I think the key test is how much weight the 'believer' gives to verifiable facts. Refusing to face unpleasant facts is the psychological starting point of many a conspiracy theory. For example, many people were unhappy with the outcome of the New Zealand elections, and could not believe that so many people had voted for the Key government. Their conclusion (unsubstantiated by any evidence) was that the result must have been due to electoral fraud or some such jack-up.
An example that interests me at present is the 'theory', put forward by a Liberian-American academic and widely publicised in Liberian newspapers, that the current Ebola epidemic was deliberately initiated by the US military as part of their experimentation with the Ebola virus as a biological weapon. To me, this 'theory' is not totally implausible - the US military and health authorities have a proven history of conducting medical experiments on unknowing human guinea-pigs, especially African Americans, including several where people were deliberately infected with syphilis. However, there has been no evidence presented to date that this was the case with Ebola, therefore it remains a useless conspiracy theory that can only disorient people who are trying to address the epidemic.
Link to article in Liberian Daily Observer:
Absolutely right Danielle. Union-busting is at the heart of the Charter Schools assault - breaking up the single national pay scale is the great unstated goal. They already have in the state schools all the other 'choices,' except those related to union-busting, as Jolisa has pointed out.
My earlier blog on that issue:
Thanks for sharing this, Russell.