Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Dear Taliban and Mr. Bin Laden:
We are pleased to announce that we
unequivocally accept your challenge to an old-fashioned game of whoop-ass. Now
that we understand the rule that there are no rules, we look forward to
playing without them for the first time. Since this game is a winner-take-all,
we unfortunately are unable to invite you to join us at the victory
celebration. But rest assured that we will toast you -- LITERALLY. While we
will admit that you are off to an impressive lead, it is however now our turn
at the plate. By the way, we will be playing on your diamond now... Batter up!
Our team line up is as follows: Manager
~ George W. Bush, Ass't Manager ~ Dick Cheney, Head Coach ~ Colin Powell,
Assistant Coach ~ Donald Rumsfeld. Starting Pitcher ~ Norman Schwartzkoff, 1st
Base ~ U. S. Marine Corps, 2nd Base ~ U. S. Navy, 3rd Base ~ U.S. Air Force,
Shortstop and clean up hitter ~ U. S. Army, Outfield ~ Firemen and Policemen,
Umpire ~ None Required. *remember - the manager told you there'll be no
discussion; no negotiation!
Pinch hitters as needed: U.S. Navy
SEALS, U.S. Army Green Berets, U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Air Force PJs, Delta
And, since there are no rules, we've
decided to add: 4th Base ~ United Kingdom, 5th Base ~ Russia, 6th Base ~
China. Other Bases (as desired) ~ Pakistan, Japan, Germany, France, Spain,
Italy, "Turkistan and lots of other ...stans" and more.
Opening Ceremonies: Vocal 1: Whitney
Houston ~ The Star Spangled Banner, Vocal 2: Lee Greenwood ~ God Bless The
U.S.A., Vocal 3: Neil Diamond ~ Comin' To America, Vocal 4: Bruce Springstein
~ Born In The U.S.A., Vocal 5: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir ~ Battle Hymn of
You may choose whoever you want for your
team... it won't really matter, our guys are gonna win.
On behalf of the 270,000,000 citizens of the United States of America
Our National Symbol
by Charles Evans Hughes
The flag is the symbol
of our national unity, our national endeavor, our national aspiration.
The flag tells of the
struggle for independence, of union preserved, of liberty and union one and
inseparable, of the sacrifices of brave men and women to whom the ideals and
honor of this nation have been dearer than life.
It means America
first; it means an undivided allegiance.
It means America
united, strong and efficient, equal to her tasks.
It means that you
cannot be saved by the valor and devotion of your ancestors, that to each
generation comes its patriotic duty; and that upon your willingness to
sacrifice and endure as those before you have sacrificed and endured rests the
It speaks of equal
rights, of the inspiration of free institutions exemplified and vindicated, of
liberty under law intelligently conceived and impartially administrated. There
is not a thread in it but scorns self-indulgence, weakness, and rapacity.
It is eloquent of our
community interests, outweighing all divergencies of opinion, and of our
The following is a list
of resources, information, and some editorial on the events of this week.
How you can help
From donating blood
to providing tips and info to the FBI, here are ways you can help.
To donate blood, call the Red Cross at
1-800-GIVE-LIFE or America's Blood Centers at
1-888-BLOOD-88 to schedule
an appointment. To find your local American Red Cross,
donate money to the Red Cross for assisting victims of the attacks,
To donate to the United Way fund to help
the victims of Tuesday's attacks and their families, call (212) 251-4035
Find a wide range of information and phone
FirstGov, the official US government Web site.
To make donations to the Salvation Army
for helping the victims, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Mercy Corps is providing trauma counseling and scholarship funds
for children who have lost parents.
To provide tips
and information to the FBI about these attacks, visit
Find Family and Friends
Hotline for families seeking information about victims and survivors:
1-800-331-0075 Photo by RICKY FLORES,
The Journal News (New York).
Health Organization is helping to locate family members and
accepting reports of missing persons.
- status of family members: 212-560-2730
- to report a missing person: 212-560-8029
The Pentagon has asked personnel to call the
following numbers to be accounted for:
- Navy & Marine Personnel: 877-663-6772
- Army Personnel: 800-984-8523
Family members of military
personnel seeking information should call 1-800-984-8523
1-877-663-6772 (Navy and Marine Corps.), 1-800-253-9276 (Air
We'll go forward from this moment
The Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts Jr.
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001
It's my job to have something to say.
They pay me to provide words that help
make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of
airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find
to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author
of this suffering.
You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's
attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we
would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
Did you want us to respect your cause? You just
damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us
Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and
quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class
division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending
tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing
dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by
the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of
that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are
fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to
know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us,
people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.
Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all
of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong
in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.
Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we
are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you
did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect
from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy
novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final
death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in
the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've
bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.
But there's a gulf of difference between making us
bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter
sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us
such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage,
terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear
any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.
I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know
my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me
to tremble with dread of the future.
In the days to come, there will be recrimination and
accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen
and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be
heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward
from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably
THE STEEL IN US
You see, the steel in us is not always readily
apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't
know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.
As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will
mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.
So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It
occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If
that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in
exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You
don't know what you just started.
But you're about to learn.
TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES
This, from a Canadian newspaper, it's worth sharing. Widespread but only partial
news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from
Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television Commentator. What follows is
the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
America: The Good Neighbor.
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most
generous and possibly the
least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser
extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans
who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts.
None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts
to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was
the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and
swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to
help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody
helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into
discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the
decadent, war mongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of
the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the
world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the
If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia
fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man
or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios.
You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about
American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times
- and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window
for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.
They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking
Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age,
it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the
New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still
I can name you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people
in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the
Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of
hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag
high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that
are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
The following is an
open letter from Gordon Edes, Boston Globe baseball writer, which was
emailed to boston.com's @bat Insider newsletter subscribers on Friday, September
|To my subscribers and
I apologize for the prolonged delay in responding to your letters
and questions. What I thought would be only a brief interruption in
our correspondence, triggered by some work-related events last week,
obviously has grown longer by the terrible events of this week.
Baseball matters - indeed, the usual concerns of our daily lives -
seem of so little consequence at this time. Far more important that we
reach out to each other and offer comfort, support, strength and the
confidence that we will do what is necessary to preserve our way of
life, however much that way of life will be forced to change because
of the realities that exploded on our TV screens Tuesday.
The Red Sox, as you know, flew Monday night from New York to Tampa
after their game with the Yankees was rained out. They remained at
their hotel in St. Petersburg until yesterday afternoon, when they
took a bus to Orlando, then boarded a train headed north. They didn't
know at the time whether their ultimate destination was Baltimore,
where they were scheduled to play this weekend, or home. Then Bud
Selig made his announcement that weekend games were canceled - the
only appropriate action, in my view - and the Sox made plans to head
home. This morning, they were still on a train and expected to arrive
early this afternoon. Clearly, they have been affected by the tragedy.
Club spokesman Kevin Shea was unwilling to tell us what the team's
plans for the weekend are, refusing to disclose when and where the
club was working out. The anxiety is understandable, though if
baseball has mandated the games will go on, I think they have to
approach things with a little more confidence. The reporters who cover
them and the fans who follow them are not the enemy, and being
secretive will not help in restoring public confidence that we will
carry on in the face of evil. Many other teams have been working out
already and made their intentions clear what they will be doing in the
next few days.
While most clubs travel on charters, I am certain that some players
will be anxious about traveling. And the thought of playing in a
stadium filled with thousands of people is troubling to many who worry
that such a gathering would make an easy target.
As for me, I was on a New York-to-Tampa flight that departed
LaGuardia at 8:10 a.m. We passed over the World Trade Center less than
a half-hour before the terrorists struck. At around 10, our pilot came
on the intercom and said he had a special announcement. He said it did
not involve the safety of our plane, but involved a "serious situation
for the United States.'' He then explained to us what had happened,
and announced we were landing in Atlanta. I called my dad from the
airphone, and he informed me of the horrors of the scene we had left
behind. As word spread on the plane, most passengers sat stunned,
uncomprehending, but no one became hysterical.
Five reporters from Boston-area newspapers were on my flight, which
was unusual, since we all make our own arrangements and often travel
separately. On this occasion, Tony Massarotti and Jeff Horrigan of the
Herald, Sean McAdam of the Providence Journal, Bill Ballou of the
Worcester Telegram, and myself were all on board. With other
passengers, we were taken by van to a Holiday Inn in Jonesboro, Ga.,
where American Airlines put us up for the night. It was impossible to
rent a car, so getting to Tampa was out of the question, and frankly,
I had very little stomach for doing so. We, like you, sat transfixed
in front of our TV sets, shattered by the scenes rolling across the
screen, grieving for the victims, raging at the perpetrators, and
troubled by the implications for all of us.
That night, McAdam was able to rent a car from an agency 30 miles
away, and I was able to secure a car, too, but not until 1 p.m. the
next day. By that time, Bud Selig already had announced there would be
no games on Wednesday and Thursday, and we made plans to head north,
uncertain whether we would be going to Baltimore or headed home.
After writing my story Wednesday, we loaded the van and headed
north. Throughout our trip, we were gratified by the kindness shown us
by countless people - the staff at the Holiday Inn was unbelievably
gracious and helpful, and that seemed to be the story everywhere we
went. Tuesday night, we had gone to an Applebee's in Jonesboro, where
I stood in front of a TV next to the restaurant manager and asked her
how she planned to explain to her children - who were doing their
homework at a nearby table - what had happened.
We stopped for gas in Greensboro, N.C., where the attendant,
discovering we were from Boston, gave us free coffee and wished us the
best on our journey. We spent the night in Durham, N.C., sent off by a
kindly waitress who loaded us up with good country cooking, then
stopped in Baltimore, where the sales manager at the Marriott provided
us with a conference room to write our stories, once it had been
determined that there would be no games this weekend.
We left Baltimore Thursday night around 7. Our journey, of course,
already had taken us past Washington, DC, - we saw helicopters
hovering over the Capitol. Within a few hours, as we headed toward the
George Washington Bridge on the Jersey Turnpike, we saw the billowing
cloud of smoke hovering over a Manhattan skyline that was transformed
forever on what had promised to be such a perfect morning.
I'm not sure that I was capable of carrying much more sorrow
yesterday, which also was the fifth anniversary of the death of my
wife, Yoli. I thought yesterday of how much she had always feared
flying, and how she would have wept, along with so many of us, as she
saw and heard the pain of the family and friends of those lost on
those planes and in those towers.
The guys dropped me off at an exit off the Pike, where my
69-year-old dad, at 1 in the morning, had come to pick up his son. I
can't tell you how good it felt to be home, and how deeply I felt when
I hugged my nieces and nephew yesterday and wondered what kind of
world awaited them.
Soon, of course, the games will resume. I know that the passion you
feel for the Sox will not go away, and nor should it. It may not seem
so important at the moment, but it nonetheless remains part of the
fabric of our lives, part of the freedom we enjoy as citizens of a
free and prosperous democratic nation, and it is nothing we should
ever feel we have to apologize for. But I know that in these perilous
times, we all share a deeper and more profound love of our country and
of our fellow American men and women.
You know, as one who has covered sports for 20 years, I have stood
thousands of times for the playing of the national anthem (including
some renditions that would curl your hair). But I know that when I
take my usual place in the pressbox Tuesday night in Fenway Park, and
stand and listen with many of you, it will resonate with a new
significance and poignancy.
The day will come soon when we can - and must - turn our attention
again to Nomar and Pedro, Joe K., and the Duke. The sadness will
endure, but the gloom will lift, and we will derive comfort in knowing
that yes, we can play ball again.
But for now, I say, God bless America, and God bless all of you.
Wild Card Wannabees
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incentive prizes based on the dollar amount per strikeout that they
click here to learn more about the program.
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