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A very succinct answer to a truther question about Building 7.  One of the things I most hate about public forums is the idiot with the sense of entitlement who gives a long speech as a “set up” to a question, and nobody has the sense or courage to tell him that there are people there to hear the speaker and if he wants to ramble on he should organize his own forum.   If you can’t ask your question in five sentences, you’re either being disingenuous and deliberately monopolizing everybody’s time, or you’re a moron.

Did you know that if you spray vinegar straight up into the air it will destroy the chem trails?  But you have to do it before the wind blows the chems away!


And here’s the science!

The truth is out there!

Overshadowed by the water news was this finding of last month by the Japanese lunar orbiter SELENE.  It’s about 65 meters wide and over 80 meters deep.  Details in Science News.

The official theory is that it leads to a cavern which once held lava.  But there are…..

other theories.

This is interesting. 62% of the population believes Obama was born in the US.  24% believe he wasn’t.  14% don’t know.

But breaking down the 38% is even more interesting.  Apparently most of the birthers aren’t even up on the birther theories.  10% of the country believes he was born in Indonesia, even though the prevailing conspiracy theory is that he was born in Kenya.  7% believe that.  1% believes he was born in the Philippines.

So that leaves the remaining 20 percent of the don’t-believe-he-was-born-in-the-US crowd and those who aren’t sure.  About half of them believe he was born in Hawaii.  6% of the country doesn’t believe that Hawaii is part of the United States.  4% aren’t sure.

These are probably the same people who don’t believe that Medicare is a government program.

By the way, according to the poll 9 percent of the birthers are liberals.  I have to hope that some of the responses are products of sarcasm.

I’m curious as to whether there is significant overlap, notwithstanding the ideological divide between the two groups.

Addendum: Some links, posted before, but in my experience most of you avoid them.  Your choice.

New Yorker article on how the tower fell, with discussion of changing the codes.

Safety campaign site, containing a number of links including this letter to editor:

The Vulnerable WTC, Star-Ledger - Tuesday, June 08, 2004
To The Editor:

One point that doesn't seem to have been discussed at the 9/11 hearings is the World Trade Center's shoddy construction. The structure was essentially supported by an inner core and outside walls, with long trusses connecting the walls with the core. In a conventional design, there would have been numerous steel columns and beams between the outer walls and the core. The heat from the crashed planes melted the steel trusses. The trusses below where the planes hit couldn't withstand the weight of the falling steel and debris and collapsed. The floors fell in a cascading effect.

If the structure had been built with intermediate column support, the buildings wouldn't have collapsed since the structure below where the planes hit wasn't subject to the fires and high temperatures. The Port Authority decided to make the Twin Towers the world's tallest buildings. Because of the huge cost involved, it settled for a cheap design.

Had the WTC been constructed in a conventional way, hundreds of lives would have been saved. It's puzzling that there is no outcry and no investigation of the decisions that led to such poorly constructed buildings.

Samuel Spector Edison

Then there is Chip Berlet’s Public Eye page, with numerous resources.  It contains a link to the FEMA analysis and peer-reviewed articles about it, and numerous analysis and articles from universities, engineering and other scientific associations, and the forensic study by Weidlinger Associates.

Then there is the Popular Mechanics article, expanded into a book most truthers will never bother to crack open (why should they when they have David Griffith to interpret it for them?).

And then there is the Scientific American article.  The Scientific American by the way is usually attacked from the right.  They coined the term “global warming.”  But all that must have been a front.

Addendum: Obama’s birth certificate released.

The conservative movement, having lost a great deal of institutional power in recent years, is trying to rejuvenate itself with a tax day protest of, well, an assortment of grievances including tax rates they want to blame on Obama but which were fixed by Republicans.  The “soaring tax rates” are a lot like the military “cuts” as the organizers avoid the inconvenient reality that there hasn’t been a federal tax rate increase in 16 years for anybody.  But it’s also about the bailouts, the stimulus package, and whatever else suits their fancy.  Some of the early indications in warm-up demos suggest that the nuttier elements which came to dominate the late hour McCain rallies will be back, with veiled and not-so-veiled threats of violence, signs calling Obama a communist or a Mulsim, and wacky conspiracy theories of various sorts (not that the left can throw stones there) abundant.  Fox News has been pumping the demonstrations up hard, and while I was running errands in Eureka yesterday I listened in on the right wing talk shows and that was the topic of the day, and probably will be again today and tomorrow when Hannity will have live coverage.

It’s good that conservatives are standing up for themselves while their political representatives do whatever they can to distance themselves despite the endorsements from political heavyweights like Newt Gingrish and Rick Santelli.  The slogans seem more appropriate for the 1980s, the golden years which are becoming the equivalent of the 1960s for conservatives.  It’s democracy, to which vehement discourse is essential.  But I wonder if Zombie will cover these events the same way she covers lefty events, if at all.

But it’s not fine that conservatives insiste on misrepresenting the history of the Boston Tea Party.  It was not, as popularly charactarized, a “tax revolt.”  The taxes had been in place without protest.  The Tea Party was actually a protest against corporate monopolies and the removal of a tariff which allowed Dutch and colonial smugglers to profit by undermining the British East India Tea Company sales in the colonies.  Here’s the irony, the British government lowered the taxes (actually reimbursed part of them) on the company so they could compete with the smugglers.  In other words it was a tax cut to the private sector, and more specifically the removal of a tariff which allowed an early version of a WalMart to come in and dominate the markets, which triggered the Tea Party direct action vandalism.

It’s one of those lies told often enough that it’s become gospel.

Addendum: Thom Hartman elaborates on the point, also making the WalMart analogy.  I guess we leftists can be as predictable as conservatives.

Second addendum: There’s a party in Eureka right now.  Rose has the details.

Third addendum: The organizers put out memos warning participants about the sexual innuendo of the term “teabagging.”

Oh, and Obama is a fascist.

And don’t forget to bring your own tin foil

Blueprint for Truth: The Architecture of Destruction

Richard Gage, (American Institute of Architects, Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth – will present at the Jolly Giant Commons (355 Granite Ave, Arcata) at Humboldt State University Friday March 7th at 6pm. A 20-year veteran architect, Gage’s extensive research in multi-media form focuses on the collapse of all 3 World Trade Center buildings. The two main towers, WTC1 & 2, were destroyed including WTC7, a 47-story skyscraper that fell at nearly free fall speed into its on footprint without being hit by a plane. Did you know 118 first responders saw explosions and flashes, molten iron under the buildings and Thermate, an incendiary used to cut steel, was found in the WTC beams and dust of the ruins? Attend to see for yourself, ask questions and demand answers! Presented by HSU 911Truth (707-826-5415, A second presentation will be hosted by Humboldt County 911 Truth (707-832-3916) at the Eureka Labor Temple (840 E street, Eureka) Saturday, March 8th at 3pm. Free with suggested donation of $10 general or $5 for students or Vets for Peace.

What do I know? I’m a lizard person.

Resistance is futile!

Addendum: Previous posts on topic: Most moronic post of 2006; destroying the peace movement; Michael Lerner part of the cover-up; Cultwatch; Truthers and porn; Noam Chomsky part of the cover-up; The Conspiracy Industry

This is a question for political activists of any ideological stripe. When you attend a demonstration, what is your purpose? For many of you it seems like a ridiculous overly introspective question, but really, have you thought about it?

I’ve already posted and dedicated a couple of radio shows to the idea of “activistism” or action for it’s own sake. I asked the question on one show and only one caller even attempted to address the question directly. He said he attended demonstrations for his own morale, whether it did any “good” beyond that. Fair enough. Rallying the troops is more than an adequate purpose, especially at the beginning of any war where the patriotism quotient is running at 9 to 1 or worse and the airwaves are completely one-sided. I remember during the first Gulf War, FAIR kept tabs of the interviews on CNN. They found that only two of those interviewed for the first 30 days of conflict opposed the war, and on Nightline, one of them was cut off by Ted Koppel who said that the expert had not been brought in to voice opposition to the war but to comment on some obscure aspect of it. So, yeah, I don’t want to play down that value to the demonstrations.

But I’ve attended the last few demonstrations in Eureka. The first, just before the war, was empowering or at least morale boosting. But between the bizarre behavior of a few individuals, the often grating rhetoric which stretches the sentiments well beyond the average person’s opposition to the war, and the prominence of conspiracy theorists, speaking of which, reminiscent of the discrediting efforts of Cointelpro – “normal people” haven’t been brought into the visible opposition.

As a teenager and during my early college years I attended many demonstrations of all sorts, large and small. I started to get jaded with them by the mid 1980s when I was attending many in and around the Bay Area. I started to recognize the “usual suspects,” and poorly organized demos would consist of the various sectarian Marxist groups trying to sell their papers to each other and confused bystanders. I remember one gathering in particular at Union Square, where George Schulz, or maybe Al Haig, somebody from the Reagan cabinet, was attending some sort of Conference in the St. Francis Hotel. It was poorly attended, selecting for the usuals. You had the CISPES people at the center holding the placards opposite the police like and metal barriers, chanting the same old chants which sometimes rhymed. I’d come up from the BART station after work to do my civic duty, was approached by the usuals pitching Workers Vanguard, Revolutionary Worker, The Militant, and I forget which paper was put out by the DeLeon group. Oh and the one put out by the group which thought Albania was the salvation of the human race.

I made my way to the tables. Same old pamphlets. Same old faces.

I made my way to the crowd. Same old chants. Same old speeches. Same bullhorns with the same stickers I’d seen at the events for years. Same banners, getting tattered with age. A ritual, with no twists. No thought. A demonstration which would be reported between the weather and reports of car accidents. With people walking by just as accustomed to the event as they were of the guy holding up the signs on Market Street warning about impending Armageddon, and the Scientologists and Moonies pushing their leaflets with big vacuous smiles.

I concluded right there that the demonstrations weren’t merely a waste of time. They hurt the causes – whatever the causes were, which was rarely clear.

So back to my question. What makes a demonstration “successful?” Merely that it happens? Can a demonstration be counterproductive to the cause? What specifically are the goals? Are you trying to reach people? Attract media coverage? Rattle some nerves in power? Do you think about how to attain these goals, tailoring the rhetoric to the goals? Is the timing important? The demographics of the attendees?

Just questions.

Photo comes from Zombie, a right winger who photographs demos in the Bay Area.

This morning I received an e-mail from somebody asking me for clarification. This e-mail is apparently getting wide distribution. It contains some allegations which are purported to be “confirmed” by Snopes, the most famous of the urban legend researchers.

Here’s the text of the e-mail:

This is beyond very interesting – please take a few moments and read this in its

Who is Barack Obama?

Something that should be considered when you make your choice.

If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts…it is very scary to think of what could lie ahead for us here in our own United States…better heed this and pray about it and share it.

We checked this out on “”. It is factual. Check for yourself.

Who is Barack Obama?

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white Athiest from Wichita, Kansas.

Obama’s parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia.

When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school. Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, “He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.”

Obama’s political handlers are attempting to make it appear that that he is not a radical.

Obama’s introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son’s education. Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school
in Jakarta.

Wahabism is the RADICAL ISLAMIC teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegience nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches.

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama’s expected presidential candidacy. The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level – through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?…… NOT ME!!!

I’ve heard of these allegations, which got some play on Fox News and right wing talk radio earlier in the year. And the “probable presidential candidate” reference suggests that this e-mail in particular is over a year old. There’s no indication as to the source, but the Snopes reference is intended to give it weight.

So for those of you who care about whether he places his hand over his heart during the National Anthem, Snopes indicates as “true” that there is a photograph of him not placing his hand over his heart in the presence of other pols who are doing just that. It does appear he’s looking at a flag, and Snopes notes that there’s nothing in the photograph to discount the possibility that the song is just about to start or has just ended and he was either slow or quick to move his hand. Snopes also acknowledges that the protocol for the National Anthem is ambiguous. Left out of the e-mail is Snopes’ inclusion of other instances in which he has placed his hand on his heart during the National Anthem and videos of Obama reciting the Pledge of Allegiance contrary to the claims of the e-mail.

The e-mail also ignores Snopes’ debunking of the radical Islam claim. And in the same posting Snopes reports the allegation that he took his oath on the Koran as false. In fact Snopes has the following comments on the e-mail itself:

One version of the e-mail in circulation claims “We were told this was checked out on It’s factual. Check for yourself.” and includes a link to this website. It’s our guess that whoever included that bit was counting on folks not to check, as our article says the opposite…”

I know many of you have been losing sleep over this.

The photo comes from this right wing blog which repeats the myth.

Addendum: Meanwhile, a dead heat in Nevada, but Clinton is way up in California.

Second addendum: Kumbaya. Yeah, bet it lasts until Friday.

And a Nevada judge ruled that Kucinich must be allowed to participate in the MSNBC debate.


July 2020