Thursday, May 22, 2008

A “book learnin’” vs. Common Sense Look at Just One 9/11 Incident

(Originally published at OpEdNews)



I know you’ve all heard it before, mostly from conservatives.

“Yeah, he or she got lots of book learnin’, but they don’t got no common sense. Why in the hell would the American government kill its own people?

Besides, what do we look like? Cambodia under Pol Pot? North Korea under Kim Jong Il? Germany under Hitler? China under Mao Tse-Tung?

No, boy, you’re way out there with your tin hat. This here is the good ole US of A and we’re a free country and we elect our leaders and there ain’t no way that we’re gonna elect a crazy person that would do somethin’ really mean like kill his own people.

I mean you’re nuts, son. Like I says, this here is a free country and if you want it to stay that way, you better stop sayin’ such unpatriotic stuff!

The worse things our presidents do is have sex there in that there White House and, of course, wouldn’t ya know it was a liberl that done that.”

“Book learnin’ vs. common sense.” If I had a bucket of vomit for every time I heard that ridiculous phrase, my house would reek.

However, we can “appease” those who want to look at, say, what happened on 9/11 from a common sense point of view.

The first thing that has to happen is for those who say that, this being the “good ole US of A”, it couldn’t happen here to somehow let go of their emotional jingoism long enough to read with an open mind what I’m about to write. That, in itself, could present a problem. But let’s say that they’re able to do it.

Secondly, those who entertain the possibility of an alternative explanation which does not agree with the official explanation have got to put aside any emotional feelings towards George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of The Bush Administration. No preconceived love for country or hate of its leaders must enter into it.

I’m not going to rewrite Griffin’s books here and give each and every example which, in the light of common sense, might help people to look at what happened on 9/11 in a manner which differs from the way they look at it now.

In fact, I’m going to give only one example. My example doesn’t prove that 9/11 was an inside job. What my example should do, looked at in the light of common sense, is to help those who believe that “the good old US of A” could never be lead by people who would harm American citizens think twice about that.

The President Of The United States is getting ready to enter a second grade classroom in Florida. His plans are to use the progress of the students in that classroom to prove that one of his programs, “No Child Left Behind”, is working perfectly.

While standing outside the classroom, waiting to enter, George W. Bush looks at a television which happens to be on and in his line of sight and sees the first plane crash into The World Trade Center.

I know, I know, you that have done any research at all know that this is impossible since no one saw the first plane crash into the World Trade Center as it happened. The video of that sight wasn’t released until much later.

But, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going, for the sake of my common sense argument, to pretend that somehow, as President Of The United States Of America, George W. Bush has so many surveillance cameras throughout the nation that he actually did see what he said he saw. I’m trying to be as fair as possible here.

OK. The President Of The United States Of America sees one of the largest commercial jetliners in service crash into one of the most important buildings in the world. In fact, the building is part of what we call The World Trade CENTER.

Add to that the fact that this happens in New York City, one of the most populous cities in the United States Of America.

Here’s how The President Of The United States Of America responds to what he sees:

“I saw an airplane hit the tower – the TV was obviously on – and I used to fly myself and I said, ‘Well, there’s one terrible pilot and, uh, well it must have been a horrible accident.’”

“I saw an airplane hit the tower?”

“…it must have been a horrible accident?”

Let’s pretend that no other airliner hit any other building on that day. The only thing that happened, and The President Of The United States Of America saw it live, was that one huge airliner hit an extremely important building in an extremely populous and important city in The United States Of America and all he can do is to make the casual remarks shown above.

Not only does he make remarks that are casual, but he proceeds with his original plan to go into the classroom to sell his program!

I don’t know how anyone else describes “common sense”, but this is what my common sense tells me.

One huge airliner crashes into The World Trade Center and The President knows about it because he sees it happen in real time. At the very least, any president who I would be proud to refer to as my president says, “My God. One hell of a lot of Americans must have been injured and maybe many may have been killed!

And The World Trade Center is where a good deal of “world trade” takes place. What kind of consequences could this “horrible accident” have on world economic systems, especially the American economy?

Oh, I just realized that, when I projected that many Americans might have been seriously injured or might have died, I discounted the fact that this took place in New York City. Oh my God, that means that the number of Americans that may have been injured or killed is possibly even larger than what I first calculated!

I’m sorry fellas, we gotta get outta here. I gotta speak to Mineta (Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta) and Garvey (Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey)! This is horrible! How could this have happened? Get me to Air Force One ASAP!”

Secret Service Agent to second grade teacher: “Ma’am, I’m afraid The President’s got some serious business to take care of. We’ll reschedule this event, though, don’t you worry about that.”

And off he goes to find out more about this “horrible accident” as soon as he can.

Quite possibly, the “common sense” of some people may still not lead them to believe that The President Of The United States Of America should have reacted this way to such a “horrible accident” involving so many Americans, such an important structure and such a populous and important city. Maybe I only think that it’s common sense because of all my “liberl, unpatriotic ‘book learnin’”. But I’m thinking, “Nah, it’s common sense.”

As I implied in the beginning of this article, I think we can go through Griffin’s books and books and videos written and produced by others and find many, many, many more instances of just plain common sense explanations for what happened on 9/11.

However, I don’t think the “my country right or wrong and, damn it, it’s never wrong” people removed their hubristic armor long enough to even look at this one, single case with an open mind.


To friendship,
Michael

“The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it.” - Leo Rosten


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Roy Zimmerman's “Thanks For The Support”

A few years back, a political satirist named Johnny Steele put on a show at The Town Hall Play House in Lafayette, California. Steele’s show was funny and I’d definitely go to see him again.

A guest he presented was much funnier than Steele and was also much more politically biting than Steele. After the show, the guest, whose name is Roy Zimmerman, was selling his CD called “Faulty Intelligence” in the foyer of the building. I didn’t have to be convinced to purchase one.

There are satirists that are funny while addressing socially significant issues.

That’s what Roy Zimmerman does – he addresses socially significant points and he’s hilarious. The one word I’m not certain that one can use with other satirists that is perfectly legitimate in describing Roy Zimmerman is brilliant.

In searching for Roy Zimmerman, I was taken to YouTube, where else. The video that opened automatically was of Zimmerman singing a song I hadn’t previously heard. This song is socially significant as well, but it’s anything but funny. It’s a beautiful song and its beauty is in its understanding of the darkness of war. I hope that you can become as emotionally attached to this song as my wife and I did when we first heard it. It’s called:



To friendship,
Michael

“No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” - Lily Tomlin

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Want Ads: Unions Wanted - Rather - Needed

Howard Zinn tells us in his People’s History of the United States that, “…as the twentieth century opened, 284,000 children between the ages of ten and fifteen worked in mines, mills and factories…” in The United States of America.

Child labor and unconscionable treatment of all employees, especially women and children, spawned the organization of labor unions.

Once organized, labor unions pressured Congress and employers to humanize employment in the US.

There are people today, so called middle class, working people, who have said that it’s a good thing that unions are fading out of site. Many say that unions have outlived their usefulness. They did some good at first, but they became as corrupt if not more corrupt than the employers from whom they were supposed to protect workers.

No one can deny that many unions became too large and, consequently, corrupt and, in many cases, began doing business with organized crime (hey, the purpose of a union is to organize, right?).

During Ronald Reagan’s administration, the government of The Former United States of America began its path toward today’s almost entirely fascist governing methodology. Corporations knew that they were on their way to being in the driver’s seat of the American government after Ronald Reagan fired 11,350 air traffic controllers in 1981.

It’s obvious, as well, that the media was realizing at this time that it was, in fact, a corporate entity as it presented the argument made by the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association (PATCO) as a collection of selfish demands by one of the highest paid professions. There was very little attention given to the history of the turbulent relationship that began in 1968 and culminated with the ’81 strike between PATCO and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Consequently, the public sided with that always upbeat, smiling Reagan when he took the livelihood away from 11,350 American employees.

There was also very little air time given to the fact that, by 1983, the replacement ATCs were already looking to form another union and actually attempted to do so in 1987.

In his article



David Johnson makes an excellent case why middle and lower class Americans should cease cheering for Corporations and begin to join their fellow workers in reviving efforts to organize.

To friendship,
Michael

“Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.” – James Dewer

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

(Originally published at TED.com)

We are all one. I know this sounds like psychobabble or ‘60s “hippie talk”, but it’s neither. It’s physically true. There is energy beyond our being that connects all of us to one another and even connects us to trees, animals and anything that exists upon this earth. As Ms Taylor says in the video, it can’t be put aside for the moment or planned for the future because it’s happening now. It’s happening whether you want to be aware of it or not and the analytical mind, which is found in the left cortex of the brain, fights it tooth and nail.

The mind puts all kinds of obstacles in the way. Religion is one example. I refer to organized, dogmatic religion, not spirituality. Most of the large, monotheistic religions teach us that the life we live upon this earth is an audition of sorts for the “real” eternal life that we will experience at the culmination of this earthly life. These thoughts and beliefs take us from away from now. When we refuse to believe that the only time that’s ever true is now, we find it easy to dwell on getting back at someone, even though the past can never be changed, or a racing to something we can never know, the future. We lose all connection with reality, with now.

As shown in the following video, the left side of the brain isn’t bad. It takes care of things that need logic, like solving a problem.

Learning what is or isn’t toxic in one way or another and knowing enough to stay clear of it is important. Planning a trip makes the trip much more enjoyable. There’s a difference between preparing for a trip and letting the thought of the trip totally engulf you to the point of neglecting important, real responsibilities like - remembering to eat.

John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy doing other things.”

Ms Taylor reinforces the idea for me that it doesn’t take a god or angels or goblins or spirits flying around to be spiritual. Spirituality is real and I believe that it’s physically manifested.

To friendship,
Michael

“The heart of man is made to reconcile the most glaring contradictions.” - David Hume

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

They're Takin' Our Jobs!

They’re Takin’ Our Jobs!

There was an episode of South Park which was a spoof of the ongoing immigration debate in The Former United States of America. If I remember correctly, the aliens were just that, aliens from another planet, but they were taking the jobs of the citizens of South Park, Colorado nonetheless. As with most South Park episodes, I found this episode “fall on the floor ” hilarious.

Of course, what isn’t hilarious is the intensity of the real life immigration debate and the traumatic effect that some of the solutions have been and can be both on illegal immigrants and on Americans.

What should one logically think of when hearing the phrase, “They’re taking our jobs”?

Think of it. Here’s this factory, office, vineyard, hotel room which needs cleaning and here are a bunch of Americans doing the work in those places.

A group of Hispanics breaks in and, armed to the teeth with all kinds of weapons, beat the Americans, causing them to run away and abandon their jobs. Of course, the logical next step is for the illegals to put down their weapons, change into the hotel room service uniform and begin doing the jobs. Right? Isn’t that how one “takes” a job from someone else?

And that’s how one would think it happens if one reads letters to the editor which ask, “What part of ‘illegal’ don’t the immigrants understand?”

Now, if one hears the phrase, “They’ve been given our jobs” – well, in my humble opinion, it should create a completely different image and the onus for the “crime” can then be placed where it belongs, as Joshua Holland of AlterNet explains in his article:





To friendship,
Michael

“The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.” - Ronald Reagan

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