- the germ theory of disease;
- the theory of natural selection;
- the relationship among the Earth, Sun, stars, and Milky Way;
- basic set theory;
- non-Euclidean geometry;
- Newtonian physics;
- the axioms of special relativity (which are quite simple); and
- the approximate value of the speed of light (e.g. "sunlight takes eight minutes to reach Earth").
Study their behaviors. Observe their territorial boundaries. Leave their habitat as you found it. Report any signs of intelligence.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
|Registrants in 1000s ||2000-10 ||2002-09 ||2004-09 ||2006-09|
|American Independent ||296 ||296 ||304 ||309 (2%)|
|Green ||139 ||147 ||156 ||140 (.90%)|
|Libertarian ||95 ||89 ||86 ||82 (.84%)|
|Peace and Freedom ||[?] ||70 ||67 ||59|
|Natural Law ||58 ||45 ||29 ||22|
|Reform ||79 ||59 || |||
|Votes in % ||2002 Gov ||2002 SecState ||2004 Sen ||2004 Pres|
|American Independent ||1.7 ||1.2 ||0.6 ||0.2|
|Green ||5.2 ||3.9 ||0.3|
|Libertarian ||2.1 ||2.8 ||1.7 ||0.5|
|Peace and Freedom ||2.1 ||0.2|
|Natural Law ||1.1 ||2.4 |
|Reform ||1 |
American Independent was founded as a national party in 1968 to support the Presidential candidacy of segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace. In 1991 the California AIP became an affiliate of the right-wing Constitution Party, which was formerly the U.S. Taxpayers' Party. In the 2004 Presidential election, AIP's vote in California was just 8% of its registered base, compared to 56% for the LP, 25% for the Greens, and 40% for P&F. This confirms the judgment of analysts who say that AIP's registration numbers are wildly inflated by voters trying to register as Decline To State. The AIP favors a moratorium on all immigration, the deportation of all illegal immigrants, and the denial of citizenship to their children born here. The AIP favors bans on all obscenity, all drugs, any form of same-sex unions, and any form of abortion. The AIP defends religious displays on public property and voluntary prayer in public schools. The AIP's foreign policy is nearly identical to the LP's, except the AIP demands U.S. reclaim the Panama Canal. The AIP opposes all free-trade treaties and favors tariffs on each imported item equal to the difference in the cost of its production abroad compared to in America.
The Green Party was formed in 1996 as an association of state Green parties and quickly eclipsed the Green Party USA that had been established in 1991 (and still exists). The Greens out-elected the LP-US 25-7 in 1996, 47-34 in 2000, 81-43 in 2002, and 71 to (at most) 42 in 2004. The Greens also list 47 election wins in 2005, 65 in 2003, and 64 in 2001. Half of all registered Greens are in California. The Greens are radical leftists who favor "restructuring our patterns of income distribution", nationalized health insurance, municipal veto over "large economic projects", a 30-35 hour workweek, gun control, "more progressive taxation" including inheritance taxes, and "increased funding for Social Security, public housing, higher education, public transportation". They say "the artificial dichotomy between 'employment' and 'unemployment' has become a tool of social leverage for corporate exploiters."
Peace and Freedom was founded in 1967, and anti-war Rothbardian left-libertarians competed with Marxists to control it. (Rothbardians took over the California PFP long enough to have Bill Evers co-write its 1974 platform, but Rothbard then joined the LP and Evers followed, where they proceeded to rewrite the LP platform in 1975.) P&F lost ballot status in 1998, but was able to to regain it in 2003 because low turnout in the 2002 gubernatorial election set the registration threshold at only 77K. Like the LP and Greens, the PFP needs to win 2% in some statewide race this year to retain ballot status. PFP calls for "social ownership and democratic control of industry, financial institutions, and natural resources", doubling the minimum wage, a 30-hour work week, and "free high-quality health care for everyone". If you're surprised that PFP "supports the right of working people to keep and bear arms", then remember that The Internationale is featured prominently on their web site.
The Natural Law Party was founded in the early 1990's by followers of Transcendental Meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He stopped funding the party after its failed hostile takeover of the Reform Party in 2000, and the California NLP will lose its ballot status this year because it is running no statewide candidates. The NLP platform called for a flat income tax, market-based healthcare reform, school vouchers, sustainable agriculture, and energy conservation. It straddled many issues, e.g. by supporting the status quo on abortion, immigration and gun control.
The Reform Party was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot and has been plagued by infighting since he abandoned it in 1997. The Reform Party agenda consists of protectionism, procedural political reforms, balanced budgets, and restricted immigration. RP lost its California ballot status in 2003 and will likely never regain it.
Thus the LPC's biggest competitor by far is the ten-year-old Green Party, which positions itself to capture the loyalty of anyone with libertarian impulses but who doesn't understand free market economics. The GP's growth seems to be leveling off, perhaps due to a ceiling effect imposed by the presence of an existing major party in their quadrant of political space. If the LP wants to regain its undisputed title as America's third party, it needs to take advantage of the the absence of competition in its own quadrant by branding itself as the market-smart choice for the plurality of Americans who favor social tolerance.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Lt. Governor - Lynnette Shaw, medical marijuana activist. Shaw successfully lobbied the Marin County Supervisors to formally de-prioritize enforcement efforts against medical marijuana. She calls for the release of over 1400 non-violent marijuana prisoners in California jails, and promotes hemp agriculture in America to help save family farms and in Mexico to ease immigration pressures. Her Republican opponent Sen. Tom McClintock was endorsed for governor in 2003 by the American Medical Marijuana Association, who also attracted some Libertarian supporters for his positions on spending, education, minimum wage, guns, and eminent domain. The Green Donna Warren wants a "living wage" law, universal health care, slavery reparations, and to "re-regulate energy" because "energy belongs to the people". At this writing McClintock and Democratic machine candidate John Garamendi are neck-and-neck.
Secretary of State - Gail Lightfoot, retired nurse. Lightfoot is a 1972 Charter member of the LP, an LPC activist since 1980, and was a prominent plaintiff in the 2000 Supreme Court decision overturning California's Prop 198 blanket primary. Her focus in this election for Secretary of State is on procedural issues like None Of The Above and Instant Runoff Voting.
Controller - Donna Tello, tax accountant. Tello sums up her position as: "Control spending, not people. Protect taxpayers, not special interests." She gently challenges voters using humor: "I'm conservative on economic issues and liberal on personal issues. (I'm not confused; are you?)"
Treasurer - Marian Smithson, West Covina City Treasurer. Smithson proposes to use her practical experience to put California on a pay-as-you-go financing policy.
Attorney General - Kenneth Weissman, Beverly Hills attorney. Weissman is a straight shooter when it comes to all the vital issues of personal freedom. He describes himself as a 2nd Amendment absolutist, and says “Gun control means hitting your target.”
Insurance Commissioner - Dale Ogden, actuary and insurance consultant. Ogden lays out detailed plans for reforms on his smartvoter.org pages. He summarizes: "California used to have a reputation for competent insurance regulation, along with a few other heavily-populated states like New York and Illinois. Since we've had elected commissioners, we've become a national joke."
Board of Equalization - Kennita Watson, Willard Michlin, Monica Kadera. Watson won 275K votes (22%) in her 2-way District 1 race in 1998 (and 7% in a 3-way in 1994), but this year all four districts are contested by the two incumbent parties as well as by Peace & Freedom.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
> Please note that the Tikkun Community plans to publish the responses from you and your fellow candidates to the letter's questionnaire, in order to help Tikkun Magazine readers evaluate candidate stands on these issues <
- Provide a safety net of basic health care for people in immediate need.
- Provide vouchers to people who cannot otherwise afford catastrophic health insurance.
- Require non-poor people to buy catastrophic insurance (so that they don't use the safety net as their insurance).
- Incentivize people to buy preventive care by means of tax-deductible medical savings accounts
Sunday, October 01, 2006
- Variola major and a couple other pathogens were together able to kill somewhere between 25% and 95% of native Americans as a result of the Columbian Exchange -- including 100% of the population of Hispaniola.
- The enterobacterium Yersinia pestis in the 14th century killed up to 1/3 of Eurasia's population.
- The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed up to 5% of the world's population.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
To Aimee Tavares (email@example.com):
You wrote to me about the Common Cause "Voters First" Pledge:
) our coalition will be reaching out to nearly 3 million Americans to tell them about the website, how to find out if their candidates have signed, and engage them in the campaign for Clean Elections—or publicly financed elections. (
I will not sign your "Voters First" Pledge, since it's really just an "Incumbents First" Pledge. I urge all my fellow candidates to tell you the same thing.
"Publicly financed elections" aren't clean, they're dirty. They're dirty because they force taxpayers belonging to minor parties to subsidize the political campaigns of the two incumbent parties. The "corruption" that you claim to oppose is caused entirely members of the two incumbent parties, so it's bizarre for you to believe that defending the incumbent parties from competition will decrease corruption. The Connecticut public financing law that you tout is so biased toward the incumbent parties that it is being challenged in a federal lawsuit by the ACLU, which ordinarily supports public campaign financing.
If you restrict the use of monetary resources for political speech, you merely amplify the power of other resources, e.g. celebrity, incumbency, media ownership/control, ability to organize and bundle the resources of volunteers (e.g. benefit concerts), etc. If you limit how much of my money I can spend on my speech, shouldn't you limit how much of Barbara Streisand's fame she can spend on her speech?
Speech restrictions are profoundly undemocratic, and don't even have the effect their advocates claim to desire. Retiring politicians don't suddenly change their voting patterns when freed from the need to seek campaign financing. The myth is that the politicians adapt their positions to chase the money. The reality is that the money is there because of the government benefits (or potential restrictions) that are up for grabs, and each interest group just pays whichever side is its natural ally on the issue.
The overwhelming majority of political corruption has nothing to do with the "gifts and travel" that you worry about in your Pledge. If corrupt congressmen merely sought personal wealth, then we could let them each take $1M/year from the Treasury and it wouldn't noticeably affect the federal budget. The much more costly corruption is caused by congressmen who buy votes with government payoffs and subsidies and special rules for farmers, seniors, teachers, civil servants, union members, lawyers, doctors, exporters, real estate developers, intellectual property owners, etc.
The Cato Institute explained in this 2004 article exactly why Big Government inexorably will lead to Big Lobbying:
Cato) There is solid empirical evidence that expanding government results in increases in campaign spending. Economist John Lott Jr. found that 87 percent of the rise in federal campaign spending between 1976 and 1994 was attributable to the $1,101 per-capita rise (in real terms) in federal government spending that occurred over that time.
We will only reduce the amount of money flowing within the tributaries of our political system by reducing the incentive for private interests to directly and indirectly support candidates and parties. Therefore, the only plausible solution is to limit the size of government. Anything else merely treats the symptom without addressing the underlying disease of the body politic. Lower government spending will lead to lower levels of campaign contributions. In turn, that will result in lower levels of campaign spending. All other efforts to limit campaign spending will be futile. (Cato
Instead of trying to impose on every candidate a one-size-fits-all muzzle, why not instead impose on every voter a requirement to listen? I'd like to hear just one campaign finance reformer have the courage to blame the people who by the reformer's logic must ultimately be at fault: the voters. If you think voters are wise and competent consumers of political speech, then surely political speech needs no regulation.
If instead you think voters are too selfish, then you should advocate no representation without taxation. We could say that if both last year and in your lifetime you've received more in dollar-denominated government benefits/credits/deductions than you've paid in taxes, then you don't get to vote.
If instead you think voters are too ignorant, then you should test voters before they can vote. We could say you can't vote for me unless you can answer one multiple-choice question about my positions from each of my opponents. The idea would be that you can't vote for X unless you can prove that you've listened to the arguments against X.
I personally am not yet ready to declare that voters are irredeemably selfish or ignorant. I just wish process-oriented reformers would hold a mirror up to the electorate itself, instead of complaining about the things that influence the electorate.
Aimee, if you really believe in a level playing field, where voters hear both sides speaking at the same volume, then there's only one way for you not to be a hypocrite when you have your Voters First press conference on Tuesday. You will allow as much time at your event for opposition to your Pledge as you allow for promotion of it.
So how about it, Aimee? Are you willing to practice what you preach? If so, I'm available to attend your event via voice conference and let your audience hear the other side of this issue. Don't you think that your proposal can win support over the alternative if you have to advocate it under the rules you want candidates to live by? Or is your proposal just a naked power grab, trying to shift power from elected officials to unelected organizations like your own that already have their own big megaphone?
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
2006-08-21 Debate On The 9/11 "Truth" MovementThe Next Step is hosted on Palo Alto community TV by Daniel Kottke (first Apple employee)
On Thursday Aug 17 my Green opponent Carol Brouillet invited me to be a "skeptic" on an Aug 21 Palo Alto community access TV show about the 9/11 "Truth Movement". I agreed, and my concerns over a possible ambush were greatly eased by email exchanges in the intervening days in which Carol's co-panelists tipped their hand about how weak their case is. On the show I said my role would be "to ask questions, and try to get as specific as possible claims from them so that I can go fact-check them later". I've produced a nearly-complete transcript of the show here, in which I systematically analyze and rebut their most interesting claims. The table below summarizes my fact-checking. Their final score was: 10 falsehoods, 3 distortions, 1 misleading statement, 2 inaccurate statements, and 2 unsubstantiated statements. (I also diagnose one exaggeration on my part, caused by rounding off fatalities in the atomic bombings of Japan to the nearest 100,000.)
In 59 minutes of discussion, I simply could not get any of the Truthers to reveal to me their Truth about why bin Laden and al Qaeda have ten times implied or admitted responsibility for 9/11 (and have not denied it since being hosted by the Taliban in 2001). Dennis can't decide whether al Qaeda is controlled or are "patsies", and Carol just throws up her hands and says "who knows?". When the Truthers carefully avoid trying to explain the actions of the only living people who are universally agreed to be 9/11 conspirators, it clearly indicates that the Truthers are more interested in advancing the political agenda they had on 9/10 than in understanding the truth of 9/11.
It's ironic that the Truth Movement is just as guilty as the Bushies in seizing on the 9/11 tragedy to promote their prior political agenda. What's comical is that the Truth Movementarians would be far more effective in promoting their political agenda if they merely claimed that Bush knowingly allowed 9/11 instead of planned it. That would be a far harder theory to refute, but would serve their cause equally well. However, their pathology is so systematic that they find it hard to resist claiming Bush planned every bad thing that any human does anywhere. (Some conspiracists even claim that Bush caused the 2004 tsunami.)
On Aug 30 I challenged Brouillet with 10 Questions about 9/11. I wanted to see if she is as good at answering questions on the candidates' stage as she is at shouting them from the audience -- as she did in in a 2004 debate between me and the incumbent congresswoman in our race. As of Sept 6 she has not said whether she will answer my questions before the election. (I will immediately update the front page of my campaign site if she does.) She did, however, answer an 11th question and admitted that she "doesn't have time" to read criticisms of the "Truth" movement. Carol, if you really are more interested in 9/11 Truth than you are in your 9/10 Movement, you'll answer the questions posed by your fellow candidate.
To Dennis Mitrzyk: You said on the show that I "can't argue the laws of physics" and so I argue al Qaeda instead. I say that you couldn't argue al Qaeda on the show and so you threw up a physics smokescreen instead. In my annotated transcript I've now rebutted the claims you made based on physical science. If you would like to respond to my rebuttals, I'll link to them here and then demolish those too.
To Robert Forte: You made the least factual mistakes, and seem the most intellectually honest, of the three cover-up-conspiracy panelists, but you seem to care more about a 9/11 Inquisition than about 9/11 Truth. Dennis and Carol at least offer (multiple inconsistent) theories about al Qaeda -- they mainly and ludicrously claim it's owned and operated by the CIA. But your theory is that you don't need a theory. That's not being interested in 9/11 "Truth". That's being interested in 9/11 Ignorance.
|Claim ||Status ||Fact |
|Forte: These are buildings that were deliberately blown up, a false flag terrorist operation, with a number of precedents in recent American history.||False||There is no precedent of even one American civilian being killed in a false flag terrorist operation by the U.S. government. See the annotated transcript for discussion of Operations Northwoods. |
|Brouillet: We have the Patriot Act's mirror in Canada, England, Australia, and they're relabeling all dissent against government or corporate power as "terrorists"||False ||Her sweeping phrase "all dissent" is clumsily hyperbolic propoganda. |
|Brouillet: The Rendon Group has been paid $50 to $100 million since 9/11 to sell the war on terrorism to the American people.||Inaccurate ||The Rendon Group's focus has been on Iraq's liberation, not 9/11 or the war on al Qaeda. The Rolling Stone article's author later had to admit he "never claimed the Rendon Group deliberately disseminated false information".|
|Brouillet: 90% of the soldiers are convinced that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11||Inaccurate ||The Zogby poll said 85%, but it apparently had a serious methodological problem, described below. |
|Mitrzyk: [The conspirators] had access to those buildings through Marvin Bush, who happened to be on the board of Securacom. He was President and CEO of a Kuwaiti -US joint venture that had responsibility for security at the World Trade Center||False ||Bush was never President or CEO of Kuwam, and left the Securacom board in 2000. Securacom lost the WTC security contract before 1998. |
|Mitrzyk: Osama bin Laden issued a letter saying that he was not involved with 9/11||Misleading ||No longer needing to protect their Taliban hosts after 2001, bin Laden and al Qaeda have since admitted or implied responsibility for 9/11 at least ten times.|
|Brouillet: al Qaeda is definitely a creation of our CIA and Saudi Arabia||False ||Experts and primary sources overwhelmingly disagree with Brouillet's third-hand citation of a leftist radio report citing an apparently-non-existent expert who is quoted only about "Afghan arabs" in the 1980s and not specifically bin Laden or al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was formed in 1988 to expand jihad beyond Afghanistan, contrary to the interests of the CIA and Saudi Arabia. |
|Mitrzyk: [Osama bin Laden] is the youngest brother of the guy who gave [President Bush] $2 million for his first oil well.||False ||Mitrzyk is thinking of the $50,000 that Bush air national guard buddy James Bath invested in Arbusto in 1979. Bath at the time was a trustee for Salem bin Laden. Some claim that Bath was merely a front man, but there is no documentation for their speculation about this modest $50K investment. |
|Brouillet: $100,000 was wired to Mohammed Atta on the orders of the head of Pakistani ISI||Unsubstantiated ||This widespread claim traces back to two unsourced Indian press reports about an Indian intelligence claim that cell phone records show pro-Taliban Gen. Ahmed to have been in contact with al Qaeda paymaster Omar Saeed. Ahmed was dismissed as Pakistan aligned against the Taliban after 9/11, and there is no evidence that Saeed received (or would need) any orders from Ahmed to continue financing the operation. |
|Brouillet: The official commission says in their document: who financed the attacks of Sept 11 is of little or no importance||False ||The Report says the precise mix of sources of al Qaeda's $30M/yr of donations is "ultimately of little practical significance", and it's a blatant distortion to claim the Report is instead saying this about the 9/11 plot's $250K/yr financing, which the Report analyzes in detail. |
|Mitrzyk: Steven Jones, who's a fully tenured professor of physics at Brigham Young University, has written a peer-review paper that has not been challenged||False ||The Jones paper has not been published in any pre-existing peer-reviewed journal, but instead in a 9/11 book from "Olive Branch Press". The paper has been extensively challenged, and repudiated by Jones' BYU colleagues. |
|Mitrzyk: the people that covered this up lied about the construction as they said there was no core to the [WTC towers] building||False ||The "lie" is in a footnote explaining the layout of the available exits at the beginning of a chapter about evacuation and rescue efforts. The footnote says: "The interior core of the buildings was a hollow steel shaft, in which elevators and stairwells were grouped." This is an absolutely accurate way to characterize the layout of the available exits. WTC's steel core is not ignored by the detailed FEMA and NIST studies of the tower collapses. NIST even cites the delayed collapse of the lower portions of the core as evidence against controlled demolition. |
|Mitrzyk: This is simple Newtonian physics, people. To turn that concrete into dust needs energy. There was not enough gravitational energy.||False ||It's flatly false to claim that one can balance the energy budget of the WTC 1 & 2 collapses using just Newtonian kinematics and dynamics. You also need sophisticated models to estimate the use of energy to pulverize concrete and other materials, eject debris, heat debris, deform steel and other materials, damage the WTC substructure and neighboring structures, etc.|
|Mitrzyk: there was molten steel at the 7th subfloor, they discovered a week after the event||Unsubstantiated ||Urban legends about "molten steel" in the WTC debris are debunked here.|
|Brouillet: The Project For A New American Century had already laid out that they needed: a catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor||Distortion ||PNAC did not say a new Pearl Harbor is "needed" or in any way desired. PNAC said "the prime directive for transformation will be to design and deploy a global missile defense system". It mentioned China more often than it mentioned Iraq. It mentioned ballistic missiles 30 times, and mentioned terrorism only twice. It said ""the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor". It's simply illiterate to say that PNAC white paper had "already laid out" the idea that knife-wielding suicidal pilots were America's paradigmatic new defense problem.|
|Holtz: [America] incinerated 100,000 innocents in Hiroshima, and then did it again three days later in Nagasaki ||Exaggeration ||Immediate fatalities at each of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about 70,000, and many tens of thousands of them worked either for the military or in wartime industries.|
|Mitrzyk: scholarsfor911truth.org [are] people who have degrees in physics and mechanical engineering and they have written peer-review papers and so these people, they're doing the science on this||Distortion ||All of the "peer-reviewed" papers on scholarsfor911truth.org were published in forums created explicitly for "9/11 studies". They include only three PhD authors with a record of publications in engineering or mathematics or physical science. One of the three actually supports the NIST collapse analsysis, and the second's only paper consists only of three pages calculating the speed of the WTC 7 collapse. The rest of these "peer-reviewed" scholars are all either in "soft" disciplines like theology or philosophy, or are not even published academics. |
|Forte: You [Holtz] strike me as an apologist for the government. You have not voiced any skepticism about the official story.||False ||At 27 minutes into the show, I said that the so-called "war on terror" is "phony", and disagreed with Bush's story that al Qaeda "hates freedom", and said that I agree with al Qaeda instead of Bush in their competing theories of why 9/11 happened. I also had already told Forte in email that I believe the 9/11 Report turns a blind eye to Bush and Cheney apparently lying about whether the shootdown rules of engagement first originated with Bush.|
|Holtz: Was he [maimed Iraqi boy in Mitzryk photo] targeted? |
Mitzryk: Well, it's hard to say.
|Distortion ||Mitzryk should have known that the boy was not targeted. He is Ali Abbas, and the book about him says "in the early hours of March 31 last year, 11 days into the Iraq war, a stray missile hit the hamlet where Ali lived". |
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
- controlling the two 767's that crashed into the World Trade Center;
- using pre-planted explosive charges to demolish the twin towers and the 47-story tower 7;
- making Flight 77 and its passengers and crew disappear, so that the least-important wing of Pentagon could be hit with a missile alleged to be Flight 77;
- shooting down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania and faking all the evidence of a passenger revolt;
- arranging that America's air defenses failed to intercept the allegedly-hijacked jets; and
- arranging that al Qaeda fails to deny responsibility and indeed appears to claim responsibility.
Thus to my opponent Carol Brouillet and all other Truthers I ask the following.
1. al Qaeda. The JFK conspirators couldn't get their lone gunman to claim responsibility, but the omni-competent 9/11 conspirators have such influence over al Qaeda as to make it consistently take credit -- and never again deny responsibility -- for 9/11. Why has al Qaeda taken credit for 9/11 in multiple communiques, and not attempted to deny responsibility since losing Taliban protection in 2001? Bonus questions: If the conspirators are making al Qaeda (appear to) claim credit, why didn't they do so earlier? If you can prove the conspirators control al Qaeda, then why bother arguing the rest of the conspiracy theory -- missiles, controlled demolition, faked hijackings, etc -- to people who believe al Qaeda did it? Why does Zacarias Moussaoui not deny that his al Qaeda comrades perpetrated 9/11?
2. Flight 93. If the government conspiracy could control commercial 767's and fly them into the WTC, why would it shoot down a 757 over Pennsylvania instead of fly it into the ground as suggested by all the carefully-prearranged onboard transmissions and recordings suggesting a passenger revolt that you say never happened?
3. Pentagon. If the government conspiracy could control commercial 767's and fly them into the WTC, why use a missile instead of another jetliner to hit the Pentagon in broad daylight and clear skies over a crowded metropolitan area bristling with civilian witnesses and camcorders and camera phones? Bonus questions: And if a missile was used, why make a 330-degree turn in the final approach, creating more exposure to cameras and witnesses? And if the radar recordings are fabricated, why include a turn that you say is suspicious?
4. Wristwatches. If the government conspiracy could crash two commercial 767's in a window of 17 minutes, why would it risk ordering a suspicious and traceable stand-down of air defenses so it could hit the Pentagon with a missile 80 minutes later? Flight 77 would not have struck D.C. until about 95 minutes after the first WTC crash. Instead of the government conspiracy spreading its four meticulously planned attacks across an hour and a half, why not instead just pretend the hijackers had wristwatches and then competently synchronize the four strikes? Did the Pentagon missile/drone team oversleep the morning of 9/11? And why were the cockpit takeovers spread over 90 minutes, allowing Flight 175 to even be warned of cockpit intrusion before it happened?
5. We Have Some Planes. Truthers claim that the government conspiracy was so worried about the alleged ability of America's air defenses to intercept hijacked airliners that the conspiracy took the risk of arranging stand-down orders. Whey did the conspiracy then use a suicide flight crew so incompetent that two of them repeatedly used the air-traffic radio to broadcast warnings they were trying to give to their passengers over the cabin intercom, thus giving the earliest possible notice that hijackings were under way? Why did they broadcast "planes" plural? Why did they only turn off the transponders on Flights 77 and 93 only after deviating from their course? Why did they never turn off the transponder on Flight 175 at all? Just how stupid were these evil government geniuses who took over these planes?
6. Demolitions. Nobody trapped above the impact floors in the WTC was going to be saved from the fire, and 200 of them had already jumped to their deaths. The collapse of WTC 1 and 2 only contributed 400-600 of the 3000 fatalities on 9/11, and the collapse of WTC 7 contributed zero. Why would the conspiracy risk setting up and then performing in broad daylight a controlled demolition of buildings that it knew would be under massive videographic surveillance, just to kill 400 rescue workers? Bonus questions: What if one of those swarming radio-equipped rescue workers had found an explosive charge while breaking through walls to seek trapped victims or clear exits? And with the towers twice as tall as anything around them, why not quintuple the death toll by hitting the 110-story towers just above the 57-story highest neighbor, instead of at the 96th and 81st floors? And why wait an agonizing 102 minutes to push the detonator for the first tower struck, since it is allegedly known that jet fuel cannot bring down a steel skyscraper now matter how big a fire it ignites and no matter how long it burns? Also, consider that at least 25% of the jets controlled by the conspiracy failed to hit their target. What was the government conspiracy's contingency plan if one of the WTC jets missed its assigned tower, and the building was then found to be wired from top to bottom with demolition charges?
7. Execution. The story told by 9/11 Truthers would have taken hundreds of conspirators to plan and execute:
- demolition experts to plant the explosives days in advance;
- insiders to allow planting of the explosives in the WTC -- whose chief of security John O'Neill was killed on 9/11 and as FBI Special Agent in Charge for National Security in the New York Field Office from 1997 to 2001 had led the bin Laden investigation;
- a team (presumably near the WTC) to stick around all day and trigger 3 controlled demolitions over a 7-hour span;
- people in the air defense chain of command to issue traceable and documented orders for exercises and a stand-down on 9/11;
- an Air Force pilot to fire a missile at Flight 93;
- military personnel to execute the missile/drone strike on the Pentagon;
- Pentagon insiders to allegedly suppress its air defenses;
- operatives to fabricate and plant fake Pentagon surveillance camera images;
- American Airlines and United Airlines insiders to allow access to the WTC jets;
- either suicidal pilots, or a team of aeronautical/avionics/jamming experts to secretly modify and remotely control the WTC jets and prevent the actual crew from using any radio or cell phone to call out;
- operatives to divert Flight 77 and make it and its passengers and crew vanish without any trace or making any onboard calls;
- operatives to plant physical evidence at each crash scene right in front of first responders;
- radio technicians remotely engineering the transmissions from the planes (or a far larger team to alter and fake the transmission records after the fact; see below);
- actors pretending to be doomed passengers talking on cell phones to loved ones and operators;
- agents to create false identities and histories and financial records for the hijackers;
- actors to pose as the hijackers on airport and ATM surveillance cameras;
8. Cover-Up. Attempting a cover-up the 9/11 conspiracy miracle would require thousands of more conspirators:
- operatives with sufficient influence over al Qaeda to prevent any of its leaders from disavowing al Qaeda's multiple admissions of 9/11 responsibility over the last four years;
- the nearby pilots who say they heard the cockpit transmissions from the hijacked jets,
- experts to fake the recordings of the 9/11 transmissions, cockpit recordings, black box data, and radar tracking data;
- the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and its staff of 100;
- FBI, including the teams who searched for traces of explosives at the crash sites;
- bitter Bush critic Richard Clarke, the NSC counterterrorism aide who managed the Situation Room video conference on 9/11;
- Secret Service;
- Justice Department;
- FAA, including air traffic control centers in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Boston, and New York;
- NORAD in Colorado,
- NEADS in New York;
- CONR in Florida;
- NMCC in the Pentagon;
- Andrews AFB in Maryland;
- Langley AFB in Virginia;
- Otis AFB in Massachusetts;
- Air National Guard;
- Customs Service;
- State Department;
- NY City Office of Emergency Management;
- Port Authority Police Department;
- four flight training schools in Florida and Oklahoma;
- the government of Pakistan;
- the government of Italy;
- the government of Britain;
- the government of France;
- the government of Spain;
- operatives working against or among the 185 photographers to suppress or plant evidence in the nearly 7000 photographs taken at the WTC on 9/11;
9. Scientific Apologists. If the scientific and technical evidence for the impossibility of the mainstream explanation is so overwhelming, then when will that evidence be believed by a fraction of the scientific community that is larger than the fraction who believe in creationism? The mainstream explanation is based on or corroborated by expert investigations by:
- Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers;
- Society of Fire Protection Engineers;
- National Fire Protection Association;
- American Institute of Steel Construction;
- American Iron and Steel Institute;
- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat;
- Structural Engineers Association of New York;
- Underwriters Laboratories;
- NY City Dept. of Design and Construction;
- American Society of Civil Engineers;
- Controlled Demolition, Inc.; and
- researchers from Purdue, Northwestern, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon and UCSD.
- Ralph Nader, who said about reinforcing cockpit doors: "this single safety step could have thwarted the events of September 11";
- Jesse Jackson, who wrote in 2006 that "bin Laden has not stopped targeting us", and called the 9/11 Commission's recommendations "common sense steps";
- Noam Chomsky, who says corporate control of media and government in America leads to "manufactured consent" , but calls a 9/11 government conspiracy "extremely unlikely";
- Michael Moore, who in Fahrenheit 9/11 alleged nefarious Bush collusion with Big Oil and the House of Saud;
- JFK director Oliver Stone, who thinks the CIA assassinated Kennedy;
- BBC muckraking journalist Greg Palast, who thinks Bush stole the 2000 and 2004 elections;
- antiwar.com, which thinks the Bush Administration lied about Iraqi WMDs and terrorist connections in order to use an Iraq war as an excuse to consolidate political power and attack civil liberties;
- the Green Party, which admits Mohammed Atta led the al Qaeda 9/11 attacks; and
- the Communist Party USA, whose official newspaper lauded the 9/11 Commission's finding that al Qaeda's responsibility for 9/11 was not shared by Iraq.