Koppelman on the Obama Birth Certificate Conspiracy

A nice item in Salon from Alex Koppelman: Why the stories about Obama’s birth certificate will never die.

Not surprisingly, almost all of the people who’ve been most prominent in pushing this story have a history of conspiracist thought. There’s Jerome Corsi, who’s best known as the co-author of the book that launched the Swift Boat vets; he’s a chief proponent of the claim that the government is secretly planning to form a “North American Union” with Canada and Mexico. Philip Berg, who filed the lawsuit that had until now drawn the most public attention, is a 9/11 Truther. Andy Martin, who’s credited with starting the myth that Obama is a Muslim and has been intimately involved in the birth certificate mess as well, was denied admission to the Illinois bar because of a psychiatric evaluation that showed he had “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”

Good to know that Lies.com won’t dry up for lack of material during the boring ol’ Obama administration.

110 Responses to “Koppelman on the Obama Birth Certificate Conspiracy”

  1. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Good article.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes Jayson, a good article, and it is insightful too if you note that every point raised applies as much or more to the “debunkers” it praises than it does to the people it is intended to tarnish.

    As for 911 Truthers, a recent Jon Gold post lists a whole swack of things that most would be willing to admit being wrong about. A couple examples:

    We might be wrong to think that someone with so many conflicts of interest with the Bush Administration, Philip Zelikow, should not have been put in charge of the 9/11 Commission.

    We might be wrong to be concerned about a statement by former 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland that says, “as each day goes by, we learn that this government knew a whole lot more about these terrorists before Sept. 11 than it has ever admitted.”

    from www . 911blogger.com/node/18724#comment

  3. enkidu Says:

    “There’s no amount of evidence or data that will change somebody’s mind,” says Michael Shermer, who is the publisher of Skeptic magazine and a columnist for Scientific American. “The more data you present a person, the more they doubt it … Once you’re committed, especially behaviorally committed or financially committed, the more impossible it becomes to change your mind.”

    gee that sounds like every wwnj who has ever posted here (with the occasional exception of Craig, who sometimes admits to using his neocortex)

  4. shcb Says:

    This issue will be the property of conspiracy nuts for a long time to come. I agree that if Obama would simply produce the birth certificate the issue would go away for many of the people who somehow find this important. Many but not all, there are some that would still say THAT certificate was a forgery. The best way to have handled this would have been to show the certificate way back when. But he didn’t. Maybe there was a religious preference on the certificate? To invest more than a couple hours of your life to this issue is kind of a waste. At this point if he were born in Kenya like his grandmother said (according to the conspiracy nuts) it must be proven before he is sworn in, after the swearing in ceremonies only impeachment can remove him from office. Even then I would think you would have to show some knowledge that you weren’t born in this country to satisfy the intent of the law even if the letter were broken, reminding me of the line in the old Three Dog Night Song “ well I’ve been to Oklahoma, they tell me I was born there”. Even then impeachment would be doubtful given the makeup of congress. An awful lot of even thens.

    Now the interesting part is what happens in 4 years. This is why it may not be such a bad thing for the Supremes to look at this now. We essentially hold 51 separate elections. The candidate has to register in each of those several states. Where this could get sticky is if sometime in the next couple years some real evidence comes out that he isn’t eligible, or his popularity drops, then individual states could change their laws to require a candidate offer proof of eligibility before he can be registered in that state, and state a birth certificate be used. At that point Obama would be required to show the birth certificate folks in Hawaii say they have seen but Obama is inexplicably reluctant to produce. But this would have to be done before registrations are accepted for 2012.

    So much fun.

  5. enkidu Says:

    thank you for proving my point wwnj!

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/

    how incredibly dumb are right wingers?
    half a sack of hammers and dropping

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    Hadn’t heard of this b4, it good. verily good.
    http://www.video.google.ca/videosearch?q=playing+for+change+one+love&www_google_domain=www.google.ca&hl=en&emb=0#

  7. ymatt Says:

    Yes Jayson, a good article, and it is insightful too if you note that every point raised applies as much or more to the “debunkers” it praises than it does to the people it is intended to tarnish.

    Hahahahahaha.

  8. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks ymatt, the irony is not lost on you.

  9. ymatt Says:

    Coming from you, no indeed it is not.

  10. knarlyknight Says:

    Is it possible for different individuals to arrive, in
    a reasonable fashion, at incompatible conclusions after surveying exactly the same body of
    evidence? And, if so, what is the significance of this kind of rational disagreement? That is,
    under what conditions, if any, can you justifiably maintain your own beliefs while recognizing
    that (perhaps many) others rationally disagree with you?

    I realize it’s not a journalist’s opinion, but this seems like it might be better reading than a simple hit piece … maybe tomorrow… http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Vorobej_Obstacles%20to%20Persuasion.pdf

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    how’s iraq?

  12. shcb Says:

    The key word there if rational. I’ve read the article twice now and I don’t see where it is praising truthers.

  13. enkidu Says:

    US Supreme Court rejects wrong wing nut job challenge of Obama’s birth certificate.

    You’ll have to try harder wwnj. Don’t let reality intervene! Sarah in 2012! woooo!

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    Good one shcb, from you that’s funny.

  15. Craig Says:

    This whole birth certificate thing just seems goofy. I am MUCH more entertained by going on the “Trig isn’t Sarah’s child” blogs.

    Now THAT is funny stuff!

  16. ymatt Says:

    Because, shcb, these so-called “debunkers” are dead set on holding on to their belief in the official 9/11 story in the face of the irrefutable evidence offered by Truthers. There’s no difference, don’t you see?

  17. shcb Says:

    I guess I must be particularly stupid today because I don’t see it, I read the article for a third time and I just don’t see what you guys are talking about. Maybe I’m just too analytical to see the deeper meaning. The only thing I see that is similar in 911 truthers and Obama’s birth place guys is some of the characters making trouble are the same.
    The debunkers should be dead set on holding onto their belief in the official story of 911, it makes sense. To ask a candidate to show his birth certificate makes sense too, but it’s not required.

    I understand that we are crossing a line now that conspiracy nuts on either side of this issue will never be satisfied. If a birth certificate from Hawaii or Kenya were produced now one side or the other would call it a forgery. I also don’t see that any of these people filing lawsuits have standing (I’m guessing that is what the Court ruling today was about), McCain would, maybe Keyes, but some guy in Texas or Ohio that isn’t happy with the outcome of the election has no standing.

    What I have been intrigued by is how little we really know how to deal with this situation constitutionally. If he, or anyone, weren’t eligible after being elected but before being sworn in, then what? Is the VP the president or were they elected as one ticket, does the Senate (or the House, I can never remember which) have the authority to appoint the president? What if congress is a majority of the opposite party? Is it this congress or the one coming into power with the new president?

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    ymatt,
    That issue seems to get you emotional. Your statement seems like a stereotyping of some people in order to dismiss the evidence offered by others.

    If you are mad at “truthers” who do not listen to reason, well that is fine, but to imply that this means people with legitimate questions and valid scientific studies should be ridiculed as a result is simply small minded thinking.

    Helpful criticism is never unwelcome. Alternative investigators have come a long way (especially given the resistance they have faced every inch of the way). For example, healthy criticism and rational debate have removed such theories for the three collapsing WTC towers as explosive pods under the planes, NIST’s pancake theory and Byzant’s new physics, space based weapons, small scale hydrogen bombs, and conventional explosives.

    No reasonable person would suggest that all the evidence anywhere is irrefutable and it would be wonderful if we could get to the point where the official story for the events of 911 made sense. As it stands, it defies logic.

  19. shcb Says:

    so you guys are yanking each other’s chain and I’m the dupe in the middle? boy I do feel stupid :-)

  20. enkidu Says:

    I demand to see Trig’s birth certificate! And Super Sarah’s too!
    She was born an angel I tell you, an angel. Since she’s from Heaven, she couldn’t be from here in the good ol USofA. It both stands to reason and defies all logic.
    ;-)

  21. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea Enk, except rather than angel’s I’m thinking more like alien’s or reptile people…

    shcb – Interesting questions, but it’s hard for me to get excited about this topic because the bottom line is that Obama is to all intents and purposes an American now, if he ever wasn’t. So even if, before inauguration day, a court decides that technically he isn’t qualified to be president, then all you have is a really big political mess. So what’s new? Eventually you’d find a solution.

    So regardless of the Supreme Court decisions, there is no credible evidence that Obama has divided loyalties with any other country. Therefore it’s a tempest in a tea pot relative to the power wielded by neo-con advisors and other officials with dual citizenships and a clear primary loyalty to a country other than America. It pales even more to the (Arab and/or inside job) conspiracy which prompted military invasions and occupations of two formerly sovereign nations on dubious (perhaps criminal) grounds and divided our very existence into a pre- and a post-911 world – now that deserves a real investigation.

    Alex Koppelman links the trifling claims of Obama conspiracy theorists to the arguments of 911 truthers in order to dismiss them both with the same stroke. He ignores or is ignorant of the large bodies of evidence that raise serious questions about the official narrative and support other explanations as being more plausible.

    Koppelman’s opinion piece serves some purposes (least of which is boosting the ego’s of any reader who agrees with him); yet a more objective look shows his article to be ridicule and the smearing of others by association with those ridiculed. Koppelman presents transparently lazy arguments and logical fallacies.

    While fun to read, especially by the choir to whom he preaches, Koppelman’s comments are insignificant when placed next to the more disciplined thinking elsewhere. For example, the treatise on a recent third year McMaster University philosophy course on argument theory. That’s the link I provided earlier, which I have since read and now fully endorse: http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Vorobej_Obstacles%20to%20Persuasion.pdf

  22. shcb Says:

    I agree, I like the Super Sarah vision, a red cape (designer cape $1000 min), halo over her head and an M-4 with an m-203 attached with little Trig in the other arm. That will put the fear of God in those Commies.

  23. shcb Says:

    That is why I said in my dec 6 post that the intent of the law wouldn’t be violated even if the letter were since this all happened when he was zero years old. That provision was put in so someone 30 years old from France couldn’t run.

    I just find it interesting the constitution says you have to be a natural born citizen but really doesn’t say what to do if a person isn’t. This really could be a constitutional crisis, not in this particular case, but if the “perfect storm” were to happen in the future.

    Even in our age of 450 page laws we don’t seem to have a clearly defined standard. At some point right before or after the ceremony he does have to prove residency to a specific person, I don’t remember who, it is like the clerk of the court person, someone low on the totem pole. But it seems it is up to that individual to decide what is needed, usually a passport from what I understand.

    Oddly enough it seems the best place to fix this problem in the future may be at the state level.

  24. ymatt Says:

    I’m yanking chains, knarly is taking this personal-like, which is endlessly cracking me up.

  25. knarlyknight Says:

    Personal? What’s to take “personal-like” here?

  26. knarlyknight Says:

    Seems fairly academic to me.

  27. ymatt Says:

    Yes, there’s no way that you’re taking it personally that an article refers dismissively to the conspiracy theory you’ve endlessly plugged here (in exactly the manner described in the article). Your objection is purely an academic objection to flawed logic that just happens to challenge the believability of your conspiracy theory (which couldn’t possibly be correct since your theory is true!)

    You’re killing me, man. Seriously, keep going, this is great.

  28. shcb Says:

    well at least I feel better, I couldn’t understand what I was missing.

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea, it’s not personal, it happens all the time. A lot of time has passed and I realize that people like yourself don’t really care about the issue much anymore, time to move on so to speak. That’s natural, and it’s good too as that allows people to view 911 more objectively.

    The article you refer to is (1) an opinion piece, (2) primarily based on pop-psychology, with (3) a healthy chunk of smears by association, that is (4) written by a glorified blogger, Mr. Koppelman. He’s entitled to his opinion.

    The article I referenced was written by a philosophy professor at McMaster university who just finished teaching an upper lever University course on logical reasoning methods.

    You prefer the conclusions based on the emotional opinions of the blogger who doesn’t even bother to provide any indication that he even glanced at the evidence.

    I prefer the findings of a more disciplined person with a classical logic approach to examining arguments, and – specific to the 911 issue – someone who has researched and studied the available evidence in preparation for delivering a course designed specifically to evaluate “conspiracy arguments” sans emotion.

    So what’s personal about that? Unless of course you are refering to your own comments on this entire thread, starting with “Hahahahahaha!”, which are frankly quite silly, notwithstanding your imagining them to have a powerful effect on my psyche. I’m honored ymatt, but take some advice and get a life.

  30. knarlyknight Says:

    Koppelman quotes Shermer, who makes some interesting and I think mostly valid points about the psychology of nuts, who he calls conspiracy theorists and who Enkidu calls wwnj’s. That’s fine as far as that goes, which is only as far as you have a verifiable falsehood being believed by some people. Examples include: Elvis lives, reptilian politicians, and with high degree of certainty the claim that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery and that Iraq possessed WMD’s in 2003.

    Has Shermer made any attempt to differentiate the thought processes of nuts vs. people who cling to dissenting views despite lots of evidence and overwhelming popular opinion to the contrary? No, he does not.

    For example, do the same characteristics of clinging to an unpopular belief hold for the people who clung to the notion that: the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident never happened (after 40 years declassified documents proved the conspiracy was true), or that elements of governments will lie or harm their own people for a perceived greater good (“Operation Northwoods” – a declassified military proposal suggested by the military), or that in 2003 (based on all the available evidence) Iraq did not have operational WMD’s and that (unless the Bush administration had more evidence somewhere) Bush’s claims were merely a “sexed up dossier” i.e., a conspiracy to start a war. Even a business person who has a “crazy” idea that with perseverance proves to be a successful venture shares many of the characteristics Shermer ridicules. Or Galileo, forced to admit to the world that the sun revolves around a stationary earth (while rumoured to whisper under his breath “but yet earth moves also”).

    Where Shermer and Koppelman’s argument fails is by implying that if some people are vocal about two independent conspiracies (with no other correlation to each other) and one of those conspiracies is verifiably false, then the other conspiracy must be false too. While an emotionally appealing argument, it holds no water. Ideas must be evaluated on their own merits.

  31. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    What’s being said is simple. Conspiracy theories fall under some now fairly well documented psychological mechanisms governing predisposition to believe, rejection or acceptance of evidence relative to belief in the theory, etc.

    Knarly is upset because he believes in the 9/11 conspiracy theory and doesn’t like it being lumped in with stuff like one world government and Queen Elizabeth II is a reptile person from outer space. It’s dragging the thing he thinks is true through the mud. To Koppleman it’s all the same. Probably because the 9/11 and Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories are functionally identical with regard predilection to believe, selective filtering of facts, refusal to accept information, etc.

    I’ll agree with the idea that there are things that haven’t been labeled proper conspiracy theories but follow the same patterns. Knarly, you’re interpreting Koppleman’s argument incorrectly. The mechanism of of the psychology of conspiracy theory only allows evidence to be verifiably false
    if you’re viewing the conspiracy objectively. He’s not saying that Queen Elizabeth isn’t a reptillian, ergo there is no government involvement in 9/11 and Barrack Obama’s birth certificate is genuine. He’s saying that belief in any of those conspiracy theories follows the same documented mechanism and surprise, the leading proponents are the same people who believe in the others.

    The issue here is that Koppleman is attempting to discredit conspiracy theory in general and specifically the Obama Birth Certificate one by proxy. As an argument based on psychology, its pretty valid. As an argument about the specific facts for the Obama case, it does well enough.

    Basically, karnls, you’re taking the article exactly how the article says a conspiracy theorist would take it.

    What I actually find funny is the case that came before the Supreme Court doesn’t have anything to do with the conspiracy theories, it’s one of those obscure reading of the law deals. While I agree with shcb that it’s interesting that a “natural born citizen” isn’t defined. However based on limited reading on wikipedia even, I’m not surprised they didn’t agree to hear the case.

  32. shcb Says:

    Something else I’ve always thought about conspiracy theorists is that they have the same mentality as the guy that bets the 100 to 1 long shot at the track. He knows that he probably won’t win, but the idea that he just might is just too great for him to resist. Not just because of the money but because he can then say “see I told you so” and that one time will somehow justify all the times he was wrong. It is a sense of notoriety. No one remembers all the guys that put down $20 to come away with $22, but they remember the guy that came home with $2000 for the same bet.

    And that is all ok if you’re betting at the track but you can’t run a business or a country that way, you have to take the safe bet, you can’t spend all your time chasing Dick Cheney when the terrorists are plotting to blow a plane out of the sky. But wouldn’t it be a story if it were Cheney.

    There are a lot of interesting aspects of this Obama birth certificate story but is he a citizen probably isn’t one of them. What defines someone with a sense of curiosity and a conspiracy nut is partially knowing when to stop. For instance if the governor of Hawaii says she has seen the birth certificate and it is real I believe her. Not because I trust her, but because why would she lie? If it weren’t there or it said he wasn’t born in Hawaii (then why would it be there) or there were something amiss she could just say no comment and not open herself to the fallout later. She has said privacy laws won’t allow her to show it, fine, no conspiracy there.

    But some things are still odd; FactCheck.org has said they have seen it. Why were they given exclusive rights to view it? Or did they have the right? The valid question is why didn’t Obama show it when this first came up, but that certainly doesn’t make any conspiracy. Bill Clinton resisted showing his medical records and when he did I don’t recall there was anything wrong with him, he just didn’t want to show the world his records, who knows why, vanity?

    Why didn’t the curt hear the case? The last I heard was they gave no comment. I assume it is because the folks bringing suit had no standing.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, not surprised you are still intrigued by all the implications of the Obama conspiracy theory. Enjoying yourself?

    Jayson, the rest is a reply to your post…

    Basically, karnls, you’re taking the article exactly how the article says a conspiracy theorist would take it.

    Yes, that was clear from the irony of my initial post, as ymatt already noted (assuming that’s what he meant by “hahahahahahha!”) and which I had already acknowleded near the beginning of all this. Okay?

    Okay, glad that’s settled. But if that is true, then it is also true that you are dismissing my observations “exactly as the article says a conspiracy theorist would take it” – that is, my comments are at odds with your current ideas, so you resist them.

    By the way, the article’s observations about how a conspiracy theorist deals with evidence are old observations. Further, they mirror the observations (also longstanding knowledge) about how many people facing new information that disturbs their previous world view will often go to ridiculous lengths to resist accepting the new information, it’s called cognitive dissonance. Flip sides of similar coins. Old news; yet important to keep in mind.

    He’s saying that belief in any of those conspiracy theories follows the same documented mechanism and surprise, the leading proponents are the same people who believe in the others.

    Yes Koppleman does make a good case that some people are incapable of an objective view, and that some of these people have made themselves proponents of more than one crazy, unpopular, or unlikely idea that for whatever weird reasons seem to have an appeal to them (or as shcb suggests, have the appeal of the long-shot bet at the track.) Yes, we can all agree there are such people. Big deal (not).

    As a side note, the “leading proponents” as it relates to 911 Truth would be Dr. Stephen Jones, Dr. David Griffin, and architect Richard Gage and perhaps, just perhaps, William Rodriguez – none of them are affiliated with any other conspiracy theories and none were mentioned by Koppleman. None of the people Koppleman mentioned could ever be considered leading proponents of 911 Truth, and the one guy he links to 911 was someone I don’t recall hearing about before – Philip Berg. It may not matter, but Berg’s CV sounds more impressive than, well, Koppleman’s for example (chuckle).

    The issue here is that Koppleman is attempting to discredit conspiracy theory in general and specifically the Obama Birth Certificate one by proxy. As an argument based on psychology, its pretty valid.

    Yes, he does a fine job of stating that people who ignore or discredit evidence will continue down the path they are determined to take. We can agree on that too. The open question is whether people who believe the official narrative about 911 are ignoring or discrediting the evidence presented to them by people questioning the official story, or whether the people who question the official story are failing to accept valid official evidence.

    To answer that, we could make lists of evidence that we think has been ignored by each side and the evidence each side has accepted, then compare the lengths of those 4 lists and the relative importance of each item. Then what? Neither of us trusts the other to have enough objectivity such that we’d ever agree on some conclusions. So let me just leave you with the following.

    At the very least, I have read the Koppleman article, agreed with much of it including the central thesis that some people adhere to conspiracy theories against overwhelming valid evidence against their pet theory (conspiracy nuts), raised some criticisms about logical fallacies therein, fully understood the perceived or real irony when writing my initial posts and those noting the article’s implied smearing of all people who question the official 911 narrative by linking them to an alleged shared psychology with conspiracy nuts, considered your points then re-read the article digesting it more analytically and found areas where we agree further, and offered (link offered twice) a paper from a different perspective about virtually the identical subject (argument theory) by an author with a thousand times more expertise in the subject of conspiracy theory than does Koppleman.

    In contrast you and ymatt read the article and heartily endorsed it as it re-inforced your existing opinions, you ignored the professor’s paper absolutely, and dismissed all of my comments because you assume they are predictable rationalizations from a guy: “upset because he believes in the 9/11 conspiracy theory and doesn’t like it being lumped in with [crazy stuff]“.

    So what I leave you with is the question: is it I or is it you who most closely exhibit the psychological characteristics of a conspiracy theorist?

  34. shcb Says:

    Read the article Enky referred to earlier, it explains conspiracy theorists well. It’s been a long time since I read it but as I recall he has it down pat. There are certainly conspiracies, telling your kids what you got their mom for Christmas after swearing them to secrecy is a conspiracy, where the nuts cross the line is when they go from plausible to implausible. Moving from possible to plausible is as far as most normal people are willing to go. But every now and then that long shot horse comes in.

    In the Skeptic’s article, one of the traits he points out is that a conspiracy theorist will take any argument against the theory and turn it into a part of the theory, just like you just did with the last paragraph.

  35. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks shcb for proving both our points.

    I’ll try to cut to some basic points.
    Koppelman (K) and Shermer regurgitate an old saw used for ages to discredit the other side in a controversy. That is to claim that it is impossible to reason with “those people” because they are not rational. Once that seed is established, those peoples’ arguments are discounted and ignored.

    I thought JBC, ymatt, and Jayson would recognize the irony of K. endorsing the same dismissive attitude that they accuse conspiracy theorists of exhibiting. JBC, ymatt and Jayson have the intelligence to see it. Perhaps the article appeals to their desire to lump a large and diverse cross section of the population into the irrational conspiracy theorist category so strongly that their thinking on this topic becomes lazy .

    That might explain their applause for the article without acknowledging some basic problems. If thinking critically or analytically, then surely one of them would have identified Koppelman’s half truth.

    The half truth lies fully exposed. To paraphrase, K submits that ignoring relevant facts is a characteristic of irrational conspiracy theorists – yes, that half is an obvious truth.

    The other half that he submits is that irrational conspiracy theorists will take facts which cannot be ignored and continuously revise their conspiracy theory accordingly, in an apparent endless process to get at what they claim to be a higher truth.

    To see how erroneous that criticism actually is, one needs only replace “conspiracy theory” with “working hypothesis” and replace “irrational conspiracy theorists” with “scientists”. The result is that:

    Scientists will take facts which cannot be ignored and continuously revise their working hypothesis accordingly, in an apparent endless process to get at what they claim to be a higher truth.

    That is a good expression of the basic scientific process by which, to risk overuse of an obvious example, planetary motion was determined. Obviously, 9/11 truth is nowhere near comparable in scale or importance to the enormously important recognition of earth’s motion. However, earth’s motion was determined despite overwhelming and apparently inconvenient “facts” to the contrary that did not fit the theory (e.g. if the world were spinning surely everything would be spun off of it) and a universal religious dogma that earth was the stationary center of the universe. Also, the theory of earth’s place in the universe is still being investigated. There the similarities end.

    If half of the K. article’s criticism of conspiracy theorists is that they follow the scientific process, then K does not present much in the way of criticism.

    Now, in regard to 911, Dr. Griffin has presented 40 independent reasons (or facts, or as criminal investigators say, “smoking guns”) about why the official narrative (i.e. one hypothesis) of 9/11 couldn’t possibly be entirely true. Before accepting the official narrative hypothesis, each and every one of those facts that negate the hypothesis needs to be dealt with, either by showing why the facts do not apply or by altering the official hypothesis to fit the facts. To simply ignore those smoking guns is to engage in irrational conspiracy theorizing. If some of the facts can be aligned with the official theory, or a newly modified version of the official theory, one cannot say “ahh, forget it, the rest of those smoking guns are probably explainable too.” To do so is to behave exactly in line with the true part of K’s half-truth about the psychology of real conspiracy nuts: ignoring relevant facts.

    Now a change of pace; here’s a test: Do you believe NIST’s conclusion, after years of study and computer modelling, that was presented in their report this summer stating that building 7 fell at a speed 40% slower than freefall?

    The answer is that a high school physics teacher associated with architects and engineers for 9/11 truth successfully challenged NIST on this fundamental point by demonstrating (within a one or two percent margin of error) that the building fell at free fall speed. As a result, NIST recanted their “40% slower than freefall” conclusion and their revised final report contains a hastily compiled explanation that, while still incredible in other respects, does align with the fundamental fact that building 7 fell at basically a freefall speed. References to that on request.

  36. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    There is a basic problem here. You are arguing the validity of the 9/11 conspiracy theory. The 9/11 conspiracy theory isn’t on trial for anyone here but you, Knarly. The rest of us have looked at and speaking for those who don’t buy it, we don’t buy it. It is impossible for you, as a person that does buy it, to look at it any other way. All you’re left with is pointing the finger back at us. Again though, knarly, everything you’ve said fits with the pathology of the conspiracy theory psychology. Going ‘But guys, the 9/11 argument is true because guys say so and you’re ignoring the evidence.’ isn’t a valid argument here. There are just as many experts endorsing the official version and debunking the ‘truther’ version.

  37. enkidu Says:

    I think knarls should have left it at his Dec 9 11AM post

    seriously wwnj you should give the Obama’s birth certificate thing a rest
    he won by almost 9 million votes
    now he gets 4 or 8 years to try to fix all dumbya & co’s screwups
    and remember, he gets to do all the dumbya stuff like:
    - the US gets hit with the worst terrorist attack ever
    - double the national debt (mb triple it to fix the dumbya era screwups)
    - fumble winning a good and needed war
    - start a useless illegal war
    - let at least one American city drown (and eat cake while they die)
    - torture folks we don’t like
    - set up secret prisons
    - run the economy so far into the ground that you’ll need a miner’s hat to even look at the smoking rubble of your 401k
    - and finally all dissenters or even mild disagree-ers must be labeled as traitors, seditious, mooslman coddling nancyboys

    Then we are even. K? K.

  38. knarlyknight Says:

    Oh my, now it’s “pathological”? Are you honestly trying to be objective or are you erecting barriers?

    Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with further 9/11 details, I’ll just use them as you do to illustrate points about the subject of this thread, K’s article and the psychology of conspiracy theorists.

    If a particular explanation for events has, by your own admission, just as many experts with serious concerns about it as it has experts who support it, then what? Surely a theory with such divergent views among experts deserves further investigation?

    However, also by your own admission(!), you have settled on a particular explanation for this particular explanation for events (for 9/11 events) to the point of not being willing to look at the issue again. This particular version of events to which you are beholden involves a highly contentious theory about a conspiracy of Arabs. So it is completely honest and accurate to say it is a conspiracy theory. As such, your unwillingness to look at it further demonstrates an unwavering belief in it that makes you a non-objective conspiracy theorist.

    By the same token, if it was intentional of you to accuse me of arguing “a 9/11 conspiracy theory” here, then you are being either intellectually dishonest or intellectually lazy.

    I have not put forth or defended any conspiracy theory here. Clearly, I have argued that it is reasonable to criticize the official conspiracy theory about 9/11. That distinction is critical.

    It is critical because that is what the discussion on this thread is about: the psychological mentality of conspiracy theorists which makes it impossible for them ever to be objective.

    That may be the case, yet I still have hope that eventually anyone can at least be objective.

    In that spirit of hope, Jayson, have I got a deal for you. For the sake of argument, and because it is obvious our exchanges are not going anywhere, let’s temporarily remove every reference I have made to 9/11. What’s the point of that?

    Well, first of all, for a person who cannot maintain objectivity when a “9/11” bogeyman is present, you might realize that approx. 75% of my comments relate directly to the K article. I posit that the article holds some truth but it also contains a catch-22 element that is a trap for independent thought (a trap Galileo became very familiar with.)

    That catch-22 element is that actually, and ironically, an uncritical belief in the K. article serves the purposes of truly non-objective conspiracy theorists better than it serves the interests of independent, objective people who seek answers.

    Simply put, dissenting opinions should not be silenced.

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    Enk, add to your last point that dissenters can also be labelled as conspiracy theorists and you’ve got my support.

    And you are right, I should have left it at my Dec. 9, 11 am post.

  40. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Well again knarly, I think you’re just wrong on this.

    The subtext of what you’re writing is that I’m not being objective in concurring with an official1 explanation. I don’t see how your stance is really different.. You’ve looked at the evidence, arrived at what you see as the absolute truth and anyone who believes something different is incorrect and closed minded.

    I personally have looked at both sides and agree with the conventional explanation in that case.

    When you say there is ‘uncritical belief in the K. article.’ That’s simply not true, while focusing on the one article for the sake of discussion, I posted two articles, one from a phd in psychology that corroborate the psychological model of conspiracy theory adherence. This seems to say disagreement is lack of critical thought.

    I think this is the problem with a lot of discussions here, it actually relates to that article on cognitive dissonance that I posted. There is only one truth and all believers everywhere have a monopoly on it.

    In comparing the conventional view vs. the conspiratorial view you have to note that conspiracy doesn’t have enough evidence for a slam-dunk victory for whatever it’s claiming. As the original article states, you never can satisfy the conspiracy theorist. Any expert claims to the contrary are automatically rejected. The information that proves the conspiracy true is always in a perpetual state of being suppressed by the conspirators. In the mind of the conspiracy theory adherent, they would turn around and say the same thing, the conventional view doesn’t have the evidence, but again, this is part of the well documented psychology of conspiracy theory.

    In the cases of conspiracies the evidence has been examined repeatedly already, the claims have been examined and there has been a rebuttal. It’s not enough, and it never will be. Again, part of conspiracy theory psychology.

    I agree it would be bad to dismiss things out of hand and silence dissenting opinions, but that’s not actually an issue in this particular case, unless you’re a conspiracy theory adherent, then of course, you’re going to feel that the truth is being silenced.

  41. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Sorry about the pathology thing, it was just a metaphor. I should have stuck with ‘Good article.’

  42. ymatt Says:

    I want you to consider something, knarly. On 9/11 we saw airplanes fly into buildings and explode. Then those buildings fell. To explain this sequence of events, we have two theories: 1) The airplanes that flew into the buildings and exploded caused the buildings to fall. 2) Something else other than the airplanes caused the buildings to fall.

    Your argument is that theory 1 is the “official” explanation but there are many things you question about it, so you are suggesting theory 2.

    What if the places were reversed? What if the 9/11 commission concluded that the airplanes couldn’t possibly have caused the buildings to fall and that there was another explanation which would have to be sought out. What if a bunch of third parties then said “hey, actually we think the exploding airplanes did it”? To me, that would be pretty extraordinary! Here the government is claiming something that is very surprising and a few people are saying “why is the government putting forth this really surprising conclusion?”

    But in fact the very surprising thing is being claimed by a very few people. Logically we have to *start* with the assumption that the simplest explanation is true — the truther veiwpoint is complex and difficult to prove. Does that make it necessarily untrue? Of course not, but many many people have reviewed the evidence of the truthers and have not found it compelling. In the face of supporting a theory that is A) surprisingly complex and B) not compelling to other reasonable people, you really have to assign the conspiracy theorist mentality to those who continue to at least not admit that their theory is pretty damned unlikely. All opinions are not the same — yours is the outlier here, I’m afraid.

  43. knarlyknight Says:

    ymatt, Jayson,

    Thanks for your reasonable recent posts. Jayson’s was similar to what we’ve covered already, but I sense a different tone and that is much appreciated. The only thing that jumps out at me is that Jayson continues to rely on an erroneous assumption that I am committed to some absolute truth and that I think anyone who believes something different is incorrect and close minded. Honestly, the only thing I am committed to is that there are big holes in the official story and I’d like answers.

    Which brings me to ymatt’s intriguing post, which I will go back and consider further when other priorities allow, hopefully tomorrow. For now, I’ll just say that he shares Jayson’s view that either theory 1 or theory 2 is the correct hypothesis, and someone who thinks theory 1 is full of holes must therefore be fully committed to theory 2. They may think like that, but I don’t. Here’s what I think: theory 1 is a simplistic fairy tale full of holes big enough to drive several trucks through, and theory 2 has a long list of potentially irreconcilable problems and has not even been defined adequately because it has been impossible so far to nail down a sufficient number of indisputable facts.

  44. shcb Says:

    I don’t know why I think this is appropriate but there is an old joke:

    An Irishman was on trial for killing a man in a bar fight. The prosecution put two people on the stand who said they saw him do it, the defense found 10 people who said they didn’t see him do it.

    That seems to be the logic with conspiracy theorists, and not just this one. I have a good friend that can make a conspiracy out of anything, especially if it involves the oil companies. By the way, I’ve never understood why the guy was Irish but that is the way I have always heard it.

  45. ymatt Says:

    So you’re saying that you aren’t convinced that the airplanes made the buildings falls, but you’re also not convinced that they *didn’t*. In this state of uncertainty, you’ve decided that you want to post information from people who are very clearly committed to theory 2 — the theory that is the vastly more complex, unlikely theory of the two. This, again, I think is definitionally conspiracy theorist thinking. The rest of us will be happy with sticking to the simple, likely theory that to us does *not* have holes you can drive trucks through in it.

    I guess I’d still vaguely like to hear your detailed response for continued amusement value (I’m sorry, but this is still on the level of ridiculousness for me, not interesting debate). But before you defend yourself by stating that you don’t actually believe a concrete conspiracy theory, realize that finding reasons to disbelieve something is no different than finding reasons to believe a concrete alternative and makes no difference to whether it can be called conspiratorial thinking or not. Many of the moon landing doubters will tell you that they don’t know where those pictures came from, but they have all kinds of reasons why they couldn’t have been shot on the moon.

    Also, don’t pull out the Galileo argument until you can show me a concrete counter-theory that can be evaluated on its merits. Galileo not only said it moves, he had the evidence.

  46. jbc Says:

    Actually, I think I recall reading from someone who sounded like he knew what he was talking about that Galileo’s “still, it moves” is apocryphal. What did Galileo actually say? That’s the “truth”. What do we all believe he said? That’s the “Truth”.

    I’m reasonably happy with the belief that the airplanes caused the buildings to fall, and that that’s truth, not just Truth. I’m also perfectly willing to accept (and would probably even put money on it, if there was a way to really know the answer), that there are very significant aspects of generally accepted 9/11 Truth that are actually completely false.

    But yeah, for me at least, it’s a long way from that belief to a belief that I should be paying more attention to people whose epistemology is demonstrably broken.

  47. enkidu Says:

    I always go with Truthiness

  48. ymatt Says:

    jbc has it right there.

  49. knarlyknight Says:

    JBC,

    It’s common knowledge that no one really knows whether Galileo actually muttered anything at all under his breath after recanting, that’s not the point.

    The point is that he held to his belief against orthodox thought even after recanting. The psychology of Galileo is the same as the article accuses conspiracy theorists of exhibiting. He dismissed the arguments of the church, arguments the Church thought were more than valid, and ignored the conventional wisdom to the derision of the general population of the “modern” world (at the time.). (Only the crime is different. He had a “heresy theory” instead of a “conspiracy theory” and for the purposes of the example that’s the same thing.)

    Also, of course no one is asking anyone to pay attention to a person whose “epistemology” is demonstrably broken. (That’s why few people no longer pay much attention to your president, Cheney, and the rest of that gang.) Is Philip Berg a quack? Maybe, I don’t know, but the K. article must have chosen him to link to 9/11 for a reason over some 500 architects and engineers, physicists, etc. That is likely because he was an easy target to discredit, i.e to demonstrate that his “epistemology” is broken.

    A tougher target would have been former Gov. Jesse Ventura. But that’s still off the mark. Berg and Ventura are proponents, people with strong opinions but who are not themselves responsible for the real thinking. For analogy, it is like not paying more attention to global warming because Heather Malkin is a proponent and her “epistemology” is demonstrably broken – it overlooks what the scientists with valid “epistemology” are saying.

    In regards to sources of 9/11 research (e.g. Griffin, Jones) their “epistemology” is good and in at least several instances it is demonstratably superior to that of the “experts” at NIST.

  50. knarlyknight Says:

    jbc – it occurred to me later that you were using a different aspect of the Galileo example simply to establish the “truth vs Truth” idea and that it was not a rebuttal to the point made by my original use of the example. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    In regards to truth vs. Truth, it is reasonable to give up on determining what the truth is about Galileo’s mutterings since everyone is long dead and no new records can reasonably be expected to turn up to resolve the issue.

    In contrast, its a dereliction to give up on a real 911 investigation while so much information is still available (assuming FOI requests are successful).

    ymatt- As I recall, Galileo presented his evidence in the form of detailed observations, precise calculations, and extensive descriptions set out in a logical framework, yet his ideas were STILL rejected as preposterous heresy. That’s similar to how Dr. Stephen Jone’s ideas (backed by observations, experiments, calculations and in other respects fully scientific papers) have been treated. Particularly thermate evidence.

    The presence of thermate residues as an indicator of controlled demolition is one counter theory, but getting that specific may be too technical and outside our grasp. A simpler approach arises from observations that the three WTC buildings fell at free fall speed with all the elements of a controlled demolition in evidence. The NIST explanations comprise complex explanations of unique phenomenoms never before observed and of which they never replicated by scale model expirements. The counter theory is that the buildings were observed to fall as if in a controlled demolition and the theory is that this occured because of advanced controlled demolition material (thermate) placed on key structures that made them collapse in a manner very similar to controlled demolitions.

    Dr. Jone’s finding of thermate residue in the WTC dust, and NIST observations of mottled steel (that were not further investigated), are just icings on the cake. Sort of like certain solar eclipses of heavenly bodies were icings on the cake for people who bothered to study Galileo’s “ridiculous” ideas.

    Also ymatt, in regard to your theory 1 vs theory 2 “what if” example, it would have been re-assuring if the government had wished to investigate ANY theory properly, even a truly unlikely version of events, rather than stonewall an investigation for some 245 days (or was it 425 days?) and then grudgingly structure a supposed “investigation” with parameters and directorship that were fatally flawed from the get-go when the pressure for an investigation from some of the victim relatives becamse too hot to ignore.

  51. ymatt Says:

    You kind of ignored the point of my thought experiment. The point is to get you to think about likely versus unlikely explanations and the different levels of proof you need to produce to support them.

    Galileo produced technical *data* against a dogmatic explanation of the movement of heavenly bodies. You are producing technical *explanations* against an explanation that is within the bounds of our knowledge of the world. I don’t believe that the airplanes caused the towers to fall because the government told me — I believe it because it makes a lot of sense and your explanations are nothing more than questions and explanations, not data. There is a big difference. I have actually spent the time looking at your sources a number of times, and it does not carry enough weight to counter the heft of simplicity.

    There is a very interesting method of weighing probabilities called “bayesian logic”. To simplify, it explains that you must take into account the weight of past knowledge against new information you learn when reevaluating probabilities of truth. Airplanes hit buildings. Buildings fell. Past experience should tell us that it is very, very likely that those two things are related. Your new evidence is ambiguous, tortured, and often nothing more than supposition. Coming away from that with the opinion that you are very uncertain if the airplanes caused the buildings to fall is very poor evaluation of probabilities.

  52. knarlyknight Says:

    ymatt,

    That’s just wee bit too simplistic. You forgot building 7′s miraculous total destruction. I get uncomfortable when so many inconvenient details need to be removed to make something believable.

    Your version of events with a few added details:

    Plane hit North tower directly, core columns compromised, fireball within building.

    Plane hit south tower less directly, relatively few core columns compromised, fireball bursts through corner of building.

    Buildings do not fall over or collapse, they remain standing.

    Smoke blackens as fire intensity diminishes.

    Nearly an hour passes while firemen continue their work within the building oblivious to the possibility of collapse because fires seemed manageable and even absolute burning inferno had never collapsed before.

    The South tower (less directly hit) freefalls into itself 56 minutes after impact.

    Later, the (directly hit) North tower also freefalls into itself 1 hour 41 minutes after impact.

    Approx 7 hours later WTC 7 also falls at freefal speed in a classic implosion, reduced to rubble.

    Later, investigators find thermate traces in WTC dust. The investigators are called kooks and ignored.

  53. ymatt Says:

    A smaller building collapsing after being damaged by much larger buildings falling nearby is not miraculous.

    You’re back to just throwing out your seeds of doubt again, which as I said I’ve looked and and do not find as shocking as you do.

  54. knarlyknight Says:

    Actually for the WTC 7 building to be completely demolished like that is extremely miraculous:

    …it took NIST years to work out a theory as to how that could possibly of happened at all.

    And what NIST finally came up with is not very convincing to many architects and engineers.

    You asked for a concrete counter theory. I did the best I could but is little that is concrete remaining ymatt, much of the concrete was pulverized while the buildings were still standing.

    I’m sure you are as weary of this as I am. Let’s stop.

  55. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea, the Obama conspiracy is not going away soon enough. It may even be getting a little out of hand…
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/12/prweb1732144.htm Time to haul out the PR machines and put these nuts back into their shells?

  56. knarlyknight Says:

    In due course, the truth usually seeps out. To wit:

    shcb has often repeated the talking point LIES that detainee abuse was the result of a few bad apples who have since been disciplined.

    The truth is that the apples were bad because the orchard keepers sprayed poison with wanton abandon:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-interrogate-abuse12-2008dec12,0,5978752.story

  57. shcb Says:

    You’re right, this natural born issue isn’t going to go away, there are just too many vagaries in the Hawaii law for it to go away, there is or was a law that (338-17.8) that allows a parent to get a certificate of live birth for a child not born in Hawaii if the parents have lived there for a year. Now this makes sense since Hawaii had only been a state for 2 years when Obama was born. The only document Obama has presented is a live birth, not a birth certificate. One blog I was reading today said that they issue a birth certificate if you are born in Hawaii and certificate of live birth if you were born elsewhere, don’t know how true that is. But this will die down after he is sworn in and will be revised closer to the next election. There will be so many other things this will get lost. One of the first items will be card check and the bailout of Detroit, lots of landmines there.

    I don’t know what to do with the LA Times piece, would you like me to go through it paragraph by paragraph or is it ok for me just say it is dogmatic piece of dung?

  58. knarlyknight Says:

    I’d expect nothing less than that latter opinion, shcb. I barely read half of the LA times piece as it is but one part of the puzzle and the full Truth is not in what the LA times reports but rather in all the pieces of the puzzle; which when put together shows an endemic problem of prisoner abuse and torture by your lovely children in uniform as encouraged by the Bush gang. I’m sure you disagree with me like usual, but maybe you agree with McCain:

    The report “details the inexcusable link between abusive interrogation techniques used by our enemies who ignored the Geneva Conventions and interrogation policy for detainees in U.S. custody,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the committee’s top Republican who himself suffered torture as a Vietnamese prisoner of war. “These policies are wrong and must never be repeated.”

    He said “policy” and that to me is distinctly different than “a few bad apples” as you had been arguing earlier.

    Glad the Obama “crisis” / “conspiracy” / “issue” has you so intrigued. You should pay more attention to it – that will keep you out of trouble. You’re probably right that it will smolder out as bigger fires burn brighter.

    Strange the way Wall Street got promised some $700 or $800 billion with barely any strings attached yet auto industry so far can’t get 2% of that sum without giving up an arm and a leg.

    I’m fascinated to see the result of all that newly created money being thrown at so many Wall St. and other failures – will it be absorbed with few wrinkles (unlikely) – will it send the US $ exchange rates down the toilet (perhaps) – will there be a huge rebound with inflation (perhaps) ? Any concerns, shcb? (That’s a genuine question, not a jab.) Things look about as gloomy for your (and thus our) economy as I have ever seen.

  59. shcb Says:

    I didn’t read it all either, and I’m sure they are right, but so what? My problem is with the article more than what they are saying. Just a couple examples; Bush writes a memo saying prisoners are not covered under the Geneva conventions, that is true, if you want protections of the rules you have to follow the rules. Somehow that translates to dog leashes on prisoners by sleazy guards being ok? That is like blaming Patton because he gave a fiery speech where he told his troops to go kill Krauts for a soldier walking down the street killing civilians. Then they only mention the soft Republicans that voted for it, not the courageous ones that voted against it. As far as McCain goes, he is obviously a special case, and I really have never been a big fan of McCain anyway, as I have said many times. This really depends on where you draw the line as to what is torture, scaring someone with a dog? At some point you take away all leverage from interrogators, maybe that is what you want.

    The biggest problem with this auto bailout bill is that there is no restructuring of the unions involved in it and that is what it is going to take to make the US auto makers competitive. This is understandable given that unions bought and paid for Democrats to be put in office, but it doesn’t change the dynamics. UAW members make about $72 per hour wages and benefits, non union auto workers working at Toyota make around $45 and Toyota turned a big profit. So we have two choices, bail the companies out essentially turning the union workers into wards of the state with politicians having control of what kind of cars are produced etc. or let them file Chapter 11. At least with them filing chapter 11 union concessions could be forced on the unions by a bankruptcy judge.

    But not to worry, they probably aren’t in as bad a shape as they say and will survive until the next congress is seated, then they will get their money without concessions at which point we simply wait for that money to bleed off and then they will be back for more, couple that with Card Check and there may be a backlash by voters in two years, Republicans will take control of the Senate and the whole cycle starts over again.

    Short answer to your last paragraph is yes I am concerned about all those things, but I have faith in markets and our system of governance. Democrat policies really aren’t good at handling these situations, they tend to make things worse, but Republicans will get back in power and things will get better only to have Republicans go too far and then Democrats will get back in power…

    What bothers me personally is this is happening at a time when I should be reaping the benefits of my life’s work and it is going to impact my retirement since my window is so small, but what the heck, you just deal with it.

  60. enkidu Says:

    those numbers are bunk

    The US automakers have a higher cost for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is they have been making cars for a century: the retirement benefits, pension and healthcare, were structured for an era when you worked until 65 then died at 66 (ok mb 70). The real difference in hourly wages is in the low single digits. Since when are Rs OK with low wage jobs? Oh right… bail out wall st to the tune of trillion, but when millions of blue collar jobs hang in the balance? The unions could do more, but the companies themselves just aren’t building cars as efficiently as the euro and japanese car makers. I would also point out that these same govs are also subsidizing and – yes – bailing out their companies right now. Will we end up subsidizing the US auto biz and end up where the only makes and models we sell are trucks and SUVs (if natl defense preparedness is important then you’d want to have that capability on-shore, right?)

    The larger question is why aren’t US automakers making the cars that Americans (and the world) want to buy? That is where no bailout can help if the car companies don’t get better direction from the top and learn to listen to the workers about how to build better cars. Too many old brands, not enough innovation. I live near the NUMMI plant and what an interesting lesson that is. I’ve also spent part of my career working with Japanese medical equipment manufacturing (I was in Japan two weeks before my first son was born). Kaizen. Funny how all the R opposition comes from Suthrn states with foreign car mfgr plants.

    This union busting craze is yet another example of how the right is completely corrupted by big money bs.

    wwnj your touching faith in the goodness and right of Rethug policies borders on the fanatical. After 8 years (decades really) of near complete fuckuppery, you still blame it all on the vile n stoopid libs. I look forward to the coming good management of our nation. Hope is on the way.

  61. shcb Says:

    That is why I said wages and benefits, not wages, and yes you are right the foreign mfg companies are more efficient, but of course unions oppose automation. You are also right that pension plans and medical costs imposed by union contracts are killing the companies. At the very least new and young employees should be shifted to modern plans (401k) and not be promised cradle to grave benefits, that would at least make them competitive. Those are big components in the 72-45 dollar gap.

    I think they are making cars consumers want to buy, when I look at foreign labeled cars they seem to be the same shape and size as US cars and trucks, the full sized Toyota is as big as my F150. If Americans wanted little piss ant cars they would build them because if they don’t a foreign label will. If anything it seems the foreign cars have emulated American cars. Actually it seems the American cars have gotten smaller and foreign cars larger, so they met somewhere in the middle. They may not be building the cars you want them to build (electric) but why would they not build the cars most consumers want?

    Millions of blue collar jobs hanging in the balance.

    Here is how it works; there are so many cars that are going to be purchased in a given amount of time. Those cars are going to be produced by a certain number of people being paid a certain wage. If GM can’t make a profit because it is paying its people $72 per hour they will go broke, someone paying $45 per hour will hire them to build those cars. So it is short sided for those workers to not negotiate their wages and benefits down to closer to $45 and keep a sure thing, not all of them will be rehired if GM goes broke because as you said the people hiring them are more efficient. You are probably right that their wages would not be reduced much, mostly benefits.

    If the unions were to make some real concessions I am sure congress would give them the money, they already have for that matter, this bill just redirects monies already allocated.

  62. Craig Says:

    Ive always looked at the 9/11 thing as how, in this day and age, the Government and/or agencies within, could pull off the most incredible attack against itself by getting the great bulk of scientific, political, and public opinion siding with their “story” in the greatest cover-up in history, despite also being one of the more inept Administrations in the last century or so. In no small part due to keeping utterly silent the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who would have direct knowledge, or even second-hand knowledge, of some piece of the fabrication along the way.

    I’ve enjoyed watching the whole above-discussed conspiracy-seeker psychological model play out regarding Sarah Palin’s baby Trig. People are analyzing late pregnancy pictures to see how pregnant she does or doesn’t look (compared to what pregnant women SHOULD look like). They are leaning on Sarah’s official medical summary letter to decide on it’s authenticity based on irregularities. Her last-minute trip from Texas back to Alaska just before childbirth was far too reckless a decision for a truly pregnant woman to make. And they are bracing themselves for a serious change in their theory due to Bristol’s impending due date by submitting other women who could have actually been Trig’s mother (eg. Willow Palin, or Sarah’s sister, with the infamous state trooper ex-husband), or even that Bristol’s “latest” baby will actually be a premie.

    They call themselves truth seekers, but they have, and will continue to, prove themselves as conspiracy seekers. They spin inconvienient information as being untrue or irrelevant, and pile on circumstancial or coincidental information to try to give added weight to their story. They say they just want to see a birth certificate or medical records, when it is clear that once they were ever revealed, the Palin truthers would simply claim them to be falsified.

    They ignore the clearest, most direct, and most endorsed explanation for a very convoluted, deceptive, high-risk, and nonsensical one, because of a nonshakable belief that since Sarah is a politican who has lied, she will always have lied, if a rumor suggests she has done so.

    Therefore, she has decided to pull an audacious fake pregnancy/baby switch at the State-level, then either lied to McCain’s people or they agreed to still choose her and then help maintain this insane coverup at the National level. And all along the way, despite the intensive media glare and political professional-operative mud-digging, no one with any direct or second-hand knowledge has broken silence to say “this story isn’t really accurate”?

    All pulled off, in essence, by a group of people who have trouble staging a Thanksgiving PR event?

  63. shcb Says:

    I was looking for the text of the Hawaiian law I mentioned above and ended up mostly on blogs. I tend to stay away from blogs, this one being the exception, because they just aren’t reliable and OMG are you right Craig. Any documentation Obama could ever produce would be fake in their minds. One regular on Free Republic was begging people to stop saying “this is why everyone thinks we are kooks”. Well, if the glove fits, you must covict.

  64. NorthernLite Says:

    And on a related note, I just saw Bush get beaned by a shoe from some angry Iraqi.

    Oh what a joyous day.

  65. enkidu Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duLds-TZMGw

  66. shcb Says:

    That was great, he ducked pretty well, I liked the little smile on his face as the shoe was coming at him. I mean come on Bush comes from a country where presidents give 45 minute speeches after they are shot, a shoe?

  67. enkidu Says:

    shrub has a quote out: “so what if he threw his shoe at me?”

    um, perhaps the collective Duhmurkkkin attention span and intelligence is so low that you can’t recall those stirring scenes of our boys pulling down that statue of Saddam and then the crowd beating the thing with their shoes? ring a bell? anyone?

    Perhaps this is too nuanced for the wwnj crowd, but in the Middle East it is a sign of disrespect to show the soles of your feet to anyone. Throwing the shoes is a sign of contempt. Gee, weren’t they supposed to greet us with rose petals and rice? Sure perplexinating me, as this is The Decider we’re jawing about! The Liberator of Iraq! Numero Uno! Commander Codpiece!

  68. NorthernLite Says:

    Actually he did surprise me with his relfexes, pretty impressive.

    Imagine what was going through his mind when he saw an angry Iraqi stand up screaming in arabic looking like he was about to toss something at him (grendae, acid/chemicals). I wouldn’t be surprised if he needed a change of underwear after that. I probably would have!

  69. knarlyknight Says:

    NL,
    Some fun! Shoe Dodgeball with the POTUS, a new fast paced computer game just in time for the Christmas holiday season… available at your local “Arabs R US” store…

    If this catches on, the press corps soon will have to go barefoot into their briefings/Q&A’s.

  70. shcb Says:

    from what I understand the shoe tosser works for a Baathist tv station. So of course he is pissed, Bush is the enemy, he killed his boss. I also understand he got the crap beat out of him by the other reporters in the room. Good for them. His employers want him released citing freedom of speech. amazing coming from a follower of Sadam.

  71. shcb Says:

    BREAKING NEWS

    MSNBC has just announced it is replacing Keith Olbermann with Muntazer al-Zaidi. “Negotiations with Mr. al-Zaidi have been difficult because of his unfortunate and totally unjust imprisonment” said Herb Tarlek, marketing director of MSNBC. “We appreciate everything Keith has done for the network but felt it was time for a change” said Tarlek. The network feels the American people are ready for an Arabic speaking, subtitled news hour. If a deal can be finalized it will bring a happy ending to what has been a troubling year for Tarlek who lost a bid to bring in several high profile French reporters in his effort to create an Anti American All The Time network. Negotiations broke down with the French after they refused to budge from their demands of a traditional French 38 minute work hour. Tarlek had said at the time “after commercials they only have to work 40 minutes!” Tarlek said he hasn’t been this excited since the great Turkey Drop of ’78.

    In a related note reports from Tehran say secret talks are being held to bring Olbermann to al Jazeera TV. The sports commentator turned political anchor-without-learning-anything-about-politics Olbermann said he was pleased with the progress of the secret talks saying the Arabs are really quite easy to negotiate with, an obvious dig to his arch nemesis, President Bush. “They have agreed to allow my wife to show her ankles in public, that would have been a show stopper” said Olbermann, “they are even going to let me choose my own weapon in the holy fight against the great Satan”. Talek added that the entire MSNBC family wishes Kieth well.

    (As do I)

  72. NorthernLite Says:

    That guy is a hero in Arab world now – he could probably run for president of Iraq and win.

    He spoke for millions of Iraqi’s when he threw his shoes at Bush’s head (the ultimate insult) and screamed “this is for killing millions of Iraqis, this is for destroying our country!”

    I still laugh my ass off when I watch the video. What a fitting end for Bush’s last trip to Iraq.

    Christmas came a little early for me this year.

  73. enkidu Says:

    http://www.fightingliberals.com/2008/12/old-shoes-update.html

    I say we just send a shoe or two to the White House before Obama comes in to clean up dumbya’s messes. I would like to find a big pile of dog shit, step in it then box up that ol shoe to send to our great leader, Commander Codpiece.

    Seriously tho, wwnj, can you name any bush successes (other than filling the Supreme Court with two more tighty righties)? I’ve listed a few of his enormous failures, surely such a zealot as you can sing the praises of this administration. it should be good for a few laughs (as your previous post was not. that one was just stupid)

  74. enkidu Says:

    btw – Al Zaidi is a Shiite (Baathists are typically Sunnis, but theys all brown to wwnjs, wiki identifies Al Baghdadia as a moderate Sunni sat channel, Al Zaidi’s stories were about Iraqi widows, orphans and so on)

    from wiki

    Detainment
    According to witnesses, al-Zaidi was “severely beaten” by security officers after he had been dragged out of the room following the shoe-throwing incident. As the man’s screaming could be heard outside, Bush said “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves.” Traces of blood were visible at the place where al-Zaidi had been dragged by security agents. One of his brothers said that a police officer who picked up Zaidi’s cellphone had threatened the family. The United States Secret Service and the Iraqi Police helped take custody of Al-Zaidi. Al-Zaidi was tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were confiscated as evidence. Al-Zaidi was interrogated by Iraqi and U.S. agents to ascertain whether anyone paid him to throw his shoes at Bush. In an interview to the BBC, his brother reported Muntadar al-Zaidi as having suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury.

    My question is did our Secret Service personnel participate in beating him in the hallway after he threw his shoes? Broken ribs, a broken hand, internal injuries, a black eye: whoooey sounds like we got us a candidate fer Aboo Griab! Them rednecks’ll fix him up right!

    wwnj, would you put Abu Griab on shrubbie’s successes molehill or throw it on top of the mountain of failures?

    Worst.
    President.
    Ever.

  75. shcb Says:

    Anybody seen Enky’s sense of humor? He seems to have lost it.

    Well, let’s see, we haven’t had another attack on our soil, this is due largely to killing them over there, but the US Patriot Act is also a large part of that success. The economy has been trudging along nicely during a plethora of disasters both natural and manmade. Libya gave up it’s nuclear ambitions without a shot fired, two countries have some sort of fledgling democracies where they never existed before. People in Iraq aren’t being fed into plastic chippers anymore. It seems Iran has been all but defeated in Iraq. Not bad, it could always be better, but not bad.

    Good for them, a little ass kick’n probably did him good. Abu Ghraib was a failure on the part of General Janis Karpinski, personally I’ve always been in favor of following the Geneva Conventions and simply execute soldiers out of uniform, then there wouldn’t be a need for these prisons, just more holes.

  76. knarlyknight Says:

    OMG, he’s insane. shcb’s last post would be hilarious if it weren’t so scary.

  77. enkidu Says:

    OK, I’ll go slow for the slow witted:

    1) we haven’t had another attack on our soil
    so we have to have TWO 3000 death terrorist attacks for it to ‘count’?
    you do recall 9/11 right wwnj? worst security failure ever
    -1 point (it should be -911, or perhaps -3000)

    2) this is due largely to killing them over there
    so you are finally admitting we’ve murdered millions (or at least many hundreds of thousands)? how many AQ were in Iraq before we stole their oil? answer: none
    +1/2 point for bush doing what rethugs do best: killing people

    3) but the US Patriot Act is also a large part of that success
    woohoo! spying without warrants and in violation of the law (to any purpose thugs can come up with…. hmmmm)
    +1

    4) The economy has been trudging along nicely during a plethora of disasters both natural and manmade
    you are absolutely insane – the economy has been doing ‘nicely’?
    sweet jesus give me strength
    - whatever the DOW has lost in the last 6 months
    call it -4000

    oh and -1 point for trying to sweep New Orleans under the rug

    5) Libya gave up it’s nuclear ambitions without a shot fired
    So your big success is getting a tin pot dictator to wind down a hopeless a-bomb program
    fine, +1/2 a point for shrubbie

    6) two countries have some sort of fledgling democracies where they never existed before.
    ‘democracies’ is a bit of a stretch… pro-western puppet governments?
    ruined economies, shattered lives, poverty, disease, privation
    plus the trillions in cost…
    heck of a job bushy!
    +1

    7) People in Iraq aren’t being fed into plastic chippers anymore
    no but we do beat the crap out of them for wacky protests like hurling their shoes at the worst president ever
    and we’ve killed an unknown number of innocent Iraqis (100,000? 2,000,000?)
    we’re making friends all over this happy planet!
    -1 or more… pick any number less than -1

    8) It seems Iran has been all but defeated in Iraq.
    Iran was never IN Iraq really – tho influential in the Shia south
    we’ve strengthened the mullahs power considerably
    hey how is their nuke program going ;-)
    -1

    The score thus far:
    -7002 to +3

    I’ll give shrubco points for their AIDS programs in Africa +1
    and he picked some Supreme Ct judges so another +1
    that seems to be his legacy…

    I’ll write up a better list of his enormous failures later
    your list of ‘successes’ is pretty damn thin for the most powerful man in the world
    pathetic

    almost forgot the ;-)

  78. shcb Says:

    Well, enky asked my opinion. You keep wanting us to adhere to the Geneva Conventions, let’s adhere to the Geneva Conventions, they are there to protect civilians, and these guys are putting those poor people in jeopardy by not giving us clear targets so they should pay the price, I’m just being fair to the innocent Iraqis. And you know, if they aren’t going to be more appreciative maybe we should just do like Clinton did and indiscriminately bomb the hell out of them the next time they screw with us. Leave the foot soldier back home and just carpet bomb one city after another until they cry uncle. Don’t rebuild anything or bury their dead. Now I don’t actually want to do any of that, as painful as what we are doing is, it is the right way. I also don’t think they are that unappreciative. Remember all those smiling faces holding up their purple finger after they voted?

  79. enkidu Says:

    Clinton carpet bombed cities?
    wow, you must have just popped in from some alternate universe

    perhaps you didn’t notice it in the Wingnuttia-verse, but a recent report says that the Iraqi ‘reconstruction’ effort has been a hopeless failure

    and I think many of those purple fingers you mentioned were the middle one

  80. shcb Says:

    You asked me what Bush’s accomplishments were, not what transpired during his administration. Most of the things you mentioned were either out of his control or were at least mitigated by his actions even though they weren’t solved. Or they were unfortunate consequences of correct decisions.

    As a small businessman you understand how tough this economy is better than most. At some point you will be forced to make some tough decisions, probably already have. If you work extra hard and extra smart maybe you will only have to lay off one part time employee, or cut wages a little. Your wages will be cut to be sure. The question is how will history view your actions, will it show that because of all you did you only had to lay off one person instead of four or five or will it show you as a failure because you laid off that one person. I would prefer to think of you as a success because by doing the right thing you mitigated a bad situation you had little control over.

  81. enkidu Says:

    you just stated Clinton carpet bombed cities
    please back that up with facts from this universe, not Wingnuttia
    thanks

  82. shcb Says:

    Actually I didn’t, I said Clinton indiscriminately bombed and maybe we should carpet bomb. Now of course Clinton didn’t indiscriminately bomb, the bombs all had targets I exaggerated a bit. Then I said I wasn’t advocating we carpet bomb. But Clinton tried and succeeded in winning a war without putting many troops on the ground. The problem of course is that we really didn’t know what we were hitting but civilian lives aren’t as important when it is a Democrat running things. In the Iraq war we have gone out of our way to not harm civilians, hard to do when the enemy is dressed the same as the civilians you are trying to not kill. Which is why we have the fourth Geneva Convention.

    This relates to Bush’s accomplishment in that he could have carpet bombed Iraq, Iran, Syria take your choice, ala Nixon or he could have saved his reputation by retaliating with a few air strikes like Clinton, or hid his head in the sand like Chamberlain. Instead he took on an ambitious plan to install a democracy, while killing bad guys one at a time, this is costly in treasure, lives and reputation. But he did it because it was the right thing to do long and short term, that is an accomplishment.

  83. enkidu Says:

    you did indeed say “we should just do like Clinton did and indiscriminately bomb the hell out of them the next time they screw with us… just carpet bomb one city after another…”

    btw – who is the “they?” to a wwnj it’s anyone (or anyone who doesn’t agree with current wwnj, well, anything.

    By all accounts the Iraq War – an illegal, unjustified, counterproductive folly – has killed between 100,000 and 2 million Iraqis. All to get your ‘bad guy’ and his WMDz. hey how did that work out? hooray wwnjs killed more ‘bad guys!’

    Clinton bombed a list of targets that ‘the intelligence’ said were vital parts of ‘the bad guys’ operations (note – I wasn’t happy about the bombings at the time – some targets yes, some no, obviously I had the benefit of hindsight). Before invading another country, perhaps we should have heeded the lesson of trusting ‘intelligence’ that serves a partisan end.

  84. shcb Says:

    why did you feel the need to add the ellpsis?

  85. enkidu Says:

    what? my point isn’t valid because I trimmed the fat?

    “And you know, if they aren’t going to be more appreciative maybe we should just do like Clinton did and indiscriminately bomb the hell out of them the next time they screw with us. Leave the foot soldier back home and just carpet bomb one city after another until they cry uncle.”

    This sounds just like your ‘we should nuke 10 million of em next time’ schtick

  86. shcb Says:

    Yes it does, now it is in context, you feebly tried to truncate my remarks to match your rebuttal. You do that all the time, you don’t listen to what people say, you twist what they say until it makes your point. if you can’t see that I didn’t say Clinton carpet bombed cities in that statement, I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.

    Could we nuke ‘em all, sure, we have the technology. That would be one more choice in the 5 options we have discussed here about what to do in the aftermath of 911, I think Bush chose the correct one.

    Just to be clear I said a friend who grew up in Baghdad wanted to nuke ‘em all, I don’t advocate that as being a good solution, Ayser did.

  87. enkidu Says:

    feebly?

    you just advocated carpet bombing cities and claimed Clinton indiscriminately bombed the hell out of ‘them’

    mb that works in the Wingnut universe, but here in reality, your words are clear

    “we should”
    you are advocating gigadeath for many many innocents
    have you no shame? no decency?

    sadly, the answer appears to be none and none

  88. enkidu Says:

    awww
    I am sorry (wink!) your son won’t get his birthday cake from the ShopRite

    http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/warren-county/index.ssf?/base/news-0/122923112231930.xml&coll=3

    hey where’s your sense of humor?

  89. shcb Says:

    you are an idiot

  90. enkidu Says:

    ah yes, the name calling

    you were advocating for the genocide of millions:

    “They kill a hundred thousand or so, we don’t convert, we retaliate, we kill 10 million, they finally give up.”

    http://www.lies.com/wp/2008/05/04/noah-does-the-math-on-hillarys-chances/#comment-95874

    You are doing it again with your fantasies about carpet bombing cities.
    That’ll sure fix The Them!

    ps – last time I checked there were over a Billion Thems – killing 1% of them is not a smart idea (plus over here in reality Pakistan is trembling on the knife’s edge of war with India or a military coup – how is the weather in the Wingnut Universe?)

  91. shcb Says:

    Here is part of what you left out “Here is the worst case…” I wasn’t advocating we nuke then I was saying what we are doing is trying to keep from having to retaliate, so we don’t have to kill 10 million.

    And you know good and well that is what I meant.

  92. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, you’re the last person that should be calling someone an idiot. No offence.

  93. NorthernLite Says:

    At least 100,000 Iraqis are dead. More than 2 million are refugees in Syria and Jordan. Another 2 million are internally displaced. Infrastructure has been wiped out.

    The military surge that Bush hailed in Baghdad as “one of the greatest successes in the history of the United States military” is a success only in that Iraqis are dying just in the dozens, not hundreds, every day.

    The sectarian massacres let loose by the occupation have been stopped only by the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad and other cities. Gone are the mixed Shiite, Sunni and Christian neighbourhoods that were a model for the Middle East. Scared people now live in religious and ethnic ghettoes behind barricades, walls and checkpoints.

    The surge is a success if it is defined as buying off, at $300 a month, nearly 100,000 Sunnis, half of them insurgents or sympathizers of the insurgency, whose commitment to peace will only be known once the trough is taken away.

    The Iraqi democracy that Bush praised features, post-Abu Ghraib, two U.S.-run jails with 15,000 Iraqi detainees, few of whom have been charged and, of those who have been, only 10 per cent convicted.

    “The Iraqi journalist seized an opportunity that many Iraqis would wish for themselves.

    “Consider years of subjugation to a hated occupier. Living daily with trigger-happy security contractors bullying their way through the streets. Think of innumerable checkpoints, walls, curfews and road closures. Your front door being kicked in for searches. House-shaking overflights by Blackhawks that make your children tremble.

    “Add the violence, the ever-present threat of it and the inescapable fear. Add also the collapse of services and mass unemployment.

    “For those living and dying through all this, the shoe-guy chose the ideal target at the perfect moment, when Bush himself is signalling the U.S. departure.”

    Copied from here: http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/555603

  94. shcb Says:

    How could I possibly take offense :-) I really wanted to call Enky an asshole, but that sounded too strong. I am not calling him an idiot because of his ideas just as I hope you are not calling me an idiot for mine, they are just opinions, none of us are idiots here, we are all articulate and intelligent. What pisses me off is that he doesn’t disagree with me on what I said and God knows there are ample differences, but that he twist what I say to neatly fit his bigoted biases. And I use the word bigoted advisedly.

  95. enkidu Says:

    sorry NL, when you use things like facts and figures, the wwnj mind shunts itself into the Wingnut Universe, where up is down, black is white, right is wrong, bush was right and Obama is a commie/marxist/fascist/mooslman (also not eligible to BE teh pretzlnitwit because he is Malcom X’s lovechild, or he was born in Kenya or both! kookookachoo).

    It is pretty plain that wwnj is advocating carpet bombing cities (jes like Clinton did!) and a 2X Holocaust if The Them strike us. Just read my quotes from dear wwnj’s posts. Anyone with a functioning cerebellum knows “good and well” what you meant wwnj. You want to kill at least 100:1 Bad Guys to Good Guys and you are relatively eager to use nuclear weapons to do it. The good ol USofA has killed hundreds of thousands to perhaps millions of Iraqis by invading and occupying their country, but to wwnj theys all Bad Guys (even the women and children of course).

    There is a sickness or something that infects wingnuts (crazy, afactual, angry, violent, humorless cretinism).

  96. enkidu Says:

    I quoted you in your entirety and it didn’t change a whit of the meaning.

    I’m a bigot? really?
    from the guy who has repeatedly said the financial crisis is the fault of blacks and hispanics (and I am sure you used much more colorful language in person).

    If you want to call me a bigot for opposing Rethugglican folly, well you can call me any name you like, but you will find a whole lot more progressives willing to actually stand and fight you morans. Eight years of the worst ‘leadership’ this country has ever suffered through has taken us to the brink of epic disaster. But you can’t face any of it and wallow in your hate radio ignorance. Enjoy the pig sty. But everyone around you knows you are covered in your own excrement.

  97. shcb Says:

    I guess we’ll let the jury decide, NL, did I advocate nuking or carpet bombing the Arabs? Read what I said carefully.

  98. knarlyknight Says:

    Since when is NL the jury? Since when does one side get to pick a jury? And since when is a jury made up of one guy, that sounds more like a judge to me. shcb, you’re really off your game lately.

  99. shcb Says:

    you are more than welcome to join the kangaroo court, NL was just handy you were off doing something unimportant like playing with your kids :-)

  100. knarlyknight Says:

    Thx shcb but I’ll step aside as I’m too biased on this one (besides I read it just the same as Enk does).

    Yea, I was doing something unimportant – taking my ’94 Ford Explorer back to the shop for a new (used) drive shaft, that’ll be another $350 bucks – the day before yesterday the differential was pulled apart and minor broken parts replaced but that didn’t fix the banging sound but cost $560. I paid $10,000 for it four years ago from a decent used car dealer with a one year warranty but in the past 3 years it’s cost about $7500 in repairs and is only worth about $4000 now. That’s $13,500 in depreciation and repairs and twice as much if you add in the cost of my frustration. I’d love to see the big three go bankrupt and their plants get bought up by Toyota.

  101. shcb Says:

    ouch, but you know I had the same problem with a Volkswagon years ago and the F150 I have now has been the best vehicle I’ve ever had, it’s a ’99, had 130k when I bought it for $7,000, I’ve put a set of tires and a battery in it in the last 6 years. So I’m not sure it really makes a difference, I think you get good ones and bad ones.

    funny story, I bought it from a lady that had it parked by the highway with a for sale sign on it. In the time it took me to get the money from the bank someone put it on blocks and stole all the tires and wheels, the poor gal had to buy new tires and wheels. She still owed $9000 on the lease and then had to pay $2000 for wheels and tires. I’m sure her insurance paid for it but still…

  102. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Wait, the big three need to go under because your 10 year old car is kinda crappy?

    I have a friend that fried 3 front wheel bearings on a Honda. I guess they should go under too…

  103. knarlyknight Says:

    Jayson, it’s 14 years old, not ten. It’s been pampered for the last 4 years and the engine purrs because most I have replaced almost all the moving parts, plus the transmission at 160,000 km and now the rest of the power train needs replacing even though I drive as if the cops are on my tail so as to conserve gas. Regardless, it keeps finding new things to break – a fuel pump (located in the gas tank so that costs $450 to replace instead of $150), handles and knobs fall off, etc. Yea, maybe having the big three “go under” is too kind, let’s carpet bomb the area instead (sorry Enk, but I’m pissed and no matter what we do some innocents will get hurt anyway). I know, I’m the fool for not dumping it at 150,000 km.

    My previous vehicle was a Ford Windstar van, it was okay except it had freakish intermittent electrical problems that no mechanic at the Ford dealership could ever figure out. I finally got tired of replacing batteries and getting stranded (out in the Wind, under the Stars) with no power and so I traded it for the Ford “Exploder”. My vehicle 2 years before that was an Acura Integra, repairs were expensive but at least its parts didn’t fall apart on a regular basis like chunks of glaciers falling off Fjords.

    Hey Jason, they made the video game I was suggesting: http://www.sockandawe.com

  104. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I’m just saying is all.

    Personal experience with vehicles seems to really vary greatly. I had a 85 Pontiac that made it to 285,000 miles with normal maintenance, a water pump and an alternator.

  105. shcb Says:

    my wife and I have gotten into a routine where we buy a new car every five years, at the end of the 5 years I start driving it and she gets the new car, at the end of 10 or 12 years we throw the damn thing away. of course I screwed that up by buying a used truck so now we are out of sync. We have one car payment just like a utility payment. any cars for the kids and such have to be bought with cash or we don’t buy them.

  106. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, that makes sense if you can stand the intial new car depreciation rates, it’s a trade off between repairs and depreciation, it might make more sense to get your wife a two year old “new” car and go from there, but I’m with you on scrapping the beasts at around 10 years.

    Yea, I know Jayson, and I agree it varies greatly. I’m just venting off topic and that’s out of place here.

    Unless you agree that the thinking is similar: conspiracy theorists have invested so much in their faulty theory already that they won’t face the reality that a new theory is needed.

    That sort of fits: So much cash has been thrown at the Fjord already with the idea that if I just replaced this one last major faulty part then there is surely nothing else major that could end up failing with it. But it is past time to face the music: there is always something else.

    Now it is to the point where all major elements have been replaced and work yet I want to junk it simply because the brakes will need replacing.

    Aargh. Just learned that the mechanic was not able to fix the problem completely, the thumping is still there although a little quieter. The good news is that he is not going to charge me for the new drive shaft and his 4 hours of work today because the problem is not fixed.

    So do I trade it in for a GM or a Honda?

  107. shcb Says:

    But you see there is no depreciation if you never intend on selling the car or you are going to get 90% of its life before you sell it for a few hundred dollars. This last car my wife got was a few months old, I think it had 5,000 miles on it so we don’t always get brand new but close enough. The hard part is making that initial new car investment and resigning yourself to a perpetual car payment. In a couple cases the cars even made it a few years after I was finished with them for our daughters cars. We usually just donate them to charity and take the tax write off. I doubt we get a better deal but it is nice to have the financing taken care of before we go shopping, and don’t trade anything in. there is no haggling, I just ask the price and go down the street and ask the next guy.

    For what it’s worth we have had the best luck with the Dodge mini vans.

  108. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I’d say go GM. They’re offering a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and all of the Chevy’s are flex-fuel as factory default if that appeals to you.

  109. NorthernLite Says:

    I have owned a Ford and now a GM pick-up, and they have both treated me very well. I think those companies make better trucks than cars, imo. The both make great trucks.

  110. shcb Says:

    their two biggest sellers are the F150 and the Silverado. which is part of the problem with this bailout, one of the conditions that will be imposed is more fuel efficient vehicles. at least right now For isn’t taking the bait

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