Thursday, 14 June 2007


Ken Berwitz

From this morning's South Florida Sun-Sentinel (bold print is mine):-

Battered by criticism, Broward may keep deal with Rush Limbaugh radio station

By Scott Wyman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 14, 2007

Radio station WIOD likely will remain Broward County's official channel for emergency information despite concerns it is also home to conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

County commissioners said they were deluged with complaints from throughout the country Wednesday after they questioned whether to cut their ties with the station because of their dislike for Limbaugh. By the end of the day, a majority of commissioners vowed to renew WIOD's agreement next week.

The deal with WIOD, AM 610, would ensure news conferences and other critical announcements are broadcast live during hurricanes and other emergencies.

Kristin Jacobs and Ilene Lieberman, commissioners who served as mayor during hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, came to the defense of WIOD. They were absent from Tuesday's meeting because they were in Tallahassee talking to state lawmakers about tax reform legislation.

"If your roof gets blown off, do you really care if the radio station that is giving you the information that you need also carries Rush Limbaugh?" Jacobs asked. "I don't think so. I don't agree with that man's philosophy and I don't listen to him, but I'm not going to not choose WIOD because of it."

Limbaugh responded to the commissioners Wednesday on his radio show, saying the qualms about WIOD were a sign of out-of-control partisanship in the nation.

"They are politicizing the delivery of emergency news, which is non-partisan," Limbaugh said.

The all-Democrat commission was on the verge of rejecting the WIOD contract when it instead delayed a decision to get more information about why its staff favored the station and what its other options are. The firestorm began when Commissioner Stacy Ritter said she didn't want to patronize the station because of Limbaugh and other conservative programming.

County communications administrators recommended WIOD over two other stations interested in the deal.

They said WIOD has a strong signal, sister FM stations that simulcast news during emergencies and was willing to guarantee live coverage.

Commissioner Ken Keechl initially said he shared Ritter's concerns, but said Wednesday that he will now support WIOD because of the staff's advice. Commissioners John Rodstrom and Lois Wexler earlier said they want WIOD.

It's amazing how the light of day disinfects things, isn't it? 

Broward is, and will remain, a heavily Democratic county.  But most people - certainly the rational ones - put their personal safety above political considerations.  Some - the irrational ones - think juvenile political hijinks is more important. 

I wonder if there will now be a movement to either publicly criticize, or even remove, Stacy Ritter as a commisisoner, along with Ken Keechl, who admitted he also supported this idiocy.  Frankly, there should be.


Ken Berwitz

Suppose a screenwriter walked into a producer's office, with a script about a Hollywood star who made a movie about freedom of the press, and then tried to censor the press coverage of the the movie and herself.  How fast would the producer toss that screenwriter out of his office - after he stopped laughing, that is?  Pretty quick.

Well, sometimes life is stranger than art.  Read this (the bold print is mine):-

'Mighty' Hypocrite Angelina Jolie Bans FOX and Others From Premiere

Thursday , June 14, 2007

By Roger Friedman

Angelina Jolie's true colors came out Wednesday as she promoted a film about freedom of the press and then tried to censor all her interviews.

Jolie is touting press freedom these days, playing the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in a new movie called "A Mighty Heart."

But Jolie turns out to be a mighty hypocrite when it comes to her own freedom of the press. Her lawyer required all journalists to sign a contract before talking to her, and Jolie instructed publicists at first to ban FOX News from the red carpet of her premiere.

Ironically, Wednesday night's premiere of the excellent Michael Winterbottom-directed film was meant to support an organization called Reporters Without Borders. Jolie, however, did everything she could to clamp down on the press and control it.

Reporters from most major media outlets balked Wednesday when they were presented with an agreement drawn up by Jolie's Hollywood lawyer Robert Offer. The contract closely dictated the terms of all interviews.

Reporters were asked to agree to "not ask Ms. Jolie any questions regarding her personal relationships. In the event Interviewer does ask Ms. Jolie any questions regarding her personal relationships, Ms. Jolie will have the right to immediately terminate the interview and leave."

The agreement also required that "the interview may only be used to promote the Picture. In no event may Interviewer or Media Outlet be entitled to run all or any portion of the interview in connection with any other story. ... The interview will not be used in a manner that is disparaging, demeaning, or derogatory to Ms. Jolie."

If that wasn't enough, Jolie also requires that if any of these things happen, "the tape of the interview will not be released to Interviewer." Such a violation, the signatory thus agrees, would "cause Jolie irreparable harm" and make it possible for her to sue the interviewer and seek a restraining order.

I am told that USA Today and the Associated Press were among those that canceled interviews, and eventually Jolie scotched all print interviews when she heard the reaction.

"I wouldn't sign it," a reporter for a major outlet said. "Who does she think she is?"

A call to Offer was apparently one that could be refused. He didn't return calls. An associate, Lindsay Strasberg, said, before hanging up: "You're a reporter? I can't talk to reporters. Goodbye."

So much for reporters without borders.

It is generally understood that interviews conducted with movie stars are unlimited in the range of questions, but it is very rare that reporters are faced with signing agreements in advance that limit or precensor their work.

That's not all: Jolie told Paramount Pictures publicists to ban FOX News Channel and all FOX News affiliates from covering the "Mighty Heart" premiere on the red carpet. It was only with the intervention of mortified Paramount staff that a FNC camera crew was allowed to be present.

Apparently, no one told Jolie of the highly positive review FOX News had given "A Mighty Heart" from Cannes.

Jolie is famous by now for directing press and selling rights to her photos. She has long been in business with People magazine, orchestrating photo shoots of her children. The money, she says, goes to charity. -

Another classic example of Hollywood hypocrisy (among the countless others.

Hollywocrisy.  I must remember that word.


Ken Berwitz

As we watch well meaning, gullible lemmings run into the water over global warming, it would be good to remember that just over 30 years ago their parents were doing the same about the coming new ice age. 

Chicken little has had a lot of company over the past several decades, and sometimes the chicken little wannabes contradict themselves.  Then if you're truly PC you have to be for what you're against and against what you're for simultaneously.  It doesn't sound very sensible, does it?

But if that silliness is too distantly in the past for you, here's some new silliness to marvel at.  The subject matter is different, but the concept is the same - re-engineering the world based on envirowhackoism:-

Toads gone from Davis area where tunnel was built to help them

Thursday, June 14, 2007

(06-14) 12:53 PDT Davis, Calif. (AP) --

The famed Davis Toad Tunnel, built 12 years ago to save the Western toad from being squashed while crossing a local roadway, appears not to have helped the amphibians, who have disappeared from the area.

The tunnel was built as part of a larger construction project that elevated the road, increased traffic and created an earthen berm that was hard for the toads to climb.

The 200-foot-long corrugated steel tunnel got hot in the summer, which probably prevented the toads from entering. And because toads do not crawl through tunnels in nature, they may not have realized how to use the tunnel, if they found the entrance at all.

"Toads tend not to jump onto a frying pan when they can avoid it," said John McNerney, a Davis wildlife expert who said this week he found no evidence that toads used the tunnel.

He also could not find tadpoles in the nearby drainage pond: "It didn't work for them."

Former Mayor Julie Partansky, who spearheaded the drive for the tunnel, said she long suspected the toads found it unnatural.

"I don't think it was designed right," she said. "Toads in nature don't go down a long, dark tunnel."

Partansky said she was saddened the tunnel didn't keep the toad population alive, especially since amphibians worldwide are threatened.

"Our intentions were good," she said.

The tunnel's construction in 1995 was covered on CNN and mocked on Comedy Central. A Davis resident, Ted Puntillo, wrote a children's book about it and built "Toad Hollow," decorative amphibian houses at the end of the tunnel.

Puntillo, 87, said he still believes the toads once used the tunnel because he saw them in Toad Hollow.

"It did work when they watered," he said -

What can you possibly add to this?  I don't know.  Maybe they should have brought in a couple of toads during the design process.  They're easy to deal with, they even bring their own stools.

Maybe Froggie the Gremlin sabotaged the tunnel.  "Plunk your magic corrugated steel, Froggie".  "Hiya toads, hiya hiya hiya"

Let's face it, trying to micromanage the environment was a leap of faith. 

Maybe they thought corrugated steel would work because it's a smooth tube until they rib it, rib it, rib it.

Ok, that's enough derision from me, you can supply the next bunch.

But the serious part is that nature finds its own way.  The animal world is not PC, they cope the way that makes sense to them.  And a corrugated steel tunnel didn't make sense to them, so they left.

I wonder what Froggie the Gremlin thinks about global warming.



Ken Berwitz

Just a couple of weeks ago President Bush told us that, based on the advice he got from our military, it would take until September to accurately assess the result of the troop surge in Iraq.

So what does the Democratic "leadership" do?  Yesterday harry "the corpse" reid and nancy pelosi-ricardo** advised President Bush that the troop surge was already a failure.  No need to see if it works, it just is.

There are are a number of possible reasons that reid and pelosi-ricardo would do this.  One of the uglier ones is that they are rooting against the United States - not because they want al qaeda and their associated terrorist murderers to win, but because the better al qaeda does, the better they perceive it will be for Democratic political prospects in 2008.  This possiblity is almost too disgusting to contemplate but, given the players involved, it is in the mix.

The sad fact is that the Democratic party, more and more, is being overtaken by the hard left.  I'm not talking about people who lean left to one extent or another like Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, Maxine Waters, etc.  That would be bad enough.  No, I'm talking about the LAMBS (the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade) like, ANSWER, code pink, etc.  They are increasingly in command.  And they want us out of Iraq now.  It does not matter to them what might happen as a result of our cut and run.  They do not care.

The political consequences of playing to this lunatic segment are yet to be seen - stay tuned for November of next year.  But when it comes to Iraq, there are significant consequences which aren't over a year away, they are right now. 

Please read the following article by Major Greg. C. Reeson.  He has laid things out so clearly and so methodically that I doubt it could be done better: -

Dems Ignore Consequences of Early Iraq Withdrawal
The Fifth Column MAJ Greg C. Reeson, USA, Senior Writer
June 14, 2007

The Washington Times reported June 11 that Democrats in the House and Senate are currently circulating more than forty pieces of legislation that would seek to end Americas involvement in Iraq. The Times quotes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as saying, Were fairly well set up now as to how were going to do it and when were going to do it.

Whats emerging in the Congress is a Democrat plan to bombard President Bush with bill after bill after bill calling for troop withdrawals over very short periods of time. By forcing such legislation through Congress, Democrats, who know the President will veto the measures, hope to keep up the attacks on President Bush and Congressional Republicans as part of an overarching strategy to maximize their chances of success in the 2008 elections.

By playing on the publics growing disillusionment with the war in Iraq, Democrats are ignoring the very real consequences for our national security that will inevitably accompany a premature troop withdrawal, and they are doing so purely for political advantage. Though Ive written about the likely consequences before, its important to review them once again:

1) Iranian influence throughout the Middle East will be substantially increased, and Tehran will feel even more empowered to continue the development of nuclear technology in open defiance of an impotent United Nations.

2) Iran will be able to continue to impede any possible progress in Iraq, without interference from the U.S., and will likely help Iraqi Shia consolidate power in a fashion that will guarantee a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad.

3) Syria and Hezbollah will continue to be used by an even more powerful Iran in limited proxy wars with Israel that kill innocent civilians and threaten unrest throughout the entire region.

4) Terrorists everywhere will see an American departure from Iraq as a victory along the lines of the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. They will rally radical elements to their cause and will begin in earnest the systematic targeting of pro-Western, secular Arab governments.

5) Iraq will complete its devolution into a classic failed state, sending hundreds of thousands of refugees across the borders of neighboring states, further destabilizing the Middle East.

6) A wider regional war may ensue as Sunni governments, who are increasingly nervous about an Iran-led Shiite ascendancy in the Middle East, may feel they have no choice but to act on their threats to intervene in Iraq on behalf of the Sunni minority.

7) The Kurds, already pushing hard to consolidate their position of autonomy, may take advantage of the power vacuum created by a U.S. departure to declare their independence, provoking Turkey, Iran and Syria into military action to crush Kurdish terrorist elements and prevent the establishment of an independent Kurdistan.

The risks to our long-term national security are potentially very grave and must be considered when discussing what course we should take in Iraq. Yet the risks that I just outlined are being dismissed out of hand by the congressional majority while Democrat leaders clamor repeatedly that Republicans will pay at the voting booth for continuing the Iraq war.

And dont be fooled by the promises to keep just enough forces to train the Iraqis and fight al-Qaeda. It may be a great political statement, but the concept begins to fall apart once you get beyond the words and focus on what that strategy really entails.

Despite a late start training Iraqi security forces, the program is fully underway now and is due to be increased throughout 2007. Part of that training involves conducting combat operations alongside Iraqi units, not just providing instruction inside of a base camp and sending them out to face a ruthless insurgency on their own. Compare the idea to teaching a child to ride a bicycle or drive a car. You wouldnt give them a lesson in the comfort of your living room and then send them out to engage in a potentially dangerous activity without providing the necessary guiding hand to help them along until they are able to do it on their own. The analogy may seem simplistic, but the principle is the same.

And when conducting offensive combat operations, there is no way to separate al-Qaeda from the various other elements contributing to the violence in Iraq. It would be nice if al-Qaeda members stayed in one place, all bunched together, so that we could end the terrorist problem once and for all. Unfortunately, thats not the case and al-Qaeda is not in one place, but scattered throughout the country, intermingled with the population, and conducting attacks not just on Americans, but on Shia and Sunni as well.

Brave young Americans are bleeding and dying in the cities and on the roads of Iraq every day. Our elected leaders owe it to them and to us as a nation to put partisan politics aside and frankly debate what might happen if American forces are prematurely withdrawn. 

Major Reeson's piece should be required reading (and required THINKING) for everyone, regardless of their political preference or feeling about the Iraq war.  It is crucial to remember that even if things are bad, they could become worse.  And that extricating ourselves from Iraq at the wrong time under the wrong circumstances could create a situation that dwarfs the one we are in now.

Please think about it.  The country you save may be your own.


** As regular readers know, I refer to the speaker of the house as Nancy Pelosi-Ricardo because, minus the humor aspect, she handles things the way Lucy Ricardo of the I Love Lucy show did.  I call the Senate majority leader harry "the corpse" reid for a reason to, but - sorry - you'll have to buy our book to find out why.

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