Monday, July 30, 2007

On the willful ignorance of conspiracy theorists.

Earlier today I posted a comment on an article about shots being fired on Ed and Elaine Brown's property.

In the next 7 hours after I posted that comment, which is still "awaiting moderation", 11 other comments have been approved by the site moderator(s).

(It has since been approved. I tip my hat to the moderators for this.)

I would like to share the comment here so that you can read it and then read the rest of the comments on that article to put it in perspective to illustrate how conspiracy theorists like to pick and choose what information they choose to acknowledge in their quest to confirm their own (often mistaken, misinformed or simply uninformed) personal bias about the issue.

I have seen this same type of response on a number of different forums, in relation to a number of different current issues. People seem desperate to confirm their own stance and will intentionally ignore any information to the contrary, even if it is credible and backed up by actual evidence.

Read the facts.

This isn’t really an issue of legality. The laws are on the books and they are “legal”. Period.

The issue here isn’t one of legality, it’s a matter of principle. The laws themselves stand in violation of the principles of the founding fathers, the constitution and of Freedom and Liberty in general.

That is what the Browns are standing up against. The 16th Amendment was properly ratified. The US Tax Code does plainly state a requirement to file and pay taxes etc.

All these claims I keep hearing are based on the spread of ignorance and misinformation. I’ve done the research and read the issues and the court cases myself.

Again, the issue here isn’t the legality of the current laws… they stand as a part of the system. The problem is with their origins in corruption and their violation of the natural laws of the land, the laws meant to be protected by the Constitution.

You people need to do some actual studying and get a better understanding of the principles involved. Your spread of misinformation and ignorance does not help Ed and Elaine Brown, it simply makes it so much easier for the media to write you off as the ignorant conspiracy nuts you’re being when they show the proof that refutes your ignorant claims. You need to research and strike at the root… expose the underlying principles, the deeper issues at stake… the very core of Freedom and Liberty in the US and the violations of the natural law principles of the US Constitution.


Phreadom - July 29th, 2007 at 9:08 pm
Acknowledging what I wrote would not require a lack of support for Ed and Elaine Brown, but simply a rethinking of the actual issues and a greater understanding of the actual facts and issues involved.

After further browsing of that website, I found an even better example of this phenomenon. An article about a video of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center claiming to be proof of demolitions use to bring down the towers.

The article states:
There are 2 explosions at 7:52 about 30 floors below the impact. If you pay close attention, you will see two flashes and hear 1 boom, possibly 2. Pay close attention.
The video presented with that claim can be found here:

And another video linked just below the video, for the context of proving that demolitions were used to bring down the towers can be found here:

The second video is linked with the words "9/11 Revisited - Were Explosives Used?".

On actually watching the video, the first problem with their claim is clear almost immediately upon seeing the aforementioned spot in the video at 7:52.

I posted the problems as comments on the article (awaiting moderation), and will summarize them below.
Did you think to factor in the speed of sound? Or that if the "boom" you speak of, which is only the tiniest audible click or pop in the video, would have followed with over a full second gap between the flash in the video and the audible click or pop we hear? (Which would have still placed it around a half second after the second flash at best.)

As stated in the intro of the video, given the 500 yard (457.2 meters) distance from the towers, a full 1.32 seconds would have elapsed between the tiny flashes and the sound reaching the camera, given the speed of sound at 344 meters per second.

This is clearly not the case. The “pop”, which is hardly a “boom”, coincides precisely with the timing of the first small flash and could be nothing more than noise in the room or a bump on the camera and certainly does not belong to the almost single pixel sized “flashes” on the video unless the video was doctored to synchronize the audio and video.

Or how about the fact that most of the conspiracy videos state that the "detonations" went off either before the planes ever hit, or as the towers collapsed?

Not only are there a number of disparate claims of the same event happening specifically at very different times, but many of them are easily debunked when you factor in actual science.

I'm not denying government complicity in 9/11, and I do in fact think they were involved in, at the very least, allowing it to happen... but this kind of misinformation or wild speculation only serves to discredit the investigations into the events.
Below are two screenshots from the video showing the intro statement that tells the distance from the towers and a shot of one of the supposed "explosions" that accompany the so called "boom(s)".

Intro statement to the video
picture of the first 'explosion'

I'm no fan of the George W. Bush administration and I do think that based on a variety of information that they were involved to some extent in 9/11 through a combination of previously knowledge and intentional inaction at the least, if not more, based on things like the highly improbable collapse of WTC7 given its very minor damage and architectural stability etc. However, even given my stance on those issues, I like to maintain a more fact based, skeptical approach to this issue.

As I stated before, I think that giving into to wild speculation and conspiracy theorist type hysteria, we only serve to distract attention from the real issues involved and the actual credible information that's available.

(Again, I'd like to note that my comments were eventually approved after this article was written. I appreciate that move on the moderators' part. I still think this issue remains for a countless number of other forums, websites etc, so I'll keep this article here in that regard.)


Anonymous said...

Wow, I guess WTC7 was just in tip-top shape before collapsing [end sarcasm]

Don't be afraid to open your mind to new ideas but don't forget Occam's razor.

JStressman said...

I'm familiar with Occam's Razor.

However, many other buildings that were even closer to the towers did not collapse. And even when sky-scrapers take massage amounts of damage, they rarely, if ever, completely collapse as WTC7 did. Just little at the Murrah building that was attacked by Timothy McVeigh.

A large portion of that building was taken out by high explosives, including a number of the main support beams. Did it collapse? No.

The entire WTC7 building came down simultaneously.

There's another picture I've seen of one of the steel struts in the WTC towers that was cut at an angle that I'd actually like to do more research on. I have a hypothesis that it was simply cut as a part of the clean-up operation and the picture of the melted steel on the angled cut is nothing more than a result of that, with the picture being taken out of chronological context etc.

My point is that fire alone does not cause a sky-scraper to collapse. Nor does a significant amount of structural damage. They don't just completely collapse.

That taken with the fact that the building was farther away from the main towers and suffered less damage than the closer buildings, which did not collapse completely like WTC7 etc... I think it bears closer consideration.

Even more important is the fact that given the testimony of people who were in the bunker with Cheney etc, and the fact that NORAD was ordered to stand down and Cheney spoke of previous knowledge of the attacks and their destinations etc... it seems clear that something more is going on here than the government has told the American people. That lends an air of skepticism to the events at the towers.

Also, look at the buildings between the towers and WTC7 in this image:

Notice that they have taken tremendous structural damage and are still standing. WTC7, which was behind them, next to buildings that seem to have taken almost no damage, has completely collapsed.


It's not hard to understand how the main towers could have collapsed, but this one seems much more improbable. Occam's razor aside, sometimes you have to take a look at all the available information... and what would initially seem the simplest answer no longer becomes quite as relevant or simple.

Anonymous said...

Even Popular Mechanic is in on it!!!! They even managed to convince experts with legitimate credentials.

I believe in some healthy skepticism, but where do you draw the line?

There will never be enough evidence to discount every theory out there, which means that even wrong conclusions can seem right.

As for me I'll keep theories theories before jumping to Joe Schmo's conclusions.