Saturday, October 29, 2011

Haunted Hustle

I ran a half marathon today, my third within this past year.  My pace was nothing to write home about, but I finished at a respectable time and that’s good enough for me.  I hadn’t been preparing as I would have liked in the last few months.  The Haunted Hustle in Middleton, Wisconsin was a nice course and, as it turns out, the weather was perfect.  I wouldn’t want to live in Wisconsin by any means, but it was certainly nice to visit.  Fortunately I didn't suffer from a right calf issue that plagued me during the St. Louis half marathon in April and resulted in an awful run time, but my performance today certainly doesn't match my time in South Carolina last November when I was in fairly good shape due to an 11-week military training program.  Those previous 13-mile runs in November and April, I must confess, were cherished moments in my life.  Today's event was okay, but nothing special.  I'm still assessing my ability to run a full marathon, but until I lose about twenty pounds or so, it's off the table.  Frankly, after today, I'm wondering whether I should run another thirteen-miler!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Here We Go Again!

Here we go again.  I teach a course on terrorism and every once in a while the so-called “911 Hoax” comes up.  (I suppose it doesn't help that a former governor of the state where I teach espouses this hateful re-writing of history!)  I’ve addressed this issue elsewhere on this blog, as well as conspiracy theories more generally.  Talking to people who believe that 911 was not the work of foreign terrorists but rather the Bush administration, Jews, the World Bank and just about anyone else is like talking to fanatical members of a religious sect.  They have no proof that the Neocons, Mossad, or the CIA (at the behest of Israel of course) blew up the towers.  They spit out things they’ve heard, third-hand evidence at best, without testing the “evidence.”  Again, talking to these people is like talking to a religious fanatic, whose views are just as much based on hatred than anything else.  And if you counter their view with reason and science, then they see you as either part of the cover-up or a dupe used as a pawn by the conspirators.  Still, at the end of the day, the burden of proof lies with them.