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Old 20th October 2009, 10:59 AM   #1
W.D.Clinger
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the T-word

In several ongoing or recent threads, posters have complained that the word "truther" is ill-defined, overly broad, and/or pejorative.

Its meaning is certainly ill-defined. I use "truther" as a convenient abbreviation for members of and financial contributors to the various "X for 9/11 Truth" groups, including a few that don't actually have the word "truth" in their name. Others may use the word more broadly, referring to all who believe in or suspect a MIHOP or LIHOP scenario, even if they have no connection with an organized group.

The T-word also lumps together many people whose activies and beliefs are quite diverse. On the other hand, that's true of most words that identify a group of people: engineers, Christians, alchemists, pilots, scientists, musicians, atheists, astrologers, soldiers, liberals, conservatives.

The T-word can also be used pejoratively. When deliberately misspelled, the pejorative intent seems obvious. Otherwise its pejorative content would seem to require some knowledge of context or speaker, much as the word "atheist" is positive when Richard Dawkins uses it but may sound pejorative when spoken by some Christians, or "liberal" may be more pejorative when pronounced by some aspirants to elected offices than when pronounced by others. In a few cases, the pejorative content of a word reflects the judgment of history: "alchemist" and "astrologer" are more pejorative for us today than they were for Isaac Newton.

After comparing "truther" to other words that identify groups of people, I believe it remains useful even though, like those other words, it is ill-defined, ignores many differences, and can be used pejoratively.

On the other hand, words can change their meaning or lose their usefulness. If "truther" has acquired so much baggage as to compromise its neutrality, then perhaps it is time to invent or to adopt a different word.

So I ask:
  1. Is "truther" no longer regarded as a neutral reference to members of the various "X for 9/11 Truth" groups?
  2. Is there a better word, equally convenient and as widely understood but with less baggage?

Will
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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I've always called a spade a spade, so if truthers get mad because as members of the "truth" movement, they don't like being called "truthers" I will then call a whiny bitch a whiny bitch.
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:16 AM   #3
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truther

Members of the movement are often referred to as "truthers," "conspiracy theorists", occasionally as "9/11 deniers", and "9/11 skeptics."

And they're point about being called Truthers? Is nothing compared to the Force.

I wonder why we don't grip about being called "debunkers"? I know! Because we're not that childish.
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:20 AM   #4
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It would be idiotic and childish for a Truther to complain about being called a Truther, seeing as how it was the Truth Movement who gave themselves the label of "Truther" in the first place.

Then again, if I ever had to choose just two words to describe the Truth Movement, "idiotic" and "childish" would be they.
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 9/11ChewbaccaDefense View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truther

Members of the movement are often referred to as "truthers," "conspiracy theorists", occasionally as "9/11 deniers", and "9/11 skeptics."

And they're point about being called Truthers? Is nothing compared to the Force.

I wonder why we don't grip about being called "debunkers"? I know! Because we're not that childish.
I actually prefer the term "Archie Debunker"
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Macgyver1968 View Post
I actually prefer the term "Archie Debunker"
Archie Bunker: "My hands was pickin' pockets... my feet was runnin' away from bank robberies... and my eyes was lookin' at hard pore cornography."
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:32 AM   #7
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I prefer to be called "Wookie". Chewbacca sounds like I chew tobacco which I don't.
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Old 20th October 2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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If certain people on this forum don't like being called a "Truther", or any derivation thereof, let them report these grievous offenses to the mods. If it is determined these terms are verboten, then so be it. But until then, this whole issue is just a wankfest perpetrated by intellectual cowards who lack the integrity to engage in honest debate.
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Old 20th October 2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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There are those that liken the word to racism. Yes, you read that right.

Quote:
NGC actually used the term "truthers" to refer to the objectivists, a silly-sounding label used as shorthand within the community of 9/11 skeptics, but not one that they use when speaking to critics. The use of that insider label was one of the many appeals to emotion rather than reason used in the show. To help understand this, compare the use of the "N" word by African-Americans themselves, as opposed to its use by people who are not members of that group and instead are hostile toward its members. The repeated use of the word "beliefs," more appropriate to emotional and religious contexts, rather than the word "conclusions," which carries a connotation of rationality, is another example of this kind of manipulation.
I. kid. you. not.


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Old 20th October 2009, 12:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 9/11ChewbaccaDefense View Post
I prefer to be called "Wookie". Chewbacca sounds like I chew tobacco which I don't.
Not to be confused with a w00k...
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Old 20th October 2009, 02:15 PM   #11
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Jon Gold claimed at one point that he invented the word "Truther"; he said that Nick Levis first associated "Truth" with 9-11, and that when another guy got discouraged, he told him something like, "Don't give up, you're a Truther!"

I would trust that story about as far as I can toss Jon.
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Old 20th October 2009, 02:17 PM   #12
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They're out of arguments, they know there's nothing they can do, so now they're left to acting like they're upset.
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Old 20th October 2009, 02:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pardalis View Post
They're out of arguments, they know there's nothing they can do, so now they're left to acting like they're upset.
They're probably just looking for a name that's easier for them to spell.
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Old 20th October 2009, 02:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Not to be confused with a w00k...
LOL @ Wildcat!

It's better than being called a "Twoofer".

T-Woofers sound systems sounds kind of nice though.
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Old 20th October 2009, 03:17 PM   #15
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I think it's telling that they now object to the term (name). At one time they were shouting and proclaiming it themselves at the top of their lungs. Now that "truther" has become synonymous with "lying bastards" and "kooks" they want to change. I say they made the bed, now lie in it.
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Old 20th October 2009, 03:31 PM   #16
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I refuse to call them that. They are nothing more than cultists for it is akin to a dogmatic religion.
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Old 20th October 2009, 03:36 PM   #17
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Instead of being called "Truthers", what about?:

INGLORIOUS BASTARDS

Haven't seen the movie yet!
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Old 20th October 2009, 03:52 PM   #18
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I've noticed this too, only lately. I don't think it's so much a rejection of the epithet(as it's of their own creation) as it is a stalling and re-directing tactic. See this RedIbis example. In the line of serious fire, his "What is a truther?" derail provided him the necessary smokescreen to flee the argument.

If truthers don't like that particular term, they surely won't like the hundred or so more befitting terms that I could think up which describes them better.

Last edited by apathoid; 20th October 2009 at 04:14 PM. Reason: double positive to drive the point home!
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Old 20th October 2009, 04:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by apathoid View Post
I've noticed this too, only lately. I don't think it's so much a rejection of the epithet(as it's of their own creation) as it is a stalling and re-directing tactic. See this RedIbis example. In the line of serious fire, his "What is a truther?" derail provided him the necessary smokescreen to flee the argument.
That was one of several posts that inspired this thread, where the topic can be discussed at whatever length is necessary, without the distraction of more substantive issues.

Are there no dissenting voices? If those who objected to the term in other threads are unwilling to discuss the matter here, then it will look as though their objections were indeed mere diversions.

One thing I have learned from the discussion thus far is that some people find "9/11 truther" to be less objectionable than "truther". It seems redundant in this particular forum to make the "9/11" explicit, but I will make an effort to say "9/11 truther" instead of just plain "truther" in other fora.

I would also like to acknowledge that some 9/11 truthers have made genuine contributions to public knowledge of that day's events.

Will
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Old 20th October 2009, 05:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Are there no dissenting voices? If those who objected to the term in other threads are unwilling to discuss the matter here, then it will look as though their objections were indeed mere diversions.

They're thinking......it may take them some time to come up with an answer that makes any kind of sense. And don't bank on RedIbis answering a question with anything other than another question.
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Old 20th October 2009, 05:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
That was one of several posts that inspired this thread, where the topic can be discussed at whatever length is necessary, without the distraction of more substantive issues.

Are there no dissenting voices? If those who objected to the term in other threads are unwilling to discuss the matter here, then it will look as though their objections were indeed mere diversions.

One thing I have learned from the discussion thus far is that some people find "9/11 truther" to be less objectionable than "truther". It seems redundant in this particular forum to make the "9/11" explicit, but I will make an effort to say "9/11 truther" instead of just plain "truther" in other fora.

I would also like to acknowledge that some 9/11 truthers have made genuine contributions to public knowledge of that day's events.

Will
Please name all the contributions that the Truthers have made to knowledge about 9/11. Genuine knowledge, mind, not batcrap crazy theories.
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Old 20th October 2009, 05:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Please name all the contributions that the Truthers have made to knowledge about 9/11. Genuine knowledge, mind, not batcrap crazy theories.

Russ Pickering on the Pentagon, for one. It was breath-taking to see how easily and effortlessly he countered the mutts at LC with evidence, facts, logic and insight. However, those attributes left him when he argued other 9/11 topics....
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Old 20th October 2009, 05:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Please name all the contributions that the Truthers have made to knowledge about 9/11. Genuine knowledge, mind, not batcrap crazy theories.
All? No can do. My knowledge is limited. I will give one example, though.

John Farmer and others investigated the approach of flight 77 to the Pentagon, obtaining data and making sense of it. See http://aal77.com/

Because Farmer actually cares about truth, he may no longer consider himself to be a truther, but my understanding is that he considered himself to be a truther when he began his research.

Will
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Old 20th October 2009, 05:58 PM   #24
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I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again. Calling someone a truther, or calling one's self a truther is equally stupid.

How it is on a forum supposedly for critical thinking and civil discourse acceptable to label the opponent, conflate the position and basically refer to all opposition of a position with a pejorative is a bit of a mystery.

Anyone who uses this term freely has to at some point realize that not only does it strengthen your position not a jot, it weakens your position.

People who question the official story of 9/11 are not truthers, they're mothers, fathers, cops, lawyers, architects, students, your neighbor or co-worker. I would advise DRG and anyone else who accepts this term that they're not truthers and there is no such thing as a truth movement. It's damn near impossible to know the entire truth about anything. The best that anyone can do is establish facts. If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.

Abandon the practice of labeling and watch how much harder it will be to argue your opponent, how you cannot conflate your opponent's position with fringe ideas. I suspect the reason these labels are so popular here is because it dehumanizes the opponent, giving an easy excuse not to engage in discourse.
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Old 20th October 2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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I think part of the issue that some 9/11 CTists have with being called "truthers" is simply this.

(A) When they chose to be called it, it had no negative connotation associated with it, and in fact, as they saw it, had a positive one...they were "seekers of the truth". Now, however, in 2009, the word "truther" to most intelligent people on the planet, means "Paranoid Whiny Wooster", and so now they wish to abandon it...and what it now stands for in the common vernacular.

(B) Some consider a "truther" to be an active PROMOTER of the Conspiracy Theories on 9/11, and hence do not like to be labeled as such, if they simply have doubts, but do not actively promote the theories...their is an over-labeling occurring.

TAM
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Old 20th October 2009, 06:07 PM   #26
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Im surprised Creationists dont have a problem being called as such.
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Old 20th October 2009, 06:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again. Calling someone a truther, or calling one's self a truther is equally stupid.

How it is on a forum supposedly for critical thinking and civil discourse acceptable to label the opponent, conflate the position and basically refer to all opposition of a position with a pejorative is a bit of a mystery.

Anyone who uses this term freely has to at some point realize that not only does it strengthen your position not a jot, it weakens your position.

People who question the official story of 9/11 are not truthers, they're mothers, fathers, cops, lawyers, architects, students, your neighbor or co-worker. I would advise DRG and anyone else who accepts this term that they're not truthers and there is no such thing as a truth movement. It's damn near impossible to know the entire truth about anything. The best that anyone can do is establish facts. If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.

Abandon the practice of labeling and watch how much harder it will be to argue your opponent, how you cannot conflate your opponent's position with fringe ideas. I suspect the reason these labels are so popular here is because it dehumanizes the opponent, giving an easy excuse not to engage in discourse.
I agree with a fair bit of what you say, but...

The idea that there is no "truth movement" so to speak, is naive. There is, with 100% certainty, an active movement, organized to varying degrees, of promotion of the CTs concerning 9/11. Scholars for 9/11 truth, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth. S. Jones group. These people, along with many of the snake oil salesmen (DRG, Gage, A.Jones) and their loyal followers do constitute a "movement". Now whether you consider yourself and others who "simply have doubts" part of the movement, is a separate issue.

TAM
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Old 20th October 2009, 06:11 PM   #28
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Crying over a word?

Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
Anyone who uses this term freely has to at some point realize that not only does it strengthen your position not a jot, it weakens your position.

And what are your weak points Red?

It's damn near impossible to know the entire truth about anything. The best that anyone can do is establish facts. If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.

If it's "damn near impossible" then how come you reject the evidence put by the 9/11 Commission?

Abandon the practice of labeling and watch how much harder it will be to argue your opponent, how you cannot conflate your opponent's position with fringe ideas. I suspect the reason these labels are so popular here is because it dehumanizes the opponent, giving an easy excuse not to engage in discourse.

Just because you're labeled a Truther shouldn't make you get emotional over a simple little word.
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Old 20th October 2009, 06:29 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
Abandon the practice of labeling and watch how much harder it will be to argue your opponent, how you cannot conflate your opponent's position with fringe ideas.
Funny how you associate the term "truther" with fringe ideas(like a massive DNA planting operation at the Pentagon).


Quote:
I suspect the reason these labels are so popular here is because it dehumanizes the opponent, giving an easy excuse not to engage in discourse.
The term "truther" is dehumanizing?! Where is the drama queen smilie? Good Lord.


Quote:
If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.
Nahh, that'd be inaccurate. I like the "JAQoff Movement" better. Descriptive. Accurate.

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Old 20th October 2009, 06:36 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by T.A.M. View Post
I agree with a fair bit of what you say, but...

The idea that there is no "truth movement" so to speak, is naive. There is, with 100% certainty, an active movement, organized to varying degrees, of promotion of the CTs concerning 9/11. Scholars for 9/11 truth, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth. S. Jones group. These people, along with many of the snake oil salesmen (DRG, Gage, A.Jones) and their loyal followers do constitute a "movement". Now whether you consider yourself and others who "simply have doubts" part of the movement, is a separate issue.

TAM

Red's trying to make us understand that the TM isn't one big cult of likeminded Kool-Aid drinkers. We know better....
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Old 20th October 2009, 06:50 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again. Calling someone a truther, or calling one's self a truther is equally stupid.

How it is on a forum supposedly for critical thinking and civil discourse acceptable to label the opponent, conflate the position and basically refer to all opposition of a position with a pejorative is a bit of a mystery.

Anyone who uses this term freely has to at some point realize that not only does it strengthen your position not a jot, it weakens your position.

People who question the official story of 9/11 are not truthers, they're mothers, fathers, cops, lawyers, architects, students, your neighbor or co-worker. I would advise DRG and anyone else who accepts this term that they're not truthers and there is no such thing as a truth movement. It's damn near impossible to know the entire truth about anything. The best that anyone can do is establish facts. If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.

Abandon the practice of labeling and watch how much harder it will be to argue your opponent, how you cannot conflate your opponent's position with fringe ideas. I suspect the reason these labels are so popular here is because it dehumanizes the opponent, giving an easy excuse not to engage in discourse.
Do I get this right? You, or at least some people who share your opinions about 911, used to ask people to call them 'Truther', and now you don't?
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Old 20th October 2009, 07:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again. Calling someone a truther, or calling one's self a truther is equally stupid.

How it is on a forum supposedly for critical thinking and civil discourse acceptable to label the opponent, conflate the position and basically refer to all opposition of a position with a pejorative is a bit of a mystery.

Anyone who uses this term freely has to at some point realize that not only does it strengthen your position not a jot, it weakens your position.

People who question the official story of 9/11 are not truthers, they're mothers, fathers, cops, lawyers, architects, students, your neighbor or co-worker. I would advise DRG and anyone else who accepts this term that they're not truthers and there is no such thing as a truth movement. It's damn near impossible to know the entire truth about anything. The best that anyone can do is establish facts. If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.

Abandon the practice of labeling and watch how much harder it will be to argue your opponent, how you cannot conflate your opponent's position with fringe ideas. I suspect the reason these labels are so popular here is because it dehumanizes the opponent, giving an easy excuse not to engage in discourse.
Simply saying "I have no substantial arguments about anything 9/11-related, so I'm going to continue to whine about a non-issue as a distraction" would have been much more concise and honest.
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Old 20th October 2009, 07:10 PM   #33
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I call 'em twoofers, cause truth is only present in homeopathic quantities.
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Old 20th October 2009, 07:22 PM   #34
WildCat
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.
About those facts... got any?
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Old 20th October 2009, 07:39 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by RedIbis View Post
People who question the official story of 9/11 are not truthers, they're mothers, fathers, cops, lawyers, architects, students, your neighbor or co-worker idiots. I would advise DRG and anyone else who accepts this term that they're not truthers and there is no such thing as a truth movement. It's damn near impossible to know the entire truth about anything. The best that anyone can do is establish facts. If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.
FTFY! This is post number 789 in Red's continuing series, "Oh it is totally unfair when you lump "smart" truthers in with the rest of the farking morons."

Facters, hee hee hee, how about NO.
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Old 20th October 2009, 07:48 PM   #36
9/11 Chewy Defense
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Name for the Truth Movement:

People's Front of Judea

Their infamous quote:

"We the People's Front of Judea, brackets, officials, end brackets, do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, Truthers, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom. "

Taken from the funny British film: Monty Python & the Life of Brian.
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Old 20th October 2009, 07:51 PM   #37
Brainache
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Originally Posted by Red Ibis
If it were called the Fact Movement, I'd be in full support.
But then they would start calling themselves "Facters" and then we would also start using the term and then people like you would object to being lumped in with all of those stupid fringe "facters" who say stupid things about Larry Silverstein or DNA tampering or whatever.... So I don't see how substituting one label for another helps you here Red.
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Old 20th October 2009, 08:06 PM   #38
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As a public service I should remind everyone that at this point, even calling them a bowel movement isn't accurate. To have movement, at least some part of the body in question should be in motion. Some would argue that even if you're going backwards, you're still moving. You're aren't making any progress but still moving nonetheless.

That is the beauty of 9/11 truth though. They may not know what direction they're moving in but dammit; they know it's the right one.

Last edited by TJM; 20th October 2009 at 08:24 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 20th October 2009, 08:10 PM   #39
WildCat
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
But then they would start calling themselves "Facters" and then we would also start using the term and then people like you would object to being lumped in with all of those stupid fringe "facters" who say stupid things about Larry Silverstein or DNA tampering or whatever.... So I don't see how substituting one label for another helps you here Red.
True, true.

But let's not forget the reason Red suddenly has his panties in a knot over semantics all of a sudden.

It's because he's woefully short on facts, evidence, journal articles, experts, popular support, science, engineering, court victories, common sense, media support, and has no coherent alternate theory.

So arguing semantics it is, because it's all he has left.
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Old 20th October 2009, 08:41 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by apathoid View Post
Red's trying to make us understand that the TM isn't one big cult of likeminded Kool-Aid drinkers. We know better....
I don't know any better, but I'm willing to be educated.

I wouldn't say that John Farmer and Craig Ranke are like-minded. Jim Hoffman and Thierry Meyssan aren't drinking the same flavor, even if they're drinking the same beverage. And so on.

Even among those who question the official conspiracy theory here at JREF, some make less sense than others.

To me, the 9/11 truthers look as varied as (for example) the Christians. That doesn't imply that the words "truther" and "Christian" are meaningless or necessarily pejorative.

Will
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