Seven years past 9/11, it's time to learn about WTC 7; Countering Republican fiction with facts

Seven years since 9/11; time to learn about WTC 7

As a former high school teacher, I've seen student apathy about current events up close and personal. Studying the events of Sept. 11, in my opinion, could teach students and our entire culture vital information about ourselves that could help counter that apathy. We need to understand how we've been deceived about the catalytic attack that launched our nation to new levels of militarism, torture and government intrusion.

How could our overworked teachers possibly include Sept. 11 in their overstuffed curriculum? It's easy. Just show video clips of WTC 7 collapsing — the key to revealing the hollowness of the official 9/11 story. It takes only six seconds. Show it several times. Watch it in slow motion. Perhaps include some footage of other skyscrapers on fire and other buildings being demolished. Then start asking questions and take critical thinking to a new level of significance.

The WTC 7 collapse might well be the most mind-jolting six seconds you'll ever see. The vast majority of Americans have never seen it. This wide, 47-story Goliath — untouched by any jets — implodes in its footprint at 5:20 p.m. on Sept. 11. The "independent" 9/11 Commission omits any mention of it. Our massive mass media completely ignore it.

WTC 7's demise opens a Pandora's box of troubling questions. If, indeed, this building were intentionally demolished — as the video evidence compellingly suggests — who was responsible for planting the explosives? WTC 7 forces us to reconsider the mysterious disintegration of the twin towers themselves — and those strange, nearly debris-free crashes at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. We're prodded to re-examine why our vaunted air defenses were so paralyzed that day, why evidence (the towers' steel girders) was destroyed, and key players — including Cheney and Bush — were not forced to testify under oath.

Perhaps the greatest lesson 9/11 could teach concerns our dangerous vulnerability to propaganda and group-mindedness. If aroused individuals demand and get a new investigation and we learn that the 9/11 conspiracy includes some of our own citizens, we will have a lot of serious introspection to do. How could so many have been so fooled for so long? Educators and the media — overly credulous and compliant — have certainly been part of the problem, but they can also lead to its solution. Seven years since 9/11. Isn't it time for a lesson on WTC 7?

Ron Hertz

Ashland

Countering GOP fiction with facts

With Sarah Palin's speech to the GOP, the whole party has "flip-flopped." For months, Republicans complained of Sen. Obama's inexperience, youth and charisma. Sarah Palin delivered a snarky speech full of fibs and exaggerations. There's nothing wrong with her resume but to suggest her tenure as mayor of a rural town and half a term as governor is even in the same league as the Democratic ticket is an insult.

Rudy Giuliani called Wasilla the second largest city in Alaska. No, that would be Fairbanks, population 31,000. Wasilla's 7,000 makes it about the same size as Talent. But Republicans never bother about actual facts.

Sure, she's been successful with Alaska's budget — record oil profits flooded the state with huge surpluses. Sen. John McCain's claim that she's "in charge of 20 percent of our nation's energy" is like saying George Bush was in charge of NASA while governor because Mission Control is located in Houston.

She supported and even lobbied for the "Bridge to Nowhere" saying "Thanks, but no thanks," only after it became a national joke.

She doesn't command the Alaska National Guard (of roughly 4,000 — some city police departments are bigger); when they serve abroad they answer to the Pentagon.

Saying a woman who applied for her first passport in 2007 has foreign policy experience because her state is adjacent to Siberia is ... well, pathetic.

McCain, and now Palin, constantly distort Sen. Barack Obama's tax plans. Read it yourself and see most Americans get a tax break from Obama — as he closes corporate loopholes and rolls back Bush's cuts for the ultra-rich.

Obama put himself through school, was editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated top of his class. Instead of taking a six-figure salary, he returned to the south side of Chicago to toil in some of the most poverty-ridden neighborhoods in the nation. In politics, he worked his way up on his own, serving eight years in the Illinois Senate — delivering over $100 million in tax breaks to those most in need. In the U.S. Senate, he worked with Republican Richard Lugar to pass legislation to track down "loose-nukes," — something the Bush administration should have done years before. He crossed party lines again with Senator Corburn on ethics reform and accountability laws. There is no room here for Joe Biden's long list of accomplishments.

Is there anyone in America who believes Sarah Palin would have been McCain's pick if Hillary Clinton had not run? We've had folksy, photogenic and loose with the facts for the last eight years. Enough!

Sean O'Skea

Ashland