Thursday, 27 March 2008


Ken Berwitz

I'll let John Hinderaker of take this one.  It will appall you:

Free Mumia!

A panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence this morning. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to die for murdering a Philadelphia policeman in 1982. The court ordered that Mumia receive a new sentencing hearing, or else be sentenced to life in prison.

I haven't yet read the court's opinion, and the linked AFP article doesn't say what the grounds were. What I really want to point out is how AFP describes Mumia:

A US federal appeals court on Thursday overturned the death sentence passed against human rights campaigner Mumia Abu-Jamal, while upholding his conviction for the murder of a police officer.

There you have it: not "murderer" Abu-Jamal, but "human rights campaigner" Abu-Jamal. This is ludicrous, especially so since the only "human right" Mumia has campaigned for is his own "right" not to be executed as punishment for the crime he committed.

In 1981, wesley cook, who became a member of the black panther party and took on the name mumia abu-jamal, killed Officer David Faulkner.  He has never denied doing so.

This subhuman sack of excrement was sentenced to death, after four witnesses identified him -- and his own gun, which was missing five bullets was uncovered.  Ballistic tests showed the shell casings from his gun matched the bullets that killed Officer Faulkner.

But for over 20 years mumia abu-jamal has sat on death row while the usual cadre of Hollywood LAMBs defended him.  If they aren't kissing fidel castro's dirty butt they are kissing mumia's.   The Hollywood left loves people like this. 

And when someone has celebrity firepower like edward asner and a host of others, if he files enough motions from enough angles he is likely to find an idiot judge somewhere, who buys a day or two of passing notoriety for ruling in his favor.  That has been the story of wesley cook/mumia abu-jamal for all this time.

So now, in the eyes of Agence France Presse (AFP)  he is no longer a murderer, but rather a human rights activist?  A benevolent do-good fellow just interested in the rights of his fellow planetoid?  

It is to puke.


Ken Berwitz

For years, media have explained away their non-reporting of almost any good news from Iraq on the grounds that "if it bleeds, it leads".  This means that they are most likely to feature violent, bloody stories. (Why it also seems to mean that nothing but such stories are even in the news?  That's one they haven't explained.)

In the last week or so Iraq has regained lead-story status, because of the fighting in Basra and several bombings aimed at the Green Zone in Baghdad.  Media certainly have shown us they're serious about "if it bleeds, it leads".

But what about this story?

U.S. airstrike kills 60 gunmen in Hilla
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Thursday , 27 /03 /2008  Time 4:10:10

Hilla, Mar 26, (VOI)- More than 60 gunmen were killed on Wednesday evening as U.S. choppers fired rockets against buildings used by gunmen in central Hilla, 100 km south of Baghdad, Iraqi security source said.

"U.S. copters bombed sites used by gunmen in Hilla's neighborhoods of al-Askari, Ahmed Nader and Muhaizem, killing more than 60 militants and destroying some houses," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI).
From his part, Abdellatif Rayan, an MNF-Iraq media adviser who could not give an exact number of the gunmen killed during the airstrike told VOI that the operation was carried out as Iraqi forces requested an air support while clashing with gunmen in central Hilla.
Hilla, capital city of Babel, has been a scene of clashes that erupted between security forces and fighters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia.

Does this story bleed?  It sure does.  So it must lead, right?

Well, did you see it in your newspaper this morning (Baghdad is 8 hours ahead of New York, so it was available)?  Did you see it on a network morning show, if you watch one of them?  Did you hear it on commercial radio if you're listening in?

I'm betting the answer is no.  And I seriously doubt you will see it on the network news tonight - or, if you do, that it will be anywhere near the lead story.

So how come "if it bleeds, it leads" magically evaporates in this instance?  Does the fact that WE inflicted the bleeding on THEM have something to do with it?

Use your own judgment.  I already know what I think.


Ken Berwitz

Just when you thought keith olbermann and his suckup stooge rachel maddow couldn't get any lower, we have this, courtesy of Ken Shepherd at (if you have any problem retrieving the video of these two despicable low-lifes, you can see it by clicking here).

Keith Olbermann Sees McCain 'Buying More Depends'

By Ken Shepherd | March 27, 2008 - 14:53 ET

Leave it to liberals to pile on Sen. John McCain with cheap shots about his age, and we're not talking making jokes about him serving in the Civil War or what not. Mocking John McCain's age, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann imagined that the senator could easily segue from talking about foreign policy or the economy to talking about "buying more Depends or something like that." (h/t Conservative Punk)

"You can dissassociate yourself from that remark if you wish," Olbermann immediately added in his exchange with Rachel Maddow of the liberal Air America radio network.

Yesterday NewsBusters noted a liberal blogger who took a cheap shot at McCain's false teeth. McCain's teeth were bashed out by North Vietnamese tormentors during his time as a POW.


Ha ha ha, you're OLD, ha ha ha.  These are the idiotic comments you'd expect during recess in fourth grade (ok, maybe third grade).  But it is supposed to pass as commentary from olbermann and maddow. 

David Shuster was suspended from MSNBC for using the word "pimping" in association with Chelsea Clinton.  But olbermann and maddow can yuk it up about John McCain's age, olbermann can imply he is incontinent and MSNBC has no problem at all.  What an amazing display of dishonesty and bias.

John McCain, chronologically, is 71 years old and apparently in  as perfect health as a 6 year prisoner of war can ever be.  But as far as I'm concerned, olbermann and maddow, maturity-wise, are in their pre-teens, with little hope of progressing any further.

You cannot get lower than these two.


Ken Berwitz

Suppose I told you there was an Illinois state senator who, in six years, did not appear to have any significant accomplishments.  You'd probably say "Ok, he's a nothing.  What about it?"

Suppose I then told you there was an Illinois state senator who, in one year, sponsored 26 pieces of legislation that were enacted into law.  You'd probably say "Wow!  THIS is one amazingly successful guy.  Not at all like that clown you just mentioned before".

Now, suppose I told you that in both instances I was talking about the same Illinois state senator.  You'd probably say "What the &@%$#$@^&# is going on here?"

Good question. 

Let me answer, by putting up an excerpt from a larger article written by Todd Spivak.  I found it at  When reading it, please note that Mr. Spivak appears to be very much a Democrat and very much sympathetic to Mr. Obama (read the entire article by clicking here and see for yourself).  That makes his article all the more damning:

When asked about his legislative record, Obama rattles off several bills he sponsored as an Illinois lawmaker.

He expanded children's health insurance; made the state Earned Income Tax Credit refundable for low-income families; required public bodies to tape closed-door meetings to make government more transparent; and required police to videotape interrogations of homicide suspects.

And the list goes on.

It's a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

Republicans controlled the Illinois General Assembly for six years of Obama's seven-year tenure. Each session, Obama backed legislation that went nowhere; bill after bill died in committee. During those six years, Obama, too, would have had difficulty naming any legislative ­achievements.

Then, in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers.

The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James "Pate" Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

"I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen," State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. "Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

"I don't consider it bill jacking," Hendon told me. "But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book."

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama's stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics and he couldn't have done it without Jones.

Before Obama ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, he was virtually unknown even in his own state. Polls showed fewer than 20 percent of Illinois voters had ever heard of Barack Obama.

Jones further helped raise Obama's profile by having him craft legislation addressing the day-to-day tragedies that dominated local news ­headlines.

For instance. Obama sponsored a bill banning the use of the diet supplement ephedra, which killed a Northwestern University football player, and another one preventing the use of pepper spray or pyrotechnics in nightclubs in the wake of the deaths of 21 people during a stampede at a Chicago nightclub. Both stories had received national attention and extensive local coverage.

I spoke to Jones earlier this week and he confirmed his conversation with Kelley, adding that he gave Obama the legislation because he believed in Obama's ability to negotiate with Democrats and Republicans on divisive issues.

So how has Obama repaid Jones?

Last June, to prove his commitment to government transparency, Obama released a comprehensive list of his earmark requests for fiscal year 2008. It comprised more than $300 million in pet projects for Illinois, including tens of millions for Jones's Senate district.

Shortly after Jones became Senate president, I remember asking his view on pork-barrel spending.

I'll never forget what he said:

"Some call it pork; I call it steak."

Now you undertand the apparent contradiction in those two descriptions of the same man, Barack Obama.

And you also understand that Mr. Obama was just as ineffective as a state senator as he has been as a US senator.  His legislative record is demonstrably fraudulent.

Barack Obama is long on rhetoric and personal charisma, but woefully non-existent on accomplisments.  It is why they had to be cooked up for him by Emil Jones -- in return for tens of millions of dollars in payments received.

That is the true Barack Obama.  That is the nonentity Democrats are quite likely to make their presidential candidate.

Couple this information with the cornucopia of racist and anti USA bile from Obama's "spiritual mentor" jeremiah wright.  Add in the spate of anti-Israel staff he has around him and the hate-filled commentaries on Israel by wright.  Think about how Jews (next to Blacks, probably the most loyal bloc of Democatic voters) will react.

Now tell me about his election chances.  And understand why John McCain is smiling these days.

Ken Berwitz You just made them all, didn't you? Now, what about the fact that Obama's résumé from his state senate days is a complete fraud? That's what I wrote about and I don't see any comment about it. If I'm wrong, I WANT you to show me where, and I will retract immediately. But your problem is that I am not wrong and this is the truth about Barack Obama. (03/27/08)

barry sinrod Hey! This is supposed to be a partisan blog. So how come there are no remarks about Grandpa McCain and his missteps as he drags along the "traitor" Mr. Lieberman. McCain cannot read a teleprompter, he cannot remember where he is and he doesn't remember who the enemy is or who is training who where? Is that clear? (03/27/08)


Ken Berwitz

As most of our "neutral" press dutifully assure you that mcdermott, bonior and thompson didn't know a thing about who was funding their 2002 trip to Iraq, do yourself a favor and read this article from Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard.  

Just because they want you to be ignorant and helpless doesn't mean you have to be:

Jim McDermott: "We Don't Mind Being Used" by Saddam Hussein

Last night came the news that Saddam Hussein's regime paid for a high-profile trip taken by three congressional Democrats to Baghdad in the fall of 2002. The visit, by Democratic Representatives David Bonior, Jim Thompson, and Jim McDermott, was brokered by Muthanna al Hanooti, a Michigan resident with close ties to the Iraqi regime. Hanooti is being prosecuted for spying on behalf of Saddam's regime.

Reacting to the latest news, Mike DeCesare, a spokesman for Jim McDermott, one of the three congressmen, said his boss wasn't aware that the money came from Saddam Hussein's regime when he accepted it. He told me the same thing in 2004, when I asked him about the $5,000 McDermott had accepted for his legal defense fund from Shakir al Khafaji, one of Saddam Hussein's biggest U.S. boosters before the war. Khafaji, who accompanied the congressmen and made the arrangements for their visit, had run "expatriate" conferences in Baghdad for Saddam as recently as 2000. He also provided $400,000 to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter for Ritter's propaganda film on behalf of the former Iraqi regime. In an interview back in 2001, Ritter told me that Khafaji was "openly sympathetic" with Saddam Hussein.

All of this was public record -- available to the lawmakers with a Google or Nexis search. But they went anyway. Reacting to the news yesterday, Jim Thompson pleaded ignorance.

"Obviously, had there been any question at all regarding the sponsor of the trip or the funding, I would not have participated."

Thompson and McDermott would have us believe that they visited a sworn enemy of the United States -- one who had tried to assassinate a former president and declared that the "Mother of all Battles" had never ended -- without doing even the most basic research about who was funding their trip? That's hard to believe. And Bonior, who was from Michigan and had taken money from al Khafaji before, had no idea that he was backed by Saddam Hussein? When I spent a week reporting in Michigan for a story on Iraqi exiles, virtually every Iraqi I spoke to told me about al Khafaji and his dirty money. Is is possible that nobody ever mentioned this to Bonior, who recently chaired John Edwards' presidential campaign, before he traveled to Iraq with al Khafaji? Again, hard to believe.

In any case, they knew well that they would be used as propaganda tools before they left. This is how we put it in a piece on the trip back in October 2002:

EVEN BEFORE the Baghdad boys left Iraq, media outlets throughout the Middle East gleefully highlighted divisions in the U.S. government and the travels by the "antiwar" congressmen. The Iraq Daily, for example, published by Saddam's Ministry of Information, printed daily updates of the trip and posted them in English on their website.

For example, a September 30 report says, "the members of the U.S. Congress delegation has underlined that this visit aims to get acquainted with the truth of Iraq's people sufferings due to ongoing embargo which caused shortage in food and medicine for all Iraqi people." (That article appeared next to a report on Saddam's continuing financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers or, to use the paper's formulation, "intrepid Palestinian uprising martyrs." Also in that issue is an article by American white supremacist Matthew Hale, "Truth About 9-11: How Jewish Manipulation Killed Thousands.")...

So how does it feel to be used as a propaganda tool against your own country? McDermott, who was asked that question by CNN's Jane Arraf when he was still in Baghdad, said it feels fine. "If being used means that we're highlighting the suffering of Iraqi children, or any children, then, yes, we don't mind being used."

Once again? "We don't mind being used."


Ken Berwitz

I am copying the title of the article below, because I can't think of one that fits better.  It comes to us from, and will simultaneously educate and sicken you:

Palestinian Infanticide  

By Frimet Roth | Thursday, March 27, 2008

The welfare of Palestinian children has always stood at the center of the Middle East conflict. Whether in debates, in photographs or in casualty figures they are the substance of the local news.

In the early days of the Second Intifada, Israeli Brigadier General Benjamin Gantz (now Israel's military attache in the US) appeared on the popular American television program, Sixty Minutes, hosted by Bob Simon, in a segment entitled "
To Be Continued..." 

Predictably, the discussion turned to Palestinian children. With candor and prescience rarely encountered nowadays, Gantz tackled the issue head on. He asserted that Palestinians often deliberately place their children at the front lines of the clashes where they are killed, adding: "When they are sending their kids forward and they are firing at us and then the kids are in the killing zone so unfortunately, really unfortunately, those things happen."

Simon seemed aghast and asked: "Do you really think that the Palestinians are actually pushing their kids to the front line?"

Gantz affirmed this.

Simon, incredulous, pressed on: "With the objective of creating casualties?"

Gantz did not budge: "That's right, sir. I'm sure that they are trying to get the world to see that Israel is a terrible, cruel people and cruel army and that's really what they want to do."

By now, Simon seemed apoplectic: "Is this something that you can really imagine? That there are people who would do that, who would get their, their kids killed or wounded to make good television?"

When Gantz said yes, Simon concluded: "In other words, the Palestinians are really different from Israelis in that respect?"

Gantz: "Unfortunately."

For those mired in this awful ongoing war, his words could not ring truer.

To us, it is obvious that people who not only allow their children to chill out beside missile launchers, but who actually send them to die fighting, are not loving. In fact they do not fit any definition of "parent" that we can find.

People in the West may find this difficult to digest. Such conduct is considered child abuse in their societies. It is aberrant, criminal and punishable.

Moreover, they hear the incessant harangue of Palestinian spokesmen insisting they love and protect their children just the way Western parents do theirs. No Israeli army officer, not even Gantz, is going to convince them otherwise.

But perhaps Hamas MP, Fathi Hammad, could do the job. A speech he gave on February 29, 2008 and broadcast on the Al Aqsa television channel, is currently circulating on the Internet with English subtitles (see "We Used Women and Children as Human Shields"). It is compelling footage.

"For the Palestinian people", Hammad boasts in Arabic, "death has become an industry at which women excel and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this and so do the mujahideen and the children."

Hammad then confirms everything that Bob Simon found inconceivable:

"This is why they [the Palestinian people] have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine."

The Palestinians are careful to only utter these truths in Arabic and amongst themselves. Such revelations are never intended for wider consumption. Non-Muslims are only exposed to hand-picked, English speaking, articulate representatives, such as Dr. Hanan Ashrawi.

She was entrusted with the rebuttal of Gantz' allegations that day on Sixty Minutes, and did so with aplomb.

"To me this is the essence, the epitome, of racism", she railed indignantly. "They're telling us we are we have no feelings for our children? We're not parents? We're not mothers or fathers? This is just incredible."

Indeed it is. But we in the Middle East learned long ago that reality can be incredible. The staging of 12 year old Mohammed Al-Durah's shooting in October, 2000, which at first seemed ridiculously far-fetched has been almost definitively proven true.

That segment of 60 Minutes was entitled "To Be Continued..." because that was the caption on posters distributed across the Arab world depicting the final moments in the life of the allegedly slain 12-year old Al-Durah.

Hammad's speech demonstrates that Al-Durah was but one of many children sacrificed on the alter of the Second and extant Intifada by their own people.

It is high time that the West accepts that its attitudes toward parenting are not universal. Child sacrifices are still exalted in certain cultures today just as they were in ancient times.

Haddad summed it up thus: "It's as if [we] were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire death like you desire life."

I wonder how Dr. Ashrawi would respond to her comrade Haddad. After all, on 60 Minutes, she balked at being forced to "sink to the level of ...proving I'm human." and noted that "Even animals have feelings for their children."

Both she and Haddad were spot on. We Israelis do desire life, but more than anything, we desire our children's lives. We live for our children and we grieve interminably when they are murdered. And, yes, Dr. Ashrawi, animals do have more feelings for their children than the people who use their children as weapons do.

These are the people Israel is expected to negotiate peace with.



Ken Berwitz

This has nothing to do with politics, but I bet you'll enjoy reading it.

My older son, daughter-in-law and (magnificently beautiful and brilliant) grandson live in Northern New Jersey.  Behind their home is about 250 feet of heavily wooded township property, and behind that is the elementary school.

One day my daughter-in-law pointed out that a partially eaten bagel was wedged into a crevice in the back of their house.  My son assured her this wasn't his doing.  Since there had been workmen on the property that week, it was assumed that one of them was the culprit.

The next day they saw part of a brownie.  And no workmen had been on the property. 

Needless to say, my son and daughter-in-law became more than a little interested in how the food was getting there.

Enter Harry The Squirrel.

A day or two after the brownie, my daughter-in-law, now keeping a special eye out -  saw a very distinct-looking squirrel carrying, I think, a piece of bread in its mouth.  The squirrel brought the bread to their deck, then sat and casually munched on it.

It turns out that the squirrel, which they immediately named "Harry", was going to the dumpster in back of the elementary school, extracting food from its cafeteria discards, traveling across the wooded area and eating the food on their deck.  Harry, for some reason, prefers taking his meals there.

Now at this point you may be wondering how we know it is always the same squirrel.  Fair question. 

The answer relates to my previous comment that it is a very distinct looking squirrel.  You see, Harry is fat.  F A T.  Fat.

No doubt because it is feeding on human cafeteria food every day, Harry is about twice as round in the middle as any squirrel you've ever seen.  He is shaped like a pear. 

And he has little fear of humans too - at least of my son and his family.  He'll sit on the deck and eyeball them as he munches away. 

Our grandson, who is 14 months old, even calls him by name.

That is the story of Harry the squirrel.  I hope you like it.

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