of more drama for Iran.  Most American Presidents give the Saudis a really big pass because of oil, and 9/11 was probably the most sensational example of this.

Will This Alliance Survive Khashoggi?

It’s the question on everyone’s mind.  Will Donald Trump cross the line and say something that sparks an end to the alliance that has been so fruitful for both parties over the years?  And was Saudi Arabia really an ally to the United States in the first place?

Happier times for Trump and the Saudi prince.

The answer is only by necessity and by getting something out of it.  There is no question that Saudi Arabia is not supportive of the United States any more than any other Muslim country in the Middle East.  However, the Saudi family of royalty forged this friendship over the years because of mutual benefit.  It has protected the ruling family as other regimes in the same area of the world have fallen.  Many of those were at least in part because of the United States.  From the Muslim perspective, Saudi Arabia made friends with America, the bully, and then used its economic prosperity to influence it.

Ultimately, it is unlikely that much will come of this.  Much like Donald Trump’s spirited exchanges with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, this will probably be a war of words with no real direction.  If there’s one thing that Trump understands, it’s money, and he will not jeopardize the fruitful economic situation that an alliance with Saudi Arabia offers.  Despite his insistence that America is involved in bad trade deals all over the world, even Trump will find little wrong with the economic ties to Saudi Arabia.  He certainly won’t be willing to give up the cash and the alliance over one journalist.

This will blow over, and if anything, it may very well strengthen the ties between the Saudi Arabia royal family and the United States.  The worst repercussions to be felt right now, as usual, will fall on the common man.  Expect some jerking around of crude oil prices as the war of words continues.  In the end, though, the anti-Trump media in America is probably going to make a much bigger deal of this than anyone else.  This may very well become the Democratic Party’s “Benghazi” battle cry over the coming midterms and eventual 2020 Presidential Election.  Investigations will be performed, but little will be found.  In the end, Khashoggi is gone, and the world will march on.  The conspiracy world will too.

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