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Friday, November 6, 2009

Saint Al Gore, pray for us

Years ago, when I was part of a thought-provoking discussion group on ecology, a skeptic in our midst argued convincingly that concern for the earth was in essence a religion. The rest of us thought about it for a while, and then told him that we didn't care -- we still believed in living with the planet in mind.

Now we see that climate change is being designated a religion (or its equivalent) for some purposes under British law. Over in England, this means victory for global warming activists in some cases, but victory for the skeptics in others. It depends on the legal context.

What would that kind of reasoning mean here in the United States? Given our insistence on separation of church and state, it might mean that the constant sermonettes that we get from holier-than-thou governing bodies such as the Portland City Council might have to be trimmed a bit. Every time I roll out my recycling bins, I see a sticker that tells me, courtesy of Mayor Creepy and Fireman Randy, that "it's the right thing to do." I don't disagree with that, but I don't need the characters at City Hall to be preaching to me about it. If I relied on them for right vs. wrong, the afterlife would not be kind to me.

Comments (42)

Global warming or climate change doesn't seem to be any more of a religion than do the natural or physical sciences. In that context, government actions in relation to global warming are implementations of policy. If folks don't like the way our elected officials develop or execute policy, or promote or justify their actions, I say, let's replace them.

I say, let's replace them.

Imagine the possibilities...

Under the excercise clause, protecting the constitutional rights of slumlords who refuse tenants heat. Or finding a safe haven for butchers marketing unrefrigerated beef.

Or under the establishment clause prohibiting parks and recreation departments from heating pools or cooling rinks.

I kinda like this.

Religion is a belief based on emotion or perception, not facts. Some years ago the U.S. Supreme court declared Humanism a religion. I don't know the legal ramifications of all of the above but I would submit that such a ruling is not a victory but a setback for the global warming crowd.

The global warming crowd has been claiming their belief is based on science. Science, by definition, is a belief determined by experiments where every experiment returns the same result. If that standard is applied to the global warming beliefs it doesn't stand a chance.

But if the courts are going to enforce laws on something that cannot be proven - Like "hate crime" laws: Can someone prove what someone else was thinking at the time of the crime? Then they have just opened another can of worms.

Can someone prove what someone else was thinking at the time of the crime?

That's been the basis of criminal justice systems for several thousand years. State of mind is almost always an element of any crime.

There's obvioulsy a lot of closet skeptics on the left and for a litany of very good reasons.

Most of which are on full display and discussed, globally, at the number one science blog on the planet.

With over 2 MILLION hits and rising WUWT gets contributions from Oregon and around the world.

If you think it odd for climate change to be declared a religion check out the rest of the crazy global warming movement.


Well, if one of the tenets of religion is faith, which means the ability to believe in something you can't prove, then maybe global-warming is a religion.

This just seems a can of worms for justifying bad (or questionable) behaviors as moral imperiatives.

State of mind is almost always an element of any crime

Except for very serious crimes, like capital murder, that is typically a generalized state of mind, an appreciation by the miscreant that there is something wrong or evil about what they are doing, which is normally inferrable from observable fact. Sane people know that it's wrong to stick a knife into someone's back, or steal someone's wallet or to burn down someone's house. It doesn't take a lot of mind reading to establish intent. State of mind becomes a big issue only in the odd cases where someone failed to appreciate the nature of their action.

Knowing what specifically motivates a crime is a much more difficult assessment. Jumbled, confused and angry criminals can hardly articulate to themselves why they commit many crimes. And the unfortunate truth is that most victims of crime are weak or vulnerable in some sense so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to single out some victim groups for extra protection and exclude others.

I don't think it a religion except for those brainwashed by college professors to believe governmental bodies such as the Portland City Council have their best interests at heart when they do something in the perceived vane of sustainability or being green. The truth appears to me such government can't be trusted because it is susceptible to being bought by those who stand to gain financially from new laws enacted for supposed "green" or "sustainable" reasons. There are literally armies of activists who make their living off the movement, and if the movement becomes excessive in that many others lose financially, so much the better for them.

Look at all the companies raking in state and federal tax credits for over-priced renewable energy projects at a time, mind you, educational resources are being reduced or slowed. One of the more eggregious abusers of steering government to rewarding his "green" enterprise is Al gore. Recently, he received a $500 million loan from the U.S government to build environmentally friendly cars, not in the U.S. but in Finland. What a swell deal for "Hot Air" Al.

Kind of hard to tell if this will help the environment or not.

5 court justices put the younger Bush in power in 2000, and on September 12th, 2001, he blew the single greatest (and possibly only) opportunity to galvanize the country to make the break with fossil fuels.

Gore "lost" due to a number of other factors, but the single greatest one, by far, was Ralph Nader. So ironic, that an environmentalist is most responsible for the last eight years of fossil-fuel related global warming. Makes you really not want to trust an environmentalist, ever.

Anyway, I'm thinking about getting a Leaf when it comes out. I've always hated giving my money to a society that doesn't let women drive.

Whoa there Gaye, Ralph Nader didn't cost Gore the election or any of that other nonsense.

Gore couldn't even carry his home state of Tennessee.

Nader was and still is a great man.

I was waiting for you, MikeD. One of the single most irritating things I have dealt with ever, in my life, is listening to people who deny that Ralph Nader brought us George Bush, the Irak war, etc. The people who voted in Florida, for Nader, in 2000, are DIRECTLY responsible for the whole debacle and the last eight yours of disastrous leadership....

80,000 Floridians, if my memory serves me.
and please, please don't say that half of them voted for Bush or wouldn't have voted at all or wouldn't have voted for Gore, if Nader had done the right thing and dropped out at the last minute...

Yes indeedy, if Gore had only prevailed, that other guy would have made such a fine, fine VP. What was his name, again?

"Yes indeedy, if Gore had only prevailed, that other guy would have made such a fine, fine VP. What was his name, again?"

Better than Cheney....

"Whoa there Gaye, Ralph Nader didn't cost Gore the election or any of that other nonsense."

You honestly telling me Gore would not have had a net gain of 538 votes w/o Nader?

Check out Eric Alterman for more on how "great" he really is.

It's insane to blame Nader for Bush's appointment given that, in actual fact, Gore WON Florida under the rules that were then in effect prior to the Supreme Court coup d'etat.

But even if the Supremes had not appointed their boy George, Democrats trying to shift the blame to Nader is simply more effort to shift the blame off themselves. I'd say the 200,000 Democrats in FL who voted for Bush did more to hurt Gore's chances than anything else:


EMILY PRZEKWAS - More than 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for George Bush and over half of the registered Democrats there did not vote at all.

Every one of the eight third-party presidential candidates in Florida received more than the 543 votes cited as the deciding factor in the election.

On some discarded ballots, voters both filled in the bubble for their candidate and wrote the candidate's name in the write-in-space. If these had been included in the count, Gore would have had a net gain of 662 votes, enough to win the election.

In the highly Democratic county of Palm Beach, an abnormally large number of votes were cast for the conservative candidate Pat Buchanan. Buchanan himself estimated that as many as 95% of these 3,500 votes were Gore's because of the faulty "butterfly" ballot. [6]

According to exit polls, over half of the Nader voters would have stayed home, 25% would have voted for Gore, and 15% would have voted for Bush. The rest would have voted for another third party candidate.

Merge the global whiners with Scientology and build a global doomsday cult. Otherwise the end will come soon.

I hear Gore is setting up a company that will sell carbon indulgences.

Talk about your fanatical devotion to the Pope.

Next comes the f**king inquisition with Gore as Torquemada.

No one expected THAT!

well, I imagine McDonald did - it reminds him of the Middle East.

More than 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for George Bush

And that was their choice.

and over half of the registered Democrats there did not vote at all.

Which usually means they didnt like either candidate. Still, their choice.

Who are you to chastise them for using their vote the way they want? Thats how the system works. You dont have to vote for the party you are affiliated with if you dont feel the candidate is worthy.

If you always vote down party lines, then you are a fool. Another one of the sheeple duped by the system.

Check out Eric Alterman for more on how "great" he really is.

But Alterman's a d****e.

You're huffing carbon dioxide if you think the Iraq war couldn't have happened under a Gore/Lieberman administration. Don't forget, the Democrats held a slight majority in the Senate when they approved the Iraq war resolution. They could have put the brakes on it if they'd even taken notice of how the members of the Intelligence and Armed Services committees (i.e. those with access to the best intelligence info) intended to vote. Majorities of Democrats on both committees (including the chairs) voted against the authorization to use force, but the 60% of the Democratic senators overall voted for it.

Lieberman and his buddies had been itching for a chance to take out Saddam Hussein for years, and 9/11 gave cover to warmongers on both sides of the aisle. He was supposed to be Gore's foreign policy go-to guy.

Religion is a belief based on emotion or perception, not facts.

Actually, everything we believe and experience is based on human perception and emotion. Including those things called "facts".

Actually, everything we believe and experience is based on human perception and emotion. Including those things called "facts".

Is that a fact?

Everything's relative - ask my brother.

Yes, I know, it may be a fantasy that Gore would have done a better job than Bush. But what a realistic fantasy.

Can you imagine Gore cutting off birth control monies to women in the third world on his FIRST day in office; refusing to go along with the Kyoto protocol; hiring a complete incompetent like Rumsfeld to wage any war of any kind; and telling people to go shop after 9/11?

Actually, there is another dimension to all this, which is that 9/11 might not have come to pass if Gore had succeeded Clinton. After all, Cheney decided that he needed to have his own people write up a report after being presented in his first week in office, the Clinton administration's document outlining the looming threat of attack on our airlines.

One of the best Bush surrealism moments was Condi Rice: "who could have ever imagined such a thing, flying planes into buildings?" (yeah, who could have imagined such a thing, ms. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, when the French had narrowly averted such an attack on the Eiffel tower a few years prior, and the Israelis have had reinforced cockpit doors, since, like, 1950?...)

"... if you think the Iraq war couldn't have happened under a Gore/Lieberman administration."

Wow, it always amazes me seeing someone so openly display and admit stupidity.

Without Dubya in office Nine-Eleven Op could NOT and would NOT have happened.

Get a clue: That - the Plan In Advance for N.E.O. - is WHY the 2000 ballot counting got RIGGED as much as the fascists could rig it, and when it still wasn't enough, (seeing 5 million votes more for Gore), then the stupid make-believe bullsh!t about the Supreme Court being involved in a State's Rights matter.

Papa Butcher had been contemplating flying planes into the Twin Towers since 1982 about -- Clue: the '82 White House, whoever that was, ordered a top-smarts US Army Special Forces contingent stationed in Germany at the time, to 'task force' (role-play) flying planes into the Twin Towers and report what defenses or protections were (or could be put) in place to stop it. (If someone asks you what protective measures you have set up to prevent burglars breaking into your house ... uh, maybe ask why they are asking.)

And Papa Butcher had been seething since getting knocked off his high-and-mighty horse by Clinton in '92. Read the spoiled-brat whining in the PNAC document: 'we could fix all the Defense Dept shortcomings to get Master Control of Earth piecemeal stepwise in increments, but that'd take 40 years and Papa Butcher ain't GOT that long unless there was a 'new' Pearl Harbor historyshock, jiggle the machine' ... just like the 'real' Pearl Harbor had derailed Papa Butcher's spoiled-brat life plan when he was a senior in high school; the most telling tattletale of all is that the PNAC document (Papa Butsher directed in 1993, his last month as POTUS), uses the words 'Pearl Harbor' because it was the most powerful history-change words in his mind and it shows whose mind the 'new' plan was hatched in, (instead of, say, 'Moon landing' or 'Tehran hostage crisis' or 'JFK assassination' or 'OPEC oil embargo' or 'Hiroshima & Nagasaki A-bombing' or '1000 mile march of Mao' or 'Brown v. Board of Education' or 'Roe v. Wade' or 'fall of the Berlin Wall' or any of the dozens of other 1941-1992 events which changed everything in the history of the world (and the US DoD), no, the author FIXATED on 'new' "Pearl Harbor" and that proves who the author was, like a radioactive isotope 'tags' an glowing invader cell.) BTW, the total rave sensation sweeping the nation in 1982ish was the PC (IBM Personal Computer) with its all-time best selling software program Flight Simulator -- VERY popular with airplane freaks like Papa Butsher the WWII pilot -- in which the computer newbies simulated take-off from JFK airport and flying around the NY airspace depicted with sketch-drawn landmarks and within 5 minutes got bored and 'flew' into the Twin Towers, every one of them, all the time, (I was selling those computers then and at least a hundred of my customers 'came back' in the shop to show me, saying, "hey, watch this, I can fly into the Twin Towers").

This thought occurred to me in recent days: On the parallel of Discovery the World Is Round and Discovery of Global Warming.

When it was discovered the world is round, doubters (who were religion-indoctrinated) mainly had a mental inadequacy to comprehend a physical object as large as planet Earth.
Now it is discovered global warming results from industrial pollution, and doubters mainly have a mental inadequacy to comprehend a dynamic process going on for 150 years in a very very thin shallow atmosphere (10 miles thin-as-an-eggshell) on the surface skin of Earth (8000 miles thick through).
In both cases, simply said doubters can NOT get their mind around it.

In both cases, the facts are still true and factual, and unchanged by doubters doubts. But who would admit they can't comprehend that? It always surprises me that there are some who wave their hands holding a keyboard and openly admit "me, me, I am too stupid to understand that."

Whatever. When discovering the world is round happened to come upon continents of the New World, those who doubted stayed behind and slopped hogs and those who 'got it' right away sailed out and stole the gold and claimed the land and started the United States and stayed rich for generations while the late-comers arrived and filed in.

It is slightly different this time, in discovering the global warming presages the end of conditions for life inhabiting Earth, the doubters (who are the minority, btw) may doubt all they like but they are not going to be left aside to live as they like for as long as they like, they are going to be exterminated. And not by direct action to shoot them or something. Actually, more by 'indirect' action of ignoring them and simply leaving them out of the food chain.

Look, HERE is a piled up archive of evidence detailing how much oil was in the ground and is now in the atmosphere, and reports of actions taken by world 'powers,' both individuals and groups in countries, who 'got it' right away and are going to meet it in the future in a position to deal with it. Doubters may stay behind, trapped in habituated routine, and most probably die off.

At the link is the Chief Proponent's interview this week in the Wall St. Journal, (the regular-read scripture of sharp operators who look to 'get in on the ground floor' of trends), in which is this line:
"... focus on the likely imminent collapse of human industrialized civilization, and I think that's the more important story."

[Postscript: The reason -- the Motive -- for Papa Butsher planning and staging of Nine-Eleven Op for a terrifying 'medical trauma' epidemic was because he knew the Top Secret amount of how little oil remained in the ground and how vital oil was in the past 150 years -- he was an 'oil man' in the early 1950s, as you may recall about him -- and he planned an astonishing act to freeze everyone gape-mouthed in disbelief while he got a head start on 'claiming the oil land' and procuring a slice of it for his and his genetic soulmates' (think: Master Race) command center compound. (See, some folks simply cannot get their minds around the idea of Ruler of the World, seriously, probably because most folks have never been around the world and never done daily business in the Ruler milieu. Most folks have never been POTUS and never been King of the CIA, which are 'heady' situations, thinking in worldwide concepts and terms, strategies and logistics. And Papa Butsher and 'them' sure are NOT thinking about most folks's puny personal lives; also, NOT thinking about grandiose principles and 'beliefs' such as Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, Human Rights, blah blah blah.) The one big mistake in Papa Butsher's plan and provisions to get to Rule the World, is that in 1982 and in 1993 there didn't exist and he didn't figure on the counterforce of the instant internet.]

"Wow, it always amazes me seeing someone so openly display and admit stupidity."

An interesting statement considering the passages that followed.

How is it that a person who is skeptical of global warming is an idiot because they challenge the questionable science behind the theory, but a person who is skeptical of God is not an idiot because they challenge the questionable (or lack of) science behind the religion?

Both sides' advocates rely heavily on faith and the acceptance of certain otherwise laughable assumptions: (1) creation in seven days, (2) snakes that can talk, (3) human activities are a cause, not a coincidence, to changes in climate, and (4) if we change our ways, the Chinese and Indians and Africans will be converted to our faith and follow the righteous path, too.

Jon, if you would bother reading my post, you will see I made no comment about the Floridians (a minority) who actually voted for Bush.

I simply pointed out the utter shameless gall and brass of Democrats who try to suggest that Nader had anything to do with the result in Florida. First, Gore won. Second, had Bush got more votes than Gore, it would be far more logical to blame registered Democrats who voted for Bush than it would be to blame just one of multiple minor party candidates who all polled more than the margin by which Bush led when the vote counting was stopped in a judicial coup.

If I ever get a temptation to take up the hash pipe, rereading the bombastic tirade above will definitely snuff out that impulse.

For all intents and purposes Florida was a tie statistically. The questionable votes that were counted moved the tie ever so slightly one direction or another.

This was Gore's election to lose and he managed to let it slip away by being aloof and elitist. GW Bush, while not the shartpest tool in the shed, has charisma and knows how to work a room.

I never liked Gore because I thought he was a fraud. He seemed to pretend to champion causes that he didn't really believe in. His current foray in to environmentalism seems equally dis-ingenuous, especially given his "lifestyle" choices that seem to be at odds with what he preaches.

Speaking of seeking indulgences, George Monbiot has a great article skewering the kind of psuedo-green BS that dominates over here, particularly in the NW, pointing out that insignificantly tiny actions seem mainly to produce a sense of entitlement to do some seriously climate-wrecking travel and other things like that.


To all Nader apologists: the Bush-loving behavior of Democrats in 2000 in Florida was not a controllable factor, and blame thus cannot be ascribed to them. Unless you want to blame the wind, for the rain.

The behavior of an egocentric politician who decided to stay in the race when he knew he would take votes away from Gore in a hotly contested swing state: now THAT is behavior that can only be forgiven, say, when said politician is under the ground.

The richest Nader apologist argument I ever heard went something like this "it's a good thing in the long run. Things have to get worse before they get better."

Gaye, your comment perfectly exemplifies why Democrats do so poorly whenever voters actually have a choice -- you castigate NON-Democratic voter for preferring someone to the Democratic Party candidate, while simply waving away the obligation of the Democratic Party to influence people who self-identify as Democratic voters.

But you're happy to dismiss the right of people who are NOT Democrats to even run for office and angry that voters who are NOT Democrats prefer those candidates.

What has anyone to apologize about Nader for? His failure to kiss the rings of the Democrats who backed Bush's tax cuts, Bush's wars, Bush's torture?

Methinks the lady protest too much.

The idea that 9/11 could not have happened under another administration's watch -- whoever that might have been -- is simply uninformed.

It was planned before the 2000 elections. Three of the guys who flew the planes were already in the US and in flight schools before either the Democratic or Republican conventions that year picked Al Gore and George Bush as the candidates. The attacks had had been in the works for years: one of the pilots had been attending flight schools since the late '90s.

Now, there could be debate about whether a different group at the top of the government could have caught the guys, but the biggest impediment to that was bureaucratic infighting between the intelligence agencies (and even within agencies like the FBI), and that is something that's been around as long as there have been bureaus and agencies. A Florida flight school alerted the FAA about the guy who's assumed to have been the pilot of the plane that hit the Pentagon in January and February 2001 but they checked him out and cleared him.

So before you start throwing "stupid" around, you might want to check out your facts. 9/11 was on the way regardless of who was president on that day. Osama bin Laden didn't give a damn who was in charge of the country. The only question is would the agencies tasked to catch terrorists -- made up largely of career officers who were there all along -- have done anything different and caught them if someone else was at the top?

And gaye: "Joe Lieberman". Gore's pick for VP. Maybe you should assign some blame to Al for his lackluster campaign and utter unwillingness to take on George W. Bush. As smart as Gore is, he should have been able to rip an idiot like Bush to shreds during the campaign. It shouldn't have even been close.

It was planned before the 2000 elections...The attacks had had been in the works for years...

Where did you find that out, specifically? I'm interested to read more about it.

And, I'm interested in the series of "bin Laden tapes" that miraculously--yes, miraculously--began to appear in the hands of US intelligence right after 9/11. The Director of the FBI himself, two years after 9/11, said "In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper - either here in the United States, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere - that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot".

Sure, I know--who wants to hear this "conspiracy" stuff? I mean, it's not like the US Government under Bush would have fabricated anything or manipulated propoganda, right?

There is so much clear, unequivocal information out now showing how little of the initial claims about 9/11 and al Queda are true. But, as Mark Twain said, "the truth is but a lie repeated". In this case, trying to make 9/11 into an inevitability that had nothing to do with Bush is astounding to me.

Where did you find that out, specifically? I'm interested to read more about it.

I read newspapers. I read magazines. I paid attention back in the day. Some of it's plain common sense. Common sense doesn't mix well with conspiracy, but there you go.

Contemporary news reports mentioned that the pilots of the four planes trained at commercial flight schools in (among other places) Florida.

The manager of the school where the presumed pilot of the (presumed) plane that (presumably) flew into the Pentagon reported the student to the FAA in January 2001.

They reported him not because they feared he was a terrorist, but because his English and flying skills were so bad, they told the Associated Press, they didn't think he should keep his pilot's license.

Assuming you accept this report as factual and not completely fabricated by the Bush Administration Cover-Up™, that means the pilot (named Hani Hanjour) had entered the US a month before the inauguration in order to learn how to fly the kind of plane he would crash into the Pentagon. Again, assuming everyone involved in the production of the 9/11 report was not a member of the World's Best Conspiracy, records from the pilots' visas show some of them entering the US as early as 1996 to get their civil aviation licenses, which they needed before they could go for a commercial license. Three of the pilots made their final entries into the US (according to their visa info) in May and June 2000, again, according to the 9/11 report.

The four pilots passed through INS and Customs inspections a total of 17 times before 9/11. Hanjour came to the United States to attend school in three stints during the 1990s. His final arrival was in December 2000, through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport. The other three pilots, Atta, al Shehhi, and Jarrah, initially came in May and June 2000. They arrived for the last time between May and August 2001. All made a number of trips abroad during their extended stays in the United States.

Of the other 15, only Mihdhar entered the United States, left, and returned. Nawaf al Hazmi arrived in January 2000 with Mihdhar and stayed. Al Mihdhar left in June 2000 and returned to the United States on July 4, 2001. Ten of the others came in pairs between April and June 2001. Three more arrived through Miami on May 28.

The fact that there's been no paper trail found impresses me not at all. Nobody's been able to find Osama bin Laden, either. I can't imagine that the 9/11 plot (at least the version where nineteen guys with boxcutters hijack four planes) really required an incredible amount of paperwork. It was elegant in its simplicity. It needed money and bodies and planning, but not some sort of major bureaucracy. And yes, the planning and execution took time, which, if you start matching up entry dates with other events means that it was under way before anyone knew what would happen in even the 2000 primaries.

The conspiracy versions, on the other hand, which require a wide variety of faked entry documents, people lying to reporters about what they told the FBI (or collusion by multiple reporters), demolition charges planted in the WTC buildings without anyone noticing, planes disappeared because the Pentagon was really hit by missiles, or whatever, just seem not particularly plausible to me.

I'm not sure what "clear, unequivocal information" about 9/11 and al Qaeda you're referring to, certainly the links to Iraq were fabricated, but the blatant transparency of those lies was apparent to many people at the time. There was no actual documentation. There's not a lot of doubt, on the other hand, that four planes were hijacked on 9/11. Yes, some people doubt it, but a lot of people saw some of it live. People talked to family members on at least one of the planes. Are you proposing a conspiracy where the Bush administration was involved while they were still in the primaries against John McCain? Do you think that they found out about it and decided to let it happen? I'm at a loss to figure what you're getting at.

I read newspapers. I read magazines.

I'm guessing this means you find newspapers and magazines that you read. reliable sources of information.

The fact that there's been no paper trail found impresses me not at all.

...But I'm guessing this means you don't consider years of research by the FBI as a reliable source. And I think you're simplifying "piece of paper" to be a literal statement, when of course its not. He was making a point about evidence, not the absence of sheets of paper.

I'm also unwilling to equate "trained at flight schools" with "the attacks had been in the works for years". And, absent any solid evidence that al Quaeda/bin Laden/insert your axis of Evil here participated, plotted, planned, or supported 9/11, I find the justifications for the attack itself (by us) laughable.

Are you proposing a conspiracy where the Bush administration was involved while they were still in the primaries against John McCain? Do you think that they found out about it and decided to let it happen? I'm at a loss to figure what you're getting at.

I think it's a large topic, and a complex one. We're not going to boil it down with clarity, but I'd say this--if, eight years later, Americans are still dim enough to believe "al Quaeda" is an actual organization with a management group, a headquarters, and bin Laden as leader, I'm not very hopeful of convincing them of much of anything else.

So, on the one hand, if I pay attention to widespread news reports in the days immediately after 9/11 that the people who were presumed to fly the planes trained to fly those planes at schools in the US I'm a dupe of some sort but you can claim that "years of research by the FBI" with no attribution to a source is somehow more compelling evidence? That just don't make any sense. If newspapers reported the results of that research, how is it any more believable?

I'm really not sure how to respond to you on this. I give you evidence that's at least as believable as any FBI report that records show some of the hijackers were coming into the country for training to fly commercial airliners more than a year before the attacks. I would think that someone didn't just come up with the plan one day, pick four dudes, and send them off the next; that there would have to be some time involved in selection of the team, effort at getting people into flight schools, getting visas, etc. and that would probably mean several months before the first pilot came to the US. So yes, I think that it would take at least a couple of years -- and possibly longer -- to put the operation together.

As for al Qaeda having a "management group," you're the one who was holding out the failure to find documentation as some sort of proof of something (I'm still not sure what that is). I think that the plan was hatched by a few people, that it was lean and low-budget, and that it was planned and executed mostly in Europe and the US, where the hijackers were living for most of the years prior to 9/11.

Even if George W. Bush was personally behind the 9/11 attacks, it took time to plan and execute. If the hijackers were knowingly or unknowingly working for him, they were still in flight school training in early 2000, before he was the Republican nominee, at least a year and a half before 9/11.

Unless, of course, you believe that all of the documentation was forged: the visas, the flight school records, the interviews with people who trained and took classes with the pilots, the rental records for their apartments, the people who saw them at strip clubs, the people who served them alcohol, the hookers who slept with them, etc. Maybe the whole thing was a fake and the government made four planes crash that day and the hijackers never existed. Maybe the planes never existed. And the idea of a narrative where they give the (non-existent) hijackers boxcutters instead of guns was brilliant because they could then have the brave passengers of one of the planes take it back over (never mind the fact that a Wesley Snipes or a Harrison Ford could take over a whole plane of automatic weapon-wielding terrorists by themselves) only to die proudly in a field (no "How do you fly this thing?" ending).

You'd have thought that they'd have done a better job on the Niger yellowcake forgeries if they could do all that, though.

I'm sorry, but your version's just too spindly. It's about as well-constructed as the Iraqi anthrax drones that were supposed to be the terror from the skies, according to the Bushies. Never mind that the US controlled Iraq's airspace, that Iraq had no aerospace industry, that they didn't exactly have a network of global satellites, and that the US was thousands of miles away, across sea and ocean, and that at the time even our own drones were unarmed and crashing with great regularity.

It just doesn't fly.

hijackers were coming into the country for training to fly commercial airliners more than a year before the attacks.

Darrel, *none* of the so-called pilots actually ever flew a jet before 9/11. All did fairly poorly in small-engine plane training, and some got a few hours in a 727 *simulator*.

But, miraculously, they all were excellent jumbo jet pilots when the time came. Even experienced military and commercial pilots were astounded by the flying, because to do what was done would've required precision flying. Strangely, every single encounter with them by flight instructors beforehand found them dangerously imcompetent.

For example:

The entire popular narrative of 9/11 is "spindly", Darrel. You've pointed out some of the embellishments yourself. We only seem to disagree on just how embellished and fabricated the story was.

But, overall, we seem to agree on most things here.

You two! ...

I got vexed earlier and said "stupid" and shouldn't have said it and it is counterproductive and so I better say not so much ... more or repeating ...

Just that, as much as you "seem to agree" I'd like to know your ideas about this:
What was the Motive? (of whodunnit, whoever).

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And/or if you have comments about this ... some of the 'widespread news reports immediately aired' (and just as immediately blacked out, never to be seen again).

Actually, some of the reports I read simply said that the presumed pilots' English skills were so poor that they weren't considered eligible to hold US licenses, not that they were bad pilots.

But what's your alternative if you think the conventional story pilots were incapable of flying, eco? The planes were piloted by someone else? There were no planes? People on the ground in NYC actually saw planes fly into the WTC. Were those figments of imagination? Who flew the planes if they weren't?

The site your link goes to is positing someone flying the plane by remote control into the Pentagon, while simultaneously claiming that the maneuver performed was exceedingly tricky. Now who's being credulous?

One more thing about the Pentagon.

Much has been made about the skills needed for the plane to hit precisely where it did, but really, the only thing the hijack pilot of AA77 had to do was to drive a plane into one of the world's largest structures. It didn't really matter where he hit the Pentagon, it's a big, pentagonal bulls-eye on the Arlington side of the Potomac. Where some people see precision flying, others see a struggle to keep the plane aloft long enough to hit its target.

There were eyewitnesses to the Pentagon crash as well. A couple of people from the plane called out. There were a lot of bodies and plane parts recovered by local fire crews.

Frankly, if the administration had the capabilities to orchestrate this kind of massive conspiracy involving thousands of people willingly keeping their mouths shut about their part in producing documents, killing people so their bodies could be pulled out of the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, etc., I think they could have come up with a better narrative for Bush than having him in Florida at the time of the attacks, reading to schoolkids. A narrow escape from the White House. Leading some sort of missile launch crew to take out a plane. I don't doubt that they used the event to their advantage, but subtlety and elegance was never the hallmark pf Bush/Cheney.

But what's your alternative if you think the conventional story pilots were incapable of flying, eco? The planes were piloted by someone else? There were no planes?

There were planes, of course. But I don't know who flew them, or why they did it.

The site your link goes to is positing someone flying the plane by remote control into the Pentagon

I can't vouch for the credibility of the entire site, but the URL I inserted included mainstream news links to just about every part of the article.

Frankly, if the administration had the capabilities to orchestrate this kind of massive conspiracy involving thousands of people willingly keeping their mouths shut about their part in producing documents

No. That's a common fallacy: that it's a binary choice--either entirely true or a vast conspiracy, and that a vast conspiracy requires thousands of people participating. Life (and politics, and propoganda) are much smarter than that.

What I've found over the past eight years is that, like the Republican-Democrat false polarity, people don't even want to discuss a possibility of a spectrum of stories. Ironically, they want a Let's Roll God Bless America And Attack story.

I don't doubt that they used the event to their advantage, but subtlety and elegance was never the hallmark pf Bush/Cheney.

I don't give Bush or Cheney much credit for being some sort of "masterminds". I do believe that Bush was forcibly inserted into the Presidency for specific, ideological reasons. The smart people, the ones manipulating the power, were not Bush/Cheney.

I know at least three people who saw the plane hit the Pentagon. It's in sight from my office window. Two of these people told me of the strike immediately that morning, before the Pentagon attack was reported in the media.

As for flying skill, I understand that flying a plane is like driving a car -- once you get the hang of it you tend to drive/fly towards where you are looking. So hitting the WTC towers that stood out above all else was no great feat. Crashing in Pennsylvania required no skill at all.

The more difficult maneuver was hitting the Pentagon. While a gigantic building it is only 5 stories tall and from the Virginia side is set in a bit of bowl beneath Arlington National Cemetery and the Navy Annex.

From the photographic evidence I've seen and from what I heard from first responders and people who worked in the building, it appears the plane actually hit the ground short of the building and skidded into the outer wall. This blunting of impact is consistent with the fact that the plane only penetrated three of the five building rings. The death and injury toll could have been much worse.

As for targeting, I've been told by eyewitnesses that the plane followed the path of I-395. This interstate veers from a northeasterly to an easterly path just short of the Pentagon. If he was following I-395 all the pilot needed to do to approach his target was to continue straight when the road turned. No great navigational skill was required.

Also the hijacked plane hit almost precisely at the Pentagon's heliport landing area. Like all heliports I've seen, this one had a big white cross in a circle to help pilots target their landings. It is logical to assume the hijacker pilot picked the ground-level bullseye as his final target. Since the new heliport is built a good distance away from the main building I surmise that DOD has concluded the same.

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