Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Washington Times Covers 9/11 Conspiracy!

Here's a reader's response to the article, followed by my feedback.

"Today we live in a world where the most powerful man, the President of the United States, can't get a bimbo hummer in the closet of the White House without the world knowing. But, on the other hand, a mysterious cabal (Bush/Cheney, the Israelis, Jewish bankers?) can knock down two skyscrapers using hi-jacked planes as a cover, yet no one can show any proof of a conspiracy.

"Does this scenario make sense to anyone? It's as if although there is no proof, people just 'know' it has to be. I guess no one can believe the obvious, anymore. I find the economic analysis on this site first rate, but the voodoo Gnosticism makes me wonder... Sorry for being a contrarian, but someone has to say it."

The bimbo-bankster dichotomy surprises you? Unlike the conspiracy theories, publicizing politicians' sexual improprieties does not undermine the modern democratic-bureaucratic State's raison d'etre, i.e., protecting the health and well-being of its citizenry. But we already know (q.v., Operation Northwoods) the State has interests all its own, and these may well trump that presumed orientation.

Conspiracy theorists don't "know" their theories are correct. If they advance their theories with ostensible certitude, it's only because the official account is so ridiculously riddled with half-truths and implausibilities. So they speculate. They offer alternative explanations. What do you expect them to do? Keep their mouths shut like good little serfs?

It is precisely the "voodoo Gnosticism" of the official account that prompts all the speculation. Sorry for being a contrarian, but someone has to say it.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Well, I suppose if governments admit to conspiracy, they cease to conspire, no? A conspiracy by definition is an act wrapped in secrecy. There's no secrecy once the perpetrators admit to the act.

I don't know to what extent 9/11 was "an inside job" or even whether it was an inside job. It sounds plausible enough. I certainly don't understand why so many people dismiss the possibility out of hand. The State has its own interests apart from the people's. Americans seem willing to believe this about other States but not their own. Presumably, the Great God Democracy ensures the good intentions of the American State, whatever its foibles and failings.

In the Internet Age, the governments have no choice but to come clean. The theories are out there and more and more people see them as plausible. Admitting to false flag operations is a way for the State to vaccinate the populace against the tinfoil hat crowd. "See, sometimes we do conspire, but we're trying to advance the Greater Good when we do: fighting terrorism, communism, fascism, burqas, drug-smuggling, high golf scores, etc. We'll keep this kind of stuff to a minimum. You know we will now that we've admitted to it."

To avoid the tinfoil hat label, most of us will accept this handful of admissions and scoff at all the other fever-swamp allegations of high crimes and misdemeanors. But if the State admits it conspired to commit this handful of criminal acts, how can we be so sure they haven't conspired--and continue to conspire--more that they haven't admitted to?


Sunday, February 14, 2010

“Terror mean[s] killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority and go beyond national borders.”

--William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States

To what extent is human behavior guided by principle? To what extent is principle trumped by situation? Can a person adopt a situational ethic and maintain a moral center? An old joke, variously attributed to Oscar Wilde, Groucho Marx and notorious war criminal Winston Churchill, suggests expediency, like love, always find a way.

A handsome executive walks into a swanky hotel bar and lays eyes on a stunningly beautiful young woman. He sidles up to the bar next to her. Ordering a drink, he introduces himself. She proves receptive to his overture. He buys her a drink, then another. More conversation ensues. Things proceed swimmingly. She marvels at his wit and good looks and sophistication. The executive tells her she’s the most enchanting creature he’s ever met. The hour grows late. Finally, he has a proposition for her. If she agrees to indulge him in a night of carnal bliss, he will pay her $20,000.

The young woman is taken aback. She’s been around the block a few times; she could see something like this developing, but the remunerative aspect has thrown her for a loop. She has misgivings. There’s certainly something unseemly about it. On the other hand, it’s not as if she’s never succumbed to a youthful indiscretion before. Just because she can use the money today doesn’t means the liaison promises no long-term prospects tomorrow. She doesn’t want the evening to end just yet. Flattered in spite of herself, she says yes.

He sets his drink on the bar and scowls thoughtfully for a moment. Then he asks, “Will you do it for $300?” The young woman slaps the executive hard.

“What kind of girl do you think I am?!”

“I think we’ve established that already,” he tells her. “Now we’re just haggling over price.”

What do we call a woman who exchanges sexual favors for money? The word “prostitute” sounds about right, doesn’t it? Whether she plies her trade for $20,000 or $300 doesn’t change the nature of the act. She is no less a whore—and the executive no less a whoremonger—no matter the terms of the transaction.


“Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” ----Sir Peter Ustinov

What do we call people who kill innocent people to advance a Greater Good? Let’s say Muslim extremists hijack airliners filled with innocent American passengers and fly them into skyscrapers filled with innocent American office workers. Let’s say 3,000 American airline passengers and office workers lose their lives as a result of this maniacally horrific act. What do we call these Muslims? We don’t call them freedom fighters, do we?

We don’t care if the Muslims harbor grievances with the American government. We don’t care if the Muslims object to the deployment of American troops on Islamic holy soil. We don’t care if the Muslims resent American military and financial support for armed colonists seizing Muslim land in the Middle East. We don’t care if the Muslims bitterly oppose American bombing and blockading of Muslim nations. And we certainly don’t care if—as moronically asserted by more than the occasional neocon—the Muslims are trying to cow American submission to a nascent and gathering caliphate. We don’t care, because the ends don’t justify the means. No Greater Good can transform this maniacally horrific act into a morally defensible act.

The hijackers’ aims may be defensible. They may cite extraordinary circumstances compelling them to act. They may claim they have no choice but to kill 3,000 Americans today to save a greater number of Muslims from dying at the hands of the American war machine tomorrow. They may regret having to break so many eggs to make their omelet. It doesn’t matter. To kill innocent civilians, even in the service of a commendable goal, is to commit an act of terrorism.

Human life is inviolable. Two wrongs don’t make a right. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. One does not do evil that good may come of it. The ends don’t justify the means.

The rules of basic human decency are elementary. We learn them when we’re four years old and playing in a sandbox. Even at that tender age we have an inkling of their universality. (“Don’t hit Billy upside the head with your bucket! How would you like it if Billy hit you upside the head with his bucket?!”) In fact, we understand it is precisely their universality that serves as hallmark of their validity.

So it takes a fairly thorough program of indoctrination for us to abandon our sandbox morality for the State’s. Human life is violable. Two wrongs sometimes make a right. The ends may justify even the most horrific means. Unhappily, the State interest in “public” education generally delivers. The double standards ensue.


“How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read.”
--Karl Kraus

The court historians and kept intellectuals of academia and the mass media likewise stand ready, willing and at the fore in defense of our reigning Humanitarians with a Guillotine. So it is with New York Daily News’ Ira Stoll and his attack last year on former President Carter’s characterization of the Civil War as un-Christian and avoidable. “Carter,” he writes, “seems to go to irrational extremes to avoid forthright confrontation or conflict with evil of any kind—even when ending human slavery is at stake.” By irrational extremes, Stoll apparently means the former president does not believe State actors can justly employ scorched-earth tactics to advance a worthy goal. Contra Stoll, the position is neither irrational nor extreme. After all, even on his own utilitarian terms, how can he know that the evil of slavery outweighs the evil of mass murder? What kind of balancing act does he apply? How do the thousands of innocent Southern civilians killed, maimed and left homeless in Lincoln’s “confrontation with evil” enter his moral calculus? More fundamentally, does it make sense to inflict one grave evil in hopes of ending another? From the historical Christian perspective, Stoll should know it does not: “[O]ne may not do evil,” St. Paul admonished, “so that good may come of it” (Romans 3:8). So President Carter is certainly on solid ground calling the War of Northern Aggression un-Christian.


“We must rid ourselves once and for all of the Quaker-Papist babble about the sanctity of human life.”
--Leon Trotsky

This is even assuming Lincoln was motivated by a desire to free the slaves when, in his own words, he was not. But we can leave that triviality to one side. We can stipulate that Lincoln’s cruel, wicked and unnecessary war had everything to do with bringing the South’s peculiar institution to an end. How does that change matters? Yes, it may make the war less unnecessary in our eyes, in the same way U.S. meddling in the Middle East makes 9/11 less unnecessary in Muslim eyes. But does it make the war any less cruel or wicked? Talk about terrorism! Lincoln resorts to jihadist rhetoric to justify his war—“God wills this contest, and wills that it not end yet”—but that doesn’t faze the Islamophobic Stoll in the least. No, what he finds “stunning” is the fact that a professed Christian like President Carter should turn a blind eye to Lincoln’s high-minded abstractions and focus instead on what the “contest” entailed to the flesh-and-blood human beings on its receiving end. For a brief but sickening account of that fallout, we can turn to Thomas DiLorenzo’s The Real Lincoln:

"In the 1860s the bombardment of a city under siege was considered beyond the bounds of international law and morality, but that did not deter Sherman in his bombardment of Atlanta. By September 1864, when Sherman’s army occupied Atlanta, he had been waging war on civilians in Southern towns and cities for more than two years, and his troops were well practiced. The city was bombed day and night until barely a house or building remained untouched. When Sherman’s chief engineer, O. M. Poe, voiced his dismay at seeing so many corpses of women and young children in the streets of Atlanta, Sherman coldly told him that such scenes were “a beautiful sight” because they would bring the war to a quicker end. Poe believed, moreover, that the bombardment of the city of Atlanta had no military purpose and did not advance the Federal army’s move into the city by a single second. There are no accurate casualty accounts, but many eyewitness accounts tell of large numbers of civilians, including slaves, being killed and maimed. [Emphases added.]"

Can any version of the Greater Good justify such mindless mayhem and mass murder? “Surely, yes!” Stoll, an Apostle of Agape’s Abattoir, might answer. “We’re not talking mindless mayhem and mass murder here. We’re talking a war to end the moral blight of slavery!”

To which his interloper, well versed in history and natural law, might parry, “Mindful mayhem and mass murder are still mayhem and mass murder. You can’t justify them by appealing to an overriding moral value. ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ is the overriding moral value! Besides, ending slavery was the farthest thing from Lincoln’s mind. Lincoln waged his war to enforce his tariff, preserve his mystical Union and perpetuate his subjugation of the South. For all intents and purposes, we are talking mindless mayhem and mass murder—if not something worse.”

The World-Improver bristles yet. “Whatever Lincoln intended, the war resulted in emancipation. That’s what happened after the war. The war was good because its consequences were good. It’s not as if Lincoln set out to lower his golf score and just laid waste to the South in the process! Give me a break! You think I’d justify wholesale civilian slaughter for no good reason? What kind of guy do you think I am?!”

I think we’ve established that already. Now we’re just haggling over price.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Never mind the anti-Catholicism. How about the mind-boggling anti-Reasonableness of it all?

Let me see if I've got this straight. The Pope teaches abstinence. People reject this teaching, merrily fornicating to their hearts' content. But, at the same time, inexplicably, they find themselves hopelessly brainwashed with respect to condom use and humbly submit to the Church's ban against it. Ergo, the Pope is "hurting people in the Name of Jesus" by contributing to the epidemic of AIDS and venereal diseases around the world! That Harry Knox is a genius!