July 11, 2006

The UW 9/11 denialist appears on "Hannity and Colmes."

The day the university announced its decision to permit Kevin Barrett to teach the one course he was hired to teach, he appeared on "Hannity and Colmes," introduced by Alan Colmes as "University of Wisconsin professor Kevin Barrett." If those words had come out of Sean Hannity's mouth, it would have provided a good occasion to accuse Hannity of being slanted and out to paint UW as a bunch of radical crazies. But it came from Colmes, the show's liberal, so it's just a nice demonstration of how lots of folks don't notice the distinction between professors and lecturers, even part time lecturers like Barrett. He's teaching here. He's one of the professors as far as the general public is concerned.

Let's go to the videotape:



Colmes begins and tries to present Barrett in a fairly positive light by bringing out the facts that the course is not required, that the 9/11 conspiracy theory will take up "only about one week" of the course, that the students will not be required to "regurgitate" his theory, and that he means to inspire "critical thinking." (Smarter students, I note, may want to regurgitate.)

From the moment he begins speaking, Barrett twitches and jerks around quite oddly and speaks in a breathless, excited way. He tries to unload a torrent of words about the theory and won't stop to give Colmes a chance to get through his series of questions, which are quite clearly designed to put Barrett in a positive light. Barrett, however, is so keen on his theory, he'd rather spout conspiracy. He looks nutty even before Hannity starts the questions that are meant to trash him. That is, Barrett's a witness who mucks up the direct examination. It doesn't take cross-examination to bring out the problems.

When Hannity takes over, Barrett interrupts him in the middle of his first question. When Hannity insists on finishing the question, Barrett smugly goes "Yeah, yeah, finish up." On Hannity's show! As if he thinks the only people who are watching are folks who think Hannity's a jackass. Hannity asks him if he really believes 9/11 and other terrorists attacks were "an inside job." Barrett, inspiring no confidence that he will allow students to debate with him, says sharply, "I don't believe, I do know that 9/11 was an inside job." Barrett then tries to lay out the details of the theory. The word "thermate" comes out of his mouth. (It's supposed to be "thermite," but why be precise?) [ADDED: Apparently, there is something called "thermate," which, like thermite, has a role in the conspiracy theory.]

Hannity breaks in to say, "All right, so you believe that the buildings came down in a controlled demolition." Again, Barrett excludes the possibility of alternate theories: "Well, I don't believe it. I've looked at the evidence, and the evidence is overwhelming." Hannity's response is perfect: "All right, the evidence is overwhelming to you because you're a conspiracy nut." Hannity tries to set up his next question: "But putting that all aside..." That's perhaps the funniest line of the night, but it's stepped all over by Barrett, who motormouths conspiracy theory. Hannity goes ahead and asks his question with Barrett yammering over him. Hannity finally just lets the man babble. Then, he mutters, "Okay, I wish I had the 'Twilight Zone' music."

Hannity says, "Okay, here's my next question," and Barrett breaks in with a laugh and says "Okay, friend," and shrugs, looking quite pleased with himself, as if he believes he's getting the better of the exchange. As Hannity tries to ask the question, Barrett keeps interrupting, offering survey statistics that he seems to think show that people agree with him -- 60%! "You're in the minority," he tells Hannity. That is, we see Barrett garbling facts in real time, on camera.

Finally, Hannity gets Barrett to hear the question: Should extremists like you be allowed to teach? Barrett says: "No, you're the extremist. Fox News is the biggest bunch of extremists on the planet." He's got a huge laughing grin now. Hannity doesn't think Barrett should be teaching, and Barrett responds that he doesn't think Hannity should be on the air. "I think you guys should be taken off the airwaves, because you are the guys who are..." A desperate Colmes breaks in: "All right, we don't want to silence anybody...."

Colmes's attempt at the beginning to present Barrett in a good light by emphasizing that Barrett will bring debate and critical thinking to the classroom is all shot to hell. We've seen Barrett in action. Barrett retained his position here because we care about free speech values, but he slammed us in the face with his disrespect for free speech.

414 comments:

1 – 200 of 414   Newer›   Newest»
Gerry said...

For some reason, the last line or two of your post reminded me of Senator John McCain.

jult52 said...

Very funny. Thanks for the summary.

Joe said...

Letting this guy teach does not put UW in a good light. Free speech is one thing, giving a pulpit to a batshit looney tune degrades the institution.

reader_iam said...

Barrett retained his position here because we care about free speech values, but he slammed us in the face with his disrespect for free speech.

Well, given that he's already committed to slamming parents of students, and students themselves, in the gut with his "knowledge" this is no surprise.

I don't care much what teachers/instructors/professors say outside the classroom, but I do care what they say inside it. It seems to be that both Barrett and UW have confused the two and, in the case of the latter through its decision to retain Barrett, put its imprimatur on intertwining and tangling of the two.

MadisonMan said...

I must say that Barrett is milking this for all it's worth. No doubt a book deal is in the offing -- nice supplement to his meager instructor salary.

Too bad, as you note, he garbles facts. (To put it mildly)

bearbee said...

What qualifies someone to lecture at a university? The most I could find on Barrett's background beyond the website is some vague information that he taught at universities in the SF bay area, Paris and a course at UW

Henry said...

The 9/11 conspiracy stuff will only take a week of the course?

A week out of a college term is a pretty big chunk of instruction time.

I could see such a survey class devoting a week to global terrorism, perhaps, but just to one 9/11 conspiracy theory?

So this hardly presents UW's decision to let Barrett teach in a good light.

Daryl Herbert said...

I thought Barrett got the best of Sean at the start of his questioning.

Barrett had already said he believed it was an inside job, and that was Sean's first question.

Then Barrett starts explaining why he believes it was an inside job, and Sean interrupts him to ask him why he believes it was an inside job.

To that minimal extent, he was glorious. I thought it was very apt. Everything else (whacked out conspiracy theories, arrogance, intolerance, etc.) didn't exactly bask him in glory.

But then, I can't stand Sean Hannity, who is dumber than a bag full of hammers.

Badger Down Under said...

I am embarrassed for my University.

Ken Mayer
Professor of Political Science
UW Madison

Seriouslyunserious said...

Ann

I know it makes a difference to you. But it is a distinction without a difference. You teach and he is teaching there this semester. The focus should be on the rediculous "academic freedom" argument advanced. If he were advancing White Power or female servitude or any number of other nonsensical things would this loon be given a pulpit? Not a chance.
So why again should not the University of Wisconsin be met with much derision?

kpom said...

So, when is the University of Wisconsin hiring a Professor of Astrology?

bearbee said...

ACLU
"ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said today, “The University’s task was to evaluate Dr. Barrett’s qualification and ability to teach his assigned course based on the course’s requirement’s, not the content of his speech. It has apparently followed that process and applied the proper standards.”

SO what are the qualifications and standards?

Ann Althouse said...

Seriouslyunserious, I would only ask that you have some sympathy for the position the Provost was in trying to decide whether to fire Barrett, making him into a First Amendment martyr, once he'd been hired. As I've said in other posts, that doesn't excuse the fact that conditions here are such that he was hired in the first place, and the real test of the university is whether it finds a way to avoid hiring mistakes like this in the future. Another test for the university will come when we see how it treats others in similar positions. What if we found someone hired to teach here was a white supremacist, planning to devote a week of his course to his theory? Would he be treated with as much respect as Barrett? What if we found someone hired to teach evolution was a young earth creationist planning to devote a week of his course to his theory? These people now must be treated the same. Pretty horrible. I hate to even type that out. But this underscores why the hiring phase matters so much.

The Christian Anarchist said...

Barrett absolutely schooled Hannity in this interview. At one point, Hannity attempts to ask what evidence, and then Barrett responded calmly with all kinds of specifics including citing Stephen Jones' and Morgan Reynolds' work. All Hannity could do was state how Barrett was a nut - an a priori assumption on Hannity's part.

And Ann, thermate is a type of thermite to which barium nitrate and sulphur have been added. Stephen Jones has identified traces of thermate in structural steel samples from the WTC. Barrett was correct, but that was a nice attempt at a diversionary tactic.

Goatwhacker said...

Yikes, it's like a five minute contest for who can be most annoying.

Buddy Larsen said...

So, is thermate the smoking gun, christian anarchist?

Cro said...

And this is exactly why there is so much dis-respect for academics in general. A true profession polices its own ranks in its own interests. Why then do the UW professors not speak out against allowing this putz to teach?

No wonder people bitch about tuition... especially if it's paying a salary to this guy. I think the moon landing was faked..Can I teach at UW? I know who the gunman on the grassy knoll was...Can I teach at UW? I know the Jews control the media... Can I teach at UW? I think the holocaust was faked.... Can I teach at UW?

Laughing stock.

MadisonMan said...

Ann, you make an excellent point -- those who are hiring the people should be the ones sweating here (and being ridiculed), not the provost. I wonder why no one has asked them why they hired such a loon -- all I've seen are vague statements that Barrett was qualified. You have to wonder how hard they looked at his qualifications and mind-set. Was there actually a serious interview, or was it conducted over beer at the Terrace?

Pyrthroes said...

The world is prey to invisible flying rabbits. One of them has bitten Barret the Lecturer behind the left ear, which has turned his brain to mush, so that by a process of Pharaonic mummification he lies supine in his conspiracist's sarcophagus while Sea Lilies of the Nile wash over him.

This is what UW serves up to students mulcted for $40,000 per annum on the assurance that "education" comes only at a price? Guaranteed, there are no conspiracists teaching Bill Clinton touring East Europe on a Soviet KGB passport, ratting out Iron Curtain dissidents during that year's Prague Spring. However can this be? Perhaps even in advance of Kerry's love affair with Ho Chi Minh, such treachery strikes a bit too close to home?

In 2004 or thereabouts, Popular Mechanics magazine published an extensive engineering/technical analysis of every 9/11 factor bruited by dolts such as Barrett, both before and since. Is Colmes naively trying to mute the impact of this guy, saying "conspiracists aren't all bad," or is he setting up this pathetic fool so Hannity can get a laugh? In any case, why waste our time at all?

UW actually hired this ranting imbecile? If I were an alumnus, I would league together with others in protest, if only to preserve my own tattered reputation.

Dan from Madison said...

Bravo to Ken Mayer for saying that. I wish we could hear from more of the faculty on this.

Internet Ronin said...

MadisonMan: I think the answer to your question is that Barrett was previously the TA for this class. Thus, he was the "easy" choice when the professor went on sabbatical.

James B. said...

Ann, Thermate is supposedly a sulfer enhanced version of thermite that Steve Jones, a physicist from BYU, is claiming was used to destroy the WTC. It is normally an military incidiary or a welding device, but with them it becomes a curious material, which tends to have whatever properties they want to at the time. One of the problems with these "scholars" going on TV, is that their plots tend to be quite complicated, and keeping up with them is essentially a full time job.

James B
Screw Loose Change

Meryl Yourish said...

Steven Jones "evidence" is being questioned by his own physics dept. at BYU.

You might want to find a more reliable cite for your thermate theory.

Buddy Larsen said...

Mr. Barrett was correct in his assertion that 19 boxcutters could not drop the twin towers.

You'd think somebody would tell him about those two Boeing 757s.

Now, I'd like to propose that one bullet could not have started WWI.

Meryl Yourish said...

(The above was for Christian Anarchist, not james b.)

Internet Ronin said...

Now, I'd like to propose that one bullet could not have started WWI.

LOL! You're right, Buddy, IIRC, it was at least two because both the prince and his wife were shot that day.

Mr. Snitch said...

How does a guy like this even get past the job interview? The only answer seems to be that someone in the UW administration believes this, or something like it. So, the real problem is not Barrett, who is at least a visible and identifiable loon. The problem is the loose screw you can't see.

SteveR said...

I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!

Buddy Larsen said...

Ronin, exactly! It was *two*. I knew that!

James Stephenson said...

I have a question for those people who believe that the WTC was brought down in a controlled explosion.

It was obvious that the tower started collapsing from the top. Are you saying that the intense flames would not have melted the wiring of the demolitions? If it started at the top, then the wires on the floors where the plane hit would have been incinerated.

Also, was there Thermate or Thermite on the floors the plane hit? If there were enough explosives to bring the building down would not the explosions caused by this thermite made the tower come down the second the plane hit?

Or did the people who supposedly planted the explosives, knew exactly where the planes would hit the towers? I mean were the pilots accurate enough to not only hit the buildings but hit them in the exact spots needed to not cause a preliminary explosion?

Because lets be honest, no explosive in the world would let 10000 degree temperatures not cause them to explode.

Please explain just the thermite withstanding high temps.

The Christian Anarchist said...

Buddy Larsen,

It's one of them. The other main two are the presence of pools of molten structural steel in the basements of all three buildings that collapsed that day (including WTC-7). Hydrocarbon fires like the fires in the towers don't melt steel like that. The other big one is the fact that the towers collapsed at virtual freefall speed, which indicates they encountered no resistance on the way down. The indicates the superstructure of all three buildings was completely compromised at the timeof collapse. The "pancake theory" cannot account for this.

If you're really interested in the facts behind the collapses, I suggest reading Stephen Jones' paper and David Ray Griffin's paper for starters.

Pogo said...

It needs to be restated:
The left is having their turning point, like the GOP of the 1950s. The GOP had to decide whether to go with the John Birch Society and implode on communist conspiracies, or create some new ideas and an operating plan for electoral victory.

The Left now has to deal with their own smug conspiracy nuts, who claim to see Bush's face on every tortilla. Which direction does it turn? So far, I can see lots of readying for spending decades wandering in the desert, muttering to themselves about the Evil Bushco and how terrible Amerika has become and why won't we just elect them and make it all right again?

The Christian Anarchist said...

Meryl Yourish,

You didn't even read your own link, did you?

"In April 2006, BYU removed those statements from their website following a letter saying that Jones' paper was, indeed, peer reviewed. The letter, written by linguistics professor Richard McGinn to Alan Parkinson, Dean of the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, also says that McGinn is entitled to file an ethics complaint with the American Society of Civil Engineers against Parkinson for continuing to run those statements."

In Jones' paper he states the following:

"I presented my objections to the “official” theory at a seminar at BYU on September 22, 2005, to about sixty people. I also showed evidence and scientific arguments for the controlled demolition theory. In attendance were faculty from Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Geology, and Mathematics – and perhaps other departments as I did not recognize all of the people present. A local university and college were represented (BYU and Utah Valley State College).

The discussion was vigorous and lasted nearly two hours. It ended only when a university class needed the room. After presenting the material summarized here, including actually looking at and discussing the collapses of WTC 7 and the Towers, only one attendee disagreed (by hand-vote) that further investigation of the WTC collapses was called for. The next day, the dissenting professor said he had further thought about it and now agreed that more investigation was needed. He joined the others in hoping that the 6,899 photographs and 6,977 segments of video footage held by NIST plus others held by the FBI would be released for independent scrutiny; photos largely from private photographers (NIST, 2005, p. 81). Therefore, I along with others call for the release of these data to a cross-disciplinary, preferably international team of scientists and engineers."


Doesn't sound like there's much disagreement there at all.

Michael said...

In a very important way, it's more damning to the University of Wisconsin that he is a lecturer and not a professor. A professor would have tenure and the university would have its hands tied. Look at all the difficulty Colorado has endured with Ward Churchill.
But a lecturer could be fired with a keystroke, and UW has decided to keep him on to spout this bilge. Only one week of this one particular kooky conspiracy theory? First that's too long and secondly, what reason is there to believe that the rest of the class will be any better?

JohnK said...

Anne,

What do you mean "they couldn't fire him and make him a martyr"? So, it is better to waste public funds and let him promote this garbage? The Provost didn't fire him because at heart he doesn't really have a problem with what the guy is saying. Everything else he says is just boob bait for us uninitiated. Of course they hired this guy. The same people who did this at UW are the ones who recruited the spokesman for the Taliban at Yale because "Yale missed out on a great student like this to Harvard last year and we weren't going to miss out on one again". I guess we know where to find OBL.

The fact is Anne, that this is the culture in higher education these days. Higher education is a complete joke and an embarrassment to the country. UW deserves all of the approbation and ridicule it gets and then some.

How is it that the leaders of UW allowed such a corrosive and ignorant culture to develop that people in positions of authority would come to believe hiring this guy was a good idea? Because behind closed doors and in their most private moments the powers that be at UW don't think what the guy is saying is untrue much less beyond the pale. That is the conclusion I draw from this. If the people at UW don't like people drawing that conclusion, then take some responsibility and stop doing things like this.

Mike said...

Ann, I do not have sympathy for the Provost. As you said on WPR, I may not know the exact location of the line, but I do know when something is beyond the pale.

Ann said: Another test for the university will come when we see how it treats others in similar positions. What if we found someone hired to teach here was a white supremacist, planning to devote a week of his course to his theory? Would he be treated with as much respect as Barrett? What if we found someone hired to teach evolution was a young earth creationist planning to devote a week of his course to his theory?

I have no doubt about what would (and should) happen in these hypothetical case. Are you serious when you say you are in doubt?

MadisonMan: I am quite embarrassed for my University. I don't think I've ever felt this way before, but I do this morning.

Tom said...

The Christian anarchist said:
"And Ann, thermate is a type of thermite to which barium nitrate and sulphur have been added. Stephen Jones has identified traces of thermate in structural steel samples from the WTC. Barrett was correct, but that was a nice attempt at a diversionary tactic."
Since thermite is used in welding could the "traces" of thermite have been deposited in the construction of the steel beams during the building of the WTC? Since thermite welding is done under extremely high temperatures could the explosion of the aircraft have re-ignited the thermite or thermate?
I think-but I'm not sure-that only one person, a BYU professor, has made the thermate claim. Steven Jones, the BYU professor, requested and received a sample of the WTC metal. Can one infer from one small sample the presence of thermate throughout the building?

norton said...

I'm a parent of a high school senior and I have no doubt that he would realize that this guy was an idiot. I'm still afraid to send him to a large public university because I don't think he has enough experience yet to recognize the more subtle idiots that are teaching. I think he would get a much better education at his age in the army, and then go to university afterwards.

I wonder how many other parents think like this and what it will eventually do to college enrollment.

The Christian Anarchist said...

Pogo,

I am not a leftist. I'm much farther right than you are (at least economically). Why don't you address the perceived problems with the official instead of labeling everyone who disagrees with you as irrational? I can assure you, I am as rational as they come.

I guess the majority of people in this country are now loony leftists, as this poll indicates. Sometime in the future, I have no doubt you'll have a "leftist" moment where the truth starts to peek through.

J.E. Link said...

I suppose the hundreds of engineers who contributed to this report on how and why the WTC towers fell were fools, or "in on" the 9/11 conspiracy:

http://www.house.gov/science/hot/wtc/wtc-report/WTC_ExSm.pdf

or:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?F2EF2636D

And if they were "in on it", I guess that means the House of Representatives, which issued the report, was "in on it" too. Dems and Republicans! Whodathunkit!

A conspiracy of thousands! Think of how much $$$ any conspirator could make with book deals and the like by "coming forward" to blow the whistle on the conspiracy.

We're still waiting for such a person to confirm that TWA 800 was brought down by a missile.

Methinks we will wait a long, long time...just as we will for someone to confirm Barrett's whack theories.

And btw: here's an example of the scientific rigor the moonbats at DU are pointing to as evidence confirming Barrett: enjoy!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=125&topic_id=56836&mesg_id=56836

or:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?S4201346D

Birkel said...

Ann Althouse,

Why doesn't the university set his class size at zero? Why doesn't the university insist that the instructor deliver his lecturers to empty classrooms? Why doesn't the university enforce its rights to the intellectual property produced by the instructor for the purposes of teaching this class, including course notes and any recordings of lectures?

All of those things are rights the university has that don't abridge his First Amendment rights. Yet somehow I doubt the university will enforce them. We may reasonably ask why not.

After all, you're not a First Amendment martyr if you're not fired and your class size is zero. That's not depriving the instructor of any rights he has. The right to free speech does not include the right to be heard. I'm sure the contract he signed is mute on the question of class size -- including zero.

Too many lawyers refuse to think outside the box for other remedies when faced with an aggressive ACLU.

Why is that?

Pogo said...

The Christian Anarchist writes exactly like the Kennedy assassination conspiracists and and Fake Moon Landing nuts. They abuse the language of science, but reject all challenges (thinking they've defeated them).

They are invincibly ignorant, and should be paid no attention at all. It's a hideous disservice to taxpayers that this man should be cut one check while Wisconin's young men and women are off in Iraq doing the real work. Shame on the school system that has no apparent adults in charge.

Oligonicella said...

"Hydrocarbon fires like the fires in the towers don't melt steel like that. "


Horseshit. I can and have melted high-carbon steel in a coke furnace. It only takes a confined area to reflect the heat inward. Much like a building.

Buddy Larsen said...

Christian anarchist, I don't mean to rude, but, all those items have been rigorously examined and accounted for. Including the various oxide combinations forged in the heat. Please take a look at the Popular Mechanics article.

Then, from the strain-at-gnats-while-swallowing-elephants point of view, really, what manner of demonic government would do such a thing? Think of the first meeting, where someone had to propose it. Think of the ramifications if just one of the conspirators had a change of heart and went public--would anyone capable of such a thing, be willing to take the chance?

Theories like Barrett's are for the unexplainable--they're Dark Ages 'out there be dragons' stuff.

Remember that dropping the buildings was only the one thing needing doing--the conspirators also had to set up the entire chain of evidence embodied by the hijackers, the Berlin and Florida venues just for starters, and also somehow involve all the foreign governments that participated in backtracking the several years of the hijackers movements.

How many people are involved in this, would you say? And no leakers? Even as hated as Bush & co are?

Unless all is as it seems, with the jihadis, but the US gov't was in on it, and coordinated with it.

If this is true, why hasn't that same government, you know, silenced these Barrett types?

Cro said...

Norton,

Don't send you children to UW or any other similar school. Send them to one of the military academies... it's one of the few last places you go to school and actually GET and education...particularly USMA. Getting in is tough....but well worth the effort.

The Christian Anarchist said...

norton,

More research (and samples) is needed to conclusively determine the origin of the thermate traces in the samples Jones' team has investigated. Interestingly, FEMA had most of the structural steel shipped overseas for scrap before thoroughly investigatng the cause of failure. I wonder why they did that...

Regardless, the two big question marks are the presence of molten steel in the basements of all three towers and the fact that they fell at freefall speed. Only controlled demolition explains those adequately.

Scott W. Somerville said...

Is Barrett willing to throw in a course on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism while he's at it? He sounds like he could cover the topic well.

Palladian said...

Christian Anarchist, eh? I suppose believing that the World Trade Center collapsed because of Bush's sulphured krytonite charges isn't that big of a logical leap for someone who believes that a crucified man rose from the dead after a few days.

So how are things in Justin Raimondoland? Had any visits from any Israeli art students?

Verification code: ilnutrok. Um, yeah.

Buddy Larsen said...

oligonicella, also, the venturi effect--

Lars said...

No doubt lecturer Barrett considers himself to be a fearless sifter and winnower. My pride in UW is diminished by this shameless ideolog.


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.

--plaque affixed to Bascom Hall, 1915

Setsuken said...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=1&c=y

*cough*

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frank IBC said...

C.A. -

The collapse of the WTC and "controlled implosion" have one thing in common - gravity. And that's it.

And where are these "pools of molten steel" that you're babbling about? Or are you just trying to divert attention from the inconvenient fact that steel does not have to actually melt to lose a substantial portion of its strength?

How were these explosives smuggled into the buildings?

For steel buildings, every support column on every floor must have 2 shaped-charges attached to it. How were these installed, given that the vast majority of the support columns were behind drywall and/or cinderblock?

How come no one heard the explosives being detonated?

How come none of the rescue personnel or people evacuating the buildings noticed detonation wires running all over the place, to connect all the charges?

How come there were no flashes of light or bursts of flame or puffs of smoke when the charges were detonated?

Internet Ronin said...

Johnk: Do you think the Provost actually believes this crap that is Barrett promoting? Give me a break, John. The provost is stuck with the guy because if he fired him, the guy would sue (with the ACLU's help no doubt), the university would end up spending tens of thousands defending the suit, with the provost and half the administration wasting day after day giving depositions.

If this doesn't fade away by the time classes are to begin, I would not be surprised to hear that they cancelled the class because of the detrimental effect the controversy was having on the campus environment or because of concerns for campus safety. That way, they avoid firing him for his weird ideas.

BTW, It's Ann not Anne.

Xrlq said...

"He's teaching here. He's one of the professors as far as the general public is concerned."

Yup. To everyone outside the ivory tower, anybody who teaches at a college or university is a "professor." I even got called that word myself when I taught an introductory undergrad class as a grad student.

That said, I'm not sure why the distinction matters here. If anything, a full professor talking like that might reflect less badly on the university, given those pesky tenure rules.

TallDave said...

OK, now, to be fair and balanced, just for a second try to imagine someone teaching a one-week course segment on the Clinton Death List.

Never happen. He'd be labelled "dngerous." Right wing nuts need not apply to academia.

Frank IBC said...

If the top ten to twenty floors of a building such as the WTC towers start to move downward, due to the collapse of the support columns on 2-4 floors immediately below, why WOULDN'T they keep on moving at "free-fall" speed, C.A.?

ed said...

Hmmmm.

Frankly I think an enterprising individual would ask Barrett if he'd like to have his 9/11 teaching course videotaped and then posted on the internet to reach the largest audience possible. Considering how fruity this guy is, I'm sure he'd jump at the chance.

IMHO the Provost should have fired him. The pain from that firing would be small potatoes compared to the ongoing and enduring agony of having this guy linked to your university.

Andrew Foland said...

Sigh.

It's hard to think of anything that drives good physicists up the wall than hearing "Physics proves it!" when that's just not true. ( We have a brand to protect, after all :) )

There are some real physics questions in Jones' papers, but (and this is one good thing about physics) they can be answered. There are also a few outright mistakes in important parts. As a former physics professor myself, I know of no credible colleagues who took the analysis seriously.

If Barrett were throwing this out there as something to discuss, and bringing in solid physicists to present the anti-case, then this might actually make a very interesting teaching case. (And, in that case I submit it would fall inarguably under academic freedom.)

As it's fairly clear that's not happening, it is rather an embarrasment.

I agree with our hostess that it does put the University administration in a tight spot. There is some (seriously flawed) "technical" support for the argument. It would be touchy to fire someone who had at least gone through the academic motions to gather evidence, weak though that evidence be.

But I'm a little curious: where's the department chair in all this? A professor would simply tell the chair to "go Cheney himself" (in just so many words), but a department chair has the power to lay down the law to a lecturer.

You can be sure that "lectureship budget cuts" will preclude his teaching any more courses in the future.

Clayton said...

I've always wondered why there are so few teaching opportunities for me. I guess that I should start espousing bizarre conspiracy theories (but only the ones that the academic community likes because they expose BusHitler McChimpyHaliburton)--and then there might be a place for me!

One of these days, perhaps after a virus destroys all television sets, the masses are going to wake up and realize that they are not obligated to fund public universities.

Internet Ronin said...

Palladian: "So how are things in Justin Raimondoland?"

ROFL!!!

"Had any visits from any Israeli art students?"
No, but I did meet a hot Israeli soldier once...

CF said...

Ann, I attended the University and its law school and feel a responsibility to donate to it. (And I like you a lot.) But this is stupid hire and the approval of his study plan are yet another reason I do not contribute to general alumni funds anymore.
I won't shut my pocketbook completely, but I contribute only to special programs which receive funds directly.

It doesn't seem that the folks who oversee the admissions office(which refuses to provide me with the AA information I requested) or the hiring of nuts like this care, but I do.

ed said...

Hmmm.

"thermite traces"?

Oh for God's sake!

What is the principal ingredient of thermite? **Aluminum**!

What is the principal ingredient of aircraft? **Aluminum**!

What is the secondary ingredient of thermite? **Iron**!

What is the principal ingredient of steel structural supports? **Iron**!

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

You silly nonsensical ignorant jackhole "The Christian Anarchist".

And don't even irritate me even further by asking what in the twin towers could have generated enough heat to set off that "thermite" you twit.

Good Lord you nutcases annoy me.

paulfrommpls said...

Soemone earlier said that the problem with "responding" to arguments like the Christian Anarchist's is that they're so damn complex, and (I'd add) the holders of them tend to be some odd variation of intelligent, that it becomes a full time job.

That's exactly the problem. And I think it's exactly why this theory will continue to grow, and will be like a cancer on the Democratic Party especially.

I do have one specific question. Part of the overall theory is that no jet hit the Pentagon. Then what happened to the jet that supposedly did hit it, and all those people who were killed on it?

Thank you.

MT said...

Amen Ed.

Even the obvious truth doesn't seem to matter much anymore. Anti-American, hate-filled, guilt-ridden losers are given credability by the left simply because they fit the agenda.

Palladian said...

IsrAliens, paul! They're all-powerful! They can do ANYTHING!

"Christian Anarchist", and 9-11 conspiracy people in general, are a good example of the double-ended dildo that connects the ass-end of the left with the ass-end of the right.

Mike said...

paulfrommpls: Clearly, they were in on it.

Buddy Larsen said...

The Pentagon jet was lured out over the sea and shot down by FEMA employees posing as F-16 pilots. These are the same guys who later shipped the WTC steel overseas where it disappeared.

ed said...

Hmmm.

@ norton

I think he would get a much better education at his age in the army, and then go to university afterwards.

Personally I didn't immediately go to college but rather went into the USMC for a 4 year tour for much the same reasons. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, was still a rather callow youth and I didn't want to waste my parent's money unnecessarily.

IMHO a tour of duty in the military is an extremely useful thing for some, for others it's a waste of time. I'd suggest the military if he has issues of self-confidence, motivation or if he's uncertain about his future. If he's got a definitely career planned out then perhaps going straight to college would work better.

But doing a tour in the military can give a young man a lot of self-confidence. Pretty much because you end up realising, after all the idiot nonsense the military subjects you to, that you can handle just about anything. You really learn where and what your personal limitations are.

Prior to joining the USMC I was a bit of a long-haired slacker. After that it all changed. The two things I learned from my time in the USMC was that I could survive anything and that I could make myself motivated to accomplish anything, no matter what. *shrug* and the college tuition benefits are certainly useful.

But the final decision has to be his. You can advise, but you cannot make him do it.

ed said...

Hmmm.

@ norton

If nothing else a tour in the military will change his cleanliness habits. I used to be rather untidy but the USMC cured me of that. Mostly because you either get into the habit of keeping everything clean and neat, or you end up cleaning a lot more as punishment.

IMHO The United States Marine Corps is so nasty because we're all irritated at having to scrub the floors so much. :)

I still remember being ordered to strip a brand new floor, of no-wax tiles, of it's special coating so we could then wax it.

ben wallace said...

Perhaps conservatives should support Barrett in his effort to teach this course. Dick Cheney, who was a PHD candidate in political science at UW, formed many of his political views in response to actions of the left-wingers here in Madison. The probability Barrett convinces any students he is right is almost zero; the probability he gives motivation and drive to the next generation of conservative students is much more likely.

Shill King said...

Why was the head of Pakistani intelligence, the same guy who wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta before 9/11, meeting with our congressional intelligence leaders on the day of 9/11?

Why don't we know who made huge put options on airlines before 9/11?

Why do firefighters insist they found 3 of the 4 WTC black boxes, but the government denies it?

Why is Sibel Edmonds being gagged?

Who was running the wargames drills on 9/11 that coincidentally practiced for hijacking response and paralyzed our air defense that day?

Why did the owner of the WTC say he had building 7 "pulled" as in a demolition? What does this look like to you?
http://www.wtc7.net/videos.html

Refute this:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6757267008400743688

Go to minutes 45-60.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8989407671184881047&q=What's+the+Truth
Read Dr. Jones' paper:
http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html
Read Dr. Wood's analysis:
http://janedoe0911.tripod.com/BilliardBalls.html

Please sign this petition.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/929981172?ltl=1141667399

Auto Report World Editors said...

Hydrocarbon fires can't melt steel?

If the conspiracy enthusiasts want to abuse science and engineering, well, acetylene is also a hydrocarbon. [From Wikipedia: Acetylene (IUPAC name: ethyne) is the simplest alkyne hydrocarbon, consisting of two hydrogen atoms and two carbon atoms connected by a triple bond.] It burns very sooty and relatively cool without the introduction of oxygen. With oxygen it burns hot enough to melt steel. Give it even more oxygen and you cut right through the steel. That's the difference between a welding and cutting torch, the cutting torch has more oxygen jets to begin with, and a trigger for an additional blast of O2 to burn and blow away the melt.

Oxy-Acetylene welding is the standard form of gas welding and is still widely used, though arc welding and its MIG and TIG derivatives are now the state of the art.

If you give it the right amount of oxygen, almost any fuel will burn hot enough to weaken and possibly melt steel. Pre-industrial blacksmiths and cutlers used wood or coal and a big bellows. A normal skyscraper produces enough updraft by convection that some have proposed installing electicity generating windmills. With the large glass windows in the lobbies broken, the fires in the WTC towers were fed w/ a huge updraft of air.

Fuel + Oxygen + Containment = High Temperatures

PatCA said...

This hire is an embarrassment, but a revealing one. The provost has only fueled the fire of public criticism by giving this kook a platform.

And I disagree that he would be a 1st Amendment martyr. As others have mentioned, he could have given him a syllabus and told him to teach it or decline the class. He's just a part-time lecturer, for crying out loud! Even U of Co didn't cave that easily. And there is no doubt that any right wing nut or even rational conservative would never be allowed to present their favorites theories. Newest class at our campus? "History of McCarthyism in the US." They've beaten Vietnam to death and are moving back in time for more evidence of Amerikkkan oppression.

Further, this class is not a graduate seminar or a debate between equals; it is an intro class made up of 18-year-olds. He should be imparting basic information, not challenging children to a forensic duel when their grades are at risk.

Mike said...

Why was the head of Pakistani intelligence, the same guy who wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta before 9/11, meeting with our congressional intelligence leaders on the day of 9/11?

Wow! Congress was in on it, too! This just keeps getting better and better.

Frank IBC said...

Why don't we know who made huge put options on airlines before 9/11?

Hahahahahahahahaha

Uh, same reason why we don't know the name of that girl who was preparing for really hot date, and she wanted to get a really good tan, so she drove around the city to go to seven different tanning salons...

P. Froward said...

There's a certain abandoning of intellectual inhibitions with this stuff, isn't there? You've been raised all your life not to believe stuff that's patently crazy, but then one day you try a little, and the sky doesn't fall. So you try a little more, and the next thing you know you're doing the intellectual equivalent of running down the street naked with a lampshade on your head. Most people don't consider this as an option unless they're crazy, but you really can just let loose and believe absolutely anything.

Barrett's capacity for rational skepticism went where Deb Frisch's manners went. The id is all that's left.

brylin said...

So the Christian Anarchist and other commenters are persuaded by Barrett's argument.

Thermate or thermite? Molten steel? etc.

Where is the University of Wisconsin Engineering Department when you need them? Do they agree with BYU Physics Professor Stephen Jones?

What do the UW engineers think of the evidence?

By their silence the engineering department can be deemed to accept this line of argument thereby giving the prestigious UW-Madison imprimatur to Barrett and his conspiracy theory.

Surely soon someone will say "well they taught it at Wisconsin!"

Anthony said...

I'm not sure why the UW is allowing this. My current UW (Washington) got rid of an anthropology graduate student who was teaching what basically amounted to pseudoscience paleoanthropology. Such as that Homo erectus had domesticated cheetahs (!) and was using them to hunt with. The decision to can him was basically driven by the department who, rightfully I think, is obliged to maintain some control over the content of their classes.

P. Froward said...

Did anybody see Bad Lieutenant? Not a great movie, but it's the kind of thing I'm describing here.

The Christian Anarchist said...

I have no desire to attempt to change anyone's mind about 9/11. My original argument with this article was that the video clip showed the opposite of what Ann claimed it did.

Still, I'll try and address a few of the points that have been raised. I'm clearly outnumbered and cannot address every single point.

First, the Popular Mechanics article is a puff piece. It doesn't address either of my points about freefall speed or molten steel. It's full of strawman arguments. Read the rebuttal.

Second, there's no reason for the government to "off" any of the dissenters. You all are doing a fine job yourselves.

Third, there are PLENTY of eyewitness accounts of people hearing explosions going off as well as seeing flashes indicating the same. These are listed in the articles I've already linked to. Go read them if you really are interested.

Fourth, even if the top twenty floors gave way, they still would have encountered resistance against the lower floors which would have slowed down the descent. Go here for a rigorous scientific analysis of this.

Fifth, yes there are plenty of eyewitness accounts of MOLTEN AND FLOWING steel in the basements of the three buildings even weeks after the collapse. Fires that didn't even break windows are not hot enough to MELT structural steel.

Sixth, if thermate was used, only remote controlled fuses would be necessary to start the demolition process. You wouldn
t need miles of wires running all over the building. Also, if these wre planted on the top fifty floors, it would be relatively simple to pick the floor to detonate by remote control. No one would need to predict where the planes would hit. All this technology exists already. Someone just has to want to use it badly enough.

Andrew Foland says there are physics questions in Jones' paper that can be answered, then he fails to answer them or provide a counter-argument to Jones' claims. What are the questions he answers and how can you answer them? You claim to be a former physics professor. How did the towers fall at freefall speed?

I've provided lots of evididentiary support to my claims (physical, eyewitness, and circumstantial). You all simply hurl insults without attempting to address any points.

A final thought. The Romans had a question they used to cut through the fog of criminal investigations that we still use today. I'll ask it here concerning 9/11. Cui bono?

Bruce Hayden said...

I can't get all that excited here. The guy is a lecturer. That is not tenured, and at a lot of schools, isn't even tenure track. The easiest thing for the University to do is to just not renew his contract. This happens all the time, for much more mundane reasons than this. Most schools don't even bother giving reasons - they typically have no obligation to, and so they just don't. And, from a legal point of view, not giving reasons is much preferable - there is nothing to really be sued over.

Now, if his contract is renewed, and he continues to teach, and, in particular, if he gets a tenure track position, then UW should be put on the spot.

Frank IBC said...

Why did the owner of the WTC say he had building 7 "pulled" as in a demolition?

Wrong, moron - he was quoting himself talking to a fire chief on that day - he was saying that the fire was too far gone and that the fire department needed to pull out of the building.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

To all who propose there were demolition charges on the main supports that brought down both towers, there's a huge problem with that hypothesis.

Both towers were "tube" structures or "monocoque". There were no internal implosion devices because there are no internals to implode! The entirety of the building in that design is held up by the outer superstructure, one layer deep, with cantilever floors spanning clean all the way across. Demo charges will then be on the outside, causing flash and material dispersal on detonation. That's simply not there in the videos.

WTC came down because the outer shell buckled from heat and the resulting inertia of that much steel coming down broke the cantilevered floors *first*, those being the weakest link in the system, directing the falling piles of debris between momentarily standing outer structure, before tension forces pull and "wrap" those inward on top. It was like rolling a sock down inside out.

Korla said...

I think these conspiracy nutcases should be sent to hang out with their beloved islamofascist murderer friends, so they can have their private parts cut off before they're beheaded. If it's good enough for our brave soldiers, it's certainly good enough for over-privileged academic hippie jerks.

Why, oh, why did Syd Barrett have to die today, and this schmuck jihadi Barrett is still with us?

Slartibartfast said...

Why do firefighters insist they found 3 of the 4 WTC black boxes, but the government denies it?

Why are a bunch of questions you don't know the answers to conclusive evidence of a widespread conspiracy?

Frank IBC said...

Cui bono?

Given that the Muslim terrorists had declared war on the United States several years earlier, and had tried to destroy the exact same building complex in early 1993, and had destroyed 2 US embassies in summer 1998, and had hit a US navy ship just 11 months earlier, why of course it all has to do with Dick Cheney's stock options, doesn't it?

Slartibartfast said...

Third, there are PLENTY of eyewitness accounts of people hearing explosions going off as well as seeing flashes indicating the same.

There are plenty of people hearing something, all right. Ideally, a pancaking building should not make a sound.

Eyewitness testimony and expert testimony are two different things, though.

Frank IBC said...

C.A. -

Thermate is an incendiary. "Controlled implosion", which you claim occured here, requires high explosives.

Buddy Larsen said...

Shill-king, for chrissakes, who has time to shake down all them apples? Is there any place on the net where the whole crime is laid-out, in some sort of coherent time-line, with the cast of conspirators pointed out?

Your post asks a lot of heavily-loaded questions--anyone could do the same in re to the event as the world believes it to've happened, AKA the story of 911.

Where's the link to the Firemen's black-box dispute? What war games and who ordered them? Who is gagging whoever is being gagged? Who said what about #7 and where's the context? Where is the Paki intelligence link?

And far as your 'put options', that has been extensively investigated, the records are public knowledge, and the market-makers questioned have concluded that the airlines's stock movements that Fall are normal, and inside the standard deviations. Google it for yourself, look at the friggin' stock charts, volume and price. The one spike slightly out-of-ordinary was some activity on the Aussie exchange, originating from China. But even that was standard deviation, just seen as coincidence rather than any nefarious activity.

The best thing to've bought before the event would've been gold--it would've pointed no finger, as airlines would, and it spiked dramatically after the event, as like events predictably spike gold. Gold investors always make money off calamity. Maybe every bad thing that happens is set off by gold-buyers.

The Christian Anarchist said...

Dr. StrangeGun,

I can't believe this fallacy is still out there. The main load-bearing structures for the WTC towers were 47 huge columns in the center of the buildings, not the peripheral supports of which you speak. David Ray Griffin addresses this point in his paper to which I've already linked. The excerpt:


Total Collapse: The official theory is even more decisively ruled out by the fact that the collapses were total: These 110-story buildings collapsed into piles of rubble only a few stories high. How was that possible? The core of each tower contained 47 massive steel box columns.[24] According to the pancake theory, the horizontal steel supports broke free from the vertical columns. But if that is what had happened, the 47 core columns would have still been standing. The 9/11 Commission came up with a bold solution to this problem. It simply denied the existence of the 47 core columns, saying: “The interior core of the buildings was a hollow steel shaft, in which elevators and stairwells were grouped” (Kean and Hamilton, 2004, 541 note 1). Voila! With no 47 core columns, the main problem is removed.

The NIST Report handled this most difficult problem by claiming that when the floors collapsed, they pulled on the columns, causing the perimeter columns to become unstable. This instability then increased the gravity load on the core columns, which had been weakened by tremendously hot fires in the core, which, NIST claims, reached 1832°F, and this combination of factors somehow produced “global collapse” (NIST, 2005, pp. 28, 143).

This theory faces two problems. First, NIST’s claim about tremendously hot fires in the core is completely unsupported by evidence. As we saw earlier, its own studies found no evidence that any of the core columns had reached temperatures of even 482°F (250˚C), so its theory involves a purely speculative addition of over 1350°F.[25] Second, even if this sequence of events had occurred, NIST provides no explanation as to why it would have produced global—-that is, total--collapse. The NIST Report asserts that “column failure” occurred in the core as well as the perimeter columns. But this remains a bare assertion. There is no plausible explanation of why the columns would have broken or even buckled, so as to produce global collapse at virtually free-fall speed, even if they had reached such temperatures.[26]


Now tell us all about how WTC-7 collapsed when it wasn't hit by an airplane?

Frank IBC said...

And if thermite/thermite had indeed been used, an incredibly huge volume of it would have needed to be smuggled into the building. How would this have been done?

Korla said...

>Now tell us all about how WTC-7 collapsed when it wasn't hit by an airplane?

It was simply bowled over by your stupidity.

Slartibartfast said...

TCA unwittingly answers his own question.

The core columns were designed to carry the gravity load; the monocoque was designed to take the wind load. The core wasn't, however, designed to take the gravity load plus the shock of one or more floors collapsing. There's video of the collapse of one of the towers that shows the core collapse lagging the collapse of the shell and floors substantially; this too is presented (ironically) as evidence for a controlled demolition.

Again, conspiracy is not evidenced simply by a bunch of questions you don't know the answer to. What do you do when you have questions unanswered? Do you first assume some far-reaching conspiracy, or do you first seek to answer them?

Bruce Hayden said...

I think it needs repeating. The steel didn't need to melt. It just needed to lose its structural strength. On page 4 of the PM article:

CLAIM: "We have been lied to," announces the Web site AttackOnAmerica.net. "The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel." The posting is entitled "Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC."

FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength--and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

Frank IBC said...

Dr. Strangegun is incorrect, the exterior was an important part of the support structure, but there were steel support columns inside the towers.

C.A. -

If you'd bother to read what happened in WTC7, you'd know that the building was constructed over an existing ConEd generator, on a structure called a "transfer truss", which is like a bridge. The building had tanks storing millions of tons of diesel fuel, both for the Con Ed generator as well as for backup generators for the Mayor's Emergency Command Post which was in that building.

Debris from the falling towers ignited WTC7, and eventually the diesel fuel was ignited. The heat from the fire eventually weakened the transfer truss and it collapsed, bringing down the building with it.

The temperatures generated by the fires in both the WTC7 and the towers were not hot enough to melt steel, only aluminum. However, it was enough to cause the steel to lose between 50% and 80% of its strength, and thus could no longer support the loads that it was designed to support.

I'm sorry if this isn't as "exciting" as your conspiracy theories, C.A.

Shill King said...

As a follow-up to Christian Anarchist's cui bono comment:
“The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
...
"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."
http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

Internet Ronin said...

I propose a corrollary to Godwin's Law: Bartlett's Addendum: When conspiracy theorists arrive, prancing naked wearing lampshades on their head, the conversation is over.

(with apologies to P. Froward)

Pat said...

How did the towers fall at freefall speed?

Of all the dumb things "Truthers" believe, this has gotta be the dumbest. Why? Because it ignores the evidence of your own eyes.

Look at photos of the towers falling. You can clearly see that the debris around the buildings is falling faster than the buildings themselves, which means what, class? That's right, that the buildings are not falling at freefall speed.

brylin said...

Unfortunately, Bruce Hayden, you are a lawyer, not an engineer. The prestigious University of Wisconsin Engineering Department has no criticism for either Dr. Barrett or BYU's Dr. Jones.

How can I have faith in a non-engineer regarding strictly engineering matters?

Bruce Hayden said...

Again, from PM:

WTC 7 Collapse
CLAIM: Seven hours after the two towers fell, the 47-story WTC 7 collapsed. According to 911review.org: "The video clearly shows that it was not a collapse subsequent to a fire, but rather a controlled demolition: amongst the Internet investigators, the jury is in on this one."

FACT: Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA's preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. "The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7," NIST's Sunder tells PM. "On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom--approximately 10 stories--about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out." NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7's upper stories and its southwest corner.

NIST investigators believe a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse, though assigning the exact proportion requires more research. But NIST's analysis suggests the fall of WTC 7 was an example of "progressive collapse," a process in which the failure of parts of a structure ultimately creates strains that cause the entire building to come down. Videos of the fall of WTC 7 show cracks, or "kinks," in the building's facade just before the two penthouses disappeared into the structure, one after the other. The entire building fell in on itself, with the slumping east side of the structure pulling down the west side in a diagonal collapse.

According to NIST, there was one primary reason for the building's failure: In an unusual design, the columns near the visible kinks were carrying exceptionally large loads, roughly 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor. "What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors," Sunder notes, "it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down."

There are two other possible contributing factors still under investigation: First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building's other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities.

Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. "There was no firefighting in WTC 7," Sunder says. Investigators believe the fire was fed by tanks of diesel fuel that many tenants used to run emergency generators. Most tanks throughout the building were fairly small, but a generator on the fifth floor was connected to a large tank in the basement via a pressurized line. Says Sunder: "Our current working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time."

WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors--along with the building's unusual construction--were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.

The Christian Anarchist said...

The temperatures generated by the fires in both the WTC7 and the towers were not hot enough to melt steel, only aluminum. However, it was enough to cause the steel to lose between 50% and 80% of its strength, and thus could no longer support the loads that it was designed to support.

So why have there been only three steel-framed skyscrapers in history that collapsed as the result of fire and all of them occurred in NYC on 9/11? Pretty weird, huh?

Internet Ronin said...

brylin - Why pick on the UW engineering dept? If I were them, I'd stay as far away from this controversy as possible.

Frank IBC said...

Because they were the only ones that had the huge volumes of kerosene and diesel fuel burning in them that the towers (from the planes) and WTC7 (from the diesel tanks) did, moron.

brylin said...

Internet Ronin: silence in this case is acceptance. Their silence gives the UW imprimatur.

Buddy Larsen said...

These conspiracy mavens will never quit--it's anarcho/entertainment, wicked and delicious. FDR colluded with the Empire of Japan to 'do' Pearl Harbor. There's evidence everywhere for cryinoutloud. Cui bono, dammit all, ciu bono!

Henry said...

Where were all the black helicopters on 9/11? That's what I want to know.

Internet Ronin said...

I strongly disagree brylin. Silence is probably the only sane decision, enless one enjoys arguing endlessly with certifiable lunatics like some posting here right now.

The Christian Anarchist said...

Of all the dumb things "Truthers" believe, this has gotta be the dumbest. Why? Because it ignores the evidence of your own eyes.

Stop using your eyes and use the priniciples of physics.

Using the following equation:

S = 1/2 * g * t^2

where

S = height of the buildings
g = acceleration due to gravity (9.8 meters per second squared)
t = time to travel in S

and solving for t yields the following results:

t = 9.22 seconds in vacuum.

The North Tower collapsed in less than 15 seconds which is about as close as you can get when air resistance is taken into account.

brylin said...

And don't forget that esteemed UW Provost Patrick Farrell described Barrett's view as "unconventional" (implying there is some merit in the position) stating that it needs to be "sifted and winnow[ed]."

Where's the "sifting and winnowing" and who better than the UW Engineering Department is suited for this job?

Slartibartfast said...

I'm an engineer.

Not a structural engineer, but I've been around the block enough to know bullshit when I see it. If you want to see some truly obvious bullshit, go check out "MIT Engineer" (who, mysteriously, has "patients") dishing it bigtime here.

Jeff King, on closer examination, has been a practicing physician for the last quarter century. So, odd.

Internet Ronin said...

Henry asked:

Where were all the black helicopters on 9/11? That's what I want to know.

Escorting Elvis to his new hidden home, Henry. Everybody knows that! ;-)

P.S. to Korla: Yours is my favorite reply thus far - thanks!

Stephen said...

"So why have there been only three steel-framed skyscrapers in history that collapsed as the result of fire and all of them occurred in NYC on 9/11? Pretty weird, huh?"

C.A., a fully fueled jet to crashes into a building and you find it hard to believe that building fell down?

If you are in such a building when this occurs, do you stick around or do you leave?

Mike said...

Ann opined that it would be a huge burden on the poor soul from UW Engineering tasked with rebutting this. She is right. However, how about bringing in an engineer on one of the panels who looked at this? He/she would already have the necessary data and graphics to address these issues. Surely the UW could afford to bring in a speaker for one lecture.

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, it wasn't the kerosene that most likely caused the steel to lose strength, but everything else that the kerosene ignited.

It is somewhat like forest fires here in CO. The big Ponderosa pines have thick bark, and small fires don't affect them much. Five or ten years of burning needles aren't hot enough to set the big trees on fire. And, indeed, before we started managing our forests, small fires would come through every decade or two and burn out the needles and brush. But we started managing the forests, meaning in this case, putting out those small fires. The result, in many of our National Forests here is 100 years of dead needles and brush, and they can burn long enough to start the Ponderosa Pines on fire - and they burn hot enough to keep the fires going, and going, and going.

In this case, it appears that the kerosene started the furnishings burning, and that is what provided the heat to weaken the steel sufficiently for the collapse.

Frank IBC said...

Name one other skyscraper fire which has involved millions of gallons of kerosene or diesel fuel, CA the moron.

Frank IBC said...

116 comments and absolutely no one has mentioned Ken Lay? tsk...tsk...

Mike said...

Stop using your eyes and use the priniciples of physics.

"Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Gawd, I can't stop watching this train wreck.

brylin said...

And no Nazi name calling yet?

Slartibartfast said...

The North Tower collapsed in less than 15 seconds which is about as close as you can get when air resistance is taken into account.

Oh, for pete's sake.

Please Google ballistic coefficient, read thoroughly, and get back to us. Hint: high ballistic coefficient can be achieved by either high density or low drag. I think you're going to find that the many, many tons of the top N stories of the WTC are going to be relatively unbothered by drag at speeds of 100 fps.

Internet Ronin said...

Brylin: To me, the Provost's decision is definitely "fair game." The engineering department's job is to teach engineering students not bail the university out of a problem, argue with lunatics, or somehow satisfy your need to embarrass them.

brylin said...

Mike, you and Ann are absolutely right that it would be a great burden on the UW Engineering Department.

But isn't this issue developing into a great burden for UW's reputation already?

Again, the Provost calls for "sifting and winnowing."

Is the "sifting and winnowing" to be done by the undergraduate students taking the course?

reader_iam said...

In all seriousness, Ann, why not call for UW engineering profs and materials science profs (especially metallurgists) to address some of these issues? It seems to me that this is the essence of belonging to a broader university community, which with its resources, and at its best, ought to be uniquely equipped to handle debates of this type.

Now, I know this isn't easy, in that engineers frequently don't like to get into debates over issues of science that have already been imbued with politics. (I know this because I'm married to an engineer--who, by the way, spent 10 years working closely with metallurgists etc. as part of his job designing process control systems and programs for specialty steel plants--who is the son of an engineer. Their eye-rolling this past week over this story has been telling, though their discussions of the technicalities have been way too abstruse to be illuminating for lib-arts major me). But as part of the UW commmunity, its seems to be that engineering, materials science and etc. faculty really ought to be willing to step up to the plate. Has anyone asked them to?

Buddy Larsen said...

Frank ibc, anybody who thinks Ken Lay really died is just buying the gov't line. The real guy in the coffin is--OSAMA bin LADEN!!!

LarryK said...

It's hard to see how Barrett could have done worse on H&C, but he is a worthy spokesman for this ludicrous cause.

What I think is most interesting is how this will play out locally. Doyle is in a very tight race for Governor and has been trying to distance himself from this loon...but the UW decision that this guy stay on the payroll, at taxpayer's expense, right up to (and beyond) election day means that Barrett is a political issue that is not going away. It is also bound to hurt the incumbent and could prove to be the nail in Doyle's coffin. Since the chances are nil that Barrett will be re-hired for winter/spring 2007 (even the UW isn't that dense), his ultimate legacy could returning the warmongering GOP to the WI governor's mansion. Karl Rove really outdid himself this time.

Frank IBC said...

Stop using your eyes and use the priniciples of physics.

Isn't this called the "fallacy of the frozen abstration" or something?

Seriouslyunserious said...

ANN

thanks for the repsonse. A good firend of mine is the Dean of the Business College at UTSA in San Anotonio. He also served as acting Provost for a time. I asked while he was acting Provost, if he intended to apply for the position. He recoiled in horror and told me that in his opinion it was the worst job ever created. He expounded but I forget his exact points.

Mu emphathy or not is irrelevant. There is no excuse for the Provost not using common sense here and firing the weirdo. Academoc freedom is a canard and you know as well as I do that he would not tolerate a White Supremacist dedicating 20 minutes of class to those views. Give him a street corner in Madison and let him bark away at the moon in full 1st amewndment glory.

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Korla said...

Alternative explanation for WTC 7:

It heard Mr. Barrett's lecture, at which point you could knock it over with a feather.

brylin said...

Internet Ronin: please believe me that I have no intention of embarrassing anyone - I just want to get to the truth.

And it seems to me that the most persuasive opinions on this are to be rendered by scholarly engineers.

And since the controversy arose at Wisconsin, it seems to me that Wisconsin is where it should be resolved. (Do you want to pit Wisconsin's opinion against Michigan's Engineering Department?)

reader_iam said...

Oops! I see that people beat me to it; kept getting interrupted while trying to comment and then didn't check what had been added since I started.

Joe Y said...

Uh, the towers collapsed, because the structure was compromised at the time of collapse -- otherwise they would not have collapsed, because the structure would not have been compromised to cause the collapse, which could only have happened if the structure were compromised, or else the structure...would...not...have...collapsed...

All materials change properties as temperature changes. Temperature is simply a measurement of the speed of the atoms (to radically, but accurately simplify) that make up the substance in question. The slower the movement, the lower the temperature (again, sort of metaphorically/simplistically,but accurately); think speed, friction, resistance, etc. When movement stops completely, the temperature is absolute zero (Kelvin; -459 Fahrenheit), beyond which it cannot get any colder. Here's a good quick summary: http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/bec/temperature.html

As they cool, movement slows, and materials condense (i.e.become denser) and at a certain point become solid. However, AC, the door swings both ways,("Spengler's Law," as proposed by Dr. Egon Spengler*). Contrawise, as movement increases, materials heat, and become less dense. While materials still retain the characters of a solid, they can significantly weaken at higher temperatures. For example, heat up a plastic fork or a wax candle and bend it.

The point--the extremely obvious, very, very simple point--is that as the fires increased in intensity and duration, the beams weakened. Duration is also critically important since even if temperature does not increase, the longer the fires burn, the hotter they make the materials around them.

The "pancake phenomenon" is another excruciatingly obvious phenomenon. Not only does the first falling floor immediately greatly increase the weight that the horizontal beams below it were carrying, it also brings mass/energy into the equation as gravity is literally pulling the falling (why it falling in the first place, of course) floor down.

Finally, there is the structure of a skyscraper, which is literally a steel cage with stuff stuck all over it. The cage structure exponentially increases the weight-bearing strength of the beams far beyond what their total would be individually. When a floor collapses, the structure as a whole is weakened, further aggravating the "pancake effect."

Another example would be to note that the difficulty is not in the evidence, but in the enormous heat that you (and Barrett, et al) generate by expending so much of your mental capacity in keeping knowledge out that you seem to have weakened your ability to think.

dew said...

I can’t get over how inappropriate the subject matter is, without even touching on its accuracy. Either
(a) he is wrong, and the material is inappropriate for the class, being false.
or
(b) He is right, and Islamic extremists had nothing to do with bringing down the WTC, meaning that the bulk of his WTC material is irrelevant to Islamic studies.

The “you need to discuss this to understand the context of Islam in the west today…” is a big red herring – you don’t need to examine in detail a tenuously related conspiracy theory to have a healthy debate on the current administration’s rational or irrational fear of Islamists.

I have little sympathy for the dean, having heard somewhat similar horror stories from high school teacher union reps who let a principle or superintendent know the union supported firing a screwup, only to have the administrator turn around and publicly blame “the union” for why the teacher would not be fired - because they really just didn’t have the guts to tell a difficult personality to their face that they were a screwup and no longer had a job. That may not be what is happening here, but the nonsense about “ideas”, “speech” and “winnowing” seemed quite unconvincing.

I know Prof. Althouse has repeated the freedom of speech/first amendment thing a couple of times, but where does a professor have any “first amendment” rights in the classroom? I always thought that they had a general “academic freedom”, which was a similar but much narrower right. Conversely, I am far more uncomfortable with this discussion about “better hiring” decisions. Yes, this guy appears to be a nutcase, but what about the candidate with impeccable credentials who happens to have an astrology hobby on the side that is never brought into the classroom? Because I think astrology is fruitcake-nutty and this candidate might someday sneak an astrology reference into a class, should I say “no way” in hiring, even though it has never been an issue before? What about Intelligent Design? Or “Bush is a good president?” Going down that road appears to me to be, in the bigger picture, a far more dangerous “free speech” problem than firing one nutty lecturer, or at least forcing him to keep to an approved syllabus.

brylin said...

Do you folks really think that by ignoring this issue it will go away?

And how many comments has this post already generated?

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Christian Anarchist said...

"Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Gawd, I can't stop watching this train wreck.


If explosives were used, material would have been projected up, out, and down. Some of the meterial ejected would have had an greater initial velocity than the building itself which would give the appearance that the building was falling faster than freefall spped. You cannot use visual evidence of some of the material to make a judgement about the speed of descent of the buildings.

The 9/11 commission report states that the South Tower fell in TEN SECONDS. As I demonstrated, freefall is 9.2 seconds in vacuum. How is that not freefall speed?

CA's nemesis said...

Based on the lunacy from Shill King and CA, I'd like to start my own conspiracy theory:

The US is not, in fact, an independent nation, but still colonies under British control. The whole "revolutionary war" thing is garbage and a story so that the British can keep us oppressed. Here are my facts:

1. The British maintained forts in the US for many years beyond the supposed signing of the peace treaty. Now what nation would have ever allowed this? I think that the frontier simply had to undergo economic transformation from relying on the money spent by British soldiers.
2. Britain was this supposed "enemy," yet we chose to fight on their side during both World Wars. How convenient.
3. Ever see George Washington and George III together in the same room? I thought not. That's because they were actually the SAME PERSON!!!!!
4. The fact that North Carolina and Rhode Island did not participate in the first presidential election was due to their protest of having to stay silent. Prove me wrong on this one...I dare you!!!
(I used three exclaimation marks here, so you can tell I know what I'm talking about)
5. Benedict Arnold won great victories for the colonies, but none for the British?!?! Come on, he couldn't have been that incompetent.
6. Why are the flags of both countries red, white, and blue?
7. Why did the British not help the "Confederacy?" Because the "civil war" was all about enriching the British arms' manufacturers.

I dare anyone to refute this. We must revolt against this awful conspiracy and secret!!!!!!!!

Can I teach at a university now?

Andrew Foland said...

I can't tell you how many times I've implored tenured physics professor colleagues to address this. It's just kryptonite. Everyone knows that once they start in on it, they will never get a moment's rest from it for the rest of their lives.

I have one physics comment: momentum transfer. It's ignored in the "free-fall" analyses and rather changes the conclusions.

If that is not enough of an explanation for you, then you don't know enough physics to judge whether Jones is right.

Mike said...

reader_iam said: Their eye-rolling this past week over this story has been telling, though their discussions of the technicalities have been way too abstruse to be illuminating for lib-arts major me

Well, therein lies another problem; none of these kids is going to be in any position to evaluate the presentations.

Internet Ronin said...

Brylin: LOL! No. (And definitely not against my alma mater's department.) My point is that having anyone dignify this twaddle with a response only furthers its cause. Every time someone challenges them, they get more publicity. All the evidence in the world will not change these people's minds - they will never be satisfied.

Look at this thread. Look at the response to sincere, intelligent, well-documented comments. There is NO POINT. And that is the point. There are times to just let the moonbats rage until they get bored, clean up the mess they leave behind, and carry on with life as if it never happened. Because it might as well not have.

Stephen said...

C.A. I know this isn't going anywhere, but I'm on a lunch break -

If someone wanted to start a war, why would they have also needed to blow up the World Trade Center? Wouldn't crashing one plane into it have been enough? Would anybody have said "they just crashed a plane into it, now . . . if it had fallen down that would have been different, but since they just crashed a plane that's not enough?

Did we really need something on the magnitude of this to justify a war with the Taliban. If we had gone to war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban without this, would you say that war had been unjustified?

If this was a plot, couldn't we have crashed a plane into the WTC, and then left it at that? Was there someone behind closed doors thinking: if we crash a plane into the WTC that will get people angry, but that's not enough - we need to blow up the Pentagon also.

The people who said they got calls from their family members saying there planes were hijacked by terrorists and that these relatives ended up dying - are those guys in on the plot?

Ted Olsen, the Bush Admin official whose wife was killed on 9/11, was he in on the plot?

Were the Khobar towers, USS Cole, embassy bombings, and 93 WTC bombing hoaxes also?

The airlines that had their jets just disappear that day, are they in on the plot?

The air traffic controllers that tracked the jets that day, are they in on the plot?

Buddy Larsen said...

"Science Proves Bush Evil"

The Christian Anarchist said...

It's been fun guys, but I'm outta here. Believe me, I hold no ill will toward anyone here. I'm simply interested in rigorously debating the facts and problems with the official account of 9/11. If I haven't at least given you pause that there are serious questions that still need to be answered, then I can't do anything else. There are some here who simply will never accept the premise that the U.S. government was at least complicit in the 9/11 attacks no matter how much physical and eyewitness evidence is presented to them. Hopefully, I've at least presented a few facts here that will encourage someone to investigate the truth about 9/11 for themselves.

Take care.

Gabriel said...

Somehow the phrase "critical thinking" and this guy are mutualy exclusive.

Korla said...

> If this was a plot, couldn't we have crashed a plane into the WTC, and then left it at that?

If Bush wanted to dredge up reasons for a war, the Cole and embassy bombings would have been more than enough justification. But if he DID require manufactured attacks, he could have reopened the Flight 800 investigation, and "revealed" that yes it was an Al Qaeda attack.

I guess a billon people around the world were in on this conspiracy, since we all watched that second plane hit the WTC on live television.

I guess Bush just threw in the planes for dramatic effect. Saying "terrorists used explosives to demolish the WTC" wouldn't play as well in Jesusland. I guess.

brylin said...

Internet Ronin: UM is my alma mater too! Maybe we should ask the Northwestern University engineers. (I don't know if I would go so far as to ask Ohio State!)

But didn't UW Provost Farrell "dignify this twaddle" to use your terminology?

Farrell called it "unconventional" implying some merit, and dignifying it.

Korla said...

>Take care.

Don't let the browser window hit you in the ass on the way out.

Buddy Larsen said...

Bye, CA. I hope you don't think I'm one of those who suspects you of bringing an agenda into the science. Not for a minute. I know you're only interested in the truth.

reader_iam said...

Mike: I wouldn't take my comment as meaning that the information couldn't be presented in a way that could be understood. I was privy, by virtue of proximity, to conversations between two engineers who were not, in context, making an effort to "translate."

Note that I said engineers often don't like to do the latter; I didn't say they couldn't. And these two engineers are not also professors, which makes them different animals, as far as inclination.

Of course, there are exceptions. I just shot off an e-mail to a retired structural engineer (he spent 40-odd years designing materials, parts etc. for, to put it very generically, rockets, which makes him an actual rocket scientist) friend of mine, who loves trying to do such "translations." Since I happen to be in the same state as he, I'm thinking it's time to take him to lunch!

Internet Ronin said...

SC Said:
Everyone is arguing with the disciples of a fellow

Not everyone, SC. A lot of us are too busy arguing with each other to bother with those folks!

Brylin:
Yes, I agree that was the net result of his decision. I was hoping he'd avail himself of an escape clause in the contract, such as the ones Ben posted around here somewhere. I continue to believe that the big losers here are the students, with the university right behind them. Bartlett has what he want: publicity and the ability to put "University of Wisconsin" on his resume and publications. That is sad.

Stephen said...

"But if he DID require manufactured attacks, he could have reopened the Flight 800 investigation, and "revealed" that yes it was an Al Qaeda attack."

dude, brilliant. Of course, this is **not** evidence that there wasn't a conspiracy but obviously just a sign of Bush's incompetence.

Slartibartfast said...

In case anyone wants a pencil-and-paper analysis of the drag vs. gravitational force, let's take the top 10 stories of the north tower as a jumping-off point. Let's say that the pancake theory is accurate: that the top ten or so stories simply fell into the lower portion of the building, and that cascaded collapse of the lower stories. Let's just examine that top ten stories:

Mass: 45,000 tons (approx).
Linear dimensions: 64m on a side. Height dimension we can disregard for the present. We're going to treat it like a flat plate 64m on a side.
Terminal velocity of an airless drop to the ground: approximately 100 meters/second.

Now, let's calculate the size of the drag force at that speed, as compared with the force of gravity:

Drag force = 0.5*rho*v^2*Cd*S

Drag force = 0.5*1.225kg/m^3*1e4m^2/s^2*1.0*64^2m^2

Drag force is then about 25 meganewtons. Force of gravity is 45,000 tons or 440 meganewtons. In other words, the force of gravity is more than seventeen times larger at the moment of ground impact than the force of drag. The other way to look at that is that it accomplishes the same thing as decreasing the pull of gravity by 5 percent.

5. per. cent. If you assume a completely flat (2-dimensional) plate, you might bump that up to ten percent. Even at ten percent, though, you're talking about less than a second's worth of difference in time to hit the gound.

So, unless you've carefully calculated all of the other forces that could have acted on the building, and established that there definitely is something amiss, you might want to consider the notion that you have no idea what you're talking about.

reader_iam said...

Plus, I don't think you send engineers etc. into Barrett's class. I just think it would be good if they put their thoughts and knowledge out there, in some forum, as a counterweight to Barrett's (OR as a support, if that's the case). Once pointed to the information, people can choose to avail themselves of it, or believe it, or not.

At the very least, UW administrators ought to be interested ... .

The Christian Anarchist said...

aw, come on - I posted before your 'I'm leaving' notice; I'll still get answers to those, right?

I've got to cut it off at some point!

Stephen, I'm not interested in speculation. All of your questions involve me getting into the head of someone to see how they think. An impossibility. I'm an engineer by trade, so I'm interested in physical evidence that is grounded in science. Actually, my degree is in aerospace engineering, so I know a little about how an airplane is designed. They are 90% aluminum and plastic. The impact of an airplane against the structural members of those buildings would have been insignificant (like shooting an empty Coke can at a bunch of interconnected rebar). The impacts of those planes did minimal damage to them.

So to answer your questions, I won't answer them. There is no way to know the answers. The physical evidence, however, completely supports my position. Physical evidence trumps eyewitness evidence or speculation every time.

Mike said...

reader_iam: I teach a scientific discipline in graduate school (at the UW). A student's ability to judge a scientific argument is very much a function of their background. The more I think about it, the more I think it's a bad idea (and I started out as a proponent of this approach).

Internet Ronin said...

reader-iam said: Plus, I don't think you send engineers etc. into Barrett's class.
Not without flak jackets!

As for the forum idea, that would still be an open invitation to a lifetime of hounding by conspiracy buffs, so how about a link to the work already done by experts, like the 9/11 commission and Popular Mechanics. Anyone genuinely interested in the actual subject would be more than satisfied by this. As I've said before, the rest will never be satisfied by anything.

reader_iam said...

I still think it's a matter of UW engineers etc. taking a stand or stand(s) on a flap touching upon their own disciplines. And it would help the larger reputation of UW, which is rightly get whacked by this.

Slartibartfast said...

Actually, my degree is in aerospace engineering

Then I'm utterly at a loss to see how you could have swallowed the arguments you did.

Korla said...

> Physical evidence trumps eyewitness evidence or speculation every time.

And your posts are physical evidence, sir, that the new aluminum foil hats don't block out even half the mind-reading rays that the old tin product of a similar design did so well.

Korla said...

> Actually, my degree is in aerospace engineering

I think you mean "I'm a space cadet."

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm an engineer by trade, so I'm interested in physical evidence that is grounded in science. Actually, my degree is in aerospace engineering, so I know a little about how an airplane is designed.

Perhaps you wouldn't mind providing your name and the name of the institution you graduated from. Your claim is too hard to believe without evidence given the other claims you've made here.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Buddy Larsen said...

CA, if you would, please, let me know which airplanes you've helped design (*breaks sweat, stretches collar*)?

Pat said...

The 9/11 commission report states that the South Tower fell in TEN SECONDS. As I demonstrated, freefall is 9.2 seconds in vacuum. How is that not freefall speed?

Two mistakes:

1. The 9-11 Commission apparently used seismic records to estimate the time it took for the South Tower to fall. By watching video of the collapse it is apparent that this is too short; my estimate is 15 to 20 seconds. Of course, if you want to accept the conclusions of the 9-11 Commission on other things....

2. The buildings did not collapse from the tops, they collapsed starting at the point where the planes hit.

RogerA said...

CA--you might want to think about using a series of differential equations to deal with the problem--you had the floors above collapsing, each floor adding additional weight thereby changing the mass. You also have to accound for the deteriorating modulus of elatiscity of the structural members over time. This is a complex system that can't be solved with only one equation.

Buddy Larsen said...

If you're on a stopwatch, where do you click the 'end' of the 'fall'?

Or the beginning? Would an agenda change the start/stop points by 0%, or 50%?

Mike said...

Jimmy Stewart: But the real thing? Surely you've designed the real thing?

Hardy Kruger: You misunderstand, sir.

RogerA said...

And I just noticed the point about the "insignificant" coke can aluminimum and plastic airplane. An empirical question sir: the weigh of the plane, plus 60 thousands pounds or so of JP$ plus passengers--and the appropriate variable is not mass by Kinetic energy of the plane, one half the mass times the velocity squared--That is considerable energy; hardly a coke can against rebar.

Korla said...

I have even better evidence that the planes were not the cause of the collapse:

1. Video footage of a giant ape leaping from one tower to another, while carrying the extra weight of Jessica Lange. This obviously would be too much strain for the steel to resist.

2. I have a transcript from the official pronouncement of an official on the scene, Carl Denham: "Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes..."

3. A photo of the Manhattan skyline from 1960 that clearly shows that the alleged "Twin Towers" never actually existed.

4. Hillary standing at the podium in the Senate holding up a newspaper with the bold headline "BUSH KNEW."

Need I go on?

ed said...

Hmmmm.

... Actually, my degree is in aerospace engineering, so I know a little about how an airplane is designed. ...

No wonder I hate to fly.

... The impact of an airplane against the structural members of those buildings would have been insignificant ...

sigh.

The vast majority of damage done to the twin towers were from the tons of jp6 jet fuel burning. Which thereby significantly, and fatally, weakened the structural steel.

So to answer your questions, I won't answer them.

Oh good. I'll count that as a blessing.

Physical evidence trumps eyewitness evidence or speculation every time.

Agreed. Now if you'd just bloody well accept the physical evidence then life would be a little bit keener.

Slartibartfast said...

I think I've dispensed with the drag-force argument above.

The other half of the "there ought to be drag" argument, though is this:

If the buildings were brought down with HE charges, how come they didn't take longer to fall? If you think drag ought to make a difference in the pancake scenario, it ought to also make a difference in the HE scenario. A building felled by demolition is still going to experience drag in falling. Really, if you think the building fell too quickly you MUST accept the theory that an invisible giant stepped on it.

What we're seeing here is the opposite of the sort of thinking that Barrett maintains he's encouraging.

Buddy Larsen said...

A full coke can against rebar the diameter of a pencil lead, whould seem more apt--so long as we're being dumbasses.

Korla said...

Ann,

The link at the top of the article around "announced its decision" is broken.

Frank IBC said...

The airlines that had their jets just disappear that day, are they in on the plot?

The passengers all woke up in icewater-filled bathtubs in Sofia, Bulgaria, all with stitches in their lower back, all with notes explaining to them that "your kidney has been removed..."

Robert Schwartz said...

It's Official. Barrett is a Karl Rove plant.

Buddy Larsen said...

...a full coke can at 400 or so mph, by the way, four times faster than a major-league pitcher throws a baseball--a baseball which could kill you if it hit you in the temple, even if your head had somehow fantastically not been pre-wired with dynamite.

The Christian Anarchist said...

Then I'm utterly at a loss to see how you could have swallowed the arguments you did.

Why? I've yet to see them challenged other than with the laughable PM article that has no footnotes to support its assertions. Hardly scientific journal material.

Perhaps you wouldn't mind providing your name and the name of the institution you graduated from. Your claim is too hard to believe without evidence given the other claims you've made here.

Ha! No way I'm giving you that information. Accept it or don't. I'm not interested in proving anything to you.

CA, if you would, please, let me know which airplanes you've helped design (*breaks sweat, stretches collar*)?

The only planes I designed were in school. I am not a practicing aerospace engineer. I'm now in another field.

CA--you might want to think about using a series of differential equations to deal with the problem--you had the floors above collapsing, each floor adding additional weight thereby changing the mass. You also have to accound for the deteriorating modulus of elatiscity of the structural members over time. This is a complex system that can't be solved with only one equation.

My goal was to prove the towers fell at (or near) freefall speed which someone here disputed.

sigh.

The vast majority of damage done to the twin towers were from the tons of jp6 jet fuel burning. Which thereby significantly, and fatally, weakened the structural steel.


True, but inevitably when I point out the utter idiocy of stating that those fires brought down the towers, someone pipes up to say "but they were hit by airplanes, too!" I thought I'd nip that one before it got started.

Frank IBC said...

The impact of an airplane against the structural members of those buildings would have been insignificant

I think he flew one of those balsa-wood-with-a-rubber-band-powered-propeller planes into the side of a bunny cage.

Danny said...

Barrett truly did rock Hannity in that video clip. I completely disagree with him and I don't think he is competent to teach, but Barrett masterfully played both Colmes and Hannity to his advantage.

First off, the caption under Barrett refers to him as a 'professor', so I think Colmes's mistake can be attributed to lazy Fox researchers. This is the issue's first national exposure, and it's on a TV show that serves to rile up viewers so it's understandable that Fox would give him the wrong title. So right off the bat Barrett scores his first point by pulling a title he could never attain otherwise.

Barrett scores again when Colmes asks him if he'll teach in a 'fair and balanced' manner, to which he enthusiastically confirms and repeats 'fair and balanced'. A conspiracy theorist thrives on legitimacy and Fox did their part by feeding him their copywrighted slogan.

When Hannity steps up, Barrett immediately takes control and manages to not come off as the nut he is. While all of his 'facts' and 'evidence' are easily refuted, Hannity can't do much other than call him crazy and crack jokes. Hannity accuses him of holding students 'captive' to which Barrett objects and then Hannity pulls back, defeated. Then Barrett brings in his favorable internet poll results, which were obviously attained by harnessing the power of his paranoid sidekicks feverishly clicking and cache-clearing, to which Hannity again has no reply. Barrett repeats 'research' and 'evidence' and never mentions his overarching explanation that the US is an authoritarian regime that wishes for World War III and aspires to dominate the globe.

Frank IBC said...

The only planes I designed were in school. I am not a practicing aerospace engineer. I'm now in another field.

Gee, I wonder why? Is anyone else here as shocked as I am?

{Ed said:}The vast majority of damage done to the twin towers were from the tons of jp6 jet fuel burning. Which thereby significantly, and fatally, weakened the structural steel.{closequote}

True, but inevitably when I point out the utter idiocy of stating that those fires brought down the towers, someone pipes up to say "but they were hit by airplanes, too!" I thought I'd nip that one before it got started.


So you're agreeing that jet fuel caused most of the damage, and thus was most responsible for the collapse? So what was the point of using "thermate"?

Buddy Larsen said...

No need to be so secretive, CA--believe me, a christian anarchist aerospace engineer will stand out like a diamond in a goat's butt.

Internet Ronin said...

CA's Nemesis: - Count me in!

Conspiracy theories are like religions - most people believe in at least one.

Slartibartfast said...

"I've yet to see them challenged other than with the laughable PM article that has no footnotes to support its assertions."

Other than here, for instance?

I also think your basis for using ten seconds, 9.2 seconds, or any other specific number for falltime without sourcing that assertion is flawed. In any event, I think I've shown that the building wouldn't be slowed by drag. The drag issue is one that I've seen being spewed out by everyone and their lunatic baby brother, without anything at all in the way of analytical support.

Korla said...

> I am not a practicing aerospace engineer. I'm now in another field.

Hmmmm... http://tinyurl.com/krpc5

bill said...

Korla, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but when it comes to foil hats, you've fallen behind in the research.

dew said...

"So, unless you've carefully calculated all of the other forces that could have acted on the building, and established that there definitely is something amiss, you might want to consider the notion that you have no idea what you're talking about."

This statement deserves repeating. Funny and to the point (Well, it made at least me laugh).

reader_iam said...

Slartibartfest: You need to fix your last link. It leads to your profile page.

reader_iam said...

Re: Bill's link.

LOL.

Korla said...

Well, wondering what I could learn about "drag" from the University of Wisconsin, I Googled and got this, which is a lot more helpful than CA: http://tinyurl.com/kmhbj

Korla said...

> Korla, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but when it comes to foil hats, you've fallen behind in the research.

Yes, Bill, I am way too distracted by my specialty research on peeps.

California Conservative said...

We've heard Ward Churchill, Jay Bennish, Deb Frisch and now Kevin Barrett...

Maybe they should start their own Progressive Moonbat University (PMU) and see how well they do without taxpayer dollars underwriting them. Activism under the guise of academia.

Pogo said...

Sippican's right,
I don't know enough to argue each point put forth by CA or the lecturer. And I trust people who do know that this theory is pure crack for conspiracy buffs. It's mad as a hatter, barmy, unhinged, half-baked putresence.

And now UW Madison has had one of its "professors" interviewed on national news expounding on a theory that makes the UW look like they vetted this guy and therefore agree or at least find it merely "unconventional".

Events like this will hurt UW for a long time, I fear. Not in an obvious and dramatic way, of course, but in a slow, painful way, like erosion, or cancer.

Buddy Larsen said...

Another thing to think about, Christian Anarchist, is those 3,000 souls in the hereafter who already know the Truth and are looking down on you this very moment.

They might not appreciate their deaths being bandied about for the sake of whatever it is you're pushing.

I know I wouldn't.

Buddy Larsen said...

from "Little Eichmanns" to "Little murder victims of their own government" ain't that big a decency leap.

Korla said...

Hey, does this Barrett character have any works of art for our perusal?

SippicanCottage said...

Pogo:"Sippican's right"

Pogo's right.

reader_iam said...

No. NO, damn it. No freakin' references to PEEPS! I don't care if this isn't my blog!

Bill, did you conspire behind the scenes with Korla to bring up peeps? I wouldn't put it past you, you know. And you know why.

It's an outrage--we're nowhere NEAR Easter.

Peeps. Talk about conspiracies.

Sigh.

Talking about conspiracies.

Buddy Larsen said...

LOL, Korla. Had no idear that Ward Churchill was such a great artist. Well, actually, I did--he's an artist of shamelessness. If I'd been stripped as naked as he has, on every single one of my lies, I'd hafta go hide out in the rain forest. That bird just keeps galumphing around hanging his dumbass everywhere, blaming all his troubles on Da Man.

Gayle Miller said...

The problem is that the speech being protected by UW isn't FREE at all. The parents of these college students are paying out big bucks to have this nonsense taught to their progeny who have been raised on a diet of self-esteem, not one of critical thinking!

Ergo, Barrett should NOT have retained his position, he SHOULD be dismissed, and he SHOULD be locked away for his own protection. The man is a babbling lunatic and not worth the time of intelligent and serious people.

Mark the Pundit said...

Maybe they should start their own Progressive Moonbat University (PMU)

Take out the Moonbat and just call it Progressive University, or PU for short, because everything that comes out of that place is gonna stink anyway...

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