Monday, November 22, 2021


It's a Catch-9/11

My newest "effort" is finished, and it turned out so awful that I've decided to post it elsewhere.

I hope you won't look at it, but here's the link anyway:



This is by far the worst thing I've ever written and that's why I'm so anxious to share it with YOU!

I hope you'll HATE it! And I hope you won't share it with either of your friends because I hope they'll hate it too!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Inside the Bush Spin-and-Noise Machine: Using a Terror Threat to Unite the Party around the President

This is a lightly edited excerpt from a post I wrote in August, 2006.


Let's take a ride inside the Republican Spin-And-Noise Machine, courtesy of Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times:

In Wake of News, a Plan: Uniting Party and President

One week ago, President Bush and his political aides were facing the most daunting election-year landscape of his presidency.

Their party was splintered over Mr. Bush’s proposed immigration overhaul and uncertain about the political effect of violence in Iraq. Even with the White House working to bring Republicans together behind the president’s agenda, several candidates were making public shows of establishing their distance from him and his sagging approval ratings.

That picture of Republican disunity eased dramatically this week with the defeat on Tuesday of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut and the news on Thursday that Britain had foiled a potentially large-scale terrorist plot.

The White House and Congressional Republicans used those events to unleash a one-two punch, first portraying the Democrats as vacillating when it came to national security, and then using the alleged terror plot to hammer home the continuing threat faced by the United States.
Did you catch that? NYT said "alleged terror plot". Does that tell us something important? Is this article going to give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Well, not exactly. But watch this: If you read between the lines, you can see the whole gory plan laid bare -- from one end to the other.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Echoes of Kennebunkport

"The Kennebunkport Warning"
Welcome to the Table of Contents for my coverage of the "Kennebunkport Warning" Fiasco, which transpired in 2007.

Prelude: August 13, 2007:
Throw Up And Go To Sleep: Why There Are No Paranoid Lunatic Conspiracy Theorists

Chapter 1: August 31, 2007:
Kennebunkport Warning: Hoax Shreds 'Credibility' Of Hoaxers -- But Who Are The Hoaxers?

Chapter 2: September 2, 2007:
Dissident Dissent: Paranoid Lunatics Vs. Conspiracy Theorists, Again!

Chapter 3: September 3, 2007:
Cheney Doesn't Need To Attack In USA With WMD This Summer

Chapter 4: September 4, 2007:
The Kennebunkport Train Wreck: Leadership? What Leadership?

Chapter 5: September 22, 2007:
Anyone Who Ever Had A Heart: The Kennebunkport Warning Revisited

Chapter 6: September 26, 2007:
Over The Top: The March Of The Berlet Brigade

Laurie Dobson

Chapter 7: October 12, 2007:
I Like Laurie: Dobson For Senate In Maine

Chapter 8: October 28, 2007:
The Height Of Hypocrisy? Or Maybe Not Yet??

Chapter 9: December 12, 2007:
Laurie Dobson: 'We Must Not Shirk Our Responsibility'
There is no other place or time ... It is in us and it is we who must do this and the time is now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Some Fishin' Accomplished: Life Sentences For Three Convicted "Liquid Bombers"

Tanvir Hussain
Tanvir Hussain, Assad Sarwar and Abdulla Ahmed Ali, the three so-called "liquid bombers" whom the British criminal justice system managed to convict on September 7, 2009, were sentenced to life a week later, with no chance of parole for 32, 36 and 40 years, respectively.

Only the least skeptical among us could fail to note the coincidence by which the convictions and sentences were both handed down within a few days of the eighth anniversary of the "terror attacks" that the "transatlantic airline bombing plot" was said to rival.

Immediately after the convictions were announced, the tone of the story shifted in an entirely predictable and globally uniform manner. Which is to say that the convictions and sentences have moved the story of the "liquid bombers" from the realm of bizarre terrorist fiction to the nearby realm of bizarre officially sanctioned government propaganda terrorist fiction.

A cynical observer could be forgiven for assuming that this long-awaited transition would be sufficient to bring this astonishingly odd story to a close. But such does not appear to be the case.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Hole Too Deep

As my regular readers both know, I've been reading (and commenting on) a three-part series called "The Twenty Year Shadow of 9/11", which has been published by CovertAction Magazine.

The series, by Ben Howard, Aaron Good and Peter Dale Scott, began with two installments which appear to have been written by all three authors working together, and ended with a three-part conclusion which was certainly written by the three authors separately. And that's why we have three different conclusions to assess.

This post examines the second conclusion in the third installment of the series. It's called "Cutting Through the Parapolitical Fog of 9/11" and it was written by Aaron Good. CovertAction says:
Aaron Good is Editor at Large for CovertAction Magazine.

His revised doctoral dissertation, American Exception: Empire and the Deep State, is to be published by Skyhorse in the spring of 2022.

You can follow Aaron on Twitter: @Aaron_Good_
The first conclusion, by Ben Howard, set the bar. Will the second conclusion will reach it? or surpass it? No other result seems possible.

Friday, October 1, 2021

One Out Of Three Ain't Good

The third installment of "The Twenty Year Shadow of 9/11", a three-part series by Ben Howard, Aaron Good, and Peter Dale Scott, has been posted at CovertAction Magazine, and it starts with a note from the editors:
[Because this series has been the result of a collaboration among three writers with extensive knowledge about 9/11, U.S. hegemony, and the commonly suppressed aspects of our system of governance, our authors decided to take a different approach with Part 3. Rather than present one consensus conclusion, they present here three separate concluding sections—one from each author. We hope this format takes full advantage of the unique perspectives that each have to offer.]

The series started out well, and I praised the first installment without any reservations. The second installment turned out to be surprisingly dismal, to be blunt, and it raised the question, "What's going on here?"

Now we have the answer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A Revolution In Stupendia

In my previous post, "The Trouble With Stupendia", I explained what I mean by "stupendium" (a "stupendous compendium" but with less compliment and more stupidity). But I failed to mention that its roots are Latin, so of course the plural is "stupendia".

In that post I described the style of stupendium we see most often, but it's not the only style there is, so in this post I will call that style a "bare stupendium". To recap: A bare stupendium
amounts to dumping all the pieces on the table and letting the reader put the puzzle together. Or drawing all the dots but never even hinting at how they should be connected. Too many details, not enough synthesis.
In this post we will explore the landscape of stupendia in more detail, looking for useful ideas which may be hidden away somewhere.

The Trouble With Stupendia

In two recent posts, I've reviewed current articles by Jeremy Kuzmarov on one hand, and Ben Howard, Aaron Good, and Peter Dale Scott on the other. Regarding the latter, "Why Did Key U.S. Officials Protect the Alleged 9/11 Plotters?" (reviewed here), I wrote:
I'm sad to say I'm surprised by how shallow it is. ... the authors provide many indications that the "hijackers" were protected by members of "our" "security services" once they arrived in the U.S.

But they never give us any indication that they realize they're talking about patsies. They write as if the patsies had committed the crimes.
By this I meant, among other things, that the towers didn't "collapse" because of impact by airplanes, or fires, or both. They didn't collapse in any but the molecular sense.

For the most part, they turned to toxic dust. The larger (heavier) particles covered the city, several inches deep in places, the smaller (lighter) particles drifted away on the wind, and the mid-size particles hung in the air for days and caused untold death and suffering among first responders and others.

In my view, if we are to make any sense of 9/11 at all, we must accept at least this dollop of obvious-at-the-time (but now suppressed) truth.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Late For The Sky: In Memory Of William Blum

Having been mostly absent for the past five years, I am now learning some of the things you may already know. Among other bad news, I've just found out that William Blum left us on December 9, 2018, at the age of 85.

I was saddened but not surprised by the news. I knew his kidneys were in trouble, and I knew what kidney trouble meant. I lost my father and one of my grandfathers to kidney failure. It's horrible. And I didn't want him to have to endure it. But, as so often happens, my opinion made no difference.

My belated condolences to his friends and family, to those who felt his loss, and those who feel it still.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Noam Chomsky, U.S. Foreign Policy, Propaganda, Syria, International Terrorism, And Grasping At Straws

Jeremy Kuzmarov, Managing Editor of Covert Action Magazine, has recently posted a piece called The U.S. May Have Lost the Military War in Syria, But Has Won the Propaganda War at Home By Portraying its Murderous Invasion as a Moral Crusade, which he opens by claiming that, in the case of Syria, the
propaganda has been so good that [Noam] Chomsky himself at times was taken in by it.
This is the first article I have ever read by Jeremy Kuzmarov, and I couldn't agree less! So we're off to a good start!

In my view, the propaganda regarding Syria has been so obvious and so desperate that it's now much easier than ever to see that Noam Chomsky himself plays a part in it.

It's not easy for everyone, of course. It's not even easy for Jeremy Kuzmarov, who himself has at times been taken in by Chomsky, I would say.

Friday, September 24, 2021

I'm Pretty Sure The CIA Never Tried To Overthrow Any Foreign Governments, But Some People Have Other Ideas

I'm humble to say that my readers and I are unflinchingly patriotic, outrageously smart, and fully aware that the United States would never meddle in the internal affairs of any foreign country, especially a friendly one.

Otherwise, we might be deceived by a new article at Covert Action Magazine which does a superb job of documenting a series of outrageous, deliberate, and mostly successful attempts by the CIA to interfere with the democratically elected governments of two Southern Hemisphere nations which most of the world would consider "friends and allies" of the United States.

The nations to which I refer are Australia and New Zealand, both of which supported Great Britain, the US, and their allies in both World Wars, and suffered horribly in the process.

And the article in question was written by Murray Horton, who provides more than enough links and photographs to make his presentation utterly compelling.

In other words, it is strong enough to convince all but the unflinchingly patriotic, outrageously smart readers who come to this cold blog seeking refuge from the "fake news" which crept in around the edges some time ago, and now has us nearly surrounded.

Murray Horton himself is introduced as "organizer of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA)", "Aotearoa" being the indigenous (Maori) name of the country we would otherwise call "New Zealand". In other words, he's biased!

He's also described as "an advocate of a range of progressive causes for the past four decades", and it's not difficult to imagine that foreign intelligence services meddling in domestic politics may have been one of those causes for most (or even all) of those decades, because the reseach represented here is exhaustive and extremely detailed.

It's just too bad for him that we're all too smart to believe any of it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

"The War Is Over! It's Safe To Go Home Now!"

In the years following my escape from the USA I met some other young expats who were in the same boat as I was. Or at least it looked that way until January of 1973, when a wave of excitement swept through the "young expat community", with everyone saying:
"The war is over! It's safe to go home now!"
But I exaggerate. To be honest, not everyone was saying it. I wasn't saying anything.

Six Feet Of Snow

Many years ago, when I had more than a few regular readers, I would occasionally post something less than dead-serious. Whenever I did that, one of them would usually make an insightful comment, asking a subtle question such as, "Why are you wasting my time with this $#!^"

I was too immature or insecure to tell them what I really thought, so they kept me in line -- their line. Looking back, I can see that I was wrong not to tell them if they didn't like what was on my blog they could go click someplace else. And that's what I'll tell them if they come back and complain again.

All of which to say I intend to post more non-serious content than I have done in the past.

I figure: the people who come here to read about serious things may need some fun once in a while. And the people who come here for fun may need something serious.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Regarding The "Inconceivable" Idea That Many People Have No Trouble Imagining

Professor Graeme MacQueen
When I was younger and not quite so focused, I used to listen to hockey games on the radio. The local team's play-by-play announcer had some unique phrases which he used frequently, and which became known around town as signatures of his style. In particular, whenever an attacking player wove his way through a maze of defenders, he would say, "He was unable to be checked."

My friends and I always laughed at the way he reversed the "burden of skill", so to speak. In our view, the attacking player had been able to do whatever he wanted; the defenders had been unable to check him.

But much later, when the idea that the U.S. government had been complicit in the 9/11 attacks was presented to Noam Chomsky and most of the other "leading dissident intellectuals", and they used words like "inconceivable", I didn't find it very funny. I imagine I speak for most (or even all) 9/11 researchers when I say I felt a bit "betrayed".

But I shouldn't have taken it personally. Had I remembered those hockey broadcasts, and applied the same logic I used then, I would have realized that Chomsky wasn't saying anything about the idea. He was simply confessing his inability to imagine that it could possibly be correct.

They Can't All Be Serious

After a failed joke attempt, Groucho Marx famously turned to the camera and said, "They can't all be funny!"

I can't argue, but surely the opposite is also true. So please enjoy this short video:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Roger Waters, Two 9/11 Anniversaries, The War On Terror, And What Are You Going To Do About It?

In this YouTube clip, Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd), talking with Afshin Rattansi (of RT), reflects on two vital turning points in contemporary history, both of which occurred on the 11th of September. He speaks of not only the well-known 2001 attacks in the U.S. but also (and very movingly) about the lesser-known 1973 coup in Chile, which ushered in Augusto Pinochet and his reign of terror, to the horror of the whole world ... except of course for the American people, whose government sponsored the coup, and who live in a bubble which news of this sort cannot penetrate.

At the end of the interview, Waters mangles one of the least consequential details of the U.S. political system (how many states?), but still cuts to the heart of the matter:
We still need to hold on to the idea that we, the people, actually have the right to live in peace.

This endless war [bleep] ... is not working for any of us, except ... people invested in the military industrial complex, who are making ... trillions of dollars. It's a way of taxing ordinary people, because the money ... taken from the taxes of ordinary working people ... [is] divvied out amongst all the people who invest in defense. They protect them by spreading them out ... so every State in the Union has got a little bit of the war industry. And in consequence most of their representatives in Congress ... come under pressure from their little bits of the arms industry, not to cut military spending ... and in consequence a huge proportion of the tax revenue of the United States Government goes into perpetual war.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Academy Of Doublethink Opens In Colorado

Don't get me started on a video clip from FOX News, featuring two Colorado men representing a group of parents who have started a new public school. This new school, according to the video, will focus on "traditional subjects like math, science and patriotism" while promising to "keep politics out of the classroom".

I find it remarkable (and remarkably sad) that neither of these men, nor any of the hundreds of YouTube viewers who have commented on this news, seem to have any idea that patriotism is not only not "a traditional subject" (or even a subect at all), but also completely incompatible with the promise to "keep politics out of the classroom", because patriotism is political.

Patriotism is not only a political entity; it's a political weapon! And in the specific case of US patriotism, its main function is to keep the American people ignorant of what their country is, and what it has done.

So if a school's curriculum is based on patriotism (even if it's not considered a "traditional subject") that will mean the students must never be allowed to learn any real history, or to learn any foreign languages, or to read anything written outside the United States, because most of what's been written outside the US and/or in languages other than English is decidedly unpatriotic and will certainly ruin their young lives if they're exposed to it.

Furthermore, they must never be allowed to see any foreign films, or to visit any foreign (or even dissident domestic) websites, and all for the same reasons.

This counts as "education" in Colorado. May God have mercy upon us.

A Curious Insight

Having been absent from everything (including my blog) for so long, I have little thoughts in my little mind that I didn't get to share with anyone. And now that I'm back, I want to share some of them with you.

Perhaps some of my thoughts don't exactly pertain to current events (narrowly defined). Oh well. I do hope (and plan) to turn my attention to more current matters. But at the moment, as I try to fit blogging into my crazy life once again, I reflect on some of the things that I've learned while blogging, or while not blogging. Today I have time to tell you about one or two of those things. And I hope they may be of some interest.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Thorough Research Demolishes A Revisionist Theory

At Global Research dot ca, Michel Chossudovsky continues his long-standing and extremely annoying habit of marking the anniversaries of important events by re-posting old news: articles pertaining to those events which have appeared previously, on his site or elsewhere.

When I say "extremely annoying", I'm looking at it from the point of view of those who don't want you to have any knowledge at all about these events, other than perhaps some vague impressions of the official narratives.

But it's anything but annoying to those of us who want to know the truth about important events, but missed these articles the first time -- or the first dozen times -- that they appeared.

Today's case in point is a fine piece of research and analysis by Graeme MacQueen, whose piece about anthrax attacks we were reading just a few days ago, and Ted Walter.

In 9/11 News Coverage: How 36 Reporters Brought Us the Twin Towers’ Explosive Demolition on 9/11 the authors report on their study, in which they collected the day's news reports pertaining to the attacks on the World Trade Center, from the major networks and the local NYC stations. The looked at reporting from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, WABC, WCBS, WNBC, and NY1, and examined the work of each individual reporter to determine how many of them reported the buildings having been brought down by explosives, and how many reported them having been brought down without explosives.

As they say:
The widely held belief that the Twin Towers collapsed as a result of the airplane impacts and the resulting fires is, unbeknownst to most people, a revisionist theory. Among individuals who witnessed the event firsthand, the more prevalent hypothesis was that the Twin Towers had been brought down by massive explosions.
Their article is full of evidence of explosions, including transcripts of on-scene reporting and embedded YouTube videos. They've even made their video archive public, so we can download it and see for ourselves. (The archive is 13.6 GB, so it's not to be taken lightly, nor downloaded quickly. But I want a copy, because I don't trust YouTube to leave all these clips available forever.)

All defenders of the official story deny that anything important happened to the towers except that were struck by airplanes. And they all say, "There is no evidence of explosions in the towers."

This article, and the evidence associated with it, proves beyond any doubt that the defenders of the official story are lying. And it's not as if we didn't know that already, but this is still a very valuable addition to the "discussion", even if it only helps to keep the discussion alive, and presumably that's why Michel Chossudovsky has never broken this very annoying habit.

Of course I congratulate him on this.

Asked But Not Answered: "Why Did Key U.S. Officials Protect the Alleged 9/11 Plotters?"

The second part of the three-part series by Ben Howard, Aaron Good and Peter Dale Scott, "The Twenty Year Shadow of 9/11", has been posted at CovertAction Magazine, and I've been looking forward to it since I read the first part. But I'm sad to say I'm surprised by how shallow it is.

In this installment, "Why Did Key U.S. Officials Protect the Alleged 9/11 Plotters?", the authors provide many indications that the "hijackers" were protected by members of "our" "security services" once they arrived in the U.S.

But they never give us any indication that they realize they're talking about patsies. They write as if the patsies had committed the crimes.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Graeme MacQueen: The Anthrax Attacks Had All The Markings Of A False Flag Operation

I wish to draw your attention to an excellent piece by Graeme MacQueen which was published by Covert Action Magazine the day before yesterday.

It's called Anthrax Attacks Directed Against Public Officials Following 9/11 Had all the Markings of a False Flag Operation and I hope you'll read all of it.

I've long been an admirer of Professor MacQueen, although I have spelled his name "McQueen" in the past. And I've been critical of his work, even though I'm impressed with his research, just because his presentation has been so difficult to understand at times.

But since then he's found a good editor, and/or taken my words to heart (just kidding on that last one). As a result (of whatever it was), his new article is much easier to read than some of his earlier efforts.

The anthrax attacks played a vital role in the "Reign of Terror" which began under the Bush Administration and continues to this day. But the story behind the anthrax attacks was very flimsy, and it fell apart even more rapidly than the slightly less flimsy story about the attacks with hijacked airplanes.

Apparently realizing that the anthrax story contained (or was!) a flaw that could expose the whole sorry plot, the media let the story drop, for the most part. But Professor MacQueen has continued to research and write about it, and his contribution in this area has been profound, in my view.

In this article, he analyzes a couple of the "anthrax letters" in fine detail, and deduces (correctly) that
its real authors, who are entirely different from its implied authors, are domestic groups within the U.S. Military-Industrial-Intelligence-Complex ... the United States was subjected to a domestically produced two-part psychological operation of overwhelming importance in the fall of 2001.
Regarding the evidence indicating a False Flag operation, he concludes:
... the 2001 anthrax attacks remind us that a trail of monstrous breadcrumbs is effective in leading us to the perpetrators’ desired endpoint only as long as we are blockheads.
"Blockheads" indeed. We are, you know. But some of us have been developing rounded corners lately.

If you're willing to round off some of your corners, read the whole article, and maybe even MacQueen's book on the subject, "The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy"

Peter Dale Scott et al.: The Twenty Year Shadow of 9/11

I'm pleased to recommend an excellent article by Aaron Good, Ben Howard and Peter Dale Scott, published yesterday by CovertAction Magazine, called The Twenty Year Shadow of 9/11: U.S. Complicity in the Terror Spectacle and the Urgent Need to End It.

It's part of
a three-part re-evaluation of 9/11 in light of startling new evidence that may change many minds about the so-called “craziness” of those who have refused to accept the “official” government story of this traumatic and defining event
The authors describe the plan of the work as follows:
In this first installment, we examine how the U.S. for decades has utilized Islamic terrorists as assets for its own ends. In Part 2, we look at how CIA figures actively prevented other government agencies from exposing the al Qaeda presence in the U.S. prior to the attacks. In the third and final article, we explore the deep political and historical implications of the U.S. government’s “emergency” powers in order to offer some conclusions about 9/11.
After an overview of the ways in which 9/11 and its aftermath have changed the U.S. and the world, the authors provide a comprehensive history lesson on those "Islamic terrorist assets", starting in the early days, when they were used as pawns of U.S. foreign policy, and working up to the day of the attacks, when they were used as pawns of U.S. foreign policy.

It's a horrible story, but I can't wait for the next two installments. I urge you to click this link and learn this history. You simply can't make sense of anything that's going on in the world without this background.

It's tough enough with it!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Twenty Years Of Bad Luck

The following post appeared in this space on September 11, 2008, under the title "Seven Years Of Bad Luck".

I've updated the title to reflect the passage of 13 years -- oh look! another lucky number!

The lyric, of course, is by Stevie Wonder, and each line is a link to an article previously published here concerning the events of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror, as it was called at the time.

If you don't want to be reminded of how we got here, please don't click any of these links -- certainly not all of them!

Very superstitious / writings on the wall

Very superstitious / ladders 'bout to fall

Thirteen month old baby / broke the lookin' glass

Seven years of bad luck / the good things in your past

When you believe in things / that you don't understand / then you suffer

Superstition ain't the way

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Even After 20 Years, The Facts About 9/11 Must Be Suppressed!

The towers didn't fall down.
They blew up.
Why The Facts About 9/11 Must Be Suppressed

(1) The official story of 9/11 has been used to justify drastic military actions by the United States and its allies, actions which have brought death, destruction, and chaos to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, and many other countries.

(2) The same story has also been used to justify drastic changes in domestic policy, in the United States and in much of the world. These changes have resulted in the persecution, incarceration, torture, and death of many innocent people, not to mention the erosion of civil rights and the perversion of the democratic process in every nation that once enjoyed these things.

(3) If it were widely and clearly understood that the official story of 9/11 is not only obviously false but a carefully crafted fiction: the military actions described above would be seen as unjustified acts of mass murder, war crimes and crimes against humanity; the policy changes would be seen as acts of treason; the people responsible for these actions might be in danger of accountability; and the new policies themselves might even be in danger of reversal, in which case the people who benefit from these policies might need to find a new way to feed at the public trough.

(4) If the official story were true, the facts of 9/11 would support it, and independent research would confirm it. Therefore the facts would be widely publicized and independent researchers would be encouraged. But none of this is happening, and that's because the facts of 9/11 undermine the official story, and independent research destroys it.

(5) Therefore the facts and the independent researchers must both be suppressed. Otherwise the new policies would be in danger, the people who implemented them would be in danger, the people who profit from them would be slightly inconvenienced, and the perpetrators of 9/11 might actually be brought to justice.

Another Glimpse Through The "Window"

More apologies: I hadn't planned to write anything personal so soon after the last one, but James has asked for another glimpse through the "window" that I "opened" by escaping the US in time to get the bulk of my education elsewhere. It's a good question, and I think the answer requires at least one more thread.

One of the first things I learned outside the US was that "American History" as taught in the US and "American History" as taught outside the US were two different subjects, whose names just happened to share a common spelling. 

Everything I thought I knew about US history, and even the structure of the US government, was perhaps "absolutely wrong", and definitely "wrong here". So I also learned to keep my mouth shut in History class. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Politics 101: Know the Difference between WE and THEY

WE didn't do this. THEY did this.
Apologies for writing something personal, but this is a special anniversary for me.

I was born in 1957, so I was six years old when President Kennedy was assassinated. At the time, I didn't even  know what the word "assassinated" meant, much less understand what it meant that this particular President had been assassinated. But I saw how the news affected my parents, and all the other adults, and I realized I needed to start paying attention to the news -- and especially to politics, which previously had seemed boring. 

In 1968, when Senator Kennedy was assassinated, I was only eleven, but I had been paying close attention for five years. I knew what "assassinated" meant, and I knew what it meant that this particular Senator had been assassinated. To the country, and to the world, it meant that we were destined for a long and horrible war. For me personally, it meant if I didn't get out of the United States in the next seven years, my life would be in danger. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

9/11 @ 20: It Could Have Been So Much Worse!

Fortunately, the collapse of the twin towers
was "an ordinary thing to have happened".
If it were unusual for skyscrapers to
collapse in this way, some troubling
questions might have been raised.

For those who were alive on September 11th, 2001, the events of the day seemed horrible beyond measure. But with the sober perspective that comes from two decades of hindsight, we're bound to admit that things could have turned out much worse, in countless ways.

For instance, even though only two of the seven buildings that made up the World Trade Center complex were hit by airplanes, all seven suffered heavily. Early media attention focused on the "collapse" of Buildings 1 and 2. And later we learned that Building 7 had also "collapsed". But until recently, only a few dedicated researchers were aware that Buildings 3, 4, 5, and 6 were also destroyed on the same day. Nowadays, thanks to the exceedingly free flow of information that we currently enjoy, most people know all about this.

And in light of these facts, we must accept an unpleasant truth: Rogue airliners can do infinitely more damage than we previously thought. To be honest, we ought to be grateful that the impacts of those two airplanes hitting those two buildings didn't destroy all of Wall Street, or most of Manhattan, or half of New York State, or a significant portion of the Eastern Seaboard. We're lucky that none of these things happened, because clearly if they had, we would be in much worse shape than we are now.