Monday, 17 December 2007

R.I.P. DAN FOGELBERG

Ken Berwitz

I was not a fan of most music from the 60's and 70's.  But Dan Fogelberg was an occasional exception.

He did some pretty nice, low-key stuff - most notably "Longer" - which was not only pleasing to listen to, but had a meaning (unlike most of the other material being foisted on us at that time).

This weekend, Mr. Fogelberg died too young (age 56) of prostate cancer.

May he rest in peace.


IS THERE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR TEACHER IDIOCY?

Ken Berwitz

Would you have told the little girl she could not use a regular knife to cut a steak in school, then taken the knife (preferably after using it to cut her steak) and told her to have her mother pick it up?

Would you have just taken the knife from the little girl and given her an acceptable one to cut her steak with?

Or would you have called the sheriff and had her arrested and charged with a felony?

Here's what the academic bright lights at the Sunrise School in Ocala Florida did, courtesy of www.wftv.com:

WFTV.com

Knife At Lunch Gets 10-Year-Old Girl Arrested At School

POSTED: 5:41 pm EST December 14, 2007
UPDATED: 4:36 pm EST December 17, 2007

A 10-year old Ocala girl brought her lunch to school and a small kitchen knife to cut it. She now faces a felony charge after being arrested. The school and the sheriff's office disagree on the reason for the arrest.

School officials say the 5th grader was brown-bagging it. She brought a piece of steak for her lunch, but she also brought a steak knife. That's when deputies were called.

It happened in the cafeteria at Sunrise Elementary School. The 10-year-old used the knife to cut the meat.

"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian.

But a couple of teachers took the utensil and called the sheriff. When deputies arrived, they were unable to get the child's parents on the phone, so they arrested her and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.

"And we didn't handcuff her or treat her like a criminal. But, we took her to the assessment center to be assessed," said Capt. James Pogue, Marion County Sheriff's Office.

School officials said it doesn't matter what the knife was being used for. They said they had no choice.

"Anytime there's a weapon on campus, yes, we have to report it and we aggressively report it because we don't want to take any chances, regardless," Christian said.

But the sheriff's office said the extreme measures in what some may say was a harmless incident had to do with school policy, not theirs.

"But once we're notified, we have to take some type of action," Pogue explained.

The student now faces a felony charge for the possession of a weapon on school property and the principal suspended her for ten days. The parents of the girl could not be reached for comment.

The sheriff's office has turned the case over to the State Attorney's Office. .
 
Are these people crazy, stupid or both?
 
Is there any capacity for acting intelligently at this school?  You've seen the evidence;  you tell me.


A TASTE OF THE FUTURE: PART 31

Ken Berwitz

Here is my latest installment of how the future will look if radical Islam makes good on its stated intention to take over the world and subject it to shari'a law.  The article comes from www.foxnews.com.

Muslim Brides Undergoing Painful Vaginal Surgery to 'Re-virginize' for Wedding Nights

Monday , December 17, 2007

On her wedding night, Aisha Salim will hand her blooded sheets to her in-laws as proof of her virginity, according to a story in The Daily Telegraph of Australia.

But theres one problem. Being a modern English university graduate, she is far from the traditional untouched Muslim bride.

Like most woman her age, Salim has smoked, drank, had sex and even lived with one of her past boyfriends.

However, if the devout Muslim family of her soon-to-be husband or even her own family knew this, she could be murdered.

Aisha has opted to have her virginity surgically restored in a delicate but painful surgery called hymenoplasties -- where the hymen is re-created from the already torn tissue, or a new membrane is inserted.

"If my husband cannot prove to his family that I am a virgin, I would be hounded, ostracised and sent home in disgrace, Salim told Englands Daily Mail.

My father, who is a devout Muslim, would regard it as the ultimate shame. The entire family could be cast out from the friends and society they hold dear, and I honestly believe that one of my fanatically religious cousins or uncles might kill me in revenge, to purge them of my sins. Incredible as it may seem, honour killings are still accepted within our religion.

"Ever since my family arranged this marriage for me, I've been terrified that, on my wedding night, my secret would come out. It has only been since my surgery last week that I've actually been able to sleep properly. Now, I can look forward to my marriage."

Salim is far from alone in seeking such drastic -- and almost barbaric -- surgery.

The rise in Islamic fundamentalism has seen 24 women in the U.K. have the procedure between 2005 and 2006.

"I've always adored my parents, Salim said.

My father, now 62, is a retired accountant and my mother raised a family of seven sisters in a five-bedroom house in Birmingham.

"I attended the local Catholic secondary school and although I wore a scarf on my head, I refused to wear a veil, telling my parents that it would make me stand out too much.

"I was one of the girls, totally accepted by my white, English friends whose lives revolved around shopping and fancying boys.

"But the moment I stepped over the doorstep, normal teenage life would cease and it was like entering an entirely different world. At home, we had to pray together five times a day.

"We weren't allowed to watch television. My parents were so worried that Western influences might take our minds off the most important things -- education and religion -- that we were never allowed to bring any schoolfriends home.

"But it made all the things my friends did more attractive to me. I would sneak out on Saturday afternoons and join them in town, hanging around, shopping and chatting to boys," Salim added. .

Take a good look.  Because this is what will replace western civilization if we allow it to.  And it will be the way YOU live.

If we fight against radical islam we may win and we may lose.  If we do not, we will most assuredly lose because, either way, they will continue fighting.  And if they win, our culture and our civilization is over, to be replaced by what?  Adult women having their hymens surgically recreated so that they can "prove" virginity on their wedding night?  Women who fear being ostracized, divorced and even murdered by their own family if they do not re-invent their "purity" for men they did not pick to be their husbands and may not even know?          

God help the people who want to live this way.  I know I'm not one of them.  Are you?

We play political games with this lunacy at our own peril.


WHEN MAKEUP ISN'T ENOUGH

Ken Berwitz

This picture, which I just lifted from www.drudgereport.com, is not meant as a commentary for or against Hillary Clinton.  It is meant as a visual commentary on what a gruelling campaign does to candidates - both female and male.


 

 


REJECTED

Ken Berwitz

In case you were wondering, here are the latest box office figures for "Redacted".  Redacted is an angry attack on the war in Iraq and the quality of our troops.  It was bankrolled by mark cuban, the semi-rational owner of the Dallas Maverick basketball team and directed by Brian De Palma who should have known better.

After 4 weeks, www.boxofficemojo.com reports that the total worldwide gross for "Redacted" is........(Ta-da-da DAAAA da-DAAAAAAAAAA).......

TOTAL LIFETIME GROSSES
Domestic:  $63,882    29.7%
+ Foreign:  $151,397    70.3%

= Worldwide:  $215,279  

To add to the fun, a total of 104 moviegoers rated "Redacted" on an A to F scale.  it received 94 ratings of F.

However, it is reported that "Redacted" got a ten minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.  I guess that's where they drew the 4 "A" ratings.

Who says movie people are out of touch with the real world?


HILLARY FIRES UP THE WARMTH....

Ken Berwitz

I love this little pictorial by www.sweetness-light.com.  It really does say it all, so here it is without further comment:

Hillarys Latest Charm Offensive - Photos

December 17th, 2007

Perhaps you have heard about Hillarys latest determination to be liked or else.

Of course the wire services are doing their part:

What media bias?

Still, as the saying goes, the secret of success is sincerity. If you can fake that, youve got it made.

The trouble is Hillary cant even fake it.

.


DOES THIS GET HER ANOTHER EMMY?

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the Philadelphia Daily News, is the kind of article you don't see every day. 

The arrogance, elitism, profanity and insults are Ms. Lane's.  The bold print is mine:

Anchor Lane arrested in NYC

PHILLY ANCHOR Alycia Lane is scheduled to appear on TV tomorrow night in "Celebrate the Season," an annual special highlighting holiday cheer in the Delaware Valley.

Not so fast.

The suits at CBS 3 and the CW Philly may have to reconsider broadcasting the special since Lane was arrested early yesterday on charges of punching a New York City cop in the face.

According to the police complaint, the Emmy-winning anchor yelled at the female police officer, "I don't give a f--- who you are, I'm a f---ing TV reporter, you f---ing dyke," according to Philadelphiawilldo.com, a Philadelphia Weekly blog.

The Daily News exclusively reported Lane's arrest yesterday on PhillyGossip.com. She was nabbed at 2:04 a.m. at 17th Street and 9th Avenue in lower Manhattan, said New York City police spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves.

Lane, 35, her current honey, Q102 morning host Chris Booker, and another couple were in a cab behind a slow-moving unmarked cop car, the New York Post reported. One of the males jumped out and headed to the police vehicle, screaming, "I don't care if you're a cop, drive faster!" the newspaper said.

The officers got out and identified themselves to Lane and company, and Lane began to take photos, according to the paper. The female cop asked her to step back and that's when Lane lost it, according to the Post.

A station source said Lane's iPhone was confiscated by cops as evidence.

Lane was charged with one count of assault with intent to cause physical injury to an officer, Nieves said.

The 10th Precinct officer suffered laceration wounds to her face, Nieves said.

Lane was released on her own recognizance by 5 p.m. yesterday. No bail was set. A hearing was scheduled for April 3.

Her lawyer, Manhattan-based David Smith, defended his client.

"Miss Lane never hit or ever said any derogatory comments to anyone," he told the Daily News.

Lane was "accosted by several individuals wearing plainclothes," Smith said. "They attempted to grab her camera to prevent her from taking photographs of an altercation they [plainclothes people] were involved in. Miss Lane was shocked to learn after the fact that these individuals were police officers."

The high-profile anchor, who has been with CBS3 since 2003, "respects police officers and has done several positive profiles of them in the Philadelphia area," Smith said.

Lane and Smith "are confident" that after a full investigation, she will be cleared of the charges," he said.

Yesterday, during an open-house staff holiday party at CBS3 offices on Spring Garden Street near 15th, news of the arrest spread quickly in an otherwise jovial atmosphere, station sources said. Employees spoke in hushed tones about the arrest to their colleagues and the mood soon turned serious.

"We have no official comment at this time except to say that we are very concerned for Alycia," said station spokeswoman Joanne Calabria. "We are still trying to sort out exactly what happened."

"No decision has been made" regarding her duties, station sources said.

Lane made national headlines in May when the New York Post reported that she had e-mailed bikini photos of herself to married NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen, which upset his wife, Suzy Shuster. Lane said she and Eisen had been platonic friends for 10 years. .

Hey, if Ms. Lane really has a positive image of police and really thinks the policewoman is a dyke, maybe she'll send her a few of those bikini pictures....


WHEN PEOPLE DEMAND RIGHTS THEY DON'T HAVE....

Ken Berwitz

I was going to write a relatively extensive opinion about the battle of legal business enterprise and illegal aliens in Phoenix.  But it occurred to me that the best way to do it is to just add the words which remind you of their illegal status where appropriate.  That tells the story better.

I will now post an article from the December 9 edition of The Arizona Republic.  You'll see where I've added those words and how they put things in perspective :

Outside Phoenix store, border debate rages on

Emotional protests at local battleground mirror national fight

Casey Newton
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 9, 2007 12:00 AM

On East Thomas Road in Phoenix, the national shouting match over immigration unfolds week by week in a neighborhood that has changed in the same ways Arizona has.

Sheriff's deputies patrol the parking lot at M.D. Pruitt's Home Furnishings each Saturday, ensuring that no day laborers (who are here illegally ) trespass on the property. Day-labor advocates mount protests nearby, blaring Mexican folk music while children (of the illegals) dressed in traditional garb (traditional to Mexico, not the United States) dance on the sidewalk.

Pruitt's opened 57 years ago, but only recently did day laborers (who are here illegally ) gather in large numbers to seek work on the sidewalks and parking lots of nearby businesses. The subdivisions that stretch back from Thomas Road have seen more and more Hispanic families (who are here illegally ) arrive, changing the character of the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the country's roiling debate over (illegal) immigration continues unabated.

A compromise that would have given illegal immigrants a way to become citizens fell apart in Congress earlier this year amid angry protests.

Since then, the battle has only grown angrier. Citizens furious over government inaction have called for the border to be sealed and for more illegal immigrants to be deported. The battle lines have been drawn.

In Phoenix, those lines lead straight to 35th Street and Thomas, where the owners of a family furniture store say they struggle to understand how such a divisive battle ever erupted in front of their showroom.

After weeks of keeping his distance, Phoenix's mayor now says he's prepared to enter the fray. He wants to sit down with the Pruitt's owners and the (illegal) laborers' spokesman to develop a solution to the escalating conflict.

But until a compromise is reached, some involved in the protests worry the conflict could boil over into violence.
 
For a time, the jornaleros (who are here illegally) congregated mostly at the new Home Depot. When Home Depot cracked down on the (illegal) laborers in 2005, they moved closer to Pruitt's.

In an interview Friday, Michael Sensing said the laborers (who are here illegally) frequently used the Pruitt's parking lot as a place to find work.

They would approach Pruitt's customers in their vehicles. Female customers shopping alone complained about feeling intimidated by the laborers (who are here illegally),  Sensing said.

When Sensing hired off-duty police to patrol his lot, laborer advocate (for people who have no legal right to be here)  Salvador Reza began staging weekly protests, accusing the Sensings of harassment. Reza insists that no day laborers (who are here illegally) trespassed at Pruitt's.

Gordon's staff worked with the Sensings and with Reza to broker a truce. On Dec. 6 of last year, after negotiations between the men, Pruitt's agreed to stop hiring the police patrols. In return, Reza agreed to work with the laborers (who are here illegally) to keep them off Thomas and pledged to help create a day-labor center.

For a while, the truce worked. But for a variety of reasons, which remain in dispute, the day-labor center never materialized.

This spring, the day laborers (who are here illegally) returned to Thomas Road, numbering around 140 a day, according to a log Sensing keeps. Although they stayed off Pruitt's property, they were close enough that the Sensings were concerned that past problems would re-emerge.

When Phoenix refused to send off-duty officers to the site, the Sensings turned to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Sensing said his father asked Arpaio only to patrol the area and enforce no-trespassing laws. But during the Sheriff's Office's first weekend on patrol, deputies arrested six illegal immigrants.

Reza felt the truce had been broken and resumed his protests (on behalf of people with no legal right to be here ). The Sensings hired off-duty sheriff's deputies, and since then they have worked only when Reza and his followers are protesting, Sensing said.

If Reza would stop protesting, Sensing said, he would happily stop hiring the deputies. Reza said Sensing has to quit hiring the deputies first.

After all, each deputy costs the Sensings $30 an hour,and with the housing-market slump and the hundreds of protesters outside Pruitt's each Saturday, the furniture business hasn't exactly been booming.

What really keeps Michael Sensing up at night, he said, is the thought that people may think of his family as racists.

"Even walking through the store, going out to lunch or dinner, if I'm passing someone who's Hispanic, I'm thinking, do they think I'm racist?" said Sensing, whose staff is about 55 percent Hispanic. "It's really sad. We feel like we've been a good part of this community."
.

The article continues, but you get the idea.

I keep wondering what "rights" people who are here illegally have.  And in particular, given the subject matter of this story, what rights they have to trespass on private property. 

If illegals have that right, they have one that legals don't have (in actuality, there are many places around the USA where illegals have rights that legals don't have.  They are treated as some kind of an elevated, protected species).

What I wonder about even more, is when the country of Mexico is blamed for this situation.  Mexico is a rich country with millions of people perfectly willing to work, who cannot get any work or support their families.  Why is that? 

What is MEXICO doing about it?  Why is the USA Mexico's safety valve?  There isn't enough gold ore, and silver ore, and tourist trade, and industry and agriculture there to support its people?  Where are the benefits of these assets going?

Now those are a few questions we should all want an answer to.  Especially the people who are here illegally.


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