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11351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 22, 2007, 09:14:36 PM
http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm

All those who aren't in need of psychiatric care will grasp the information within.
11352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 22, 2007, 08:50:24 PM
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/wtc/

Science or CIA disinformation? You be the judge. Yes Brian, I know that PBS has three letters just like CIA, thus that's your proof the website is bogus.... rolleyes
11353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mil-blogs: Michael Yon and others (support our troops) on: June 22, 2007, 07:47:32 PM
I just pay-pal'ed him 25.00. I wish Rogt and Milt read his work. They might might get it then.
11354  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 22, 2007, 03:25:33 PM
I went to work for the US Gov't post-9/11. I gave up a dream job as a DA's Investigator to do so. I was TDY in New York spring/early summer 2002. I've been to ground zero. Have you? I worked with NYPD and PAPD officers. By New York standards, PAPD is a small agency. Many of the officers I worked with knew someone that died on 9/11.Most had worked at ground zero in the days after. Funny, none of us were worried about the CIA doing another attack, we were looking for jihadists. Let me guess, you're just much smarter than us.....
11355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 22, 2007, 02:56:48 PM
The burden of proof is on you. You're making the assertion. So, again, what happened on 9/11? It's a simple question.
11356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 21, 2007, 05:09:23 PM
Why can't you answer the simplest question of what happened on 9/11? Anyone can claim ANYTHING. Serious claims require SERIOUS EVIDENCE.

"I don't think for one second that you would accept my beliefs."

**Here is the problem. It's a belief system for you. No logic or rational thinking involved. It fulfills some core need for you. This has become some sort of cargo cult for the disenfranchised in this society. Again, I would cite you as exhibit A for the articles on the psychology of the "Truthers".


  "Besides, my beliefs are irrelevant when arguing fact"

You have yet to produce anything resembling a fact. I have to wonder if you even know the difference in definition between beliefs and facts.

Again, articulate what happened on 9/11 and your corroborative evidence supporting your assertions.
11357  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 20, 2007, 07:13:04 PM
I have two family members in harm's way in the GWOT. One on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, the other a member of a Marine rifle company engaged in combat operations as we speak. What's your investment in our losing? Who's over the line?
11358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 20, 2007, 05:32:38 PM
Speaking of failing to address issues, what REALLY happened on 9/11? No endless links to "Trufer" sites. Tell me who, what, why, when and where and how. Your words, not more links to www.istillliveinmyparentsbasement.com
11359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 20, 2007, 05:22:52 PM
I wish the WTC's structural supports had been this dense....


Let's do a little link analysis 101. I watch Joe Felon go into Wells Fargo to deposit money. I watch you go into the same bank. You withdraw money from the same teller Joe Felon deposited money with. Does this create a nexus between you and Joe Felon?
11360  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 20, 2007, 05:13:45 PM
Posted on: Today at 02:41:01 PM
Posted by: rogt
Insert Quote
Woof Tom,

The reasons we were given for getting into this war were complete BS, and there is simply no denying this.  

**Saddam was a well documented state sponsor of terrorism and had everyone convinced he had WMD. After 9/11, it was clear he needed to go.**

We attacked a sovereign nation that had never attacked us and that we have not been able to prove (even after the fact) was an actual threat to us, which is a war crime under international law.  

 rolleyes **I love it when people who know nothing about the law try to cite it to support their bogus assertions. Please cite the applicable statute you allege was violated, Mr. "War Crimes" expert. Saddam signed a cease fire at the end of the Gulf War, which he violated for years afterwards. If you got your information from  sources other than Bay Area bumper stickers, you might be able to comment with a little more credibility.**

We have tortured people and illegally "rendered" others to secret prisons so they could be tortured.  Also war crimes.

**Again, your assertion without evidence.**

As I see it, any victory of ours under these circumstances would be seen by our leaders as having justified these crimes, and would thus increase the temptation to use the same methods again in the future.  We would see ourselves as having a blank check to wage war against anybody we decide is a threat to our "national security" for any reason.  No country should have that right.

**We are fighting a war for our very survival. Maybe it will take the deaths of people you care about to wake you up to this. I can't appeal to your patriotism, being a good leftist, you have none, so I guess it'll come down to when you find some sort of personal stake in the war.**
11361  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: June 20, 2007, 01:34:00 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/20/video-ex-terrorist-walid-shoebat-on-the-jihadist-mindset/

Stuff worth reading on addressing the global jihad.
11362  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 19, 2007, 10:23:47 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21421_Hilarious_Lefty_Post_of_the_Day&only

Bunny-Cage!
11363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 19, 2007, 03:45:34 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/19/finally-michael-moore-embraces-911-truth/

Trufer!
11364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 19, 2007, 03:12:34 PM
Fred Thompson's Remarks to Policy Exchange in London
By Fred Thompson
Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Thank you very much. Charles Moore, Anthony Browne, Dean Godson, distinguished guests: I appreciate the cordial welcome to London. I always look forward to visiting the United Kingdom, and this time around I couldn’t ask for a better host than the Policy Exchange.

We have a few policies back home that we’d like to exchange, and think tanks like this are the place to come. After just five years, the Policy Exchange ranks among the best, and the fine reputation of your work has reached Washington as well. I congratulate all of you, and I thank you for the hospitality.

Your kind invitation brings me here just as Great Britain prepares to greet an incoming prime minister.

Back in the U.S., we’re able to watch the House of Commons’ “Prime Minister’s Question Time,” which Mr. Brown will now endure. I’ve thought that America needed a weekly question and answer period between the President and Congress. But in the past few months I’ve decided it isn’t such a good idea.

Your system also allows a change in the head of government at a moment's notice. Even your general election campaigns are mercifully brief.

Of course we believe in long presidential campaigns in the U.S. Most American politicians are afraid they won’t be considered serious candidates until they’ve made a promise a hundred times and spent a hundred million dollars. Though every now and then you still get some slow-poke who takes his time before announcing.

I congratulate Mr. Brown, and I wish him well as the 53rd prime minister of the United Kingdom. And if you’ll allow me a word about the 52nd … we’ll miss him. There are disputes of party here that are strictly British affairs. But sometimes the better points of statesmen possibly are seen more clearly at a distance.

We are profoundly grateful for the friendship of the British people, and in America we’ll always remember Mr. Blair as a gallant friend, even when it did him no good politically.

When we in the States take the measure of your leaders, their party affiliation doesn’t really count for a whole lot. It’s been this way for a while now, at every moment when it mattered. It was true in the days of Churchill and Roosevelt … of Thatcher and Reagan … and Blair and Bush.

Differences of party and domestic policy are incidental, compared to the bigger considerations that define Britain and America as allies. On both sides of the Atlantic, what matters most are the commitments we share, and the work we are called to do in common. This work is based upon the principles we hold – primarily, the right of free people to govern themselves. We also believe that the rule of law, market economies, property rights, and trade with other nations are the underpinnings of a free society.

When historians of the modern era speak of the great democracies, of civilization and its defenders, that’s us they’re talking about – we and our democratic friends across Europe and beyond.

In the long progress of the world toward liberty, it was not by chance that this lowly province of the Roman Empire became a great teacher of democracy and the model of self-government. And it wasn’t just luck that turned a troublesome British colony into the inspiration for all those who seek freedom. There is a reason why Britain and America were thrown together as partners in this world. The things that unite the American and British peoples? They don’t change with the names of leaders or with the passing of years.

It was Harold MacMillan who best summed up the shared experiences of British and American leaders in the last century. In his later years, Lord Stockton was asked what he considered the greatest challenge in all his years as a statesman. And in that English way, he put it in a word: “Events, my dear boy, events.”

Events often have a way of intruding upon the plans of free people. As a rule, people in democratic societies prefer to take care of the business of life. They raise families. They work and they trade. They create wealth and they share it. Above all in free societies, we live by the law – and, at our best, we look after one another, too. Yet in every generation, “events” can be counted on to change the plan, sometimes in tragic ways.

Often the cause of our grief is a misplaced trust in the good intentions of others. In our dealings with other nations, people in free countries are not the type to go looking for trouble. We tend to extend our good will to other nations, assuming that it will be returned in kind. No matter how clear the signals, sometimes in history even the best of men failed to act in time to prevent the worst from happening.

The United States and the United Kingdom have learned this lesson both ways – in great evils ignored, and in great evils averted. We learned it from a World War that happened and, in the decades afterward, from the World War that didn’t happen.

We must conclude that the greatest test of leadership – in your country or mine, in this time or any other – can be simply stated. We must shape events, and not be left at their mercy. And in all things, to protect ourselves and to assure the peace, the great democracies of the world must stick together. We must be willing to make tough decisions today in order to avert bigger problems tomorrow. We must be prepared to meet threats before threats become tragedies.

These are not considerations relevant only to the people of Great Britain and the United States. The relationship between the United States and all of Europe is valued by both sides and has benefited the world. NATO has not only been an effective tool for our efforts, it symbolizes our commonality.

Changes in leadership on both sides of the Atlantic will give us new opportunities. Often in the history of nations, leaders rise to meet the times. These times require those with the wisdom and courage to see past the next election cycle.

The United States and our European allies must begin to forge a new understanding that matches the times we live in. This must be an understanding based upon candor if we are to come closer to agreement as to the nature of the challenges we face.

I have great hope for such a new understanding among NATO allies. We would never want to look back on a campaign we’d undertaken to realize we’d fallen short for lack of commitment or material support. Today our enemies do not doubt our military strength. They do question our determination. Our efforts will require ongoing dialogue based upon mutual respect and mutual interests.

For many Americans, there is a concern that even among our friends, some people are instinctively uncomfortable with U.S. power. Some on the Continent speak of the need for Europe to balance U.S. influence. Americans worry that this sentiment could, over time, lead to an uncoupling of the alliance. And if constraining U.S. power is that important, would our European friends be comfortable with other powers serving as a counterweight to the United States?

Some who seek to check U.S. power believe that legitimacy may only be conferred by international consensus as represented by the UN Security Council. They ask, “If a country can invade another nation for its own good reasons, what is the logical stopping point?”

The American response is to ask how, then, does one justify non-Security-Council-sanctioned actions, such as Kosovo? What are nations allowed to do when the UN cannot muster the political will to act? How many countries must be involved in an action before legitimacy is conferred? Is it just European countries that count? And, how do we deal with problems in concert when many of us don’t agree on the extent or nature of the problem?

For our part, we in the United States must make a better case for our views and our actions. It is possible that things that are perfectly obvious to us may not be so obvious even to those who wish us well. We must be willing to listen and we must be willing to share our intelligence to the maximum extent appropriate.

We must be prepared to make our case not just privately, but to the people of Europe and the world in order to build political support for cooperation. The world is not stronger if America is weaker – or is perceived to be weaker. The same is true of Britain and truer still of our NATO alliance. And we must be capable of making that case.

In return, it is fair to expect that our allies will not put their trade and commercial interests above world security. It is also fair to ask that Europeans consider the consequences if they are wrong about the threat to the Western world.

Many in Europe simply have a different view from that of the United States as to the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism. They think that the threat is overblown. That despite September 11th, and July 7th and other attacks in Europe and elsewhere, America is the main target and therefore the problem is basically an American one. The fact that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq at a particular point in time resolves the matter for them. Also, they see no meaningful connection between terrorist groups and countries like Iran.

Admittedly, even some in America think that the threat is overblown, and that if we had not gone into Iraq, we’d have no terrorism problem.

However, most Americans feel differently. We understand that the Western world is in an international struggle with jihadists who see this struggle as part of a conflict that has gone on for centuries, and who won’t give up until Western countries are brought to their knees. I agree with this view. I believe that the forces of civilization must work together with common purpose to defeat the terrorists who for their own twisted purposes have murdered thousands, and who are trying to acquire technology to murder millions more.

When terrorists in their video performances pledge more and bigger attacks to come, against targets in both Europe and America, these are not to be shrugged off as idle boasts. They must be taken at their word.

When the president of Iran shares his nightmare visions before cheering crowds, those are not just the fanatic’s version of an empty applause line. The only safe assumption is that he means it. If we know anything from modern history, it is that when fanatical tyrants pledge to “wipe out” an entire nation, we should listen. We must gather our alliance, and do all in our power to make sure that such men do not gain the capability to carry out their evil ambitions.

Of course, diplomacy is always to be preferred in our dealings with dangerous regimes. But I believe diplomacy, as Franklin Roosevelt put it, is more than “note writing.” The words of our leaders command much closer attention from adversaries when it is understood that we and our allies are prepared to use force when force is necessary.

The campaign in Afghanistan is a prime example of this, both as a largely successful effort against a terrorist state and as a logical extension of the mission of NATO, which now reaches far beyond the boundaries of Europe.

As in Iraq, the effort has involved great sacrifice from the brave sons and daughters of Britain. By their valor, and by the sustained action of NATO in Afghanistan, we have shown our seriousness of purpose against terrorism … an ability to move beyond the military models of Cold War days … and a capacity to shift tactics and technology to fight an enemy who defends no state and observes no code.

Even in the midst of all the divisiveness with regard to our actions in Iraq, the United States, Great Britain and our coalition should be proud of what we have averted. Imagine Saddam Hussein and his murderous sons in power today successfully defying the international community and free to pursue weapons programs.

Of course political realism is back in the ascendancy since the difficulties in Iraq. It’s true that we have learned that geography, history, and ethnicity are important factors to consider in making decisions regarding today’s enemies.

We’ve also been reminded of the importance of preparation, of alliances, and the continuing support of our people.

But that does not change the fact that we sometimes must address events in far-away places that endanger our people. Or that we believe in universal values that do not allow us to ignore wholesale human suffering.

Realism? Yes. But also idealism, which is what makes us different from our enemies.

We should also remember that beyond the War on Terror, there are other threats we must meet together that extend well into the future. One way or another, the challenges we face today will recede. Other challenges to our shared interests and security have not been waiting patiently in line for our attention.

Some cannot yet be seen, but it is obvious that our energy needs for example are not going away. Disruptions in energy supplies, sharp price increases and thuggish behavior by energy suppliers are threats to all democracies with growing economies. Also, rapid military build-ups by non-democratic nations should be of concern.

More and more, if things go wrong in disputes that were once considered just regional problems, there will be no “over there” or “over here.” We’ll all be affected. Globalization is not limited to economic matters. As we go through these perilous times, we must keep firmly in mind the things that bind us together, not disagreements.

We’ve been through a lot together, our two nations – and not just in the storied exploits of our parents’ generation. Though there are many moments in British political history from which leaders today can take instruction, there is one in particular that I’ve always admired in the career of Sir Winston Churchill.

It was when Neville Chamberlain died in November 1940. In memorializing in the House of Commons his longtime adversary, Churchill pronounced the bitter controversies put to rest. He said, quote, “History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.”

In the end, he reflected, “The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions.” We are “so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.”

Maybe it’s the actor in me that admires this scene so much. It’s a moment that no script-writer could improve upon. I am struck by its spirit, the magnanimity and generosity of the man … the willingness to let old arguments go, and move on to great objectives held in common.

We in this alliance have had our own share of hopes mocked and plans upset. And now it is time to shake off the disappointments, to let go of controversies past, and to press on together toward the great objectives. To ensure security for our people. To be a force for stability in the world. To remain the stalwart friends of freedom.

For our part, we in the United States have never had occasion to doubt the fortitude and faithfulness of the British people. As much as ever, we count ourselves lucky to call the United Kingdom our closest ally, and we are proud to call you our finest friend.

Thank you.




Fred Thompson is an actor and former Senator. His radio commentary airs on the ABC Radio Network and be blogs on The Fred Thompson Report.
11365  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 19, 2007, 09:37:52 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/18/new-stak-attack-does-silky-pony-know-theres-a-war-on/


Roasted Silky Pony, anyone?
11366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 19, 2007, 09:35:23 AM
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/2008_republican_presidential_primary

Fred takes the lead from Rudy.
11367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 18, 2007, 11:18:06 PM
I give Rogt credit for his truthfulness, instead of the usual "I support the troops, but....." line most of the left hides behind.
11368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 18, 2007, 10:55:48 PM
Rogt,

What do you think America's loss would look like? Do you think the Vietnamese people were well served by our pulling out of Vietnam and abandoning the South to the tender mercies of the NVA? I think you should rent "The Killing Fields" and watch it until it sinks in....
11369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Help our troops/our cause: on: June 18, 2007, 09:58:55 PM
Traumatic Brain Injury. Most often happening from IEDs. The concussive force causes injury even if there is no externally visible trauma.
11370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: June 18, 2007, 06:07:26 PM
I recently took a class on the investigation of money laundering. One example cited was a S. Fla. drug house where they had so much cash to launder, 2 million dollars rotted into goo in the humidity before the DEA could get a search warrant.
11371  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 18, 2007, 05:50:41 PM
Because the tax "intended" for the business gets passed on to the consumer, most seriously affecting those on the lower end of economic status.

http://www.answers.com/topic/regressive-taxation?cat=biz-fin

Regressive Taxation

Tax burden that falls more heavily on those with low income. Contrast with Progressive Tax, Proportional Taxation.
Example: Sales tax on grocery products is considered regressive taxation because a poor individual must pay the same amount as a wealthy person. Ad Valorem taxes on housing are often regressive because those with low income spend a higher proportion of their income on housing than do the wealthy.
11372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 18, 2007, 05:02:34 PM
The majority of the founders of the US were of what religion? The Majority of Americans today are of what religion? Please tell me of any majority muslim nation where religious minorities enjoy the same level of freedoms religious minorities enjoy here.
11373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 18, 2007, 04:53:45 PM
Which harms the poorer would-be consumer the left allegedly cares so much about.....
11374  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Help our troops/our cause: on: June 18, 2007, 04:39:07 PM
I just went through 40 hours of "Crisis Intervention Training" and in the simulations we went through included a vet with PTSD and TBI. The USG hasn't done enough for the veterans of the GWOT. Serious money needs to be put into rebuilding the VA.
11375  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 18, 2007, 04:08:13 PM
Rogt,

I'd like to hear what you think is fair criticism of islam would be, if any.

I certainly take issue with Islam's treatment of women and gays, which isn't all that different from Christianity's.



That's a good point. I was kind of thinking the same thing the other day while beating a woman for being immodestly dressed in public. I was on my way to the public execution of homosexuals when I saw her.....
11376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 17, 2007, 07:52:47 PM
Rogt,

I'd like to hear what you think is fair criticism of islam would be, if any.
11377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 16, 2007, 10:33:16 PM
http://www.michellemalkin.com/archives/007568.htm

Michelle Malkin rip's into Paul's "Truther" pandering.
11378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 16, 2007, 10:16:07 PM
Crafty,

He's good on multiple issues, but wrong on the global jihad. He gets into loon territory when he panders to the 9/11 "trufers". I'd vote for Joe Liberman even though he's wrong on so many things because he's understands the global jihad. I used to vote on guns and law and order, now winning this war trumps all.
11379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 16, 2007, 04:30:53 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/16/video-the-only-man-who-can-save-america-talks-rudy-fred/?print=1

Ron Paul is a loon.
11380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 16, 2007, 03:08:46 PM
http://www.terrorismawareness.org/what-really-happened

All about Israel and it's neighbors.
11381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 16, 2007, 03:02:20 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=25874_Palestinians_Flee_to_Israel&only

Oh, the irony.....
11382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 16, 2007, 02:23:10 PM
You can't tax a business, big or small. You can try, but all you do is pass on the tax to the consumer. No nation has ever taxed it's self into prosperity.
11383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 15, 2007, 10:54:59 PM
Woof Crafty,

Hypothetical question: what would be your feelings about the subject titles below, on your political discussion forum or somebody else's?

Israeli Society
Israel vs. Palestine
Zionism and Fascism
Judaism the religion
Jews in the US
Jews in the Media
Jews in Hollywood
Jews in Europe
AIPAC/JADL
Over-representation of Jews in the Bush Administration?
Joseph Lieberman
Invitation to dialog with Jews

Keep in mind that I haven't said anything about what would be posted in them.  I'm just talking about opening the subjects for a truth-seeking discussion.

Rog

If jews had done 9/11 (I'm assuming not even DogBrian thinks so), if jews were killing people in the name of G-d on most every continent on the planet, if the majority of armed conflicts on the planet had jews making war on gentiles as a core element of their theology wouldn't you agree that those would be important topics of discussion?
11384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 15, 2007, 06:55:18 PM
"Look, we both agree that the ads shouldn't be banned.  So stop with this fantasy like the newspaper was just innocently presenting "information" instead of knowingly publishing something intentionally hostile and offensive."

You mean those instances when the Times publishes classified information which harms the national interest? When the mainstream media attempts to shape public opinion to suit their political agenda? Let me remind you of Dan Rather's "fake but true" memos regarding President Bush's nat'l guard records right before the last election.
11385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 15, 2007, 06:51:05 PM
Milt,

No, let people work. I know that's a crazy concept but it's amazing how much better free markets work rather than socialism. Free people making choices in their lives without a confiscatory nanny-state was one of those core concepts in the formation of the American experiment.
11386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: June 15, 2007, 07:36:34 AM
The US Constitution defines the role of government. Feeding, housing and providing healthcare aren't the job of gov't. Uncle Sam isn't your daddy and mommy.
11387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: June 14, 2007, 09:50:22 PM
Were it an ad attacking christianity, I doubt Rogt would defend offended christians.....
11388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 13, 2007, 11:37:10 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/13/denis-leary-blasts-truthers/

Looks like Dennis Leary is part of the conspiracy...... shocked
11389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 13, 2007, 09:32:06 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=25844_Purdue_Universitys_9-11_Computer_Visualization&only

Brainwashed obviously.....
11390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Is there any leftist totalitarians our resident lefties won't defend? on: June 12, 2007, 10:34:06 PM
I'm not on top of the details about Venezuela, i'm too busy trying to find out WHAT REALLY HAPPENED on 9/11. However, it struck me as strange your defense of Hugo (Castro-lite) Chavez. I'm reminded of reading the Village Voice once and finding a raging letter to the editor condeming an Village Voice article on North Korea for it's mockery of Kim Jong Il and his rule. I thought "Only in New York". I guess I was wrong. 
11391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 12, 2007, 10:25:05 PM
Outlaw bikers have a similar concept. "Three can keep a secret if two are dead".

Ok, let me get this straight, on 9/11/01 four aircraft were hijacked by some US gov't operatives, two of which hit the WTC, One disappeared with the crew and passengers to parts unknown and the Pentagon was then hit with a missile while the fourth plane was shot down by a fighter aircraft as part of the cover-up. The WTC and WTC 7 were then brought down by explosives hidden in the buildings by gov't personnel. Exactly how many people would you need to do this? Where are the passengers of the planes? Why did they call their family members and report arab hijackers? Why did they say they were going to fight the hijackers on flight 93 if this wasn't the case? Why use a missile on the pentagon if you can fly planes into the WTC? Why shoot down flight 93 instead of crashing it into congress or the white house? Why not just say the WTC was brought down by bombs instead of trying to use aircraft as cover creating additional operational difficulties and risks of disclosures?

The NY Times and other media outlets have published many stories on classified operations and issues damaging to this President, why won't they take your source material from such prestigious sites as abovetopsecret.com and publish the biggest story in American history?
11392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is there any leftist totalitarian our resident lefties won't defend? on: June 11, 2007, 06:34:04 PM
I'm curious.....
11393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 11, 2007, 06:32:22 PM
Israel's refusal to be pushed into the sea continues to inflame the muslim world. How unjust it is for the Israelis to continue to insist on survival.  rolleyes
11394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: June 10, 2007, 08:39:17 PM
It's a simple question. What's your problem with me asking it?
11395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:53:53 PM
The examples of paranoia exhibited by the political left and mouthpieces like Rosie in the last six years would be amusing, if they weren't so alarming and so mainstream. People who used to think like that were marginalized out of respect (or perhaps embarassment) over the physiological dysfunction that made them crazy. Nowadays, the theories of Rosie O'Donnells, Michael Moores, Cindy Sheehans and the like are best-selling books, movies and CDs. Their every word is plastered all over the news until the ordinary citizen begins to hear voices in his head, too.

When you consider the absurd complexity; the unparalleled detail and complete bizarreness of the various "Bushitlerhallisharpton" kinds of conspiracy theories that routinely come from the left these days, you've got to wonder why they find it so difficult and impossible to believe in a DOCUMENTED connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. That there was ABSOLUTELY NO SUCH THING is their strident, urgent response; even as they develop layer upon layer of loose connections and illogical associations to bolster the conspiracy du jour that they are promoting against the Bush Adminsitration.

Ask yourself why the possibility--let alone the reality-- of such a connection is actually so fundamentally threatening to them and their worldview.

You can always find out what the latest delusion making the rounds is by following the deeply disturbed fantasies at the Democratic Underground (I won't link to them) and the Huffington Post--which is only a more upscale DU--the Nieman Marcus of conspiracy department stores.

There is a reason that human beings experience suspicion, distrust and hypervigilance. That reason is because there is REAL danger in the world. Our ancestors in the caves knew this to be true. They lived with continual danger just to survive every minute of every day. Those who did not have the psychological capacity to perceive the danger in the environment surely died out long ago.

But this important psychological trait which senses danger and strives to protect the ego; and which is accentuated in children and early in life, is appropriately balanced out by the development of the rational faculty--the intellect.

The tools of the paranoid are denial, distortion, and projection. These psychological tools are almost always pathological when used to cope with the real world. For the user these three primitive psychological defenses permit a [hopefully temporary] rearrangement of external reality so that an actual, often unpleasant or painful reality may be avoided; for the beholder, the users of these mechanisms frequently appear crazy or insane. These are known as the "psychotic" defenses, common in overt psychosis, in dreams, and throughout childhood.

Denial is a refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening. There are examples of denial being adaptive (for example, it might be adaptive for a person who has a terminal illness to use some degree of denial). But for the most part, denial is only useful as a short-term strategy, to permit a person to come to terms with reality. As a long-term strategy to protect self-identity, it is potentially lethal--since the person or group that uses it extensively is blinded to the real danger that might be out there.

Distortion is a gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs. Hinchey's bizarre accusations against the evil genius Rove are a perfect example. It is more acceptable to believe that some evil person has tricked you, than it is to believe that you behaved stupidly.

Delusional Projection occurs when an individual or group have delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature.

It is easy to see how all these psychological manipulations work together to keep a person or a group insulated from reality. In truth, we witness such behavior all around us (and it is certainly not exclusive to one side of the political spectrum--though the political left has almost exclusive rights to it at this point in history).

Physiologically, anyone using these psychological strategies have some of short-circuit in their brain. That includes both those who are truly mentally ill with major psychiatric disorders; as well as those who, for psychological and psychosocial reasons, desire their brains to simulate mental illness in order to avoid reality. The only difference between the two is that the latter group have a potential to rediscover reality without any particular medication or treatment. A rediscovery may be painful; it may require a lot of soul-searching and an ability to face the unpleasant truth about themselves or their belief system, but insight and growth often are difficult processes.

How does reason balance suspicion? You say to yourself: is this feeling paranoid? Do I have facts to back up my suspicions, or do I only feel that it is so? Are these facts? Or, are they distortions, because I really really want to believe this is true?

How do you tell a fact from a distortion? 9/11 was a FACT. Millions of people experienced it directly; millions more watched it unravel indirectly. There are mounds of evidence and data that it was planned and funded by Al-Qaeda and carried out by Islamic terrorists. These are FACTS. The widespread belief among Muslims that the Jews are behind 9/11 and that they did it so that the blame would fall on Muslims is a DISTORTION, which comes from DENIAL of the facts; and represents a PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION. It is a PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION because many Muslims want desperately to believe that Islam is a peaceful religion and prohibits such acts, despite what is said in the Qu'ran, and what is practiced in the real world.

Likewise, the widespread belief on the political left that the Bush Administration and the US government is behind 9/11 and that they did it so that they did it because--- oh who the hell can possibly understand all the frivolous reasons they cite-- is also a DISTORTION, which comes from DENIAL of the facts; and represents a PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION. It is a PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION because many on the left want desperately to believe that their socialist ideology/religion stands for peace and that Republicans/Conservatives/Neocons are behind all the evil in the world, instead of their utopian fantasies, despite all the horrors their fantasies have produced in the real world.

Many people desperately need to cling to something--anthing, no matter how bizarre or psychotic-- that proves (at least in their own dysfunctional minds) that their beliefs about President Bush being a fascist dictator, another Hitler; about to implement a Christian theocracy are true. They believe this so deeply that it is impossible for facts to debunk such a religious fantasy. In their minds, if it is true, then they are not such losers for believing in an ideology that is responsible for the deaths and misery of millions around the world.

These people are so far gone, they have willingly abandoned the classical liberal values that once were part of the Democratic Party, and instead embraced a nihilistic culture of victimhood. In doing so, they now support all the losers, thugs and murderers of the world.

It is only a very short step from marching to support and cleverly rationalizing the homicidal and violent terrorist groups that make up the Palestinian cause to then swallowing whole the vile antisemitism that motivates the delusions they need to maintain their victimhood status.

As long as the Palestinians are the left's preferred and idealized victim group, neither have to face their own pathological inadequacies as people. As SC&A observe in a post on Arab conspiracies:
Israel and the success and contributions of Jews to western civilization as opposed to their own failures are in the mirror the Arab world has to look at daily. Those truths are almost intolerable to most Arabs. To be sure there are many progressive, intellectual Arabs that understand that Israel is a reality and that the successes of Jews in the west are a model that should be emulated, but for most, Israel and the success of the Jewish community integration into the American and western mosaic, remains a cruel violation of Allah's promise to them. The fact that Allah seems to have abandoned them to live in such squalor and hopelessness is of no concern- it is the non Muslims that remain the obsession. It is the non-Muslims that have upset the 'natural' Islamic order.
The Arab world is not humiliated by the lack of decent schools. The Arab world is not humiliated by their scientific backwardness and book burnings. In a smaller, interconnected world, they cannot be unaware of their own medievalism. The Arab world is not humiliated by collapsed economies. There are car manufacturers in China and Africa, yet there are only 'plans' for an auto industry in the Arab world.

To put it all in context- how is it possible that the humiliations of centuries of Arab failures are trumped by the political 'humiliations of today? What powerful agenda can pull a whole society away from reality?


This is the same powerful agenda that has pulled the left away from reason, truth and reality. Bill Whittle made a profound observation about those people who prefer to ignore Lee Harvey Oswald and subscribe to more complicated JFK assassination conspiracy theories: They are Oswald.

Likewise the left has become the Palestinians. They identify with the Arabs. That is the psychological basis of their unholy alliance with the Islamists and jihadists.

The paranoia, projection and denial all serve to make them feel better about themselves; make them feel less like the losers they are. By inventing themselves as the victims of the BushHitler--or the Jews, or the neocons or whatever-- they can, like a typical, arrogant paranoid psychotic, pat themselves on the back at their heroic, courageous, and "principled" stand against the forces of oppression. Their failures are NOT THEIR FAULT. Everything in their life would be better if THE EVIL OPPRESSORS would go away. Their need to externalize blame for their own failure will trump any facts and obscure any contradicting reality. Without the paranoia, they are nothing.

Emotions are an important part of life, but if you base all your behavior on what you FEEL, then you are vulnerable to all sorts of psychopathology. Paranoia is an extreme of what otherwise would be helpful and normal reactions to the perception of danger. Paranoia distorts reality in the service of protecting the self from having to deal with unacceptable thoughts or feelings. It is useful to protect the integrity of the sense of self--sometimes even at the expense of one's life.

Paranoia helps individuals and groups defend against their own hostility and their perceived insignificance. Often the emotions displayed by the paranoid are covering up the exact opposite emotion within. Paranoia is reason in the service of the irrational. The paranoid cannot afford to examine his or her premises and face reality because to do so would do two things:

(1) it would display to the world the deep, irrational hatred which he is defending himself against by making himself the "victim" of someone else's deep, irrational hatred; and

(2) it would cause him to admit his own insignificance, because if he is NOT the center of a plot and the focus of his "enemies" then he must be shamefully unimportant - a nobody.

You would think that a paranoid person would be reassured to discover that people or groups are NOT out to get him. That there is no conspiracy against the group. You would be wrong. This is the last thing that the Paranoid individual or group really want, because--if they are not being persecuted, or betrayed, or lied to, or oppressed--then the Paranoid must face the devastating reality of his own insignificance. This he cannot do and it is why the alternate reality was constructed in the first place.

The paranoid solution to unacceptable thoughts or feelings is to say, "If I am having these bad thoughts or feeling or behaviors, then someone else must be to blame and is making me do it." The Paranoid person does not take responsibility for his own thoughts or feelings or behaviors.

Conspiracy theories serve one of two purposes. They either serve as a rationale for the unacceptable successes of others; or as reasons for the failures of a particular group or individual. The Arab world fixation with Jews and the reasons for Jewish successes serve as the classic fodder for conspiracy theorists in the Middle East. In the US, the Rosie O'Donnell's and Michael Moore's are still trying desperately to account for the success of the Republicans in being elected to the White House and their own failure. Reality itself had to be distorted in order to protect them from feeling low self-esteem or shame. Bush Derangement and the various derivatives of the underlying hatred that infuses it has become second nature, and this transfer of blame to someone else is an indicator to the observer that such individuals are experiencing internal shame. It is but a short walk up that psycho path to paranoia and delusion.

A healthy individual's solution is to take responsibility for his or her thoughts, feelings, behaviors, successes and failures. Even if it is sometimes painful to acknowledge. But by owning his or her feelings, the healthy individual is able to exert control over inappropriate behavior that might spring from those feelings.

Another way of saying this is that you cannot choose the feelings that you experience- emotions are not generally under conscious control; but you can choose how to act on those feelings, because behavior is under conscious control.

Paranoia strikes deep. It will creep into your heart when you are afraid of your own feelings and try to disown them by blaming the "Jews", the "Blacks", or "Gays" or even President Bush. History has been littered with millions of dead bodies resulting from the denial, distortion and projection of paranoid leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, and Bin Laden. But those people had followers who believed just as they did, and did most of their dirty work.

You have to stop, look and see what's going down in your own heart and face some unpleasant and devastating facts about yourself--if you want to understand how such evil can exist.
11396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:52:17 PM
http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2007/04/paranoia-strikes-deep.html

Dr. Sanity
Shining a psychological spotlight on a few of the insanities of life
Monday, April 16, 2007
 
PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP
Are Americans taking over the number one spot as the most paranoid and delusional people in the world? Are our conspiracy theories more insane than the psychotic conspiracy theories that are at the heart of Arab identity in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere? And just today there is this piece from Pravda, via Tim Blair highlighting certain Russian fantasies detached from reality.

Let me just cut to the chase and admit that paranoia and delusional thinking are equal-opportunity, multiracial, multicultural and gender-indifferent psychological processes. And, they are so easy and convenient to use, that they are accessible even to the youngest of children or the most physiologically disabled adult mind.

I linked to Bill Whittle's excellent piece about American paranoia and conspiracy at Eject!Eject!Eject! in yesterday's Carnival, but it is far too serious a piece not to discuss at some length.

In it, Whittle shreds the delusions of many Americans into confetti, and he makes some very keen psychological observations about those who willfully cling to the conspiracy theories derived from those delusions. One theory examined under the light of reason is the belief by many that the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing was a government hoax (I have had my share of people ask me about that one); another is the JFK assassination conspiracies; and more recently there is the troubling slippage from the surly bonds of reality into the nether regions of 9/11 "truthiness":
I see. So we have the technical expertise to build a 40-story rocket that can produce millions of pounds of thrust. We can build capsules and lunar landers that function in zero-G. We have the means and the will to put these massive objects into Earth orbit, keep them up there for two weeks, but the additional 3-4% of the total launch energy needed to send this package to the moon is so obviously beyond our technical skill that the whole thing must be a hoax?

I’m sorry, that’s the thinking of someone who is mentally ill. There is something deeper at work there.

That “something” is different than someone who “believes” in UFO’s or the Loch Ness Monster. Such people may be short on critical reasoning, but the emotional force that drives them is a desire for wonder and the magical. Many have remarked that this is, indeed, almost a religious impulse. I’ve wanted to see a real-live flying saucer my entire life. Likewise, if Nessie really existed, what an incredible sight that would be… to look upon the last surviving dinosaur in the flesh! But a videotape of a standing wave shot from five miles away does not outweigh the whole air-breather / no fish evidence. It does not come close to outweighing it. And so I reluctantly throw Nessie back into the superstition bin from whence she came.

But these denialists – the Moon Hoaxers and the 9/11 “Truthers” – these are a different breed. And they are cut from precisely the same cloth. That is to say, they suffer from the same disease: an unwillingness to face reality and its consequences.

And here he has hit on the most prevalent mental illness of our time: The Unwillingness To Face Reality And Its Consequences.

I deal regularly with people who have various levels of physiological abnormality in their brain. Through an unfortunate series of events--their genetics; random biological mutations; or the deliberate use of mind-altering substances that activate the latent psychosis; etc. etc., these unfortunate souls start out with or unknowingly stimulate a defective physiology which causes a dysfunction in their cognitive faculties. Their defective brain works hard to integrate events and make sense of the world, but it is at a serious and overwhelming disadvantage because its neural pathways don't work properly. Hence, auditory or visual hallucination; bizarre delusions; complicated conspiracy theories; disorganized thinking; and an impaired critical thinking capacity in general--all of which lead to pervasive misperceptions of the world and the people around them.

We rightly call such people mentally ill. For the most part (except for the substance-induced psychotics) the only choice they have in the matter (and this, too is often dependent on whether or not the insight they have into their illness has been spared the physiological degneration that effects other parts of their brain) is whether to regularly take the medications that give them some hope of being able to accurately perceive reality.

The people I am concerned about in this post are as close to being mentally ill as it is possible to get. Oh, they have the same catastrophic physiological disruption in their brain that the paranoid schizophrenic has; it's just that they came to it via a different route. They probably weren't born with much of a physiological vulnerability for becoming detached from reality....no, they had to have repeatedly travelled down the psycho path to reach their final delusional destination. It is likely that at first they mentally got lost and accidentally took a wrong turn, leaving the main highway. It was always within their cognitive power to return to the main road (unlike those with mental illness who are biologically trapped on the false path); but at some point they chose to stay on their present course.

The world of politics attracts paranoia, conspiracy theories and paranoids like flypaper attracts flies. And it is deeply disturbing to observe. Whittle notes:
I am more interested in the psychology of someone who believes in these conspiracy theories. I exempt people who have only heard one side of the story, as I did. Sadly, skepticism doesn’t sell as well as hysteria....

Intellectually honest people, people without a deep, vested emotional need to believe the worst, are usually relieved to hear the facts that demolish superstitions like the Bermuda Triangle and the Loch Ness Monster. While there may be disappointment at the loss of an unseen world, people who have chosen to live in reality find comfort in the fact that reality is, in fact, made up of the real and not the wished for.

No, what fascinates me is the emotional motive of people who, presented with overwhelming evidence that the events that transpired on November 22nd, 1963 or September 11th, 2001 really happened exactly the way it appeared, continue to spin ever more elaborate webs in order to get to a place they need to be emotionally. Who are you going to believe: them or your own lying eyes?

All of this conspiracy nonsense comes after the fact. What we saw on those days was clear and vital and unmistakably obvious. In the case of the Kennedy assassination we are asked to believe – against all physical evidence to the contrary – what a few professional witnesses recall for pay ten or twenty or thirty years after the fact. Some guy who claims to see a puff of smoke on the grassy knoll is now a world-wide celebrity and not just some dude with time on his hands on a November afternoon. (And don't be deterred by the fact that a musket firing black powder was the last firearm that emitted "a puff of smoke;" perhaps Kennedy was murdered by a re-animated Stonewall Jackson. Prove it didn't happen!)

I’ve met a number of these people. I know this is harsh, but I’m sick of watching the damage they are doing to this civilization: these people are, to a man, complete losers. Losers. They are desperate and sad people who need to believe in some dark secret to give meaning to their lives....

Recently, Rosie O’Donnell said on national television that she believes 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government.

Well, that’s why we went through the steps above. If you believe that the government lied about the moon landing, you can believe they lied about killing JFK. If they lied about JFK, then they can lie about chemtrails. And if they are willing to poison the entire population with aerial spraying, what are a few thousand people in four airliners and a couple of buildings?

Rosie O’ Donnell making such a claim on a major network is a national disgrace. The fact that much of the audience cheered and applauded is nothing less than a national catastrophe.

To her, and to her audience, it is taken as granted that the government is capable of such things. As if “the government” was operated by cyborgs grown in Haliburton vats, rather than by well-meaning and patriotic people that love this country.

...what kind of moral universe do you have to inhabit to be able to believe that your own people – airline personnel, demolition experts, police and security forces, faked witnesses and all the rest – are capable of such a thing? How much hate for your own society do you have to carry in order to live in such a desolate and ridiculous mental hell? What psychoses must a mind be riddled with in order to negate what was perfectly obvious and instead believe a theory of such monumental fantasy? How much pure constant hatred does that take?

What, in short, is the miserable black hole of self-loathing that drives a person like Rosie O’Donnell and millions like her?

11397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:44:22 PM
9/11 and The Birth of a Notion

Of course, all of this is just the soup for the main course.

Recently, Rosie O'Donnell said on national television that she believes 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government. Well, that's why we went through the steps above. If you believe that the government lied about the moon landing, you can believe they lied about killing JFK. If they lied about JFK, then they can lie about chemtrails. And if they are willing to poison the entire population with aerial spraying, what are a few thousand people in four airliners and a couple of buildings?

Rosie O'Donnell making such a claim on a major network is a national disgrace. The fact that much of the audience cheered and applauded is nothing less than a national catastrophe.

To her, and to her audience, it is taken as granted that the government is capable of such things. As if "the government" was operated by cyborgs grown in Haliburton vats, rather than by well-meaning and patriotic people that love this country.

"This is the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel," she said. This is a statement of such pristine and perfect idiocy that it surely must be emblazoned in stone across the entrance to the Physics Imbecile wing of the Moron Museum of Natural History. But mastery of physics and engineering requires some intelligence, some perseverance and some discipline: none of which are in evidence in this buffoon. Everything is a conspiracy to a mind this far gone. The 15 British sailors kidnapped at sea? All a plan by our evil (but incompetent!) government to get the next war it so desperately needs. "Gulf of Tonkin! Google It, people!" she said on national TV. And I will, Rosie. I promise. As soon as I finish googling MAD COW DISEASE.

I will make the point yet again because I believe it is the crux of the issue: what kind of moral universe do you have to inhabit to be able to believe that your own people -- airline personnel, demolition experts, police and security forces, faked witnesses and all the rest -- are capable of such a thing? How much hate for your own society do you have to carry in order to live in such a desolate and ridiculous mental hell? What psychoses must a mind be riddled with in order to negate what was perfectly obvious and instead believe a theory of such monumental fantasy? How much pure constant hatred does that take? What, in short, is the miserable black hole of self-loathing that drives a person like Rosie O'Donnell and millions like her?

 

 

You know who I blame for this pathetic state of affairs? I blame Leonard Nimoy. I remember watching In Search Of... as a teen and always being just a little disappointed that there was so little -- you know, proof -- in any one of those episodes. In Search of Atlantis, In Search of Ghosts, In Search of Ancient Astronauts, In Search of the Bermuda Triangle, In Search of UFO's..., In Search of, in other words, every conceivable hoax and superstition on the face of the planet. And I watched it in spite of the lack of actual proof and I believed it all because it presented one thin string of opinion and falsehood cloaked as "evidence" and no one rebutted a word of it.

"We're just asking questions" was the official, voice-over disclaimer. You hear that too from the 9/11 Truth crowd when confronted with the lunacy of their claims. We're just asking questions... Well, in that vein I'd like to ask some questions myself. Is Michael Moore a serial pedophile? I'm just asking, and I'm sure a lot of my readers would just like to have some questions answered. I heard that Rosie O'Donnell ate a baby at a Satanic Ritual once -- is that true? Can you please provide the evidence that this did not in fact happen? Thanks. Who has murdered more hookers: Bill Maher or Charlie Sheen? Come on, you can't tell me there's no smoke there. I just want a possible explanation...

So that's what it has come to now. We deserve better. God damn it, we do.

 

 

In the middle of all this laziness, this lack of rigor, this mush -- a few small lights still twinkle in the darkness.

I think the entire nation owes a deep and profound debt of gratitude to the editors of Popular Mechanics magazine. Their debunking of the 9/11 conspiracy was not only first-rate journalism. It was an act of vital national importance. It was heroic.

But Popular Mechanics?! That sort of article should have been front page, above the fold in The New York Times, The LA Times, Washington Post, and all of the other 'media watchdogs' that are -- or so I am assured -- determined to safeguard the republic by presenting the truth.

There are only two small mites I might add to that monumental work.

This whole ball of earwax got started when a French author (by way of gratitude, I presume, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans killed defending his country from a tyranny they themselves were unwilling to fight) claimed that the hole in the Pentagon was far too small to have been caused by a jet. It must have been a missile!

All of these 9/11 conspiracy sites have museum-grade idiots stating what 'obviously' happens at velocities and temperatures that they are flat-out incapable of understanding. Not only are these people too stupid to understand the physics involved with what they are bloviating about -- they are too stupid to realize that they are too stupid.

An airplane is a hollow, extremely light-weight tube of aluminum, cunningly designed to lift not one ounce more than is necessary for safe flight in rough weather. An airplane is as fragile as a hollow-boned bird, and for the same reasons. The Pentagon, on the other hand, is a fortress, and as a matter of one of the very few pieces of good luck on that awful day, the side hit by American Flight 77 happened to be the only one of the five sides that had been recently reinforced to withstand a truck bomb attack.

Now if you have ever seen a bird fly into a window pane, you may realize that it does not leave a nice bird-shaped hole in the window. That is because in each historical conflict between the ground and an airplane, the ground has won every time.

Here's something to prove the point far better than any words could ever do. It is a video of an F-4 Phantom being launched into a reinforced wall at over 500 mph. The Phantom is a big airplane -- not as big as a jetliner, certainly, but far sturdier in construction. When you watch this video, you will see that massive-looking fighter jet simply vaporize into a plume of aluminum dust. Nothing comes through the other side. It. Just. Disappears.

My other small contribution -- which may be widely stated, although I have not seen it -- is to grant this revolting premise for a moment and envision the consequences.

The 9/11 Truthers claim that the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition. Okay.

Have you ever seen a controlled demolition? Shows like this are all over The Discovery Channel. Do these people realize how all of the insulation and paneling must be stripped away from the support beams? Do they not understand how these beams must be cut open and the explosives placed with great care? Have they not any idea of the amount of time this takes -- months -- and the forest of wires that runs through the structure to the detonating mechanism? Have they given no thought -- none? -- to what an enormous job this is, and how much work goes into getting these explosives exactly where they need to be?

Apparently not. They just figure someone leaves a suitcase somewhere, I guess.

Anyone who has ever -- ever -- seen what is required to bring down a building of that size knows that the site is a disaster area of det cord, pulled paneling, and huge bundles of explosives taped to the structural columns across many floors. Has no one considered that this all had to be started after everyone went home on Monday night and before people reported for work the next day? On multiple floors of two of the busiest public spaces in the world?

No one noticed this on Tuesday morning? Hey Jim, what do you suppose that huge bundle of plastic explosives is doing there where the water cooler used to be? And where do those wires go? Well, must be some logical explanation. Let's get some coffee and bagels.

Now you're talking!

Of all the people in those buildings that morning, no one -- no one -- saw any wires anywhere? No one asked why the drywall was torn down and replaced with grey stuff duct-taped into place? None of the firemen rushing into those burning towers, checking all those floors for survivors -- none of them noticed the building was rigged to explode? That it might possibly be worth a small call on the radio?

My father was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 2002. I will never forget that day. It changed my life, and it was the event that started me writing here at Eject! Eject! Eject!

The man who coordinated that service was on a hill about a half-mile from that side of the Pentagon on the morning of September 11th, 2001. He told me that they had been informed that something was going on in New York that morning. Then he heard something that he said he thought was a missile attack -- a roar so loud and so far beyond a normal jet sound that he looked up at that exact moment expecting to die.

What he saw emerge from the trees overhead, perhaps a hundred feet above him, was American Airlines Flight 77 as it went by in a silver blur, engines screaming in a power dive as it hit the near side of the Pentagon. He told me -- to my face -- that body parts had rained down all over that sacred field. Just like red hail on a summer day. Those body parts are buried in a special place at the base of that hill.

Now. If Rosie O'Donnell and the rest of that Lunatic Brigade is right and I am wrong, then that man -- that insignificant Army chaplain and his Honor Guard of forty men -- are all liars. He is lying to me for Halliburton and Big Oil. That Chaplain -- and all of those decent, patriotic young men in the Honor Guard, and all the commuters on the roads who saw an American Airlines jet instead of a missile -- all of those people are liars and accessories to murder. And all of the firefighters who went into buildings rigged to explode were pre-recruited suicide martyrs dying for George W. Bush's plans for world conquest. Remember: NOTHING that happened on September 11th needed any more explanation than what was obvious from the second impact... namely, that Islamic terrorists hijacked four American aircraft and flew three of them into their targets. To try to convince people of missile attacks and rigged explosives and mystery jets is nothing more than an intentional assault on reason and common sense, one that damns the innocent and protects those mass murderers with our blood on their hands.

It's an obscenity. It's a filthy, God-damned, criminal obscenity. Nothing less.

 

 

I work as a TV editor on SUNDAY MORNING SHOOTOUT. Oliver Stone was our guest several months ago. When asked if he regretted anything in his career, he had the audacity to say he regretted not putting THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION on the top of his movie JFK. He's a dramatist, he said. His job is to tell a story. He went on to say -- and I remember I gasped when I heard it -- that the problem in Dealy Plaza that day was due to "a failure of perception." That's a direct quote. 

A failure of perception. What else can that mean but that these ignorant people who were actually on the scene failed to perceive what he so clearly sees thirty years after the fact from a mansion in Beverly Hills?

Now if Oliver Stone were just a garden-variety Narcissistic Personality Disorder sufferer, I'd feel sorry for the man. But he is foisting his disease on an entire population, and using his great skill, he has helped convince another generation to share his own personal pathologies. And he is far from alone.

Think about it: The Manchurian Candidate originally featured Communist Chinese as the brainwashers. Now in the remake it's The Manchurian Corporation. Syriana shows Big Oil and the CIA assassinating poor honest Arab leaders who only want to bring democracy to their people. Did this ever actually happen?

Who cares! I'm a dramatist!

In XXX: State of the Union, prisoners and murderers must be set free to defend the country against the real threat: the Secretary of Defense. In Shooter it's up to a lone hero to assassinate the evil oil-drinking killers that make up the US government. The Constant Gardner has Big Pharmaceuticals testing deadly products on poor Africans as sort of cheap, PETA-proof lab rats. What does it matter to a bunch of dramatists that drug companies are our best defense against the plagues that reap entire generations of lives? That the CIA is not a band of rogue assassins with nothing better to do than pick off our own leaders but rather a hard-working group of dedicated men and women who work without fame or fortune or Beverly Hills mansions, day in and day out, trying to find that little thread that keeps millions of us alive and healthy and blissfully -- willfully, in the case of these dramatists -- stupid and naive?

And it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

If it's not the the government then it's the corporations... always the bad guys. Always guilty. Always fat white men ready to kill anyone for money.

Have these dramatists ever -- ever? -- run a business? Have they any clue at all how much effort goes into keeping the french fry station at McDonald's adequately staffed, to say nothing about pulling together a few thousand people in spectacular acts of mass murder? Do they have any idea that the honest human men and women who work for the government are anything more than plot points in their own bitter narratives? Is there no end to the evidence -- as if more evidence was needed -- that we are daily led to believe the worst about our government, our businesses and our country by self-centered psychotics who understand nothing but the absolute imperative to glorify themselves at the expense of everyone and everything they share this civilization with?

And people believe this. Look at Rosie's audience.

How much poison can you put into your veins before you are too weak to walk? Too weak to breed? And how much more of this poison I.V. drip is needed until you die? How many of these cultural suicide pills are we going to swallow before we start to wake up to the fact that dramatists -- not the government -- are going to kill us all?

When you look at what these people ask you to believe, to justify that naked, awful emptiness in their own souls and the horrible damage their lies are doing to our civilization -- well, it's enough to make you want to take Occam's Razor out of its golden box and slit their miserable throats with it.















UPDATE! Rocket scientist and professional psychiatrist DR SANITY has written an exceptional column on the clinical nature of these sad but dangerous people here. Needless to say, her professional opinion and conclusions are orders of magnitude more powerful and compelling than mine. Highly recommended for those who want to know more about why some people need to believe the patently absurd.



If you have the courage to go through the looking glass and discover how I know JFK was murdered by The American Beef Council, you can learn the horrible truth here. Be very wary of the guy on the extreme right (there are no coincidences!); he's often been accused of being a CIA operative. (From GRAZING, circa 1994 (L-R) Brian Bradley, Peter Hurtgen, Alex Campbell, Eric Laing, Bill Whittle) Anyone interested in discussing any of this can do so over here. As for me, I'm always happy to hear from you directly.

Posted by Proteus at April 8, 2007 11:02 PM

11398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:41:32 PM

I've met a number of these people. I know this is harsh, but I'm sick of watching the damage they are doing to this civilization: these people are, to a man, complete losers. Losers. They are desperate and sad people who need to believe in some dark secret to give meaning to their lives.

In Case Closed Gerald Posner points out one thing that all the Kennedy conspiracy books have in common: a complete disregard for the main actor on that day, namely Lee Harvey Oswald. In all of Lifton's theories about stolen corpses and secret autopsies, he only devotes a page or two to Oswald. He is a peripheral player. A patsy. Some make him out to be a hero who was framed.

Posner, by contrast, devotes almost half his book to Oswald. This is the heart of it, because once you fully appreciate what a pathetic loser Oswald was, the entire day makes crystalline sense.

Who in the general public knows that Oswald tried to defect to the Soviet Union, was rejected, and slit his wrists in a Soviet hotel when he learned he was to be thrown out of the country? Who knows that the Russians reluctantly granted him asylum, shipped him to the boonies, gave him an obscure factory job making television sets, and that when his fifteen minutes of novelty were up, he desperately lied and cajoled the Soviets into letting him return to the US? Who can read about his disappointment at the lack of press coverage upon his return to America, or his desperate attempts at attention with Fair Play for Cuba, or his self-documented assassination attempt on Texas anti-communist General Edwin Walker, without seeing a pathological narcissistic loser just waiting to show the world how exceptional he really was?

Once you know Lee Harvey Oswald, you realize that he would have pulled the trigger on Cantinflas or Bozo the Clown if either one of them had been parading beneath his window that November day. It is so obvious, so straightforward, so simple... so inevitable.

But no. Instead we have to have teams of assassins, and the purchased cooperation of dozens, if not hundreds of people, all to commit a ghastly crime and pull one over on an entire nation. Posner posits at the end of his book (and I agree completely) that what drives the conspiracy idea is the intolerable belief that a lone wacko can change history. On one side of the scale, writes Posner, you have the handsome, charismatic, Leader of the Free World, and on the other side a scrawny, pathetic loser. The mind wants to add weight to Oswald's side, to give the horror some meaning. But it just isn't so. And the lie you create to meet this emotional need is more damaging to the country than the assassination of a beloved President could ever be.

I'll tell you something. These conspiracy theorists that ignore that miserable, pathetic, self-aggrandizing egomaniac named Lee Harvey Oswald, or glorify him as a patsy and a hero, do so because deep down inside they realize something unpleasant about Lee Harvey Oswald and themselves.

They are Oswald.

 

 

 

Look! Up in the Sky!

Some people see the Moon Hoax, Kennedy, 9/11 conspiracies and all the rest of that garbage as separate little fiefdoms of harmless lunacy. But I do not.

They all have one element in common, and it is a deadly poison which we must address if we want to regain our social health.

If you believe the lunar landing was a hoax, then you believe that your government was willing and able to lie to you in order to gain prestige it did not earn. You are willing to believe that there are thousands and thousands of engineers, astronauts, technicians, and so on, who are willing to lie on government orders: lie to their friends and family, lie to the press, lie to you. And all of them -- tens if not hundreds of thousands of them -- take their secret to the grave.

I know a lot of engineers. They are some of the most scrupulously honest people I know. They have to be -- their work depends on it. To believe that thousands of these people can lie again and again through their entire lives tells me a great deal about the person that holds such a belief.

If you further believe that the Kennedy Assassination was not the unlucky intersection of a parade route and a commie loser with a rifle, but rather a coup d'etat orchestrated by Johnson or Castro or the Mob, then you believe that your government is willing to kill (or at least cover up the killing of) a man -- the duly elected President of the United States -- in order for some shadow figure to gain power.

What military man could order such a thing? I am also honored to know many people who have served this country in uniform. To a person, I find they would try to save the life of the President, no matter how much they despised him (or her). They love the office. They love the country. That is why they serve.

There's only one kind of person that can believe a group of U.S. military officers would follow such an order: people who don't know any U.S. military officers. What does that say about how they themselves are wired? Colonel, I want you to shoot the President. That order comes direct from the Vice President!

Well, I'll get on it right away! I

t's ludicrous. It's absurd. It's widely believed. And if you believe the government was willing to do that, then you believe they are willing to do this:

 

 

You know what these are? They're Chemtrails.

Wake up, sheeple!!

Chemtrails are one of two things:

A. They are slow-acting toxins dispersed from aerial refueling tankers designed to spread carcinogens and other lethal agents among the general population, with the goal of reducing the world's population by 85%. They are dispersed in criss-cross patterns or a series of regular lines in order to obtain maximum coverage.

Or

B. They are the product of relatively modern, high-bypass turbofans operating at altitudes where water vapor is condensed and freezes into what is essentially an artificial cirrus cloud, which naturally follow the invisible airways and VOR turning points that make up the US Airspace system. They are Contrails.

Millions of your countrymen are choosing A. Millions. Think about that, and weep. Think that there are people out there right now -- people two cars over in traffic, or ahead of you in the check-out counter -- who believe that our government is spraying high-altitude poisons designed to kill us all. That men and women -- thousands of men and women -- go to work every day, refilling the tankers with deadly chemicals, or flying top-secret missions in broad daylight, indiscriminately spraying death down on their drinking buddies, fellow church-goers, co-workers, cousins and wives and children. What kind of person--. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I don't do this often but I just can't continue this calmly:

WHAT THE LIVING HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE?!!

I think it's high time -- and way, waaaay past high time -- to start pushing back against these kinds of diseased philosophies and the fact that they are getting traction because no one seems willing to point at them and go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting with the 747 in 1970, jetliners began to employ a very different kind of jet engine. The first generation of jets -- the ones that produced the thin, narrow contrails we used to see -- employed what is called a turbojet (or "pure jet") engine. These are much narrower engines than you usually see today. All of the air that a turbojet encounters goes inside the engine, where it is compressed, injected with fuel and ejected out the rear. But the 747 pioneered a radical new design, called a turbofan (or "high-bypass") engine. Just about anything you are likely to get on these days uses these high-bypass engines. They are called high-bypass because they are much wider than an old turbojet. That is because most of the air that enormous fan takes in does not go into the engine at all, but rather around the outside of it. It is, essentially, a huge propeller powered by the ten or twenty percent of the total airflow that actually enters the engine and drives the turbine shaft as it exits under very high pressure.



The net result is that a turbofan engine moves a much larger volume of air than a turbojet. That makes it more powerful, more fuel efficient and a lot more quiet... they have that hum rather than the crackling roar of the older turbojet. They are quieter because they shroud that hot air inside an invisible tube of cooler air that has gone around -- not through -- the engine core. This massive volume of heated and cooled air produces these newer, thicker, more persistent contrails, as you can see here:

 

If you happen to be one of those people who, like me, flatten their face against the window for five hours rather than reading CROSSFIRE on the way home for Thanksgiving, you will often see these jets producing these contrails with your own eyes. Those jets are not filled with poison chemicals or equipped with spraying nozzles, but rather are filled with other people watching your jet produce the same hi-bypass contrails.

So either that explains it, or the whole thing is a high altitude, crop-dusting scheme designed to chemically poison a pernicious pest, namely, you and me. Now you tell me which one seems a little more likely to you, and I will in return advise you whether or not you need to seek professional psychiatric help.

(You might be relieved to know that there is hope on the Chemtrail front. As it happens, "a rescue effort of neutralizing and transmuting the toxic elements in chemtrails was initiated in early 2002 with the introduction of a device called the "chembuster" which will transmute the atmospheric energy envelope from one polarity which allow chemtrails to persist, to another polarity which will cause chemtrails to disperse and fall apart. The proliferation of chembusters around the country led to another dramatic development in early 2004 - legions of huge air elemental beings called "Sylphs" by ancient Greeks made their presence known by assuming cloud shapes that often look like wispy winged angels or animal forms who set about "cleaning up" the skies of chemtrail toxins by engulfing and transmuting chemtrail toxins into non-toxic substances.")

Well! I feel better already!
11399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: World Trade Center Tower 7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:40:54 PM
http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000140.html (Go to the site for the pictures)

April 8, 2007

SEEING THE UNSEEN, Part 2
(This is the long-overdue second part of an examination of the value of critical thinking. Part 1 is here. The final installment will deal with the issue of Global Warming)



Occam's Razor is the idea that when confronted with competing theories that explain certain data equally well, the simplest one is usually correct. It's called Occam's Razor, and not Occam's Hypothesis, or Occam's Theorem, or Occam's Bit of Useful Advice, because it is a razor -- it cuts cleanly and with great efficiency. And though it pains me to say so, this culture is in desperate need of a shave.

 

 

IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

I want to forgo the niceties of the hot towel and go straight for the jugular on this one. My goal here is not to bust any of these four conspiracy theories; that has all been done much more effectively elsewhere. What I am trying to do here is to build a chain of evidence to show a progressively deteriorating epidemic of world-wide insanity, of truly diseased thinking -- not just a misunderstanding or difference of opinion but real, diagnosable mental illness. I want to get to that disease in a minute -- and the cause of it too -- but first let's examine what some people claim to believe in and the mountains of sand one has to carry in order to bury one's head so deep.

Man on the Moon

Several years ago, I was having lunch with some co-workers and the subject of the Loch Ness Monster came up. They seemed genuinely amazed that I was so certain that it did not exist. I pointed out that an air-breathing plesiosaur would have to surface for air so often that its 'reality' would be as much in doubt as that of whales or dolphins. Also, there are essentially no fish in Loch Ness, so it has nothing to eat. The most famous photo of it is a known fake. It's a no-brainer. Not that I couldn't be convinced I was wrong, I added. But I would want to pet the damn thing, or at least stand on the carcass with my hands clasped in the air.

This shocking position got me an invitation to meet "Joe" (might be his real name; I frankly don't remember). Joe was a friend of one of my colleagues. Joe, I was told, was one of the most well-respected paranormal researchers in the world, and as it turned out, he lived a few blocks from me.

Would I be willing to debate him?

I said yes, of course -- and for a reason that I later came to regret. I said yes not because I felt some need to set this guy right, but rather because I hoped he might have something really interesting, something that might cause me to change my mind.

I met him at his apartment: the kind of musty, cluttered, book-filled room I had seen before and come to expect. There were two others in the room. We shook hands. He was a nice enough guy.

"So whatcha got?"

He pulls out a videotape. Buzz is holding the flag. Neil takes a picture. Buzz lets go of the flag pole -- and the flag waves! In the breeze! Fake! Fake! The mask slips!

You ever played golf, Joe? I ask. He has not. I tell him that the flag pole is very long, very thin, like the pin on a green. Touch that and let it go and it will wobble precisely the same way, like a giant guitar string. It's got nothing to do with air.

What else have you got?

He's got stills from the lunar surface. Where are the stars? Huh? Skeptic Boy? I thought you could see stars in space. Why don't we see any in the picture? I ask him to imagine he is on a dark road in the middle of a black night. A car is approaching with its high beams glaring. What does the grille look like?

He doesn't get the analogy. I have to explain that you can't see the grille because the lights are too bright. Your eyes (or the camera) stop down -- the iris constricts -- so that you can comfortably view the bright lights. Likewise, on the moon, the camera is exposed to see the bright lunar landscape, or the brilliant blue Earth. The stars are too dim to register. There are no stars visible in virtually any photo taken in earth orbit, either -- not behind the shuttle, or the space station.

This is a sign that it is not a fake, because while it is logical, it's also somewhat unexpected. A hoaxer would almost certainly add stars. All of the paintings that preceded the actual landing show a lunar sky ablaze with stars. This was something no one realized until we got there.

He had scores of criticisms, all of which were specious and which have been refuted in excruciating detail. I'll spare you the half-hour spent looking at lighting differences and the position of suspicious shadows and cut to the chase here.

Watch Buzz walk, I tell him. See the dust at his feet. Look at that carefully. See how it sprays like water? Very fine dust spraying like a water skier's wake? In an atmosphere -- like on a sound stage -- very fine dust is lifted by the air into a dust cloud, and we all know what a little dust cloud looks like. What you are seeing when you watch those dust trails are very small particles moving in a low-gravity vacuum. I tell him -- not that he believes me -- that it is a tougher engineering challenge to make an area the size of a movie lot into a perfect vacuum than it is to actually go to the moon.

Now it's my turn to ask some questions, and here's where it goes from the ridiculous to the sublime: I was there at Cape Kennedy for the launch of Apollo 13. Is he saying I am lying about this whole moon mission conspiracy? I and millions of others who stood there and saw those Saturn V's climb into the sky?

Of course not, says Joe. They actually launched. The astronauts just stayed in earth orbit the whole time.

I see. So we have the technical expertise to build a 40-story rocket that can produce millions of pounds of thrust. We can build capsules and lunar landers that function in zero-G. We have the means and the will to put these massive objects into Earth orbit, keep them up there for two weeks, but the additional 3-4% of the total launch energy needed to send this package to the moon is so obviously beyond our technical skill that the whole thing must be a hoax?

I'm sorry, that's the thinking of someone who is mentally ill. There is something deeper at work there.

That "something" is different than someone who "believes" in UFO's or the Loch Ness Monster. Such people may be short on critical reasoning, but the emotional force that drives them is a desire for wonder and the magical. Many have remarked that this is, indeed, almost a religious impulse. I've wanted to see a real-live flying saucer my entire life. Likewise, if Nessie really existed, what an incredible sight that would be; to look upon the last surviving dinosaur in the flesh! But a videotape of a standing wave shot from five miles away does not outweigh the whole air-breather / no fish evidence. It does not come close to outweighing it. And so I reluctantly throw Nessie back into the superstition bin from whence she came.

But these denialists -- the Moon Hoaxers and the 9/11 "Truthers" -- these are a different breed. And they are cut from precisely the same cloth. That is to say, they suffer from the same disease: an unwillingness to face reality and its consequences.

My evening with Joe was very illuminative. After the moon hoax came the following, depending on your point of view:

Alien blobs surrounding the Space Shuttle OR a negative image videotape of a blurry object at the bottom of an aquarium.

UFO squadrons flying in close formation OR distant geese at the limit of a digital zoom slowed to 5 frames per second.

A giant, manned American space station in orbit around Mars OR a still frame from NASA's 1976 Viking animation.

Otherworldly 'rods' darting invisibly through the skies of our planet OR individual frames of a large insect leaving a blurry video trail as it whizzes past the lens.

Every time I would identify one of these great mysteries, Joe had the same response: okay, but what about this! No fight, no defense -- nothing. And then we'd be on to some new blur or smudge that proved, incontrovertibly, that this "reality" we live in is a giant lie, and that we are all victims of Dark Forces moving beyond our control or even our awareness... and that while the sleepwalking sheeple go on with their corporate-controlled lives, the mysterious wheels of the Shadow Government turn inexorably onward, crushing those brave few individuals who are on to the whole horrid plot like so many ants. There is a word for this diseased mental state.

As I was leaving Joe's, he said something I'm sure he thought was very funny. He said, "Man, I'll bet a guy like you thinks Lee Harvey Oswald really shot JFK."

Of course he shot JFK, Joe. Who do you think did it? The American Beef Council? Joe looked at me the way I had been looking at him. That is to say, he simply could not process that I could hold such a belief in my head. You're serious? I'm dead serious. I recommended Case Closed, by Gerald Posner -- without question the best piece of critical reasoning, research and logic I have ever read, bar none. I suspect he did not follow my advice. Books like that are bad for his business. Man, you're out there, said Joe. You know, the sad thing is, I'm starting to believe he is right.

 

 

A quick aside...

Back around 1989 or so, I had just moved to LA and was working the night shift as a limousine driver. I had a miserable little apartment in North Hollywood. I had heard of a book that had published the autopsy pictures of President Kennedy, and how it contained compelling evidence of a conspiracy. It was called Best Evidence and I bought it.

It doesn't rain often in Los Angeles, but it rained the night I read that book. Its author, David Lifton, claimed that Kennedy was shot from the front, but then the body was secretly taken from Air Force One to Walter Reed Army Hospital where extensive surgery 'reversed' the trajectory of the wounds to make it look like poor patsy Oswald was the real assassin.

When I finally got to the payoff a shot of electricity went through me. I realized that I was now in possession of such history-changing information that I distinctly recall getting up, opening the door and peering out into the rain to see if I was being watched. I felt, truly, for one half-hour that my life might be in danger. I wish I could say I am making this up.

That sense of uncovering deep layers of ancient cover-ups is what drove the sales of The DaVinci Code. There, too, a web of truths, half-truths and outright fabrication spun a story that left the reader with a palpable sense of awe. It made you feel important, like you knew something absolutely essential that very few others ever were privileged to know.

Now most normal people do not look at life from within a pit of failure and despair. Our lives are measured by small successes -- like raising children, serving in the military, doing volunteer work at your church -- or just doing the right thing in a thousand small but important ways, like returning money if someone makes you too much change.

These are simply the small, ordinary milestones of a life of value. They give you a sense of identity.

But if I didn't have that sense of identity rooted in my own small achievements, I wonder how likely it would have been for me to grab onto that sense of sudden empowerment, of being an initiate in some arcane club of hidden wisdom. I wonder what might have happened to me if being the Holder of Secret Knowledge had been my only source of self-esteem; the one redeeming landmark in a life of isolation and failure. Indeed, I wonder what power such a worldview would have over me if I could believe that behind the scenes lurked vast and unknowable dark forces -- forces that could topple a president and perhaps even explain why a person of my deep, vast and bountiful talents was not doing a whole lot better in life?

I wonder what might have happened to me then.

Because I did not need to believe in Giant Wheels of Conspiracy grinding John F. Kennedy to dust, I was relieved and not a little embarrassed when I finally read Case Closed. It was -- quite vividly -- like opening a window in a musty, cluttered, book-filled room and feeling the cool breeze of reason and logic air out the mind.

This is not the place for me to debate whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin that day. That would take an entire book, exhaustively researched, with extensive footnoting and reference to primary sources. There is such a book, it is called Case Closed, and as I said, it performs its function better than any book I have ever read.

I am more interested in the psychology of someone who believes in these conspiracy theories. I exempt people who have only heard one side of the story, as I did. Sadly, skepticism doesn't sell as well as hysteria. With regards to The View, ABC and Disney would rather count their ad money than waste potential revenues placing the truth for sale. If this offends you as much as it does me, you may make your purchases and plan your vacations accordingly.

Intellectually honest people, people without a deep, vested emotional need to believe the worst, are usually relieved to hear the facts that demolish superstitions like the Bermuda Triangle and the Loch Ness Monster. While there may be disappointment at the loss of an unseen world, people who have chosen to live in reality find comfort in the fact that reality is, in fact, made up of the real and not the wished for.

No, what fascinates me is the emotional motive of people who, presented with overwhelming evidence that the events that transpired on November 22nd, 1963 or September 11th, 2001 really happened exactly the way it appeared, continue to spin ever more elaborate webs in order to get to a place they need to be emotionally. Who are you going to believe: them or your own lying eyes?

All of this conspiracy nonsense comes after the fact. What we saw on those days was clear and vital and unmistakably obvious. In the case of the Kennedy assassination we are asked to believe -- against all physical evidence to the contrary -- what a few professional witnesses recall for pay ten or twenty or thirty years after the fact. Some guy who claims to see a puff of smoke on the grassy knoll is now a world-wide celebrity and not just some dude with time on his hands on a November afternoon. (And don't be deterred by the fact that a musket firing black powder was the last firearm that emitted "a puff of smoke;" perhaps Kennedy was murdered by a re-animated Stonewall Jackson. Prove it didn't happen!)
11400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: June 09, 2007, 09:37:11 PM
Rogt,

Is there ANY leftist totalitarian you aren't willing to defend? Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro? Anyone?
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