Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Astronomer Carl Sagan was fond of saying this when talking about the possibility of intelligent life existing elsewhere in the universe. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also used the expression in his own portrayal of intelligent life on this planet, in reference to his inability to find Saddam Hussein’s WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) that didn’t exist.
It’s a basically useful mindset that has both useful and useless applications, as in Rumsfeld’s using it to mean, apparently, something like: “We don’t need no stinking evidence, we know his WMDs used to exist, we believe they still exist, and that’s good enough – trust us.”
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” applies as well to the events of September 11, 2001, and it’s still not clear which usage applies best to which argument from any perspective. The assumption here is that, at a minimum, the official 9/11 story is false in some of its essentials. The official 9/11 story has too many elements to assume they’re all false, or even that they’re mostly false. On the contrary, whether one assumes official honesty or an official cover-up, the motive is the same: to get as much right as possible and/or necessary. The best lies are embedded in truth.
The 9/11 Museum is full of contradictions, acknowledged and ignored
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Secretary of State John Kerry said that Edward Snowden should “return home and come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case.” Kerry seems to have a high opinion of the Department of Justice and the US courts when it comes to national security issues. I can’t imagine for the life of me why. Kerry is either amazingly ignorant or being disingenuous when he suggests that Snowden would be allowed to “make his case” if he returned to the US. No one outside the penal justice system would ever see him again, the moment he set foot here, assuming he was not given a prior deal. He could maybe try to explain himself to the prison guards, assuming they didn’t stick him in solitary. Here are some reasons Mr. Snowden would be unwise to trust himself to that system, given the charges against him…
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I wasted way too much time on Facebook today. I was reading news article which led me to research terms I wasn’t sure of which brought up other questions to be answered. Not exactly a waste I guess but it sure eats up time. It’s a cold wet day after a night of rain, so no gardening, and then this afternoon and evening is work, which leads to two more days of work and that is how the week goes by.
I’ve spent some time in the rocking chair on the porch drinking coffee, watching the chickens, and smelling the lilacs.
French prime minister Manuel Valls called the breakthrough by Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, anti-Euro Front National in one of the EU’s founding nations a political “earthquake.” (photo: AFP)
Marine Le Pen has just made her Front National a major force in European politics, winning some 25% of the French vote in Sunday’s election to the European Parliament. But her more telling success has been in controlling the conversation about her party’s – and her father’s – fascist past.
Even on French television, where everybody knows where she comes from, the question is almost always about whether the Front National remains anti-Jewish. At least in public, it does not. But few commentators here or anywhere else probe the more important question: What are the party’s intentions toward Muslims, Roma, gay people, and other “outsiders?” Read more
The lyrics at the end are one verse from a song I wrote for my mother who died when I was young. But it very well could be used by those who have lost love ones in war, serving the country, or trying to make it better. Their spirits will always be with us, inside and how we see the world around us. Though few may remember, they made a difference.
by Ken Carman
I never went to Nam. I was draft-able for a year, but my number never came up. I probably would have had a desk job at best: due to an accident when I was a kid. I’m missing part of my left foot. But, considering my politics at the time I would have gone.
Yes, people change, and they don’t necessarily become more conservative, or liberal, or more anything. Life just changes us. I have always felt those who claim they haven’t changed are either lying to themselves, or are missing something in the maturity department. For pretty much by definition life is a learning process. You don’t learn, you don’t mature.
I used to perform Memorial Days at some campground when I was on the road and I was touring more. When the show was over I would often go to a graveyard and sing songs I’d written over the years to the veterans, and other folks who were there. They’re a great audience, and having worked part way through school in cemeteries I still find cemeteries peaceful places. There’s one specifically I used to enjoy in the Berkshires near Chester that overlooks the mountains off of a very curvy filled part of route 20. Below that: Walker Family Campground. I performed there many, many times.
Memorial Day, of course, is for honoring our vets, alive and gone. Read more