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Oh, great: Now Tom, like the Donald, is feuding with Rosie


One of my favorite skits in the early days of Saturday Night Live involved Buck Henry as a radio talk-show host. He starts off by saying something like, "We're going to talk about municipal bonds today. Give us a call at our phone number, and we'll talk about those bonds."

After an interminable pause, he says, "OK, we'll throw it open to include municipal bonds and this fall's local elections that are coming up." Again, an excruciating period of dead silence. Then, he adds, "OK, we'll also give you a chance to talk about the statewide and national elections." Yet again, nothing.

This goes on for several minutes until he is screaming into the microphone, "I think that all Catholic nuns are really communist hookers from outer space! What do you think of that?!"

Which brings us to Rosie O'Donnell. No, she's not a communist hooker from outer space. There are a few really obvious reasons as to why that couldn't possibly be the case. She's the Buck Henry character, spewing out a steady stream of ever-more-outrageous nonsense just to keep people listening to her. Could somebody please tell her that I would like her to stop now?

It has gotten so bad that if I even think about formulating a sentence about Ann Coulter, my right-wing buddy, Emil Franzi, will shout, "Yeah, we might have Ann Coulter, but you have Rosie O'Donnell."

Well, I don't want her. She doesn't speak for me or anybody I know. The only thing she and I have in common is that we both like women. And she likes skinny blondes, so we even diverge there.

I've been a non-fan of hers ever since I found out that she crusaded for gun control, but traveled with armed bodyguards. Strongly held political positions are cool, but hypocrisy is the kiss of death. For example, I'm for gun control, and I've never owned a gun in my life (nor will I ever). This makes me: a) a target; b) a fool; or c) not a hypocrite.

In recent weeks, O'Donnell has been blabbering all over the place about how George W. Bush is trying to use a Gulf of Tonkin-like incident to get us into a war with Iran, and about all kinds of craziness in Iraq. Then she went to one of the kookiest notions of all time, that at least one of the World Trade Center buildings was destroyed by explosive charges from within.

It's not the first time she's said it, but I sure hope it's the last. This is the kind of idiocy that you hear on talk radio out of Elko, Nev., when you're driving through the desert at 3 a.m. Among other things, she said, "It's impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. Miraculously, the first time in history that fire melted steel."

It's rather embarrassing for somebody who probably votes the same way I do to be that freakin' stupid. And in public, no less.

The next person who talks about fire melting steel deserves to get smacked. Of course, fire can't melt steel. But it can heat it up enough for it to sag, and that's all it takes for a steel-skeleton building like the WTC towers to come down. The fires in the WTC were estimated to have been around 1,400 degrees. At 1,200 degrees, steel is only half as strong as it would be at normal temperatures. This caused the support beams to bow.

Imagine hanging a wet pair of jeans on a clothesline. The line will bow downward, forming what is known as a catenary. This puts uneven stress on the line and actually pulls the clothesline poles toward the center. That is what happened in the towers. (The uneven temperatures of the fire put added stress on the individual beams and then the entire structure.) As the beams sagged, they pulled the upright supports inward. When those finally snapped, the columns on the outside of the building, no longer held in place by horizontal beams, buckled (there are plenty of photos of that happening).

When the weakening support structure at the point of the plane crash was no longer able to support the weight of the building above it, the whole thing fell the only way it possibly could--straight down. Since the space occupied by the building(s) was more than three-quarters air, it's not surprising that they came down in a hurry, nor is it surprising that the final pile was only a few stories high. The mass pancaked onto the floors below it. The mass grew larger and continued to accelerate, according to the laws of physics.

O'Donnell said, "Get a physics expert from Yale, from Harvard, pick the school. It defies reason."

Heck, I could pick a physics student from a local high school, and he/she could explain everything that happened that awful day. It might not match her moronic conspiracy theory, but it matches the truth.

What really defies reason is that O'Donnell is on TV. And getting paid for it.

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