Sunday, March 31, 2013

Paul Krugman explains Austerity Trap in One Sentence

I realize that it's Easter and that I should be posting something about Jesus rising from the dead, but I just read a blog post by Paul Krugman that explained his objection to fiscal tightening in one short paragraph:

"... the crucial place to start is with why Wren-Lewis, Brad DeLong, Martin Wolf, Larry Summers (at this point, anyway), yours truly, and more are against austerity now. We’re not always and everywhere against fiscal consolidation; give me the right economic circumstances and I’ll turn at least modestly deficit hawk. We are, instead, against austerity when the interest rate is against the zero lower bound, because when the economy is in a liquidity trap the contractionary effects of fiscal tightening can’t be offset by monetary expansion [lower interest rates]."

Brevity while maintaing clarity is not an easy thing to accomplish, especially about such complex topics as economics, and should be singled out as role models to others.

Now back to more important things, such as why, regardless of how hopeless human-run institutions are, at least we can have hope in our eternal destination because God became a human being, died, and rose from the dead, and will take all who are willing along with him into new Life.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Descension into Hades: The Orthodox Liturgical Response

HT: Unsettled Christianity

Today Hades tearfully sighs: “Would that I had not received him who was born of Mary, for he came to me and destroyed my power; he broke my bronze gates, and being God, delivered the souls I had been holding captive.”
O Lord, glory to your cross and to your holy resurrection!
Today Hades groans: “My power has vanished. I received one who died as mortals die, but I could not hold him; with him and through him I lost those over which I had ruled. I had held control over the dead since the world began, and lo, he raises them all up with him!”
O Lord, glory to your cross and to your holy resurrection!
• Holy Saturday Orthodox Liturgy
A Triddum Sourcebook, p. 66
Also: God is Dead.
And: An Ancient Homily: The Lord's Descent into the Underworld

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shroud of Turin: Not Medieval Forgery?

This story might create a kerfuffle or two. Maybe even a brouhaha.

UPDATE: More Information.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Stomp on Jesus...and Building 7 is not a Controlled Demolition."

In case you haven't read about it, the stomp on Jesus story is creating quite a buzz. I wonder how many students did stomp on Jesus, and how many of them were Christians.

There is a similarity between that class experiment and the Milgram experiment, where people are asked to torture other people. What was surprising was that 61-66 percent of the participants were consistently willing to administer the fatal voltage.

There is also a similarity to the Asch Conformity Experiments, where the minority was willing to give at least one incorrect answer 75% of the time.

So when the majority of authorities and people tell you that Building 7 was not a controlled demolition, keep those experiments in mind.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

What is Nano-thermite and what does it have to do with 9/11?

It was unexpectedly brought to my attention that not everybody would realize the implications of finding nano-thermite in the dust of the World Trade Center buildings after they collapsed on September 11, 2001. So as sort of a public service announcement I thought I would just copy this short article from Wikipedia:

"A Nano-thermite or "super-thermite"[1] is a metastable intermolecular composite (MICs) characterized by a particle size of its main constituents, a metal and a metal oxide, under 100 Nanometers. This allows for high and customizable reaction rates. Nano-thermites contain an oxidizer and a reducing agent, which are intimately mixed on the nanometer scale. MICs, including nano-thermitic materials, are a type of reactive materials investigated for military use, as well as for general applications involving propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics.

What distinguishes MICs from traditional thermites is that the oxidizer and a reducing agent, normally iron oxide and aluminium, are in the form of extremely fine powders (nanoparticles). This dramatically increases the reactivity relative to micrometre-sized powder thermite. As the mass transport mechanisms that slow down the burning rates of traditional thermites are not so important at these scales, the reactions become kinetically controlled and proceed much more quickly.

Historically, pyrotechnic or explosive applications for traditional thermites have been limited due to their relatively slow energy release rates. Because nanothermites are created from reactant particles with proximities approaching the atomic scale, energy release rates are far greater.[2]

MICs or Super-thermites are generally developed for military use, propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics. Research into military applications of nano-sized materials began in the early 1990s.[3] Because of their highly increased reaction rate, nanosized thermitic materials are being studied by the U.S. military with the aim of developing new types of bombs several times more powerful than conventional explosives.[4] Nanoenergetic materials can store more energy than conventional energetic materials and can be used in innovative ways to tailor the release of this energy. Thermobaric weapons are one potential application of nanoenergetic materials.[5]"

It should be clear that if nano-thermite residues were found in the WTC dust, as this paper claims, this would constitute very strong evidence the the WTC buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions.  Now what would be the implications of that?  I'll let the reader ponder it. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds: U.S. had close ties with Osama bin Laden up until 9/11

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in an interview on the Mike Malloy stated that she had classified information that there were close ties between the U.S. government and Osama bin Laden up until 9/11.

She was careful to say that this does not prove that 9/11 was an inside job, but that the information gets us a lot closer to knowing the truth about 9/11.  She described the information as having bin Laden's help in operations in Central Asia.  But if the Pentagon wanted help in carrying out 9/11,  I don't see why bin Laden wouldn't have been a willing partner.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How Long Will the War on Terror Last?

On October 21,2001, shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, George Stephanopoulos in an interview with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Meyers, asked:

 STEPHANOPOULOS: But how will we know when this war is won? Vice President Cheney says it might not end in our lifetime.

 MYERS: I think that may be correct. I think this is going to be a long, hard-fought conflict, and it will be global in scale, and it won't be, as I mentioned earlier, it won't be just military. It's going to be all the instruments of our national power with our friends and allies. And the fact that it could last several years or many years or maybe our lifetimes would not surprise me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More on Howard Zinn and 9/11

Some guy in Colorado running for political office asks historian and political activist Howard Zinn whether he thinks 9/11 was an inside job and whether he will support efforts for a new investigation.  Zinn says he doesn't know if 9/11 was an inside job, but that he doesn't trust the government, but that the past is the past and we shouldn't try to get a new investigation, and just worry about changing present U.S. foreign policy. .  The questioner wanted to ask a follow-up question about whether, in that case, we should continue to hunt Nazi war criminals, but wasn't allowed.   Too bad.  This was in 2008.  It's clear that even with a Democratic president U.S. foreign policy isn't going to change.  So would Zinn have been more willing to support a new investigation into 9/11?  As far as I can tell, that is probably the only way to change our foreign policy. I can't get the video to show up, so you'll have to go here to see it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jon Gold: The Facts of 9/11 Speak for Themselves

Jon Gold is a 9/11 Truther who has doubts that the WTC buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions. As he puts it:

"As most of you know, I have never been a huge advocate for the idea that a "Controlled Demolition" took place at the World Trade Center. Reason being, I'm simply not qualified to tell someone if that did, in fact, happen. Also, for years, the media has tried to paint us as a movement filled with "conspiracy theorists" that think "explosives brought down the World Trade Center", and a "missile hit the Pentagon" without mentioning the 1000's of other problems with the official account. As a result, I can't tell you how many times during activism I've had people come up to me and say, "you're one of those people that think explosives brought down the buildings" as if to say, "you're one of those crazy people that I should ignore." So, I've always tried to push other incriminating information that the media and others DON'T like to talk about."

Mr. Gold has compiled a list of that incriminating information and entitles it, "The Facts Speak for Themselves.  After his presentation of fifty or so facts, Gold concludes:

"There are so many facts concerning the 9/11 attacks, that it is impossible to know them all. People like to laugh at, and mock our theories (that we all have) concerning the events of 9/11. However, they have a difficult time with the facts. I hope that I have proven my point. In conclusion, I would like to say that I am convinced some elements within our Government, and others were complicit in the attacks of 9/11. As you can see above, the information that exists today clearly points in that direction. We have pieces to the puzzle, and we KNOW who refuses to give up the other pieces. However, as I said, this is America, and in America, you are innocent until proven guilty. Let’s have a real investigation, be it a domestic or international one, and do what can only be described as the right thing. Holding those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, whoever they may be, accountable. It is long overdue. Justice has never been more needed. The perverse usage of that day can no longer continue. It is time to take away the “9/11 Card,” and let those poor 2,973 souls finally rest in peace."

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Poll at Debunking the Debunkers

Debunking the Debunkers has a new poll up, asking visitors to vote on whether they think 9/11 had inside help. As they say in Chicago, vote early, vote often.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Howard Zinn on the 9/11 Truth Movement

Political activist (whatever that means) Howard Zinn has spoken out about the 9/11 Truth Movement in the past.  I think he makes two important points:

"I have said that what happened on 9/11 deserves to be investigated more than it has been because I don't accept and believe official investigations and official reports."

So it sounds like Zinn would be in favor of a new, independent investigation of 9/11. 

But Zinn also thinks 9/11 Truthers are wasting a lot of time and effort on this issue: 

"I believe there are certain things that happen in history and certainly questions that are asked that divert us from the important things that we have to do at hand.
The truth is I don't think anyone will ever really know what happened on 9/11 just as I don't think anyone will really know who killed John F. Kennedy, and there are a lot of people who wasted a huge amount of time working on something that did not have any practical political significance."

So yes, Zinn doubts the official account of 9/11 and thinks we deserve a new, independent investigation..  But no, Zinn doesn't think we should waste our time trying to get a new, independent investigation.   

So...does he think we should watch more sports?  I hope the Lions and Tigers do well this year, or things could get really depressing.  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Amy Goodman, Eyewitness of WTC7 Collapse?

Among the many people that puzzle 9/11 Truthers, Amy Goodman is probably at the top of the list. A broadcast journalist with her own show, Democracy Now!, she has been fearless at discussing issues that other mainstream media will usually avoid. Yet she has been very careful to avoid any discussion -- either positive or negative -- of the 9/11 Truth Movement on her show. There's an article at about the most recent attempt of a professional engineer to get her to address the issue. What surprised me was that there is a link to a youtube video that seems to show she was a close eyewitness to the collapse of WTC7. Is that really Amy? If so, a few of the questions I would like to ask her are, "Ms Goodman, why were you and the other people standing looking at WTC7 at that time? Were you informed that it was going to collapse? Was there any mention of it being brought down by controlled demolition? Were there any sounds of explosions?"

The other interesting thing is that there is a brief moment of sound in this video, then it cuts out just before the camera jerks violently, as if it had been shaken by an explosion.  I wonder what happened to the sound.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Learning Theology from the Boston Red Sox

I've been reading David Halberstam's Summer of '49, about the pennant race between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. A friend at work loaned it to me unasked. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was a Detroit Tigers fan and couldn't care less about the Yankees or the Red Sox, two Eastern coast teams who get much more attention than they deserve. However, I have found the book a fascinating read, which covers not only the personalities of the players and managers, and the times in which they played, but also the lives of many of the childhood fans who grew up to be famous, important people. Bart Giammatti was one of those fans. I've reached the Epilogue, now, where Halberstam is giving a synopsis of many of the major characters in his story. About Giammatti he writes:

 "Bart Giammatti did not grow up to play second base for the Boston Red Sox. He became a professor at Yale, and then president of Yale, and then, in time, exhausted by a bitter strike at Yale and anxious to try greener fields, president of the National League. He never lost his love for the Boston Red Sox. It was as a Red Sox fan, he later realized, that he had first learned that man is fallen, and that life is filled with disappointment. The path to comprehending Calvinism in modern America, he decided, begins at Fenway Park."

 I always suspected the Red Sox served some divine purpose or other. Who knew it was so profound?

But what will be more profound is when the Cubs finally win the World Series.  That will mean the Resurrection from the Dead!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wealth Inequality in America

A relative emailed the following video to me.  My guess is that it is a little misleading, because it doesn't break down the wealth distribution of the top 1%.  I suspect that if it did, we would find that most of the wealth in that group is concentrated in its own top 1%.  In other words, it's not the top 1% that is the problem.  It is the top 0.01% that is the problem.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Noam Chomsky Quotation out of Sync with His Views on 9/11 Truth

Joel Watts at Unsettled Christianity has one of those blogs where the picture or the quotation at the top keeps changing. He has one of a Noam Chomsky quotation:

 “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....

Chomsky is not a 9/11 Truther and has argued that the question of 9/11 Truth is just a side show.   In other words,  Chomsky is one of those who is trying to limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, ruling out 9/11 Truth.  Thus, Chomsky will allow debate about U.S. foreign policy, and whether or not using drones is acceptable, but please, don't bring up that silly idea of 9/11 being an inside job.  That is not within the spectrum of acceptable opinion.  And thus, the very issue that has the most potential for making people lively and disobedient is not allowed to be discussed.

In my opinion, I think we should accept the insight of the above quotation and ignore whatever else Chomsky might have to say about 9/11 Truth.

Dgandhi Unpassiveresistanced

HT:  James McGrath.

 For those who think Djesus Uncrossed proves the media only picks on Christianity, there's

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Only the truth about 911 will end the war on terror and help to reign in a corrupt establishment."

A recent court case in Britain about a filmmaker who refused to pay the tax that supports BBC, saying that BBC has distorted the evidence for 9/11 Truth, has been posted at Debunking the Debunkers. But what caught my attention was the author's last sentence:

 "Only the truth about 911 will end the war on terror and help to reign in a corrupt establishment."

If one thinks there is something wrong with a war on terror that has been going on now for over eleven years; and if one thinks that even if we eventually leave Afghanistan, the war on terror no doubt will continue in other places; and if one thinks that this war has resulted in too much power being amassed by the government against the individual; then it would certainly be to one's advantage to prove that 9/11 was an inside job. It may not be the only way to stop the war on terror and reign in a corrupt establishment. But if one proved it was an inside job, it would certainly be a very effective way of doing so.