This guy likes to hang around on the upper east side.
He makes me angry. But I have not got the desire to belt him. Nor, do I notice, is he in danger of being hauled off by black ops in an unmarked van.
He actually makes me more sad than angry.
I wish I could explain to him that the burden of proof rests on the accuser. This is always and everywhere the case, or ought to be. I could not "prove him wrong" to his satisfaction any more than he could prove me wrong if I were to go around with a placard saying that the moon is made of Brie. To every bit of evidence he would produce, I would easily discount it -- the astronomers are in on it, the calculations of lunar density fail to take into account the density of large hunks of Brie, there is no evidence against naturally occurring stellar dairy matter in space, the moon landing was fake (or the guys went with water crackers), you've never been to the moon so you couldn't know. And on and on.
I don't know what makes him like this. He may have lost someone dear to him in the attacks on September 11, 2001. He may have been there on that day and never recovered. I hate impugning someone's sanity as a refutation of his argument, but he leaves me no choice. My Brie theory would not leave anyone a choice in their judgement of me. And every day I would return to my apartment saying, "Another day and no one has proved me wrong! They're starting to realize I'm right!"
For him to be right, you'd have to believe:
1) That the most massive conspiracy ever enacted has left no one around to spill the beans, even though people are terrible about keeping secrets;
2) The massive amounts of secret data Snowden and Manning released just happened to contain nothing about the conspiracy;
3) Huge quantities of flaming jet fuel can't weaken steel*;
4) All the people who claimed to have a part in the attack were lying as part of the coverup, including one bastard that now rots in jail;
5) Popular Mechanics was in on it;
6) The Democratic Congressional majority elected in 2006 and the president elected in 2008 are in on it too;
7) And the whole conspiracy was done to kill innocent Americans, spend a fortune hunting terrorists in two countries we didn't take over and don't want, drive the price of gas up, and make commercial flying a pain in the ass. Because I do not see a damn pipeline being constructed across paleolithic Afghanistan, so there had to be some other point to it.
Mr. Placard Man: I maintain that you're mentally unwell if you buy all this. Prove me wrong.
* Melting like candlewax is unnecessary to cause structural damage.