(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!)
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.
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!
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.