9/11

My 9/11 Anniversary Slogan: 'We Don't Know'

Our policy responses in the aftermath of that vile day should teach us all to be more humble

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Alt-text takes a holiday. ||| Reason
Reason

One of the worst national reactions to the appalling mass murder 14 years ago this morning was an outbreak of premature certainty masquerading as tough-minded moral clarity. We tend to remember some of the presidential lowlights—George W. Bush saying "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" just one week after smoking cigars with Saudi Prince Bandar on the White House balcony—but it was really all over the national discourse, including from me, and from people you agreed with, then or now.

Peaceniks were wrong to be certain that the U.S. military fight in Afghanistan would get bogged down in the harsh Afghan winter before successfully toppling the Taliban-led regime. Hawks were wrong to do an endzone dance on the peaceniks' heads without thinking through the endless drip of military occupation. It wasn't just the facts that people were wrongly certain about, it was the way they were so sure of themselves. Here's the type of argumentation I mean, in a June 2002 piece that came across my desk earlier this week, written by Larry Kudlow at National Review. Sample:

With weapons of mass destruction at his disposal, and through his financing of terrorism worldwide, Saddam is a dangerous loose end.

Decisive shock therapy to revive the American spirit would surely come with a U.S. invasion of Iraq. Why not begin with a large-scale special-forces commando raid on the Iraqi oil fields? This will send a shot across Saddam's bow; an electrifying signal to all terrorist nations. The message will be that the game is up. Surrender now or you will be crushed in a short while. […]

A couple of weeks later a final assault on Baghdad can take place. A small war, to use Wall Street Journal editorialist Max Boot's lexicon, led by fast-moving special forces and leather-toughened Marines, and assisted by high-tech precision bombs and air cover, can get the job done. All-out war mobilization is unnecessary. Iraq will fall with much less. […]

[S]tatements of principle only go so far. The spirit and security of the United States now require the instrument of war.

The shock therapy of decisive war will elevate the stock market by a couple-thousand points. We will know that our businesses will stay open, that our families will be safe, and that our future will be unlimited. The world will be righted in this life-and-death struggle to preserve our values and our civilization. But to do all this, we must act.

Turns out that Saddam did not have those WMDs at his disposal, the American spirit was not decisively revived via the shock therapy of war, the gig was not up for terrorist-supporting nations (especially Iran, who was supporting much more terrorism at the time than Iraq, and which was strengthened, not weakened, by the toppling of Saddam Hussein). A small war did not end up getting the job done; in fact, the all-out war mobilization Kudlow had insisted was unnecessary was still insufficient to secure a post-war peace. The world was not "righted" by the Iraq War, and we do not (I don't think) "know" that "our future will be unlimited." About the only certainty Kudlow got right here (appropriately enough, given his day job) was that the stock market did indeed rally by a couple thousand points.

Suck. On. This. ||| Reason
Reason

I don't mean to single out the genial CNBC host, or even supporters of the Iraq War. It's the false omniscience, the habit of mind that reacts to an unfathomable event by blotting out all complexity and doubt, and replacing it with utterly confident assertions about the stubbornly unknowable and unplannable future. This is another Iraq example, from David Brooks in March 2003, but it best illustrates the mindset I'm talking about:

any poor rube can come to a simple conclusion—that President Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be disarmed—but the refined ratiocinators want to be seen luxuriating amid the difficulties, donning the jewels of nuance, even to the point of self-paralysis. But those who actually have to lead and protect, and actually have to build one step on another, have to bring some questions to a close.

Questions, alas, do not so handily close. And as the rise of Donald Trump reminds us, there is, contra Brooks, very little reward out there in the field of political and policy commentary for luxuriating in difficulties and nuance. Certainty makes for much better television than doubt. People would rather confuse Kurds with Quds than admit they're only noddingly familiar with either.

We see this mental habit of surety in the way we talk about issues today, particularly those that involve life and death, from the "war on cops" to the national security state to the Syrian refugee crisis to the nuclear deal with Iran.

We don't know whether the Iran deal will make war more or less likely in the war-torn Middle East, yet President Barack Obama says rejecting it is a vote for war, and a bunch of ex-military officials think the deal will make war the likeliest outcome. We don't know whether the military intervention hawks wanted in Syria would have stemmed the refugee crisis or even created a more stable Middle East (for those who think they know the answer to that question, recall that pro-interventionists in Libya were taunting the anti-interventionists as recently as August 2011). For us skeptics of war, we don't know whether the strategic U.S. pullback we advocate would increase or decrease the likelihood of near-term or medium-term misery, subjugation, and genocide. We may all have our strong beliefs, but we too often dress them up as unassailable facts.

Such a good movie, that one. ||| Reason
Reason

What would happen in a world where humans, including those in or near power, freely admitted that they don't know how to stop ISIS, can't tell the difference between a Yazidi and and Assyrian, have no convincing explanation for why crime stats are fluctuating this year, and don't know why Billy Beane's shit doesn't work in the playoffs? For one, I think people would be a little less likely to champion or sign up for giant, mass-mobilizing schemes. If we are humble in the face of facts, and mindful of the unforeseen consequences that come with every grand plan, we might be more cautious about bending a sprawling nation's resources and will in one direction or another. Hence the pro-interventionist anxiety: We don't know will too easily translate into We won't act.

But the real benefits to humility are more individual than societal. One of the things that the experts knew after 9/11 is that there would be an immediate American backlash against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent. Well, the experts were wrong. We didn't know about the Muslim world's beef with the United States, or the backstory behind the odd lines drawn on Middle Eastern maps, so we read up on it. Not for the last time, panic over Middle America's inherent violence turned out to be unfounded.

My great regret after 9/11, both as an individual and as a citizen of a country that has been so poorly governed ever since, is that that thirst for knowledge and innate sense of decency was not also tempered with an appreciation for the limits of both human understanding and bureaucratic competence. With half of Republican voters currently supporting Great Man-theory novices, and virtually all Democrats lining up behind candidates with unshakeable confidence in the liberating power of government, it doesn't appear that we will learn that lesson any time soon.

NEXT: Book Party at Reason HQ in Los Angeles for Ronald Bailey and The End of Doom

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  1. We have had decent leadership since 9/11. It’s just that they are members of a party who believe in increasing taxes on billionaires, ergo they are equally as evil as the ones who failed to prevent 9/11 and who responded to it in an unimaginably feckless way.

    1. Not sure I’ve ever read anything as incoherent as this, except maybe all the Bernie Sanders posts I see people put on facebook.

      1. You people are useless whiners with nothing to add to the advancement of humanity because you think taxing a billionaire $0.05 is a worse thing than a billion people starving. You’re that pointless.

        1. Everything is pointless, Tony.

          1. I wonder what he’s doing to feed a billion people. Probably nothing as productive as the average billionaire.

            1. He isn’t personally doing anything because nobody else is being forced to. He has said as much in other threads.

              1. “He isn’t personally doing anything because nobody else is being forced to. He has said as much in other threads”

                No, no, no – you misunderstand what he’s been saying. He’s working to force other people to do something because he’s too selfish and attached to his comfortable lifestyle to do something directly himself. Which is why other people should be forced to do something.

                It’s the essence of morality.

            2. HE’S NOT REAL

              This brings up a good question, though. Should Tony go in the mute or block pile? He never says anything worthwhile, but sometimes amusing things happen when people are mocking him. Decisions.

                1. HM, the courthouse should almost always be open.

                  1. The doors were open for almost 8 years. During that time, almost every time I engaged with it, it would eventually hurl the most vicious racial abuse toward me (or my wife and daughter) that I’ve encountered on these fora. Why should I subject myself to that?

                    1. Why should I subject myself to that?

                      Dance, mud person, dance!

                2. The mock pile, he is the poster child for idiot and deserves to be mocked daily by anyone who realizes how fucking stupid he is.

                  If you ignore morons like Tony it means stupid people might think he has something intelligent to say. Happens all the time.

                  I’ll be mocking his moronic ass.

              1. “Tony” is all too real in the sense that he’s an accurate depiction of how real progressives think, argue, and act.

                So in that sense he has some usefulness for practicing arguments against left-wing fallacies.

                1. ‘So in that sense he has some usefulness for practicing arguments against left-wing fallacies.”

                  ^ This. I’m more and more convinced that he’s a paid shill for the Democratic Party. Either that or he’s deeply neurotic in his passionate refusal to actually engage ideas other than his own.

                  Either way, it’s like a left-wing talking points delivery service.

                2. More speech, more exchange is almost always the better option.

                3. I really see no reason to think that it’s not a real person. He’s actually pretty sane for a lefty internet commenter.

                  1. Yeah, that’s how I see Tony. The last time I responded to him I think I was rude, not sure been a while.
                    But I do remember arguing before that Tony did some times have valid points, and, on occasion, would argue with a willingness to listen to our side; although his willingness to listen seems to be gone.

                4. … not to mention continual amusement value.
                  He IS a stereotype or archetype for the ramblings of a liberal cult member..

              2. I don’t block people, I want to know what utter stupidity looks like on a day to day basis. Now Warty please go get me that BLT that you promised me if I locked my self in your dungeon.

                1. The BLT was a lie, you fool!

                  1. Is the cake a lie too?

                    *edges away from basement door*

                    1. Want Blt! Want Cake! *berserker instinct takes over brain functions

                  2. I locked my self in your dungeon.

                    You poor thing. It will never be your birthday again.

          2. Especially responding to sockpuppets, Nicole.

        2. Well, it’s better than the solution your side has come up with, which is to tax the billionaires and starve a billion people to death.

          1. I am part of a political tradition that increased human well-being more than any other idea ever conceived. If another one had done better, I’d choose to be a part of it.

            1. Your progressive political tradition killed 100 million people last century. I guess it wasn’t enough.

              1. That you have to resort to such absurdities doesn’t help your case.

                1. You’re right Tony, progressive wealth distribution is the answer.

                  Why, just look at how prosperous and happy the people of Venezuela are under Maduro!

                  1. re: Grand Moff Serious Man|9.11.15 @ 1:04PM|#
                    “You’re right Tony, progressive wealth distribution is the answer.
                    Why, just look at how prosperous and happy the people of Venezuela are under Maduro!”

                    Here’s the problem with Tony, GMSM…

                    http://www.plusaf.com/_troll-p…..rstand.bmp

                2. Tony|9.11.15 @ 12:59PM|#

                  That you have to resort to such absurdities doesn’t help your case.

                  The wrong Top. Men. were in charge, right? If only the right Top. Men. were in charge there would be no war, disease, starvation, homeless, crime, etc?

                  I think it is you that need to produce a citation that progressivism has had any success at all with those problems of human action.

                3. Oh, you’re fond of describing others’ views as mere matters of degrees different. Your ideology is only slightly removed from the deepest shitholes around the world. You’re in denial, that is to be expected, since there is little to offer.

                4. That you have to resort to such absurdities doesn’t help your case.

                  …which is funny, ’cause it’s in response to his earlier post, which reads:

                  I am part of a political tradition that increased human well-being more than any other idea ever conceived.

                  Meanwhile, still waiting to hear of an instance in which Progressive policies fixed a problem they didn’t first create, or a Progressive government did something which resulted in an unambiguous net gain for humanity. Hell, I won’t even ask you to defend the assertion that extortion, slavery, and theft are totally cool if the people doing it are calling themselves a government.

            2. More than penicillin? Fire?

            3. “I am part of a political tradition that increased human well-being more than any other idea ever conceived”

              No, you’re not. You simply look at history, see good developments and decide that you’re in favor of those. You see bad developments and decide that you are against those. But there’s no point being against bad things if there aren’t people who support those bad things. So you come here and yell at us.

              1. You simply look at history, see good developments and decide that you’re in favor of those.

                Precisely. What’s the alternative? Hanging on to hypotheses that fit preconceived notions about morality and human nature against all real evidence? If laissez-faire capitalism were the system that proved to provide the most good for the world, I’d be in favor of it. Unlike you, I don’t have an emotional stake in the success or failure of ideas. I don’t extrapolate a world order from prejudices about the bad work ethic of, you know, those people. I don’t care about terms for things. If something I support doesn’t work, tell me and I’ll reject it. For the record I am not a fan of Stalinism.

                1. For the record I am not a fan of Stalinism.

                  Stalin is an integral part of the progressive tradition you adhere to, so that is a lie.

                  1. You’re a fucking moron.

                    1. re: “Tony|9.11.15 @ 10:18PM|#
                      You’re a fucking moron.”

                      Tony, I had considered pinging back with a quote from my home pages of the past, but I could not find The Right One…

                      So here are all of them so far… Choose any one. It probably applies to you.

                      http://www.plusaf.com/home-page-quotes.htm

                2. “Unlike you, I don’t have an emotional stake in the success or failure of ideas. I don’t extrapolate a world order from prejudices about the bad work ethic of, you know, those people.”

                  You know exactly fuck about me and what I think. You’re not talking to anyone except the demons in your head.

                  The point you are missing is that *anyone* can look at benevolent developments in history and claim that they support them. As a matter of fat *everyone* does. *Everyone* believes that their particular ideology has caused all of the prosperity in the world.

                  You missed my point entirely: you are coming here looking for enemies of Good, because you’ve decided that the only reason there is Bad in the world is because some people are against Good.

                  You don’t listen to anybody at all – you just come here and project a non-existent worldview onto whomever you find and then blame that person for all of the world’s problems.

                  Your “political tradition” is not a political tradition – it is simply self-righteousness.

                  1. “Your “political tradition” is not a political tradition – it is simply self-righteousness.”

                    As is all tradition for the most part.

                3. Unlike you, I don’t have an emotional stake in the success or failure of ideas.

                  Talk about projection.

                  All you understand is envy and jealousy. You see a successful person and it makes you mad. You envy their wealth and want to destroy it.

                  When I see a successful person (assuming that they attained their wealth through markets instead of politics) I see someone who has added wealth to society in an amount approximately equal to the wealth they have attained for themselves.

                  There is nothing emotional about supporting laissez-faire capitalism. It’s purely rational. Which of course is why you cannot fathom it.

                4. For the record I am not a fan of Stalinism.

                  Except it’s the logical end of your views, whether you’re a fan of it or not. And we’ve all seen that, when push comes to shove, you’re not above “breaking a few eggs to make an omelet.

                5. It simply is. Your failure to understand is not a reason to reject it.

                6. Unlike you, I don’t have an emotional stake in the success or failure of ideas.

                  The fuck you don’t, you sad little bullshitter. Note that just a little further upstairs you claimed not to just subscribe to a certain political tradition, but rather be a part of it.

                  I am part of a political tradition that increased human well-being more than any other idea ever conceived.

                  Go hawk your nonsense elsewhere already – no one here is buying what you’re selling.

                  1. “Go hawk your nonsense elsewhere already – no one here is buying what you’re selling.”

                    Of course, simply because he can’t offer any proof! But that’s just another aspect of the ‘discussion’ he doesn’t get.

                    So sad… even for a troll.

                7. For the record I am not a fan of Stalinism.

                  If you’re a fan of progressivism, then you are, by definition, a fan of Stalinism. And Leninism. And Maoism. And [Pol] Potism. And every other -ism that’s send untold millions to their graves, either through famine or mass extermination.

                  You gotta own that shit, kiddo.

            4. I am part of a political tradition that increased human well-being more than any other idea ever conceived. If another one had done better, I’d choose to be a part of it.

              Huh. It’s weird that you hardly ever say anything in support of such a tradition here.

            5. What in the actual fuck are you talking about? No political tradition has increased human well-being. Free markets, capitalism, and liberalism (the original OG liberalism not your progressive bullshit) increased human well-being more in the last 100 years than anything.

              You are a fucktard. You always will be.

              1. Don’t forget science, too.

            6. AHAHAHAAH Yup its not like economists widely agree that Free trade, a classscal liberal idea, has greatly improved the lot of humanity.
              You truly are a vile liar and your ideas are dangerous to humanity, especially the poor and vulnerable.

            7. Tony, in reponse to the Greek debt crisis and human tragedies that occurring in the middle east and Venezuela.

              “I am part of a political tradition that increased human well-being more than any other idea ever conceived!”

        3. Tony, you feeling upset, little guy?

          You want a juice box? I’ve got apple!

          That and a hug will make you feel much better.

          1. Are you current with your inoculations? Otherwise I would not recommend that course of action.

        4. If I gave a homeless guy $1000 and he blew it on booze and drugs, am I obligated to give him another $1000? And another, and another, and another?

          1. Yes!

            And here is a ‘starving’ person that ‘society’ is for some reason obligated to help.
            http://boropulse.com/wp-conten…..ing-21.jpg

            1. Imagine the number of artisinal candles that could be made out of that guy.

              1. You’d be surprised how far they cook down though.

          2. As I’ve always said, “Give a man meth and he’ll get high for a day. Teach him how to cook meth and he’ll become a millionaire.”

            1. Teach him how to cook meth and he’ll become a millionaireinadvertently blow up his trailer/apartment/dorm/federal office.

              Fixed it for you.

        5. “You people”

          Who is this “you people” you’re constantly here railing against? You’ve been trolling here for years and years – do you not yet realize that there are people here with many different perspectives and ideas about things?

          Do you ever tire of just showing up here to burn straw men?

          1. He won’t. He’s here to vent his anger and hatred at those whom he blames for not getting his due in life.

            1. I’m one of the luckiest humans ever to have lived. I have no grievances, except about unnecessary stupidity holding undue power.

              1. So you’re all for necessary stupidity holding undue power.

              2. A situation which has obtained almost incessantly since the first two chimps banded together to beat a third chimp into submission.

              3. Tony, the whole corpus of your posts over the years rebuts that lie.

                You don’t consider yourself lucky. Your fury is that of a man thwarted by enemies. Your comments are full of emotional bluster and rage and utterly absent of any attempt to make rational arguments. You write like a man who feels thoroughly wronged and wishes to lash out at those who wronged him.

                Also, I notice that you are citing “luck” as a rebuttal to my claim that you feel you have not gotten your due. That actually speaks volumes about the envy and greed that dominates you. You see your lot in life as being the product not of your actions but of your luck.

                You try to fake being a normal, decent human being. But in the end, you cannot help but reveal you are greedy, lazy, selfish, quite racist, and very hateful.

                I actually pity you. Someday we all arrive on our death bed. What accomplishments you will look back upon on that sad day? Who will keep vigil beside you, comforting you? My guess is that you will be alone with little to give you satisfaction.

                1. Damn, that’s harsh. Totally accurate and fitting, but still harsh.

                2. I am lucky. I was born in the wealthiest society in the history of earth, to good parents, white, male, and intelligent. I could never complain as much as libertarians do and look at myself in the mirror. You take my mentions of billionaires as if it were an affront to you, undoubtedly not a billionaire. That makes you a pathetic sycophant–worse, an unpaid, unnoticed shill. An advocate for long-discredited hokum even the beneficiaries of which probably don’t take all that seriously. Does it not ever minutely disturb your thoughts, the reality that from all the glorious paeans to liberty your ilk wrap yourselves in like a blanket, the only real-world result has been to lower the top marginal tax rates, the elimination of estate taxing? Do you not realize how you’ve been had, even as you aren’t even really needed?

                  1. The strawman characterization of libertarians as unfeeling, greedy bastards who only seek to protect what they have is tiresome. We merely object to being forced to redistribute our earnings at the end of a gun.

                    Nevermind the actual effectiveness of the redistribution techniques employed by the government.

                    1. They are quite effective. You’re just saying they’re not, no reason given, no thought given. The post-WWII order, the creation of the middle class, is something you guys simply extract from your histories, because it doesn’t fit your absurd narrative that laissez-faire capitalism is the best way to promote human well-being.

                    2. If they are effective, why is there this absurd “inequality” debate? Why are we constantly chirping about wages not keeping pace with productivity (there are good reasons to believe this is nonsense)? It is not as effective as you make it out to be and the whole programs are full of moral hazard. No society was ever made prosperous by destroying resources in inefficient ways. You would know if you ever challenged your own views.

                    3. “If they are effective, why is there this absurd “inequality” debate?”

                      Because of the Bad people, obviously. Tony only supports Good outcomes. Therefore, when outcomes are bad, it’s because of Bad people.

                      It’s like you aren’t even listening.

                    4. I know, right? It’s like talking to a John.

                    5. “They are quite effective. You’re just saying they’re not, no reason given, no thought given. ”

                      You’re just saying they’re effective, no reason given, no thought given. This is fun!

                    6. Read a fucking article, study, anything, not written by someone inside your own fucking echo chamber. It isn’t hard to find. Start with Deirdre McCloskey.

                    7. Wha?!?! Are you saying there wasn’t a middle-class until after WWII? Seriously? There absolutely was. Who do you think the “bourgeoisie” that your favorite political philosopher railed against were, exactly? And how do you think they got there? Capitalism, junior. Capitalism.

                      In fact, Marx in Das Kapital blames the bourgeoisie, i.e. the property (or capital) owning middle-class, for enslaving the proletariat after having gobbled up all the things there were to own and leaving the proletariat nothing but their own labor to make a living.

                      So, actually, laissez-faire capitalism created the very “downtrodden” middle class that you and your Progressive fellow-travellers claim to love so dearly.

                    8. Tony:
                      “The post-WWII order, the creation of the middle class, is something you guys simply extract from your histories, because it doesn’t fit your absurd narrative that laissez-faire capitalism is the best way to promote human well-being.”

                      Fallacy: projection. Historians track the creation of the middle class back to the French and American revolutions. Indeed, during the 1800’s, the middle class was already identified. Yet, here you are, engaging in revisionist history, pretending that post WW2 created a middle class, and then you accuse us of ignoring history.

                      Why don’t you stop pretending that everything became awesome only around 1950 or so?

                  2. “You take my mentions of billionaires as if it were an affront to you”

                    Most people believe it’s wrong to steal people’s property–regardless of how poor or rich that person is. Having elected officials (assisted by armed thugs) doing the stealing doesn’t make it right. And the fact that it’s happening to someone else and not me doesn’t make it ok either.

                  3. So, it’s more moral to be envious of the better off than to make a principled stand that ends up defending the better off. That’s what you’re saying.

                    1. He’s saying that regardless of the overall increase in wealth from bottom to top. It’s the relative wealth that we should be worried about.

                      So focus on that, and not on government interference in markets that makes everything more expensive for everybody.

                  4. Well, I was born in Korea during the 80’s, when military dictators were still running the place. We came here in the early 90’s and haven’t regretted that decision. And my impression of this country isn’t “GEE we need more central planning”

                    You were born with silver spoon in your mouth compared to a lot of people, but you would deride those who defend economic liberty because they never experienced it in their motherland.

                    Taxing the rich does not jump start the economy. American companies make a killing abroad and they either outsource or stack money foreign accounts to evade US corporate taxes (universally acknowledged as insanely high). How does that help the average American?

                    But taxing the rich shrunk the deficit, you say? Thanks in part to sequestration cuts, and the CBO says without cutting entitlement spending, deficits will shoot within the next decade.

                  5. Why does anyone talk to Tony? He is clearly a neurotic, and he is likely living in the cellar of his dead-yet-unburied parents, re-reading their library of Thorstein Veblen with the Three Stooges playing in the background.

                    Only now and then does he poke his head out to declaim against a world that knows him not; a world replaced by long threads of fantasy where logic is “long-discredited hokum.”

                    He is a low-rent ghost in a haunted project.

              4. Yet you will vote for it. #feeltheBern

              5. Thanks to capitalism!

              6. Tony, my 50th Law fits you perfectly… as do many of the others…
                Enjoy….

                http://www.plusaf.com/falklaws.htm#50th

        6. Well, the “billion starving people” is the fault of their local governance. If they lived in a free market society with representative government they wouldn’t be starving – unless by choice, of course.

          That seems far more additive than you and your “let’s just confiscate a little more” schemes.

          1. Exactly. Show me a bunch of starving people, and I’ll show you a local government that prevents those starving people from creating wealth through free enterprise and trade.

            1. As far as I am aware the only people starving in the world are being deliberately starved in a calculated way by government.

              The argument Tony is putting forward is the usual politics of envy drivel. If you appeal to the worst parts of human nature you will necessarily attract the worst kinds of people.

              1. Show me rampant poverty and I’ll show you reams and reams of government regulations that prevent people from bettering themselves. Something most people don’t understand is that Third World nations have very highly regulated economies.

                1. and regulations that enrich others.

        7. Says the adherent aspiring to a murderous ideology responsible for tens of millions of deaths and incalculable immiseration.

          I can play burn down the strawman too.

          1. That doesn’t look like a straw man to me.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor – compliments of socialists

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cwjbcm1h18 – compliments of socialists

            http://www.businessinsider.com…..rse-2015-8 – compliments of socialists

            I can do this all day, but I won’t.

            The evidence is all around us and history is replete with it. There is no excuse for being an advocate of socialism.

        8. The creation of wealth lifts more people out of poverty than the redistribution of it.

          1. Citation needed.

            1. [all of industrial society], you gormless mook.

              1. you get a vocabulary gold star for “gormless”. It is underused – which only tends to enhance its punch and vitality.

            2. Citation needed.

              Here you go

              He uses lots of big words, so make sure you have a dictionary handy!

              1. The study of economics, while nowhere near scientifically perfect, has quite moved on since the moralistic ramblings of Mises. I, obviously, take care to understand the arguments offered by your preferred philosophers. Do you know the first thing about Keynes or his successors? Do you even think you need to know?

                1. The study of economics, while nowhere near scientifically perfect, has quite moved on since the moralistic ramblings of Mises.

                  No, Tony. It has gone backwards. All Keynes and his followers have done is revive the economic fallacies that Adam Smith and other great thinkers sought to dispel.

                2. You mean the economist who completely misunderstood Say’s law, based his theory of unemployment rates on a the the mistaken belief that absolute productivity is the same as marginal productivity, and according to whose theories the 1970’s staglfation was a complete impossibility?

                  Yeah, Tony, I am familiar with Keynes. Sadly, it seems you are not.

                3. You haven’t the first understanding of economics. Read something that doesn’t merely serve to confirm your own absurd observations.

                4. Tony dont even fucking pretend that you understand econ. Most economists agree with things that conflict your leftist worldview. Eg: Free trade is good, Rent control is bad, the effects of the minimum wage are mixed but it is an overall bad policy of alleviating poverty, the welfare state should be reformed along the lines of a negative income tax (Credz uncle Milty), Nationalization of industries is bad, licensing and other forms of regulation hurt consumers and competitors at the expense of monopolies ec.
                  Tony you are not a fucking intellectual you are an idiot

                5. Most KEYNESIANS would disagree with your policy perscriptions twerp

            3. Show me a wealthy person who you want to rob and murder, and I’ll show you someone who has enriched society by providing goods, services and jobs to people. The Walden family is a great example of this. They are true American heroes who have enriched the lives of millions of people by creating jobs and providing low priced goods and services to the masses. If you were capable of rational thought you could understand this, but being an emotional twit I know you cannot.

              1. What is your point? The Waltons created enterprise, therefore turn your brain off and let that enterprise carry on in whatever way it chooses, because it is the ultimate good? You’re not saying anything. What if it turns out that Wal-Mart entering town actually causes a net reduction in employment? Is that an unalloyed good? It is efficiency, for sure. Is it a reason not to consider anything else?

                1. The Waltons created enterprise, therefore turn your brain off and let that enterprise carry on in whatever way it chooses, because it is the ultimate good?

                  Another strawman, and bordering on a red herring

                2. I knew you wouldn’t be able to understand.

                3. What if it turns out that Wal-Mart entering town actually causes a net reduction in employment?

                  What if the automobile puts buggy-whip makers out of business? If you were in charge a hundred years ago you would have banned cars to keep buggy-whip makers employed.

                4. “What if it turns out that Wal-Mart entering town actually causes a net reduction in employment?”

                  What if it turns out that forced unionization of industries causes a net reduction in employment?

                5. Tony:
                  “What is your point? The Waltons created enterprise, therefore turn your brain off and let that enterprise carry on in whatever way it chooses, because it is the ultimate good? You’re not saying anything. What if it turns out that Wal-Mart entering town actually causes a net reduction in employment? Is that an unalloyed good? It is efficiency, for sure. Is it a reason not to consider anything else?”

                  Now you sound like Napolitano.

                  Is everything you think now going to be true and right and good because “What about X? What about Y? What if the sky falls? What if dogs kill people? What if cats lose their hair? What if everyone decides to discriminate against people with red hair? Or ass-less chaps? What then?”

                  Gee, I don’t know, Tony. Therefore, everything you think is awesome.

                  How intellectual.

                6. Tony, re: “What if it turns out that Wal-Mart entering town actually causes a net reduction in employment? Is that an unalloyed good? It is efficiency, for sure. Is it a reason not to consider anything else?”…

                  AGAIN… http://www.plusaf.com/_troll-p…..rstand.bmp

            4. “Tony|9.11.15 @ 12:52PM|#

              Citation needed.”

              Is there any doubt now that this thing isn’t real? C’mon guys. This asshole is the 20th hijacker. Don’t let him.

              1. Is there any doubt now that this thing isn’t real?

                Is everyone who posts at Gawker, Raw Story, Huffpo, Yahoo, NYT, CNN, etc not real?

              2. There is always doubt.

            5. Why? You’ll willfully ignore it as you do most of human history.

          2. I would amend that to say that the creation of wealth lifts people out of poverty whereas the redistribution of it does not.

            * Seriously Tony? You demand a cite to show that the creation of wealth means people will have more wealth?

            Question for you Tony – During the Industrial revolution in the west, and the one going on in the east now, why do people who live on subsistence farms choose to move to cities to take factory jobs?

            1. You tell me how much of a free choice it actually is. And tell me how long we would have had to wait before child labor and sweatshop conditions would be eliminated by sheer market forces instead of having democratic government demand such things.

              1. The market achieves 99% of the gains to humanity, and the political process manages the rest while taking credit for the whole of it.

                1. Giving politics credit for 1% is being far too generous.

                  1. In this case it’s true. And it does so by making paupers of the previously working poor. All those Bangladeshi children working as prostitutes would like to thank Tony for liberating them from those sweatshops!

                2. “The market achieves 99% of the gains to humanity, and the political process manages the rest while taking credit for the whole of it.”

                  And the market achieves its’ impressive gains for humanity in spite of the massive parasite of government and oppressive regulation. And no Tony, no cite. Look it up yourself.

              2. Why do you suppose those children were working in factories to begin with?

                *Hint – It was perfectly ok with everyone because they were previously working their asses off on farms from the time they could walk. It was just how things were. People had as many children as possible for the purpose of providing labor for the family. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution enriched enough people, raised every level of society high enough, that they could start worrying about such things.

                Were it not for the industrial revolution and the wealth created by the so called Robber Barons poverty and child labor would still be a fact of life.

              3. And tell me how long we would have had to wait before child labor and sweatshop conditions would be eliminated by sheer market forces instead of having democratic government demand such things.

                Paul Krugman once wrote an article about sweatshop conditions being a necessary and temporary step in the process of wealth creation. You really should have read it.

                Paul Krugman’s descent into madness is one of the worst consequences of Bush’s election.

                Workers in those shirt and sneaker factories are, inevitably, paid very little and expected to endure terrible working conditions. I say “inevitably” because their employers are not in business for their (or their workers’) health; they pay as little as possible, and that minimum is determined by the other opportunities available to workers. And these are still extremely poor countries, where living on a garbage heap is attractive compared with the alternatives.

                And yet, wherever the new export industries have grown, there has been measurable improvement in the lives of ordinary people. Partly this is because a growing industry must offer a somewhat higher wage than workers could get elsewhere in order to get them to move. More importantly, however, the growth of manufacturing–and of the penumbra of other jobs that the new export sector creates–has a ripple effect throughout the economy.

              4. Most economic historians agree that economic growth not goverment ended bad conditions and child labor, suck on a fat cock

              5. Tony, did you ever read The Jungle?
                The author thought he’d move readers to support his agenda, but instead readers started a movement to clean up the dangers in the meat-packing industry that affected THEM, as CONSUMERS, not the workers!

                That’s a free market reaction to information being supplied. The result isn’t what Sinclair sought and you might be unhappy about that, too… but that’s what the fuck happened.

                Child labor, etc.? You could learn more about economics by reading the Freakonomics series… What happens when child labor laws get shoved down the throats of third-world countries by do-gooders like you in the First World?

                The kids don’t work, so any income they MIGHT have brought in disappears, and Other family members, by Necessity and For Survival, must turn to Other Occupations to earn money for survival… typically prostitution.

                We just LOVE the unintended consequences of the stupid solutions you come up with……… [Not.]

            2. why do people who live on subsistence farms choose to move to cities to take factory jobs?

              Well it couldn’t be because working for a corporation is better than living in abject but romantic poverty on a subsistence farm. I mean, that’s like so romantic and stuff: Being one with Mother Gaia and all. They must be being forced to go work for the corporations. That’s the only possible explanation. I mean, people should be moving back to the farms, not away from them. One of the greatest tragedies in American history has been people moving off the farms. Now all the food is grown by corporations and stuff. That’s terrible. Food should be local. So what if those people who are not growing food are able to create a myriad of goods and services that would not be otherwise possible if they were working on the farms. Corporations, man! Corporations!

        9. Your preferred “solutions” to climate change would keep those billion people starving in abject poverty you misanthropic fuck.

          American progressives are nothing more than sanctimonious jackasses that would sooner see their fellow man beaten and in chains than yield control of something to market forces rather than the state.

          1. And yet he wants to talk down to us.

            Grab a stepladder, Tony.

          2. That’s because Tony is driven by envy and full of hatred for those whom he believes keep him from getting what others have.

            He doesn’t really care about the poor. All he cares about is himself.

            1. “He doesn’t really care about the poor. All he cares about is himself.”

              ^ This. This is why all he *really* ever talks about is confiscating more from the wealthy, and never has any substantive proposals that would actually benefit poor people, because in the end that is secondary.

            2. Tony reminds me of Ivy Starnes from Atlas Shrugged. An incredibly vile person who seems like they care for those less fortunate but in reality wants to control and destroy those who don’t follow their idea on how to live.

              Saying that though, it’s good he’s around here because he uses all the progressive arguments and thus good for batting practice.

              1. An incredibly vile person who seems like they care for those less fortunate but in reality wants to control and destroy those who don’t follow their idea on how to live

                This is the Beating Heart of every progressive, no matter how they dress themselves up.

              2. It’s nice to have our very own useful idiot!

              3. Home run, Ed. Tony is a fuckwit as well.

              4. So, what’s he at now, like a five hundred thirty seven walks?

          3. American “progressives” are the teenagers, living on their parents’ nickel while complaining about how awful their world is.

        10. You have nothing intellectually to offer. Nothing.

          why do you come here to comment. You have zero understanding of economics, statistics, public policy. You have never challenged one of your own biases that I can tell. You don’t seek knowledge you are simply partisan and that has destroyed your ability to reason, if it ever existed.

    2. “We have had decent leadership since 9/11. It’s just that they are members of a party who believe in increasing taxes on billionaires, ergo they are equally as evil as the ones who failed to prevent 9/11 and who responded to it in an unimaginably feckless way.”

      This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read given that Democrats overwhelmingly supported both Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama helped destroy Libya and Syria.

      I award you no points. You’re immensely stupid. May God have mercy on your soul.

    3. S Korea vs N Korea.

    4. You’re a goddamn retard if you actually believe that. Go back to fucking your monkey, you stupid fucksuck.

    5. No one was going to prevent 9 eleven. It had been planned for years by the PNAC and Mossad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8__64mFVes

  2. can’t tell the difference between a Yazidi and and Assyrian, have no convincing explanation for why crime stats are fluctuating this year,

    I may be generally pissed off this morning, I don’t know why… but it seems that when we generally abandoned our more simple, constitutional form of government, government itself– the business of government, the career of government attracted a new kind of animal: the technocrat.

    Europe has always been familiar with this animal, but the U.S. is rapidly becoming a purely technocratic nation. This curious animal believes with all its heart that with the right elite university education, it can in fact tell all of these things and even manage them.

    No matter how horrid the task– or morally wrong– this animal believes that with enough hours in the office, global economies and ethnic disagreements in far-flung places can be properly managed. All working to usher in a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.

    1. So, like… the late 1890’s?

    2. “All working to usher in a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.”

      You mean a deadly, cure-less, rapidly world-spreading pathogen or the like which will kill off the entire human population?

      Interesting.

      1. You know, I was never more freaked out than when I spoke to some of the “Pure Earth” crowd. I was truly startled to realize that these people actually believed that the earth would be a much better place if humans weren’t here. I have never figured out how they managed to mentally place themselves outside nature and this planet’s’ biosphere, but I have noticed similarities recently in groups that are falling all over themselves to have humanity take responsibility for fucking up anything that’s fucked up in the universe.

        Anybody have any ideas what that’s about? Okay, so climate change is a fact, why the rush to assign blame? Just solve the problems. Or the “Humans should solve the problems on Earth before going into space and messing up someplace else!”, folks. What’s up with that? I would think the progressives would want to figure out ways to get as many free thinkers off the planet as possible. Give me a spacecraft, I’ll go.

        /rant off

  3. What would happen in a world where humans, including those in or near power, freely admitted that they don’t know how to stop ISIS, can’t tell the difference between a Yazidi and and Assyrian, have no convincing explanation for why crime stats are fluctuating this year, and don’t know why Billy Beane’s shit doesn’t work in the playoffs?

    Someone would would claim to know how to stop ISIS, would make up explanations for the difference between a Yazidi and and Assyrian, and would come up with a bullshit explanation for why crime stats are fluctuating this year. Because even though it’s bullshit, it’s confidence. People looking for leadership like confidence. Even if it’s pretty obviously bluster, they still like it.

    This is what politicians bank on. It’s how they gain power. It’s why Trump is doing so well. And as long as it works–in that all they have to do is project moronic competence and people will ignore whether they were right about it–it’s going to keep on happening.

    Unfortunately, this is a product of human nature. And trying to change human nature is a dangerous and often horrible fool’s game.

    1. and don’t know why Billy Beane’s shit doesn’t work in the playoffs

      That one is easy. The stats accumulated over a 162 game season are meaningless in the 12 wins necessary to win the World Series.

      1. Your false confidence can’t fool me! I know it’s because he didn’t tap his foot three times before each game! Rituals matter!

    2. ^ This. The very function of politics is to help people feel the world is morally simple and controllable. That’s the whole point.

    3. “… And trying to change human nature is a dangerous and often horrible fool’s game.”

      Thus my imagined solution the MacArthur Center arrived at, above.

    4. People looking for leadership like confidence. Even if it’s pretty obviously bluster, they still like it.

      Hence Trump.

      1. YEAH I SAID THAT YOUR WORSTNESS

      2. I still can’t figure out which is worse, the clownish confidence of Trump, or the intellectual throat-clearing confidence of an unelected bureaucrat tasked with managing an economy for 320,000,000 people (to pick one).

    5. Captain Picard freely admitting to spinning bullshit half the time just for the sake of appearance. If it can work for the man running the Federation’s flagship, it can work for the leader of a piddling little sub-unit of Earth.

    6. “People looking for leadership like confidence. Even if it’s pretty obviously bluster, they still like it.”

      I’ll be so good at the Military, it’ll make your head spin. I used to work on Racecars. How about I come down and start work today

  4. George W. Bush saying “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”…

    This one sentiment has colored the millennium.

    Bush could have united the nation and the world in a war of civilization against barbarism. He didn’t, opting instead for a “for us or against us” foreign policy that named far more enemies than the US actually had.

    We can all see the consequences of that decision.

    1. Because he wanted to be remembered as a great “war time” president. It’s a fitting reminder that people who aspire to high office almost always do so thinking about themselves and their own personal legacy.

      Narcissism and vanity is a requirement for the presidency. And to think Americans once admired Cincinnatus and Cato.

      1. Because he wanted to be remembered as a great “war time” president.

        Maybe he actually thinks that way, and not some sort of eye on “legacy” or such. He seemed fairly black and white in his friend-enemy determination.

      2. I took Latin in high school and the progressive whore teacher never taught me about Cato or Cincinnatus. Thank you for lurnin’ meh.

      3. Remember a great being once said “wars not make one great”

        Judging by your name here, I bet you know who I’m talking about lol

    2. ” that named far more enemies than the US actually had.”

      No it didn’t it did the opposite. He still worked with Gulf and Pakistani ‘allies’ that are anything but.

      Bush’s mortal foreign policy sin was declaring war against a TACTIC, which is asinine. America’s war is with state sponsors of Islamic terrorism, not terrorism itself. Duh.

  5. Great Man-theory novices

    I don’t know if that is a nice band name.

  6. You do realize that the adherents of radical Islam think that they are in a war of civilization against barbarism too, right?

    We don’t need to whole world, consisting of people with very different ideas as to what is civilized and what is savagery making war on each other.

    The U.S. would have been better off following its own foreign policy rather than doing what the Saudis wanted of it.

  7. Years later, there are still some interesting stories to be told.
    The first victim of 9/11

    1. Having served as an officer in Sayeret Matkal, the Israel Defense Forces’ top unit, he moved to tackle the terrorists. The man in 10B, Satam al-Suqami, moved, too, producing a knife and slitting Lewin’s throat. Less than 30 minutes later, at 8:46 a.m., the plane crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

      Too bad we’ll never have details of how this happened. A box cutter is hardly an ideal weapon, and this guy was surely a better hand-to-hand fighter than the terrorist pukes. I would imagine that it took several of them to take him down. Too bad the other passengers didn’t join in, if that’s what happened.

      1. It sounds like he got taken from behind. He saw 2 hijackers, and didn’t realize that there were 4.

        1. Taken from behind? You mean like your mom?

          1. She said she tried to go face to face, but you were too cross-eyed.

            1. Well, we were in the process of spitroasting her…

              1. The ol’ Wobbly H, eh?

  8. F16 Pilot given a kamikaze mission on 9/11

    It this one is tl;dr for you,
    The first F16 scrambled after Flight 93 was unarmed and was expected to collide with the flight to bring it down.

    1. The German resorted to this tactic as well, though they planned on the pilot being able to bailout after using his plane to judiciously disable a US bomber.

      1. British too. They’d flip the wings on the german rockets over unpopulated areas. But it was light contact, and the planes were undamaged.

        1. Missiles, not rockets. The German V-1 were powered by pulse jets and more resembled a cruise missile than a rocket. The wing-flipping thing is one of the reasons the Germans were working on the V-2 which was both a proper rocket and a ballistic missile.

          1. So you’re not just a pedant about grammar, eh?

            1. Whoops, forgot the smiley face. Or did I?

            2. Dare I ask – magazine or clip?

  9. Thought for the day.

    Men think they think upon great political questions, and they do; but they think with their party, not independently; they read its literature, but not that of the other side; they arrive at convictions, but they are drawn from a partial view of the matter in hand and are of no particular value. They swarm with their party, they feel with their party, they are happy in their party’s approval; and where the party leads they will follow, whether for right and honor, or through blood and dirt and a mush of mutilated morals.

    1. *Except Tony, who demonstrably engages with opposing viewpoints to a probably unnecessary degree.

      1. Think on this for a moment: you engage with opposing viewpoints in exactly the same manner as Donald Trump.

        1. very apt description.

      2. Oh, look. Someone forgot to change their handle back when making fun of their own sockpuppet.

        Just retire this “Tony” shit, whoever you are. It was never funny and it has been actively boring for years now.

        1. Nice catch.

          IS THAT YOU WAFFLES?

        2. People do sometimes refer to themselves in the third person. I remain agnostic on the Tony question.

          1. Actually, I find the combination of self-praise with a total lack of self-awareness regarding the irony inherent in the statement to be pretty strong and very characteristic Tony vintage.

            I’ve never been convinced by the multiple-people-using-a-sock-puppet argument.

    2. Humans are pack animals? No way!

  10. There is really no reason to believe the ME would be better off if Sadaam were still around and a lot of reason to believe it would be worse off. The Syrian revolution would have happened and Sadaam probably would have supported its worst, especially Sunni radicals which Sadaam DID support towards the end of his time in power, contra myths of his total secularism (Syria and Iraq were bitter enemies). Instead of joining ISIS, the jihadist scum of the earth that Assad released from prison and that came from all over the world would have joined Nusra or some other evil outfit, which means that outfit would be unified and not beset with the Nusra-Nusra associated vs ISIS infighting that is one of the few saving graces of what’s going on in Syria. Oh, and the Kurds are much weaker, so good luck counting on them to stem the Islamist advance in this alternate shitty reality.

    Iraq never acted as an effective anti-Iran balancer after 1990. Hell, Sadaam lost the Iraq-Iran war with American support! Loser!

    Thank God America invaded Iraq and finished the job it shouldn’t have started and definitely shouldn’t have left unfinished in 1990. God damn Bush for turning a quick and decisive victory into 4 years of hell with his doomed nation-building project. Should have just left. Jonas gets it right as usual.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/f…..pider-hole

    1. All that what-if stuff is easy to say, but you actually have no idea how things would have turned out in that universe/timeline/whatever.

      1. The same is just as true for those claiming that ISIS is a consequence of the liberation of Iraq. I was just speculating. Stronger statements should be made very cautiously.

        I think my speculation about the Kurds being weaker is pretty likely though.

        1. It seems like the formation of ISIS is at least partially our fault. That’s the most I’ll say about it. The ME is a very complicated region, with age-old conflicts still going on today. It’s not a simple matter of good vs evil, or what have you.

  11. Some hard to swallow 9/11 facts:

    1] 9/11 was an inside job, carried out to further the needs of the Pentagon and associated , orchestrated by the MSM via 100% fake, “live from Manhattan” broadcasts.

    2] _Nothing_ we saw on TV that morning was genuine live footage.

    The supposed live imagery from the 5 networks that morning was faked [i.e prefabricated on computers], including the 2nd plane hit [Fl.175] , and the tower collapse imagery [WTC 2, then WTC1, then WTC7], [N.B. the entire WTC complex was conventionally demolished via explosives, _off_ camera.]

    See: “The Central Role of the News Media on 9/11”: http://septemberclues.info/

    3] Most, possibly all of the alleged 3,000 odd victims of 9/11, never existed in the real world, and were digitally created fake persons with fake bios and fake tributes at the on line memorials.

    See:”Why are 3,000 victims of 9/11 missing from Social Security death list?”

    http://www.dailyrepublic.com/u…..eath-list/

    Regards, onebornfree
    onebornfreedotblogspotdotcom

    1. I don’t understand. Where does the Illuminati fit in? And the Stonecutters?

        1. Looks like he has two satisfied and somewhat attractive clients.

        2. HOLY SHIT WE HAVE A TRUTHER PIRATE????

          1. Man, today rules.

            1. YARRRRR JET FUEL CAN’T MELT STEEL BEAMS SHIVER ME TIMBERS

              1. YARRR JET FUEL CAN’T SHIVER STEEL TIMBERS. THAR BE EXPLOSIVES SECRETLY PLACED ON THE STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS, YARR.

                1. YARRRR WHAT ABOUT THE ISRAELI CITIZENS WHO DIDN’T GO TO WORK IN THE TOWERS THAT DAY MATEY YARRRR

                  1. YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF C4

                  2. Farewell and adieu to you nine-eleven ladies,
                    Farewell and adieu all you towers of trade;
                    For we’ve received orders to bomb you for Isreal;
                    And perhaps we shall never more see you again.

                    1. We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true cyberspace derpers,
                      We’ll rant and we’ll roar across the wide Net,
                      Until we’ve filled up the web with prime calumny,
                      And moved the truth southward by fifty leagues yet!

            2. Man, today rules.

              It isn’t even Talk Like a Pirate Day!

              1. TIME TO WALK THE STRUCTURALLY SOUND STEEL BEAM MATEY

                1. YARR, I BE READY TO SAIL THE BOUNDING MAIN, BUT THAR BE CHEMTRAILS

                  1. YARR, I BE READY TO SAIL THE BOUNDING MAIN, BUT THAR BE CHEMTRAILS

                    LOLOL

                  2. YARRRR X MARKS THE CAREFULLY PLACED DEMOLITION EXPLOSIVES

                    1. SIXTEEN MEN ON A FAKE DEAD MAN’S BIO/TRIBUTE SITE

                    2. The cabin boy,
                      The cabin boy,
                      The dirty little nipper!
                      He lined his ass,
                      With broken glass,
                      And circumcised the skipper!

                    3. In days of old,
                      When knights were bold,
                      And toilets weren’t invented,
                      We stopped by the road,
                      And dropped our load,
                      And walked away contented!
                      Aye, matey, we did!!! Argh!!!

                    4. In days of old,
                      When knights were bold,
                      And rubbers weren’t invented,
                      We tied a sock,
                      Around our cock,
                      And babies were prevented!
                      Aye, matey, we did!!! Argh!!!

                    5. Higgins, Higgins,
                      My Gawd, he had a big-un,
                      Twice ’round his neck,
                      An’ twice ’round the deck,
                      An’ the rest was used fer rigging’s!!!

            3. Goddamn. All of that and not a word about the lizard people. We even have one who comments here and you fuckers are still clueless.

              1. Suthenboy… Shhh…

                Keep that one on the hush-hush, willya, please?

                The Lizard People are on their way as we speak… Harry Turtledove told me all about it…

                But fer Chrissakes, please DON’T tell ANYONE!!! (Libertarians don’t count; tell ALL of them is actually GOOD, they can HELP us keep the secret, see?)

                1. Lizard Man, please listen…
                  You don’t know, what you’re missin’
                  Sitting in your Lizard Land,
                  Playing with your Lizard Gland!
                  You lizards, ain’t got no tits,
                  An’ man, that’s really shits!

          2. See???? Mental illness IS funny!

        3. Whoa! He’s a pirate!

        4. That’s impressive

        5. You’re right. I did owe that to myself.

        6. There *is no blog*. there’s one post that has a bunch of links to itself.

          Which i suppose is fitting.

          1. DON’T YOU SEE WHERE THE TANGLED WEB LEADS?!?

            1. To some pirate-lookin’ motherfucker’s shitty Blogspot page?

              Hitler?

    2. Some people have minds that are so open that their brains have fallen out of their heads.

      1. To me, an ex steel industry guy, the jet fuel can’t melt steel beams thing is the most infuriating. It’s like former chief inspector Dreyfus tormenting the unfortunate Miss Fastbender in the school room.

        The fire didn’t have to melt the beams! The temperature only had to get high enough that the beams started to plastically deform under the normal load they supported. Then progressive failure (the engineering kind, not the political kind) did the rest.

        1. (the engineering kind, not the political kind)

          Is there really much of a difference?

          1. The engineering kind is not guaranteed to kill you, unlike the political kind.

        2. That’s why the terrorists crashed the planes where they did. They hoped the combination of burning jet fuel weakening the steel beams plus the weight of all the floors above would bring both towers down. Unfortunately, they were right.

        3. The fire didn’t have to melt the beams!

          If the beams had been properly wrapped in asbestos the fire wouldn’t have damaged the beams nearly as quickly. You know who was most responsible for making sure the beams were not wrapped in asbestos? Dr. Irving J. Selikoff, director of the environmental sciences laboratory at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine was the cancer researcher who pushed the asbestos/cancer link. Those wily Jews play the long game, don’t they?

          1. Serious question:

            Was there no asbestos? I’m in construction and I would be positively shocked to find a building built in that era that didn’t have asbestos in nearly every inch of it.

            I once heard an engineer speculate that if the building were sprinkled, it would not have come down, but I’d never heard anything about there being no asbestos.

            1. The asbestos use was halted during construction.

              1. Interesting – I did not know that. I wonder how many other buildings are in the code gap between “no asbestos” and “yes fire sprinklers.”

                1. They had some other spray on fire protectant. But yeah, that was around the time that asbestos became evil.

                  1. I assume probably the same stuff we still spray on the steel, which is effective, but it’s no asbestos. Asbestos stuck around for years after it was banned as supplies dried up – the WTC project was probably so high profile they decided to make an example of it. Best laid plans and all . . .

                    1. Another case of “killed by the health and safety Nazis”.

                      Killed by Islamofascists, yes, absolutely!

                      But also, yes, that asbestos thing…

                      “Killed by the health and safety Nazis”, I say again!

                      DAMN those self-righteous Nazis to Sieg HELL!!!!!

        4. “Then progressive failure (the engineering kind, not the political kind) did the rest.”

          How do you account for bldg 7 collapsing at free fall speed? You accept the official version of progressive collapse so I assume you reject the free fall collapse, unless you’ve found a way to reconcile the two.

          1. OOOOO LOOKIE!!! We got another one!

            1. Oh wow…another reason to laugh at mtrueman’s posts!

          2. “How do you account for bldg 7 collapsing at free fall speed?’

            Gravity, and not being retarded

            1. “Gravity, and not being retarded”

              So you accept the free fall and reject the progressive collapse. Fine. There’s nothing terribly interesting about such a position. I was curious to see whether or not tarran held two contradictory ideas in his head simultaneously, and defend them here. Apparently not.

              1. I accept that that Jews did it. Don’t you?

                1. “I accept that that Jews did it.”

                  Produce your evidence if you have any. If it’s not too tedious, I’ll have a look.

                  1. Duh. Jews control gravity.

              2. A progressive failure in the vertical steel low down on a tall structure means that the beams warp out of plumb to the point at which they can no longer bear the sheer load of the upper stories, causing them to fail and gravity to take over.

                Gravity + no support = free fall.

                A failure that progresses from a proximate cause does not necessarily mean a slow-motion crumbling – it can appear quite instantaneous at the moment of failure.

                1. ” it can appear quite instantaneous at the moment of failure.”

                  Interesting. Bkdg 7 only APPEARED to collapse at free fall speed. You score points for originality if nothing else.

                  1. It’s amazing how stupid people look when they’re trying to prove they’re smart.

                  2. No, moron. It *did* fall at free fall speed. Hence the appearance of falling at free fall speed. Perception vs. reality can be weird that way.

                    If you actually read what I wrote you would realize that what I pointed out was that even in a progressive failure of a building element there is still an actual *moment* of failure.

                    When that moment is the failure of a steel column to continue supporting an enormous weight above it, gravity kicks in. The column fails all in one fell swoop.

                    The softening and warping that got it there was progressive, but when the structural element fails, there is no structural support and the building goes into free fall.

                    I just really can’t make this any more simple for you.

                    1. “I just really can’t make this any more simple for you.”

                      I appreciate your effort. I commented here because I found tarran’s statement suspect:

                      “Then progressive failure (the engineering kind, not the political kind) did the rest.”

                      Do you agree with this or not?

                      Suthenboy stated:

                      ” fire was going to cause the tower to pancake to the ground”

                      Do you agree with this or not?

                      If I understand you correctly, the building was undergoing a progressive collapse as a beam weakened and when the moment of failure was reached, the building shifted from progressive to instantaneous collapse. Is that anywhere near to what you want to say?

                    2. Yes and yes.

                      “If I understand you correctly, the building was undergoing a progressive collapse as a beam weakened and when the moment of failure was reached, the building shifted from progressive to instantaneous collapse.”

                      You’re kind of-sort of starting to get it.

                      What causes the building structure as a whole to collapse in a tower like that is a failure of the structural *columns* not the *beams*. You need to read Playa’s link more closely.

                      There was a progressive failure going on within the building by which beams were expanding and straining their connections to failure. This is not the kind of thing you see from outside the building. This was going for hours.

                      At some *point* the stress being placed on the structural *columns* (vertical members) caused those columns to fail. That is part of the “progressive failure,” but one that results in the instantaneous collapse of the building structure into free fall.

                      How is it that *you* believe the building came down and how does your structural failure scenario materially differ from mine?

                    3. No theories? I thought you were here to rile us all up with your uncomfortable questions that we can’t answer?

                      I’m going to go walk the 9-story steel-framed building I’m building right now to check up on job progress. I’ll be back in about 30-40 minutes. I expect a coherent response by then, or I’ll just have to dismiss you as an ignorant troll.

                    4. “How is it that *you* believe the building came down and how does your structural failure scenario materially differ from mine?”

                      It seems the big difference is that I believe a structure falling through fire weakened steel will collapse at a speed less than free fall.

                    5. “It seems the big difference is that I believe a structure falling through fire weakened steel will collapse at a speed less than free fall.”

                      Yes. You’ve said that. And several people have explained to you, quite coherently, why your belief is erroneous.

                      Again, how is it that *you* believe the building came down? Please offer a specific counter theory that accounts for all the same facts, or else just stop, because you have nothing to contribute here.

                    6. “And several people have explained to you, quite coherently, why your belief is erroneous.”

                      Please don’t be afraid to name names, give credit where it’s due. Tell me the name and time of these coherent explanations and I’ll promise to read them over again.

                      What I personally believe is irrelevant. A progressive collapse is one where a localized cause spreads outwards over time. Cause and effect, before and after. It takes time whereas an instantaneous collapse doesn’t. It’s one or the other. Exclusive or is how a logician would characterize it. If you feel that engineers have anything to add to that, I’m willing to read whatever you feel up to contributing.

                  3. Read this.
                    Do you understand now?

                    Or are you going to hang on to your fantasy that you’re smarter than people who actually know what they’re talking about?

                    1. .gov

                      YARRRRR I BET YOU THINK OSWALD ACTED ALONE MATEY

                    2. “Do you understand now?”

                      Yes, I think so. A building cannot progressively collapse at free fall speed. Agree, disagree or something else? What point are you trying to make here?

                    3. “Yes, I think so. A building cannot progressively collapse at free fall speed”

                      Pro tip:

                      When you talk about things that you don’t know anything about, you reveal your ignorance in the way you phrase the questions.

                    4. “When you talk about things that you don’t know anything about, you reveal your ignorance in the way you phrase the questions.”

                      So I reveal my ignorance. That’s a risk I’m willing to run.

                    5. “So I reveal my ignorance. That’s a risk I’m willing to run.”

                      Well – mission accomplished!

                      If you admit that you don’t really know much about physics/engineering, why are you so resistant to actually paying attention to what people who actually *do* know about these things are saying about them?

                    6. “If you admit that you don’t really know much about physics/engineering”

                      Don’t know much about medicine either but I got a lot of patience.

            2. So wait a minute. Are you saying gravity is lessened around the retarded? Can we build a space drive with this information?

          3. Holy shit! You just tried to sneak more retard into the thread after everyone was gone.

            Hey everyone! Get back in here! We got a live one!

          4. I look forward to a sound and logical synopsis on your Mexican Blogspot page.

          5. AHOY MATEY THERE BE HOLES IN THE OFFICIAL STORY YARRRR

            1. “THERE BE HOLES”

              Worse than that. There is evidence that the official story is impossible. A building cannot progressively collapse at free fall speed.

              1. YARRRR JET FUEL CAN’T MELT STEEL BEAMS MATEY

                1. A building cannot progressively collapse at free fall speed.

                  1. YARRR MATEY IF I SAYS IT IT BE TRUE ARRRRR

                2. He’s a certified scientician.

                  1. YARRR I DONE EXPERIMENTS WITH CHICKEN WIRE ARRRR

                    I love how these fucking pukes with no knowledge about engineering, or materials science, or anything, make up pronouncements and expect them to be treated as the null hypothesis.

                    1. “I love how these fucking pukes with no knowledge about engineering”

                      You need some knowledge of physics to appreciate the contradiction. GILMORE was correct. It’s about gravity.

                    2. “You need some knowledge of physics to appreciate the contradiction.”

                      Indeed. Like fucking engineers have any understanding of physics. They talk like the two fields are related, or something.

                      Retards.

                    3. “Like fucking engineers have any understanding of physics.”

                      You’ve missed the point, as did the person who responded to me. An understanding of physics doesn’t require knowledge of engineering.

                    4. “An understanding of physics doesn’t require knowledge of engineering.”

                      But an understanding of engineering *does* require knowledge of physics. Your grasp of physics, on the other hand, seems fairly “conceptual.”

                    5. Your grasp of physics, on the other hand, seems fairly “conceptual.”

                      So? I shouldn’t ask uncomfortable questions? Is that really your point or is there something else you are trying to say?

                    6. What is the “uncomfortable question” you feel yourself to be asking?

                    7. “What is the “uncomfortable question” you feel yourself to be asking?”

                      Something to do with these collapsing buildings and their rate of collapse, and variations on that theme. You might want to review what I’ve posted here and the non-responses of my interlocutors.

              2. Your video evidence is magic.

                1. “Your video evidence is magic.”

                  What does YOUR (presumably non-magical) video evidence tell you? I thought I’d already persuaded you. Gravity is the key. You said so yourself. The source of the fires and the composition of the building is not relevant.

                  1. Don’t you get it? The moon landing was at free fall speed!

                  2. ” thought I’d already persuaded you’

                    You have. That you are utterly, hopelessly retarded.

                    Everything beyond this demonstrated fact… is merely lulz.

                  3. “I thought I’d already persuaded you.”

                    lol wut?

                    1. “lol wut?”

                      At one point he had it. It comes down to gravity. Now he’s back-tracking. The answer lies in his videos, apparently. Or something.

                    2. “At one point he had it.”

                      No, because you obviously violated the “Not Being Retarded” requirement by pretending you had a point to begin with.

          6. Good fuckin’ grief.

            I watched as it happened on television. I had already told my wife that the fire was going to cause the tower to pancake to the ground before the newscasters began speculating about it, mostly confidently proclaiming it would not.

            It collapsed in exactly the fashion I expected it would.

            1. “It collapsed in exactly the fashion I expected it would.”

              Fine, Do you accept or reject that bldg 7 collapsed at free fall speed or not?

              1. I reject your premise that you are Not a moron.

            2. Careful, Suthenboy! He’s dual-casting Level 2 Undefined Term and Question Begging spells at you!

              1. Shiver me timbers

    3. LOOK, LOOK! An actual, real-life crazy person!

    4. JET FUEL CAN’T MELT STEEL BEAMS!!!11!!one! JOO ZIONISTS PUT BOMBS IN WTC7. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

    5. My 4 friends who died on 9/11 never existed. Got it.

      1. ‘Fraid not. Sorry you had to learn about it in a thread so thoroughly shat up by Tony.

      2. YARRR YOU’RE ONE OF THEM, MATEY

    6. I didn’t think anyone was going to say something dumber than Tony’s argument that Democrats are anti-war, but someone just managed it.

      1. Did he say that?

        Wow.

      2. It’s pretty sad how politics makes one stupid.

        1. Don’t tell him that his poster girl said she’s gonna make our FP more “muscular” when (if) she gets elected presidente

  12. September is generally a beautiful time in Iowa. So I used to take a lot of vacation time in the middle of the month. I as working in the garage when my wife called my cell phone from work. “Turn on the TV!” “What?” “TURN ON THE TV!”

    I watched the second tower come down. And my first thought was “This is how America ends.”

    1. I slept through both of the planes hitting the towers, woke up saw the news, was very angry, then I went to class for some reason. I learned nothing about circuits because I was so angry, and at the end of it, some mud person gloated about the bombings and said this is why you don’t fuck with Arabs. I didn’t beat him up for some reason. I wore my steel-toed boots the next time I went to class, but I never saw him again. Alas.

      My only real memories of the next few days are of a blur of fury. I saw Tool on 9/15, and Maynard started to say something about how we need peace and love, and the crowd responded with a thunderous USA USA USA chant. I was kind of pleased, but kind of mortified.

    2. I was in study hall when the principal made an announcement about it. Two girls behind me were in the middle of hushed gossiping, begrudgingly paused for the announcement, then instantly resumed the gossip with annoyed sighs the second he was done speaking.

      1. ’83 and you were in High School?

        1. She would have been a senior then. The math checks out.

          1. It does if she’s a little slow…

            1. Or born in the last 3 months of 1983.

              1. Geez. I’m just busting her balls.

            2. Yeah, or born late in the year in a place where school grade isn’t determined by calendar year.

            3. “It does if she’s a little slow…”

              I prefer “thoughtful”

              1. “I spent two years in 9th grade, just to see how this whole ‘high school’ thing was gonna shake out.”

        2. ’86 and I was a freshman!

          I am also slow.

    3. I woke up, checked the news, and saw all kinds of confused reports. Walked to class and bumped into a friend of mine who had interned at the Pentagon the previous summer. She was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, sobbing.

    4. I was in college and saw it unfold on TV.

      My little brother was on his way home from visiting my older brother in Boston that day. He was a was ticketed passenger on United Flight 175. I spent the entire day on the phone with United, and didn’t learn until 10PM that he was hungover and missed the flight.

        1. Fuck yeah it does! Take that, mom!

  13. This will sound cold but we need to stop wallowing in this shit. Bury it and move on.

    1. ‘we’, you keep using that word.

      1. Pedants hardest hit.

    2. YARRRR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN MATEY

      1. LIKE ME TIME ON THE GOOD SHIP BILDERBERG!

        1. RUM, SODOMY, AND THE JEWS

          1. ‘TIS ALL FECULENT PEGBOYS AND JEWY OMENS, ME LADS! SAIL ON! SAIL ON THROUGH THE PROPAGANDA FOGS!

          2. YARRRR DEAD MEN WATCH NO ALEX JONES

            1. SHIVER ME TIMBERS! THERE’S FLUORIDE IN ME RUM!

    3. That’s not going to happen so long as some government apparatchik or politician can wring any amount of goodwill out of it by exploiting memories of the dead.

      1. I want the wallowing to stop so that stops.

        1. Good luck with that

      2. I also think it is unhealthy and an unhealthy sign to be constantly marinating in this kind of…stuff. Like grief fetishism or something.

        1. When you come to the realization that your own government and ISrael pulled off the false flag 9 eleven event, YOU BECOME ENRAGED! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8__64mFVes

    4. But what will you use as an excuse to bomb people?

      1. Nothing but total victory.

    5. Who wallows in it? It is the anniversary today, and otherwise I rarely hear about it. It’s used for jokes the other 364 days of the day.

  14. We have Tony and a truther. It’s a huge bowl of stupidity today.

  15. Crazy naive me- I just said, “Wow- attacks like this can’t really be sustainable. Somebody’s gonna get an ass-whoopin’.”

    Little did I suspect so many duly elected representatives of the United States would so willingly take up the terrorists’ flag and gladly carry out the wanton destruction of our freedoms.

  16. “….don’t know why Billy Beane’s shit doesn’t work in the playoffs? ”

    Random variation and small sample sizes.

    Yes, I will not admit that I don’t know the reason for this one.

    1. “Local media reports suggested that the accident occurred due to heavy rains the Kingdom.”

      What makes for ‘heavy rain’ in Saudi Arabia? Droplets?

  17. Pay no heed to the thousands dead and billions wasted, men.
    Press on!

    1. Make that $ TRILLIONS wasted and MILLIONS dead over oil and poppy control.

  18. sarcasmic|9.11.15 @ 12:51PM|#

    The creation of wealth lifts more people out of poverty than the redistribution of it.

    Tony|9.11.15 @ 12:52PM|#

    Citation needed.

    you misspelled cake Tony

    1. He’s gone. Sugarfree outed him when he forgot to switch handles.

      1. ID the sock he is/was using?

        1. The call is coming from inside the building!

          We don’t know who’s running the sock, but mistakes were made.

  19. Tony is an economic illiterate, while most ecnomists are not libertarian they disagree with tony’s bullshit

  20. What refugee crisis? People are just asserting their right to freedom of movement.

    1. Stay on-topic. YARRRR MOSSAD BOMBED THE TOWERS MATEY ARRRRRR

    2. I like your ability to stay focused and on topic.

    3. Damn right. The only crisis is that too many countries aren’t opening their borders up.

  21. Thanks a lot, Welch. See what you’ve done?

    1. You knew it was going to happen. It’s 9/11 day.

      1. I had no idea Tony would out himself as a sock, or that The Warty One would go all pirate all buggery all the time.

        I’m standing with my back against the wall for the rest of the day.

        1. Are you sure Tony wasn’t just being sardonic?

          1. Sardonic? Possible, but not probable, IMO.

            Occam’s razor.

            1. …Tulpa?

              1. I honestly have no idea who that poster really is. I only read his drivel while I’m waiting for water to boil or bread to rise.

        2. “The Warty One would go all pirate all buggery all the time.”

          I just hope there aren’t any pirate truther yokels, then we’ll never see the end of all caps

          1. YARRRR WHYCOME THERE BE NO SMOOTH MEXICAN CABIN BOYS ARRRR

            1. YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF ASS SEX

            2. What’s a pirate truther yokel’s favorite letter?

              “ARRR?”

              Yarr, You’d think it be R, but it actually be “The C”. C being the first letter of cuckservative and also the first letter of Jeb’s wife’s name. Illuminati confirmed, matey!!!

          2. *whispers* don’t give him any ideas

  22. It’s like 9/11 times a billion.

    1. How many Adam Lanzas is that?

  23. A lot.

  24. Jeez, Matt, what an expert – and dishonest – rewrite of history.

    Can’t wait to see your take on WWII.

    And the Civil War should be your ultimate triumph.

  25. The antisemitism and hatred of Israel of the Libertarians on this board is not changed by 9/11 (the joos fault?) nor John Mohammed paralyzing a Libertarian leader. You Rhomites will never learn about the barbarous behavior of Islam because it is just too much fun bashing the Jews or denying the holocaust to be concerned about your families or your survival. Even if you’re too antisemitic to stop calling for a second holocaust with the six million Jews of Israel, your fervent feelings against the joos will not win you any points with the Muslims and will not save you.

    “There’s no need to fear. Undezog is here.”

    1. Idiot

    2. I’ve never heard a libertarian say they hate Israel.

      That’s like saying you’re racist because you disagree with some of Obama’s policies.

    3. You can’t even spell you own name, moron. Watch this and wake the phuque up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8__64mFVes

  26. Shut up, Matt. Shut the f*** up.

  27. I remember 9/11, I was in the military (actually on watch) when it happened. It was stunning and surreal.

    That being said, when they decided to go ahead and invade Iraq over supposedly “infallible” intelligence that Saddam had WMD’s I was wondering if that was completely factual. Being in the military, I kinda kept my mouth shut about my lack of desire to go to war, because a lot of my buddies supported it.

    Turns out I was right about my initial thoughts.

    Now in hindsight, it probably wouldn’t have mattered if I had been more vocal about my anti-war feelings. They were going to do what they were going to do regardless.

    It’s truly sad because now we have something far worse than Saddam Hussein, and we helped to create it.

  28. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.Money-Hours.com

    1. You spelled http://www.Money-Whores.com wrong

  29. I don’t recall anyone since post 9/11 who DIDN’T caution that the war against terrorism would be ongoing, that there was no end in sight. Liberal and conservative have been on the same page on this, even with the disagreement on implementation.

    As for weapons of mass destruction, they existed. Saddam had an air force, but it suddenly disappeared ahead of the US invasion. I’m sure the Pentagon knows exactly where it went, but word on the street is that Saddam flew the entire air force to Syria. Additionally, we know that Syria used chemical weapons on its own people during the civil. Where did those chemical weapons come from? As for the uranium that John Wilson swore didn’t exist? It did.

    I agree with a lot of the posters here, this column is aimless and pointless.

  30. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  31. Nice to think that after we sold Sadam gases that are WMDs to use in his war with Iran and 500 metric tonnes of yellowcake were quietly shipped to Canada (eh), people who expect us to believe they are knowledgeable about subjects they write about, slap bildge like this in our faces. Please stop with Bush lied, people died… it is as old and tiresome as Hillary’s face.

  32. “They” know; we don’t. But we’re finding out. Stop pussyfooting around and call a spade a spade: PNAC did 9 eleven with help from Mossad, MI7, Criminal Interlopers and Assassins Agency, and the Bush Adm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8__64mFVes

  33. “… leather-TOUGHENED Marines…” ?!?!? Does the author have ANY idea what he said?
    … doubt it.

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