During yesterday's Senate hearing on the consulate attack in Benghazi, Senator Rand Paul grilled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and told her that if he had been the president (please God, no) he would've fired her following the incident. He didn't really substantiate on what grounds he would've fired her because by all official accounts she didn't do anything wrong. By the way, none of the Republican senators acknowledged the 11 different consulate attacks under President Bush or accounted for why the Republicans weren't anywhere near as outraged by the dozens of casualties in those attacks and how the Bush administration really didn't "keep us safe" after all.
Anyway, Rand Paul continued by bringing up a far-right conspiracy theory torn from the headlines of Glenn Beck's ridiculous website. Specifically, he asked Clinton whether Chris Stevens, the slain ambassador killed in Benghazi, had been involved in shipping American arms to Syrian rebels through Turkey. The theory goes that Stevens was working closely with former anti-Qaddafi rebels, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which, in turn, is buddy-buddy with al-Qaeda. Through Stevens, jihadist factions within the anti-Assad forces received SA-7 heat-seeking missiles that once belonged to Qaddafi. And just before the September 11 attack, Stevens had met with the Turkish ambassador and therefore... conspiracy! So your basic "Obama is with the terrorists!" agenda. I'm not sure if this gets its own separate "Gate" suffix or if it all gets mixed in with the broader Benghazi-Gate conspiracy nonsense. Who knows.
Clinton said she wasn't aware of any such plot. Of course.
Amazingly, however, this wasn't the kookiest conspiracy theory to be churned up this week. That honor goes to a theory mentioned by Alex Jones in a video originally picked up by Gawker and resurrected by The Huffington Post the other day. In it, Jones makes the hilarious claim that the reason there are "so many gay people" in America is because the U.S. government is deliberately trying to reduce the birthrate with estrogen-mimicking chemicals in our juice boxes. Yes, juice boxes. The government is making more gay people as a birth control method using juice boxes.
Here's exactly what Jones said:
"The reason there's so many gay people now is because it's a chemical warfare operation! I have the government documents where they said they're going to encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don't have children. [...]
Hey, let's stop drinking out of estrogen-mimicking containers. And again, I even catch myself, Bob, drinking out of these estrogen mimickers because it's everywhere. I mean, take this [holds up juice box]. I don't know, but I should check. This is probably lined with the type of plastic that has it. But I still grabbed this off the shelf this morning. Even though it says it's organic, that's not enough. In fact, let me -- guys, give me a knife so I can tear into this. Let's see if it's lined with it. In fact, it'll probably say it if it's lined with it inside the plastic packaging. [...]
After you're done drinking your little juices, well, I mean, you're ready to go out and have a baby. You're ready to put makeup on. You're ready to wear a short skirt. You're ready to go, you know, put together a, you know, garden of roses or something. You're ready to put lipstick on."
Okay. Wow. Jones, once again, is both out of his gourd and horrendously misinformed on several things.
First, yes, there are in fact certain chemicals called "endocrine disruptors" that could be dangerous if ingested in heavy doses by young children or transferred to a fetus through the umbilical cord. These chemicals are best known to sometimes leach into bottled water from the plastic container material. You might see water bottles in stores with tags that say "Bisphenol-A (or BPA) Free." Many towns in the U.S. and nations like Canada have already banned the use of packaging materials that contain it and other known disruptor chemicals. The FDA and other agencies under the Obama administration have been studying the negative effects of BPA since 2010.
Jones might've also been talking about phytoestrogens, which are natural chemicals found in plants and most commonly associated with soy. In fact, gynecologists sometimes recommend that pre-menopausal women drink soy milk to ease the hot flashes and so forth, but it really hasn't been verified as an effective treatment. And there's no evidence whatsoever showing that phytoestrogens reduce testosterone levels or, you know, turn people gay.
And, yes, testosterone levels have been slowly declining recently due to numerous factors, including obesity and, strangely, less smoking (smoking increases testosterone). It's also possible that endocrine disruptors could be one of the multiple factors in the decline, but not the sole factor.
But the idea that the government is deliberately exposing Americans to these chemicals as a means of turning straight people into gay people is absurd on its face, and nothing more than the psychotic, paranoid delusions of a homophobic, ignorant wackadoodle. Why? Because the chemicals Alex Jones is talking about don't and can't do what he's claiming! Nothing does. People are simply gay or not gay.
In spite of what he said, there's no correlation between low testosterone levels and being gay. This is a myth that was thoroughly disproved long ago. Simply put: gay men have just as much testosterone as straight men, and men with lower testosterone aren't any more likely to be gay, while men with high testosterone aren't less likely to be gay. Testosterone, contrary to Jones' lies, determines how much energy men have; it determines our level of libido; and it generates masculine physical traits. Not sexual attraction or even personality. Homosexuality has nothing to do with adult testosterone levels, and, furthermore, government-induced homosexuality is nothing more than a fever dream that Alex Jones made-up while wearing rubber pants and squatting in a tub of tapioca pudding, shortly after composing an inventory of the various clown suits he keeps in his crawl space.
Come to think of it, if these chemicals reduce adult male testosterone and therefore turn straight men into gay men, thus somehow lowering the birth rate, wouldn't the chemicals also decrease testosterone in women, increase estrogen and thus make women more fertile -- increasing the birth rate? I don't think Jones thought that much into it.
Ultimately, Jones invented this conspiracy theory because it not only gives his weirdo easily-duped listeners something to scare their mouth-breathing friends with, but it also stirs up their far-right homophobic tendencies by linking the gay community with an evil government plot. And juice boxes.