This weekend I had a chance to watch a show debunking the conspiracy claims that the 9/11 tragedy was actually the work of our own government for the purpoe of luring the country into a war in Iraq. Let's forget for a second that 9/11 was actually the rationale for going into Afghanistan and not Iraq (which came months later and was based primarily on the claim Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction), such a conspiracy would require the enlistment of tens of thousands of Americans in a conspiracy that killed thousands of their fellow citizens, a conspiracy in which everyone involved agreed to remain silent about it. The documentary refutes one by one all of the outlandish 9/11 conspiracy claims.
I bring this up because one blogger, whose name rhymes with "Raoul," likes to regularly deride other bloggers as believing in conspiracies whenever they (including me) question the accuracy of something that is told by government and other sources. He is doing nothing less than trying to discredit us by putting us in the same camp as those who think that 9/11 was orchestrated by the Bush administration.
The most recent charge of conspiracy deals with the news report regarding the sudden emergence of the Capital Improvement Board into the black, where the Board now claims that, by laying off some low level employees, cutting cell phone bills and lowering the thermostat this summer, it has saved tens of millions of dollars and now can offer the Indiana Pacers a subsidy by picking up at least some of the operating costs at Conseco Fieldhouse. Gary Welsh of "Advance Indiana," Pat Andrews of "Had Enough Indy" and myself all questioned the CIB numbers on our blogs. Although he did not mention us by name directly, "Raoul's" derision was clearly aimed at us as we were labeled as believing in a conspiracy for not accepting the CIB's story. He further assures us that, if the CIB or City officials agree to send some money to the Pacers, they will get something for the taxpayers back in return.
This morning I thought of the difference between the 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the bloggers who question the CIB. The difference is between making up dots and connecting the dots. We bloggers have simply connected the CIB dots that exist. We are not creating them out of whole cloth like the 9/11 conspiracists do.
The fact is CIB has continually changed their numbers, which is what legislators have complained about.. The fact is that CIB's cuts would never have produced over $20 million in savings as claimed by the CIB. The fact is there is simply no reason under the contract to give the Pacers anything...all the triggering events to exercise the option to cancel the contract (moving, selling the team and not making enough money) have not happened plus the contractual penalties would be too severe for the Pacers to ever contemplate paying.
Additional facts are that the CIB has never taken a vote on giving the Pacers more money. Bob Grand, is President of the CIB and represents the Pacers and the owners of the Pacers, the Simons, another fact.
The only place I have heard a claim that the City would recover money from the Pacers in exchange for picking up the operating costs at Conseco Fieldhouse was while appearing on "Raoul's" radio show. While there he told me the deal would be that the City would get non-basketball revenue at Conseco for picking up the operating costs. That's a fine claim butthe fact is not a single administration, CIB, or Pacer official has ever suggested that in exchange for the CIB, i.e. the taxpayers, picking up the operating costs at Conseco, the Pacers would forego the non-basketball revenue from the facility.
Connecting dots, i.e. facts in blogs is nothing more than reaching logical conclusions based on a set of FACTS. That is not the same thing as believing in a "conspiracy."
Good thing Raoul is onto the greater Indianapolis blog conspiracy of 2009. Can't let something like that go unchallenged !
I don't know what he said, but in response to what you, Paul, say here, let me freely admit that I am not unhappy that the CIB has made ends meet enough that they don't have to take the $9 million loan from the state this year. That means that the folks like us and some of the more level headed folks in the State Legislature, and dare I admit just this once, Governor Daniels, were proven right. The CIB indeed did not need another $48 million a year in new revenue -- $12 million did the trick.
Maybe Raoul was merely giving us a compliment and you misunderstood.
Paul, Abdul has done a 180-degree shift in his reporting since the election of Ballard. He used to be the skeptic, constantly digging for more information. Now he simply checks in with the insiders to find out what meme he's supposed to use to defend their indefensible actions and regurgitates it without any independent analysis. That particular post where he raises the "conspiracy" specter is chalked full of made-up stories and innuendo. His credibility has really been shot. That's reflected in his near-the-bottom of the ratings in local talk radio. Five years in this market and he has no appreciable improvement in his ratings to show for it. Here's a conspiracy theory for Abdul. He boasted shortly after Ballard took office that things were really looking up for him financially because of a consulting gig he had landed. Would Abdul care to share with his listeners who is paying him for consulting work? It might explain his 180-degree change, don't you think?
I've been reading old blog entries of Gary Welsh's, and many of them mention Abdul, or entries over at Indiana Barrister. Ironically, one of the corresponding entries at IB was very skeptical of Lucas Oil Stadium.
I've only recently gotten back into local politics, and I'm not known to blindly take sides, but Abdul has let his judgement slide a lot with the issues surrounding the CIB.
To be fair, it isn't just him, it's most of the media. The CIB say "The Pacers are losing money" and the media takes it as fact. The CIB says they're this much in debt, and less than a year later it's 10s of millions dollars less.
People seem to not understand that there is no need for conspiracy in government. How many people inside government do you think know the truth? How many will publicly speak the truth? So, is that a conspiracy? Or is just people wanting to keep their jobs? Even after they leave government and speak the truth, no one (in general believes them), and they are either marginalized and ridiculed or they just stay silent.
Lies continually flow from government - usually the only question is how big the lie is. And since government is mainly run by corporations and the media is intertwined with those same corporations more than ever, the truth gets lost amidst all of the professional lying.
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