Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Holloway back in the news

Beth Holloway-Twitty and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley have called for a 'nationwide travel boycott of Aruba' due to their belief that the country's government has not done enough to find Natalee Holloway. If you recall, the teenaged Natalee went missing after a night of alcohol induced fun and excitement. A number of people have been questioned about the girl's disappearance but no arrests have been made. Natalee's mother, Beth, isn't happy.

The Associated Press reports, "(Beth Holloway-Twitty) contends Aruban authorities have failed to adequately investigate the possible murder of her daughter, who was with a Dutch teenager and two Surinamese brothers on the night she disappeared."

I have empathy for the mother; however, the amount of coverage this issue has received is beyond reproach. Let's take a look at the bigger picture.

A simple Google search for missing children from Alabama turned up about 163,000 results; including the Alabama Department of Public Safety which lists 15 children with loved ones looking for them. Then, of course, there are the nearly 70 adults missing from the state of Alabama.

Do you suppose the parents, family and friends of these missing people wish the state's governor would help them out? Sure they do. Do you think Greta "more botox please" Van Susteren has helped them any? I doubt it.

Have you heard of Abigail Louise Angel? The six-year-old has been missing since 2001. Surely FoxNews and CNN did an expose on her and the alleged abduction by her biological mother? Gov. Riley must have initiated a nation-wide call for assistance and I'm positive the FBI is helping.

The point is, the abduction and exploitation of individuals is a major problem across the United States. What is being done for the families desparate to find their loved ones?

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All U.S. problems solved, government looks to cure those of other countries

When I lived in Saudi Arabia, it took an act of Congress (literary license) to get my mother a driver's license. At Christmas, the local police made rounds and forced people to remove any exterior displays of the holiday from their homes. TV was basically nonexistent other than daily televised prayer. Luggage was searched for contraband when entering or departing the country. Speaking of contraband, my father (and many others) discretely made their own beer and wine since alcohol is outlawed in the country.

However, we lived by their rules just as American's (except for the ACLU and like-minded fools) expect foreigners to do here.

As we've seen with the Iraqi fiasco, the U.S. government is more eager to become involved abroad than domestically. When our elected officials decide to solve home-based issues, they focus on steroids in baseball. I'm guessing that issues with education, social security, political abuse of power, and other issues of the ilk are not as important as getting Saudi Arabia to provide greater religious freedom. Apparently that country's 'restrictions on the freedom of worship' are of great concern for the state department and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that discussions are in place to develop 'progress on important religious freedom issues.'

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Shocking news ... Saints lose

The shameful New Orleans Saints lost to the horrific Chicago Bears in a stupefying game of errors. Fearing for his life, Saints owner Tom Benson made good on his promise to not attend another Saints game in Baton Rouge "where last week he swatted at a TV news camera and argued with a heckling fan."

The world is a better place.

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More lies from Iraq

You wouldn't know it from the picture, but this guy is a former Marine. As a matter of fact, he's a former Marine Corps staff sergeant and Iraq War veteran. Meet Jimmy Massey.

Jimbo was first introduced to us with tales of Iraqi genocide at the hands of American soldiers.

Including:
  • Marines fired on and killed peaceful Iraqi protesters.
  • Americans shot a 4-year-old Iraqi girl in the head.
  • A tractor-trailer was filled with the bodies of civilian men, women and children killed by American artillery.
As it turns out, little Jimmy is a liar. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch,
"Is Jimmy Massey telling the truth about Iraq?", the answer is a resounding no. However, I'm sure Michael "pass me that burger" Moore and Cindy "living on my dead son's life insurance" Sheehan will find a way to spin the lies into their own sordid truth.

According to the article, the Marine Corp. investigated and found that Jimbo's claims were unsubstantiated. Evidence stated in the article includes how "Massey misled reporters" in various interviews about being fired from a "furniture store because of his anti-war activities ... He also backtracked from allegations he made in a May 2004 radio interview and elsewhere that he had seen a tractor-trailer filled with the bodies of Iraqi civilians when Marines entered an Iraqi military prison outside Baghdad. He said the Iraqis had been killed by American artillery ... But when told that the newspaper's photographs and eyewitness reports had identified the trailer contents as all men, mostly in uniform, Massey admitted that he had never seen the bodies."

There are more lies.

SOURCE

See also:
  • Recruiter-turned-peacenik hits nerve in N.C.: "If you were young and tough and wanted a challenge, Jimmy Massey was the man to see. He was gung ho. He was Semper Fi. He was the strutting, cussing, tobacco-chewing Marine recruiter. The staff sergeant won scores of recruits in this and other patriotic mountain towns by talking courage, honor, commitment. Then, following his own adage — 'you gotta walk the walk' — he went to Iraq."
  • "Jimmy Massey" site:michaelmoore.com - Google Search
  • What a Weekend!: "So what broke this career marine so thoroughly? It happened, he said, the first time he killed a group of civilians at a checkpoint. They didn't stop at the right spot, so Massey says, he and his comrades 'discharged our weapons.' At the moment he realized what they'd done, Massey says, he 'got a conscience,' and all the power the US military's patriotic rhetoric had over this man's mind was gone. That was the beginning of the end for Massey's stay in the Iraq and the marines."

Saints get their marching papers

The New Orleans Saints are a burden to the state of Louisiana.

Prior to the damage received by Hurricane Katrina, Saints owner Tom Benson demanded the state build a new facility or they were leaving. This was quickly followed by a demand that the state invest tax dollars in the team to offset Benson's financial losses (the lone NFL team "with a guaranteed cash subsidy from a state"). Like a Mardi Gras reveler being beat by a New Orleans cop, the state succumbed.

The subsidies, to the tune of $15 million each, come from a state that, even before hurricanes Katrina and Rita, was in financial straits and historically ranks at the bottom of the barrel for teacher salaries and education.

With the Superdome in such bad shape (and not expected to be reopened until November 2006) and Benson's earlier demands for a new dome, what is the incentive for the team to come back? I see none for the state or its citizens other than a financial burden.

If the state's subsidy of the Saints isn't enough to show the ineptness of the team's owner, then it's clearly evident in his antics post-Hurricane Katrina. Benson's historic lack of decisiveness was thrown out of the window once he saw an opportunity to kick a down-and-out city and state in the groin after a category 4 punch to the gut. His quick decision to move the Saints to his home town of San Antonio and lack of emotion towards the city's population are inidicative Benson's acumen towards failure and elitism.

Let San Antonio have the team and its detestable owner. Louisiana needs an NFL team, but one with a knowledgeable owner who can see the forest and not just the trees. Yet, listening to the politicians and a handful of fans, the Saints seem to be the transcendental key to the state's survival.

By the way, the media local, state, national and international always note how New Orleans identifies the whole of Louisiana. They are wrong. This state is a diverse enigma of personalities, religions, terra firma, music, food and more. All too recently it was noted that, "murder in New Orleans is so popular that, although the city's murder rate is lower than it was a decade ago, it's rising and is nearly 10 times the national average."

See also:
  • The Shreveport Times: "The center has records to 1990 but the Saints didn't show up in the top 20 until 2000. It was after the Saints' first playoff game win in 2000 that Benson began demanding a new stadium. That demand led to the current 10-year, $186 million subsidy from the state that was signed in 2001 by then-Gov. Mike Foster -- a deal that calls for annual cash payments of $12.5 million to $23.5 million from the state to the team. The Saints is the only team in the National Football League with a guaranteed cash subsidy from a state, according to stadium financing specialist Dan Barrett of Barrett Sports Group of Manhattan Beach, Calif."
  • BayouBuzz.com - Louisiana Politics and News: "One fan claimed this is a “Tom Benson conspiracy” to hold down ticket sales and make the local area look bad to the NFL. Well, it may have been the plan because there was almost no advertising spent prior to the game and only four people were hired to handle ticket sales. In addition, the Saints abandoned their local office, moving everything to San Antonio."
  • Saints: Owner still undecided on return to Baton Rouge: "'I will not return to Baton Rouge for any reason, including any games scheduled for the end of this season or a contemplated next season,' Benson said in the e-mail. 'No person, much less the owner of NFL team, should have either he, his family or his friends subjected to this form of danger, intimidation and abuse. I was advised not to go but wanted to support the league.'"
  • Dallas owner says it's not time to discuss Saints move: "But there have been reports Benson would like to move the team to San Antonio and has been talking to city officials there. He also fired executive vice president Arnold Fielkow, an outspoken proponent of keeping the team in New Orleans."
  • LA Daily News - Sports: "In recent weeks, owner Tom Benson has left a trail of signs indicating that a move to San Antonio, where the Saints have been based the last two months, might be made permanent. There are also increasingly louder acknowledgments from within the NFL that the team may eventually end up in Los Angeles."
  • Dem Saints: A team only New Orleans could love: "Saints quarterback Brooks was hit hard as he delivered one errant pass. 'Hey, that's roughing the passer,' someone yelled. Said Larry, dryly, 'Nah, that would infer that he can pass.'"
  • Will they go marching out?: "Saints fans see a level of looming infamy that not even the most notorious exit scenes in sports could match, not the Browns abandoning Cleveland, the Rams bolting from Los Angeles, the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn or the Colts packing up trucks in the middle of a Baltimore night."
  • HoustonChronicle.com - State officials work to keep Saints in New Orleans: "In a letter this month to the Saints, state officials said they are willing to discuss adding enhancements to the Superdome to help boost team profits. Although he envisioned the Saints remaining in New Orleans, Tagliabue said they needed to become more of a Louisiana, or even a regional team. The state and Saints need to take a fresh look at the team's deal with Louisiana, Taqliabue said."
  • Page 2: Benson should say good-bye: "I can't begin to relate to the losses of lives -- and lifes -- in this hurricane-ravaged region. Homes destroyed, identities lost. But I do know this: Nothing can reunite a community like a sports team."

'Lost'

Interested in one of TV's most enthralling yet frustrating shows? If so, read How 'Lost' reinvented television.

"To a sizable portion of its audience, ABC's Emmy-winning drama — the tale of a group of plane-crash survivors, stranded on a strange desert island — has become a different way of experiencing TV. To its most devoted followers, 'Lost' — which returns from a two-week break Wednesday — is part metaphysics seminar, part jigsaw puzzle, part scavenger hunt. It's a collaborative experience, a game to be played and shared. And an acknowledgment that, even on network TV, the audience can have power, too."