Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Blog Is Dead, Long Live the Blog

I just started up this blog, but now I am closing it. Now I am working on another site, teaming up with Pat from Brainster (he came up with a better title).

So now we present to you Screw Loose Change We are looking forward to making it the center of all thinks debunking these moonbat theories, so add it your bookmarks or blogroll and feel free to let us know what you think, help from sane logical people is accepted.

Monday, May 01, 2006

USA Today on Loose Change

They must be part of the coverup too!

'They aren't truth-tellers'

Most of what the film alleges is refuted by the evidence at hand. Anything not answered definitively by the government is interpreted by the film as proof of a coverup.

Among the assertions in Loose Change is that a missile hit the Pentagon even though eyewitnesses saw the jet, numerous pieces of wreckage were found including the flight recorder, and those on the flight and in its path at the Pentagon are dead.

There is also the claim that because jet fuel burns at up to 1,500 degrees and steel melts at 2,750 degrees, the World Trade Center's infrastructure could not have been brought down by the airliners. However, as reported by the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, steel loses 50% of its strength at 1,200 degrees, enough for a failure.

"The only thing they (the filmmakers) seem to have gotten right about the Sept. 11 attacks is the date when they occurred," says Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.

"They aren't truth-tellers looking to save the world," she says. "They're con artists hoping to sucker conspiracy-theory paranoids or anti-government malcontents into shelling out their hard-earned dollars."

Loose Screw #4

Loose Change, along with the other conspiracy theories, claims that the fact that the towers collapsed "straight down" as proof that it was a controlled demolition. In an effort to sound scientific they often also add "into its own footprint." Now personally I thought this whole "straight down" thing was resolved several hundred years ago by a famous Englishman, but I guessed I missed something.

One thing they can't explain is, how else is a building supposed to collapse? Straight up? Sideways? Spin around a few times and topple over like Ted Kennedy after a cocktail party? Well they can't answer it, but there is one person who can, MIT engineering professor Dr. Thomas Eagar for the PBS Nova show titled "Why the Towers Fell?"

NOVA: The Twin Towers collapsed essentially straight down. Was there any chance they could have tipped over?

Eagar: It's really not possible in this case. In our normal experience, we deal with small things, say, a glass of water, that might tip over, and we don't realize how far something has to tip proportional to its base. The base of the World Trade Center was 208 feet on a side, and that means it would have had to have tipped at least 100 feet to one side in order to move its center of gravity from the center of the building out beyond its base. That would have been a tremendous amount of bending. In a building that is mostly air, as the World Trade Center was, there would have been buckling columns, and it would have come straight down before it ever tipped over.Have you ever seen the demolition of buildings? They blow them up, and they implode. Well, I once asked demolition experts, "How do you get it to implode and not fall outward?" They said, "Oh, it's really how you time and place the explosives." I always accepted that answer, until the World Trade Center, when I thought about it myself. And that's not the correct answer. The correct answer is, there's no other way for them to go but down. They're too big. With anything that massive -- each of the World Trade Center towers weighed half a million tons -- there's nothing that can exert a big enough force to push it sideways.

Of course, in following Rules of Conspiracy Theories: Rule #4, an engineering professor for the most prestigious technical school in the world could not be a credible authority. He must be in on the conspiracy!

Loose Screw #3

At around the 21 minute mark, Loose Change claims that an A3 Skywarrior hit the pentagon, instead of a Boeing 757. This is a change since most of the tinfoil hat crowd claim it was a cruise missile, or a C-130, or a bunker buster bomb, or a learjet, or a truck bomb, or all 5 at once! Conspiracy theories need no consistency or logic, that is what makes them fun.

In any case, the filmmakers leave out one small detail. This all happened in broad daylight. Hundreds, if not thousands of people saw the plane coming for impact. Here are a few of their statements.

"USAToday.com Editor Joel Sucherman saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to right across his field of vision as he commuted to work Tuesday morning. It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing gear was down or any of the horror-struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon 100 yards away. "

"'I saw the tail of a large airliner. ... It plowed right into the Pentagon," said an Associated Press Radio reporter who witnessed the crash. 'There is billowing black smoke.'"

"Omar Campo, a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over his head. 'It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane,' Mr Campo said.

"A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. "'It added power on its way in,' he said. 'The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball.'"

"Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon as the road winds and we line up to cross the 14th Street bridge heading into the District of Columbia. I don’t know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just 'No, no, no, no,' because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash."

It is just amazing that all these eyewitnesses, including a professional pilot, managed to confuse these two planes in broad daylight. I mean, I can barely tell them apart.

Keep in mind, that an A3, although considerably smaller than a 757, still has a 74 foot wingspan. So much for the 16 foot hole in the wall theory. Oh well, who says conspiracy theories have to be consistent?

Loose Screw #2

At the 22 minute mark, Loose Change, referring to the damage at the Pentagon claims "The only damage to the outer wall is a single hole, no more than 16 feet in diameter."

Oh really, here is a picture of the Pentagon. It is a bit hard to see through the smoke (click to enlarge), but that hole is a hell of a lot bigger than 16 feet. Compare it to the firetruck just in front of it, which is considerably more than 16 feet long.

If you look at the damage after the fire is put out, you also see the extent of the damage. Look at how much rubble is piled up in the front.

It is quite obvious the hole is around 40 meters across, which amazingly also happens to be the wingspan of a 757. What an amazing coincidence!

Purdue University, interestingly enough, came out with a computer simulation of the crash. It almost exactly mimics the damage, a wide hole in the outer ring, growing increasingly smaller through 2 more rings. You can see it here.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Loose Screw #1

For our first lie from the movie "Loose Change", midway through this farce, in an illogical attempt to prove that a crashing airplane could not have caused the World Trade Centers to collapse, the movie claims a B-52 crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945 without causing a collapse.

This is quite an accomplishment since the B-52 is a giant bomber with 8 engines, that did not fly until 1954, nearly nine years later.

The bomber that crashed into the Empire State Building was in fact a much smaller B-25 bomber that was lost in the fog. Well, maybe our filmmakers are just verbally dyslexic? So bad fact checking aside, how is this relevant? Well let us look:

33,000 lbs normally loaded
974 gallon fuel load
230 MPH cruising speed

450,000 lbs maximum takeoff weight
23,980 gallon fuel load
530 MPH cruising speed

Using the formula, F=MA, which any high school physics student should know, which of the two airplanes would have caused more damage upon impact? Discuss among yourselves

Rules of Conspiracy Theories

I would like to start by defining the rules of conspiracy theories. They differ from normal thought and logic, but they tend to follow these general rules.

1. It is only necessary to observe the evidence that you wish to.

For example, the moonbats who believe that a cruise missile hit the Pentagon. As "proof" of this they cite a man who said he saw a plane hit the pentagon "like a cruise missile", ignoring the concept of a simile, and the fact that he, along with thousands of other people saw a "plane" hit the pentagon.

2. A lack of evidence is only proof of the depth of the cover-up.

Pretty self explanatory, I would have the evidence if only they hadn't covered it up so well!

3. Anyone who doesn't agree with a conspiracy theory is either part of the cover-up (see rule 2) or just a close minded drone of the government.

4. The law of inverse proportionality of authority.

The validity of any source is inversely proportional to its authoritativeness .

Any government commission, serious academic (not those who teach humanities at Berkeley), law enforcement official, or politician, ie. the people who are in the position to actually know, are immediately suspect because they were probably involved in the conspiracy in the first place. Someone completely removed from the situation, like some guy posting on his website while watching reruns of Star Trek in his parents' basement is more likely to be untainted.

5. Occams corollary: The complexity and difficulty of a conspiracy theory is only proof of the depth and deviousness of the conspiracy.

6. The Law of Infinite Permutations: Even in the case that an infinite amount of statements are proven wrong an equally infinite amount of new statements can be made.

For example: in the discussion I had the moonbat asserted that no black boxes were found from the 9/11 crashes. When I pointed out that the black boxes from the Pentagon and Pennsylvania crashes had in fact been found, he changed his argument to "OK, well 2 of them have been found, but the data has not been released". I then pointed out that in fact they played the cockpit voice recorders to members of the families who requested. His argument then changed to, well they were probably faked. And this of course can go on ad infinitum.

In mathematical terms:

Conspiracy Theorist (CT) states 2 + 2 = 5
Level Headed Skeptic (LHS) proves this is false 2 + 2 = 4
CT counters, no 2 + 3 = 6
LHS proves otherwise, 2 + 3 = 5
CT counters, no 2 + 4 = 7...

And this of course goes on forever. Thus CT can never actually be proven wrong.

Welcome To My New Blog

I, like a lot of Americans have been offended by the idiocy of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, people who will go to any means to smear their own country, while tacitly supporting those who want to kill us. I am particularly appalled by the misleading tactics, omissions, logical leaps, and general lies of the Internet movie Loose Change, and believe it is time someone spoke up and pointed this dishonesty out. I am dedicating this site to doing so. If anyone would like to make a contribution, please let me know.