Another 9/11 Anniversary has come to pass

*Sigh*

Here we are again, now 7 years on.  The Anniversary of the 9-11 attacks is here, and we have forgotten already.  Oh, not all of us have forgotten, but that’s mainly those who had to deal dirctly with what happened that day.  The vast majority of Americans, and the world, have pushed those memories aside, they have fortgotten what it was like that day.

The fact of the matter is, you either remember or you don’t want to.  Most don’t want to.  It’s too painful, too inconvienient.  And we are worse off for that.  Set aside the politicians, the leaders, those who got the “face time” on TV.  Ignore the pundits and the talking heads on TV and radio.  They will dominate the airwaves, for what little coverage there will be today.  Instead, go to one of the lists of the dead from that day.  All those people who never held public office, or got a cushy job reading the news, or expounding on the days events. 

There were, and are, plenty of great stories from that day.  While most may not be “movie of the week” type stuff, it is none the less real actions by real people.  It’s simple stuff that goes unrecognized, unrewarded, and virtually unknown to the masses.  We over look them, in part because what they did, or do, is “expected” of them, or worse, because they’re not “politically correct.”

So we ignore what’s inconvienient to our world views.  We push aside anything that may interfere with an agenda.  We seek to minimalize loss to further an unrelated goal.  So we minimalize the rememberance of events.  We did with Pearl Harbor.  We’re doing it with 9-11. 

It’s yesterday’s news.  It’s “not relevant anymore.”  After all, it’s just another Thursday right?

RIP Ken Marino, Rescue 1 NYFD.  Father, husband, sports fan, and fellow Stratomatic player.

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A couple of interesting articles

Not much out there I could get jazzed about writing about.  Iranian elections?  Semi-fraudulent as was expected.  The “reform” candidates were limited as to where they could run, and did well in those areas.  But in areas where the establishment needed to secure victories, they banned the reformists from competing.  Any wonder the hard liners won?

Prosecutors are pursuing a new indictment against Barry Bonds.  As he doesn’t have a job at the moment, he’ll have plenty of time to deal with this.  On a semi-related note, it seems Brian McNamee, of Roger Clemens fame, was involved in a head on crash with a NYC Transit bus.  No charges or serious injuries have been reported. 

So, I went searching for something to read, and possibly pass along.  On CNN, I found a couple of articles of interest.

First is this article: HERE

It’s about an immigrant from Germany, who enlisted in the US Army, while still only holding a green card.  Guy finds out he can enlist in the US Military with only a green card “by accident,” and still having feelings unresolved from 9-11, joins up.  He ships off for Iraq, where he takes one on the chin, literally.  This guy shows more honest feelings for this country than many who were born and bred here.  Amazing really.  And check out some of the comments, they go off the wall.

The other one is HERE.  This one is obviously far more political than the first.  This one tries to tie in a lot of other issues, and puts a definite political spin on the story.  The best part of this, beyond LCP. Ramos-Villalta’s personal story, are the links and numbers for non-citizen’s serving in the military to get assistance in processing their paper work for getting their citizenship.

Non-citizens serving in the US Military is nothing new.  As Chris Rhatigan of US Citizenship and Immigration Services said, “We have had immigrant members of the military going back to the Revolutionary War.”  The US Military has had citizens, here legally, with green cards (or the equivalent for the time), serve proudly and with distinction.  Even as late as the Vietnam conflict, we had Canadians, Irish, British, Mexicans, Phillipinos, and others enlist and serve.

The expedited path to citizenship is the least that can be offered to these immigrant-soldiers (and Sailors and Marines).  Legal immigration is a boon to the country, and this is just one of many ways to achieve citizenship properly.

Have they no sense of honor? (Small Update)

I was reading through the various blogs I link to, when I found this on Noble Duty:

http://www.soldiersperspective.us/2008/02/26/no-love-for-the-new-york/trackback/

Not a single elected official from New York is going to attend the launching of this vessel?  Not one current or former official from the 9-11 days is going?  What are these people thinking?

Rudy has begged off.  Pataki said no.  Spitzer said no.  Joe Bruno and Shelly Silver passed.  What about Peter King?  Or Charlie Rangel?  No, and no.  Bloomberg?  A definite maybe.  Representatives from the NYPD, NYFD, and Port Authority will be there, but none of our elected officials.

This one bears a little digging to find out why none of these people will make the one day trip to Mississippi to christen the new vessel.  With 7 tons of steel recovered from Ground Zero at the WTC in it’s prow, one would think the USS New York would have more meaning than what the politicians are giving it. 

I’ll have to fire off a series of emails to as many as I can contact, and see what sort of responses I get, if any.

UPDATE:

One NY politician attended the event.  US Rep. Vito Fosella (R) attended and spoke.

I have yet to receive any responses from the emails I sent out.

My what an interesting week so far

So much frivolous crap to get through so far.  We got political fireworks, NY style, nut jobs in the city (no it’s no Bloomberg), militant Frenchmen (apparently they still exist), college students with little common sense, and all sorts of other time wasting “news.”

So let’s get to the “big story.”  Mahmoud Amadenijad was in NYC to address the UN General Assembly.  Oh, and that little speaking engagement at Columbia University.  What a joke that circus was.  But before he even arrived here, President Tom, as Glenn Beck calls him, was making noises about visiting Ground Zero.  I was tempted to say let him visit, but only if he walks from his hotel to the site.  Now that would have been an entertaining “reality show.”  However, cooler heads prevailed, and the authorities wisely declined to allow him to do so.

So, we have the fiasco at Columbia, and it was a fiasco.  First we have Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia backing up a temporary Dean, who had defended the invite with such idiotic statements as “I’d have invited Hitler.”  Lovely.  Bollinger then tries to salvage his image by attacking President Tom in his opening remarks.  As far as attacks go, this one was pretty tepid, and hardly effected the “guest of honor” in any appreciable way.

So the Tom gets to speak.  The usual rhetoric and denials ensue, as well as a few words of support for some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories out there.  About the only thing he didn’t do was quote from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” but I’m sure he has a copy of that bit of trash in his “library.”  Then, what should have been the fun and entertaining portion of this production, the Q&A part, gets cut short due to “scheduling issues.”  Uh-huh.  Sure it was.  He failed to answer any question, and ducked out when it got too hot for him.

So then it was on to the UN.  If you ever wondered what an Islamic fundamentalist TV preacher looked or sounded like, watch President Tom’s speach to the UN.  He rambled all over the place, bouncing from slamming the USA to quoting scriptures to “science” to this that and the other thing.  It was like watching an uncharismatic, Islamic version of Jim Baker.  All he needed was Tammy Faye in a burkha.  This guy is nuts.  He’s not dangerous, as I believe that even the Grand Council of Ayatollahs think he’s a loose cannon.  So, when the next elections come, fully expect him to be ousted.

A last note on this debacle.  All the media are focusing on how the US delegation’s seats were empty, except for a lone female note taker.  I’m kinda hoping she was a lesbian, just to add insult to insult to Amadenijad.  But there were many others who declined to sit for his ramblings, and some who left during his little talk.  I don’t have a full list, but I did see that Latvia’s seats were growing cold, and even the French delegation was a few bodies short.  Oh, and the Seychelles had one guy there, who I swear fell asleep sometime in the middle of the rant.

Moving on, it seems that the new French President, Nikolas Sarkozy, is feeling his oats.  First he threatens Iran with potential military action (bet that scared the Democrats!), and then goes and gets the Germans to push for tougher sanctions.  I doubt Putin will back Iran in this instance, more likely to try and grab the Northern areas around Tabriz to help shore up the Russian economy.  In addition, Sarkozy is also making some moves, quietly, to try and curb Arab immigration from trouble spots like Algeria and Lebanon.  I doubt that will go too far, but he can always use Jean Marie LePen as his scape goat.  LePen is good for that (if not much else).

Meanwhile, back in the good ole US of A, we have idiots galore.  First there was the smear campaign against Gen. Petreaus.   Which of course was subsidized by MoveOn.org and the NY Times.  It was furthered by Hillary Clinton, who continued in the same vein, but in more diplomatic terms in her opening statement in the hearings.  Somehow, she expects to become CinC, that is the President, and have the military follow her orders, yet cuts down the very people who would execute those orders.  Not smart Ice Queen.

Then we’ve got idiot students, in college no less, whose obvious lack of common sense has hurt themselves.  There was the goofball in Florida who got tasered during a speach by John Kerry.  Funny really, as it was John Kerry speaking, and this eejit was a Kerry supporter.  Still, he deserved what he got, as he should have known what would happen.

Then there’s the bozo in Colorado and his four word “editorial” using a four letter word.  For some reason, he thought there would be no consequencs for his actions.  A student petition to force his resignation is already being readied for presentation, advertisers in the paper are pulling out, and the University has a PR nightmare to deal with.  Good going dunder head, never had a thought about “collateral damage” did ya?  What’s worse is that there are people already trying to take political advantage of this, not for purposes of defending free speach, but to hijack it for other purposes.  It’s a sad statement not only about the state of “higher education” in this country, but as a society as a whole.

Now there’s the ongoing saga of a bully-boy governor and his cronies trying to take out a political rival.  Yes, I speak of Eliot Spitzer and Troopergate.  This one is not going to just go away as so many Democrats would like.  Opinion polls clearly indicate that the people of the State of New York, to the tune of 70%, want the Guv and his cohorts to testify under oath on the scandal, something that only the State Senate’s Investigative Committee is doing by issuing subpoenas.  The AG didn’t do it, the IG surely wasn’t going to do it, and Albany DA David Soares was pressured (as reported in the NY Post, NY Daily News, and Schenectady Gazette) into not doing so, the State Ethics Commission (recently packed with Spitzer partisans) is unlikely to do so.  I even doubt the State Senate would have, had the acting Superintendent of the State Police not refused to testify.

A bit more on the David Soares issue.  It seems (from the same reports cited earlier), that not only did the Guv put pressure on Soares not to put his underlings under oath, but also pressured Soares’ office to rush the report out the door.  To be fair, Soares’ Public Integrity Unit is understaffed and over worked, and thus is very vulnerable to outside pressure.  Still, the 80 page report was shoddy at best, and disgraceful at worst.  It parroted a lot of the AG’s report, but absolved all of the Guv’s hirelings of any worngdoing, criminal or ethical.  Compared to the AG’s report, which cited ethical violations, but no criminal ones.  Can you say “whitewash” boys and girls?  I knew you could.

But wait, there’s more!  The Senate minority leader, Malcolm Smith just had to stoke the fires a bit.  I’m sure he’ll get a call from Eliot about his grandstanding.  You see, Malcolm Smith is an ambitious man.  He wants to control the State Senate (unlikely), and be one of the top dawgs in the State.  And he came across as exactly that in his press conference.  First he attacks Joe Bruno and the Senate Investigation, which would have been fine, except he couldn’t leave it at that.  Instead, he just had to pipe up and say that if Joe couldn’t “do the business of the state” then he would be happy to take control and do so.  Uh-huh, sure thing Malcolm.  I’m quite sure that your little display of peacock feathers will earn you a “just shut up” call from Eliot and Shelly Silver. 

On a more “philosophical and intellectual” note (HA!), there were two interesting articles in last weeks Irish Echo (vol 80 no 38).  First off is one on the future plans of Fianna Fail, the leading Irish political party at the moment.  It seems that FF is now planning on conducting political operations in the Six Counties of Northern Ireland, in a likely partnership with the SDLP.  This would make them the second party with operations in all 32 counties, matching Sinn Fein.  That is if Bertie Ahern can weather another money scandal.  Still, I find it to be an indicator of things to come.  If Fianna Fail is seeing a real opportunity in the Six, and wants to genuinely be an all Ireland party, then the future may held hold a full reconcilliation of the island, as well as a full reunification.

The other article was bit more thought provoking.  Larry Kirwan (Black47), has taken up his word processor for some commentaries for the Echo.  This time around, he speaks of geography and history, how the two go hand in hand, and the lack of knowledge of either, not only in the USA (where it’s most glaring), but around the world as well. 

It is true that some 60% of Americans can’t find Iraq on a blank map.  Even though it’s on TV every night.  They also have little clue about what happened 10 years ago, let alone the full history of the region, or even their own country.  Kirwan correctly points out that geography and history go together.  One should inevitably lead to the other.  On this, I am in full agreement with Larry, but I find his other conclusions to be faulty.

I don’t always agree with Larry.  In fact it is rare when I do so, at least when it comes to politics.  He seems to be of the opinion that more knowledge of geography and history would have somehow prevented the current war in Iraq, and somehow prevent a potential war with Iran (gotta calm those French down!).  I must disagree with this assessment.  I would say that is because of history that we must continue in Iraq.  While what Kirwan says sounds good in a 750 word op-ed piece, and makes for a good sound bite on TV or Radio, it is hardly a solid and cogent assessment. 

That region has been dominated by one empire or another since the Biblical days.  Be it Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Assyrians, Mongols, Ottomans, Hittites, or British, they have all had their turn at the wheel.  The region has also been home to various ethnic struggles, often resulting in mass exoduses or executions.  This too has been going on since the Biblical era. 

Kirwan suggests that we could have just let the change come “organically” from with in.  While this can, and I believe will happen in Iran, it was not going to happen in Iraq.  You see, Kirwan ignores his history here.  Saddam was paranoid, to a Stalinist extreme.  The difference between Uncle Joe and Saddam was that Saddam didn’t care how useful you were.  If you were a potential threat to his power, or could become one, he had you killed.  Didn’t much matter who you were, or where you were from, though if you were Shi’a or Kurdish, your family went with you.  This effectively killed any sort of domestic leadership other than Saddam from emerging.  We waited 12 years for someone to emerge as a potential replacement.  It didn’t happen.  Instead we got the very real, and highly probable outcome that when Saddam went, his two psycho sons would vie for control of the country.  Neither of these two nit wits were capable of leading lemmings off a cliff, so it would have devolved into a genuine civil war (what we have now is far from being a civil war).  We would have been forced to intervene, if only to try and contain the conflict so it did not draw in Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran into a larger conflict.  No, in my opinion, it was best that we went in before that happened, where we would have some degree of control over the outcome.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  So is a lot.” – Albert Einstein

9-11 Six Years On

It’s been six years since I got a slew of phone calls that September morning.  It started a period of about six months I barely recall with any clarity now.  But that day is one I do remember with crystal clarity. 

 On that morning, I was asleep.  I work over nights, and had only gotten home at around 6:30 AM, dragging as usual.  Everything seemed normal, my daughter (not yet 5 at that time), was sound alseep, and wouldn’t get up untill 10 or so.  My wife was off to work shortly after I got home.  All I wanted was sleep.

The first call came at around 8:50.  I let the machine pick up, half listening to the simple message: “Turn on the TV, there’s something interesting happening.”  I thought “yeah, whatever, I’ll catch it later.”  Less than five minutes later, another call, and I again let the machine pick up.  “Turn on the TV, a plane hit the World Trade Center.”  At that point I grabbed the phone, and turned on the TV.  I tuned in just in time to watch the second plane hit the South Tower.  For the next 3-4 days, either the TV in the living room or the bedroom was on.

The converstaion I had at that moment, while long in terms of time, was short on words.  My first statement, after hello was “That was intentional” referring to the second plane.  Then came word of the Pentagon, then of United 93 going down in Pennsylvania.  My mind was racing a mile a minute.  I wasn’t immediately going to the who’s, and how’s and why’s of it all, but was thinking of all the people I knew in NYC, from family to friends, to mere acquaintances. 

A few quick calls assured me that all the family was safe.  Word had gotten out despite the clogged lines of communications from and to NYC.  So I went online, sending out emails to about a dozen different people.  I did this while I watched the Towers collapse on CNN and ABC news. 

Responses came dribbling in.  Most were the “we’re safe and OK” variety.  Most.  I got one from the commissioner of a Strat league I was in at that time.  One of our members, a guy I had been chatting with online, was missing at the Towers.  The email was short: “Ken’s missing at the World Trade Center collapse.”  This one hit home, as I had just been IM’ing with Ken the previous day, talking some trade possibilities, and how much the Yankees were over rated.

Then came what I can only describe as a panic email from Ken’s wife, Katrina.  I will summarize the details here:

Ken’s among the missing.  Please call his pager at XXX-XXX-XXXX.  Maybe they’ll be able to hear it, and get to him.

I emailed back that I would, and I’d make sure everyone that was involved in the league, and few beyond would get this message.  Our league commissioner had already done so, but I did it anyway.

This was one of those heart over mind moments.  I had watched the Towers collapse on TV.  I my head I knew that few, if any, had survived it.  Yet there was hope, faint and futile as it may have been. So I called the pager.  I called once every half hour.  I kept checking my email hoping for a “you can stop now, I’m fine” message.  It never came.

Over the next week or two, I watched the lists of names of those who had died.  I bought the NY Post and Daily News to get the latest lists.  I searched for Ken’s name.  Eventually it was there, Ken Marino, FDNY, Rescue 1.  But there were other names I recognized as well.  The cousin and uncle of a college roommate were on that list as well, one FDNY, the other NYPD.  I had met both on several occasions during that year were roomed together. 

It’s amazing how some things can become so personal, even when you yourself are distanced from the event.  9-11 is one of those things.  There was a statistic put out in October or November of 2001 that said that over 50% of the USA knew someone, or was closely related to someone who died in the attacks.  Now I don’t know how extended they considered being related, but still, that’s a staggering fact. 

I think that my aunt put it best: “Now I understand how people felt when Pearl Harbor was attacked.” 

Ken’s story of that day was well publicized in the NY papers, and beyond.  It even made ESPN, which I’m sure Ken would have found funny, and honoring.  You see, Ken was a huge fan of Ken Griffey jr.  Well, Junior got told of Ken’s story, and promised to take his widow and two kids to the park the next time he was in NY for a game.  That wouldn’t happen until 2002.

So here’s a genuine feel good story from Baseball, one to restore hope that we will get through all the PED stories.  IIRC, it was in June of 2002 when the Reds next came to NY to play the Mets.  It was some 10 months after 9-11, and one could have forgiven Junior if he had forgotten his promise.  But he didn’t.  He came through, and never considered not doing so.  He took Katrina and the kids to Shea, had them meet the players in the club house, gave them autographed memorabilia, and treated them to a day at the park.  Junior showed his class, and what kind of man he truly was that day.  And for one more time, Ken made Sportscenter.

I could go on more about Baseball and those days after 9-11.  From Bud Selig’s tough decision to resume play, to Jack Buck’s empassioned speach in St.Louis, to Mike Piazza’s GW Home Run at Shea in the first game in NY.  But that’ll be for another day.

Today is for Ken Marino, and all the others who died that bright Spetember morning.

They are gone, but not forgotten.  Some of us shall never forget.

What’s Happened to all our heroes?

OK, I read the last Harry Potter book over the past two days.  It’s an excellent read, and I wasn’t too shocked by anything that transpired in it.  No, I will not be posting any spoilers here.  I’ll leave that to less scrupulous people to do.  While reading it, I was struck by a thought that I’ve had before, and one that I think needs some attention.

Why do we, as a society and as a culture, insist on tearing down our heroes?  What JK Rowling did with Albus Dumbledore reminded me of this idea.  Why is it that we have to give all our heroes feet of clay?  Why do we insist on bringing those who are heroic, who provide examples and lead the way, down into the mud?

I understand the desire, and the need, for completeness.  It should serve to enhance the heroic aspects, showing that ordinary people can rise to become extroidinary in the right situation.  Yet that is not what happens.  Instead we find ever salacious and scandalous act, or even implied act of impropriety, not to show that people can rise up, but to belittle, tarnish, and discredit.

Where and how this trend started, I don’t know, nor does it really matter.  What we have now is a society that strives for, and glamorizes scandal, bad behavior, and cannot accept anything that rises above this muck.  We destroy out heroes, be they real life, or fictional.

Sure, some of this has political motivations.  Look at Martin Luther King.  He was perhpas the greatest leader for civil rights this country has ever known.  Yet people insist on focusing on his womanizing and plagiarism, not to show how he rose above that sort of stuff, but to belittle him as a person and his message.  Or how about JFK?  The drug abuse (pain killers), his womanizing (Marilyn Monroe et al), and his temper.  Though in the case of JFK, that was more a reaction to the mythical Camelot image as formulated by TH White.

For a more “modern” example, look at what some people have done to John McCain, most recently in 2000.  Here’s a gut who embodies everything we want out of our military people, yet he gets branded a “traitor” by some (I’ll take the word of his fellow POW’s here, who say he is not now nor ever was one), and some less that flattering things by others.  Look at what was done to Bob Kerrey (not John, he deserved it) a few years back.  Innuendo and gossip are seemingly more important than fact, or the actual acts of courage and heroism themselves.

This is not limited to the political sphere either.  We do it to our fictional heroes as well.  As I started off, JK Rowling did it to Dumbledore in the “Deathly Hallows.”  Marvel tried to do it to Captain America, found they couldn’t, and had to kill him (Steve Rogers will return!).  DC did it Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), but that fit in a logical way, and he has since been “redeemed.” 

I know we like “flawed” heroes.  Guys like John McClain, the Punisher, Jack Sparrow, and Han Solo grab our attention.  We like the “bad boys,” more so when they get to kick the back side of the villain.  The difference here is that we go into liking these types knowing they’re flawed, and have “issues” or “history.”  This is unlike most situations where we take a hero, then have to find every dirty piece of laundry so it can be aired for all to see.

The media feeds this trend, and we continue to buy it.  Scandal sells, and we’re addicted to it.  Doesn’t matter what it is, but the juicier, the more outrageous, the most tittlating, the better.  Why else would Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan grab headlines so much?  Why do we turn every “tell all” book into a best seller?  Why must we dredge up every imaginable worng doing anyone has ever done?

I guess I wouldn’t be so bothered by all this if information was used, and presented, to round out an individual.  If it was used to show how an individual can rise above circumstance and achieve something more.  All we do is use it to attack, damage, and destroy.  I am convinced we as a society, as a nation, cannot stand heroes. 

So the question is, why?  I think it’s because we are so molly coddled that we have been trained, no, indoctrinated, that heroism is just for “special” people.  The average Joe or Jane just isn’t capable of doing this sort of thing.  So we seek to “level the playing field” with the heroic people, by finding every flaw and misdeed (imagined or real), to belittle them personally, to demeen them in the eyes of the public. 

This has all become a modern form of human sacrafice.  We kill our heroes, destroy them on the altar of mass media.  We end up belittling and destroying ourselves in the process.  We have become a society that is anti-hero.  I’m not saying we instead turn to antiheores, but that we just can’t stand a hero, flawed, pure, or anti.  We must destroy them, it’s what we feed on for entertainment, and to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.

Think of why all those who rushed to the WTC on 9-11 have essentially been forgotten, especially by the media?  They were average people, doing thier jobs.  They knew what the risks were, yet rose above their fears, their sense of self preservation, to go into a highly dangerous situation to help others (Ken Marino, you are gone but not forgotten, at least here).  Sure, they’ll make some allusions to them, but only if they can atatck or demeen someone else.

Look at Barry Bonds.  A lot of his problems stem from the media.  Not all for sure, he has done himself no favors.  But would it be so much of an issue if he wasn’t doing what he is, chasing Aaron, and having hit 73HR in a season?  Probably not.  He would just be another “bad boy.”  Look at what happened to both McGwire and Sosa following that “magical” 1998 season.

No one is allowed to be iconic anymore.  We have no figure, real or fictional to uphold the ideal.  They killed Cap remember?  We just want to enforce an image of mediocrity, that only “normal” is acceptable.  We can’t accept that anyone can do something heroic.  They have to be a glory seeker, or in for some sort of personal gain.  We don’t even talk much about “the Greatest Generation,” who rose to the occasion in WW2 much anymore.  It goes against the mainstream too much now.

The fact is, we need heroes.  We need people to step up and raise the banner for all to see.  It’s more than leadership, it setting an example, and embodying more than just the individual.  We need people to rise above the teeming masses and show us that we can achieve something more.  We can’t just continue to be satisfied with “normal” and “average.”  We have to strive to be more, to achieve more.

Paranoid conspiracies, not just for right wingers anymore

USing WordPress’ Tag surfer featue can generate some interesting results.  All it does is scan through other WordPress blogs looking for Tags that you have used on your own blog.  This in and of itself leads to some entertaining reading.  I was just fooling around with it, scanning down the rather long list of blogs, and I noticed that more than a few had the Tag “politics.” 

Oh. My. Gawd.  The sheer paranoia, and disconnect from reality evidenced in so many of these blogs astounded me.  Wow.  It used be, “back in the day,” that conspriacies were primarily the domain of right wing nutters.  You remember them, black helicopters, UN police forces coming to take away our liberties (and guns), that sort of thing.  Then there were the more “traditional” conspiracy theories, like mind control experiments on Long Island, the Philadelphia Experiment, and the regluar UFO/Alien stuff.  Now it’s all coming from the leftists, and almost all of it exclusively revolves around the 9-11 Attacks.

I really shouldn’t be surprised.  Like politics in general, this stuff runs in cycles, bouncing between the left and right.  Ten years ago it was all right wing paranoia, then thanks to Billary, and thier supposed “vast right wing conspiracy (TM),” it swung back to the left.  I guess it’s sort of stayed there.  What truly does surprise me is how out there these people have become.  I keep expecting them to be advertising for designer tin foil hats, or pills to counter act the mind control drugs in the water. 

These people need a reality check, and probably some hefty does of antipsychotics.  Seriously, how these people can continue to try and propogate myths and radical leaps of logic as “fact,” and in the face of overwhelming and impartial evidence amazes me.  I suppose it doesn’t help that enablers and nutters like Rosie O’Donnel and Michael Moore continue to feed the fires.

One of the first blogs that I looked was expousing on how the WTC buildings collapsed.  Just like Rosie’s rant on The View.  Wake up people, there were no explosives in those buildings, they were not rigged to be imploded.  I can think of at least 6 different times this has been debunked.  Popular Mechanics did it, the American Society of Engineers did it, one of the Metalurgical Associations did it, heck, even National Geographic did it.  How much more evidence is required to debunk this once and for all?

Now, the hallmark of a good conspiracy theory is that you can neither prove, nor disprove it.  Nebulous facts and connections, no matter how tenuous, just need to sound good rather than be provable.  Kind of like how main stream media reports things.  Michael Moore has made aliving off of this stuff, even though he can usually be proved wrong on 90% of what ever he spews forth.

The current run of leftist conspiracy theories knows this, and makes excellent use of it.  Most of it has become typical, with a generic core that gets regurgitated ad nauseum.  Sometimes there’s a twist to it, sometimes not, but that central kernal remains.  There are a few that remain constant: The government knew the attacks were coming; the government allowed the attacks to happen; the attacks were carried out by the government, not Islamic terrorists; it was a plot to allow W to invade Iraq; the attacks were an assassination plot to kill Democratic donors (I don’t get this one); and so on and so forth.

It is said that this sort of mental thought process is a defense mechamism.  When one’s world view is so completely shattered, the mind just can’t handle the paradigm shift.  So instead it compensates for the change, and adjusts the perceptions to fit the world view so utterly destroyed.  One can see it how the 9-11 conspircacists have “moved on” from the 9-11 attacks themselves, “evolving” into a left wing version of the McCarthyites of the 1950’s, seeing instead of “Reds” under every bed, they see “neocons.” 

The really dangerous people are those who masquerade under the guise of legitimate movements.  One site in particular, which started with good intentions, has been hijacked by an extremist section of the radical left, and has “expanded” the orgainzations issues from seeking answers to questions to activism on issue completely unrelated (except to the conspiracist).  It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad that so many Americans are falling for this garbage.

Feh.  I at times wonder why I bother railing on this stuff.  Nobody is listening, or wants to listen.  It’s some how easier to accept a vast conspiracy, involving thousands upon thousands of people, than it is to accept that we screwed up.  See, that’s he simple truth, we dropped the ball, and we got nailed.

To all those who profess the “Let it happen on purpose” theory of 9-11, get over yourselves.  What we had happen was a break down of the system, where individual agencies weren’t talking to each other.  This is nothing new folks.  It predates 9-11, it predates Clinton, it predates Reagan.  This goes all the way back to when these agencies were in their infancy.  All such agencies, be it FBI, ATF, local and state police, State Department, Secret Service, NSA, CIA, etc, are fiercely territorial.  They had to be early on to justify their existence, and it became institutionalized.  At times over the years, these territorial feuds have been exacerbated by various adminstrations, most recently under Clinton’s AG, Janet Reno (Waco anyone?).  This was first and foremost, the problem in detecting the 9-11 attacks.  Not that it was discovered and the government let it happen for power purposes, but that no one among the various agencies were talking to each other in full disclosure.

Now it’s all about the retcon.  For those that don’t know, this is where you insert “new” information into an existing story line, often changing the entire nature of the story, and ignoring or replacing facts.  Comic book people are all too familiar with this, as it’s used to allow changes to characters with out any real jsutification.  Same with the conspiracy nutters.

The 9-11 wave of conspiracy support has waned significantly, mainly do to people thinking on it for more than half a second, and the debunking of myths surrounding it.  So what’s to be done?  You guessed it, let’s tie it into everything else.  Globalization, corporate malfesiance, the war in Iraq, the Palestinian question, terrorism, you name it, it’s all part of the same gigundo conspiracy.

If they only knew they were repeating some rather old and tired stuff with a modern make over.  These “new” conspiracies read exactly like some old ones.  I am particularly reminded of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a cobbled together “book” that was used in Czarist Russia to justify going after the Jewish population with state sponsored pogroms.  The book and its subject were complete frauds.  Now, just replace “Jew” with “George Bush” or “Multinational Corporations” and reread the Protocols to see what I mean.  It’s the same paranoia that caused not only the Jewish situation in Russia (and later the Soviet Union), but the same sort of paranoia that allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power in Germany.

At this point, if I haven’t completely disgusted and driven off the 9-11 conspiracists, they’re going “AH HAH! You see, 9-11 was allowed to happen as a pretext for declaring martial law and suspending the government under a tyranny of Bush!”  Codswallop.  Dubya will leave office in January 2009 and hand over the WHite House to whoever wins the 2008 election.  We have too many safe guards to prevent anything else from happening.  Not to mention all those gun totin’ Americans who would resist such a move (unless the left manages to take the all away before that!).  Get real.  The vitriolic hatred towards Dubya is so over the top as to be ludicrous. 

And that’s the rub.  It’s not about truth, or justice, or even about the conspiracy itself.  It’s all about Dubya, and a radical element that so hates the man, that they have used even more fringe elements to bring more people on board to their cause.  Before 9-11 these people were kooks and people with out direction in life.  Now they’ve become champions of “truth” and “justice” (not the American way obviously!).  They’ve suckered people in on false pretenses, leading them into areas in which they are completely reliant on the “champions” for “truth” and “guidance.” 

No it’s not a counter-conspiracy.  It’s just plain old opprtunism.  Someone, somewhere saw the opportunity to advance their casue, and took it.  Not all that complicated.  Just some quick thinking, and a bit of luck to get the “in” they needed. 

I was going to provide some links for this, but I thought better of it.  I don;t want to give these people any credence what so ever.  If you’re that curious about all of this, a simple Google search will give you more than you could possibly want.

This entry has been brought to you by the Vast Right WIng Conspiracy (TM).  All hail Discordia!  Fnord.