July 5, 2006

Teaching 9/11 denial at the UW-Madison.

Kevin Barrett, founder of the Muslim Jewish Christian Alliance for 9/11 truth, has made his theory part of the Introduction to Islam course he will teach here at the University of Wisconsin.
''The physics of those collapses clearly could not have resulted from plane crashes and jet fuel fires with office materials.'' Barrett says jet fuel does not burn hot enough to melt steel, and says recent tests on melted steel from the building prove his theory that it was wired to collapse, by the Government.

Barrett says the Bush Administration is fooling the American public with the Adolf Hitler 'Big Lie Technique'... ''Tell them a little lie and they'll wonder about it - weapons of mass destruction in iraq was a relatively little lie - and people are getting called on it.'' Barrett says. ''Tell em a big lie like 9/11 and they have a huge resistance to questioning it.''
I have a huge resistance to believing that this will be taught at my university.

Barrett defends himself in classic academic form, saying he's presenting different interpretations and promoting debate and critical thinking and citing academic freedom.

More here:
[T]he Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance, which claims the Bush administration planned the attacks to create a war between Muslims and Christians. He argues that members of the faiths must work together to overcome the belief that terrorists were to blame.

"The 9/11 lie was designed to sow hatred between the faiths," Barrett has written on the organization's Web site.

"Either we discuss the compelling evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, or there is precious little to talk about."
The university has issued a statement saying it is reviewing the matter "to ensure that his course content is academically appropriate, of high quality, and that his personal views are not imposed on his students."

I'm just noticing the story this morning, but I see that it heated up last week after Barrett appeared on Jessica McBride's radio show. McBride has blogged the story: here (noting, among other things, that Barrett will be teaching "a large introductory course for undergrads and supervis[ing] several TAs" and that "Barrett says that his views are no surprise to his colleagues. In fact, he claims they are shared by many of them"), here (asking whether "the UW draw[s] any line about who it hires to teach courses when it comes to political views"), here (providing the syllabus for the course and the reading list), here (comparing the university's response to its response when the student newspaper published the Muhammad cartoons), and here (dealing with academic freedom saying "He didn't have academic freedom claims until they gave it to him. They MADE him an academic.").

UPDATE: The Capital Times -- the afternoon newspaper here in Madison -- has this editorial, aimed at State Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, who "called on the UW to bar [Barrett] from teaching."
The vitriol that Nass is spewing now is similar to the language he used last year to attack another academic with whom he disagrees University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill. Nass tried to prevent UW-Whitewater from letting Churchill speak at a student-sponsored event....

If Barrett tries to force his views about 9/11 on students, he will be called on it. But everything he has said suggests that he will be a responsible instructor. Indeed, Barrett has been very specific about the fact that he wants to try to "present all defensible sides of important issues" and "let students make up their own minds."

That sounds a lot like the values expressed on a plaque at the UW that reads: "Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."

Steve Nass should go up to Bascom Hall and read the plaque before he starts telling this great university to fire controversial instructors.
But you don't find the truth by "sifting and winnowing" in a pile of obviously worthless ideas. And you don't learn to exercise critical thinking by reading a lot of material that is clearly wrong. And could the Capital Times learn the difference between "controversial views" and crackpot conspiracy theories? Focusing on the statements of some Republican legislator is a very easy route for the Madison newspaper. How about paying some attention to the interests of students who would like to be able to take a creditable introductory course on Islam? How about some consideration for Muslims who may not appreciate having their religion connected with ridiculous, unscientific, politically motivated bilge? How about a little less attention to the inflammatory question of whether a teacher should be fired and a little more attention to how he got the job in the first place?

164 comments:

Pogo said...

An Introduction course on Isalm, and this is in the syllabus?
Are they also going to hire some creation science folks to teach about evolution ?
Nazis to teach about the holocaust?
The KKK to teach Black History?

I don't know the UW system, but are they prone to giving themselves "kick me" signs?

dmc_in_washington said...

UW seems to be pining for its own Ward Churchill. Rush, Hannity, et al will have a field day.

Are academics -- present company excepted -- really this politically tone deaf?

John R Henry said...

I am all for academic freedom and so on but WTF?

What does this theory of building collapse have to do with an intro to Islam?

I could *possibly* see it in a structural engineering course. At least there it would be on topic, if no less bizarre.

But what does it have to do with Islam?

John Henry

Timothy K. Morris said...

Whoever allows this nonsense to be "taught" at a major university offers almost irrefutable proof that something is seriously wrong with higher education in this country.

For a debunking of the more common 9/11 urban legends see the article from Popular Mechanics begining here:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html

Or, for the answer to the jet fuel can't have been the cause legend, go directly to this page:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=4&c=y

You'll find the explanation about half-way donw.

Tibore said...

""The physics of those collapses clearly could not have resulted from plane crashes and jet fuel fires with office materials." Barrett says jet fuel does not burn hot enough to melt steel..."

He's kidding, right? He really believes this? This idiot actually believes this??

1. Steel doesn't have to melt before it loses it's ability to bear loads!

2. Has this dummy ever heard of an oven? Of insulation? When the temperature of the air outside his car in the summer is 80 degrees, how does he explain it being well above that inside? The WTC fires weren't out in the open where the heat would dissipate out into the air; it was enclosed in a giant concrete structure! Of COURSE it would get hot in there, much hotter than it would get if that same amount of jet fuel was burning out in the open!

Good grief...

Mellow-Drama said...

Hey, I support academic freedom too - if there is a market for this sort of thing, then someone ought to be able to teach and write about it.

But whatever happened to the ability of academic institutions to make value judgments about subject matter? The fact that one supports academic freedom does not mean that any yahoo theory which comes along should be hired in to be taught in the classroom of any given university. How about showing a little common sense and good judgment?

Mellow-Drama said...

In fact, the more I think about this, the more ridiculous it is. In an effort to prove just how diverse and NON-judgmental an institution is, it allows this kind of thing and then falls back on "academic freedom" when the judgments are questioned. But universities make value judgments all the time, and you can't tell me that there is no one else qualified who could have taught that course with a little sense.

MadisonMan said...

I recall from reading in the local paper that he was hired because the normal professor was on sabbatical (or did he retire? In any event, unavailable), and this person was familiar with the course, having TAed it.

Changing around a syllabus like this is a lot of work, so I give him credit for that. Too bad he's not adding quality content (to put it mildly). Like others, I wonder what this has to do with Islam. Does the Intro to Christianity course focus on Fred Phelps?

Simon said...

This is priceless - up there with David Beckjam studies and critical legal theory. Amusing that he cites "[t]he truth will set you free" to justiy teaching a course that is almost entirely made up.

In all the outrage that will surely follow, let us not lose site of something: the real losers in all this, of course, are the students who are going to be paying tuition for the privelege of being forced to listen to this chap advance his agenda. By the time that they realize they are in "bush hatred 101", rather than "islam", it'll be too late to get their money back.

Still, at least the final will be easy: "list ten ways in which the Bush administration is destroying America."

Ann Althouse said...

Madison Man: "a lot of work, so I give him credit for that"

I think people who are into conspiracy theories generally work hard. That's part of the wackiness.

Simon said...

"Hey, I support academic freedom too - if there is a market for this sort of thing, then someone ought to be able to teach and write about it."

The market choice theory only operates when people are in a position to know what they're buying. You can't reliably prove that there is a strong market demand for rampant rabbits if you sell them in plain brown boxes in Walmart with "canned tomatoes" on the label, and it can't seriously be suggested that students want to listen to this chap prattle about 9/11 denial just because they signed up for a course on Islam. They signed up to learn about Islam, and might rightly wonder why they're learning about Michael Moore.

M. Simon said...

The definitive study of the 9/11 collapse hasn't been done yet. Popular Mechanics "debunking" not withstanding.

It does seem totally out of place in a course on Islam.

Todd said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that if you're taking his course and you dissent from his views on 9/11, either in class or in the work you turn in, you do very poorly. Leaving students who disagree and want good grades in the position of arguing from the perspective on near-insanity.

Too Many Jims said...

Assuming the course complies with the department's and the University's standards for academic rigor, I am glad that someone is teaching the course. I am virtually certain that the most outrageous parts of the conspiracy theories that he subscribes to (e.g. planes alone could not take down the towers) cannot stand the light of critical thinking and science. I will say that he better be prepared for having his class populated by a bunch of David Horowitz acolytes who are going to be prepared to challenge their grades if he grades at all based on his subjective views of the matter.

But the main reason, for me, that this an important class to teach (setting aside academic freedom concerns) is that deniers of 9/11 will play an important role in how we teach and future generations learn about that time period. For example, more than twenty years ago when I as in high school a Holocaust survivor came and talked to us about his experiences in surviving the holocaust. I still remember details about what he said (I suppose it didn't hurt that he played the character LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes.) The reason he came and talked to us was that he and his wife had heard a Holocaust denier on the radio. He got disgusted and his wife insisted that he go out and talk to kids about his experience.

When my kids get older I will teach them that the Holocaust did happened and I will teach them that 19 men (mainly from Saudi Arabia) hijacked planes and killed more than 2,000 people. If I run accross someone in conversation who denies either of these I will challenge their arguments and I am confident that based on history and science, my arguments will prevail

Glenn Howes said...

Unfortunately, the kind of scenario is plausible to the scientifically ignorant students our universities pump out. My own brother, who I've always thought of as being a reasonable and intelligent sort, has bought into it. As someone with a scientific background (Ph.D. Chemistry Univ. Wisconsin-Madison), I would have though only the retarded and delusional would buy into such things.

So I had to try to convince him, unsuccessfully, that it was pure madness. He'd point me at a an online petition of "scientists." I'd point out that most of were anonymous and googling the rest showed they were just random yahoos and software engineers. He'd point me to a list of "scientists" pushing the theory. I'd point out that they were composed of a pothead, an X-Files fanatic and a couple guys who give introductory survey classes in physics at BYU; nobody with any kind of academic street-cred.

He claimed that the reason no explosive residue was found was because the whole building was rigged with thermite (a chemical reaction which gets very hot and melts through things). He claimed that the building collapsed too fast, apparently thinking that structures catastrophically collapse like cliff walls in a Road Runner cartoon.

He pointed me at a video where some "MIT engineer" (engineer in what, degree in what?) introduced by Ed Bagley Jr. was claiming that a 500,000 ton building collapsing couldn't pulverize concrete because it had carpet on top of it (hey how is thermite supposed to pulverize concrete?), and therefore every floor of the building must have been filled with enough explosives to powderize all the concrete, that you could see explosions outside the building as it collapsed (really slow, flashless explosions, and what about the thermite?), that the pulverized concrete came out in a "pyroclastic flow" (he obviously did not know the meaning of that term) only seen off the continental shelf.

I would point out how stupid this was to my brother, and he chose to believe the potheads, old cranks and academic never-weres over his own software engineer/chemist brother.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
charlotte said...

Barrett says the Bush Administration is fooling the American public with the Adolf Hitler 'Big Lie Technique'... ''Tell them a little lie and they'll wonder about it - weapons of mass destruction in iraq was a relatively little lie - and people are getting called on it.''

Why don't he and the university just call the course "Moonbattery, Bushbattery and Assault & Battery on Logic and Empirical Data: or, how personal and partisan psychosis can lead to attacking one's defenders and defending one's attackers using unhinged theory and fiction as fact, and how masochistic urges to submit to extremist propaganda and religious imperialism create an existential hell for both western academic and student submitting to academic irrationality"

Pogo said...

Re: I am confident that based on history and science, my arguments will prevail

I am no longer confident that this is the case. The protocols of Zion is still around, for example, as are holocaust deniers.

And how does UW Madison do quality control now? By the honor system? By assumption? Ouija board? Coin flip?

Pogo said...

P.S. Sippican:
Remember, it's only based on reality, not unlike a TV movie is based on a true story. You know, fake-but-accurate, and all that.

Dave said...

Ann, in case you or any of your colleagues wonder why we, Americans, respect academia so little, this would be one of the obvious reasons.

That our tax money is going to support this type of "education" beggars belief. You will excuse us if we condemn the academy, I'm sure.

MarkyX said...

I think this teacher and every other muslim should look at The Usual Suspects video.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4220657430794722240&q=the+usual+suspects

Simon said...

Todd said...
"I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that if you're taking his course and you dissent from his views on 9/11, either in class or in the work you turn in, you do very poorly. Leaving students who disagree and want good grades in the position of arguing from the perspective on near-insanity."

This is a tangent, but that point was what I meant the other week when I said I'd have to do ConLaw twice because I wasn't sure Ann would pass me. What are you to do as a Professor when you believe that the Constitution protects a right to abortion, plain as the nose on your face, and you have a student who equally adamantly says that it does absolutely no such thing? What do you do when you have a student who flatly denies substantive content in the due process clause? It goes against your beliefs, and it goes against what the Supreme Court has held, but on the other hand, some of the most celebrated Justices ever to sit on the court - liberal and conservative both - have taken the same view.

BarbO said...

There's a wonderful recent study by Drew Westen and his colleagues at Emory that shows precisely how some people think so illogically. In general, when people are thinking about something they are not emotionally vested in, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is activated. This is the part of the brain that deals with rational decision-making. But when thinking about something that a person has a strong emotional interest in, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex doesn't light up at all! Instead, emotionally related centers of the brain light up. First, a part of the brain that involves pain is activated--that seems to be during the brief period when the person is struggling with how to explain a fact that can't logically be explained away. Then, when the person figures out a way around the logical impasse, the pleasure areas of the brain light up. I'll bet folks like Cindy Sheehan have mild cognitive disorders, perhaps something along the lines of sub-clinical borderline personality disorder, that end up weighting the emotional factors too heavily in their brain, so it's sometimes difficult for them to think logically. When they're presented with facts that counter their viewpoint, it actually gives them a bit of a high as they mentally refute it--and their illogical thinking is more deeply reinforced.

Old Dad said...

If "Academic Freedom," what ever that means, supports this nonsense, then I oppose Academic Freedom.

SteveR said...

The criticism should not be directed at this nut, because nuts are all around but at the prople who decided to hire him. Big wow, he TA'd a couple classes. That's some stout academic rigor.

Did they talk to him? Review his proposed course?

Based on the science alone he's not credible. What's next? Psychology classes based on the sun revolving around the earth or geography classes taught by the Flat Earth Society?

_Jon said...

Regarding the "Little Lie", "Big Lie" concept and this quote:
''Tell them a little lie and they'll wonder about it - weapons of mass destruction in iraq was a relatively little lie - and people are getting called on it.'' Barrett says. ''Tell em a big lie like 9/11 and they have a huge resistance to questioning it.''

-- Didn't 9/11 happen *before* the invasion of Iraq?
-- How could Bush et. al. have used the 'Little Lie' of WMD in Iraq in order to decrease questioning of the 'Big Lie' when WMD in Iraq hadn't even been mentioned on 9/11?!?

(Setting aside the 500+ WMD already found in Iraq and the massive evacuation of _something_ from Iraq before the invasion.)

Dave said...

Glenn: One need not be either a scientist or engineer to see, intuitively, that (1) conspiracy theories make no sense in this instance, and (2) the issue of the heat at which jet fuel burns is a stram man, given all the other combustibles.

Anyone applying a modicum of common sense to the scene at hand will reach the same conclusion. Common sense is not the exclusive domain of scientists and engineers. It's the domain of people who can think clearly. Some will argue that scientists and/or engineers are more predisposed to this kind of thinking, but I would aver that an elementary understanding of the science involved in the destruction of the Twin Towers is all that is needed to do away with conspiracy theories.

That said, I do agree with you that American universities pump out scientific illiterates at an alarming rate. See conspiracy theories and intelligent design folk. Oh wait, they're probably one and the same....

richard mcenroe said...

Rouse the alumni!
Stop the donations!
End the endowments!

Stephen said...

Why don't he and the university just call the course "Moonbattery, Bushbattery and Assault & Battery on Logic and Empirical Data: or, how personal and partisan psychosis can lead to attacking one's defenders and defending one's attackers using unhinged theory and fiction as fact, and how masochistic urges to submit to extremist propaganda and religious imperialism create an existential hell for both western academic and student submitting to academic irrationality"

Because that would take up too much space on a transcript.

By the way, if the Bush administration created 9/11, why did Al Quaeda take credit for it? Was it just a convenient recruiting tool for them? Did the neocons in the Clinton administration create the USS Cole bombing, too? So many questions. Maybe I should take Intro to Islam for the answers.

TallDave said...

This is perfectly reasonable material. It just needs to be taught in the proper course: "Abnormal Psychology: Paranoia and Irrational Beliefs."

charlotte said...

Because that would take up too much space on a transcript.

"Moonbattery" for short, Stephen, and it could be cross-listed in the course catalog under Astronomy/Astrology next to KosMology 101.

ed said...

Hmmmm.

I'm thinking of going to college to get my degree.

But most definitely *not* at UW-Madison as I frankly don't have either the time, energy nor inclination to deal with this kind of silly nonsense.

If the University is incapable of managing it's own professors, then the University is simply incapable of actually offering a reasonable and worthwhile education.

Just where the heck can a middle-aged conservative look to for a good education without having to deal with mouth-foaming idiot lefty fanatics? Is there a conservative university out there? Perhaps something in either software engineering, CS or military history?

Tantor said...

The University of Wisconsin Madison has long held a reputation as a school for radicals, a sort of cheddarhead Berkely. Student radicals bombed Sterling Hall in 1970, the home of the Army Research Center, killing a post-doc student working on an experiment in super conductivity. Another guy had his hand maimed by the blast.

When the protestor murderers were caught, the campus held spaghetti dinners and the like to raise money for their cause. When they were released from prison, they were hailed as heroes. They made no apology for their crime nor to the widow and orphans of their victim. They said they would do it again if need be.

That's the proud legacy of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It's hardly a surprise that the tenured radicals there would indoctrinate their students in anti-American propaganda and call it education.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_Hall_bombing

Tantor

SGT Stephen Brown said...

okay, so what if the government rigged the building to collapse. it doesn't change the fact that two huge planes flew into the sides of them. the government do that, too???

the pooka said...

From the article:

"(Barrett) says 14 of the 16 weeks will have nothing to do with politics, but in the remaining two weeks, he will cover what he calls the ''so-called war on terror''. `And I will present different interpretations of the war on terror, In I think a pretty detached way and encourage students to debate those interpretations and to support whichever one they personally find most persuasive and let them make up their own minds.' Barrett says.

... Barrett says his students don't have to agree with his theory about 9/11. ''Of course not!'' Barrett says, ''I certainly wouldn't expect them to... At least not all of them. On the other hand I would expect some of them would once they look at the evidence because the evidence is overwhelming.''

Barrett said he is not surprised, or concerned about the UW's request to discuss the curriculum of his class.

''These people (his critics) are welcome to their opinions, but we have a tradition of academic freedom here in Wisconsin of sifting fearlessly in pursuit of truth because our motto has it - The truth will set you free. '' Barrett says."


Now, the theories are crazy, no doubt. But, he seems pretty reasonable about the whole thing to me. And, jim's right: he can look forward to the entire contingent of CollegeGOPers descending like locusts on his class.

The most deliciously ironic part of this is, it'll be great PR for him and his theories once O'Reilly and Co. get hold of this and start wailing. Call it a reverse-Coulter.

Middle-aged conservative: Go here for your degree. They just cancelled their NYT subscription; they'll be sure not to tell you anything you might be uncomfortable with.

Simon said...

SGT Stephen Brown said...
"...it doesn't change the fact that two huge planes flew into the sides of them. the government do that, too???"
So the moonbats claim.

Pat said...

We've been blogging about these mental midgets at Screw Loose Change for a couple months; nice to get some real world perspective from folks who aren't immersed in this mania.

"Okay, so what if the government rigged the building to collapse. It doesn't change the fact that two huge planes flew into the sides of them. the government do that, too?"

That's what most of them believe; the really loony ones believe that the planes were holograms (no, I am not kidding).

You have to understand that the conspiracy theorist starts with the conclusion and works backwards from there. Bush/Cheney and Company did it in their minds and so they interpret every piece of evidence in that light. Particularly advantageous to them is the conspiracy theorist worldview that says that anything which doesn't fit the conspiracy theory is part of the coverup; this takes care of any loose ends.

Telecomedian said...

My coworker at the cubicle across from me was in the Pentagon when the plane hit. She classifies it as the most terrifying experience of her life, and the most sickening effect was the screams and the smell.

My first trip to the Pentagon was last year. I didn't realize I was walking through a section that had been destroyed, as the rebuilding effort has been thorough. I did catch a whiff of a strange smell - it smelled like death.

I've also seen one of the survivors of the attack, a gentleman who was washed in scalding jet fuel. He's had numerous surgeries to repair his skin, ears, fingers, lungs - pick a body part, pretty much, and it was burnt. Amazingly, this man still has a sense of humor, and states that he looks pretty good for a guy who got hit by a jet. Still, his appearance, his strained walk and overall sense of physical pain is jarring, and a stunning reminder of what that day is really about.

I'd love to see Barrett and any UW faculty who supports this shaky falsehood come to the Pentagon, look this poor disfigured man in what's left of his face, and tell him it was a Big Lie.

David said...

Steel rail, 142 lbs. per foot, can break when the temperature drops too fast from a high in the afternoon to a low in morning.

Steel warps and loses it's load bearing potential. Ever notice the signs on tractors pulling trailers where it says, "DON'T WELD!" on the chassis?

This guy is warped also!

Todd said...

Simon: Well, I can't speak for Prof. Althouse's class, but in my law school very little of the opinion of students on whether court decisions were correctly reached would ever be relevant on an exam. In the average law school exam (at least at The Q back in the 90's) and on the bar, you read a hypothetical fact pattern, identify issues, and try to answer questions about the issues you identified according to the holdings of cases you studied in class. You need to know what the court decided and why. You can tell the professor all about why the court shouldn't have reached that holding and why the professor is wrong to agree with it, but you can't change what the court said. (Until you pass the bar and get in front of that court and change their minds.) Sure, the professor can give you bad marks on your classroom participation, but that's usually a tiny portion of any of the required law school curriculum.

Let's just say that the fact that he lends so much credence to these theories, as well as the much more inherently subjective nature of college courses, leads me to think he's not exactly going to be receptive to students who disagree with him in classroom discussions or in exams.

Tim said...

So this dude thinks 9/11 was triggered by Bush to validate a war against Muslims?

O.k. Nuts have an uncommon ability to draw attention to themselves. But were this remotely true, wouldn't the ideal time for such a war against Muslims have been immediately following 9/11 and, with maybe deploying a maximum of three dozen nukes, couldn't the U.S. wipe out 90+% of Muslims worldwide in very short order? Why kill them at such a slow rate, and only those who attack us, if that was the aim?

RogerA said...

Although my engineering coursework is 40 years old, I think any strength of materials text such as the one I had in my junior year, would adequately cover the issue.

bearbee said...

NOVA's Why The Towers Fell

Pogo said...

He blames Bush?
Why not the Masons? Or the Illuminati? Or perhaps the Pope?

Did he even read The Da Vinci Code?

tndefender said...

"Muslim Christian Alliance"? Rather an oxymoron, don't you think?

Hans Hecht said...

well, he claims that there is censoring going on in Madison...

http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/column/index.php?ntid=83698

anybody wishing to comment on the May 12 story?

Stace said...

I have to put in a plug for Pat's (the commenter above) website.
http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/

It's an excellent debunking site.

Internet Ronin said...

tndefender: I think that's because you left something out: it's the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance, you see. That makes all the difference, and perfect sense, of course ;-)

Simon said...

"You have to understand that the conspiracy theorist starts with the conclusion and works backwards from there. Bush/Cheney and Company did it in their minds and so they interpret every piece of evidence in that light. Particularly advantageous to them is the conspiracy theorist worldview that says that anything which doesn't fit the conspiracy theory is part of the coverup; this takes care of any loose ends."

But the thing that makes the 9/11 conspiracy so ludicrous is that there isn't just an absence of evidence of the conspiracy, there aren't even any problems inherent in the real story. So, for example, you can see why the Kennedy conspiracy arose and still has some vitality decades later: the Zapruder footage clearly shows the fatal headshot as hitting Kennedy from in from of the car to its right, and the autopsy photos - reproduced ad nauseum - also show an entry wound in the front of Kennedy's head. A conspiracy theory when the official conclusions so blatantly fail to tally with the physical evidence is inevitable. But in the case of 9/11, it is the other way around. The Kennedy conspiracy theory was inspired by the evidence, and motives calculated from that; the 9/11 conspiracy theory assumes guilt, and interpolates motive, method and evidence.

The good news is that the 9/11 conspiracy theory will not live as long as did the Kennedy theory. As with so much of what the angry left does these days, its animating force is visceral hatred of a man who leaves office in two and a half years; the conspiracy exists purely for utility, and as soon as Bush leaves office - and thus, the purpose for which the conspiracy theory exists, which is to get rid of Bush, becomes moot - I suspect it will disappear.

Glenn Howes said...

I don't think any of you other commenters have had to argue with people who have been infected with this meme. Scientific knowledge, reason, Ocham's razor, all these things are completely irrelevant and useless in trying to convince the infected about the foolishness of it all.

It comforts these people to believe there are not large islamofascist groups seeking our destruction, people whose ideology demands that we in the West submit to their religion or die. On the other hand, if they can believe this is all something cooked up by Bush, it becomes simple: when Bush is gone everything will be peace and harmony. We can go about our business and it will be all a bad dream. The alternative, where we have to fight for our way of life is just too distasteful. Who wouldn't want to believe this? It's only fault is it is a delusion.

Tibore said...

"That's what the designers of the World Trade Center were designing for—a fire that starts in a wastepaper basket, for instance. By the time it gets to the far corner of the building, it has already burned up all the fuel that was back at the point of origin. So the beams where it started have already started to cool down and regain their strength before you start to weaken the ones on the other side.

On September 11th, the whole floor was damaged all at once, and that's really the cause of the World Trade Center collapse. There was so much fuel spread so quickly that the entire floor got weakened all at once, whereas in a normal fire, people should not think that if there's a fire in a high-rise building that the building will come crashing down. This was a very unusual situation, in which someone dumped 10,000 gallons of jet fuel in an instant."


Thank you bearbee for the link.

And as a response to Barrett's claim that the "evidence is overwhelming": No. The theories are abundant. The "evidence" itself is far from overwhelming. He's confusing quantity with quality.

DRJ said...

You aren't really surprised that this is happening at UW, are you? After all, this is the college and town that pride themselves on inhabiting "25 square miles surrounded by reality".

jeff said...

Sigh. Liberal Arts students and professors ought to be required to take (and pass) more science classes.

Mike said...

As a member of the UW-Madison faculty, I find this distressing.

As to who has to approve this, it starts with his department. Now that this has been brought to their attention, they are going to have to sign off on this. Has that happened yet?

At the very, very least I think the UW should require a rebuttal lecture from, you know, an actual engineer. That might actually be instructive for the students. First, this guy's lecture which might well sound reasonable to students without a good science background (probably every one of them), followed by the scientist who does two things; i) teaches how silly this specific claim is, and ii) by implication teaches how reasonable charlatans can sound if you're scientifically ignornant. The second lesson is vital in this day and age. They might approach the next pseudo-scientific argument with more scepticism.

Harry said...

Middle aged conservative-

I am happy to say that my alma mater (Texas A&M University) has maintained an excellent reputation through the years in many fields while also managing to run off all the hippies, moonbats, etc.

bearbee said...

14 min video of MIT Jeff King explaining his theory of controlled demolition. Barrett seems to have based his Bush theory on this controlled demolition theory. MIT Engineer Breaks Down WTC Controlled Demolition

Since every other government secret seems to find its way onto the front pages, one would think that Bush planting demolitions would have been leaked quite a while ago,

SteveR said...

Yep Harry, they all went to Austin.

Mike said...

Hans Hecht asked: well, he claims that there is censoring going on in Madison...

http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/column/index.php?ntid=83698

anybody wishing to comment on the May 12 story?


What I see is a story so loony that even the Capital Times would have been embarrassed to run it.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: "What are you to do as a Professor when you believe that the Constitution protects a right to abortion, plain as the nose on your face, and you have a student who equally adamantly says that it does absolutely no such thing?"

I do the same thing I always do which is concentrate on understanding the court opinions and making lawyerly arguments. I don't care what students personally believe the answer should be and I don't expect them to care what I believe, but whether they can answer the questions asked in a professional way. The exam might tell you which side you have to argue or it might tell you to pick the better argument, but your grade would depend on how well you used the materials we studied in the course.

PatCA said...

"Are academics -- present company excepted -- really this politically tone deaf?"

I would say they are exquisitely sensitive to tone. The powers that be are absolutely lost when they have to make a value judgment such as: should we have a moonbat 9/11 conspiracist teaching our children? This man used all the buzz words popular in the academic freedom debate, rendering them powerless.

And remember, freshmen are 18-19, and not as able as adults to critically judge his hogwash. I hope other faculty speak up to the deans and voice their displeasure.

Pat said...

But the thing that makes the 9/11 conspiracy so ludicrous is that there isn't just an absence of evidence of the conspiracy, there aren't even any problems inherent in the real story.

But there are always problems inherent in any major news stories. Eyewitness accounts contradict each other on major points. Early news stories are frequently overtaken by events and never corrected.

And conspiracy theorism is an industry, which means it's getting pretty good at marketing itself, with slick MTV-style videos, books, conventions, podcasts, radio shows, etc. Yearly Kos drew about 1,000 to its convention; Alex Jones drew 1,200 (and sold out) to a 9-11 conference at $75 a pop.

The 9-11 "Truth" movement has a real head of steam. Yes, they are not doing anywhere near as well as their ridiculous polls say. But they are getting attention and inevitably that brings converts.

The one person that seems to be holding them back, ironically, is Kos himself, who has decreed that no one may post "Truther" stuff in the diaries; I suspect he's also cracking the whip on the other liberal bloggers on the Townhouse list, because none of the major lib blogs has been willing to touch "Loose Change".

Stace, thanks for the kind comment about Screw Loose Change!

Pyrthroes said...

Either in 2003 or '04, Popular Mechanics magazine published a detailed and extensive refutation of this and every other 9/11 conspiracy/denial proposition extant.

No-one with pretensions to rationality, let alone academic credentials, could possibly bruit such hogwash except by wilfully ignoring the volume of literature addressing such questions (as if any were needed!), that is easily available on public record over near five years.

This is not about Islamic terrorism. It is not even about the Trade Towers. Most certainly, it is about a treacherous attitude, all too familiar on the Left, that addresses any and all issues in terms of partisan sloganeering. Such absolute drivel is not just unworthy of an accredited educational institution. To maintain someone on your staff who propagates this stuff undermines every pretension. "Death eaters" are insufficient condemnation.

When Iran's first WMD lands somewhere in Western Europe about a year from now, it will obviously be a Rove/CIA reprisal for French and German stands against America in the UN. Pick your vote... have these gormless twits [Mark Steyn] no intelligence, no guts, no self-repsect? This creep should be running Hillary's campaign.

sonicfrog said...

OK. I admit it. I was one of the 50 guys who spent years drilling holes in the walls of peoples offices to place the explosives, and running miles and miles of wires throughout both towers to connect the explosives and make sure they all exploded in sequence and not leave a schred of evidence. The cool thing is that, while we were doing this massive undertaking, no one noticed a thing. In fact, we started our work in 93 when we placed the yellow truck in the parking garage. Boy it was nice having the buildings empty. We got alot of the groundwork done then.

That Bush! I tell ya. He plays dumb but look how smart he is. When he was skipping his National Guard service, he was actually planning all this and getting ready to be President.

bearbee said...

The WTC was attacked in 1993 with moderate damage. If demolitions were planted is it just possible that those who had commercial aircraft crash into the Towers also had demolitions planted?

Todd said...

I guess there is some science behind the theory that jet fuel didn't collapse the towers. I got this from Jonah Goldberg at the Corner, here's a Democratic Underground poster's experiment trying to show how it didn't happen that way (really, follow the link, this is priceless.)

Thad Anderson said...

I equate people who believe the Bush administration planned 9/11 with people who claim that global warming is just a conspiracy. The facts just don't matter to these people - nothing but their ideological beliefs do - and trying to have a rational conversation with them about the facts is completely worthless. Even the most exhaustive scientific study would never be able to prove to either group that they are wrong.

Perhaps the most glaring factual mistake I've seen on 9/11 conspiracy websites is a photo of a hole in the wall of the Pentagon, which is held out as evidence that a plane could not have hit the building, because the hole is "too small." The photo in question is in fact a real photo of the Pentagon, but the wall shown is some interior wall - not the exterior wall which took most of the damage. Photographs released during the Moussaoi trial, especially this one and this one, show the massive damage to the Pentagon which resulted from the jetliner's impact (and I'm pretty sure live TV footage from 9/11 shows this, too).

Sadly, the Bush administration deserves some of the blame here - not for 9/11 - but for fueling the proliferation of these conspiracy theories. After two terms of hearing the country's leadership lie about almost everything, a certain percentage of the country is at the point where they assume that the opposite of whatever the Bush administration says is true.

One of the reasons seemingly intelligent people fall into this trap - like the brother mentioned in a previous post - is that the more you learn about something like the case for invading Iraq, the less you trust Bush. The last 5 or 6 years have been a nonstop parade of "I can't believe they did that" revelations - many of which haven't even gotten the full exposure they deserve (for example, what percentage of the American population could tell you who "Curveball" is, and what role he played in the pre-Iraq intelligence).

There's an old parable about an explorer who stops for directions and encounters two African tribesmen, one who always tells the truth, and one who always lies. In 2006, it is impossible to be more than passably knowledgable about current events and to still trust the Bush administration.
The mistake the 9/11 conspiracy theorists make is to assume that Bush is the second tribesman, and that anything and everything he says must be false - which makes them just as unreasonable as the people who still trust him.

Big D said...

At the very, very least I think the UW should require a rebuttal lecture from, you know, an actual engineer. That might actually be instructive for the students. First, this guy's lecture which might well sound reasonable to students without a good science background (probably every one of them), followed by the scientist who does two things; i) teaches how silly this specific claim is, and ii) by implication teaches how reasonable charlatans can sound if you're scientifically ignornant. The second lesson is vital in this day and age. They might approach the next pseudo-scientific argument with more scepticism.

Hell, if you want an example of how unvarnished garbage can sound reasonable just let them see the dihydrogen monooxide site at http://www.dhmo.org/
If you don't know what they're talking about it sounds so terrible.(Since as far as I can tell all the claims are technically true. I won't spoil it for anyone but if you can look it up on wikipedia to find out what they're really talking about.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

"here's a Democratic Underground poster's experiment trying to show how it didn't happen that way (really, follow the link, this is priceless.)"

OHMIGOD!!!!!!!!!! A chickenwire and concrete block box accurately models the per-square-inch structural stresses on the WTC?? The insulative properties? THE HEAT FROM A CUP OF KEROSENE SOMEHOW SCALES TO THE HEAT FROM 60,000+ LBS OF KEROSENE PLUS THE HEAT FROM ALL THE OTHER MATERIALS IN THE BUILDING?????

JesusH! The guy was totally serious about his modeling. I thought at first it was tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, but NO!

And the folks keep repeating

"Spooked's model is much weaker than the WTC structures, which makes the fact that it survived a similar fire highly significant."

Yes, the model was. So was the damn fire! There was absolutely nothing similar about it! No other combustion sources, no concrete insulation to absorb the thermal energy... like I said above, have these dumb (bleeps) ever heard of an oven? Do they not believe their cars get hotter inside than out in the summer? Do they not believe in Global Warming? It's the same damn principle in each case!

God... I'm just worn out. How do you reason with these people?

Meh... even the Word Verification is taunting me: znhwlfz. Zing Wolfowitz.

Robert Schwartz said...

I have two kids in college (thank God not at UW) at an annual cost of almost $100,000. This sort of story really honks me off.

First: this is a sick joke.

Second: Academic Freedom can not be given to irresponsible children.

I propose firing all of the tenured faculty in the "humanities" and rehiring them on semester to semester contracts, under which they they will teach courses on recognizable subjects like composition and American History from pre-defined syllabi and texts, subject to extensive in-class monitoring (including surveillance cameras) and to full appeals on grades and discipline to a panel of adults.

the pooka said...

I propose firing all of the tenured faculty in the "humanities" and rehiring them on semester to semester contracts, under which they they will teach courses on recognizable subjects like composition and American History from pre-defined syllabi and texts, subject to extensive in-class monitoring (including surveillance cameras) and to full appeals on grades and discipline to a panel of adults.

Now that is a sick joke.

michael a litscher said...

ed: Just where the heck can a middle-aged conservative look to for a good education without having to deal with mouth-foaming idiot lefty fanatics? Is there a conservative university out there? Perhaps something in either software engineering, CS or military history?

Milwaukee School of Engineering.

When I went there, it was so conservative that politics wasn't discussed.

Elizabeth said...

The wild-eyed lefties of Salon.com are fairly repulsed by 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Farhad Manjoo debunks the 9/11 deniers, focusing on the film Loose Change.

I saw this film advertised on my campus last month, sponsored by the student Green Party. When did the Greens become as loony as Lyndon LaRouche?

Thorley Winston said...

I saw this film advertised on my campus last month, sponsored by the student Green Party. When did the Greens become as loony as Lyndon LaRouche?

Pretty much since day one.

michael a litscher said...

todd: I guess there is some science behind the theory that jet fuel didn't collapse the towers. I got this from Jonah Goldberg at the Corner, here's a Democratic Underground poster's experiment trying to show how it didn't happen that way (really, follow the link, this is priceless.)

Had this person actually cut the outer wire frame into playing-card sized sections, stacked them end on end, and stabilized these sections from folding in or out using trusses, then the experiment might have some validity to it.

As is, it in no way replicates the structure of the WTC.

I once argued with some fool who suggested that even if the top 10 floors collapsed, the floor below should have stopped the collapse at that point, because after all, that lower floor had obviously been strong enough to support those upper floors all these years.

Uh, yea. Place a bowling ball on your foot. Can your foot support it? Yup. Now drop that same bowling ball onto the same foot from 15 feet above. Not quite the same.

RogerA said...

Tibore--I think an earlier poster summarized accurately the problem: You can not and will not ever convince a dedicated conspiracy freak of what they believe. The fundamental rule of conspiracy theories is that any evidence to the contrary is proof of the conspiracy. And these conspiracy theories tend to cut across the political spectrum: recall the claims made by President Clinton's detractors that the Clintons were actually involved in murderous activities. WV: blweh speaks for itself

Elizabeth said...

barbo, I've read the article you cite, or probably another one on the same study. Your description of how some people resort to rebuttal is great. I'll see you Cindy Sheehan, and raise you Michelle Malkin.

Tibore said...

You know... I don't mind folks questioning an official narrative, whether by the government or some other source of authority. It's a valid thing to do. It's a responsible, good-citizen thing to do. It's necessary in an open society. If there are genuine problems in the story as it's presested - and I'm sure there are contradictions, mistakes, gaps and missing pieces of info, etc. in the WTC collapse narrative - then a responsible citizen should raise questions.

But are those specific questions in regard to this specific issue being raised to get at the truth, or to satisfy some obscure need to know that the government is plotting against it's own people? Are these questions being raised to find out the real facts behind the collapse, or to fill in blanks in a pre-written story? Do some of those folks really care, and would be persuaded by a grand, overarching investigation that answers each and every one of their questions about the collapse, or is this simply lobbing accusations and seeing what sticks? If there's a real desire to discover the Truth (intentionally capitalized), then there is an equal responsibility to abide by the Truth as it's revealed. But to peck and peck and peck with digressive questions, to elevate accusations to the realm of facts, to fail to apply Occam's razor to what is being said just because it contradicts some preconstructed notion is the farthest thing from being responsible. It's deliberately being unconstructive. It's deliberately clouding the picture for no good reason. And I really want to go to some of these conspiracy sites and ask: If an investigation clearly showed that the Official Story was true, and that all your points were either valid misinterpretations or mistakes in how the official story was told to begin with, would you accept it? Or would I hear excuses about how such a thing could never happen?

Elizabeth said...

Pat, it's not ironic at all that Kos rejects the conspiricy theories. Those theories are real fringe stuff, not at all mainstream liberal thinking.

telemacchus said...

If ever there was an example of why we need to take back our campuses from the radical left, this is it. It is with much trepidation I am sending my daughter off to Madison at a cost of a very hard earned $32K a year. Having just finished SOAR orientation there with her, I have to say that as a dispassionate and neutral observer, that I saw nothing but lesbians and minorities artificially placed in every single position of authority around the entire place, Deans, Counselors, Chief of Campus Police, etc. It was beyond all statistical probability. How a colony of Ex- and wannabe hippies all set up shop in the middle of the heartland surrounded by an entire state of people from hard-working German and Scandanavian stock, is beyond me. They all seemed very qualified and competent, but there was clearly a heavy and very left hand manipulating all power structures through the organization. What that heavy left hand is going to do to my daughter after 4 years makes me shudder. There is no balance in environments like this, and freedom of speech is only valued when it is the radical left freedom of speech.

charlotte said...

Sippican Cottage,

LOL 3x over your 11:54! Logic perfect. Obviously, you've had an engineering course or two in the strength and applications of structural irony.

DaveG said...

I equate people who believe the Bush administration planned 9/11 with people who claim that global warming is just a conspiracy. The facts just don't matter to these people - nothing but their ideological beliefs do - and trying to have a rational conversation with them about the facts is completely worthless. Even the most exhaustive scientific study would never be able to prove to either group that they are wrong.

I contend that there is a large difference between attempting to prove the cause of an event that has already happened and left extensive debris for forensic scientific analysis and attempting to predict the future with regards to weather when our current technology cannot even accurately predict whether it will rain or not tomorrow.

The remainder of your three postings is simply the usual "bush lied" tripe and is not worthy of response.

Elizabeth said...

The stock response to large-scale conspiracy theories pretty much holds true again and again: for me to believe that this administration staged 9/11, I'd have to believe they have a level of competence to do so, and can command air-tight secrecy among all the players involved. Many, many things point to the contrary on both counts, and that's the case throughout history.

Of course 9/11 was a conspiracy. 20 guys and who knows how many planners conspired to pull it off, but that meant keeping their plans secret for a finite time, and, had some keen observers' warnings been followed up, the secret might not have held. That's a different investigation, how our gov't and its agencies did or did not fail to understand the plot. Lunatic conspiracy theories take energy and credence from the actual nuts and bolts of real events.

The Drill SGT said...

I saw the NOVA special mentioned below and it was great.

bearbee said...
NOVA's Why The Towers Fell


As to whether kerosene can melt steel?

Anybody remember the Civil War? That was that big conflict run by another GOP President. Anyway, I've seen lots of pictures of soldiers on both sides ripping up railroad tracks.

Big fires of railroad ties with the rails laid on top and all bent and sagging due to the heat. Looks like pretty straight forward proofs to me

Steel doesn't puddle easily, but it sure does lose it's load bearing ability and temps well under melting.

Pogo said...

I'm not surprised there are boneheads who believe this junk, but I am surprised that this is done on the University dime.

Really, now. Does every crackpot theorist get a state-funded stage (or else violate their academic freedom?) Does UW hope to be the next Colorado U?

And can't conspiracy theorists ever get a conspiracy down that doesn't invoolve like 3000 people to keep there mouths shut? Criminey.

SteveR said...

Its always a sign of a good comment thread when Sippian Cottage and Elizabeth are along and you know isn't.

Pogo said...

I mean "their".

Bush lied; I misspelled.

The Drill SGT said...

How about a simple rule for academia: You can rant about whatever you want from the podium of your class AFTER you win at least one Nobel prize. Till then shudd-up and teach or research.

Here's to Linus Pauling, an All American.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling

Laika's Last Woof said...

The bigger picture here is that "Islam Is Peace" will be totally drowned out by "Islam = 9/11 Conspiracy Theory".

Whenever any kid who takes this class sees a Muslim he or she will walk a little faster the other way. If all Muslims think the way this professor does who knows what those crazy fanatics might be ready to do?

It is more likely that the students will judge Islam based on the kooky conspiracy theory than that they will accept, in loving embrace of the Religion of Peace, that the conspiracy theory must be true.

By linking Islam to crazy 9/11 conspiracies this professor is turning people against his religion, and sadly against those who follow the religion and yet who are also our allies, such as the Northern Alliance and Iraqi Kurds; against patriotic American Muslims serving honorably in our armed forces and bravely fighting the War on Terror.

Just as not every Palestinian danced in the streets on 9/11, not all Muslims deserve the reputation of the John Birch Society.

But sadly there is just such a person teaching "Intro to Islam", and here's the lesson his students are really going to learn:

"Islam is a religion which leads its followers to believe wild conspiracy theories, particularly about Americans, Israelis, Jews, and Christians. This belief justifies and fuels the acts of terrible violence committed in its name."

Ironically that's just the sort of "lesson" they teach over at Little Green Footballs.

Simon said...

bearbee said...
14 min video of MIT Jeff King explaining his theory of controlled demolition.

King's explanation seems mainly based on the theory that the only cause for the "squibs" - which we ought to call the sequential high-velocity expulsion of gas or air from the windows of the floors being impacted - is explained by explosions. I would think that the sequential pancaking of all the floors above that floor crushing down like a piston and expelling the air and anything airborne by the path of least resistance.

The problem with all of these theories is that they fail to appreciate that all that is necessary is to account for a mechanism that would cause a single floor to fail. Once a single slice of the building fails - perhaps except for the very uppermost floors - the sheer weight of the floors above it will suffice to do the hard work.

This stuff has been thoroughly debunked, and is largely held onto by no one who doesn't have an axe to grind.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, those Civil War rails weren't steel.

But that's by the way.

However, what I wanted to point out is that 2 of 16 weeks of this course supposedly about Islam are devoted to the Nation of Islam, which is doubtfully Muslim by the standards of most regular Muslims. Sort of like offering a course in Christianity and devoting the last couple sessions to Christian Science.

Even setting aside Barrett's ax-grinding, evidently minimal preparation, lunatic theories and inability to reason from A to B, devoting one-eighth of a course on Islam to Malcolm X seems weird.

Query: was that in the old, retired prof's syllabus, or is that a Barrett innovation, too?

Elizabeth said...

SteveR,

Thanks! I was just about to say Hi to Sippican, too. I noticed he's been here and on another thread or two today.

Hey, Sippican! I was banging together a little wood project around the house this weekend -- a window treatment, so very la di da -- and thought, "Sippican would give me the right advice on this"; I muddled through anyway. But I'm just saying, you might have felt your ears burning.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry to wreck Sippican's 11:54 wisecrack by deleting Thad's accidental triple posting.

As to whether the whole University of Wisconsin-Madison is wacky. It's not. If you're worried about your kids coming here, try to help them exercise good judgment about what courses to take. Pick a realistic major! Both my sons graduated from UW-Madison and had good experiences in the departments they majored in -- and neither was in science or engineering.

Laika: Interesting perspective! I think this would be particularly effective inside the university. It's insulting to Muslims to teach the course this way -- or I'd be deeply troubled to learn that it's not.

Simon said...

The Drill Sgt. hit the nail on the head, almost: steel may not necessarily melt under the heat from a kerosine fire, but we're not talking about it melting. The question isn't "at what temperature does steel melt," the question is, "at what temperature (and how quickly) does the load-bearing capacity of the particular kind of steel used in that fixtures that were the point of failure degrade to the point that they can no longer sustain their loading?"

Aggravated DocSurg said...

Perhaps UW should start offering a whole range of courses with similar "theories:"
>> Alchemy 101
>> Practical witchcraft
>> N-rays and the "new physics"
>> Engineering the "200 mpg engine Detroit doesn't want you to know about"
>> Laetrile: the hidden secrets of the miracle anti-cancer drug

Seriously, these idiots take our tax money, spit in our face, "teach" this BS as truth, and tell us it is inappropriate for us to question them -- after all, their academic freedom is "at risk." Get real.

jzee said...

I can teach again! I have a theory about the earth being flat and the center of the universe. Are ther any Univerastities out there that will accept my classes?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bearbee said...

Seriously, these idiots take our tax money, spit in our face, "teach" this BS as truth, and tell us it is inappropriate for us to question them -- after all, their academic freedom is "at risk.

But, but, but... he has a peehdee......

Bas-O-Matic said...

I contend that there is a large difference between attempting to prove the cause of an event that has already happened and left extensive debris for forensic scientific analysis and attempting to predict the future with regards to weather when our current technology cannot even accurately predict whether it will rain or not tomorrow.

Climate and weather are not the same thing.

altoids1306 said...

The implosion of the academic humanities continues. Not that I care, all the more office space for us.

Mike said...

The implosion of the academic humanities continues. Not that I care, all the more office space for us.

Yes, but we all (academicians, the UW) get tarred with the same brush. I am confident (well, optimistic (okay, hopeful)) that the University's decision in this case is that this fellow will not be allowed to "teach" a topic for which, presumably, he is unqualified (i.e. structural engineering). I don't see how the concept of academic freedom can be stretched to the point that anyone can teach anything to tuition-paying students.

michael a litscher said...

SippicanCottage: Three words: Reality. Based. Community.

Yesterday evening, DURING the fireworks display, a leftie friend leaned over and opined, "War never solved anything."

To which I replied, "Do you even realize what day it is today?"

Simon said...

Michael,
Are you suggesting that when the Declaration of Independence was presented to the British Army, they didn't just say "fair enough; come on, chaps, let's go home and invent tea and biscuits"?

Joking aside, c'mon, tell me that you're kidding. No one is that dense. "War never solved anything"? Historically, it's hard to think of much that was settled any other way.

DaveG said...

Climate and weather are not the same thing.

Ok, amend to: there's a difference between forensic reconstruction of a past event and predicting the future.

Still stands.

Pogo said...

I've often wondered if unilaterally declaring peace ever solved anything.

The Drill SGT said...


"War never solved anything."


Sounds like my mother, the retired union school teacher.

To which I always reply, "go tell that to the city fathers of Cartage or to Holocaust survivors."

The Drill SGT said...

and Carthage as well

michael a litscher said...

Simon: Joking aside, c'mon, tell me that you're kidding.

Just before that, he was recalling the 60's era bumper sticker about fighting for peace and screwing for virginity or some such.

And after that, claiming that we're less free under the current King George than we were under the previous one.

El Rider said...

Hey, I can also say silly things to the gullible.Things like; did you know that FDR set up the German concentration camps before he attacked Pearl Harbor? I am not willing to relocate to Madison but if the pay is good enough and the TAs are cute enough I am willing to commute from Chicago. Where do I send my resume?

Musclemouth said...

"Obviously worthless"? Check your language. Not everything is as "obvious" as your blind patriotism would like it to be.

Ann Althouse said...

Checking my language: it is obviously worthless material.

Ann Althouse said...

That's checking "obviously." I could also check "worthless," and I do find that wanting. It's way too gentle.

The Drill SGT said...

Turning to something that will bring a smile to most of us: enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHP2jyoyFRM

Elizabeth said...

I don't see how the concept of academic freedom can be stretched to the point that anyone can teach anything to tuition-paying students.

The accrediting body surely agrees with you. I doubt that one course is enough to cause an accreditation problem, but a pattern of unqualified instruction would. I like the idea of having an engineering prof come in to refute the crackpot stuff, if the university decides to allow him to go on with the course.

I teach an Intro to Women's Studies course that is meant to be interdisciplinary. I make sure to arrange guest lectures from faculty in history, anthropology, poli sci, linguistics, sociology and sometimes economics, rather than present myself as a credible expert in all those fields.

Elizabeth said...

Sippican, try cortisone?

Mike said...

"present all defensible sides of important issues" and "let students make up their own minds."

But there's the problem, isn't it? This stuff is not defensible. But if you let him teach it, you're implying that it is. Seems to me it's the responsibility of the faculty to "sift and winnow" out the garbage.

Pat said...

Pat, it's not ironic at all that Kos rejects the conspiricy theories. Those theories are real fringe stuff, not at all mainstream liberal thinking.

Elizabeth, I agree 100% about the conspiracy theories. Now we can debate whether Kos represents mainstream liberal thinking...

ben wallace said...

One part of an explanation why he was hired is that few people with a PHD are willing to lecture for a little over $8000 for a semester. Thus, the pool of possible applicants will be small, and in this case he was the only candidate. As for the hiring decision, the deeper problem lies with the department. Some of the faculty in that department have told people I know that the LCA department (the hiring department) is under receivership. A deeper problem is that there are a lot of interdisciplinary tenure-granting programs at UW, so there is a limited pool even for tenure-track positions, so the overall quality of the individuals hiring people is probably low relative to disciplinary departments (where most of the hiring decisions are made).

That being said, I think Barrett should be allowed to teach the course because he plans to give students both sides of the conspiracy issue. This is a course in contemporary Islam which is not part of the religious studies department, so the department and instructor have broad discretion to determine what is appropriate. This conspiracy theory may be worthless but the issue is whether or not students would benefit from a discussion of these issues. The discussion here suggests there is some value in discussing the logic of the conspiracy argument and how different evidence is evaluated by different individuals. An expert may not be necessary to get at the basic issues. For example, although there is a lot of science involved in the Kennedy assasination conspiracy, one does not need to be a scientist to form a reasonable opinion about the event based on different evidence.

In the end, there is a lot of difficulty for the public to determine what is appropriate for a course on contemporary Islam that is taught from an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes languages. Given that this course is taught, and the low pay, Barrett may have been the best candidate available. He is also a temporary replacement for faculty on sabbatical. So I don't think the taxpayers will ever have to worry about Barrett commanding a tenure-track salary here or enjoying the much stronger protection of tenure for his outlandish ideas.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarbO said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I guess it says something about my politics that you'll take my Cindy Sheehan and raise her with a Michelle Malkin. I don't agree with Michelle on everything, but I don't think she's at all nuts. Maybe it's because I spent a lot of time working in Communist countries--that shaped my emotional predisposition, because I kinda don't like it when millions of people get shot 'n stuff. People like Cindy Sheehan are just so naive about how horrible regimes like Iraq, the Soviet Union, Iran, and so forth can be. When far left wingers equate politics in those places to politics in the US, it drives me buggy. To me, it shows the same utter cluelessness as a holocaust denier. Call her what you like, Michelle Malkin is not naive. I think you'd actually find some of her viewpoints quite reasonable if you approached them without an emotional predisposition... :)

tjl said...

Ben Wallace said "Barrett should be allowed to teach the course because he plans to give students both sides of the conspiracy issue."

"Both sides of the conspiracy issue" (!) Would Wallace support courses giving students both sides of astronomy vs. astrology, or chemistry vs. alchemy?

What a perfect demonstration of how academic freedom, as currently interpreted, immunizes from criticism anything, no matter how crazed, that reflects the reigning leftist orthodoxy. Academic freedom is curiously inelastic, however, when it comes to ideas that might challenge this orthodoxy, as the Harvard faculty proved to Larry Summers.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

Hearing both sides is absurd, as tjl opines.

Why stop at the 9/11 conspiracy? If you can truly stretch that to relate to Islam, let's hear "both sides" of the "Jews are descendants of apes and pigs" theory, both sides of "homosexuals should be killed" theory. When we're done with Intro to Islam, we can apply this in every department! Every person will be heard and respected! And by the time the kids graduate, they'll be morally and intellectually paralyzed.

PatCA said...

And what do you mean that the hiring department is in receivership? Are you sure you don't mean conservatorship?

dick said...

I love reading about how demented Michelle Malking is. You read that and then you see her website where she prints things like the photos of the Iraqi fishermen who were killed by Al Qaeda. Turns out that the photo the MSM used for the Haditha killing was actually the film of Iraqi fishermen killed by Al Qaeda 6 weeks earlier. Strange how the MSM wasn't able to find things like that but these shrill terrible bloggers like Michelle can find them so easily. Love her or hate her she does find a lot of good stuff and it is true. Even the BBC had to admit that they had put up the photos without checking. Same with that other set of photos of how the American servicemen were mistreating the Iraqis and stealing things. BBC had photos of that as well but Michelle was able to prove that the photos were photoshopped pics of British soldiers at their own tents instead. BBC had to admit that one as well.

And the wonderful things that Kos had shown us the media has misrepresented??? Bueller?? Anyone??

Eli Blake said...

Barb O:

I'll bet folks like Cindy Sheehan have mild cognitive disorders,

Cindy Sheehan has never questioned the fact that terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, she has only questioned the Iraq war, which is a seperate matter entirely.

ben wallace said...

A conspiracy theory can be analyzed by describing alternative hypotheses and the evidence proponents use. The articles in popular mechanics are an example of this type of analyis. As mentioned, this course is not in religious studies but in LCA, so it is not going to emphasize text and interpetations. Hence, it is easier to justify inclusion of the conspiracy section.

In my view, the cost imposed by Barrett is less than the cost that will be imposed on UW if politicians influence the content of courses. In an ideal world we could define precisely what constitutes an "obviously worthless." If the choice is between having the occasional Barrett and having Nass and friends determine what is obviously worthless, give me the former. Once one gives in to the demand to get rid of Barrett, there is implicit legitimation of the treatment Larry Summers received for advancing a hypothesis based on serious scientific studies of spatial reasoning in newborns and the potential effect of this on tenure patterns in the sciences. I think they both should be protected in what they say, even though I find Summers utterly more convincing than Barrett (whom I disagree with completely). Academic content should not be determined by the results of the last election. That is not what the UW stands for, regardless of whether the party in power is of the left or right.

A lesson for the legislature is that if they want someone better than Barrett, they should pay for it. Hiring a full-time visiting assistant professor for the year would probably have given the department more choices. Of course, that would cost more money.

Elizabeth said...

I think you'd actually find some of her viewpoints quite reasonable if you approached them without an emotional predisposition... :)

Courtesy laugh - heh heh.

Dick mentions a good example of a reasonable Malkin post. But the trouble is, focusing on the cool intellectual issue, and eschewing emotion, is that she's wrong about as often as she's right, and she takes some alarming tactics along the way. She's rarely willing to print a retraction when she is wrong, even if she's harmed someone, and that makes her a loose cannon. It's not worth the time and effort to sift through and find the rare instances where something of substance comes off her blog. I'll wait for it to rise up through the dreck, as the story dick cites eventually did.

Mr. Forward said...

"The vitriol that Nass is spewing now is similar to the language he used last year to attack another academic with whom he disagrees University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill. "

Maybe somebody should tell the Cap Times that Ward Churchill got fired from the University of Colorado.

Ann Althouse said...

The latest news is that there's a recommendation that Churchill be fired, so he's not fired yet. More importantly, his case is different because he has tenure and because the charge against him is academic misconduct. He would not have been fired for expressing controversial ideas.

tjl said...

Ben Wallace said,
"Once one gives in to the demand to get rid of Barrett, there is implicit legitimation of the treatment Larry Summers received for advancing a hypothesis based on serious scientific studies of spatial reasoning in newborns and the potential effect of this on tenure patterns in the sciences. I think they both should be protected in what they say"

Not to pick on you, Ben, but Barrett is still there while Larry Summers is long gone, driven out of Cambridge in disgrace.
My point is that academic freedom at present is rather arbitrarily applied, according to the political bias of the faculty.

We seem to be returning to the medieval concept of the university as a place for transmitting a fixed set of doctrines. The dogmas may be endlessly refined -- remember the conundrum about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin -- but never questioned.

ben wallace said...

Larry Summers was treated much more harshly for saying something relatively simple, so I agree. At least in the Summers case there was no disputing his ability to teach economics. Most of the faculty I spoke with here said they disagreed with Summers because he was in an administrative position and should have known better. A lot of them said he could say whatever he wants if he is speaking solely as an economist. I don't recall anyone saying Summers was unqualified to teach macroeconomics.

Anyway, I heard that the university will let the department decide what to do with Barrett, which seems like a good choice since his ideas don't seem likely to hurt anything all that much. And he doesn't cost that much, so Nass should focus on some issues with a bigger expected savings to the taxpayers.

PatCA said...

"...which seems like a good choice since his ideas don't seem likely to hurt anything all that much."

Conferring legitimacy on a nut who teaches hateful lies to our children is a great harm to society and to the credibility of the university.

Random Numbers said...

My uncle is a blacksmith. He has been working iron and steel all his life, from horseshoes to artwork. Mostly iron, but he has worked steel. I don't think he has ever once had to melt steel to manipulate it.

Those college boys don't know sh--er--nothin'.

Interloper said...

We must be clear that neither UW System or UW-Madison administration had a role in hiring this nut as an instructor. That is left up to individual academic departments. If the public and the media want to get to the bottom of who is responsible, they need to look to the academic department that hired Mr. Conspiracy Theorist.

Svolich said...

My daughter is a senior in HS next year. She's a state champion debater, fluent in Arabic, French, Spanish and conversational in Japanese and Mandarin. JV fencing, tennis and golf. 4+ GPA, SATs in the 97%+ range. And a college fund from her grandparents that means no financial aid will be requested.

She will NOT be applying to Yale next year. Their admittance of Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi made that certain. Nor will she apply to UW-Madison. It's clear that the administration and faculty there has no connection to reality.

I would normally add "present company excepted, of course" but in this case, Ann, he speaks for you. Like it or not, he is now the public face of UW-M.

Murdoc said...

Forget that Popular Mechanics article.

Check out the home experiment (using rabbit fencing, no less) which proves without out a doubt that plane crashes cannot possilby have caused the collapse:

Rabbit Fencing Proves It Was Faked

ben wallace said...

ainta: there are over 5,000 new students at UW each year. do you really think that your daughter, who has about the same credentials as most students here, will make a difference to the university? a better idea would be to try to teach your daughter to think with an open mind no matter what university she applies to. you will find a barrett at almost every major univeristy, and all good universities will hesitate before rejecting someone based on their ideas. for example, do you even have evidence that the other schools you plan on applying to would fire barrett? i doubt you do, because most good schools will let him teach.

terra nullius said...

Jones seems to want to have it both ways. He claims to have found thermate on scrap metal, but allows that the towers could have been brought down by a high explosive such as RDX. In fact, he runs the two things together as "cutter charges", and talks about "melt/cut/demolish steel".

Unfortunately, a demolition job that calls for exquisite timing, as the inside job WTC hypothesis demands, you would want an explosive of high brissance (roughly, cutting as opposed to propelling power). As I remember it from my SF course in explosives some time past, RDX would be good for that job. Trying to bring down a building by thermate -- that is, simultaneously by melting to a degree of exquisite coordination, strikes me as a near-impossibility.

chad miller said...

No one should be surprised that the UW has done this. Another liberal addition to their long line of screw ups.

Giordano said...

re Conspiracy theories. As noted above there sure was a conspiracy, we are simply debating who was in it.
We will pbobably never know, particularly if we fire any academic who debates "the official story"
re Cindy & amateur psychiatric diagnoses, what kind of mental disorder is it when the sufferer clings to the authorised lie?
for now - "Lets pull it"

Musclemouth said...

"9/11 Duh" (as I am currently calling it) is not a liberal issue. There's a lot of conservatives choosing to push the ON button on the side of their too. So I wish people would stop framing the "debate" that way. I don't care what your political leanings are. I love conservatives; why else would I be here??? I just haven't met too many real conservatives since 9/11. Most of them have become mere followers; they don't question whether the president is behaving in the interest of conservatives. They just follow. Now, as I said, there are a lot of conservatives who have gone to the Dark Side of 9/11 Duh, and chosen to question the obvious contradictions in what we were all tricked into believing. Come on, let's all say it together: America is Full of Idiots, And I Am One of Them.

Hi, I'm Musclemouth, and I'm a recovering idiot.

Those trombone girls were awesome. I used to play one myself (the trombone I mean, not those girls...wait, yes I have.)

gnocchi said...

This whole situation is just pathetic, but sadly typical of my poor home state. This statement from Steve Nass (R), state Rep says it all:

"When 61 legislators condemn a decision by U.W.-Madison and demand the dismissal of Kevin Barrett, the leadership of the U.W. System operates at its own peril if it continues to ignore views of the taxpayers."


In other words, teach only what we approve or we won't fund your silly state university any longer. I attended UW-Madison during the Reagan years, and the right-wing crap I was forced to swallow was appalling. No one then was calling for any professors to be fired just because they supported Apartheid, denied the Holocaust or agitated for a full-scale invasion of Latin America or a nuclear first-strike on the Soviet Union. Of course, Nass, et al are probably just fine with these ideas.

Remember, these are the same twisted freaks who say we should "teach all viewpoints" when it comes to their ignorant beliefs in creationism. Now that someone is talking about something they disagree with, they're calling for him to be fired, thrown in prison or killed outright.

Ann Althouse said...

Gnocchi: I was here in the Reagan years and don't remember anything at all like that! Who "supported Apartheid, denied the Holocaust or agitated for a full-scale invasion of Latin America or a nuclear first-strike on the Soviet Union"? I think I'd have noticed that sort of thing. Ridiculous!

meredith2402 said...

As I recent alum of UW-Madison, I am proud that Kevin Barrett is now the "face of" my graduate university. He has questioned the status quo and researched many theories. He represents why scientific inquiry in our academic institutions is so important.
While an extremely hot fire (official report of 1832°F) has the ability to warp steel, NOT melt it, the materials of the WTC buildings (including the steel support columns) were converted to flour-like dust.
The academicians who carry out actual chemical and engineering-based tests and investigations of the official reports are doing precisely what universities are meant to do; question, research, and test theories:

http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html

Do your research. Kevin Barrett, as well as many scholars for 9/11 truth have. Attending the UW-Madison has taught me some invaluable lessons, the most important one being; question and analyze your environment. Glean your information from objective, learned sources. I don't know all the answers and neither do any of us that have posted here. Neither does Kevin Barrett, quite frankly. But Barrett isn't presenting his theory as truth in his course. He's asking that his students question their sources and do their own research. And I am proud that UW-Madison has taught me that most important aspect of scientific inquiry; that the truth can’t be found unless as many independent and objective sources as possible thoroughly analyze whatever theories are presented. The theory that the “official” story of 9/11 is not the truth is far from radical.

Hazy Dave said...

As a less than recent graduate of the UW Engineering school, I'm less than proud (though unsurprised) that my alma mater is still supportive of and a haven for moonbats, conspiracy theorists and left wing orthodoxy. Little wonder the Statue of Liberty is no longer visible from the shores of Lake Mendota. (Wipes away imaginary tear.)

Erin said...

Excuse me if I am being presumptuous, but I doubt any of the people that are commenting about this man's beliefs actually took his class. I also seriously doubt he is forcing his views on anybody. What I have learned from 4 years at a Big Ten University, is that professors really just want their students to think about all the possibilities. In the Fox News interview with this professor, he said that he doesn't care if his students agree with him, he just wants to present an alternative perspective. That is what I have found college to be. Professors present their students with ideas and alternatives in hope that their students will make their own conclusions. I don't think there is anything wrong with challenging students to think. Also, his class was an Intro to Islam class, so based on most college semester syllabi, he will probably only spend one or two lectures on his 9/11 theories. Also, this information is totally pertinent to an Intro to Islam class. Ask many Middle Eastern, Muslim Americans, and they will probably tell you that they have been treated differently since 9/11. It's like the Red Scare all over again. This teacher is simply just presenting a point of view, and for people call him a nut is unjustified and unfair. As far as my personal beliefs about 9/11 go, I don't know what I believe. But, I think I am doing my patriotic duty by listening to all points of view, whether those points are ridiculous to some people or not. It's not unpatriotic to question your government, It's unpatriotic not to question your government. I don't know who first said that, but I know Sen. Chuck Hagel a Republican from Nebraska said it, and I agree. Nothing is wrong with questions. Furthermore, with all that is actually going on in the world right now, I don't think it is proper for people to spend so much time criticizing a college professor for simply presenting ideas.

Casey said...

It goes without saying that 9/11 was an inside job. When are people going to realise this and make their own opinions rather than allowing others to do it for them. There are unimaginable amounts of evidence out there that point the finger to the Bush administration.
Why are people posting comments referring to Kevin Barrett as a Nazi or a Deranged lunatic. Can they not handle the truth? He has obviously studied the in and outs of the events of 9/11, put two and two together and wishes to share his thoughts.
I would like anyone who disagrees with me to watch the documentary "Loose Change", which can be found on the internet. These facts alone should make anyone think otherwise.

Ann Althouse said...

Facts! On the internet!

Cobra Commander said...

Casey, you're retarded. I can't believe how much of an idiot you are. Anyone who believes that Loose Change shit is a complete waste of sperm. You would have served a greater purpose on the inside of a dried up tissue at the bottom of a garbage can. Seriously, are you a retard? Because if you are, I'm sorry. You can't help it. But I suspect you're not. I suspect you're a pimply faced 20 year old virgin who can't get laid unless you try to impress fat drunk girls with bad skin, smelly craws, and IQ's in the 40's with your tales of government conspiracy. Here's a little insight, get a haircut, wash your face, sober up a little (if you're sober, try smoking some weed because whatever state of consciousness you're in, it's not working) and suck your own one (that means your penis, you know, the thing you only use to pee with?). It makes me so angry that you're allowed to live.
And the rest of you suck nuts at UW, why haven't you quit school? Obviously if your dumb ass school allows people like Captain Conspiracy to teach how 9/11 was a Bush plot (by the way, how DID they accomplish all that in only 8 months?) then you are completely pissing money down the drain. Do yourself a favor and deregister. Whatever it is that you're "learning" is going to be completely laughed at later. I work for an employment agency and I'm making a stand. If you graduated from UW during the tenure of Captain Blowjob, I'm going to take you're resume and write I-D-I-O-T on it and throw it in the trash. That way, when the garbage guys come to collect my waste (maybe that'll be you Casey! Dare to Dream!) they'll see another UW resume in the bottom of my wastepaperbasket with spilled coffee stains and gum on it. And they'll know how much you suck.

markallens said...

Many academics theorise so long on what they wish things were, that it soons becomes their truth. Many now teach that the Nazis did not gas any holocaust victims..(they were just de-lousing chambers for clothes...the fake shower heads were just fancy decor to make the inmates feel more at home) When in fact in Poland alone many gas chambers were in use:The following are the major death camps in Poland and the gases employed by the Nazis to murder innocent victims:

1. Treblinka: Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in purpose-built gas chambers.

2.- Belzec: Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in purpose-built gas chambers.

3.- Sobibor.- Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in purpose-built gas chambers.

4.- Auschwitz (including Birkenau) Hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon-B, a commercial preparation of hydrogen cyanide, in purpose-built gas chambers.

5.- Majdanek: Hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon-B, a commercial preparation, and carbon monoxide from commercial high-pressure cylinders, in purpose-built gas chambers.

Other camps and locations in Poland that occasionally used gases for murdering people were:

6.- Chelmno: Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in mobile vehicles known as "gas vans."

7.- Natzweiler-Struthof: Hydrogen cyanide produced on site by mixing Sodium cyanide with an acid. This took place in an adapted chamber to kill Jews for a "skeleton collection.":

Perhaps instead of waiting many years on the 911 attacks for the sake of survivors and victims families; the wackos are bold enough here in the U.W. system to start revisionist history a bit sooner.
My father was part of the Army Engineer Corps, part of his tour in Germany was using a Dozer to fill in mass graves and level some of the camps....fast forward to the 70's and a high school teacher I had that had just graduated the U.W. system in Madison. He was told by his professor that the camps themselves were just relocation camps..the starvation was not the fault of the Nazi's..but the fault of the Allied forces that purposely cut supply lines to them so that the Nazi's would look evil and draw more nations into the War. Some people are just mentally sick and need help, such as food and shelter and access to mental health care..that is fine and good; but giving them a job teaching the next generation should not be included!

MadisonRes said...

I read through all the responses to this blog, and was amazed to find everyone on the same page. No one questioned Ms. Althouse's statements.

I also noticed a lot of emotionally charged language; name-calling; stereotyping ("conspiracy theorists", etc.); and ridicule.

Where is the calm and reasoned discussion you might hope to read in regard to a serious controversy like this one?

I would like to see a reasoned and methodical discussion of the evidence surrounding the 9/11 attacks. I didn't find it in this blog or in the comments that followed. Until someone can show me otherwise, the "official version" of events on 9/11 presented to us by the government and the mainstream media appears to be nothing more than another unproven "conspiracy theory."

MadisonRes said...

OK, I read on a little bit, and did find a few minority voices among the comments who thought as I do, that there is some room for reasoned discourse on the subject of 9/11 . . . and that we should not preemptively remove scholars such as Kevin Barrett simply because they present an unpopular viewpoint.

dilbertgeg said...

I believe that Kevin's course has NOT a friggin thing to do with Sept 11. Just the history of Islam. He has stated this multiple times in various medium, including Fox and Hannity.

His views are separate, just like one's views on Christmas are allowed to play no role whatsoever in a math class.


Having said that, if anyone is not totally familiar with multiple CIA-run mass murder operations in some other countries, interventions in 65 countries documented by William Blum, including both the targeting of specific individuals and groups and the bombing of random civilians in Operation Gladio, to promote a political outcome, they have no business stating their stupid opinion about this.

Anyone who is not familiar with the dozens of high-level U.S. officials operating within the Pentagon and associated think tanks -- from the Defense Policy Board to PNAC and beyond -- who said that a drastic political change in the minds of the populace was NEEDED, trillions of dollars of spending and multiple permanent wars were riding on it, and the only way it could happen would be a BLOODBATH in America (a "major catastrophic event"), has no business condemning anyone for "fantasy" ideas.

(HINT: These people, now anti-terrorism folks, were behind the operation that funded, armed, and trained Islamic Radicals for 3 decades, including those guerillas in Afghanistan who worked alongside Saudi Al-Qaeda, and also those who permitted Al-Qaeda to be used in Bosnia with Iranian weapons, according to the United States Republican Senate Report on Kosovo.)

It is YOU who is living in a fantasy dreamworld of Captain America, the Constitution, and Liberty and Justice for All.

Kevin said...

I think Popular Mechanics' explanation of that horrible day is as porous and not well researched. There was not mention of WTC 7's complete symmetrical collapse. Oh and if the hijackers' DNA was recovered in the molten pool of steel at ground zero then how did they come up with the original DNA to match it against so darn quickly. They came up with hijackers names and pictures on Sept. 12. They purport to be experts on this subject and it all sounds flimsy. I absolutely do not trust this interpretaton of the events on that day.

Kevin said...

forgive me for typo(s) in previous post

Shilpy Akter said...

Your post is most choijeble.Take my cordial love. I am very interested to watch your valuable work.
Hope your site will develop very soon . I admire the valuable information u offered in your message.
I am very impressed to watch your KEYWORDS.Everybody can excited to see your post.
That is very authentic & fantastic. Take care & Thanks. For more information plz click this link
VISION
SUCCESS
LEADERSHIP

shamimaakterkhetlal said...

"Tax season is right around the corner. If you are looking for someone you can trust to prepare your tax return go to www.davehallsba.com"
For more information plz click this link
Start-up Business
small business help
business success
business entity
tax help

Shilpy Akter said...

Your post is most choijeble.Take my cordial love. I am very interested to watch your valuable work.
Hope your site will develop very soon . I admire the valuable information u offered in your message.
I am very impressed to watch your KEYWORDS.Everybody can excited to see your post.
That is very authentic & fantastic. Take care & Thanks. For more information plz click this link
VISION
SUCCESS
LEADERSHIP

Shilpy Akter said...

"Tax season is right around the corner. If you are looking for someone you can trust to prepare your tax return go to www.davehallsba.com" Also make sure that they have a focus in the USA with their site or customers and that the spelling is very important to get right.
For more information plz click this link
Start-up Business
small business help
business success
business entity
tax help

Shilpy Akter said...

Your post is most choijeble.Take my cordial love. I am very interested to watch your valuable work.
Hope your site will develop very soon . I admire the valuable information u offered in your message.
I am very impressed to watch your KEYWORDS.Everybody can excited to see your post.
That is very authentic & fantastic.
This is a guest post by Ernest Almond. He is a speaker, coach, and educator. He is driven by a vision to bring the people of his generation and beyond into close authentic relationship with the Lord. His Blog, I AM ERNEST ALMOND has impacted millennial globally .
For more information plz click this link
VISION
SUCCESS
LEADERSHIP

Jesmin Khetlal said...

Fire and Fuel Apparel is committed to providing custom firefighter apparel, logos and merchandise for real heroes without capes.
To see more please visit these link bellow
firefighter
firefighter t-shirts
firemen
American firefighter
firefighter apparel