New York City activist

July 16, 2009

The force exerted by the falling part?

In the Truth Action forum, “Truthmover” posted Looking beyond the hype – Bilderberg docs on Wikileaks. Truthmover’s take on these documents is entirely sane — no “New World Order” scaremongering, just a reasonable interest in knowing what the rich and powerful are up to.

But then “dicktater” chimed in with quotes from David Icke and links to sites such as “Conspiracy Central.” Several of us objected.

Eventually “dicktater” responded with a totally off-topic post about WTC demolition claims, apparently in an effort to claim that I am more of a “kook” than David Icke because I’m not inclined to believe in the WTC demolition hypotheses. I’ve decided to respond here, rather than in the Truth Action forum itself, (1) to avoid further derailing the thread, and (2) because I’m not sure whether YT would welcome debate about WTC demolition theories in the Truth Action forum.

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July 14, 2009

Preliminary reply to “nanothermite”

In reply to my post Back from a long hiatus, “nanothermite” wrote:

Now, Diane, I thought you claimed in the past to be scientific or that using a scientific approach was the way forward. How can you claim to be a 9/11 truth activist for a few years and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the scientific evidence of controlled demolition

I’ve pointed out for a long time that a lot of the more popular presentations of this evidence, including Richard Gage’s, are either mistaken or incomplete on various points. See, for example, my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please, written back in November 2007.

At the time I wrote that post, I nevertheless believed that a few of the popular arguments for WTC demolition were very strong, including: (1) the almost straight-down nature of the collapse of WTC 7, and (2) the iron-rich spherules as evidence of thermite.

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May 8, 2008

To psikeyhackr: Belated replies to comments of yours

To psikeyhackr:

I just now replied, belatedly, to the following comments of yours:

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April 13, 2008

My current views on 9/11 – brief summary

Since July of last year, I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying various arguments and counterarguments about what happened on 9/11. Below is a brief summary of my current thoughts.
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March 12, 2008

Time to get serious about proving “assisted collapse” of WTC buildings

Needed: More scientists and engineers. And more teamwork. And better peer review.

I just now heard about the following, on 911blogger: A Proposal for Proving Controlled Demolition in a Civil Negligence Suit Against the Security Groups Responsible for the WTC.

In my opinion, this is WAY premature. We are NOT yet anywhere near ready to prove any such thing in a court of law, not even in a civil case.
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March 8, 2008

Reply to Tom a.k.a. “Representative Press”

In a comment below my post General gripe thread – about the 9/11 Truth movement, “representativepress” (identified as Tom on his blog) wrote:

My gripe is how the facts which disprove their case don’t get a fair hearing. I have been banned from forums just for stating basic facts.

I would suggest reading a forum’s rules before you post there. You evidently did not read my comment policy, for example, because you posted video links here.
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March 6, 2008

No-planes theories (transplanted comment thread)

Below is a copy of a bunch of comments originally posted in reply to my post Pentagon no-757 theories: debunkings from within the 9/11 Truth movement. I’m deleting them there and moving them here because the comments are about WTC no-planes theories.

Please note: Here on this blog, comments on the topic of no-planes theories should be posted only in response to this and other posts in the no-planes theories category, and not underneath any other posts.
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Hiding the planting of incendiaries, explosives, or whatever? Response to a common a priori objection

Below is a copy of a long bunch of comments I’ve deleted from the thread below my post He oughta know better: Mark Roberts and the iron spherules.

The copied comments below deal mainly with the question of how thermite, etc., could have been planted in World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 without being noticed by many witnesses.
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February 24, 2008

Richard Gage’s avowed enemy, part 1

In reply to my post Review of Hardfire debates between Mark Roberts and Loose Change crew, some comments were posted by “boloboffin,” who turns out to be Joseph Nobles, author of a website called AE911Truth.INFO, devoted to a crusade against Richard Gages’s organization Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth.org).
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February 23, 2008

Common a priori objections by “debunkers,” including arguments from authority and the “someone would have talked” and “too many people” arguments

Every now and then I get a wave of “debunkers” visiting this blog. They’re welcome to post here; I’ve learned a lot from them. But, in the future, I would like to try to avoid certain repetitious arguments, or at least confine those particular arguments to relevant threads such as this one.

There are some a priori arguments they almost always bring up in an effort to prove that there could not have been any government complicity in the attacks of 9/11. In recent debates here, those arguments got jumbled together with other, meatier issues in comment threads.

To avoid such jumbling in the future, I’ve decided to devote this post to the more common a priori arguments. I’ll then add a rule to my comment policy requiring that, in the future, these and similar a priori arguments be discussed only in comments below this post (or other posts on these same topics), rather than jumbled together with other, more substantive discussions.

In this post I’ll also provide a brief review of my debates with “debunkers” in general, for the benefit of “debunkers” visiting this blog for the first time. Some of the discussions we’ve had here have been very worthwhile.
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February 22, 2008

Questions for “debunkers” about Steven Jones’s research

Steven Jones gave me permission to quote some questions which he posted in a private forum. I would be interested to see comments by “debunkers.” I would also appreciate it very much if anyone could post links to relevant pages by “debunkers.”
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February 17, 2008

Steven Jones’s research, and critiques thereof

I have not been keeping up with all the latest details of Steven Jones’s research and all the critiques thereof, so I’m not going to say a lot about it right now. The main purpose of this post is simply to set up a page where those who want to talk to me about his research, for whatever reason, can post comments about it, rather than mixing this topic with miscellaneous other discussions.
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February 15, 2008

WTC 7 fire weirdness, taking FEMA and NIST at their word

Many people in the 9/11 Truth movement have questioned the WTC 7 fire observations in the FEMA report and the NIST Interim Report on WTC 7, wondering if there were really so many different fires on so many different floors, most of them visible only on the south side, with no photos having been taken of most of these fires. Ditto for many of the debris damage observations.

In this post, I am going to take the opposite approach, for the most part. If we take FEMA and NIST at their word regarding the fire locations, what does that imply, or at least suggest?
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February 9, 2008

Review of Hardfire debates between Mark Roberts and Loose Change crew

Two weeks ago, I met Ron Wieck in a diner, where he lent me a DVD containing two episodes of his “Hardfire” show, containing two parts of a debate between Mark Roberts and two members of the Loose Change crew, Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas. Today, I have finally finished watching and reviewing the two shows.
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January 3, 2008

He oughta know better: Mark Roberts and the iron spherules

On Mark Roberts’s site, a page titled They oughta know better: critiques of the inept work, absurd claims, and deceitful practices of Richard Gage, David Ray Griffin, Jim Hoffman, Steven E. Jones, Gordon Ross, Kevin Ryan, and others includes the following claim by Mark Roberts:

The “mysterious” iron spheres in WTC dust that are cited by Jones as possible evidence of thermite or thermate use, are in fact expected to form in a hot office fire.

In support of this claim, Roberts cites the very interesting paper WTC Dust Signature Report: Composition and Morphology: Summary Report, Prepared for: Deutsche Bank (PDF), prepared by the RJ Lee Group, available on an archived version of the website of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. But, as we shall see, this report does not actually support Roberts’s claim at all.

(P.S.: After I notified Roberts about this post, he changed the wording on his website. Below, I’ll leave my reply to the original wording intact, and then I’ll reply to the revised version in a P.S.)
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December 17, 2007

“The Adventures of Max Photon” – a review

These past couple of days, I’ve been looking at a very unusual website called The Adventures of Max Photon, by one Paul Bouvet a.k.a. Max Photon. Given the author’s bizarre sense of humor, it’s sometimes a bit hard to tell what his actual views are, vs. what is intended as just satire. The site seems to be satirizing both the NIST report and some tendencies within the 9/11 Truth movement. Max Photon has also spent quite a bit of time in the JREF forum. (Here’s a collection of links to his JREF posts and a collection of JREFers’ flames against Max Photon.)

His main idea seems to be that thermite may have been used, not to cut steel, but just to weaken it, thereby making it easier for an otherwise “natural” collapse to occur. It so happens that I’ve been thinking along these same lines recently too. (See my post Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley.)
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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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December 7, 2007

Engineers were surprised by the WTC collapses

Unfortunately I can’t locate the source for this right now, but I recently came across a claim, by some official-story defender, to the effect that “as soon as the planes hit the Twin Towers, every engineer in the world expected them to collapse.” Whoever made that claim, it is definitely false. Even the better-informed “debunkers” would not agree with it.

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December 4, 2007

Fire temperatures and steel temperatures

In a comment on my post Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley, anonanonanon posted a link to Cardington Fire Test: The Behaviour of a Multi-storey Steel Framed Building Subjected to Fire Attack on a website called Structural Fire Engineering: One Stop Shop by Professor Colin Bailey, University of Manchester.

When I said I’d respond later today, anonanonanon replied, “Please wait until I’ve got my discussion of the fire protection up, because it may answer some of your questions.”

anonanonanon, please post said discussion (or a link to it, if it’s on another website) here, below this post.
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December 1, 2007

Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley

Pat Curley wants to talk to me about the Twin Towers now. So, I guess I’ll take a break from my promised discussion about WTC 7 to talk about the Twin Towers for a little bit, at least in this one post.

Replying to this earlier comment of mine in the thread following my post Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb, patslc (Pat Curley) wrote:

Exterior. Columns. You know those huge things around the outside of the buildings, quite visible to the world, not hidden in some crawlspace.

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November 22, 2007

The 9/11 Truth movement and me: Further reply to Pat Curley

On the Screw Loose Change blog, in the comments on Pat Curley’s recent post about me (to which I replied here), the first three comments were as follows:

They are blatently going to crucify her.
Jon | 11.21.07 – 1:43 pm |

If Diane continues on this path, she will join Mikey Metz in the land of Ex-truthers.
Anonymous | 11.21.07 – 1:59 pm |

Actually I foresee both those things happening, and in that order.
Pat Curley | Homepage | 11.21.07 – 2:13 pm |

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November 20, 2007

Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please

On the Truth Action board, we’ve been having an interesting discussion about the evidence for controlled demolition of the WTC buildings, starting on this page.

There is disagreement about how sure we should be about the idea that WTC 1, 2, and 7 were demolished with explosives and/or thermite. Some, including YT, are 100% sure, while others, such as John Doraemi and Nicholas, believe that it’s likely but not 100% proven. I’m in the latter camp, though not to quite the same extent as John and Nicholas. On the next page of the above Truth Action thread, I voiced some of my own opinions about the need for caution in how we present the case for controlled demolition of the WTC buildings. Below, I’ll voice more of my thoughts on this matter.

In my opinion, we shouldn’t be claiming that the WTC buildings definitely were demolished with explosives and/or thermite. Instead, our claim should be that there’s enough evidence for demolition to warrant a serious and truly independent investigation with subpoena power.

Furthermore, we need to be careful about how we argue for the likelihood of demolition. We need to make sure our arguments are sound; otherwise we risk discrediting ourselves.

To me it seems that a lot of people in the 9/11 Truth movement have overstated the case for demolition and have used some faulty arguments (as well as some good arguments) for the likelihood of demolition. Below is my assessment of various arguments that I’ve seen used:
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October 21, 2007

Reply to “Nerd World Order” about the page “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded”

In response to my Reply to some folks at Screw Loose Change, “Nerd World Order” wrote:

Read this:
http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/911truth2.html

It demolishes the twoof movement better than I could ever hope to. If you’re serious enough to actually answer the questions, please take a look at this.

I’ve looked at it. It contains many of the same kinds of arguments I myself would have made against the 9/11 Truth movement before this past summer, when I finally got curious enough to start examining the issues in-depth. I am, by the way, a person who has spent a lot of time debunking certain “conspiracy theories” which I still reject, such as the “Satanic ritual abuse” scare. So, when I was reluctantly convinced that there really was something to this WTC demolition stuff after all, I kept the typical pitfalls of “conspiratorialist” thinking very much in mind, and I think I’ve managed to avoid those pitfalls.

Anyhow, below is my detailed response to the above page, which is titled “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded.”
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September 25, 2007

NIST Review

I just now came across nistreview.org, “A review of the NIST WTC investigation.” This site contains papers mostly by supporters of the official story, but also Steven Jones’s paper, plus a bunch of interesting primary source material that had been obtained via FOIA requests, including the original plans for the WTC towers, report of WTC fire code compliance, and interviews with fire fighters and EMS workers.

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