Saturday, October 08, 2005

Big Stories You've Probably Never Heard Of...

Long time no post. I'm back in the blogging saddle now.

Air America Scandal:

I've written earlier about the Air America scandal. In brief, the owners of Air America arranged to have a small private charity loan just under a million dollars to the company. Air America still hasn't paid the money back. Their position is that they don't owe the money--but they are going to pay it back nevertheless--eventually. It's not that this kinda thing never happens, but when it does, you'd expect to see significant coverage of it on the regular news. This story broke months ago. Why is it that most people have never heard of this?

Chuck Schumer Scandal:

Since I've been out, staffers for Chuck Schumer have been caught engaging in what has been described as "identity theft." In brief, they acquired Republican politician Michael Steele's credit report without his permission. I'm not sure what constitutes identity theft, but apparently there are substantial federal penalties for acquiring a person's credit report without permission and/or a good reason. This story broke weeks ago. To date, almost total silence on this from regular news.

Suicide Bombing:

Finally, last weekend, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a crowd of 80,000 people. In response, deafening silence from the regular news. OK, but suicide bombings happen all the time, you say? Good point, but how often do they happen right near a crowd of 80,000--in Norman, Oklahoma? Yes, that Norman, Oklahoma. This was a week ago, Saturday night. Authorities are assuring the public that this was merely a suicide. They assure us that the bomber didn't intend to hurt anyone else and that no one else was in danger. It's pretty difficult for us to confirm or dispute any of this, since the federal government has sealed the investigation. I'm not sure what that means, but I don't know why they'd seal the investigation of the suicide of a loner who just wanted to end it all. If we'd be reassured of the facts, then why hide them? Something doesn't fit.

On the last point, many of the bloggers have been highlighting certain possible connections between the bomber and Muslims in Norman. I'm reserving judgment, and I wish other bloggers would do the same. It's not that I don't understand and acknowledge that the Islam that Mohammed created and lived was a brutal religion. It's not that I'm unaware that many Muslims practice the Islam of Mohammed's time. It's just that many Muslims--who might accurately be described as "cultural Muslims"--are unaware of this brutal side of Islam, and the Muslims in Norman may have had nothing to do with this bombing. To date, we know a few facts which could lead to a connection. We know, for example, that there's a mosque in Norman near the bomber's apartment and that the bomber's roommate was a Muslim. To date, however, we don't have any facts showing direct involvement by anyone else in this bombing or any serious evidence that the bomber was himself a Muslim. I certainly wouldn't want to be judged personally according to the qualities of all the people living and working near my home, including my roommate. I've had roommates with whom I had very little in common than the mutual need to share expenses. If there turn out to be no real connections between the bomber and the mosque, and bloggers have wrongly tarred Norman's Muslim community in the meantime, then it weakens their moral authority in the long run. If facts arise showing a connection, we can all make our judgment then.


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