Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

President’s Day

with 12 comments


It’s the President’s Day Holiday in America. I can remember when we actually celebrated Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays as Holidays. Now in its infinite wisdom, Congress melded them into one generic Holiday. Probably because the less the electorate knows about two of the most just and honourable leaders this or any country has ever had, the better it makes our modern sorry crop of intern-groping crooks and in-bred family scions look. It’s been downhill since Truman, and we’ve been in free fall since Carter. I keep hoping we’ll hit bottom and actually elect someone who is better than his predecessor. Though it’s not looking good for 2008 at this juncture.

Oh well, in honour of the day, two anecdotes about the above giants from my own memory, so hopefully they will be obscure enough that every other blog in the country isn’t mentioning them. And since they are from my memory, the quotes may not be completely accurate, sue me.

Washington was not known for his sense of humour, being a taciturn and down to earth man for the most part. However, he did have his moments. There was an occasion where he was sitting in on a debate in Congress. A law had been proposed that would strictly limit the size of the federal army to two thousand men, our forefathers were very concerned about the deleterious effects of a large standing army. After much debate, Washington got up and with a completely straight face proposed that they also pass a law that limited the size of any invading army to no more than three thousand men. And that was the end of that debate.

On one occasion during a discussion Lincoln pointed to a dog and said, “Gentlemen, if I call that dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does he have?” “Five” was the answer from the assembled company. “No” said Lincoln, “That dog only has four legs, calling his tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” This one is useful for debates with people who want to call the American invasion of Iraq a “liberation” or any other euphemism to pretend that using an army to march into and conquer a sovereign country isn’t exactly that. Though frankly, I’m more and more wondering if the people who still think invading Iraq was a great idea aren’t particularly interested in rational debate. How many innocent people have to die before they can admit at least the possibility the invasion may not have been such a great idea in the first place?

Moving right along, here’s a great article about a recent 911 conspiracy movie. If you’re one of those people who believes in robot planes, Pentagon missiles, controlled demolitions…skip it…you’ll just be offended. In my opinion people that promote this sort of conspiracy silliness are doing the country a great disservice, they are actually helping to legitimize the real 911 conspiracy: The fact that the Bush administration used 911 to hijack American foreign policy and justify American military domination of the Middle east, if not the entire world.

And in some final mixed news, a new poll shows the majority of people in both the west and the Muslim world don’t see conflict between the two as inevitable. Sadly nearly one third of the respondents do in fact see such conflict as inevitable. And if one looks at the picture the BBC helpfully selected to illustrate this story, it’s not hard to understand why. It’s really tiresome how the western media almost always uses images of the worst sorts of extremists when illustrating Muslims. I’m sure the opposite happens in many other places, but that’s no excuse for the western so called free press to do the same.

(The above image predates 1923 (I hope) and is thus public domain under US copyright law. I’m guessing it dates from after Lincoln’s assassination and shows Washington greeting Lincoln in Heaven. By modern standards it makes them look kinda, you know, gay…which is just an observation on how times change and not meant in any pejorative sense.)


Written by unitedcats

February 19, 2007 at 10:27 am

12 Responses

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  1. There will be time to investigate, and we should not jump to conclusions, but neither should we forget about our questions. Osama Bin Laden should be criminally charged and tried in court for the acts he is alleged to have masterminded. There should be a full and fair trial of all the evidence. Do you agree?


    February 19, 2007 at 11:47 am

  2. Conspiracy theorists just believe because they don’t want to believe that any of their people can go wrong. They would like the US and Israel behind the happening (even I would feel relieved if that was so) and unwilling to accept what they do not like.

    These people live in Utopia.


    February 19, 2007 at 11:59 am

  3. 911 was a crime, one of the worst in history, but simply a crime nonetheless. And that is exactly how it should have been handled. By treating 911 as an act of war, not only has Bush committed war crimes himself, he has given Osama/Al Qaeda legitimacy and recognition that they could never and should never have gotten. JMO —Doug


    February 19, 2007 at 12:08 pm

  4. Which conspiracy do you mean, Manas? The official one, or alternative theories?

    I take a position that we don’t know what happened until the evidence is put on trial, and if it was Osama then they should convict him, and if he had inside collaborators they should be convicted too.

    What caused WTC7 to collapse, by the way? Does it make me a conspiracy theorist to ask that question?


    February 19, 2007 at 2:49 pm

  5. I agree, I don’t see that it was ever properly investigated, in fact the speed with which it was announced that OBL was the perpetrator was and is suspicious. Which brings me back too…it should have been treated as a crime…not as an act of war.

    The buildings collapsed because the fire weakened the steel structural supports, happens all the time in steel framed buildings, despite what the conspiracy theorists say. I don’t have a problem with questioning aspects of 911, there are unanswered questions. I just don’t think there is anything to contradict the basic facts in evidence, four airliners were hijacked and used as weapons.

    JMO –Doug


    February 19, 2007 at 3:12 pm

  6. Doug, WTC7 was the one that wasn’t hit by any airplane. It was a block away, and collapsed hours after WTC1 and WTC2. Just making sure you know what I’m talking about.


    February 19, 2007 at 3:47 pm

  7. WTC7 was badly damaged in the collapse of the two towers, and burned for hours including thousands of gallons of diesel fuel. Again, never seen anything particularly suspicious in that collapse either.
    JMO –Doug


    February 19, 2007 at 3:51 pm

  8. Doug, perfectly fair, but still part of what should be fully investigated if only from an engineering and public safety standpoint. Who authorized storage of all that diesel fuel and did it create an unsafe condition? What are the fire risks to other steel-framed buildings? Lots of questions to be answered, and forensics to be performed.


    February 19, 2007 at 3:55 pm

  9. Agreed, by not doing a proper investigation it invited infinite amounts of speculation. My conspiracy theory is that it was not investigated…because they didn’t want people to know just how horrifically contaminated the entire area was with asbestos, lead, and a whole witches brew of horrible chemicals. That would have been really bad for business, and the Bush regime is 100% predictable when it comes to putting corporate profits ahead of American lives. Fits all the facts, but again, just speculation.
    JMO –Doug


    February 19, 2007 at 4:04 pm

  10. Doug, my point is we still have witnesses and other evidence that can be produced in an investigation yet to be performed. Pointing out that one has not been done is no excuse against doing one.


    February 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm

  11. whig
    I referred to the alternative ones. My point of view is agnostic. I don’t have facts- won’t conclude.

    I see some people believing in those CTs just because they want to. I don’t like that.


    February 19, 2007 at 9:43 pm

  12. Manas,
    I was agnostic, then zetetic. I find it worth searching for the truth. We need to get facts, which is why I say a criminal prosecution would be appropriate in which the evidence can be brought to trial.

    I do see a lot of disinformers, on both sides. I think in most cases it is unintentional, people who are repeating what they have been told and believe. That’s why we must have the investigative process, to get the facts.

    And if there are those who are deliberately lying, would there be a connection to others in our government who deliberately lie about weapons of mass destruction and other matters leading to war and torture and other crimes against humanity?

    Just asking, you know?


    February 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm

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