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|Religious Books -- Not Fundamentalist!
The Fundamentalist Xtians should not be allowed to hijack the language of Christianity. They are at least as much heretics to Christianity as the Arians and Gnostics of early Christian days.
Biblical inerrancy is not possible.
The books both above and below show the limitations of language and the impossibility of Biblical Inerrancy.
How can language be misused? Using General Semantics, this book was Written to explain Nazi propaganda and still used as a textbook
|Books - Popular Math, Post Enlightenment & Science
This book explains why the above books on Christian Fundamentalism are politically important in America today.
Modern Society measures risk & predicts possible futures. The book below is a higly readable history of insurance, statistics and modern financial instruments.
Compare this to religion, in which it is presumed that the perfect society was known in the past and all that is necessary to do is to return to that perfect society.
Fascinating, highly readable and fun book on modern mathematics and its limitations. If you are interested in ideas, this is your book!
This is a collection of Hofstader's Scientific American articles. Again, a very fascinationg and highly readable book, requiring no mathematical background. (Buy it used - it is one of the books that will keep disappearing.)
Older, very fascinating book on mathematical ideas. Did you know there are three kinds of infinity?
| Sunday, March 12, 2006
| Was 9/11 a Bush Admin conspiracy?
|Austin Unitarian minister Davidson Loehr thinks so. From his On-line essay:
The story can be put simply, though it must then be fleshed out with its historical developments, and its prehistoric foundations.
The plot we see most easily is the desire of our political leaders – of both parties – to establish a global American empire (sometimes called a Pax Americana, or a peace on American terms), wrapped in a command-and-control form of governance both abroad and at home. As the plot moves through time and thought, it gathers to it several other necessary components. These include a massive military buildup, control of all the world’s economies we can control, spread of our military to protect the economic interests of those who are steering us, disempowerment of citizens at home through disinformation and restrictions on civil rights, and the transformation of our economy into a two-tiered plutocracy in which “those who own the country ought to Bernays, Lippman and the other brilliant and influential men who developed the science of “engineering consent.” The logic is clear: to rule masses, to get masses to serve your ends rather than primarily their own, you must help form their opinions for them by creating the story out of which they will live. Another name for this process is “colonizing,” which involves taking away people’s stories and getting them to accept supporting roles in a story that benefits you: that’s the complaint behind the phrase “taxation without representation.” Yes, it’s treating them like herd animals, but it is so easy to feel that the “masses” are herd animals. Much of the liberal ideology of the 1970s operated out of a similar feeling that the (intellectually) superior citizens should mold the options of the masses into forms the liberals saw as desirable. All power corrupts. The New World Order differs only in that it is unabashedly the desire for absolute power on a scale unprecedented in history.govern it.” That sentiment seems modern, but the words came from John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. It’s part of the larger sentiment that those who own the world ought to govern it, which is at the heart of this ancient story.
In this story, some familiar words receive new definitions. “Democracy” and “freedom,” for example, have little or nothing to do with individual rights or the freedom of the majority of the people to choose the government that serves their interests. “Democracy” and “freedom” refer to the freedom of our large corporations to operate with a minimum of restraint in each target country, and our desire to replace uncooperative rulers – whether or not they were democratically elected – with puppet rulers who will be friendly to the economic and imperialistic objectives of those who control US policies. It would be hard to sell this longer and more honest definition, and much easier to sell it if it’s called the opposite of what it really entails: democracy and freedom. But it’s just a small part of a much bigger and more important story.
The newest incarnation of this ancient story is the “New World Order.”
George HW Bush popularized the phrase “New World Order” in a speech he made on September 11, 1990.
The roots of GHW Bush’s version of this new “order” were in the Trilateral Commission, which David Rockefeller set up in 1973. This was an effort to study restructuring the economic priorities of the world around the desires of the three major markets of the US, Europe and Japan. What this means is that the goal was to write the rules for the world’s emerging global economy in ways that gave preference and profit to the US, Europe and Japan.
A linked, prior and more significant organization was the Council on Foreign Relations, which starred some of the biggest money players in a Council that had immense influence on US foreign policy. This means they exerted influence to make sure US foreign policy kept the financial desires of America’s wealthiest individuals and corporations at the top of its priorities.
George HW Bush served on the boards of both the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations in the 1970s, dropping out of them to present a “cleaner” image for his 1980 run for the presidency.
The biggest obstacle to this grand “New World Order,” however, was that – once the masses understood what it was about – it would be very hard to get popular support for. Why? Because this was an elitist plan, to benefit the wealthiest individuals and corporations, to enlist the military in support of their agenda – which outsiders would quickly call their greed – and it’s a hard sell to get soldiers to die just to make a handful of greedy people very rich. It would take a lot to sell this story – it would certainly take reframing, repackaging, to present it as a patriotic imperative that could get wide public support.
All this was in the background, a plot without effective characters or an adequate vehicle to move forward in restructuring the economic priorities and advantages of … well, by the time of Bush’s speech in 1990, it no longer needed to be a “trilateral” commission, for in 1989 the world had changed in an unforeseen and dramatic way. And this changed everything.
It came in the aftermath of the USSR’s fall in 1989. The fall of Communism ended the Cold War (World War II continued without armed conflict between the USSR and the US). [Snip]
Almost everything was at stake. With no superpower to stop us, we could control the currency in which the majority of world trade was conducted. We could be the only military superpower, and prevent other countries from developing the means to threaten us. Our corporations could demand economic advantages in the world market, as our English language made strides toward becoming the language in which international business was done. We could – perhaps most importantly – control the world’s oil supply, if we could establish a permanent presence in the Middle East, a goal the US has had since the 1920s.
The implications of this global ambition were profound, and reached both abroad and within. Since the goal was power over others who might challenge us, that power would have to be established, both through armies without and laws within. It was feared, realistically, that lily-livered liberals would oppose such a bold – and bloody – plan. Above all, this new order was to serve the economic interests of the most powerful corporations and those who controlled the largest shares of wealth.
The global ambitions of the New World Order are fundamentally opposed to democracy. It was a plutocracy, an oligarchy, the rule by those who owned. This isn’t a new evil. It’s a longstanding historical reality. Those who control the money control the armies and the laws, and the distribution of wealth – which will always be claimed as their right, even their birthright.
There are two ways of putting this. One is to say that those with great wealth can and will write the laws to disempower those from whose labors their great wealth is taken. Another is to say that this system demands a few people who are willing to sell out everyone else in order to be on top. History shows there is no shortage of such people – and that, given the chance, most of us would be among them. [Snip]
...Bernays, Lippman and the other brilliant and influential men [who] developed the science of “engineering consent.” The logic is clear: to rule masses, to get masses to serve your ends rather than primarily their own, you must help form their opinions for them by creating the story out of which they will live. Another name for this process is “colonizing,” which involves taking away people’s stories and getting them to accept supporting roles in a story that benefits you: that’s the complaint behind the phrase “taxation without representation.” Yes, it’s treating them like herd animals, but it is so easy to feel that the “masses” are herd animals. Much of the liberal ideology of the 1970s operated out of a similar feeling that the (intellectually) superior citizens should mold the options of the masses into forms the liberals saw as desirable. All power corrupts. The New World Order differs only in that it is unabashedly the desire for absolute power on a scale unprecedented in history. [Snip]
The plan for how to start putting this New World Order in place may have been Dick Cheney’s. The desire to attack Iraq can be traced back at least to 1992, when Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis “Scooter” Libby were the primary authors of the Pentagon’s “Defense Planning Guidance” paper, written for then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. The focus was on Saddam, Iraq, oil, and the Middle East. Cheney offered the plan to Bush I in the waning days of his administration, but it was leaked, then withdrawn after a brief public outcry erupted over its boldness.
This wouldn’t have surprised the great historian Arnold Toynbee, who had predicted in the 1950s that the next great conflict would not be between the US and the USSR, but between the white Christian world and the Arab Muslim world.
In 1996, Richard Perle led a study group that produced the document “A Clean Break,” recommending that Israel adopt a policy of “preemption,” including a “focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.” Wolfowitz and Perle would become founding members of the Project for the New American Century the following year.
Momentum was gaining for transforming the US into a military force with the weapons and the will to take advantage of this historic opportunity to establish the New World Order – which must be, they believed, the American Empire.
But such plans would require a great deal of money transferred for defense spending, the relinquishment of a lot of “peacetime” individual freedoms, and a national willingness to make significant sacrifices which might continue for years. While those who loved the plan thought it was well worth it, no one believed the majority of Americans would.
This problem of how to mobilize the society occupied several thinkers.
In his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative (New York: Basic Books, 1997), former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski helped strengthen and focus a key element of the grand plan. He was clear that America must gain control of the Central Asia/Mideast region to ensure its continued primacy as the word superpower. He believed there was a fairly narrow “window of historical opportunity, for America’s constructive exploitation of its global power could be relatively brief.” (p. 210). He saw the problem as being the fact that America was “too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation…. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.” (pp. 35-36).
But “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion,” he added “except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well being.” (p. 36). What could make us embrace the economic and human sacrifices needed for “imperial mobilization” would be “a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” (p. 212). Earlier, he had noted that the public was willing to support “America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” (pp. 24-25) [Snip]
As I recently read in John Perkins’ book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,
“Iraq was very important to us, much more than was obvious. Contrary to common public opinion, Iraq is not simply about oil. It is also about water and geopolitics. Both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow through Iraq; thus, of all the countries in that part of the world, Iraq controls the most important sources of increasingly critical water resources. During the 1980s, the importance of water – politically and economically – was becoming obvious to us…. (Perkins, p. 183)
Also, Iraq is in a very strategic location. It borders Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey, and has a coastline on the Persian Gulf. It is within easy missile-striking distance of both Israel and the former Soviet Union. Military strategists equate modern Iraq to the Hudson River valley during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. In the eighteenth century, the French, British and Americans knew that whoever controlled the Hudson River valley controlled the continent. Today, it is common knowledge that whoever controls Iraq holds the key to controlling the Middle East. (Perkins, p. 184)
The argument for attacking Iraq became more visible in 1997, after PNAC was formed. As David Ray Griffin reports (pp. 130-131 of The 9-11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions), Paul Wolfowitz and Zalmay Khalilzad published an article in the Weekly Standard – which is edited by the chairman of PNAC, William Kristol – entitled “Saddam Must Go” in 1997. A month later, these three and fifteen other members of PNAC – including Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and Richard Perle – sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to use military force to “remov[e] Saddam Hussein and his regime from power” and thereby “to protect our vital interests in the Gulf.” In May 1997 they sent a letter to Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott – the Speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader, respectively. Complaining that Clinton had not listened to them, these letter-writers said that the United States “should establish and maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the region, and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf – and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power.” Finally, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, published by PNAC in September 2000, emphasized that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a threat to American interests in the region. (Griffin, p31)
The Project for the New American Century is very blunt about this:
“The U.S. has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein…. (PNAC, p. 14)”
At present the U.S. faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.”
“[This] requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future. (p. i)”
“[The goal of all this is to maintain] a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity. (v), an international security environment conducive to American interests and ideals…. (2), [that protects] American interests and principles. (3)”
We need to translate the underlined terms, because they’re not straightforward. “American principles” does not mean we want democratically-elected governments in these countries. We have routinely helped dictators who cooperated with our economic ambitions gain power. These men include a long list of tyrants, including the Shah of Iran, Mobutu in the Congo, Pinochet in Chile, all of whom replaced democratically elected heads of government.
“American principles, interests and prosperity” means a regime in which we dictate some or all economic terms, usually under the threat or presence of military power. That is the New World Order in a nutshell.[Snip]
…the attacks of 9-11 were part of much more than just the lust for a lucrative pipeline across Afghanistan. It must finally be seen as that “new Pearl Harbor” which would let the American people and Congress finally seize the resolve to begin taking the steps needed to bring about the New World Order.
We may not duck the fact that our leaders’ decision to bring about the attacks of 9-11 included their belief that the loss of several thousand innocent American lives was a price worth paying. [Snip]
Let’s not kid ourselves. When it comes to wars we believe at the time to be noble – or even ignoble wars that we nevertheless think will bring us the eventual control of noble oil fields – the loss of a few thousand or more innocent lives is always a price our leaders have been willing to pay.
Why would we think 9-11 would be different, especially after it had become part of the rhetoric, that this goal of an American Empire would probably slip through our fingers without something that could qualify as “a new Pearl Harbor”?
And somewhere here we need to remember that when the Bush administration took power, Karl Rove brought his favorite philosopher, whose thought has remained central to the Bush regime: Machiavelli, whose 17th century book The Prince was about getting and keeping power over people by any means necessary. [Snip]
I wrote David Ray Griffin’s publisher, asking them to forward my e-mail: I was hoping for access to his writing and research on 9-11. Griffin answered early the next morning, and attached five chapters from his new (third) book on the subject, still unpublished.
That led to this essay. David believes, as I do, that our government was behind 9-11. He describes it as a “false flag” operation, named for times when ships (including at least one well-documented case of a US ship) attacked one of our own ships, killing our own citizens, while flying the flag of the country against whom we wanted to go to war, needing only to arouse sufficient public and Congressional fury.
I recently read a current example of President Bush’s inclusion of “false flag” operations that’s worth posting as a preface to the large issue of 9-11 as a false flag.
The details are contained in a new version of the book 'Lawless World' written by a leading British human rights lawyer, Philippe Sands QC:
President Bush had said "The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would 'twist arms' and 'even threaten'. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.'' Prime Minister Blair responded that he was: "solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam."
President Bush also said: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." (from “The White House Memo,” by Gary Gibbon, 2 February 2006, from a White House meeting between Bush and Blair on 31 January 2003.
This is a textbook illustration of the “false flag” tactic. Were the attacks of 9-11-01 also a false-flag operation? I believe they were. In what follows, I have borrowed from Griffin’s own hard work, for which I thank him. The working title of his third book is Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action.
In his third chapter — “The Destruction of the WTC: Why the Official Account Cannot be True” — he claims to show that the official conspiracy theory of 9-11 “clearly belongs in the category of outrageous theories, because it is contradicted by virtually all the relevant facts.”
Among the data is the little-publicized fact that “Fire has never – prior to or after 9/11 – caused steel-frame high-rise buildings to collapse. Defenders of the official story seldom if ever mention this simple fact. Indeed, the supposedly definitive report put out by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), even implies that fire-induced collapses of large steel-frame buildings are normal events. Far from being normal, however, such collapses have never occurred, except for the alleged cases of 9-11.”
After several pages of technical details about this, other serious fires in high-rises which destroyed several or many floors (after burning for 15+ hours) but never caused the buildings to collapse, he turns this around for a double-edged effect, by saying “Every previous total collapse has been caused by the procedure known as ‘controlled demolition,’ in which explosives capable of cutting steel have been placed in crucial places throughout the building and then set off in a particular order. Just from knowing that the towers collapsed, therefore, the natural assumption would be that they were brought down by explosives.”
Griffin adds that the physical evidence supports this in spades, because “the collapses had at least eleven features that would be expected if, and only if, explosives were used.” Here are some of them:
Sudden Onset. Only in controlled demolitions is the onset of collapse sudden rather than a gradual weakening, leaning, and falling.
Straight Down. Vertical collapse into or nearly into the building’s own footprint is one of the chief reasons for using controlled demolitions, so neighboring buildings won’t be damaged. For fire to produce a sudden, straight fall, all 287 steel columns would have to have weakened to the point of collapse at the same instant. The official conspiracy theory of 9-11 offers no explanation for this.
Almost Free-Fall Speed. A building can only fall at almost free-fall speed if the supports for the lower floors are destroyed, so that when the upper floors come down, they meet no resistance.
Total Collapse. The core of each tower contained 47 massive steel box columns. The official “pancake theory” needs all horizontal steel supports to have broken free from those vertical columns. This would have left 47 columns standing straight up. The 9-11 Commission tried a clever way around this problem, when they said, “The interior core of the buildings was a hollow steel shaft, in which elevators and stairwells were grouped.” They simply neglected to mention the 47 massive columns.
Demolition Rings. Rings of explosions running rapidly around a building, also shown in the collapses.
Molten Steel. This would be expected only if explosives were used, and there was much evidence of molten steel at the WTC collapse from the eye-witness accounts of firefighters.
Sounds produced by explosions. There is abundant eyewitness testimony to the occurrence of explosive sounds, along with other phenomena suggestive of controlled demolition.
(The other four characteristics of the WTC collapse that accompany controlled demotion were Sliced Steel (special explosives cut steel supports into manageable lengths); Pulverization of Concrete and Other Materials (Gravity can break concrete into chunks, but some of the dust at 9-11 was on the order of only 10 microns in size); Dust Clouds (produced by explosions propelling the pulverized dust outward); and Horizontal Ejections (in which the force of the explosives can shoot heavy steel supports out up to 500 feet horizontally, as happened in the WTC).
Then Griffin adds an interesting note, when he says “The importance of the nature of the collapses, as summerized in these eleven features, is shown by the fact that attempts to defend the official theory typically ignore most of them. [Snip]
“Pops” were also reported by paramedic Daniel Rivera:
Q. How did you know that it [the south tower] was coming down?
A. That noise. It was noise.
Q. What did you hear? What did you see?
A. It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was – do you ever see professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear “pop, pop, pop, pop, pop’? That’s exactly what – because I thought it was that. When I heard that frigging noise, that’s when I saw the building coming down.” (Oral history of Daniel Rivera, 9)
Another common feature of controlled demolitions is that people who are properly situated may see flashes when the explosives go off. Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory said: “I thought … before … No. 2 came down, that I saw low-level flashes…. Lieutenant Evangelista … asked me if I saw low-level flashes in front of the building, and I agreed with because I … saw a flash flash flash … at the lower level of the building. You know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a building, when it falls down? That’s what I thought I saw. (Oral history of Stephen Gregory, 14-16)
Battalion Chief Dominick DeRubbio, speaking of the collapse of the south tower, said: “It was weird how it started to come down. It looked like it was a timed explosion.” (Oral history of Dominick DeRuibbio, 5) [Snip]
Was 9/11 a false flag operation by the Bush administration to permit the use of the bloated American military to gain control of the Middle East and its oil wealth? Rev. Davidson Loehr, minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Texas and David Ray Griffin certainly think so. Lengthy as it is, this is only part of Rev. Loehr's essay.
For myself, I certainly think that Cheney, Rumsfeld and the NeoCons, and Rove are morally capable of hatching and justifying (at least to themselves) such a plot. As for successfully carrying it out?
That becomes more problematical as we watch everything this government has touched for the last year plus collapse in clearly recognizes failure and incompetence. But their incompetence at governance could well be explained by goals that did not put much priority on governing. So while I am not at this time convinced that they did intentionally perform this alleged coup de etate (and it is certainly that, planned or otherwise) I am going to look for more definitive evidence before I give them enough credit to say they intentionally pulled this off.
But at the same time, I am sufficiently suspicious of the Bush crew that I am posting this as a source of discussion. Two of the five highest paid advisors in the White House have now resigned to face criminal proceedings (Libby and Allen), the Vice President has shot someone, probably while drinking and hunting and then covered up the crime he commited, and Rove is still being investigated for his part in the crime of exposing a covert CIA agent and destroying her work over the last 20 years.
These are not sane, moral people running the White House.
Go see the original article in the Austin American Statesman which led me to this material.
|posted by Richard @ 3:15 PM