Days 933-935: The Tragedy Of Big Numbers

22.07.11-24.07.11:

In the wake of the Norway massacre I want to share with you some of the things I’m feeling right now. Revulsion at the crime, pity for the victims, sadness that such a thing could happen in any country, let alone one as peaceful as Norway. There are other things too; the media’s response, our response: stuff I would like to address in this blog entry.

 

Firstly, I find it morally abhorrent that the man’s name, manifesto and pictures of him posing with a gun were posted by the media. In any crime in which the motive is fame (and infamy) to grant the perpetrator the very platform he craves is not just wrong, it’s sick. In my mind, it’s the equivalent of a man murdering for money and the media paying him that money. The names that should matter are those of his victims, the only photos that should be published are pictures of those that have been killed, in happier times.

 

A few years ago in the UK a baby was brutally murdered by his mother and her boyfriend. Due to another ongoing inquiry involving the male perpetrator, the child was only known as “Baby P” and the names of the mother and boyfriend were not disclosed by the media “for legal reasons.” I suppose if you really wanted to know who they were you could find out, but you certainly weren’t seeing their photos splashed all over the front pages of the tabloids, television and Yahoo News.

 

I didn’t see the decision to withhold the names from the public sphere as the beginning of a ‘slippery slope’ towards state censorship, and this most inhumane (and inhuman) of couples didn’t do this most despicable of acts for the publicity – unlike the Norway terrorist. They didn’t have an 1500 page manifesto that they wanted to be thrust into the public eye. The Norway terrorist did.

 

The censorship of some news stories for the greater good is something we all experience, but few of us probably notice. Newspapers routinely censor the reporting of suicide. Mental health charities like CALM draw a direct link between detailed reports of suicide to an increase in suicides of that particular method. As a result of this (fairly uncontroversial) fact, news sources, when reporting a suicide, usually skimp on the details – and can even face a fine if they don’t. And what is lost to society? Details only morbid rubberneckers would be interested in? The newspapers can (and do) still report the story, but it will be written in such a way that will passively discourage some of the most vulnerable people in our societies from killing themselves.

 

And talking of copycats, what do you think is going through the minds of the few (mercifully few) people that think along the same lines as the Norway terrorist? Shit, I better not do what he just did, I mean, it was all for nothing…? Bollocks they’re thinking that, because I’m not. I’m thinking, as far as this terrorist’s twisted little goals are concerned, it was job well done. He spread terror by bombing Oslo, he brutally and mercilessly shot defenseless children dead AND he scored the mother-lode: worldwide publicity for himself and his fucked-up agenda.

 

The media couldn’t have done anything to prevent the murders, but it could – and SHOULD – have robbed him of the ‘glory’ he sought through the taking of dozens of innocent lives. And the same should go for any killers, rapists, criminals that do it for the fame. We don’t need to know their names, we don’t need to see their faces: all we need to know is what they did and that the system is dealing with them in a fair and transparent manner according to the laws of the land. Anything else is playing into the hands of psychotic self-publicists.

 

Before I slag off the media some more, and so you don’t think I’m some rabid journo-hater, let me spend couple of paragraphs defending the media. I read at least two opt-ed pieces (one by Charlie Brooker and the other by Christopher Hitchens) which criticised the so-called ‘experts’ who were drafted onto the 24 hour news channels to pontificate about the situation. As much as I enjoy Brooker and Hitchens, I found these criticisms a little unfair. I have to admit that when I first heard about a bomb going off in Oslo my first thought was ‘Al-Qaeda‘. I’m not ashamed of it. These loonies have a list of priors as long as my arm, and although this piece attempted to make me look like a big racist loon by skewing the statistics with a cunning use of geographical and temporal gerrymandering and “incidents”, rather than looking at the global picture over the last ten years and – you know – actual deaths, whenever I hear of a large indiscriminate bomb in a city centre killing innocent civilians I’m afraid I’m going to think Al-Qaeda until proved otherwise. I doubt this slurring of Al-Qaeda‘s good name is going to upset them too much, I just feel that given the track record of islamic fundamentalism in recent years, thinking ‘it might be Al-Qaeda!’ is nothing to be ashamed about.

 

It therefore follows that the smugness of some pundits when it turned out to be the work of a lone white Christian nutcase made me feel sick. Okay, the ‘experts’ and I got it wrong for a few hours. Hell, even some muslim fundamentalists in Norway thought it was Al-Qaeda – at first. But what is this? A pissing contest? Seventy kids are still dead. Pretending that even after 9/11, the London bombings and Madrid you’re so super-smart that your first impressions of the situation was that it definitely wasn’t Al-Qaeda isn’t going to bring them back. And for heaven’s sake: once more facts came to light, the reportage and punditry was amended accordingly. If you don’t want people who aren’t in possession of all the facts to speculate on the probable causes, don’t watch rolling news!

 

But once it became clear that this was the work of a lone nutcase, for some news outlets, it ceased to be regarded as an “act of terror”. WHAT? Am I missing something here? This guy BOMBED the city centre of Oslo, then ran around an island brutally murdering schoolchildren. If that’s not an act of terror, I really don’t know what is. Does it only become terror now when muslims do it? Should FARC, ETA and the Real IRA be seen as “spree killers” or loose collections of “lone nutcases”? No, the guy is a terrorist, he sought to spread terror, and sadly succeeded. Calling him anything else is dishonest journalism.

 

It wasn’t long before the blame game begin. Looking for reason in an unreasonable act is never going to get you very far, and this act of terrorism is no different. “He liked video games” screeched an Australian priest. He also seems to like Christianity, father, and you might not like where I can go with that one. The media, as always, were quick to distance themselves from the parts of his manifesto that readers of The Daily Mail would find overly familiar. But then you could argue that the over-toleration of conspiracy theorism is as much to blame. How many times have you found yourself in the pub being confronted by the most blatant barrage of bollocks you’ve ever heard (ie. ‘the muslims are planning to take over Europe!’, ‘you can’t call it a blackboard anymore!’, ‘9/11 was an inside job!’)?

 

This murdering wingnut believed similar such claptrap: global conspiracies, hidden agendas, shadowy governmental departments, the lot. He believes himself to be not a terrorist – which he most definitely is – but the vanguard of a fictitious war – saving you and me from the invisible demons that run the world and seek to overrun Europe with their nefarious ways. Maybe it would have only taken one person on one internet forum to say “sorry mate, but that’s the biggest load of shite anyone has ever inflicted on my brain.” But the sad fact is that we’ll never know.

 

But, ultimately, any kind of finger-pointing diminishes the responsibly for the actions of an individual and I can’t help but feel like there is little we can do to stop this kind of thing from ever happening again. Although banning guns would be a good start.

 

Finally, I want to say a few words about the tragedy of big numbers. There’s no nice way of putting this: the more people die the less we care. We don’t mean to, of course, it’s not a conscious decision, but it is a very real phenomenon that has been recorded by psychologists all over the world. A study in which volunteers were asked how much they would give to save the life of one single child revealed that they would give substantially more money than they would to save the lives of 20 children. Stalin summed it up when he said “one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.”

 

This is something we should all be aware of, and a mental trap into which we should endeavour to avoid. Each death should double the tragedy, not half it. Every single boy, girl, woman or man murdered by this madman had a family, friends, a life to look forward to – something that has been cruelly taken from them. Even when a tragedy seems too vast to comprehend, we owe it to the victims to try. Here is the list of all those who were lost: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14276074. Long may they live on in the hearts of those who knew them.

 

Author: Graham

Adventurer, filmmaker, blogger, double Guinness World Record Holder. The first person to visit every country in the world without flying. I currently live on a private island in The Caribbean that I won in a competition.

12 thoughts on “Days 933-935: The Tragedy Of Big Numbers”

  1. You know, after reading your solid rebuttal I do admit it DOES all sound a bit silly. Maybe I’m just a little naive, you know, and the habit of stuff like ‘Loose Change’ to ignore the inconvenient facts, cherry-pick evidence that suits its (for-profit) agenda and take quotes out of context is really starting to make me question my entire opinion on the matter.

    The ‘Machiavellian mindset’ thing you posted was very interesting, and I have to admit I do have a tenancy to think the worst of people and that everyone has a price. I guess I am a little paranoid and yeah, you’re right, I kinda wanted the government to have masterminded 9/11 – I don’t know why, possibly because it would confirm all the bad things I think about everybody who isn’t me.

    I’m also concerned by something I noticed while surfing conspiracist websites… a definite anti-Semitic tone, one that has a tenancy to deny the holocaust (or say it ‘was no big deal’) and claim that a shadowy cabal of Jews are responsible for all of the world’s ills. It’s very similar to the rumours that led to the Pogroms in Russia and then the Holocaust itself, and that worries me, especially as my great-grandfather died fighting the Nazis and I’d hate to belittle his sacrifice by supporting the beliefs of right-wing fascists and racists – the very people he gave his life fighting against.

    I found this brilliant article on the cracked.com website: http://www.cracked.com/article_15740_was-911-inside-job.html Cracked is pretty funny, but it really helped me to see things as they really are, rather than how I would want them to be.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for setting me straight, I’ll try in future to have a little bit more trust in the inherent goodness of humanity (after all – we’ve made it this far haven’t we?) and a little less time badgering people to believe in stuff that is — I admit — pretty far-fetched. I’ve been reading up on some of those issues you mentioned in a previous reply and I honestly believe that my time would be better spent spreading the word about stuff we SHOULD be getting angry about, and — more importantly — bad things that are happening right this moment that together we CAN do something about.

    Take care and safe travels,
    Joe.

    PS. I did warn ya! 😉

  2. 1) You must believe in supervillians if you think a rag tag gang of afghans with a budget of about 1/100000th that of the US and her allies is capable of holding the whole damn world hostage

    2)Not once, 5 times that day (supposedly) and then for 10 straight years. Do you really believe a few arabs with box cutters could really subdue 5 airplanes? the 100s of people on those planes sat aside and just let that happen? Come on, you can’t even get into a cockpit on a commercial plane, never would’ve happened

    3)I didn’t say from space, but of course america and especially the pentagon itself has anti missile defense systems. A plane is much larger and moves much slower than a missile, therefore they shouldn’t have had any problem whatsoever taking that plane down well before it maneuvered (while flying over Washington, DC) to street level and crashed into a relatively short building. a basically impossible feat

    3)Do yourself a favor by looking at a photo of the perfectly round hole in the pentagon and the “wreckage” that was in the field. Then type “plane crash” into google photo to see what an actual plane crash looks like. I don’t have to be an aircrash investigator, the only qualification you need is sight to know that there ISN’T a plane in the pentagon or on that field. As for the families, they were probably killed, just like the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis.

    4)Yes, the CIA def can freeze assets. They recently froze syrian president Assads’, Gaddafi’s, gbagbo’s (ivory coast), mubaraks, Saddams, the list goes on. They do it whenever they want to. There is no telling what their real agenda is or what kinds of backroom deals they make with various world leaders but there is no doubt that if they deem it necessary they can and will

    5)I know you’ve been to Egypt, Turkey, and China, three places (among many) that have restricted the internet (in Egypt’s case completely shut it down, which fueled the revolution). The internet isn’t exactly the free speech untouchable force it’s played up as. Governments shut down websites all the time.

    6)I mentioned the clone army because only an infinite clone army would have the manpower to force a 10+ year war with the entire G20. We aren’t fighting Afghanistan by the way, they are actually our “ally” in this endeavor, our “enemy” is some faceless ghost army of terrorists that can be everywhere at once and have endless supply lines the world over

    7)There is an absolute MOUNTAIN of evidence. 1000s of structural engineers, physicists, first responders, eyewitnesses, military insiders, computer simulations, the entire history of steel buildings (never has a steel building fallen because of fire, NEVER), common sense (why did building 7 fall? why no planes? why would the building fall perfectly into it’s footprint? (something ONLY possible with a controlled demolition) who had the most to gain? (Dick Cheney (as you must know) was the CEO of Halliburton the day before he swore into office. Of course i don’t have to tell you Halliburtons role in all this is. You’ve seen loose change, you know about the pipelines across afganistans and how the taliban didn’t want to play ball, i know you understand the abhorrent greed of mankind and the insatiable drive for more, more power, more money, more oil, more control. Why wouldn’t these top tier assholes want to consolidate all the power they could?

    I think you have a bit of a fairy tale idea of real world justice. The 9/11 commission posted it’s results within a month, accepted no independent investigations, and closed the folder forever. Why wasn’t anyone at BP charged with a crime after the gulf of mexico spill that killed 11 people and still ravages the south coast of America? Why wasn’t bin laden brought to the Hague or DC and put on trial for his crimes? why wasn’t a single banker indicted after the 2008 economic collapse after it became common knowledge that they were engaged in a plethora of illegal business practices (in fact they were rewarded to the tune of trillions of dollars of no interest loans)? Why? because the system is rigged to favor the elite, by the elite. If you don’t believe the elite are looking out for themselves then you must be delusional. Would you help you’re family out if they were in trouble? Do you take care of your friends if you can?

    Your list of atrocities only proves my point, those in power will ALWAYS take advantage of that power and do whatever they can to keep it. Morals be damned. Just look at the entire history of mankind, its a running theme. To say that the corporate/banking elite are all just a bunch of idiots, bumbling around with theie combined trillions of dollars, tripping over their own feet, is patently ridiculous. Politicians? Yea, for the most part they probably are pretty dumb, but those guys aren’t making real decisions, they are lackeys, henchmen, PR spokemen, actors (Ronald Reagan was literally an actor before he became president).

    Every year the top echelon of elites meets as a group called the Bilderbergs, (as you may know), behind closed doors, with no media coverage. What do you think they are talking about? How they can make the world a better place? If so, they are doing a pretty shit job at it

    1. STOP STOP STOP. PLEASE. THINK about it. Just THINK.

      If 9/11 was an inside job… how many people would have to be in one it? Give me a rough figure. 1,000? 10,000? 100,000? These people would have to ALL be utterly amoral psychopaths whose motive was what… power? The iron law of oligarchy states that powerful people don’t share power… so then money? Okay… let’s say money. There’s a lot of them, but lets say they just escaped en masse from Arkham Asylum.

      Now if ONE of these people talks the whole thing is shot to shit, and everybody goes to jail… for the rest of their lives. We’re not talking corrupt bankers here, or Bono cooking the books so he pays no income tax, we’re talking the wilful murder of 2,000 AMERICAN CIVILIANS. This is death penalty level crime we’re talking about.

      Now work out how much it would cost to keep every single one of those people quiet for 10 years. How much would it cost to keep YOU quiet about the biggest conspiracy the world has ever seen? $1,000,000? Damn you’re cheap! There are businessmen and politicians involved in this who earn that amount A DAY. So how much do you pay them? $1,000,000,000? Sound fair? Let’s say they demand a cool billion every year. Let’s say there are 1,000 of them in on it (a modest figure, I’m sure you’ll agree, given the scale of this thing)… that’s a TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR for TEN YEARS just to keep people quiet… because any one of them could AT ANY TIME grow a conscience (or need more money) and blow the whistle.

      TEN TRILLION DOLLARS… for WHAT? So they could invade IRAQ? Even though Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11? Even though the combined worth of Iraq comes to… wait for it… $117 BILLION a year… hang on, what about Afghanistan?? Well (being one of the poorest countries in the world AND HAVING NO OIL) it’s worth a good $14 BILLION a year, so shall we call it $130 BILLION all up…

      …and we’re spending $1,000 BILLION a year on BRIBES??

      That’s the conservative figure… how much does it cost to keep Wikileaks quiet? I’d love to know.

      IT. MAKES. NO. SENSE. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You can’t grasp how ridiculous the ‘truthers’ proposition sounds to somebody who has a degree in Poltics and Modern History and has travelled as extensively as I have. You might as well be arguing that the world is flat or that an eclipse is a dragon eating the sun. IF there is ANY truth in what the ‘truthers’ claim, why doesn’t one of the more wealthy ‘truthers’ make a civil case against the US government? Anyone with a bit of wonga can do it. But they don’t, do they? Why is that Joe?

      Maybe because it would require REAL EVIDENCE and a ACTUAL MOTIVE for the US govt to be behind it… and, as yet, NOBODY has provided me (or any of the millions like yourself who obsess over 9/11) with either.

      It may make you sleep easier at night to believe that you live in a universe in which everything happens for a logical reason, but that doesn’t make it the case. The 9/11 hijackers had the motive, the opportunity and the ruthlessness to go through with one of the most spectacular terrorist attacks the world has ever seen – and hopefully will ever see. All they needed was a few flying lessons, nineteen plane tickets and some box cutters. Scary eh? Tough. That’s the way the world is: shit happens… it doesn’t necessarily follow that the shit was put there by the Men In Black to enslave humanity and feed us to the space lizards.

      As I tried to get across in my last reply, there are REAL messed-up things that politicians, governments, corporations and businessmen have done and are still getting away with. As I travel, I meet people who want to talk about how every major event or every famous person’s death is a conspiracy (JFK! Diana! Elvis! Evolution! The Moon Landings! Climate Change!), but very few who want to talk about what the Sudanese government has done in Darfur in the full view of an indifferent and apathetic world.

      Hell, maybe you and the 9/11 ‘truthers’ are part of a conspiracy to distract people from talking about what’s REALLY going on…

      Go on, it’s the space lizards, isn’t it?

      I KNEW IT!!!!!!!

      1. Well Graham, I guess there’s just no convincing you. Usually i dont bother trying to convince anyone because i figure if you believe the “official” story then your just a believe what your told kind of person. I think your stuck on the disbelief that people would be evil or careless enough to do it, but just look at your list of “real” atrocities. Every single day people in power take horrible advantage of people, genocides are very real, slavery is very real, the oil industry really has decimated the Nigerian Delta, the Fed Reserve really did give (print out of thin air) over 1 trillion dollars to the same banks that wrecked the worlds economy. These aren’t even denied and no one does anything. How much convincing do you think it takes to get a soldier to fire bullets into a crowd of protesters in Syria? Mindless people do what they are told, against their own beliefs and morals, every single day, every day of history even. They don’t have to be “paid off” they just want to maintain their status quo, get their paycheck, not ruffle any feathers. As an independent person (remember that i also took a 2+ year epic journey around the globe) you dont get it, but most people want to be part of a “gang”, be told what to do and do whatever it takes to fit into it. Also i think your stuck on “it’s the government”. The real powers that be are the international bankers and corporations, that are above any one countries jurisdiction. If you think those assholes have ANY morals whatsoever then your just lying to yourself.

        If you think killing 2000 Americans is some major line that had to be crossed, consider the fact that over 6000 have died in the wars so far. 3 times more have died than the original attack. How about the 100,000s of Iraqis and Afghanis (innocent bystanders many of them) that have died. Nothing is “better” in either country in 10 years. What the hell are we doing there? Obviously nothing good. (Even you admit 60 billion dollars of the “rebuilding” money vanished) It’s all a farce. But i will just stop, because if you can’t see the nose on your face then who am i to show you a mirror. No offence.

        So i’ll just leave it be at this point. I highly recommend you do some more research, all of the answers are out there, very easy to find if you want to

        1. At the end of the day, I’m asking you to provide me with solid evidence and you’re asking me – in true conspiracy theorist-style – to take your word for it based on no evidence whatsoever other than opinion, conjecture and idle speculation.

          And then you sign off with ‘the answers are out there’ like its an episode of the X-Files, yeah…. so’s Russell’s Celestial Teapot, but I’m not going to waste my life looking for it.

          Sorry my friend, but as Christopher Hitchens quite rightly points out, claims that can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          And that’s where this conversation (which, quite frankly, I tire of having) ends.

          1. I assumed that you were capable of doing your own research (and would trust what you found more wholly) but if you want some actual evidence then I can provide you that.

            The top 40 reasons http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20041221155307646

            Here is a recently released video with the backing of 1500 architects and engineers about WTC7 that proves it was a controlled demolition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z6LMGXDZnI

            more thermite evidence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezIU6ZxYU3A

            the pentagon? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcWT2lQszEE&feature=related
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmP2Vy8K0i0&feature=related

            The planes had no windows
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRC4lCQuBmcfeature=related
            and apparently weren’t in the air
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2QAh0rBrew&NR=1

            Senior Officials, Government employees, People who were on the 9/11 commission don’t believe it
            http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/09/anniversary-of-911.html

            Just go through all of the info on
            http://www.911proof.com/
            http://www.911truth.org/

            It seems like you made up your mind a long time ago about this issue, maybe there are some new bits of information that you are unaware of.

            The reality is the history of mankind reads as one endless power struggle between the elites. Ghengis Kahn rode across the Central Asian steppe slashing and burning his way to Europe? Alexander the Great convinced his country to march into Turkey and lay siege to its cities on the way to Egypt and India. The Caesars murdered everyday during their reign, as did the Goths, the Ottamans, the Moors, the Franks, the Germans (did Hitler have to pay off all of the Germans to be convinced the extermination of the Jews was ok?) the Brits, all of Western Europe raped, murdered, and stole their way through the Americas, and today corporations and governments economically pillage the world (I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the help the IMF and the World Bank has brought to the developing world). Why? Because its the very nature of mankind, it’s how it’s always been, and most likely always will be.

            2000 americans?? a drop in the bucket

          2. Jesus Christ: The planes had no windows! They weren’t even in the air!

            AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, gimme a break!

            As you keep re-iterating time and time and time and time again, your argument boils down to this:

            a) governments did bad things in the past (go on about ancient Rome)

            b) governments continue to do bad things today (go on about American foreign policy)

            Therefore… (drum roll please)

            c) the US govt masterminded the 9/11 attacks

            What? Eh? Hang on… erm? WHAT? You even sign off with “its the very nature of mankind” as if that’s going to convince me that it’s why no journalist IN THE WORLD fancies winning themselves the Pulitzer Prize by exposing the BIGGEST CONSPIRACY THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN!! Wooowowowowoooo!

            You might as well say:

            a) pirates did bad things in the past (go on about Blackbeard etc)

            b) pirates continue to do bad things today (go on about Somalia)

            Therefore… (drum roll please)

            c) pirates cause global warming!!!

            You’re so immersed in this fantastical world that makes Battlefield Earth seem logical and you just can’t see how utterly bonkers it all sounds.

            And you send me links (WordPress don’t likey too many linkys – maybe they’re in on it toooooooo!) to websites stacked full of (again) biased opinion, conjecture (it COULDN’T have happened that way… I don’t think!), hearsay (this guy, right, he’s an engineer and even HE SAID IT – explain THAT, Poindexter!) and a really annoying habit of ignoring any evidence that doesn’t fit the conspiracy theorist narrative.

            The ‘forty reasons’ link is hilarious! Thanks for that! Here’s an example of how utterly invalid the points are…

            6) Did cell phones work at 30,000 feet in 2001? Erm, yes, yes they did.

            38) “Al-CIA-da?”
            The longstanding relationship between US intelligence networks and radical Islamists, including the network surrounding Osama Bin Ladin.
            Oh look, they’re talking about the CIA assistance to the Muhajideen in the 1980s. Hey, Stalin was our ALLY in WWII, and then the Cold War happens… ha ha, look at the stoopid sheeple believing in the Cold War!! Tsk! It was all smoke and mirrors!

            In short, IT IS NOT EVIDENCE – none of it is. It would NEVER STAND UP IN A COURT OF LAW, it would NEVER BE PUBLISHED IN A PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC PAPER.

            The best you can hope for is the National Inquirer and a few paranoid, tinfoil-hat wearing fruit-loops on the internet who BY GOD I never want on my jury… unless I’m guilty of cause 😉

            Again you’ve failed to adequately explain a motive (they’re just EVIL! They don’t need a motive!), where all the money went, why there’s no paper trail, why they didn’t just “make” AT LEAST ONE of the hijackers Iraqi or how on earth the US govt keeps this under wraps when you and I both know that two people can only keep a secret when one of them is dead.

            Not ONE of the intercepted 9/11 pager messages published on Wikileaks said “Phase One Complete. Plan for invasion of landlocked resource-poor Central Asian basketcase on schedule!” Maybe the governmentals use that telepathy what they learnt from them Aliens in Roswell, eh?!!

            😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

            The arguments you use are exactly the same as climate change deniers and the young Earth creationists. I can sit a climate change denier down with a Nobel-prize winning scientist who can show them all the evidence in the world that climate change is real, man made, happening right now and something we should be damn worried about – and it STILL won’t change their mind. I can take a young-Earth creationist to the Natural History Museum and show them fossils from millions of years ago and they’ll STILL think the world is 6,000 years old.

            Like them, NOTHING I or ANYBODY can say or do will persuade you otherwise.

            However, you could persuade me: all I’m asking for… is evidence.

            Why can’t I persuade these people? Because that’s what you and they WANT to believe. Climate Change is scary. Evolution is demeaning. Better to just stick your fingers in your ears and go lalalalalalalalalalalalalala.

            9/11 truthers like yourself are exactly the same mindset. You WANT to live in a dystopian world in which rich Western governments oversee the wholesale slaughter of 3,000 civilians LIVE ON TELEVISION and get away with it. So long as you get to feel like you’ve got the magic powers, the vision, the intellectual vigour to know what’s really going on, and you can badger people online and in the pub with the old “everything you know is wrong!” fallacy. And WHY do you find the “9/11 was the govt” theory so appealing? Well, according to psychologists, because it’s what you would do.

            Yep, conspiracy theorists seem to score higher on Machiavellian mindset tests than people like me. But it’s not like I don’t have any Machiavellian thoughts (we all do), it’s that I’m humble enough to know there would be absolutely NO WAY I could get away with it. The sad thing is, conspiracy theorists are the ones who think they could get away with it, an arrogant inflation of their own (and by extention, others) abilities to pull off the most horrifying acts of violence and walk away scot-free.

            From your own comments on this site, you appear not to think much of humanity: you talk about human nature being essentially evil and you say (perhaps sarcastically, who knows?) that 2000 Americans “is a drop in the bucket”. (I’ll assume you mean ocean… it could be a small bucket).

            These are the opinions of a psychopath. And while you subconsciously project your murderous desires onto a terrorist attack like 9/11: the REALLY scary thing is you consciously believe that you could get away with it, therefore it follows (in your mind) that the government could.

            That’s worrisome. You should really get some help with that.

            —————————————————————————————————————-

            You started this discussion by asking me how I can ‘deny’ the 9/11 conspiracy nuts. Maybe I should explain.

            I don’t have a religious/spiritual/faith bone in my body. I really don’t. That’s not to say I am a nihilist, I most definitely am not. I just find it incredibly difficult (more like impossible) to believe anything I’m told unless it passes a quick and easy mental test:

            1) Does it sound plausible?

            2) Is there any solid, unbiased evidence to support the proposition?

            Needless to say, for me, the 9/11 truthers fall at the first hurdle. It sounds as plausible as Elvis working in a KFC on the moon. As for the second extremely reasonable question, the evidence is painfully flimsy, all based on bad science and conjecture… and almost comically biased.

            But I think everybody runs through that same mental test, and you know what? For some people it must sound plausible, for some people the evidence presented on hysterical websites is all the evidence they need: hell, it fits their bleak, paranoid world-view that we’re all cogs in a vast machine – a vast machine that wants to sell us Coca-Cola or something.

            But my brain will never be wired that way… I dunno… possibly because I’m not a psychopath?

            Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The 9/11 wingnuts don’t even have ordinary evidence, even after a decade of obsessing over every last element of that dreadful day in September. All they got is a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

            You’ve had your say and I’ve allowed you to post your utterly bonkers links which users of this site may click on if they wish. Unless you have something new to add to this conversation – (and I’m talking something that could win you a Pulitzer), I won’t be approving your next reply.

  3. For the most part you’re spot on, but how do you deny the 9/11 truthers? Buildings don’t pancake unless they are demolished with explosives, building 7 didn’t get hit but it dropped perfectly into it’s own footprint. There was NO plane in the pentagon or on the ground in the Virginia field. You do understand the first law of thermodynamics right? Planes don’t vanish on impact. America went to Afghanistan within a month, no trial, no discussion, nothing. Since when does anyone KNOW who committed a crime with no ACTUAL evidence. The invasion of Iraq was completely based on lies, and no one denies it. We have been fighting a boogie man for over 10 years now, for what?? Do you really believe this al-queda (which is a known CIA asset, as well as bin Laden) outfit is so powerful that EVERY rich and powerful nation on earth can’t stop them in a DECADE! It only took four years to stop Hitler! We find bin laden, the very REASON we have blown trillions of dollars and ended hundreds of thousands of lives, and we KILL him without questioning him!!? Then show NO proof and within a day throw him into the FUCKING ocean!! What kind of protocol is that!? I think you are a very smart and experienced person, so how could you possibly believe any of this? You admit that the powers that be lie all the time in your blogs, so why would you believe any of this crap when it’s so blatantly obvious?

    1. I “deny” the 9/11 truthers for the same reason I “deny” mother goose: because it’s absolute hogwash!!

      The world is run by inept, ignorant and barely-qualified politicians… NOT moustache-twiddling James Bond-villain-esque criminal masterminds. Then again, I don’t know which proposition is scarier…!

      1. So you think a ballsy gang of ubermuslims are the real supervillians? outwitting the world, always a step ahead of the intelligence agencies, able to run a commercial airliner into the pentagon (the most heavily fortified building on earth with the capability of shooting rockets out of the sky) and make it vanish upon impact. These James Bomb esque baddies are so well organized they don’t even need banks or money (the CIA is capable of freezing anyone on earth’s assets, something they have done to many a dictator and despot) , they must communicate telepathically as well (considering the coalition of the willing basically has a monopoly on transmitted communication and has been intercepting com since pre WW2) and i guess they have a clone army of super soldiers considering they have withstood the 200,000+ man strong force of America Inc and her lapdogs and mercenaries (the most expensive, powerful, and technologically advanced fighting force in the history of mankind) for over 10 years.

        that makes more sense to you than some VERY powerful men who control the oil industry, the banks, the military industrial complex, and world business wanting to grab more power?

        1. 1) Since I don’t live in the Marvel comic universe, I don’t believe in supervillians. The very concept is as laughable as Dr. Evil’s sharks “with frikkin laser beams on their heads!”.
          2) ‘Always’ one step ahead? Once was enough my friend, once. 9/11 was a pretty low-fi operation.
          3) The Pentagon can shoot rockets out of the sky? Really?! I thought they retried the Star Wars project. But still, rockets and planes are two rather different things (rockets, being packed with explosives, tend to blow up when you hit them, planes don’t).
          4) Magic! The plane vanished did it? Where you there? Did you sift through the debris? Are you an air-crash investigator? And where, pray tell, are the people who were on board? Would you mind explaining to me (or even better – their families) where they are? I’m sure they’d like to know…!
          5) The CIA can freeze anybody’s assets can they? That’s news to the bankers in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Nigeria. I better tell them.
          6) If the Americans have the monopoly on communication, why on Earth did they invent the internet? Shot themselves in the foot there, methinks. You better watch what you say on this site, ‘they’ might come and get ya! Like ‘they’ came for the makers of ‘Loose Change’. Oh, hang on… no, no ‘they’ didn’t. Silly ‘they’. Missed a trick there, like not being able to assassinate Castro… when he was in a coma(!).
          7) Not sure what you’re getting at with the ‘clone army’ malarkey, but if you’re talking about Al Qaeda, well, they’re not exactly Darth Sidious are they? Last time they tried to blow up something in the UK, they ended up getting their car bomb towed and setting themselves on fire. As for the Afghans, they’ve been kicking the arse of empires since 1841. They even chopped off Sean Connery’s head, which is more than Blofeld ever did.
          8 ) Yes, there ARE some very powerful men out there. The remarkable thing is that they are ALL utterly rubbish at keeping all the horrible things they do a secret… but they are incredibly good at getting away with it. Why? Well, I don’t know, Joe… maybe it’s because people are too busy wasting their time pursuing mad conspiracies that make no sense. We have NO EVIDENCE that 9/11 was an inside job other than hearsay and conjecture… don’t forget: we’d only need ONE piece of concrete evidence to bring a court case against Bush and his cronies, one whistleblower, one disgruntled employee, one payslip, one receipt, one unambiguous photo, one little piece of CCTV footage…

          One little thing to bring down the entire Republican party, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin… and oh what a joy that would be. Sadly, that one little thing doesn’t exist. There’s nothing, even after 10 years. Not a dicky bird. This is the same government that couldn’t even get away with stealing a few bits of paper from the Watergate hotel. And while people’s attention is focussed on this garbage, the REAL conspirators get away with in BROAD DAYLIGHT!!

          Honestly: you can look their activities up on Wikipedia and everything!

          Some homework for ya:

          1) Union Carbide. Bhopal. Investigate.
          2) Find out where the $60,000,000,000+ worth of Iraqi ‘rebuilding’ contracts went. The Iraqis would love to know.
          3) Coca-Cola. Colombia. Murders. Nasty. Get them to pay compensation to the widows.
          4) Find out why on Earth some ex-Nazi rocket engineers were paid by tobacco companies in the 70s to manufacture doubt in the popular imagination that smoking leads to lung cancer (Hint: they did such a good job, their arguments are STILL being used to cast doubt on the otherwise irrefutable science of climate change).
          5) BHP Biliton, War in Zaire (DR Congo), copper prices. TELL PEOPLE!
          6) Find out Who Killed The Electric Car. Hate them forever.
          7) What links Agent Orange with the American farming industry?
          8 ) So when did Donald Rumsfeld exactly leave the board of Halliburton, it being a blatant conflict of interest, of course…
          9) Which American politician (and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, bizarrely enough) flew out of Jakarta mere days before Indonesia invaded East Timor?
          10) Talking of East Timor, what was it that Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer said when people were being massacred on the streets and Jose Ramos-Horta pleaded for help?
          11) Find out how ONE MAN reduced the value of the British pound by 25% IN A DAY.
          12) Give me a rough estimate of how much money the Nigerian government has stolen (by its own admission) from its own people since 1967.
          13) Find out who gave Ethiopia the bombers to destroy Massawa in Eritrea… and why.
          14) Tell me some of the high-jinks the Portuguese got up to before leaving Mozambique.
          15) Exactly how much of Italy’s media is owned by its Prime Minister?

          That’ll do for a start. I have more.

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