Twenty Years After 9/11

We’re always told to remember 9/11, as if we might forget it. In a way, we’re also told how to remember. We’re supposed to remember the victims; the brave and selfless first responders; the idea of patriotism. We’re not supposed to reflect on a painful defeat (for that was what 9/11 was). We’re not supposed to reflect on how Bush/Cheney failed America, both before and after 9/11.

A momentous event like 9/11 requires a balanced perspective. It shouldn’t be just another day to wave the flag and remember heroes. Indeed, when we remember the heroes of that day, let their sacrifice inspire us to do better and be better, as I argue in this article from last year to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11/01.

Bracing Views

W.J. Astore

When the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, I was at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I was in my car, listening to the radio, just outside the North Gate, where a B-52 sits on static display as a symbol of American power. The first reports suggested it was an accident, but it soon became apparent it was a deliberate act. As a second and then a third plane hit the WTC and the Pentagon, I remember hearing speculation that 9/11 could have a higher death toll than the Battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day of the U.S. Civil War. It was bad enough, if not that bad.

I remember confusion and chaos in the government, and the use of the word “folks” by President George W. Bush to describe the hijackers.  Very quickly, his rhetoric changed, and soon America would…

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88 thoughts on “Twenty Years After 9/11

  1. On Patriot Day 2022, America: Do You Have The Courage To Ask Yourself This Question?

    On this, the 21st anniversary of The Terror Event of September 11, 2001, there is one question that Americans need to be asking themselves and each other that was first posed in early December, 2001: “WHAT WILL YOU DO, AMERICA, WHEN 9/11 HAPPENS ONCE AGAIN?”

    What will you do when your government once again fails its Constitutionally-mandated duty and responsibility to preserve and protect the Life, Liberty, and Property of America’s citizens from all enemies, foreign and domestic?

    Will you meekly and absent-mindedly accept the fact that, once again, not one single elected politician, not one single entrenched civilian or military career bureaucrat, not one single anointed political appointee is to be held accountable or made to be responsible and to pay for his or her failures?


    What will you do when thousands more of your countrymen are murdered before your very eyes on live television? Will you once again dutifully and diffidently shrug off your absolute, inalienable, and unconditional Right to know the Real, Whole Truth about WHAT actually happened, about HOW it actually happened, about WHY it actually happened, about WHO actually made it happen, and about Who actually LET it happen?

    Will you once again passively and patriotically accept the Official “conspiracy theory” version of events as explained to you by your Government, and as packaged and presented, marketed and sold to you by its experts, cheerleaders, gatekeepers, and champions in the Media, Academia, and Hollywood?


    What will you do when the so-called War Against so-called Terrorism abroad and at home is transparently, clearly, and undeniably demonstrated to be a total, abject failure and thus lie, scam, hoax, and sham?

    Will you once again give even more untaxed money, unchallenged political power, and unchallengeable legal authority to the very people, offices, organizations, and agencies by whose failures this “War” was created and is waged, and who can promise you only that your — and their — investment in it will last forever?


    What will you do when your elected and appointed officials further dismantle Constitutional government in the name of “civilization,” further diminish individual and civil liberties in the name of “freedom,” and finally destroy the last vestiges of whatever power We, the People, may have once commanded, all in the name of “democracy” and “security”?

    Will you obediently and obsequiously once again hide and watch the next stage in the biggest seizure of government power on this planet since Stalin’s Russia in the 20s, Hitler’s Germany and Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 30s, and Mao’s China in the 40s?


    Will you rush out to buy brand new flags and ribbons and bumper stickers, buttons, posters and signs, to replace the torn, shredded, faded, matted, pealed, and rusted ones you rushed out to buy after the first 9/11? And then once again go on with your lives, desperately hoping that you can somehow continue pretending to pretend that nothing has really changed, that life does indeed go on the Day After The End of The World As We Knew It, Once Again.


    Will you piously, stoically, and heroically accept a Draft as part of the necessary, national sacrifice demanded in this time of new national peril and challenge? Particularly if you get to keep your tax breaks and gas in your SUVs, and your kid gets to get his Deferment?


    Will you, the so-called “peace, anti-War, and social justice” community of America, once again walk right past GROUND ZERO — The Real, Whole Truth — looking for something more significant, something more relevant, something more important?

    Will you once again rush to hold your episodic, semi-annual Gatherings Of The Tribe to rail and rant and beat your breasts and massage your gums and egos against the newest extension and expansion and endless continuation of this so-called “War” at home and abroad?

    This War about which you have — from DAY ZERO, from September 11, 2001 — completely refused and thus failed to “think the unthinkable,” and thus understand, and thus first prevent and then and now stop?

    Will you ever succeed? Will you ever stop ANY War? Will you ever really want Peace instead of just Power, Justice instead of the Judicial Authority that comes with that Power, and Truth instead of nothing more or less than simply your fair share of the Loot?


    What will you do when those who benefited most from its happening the first time determine that the time has come for another major Terror Event, because maximal strategic and tactical political, economic, and, above all, psychological gain is to be achieved with another, with a second “new Pearl Harbor”?

    Will you once again feign ignorance of their — and your — history?


    Do you have the courage to ask yourself these questions?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another Question about 9/11 that demands to be Asked and then Answered is:

    Why ~ 21 years later ~ do the American People still not know EVERYTHING that the U.S. Government knows about that day: About WHAT actually happened, and HOW and WHY it happened?

    Of course, one could ask the same the same Question about last century’s other Great American Mystery: Why ~ 59 years later ~ do the American People still not know EVERYTHING that the U.S. Government knows about the assassination of President Kennedy?

    Why all the secrets?

    Or is it simply that the the American People don’t have a RIGHT to know all that? And if that’s the case, the next Question is: Sez Who? And on what legal, ethical, moral, or intellectual basis?


    1. Jeff, your favourite simplistic naive Kiwi whipping boy here again:

      JFK wanted to take the country in a direction opposite to what the CIA and military wanted. So they killed him and covered it up. And those did that are now long dead. The details with them in their coffins. Period – End of story.

      9/11″ – a small determined group of crazies in the middle East got tired of the US screwing with them in their land. So they planned a blowback on US soil. A simple plan that succeeded only because of the sheer, abject, utter incompetence of the CIA, FAA, military (Air Force) enabled by the arrogance and hubris of the dumb Cheney/Bush insiders. It was not an inside job – that’s crazy talk! Americans will never admit it was blowback, and don’t want to admit their defenses were so easily defeated and pathetic. And their leadership so stupid. They don’t want to go there. Period – End of story.


      1. Rethinking the Queen in light of discussion with Kiwis last night and with the help of a Consortium News commenter:

        The Queen/Royalty are figureheads, they have very little influence in government policy and its enactments.

        They do have a theoretical role in policy that directly affects them – but their power to change policy is limited in reality. (For instance to interfere with the Assange case may sound good in theory – but loyalists argue that it would set inappropriate precedents.)

        The Queen/Royalty has no power to order troops to do anything that is totally incorrect. (?)

        The real villain is the UK Government. They made the policies, they directed the military and security services to carry out their policies and they directed the MSM to keep it quiet. It is naive and mischievous to infer that the Queen was directly ‘in the loop’ of execution of evil UK foreign policy.

        Currently, it’s very popular to jump on the bandwagon of blaming ‘whitey’ for all the evils in the world but look at the reality of corrupt government, not just in the west, but in Africa and elsewhere. All Governments are happy to trade their people and their rights for their twenty pieces of silver from the white man.

        The Queen is dead. RIP. The injustices and inequalities remain because the real perpetrators remain in power.

        What about Assange, Palestine, Yemen, Libya? The complainers place more importance on the past which cannot be changed rather than raise the real issues of today that can actually be addressed.

        Dead Queens are low hanging fruit, you don’t have to celebrate the Queens life, you don’t have to like her, but please don’t lie about her to further your cause.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Bill pointed out yesterday that, quote, “the British monarchy today is largely ceremonial. Elizabeth was a powerful symbol: of tradition, of continuity, of service. But the monarchs of the past had real power, and apparently more than a few Americans want a monarch of the old style, i.e. a dictator.”

          Those not jumping on the bandwagon of mourning the Queen are not doing it because of what SHE ordered the British military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic, and financial forces to do during her reign. They are condemning her for what those whose task it is to preserve and protect what little is left of the once great British Empire have done, in her name.

          And the reality of “corrupt government in Africa” is that every one of those governments was and is the direct descendent of British [or French or German or Italian or Dutch] imperial, colonial rule. When it came to learning the art and science of political and economic corruption, those folks were in the hands of Masters of The Trade.

          And given the firepower at the disposal of “Whitey,” those African leaders who were involved in the European Slave Trade had a choice: “Give us your quota of Slaves in exchange for some trinkets, or You will become a Slave yourself. If You live.”

          And who is ignoring Assange, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, etc, besides the American and British governments and their Medias? That is who has been ignoring these issues in the past, and a Dead Queen provides the perfect excuse to keep ignoring them longer.

          And finally: Who has been “lying about that Dead Queen” to advance what cause?


      2. Well, my favorite Kiwi whipping boy, i will ask You the same question i have asked You numerous times in the past about Your numerous other “End of Story” explanations that You always just simply ignore: What are Your sources on that? The 9/11 Commission Report?

        But perhaps more in Your area of expertise: Has the US government ever adequately explained ~ from a scientific and engineering perspective ~ how and why the Twin Towers disintegrated and collapsed at near free-fall velocity? And more particularly, how and why WTC-7 collapsed because of office fires? Again: Do You have any sources on that?

        And if the details of JFK’s Assassination went to the grave, then why ~ 59 years later ~ is the US government still not declassifying EVERYTHING that it knows about November 22, 1963, and releasing it to the Public without redaction?

        Also, if it was just a “small group of determined crazies” fed up with the U.S. and what it was doing on their land, then why has the US government still not declassified EVERYTHING that it knows about bin Laden’s and al-Qaeda’s relationship to our other major ally in the region, Saudi Arabia? And EVERYTHING else it knows about What actually happened that day and before, and How and Why?

        And finally: Do the American People have a RIGHT to know The Whole, Real, Actual Truth about Dallas and 9/11? Or is that something that is best left up to elected politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, and anointed political appointees to determine?


        1. Maybe the American people are blissfully happy to be ignorant of the facts. And know that many “inconvenient truths” (thanks Al Gore) would be revealed they do not want to know about. I dunno. Otherwise, they would have demanded(?) the facts from their elected politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, and anointed political appointees?


          1. And I was thinking: If a new report was just released today, with the Whole, Real, Actual Truth about how the US provoked the Japanese, giving them no other option, to attack the US in WWII – what would that change? You think Americans would then think differently about WWII. I mean what’s the point Jeff?


            1. That whole, real, actual Truth about Pearl Harbor was revealed 22 years ago in Robert Stinnet’s book THE DAY OF DECEIT: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. As reviewed by the Foundation for Economic Education:

              << On December 7, 1941, the Japanese navy attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor. The following day, President Roosevelt described it as “a date that will live in infamy.” In spite of this country’s official neutrality, Roosevelt personally had been eager to have the United States enter the war on the side of England. He had persuaded Congress to assist England with money, food, munitions, planes, ships, and Lend Lease, and by patrolling and convoying British ships in the Atlantic. These measures were intended, Roosevelt assured the people, not to take us into war, but to keep us out. Japan’s attack, while we were still formally at peace and negotiating to settle various disputes, gave Roosevelt the excuse he wanted to ask Congress for a declaration of war.

              << When the President announced that the fleet had been attacked “suddenly and deliberately” by Japan, people believed him. Only after the war did the people discover that FDR’s administration and top military officials had not been as surprised as they were: the U.S. government had been privy to many of Japan’s intentions since mid-1940 when intelligence officers deciphered her top diplomatic code. Washington officialdom had been expecting aggressive Japanese action somewhere in the Pacific. Whether or not they were expecting the Pearl Harbor attack is another question.

              << For years rumors have circulated to the effect that Roosevelt knew that Japan planned to attack Pearl Harbor—and just let it happen. By far the most detailed and credible claim to date is contained in Robert Stinnett’s book Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. Stinnett is a Navy veteran of World War II who spent his life as a newspaper journalist and photographer. He argues that ample evidence was available to U.S. administration and military officials—through Japanese intercepts decoded and translated before the attack—to indicate that Japan was planning to attack Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor commanders, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and General Walter C. Short, would not have been surprised if they had been properly informed. Washington, however, chose to keep them in the dark. >> [ ]

              You asked: After that book was published, did Americans then think any differently about World War II? Only among those who read it, which were and still are very few. i know it changed my view of WWII, and that of a few of the Veterans of “The Good War” that i shared it with.

              But we are not talking about World War II that ended 77 years ago. We are talking about the so-called “Global” so-called “War On” so-called “Terrorism” [or GWOT], aka “The Forever War.” Which is still going on today, 21 years later after 9/11.

              And the only reason that War could even get started was by some “New Pearl Harbor,” which was exactly what the Project for the New American Century’s September, 2000 manifesto “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” called for. [ ]

              And on 9/11, they got their New Pearl Harbor.

              THAT’S the Point, Dennis.


              1. So am I getting this right Jeff? It was not the elected politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, and anointed political appointees who wrote the definitive history of what brought the Japanese into WWII? But a private citizen.


                1. That’s right, Dennis. All those politicians, military and civilian bureaucrats, and political appointees on December 7, 1941 were long dead and buried by that time. Just like all those folks involved in JFK’s murder were dead and buried. Just another one of Your “End of Story” stories, eh?


          2. The American People are obviously very happy to be ignorant of the facts and truths about 9/11; along with a lot of other things their government perpetrates and perpetuates, at home and abroad. Otherwise, this government wouldn’t be able to get away with all the Bullshit it has pulled since that day: ie, Saddam’s WMDs; the 2008 financial “¢risi$,” The COVID Event, and now Ukraine.

            And when’s the last time the American people “demanded” ANYTHING from their Ruling Political Class Elites? And then actually did something to see that demand met?


          3. And whether the American People are blissfully happy to be ignorant of the Facts and Truth about 9/11 [or anything else their government does] or not doesn’t answer the question: Do they have a RIGHT to those Facts and that Truth?


            1. Your RIGHT’s come from the Government eh Jeff.
              Like the RIGHT to bear certain types of arms.
              What constitutional RIGHT could be construed to mean the people have the right to know the truth about 9/!!?


              1. No Dennis; Human Rights do NOT come from Governments. Human Rights come from being born a Human Being.

                The primary function of Governments is [or should be] to protect those Rights. However, throughout recorded history, Government ~ along with Organized Religion ~ has been and is today the biggest and most dangerous and grievous violator of Human Rights on the Planet.

                And if the Citizens of a nation do not have the Right to know the Truth about what their Government is doing ~ particularly in the realm of spending taxpayer money waging wars overseas ~ then what Rights DO they have?

                And finally: How easy will it be for that Government to suspend or cancel those Rights, especially in the name of “National Security”? How did the “Right of Free Assembly” fare during the COVID Event, just to take a recent, blatant example. And how is “Freedom of Speech” doing these days on Social Media?


                1. Let George explain to you where your RIGHTS come from!
                  Your RIGHTS are imaginary like the bogeyman. LOL
                  This has been posted on Bracing Views before – you must have missed it Jeff!


                2. So George Carlin is Your go-to source on Human Rights, is he? Heh.

                  Sorry, Dennis: But i give a little more credence to what Locke, Jefferson, Paine, von Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard have to say on that subject than some dead stand-up comedian who was a regular on The Tonite Show.


        2. how and why WTC-7 collapsed because of office fires

          Collapse of WTC 1 ignited fires on at least 10 floors of WTC 7 at the western half of the south face. Fires on Floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13 burned out of control, because the water supply to the automatic sprinkler system had failed. The primary and backup water supply to the sprinkler systems for the lower floors relied on the city’s water supply. Those water lines were damaged by the collapse of WTC 1 and 2. These uncontrolled fires in WTC 7 eventually spread to the northeast part of the building, where the collapse began.

          After 7 hours of uncontrolled fires, a steel girder on Floor 13 lost its connection to one of the 81 columns supporting the building. Floor 13 collapsed, beginning a cascade of floor failures to Floor 5. Column 79, no longer supported by a girder, buckled, triggering a rapid succession of structural failures that moved from east to west. All 23 central columns, followed by the exterior columns, failed in what’s known as a “progressive collapse”–that is, local damage that spreads from one structural element to another, eventually resulting in the collapse of the entire structure.

          The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Report on the collapse of World Trade 7 following the attacks of Sept. 11.


          1. NIST, eh? Well that is certainly a reliable source with no money in the game, eh?

            Sorry, Dennis: But i have more trust, faith, and confidence in the work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth than i do in a bunch of government bureaucrats with an agenda to give credence to the “Official Conspiracy Theory.”

            See for a detailed examination of what AE9/11T has found in its investigations of the pulverization, disintegration, and free fall collapse of the Twin Towers, and the destruction of WTC-7, the only high rise structural steel building in history to collapse because of fire.

            And if You dare, take a look at this detailed, in-depth engineering study of the collapse of WTC-7 conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering and Mines, Institute of Northern Engineering, at the University of Alaska Fairbank, completed in 2020: “A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center 7” at .


            1. I did dare. And I read their conclusions. You are reading stuff into it. They most certainly did not say that WT-7 was an inside job, and bought down by controlled demolition! Come on Jeff. I worked with Engineers and Architects my whole career. Believe me, there are just as many crazy Engineers and Architects out there with less credibility than Government bureaucrats. Having an Engineering or Architectual degree does not preclude one from having goofy conspiracy theories. LOL

              And BTW Jeff do you have the courage to say how and why WT-7 collapsed?


              1. The folks in Fairbanks didn’t say WTC-7 was brought down by a controlled demolition? Well then, Dennis: What did they say brought it down? Did they agree with NIST’s and Popular Mechanics’ fairy tale?

                But let me ask You this: If it can be demonstrated that WTC-7 WAS brought down by controlled demolition, would You then agree that 9/11 was indeed an “inside job”? Or do You think ObL and Da Boyz did the wiring job before they got in the planes that morning?

                And it doesn’t take any “courage” to say the following, Dennis, since i have been saying it for 21 years. The more times i watched those buildings come down that day, the more convinced i was that the ONLY way they could have come down the way they did was by controlled demolition. That happened on or about September 14, the day Congress approved the AUMF to launch The Forever War.

                Just looking at videos of high rise structural steel buildings that have been brought down by controlled demolition ~ all falling virtually completely symmetrically on their footprint and at near free-fall velocity ~ Yes: i think WTC-7 was brought down by controlled demolition.

                And i do not believe that the Twin Towers could have come down the way they did ~ again at virtually free-fall velocity with massive steel beams being thrown hundreds of feet laterally ~ except by controlled demolitions. They most definitely did NOT come down because of the impact of the aircraft and the resulting explosion of jet fuel that was gone in a matter seconds. No “long-burning” fires there as in 7.

                To me, one of the most telling pieces of evidence particularly about WTCs 1 and 2 is that there was nowhere even close to the amount of rubble that one would have expected to find after two 110-story buildings collapsed completely symmetrically on its footprint.

                And the final piece of very telling evidence is that the entire scene of the crime was completely cleared of everything and hauled off to landfills before any formal, official, criminal forensic investigation of the destruction of those buildings was conducted by anybody. Now why in the world do You suppose that the US government insisted on and made sure that that happened?


                1. There are psychological explanations for why conspiracy theories are so seductive. Academics who study them argue that they meet a basic human need: to have the magnitude of any given effect be balanced by the magnitude of the cause behind it. A world in which tiny causes can have huge consequences feels scary and unreliable. Therefore a grand disaster like Sept. 11 needs a grand conspiracy behind it. “We tend to associate major events–a President or princess dying–with major causes,” says Patrick Leman, a lecturer in psychology at Royal Holloway University of London, who has conducted studies on conspiracy belief. “If we think big events like a President being assassinated can happen at the hands of a minor individual, that points to the unpredictability and randomness of life and unsettles us.” In that sense, the idea that there is a malevolent controlling force orchestrating global events is, in a perverse way, comforting.

                  You would have thought the age of conspiracy theories might have declined with the rise of digital media. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a private, intimate affair compared with the attack on the World Trade Center, which was witnessed by millions of bystanders and television viewers and documented by hundreds of Zapruders. You would think there was enough footage and enough forensics to get us past the grassy knoll and the magic bullet, to create a consensus reality, a single version of the truth, a single world we can all live in together.

                  But there is no event so plain and clear that a determined human being can’t find ambiguity in it. And as divisive as they are, conspiracy theories are part of the process by which Americans deal with traumatic public events like Sept. 11. Conspiracy theories form around them like scar tissue. In a curious way, they’re an American form of national mourning. They’ll be with us as long as we fear lone gunmen, and feel the pain of losses like the one we suffered on Sept. 11, and as long as the past, even the immediate past, is ultimately unknowable. That is to say, forever.



                2. Was the lie the US government and its media told America and the world about an attack on US naval vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 part of a conspiracy to sell the American People on us getting into a dandy little war in Southeast Asia?

                  Was the lie the US government and its media told everybody about those nasty, marauding Iraqi troops throwing all those Kuwaiti Incubator Babies on the ground so the incubators could be shipped back to Baghdad in 1990 part of a conspiracy to sell the American People on Operation Desert Storm, and the establishment of a full-time, combat-ready presence in the Middle East? Something we’d been trying to accomplish since the end of WWII, if not WWI?

                  And what about the lies the US government told about Saddam’s WMDs and his involvement in 9/11 in 2003? Part of a conspiracy to clear the way for our invasion, occupation, “liberation,” and democratization of Iraq, and the amping up of The Forever War?

                  And finally, what lies is this government and its media telling us now about our war with Russia in Ukraine? Another conspiracy, or just the way America does business when it needs another War to distract the American People’s attention from what is going on on the Home Front?


                3. And what are the chances that an operation of such size–it would surely have involved hundreds of military and civilian personnel–could be carried out without a single leak? Without leaving behind a single piece of evidence hard enough to stand up to scrutiny in a court? People, the feds just aren’t that slick. Nobody is.


                4. How many thousands of civilian and military personnel were involved with the Feds in the research, development, construction, testing, and use on undefended and purely civilian targets to end WWII of America’s Atomic Bomb?

                  Those folks were apparently slick enough to do that, wouldn’t You say?


  3. US Vengeance for the Death of 3000 Americans resulted in the Deaths of 6,000,000 Afghans and Iraqis.
    Americans may not hold Bush and the others accountable, but at the End of it all, God will!

    In December 1998, Former US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, US Undersecretary of Defence John Deutch and Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, colluded to write this in Foreign Affairs Journal,

    A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it.

    Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949.

    Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either further terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks.

    I find it curious it happened just like that 3 years later, and one of the Authors was able to control what information the 9/11 Commission was able to see?


    1. What do You find at all “curious” about that, Ray?

      Especially about the fact that Condi Rice’s Errand Boy Zelikow was put in complete and total charge of the 9/11 Commission, of what it could see, and, most importantly, of what it could report to the American People?


      1. I was going to post the link to ‘THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: From 19/11 to 9/11’
        Posted on August 28, 2011, but according to the Stats, someone from bracingviews came to the article already Today from a link in some article here I don’t remember when?

        And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
        Revelation 19 verse 11

        In 1981, I hitchhiked from Ottawa to Whitehorse in the Yukon, a 7000 mile round trip, to draw attention to that rider on the White Horse in Revelation 19/11 and it was chronicled by The Whitehorse Star August 26 and CanaDa’s National Magazine, Maclean’s August 31, 1981.


  4. Ray is it true that in the evolution of the Bible there were custodians who thought that Revelations was too crazy to be even included in the Bible. Filled with weird metaphors and open to interpretation in almost any way one pleased. Revelation was the last book to be accepted into the Christian biblical canon, and even today some churches reject it. It was said to be tainted because the heretical sect of the Montanists relied on it and doubts were raised over its Jewishness and authorship. It was not until 419 that it was included in the canon.

    Centuries later, Revelation still divides people. Elaine Pagels, an American historian Professor of religion at the Harrington Spear Paine of Religion at Princeton University calls it the strangest and most controversial book in the Bible. Even after writing a book about it, Pagels says she has hardly mastered its meaning.

    “The book is the hardest one in the Bible to understand,” Pagels says. “I don’t think anyone completely understands it.”

    In my previous life (!) I tried to read it many times and always gave up. Unintelligible gobbledygook to me?


    1. It’s just another apocalyptic text, Dennis – one of many. I was asked earlier in this space if I was taught it as a young Catholic: of course not. It is as apocryphal as it is apocalyptic and, therefore, not recognized by The Church. As with ‘The Revelation” of Saint John the Divine, it is much-favored by the “born again” (an out-growth of the old “Jesus freaks” of the late 60s-early 70s) because it’s far more impressive in the quotable quotes competition than either Old or New Testament (and especially if, in this modern world, you were/are little-soothed by Jesus’ message of “peace, love, and understanding”). The imagery predates CGI – for which it seems made for – by centuries. It remains part of The Bible for no other reason than its popularity, especially among non-believers who will purchase a Bible to have it on hand for entertainment purposes.


      1. Clarification: The following passage above refer to “The Revelation” of St. John: ” It remains part of The Bible for no other reason than its popularity, especially among non-believers who will purchase a Bible to have it on hand for entertainment purposes.”
        (Kudos for the Elaine Pagels reference.)


    2. This makes sense to me looking in the World TODAY from Revelation 11:18,
      “And the nations were angry, and your WRATH is come,…….and should destroy them which destroy the earth”

      and this from Revelation 12:12,
      “Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. (And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU. -Luke 17)
      Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great WRATH, because he knows that he has but a short time.”

      Who can discern WHICH WRATH is WHICH?

      Accepting the Scriptural premise WE HUMANS are made in the ‘Image and Likeness of God’ there’s no doubt the WRATH of God is working through more Humans, and especially in the US. WE are also destroying our own environment that supports Human Life on Earth. WE, made in the Image and Likeness of God, are destroying the Earth. God is destroying those who destroy the Earth!

      That’s because too few people channel the Love of God through Faith in Christ Jesus, protecting the Believer from the WRATH of God and the WRATH of the devil.


      1. Ray, the Lt. Col is going to get on my case for beating this dead horse…but, I have to say it again – these scriptures are no more than the scribblings of ancient ignorant and superstitions authors. To attribute anything to them proves nothing.


      2. Forgive me for repeating myself:

        Ray, I wish you’d refrain from citing Scripture, especially the Book of Revelation. I understand the vital importance of Christianity to your life, your renewal, but my site isn’t the best place to share it.

        I’m not against references to the Good Book. I use them myself; but I suggest using them as little as possible.

        As much as possible, I wish this to be a secular site of rational discourse. Thank you.


  5. It’s pretty obvious by now, Dennis, that You are going to ignore my question about Your sources on Dallas and/or 9/11. So can You answer at least question, based on Your education, training, and career as an engineer? :

    Has the US government ever adequately explained ~ from a scientific and engineering perspective ~ how and why the Twin Towers disintegrated and collapsed at near free-fall velocity? And more particularly, how and why WTC-7 collapsed because of office fires? And again: Do You have any sources on that?


    1. Jeff, The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published a fact sheet responding to some of the conspiracy theorists’ ideas on its website, I know you are going to continue to discredit them as just another bunch of government bureaucrats with an agenda to give credence to the “Official Conspiracy Theory.” So be it.


      1. You got that completely right, Dennis.

        When it came and comes to 9/11, NIST exists to serve the people, institutions, and organizations of Special Interests who buy and sell, own and operate, and command and control the politicians, bureaucrats, and appointees who run the federal government.


    Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as “human rights”. Those who make such claims have zero credibility and truly do not understand human behavior.

    Every human is born with Free Will.

    This doesn’t give you the “right” to anything.

    Children born in many parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have their Free Will suppressed and oppressed at birth.

    They have no “rights” as a human and those societies do not value or recognize the “theory” of every human having rights.

    ‘Rights” only exist in societies willing to define such things, and then most importantly, PROTECT them.


    1. Ahhh. Words from On High, i see… .

      So what else are Locke, Jefferson, Paine, etc, lacking in credibility about and don’t understand about human behavior, Dennis? Especially since You are claiming that You don’t lack credibility and do understand that behavior?

      And since You brought it up: On what basis do You claim that every Human is born with what You call a “Free Will”? And a Free Will to do exactly What? What sort of credibility do folks like You have who claim that; and how much do YOU understand about human behavior?

      And children born in parts of Europe, North, South, and Central America, and Yes, even White Oceania have that so-called “Free Will” suppressed just as much as do Kids [and Adults] in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. And in some cases, even more so. So?

      Human Beings are born with the Rights to Life, Liberty, Property, Privacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness whether the society in which they live “defines,” “acknowledges,” or “protects” them or not. And those who violate those Rights ~ be they an individual, an element of civil society, or the government ~ are Criminals. That’s why things like Murder, Slavery, Theft, and Warrantless Surveillance are not merely illegal, but immoral and Evil, as well. Even ~ and especially ~ when Governments do them.


      1. Locke (1632!), Jefferson (1826!) and Piane(1809!) were philosophers of a bygone era. And if they made claims about human rights these ideas were wrong. Modern philosophy have since shown these guys to be neophytes on the subject. Human beings are born with no rights. A newborn is dependent on its mother for its rights to Life, Liberty, Property, Privacy, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Without her suckling, he has nothing – and no rights.

        Try Peter Hitchens for a 21st century take on this subject:

        “Human rights do not exist. They are an invention, made out of pure wind. If you are seriously interested in staying free, you should not rely on these flatulent, vague phrases to help you….

        Let us get rid of these useless human rights, which protect us from nothing and give power to those who have not earned it. And let us once again learn to value, treasure and follow the great English documents which have in fact kept us free for centuries.”


        1. Which specific “modern philosophers” have shown Locke, Jefferson, and Paine to be wrong, and that they were “neophytes on the subject” of Human Rights? Can You name any names? And if You are calling Hitchens a philosopher, can You name any others?

          It’s interesting that for his main point, he quotes Article 39 of Magna Carta, “England’s great charter of freedom, [which] is worth more than a page of human rights bloviations: ‘No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.’ ”

          What is he talking about here but what Locke, Jefferson, and Paine called at least one Human Right: Due Process in a Court of Law?

          Hitchen’s bitch, as near as i can tell, has to do with what Human “Rights” have come to mean, particularly since the end of World War II and the UN’s Universal Declaration.

          The problem is that the concept of Human Rights has been expanded to include what are not Rights at all, but Human Needs and Wants. Specifically: Good Health and Health Care, a Free Education, Nice Shelter, a Good Paying Job, Security in Old Age or Disability, and even Leisure are now considered “Rights.”

          And that creates a serious problem because the only way those Needs that have been transformed into Rights of some of the Citizens can be met by Governments is to violate the actual, real Rights of other Citizens: as in seizing their Property thru Taxation and thus interfering with their Pursuit of Happiness.

          But the most significant thing about Hitchen’s bitch is that he does not specify exactly which things he calls “Rights” that he wants to get rid of. Does he want to eliminate Life as a Right? Or Liberty, Property, or Privacy? he never quite defines what exactly he means by these “Rights” that he wants to shit can.

          In any event: Do You have any other “modern philosophers” who have shown that Human Rights did not exist for Humans in the 20th century and don’t in the 21st?


        2. Well now, This is interesting… .

          i just discovered that Mr Hitches published a book back in 2008 entitled THOMAS PAINE’S RIGHTS OF MAN. i’m very curious to see if he dismisses and denigrates Human Rights in it the same way he does in that newspaper article You cited.

          Of the book, Amazon states:

          “Christopher Hitchens, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of God Is Not Great, has been called a Tom Paine for our times. In this addition to the Books that Changed the World Series, HITCHENS VIVIDLY INTRODUCES PAINE AND HIS DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN, THE WORLD’S FOREMOST DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY.

          “An outraged response to Edmund Burke’s attack on the French Revolution, PAINE’S IMMORTAL TEXT IS A PASSIONATE DEFENSE OF MAN’S INALIENABLE RIGHTS, AND THE KEY TO HIS REPUTATION. Ever since the day of its publication in 1791, Declaration of the Rights of Man has been celebrated, criticized, maligned, suppressed, and co-opted. But in Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, Hitchens marvels at its forethought and revels in its contentiousness.



  7. Humans are not entitled to any such thing as “Rights”. the idea that there is some inherent dignity to being human is arrogant and self deluded in the extreme.

    Human Rights are a fiction created by Societies to help control the populace and ensure societal stability when confronted with large groups of people who possess constantly shifting priorities.


  8. First of all: What do Human Rights have to do with “dignity”? Maybe You can start by explaining what You mean by that term. And how is Your claim that Humans have “Free Will” not equally arrogant and self-deluded?

    And second of all: If that’s the case, then exactly how do Governments control populations and ensure stability by the “fiction” of Human Rights? Or by the fiction of “Free Will”? And what do “constantly changing priorities” have to do with any of this?


    1. Jeff, somewhere I read that ” a fool would ask more questions in an hour than a wise can answer in seven years.”


      1. And i read right next to that: And somebody who doesn’t know what he is talking about will always be able find all kinds of ways, means, and excuses to avoid having to actually provide answers to those questions.


    1. Well, that certainly settles THAT, doesn’t it? A clever but a meaningless statement. Try again to prove that You have “Free Will.”


  9. Another brilliant Englishman, Bertrand Russell:

    It should be said, further, that the notion of “will” is very obscure, and is probably one which would disappear from scientific psychology. Most of our actions are not preceded by anything that feels like an act of will; it is a form of mental disease to be unable to do simple things without a previous decision. We may, for instance, decide to walk to a certain place, and then, if we know the way, the putting of one foot before another until we arrive proceeds of itself. It is only the original decision that is felt to involve “will”. When we decide after deliberation, two or more possibilities have been in our mind, each more or less repulsive; in the end, one has proved the most attractive, and has overpowered the others. When one tries to discover volition by introspection, one finds a sense of muscular tenseness, and sometimes an emphatic sentence: “I will do this”. But I, for one, cannot find myself any specific kind of mental occurrence that I could call “will.”


    1. So does Russell endorse Your idea that Humans have “Free Will”?

      If so, then how do You interpret his concluding sentence: “But I, for one, cannot find myself any specific kind of mental occurrence that I could call “will.”


  10. Human rights aren’t so much “fictions” as they are “constructs.” As humans, we agree that certain “rights” should be protected, such as a right to property or right to life. And we construct systems that, in theory at least, serve to uphold those “rights.”

    In theory, this is what a justice system is all about: creating, defending, and enforcing laws for the good of the individual and wider community, defining and upholding “rights” for the good of all.

    George Carlin is wrong in theory, but (sadly) often right in practice, when he says “you have no rights.” Sure, we have them in theory. But as we often discover, might or money or both make right. As Thucydides said, “The strong do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.”

    Justice and rights should help prevent the strong from doing what they will at the expense of the weak, but we all know how imperfectly justice works.

    Still, I wouldn’t toss away the idea that we as humans have rights. The alternative is a free-for-all world where the strong exploit the weak with no recourse whatsoever. I know, I know: sometimes it feels like we’re already there.


    1. i agree completely, Bill, that Human Rights are indeed “constructs,” as is just about everything else that distinguishes Humans from Plants, Animals, and Amoebas; particularly all our cultural, social, economic, political, and justice systems of organization and execution.

      And over the course of history, some of those various systems have been more successful at fostering the well-being of the individual, the family, and the community ~ from the local to the national levels ~ than others.

      With scant exception, the most successful of those systems in terms of meeting real world, actual Human Needs and satisfying Human Wants have been those in which Human Rights have been recognized and protected at the individual level, and that protection is enforced at the community and national levels.

      And, with virtually no exceptions, every system of government and governance ~ that was or is not based on the construct of Human Rights, and did or does not ensure that the Rights of its Citizens and the Citizens of other political entities are protected ~ every such system has failed, is failing, or will fail.

      Those are the systems that Carlin was talking about. So Yeah, just like You said: In theory he was completely wrong, but in practice he was just about spot on.

      Again, throughout history, it has been The State ~ the operative system of government and governance with a monopoly on the use of violent force in a given area ~ that has been, and is today, the biggest suppressor and violator of Human Rights.

      And that’s exactly why it seems like we’re already in that free-for-all world of the Strong exploiting the Weak, of the Rulers exploiting the Ruled: Because we actually already ARE in that world.


  11. 9/11 as an “inside job”: I believe the crimes of 9/11 took place after the attacks, i.e. I don’t believe Bush/Cheney planned 9/11.

    It’s bad enough that Bush/Cheney ignored warnings, that their incompetence allowed 9/11 to happen, and that they then led America into a disastrous war on terror that is perhaps the leading cause of America’s decline since 2000.

    They are not clever masterminds of an amazingly successful conspiracy: they are butchers and bunglers.

    Forgive me, but I refuse to go down the rabbit hole of what happened to different towers, whether they were rigged to explode, etc.


    1. First of all, Bill, The Plan for 9/11 was put in gear well before Cheney/Bush took charge. All four of the highjackers who were identified as the “pilots” of the highjacked aircraft arrived in the US in mid-to-late 2000 for their “pilot training” in American flight schools, when it was still Clinton’s ball game. [ ]

      My guess is that Team Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld/Rice/Ashcroft/etc masterminded nothing, and were simply following the script written long before they assumed power.

      Also, was it merely the “incompetence” of the INS, the FBI, the CIA and NSA, the FAA, and NORAD that made 9/11 even possible; let alone the complete and total success that it was? Or was there something else at play?

      And finally, i understand completely Your ~ and the overwhelming majority of other Americans’ ~ refusal to go down that “Rabbit Hole” of what brought down WTC-1, -2, and -7. And that is because, if it can be proven that those buildings were brought down by controlled demolition, then the conclusion that 9/11 Was in fact an “inside job” is totally and completely inescapable. And that is something that very, very few Americans want to have to even think about; let alone do something about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand what you believe, Jeff. But I don’t believe it.

        Here’s one way to look at it: your theory gives no credit to OBL and Al Qaeda. It was a plan “made in America” and perfectly executed by rogue (or mainstream?) elements within the U.S., presumably working hand-in-glove with the Saudis (since 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals).

        In a way, your theory is jingoistic. Americans, in this case “bad” ones, are always the string-pullers.

        Again, this is not an issue I want to debate in detail. I have done this before with other 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and to every matter of fact I raise, and every objection, conspiracy theorists always have “what about this” and “what about that,” which is why it’s a rabbit hole, in my experience, a wonderland from which there’s no escape.


        1. Just one “what about” question, Bill; and then i’ll drop the subject.

          Do You actually believe that ObL could have pulled that whole thing together and then off while living in a cave in Afghanistan without assets on the ground making arrangements for, particularly, entrance into U.S, civilian flite schools?


        2. Look at how you framed the question, Jeff.

          OBL was “living in a cave in Afghanistan,” i.e. he’s a primitive, with no assets on the ground. No way he could have planned it. What a loser.

          From what I’ve read about OBL, he was an experienced and sophisticated warrior/leader. I’d add that, if we’re looking for assets on the ground, I’d stress that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, as was OBL himself. They had access to money, intelligence, and the crudest of weapons, but perhaps what they had most of all was anger backed by audacity.


          1. i framed the question that way, Bill, because that is the “Official Story” as to where bin Laden was before, during, and after 9/11. That was our justification for launching “Operation Enduring Freedom” against the People, Land, Country, and Nation of Afghanistan; as opposed to someplace else.

            Interestingly enough, there are “Unofficial Stories” that place ObL on 9/11 in a hospital in Pakistan, dying or already dead of Kidney Failure. And even more interesting, it has been reported that bin Laden categorically denied having anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. [Sources available on request.]

            This is not to deny bin Laden’s skill and expertise as a warrior/leader. After all, he was groomed, trained, and resourced by ~ and worked for ~ the CIA for close to a decade in our very successful Holy war against the Russkies in Afghanistan in the 80s to, as Brzezinski put it, “Give the Soviets their very own Vietnam.”

            And obviously ObL and his 9/11 Team had access to money and intelligence. The question is: Who provided him with that money and that boots-on-the-ground Intelligence? The Saudis? If them, then how did they gain access to that “Intelligence”?

            i do not deny that the Highjackers ~ as Muslims, Arabs, and Middle Easterners ~ had [and still have] more than ample reason to Hate America for what it had done and was [and still is] doing in concert with Israel in pursuit of its own form of domination and control over the ME, primarily because of all its Oil.

            But i also deny that anger, money, and “intelligence” alone was all that was required to make 9/11 the success that it was; not only to ObL and Da Boyz, but even more so, for folks in DC who were intent upon bringing “Pax Americana” to the area.

            Remember the mantra back in those days? “Everybody wants to go to Baghdad; Real men want to go to Tehran.” And remember PNAC’s call for a “New Pearl Harbor”?

            But most of all, remember how desperately the MICC/SSSP NEEDED a New “Threat” and a New “Enemy” ~ to replace the one that disappeared when the USSR disintegrated in 1991 to end “Cold War I” ~ so as to keep those ever-growing National Security Budgets getting even bigger?

            Two of the biggest and most important Questions that anybody needs to ask about 9/11 are quite simply: 1] “Cui Bono?” Who benefitted from the Terror Event of September 11, 2001? And then 2], “Who made that happen, and How did they do that?”

            And those are two questions that the 9/11 Commission Report didn’t even actually ask; let alone legitimately answer.


            1. Jeff: Without a doubt, Bush/Cheney benefited from the attack. A failing presidency became a crusading one. Yet those crusades led to even more failure, even as many profited.

              That Bush/Cheney and the whole MIC Complex benefited doesn’t necessarily mean they orchestrated the attack. But they definitely exploited it, relentlessly, and, I would add, foolishly.

              Again, I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole, but I do believe that if 9/11 had been an “inside job,” it would have been far more simple. Truly, only one plane was required, striking only one famous landmark, as a provocation. That four planes were hijacked by four different teams almost simultaneously is far beyond what was required to advance the Cheney doctrine.

              Just my opinion. I could add more, but let’s stop, I don’t think either of us will change our minds on this.


              1. i’ll offer my opinion and then stop.

                One plane could have been dismissed as an accident, as the first plane to hit the first Tower was described until the second plane hit the second.

                And one plane would have killed nowhere near 3,000 people, or caused the multi-tens of billions of dollars in physical property loss and economic damage.

                And one plane could not have hit two of America’s most iconic buildings: the Pentagon and the WTC.

                And finally, one plane would have been a lot easier for NORAD to intercept; and a lot harder to make excuses for not intercepting.


                1. Thinking about it further, with only one plane, the world would have never seen LIVE FROM NEW YORK, the second plane hitting the second Tower.

                  The timing of the second hit was absolutely perfect in that there was plenty of time for the media to assemble and focus the Planet’s attention on the burning first Tower.

                  Almost like it was choreographed, or something, eh?

                  Full Stop.


              1. To tell You the truth, Ray, i never asked myself that question because i was only vaguely aware that there were unsubstantiated rumors to that effect. What’s Your source that ObL’s Father’s plane was the only one to fly out on 9/11?

                Liked by 1 person

  12. Do we have free will? Wow! I’m sure I can solve this in a couple of sentences!

    I suppose having free will suggests that one must be free first (not a slave, not under someone’s thumb) and that one must have will (healthy in mind and/or body).

    Does free will mean we are unconstrained? Only a God is unconstrained. I suppose we all have a certain freedom to dream. To hope. Even in the gutter, some look toward the stars.

    In reality, I think we’re all immersed in communities suffused with propaganda and norms and laws and all the rest that act as limits and checks on our free will.

    For does “free will” mean I’m free to do whatever I want? And you too? Too much of anything, even freedom, may not be a good thing.

    Thus endeth my amateurish reflections on free will.


    1. Isn’t there another factor that needs to be considered about Free Will beyond social and cultural propaganda, family and community norms, and local and national laws? How about genetics and impact that that has on Brain functioning: the old question of “Nature vs Nurture”? Does that enter into considerations of how much “free will” specific, individual Humans actually have?

      In any event, having “free will” ~ if it exists and whatever it actually is ~ does not mean that everybody is free to do whatever it is that they Want ~ or even Need ~ to do. And this is where those constructs of Human Rights and a Rule of Law come, or Should come, into play.

      Specifically: Everybody has the Right to do whatever it is that they need or want to do if and as long as ~ and Only if and as long as ~ it does not violate the Human Rights of any other Human.

      And that, of course, requires a very clear articulation and establishment of just exactly What those specific Human Rights are that every Human has. And this, in turn, requires a very clear distinction between Human Rights, on the one hand, and Human Needs and Wants, on the other.

      For example: Good Health and appropriate Health Care are obviously very real Human Needs and Wants. But are they Human Rights? Does every Human have the Right to Health and Health Care? And if so, to what degree and quality do they have those Rights?

      And the same questions can be asked about other obvious Human Needs and Wants like Education, Employment, Security, Habitat, Leisure, and other things that Humans find of value, and worth pursuing, getting, and keeping.


      1. All of the developed countries in the World Jeff agree that every Human has the Right to Health and Health Care.

        All U.N. members have universally recognized the right to health, which is written into the original foundational document establishing the international body in 1948.

        But to its great shame, the richest country in the World, the USA, has decided that appropriate Health Care is not a human right. In 2019, around 44 million US adults did not have any health insurance, with another 38 million people lacking adequate health insurance.

        Millions of people in the United States are underinsured and risk financial ruin if they become ill or injured. Worse, there are approximately 9 million uninsured children in the country. That’s about 1 out of every 10 children in the United States.


        1. Now that Obamacare is in place basically the only reason for people to not have health insurance is that they don’t want it. Obamacare gives them a choice of getting it and paying for it or not getting it and not paying for it. Countries with nationalized health care don’t offer that choice – you pay for it and you get it. Period.


          1. Poor people do get Obamacare ALEX. It costs them an arm and a leg. Literally taking food off their kids table. And then they get horribly ill, and their insurance limits their coverage and won’t cover their treatment and they go bankrupt. Is that right you think?


            1. Health care is always limited. The amount of health care demanded will always be greater than what is supplied. From Wikipedia: “In New Zealand’s public health system it is typical for medical appointments, particularly surgeries to have a waiting list. District Health Boards are typical (sic) judged in the media and by government in part based on the length of these lists. In 2016, it was inferred that many people required surgery but were not put on the official list.[23] Research projected that of all the people who had been told they needed surgery less than half were on the official list. However, the main concern noted by health industry observers was the overall increase in waiting time, about 304 days.” ….. Sounds like people need surgeries but they give up because the waiting lists are too long. Is that right? Waiting for 9 months to have surgery? Is that right? If healthcare is a universal right shouldn’t it be timely? What’s the use of a universal right if the patient dies while waiting for an operation?


              1. All true ALEX. And as more and more new life-saving drugs and procedures are discovered the challenge of funding them all for everybody is only going to increase. (There did not use to be challenges with funding cancer care – there wasn’t any! You just died!)

                But surely you do your best. And most importantly you do your best the same for everyone. The goal surely is to be fair – and not disadvantage a person’s healthcare because the good Lord only equipped him/her to work at McDonalds. Surely a person who did his best working his arse (ass) off at McDonalds his whole life deserves the same heart surgery and care as the multimillionaire CEO of a hedge fund.

                The argument as to whether the American “for Profit Healthcare” model is fairer to everyone than the socialized Universal models like Canada, Australia and New Zealand rages on. Cuba for example has very good healthcare outcomes. Cuba has become a world-class medical powerhouse with very limited resources, while “the US squanders perhaps 10 to 20 times what is needed for a good, affordable medical system.”

                I resolved the argument for myself by moving back to my country of birth in my old age. I have been quite ill this year and have no complaints about my world class healthcare or the time I waited for admission.


                1. I’m not sure I believe much as reported about Cuba. As I understand it Cuba trains a lot of doctors who are then sent out to poor countries. The Cuban government gets paid well for each doctor and gives each doctor a small salary and the government pockets the difference. Hmm. So is that a form of slavery?

                  This from Wikipedia about Cuban health care: “Challenges include low salaries for doctors,[366] poor facilities, poor provision of equipment, and the frequent absence of essential drugs.” Doesn’t sound very promising.


                2. @ALEX
                  I notice you did not reproduce here all the praise in Wiki of the Cuban Healthcare System my friend eh?
                  Why is that?
                  I’m not sure I believe all, or any, the criticism of the Cuban System coming from the West either.

                  We have to be careful here.
                  The tile of WJA’s blog today is “US Propaganda Gets Even Heavier”
                  Anything you read about healthcare in Western sources, especially American ones, is definitely heavily propagandized.

                  Especially they do want Americans to realize they are being royally ripped off for their Healthcare!
                  Health administration costs are more than four-fold higher per capita in the U.S. than in Canada ($2,479 vs. $551 per person). And the Canadians have better health outcomes in many areas. The crooks and robbers in the US don’t want this heavily advertised eh!


                3. Alex, I’m sure US Economic Sanctions on Cuba since the US approved Batista Dictatorship was overthrown has something to do with the chronic shortages in Cuba.

                  In the Biblical dynamic ‘what you sow, so shall you reap, is finally coming home to America for spreading so much economic misery abroad since WWII.


                4. Yes, Dennis. One thing is that our prescription costs are a higher for any given drug than the rest of the world. The US is apparently subsidizing the health care costs of the rest of the world. I guess that’s just the penalty from having so many of the inventive pharma companies……As for Cuba, it’s true, I just don’t know. I have to extrapolate from other Communist countries that have existed around the globe. I don’t see them as having a consumer-type orientation….What I’ve heard about Canada is their health care system also has a lot of lines. People there aren’t allowed to seek private health care (except prisoners and politicians) and people who don’t want to wait just come to the US.


                5. @ALEX
                  ………The US is apparently subsidizing the health care costs of the rest of the world. I guess that’s just the penalty from having so many of the inventive pharma companies……….

                  A couple of facts: its debatable that the US is subsidizing the health care costs of the rest of the world. Of the Top 10 Pharmaceutical Innovators in 2020 – 5 were non-US, and this is rapidly changing.

                  Note that in 2020, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States spent approximately USD 91 billion on R&D.

                  In the same period, China’s pharmaceutical R&D spending was estimated to be around USD 150 billion. It is estimated that the Chinese pharmaceutical industry’s total R&D spending will reach USD 342 billion by 2023, growing faster than the global average.

                  China has a goal of established itself as the largest strategic player in the global pharmaceutical market, both as a consumer country and as a platform for expanding R&D. Chinese pharmaceutical companies are primarily involved in the manufacture of generics, therapeutic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and traditional Chinese medicine. Generic drugs account for more than 90% of all drugs registered in China

                  In the past, pharmaceutical companies have attributed high prices to innovation, arguing that new and improved drugs are naturally more expensive. But a study published in the journal Health Affairs disputes that claim as bogus.

                  Their study showed that largely, costs have gone up because US companies are raising the price of drugs that are already available. Because they can!

                  “Research and development is only about 17 percent of total spending in most large drug companies,”…. “Once a drug has been approved by the FDA, there are minimal additional research and development costs so drug companies cannot justify price increases by claiming research and development costs.”

                  “We found that, in the case of brand-name drugs, rising prices were driven by manufacturers increasing prices of medications that are already in the market rather than by the entry of new products,” says lead author Inmaculada Hernandez, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

                  The study shows a lack of competition and the regulatory environment in the U.S. allow “for price increases much higher than in other countries.”

                  In other words: US consumers are just being flat out ripped off.


        2. Like i asked before, Dennis: If Health and Health Care are Human Rights, then to what degree and level of Health and quality of Health Care do Humans have the Right to?

          To look at one extreme: Does the morbidly obese junk food junkie ~ whose only exercise is walking to the car, who smokes a pack and a half a day, and is perpetually drunk and/or high ~ have a “Right” to Good Health? Or to whatever Health Care is needed so as to maintain their current life style? And if they do, on what basis?

          And much more importantly, then exactly Who is supposed to pay the bills for all this?

          The biggest difference between a Human Right and a Human Need and Human Want is that the meeting of Needs and the satisfaction of Wants happens virtually almost always and only as the result of purposeful Human Action and Activity that works; ie, that accomplishes what it set out to accomplish.

          On the other hand, the acknowledgement and protection of Human Rights requires nothing from anybody other than that everybody acknowledges, recognizes, respects, and ~ when necessary ~ protects those Rights that every other Human has.

          On that basis, then: Is Good Health and all “necessary” Health Care still a Human Right that is the responsibility of Civil Society ~ thru Government fiat ~ to preserve and protect? Or are they Human Needs and Wants that are best met by those methods and means by which Humans meet their Needs and satisfy their Wants thru productive action that works in the Real World?


          1. Does the morbidly obese junk food junkie ~ whose only exercise is walking to the car, who smokes a pack and a half a day, and is perpetually drunk and/or high ~ have a “Right” to Good Health?…

            Who is going to be the triage person in the hospital Emergency Room who decides ” No, you drunk! Get out of here! You have no right to Good Health! Go die in the gutter!” ?

            You want that job?


            1. And what if the choice is between: 1] Giving Your Buddy whatever he wants by way of free medical treatment and care so he can continue to live the way he is; or 2] Giving it to a healthy, exercising, non-smoking, non-drinking, non-drug user so he can go back to work and pay the taxes that pay for Your Buddy’s medical treatment and care?

              And just for the record, Dennis, i have been part of an ER Triage Team in the real world that must limit who and what it can take care of because of limited resources and unlimited demand.


              1. I don’t think giving “my Buddy” ( oh, dear!) free medical treatment and care so he can continue to live the way he is – is a choice any medical professional would offer Jeff. Thats not even a choice. Something to do with the Hippocratic Oath. The treatment and care the addict needs first and foremost is that to deal with his addiction. And then and only then help him be a healthy, exercising, non-smoking, non-drinking, non-drug user so he can go back to work.

                And that treatment needs to be given until the addict’s addiction is cured, or he dies. To withhold treatment at any stage, as you seem to be suggesting, would be inhumane.


                1. The question has nothing to do with what a medical professional does to satisfy the Hippocratic Oath, Dennis.

                  The question is: In a situation with limited resources and unlimited demand [as in Your ER Triage situation], on what basis does that medical professional decide who does and who does not receive treatment?

                  If the choice is between treating EITHER the morbidly obese junk food junkie/addict, OR the healthy, exercising, teetotaler so she can go back to work and pay taxes, on what basis is that decision to be made? And by Whom?

                  i agree that that may be what the addict needs, but the next question is: Whose RESPONSIBILITY is it to see to it that that addict gets what he/she needs until cured or dead? Is it Civil Society’s? Is it the Government’s? Exactly WHO is responsible to make sure that that happens?

                  Which, of course, leads directly to the next obvious follow-on questions: And How is that treatment going to be paid for, and by Whom?


                2. @JG MOEBUS
                  So I don’t know the answer that in New Zealand Jeff. In my naivety I like think it never happens in a system of Universal Government provided health care. Everybody is ALWAYS treated until there are no remaining medical interventional remedies.

                  In The USA, do you know whose RESPONSIBILITY is it to see to it that that addict gets what he/she needs until cured or dead? Is it Civil Society’s? Is it the Government’s? Exactly WHO is responsible to make sure that that happens? In US healthcare hospitals/system are addicts abandoned and left to die?


                3. You wrote: “Everybody is ALWAYS treated until there are no remaining medical interventional remedies.”

                  Everybody is ALWAYS treated for EVERYTHING? Are You saying that no addicts die on the streets there? Does anybody ever die of any treatable and/or preventable disease there?

                  And as far as who is LEGALLY and FINANCIALLY responsible in the U.S. for seeing to it that the addict gets what he/she needs until cured or dead, i don’t think anybody is. A more important question is: Who is ETHICALLY and MORALLY responsible for that addict’s medical requirements?

                  Determining Ethical and Moral ~ as opposed to merely Legal and Financial ~ Responsibility would be an excellent place to start in determining whether it is Government or Civil Society that is responsible. And that takes us back to the original question: Is Health Care a Human Right? Or is it a Human Need and Want? And, ultimately, is it a Human Responsibility; and if so, Whose?

                  But i’m curious, Dennis. During the 40+ years You lived in the U.S. working in and for our Infrastructure-Contractor-Congressional Complex [ICCC], did You pay income or any other taxes to New Zealand?


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