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Old 16th June 2008, 02:18 PM   #1
metamars
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Call for left gatekeeper probability analysis

Diane of the NY City Activist blog related her experiences with gatekeeping at DU, and concluded with

Quote:
I'm feeling very annoyed, but not sure what to do next.


I made the following suggestions

Quote:
I recently suggested, on 911blogger.com, that there be a citizen's trial of left gatekeepers. I think that might have an electrifying effect on what I'll call the "savvy left", which would comprise lefties that regularly consume left literature, at least partly from the web. The key red line for left gatekeepers is "Thou shalt not expose conspiracies involving the killing of American citizens, especially if such murdered citizens are politically powerful people". A comparative study of what the key left media venues had to say about 911, JFK assassination, RFK assassination, MLK assassination, Pearl Harbor LIHOP revelations (ala Days of Deceit), Oklahoma City bombing vs. key facts pointing away from the government official account (whether it points to the government, or not), presented (in part) in a grid, comprises the key analysis I'd like to see, and would probably comprise key evidence for the citizen's trial that I'm calling for. Coupled with funding charts (as shown at leftgatekeepers.com, though I don't know how valid their chart is).

Finally, I'd like to see a probabalistic analysis, which calculates the exact probability that all (AFAIK) of the left gatekeeper media either pooh pooh or understate the case for conspiracy if the odds of each event being a bona fide conspiracy is
.1, .2, .3, ...., 1.0, and the odds of a "typical" media vehicle getting things exactly opposite by mistake (or 'innocent' errors of judgement) is .5, .4, .3, .2, .1 . Another, related probability you could compute is a net probability for how many of the elite left media have called for a re-investigation of any of the more recent conspiracies (JFK assassination, onwards; WW2 seems too long ago, even for me...), again assuming (or asking the user to input) what the probability of being innocently incorrect on these issues are.

(Indeed, you could program a web page which would allow each user to punch in a probability figure for each conspiracy, separately. When they then hit the "submit" button, they would see a dynamically calculated probability for the group of left gatekeepers saying, essentially, "Nothing to see, here". Another refinement would additionally allow the user to punch in their own estimate, on a media venue by media venue basis, of what they estimate that a fair reading of the media venue suggests re probability of conspiracy. I have tacitly assumed that all elite left media suggest that the probability for all the major events I listed is 0.)

I don't think the citizen's trial of 911 had much of an effect, but maybe a left gatekeeper trial would yield very different results.

Ultimately, we need to replace most of the media, including the alternative media. I don't think they can be reformed, significantly. Likewise, forums that have no rational basis for their tinfoil hat accusations. It's a fair guess that the fix is in, and you can beg them all you want, it's not going to make a fig of difference. (Quite honestly, I think I'd rather hear people shouting "The left media gatekeeper conspiracy is an inside job" rather than "911 is an inside job". The former is much easier for a citizen who is not familiar with legitimate conspiracy studies to stomach, particularly if they're not leftists!)

E.g., I doubt that there's anything you can do about DU. That's basically an educated guess, I really know nothing about their internal governance.

Kevin Barret's recent interview of Barrie Zwicker (who studies the media, including left gatekeepers) is available here.

BTW, Randi Rhodes allows open debate about 911 on her forum.


Elite left media that I have in mind: The Nation, Mother Jones, In these Times, Zmag, Democracy Now, Counterpunch, Progressive Magazine. Another tacit assumption I have made is that all of these elite left media be equally weighted.
I am posting this here in the off chance that somebody wants to constructs a web page such as I suggest. A true blue "debunker", of course, would want more options, such that one can assume that the elite left media were correct, with various probabilities. Even if a "debunker" genuinely believes this to be the case, there remains the unexplained phenomena of the probabilistic disjoint between conspiracy-believing leftists and their non-conspiracy-believing readers. I have little doubt that most "debunkers" have no real interest in figuring out why this divergence occurs - the conspiracists are loons, nutters, wackos, blah, blah, and the elite media properly selected non-loons, non-nutter, non-wackos, blah, blah, so why should there be any mystery?

As predictable as some "debunker" talking points may be, ultimately you can't really know why the divergence occurs unless you study the issues. To this end, it would help if there was extensive interviews of editors of the elite left media, going through the various events I mentioned, point by point, showing us why they rejected serious inquiry into conspiracy angles vis-a-vis 911. The need for real research into the left media/media consumer divergence is evident, whether or not you are a self-assured "debunker", or whether you are a self-assured conspiracy theorist, who just knows (without proof) that it must be due to the neocons, illuminati, NWO, CIA, blah, blah. My guess is that it will be near impossible to get the editors to agree to such interviews (their status as human gatekeepers within a gatekeeper establishment suggests that it is essential for them to be "in on it", even if via having subconsciously internalized acceptable frames), but it may be possible to get reporters who disagreed with their editors to be so interviewed.
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Old 16th June 2008, 02:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
To this end, it would help if there was extensive interviews of editors of the elite left media, going through the various events I mentioned, point by point, showing us why they rejected serious inquiry into conspiracy angles vis-a-vis 911.
The answer is blindingly obvious; because the kinds of writers you're talking about - and it's not just editors, but the prominent authors - have their own angles on how to interpret world events. This will be especially apparent in those who have been around since the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s, as they will then interpret the world in the light of their own experience of history. Exactly the same thing happens on the non-paranoid right, in the mushy centre and among liberals.

In the US, many who have memories stretching back to the 1970s will know that at times, certain factions have attempted blatant entryism and takeovers of other groups, e.g. the LaRouche movement. If an editor sees that someone like Webster Tarpley is touting 9/11 CTs, then 9/11 CTs are damned by association.

Generally speaking, this isn't a bad bull- detector.

Likewise, those prone to swallowing CTs whole, or engaging in atrocity denial, or whatever form of crankery you care to name, are more likely to interpret current events in the light of their past interpretations of then-current events. Thus you find the bizarre alternate history timelines spouted by antisemites, or 9/11 kooks, always bring up the same stupid examples, because if you buy into one conspiracy, it's like at amazon - another one will be recommended to you.

Another strong possibility with your alleged 'left gatekeepers' is that they're really leftists. Hands up how many of you have actually read the Grundrisse or penetrated that far into Das Kapital, or familiarised yourselves with Henryk Grossman, or Arrighi, or even Zizek.

<crickets sfx>

Yeah, thought so.
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Old 16th June 2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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Here's a silly question. What does gatekeeper in this context mean?
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Old 16th June 2008, 03:48 PM   #4
metamars
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Originally Posted by Nick Terry View Post
The answer is blindingly obvious; because the kinds of writers you're talking about - and it's not just editors, but the prominent authors - have their own angles on how to interpret world events.
Regardless of what their "own angles" are, they should be able to answer detailed, point-by-point questions which, in the view of conspiracists, either point inescapably to a non-official conspiracy, or at least point to the need for a more penetrating investigation.

E.g., we know that Max Cleland quit the 911 commission, declaring it to be a whitewash. We don't know specifically how he came to this conclusion, correct?

Does one really need to be versed in the writings of Marx to somehow understand that a serious investigation would involve, amongst many other things, getting Max Cleland on the stand and asking him what the heck he meant?

BTW, Barrie Zwicker, most definitely a leftist, had read just about every major work by Chomsky, before becoming disenchanted not with the left, per se, but Noam Chomsky. Lucky you, you can read the excerpted chapter The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left here:

http://leftgatekeepers.com/articles/...rieZwicker.dwt
http://leftgatekeepers.com/articles/...rieZwicker.dwt
http://leftgatekeepers.com/articles/...rieZwicker.dwt

Note: these don't render properly in mozilla firefox; they are OK in MS Internet Explorer

Why don't you share with us what your reason or reasons ("blindingly obvious" or not) are for Zwicker joining the ranks of conspiracists? Not to put too fine a point on things, but I'd take whatever answer you cook up more seriously if you took the trouble to talk to Zwicker, himself. Just think how much more convincing your powers of observation re what is "blindingly obvious" would appear to the readers of this thread, if you could do more than vacuously theorize, and instead back up your opinions with quotes from the people you are pronouncing judgements upon.

It would also be of interest if you could make a solid point using quotes from Zwicker, e.g. from the links I give above.

Finally, note that in the Barrie Zwicker interview by Kevin Barret linked to above, Barret found an almost complete mismatch between the 911 views of the participants in the recent Media Reform Conference that he talked to and the organizer. The organizer cited - you guessed it - Noam Chomsky when "explaining" why there were no sessions on 911 and the media.
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Old 16th June 2008, 03:59 PM   #5
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Anyone that hates Bush but claims that the 9/11 crowd are a pack of loons and has a big enough soapbox to say it publically.

As to the so called conspiracies listed:

911 - Reality says it was a conspiracy by Al Qaeda
JFK assassination - Reality says Lee Harvey Oswald did it, was seen doing it, and did it alone.
RFK assassination - Reality says Sirhan Sirhan did it and did it alone, that he'd fantized about doing it for well after a year and a plain grade A nut.
Pearl Harbor LIHOP revelations (ala Days of Deceit) - Are a load of rubbish, the closest the US got to knowing was a believe that the Japanese were going to attack Manilla
Oklahoma City bombing vs. key facts pointing away from the government official account - Is a bunch of out of context quotes and wholesale lies from a crowd of paranoid loons.

Out of all those listed, the only one that really shows a possible conspiracy is MLK, but then I haven't studied the evidence either way on that one.
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Old 16th June 2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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metamars, you come up with more ideas to occupy our time (and show no inclination to bother wasting your own) than any other person here. Might I inquire as to why this need to see us doing busywork?
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Old 16th June 2008, 06:04 PM   #7
metamars
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Originally Posted by boloboffin View Post
metamars, you come up with more ideas to occupy our time (and show no inclination to bother wasting your own) than any other person here. Might I inquire as to why this need to see us doing busywork?
Once again, you failed to understand the purpose of a thread I started, even though I stated it clearly. There's really no ambiguity in

Quote:
I am posting this here in the off chance that somebody wants to constructs a web page such as I suggest.
is there?

If you, or anybody else, is interested in constructing such a page, be my guest. Likewise, if nobody here is interested in constructing such a page, fine with me.

My post was originally addressed to Diane, but it's quite possible that a kindred soul, visiting this very message board, would be interested in pursuing my suggested answer to Diane's question. You are obviously not that kindred soul. Neither are you the only person on this message board.
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Old 16th June 2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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A question for you if I may, metamars. Why don't FOX News and National Review report on how FDR just let Pearl Harbor happen? Why didn't Nixon, Reagan, or Bush the Younger release the secret government documents that prove that FDR knew? Why would all these conservatives pass up such a golden opportunity to tear down arguably the greatest liberal icon of the 20th Century? Your "gatekeepers of the Left" theory clearly doesn't apply to them.
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Old 16th June 2008, 06:21 PM   #9
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I don't understand how DU could be a gatekeeper. How is Diane (or anyone else) prevented from posting whatever they want on the DU forums as long as they stay within the entirely reasonable membership rules?
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Old 16th June 2008, 07:38 PM   #10
metamars
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
A question for you if I may, metamars. Why don't FOX News and National Review report on how FDR just let Pearl Harbor happen? Why didn't Nixon, Reagan, or Bush the Younger release the secret government documents that prove that FDR knew? Why would all these conservatives pass up such a golden opportunity to tear down arguably the greatest liberal icon of the 20th Century? Your "gatekeepers of the Left" theory clearly doesn't apply to them.
To be a left gatekeeper, first you have to be a member of the left. I already listed what I considered the elite left media. It should come as no surprise that Fox is not a member of that group.....

As far as Nixon, etc., go, Ruppert's explanation suits me fine, and in light of Kucinich's reading of 50 articles of impeachment, Ruppert's statement about the system being corrupt is particularly apropos. Surely you know that the Democrats are not going to do a damn thing about impeachment, and if you listen to Sibel Edmonds' recent interview at antiwar.com, you also know that they aren't going to do a damn things about the high level corruption - involving a nuclear black market - that she was privy to.

I part company with my fellow 911 Truthers when they over-emphasize (in my view) a push for a serious re-investigation of 911. I think it's a noble cause, but one doomed for failure with the two main political parties as corrupt as they are. That is one reason why I think more effort should go into reforming those parties via ethical people taking them over (and furthermore more effort should go into creating a media replacement, rather than begging the current media to do their jobs). E.g., the Progressive Democrats of America are a bona fide group which looks to remake the Democratic Party in its image. Likewise, though I don't know any details, I have read that Ron Paul is going to try and push Constitution-respecting, libertarian-leaning Republican candidates into office. I very much hope both groups succeed in a big way. In any event, it seems much more realistic to me to view government 911 obfuscation as a reminder that both major parties are in dire need of reform, rather than assume that 911 can act as some sort of Rosetta stone that will lead to truth and light in our government.


Quote:
Copies of Griffin’s book were sent by myself to these Democrats: Dennis Kucinich on 3/27/04 with an impassioned plea; DNC Chair McAuliffe, Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi, and Senators Daschle, Feinstein and Boxer on 3/31/04; Congress members John Conyers, Elijah Cummings (Black Caucus Chair), Ciro Rodriquez (Hispanic Caucus Chair), Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter (Co-chair of Women’s Issues Caucus), and Tom Udall, between 4/05 and 4/28/04. All transmittal letters urged impeachment action, contending that such action and injecting the “complicity issue” into the 2004 presidential campaign was the only way to assure Bush’s defeat; and repeated that Congressional Democrats might receive, and should request, effective political support from a comprehensive political-educational campaign waged by MoveOn.Org and UFPJ._Of course, many Congressional Democrats received, from other persons, much information about the Bush regime complicity in addition to that reported above.

All Congressional Democrats and especially its leaders, and DNC Chair MCAuliffe, were adequately informed of the Bush regime complicity and had staff and other resources to investigate further. Congressional Democrats had sworn to protect and uphold the constitution. They utterly failed in their obligations to the constitution and to their constituents to be an effective opposition party. The title of this essay is fully justified: the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party and the Media, covered up the deep complicity in the 9/11/01 attack by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Myers._Why does the principal opposition party join the ruling party in covering up what are probably the worst presidential crimes in U.S. history? In response to my request for his evaluation of my report (cited above), Michael C. Ruppert, on 1/1/2004, provided an astute evaluation of how Congress operates:

“The flaw in your work is not in the legal foundation or in the way the evidence is presented, [but] in your basic assumption that the system functions and operates as you think it should or the way it is described in textbooks. History is replete with instances of impeachable or prosecutable conduct which are much better documented, more easily proven, and more glaring than what you have described.”

“In Watergate, there was an abundance of evidence that Richard Nixon had committed offenses far greater than the one which brought him to the brink of impeachment-obstruction of justice. The issue was not what offense would be used to remove him, but (as far as Congress was concerned) finding an offense which could remove a sitting president without destroying the entire American system of government. The same question governs Congressional response to 9/11,” Ruppert wrote.

Ruppert went on to write, “The entire system is corrupt. Those who participate in it rationalize- in order to protect their seat at a crap table- that when one player gets out of line the primary objective is to protect the crap game. (I thank Peter Dale Scott for this analogy). I can guarantee you that many members of Congress are aware of every detail you have documented, and much, much more. . . To impeach Bush et al on the grounds you have delineated would open a can of worms that would call into question the legitimacy of the entire government. That will never be permitted._”In the late 1990s I secured hard documents (much better evidence than you have presented from a legal standpoint) showing an active conspiracy to protect drug traffickers by the CIA that was sanctioned by the White House. An impeachment trial would have been open and shut. It never came about for the reasons I have stated above.

“In the case of the Clinton impeachment, while there were perhaps ten (or more) offenses upon which that president could have been removed and jailed, none of them were ever pursued. Why? Because they involved the simultaneous exposure of Republican corruption and/or demonstrated that the entire government was complicit in one degree or another. So what did they go after Clinton on? Extramarital sex and lying about it. It was the only charge available that did not bring down the whole system.

“I believe that (as it was with Watergate) Bush will likely be impeached after winning the 2004 election. On what charge? The forged Niger documents about alleged attempts by Saddam Hussein to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program and the malicious exposure of Valerie Plame (wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson who was critical in exposing that lie) as a CIA case officer. That offense does not expose the whole crap game._”There is no legal argument you can make that will make a broken system function the way that you want it to function.”
(emphasis mine)


His wrong prediction about Bush being removed from office doesn't negate his arguments. If anything, it implies that he understated the situation - the system is so corrupt that it won't even remove criminals like Bush and Cheney from office.
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Old 16th June 2008, 09:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tokorona View Post
Here's a silly question. What does gatekeeper in this context mean?
It is a fancy word for "government disinfo shill". metamars appears to be saying that anyone who doesn't actively spout 9/11 woo is a government disinfo shill.

In other words nothing new.
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Old 16th June 2008, 10:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
E.g., we know that Max Cleland quit the 911 commission, declaring it to be a whitewash. We don't know specifically how he came to this conclusion, correct?
Wrong. Cleland resigned from the commission because it did not want to look into the question of pre-Iraq War intelligence. This was well-reported at the time.
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Old 16th June 2008, 10:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tokorona View Post
Here's a silly question. What does gatekeeper in this context mean?
Troofers have this crazy notion that Leftist media outlets (like Democracy Now, The Nation, Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, etc.,) are holding the gate against 9-11 Truth by ignoring the Truthers. If they opened the gate, 9-11 Truth would spread.

In a sense it's probably true. But I think the Leftist media outlets also look at this stuff and realize it's mostly garbage. The few times that they've really looked at it they've been scathing in their criticism--CounterPunch really took a good swipe at the Truthers a few years ago.

Originally Posted by AZCat View Post
I don't understand how DU could be a gatekeeper. How is Diane (or anyone else) prevented from posting whatever they want on the DU forums as long as they stay within the entirely reasonable membership rules?
The Troofers gripe with DU is that 9-11 conspiracy threads get banished to "The Dungeon", a segment of the site that specifically deals with the 9-11 Conspiracy Theories. As I understand it, no posts from The Dungeon can be promoted to the "Best" page, where the hottest topics are collected and debated.

Kos is even more adamant; he does not allow Troofer Diaries. Period. There have been a couple times when stuff has been allowed to stand, but for the most part Kos is Troofer free.
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Old 16th June 2008, 10:51 PM   #14
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Hey. That's MY job. All the rest are impostors.
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Old 16th June 2008, 10:53 PM   #15
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I've read the opening post four times and I can't for the life of me figure out what he acutally wants.

I understand the concept of a liberal gatekeeper but I'm baffled as to what he actually wants done about it.
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Old 16th June 2008, 11:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Finally, I'd like to see a probabalistic analysis, which calculates the exact probability that all (AFAIK) of the left gatekeeper media either pooh pooh or understate the case for conspiracy if the odds of each event being a bona fide conspiracy is
.1, .2, .3, ...., 1.0, and the odds of a "typical" media vehicle getting things exactly opposite by mistake (or 'innocent' errors of judgement) is .5, .4, .3, .2, .1 . Another, related probability you could compute is a net probability for how many of the elite left media have called for a re-investigation of any of the more recent conspiracies (JFK assassination, onwards; WW2 seems too long ago, even for me...), again assuming (or asking the user to input) what the probability of being innocently incorrect on these issues are.

[...] Another refinement would additionally allow the user to punch in their own estimate, on a media venue by media venue basis, of what they estimate that a fair reading of the media venue suggests re probability of conspiracy. I have tacitly assumed that all elite left media suggest that the probability for all the major events I listed is 0.)

I don't think the citizen's trial of 911 had much of an effect, but maybe a left gatekeeper trial would yield very different results.
The burden of legal proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt." It has nothing to do with ad hoc probabilities pulled out of thin air by conspiracy theorists and fed through and equally ad hoc formula, in an attempt to fit one's ideology to events of the past.

Any such "left gatekeeper trial" based on such methods is bald-faced fascism.

Do not attempt to apply probability theory to situations where it cannot be evaluated. Especially if it is a thin excuse for your ideologically-driven sense of retribution.
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Old 17th June 2008, 01:19 AM   #17
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Do you think maybe it's the 'strange bedfellows' problem?

Not a lot of my old cronies on the left (and Nick, I go back to 50s and 60s)are are going to be real comfortable with groups that cozy up to white supremacists, neo-nazis, and holocaust deniers.

Just saying, y'know.
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Old 17th June 2008, 04:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Do you think maybe it's the 'strange bedfellows' problem?

Not a lot of my old cronies on the left (and Nick, I go back to 50s and 60s)are are going to be real comfortable with groups that cozy up to white supremacists, neo-nazis, and holocaust deniers.

Just saying, y'know.
And of course there's that whole "every single thing about their movement is a lie" issue which keeps most folks at arm's length too.
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Old 17th June 2008, 07:24 AM   #19
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How about a trial for all the truthers who seven years later haven't done a single constructive* thing to get that "new independant investigation" started?

What about their impotence and silence about KSM and friends risking the death penalty?

Isn't that criminal incompetence, or criminal indifference?

* "constructive" as in: things other than heckling at rallies, giving pamphlets on the street, posting youtube videos and trolling on internet boards.

Last edited by Pardalis; 17th June 2008 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 17th June 2008, 07:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
To be a left gatekeeper, first you have to be a member of the left. I already listed what I considered the elite left media. It should come as no surprise that Fox is not a member of that group.....
We really need a smiley depicting the point whooshing over somebody's head. It's fairly clear that SpitfireIX was pointing out that there is an asymmetry here between left wing conspiracy theories, such as 9-11 and JFK, which the left gatekeepers are somehow suppressing by ridiculing them, and right wing conspiracy theories such as Pearl Harbor, which wouldn't be subject to left gatekeeping because no serious leftist would consider them for an instant. Where are the right gatekeepers who are covering up the truth about Pearl Harbor, and should they be subject to the same Emperor of China analysis that you're proposing for the left gatekeepers?

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Old 17th June 2008, 08:32 AM   #21
metamars
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Originally Posted by R.Mackey View Post
The burden of legal proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt."
I didn't view a people's trial of left gatekeepers (or anything else) as having to have the same standards as a real trial, in a real court, where subpoenas can be issued. Meanwhile, if you relax the burden of proof so much that, in the eyes of most people, it becomes laughable, then your people's trial will serve no purpose (other than to reinforce the pre-existing suspicions and conclusions of the people carrying out the trial).

Quote:
It has nothing to do with ad hoc probabilities pulled out of thin air by conspiracy theorists and fed through and equally ad hoc formula,
The probabilities in the web page I've suggested are assigned, partly and wholly (depending on which of the applications I sketched out we're talking about) by the user. As for the formulas, I don't think there is anything ad hoc about them. They will be the standard formulas from probability theory. It's been many years, but I think one will have to use Baye's Theorem.

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in an attempt to fit one's ideology to events of the past.
It is, rather, an attempt to make sense of the reporting of past events, in particular as seen through the prism of left elite media, wherein the probability that one assigns to these (presumably) independent media venues will, indeed, reflect one's ideology. Not to mention a host of other factors, such as prior exposure to conspiracy literature, the quality of same, psychological predisposition to accept authority (as well as the narratives embraced by authority), capacity for critical thinking, etc.

Certainly you agree with me that the reporting on the conspiracy friendly events (CFE's) I mentioned, of the left media, is no accident. Lacking a thorough investigation into how these media outlets arrived at the conclusions they did, one can guess that they were essentially wrong or essentially right, and furthermore guess as to what the probability is that their wrongness (or rightness) is the result of innocent misjudgement (or judgement).

The probabilities that the user of the web page I describe are encapsulating are their assumptions in the form of probabilities. If you want to claim that they pull these "out of thin air", go right ahead. You're mostly correct, because these users will not have the benefit of the thorough investigation of the editorial and reporting processes at each of the left media outlets.

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Any such "left gatekeeper trial" based on such methods is bald-faced fascism.
No, because there is no state power associated with such trials, whatsoever. They are mostly to inform, and hopefully lead to the real thing. Lacking subpoena power and the power to compel testimony, I believe most reasonable people will make allowances by not expecting the same burden of proof as in a real trial.


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Do not attempt to apply probability theory to situations where it cannot be evaluated. Especially if it is a thin excuse for your ideologically-driven sense of retribution.
People make informal (non-numerical, and thus non-numerically verifiable) estimates of probabilities all the time. They will consciously speed on a road with little traffic, and no history of being scouted by cops looking to hand out a speeding ticket. They will also consciously speed on a road with a lot of traffic, where they've often seen people pulled over speeding, nevertheless assuming that the odds that it will be themselves, today, getting pulled over, are acceptable. They will play lottery games, knowing that the odds of them winning the grand prize are very, very slim. (OK, in this case, the lottery commission can tell you the precise probability.)

As long as one doesn't treat the web application I suggest as a slam-dunk proof of anything, I don't see the problem. It is, rather, suggestive, a diagnostic tool more than anything else, and a complete skeptic who rejects all CFE's as conspiracies will doubtless reject the computed net probability of CFE reporting by elite left media, when the results reflect inputs by individuals who are not complete skeptics. But not everybody is as rigid as a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic or a dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist. For people in between, who believe that the fairest estimation of CFE is that the associated reporting has some chance of being true, and also some chance of being deliberately false, (and both probabilities are non-trivial), the web application might be very eye-opening.

As for "retribution", there is no retribution to speak of, lacking state power. Speaking for myself, I have no interest in retribution even were official, state-sanctioned trials ever to come about. I want evil-doers disempowered. Period, end of story. Heck, I'd be all for giving perpetrators a reward, provided they were ejected from the government, and all ties with it were severed, should this be the easiest and most thorough way to proceed. Which I suspect it is.

( Admittedly, this may be a minority position. )
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Old 17th June 2008, 09:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
To be a left gatekeeper, first you have to be a member of the left. I already listed what I considered the elite left media. It should come as no surprise that Fox is not a member of that group....

I never said they were "left gatekeepers." I want to know why you think they are/were protecting FDR's reputation by not exposing the "truth" about Pearl Harbor.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
As far as Nixon, etc., go, Ruppert's explanation suits me fine, and in light of Kucinich's reading of 50 articles of impeachment, Ruppert's statement about the system being corrupt is particularly apropos.

I told you that Ruppert's claims are utter garbage when you brought them up on BAUTforum.com two years ago. The "evidence" that Massen presented to the Democrats is quite frankly laughable, as I demonstrated; therefore, Ruppert's claim that they're ignoring that "evidence" because they're just as corrupt as the Republicans is wholly unsupportable. Perhaps this time you'll be intellectually honest enough to acknowledge that.

Originally Posted by SpitfireIX
Originally Posted by metamars
Mike Ruppert's comments in response to a citizen's attempt to understand the lack of response to this citizens' attempts to get some Congress members to act, are appropriate:

They're appropriate for someone with an extremely warped and paranoid view of the American system of government. Further, you neglected to mention what the evidence was that the Democrats chose to ignore. From the article linked above:

Originally Posted by John B. Massen
On 9-13-01, the Senate Armed Services Committee, with a Democratic Chairman and majority membership, heard General Richard Myers testify that fighter aircraft responded to an apparently hijacked plane inbound to the U.S. and forced it to land in a remote base in Canada. Standard operating procedures were clearly in effect outside, but not inside, the U.S. on 9-11-01. If there had been no advance warning of the attack, fighter planes responding under standard operating procedures would have prevented all attacks inside the U.S. The Bush regime must have decided to permit the attack to succeed.

The short version: About five hours after American 11 struck WTC1, a Korean Airlines 747 approaching Alaska mistakenly set its transponder to "squawk" 7500 ("we have been hijacked"). Forcing the plane to land was not "standard operating procedure"; rather, it was a response to the attacks earlier in the day. Further, prior to September 11, 2001, NORAD was only concerned with air threats from outside the US, and not from within. Finally, as mentioned this testimony was given before the Senate Armed Services Committee--presumably these Senators, most or all of whom are knowlegeable about military matters, were capable of deciding for themselves whether or not this incident constitutes evidence of a conspiracy.

Originally Posted by John B. Massen
A comprehensive report was written, by myself, which cited Myers' testimony, the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks, Bush's behavior at the Florida school, and evidence of planning, long before 9/11/01, aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. The report was sent, by myself, ... to all 257 Democrats in the House and Senate. The transmittal letters all strongly appealed for impeachment of the Bush regime for complicity in permitting the 9/11 attack to occur...

The issue of Bush's behavior at the school has been discussed in the 9/11 thread--again, briefly, there was no need for Bush to rush out of the school--he couldn't leave until the route to the airport had been secured, and there was no need for him to issue any immediate orders, as he knew the military would take appropriate defensive measures.

Originally Posted by John B. Massen
David Ray Griffin's vital book, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11, was released in April 2004. It presented comprehensive evidence indicating deep complicity by the Bush regime in the 9/11 attack. The simplest "snapshot" of that evidence is this: (a) the North Tower (WTC-1) was struck at 8:46 AM, and collapsed 102 minutes later at 10:28 AM; (b) the South Tower (WTC-2) was struck at 9:03 AM and, with a much smaller fire, collapsed 56 minutes later (55% of WTC-1 time) at 9:59 AM; and (c) the 47-story WTC-7, which was two blocks away and not struck by a plane and had smaller interior fires, collapsed at 5:20 PM. (p.12) The collapse of WTC-2 before WTC-1 indicates the cause was not fires, but controlled demolition. (p.17)

This is lame even by conspiracist standards--the planes struck at different levels, and at different attitudes, and probably at different speeds. Also, the size of the fires is in each building is not certain. Yet the difference in times of collapse is offered as "proof" of a conspiracy.

Originally Posted by John B. Massen
Copies of Griffin's book were sent by myself to these Democrats:[list omitted] ...All transmittal letters urged impeachment action, contending that such action and injecting the "complicity issue" into the 2004 presidential campaign was the only way to assure Bush's defeat...

Of course, many Congressional Democrats received, from other persons, much information about the Bush regime complicity in addition to that reported above.

All Congressional Democrats and especially its [sic] leaders, and DNC Chair MCAuliffe, were adequately informed of the Bush regime complicity and had staff and other resources to investigate further. Congressional Democrats had sworn to protect and uphold the constitution. They utterly failed in their obligations to the constitution and to their constituents to be an effective opposition party. The title of this essay is fully justified: the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party and the Media, covered up the deep complicity in the 9/11/01 attack by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Myers.
Why does the principal opposition party join the ruling party in covering up what are probably the worst presidential crimes in U.S. history?

We have two competing theories here:

1) the Democrats took no action because they are spineless lapdogs who also benefit from the corrupt system, or

2) the Democrats took no action because they knew that the "evidence" of the Bush administration's complicity in September 11 was laughably absurd.

Which theory is simpler, and better explains the known observations?

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Surely you know that the Democrats are not going to do a damn thing about impeachment . . .

Yes, for two reasons. First and foremost, there is no compelling evidence that any crimes were committed by Bush. Abuses of power, perhaps, but all abuses of power do not constitute "high crimes and misdemeanors." Name any US President besides William Henry Harrison and James Garfield, and I'll find you at least one action that his politicial opponents considered an "abuse of power." Impeachment should be reserved only for the very worst cases (and please don't beg the question of whether Bush and company staged the September 11 attacks; as has been demonstrated ad nauseam, there is no real evidence; only the paranoid suspicions of certain conspiracists).

Second, the Democrats know that a majority of the American people don't want Bush to be impeached, and that if he is impeached, the Democrats will suffer the consequences in the next election. You will doubtless characterize this as political cowardice; I say it's democracy working as intended.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
and if you listen to Sibel Edmonds' recent interview at antiwar.com, you also know that they aren't going to do a damn things about the high level corruption - involving a nuclear black market - that she was privy to.

You're begging the question of whether her allegations are substantially true. How do you know she didn't misinterpret some of what she saw and heard? Did it occur to you that some of the wiretapped conversations she translated could have involved people who were mistaken or lying? Black-market scams involving bogus nuclear materials are quite common; in fact, many of them are perpetrated by Western intelligence agencies in order to smoke out terrorists and illicit weapons programs. According to an article from the Institute for Science and International Security:

Quote:
Scams are Common

Scams happen all the time. It is part and parcel of the business of illicit procurement. In the case of Iraq, its intelligence agencies bought or were willing to buy red mercury, a material purported to be a powerful high explosive, and uranium wrongly characterized as a deadly radiological weapon. According to a former senior CIA official, Iran in the early 1990s purchased something it believed was a complete nuclear weapon, only to learn after paying a large sum of money that it had been scammed.

In addition, at least two of bin Laden’s attempts in the mid-1990s to obtain highly enriched uranium or plutonium fell victim to scams. These previous scams inevitably lead to the question of whether al Qaeda gave up its quest for nuclear material or got smarter, and perhaps more successful, in its efforts.

Further, as noted, Edmonds has testified before Congress and the September 11 Commission.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
I part company with my fellow 911 Truthers when they over-emphasize (in my view) a push for a serious re-investigation of 911. I think it's a noble cause, but one doomed for failure with the two main political parties as corrupt as they are.

Again, your "evidence" for this corruption appears to consist primarily of the fact that they don't agree with your interpretation of certain events, or with your worldview.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
That is one reason why I think more effort should go into reforming those parties via ethical people taking them over

By "ethical" do you mean "people who agree with my ideology"?

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
(and furthermore more effort should go into creating a media replacement, rather than begging the current media to do their jobs).

It's clear from your OP that you use failure to publicize various conspiracy theories as evidence that the media are not doing "their jobs". You seem to be utterly incapable of considering the possibility that that failure might be due to those theories' utter lack of merit.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
E.g., the Progressive Democrats of America are a bona fide group which looks to remake the Democratic Party in its image. Likewise, though I don't know any details, I have read that Ron Paul is going to try and push Constitution-respecting, libertarian-leaning Republican candidates into office. I very much hope both groups succeed in a big way

Careful; your agenda is showing.

Quote:
In any event, it seems much more realistic to me to view government 911 obfuscation as a reminder that both major parties are in dire need of reform, rather than assume that 911 can act as some sort of Rosetta stone that will lead to truth and light in our government.

It should rather serve as a reminder that politicians and bureaucrats (like most human beings) have a natural tendency to want to cover their posteriors, and will tend to resist releasing information that might potentially be used, fairly or unfairly, as evidence of their complacency, bad judgment, or incompetence.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
His wrong prediction about Bush being removed from office doesn't negate his arguments. If anything, it implies that he understated the situation - the system is so corrupt that it won't even remove criminals like Bush and Cheney from office.

To reiterate, the "evidence" presented to the Democrats is ridiculous, and their failure to act on it was perfectly reasonable.
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Old 17th June 2008, 09:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
By "ethical" do you mean "people who agree with my ideology"?
If he means truthers, it's a bold departure from any definition of "ethical" I've ever been aware of.
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Old 17th June 2008, 09:54 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
We really need a smiley depicting the point whooshing over somebody's head. It's fairly clear that SpitfireIX was pointing out that there is an asymmetry here between left wing conspiracy theories, such as 9-11 and JFK, which the left gatekeepers are somehow suppressing by ridiculing them, and right wing conspiracy theories such as Pearl Harbor, which wouldn't be subject to left gatekeeping because no serious leftist would consider them for an instant. Where are the right gatekeepers who are covering up the truth about Pearl Harbor, and should they be subject to the same Emperor of China analysis that you're proposing for the left gatekeepers?

Dave

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3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
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Old 17th June 2008, 10:10 AM   #25
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The reason Chomsky, Zmag and the others don't buy in is because of a fundamentally different worldview - they tend towards a systemic analysis of world power, whereas truthers focus on individuals and their connections ("connect the dots!") to explain why things happen.

As such, studying why a cabal of individuals (may) have conducted a false flag operation is less important to them than understanding the underlying structures of capitalism, the history of power, and the kind of activism that works for real change in people's lives (anti-poverty) rather than the kind of activism that effectively thwarts progressive change (NWO types wanna throw the baby out with the bathwater with revolution, with 9/11 being seen as the kind of catalyst that can "wake people up" to this reality) -> Chomsky and others believe in incremental change.

They're just coming from a whole different viewpoint, one I don't think you could understand given what I've read here (or dismiss as much as they dismiss yours).
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Old 17th June 2008, 10:20 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
We really need a smiley depicting the point whooshing over somebody's head. It's fairly clear that SpitfireIX was pointing out that there is an asymmetry here between left wing conspiracy theories, such as 9-11 and JFK, which the left gatekeepers are somehow suppressing by ridiculing them, and right wing conspiracy theories such as Pearl Harbor, which wouldn't be subject to left gatekeeping because no serious leftist would consider them for an instant. Where are the right gatekeepers who are covering up the truth about Pearl Harbor, and should they be subject to the same Emperor of China analysis that you're proposing for the left gatekeepers?

Dave
Ah, I see. Well, I'm not familiar with the National Review. My exposure to conservative political thought is mostly via chroniclesmagazine.org and amconmag.com. My favorite writer for Chronicles Magazine is Trifkovic, who did, indeed, write a serious column on Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor perfidy. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be displaying his columns before 2007, so I can't link to it. (Meanwhile, another Chronicles columnist, Paul Craig Roberts, could be fairly described as a 911 Truther).

I would also like to see a serious analysis of elite right wing media vehicles vis-a-vis CFE's. I'm not sure why the focus has been on left gatekeepers, but I can guess - a lefty expects a capitalist government to crush human beings in it's quest for ever expanding markets, and furthermore a leftist is expected to raise hell about this. A righty, on the other hand, even if he/she has similar expectations, will be inclined to be mum about them, perhaps considering it the natural order of things.

That is a generalization, and probably not a very compelling one. I am attracted to brilliant and creative thinkers of both the right and left, whose philosophy is not too abstractly presented, and whose reasoning is clear and consistent, in so far as I can tell, with what their principles are. I care less about the particulars of their philosophical orientation are, than I am about their honesty and clarity in applying those principles to whatever topic they're discussing. (It also helps if they have a pragmatic streak. Ideologues who have no sense of how even a good idea can become a very bad one, if pushed too far, are harder to take seriously.)


Thus, if you read enough in Chronicles Magazine and the American Conservative, you will see Bill O'Reilly and his like referred to as "blow-hards", and the conservative bona fides of both him and Bush are questioned. Frankly, the paleo-conservatives would probably find it not just mistaken, but insulting, to be confused with the likes of a Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh. And I would agree with them. I view both O'Reilly and Limbaugh as shameless propagandists and smear merchants.

One shouldn't forget, also, that as Chomsky has reminded us, the definitions of "conservative" and "liberal" have been fluid, historically speaking.

Anyway, I doubt that I answered the question at all adequately, and I doubt that I can answer the question adequately. While I reject the identification of the CFE conspiracy theories as left wing or right wing, (since they ultimately seem to reflect an amoral, unprincipled, collective will to power, which reflects no philosophy* worthy of the name, either of the right or left) ultimately I'd like to see the question of CFE denial in media addressed throughout the political spectrum. Maybe if enough people seriously looked into this, I could manage a more informed answer!

* Philosophy means "love of wisdom".....
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Old 17th June 2008, 10:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
* Philosophy means "love of wisdom".....

"Philosophy was always a very interesting subject. The word philosophy comes from philo, meaning "wild, mind blowing to think about," and sophy, meaning "until you grow up a little more and realize it's a dumb waste of time."
-Doc Evil (somethingawful.com)
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Old 17th June 2008, 11:59 AM   #28
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I'll say again, if you're gonna try ANYBODY, I'm your guy. I'm the only OFFICIAL Gatekeeper Of The Left, and I really should sue all the rest for trademark violation.

So, Truthers.

Bring.

It.

On.
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Old 17th June 2008, 12:05 PM   #29
metamars
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I never said they were "left gatekeepers."

<mega snip>
I do not have unlimited time for discussing, in this thread, any and all evidence for 911, the mysteries of right vs. left, the real reason that Democrats do what they do, what you think you've already demonstrated, etc.

This thread is about a suggestion that I made to Diane for overcoming an intellectual segregation and avoidance found in some online forums, regarding CFE, 911. Since I think the forums' governance are likely inscrutable, and they are relatively insignificant, anyway, my suggestion to Diane focussed on the left media. My reasoning is that a public less enamored of the left media will be more likely to recreate it, as well as forums with the same readership. (There's also the fact that media bias is intrinsically worthy of study.)

If you have anything substantial to add along these lines, please do so.

This is possible - notice that Mackey stuck to the subject.

Regardless of what you think about particular CFE's, you are offering nothing in the way of evidence or useful suggestion(s) to find out either a) what makes the elite left media so uniform when it comes to CFE's or b) can we detect bias using probability theory. I find it striking that you - like so many "debunkers" - show no interest in having real research done on the subject. You want us to believe - perhaps because you really believe it, yourself - that you actually know the answer, with such a high degree of certainty that no further inquiry is necessary.

Nonsense. Indeed, in the case of the MLK trial, Dr. Pepper has told us what flesh and blood reporters told him about why they weren't going to cover the full story. They didn't want to lose their jobs! So, not only is it possible to get comments out of flesh and blood reporters to explain their actions wrt a CFE, in at least this case, the nature of their comments most certainly pointed to a control mechanism of some type, and not, as you monotonously seem to fantasize, it's simply a case that "that failure might be due to those theories' utter lack of merit."

If there was a body of research literature that showed that American reporters and editors had seriously looked into 911 and other CFE's, as evidenced by current and former such individuals revealing their research activities in extensive interviews, think how great that would make your position. Instead of just implying that the media does it's job, you could instead point to solid evidence and state, unequivocally, that the media DID it's job.

You also lost your chance to be the first to question the very applicability of probability theory to b), having been scooped by Mackey. Also, although he commented around the issue, it's certainly relevant to question the usefulness of a citizen's trial, even when you get past the fact that it has no legal teeth.

Ultimately, I am not interested in cursory explanations, and even if one could make a strong claim of bias from a probabilistic analysis, that still wouldn't tell us anything about why and how there was such a bias. As for the why and how, I don't see how this can be definitively answered absent extensive interviews of editors and reporters.

BTW, I asked Diane to either post the rest of her comments, or allow me to quote them.

Finally, I'm very interested in media bias and censorship even when the subject has nothing to do with the murders of Americans. In particular, I'm interested in the claims of Walter Burien re the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. If fact, being a "follow the money" kind of conspiracy theorist, I think of this as the mother of all conspiracies And, to hear Walter Burien tell it, it shares with 911 and other CRE's 1) failure by Congress to enforce accountability and - drumroll, please - 2) media censorship.

But that is the subject of another thread.
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Old 17th June 2008, 01:41 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Ah, I see. Well, I'm not familiar with the National Review. My exposure to conservative political thought is mostly via chroniclesmagazine.org and amconmag.com.

These two paleoconservative publications are hardly representative of the conservative movement; rather, they represent the Pat Buchanan reactionary fringe (in fact, Buchanan founded TAC). So-called "paleos" are forever attempting to pass themselves off as the "true" conservatives when they're in fact way out in right field.

Circulation figures:

National Review(2004): 155,271

The Weekly Standard (2006): 73,655

The American Conservative (2004): 12,600

Chronicles (1999): 5000

Here's David Frum's take on the "paleos" from a 2003 article that appeared originally in National Review:

Quote:
From the very beginning of the War on Terror, there has been dissent, and as the war has proceeded to Iraq, the dissent has grown more radical and more vociferous. Perhaps that was to be expected. But here is what never could have been: Some of the leading figures in this antiwar movement call themselves "conservatives."

These conservatives are relatively few in number, but their ambitions are large. They aspire to reinvent conservative ideology: to junk the 50-year-old conservative commitment to defend American interests and values throughout the world — the commitment that inspired the founding of this magazine — in favor of a fearful policy of ignoring threats and appeasing enemies. . . .

[T]he antiwar conservatives have gone far, far beyond the advocacy of alternative strategies. They have made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements in this country and in Europe. They deny and excuse terror. They espouse a potentially self-fulfilling defeatism. They publicize wild conspiracy theories. And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies.

Common cause: The websites of the antiwar conservatives approvingly cite and link to the writings of . . . anti-Americans of the far Left.

Conspiracy-theorizing: Justin Raimondo, an Internet journalist who delivered Pat Buchanan's nominating speech at the Reform party convention in 2000, alleged in December 2001 that Israel was implicated in the terror attacks of 9/11: "Whether Israeli intelligence was watching, overseeing, collaborating with or combating the bin Ladenites is an open question. . . . That the Israelis had some significant foreknowledge and involvement in the events preceding 9/11 seems beyond dispute." Raimondo has also repeatedly dropped broad hints that he believes the October 2001 anthrax attacks were the work of an American Jewish scientist bent on stampeding the U.S. into war. . . .

The writers I quote call themselves "paleoconservatives," implying that they are somehow the inheritors of an older, purer conservatism than that upheld by their impostor rivals. But even Robert Taft and Charles Lindbergh ceased accommodating Axis aggression after Pearl Harbor. Since 9/11, by contrast, the paleoconservatives have collapsed into a mood of despairing surrender unparalleled since the Vichy republic went out of business. . . .

Chronicles advocated protectionism for American industry and restrictions on nonwhite immigration. It defended minimum-wage laws and attacked corporations that moved operations off-shore. And it championed the Southern Confederacy of the 1860s and the anti-civil rights resistance of the 1960s. . . .

Early in 1990, Buchanan published an article in The National Interest . . . in which [he] called for a new foreign policy of "America First." And "America First" would be the slogan of Buchanan's presidential run in 1992: more irony, because by 1992 the paleos were frankly disgusted, not merely with the rest of the conservative movement and the Republican party, but with much of America. . . .

Racial passions run strong among the paleos. And yet, having read many hundreds of thousands of their words in print and on the screen, I come away with a strong impression that while their anti-black and anti-Hispanic feelings are indeed intense, another antipathy is far more intellectually important to them.

White racialists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries have to resolve a puzzling paradox. On one hand, they believe in the incorrigible inferiority of darker-skinned people. On the other hand, they perceive darker-skinned people to be gaining the advantage over whites. How to resolve the contradiction? One solution is to posit the existence of a third force, a group that is cunning and capable but, for reasons of its own, implacably hostile to America's white majority.

The accusations culminated in a March 2003 article by Buchanan in The American Conservative that fixed responsibility for the entire Iraq war on a "cabal" of neoconservative office-holders and writers: "We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars . . .

Having quickly decided that the War on Terror was a Jewish war, the paleos equally swiftly concluded that they wanted no part of it. It's odd: 9/11 actually vindicated some of the things that the paleos had been arguing, particularly about immigration and national cohesion. But the paleos were in no mood to press their case. Instead, they plunged into apologetics for the enemy and wishful defeatism. . .

There is . . . a fringe attached to the conservative world that cannot overcome its despair and alienation. The resentments are too intense, the bitterness too unappeasable. Only the boldest of them as yet explicitly acknowledge their wish to see the United States defeated in the War on Terror. But they are thinking about defeat, and wishing for it, and they will take pleasure in it if it should happen.

They began by hating the neoconservatives. They came to hate their party and this president. They have finished by hating their country.

War is a great clarifier. It forces people to take sides. The paleoconservatives have chosen — and the rest of us must choose too. In a time of danger, they have turned their backs on their country. [b]Now we turn our backs on them. [bolding mine]

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
My favorite writer for Chronicles Magazine is Trifkovic, who did, indeed, write a serious column on Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor perfidy. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be displaying his columns before 2007, so I can't link to it. (Meanwhile, another Chronicles columnist, Paul Craig Roberts, could be fairly described as a 911 Truther).

Here's a copy of of Trifkovic's article. This is obviously some strange usage of the word "serious" that I wasn't previously aware of. I'll start a new thread on Triflovic's regurgitation of standard conspiracist garbage when I have a chance.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
I would also like to see a serious analysis of elite right wing media vehicles vis-a-vis CFE's. I'm not sure why the focus has been on left gatekeepers, but I can guess - a lefty expects a capitalist government to crush human beings in it's quest for ever expanding markets, and furthermore a leftist is expected to raise hell about this. A righty, on the other hand, even if he/she has similar expectations, will be inclined to be mum about them, perhaps considering it the natural order of things.

And you still haven't answered my question: why would mainstream conservatives continually pass up such a golden opportunity to attaint FDR of treason?

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
That is a generalization, and probably not a very compelling one. I am attracted to brilliant and creative thinkers of both the right and left, whose philosophy is not too abstractly presented, and whose reasoning is clear and consistent, in so far as I can tell, with what their principles are. I care less about the particulars of their philosophical orientation are, than I am about their honesty and clarity in applying those principles to whatever topic they're discussing. (It also helps if they have a pragmatic streak. Ideologues who have no sense of how even a good idea can become a very bad one, if pushed too far, are harder to take seriously.)

I'm rather perplexed as to how you could believe that a non-trivial number of "brilliant and creative thinkers of . . . the right" could be found by only looking at paleoconservative sources.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Thus, if you read enough in Chronicles Magazine and the American Conservative, you will see Bill O'Reilly and his like referred to as "blow-hards", and the conservative bona fides of both him and Bush are questioned. Frankly, the paleo-conservatives would probably find it not just mistaken, but insulting, to be confused with the likes of a Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh. And I would agree with them. I view both O'Reilly and Limbaugh as shameless propagandists and smear merchants.

See above.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
One shouldn't forget, also, that as Chomsky has reminded us, the definitions of "conservative" and "liberal" have been fluid, historically speaking.

They've been reasonably stable since about 1900, IMO.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Anyway, I doubt that I answered the question at all adequately, and I doubt that I can answer the question adequately.

That is certainly an acceptable response; however, I would ask you to consider whether the fact that you don't believe you can answer ought to lead you to reexamine your premises.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
While I reject the identification of the CFE conspiracy theories as left wing or right wing, (since they ultimately seem to reflect an amoral, unprincipled, collective will to power, which reflects no philosophy worthy of the name, either of the right or left) . . .

I'd say the above sums up conspiracy theories very succinctly. I'd have to say, in all frankness, however, that it also sums up many conspiracy theorists' motivations very succinictly.

Originally Posted by metamars View Post
. . . ultimately I'd like to see the question of CFE denial in media addressed throughout the political spectrum. Maybe if enough people seriously looked into this, I could manage a more informed answer!

Again, you're begging the question of whether any of these theories even have any merit.
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Old 18th June 2008, 06:00 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
This thread is about a suggestion that I made to Diane for overcoming an intellectual segregation and avoidance found in some online forums, regarding CFE, 911.
Use the search function, these subjects have been debated to death. It's not because the overall conclusion disagrees with your opinion that these subjects have been "avoided".

Quote:
a) what makes the elite left media so uniform when it comes to CFE's
Usually reporters don't want to go on a limb on unsubstanciated claims. If there was any inkling of truth to these stories they would have a look at it.

These things have been debated to death.

Quote:
b) can we detect bias using probability theory.
A bias towards relevance and credibility, perhaps.

Quote:
You want us to believe - perhaps because you really believe it, yourself - that you actually know the answer, with such a high degree of certainty that no further inquiry is necessary.
Again, we've all looked at these issues, just read this damn forum, it's been done to death.

If you have any evidence, show it.

Quote:
If there was a body of research literature that showed that American reporters and editors had seriously looked into 911 and other CFE's, as evidenced by current and former such individuals revealing their research activities in extensive interviews, think how great that would make your position. Instead of just implying that the media does it's job, you could instead point to solid evidence and state, unequivocally, that the media DID it's job.
The evidence is out there for everyone to see, including reporters. Again, if there was anything to it they would have a go at it. If not American journalists, foreign journalists. Reporters deal with mostly current and relevant issues. 9/11 CTs and other CTs are just no such things.

Now stop procrastinating and get that "new independant investigation" started.

Your cowardice is showing.

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Old 18th June 2008, 05:14 PM   #32
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I would like to know why libertarian Metamars is worrying about the Left gatekeepers and not the right gatekeepers. It's the libertarian truthers targeting of the left which i find fascinating. Why don't they target the right? Aren't the so called gatekeepers on the right even more against 911 conspiracies?

http://www.leftsanepeople.com/
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Old 19th June 2008, 09:39 AM   #33
metamars
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Originally Posted by Pardalis View Post

The evidence is out there for everyone to see, including reporters.
Incorrect, as stated. Obviously, there is a huge amount of information in the public record. There's probably more relevant information that is hidden. Consider what Mike Gravel said just recently in his June 17 Democracy Now interview, entitled Former Senator Mike Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Quote:
Government—90 percent of what the government does is held secret. It’s a whole cult. And that’s the thing that is really strangling our democracy, that we just don’t know what’s going on.

E.g., do you even know the name of the man who asked Cheney "do the orders still stand?" I don't. A real investigation would reveal the name, call him to the stand, and ask him "What were those orders, exactly?".

In that interview, I found it fascinating that no less a non-conformist than George McGovern had been approached, before Gravel, to read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, and had refused. If Gravel and everybody else had also refused, who knows how much longer the Vietnam war would have dragged on?


Quote:
Again, if there was anything to it they would have a go at it.
Oh, really? And your proof of this claim is where, exactly? Notice that I didn't ask you for an argument, I asked you for a proof. Do you agree with me that numerous, extensive interviews of reporters and editors is at least one way to answer this question definitively?


Quote:
If not American journalists, foreign journalists. Reporters deal with mostly current and relevant issues. 9/11 CTs and other CTs are just no such things.
Your model of how the world works may be severely defective. I don't have a link handy, but if you're interested, you should be able to find quotes from an Italian at the recent European Parliament regarding not underestimating the power of the US in influencing foreign governments. (His comments were in relation to the paucity of attendees of the 911 presentation, as compared to how many were available). If similar influence exists within various foreign media outlets, your argument (though plausible on its face) falls apart.

Again, the way to find out why the masses of foreign reporters and editors behave the way they do is to do detailed interviews of them. Can you imagine how ridiculous your arguments would appear in, say, a conference on the subject attended by scholars who specialize in studying the media? Your arguments (what I can glean of them; I haven't taken up your invitation to use the search function, as you've presented not even one compelling quote that would tempt me to do so) are self-serving, but very unimpressive.

Quote:
Now stop procrastinating and get that "new independant investigation" started.
The best hope for a "new independent investigation" in the near term future, but with legal teeth, is the 911 ballot initiative. Though unemployed, I've contributed $50. If all adult Americans who believed in LIHOP or MIHOP contributed $50, there would easily be enough funds to hire locals to gather enough signatures.

As with many real world problems, money can solve them, or at least make them much better. To that end, I requested budget information from the 911 ballot initiative people, and got back the following:

Quote:
Thanks very much for your inquiry and desire to help this ultra-important campaign effort.

Hire 250 people to gather signatures
@$10/hr for 30 hrs/week for 4 weeks $30,000

10 team leaders for 30 hrs/week
@$15/hr for 4 months $9,000

Support staff/administration $2,000

PR firm for 1 month $4,000

Ads on Air America Radio
local NYC market @$120 for
each 60-sec. spot @15 per week $1,800

Ad campaign on NY1 Local TV News $20,000

1/4 page ads in Village Voice
4 weeks $2,000

FYI, we have put out a few general appeals and have recently gotten a dozen or so donations. You're absolutely right, tho. If Ron Paul and other politicians can raise millions, you'd think this effort could do well. It's just a matter of getting the word out. Any help or suggestions is most appreciated!

If you haven't seen it, check out www.nyc911initiative.org/petitioning.htm to see the work that's going on in the streets. I'll update this soon.
I would request that anybody who is seriously interested in a re-investigation put their money where their mouth is. I requires 0 courage to do this, but then again, it costs 0 courage to buy a pound of sugar at the supermarket. Matching the proper effort to fit the task at hand is the intelligent way to proceed. Sometimes that effort involves courage, and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of purchasing a pound of sugar, it requires less than 1 USD, and not even an ounce of courage.


Quote:
Your cowardice is showing.
Your insult re my "cowardice" is duly noted, and I leave it to the reader to determine whether this is spot on, or a cheap shot from somebody who has a lot of trouble discussing things rationally.

Now, let's see if you can summon up the wherewithal to answer my very simple question, viz.,

Quote:
Do you agree with me that numerous, extensive interviews of reporters and editors is at least one way to answer this question definitively?
Doing so will require 0 courage on your part, so your (expected) failure to do so will not prompt a spurious charge of cowardice from me.
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Old 19th June 2008, 09:49 AM   #34
metamars
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Originally Posted by FactCheck View Post
I would like to know why libertarian Metamars is worrying about the Left gatekeepers and not the right gatekeepers. It's the libertarian truthers targeting of the left which i find fascinating. Why don't they target the right? Aren't the so called gatekeepers on the right even more against 911 conspiracies?

http://www.leftsanepeople.com/
Though a fan of antiwar.com, I not only don't consider myself a libertarian, I consider some of their ideas ridiculous. I don't want to comment too much on the subject, though, since I don't know all that much about it.

In point of fact, I don't consider myself left-wing, right-wing, or libertarian, though I find attractive ideas in all of those ideologies. At least what I understand of them.....

I would suggest that you not repeat this spurious characterization of me. That was done by a bozo at physorg, and after the second time, I called him a liar. Which he was, but at least a clever liar would be more subtle.
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Old 19th June 2008, 10:18 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
Incorrect, as stated. Obviously, there is a huge amount of information in the public record. There's probably more relevant information that is hidden. Consider what Mike Gravel said just recently in his June 17 Democracy Now interview, entitled Former Senator Mike Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
One man, wow, your evidence is overwhelming.

Quote:
Oh, really? And your proof of this claim is where, exactly? Notice that I didn't ask you for an argument, I asked you for a proof. Do you agree with me that numerous, extensive interviews of reporters and editors is at least one way to answer this question definitively?
Then go ahead and do it, contact a journalist and do it.

Quote:
Your model of how the world works may be severely defective. I don't have a link handy, but if you're interested, you should be able to find quotes from an Italian at the recent European Parliament regarding not underestimating the power of the US in influencing foreign governments. (His comments were in relation to the paucity of attendees of the 911 presentation, as compared to how many were available). If similar influence exists within various foreign media outlets, your argument (though plausible on its face) falls apart.
I know about that, that Italian parliamentary is repeating the same junk that's been debunked a hundred times.

It's not my problem if you can't handle the answers.

Quote:
Can you imagine how ridiculous your arguments would appear in, say, a conference on the subject attended by scholars who specialize in studying the media?
What's that supposed to mean?

Any reporter would jump at the chance to get this scoop of the century.

Pullitzer Prize rings a bell?

Quote:
I haven't taken up your invitation to use the search function
No surprise there.

Quote:
Though unemployed, I've contributed $50.
50$ to whom? To what organization? Might as well throw that 50$ in the dumpster.

You see, the TM doesn't have a system in place, it doesn't have any clue of how to get their investigation going.

Quote:
If all adult Americans who believed in LIHOP or MIHOP contributed $50, there would easily be enough funds to hire locals to gather enough signatures.
The money is not the issue, it's an excuse. The issue is to get organized, it's about actually working and thinking this thing through, which the TM hasn't done, and is complacently not doing.

Quote:
Your insult re my "cowardice" is duly noted, and I leave it to the reader to determine whether this is spot on, or a cheap shot from somebody who has a lot of trouble discussing things rationally.
And here you are on an internet forum, patronizing people, not doing anything to advance your cause.

You're the one on a witch hunt, trying to put on a mock trial the people you disagree with.

Quote:
Do you agree with me that numerous, extensive interviews of reporters and editors is at least one way to answer this question definitively?
It has been done before.

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Old 19th June 2008, 11:13 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by FactCheck View Post
I would like to know why libertarian Metamars is worrying about the Left gatekeepers and not the right gatekeepers. It's the libertarian truthers targeting of the left which i find fascinating. Why don't they target the right? Aren't the so called gatekeepers on the right even more against 911 conspiracies?

http://www.leftsanepeople.com/
By voting for Bush, we're OBVIOUSLY in on it. But it's apparently a sin for those who weren't brainwashed by him on day one to be unwilling to lie and promote fairy tales in order to make him look worse than he already does.
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Old 22nd June 2008, 09:43 AM   #37
metamars
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Originally Posted by Pardalis View Post

The evidence is out there for everyone to see, including reporters. Again, if there was anything to it they would have a go at it. If not American journalists, foreign journalists.
(emphasis mine)

Donahue and Pozner interview Chomsky at the following links:


http://www.democraticunderground.com...ess=385x149062
http://www.democraticunderground.com...ess=385x149064
http://www.democraticunderground.com...ess=385x149542
http://www.democraticunderground.com...ess=385x149546
http://www.democraticunderground.com...ess=385x149760
http://www.democraticunderground.com...ess=385x149764


In the 5th segment, Chomsky mentions the media's "remarkable subordination to power". I wonder if there has ever been a dyed-in-the-wool "debunker", on JREF, who would admit this much? (Not holding my breath...)

In the last segment, Chomsky addresses a spurious charge by Tom Wolfe that Chomsky claims a "high cabal" is behind media bias, even though he says exactly the opposite. Chomsky continues, "The point is that any analytic commentary on the institutional structure of the country is so threatening to the commissar class they can't even hear the words."

I think this is an exaggeration - not in the case of Tom Wolfe, perhaps, but if this were universally true of workers in the media, then investigating media bias (wrt 911 or any other topic) via numerous, detailed interviews of flesh and blood reporters and editors, would be hopeless. They would all have so thoroughly internalized the institutional biases necessary for them to maintain their employment that none of them would be aware that such an internalization had occurred.

The main reason I'm posting these links, though, is because of what Chomsky relates about media coverage during the virtual "controlled experiment" of Cambodian genocide contemporaneous with the East Timor genocide. About 4:50 into the last segment, Chomsky says,


Quote:
The coverage was dramatically different. Coverage of East Timor declined, sharply, as the atrocities continued. The coverage of East Timor was pretty high before the Indonesian invasion. It then declined and hit zero in both the United States and Canada, in most of the world, Western world, in 1978, when the atrocities really reached genocidal proportions, and Cambodia, OTOH, there was huge publicity a few weeks after the Khmer Rouge takeover, the NY Times was already denouncing genocide, when probably, maybe a few hundred, or a thousand people had been killed. Well, what was the difference? The difference was in one case, the United States was directly behind it, it was providing 90% of the arms, it was providing crucial diplomatic support, the US provided critical diplomatic support. Daniel Moynihan took pride in the fact that he prevented the UN from doing any action, he writes about it with great pride. The US gave them new offers of arms. As the attack peaked, Carter sent more arms, and Cambodia was an enemy. You can be very moral about atrocities committed by an enemy.
(emphasis mine)

The key point, for the purposes of this thread, is that not just US, but Canadian and Western media coverage were helping maintain a picture of the world that was, let's say, "remarkably subordinate to power" - meaning US power. The US likes to project itself as a benign influence in the world - certainly not an enabler of genocide. Certainly we all know the drill - "freedom", "democracy", blah, blah. I don't have the time or sufficient interest to research whether this was a one-off 'follow the leader' constellation of media events, but do note that we are talking about coverage of genocide. If genocide is not a worthy topic of objective coverage, then I don't know what is.

I have put the question about additional examples (not involving E. Timor) to Chomsky (as well as what he thinks about doing extensive interviews of reporters and editors to detect and explain media bias). We'll see what he says.
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Old 22nd June 2008, 11:05 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by metamars View Post
I didn't view a people's trial of left gatekeepers (or anything else) as having to have the same standards as a real trial, in a real court, where subpoenas can be issued. Meanwhile, if you relax the burden of proof so much that, in the eyes of most people, it becomes laughable, then your people's trial will serve no purpose (other than to reinforce the pre-existing suspicions and conclusions of the people carrying out the trial).


The probabilities in the web page I've suggested are assigned, partly and wholly (depending on which of the applications I sketched out we're talking about) by the user. As for the formulas, I don't think there is anything ad hoc about them. They will be the standard formulas from probability theory. It's been many years, but I think one will have to use Baye's Theorem.



It is, rather, an attempt to make sense of the reporting of past events, in particular as seen through the prism of left elite media, wherein the probability that one assigns to these (presumably) independent media venues will, indeed, reflect one's ideology. Not to mention a host of other factors, such as prior exposure to conspiracy literature, the quality of same, psychological predisposition to accept authority (as well as the narratives embraced by authority), capacity for critical thinking, etc.

Certainly you agree with me that the reporting on the conspiracy friendly events (CFE's) I mentioned, of the left media, is no accident. Lacking a thorough investigation into how these media outlets arrived at the conclusions they did, one can guess that they were essentially wrong or essentially right, and furthermore guess as to what the probability is that their wrongness (or rightness) is the result of innocent misjudgement (or judgement).

The probabilities that the user of the web page I describe are encapsulating are their assumptions in the form of probabilities. If you want to claim that they pull these "out of thin air", go right ahead. You're mostly correct, because these users will not have the benefit of the thorough investigation of the editorial and reporting processes at each of the left media outlets.


No, because there is no state power associated with such trials, whatsoever. They are mostly to inform, and hopefully lead to the real thing. Lacking subpoena power and the power to compel testimony, I believe most reasonable people will make allowances by not expecting the same burden of proof as in a real trial.



People make informal (non-numerical, and thus non-numerically verifiable) estimates of probabilities all the time. They will consciously speed on a road with little traffic, and no history of being scouted by cops looking to hand out a speeding ticket. They will also consciously speed on a road with a lot of traffic, where they've often seen people pulled over speeding, nevertheless assuming that the odds that it will be themselves, today, getting pulled over, are acceptable. They will play lottery games, knowing that the odds of them winning the grand prize are very, very slim. (OK, in this case, the lottery commission can tell you the precise probability.)

As long as one doesn't treat the web application I suggest as a slam-dunk proof of anything, I don't see the problem. It is, rather, suggestive, a diagnostic tool more than anything else, and a complete skeptic who rejects all CFE's as conspiracies will doubtless reject the computed net probability of CFE reporting by elite left media, when the results reflect inputs by individuals who are not complete skeptics. But not everybody is as rigid as a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic or a dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist. For people in between, who believe that the fairest estimation of CFE is that the associated reporting has some chance of being true, and also some chance of being deliberately false, (and both probabilities are non-trivial), the web application might be very eye-opening.

As for "retribution", there is no retribution to speak of, lacking state power. Speaking for myself, I have no interest in retribution even were official, state-sanctioned trials ever to come about. I want evil-doers disempowered. Period, end of story. Heck, I'd be all for giving perpetrators a reward, provided they were ejected from the government, and all ties with it were severed, should this be the easiest and most thorough way to proceed. Which I suspect it is.

( Admittedly, this may be a minority position. )
You're in luck cause we're going to have an election.
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Old 22nd June 2008, 12:16 PM   #39
metamars
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
You're in luck cause we're going to have an election.
If only it was that easy. Elections are just a start. It is a problem in at least some democracies that unelected bureaucrats, who have seen elected officials come and go, can stymie the efforts of the elected officials. This was the case, e.g., with trade agreements that the Japanese government signed in the 70's or 80's. The Japanese trade officials did not follow up, as expected by the Americans, signed pieces of paper by their presumed superiors notwithstanding.

If those bureaucracies have deep black budgets, and have additionally been engaged in murderous and arguably treasonable activities, and if even the non-black portion of the bureaucracy show signs of dominating ideal activity of elected officials (even if just by virtue of it's effects on local economies - see Chalmers Johnson), things get even stickier. I am, of course, referring to the US military.

There has been some bitter discussion on dailykos.com lately re the Democrats capitulation on FISA (misleadingly referred to as a compromise). People that are basically for Democrats have been quite open about Pelosi and Reid needing to be defeated, and that they have been compromised by being privy to illegal activities by the Bush Administration. You could say that, by keeping their mouths shut for so long, they are "in on it".

If this is the case, even if the FISA-get-out-of-jail-free bill doesn't pass, would a President Obama instruct the Justice Department to prosecute not only Republican law breakers, but also Pelosi and Reid?

Fat chance..... And if he was foolish enough to only prosecute Republicans, they would scream bloody murder (not to mention sabotage him on the legislative front) and for damn good reason. (BTW, I recall Obama, on one occasion, making noises about reviewing illegal activity during the Bush administration, but I don't take him seriously.)

My prediction for the US government doing a serious investigation of 911, after Jan 2009, remains unchanged. The chances are near zero - the Democrats will do absolutely nothing. Only if the NY ballot initiative came to pass, and if it wasn't stymied, or if some other equally dramatic turn of events comes to pass, would we see a thorough investigation at the federal level.

Having said all this, it's irresponsible of American citizens not to engage more fully in the political process. One can certainly do so, without embracing 'high strangeness' issues like 911 Truth. That means that American JREFer "debunkers" are eligible!
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Old 22nd June 2008, 12:44 PM   #40
leftysergeant
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Oklahoma City bombing vs. key facts pointing away from the government official account - Is a bunch of out of context quotes and wholesale lies from a crowd of paranoid loons.
The supposed "flaws" in the official narrative of OKC are wildly specualtive rumors, based on the inability of the morons pushing them to figure out that a BATF office would have bomb-like devices lying about, and that, because there were no BATF agents present to identify them, the local police had to treat them as they would an actual, verified bomb. Standard operating procedure. But tell that to someone with the IQ of a typical twoofer.

As for the "evidence" pulled out of Benton Partin's pants, there is a good reason for leftist journalists to throw that pile of compsot out with the yard wastes. Partin is a liar and a supporter of terorist organizations world-wide, including UNITA in Angola, and was sympathetic with the South Africans in putting down the popular uprising in Namibia. He's a Dominionist and no friend of the left. Why would any decent person want to give that thug a venue? Let the white nationalists and Dominionists waste their own money spreading their disinfo.

As for Barie Zwicker, he is out of his intellectual depth and spews garbage about things he does not even begin to comprehend.

Twoofers need to stop whining about liberal journalists whose minds are not wide open to the BS.
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