Freedom and Responsibility

by Steve on September 13, 2006

You can’t have one without the other. Freedom without responsibility is, well, irresponsible. Just because you have the constitutionally guaranteed right to express yourself does not mean that you should demonstrate against war at a soldier’s funeral. That would be socially irresponsible, heartless, and completely lacking any class. There is a time and place for such behavior and, out of respect for the family, any rational person would realize that a funeral is an inappropriate venue for a political demonstration.

It would seem that we have a rapidly expanding population of irrational people who believe that they are not bound by any moral obligation or sense of responsibility. They lack the common sense gene that acts to restrain sober people from making total idiots out of themselves at the unfortunate expense of their fellow man. It is out of this morally bankrupt subculture that a new slime has spawned: the conspiracy theory buffoons. There are actually American citizens out there, and quite a few, who believe that their own government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, that George Bush is responsible for the murders of thousands of his own people. They believe that the towers did not crumble due to high speed impact of fuel-laden jumbos but rather were taken out by deliberate demolition.

Now these are American citizens and as misguided and confused as they may be they are still protected by the First Amendment. Much as we’d like to, we can’t just walk up and knock them out of the park – we were taught to respect others even when they don’t deserve it. They may be Americans but they are no friends of mine. What kind of twisted logic does it take to conclude that 9/11 was an inside job, an attack on Americans by Americans? I have no patience for such people. How can they hold such beliefs and yet still call America their home? There was a day when such behavior during wartime would have been labeled treason, punishable by death. It bothers me that our society has become so tolerant and populated by lack of character that we have to witness demonstrations at ground zero on the anniversary of 9/11 and are told that a film depicting the assassination of Bush is art. Europe watches this behavior, our enemies watch as well, and as it gets repeated time and again, it moves from the irrational fringe to assumed mainstream in their eyes.

In the midst of all this insanity comes a voice of reason. James B. Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics, was troubled enough by all the conspiracy talk that he and his people investigated the myths. They have just published a new book, “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand up to the Facts.”

In every single case, we found that the very facts used by conspiracy theorists to support their fantasies are mistaken, misunderstood or deliberately falsified.

Here’s one example: Meyssan and hundreds of Web sites cite an eyewitness who said the craft that hit the Pentagon looked “like a cruise missile with wings.” Here’s what that witness, a Washington, D.C., broadcaster named Mike Walter, actually told CNN: “I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, ‘This doesn’t add up. It’s really low.’ And I saw it. I mean, it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon.”

We talked to Walter and, like so many of the experts and witnesses widely quoted by conspiracy theorists, he told us he is heartsick to see the way his words have been twisted: “I struggle with the fact that my comments will forever be taken out of context.”

Here’s the link to the article in the Post.

And here’s my favorite quote from the write-up

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was fond of saying. “He is not entitled to his own facts.” Yet conspiracy theorists want to pick and choose which facts to believe.

I cannot understand such beliefs nor can I condone such reprehensible behavior under the umbrella of “freedom of speech.” I purposefully excluded any images of the protesters – they will not get recognition here.

On the lighter side of wacky: a friend of mine is on the NYPD Counter-terrorism Task Force. He faces crazies every day and until they are determined to be a non-threat he has to take them seriously. Every call gets investigated. Every single “tip” gets looked into. You’ve no doubt heard the term “tin-foil hat” making the rounds in conservative circles. The term refers to a non-clinical level of abnormal brain activity as in “He’s crazy, hears voices.” Just crazy enough to believe that wearing a tin-foil hat will block the voices but not crazy enough to be put away. When the task force goes on a call and the door is answered by someone wearing kitchen-ware headgear, they know.

Pinch has yet another example of lack of character (from a repeat offender no less).

{ 1 comment }

stinker January 31, 2007 at 19:04

Be sure to check out the book “Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory” due out in March by Dr. David Ray Griffin.

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