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Thread: Evidence We're in a Third--or Fourth--Turning - Page 161

Post#4001 at 09-06-2002 12:45 PM by Child of Socrates [at Cybrarian from America's Dairyland, 1961 cohort joined Sep 2001 #posts 14,092]
09-06-2002, 12:45 PM #4001
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Cybrarian from America's Dairyland, 1961 cohort

Bring this general out of retirement! NOW!!!

Post#4002 at 09-08-2002 02:27 PM by Jim Blowers [at Virginia joined Aug 2001 #posts 55]
09-08-2002, 02:27 PM #4002
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Aug 2001

Now is the time

The Fourth Turning has come. This morning when I went to church, the responsive reading began with:

"Now is the time for turning."

There it is, folks. You just heard it at church. We are turning. It's the Fourth Turning.

Actually I agree with Bill and Neil that it is too early to tell yet. I am including a quote of the rest of the reading. This suggests to me that a Third Turning is not an Unraveling, a turn to less structure and order. On the contrary. it is a turning to more structure and order. The same things start to happen over and over again. The same routine, the same type of news, the same celebrity circuses, the same media hype. Thus our society becomes stagnant. To move it again needs a jolt, something out of the routine and orderly, to move us off this stable equilibrium and to grow towards new heights.

Here is the quote:

"Now is the time for turning. The leaves are beginning to turn from green to red and orange. The birds are beginning to turn and are heading once more towards the south. The animals are beginning to turn to storing their food for the winter. For leaves, birds, and animals turning comes instinctively. But for us turning does not come so easily. It takes an act of will for us to make a turn. It means breaking with old habits. It means admitting that we have been wrong; and this is never easy. It means losing face; it means starting all over again, and this is always painful. It means saying: I am sorry. It means recognizing that we have the ability to change. These things are hard to do. But unless we turn, we will be trapped forever in yesterday's ways. God, help us to turn - from callousness to sensitivity, from hostility to love, from pettiness to purpose, from envy to contentment, from carelessness to discipline, from fear to faith. Turn us around, O God, and bring us back towards You. Revive our lives, as at the beginning. And turn us towards each other, God, for in isolation there is no life." - Jack Riemer

Jim Blowers

Post#4003 at 09-09-2002 01:19 AM by posy [at Brandon, Florida joined Sep 2001 #posts 62]
09-09-2002, 01:19 AM #4003
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Brandon, Florida

culture wars

"Why Kool-Aid drinkers continue to buy into her shuck and jive is beyond me."

The wing nuts of both the Left and Right always go for the shuck and jive. They become paranoid from listening to their own fears, and love to scare themselves to death. Witness the Right's paranoia about Hillary. The Left was just the same about Nixon, Reagan, the "homefront powers", and just about any rightist offering. In the old days the media presented the Libbers, the Homos, the weathermen, various black power groups, even Jesse Jax and a host of other professional leftists as boogie men. These so-called left icons are used by the media to get viewers and the wing nuts to whip up the folks. Especially the barf Clintons, who are only considered leftists by the right wing kool-aiders. I sware, the culture wars would be funny if they were not so dangerous.

Post#4004 at 09-09-2002 05:26 AM by Rain Man [at Bendigo, Australia joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,303]
09-09-2002, 05:26 AM #4004
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Bendigo, Australia

Re: culture wars

Quote Originally Posted by posy
The wing nuts of both the Left and Right always go for the shuck and jive. They become paranoid from listening to their own fears, and love to scare themselves to death. Witness the Right's paranoia about Hillary. The Left was just the same about Nixon, Reagan, the "homefront powers", and just about any rightist offering. In the old days the media presented the Libbers, the Homos, the weathermen, various black power groups, even Jesse Jax and a host of other professional leftists as boogie men. These so-called left icons are used by the media to get viewers and the wing nuts to whip up the folks. Especially the barf Clintons, who are only considered leftists by the right wing kool-aiders. I sware, the culture wars would be funny if they were not so dangerous.
That quote is quite reflective of the sheer insanity the USA went through in the 1960's and 1970's and insanity, that was never achieved in Australia. An Australian commendator Gerard Henderson said that Australia never had it's own version of the Weathermen or the Black Panthers, or had its inner cities burn year after year.

Post#4005 at 09-09-2002 07:54 AM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
09-09-2002, 07:54 AM #4005
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Pretty creepy if it ain't 4T:

And the creepiest of all (hehe):

Post#4006 at 09-09-2002 10:51 AM by monoghan [at Ohio joined Jun 2002 #posts 1,189]
09-09-2002, 10:51 AM #4006
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That is Mad magazine 1T material....parody.

Now if the government does it for real, then 4T height of crisis.

Post#4007 at 09-09-2002 12:46 PM by monoghan [at Ohio joined Jun 2002 #posts 1,189]
09-09-2002, 12:46 PM #4007
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Maybe 3T After All

The whole world is debating whether the US should invade Iraq and ABC News (see Drudge Report) will air an interview with one of Saddam's mistresses and will report that Saddam uses Viagra!

Michael Eisner is so 3T! No wonder Disney stock is dropping.

Post#4008 at 09-10-2002 11:19 PM by Hari Seldon [at Trantor joined Jun 2002 #posts 47]
09-10-2002, 11:19 PM #4008
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Jun 2002

Status of the economy

To quote, "A modest rise in chip and automotive stocks pushed major markets higher Tuesday, even amid reports of new terrorism threats on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.."

Yet trading has been very light as of late, and is expected to remain so for at least tomorrow. I read something somewhere, where an analyst said that whatever direction the markets showed between labor day and 9-11 would set the stage for what will happen after 9-11. In other words, if stocks went south consistently in this time period, then we might go below the july lows. But if they perform well, then we may see stronger conviction in the markets in the coming months.

Yet what seems to have been the case? Does light trading volume really demonstrate anything? I thought that trading volume was supposed to pick up significantly after labor day. Perhaps there is still too much anxiety and lack of certainty about which direction stocks will go after wednesday.

As for how this indicates the turning we are now in, well I can see us in either a 3T or 4T, but most of it really depends on what happens in the next few days. We could be in a 3T in which there is general pessimism and problems are being viewed as isolated ones--our economic woes are not fundamentally related to political problems or terrorism. Yet should the economy really start to fall apart, and at a somewhat alarming rate, then people will begin to think twice about our political system and other once seemingly unrelated things.

The events of 9-11 and a few days afterward certainly felt as if there were a domino-effect, started by a catalyst, affecting society in every way. Yet it seems as though society quickly forgot that feeling--that sense of fear and urgency and horrifying excitement. It is certainly possible that this year is similar to 1930 of the previous cycle, as many have been saying. Yet, it really does not seem to me that our social order spiralled into chaos to the extent that a new order is now neccessary. Or perhaps this is not supposed to happen until people actually realize that "things HAVE changed" forever after the catalyst. Yet my intuition tells me that the terrorist attacks and our immediate response (a month or so afterward) were NOT the point of no return.

I think that there have been a great many "catalyst candidates" in the last few years, especially in the last year. The Election of 2000 could certainly have spiralled out of control, if the generations were ready for their new phase of life. 9-11 has probably been the strongest cadidate so far, yet the response (at least the immediate one) seems to still be classic 3T to me--surgical elimination of the problem (elimination of the taliban and al qaeda). Even the reorganization of the government may have the appearance of "sweeping changes" but in reality nothing fundamental has been changed. Only surface issues have been addressed.

Other "catalyst candidates" have been the Enron fiasco, which lead to much dicussion, but certainly did not open up too many other issues. Yet WorldCom had much more of a reaction, most likely because of the size of the company. The stock markets looked as if they were going to continue going down without end. Yet, just as talks of a "crash" causing a depression like that of the 1930s was abound, the economic woes went away, although without much conviction. And then the whole ordeal with Iraq seems to also be increasing societal anxiety and confusion about the direction of our country.

If I were to make an assessment as to where we actually are today, I would have to say that we are most likely in the very late 3T, on the edge of a sword, just waiting for a large enough breeze (the first hints of Winter) to push us into a crisis era. That society has withstood without completely collapsing, I think, says much of how the generations are not yet quite ready for their next life stages, and perhaps how well we may be following the "timeline" set up by previous generations and turnings. Yet, it also shows how close we are to the turning, in that the reaction of society has been increasingly severe with each new event. Yet, whenever it seems so likely for the new upsetting issue to spill over into other facets of society, the flames are extinguished, leaving us in an ever-increasingly pessimistic 3T.

I would appreciate any thoughts anyone may have this speculation of mine.
Hari Seldon (1984)

I, creator of the Foundation, predictor of the Era of Barbarism, have arrived! And not a moment too soon! Although S&H theory cannot stand up to my psychohistory, I shall entertain myself in this forum nevertheless!

Post#4009 at 09-11-2002 01:36 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
09-11-2002, 01:36 PM #4009
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Cove Hold, Carver, MA

A New Birth of Freedom


I think on 9.12, I posted that 9.11 was not the equivalent of Pearl Harbor, but was more like the 29 Crash. FDR's "Four Freedoms" speech in which he advocated superpower style intervention world wide came nearly a year before Pearl Harbor. At Pearl, the US had already committed to a big government that intervened in the economy and had left isolationism behind. The stock market crash occurred at a time when the nation had not yet girded itself for a major change, and had not identified the direction of change.

I have since seen several posts mentioning a year's pause between the crash and the start of serious debate on whether and how the nation might have to change. During this pause, there was strong hope that things might return to normal. When it became clear that things were not returning to normal, the regeneracy got serious, the debate that led to FDR's New Deal and the US as a superpower began.

I quite concur that there have been many mini-catalysts illustrating different problems. 9.11, E2K and Enron illustrate many flaws, foreign and domestic. The debate, however, is centered on Iraq. Should we invade?

My own views suggest we must address the underlying issues beneath the assorted catalysts. Can we create a political party that cares more for the people than the special interests. Can we (should we) aid and enable people far abroad in resolving their ethnic and economic difficulties. Must we, if we do not aid and resolve other people, at least free ourselves from economic entanglements with regimes that do not respect human rights, and engage in terror (use of violence against civilian targets.) Our support of Israel and Saudi Arabia has made us part of their internal struggles.

More basically, can we entangle ourselves in violent injustice at a time when fanatics are learning to wield weapons of mass destruction. Yes, we can and must fight terror. No, we cannot reward terror by caving into demands. No, because a terrorist fights for a given cause, we cannot assume the terrorist's cause is unjust, we cannot fight to make sure the injustice stands.

Capitalism and democracy have almost triumphed over the older autocratic feudal, fascist, communist and theocratic forms of government. However, capitalism and democracy are still tainted by echoes of old imperialism. The West once blatantly took lands from native peoples using force. The West once seized cheap raw materials from distant lands, creating vibrant economies at home, while leaving the land from which the resources were taken in poverty. These actions were unjust. While there is less injustice now than long ago, the question is whether we shall strive to significantly reduce what injustice remains. This one question has many military, ethnic, religious, political, economic and ecological ramifications. I do not believe the solution will come by military force only.

But my vision is hardly the consensus of my nation. We are not yet united and agreed on a course of action. As the course of action required is complex, we won't achieve consensus for some time. Meanwhile, the problems seem inescapable. The pressure is too great for the boiler. Leaks will continue to spring up. Catalyst events will continue. The basic question is whether the military industrial complex can continue to work for profits, or whether the interests of the people can triumph over the interests of those seeking or holding power.

FDR supposedly created the military industrial complex to spread the four freedoms - from want, from fear, of worship, of speech - everywhere in the world. It is self evident that governments exist to secure these rights. If said governments no longer work in the interests of the people, these governments must be changed.

Or, so a wise man once suggested, roughly three times four score and seven years ago...

Post#4010 at 09-11-2002 03:10 PM by cbailey [at B. 1950 joined Sep 2001 #posts 1,559]
09-11-2002, 03:10 PM #4010
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B. 1950

About Face?

I felt like we are still unraveling when I saw Col. David Hackworth ("About Face"..most decorated soldier....) on a MSNBC Business show giving his opinion on whether War with Iraq would make the Dow Jones go up or down.

I used to respect Hackworth.

Post#4011 at 09-11-2002 03:18 PM by Tom Mazanec [at NE Ohio 1958 joined Sep 2001 #posts 1,511]
09-11-2002, 03:18 PM #4011
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NE Ohio 1958

Americans' legal rights shrink


David Kravets
Associated Press

The government has imposed many new limits on Americans' legal rights as it fights a war on terror, fundamentally altering the nation's delicate balance between liberty and security.

The changes, including the authority in terror cases to imprison Americans indefinitely, without charges or defense lawyers, substantially expand the government's ability to investigate, arrest, try and detain.

From Our Advertiser

They grant law enforcement easier access to Americans' personal lives while keeping many government operations secret.

And the idea that law-abiding citizens can freely associate with other law-abiding citizens without the threat of government surveillance no longer holds.

The Bush administration will not abuse these far-reaching powers, said Viet Dinh, an assistant U.S. attorney general: "I think security exists for liberty to flourish, and liberty cannot exist without order and security," Dinh said.

Still, even supporters are wary.

"One has to pray that those powers are used responsibly," said Charlie Intriago, a former federal prosecutor and money laundering expert in Miami who said the new provisions could help intercept terrorists' finances.

The USA Patriot Act, hurriedly adopted by Congress and signed by Bush six weeks after the terror attacks, tipped laws in the government's favor in 350 subject areas involving 40 federal agencies.

The Bush administration has since imposed other legal changes without congressional consent, such as allowing federal agents to monitor attorney-client conversations in federal prisons and encouraging bureaucrats to deny public access to many documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

The FBI can monitor political and religious meetings inside the United States now, even when there's no suspicion a crime has been committed, a policy abandoned in the 1970s amid outrage over J. Edgar Hoover's surveillance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists.

The American Civil Liberties Union, media companies and other organizations are challenging many of the changes.

"Are we any safer as a nation? I don't know," said Anthony Romero, the ACLU's executive director. "Are we less free? You bet."

In a poll conducted for the Associated Press by ICR/International Communications Research of Media, Pa., 63 percent said they were concerned that the new measures could end up restricting Americans' individual freedoms.

Of those, 30 percent of the 1,001 responding adults were "very concerned" and 33 percent "somewhat concerned."

The telephone poll taken Aug. 2-6 has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Americans may never know how valid their concerns are, since everything about terror-related investigations is secret.

The administration isn't required to disclose how it is implementing the fundamental changes, making oversight - let alone court challenges - exceedingly difficult.

The Patriot Act allows searches of medical and financial records, computer and telephone communications, even for the books Americans borrow from the library.

Judges approve these top-secret warrants in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

Established to target "foreign powers," FISA now also applies to U.S. citizens, who are no longer protected by the bread-and-butter legal standard of probable cause - prosecutors need only say the search will assist a terror probe.

Dinh credited these changes with reducing the risk of terror, but he wouldn't reveal specifics. "Many of our successes will have to be celebrated in secret," he said.

What is known is that thousands of Middle Eastern men who have entered the United States since 2000 have been questioned and detained.

Many were quietly deported after immigration hearings that are no longer public.

The administration is appealing a judge's order to reveal their names, saying that the president's prosecution of the terror war can't be challenged and that civilian courts have no authority over their detention.

Some of the new surveillance measures expire by 2006, but Congress can extend them if the open-ended war on terror continues. "At what time is this war over?" Dinh said. "That I cannot answer."

? 2002 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.

Post#4012 at 09-11-2002 03:32 PM by Number Two [at joined Jul 2002 #posts 446]
09-11-2002, 03:32 PM #4012
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Re: About Face?

Quote Originally Posted by cbailey
I felt like we are still unraveling when I saw Col. David Hackworth ("About Face"..most decorated soldier....) on a MSNBC Business show giving his opinion on whether War with Iraq would make the Dow Jones go up or down.

I used to respect Hackworth.
well, it's called the DOW jones; if it were supposed to go up it would be called the U jones :-) but seriously... that sounds very 3T to me - to worry that much about an indicator like that which means MUCH less than it seems to

Post#4013 at 09-11-2002 05:40 PM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
09-11-2002, 05:40 PM #4013
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Pat Buchanan foresees a very nasty sequence of events resulting from an Iraqi invasion. He paints the picture of a 4T conflict:

(For educ. and discussion)

The War Party's imperial plans

Posted: September 11, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Patrick J. Buchanan

? 2002 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

The fires had not yet gone out at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a year ago, before the War Party had introduced its revised plans for American empire.

What many saw as a horrific atrocity and tragedy, they saw instantly as an opportunity to achieve U.S. hegemony over an alienated Islamic world.

President Bush initially directed America's righteous wrath and military power at al-Qaida. But in his "axis-of-evil" address, he signed on to the War Party's agenda.

What lies ahead? When America invades Iraq, it will have to destroy Saddam and all his weapons of mass destruction. Else, the war will have been a failure. And to ensure destruction of those weapons, we must occupy Iraq. If you would see what follows, pull out a map.

With Americans controlling Iraq, Syria is virtually surrounded by hostile powers: Israel on the Golan, Turks and Kurds to the north, U.S. power to the west in Iraq and south in Jordan. Syrian President Assad will be forced to pull his army out of Lebanon, leaving Israel free to reinvade Lebanon to settle accounts with Hezbollah.

Now look to Iran. With Americans occupying Iraq, Iran is completely surrounded: Americans and Turks to the west, U.S. power in the Gulf and Arabian Sea to the south, in Afghanistan to the east and in the old Soviet republics to the north. U.S. warplanes will be positioned to interdict any flights to Lebanon to support Hezbollah.

Iraq is the key to the Middle East. As long as we occupy Iraq, we are the hegemonic power in the region. And after we occupy it, a window of opportunity will open ? to attack Syria and Iran before they acquire weapons of mass destruction.

This is the vision that enthralls the War Party ? "World War IV," as they call it ? a series of "cakewalks," short sharp wars on Iraq, Syria and Iran to eliminate the Islamic terrorist threat to us and Israel for generations.

No wonder Ariel Sharon and his Amen Corner are exhilarated. They see America's war on Iraq as killing off one enemy and giving Israel freedom to deal summarily with two more: Hezbollah and the Palestinians. Two jumps ahead of us, the Israelis are already talking up the need for us to deal with Libya, as well.

Anyone who believes America can finish Saddam and go home deceives himself. With Iraq's military crushed, the country will come apart. Kurds in the north and Shi'ites in the south will try to break away, and Iraq will be at the mercy of its mortal enemy, Iran. U.S. troops will have to remain to hold Iraq together, to find and destroy those weapons, to democratize the regime, and to deter Iran from biting off a chunk and dominating the Gulf.

Recall: After we crushed Germany and Japan in World War II, both were powerless to reassume their historic roles of containing Russia and China. So, America, at a cost of 100,000 dead in Vietnam and Korea, had to assume those roles. With Iraq in ruins, America will have to assume the permanent role of Policeman of the Persian Gulf.

But is this not a splendid vision, asks the War Party. After all, is this not America's day in the sun, her moment in history? And is not the crushing of Islamism and the modernization of the Arab world a cause worthy of a superpower's investment of considerable treasure and blood?

What is wrong with the War Party's vision?

Just this: Pro-American regimes in Cairo, Amman and Riyadh will be shaken to their foundations by the cataclysm unleashed as Americans smash Iraq, while Israelis crush Palestinians. Nor is Iran likely to passively await encirclement. Terror attacks seem certain. Nor is a militant Islam that holds in thrall scores of millions of believers from Morocco to Indonesia likely to welcome infidel America and Israel dictating the destiny of the Muslim world.

As for the pro-American regimes in Kabul and Pakistan, they are but one bullet away from becoming anti-American. And should the Royal House of Saud come crashing down, as the War Party ardently hopes, do they seriously believe a Vermont-style democracy will arise?

Since Desert Storm, America has chopped its fleets, air wings and ground troops by near 50 percent, while adding military commitments in the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Gulf and Central Asia. Invading and occupying Iraq will require hundreds of thousands of more troops.

We are running out of army. And while Americans have shown they will back wars fought with no conscripts and few casualties, the day is not far off when they will be asked to draft their sons to fight for empire, and many of those sons will not be coming home. That day, Americans will tell us whether they really wish to pay the blood tax that is the price of policing the War Party's empire.

Post#4014 at 09-11-2002 05:44 PM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
09-11-2002, 05:44 PM #4014
Join Date
Sep 2001

Here is an interesting description of the Swiss system of "homeland security" and civil defense:

Genuine ''Homeland Security'': an Assassinated Congressman's Proposal

a report by the late Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, murdered aboard Korean Airlines flight 007, Sept. 1, 1983

While Americans wrestle with the defense matters of growing costs, manpower needs, volunteerism vs. the draft, and even the matter of a national will, it is refreshing to note that there is one country that has adopted a formula that has resolved those same vexations. That country is Switzerland, and amazingly, the Swiss have successfully applied this national defense formula for centuries without the problems of popular division. To the contrary, the Swiss concept has promoted unity among the people of that small but mature nation.

The people of Switzerland are to be envied for their many achievements, and the policy achievement of a plan for armed neutrality could be a model either in whole or in part for those seeking a rational approach to survival problems.

The concept of armed neutrality was a policy favored by our Founding Fathers but the warnings and advice of Founding Father George Washington has been lost to Twentieth Century Americans. Perhaps even at this late date, we could find many answers to our current problems by observing the Swiss way of a total defense concept.

(Continued at link below)

Post#4015 at 09-11-2002 07:33 PM by Vince Lamb '59 [at Irish Hills, Michigan joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,997]
09-11-2002, 07:33 PM #4015
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Irish Hills, Michigan

If Pro-Union Sentiment is supposed to go down in a 3T...

but up in a 4T, then here is evidence that we have entered a 4T.

Reproduced for non-profit, educational purposes only:

The New York Times
September 2, 2002
Slowing wages, economy make workers anxious
Steven Greenhouse; The New York Times

With longshoremen, janitors and Boeing employees threatening major strikes,
and employees reeling from corporate scandals and rising unemployment, the
mood among American workers has turned anxious and even angry this Labor

Unions are threatening walkouts by 10,500 longshoremen, 10,000 Boston
janitors and 25,000 Boeing employees for reasons that are worrying American
workers in general: fast-rising health care costs, slower wage growth and
fears about job security.

Baseball players have settled their labor dispute, but dockworkers are
warning that they may close all West Coast ports because they fear that new
technologies will cause layoffs. Boeing workers in Kansas, Oregon and
Washington state will soon vote on whether to strike because Boeing is
moving jobs overseas and wants them to contribute more toward their health
care. In Boston, janitors at nearly 1,000 buildings are threatening to
strike, and in Chicago, 7,000 hotel workers have authorized a walkout -
saying, in both cases, that it's because they want improved health coverage
and wages high enough to support their families.

Economists say the mood has soured among American workers, union and
nonunion, because wages are stagnating and unemployment has climbed to
almost 6 percent, the highest level in eight years. The number of
private-sector jobs is down nearly 2 percent from early 2001, while layoffs
in the recent recession were unusually large for women and college graduates
compared with past recessions.

In its new study, the State of Working America, the institute found that
wages were growing at their slowest level since 1995 and that the income gap
between the richest Americans and everybody else was widening again, after
narrowing in the late 1990s.

Large-scale layoffs occurred after Sept. 11 in many industries, most notably
airlines, hotels and financial services. But the fierce anger about layoffs
stems from the dismissals at Enron and other scandal-plagued companies.
Enron laid off 4,200 workers, and WorldCom, 17,000.

"For years I've heard people talk about distrust of their employers, but
something new is happening," said John Sweeney, the president of the
AFL-CIO. "People are really fed up and furious with corporate America."

A survey of 900 workers, union and nonunion, by Peter D. Hart Research
Associates, found that 58 percent were dissatisfied with the state of the
economy, up from 34 percent in early 2001.

The poll, released Thursday, also found that 39 percent had negative
feelings toward corporations, and 30 percent had positive feelings, a sharp
reversal from January 2001, when 42 percent reported positive feelings
toward corporations and 25 percent negative feelings. The margin of error
was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

For organized labor, all this anxiety and anger has produced some good news:
Americans have warmed up to the idea of joining unions.

The Hart poll found that 50 percent of nonunion workers said they would vote
to join a union if they could, the highest level in two decades. The number
who said they would vote against unionizing fell to 43 percent, from 65
percent two decades ago.

Post#4016 at 09-11-2002 11:36 PM by AlexMnWi [at Minneapolis joined Jun 2002 #posts 1,622]
09-11-2002, 11:36 PM #4016
Join Date
Jun 2002

The ever-telling survey:

Highlights include:

"Have Americans Changed?
Effects of Sept. 11 have largely faded"

"Scanning the results of Gallup Polls conducted over the past year leaves little doubt that short-term changes occurred in the United States after Sept. 11. But evidence of major lasting effects is scarce."

Most post-9/11 attitudes have practically reverted to normal, except attitudes toward:
President Bush
Republican Party

"Other things stayed remarkably stable throughout the post Sept. 11 period, despite rampant speculation to the contrary. Gallup polling found no evidence that Americans were flocking to church in any greater numbers. Nor did self-reports of gun ownership increase. Nor did the attacks rattle the public's confidence in the current or future state of the economy."

"In fact, today's level of concern about being a terrorist victim is very similar to fear levels in the first year after the Oklahoma City bombing. Thus, it is not surprising that, along with the ebbing of fear, there has been a gradual return to normal in Americans' lives and in their attitudes toward government and public policy."

"Only 18% say that their lives have changed permanently as a result of the attacks."

However, the following also remain about the same as just after 9/11:
Attitudes toward Strangers
Personal Safety Awareness

Only 46% still trust the government to do what is right most or all of the time, compared to 60% in early October.

There's more if you click on the link, but the findings seem indicative of a continued 3T.
1987 INTP

Post#4017 at 09-12-2002 05:30 PM by posy [at Brandon, Florida joined Sep 2001 #posts 62]
09-12-2002, 05:30 PM #4017
Join Date
Sep 2001
Brandon, Florida


Someone emailed this to me, I think it is from the frontline special on evil. Found it very interesting. Wasn't sure where to post it. But since I think death and evil are crisis issues, thought I would try here.

An interview with Andrew DelBlanco:
Q:The novel that you felt really has a great deal to say about what happened in bin Laden -- the face of bin Laden and evil itself -- is Moby Dick. What does that novel tell us about what's happened?

There's this astonishing chapter in Moby Dick in which Melville tells us about how Captain Ahab reveals himself to the crew of the whale ship Pequod and explains to them what their voyage is actually all about. They've signed on thinking it's just another whaling voyage where they're going to go out to sea, they're going to kill so and so many whales, they're going to chop them up and boil the blubber down into oil and fill the barrels with oil and bring it back to port, sell it at market, spend the money on shore leave, and head out to sea again.

Ahab, of course, has another agenda, which he does not reveal to his men until they're out on the open sea. In this chapter, he explains to them that it's not about killing whales; it's about hunting down one particular whale. He confesses under pressure from a couple of his officers that this particular whale is the whale that has dismembered him, that has mutilated him.

He's hobbling about on a peg leg. ... Melville gives us a very vivid description of the pain and anguish that he suffered when he has his encounter with "Moby Dick" and his leg was torn from his body. Melville describes how Ahab and anguish bled into one another as he lay in the hammock after being barely saved from the whale.

The extraordinary thing about that chapter is that it describes how a powerfully articulate, eloquent, charismatic man is able to make this diverse crew come around to seeing the world exactly the way he sees it, how he manages to make his pain their grudge. By the end of the chapter, they're lined up with him, he's fused his will to theirs, and they have become an instrument of his will. They have felt in his engagement, in his eloquence, an opportunity to become heroic, an opportunity to make a difference in the world, to strike back at the world.

I think Melville understood that Ahab's genius was his insight into the fact that all of them felt that they, too, had been wounded by the world. I think we all feel that we've in some way been mistreated or missed a chance or somebody else has gotten something that we deserved. Ahab taps into that feeling, and brings them around so that they become as intent on hunting down and killing that whale as he is. ...

Up until Sept. 11, I had always presented that chapter in Moby Dick to my students in something like the way I've just described it. I've always taken the opportunity to point out that it was in the 1930s and 1940s that Melville was discovered as the great genius that we now understand him to be. I think that had something to do with the fact that people alive in those years were witnessing the emergence in Europe of a demagogue who had many of the talents that Ahab had -- a mesmerizing speaker, an ability to bring young people around to seeing the world the way he saw.

In making that case, I'm drawn to one particular comment that Melville makes about the whale, in which he says in Moby Dick, "Ahab found evil visibly personified and made practically assailable." That is, in the whale, in the gigantic body of the white whale, Ahab found a target. He found something one could aim at, one could strike at, through which one could feel a sense of power responding to what the world had done to him.

Of course, that's what Hitler did in Germany in the 1930s. He explained to the German people that their suffering, their indignity, was all ascribable to one visibly personified and practically assailable enemy, namely, the Jews.

My feeling on Sept. 11, and in the weeks and months thereafter, was that this lesson was no longer in the history books; it was no longer back there somewhere in my parents' or my students' grandparents' generation. We had just been attacked by somebody who had Ahab's talents, who had focused on us as the source of evil in the world, who had convinced young people that the way that they could make their lives meaningful and the way they could strike back was to attack the United States. ...

Q:[You have] written about and reflected on evil for quite a while now. What brings you to the material? What in your personal biography makes it more than academic interest>

I grew up in 1950s America. Like everybody else ... I learned about the world in which I was living through a little blue box in the basement, the television set. Through that box, I saw a world where nobody got sick and died, nobody got divorced or came from a torn family. It seemed like a world where things worked out and where everybody got a good break sooner or later.

As I got a little older, I came to feel a certain disjunction between the world in which I was growing up and the world that I heard about from my parents, who had been born and [had] grown up in Germany in the 1910s and 1920s. When they reached adulthood, early adulthood, they discovered that they were living in the midst of a society that was descending into barbarism -- where, from one minute to the next, the pleasures of life, the security of life, the luxury of being able to worry about the trivial concerns of daily life, was all taken away. If you happened to be a Jew, you could be torn out of your bed in the middle of the night and sent on a train and turned into dust.

We were incredibly fortunate. My parents got out while it was still possible to get out. But I found this disjunction by learning something about the world from which they came, and feeling that I didn't have the vocabulary really to talk about their experience or to begin to understand their experience. ... So I guess I've always been interested in this question of how people have thought about, talked about, written about, tried to come to terms with the reality of evil.

Evil was real in the experience of my family. But to my generation, it had seemed to become an abstraction or some embarrassing outmoded theological concept. ... That put us in a position of considerable vulnerability, both to forces outside ourselves and to ourselves. Without some concept that's at least close to what the religious tradition calls "sin," we're handicapped in our ability to be sufficiently critical of ourselves. ... So I guess I felt a sort of gnawing need to, at least for my own sake, figure out some way of understanding what it was or where it came from or how one ought to respond to it when it made itself appear.And so it did, again, on Sept. 11, 2001. Suddenly it was no longer an academic question. I think my generation understood in a new way that the norms of life, the expectations of ordinary life, can disappear in an instant, and nothing is the same anymore. ...

If we're told by brave journalists and people who are willing to put themselves in harm's way and at risk that something's happening far away on the other side of the world, that it looks like it's fomenting hatred and it's generating the kind of demonic energies that we think of as belonging to the past, we need to be able to take those reports seriously. We need to be able to take them seriously before they come home and show us face to face as they did on Sept. 11 how very seriously we ought to have taken them.

So, yes, I think that there's a place for moral discourse in the language of politics and in the discussion of public life. It would be a good thing for there to be more such discourse, as long as it is both frank and candid and realistic, about forces outside ourselves; and also simultaneously frank about our own capacities for acting thoughtlessly and indeed sinfully in the world. ...

We need to ask ourselves questions about the consequences of our actions. If we're stockholders, if we're taxpayers, what are we implicated in? What kind of behaviors in the world are we implicated in? I think you have to allow moral language to enter into that discussion. You can't keep it out. You can't say, "What's happening on the other side of the world has nothing to do with me." ...

Q:What is at the root of the impulse to explain away evil through insufficient self-esteem, or bad parenting? ... Is it because it domesticates evil?

Look, if you see the world with the ... concepts of evil and sin at the very center of your understanding, there's no room for making allowances. There's no room for explanation. Somebody acts in a destructive and cruel way and you say, "OK, all the responsibility lies with the sinner." And you move toward some kind of radical punishment.

If, on the other hand, you see the world through a psychological frame of mind, a circumstantial frame of mind, then your impulse is going to be to understand from the perspective of the evildoer and to diffuse the responsibility, to understand the responsibility as belonging collectively to some abstraction like society or "the system.

My sense is that there's something to be said for both those perspectives. We certainly don't want to go back to a time when there was no sense of fallibility, and only the sense of sinfulness. But at the same time, we run a certain danger in going all the way in the direction of explaining everything circumstantially or psychologically.

If you go in that direction, then there really are no transgressions any more. There are only symptoms -- symptoms and no sins. That's a very hard balance to get right. Lot of people have been writing and thinking about this in the last few decades, in part because there's a feeling that we've moved too far away from the concepts of sin and evil, and maybe we need to restore some kind of balance between the two in order to be able to manage this very dangerous world that we're living in. After all, the technological power ... that human beings have today to inflict pain and suffering and death on other human beings has never been remotely what it is today. And there's every reason to believe that that power will continue to grow. ...

So these are questions it behooves us to think seriously about. We were reminded of that fact on Sept. 11. I don't have answers to these questions. But I'm completely sure that we're better off if we're talking about them and thinking about them and not embarrassed by them, than if we pretend that they belong to some kind of medieval stage of human existence that we've outgrown because we now have pharmacological or behavioral therapy solutions to all human problems.I don't think we do, and I don't think we ever will. ...

Q: What has ... Sept. 11 brought into the discussion [of evil]? ...

I feel what I have learned from the theological tradition that I've studied, from literature in general, writers like Melville and Dostoyevsky, is that all of us have a capacity for cruelty, for irrational rage, for selfishness, [and] to use the word that figures so importantly in the Judeo-Christian tradition, [for] pride.

Most of the time, we think of those characteristics as mistakes or excesses or errors or examples of lack of self-discipline. And most of the time, that's the level of intensity at which we experience them, both within ourselves and from others.

But when these destructive impulses, in which we are able to convince ourselves that our perspective is the only one that matters and that anyone who gets in our way is expendable, ... if that impulse of unbridled self-love takes over and becomes the empowering driving force of life, then there are some writers who say that it's time to call it evil.

Now, I find myself very much drawn to that proposition. I think it's a word we don't want to use casually. It's a word that we don't want to use to excuse ourselves from these characteristics by pointing the finger at somebody else and saying, "There's evil. Go get it and rid the world of that person or that point of view, and everything will be all right." It'll be extinguished and we have nothing to do with it; we have no relation to it.

I think we don't want to go in that direction. The best writers have always instructed us not to go in that direction. But at the same time, to pretend that an event like that which took place on Sept. 11, 2001, can be explained with the ordinary language of politics or psychology seems to me quite inadequate to what happened. We really did experience evil on Sept. 11, and we need to think about it. We need to understand it in order to be able to cope with it, both in others and in ourselves.

Q: Is evil primarily but exclusively ... inside of ourselves? ... Or is there some mysterious, outside-of-ourselves possibility as well?

What I like so much about the Genesis story, which has been elaborated on by so many poets and artists, is that it captures perfectly the paradox or the double-ness of evil. That is, it tells us there's no garden that doesn't have a serpent in it. If you manage to convince yourself that you're in a perfect paradise where there is nothing dangerous lurking out there, you've made a big mistake. You're not where you think you are.

Yet, through the metaphor of the serpent and the temptation, it also teaches that there's something within us that's responsive to evil, that's responsive to the allurements, the enticements of the voice that says you've been unjustly left out of the good times. You know, "There's this tree, and if you only just walk over there and reach up and eat of the fruit of that tree, you will be empowered. You will become Lord and Master. You will no longer be subject, you will be Master, no longer subservient, but the one who's in charge." That's a very alluring promise to which I suspect very few people are entirely immune.

So it's a great story, and no doubt, for that reason, the basis of some of the great works of literature, because it captures the truth about experience. Yes, evil is out there. Yes, evil is real, is something external. But it's also something within ourselves. It's mobile. It moves in and out. And that's what's so difficult about it; that's what's so difficult to cope with about it. ...

I'm speaking here about what the theological tradition would call "moral evil." There was a time when many philosophers would have described what we would now call natural disasters -- earthquakes, floods, accidents, catastrophes of one kind or another -- as natural evil, and would have attributed to nature itself a certain kind of evil. I'm not sure that I can any longer think that way.

But [to think about] the concept of moral evil or, to put it more succinctly, with that word that a lot of people in the modern world are uncomfortable with -- the word "sin" -- ... I think is still incumbent on us.If you think about it in the way that the best writers that I know recommend that we think about it, then you have to be aware of it in yourself as well as in others. It's not something that doesn't belong to me. But it's something that, if we develop an awareness of it, maybe we can cope with it. Maybe we can control it. Maybe we can even channel it into more positive directions.

But the worst thing you can do is to pretend that it's not there. The worst thing you can do is to pretend that human beings are put together genetically, morally, psychologically -- whichever vocabulary you prefer to use to speak about the way human beings are put together -- to pretend that human beings are exclusively benevolent, selfless, altruistic. I just don't think that accords with the facts of history.

Q:Briefly, before Sept. 11 and after Sept. 11, ... do you think that we take evil more seriously now? What was our reluctance to take it seriously before Sept. 11? ...

Yes. I think it's too early to tell what the long-term effects of Sept. 11 will be. I myself feel that it's not possible to live as glibly as we did before Sept. 11. The preoccupations that I had, that I saw in the television, that I saw in the popular press before Sept. 11 were put into a new light by that event.

I think our attention was drawn to the larger world in a way that it hadn't been. We had been fooling ourselves into thinking that we were living in some kind of perpetually prosperous, perpetually inviolable cocoon. Communism was over, more or less. So there was no enemy out there that had the power to harm us anymore. We didn't take very seriously the possibility that we were in a position to harm ourselves. On Sept. 11, we found out that we were wrong about that.

Now, the word "evil" came back into common discourse very quickly after Sept. 11. The president used it, called the perpetrators "evildoers." A few months later, he spoke of an "axis of evil," identifying certain countries in the world. I have a complicated [reaction] to that, to that word in those contexts. On the one hand, I think we have to face up to the value of the word and not be squeamish about using it. We need to be willing to, on the one hand, acknowledge our deficiencies, our mistakes, our arrogance in the way we behave in the world as a nation.

But on the other hand, I think it's incumbent on us to look directly in the face of those who did this thing to those innocent people who died on Sept. 11, and call them by the proper name. And I have no problem with this word as the name by which they should be called.At the same time, if our reaction to Sept. 11 is a new kind of thoughtless uncritical evidence, un-self-critical jingoism, in which we assume that we always have the perspective of the right and all responses to American behavior in the world are entirely irrational and without grounds and without basis, then I think we're ourselves falling victim to what certain writers would call the "seductions of the devil."So the situation since Sept. 11 calls for a very delicate balance between self-criticism and awareness. We need to ask questions about how we can make the world a place less hospitable to people like those who gave the orders to attack innocent civilians in the fall of 2001.We're all living in the same world, and there is a sense in which we bear some responsibility for the misery and suffering of so many people in the world, who we saw in our television sets cheering and applauding at what had happened that day. That's not something we can just shake off and pretend we have no connection to it. But that's a different thing though from blaming ourselves and saying that there's no problem out there which is independent from us -- which I think there is.

Q: When you look at the face of bin Laden on television ... what do you see?

The face of bin Laden is sort of a haunting face, because it has a certain gentleness, kind of dreaminess. I suppose you might say other-worldliness, which some of his followers must find a kind of reassuring hint that he's in touch with a transcendent or cosmic truth that carries the day over the sufferings of this life.

To me, it's the face of someone who is in the grip of a fanatic's dream, and who has managed to translate himself out of this world, and has lost all touch with the human suffering that he seems to be prepared to inflict. But it's not the face of a conventional monster. It's not the scary, distorted, fire-in-the-eyes face that you see sometimes in images of Satan over the centuries. It's a seductive face, and I think it helps to explain something, some hint of the power he must have exerted over his followers.

Q: How did you respond to the video when you saw ... him laughing?

I thought the headline in the Daily News captured it pretty well. I think it read: "3,000 Dead; He Giggles." It seems incomprehensible, and since we were so close to this, the loss of human life here in New York City, it seems an obscenity.Yet, at the same time, I suppose if we were honest with ourselves, there's a certain impulse in all of us to detach ourselves from the suffering of others one way or another. Regarding it all as some kind of a spectacle that's a source of amusement is something that's probably not beyond our capacity either. Comedy, after all, is in large measures based on the idea that to watch somebody else stumble and fall down and be relieved that that person is not us and find it amusing.

So I guess I would say that, on the one hand, it's the most horrifying moment in any of those videotapes. On the other hand, it's a moment that, if we think about it carefully, maybe it would suggest that there's a certain human connection between us and him. ... [

Q: Has bin Laden offered us a completely new] quality of evil or style of it?

Hannah Arendt was trying to find a way of understanding this completely affectless bureaucratic personality that she saw in the utterly impassive, unresponsive face of Adolf Eichmann in the glass booth, when he was on trial in Jerusalem. What she came to believe is that he had sort of shut down his critical faculties. His thinking faculties had been shut down and he was acting as just a cog in the machine, as just a functionary, as just a follower of orders. His mind was focused on his duty, rather than on the consequences of what he was doing. I find that a somewhat persuasive account of what [a] certain number of the people involved in the Holocaust of the Nazi years were probably like.

I don't think that's what we experienced on Sept. 11, because there was a fervor ... on the part of witnesses who were sympathetic to what was done, a mood of celebration and almost ecstatic response to the event. That doesn't seem to me consistent with what Arendt was describing. It wasn't banal. It had something ... between a carnival and a horror show about it. ... There was nothing banal about either what happened or about those who made it happen. ...

Q: As a nonbeliever, have the events of Sept. 11 just reconfirmed your sense that the heavens are empty?

I guess I would characterize myself as an unbeliever. Or, maybe hedging my bets a little bit, I would say not a believer, which kind of leaves room in the formulation for evolution, I suppose. But I don't think being "not a believer" is the same thing as believing that the heavens are empty, that the world is not a beautiful place, that creation is not something that deserves our awe, that merits our awe.

For secular-minded people like me, the events of Sept. 11 forced a lot of thinking about basic issues of belief and disbelief. One of the things that I think I find myself believing more in than ever -- maybe this is strange -- is the power of love, the power of human beings to save each other in the face of the most horrific experiences. I think that that belief is not too far from the core belief of the religious traditions that I feel close to -- Judaism and the Christianity that grew out of it.

Now, sometimes in certain moods, I feel like the discussions about where this human capacity for love and, by the same token, the human capacity for hatred and cruelty and evil ... sometimes strike me as rather scholastic or academic.

On Sept. 11, we saw in front of our eyes human beings at their worst and human beings at their best. The great religious traditions have told us that that's what human beings are about, that love can be saving, and that we have to be on guard all the time against the darkness within. So I find a lot of truth in the religious tradition. In a way, I suppose I kind of evade what some of my religious-minded friends would say are the fundamental questions about the nature of God and the nature of human destiny.So I would say I'm sort of half a believer, and the believing half of me was actually more confirmed than discouraged by the events of Sept. 11 and the days that followed. ...

Q: Was your falling away from it gradual or based on any of the things you've just been talking about? ...

It wouldn't be accurate to describe myself as a lapsed believer or someone who has fallen away from belief. I think it would be probably more accurate to say that I've always been intrigued and drawn to the comforts of belief which I can't quite possess for myself, and also the dangers and risks of belief when it somehow erases all doubt.

On the one hand, one is tormented by one's doubts, and on the other hand, one is saved by one's doubts. It seems to me that doubt is probably the one infallible mark of the thinking person. Anybody who doesn't have some doubts about their point of view is a frightening kind of person to me. So if I were ever to come to describe myself as a religious person, it would have to be in something like these dual terms; that is, someone who had come to a belief that made doubt possible, a belief that somehow incorporated doubt. ...

Human beings seem to have an unquenchable need to believe in something larger than themselves. The idea of one's personal extinction being the end of everything is a very difficult idea to come to terms with. That need to believe in something larger than the self can lead in both destructive directions and very constructive directions. If it leads toward an irrational and thoughtless and uncritical willingness to dissolve the self in some larger entity -- the community, the group, the nation -- and to give an unthinking allegiance to that larger entity and to find all one's meaning in life from the fact that one belongs to that larger entity, it frightens me.

In our century, in the last century and now in the new century, I think we've seen how that kind of self-sacrifice on behalf of a larger entity can have the most terrible consequences for other human beings, even if it allows you to leave this world in a burst of ecstatic self-immolation. It leaves a lot of bodies, a lot of suffering, a lot of anguish in your wake.

On the other hand, if this appetite for something larger than the self leads you to engage with other human beings so that you get out of your little world of petty, petty personal concerns, and you feel at the end of the day that you've actually touched another life, then it seems to me that's a pretty good formula for human happiness. All the philosophers of happiness that I know anything about have always insisted that happiness is not a solitary thing; that happiness involves relation and mutuality. So, again, religion turns out to be a complicated, at least dual way of thinking about the world. ...

For many people, Sept. 11 was the most terrifying look into their own mortality through the images of people falling out of windows and the anguished cell phone goodbyes. [It] forced most of us to imagine [our own deaths]. Was that true for you?

I think Sept. 11 brought home to me and to a lot of people I know the fact of how fragile and contingent our lives are -- how you say goodbye to your spouse and children in the morning, and you can't blithely assume that they'll come back in the afternoon.

I was mercifully spared from that experience. But my children all knew people who thought their parents or uncle or aunt or cousin [were] going to work that day just like any other day, and didn't come home. So everybody that afternoon had to start coming to terms with this face in a very direct and very, very personal way. ...

I live on the other end of Manhattan Island from where it happened. But the smell, this acrid odor, was in the air for weeks after that morning. You got used to it, sort of. But then, every once in a while, you would realize that you were smelling, among other things, the odor of burning human flesh.

And for many people, it was the flesh of people they knew. So one had to be really pretty locked into one's own little world not to think in a new way about what mattered in daily life. ... It became real, as it had been for many generations. But it hadn't been so real for our generation. ...

Post#4018 at 09-16-2002 05:04 PM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
09-16-2002, 05:04 PM #4018
Join Date
Sep 2001

As always, you have to go to the foreign press to get the news about your own country. Here is a distubing article which records the testimony of witnesses to the Flt. 93 crash in Pennsylvania. When will this government which was created to serve us give us the truth about anything? Will we still be contending with the same insolence in the next 1T?

(For educ. and discussion)


RICHARD WALLACE, US Editor, examines riddle of hijacked jet as he visits crash site

THE unmarked military-style jet swooped down at high speed through the valley, twice circled the smouldering black scar where Flight 93 had careered into the ground just seconds earlier and then hurtled off over the horizon.

(Photo visible at link)
GRIEF: Victims' relatives visit a makeshift memorial at crash site

At least six eyewitnesses saw the mysterious aircraft on the morning of September 11 last year. But the US authorities deny it ever existed.

So when George Bush laid a wreath yesterday at the crash site in a remote valley outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, he was one of only a handful of people who know what really happened to the 40 innocents and four hijackers aboard the doomed United Airlines Boeing 757-200.

Those unimaginable final seconds as passengers showed courageous defiance apparently wrestling for control of the aircraft have become one of the defining images of the tragedy.

And "Let's roll" - ringleader Todd Beamer's no-nonsense call to arms - became a defining battle cry in America's war on terror.

But of the four aircraft taken on September 11, the exact fate of Flight 93 after its two-hour journey is proving difficult for US officials to explain.

What was the white jet doing there and why won't they admit to its presence? Why did other witnesses see smoke and flames trailing from Flight 93 as it fell from the sky, indicating a possible explosion aboard?

Or - and this is proving to be the most uncomfortable question of all - in the moments before the airliner piled into the black, spongey earth at 575mph did an American fighter pilot have to do the unthinkable and shoot down a US civil airliner?

Susan Mcelwain, 51, who lives two miles from the site, knows what she saw - the white plane rocketed directly over her head.

"It came right over me, I reckon just 40 or 50ft above my mini-van," she recalled. "It was so low I ducked instinctively. It was travelling real fast, but hardly made any sound.

"Then it disappeared behind some trees. A few seconds later I heard this great explosion and saw this fireball rise up over the trees, so I figured the jet had crashed. The ground really shook. So I dialled 911 and told them what happened.

"I'd heard nothing about the other attacks and it was only when I got home and saw the TV that I realised it wasn't the white jet, but Flight 93.

Ididn't think much more about it until the authorities started to say there had been no other plane. The plane I saw was heading right to the point where Flight 93 crashed and must have been there at the very moment it came down.

"There's no way I imagined this plane - it was so low it was virtually on top of me. It was white with no markings but it was definitely military, it just had that look.

"It had two rear engines, a big fin on the back like a spoiler on the back of a car and with two upright fins at the side. I haven't found one like it on the internet. It definitely wasn't one of those executive jets. The FBI came and talked to me and said there was no plane around.

"Then they changed their story and tried to say it was a plane taking pictures of the crash 3,000ft up.

"But I saw it and it was there before the crash and it was 40ft above my head. They did not want my story - nobody here did."

Mrs Mcelwain, who looks after special needs children, is further convinced the whole truth has yet to come out because of a phone call she had within hours from the wife of an air force friend of the family.

"She said her husband had called her that morning and said 'I can't talk, but we've just shot a plane down,' " Susan said. "I presumed they meant Flight 93. I have no doubt those brave people on board tried to do something, but I don't believe what happened on the plane brought it down.

"If they shot it down, or something else happened, everyone, especially the victims' families, have a right to know."

Lee Purbaugh, 32, was the only person to see the last seconds of Flight 93 as it came down on former strip-mining land at precisely 10.06am - and he also saw the white jet.

He was working at the Rollock Inc. scrapyard on a ridge overlooking the point of impact, less than half a mile away. "I heard this real loud noise coming over my head," he told the Daily Mirror. "I looked up and it was Flight 93, barely 50ft above me. It was coming down in a 45 degree and rocking from side to side. Then the nose suddenly dipped and it just crashed into the ground. There was this big fireball and then a huge cloud of smoke."

But did he see another plane? "Yes, there was another plane," Lee said. "I didn't get a good look but it was white and it circled the area about twice and then it flew off over the horizon."

Tom Spinelli, 28, was working at India Lake Marina, a mile and a half away. "I saw the white plane," he said.

"It was flying around all over the place like it was looking for something. I saw it before and after the crash."

India Lake also contributes to the view there was an explosion on board before the Newark-San Francisco flight came down. Debris rained down on the lake - a curious feat if, as the US government insists, there was no mid-air explosion and the plane was intact until it hit the ground.

"It was mainly mail, bits of in-flight magazine and scraps of seat cloth," Tom said. "The authorities say it was blown here by the wind." But there was only a 10mph breeze and you were a mile and a half away? Tom raised his eyebrows, rolled his eyes and said: "Yeah, that's what they reckon."

Light debris was also found eight miles away in New Baltimore. A section of engine weighing a ton was located 2,000 yards - over a mile -from the crash site. Theorists point out a Sidewinder heat- seeking missile attacks the hottest part of aircraft - the engine.

The authorities say the impact bounced it there. But the few pieces of surviving fuselage, local coroner Wallace Miller told us, were "no bigger than a carrier bag".

Nearly all the passengers were reduced to charcoal on impact and the largest piece of human tissue found was a section of spine eight inches long.

CURIOUSLY, military officials insist there was never any pursuit of Flight 93, although they were informed that it was a suspected hijack at 9.16am, 50 minutes before the plane came down.

At 9.35am they assumed it was heading for Washington DC after it changed course in a 180 degree turn and three F-16s - top speed 1,800mph - now patrolling over the capital were told to "protect the White House at all costs".

An anonymous flight controller said on the day that an F-16 was "in hot pursuit" of Flight 93 - Washington to Shanksville is seven to 10 minutes flying time.

A few minutes before the crash Bill Wright, piloting a single-engine Piper, could see Flight 93 three miles away, but was suddenly told to turn away and land immediately without explanation.

At 9.58am a 911 call - the last mobile phone contact from Flight 93 - was made from one of the airliner's toilets by passenger Edward Felt.

Glenn Cramer, the emergency supervisor who answered it, said on the day: "He was very distraught. He said he believed the plane was going down.

"He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn't know where. And then we lost contact with him." Glenn Cramer has now been gagged by the FBI.

Also, according to sources, the last seconds of the cockpit voice recorder are the loud sounds of wind, hinting at a possible hole somewhere in the fuselage. What caused the smoke and explosion? Why the wind sounds?

The FBI's later explanation for the white jet was that a passing civilian Fairchild Falcon 20 jet was asked to descend from 34,000ft to 5,000ft some minutes after the crash to give co-ordinates for the site. The plane and pilot have never been produced or identified. Susan Mcelwain says a Falcon 20 was not the plane she saw.

FURTHER verification that some kind of military aircraft was operating in the area is scientifically irrefutable.

At 9.22am a sonic boom - caused by supersonic flight - was picked up by an earthquake monitoring station in southern Pennsylvania, 60 miles from Shanksville.

That Todd Beamer and others launched an assault on the hijackers there is no doubt. The brief extracts released from audio tapes indicate a fierce struggle going on at the cockpit door.

But nobody - official or otherwise - has categorically said the group got into the cockpit or that their actions led to the crash. Those final, agonising moments are mere presumption.

President Bush and his team have the whole story. So why aren't they telling the rest of us?



At least SIX witnesses, including Susan Mcelwain saw a small military type plane flying around shortly BEFORE UA93 crashed. The FBI denies its existence


The US Government insists the plane exploded on impact yet a one-ton section of the engine was found over a mile away and other light debris was found scattered over eight miles away


Passenger Edward Felt made an emergency call from the plane. He spoke of an explosion and seeing some white smoke. The superviser who took the call has been gagged by the FBI

THE F-16s

UA93 was identified as a hijack at 9.16am. At 9.35am three F-16s were ordered to "protect the White House at all costs" when it turned towards the capital. At 10.06am it crashed at Shanksville, less than 10mins flying time from Washington


Sources claim the last thing heard on the cockpit voice recorder is the sound of wind - suggesting the plane had been holed


The FBI insists there was no military plane in the area but at 9.22am a sonic boom - caused by a supersonic jet - was picked up by an earthquake monitor in southern Pennsylvania, 60 miles away from Shanksville.

Post#4019 at 09-16-2002 06:29 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
09-16-2002, 06:29 PM #4019
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Far be it for me to impugn the credibility of 'conspiracy' witnesses; still:

"I heard this real loud noise coming over my head," he told the Daily Mirror. "I looked up and it was Flight 93, barely 50ft above me. It was coming down in a 45 degree and rocking from side to side. Then the nose suddenly dipped and it just crashed into the ground. There was this big fireball and then a huge cloud of smoke."
Map it out. A plane, 50' overhead, travelling at a 45-degree pitch, will crash 56' (assuming a 6' nominal observer) away. I think the real mystery here is how this guy survived at all! :o

Post#4020 at 09-16-2002 07:08 PM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
09-16-2002, 07:08 PM #4020
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77
Far be it for me to impugn the credibility of 'conspiracy' witnesses; still:
These are just witnesses to a plane crash like witnesses to any other plane crashe. It is rather bizarre that you would attach a qualifier. If you have not already, seek employment with the law enforcement and intelligences agencies of the executive branch of the federal government, if not the White House staff. You would fit right in.

Map it out. A plane, 50' overhead, travelling at a 45-degree pitch, will crash 56' (assuming a 6' nominal observer) away. I think the real mystery here is how this guy survived at all! :o
I think we know what he meant. The report indicates that the plane crashed "less than half a mile away" from him. That probably indicates about 2000 feet. What's more, he indicates that the nose dipped before the crash. Again, I think we know what he meant.

Post#4021 at 09-16-2002 10:56 PM by AlexMnWi [at Minneapolis joined Jun 2002 #posts 1,622]
09-16-2002, 10:56 PM #4021
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77

Far be it for me to impugn the credibility of 'conspiracy' witnesses; still:

"I heard this real loud noise coming over my head," he told the Daily Mirror. "I looked up and it was Flight 93, barely 50ft above me. It was coming down in a 45 degree and rocking from side to side. Then the nose suddenly dipped and it just crashed into the ground. There was this big fireball and then a huge cloud of smoke."
Map it out. A plane, 50' overhead, travelling at a 45-degree pitch, will crash 56' (assuming a 6' nominal observer) away. I think the real mystery here is how this guy survived at all! :o
It could have been flying level for a short period of time; or he has never seen an actual jet up close and doesn't realize how big they are.
1987 INTP

Post#4022 at 09-17-2002 03:42 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
09-17-2002, 03:42 AM #4022
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Cove Hold, Carver, MA

A Long Tradition...

Who fired the first shot at Lexington Green? What caused the explosion on the USS Maine? Why are some of the 'who knew what, when' documents about Peral Harbor still classified?

The general pattern is that the conspiracy theorist learn enough that the accusations never go away, but the establishment never gets exposed, perhaps because they are sometimes not guilty, or perhaps they are good enough to hide any smoking guns.

Severe maneuver can damage a plane. If there was a brawl in the cockpit, it is plausible that the controls were abused enough to cause structural damage to the aircraft. However, the flight data recorder would specifically record this. If the plane broke apart due to excessive use of flight controls, they could prove it, duplicate the flight in computer simulation. They could estimate G force, and justify how the plane might come apart.

So far as I know, no reconstruction of the last minutes of the flight has been made public. If both flight recorders were recovered, such a reconstruction should be possible. Was it done? Of course. This would be part of any crash investigation. Why was it not made public???

Anyone seen anything like a technical reconstruction of the flight?

My other thought is that there are three twin engine twin tailed US fighters in active service... F 14 Tomcat, F 15 Eagle, and F 18 Hornet. All three are frequently painted a not quite pure white that fades into the haze on the horizon. Any markings on the plane are in ghost paint, in similar light shades that can only be seen if one is very close to the aircraft. However, the story states that it was F 16 Falcons that were on station over Washington DC. F 16s are single engined single tailed aircraft. The witness described double engine double tail, which is not an F 16.

An F 16 Falcon Visit for more angles on the F 16.

My other thought is that if a military aircraft went supersonic, flying northwest from DC, lots and lots of people would have heard that sonic boom. Given the state of nerves on September 11th, such a flight could not be kept secret.

Of course, it would be far better PR for the passengers to be self sacrificing heroes, rather than victims of their own government. From another perspective, after 3 planes had already been crashed into targets, the military would be badly deficient had they not shot down the fourth plane. Clearly, protecting Washington from terrorist attack and protecting the military from PR disaster requires two different modes of thinking.

Post#4023 at 09-17-2002 08:52 AM by jds1958xg [at joined Jan 2002 #posts 1,002]
09-17-2002, 08:52 AM #4023
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More Evidence of a Very Persistent 3T

On AOL News, I ran into an article about the two parties' prospects this November. Along with some other poll results that were no particular surprise (Dems do better on domestic issues, GOP on national security), one result stood out as being very 3T. By a 2 to 1 margin, the people polled still prefer a divided government, with one party in the White House, and the other controlling one or both houses of Congress. If that's not a 3T attitude, I don't know what is.

Post#4024 at 09-17-2002 09:33 AM by monoghan [at Ohio joined Jun 2002 #posts 1,189]
09-17-2002, 09:33 AM #4024
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That "divided gov't" stat is interesting and it will be indicative of 3T if the electorate follows through and votes that way in Nov and the exit polls validate that as a reason. The House should go Dem if that is true.

I suspect that the statistic is a relic of voters distrust of government, period, but we'll see. And I think that there is concern about letting the Republicans control the entire government, given that it has not happened in the lifetime of 99% of voters. That concern about trusting Republicans with it all is the only issue the Dems have right now. I've said before that if the Republicans do win and the world does not end in the next two years, the Republicans will be entrenched for the duration of the crisis, because they will be seen as the governing party.

The firing of that Chicago columnist, Greene, is a 4T sign.

Post#4025 at 09-17-2002 12:30 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
09-17-2002, 12:30 PM #4025
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That concern about trusting Republicans with it all is the only issue the Dems have right now.
If so, it's the Democrats' own fault. It certainly isn't the only issue they could have.

How about the continued drain of American industrial capital to foreign countries? Or the consequent decline in real wages here over the past few decades?

How about the continuing entrenchment of corporate influence on the government? The betrayal of the public interest for the sake of private profit? The recent rash of corporate scandals, which followed inexorably from the deregulation craze of recent decades, provides fodder here.

Then there's the utterly unvisionary way that Bush is dealing with the war on terrorism, making it out to be purely a military effort. Where's the reevaluation of our foreign policy, or of the oil dependence that drives it? As long as those continue, we will be hated abroad, and movements like al-Qaeda will find a glut of willing recruits. Military action can't solve that problem, yet military action is the only remedy Bush is proposing, in effect condemning America to an endless war.

On top of that are the civil liberties issues arising from said war effort. Many Americans are uneasy about, and disapprove of, actions that are perceived to be excessive.

Then there's the environment. The Bush administration has the worst environmental record of any in 30 years. (And considering who he's following, that's saying something.) It's not just a matter of betraying and reversing achievements of the past, though that's certainly bad, but we desperately need a real vision of how to make the transition to a sustainable society with minimum disruption.

Mind you, on most of the above the Democrats have a serious lack of vision themselves, so you may well be right.

I've said before that if the Republicans do win and the world does not end in the next two years, the Republicans will be entrenched for the duration of the crisis, because they will be seen as the governing party.
That cliff is still there, Monoghan. Driving this direction, if we don't go over that cliff in the next two years (which we probably will), it means only that it was a bit further off than we thought.

I see an interesting phenomenon on these boards. Conservatives seem to have trouble thinking of the political dialogue in its new, emerging form. They have a concept of what "the left" means that is quite antiquated, and see the entire process as a tussle between that concept of the left and their own views. The idea that there are any other contenders for allegiance seems never to occur to them.

But in a Crisis, that is exactly what happens. The old civic order -- which includes the old civic dialogue and its categories -- is replaced. That being so, there is no way that either side of the old dialogue can possibly dominate.

If the Republicans do manage to dominate the Crisis, they will do so by becoming unrecognizable as the Republicans of today.