I'm a liberal atheist, biomedical scientist, marijuana advocate, 9/11 researcher, and Occupy Wall Street protestor.
A middle class man might be able to understand me. The thing about me growing up in poverty, since I was always in the advanced academic classes, I was always around people who were richer than me. They weren't all rich, but their lifestyle was so far different than mine that I could never imagine myself in their place. I could never imagine myself living in a house with a backyard. Going to Disneyland? Unthinkable. Buying new clothes for school? Not happening. Allowances and music players and piano lessons and two parents? Nope. When I got to spend the night at sleepovers, it was an eye opener, but I could never have sleepovers at my place, except with the apartment kids, and none of them were my friends because we weren't in the same classes. I was an outlier everywhere I went, and very few people could understand my point of view.
My life has been similar to a black person growing up in a white neighborhood. Black people know what white society is like, but the reverse isn't true. I knew what it was like to be middle class, but they didn't know what it was like to be poor. Maybe it would have been different if I had been black, but I wasn't. The outside world saw a dynamic, good looking, well spoken person and wondered why I was wearing rags. My socioeconomic status always made me stand out like a sore thumb, and it got worse the longer I stayed in school. As I rose up through college and grad school, my peers were ever richer in comparison, and they understood me less and less. My poverty has always reflected badly upon me, when I was doing the admirable thing and trying to climb out of it. The poor people listened to the way that I spoke and assumed with antipathy that I was a part of a higher class.
I don't think that a middle class lifestyle is too much to expect out of life, but then a disaster happened. I married a man who (as it turned out) thought he was doing me a favor by marrying me so that I could have a roof over my head. Never mind that somehow I had always had a roof over my head before. He thought that I would be grateful to him because he paid the rent, and that I didn't deserve or require such things and gentle and kind treatment and genuine interest in what was going on in my life and attention to my goals. The best man at my wedding told me that I didn't get a fancy wedding because I didn't have a father. I replied, "That's not the ONLY thing I didn't get because I didn't have a father." Apparently, my ex-husband thought I didn't need the love of a man, that I should exchange regular sex with him for a place to stay. He made me feel like a cheap whore. He made me feel like I was still standing in the free lunch line.
I tell you all this, even though complaining about your exes is a bad idea, because I don't want you to inadvertently say or do things that might make me feel like I'm in the free lunch line again. Yeah, you're richer than me, but that doesn't mean that your feelings are more important than mine. I've been a good person in life, and darn it, I've tried. I'm not broke, but I don't have an income. To most of the world that means I get nothing out of life. I hope you don't view a possible relationship with me as being primarily good for me, that I am a charity case, because I'm not. I'm an exemplary human being, and if you don't feel lucky because I'm with you, then you won't love me for who I am. I'm the strongest and nicest person I've ever known, and I say that with humility. I started out in life wanting to be a missionary, but I could never bring myself to believe in a god, so I didn't do that. But I am a missionary of sorts. I'm working hard at important things to make the world a better place. To love me is to love this about me. To make me happy is to allow me to continue my work. I don't want to be married so I can sit back and do nothing. I want to be married because I'm a lover and I want to share love, but I can't be married if it means giving up everything else important to me.
I heard about it on the radio, and by the time I got to a TV, it was 7PM. When I saw the two events played out, one right after the other, I realized that I hadn't believed the radio announcer. When I saw the video of the buildings crumbling, I had a thought. "Wow. I didn't believe the radio announcer when he said the buildings were gone." I just thought I was mishearing things and something less global had actually happened than what I was perceiving from the radio.
My second thought was, "Well, he wasn't wrong about the WTC being gone, but something is wrong with this story. Ain't no way an airplane crash could do that. There's nothing in an airplane crash that could do that. It's an aluminum can filled with gasoline. Big deal. Throw that at the WTC, and it will catch fire, yeah, but THAT wouldn't happen to it." I lived near the WTC at the time and saw it regularly. I myself had peered directly up at the building and pondered the possibility of a plane crash before it happened. When I heard it on the radio, I didn't realize it at the time, but I was like, "Nah. That can't happen." Then my thought was, "It happened, but a plane didn't do it."
The instant sequence between one thought and the next means that I am perhaps one of the few people on the planet who did not believe the airplane crash story for a minute, in terms of an airplane crash being the destructive force behind the Bye-byeing of the WTC.
A little bit like Judy Wood, at the beginning, I wouldn't put any words on it. I told myself I had to go back to the beginning and put away anything I thought I knew about anything in order to figure out what had just taken place. It was very humbling to me. 9/11 humbled me. It scared me. I knew my whole deal was going to get messed up, living as close to Ground Zero as I did. But it humbled me in a particular way that cut deep.
On September 11, 2001, I thought I was a bada** scientist. Everyone I ever worked with or went to school with told me so. I graduated valedictorian from high school, got accepted into medical school at age 17 and turned it down to pursue biomedical science, etc. etc. I was in it to win it, and I certainly got the stamp of approval from any place I'd ever been. About the only science I wasn't great at was Earth Science, because I hadn't taken any of those classes. Chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, latin, greek, psychology, and biology were subjects I had mastered, all directed by my goal of understanding my spot in the universe.
I thought I knew what the universe was like. I knew I didn't know everything, but I knew I knew a lot, and on 9/11 I felt like I didn't know anything for sure. What I was witnessing on TV had no correlation to the physical universe as I knew it. I knew on the day of 9/11 that I would have to learn something new before I could possibly understand what happened, because I had a pretty good picture of the known universe on 9/11.
I didn't expect to see the fume cloud from Delaware, as I was making my way back to the city. When I got out of the car at 28th street (the lowest part of Manhattan accessible by vehicular traffic when I got there on Thursday), I smelled the smell for the first time. I didn't expect to smell it. All the way driving back, I was worried about my lover and my friends, and I hadn't thought about the smell.
The smell assaulted me, and I studied it at that moment and on many other days and nights as I would regularly smell it. The smell changed over time, as I've indicated before, but one component of the smell was consistent with my initial thoughts that I would have to learn something new in order to understand the WTC. This smell, separate from what seemed like a fire smell and what seemed like the smell of dead human beings, was unlike any other smell I'd ever experienced. 100+ days and nights of smelling this particular smell convinced me that I was right. No airplane crash would produce this smell after all the rain we had in NYC and the 24/7 efforts of fire fighters.
People on this forum and elsewhere have discredited smell as a reasonable scientific measure, but I don't care. I am one of those people who would recognize the smell if I ever encountered it again. It's like nobody told the world what happened at Hiroshima, but a witness to Hiroshima might be able to identify that the same thing happened at Nagasaki. If I ever suspect that it might have happened again somewhere in the world, I'll be on a plane there as soon as it's allowed. I know I'll have a long time to get there before the smell goes away, so it's a practical plan, too.
The official story didn't explain the existence of all the dust, and it didn't explain the strange smell or the incredible duration of the smell. Nobody can take away my smell memory, and nobody will ever be able to convince me that I was smelling an ordinary office fire 100+ days later.
Notice how I've gone on and on about 9/11, and haven't mentioned planes except to say that they are irrelevant?
More time spent on the plane issue is more time spent on the cover story, so in essence, it is a waste of time if what you really want to know is what destroyed the WTC. Even focusing on the planes story in terms of a cover up is a waste of time, because knowing with 100% precision the exact manner and mode of faking the plane story will never ever get you to the real story. Planes might or might not have flown through the sky, but the WTC isn't standing there any more.
My Ph.D. advisor had previously discovered a flaw in the model, specifically that although the journal articles referred to the model as a two-state model (receptors are either on or off), the model itself was an infinite state model. So then he had a correct model but nobody to work on it.
Then he hired me. So with his guidance, I developed a method using binding studies and enzyme rate analysis to test the truly two-state that my advisor had devised. I experienced an entire year of no results, or at least no results that I could include in anything. Then I had a technical breakthrough, which allowed me to test the model and I graduated a couple of years later.
The take home message of all this is that my entree into professional science was three parts: a thorough examination of a model of a certain phenomenon, quantitative analysis of this model, and developing strategies to test the implications of the quantitative analysis.
At no point during this time period was I ever concerned with any theory that might be called a conspiracy theory, but there was a false theory out there (in science), and I was able to investigate and partially debunk this theory. But in terms of what the average person might call a conspiracy theory? No. Except maybe one, and I'll get to that.
My aunt's husband's mother, Mrs. Perryman, used to talk about that they faked the moonlanding. That seemed weird. Once or twice I heard it said, usually in whispers, that "the South will rise again." That's pretty much it. I had heard about the JFK thing, but never talked to anyone about it and never gave it much thought.
But when it came to marijuana, that was something I knew about. I knew about it from the perspective of a biomedical scientist studying drug effects, but I also knew about it from the point of view of a child of hippies. My mom told us not to believe what the government told us about pot. It wasn't on the front shelf, or anything, because I was busy getting As. I barely smoked pot, mostly because I was busy going to school and working.
When I went to graduate school, and started reading the journal articles on the subject of marijuana first hand, I came to realize that my mom was right. The government was full of bad science and biased data on cannabis. The main problem was that the government would only give funding for the study of the harmful effects of cannabis. If you wrote a grant desirous of studying the beneficial effects of cannabis, it would not get funded and if you persisted, you would eventually lose your job as a professor.
I met many PhDs in pharmacology that had done their jobs and learned what there was to learn about cannabis, but what they got to read were journal articles saying cannabis was harmful. These people thought I was wrong, and said so, and even gave me bad attitudes about it. They couldn't call me
stupid because they had seen my work and given me As in their classes. But they were skeptical because they hadn't learned everything there was to know.
I ended up in NYC because I started working with Cures-Not-Wars and the Million Marijuana March. I created a character called Medical Marijuana Barbie because I'm like that. I was having fun. I was in my favorite city, had fallen in love, and was even running for elected office as the Comptroller candidate for the Marijuana Party.
Then 9/11 threw a big wrench in my plans. All of a sudden, the city turned from sparkly joy into utter devastation and I could barely sleep at night because of the fumes coming from a strange fire that, if the official "model" of WTC destruction were correct, should have been put out much more easily. Jet fuel? It burns out quickly. And what was left? Office furniture? Fire fighters are experienced with putting out these sorts of fires.
They had fire fighters pouring gallons and gallons of water on the place, but it still fumed. It rained heavily, more than once, and yet the fumes came. It was cold relatively early that year, but the fumes didn't go away. In fact, they were as strong on Day 100 as they were on Day 3. I asked my boyfriend, "What kind of a fire burns for 100 days?" and he said he didn't know.
This turned me into a conspiracy theorist, eventually. I didn't have any ideas about a conspiracy, other than the one I heard spoken of in the papers (the 19 Arab thing). I was searching for an explanation for the long term fumes.
To this day, I'm searching for that explanation. What I have done is measure every conspiracy theory that I encounter against my personal observation of 100+ days of a very strange fire under cold conditions and much water.
The first conspiracy I rejected was the 19 Arab hijackers. Not in terms of whether or not they did the hijackings, because for at least 3 years I never suspected this might not be the case, but rather in terms of "can a plane crashing into a steel building cause 100+ days of heavy fuming under heavy rain conditions in lower Manhattan with fire fighters constantly working to put it out?"
The vast majority of conspiracy theories in the first few years weren't even on the right subject (what destroyed the WTC). In fact, all of them were focused on the anomalies of the hijacking story, of which there are many.
So my first and only conspiracy theory that comes out of all this is that whoever linked 19 Arabs to the 9/11 attacks are the same people who committed the attacks. The 19 Arab connection (and not the ObL) connection, is the faulty one. The 19 Arab story is the cover story for the real attacks, and it makes no sense to think that different people put out the cover story than who actually committed the attacks.
No. The people who informed the media that 19 Arabs hijacked airplanes on 9/11 are the perpetrators of 9/11. Who are these people? I want to know who, exactly, was the original source of the 19 Arab story. This is the only "conspiracy" I'm interested in.