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The show is back in Washington, D.C., tonight. I have posted pictures from the show we taped on Thursday, but have not yet aired. The show? Wild and endangered animals (except the pig)... and hence the need to tape. You never know if the animals will "cooperate" or not. As it turned out, the animals were very cooperative — even the 12-foot alligator, who roamed the studio for a few hours.
The pictures posted are of Jack Hanna and many of the animals he brought to our studio. I think the head count on the animals was 39. Each animal was fascinating and, in many instances, adorable (the insects and snakes are not my favorite.)
I also posted some pictures today of the legal panel — not in their usual seats on the set, but rather some pictures of them in our New York greenroom. The legal panel members were in New York City on Friday night to go out to dinner with our staff and Laura Ingle. As noted before, I was surprised to learn that they had never met each other in person so this was fun. There is one picture posted of Jim Hammer, Jeff Brown and Ted Williams, which makes Ted look short — he isn't short. Jeff and Jim are both very tall (both well over 6 feet) and hence Ted looks short.
Some Washington, D.C., gossip: This week in the annual media party (yes, Christmas... Holiday Party — whatever you want to call it) at the White House. Each year the president and the first lady throw an elegant party and stand in a reception line greeting many in the media and having a picture taken with each. They stand there for hours greeting people and having a picture taken... I don't know how they do it! Frankly, I would hate it after the first few hours, but they seem so agreeable. This is a tradition that each president follows and yes, it is one of many parties this week so there is much standing this week for the first family. Plus, each president who I have seen follow this tradition is gracious — even being friendly to those in the media who have been harsh.
Now for some randomly selected e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
Greta, I watch your program whenever I can, but do not like getting up at 4 a.m. to see it. My only complaint is your hair. Either you have had a bad hair day or your wig does not set right on your head. Also about the story on Aruba, can't you just let it rest for awhile? Love FOX News when I can watch it, you are not ran by a bunch of left-wing grinches. You, Bill and the rest keep snipping at Howard Dean's party.
E-mail No. 2
Do you just insert what you want to have read on your Web site that is negative about Aruba? I wrote many positive things and it was never posted. Does Big Brother ring a bell? Maybe Dr. Phil needs an assistant if this story falls apart for you.
E-mail No. 3
Everyone wants a piece of poor little Debbie. If my 14-year-old son tapped that action, I would behind the scenes be hi 5-ing him because I remember what it was like to be a 14-year-old male. True that equal justice is needed here. Ultimately she will cash in.
As a parent I would not want to have public trial with your group of groupies picking apart everything. Hammer, Williams, Brown and the others are hypocrites on this, and the judge that says no just wants to get his piece of her. Sad but true.
As a fan of yours, I am more interested in the deal with Jeff Feiger and the Patriot Act than this smut. We all know sex sells!
E-mail No. 4
If Ms. Lafave had sex with my teenage son, and he more or less enjoyed it, I would refuse to permit him to testify in a highly publicized criminal trial. The media attention and total loss of privacy would most certainly be more distracting and damaging to the boy than the sex act itself. The judge in this case would have no power to force the boy to testify, and he ought to withdraw to his chambers and let the state decide what is best.
La Crescenta, CA
E-mail No. 5
I think the Debra Lafave case proves that the standard for girls and boys should be different. They are as different as dogs and cats. The boy should have a say in her punishment. Having an age of consent set at 18 is ridiculous.
E-mail No. 6
This case is not in Aruba and again the family is not being told everything and that is the U.S., where we tend to try things in the press. So why are you convinced Aruba is so bad? Their laws are different and we have seen, as with the Dr. Phil tapes, info we get may be doctored.
ANSWER: I don't think Aruba is "bad" — I think it is extremely unwise for the D.A. and the police not to stay in better communication with the family of Natalee. I feel the same way about any police force and investigation. This does not mean the family is told info that hurts the investigation, but there are ways to make sure the family feels confidant all is being done possible and reasonable to solve a case.
E-mail No. 7
On Friday night's show you had a feature on Debra Lafave and a discussion with the guys — Bernie, Jeff, Ted and Jim regarding the situation of the judge throwing out the deal Debra and her attorney had made with the prosecutor. In the discussion, you were saying the 14-year-old rape victim would have to appear in court to testify against her in order for her to be convicted. I did not think that was true. I live here in the state of Washington and we have the famous Mary K. Letourneau case — she went to jail for seven years without her rape victim testifying against her. Side note: That rape victim is now her husband. Anyway, I thought it was automatically a crime for a 27-year-old woman to have sex with a 14-year-old boy. Debra committed a crime and was arrested — why would the boy have to testify. Can't they convict her with just the evidence of her having had sex with him?
I believe she should go to prison for this hideous crime that so often is condoned because the victim was not forced into the sex act and she is a beautiful women — she was still a teacher in a trusted position who took advantage of a young boy who will pay for that act the rest of his life.
ANSWER: If there are eyewitnesses to the sex, you could, for instance, try the case without the 14 year old testifying. However, I assure you that no prosecutor wants to try a criminal case without a chief witness. Yes, it is not impossible to win, but difficult in many instances. And if the complainant does not seem to care enough about the alleged offense to come to court, what will the jury think? In the Lafave case the lack of cooperation for the prosecutor by the complainant and his family made the case a very difficult one. It does not mean a crime was not committed but rather a prosecutor wants to go to trial with the evidence he or she thinks is necessary to win.
E-mail No. 8
The following statement is not necessarily my view but another side of the story some may call "reality" should be voiced. Because I believe there are not just a few people out there that feel what I'm about to say. I saw the segment on the Florida teacher rape case tonight. OMG, the lack of reality and the abundance of political correctness was nauseating. Why doesn't anyone come out and say it? That 14-(at the time)-year-old boy had the time of his life and we all know it, especially his parents. While it may be that his parents don't want him in court and all over the front page for obvious reasons, I think the prosecutor has different reasons for not wanting to take the case to court. They are afraid what the boy will say on the stand. If and when questioned by the defense, he will probably say, "I had the time of my life." Greta, excuse me but, he had the best "piece" he will probably ever have. The comparison of reversing the genders claiming if it were a man instead of a beautiful young teacher he would go to jail for 30 years is true. But, like it or not, it's not the same thing. Many of us in this left-wing controlled politically correct society can't accept that. Perfect example, while I know it is only a movie, it is a perfect example of the way society views this subject. The movie is called "The Summer of 42." A young teen (male) crosses paths on his summer beach vacation with a twenty something, attractive woman. The whole concept of the movie is one of romance and "these are going to be some of my fondest memories" attitude. Some would say the movie celebrates pedophilia for Pete's sake. Now, reverse the genders... and the movie becomes pornography. You can't rape a male in that fashion. If the kid was afraid or in a panic does anyone really think he could perform? Now, if you want to prosecute under the statutes, fine, she belongs in jail. She does have the moral and legal responsibility not to come in contact with a young man like that. But please don't let me hear how awful it is and how the boy's life is ruined. I bet he'll be doing it again, first chance he gets. I don't know why but, I'll apologize if I've offended anyone who reads this, but I will. Damn, can't shake those "leftys"... lol.
Great show Greta, but you should cut down on all the talk overs. It's hard sometimes, to follow.
Las Vegas, NV
Now for some articles you might find interesting:
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — A 37-year-old Sheboygan man wanted for child sexual assault has filed for political asylum in Canada after being arrested by immigration agents in Montreal.
Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco said he was informed of the arrest of Pablo G. Quiroz Friday morning.
Quiroz is wanted on eight felony charges — two counts of sexual contact with a child under 16 years of age, two counts of videotaping a child engaged in explicit sexual conduct, one count of possession of child pornography and three counts of bail jumping.
If convicted on all counts, Quiroz faces 125 years in jail. DeCecco says Quiroz will have a hearing for his asylum request Monday.
If asylum is denied, Quiroz could be deported immediately to face charges in the United States.
Quiroz is accused of blackmailing a 15-year-old girl in Sheboygan in 2002 into undressing for a videotaped recording. He is accused of sexually assaulting her during the recordings.
Police also discovered numerous images of children ages 6 to 14 engaged in sexual activity on Quiroz's computer.
MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) — A man ran over a kangaroo with his truck, killing it.
Ralph Hamm said the 50-pound marsupial appeared in his driveway in rural Mauston on Wednesday, and he couldn't stop.
Tom Jodarski, a former state Department of Natural Resources warden in Juneau County, theorized the kangaroo probably was someone's pet but escaped.
Juneau County Sheriff's Lt. Craig Stuchlik said no one has reported seeing a kangaroo in the area. Hamm thinks it was living in a culvert on his property, judging by tracks in the area.
Last winter, Iowa County authorities captured a 130-pound kangaroo in a horse barn south of Dodgeville. That kangaroo, nicknamed "Roo," is alive and well at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison.
Authorities believe that kangaroo was an escaped pet, too. They spent two months searching for its owners, to no avail.
Hamm said he still has the carcass of the kangaroo he killed. He said he's thinking about having it stuffed.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.wisconsinstatejournal.com
By MIKE COLIAS, Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Searching for his brother following the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean tsunami, David Abels grew so frustrated with unhelpful Web trails and downed phone lines that he hopped a plane from Chicago to Thailand.
He spent nearly two weeks there in early January hunting for his 33-year-old brother Ben, an avid outdoorsman and world traveler who was vacationing on the island of Phi Phi when a wall of water crashed into his beachside bungalow.
The 36-year-old attorney from the Chicago suburb of Evanston hired two overseas private investigators to help him, joining one of his brother's friends and a few Americans he had met. Donning medical masks and rubber gloves in the stifling heat, they spent exhausting days sifting through victims' photos and examining corpses at hospitals and makeshift morgues in Buddhist temples.
But David Abels returned home empty-handed nearly two weeks later. It would be another six weeks before the Abels family got word from the U.S. State Department that his brother's body had been identified through dental records. Only then did he realize how close he had come to finding him.
It turned out Ben Abel's remains were being stored at the same temple in Krabi, Thailand, where his brother spent several days searching among hundreds of bodies stored in large refrigeration units. He had requested dental records of a few dozen victims after narrowing the list based on height, hair color and other characteristics — but never asked to see victim No. 548.
"I was literally working within 10 feet of him. We didn't pull the right person," Abels said. "It's frustrating. It wouldn't have changed anything, but it would have been nice to have avoided the next six weeks of agony."
When confirmation finally came in early March — a month after hundreds gathered in Evanston for a memorial — Abels recognized the photographs e-mailed to him by the State Department. He had seen the same pictures while in Krabi, but hadn't recognized his brother.
Ben Abels is buried at a Chicago cemetery, which has brought a degree of peace to the family, Abels said. He says he never would have thought the recovery of remains would have taken on such meaning.
"My brother was a real outdoorsy guy. I think he would have been OK being washed out to sea and that would have been the end of it," Abels said. "But now I guess there's just somewhere to go think about him."
Ben Abels' travel companion, Dr. Libby North, was in the bungalow when the tsunami hit and nearly lost a hand. She now lives in Portland, Ore., and has returned to work, according to her recent posting on a Web site dedicated to Abels.
On Dec. 26, the anniversary, David Abels will be in Florida and his parents in California.
"Ben loved to travel so much. He wouldn't want us moping around Chicago," he said. So instead of visiting the grave, "We might lay some flowers on the beach."
On the Net: www.benabels.com
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Now for a question to you — e-mail me back: What do you think we should do (if anything) about illegal immigration? Or is it too late?
Send your thoughts and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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