October 18-25, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Burning Sensation

THANKS FOR the brilliant, creative, insightful, entertaining, honest report on Burning Man! (Cover Story, Sept. 20) You made clear what was on the edge of my consciousness: this is a real Shiva event of creation and destruction. In that great paragraph beginning "I understand now" you make clear the value of the destruction part. This should be circulated to all 40,000 Burners! Is there a link for people to get to this report online?

Daniel Bittleston, Santa Cruz

The story originally ran in two consecutive issues: Part 1 (Sept. 20) and Part 2 (Sept. 27)--Editor

Better Living Through Metro Santa Cruz

RE "Welcome Home: A Burning Man Travelogue" (Cover Story, Sept. 20): Laura, I really enjoyed your memoir of your experience at Black Rock City. Just the title brought a tear to my eyes. I was a little homesick this year since I was unable to go. For a good reason, being I'm seven months pregnant! I figured being in a dust bowl for a week would not be good for me and my baby. So, I've lived vicariously through other people's experiences. I gathered from your writing that you grasped the true essence of Burning Man. It's such a magical place and the interaction with people is heartwarming. You can learn so much out there and bring that home with you. Thanks for sharing your experience, and see you on the playa next year!

Tara Bong, a.k.a. Faerygirl, Los Gatos

Conspiracy Theory by Any Other Name

I HAVE SEEN THREE positive letters regarding the "David Ray Griffin" article ("Unquestioned Answers," Cover Story, Sept. 7). Your headline says he isn't a conspiracy theorist but then he says the "official story" is itself a "conspiracy theory"--a little incongruous, don't you think? In fact, he then proposes his own "theory" that the military pulled it off to create acceptance for the subversive intentions of the "neocons" at the "project for the New American Century."

The reason conspiracy theorists are so named is because they have no facts. It is interesting that Mr. Griffin is a "process theologist"--theology generally deals with faith not fact, and Mr. Griffin has no facts to back up his assertions.

The article mentions five books that Mr. Griffin has written or edited--personally, i think his goal is to sell more books which is usually the real purpose of conspiracy theorists. Not to mention movies, magazines, and seminars.

I will not review all the various 9/11 conspiracy theories, as they are all over the Internet. What I would suggest open-minded people do is read the following:

1. "Behind the 9/11 myths"--the August 2006 book published by Popular Mechanics magazine, with studies by recognized experts in numerous scientific disciplines;

2. The June 2005 article in Scientific American which includes information on the melting properties of steel;

3. The USA Today article from 9/11/2006 analyzing the Pentagon attack, pointing out that DNA of passengers was recovered as were the "black boxes" of the plane and parts of the fuselage;

4. The 9/11 Commission Report, which looked into many of the known conspiracy theories, finding none credible. On C-Span just recently, one of the 9/11 commission chairmen, Thomas Kean, said "the conspiracists asked levels of proof from the 9/11 commission they don't ask of themselves." He also said Michael Moore's movie wasn't true--no surprise there. He pointed out that American history is replete with conspiracy theories stating some "still" think John Wilkes Booth escaped. In fact, I have seen recent news reports that a couple of the college professors involved in the "conspiracy community" are under fire from their administrators for questionable academic practices.

Mr. Griffin is free to promote his ideas, but hopefully the public will read the above mentioned sources (and others) that present findings by respected experts in their scientific fields and decide for themselves.

Ronald Brackney, Santa Clara

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