I'm a bit disappointed with Professor Peter Dale Scott, who has, in the past, written so brilliantly on the JFK assassination and on what he calls "deep politics." (That phrase usually refers to spook stuff.) He's not a "controlled demolition" conspiracy theorist, but he is unafraid to speak to that audience. I can't say I like the dubious crowd he now runs with, and I'm ticked off at his poor choice of companionship.
That said, the preface to his book The Road to 9/11
contains a profound passage, one worth quoting here. This observation nothing to do with the attack on the World Trade Center and everything to do with...us.
In 1961, when I came to teach at the University of California for one year, there were no tuition fees, and almost anyone who qualified could afford a university education. I remember teaching a student who after seven years in the coal mines was using his savings to put himself through law school. As late as 1970, 31 percent of the California state budget went to higher education and 4 percent to prisons. In 2005, however, these expenditure shares were on the order of 12 percent and 20 percent, respectively. In other words, the state's priorities have shifted from higher education to prisons. Or take housing. In 1961, with two years' salary as a beginning lecturer, I could have bought a house in Berkeley. Today, however, an entering lecturer might have to pay twenty years' salary to afford the same house.
The standard frog-in-boiling-water metaphor
applies here. The fire making the water boil is, of course, libertarianism. Slowly, slowly, each and every year, the flames have grown and the heat has intensified, as we've inched ever closer to Ayn Rand's utopia and FDR's nightmare.
That's my problem with the conspiracy buffs that Scott, sadly, now counts among his associates. Most conspiracy fans are of the Alex Jonesian persuasion, which means that most of them are libertarians of one school or another. In other words, these people want to turn up that frog-killing fire until it reaches a solar-surface intensity. You can't voice the complaint that Scott makes here and then count among your pals the kind of people who insist on making things worse.
Speaking of Alex Jones...
Rachel Maddow recently offered a few words of criticism, and AJ responded with a thug's wit
Alex Jones responded to Rachel Maddow‘s skewering of his special tornado-weather-machine-conspiracy theory on his radio show Friday by saying she looks like a man.
After noting that the media was out to get him by hounding people he went to high school with, Jones said, “Or they could just do what Mr. Maddow does, I mean Janet Reno—Janet Napolitano! I get them all confused.” Jones pounded the desk in mock-frustration. “Pat from Saturday Night Live? No, no...Ron Maddow?”
“Nothing wrong with it, I mean, he’s a handsome guy.”
That's another thing that has changed since the 1960s. When I was a boy, a barbarian like Alex Jones would never have gained such a large audience.