Forgetting 9/11

Because I have written about the physics of the World Trade Center fires and collapses of September 11, 2001, I have recently been asked by several people to comment on “9-11” during this sixth anniversary of the events. Because 9/11 happened a long time ago, as time is now experienced by the now-now no-history-cache wireless-wired over-caffeinated infotainment public mind, people have solidified their views on the subject, and new commentary is unnecessary. Those who have moved beyond 9/11 see it as blowback from decades of inhuman US foreign policy. Those who cannot accept the realization that “the natives” successfully struck back will instead find comfort in the hypothesis that 9/11 was an engineered catastrophe, and the ultimate puppeteers were those who pull the strings of the US government.

I consider the first school of thought to be of rationalists and realists and the second school to be of irrationalists and fantasists. “Faith-based” is a synonym for irrational, and a strong belief in conspiracies — with insufficient evidence — is an irrational expression of fear. And it is fear, ultimately, which is at the root of the obsession by so many with 9-11. We, in these United States, are deeply afraid because we are deeply uncertain about the continuation of our personal comforts (jobs?, housing?, health?, global energy resources?), and even our personal survival (crime?, military draft?, more 9-11s?). If you can see through to the source of your fear, you will be free. I can never tell you anything more important.

The psychology of fear is involved, but I am impatient with it, thus “unsympathetic”. The presence of a large population of fearful people creates opportunities for alert charismatic opportunists to profit, by resonating with the archetypes of the shared mass-mindedness and stroking it to spasms of “comfort” — as the fictional Elmer Gantry did. In our commercialized world, the infotainment produced for this purpose is now a torrent. One of the mantras of the faith (of a US government conspiracy to engineer 9/11 and its subsequent perceptions in the public mind) is that “we need an ‘independent’ investigation” to expose the inner workings of the presupposed conspiracy, thus ‘awakening’ the American people to popular unanimity in toppling the Bush Administration and punishing all its associated hench-people. After this, nirvana supposedly. Much of the mail I get from conspiracists (my term for school #2) takes me to task for failing to support the idea of the desired investigation.

For the record, I am in favor of further investigation. Seymour Hersh did it in 1969 to uncover the My Lai massacre by US troops in Vietnam (based on the original heroic investigation by a soldier, the late Ron Ridenhour) and he had no clearance for classified information, nor any subpoena power. Yet, he produced results that awakened the American public and prompted government hearings (“investigation”). This “independent” and public investigation of My Lai was a result of Hersh’s reporting, not a precursor to it. So, I encourage all conspiracists to investigate to their heart’s content (in fact, why don’t they?). I am sure this investigatory frenzy will thrash out like that of the Kennedy assassination, and in 40 years we’ll finally know for sure: it was airplanes crashing into the buildings (1), insulation knocked off steel, fire, metal creep, and a massive oil-fed fire in WTC 7 (2).

Isn’t it amazing that reality is not put off by our preferences among improbabilities, that it does not find it necessary to unfold in a reflection of the hierarchies of cause-and-effect, controlling persecutors and helpless victims which our uncomprehending minds insist on projecting upon it? Isn’t it amazing that non-white “natives” from far away can make so many white people in the most powerful white people’s country scared? Reality couldn’t possibly turn out that way if we can’t imagine it, could it? Are we really to believe that a small band of swarthy raiders from Islamic lands could possess the imagination, the cunning, the determination, the ruthlessness, the grit and the courage to scare the living hell out of the superpower populace? How is it possible for these “nobodies” to have a greater impact over us than our own powerful lords? Are we to believe that “the natives” smote us? Reality can present us with “an obvious” that our racist thinking is blinded by: “Dick Cheney,” “Project for a New American Century”, “controlled demolition” (3); inhale, “connect the dots”, regain your equilibrium, now you see that the world is as it SHOULD be.

Why is it so imperative to the conspiracists to convert everybody else? No one prevents them from “investigating,” no one prevents them from running engineering simulations of the Towers collapses to demonstrate their claims “scientifically” (commercial software is available to do this, and various universities, like Purdue, are touting their research software by applying it to the 9/11 events). Why the missionary zeal to infect me with their disease? Really, it’s a virus; it propagates by corrupting consciousness — like the invasion of the body snatchers — so the new human carrier is propelled into a rabid invasion of the consciousness of others.

The moon rises low over the night horizon this time of year, and probably calls out the zombies in greater numbers. Let them enjoy their dreams, their moaning and dancing releases their tension, and the tight coil of their consciousness will keep them captivated for the duration. They want us to meld into their trance, and we want them to awake and help with the tasks at hand. But, really, neither of us has the right to direct other lives to the purposes we deem important. Leave them to their revels. Why antagonize them? Let us make do with those we can talk to.

And, after all this wrangling, what have we done to 9/11? We have but forgotten the only two lessons worthy of carrying out of it, and after such a high price paid for them, too:

— “our way of life” has caused a holocaust of unspeakable pain and suffering in much of the world, and for generations;

— the anguish of the victims and the sacrifices of the rescuers are wasted if we fail to recognize the universality of human anguish and our direct contributions to it.

[1] Giulio Bernacchia,

[2] From Mr. K. S. by e-mail to MG, Jr. on August 27, 2007:

“WTC7 Collapse, So What?”

Hi,I read your piece on the CounterPunch site with some interest. I was just a tourist to New York on 9-11, so I come to you not as an expert on any of this. But, I have read, and consumed hundreds of hours of information on the Kennedy assassination over the last forty plus years. So, I’m familiar with the wild theories fueled by the paranoia of US Government secrecy. Many of these suspicions seem to be well founded, some not. But, I was there at 9/11. Hasn’t anyone looked at local or national footage during the afternoon of 9/11? That building was an inferno all day long. To me it was really special. I’ve never seen a 47-story building burn like that. Every once in a while the wind would shift off the water, and you’d feel the heat come down the street two, three blocks away depending on where I was standing at the time. It was a huge fire, with flames coming out of most of the windows on the north side of the building. It was raging. I don’t know how it could have survived. What is the conspiracy about this building? The NYFD, and the rest of them knew it was going to collapse, they started running away from the area waving and screaming for everybody to get back. I figured I’d better run too. When you see all of them rescue people running, it’s time to go. Then the whole street shook, it was unnerving, or disorienting like losing your equilibrium, it was weird. But, what’s the conspiracy? That building burned for what, seven hours? That scene reminded me of the Pearl Harbor pictures, I mean with the raging fires and the twisted metal of those battleships; the result of the intense heat. If you were down there, you’d appreciate the scope of the fire.Thanks,Ken S.

[I do not release the name/address for the sake of privacy; if this causes you to dispute the authenticity, so be it]

Homework project: how long do explosives and detonators remain intact in a fire? See (3).

[3] Zachary Wick, “WTC CD?”,

Manuel Garcia, Jr. is an occasional writer who is always independent. His e-mail address is: Read other articles by Manuel, or visit Manuel's website.

28 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. simuvac said on September 14th, 2007 at 6:18am #

    How condescending you are, Garcia. You treat 9/11 skepticism as if it all boils down to whether one believes WTC 1, 2, and 7 were demolished by explosives. I guess your mail focuses on these things because you have focused on them yourself; however, the 9/11 Truth Movement seeks answers to more than just the collapses.

    I want to know why Bush and Cheney refused to testify under oath, or in separate rooms, or in the presence of recording equipment. I want to know why Bush lied about seeing the first tower get hit that morning, when the video footage wasn’t on TV until the next day. I want to know why people like you think it’s okay for the government to appointment White House insider Philip Zelikow to head the 9/11 Commission, after backing down from the supremely cynical gesture of appointing Henry Kissinger. I want to know why the House and Senate Intelligence Committee chairs, the same people who ran the intelligence review of 9/11, were meeting with the head of the Pakistani ISI on the morning of 9/11. I want to know why some of the hijackers were living with an FBI informant, why others were assisted by a Saudi spy with ties to Prince Bandar, and why others were living within blocks of Mossad agents. I want to know why the evidence from Able Danger was destroyed. I want to know why the 9/11 Commission Report lies about the movements of Dick Cheney on 9/11. I want to know why President Bush issued directive 199i, which told the FBI to back off members of the Bin Laden family prior to 9/11. I want to know why people pretend like 9/11 was unexpected, when in July 2001 the US government told its allies in the Middle East it was going to invade Afghanistan in October 2001; this was reported by the BBC, which I hope is not too much of a tinfoil hat network for your tastes.

    I have many more questions, but I won’t trouble a condescending ass like yourself with the details. You say you support another 9/11 investigation, but then you ridicule the people who are out there fighting to achieve that. If you know there are omissions and distortions in the current 9/11 story, why do you assume that they are insignificant and won’t change the tenor of the story if revealed or corrected? That’s illogical.

  2. Pierre said on September 14th, 2007 at 7:32am #

    Thank Simuvac! I couldn’t reply to that piece of garbage better than you did.


    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” JFK

  3. Sunshine Greeny said on September 14th, 2007 at 8:16am #

    I do take issue with relegating the numerous questions and anomalies of 9/11 to that dangerous realm of right-wing projective animus which fuels the movement’s “faith based initiatives” i.e. the not-so-secret attempt to abolish secular democracy while imposing an alien form of gov’t on the U.S.

    To do so is to suggest that those who are justifiably concerned over the highly suspect attack, along with the ever increasingly long list of intell/insider/whistleblowers, are merely coming from the psychological perspective you outline [which for the past few years has been the blanket position of too many “professional” lefty gatekeepers] appears, at best, all too familiar of how liberals unfortunately internalize rightist propaganda … or willfully blind at worst, since the “coincidence” theoreticians, always quick to digest and espouse the Establishment-friendly criticism of Bush Co’s supposed “incompetence,” seem to conveniently overlook the fact it doesn’t logically follow for such coincidence/incompetence to miraculously never yield anything but profit and favor for the rightward agenda.

    In short, Bush/Cheney stonewalled any investigation until their hand was forced. And now the Commission itself is stating their “findings” were bunkum. An INDEPEDENT investigation is needed immediately, since 9/11 is the cornerstone of the totalitarian infrastructure now in place, the evisceration of our Bill of rights, and the excuse for never ending global hegemony.

  4. Hue Longer said on September 14th, 2007 at 8:19am #

    I hope I’m not being racist by asking Mr/Dr Garcia if there was a Nirvana hoped for before or achieved after the My Lai massacre was uncovered.

    Editors, this was a joke, right? The 9-11 Truth Movement (I am beginning to feel weird saying that…like I need to offer a caveat to distance myself from people uncle Chomsky laughs at) is made of job fearing racists? lol…I feel like finding Mr/Dr Garcia’s liberal funny bone and tapping it with his own fallacy hammer…

    Empire? Hegemony? That’s all tin foil hat bullshit, son! Because look at some of the long haired hippies who believe in it…I’ll stick with “Republicans are greedy” as my conspiracy bar, because I’d never be associated with that crowd of job fearing, whites only crowd. Try to prove it, but you’re a loser and you can’t (I’m not calling Mr/Dr Garcia a loser)

    How should I spend my day tomorrow, Doc? I was thinking of joining PETA…is that cool with you?

    (for the record, I never felt like talking about nine 11 because of my own pet angles on issues that I feel my would-be listeners haven’t heard of, but this activist bashing is childish and is done with insulting sophistry that would never be tried on crowds these people fear or respect. It gives me cause to proudly consider myself a TRUTHER if for no other reason than to attack the hypocritical silencing efforts of conceited “progressives” who are angry that the uninvited are crashing their the tea party. Give me the foil beanie!…no one’s proved to me how those buildings came down and appealing to the emotional authority of supposed fan-boys may not hurt your case…but it only keeps the very dumbest of your play mates coming to your party).

  5. Brian Mattox said on September 14th, 2007 at 9:40am #

    The U.S. has a long history of government conspiracy, much of it long ago forgotten. But recent history includes the reality that Roosevelt knew the Japanese were going to attack at Pearl Harbor, the overthrow of Iran’s Mohammed Mossadeq by another Roosevelt (Kermit), LyndonJohnson’s Gulf of Tonkin lie, the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up, Iran-contra, the 2000 election, the 2004 election and most recently, the weapons of mass destruction lie that thrust our military into Iraq.

    The evidence that 9-11 was, in part, a government conspiracy is overwhelming. Dissident Voice carries so many articles attempting to excuse and “forget” the crimes of those within our own government who are responsible for the deaths of 3000 people on 9-11 and the subsequent Middle East war that has killed thousands more Americans and perhaps a million Iraqis that I’m beginning to think that a better name for this site might be Complicity Voice.

  6. Chris said on September 14th, 2007 at 9:57am #

    This is old news and was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt when he attacked people who question the collapses of the towers and WTC7 and tried(but failed completely to prove that fire(with jet fuel!) brought the 3 of them down. Now hes at it again with the aid of Dissident Voice. Its not important why he wrote this latest screed, but why would DissidentVoice post this? Yes, ComplicityVoice sounds better to me. You should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing such blatant hackery.

  7. Kevin Ryan said on September 14th, 2007 at 11:00am #

    Of all the defenders of the official story to date, Manuel Garcia is the least credible. His first three articles in Counterpunch were thoroughly deconstructed by several people including myself and Professor David Griscom. These critiques can be found in the letters section of the Journal of 9/11 Studies.

    When asked to discuss his speculative theories in a public forum, Garcia claimed that he was done speaking and writing about the issues. But then, whenever a bridge collapsed, we found that he was not done. Another invitation to debate led to Garcia say that he was happy with the audience he had found ,and was not willing to address anyone else.

    Dissident Voice is now part of Garcia’s limited comfort zone. DV first claimed that an honest critique of Garcia consitituted “ad hominem”, then failed to notice Garcia’s rantings about “ju-ju”.

    Perhaps DV can find room for the alternate viewpoint. You know, the one that doesn’t so conveniently allow us to continue stealing the oil and gas. If so, you know where to find me.

  8. Pat Curley said on September 14th, 2007 at 11:35am #

    Ah, the Waterboy Wonder appears! Kevin how about that David Griscom, huh? Biggest toad in the movement with his “All the passengers survived and got Swiss Bank Accounts” theory.

    Speaking of debate challenges, when are you going to take on Mark Roberts? The day after never is my guess. How’s that whistleblower lawsuit progressing? Dismissed with prejudice you say? What a shame!

  9. Robert B. Livingston said on September 14th, 2007 at 12:21pm #

    Unwilling to debate, Manuel Garcia to Kevin Barrett:

    “…you keep your audience and I’ll keep mine.” (mp3)

  10. Myra M. Jackson said on September 14th, 2007 at 12:41pm #

    There are no secrets better kept than the
    secrets that everybody guesses. ~G.B.Shaw


    Paul Craig Roberts, former top Reagan official, once again questions 9/11

    Paul Craig Roberts, whose credentials can’t be denied, presents another crystal clear article questioning 9/11:

    On Sept. 7, National Public Radio reported that Muslims in the Middle East were beginning to believe that the 9-11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were false flag operations committed by some part of the U.S. and/ or Israeli government.

    It was beyond the imagination of the NPR reporter and producer that there could be any substance to these beliefs, which were attributed to the influence of books by U.S. and European authors sold in bookstores in Egypt.

    NPR’s concern was that books by Western authors questioning the origin of the 9-11 attack have the undesirable result of removing guilt from Muslims’ shoulders.

    The NPR reporter, Ursula Lindsey, said that “here in the U.S., most people have little doubt about what happened during the 2001 attacks.”

    NPR’s assumption that the official 9-11 story is the final word is uninformed. Polls show that 36 percent of Americans and more than 50 percent of New Yorkers lack confidence in the 9-11 commission report. Many 9-11 families who lost relatives in the attacks are unsatisfied with the official story….


    U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ Pilot Questions 9/11

    Sept. 5, 2007 – U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ pilot, Commander Ralph Kolstad, started questioning the official account of 9/11 within days of the event. “It just didn’t make any sense to me,” he said. And now 6 years after 9/11 he says, “When one starts using his own mind, and not what one was told, there is very little to believe in the official story.”

    Click here for the full story on OpEdNews


    The Architecture of Destruction

    Now Available: The DVD from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth!

    The 150+ Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth are proud to announce their long awaited DVD production:

    9/11: Blueprint for Truth
    The Architecture of Destruction
    with SF Bay Area Architect, Richard Gage, AIA

    In this stunning multimedia presentation to the University of Manitoba, Canada, San Francisco Bay Area architect, Richard Gage, AIA, provides a packed audience with a tough technical review of the overwhelming evidence of controlled demolition using explosives at all 3 WTC high-rise “collapses” (including WTC 7 – the 47 story high-rise, not hit by an airplane, which also fell at near free-speed on 9/11).

    Now you can provide your friends and colleagues the DVD with all the hard evidence presented by a licensed building professional!

    Source URL:

  11. Dennis H. said on September 14th, 2007 at 1:04pm #

    Mr. Garcia,

    Lets agree that your theory and the “truther” theory are both insufficient for a total explanation for teh WTC collapse. There are however, many questions besides the ones that you offer theories to which do deserve consideration, some were pointed out by a previous comment above, but this is not my main pont.

    I think your misplace Psyco analysis of the truth movement is what they call “projecting” . You challenge us to find the answers you yourself are avoiding. Serious evidence to force Congressional hearings requires access, under oath interviews, serious whistle-blower protection, not to mention physical evidence that was simply stolen. You know this and this is why your conclusions are as tenuous as any other explanation and the only way to rid yourself of the guilt you may carry is to cast your responsibility onto others. I can rig a computer model to tell me anything I want it too, this does not prove anything.

    My final point is this, I think you underestimate the truth movement, you try to make it appear “Faith Based” maybe your next article will use the term “Cult Like” ? again, that may be more projection I don’t know, do you belong to a group that only allows a certain strain of thought and loyalty? Maybe? Most “truthers” don’t get up and put on a Black T-Shirt and walk around carrying signs all day, we go to work, we take care of our kids, and pay our taxes, personally I have never talked to another “truther” in person, I think most people are basically bloggers and what I’ll call the virtual citizens and we are everywhere. I do think there is a common thread and it is not fear, I think we are concerned about a deep routed malaise in our government that has been well documented over and over again. (like operation northwoods for example) Only this time, well, “they” may have crossed a line, and we have reached a tipping point. I think establishment loyalists like you can not bring themselves to believe that our system is beyond fixing, years of self indulgence have passed and what was once a corrupt faction within our government was allowed to flourish and grow bolder and bolder, until well they have become the rule and not the exception. We need to get back to our Constitution and to a true representational government and ridiculing people who want an independant criminal investigation into perhaps the most truly historic event in our time well respectfully that is not the way to do it.

  12. mike zimmer said on September 14th, 2007 at 1:21pm #

    Wow, Dissident Voice continues to be a left gatekeeper with this article. Surprise, surprise.

    For a clearer insight into 9/11, see:
    and also

    So far, they allow do dissenting voices to the hit pieces to post comments, but I am not sure they they have ever published a dissenting voice who credibly represents the mainstream of 9/11 Truth activity. There is a great deal of scholarly and well-researched material available from people of great integrity and intellect who could provide articles. For instance see pieces by Barry Zwicker, Kevin Ryan (above), David Ray Griffin, Steven Jones, Paul Craig Roberts … well, the list goes on, but follow the links.

    Mike Zimmer

  13. George Washington said on September 14th, 2007 at 2:29pm #

    Mr. Garcia,

    Thank you for expressing your views.

    You might be interested to learn that high-level military leaders, structural engineers, scientists, legal scholars, congress people, historians, leading conservatives and liberals, psychologists and psychiatrists, historians, pilots and air traffic controllers, the 9/11 commissioners THEMSELVES, and other very credible people say that the government version of 9/11 is impossible:

  14. George said on September 14th, 2007 at 3:01pm #

    Very sorry to see DV print this sort of essay. It is abundantly clear that the official story of 9/11 is not supported by the evidence. It is heartbreaking to come to that realization, but for those of us with practical minds, it is inescapable.

  15. Hue Longer said on September 14th, 2007 at 3:33pm #

    DV is not a gatekeeper….all one need do is go back over the last week–if not few years–to see this. Besides, I’m sure that at least two of them were laughing their asses off when this article came down the pike.

    There is a hard to define pathology now going on in the progressive movement which requires study and this article and comment board is fine by me

  16. Sam said on September 14th, 2007 at 7:06pm #

    I’m going to jump in as someone who believes it was blowback. Hope everyone will bear with me and I’ll try to be brief. My opinion of what happened is similar to the author of this article. But where I differ is that I don’t go around smearing people who feel different. If someone believes different, I’m willing to assume they’ve done some work and genuinely have reasons for believing what they do. My point here is that the author is basically complaining that people are shoving things in his face. But as someone who agrees with him about 9-11, I still feel like he’s doing what he accuses others of. I don’t know if I got the point across there or not. There is, I think, a custodian who has spoken or written about hearing explosions. I thought, from the main page, that this article was going to be by him and clicked on it ready to see what was being offered. Instead of hearing about something I really don’t know about, I read a long smearing lecture and I know enough about those to know that’s all this article was. I find it completely worthless. To those who believe there is more to the story, I don’t disrespect you and say keep searching. I also believe that the research into JFK’s assassination has turned up much we didn’t know and I think the same will happen here regardless of whether huge things become accepted or not. I wish you all luck and want to just point out that not everyone who accepts the official explanation thinks “Oh those crazies! Why won’t they shut up!” I’m going to use the links offered and also google Kevin Ryan since he didn’t offer links. Keep searching and let me repeat that everyone who believes the official explanation does not think those trying to dig are “crazies” or wasting their time. Good luck to the posters and a request that the author of the article chill or find another topic to write about.

  17. Angie Tibbs said on September 14th, 2007 at 10:56pm #

    Here’s Manuel Garcia prattling on about “fear”, suggesting, first of all, that those who believe in what he calls “conspiracies” possess – are you ready for this? – an “irrational expression of fear”. There’s a “fear”, he declares, gripping the citizenry of the US (and so it should be considering the current war criminal administration is working overtime to remove every vestige of rights the population has, culminating with the death of habeas corpus.)

    Then he pronounces, as if handed a tablet from a modern day Moses, or a street prophet from The Life of Brian, that “and it is fear, ultimately, which is at the root of the obsession by so many with 9-11”.

    Wrong, O Not So Wise One! Wrong assumption. Wrong theory. It is not “fear” that is prompting me to question every aspect of the 9-11 events; it is anger. Pure and simple anger.

    Anger that “investigations” are flawed; anger that evidence has been tampered with and/or destroyed; anger at the ongoing litany of in-your-face lies; anger at that which went before, during, and subsequently; anger at the so-called experts, Garcia included, pontificating opinions as if there were no other explanation; anger that investigatory Commissions provide more disinformation than information; anger that people such as Manuel Garcia dismisses so condescendingly those who are seeking answers to very serious and troubling questions, answers which have not been forthcoming six years later.

    The only fear I have is that these questions will never be answered, that those ultimately responsible will never be brought to justice, that readers will actually accept what Manuel Garcia says as the only explanation.

  18. simuvac said on September 15th, 2007 at 6:42am #

    Exactly, Angie.

    It’s because of people like Garcia that we are treated to one opaque government “investigation” after another. We should be demanding total transparency. Always. No matter how traumatic the event.

  19. Memory_Hole said on September 15th, 2007 at 9:21am #

    What a load of garbage. So, Garcia thinks that the 36% of the American public who believe Nine Eleven was an inside job are “zombies” incapable of rational thought about 9/11? It is actually True Believers like ex-weapons-designer Garcia who have lost the capacity for rational analysis of 9/11. While he SAYS he supports more investigation, his entire rant is nothing more than an ad hominem against the more thoughtful segment of America that finds the official story totally incredible. I pray that True Believers like Garcia will recover from this cognitive disorder soon, so that we can see this so-called “war on terror” for what it is, a fraud perpetuated by the military industrial complex to justify endless war.

  20. George said on September 15th, 2007 at 9:35am #

    There is an enormous amount of credible evidence that shows that the “official story” has failed to comply with the two most basic requirements of science–it has failed to meet its burden of proof and it has failed to explain all of the evidence. Anyone with an open mind can research the facts and, having done so, will be forced to reach this same conclusion. The official story is not supported by the facts. Here is just one of many: The FBI claims that they found one of the hijacker’s passports on a street in NYC. Obviously, the odds of one of their passports surviving the crash and landing unharmed on the street are extremely low. So, isn’t it much more likely that someone put the passport there to mislead investigators?

  21. paul from old europe said on September 15th, 2007 at 10:28am #

    People like Manuel Garcia, who have spent their entire life in an academic environment, and whose political convictions are based on some kind of “rational”, “scientific” view of economic conditions, in short neo-marxism, are generally incapable, by nature and by education, of grasping the dark side of the human condition and the meaning of words like “manipulation”, “lies”, “self-delusion”, “rationalization”, “guilt”, among others (I’ll bet he’s never lived among the very rich and has no idea of real-world business). These people would believe any leadership to be “incompetent” rather than “evil” because then things would be much more complicated than the rational black and white picture they favour. Ultimately they may end up like the early Bolsheviks of 1917 sitting in front of a stalinian jury in 1936 and admitting crimes they have not committed, in order to “save” the revolution nonetheless and above all their faith that the course of history is right.

  22. siamdave said on September 15th, 2007 at 11:18pm #

    Garcia continues to expose himself as nothing more than a paid troll for the neocons – nobody could be as stupid as to believe the things he writes, nor would anyone genuinely concerned about finding the truth write so insultingly about those he disagrees with. He is useful to read, though, to get an idea of how the nc’s are carrying on trying to suppress the truth of their huge crime, attacking opposing voices in their ongoing attempt to shut them up. For instance, since almost everyone now understands the blowback idea, they’re doing a ‘limited hangout’ move, and say ok, ok, maybe there was some blowback here – but that’s all folks, we’re sorry, but now go home and back to your tvs!! It is certainly waaaaaay beyond the pale to accuse YOUR government of such a heinous act!!!!

    And that leads to the second thing they are pushing strongly, this nonsense/idiocy that we who see clearly how the official theory (the OCT) is a pack of impossible lies and comicbook fantasies and continue to demand some decent investigations that will get us closer to the truth are somehow “…Those who cannot accept the realization that “the natives” successfully struck back will instead find comfort in the hypothesis that 9/11 was an engineered catastrophe, and the ultimate puppeteers were those who pull the strings of the US government…”

    When you think about this, it is simply perverse nonsense. I can’t see any problem with the idea of ‘blowback’, it’s perfectly obvious and natural that if you go around beating on someone long enough, they’re going to strike back as and when they can. But simply understanding something is possible is not at all the same as believing it happened, or was the whole story. Actually, it seems as if it is not we truth-seekers who are afraid of something and somehow find comfort in thinking the US government did something bad (atrocities from the US gov are no surprise, they’ve been happening ever since there was a US government and they decided the Native Americans had to go – and everything went downhill from there), it is the reverse, as it is those who embrace the Official Conspiracy Theory who are, one can only surmise given the amount of evidence that the OCT is nonsense, terrified to consider that ‘their’ government might have acted in such a terrible way – for once you admit that, you kind of have to go to the next step and do something about it, and the US gov is a bad enemy to have, and these people apparently lack the balls to go after the real bad guys (sending the US army off in ‘your’ name to go dropping napalm or DU on the natives in some country half way around the world does not qualify as ‘courageous’), so it’s easier to huddle in the dark where the raging beast tells you to ‘sit there and be quiet!!!’, and let the beast rage on, rather than confronting it.

    Well, I shouldn’t waste more of the day, I have other things much more important to be doing, but sometimes the MGs get to one, like irritating bugs whining around the ears, and you just take a swat at them. Don’t get too annoying there, MG, or we’ll get the Raid out. (glad I’m not in the US – that comment would probably qualify as a ‘terrible terrorist threat!!’ in that land of paranoid fantasy)

    BTW, MG, if you take some sort of perverse delight in going through such comments as we see here in response to your little rant today – why don’t you give us a link of some sort to the ‘raging fires!!!!!!’ of Building 7, that ‘raged all day!!!!’ – news to me, my friend, as the only pictures we have so far show practically no fires at all in that building all day. I know you hate to be bothered with such things as logic or evidence in your little rants, but it might give your rantings a bit more credibility. Or not, of course, if you can’t actually provide such things…. This is a central problem with your whole OCT, you see, as there have been quite a number of ‘real’ serious highrise fires over the years (you can see some of the main ones here, with pics – ), where the buildings did not only not fall down after hours of truly raging infernos, they didn’t even look like they were in danger of doing so, nor did any officials run around trying to get people to panic about such ‘danger’ – which is simply because normal fires get nowhere near hot enough to endanger serious structural steel, which requires special blast furnaces to melt and form, as anybody who calls themselves a ‘physicist’ ought to know. And those other buildings had not been readied beforehand for a spectacular fall, so there was no reason to suppose they would do so, since they had been built not to. So when you can provide me (and the rest of us) with some at least vaguely credible explanation of why all of these other buildings did NOT fall down, after or during suffering the huge infernos they did, but the WTC buildings DID fall down from much smaller fires over a much shorter period of time – well, I don’t really need to finish that idea, since there is no explanation beyond the truth – the WTC buildings did NOT fall down from ‘fires’ at all. As we well know – and I expect you understand that too.

    You’re not on ‘the good side’ of history here, MG – but that is no surprise, since the gov you support is one of the blackest the world has ever known. Every such gov has its sycophants and apologists. And in the modern age one of their jobs is to troll around the internet disrupting people who are trying to figure out how to deal with them. You’re an annoying little creature, but as I think you can see from these responses, you’re not very effective.

    There is a slightly long but nonetheless quite compelling and hard to refute look at the impossibility of the WTC fires bringing down those buildings here – A 911 Thought Experiment –

    – and a longer response I did about a year ago to another attempted attack on us at ‘Debunking Diana’ –

  23. Joseph Anderson said on September 17th, 2007 at 12:01am #


    I started to read Garcia’s article, then about half-way through, as I saw that it seemed to just increasingly turn into an ad hominem screed against “conspiracy theorists”, I started exponentially skipping over more and more of it until I just stopped reading it all together. I skipped down to the comments, hoping for (and often getting) more reasoned commentary there.

    In what I personally consider a certain necessary division of progressive/leftist labor, all the 9-11 material, and all the 9-11 conspiracy material, is too much for me to personally examine and keep up with — even just so I know what *I* would specifically believe. I’m also somewhat convinced that for the next, say, 40-50 years (or for however long it geopolitically matters), the mainstream corporate media would never allow the 9-11 conspiracy community (even if they are right) to gain media access to enough millions of Americans (let alone others) to “prove” that the 9-11 community is right.

    I do start out with the #1 point of departure: the government always LIES — certainly in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th instances, and then maybe also in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th “limited hangout” instances too. Other intellectually thoughtful and politically conscious people also believe what I just said, but also believe that the government (sometimes having worked with it professionally) is often just really STUPID and that their most intricate military mechanisms and systems can functionally fall apart upon contact with reality.

    There are, however, at least 3 fundamental aspects that I don’t like, though, that really represent a problem:

    I don’t like it when even icons on the left poo-hoo “conspiracy theorists”.

    (Ironic, because the government makes “conspiracy” charges against leftists and even ordinary people the easiest to indict & convict on. The goverment has even compounded “conspiracy to commit a [ordinary] misdemeanor”, a minor crime, into a *felony*, a major crime. Let alone, that U.S. history is punctuated with even documented and proven major government conspiracies, conspiracy plans, and/or conspiracies to cover-up — so, of course, the government poo-hoos assertions of government conspiracies. And even a committee of Congress, finally, about 2 or so decades later, conceded that the JFK assassination “was probably a conspiracy”, without saying who the participants, at least “probably”, were: something Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch, or Noam Chomsky, still, for whatever idiosyncratic rationalizations, doesn’t concede.)

    I don’t like it when especially icons/figures (“gatekeepers”) on the left engage in *COORDINATED* CENSORSHIP FROM THE LEFT — either because there is a line of ‘conventional leftist doctrine’ they will not cross (like Chomsky’s complete dismissal of the Israel lobby, and thus most of Pacifica Radio’s dismissal of the same, starting with Amy Goodman and Democracy Now on down) or because those icons/figures (“gatekeepers”) still want to have a certain “credibility” with the corporate media or establishment. If the 9-11 conspiracy people have an argument, then let it stand or fall in open debate, instead of systematically censoring or just disparaging it from on high.

    (But, where –I also ask– were the 9-11 conspiracy activists speaking up for open, uncensored debate when *other* viewpoints/debates were being censored by the leftist gatekeepers from, say, Pacifica’s airwaves, like with AIDS dissident Peter Duesberg, or with debates about the Israel lobby, representing a country that has now documentably engaged/participated in numerous historical false flag terrorist operations [including, for all we know, 9-11], and other “taboo” subjects even on the supposedly open left.)

    But, I also don’t like it when *some* “9-11 conspiracy activists” also poo-hoo others (even those undecided or only partially decided in favor of some conspiracy theory), who don’t accept *EVERYTHING* some 9-11 activist says, as either a fool or a dupe of the U.S. government — or someone the government (its agents) ‘got to’: talk about a real turn-off for the undecided or not completely decided.

    And, of course, like Ward Churchill, I would have a problem with any white leftists who think that “the natives” of whatever U.S.-victimized non-white country are/were not smart enough to ever (as MLK predicted) reach back out and one day strike the U.S. a mighty blow.

    To be, of course, fair, a 9-11 activist (one who always seemed to have a level political head) has told me that there are “9-11 agent provocateurs” (anti-9-11 conspiracy 5th columnists) who either come out with the most outlandish assertions/”theories” that they can, or purposely harass progressive general lecture circuit icons, authors, politicians, journalists, etc., who don’t accept 9-11 as a government conspiracy — in order to turn others off from sane and sincere 9-11 activists.

    But I have seen enough 9-11 activsts who *are* rude, who do yell (disruptively *at some length*) from the audience and don’t ever shut up, exceeding reasonableness, when it’s their turn at a Q&A/comments microphone at some progressive lecture event. I even saw one literally ‘chase’ (well follow a speaker around in a clearly harassing manner, and continued to do so when the offense was pointed out, but the chaser insisted on a right to do so) when no less than George Galloway already generously gave about 15 minutes of Galloway’s time, after Galloway’s speech at San Francisco’s Mission High School auditorium. The “conspiracy activist” also objected to Galloway’s (or anyone’s) non-*instant* conversion to 9-11 conspiracy theory. I could thus understand why Galloway calls them (however, perhaps, prejudicially and unfairly) all “nutcases”: he’s probably been exposed to a lot of that behavior in person or in email.

    I remain open to any legitimate 9-11 examination (and certainly don’t regard the U.S. government 9-11 Commission as one), yet this behavior turns *me* off. But, if, to some/many, the 9-11 conspiracy activists haven’t proven their case, then Garcia’s rather ad hominem attack hasn’t proven his either. (I don’t object to some ad hominem remarks — after all we’re dealing with the moral issues of who in government metes out terrorism and death on an international level — if one has proven the basis for his/her attack.)

    But, my final comment about Garcia’s article is supporting what one usually very articulate comment poster, activist, and otherwise progressive essayist so properly and eloquently said: see Angie Tibbs, September 14th, 2007 at 10:56 pm.

    Joseph Anderson

    Berkeley, CA

  24. Joseph Anderson said on September 17th, 2007 at 12:59am #


    Still as I read DV articles, I want to add that I have seen some sincere 9-11 conspiracy theorists seeming to rely on, at times, a questionable amount of coincidental “evidence” in support of their analysis — as well as 9-11 conspiracy deniers (or “coincidence theorists”) rely on a questionable amount of coincidences in support of their denial. I’ve seen individuals on both sides say that certain evidence or objective testimony doesn’t matter. But, without a doubt the 9-11 conspiracy activists also raise legitimate and compelling questions, as well as assertions. I would most tend to doubt anyone who objects to a good deal of skepticism about the U.S. government’s stories, especially when it comes to these kinds of historical crises.

  25. Hue Longer said on September 17th, 2007 at 1:09am #

    Thought provoking letter Joseph

    I don’t see Amy Goodman as the voice of Pacifica and believe there are others there who do not dismiss the concept of flase flag OR the Israeli lobby.

    I also don’t like the modern bastardized use of “ad hominem” which has become synonymous with vitriol. My dislikes may be phased out with popular usage, but I’ll hold on to it meaning trying to substantiate a position by “attacking” the one delivering it (attacking the man instead of the issue is fine as long as it’s separate from justifying a position or argument…well, not “fine”– but it doesn’t make claim to the argument).

    I know it’s off-topic and I may be seeing your usage incorrectly, but I admire your letters (without the caps lol) and have no way to PM you here


  26. Joseph Anderson said on September 17th, 2007 at 2:03pm #


    Hue Longer: “I don’t see Amy Goodman as the voice of Pacifica and believe there are others there who do not dismiss the concept of flase flag OR the Israeli lobby.”

    Well, Democracy Now is the flagship program of Pacifica radio — and the only national, network-wide broadcast that I know of on Pacifica radio. Goodman is Pacifica’s most well-known and popular radio host from having its most well-known and popular radio show and, as Amy says, there are a combination of about 500(?) radio, TV and cable stations that carry her broadcast. (Parallel: while he was there Walter Cronkite was “the voice” of CBS News.) So, I would say that makes her “the voice of Pacifica” — not in that she guides Pacifica policy or is its spokesperson, but in that she is its most visible voice/face.

    As for other staffers at Democracy Now, many of them are/were very closely associated with NYC Indymedia, and NYC Indymedia commonly and bluntly censors articles –just completely deletes them — without even putting them under “hidden articles” — critical of the Israel lobby or critical of anyone (like Noam Chomsky or Greg Palast or *even* Michael Lerner) who denies the power of the Israel lobby — and typically censors articles explicitly critical of Zionism itself.


    In general, I believe, it’s because progressives/leftists have become as celebrity-oriented as the rest of America. In part, I believe, it’s because the left feels it desperately and uncritically needs heroes to deify — perhaps because it feels that it’s been under such political seige since the age of Reagan (and whether under Reagan, both Bush’s, or Clinton).

    In addition, I’ve seen the left increasingly turn to tiny index cards to ask questions at its lecture/panel fora — even at relatively small events — and leave only a few minutes out of a hour or hour-&-a-half for questions at all — and then organizers say “QUESTIONS ONLY!!” (Ony the oracle icons have answers, even brief reflections, or wisdom.) As far as I’m concerned, the *primary* purpose for using small index cards for Q&A is to CENSOR questions/comments. Even Berkeley’s AK Press –supposedly the “Anarchists”– has resorted to this for any but its smallest warehouse events.

    (And, for example, whenever I raise an analytical criticism about the Israel lobby, or Noam Chomsky, or even Amy Goodman never having a critic of the Israel lobby on Democracy Now, I can always count on some other “progressives/leftists” in the room to blurt out defensively and interrupt or poo-hoo my question — especially for not just blindly worshipping those people.)

    RALPH NADER even did this to me once at a packed, barely standing-room-only book lecture of his in a large bookstore, when I pointed out that Amy Goodman has never had a critic of the Israel lobby on Democracy Now: RALPH NADER *SHOUTED* THAT, “YOU SHOULD *FALL ON YOUR KNEEES* AND THANK AMY GOODMAN FOR ALLL SHE HAS DONE!: you see, leftist deification. BUT FIRST NADER — and two other hero-worshipping white guys (one who physically confronted me) — SUDDENLY SHOUTED “YOU’RE WRONG!!”, at me. I’m waiting to see if Nader will ever be man enough to apologize to me when he discovers that *he* was wrong. BUT LEFTIST DEITIES/ICONS, LIKE NADER IN HIS OWN RIGHT, *NEVER* APOLOGIZE TO ANY OF US MINIONS when the Deity/Icon is wrong. And Nader was has been a harsh critic of the lobby himself — but not *that* evening (there were too many ‘liberal Zionists’ he wanted to buy his book).

    Permit me to go on a bit too long (as I’m supposed to be back working at my day job now that my lunchtime is over): Michael Eric Dyson even said on pg 54, prgph 2, of his book _Debating Race_, in ch 3, “Too Little Thought”:

    “And let me say this. If we’re gon’ get real about it… Half the leaders I know are *insecure*. A Negro [especially anyone relatively younger] come up here with some intelligence, they [insecure leaders/icons] go, ‘Oh, hell, who is *he*? I’m not going to get the glory anymore because *that* person is here.’ Insecure [leaders/icons], incapable of accepting intelligent, articulate people [those without status] who just want to help.”

    And that’s even most of America’s progressive/leftist icons (white or Black). I’m not surprised that the left often stagnates, or ends up of no practical use (like to the Palestinians, or getting us out of RepubliCrat electoral politics, or following Stalin to the miserable end, or even just turning someone like KPFA’s Larry Bensky into some grand media martyr — Bensky, and others, who became a champion of Pacifica’s pre-crisis status-quo-ante, after and as long as *his/their* WHITE jobs were saved, and when I criticized him in print and online) and ends up down intellectual dead-end alleys.


    I don’t think that _ad hominem_ is synonymous with “vitriol” per se: _ad hominem_ is appealing to emotional prejudices/sentiments or slurs (and the former could be supposedly positive or negative, but are usually negative) employed in attacking another person’s character or arguments, rather than intellectually, logically or analytically critcizing another person’s arguments themselves. Now, I don’t necessarily mind a moral attack on someone’s moral or ethical character or their arguments (I’ve been known to get a little sarcastic just to add a little liveliness, spice and “flava” to my analytical commentaries in exposing someone’s moral double standards or duplicitous and specious claims) — and some people *deserve* harsh moral attacks, AS LONG AS an intellectually logical and valid basis has been established for doing so.

    As for my usage of CAPS (lol — yes, I’ve been criticized many times for that): I can only recall once doing so (with one word) in any of my formal writing, but I sometimes do so in my casual writing. I’ve tended to do so the most when employed to get under the skin of lumpen moronic Zionists (where they have infested themselves as commenters on Indymedia). I do CAPS less so at such venerable places like DissidentVoice, in its comments section. But, when I do CAPS in such comment venues it’s either in how I, perhaps, entitle my comments, or for emphasis, or for where I want to draw the reader’s attention who may be scanning comments that they feel might bear a closer look, e.g. regarding CENSORSHIP ON THE LEFT, or RALPH NADER, or CHOMSKY: …’what’s *that* about?’ I don’t hold with the white cultural convention, “universal” determination and imposition that CAPS is only “SHOUTING”. (Altho lengthy caps can be hard to read.)

    Anyway, thank you for your comments and feedback. It’s much appreciated. (And, otherwise, I don’t mind any logical criticism either.)

    Joseph Anderson


  27. Robert B. Livingston said on September 18th, 2007 at 3:32pm #

    I happened to be at that book signing Mr. Anderson mentioned.

    Ralph Nader shocked me when he responded to him in that disproportionate way.

    I have been a long admirer of Mr. Nader, but that moment seemed to me completely out of character– and has troubled me deeply ever since.

    I rationalized the situation, and Mr. Anderson’s words have now put that event into a better perspective for me.

    It is puzzling to me that Nader has said next to nothing about 9/11.

    A friend of mine explained to me once that she does not really think he “gets it.” I accepted that. Also, I have thought that Nader is hyper-testy with anyone who appears to be a potential heckler (and he has had many!)

    But I thought you had honest questions, and were not heckling Nader.

    I was disappointed with the crowd for not coming to your defense when some ganged up on you, and I was disappointed with myself.

  28. Joseph Anderson said on September 19th, 2007 at 5:34pm #

    TO: Robert B. Livingston, September 18th, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you very much, Robert. Your words are very much and warmly appreciated.

    The attempt to be intellectually and morally honest can sometimes feel like a lonely endeavor — as often there are many people who resent you for it and, as Michael Eric Dyson implicitly said, often including people (“leaders”) who one would normally have/want as their kindred spirit heroes or at least political comrades.

    A Black woman in the audience came up to me afterwards and said virtually the very same thing that you said above (except, if I remember correctly, I believe she pointed out that Nader said nothing about the mostly Black Karina victims, instead of about 9-11 as you said). She said that she was hoping and waiting for someone else to speak up for me; but I understand: it’s not easy to be the nail sticking up above the others. It’s often understandable that people might think, ‘Look what happened to *him*; that might happen to *me*!’

    The ironic thing is that I have seen Nader just about every time he’s come to the Bay Area before that occasion. He is personally (and was before pleasantly) acquainted with me — at least visually acquainted with me, if he might not remember my name offhand. We’ve never had the slightest friction before. And, as with Amy Goodman herself once before, he liked me as an acquaintance (though Amy always remembered my name) — I guess until I even politely raised an intellectually critical inquiry/comment he didn’t like for whatever reason, even though it certainly wasn’t a personal attack on him or any of his ideas.


    [ Amy once sensed that I was going to pose an intellectually critical (constructive) comment and only then did she do everything she could to put me off. But, I waited with equanimity until civility finally forced her to get back to me. I very politely said that she and Juan Gonzales (a founder of the Young Lords, remember?) shouldn’t let Henry Louis “Skip” Gates get away with all the sociological bullshit (though I didn’t say bullshit) he was spouting about Black people the next time he was interviewed on Democracy Now. Even at least the majority of, if not most, educated (formally or autodidactically) –and, especially, academic– Black folks regard “Skip” as at least a little messed up, intellectually and as far as his Black political consciousness, but especially as Harvard’s, the white academic establishment’s, CNIC (Chief Neegro In Charge), as we Blacks would say. The white academic establishment would have all of us believe that Skip was/is the only Black person capable of putting together ‘his’ Black literary anthology (supposed to be the last word in Black literary anthologies) — but it was actually other people (including UC Berkeley’s late Professor Barbara Christian) who did most of the work. Then, there was Gates’ academically ridiculous Africa documentaries — an *embarrassment* to any thinking Black person (and what makes Gates an expert on Africa anyway? — he’s truly not even an expert on African *Americans* — yet Harvard’s self-disgraced sexist ex-president Lawrence Summers attacked Cornel West for supposedly “lack of serious scholarship”). For sake of time, I won’t mention Gates’ other, often, ridiculous sociological perspectives on Black people.

    Sorry that it took that bit of background, but the point is, after all my positive interaction with Amy Goodman, she just replied with what I later found out to be “THE ‘FAMOUS’ AMY STARRRE”: COMPLETELY BLANK, LOOKING RIGHT THROUGH YOU LIKE YOU WEREN’T EVEN THERE.

    Media/Political activists I regard as far more experientially intelligent than I have been the recipients of that blank Amy stare. But, I’ve just come to use most of those icons as only a resource, and I respect whatever they do that may be good, not as someone to idolize — certainly not as people who ‘walk on water’. We *ruin* our icons to the extent we treat them uncritically, intellectually — and that’s when we progressives/leftists intellectually stagnate. ]


    Now, most of these icons don’t mind the usual happenstance *softball* critical questions, or even such outright criticisms or snipes, that they can easily intellectually handle, because then it shows everyone just how *smart* they are. But, if you trip across an incisive critical question that they *CAN’T* handle, then that’s when THEY LASH OUT (even passive-aggressively) at you — more or less just like Dyson said — and with their fan club to reflexively run interference or try to shout you down if it’s a public question.

    It took one of my intellectual mentors to clue me in on this: it’s because THEY *DON’T* HAVE AN ANSWER (it’s that simple she said –or it’s because they *don’t* want to logically give the only answer they could give without looking like a fool)! She said that her generation (her intellectually conscious grassroots milieu) had the same problem with (especially, older) icons when her generation was coming up. “And, Joseph”, she said, “they will NOT let you outthink them (especially if you’re Black and younger and they’re white).”

    In general, those icons certainly don’t ever seem to want to say, *”I didn’t know that”* — I mean, not to an ordinary ‘minion’. And, unlike the great late African American scholar Asa Hilliard, they certainly DON’T want to ever say/admit (*Hilliard* even said it to a Black *prisoner* who once intellectually corrected Hilliard’s reasoning at a prison lecture right there during Q&A), “I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU SAID: YOU WERE *RIGHT*.” (Former Black Panther David Hilliard actually once did say this too me.) NO ONE can know, see, reason, or analyze EVERYTHING.

    I barely have any public iconic heroes anymore, but two of the most well-known (both of whom I know personally) are Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West (who actually once said to me what Asa Hilliard once said to the Black prisoner) — not only for their scholarship, consciousness and commitment, but for not having huge, insecure egos — and for backin’-up an ordinary intelligent brotha when needed.

    Notably, I’ve even been royally dissed by all the leftist luvvv gurus like Alice Walker (thank goodness Baraba Christian saw that and harshly criticized it), June Jordan (yes!), Bell Hooks (I even wrote an article about it and that Cody’s Bookstore weasel Andy Ross and that white “liberal” asshole KQED-fm’s Michael Krasny — again, all *substantiated*: African American novelist & poet Ishmael Reed has noted that). And, of course, I’ve been royally dissed by white supericons like Chomsky or even those ‘Great White Hopes’ for alll us po’ neegroes, like the educational white liberal and icon Herb Kohl. I once told African American Oakland attorney-activist Walter Riley (Boots of the Coup’s father), “I’ve been dissed by some of ‘the best’, so to speak (certainly excluding Ross or Krasny), for my questions” — to which he jocularly but sadly said, “I’ve seen.”

    Sorry to go on so goddamn long…, but what you said about the hyper-testiness of icons who have been attacked many times before. Yes, I think that sometimes could certainly explain it. I once became friends with a big city older Black TV news anchorwoman — certainly one of that city’s most well-known public icons — the first Black TV news anchor (female or male) at her major market (CBS) network affiliate — which meant that she had to endure a LOT of shit to get to where she got. She developed what I call this conspicuous emotional “suit of armor”, and fortitude that quickly became attitude, and at least half the time she never knew when she *WASN’T* being attacked — especially not by her *friends*! It became very trying just being around her (since I’m not a celebrity-worshipper anyway and never fawned over her). You had to adore her all the time. (Can you imagine what being around Oprah or Martha Stewart must be like?) So, of course, I drifted away from her and lost contact.

    But if those icons are as SMART as they portray themselves to be, then they should have the common sense and judgement to KNOW when someone else is sincere and thoughtful –and, indeed, might generally otherwise highly respect them– or when that someone else is just out to personally attack them. L’il ole me knows the difference. (And the Zionists, in particular, have literally put my picture up on their ‘rogues gallery’ — a badge of honor along with some other people I greatly respect, since unlike those other people I’m just an ordinary person: I’m just ‘the cook’, though I hope I’ve mastered some intellectual martial arts.)

    But, thankfully, I’ve gotten many compliments from oridinary people of all ethnicities, ages and social backgrounds — especially, thank goodness, from other ordinary Black folks, to white smalltown folks (in/from my occasional previous radio interviews or semi-regular radio call-ins), to even little old white-haired Jewish ladies.

    Finally, I hung around, after my conversation with the *OTHER* Black person there, and after all the booksignings, to very politely tell Ralph –as ‘his people’ were trying to screen him from me and as he was willingly letting them– that if everything he said about the intellectual integrity of his father was right (remember how he went on about Dear Old Dad?), then his father would NEVER agree with the idea of BLIND hero-worship or just handing over one’s brains to even some icon to process all their thinking — and certainly not the idea that someone should just unquestioningly & blindly FALL ON THEIR KNEES to worship some icon. Ralph could have at least apologized for his behavior (I told him he could when he found out I was right), but of course he said nothing.

    Again, thank you very much (and sorry to go on so long, but consider it my great appreciation for your warm remarks).

    Joseph Anderson