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Jigging for the Higgs

April 25, 2011

Intriguing physics rumors!

An anonymous comment left last week on very skeptical physicist Peter Woit’s blog Not Even Wrong has the physics community abuzz. A little piece of leaked data from the ATLAS project at the Large Hadron Collider is likely just an anomaly or possibly a hoax, but it just might be the first evidence of the “God particle” – the elusive Higgs Boson.

More from Wired

A leaked internal memo from physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva reports a whiff of the Higgs boson, the long-sought theoretical particle that could make or break the standard model of particle physics.

~snip~

The word from CERN, which operates the LHC, is that the leaked note is not an official result, and hasn’t been backed up by the cast of thousands that makes up the rest of the ATLAS collaboration.

“It’s way, way too early to say if there’s anything in it or not,” said CERN spokesman James Gillies. “The vast majority of these notes get knocked down before they ever see the light of day.”

A member of the ATLAS collaboration who wished to remain anonymous noted that unexpected signals show up in the data pretty frequently, and turn out to be due to errors or biases that went uncorrected. The signal is much more likely to be a fluke than anything else.

The mood in the physics blogosphere is mixed between cautious excitement and outright denial.

“It may well turn out to be a false alarm … or it could be the discovery of the century … stay tuned,” wrote a blogger called Jester at Résonaances, a blog that covers particle theory from Paris.

But graduate student Sarah Kavassalis at The Language of Bad Physics counters, “Until there is an official statement from the collaboration, or even one of the co-authors, this is just gossip. Don’t get excited. Seriously.”

Finding the Higgs would be the discovery that makes the standard model. But recent data coming from Fermilab has started another rumor that could break it. Data from the Tevatron collider shows what could be also an anomaly or might be evidence of a non-standard model Higgs particle

If this bump really does come from a particle with mass around 150 GeV, then the first thing one might think is that this is the first hint of the Higgs boson. Indeed, we even showed above that the production of the Higgs includes diagrams that would give this particular signal when the Higgs decays into two quarks. However, one very, very interesting part of the analysis is that it does not seem like this bump could come from the standard Higgs boson!

The reason is simple: we understand the standard Higgs well enough to know that if it had a mass of 150 GeV, then we would expect an effect (a bump) that would be about three hundred times smaller. In the parlance of the field, the observed bump corresponds to a particle with a 4 picobarn dijet cross section, while a 150 GeV Higgs is expected to have a 12 femtobarn dijet cross section.

~snip~

What this means is that if this bump is indeed coming from a new particle, then it must not be a particle which decays into b-quarks, at least not very often. We know, however, that the standard Higgs does decay into b-quarks, so this hypothetical new particle could not be the usual Higgs.

This is actually much more interesting, since this could either suggest a non-standard Higgs sector or it could be a sign of completely different new physics.

As they should be the skeptics are, well, skeptical. Sean Carroll at Cosmic Variance thinks this result is likely due to small errors in measurement. And then there was this comment attached to Carroll’s post –

thats what happens when funding runns [sic] out on a big experiment

The Tevatron is being mothballed primarily due to lack of money (Congress gave it all to the Frigging Bozos at Goldman Sachs since keeping rich ratfuckers in their private jets is much more important than science) so this data being released at all may be just a latch ditch effort to garner new funding. Maybe telling Barry that bosons can fuel Predator drones could get some much needed cash.

Anyway, much too early to tell whether all this is just publicity hounds spreading rumors or the dawn of a new age in physics. More to come….

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    April 26, 2011 12:04 pm

    Some notes –

    Yemen cracks down on protesters, killing a few people and wounding dozens, amid pledges from Saleh that he will step down. Remains unclear if any replacement government would be much different from the current one what with Yemen being such good pals with Uncle Sugar. I also seem to recall Saleh pledging to step down several weeks ago which never happened.

    Greenwald on the latest wikileaks – Newly leaked documents show the ongoing travesty of Guantanamo.

    Signs of a pushback against the banksters? A judge has awarded two investors their money back plus extensive damages for being sold a bill of goods by Citigroup. This judge at least didn’t fall for the bullshit that it’s really not anybody’s fault –

    …the pair was awarded a total of $54.1 million in a securities arbitration case against the Smith Barney unit of the company — the largest amount ever awarded to individuals in such a case, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    This legal dust-up involved supposedly conservative municipal bond investments that Smith Barney had peddled to its wealthiest clients. The investments, which were big money-makers for Smith Barney, turned out to be anything but safe for the firm’s clients: various portfolios lost between half and three-quarters of their value during the financial crisis.

    Arbitrators rarely, if ever, discuss such cases, and the materials turned over by both sides are kept under wraps. But the outsize award, which included $17 million in punitive damages, is not the only thing that is noteworthy. The arbitrators appeared to reject — resoundingly — three defenses that Wall Street often employs when clients sue:

    No. 1: We didn’t blow up your portfolio. The financial crisis did.

    No. 2: If you’re wealthy and sophisticated, you should have understood the risks.

    And, No. 3, the most common defense of all: The prospectus warned that you could lose your shirt, so don’t come crying to us if you do.

    A RI GOP pol who had recently described the state legislature as just fine “if you are a Guatemalan gay man who likes to gamble and smokes marijuana” was recently arrested for driving under the influence after a Spicoli-esque cloud of the jibbah smoke poured out of his car at a traffic stop. No word on whether he had any gay Latin American croupiers riding shotgun.

    And one step closer to getting that neural shunt as scientists create a functioning artificial synapse.

  2. cometman permalink*
    April 26, 2011 12:10 pm

    Haha! A new animated short from cephaloblog favorite Tim Minchin.

    Reminds me quite a bit of somebody I know :) Bitten my tongue on many similar occasions recently.

  3. cometman permalink*
    April 27, 2011 12:15 pm

    Notes for today-

    The uselessness of Bushwa Barry continues. First he rearranged some deck chairs before caving in to pressure from the Donald. Might as well hang the “Kick me” sign on his back at this point.

    AZ students fight back against cuts in education by chaining themselves to school board members’ chairs.

    Meanwhile in MI, school board members and other officials have been rendered moot in some areas as the state government somehow declares their votes have no bonding power and only the will of the teabag governor counts. But supposedly it’s still a free country. Good rundown on what’s going on from In These Times. This bit is truly disgusting –

    One contentious issue in Benton Harbor is the fate of the Jean Klock Park, where developers want to complete the Harbor Shores development project. The land was originally given to Benton Harbor in 1917 by the Klock family in honor of their daughter who died at a very young age.

    At the ceremony where the land was given over to the city, John Nellis Klock, the girl’s father, movingly made clear his intentions and those of his wife:

    The giving of this park to the city of Benton Harbor has been to Mrs. Klock and myself, the happiest moment of our lives. The deed of this park in the courthouse of St. Joseph will live forever. Perhaps some of you do not own a foot of ground, remember then, that this is your park, it belongs to you. …The beach is yours, the drive is yours, the dunes are yours, all yours. It is not so much a gift from my wife and myself, it’s a gift from a little child. See to it that the park is the children’s.

    John Klock believed strongly, “There is little joy in piling up money that you do not need, and so the majority of my earnings have been spent in providing beaches, parks, churches and schools.” But to Harbor Shores developers close to the Whirlpool Corp., the Klocks’ dedication of the park appears to be merely an obstacle to their profits.

    The developers have already gained (22 acres of the park to build a portion (three holes) of a 18-hole course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, which opened in 2010. In exchange, Harbor Shores developers swapped land owned by Whirlpool that turned out to be highly contaminated; “taxpayers are now paying for the cleanup of that land through a brownfield redevelopment credit worth millions of dollars,” according to a local blogger and activist.

    Fortunately, the developers’ plan is being fought both in the courts and at the grassroots level by community and environmental groups. But the courts have seemed remarkably pliable in response to the developers’ claims about proper public use of parkland.

    No law, rule, or regulation is binding anymore if some rich fuck wants it gone apparently.

    And lastly, not sure what to make of this but king crabs are apparently invading Antartica and it may be due to higher temperatures –

    “They are coming from the deep, somewhere between 6,000 to 9,000 feet down,” said James McClintock, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham Endowed Professor of Polar and Marine Biology.

    Shell-crushing crabs haven’t been in Antarctica, Earth’s southernmost continent, for hundreds or thousands, if not millions, of years, McClintock said. “They have trouble regulating magnesium ions in their body fluids and get kind of drunk at low temperatures.”

    But something has changed, and these crustaceans are poised to move by the droves up the slope and onto the shelf that surrounds Antarctica. McClintock and other marine researchers interested in the continent are sounding alarms because the vulnerable ecosystem could be wiped out, he said.

    Antarctic clams, snails and brittle stars, because of adaptation to their environment, have soft shells and have never had to fight shell-crushing predators. “You can take an Antarctic clam and crush it with your hands,” McClintock said. They could be the main prey for these crabs, he said.

  4. cometman permalink*
    April 29, 2011 12:33 pm

    What’s the difference between a “dictatorship” and a “democracy”?

    In a “dictatorship” like we’re told Venezuela is, the government institutes a heavy windfall tax on bloated oil company profits and uses them to benefit everybody –

    [Energy Minister]Ramirez said revenue from the tax will not used for investment in the oil industry, but rather will be funneled into the government’s social programs and projects aimed at improving health care, education, housing, agriculture and infrastructure.

    In a “democracy”, the government slashes collective bargaining rights for public workers.

    Think that last link is reporting on some WI or MI or AZ nutjob governor’s ruling? Click on it and take a look. Happened this week in that liberal bastion of Massachussetts. And because this time it was DemocRATS leading the charge to fuck over workers, nobody made a damn peep about it.

    Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  5. cometman permalink*
    April 29, 2011 12:37 pm

    Haven’t had time to read these yet but they look promising –

    On the parasites in the credit card industry and the bogus fees (or corporate tax) they charge – Swiped: Banks, Merchants And Why Washington Doesn’t Work For You .

    And another on Goldman Sux and rising food prices from Foreign Policy – How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis .

  6. cometman permalink*
    May 2, 2011 7:19 am

    Had a pleasant baseball game interrupted last night with the news about Bin Laden. Sickening to me to hear crowds chanting “USA USA” before the news was even officially announced.

    More sickening to hear the media sycophants declaring this more of a symbolic victory and declaring the fight will still go on, all still before Barry got on the TV.

    Heart sunk even more to hear Barry, in danger of losing his job to a whackjob like Donald Trump, get on TV and confirm the “good news” that Bin laden was dead while presenting not much evidence to back it up. That ought to help the poll numbers! Described OBL with the standard boilerplate – “terrorist”, kills women and children and innocent people, no regard for human life, blah blah blah blah – while conveniently forgetting to mention the deaths of Gaddafi’s son and grandchildren, murdered after Barry ordered a missile down their chimney just a couple days before.

    The cheerleaders for war are out in full force and it just feels like a really bad vibe in the air to me – some reaffirmation of a collective insanity and sickness that is plaguing this country.

    One final question for now that I doubt will be asked publicly anywhere. Ten years ago, after the initial Trade Center attacks accurred, there was little debate in the runup to the wholesale invasion and destruction of Afghanistan. But some people including myself thought that if OBL committed these criminal acts, maybe the best way to bring this criminal to justice would be to use intelligence to find his exact whereabouts and then use some small ground force to capture him rather than spending trillions of dollars on multiple large scale wars. If today’s reports are to believed, that’s what happened. In Pakistan.

    So why have we been fighting a war for 10 years in various Middle eastern countries in the first place?

    I’m sure this will be portrayed as some great victory on this side of the pond but it sure smacks of gross incompetence to me, not to mention the gross inhumanity of it all.

    • cometman permalink*
      May 2, 2011 7:36 am

      Hmmmm. Last night reports said Bin Laden’s body was being transported back to the US. Now he’s supposedly been buried at sea.

      So one more question. When there’s a war going on and an important figure gets killed, do his supporters generally wait for the opposition to make all the announcements regarding the opponent’s death or do they perhaps acknowledge it themselves at some point?

      Like to see some confirmation from the Arab world before I buy the whole story as presented by a president with flagging poll numbers who’s already had the body fed to the sharks out of some sort of “respect” for Islam.

      Crazy.

  7. artemis54 permalink
    May 3, 2011 9:27 am

    The Canadian election was an utter disaster especially for the environment. A possible five years now of Harper with a sizeable majority. For one thing, there goes the tanker ban.

    The only bright spot is that Green Elizabeth May snatched the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands – on and off Vancouver Island – from Con Gary Lunn. She is the first Green elected to parliament.

    May is an ally of Alex Morton’s. In fact she spent part of the day before the election marching on Victoria with Morton.

    • cometman permalink*
      May 3, 2011 11:56 am

      Just reading about the election this morning. If I’m reading this correctly, the Conservatives wound up with more seats than before the no-confidence vote. And from what I’ve heard they aren’t exactly popular with the public either. Just don’t get it.

      Good to hear about some possible help for Morton though.

      • artemis54 permalink
        May 3, 2011 12:03 pm

        Yes they now have an actual majority. Before, they ruled with a minority. The Labor party set fire to itself, and Bloc Quebecois was virtually eliminated – down from 47 seats to ~3. People just bailed in all directions, including NDP which is congratulating itself all over the place on now being the official opposition party, as it has far more seats than the Libs. May be great for the party, but not so good for the public and certainly not for the environment.

        • cometman permalink*
          May 3, 2011 12:08 pm

          What happened to the Quebecois?!?! Thought they’d been going strong for a while now.

          Maybe it’s just the same pervasive disgust for all politics that seems to be in effect here where people vote for the idiot just to make a point that the new idiot couldn’t be much worse than than old ones.

          • artemis54 permalink
            May 3, 2011 12:23 pm

            BQ is outside my zone, but even BQ head Deceppe lost his seat.

  8. cometman permalink*
    May 3, 2011 12:04 pm

    Greenwald has another good one about government deception in reporting Bin Laden’s death (he used his wife as a human shield!!!!!! -not so much) – In bin Laden killing, media — as usual — regurgitates false Government claims.

    He mentions earlier false stories about Pat Tillman, etc. Well, Tillman is still being used to catapult the propaganda for Bushwa Barry. Think it was on ESPN last night that they ran a segment on Tillman and his “sacrifice” that somehow OBL’s death had now made worthwhile. No mention of the FACTS that Tillman himself had become an opponent of the war and so had his immediate family who have been trying to get the government to admit to their lies for quite some time. Way to use a dead guy who can’t respond to get out the talking points!

    Another good op-ed on the disgusting cheerleading for death that has been going on in some circles – No dignity at Ground Zero.

    Didn’t really enjoy the gloating from Jon Stewart last night either, but then again I wasn’t in the area when the Trade Center went down so he gets a little benefit of the doubt. Would have liked to see something different though.

    • artemis54 permalink
      May 3, 2011 12:22 pm

      You and me both. The infantile level on FB not to mention Hannity – “drag his body through the street” The notion that we might aspire to be a little better than that is lost on these troglodyts.

      • cometman permalink*
        May 3, 2011 12:37 pm

        The ability to empathize at all seems to be lost on a very large segment of the population these days.

        Doesn’t anybody else wonder what it must be like to try raising their kids in a place like Afghanistan?

  9. cometman permalink*
    May 3, 2011 12:33 pm

    Nice article in defense of the public library which also answers the question “Can Texas get any stupider?” Seeing as Fort Worth just removed the word “Public” from their public library, the answer would seem to be “yeass” or however they’ve decided to spell these days in Texas.

    Anyway, here’s the article – All Hail the PUBLIC Library.

    Side note: Mentioned previously that my town like many others has been slashing the library budget (after hiring a freemarketeer true believer to run the library department whose previous background was in retail chain bookstores and thinks the public library should be run like one – not going over well with the actual librarians to say the least) and yet they could somehow find a couple hundred grand to hand over to a bankrupt contractor to build a crappy little strip mall that nobody wants or needs.
    Well, our state senator has decided to head to the Left Coast leaving a vacancy to be filled by a special election next week. Guess who’s running to replace him?

    That’s right, it’s the brother and business partner of the contractor who was looking for a handout from the city! And judging from the grammatically challenged flyer I received in the mail, one of the rotten planks in what passes for a platform is of course welfare “reform”, because government handouts are for rich people don’t you know.

    So this weekend I’m sitting around the living room playing trains with the squidlette and who should I see out the window come traipsing up the steps but some teenager with Mr. Crooked Developer’s name on his T-shirt looking to gin up votes. It was with a mixture of extreme annoyance and great pleasure that I met him at the front door and let him have it. Never even let the kid open his mouth before going off about library cuts while his crooked candidate got free handouts, etc, etc. He just stood there mouth agape when I finally took a breath after telling him there was no way in hell I’d vote for his crooked, corrupt candidate (and likely relative by the looks of him). Actually had to give the kid a little run along hand motion and tell him to get off my porch he was so shocked.

    May not fix the country but I do feel a lot better.

    • artemis54 permalink
      May 3, 2011 1:03 pm

      You would really enjoy this whole thing c-man: Sarah Vowell pimping her book Unfamiliar Fishes. At about minute 30 she takes a question about library cuts and gives a typically entertaining answer about moving from her little sticks village in OK to a Montana town that actually had a library. She compares it to feeling as if she had moved to Paris.

      • cometman permalink*
        May 4, 2011 10:53 am

        Just finished watching the interview. Thanks for posting that one – she is one of my favorites. Been meaning to pick up her new book since I saw it on the shelves a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read them, her last two ( The Wordy Shipmates and Assassination Vacation) are really a hoot.

        Her library story brings to mind memories of my early school days. For grade 1-4 we had a two room schoolhouse with a library of sorts in between the rooms – just a few hundred books of varying degrees of interest. But we did have a small public library open for limited hours. Our teacher used to march the whole class down the road to the library every couple weeks so we could get a wider variety of things to read, not that the town library was all that much bigger than the school one. That’s about the time I really started tearing through books. They had a whole series of books starring boy detective Jupiter Jones and his sidekicks. IIRC the series was called Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. Probably read each one about three times. For some reason I always preferred those even though they also had a whole bunch of Hardy Boys stories which I never read.

        Next time I’m visiting the folks I’m going to have to check in and see what that little library looks like today, maybe give them a donation of a few books since my house is starting to get overwhelmed.

  10. cometman permalink*
    May 4, 2011 12:54 pm

    Now this is rich – John Ashcroft will be the head of Blackwater/Xe’s ethics department!

    In other news, George W Bush has been hired by the Library of Congress to be their head grammarian.

    Unreal.

  11. cometman permalink*
    May 4, 2011 1:28 pm

    More ruminations on the “death” of bin Laden.

    Barry says he won’t release photos of the body. Until a few days ago it seemed fairly reasonable to assume he was already dead. But with all the half-assed stories coming from the government in the aftermath, now I’m not so sure.

    Barry is hiding behind the ol’ “national security” canard –

    [Obama] said that “given the graphic nature of the photo it would create a national security risk.”

    Um, after blowing up hundreds and thousands of innocent women and children whose relatives got to see their body parts strewn all over the broken ground, isn’t it a little late to worry that offending the Arab community’s sensibilities might have some backlash? That cow left the barn sometime in the 1950s.

    But there’s DNA evidence and that should be enough without releasing any nasty photos we’re told. So OK, they collected a sample after the raid. Where’d the sample come from that they are comparing it to? Did OBL come in to do a mouth swab a few years back?!?!?!

    And he was living in some luxurious mansion?!? That sure didn’t look like one from the photos I’ve seen. Doesn’t look like it even qualifies as a McMansion and those are about a dime a dozen these days.

    And now we see the US wondering how bin Laden could have a safe house with our great ally Pakistan while Pakistan denies knowing he was there. Can’t we just cut this horseshit out? Xrist almighty if anyone had asked I would have told them he was in Pakistan based on ALL THE REPORTS OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS SAYING HE WAS IN PAKISTAN. And of course the Pakistanis knew he was there. The ISI doesn’t miss much. And if they knew about it, pretty sure that at least somebody in the US government knew he was there too. Maybe not Barry, but I’m sure this didn’t come as a surprise to everybody.

    And here’s one that is very interesting, but take with a few grains of salt because the author seems to have an axe to grind against The Guardian among others. It discusses the recent leaks on Gitmo and how they were disseminated through the media and then notes one little tidbit that might possibly explain the timing of this whole charade – US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005. Here’s the key bit –

    However the most important redactions by Leigh and Keller were directly dictated by the US intelligence services. The name of Nashwan Abd Al Razzaq Abd Al Baqi, or by another name, Abd al Hadi al Iraqi or by his number IZ-10026 was edited away from the file of Abu al-Libi (US9LY-010017DP) and elsewhere. This file is available in a redacted version of the Guardian and in the uncut version of Wikileaks. Comparison shows to what extent all the traces of al Iraqi were removed. It was not connected to “caring about informers”, for al Libi was dead, having allegedly committed suicide in a Libyan jail just before the arrival of the US Ambassador in Tripoli. The file of al Iraqi is missing in all databases; he was captured in 2005 and kept in various secret prisons, until transferred to Guantanamo where he is detained now.

    Careful reading of the file shows that al-Libi was connected with al Iraqi since October 2002. In 2003, OBL stated al Libi would be the official messenger between OBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, al Libi moved his family to Abbottabad, Pakistan and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar. He maintained contact with al Iraqi.

    And we know that OBL was found and killed in Abbottabad – just as this publication hit the pages of the newspapers. So the trail to Abbottabad was known to the American services at least since 2005, when al-Libi, another Abbottabad dweller, was captured.

    What we do not know is the nature of the contacts between the US authorities and OBL.

    What we do know is that David Leigh and Bill Keller tried to hid it from their readers. Their redacting of the Guantanamo files, like their redacting of the Cablegate, had nothing to do with “saving informers”.

    Now Barry did say they had received information they’d been looking into for years before finally making the raid, but it boggles the imagination that once they started tracking OBL’s lackey, it took them several more years to pin down the exact location. For fuck sake, the military will take out entire towns on the mere hint that there might be “terrorists” in the area and we’re supposed to believe that the US made extra super duper sure they had the right house this time?

    Not sure how credible that link above is, but it sure makes sense that if the US gov knew where OBL was and a leak was coming out giving the public a hint too, they may have decided to attack the compound before some blogger asked “Um, have you looked in Abbottabad?”

    And credit where credit is due – I did see a large front page article with big headlines on a Blethen newspaper this morning saying the initial reports of OBL using a woman as a human shield and other details were completely false.

    Who the hell really knows what to believe about all this? All I know is I don’t believe the government version for a NY minute.

    • artemis54 permalink
      May 5, 2011 6:04 am

      And you’re certainly not going to find out from American “journalists.” What a pathetic sight to watch them obsess on irrelevant details instead of the larger questions and struggle ever harder to ramp up the jingoism and militarism while somehow tearing down Obama at the same time.

      I have never seen the woman who lives next door to me. She is not an outdoors person and leaves through the garage. For all I knew until Sunday, she could have been Osama.

      I don’t know. Walled compounds are not that unusual among the rich, privacy walls are very common among Muslims. And a lot of people just don’t ask questions. Hiding in plain sight is the best strategy most of the time. I really expected him to turn up in NY or maybe the beltway.

      • cometman permalink*
        May 5, 2011 9:09 am

        No they are not asking the right questions at all. I know I’m sounding Peter King-esque with all my questioning, but there are just so many holes in this story.

        Watched Jon Stewart last night. He played a clip of Musharraff where it looked like he slipped up in trying to offer a denial and said something like “the ISI wouldn’t have hid bin Laden there” which is exactly what I was saying above – the ISI knew where he was and likely has the whole last decade.

        And of course there’s Barry’s drone program, which has been doing surveillance (and murder) all throughout the area. You can’t tell me they hadn’t noticed anything unusual in that town. And the CIA is all over Pakistan, with Robert Davis lucky to get away with his life after killing a couple Pakistanis recently. Abbottabad is supposedly full of Pakistani military retirees and houses their military academy, and we’re supposed to believe that the CIA or other spooks had never thought to poke around the area?!?!?! Like I said earlier, the program has been to shoot first, ask questions and issue denials later at the slightest hint of “terrorists” with both Bush and Obama.

        Anyway, after showing the clip, Stewart had Rachel Maddow on and they engaged in some mockery of the “conspiracy theorists” with the implication seeming to be that we should just trust the official story and not ask too many questions. At one point he decried the conspiracy theorists who didn’t believe the moon landing despite seeing all the footage of it with the implication that anybody who questioned this story was equally foolish. But he failed to recognize the flaw in this analogy – we’ve all seen the footage of the moon landing but in this case we’re supposed to believe that the boogeyman nobody has seen in years has suddenly been killed despite being presented with no evidence except the government’s say-so. The government also said the Maine was attacked, we were fired on in the Gulf of Tonkin, Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch, not to mention the false pretenses given for invading Iraq and similar false pretenses for invading Libya – all lies. Don’t mean to harsh on Stewart too much because it really isn’t his job to report the news, but since the rest of the media is so abysmal, I get disheartened when even he won’t touch certain subjects since that means they will likely be completely ignored.

        And then there’s the “burial at sea” business. Why the huge hurry to dispose of the body? If some in the Arab world want to lionize bin Laden, they can certainly create a shrine without a grave site. Is that really the “respectful” way to dispose of a body for Muslims? Nobody I’ve seen has brought up the fact that the bin Laden family has been close business associates with two living US presidents. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt and say the other bin Laden’s have completely renounced their rogue relative. Would it have been that difficult to bring in one of them who could at least verbally confirm that the rogue relative who had brought shame to their family was now dead??? Anything other than just the word of the US government whose mendacity has reached new heights in the last decade or so.

        Not trying to deny these events happened. Just that the official story that they had just discovered OBL’s whereabouts after years of searching rings completely false to me. My theory at this point is that the recent attack was the result of some breakdown in “diplomacy” with Pakistan, especially since all the top brass has indicated that this will not slow down the war on teh terrah one iota.

        IMO, either the CIA and other spooks are even more incompetent than I had previously though (admittedly a very distinct possibility) or there is a huge game of brinksmanship being played here between two nuclear powers, with OBL being nothing but a pawn at this point (even the US government claims that he’s mostly just a figurehead now rather than some terrorist mastermind calling all the shots), and the populations of both countries being kept in the dark. If the latter is the case, then it does make sense that this raid occurred now because leaked documents would have caused the whole charade to be exposed.

  12. artemis54 permalink
    May 5, 2011 6:06 am

    Modern love: Quantum Marriage

    • cometman permalink*
      May 5, 2011 9:27 am

      Trying to figure out how this might help keep the house a little cleaner while I’m sipping iced tea on the porch. Can’t quite get the equations to work out yet…

  13. cometman permalink*
    May 5, 2011 9:43 am

    I’m really tired of anybody who questions the “official” version of anything being immediately tagged as a “conspiracy theorists” by the dummies on the TV as if conspiracies never happen and everybody always operates on the up and up.

    This one I came across a couple days ago gets to the point – Corporate Crime of the Century Portrayed as Conspiracy Theory

    The NPR Ombudsman says that no response will be allowed to a story about mass transit in Los Angeles.

    On April 21, 2011, NPR’s All Things Considered ran a story about how – after a fifty year absence – light rail is coming back to Los Angeles.

    NPR reporter Mandalit Del Barco reported that eighty years ago, electric mass transit dominated the city.

    “By the roaring 1920’s, more than 1,000 miles of electric trolley lines and train rails ran through the ever-expanding Los Angeles,” Del Barco reported.

    But then in the middle of the century, the electric trolley cars disappeared.

    Why?

    “LA replaced the last of its streetcars with a web of freeways and bus lines,” Del Barco reported. “That led to conspiracy theories that the streetcars were dismantled by private companies who stood to profit – General Motors, Standard Oil and tire companies. That villainous plot figured into the 1988 movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.'”

    In fact, it was more than just conspiracy theories.

    It was an actual federal crime that led to the destruction of the nation’s electric mass transit.

    The companies involved were indicted, convicted, and fined for destroying the nation’s electric mass transit systems.

    Del Barco says she was familiar with the criminal history of the case, but didn’t report it.

    Yes there are whackos who don’t think men landed on the moon. But ferxrissakes, does the media have to raise the “conspiracy theory” cry even when there is ample documentation that said conspiracy actually occurred and was not just a theory?

    Has anybody in the media looked up the definition of “conspiracy” lately? It isn’t like they don’t happen all the time on some scale or another.

  14. artemis54 permalink
    May 5, 2011 2:37 pm

    Portrait of the Artist as Debbie Downer:

    I wonder why people still have children

    • cometman permalink*
      May 6, 2011 9:15 am

      haha! Tell him to look in the mirror. Reading Wild Things to the squidlette makes having kids just that much more enjoyable, so there’s one reason. She gets a kick out of getting up on my back and having a wild rumpus shoulder ride parade too with the cats as ‘wild things’ trailing behind.

      She also seems to like Gorey’s The Wuggly Ump despite the subject matter of monsters munching down small children who just wanted to play with flowers. Her sense of humor seems to be coming along quite nicely. We may wind up with a little Sarah Vowell on our hands, which would tickle me to no end.

  15. cometman permalink*
    May 6, 2011 12:10 pm

    Looks like all the initial government claims about OBL’s death have pretty much unraveled, which begs the question, why bother to put out such bald-faced lies in the first place? Of course if the calculation was that our dumbed down public would be willing to overlook the lies as long as OBL was dead, perhaps it was a good gamble on their parts.

    Starting to hear reports from survivors of the raid, but since these survivors are supposedly in Pakistani custody and what they say is being brought to us via the craven US media via US intelligence via Pakistani intelligence rather than straight from their own mouths, it remains to be seen how truthful these reports are either. Anyway, here’s the latest for what it’s worth –Bin Laden Wife Reportedly Spent Years In Compound.

    I find that Chris Floyd sums up my thoughts on all this pretty well here – Day of the Dead: The Hit Man as Hero .

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