Wednesday, 28 November 2007

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Ken Berwitz

I do this periodically, and today's the day.  Here they are, in no particular order:

-I can't think of anyone I've seen in recent years who comes across as more guilty than drew peterson, except maybe van der sloot and the kalpoe brothers down in Aruba.

-Dan Abrams seems on a mission to outdo keith olbermann as a sneering hard-leftist.  Olbermann is still way ahead, though.

-We just got a Garmin nuvi 360 GPS unit (i.e. a gizmo that uses satellite technology to tell you driving instructions).   I refuse to buy one as original equipment in a car, because they cost $1,500 - 2,000 and never leave the dashboard.  The Garmin unit cost us $329 at Amazon.com with free shipping, has the absolute latest technology, and can move from car to car - even to a rental car if we need it on vacation.  That's much smarter.

-Shame on Lisa Mascaro of the Las Vegas Sun and Lisa Anderson of the Chicago Tribune, both of whom promised to get back to me on my inquiries about their reporting (Mascaro on the telephone, Anderson via Email) and neither of whom have done so.  What is it about that name Lisa anyway?

-When is john kerry going to "prove" the Swiftboat Veterans For Truth  were lying, and extract that million dollars T. Boone Pickens offered if he could do it?  Have you noticed that kerry's promise to debunk their claims ended at the point when he SAID he'd do so?  If he has proof why wasn't it out there the next day?  Given that kerry also promised, many times, to release all his military records and has never done so leads me to assume - unless shown otherwise - that he can't disprove a thing the swifties said and is hoping you forget the whole thing.

-While we're on the subject of when things are going to happen, remember that incident weeks ago when a noose was found on a Black Professor's office door at Columbia University teacher's college?  Well when is Columbia University and/or the NYPD going to tell us what they found from the 56 hours of video tapes they had from the evening the noose was placed there?  The tapes certainly have been reviewed by now, and they certainly would have shown how the noose got there.  If this doesn't make you suspicious that Columbia a) knows how the noose got there and b) doesn't want anyone to find out the truth - more than likely because it was intentionally put there by someone who wanted to be able to scream "racism" -  you are not a very suspicious person at all.

-Post Grape Nuts trail mix cereal with almonds and raisins is delicious.

-Why isn't there a sign on the Bronx side of the Throgs Neck Bridge that points you toward the Hutchinson River Parkway? 

-I agree that Johann Santana is the best pitcher available right now, maybe the best there is in baseball.  But why would the Yankees give up several of their best pitching prospects and their starting centerfielder to get him?  If just one of those prospects, say Phil Hughes,  turns into a quality starter, he'll give them 12 - 15 wins.  That's probably within five or so games of what they'd get from Santana.  And the additional games they'd win by retaining center fielder Melky Cabrera (who led the league in outfield assists last year) would probably more than make up even that difference.  Then add in the fact that the salary of Hughes, Cabrera AND the other prospects they'd have to give up would still be just a tiny fraction of what they'd have to pay for Santana alone, and the trade makes little sense.  That said, however, sometimes teams get big eyes when they can cop a big star, so they wind up making a foolish trade to get him. Since the Yankees lead the league in that department, it won't surprise me at all if Santana winds up in pinstripes. 

-Every Time I hear Hillary Clinton tell me she has 35 years of experience I want to grab the TV and scream "doing WHAT?!!!".

-There are few things in life less realistic than "reality" shows.

-De Piero's Farm store in Montvale New Jersey (exit 172 on the Garden State Parkway, make a right and go less than a quarter mile) really does have excellent quality foods.  It's a pleasure to be there.

-I called Verizon to inquire about their "unlimited calling plan".  After about 537 voice menus, an assurance that they would not hold it against me if I didn't sign up and a threat that the call might be monitored, I finally got a human being on the other end of the line.  He asked me a couple of ridiculous questions ("what area exchanges do you enjoy calling most" was my favorite).  Then I finally was able to extract a cost from him.  It was $20 more a month than Optimum On Line, and didn't include as many calling features.  How do these people stay in business?

-Can anyone explain the attraction of scented toilet paper? 


PEACE PARTNER UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

This comes from the invaluable site www.littlegreenfootballs.com.   If you were an Israeli, would you consider the people behind it to be peace partners?

Palestinian Authority TV Erases Israel from Map

Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 10:20:33 am PST

The day after Annapolis, Palestinian Authority Television shows viewers a world without Israel.

Video here. (Windows Media format.) .

Now that is a novel way to engage in a peace partnership.  By pretending the partner you're supposed to make peace with doesn't exist.

This is one of the "dirty little secrets" mainstream media seem determined not to tell people about;  i.e. palestinian Arabs in Gaza and Judea/Samaria (the west bank) do not recognize or indicate in any way the legitimate existence of Israel.  Not even one square inch of it. 

Another is that palestinian Arab textbooks teach their children the same thing - that Israel does not exist as a legitimate state.

Another is that the same textbooks also teach their children that Jews are subhumans - the spawn of monkeys and pigs.

Another is that the children's programming on "palestinian TV" teaches the exact same thing.

And all of this is perpetuated under abu abbas (or abu mazen, his other name), the "Prime Minister" of whatever part of the territories hamas allows him to be Prime Minister of.  The same guy with that big warm smile shaking hands with the Israeli Prime Minister in Annapolis. 

There is no peace process. I wish I could say otherwise but I can't.  Things are as they are.


THE SARKOZY DIFFERENCE. MAYBE

Ken Berwitz

It is very likely that you are unaware of the riots in Paris, which have gone on for several days now.  Mainstream media in the USA have largely avoided covering them.  And the limited coverage they have received usually omits the fact that the rioters are Muslims. 

Hey, we can't IDENTIFY who is rioting if they're Muslim, can we?  That would be...uh....profiling?  Racist?  Help me out here.

In any event, the last time there were major riots among Parisian Muslims, in 2005, jerk chirac was in charge and they continued for weeks.  Did police stop them or did they peter out more from exhaustion on the part of the rioters?  It seemed to me that exhaustion was what did it.

Well, now Nicolas Sarkozy is in charge.  And after a few days he is talking very tough.  Read this BBC account and see:.

Sarkozy issues warning to rioters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to bring to justice rioters who shot at police in Paris in urban unrest that followed the death of two youths.

Mr Sarkozy, visiting policemen injured in the riots, said such shootings could not be tolerated.

He also met families of the teenagers killed in a collision with a police car and pledged to hold a judicial inquiry.

Mr Sarkozy then headed into crisis talks with key ministers to prevent the spread of three nights of rioting.

There was a decrease in violence on Tuesday night, but there were still arson attacks in some parts of Paris and in the southern city of Toulouse.

'Search for truth'

Mr Sarkozy touched down from a state visit to China on Wednesday morning and headed straight to a hospital in Eaubonne, northern Paris, to visit some of the 120 officers injured in the rioting.

Afterwards he said: "Opening fire at officials is completely unacceptable... [this] has a name - attempted murder... Those who take it into their hands to shoot at officials will find themselves in court.

"It is not something that we can tolerate, no matter how dramatic the deaths of these two youngsters on a motorbike may be."

POST-2005 PLEDGES
Introduction of measures for training 50,000 youths in 2007
Vow to crack down on illegal immigration
Funding outlined for community projects in "sensitive areas"
EU offers 50m euros for projects to improve the suburbs
Call for action to help non-whites get fair treatment

Mr Sarkozy later met the families of the two teenagers, both of North African descent, and said he was opening a judicial inquiry into the deaths.

A lawyer for the families, Jean-Pierre Mignard, welcomed the move, saying it would allow relatives and their representatives "to participate actively in the search for the truth".

Mr Sarkozy then held emergency talks at the Elysee Palace with Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and other senior members of the government.

Extra police were deployed to prevent further violence on Tuesday night.

Violence was down, but dozens of cars and several buildings were still set on fire in the worst-hit suburb, Villiers-le-Bel, in the north of the capital.

Petrol bombs were also thrown in Les Mureaux, north-west of Paris, and a flaming chair was thrown through the window of a school in Vitry-sur-Seine, south of the capital.

In Toulouse, about 20 cars were torched.

However, clashes with police were limited and only a few officers were hurt.

Mr Fillon said: "The situation is much calmer than the two previous nights but we can all feel that it remains fragile.

"The government will do all it can to ensure that order returns as soon as possible."

Initial findings

Relatives of the two teenagers have insisted that police rammed the motorcycle the boys were riding before leaving them to die on Sunday.

The initial findings of an internal police probe, which found that police were not to blame, sparked anger in Villiers-le-Bel.

Police say the motorcycle was going at top speed and was not registered for street use, while the two boys - who have been named only as Moushin, 15, and Larami, 16 - were not wearing helmets and had been ignoring traffic rules.

Police unions have said the rioting is more intense than during weeks of clashes in the French suburbs in 2005, because firearms are now more frequently used.

The 2005 unrest, also sparked by the deaths of two youths, spread from a nearby suburb of Paris to other cities and continued for three weeks, during which more than 10,000 cars were set ablaze and 300 buildings firebombed. .

Does Sarkozy mean it?  Will he do what has to be done?  The answer is......maybe. 

He is certainly saying what should be said.  Now let's see if he walks the walk.


THE DUMBING DOWN OF OUR CHILDREN (cont.)

Ken Berwitz

Do you know what fuzzy math is?  Do you know what havoc it can wreak upon schoolchildren? 

I'll let Michelle Malkin explain:.

Fuzzy Math: A Nationwide Epidemic
By Michelle Malkin
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do you know what math curriculum your child is being taught? Are you worried that your third-grader hasn't learned simple multiplication yet? Have you been befuddled by educational jargon such as "spiraling," which is used to explain why your kid keeps bringing home the same insipid busywork of cutting, gluing and drawing? And are you alarmed by teachers who emphasize "self-confidence" over proficiency while their students fall further and further behind? Join the club.

Across the country, from New York City to Seattle, parents are wising up to math fads like "Everyday Math." Sounds harmless enough, right? It's cleverly marketed as a "University of Chicago" program. Impressive! Right? But then you start to sense something's not adding up when your kid starts second grade and comes home with the same kindergarten-level addition and subtraction problems -- for the second year in a row.

And then your child keeps telling you that the teacher isn't really teaching anything, just handing out useless worksheets -- some of which make no sense to parents with business degrees, medical degrees and Ph.D.s specializing in econometric analysis. And then you notice that it's the University of Chicago education department, not the mathematics department, that is behind this nonsense.

And then you Google "Everyday Math" and discover that countless moms and dads just like you -- and a few brave teachers with their heads screwed on straight -- have had similarly horrifying experiences. Like the Illinois mom who found these "math" problems in the fifth-grade "Everyday Math" textbook:

A. If math were a color, it would be --, because --.

B. If it were a food, it would be --, because --.

C. If it were weather, it would be --, because --.

And then you realize your child has become a victim of "Fuzzy Math," the "New New Math," the dumbed-down, politically correct, euphemism-filled edu-folly corrupting both public and private schools nationwide.

And then you feel like the subject of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" as you take on the seemingly futile task of waking up other parents and fighting the edu-cracy to restore a rigorous curriculum in your child's classroom. New York City teacher Matthew Clavel described his frustration with "Everyday Math" in a 2003 article for City Journal:

"The curriculum's failure was undeniable: Not one of my students knew his or her times tables, and few had mastered even the most basic operations; knowledge of multiplication and division was abysmal. . . . what would you do, if you discovered that none of your fourth-graders could correctly tell you the answer to four times eight?"

But don't give up and don't give in. While New York City remains wedded to "Everyday Math" (which became the mandated standard in 2003), the state of Texas just voted before Thanksgiving to drop the University of Chicago textbooks for third-graders. School board members lambasted the math program for failing to prepare students for college. It's an important salvo in the math wars because Texas is one of the biggest markets for school textbooks. As Texas goes, so goes the nation.

Meanwhile, grass-roots groups such as Mathematically Correct (mathematicallycorrect.com) and Where's The Math? (wheresthemath.com) are alerting parents to how their children are being used as educational guinea pigs. And teachers and math professionals who haven't drunk the p.c. Kool-Aid are exposing the ruse. Nick Diaz, a Maryland educator, wrote a letter to his local paper:

"As a former math teacher in Frederick County Public Schools, I have a strong interest in the recent discussion of the problems with the math curriculum in our state and county. . . . The proponents of fuzzy math claim that the new approach provides a 'deep conceptual understanding.' Those words, however, hide the truth. Students today are not expected to master basic addition, subtraction and multiplication. These fundamental skills are necessary for a truly deep understanding of math, but fuzzy math advocates are masters at using vocabulary that sounds good to parents, but means something different to educators."

Members of the West Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Society of Professional Engineers also stepped forward in their community:

"For 35 years, we have been subjected to a failed experiment, 'new math.' Mathematics depends on individual problem-solving ability to arrive at the correct answer. Math does not lend itself to 'fuzzy' answers. The solution is to recognize the failure of the Constructivist Curriculum as it relates to mathematics and science, eliminate it and return to the hard core basics using texts like the Singapore Math."

If Fuzzy Math were a color, it would be neon green like those Mr. Yuk labels warning children not to ingest poisonous substances. Do not swallow!  .

Here's a scary little series to contemplate:   If people are dumbed down they become helpless.  If you make them helpless you own them.  If you dumb down children, you own them forever.

Maybe this would be a very good time to find out if the schools in your area are teaching basic math.  Wouldn't you say?


CLINTON LIES TO YOUR FACE. AGAIN

Ken Berwitz

This is from the invaluable site www.sweetness-light.com.  It exposes our once and (if he can swing it) future co-president as the liar he is and has always been:.

Bill Clinton Now Says He Opposed Iraq War

November 27th, 2007

From the short-term memory loss sufferers at the New York Times:


Bill Clinton Flatly Asserts He Opposed War at Start

By PATRICK HEALY

November 28, 2007

During a campaign swing for his wife, former President Bill Clinton said flatly yesterday that he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning a statement that is more absolute than his comments before the invasion in March 2003.

Before the invasion, Mr. Clinton did not precisely declare that he opposed the war. A week before military action began, however, he did say that he preferred to give weapons inspections more time and that an invasion was not necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.

At the same time, he also spoke supportively about the 2002 Senate resolution that authorized military action against Iraq.

Advisers to Mr. Clinton said yesterday that he did oppose the war, but that it would have been inappropriate at the time for him, a former president, to oppose in a direct, full-throated manner the sitting presidents military decision.

Mr. Clinton has said several times since the war began that he would not have attacked Iraq in the manner that President Bush had done. As early as June 2004, he said, I would not have done it until after Hans Blix finished the job, referring to the weapons inspections there before the war.

At the time of those remarks, though, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York was not a presidential candidate, and Mr. Clinton was not campaigning on her behalf. Nor was she running for the nomination against a Democrat who opposed the invasion from the start Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton are in a tight race to win the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3; Mr. Clinton made his remark in Iowa yesterday, while his wife was campaigning in South Carolina.

One rival Democratic campaign circulated Mr. Clintons remark to reporters and, without speaking for attribution, accused him of fuzzing the historical record to make the Clintons appear more antiwar than they actually were at the time.

Mrs. Clinton voted in favor of a Senate resolution authorizing military action against Iraq in 2002. She has said she was misled by Mr. Bush, but has refused to apologize for her vote.

Mr. Clintons remark yesterday came in the context of opposition to Republican-backed tax cuts for wealthy Americans like himself, and how that loss of revenue affected financing for the military.

Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers, Mr. Clinton said.

Before the invasion, Mr. Clinton said there were alternatives to war.

Hes finally destroying his missiles, so lets give him a certain date in which, in this time, he has to destroy the missiles, Mr. Clinton said of Mr. Hussein on the eve of the war. Im for regime change, too, but theres more than one way to do it. We dont invade everybody whose regime we want to change.

Jay Carson, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said about the remark last night: As he said from the beginning and many times since, President Clinton disagreed with taking the country to war in Iraq without allowing the weapons inspectors to finish their jobs.

The kindest thing that can be said about Mr. Clinton is that he is a pathological liar.

Lest we forget, here is a transcript of Mr. Clintons remarks on Wednesday, December 16, 1998, when he was facing impeachment for perjury and other crimes, via CNN:


Transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike

CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered Americas armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraqs nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.  .

Remember that children's rhyme, "liar, liar, pants on fire"?  It makes me wonder whether Bill Clinton has any pants left at all.

Come to think of it, based on his favored activity when he ISN'T busy lying to our faces, maybe he doesn't need those pants. 


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