Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Against Trump's Absurd Moral Equivalence Thesis

Christian theologian Randal Rauser has written an excellent essay, which I will just reprint here:

Today Donald Trump presented a moral equivalence thesis according to which protesters against racism are as culpable for violence that resulted in Charlottesville as the neo-Nazis, the Klan, and white nationalists whose views they were protesting.
Unfortunately, some Christians have also courted this notion of moral equivalence. Consider, for example, this tweet from Michael Brown:

"I denounce violence and hate whether it comes from neo-Nazis or Antifa. Do you?

Of course we “denounce violence and hate,” whatever the source. The problem is that the tacit message of this tweet in context — the implicature — is that there is some sort of moral equivalence between the two groups represented in Charlottesville.
There isn’t.
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that both sides were equally violent. (That, of course, is a false assumption. For one thing, only one side included a bona fide terrorist act culminating in one murder and an additional nineteen casualties.)
Even if the hatred and violence that unfolded were equal, it wouldn’t follow that there was a moral equivalence for one simple reason: on the first side, the hatred and violence were borne of racism; on the second side, the hatred and violence were borne of a reaction, moral censure, to the despicable racist views of the first side.
Let’s put it in simple terms. Imagine that you’re a school teacher on the playground at lunch when you see two boys — Jimmy and Johnny — fighting. After you break them up you ask why they were fighting. Jimmy, a Jewish child, tells you that Johnny called him a “dirty Jew.” And from that point, the fight was on.
Perhaps Jimmy shouldn’t have responded to that slur by fighting with Johnny, but who can seriously suggest there exists a moral equivalence between the two?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

List of peer-reviewed papers challenging official explanations of collapses of WTC buildings on 9/11

I've obtained the following list from https://911inacademia.com/journal-papers/

August 2008 | Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials
Journal: The Environmentalist (2009) 29: 56-63
Authors: Kevin Ryan et al
Link: http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/
Download Paper (PDF): The Environmentalist – Environmental Anomalies at the WTC Evidence for Energetic Materials

April 2008 | Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction
Journal: The Open Journal of Civil Engineering (Bentham Open)
Authors: Dr. Steven Jones (S&J Scientific Co.) et al
Link: http://www.allanstime.com/NIST_Whistleblower_on_911_Cover-Up/14pointspaper.pdf
August 2008 | Comments on WTC 7 Report 
Host of publication: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Authors: Dr. David Proe and Dr. Ian Thomas (Victoria University, Australia)
Link: PDF
Note: This is not a peer-reviewed paper. It is an analysis that was submitted to the NIST during the public comments period by two of Australia’s top researchers in fire engineering. Their analysis refutes NIST’s WTC 7 Report. NIST has yet not responded to their questions.
April 2009 | Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
Journal: The Open Journal of Chemical Physics
Authors: Dr. Niels H. Harrit (University of Copenhagen) et al
Link: https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOCPJ/TOCPJ-2-7.pdf
April 2011 | Collapse Time Analysis of Multi-Story Structural Steel Buildings
Journal: The Open Civil Engineering Journal (Bentham Open) (Vol.5, 2011, pp. 25-35)
Authors: Dr. Robert Korol (McMaster University) et al
Link: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOCIEJ-5-25

February 2012 | Temporal Considerations in Collapse of WTC Towers
Journal: Int. J. Structural Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp.189-207
Author: Dr. Gregory Szuladzinski  (PhD, Structural Mechanics; FEIA & Member of ASCE)
Link: http://www.inderscience.com/offer.php?id=47711

November 2012 | Energy Absorption Potential of Light Weight Concrete FloorsJournal: Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Vol. 39, pp: 1193-1201)
Authors: Dr. Robert Korol and Dr. K. S. Sivakumaran (McMaster University)
Link: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/l2012-107?journalCode=cjce#.ULJfcmfK3GE

June 2013 | Some Misunderstanding Related to WTC Collapse AnalysisJournal: International Journal of Protective Structures (Vol. 4, No. 2 / June 2013)
Authors: Dr. Gregory Szuladzinski  (PhD, Structural Mechanics), Tony Szamboti (ME), and Richard Johns.
Link: http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/bl60385h25254748/Download Preview (PDF): Preview – Some Misunderstandings of WTC Collapse Analysis


February 2014 | Reassessing the Plastic Hinge Model for Energy Dissipation of Axially Loaded 
ColumnsJournal: Journal of Structures, Vol. 2014, Article ID 795257, 7 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/795257.
Authors: Dr. Robert Korol and Dr. K. S. Sivakumaran (McMaster University)
Link:  https://www.hindawi.com/archive/2014/795257/abs/



July 2015 I Performance-based fire Protection of Office Buildings: A Case Study Based on the Collapse of WTC 7
Journal:  Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics, (Vol. 1, No. 3, 2015)
Authors:  Dr. Robert Korol,  Frank Greening, and Paul Heerema
Link:    http://www.challengejournal.com/index.php/cjsmec/article/view/36/19


February 2016 | The Collapse of WTC 7: A Re-examination of the “Simple Analysis” Approach
Journal: Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics (Vol 2, No 1, 2016)
Authors: Dr. Robert Korol , Paul Heerema, and K. S. Sivakumaran (McMaster University)
Link: http://www.challengejournal.com/index.php/cjsmec/article/view/50
Download full paper – PDF



















Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Mueller-Manafort Connection

Before we jump up and down for joy at the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating possible Russian/Trump campaign ties: 

"Another potential legal complication could arise from the law firm where Mueller worked until his appointment as special counsel. That firm, WilmerHale, has represented Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been under investigation relating to his work and payments for advising Ukrainian government officials." (Washington Post)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The firing of James Comey is just the beginning.

When Nixon carried out what came to be called the Saturday Night Massacre, both chambers of Congress had Democratic majorities. Thus, Nixon's political demise was pretty much guaranteed.  Today, both chambers are controlled by Republicans.  So unless Republicans in the Senate and/or House agree to an independent investigation of Trump and his ties to Russia, this is only the beginning.  Eventually, we will all get Trump'd.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Puffer Fish's Sand Circles: A Truly Remarkable Story

I found this video of the puffer fish's design of sand circles to be truly remarkable.  


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Muslims raise funds to restore vandalized Jewish cemeteries.

Thanks to Trump, Muslim and Jewish communities in America have drawn closer together. For example, Muslims crowdfunding to restore vandalized Jewish cemeteries.