Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Re: [Powd] Why I called that post 'garbage'...

Todd Wulfmeyer Todd Wulfmeyer" <hasil@wimberley-tx.com
Thu, 20 Sep 2001 00:09:56 -0500

You have expressed yourself eloquently, rationally and in my opinion your
words are accurate Alex 'cept for:

 <<"We argue, we fight, and then we vote, that's the way it works.  And I do
believe that it does work.">>

in the U.S., not lately... and don't even try to convince me that there
weren't major conspiring actions taken by the bush folk on that one. That
was a conspiracy if there ever was one.

I agree with you that the evidence from the original email on this topic was
non existent and for the most part, smoke in the hole. The point of
forwarding the "article" was for precisely what it did, to provoke
discussion in direct opposition to the sympathetic hash of the shocked and
glazed masses, for this is the way the universe, as we comprehend it,

Hopefully we will begin to see more intelligent perceptions on this complex
problem soon ( if we care to let things of this nature receive exposure on
the powderworks list ). Maybe more along the lines of the article sent by
written by Martin Amis.

As far as becoming active in our communities and organizing local political
chapters, it is more imperative now than ever. The reactions to last weeks
"terror"  implicate an exponential leap in challenges soon to face the U.S
and the rest of the planet and it's systems on all fronts, ethical,
spiritual, civil, environmental etc....
for the cloud of vindication is becoming a tsunami.

todd "who voted for Nader twice" in Redneck Wonderland texas

----- Original Message -----
From: "Hunter S. Magellan" <aldean@du.edu>
To: "powderworks" <powderworks@cs.colorado.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2001 4:23 PM
Subject: [Powderworks] Why I called that post 'garbage'...

> First, I admit I should have been more diplomatic.  I never meant
> anything personal by it - just that I found the piece devoid of any
> supporting evidence and making an argument which I feel will hurt the
> cause of global justice if taken seriously.  It's writing like this
> which provoked Timothy McVeigh into our formerly most-famous bit of
> American terrorism.  All the same, I apologize to Todd.  We're all
> complex people, and I'll promise not to assume too much about your
> personal beliefs (which I don't automatically equate with your forwarded
> piece) if you'll do me the same service.
> If any of are interested to read why I feel the way I do, it follows.
> If not, sorry to make you read this far, the <DELETE> key beckons you at
> this point.  It's all strongly worded, but I do accept that this is my
> opinion and make no claims to any absolute truth.  It's an argument I've
> put a lot of thought and energy into in the last 24 hrs, and not a
> personal attack, and I hope it will be viewed in that way.
> I am no fan of corporate media, or of many US government policies.  My
> dispute is with the idea all the problems I see are somehow being
> coordinated from some central source.  I bet we agree on a lot more than
> we disagree, but here's why I disagreed so strongly with your forward.
> It has been my experience that power in government (and elsewhere) is
> wielded by those who participate.  Combining energy, time, talent, and
> money makes for political power.  (I'll be the first to say money is too
> much a part of this equation and that must be changed, but I dispute the
> idea that we live in some un-free sham of a democracy where only a few
> puppetmasters really make any decisions.)  I don't think elaborate
> conspiracy theories are necessary to explain most of the evil I see in
> the world.  We are all capable of doing evil when we fail to consider
> the consequences of our actions.  Complex situations (both good and
> evil, and usually both simultaneously) can and do arise out of many
> interrelated and seemingly simple decisions.  In fact, it is usually the
> sheer complexity of the plots elaborated by 'conspiracy theorists' which
> make them so implausible.  (If 'the government' blew up the WTC and the
> Pentagon, 1000's of people would have to know about it or find evidence
> it - all of whom would  have to suppress what they know.)  There are
> more logical answers which better account for the facts.
> The article states "This American
> tragedy, in other words, plays directly into the hands of the corporate
> and military elite of this nation, who have for years been
> propagandizing for a more belligerent and imperialistic foreign policy
> and for more repressive legislation here on the home front."  While I
> agree with this, I totally disagree with his theory as to the motives
> for this foreign and domestic policy agenda.  The mistake is seeing
> these forces, corporate and military, as
> some kind of monolithic power instead of the myriad interests and
> agendas they are.  Believing in an all-powerful foe who seeks to destroy
> freedom and justice breeds cynicism and extremism when our needs are
> participation and organizing.
> So that's my ideological beef with the guy.  Beyond that, his argument
> is paper-thin and based on nothing more than innuendo and accusation.
> He says "The first step in solving any crime is to look at who
> had a motive and who had the means and opportunity to commit the
> crime."  While this is valid, his arguement about motive is completely
> circular.  He already believes 'the government' is out to do things like
> this, and therefore they had the motive.  It's nothing more than an
> opinion, and is unsupported by any evidence.
> He further elaborates the supposed motive by saying "Big Brother has
> assured us that we will be protected from future acts of this sort, and
> we will welcome with open arms the repressive, overtly fascistic
> 'reforms' that will be enacted."  In this little bit of hyperbole I
> think he clearly exposes his reactionary bias and, in my view, destroys
> most of his claim to credibility.  We have to stay vigilant, that is
> true, but if anything I'd say most people in the US are too obsessed
> with individual rights already - and we too easily ignore our collective
> responsibilities both in this country and abroad.  All of this stems
> from Enlightenment rationalism and notions of indiviual autonomy which I
> also happen to strongly disagree with - but I'll save that for another
> time.
> "The CIA [and etc]... constitutes the largest and most insidious
> intelligence network the world has ever seen. Its agents have fully
> infiltrated every foreign government on the planet, as well as every
> 'terrorist' group and every domestic resistance movement..."  Again,
> this argument is totally circular.  'The government' is assumed to be
> all-knowing, and therefore knew this attack was coming, and is therefore
> responsible for failing to prevent it.  Think about this - the only way
> to know that
> 'the government' has penetrated every government and terrorist
> organization is to yourself have complete knowledge of these governments
> and organizations.  The author makes no claim to have this knowledge -
> his assertion is again based on nothing more than assumption (or, to be
> generous, unprovided evidence which would have to volumes thick to
> substantiate such a claim).
> And so who actually caused this attack?  This is the most preposterous
> part of the whole piece.  Here's what is provided as proof - "These
> secondary blasts were acknowledged early in the day by an NBC newsman."
> and "A radio broadcaster on WLS in Chicago (according to a
> correspondent), whose wife is a CBS journalist who was on the scene at
> the towers, said on the air that his wife had witnessed an enormous
> fireball emanating from beneath one of the towers..."  That's it.  An
> unnamed reporter and some guy who heard something from some his wife  -
> no names, no way to verify what he's claiming.  Indeed, the very fact
> that they aren't better covered is claimed as evidence that it happened,
> as is so often the case with these kind of theories.  On these grounds,
> the premise of 'The Matrix' could also be proven to be true.  (Hey,
> maybe it is, but what I mean is in the absence of evidence why SHOULD I
> believe it?)
> I was watching the TV, and I saw both towers go down, and my VCR was
> rolling - they collapsed from the top down.  The lower floors didn't go
> anywhere until the floors above crushed them - if this had been caused
> by explosions in the foundation, the whole tower would have gone down as
> one.  Not only is this again based on no evidence,  this time I'll even
> claim to have verifiable evidence to the contrary.
> The liklihood of a covert operation being blown is proportional to the
> number of people who know about it.  There is simply no way that the
> number of people required to make this happen and then cover it up
> (airlines - if the planes weren't really hijacked, the people who made
> cell phone calls from the hijacked planes, all the fire dept and police
> and FBI investigators who will inevitably find evidence of these
> supposed other bombs if they exist) could keep from leaking anything.
> I am against many policies of the US Govt, but it's a mistake to assume
> that all bad policies have some evil puppetmaster behind them.  Good
> people do evil things when they fail to care about or fully consider the
> consequences of their actions, and I think this is a much more
> reasonable explanation of many things which we've done wrong.  We act
> out of paranoia and fear (of communisim, the supposed 'end of our way of
> life'), we are often xenophobic and consider 'foreigners' people who
> only exist on TV and are easily discounted, and so on... but none of
> that points to some diabolical conspiracy at the top.  It's just the
> same kind of overly simplistic good versus evil dualism which Bush is
> also appealing to as he tries to drum up support for massive
> retaliation.
> There is an alternative.  Activism, and making positive political
> change, begins (or should begin)
> with local grassroots organizing.  It takes a long time and a lot of
> boring tedious work to effect something like a change in a local
> school-board policy.  And if you want to take on national issues, it
> takes even more work and organizing.  But I am convinced that the basic
> democratic processes still do function in this country, as much as many
> interest groups have manipulated them (through gerrymandering of
> district boundaries, obscure campaign-finance laws which allow obscene
> contributions, and connections between lobbyists and lawmakers which
> create horrendous conflicts of interest).  When you really try to make
> something happen, and so many agendas collide, and it becomes hard to
> tell who is on who's side (and how many sides there are), you've entered
> the mess which is at the heart of a functioning democracy.  It's not
> usually fun, but it's the best humanity has ever produced.
> If you want to change how things are done - not just 'choose between
> interchangeable candidates' - do something like help organize a chapter
> of the Green party...  It won't get you what you want right away, but it
> will make a difference.  Nobody gets everything they want from
> government, be it missile defense or greater civil rights.  Sometimes
> this is due to dirty politics, but that article fails to consider the
> possibility that sometimes it's due to genuine disagreements between
> sincere people as well.  I myself am a raging liberal Nader-voter, but I
> refuse to believe that members of the Christian Coalition (or whomever
> else I disagree with) are the spawn of the devil and I'd be better off
> without them.  We argue, we fight, and then we vote, that's the way it
> works.  And I do believe that it does work.  It all depends on who's
> active and involved, and pieces like that one attempt to heighten
> cynicism and apathy, to the detriment of us all.
> If his point is increased vigilance against excessive militarism, then
> I'm all for it.  If the solution he's after is some violent revolution
> against the US government, I'm totally opposed.  It will kill more
> people than it helps, and is totally unnecessary.  It's comforting to
> blame all the perceived ills of the world on a single evil, be it Osama
> bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Mumar Khaddafi, Richard Nixon, 'the
> government', 'the Jews', or whatever, but that's just too simple to be
> convincing to me.  The causes and effects of this tragedy, like most
> others, go much deeper than that.
> best regards,
> alex dean from Denver
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