The week (March 24th): Nobody asked me, but…

With a nod to the late, great Jimmy Cannon, nobody asked me, but…

HOW CAN you not admire the way Gonzaga's Adam Morrison plays basketball passionately, like every game is his last? Or the grace of UCLA's Aaron Afflalo and Ryan Hollins in helping Morrison to his feet after the All-American had collapsed at center court, sobbing, devastated by the Zags' last-second NCAA loss to the Bruins?

AS A FIRST AMENDMENT advocate I will defend New York magazine's right to publish "The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll – A New Generation of Conspiracy Theorists are at Work on the Secret History of 9/11," however dubious that decision was. That said, it's bad journalism. Did New York's editors run the piece largely for its shock value? Since there is no "secret history," what is the point? Newsstand sales? What does that say about journalistic and ethical standards at the magazine? Spare me the specious argument that New York published the theories linking Mossad or Jews to 9/11 (outright anti-Semitism on the order of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion) in order to debunk them. It only serves to encourage the witless (vide Charlie Sheen) or the evil.

ONE THING you can say about Tory pols: they ain't mealy-mouthed. MP Michael Gove offered the following in a column in The Times of London: "Recently in the House of Commons I reminded the House that 'Scientology is an evil cult founded by an individual purely in the interests of enriching himself and sustained by those who are either wicked or wayward'." Not much nuance there, I'd say.

INDY MUSIC group October Project has finished its album "Covered," a limited edition compilation of OP songs (by Emil Adler and Julie Flanders) recorded by other artists. You can pre-order the album at OP's website.

FROMA HARROP's column on gambling in the Providence Journal spotlights the sleazy and cynical hypocrisy of governmental efforts at preserving the state monopoly over "gaming." Legislators shamelessly seek to protect government-sanctioned gambling–including state lotteries, slot machines and casino gambling–from competition. The truth is that such gambling is nothing more than a damaging regressive tax targeted at the gullible and the poor.

THERE IS a deep-structured grammar to the love songs of whales, or so say the scientists. Who would have thought humpbacks were so properly romantic?

WOODY ALLEN was having fun lampooning the health nuts in his sci-fi spoof "Sleeper" when a doctor in the year 2173 explains that steak, cream pies and deep fried food "were thought to be unhealthy — precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true." Maybe he was closer to the truth than he realized. Now it looks like eating fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may not help your health as scientists once maintained. T-bone steaks, anyone?

And I am not making this stuff up….

Copyright © 2006 Jefferson Flanders
All rights reserved

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2 thoughts on “The week (March 24th): Nobody asked me, but…

  1. Please take the time to listen to the questions Charlie poses. You will see that they are very legitimate and remain unanswered. Namely the collapse of WORLD TRADE CENTER BUILDING 7. The FEMA report had this to say about the collapse of WTC 7.

    “The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue.” (FEMA, 2002, chapter 5)

    The owner of WTC 7 admitted in a PBS documentary to “pulling” the building. “Pull it” is a demolition term for bringing down a building.

    “I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.”
    Larry Silverstein – owner of WTC 7

    Putting explosives in a building takes weeks and could not have been placed between the time of the first two tower collapses and the collapse of WTC 7.

    WTC7 shares all the characteristics of a controlled demolition and has yet to be explained by the government. Heres a video of the collapse.

    Video Of WTC 7 collapse

    Millions of people all over the world question the official US government story of 9/11 for very good reasons, and namely the collapse of WTC Building 7. Don’t be so quick to proclaim Charlie Sheen is stupid and wrong if you have not done any research regarding the subject. Look at what he is asking instead of just attacking Charlie Sheen’s character over the internet.
    If Charlie Sheen is so wrong just present evidence that proves him wrong. It shouldn’t be hard right?

  2. This spring the National Institute of Standards and Technology panel will release its WTC 7 report ( I will place more reliance on their conclusions than on those of Charlie Sheen. Let’s also be clear–I am not attacking Sheen’s character, only his critical thinking skills.

    There are several theories about the WTC 7 collapse. To their credit, the scientists and engineers initially looking at this have admitted they aren’t sure what happened. They will now look at several hypothesis and test models to try to find out what happened. This is called the scientific method.

    I could argue that WTC 7 came down because of rays emanated from alien spacecraft. Can you prove me wrong? Unless you employ the scientific method, then my theory is as good as….well, Charlie Sheen’s.

    So I would argue that waiting for the NIST report is the responsible way to approach this.

    A few other comments. As I am sure you know, Larry Silverstein has refuted the notion he was calling for the controlled demolition of the building and instead said he wanted the firefighting team “pulled.”

    Second, let’s assume for argument’s sake that WTC 7 was rigged with explosives because of the numerous government agencies (including CIA, etc.) with offices there. Let’s also assume that the building was purposefully demolished. So is the logic that: 1. the government lied to us about this, therefore, 2. the other 9/11 explosions were rigged? Or that the airplanes and the WTC 7 demolition were part of a master conspiracy? Or the WTC airplanes existed but the Pentagon airplane didn’t?

    The major problem with conspiracy theories is Occam’s Razor or the principle of parsimony: “one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.”

    A second problem with massive conspiracy theories is the idea that large numbers of people would go along with these illegal, immoral and henious activities and remain silent. The idea that the U.S. government, Mossad, the “international Jewish conspiracy,” the CIA, or other “nefarious” organizations somehow staged 9/11 and that they have been able to keep it quiet is absurd. (This also presumes a level of competence in coordinating a massive scheme that I haven’t seen demonstrated by any large organization of late).

    A few weeks ago Porter Goss, head of CIA, complained in the New York Times that–essentially–he was concerned that we couldn’t keep anything secret.

    So, to summarize: if you are going to hinge a conspiracy theory on the collapse of WTC 7, then get structural engineers and physicists who have studied dam and building failures, run a bunch of computer simulations and materials tests, and present real evidence–not video clips cobbled together or PhotoShopped images.

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