Dumbasses

•November 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The GOP have successfully managed to prevent President Obama from enacting any part (so far) of his ambitious $447 Billion jobs bill.  The most recent blockage shot down a bill that would have allocated $60Billion to fund improvements to infrastructure–highway, rail, transit, and aviation projects–all badly needed, and all would have represented REAL jobs, in construction, planning, implementation, etc.   According to U.S. Department of Transportation estimates, this bill alone would have created roughly 800,000 jobs.  Take a look at that number again.  800,000 Jobs.  That would have been a HUGE dent in the unemployment ranks.  Moreover, it was fully paid for — not a penny would have been added to the deficit — with a 0.7% surtax on millionaires and billionaires, representing just 0.2% of the population.

As Steve Benen so aptly stated in Washington Monthly:

The contrast between the two parties’ approaches couldn’t be more obvious. Dems offered a real policy, including provisions that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and which polls show the American mainstream backing enthusiastically. Republicans offered a joke.

One party seems to take the jobs crisis seriously, and any media report that says otherwise — be on the lookout for pieces saying the Senate defeated “two jobs bills” today, as if they were roughly equivalent — is misleading the public.

My local paper has several yokels who crowed about the defeat of the Obama Jobs Act, and defended their ire by saying that the GOP had several languishing jobs bills, and where was the outrage over the “forgotten 15?”  I, being the research nut that I am, promptly looked them up and almost fell out of my chair at what passes for “jobs bills” among the GOP lawmakers.  I’ll include my reply to them in its entirety:

oh REALLY? the forgotten 15 are “jobs” bills??? They look more like assists to special interest groups to me:
1) Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act–billed as a help to farmers and small business, who REALLY benefits from this? Industries who CREATE pesticides, like MONSANTO, DU PONT, BAYER, DOW…and the LARGER Agricultural conglomerates like CON AGRA, ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND, etc..(certainly NOT the small farmer or small business, and you know WHY? There’s NO MONEY IN IT).

2) Energy Tax Prevention–this would prohibit the Govt from regulating Greenhouse Gases, the same gases that may be contributing to Global Warming! (and by the way, the Global Warming nay sayers got a real KICK IN THE TEETH when a prominent former skeptic announced he is now a believer HOO HAH!) So, again, who is the obvious benefactor here?
Industries that POLLUTE! How does that create JOBS MIKE????

3) Resolution of disapproval re: FCC regulation-allegedly a bill that prevents the Govt from regulating the internet and broadband. Who benefits here??? Why the MEDIA MOGULS of course! AGAIN, I ASK MIKE, HOW DOES THIS HELP CREATE JOBS???

4) 5) 6), & 7) ALL deal with relaxing regulations on offshore drilling. After the Gulf Oil disaster, I am APPALLED that the GOP cant wait to let their cronies in BIG OIL take another crack at ruining entire ecosystems for generations to come!! Again, no real job creation here, certainly not on the scale that Obama tried to do

8 ) Clean Water Cooperative-prevents the Fed from interfering with State water programs once the state meets Fed standards. This begs the question: Why would the Fed Govt interfere with a state program that meets Fed standards? It WOULDNT. It would only interfere if the state FAILED to meet or failed to CONTINUE to meet that standard. Very Shady. Also, I cant see where any jobs are created here.

9) Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement act–allows a Financial Stability Oversight Council to set aside ‘harmful’ Federal regulations. Why does this sound like an attempt to dismantle Consumer Credit protections already enacted? Who would be on the council? I bet the Fox would be guarding the Hen House again, yep. Also, no jobs created here. So sorry Mike.

10) Wants to fast-track the Keystone pipeline. Again with the Big Oil. Also, apparently no regard for environmentally sensitive and unique (not to mention GEOTHERMICALLY UNSTABLE) area. Gee, maybe they’ll tap into the mega caldera and fast track the next global catastrophe too…

11) Protecting jobs from Govt interference–seeks to guarantee private companies the latitude to locate their business in the state offering best opportunities for growth etc. Um, what’s stopping these companies from doing that now? Is this another imminent domain type of sneak attack? (My magic 8-ball sez YES)

12) Transparency in Regulatory Analysis-establishes an interagency committee to evaluate economic impacts of EPA regulations (SEE #2) Another attack on an environmental protection agency…apparently GOP memories dont go as far back as the Dust Bowl or even the Gulf Oil spill…..what a load of HORSE APPLES. NO JOB CREATION HERE, just more GOP smoke and mirrors.

13) Cement Sector Regulatory Relief act-AGAIN an attack on the EPA!!! from the CEMENT SECTOR of all places! Listen, if you are going to be BUILDING things used by people, where lives are at stake if they fail, MORE regulation is a good thing! Sheesh

14) & 15) yet MORE attacks on the EPA!!

And not a single job created that I can see. Mike argument FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

So, on the one hand, you have a plan that would levy a minute tax on the RICHEST 1% to completely fund desperately needed infrastructure improvements, as well as prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police…and on the other hand you have attempts to stifle one of the last remaining Federal Agencies governing excesses of big business (pollution, environmental degredation, etc) coupled with the usual attempts to assist big business make a profit no matter what the true cost.

Well, they may have forgotten this fact, but those who dont learn from History are doomed to repeat it.  The revolution was only a little over 200 years ago, not quite long enough to feel safe from a redux, Im thinking…

the 99%

•November 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I, like most of America, have been watching with interest the saga unfolding across the Nation as first Wall Street, then other major cities around America have found themselves ‘occupied’ by the ‘99%’

Personally, I believe this should have happened when Bush bailed out the big banks.   After all, we count on them to be good stewards of OUR money.  But somewhere along the way, they started thinking of it as THEIR money.   Drunk with greed and power, and knowing they had powerful allies on Capitol Hill, they blithely squandered OUR money, on mortgages they KNEW were guaranteed to fail, because they also KNEW they’d end up with 1) all the money paid for the property up to that point, 2) huge sums in penalties and fees, and 3) the property itself, which could then be offered to another buyer at (again) exorbitant rates to begin the process all over again.   Or put another way:

Unscrupulous lenders in America had lent billions to people with dubious credit records. The mortgages were typically offered at attractive knockdown rates for the first few years, after which the monthly payments rocketed. Tens of thousands of people were [then] unable to repay their mortgages and faced losing their homes …The subprime mortgages were in effect sold on by the lenders to investment banks that “repackaged” them into complicated financial products. The poor subprime mortgages were split up and merged with other kinds of debt and then repeatedly sold on. A wide array of other financial products was then devised by some of the world’s best mathematical brains to profit on slight movements in the price of the bonds and other investment schemes devised by the investment banks. The whole system–driven forward by investment bankers competing with their former colleagues who had joined hedge funds–resulted in an arms race to devise the most sophisticated schemes and ways of cutting up the different kinds of debt …[with the result that as the mortgages now fail] no one knows who owns the bad debts, trust is destroyed, and even top bankers have to admit that they have no idea exactly how the system works or what they have invested in. (Robert Winnett and John Arlidge in the March 15 London Daily Telegraph) as noted HERE

What they didnt foresee was the domino effect this ghastly scheme would have on the economy as a whole.  Particularly when corporations are downsizing or outsourcing–thanks to the lovely tax breaks and other business-friendly policies courtesy of the Bush Administration as seen HERE:

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Corporate America certainly isn’t doing its part to help bring America out of its economic malaise. The paper surveyed employment data by some of the nation’s largest corporations — General Electric, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Chevron, Cisco, Intel, Stanley Works, Merck, United Technologies, and Oracle — and found that they cut their workforces by 2.9 million people over the last decade while hiring 2.4 million people overseas.

The paper notes that this is actually a sharp reversal from trends in the late 1990s [the CLINTON years], when these major companies were creating more jobs in the United States than overseas. Yet by 2001 [the beginning of the BUSH years], things took a turn for the worse, and these corporations have been adding more jobs abroad than at home, as is illustrated here:

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Many folks blame Democrats for the social net programs or accuse them of anti-free-market policies, but in fact the blame can be laid at the feet of conservative policy-making:

During the 2002 “A HOME OF YOUR OWN” conference, former President Bush declared “high down payments are a big barrier to first time home-owners,” and “home ownership should be a right, not a privilege” and urged Congress to use taxpayer money to interfere in the marketplace by lowering down payment requirements for first-time homebuyers.  LINK

Many characterize Obama’s stimulus program as worse, but working in Social Services as I do, I know firsthand that the stimulus program did help families with extensions to Unemployment and subsidized jobs.  And, this site confirms my statement:

Poverty and Financial Distress Would Have Been Substantially Worse in 2010 Without Government Action, New Census Data Show

November 7, 2011

Six temporary federal initiatives enacted in 2009 and 2010 to bolster the economy by lifting consumers’ incomes and purchases kept nearly 7 million Americans out of poverty in 2010, under an alternative measure of poverty that takes into account the impact of government benefit programs and taxes.  These initiatives — three new or expanded tax credits, two enhancements of unemployment insurance, and an expansion of benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps) — were part of the 2009 Recovery Act.  Congress subsequently extended or expanded some of them.

To gauge the impacts of these initiatives on poverty, analysts cannot use the official poverty measure because it counts only cash income and does not take refundable tax credits, SNAP benefits, and other non-cash assistance into account.  Therefore, we use a poverty measure that adopts recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and that most experts prefer to the traditional poverty measure.  Using the NAS measure to analyze newly released Census data for 2010, we find that the six Recovery Act initiatives kept 6.9 million people above the poverty line in 2010:

  • Expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) kept 1.6 million people out of poverty.
  • The Making Work Pay tax credit, which expired at the end of 2010, kept another 1.5 million people out of poverty.
  • Expansions in the duration and level of unemployment insurance benefits kept 3.4 million people out of poverty.
  • Expansions in SNAP benefits kept 1.0 million people out of poverty. [1]

These effects are separate from the poverty reduction that resulted from the effects of these and other measures in preventing a deeper economic downturn with a greater loss of jobs. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the 2009 Recovery Act preserved or created between 1.0 and 2.9 million jobs through June 2011.

In addition to these six provisions enacted in 2009 and 2010, existing policies to promote family income kept millions of additional Americans out of poverty in 2010. Under the same NAS poverty measure, the SNAP and unemployment insurance benefits provided under ongoing law (before taking account of the effect of the program expansions examined here) kept more than 3 million and 1 million people out of poverty in 2010, respectively. If the government safety net as a whole (existing policies, as well as the temporary Recovery Act policies) had not existed in 2010, the poverty rate would have been 28.6 percent, nearly twice the actual 15.5 percent.

So, while Obama’s programs did add to the overall debt, at least they were designed to help the man on the street and NOT the big banks.  I cant fault him for that.   Neither should you.  If you would know the REAL architects of our current crisis, look no further than  the Party that bills itself as the ‘fiscally conservative’ party, the Party that claims to stand for “American Values” but continues to lead the way in moral and fiscal scandals, the Party that year in and year out defends and protects the richest among us, whilst begrudging the poorest among us the most meager existence.  The Party that gleefully cuts social net programs for the poor, elderly, Veterans, Students, and Children, but just as gleefully grants itself and its cronies lovely pensions, bonuses, and other perks–in other words, the 1%.

Im extremely GRATIFIED that those hardy souls in all those cities are willing to represent the plight of the 99%.  I wish I could afford to stand with them in person, but I am certainly standing shoulder to shoulder with them in SPIRIT.

The 93% solution

•November 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A co-worker stopped by to chat with me recently. He mentioned that he has been dipping his toe in the housing market, thinking about buying a home while the prices are dropping and the interest rates are low. He said that over the past several months he’s discovered something which has helped him be a more effective negotiator in his transactions: the point at which banks will capitulate in negotiating a short sale. In the last few months, he’s made some offers on properties that are in foreclosure, and while the deals eventually fell through because of other factors (dickering about closing costs or appliances, etc) He noticed a pattern begin to emerge in the ‘dance’ between bank and prospective buyer: any offer less than 93% is rejected outright, but any offer 93% and above-even if initially rejected-seems to be acceptable to the banks, or at least they will begin negotiations. Not only that, but if a buyer is willing to gamble that the house will still be available in 30 days, often times the bank will lower the list price of their own accord.

For example, my friend was looking at a house with a list price of $118K. It didnt have an oven, and the bank was not willing to provide one or bend on the price because of the lack of one. My friend decided to pass on the house, and looked at other homes in the meantime. Approximately 25 days later, he contacted his realtor and mentioned that he believed that it might be a good idea to revisit that home the following week, and when she asked why, he said he just felt it was time, and he had a feeling there would be a price drop. The next week, his realtor sent him an email saying “you were right!”. He again entered negotiations on this home, this time listing for $109K. He made an offer of approx $102K, (approx 94%!!) and asked for an oven. The bank said no. My friend said, ok, I’ll keep looking. My friend reasoned that there was a high likelihood of the bank lowering the price again in 30 days and it did! 30 days later the price was down to $95K. My friend made a new offer of 92K with the bank to give him back $3K to cover his closing costs. The bank said no. He said “ok I’ll keep looking.” He was later sent an email from his realtor that the bank wanted to know if his offer still stood? It did. A final stumbling block may rear its head in terms of the ‘addendum’ where the bank has a 17 day closing requirement. My friend is concerned that he wont be approved that quickly, so the deal may yet fall through.   It appears there is some merit to the formula of 30days/93%, especially if you can afford to wait the banks out.  Time will tell.

Ah, Childhood.

•July 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I dont know about you, but there isnt much about my childhood that I remember with any clarity.  A few bright spots here and there (mostly involving my brother who I always found hilarious), but overall, pretty dull.  Yet, for some unfathomable reason, in a corner of my memory resides the wit and wisdom of the playground.  I recall for example, the songs I used to sing doing double-dutch jump rope

not last night but the night before, 24 robbers came knocking at my door…

or the synchronized hand clapping:

Oh Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, all dressed in black, black, black, with silver buttons, buttons, buttons, all down her back, back, back

And for sheer inventiveness, you couldnt beat the name calling:

buttmunch, buttnugget, buttcrust, buttcheese (there’s a theme here I see!) tard, dorktard, tardmuffin, dorkenheimer, jerkwad, fartknocker, and the like.

Heaven help you if you had a name (first or last) that rhymed with a cuss word, or that could be otherwise held against you.  Nicknames were another common occurrence.  I myself had several: Magoo (I wore glasses at an early age) Ducky (my best friend was Froggy) and (thanks to my daughter) Homer.  Yes.  THAT Homer.  Why?  Who knows.  I was insulted at first, but I grew to like it-go figure!  Ive handed out my fair share of nicknames myself:  my best friend is ‘Billious,’  my sister was ‘Janus the Anus,’ and I once crowned another friend and myself with the charming monikers of ‘pustule’ and ‘globule.’  What can I say?  its a talent 🙂  There was one guy in High School, who (for whatever reason) just HAD to make fun of my lack of womanly bosoms, and who said MAS (as in mastectomy) whenever he saw me.  I responded with VAS (as in vasectomy) right back at him.  Considering his REAL name was Udo Poos, you’d think he’d keep an extremely LOW profile, right?  Some folks just have poos-for-brains I guess.

Because I think everyone should be able to join in the fun, for the creatively challenged, I discovered a nice little FUNNY MEAN NAMES GENERATOR.

Some of my most persistent playground memories however are the rhymes.  For example, when my kids were learning jingles on their own playgrounds, I shared one of the classics from MY era:

Im Popeye the sailor man.  I live in the garbage can.  I eat all the worms, and spit out the germs.  Im Popeye the sailor man! (toot toot!)

Another gem:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg.  Batmobile lost a wheel and Joker got away!

My girls learned that last one like this:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg.  Blow your nose in Cheerios, and eat them twice a day!

Personally, I think my version is more creative, but thats just me.

So, anyway, a co-worker and I were talking, and I was sharing a memory of songs my mother used to sing to me, one of which was ‘Barnacle Bill the Sailor,’ which I said I felt was immortalized by the classic cartoon trio of Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl.  She agreed, saying that Popeye was very big during our (baby boomer) growing up years, which prompted me to share my schoolyard Popeye song above.  She countered with a version of her own:

Im Popeye the sailor man.  Im Popeye the sailor man.  I like to go swimmin’ with bowlegged women.  Im Popeye the sailor man! (toot toot!)

I laughed, because I thought a song about swimming with bowlegged women was just plain silly.  Actually I was the silly one, because I obviously didnt get it.  My friend graciously explained to yours truly, and I dont mind telling you gentle reader, that its true you never stop learning.  Apparently I led (or lead) a sheltered life.  Oh well…I can also confirm I get a kick out of cornball or crude humor.  To wit:

Q:  What do Star Trek and toilet paper have in common?

A:  They both circle Uranus searching for Klingons!

And this VERRRY racy number that always made me feel slightly guilty for telling it:

Q:  What did the battery say to the corn chip?

A:  Im Eveready if you’re Frito-Lay!

I still cringe a little at that one, even at my age.  But what the heck.  Im looking forward to my second (or third or fourth or??) childhood.  Im sure it will be a blur this time around too, but I plan on having fun just the same!

Feel free to share your favorite childhood jingles or jokes, by all means!

Why NorCal is so Totally Cool! Brand new Excursion train ride up Feather River Canyon

•June 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

While perusing the local paper one day, I found out I just missed being able to ride this nifty little train up the Feather River Canyon.  This is significant because the rails are primarily for freight hauling.  Apparently, the last time a passenger excursion train actually had a route this high up the canyon was in 1952!

I had a link to the newspaper video, but that link has expired.  Instead, I went to YouTube and found these:

This video isnt an excursion train, but mostly footage seen from the rails up the canyon.  I include it because the scenery is so pretty:

and this is a nice vid taken from places you can reach by car:

and for kicks, here’s a vid from a motorcycle helmet cam!  It ends right after the longest rock tunnel…I honked my horn (mentally of course) going through these tunnels, did anyone else??

Actual videos of Feather River excursion trains are pretty rare, I hope more are posted soon.  By the way, there is an annual train festival going on in Portola this coming August, and an excursion train will be heading up that way.  For locals, last pickup is Oroville.   There is also an option to take the bus on the trip back to save money (those train trips are EXPENSIVE!)  Here’s the link to the train ride info (they have videos posted too).  I cant afford to go this year, but Im gonna start saving my money for next year!

Monster in a box :O

•May 18, 2011 • 3 Comments

I sometimes wonder about the world my son inhabits.  I think he marches to a different drummer–for example, he has laughed in his sleep literally since the day he was born!  I kid you not, barely an hour old, and as I was gazing at him in the bassinet, he chuckled in his sleep, a little baby version of Eddie Murphy’s laugh*   Or, you may recall my previous entry about the tasty sandwich he made for my lunch one day–he was so enamored of it, he asked for half when he was done!   The funny thing was, I was in the shower when he came to ask me, and I imagined a big meat and cheese stacker with lettuce and tomato, thank you, and what I saw when I emerged from the bathroom was the very pedestrian PB&J, in all its (apparently) mouth-watering glory.

Of course, he does the usual boy stuff like turning every stick and rock into a weapon, heaven only knows where that came from, I HATE guns…I guess its true that some stuff really IS hardwired into our genes….sorry, I digress.  As I said, he exhibits the normal boy-traits you’d expect, but every now and again, he surprises me with his outside-the-box approach to life and love.  I recall one time we had an “I love you more” contest, and I thought I had him beat when I said I loved him past all the Universes, aka past infinity (top THAT boyo!)  Well, he actually stumped me when he said “I love you past GOD!”  I was speechless.  He still holds that one over my head!

Fast forward to this past Mother’s day.  My family (meaning my mother and brother LOL!) came up from the Bay Area, and my oldest daughter and her husband, and my middle daughter and her newborn, and HER father (my ex) and my son and I all milled around in my house eating and chatting and laughing and all in all, having such a good time, that I never realized there might be more Mother’s Day goodness in store…

The following Tuesday (TUESDAY!) he comes out of the classroom where I pick him up from the After School Program, and he says “Mom, close your eyes.”  So I do.  He puts something hard into my hand and tells me to look and I see this:

I said, “Oh, a Monster in a box! How cool!”  He looks at me with a pained look and says “No, mom, its Spongebob Squarepants.”  I said (before I could stop myself, sadly)  ” I HATE Spongebob!”  He says “Well, *I* like him!”   To which I said ” Well he’s not for YOU! Besides, he doesnt look like Spongebob.”  He said “I know, his legs fell off…but there’s his shorts!”  I said I thought that was a purple beard….

There’s a bonus, too.  You may not be able to tell from the picture, but that Monster-in-a-box is actually a necklace.  Yes folks, two beads on either side to keep ol’ “Spongebob” company.  Makes perfect sense to my son, bless him.   I may or may not risk the fashion police (though, Im sure they’ve gotten plenty of complaints, LOL!) by wearing the ‘necklace,’ But my little yellow Box Monster has a place of honor by my computer.  Right next to the Screw-up Fairy.  But thats a story for another time.

  * I just wanted to give a BIG BRONX CHEER to the eejit at THIS SITE for being a JERK and disallowing my linking to his ALLEGED FREE site. If you would have said you wanted credit or something, I’d have been happy to comply.  MOST PEOPLE would have been happy for the extra traffic but NOOOOOOO not Ross Walker…and considering its AMERICAN PUBLIC DOMAIN ANYWAY, somebody please tell me where this Brit even gets off?????  Whatever. You and your tight-ass server can assume the position and take it like a MAN, K??? 

“Truthers,” Truthiness, and Truth

•May 11, 2011 • 5 Comments

A “Truther”  is  a member of loosely affiliated organizations and/or individuals who question the accepted account of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Adherents of the movement assert that the explanation of the 9/11 events put forth by government and media contain significant discrepancies and suggest, at the least, a cover-up, and at worst, complicity by insiders.  Adherents advocate and discuss different theories about how the attacks happened and call for a new investigation into the attacks.  Some of the organizations state that there is evidence that individuals within the United States government may have been either responsible for or knowingly complicit in the September 11 attacks. Motives given include the use of the attacks to initiate the launch of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in creating the opportunities to curtail civil liberties.

Truthiness is an actual word, dating back to the 1800’s, and was defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘characterised by the truth,’ and included the derivation ‘truthy.’  Truthy and truthiness were originally used as straightforward variants of truthful and truthfulness.  Unfortunately, in contemporary usage, the word truthiness has morphed into having exactly the opposite meaning, thanks in large part to a  satire televised in October 2005 by US comedian Stephen Colbert, who claimed truthiness was  “truth” that a person claims to know intuitively “from the gut, not from books.”  The American Dialect Society further defined truthiness as the quality of preferring concepts or facts that you wish to be true over concepts or facts that you know to be true.  An ironic example of our ever evolving language, more’s the pity.

Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with a particular fact or reality, or being in accord with the body of real things, real events or actualities.[1] It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common archaic usage it also meant constancy or sincerity in action or character.[1] The direct opposite of truth is “falsehood“, which can correspondingly take logical, factual or ethical meanings.

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Having said all that, I find myself experiencing a crisis of identity:  I consider myself to be a firm champion of the TRUTH.    Ive  promoted it, and practiced it all my life.  Imagine my surprise then, when researching this article, to discover that I have also been guilty of ‘truthiness,’ as popularized by Stephen Colbert!  In fact, a recent conversation I had with a co-worker haunts me as I write this–I can hear myself saying I had a ‘gut feeling’ about who I consider the real culprits behind 9/11, and the destruction of the Twin Towers.  Which brings me to my final admission:  I am also a ‘Truther,”  which begs the question:  are these terms mutually exclusive?  Does being a truth-teller and/or a fact-gatherer mean you cant also have (and trust) gut feelings?  Does being a “truther” automatically mean you dont deal in facts?

Not as far as Im concerned.

While many ‘truthers’ have been labeled wackos and nut jobs, and perhaps to some extent it is deserved, many of the sites I have been to, and many of the credentials of the persons associated with these sites, or the authors of the articles therein, are sincere, thoughtful, credible and amply supported by documentation–facts, in other words.  I debated whether to list facts and give links to these sites, and had even begun to compile the data when I realized that Im not going to change anybody’s mind by doing so.  People who are honestly seeking truth will find it on their own.  If anyone wants a list of links I consider significant, Im happy to share via the comments feature.

In the end, I think the issue is best summed up by this statement:

There is widespread evidence and documentation that elements of the US government were involved in facilitating the 9/11 attacks. This is not to say that Muslim extremists were not involved or that everything was faked. Many of the claims attributed to the “9/11 truth movement” are speculative, irresponsible, and downright false. This does not change the fact that there is a huge body of legitimate evidence.  Whether or not one believes that government complicity is conceivable or possible does not matter until he or she has personally reviewed the evidence. All citizens should be vigilant in independently studying important events or issues such as 9/11, rather than simply accepting the official line from the government and corporate media (or from alternative sources).  Deconstructing the official story of 9/11 seems to be a process which is “awakening” people throughout the world. Many are beginning to see the brutal and deceptive nature of the ruling powers and the complete subjugation of the media to corporate interests and official propaganda.  In this way, 9/11 is an opportunity of extraordinary magnitude for consciousness building and positive change.  (SOURCE)
 
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