Monday, 28 January 2008

MORE POTS AND KETTLES

Ken Berwitz

If the reports are correct, today Senator ted kennedy will endorse Barack Obama (or Osama Obama as he once called him) for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The key reason for Mr. kennedy's endorsement appears to be that, on behalf of his wife Hillary, Bill Clinton has made a series of intemperate, over the top attacks on Mr. Obama.

This being the case, I thought I would remind readers of why Mr. kennedy would qualify as an expert on such attacks. Except for the first two (which are accurate, and have been added so you can fully appreciate the ones that follow), here is a sampling:

"For two years, terrorist cells have been spreading like cancer cells. Any doctor who let that happen would be guilty of malpractice.  "

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction. "

"It's now clear that from the very moment President Bush took office, Iraq was his highest priority as unfinished business from the first Bush Administration. His agenda was clear: find a rationale to get rid of Saddam." 

"No matter how many times the Administration denies it, there is no question they misled the nation and led us into a quagmire in Iraq. "

"Shamefully we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management. "  
 
"There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." (NOTE:  President Bush did not say there was an imminent threat.  He said we can't wait until the threat is imminent)

"The President's handling of the war has been a toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance, and stubborn ideology. No amount of Presidential rhetoric or preposterous campaign spin can conceal the truth about the steady downward spiral in our national security since President Bush made the decision to go to war in Iraq. "

"Today, we say the only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush. "

"The Republicans are looking after the financial interests of the wealthiest individuals in this country. " (NOTE:  Senator kennedy is one of the wealthiest individuals in this country)

"Make no mistake about it! There is an organized movement against organized labor and it's called the Bush Administration. "

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids....

Yes, folks, this is the man who has dumped Hillary Clinton on the grounds that Hubby Bill makes intemperate comments.

Oh, excuse me:  I forgot one other ted kennedy quote -- maybe the single most truthful of the bunch.  It was made in 1969 from a location near Chappaquidick:

"Dad, I'm in some trouble. There's been an accident and you're going to hear all sorts of things about me from now on. Terrible things"

Sammy ted kennedy is about the last person to be criticizing anybody for stupid remarks. (01/28/08)


GEORGE HABASH: R.I.H.

Ken Berwitz

Here is the key segment of the New York Times' obituary of geoge habash.  It tells you everything you need to know about him.

George Habash, Palestinian Terrorism Tactician, Dies at 82

George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a hard-line Marxist group that shocked the world with a campaign of airline hijackings and bombings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died Saturday of a heart attack in Amman, Jordan. Although accounts varied, he was believed to be 82.

He had a severe heart attack, and he died instantly, Leila Khaled, a longtime Front associate and herself a high-profile airplane hijacker in 1969, told Al Jazeera by telephone from the Jordan Hospital, where Mr. Habash had been a patient. He also had cancer.

The Palestinian ambassador to Jordan, Atala al-Khairy, said Mr. Habash had been in the hospital for a week and that he died after a surgical procedure to implant a stent.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, ordered three days of mourning and flags lowered to half-staff in the Palestinian territories.

Mr. Habash was best known as the Palestinian leader who adapted modern terrorist tactics as a weapon in the conflict with Israel. From the bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969 to the simultaneous hijacking of three Western airliners to Amman, Jordan, in September 1970, the Front stayed in the news with high-profile attacks that other Palestinian groups never seemed able to match.

When we hijack a plane it has more effect than if we kill a hundred Israelis in battle, he told the German magazine Der Stern in 1970. For decades, world public opinion has been neither for nor against the Palestinians. It simply ignored us. At least the world is talking about us now.

But his list of enemies did not stop at Israel. He was sharply critical of existing Arab governments, most of which he said should be overthrown; of a long series of attempts at peace negotiations; and of his longtime rival, Yasir Arafat. A stubborn opponent of the Oslo accords, Mr. Habash refused to set foot in the areas under the nominal control of the Palestinian Authority.

In turn, he earned the enmity of King Hussein of Jordan, who in 1970 expelled all the Palestinian guerrilla factions who had been threatening his rule most notably that of Mr. Habash in a brief but fierce civil war remembered by Palestinians as Black September..

george habash, R. I. H. 

May he Rot In Hell.


MUSTA GOT A NEW SET OF GLASSES.......

Ken Berwitz

This is not going to sit well with Wifey Hill or Hubby Bubba.  Or is it?

Morrison Endorses Obama for President

Jan 28, 9:27 AM (ET)

By NEDRA PICKLER

WASHINGTON (AP) - The woman who famously labeled Bill Clinton as the "first black president" is backing Barack Obama to be the second.

Author Toni Morrison said her endorsement of the Democratic presidential candidate has little to do with Obama's race - he is the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas - but rather his personal gifts.

Writing with the touch of a poet in a letter to the Illinois senator, Morrison explained why she chose Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton for her first public presidential endorsement.

Morrison, whose acclaimed novels usually concentrate of the lives of black women, said she has admired Clinton for years because of her knowledge and mastery of politics, but then dismissed that experience in favor of Obama's vision.

"In addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates," Morrison wrote. "That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it.

"Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace - that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom," Morrison wrote.

In 1998, Morrison wrote a column for the New Yorker magazine in which she wrote of Bill Clinton: "White skin notwithstanding, this is our first black president. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas."

Obama responded to Morrison's endorsement with a written statement: "Toni Morrison has touched a nation with the grace and beauty of her words, and I was deeply moved and honored by the letter she wrote and the support she is giving our campaign." .

Some time ago I blogged that it is easy to pretend  a poor substitute is ok until you get the real thing.  Then you see the poor substitute for what it is.

In that context, Toni Morrison has gone from claiming a White man is Black to claiming that a half Black man is preferable to a White Black man's wife.

While you're trying to figure out what the #^%$%@*$ to make of that, let me point out that Ms. Morrison's endorsement of Obama may be working at least as much for the Clintons as it would for Obama.  Why?  Because it is someone who made a big deal out of how much being Black means to her, now endorsing a candidate who is Black. 

The Clintons are going to see this as another nail in Obama's coffin, another "Yep, he's that BLACK candidate alright" moment.  In other words, a further marginalizing of Obama.  And, sad to say, they have a point.

I don't know, maybe Toni Morrison shouldn't have written that piece for The New Yorker in 1998.  Maybe she should have just talked about who would make a good President. 


FLORIDA POLL FROLIX: PRIMARY EVE

Ken Berwitz

Ready to play the political poll frolix game again? 

Ok, this time we're doing Florida.  Following are the latest polls available for Republicans and Democrats:

Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

McCain

Romney

Giuliani

Huckabee

Paul

Spread

RCP Average

01/22 - 01/27

-

29.8

29.3

15.5

12.8

3.8

McCain +0.5

Rasmussen

01/27 - 01/27

578LV

31

31

16

11

4

Tie

SurveyUSA

01/27 - 01/27

608 LV

31

32

16

13

5

Romney +1.0

InsiderAdvantage

01/27 - 01/27

789 LV

28

27

16

13

4

McCain +1.0

Reuters/CSpan/Zogby

01/25 - 01/27

818 LV

33

30

14

11

2

McCain +3.0

Suffolk

01/25 - 01/27

400 LV

30

27

13

11

4

McCain +3.0

Strategic Vision (R)

01/25 - 01/27

600 LV

27

26

17

15

5

McCain +1.0

Quinnipiac

01/24 - 01/27

585 LV

32

31

14

13

3

McCain +1.0

Mason-Dixon

01/22 - 01/23

400 LV

26

30

18

15

3

Romney +4.0

Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

Clinton

Obama

Edwards

Spread

RCP Average

01/22 - 01/27

-

47.8

29.0

14.4

Clinton +18.8

SurveyUSA

01/27 - 01/27

564 LV

49

29

14

Clinton +20.0

Strategic Vision (R)

01/25 - 01/27

600 LV

49

36

11

Clinton +13.0

Quinnipiac

01/24 - 01/27

481 LV

50

30

12

Clinton +20.0

Rasmussen

01/26 - 01/26

437 LV

44

25

19

Clinton +19.0

Mason-Dixon

01/22 - 01/23

400 LV

47

25

16

Clinton +22.0

Tomorrow night we'll see how these polls made out.  Based on their sterling record for the other states, what do you expect?

The guy to keep your eye on, of course, is Rudy Giuliani.  If these polls accurately reflect tomorrow's result he is on life support.  If they don't, and he is either competitive or wins, this remains a three person race.

One other point:  I know that there are no delegates at stake for Democrats.  But if Obama does a lot better than the data suggest (which my gut tells me is going to happen) Hillary Clinton is in dire trouble.

It won't be long now.


LAMBVILLE, VERMONT

Ken Berwitz

"We're letting him slip through our fingers!":   Lee. J. Cobb, in "12 Angry Men", as the guy who wanted to convict and personally pull the electric chair switch on an innocent man because he was ashamed of his own failure.

Ok, I knew if we looked around we would find a place or two that qualify as LAMBville --  the home of enough Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade members to earn the name.

It turns out that Brattleboro, Vermont is very much one of them. 

Here, see for yourself:

Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney

By
Susan Smallheer Herald Staff

BRATTLEBORO Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

The Brattleboro Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put the controversial item on the Town Meeting Day warning.

According to Town Clerk Annette Cappy, organizers of the Bush-Cheney issue gathered enough signatures, and it was up to the Select Board whether Brattleboro voters would consider the issue in March.

Cappy said residents will get to vote on the matter by paper balloting March 4.

Kurt Daims, 54, of Brattleboro, the organizer of the petition drive, said Friday the debate to get the issue on the ballot was a good one. Opposition to the vote focused on whether the town had any power to endorse the matter.

"It is an advisory thing," said Daims, a retired prototype machinist and stay-at-home dad of three daughters.

So far, Vermont is the only state Bush hasn't visited since he became president in 2001.

Daims said the most grievous crime committed by Bush and Cheney was perjury lying to Congress and U.S. citizens about the basis of a war in Iraq.

He said the latest count showed a total of 600,000 people have died in the war.

Daims also said he believed Bush and Cheney were also guilty of espionage for spying on American people and obstruction of justice, for the politically generated firings of U.S. attorneys.

Voting to put the matter on the town ballot were Chairwoman Audrey Garfield and board members Richard Garrant and Dora Boubalis.

Voting against the idea were board members Richard DeGray and Stephen Steidle.

Daims said the names submitted to the town clerk's office were the second wave of signatures the petition drive had to collect, because he had to rewrite the wording of the petition.

He said he gathered nearly 500 signatures in about three weeks, and he said most people he encountered were eager to sign it. He started the petition drive about three months ago.

"Everybody I talked to wanted Bush to go," he said, noting that even members of the local police department supported the drive.

"This is exactly what the charter envisioned as a citizen initiative," Daims said. "People want to express themselves and they want to say how they feel."

He said the idea is spreading: Activists in Louisville, Ky., are spearheading a similar drive, and he said activists were also working in Montague, Mass., a Berkshires town.

The article asked the town attorney to "draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities."

The article goes on to say the indictments would be the "law of the town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro police ... arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro, if they are not duly impeached ..."

Daims said people in Brattleboro were willing to "think outside the box" and consider the issue.

Daims had no compunction in comparing Bush and Cheney with one of the most notorious people in history.

"If Hitler were still alive and walked through Brattleboro, I think the local police would arrest him for war crimes," Daims said.
.

So, in the eyes of the lead LAMB and a few hundred of his best pals,  the town of Brattleboro has the authority to arrest the President and Vice President because it has decided that the entire rest of the legal system is letting them slip through our fingers.  And, as an extra added attraction, there is that parallel with adolf hitler.

I promised you LAMBville.  Dd I deliver, or what?

I'll just bet that Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy win this town by a landslide. 


A FISH TALE, FOR REAL

Ken Berwitz

If the following story (from Agence France Presse) doesn't come under the heading "you can't make stuff like this up" nothing does:

Japanese girl's letter returned 15 years later ... by fish

Fri Jan 25, 1:30 PM ET

A letter that a young girl in Japan sent into the sky in a balloon some 15 years ago has been found on a fish hauled from 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) below the Pacific.

A fisherman found the still legible piece of paper sitting on a sticky flatfish in his catch on Thursday, along with a torn-off string and the fragment of a red balloon.

He opened the folded paper, discovering it was a handwritten letter from a six-year-old girl at an elementary school in Kawasaki, 150 kilometres (93 miles) away from where the fish was caught off Choshi port.

The sender, Natsumi Shirahige, and her friends released letters as part of events to mark the school's 120th anniversary, which was in 1993.

"Our school is 120 years old... If you pick up this letter, please write to me," the letter reads, listing the school's address.

The 52-year-old fisherman said the letter was a nice surprise.

"I've been in fishing for a long time but this is unbelievable," the smiling man told the Asahi television network.

Shirahige, now a 21-year-old university student, said: "I can't get over the wonder of how the letter survived 15 years. I never expected I'd get a reply this way.".

I wonder if postage was due on the letter.  If so, you certainly can't expect the fisherman to pay it;  he probably works for scale.

On the other hand, maybe he paid anyway, just for the halibut.

Ok, that's enough.  These puns are so bad, even I've had it up to the gills with them.


PALESTINIAN PROPAGANDA

Ken Berwitz

How committed are the media to palestinian Arab propaganda?  Here's a perfect example, courtesy of www.littlegreenfootballs.com:

Gaza buried in flour

posted Monday, 28 January 2008

The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed under the headline "Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza." The authors are Eyad al-Sarraj, identified as founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, identified as senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won't even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.
You don't need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day.

A typographical error at the Boston Globe? Hardly. The two authors used the same "statistic" in an
earlier piece. They copied it from an article published in the Ahram Weekly last November, which reported that "the price of a bag of flour has risen 80 per cent, because of the 680,000 tonnes the Gaza Strip needs daily, only 90 tonnes are permitted to enter." Sarraj and Roy added the bit about this being "a reduction of 99 percent."

Note how an absurd and impossible "statistic" has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard "research scholar," and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can't do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that "reduction of 99 percent" becomes a well-attested fact.

What's the truth? I see from a 2007
UN document that Gaza consumes 450 tons of flour daily. The Palestinian Ministry of Economy, according to another source, puts daily consumption at 350 tons. So the figure for total consumption retailed by Sarraj and Roy is off by more than three orders of magnitude, i.e. a factor of 1,000. No doubt, there's less flour shipped from Israel into Gaza--maybe it's those rocket barrages from Gaza into Israel?--but even if it's only the 90 tons claimed by Sarraj and Roy, it isn't anything near a "reduction of 99 percent." Unfortunately, if readers are going to remember one dramatic "statistic" from this op-ed, this one is it--and it's a lie.

Sarraj is a psychiatrist, but his co-author, Sara Roy, bills herself in her
bio as a "political economist." Her research, the bio reports, is "primarily on the economic, social and political development of the Gaza Strip." You would think someone with this claim to expertise would know better than to copy some impossible pseudo-statistic on the consumption of the most basic foodstuff in Gaza. Indeed, in a piece she wrote a decade ago, she herself put Gaza's daily consumption of flour at 275 tons. Did she even read her own op-ed before she sent it off to Boston's leading paper? If she did, what we have here is a textbook example of the difference between a "political economist" and an economist.
 
Just multiply this by several times and then think of it as an everyday experience.
 
Now you've got it.


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