Barrie Zwicker on Chomsky and 9/11

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Postby MacCruiskeen » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:29 pm

By the way: does anyone have any idea what became of this Tom Breidenbach? Formerly of Brooklyn, or still there. His website contains only those two, long posts, from January and March 2007:

http://abdielsroom.blogspot.com/

Then silence.

The best I could find through Google was this, undated:

The Double Whammy is a sequence of pantoums by poet Tom Breidenbach, with five original two-color woodcuts by artist Donald Baechler.

Tom Breidenbach was born in 1965 and grew up on a farm near Iliff, Colorado. He earned his BA degree from the University of Denver, and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He currently lives in New York City where he teaches English at Pace University. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Mississippi Review, College English, The Denver Quarterly, The KGB BarBook of Poems, Lingo and other publications; The Double Whammy is his first book.

http://inkinc-us.com/Site/Whammy.html
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:47 pm

You folks have to remember that in America at least, noone seems to have more hatred at "9/11 conspiracy theorists" THAN the liberal/left.

I know that's not a nice thing to say about the "can-do-no-wrong" liberal side, who are "opposing the big bad evil neocons".

But let's be honest here:

When BOTH the majority of liberals believe the lies of 9/11, the "threat" of boogeymen in caves and SUPPORT the occupation of Afghanistan and the "war on terror"...

Whats the difference between the left/Democrats/liberals and the right wingers? 9/11 IS the litmus test, which many on the left FAIL.

Maybe its just me, but the WORST name calling, hatred, etc for my questioning of the official 9/11 narrative both on and offline has come from the so called liberal and left activists...both young and old.

It's as if, the liberals need to hold onto their "9/11" official story, the "incompetence/blowback" bullshit meme to keep some semblence of sanity.

"The government are a pack of liars! But on 9/11...they told the truth for once!"

Now Obama is basically saying "Bush thinks he's tough on the war on terror? Wait til I get to go into Pakistan!"

As long as liberals continue to believe the official 9/11 lie, push Islamo boogeyman scaremongering as Obama does, AND support the unjustified US occupation of Afghanistan thats killed THOUSANDS of innocents...I will continue to consider them on the same footing as the right wing in power.

Hell, people can chide the "patriot right wing Alex Jones" side, but at least they have the balls to expose 9/11 and the NWO agenda that the left has no stomach for.
Last edited by 8bitagent on Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:54 pm

Jeff wrote:I appreciate the sympathetic and unsparing critiques of Chomsky. He simply doesn't do conspiracy


In one of his books, he accuses Ford and Kissinger of complicity in the 1975 Indonesian genocide of East Timor. I quality that as a conspiracy theory

MacCruiskeen wrote:
It is painful to watch Chomsky struggling in vain to say anything rational or remotely convincing about 9/11. One of my heroes turns out to have feet of clay... But he is at least still impeccably decent and polite about it, unlike Cockburn, Corn and too many others to list.


Dont forget Colbert, Franken, Maher and the rest of the liberal pundits masquerading as "comedians".

MacCruiskeen wrote:

In the USA in 2008, the plain fact is that the left's most coherent energy is in "the 9/11 truth movement"


Um, what?

How come Jeff is always chiding 9/11 Truth as being "right wing"?

How come whenever I go to big anti war rallies in Northern and Southern California, 9/11 Truth seems very unwelcome? How come some of the most vocal opposition to 9/11 truth, apart from Fox News; literally comes from the left?
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Postby stefano » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:19 am

MacCruiskeen wrote:[To say that what he says in front of a mic is not what he really thinks], that is slandering Chomsky.


Well what does Zwicker mean by calling him intellectually dishonest? Surely that's almost the same thing? Zwicker seems to think Chomsky lacks the intellectual integrity to reach the logical conclusion that the facts lead to; I think that he's privately reached that conclusion and has decided not to talk about it publicly. And when you're famous that means not talking about it at all.

I'll try and read through Breidenbach's essay properly today, just skimmed through yesterday, but the fact that he writes like a horse's arse really doesn't make me take to him kindly. Why 'The Wicked Eunuch'? So weird.

I quite like the fact that your analysis of this, Mac and slow_dazzle, is pretty Chomskian - the limits of acceptable discourse are set and no point of view outside the range of this discourse is entertained. Chomsky's the one extreme, and, knowing that if he even once said out loud that the US government was involved he would be shut out of debate and talked about only as a kooky conspiracy theorist, he keeps quiet about it.

Well, it's up to him, I say. It's his name, he can do with it as he sees fit.
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Postby §ê¢rꆧ » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:03 am

MacCruiskeen wrote:stefano said:

don't forget Chomsky long ago adopted the role of public intellectual, and weighs his words very carefully. What he says in front of a mic is not what he really thinks


Now, that is slandering Chomsky. (And since when did you become telepathic, stefano?)



"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" - Noam Chomsky

Well you cannot argue with the fact that as a cunning linguist, Chomsky knows a thing or two about rhetoric. I mean, he's the godsdamned nuclear bomb of rhetoric. So it's certainly possible that he chooses his words carefully, in accordance with the principles of certain rhetorical effects, which is to say sometimes he speaks not his thoughts but his thoughts about his thoughts, as most of us do from time to time.

Example: pointedly referring to "911 truth industry," as if commerce were really at the core of the movement, invoking evangelical fundamentalists as a comparison to truthers, as if it were simply a matter of belief, etc. etc. He has to know what he is doing, come on now...

The fact that the nonsense he's spouted about 911 so far is so facile - from such a clearly brilliant individual - is almost evidence that there really is not much of a logical, cogent argument to make against 911 truth or conspiratorial perspectives on the events of September 11, for surely Chomsky of all people would be able to conjure it up. In some ways, that is comforting and a win, if you think about it.

I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and call it 'blind spot.' But he must be appealed to - using new tactics, perhaps - to address the problems with the Official Conspiracy Theory. For his own legacy, while he still can, and for everyone. I mean, he's got to do something about all that terrible energy being drained away from the left!
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Postby MacCruiskeen » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:39 am

Well said, §ê¢rꆧ, especially the third paragraph.
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Postby stefano » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:38 am

§ê¢rꆧ wrote:The fact that the nonsense he's spouted about 911 so far is so facile - from such a clearly brilliant individual - is almost evidence that there really is not much of a logical, cogent argument to make against 911 truth or conspiratorial perspectives on the events of September 11, for surely Chomsky of all people would be able to conjure it up.


Um, if you agree with that, Mac, then what do you think is going through Chomsky's head? Do you think he's incapable of making the connections or do you think he's made them and sticks to a calculated refusal to talk about it? That's what I think, contra your verbose poser of a blogger, whose whole article I just finished reading. Yes, he makes a good point, and I want to read more by Nafeez Ahmednow, but I think he calls it wrong by thinking that Chomsky really believes the things he's on record as saying.

And I know it's no refutation of an argument, but I do think a guy with nothing more to show than two essays and a well-thumbed thesaurus could tone it down a bit when talking about Noam Chomsky. I mean if you object to my calling him a tit, how can you be cool with him calling Chomsky a neurotic, a schizophrenic, a Stalinist, a snob, a coward, conceited, and intellectually dissipated?
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Postby MacCruiskeen » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:23 pm

stefano wrote:
§ê¢rꆧ wrote:The fact that the nonsense he's spouted about 911 so far is so facile - from such a clearly brilliant individual - is almost evidence that there really is not much of a logical, cogent argument to make against 911 truth or conspiratorial perspectives on the events of September 11, for surely Chomsky of all people would be able to conjure it up.


Um, if you agree with that, Mac, then what do you think is going through Chomsky's head? Do you think he's incapable of making the connections or do you think he's made them and sticks to a calculated refusal to talk about it? That's what I think, contra your verbose poser of a blogger, whose whole article I just finished reading. Yes, he makes a good point, and I want to read more by Nafeez Ahmednow, but I think he calls it wrong by thinking that Chomsky really believes the things he's on record as saying.


I think I answered all this already, stefano, in two lines. He's a very old man, he's already achieved a lot by struggling for decades, and he's worried about being marginalised again just before his death. Genius or not, he's only human. And in any case, I think he has always made a false dichotomy between structures and individuals/groups, a weakness in his thought pointed out long ago by Parenti and others.

And I know it's no refutation of an argument, but I do think a guy with nothing more to show than two essays and a well-thumbed thesaurus could tone it down a bit when talking about Noam Chomsky. I mean if you object to my calling him a tit, how can you be cool with him calling Chomsky a neurotic, a schizophrenic, a Stalinist, a snob, a coward, conceited, and intellectually dissipated?


Well, I fully agree with you that Breidenbach is unnecessarily verbose and a bit full of himself, but he didn't just scream nasty names at Chomsky. I wouldn't have used those words myself, and I wish he hadn't. But I'm not sure he doesn't justify most of them in the context of Chomsky's sustained [non-]response to this particular issue.

People sometimes say nasty things when they're angry, and "the left's" [non-]response to 9/11 is worth getting angry about. Chomsky's peculiar, visibly miffed affectlessness in that talk in Hungary is really not a pretty sight. ("Who cares?" "Lots of people die, every day." Etcetera.)

By the way, I say all this as someone who is proud to own a book signed by Noam Chomsky, and I don't normally give a damn about such things. I've said in the past that I "almost revere" him, and I don't say that about many people. But a bad argument is a bad argument, a weak response is a weak response, arrogance is arrogance, and nobody's perfect.

One of the worst things about 9/11 is how it has turned so many people into rival fans. Far too many of Chomsky fans and inferiors [I don't mean you!] shelter behind his reputation, and he does bear a certain amount of responsibilty for that. In any case, he is certainly responsible for the quality and the consequences of his own thought. He set the bar very high for all of us, and he should be held to his own high standards.

PS - Here's a post in which I also call a Grand Old Man of the US Left both "arrogant" and "neurotic":

http://qlipoth.blogspot.com/2006/09/suf ... lefts.html

-- and not for no reason. I didn't learn from these people in order to bow down and worship their every word.

PPS - I absolutely agree with you (and have always said) that the "truth movement" should leave the 78-year-old Noam Chomsky in peace, especially if they can't be polite. I have little doubt that he's been subjected to some terrible crap about explosions and holograms and the Illuminati -- and that's not just shamefully disrespectful but positively counterproductive.
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Postby 8bitagent » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:37 pm

MacCruiskeen wrote:

PPS - I absolutely agree with you (and have always said) that the "truth movement" should leave the 78-year-old Noam Chomsky in peace, especially if they can't be polite. I have little doubt that he's been subjected to some terrible crap about explosions and holograms and the Illuminati -- and that's not just shamefully disrespectful but positively counterproductive.


Well we, "the truth movement", have Howard Zinn and Gore Vidal(as well as the late Hunter S Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut) Doesn't that at least count for something? :)
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Postby Truth4Youth » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:06 pm

MacCruiskeen wrote:I think that now, in his very late 70s, Chomsky is simply worried about being marginalised even further than he has been all his life. It's just a bridge too far for him.


I think that's true. I have a friend who is a fan of RATM and he learned about Chomsky thorugh the band. He asked me if I could lend him a Chomsky book, and I said I would. I bring it in and lend it to him a few days later. The next day he comes back and says, "I can't read this, he's a socialist." I was pretty disappointed, but it's that whole marginalization.
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Postby Truth4Youth » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:16 pm

8bitagent wrote:Well we, "the truth movement", have Howard Zinn and Gore Vidal(as well as the late Hunter S Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut) Doesn't that at least count for something? :)


Last I recall Zinn said that focusing on 9/11 is a distraction, ALTHOUGH he does question the official story.

Kurt Vonnegut as far as I know never openly came out for 9/11 truth. I think what you are refering to is Alex Jones coming out and claiming that he heard through sources that Vonnegut was for 9/11 truth. Of course I don't doubt that Vonnegut questioned the official story as he did go into forbidden subjects (Skull and Bones for instance.)

As for Chomsky I think he MAY possibly privately questions the official story, but doesn't go public because a.) the marginalization mentioned earlier, or b.) like Zinn and others he sees it as a distraction.
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Postby ninakat » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:30 am

Truth4Youth wrote:As for Chomsky I think he MAY possibly privately questions the official story, but doesn't go public because a.) the marginalization mentioned earlier, or b.) like Zinn and others he sees it as a distraction.


and/or c.) he's simply terrified of the truth and has refused to entertain the plethora of data exposing the dirty laundry about what really happened re: JFK and 9/11. And if he rejects those major conspiracies out of fear/denial, what about all the minor ones (even anthrax, which was a pretty big deal for a few weeks)? How far back to safety does he need to go before he'll admit that conspiracies do happen? And once back in the safe zone, why can't he therefore imagine any larger conspiracies? Denial, cognitive dissonance, however you want to label it, he's hurting his own reputation, except amongst the perpetrators who must love him for keeping the left confused and obedient.
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Postby orz » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:21 am

Dunno about you guys but often when someone really intelligent who's ideas I respect and generally believe in disagrees with me on one particular issue, I try a little thought experiment and consider whether it's possible that I'm wrong, not them. This is probably a totally alien concept to many here tho.
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Postby lightningBugout » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:54 am

orz wrote:Dunno about you guys but often when someone really intelligent who's ideas I respect and generally believe in disagrees with me on one particular issue, I try a little thought experiment and consider whether it's possible that I'm wrong, not them. This is probably a totally alien concept to many here tho.


Chomsky's philosophy is trapped in the 1950s. Sure he did more for exposing the history of the CIA than nearly anyone else in his milieu, but he is still a scientist who is committed to rational modalities above all else. Recall that he was one of those great defenders against Foucault and the French who really seemed to believe he was protecting a teleogical metaphysics of truth and justice. "On Human Nature"

And where did 9/11 truth get quagmired? Use science to prove CD. As someone pointed out recently- if CD is definitely proved incorrect (which I think it will be), nothing is going to change the damning evidence that has emerged in the past 7 years with regards to Ptech and the like.

The same theme runs throughout his writing on politics and psychology - social research is subservient to science. That's a modality that is so far behind the times that I, for one, don't particularly think Chomsky (bless his heart, I guess) remains suited for furthering human liberation.
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Postby 8bitagent » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:28 am

lightningBugout wrote:And where did 9/11 truth get quagmired? Use science to prove CD. As someone pointed out recently- if CD is definitely proved incorrect (which I think it will be), nothing is going to change the damning evidence that has emerged in the past 7 years with regards to Ptech and the like.


Maybe its just me...but the towers collapsing never once gave me a "gut feeling" of "controlled demolition".

Oh, the towers collapsing seems very...well bizarre and not right in my view. But I guess Im just not seeing the "indisputable CD fact!" so many people do. Maybe its like those "3d" art things at the mall you have to unfocus your eyes on?

Again, I agree strongly with the CD proponents that the towers "had to come down" by the real planners of 9/11 whoever they may be...
Im just not convinced it was "controlled demolition and super duper thermate"

Btw, speaking of Ptech, Indira Singh has a new blog up:
http://4acloserlook.wordpress.com/tag/indira-singh/

For a truly deep trip down the 9/11 rabbit hole, I highly suggest Indira Singh's groundbreaking interview from 3 years ago:
http://www.h-files.hraunfjord.org/Sweej ... rbin_1.mp3
http://www.h-files.hraunfjord.org/Sweej ... in_1.2.mp3
http://www.h-files.hraunfjord.org/Sweej ... in_1.1.mp3
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