Reality-Based Communities

Rasmussen has a new poll that measures the paranoia level in America, and unsurprisingly, BDS sufferers exhibit more than almost any group. When asked the question “Did Bush Know About the 9/11 Attacks in Advance?”, almost as many Democrats say Yes as say No (via Memeorandum):

Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.
Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. White Americans are less likely than others to believe that either the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. Americans are more likely than their elders to believe the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.

Only four in ten Democrats will commit to the idea that George Bush did not know of the 9/11 attack in advance. Sixty-one percent of them either believe he did or are unsure. Bear in mind that no evidence exists that he knew about it in advance, and also bear in mind that Democrats have spent most of the last four years blaming him for the fact that the attack successfully surprised the US when it occurred. Now they also want to believe that Bush was in on the plan that killed almost 3,000 Americans and could easily have killed thousands more.
In lookiing at the crosstabs, the story gets even more odd (I have a Rasmussen membership). A clear majority of independents had no problem clearing Bush. Only 18% of them believe that Bush had advance knowledge of the attack, and 25% are unsure. Women are almost twice as likely to believe it as men (29%/15%), and only a plurality says no (44%). The age groups all have majorities saying No (52-29%), but younger people tend to answer Yes rather than Not Sure; 29% for 18-29, scaling down to 18% for 65 or older. Only 18% of whites believe Bush knew, but 35% of blacks say Yes, and 40% of all other minorities believe it as well.
That last breakdown is even more odd when looking at another question in the survey. When asked whether they had a favorable impression of the CIA — which would have had to tell Bush about the attack, if he knew in advance — blacks had a 77% favorable impression, compared to 57% for whites, and only 44% for all other ethnic groups. All political demographics had majority favorable impressions of the CIA — 69% GOP, 53% Democrats, and Others 53%.
However, when asked whether the CIA knew about the attacks in advance, those numbers turn completely around. Blacks say Yes, 51%-18%, with 31% unsure. Whites say No, 47%-23%, with 29% unsure. For Democrats, they say Yes, 37%-30%, while Republicans say No, 57%-23%.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense — but then, conspiracy theories never do. I’m honestly surprised how deep this particular bit of paranoia goes.

83 thoughts on “Reality-Based Communities”

  1. A bigger story (for me) is that Clinton knew in advance and specifically of the USS Cole attack. The crew was briefed, they said so in their handwritten testimony, and still Clinton ordered a whodunnit investigation that-when the report finally came out-didn’t focus on whodunnit. Read the crew’s account for yourself, and then tell me that Clinton 1) wasn’t sure it was UBL, and 2) he didn’t blow off the whole thing so as to give political cover to Gore who was lower on nat sec issues in polls than W.
    Bush, could have done more, but most of the hijackers were stopped by security anyway. The flaw thus lies in the system (as the 911 Commission agrees). However, Clinton damn well knew that UBL was behind the Cole, and he deliberately chose not to do anything. The only reason for that is cowardice, self-serving ego/legacy over national duty and oath, or that he put party politics before patriotism.

  2. I grew up around people, mostly Democrats, who thought FDR knew in advance about the attack on Pearl Harbor– but then a recent poll indicated that many people identified ” . . . from each according to his ability to each according to his need” as a phrase from the US Constitution.

  3. I’m not surprised at all that the numbers come out that way. What I’d really like to know is how many on the left actually believe the claims they make vs. how many make the claims to damage Bush’s reputation and the Republican party in general knowing full well that they are bunk. Like most things worth knowing getting a true answer would be nearly impossible.
    I think the majority who claim it as fact want it to be true so badly they’ll say it is even if they don’t believe it.

  4. This is what happens when so many questions about the attacks go unanswered and the repercussions are so large. This is not hard to believe, its textbook –

  5. Dear Capn Ed,
    Now do you understand how propaganda in the press can completely warp an entire people’s sense of Right and Wrong and exactly who their enemies are? In Nazi Germany, Hitler could be made to seem invincible. In the Soviet Union, the Communist Party could NEVER do worng. And in the United States, after 4 years of brainwashing of the masses by 90% of the media and papers in this country, despite what people saw with their OWN EYES on 9-11, a clear majority of young people and Dhimmicrats can blame someone who was so idiotic and clueless to them as to be incapable of leading the country under any circumstances, and yet simultaneously able to pull off the most nefarious murder plot in history without a single agent involved leaking the story and providing a single shred of credibility to such a story. Tens of thousands would have to be involved and not a one whispers about it at night in their sleep? And George W Bush, the idiot savant, responsible for it all singlehandedly. What monumental omnipotence on his part and monumental stupidity on the part of EVERY single person who could believe that ANY President could pull such a thing off, despite evry sngle secret initiative in this country eventually finidng its way into the liberal press and used against us.
    And we all sit here and believe we are being reasonable by not calling purveyors of these untruths Liars to their face, getting up in their bosom and directing intense responses and loud pointed ridicule at them when we don’t have all the facts to answer them perfectly, but we know nevertheless that their charges are ludicrous, and yet nefarious by swaying public opinion against the good of the country.
    The press is the most powerful instrument in our country to sway public opinion. Why is it not regulated for the public good similar to licenses for doctors and lawyers, certifications of Truth in their stories, and honesty being rewarded and lies being punished for the poisonous utterings to the common defense and welfare of the people that those liars are? Why not? Why are they allowed more consideration than doctors, lawyers, engineers, and police and firemen? What makes their profession so blameless and flawless?
    It is our doom if we do not begin to see through the propaganda wielded by the left in this country. And once we are finished, there will be no one left to save the rest of the world from the fates of 1999 Afghanistan. Welcome to 1984, without the evil government.

  6. Subsunk:
    The problem with licensing journalists (I majored in journalism) is that it would immediately restricts the flow of information to the viewpoint of the controlling body that issues licenses. Think of universities and tenure – the net effect would be a greater dissociation from reality.
    Moreover, any group of professionals that I have ever seen is horrible at policing their own ranks – look at how extreme a rogue prosecutor you have to be to be reigned in – I mean, do you think Mike Nifong is the only DA to ever railroad someone to win an election?
    How about doctors and malpractice? How about teachers? How about realtors (Witness the slow-motion housing meltdown)? When do these groups ever weed out their ranks of the incompetent and corrupt?
    As soon as you start placing restrictions on the ability of citizenry to participate in a profession – that profession immediate does into the “we look after our own” mode.
    That journalism is not a licensed profession is what will save it – it’s evolving rapidly and the net effect is to empower every man. Capt’n Ed is a journalist, so is Michelle Malkin, so is the Anchoress, and instapundit and even (OK, don’t flame me) Andrew SUllivan. So are all the other folks out there running blogs.
    The free market is working. You don’t need the NYT to get a story out. You can do it yourself.
    In the meantime, I am comforted by the fact that at least it’s a minority of the public. And hey, they are self-concentrating in the nut fringe of the Democrats. They might even be concentrating geographically. Let’s hope they adopt more delusions – the more they get disconnected from the mainstream, the more they will repel moderates.
    And if nothing else, I try to remember Monty Python’s song – “Alway look on the bright side of life.”

  7. This is what happens when so many questions about the attacks go unanswered and the repercussions are so large. This is not hard to believe, its textbook –

    The were answered. You (and millions of others) refuse to believe.

  8. Did Bush know about 9/11 in advance? NO. But the House of Saud was over its eyeballs in being involved in this. And, since they were also involved with Bush’s race to the White House in 2000.
    With more than one person FROM THE INSIDE, writing that Iraq “was discussed” almost as soon as Bush arrived in January of 2000. Paul O’Neill said “plans were ordered to be reviewed by the President.”
    Now, that doesn’t mean much. The Pentagon has all sorts of plans. And, it didn’t look like Bush was involved in the Mideast. IF ANYTHING, he was advertising that he wasn’t going to go down Clinton’s path. And, that’s seems to be true.
    But 9/11 worked like a KICK IN THE PANTS. It pushed Bush forward. To take out Saddam.
    Do you know why?
    Saddam was a very real threat to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And, they held a grudge. It was something “Bush could deliver.” AND, once done? The threat IN Iraq comes from the Shi’a. So, the Saud’s wanted the reins of power.
    Chalabi was trained by the CIA. And, brought in while Tommy Franks was heading to Baghdad. What Chalibi’s goons did, however, once they came off the C-130’s that brought them there; was to go on a looting rampage.
    In time, the Iraqis themselves, would toss Chalabi away; when they dipped their fingers into purple ink bottles.
    ALLAWI, too, was not give the reins. Instead, the Iraqis opted for Maliki. (Which didn’t please Bush. This wasn’t his man.) Today? There’s in-fighting in Iraq. I’ve read that ALLAWI hopes to come out on top.
    And, as you know, Bush did come out with his “dream of a palestinian state,” even though terror has not abated for the Israelis. Which was part of the “palestinian state” deal. The PA are Sunnis. SO, it’s all part and parcel of the same garbage.
    9/11 was brought to us by the Saud’s and the Eygptians. So far? Their gains are little. And, what was being fought over … where the borders are going to be drawn “next” … in the Mideast … is still up for grabs.
    I wouldn’t call it paranoia, though. To begin to understand how we got Bush. Since it seems he won, weakly. Back in 2000, he was in second place. (As to Florida; the group that put Bush’s numbers over the top, were the influx of muslems living there.)
    As to the “war on terror,” until we do something about the recruitment centers, which exists in ALL mosques, now; we’re not going to get a handle on finding a peaceful resolution.
    By the way, we’re not at war in Iraq, at this time. We’re in some sort of “holding pattern.” With just enough troops on the ground to enforce safe zones in most of Iraq.
    But the other thing about the House of Saud? THEY’RE THE CONTRACTORS! So, when you heard that our soldiers discovered a girls school, almost completed, that was thoroughly packed with bombs; you get to see how the Saud’s money. And, the fact that they do all the “contracting” in the Mideast, as well as elsewhere. You can see how something like that took shape. Came together. Got funded. And, all the “permits” are signed on the dotted line.
    Yes. It’s a good thing a girls school didn’t blow up on the first day the girls arrived. That was the plan.
    And, the House of Saud is not without enemies. If the arabs were left to their own devices, they’d kill each other.
    But the question doesn’t stop with “when did Bush find out.” Because he found out after it happened. Then? On 9/13, he met Bandar. In the White House, taking him out on the 2nd floor balcony; off the family quarters. To talk. Planes flew out of the USA with Sauds and Bin Ladens. WHEN NOBODY ELSE WAS ALLOWED TO FLY.
    So, at least you know, the president was about the only one who could give a green light to these flights.
    Now, why would the House of Saud FUND 9/11, while their best friend was President of the USA? Hmm? Maybe, they wanted to give Bush a REASON to take Saddam’s head off? It’s pretty much a done deal, now.
    Okay. About the parties. THere are two of them. And, both of them are MINORITY parties. Each one has about 37% of the public. With all the remainder being INDEPENDENTS.
    And, in today’s environment, even with running the Ma and Pa Kettle Show, it’s the GOP that’s shedding voters. While the nuts at the extreme still want to stage manage the debates.
    Lucky that the debates are BORING.
    When Lincoln was in the midst of the Civil War. And, things got really bad; he never thought God would abandon the cause. And, he knew he was on the right side of that debate.
    Here? Go guess outcomes all you want. But the Man Upstairs also has reasons, that when we’re tossing the dice; he’s aware of the probabilities.
    You want to mention hitler? hitler’s dead. And, buried in a parking lot. And, he took germany’s reputation with him. Is this the success we’re supposed to see mimicked, again? With a new crop of anti-Semites? There’s nothing out there worse, now, than the House of Saud. They’ve got the money to fund anything they want. But what they want is Israel’s head on a platter. Hope the Man Upstairs is on his toes, now.

  9. …I am comforted by the fact that at least it’s a minority of the public. And hey, they are self-concentrating in the nut fringe of the Democrats.
    I hate to be a wet blanket, but It seems to me that similar things were said by many Germans back in the 1920s about the Nazi Party.
    And as for the free market – well, it is true that pretty much anyone can compete with the New York Times (and most would do a better job) but soon it might be illegal to try. Why do you think Democrats and the MSM (egged on by the Nutroots – talk about the tail wagging the dog!) are pushing so hard for a major crackdown on civil liberties? The “Fairness Doctrine”, “campaign finance reform”, the threats made against ABC over their 9/11 miniseries last year, the periodic attempts to jail Rush Limbaugh, gun control legislation, “hate crime” legislation, campus speech codes, Congressional Democrats’ attempts to harass and possibly imprison their political opponents – all merely a warm-up for the main act which will surely come if the Nutroots takes charge.
    I am sure that you have seen some of the Kool-Aid guzzlers that show up on this blog sometimes. They shriek their irrational hatred of Bush, Cheney, Karl Rove, Lieberman, FOX News – in fact anyone who will not bow the knee to the Nutroots. They spin their insane conspiracy theories and are prepared to lynch anyone who does not agree with them 100%. Don’t underestimate them, particularly if the only major political power that might oppose them is our very own spineless GOP.
    My pessimistic outlook has been formed by the fact that I spent almost a decade living and teaching in Africa (recently returned, soon to head back). America is more and more looking like a wealthier version of Zimbabwe. Thanks to the MSM the public is ripe for tyranny. All that remains is for our own version of Robert Mugabe to arrive – a leftist tyrant who considers his/her word as law and regards all opposition as “counter-revolutionary”. Given the current crop of Democrat candidates that could happen next year.

  10. It doesn’t make a lot of sense — but then, conspiracy theories never do. I’m honestly surprised how deep this particular bit of paranoia goes.

    I think this poll simply shows people’s bias at work. People interpret the question according to their bias. The question might be interpred to mean: Did Bush know the terrorists were planning an attack on September 11. Or, it could mean: Did Bush know terrorists were planning to hijack planes and crash them into targets like they did on September 11. I believe the former question is false. The latter is a fact.
    It would be interesting if the poll asked, “Did the US government help plan and execute the terrorist attacks on September 11?”
    This is what the pollsters are trying to imply by their question. Why didn’t they ask it specifically? Probably because they couldn’t get the results they wanted, so they had to come up with an indirect way to imply what isn’t true.

  11. Lol Terry –
    1) I never said I have unanswered questions –
    2) I highly doubt you would provide sufficient explanations to the questions those who are questioning it have –
    Have a nice night –

  12. These might be the same people that confuse tabloid magazines, daytime-TV, Art Bell investigations (of the supernatural,) or the average Hollywood suspense movie with reality.

  13. When The Pressure Cooker Broke

    Building on an essay by Jonathan Chait in The New Republic, Hugh Hewitt has a fascinating timeline of when, as he puts it, “the Democratic Party of Prescription Drugs finally died”. Chait believes it began in Florida in November of…

  14. Not Your Grandfather’s Political Passion

    A month ago, I opined that the current wave of left-wing paranoia about conservatives in general and President Bush in particular has almost no precedent in American history. In response, a commenter pointed to other times of high political passion

  15. These results are a more damning indictment of the public school system and the mass media in this country than could be imagined.
    However, the fact that 60% of self-described Democrats will not say with certainty that Bush had no advance knowledge of the plot explains recent Democratic electoral successes rather well. If people are THAT stupid, they’ll swallow anything.

  16. RE: ck (May 4, 2007 09:18 PM)
    This is what happens when so many questions about the attacks go unanswered…
    followed by
    RE: ck (May 4, 2007 11:50 PM)
    1) I never said I have unanswered questions – …
    OK, ck. Stop playing coy. Fine. Either there are many questions that others have asked that you feel have gone unanswered, or you find that while others think them unanswered, you have your own answers that explain them. Does this about sum it up?
    So, how about listing the the questions, answered or unanswered, that you consider or consider on behalf of others troubling.
    Terry makes a fair offer to your suggestion that these myriad questions, however fringe, remain a valid concern. So, let’s get the community involved in validating or refuting them… assuming ANYONE here has the patience to debate the finer points of a moronic theory whether presented as sincere, subversive, conspired, or insane. Frankly, I figure most everyone will ignore the debate because it’s so loony or disingenuous; but, be that as it may, let’s hear some of the “questions” anyway. Can’t we always use a good laugh?

  17. When the Two Minutes Hate of Goldstein, er, Bush, stretches out to six years, what do you expect?
    A sizeable proportion of the Democrat party is irrational. And, unfortunately, they’re the ones most likely to be all fired up to vote, as we saw last November. Angry and crazy is no way to go through life, or to run a country.

  18. AD,
    The same good points made by “mbnyan” about the poll questions….can be said of the troll statements.

  19. I’m just curiousl why Republican support is so low. Is it a conspiracy?

  20. Democrats Believe Bush Knew About 9/11 Attacks in Advance?

    A Rasmussen survey finds that, “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not kno…

  21. And they know that Congress has cut off spending for our troops.
    Where is the sort of overwhelming swell of outrage of the American people that caused the rather benign “Dubai Ports deal” to be killed in less than a month? Why have the halls of Congress and the Whitehouse not been overwhelmed by citizens outraged over the abandonment of our fighting men and women? Is the silence a sign that shock jocks, and dead playmates are more important to American than our soldiers?
    America! Why have you abandoned us?
    By Gerd Schroeder
    I am not the least bit surprised at the extent of the decay of the American spirit. The long march the American hating Left has made through our institutions has been overwhelmingly successfully. Back in the 80s I confronted peacenik collage professors who had whitewashed the Hitler/Stalin pack out of their curriculum. All problems were do to America’s aggression against those servants of the people. There would be peace if only that warmonger Reagan would make nice to the Evil Empire. But by having the courage to call the Soviet Union the evil that they were Reagan went over the heads of the American hating Left and spoke directly to the American people.
    Twenty plus years later the American hating Left are even more fanatically dishonesty in their pursuit of power. Since 9/11 we’ve waged war against a tactic with the manacles of political correctness mangling our strategic thinking and hamstringing our troops in contact with the enemy. If we are to survive as a freedom people we need leaders with the will to bust the bonds of political correctness. We need a leader with the guts to brand the American hating Left as the enemy they are.
    I’m still waiting for Bush to express outrage over Durbin comparing or troops to SS goons.
    What city do you think good Muslims will nuke first?

  22. Cap’n Ed wrote:
    It doesn’t make a lot of sense — but then, conspiracy theories never do. I’m honestly surprised how deep this particular bit of paranoia goes.
    Part of me agrees… and part of me wonders why I’m surprised. We’ve known for years that lefties suffer from BDS. Yes, I realize that this term doesn’t appear in any manual for clinical psychological diagnosis, but I’m sure that various forms of irrational hatred certainly do. A recent paper from the American Psychological Association has this to say about hatred and cults:

    Cults often use behavior modification on followers, such as thought- stopping techniques and instilling an “us-versus-them” mindset, Hassan said. With thought-stopping techniques, members are taught to stop doubts from entering their consciousness about the cult, often with a key phrase they repeat. Phobia indoctrination is also used, where cults play on a person’s irrational fears, with threats such as the person will develop cancer or go insane if he ever leaves or questions the group.
    “Just as we can do short-term deep effective therapy to teach people about phobias and help them to get over their phobia, we can do the same with cult mind-control victims,” Hassan said.
    A destructive cult is an authoritarian regime, which uses deception when recruiting as well as mind-control techniques to make a person dependent and obedient, he said. (1)

    Sound familiar?
    Compare liberal rants against Bush, Rove, and conservatives in general to the spittle-flecked rants of a nazi against Jews, or a klansman against blacks, or a jihadist against Israel or America. Compare anti-Semitic books such as “Elders of Zion” to books by people like Michael Moore and Al Franken. They are all based on an irrational hatred of a given person or group, and to make that hatred plausible / “acceptable”, “evidence” of the wickedness of the target person / group is provided in abundance. Where evidence doesn’t exist, there are simply “unanswered questions” (which are generally unasked; cf ck‘s May 4, 2007 09:18 PM).
    By definition, irrational people do not process information in a normal manner and thus it’s no surprise that they can hold contradictory opinions or believe in contradictory facts. As Subsunk points out (May 4, 2007 09:23 PM), libs simultaneously believe that Bush is too stupid to tie his own shoes yet masterminded the 9-11 attacks! He managed to dupe virtually the entire Congress into believing that Saddam had WMD, but was too incompetent to plant some evidence to give him cover. He stole the 2000, ’02 and ’04 elections, but cost the GOP the Congress in the ’06 election. I’m sure we could come up with quite a list of liberal conspiracy theories regarding George Bush.
    We usually ascribe BDS to simple and blatant power politics: the dems need votes, and so they use Bush as a bogey-man to alternately frighten and outrage their base into voting against him (and for them). However, there may be more to it. Virginia Postrel explained the roots of BDS in this way:

    When I was in New York a few weeks ago, a friend in the magazine business told me he thinks the ferocious Bush hating that he sees in New York is a way of calming the haters’ fears of terrorism. It’s not rational, but it’s psychologically plausible–blame the cause you can control, at least indirectly through elections, rather than the threats you have no control over.
    I thought of that insight today when I glanced at Maureen Dowd’s column and read this sentence, “Maybe it’s because George Bush is relaxing at his ranch down there (again) while Osama is planning a big attack up here (again).”
    That is the voice of a petulant child, angry that she has a tummy ache while Daddy is at work or Mommy is visiting a friend, or the voice of a grouchy wife angry that she has a migraine while her husband is out coaching the kids’ baseball team. You’re upset that you’re in pain (we’ve all been there), so you get mad at someone whose presence wouldn’t make the pain any better.
    No mature student of politics believes the president of the United States goofs off on vacation. It’s not the kind of job you escape. George Bush may be completely insane to voluntarily spend July in Texas–as opposed to Bill Clinton’s favored coastal retreats–but Osama bin Laden is no more or less a threat than in Bush were in Washington. But if blaming Bush makes people feel better, safer, or at least able to focus their anger on someone they can hurt, they’ll blame Bush. (2)

    I think she’s got a point. A person with even the most advanced case of BDS must realize on some level that the world is full of evil men who are out to kill us, and that simply “engaging” with them or singing Kum By Yah isn’t going to make them safer. Stuck with the knowledge that they really can’t do anything about this, they set up a strawman that they CAN do something about (they did the same thing with Reagan, though I don’t recall that they took their hatred of him to such extremes). Hence, they come out with bizarre theories such as that Bush caused 9-11, or that bin Laden is actually a creation of the United States, etc, etc. It’s a safety valve that allows them to simultaneously continue to believe that “we can all just get along” even while people like bin Laden, Ahmadenijad, Hamas, etc. openly talk about killing us.
    In short, BDS is a form of lunacy that makes the poll results completely unsurprising (though, of course, they are very sad).

  23. ck, stop being such a coward. Provide us with the many questions you refer to.
    Our expectations are low as we know you to be a moron incapable of simple logic.

  24. Captain Ed,
    If you have not done so already, you need to read the essays by Bill Whittle on what he calls a “progressively deteriorating epidemic of world-wide insanity, of truly diseased thinking — not just a misunderstanding or difference of opinion but real, diagnosable mental illness.” Click here for a link via The Virginian.
    It isn’t just BDS, an incredibly large number of people believe that the Moon landings were faked, that Oswald did not shoot Kennedy, that there is a Loch Ness monster, that contrails are slow-acting toxins dispersed from aerial refueling tankers designed to spread carcinogens and other lethal agents among the general population, and of course that 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government.
    It’s interesting that the Left will point to a statistic that indicated that more FOX News viewers believe that Saddam was somehow involved with the 9/11 terrorists, but they don’t want to connect the dots between what’s taught in universities, what’s shown in movies and what’s broadcast on TV with a growing scourge of truly insane beliefs.
    For a living breathing example: Dan Rather is not an evil conspirator, he’s a deluded fool who believes in conspiracy theories despite the obvious fake “evidence” because he WANTS to believe. It’s part of his personal faith system.

  25. You know, there I was this week, sitting at the bar sipping an extra dry vodka martini. Two guys sat down next to me. One was a Delta pilot in town for training, the other was a guy who worked for car dealerships in maintenance. They were babbling on, asking me if I was a regular (Sadly, yes I am) and was that damned Cheetah place really that great (It isn’t)? Anyways, blah, blah, blah, then all of a sudden it’s about gas prices and Bush/Cheney oil buddies. To which I asked, what do you mean? Well, they’re a cabal etc…To which I said “Really?”. You don’t think for a second that perhaps it has something to do with the entire arab world being a seething boil of hatred and that Venezuala is kinda against the concept of our country, and that we haven’t built a new refinery since the early 80’s, and that our government is run amuck with regulations desigined to curb our energy out put and of course the damnable evil of nuclear power. Pause. “Well, yeah…all that said, but it’s Oil for profits man! The pilot then went into the Bush/moron thing. I asked him how he managed to graduate from elementary school as opposed to getting the training to fly plains. He pointed out that he was a former airforce pilot buddy. I said that doesn’t mean he wasn’t venal and stupid. He was subsequently asked to leave by the manager…(See I’m a regular) he was a drunken moron. Nobody that ever opens their mouth with this crap can ever explain themselve rationally. I eat their young.

  26. moneyrunner – I agree that the Bill Whittle piece is outstanding and should be read by all.
    I’m with Cap’n Ed when he ends his post with surprise over the size of these polling #’s. I might describe my feelings more as shock.
    But, I believe these polling numbers are over-inflated – not due to erring flaws but just the nature of the questions, the issue.
    Here’s my point. A staunch democrat is at the Mall with his wife and kids. A pollster walks up and asks him that question – “Do you Sir, believe that George Bush was aware of the 9/11 attacks prior to their occurence?”
    Here’s what happens to our Dem:
    a) His wife is standing right there, she’s heard him rag about Bush non-stop for the past 365 days…he puffs out his chest and says “You bet he did!” (he doesn’t believe that but had to maintain the image.
    b) He’s asked the question – he’s supposed to be a Liberal “thinker”….he can’t come across as some dolt who hasn’t really, REALLY delved into the subject so he answers “Yes”
    I guess my point is this. If you took those 35% of Dems that responded Yes to this question and submitted them to lie detector tests, only 10% would actually, truly believe that statement and those 10% are probably the ones that have visited Planet Venus 3 times in the past six months after being transported to the Mother Ship while out walking in the park.

  27. People look for simple explanations that make them feel safe.
    If someone they know gets seriously ill, the automatic reaction is to find some lifestyle that explains the illness, meaning that it is controllable and safe.
    9/11 changed the US. All the assumptions about everything were challenged. Everyone everywhere is vulnerable. Very scary. So it’s Bush’s fault, Bush knew and let it happen, Bush arranged it for his oil buddies, Bush was looking for a pretext for war, etc. If we get rid of Bush, all our problems will go away. Actually, it would be nice if that were true. It would be very comforting in fact if that were true. That is why people believe this stuff.
    A second reason, tied to the first, is the incredible incompetence of the authorities. Read A Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. Read Triple Cross by Peter Lance. They outline the utter and absolute failure of the FBI, CIA, DOD, the State Department. They all had enough information to ‘know’ what was coming, but through incompetence bordering on the criminal ignored the threat. Bush is the boss. It’s his fault. Someone said that he should have fired the incompetent, but if he had he wouldn’t have had a civil service to work with.
    Think about that. All the institutions established to protect America failed utterly. There is an enemy who lives among us that would deliberately cause murder and mayhem. It resembles an abused woman who starts beating on the cops who come to protect her.
    Bizarre, and truly dangerous.

  28. It probably doesn’t help that George Tenet himself was saying that they knew an attack was imminent.
    But knowing something may happen is totally different than allowing it to happen.

  29. The problem I see with both “Reality Based” and “Bush Derangement Syndrome” is that they are so ill-defined and used so carelessly.
    In the case of BDS, there are well known experiments that show:
    1. The cognitive centers of the brain are not particularly active in highly charged partisan discussions. (
    2. People systematically ignore data in forming judgements based on partisan political bais. (
    The question is whether or not there is something called BDS which is distinct the from known, reproducible biases which affect partisans of both stripes.
    Moreover, the fact is that even perfectly rational actors, if they have different prior beliefs or different assumptions about the distribution of outcomes of an event, can rationally come to different conclusions (see “controversy” in Said a different way, a given data set may fail to distinguish between two competing hypotheses.
    My favorite is this little chestnut from a speech on social security (
    “You know, we wait and wait and wait, and then the crisis is upon us and everybody demands a solution. The problem with that when it comes to a modernization of Social Security is, is that the longer we wait, the more expensive the solution becomes. And so one of my jobs, one of my charges is to explain to Congress as clearly as I can, the crisis is now”
    Now there are two cases – either fixing social security has the character
    A. that the more you wait, the more you pay (like the price of airline tickets getting more expensive the closer to departure)
    B. that there is a date by which you simply lose the opportunity (like a flight which becomes sold out).
    The problem is that Mr. Bush said in the same breath that it was a case of A, but then immediately said it was a case of B.
    A Bush supporter would say “yes but I know what he means, what he’s trying to do, and I trust him”, and a Bush foe would say he was being at best disingenuous, and that if he isn’t responsible for what he says, then what *is* he responsible for.
    The point is that the data doesn’t distinguish the truth – only the prior belief in Mr. Bush’s goals, integrity, etc.

  30. Now there are two cases – either fixing social security has the character

    Of course, everyone that actually follows what has been said on Soc Security knows that the true answer is C: Privatize Soc. Security (start a brand new airline) while still funding our Soc. Sec. responsibilities ( letting those other people fly to their destinations).

    yetanothermoderatevoice [TypeKey Profile Page]

    You really don’t want to hear my theory on people who insist on showing how centrist, or moderate, they are –including posting theories on why people are partisan. 😉
    But then, perhaps I’ve known far too many people who agree more with the normally-considered “liberal” side who insist just how centrist they are… We humans are such a ridiculous breed.

  31. The modern paranoid style in American politics

    Paranoia has long had its place in American politics. The Know-Nothings were convinced there was a Papal plot to subvert the United States. (How did they find out? -ed. Shh! Deny everything!) Richard Hofstadter wrote a classic essay on conspiracy-monge…

  32. eforhan: your view on SS may be true, but the point I am making is specifically that depending on what a person believes *before* hearing that statement, they will come to different conclusions, essentially based on whether or not they give Mr. Bush the benefit of the doubt.

  33. But see.. only two paragraphs down he explains how he thinks the voluntary privatization of SS is the way to take care of the problems. The only “trust” I see is the trust in one’s own belief of the government handling our money or our handling our money.
    And since both of those touch the very heart of liberalism or conservatism, I guess I don’t see your point.
    It’s possible for both your statements A) and B) to be true. We’ll never run out of oil, but it may get to the point someday where the cost of oil makes it too expensive to use (nobody’ll be flying at that point).
    OTOH, I do see your point if you’re talking of just the stand-alone paragraph. We see people agreeing on single statements all the time. If Gore declares, “He betrayed this country!” some will agree, some will disagree and neither side likely look any farther.
    But making a passing viewpoint of a short blurb is different than the long-term. I would hope that Conservatives are conservative not because of choosing a football team, but because of they realize the benefits of conservatism.
    How would your theory be applied to a Bush statement on [illegal] Immigration reform? As a conservative, my veins pop out when he speaks of it. I don’t trust him just because he’s President GW Bush and is right on some other things.

  34. Anonymous drivel:
    OK. You can laugh at me. Here is a question. WTC7 came down because of fire and damage from the towers falling. On page 9 of this document is a map of the WTC complex and areas of debris damage from the towers falling:
    The damage done to building 7 is here:
    The damage to building 6 is here:
    (In this photo you can see the clearing to the upper right where bldg 7 used to be.)
    My question is, why did building 6, which was right next to tower 2 and in between the tower and building 7, and which received substantial damage, not fall down? Why did building 7, which was on the other side of building 6, fall down?
    Why didn’t this building fall down?:
    Could it be that buildings do not fall down due to damage and fire, especially in such a manner as bldg 7 did?

  35. RE: dave (May 5, 2007 03:26 PM)
    AHAHAHA! A Truther! Run away!
    No, wait… the “proper” buildings fell because Bush designed the demolition, Rove planted the explosives, and Cheney flipped the switch.
    Sorry, dave. I’m not wasting my time with the links. Maybe someone else will happen upon the them and dance like a monkey for you. I have a gutter that needs cleaning.

  36. Dave,
    Do you really believe that a government that couldn’t keep it a secret that the President a few years back got oral sex from a fat intern would be able to cover up something as big as what you’re suggesting?
    With the number of folks that would have had to have been involved, in today’s media obsessed culture, how exactly did they keep EVERYONE silent?

  37. Docjim505:
    Your quotes from the American Psychological Association also cover this condition.
    BCS Bush Cult Syndrome.

  38. RE: dave (May 5, 2007 09:06 PM)
    Exactly the answers I expected. You people are way too predictable.
    You really expected an answer?
    And another tragedy of it all? That you were NOT predictable. Who could have realized so many on the Left could be so far off the beam and actually give credence to this BS?
    Simply stunning if not calculatingly dishonest.

  39. Drivel:
    “You really expected an answer?”
    I expected an answer devoid of any content whatsoever, which is what I got. It is very predictable that people such as yourself are completely unable to open your mind to any possibility that would have a negative effect on your worldview.
    “Who could have realized so many on the Left could be so far off the beam and actually give credence to this BS?”
    It is not only people on the left within the US, but also the majority in Europe, Canada, and elsewhere that can see what happened. The only group of people in the world who do not believe that Bush was involved are conservatives in the US. Most people in the rest of the world are able to look at the information objectively (including the Left inside the US) because they are not emotionally involved. When they do, they reach the obvious conclusion. For conservatives within the US, exactly the same psychology comes into play when a mothers child is convicted of murder. The evidence may be completely obvious to everyone else, but the mother will never believe it, nor even look at the evidence. My expectation was to get the reaction of the mother, and I did.

  40. dave, hate to break the news to ya. Its only a very small miniority of paranoid conspiracy theorists like yourself that believe this tripe.
    And davey ol’ boy, its not that we’re not open minded. We just have finely honed crap detectors. We also have critical thinking skills, something that’s decidedly lacking amongst your “brethren”.
    (cue Star Trek music)

  41. Bitter Pill:
    “Its only a very small miniority of paranoid conspiracy theorists like yourself that believe this tripe.”
    42% of Americans believe “the U.S. government, and its 9/11 Commission, concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that contradicts the official explanation of September 11th, saying there’s a cover-up”. 42% is not the definition of “a very small minority” in my opinion.
    Half of NY City residents believe the government “…knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act.”
    63% of Canadians believe the US government had “prior knowledge”.
    As far as the more serious question of the US government actually being involved in the execution of the attack, 22% of Canadians agree.
    22% is not “a very small minority”. If you think it is, it is interesting to note that the same number of Americans, 22%, believe that the US “is on the right track”. If 22% is “a very small minority”, then I can say “It’s only a very small minority of Americans who believe the tripe about the US being on the right track.”
    (cue Star Trek music)

  42. RE: dave (May 6, 2007 06:56 AM)
    I expected an answer devoid of any content whatsoever, which is what I got.
    Which was my exact intent. I won’t waste time parsing idiocy much less spend time invalidating it.
    It is very predictable that people such as yourself are completely unable to open your mind to any possibility that would have a negative effect on your worldview.
    If you mean I’m closed-minded to nonsense like flat-Earth, Capricorn One moon non-landings, Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, and appending with Truthers911, then “yes”, guilty as charged. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Have fun with the relativism in merit of worldviews you feel comfortable tossing around with reckless abandon. I suggest you change your prescription lest “the man” come after you for knowing too much.
    …Most people in the rest of the world are able to look at the information objectively (including the Left inside the US) because they are not emotionally involved.
    Riiight… they’re not emotionally involved. Neither do they have any motivation whatsoever to discredit the U.S. generally or Bush in particular. Honest brokers and savants all around.
    When they do, they reach the obvious conclusion.
    Ahahaha! Try Ockham’s razor and tell your friends to sharpen up on it, too.
    …My expectation was to get the reaction of the mother, and I did.
    I could justifiably regurgitate the same psychobabble towards your “mothering” of conspiracy mongers, but I’ll re-refer you back to Ockham. Enjoy your tall glass of iced paranoia with all of those enlightened Democrats, Europeans, and Canadians.
    Well, back to gutter cleaning. Those things get dirty at the most inopportune times.

  43. After reading Bill Whittle’s essays (1) on conspiracy theories (thanks again, moneyrunner), a post about paranoia by Dr. Sanity (2) linked by Whittle, and the various comments here, I’d like to make a few observations:
    There are those people who knowingly perpetrate and foster delusions and lies for some perceived benefit. I recall reading about the fwench “philosopher” Jean-Paul Sartre in grad school. He became an ardent communist… and maintained his public support for communism even after the crimes of Stalin became known in the 1950s. He did so coldly and deliberately NOT because he blinded himself to them, but because he STILL believed in communism and didn’t want to damage the chances for a fwench communist state by publicly recognizing the truth about Stalin.
    I believe that there are many such charlatans in our society, spreading their bizarre theories and ideas to gain power or simply to make a buck off their deluded followers. But WHY do otherwise mentally normal and intelligent people buy into conspiracy theories and paranoid delusions in the first place?
    1. Paranoid delusions of certain types are not only increasingly acceptable, but are becoming outright mainstream. Ironically, the “information age” we live in seems to be FEEDING paranoid delusions rather than debunking them. Perhaps this is the result of some sort of psychological reaction: the more evidence that a belief is actually a delusion, the more fiercely the paranoid will cling to it.
    2. The internet and the ability to cheaply produce and market books sets up a sort of echo chamber that supports paranoid delusions. If you’ve got a delusion, there’s almost certainly a website that will give you all the “evidence” you need to rationalize it, and there are likely books on the shelves at the nearest Borders or Barnes and Noble that do the same thing. In the not so distant past, such books were limited to badly-printed, cheap paperbacks that one either borrowed from fellow nutcases or else ordered from the back pages of magazines where they were advertized along with X-ray glasses and plans for do-it-yourself bomb shelters. Nothing gives a delusion the cachet of acceptability and normalcy like seeing it in hardcover for $24.95, especially if it’s made the NYT best-seller list.
    3. The easy access to a public forum made possible by the internet and cheap publishing gives everybody a chance to have his opinions heard… and that goes for lunatics, too. Having a snappy-looking website or the awesome title of “published author” gives a huge amount of credibility to even the most looney conspiracy theorist. The title of “author” is especially powerful. Most Americans have an instinctive respect for anybody who can get a book published (in this day of ghost-writers and “co-authors”, you don’t even have to write the damned thing yourself, really), and so are willing to accept an “author” as an authority even if there is really no good reason to think that he IS an authority. Al Gore is a perfect example: the man flunked out of divinity school after an unremarkable undergraduate career, yet he is THE authority on the highly technical subject of climate change. Why? HE WROTE A BOOK!
    How many times on this website alone have people advanced various theories and defended them simply by urging their detractors to read some book or another?
    4. The modern education system so totally deemphasizes critical thinking skills and leaves so many people totally bereft of a knowledge of basic history that it’s easy for them to believe even the most outlandish theories; they have no intellectual “armor” against delusions, no bit of critical thinking skills or knowledge that lead them to question what they are told. Indeed, they wouldn’t even know how to go about formulating a decent explanation or defense of what they do believe.
    5. Polls and surveys are omnipresent in our society; they are used for everything from politics to developing and marketting exciting new laundry detergents. Like books and websites, polls can provide the paranoid with a great deal of support. I often sneer at libs for their obsessive need to cite poll results as “proof” that they are right. Quite aside from the fact that polls can be (and often are) skewed to get a desired result, all polling may indicate is that a certain number of people share in a delusion, NOT that the delusion accurately reflects the real world. At various points in history, polls would have “proved” that the world is flat, that demons cause mental illness, and that heavier-than-air flight is impossible.
    6. Most of us live lives of ease and luxury that would be all but inconceivable to our ancestors. Think of how much time we have for “play”… and how much effort we put into coming up with new diversions for our bored and idle minds. Most of us can look forward to dying at a very ripe old age, snug in a hospital bed, surrounded by machines that keep breath in our bodies and younger relatives who can’t wait for us to kick off. To the extent that we face the threat of death, it’s usually from causes that we can’t really counter by our own exertions, such as disease, accident, murder, etc. Unlike our ancestors, we aren’t likely to starve to death because we didn’t gather enough food for the winter, or because our crops failed because we planted too late, or because a sabretooth tiger sneaked into our cave when we let the watchfire die.
    But don’t we retain a “survival instinct” that warns us of those threats? And, in the absence of threats, does that instinct start LOOKING for trouble? Consider the (apparently huge) number of people who suffer from anxiety and depression; is this the result of a brain evolved to be alert for threats and, having none, makes them up? (I have this problem: I FIND things to worry myself sick over!)
    Dr. Sanity expresses it thus:

    There is a reason that human beings experience suspicion, distrust and hypervigilance. That reason is because there is REAL danger in the world. Our ancestors in the caves knew this to be true. They lived with continual danger just to survive every minute of every day. Those who did not have the psychological capacity to perceive the danger in the environment surely died out long ago.
    But this important psychological trait which senses danger and strives to protect the ego; and which is accentuated in children and early in life, is appropriately balanced out by the development of the rational faculty–the intellect.

    7. Our pop culture bombards us with “threats”. Medical dramas, crime dramas, thrillers, etc. routinely present us with realistic portrayals of all sorts of nasty ways to meet an untimely demise. While most people can separate fact from fiction on a gross level, doesn’t the constant stream of televised serial killers, psycho ex-husbands, and bestial murderers make us think that the world is more dangerous than it really is? Or does it at least makes us ignore real threats while we worry about unreal (or unlikely) ones?
    Since the ’60s, the “threat” is often portrayed as the government. Many of us have grown up with movies and TV shows in which the government or some corporation is engaged in a dark, evil conspiracy. “Capricorn One”, “The X-Files”, “JFK”… Your government is out to get you!
    Again, most people realize on a basic level that what they see in movies and on TV is fictitious, but nevertheless the idea that we are all in danger from shadowy conspiracies is constantly reinforced. It therefore makes it easier for some people to fall victim to conspiracy theories. A few moments of rational, objective consideration would explode most of these theories, but, sadly, few people are equipped or inclined for that (see #4 above). Paranoids won’t play with Occam’s Razor because they can’t stand to be cut.
    8. Whittle makes a point about the need for some people to cling to paranoid delusions and conspiracy theories: it makes them feel important and “in the know”.

    That sense of uncovering deep layers of ancient cover-ups is what drove the sales of The DaVinci Code. There, too, a web of truths, half-truths and outright fabrication spun a story that left the reader with a palpable sense of awe. It made you feel important, like you knew something absolutely essential that very few others ever were privileged to know.
    Now most normal people do not look at life from within a pit of failure and despair. Our lives are measured by small successes — like raising children, serving in the military, doing volunteer work at your church — or just doing the right thing in a thousand small but important ways, like returning money if someone makes you too much change.
    These are simply the small, ordinary milestones of a life of value. They give you a sense of identity.
    But if I didn’t have that sense of identity rooted in my own small achievements, I wonder how likely it would have been for me to grab onto that sense of sudden empowerment, of being an initiate in some arcane club of hidden wisdom. I wonder what might have happened to me if being the Holder of Secret Knowledge had been my only source of self-esteem; the one redeeming landmark in a life of isolation and failure. Indeed, I wonder what power such a worldview would have over me if I could believe that behind the scenes lurked vast and unknowable dark forces — forces that could topple a president and perhaps even explain why a person of my deep, vast and bountiful talents was not doing a whole lot better in life?

    I apologize for the lengthy post, but I notice even in my day-to-day life that many people… don’t seem to think well. Their brains are fuzzy, and they seem to believe the most outlandish things, or be incapable of understanding clear and basic facts. It worries me, and I’m trying to understand it.

  44. “42% of Americans believe “the U.S. government, and its 9/11 Commission, concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that contradicts the official explanation of September 11th, saying there’s a cover-up”.
    Half of NY City residents believe the government “…knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act.”
    63% of Canadians believe the US government had “prior knowledge”.
    davey, your full of it. You’re intentionally inflating numbers here, ol’ boy. Nowhere does it say 42% of America believes the nonsense that you believe in.
    Nice try, tinfoil head.
    And as far as what canadien’s believe, their lunacy speaks for itself, eh?

  45. Drivel:
    “Enjoy your tall glass of iced paranoia,,,”
    Someone who believes a bunch of people living in caves who don’t know how to fly airplanes successfully completed a plan on the scale of 9/11 against the most well defended area in the world is calling me paranoid. Very funny. Just make sure not to ever look at any evidence. Keep that little brain locked up tight.

  46. Right, Dave, b/c only a bunch of folks who are educated in the US could have figured out how to go to flight school in order how to steer a plane. Additionally, it sure took sophistication to figure out how to jab a box cutter into someone.
    You’ve proven you aren’t a serious person. I bet you also believe we faked the moon landings, the CIA killed Kennedy, FDR knew about Pearl Harbor in advance, and the Masons secretly run the government.
    You also avoided my primary question to you – how has a government that can’t keep war plans off the front page of the NYT managed to keep silent the hundreds to thousands of people who would have HAD to have been involved?
    The nice thing about conspiracy nuts is that they will never be dissuaded by the facts. There have been many refutations of your conspiracy nonsense(the best one by Popular Mechanics – or did the government pay them too?), but the nuts always find some wrinkle that must have occured in the time/space continuum so they can press on.
    I know you like to use this to justify your own irrational and immoral hatred of all things Republican, but that doesn’t make it factual. You are a sad person, and you have my pity.

  47. Dave, Popular Mechanics has already debunked all your “questions” about the mechanics of the collapse. You can read it for yourself here. We’re under no particular obligation to cure your paranoia by teaching you about physics.
    As far as the “caveman” comment goes, that tends to show your bigotry. The four pilots and at least some of the “muscle” came from middle-class families and had better-than-average educations. The 9/11 Commission report says:
    “Ziad Jarrah has came from an affluent family and attended private, Christian schools. Like Atta, Binalshibh, and Shehhi, Jarrah aspired to pursue higher education in Germany. ”
    “Hani Hanjour, from Ta’if, Saudi Arabia, first came to the United States in 1991to study at the Center for English as a Second Language at the University of Arizona.”
    In other words, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Again.

  48. Captain Ed:
    “Popular Mechanics has already debunked all your ‘questions’ about the mechanics of the collapse.”
    Sorry, Ed. I’ve read their book and look at their online material, and they did not. There are quite a lot of “conspiracy theorists” out there that peddle a bunch of crap. What Popular Mechanics did was take the most ridiculous claims out there and they “debunked” those. All the real material was completely ignored. I think the term is “strawman”.
    “We’re under no particular obligation to cure your paranoia by teaching you about physics.”
    I know just as much physics as I do chemistry, and I think you know how well I handled your “expert” chemist. If you want to talk about physics, I’d be happy to. I doubt it. Nobody here wants to actually look at the issues.
    “…that tends to show your bigotry.”
    Most every post you make shows your bigotry, but I don’t think you are self-aware enough to notice. My ‘bigotry’ was directed at the total inability of the accused perpetrators to commit this crime. The same would be true of me and my buddies, or you and yours. I intended no disrespect to the alleged perpetrators.
    “In other words, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Again.”
    You responded to a flippant comment I made, which is fine. (Most suicide bombers come from more educated, affluent populations as well. Most suicide bombers are also secular.) How about I pick a *valid* 9/11″conspiracy” topic and debate it with you. You could then have the pleasure of showing everyone for real how I do not know what I am talking about.

  49. Can this be true?

    Via Captain’s Quarters, in response to the Rasmussen poll question
    Did Bush know about the 9/11 attacks in advance?
    allegedly 35% of American Democrats answered “yes” and another 26% said they are not sure.

  50. dave, how about you just show some credible evidence of the garbage you’ve been spewing here.
    Right. Nothing there. Just as we thought.
    Say hi to the tinfoil brigade.

  51. I’m sorry, but I’ve gotten a little tired of this “sophisticated plot” garbage. My buddies and I could have easily done the same thing pre-9/11.
    1. Go to flight school long enough to steer a plane properly(don’t hafta worry much about take offs and landings).
    2. Buy box cutters.
    3. Buy tickets.
    4. Jab box cutters into stewardesses and pilots. Passengers, at the time, are conditioned not to resist hijackers.
    5. Turn plane around, fly into very prominent building.
    How is this sophisticated?
    And again, Dave, how could a government that can’t keep operational details of programs like wire-tapping off the front page of the Washington Post going to be able to keep the hundreds necessary silent about something this big?

  52. RtWing, didn’t you know?
    davey’s an expert in physics. And chemistry. And aerodynamics. And Islamic culture.
    But man, does he get pissed when the orderly on his psych ward takes his Napoleon hat away.

  53. Well color me surprised! Who knew that Logan in Boston and Dulles International were “the most well defended area[s] in the world” with all of that proactive peacetime passenger profiling and concomitant DEFCON 2 status standing order to shoot down civilian jets over major metropolitan areas without warning? Oh, wait. That’s a fabrication and recall of a historical context that didn’t exist. Those sites were actually blissfully unaware and defense protocols comfortably holstered during a trivial, peacetime morning on an insignificant day like just about every other. Point ignored.
    By the way, a little birdie told me that PM Blair knew of the 7/7 London bombings in advance and helped stage the plot to convince his minions that terrorism was real when the populace began to get concerned about its involvement in the Iraqi/Afghani WoT. Google it, sheeple!
    Lots of interesting points in your post drawing context from Dr. Sanity and Whittle. Overall, I tend to think that there are a few mentally challenged people who cannot grasp reality and have a pathological distortion to their perception of truth and false. I wouldn’t even try to ascertain the cause whether sociologically, psychologically, biochemically, or genetically derived. I’ll just accept that such persons from the Petri dish of life exist and let the professionals delve into the science of the matter.
    However, I tend to pigeonhole a much greater number of individuals who believe in this particular conspiracy (and not conspiracies generally since that may speak more to the pathological group) not to be true believers as much as political opportunists or ignorant hacks. Some on the Left will gravitate to any position that contradicts their domestic “enemy” while others truly are power brokers intent on fulfilling an agenda by acquiring positions of authority. A few may spread misinformation on the odd chance that they can get in on the ground floor of a burgeoning cottage industry (i.e. Truthers, authors, T-shirt vendors, Oliver Stone wannabes), but I figure the actual number of committed capitalists to be rather small. Most are just hacks who will use the “lingering questions” hanging-in-air-just-waiting-to-be-exposed argument to undermine the current authority. Whether it ultimately buys them a controlling interest in the political milieu or not, they will have at least succeeded in knocking a chip off the shoulder of the current authority. These are the most despicable sort.

  54. Drivel:
    “…defense protocols comfortably holstered during a trivial, peacetime morning…”
    According to Maj. Douglas Martin from NORAD, from September 2000, to June 2001 (a 9 month period), jets were scrambled 67 times to respond to suspicious aircraft. That’s once every four days. I wonder why defense protocols were only “comfortably holstered” on 9/11, when hijacked planes were flying over the northeast section of the US (not over the 2 airports you mention), which certainly is the most well defended area in the world. Did you know that that’s where our capital is located?

  55. AD,
    I agree that there are many conspiracy mongers who are simply in it for political reasons, but I’m curious about people who really believe in conspiracies (9-11, Loch Ness Monster, fake lunar landing, etc) and, more importantly, if there is some characteristic of our society that is increasing their numbers. If so, then we’ve got a helluva problem on our hands: a very vocal and increasingly large fraction of our society that is disconnected from reality. Can you have a functioning government / society when a certain number of the people are, well, crazy? Are we on the road to becoming like the Palestinians, where rampant lunacy makes civil society impossible?

  56. doc,
    I don’t know if the numbers are increasing significantly and I agree that if they are, we do have a serious problem. My inclination at this point is to believe that we are just more ably capable of observing such behaviors because of our easy access to information. Everything is potentially (and effectively) mainstreamed. The numbers were always there, we just couldn’t account for them.
    Unfortunately with this mainstreaming of insight, there’s the drawback that the intellectually challenged or warped can more readily network with others of a similar breed to additive effect. If one in one hundred in relatively disconnected society believes some nuttiness, there’s enough “normal” population to dilute them such that their message is scorned and muted. (You could call it censorship but that connotes a governmental intervention, which this isn’t.) Should those ones in a hundred find a common meeting place, they can reinforce their paranoia and get quite vocal about it by concentrating their efforts. The internet is an ideal vehicle for such amplification just as it is our window to the pathology.
    What all of this portends is an interesting question. Our access to information and the ease with which to disseminate it suggests profound sociological changes with tangible repercussions. I think we are observing the evolution of one of the downsides regardless if actual numbers of paranoids remain constant.

  57. AD,
    Hmm… My brother is working on a degree in psych. Maybe there’s a paper in this!

  58. dave said, “According to Maj. Douglas Martin from NORAD, from September 2000, to June 2001 (a 9 month period), jets were scrambled 67 times to respond to suspicious aircraft. ”
    However, what dave conveniently forgot to mention was that those aircraft were approaching the US, not already inside its borders. NORAD is focused on OUTSIDE threats. The only time they ever tried to intercept a plane inside the US was Payne Stewart’s plane before it went down.
    Darn those facts getting in the way again!

  59. Drivel:
    If you are comfortable witht the fact that jets were srambled 67 times in 9 months prior to 9/11, but hijacked aircraft flew around on 9/11 for an hour without any problem, that’s fine.
    Wrong, that is not was Martin was talkng about, which is clear from the source I got that info from. You’re full of crap.
    Let’s say the identical events that happened on 9/11 happened during the cold war, but they happened in Russia, and the Russians blamed Islamic terrorists and attacked Afghanistan, then Iraq, and was then threatening Iran. In that case, you would allow yourself to look at the evidence that the Russian government was involved. If the events in that case were identical to what happened on 9/11, do you think you would be saying that anyone that believes the Russian government was involved was a lunatic? I think not. In that case, looking at identical events as what happened on 9/11, it would be painfully obvious to you that the Russian government staged the attack, and you would ridicule anyone who didn’t believe it. When it is the US government that is involved, you are unable to look at the events in the same way, and indeed refuse to even look at any evidence or to consider it. The only difference between the two cases is that you are a member of the “in group” in the present situation. In my Russia scenario, Russian citizens would, like yourself, generally be unable to consider the possibility that the Russian government was involved, and would call people like you who did believe it lunatics.
    BTW, my wife has a PhD in social psychology. The papers you’re looking for have already been written about yourself. Hundreds of them. I show my wife CQ threads all the time, and she says she could write a book on you guys. Anyone available for interviews and testing?

  60. Rtwingnutcase:
    “And again, Dave, how could a government that can’t keep operational details of programs like wire-tapping off the front page of the Washington Post going to be able to keep the hundreds necessary silent about something this big?”
    OK, I’ll answer your question. First of all, it would take dozens of people to pull off 9/11, not hundreds.
    You say that because some stories get leaked, that means it would be impossible to keep 9/11 a secret. The implication, then, is that it is impossible for the government to keep anything secret. This is quite silly. All governments are doing quite a lot right now that neither of us know anything about. It is possible. And why do you think Muslims were able to do what the US government could not? Are they inherantly better at keeping a secret?
    If there was somebody who obtained knowledge of the 9/11 plot and wanted to say something, do you really think that would have been possible? It shouldn’t be that hard for you to figure out why it would not have been. What would have happened pre-9/11 (or post 9/11, for that matter), if someone came forward with his “secret” that the US government was involved in planning 9/11? He would be a lunatic conspiracy theorist, nobody would listen, and his life would be over. No amount of leaking or even confessions would make most people in this country believe that the US government was involved in 9/11. If Dick Cheney came on national TV today and openly confessed to being involved with 9/11, even then he would not be believed. Instead, people who assume a psychological issue and he would receive “treatment”. It would take multiple corroborated confessions to get people to even consider the possibility. I don’t think that will happen.

  61. A group of people who still refuse to believe that Iraq did not have WMD is giving lectures on “reality-based communities”. A group of people who believe Saddam and OBL were best buddies are laughing at “conspiracy theorists”. Classic.

  62. The Assault on Reason

    In 2008, even the poorest Americans have indoor plumbing, color TVs, video game systems, iPods, more than enough to eat, and vast quantities of leisure time. We have come to this state of material wealth by the judicious application of

  63. RE: docjim505 (May 6, 2007 07:24 PM)
    Hmm… My brother is working on a degree in psych. Maybe there’s a paper in this!
    Well, if the department isn’t receptive to this, he could always try something like “Neo-Liberalism: Methods In Poisoning Classic Liberalism And How Democrat Suckage Still Trending Upwards”. Perhaps the subtlety will get by his sponsoring professor.
    Perhaps not. 😉
    RE: dave (May 7, 2007 06:27 AM)
    If you are comfortable witht the fact that jets were srambled 67 times in 9 months prior to 9/11, but hijacked aircraft flew around on 9/11 for an hour without any problem, that’s fine.
    That’s some nice spin there and I suggest no such position. I’d prefer that government (and non-government alike) operate perfectly and ideally under all circumstances. This is a known impossibility and I accept that errors will happen, that protocols will be flawed, and that time is always a factor in any decision tree. I am “comfortable” inasmuch as the events as described make sense and require no conspiratorial construction to invent from wholecloth contrary to Ockham’s razor. Please do continue on with the subtle misrepresentations though.
    But about that London bombing… still no comment? Terrorist plot or Blair-backed conspiracy á la 9/11?
    RE: dave (May 7, 2007 06:27 AM)
    Let’s say the identical events that happened on 9/11 happened during the cold war…
    You’re basing the premise of your parallel on the “similarity” of governments and society of a closed, Communist Russia during the Cold War and an open, Democratic USA in peacetime? Don’t you see the gaping flaw in that fundamental brick? Don’t you think open societies, particularly the most open one in the world, would be a bit less capable of staging such scenarios without real facts coming out to expose such a conspiracy?
    …wife … papers you’re looking for have already been written about yourself. Hundreds of them. I show my wife CQ threads all the time, and she says she could write a book on you guys…
    Well, I would say “Mrs. dave, please visit CQ and cite your favorites,” but first I’d need to know her bias, her specialty, and her curriculum vitae since you are presenting her as an authority. To cut to the quick, however, does she also believe that Bushco conspired to create or allow 9/11? If she does, she needn’t bother. I might also suggest a good shrink.

  64. RE: dave (May 7, 2007 12:11 PM)
    Specifically and WRT “comfort”, I’m responding because I don’t want my position misconstrued. A clarification on your misrepresentation was in order. Furthermore, the “Analysts defend NORAD” link was appropriate to add context to the legitimate debate of what happened on 9/11 and why. It was presented to challenge the conspiracy you believe, and I won’t apologize for presenting the contrarian position (even if intermittently) just because it makes you tired.
    The 7/7 London event question was to gauge your predilection for conspiracy theories in general and if you have bias against the U.S. or Britain, generally, or against the Bush administration or the Blair government, more specifically. I’m not inclined to accuse Blair of conspiring just as I’m not inclined to accuse Bush. You are quick to judge 9/11 yet strangely noncommittal on 7/7 citing you never looked into it.
    Some could argue that you need to see all of the “facts” before making a conclusion. Noble on its face but excuse me for perceiving this to be a dodge. I infer (conclude? based on admittedly minimal information) that you don’t really think 7/7 was a conspiracy but that by taking the position that it was, the outsider’s perception of your paranoia would be reinforced. If you take the position that it wasn’t, then you would need to defend why 7/7 wasn’t a conspiracy while 9/11 was when the actors making the obvious assault were of the same Islamic cloth. Common sense dictates that terrorists committed both acts and that no unseen forces were at play actively creating them for nefarious reasons or passively permitting them to commit mass murder. You are invested in the defense of the conspiracy because of bias against the Bush administration.
    WRT Bruce Willis: So what? Are you projecting some sort of hero worship here? I’m afraid I don’t look to Hollywood for advice. Entertainment, yes. But not advice.

  65. Drivel:
    “The 7/7 London event question was to gauge your predilection for conspiracy theories in general…”
    Despite people putting 9/11 in the same league as the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, or the fake Lunar landing, rest assured I do not believe in any af those things. But I actually looked at the claims of all before deciding. It didn’t take very long to dismiss those. As far as JFK, I think the “conspiracy theory” is definitely a possibility, but there is way too much material surrounding that issue for me to go through thoroughly, and it does not interest me enough to spend any more time on, so I will stay in the “I don’t know” area on that as well. None of the people I know that believe in the 9/11 “conspiracy theory” believe in the fake lunar landing, loch ness, bigfoot, etc.
    “You are quick to judge 9/11…”
    Projection. How do you know how quick I am to judge? I’ve easily spent well over 100 hours reading 9/11 related material from both sides of the issue. How much did you look at both sides before making your decision? I think the answer is close to 0 minutes. Did you ever read the evidence that Osama is responsible? It’s a joke. Tell me this would stand up in court:
    Of course, the US government said they were going to release smoking gun evidence against OBL, but it never happened.
    “noncommittal on 7/7…”
    Right. It does not have enough interest for me to research it, and unlike some, I try not to make uninformed statements. I am not going to dismiss the idea that the UK government was involved, however, because they have a “free society”. Give me a break.
    “I’m not inclined to accuse Blair of conspiring just as I’m not inclined to accuse Bush.”
    Me neither. I’m also not inclined to accuse OBL. I look at all possibilities equally with an open mind. I believe you do not.
    “Common sense dictates that terrorists committed both acts…”
    I agree that terrorists committed both acts. For you, I guess terrorists means al-Qaeda. If so, this statement makes no sense. I know you don’t understand why.
    “You are invested in the defense of the conspiracy because of bias against the Bush administration.”
    I am very aware of my biases, and I consider them while reading at all times. The evidence, however, is clear. It has nothing to do with bias.

  66. Drivel:
    “Common sense dictates that terrorists committed both acts…”
    That you can make this statement and talk about my bias is quite hilarious

  67. Drivel:
    “Sorry, dave. I’m not wasting my time with the links….I have a gutter that needs cleaning.”
    “You are quick to judge 9/11…”
    You cannot click on a link, but it is me that is quick to judge 9/11. I always promise myself not to be rude until someone is rude to me first, but you’re a complete idiot.

  68. dave, as an Army officer who has friends in the Air Force who have worked at NORAD, I can tell you for a fact that that’s EXACTLY how NORAD works.
    You are a small minded fool. You are looking for something to validate your shallow beliefs. In today’s day and age, no one involved could be kept “silent.” The basic difference here is that I believe that the government consist of basically good but incompetent people. You, on the other hand, tend to believe that the government is full of evil and thoroughly competent and efficient people. Yeah, b/c that’s been all of our experiences with the government…
    I feel sorry for you. Your inane beliefs are so far from reality that it’s pathetic. You provide exactly zero proof, but jump up and down, screaming – “It’s there for anyone who wants to look!”
    I’d say you need to exercise that a little more yourself.
    Now go ahead and post whatever small minded reply you want, for it won’t be read. I’m done with this thread, as arguing with an idiot usually leads to people unable to tell the difference after a while, and I have no desire for your stupidity to rub off on me.

  69. RE: dave (May 7, 2007 01:35 PM)
    WRT the “UK’s Bin Laden dossier in full” of Thursday, 4 October, 2001, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK and your statement “tell me this would stand up in court”:
    The first line reads:

    This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a court of law.

    Right off the bat it is not presented as legitimate legal argument. Also, don’t you think we’ve acquired a bit more data to that dossier since 11/04/01, less than one month post-9/11? Heck, Bin Laden yucked it up on video and claimed responsibility for it, nevermind the war he proclaimed against us years prior to 9/11. Later, he made prepped video statements about his involvement:
    Bin Laden video threatens America
    BBC – Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 04:57 GMT 05:57 UK
    Bin Laden Claims Responsibility for 9/11
    FOX – Saturday, October 30, 2004
    So, you’ve moved to the point that OBL isn’t even the instigator with “I’m also not inclined to accuse OBL. I look at all possibilities equally with an open mind.” I’m afraid your mind is so open to be leaking neurons at this point. Letting in flies at a minimum. Just to be clear, of all of the evidence, events, and investigations to date, you conclude that OBL wasn’t involved in 9/11? If so, that 100 hours went to waste.
    I have no idea how many hours of reading pertinent information (keyword pertinent) I’ve accumulated over the past 5.5 years. Admittedly, I’m not chasing the Truther tail just like I’m not chasing Oliver Stone. But you are selectively researching an American conspiracy while ignoring a contemporary and related (indirectly by common events and actors) British one while acknowledging that “free societ[ies]” are as equally vulnerable to conspiracies as, say, Communist Russia in a Cold War. I would expect one who fears such a dangerous likelihood might offer up a bit more than a paraphrased shrugged shoulders and an “eh, not really my cup of tea.” So, I’m back to my original thought to your particular bias against the Bush administration.
    WRT terrorists (al-Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalist type and not some domestic political opportunism “terrorists”) and “that [AD] can make this statement and talk about my bias is quite hilarious”: You’re sure al-Qaeda/bin Laden didn’t commit 9/11, Bushco did (or allowed it), and 7/7 was committed by “terrorists” but possibly not Islamic fundamentalists (even though you’ve not found it interesting enough to research) and you’re impugning my bias? That’s quite a pretezel.
    Please cite your wife’s references if she won’t. I’m dying to understand this.
    RE: dave (May 7, 2007 01:49 PM)
    I always promise myself not to be rude until someone is rude to me first, but you’re a complete idiot.
    I’m blunt to trolling and Trutherism. Call it whatever you like. But to your assertion I’m an “idiot,” why, I’m absolutely crushed. A Truther calling me an idiot! Ouch, my sides hurt. Please stop the madness!

  70. RtWingNtCase :
    “I can tell you for a fact that that’s EXACTLY how NORAD works.”
    In 2002 Major Martin said otherwise to the media. Around the time of the Paine Stewart incident the media was also told otherwise. If that is not how it works, please have your friends tell Major Martin and all the other NORAD people that they should stop telling the media otherwise. It is misleading.
    “Please cite your wife’s references if she won’t.”
    Can’t get a hold of her right now. I’ve read some of Mahzarin Banaji’s stuff (he’s from Harvard). You can start with him.

  71. Dysfunctional Democrats

    The Party that brought us ecological hysteria, is also the party of conspiracy nuts. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 39% of people who identify themselves as Democrats believe that Bush knew about the attacks on the World Trade Center

  72. still nuthin, huh dave?
    He he. Must be fun living in ding-a-ling land.

  73. DemCong: Living in a Different Reality

    So the Democrats expect me to believe that Bush, the same guy that can’t handle something as simple as firing a few lawyers without Congressional hearings, pulled off the most spectacular inside job in history? That he deftly manipulated the media, m…

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