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Where is the balance and civility?

Has anyone noticed how some people communicate with those who disagree with them when they have the protection of internet anonymity? AIMN reader Mark Needham has, and Mark writes that in such environments it can be difficult to disseminate ideas in an engaging manner. But there is a way.

I have been trying to put my thoughts into words about political media on web sites such as this that allow comments on articles. I have been ‘chatting’ on several and seem to attract the wrong reaction.

The language that is most often used has always made me feel a little, unsettled. Its ferocity and vulgarity, is to my mind, uncalled for and does not lend itself to good conversation. ‘We should never give credit where credit is due’, seems to be our mantra.

I am an electrician; not an orator, wordsmith or philosopher. So please forgive my ramblings and presentation.

I have just had the pleasure of watching Peter FitzSimons deliver his National Press Club address. As the face of the Australian Republic Movement he has taken on a challenge that I am not keen about, a republic of Australia. I am a monarchist, but my heart is weakening towards a republic. Ah well, it will happen.

Now Peter said that he has some ‘parliamentary friendship thingy’ involving Joe Hockey. I wonder how long will it take to think up something bad about Joe, and not see that maybe he is genuine about this.

I have always liked Peter, read a few of his books, watched his footy career, just comes across as a good bloke.

“So what?” you may ask. Well, I have just realised what it is that I like about the man, which was solidified during this address to the Press Club.

He did not demean or vilify anyone who may disagree with him. He spoke of those with a different allegiance with some respect and gave allowance for different opinions, without nasty comment.

Peter’s language is engaging, not combative. You feel a desire to hear each word and evaluate each sentence. One is ‘made to listen carefully’ not because he insists, but because his demeanor invites you to do so. There is a balance and civility that is not evident in the general political media.

The ‘verbal ferocity’ that I see that often exists, is shot from the hip, comes from the heart or comes from the gutter. I am quite sure that ‘web combatants’ would not be as aggressive if they had met in a pub, had a beer, introduced themselves and carried on the same conversation.

We are all ‘nice people’, at least in our own mind (me in particular) but our hackles rise when questioned or when someone disagrees. It always appears as a challenge/derision to me personally. Then I rise to the occasion, reply and from there on, the conversation is on a down hill slide.

Reading the above, I can detect a ‘lecturing tone’ which is not my intention. I wish that I could engage people, the way Peter does, in a better way to communicate and exchange opinion and ideas.

I have spent the last few days trying to get this on paper, written a bucket full of rubbish and suppose this effort to be OK. Most will determine this also to be discarded and burnt. It is just that I wish, we could rise above the miasma of our prejudices, and get fair dinkum.


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  1. Loz

    Mark in all fairness any criticism of Joe Hockey is because of his appalling policies and lies that has (to my mind) destroyed his reputation. It has left many people, I for one, cynical of his new venture into the Australian Republic Movement. Many people are so angry at this government that the government have left very little room for civilised debate.

  2. Kaye Lee

    I agree with the sentiments expressed in your article Mark and it is something that we all, myself included, must continue to work at improving.

    A few comments….

    Giving a measured address to a Press Club is a different thing to conversation. I have heard Peter deliver some quite heated sprays himself at times. When we feel passionate about something we sometimes go too far.

    As for internet communication, many times I have seen arguments develop through misunderstanding. As Matters Not loves to point out, we put our own meanings to what we read and without the insight given by tone, facial expression and body language, it is easy to misunderstand.

    Often people feel frustration that they are not being listened to because, rather than communicating, we are each putting our view and arguing for our side. This wouldn’t happen so much if, as you suggest, we were having the discussion at the pub or over dinner.

    Some things however are hard to be receptive to. People who think that global warming is a conspiracy by the UN to impose a New World Order are hard not to argue with. I definitely need to get better at ignoring.

    I think this site is better than most in promoting civil discussion. Facebook can be a nightmare and I am too scared to dip into the frenetic world of twitter.

    Your point is well made Mark.

    PS My comments refer to how we treat each other here. This government has told me so many lies and done so many dreadful things that I cannot be polite about them and I too will be immediately cynical about anything they say or do. Joe is already back-pedalling saying hey it was just drinks. Kind of indicates a lightweight with lack of conviction to me.

  3. Steve Laing

    Unfortunately much discussion, particularly of a political nature, has moved from the language of a family party to that of the terraces. And unfortunately this is because our “leaders” have allowed this to happen. Far too often playing the (wo)man, whether directly or indirectly, has become normal. If Question Time is an example of quality debate, is it any wonder that conversations on the internet are played out any differently?

    I first visited Australia from the UK when the last republican debate was taking place. We had made a trip with relatives we have here in WA down to Augusta. One morning we met with some local friends of theirs for breakfast. The discussion turned to the republic debate, and despite my wife’s uncle and his friend having diametrically opposite opinions, they conducted their discussion entirely civilly, giving quarter when a point had been well made. Through that discussion, I saw both their opinions change and adapt as positions they had not previously considered were put forward. The quality of that discussion, and the way it was conducted is one reason that I decided to leave the UK and come to Australia. Having experienced far too many years of Thatchers divide and conquer approach, any chance of a unified voice in that country has long disappeared.

    How things have changed here too. The very same gaming of politics has also become the norm. I believe no prime minister has the interests of the whole electorate front of mind any more, when they are putting forward their policy proposals, with clearly those on the right have taken this to an extreme, where they seem intent on selling out our interests to corporations and their bosses. Unfortunately the system that we have is far too easy to be gamed in this manner, and there are too many who make a living out of encouraging this. It’s one reason why I have been looking at how to improve the system, because people are suffering purely because of political chicanery. I had to sell my business not because the economy was bad, but because this government had told everyone the economy was bad in order to gain power. The problem is that if you tell people often enough, they believe it and start acting accordingly, including stopping spending money. And the mass media not only let them get away with it, they stir the pot.

    I too want civility to return to the discussion. But I can’t see it until we get rid of the cancer that afflicts our system, namely political parties and the adversarial environment this encourages. So far I’ve worked through the problem, next step is to propose a workable solution – and its far from impossible.

  4. M-R

    Just this minute cancelled on-line subs to The New Matilda because of the majority of comments, so I know where you’re coming from on this.
    What I particularly loathe is the trend not only towards illiterate bellicosity but its becoming a thread under an article, going on and on and away from topic.
    I want to shout “What makes you think we give a toss about your opinion, you half-arsed moron ?!”, when I’m trying to judge the response to some post of interest – so you see that I am reduced to the same level. Sighh …
    (That site has problems, btw, Mark: its header overlaps what’s at the top, and its ‘contact’ page doesn’t work.)

  5. honey bunch

    try advancing the cause for (finally) a proper investigation into the events of 911, and youll see all that those who agree with the impossible official account can come up with is a regurgitation of the official lies, and name calling, eg, “conspiracy theorist”

    how about the media, and especially so called ‘independent’ media, do their job and expose the lies of 911, then we can start on the rest of the lies.

    the reason why you wont see the official account debated with a ‘conspiracy theorist” on mainstream tv, or even an article on this site, is because the evidence that proves the official account impossible, is irrefutable, but hey.. you already know that, dontcha schnookums.

  6. Kaye Lee

    honey bunch, the 9/11 conspiracy theory has been debated at length on this site. Do you seriously believe that the government orchestrated the death of thousands of their own citizens and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage? Do you have any idea how many people would have had to be complicit in that and then keep it quiet? Actually, never mind. Note to self…learn to ignore.

  7. Roswell

    Well done, Mark. I knew you could do it. Brilliantly said.

  8. honey bunch

    Kaye Lee
    i hope you realise, the official account of the events of those days, is itself, a baseless conspiracy theory.

    debated by who? you? what qualifications do you have to debate any of the thousands of qualified experts that have shown why, based on solid evidence, and science, why the official account is impossible?

    i noticed you chose not to show one piece of evidence to prove the official account in rebuttal to any of the evidence offerered at the link i posted.

    no wonder you choose to ignore, you have nothing else deary.

    “Do you have any idea how many people would have had to be complicit in that and then keep it quiet? ”

    the fact is.. it hasnt been kept quiet at all, for your edification, try searching for 911 whistleblowers using your favourite search engine.

  9. Kaye Lee

    In respect for the sentiment of this thread I am walking away.

  10. The AIM Network

    M-R, it’s always a problem with sites that don’t have full-time moderators, or on sites that don’t have all comments approved for publication first.

    Fortunately 99% of the people who comment here are mature and courteous (such as yourself) so we don’t need to go down the path of having all comments moderated first. Sometimes we’ve come close to implementing it, but I’m fairly sure that none of our moderators/admin want to sit by the computer all day simply moderating comments. We’re kept busy enough as it is!

  11. Kaye Lee


    You talk about vulgarity and aggression. Could I add condescension to that list…like when people call you “deary” and say “bless you, you’ve got nothing”.

    That is deliberately prodding someone to chew you up and spit you out.

    honey bunch,

    I recognise your right to believe whatever you choose. You cannot, however, force me to debate something that is too ridiculous to be bothered with.

  12. honey bunch

    “Actually, never mind. Note to self…learn to ignore.”

    lol – i respond in kind.

    “Do you seriously believe that the government orchestrated the death of thousands of their own citizens and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage? ”

    belief is based on faith, i rely on facts. history has shown that governments do indeed engage in such acts.. impossible to deny truth.

    ” You cannot, however, force me to debate something that is too ridiculous to be bothered with.”

    all you have offerred is unqualified opinion.. and i never asked you for that to start with.

    if anyone chooses to debate with some facts… well , go for it.

  13. Roswell

    I’m probably one of the guilty people Mark refers to. In a recent exchange where I thought Mark was off topic I was overly sarcastic and suggested he submit an article for publication. I am delighted to see that he took up the challenge and I commend him for it.

  14. king1394

    I am still learning to engage in comment on this site, but I find that here as elsewhere, some commenters become combative unnecessarily, often because they pick on one remark in an entire argument. Usually something quite irrelevant – as above – though that exchange is proving the point. When comments become irrelevant and nasty, I usually do not comment or even further engage with the item, and also, I am sometimes inhibited from sharing a good article because the comments are so unhelpful.
    Having been called a ‘demented old woman’ has done wonders for my self-esteem: I rather value the soubriquet! And I’ve learned that a critical comment about me as a person tells me a lot about the person who made it, firstly that their opinion on the issue is not worth worrying about.

  15. Steve Laing

    That is excellent! And how typical that we have a live example in our midst of someone trying to force their agenda onto a completely unrelated topic, which is no different.

  16. honey bunch

    unrelated topic? me forcing an agenda?

    my example of inbalance and civility, i say,
    “try advancing the cause for (finally) a proper investigation into the events of 911, and youll see all that those who agree with the impossible official account can come up with is a regurgitation of the official lies, and name calling, eg, “conspiracy theorist””

    and im met with condescending disregard , followed up by a complaint that im being condescending.
    fact is, there is no balance in reporting of 911, and those that choose to defend the official account, as shown above, have absolutely nothing to prove their case, other than condescension and name calling.

    if schookums, and deary and bless you.. are venturing into the depths of incivility now.. then may i suggest a cup of harden the **** up 🙂

  17. The AIM Network

    I’ve learned that a critical comment about me as a person tells me a lot about the person who made it

    Bingo! Well said.

  18. The AIM Network

    may i suggest a cup of harden the **** up

    Honey bunch, may I suggest something to you?

    Perhaps you could submit an article to The AIMN and talk about whatever you want there.

  19. honey bunch

    @ the AIM network,
    thanks for the offer, but im not a writer, nor a qualified expert.

    may i suggest something to you?

    how about you show some balance, and present a debate with appropriatly qualified experts from both sides?

    EDIT – recent polls show consistently that the majority of those polled are open to a new, proper investigation, and that those that agree with the official account are in the minority.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Mark’s article ties in with so many other problems in our society. Bullying, domestic violence, the dreadful example set by our politicians in Question Time as they shout abuse at each other, coward punches.

    And not only those overtly violent behaviours, he also points out the importance of tolerating difference of opinion. Further we need to tolerate other differences too, be they cultural or religious or physical. And before anyone thinks I am condoning child brides, all people in Australia are bound by Australian laws.

    We must learn to respect each other and the value of collective caring. We do not have to agree about everything but we must learn to be constructive rather than just critical.

  21. stephentardrew

    Great post Mark and something I think needs to be raise regularly.

    Point is it takes intelligence to see that some posts come from genuine anger, resentment and even personal hurt. Satire demands a certain level of skill and is a legitimate form of critique. How to determine the boundary between humour, satire personal pain and abuse is actually quite difficult.

    One thing I find does works if I misconstrue or offend another is to readily apologise. Part of the solution is that when we do get emotional and respond reflexively is to take responsibility and apologise. The other thing is to agree to disagree rather than this continual battle to convince the unconvinced that you are right. Kaye did just that yet “honey bunch” would not take the hint and kept up a boring discourse we have heard many times before and don’t wish to hear again. It is important to respect others wishes and take an argument elsewhere.

    It is not easy because there are a variety of legitimate points of view and communications strategies while the boundaries are hard to define however the problem is to be sensitive to the wishes of others and not endlessly force your opinions if they are not accepted.

    What seem to work at AIMN is there is genuine mutual respect however I see nothing wrong with assertive expression based upon well referenced empirical fact which seems to send some people into a tizzy because facts do not support their opinion.

    The boundary between clarity, assertion and aggression is sometimes difficult to define however that is the way it is. Aggression has an element of physical and psychological wish to harm whereas assertion demands clarity, persistence and consistency. There are many strong personalities on AIMN yet a good load of respect for each others differences and that is the way it should be.

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Mark Needham.

    We don’t need to agree with each other, but we need to be respectful, so that we engage in active and enlightening discussion.

    That’s the only way we will all become better informed and able to work together to find positive solutions.

  23. Michael Taylor

    May I butt in?

    honey bunch, we will write about whatever we want. We certainly don’t want or don’t need you telling us what to do.

  24. Michael Taylor

    PS: I for one have no intention of writing about the 9/11 conspiracy. I have no desire to talk about it either. I personally don’t believe the official story, but I’m no expert. Neither are you, I take it.

  25. honey bunch

    ” yet “honey bunch” would not take the hint and kept up a boring discourse we have heard many times before and don’t wish to hear agan”

    because… balance.. right?
    boring discourse? only someone who is willfully ignorant would say a call for a proper investigation into the lies that have dragged us into illegal immoral wars of aggression causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent men women and children who were never a threat to anyone, as boring discourse.

    i used the topic of 911, as an example, of how people are uncivil and disrespectful online, and argue using unqualified opinion and derogatory name calling to advance their point, rather than facts and evidence, and low and behold, as if to prove the point im trying to make about the topic in the article, thats exactly what happens.

    i dont blame you, a lot of people can not handle the truth, but ignoring it will not make it go away, and it wont.

  26. honey bunch

    can you show me where i told anyone what to do michael?

    “, but I’m no expert. Neither are you, I take it.”

    what gave that away? was it where i said..
    “thanks for the offer, but im not a writer, nor a qualified expert.”

  27. Michael Taylor

    You told The AIMN what to do. Read your own comments.

  28. Michael Taylor

    I won’t be ignoring the 9/11 issue. I’ll just be ignoring you.

  29. honey bunch

    it was only a suggestion.. gee.. telling people what to do? i think not.

    ” I’ll just be ignoring you.”

    lol – my care meter just went through the roof! perhaps next time, you could ignore me before tring to look clever, also, on you, its not a good look.

  30. Wally

    Mark Needham

    Good article couldn’t agree more and we all need to stay focused on the facts and not get personal or derogative.

    You mentioned football and to use a footy term “we need to play the ball and not the man”.

    honey bunch

    Try putting your point forward without going for the jugular straight away.
    “how about the media, and especially so called ‘independent’ media, do their job and expose the lies of 911”

  31. honey bunch

    ” It is important to respect others wishes and take an argument elsewhere.”

    so stephen, if i ‘suggest” that it is my wish, that because you might say something i disagree with, and i have offerred nothing of any substance to disprove anything you might have said.. that it is simply my wish, that you take your opinion elsewhere.. you just will?

    wally –
    “Try putting your point forward without going for the jugular straight away.
    “how about the media, and especially so called ‘independent’ media, do their job and expose the lies of 911″”

    well, this is not the first time i have raised this point, here and elsewhere, and if you can show me where this site has shown a balanced article on the topic, i will wholeheartedly apologise for my ignorance and rejoice in their integrity and credibility .

  32. Kaye Lee

    Let me explain,

    Whilst often discussions evolve here, they usually have something in common with the thread. If your point is that people may not be tolerant of conspiracy theories about 9/11 then I agree. But you cannot impose your wish that they discuss it. You have been invited to submit an article. You do not have to have professional qualifications to do so – it’s just a venue to express your opinion and start a discussion with interested parties.

    PS You will be unlikely to find an article about global warming being a UN conspiracy here either. Or an article that is anti-vaccination.

  33. RosemaryJ36

    At nearly 80 I have seen a lot of things go wrong and even more things work out well.

    I grew up in a Presbyterian Christian household with the requirement to “do as you would be done by” and “your conscience is your guide”.

    I am now an agnostic – concerned at the damage being done in all parts of the world by religious zealotry.

    I am equally concerned at consumerism and greed. The world has enough for all but the waste and greed in the developed world denies resources to the poor in the rest of the planet.

    I believe in presenting facts to support an opinion and wish the MSM felt the same way.

    I cannot see how an argument is advanced by swearing or rudeness – to me that indicates a lack of confidence in their own arguments by the offender.

    Thank you Mark for the article and I am with you 100% over the way our political leaders behave. Abbott was not the first but he is ‘perfecting’ the art to an abyssmal degree.

  34. honey bunch

    let me explain

    i offer no theories, only irrefutable facts.

    if people wish to respond or not to my comments, that is entirley up to them, in no way have i any way to force them to comment, and it is not my ‘wish” that anyone discuss it.. however, i will respond to people who respond to me.. thats how these places work.

    i have offered a link to a site, that represents thousands of qualified professionals who disagree with the official account… you have offered nothing

  35. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for that honey bunch. I will leave you to continue your valuable contribution.

  36. honey bunch

    “Thanks for that honey bunch. I will leave you to continue your valuable contribution.”

    yeah.. you keep saying that, if only you meant it this time…

  37. The AIM Network

    We suggest you go away and talk about your conspiracy theory in a suitable venue.

  38. honey bunch

    like i said.. im not the one promoting any theory. facts, science and a functioning cognisant ability prove the official account, ie: the conspiracy theory you cling to, impossible. i was under the impression this was a suitable venue to discuss important issues? I have provided a link that shows expert qualified opinion that the official account is wrong, and you have proven my initial comment correct, by resorting to name calling, and offering nothing of substance.

    if there is one thing incorrect in any of the evidence put up on this site: then why is it so hard for you to post that as some sort of rebuttal, otherwise, just admit you have nothing to counter what they say, and simply admit it is not unreasonable to finally, hold an independent, transparent, unfettered investigation into what really happened that day, where all evidence can be heard, including eyewitness testimony, and scientif ic and forensic evidence.. under oath, and cross examination…

    or you just rather keep your head in the sand, because youre scared of the truth?

  39. Michael Taylor

    Attention all writers of this site.

    Drop everything you’re doing and write an article on the 9/11 conspiracy. I want interviews with credible experts from both sides of the argument.

    I would like to see at least a dozen articles in the next four days.

    Do not write about current political events or social injustice. 9/11 is the only story we need to know.

    Now get going and start writing.

    When the first article is published we can start talking about the issue. Until then, we’ll have to talk about the other boring issues such as our pathetic government.

  40. kathysutherland2013

    An excellent article. I feel, as Kaye Lee suggests, that our written discourse is reflective of our society – the violence, bullying, lack of tolerance, lack of respect. Yes, I know – that makes me sound like a grumpy old lady!

  41. honey bunch

    @ michael, im not saying what people should write about.

    many thousand of experts have already written about why the official account is impossible, it doesnt need any more, what is needed, is for the media, including this site, to be balanced in their reporting of it.

    if you are so sure of the official account, can you then show me what it is exactly, that proves to you beyond all reasonable doubt, what it is aboout the official account, that makes you believe it beyond all reasonable doubt, and why the thousands of experts worldwide disagree?

    even the 911 comissioners are calling for a proper investigation… of course.. we could all sit here and be critical of joe hokey calling for a republic instead

  42. Winston

    Dear Honey Bunch How did you deduce 9/11 was a conspiracy ? Could you state in point form the main concrete facts that proves this theory. And did someone bring this you your attention or is purely your own idea?

  43. honey bunch

    hi winston,

    1. “How did you deduce 9/11 was a conspiracy ?” – i was uncomfortable from the beginning – when watching the twin towers blow up, and being told they were falling down. my discomfort led me to read as much as i could on the matter. the lack of any evidence of substance that support the official account, because all we have is a magic passport, and gwbush pointing in osamas direction and saying, “yeah, that’s him man…” and the massive amounts of conflicting evidence, including, but not limited to…

    Building 7

    Implausibility of the Official Theory
    Melted Steel
    Eyewitness Accounts
    Foreknowledge of Collapse

    Twin Towers

    Implausibility of the Official Theory
    Constant Acceleration
    Pulverization and Ejection of Contents
    Extreme Temperatures & Incendiaries
    Eyewitness Accounts

    from here –

  44. Steve Laing

    I used to know a guy who constantly interrupted conversations, making stupid remarks, and changing the subject, such that it was impossible to have any kind of sensible debate. At first we would try and answer his questions, then less subtly get angry, but in the end, the only response that worked was to simply ignore his presence, and anything he said. Nothing. No comments. No eye contact. We acted as if he was invisible.

    It took him a while to recognise that his behaviour was like a six year old child demanding attention, but once he had worked it out, he became a delight to be around. But it was a tricky few weeks, and it required total concentration, and not a slip, because but a nod in the wrong direction that endorsed his behaviour, and he’d be leading us off again in some pointless conversational wild goose chase.

    I’ve realised that with social media, I’ve often fallen back into the trap of responding, and wasted hours in pointless conversations that achieved nothing. Now I try to only feed the ducks.

  45. honey bunch

    @ steve – my initial remarks were about how hard it is to advance the case for a proper investigation into 911, on online forums like this, because it is always met with condescension, sarcasm, ad-hominem and baseless unqualified opinion.

    and guess what ive been met with here.. well good job, well done. now if you want to show me how wrong i am, with just one piece of evidence, with a little substance that can survive the slightest scrutiny, i invite you to do so, go on, show everyone how stupid i am..
    you wont, youre scared.

  46. Roswell

    Honey bunch. I am one of the moderators here. As a moderator I have no hesitation in removing comments that are off topic or are deliberately intended to derail the topic. So if any of your future comments disappear, you will know what happened to them. They would have been removed by me b

  47. honey bunch

    roswell, all my comments, bar my initial one, have been in response to people addressing me. my initial comment, was on topic, i was using 911, as an example of how people interact online, and it seems i was correct.

    i have responded to people in the manner they have replied to me, that is how i roll.

    if people want to accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist, i think it only fair that i demand they make their point, otherwise it is not unreasonable to accuse them of having nothing to offer.

    i cant stop you from your censorship ambitions.. but i do have a copy of everything.

  48. Kaye Lee

    One truly tragic consequence of online bullying is the number of suicides it has caused. We immediately think of kids but remember Charlotte Dawson. And how many others do we hurt with intemperate remarks that we never realise.

    I feel sorry for kids nowadays. When I was a kid, if you had a bad day, you went home and forgot about it. I had several groups of friends from different activities. If I had a falling out with one there was always someone else to play with. Today, every mistake you make will be posted online with accompanying videos, photos and commentary. Cross words with a friend are there in print for everyone to buy into the argument and hype it up.

    We really must be aware of what Mark is discussing in this article. The bravery that comes with anonymity must also be tempered with an understanding of consequences to the real people behind the monitors.

  49. Winston

    Hey Roswell aren’t you just proving Mark Needham point by wanting to ban Honey Bunch. I am yet to be convinced of his conspiracy. I work on the big picture first and then focus on peoples motivation. I have deduced awhile ago that this theory was unfounded. But if I ever get time ill look again as I may have .0001% doubt.

  50. Roswell

    No, I don’t want to ban him/her. Did I say that? He/she isn’t abusive.

  51. Kaye Lee


    This thread is not about the 9/11 conspiracy and honey bunch has been deliberately provocative in their tone. Roswell and others do a great job of keeping this place a respectful place to discuss the published articles. He/She has been invited to submit one but declined the offer. That is no reason to allow her/him to derail what is an important topic.

    If you are truly interested there is a wealth of information.

  52. Winston

    Roswell You were definitely inferring the power you wield. You shoot too early sometimes. To know you have the power is enough. To state it says more about yourself.

  53. honey bunch

    My intention wasnt to have a debate about 911, all i was trying to do was make the point, that trying to have a civil discussion about 911, on forums such as this, is near impossible.

    winston, i have no conspiracy, i have no theory. what i do have, is access, as does everyone else here, to information that shows 911, official account, impossible. i like to share that info with others who are interested, in no way am i trying to force it upon anyone who wishes to disregard it, but at the same time, i object to people calling me stupid, or a waste of time, when they can not show why what i am linking to is wrong.

    i hope you do some more research on the topic, when the herald sun i think it was, had a poll about kevin braken on their site, over 86% of aussies said they thougfht he was being reasonable. then they took the poll down. my reference to 911 also went to balance, as we are only ever given the official account.

    The ABC and the Mainstream Media “Managing” Our Reality

    personally, i agree with this video
    911 is the litmus test.

    be absolutely fantastic to be able to discuss this online with other people – in a civil, and balanced way – i apologise to everyone who thought i was trying to hijack the thread.. like i said.. im not a writer.

    “This thread is not about the 9/11 conspiracy and honey bunch has been deliberately provocative in their tone”

    no i have not. you dismissed me as a waste of time first, and i responded in kind, stop being a hypocrite.

  54. Winston

    Honey Bunch What would be the US government motivation?? Makes this clear and simple and think about this deeply.

  55. Mark Needham

    Kaye Lee, Yes that was a very cheap shot ( and I must admit, at that moment in time, deliberate in its intent).
    “””deary” and say “bless you, “””
    That I am as much a Bully as, well, Yes, I am and often do.
    What I wrote, was just plain mean and nasty and I cringe at seeing it brought up.

    Kaye Lee, my sincere Apologies.

    Mark Needham
    PS. Roswell, not at you in particular, but we all in General.
    yep, even I am as guilty as hell. It is human nature to have a shot now and then.

  56. Mark Needham

    Oh, and Thank you all for your support.
    Please don’t encourage me though..
    Mark Needham

  57. honey bunch

    kaye – popular mechanics – you call that a debunking? it isnt.. heres why

    what people want is an offical response to the evidence i linked to, not unqualified journalists reguurgitating the official account. try reading the evidence at, and then post the official account as to why thats wrong, you wont find it, there isnt any. that is why, people, including victims families, want a proper investigation. they want answers.

    when i wrote “deary, and bless you, that was in keeping with my “honey bunch” and schnookums” – all terms of endearment, albeit – tongue in cheek… along the lines of the recent road safety campaign, based along the same lines.. i just thought people had a bit of a sense of humour online. maybe not

  58. honey bunch

    “Honey Bunch What would be the US government motivation?? Makes this clear and simple and think about this deeply.”
    that would mean i know for sure it was the US government who were involved, and that i can read minds. you are asking me to speculate, to offer a theory.

    id rather stick to the facts that show the official account impossible.

  59. Winston

    Really Honey Bunch it is one of main questions if you can’t answer that question. You don’t have a case Yes what would be your best ball park reason for the US government to orchestrate this on it’s people? Motivation is everything.

  60. honey bunch

    i dont need a case when science proves.. the official account impossible.. you are asking for my unqualified opinion.. however

    there are some though, that have speculated as to government motivation.. if youre interested..
    it was the government who said they needed a new pearl harbor.. there is a doco by that name.. and then theres comments by General Wesley Clark. Retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied.Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia

    “We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” –

  61. kizhmet

    Great article Mark, congratulations and well done! For me, the discussions here provide an opportunity to learn, understand opposing/similar views sufficiently to make (what I hope are) informed decisions. This is extremely important for me as I do not know always know if my own views are well formulated. Open debate is a prerequisite to understanding. Discussions about our Indigenous brothers and sisters, MMT, disadvantaged groups, the environment etc etc are enlightening. I remain grateful to have found a place where intelligent discussion abounds.

    I confess my view of Abbott – and his government – is decidedly tainted. Photos taken in parliament generally depict Abbott (Hockey, Pyne et al) in a combative stance, brows furrowed, mouths open and hands raised agressively. Unfortunatley that is the way I “see” each of them whenever their names are raised. I keep reminding myself, attack the policies, not the man.

    Diversity of opinion should be encouraged. Thank you Mark for reminding us that this is possible with respect and tolerance.

  62. Roswell

    Mark, I’m glad you’re here. I really liked your article.

  63. Winston

    Dear Honey In your heart of hearts what do YOU truly think would be their motivation. Use your imagination as to why and what is YOUR gut reasoning is for this ??

  64. honey bunch

    “Dear Honey In your heart of hearts what do YOU truly think would be their motivation. Use your imagination as to why and what is YOUR gut reasoning is for this ??”

    how would that be helpful in finding out what is and what isnt the truth. for me to know what happened, i would have to be part of the “conspiracy” i wasnt there, i dont know the who what where when how or why.. but what i do know, is that what im being told, is pure BS. sorry for my french.

    if you understand basic physics enough, to understand the implications, the begrudging admission by NIST, that building 7 did indeed fall at freefall acceleration for ~2.5 seconds, and their complete and utter failure at then explaining how office combustibles can remove, simultaneously and instantaneously the steel supports, across the entire structure, over several floors for this feat to be accomplished, then you would understand also, the depth of the lies.

    i am not here to convince anyone here of anything either way, my main point was to simply say here, that trying to express ideas contrary to the official account of 911 online, is often met with the kind of vitriolic condemnation the author of this article is writing about.

    to prove this case either way, we need a proper investigation… 🙂

  65. Winston

    You brought this topic up so you must care deeply about it? Honey I think you will have to go away for awhile and present us with your own Thesis on this topic. Though I feel you must firstly lead with what USA government motivation was; for doing this. I will look forward to reading this in the future.

  66. honey bunch

    fankly winston, what you think and feel is of no concern to me. of course i care deeply about the lies that we are told that result in millions dead, millions more, maimed, poisoned, crippled, displaced,, who wouldnt be?

    my own thesis is irrelevant, when thousands of qualified experts around the world, from all professions, have shown, irrefutably why the official account is impossible, and when the majority of the world is calling for a new investigation, including 911 comissioners themselves, then it is up to you to show why that is unreasonable. looking forward to you putting forward something of substance that can support that stand. until then, seeya! 🙂

  67. Mark Needham

    An old school, surly, steam loco driver, Mr. Augustine, arrived at work to find that he had a new fireman.
    “What’s yer name” he says.
    “Jim,” says the new fireman.
    “I don’t call my fireman by his first name, whats yer surname, lad?”
    ” Darling” says the admonished fireman.
    “Righto Jim, lets get this show on the road.” said Mr Augustine.
    Mark Needham
    PS. Sorry Honey, I just couldn’t help myself.

  68. honey bunch

    lol – mark.. its nice how everyone is calling me honey bunch! – even when they think im stupid!

    this might help explain the road safety thing to those that havnt seen it..

    that said.. i doubt it will save any lives

  69. Winston

    You have to convince me first if you are propagating this story though. Anyway lovely to communicate with you Honey Bunch. Bye Bye

  70. Michael Taylor

    Mark, I must also add that I liked your article.

  71. honey bunch

    I must also add, that i actually like it when people resort to smarmy sarcasm, name calling, appeals to logic,, strawman cases, inane banality, in an attempt to make something i might write, appear to be stupid, or wrong, because if that is all they have in order to discredit what im saying, or in my case, as im not a writer, trying to say perhaps, then it is makes it easy to simply point out, that if that is the case, if that is all they have, then they indeed have nothng.

    and to these people, i say bring it on schnookums, i can give as good as i get..

    in the case of 911, it is still a contraversial topic, and very legitimate for all sorts of discussion, including wars, and the erosion of civil liberties etc.. and judging by the responses here, quite a lively subject still, and i feel the hits on an article here showing the evidence that shows why a proper investigation, finally, isnt unreasonable, well the click counter would go through the roof, but im not a writer, nor in charge of what is posted on this site.

    i do however, try to voice my opinion politely, wherever a websites invites me to do so, and if people want to know more, im happy to help them understand where im coming from, by providing credible links that show qualified support for what im saying, and i am always more than happy, for sugar plum, or anyone else to show me where something on the links is posted, is wrong, because i would hate to think im promoting misinformation of any kind.


  72. corvus boreus

    Mark Needham,
    I will not offer you encouragement, but I will offer you some honest comment.
    I have often disagreed, sometimes strongly, with your statements, and their wording, in the comments section on these pages and have, on occasion, strayed towards incivility,if not abuse , in my responses. I have also posted much worse in response to others.
    As I recall, my reply to you stating your intention of writing this piece was a snide remark along the lines of ‘I hope the sentences are coherent’. I freely concede that that tongue-in-cheek sarcasm looks like foolish nob-gobbling in hindsight.
    You have constructed a very readable piece that states it’s points honestly, clearly and convincingly, and on a topic that is very relevant to us all, namely the importance of maintaining basic civility in our communication.
    I applaud both the sentiments and the manner in which you have expressed them, but more than that, I also respect the instead of decrying that ‘someone/they ought to write something about that’, you have said ‘I will’, and then shown the courage of conviction and mental discipline to do so. You have prepared and offered some nourishing food for thought.
    Thank you, Mr Needham.

  73. Winston

    And without further a due I’m sure Honey Bun would like to have the last word on this page ……..LOL

  74. Mark Needham

    Kiss me, Winston.

    Onya Corvus, Thank You. But Michael Taylor sorted out all the rough spots, and turned it into a logical piece, but never interfered with the content. Thanks Michael.
    The coherence is usually in our minds, but the “tippy taps” aren’t. I know exactly what you are saying, and it is a pity, that sometimes what we are thinking has no ( whats the word) to what we are actually typing. Another world apart sometimes and as Kaye Lee says, there is no facial expression, tone of voice or shrug of shoulder to go with it, to give it the meaning that we intend.
    Ah well, I think that I have introduced myself here, a little more clearly, and fully expect that we shall exchange some verbal repartee. Bring it all on.
    Mark Needham

  75. corvus boreus

    Mark Needham,
    Those of us of pre-80 vintage were taught to write with pen rather than tippy tap, and, as you say, intonation and body language are lacking in the faceless online.
    Also, keyboards malfunction, spell check passes ‘spill chuck’, and self-proofing sees what the writer intends to say.

    Ps, I know you prefer people using their actual names, but in the world-wide web of strangers (some of them even stranger than me), I find a pseudonym a reassuring precaution.
    That said, anonymity can be a coward’s refuge, so I endeavor to hold ‘corvus boreus’ to higher standards of truth and courtesy than the me you might meet in physical reality.

  76. Michael Taylor

    No worries, Mark. It was my pleasure.

    On another matter, Corvus is right: some people feel more comfortable with an alias. There are some nasty trolls out there who will do whatever it takes to ‘get’ at you if they so desire. So if someone doesn’t want their identity known then it could be for a good reason.

  77. Matters Not

    you prefer people using their actual names, but in the world-wide web of strangers (some of them even stranger than me), I find a pseudonym a reassuring precaution

    and There are some nasty trolls out there who will do whatever it takes to ‘get’ at you if they so desire. So if someone doesn’t want their identity known then it could be for a good reason

    Yes! But I think there’s another very important ‘concept’ that’s missing in the ‘argument(s)’ advanced. It seems to me that the fundamental aim of posting is to advance ‘ideas’, ‘notions’, ‘beliefs’, ‘views’ or whatever and have then have them ‘tested’ in rational debate while not be distracted by who the poster is.

    I repeat, posting isn’t about the individual but the ‘argument’, broadly defined. The ‘identity’ of the poster is irrelevant and often just a distraction.

    Even certifiable idiots like Kneel can sometimes provide insights. Albeit, only on rare occasions.

    Seems to me that blogs are at their best when they are about ‘issues’ and the like and at their worst when about ‘individuals’.

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