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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Amateur Hour at the "9/11 Debates" Facebook Page

I've had plenty of debates with debunkers in my time. Some of them have been mostly civil, and some have been pretty heated. And then there are the ones that are just plain batshit insane. For about a year or so I was part of a Facebook group called "9/11 Debates," which was meant to host debates and discussions among truthers and debunkers. And boy did I make a big mistake going there. It's a page that appears to be almost entirely run by debunkers, and they're about as biased as you can get. Granted I haven't been involved in as much 9/11 related issues for a while now, but I occasionally popped on over there just to see if there was anything worth discussing. The particular thread that finally convinced me to leave is here (if you can read it): I won't bother rehashing everything discussed over there. The main thing I want to discuss is the absurd ineptitude of some of the admins there and their apparent inability to read.

The most infuriating of the bunch was Elizabeth Tague, who did nothing but rant and rave about how I have no particular expertise (something I've never denied) and how therefore she doesn't have to take me seriously. Of course, I have no idea what her expertise is either, but at the very least I've actually read the NIST WTC7 Report, something I'm confident she hasn't done. Why do I think this? At one point in the discussion the subject of WTC7's free-fall of 2.25 seconds was brought up, and according to Elizabeth this was always known by NIST. Of course, those of us who've actually bothered to carefully pay attention to NIST's WTC investigation know that it was David Chandler who had to point this out to NIST, and as a result they mentioned it in their final report. But according to the oh-so accurate Elizabeth, NIST actually mentioned Building 7's period of free-fall in their Draft Report. Say what? Yes, you read that right. So after gathering myself from that face-palm moment, I asked her to tell me where in the Draft Report they said this. Here was her response.

What the Draft Report actually says:

From Draft Report NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Vol. 2, pp. 595-596, to be exact. You see, clever Elizabeth is quoting the FINAL Report on WTC7 (p. 601). So, in her attempt to show that the Draft Report said free-fall occurred, she instead quoted NIST's post-draft Final Report. And I know she hasn't actually read it, since she's just quoting almost verbatim someone on a different forum who also incorrectly said the draft mentioned free-fall. Elizabeth should probably know that when finding out what a report says it's probably better to actually read the report itself instead of just quoting forum posts. But hey, as I was frequently reminded, I have no expertise, so what do I know? I'm just a guy who, you know, can read.

And it got even better from there. Another admin, Keoki George, pipped in and gave her two cents on the issue. Did she chastise Elizabeth for quoting from the wrong report? No, that would have been the logical decision. Instead, the equally bright Keoki tried to make it seem like I was the one who did something wrong. 

Now this would have made complete sense if those comments were directed toward Elizabeth, but no, they were directed at me. Ms. George completely missed the point. I only referenced the Draft Report because Elizabeth said it mentioned WTC7's free-fall, which I proved it did not! I only talked about it because she did. How is this hard to understand? And in an attempt to cover for Elizabeth's error, Keoki quoted a part of the draft that does talk about free-fall.

I'll give her a little credit, she actually went and read the report, which is more than Elizabeth did. But unfortunately, that's all she did right. Setting aside the fact that this is obviously not the passage Elizabeth quoted, see the word highlighted in the above screen-cap? It's good to know that Ms. George's preferred method of investigation is just doing a word search for the particular word you want to find. But if you read that passage carefully, you'll see that what it actually says is that the theoretical time of free-fall for Building 7 would have been 3.9s. In other words, the report says what would have happened had the building fallen at free-fall. It is NOT saying that at any point the building actually did fall at free-fall. So yes, my original point stands: the Draft Report said nothing about Building 7 going into free-fall, and it was only after David Chandler pointed out the 2.25 seconds of free-fall did NIST update their findings and mention this in their Final Report. 

Perhaps now you have a good idea of why I left that page. I've had other encounters with them and others over there in the past, and none of them have been fun or productive. Bottom line, don't bother with that group. There's nothing to gain from debating with a bunch of children in adults' bodies. I may be an amateur (and probably always will be), but at least I can read. My advice for Elizabeth and Keoki...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Anthony Lawson, 1935-2015

I've just recently learned that Anthony Lawson sadly passed away on January 8, 2015. For those unfamiliar, Anthony Lawson was the creator of the massively popular video "WTC7 -- This is an Orange." He was also one of the most meticulous debunkers of the various WTC "no-plane" theories, one of the best I've ever seen. Though he did hold some views I would soundly disagree with (e.g. "no plane at the Pentagon;" "real planes switched with different planes"), his work in the Truth Movement was overall extremely beneficial, and was a great help to me and others. He will be missed. The video below was made by his son Ashton, and is the last video that will ever be uploaded on his YouTube channel. As he says in the video description, any donations to assist the family's medical costs would be very appreciated.

Anthony Lawson passed away on the 8th of January, 2015 due to colon cancer. This video will be the final one on his channel.

The months leading up to his death were filled with much anguish and confusion, as after an operation to fix his inguinal hernia there were a series of follow-ups and other procedures to determine the causes of the severe back pain that followed. In the end, the cancer was discovered on New Year's Eve, far too late to have anything done, and his mental state as a result was too erratic for him to truly know what was wrong.

The medical costs have placed the family in a tight situation, so if anyone would like to make a donation, however small, please send an email to

Update Feb 3, 2015: Some people have requested an obituary of sorts, so here it is:
Anthony Charles Ashton Lawson passed away on the 8th of January, 2015 in Phuket, Thailand, at the age of 79 due to colon cancer. He was born on March 31st, 1935 to Lionel Lawson; a violinist and leader of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Queenie Ashton; a renowned soprano radio actress. In early life he sought work in the field of radio, making a name for himself as one of the best radio editors in Australia, later moving to the UK where he progressed into camera work, eventually becoming an award-winning commercial director and producer, having shot advertisements across Europe, in the US and in Asia. He moved to Hong Kong to take up positions as creative director, and also lent his voice to various commercials; most notably to Cathay Pacific and Star TV. Having always enjoyed tinkering, he turned to invention, moved to Thailand and created a food mixer known as ChefMaker, which did not see success due to the global shock that was 9/11. Having always valued the truth and having always taken a stand against injustice throughout his life; traits passed down to him by his mother, he spent his final years using his vast experience to shed light on the events of 9/11 and the terrible world events that have since followed. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.