Wednesday, 22 August 2007

GLOBAL BURPING

Ken Berwitz

Suddenly I have a new-found respect for Al Gore.  He is right to say that the environment is being despoiled.  He's just got the wrong species in his crosshairs.

Following are excerpts from two articles published by Der Speigel - the first in July and the second just yesterday.  Read them and learn the facts about global warming!.

July 10, 2007

Changing Cows' Diet Could Cut Emissions

Cows are methane-making machines, with their inefficient digestion producing hundreds of liters of the greenhouse gas every day. Now scientists are looking at ways to make things go down a little more gently for the ruminanting grass-munchers.

While people are being asked to reduce the amounts of flights they take and make their homes more energy efficient, what they put on their plates could be having as big an impact on climate change. Gas-guzzling SUVs and badly insulated buildings are partly to blame for the earth's greenhouse gas emissions, but it seems the humble grass-munching cow is also a major culprit.

Agriculture is responsible for producing 37 percent of global methane emissions, a gas that is 23 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. And much of this gas comes from the burps of ruminating animals such as cows and sheep. If a cow's manners could be improved a bit, then the world might just stop warming quite so fast. And it could be as simple as getting them to graze on different types of plants. Scientists at the University of Aberystwyth are now working on using plant-breeding methods to develop new diets for livestock.

Normally a cow's stomach is pretty inefficient -- 80 percent of food ingested comes out as waste or methane. The average cow produces between 300 and 500 liters of methane a day, most of it through belching. "There is a common misperception about how methane gets into the atmosphere," Michael Abberton, a scientist at the Aberystwsth's Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, said Monday. "It is actually through belching rather than the other end."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 21, 2007

Norway's Moose Population in Trouble for Belching

The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year.

Bacteria in a moose's stomach create methane gas which is considered even more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide gas. Cows pose the same problem (more...).

Norway has some 120,000 moose but an estimated 35,000 are expected to be killed in this year's moose hunting season, which starts on September 25, Norwegian newspaper VG reported.  .

Ok!  NOW we know the REAL cause of global warming - not to mention that foul odor you sometimes come across while walking through a cow pasture, mooselands or the nearest butcher shop.

Since Mr. Gore is a man of action (we knew that after seeing him kiss Tipper at the 2000 convention - no, I am NOT calling Ms. Gore a cow or a moose), I expect that he will do what has to be done immediately.

First off, he has to attack vegetarians.  It is clear that meat eaters are doing the world a great service by lowering the risk of global warming.  Every slab of roast beef or prime rib is a blow against these blatant, burping, flatulating polluters!  And every time the vegetarian crowd convinces someone to stop eating meat, another cow lives to burp and flatulate at will!  This must be stopped!

Secondly, Mr. Gore must join the NRA or whatever similar organization exists in Norway and go on the moose hunt with them.  By slaughtering 35,000 moose (mooses?  meese?) each year, these wonderful folks are making the air cleaner for everyone.  This obviously should be celebrated.  Besides, the antlers make great coat racks.

Ok, I admit that Norway is a long distance from the good old USA.  So maybe Gore can take care of this in Canada instead.  Plenty of moose up there. 

SHOOT that sucker before he burps again.  The planet you save may be your own!


DREAM SEQUENCE

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of Ed Morrissey at www.captainsquartersblog.com,  is a fascinating, optimistic and - dare we think it - possibly accurate assessment of Prime Minister al-Maliki's actions in Iraq over the past several weeks.  Actions that could conceivably bring the Iraq war to a far more positive level:.

Has Maliki Ended The Insurgency?

Earlier today, the Italian news service AKI reported that the presumed leader of the largest insurgency in Iraq will start cooperating with the Iraqi government. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of the highest-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's government, reportedly pledged to work with Iraqi and American forces to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq:

The leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party's former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

"AlDouri has decided to sever ties with al-Qaeda and sign up to the programme of the national resistance, which includes routing Islamist terrorists and opening up dialogue with the Baghdad government and foreign forces," al-Jashaami said.

Al-Douri has decided to deal directly with US forces in Iraq, according to al-Jashaami. He figures in the 55-card deck of "most wanted" officials from the former Iraqi regime issued by the US government.

In return, for cooperating in the fight against al-Qaeda, al-Douri has asked for guarantees over his men's safety and for an end to Iraqi army attacks on his militias.

Recent weeks have seen a first step in this direction, when Baathist fighters cooperated with Iraqi government forces in hunting down al-Qaeda operatives in the volatile Diyala province and in several districts of the capital, Baghadad.

This could be game, set, and match for the Iraq War. Some smaller insurgent elements assisted in clearing Baqubah as a test to see whether an alliance with Americans would work. Apparently, the experiment worked. If al-Douri accepts the authority of the elected Iraqi government, then almost all of the resistance in western Iraq will disappear -- leaving AQI very exposed.

It seems more than just coincidental that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the former Ba'athist power base of Tikrit last Thursday. Maliki went to Saddam's hometown, where al-Douri likely has his strongest allies, to meet with the Sunni sheikhs. They gave him a warm welcome, and they pledged to find ways to work with each other. At the same time, he signed an agreement with the Kurds and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has been Moqtada al-Sadr's bitter opponent in the south.

Putting all of this together, it looks like Maliki decided to dump Sadr at the beginning of the surge. Sadr fled to Iran for a while, returned to see whether he could weasel his way back into power, and then pulled his deputies from Maliki's government. When it didn't fall, Maliki went to the SIIC to cut a deal with them instead. Once he did that, he brought the Kurds into it and looked for an opening with the Sunnis of Tikrit.

The turning of al-Douri, if true, would indicate that Maliki may have succeeded in marginalizing Sadr and bringing together the rest of the disparate elements of Iraq at least into a relationship where unity could occur. That would not have happened except for the performance of Petraeus and his work in Anbar and Diyala. The surge came as Sunnis had tired of AQI's brutal imposition of Taliban-like rule, and the renewed American effort has given the tribes a reason to unite and to work with the Baghdad government.

Maliki may have taken a huge step towards ending the insurgency while dispensing with Sadr. If so, Congress may hear in September that significant progress has been made both politically and militarily -- and that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

UPDATE: Read Michael Yon's latest dispatch to get an idea why even the insurgents prefer the Americans and Maliki. As NZ Bear mentioned on CQ Radio today, Yon notes that AQI makes the best argument for stamping out AQI.

There is another side to the al-Douri story, though, if he does in fact switch teams. The Iraqis have jailed and tried Saddam-era officials with less direct complicity in atrocities than al-Douri, such as Tariq Aziz. Can the King of Clubs simply go free, and if so, how so? The answer will probably be that a pardon will save many more lives and bring healing to Iraq -- all of which would undoubtedly be true. It will provoke some uncomfortable questions about the scope of forgiveness necessary for an Iraqi national reconciliation. .

If this is so - obviously a big, big if - what a great move forward it would be!  What a great success for Iraq, for the United States and for the march of democracy.

And yet, to the Democratic party, this would be a horrible, even disastrous setback.  That may be the saddest thing I can say here, but facts are facts.  The Democratic party, in aggregate, has a major-league investment in seeing the USA fail in Iraq.

If we fail in Iraq the Democratic party is edified in its nonstop years-long attacks on President Bush, Republicans and war supporters in general. 

But if we succeed, Democrats are going to be seen as being on the wrong side of a great military and diplomatic success.  And the perception of Democrats as weak on foreign policy will be reinforced to another generation of voters.   That is the awful corner Reid, Pelosi & Co. have painted themselves and their party into. 

For the sake of both Iraq and the USA, I fervently hope that corner is where they are trapped.


A COUPLE OF FACTS THAT YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW

Ken Berwitz

This commentary is not meant to insult your intelligence. Most people probably know these facts anyway.  My only purpose is to put it in writing so you know that I know too:

-When terms like "absolute positive proof" and "incontrovertible" are used to describe something, it is usually good if the something is absolutely, positively and incontrovertibly true.

Those terms do NOT describe a report by a discredited "journalist" with ties to the opposition party, who - seven years after the fact - suddenly comes up with a few people who make claims they haven't made for all this time about an election that the "journalist"'s party lost.. 

I love the explanation  - that no one asked them!.  Nah, no one questioned the ballots in Florida in 2000.  There's a credible premise for you.  Right up there with the dog at my SUV.

That, of course, ends the issue right there, but I decided to do something I suspect Barry didn't do - I read the transcript this BS is linked to.  And among the facts in that story are the following:

..Buried within the story is that "Many analysts blamed the problems on a confusing vote layout".  That, of course, is something the voting machine company had exactly nothing to do with.  Well, who did?  Which party runs Palm Beach like a little feifdom?  Why...the DEMOCRATIC party, that's which one. 

Chefs cover their mistakes with mayonnaise, doctors cover their mistakes with dirt and apparently Florida Democrats cover their mistakes by blaming everyone else. 

..Also in the transcript, problems were found in a number of other states as well, including Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Ohio, Indana, Missouri and Texas.  That covers a lot of ground and a lot of both Republican and Democratic areas.  So maybe, just maybe, the glitches in the  touchscreen system were not directed against the Democratic party, they were just glitches that could affect both parties.  Maybe Republicans lost  elections because of them.

There are other facts within the transcript that debunk Barry's claim beyond the ones I've cited, but how many do you need?  You can use his link to read them for yourself.  But it's probably a waste of time, since if you can't see through this after what I've already posted, nothing is likely to get you to do so.

I don't know for sure, but my suspicion is that Barry has, again, pulled a verbatim attack from one of the hard-left sites he seems to rely on for "absolute, positive, incontrovertible" truth.  Since he wants this stuff to be true, and it was there in black and white, he didn't have to check further.  It became reality. 

That, folks, is how the hard left ropes otherwise intelligent people like Barry in.  They turn them into wholly owned subsidiaries who just spout what they see there as if there were no other side to the story

---------------------------------------------------------------

-Next, can anyone explain why tax cuts have caused a high foreclosure rate?  Of course not.  The foreclosure rate is being driven by subprime lending practices and various "creative" ways of financing mortgages.  It could be that I'm just dense here, but I'm having trouble seeing why a lower tax bill each year is making me lose my home. 

Years ago, Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (BDS).  Simply stated, this means that there are people who hate President Bush so much that they have no problem tying anything they don't like about him to anything negative that happens, whether or not it has anything to do with him.  The claim that lower income tax causes home foreclosures is an excellent example of BDS. 

Using that "logic", it would also follow that the more you raise a homeowner's taxes the less likely his/her home is to be a foreclosure.  Does that make any sense?   

President Bush lowered our taxes.  That did not cause an increase in foreclosures.  Period.

steve schneider you read my comment. steve (08/22/07)


THE NEW YORK TIMES: SIT-DOWN COMEDY

Ken Berwitz

Stand-up comedy is when a comedian stands up in front of you and makes you laugh.  But these days we have sit-down comedy.  That's when you sit down reading the New York Times, and it makes you laugh. 

Let me give you a case in point.

Following is the lead editorial in today's Times.  Please read it carefully and then let's talk about its comedy value:.

Stacking the Electoral Deck

Published: August 22, 2007

The Electoral College should be abolished, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. A prominent Republican lawyer in California is doing it the wrong way, promoting a sneaky initiative that, in the name of Electoral College reform, would rig elections in a way that would make it difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, no matter how the popular vote comes out. If the initiative passes, it would do serious damage to American democracy.

California currently gives all 55 of its electoral votes- the biggest electoral college prize in the nation -to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote. Virtually all states use this winner-take-all method. The California initiative, which could go to a vote in June, would instead give the 2008 presidential candidates one electoral vote for every Congressional district that they win, with an additional two electoral votes going to whoever got the most votes statewide. (Democrats appear to have backed off from plans to try just as anti-democratic a trick in North Carolina, which is good.)

The net result of the California initiative would be that if the Democratic candidate wins in that state next year, which is very likely, the Republican candidate might still walk away with 20 or more of the state's electoral votes. The initiative, backed by a shadowy group called Californians for Equal Representation, is being promoted as an effort to more accurately reflect the choices of the state's voters, and to force candidates to pay more attention to California, which is usually not in play in presidential elections. It is actually a power grab on behalf of Republicans.

The Electoral College should be done away with, but in the meantime, any reforms should improve the system, not make it worse. If California abandons its winner-take-all rule while red states like Texas do not, it will be hard for a Democratic nominee to assemble an Electoral College majority, even if he or she wins a sizable majority of the popular vote. That appears to be just what the backers of the California idea have in mind.

If voters understand that the initiative is essentially an elaborate dirty trick posing as reform, they are likely to vote against it. But judging by the misleading name of their organization, the initiative's backers want to fool the public into thinking the change would make elections more fair. They are planning on putting it to a vote in June 2008, an election when there will be few other things on the ballot, and turnout is expected to be extremely low. This bad-faith initiative is yet another example of the ways in which referenda can be used for mischief and a reminder of why they are a bad way to resolve complex public-policy issues.

Opponents of the initiative announced yesterday that they are sponsoring their own, rival initiative, which would commit California to a national plan that aims to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president. That idea makes much more sense.

Leading Republicans, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been silent about the initiative to split California's electoral votes, but they should be speaking out against it. The fight isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats. It is about whether to twist the nation's system of electing presidents to give one party an unfair advantage. No principled elected official, or voter, of either party should support that. .

Wow.  Where do we begin?  Ok, here's a place: 

-Maine has had a version of the district-by-district vote since 1972 and Nebraska has has the same version since 1992.  The Times doesn't even mention them in this editorial nor do they attack either state for changing over to the system.  In other words, this was okey-dokey until California - a state where appreciable Democratic votes could be lost if it is implemented - was in play. 

That's good for a laugh or two - laughs of derision but laughs notwithstanding.

-Then we have the point, towards the bottom of this editorial, that the Times would like us to move toward a national popular election.  Well, doesn't the California initiative move appreciably in that direction?  Instead of millions of Californians who vote Republican being completely disenfranchised, it gives them a number of electors approximate to their actual voting strength.  Just like Maine and Nebraska.  Hey, that's good isn't it? 

It certainly is good if you want to bring the country closer to a national election  - and the NY Times deigns this to be a good thing in the same editorial.  Someone ought to introduce one half of the editorial to the second half.  They seem not to have met. 

Another belly laugh.

-And let's not forget the shameless partisan spin - A "prominent Republican lawyer" and a "shadowy group" are behind this "dirty trick". 

Of course the editorial also has to include the fact that what they are doing is putting forth an INITIATIVE that the state will either vote for or against.  (Oh, no, Mr. Bill)!:  In other words, the only way this becomes the law of California is if a majority of Californians vote for it.  Not because of the prominent lawyer or the shadowy group.  But because of a POPULAR VOTE.  

If you aren't laughing now, you have no sense of humor.

Yep, that New York Times.  Once it was thought of as the paper of record.  Now the only difference between the Times and a tabloid is that there is a different fold and bigger words.  But sit-down comedy too?  Who would have thought......

 


DREAM SEQUENCE

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of Ed Morrissey at www.captainsquartersblog.com,  is a fascinating, optimistic and - dare we think it - possibly accurate assessment of Prime Minister al-Maliki's actions in Iraq over the past several weeks.  Actions that could conceivably bring the Iraq war to a far more positive level:.

Has Maliki Ended The Insurgency?

Earlier today, the Italian news service AKI reported that the presumed leader of the largest insurgency in Iraq will start cooperating with the Iraqi government. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of the highest-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's government, reportedly pledged to work with Iraqi and American forces to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq:

The leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party's former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

"AlDouri has decided to sever ties with al-Qaeda and sign up to the programme of the national resistance, which includes routing Islamist terrorists and opening up dialogue with the Baghdad government and foreign forces," al-Jashaami said.

Al-Douri has decided to deal directly with US forces in Iraq, according to al-Jashaami. He figures in the 55-card deck of "most wanted" officials from the former Iraqi regime issued by the US government.

In return, for cooperating in the fight against al-Qaeda, al-Douri has asked for guarantees over his men's safety and for an end to Iraqi army attacks on his militias.

Recent weeks have seen a first step in this direction, when Baathist fighters cooperated with Iraqi government forces in hunting down al-Qaeda operatives in the volatile Diyala province and in several districts of the capital, Baghadad.

This could be game, set, and match for the Iraq War. Some smaller insurgent elements assisted in clearing Baqubah as a test to see whether an alliance with Americans would work. Apparently, the experiment worked. If al-Douri accepts the authority of the elected Iraqi government, then almost all of the resistance in western Iraq will disappear -- leaving AQI very exposed.

It seems more than just coincidental that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the former Ba'athist power base of Tikrit last Thursday. Maliki went to Saddam's hometown, where al-Douri likely has his strongest allies, to meet with the Sunni sheikhs. They gave him a warm welcome, and they pledged to find ways to work with each other. At the same time, he signed an agreement with the Kurds and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has been Moqtada al-Sadr's bitter opponent in the south.

Putting all of this together, it looks like Maliki decided to dump Sadr at the beginning of the surge. Sadr fled to Iran for a while, returned to see whether he could weasel his way back into power, and then pulled his deputies from Maliki's government. When it didn't fall, Maliki went to the SIIC to cut a deal with them instead. Once he did that, he brought the Kurds into it and looked for an opening with the Sunnis of Tikrit.

The turning of al-Douri, if true, would indicate that Maliki may have succeeded in marginalizing Sadr and bringing together the rest of the disparate elements of Iraq at least into a relationship where unity could occur. That would not have happened except for the performance of Petraeus and his work in Anbar and Diyala. The surge came as Sunnis had tired of AQI's brutal imposition of Taliban-like rule, and the renewed American effort has given the tribes a reason to unite and to work with the Baghdad government.

Maliki may have taken a huge step towards ending the insurgency while dispensing with Sadr. If so, Congress may hear in September that significant progress has been made both politically and militarily -- and that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

UPDATE: Read Michael Yon's latest dispatch to get an idea why even the insurgents prefer the Americans and Maliki. As NZ Bear mentioned on CQ Radio today, Yon notes that AQI makes the best argument for stamping out AQI.

There is another side to the al-Douri story, though, if he does in fact switch teams. The Iraqis have jailed and tried Saddam-era officials with less direct complicity in atrocities than al-Douri, such as Tariq Aziz. Can the King of Clubs simply go free, and if so, how so? The answer will probably be that a pardon will save many more lives and bring healing to Iraq -- all of which would undoubtedly be true. It will provoke some uncomfortable questions about the scope of forgiveness necessary for an Iraqi national reconciliation. .

If this is so - obviously a big, big if - what a great move forward it would be!  What a great success for Iraq, for the United States and for the march of democracy.

And yet, to the Democratic party, this would be a horrible, even disastrous setback.  That may be the saddest thing I can say here, but facts are facts.  The Democratic party, in aggregate, has a major-league investment in seeing the USA fail in Iraq.

If we fail in Iraq the Democratic party is edified in its nonstop years-long attacks on President Bush, Republicans and war supporters in general. 

But if we succeed, Democrats are going to be seen as being on the wrong side of a great military and diplomatic success.  And the perception of Democrats as weak on foreign policy will be reinforced to another generation of voters.   That is the awful corner Reid, Pelosi & Co. have painted themselves and their party into. 

For the sake of both Iraq and the USA, I fervently hope that corner is where they are trapped.


GLOBAL BURPING

Ken Berwitz

Suddenly I have a new-found respect for Al Gore.  He is right to say that the environment is being despoiled.  He's just got the wrong species in his crosshairs.

Following are excerpts from two articles published by Der Speigel - the first in July and the second just yesterday.  Read them and learn the facts about global warming!.

July 10, 2007

Changing Cows' Diet Could Cut Emissions

Cows are methane-making machines, with their inefficient digestion producing hundreds of liters of the greenhouse gas every day. Now scientists are looking at ways to make things go down a little more gently for the ruminanting grass-munchers.

While people are being asked to reduce the amounts of flights they take and make their homes more energy efficient, what they put on their plates could be having as big an impact on climate change. Gas-guzzling SUVs and badly insulated buildings are partly to blame for the earth's greenhouse gas emissions, but it seems the humble grass-munching cow is also a major culprit.

Agriculture is responsible for producing 37 percent of global methane emissions, a gas that is 23 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. And much of this gas comes from the burps of ruminating animals such as cows and sheep. If a cow's manners could be improved a bit, then the world might just stop warming quite so fast. And it could be as simple as getting them to graze on different types of plants. Scientists at the University of Aberystwyth are now working on using plant-breeding methods to develop new diets for livestock.

Normally a cow's stomach is pretty inefficient -- 80 percent of food ingested comes out as waste or methane. The average cow produces between 300 and 500 liters of methane a day, most of it through belching. "There is a common misperception about how methane gets into the atmosphere," Michael Abberton, a scientist at the Aberystwsth's Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, said Monday. "It is actually through belching rather than the other end."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 21, 2007

Norway's Moose Population in Trouble for Belching

The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year.

Bacteria in a moose's stomach create methane gas which is considered even more destructive to the environment than carbon dioxide gas. Cows pose the same problem (more...).

Norway has some 120,000 moose but an estimated 35,000 are expected to be killed in this year's moose hunting season, which starts on September 25, Norwegian newspaper VG reported.  .

Ok!  NOW we know the REAL cause of global warming - not to mention that foul odor you sometimes come across while walking through a cow pasture, mooselands or the nearest butcher shop.

Since Mr. Gore is a man of action (we knew that after seeing him kiss Tipper at the 2000 convention - no, I am NOT calling Ms. Gore a cow or a moose), I expect that he will do what has to be done immediately.

First off, he has to attack vegetarians.  It is clear that meat eaters are doing the world a great service by lowering the risk of global warming.  Every slab of roast beef or prime rib is a blow against these blatant, burping, flatulating polluters!  And every time the vegetarian crowd convinces someone to stop eating meat, another cow lives to burp and flatulate at will!  This must be stopped!

Secondly, Mr. Gore must join the NRA or whatever similar organization exists in Norway and go on the moose hunt with them.  By slaughtering 35,000 moose (mooses?  meese?) each year, these wonderful folks are making the air cleaner for everyone.  This obviously should be celebrated.  Besides, the antlers make great coat racks.

Ok, I admit that Norway is a long distance from the good old USA.  So maybe Gore can take care of this in Canada instead.  Plenty of moose up there. 

SHOOT that sucker before he burps again.  The planet you save may be your own!


AN APOLOGY DEMAND FROM THE PROFESSIONALLY OPPRESSED

Ken Berwitz

Jesse Jackson has demanded an apology for slavery again.  This time he is demanding it from......

....the Arab countries that traded in African slaves for 1,000 years before Europe got into the act?  Nope, not them

....the African tribes that were enthusiastically complicit in the slave trade because they got money for expendable humans and rid themselves of their enemies in the bargain -- especially the Ashanti?  Nope, try again.

....the African purveyors of slavery that exist even today, in places like Mauritania and Sudan?  Sorry, that won't get you to the lightning round either.  I'll give you one more try.

...the British, who ended slavery even before we did and have worked dilligently to end it everywhere else for the better part of two centuries?  BINGO.  You got it.

I know what you're thinking:  Berwitz has to be kidding, right?  Well, no.  Read this:.

Jackson calls for slavery apology

US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has called on Britain to apologise and make reparations for its role in the slave trade.

During a visit to Bristol, the Rev Jackson, 65, said he was disappointed that British cities had not apologised.

Speaking at the Empire and Commonwealth Museum, the Rev Jackson said: "There must be some place to apologise for the wrong in a moral sense."

Bristol has never formally apologised for its links to slavery.

In 1982, however, the former Bishop Of Clifton, Mervyn Alexander asked forgiveness for the human misery caused by the trade

"It does not surprise me but it disappoints me that there has been no apology," said the Rev Jackson.

Operation Black Vote said the Economics of Colour event in the city had celebrated the "political dynamism" of the city's black and minority ethnic communities.

More than 500 supporters rose to their feet as the Rev Jackson took to the stage.

Mr Jackson will also visit Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford during his week-long tour.  .

Unbelievable?

Nope.  Not unbelievable.  This is Jesse Jackson - one of the professionally oppressed. 

Nothing is unbelievable when you're dealing with the professionally oppressed.

 


A POLITICAL SMEAR JOB YOU WON'T HEAR AS MUCH ABOUT (GUESS WHY)

Ken Berwitz

Would you like to see a political smear involving a sickening attack on religious groups? 

Ok. Here's one. 

Please read this Associated Press article, and then let's talk about it:.

Furor Over Religion in La. Gov's Race

Aug 22, 10:43 AM (ET)

By MELINDA DESLATTE

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A political ad from the Louisiana governor's race is drawing a storm of criticism for accusing Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal of calling Protestants "scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical."

    Democrats say the state party's 30-second TV spot - running in heavily Protestant central and north Louisiana - simply explains Jindal's beliefs with his own words, using portions of the Catholic congressman's religious writings through the 1990s, before he was an elected official.

    Jindal, who is running for governor, said the ad distorts his writings.

    A lawyer for his campaign has sent a letter to nine television stations saying the commercial is defamatory and asking them to stop showing it. Fellow Republicans and the head of a national Catholic organization called the ad a smear campaign.

    State Democratic Party officials said they won't drop it.

    A spokeswoman for the Democratic Party said the ad is slated to run for about a week. It features an actress saying Jindal doesn't respect other people's religions and directs viewers to a Web site with links to several articles Jindal wrote on Catholicism.

    "He wrote articles that insulted thousands of Louisiana Protestants," the narrator says.

    A review of Jindal's writings on Catholicism, however, show his positions on faith to be more nuanced than the ad suggests.

    In a 1996 article for New Oxford Review, a Roman Catholic magazine, Jindal talks of the Catholic religion as the true Christian faith and refers to a "scandalous series of divisions and new denominations" of religions since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century.

    But he also wrote of the binding ties of Christianity and says the Catholic Church must incorporate the "spirit-led movements" of other Christian faiths.

    Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, a watchdog group, called the commercial a "scurrilous smear" job.

    "It's beneath contempt, an insult to everyone regardless of faith, and it will spell the Louisiana Democratic Party's own undoing," said Michael DiResto, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Louisiana.

    Neither of the major Democratic candidates, state Sen. Walter Boasso and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, has called for the ad to be withdrawn.

    Bob Mann, a former strategist for Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who isn't running for re-election in the Oct. 20 primary, said the ad distracts from more important topics in the governor's race, like hurricane recovery, health care and education.  .

    Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is something of a phenomenon in Louisiana.  He was born in Baton Rouge to recently-arrived Indian parents.  Religion-wise, Jindal converted from Hinduism to Catholicism in his teens.  He is a graduate of Brown University and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) 

    Jindal is a two term congressman from the outskirts of New Orleans who won his last election with over 7/8ths of the vote.  Wow and double wow.  He is running for Governor - his second try for that position.

    Here, from Wikipedia is a compendium of Bobby Jindal's accomplishments.- an accurate one, I assure you.  As you read them, consider that he is all of 36 years old, and feel free to shake your head in disbelief:..

    At the age of twenty-four, he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals by Republican Governor Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.; he served from 1996 to 1998. [2]. From 1998 to 1999, he was executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. He was also the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System between 1999 and 2001. Newly-elected President George W. Bush appointed him Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation; he held that post from 2001 to 2003.

    He is the only Indian-American currently serving in Congress, and the second in congressional history after Dalip Singh Saund, a Democrat who represented California's 29th District from 1957 to 1963.

    He was chosen by Scholastic Update magazine as "one of America's top 10 extraordinary young people for the next millennium."

    He was India Abroad Person of the Year 2005[3]

    In 1997, he married Supriya Jolly (born 1972). The couple has three children, Celia, Shaan, and Slade. .

    Now there's a guy you don't want to be running against.  So what is the Democratic machine - those wonderful folks who gave Louisiana kathleen blanco and ray nagin - going to do about it?  Why they're going to accuse him of religious intolerance, that's what. 

    And how are they going to do it?  By mangling the meaning of something he wrote years and years ago and projecting that mangled meaning to every Protestant in the state. 

    This is a smear.  It is a lie.  It is a fraud.  It is the dirtiest of dirty politics.  And it is something that mainstream media are barely covering.

    Knowing all this, did you really have to be told Jindal is a Republican?  I thought not..

    J Hauser The State motto of La should be changed to *Corruption At Its BEST*. It would be really catchy on auto plates! (08/22/07)


    A POLITICAL SMEAR JOB YOU WON'T HEAR AS MUCH ABOUT (GUESS WHY)

    Ken Berwitz

    Would you like to see a political smear involving a sickening attack on religious groups? 

    Ok. Here's one. 

    Please read this Associated Press article, and then let's talk about it:.

    Furor Over Religion in La. Gov's Race

    Aug 22, 10:43 AM (ET)

    By MELINDA DESLATTE

      BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A political ad from the Louisiana governor's race is drawing a storm of criticism for accusing Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal of calling Protestants "scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical."

      Democrats say the state party's 30-second TV spot - running in heavily Protestant central and north Louisiana - simply explains Jindal's beliefs with his own words, using portions of the Catholic congressman's religious writings through the 1990s, before he was an elected official.

      Jindal, who is running for governor, said the ad distorts his writings.

      A lawyer for his campaign has sent a letter to nine television stations saying the commercial is defamatory and asking them to stop showing it. Fellow Republicans and the head of a national Catholic organization called the ad a smear campaign.

      State Democratic Party officials said they won't drop it.

      A spokeswoman for the Democratic Party said the ad is slated to run for about a week. It features an actress saying Jindal doesn't respect other people's religions and directs viewers to a Web site with links to several articles Jindal wrote on Catholicism.

      "He wrote articles that insulted thousands of Louisiana Protestants," the narrator says.

      A review of Jindal's writings on Catholicism, however, show his positions on faith to be more nuanced than the ad suggests.

      In a 1996 article for New Oxford Review, a Roman Catholic magazine, Jindal talks of the Catholic religion as the true Christian faith and refers to a "scandalous series of divisions and new denominations" of religions since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century.

      But he also wrote of the binding ties of Christianity and says the Catholic Church must incorporate the "spirit-led movements" of other Christian faiths.

      Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, a watchdog group, called the commercial a "scurrilous smear" job.

      "It's beneath contempt, an insult to everyone regardless of faith, and it will spell the Louisiana Democratic Party's own undoing," said Michael DiResto, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Louisiana.

      Neither of the major Democratic candidates, state Sen. Walter Boasso and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, has called for the ad to be withdrawn.

      Bob Mann, a former strategist for Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who isn't running for re-election in the Oct. 20 primary, said the ad distracts from more important topics in the governor's race, like hurricane recovery, health care and education.  .

      Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is something of a phenomenon in Louisiana.  He was born in Baton Rouge to recently-arrived Indian parents.  Religion-wise, Jindal converted from Hinduism to Catholicism in his teens.  He is a graduate of Brown University and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) 

      Jindal is a two term congressman from the outskirts of New Orleans who won his last election with over 7/8ths of the vote.  Wow and double wow.  He is running for Governor - his second try for that position.

      Here, from Wikipedia is a compendium of Bobby Jindal's accomplishments.- an accurate one, I assure you.  As you read them, consider that he is all of 36 years old, and feel free to shake your head in disbelief:..

      At the age of twenty-four, he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals by Republican Governor Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.; he served from 1996 to 1998. [2]. From 1998 to 1999, he was executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. He was also the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System between 1999 and 2001. Newly-elected President George W. Bush appointed him Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation; he held that post from 2001 to 2003.

      He is the only Indian-American currently serving in Congress, and the second in congressional history after Dalip Singh Saund, a Democrat who represented California's 29th District from 1957 to 1963.

      He was chosen by Scholastic Update magazine as "one of America's top 10 extraordinary young people for the next millennium."

      He was India Abroad Person of the Year 2005[3]

      In 1997, he married Supriya Jolly (born 1972). The couple has three children, Celia, Shaan, and Slade. .

      Now there's a guy you don't want to be running against.  So what is the Democratic machine - those wonderful folks who gave Louisiana kathleen blanco and ray nagin - going to do about it?  Why they're going to accuse him of religious intolerance, that's what. 

      And how are they going to do it?  By mangling the meaning of something he wrote years and years ago and projecting that mangled meaning to every Protestant in the state. 

      This is a smear.  It is a lie.  It is a fraud.  It is the dirtiest of dirty politics.  And it is something that mainstream media are barely covering.

      Knowing all this, did you really have to be told Jindal is a Republican?  I thought not..

      J Hauser The State motto of La should be changed to *Corruption At Its BEST*. It would be really catchy on auto plates! (08/22/07)


      AN APOLOGY DEMAND FROM THE PROFESSIONALLY OPPRESSED

      Ken Berwitz

      Jesse Jackson has demanded an apology for slavery again.  This time he is demanding it from......

      ....the Arab countries that traded in African slaves for 1,000 years before Europe got into the act?  Nope, not them

      ....the African tribes that were enthusiastically complicit in the slave trade because they got money for expendable humans and rid themselves of their enemies in the bargain -- especially the Ashanti?  Nope, try again.

      ....the African purveyors of slavery that exist even today, in places like Mauritania and Sudan?  Sorry, that won't get you to the lightning round either.  I'll give you one more try.

      ...the British, who ended slavery even before we did and have worked dilligently to end it everywhere else for the better part of two centuries?  BINGO.  You got it.

      I know what you're thinking:  Berwitz has to be kidding, right?  Well, no.  Read this:.

      Jackson calls for slavery apology

      US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has called on Britain to apologise and make reparations for its role in the slave trade.

      During a visit to Bristol, the Rev Jackson, 65, said he was disappointed that British cities had not apologised.

      Speaking at the Empire and Commonwealth Museum, the Rev Jackson said: "There must be some place to apologise for the wrong in a moral sense."

      Bristol has never formally apologised for its links to slavery.

      In 1982, however, the former Bishop Of Clifton, Mervyn Alexander asked forgiveness for the human misery caused by the trade

      "It does not surprise me but it disappoints me that there has been no apology," said the Rev Jackson.

      Operation Black Vote said the Economics of Colour event in the city had celebrated the "political dynamism" of the city's black and minority ethnic communities.

      More than 500 supporters rose to their feet as the Rev Jackson took to the stage.

      Mr Jackson will also visit Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford during his week-long tour.  .

      Unbelievable?

      Nope.  Not unbelievable.  This is Jesse Jackson - one of the professionally oppressed. 

      Nothing is unbelievable when you're dealing with the professionally oppressed.

       


      THE NEW YORK TIMES: SIT-DOWN COMEDY

      Ken Berwitz

      Stand-up comedy is when a comedian stands up in front of you and makes you laugh.  But these days we have sit-down comedy.  That's when you sit down reading the New York Times, and it makes you laugh. 

      Let me give you a case in point.

      Following is the lead editorial in today's Times.  Please read it carefully and then let's talk about its comedy value:.

      Stacking the Electoral Deck

      Published: August 22, 2007

      The Electoral College should be abolished, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. A prominent Republican lawyer in California is doing it the wrong way, promoting a sneaky initiative that, in the name of Electoral College reform, would rig elections in a way that would make it difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, no matter how the popular vote comes out. If the initiative passes, it would do serious damage to American democracy.

      California currently gives all 55 of its electoral votes- the biggest electoral college prize in the nation -to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote. Virtually all states use this winner-take-all method. The California initiative, which could go to a vote in June, would instead give the 2008 presidential candidates one electoral vote for every Congressional district that they win, with an additional two electoral votes going to whoever got the most votes statewide. (Democrats appear to have backed off from plans to try just as anti-democratic a trick in North Carolina, which is good.)

      The net result of the California initiative would be that if the Democratic candidate wins in that state next year, which is very likely, the Republican candidate might still walk away with 20 or more of the state's electoral votes. The initiative, backed by a shadowy group called Californians for Equal Representation, is being promoted as an effort to more accurately reflect the choices of the state's voters, and to force candidates to pay more attention to California, which is usually not in play in presidential elections. It is actually a power grab on behalf of Republicans.

      The Electoral College should be done away with, but in the meantime, any reforms should improve the system, not make it worse. If California abandons its winner-take-all rule while red states like Texas do not, it will be hard for a Democratic nominee to assemble an Electoral College majority, even if he or she wins a sizable majority of the popular vote. That appears to be just what the backers of the California idea have in mind.

      If voters understand that the initiative is essentially an elaborate dirty trick posing as reform, they are likely to vote against it. But judging by the misleading name of their organization, the initiative's backers want to fool the public into thinking the change would make elections more fair. They are planning on putting it to a vote in June 2008, an election when there will be few other things on the ballot, and turnout is expected to be extremely low. This bad-faith initiative is yet another example of the ways in which referenda can be used for mischief and a reminder of why they are a bad way to resolve complex public-policy issues.

      Opponents of the initiative announced yesterday that they are sponsoring their own, rival initiative, which would commit California to a national plan that aims to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president. That idea makes much more sense.

      Leading Republicans, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been silent about the initiative to split California's electoral votes, but they should be speaking out against it. The fight isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats. It is about whether to twist the nation's system of electing presidents to give one party an unfair advantage. No principled elected official, or voter, of either party should support that. .

      Wow.  Where do we begin?  Ok, here's a place: 

      -Maine has had a version of the district-by-district vote since 1972 and Nebraska has has the same version since 1992.  The Times doesn't even mention them in this editorial nor do they attack either state for changing over to the system.  In other words, this was okey-dokey until California - a state where appreciable Democratic votes could be lost if it is implemented - was in play. 

      That's good for a laugh or two - laughs of derision but laughs notwithstanding.

      -Then we have the point, towards the bottom of this editorial, that the Times would like us to move toward a national popular election.  Well, doesn't the California initiative move appreciably in that direction?  Instead of millions of Californians who vote Republican being completely disenfranchised, it gives them a number of electors approximate to their actual voting strength.  Just like Maine and Nebraska.  Hey, that's good isn't it? 

      It certainly is good if you want to bring the country closer to a national election  - and the NY Times deigns this to be a good thing in the same editorial.  Someone ought to introduce one half of the editorial to the second half.  They seem not to have met. 

      Another belly laugh.

      -And let's not forget the shameless partisan spin - A "prominent Republican lawyer" and a "shadowy group" are behind this "dirty trick". 

      Of course the editorial also has to include the fact that what they are doing is putting forth an INITIATIVE that the state will either vote for or against.  (Oh, no, Mr. Bill)!:  In other words, the only way this becomes the law of California is if a majority of Californians vote for it.  Not because of the prominent lawyer or the shadowy group.  But because of a POPULAR VOTE.  

      If you aren't laughing now, you have no sense of humor.

      Yep, that New York Times.  Once it was thought of as the paper of record.  Now the only difference between the Times and a tabloid is that there is a different fold and bigger words.  But sit-down comedy too?  Who would have thought......

       


      A COUPLE OF FACTS THAT YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW

      Ken Berwitz

      This commentary is not meant to insult your intelligence. Most people probably know these facts anyway.  My only purpose is to put it in writing so you know that I know too:

      -When terms like "absolute positive proof" and "incontrovertible" are used to describe something, it is usually good if the something is absolutely, positively and incontrovertibly true.

      Those terms do NOT describe a report by a discredited "journalist" with ties to the opposition party, who - seven years after the fact - suddenly comes up with a few people who make claims they haven't made for all this time about an election that the "journalist"'s party lost.. 

      I love the explanation  - that no one asked them!.  Nah, no one questioned the ballots in Florida in 2000.  There's a credible premise for you.  Right up there with the dog at my SUV.

      That, of course, ends the issue right there, but I decided to do something I suspect Barry didn't do - I read the transcript this BS is linked to.  And among the facts in that story are the following:

      ..Buried within the story is that "Many analysts blamed the problems on a confusing vote layout".  That, of course, is something the voting machine company had exactly nothing to do with.  Well, who did?  Which party runs Palm Beach like a little feifdom?  Why...the DEMOCRATIC party, that's which one. 

      Chefs cover their mistakes with mayonnaise, doctors cover their mistakes with dirt and apparently Florida Democrats cover their mistakes by blaming everyone else. 

      ..Also in the transcript, problems were found in a number of other states as well, including Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Ohio, Indana, Missouri and Texas.  That covers a lot of ground and a lot of both Republican and Democratic areas.  So maybe, just maybe, the glitches in the  touchscreen system were not directed against the Democratic party, they were just glitches that could affect both parties.  Maybe Republicans lost  elections because of them.

      There are other facts within the transcript that debunk Barry's claim beyond the ones I've cited, but how many do you need?  You can use his link to read them for yourself.  But it's probably a waste of time, since if you can't see through this after what I've already posted, nothing is likely to get you to do so.

      I don't know for sure, but my suspicion is that Barry has, again, pulled a verbatim attack from one of the hard-left sites he seems to rely on for "absolute, positive, incontrovertible" truth.  Since he wants this stuff to be true, and it was there in black and white, he didn't have to check further.  It became reality. 

      That, folks, is how the hard left ropes otherwise intelligent people like Barry in.  They turn them into wholly owned subsidiaries who just spout what they see there as if there were no other side to the story

      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      -Next, can anyone explain why tax cuts have caused a high foreclosure rate?  Of course not.  The foreclosure rate is being driven by subprime lending practices and various "creative" ways of financing mortgages.  It could be that I'm just dense here, but I'm having trouble seeing why a lower tax bill each year is making me lose my home. 

      Years ago, Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (BDS).  Simply stated, this means that there are people who hate President Bush so much that they have no problem tying anything they don't like about him to anything negative that happens, whether or not it has anything to do with him.  The claim that lower income tax causes home foreclosures is an excellent example of BDS. 

      Using that "logic", it would also follow that the more you raise a homeowner's taxes the less likely his/her home is to be a foreclosure.  Does that make any sense?   

      President Bush lowered our taxes.  That did not cause an increase in foreclosures.  Period.

      steve schneider you read my comment. steve (08/22/07)


      Buy Our Book Here!


      Return to Current Blog
      We're Hopelessly Partisan

      hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


      About Us



      Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


      At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

      So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

      And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!