New York City activist

December 8, 2007

On our need for more scientists: Reply to Petros Evdokas

In response to a discussion in the Truth Action forum about my November 20 blog post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please, a page titled Demolition is an Understatement has now appeared on one of the websites of a group called 9/11 Truth Portland.

9/11 Truth Portland also has another website whose main page begins with the heading “9/11 Truth Portland: Using 9/11 Truth to Open the Whole Can of Worms.”

The article Demolition is an Understatement is by Petros Evdokas.
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November 10, 2007

Truth Action forum discussion about “bankers,” anti-Illuminism, and the religious right wing

On the Truth Action message board, there are now the beginnings of some discussion about the promulgation of right-wing-style anti-“banking system” hysteria and anti-Illuminism within the 9/11 Truth movement.
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October 27, 2007

Agent-baiting, guilt by association, and religious bigotry

When people in the 9/11 Truth movement accuse each other of being government agents, an all too common type of “evidence” is guilt by association. A has some connection to B, who in turn has some connection to C, who in turn has some connection to the CIA or some other spy agency, or perhaps a connection to an elite fraternity such as the Skull and Bones. Therefore, A must be an agent, or at least we should all worry that A might be an agent.

Similar “connections” to the Communist Party were a staple of the McCarthy-era witchhunts back in the 1950’s.

The problem with this kind of “reasoning” is that there are also huge numbers of innocent non-agents who, knowingly or unknowingly, are likely to have indirect connections either to spy agencies or to elite fraternities.
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October 23, 2007

9/11 Truth movement conservatives, please stand up now

On the truthaction.org message board there is a thread titled Bill Oreilly Call Maher Infiltrators “Far Left”, about the folks who recently disrupted Bill Maher’s show.

I keep saying that The 9/11 Truth movement needs a more visible, better organized left wing! I still think so.

But right now, on the other hand, would also be a good time for the conservatives in the 9/11 Truth movement to take a public stand as conservatives instead of pretending to be “beyond political labels,” as all too many of them do. (See Are you a paleoconservative? Find out!) By taking a public stand as conservatives, they could help make it clearer, to the general public, that the 9/11 Truth movement includes people of many different political persuasions. If a well-dressed group with a name like “Conservatives for 9/11 Truth” or “Republicans for 9/11 Truth” were to picket Bill O’Reilly’s studio, that could get a lot of people thinking.

If the left-wingers, the right-wingers, and the centrists among us were all more visible to the general public as such, this would make it harder for other people to smear us either as just a bunch of left-wing nuts or as just a bunch of right-wing nuts.

October 14, 2007

Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism”

Chip Berlet is a leftist writer who opposes the 9/11 Truth movement. In my opinion, he raises valid objections to what he calls “conspiracism” (which he distinguishes from the kinds of conspiracies that are actually likely to exist). But he wrongly classifies, as full-blown “conspiracism,” the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. Thus he echoes what seems to be a key propaganda ploy on the part of those covering up major crimes by high-level people within the U.S. government, namely lumping the evidence for such crimes together with some truly wacky (and truly dangerous) ideas to create the stereotype of the nutty “conspiracy theorist.” Berlet also, apparently, either ignores or has not yet looked at some of the better evidence for government complicity in the attacks of 9/11. On the other hand, I also think that what Berlet calls “conspiracism” is a genuine and dangerous trap which too many people in both the 9/11 Truth movement and the anti-war movement have fallen into, and it would be wise to pay attention to critiques of same.
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September 30, 2007

Are you a paleoconservative? Find out!

Are you a paleoconservative? You might be a paleoconservative without knowing it. Many paleoconservatives, especially within the 9/11 Truth movement apparently, are unaware that their political stance has a name.

Some paleoconservatives think of themselves as “neither left nor right,” because they agree with the left about some things, such as the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s attacks on constitutional rights, while they agree with the right about other things, such as income tax.

Some youthful paleoconservatives like to believe not only that they themselves are “neither left nor right,” but also that “left” and “right” are nothing but artificial constructs set up by the powers-that-be as some sort of deliberate top-down scheme to divide people and distract people from the alleged “real issues,” whereas these young folks fancy that they themselves have broken out of the “Matrix” and found the Real Truth. Of course, young folks are always omniscient…. As far as I can tell, most of these kids have delved into the history (or, at least, the alleged history) of secret societies but not the history of political movements or the history of political thought. But I digress.

The term “paleoconservative” was coined and adopted by conservatives who opposed the neoconservatives. Far from being “neither left nor right,” paleoconservatives can arguably claim to be more genuinely conservative than neocons like Bush and Cheney.

So, what is paleoconservativism, exactly?
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September 29, 2007

The 9/11 Truth movement needs a more visible, better organized left wing!

If indeed a cabal within the U.S. government orchestrated or was at least somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks, this shouldn’t be just a left wing issue or a right wing issue. It should be a matter of concern to all Americans, regardless of our political views on other matters. A healthy 9/11 Truth movement should include people and groups with a wide range of opinions about this country’s problems in general and how they might be solved, and who disagree on many different issues, yet who are able and willing to work together on the few goals we can all agree on: (1) finding the real perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and bringing them to justice, and (2) opposing the things that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for, namely the wars, torture, imperialism, the attacks on civil liberties, and the attacks on the constitutional separation of powers. And indeed the 9/11 Truth movement does include people of many different political persuasions, including quite a few left wingers.

But the 9/11 Truth movement today is dominated by several flavors of paleoconservative ideology. For example, I’ve seen a lot more support for Ron Paul than for Dennis Kucinich. There’s also a lot of focus on the Federal Reserve System an important concern in its own right, but probably of only marginal relevance to 9/11, unless you happen to believe in an ideology which blames all or most of the world’s ills on a conspiracy of the big bankers. (I’ll be writing more about this later. For now, see my blog entry on Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System.) There’s also a lot of talk about that bugaboo of the religious right wing, the “New World Order.” Also the 9/11 Truth movement has attracted more than its share of global warming deniers (e.g. Alex Jones), Holocaust deniers, and outright Jew-haters (e.g. Eric Hufschmid, Christopher Bollyn, and American Free Press). As far as I can tell, only a small minority of people in the 9/11 Truth movement agree with the Jew-haters, but they are a highly visible minority, some of whose writings and videos are referenced in the better-known videos such as Loose Change and even 9/11 Mysteries.
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