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SeriousBS: Elian2

McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 00 - 03:54 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Apr 00 - 04:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 00 - 04:28 PM
Banjer 22 Apr 00 - 05:36 PM
wysiwyg 22 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM
Lonesome EJ 22 Apr 00 - 05:55 PM
kendall 22 Apr 00 - 06:48 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 22 Apr 00 - 07:21 PM
Irish sergeant 22 Apr 00 - 07:23 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Apr 00 - 10:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM
Banjer 23 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM
kendall 23 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM
Rick Fielding 23 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM
Art Thieme 23 Apr 00 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,bob S. 23 Apr 00 - 04:12 PM
Victoria H. 23 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 23 Apr 00 - 11:34 PM
Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive) 23 Apr 00 - 11:58 PM
Whistle Stop 24 Apr 00 - 09:04 AM
Whistle Stop 24 Apr 00 - 09:06 AM
Rick Fielding 24 Apr 00 - 11:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 00 - 01:04 PM
Whistle Stop 24 Apr 00 - 01:33 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 00 - 02:03 PM
Mbo 24 Apr 00 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Jack (who is called Jack) 24 Apr 00 - 02:42 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Apr 00 - 02:47 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Apr 00 - 02:50 PM
Whistle Stop 24 Apr 00 - 02:53 PM
Quixote 24 Apr 00 - 03:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 00 - 07:57 PM
Áine 24 Apr 00 - 08:23 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 00 - 08:44 PM
catspaw49 24 Apr 00 - 08:51 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Apr 00 - 08:53 PM
Cara 24 Apr 00 - 09:18 PM
Petr 24 Apr 00 - 09:34 PM
SDShad 24 Apr 00 - 09:49 PM
Sorcha 24 Apr 00 - 09:55 PM
SDShad 24 Apr 00 - 10:01 PM
Amergin 24 Apr 00 - 10:02 PM
Greg F. 25 Apr 00 - 07:34 AM
GeorgeH 25 Apr 00 - 08:15 AM
Sailor Dan 25 Apr 00 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Franz 25 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,James 25 Apr 00 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Kim C 25 Apr 00 - 09:57 AM
Sailor Dan 25 Apr 00 - 10:02 AM
Gary T 25 Apr 00 - 10:27 AM
katlaughing 25 Apr 00 - 11:13 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Apr 00 - 12:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 00 - 12:49 PM
Whistle Stop 25 Apr 00 - 01:14 PM
annamill 25 Apr 00 - 01:30 PM
Scotsbard 25 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Apr 00 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Cara 25 Apr 00 - 02:18 PM
Jim the Bart 25 Apr 00 - 02:22 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Apr 00 - 03:10 PM
Whistle Stop 25 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM
Amergin 25 Apr 00 - 03:54 PM
Gary T 25 Apr 00 - 03:58 PM
sophocleese 25 Apr 00 - 04:02 PM
Petr 25 Apr 00 - 04:08 PM
Petr 25 Apr 00 - 04:08 PM
katlaughing 25 Apr 00 - 05:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 00 - 05:13 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Apr 00 - 06:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM
catspaw49 25 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM
kendall 25 Apr 00 - 07:34 PM
katlaughing 25 Apr 00 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Peter K 25 Apr 00 - 07:45 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Apr 00 - 08:05 PM
Jim the Bart 25 Apr 00 - 08:14 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Apr 00 - 08:24 PM
SINSULL 25 Apr 00 - 08:32 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Apr 00 - 09:00 PM
Greg F. 25 Apr 00 - 09:10 PM
katlaughing 25 Apr 00 - 09:20 PM
Jim the Bart 25 Apr 00 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Peter K 26 Apr 00 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Bob A. Ghanouj 26 Apr 00 - 07:59 AM
kendall 26 Apr 00 - 08:04 AM
Whistle Stop 26 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM
kendall 26 Apr 00 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Angel 26 Apr 00 - 11:24 AM
Amergin 26 Apr 00 - 11:25 AM
katlaughing 26 Apr 00 - 11:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Apr 00 - 02:51 PM
bob schwarer 26 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM
wysiwyg 26 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM
kendall 27 Apr 00 - 04:36 AM
Escamillo 27 Apr 00 - 05:18 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Apr 00 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,The Yank 27 Apr 00 - 12:03 PM
SDShad 27 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM
katlaughing 27 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Apr 00 - 01:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 00 - 02:15 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Apr 00 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Yank 27 Apr 00 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,GRNJ 27 Apr 00 - 09:37 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 27 Apr 00 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,The Yank 27 Apr 00 - 09:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 00 - 01:04 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 28 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 00 - 06:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 00 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 28 Apr 00 - 08:43 PM
zenduck 28 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM

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Subject: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 03:54 PM

The Elian thread looks likely to grow fast tonight, so I felt a second volume might be helpful.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 04:20 PM

Good idea McGrath, but with all the Flag wavin', commie bashin', Castro mashin', Reno trashin' (at least nobody's called her a "Bubba Lovin' Diesel Dyke" yet) I think the volume's already been turned up to 11!

Just found out last night from CNN, that as a prosecutor her strong suit was gettin' the death penalty for a LOTTA bad guys. Seems funny for her now to be "the liberal that everyone loves to hate"! (and before anyone says "I don't hate her, etc."...it's just a joke....because surely No one here thinks that ANYBODY involved in this charade has acted honourably)

Al Gore has lied, John McCain and "Dubya" have most probably lied. Castro has turned it into a media circus, CNN has gotten "OJ" type ratings. "Bubba" has shown NO leadership, and most sadly, not ONE of the TV interviewees has demonstrated that they ACTUALLY care about the kid. He is simply the poster boy for the Left-Right debate.

Rick


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 04:28 PM

"Surely no one here thinks that ANYBODY involved in this charade has acted honourably"

Maybe Juan Gonzalez?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Banjer
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 05:36 PM

Lonesome, you said in the last thread that Elians Miami relatives 'put him in the line of fire'...He was plucked out the water, and the only relatives available were his folks in Miami. They know better than any of us what life in Cuba is like, they probably know a lot more of the background of his father and wanted what in their estimation was best for Elian, a life in a free country... (after this morning I'm not sure that 'free country' isn't a contradiction of terms). Janet Reno sends in the goon squad and you say his relatives put him in the line of fire? Unless you consider Janet Reno a relative, that is a wrong statement. Land Of The Free my ass!!!!

They are lucky it wasn't MY house they stormed, they would have carried out more than just a kid.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM

O Elian, where are you, my child?
O Elian, where are you.... ?
Your childhood gone, swept beneath the sea,
Elian, can you forgive me?

O Elian, where are you, my child?
O Elian, where are you.... ?
Your face, a poster in every crowd,
Elian, your mama weeps aloud.

O Elian, where are you, my child?
O Elian, where are you.... ?
Your life belongs to a world gone mad
Elian, your mama is so sad.

O Elian, where are you, my child?
O Elian, where are you.... ?
O Elian, precious Elian,
Elian, can you forgive me?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 05:55 PM

Banjer, I don't like it any more than you do that the kid had to be taken by force. The fact is, the Miami relatives brought on the situation due to two reasons: 1) Their basic obstinacy and willingness to flaunt their disobedience to rulings by the American Courts that were not in their favor and 2) Their enjoyment of being in the media spotlight, for personal gratification, the supposed advancement of their cause, what have you.

Several arrangements were made by the Court and agreed to by the parties holding Elian, only to have them disregarded and denied by the family at the last minute. In my opinion, the full responsibility for the manner in which Elian was captured lies squarely on the shoulders of the Miami relatives.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: kendall
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 06:48 PM

Right on. This is a country of laws, not emotions. This is not a bannana republic that operates on the feelings of the day. Reno did the right thing...FINALLY. Consider the fact that in spite of the tension, no one was hurt, the law was up held, and the kid is where he belongs. Banjer, where was your indignation when the "relatives" tried to take away a man's son? Now, if he would just decide to stay here...


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 07:21 PM

If you saw the editorial in the NY Times, I think on Friday, it basically called Reno a chicken, because she wouldn't do what had to be done, an now she is a villain for doing the same thing--

I watched the TV and saw people setting fire to things, and I thought, how did the cameras know to be there? Of course I am just kidding, because I know exactly how they knew--

I think that they could have been a bit more elegant about going into the house, but what do you want--

Meanwhile, Lazaro(multiple DWI convictions) and Marislysis (is that how to spell her name? and how do you even say it) are here now--except that now Janet Reno gets to jerk them around--I can't wait!!


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 07:23 PM

Hi Kevin and all; I replied to a similar thread earlier. I don't necessarily trust the US government all the time but Reno finally made the right call. This isn't about Castro or Bubba. To boil it down I will repeat what I stated earlier in the other thread. If the situation was reversed and the Child and father had been American, this situation would not have arisen because he would have been returned post haste. Check the child custody laws of Florida. It is a great shame that this child was used as a pawn by everybody except the one person he should have been with: his father, reguards to all and have a happy Easter, Neil PS Kevin, if you could send guitar chords for A Soldier's Lament too, I would greatly appreciate it, Neil


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 10:27 PM

Touche McGrath....but I'm not sure he's acting INDEPENDANTLY. One source says he gave his blessing to the flight in the first place.

Rick


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM

I was looking at the pictures of Elian back with his father, and I started wondering what his Miami family had told him when he asked why his father hadn't come to get him? I can't imagine it could have been the truth - "We won't let him come because he'd take you back home with him."


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Banjer
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM

A real caring father to allow his son to be put through such an ordeal. Why didn't HE go to Miami to see his son? No, Janet Reno's actions cannot be justified in my estimation. I just hope she isn't dumb enough to try to go to Miami herself. Then we'll see some action...That I will support!!


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: kendall
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM

I think its obvious why he didn't go to Miami himself.. the powers that be wouldn't allow it. And, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what would have happened to him if he had. Now, if Cuba is as bad as our government says it is, Jaun will stay here. Did you notice the choice of photos on the front page? Yup, the one with the Marshal pointing a rifle at the fisherman who was holding Elian. Buried in the back section was the one with Elian smiling in his fathers arms. The news media are like crows, they will feed on this carcass as long as there is a piece to make a sensation out of.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM

Kendall, I think Sandy and Art will have to relinquish their roles as objective curmudgeons around here. It's us, guy. Lotsa "subjective curmudgeons" though.

Folks, if you want to understand the "Elian thing" better, rent a few of the "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" shows. You'll see political hypocracy at it's best. "Wag the Dog" ain't bad either.

Rick


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 11:56 AM

Being in Miami for Elian meant he was effectively imprisoned by a media circus and a highly excited and volatile crowd. Where he is now he's with his own family, in a place where he can have a bit of peace and quiet. And he's not leaving the States until the courts have made their final decision.

And why did all this happen? Because people with political agendas want to use the child as a weapon to strike back against a government in Cuba that they don't like.

I've heard no evidence that Elian's father isn't a perfectly good father. As I understand it, Elian was in his custody back in Cuba to begin with.If he decides he'd sooner bring him up in Cuba than in America, that's his right to decide, and it doesn't seem in any way an irrational decision. I can't see any grounds for anyone to say that he is not the person to decide what is best for his child.

Just imagine a situation where Elian had been living with his father in Miami, and his estranged wife had being taking him to some other country, and been killed, and the people were saying "No he musn't go back to that terrible place where they have massacres in schools every couple of weeks", and so forth.

Thee's been too much outside interference in the personal affairs of this family already.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 12:31 PM

I'm starting a rock band called "Einstein And The Miami Relatives" (get it ??) I think it'd be a gas (tear).

Anybody care to join ?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,bob S.
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 04:12 PM

What paper(s) are you talking about,Kendall. Both of the ones I get (Tampa Trib & Lakeland Ldger) had both Pix on page 1.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Victoria H.
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 10:57 PM

I agree with many of the folks posting here, in that the tragedy is with the child.... this nightmare he's been living in, is no fault of his own, and to use him as a pawn for a political agenda (ANY political agenda) is unconscionable. (And 'Praise', I thought the lines you wrote above were beautiful. . . ) I pray now only for the healing of his family and his memories.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 11:34 PM

For those of you who enjoy television, you have had a chance to see the father and son, if only for a few moments? Would anyone advocate take him away from the father and giving him back the the Uncle and his crew?

Does anyone besides me think that Elian was rescued?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive)
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 11:58 PM

IMHO liberate cuba now and send them all back! Bill Clinton first....

all children now have a new boogy woman.... Janet Reno and her shock troops.

let the justice department follow through and rip every child not faithfully exchanged between joint custody parents per agreements from their parents.

Maybe the next step is to gun down deadbeat moms and dads.

there should be a few bedtime stories and songs about this!

Little baby elian waiting out the clock In comes Janet Reno with a great big shock

Where was our congress when the boy was in the net? Hanging round with Clinton and the cigar smokin set.

Man in the sea was drowning knew not how to swim Toss him Janet Reno and he'll not come up again!

One day in the middle of the night clinton and reno got up to fight. One Vp to shout fair play one demon dictator for the family way. back to back they faced each other screwed the law as well as the mother

Conrad Bladey April 23/ 2000

Conrad


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 09:04 AM

M.Ted, I agree with you -- Elian was rescued, and I'm very pleased that it was finally done. President Clinton and Attorney General Reno have acted with a great deal of restraint during this whole long ordeal -- too much restraint, perhaps, but I think it is a real stretch to say that they acted precipitously or without due regard for the rights of the Miami relatives.

Regarding the armed nature of the rescue, that was the only way to do it. Guns aren't pretty to look at, and I'm sure that the Attorney General and everyone else involved in this mission knew that they'd be looking at some dramatic pictures in the next day's papers. But if they had gone in unarmed, and there had been resistance, a lot of people could have been hurt, and the situation could have spiraled out of control very quickly. The first job of law enforcement people in a situation like that is to make sure they have the necessary tools, and the presence, that will dissuade anyone from resisting. If that sounds totalitarian, so be it -- once a decision is made to mount an operation like this, there's no excuse for doing it unprofessionally. I think it was very skillfully executed, and all of the INS and law enforcement peple involved deserve a lot of credit.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 09:06 AM

I alsu agree with McGrath -- Juan Gonzalez has acted honorobly throughout this whole thing, notwithstanding the incredible distress and frustration this must be causing him. I can't imagine how I would act under these circumstances.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 11:30 AM

The newest stuff in the paper is that the "happy Elian" picture with Dad has been faked. Apparently while in Miami, he had blues eyes, was bald and wore a monicle...in Washington, he's depicted as looking like MacCauley Culkin and missing 3 fingers. Something stinks here!

Oh well, I always KNEW that picture of Lee Harvey Oswald (with the gun) was a forgery!

Rick


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 01:04 PM

When are the movies due to come out? Mind, a snatch squad with Arnold Schwarzenegger or whoever going in to pick up a child, and noone gets shot or seriously injured, and not even a single round fired? Just couldn't have it that way in a movie version. They'll have to adjust the plot a bit to make it credible.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 01:33 PM

My predictions for the movie version: Janet Reno will be played by Kathy Bates, Marisleysis will be played by Cameron Diaz, Juan Gonzales will be played by Antonio Banderas. I'm not sure about Arnold as the lead commando -- I'm thinking Bruce Willis. There will be a cameo by Marisa Tomei as Elian's mother (who returns to the child in a vision immediately before the door gets broken in by the feds). Another supporting role for Catherine Zeta-Jones, because she already played a Latin in Zorro, and she's just too beautiful NOT to include in the cast. If Anthony Quinn were still around, he could play Castro; but he's not, so I guess we'll have to bring Anthony Hopkins back for one more shot as a psychopathic genius (so there will be support for the subplot which has Castro trying to bribe Clinton with a box of fine Cuban cigars). The soundtrack album will lead off with a power ballad by Aerosmith. Remember, you heard it here first.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:03 PM

The whole thing took all of 3 minutes. The extendedfamily, whom I would imagine Elian had never met until plucked from the sea, had more than 3 months of negotiations in which to reach a compromise. There were published reports which quoted American vetereans who said they were protecting the family's home, with weapons, and would give their lives to keep Elian there.

What the hell else was our government to do; let the family lead them around by a nose ring for another upteen months, while they milk the publicity for all it's worth and disregard the laws of their adopted country?

Now, what poor unfortunate child star will be tapped for the role of elian!?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:04 PM

Hey, I saw those pictures on TV, and take it from someone who knows a thing or two about computer art programs--it looked like a Photoshop job to me!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:42 PM

To my mind this is no different than if a mother with a child joined a cult, died while a member, and then the cult refused the surviving father's request for custody.

I frankly have grown sick of the Miami Cuban's using our country as a base for their ongoing conflict with Castro. I'm tired of their provocations and violations of Cuban airspace, their constant whining insistence on a hard-line foreign policy and the embargo that has succeeded in every way but in its intended effect.

I'm tired of their perpetuation a 'lukewarm' war, and pathological inablity to admit that everything substantial in this conflict has been long decided.

Its long past the time to admit that Castro has won the struggle for power in Cuba. He will be the Dictator there until he dies or grows too old to rule. Nothing is going to change that. Neither his people, the expatriates in Florida, nor the US government have the resources or the will to bring him down.

It is also long past time to recognize that in the end Castro has lost the war. His soviet patron has collapsed. His ideas are hollow rhetoric. He poses no threat, leads no movement, and holds out no promise. The world has left him behind. The ultimate expression of this is the fact that for all his bluster, this entire case rested on the expressed wishes of the father, not Fidel.

Castro underestimated the willingness of the US to keep Cuba in a state of economic privation (a policy which at this point is sustained out of personal spite and habit, not any real expectation that it will have any effect). The United States underestimated his ability to stand up to them. The irony is that while the principle fear of each party has always been that the other was a threat to their exsistence, in the end both Castro and the United States are the only things unscathed.

We tend to confuse the idea of democracy and the rule of law with the 18th century ideas of 'The Rights of Man'. And in spite of their natural affinity they really are two different things. Demoracy at its heart is a philosophy of conflict--a social contract on how to behave in victory and in defeat. In democracy we give up absolute victory or defeat in exchange for the right of perpetual participation. That means that winners don't get to round up thier opponents and outlaw their parties. It also means that the losers don't turn around and refuse to accept the outcome. The latter is exactly what the Miami Cubans tried to do. In spite of their pathetic attempts at spin doctoring, their sole goal was the subversion of the democratically determined authority of the INS. For the Cuban expatriate friends who are a little slow on the uptake, that means that the jurisdiction of the INS in this matter was determined in advance by our popularly elected government in excersise of its constitutional duty. I haven't read the exact federal code on this, and I'm no constitutional scholar, but I'll bet a year's salary that the law giving the INS is jurisdiction in this affair doesn't include a codicil that reads 'unless it offends the expatriate cubans in Miami'.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:47 PM

It will come as quite a shock to Anthony Quinn if he is (as I think) still very much ALIVE. He was advertised as a future guest on Larry King.

Rick


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:50 PM

Well stated, Jack.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:53 PM

Perhaps he just looks dead? Sorry, if Mr. Quinn is still alive, I have done him a grave disservice (pun intended). He can play Castro -- I'm sure there is at least one other psycho character in this little drama for Anthony Hopkins to play.

For Elian, I nominate the star of the (American) TV show Malcolm In The Middle -- I don't know the kid's name, but he could play the role with an appropriate sense of irony.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Quixote
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 03:22 PM

I for one think the right thing has been done. Elian deserves to be with his father not with the fishermen. Ironic isn't it how the men that plucked him from the water said it was like losing a child. I wonder if they thought that statement through? From the pictures, which were recieved by the AP undeveloped and published in my local (Seattle) paper, Elian seems happy to be reunited with his father.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 07:57 PM

Can't see why there's anything more psychopathic about Fidel Castro than most other heads of state or heads of government.

Of course that list would in fact include a fair number of psychopaths, but I can't see that the Bearded Bogeyman with would be one of these. "Ruthless bastard", maybe (but then you don't survive long in that job if you aren't, whether you're in Havana, Washington or London), but "psychopath" - just doesn't seem to fit. Just because yiu don't like someone doesn't mean they are mad.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Áine
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 08:23 PM

Where are the protesters with their pickets when six children are gunned down outside of our National Zoo, caught in the crossfire of warring gangs?

Where are the news cameras when another baby is found dead in a trash can?

Where are the politicians when another crack addicted baby is born in one of hospitals?

Where are the breast-beating religious fanatics when another teenage runaway dies alone in the gutter?

Where are the riots when another child is abused and maimed for life?

Where are the calls for senate hearings when another child goes to bed crying in hunger?

Where is international concern when another child is victimized by a child pornographer?

Where are the streets full of enraged college students when another child is killed by another child?

Where? Where? Where?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 08:44 PM

Thank you, Aine.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 08:51 PM

Yeah.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 08:53 PM

Castro is not a monster. What he is, is a disgrace to the cause of freedom he espoused when he was merely a revoutionary trying to overthrow the wretched and repressive and corrupt Batista regime. I don't condemn him for being a Communist: I condemn him for becoming what he most despised, and for betraying his people. I believe that he was once a man of principle when he was in the bush with Guevara. Che remained a man of principle until he was killed in Mexico. Fidel stayed on to become a complete Fascist Dictator, in the name of fear, and to hold his own people prisoner. Perhaps he thought it was the only way to keep the specter of the enormous power of the United States at bay in the beginning, but the time long passed when the rule of the people should have been instituted in Cuba. For betraying his own principles, his friends, his people, and his revolution, Fidel should have a special spot in Hell.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Cara
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 09:18 PM

I'd like to add my voice to those that support the actions of the INS and the Justice Dept. They did what they were forced to do by those wacko Miami relatives, and any blame for the trauma that little boy has suffered belongs solely to them. The U.S. policy toward Cuba is hypocritical, even though it seems to be motivated by sincere emotions on the part of Cuban exiles here in the U.S. We're so concerned about human rights abuses in Cuba, yet we are going to normalize trade relations with China. Puh-leeze.

The Picture horrified me as well; it literally took my breath away when I saw it on Saturday. But how many of those protestors threatened bloodshed if Elian was taken? What were they supposed to do, try to negotiate further with those crazed, intransigent scofflaws that make up the Miami Gonzalez contingency? They used that boy as a symbol, and manipulated and used him every second he was with them. Getting him out of there as soon as possible was the best thing for his mental health.

I would like to see Juan Miguel decide to stay here and bring up his sons, but is it any wonder he doesn't want to after all this? And especially now; he's staying in an area where 6 kids--KIDS--were shot at the zoo. Cardenas probably seems more desirable than ever to him now.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Petr
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 09:34 PM

I dont know if its already been mentioned as I havent read the previous threads but I think that maybe the dead mothers wishes should have been respected. We know one thing, that she wished him freedom. Werent his parents separated and the father living with another woman. We dont really know if the guy was abusive. As for Castro demanding that he be returned, he had no problem sending hardened criminals to the US in the early 80s. just to get rid of them. Petr


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: SDShad
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 09:49 PM

"We dont really know if the guy was abusive." Boy, that's the old "innocent until proven guilty" dictum in action, huh?

Sorry if that seems a little sharp, Petr. But that's kind of a potshot at the guy. He's not Castro, and it's not "separated" and "living with." It's "divorced," and "remarried." My own father is divorced and remarried, so those are choices I've got to respect. Correct me if I'm wrong (seriously, I'm not close to %100 certain, because after a certain point I do kind of filter out these media orgies), but didn't Juan Gonzalez have custody of Elian in Cuba? If that fact doesn't even enter into the equation, then we are disrespecting the integity of Cuban families because we (rightly) don't like the regime under which they live.

And I just can't bring myself to go along with that, especially not for the sake of mere ideology.

Chris


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 09:55 PM

Well, I don't know that she wished that, Ptr, seems like she stole him and put him on a leaky boat to go see her boyfriend. I guess I have changed my mind about the whole thing, and I know the Rels were in violatoin of court orders and law in 2 countries, but why did Miss Janet decide that a pre-dawn raid with assault weapons was in order? Like I said earlier, children are removed from homes every day without assalult weapons,I am still not sure why the extreme force was necessary.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: SDShad
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 10:01 PM

I see your point, Sorcha, but most custodial removals, heck most INS removals, aren't done in the face of angry throngs where civil unrest and bloodshed--political violence, essentially--has been explicitly warned.

Not that threats of bloodshed at a more personal level doesn't often happen in custody cases. It does. But in those cases, the use of firearms to prevent armed resistance to the custody order is justified as well. I hate that this is how the kid was taken too, but I don't hate one bit that he was taken.

Chris


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Amergin
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 10:02 PM

Good point, Lonesome EJ, about Castro being the worst form of traitor, traitor to his ideals, traitor to his country, traitor to his people. If Dante were alive I'm sure he would have written a suitable punishment for him. BTW where was all the news coverage when the McAleister family tried to seek asylum? I can tell you the news crows weren't all that interested because they (the McAleisters) were fleeing paramilitaries of a good, decent, capitalistic country that just happened to be an ally of our government. Has their case been resolved yet?

Amergin


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 07:34 AM

Just curious if any of the folks above hurling invective at Castro (not that I am a Castro apologist by any means) have ever done any reading in Cuban history after the Spanish-American War: The Platt Ammendment, the Machado and Batista dictatorships propped up by US corporations, the poverty and human rights abuses Cubans were subjected to long before Fidel, etc. Might change their perspective- or at least their rhetoric- a bit.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GeorgeH
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:15 AM

Let me ask those who oppose the INS action a simple question - do you believe that US Citizens have a right to expect the "law enforcement agencies" NOT to enforce the decisions of the US courts?

Now I'd never deny that there are good laws and bad laws, good legal decisions and bad ones. And there are times when I have praised those who have acted in defiance of bad laws or bad decisions. But those doing so must expect to be punished under the law (that's why they often earn my admiration even where I don't agree with them).

I cannot see how ANYONE can have any logical gripe about the INS enforcing the decision of the court. And it seems to me they did so in a highly effective manner, with the minimum trauma to Elian.

G.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Sailor Dan
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:26 AM

I normally dont join in threads, especially of a political nature, but being a NON-CUBAN resident of Miami I of course have opinions about the Elian controversy. My wife and I disagree in our feelings about the controversy. We both feel we want the best for Elian.

The difference in our feelings is, She feels the boy should go back to the father, I feel that he should stay here in the states. The best thing would be for him to be returned to his father and his father and his family should remain in the USA making peace with his relatives in Miami. But that is as far fetched as Castro letting Cuba be a Democratic country.

The majority of Cuban people in Miami are a group of people who have suffered directly at the hands of Fidel. Not hearsay suffering but directly personal suffering. My "adopted" daughter and her family ran from Castro's treatment of the people.

No I dont agree with what the "children" running amok in the streets are doing, But there is no way in hell that I could condone the use of armed force force to take a child, no matter what. Janet Reno and the INS have lowered us to the tactics used by Hitler, Stalin, Castro and the rest of the dictators of this world.

They said Reno has walked the extra mile in the negotiations. I am sorry, she should have walked two to three extra miles to achieve a quiet peaceful transfer. She should have had the brains to outthink them rather then muscle them. REno says she has the Law on her side. Yes she does have the written law, but she doesn't have the law of common decency NOT to lower us to the dregs of garbage.

I sit here and listen to people of different enthnic cultures voicing their opinions against the passions of the Cuban people for their actions. I dont see a condemnation of the Blacks for standing up for their beliefs, nor of us that are Irish that have been standing off the English in conflict for 450 years, or the Jewish people for standing off the Arabs for their homeland, the Canadians in Montreal who won't speak English only French.

Condemnation of a group of people without walking a mile in their shoes is totally wrong. AFter all Jesus Christ was the one who said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I am not casting any stones at anyone,but like the rest of us I too have an opinion and I feel that a little bit of tolerance for other peoples passions should be given. WE should not listen entirely to what the idiots in the Media put out to sell papers.

My apologies if I have stepped on anyones toes or egos. I just felt it necessary to voice MY opinion. IF any one wants to take me to task my email is danhealy@prodigy.net. Please feel free to use it.

By the way Mudcat is a great place to be and event though I ride in the background, I enjoy and learn a lot from some very knowledgeable people, about many subjects


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Franz
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM

Dan, it is by all means ridiculous to compare Castro (let alone Janet Reno) to Hitler or Stalin. Cool down, have a beer, and if this doesn't help: read a history book. The way I see it it is the right of the parents to bring up their children in whatever way it pleases them as long as they don't harm them, and it is the job of politicians to make this possible. Which is what Reno did. And from what little I hear over here in Germany, nobody in his right mind would have gone in there unarmed. And the guys in Miami who complain that it is unfair to send the kid back to a life in poverty should pick up a dictionary and look up the word hypocrite. Not that it will help much ...

franz


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,James
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:08 AM

What is this Paranoia Americans have about Cuba....Send the boy and his Father Home...CNN will find something else to blow out of proportion.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Kim C
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:57 AM

I'm with Aine. There are so many other things going on.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Sailor Dan
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:02 AM

I really did get caught up in the writing, but no that I am cooler, the things that really bother me are,

1. The family did request that nothing happen during Holy Week. Yes it may have been a delaying tactic, But after all it was Holy Week.

2. Being a Great Grandfather, I still feel that Janet Reno DID NOT walk far enough. Yes the negotiations did drag on, but so do Union contract negotiations. Reno had to act to prove that her word was law. So did all the other dicatators in thisj world. It just proved that she is lacking in sufficient negotiation skills and brains.

3. You don't do this type of thing while negotiating on the telephone to Highly Respected Business men and important individuals in the Cuban American community.

4. Then of course we have Bubba Clinton. Well enough said about him.

5. The Media, whom I dislike intensely for the deliberate coloring of the facts for sensationalism are in my opinion the next to the biggest lying SOB's around. They stand an extremely close second to the Politicians. These two groups have done more harm to the American Image then all the Cubans rioters who just happen to be an extremely small part of the Cuban American community. That bearded idiot 90 miles of the coast will be the big winner when all is said and done.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Gary T
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:27 AM

I don't see it the way you do, Dan. Allow me to discuss another point of view on some items:

1. The family did request that nothing happen during Holy Week. Yes it may have been a delaying tactic, But after all it was Holy Week.
The INS/Reno did request that the boy be turned over to them weeks ago. They didn't get their request honored, either. Delaying tactic? I would say smart strategy, like Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve. Strike when you're least expected.

2. Being a Great Grandfather, I still feel that Janet Reno DID NOT walk far enough. Yes the negotiations did drag on, but so do Union contract negotiations. Reno had to act to prove that her word was law. So did all the other dicatators in this world. It just proved that she is lacking in sufficient negotiation skills and brains.
The fact that a child's welfare is involved, rather than a union contract, precludes letting it go on indefinitely. Most people feel it had gone too long already, and I'm sure the boy's father was one of them. There aren't sufficient skills and brains in the world to negotiate with people who aren't willing to concede anything.

3. You don't do this type of thing while negotiating on the telephone to Highly Respected Business men and important individuals in the Cuban American community.
Again, effective strategy and futile negotiations.

4. Then of course we have Bubba Clinton. Well enough said about him.
Is there a point here?

5. The Media, whom I dislike intensely for the deliberate coloring of the facts for sensationalism are in my opinion the next to the biggest lying SOB's around. They stand an extremely close second to the Politicians. These two groups have done more harm to the American Image then all the Cubans rioters who just happen to be an extremely small part of the Cuban American community. That bearded idiot 90 miles of the coast will be the big winner when all is said and done.
Here I agree with you almost totally. I do wonder if Castro will be a big winner (maybe wishful thinking that he won't).


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 11:13 AM

The Media cater to the public, not particularly noblely, but it does no good to try to blame everything on the Media and Politicians exclusively. They give the people what they want, or at least what the most vocal of people want. If the majority of people quit tuning in, buying the trash mags and papers, there would be a change in the Media.

As for changing the politicians: I hope you all exercise your right to vote.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:13 PM

Aine,

I beg to differ with you--I have seen the politicians and the media jump on all of that stuff that you mentioned--the problem is that they do it with the same sincerity that is involved they are, this morning, holding hearings on the Elian rescue. It looks like it will go over with the folks back in Peoria, so they make a fuss until there is something else to make a fuss about--and then leave things as they found them--

I lived in Philly for many years, and I swear, they had a regular "dead baby in a trashcan" beat--everytime it happened all four TV newsteams had somebody out at the scene, shaking their head sanctimoniously--

Sometimes the baby would still be alive, in which case viewers sent thousands of stuffed animals to the hospital. and we got to know all the NICU nurses (as a aside, these kids always ended up in NICU--Neonatal Intensive Care Units, where the medical costs typically would exceed the amount it would cost to raise them to adulthood)

The amazing thing is that, after watching the trashcan baby thing for month after month, year after year, most people thought that it was ludicrous that Germany implemented a "baby drop Off" facility at an urban hospital--

And as it stands, they have not attributed the zoo shootings to "gangs", there was a sizeable, ongoing brawl among a large group of teenagers, and, from what the witnesses say, one kid, who was getting beat up, pulled out a gun and fired off a few shots, leading several others to join in--

Since the shooters where still at large, and my wife's train stops at the zoo, I thought it best to drive in and get her--

Actually, that is not the only horrible thing that happened here lately--last thursday an eight year old was stabbed to death in Alexandria--a complete stranger just walked up (he was in is grandparents yard) and started slashing away--the grandmother and a passerby tried to intervene, and got cut up pretty badly, as well--and the man just walked off--they haven't a clue who or why--

Sorry--I don't even have a point here--


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:49 PM

I think you do have a point M.Ted, even if it's not the one you arer making.

These were things that happened in America? Just another day in the USA? Are you really surprised that a father sooner get well away from that with his son, even if it means living under a government that is a lot less than perfect, and in a country with a different set of problems, and which is his own country?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:14 PM

The question here isn't which one is better, Cuba (because there's less random violence) or the USA (because it's a capitalist democracy). The question is who gets to decide. If in wrestling with this question we in the US are forced to look at our own homeland with a little more humility than we had before, that's a silver lining to this big grey cloud that's been hanging over our heads for the past several months.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: annamill
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:30 PM

Just another American hardship story. There's millions of 'em. I don't know how I feel about this poor boy. I don't have enough facts. I don't know how life is in Cuba. I don't know if the father is abusive. I don't know the letter of the law that gave Reno her power. All the discussions I've heard have been without the facts that would help me decide how I feel about all this.

I just don't know and all I can do is hope that this boy, along with millions of other small ones, has a good life.

Now, lets go help another child.

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Scotsbard
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:34 PM

Usually I refrain from commenting on these threads, but the salient points of discussion need clarification:

a) Elian belongs with his father, Juan Gonzales. There is no credible evidence or objective reasoning for any other person to have custody if both Elian and his father agree with that arrangement.

b) Juan Gonzales is a Cuban national, and may choose to live there with his family. No other person or group has the legal right to obstruct such a decision, and further argument from moral or philosophical bases is irrelevant.

c) The US government has successfully returned Elian to Juan despite the maneuverings of various political fanatics and information profiteers. Whether the government's methodology was appropriate does seem open to minor debate. Actions taken by INS beaurocrats in Miami when Elain first arrived deserve far more scrutiny than the prolonged negotiation and media frenzy.

As Aine pointed out above, there are far more important issue that need discussion and effective action. The time has long past for the media to leave Elian and Juan alone, and hopefully to find something a little more productive to boost their ratings.

~S~


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:43 PM

The question has been asked, has anyone in this situation acted honorably? I, for one, believe Janet Reno has acted honorably. I agree with everything I have heard her say on this subject, plus I believe she has said it more articulately and more compassionately than I, or anyone I know of, could have done. We would all do well to pay close attention to her and imitate her style. As Teddy Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." That is exactly what she has done.

If there is anything to criticize, it is that she didn't act earlier, when so much force might not have been necessary. But I can only say that with 20-20 hindsight. Who knows, if I had been in her position, I might have made the same mistakes. But I can't think of anyone else that I would trust more to make the right decision at the right time. I would trust her with my own son. If anyone ever kidnapped him and held him hostage, she is the first person I would want to have on my side.

Some people have alleged that Janet Reno's actions are subservient to Bill Clinton's political goals. Anyone who believes this, please explain this to me: Why didn't Janet Reno fire Kenneth Starr? She had the power to do so. I speak as someone who has often wished she HAD fired him. Why did she repeatedly approve Starr's requests to expand the scope of his investigation, when she didn't have to, and these expansions were obviously not in Clinton's best interest? If she had refused, we might never have heard of Monica Lewinsky. I have contemplated this problem, and the only explanation I can think of is that she is a woman of high integrity and does what she believes is right.

By taking the stand she has taken, she has probably given up her hope of retiring peacefully and securely to the little house in the woods in Florida that she lived in since she was 8 years old. If she returns to Florida at all, she will never be able to go anywhere without a bodyguard, and I don't think retired Attorneys General are entitled to Secret Service protection. Who else has made a similar sacrifice for their principles?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Cara
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:18 PM

Well said Jim. I saw Ms. Reno on Nightline last night and I am supremely impressed by her as well.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:22 PM

Maybe this is the seed of yet another thread, but Why do we Americans (I cannot speak for the rest of the world) need to have a true-life, long-running soap opera to dominate our news/lifestyle shows/magazines? We've had Elian, Monica, O.J., and when things get slow the ever-recurrent JonBenet. The big media almost hope for that plane crash, nuclear meltdown or natural disaster. In between we have one election or another. . .

We don't address our problems, we gawk at them. Oh, we care, we take sides, we site our sources, we rant out our opinions right on camera and then the big media spotlight moves on to the next story. Will the events surrounding Elian lead to a change in our relations with Cuba? Will the plight of the many political refugees desperately trying to get out of Rwanda or Haiti or other centers of oppression be any better because of the "debate" about the conpeting rights in this case? Nah - it's baseball season in America, time for picnics and walks in the park. It's the off-season. It's a wonder they didn't manage to save Elian during sweeps week.

Would any of this have been necessary if we would have come normalized our relationship with Cuba years ago? We trade with China. We enter all kinds of devils bargains with worse guys then Fidel. What if Elian's relatives could freely visit them in Cuba and he could visit them here?

I guess there just isn't any story in that. . .

This thread had some nice stuff in it, by the way.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:10 PM

You sound like Andy Rooney, Bartholomew--what do you want, should people shut up unless they have something "constructive" to say?

And consider all the things that people say about the morbid need that gawkers have to look at a bloody accident--what do people would say about the ones who walk right by and ignore the accident entirely?

Can anybody give me a good reason why we shouldn't be curious or interested in these events? Can anyone even show me a time or place when people weren't interested in this sort of thing?

This stuff is going to happen, and when it does, people are going to be interested in it--human nature--

My problem is with the people who stand up and make the sweeping noble statements, or the statements of principled outrage--epecially when they tie their cheap grandstanding with implied promises about how everything could be fixed with a new program or new, hardhitting, legislation--if we did this or stopped doing that--

McGrath, I often agree with you, and have had occasion to think that you have good insights--but I think you are a bit off on this whole thing--

First, Cuba, and other Latin American countries, have similar, and sometimes even greater problems with endemic violence, to that in the US.

And the problem is not an American problem--there is an increase in violent crime, particularly the seemingly unpovoked kind, throughout Europe, both Western and Eastern--

America is a big place, but with very tight communication links, so when something horrible happens in one place, everyone else has all the information immediately--

I (being an American) tend to think that it is touching that so many people care about the misfortunes of others--And we don't just gawk, we are very prone to send money, stuffed animals, food, or whatever crazy thing seems like it might help--Furthermore, when we are on the scene of the crime, the accident, or whatever, we tend to pitch in, whatever way we can--even at risk of life and limb, and even when it is for a complete stranger--

To finish this off--even though Elian and his family are going back to Cuba, we know that they will be back--because now they are celebrities--and symbols of the link between the United States and Cuba (as bizarre as that relationship is)--

Elian and Juan Miguel will return to Cuba as heroes--and of course, they are heroes here--the big question is, "What will happen next?" Stay tuned, Bartholomew!!!Whatever it is, it will be covered on all the major networks!!!!


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:13 PM

Bartholomew, I have wondered the same thing. It almost seems like we can't live without this stuff any more. And it's not the most important stories that we latch onto -- it's the ones with all the TV-ready elements. So we're transfixed by Elian (cute boy, tragic loss, parental love, evil governments, etc.), but somehow forget that there are lots and lots of kids in crisis. We're riveted by the OJ saga (handsome celebrity, beautiful ex-wife, sex, crooked cops, sex, drugs, race, wealth), but ignore the fact that there are countless murders occurring every day in this country.

The other thing that we seem to latch onto at all costs is communal grief over the deaths of celebrities we've never met, and who typically aren't worthy of the extreme deification that we confer on them -- whether it's Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy Junior, or any other person in the public eye who has passed away in recent days. I don't get it, but it's such a recurring situation that there must be a deep need out there.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Amergin
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:54 PM

There is no deep need out here. The media and those that are in control want us to believe that there is. They want us to beleive that those with the power and the money are close akin with god. They have been brainwashing us for centuries, for millenia into thinking they are all powerful, that our problems are of no concern, that our problems are small compared to theirs. And as long as the media continues to focus on a few tragedies, they will continue to feed us the lie that we are not what is important, that we exist only to serve their needs, that we are mindless creatures with no thoughts of our own. We have fed them all for a thousand years, it is time for them to feed themselves. Blessed be. Amergin


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Gary T
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:58 PM

Bartholomew and Whistle Stop, you've tapped into what I see as a significant weakness in the U.S. news media. Everything has to be bigger, louder, flashier. Better takes a back seat (or gets left behind). Hell, the flippin' weather people on TV can't tell you it's going to be hot without making it sound like half the city is liable to die of heat stroke, and ordinary thunderstorms (of which I lived through many as a kid) now garner constant warning banners across the screen.

In my opinion, this is the result of there being a primary motivation of making money rather than reporting news. Sure, the public feeds this by watching the most sensational shows and buying the most flamboyant tabloids, but wouldn't it be nice if more newspeople didn't pander to that?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: sophocleese
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 04:02 PM

Distraction, distraction, distraction. Its provided to distract people from talking about other, structural inequities that are harder to straighten. People read it because it distracts them from what bothers them in their lives that they can't change.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Petr
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 04:08 PM

I agree with Bartholomew & Whistlestop & Aine 100%. The most interesting aspect of the story is how the media pick it up and carry the ball to the point where everyone is sick of the issue. This is essentially a custody battle that has been publicized and politicized out of all proportion (By Castro, the Cuban community and the US govt and media). ditto with OJ and Monica. Its a daily soap opera. and we probably dont know the real truth.

My first experience of how the news media operate was when they came in to do a story on a residential school for autistic children where I worked at the time. There was a behaviour expert who came for a few days with a completely new strategy of behaviour modification and the news showed him and One of the kids Day 1. Biting and hitting the expert and Day 3 hugging and kissing said expert. What a change! except that those of us who knew the child, knew that he could go from one to the other in a matter of seconds. The media did a dramatic story on the subject (and in the end) misrepresented everyones views. It left me wondering what the point was. A good story? And just how much of what we hear/see is a good story as opposed to truth. By the way they got Day 1 and Day 3 out of order.

Petr.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Petr
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 04:08 PM

I agree with Bartholomew & Whistlestop & Aine 100%. The most interesting aspect of the story is how the media pick it up and carry the ball to the point where everyone is sick of the issue. This is essentially a custody battle that has been publicized and politicized out of all proportion (By Castro, the Cuban community and the US govt and media). ditto with OJ and Monica. Its a daily soap opera. and we probably dont know the real truth.

My first experience of how the news media operate was when they came in to do a story on a residential school for autistic children where I worked at the time. There was a behaviour expert who came for a few days with a completely new strategy of behaviour modification and the news showed him and One of the kids Day 1. Biting and hitting the expert and Day 3 hugging and kissing said expert. What a change! except that those of us who knew the child, knew that he could go from one to the other in a matter of seconds. The media did a dramatic story on the subject (and in the end) misrepresented everyones views. It left me wondering what the point was. A good story? And just how much of what we hear/see is a good story as opposed to truth. By the way they got Day 1 and Day 3 out of order.

Petr.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 05:06 PM

Jim Dixon, well-said! Ms. Reno is in unchartered territory as the first female AG and think she should be applauded for her even-handed manner and calm. I feel sorry for her that her disease is getting worse, yet she perseveres, despite the very partisan and sickening posturing of her detractors.

Have any of you tried NOT watching television news? It is liberating and healthy. Reading a newspaper, listening to BBC and NPR news on the radio, seems to bring a much more balanced reality to reporting.

America seems to be full of what I call vicarious lifers: people who live their lives out through the latest news/soap opera, etc. on television. And, sophocleese was right on when she said it is a distratcion from what they cannot face in their own lives. They are marking time and, to me, it is a tragedy.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 05:13 PM

The point I was making wasn't that random massacres of children by ther children in schools (and now in a zoo)mean that the United States is necessarily worse than other places in the world. In all sorts of ways it is better than lots of other places - and in others it is worse. That is something the USA has in common with other countries, including those it regards as pariahs.

I was indicating some scepticism about the glib assumption that comes across from some commentators in the media, and in this thread at times(are we media or not? I think we probably are - we're just not mass media).

I mean the assumption that clearly anybody who isn't crazy or wicked or brainwashed is going to prefer to live in the United States rather than anywhere else, especially Cuba, and that it would obviously be better for Juan Rodriguez to stay in thge States and bring up his son here.

I doubt if there is any depravity committed by the Cuban government that can't be matched by the American government. I doubt if there is any sickness in Cuban society that can't be matched by what has happened and what still happens in America.

And you could say the same about most countries. We see something going wrong over there, and it's a different kind of going wrong from the stuff that we take for granted where we are. And we think we are so much better than they are.

It's been said before, and said better, by someone whom most Americans claim to respect: Do not judge and you will not be judged, because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get...Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother "Let me take the splinter out of your eye", when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite!Take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brothers's eye.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 06:05 PM

Thank you Magrath. While a breath of sanity is blowing, and we might be prepared to admit that capitalism is not ordained by God, and htat there may be room for debate on where it would be better for Elian to live, would someone care to expand the point that Castro had to liberate Cuba from American capitalism and exploitation, and would anyone else like to take up the argument I raised about two threads ago that the US legal system is surely backward looking in regarding children as property the subject of parental rights?

It's not that I necessarily think it wrong that Elain had to go back - it's just that I would like the decision taken sensibly.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM

Ah hogwash. In England, the US, and Ireland we have the ability to say what we think (including criticising our own government), go where we want(even to leaving the country if we want), we have a free press(whatever we may think of their actions and motives), and a right to a peaceful revolution every 2-6 years(it's called an election). As a member of a free society I have a right to criticise my own country, as well as any other. More to the point, I have a DUTY to point a finger at any Repressive Fascist Dictatorship (such as the one in Cuba)and call someone like Castro a scoundrel, especially since no one in his country can do so without risking death or incarceration.

Enough of this "nobody's perfect so just keep your mouth shut" blabber. There is some question of degree of transgressions. Winston Churchill, even if his country was keeping India under the yoke of Colonialism, had every right to call the NAZI Regime a band of murdering thugs.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 07:26 PM

Richard Bridge----

I DID take up your point of two threads past regarding children's rights and custodial fights here in the US. Evidently you decided not to pursue it with me because I am just the resident genial buffoon or something. Maybe I need a law degree to state my case. But the subject was addressed by me at that time.

Spaw--Genial Buffoon


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: kendall
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 07:34 PM

I've just returned from a road trip, so, havn't been keeping up..to answer someones question..every local paper I've seen here has shown two photos. The big one shows the Marshal pointing a rifle at the man who was holding Elian. The look on the boys face was one of fear (well dah) the small photo shows Elian smiling in his fathers arms. The news media make me sick.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 07:36 PM

If Americans have something truly to be outraged about, it was clearly illustrated in a couple of stories on NPR just now. The contrasts are stark:

The first is an interview with a man who chronicles the devastation of minority-area schools...no library books because the school libraries have been dismantled; a high school with 1,000 9th graders, of whom only 65 will make it to graduation from high school; the same high school he calls a land of apartheid. The link for the story will be up first thing tomorrow. It is striking how much this man cares and how he does something about what he sees. He has a powerful voice and delivery of words.Here's the blurb:

"ORDINARY RESURRECTIONS" -- Noah talks with Jonathan Kozol (koh-ZAHL) about his new book "Ordinary Resurrections - Children in the Years of Hope." In the late 1960's Kozol wrote about teaching fourth grade in Boston. "Death at an Early Age" has now sold two million copies and is still widely read by beginning teachers. His later books have been about educational inequalities in the South Bronx, and the new one is simply about his conversations with the children he's come to know. He describes Pinapple, a charming eight-year-old, and other youngsters, and their curiosity about the outside world, "white and safe." Kozol says the children have taught him to pray again. (12:00) {STATIONS NOTE PUBLISHING INFO:} Ordinary Resurrections is from Crown Publishers New York ISBN 0-517-7000-X."

The other was a report on the meeting of Janet Reno with members of Congress, today. I got up cursing the devisive, extreme partisanship I heard spewing from the mouths of Trent Lott and few other pompous asses. Now, they want to start a series of hearings, drag it on, decide if Juan is a fit father, because he was informed that guns would be taken for use in the raid to get his son! These are the same pro-gun assholes who don't give a shit about kids being killed. Sorry, I could go on and on. Finally, I heard Chris Dodd of Connecticut say it was time for Congress to let the Gonsalez family heal, deal with the court system etc., and get back to very real business of this country. Gee, do ya 'spose, maybe like, oh, I dunno, geting our school s abck into shape!?NO!

I am incensed first of all that Congress ever got involved in a custody case and two, that all this congress has done for 8 years is run up huge bills in obfuscatory bullshit trying bring down anyone and anything remotely related to President Clinton. They have not legislated...they have been instransigent and have nothing but their own agendas in mind. They do not give a goddamn about American or her peoples and all of them should be voted out. And now, we get more hearings, more huge costs, to the taxpayers only.

Like I said, for me the contrasts were mind-boggling.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Peter K
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 07:45 PM

Lonesome, the USA may be the most disgusting nation on earth in many different ways, but there's no way you can say that its press has less freedom than the British press. It's the other way around, and by a wide margin. Just ask Harold Evans.But then when you see how a free press behaves, it's time to start wondering whether a free press is that big a deal.

It's the blithe hypocrisy that gets me most about the states. A congressman was asked on TV the other day why the USA still maintained trading sanctions against Cuba. The answer was that "we don't trade with dictators". That's breathtaking. Half the dictators in the world were installed by USA agencies or USA commercial interests and many others - including some of the worst - have been propped up by Washington.Remember Zaire, or the Shah's Iran, Pinochet (installed to replace an elected government)?


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Subject: Miami Gonzalez Family Exposed In a Lie!
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:05 PM

Miami Gonzalez Family Exposed In a Lie!

Check out this article in American Politics Journal.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:14 PM

I don't mind being taken to task for grandstanding, if that's what I was doing, but I have to stand by my other post. Unfortunately, MTED, I'm beginning to look like Andy Rooney, too.

I don't think we should shut our eyes and walk by when things happen. My participation in this thread betrays my interest in discussing the "human drama". And I don't think muzzling the Press is a good idea - their importance in this here democracy of our'n is not disputed here. And maybe that's what bothers me about what I see in the media, both written and on-the-air. We do not get the news; we get news stories. And that undermines the importance of the media as a means for keeping us informed. My reference to the coverage of many of these stories as soap operas is not unintentional. In the soaps you get synthetic emotions, easily identifiable heroes and villains, contrived situations and convenient resolutions. And that's what people want to see in their new shows, too. So that's what they get. You are right, some people pay attention to these things for all the right reasons - to provide help if possible, out of real concern. But too many people are looking for a quick fix in the sex and/or violence zone. It is nothing but voyeurism. And if you want to talk about cheap, there it is. In my opinion.

Regarding the topic, rather than the context in which I have been seeing it. . . Although I think Janet Reno made the right call here, there seems to be a pattern of long drawn out negotiating, followed by a quick and often violent ending. I'm not sure how it could have been handled better, given the public spotlight and the tendency for people to polarize around these situations in this country. For the child's sake a quick resolution, based on the law and the facts would have been best. But public debate on all issues in the news is seen as a given these days, and the administration would have been blasted if everyone wasn't given a chance to voice their opinion. It was a no win situation made worse, not better, (again in my opinion) by it's value as programming.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:24 PM

Peter K...I've just re-read my statement above, and am baffled how you managed to glean that I said the US Press has less freedom than the UK press. On contrary, I would say that freedom of the press, for better or worse, is nearly unfettered in both countries. You take the good with the bad when any kind of freedom is unfettered. The same press that gave us two years of Jon Benet Ramsey also brought down the corrupt Richard Nixon- the blade cuts both ways.

The trade embargo on Cuba is a relic of the cold war, of American anger at Castro for declaring a communist state in the Carribbean. I for one think that it is has outlived any usefulness it had, and think it should be ended. Castro will fall either way.

During the post-World War 2 period, the United States and its allies in NATO and SEATO supported many repressive regimes in the name of the "lesser of two evils". With the end of the Cold War, the need to control countries to keep them from joining the opposing block has evaporated, and global intercession by the US has by and large taken place to avert genocide (see Bosnia), to feed the starving (see Somalia), or to put a misguided despot in his place(see Kuwait).

For better or worse, the people of the United States, or Britain, determine the direction their country takes. If that direction is wrong, the people must be shown that, and the direction can be changed. Would you and I be having this conversation in Cuba?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:32 PM

It took less than 24 hours. A picture of Elian and fisherman at gunpoint appeared in my email with the caption "Drop the chalupa".

I keep thinking of Solomon deciding to cut the child in half. One parent agreed (and stuck a helpless baby in the middle of a media frenzy); the other stood back and said "No, don't hurt my child" (and eventually tucked him away with family and loved ones away from prying eyes and flashing cameras).

Sorry for the maudlin sentimentality but my child would never be subjected to the circus Elian endured.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:00 PM

Bartholomew, I didn't mean that you were grandstanding--I was talking about the professional grandstanders--the politicians and TV "news" people whose coverage of an issue is two sentences and a pained expression--

The thing that gets me now is that the Republicans jumped to the call of the Miami Cubans so fast--When was the last time you saw a Congressional investigation of something begin four days after it happened?


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:10 PM

You mean Capitalism ISN'T ordained by God? And Kat, don't pick on the poor Republicans. They can't help it. Its a disease. Massive die-off of brain cells.....


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:20 PM

LOL!!!


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 11:53 PM

MTED - sorry, I misunderstood. But the being Andy Rooneyed hit too close to home. It's much too easy to assume an ironic or learned pose and make grand statements that don't necessarily move a discussion forward. This is why Andy Rooney always bugged me. That and his keen eye for the obvious. And that's what has bugged me about the coverage of this story. I assumed that Elian had been living with his mother; I always assume that the Mom gets custody when the parents divorce. I don't ever remember hearing that there was a real relationship between father and son on the nightly news; just that there was no history of abuse by the father. I believe they call that "damning by faint praise". I just learned that the Mom had taken the boy from school without the father's permission yesterday. And even that scene was painted in colors chosen carefully for maximum effect. And is it true that the family hadn't told Elian that his mom was dead? Who can pick the little bits of truth out of all this?

All I really know about this mess is that the opposition gets to stick it to the administration in an election year, the "gallant Cuban expatriots" milked their moment in the spotlight for all its worth, and Fidel gets to tug on his beard and give the middle digit salute to his ancient enemy one more time. Bah! Let the boy and his father be and to the devil with the rest of 'em


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Peter K
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:35 AM

Lonesome, sorry I misread. But you're still way out to equate the freedom of the press in Britain with that in the states. The British libel laws (protecting only the rich and privileged) and lack of any freedom of information legislation (which the Freedom of Information Bill now going through parliament will do little to address) make an enormous difference. Many public figures in Britain have got away with their crimes by threatening to sue, Jonathan Aitken style. As it happens, Aitken's bluff was called and he was proved to have perjured himself. But that was aa a sheer fluke.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Bob A. Ghanouj
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 07:59 AM

Truth went down the street for a pack of ciggies ten years ago and hasn't been seen since....


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: kendall
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 08:04 AM

Right on Kat..just remember, the republicans are only doing what they must do in order to regain the white house. And, they will do it.. anything, that is.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:25 AM

Kat, I couldn't agree more. Of all the pathetic political posturing, maneuvering and dodging we've seen from our Republican-majority congress over the last few years, the despicable words and actions of Trent Lott, Tom DeLay and their cohorts over the last few days really stand out.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: kendall
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:45 AM

Lott wants to ban butcher knives..now, thats leadership!!!


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,Angel
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:24 AM

"ELIAN WILL CONTINUE TO DOMINATE NEWS"

Elian Gonzalez is back with his father, but his soap opera is far from over. CNN, MSNBC and other television networks have renewed the show for at least another season, confident that Americans haven't had their fill of the 6-year-old Cuban boy and his emotional second cousin.

Even ABC's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" can't match the ratings of "Who Wants to be Elian's Guardian?" Especially with a cast as glamorous as Lazaro Gonzalez, the great-uncle, Donato Dalrymple, the great fisherman, and Marisleysis Gonzalez, the great actress.

Republicans will provide more drama for the show by launching an inquiry into the pre-dawn federal raid that snatched Elian from his relatives' Miami home. The congressional hearing will offer communist Cuba another lesson in the workings of a democracy. This lesson will be called "how to waste taxpayers' money."

A number of other events will keep Elian in the news for a long time:

MAY: An appeals court rules that Elian is old enough to apply for political asylum on his own. The court also rules that Elian is old enough to drive, smoke and drink.

JUNE: The stock market gets a major boost as investors spend a record $50 billion to buy into a new Internet company: Elian.com. The Web site allows people around the world to comment on Elian's case, chat with Elian and offer to pay for his college education.

JULY: Strapped to pay their mounting legal bills, Elian's relatives in Miami decide to sell the bed he slept in for five months. Though damaged in the federal raid, the bed fetches $2 billion on eBay. They spend part of the money to organize a massive protest in Washington, D.C., dubbed the "Million Cuban March to Free Elian From His Loving Father."

AUGUST: Elian signs endorsement deals with Pepsi, Cheerios and Colgate. But in a surprising move, he refuses to endorse any of the presidential candidates. A disappointed Al Gore nevertheless tries to win the critical Cuban- American vote by saying, "If I'm elected, the White House will have only honorable interns, such as that cute cousin of Elian's." George W. Bush goes a step further, pledging to appoint Elian -- whether or not he learns English -- as secretary of state. "He'd help improve relations with Cuba," Bush says. "He'd be able to speak to that Fidel guy, whatever his last name is."

SEPTEMBER: Life magazine revives itself by changing its name to Elian's Life. Each issue features new pictures of Elian smiling beside his father. The magazine attracts 5 million new readers with pictorials such as "Elian meets the Pope," "Elian visits the White House," and "Elian replaces Kathie Lee." Marisleysis Gonzalez challenges the authenticity of the photographs, asking, "How come Elian's hair never moves?" Republicans launch another inquiry.

OCTOBER: Republicans finally decide to support a gun control bill. The bill would restrict the use of automatic weapons -- not by ordinary citizens and criminals, but by federal agents. "We cannot have our agents carrying such powerful weapons when raiding homes," Sen. Bob Smith says. "Elian was scared to death and his second cousin, Marisleysis, has been traumatized for life. Poor girl may never own a machine gun."

NOVEMBER: Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan returns to the top of the music charts with a new album called "Illegal Elian." The title song includes these lyrics: "Elian, we wanted you to stay, but Janet Reno's thugs stole you away. Elian, they put you in an Astro van, just to send you to the Castro man."

DECEMBER: Fidel Castro, still beaming about the raid on the Gonzalez home, offers to appoint Janet Reno as Cuba's attorney general. "Here in Cuba, you can use as much force as you want," Castro says. "You won't have to worry about being criticized. We don't have any Republicans."

JANUARY 2001: The American Red Cross hires Elian to teach a survival course. The first part of the course is called "how to survive in the ocean when your boat capsizes." The second part is called "how to survive a five-month stay with an annoying cousin and drunken uncle."

Melvin Durai is a Shippensburg, Pa.-based writer and humorist. A native of India, he grew up in Zambia and moved to the U.S. in the early 1980s.

http://www.Humor.Melvin.com


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Amergin
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:25 AM

Maybe he's afraid of being Bobbited.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:36 AM

GUEST, Angel, THANK YOU for posting that! Well-done!

For anyone who is interested in listening to the superb and compassionate author I mentioned above, here is the link to the NPR page which has the audio available. You just have to scroll down a bit to find it.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:51 PM

"Enough of this "nobody's perfect so just keep your mouth shut" blabber. There is some question of degree of transgressions."

As you say, Lonesome. Degree of transfressions. Castro's done lots of things I don't like.

But he's never invaded a country on the other side of the woorld and killed two million of its people, and 50,000 of his own in a futile war. (Yes,I know about sending Cuban troops to support the Angolan government against a South African incursion - not quite the same thing)

He's never had one of his warships shoot down a civilian airbus, killing all 300 people on board, and then given the captain and the crew a decoration.

There are two million American citizens in prison. That's a higher proportion than of Cuban citizens in Cuban prisons.

To the best of my knowledge there hasn't been a single massacre of children in a Cuban school carried out by another child.

The point I'm making is not that America's evil and Cuba's not. I'm just saying it's not all one way. Freedom of speech is important, but it's not the only freedom. America scores high on freedom of speech - a lot higher than England - but there are some things on which it doesn't score so high.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: bob schwarer
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 06:32 PM

His Migs managed to shoot down a couple of light planes a few years back.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM

To hell with all of our rants, I can get to Shipppensburg from here!! Should I Praisepoem the brilliant Melvin into a Mudcat membership?

Melvin for PR Director!

~S~


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 07:14 PM

"His Migs managed to shoot down a couple of light planes a few years back."

Hardly really measures up to what the US Vincennes did on the 3rd July 1988, when it shot down a civilian airliner,killing 290 people, all civilians, largely women and children. President Reagan described it as "a proper defensive action".

And then Reagan went off to a 4th of July celebration, and none of the flags flown that day were put at half-mast. And a few weeks later the Captain of the Vincennes was given a medal. Puboic opinion polls gave it that 80% of Americans thought what had happened had been justified.

It probably wasn't an intentional atrocity, it was a mistake - a gung-ho commander breaking all the rules because he wanted to use his weaponry, resulting in a massacre of innocent people; and then those in charge decided it would be better to cover it all up, blame the victims, and decorate the man responsible, instead of court-martialling him. Things like this happen in all countries. They've certainly happened in the British armed forces, certainly happened in France - yes, and very likely in Cuba too.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: kendall
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 04:36 AM

Those light planes were spying..Castro was fully justified.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Escamillo
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:18 AM

I have been reading this thread with interest, but I think it is a very sensible subject involving two nations which are sisters of mine, and it´s difficult to give an opinion from this hemisphere. However as a father and as a Latin American I´m much satisfied to see so serious concern from everybody, about the tragedy of this Latin family. Thanks to all.
Un abrazo - Andrés (in Buenos Aires, Argentina)


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 10:53 AM

McGrath,

I am getting really tired of your stream of America-bashing--You don't know anything about the United States, about life here, about our economy, or about our real problems--an you are carrying on as if you were the high inquisitor-

You have been reading and hearing about incidents that are so far from the ordinary here that we are all shocked by them and have trouble even finding a context to fit them into--

Crime of all sorts, including violent crime, involving guns--has been declining here for quite a number of years-- But certain types of crime sell newspapers, and and keep people watching TV news--

Crime is also a political issue--the liberal politicians make an issue of every gun related incident because there is a perception that it makes the conservatives look bad because of the "gun lobbby"--

Most Americans know how to filter the political spin out of the news, and they have learned how to discount the lurid and distorted tabloid coverage--

Unfortunately, many of our European friends, who imagine themselves to be better educated and more sophisticated than Americans, have yet to learn these skills--


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,The Yank
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:03 PM

M.Ted:

I'm a natchul born American- all 56 years of me- and I don't think McGrath can be accused of anything CLOSE to "America-Bashing". He seems to know a great deal more about the real situation in America than you do. That's one of the advantages of not getting all your news from the U.S. Media. You should try it- then maybe you'd begin to see why the US alternately horrifies & amuses foreign nationals! Sorry, but the U. S. of A. is not the be-all and end-all of the universe.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: SDShad
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:16 PM

Yank's right on that. I'm the son of a Korea vet and son-in-law of a vet of every major amphibious landing of the European Theatre in WWII, and I'm more than a little troubled by the captain of the Vincennes getting a medal.

Sadly, I can't think of a thing McGrath has said about our fair land that isn't true, M.Ted.

Chris


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:28 PM

What I'm doing isn't America bashing. Every time I've said anything critical of aspects of the United States, I have pointed out that people can validly say the same kind of things about other countries, including the one I'm living in

My point is very much the same as M.Ted's, actually - I'm objecting to people looking at other countries and saying that everything about them is worse than the country in which they are living. MTed took it that I was saying that about his country (which I wasn't), and rightly objected to it.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM

MTEd said, Most Americans know how to filter the political spin out of the news, and they have learned how to discount the lurid and distorted tabloid coverage--

I have to say, MTed, you have a lot more faith in the general populace than I do; especially since it is such a small percentage who even care enough to turn out to vote. It is my belief that the masses "eat up" the political spin and other pap which is so prevalent in the media, otherwise the media wouldn't be dishing it out. No ratings=no coverage.

I also don't think of what McGrath has posted as bashing. Just my opinion.....

kat


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:20 PM

Unfortunately I am being put in the position of defending my country in a thread where the main concern should be what was and is best for Elian. I will say this: the level of freedom and opportunity within the United States is probably the greatest in the world. As an experiment in self-rule by a country's own population, where the will of the people is exerted by their government, I find the United States second to none, and certainly far ahead of a Dictatorship like Cuba. Our actions in the world arena have been essentially motivated by these beliefs in freedom and self-rule. Since World War 2, the US has been put in a role we had never experienced: World Power, Bulwark against Communism, Policeman, and World Larder. We have made many mistakes, as the British did when in this position. But let me ask this....when Iraq seized Kuwait, should that action have been ignored, or did someone need to step up and stop it? And who would stop it if not the US, with the aid of its allies? And I believe this... if not for the Berlin Airlift in the early 50s, that city would have fallen to the Russian occupying forces, just as South Korea and Taiwan would have been subdued. Furthermore, I doubt that Europe would have endured in its present form without the presence of American Forces to counterract the Communist Block forces in the Fifties and Sixties. The fact is, you cannot be a World Power without committing transgressions, sometimes huge transgressions.

As for the action of the Vincennes, I believe it was a tragic mistake. If their commander was decorated for shooting down a passenger aircraft, then that was also wrong. Perhaps our "guilt" in this matter is somewhat mitigated by the loss of hundreds of soldiers and civilians, as well as Scots on the ground, when one of our civilian aircraft was destroyed by terrorists over Locherbie.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 02:15 PM

"The fact is, you cannot be a World Power without committing transgressions, sometimes huge transgressions."

Great Powers do indeed commit appalling "transgressions". List a few of the ones committeed by the countryt I am living in, and I wouldn't feel any need to excuse them.

Maybe it's inevitable. Maybe the level of "transgressions" can be reduced, especiallly if the citizens of then great powers concerned refuse to tolerate them.

Equally one could say that you cannot be a small neighbour of a World Power, under siege from that World Power, without committing transgressions.

Planks and splinters. Motes and beams. Pots and kettles.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 02:22 PM

Sorry Yank, you have no idea what I know about the US--or anything else for that matter--

I worked for most of the last five years with a United Nations affiliated NGO that delivered Global Education/Problem Solving Workshops to everyone from General Motors executives to school kids in Harlem, from LA to Estonia, to Singapore--

I can tell you how many mud houses you can build for what Americans spend on Video games, or how much it would cost to provide an electrical power grid to rural Paraguay--

I can also give you numbers related to how much the nations of the World spend on standing armies, armaments, and the like, and I can show you how much it might cost to solve the world's"insoluble" problems--

I spent(and spend) lots of time poring over newpapers from all over the world--I spend a fair amoount of time writing materials related to Global political and educational issues--More to the point, I spend a lot of time discussing these and related issues with international educators, business people etc So I do know something--.

One thing that I have discovered is that most of the things that people believe to be true are not quite so true when you look into them--


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,The Yank
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 05:07 PM

Wow! What a guy! He knows EVERYTHING- and he's humble, too.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,GRNJ
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 09:37 PM

Having read this whole thread, here are the important things that no one is saying:

(1) A law enforcement agency is not required to "negotiate" with someone who is breaking the law. If they choose to do so tactically in some situation, fine, but to express outrage when they give up talking and make their move is ridiculous.

(2) Statements that there was no court order are also ridiculous. In addition to the several decisions that supported the INS'legal authority, there was a search warrant to seize the child, which happens to be a court order, which amounted to a finding that the child was being held illegally, and ordered officers to seize the child.

(3) An order specifically ordering L.Gonzalez to surrender the child would almost certainly have been ignored. L.G. would likely have simply gone to prison for contempt, and taken on the martyr role, while the family would still have the child for months on end.

(4) Never spoken by Reno or anyone else, but something I am *sure* was considered, (professional experience): There was certainly a growing risk that the Miami family was going to sneak the child out of the house and hide him, which would have totally thwarted the government and been disastrous. The family would have gone to jail, but they would have just soaked up the "martyr" business and kept this thing going for years.

(5) There is no issue about whether excessive force was used, because no force was used at all, except on Lazaro's door and on a few people who got shoved out of the way. This is well within what is permissible in executing a search warrant, and was clearly necessary. The minimal force used was absolutely lawful.

(6) Carping about officers being "armed" and guns being "drawn" is nonsensical. Law enforcement officers are always armed, and submachine guns have to be "drawn". Have you ever seen a submachine gun holster? You could ask whether SWAT uniforms, equipment, and tactics were overkill, but this is just a style point; it has no bearing on the legality or propriety of the raid. I am inclined to give the benefit of doubt to those who had to execute the raid.

Bottom Line: The raid was legal and nothing was done during the raid that was legally or logically objectionable. There is nothing to "investigate". There is nothing for "hearings" to "look into".


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 09:38 PM

Oh, Uh, I sometimes look things up in a dictionary too, and just noticed that "yank" can be a synonym for "jerk"--


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST,The Yank
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 09:59 PM

Oh yeah? Well, So's Yer Old Man! Nyah, Nyah, Nyah!!

[might as well keep this on an adult level....]


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 01:04 PM

"yank" can be a synonym for "jerk"

Now that does sound a bit like America-bashing...


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 01:11 PM

Yer mudder wears army shoes!!!


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 06:56 PM

"Yer mudder wears army shoes!!!"

Well, there's no answer to that is there? I can't completely see the relevance of it, but never mind. "Yer mudder wears army shoes!!! " How profound.


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 07:34 PM

I suppose it might be be "mudder" as in "Mudcatter"? In which case it all becomes blindigly clear:

"Your" as in "yours" at the end of a letter
"Muddeer" as in "Mudcatter" "wears army shoes" - "I'm a patriot" -

"Your mudder wears army shoes" = "This Mudcatter is a patriotic American - yours sincerely"


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 08:43 PM

You just don't recognize Ted's genius!
CLICK HERE


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Subject: RE: SeriousBS: Elian2
From: zenduck
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 09:57 PM

Thank you, Aine - whatever happened to a sense of proportion? According to people who keep track of these things, Elian has outpaced the Death of Princess Di and the Great JFK Jr. Plunge in media saturation, and is closing in on OJ himself.

Think of how different it would be if:

1) Elian was Haitian: 2) Elian was a BLACK Cuban (the racism of the Miamistas is notorious); 3) It was Elian's mother that wanted him back.

If we really wanted to get rid of Castro we would take away the soapbox we've handed him with the embargo and let him rot away the way that the other collectivist nightmares of the 20th Century have. Castro is a pig - the US has prolonged his life in power by giving him something he can blame for the wretchedness of his country other than his own Stalinist idiocy.

The Miami community is dominated by families like the Mas Canosas who hate Castro because he broke their oligarchic Mafia-like hold on the country under Batista. We should be taking them just about as seriously as we take the folks who want to restore the French monarchy.

Anybody remember the armed federal troops that were sent to desegregate the schools in Little Rock pursuant to a federal court order? Were they storm troopers?


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 25 January 6:07 PM EST

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