Quickies

Skepchick Quickies, 8.25

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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482 Comments

  1. Hi guys and gals. I am a newbie here.

    I stumbled upon some of these “skeptic” sites by accident doing various reading on-line. One of the sites has a very good summary of logically fallacious argument techniques, employed as a substitute for critical thinking. None of this is new to me, as I have a degree in physics and philosophy from a top University. It’s funny how way back when many of the top physicists were also top philosophers, because it was all about what you could prove or not prove. Of course proving the existence of god was a hot topic to these historic, great minds.

    They never could quite pull that off. It was hard enough for Descartes to prove the existence of himself – let alone god.

    What I find interesting about these skeptic sites is that it seems that this crowd is dutifully skeptical of all kinds questionable claims on the one hand, and yet on certain topics you exhibit a blind faith that would make a run-of-the-mill fundamentalist envious.

    You do this even though the gods that you bow down to have proven themselves throughout history as unreliable and deserving of skepticism and critical thinking.

    The two examples that stand out prominently is a remarkable uncritical acceptance of:

    1. The “truth” emanating from the government.

    2. The “truth” from the western medical community or even the science community.

    Such blind faith in these institutions over the course of history leads to acceptance of such things as bleeding as a remedy, the earth is flat, and the North Vietnamese really did attack us in the Gulf of Tonkin – our government’s ruse for authority to wage the Vietnam War.

    Am I missing some here?

    Because I see an awful lot of blind, uncritical faith on these skeptic sites when it comes to authority figures, who are not only fallible from time to time, but also – believe it or not – abuse authority and power for their own purposes on occasion.

    I just don’t see how such blind faith and acceptance is compatible with this claim to be skeptics.

  2. the emf article in the Daily Fail quotes, “the pathology is now established. It has a huge detrimental physical effect and stops people living normal lives.'”

    Really?

    That paper doesn’t have its wonderful scientific reputation for nothing.

  3. TrueSkeptic, please provide examples of how we, on this site, justified either the outline of 1 or 2 in your mind and we will defend that position, but please don’t generalize. If you read this site, you won’t see that we are all peons for the g’ment, since we have outlined many things that we see as wrong with it, but when it comes to things like the Moon Landing, Kennedy and 9/11 then all of the evidence is on their side.

    As for Western Medicine, then I will simply say, it is the only medical establishment which requires and provides information on its efficacy. You don’t get that from Eastern Traditions, so we don’t say it doesn’t work, just that we have no evidence of it working.

    I look forward to an open dialog with you.

  4. @TrueSkeptic

    I have a degree in physics and philosophy from a top University

    Which top university graduated you? What branch of physics and philosophy did you study?

    I don’t want to be rude but something about the tone of your post seems a little higgildy piggildy to me. I’m a bit skeptical of your statements.

  5. Gabrielbrawley: I think it was slightly more complicated than that (at least, I hope so, for those women’s sakes), but I do happen to know that the ancient Egyptians did use dung as a contraceptive.

    Don’t ask me how I know that. I’m uncertain myself, and I’d like to stay that way.

  6. Protesilaus,

    I’ll just start by choosing one from your list: the JFK assassination, because it provides an easy example. One of the prominently featured “proofs” in the FBI’s case was their claim to have developed a new scientific investigative technique of being able to match the bullet fragments that hit JFK with the unspent cartridges allegedly left behind by Oswald, by means of microscopic analysis and comparison of the lead in each. This technique was created for that investigation, but was then commonly used for decades thereafter.

    Now within the past few years, a whistleblower in the FBI came forward and has admitted that it was hoax. It was complete junk science. They just flat out made it up. Imagine that? In my line of work, you pull a stunt like that and you find yourself in a very, very big credibility hole where every other claim you make should be viewed with a very healthy dose of skepticism. Now for you to accept the government’s position on the rest of the story, which is improbable on its face, these people who employed junk science are the same people you have to trust in order to assert that the “evidence is all on their side.”

    So there is just one example of government proffered science that you seem perhaps too willing to accept on blind, religious-like faith.

    There are many other examples that I have seen on this site that appear to fall a little short of proper skepticism. A little short of proper critical thinking. But I’ll let you chew on this one first.

    So do I take it that you defend the Warren Commission Report? Really? Wow. I personally know one of the US Attorneys who worked on the Challenger crash investigation. He related how at the outset the head of the investigation told the team: “We are going to do this right – this will not be another whitewash like the Warren Commission.” I mean for anyone in the know – including some of the actual Commissioners in later confessions – that investigation was a complete joke. This was all conceded before the FBI was caught fabricating scientific claims.

    So Protes — are you “skeptical” yet on this one?

    To quote from the Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” : )

    “Skeptic” … hmm … where is my dictionary? It’s not that any one conclusion is mandated on JFK, but that’s the whole point. The skeptic sites ridicule those whose skepticism prevents them from blindly following a discredited (and now admittedly fraudulent) investigation. Such irony.

    JFK is not the example I would chosen, but since you did – there it is.

  7. TrueSkeptic, all Protesilaus mentioned was the word “Kennedy.” I think you made more than a few assumptions about his exact opinions on the issue, and that’s not quite fair or polite.

    You’ll find a LOT of different opinions on this site. Sometimes you might find opinions, definitely not excepting my own, that could use a bit more skepticism and critical reasoning. We’re open to discussion and correction – but why not try do it in a less aggressive way.

    I don’t know very much about the JFK deal, but from your argument alone, it doesn’t make any more sense to me why I should be on your side of it. And I’m one of the most anti-government people on this site.

  8. “Which top university graduated you? What branch of physics and philosophy did you study?”

    Rice University. Just go on-line and look at the curriculum requirements for a degree in physics. I studied quantum mechanics, electrodynamics (the real tough stuff) as well as all the classical stuff. Of course there is a lot of rigorous math involved as well. Branch of philosophy – it was pretty much the Western tradition from the Greeks up through the 2oth century. Plato through Bertrand Russell and everyone in between.

    My main purpose was to see if there was anything that was beyond my understanding put out by the greatest minds in history. There was nothing.

  9. TrueSkeptic,

    Cool, good university. Like I said, I’m not trying to be rude but whenever I see some one claim something like “top university” it makes me feel a little funny. Sounds like you did the hard work. Congratualations.

  10. As for Kennedy, I don’t think there was a conspiracy. I’ve been to the book depository. You can look out the window and see the two x’s that mark the position of the limo when Kennedy was shot. It isn’t a hard shot. I could do it with a rifle with iron sights. The scope would just make it a lot easier. Also I am very skeptical about any conspiracy in general. People can’t keep secrets. A conspiracy to pull this off would need a lot of people and would leave a lot of evidence. It wouldn’t have worked and it wouldn’t have stayed secret.

    Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi
    is a very good book on the subject. It is long and isn’t the easiest read but I found it very interesting.

  11. Jen,

    Sorry if I was less than polite. : )

    I think Protesilaus’s point on JFK was pretty clear – you really don’t think so? I guess he can correct me, but it was pretty obvious he was referring to the government’s explanation. Look at the sequence – I mentioned trusting the government and he responded with the issue of the JFK evidence being all on their side. You think I made a bad assumption?

    “I don’t know very much about the JFK deal, but from your argument alone, it doesn’t make any more sense to me why I should be on your side of it.”

    Really – what is my side? You criticized me for making assumptions.

    The only “side” I put forth was that one should be skeptical of the government’s side on this issue, after he offered up JFK as an exemplar. And you say I did not advance this case with my argument? Interesting.

    I established that the Commissioners themselves who wrote up the government’s side derided it, as well as other insiders, and that the FBI fabricated evidence using bogus science.

    But all of this does not, in your view, advance my point that the government’s story should, in fact, be viewed with skepticism – not blind faith. Once again – I find the use of “critical thinking” and “skepticism” to be curious on these sites.

    Maybe the partying is good? : )

  12. Thanks for the kind words on my palmistry article at PinkRaygun.com and to Skepchick for linking to my site, AmateurScientist.org, in the past.

    I feel I must agree with TrueSkeptic on the government question. While it’s true that maintaining a massive conspiracy of silence between thousands of self-interested individuals over several generations becomes less and less possible with every passing minute after the conspiracy is born, you “skeptics” must understand that the government is not, in fact, a mass of self-interested individuals. Indeed, this is the greatest scam the powers that be have pulled over on the public since President Taft told America he had a 32″ waist.

    The word “government” is actually a watered-down version of “Guvmat”, the name of the Sumerian tentacle demon that currently controls all of society. I won’t go into all the details (they involve lots of controversial claims, not least of which being the Pope-as-Guvmat-sperm-pod Theory), but you must understand that all of those government “employees” and “elected officials” you so naively believe exist are actually products of Guvmat’s ancient glamour magicks. (You know it’s ancient when it’s spelled with a “k”.)

    Sadly, Ron Paul (or Ruanpol the Illuminator) is the only one who knows the truth of Guvmat, but due to prehistoric law these truths must be hidden between the lines of badly Xeroxed, semi-racist newsletters.

  13. “Arrogant much?”

    It’s really not as hard as might think. In the end, it really all breaks down to 2 + 2 = 4 and then building upon that.

    To help pay my way through school, I use to tutor inner city kids, who were having trouble. They would tell me they did not understand the the class material. So I would just keep going farther and farther back until we reached a point in the subject that they did understand. And I would then tell them “Oh you understand this? Well if you understand this – then the rest will be easy.” You just find their confidence level and take as small as steps as you need to get where you want to go.

    If I cannot teach you everything that I learned, then that means that I probably really do not understand it myself. Since I think I do understand it – that means I think you could too.

    So I am not really separating myself from you. It’s just a question of confidence and interest.

  14. Trueskeptic

    I chose the Moon Landing, FBI, and 9/11 because they are the big 3 of government conspiracy. Now as for the bullet fragments, information that you are claiming, can you sight what you are talking about please. It will be much easier to analyze what you are saying. I’m not sure if you are talking about Neutron Activation Analysis, Bullet Fingerprinting or what have you.

    Second, you say a whistleblower came forward, and it was complete junk science, one question, if it was used in a lot of other cases, why haven’t they been overturned?

    Thirdly, do you make any claims about the events of that day. You seem to point to a second shooter, by the stance in your previous statements, but the Zapruder Film clearly shows a gunman in the Book Depository.

    As for the Warren Report, I will not defend the project as a whole, but if you wish we can debate the individual claims made in it. My only assertion is that, there was a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the shots that struck and killed JFK.

  15. I likewise am suspicious of this woman who’s allergic to EMF. You can find people who claim it all over the place, but to my knowledge most cases that have been investigated fail a simple blinded test. That sort of allergic reaction can be just as easily caused by a psychosomatic response as being an actual result of EMF.

    But if she is really allergic to EMF, we should be able to determine it easily with a blinded test. Furthermore, it should be possible to determine the parameters of the allergy. Is there a specific frequency band that triggers the allergy? What’s the signal strength threshold to the allergy?

    Also, what’s the connection with the BMW? Why does the BMW trigger her allergy when supposedly it’s EMF she’s allergic to? It’s only a suspicion, but I’m willing to bet the BMW has a GPS receiver mounted in it. That doesn’t emit any EMF, but it’d trigger an “OMG TECHNOLOGY” response from her.

    Also, note that the problem began when she moved into a new apartment. Another possibility is that she was genuinely allergic to something else in that apartment. I know from personal experience that it’s possible to be allergic to one species of dust mite but not another, so that’s one possible explanation. Or it could have been an additive in the paint. Either way, once she got it in her head that EMF was the “real” problem, it was inevitable that, after moving, the improvement in her condition would be attributed to the anti-EMF regimen rather than to change in location.

  16. “Second, you say a whistleblower came forward, and it was complete junk science, one question, if it was used in a lot of other cases, why haven’t they been overturned?”

    There is a project in place to review all criminal cases where the fraudulent lead matching technique was a substantial factor in criminal convictions and many of these convictions are being overturned and innocent people being set free. The last I heard on it — the review process is suppose to be comprehensive. There are FBI admissions and scientifically peer-reviewed papers on the topic. It’s not hard to find. You really need me to help you on this?

  17. I likewise am suspicious of this woman who’s allergic to EMF.

    As am I. My first stop shop on extraordinary claims is generally Carroll’s Skeptic’s Dictionary. He’s got a good writeup on EMF, and quite a lot of other things as well.

    The hardcopy is excellent as well, for those that don’t own it.

  18. I am looking into it now, and its baring on the case as a whole, but so far I see no bearing on how this proves a conspiracy or another gunman. Listen, you seem to be doing anomaly hunting, please, if you want to make a claim make a claim. I will ask you to take an actual position here. Do you think there was another gunman?

    I will restate my position:
    My only assertion is that, there was a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the shots that struck and killed JFK.

    Also, please don’t be so testy that I am asking you to defend your position or to take an actual position. I have made no claims to my intelligence/greatness nor said anything about your position and I do not plan on doing that. If you want to have a discussion on all of the facts about the case, I am open to hear and review them. The case is over 40 years old and I am sure there going to be new evidence, which is why I will not defend the Warren Report as a whole, but I will only be defending the position that I stated above. At least let me know what your position is on the events of the day.

  19. I think TrueSkeptic is referring to the now largely discredited Compositional Analysis of Bullet Lead (CABL) technique used by the FBI since the 1960s as proof that two or more bullets came from the same batch based on spectrographic analysis of elemental composition (stop yawning at the back). The “whistleblower” appears to be William Tobin, a retired FBI forensics expert specialising in metallurgy who co-authored a paper questioning the validity of CABL and was featured on a 60 Minutes report in November 2007, see: (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/16/60minutes/main3512453.shtml)

    It should be noted that Tobin produced the report after he left the FBI and does not appear to have been or, to be fair, to have claimed to have been privy to any secret FBI cabals “flat out making up” flawed forensic methodology in order to cover up huge assassination conspiracies. Nor was Tobin “admitting” anything or at any point referring to a “hoax.”

    The use of CABL was reviewed by the US National Academy of Sciences (Board on Chemical Science and Technology) in 2004 and (summarising considerably here) concluded that whilst the technique may offer some value for analysis of ballistic evidence it was not sufficiently precise, due to the nature of bullet lead manufacture, to confirm that two or more bullets came from the same batch or the same box (or for that matter, the same factory). Those without a life can read the full report here: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10924&page=R1.

    The link with JFK comes from an article in the Annals of Applied Statistics, co-authored by Tobin, which questioned the methods used by Professor Vincent P. Guinn in his evidence to the Warren Commission and concluded the recovered bullet fragments “could have come from three or more separate bullets and, therefore, more than one shooter.” Or to put it another way: could have come from one shooter firing three bullets. This study would appear to indicate that if there were multiple shooters in Deeley Plaza they were firing ammunition that could not have been definitely proven to have come from the same batch. It doesn’t prove that there were multiple shooters. An interesting point to note is that Tobin’s article claims that the possible second shooter (only two? In Oliver Stone’s JFK there were at least three) actually managed to miss Kennedy, too much foliage on the grassy knoll maybe. It seems odd the Mafia, the CIA or the industrial/military complex couldn’t find a second sniper who could shoot straight. You can access a Washington Post article on this here, along with a pretty detailed rebuttal that I can’t be bothered to summarise right now: http://aine.newsvine.com/_news/2007/05/17/723873-scientists-cast-doubt-on-kennedy-bullet-analysis-multiple-shooters-possible-study-says

    I, of course, stand to be corrected. Maybe there’s another whistleblower I couldn’t find in my exhaustive ten minute google search.

  20. “Also I am very skeptical about any conspiracy in general. People can’t keep secrets. A conspiracy to pull this off would need a lot of people and would leave a lot of evidence. It wouldn’t have worked and it wouldn’t have stayed secret.”

    Well let’s test your theory about conspiracies:

    1. I suppose you can tell me who killed Jimmy Hoffa and where the body is buried? Do you think that was a successful conspiracy? Or a random, unexplained act of senseless violence. Let’s not be too naive here. : )

    2. The Pentagon engineered a “false flag” attack on American Warships in the Gulf of Tonkin that was a complete fabrication, which hundreds must have known about, and it was successfully concealed for about 40 years. McNamara has recently admitted it. — So are we suppose to wait a certain amount of decades before concluding that we would have heard something by now?

    E. Howard Hunt – CIA – in a recorded statement taken by his son on his death bed admitted that Oswald did not kill JFK. Now I am not saying that he should be believed – but it is simply not true that people have not come forward.

    Look – you cannot make blanket statements about “conspiracies.” I go after financial fraud conspiracies for a living. They often involve lots of people and they often succeed, without the protection of the government. If law enforcement agencies want to help them – which occasionally happens – then it can be very problematical to get at the truth.

    Blind trust in the government is a very, very dangerous thing. The founding fathers understood this. One should be naturally skeptical of the government and none too quick to accept what it says on blind faith – particularly where the exercise of government power is involved. History has proven this over and over and over again.

    I just find it strange that religious faith in the government should be a theme on a skeptics’ site. Just seems backwards.

  21. 1. No, I don’t know who killed Jimmy Hoffa but I don’t think this is quite the same thing. I am sure that Jimmy is dead and probably went through a meat processor and wound up in a pack of hamburger meat. But this wouldn’t have had to be a huge conspiracy. Two or three people could have taken out Hoffa and then one could have killed the others. This could leave you with a single person knowing the truth. Or it could be something else that I didn’t think of or know.

    2. We know about this, we have known for a long, long time. We knew it years before that trajic joke of a “police action” was over. Heck, we knew it before LBJ was out of office. The same way that we know Bush deliberatly lied and mislead America and the rest of the world into the current trajic joke of a war.

    What do you do for a living. This has nothing to do with the rest of this I’m just curious about someone who did physics working financial fraud. I went from criminal justice to accounting. Just curious you can tell me to fuck off if it is out of line. I won’t mind.

    Also I agree that we shouldn’t have blind faith in government. I wasn’t advocating that. If it sounds like I was then that was poor communication on my part. Also I haven’t ever seen anyone advocating anything like religious faith in the government on theis sight. I have seen a lot of criticizim of the government. I just haven’t seen any convincing evidence that anyone other than Oswald shot JFK.

  22. Appleman,

    Excellent work.

    And you make absolutely valid points about what Tobin did and did not conclude publicly about how the phony bullet matching science came about.

    But let me do that on my own. You cannot accidently invent this false science, which they did for the first time in the JKF case. If they properly tested the theory at the time, they would have seen that it was invalid.

    There are two possibilities – either they knew the science was wrong or they knew that they did not know one way or the other — i.e. did not do basic testing to back up the theory. In law, both are fraud.

    So the FBI committed a fraud and the FBI otherwise predominately took possession of and controlled the evidence — time to start being skeptical.

    There is a taped conversation of LBJ imploring one of the members of the Warren Commission to join, in which he states there won’t be any real work to do – the FBI has already figured it all out.

    Oswald said he was a “patsy” — that’s on odd thing to say – don’t you think? Right before someone strolls up to him and executes him.

    Any skeptics out there?

  23. @TrueSkeptic posted

    Who here claimed to trust the government blindly?

    You made the accusation without any supporting evidence.

    Tell us specifically what skeptical blind spots people here have and the evidence you have to support this assertion.

  24. TrueSketpic,
    There are two possibilities – either they knew the science was wrong or they knew that they did not know one way or the other — i.e. did not do basic testing to back up the theory. In law, both are fraud.

    This is a blatant false dichotomy. There are hundreds of studies that are overturned every year by new evidence. Are you postulating all of them are committing fraud?

    Also, I will no longer research any of the information you provide unless you start to provide references. I don’t want to keep jumping from one source to another. Trying to do the work you should be doing when you make claims.

  25. Lastly, I will add, the “notes” were never seen by anyone other than “Saint John”, and the audio was broadcasts on Coast to Coast AM without any voice analysis. People make up your own mind about the E. Howard Hunt confession.

  26. “Oswald said he was a “patsy” — that’s on odd thing to say – don’t you think? Right before someone strolls up to him and executes him.”

    ——————

    Dude. You don’t seem to understand the nature of the question or of evidence in general.

    The only issue on the table is whether Oswald was the only gunman who shot at John F. Kennedy. The available evidence is that he was. You have not offered any evidence that he was not.

    Do you have such evidence? Or are you making a different claim, and if so, what is that claim, and what is your supporting evidence for it?

  27. “What do you do for a living. This has nothing to do with the rest of this I’m just curious about someone who did physics working financial fraud. I went from criminal justice to accounting. Just curious you can tell me to fuck off if it is out of line. I won’t mind.”

    That’s OK – I am not shy.

    I am an attorney with my own law firm and we specialize in representing victims of financial fraud (and legal malpractice). In doing this for about 25 years, you get a heightened sense for BS, cover-ups, lying etc. I also conduct investigations all the time, and know what a proper investigation should look like. And I have a pretty decent background in science.

    How did I go from A to B? Well – simple story really. As a freshman I knew that I would go into law. Always had a passion for justice.

    When the pre-law advisor (who happen to be a Math Professor) addressed the pre-law students during freshman week – he raised the issue of what to major in. He quickly dismissed the popular notions that Polly Sci, Economics, sociology as somehow being pre-Law majors. He said that was rubbish.

    He said there are no course prerequisites for law — unlike medical school. He said – you are in college – study what interests you. He said that what would be helpful in law school as skills – are reading and writing analytically. He said that English, History, Philosophy can be good for this but so can math and science. I come from three generations of doctors – so science was very much stressed growing up and physics was my favorite. And I was always interested in philosophy – sort of connected to the whole justice thing.

    The physics department offered a “biophysics” curriculum as a major. This was good for me, because I had no interest in the labs, as I had no intention of staying in science. So instead of a number of labs, I had to take a year of Biology, Chem, organic Chem and Biochemistry.

    All in all, I thought of it as a renaissance like education. It was good.

  28. “I just find it strange that religious faith in the government should be a theme on a skeptics’ site. Just seems backwards.”

    See. This is a big clue that you’re just trying to play Devil’s Advocate here, or stir crap up. No where on this site or any other related site has”religious faith” in the government.

  29. “The only issue on the table is whether Oswald was the only gunman who shot at John F. Kennedy. The available evidence is that he was. You have not offered any evidence that he was not.”

    Well your statement that the evidence only points to Oswald is just wrong. And you don’t really need me to tell you that.

    And you don’t get to define a new issue different from what I raised. The question I raised is whether or not one should be skeptical of the government’s claim that Oswald was the only gunman. What’s your answer to that? Should you be skeptical of the government’s story?

    Now your point about “available evidence” is a good one, because the government has admittedly taken great steps to keep the evidence sequestered from the public.

    How does one in the scientific world regard claims by those who refuse to release the evidence in support of their claims? Maybe with skepticism?

    The FBI fabricated evidence. How does one in the scientific world regard the claims of those who fabricate evidence. Maybe with skepticism?

    I would tend to say “yes.” What about you?

  30. TrueSkeptic,

    I highly suspect that you are a troll, but I’ve been most impressed with other people’s responses so far. They have been very mature and engaging and the details they have provided have helped me learn a little about the JFK assassination that I did not know before.

  31. If your only evidence, that the FBI fabricated evidence, is the Lead Bullet Analysis, then you are on thin ice.

    Also, you just brought up the new issue. I would say of course we should be skeptical of the governments story, and that Oswald was the gunman, of course we should be skeptical of the moon landing, or 9/11…but being skeptical means looking at the evidence, and the evidence says, hey they were right on all of these issues.

    Being skeptical about the government isn’t saying that the government story is incorrect; it is simply saying that you won’t take their word for it you will look at the evidence. And I never made it my point to say that the government did a good job in their investigation, or that the Warren Commission got it 100% correct. I stated that Oswald was the lone gunman who killed JFK. Nothing that you have said points away from that.

    What I see from conspiracy theorists is they get hung up on one point and that one point in their mind proves everything else, even if it is incorrect or small. “9/11 Truthers” have their fire cannot melt steel garbage; “Moon Landing hoaxers” have their stars in the sky and shadow angles; you have the lead bullet analysis.

    Along with everything else, because we don’t believe that your evidence is enough, we are ignorant and deserving of your chiding and condescending attitude. You have nothing to say of any value and added nothing to the discussion other than derision and pointless commentary while we did all of the work you should have done. If you want to have an adult conversation on the subject bring something to the table, if not then I am done here.

  32. TrueSkeptic – is there a conspiracy theory you don’t believe?

    Although I think quack medicine is the most clear and present danger deserving of Skeptical attention, the wacky world of conspiracy theory exerts a pernicious and dangerous influence on the public psyche. Some notable conspiracy theorists:

    Adolf Hitler (and no, he wasn’t an atheist).
    Heinrich Himmler (neither was he).
    Osama Bin Laden.
    The 9/11 hijackers.
    The 7/7 London bombers.
    Timothy McVey.
    The KKK.

    Please add your own.

    Life is not an episode of the X-Files.

  33. What’s your answer to that? Should you be skeptical of the government’s story?

    ———-

    Yes. And I was. So far, it holds up. The best–in fact, all of the available evidence–points to Oswald as a single shooter.

    Are you suggesting that you have new evidence I should consider? If so, what is it?

  34. “I highly suspect that you are a troll, but I’ve been most impressed with other people’s responses so far.”

    I agree that the level of bashing and insulting that usually follows one questioning the government on certain hot-button topics is relatively restrained here.

    I’ve seen this “troll” insult before, and I suspect it has some nuanced meaning beyond the ordinary definition, but I confess I am not hip to that one. : )

  35. TrueSkeptic,

    I only expressed my suspicions…of which you were free to look up the definition, if necessary, and respond (incidentally, Gabriel, a troll is someone who stirs things up by posting aggressively and/or emotionally to goad others, but contributes little to the actual discussion).

    I have this suspicion because, TrueSkeptic, you have not made any clear arguments supporting your point. You have asked question after question from the others without answering any yourself. You have produced non-sequiturs as responses. You have made sweeping generalizations with no evidence. You have let Appleman (and others) do all the research for you. You have made assumptions about people without them having said anything to support such assumptions. And you have generally contributed in an exceedingly passive-aggressive, blatantly aggressive, and arrogant manner.

    My suspicion and skepticism of your intentions are based on all of the above. If you’d like to clarify your position by providing actual facts and evidence, rather than generalizations followed by demands for the others, I’ll read it.

  36. Seth –

    I applaud you for being skeptical of the government’s story – there is ample cause for this.

    As for the story holding up to date, let’s put that into perspective. Based upon the available evidence out there today, the government would not have one chance in 1000 of convicting Oswald.

    The reason for this simple. Oswald effectively denied the crime. There is no eyewitness. The physical evidence linking his general location at the time of the shooting to the location of the alleged murder weapon was fabricated by the government. The government refuses to release the results of its investigation (which should be benign if it incriminates Oswald).

    I could go further into the evidence regarding the rate of the shots, the “magic” bullet, the probable trajectory of the kill shot, but it would not be necessary to do so. Most judges would not allow the case to go to the jury and no jury would convict. You very simply cannot fabricate and conceal evidence and get a conviction. I have tried many jury cases. If you tried to put that case on – you’d get destroyed.

    The case against Oswald is just bare speculation. It does not rise to the level of proof in a legal or scientific sense.

    What I object to – and I would hope that people who espouse critical thinking and skepticism would agree – is that people who question the government’s conclusion should not be ridiculed with the meaningless label of being “conspiracists.” Governments have a very long and distinguished track record of lying to the people. So you do not start from the premise that they are telling you the truth, when the evidence is not there.

    Pretty straightforward stuff. But the whole JFK thing is really not my issue. Protesilaus threw it out there and it supplied an easy example to work with.

  37. “The physical evidence linking his general location at the time of the shooting to the location of the alleged murder weapon was fabricated by the government.”

    Provide some evidence for your assertions.

  38. “the wacky world of conspiracy theory exerts a pernicious and dangerous influence on the public psyche”

    Appleman,

    What does that mean? What are you referring to and what is your evidence of this psychological damage?

    One of the all-time conspiracy theories is the belief in a benevolent, divine being. I’d have to check – but I am pretty sure that the evidence regarding this unverifiable conspiracy is that it often has a psychologically therapeutic benefit for individuals who believe in it. (Whereas in the hands of governments it has often supplied yet another convenient excuse for waging war.)

    Would it have been a “pernicious and dangerous” conspiracy theory to have supposed that the North Vietnamese really did not attack our ships, but instead the government concocted the whole thing in order to take the nation to war?

    I mean that was a government conspiracy. The people should not question the government on such matters? Is that what you find dangerous? Because I could quote to you the founding fathers who said the failure to question and challenge the government is what is dangerous. Not the other way around.

    So where is the real danger and harm? Questioning the government or ridiculing those who do so?

    I’ll get to your request for more examples. But your question – “Do I believe in all conspiracies?” – makes as much sense to me as asking – do you believe in all scientific theories? Do you believe that all defendants are guilty?

    There is no proper generalization here. Each case stands or falls on its own merits – using critical analysis, critical thinking, evidence.

  39. “Questioning the government or ridiculing those who do so?”

    We question the fact that you have yet to back up any of your assertions with evidence.

    No one has made anything like a statement that we should trust the government blindly.

    No one is interested in your straw men.

  40. Dude, did you really call out that tired old rate-of-fire crap? Why don’t you come on down to the rifle range with me, and I’ll pop out hits at the same rate and distance for you all day long. I wasn’t ever a Marine or anything.

  41. “I could go further into the evidence regarding the rate of the shots, the “magic” bullet, the probable trajectory of the kill shot, but it would not be necessary to do so. Most judges would not allow the case to go to the jury and no jury would convict. You very simply cannot fabricate and conceal evidence and get a conviction. I have tried many jury cases. If you tried to put that case on – you’d get destroyed.”

    Now we get some things:

    Reenactments clearly show that Oswald could fire all of the bullets required on the day.

    You got to be kidding me about the “Magic” Bullet theory, but make specific outlines of your claim and we will dissect.

    Probably Trajectory:
    Head moved back and to the left, based on the caliber of the round and the distance and Physics (which you should know) all of this is consistent with shots fired from the book depository, if you don’t think so cite your evidence and I will cite mine.

    Now if a jury would convict, based on the knowledge of how many people buy into JFK conspiracy theories, if he had a lawyer like Cochran then I would believe you. As for fabricating evidence, you have no proof of that, other than baseless speculation which would be true to all of the scientific literature and population.

  42. “This is a blatant false dichotomy. There are hundreds of studies that are overturned every year by new evidence. Are you postulating all of them are committing fraud?”

    No – Protesilaus – I said it was fraud in this particular case. Not all scientific error equals fraud, but it does here. The false dichotomy applicable here would be to say that some scientific error is innocent – so therefore the error here must be innocent.

    Suppose in the JFK case, they developed for the first time the technique of blood-typing. Types O, A, B & AB.

    It would be like saying Oswald having type O blood and there being type O blood on the rifle in the book depository shows that it was Oswald’s blood on the rifle.

    You cannot make that assertion until you have run studies to determine the statistical variation of different blood types within the population. This is so simple a proposition that it could not possibly have been missed by modern scientists.

    The same is true for matching lead. The FBI claimed that it was able to match the lead in the impact bullets to the unspent cartridges to show one came from the other. You cannot possibly make that claim without first verifying it and if you attempted to verify it – it comes up false. Plain and simple.

    You have any experience or background in science?

  43. The case against Oswald is just bare speculation. It does not rise to the level of proof in a legal or scientific sense.

    ————

    Sigh. You say that, and then you mention “rate of fire”, thus demonstrating that you won’t let go of false beliefs, even after proof has been offered. I think its clear who the skeptic here isn’t.

  44. “Dude, did you really call out that tired old rate-of-fire crap? Why don’t you come on down to the rifle range with me, and I’ll pop out hits at the same rate and distance for you all day long. I wasn’t ever a Marine or anything.”

    Really? On a moving target through a tree. I’d take that bet in a heartbeat and give you odds. You may not be a Marine, but the former governor of Minnesota was Navy Seal. I listened to him say that he stood in the window, surveyed what the shots would be, and said – “no way.” Between you and him … I’d put my money on him. But either way — the matter is clearly open to question.

    And why does everyone on skeptic sites have the same opinion on such a topic? It’s not science vs. religion. Science vs. quackery. Science vs. vodoo. It’s an unproven criminal matter – where the government could, but refuses to put on it’s case.

    How does a suspicious government criminal case become a cause for scientific skeptics?

  45. Really? On a moving target through a tree.
    —————–

    Oh, come on. Again with that chestnut about the frackin’ tree? Are you high on crack?

    Again: you are clearly someone who will not change his beliefs when confronted with actual evidence.

  46. “You say that, and then you mention ‘rate of fire’, thus demonstrating that you won’t let go of false beliefs.”

    Seth –

    What false belief would that be?

    Unless I am missing something – you are equating something being possible with something being true. There’s a big difference.

    When performing scientific investigation, you don’t stop when you have determined that something is possible. The fact something may be possible – does not prove anything. It’s possible that god exists.

    Believe me – the rate of fire issue does not favor the government’s case. We call this a weak point that must somehow be overcome. It’s not a point the government would even raise if it could be avoided — trust me, this is a point for the defense.

    But like I said – you never get there, because nobody — and I mean nobody — makes false claims of evidence and conceals evidence and wins.

    Government to Seth: “We’re not going to show you our evidence and our investigation results. Ok, and we also kind of screwed up on the whole lead matching thing that we invented for this case. But you trust us – right? You’re not skeptical of us – are you?”

    Seth to Government: “Whatever you say.”

    Government to Seth: “That’s a good Seth.”

  47. No – Protesilaus – I said it was fraud in this particular case. Not all scientific error equals fraud, but it does here. The false dichotomy applicable here would be to say that some scientific error is innocent – so therefore the error here must be innocent.

    That’s actually an example of an appeal to authority. A false dichotomy is when you make two independent claims and say that if one of them is false, then the other must be true. Independent claims must be proven true or false on their own merit.

    In your case, you’ve made this claim:

    There are two possibilities – either they knew the science was wrong or they knew that they did not know one way or the other — i.e. did not do basic testing to back up the theory.

    The two claims are:
    A) They knew the science was wrong, or
    B) they did not do basic testing

    But I read the summary of the report Appleman linked to, and it sounds to me like they actually confirmed, in 2004, that it is a valid technique, and the best available:

    Recommendation: The FBI should continue to measure the seven elements As, Sb, Sn, Cu, Bi, Ag, and Cd through ICP-OES as stated in the current analytical protocol. Also, the FBI should evaluate the potential gain from the use of high-performance ICP-OES because improvement in analytical precision may provide better discrimination.

    So when are you going to start backing up your claims with evidence? Or are you just going to keep making more wild claims and avoiding our questions?

  48. What false belief would that be?

    ———–

    The belief that the rate of fire is impossible, difficult, or unusual for a trained gunman familiar with that weapon. It is not.

    You insist that it is. Therefore, you are not a skeptic, you are a nutjob.

  49. “So when are you going to start backing up your claims with evidence?”

    I have a better idea. Let’s start backing up what we say with money. It’s called putting your money where your mouth is.

    Here’s the bet for you. The lead matching claims asserted by the FBI were false. They have been discredited and they are no longer in use, and convictions based upon its use are being overturned. The FBI claims were junk science.

    Testing of lead is of some limited benefit — like blood type — per my above example. But it never was the match it was claimed to be.

    I’ll bet you $1,000.

    And Rystefn, if you have access to the same model rifle, and you can hit a simulated moving target at the same height and distance, within the same time frame – I’ll give you 3 chances (3-1 odds) and I won’t put a tree in your way. $1,000.

    We can make it $10,000 if you like. We have an old saying, money talks and bullshit walks.

    I think I see you guys walking.

  50. Let’s not get into the JFK assassination. It is a never ending “I said, you said, I never said that.”
    That’s why I don’t go there anymore. It is completely unproductive and humorless.
    There are plenty of appropriate forums for discussing the assassination (fortunately, some of them are moderated). This blog is about science.

  51. And Rystefn, if you have access to the same model rifle, and you can hit a simulated moving target at the same height and distance, within the same time frame – I’ll give you 3 chances (3-1 odds) and I won’t put a tree in your way. $1,000.

    I don’t have access to it, but if you can provide one and allow me three days with which to familiarize myself with it (much less than LHO had), I’ll accept.

  52. “And Rystefn, if you have access to the same model rifle, and you can hit a simulated moving target at the same height and distance, within the same time frame”

    I saw it done on TV in a reenactment.

    Were they part of the conspiracy too?

  53. I don’t have access to it, but if you can provide one…

    ——————–

    After all, providing a similar model rifle should be relatively easy for a guy with 10 grand to throw away.

    I’ll judge, if this event is held in the continental US. Anyone here will tell you I am definitely NOT biased in Rystefn’s favor.

    Now we just need to set up some kind of proxy to hold the money…

  54. On another note, please, PLEASE… point out where the people on this site uncritically accept the word of “the government.”

    Well I could give to you many examples, but why leave this one?

    Why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy?

    Why do you uncritically accept this, when the FBI got caught falsifying evidence and the government will not let you see their evidence.

    Under these conditions, why would you just accept what they say?

    I have a lot of clients who get taken by financial frauds who are so trusting – but they tend to be elderly widows and they do not brag about their skepticism.

  55. TrueSkeptic, why do you keep bringing up the lead analysis over and over again? We all know it is junk science. Of all the evidence in the JFK case, the lead evidence, if even it were accurate, was the least useful anyway.

    And Howard Brennan saw Oswald in the window.

  56. Why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy?

    What makes you think I do? I’ll be you $10,000 you can’t find a place where I’ve indicated such a thing.

    Put your money where your mouth is. Money talks and bullshit walks, as you say. Let’s see who’s walking away now, dick.

  57. Why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy?

    ————–

    I don’t. “Acting alone” is different than “being the only gunman.” He was clearly the only gunman. It is possible he was hired, or that he was given inside information, or whatever. But those are separate issues.

  58. “Why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy?”

    Who the fuck are you to tell people that they uncritical believe the government story?

    You don’t know how people here came to think that LHO probably acted alone.

    No one ruled out that others may have been involved.

    All people are saying is that the evidence points to LHO doing it alone.

    Nothing you have posted does anything to say otherwise.

    For a science guy you sure don’t have the first clue how to evaluate evidence.

  59. spurge, it’s his paranoid personality. If you disagree with anything he says then you are a government lackey, worthy of his insults and derision.

    TrueSkeptic, get tested for TLE.

  60. Damnit! I was fine until you said something. Now I HAVE to argue that it was a conspiracy of some kind.

    Or that it never happened at all, and was some kind of mass hallucination. I think I can muster up a better argument for that one anyway, honestly.

  61. Chew –

    You say everyone knows the lead match was junk science.

    You need to go back and see that this is not true. I was challenged on the point and I was faulted for not providing authority citations, which I agree should have been unnecessary given all the professed expertise by this group.

    I have a question for you.

    You say this site is about science, which would make sense given its title and all.

    Then tell me – why is the JFK assassination part of its theme? Look above. I asked that very question. I’ll quote myself:

    “And why does everyone on skeptic sites have the same opinion on such a topic? It’s not science vs. religion. Science vs. quackery. Science vs. vodoo. It’s an unproven criminal matter – where the government could, but refuses to put on it’s case.”

    I did not raise the JFK topic. And I have been responding to the others ever since it was first raised.

  62. Here is what you posted

    “What I find interesting about these skeptic sites is that it seems that this crowd is dutifully skeptical of all kinds questionable claims on the one hand, and yet on certain topics you exhibit a blind faith that would make a run-of-the-mill fundamentalist envious.”

    Name the topics you were referring too.

  63. TrueSkeptic:
    ‘You may not be a Marine, but the former governor of Minnesota was Navy Seal. I listened to him say that he stood in the window, surveyed what the shots would be, and said – “no way.” Between you and him … I’d put my money on him. But either way — the matter is clearly open to question.’

    Will it help if I point out that the same governor is also a “9/11 Truther”. It was Jesse Ventura, he would be a conspiracy theorist. Also if I am wrong with my assertion then cite your source. Personally I would not put my faith on him.

    Logical Fallacy, Appeal to Authority

  64. “You need to go back and see that this is not true. I was challenged on the point and I was faulted for not providing authority citations, which I agree should have been unnecessary given all the professed expertise by this group.”

    No you are wrong about that. Cite where we claimed to be experts in anything. Second, if you make a claim you must provide your evidence that is the rules of engagement. You have yet to do that.

  65. TrueSkeptic, the assassination is a part of this theme because we started talking about it.

    You are obviously a student of the assassination, as I was a long time ago. We know the lead analysis was worthless.

    Do you believe Howard Brennan saw Oswald shooting from the TSBD?

  66. “spurge, it’s his paranoid personality. If you disagree with anything he says then you are a government lackey, worthy of his insults and derision.”

    Now can anyone spot the hypocrisy in this statement?

    Anyone?

    Bueller?

  67. TS, let me remind you, Rystefn has taken you up on your offer to prove he can make the shot. Why are you not eagerly arranging the details? What’s the issue? I’m sure that R will allow you to deduct any expenses you incur from his prize money. Hell, he’d probably prove you wrong for a six pack of beer and Skepchick t-shirt.

  68. Hell, he’d probably prove you wrong for a six pack of beer and Skepchick t-shirt.

    If that had been the original challenge, I’d have taken it up even on something I’m fairly sure I couldn’t do, just for kicks.

  69. You are wrong Chew – I am not a student of the JFK assassination. As evidenced by my not knowing who Howard Brennan is. I do not claim to know what happened. I am just amazed that you so-called skeptics take on these government causes, without the evidence.

    My attention was drawn to the JFK issue when I heard about the FBI creating the junk science to prove its case. I shouldn’t be shocked by such things anymore, but I was.

    Maybe its just my background in law and science – but this should be easy.

    If you try to prove something where you have falsified evidence and you have concealed evidence – no court will accept that and no respectable scientific outfit would accept that — but all these “skeptics” accept it. And it’s not just that they uniformly, in lock step, accept it – they ridicule anyone who disagrees with them.

    Amazing. Can you explain that? I mean it’s like a religion to you guys.

    If and when the government ever condescends to sharing its evidence with the American people – which it has not done – I’ll keep an open mind regarding its interpretation of the evidence, even though it was already caught in an outrageous lie. That’s just my scientific training and scientific bias.

    But ask me for blind faith here – forget it. If others want to have blind faith – that’s OK. But to gather together a group that call themselves skeptics who universally have the same blind faith – that’s a little strange.

  70. …and yet, for all that, you still refuse to answer my challenge. In case you missed it:

    Why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy?

    What makes you think I do? I’ll bet you $10,000 you can’t find a place where I’ve indicated such a thing.

    Put your money where your mouth is. Money talks and bullshit walks, as you say. Let’s see who’s walking away now, dick.

  71. Can I ask you an honest question, since I want to get something out of this dialog?

    Why is it our job to look up information and find references on the information that you are claiming? Why do you think we are the ones who need to explain ourselves?

  72. OK Bets …. I never welch on a bet.

    Seth – Rys did not accept my shooting bet – he says he cannot get the gun. But Rys – surely you can locate such a gun – and I’ll get it for you. After you put up the money on the bet. Trust me Seth – he will not go through with that bet.

    As far as your proposed bet Rys — you asked me a question about the PEOPLE on this site and when I responded, you said my comment did not apply to you personally. OK – so if I understand you correctly, you believe that Oswald was potentially part of a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. Doesn’t that make you a conspiracist?

    And let me alter my question that you harped on just a little — why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that LHO was the sole gunman?

  73. Protesilaus & Chew — let’s review.

    I said the lead matching was junk science.

    Chew said — “of course – everyone knows that.”

    Protesilaus said “Prove it – cite your authority.”

    Appleman cited the authority for me – so it was unnecessary for me to take the trouble to do something Chew says everyone already knows.

    AND JSug says it’s not junk science — but rather was recently validated and still in use. JSug concluded this from reading the research that says exactly the opposite – now that’s impressive.

    And you’re still faulting me on this? LOL.

  74. But Rys – surely you can locate such a gun

    Maybe… I haven’t worked in weapons for years, and I haven’t exactly stayed in touch with the boys. Regardless, I already stated the two conditions under which I accept the wager. If you’re amenable to my terms, all that’s left is working out the details.

    And let me alter my question that you harped on just a little — why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that LHO was the sole gunman?

    What gave you the idea that I do? Again, ten grand says you can’t find a single instance of me saying that.

  75. You’re wrong. It was still necessary for you to cite your sources.

    So your point about the lead is that we are all government agents? No, no, wait! We’re not true skeptics! Is that it? Did I get it right?

    TrueTroll, you’re the one saying it was a conspiricy and you don’t even know who Brennan is.

  76. Seth – Rys did not accept my shooting bet – he says he cannot get the gun.

    ———-

    Ah, refuge in technicality. And I notice that you, the guy with the ten grand, are really making an effort to make this thing happen.

    Here’s my challenge to both of you: TS, you provide the gun. R, you agree to buy the gun if you lose. I’ll cover a six pack of your favorite beer and a skepchick t-shirt for both of you, win or lose, just for participating.

    Who’s in?

  77. No you are tying your whole case of a vast government conspiracy to one point when the FBI used lead analysis.

    Firstly, that is not the only piece of evidence that ties LHO to the Book Depository. I will ask, are you disputing that he was in the building, or that he made the shots, or that his shots were the one who killed. Neither of those need be tied to the Lead Analysis. Do you postulate that he did not kill the cop while attempting to run? How far does your conspiracy go? My only stance was that and I am quoting myself:

    My only assertion is that, there was a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the shots that struck and killed JFK.

    I only ask you to cite evidence that is against this position. If you wish to change the topic, and then say so, but you have taken no stance other than that we are trusting the government story…This is of course beside the fact that there are other resources outside the government who also agree with us. You have also provided no evidence that we trust the government, as you have provided no examples apart from this debate.

    To use your religion example, it would be as if I said that you don’t want to kill people so you are Christian. No one on this cite has blind faith in the government, and I could provide counter examples (although I wouldn’t even have to ask, because people would provide this freely). You are hung up on one point which for you is the whole truth about the issue, and you have yet to do any research on our side, and I make that statement because you have not asked for any of the references to anything that we claimed.

    So, I have asked you to take a position on the topic that I could do research and look into. You have yet to even state what parts of the conspiracy theory you subscribe to and which you don’t believe in. Does your distrust in the government extend past JFK, how far does it extend? Everything must be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to something that is in the business of spin, but I don’t subscribe to the shadow government belief; because I am sure that either party would jump on any information of a conspiracy to ensure their position in power for another 4 years. Say I am a non-skeptic, but I am asking you for the one thing that above all else I ask for anything someone wants to sell me, which is evidence of their position.

    You have went so far as to make no actual claim, take no position, yet pester everyone on this board about being naive patsy to the whole government agenda, while we never once cited a government source for our evidence. If you know anything about the skeptical movement or the “science” that you claim, and you have been the only one to make any claims of your intelligence or knowledge on the topic, then you should not come to the table with a claim, without evidence to back it up.

  78. If you want specifics, please back this up:

    “AND JSug says it’s not junk science — but rather was recently validated and still in use. JSug concluded this from reading the research that says exactly the opposite – now that’s impressive.”

  79. “I am just amazed that you so-called skeptics take on these government causes, without the evidence.”

    What the fuck are you talking about?

    Fair question. Let’s have a demonstration.

    What do you think about this one. The following are facts – I am interested in your reaction.

    Shortly after 9/11 a number of key government and media figures were targeted with US Military-grade Anthrax originating from a US military facility.

    The Administration pressured the FBI to find a connection to Iraq (can’t imagine why). There is plenty of historic precedents for the FBI or CIA succumbing to such pressure, but the FBI stood firm on this occasion to the pressure to scapegoat Iraq (you know what that means – using the FBI to blame someone for a crime they did not commit for political purposes).

    The FBI investigation team was switched out though, and now the FBI has concluded that their most recent key suspect acted alone and they are closing the case. They claim they had the evidence to convict him, which they now will not release because the new key suspect killed himself with Tylenol and codeine. (You gotta love that.) Case closed. No evidence. No trial. Funning thing about trials — you have to produce your evidence at a trial. But when your lead suspect ends up dead (did that ever happen before?) – golly gee – no evidence needed. It was going to go public – but now we’ll lock it away.

    So here is the question – do you accept the government’s conclusion about this case?

    Or are you maybe a little bit skeptical of it?

    And if you are just a little bit skeptical – does that make you a paranoid, whacko conspiracist?

  80. Here’s my challenge to both of you: TS, you provide the gun. R, you agree to buy the gun if you lose. I’ll cover a six pack of your favorite beer and a skepchick t-shirt for both of you, win or lose, just for participating.

    Who’s in?

    I guess that would depend on the price of the gun. Losing a bet through overconfidence I can live with. Buying an overpriced rifle, though? That’s a disgrace for someone who actually sold the things for a living once upon a time. :P

  81. I don’t know enough about the evidence to answer the first question. And neither do you.

    From the tone of your comment, it sounds like you believe he was set up. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last. But do you have evidence to support that theory?
    The government claims to have evidence of his guilt. Can you refute it?

    2nd question: I am always skeptical about everything.

    3rd: No. What makes one a paranoid whacko CT is basing your beliefs of a massive conspiracy on a government agency that used bad science.

  82. What? Not ten? I thought I heard ten somewhere…

    Ah, I shaved that bit off of the quote when I accepted. Oh well. Guess that was my mistake, then…

    Or is it still on the table? It’s been a while since I squandered that much money. Tell you what. You make it ten, and I’ll use the money to throw a party. You get free invitation. I’ll tell everyone who the money came from and how I got it. You’ll be a hero. I’ll introduce you as “the man who made all this possible” or maybe “the founder of the feast.” What do you say?

    Also, do I still get my shirt from seth?

  83. why do you uncritically believe the government when it tells you that LHO was the sole gunman?

    ——————

    I don’t. Neither, I suspect, does anyone else here.

    Your problem is that you assume that the government is the only source. Obviously, there are many sources (the government, CBS, the NRA, direct observation, Frontline, etc). And while I’m sure that I couldn’t make those shot, there are certainly people who can.

  84. @TrueSkeptic

    But come on – I want to hear how skeptical you skeptics are of your government — go back to 109 and sound off.

    C’mon…seriously? If you’d led with Ivans, then sure, I might have taken you seriously, but when you led with Oswald?

  85. @sethmanapio & Rystefn

    The match sounds like fun…I’m interested in buying the rifle, with the caveat that it be a good manufacturer and chambered in 7.62/30-06 instead of the 6.5 Oswald was using.

  86. This is kind of interesting… I mean, I have so much more to lose by walking away, but TS is the one that requires prompting.

    I mean, I’m a known personage around here. Well, at least a recognized personage around here, and known by more than a few. Some in person. People here have my e-mail, my phone number, my address… Not all of them friendly. I try to walk away, and seth, as an example, will never let me live it down. TS, on the other hand, could walk away now, and be forgotten by Wednesday.

    I have to wonder, then, why TS wouldn’t be pressing such an obvious advantage? Was this a game of chicken, and you were betting I’d swerve first? If it was, you’d have done better to push harder or ditch out sooner. See, even if I wasn’t so confident in my marksmanship (I am, by the way), I’d be fairly confident by now that my opponent is soft and squishy.

    Tell you what… Let’s make it really interesting. If you’re so certain I can’t make the shot, why don’t you go downrange and drive around in a convertible? See that? I would have never said anything like that if you hadn’t played so timidly up to now. I’ve given you an out. Call me deranged psycho and get the Hell out. Realize that no matter how this plays out, if you go through with it, at the end of the day, you’ll be standing there making a financial transaction with a guy carrying a rifle who asked if he could shoot at you.

    Yes, I am so utterly bored of you and your pussy-footing around, that I handed you an escape clause on a platter. Either walk away, or start taking this seriously, because I don’t have the time to fuck around with you anymore.

  87. “The government claims to have evidence of his guilt. Can you refute it?”

    That’s very funny – Drew. Refute what? They’re not producing the evidence — that’s the whole point. There is nothing to refute. Very revealing of your thinking though. I show up to a lecture and claim that I have solved cold fusion — the audience is skeptical and I reply — I claim I have the evidence — can you refute that?

    They can just count on you skeptics to accept what they say without proof.

    But let me answer your question. Yes. Based upon my experience – you give me subpoena power and I would rip their case to shreds. That’s my professional judgment. And I would put up every dollar I own to back that. I have taken on cases that put my net worth on the line – and I would take on that case.

    BTW they claim to have just invented a new Anthrax DNA matching technique that provided the proof they needed. Sound familiar? Hey you guys bought it the first time – why not wheel it out again. This is more art than science, when you do not have access to the evidence, but you develop a sense for fraud after years and years of investigating fraud.

    BTW – I looked up your witness. You believe him? He could not make ID’s in line-ups, and even the Warren Commission concluded that his description of what happened was physically impossible.

    I guess that’s why I had never heard of him. That’s what it takes to convince you? Boy – you are some skeptic. Maybe you should try “gullible” – instead of “skeptic.”

  88. Okay… so we have a buyer for the rifle (and I’m pretty sure we can find a rifle), and Rystefn is in.

    I think the best target would be a watermelon wrapped in fiberglass tape. Nice big target. We can figure out the logistics of towing it at speed later.

    So, TS, are you in or what? That six pack and skepchick t-shirt are calling you!

  89. Oh that’s rich Rys.

    You know and I know that you have to get multiple hits and get off 3 shots in how many seconds it was. This is what we were talking about – remember?

    It’s the rate. It’s the hits.

    3 shots in 8 seconds (or whatever) is not the same thing as one shot. It’s bolt action, multiple shots, multiple hits, moving target, very limited time.

    It’s not one kill shot. Your proposal that you can fail miserably on the bet and still kill me is such a transparent dodge.

    You could have just as easily said that you take the three shots and turn then around and shoot at me. What does shooting at me have to do with the bet? Nothing.

  90. Hey TS, we are done playing with you. You want us to answer what we think about that case, you lost it with redicule and stupidity.

    BTW you made 2 claims above, without reference, please cite it. I am not going to look up any of your information without it.

    Rystefn, I will cover your traveling expenses, for this experiment.

  91. Excellent! We have traveling expenses, someone to buy the official TrueSkeptic skepchick challenge fake Oswald rifle, we have a shooter, we have a t-shirt salesman, I’ll find us a place to do this and all we need is the gun!

    TS, absolutely correct. For this experiment, Rystefn has to fire three shots in under 8 seconds, two of which strike the target area. We’ll get more details together after we settle on a time and place.

    TS, are you in or what? Will you provide the rifle?

  92. Rystefn has to fire three shots in under 8 seconds

    Actually, no.

    8 seconds (or whatever the time is) after the first shot is fired, the other two rounds have to go down range; that’s the only real requirement on time.

    The first round can take as much time as it takes.

    I was a marksmanship coach when I was at the Academy, just a stash duty gig, but if you want a spotter to take the rust off, Rystefn, I’ve still got my red ballcap. :)

  93. Three shots; 8.3 seconds; two hits.

    Before you go through with this, you should know that in a 1967 trial of the same nature, several people unaccustomed to the use of the weapon in question managed to make two out of three in 5.6 seconds. That’s a lot of money for me to duplicate something people have been doing for forty years and giving half again the time to do it.

  94. Yeah, also there is a place in Vegas, I saw avertised while I was done there, where you can renact the impossible shot for a couple hundred bucks. Most people are able to do it.

    You know after all of the fights we have on this site, I am glad TS could come in and bring us all together on this topic.

  95. It is obvious TS looked up Brennan on some kooky conspiracy website. Brennan is the litmus test for showing who is truly skeptical and who is a paranoid personality. I now know nothing will ever change his mind.

    Rystefn, you will never get your money. I urge you to withdraw.

  96. Hell, the shot was under 100 yards. The first one possibly as close as 175 feet. I’m not convinced I couldn’t do that with a good pistol. :P

    Speed is the most difficult aspect of the task, since it’s a bolt-action rifle. At those ranges, shooting a quarter might be a challenge, shooting a person is not.

    When the NRA ran the trial, five of six hit two out of three, and none had ever operated the weapon before at all. All fired without zeroing the rifle.

    I know I’ll never see a penny of that money. I knew from the start. I gave TS a few opportunities to bow out, but deliberately made is as antagonistic as possible to try to bait him into playing it out. Let’s see how far he goes before he swerves.

    Worst case scenario, it takes a couple of days before I get to look back on this and laugh. That’s ok, though, because I’m already laughing about it right now.

  97. But he will get the beer, the t-shirt, and the satisfaction of a good ass kickin’.

    …and that’s what makes life worth living, isn’t it?

    I find myself truly hoping TS strings this out long enough for me to go squeeze off a few rounds and hang out with some of the excellent people on this blog. I come for the hot chicks, but I stay for the… well, for the hot chicks, too. The rest of you are pleasant bonus, at best. :P

  98. OK Protesilaus, I have neglected you. You state:

    “My only assertion is that, there was a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the shots that struck and killed JFK. I only ask you to cite evidence that is against this position.”

    Now here is how it works. You are making the assertion – not me. You have the burden of proof on your assertion – not me. I am your audience. I am the skeptic. I ask you to show me some reliable proof for your assertion.

    Now you do not possess any proof – none. You have allegations by the FBI. That’s not proof. Not in a legal sense – not in a scientific sense – are allegations proof.

    It gets worse – the FBI claimed to match bullets. That claim was false. When you make false claims – in court or in the scientific community – unproven allegations become even less credible.

    And when you make allegations, but hide your investigation results and evidence, that’s bad too.

    This is what any scientific investigator worth a damn would ask:

    1. Why did they manufacture false scientific claims?

    2. Why do they conceal the evidence?

    If you had any experience in such things, you would know that 99/100 times – this is done because you don’t have the proof. You don’t have the evidence — otherwise you don’t do this stuff. Why would you?

    For example — Chew referred to a supporting eyewitness. This eyewitness was thoroughly discredited. That happens all the time. He was discredited even without going through the rigors of cross-examination, which would have destroyed him.

    You tell me how you would begin to prove that LOH was a loan gunman? It’s your case – not mine.

  99. If, for authenticity’s sake, you’d like to do this in the Dallas area

    That’s not a bad idea… Texas gun laws would likely make the whole process simpler than it might otherwise be. It would also make the burden on Protesilaus much lighter (if the offer still stands for travel arrangements), since I live in Houston.

  100. Actually, TS I cited specific evidence to support my claims. I won’t be restating them now. I wonder how it took you 140 comments to realize that I was giving you the topic, yet you didn’t discuss it until now, even though I stated it multiple times. You are dishonest with you intent and I am not going to go any further. I was hoping for an intelligent discussion, but did not get one today.

  101. OK… So I hate to be the one to broach an unpleasant subject… Well, that’s pretty much a lie, let me rephrase. I hate to be the one to broach this unpleasant subject, but if TS utterly fails at follow-through (as I suspect will be the case), do we have a backup plan for getting together, maybe firing a few rounds at a watermelon, then kicking back with some cold beverages and laughing about all this?

    I know it won’t be remotely anything like as much fun without TS there, but I’d hate to see all this discussion and planning go to waste just because bullshit walked after all.

  102. Now here is how it works. You are making the assertion – not me. You have the burden of proof on your assertion – not me. I am your audience. I am the skeptic. I ask you to show me some reliable proof for your assertion.

    Oh, get off it, TS. You’re the one that came in with “you should all be real skeptics, just like me!”, claimed a litany of credentials, and then pounced on a mention of Oswald. Burden of proof is on the claimant, sure…that’s you, not Protesilaus.

    As I said, if you’d started with Ivans…or Jewell…or the Iowa…or SL-1…or Tonkin…or pretty much anything except Oswald, then maybe I’d have started off taking you seriously.

    But you didn’t. You brought out the most over-thought, conspiracy-theorized event of the 20th century…and you expect any audience, let alone a skeptically inclinde one, to treat you on your merits? srsly? :)

  103. do we have a backup plan for getting together, maybe firing a few rounds at a watermelon, then kicking back with some cold beverages and laughing about all this?

    I’m game, if we can tie it to another event like a con or something. I live out in the Bay area.

  104. As for proof… no one knows for sure. But we do know, first, that there is no implausibility to the story. Oswald owned the gun or one just like it, had access to the snipers position, and witnesses place him at the book depository at the time of the shooting. He was a sharpshooter.

    There is no implausibility to the theory that a single shooter shot Kennedy from the Book Depository. The best candidate for that shooter is LHO.

    Yes, there is government evidence to consider. Did he have physical evidence on him that showed he fired a gun? The government says yes, but that evidence was never tested in court. Fine. But unless I hear a more plausible story, or a reason that I should NOT believe the LHO theory, I consider the LHO theory the best current candidate.

  105. Josh:
    I wouldn’t have gone that far. If he came on here and said Oswald was a patsy and the FBI, or Mafia, or Cuba, or Russia (USSR) killed JFK and he wasn’t a dick we would have listened and talked about it.

  106. I’m game, if we can tie it to another event like a con or something

    Well, it’s too late for DragonCon by far… What’s coming up?

    Also, I learned more about this conspiracy theory tonight than everything I knew before combined. In fact, pretty much everything I knew came from the Penn and Teller BS episode about it. I guess that’s part of why I come here. There’s so much information in the world, and you guys aren’t shy about pointing it out.

  107. @Protesilaus

    If he came on here and said Oswald was a patsy and the FBI, or Mafia, or Cuba, or Russia (USSR) killed JFK and he wasn’t a dick we would have listened and talked about it.

    True.

  108. There’s so much information in the world, and you guys aren’t shy about pointing it out.

    Carroll’s got a nice write-up on Ivans, if you haven’t seen the material before…heavily referenced, as always. Some rather not-so-nice things to say about the FBI in there.

    The Iowa is an interesting story as well. A nice statement about what happens to an investigation under pressure.

  109. I can’t usually do links that say ‘pretty girls’ from work (just finished something up here). :)

    I’m planning on trying to make Dragon con next year; cons aren’t so fun if you don’t know folks that are attending, “Places are just places” and all that. We could find a range in Atlanta…I used to play DDO with a couple ex-Marines out there, they might be able to find something else.

  110. I couldn’t tell you the name of the server I played on now if my life depended on it. I ran the Knight of the Fallen Star. It’s gone now, but a few of them still play and bug me to get back into it from time to time. The only MMO that ever managed to hold my attention for more than two month is City of Villains, which I credit more to the fascination a certain beautiful young woman holds for it than anything else.

  111. Yah, MMOs are a huge time sink; I’ve had to back away from them for that reason. The entire CoX series is better than most; I haven’t played that one in ages, but I’ve kept an account there…really some of the most creative work in the field.

    I am actually in the market for a rifle, though I was leaning toward something in 5.56 mostly for nostalgia’s sake.

    Ok, I’m out. The tests are run and looks like the server group is going to push updates even as I type, so…

  112. I’m not a big rifle enthusiast. I don’t even own one anymore, truth be told… although I did come within a hair’s breadth of buying a .75cal Brown Bess carbine replica. Sometimes you want to shoot, and sometimes you want to put a three quarters of an inch hole through something.

  113. Tx works better for me. I have family in Houston and Dallas. Remember I went to Rice, where I got my degree in physics.

    And this JFK stuff got me curious – so I just checked out some interviews of a whole slew of experts — to the man they say the magic bullet theory is a complete and utter joke.

    This included Connelly himself, Connelly’s physician. The Secret Service and the FBI. The Dallas physicians who treated Kennedy (at Rice – I dated one of their daughters), expert pathologists, Senate investigators.

    They are brutal. They say it is just flat out absurd for multiple reasons. The evidence supports four shots, which eliminates LOH as a one gunman. Kennedy’s throat wound was a frontal entry wound – ruling out LOH on that shot.

    So there is a ton of evidence excluding LOH as sole gunman, which is why almost 90% of the populace reject the sole gunman theory.

    And yet 100% of “SKEPTICS” believe the other way???? How do you explain that? What kind of cult is this?

  114. And yet 100% of “SKEPTICS” believe the other way???? How do you explain that? What kind of cult is this?

    ———

    How are you obtaining your 100% number? How do you define skeptic? Aren’t you selecting a group based on a position, and then acting surprised that they hold it? Why haven’t you presented your evidence? Perhaps we are simply unaware of this “evidence” that you insist exists, or perhaps we think it is total crap, based on our evaluation of your methods, but certainly you have not allowed us the privelege of examining it. Where did you get your 90% number? What do you mean by “almost”. Where are these interviews you speak of available? Which specific experts are they with? Can you quote the interviews, the experts, and indicate where I can verifiy this information? Why do you think that Connely is an “expert” on anything, as opposed to a witness? Why would Connelly’s physician be a balistics expert, or even a gunshot wound expert? Are you making any founded assertions, or do you just have the unfounded kind?

    And most importantly, ARE YOU IN? DO YOU COMMIT TO PROVIDING THE RIFLE TO BE USED IN THE BET?

  115. TruerTroll hasn’t even cleared up the bullshit in it’s first post.

    On what topics exactly do we “exhibit a blind faith that would make a run-of-the-mill fundamentalist envious”.

    Back up your claim you slippery little shit.

    Coming in here claiming all shorts of education and crowing about how big a skeptic you are.

    People have been more than kind to you considering your first post makes you come off as a condescending prick.

  116. I am quite willing to help subside this rifle experiment.

    I don’t know why it is necessary since it has been done a number of times already and there was little problem in duplicating LHO shots.

  117. Seth,

    You are right – Connelly is a witness. Connelly’s physician treated his wounds. They support, along with Connelly’s wife, what the experts said about the film frames: there is too much time between JFK being struck and Connelly being struck for the “magic” bullet theory to be possible.

    And I suppose you just ignore all the witnesses who heard shots coming from in front of JFK and that the treating physicians in Dallas stated that the wound to the front of his throat was an entry wound.

    Josh posted a link to a discussion of Ivans, where Robert Carroll was far too accepting of unproven allegations in a thoroughly discredited investigation, but at least he acknowledged that, in part because of a poor FBI track record in the matter, one should be skeptical of simply accepting its proclamations as gospel. If you apply this same minimal level of skepticism to the JFK evidence — you have to be skeptical of the rush to judgment to make LHO a loan gunman.

    As far as what I looked at last night with experts weighing in — here is the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBX0FZn13Ao&feature=related

    It is part I of five short parts. But it will prompt you on the other parts.

    You need to understand the pressure and willingness to close some of these cases. It happens all the time.

    You should never blindly accept the government’s case without sufficient proof.

    That’s all – ye skeptics.

  118. Spurge – I was going to add a “Ps,” which sort of addresses your point.

    The real issue is an exchange between me and Appleman, where he disappeared. Go back and look at it. He, and only he, attempts some explanation as to why skeptic sites attack “conspiracists” by ridiculing them as whackos.

    There is no question that this is the protocol on these sites. There are subject tabs for “conspiracists” and we have seen the fervor with which you all have defended a completely and utterly unproven case, which lacks credibility due to withholding evidence and fabricating evidence — to say nothing of the contradicting evidence.

    So the real question is why do these skeptic groups defend unproven government cases? Appleman suggested a reason, which I challenged. He did not respond. There is no good response.

    NIST finally came out with its explanation for the collapse of WTC7. You gotta watch it. For a person educated in physics like myself and knowledgeable of proper investigations — it is laugh out loud funny. And guess what – once again – they theorize a first time scientific method, a first time ever event, will not reveal their evidence, and acknowledge they did not even perform basic tests that would be required if your house burned down – let alone a 47 story skyscraper.

    Now there are legions of credentialed scientists around the world who can drive holes through the government’s analysis.

    I suppose one can reasonably choose to lean towards acceptance or rejecting the government’s completely unproven analysis and theory. But to declare the government the winner without the proof and to ridicule the government’s skeptics is, from a scientific and historical perspective, indefensible. Especially for a group that calls themselves “skeptics.” But from what I can tell – that’s what these sites do.

    And Appleman started to say it was necessary to ridicule these skeptics to protect the people’s psyche. Such an explanation is very revealing in itself. I said to him – “come again?” Explain that to me. He had no answer. Maybe someone else does.

  119. “So the real question is why do these skeptic groups defend unproven government cases? ”

    You have yet to show any evidence that any skeptic does this.

    They look at the evidence and come to a rational conclusion.

    They don’t anomaly hunt and claim vast government conspiracies.

    That is what nutters like you do.

  120. For a person educated in physics like myself and knowledgeable of proper investigations — it is laugh out loud funny.
    ——————————–
    Dude, you misunderstand the term “skeptic.”

    A skeptic is someone who doubts. A person like you, who pretends to knowledge without showing any signs of actually having it, and then uses their claim of authority as a means of supporting any crackpot, bullshit theory that applies to their preconcieved belief that the government must be lying, is what we technically call an “asshat”.

  121. acknowledge they did not even perform basic tests that would be required if your house burned down

    —————

    Okay. The report is available online, so: Where do they acknowledge this? Are these tests required in general arson cases, say, in a skyscraper? What are they? Are there substitute tests that are generally accepted? Did NIST perform those? Would those tests have been applicable in this case? Was it possible to conduct those tests, given the state of the rubble? What is the new theory? Is it the only evidence, or does it support a larger case?

    On your supposed expertise in investigation: Are you a fire, demolition, construction, or arson expert? Do you have special expertise in arson investigation? Where did you get your training? How can we verify your bonafides?

  122. They support, along with Connelly’s wife, what the experts said about the film frames: there is too much time between JFK being struck and Connelly being struck for the “magic” bullet theory to be possible.

    ———–

    Are you high? You seriously expect me to think that the subjective impression of a man who just got shot is a vaguely accurate gauge of the amount of time that elapsed between his being hit and the guy next to him being hit? Was that supposed to make me snort coffee out of my nose?

    Holy jumping crap in a toaster, TS, you make Art Bell look like James Randi.

  123. What a retard. I could do that. Did he specify the weapon? I qualified expert on the M-16 before I shipped to Kuwait back in 2005. I only had one day of classroom instruction and then off to the range. It was raining hard and I was laying in a puddle. I had a harder time cleaning all the wet sand and mud out of the rifle than I did hitting the target. But I’ve been shooting a rifle since I was 9. That’s 27 years.

  124. Like I posted a lot earlier in this crapfest. I’ve been to the book depository. I’ve stood right next to the window Oswald shot from and looked at the X’s on the street. I could make those shots with a rifle with only iron sights. A scope only makes it easier.

  125. I see that this back-and-forth has pretty stopped now so this might be a bit late, but just a reminder to spurge and a few others to tone down the name-calling. It’s a fine line between “asshat” and “slippery shit” but let’s just try to watch it.

  126. The best part is how much he bragged we would all back down and he ended up bailing.

    ————

    I thought the best part was how he just clung to whatever piece of flotsam was available. Its funny how these “true” skeptic types, the denialists and conspiracy theorists, just refuse to let go of anything, no matter how stupid.

    Its like when I heard Joe Rogan debate Phil Plait on the moon hoax… Phil demolished his science on day one… and on day two Rogan brought up the same points as if BA hadn’t addressed them.

    Its accretive thinking… they can only add crap to the big ball o’bullshit, never take crap away.

  127. Actually, my favourite part was when he pulled out the “Oswald said he was a patsy!” thing. As if a man who’s facing the death penalty is incapable of lying in an attempt to save his own ass…

  128. Hey – do any of you people have jobs? : )

    That’s where I was today, and I have a brief to work on tonight. So I’ll have to give it a rest. But feel free to continue with the name calling. It suits you.

    And if you do have a job – let’s hear it. I shared.

    : )

  129. Hey – do any of you people have jobs? : )

    ————–

    No. I’m currently between jobs, which is why my posting has gone way up in the last two weeks.

    Oh, and thanks for the dig, while you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it.

    You shared? Please. Like anyone believes you. What do you think, we were born yesterday? Claiming super expert level knowledge is a constant tactic with conspiracy wingnuts. I haven’t seen any evidence at all that you have a more nuanced understanding of law, physics, or investigation than the average medieval peasant.

  130. Before I settle in to write this brief (work avoidance) let me make a proposal to you – Seth.

    It’s nearly impossible to discuss/debate these topics back and forth in these effing little boxes. Let’s have a little discussion on the phone with a moderator to keep it within accepted forms of logical debate. I propose – Rebecca. I have call-conferencing abilities. Hell – we could even put out more cash to let people listen in – using a conferencing service. And we’ll address this question of whether so-called “skeptics” are unduly trusting/gullible when it comes to government claims (particularly those used to start/expand wars) vs. I am a nut-job, as you argue.

    Fair enough?

  131. Let’s have a little discussion on the phone with a moderator…

    ——————-

    I’m not really interested. I like written debates. Written debates allow us to demonstrate things clearly from the record. For example, in a spoken debate, we would have to argue about whether or not you had hung your hat on rate of fire. In a written debate we do not, and we can see from that that you are a wingnut.
    In a spoken debate, you could skate past the fact that you claimed that Connelly’s physician could possibly make any claims at all about the spacing, in time, of bullet wounds that happened at most within seconds of each other on two patients, only one of which he actually saw.

    You might as well say that the man has magic powers.

    In a spoken debate, your big ball of shit is an advantage, because its easier to crap it out than it is to clean it up. In written debate, its a lot easier to point it out for the excrement it is.

    So, as much as I appreciate that you want to run away into a different forum without looking like a total loser, thanks but no thanks.

  132. It’s nearly impossible to discuss/debate these topics back and forth in these effing little boxes.

    We do it all the time. Some topics hit hot buttons, and a mix of evidence and logic is brought out to defend the particular positions.

    I use an off-line text editor, if my post is particularly complicated or long.

    Or pick another champion – anyone.

    Eh? This isn’t, believe it or not, us vs you. If you’ve got data, and deport yourself politely, people will listen.

    If you’ve just got rhetoric, and aren’t willing to cite sources when you’re discussing claims, and talk down to people…then they won’t.

  133. I just think the word “asshat” is inherently funny, unfortunately it’s also insulting. Such is life.

    Incidentally, mt post above should say 83 and 86 (the skepchick miracle comments), not 82 and 85. I guess someone posted before me and I didn’t notice until now.

  134. Hey, if you want to trust me to call my hits over the phone, I’m fine with that. Not sure how Rebecca would moderate that from Boston, but you can trust her implicitly to call me out if I claim to have hit and she sees the bullet land elsewhere…

  135. Ok – the out of work guy, who does not trust Rebecca (the host of the site I am calling into question) to effectively monitor the debate, says “no.” I think that was a smart choice. There has got to be someone better than Seth.

    Appleman maybe?

    Or I could take Rebecca on and we’ll get a neutral moderator.

    Critical thinking and science?

    Oh you can believe everything I said about myself – Seth – that’s very, very easily proven.

    That’s a bet you don’t want to make.

  136. that’s very, very easily proven.

    Please… son, you can’t even prove you exist, much less all these other claims about yourself. How do we know you’re not some persona I made up to try to make me look better by comparison?

  137. Ok – the out of work guy, who does not trust Rebecca…

    ————–

    This is what makes you an asshat. I never said that I didn’t trust Rebecca to monitor the debate. You made that up. Is this how you “investigate” your big “cases”? Do you just make shit up and hope no one notices?

    I’m already kicking your ass pretty handily here, so I don’t see why it’s in my best interests to let you squirm out of having your ass kicked here. It’s clear to me that you are desperate for some kind of an out. Too bad. You walked into my space. Take your lumps or get out, and take the big ball of shit that you call an argument with you.

    And no, I don’t believe a damn thing you say about yourself. If you have a degree in physics, you wasted a lot of money. If you work as a lawyer, you’re a waste of other people’s money. If you investigate financial fraud, there’s a lot of happy embezzlers out there.

    But hey, prove me wrong, if it’s so easily proven. The difference between you and I is that I don’t mind being wrong. My self opinion isn’t some inflated garbage bag that can’t handle even a minor pinprick from reality.

  138. As much as I want to encourage you all to continue discussing and debating topics, I have to say that I have absolutely no interest in moderating an audio debate between two random blog commenters, but thank you for thinking of me.

    I’m also not sure what TrueSkeptic refers to when suggesting he can “take Rebecca on and we’ll get a neutral moderator.” Are you saying you want to debate me? About . . . some topic I haven’t even weighed in on? My apologies but I have to say I don’t see the value or point.

  139. “Are you saying you want to debate me? About . . . some topic I haven’t even weighed in on?”

    Oh we’d make it a topic that you have weighed in on Rebecca. We could just have you defend the statements you make in your little piece on Willie Nelson. Willie of course is not the point. It’s the scientific claims you put forward. I don’t believe you can defend them.

    And we could do it in Boston. I’ll give you proof of who I am and my credentials in advance. And we could get a Harvard Professor to moderate it – I have more connections there. But MIT is nearby as well. We can film it. We can both bring the available evidence of our choosing. We can have a University scientist critique it afterwards.

    It’s a lot easier to take pot shots at celebrities than to defend scientific claims using evidence. I’d even pay you for your time and the performance – it’d be worth it.

    BTW – how do you make your living? Do you have a job? Live off your parents?

  140. TrueSkeptic: wow, I was trying to be polite and you just veered off into assholery, didn’t you? Let me spell it out for you, kitten: I have no need, desire, or reason to want to have a debate with anyone, let alone some random jackass on the Internet, and the idea that I would start calling up local professors to have someone moderate such a pointless endeavor is laughable to the extreme.

    If you have a criticism of some specific point I’ve made, you’re free to post it here on the blog. What does my profession have to do with anything?

  141. Ok Rys – former gun dealer – locate the gun. We need the gun first. And we are going to give you the same moving target and the same line of sight. We reach agreement on that – then we’ll both deposit $10,000 with a neutral stakeholder. You okay on this so far?

    And BTW – I just read somewhere that the government investigation concluded that LOH missed on the first shot. If that’s true – you think you can waste the first shot and get hits on the second and third shots in the time allotted? I.e. replicate what LOH is suppose to have done.

  142. I’d even pay you for your time and the performance – it’d be worth it.

    ————–

    Well, sure, to you! You’re a nobody. Rebecca is loved by 10’s of thousands, which is a hell of a lot more than you’ll ever have. Why don’t you do a little work on getting some recognition instead of begging for it here.

    We’ve already set up a deal for you, and you’ve ducked out of it. Stop acting brave, captain skidmarks. You bore me.

    One thing that’s come out of all of this is the possibility of a skepchick-con. TAM n.75, as it were (we’ve got n.25 happenin’ at D*Con, there’s a .5, we need a .75 for correct periodicity). What say ye, skepchick commenters?

  143. TS: Step one is for you, the challenger, to put up the money. You find the neutral stakeholder, get the 10 grand set up (shit, you’re an attorney, you should be able to do this), show us proof that you’ve done it.

    We already have committments to buy the gun. I’m not sure how easy this model is to get a hold of, but a similar model should do, yes? Bolt action, single fire, same caliber and x-scope?

    Do you agree to these terms so far?

  144. If that’s true – you think you can waste the first shot and get hits on the second and third shots in the time allotted?

    ——————-

    Does being this stupid come naturally to you, or did you have to work to come up with this one? By your logic, 3 out of 3 hits wouldn’t count, because he didn’t “duplicate what Oswald did.”

  145. Now, now… trying to change the stakes? No dice.

    Three shots, two hits. Three attempts. While I’m fairly confident I won’t need them, I’ll take them just on the principle of not letting you wriggle out of anything. Same reason you won’t be adding a tree to the equation. See, as soon as I let you back up on one thing, you’ll just keep doing it until you’re making me shoot out the bloody window of the real Book Depository, with which I’m fairly sure the Dallas PD would have a problem.

    Of course, I’m fairly confident that holding you to the terms you already conceded will also have you trying to back out, but I never really had any confidence in you going through with this anyway. But, pathological unpleasantness of character and all – I’m going with the one that lets me be a jerk about it.

    Also, seth, it’s an uncommon calibur and kind of a pain to find sometimes. That’s why it was suggested before that a model chambered for the more common 7.62 round be used.

  146. “TrueSkeptic: wow, I was trying to be polite and you just veered off into assholery, didn’t you?”

    By challenging you to defend your claims? Isn’t that what Skeptics Inc. is all about? Your entire blog site is devoted to requiring proof of claims, and you are offended that you are asked to defend your own?

    You don’t need to supply the professors – I’ll do that. When I am required to prove my claims in a court using evidence – I employ top experts all the time. I’ve used several from Harvard and have a professor emeritus at Harvard consulting for me right now on a case that starts trial in a few weeks. The WSJ wants to do a piece on the case.

    Look I don’t want to pick on a little girl and embarrass you if you are not up to it. But getting your kicks out of picking on Willie Nelson when you have not a clue what you are talking about. You make statements that even NIST does not dare attempt to defend.

  147. TS:
    By challenging you to defend your claims? Isn’t that what Skeptics Inc. is all about? Your entire blog site is devoted to requiring proof of claims, and you are offended that you are asked to defend your own?

    Me:
    Since you came on this site, I have asked you to cite anything you have mentioned and you have failed to show one reference.

    When Creationists challenge Evolution on School Boards, they make a lot of claims, like Evolution is not enough to explain all of the diversity of life, there must be a creator. They offer no evidence for this statement and say scientists must show evidence to counter this, such as filling all of the fossil gaps….Sound Familiar?

  148. Ha ha! Amazing. You randomly and repeatedly insult me and when I point it out you claim I’m complaining about you asking me to defend my claims.

    I’ll tell you just once more: if you have a problem with anything I’ve written on this site, quote it and tell me why I’m wrong. It’s that simple! You can stop wiggling your little Internet credentials around, I’m not impressed. I mean really, this is just sad.

  149. Not by challenging people to defend their claims. By calling adults “little girl,” by referring to whatever she wrote (I must admit ignorance here) about Nelson as a “little piece,” etc.

    The tone you take, you see. The use of the diminutive as a derogatory. The constant self-aggrandizing, as if we’re impressed by your anonymous claims. She was being overly polite in pretending you veered into assholery at any point, rather than appearing here in cloud of it.

    You had one tentative defender here, and you immediately antagonized her. That was a mistake.

  150. Your entire blog site is devoted to requiring proof of claims, and you are offended that you are asked to defend your own?

    ———–

    You misunderstand, asshat. It’s offensive to refer to her as a little girl, and the reason that she won’t debate you is that you aren’t worth her time. You are a nobody repeating the same tired old conspiracy crap that every other nobody repeats. Bring something new, bring something worth discussing, and maybe someone will want to discuss it.

    Since the round is hard to find, would you accept a 7.62 mm bolt action rifle as a substitute weapon? Something like this?

  151. I’m fine with most rifles you might want to use, for the record, although a substitution rifle notorious for it’s inaccuracy will, of course, be dismissed out of hand.

    For the record, I just had a birthday, and a Mosin-Nagant would do wonderfully well for me. I already have the bayonet for it and everything.

    …sorry, I’m easily distracted, and that, sir, is an elegant and respected weapon.

  152. Course, the downside is that you would need to find a scope. Whereas this weapon is ready to go out of the box…

    Tell you what, TS… why don’t you have a look at the weapons on gunbroker, find one you’ll accept as a substitute. I’ll see if R agrees on model and Pro on price.

    Then, after you post your $10,000 good faith, this side will buy the gun and we’re off to the races!

    Do we all have a deal, here?

  153. I can start looking for a novantuno through my own channels if it’s really necessary. I’m not sure I can find one, since I’ve never looked, but I’m sure we can come to some sort of agreement on this.

  154. Since when does only one side put up their cash?

    Are you telling me this gun does not exist anymore?

    I have never shot a gun in my life, nor shopped for one and you want me to do this work – instead of you the experts?

  155. I think the other half of the money was in the “off to the races” part. I couldn’t swear to it, since I don’t read minds, but let’s just put it in there at this point and move on.

    The rifle in question has not been in production since 1945, so there are a few speedbumps in procuring one. The reason I’d rather not jump up and start proposing alternates is that I could later be accused of choosing one superior in some way to the Carcano reputedly used by Oswald in the shots I’m to duplicate. I mean, while I’d love to take up the challenge using the m1 Garand, it would hardly be an equivalent accomplishment.

    However, if you admit to having limited knowledge of rifles, I must venture to wonder why you think the timing of the shots is suspect? Are you taking someone else’s word for it? Hardly the truly skeptical method, wouldn’t you say? A True Skeptic ™ would either go out and try it, or admit to not actually knowing how plausible such a feat actually is.

  156. “I’ll tell you just once more: if you have a problem with anything I’ve written on this site, quote it and tell me why I’m wrong.”

    OK Rebecca. You conflate the scientific skepticism of how the WTC towers failed due solely to airplane impacts with the US government planting bombs inside the building. That’s just a fallacy. There is no necessary connection there at all. Terrorists planted bombs in the WTC in 1993. Why could terrorists not plant bombs in 2001 as well?

    So getting the US government out of the picture – let’s examine the case for the planes being the sole cause for bringing down the towers, which you state is obvious. NIST (after admittedly failing to follow proper investigative protocols) theorizes that the combination of the impact of the planes and the resulting fires weakened the structural support members in the area of the plane impacts, thereby initiating building support failures at those upper levels of the building.

    Now, how do you account for the complete failure and destruction of the building levels beneath NIST’s theorized collapse initiation, given the manner in which this occurred? You need to explain/defend this given your statement that the obvious cause is the massive plane impacts.

    Can you do that?

  157. I have never shot a gun in my life, nor shopped for one and you want me to do this work – instead of you the experts?

    ——————-

    It’s your bet. That’s why I want you to be comfortable with the model and make chosen. Yes, I’m telling you that the exact weapon might be hard to find.

    Look, you have all this investigative prowess and stuff, figure it out. Yeesh.

  158. how do you account for the complete failure and destruction of the building levels beneath NIST’s theorized collapse initiation, given the manner in which this occurred?

    —————————-

    What do you mean, “the manner in which this occurred”. What do you think happened that is inconsistent with the collapse beginning at or near the point of impact?

  159. Here is the quote Rys:

    “Willie Nelson just told a radio station that the World Trade Center was imploded by the US government on 9/11, instead of coming to the much more obviously correct conclusion that the towers fell due to the massive airplanes we all plainly saw crash into them.”

    Now let’s see how Rebecca fares in this quote. First Willie said absolutely nothing about the American Government imploding the buildings. She just flat out made that up – just a lie.

    In fact, Willie said that we were hit from people from Saudi Arabia – thereby accepting this government claim.

    Willie expressed “skepticism” of how the plane impacts could cause the resulting total failure of the Towers in the manner that occurred — he is in very, very good company there, legions of experts, sans the skeptic sites.

    He also questioned WTC7 – the lack of plane impact, the symmetry of failure in response to asymmetrical damage, and free fall failure – which he correctly noted are more characteristic of what you see in demolitions.

    It is these collective observations by good ol’ Willie that Rebecca ridiculed. Not very nice – Rebecca – but that’s a separate matter as to whether you have any defense for what you describe as “obvious.”

  160. This is another example of what a twerp you are, by the way. You say “manner in which this occurred” instead of explaining your problem.

    Look, in this case, we know damn well that the buildings were hit by airplanes, that they burned for some time, that they were weakened by the fire, and that they subsequently collapsed. You want to add some new entity into this equation, and you seem to believe that it is needed.

    So what entity is required and why?

  161. Well, that one quote. It’s a start. Now provide the actual Willie Nelson quote before calling her a liar. Link to it so we can verify, of course. After that, go ahead and back up the rest of that you said. Name your “experts.” I mean, neither you nor Mr. Nelson are experts in demolitions, explosives, architecture, engineering, plane crashes, or any other relevant specialty, so your word carries exactly zero weight here.

    Come on, stop making us have to demand the same stuff from you over and over.

  162. Willie expressed “skepticism” of how the plane impacts could cause the resulting total failure of the Towers in the manner that occurred — he is in very, very good company there, legions of experts, sans the skeptic sites.

    ————

    No, he isn’t. A “legion” is about 10 cohorts, and a cohort is about 500 soldiers. There are not 10,000 experts on your side. As far as I know, not a single person who has been able to analyze the evidence and has expert knowledge of demolition, construction, or engineering is on your side.

  163. Tell you what, TS. I feel nice.

    You put the money up to the proxy (at least $1000, at most $10,000), so that we know you’re serious.

    I’ll find the weapon, get your approval, get Rystefn’s approval. Then Rystefn will put up HIS money, same amount that you put up.

    Then I’ll arrange the purchase of the rifle, the location for the test, and so forth. How’s that? You’re the expert lawyer, there’s no way you’ll have any trouble putting up a third party bid. Hell, there’s probably a service in Vegas that will do this for us.

  164. “What do you mean, “the manner in which this occurred”. What do you think happened that is inconsistent with the collapse beginning at or near the point of impact?”

    Seth – my starting point is NIST’s theory that the supports at the crash site at the upper levels failed due to the damage of the impact and the fires.

    Accepting that theory as true, for the sake of argument, as what occurred at the upper crash site levels — the undamaged levels underneath the crash site fail and collapse straight down at close to fee fall speed. I ask her to account for that.

    And I did not ask you. She invited me to put the question to her, and unless you think that she is a helpless and clueless little girl who cannot speak up for herself — why don’t you stay out of it – as well as the rest of you. And let’s see how she does on her own, after misrepresenting what Willie said, ridiculing him, and then baldly asserting that the science of what occurred is obvious: Plane hits – building falls.

    Obvious – huh? This should be good. I want to see this critical thinking and faithfulness to science in action.

  165. Actually, TS, you challenged all of us. Your presence here is an unrelenting challenge to all of us to not vomit on our keyboards.

    I’ve said before, and I stand by it – deigning to argue with you is beneath her. Unless and until either you or I goes home $10,000 richer out of the other’s pocket, you are nothing anyone should bother to take seriously.

  166. “As far as I know, not a single person who has been able to analyze the evidence and has expert knowledge of demolition, construction, or engineering is on your side.”

    Well we can agree that you don’t know. But I am not going to give out any more clues until Rebecca responds – now that I gave her exactly what she requested.

    Look – does Rebecca have any education in science at all?

    If anyone knows the answer to that question – you can help with that while we are waiting for her.

    I mean if Rebecca just flat out has no knowledge, education or analytical skills in science we can drop this. I mean, she was happy to lie about Willie – so what should we really expect from here?

    Well I guess it takes time to copy and paste from the “debunker” sites she provides links to — but she’s wasting her time if that’s what she is doing.

    Let’s put it this way — I’d offer the same challenge to a debate to the chief NIST investigator that I offered to her.

  167. “deigning to argue with you is beneath her.”

    Don’t you mean beyond her competence?

    You said the same thing BEFORE she invited my challenge. She invited this — I think you are afraid for you.

    Why don’t you let her handle this? Seems you think she is a helpless little girl.

    Step aside Rys — enough of this tag team crap. Let Rebecca defend her lie if she wants to and her claim as to “obvious” science if she can.

    Or do you really think she is that helpless – that she needs you to bail her out?

  168. the undamaged levels underneath the crash site fail and collapse straight down at close to fee fall speed. I ask her to account for that.

    ————-

    Okay, I’ll account for part of that. Thousands of tons of free falling matter fell on the lower floors, causing them to collapse in the order in which they were struck by the falling matter.

    “Close to free fall” is an imprecise term. How close were they to free fall, and why do you think that the pancaking of the upper floors does not explain the rate of collapse?

    Dude, you don’t get to pick your opponents on public forums. Get over it. You say something stupid to one person, you’ve said it to everybody.

    Are you in this bet thing or what, by the way?

  169. Well I gotta get to sleep. Due in court tomorrow. Maybe Rebecca can find someone to write something up for her – that she can post as her own.

    Although there is no getting around her lying about an American Icon — Willie Nelson.

    That’s low.

  170. “In fact, Willie said that we were hit from people from Saudi Arabia – thereby accepting this government claim.”

    Willie’s point was that if we were attacked by Saudi Arabia then why were we in Iraq and not asking them about it. Also that isn’t the government’s claim about what happened on 9/11. You didn’t make your case, he never said he accepted the governments story.

  171. Come on Seth — let her answer for herself.

    I’m reserving my response for her.

    And she INVITED this. What are you – her father?

    She wrote it – let her defend it.

    Good night boys and girls — I am on the east coast too.

  172. As for people’s education in science:

    The only person here making an issue about their education and expertise is you. I’m perfectly happy to rely on actual experts to provide analysis of things I don’t have any expertise in. So, for example, if 100% of all structural engineers who observe the collapse agree that the upper floor fell on the lower floors, causing them to collapse, I’ll believe that contingent on new information. Do you have any new information, or are you just making shit up?

  173. Due in court tomorrow

    ——————–

    Yeah, but how awake do you have to be to plead nolo to a speeding ticket?

    I love how this guy is now demanding to speak to the owner. He’s literally begging me to stop challenging him on his shit… tres, tres amusing.

  174. Don’t you mean beyond her competence?

    When I mean to call someone incompetent, I use these words: You’re incompetent. Cuts down on confusion, you see. I don’t pull punches, as anyone around here will tell you. I’m not a nice person, and if someone gives me a reason to say something bad about them, I don’t do it in slantwise compliments, I fucking well come right out and say it in plain English.

    You said the same thing BEFORE she invited my challenge.

    Yes, I did. Then, when I said it again, I said “I’ve said it before.” It’s right there in the comment you quoted. While it’s a step in the right direction that you’ve just come out and stated a verifiable truth, I wonder why you chose that one… were you trying to make some kind of point?

    I think you are afraid for you.

    What ill could possibly come to me over you arguing with Rebecca? I’m not given to irrational fears. Hell, I tend to ignore perfectly rational fears rather more than is good for me. I just don’t get what you’re trying to imply here.

    Why don’t you let her handle this?

    Let? Dude, I couldn’t prevent her from it if I tried. She is neither beholden nor subservient to me (except in a few lurid fantasies).

    Seems you think she is a helpless little girl.

    Not in the slightest. I think she is above such petty nonsense as arguing with you.

    Step aside Rys — enough of this tag team crap.

    I thought this was a scientific debate, not a fistfight. Numbers don’t matter, only facts.

    Maybe you see the feminist nature of this site and hope to stir up some trouble with accusing a man of trying to protect her… Maybe it’s nothing more than schoolyard baiting. Either way, it has no place here, and is unlikely to work here. As you probably do not know, but Rebecca surely does, I’m far more likely to leap to defend men from a blanket statement by overzealous feminists than to leap to the aid of a random female out of misguided chivalry.

    Also, where do you stand on the marksmanship challenge? If you’re content to let us pick the rifle, say so and commit yourself to it. If not, say that, and tell us what requirements to which the choice should be restricted.

    Either make a concrete stand so we can move forward, or tie your hands behind your back and climb a wall of dicks, because that would at least be entertaining to watch.

  175. Seth, he will never accept anything anyone says on the subject. He didn’t come into this with an open mind. He came in hurling insults and talking down to all of us with internet animinity.

    I think he just proved one of my favorite theories:
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/

    Rebecca, I would be proud that your site is so popular we finally have griefers. I haven’t seen them around here before.

    As for me I am also a East Coaster and its approaching 2AM.

  176. Aw, did I forget to plan my sleep schedule around this high-priority Interweb debate with an anonymous, rude asshole? What was I thinking?? Scanning through the posts from last night, I see TrueSkeptic chose a quote from my entry on Willie Nelson. He didn’t include a link to the entry, probably because it rebuts his point, which is nice for me because I just woke up and have to hop in the shower before heading off to my job as President of the Ultra-Secret Conspiracy, for which I am paid $2 billion and am daily asked to use my knowledge gained during pursuit of my Masters in Stupid Conspiracy Theories from the Internet College of Blowhards. Here’s the link:
    http://skepchick.org/blog/?p=937

    TS said:

    Now let’s see how Rebecca fares in this quote. First Willie said absolutely nothing about the American Government imploding the buildings. She just flat out made that up – just a lie.

    What he said was “The day it happened, I saw one fall and it was just so symmetrical. I said, ‘Wait a minute, I just saw that last week at the casino in Las Vegas’, and you see these implosions all the time, and the next one fell and I said, ‘Hell, there’s another one.’ They’re trying to tell me that an airplane did it and I can’t go along with that.”

    So you’re right, TS, in that clip he did not say “the US government.” The “they” he was referring to could very well have been the Bilderberg Group, lizard people, or sexy Martians with three tits. 13,000 Internet debate points to you, sir!

  177. ““they” he was referring to could very well have been the Bilderberg Group, lizard people, or sexy Martians with three tits. 13,000 Internet debate points to you, sir!”

    LMAO —- Oh that’s good. So Willie uses his own eyes to question an event that the lead NIST investigator has just admitted has never before happened in the history of the World, which is accepted uncritically by you (not that Willie would have the slightest clue what your opinion is) and the entire mass media, which reports on the story of what happened — that would be the “they.”

    This is the story parroted by the “they” (mass media), instead of critically questioning this story, as many, many scientists have done (like myself) in reaction to a first time event never before occurring in the history of the World, as described (referring now to WTC7 – not the towers). This to Willie’s credit, causes him to be skeptical. You know — “skeptical” — that would be the opposite of “blind faith.” lol : )

    So how does Rebecca employ those strict, logically acceptable modes of argument to address Willie’s righteous skepticism? Well, she takes it upon herself to put words in his mouth that he does not say, ridicules him and now says he believes in lizard people and martian aliens, because he questions a mass media story that flies in the face of his experience, his intuition and in fact, as described, has never, never happened — EVER.

    Classic. Yes Rebecca – you don’t want to debate me. I am sure the Harvard Profs would be nice and polite to such a cute little girl …, but they would not allow you to get away that. “Ummm, Ms. Watson — excuse me, but lizard people and aliens is not the issue before us … and we here at Harvard sort of don’t really condone such methods of debate. Perhaps you could get back to the subject at hand. (Where did they get her from?)”

    Now that you admitted to fabricating what Willie said in order to use ridicule of him to make your point, I guess you’re still working on forming a reply to my question as to what happens to 50+ stories of the undamaged structural supports of the Towers following NIST’s theory for how the upper floors failed. Given that these undamaged steel supports gave way at very close to free-fall speed, straight down.

    Are you going to blame it on lizard people and alien martians?

    Great technique — used by many — conflate the scientific skeptics with people who believe in aliens. Beats the heck out of having to resort to critical thinking.

  178. I am sure the Harvard Profs would be nice and polite…

    ———–

    Aren’t you supposed to be in court this morning? Or are you fighting crime in your super investigator suit?

    I’ve already replied to your question about the towers supports. They couldn’t stand up to the energy created by the momentum of the collapsing floors above them. They were not entirely undamaged, fire spread to some lower floors, but even if they had been, they would not have stood once the top floor fell on them. Please explain why some other mechanism is needed.

  179. now says he believes in lizard people and martian aliens

    ————-

    Again: this is what makes you an asshat, just making shit up. She didn’t say that, and you know it. Your entire argument about everything, as far as I can tell, is pure fabrication and delusion.

  180. Yes off to Court.

    Good luck Rebecca. You’re going to need it after what you’ve shown us so far.

    And BTW – once again – Willie referred to the attackers as being Saudis, accepting the official government story on that point – not lizard people or martians.

  181. “Yes off to Court. ”

    —————

    Damn, that’s right… I’m pretending to be a lawyer with this psuedonym….

    What a tool. I mean, he even repeats the same lie he told in a previous post… again trying to discredit Rebecca by claiming she said things she didn’t say. Crazy.

    Notice, also, how he studiously avoids responding to any challenges that he back up his fabrications and innuendo with actual facts, evidence, or even reason.

    I see these people all the time, there’s a couple at Tara Smith’s site that are really crazy, everything that anyone says goes back to their pet conspiracy. And the weird thing is, they’ll back each other up, even when they have contradicting points… because to them, every point is just more mass for the ball of crap.

  182. You don’t condone “such methods of debate” but you condone misogynistic garbage? Remind me not to let my kids go to Harvard… You should consider backing the hell off with that belittling “little/cute/whatever else GIRL” garbage right the hell now. Rebecca is an adult and deserves to be treated that way.

  183. TrueSkeptic – The congratulations on Harvard were already offered and duly noted, you can stop referring to it now.

    Whatever our failings as “true skeptics,” I’m glad to see we make up for it treating people decently, which you apparently have a hard time doing. I don’t care how much logic and evidence and education you have – if you can’t express your point in a respectful and non-insulting way, you don’t deserve to be listened to. I said this before, like 250 comments ago, and here I am saying it again.

    Plus, dissing anyone, especially Rebecca, by calling her a “just a cute little girl” is a big mistake around here. Even if I were willing to listen to you before, I sure as hell wouldn’t anymore. No one who thinks it’s acceptable to use such condescending, misogynist bullshit in ANY context deserves a second more of my time. And if you consider us so unworthy of your own time, then scram. No one’s stopping you.

  184. Seriously, he’s misogynistic, degrading, makes up bald-faced and easily disproved lies, believes the lies of others that have been repeatedly disproved, and he’s a high-powered physicist attorney! What a dreamboat. I can’t believe I thought that responding to him would be a waste of time!

  185. No, that was probably just my mistake. I was pointing out the Harvard reference a few comments ago. It’s essentially the same kind of pretentious name-dropping you called out in the very beginning, though, Gabriel.

  186. Oh okay, I thought he was claiming Harvard now. What bothered me about his first post was “leading university” that kind of vauge reference always sets off my alarm bells. Its one of the things I’ve learned to look for.

  187. Wow, all I can say is just wow. I don’t know if he is a glutton for punishment or what. I guess sarcasm is another thing that we can put on the list of things that he doesn’t understand.

    How much longer to we have till go until this is the longest thread ever?

  188. Sign’s that you may be dealing with an asshat: pretentious name-dropping:

    I employ top experts all the time. I’ve used several from Harvard and have a professor emeritus at Harvard consulting for me right now on a case that starts trial in a few weeks. The WSJ wants to do a piece on the case.
    And if TrueSceptic says it, it must be true!

  189. Ok last time I promise: just to clarify, he did say “we here at Harvard” in a quote as if a person FROM Harvard were saying it, but where I’m indicating the confusion is that a casual eye scanning his garbage may have confused the mention of Harvard and his various claims of association with an actual association. His tone (and his made up quote) suggest that he agrees with the content of the fake quote, so my comment was about that and probably contributed to some confusion.

    Anyway, the implication is that people at Harvard don’t think much of women, seeing as how their niceness is apparently directly proportional to how cute you are. And TrueSkeptic apparently thinks little of women, judging by his comments so far.

    Sigh. I blame my extremely boring class and TrueSkeptic’s inanity on my annoying lack of clarity today.

  190. I’m pretty convinced it’s just a troll guys.

    Don’t let him get you too worked up. :)

    I doubt TS believes a word of what he’s saying, he’s just yanking our collective chains.

    When he stopped getting action on Oswald, he jumped to 9/11.

    When being condescending stopped working, he jumped to misogyny.

    When “the bet” was called, he switched to “the phone” for his grandstand.

  191. “You should consider backing the hell off with that belittling “… GIRL” garbage right the hell now. Rebecca is an adult and deserves to be treated that way.”

    Sorry Kimbo and apologies to Rebecca.

    I guess I should have said “chick” instead? ; )

  192. Look I really do want to apologize to Rebecca.

    I should never have challenged her on this. Am at the office and had a break in the action, and so I thought I’d pop on. My office computer does not have the bookmark – so I had to google to get started and I noticed this interview of Rebecca, where she discusses her background that she did not want to share with me.

    Listen Rebecca, if I had known that you are a former magician who got turned onto science by reading one of Carl Sagan’s pop science books, I would never have asked you to debate or defend a hardcore scientific position. Totally unfair. I just did not know. Honestly.

    I see from the interview that you are a fan/disciple of James Randi, and I am sure that if it is good enough for him – it’s good enough for you. No problem.

    We do have one thing in common – I am a big fan of Chris Hitchens. Now there is a fellow who never shies away from a debate – like myself. Chris will always defend his positions – even when he is dead wrong – like on the Iraq war.

    BTW – I was wrong on that one too.

    So good luck in the entertainment business – hope the radio thing works out and the calendars are successful and conventions are fun.

    Cheers. : )

    Seth – I’ll now let you be the standard bearer on the whole buildings thing and get back to after work.

  193. It’s not an apology, but it is freaking hysterical! I’ve seen a lot of Internet blowhards in my day, but this guy takes the cake. If I had more time, it occurred to me that it would be funny to take out the most pompous sentences from each of his posts and put them all together. It’s probably for the best that I don’t, since my tiny little ex-magician girl mind can’t handle the lulz!

  194. This is my favorite line:
    Rice University. Just go on-line and look at the curriculum requirements for a degree in physics. I studied quantum mechanics, electrodynamics (the real tough stuff) as well as all the classical stuff. Of course there is a lot of rigorous math involved as well. Branch of philosophy – it was pretty much the Western tradition from the Greeks up through the 2oth century. Plato through Bertrand Russell and everyone in between.

    My main purpose was to see if there was anything that was beyond my understanding put out by the greatest minds in history. There was nothing.

  195. I found this outline on the art of trolling to be a good read; it goes into various degrees of trolling based on the sophistication and goals of the troll. In like vein, there’s a definitive guide to Trolls that includes a baker’s dozen different sub-classes. The classifications are somewhat tongue in cheek, but the primary writeup is a nice summary of trolls and their potential impact to forums.

    And finally, I couldn’t resist including this nicely written case study that’s relevant, Managing “Trolling” in a Feminist Forum. The conclusions section is definitely worth the read, though I found the entire case study quite interesting as it illustrates the tension between eliminating a deliberately disruptive poster and a desire to be inclusive to all posters.

  196. Well, if that is the case then I quote Protesilaus quoting TrueSkeptic:

    “”My main purpose was to see if there was anything that was beyond my understanding put out by the greatest minds in history. There was nothing.””

    Win?

  197. No, silly, I meant that the CotW would go to TrueSkeptic.

    That’s not fair… I’m pretty sure I’ve said more condescending and narcissistic things than that. Moreover, the things I said were true, so should get extra credit. :P

  198. Josh K, I hesitated to brand him a troll at first, because I am 99% sure he actually believes the things he’s saying (about the conspiracy theories, not necessarily about how wonderful he is). When I first skimmed over this thread and posted asking people to not call him names, I was under the impression that he was politely stating his evidence for his theories. It wasn’t until my second or third post that I realized that he was a Keyboard Cowboy the likes of which is rarely seen, even in these woo-magnet parts.

    I still wouldn’t call him a “troll,” because I do reserve that for people who don’t really believe what they’re posting when stirring the shit. I do, however, believe he belongs in a category of people best to chuckle at and then ignore.

  199. I know that I have nothing but a bit player in this grand drama but I think the curtain has dropped. Now everyone is backstage discussing who dropped their lines. I think it is time to wash off the greaspaint and go to the bar. Leace TS to argue with himself and let this thread die. Lets all go to the Dragon Con thread instead and look at cool pics posted by all those people lucky enough to be in Atlanta.

  200. “and he’s a high-powered physicist attorney! What a dreamboat.”

    Hey – what can I say?

    Other than if you go back and look – I was asked to detail this information.

    You know – I’ll give this to you “skeptics:” You should be skeptical of just accepting what someone says on the internet.

    But as far as who I am and what I do – there is a perfectly easy way to resolve that issue. I just made an appointment today to meet with my Harvard expert to prep him for his testimony on 9/22 at Harvard. In his field, he is the best in world – his opinions have been cited to by the US Supreme Court about a half dozen times. (At $650/hr and a $30k non-refundable retainer, he’d better be the best.) He wrote all the books in his field. This is all easily verified on line.

    He always hits me up for lunch when we do prep work, and he knows quite a few good places within walking distance of his office. He’s getting up in years, but has some great stories to tell.

    Rebecca – I am sure he’d be delighted to have you join us for lunch if I vouched for you. You could come to his office at Harvard where we’ll be working. You’ll have to be cleared by security and his secretary, but this would provide assurance for you of whom you are meeting – though he will be unmistakable once you review who he is.

    We’ll be ready for a break from our work and you can choose any subject you want to chat about — he’s an ardent Red Sox fan. This way you can see if I am really who I say I am. (His expertise is not in the topics we have been discussing here – nor have I ever broached them with him.) But you’d like him.

    We are scheduled to be in court in Conn. the following day, and I will be driving him back to Conn. with me that evening. The case could settle – but I have other matters with him and (at $650/hr) he always seems quite happy to spend time with me and he has the day blocked out. So even if the case does settle at next week’s mediation or thereafter, I could hold onto the appointment in order to review recent developments with him. So either way we could do this if you would like to perform this little experiment and see if I really am who I say I am. And then you can report back to the group on your findings and whether I am the “troll,” “azzhat” etc., as some have concluded.

    I assure you that I will be the perfect gentleman, and it’s not every day you get the chance to meet one of the very best in their field (him – though I am no slouch either). A lunch with just a couple of bright guys. What do you say? No more sarcastic arrogance from me – we’ll just call it even for your picking on Willie Nelson, a talented and kind-hearted artist. No grudges.

    How ’bout it – Rebecca? You can singlehandedly end this mystery of the “TrueSkeptic.” And I always pay for lunch – unless that offends anyone. : )

  201. “I was under the impression that he was politely stating his evidence for his theories.”

    Actually – that’s true Rebecca. If you check – I was letting a lot of insults fly by before I finally started mixing it up a little. And I did give you points for that. But Willie is so nice and harmless and the others already got things stirred up. So you were sort of in the wrong place at wrong time – insofar as my being less than graceful to you. : )

  202. Kimbo, I first read that as “dick” “shunnery.” As in, I will now shun this dick, immediately after pointing out that wtf, did the misogynistic blowhard just ask me out on a lunch date? This thread just went to a whole new level. That definitely calls for a dick shunnery.

  203. In comment 310 TrueSkeptic said “He wrote all the books in his field”, in regards to his professor friend. Now maybe he’s that good, but if he’s the only one who’s written on it, doesn’t that sound a little like a made-up field? Or is it just a very specific subject? May I ask what field he is in?

  204. He wrote all the books in his field. This is all easily verified on line.

    ——————

    Great. What’s his name? Because as far as I know, there isn’t a single person in the world who matches the description “he wrote all the books in his field.”

    And did you really go through all of this for a date?!? I’m so sad for you.

  205. Just so we’re clear, if all of this is a carefully orchestrated ruse to get a date with Rebecca… Well, that’s a cheese-dick way to bypass the psychic challenge, isn’t it?

    …also, I’m prettier than him, so it makes more sense to date me. ;)

  206. Bitwise –

    That was poorly worded by me. He has written the definitive books in his field that are universally used to teach. Not “all the books.”

    He is a law professor and it is a combination legal malpractice/financial fraud case that he is consulting on. We are using him in concert with a very strong economic expert out of D.C.

    If you are old enough to remember “Paper Chase” — you’d say he is the Professor Kingsfield in his specialty. He has written both the Practice Texts and Ethics Texts for his specialty. We need his opinions on both – the proper standards of practice and ethics.

    It’s really a very interesting case, which is why the WSJ wants the story. It has a certain human interest appeal. People usually find it a little odd how so many lottery winners end up broke. Well in many cases – it is not an accident, greed, stupidity, excess etc. as you might surmise. It is often by design.

    A couple of financial companies figured out how to fleece lottery winners of their millions by working in concert with crooked attorneys and crooked investment professionals. The victims knew enough to be wary of salespeople, but they were just trusting enough to believe in professionals purportedly serving their interests. Where the financial companies could not succeed on their own after years of trying — they were able to break through by seducing some corruptible attorneys and investment professionals to front for them and pull off the fraud.

    It was a good scheme. Standing alone – it’s hard to tag any one of them, which was the whole idea behind their plan. We had to prove they were working in concert to really achieve just compensation for the victims.

    I am going to enjoy this one. Stealing from simple, trusting people — just because you can. We’ll see about that.

  207. Now I am curious about something, since you won’t give us any actual information, you said above:

    2. The “truth” from the western medical community or even the science community.

    What precisely did you mean by this, are you a lawyer/physicist/philosopher/chiropractor or homeopath?

  208. I dunno, Rebecca. He seems to like hard to get. A full-on dick shunning might zip the fetish meter straight up to 11.

    TS, “you’d say he is the Professor Kingsfield in his specialty” but if I were introduced to *him*, and not Professor Kingsfield, I’d call *him*……… ??

  209. “Go for the free lunch! “Free” can make anything better.”

    Wendy – I think it is fair to say that Rebecca has better things to do with her time than shoot down Seth et al.’s image that they profess to have of me. ; )

  210. “And did you really go through all of this for a date?!? I’m so sad for you.”

    Seth – that might be your idea of a date – chaperon and all – and if so, that is what I would call “sad.”

    Look Rebecca is cute enough and all – but not really my type from an attraction stand-point. Naomi Wolf/Maureen Dowd — better describe the type of women I date and am attracted to.

    But that is just one more thing Rebecca could verify — at 6’2″ 210, athletic, boyish looks and charm — I am not exactly hurting for dates. ; )

  211. Internet Description: 6’2″, 210 pounds, boyishly goodlooking, a graduate of rice, attorney, investigator, skeptic.

    Real World Analog: 5’3″, 260 pounds, pimply, hopeful graduate of high school, has watched Court TV.

  212. Lets see, with your name a quick search will see if you actually have your own law firm and have been working for 25 years and what cases you have worked on. Which would go a long way to actually getting people on this site believing who you are.

  213. “Little guy, huh? I’m prettier than you, too, I bet.”

    Well it’s hard to tell with the hat and glasses – but it does seem like you might have a Brad Pitt look going for you underneath.

    It’s true about size in Tx – Protesilaus – the guys and girls. Big. And for the girls – big not in a bad way – just taller and …. friendlier actually. Much better than the northeast. Myself – I am just a simple country boy from the midwest.

  214. By the way, Rebecca: I’m a best selling author, world famous pamphleteer, and a personal friend of the first three presidents and Mr. Franklin. It has also been rumored that my exceptionally large and bulbous nose is indicative of certain other talents…. if you know what I mean.

  215. In all fairness “I am Dick van Dyke” is a lot easier to check on than “I know Mary Tyler Moore.”

    Naming the professor is what we were asking, but it certainly wouldn’t make us much more likely to believe you, it would just make it easy to dismiss you if it was clearly bullshit because the person in question was already dead or was in Botswana, for example.

    Seriously, though… name-dropping only works if you actually use names.

  216. The whole time you were on this site I asked you for a single reference, and that seemed to be very hard for you, so I guess your name or the professor’s name would be impossible. So either you are lying about everything or really are a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

    Although with the way you answer question by giving a lot of general useless information, I think you would be a very good phony Psychic or Medium. Hell I still like you more that Sylvia Browne.

  217. That passes the limits of discretion!

    …and what, pray tell, among my actions has lead you to the belief that I recognize the limits of discretion when I see them, or that, even if I did, I would even bother to slow down and admire the view as I sailed merrily past?

  218. You see that’s the point. If you really wanted to verify the information on me and would be satisfied with that – you could have asked for it 200 posts ago. Or seth could have accepted my proposal for a telephone debate.

    The professor’s name proves nothing – but would get you both his direct phone number and direct email address — and the way you’ll have behaved here – I don’t think that’s a good idea.

    No – I don’t think anything would satisfy you short of direct, first-hand proof from someone you trust – which is what I proposed in a meeting with Rebecca. Very easy – I am in her neighborhood – free lunch – with a preeminent professor. The rest – as you say – is easy because my publications, appellate decisions, press coverage, speaking engagements, educational history can then all be linked to the real person by an on-line search. And yet you ask Rebecca not to get the proof for you?

    It does not seem to me that you really want real proof that you would have to accept as authentic. After all – wouldn’t that then destroy all your suppositions about me? Somehow – I do not think you really want that. Wouldn’t that disturb your universe in some fashion?

    With the exception of Wendy – she seems to possess a healthy sense of curiosity about the truth. For others – the truth can be a little scary. : )

    I’ll give Rebecca the benefit of the doubt that the truth does not really scare her. I’m sure she’s just a very busy person with more important things to occupy her time. But for you to feign interest in the truth and then affirmatively attempt to dissuade Rebecca from getting it for you — that just doesn’t add up.

  219. Somehow – I do not think you really want that. Wouldn’t that disturb your universe in some fashion?

    ——————–

    Well, no. First, because the fact that you are a random asshat with the science knowledge of a Labrachow isn’t really central to my world view. Second, I’m a skeptic. I don’t mind being proven wrong, in fact, I welcome it.

    You see, TS, I’m basing my beliefs about you on available evidence. You are free to provide different or additional evidence at any point.

    Surely, a physicist lawyer investigator greek god like you could manage that, right?

  220. No one is afraid of the truth here, TS. If you have no problems with someone meeting this person, why would you have a problem with just saying who it is? Do you think we wouldn’t ask her? Or that she wouldn’t say? If his phone number and e-mail are so easy to obtain, then surely he must expect to occasionally hear from people he doesn’t know anyway, yes?

    If you’re so unconcerned by us searching your claims later, why not just give us your name now and let us do the search first? Might inspire someone to actually care enough to go meet in person to verify you really are the person you claim to be.

    I’d understand perfectly if you felt it was a privacy issue. I can relate 100% to wishing to keep certain aspects of your life and personal history dissociated from your online presence. Were that the case, though, I doubt you’d be acting as you are.

    You’re acting like someone who wants to pretend to be something you aren’t, and doesn’t really know how to carry off the facade. You talk a lot, then wander off and talk a lot to someone else, almost as if you hope we’ll forget the ten grand. I wonder what distraction you would conjure were Rebecca to accept your invitation…

    Now, I never asked Rebecca not to obtain proof, nor did anyone else here. I have to wonder why you would feel the need to pretend this… I recommended that she ignore you, as you are far too lowly a troll to be worthy of her attention. Some others have made other humorous (or not so humorous) derisive comments.

    More to the point, though – none of this is a name.

    It is also not ten thousand dollars good-faith money.

  221. And with that, I’m done feeding this troll. He’s down to such minute trivia that’s its lost its fun. So far, he’s had to drop out of the great rifle challenge, run screaming from JFK, back hastily from 911, and is down to criticizing ME because some girl I don’t even know won’t go on a lunch date with him.

    In other words, he’s had his ass kicked and is basically begging to be allowed to surrender.

    I accept your surrender, oh random internet moron, and am moving on to other threads.

  222. Seth –

    I dropped out of the great rifle challenge?

    Let’s recap:

    Rys: I don’t know – the gun might be expensive.

    Me: I’ll buy the gun and you can keep it.

    Rys: I want to do this is in TX.

    Me: OK — I’ll travel 1000+ miles and come to you.

    Rys: You put up the $10,000 first.

    Me: No – we put it up together.

    Rys: No

    Rys: You find the gun.

    Me: WTF — I have never shot a gun in my life – you’re the gun expert and former gun dealer. I am buying it and giving it to you as a gift – you find the fucking the gun.

    Rys: No.

    Now let me add something here – the whole point is whether Rys can duplicate what Oswald did — so that’s what we’re going to do. I have some old engineering buddies from Rice – and I’m going to ask them to re-create the conditions.

    So — don’t tell me I’m the one backing out.

  223. That’s an awful lot of “no”s I never said.

    Let’s recap – I didn’t say it might be expensive, I said it might be difficult to find.

    I didn’t say I wanted to do it in Texas, it was suggested by Augustus, and I said I had no problem with it. Protesilaus, who offered to pay for my transportation to the challenge also set no such restriction on the event.

    I never said that you should put the money up first, seth did.

    I never you needed to find the gun.

    I never refused to find the gun, I just admitted that I may not be able to since they haven’t made the fucking things in 50 years or so. If you fine with me choosing a substitute, say so. If you want to place restrictions on such a substitute, say that. As I said before, I’d love to do the shooting with an M1, but you might have a problem with it. I don’t want you backing out later because of some technical specification on the weapon.

    As far as recreating the conditions, I believe I challenged you on the rate of fire, accuracy, and range. If you can point to another condition I mentioned recreating, kindly point it out.

  224. Rys —

    It’s not professional for me to get the professor’s name plastered on this web-site.

    I’d ask Rebecca to respect that and just verify the facts I have given to you about him – which are good enough for our purposes. And yes – then my bio info can be shared, once she authenticates it.

    I’ve gotten in this situation before on web-sites. People get my name, photos — it doesn’t matter – they still refuse to believe it. So I am not going through that BS again.

    People take a position that they don’t believe you – and in my experience they don’t readily back off from their position with the kind of info you are describing.

  225. It’s a simple matter. You say who you are. Surely there’s a picture somewhere verifiably associated with that name, yes? You being as important and respected in your field as you say… then I say, for example – “Now post a picture of yourself throwing up the horns, hanging your tongue out, and holding a handwritten sign that says ‘Hello Rystefn.'” Then we know that you’re who you claim to be.

    See how easy that is?

  226. I dropped out of the great rifle challenge?

    ————-

    Yes.

    I tried several times to get you to commit to any condition, or to set a condition, and you haven’t. When I’ve asked directly if you’re in, you haven’t responded, and you’ve never agreed to any condition when pressed. You’ve had ample opportunity to work on a deal, and you haven’t.

    I’m done offering you deals, as far as I’m concerned, you offered a bet and you’ve made every possible excuse to back out, you pathetic loser.

  227. Look, I can understand going to great lengths to try to get a date with Rebecca. Really, I can. It was a cunning plan, by any account…

    …but you know what would have worked better? going to any SitP meeting, walking up to her, giving her a smile, introducing yourself, and buying her a drink.

    Just be yourself, man. I know it’s a cliche, but it wouldn’t have to be said so often if people did it more.

    It’s not too late. No one knows who you are yet. Just dump all this bullshit, and try what I said. She’s very approachable. Trust me, guy. She only bites if you ask her to.

  228. Wait a minute… why I am still talking to you?

    To answer all your questions:

    YES. You dropped out of the great rifle challenge, you bet welching weasel.
    YES. You ran screaming from JFK, you crap quoting moron.
    YES. You have backed hastily from WTC, you credulous asshat.
    And YES, I consider your bugging me over whether some girl will go out with you to be such a low, pathetic, half assed attempt at distraction that its basically the equivalent of breaking down and crying to distract attention from the fact that you are losing on all fronts.

    Get over your ignorant self, do a little REAL research, and open your mind to the possibility that you don’t know everything, you egomaniacal, delusional twerp.

  229. OK Rys –

    Here are two quotes from you:

    “I don’t have access to it, but if you can provide one and allow me three days with which to familiarize myself with it (much less than LHO had), I’ll accept.”

    “I guess that would depend on the price of the gun. Losing a bet through overconfidence I can live with. Buying an overpriced rifle, though?”

    You asked me to find the gun. You said the bet would depend upon the price of the gun.

    So I said “Fuck it – I’ll buy the gun and you can keep it.”

  230. Seth –

    You are an angry guy.

    I offered you a moderated debate on any of these subjects via telephone and you chickened out — by saying that oral debates are no good — when they have been reliable used for thousands of years.

    You want to debate me in writing — then I challenge you to do that through direct email. Not interspersed with the postings of a dozen other people. Just one on one. I’ll crush you. You’re an idiot.

    Or how about this – I’ll bet you $10,000 that everything I have said about myself is true.

    You won’t take that bet – you pussy.

    If that’s too rich for you – whatever you can afford – not less than a $1,000.

  231. You said the bet would depend upon the price of the gun.

    I said nothing of the kind. Let’s see that in context:

    Seth: “R, you agree to buy the gun if you lose.”
    Rystefn: ““I guess that would depend on the price of the gun.”

    You see how it’s not the bet that depends on the price of the weapon, merely my willingness to purchase it.

    As to the first one, well, I also said: “I can start looking for a novantuno through my own channels if it’s really necessary. I’m not sure I can find one, since I’ve never looked, but I’m sure we can come to some sort of agreement on this.”

    seth also offered to find the weapon, or some other to substitute, subject to both of our approval, with which I have no problem.

    I also find it interesting that you’ve gone from “Tx works better for me. I have family in Houston and Dallas” at 163 to “OK — I’ll travel 1000+ miles and come to you”

    The words denote the same thing, but the implication has gone form Texas being convenient to Texas being highly inconvenient.

    You know, the longer this goes, the more I’m convinced I was right way back at 209, and that you’re an invented persona I made up to make me look better.

  232. Rys –

    You proved the fallacy of your own erroneous supposition.

    I know I could walk up to Rebecca at any of the scheduled parties/get togethers. And, of course, that would be the thing to do if, as you erroneously assumed, I was remotely interested in her. You think I would have been slamming her like I was doing if that were my goal? Do you think I would suggest a meeting with an old codger professor if that were my goal? I know it’s late – but use some basic reasoning here.

    You don’t remember the context. The crazies were saying my persona was phony. This included the work I do and the people I work with. So there was an easy rebuttal for that.

    That’s when I suggested the meeting – which I had coincidentally scheduled at my expert’s request just when this was all going on. You don’t have to instruct me on approaching women who I am attracted to. That’s not what I was doing. I am quite capable in that department.

    And I have never had the problem of contemplating suicide because I got dumped by a chick. Take care of your own female problems – I do just fine.

  233. That’s because you’ve never loved someone worth dying for.

    TS, you can’t hurt my feelings. Don’t try.

    I’m terribly sorry that your giant and convoluted, overly complex plan to get a lunch date with Rebecca isn’t working out, but really, does trying to attack me actually make you feel better about it? Maybe you should talk to someone.

  234. I was saying that Tx worked better than Vegas.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that I was offering to buy the gun and give to you and travel to Tx.

    And somehow – I am backing out – bullshit.

    I am carrying the heavier load here – so you or someone else can find the damn gun.

    And I know the shots are possible. That was never the point.

    And a much easier bet is your questioning who I am. Why don’t we just bet the $10,000 on that?

    You good with that?

  235. Now that really does look like you’re trying to back out… Since you know the shots are possible, why the Hell would you bet me $10,000 that I couldn’t make them? Are you stupid? Do you think I am? Why would I consider for a moment changing bet from something I’m fairly confident I can do to something over which I have no control?

    No. I won’t be letting you back out of this so easy. You want out, you have to say it.

    So – how set are you on it being the exact rifle? Knowing that it’s somewhat complicated, are you willing to wait it out and see if I can get one? Or are you willing to accept a substitute? I’m fine with it either way, honestly. Just let me know, chummer. If you’re cool with a substitute, tell me what kind of parameters you’d like it to be within: Same calibur? Same barrel length? Same weight? Will nothing but the precise weapon do, down to the year of manufacture? Give me something concrete to work with before I go out looking for a rifle that may or may not be acceptable to you.

    I really don’t think that’s too much to ask.

  236. I love this part…this is where the “troll” tries to pretend that he was just trying to be reasonable the whole time and the rest of the commentors were being big, stupid poo-heads. Wainh!!

    There are lots of people that I know the name of that I don’t bother to email the first chance I get. In fact, I could look up a name at any university’s website and get a professor’s email if I wanted. But I don’t. Because I don’t care. That’s not why we want names. Even if not the professor’s name, then ANY name to back up the ridiculous claims. They’re called references.

    “I am backing out.” There you go, Rys. He backed out. I don’t think he ever intended on participating in the bet. Maybe it was another layer in the ruse to get Rebecca to date him. You know you can meet girls at bars, right TS? I mean, there’s girls pretty much everywhere. If you try not to talk a lot, I’m sure one might have sex with you eventually.

    See TS, it’s annoying when people quote things out of context and then spout vague bullshit without evidence isn’t it?

  237. “Even if not the professor’s name, then ANY name to back up the ridiculous claims. They’re called references.”

    Kimbo – if you really wanted the truth – you wouldn’t have implored Rebecca not to get the truth.

    She takes the short trip to Harvard – that will prove what I do for a living, it will prove the caliber of matters that I work on, the people who I work with, that I am actually who I say I am, and so that if I then supply identity information – there is no question/doubt – it’s me. But you don’t want that. You want to be able to hold onto your insults that you have been slinging from the outset.

  238. Rys –

    I don’t not shit about guns – so if you want me to invest my time doing research on guns – when I have already wasted too much time on here – then we both first deposit the $10,000 with a stakeholder. Because I don’t trust you either. You want to just leave it that we both don’t trust each other – fine. Otherwise, we both put up the money and then get to work – because my time is too valuable.

    Here’s my analysis on the shots. You have a moving target turning a corner and coming into sight. So you have to aim and lead the target. Fine – I am sure many shooters can do this.

    Now after you fire – you have to disrupt your sighting on the target to reload. Then you have to re-sight and again make a judgment about leading a moving target and have some skill.

    Then you have to reload again and repeat. I am told that the absolute quickset a new shot can get off is something close to 2.5 secs. Times two is 5 secs and you mention its been done in 5.6 secs, which allows .3 secs for each of two re-sightings.

    Was that actually a moving target when that was successfully done as you claim?

    Furthermore, given where one or more of the hits took place, I understand that the line of sight goes behind a tree.

    This simply makes this all somewhat improbable – not impossible.

    It simply becomes one more of many, many improbabilities that a government trying to prove its case – would have to overcome.

    For people who have tried jury cases, they know – the more improbabilities that you stack one upon another in an effort to establish proof – your chances of succeeding drop off dramatically.

    But my point from the beginning – is that you don’t even get to all these improbabilities (not impossibilities) because when you have destroyed, concealed and manufactured evidence — nobody takes you seriously after that. It also doesn’t help when the defense can show that you made a snap conclusion before a proper investigation was conducted.

    Now after all that – it still does not mean that this thing could still not be true – LHO – lone gunman. What I was suggesting from the very beginning if you go back and look before we got sidetracked on all this childish bickering – is that true or not — the case has not been proven by a long-shot (no pun was intended) and therefore should be treated with skepticism – especially by avowed skeptics.

    That’s all.

    Avowed skeptics should not be ridiculing – as many have down here – those who express skepticism on this exemplar event that was proposed and chosen somewhat randomly. JFK is not something I had ever particularly studied before – though I have done some checking recently, which is why I added “destroyed evidence” and “snap judgments.” But I did look into the lead matching fraud when it came out and I knew the other evidence was hotly contested before that.

    That’s why I entered this discussion choosing the name “TrueSkeptic.”

    I have no problem with someone choosing to have a LHO lone gunman view. But whether you look to the general public or the experts — many believe otherwise and neither side has definitive proof.

    So without proof — skeptics should be skeptical.

    And I find it strange that on skeptic’s sites – everyone lines up on the same side of this and other issues where government claims are involved.

    Governments are notoriously willing to lie about the truth to accomplish political goals. They are not groups that one should accept claims from without adequate proof.

    In particular, governments also have long track record of scapegoating on crimes.

  239. “…Email Rebecca your name or the Professors name. You said already that you trust her, what differences does it make if you do it online or in the real world?”

    I would choose to trust her if she gave to me her assurances – that has to happen first.

    And what you are proposing – still does not accomplish the goal. A telephone contact would help – but it would have to be accompanied by documentation to make the connections – which we may be subject to confidentiality if the settlement succeeds. And it’s a lot of trouble.

    The other is iron-clad and easy.

    But whatever the proposal — it’s a waste of time unless she’s willing to do it — and I’d like to know from her in advance what she regards as sufficient proof — or again it’s a waste of time.

  240. “Kimbo – if you really wanted the truth – you wouldn’t have implored Rebecca not to get the truth.”

    We’re not ridiculing skepticism, we’re ridiculing you for making things up like the quote above (when did I EVER do that?) and not providing references.

    You’re insistence that Rebecca, in particular, meets you in person to “prove who you are” is disturbing at best. No on gives a flying fuck who you are, we just want sources for your claims. You seem to think it’s enough to say that someone is impressive and wrote a lot of books, but we don’t care how many PhD’s and books the person has so long as the EVIDENCE they present is rigorous. If you’re not going to link the evidence then giving at least the name of the person you’re allegedly let’s us go look it up. So, shit or get off the pot. We’re not being skeptical of you because you disagree with us, we’re being skeptical because you haven’t made one sensible statement so far.

    Let’s count the logical fallacies you have so far committed shall we (not an exhaustive list):
    1) Fallacy of accident: “The government has done bad things. 9/11 was a bad thing. Therefore, the government was responsible for 9/11.”
    2) Irrelevant conclusion: too many red herrings to even summarize here but examples of your red herrings are the following 3 fallacies
    3) argument ad hominem: “well I’m a big time lawyer so…”
    4) argument ad populum: “legions of experts say…”
    5) appeal to authority: “I know this guy who’s written all the books and he’s awesome so there you go.”
    6) Denying the antecedent: “If Oswald acted alone, there was no conspiracy. I don’t believe Oswald acted alone. Therefore, there is a conspiracy.”
    7) Begging the question: “The government has been into seedy stuff before, therefore they must have been involved in JFK and 9/11.”
    8) False premise: “Here’s a statement based on nothing from which I’ll draw a conclusion that indicates a conspiracy.”

    etc, etc, etc….

    “So without proof — skeptics should be skeptical.” YES! That’s what we’ve been saying this whole time, and yet you’ve ridiculed us for being skeptical of you when you haven’t provided a shred of proof for anything you’ve said.

  241. I offered you a moderated debate on any of these subjects via telephone and you chickened out — by saying that oral debates are no good — when they have been reliable used for thousands of years.

    ————-

    Gosh, missed one!

    YES: I consider you coming here, in this forum, and then begging to get another medium, to be an admission of total, unconditional defeat. You came to us, dude. Deal with it.

  242. Kimbo –

    Okay – I’ll correct your list:

    1) Fallacy of accident: “The government has done bad things. 9/11 was a bad thing. Therefore, the government was responsible for 9/11.”

    I never made the argument that the government was responsible for 9/11. In fact, I corrected Rebecca when she wrote that Willie Nelson stated that the government was responsible for 9/11 — a statement he did not make. I believe she conceded her misstatement – I doubt that you will.

    What I said – was that the terrorists had planted bombs in the Towers before – and so there was no reason not to consider this as a possibility of being a contributing factor, instead of jumping to the conclusion that the planes were the sole cause when the science makes this quite improbable.

    3) argument ad hominem: “well I’m a big time lawyer so…”

    That’s not an ad hominem argument. Your non-stop insults — which Rebecca initially called you out on — are ad hominem arguments.

    4) argument ad populum: “legions of experts say…”

    I think that is “appeal to authority,” but either way – I did not make the statement to prove anything. That’s the key difference.

    The existence of qualified, scientific experts who disagree with a contrary assertion – provides a minimal basis for requiring that the contrary proposition be backed with evidence and proof and not merely accepted.

    5) appeal to authority: “I know this guy who’s written all the books and he’s awesome so there you go.”

    That’s not part of an argument and it’s not appeal to authority – it is merely a circumstance that forms part of the foundation for my being able to deliver proof of who I am — which was being question/denied.

    6) Denying the antecedent: “If Oswald acted alone, there was no conspiracy. I don’t believe Oswald acted alone. Therefore, there is a conspiracy.”

    There is nothing wrong with questioning an antecedent that has not been proven — that is not a logical fallacy. And if Oswald did not act alone — that is by definition a conspiracy.

    7) Begging the question: “The government has been into seedy stuff before, therefore they must have been involved in JFK and 9/11.”
    False premise: “Here’s a statement based on nothing from which I’ll draw a conclusion that indicates a conspiracy.”

    You won’t find anything I wrote as saying that the government committed these crimes.

    The government is charged with performing proper investigations and presenting proper evidence as to who did commit major crimes. My indictment of past government misconduct was for the purpose making the point that one should not merely accept government claims without proper proof/evidence.

    I do not make logical errors – Kimbo. That’s why I get paid the big bucks to take on the most complex cases.

    That’s why I am willing to debate anyone that this blog site wishes to nominate and could produce — including James Randi (whomever) at a University moderated debate on this issue of why skeptic sites promote accepting government claims without proper proof and evidence.

    Anyone you produce — you lose that debate. Because it is the skeptics on this issue that are defending religion – not questioning it. And the religion is unfounded trust in government authority.

  243. “What I said – was that the terrorists had planted bombs in the Towers before – and so there was no reason not to consider this as a possibility of being a contributing factor, instead of jumping to the conclusion that the planes were the sole cause when the science makes this quite improbable.”

    Please cite your evidence that the science made the building collapse improbable.

  244. Correct me? Arrogant to the last, you are.

    1) meant to say JFK, not 9/11 there so yeah, my bad on that one
    3) there are levels to the ad hominem fallacy: you’re referring to the ad hominem abusive aimed at another person and I’m referring to the ad hominem circumstancial aimed at yourself. Although usually this is used against someone else to demonstrate that they are wrong because of who they are, you have used it for yourself to demonstrate that you are right because of who you are – a reverse ad hominem.
    4) LEGIONS
    5) yes it is – he wrote a bunch of books and is associated with Harvard, therefore we should give a shit about what he has to say
    6) your own statements that the government is seedy were linked to further statements about JFK and 9/11 so perhaps you should speak more CLEARLY and your statements would not string together like a series of fallacious crap

    As for us having religious faith in the government. That’s just a blatant lie. Also, indicate where I “implored Rebecca not to get the truth.” That’s a blatant lie as well, so good luck.

  245. “Please cite your evidence that the science made the building collapse improbable.”

    Because the NIST investigation could only theorize a collapse initiation for the upper floors where the planes impacted. A collapse theory that is primarily based upon fire weakening steel supports. NIST adopted this theory even though:

    1. NIST admits there being no historical precedent of fire being the primary cause of a such failure (which is their premise).

    2. In the experiments NIST conducted – it could not replicate the fire-induced weakening of the steel that it hypothesized would be necessary to support the theory. The inability to replicate one’s theory through experiment is generally considered to be problem. NIST concedes the plane impact alone was not enough — and that the hypothesized, fire-induced steel weakening is necessary.

    But even accepting this (rather weak) collapse initiation theory (which would go under the heading – we could not come up with anything better) – that theory does not account for the rapid, straight down, symmetrical failure of the building structure underneath.

    NIST decided that it was not part of its job to scientifically account for what happened after collapse initiation. And it does not do so – period.

    Within this vacuum created by NIST punting, independents proposed the “pancake” collapse theory for the structure underneath the plane impact levels. This sparked a heated debate, because such a theory flies in the face of basic principles of physics.

    So the anti-Pancake scientists appealed to NIST to settle the debate. NIST conceded that it could not support the pancake theory – for good reason – it’s sort of on the order of saying the world is flat. It’s also called the “pile-driver” theory — and it is scientifically indefensible. One could design experiments to demonstrate this.

    So it is far, far more likely that Al Qaeda would have placed some bombs in the lower structure, as they had done before.

    Ergo — one should not blindly accept the current government conclusion on the state of the evidence: the plane only theory.

    That’s why many scientists and a great many of the victims are SKEPTICAL and want further investigation.

  246. So tell me Seth –

    What evidence or proof do you have for your gravity/momentum pile-driver theory, given that the government scientists at NIST who were the only ones in possession of the available evidence will not support your theory?

  247. And why you are pondering that – here is a little thought experiment – if not an actual experiment – you could perform right now.

    Build yourself a nice, stable building out of legos – that’s what architects and engineers do — build things with stability. Build it with the base being stronger and more stable than the top — as occurred with the WTC 1 & 2.

    Then detach the upper third of structure — and even lift it up to twice the height of the structure. Then drop it on the 2/3’s of the structure underneath. And see what happens. See whether it destroys what’s underneath.

    See what gravity and momentum do under those circumstances. : )

    See one could actually replicate a miniature of these towers per the specifications in a manner that could accurately account for the forces of gravity and momentum and what these forces would do after collapse initiation. Those forces cannot account for what happened and the scientists at NIST know this — what do you have?

  248. This is what I was saving for Rebecca when she misquoted Willie and derided him for being SKEPTICAL of the notion that the plane impact alone could account for the total destruction witnessed. Rebecca described this as being “obvious.”

    See now you have it – Seth. I did not run away – as you say – I wasted a lot of time, because I really don’t think you’re interested in evidence or the truth. But I let you goad me into it.

  249. “False analogy. Next!”

    Explain what is false in the analogy.

    I don’t know if you studied physics, gravity and momentum during that psychology major of yours, but we covered it quite thoroughly at Rice U.

    And then maybe you can explain why NIST would not back Seth’s theory.

    Next.

  250. TrueSkeptic, what is your point with the lego analogy? You are arguing like a Creationist who is saying that Mutations cannot add specificity to DNA and Natural Selection cannot add information.

    The reason your lego analogy would not work is 3 fold.

    First, momentum is MASS x ACCELERATION, legos would not provide as much MASS as a steel girder, with steel supports, with concrete on top, with tables chairs and people.

    Second, it would not be as high as the towers, and not have as much ACCELERATION.

    Third, you aren’t allowing the contributive factors of a FIRE which is heating and weakening the structure and also bowing the building. The bowing of the girders then causes others to move and break. To top it all off, the building was hit BY A PLANE. Which I am sure severed a few steel girders in the process.

    So, I will ask you for this. What evidence do you have of explosives in the building? PLUS explosives in the lower level also does not account for a top down collapse.

  251. Protesilaus –

    LMAO – OMG

    Dude – you just don’t get it. The principles of physics do not only apply to some structures and not others. You just need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

    Go take a course in physics.

    Or just explain why we should accept your whacko idea of physics when NIST would not?

  252. @TS

    I’ll say it again: you’re the one making the claims. Burden of proof is on you.

    Cite your sources.

    You would never accept an argument from your opposition in a trial without physical evidence or a cited source, would you?

    You stated in your first post that you were a newbie,

    Hi guys and gals. I am a newbie here.

    so here’s how I cite my sources (web sources, obviously, given our medium):

    <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_assassination_rifle”>Oswald’s Rifle</a>

    Displays as:

    Oswald’s Rifle

    I use the ‘preview’ button to verify before I post, to minimize the risk of a typo.

    Now everyone in the discussion has access to the same data you do on Oswald’s rifle. We can discuss the accurate rate of fire at the target range. We can discuss the characteristics of the
    bullet. We now have data to work with, to either accept or refute on the merits rather than the opinions.

    Personally, I would have chosen the explosion on and resulting investigation of the USS Iowa instead of the JFK assassination.

    The later has been gone over so many times at this point, and has been the subject of so many different theories of so much questionable value that now, four decades later, any attempt to draw a conclusion from it is questionable.

    The former is nearly a case study in how government pressure, sloppy analysis, and personal bias led to a completely faulty initial conclusions. The origins, details, and final conclusions are practically a case study for applied skepticism of the US government.

  253. TS:
    “The principles of physics do not only apply to some structures and not others. ”

    Wow, someone has an overactive imagination. Do you play with legos and actually think that you were making your own little world?

    I love how you don’t actually respond to any of the specific issues with your analogy.

  254. “Build yourself a nice, stable building out of legos – that’s what architects and engineers do — build things with stability. Build it with the base being stronger and more stable than the top — as occurred with the WTC 1 & 2.”

    The WTC was not stacked like Legos. The WTC was not made of plastic. Also, the proportional weight of the building has to be taken into account, not just it’s structure. Furthermore, the legos would have to be on fire.

    “Then detach the upper third of structure — and even lift it up to twice the height of the structure. Then drop it on the 2/3’s of the structure underneath. And see what happens. See whether it destroys what’s underneath.”

    Last time I checked the top of the WTC did not jump up from the rest of the building and give the base a pile-driver.

    Only a scale model of the actual structure, composition, and weight of the WTC can replicate the events in the way that you are suggesting. Then you’d have to smash it with something plane-shaped (and weighing the same as a plane full of people), and light it on fire.

    So, no of course gravity and momentum alone could not account for what happened. There were many other variables involved. Free to make the suggestion to Mythbusters or perhaps we can set up another bet from which you can back out.

    By the way, momentum isn’t a force.

  255. TS, please explain which equations in this FAQ are wrong, and precisely why. Back up your assertions with evidence, for example, show that the claim for the strengths of the supports was false. Have citations for each of your assertions, a book, article, or whitepaper from an actual expert in the field you are discussing.

    From the NIST FAQ:

    1. Was there enough gravitational energy present in the World Trade Center Towers to cause the collapse of the intact floors below the impact floors? Why was the collapse of WTC 1 and 2 not arrested by the intact structure below the floors where columns first began to buckle?

    Yes, there was more than enough gravitational load to cause the collapse of the floors below the level of collapse initiation in both WTC Towers. The vertical capacity of the connections supporting an intact floor below the level of collapse was adequate to carry the load of 11 additional floors if the load was applied gradually and 6 additional floors if the load was applied suddenly (as was the case). Since the number of floors above the approximate floor of collapse initiation exceeded six in each WTC Tower (12 and 29 floors, respectively), the floors below the level of collapse initiation were unable to resist the suddenly applied gravitational load from the upper floors of the buildings. Details of this finding are provided below:

    Consider a typical floor immediately below the level of collapse initiation and conservatively assume that the floor is still supported on all columns (i.e., the columns below the intact floor did not buckle or peel-off due to the failure of the columns above). Consider further the truss seat connections between the primary floor trusses and the exterior wall columns or core columns. The individual connection capacities ranged from 94,000 lb to 395,000 lb, with a total vertical load capacity for the connections on a typical floor of 29,000,000 lb (See Section 5.2.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1-6C). The total floor area outside the core was approximately 31,000 ft2, and the average load on a floor under service conditions on September 11, 2001 was 80 lb/ft2. Thus, the total vertical load on a floor outside the core can be estimated by multiplying the floor area (31,000 ft2) by the gravitational load (80 lb/ft2), which yields 2,500,000 lb (this is a conservative load estimate since it ignores the weight contribution of the heavier mechanical floors at the top of each WTC Tower). By dividing the total vertical connection capacity (29,000,000 lb) of a floor by the total vertical load applied to the connections (2,500,000 lb), the number of floors that can be supported by an intact floor is calculated to be a total of 12 floors or 11 additional floors.

    This simplified and conservative analysis indicates that the floor connections could have carried only a maximum of about 11 additional floors if the load from these floors were applied statically. Even this number is (conservatively) high, since the load from above the collapsing floor is being applied suddenly. Since the dynamic amplification factor for a suddenly applied load is 2, an intact floor below the level of collapse initiation could not have supported more than six floors. Since the number of floors above the level where the collapse initiated, exceeded 6 for both towers (12 for WTC 1 and 29 for WTC 2), neither tower could have arrested the progression of collapse once collapse initiated. In reality, the highest intact floor was about three (WTC 2) to six (WTC 1) floors below the level of collapse initiation. Thus, more than the 12 to 29 floors reported above actually loaded the intact floor suddenly.

  256. http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_12_2007.htm

    The link to the above if anyone is curious. Also, TS, when you reference the NIST report and what it says, please quote and reference properly so we can check whether what you say is true. I’m pretty certain you haven’t actually read the report, and I’m doubly certain you wouldn’t understand it if you had, but maybe whatever truther sight you’re gathering your bullshit from has that information. Bokay?

  257. Wait… that quote of mine can’t be right, can it? Because super physicist lawyer investigator guy said “NIST conceded that it could not support the pancake theory”, but in the FAQ they do support the theory…

    Is it possible that TS is lying? Or is he simply not familiar with the contents of the NIST report? Gosh, I’m just all-a-goggle waiting to find out!

  258. Quoting from NIST:

    NIST’s findings do not support the “pancake theory” of collapse, which is premised on a progressive failure of the floor systems in the WTC towers (the composite floor system—that connected the core columns and the perimeter columns—consisted of a grid of steel “trusses” integrated with a concrete slab; see diagram below). Instead, the NIST investigation showed conclusively that the failure of the inwardly bowed perimeter columns initiated collapse and that the occurrence of this inward bowing required the sagging floors to remain connected to the columns and pull the columns inwards. Thus, the floors did not fail progressively to cause a pancaking phenomenon.

    http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm

  259. 10. Why didn’t NIST fully model the collapse initiation and propagation of WTC Towers?

    The first objective of the NIST Investigation included determining why and how WTC 1 and WTC 2 collapsed following the initial impacts of the aircraft (NIST NCSTAR 1). Determining the sequence of events leading up to collapse initiation was critical to fulfilling this objective. Once the collapse had begun, the propagation of the collapse was readily explained without the same complexity of modeling, as shown in the response to question #1 above.

    http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_12_2007.htm

  260. TS:
    “Instead, the NIST investigation showed conclusively that the failure of the inwardly bowed perimeter columns initiated collapse and that the occurrence of this inward bowing required the sagging floors to remain connected to the columns and pull the columns inwards.”

    So we are in agreement here. There is a workable theory that doesn’t involve explosives.

    And may I say, I am so proud of you that you were able to make a citation.

  261. Those equations you refer to discuss the energy and force it would take for upper floors to overtake a single lower floor beneath it.

    That’s misleading and if you ran the simulations on it – it would not produce the collapse that was seen. That’s why they did not run such simulations, which would be very easy to run. They did fully run models for the collapse initiation – hence the question.

    The key there is the straight down collapse, the rate of collapse and symmetry of collapse. A failing structure will fail in the path of least resistance. And it will not fail with symmetry – unless the damage was symmetrical, which it was not.

    And if they ran the model on those equations – they could not get a total failure within the time frame that it occurred.

  262. “A computer simulation of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks supports a federal agency’s findings that the initial impact from the hijacked airplanes stripped away crucial fireproofing material and that the weakened towers collapsed under their own weight.”
    CBS News

    Funny how you asked for a computer simulation.

    So do you believe the NIST is incompitent or hiding your “explosives”?

  263. I would venture to guess that those equations were in response to pressure from their admission that the “pancake” theory is no good.

    And as I reflect on those equations – yes there is an inherent flaw in them. Think about it. Floor number 2 is supporting the 100+ floors above it.

    – They had already rejected the pancake theory
    – And they admit that they cannot model the propagation.

    These equations address taking out one floor at a time – and there is resistance for each floor if you apply those equations. You cannot possibly use that model and replicate the rate of collapse.

  264. “I would venture to guess that those equations were in response to pressure from their admission that the “pancake” theory is no good.”

    Okay, do the research and show us that you’re correct. Its not that hard, I am sure you could contact Purdue University with all of your contacts and get the info. If not you can search their website for the report and just read it. Otherwise you are no different from a Creationist asking a scientist to prove evolution by making a Bacterial Flagella form in a lab.

  265. TS, your “description” of events does not match video footage.

    The first collapse. Showing material spewing off the top of the building as it was falling, indicating a build-up of material as the top of the building hit the floors below. (0:30)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sczTcrRp1bY&feature=related

    The second collapse. Falling asymmetrically to one side. (0:11)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8JG7vMQYqA

    (Cautionary note: the videos might be disturbing.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wtc_collapse

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html?page=4

    It’s much more likely that the buildings simply fell and the average person doesn’t know what a building that size and of that composition should look like when it’s falling than 2 whole buildings were wired with explosives, unnoticed by anyone, and they didn’t get set off by the initial plane crashes. That is some precision ramming.

  266. Now after you fire – you have to disrupt your sighting on the target to reload.

    No you don’t. He wasn’t using a single-shot musket. The novantuno has a six-round internal magazine. There’s no reason to think he ever needed to stop to reload.

    So you have to aim and lead the target

    No you don’t. Not at less than 100 yards like that. The muzzle velocity for this weapon is 2300 feet/sec. The first shot was taken at a target 175 feet away. The round gets there .0078 sec later. Unless Kennedy was parading around in a rocket ship, the target did not move appreciably in that time.

    See that? It’s called simple math. Of course, you like to ignore simple math. Like you Lego(tm) example, which conveniently ignored the square-cube law, for example. The Lego(tm) tower holds up for the same reason an ant can lift so much – the real world just doesn’t scale down. Funny, you’d think a physicist would know that.

  267. To put #400 (NIST FAQ) in context of #387 (the lego theory):
    measure surface area of lego (0.779 sq.in.), weigh yourself (180 lbs),
    put a lego on a hard surface,
    stand on lego.
    If lego collapses, apologize to fellow posters for wasting their time.
    If lego does not collapse, determine pounds per square inch applied to lego,
    convert into pounds per square foot,
    divide into pressure needed to cause collapse of WTC (80 lb/ft2 per floor x 11 floors) to obtain ratio of lego to WTC strength.

    Answer: since lego did not collapse, a lego is at least 38 times stronger than the WTC.

  268. I don’t not shit about guns

    Except that you do know that a trained ex-Marine sharpshooter couldn’t make the shots that Oswald did. Remember, that’s where this whole fucking gun bet comes from in the first place. You said it wasn’t possible to make those shots.

    How do you know the shots weren’t possible if you don’t know shit about guns?

    Anyway, I think that sentence is probably the one true thing you’ve said in this entire thread. You don’t know shit about guns. Or about 9/11. Or about anything else. And yet you constantly make assertions about all these things that you don’t know shit about, then back off when people who do know shit call you on it.

    Idiot.

  269. Think about it. Floor number 2 is supporting the 100+ floors above it.

    ———————-

    Ah… ye olde common sense. So much more trustworthy than any actual engineering knowledge, or an actual evaluation of the citation. Maybe first, you should read this primer: http://science.howstuffworks.com/skyscraper.htm/printable so that you understand a little more about skyscraper construction.

    You are correct, though, on the pancake theory and the NIST document. They do have a different explanation, based on evidence. What’s wrong with the NIST explanation as it stands, especially in light of the fact that there was more than enough gravitational load to collapse the buildings?

    Again, citations, references, and please, this time try to show a general knowledge of how things are made, bokay?

  270. “You are correct, though, on the pancake theory and the NIST document. They do have a different explanation, based on evidence. What’s wrong with the NIST explanation as it stands, especially in light of the fact that there was more than enough gravitational load to collapse the buildings?”

    What is wrong is that they have admittedly not explained the “propagation” of the collapse. Saying there is enough “gravitational” energy does not come close to explaining what happened. Look at their computer simulation of the collapse of WTC7 — where they do come up with an explanation for the high rate of collapse.

    In order to come up with a theory to explain that collapse — they had to have a critical vertical support (accepting their explanation) fail at once from top to bottom.

    You cannot have that high rate of collapse where the lower vertical supports are in tact, as they were with the twin towers.

    If you lifted WTC1 by a giant crane and dropped it on WTC2 – it would not demolish and collapse WTC2 in that manner and at that rate of speed. Which is why they cannot explain how mere upper floors can do this.

    If NIST would release (which it refuses to do) the plans and specs of the buildings (which you can get a sense for in the photos of its construction) you could build a model replicate of the Tower and test whether a collapse initiation that they theorize could lead to the collapse propagation that we see.

    NIST is hand-waving the collapse of the lower structure. If I went into court with a case that depended upon explaining the collapse of the lower structure as depicted in the videos and I said there is enough theoretical gravitational energy for this to happen — the case would be thrown out. That’s not an explanation of the actual event, and it’s not evidence or proof of the actual event. NIST admittedly just punted this and was forced to reject the “pancake” theory.

    There is no explanation and they are sequestering the evidence that could test their theory.

    Once again – this should cause one to be skeptical.

  271. What is wrong is that they have admittedly not explained the “propagation” of the collapse. Saying there is enough “gravitational” energy does not come close to explaining what happened.

    This paper explaining the physics may help.

    Grabbed it off the wiki page Kimbo linked. It’s cited reference 20 on that page.

  272. “You’re a physics major and you put “gravitational” in quotes?”

    lol I do typos too, especially when multi-tasking. I imagine I had some quote in mind.

    Don’t worry – Chew – I don’t question gravity – I just occasionally question what government investigators try to feed me – or what their bosses allow them to feed us or not feed us by way of information, because they take it upon themselves to determine what we do and do not need to know.

  273. People who just nod their heads and say “sounds good to me” sure make their jobs a lot easier.

    I also imagine it encourages stunts like the Administration leaning on the FBI to blame Iraq for the US Military source anthrax attacks. I am sure they were comforted by the notion that for a lot of very non-skeptical people out there — they’ll just accept anything coming from the government – uncritically.

    If you are satisfied with NIST’s hand-waving of the collapse propagation – referring to the gravitational energy of the upper floors, well …. that’s the difference between you and me on this one.

  274. Both these Quotes are related to the collapse of WTC 1:

    “The elastically calculated stresses caused by impact of the upper part of tower onto the lower part were found to be 31 times greater than the design stresses”
    Page 309

    “The kinetic energy of the top part of the tower impacting the floor below was found to be about 8.4 larger than the plastic energy absorption capability of the underlying story, and considerably higher than that if fracturing were taken into account”
    Page 309

    Journal of Engineering Mechanics
    http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/466.pdf

    Its a good read. You might learn something from it.

  275. “I also imagine it encourages stunts like the Administration leaning on the FBI to blame Iraq for the US Military source anthrax attacks. I am sure they were comforted by the notion that for a lot of very non-skeptical people out there — they’ll just accept anything coming from the government – uncritically.”

    I love sweeping generalizations. If we accept the story behind 9/11 we must either be Bush Apologists or mindless patsies. So can I ask you something serious TS:

    Have you ever actually read this site?

  276. I think 9/11 is about to go the way of the JFK discussion…flat out denial of the data has occured. Is it Roswell or the Moon Landing Hoax next, I forget. :)

    I kid, I kid…

    Seriously though, TS, I notice you’re studiously avoiding conspiracy *fact* in your quest for conspiracy *theory*… Ivans came up and you dropped it almost immediately because posters here *are* extremely skeptical of the government’s case.

    Heck, there’s a laundry list of incidents (conspiracy *fact*) cited above, but you seem to steer clear of them because, well…I don’t know why you’d be steering clear of them.

    You keep coming back to the same point, and I don’t see how you feel you can make the statement honestly.

    I see an awful lot of blind, uncritical faith on these skeptic sites when it comes to authority figures, who are not only fallible from time to time, but also – believe it or not – abuse authority and power for their own purposes on occasion.

    Basically:

    “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

  277. I did not avoid the Anthrax case – Josh. Why would I?

    But you cannot sit on your laurels for being skeptical on that case. The following is from Dr. Quintiere – the former division chief for the NIST fire program.

    You should read it. He explains pretty well why the NIST investigation is inadequate and should not be accepted on faith:

    “In my opinion, the WTC investigation by NIST falls short of expectations by not definitively finding cause, by not sufficiently linking recommendations of specificity to cause, by not fully invoking all of their authority to seek facts in the investigation, and by the guidance of government lawyers to deter rather than develop fact finding.

    Why were not alternative collapse hypotheses investigated and discussed as NIST had stated repeatedly that they would do?

    NIST used computer models that they said have never been used in such an application before and are the state of the art. For this they should be commended for their skill. But the validation of these modeling results is in question. Others have computed aspects with different conclusions on the cause mechanism of the collapse. Moreover, it is common in fire investigation to compute a time-line and compare it to known events. NIST has not done that.

    I think the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable. Let’s look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of the collapse of the World Trade Towers and how that relates to the official cause and what’s the significance of one cause versus another.

    I wish that there would be a peer review of this. I think all the records that NIST has assembled should be archived. I would really like to see someone else take a look at what they’ve done; both structurally and from a fire point of view.”

  278. Imagine that?

    He wants the government investigation to be opened up to peer review – the documents and analysis reviewed by others.

    You know something – in the scientific world, we just call that standard operating procedure. You think that’s asking too much? You think maybe we ought to keep an open mind until that occurs?

    Or do you want to just trust the same boys running the Ivans’ case?

    : )

  279. No I don’t think that is too much to ask for, and I doubt you will find anyone on this site you does not wish for more transparency in the government…BUT none of this proves that explosives were in the buildings on 9/11 and were responsible for the destruction of the tower.

    I don’t get you TrueSkeptic, do you think we are government lackeys who never have said anything bad about the government? Do you think that no one on this site wants every FOI request to be opened up? Seriously, what the hell have you been reading on this site?

    This is obviously where you are too dense to hear anything we have said around here…hey and above all else:

    NOTHING you have cited leads me to think that 9/11 was an inside job. If you want me to write you a list of what I think is wrong with the government you only would have to ask, but you lost that when you came on this site acting like an arrogant Jackass who knows more than the SKEPTIC. You don’t even realize who the hell are the people you are arguing with.

    YOU are the type of person who gives the skeptical movement a bad name, why, because you cannot see the forest through the trees, you cannot realize that, YES the government hides things, YES the government lies, but none of that means that IN THIS CASE, they have lied to us on 9/11 or INTENTIONALLY neglected in their jobs. Are you really as dense as you sound honestly?

    Do you think that we are all happy with the current administration? Do you think that we haven’t seen the news reports every time the White House censored a scientific paper and we think that its legitimate? Do you think that if you came on here talking about that for a second we would not agree with you?

    No what you did was you claimed that JFK was not shot and killed by LHO and the WTC was brought down by explosives. Because of that we have to argue with you since, let me put this nicely, YOU ARE WRONG.

    If you came on to talk about Ivans you would have been applauded, I would have talked about what I think about the case and we would have got along. If you would have complained about the state of research coming out of the government we would have been agreeing with you. BUT you didn’t do those things, you jump on the first conspiracy theory and completely sign up for it because its the Evil G’vmant. This is the difference between you and us. You are unable to accept for a second that the government may in fact tell the truth every once and awhile…

    So go ahead and ignore this post like you ignored all of the rest.

  280. And whenever the government claims it has resolved a major crime by some new magic, first-time, never before used scientific technique — that has not been checked or verified by independent scientists, that should also give you pause.

    JFK — brand new lead matching – fraud.

    Ivans — brand new Anthrax DNA matching — hmmm.

    WTC Building Collapses — brand new, unverified computer modeling — hmmm.

    Personally — I’d like to check it out. But I don’t think they’ve granted access on the latter two to anyone else.

    Especially when scientific investigations have government attorney fingerprints all over them – as Dr. Quintiere notes.

  281. Again, you don’t like to actually cite your sources…be advised, I shall no longer attempt to answer any un-cited source from you. You don’t cite it, it doesn’t exist.

    If you mean this then I have read him.

    I think Dr. Quintiere’s comments were relevant; do you perhaps have a link to a different document than mine?

    The header, for instance, to the document that shows in my link, states:

    “I had wished for clear and complete analyses and evidence to determine the full cause of the factors behind and the reasons for the collapse of the WTC buildings, as they bear on the fire safety design of current and future buildings. I am also concerned about the lack of sufficient government support for fire research and its implementation in fire safety design, codes and standards.” (emphasis added)

    He doesn’t appear to be looking for causes other than airplanes hitting the building; he’s looking for details of the fire spread so he can (hopefully) prevent similar collapses in the future.

    But you cannot sit on your laurels for being skeptical on that case.

    And you also cannot spend infinite money and time to be *absolutely* sure. Face it, the only absolute certainty would be to build the WT over again, then crash two planes into it. And repeat the exercise until we get a statistically significant number of events.

    My personal criteria for deciding when to move on involves motive; does the agency in question have anything to gain by adopting this particular version of events? If ‘yes’, then look at that motive. If ‘no’, and the explanation fits the available facts, then move on.

    I did not avoid the Anthrax case – Josh. Why would I?

    I asked you the question first. :)

  282. “NOTHING you have cited leads me to think that 9/11 was an inside job.”

    And I have not written anything saying that it was.

    Don’t you find it curious how everyone runs so quickly to defend the government as not being the perpetrator of the crime when people are just asking for answers and proper investigations?

    “So could you release the data and information on this?”

    “We didn’t do it!”

    “What?”

    “We didn’t do it – how can you say that we did?”

    “Did what?”

    “We didn’t kill all those people – and you can’t prove it!”

    “Look – I am just trying to get an explanation or some data on the rate of collapse.”

    “I told you we didn’t do it – now just leave us alone.”

    “Oookay … um, maybe there is someone else I can speak with?”

    Methinks a lot of people doth protest too much. ; )

  283. And whenever the government claims it has resolved a major crime by some new magic, first-time, never before used scientific technique — that has not been checked or verified by independent scientists, that should also give you pause.

    Halleluyah! It’s a miracle; something we can agree upon.

    Skip your other examples, use the USS Iowa explosion. Sandia Labs compared to NCIS.

  284. Wow, completely ignore the point of the whole post I made. Sure you haven’t done that before..

    “Methinks a lot of people doth protest too much. ; )”

    And yet you did make my point, you do think that 9/11 was an inside job.

  285. This is not the point you are getting in this whole thing. If you want to say that there are problems with the way the government does investigations, the way politics interfere with scientific research, that it should be transparent, or that everything let out should be peer reviewed, then we all agree with you. Use Global Warming or Environmental censorship as your examples, you will go a lot farther.

  286. Josh –

    I do apologize for not checking the USS Iowa explosion link before. I saw it and tried to remember what that was, but was already feeling too guilty for the time I am burning here.

    I just checked your link, and without reading through it yet – I now do remember the incident. I’ll have to check it out – the only thing I recall off the top of my head is that the families were very upset that they were blaming some sailors whom they also alleged to be gay (?) So that it was kind of a double whammy for the families.

    Thanks – I’ll take a look.

  287. @TS

    I was in the service at the time, so we were looking at it very closely. “Teh gays did it” was a convenient bit of scapegoating used more than once (re: SL-1); it was ridiculous on the face of it.

    The short version:
    – Turrent #2 on USS Iowa explodes
    – NCIS comes in, can’t find an immediate cause
    – Under pressure to get the turrets up and running again, they decide on human factors
    – One of the operators (deceased) had recently broken up with his boyfriend; they use some of his letters to justify suicidal depression
    – They find residue of chlorine, hydraulic oil, cotton wool, and some plastics in the remains of the breach. Declare evidence of a bomb.
    – Declare “Lover’s suicide” and close case
    – Family raises a stink, Sandia Labs gets involved
    – Sandia notes that *all* the breaches of all the guns have similar residue…including the ones that didn’t explode
    – Sandia notes evidence of a over-fast, over-ram situation (basically, they were in a big hurry when reloading and went too fast, too far)
    – Sandia suspects the combination of over-fast, over-ram plus evidence of a design flaw in the powder bags could have caused the exlposion
    – Sandia goes out into the desert; 11 tries later, *boom!* they replicate the blast
    – Navy ammends the report with the actual cause, and the original suspect is cleared

    I like to cite this case because of the neatness; the sloppy science and false conclusions, driven by a desire for fast closure, were ultimately proven false.

    Note, however, the key distinguishing feature between this case and many of the other cases mentioned: motive.

    I’ve read far too many after action reports and government audits to believe any agency doing any investigation will cover all bases 100%. Just. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    You can show me reams and reams of data as to why “the government didn’t do it right”; I’ll respond “and…?” while yawning.

    You show me a single suspicious datum, and a plausible motive, and I’ll take a second look. No one does anything in politics without a reason.

  288. “- Navy ammends the report with the actual cause, and the original suspect is cleared”

    Well, he was cleared by the science but the Navy never came out and said we messed up, this guy is completely innocent and heads will roll for this monumental screw up. Remember the CNO being interviewed on 60 minutes? The CNO just couldn’t bring himself to say he’s innocent.

  289. Well, he was cleared by the science but the Navy never came out and said we messed up

    We didn’t? Really? I didn’t see the 60 Minutes episode; I know feet were seriously dragging about it, but I thought they’d at least set the formal record straight by now.

    My bad, then.

  290. No Protesilaus – you are not going to paint me with that brush – that I have leapt to the conclusion of an “inside job.”

    I just know bad science and a cover-up when I see them, but I don’t then jump to conclusions without evidence.

    A cover-up does not mean the Administration/Pentagon/CIA/Congress had anything to do with it or foreknowledge of it.

    I’ll just throw out an alternative off the top of my head. There is evidence that Pakistani Intelligence helped with financing. So suppose rogue elements in Pakistani intelligence/military sympathetic to Al Qaeda (there is certainly evidence of that) provided material assistance, and would come out if there were a forthright investigation accessible or disclosed to the public.

    The FBI makes the connection very quickly. We confront Pakistan. The Pakistan government denies any knowledge or involvement and promises to cooperate in punishing the guilty. We tell them if the American public finds out – that won’t be good enough – they will be toast. They say “please – what do you want?” We make cooperation demands re plans to go after Taliban and Al Qaeda, public statements by them, full support etc. In return – our government decides it’s best to keep focus on Al Qaeda and not draw link to Pakistan — especially when the government wants to imply link to Iraq to address another problem/settle old score.

    That fits a few of the facts — but it is just wild-ass speculation. Watergate was a cover-up of criminal conduct by certain current or former members of the Administration and CIA, but that does not mean that Nixon or the CIA leadership sanctioned it.

    It was years before I even knew there was an issue here – and when I did first hear it raised – I thought they were kooks. Then someone finally got me to take a look at it. First I said hmmm — there has to be an effective rebuttal to these problems, and I have learned that there isn’t an open and honest rebuttal. Saying that an official story is “possible” does not cut it.

    The first thing I checked was the options trading, because I remember thinking in the immediate aftermath of attacks that this would allow them to catch some of the bad guys. This is my professional field of expertise. So when I went to check it out — now years later – and (without revealing any of the investigation results) they said this VERY OBVIOUS insider trading was just a coincidence – that got my attention. Not one chance in a million that trading was a coincidence. And there is a mountain of stuff just as bad.

    So I don’t know why there are obvious bad investigations and cover-ups —- the 9/11 Commission is a complete joke. They say it was just not important to trace the source of funding?????? HELLO.

    That is just criminal investigation 101.

    As far as I can tell – the main skeptics’ point is that governments cannot keep secrets. Well some they can and some they can’t.

    But it is sure a lot easier for them to keep secrets when there are so many groups out there helping them by ridiculing those trying to get at the truth.

    And Josh — as far as spending endless money goes? Please. Compare the Challenger investigation budget or blow-job-gate spending to 9/11 — the biggest crime in US history.

  291. “Still no names. Still no references.”

    I tell you what Rys. I’ll probably go to Houston for Thanksgiving. My mom lives in University Place a few blocks from Rice.

    If you like, we can stroll through the campus and take a look at my old records. I could even introduce you to some of my old Profs.

    The beer is on me and I’ll hit up for a couple of those extra painkillers you got lying around. It’ll make the return flight with my two kids easier.

    You can show me what a good shot you are, and maybe let me squeeze off a few rounds — never done that before.

    Then you can report back to everyone. We’ll take a side by side photo and people can vote on who is prettier.

    How about it – bro?

  292. Interesting how you follow the link over to my blog, make references to the post from Aug 5th, bt seem to have failed to read either the first entry or the latest. Seems to fit with what you’ve shown so far – fixation on one or two details, but complete failure to grasp the Big Fucking Picture(tm).

    By the way, the day I hand over prescription medication to random a-hole I don’t know is the day hurl myself face-first onto a sharpened stick. Aren’t you a lawyer? Don’t you know that it’s illegal to even ask me for that?

    Jeebus, guy, WTF is wrong with you?

  293. Which is why they cannot explain how mere upper floors can do this.

    ————

    Dude. Why in the world would you think that I would give a shit what you have to say about this? You don’t have the foggiest notion of how the things are constructed or how they distribute weight, and you’ve demostrated that. Yeesh.

  294. Well, the paper that I was procrastinating from these last 2 days is handed in, so that means I won’t have the time on my hands anymore to participate in this hilarious farce. [wipes tear] I’ll always have the wonderful memories of being completely ignored, accused of saying things I didn’t say, and spoken to like a child. Good times.

  295. “Saying that an official story is “possible” does not cut it.”

    So you admit that the tower could have been brought down based on the airplane damage and fire alone. So I will ask you…What evidence do you have that there were explosives in the buildings?

    If you want though I am really curious about this statement:

    “The ‘truth’ from the western medical community or even the science community.”

    So are you a chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic practitioner? Do you think vaccines cause Autism?

  296. “So you admit that the tower could have been brought down based on the airplane damage and fire alone.”

    Well A followed B, but given what actually happened, you really need to produce the evidence and the analysis that B caused A, before you accept this. That has not been done, and they don’t claim to have done it.

    “If you want though I am really curious about this statement: “The ‘truth’ from the western medical community or even the science community.”

    Well, for example, a large group in the scientific community treat the concept of global warming caused by carbon emissions like a religion – this theory should not be accepted on faith – it’s got some holes in it.

    Vaccines and autism? Well, there is no real debate that heavy metals in the blood can cause cognitive deficits akin to autism. This is true for lead and for mercury. I think it was a good idea to get the mercury out of the vaccines. I spoke to one of the leading blood chemistry scientists in the World about this two years back – he was my chemistry professor at Rice and is still a friend. He agreed. His name is Lon Wilson.

    What you need to be careful about when it comes to science or in the courtroom — are claims that come from groups with an agenda or bias motive.

    The CDC and drug companies can have certain biases that can influence their claims – as is true for the global warming crowd – the Navy explaining the Iowa explosion – and government prosecutions of crimes.

    When groups with a motive for a certain outcome are in control of the data and evidence for their scientific claims — you need to be skeptical. You don’t want to just take their word for it because they can find and pay someone with a PhD after their name to back a claim that they have a lot of interest in proving.

  297. “Well A followed B, but given what actually happened, you really need to produce the evidence and the analysis that B caused A, before you accept this. That has not been done, and they don’t claim to have done it.”

    Did you read the analysis:
    http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/466.pdf
    The forces involved were more than adequate to bring down the towers. I am sorry if scientists cannot produce every single transitional fossil…Oh I am sorry I thought I was debating someone else.

    We don’t need to postulate any other mechanisms to explain what happened and you have offered nothing to say that fires could not have brought down the towers. If you have evidence and an analysis that can disprove the theory then present it. Otherwise you are a cynic at best or are in full out denial at worst, you cannot reject something because you don’t like the resolution or you don’t like were the evidence is coming from.

  298. “Well, for example, a large group in the scientific community treat the concept of global warming caused by carbon emissions like a religion – this theory should not be accepted on faith – it’s got some holes in it.”

    Name the holes and cite your evidence

    “Vaccines and autism? Well, there is no real debate that heavy metals in the blood can cause cognitive deficits akin to autism. This is true for lead and for mercury. I think it was a good idea to get the mercury out of the vaccines. I spoke to one of the leading blood chemistry scientists in the World about this two years back – he was my chemistry professor at Rice and is still a friend. He agreed. His name is Lon Wilson.”

    Hey if you didn’t already know, Mercury is not in any required Vaccines. Thimerasol was removed and NOTHING changed in the Autism rates. The “epidemic” most likely has more to do with the raised observations of the symptons. If more people know what Autism looks like more poeople will be identified as having Autism.

  299. “…scientific community treat the concept of global warming caused by carbon emissions like a religion…”

    Yeah, an open scientific debate which was settled by the production of more detailed evidence… As more accurate evidence came in, more climate scientist moved to the side of climate change. …sounds exactly like a religion.

  300. So I’m beginning to wonder if TS really buys into every stupid conspiracy theory out there, or if he’s just a dick stirring up arguments and refusing to state any kind of stance on the rifle parameters because he doesn’t actually even have ten grand…

  301. “Did you read the analysis:
    http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/466.pdf

    No I had not read it, but I know of about these guys. These were the guys who published a paper on 9/13/01 on how the Towers collapsed!!!!!! LMAO. A completed paper within 2 days explaining the collapse. I had not read that either – but I went back and read it. It is so full of errors – it is just amazing to think that within 2 days of disaster – these guys are all set and ready to go concerning something that they admit has never, ever, ever happened before in the history of civilization, architecture, physics and engineering.

    So now let me tell you about this piece of work – it is total gibberish and hand-waving. You did me a favor here – because I had not looked at their work, and I do not believe that there is a person in the so-called “Truth Movement” who has the requisite knowledge and training to analyze this. I really should take this on.

    This is precisely analogous to the case I am about to try (and if Rebecca were MAN (not girl) enough) to accept my meeting and proof – she could verify this.

    The case against the attorneys involves a 27 page written legal opinion that is a total crock of shit. I knew that before I read the first page – because I knew that what the opinion was trying to prove is simply impossible. The analogy is to alchemists – as hard as you my try – you simply cannot turn lead into gold.

    The 27 page legal opinion is so jammed pack with legal citations and legal mumbo-jumbo that no lay person could possibly decipher it — just like this NW Paper. In his deposition, my Harvard Law Professor was pressed on all the minutiae, and he finally lost his patience and said “Look – we can go through all this point by point if you like — but it’s just a bunch of baloney.” (Now one of my all-time favorite depo quotes.)

    I could quote you a bunch of passages from the NW paper that perhaps you could begin to understand, but this is just so classic. It’s like they are speaking in a foreign language. They are protected by the fact that there are so few people who can even begin to understand what they have written.

    So by speaking in a foreign language they can say that “up is down” and 2+2=5 and no one can tell that this is what is going on. THIS IS GREAT!!!!

    OMG.

    Thanks for prompting me to read this. : )

    My best friend from Rice is a high-energy physicist over in Germany. I have got to show this to him. If my case settles, I was planning to take my 6 figure fee and go visit him. He can decipher this faster than I can.

    This should be fun. : )

    These guys are total frauds. LOL

    A paper concerning a brand new never seen or experience phenomenon on 9/13/01!!!! I was aware of this – but had never gotten around to reading it — and it feeds directly into NIST’s hand-waving. And it apologizes for not running the calculations through the COMPUTERS!!!

    NO SHIT!!!

  302. BTW — on the autism matter – I gave you a name, because he is a friend and would not matter if someone contacted him.

    Lon Wilson was my professor in chemistry at Rice, and so what does that give you?

    If Rys accepted my invitation to verify who I am – I could introduce him to Lon after checking on my Rice transcripts concerning my degrees and my courses. : )

  303. “Well, for example, a large group in the scientific community treat the concept of global warming caused by carbon emissions like a religion – this theory should not be accepted on faith – it’s got some holes in it.”

    “Name the holes and cite your evidence”

    Okay — the global warming – carbon emissions theory is directly and decisively rebutted by the period of extreme global warming in the middle ages — that led to the viking colonization of Iceland and Greenland. It is also contradicted by the mini- Ice Age in the 1800s when the Thames River regularly froze over completely and they regularly held Winter festivals on the River that are recorded.

    The global warming carbon emission theorists have been caught slanting the data to avoid these holes in their theories. : )

  304. “Hey if you didn’t already know, Mercury is not in any required Vaccines. Thimerasol was removed and NOTHING changed in the Autism rates.”

    Yea – I said I agree that they should take out mercury.

    And you say NOTHING has changed in the rates since they took it out???????

    So you are using general population statistics to prove your scientific point!!??

    Well – dumbass – if you accept autism statistics as proof — the statistics show that autism goes up with vaccinations. Ummmm – you don’t want to go there.

    There was a whole generation or more vaccinated with mercury. You don’t need statistics to tell you that mercury is every bit as much a neurotoxin as lead is. You think maybe we should put lead back in the paint?

    Listen – genius – putting mercury in vaccines was a mistake. THAT IS WHY the mistake has been CORRECTED by the drug companies and the CDC. Now the CDC does not want to admit the mistake and frighten people from vaccines. And the drug companies do not want to admit the mistake because of liability. BUT IT WAS A MISTAKE – WHICH IS WHY THEY CORRECTED IT.

    Heavy metals in the blood cause autism — that is not a matter for debate.

    When I discussed this with Lon Wilson – he was shocked that some idiot made this mistake.

    And the only reason I ever looked into any of this – is that my wife absolutely freaked out when our daughter came back form her vaccinations a changed baby — and has now been diagnosed as suffering from autism. That was in 1997 when mercury was still in the vaccines.

  305. How about we inject Mercury into your bloodstream. Actually it probably could not lower your IQ any lower than it is.

    The mercury in thimerasol is effectively excreted by the majority of the population – but not all.

    Just like cigarettes do not cause cancer in all lungs. The effects are variable.

    But the fact that cigarettes contain carcinogens and the fact that mercury is a neurotoxin is not a matter for debate – sport. And mercury should, by not stretch of the imagination, be injected into infants.

    You cannot generalize about all vaccines — and if you think that calling something a “vaccine” means that it is safe is asinine. For a group that is suppose to be composed of skeptics and critical thinkers — you guys sure do take a lot of things on faith.

  306. So are you a chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic practitioner?

    You are going to love this one. I am the first male in three generations in my family not to be an M.D.

    My family has a tradition of service as Navy doctors. My grandfather was an Admiral and the chief Naval surgeon at Bethesda Naval Hospital in D.C., which means he was the President’s personal physician. He was among the very first Americans to enter Japan after the surrender in WWII to get to the POW camps. It was his job to assess the human casualties at Hiroshima. I was born at the naval hospital at the naval base in Alameda, California.

    I was raised to believe that chiros are quacks, and having been talked into visiting one once in my entire life — I will never be returning. But I understand they do help some people – principally with lower back problems.

  307. May I ask you to clarify what you meant by “autism goes up with vaccinations”? Do you mean countries with vaccination program versus countries without? Kids that get vaccinated versus kids who don’t? Kids who get a lot of vaccines versus kids who only get a few? If the main cause of autism was the mercury in thimerasol then why have the number of autism cases continued to increase after removing it?

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/health/bal-te.infocus09jan09,0,1363729.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout%3Fgcid%3Dsjwti-google-bwi-baltimore_national-bhutto_national-bhutto

    https://www.reason.com/news/show/126842.html

    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124346.html

    P.S. I had to get a MMR vaccine a couple of weeks ago. I feel fine.:)

  308. Sorry, I believe the preservative is spelled thiomersal. My bad.

    Also, it’s understood that vaccines can cause some bad side effects, but the benefits far outweigh the risks (even if autsim is a side effect, which is still very suspect). While some people will experience negative side effects, it’s nothing compared to smallpox, especially now that travel is more common and the world population has grown.

  309. OK I was going to join the fray but mmm this is a bit ridiculous. Anyhow, how can any of you believe that someone has a freaking physics degree when they say:

    I studied quantum mechanics, electrodynamics (the real tough stuff)

    ?!?!?! I call bullshit. No one with a bachelors in physics who is trying to convince other people that they are smart would dare call quantum or (haha!) electrodynamics “tough.” Mmmm funny shit.

  310. I think what we have here is a case of homeopathic mercury continuing to cause autism. The equipment that they use to manufacture the vaccines still has the vibrations from the mercury contained within it. These vibrations get transferred to the vaccine and – viola – we still have mercury causing autism. It makes perfect sense.

  311. “I do not believe that there is a person in the so-called ‘Truth Movement’ who has the requisite knowledge and training to analyze this. I really should take this on.”

    Wow, the “Truth Movement” doesn’t have any engineers on their side, so it is up to you to take on the paper. That explains a lot of their claims before today. Well go ahead, I will wait for your analysis on it. Saying something is BS and proving it are 2 distinct and different things.

    I will be waiting for your paper and for it to be peer reviewed in a journal of engineering. Otherwise you are just making claims without evidence.

    “And you say NOTHING has changed in the rates since they took it out???????

    So you are using general population statistics to prove your scientific point!!??

    Well – dumbass – if you accept autism statistics as proof — the statistics show that autism goes up with vaccinations. Ummmm – you don’t want to go there.”

    Wow, completely disregard my statistics argument to make your own statistics argument. In a case a law don’t you have to actually make a defense every now and again and not shift the area under discussion? I don’t have to explain an earlier correlation when a later one shows it to be invalid. A hypothesis was made; it was checked and it was shown to be wrong.

    You can scream Mercury all day long, but you still have not addressed any of the issue I raised, namely, Thimerosal was removed and Autism rates did not decrease.

  312. Heavy metals in the blood cause autism — that is not a matter for debate.

    Holy shit! You think you know what causes autism, too! Publish that shit and get your Nobel in medicine, motherfucker!

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