Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Video on Lack of 9/11 Air Defense

Interesting video:

On lack of Air Defense on 9/11:

"Here is a short video by the German freelance journalist and author Paul Schreyer, based on his new book Inside 9/11, which "contains a short summary of the publicly available--but still widely unnoticed--evidence for a supposed attempt to obstruct the air defense on September 11th, 2001." The video focuses in particular on the actions of Colonel Robert Marr, the battle commander at NEADS on September 11, 2001."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Prevent Paranoia

Given my last post where I asserted that I believe that the world is full of people who are "capable of being quite cruel and inflicting pain on others with no apparent remorse," and who have succeeded in "making it to the top," and that there are others, equally cruel and callous, who are willing to do their will, for the proper price," one might assume that I must believe there are evil conspiracists lurking behind every tree and bush, plotting my downfall. Shouldn't I be consumed by overwhelming anxiety that I will fall victim to some devilish scheme at any moment? Shouldn't I, in fact, be very paranoid?

No. I believe the two bullies of my youth weren't out looking for me in particular. It was just their lucky day to find a lone, little boy with no one watching out for him. I was never accosted by them again. Conspiracies are not always easy things to pull off. Things must go just right. The more difficult the plan, the greater the likelihood that something will go wrong and be discovered. Therefore, the less likely it will be for people to try pull off something very significant, unless the payoff is great.

So in evaluating the likelihood that a conspiracy has occurred, one should always ask, was it really worth it to the supposed conspirators to try to do this? In my case, it might be worth it to someone to attack me in various ways. But am I worth it to them? I'm a rather insignificant person, whose opinions matter to nobody. I might become a victim of a conspiracy sometime. But it will be a very inexpensive one.

Meanwhile, the conspiracy of 9/11 (and even the official story admits that there were conspirators), may have been of great value to many people. How many hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on the two resulting wars? Who benefited from that? Who benefited politically? How much would one be willing to spend to achieve those benefits? How much risk would one be willing to take?

Asking questions like these keeps me from constantly suspecting the worse. But it also allows me to rationally consider whether a conspiracy is worth investigating.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Psychology of a Conspiracy Theorist

I was 6 or 7 years old. The walk home from school was, as I recall, a rather long one, probably close to a mile. It was winter, cold and snowy. The two boys were big, probably in 6th grade. They were not kind. They took off my hat and stuffed it full of snow. They stuffed snow down my coat and shirt. They took off my gloves and stuffed snow in them. Then they laughed and walked away and left me to continue my long walk home in the cold.

So at a very early age I learned that at least some people are capable of being quite cruel and inflicting pain on others with no apparent remorse. I have no trouble believing that the world is full of such people and that many of them have succeeded in "making it to the top." And that there are others, equally cruel and callous, who are willing to do their will, for the proper price.

So when I hear people dismiss conspiracy theorists for all sorts of psychological reasons -- one commenter even said it was due to our "fear and tribalism" -- it falls off me like water off a duck's back.

The psychology of this conspiracy theorist is quite easy to understand: reality.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Free-Will, Possible Worlds and God

It makes sense to me that God could create a universe that has actual randomness in it and people who have actual free will, even though God knows every event that will happen in the universe before it happens. It isn't God's knowing that something will happen that causes it to happen. It's the thing's happening that causes God to know that it happens. It isn't God's knowing that I will choose to do x tomorrow that causes me to do it. It is my choosing to x tomorrow that causes God to know that I will choose it.

I realize that there are problems with this view. I keep promising myself that someday I'll study and resolve them.

Meanwhile, there is a related problem. Possible worlds. Suppose that there are possible or potential worlds. We're not saying that possible worlds actually exist. Maybe they do or maybe they don't. But we are saying that they at least have the potential to exist. Now imagine the following:

In possible world 1 I choose to do x.
In possible world 2 I choose not to do x.

Is it possible for me to choose not to do x in world 1?
Is it possible for me to choose to do x in world 2?

Let's suppose that the answer to both questions is yes. Then even though I choose to do x in world 1, I could have chosen not to do x in world 1. And even though I choose not to do x in world 2, I could have chosen to do x in world 2. If we define free will as having the ability to do other than I actually choose to do, then I seem to have free will in both possible worlds.

If so, then we seem to have a problem with what is known as the "free will defense against evil." This is the argument or theodicy that God must allow the possibility of evil, if He wants us to have free will. But let's look at possible world 1 and world 2. Let's suppose x is a morally evil action. Couldn't God choose to create world 2, where I do not do x? And wouldn't I still have free will? If so, then it seems possible for God to create a possible world where I have free will and a morally evil action does not occur. And it seems that God could ensure that I wouldn't do x by creating world 2, instead of world 1. Likewise, it would seem that God could create a possible world where we all have free will and no evil actions occur. And it seems that God could ensure that no one would choose to commit evil actions by creating this possible world.

I suspect there is a problem with this view, and that it is not possible for God to ensure that a possible world where we all have free will, will also be a world where we do not choose to commit evil actions.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shadow to Light

For those of you who don't know it, there is a theological and philosophical side to Mike Gene:

Shadow to Light.

I hadn't visited there recently and didn't realize that he's been doing more thinking in this light.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Aidan Monaghan's paper.

I noticed that Aidan Monaghan's paper, "Plausibility of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated by GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems," which I referred to in the previous post, isn't being displayed when I click on the link. I'll let you know if things change.

I was able to display the paper, today. A fascinating read. The abstract:

"The alleged flight performances of inexperienced terrorist pilots accused of proficiently operating complex flight control systems of four aircraft during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has surprised observers. Moreover, official information presented to demonstrate terrorist pilot control of the said aircraft has been either unverifiable or demonstrated to contain noteworthy anomalies. The flight paths of the September 11, 2001 attack aircraft bear characteristics common to the capabilities provided by precision automated flight control systems and related commercial aviation technology that emerged just prior to these attacks. The clandestine use of precise augmented GPS guided auto-pilot aircraft systems in order to perform the said aircraft attacks is hypothesized.

Monday, June 20, 2011

But why would the Pentagon attack the Pentagon?

I said that I suspected our military of perpetrating an Operation Northwoods type of false flag attack upon the American people for their own nefarious reasons. Perhaps the strongest argument against my suspicions is the fact that the Pentagon itself was one of the targets. Why would our military choose to strike their own headquarters, risking their own critical infrastructure and the lives of thousands of people vital to the military's operation? It sounds too implausible to be taken seriously. However, when we take a closer look at the facts, it turns out that they fit in rather well with the Operation Northwoods hypothesis.

The first relevant fact is where the Pentagon was hit. As Jim Hoffman informs us, the plane hit the one part of the Pentagon where renovation was just being completed to reinforce the building against a terrorist attack. As a consequence, instead of thousands of people being killed, there were only 123 fatalities.

The second relevant fact is that Hani Hanjour, the hijacker who flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon was unqualified to make such a technically complex flight maneuver.

The third relevant fact is that the technology existed that made it possible to hijack the hijackers. Aidan Monaghan, in his paper, "Plausibility of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated by GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems", explains how this could have been done.

So it is possible that our military "hijacked" Flight 77 and flew it into the only part of the Pentagon that was relatively empty and just lately reinforced to withstand such an attack.

So why would the Pentagon attack the Pentagon? Because our military knew that it was safe and that it would deflect suspicion away from our military.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Operation Northwoods

If I don't think Israel or the Mossad was behind the events of 9/11, then who do I think was?

First, I think it very probable that Al Qaeda planned and carried out the hijackings of the planes on 9/11.

But I suspect (emphasis on "suspect") that their plan was known by our military and allowed to proceed, and that our military planted explosives in the WTC to make sure they would collapse and cause a major catastrophe that would be televised around the world.

Why would our military do such a thing? The usual reasons: to justify huge increases in our military budget, that would feed the military/industrial complex, supplying huge profits and kickbacks for all involved; and to increase our hegemony in the Middle East and control of Middle East oil.

Is there any evidence that the heads of our military would ever even think of trying something like this? Yes. They proposed similar false flag terror operations against the U.S. back in 1962. The idea was that they would make it look like Cuba was responsible for the terror attacks, providing us with the justification for invading them and deposing Castro. The whole thing was known as Operation Northwoods.

Kennedy rejected the idea and demoted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But suppose Nixon had been president. Would he have been as likely to reject their plan? I doubt it.

But it could be that the Pentagon learned their lesson and planned and carried out the controlled demolitions on 9/11 without telling the president. It could be that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were as innocent as you and I. If there ever is an investigation of the matter, we might find out the truth.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks...

...and to Jason Kidd (17 years in the NBA) and Dirk Nowitzki (13 years in the NBA) who finally got their championship rings.

And may this teach Lebron James and the Miami Heat a little humility.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism and the 9/11 Truth Movement

Finding an entry at Debunking the Debunkers that calls Helen Thomas an American hero after her denouncement of Israel is disturbing, to say the least. One of the major criticisms of the 9/11 Truth Movement is that it is anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist in nature.

So I thought I should, at the very least, distance myself from those against whom the charges seem to apply. I believe that the Jewish people are the chosen people of God. I support the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist. I seriously doubt that Israel, or its intelligence agency, the Mossad, had an active role in the events of 9/11. And I denounce any who accuse Israel or the Mossad of participating in the events of 9/11, since there is no substantial evidence to back up their charges. Further, I denounce anyone in the 9/11 Truth Movement who uses their blog, website, or other vehicle of mass communication to single out Israel for special criticism, while ignoring all the other injustices perpetrated by other nations throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, where Israel stands out as a model of how a democracy can exist and thrive in a area of great instability.

This leaves me with a difficult decision. I find the blog "Debunking the Debunkers" to be a very useful source of information when researching the various arguments used against the 9/11 Truth Movement. And I have previously recommended their blog to others. So should I remove it from my list of blogs on the sidebar or not?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Debunking the Molten Aluminum Hypothesis

Potentially, one of the most powerful pieces of evidence that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolitions is the videos of a molten, orange/yellowish metal flowing from the south tower shortly before it collapsed. The pivotal question is, what king of metal was it? Those who do not accept the controlled demolition explanation claim that it was melted aluminum alloy from the burning plane. The problem with this explanation is that when melted aluminum, even when it appears orange/yellow when contained in a hot environment, is poured out into a cooler environment, it quickly turns silvery in color. The molten metal flowing from the south tower maintains its orange/yellow color for all or most of its descent.

If it isn't aluminum, then what kind of metal is it? And since the temperature of office fires or jet fuel fires wouldn't be hot enough to melt other metals that would be in great quantity in the towers, what would produce the great amount of heat necessary to melt whatever metal it is? If thermite or nanothermite was used in large quantities in controlled demolitions of the towers, then there would be a great deal of molten iron, which would maintain its orange/yellow color for a very long period of time. A good presentation of the evidence can be found at Debunking the Debunkers.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Dog Whisperer

I've been reading Cesar Millan's, Cesar's Way, a short biography and explanation of his philosophy on handling dogs, and I've been watching a DVD of his television show, "The Dog Whisperer."

Basically, he teaches that dogs are pack animals, with a pack leader and the rest followers. A good pack leader exhibits calm, assertive authority, and good followers exhibit calm submissiveness. The correct way, then, to be a good dog owner is to be a calm, assertive leader, which will result in the dog being a calm, submissive pet. When the owner fails to be calm, or assertive, or a leader, then the dog tries to become the pack leader, and all sorts of problems develop. Cesar has thirty or so rescued dogs of his own, where he demonstrates that his philosophy actually works on a large scale. He is the calm, assertive pack leader, and consequently all of the dogs are calm and submissive and get along with each other just fine. Of course, Cesar is a good owner, who always looks out for the well-being of his dogs.

While reading his book and watching the DVD, it occurred to me that Jesus is my calm, assertive pack leader, who looks out for my well-being. Therefore, I should be the calm, submissive follower, who doesn't try to become the leader, and who gets along fine with everybody else, realizing that my pack leader has everything under control. I've been trying to put that thought into practice the past few days. Easier said than done, I'm afraid.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why ID Might Be Important

People like Jerry Coyne aren't going to bother much with philosophy. They think it's rather unimportant and not much better than religion. When presented with a philosophical argument against their materialism, they will respond with something like:

"I’ll leave this one to the philosophers...," apparently never realizing that their materialism is a philosophical position that needs to be philosophically defended. Or worse, they will say something truly idiotic like:

"Saying that thoughts have meanings that “lie beyond themselves” simply assumes what Torley’s trying to prove,"

apparently never realizing that would mean that their own thoughts have no meaning that "lie beyond themselves," such as the thought that "evolution is true."

So how does one reach such thoughtless people? Since they have made Science their god, then ID may be the only way to reach them. I realize how scandalous this will seem to Thomists such as Feser. And I sympathize with him. But does he really think someone like Jerry Coyne gives a fig for what a mere philosopher has to say? Whereas Coyne cares a great deal about why someone like Behe might say. Enough to read his books and attack them as forcefully as he can. Unfortunately for Coyne, his attacks fall short, and deep down, I think even Coyne realizes it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coyne on Meaning

HT: V.J. Torley

Prof. Edward Feser responds to Prof. Jerry Coyne's rather meager attempt to explain intentionality.

Feser does a fine job, but I couldn't help but make some sort of comment about Coyne's startling statement:

"Saying that thoughts have meanings that 'lie beyond themselves' simply assumes what Torley’s trying to prove."

Does he really mean that thoughts don't have meanings that lie beyond themselves? So when Coyne says that, "Evolution is true," this isn't a thought that refers to something called evolution and asserting that it corresponds to historical reality? What then does Coyne mean by saying it? Is it the same as belching? Spitting? Blowing his nose? What exactly are we to make of his statement? Just Coyne passing more gas, I suppose.