Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Police photos needed in Ottawa, Canada


Vern White
Chief of Police
Ottawa Police
(by email, sent November 24, 2010)

Re: Request for police officer pictures

Dear Police Chief Vern White,

I write to ask you to increase public safety and improve the accountability of the Ottawa police force by posting the names and pictures of all Ottawa Police officers on the Ottawa Police web site.

Police officers are public servants with power disproportionate to that of a regular citizen. They are also integral members of the community and must be accountable to the public which they serve.

Posting the pictures of police officers on the Ottawa Police web site would increase public safety and would help to protect the public from now rampant police violence against citizens and police abuse of power and irregular behaviour in Ottawa.

It is often difficult, as you know, for victims of illegitimate police aggression to obtain or record and retain the names or badge numbers of offending officers while being subjected to improper treatments and aggressive arrests. I have direct experience with this and can only imagine what it must be like in even more violent situations than the ones I have witnessed on the campus at the University of Ottawa in recent years.

In addition it is important for citizens to be able to protect themselves by avoiding police officers who have been shown or reprimanded by the court or disciplined by their employer for improper behaviour. The web pictures would aid in this regard. As you know, the first defence of a person is to avoid dangerous or volatile situations.

For example, it is presently difficult to find pictures of your officers Const. Shyldon Safruk, Special Const. Glenmore Clarke, Sgt. Steve Desjourdy [photo], Special Constable (Melanie) Morris, and Const. John Flores despite the brutal attacks in which they participated and which have been reported in the media.

Unfortunately, the “few bad apples” theory does not hold water here because these officers would not have undertaken such breaches of the public trust if there was not a broad culture of thuggish disrespect for citizens’ rights within the force. I have repeatedly witnessed this culture and confrontational mentality on the University of Ottawa campus with student arrests, community member arrests, and my own false arrest while I was a tenured professor.

Changing this culture will be a massive undertaking that will take many years in which we will all need to participate. I will do my part. The pictures are an essential easy first step that you can implement immediately.

We need proud officers who uphold the law not delinquent thugs who serve special interests and hide their faces.

As a question of public safety and in the interest of accountability in a democratic society, therefore, will you post the names and pictures of your officers on the Ottawa Police web site? If not, why not?

Please indicate when you will be able to respond.

Denis Rancourt
Former physics professor, University of Ottawa

Cc: Civil society, City Hall, the media


Chief Vern White called me at home.

He said no. He said some other police forces in Canada don't follow the law by not even having name tags. He said pictures would put officers at risk from criminals. He said he had 2000 officers "the vast majority of who have a right to their privacy", that 700 of them were civilians, not sworn officers, and that 250 work special units and are in and out of under cover positions and that he wouldn't even recognize them all.

Chief White said the sworn officer photos "are available if necessary but we wouldn't put them up". He did not know that all regular university professors had their pictures posted. He said that he teaches at both universities (in Ottawa) but that he would not allow them to post his picture if they wanted and he stated that he had no fears from any of his students showing up at his home.

I stated my opinion that more citizens are harmed by police than police harmed by citizens. He asked me my motivation in making the request in my letter and asked me what my goal was. I re-expressed my letter and he disagreed.

His main point was "not everybody wants every criminal to know who you are and what you look like." A main point in my letter is that we need to know what the criminals look like.

He committed to providing me a written answer.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Editor in Chief resigned over the Harrit et al. nanothermite paper

[See latest (January 10, 2011) on Harrit et al. paper HERE.]

A Second Editor in Chief Resigned: "in no way do I agree with its conclusions"

by Denis G. Rancourt

I was asked by 911 Truth movement researcher and radio host Kevin Barrett to debate Niels Harrit about nanothermite in WTC dust. I agreed and a two-hour live debate was held on November 9th, HERE.

In preparation I read the 2009 paper of Harrit et al. (Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2, 2009, 7-31). I found many scientific errors and concluded that the editorial and/or peer review had been done very poorly. I tried to address some of my concerns with Harrit during the radio interview. Those concerns which I had time to express were mostly confirmed rather than alleviated.

Many members of the 911 Truth movement use an "appeal to authority" argument in advancing Harrit's paper as "peer reviewed" and Harrit himself as a scientific authority with relevant expertise. Anyone using "appeal to authority" arguments must expect that the authority in question can be questioned.

Even more boldly, some 911 Truthers, including Kevin Barrett, advance that since the Harrit paper has not formally been contested in any peer reviewed scientific article then its methods and conclusions must be valid. I don't know the name for this particular sophistry but I know that many papers on important topics are wrong, believed to be wrong, and are never contested. This relates more to the social careerism of science than anything else.

I accept that the 911 Truth movement is an important societal movement and for that reason I decided to help clean up some of this crap.

I wrote an expert critical peer review of the Harrit paper HERE.

Harrit was immediately informed and has not yet provided any substantive response.

There are a lot of very bad peer reviewed articles out there but it is so unusual for an editor of a peer review scientific journal to allow tenuous and extreme claims and elaborate suggestions that do not follow from the data that I decide next to contact the Editor in Chief of the journal.

Here is what I sent the Editor in Chief on November 10th:
Professor Lucio Frydman
Department of Chemical Physics,
The Weizmann Institute of Sciences

Editor in Chief,
Open Chemical Physics Journal

Re: Peer review concerns, Harrit et al., OCPJ 2, 2009, 7-31, "nanothermite in WTC dust"

Dear Editor Frydman,

As an expert in the relevant areas, I have written a criticism of the above-cited paper that was printed in your journal.

I have posted my report publicly on the web here:

My report is also critical of your journal in this matter.

On the face of it, it appears that the peer review process for this article was significantly flawed, to the point of professional irresponsibility or worse. This, in a matter of vital public and political interest.

Please clarify your journal's peer review of this article, the number of reviewers, their relevant expertizes, whether any changes were requested, etc. You will understand that the article is of such substandard quality as to give rise to serious questions about its review. What was your own involvement in accepting this article it its final form?

Please indicate when you will be able to respond.

Denis G. Rancourt
Former professor, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada

This was the former editor's immediate response:

From: Lucio Frydman
Date: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 12:46 AM
Subject: Editorial concern, Open Chemical Physics Journal, possible fraudulent peer review
To: Denis Rancourt <>
Cc: The Open Chemical Physics Journal , Shehzad , Editorial

Dear Prof. Rancourt

What you describe is indeed very worrisome indeed. To be frank, however, I should clarify to you two points that will probably derive this discussion through alternative channels

1) I was not editor of the journal at the time the manuscript you refer to was received and processed. I was not involved in its handling, and in no way do i agree with its conclusions. In fact i do not even know how the paper's peer reviewing was handled - or if it was reviewed at all. The journal never wanted to disclosed this matter to me

2) What may be even worse - noone seems to be at the helm of this Journal. Months ago -simply after becoming acquainted with the article you mention, its possible misshandling, etc- i submitted my immediate resignation as editor to the open chemical physics journal. As you can see from the email below, my letter of resignation was received and acknowledged. However, i still appear as the journal's editor - in fact i'm still receiving manuscripts to handle (which i naturally ignore).

To be frank, noone seems to be at the helm of this floundering ship...

I am hereby using the opportunity to copy the journal managers and publishers both of your concerns, as well as my renewed request that they officially and finally relieve me from any duties and/or relationship in connection to this journal

I hope this clarifies your concerns - at least in what they relate to my role in this sad story

Lucio Frydman

Dear Dr. Frydman,

Thank you for your email. Your resignation will be forwarded to the higher management for consideration.

Maryam L. Shaikh
Ms. Maryam Legasto Shaikh
Asst. Manager Publication
The Open Chemical Physics Journal
Bentham OPEN



From: Lucio Frydman
Date: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 11:14 PM
Subject: Re: Editorial concern, Open Chemical Physics Journal, possible fraudulent peer review
To: Denis Rancourt

I appreciate the copying of the correspondence.
While i sympathize with your arguments, I have noticed with worry, however, that you have posted in an open web site my email response of yesterday to you and to the journal. While i stand behind what i wrote, i sent that email under the reasonable assumption that i was corresponding with you in privacy. A privacy that i see violated by your posting of my message in a blog without asking for my prior consent. Please remove it from your blog site -together with any comments you have associated with that message
Thanks in advance and please confirm these actions have been taken
> Dear Prof. Frydman,
> Thank you for this prompt and informative reply.
> I have followed up with the Publisher and put you in cc.
> Denis Rancourt

My Reply:

Dear Prof. Frydman,

I wrote to you in your official capacity as a university scientist and as an editor on a matter that I explicitly stated was of "vital public and political interest".

Your response therefore is also of public interest.

I deny your request to remove your email message "together with any comments you have associated with that message".

I am also surprised by your request and I will make it public on the same blog post.

Denis Rancourt

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

911 Movement Needs Clean Up and Focus on Activism

by Denis G. Rancourt

I have argued that the 911 Movement is an important and valuable societal movement populated by citizens seeking truth, justice, and democracy: LINK.

I have also argued that it is wrong to assume that information and majority public opinion on their own produce societal change. I have argued that without an effective activism column the 911 Movement will simply be a curious cultural phenomenon with no political impact.

Activism cannot be only “getting the message out” and making videos and web sites. It must include direct interactions in the public sphere at political venues (hearings, conferences, government propaganda events, etc.), legal activism, classic political organizing, and anti-establishment activism at work and at school.

In this regard, in my opinion, the 911 Movement division between “researchers” and “activists” is counter productive. “Researchers” who focus their interests on tenuous theories of events rather than supporting the activists harm the movement. To operate a division between inquiry and social reform always serves concentrated and undemocratic power.

This is a fundamental divide and conquer strategy that has lead to our modern concept of “academic freedom”, thereby effectively making virtually all university professors into service intellectuals. (EXAMPLE)

The 911 Movement needs to rout out and isolate this destructive tendency to go off and “research” rather than concentrate one’s energies on effective activist tactics and strategies. Useful research must be part of a praxis of social reform or it is harmful research. There is no lack of historic evidence of research as a neutralizing force.

And the Movement needs to stop spinning its wheels with extreme theories such as: directed energy weapons, all the video is fake and there were no planes, and the two towers necessarily came down in controlled explosives-assisted demolitions with or without the help of tonnes of nanothermite.

None of these theories need to be true or proven for the motives driving an “inside job” to hold. In addition these proposals about the twin tower collapses can easily be contested, displace the debate away from more important issues, and appear to most opponents as ridiculous and therefore non-threatening.

To illustrate how easy it is to contest arguments for the “controlled demolition” of the twin towers, I offer two discussions below; in the hope of drawing the Movement away from severed “research” and towards political activism.

Evidence for nanothermite - Not

As a scientist with relevant expertise, I have reviewed the paper by Harrit et al. reporting to have found synthetic nanothermite in WTC dust samples (Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2, 2009, 7-31).

My report is posted HERE.

Harrit et al. did not make conclusions or proposals that followed from their data and made basic errors in data interpretation. Harrit himself admits to never having used the central method of energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) in his research before his 2009 paper (LINK).

My REPORT explains a natural origin for the grey-red bi-layer flakes found by Harrit et al.

Explosives were required - Not

There is a widespread narrative among Truthers that the nature of the collapses and the degree of destruction imply that large amounts (tonnes) of explosives must have been used.

I see no evidence for this.

A standing building is a bomb waiting to be ignited (by an earthquake or anything capable of taking out structural elements). The gravitational potential energy that is released when a tall structure collapses is enormous. The higher and more massive the structure, the greater the energy release.

Indeed, this is the basis of controlled demolition in which gravitational energy not explosives does virtually all the destructive work. The explosives are only used to take out key structural elements and gravity does the rest.
The gravitational energy liberated (and used for destruction) in the collapse of one WTC tower is approximately 100 tonnes of TNT equivalent, a massive amount equal to approximately 1% of the Hiroshima atomic explosion.
The US war crime that was the Hiroshima explosion caused total destruction on an area of 12 square kilometres and killed 200,000 people. The US war crime that was the 911 twin tower attack caused destruction that is indeed equivalent to approximately 1% of the Hiroshima blast damage, although more concentrated on the point of the towers.

100 tonnes of TNT equivalent is enough to cause all the destruction seen as the result.

Those who insist that explosives were needed to produce the observed degree of pulverization would have us believe that every piece of office equipment and every human body had been loaded with explosives. That’s not how it works when you liberate 100 tonnes of TNT equivalent in seconds.

The following simple scenario of a twin tower collapse does not violate any physical principle.

I have already reported on the important work of Jim Malott (HERE) who exposed the corrupt politics of how the core-structure steel was allowed to be installed virtually unprotected during construction of the towers.

The core-structure is hit from one side, blowing away some of the fire protection material. The steel in the core-structure first fails on the side it was hit causing the top segment of the tower to start rotating. The heated steel in the rest of the core then also fails under the combination of heat and bending strain. The top segment now crushes against the bottom segment as it also continues to rotate but with lessening angular acceleration under a significant counter torque from the asymmetric crushing.

The top segment crushes itself into the bottom segment as it simultaneously (action-reaction) crushes the bottom segment. A cascade follows in which every newly crushed layer adds to the mass being accelerated downwards to continue the destruction.

In other words, I believe that if the conditions were created for key structural elements to fail at the point of impact then the rest would follow from gravity. Of course in such a NON-CONTROLLED demolition it would be messy and pieces would be flung in all directions, as was observed.

Sorry but I don’t see the need for an explosives assisted collapse.

And it matters because…?

What is most unfortunate is that many Truthers will now spend much energy refuting my proposal rather than moving on to the important task of activism.

We should be figuring out how to make the bastards accountable rather than posturing on questions of high school physics.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

University Student for Sale

by Denis Rancourt

You are wretched.

In the history of humanity puberty was the passage to adulthood and responsibility of self yet you accept prolonged subservience. You even sell your future life to bankers for the privilege of slavery and sustained stupidity.

You choose to be a house slave rather than risk freedom.

You are pathetic to watch. Racing from assignment to assignment, from essay to essay, from test to test, from lab to lab; racing to regurgitate on demand, to satisfy a master, to be graded for compliance, to be moulded into an obedient servant without ever having the time to think or understand.

You are even more pathetic when you justify your subservience with the master’s catch phrases: this is how we learn from true experts, basic knowledge first then thinking and application, practice leads to skill… as though human development, perception and learning were like tying a shoe or any other technical skill.

You are most pathetic when you devise a world view to justify your own negation and indoctrination; when you bring the master within yourself in this way. You are most sad, most deeply wounded and most distanced from yourself when your oppressor resides in you.

You were broken and institutionalized as a mostly defenceless child but now you are an adult and it is time for you to stand up – or take the path of life-long crawling.

You are now responsible for you.

Are you going to let these moronic ass kissers we call professors – who have jumped through ALL the hoops – impress you with their canned and well delivered spiels (or if not well delivered at least imposed by their illegitimate authority)?

The ones that deliver badly and grade unfairly only better illustrate the madness of it all. But you make a pact with every one of them to obey in exchange for grades and credits. And those that fool you with their smiles from privilege and their empathy entice you to imitate rather than rebel.

Just like with slave-driver tactics, there is a prof for your every student vulnerability. The hard ass offers superiority of the top-level exploiter with a promise of club entry, or the comforting illusion that you are needed for good in the crushing machine. The radical prof denies his/her role in managing the killing machine and offers enticing radical (to the root) analysis severed from all practice beyond writing, communicating, and more analysis – as the ultimate neutralizing stratagem for potential agents (students) who might not otherwise distinguish between inquiry and theorizing as acceptable and social reform as unacceptable.

You confuse your trainer, the master’s tool, for a mentor or a parent. Wake up. As an adult, no one is the boss of you. Your first responsibility is to yourself, to your own dignity. Only you can discover who you are and your rightful place. These scams are soul poison and make you into an oppressor that is oppressed.

Yes you are pathetic, with all your escapes and justifications. And just as pathetic with your drive to dominate and climb the ladder by stepping on heads. It will be a deservedly empty life until you stand straight up.

You deserve to be treated like a number, to be used and manipulated, because you take it. Why would the master respect you? Is reward for obedience respect? Are simulated pleasantness and an offer to take a place on your knees respect?

You have no say in what, how much, when, or where. You simply are told and only ask that the directions be more detailed: When is it due? Can it be double spaced? Can I have an example? And you ask for regurgitation aids: Can you give us copies of your Power Point slides before class…? Good fucking Jesus. You are pathetic.

Neither does your cynicism shield you. Obedience against your nature is harmful obedience no matter how you cast it. It dehumanizes you like it would denaturalize any caged animal.

You can free yourself.

You can fight back to defend yourself, to define yourself.

You must discover personal authentic rebellion and express it with your voice and your body.

Do not repress your emotions. Without anger and hate of your oppressor there is no passion or love. Feel what you feel and use it to drive your liberation.

Each act of rebellion is a step towards self-worth and freedom. Each act of rebellion informs you about you and about the world like nothing else can.

This is how to connect with comrades. You can only connect if you are yourself and know yourself. This is how to discover your place, a real place. It’s also the only known way to create justice.

You don’t need a better model or argument. Just reject pacification and co-optation. Take your place and your influence – in the classroom to start! – And wherever you are, always. Join your comrades and hold together with those who see the chains. The others are acting out the internalized master and only need to be stirred or challenged. Don’t let them mob you. Stand your ground.

You will find the way if you keep true and never lie down or kneel. Each time you comply you will feel the hurt again and this will remind you to step back into the battle for you.

Get out of the trap and up the ante for your life. It will be worth every moment.

Cowardice, stupidity and depravity are the other option.

It is that simple. You are always in charge of you.