Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Ken Berwitz

Question:  Did Barack Obama give Hillary Clinton the finger at a campaign rally after last week's debate?  Could he actually have been that arrogant, malevolent and flat-out dumb?

Answer:  Yes.  Yes, yes and yes.

Think I'm kidding?  I'm not. 

Here are two different camera angles for you.  Note which finger Mr. Obama uses to scratch his face when he mentions her name, note the reaction of the supporters he was speaking to (they understood perfectly) and then notice his broad grin, the one that says "yeah, I did it, isn't this great ?" 

He flips Ms. Clinton the bird about 20 seconds into the first video and 1:22 into the second.  It takes longer in the second video because that one prefaces his finger gesture with a minute of whining over his being asked about jeremiah wright and william ayers, and pretending that neither of those associations is of any interest to voters (yeah, right).

NOTE:  If you have trouble seeing either video, just click here and follow the links provided by Lee Cary of www.americanthinker.com.  Be sure to read his commentary as well):



This is a lesson for anyone who has been beguiled and deluded into thinking that Barack Obama is above such behavior.  Hillary Clinton may scream it in private, but he does it right in your face.

This is the guy we're supposed to vote for on the basis of his superior JUDGMENT???????


Ken Berwitz

It is possible that you are aware of Ben Stein's new movie, "Expelled", especially if you watch or read conservative media.  If you don't, it is more than a little possible that you are not aware that it even exists, let alone what it is about.

L. Brent Bozell has written a really good column on Mr. Stein's movie and what it tells us about the current state of liberality in the sciences. 

Here it is, every word.  See what you think:

Ben Stein vs. Sputtering Atheists

by L. Brent Bozell III
April 17, 2008

I confess that when the producers of Ben Steins new documentary Expelled called, offering me a private screening, I was less than excited.

It is a reality of PC liberalism: There is only one credible side to an issue, and any dissent is not only rejected, it is scorned. Global warming. Gay rights. Abortion rights. On these and so many other issues there is enlightenment, and then there is the Idiotic Other Side. PC liberalisms power centers are the news media, the entertainment industry and academia and all are in the clutches of an unmistakable hypocrisy: Theirs is an ideology that preaches the freedom of thought and expression at every opportunity, yet practices absolute intolerance toward dissension.

Evolution is another one of those one-sided debates. We know the concept of Intelligent Design is stifled in academic circles. An entire documentary to state the obvious? You can see my reluctance to view it.

I went into the screening bored. I came out of it stunned.

Ben Steins extraordinary presentation documents how the worlds of science and academia not only crush debate on the origins of life, but also crush the careers of professors who dare to question the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution and natural selection.

Stein asks a simple question: What if the universe began with an intelligent designer, a designer named God? He assembles a stable of academics experts all -- who dared to question Darwinist assumptions and found themselves expelled from intellectual discourse as a result. They include evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg (sandbagged at the Smithsonian), biology professor Caroline Crocker (drummed out of George Mason University), and astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez (blackballed at Iowa State University).

Thats disturbing enough, but what Stein does next is truly shocking. He allows the principal advocates of Darwinism to speak their minds. These are experts with national reputations, regular welcomed guests on network television and the like. But the public knows them only by their careful seven-second soundbites. Stein engages them in conversation. They speak their minds. They become sputtering ranters, openly championing their sheer hatred of religion.

PC liberalism has showered accolades on atheist author Richard Dawkins best-selling book The God Delusion. But when Stein suggests to Dawkins that hes been critical of the Old Testament God, Dawkins protests not that Stein is wrong, but that hes being too mild. He then reads from this jaw-dropping paragraph of his book:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, blood-thirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Dawkins has a website. Its slogan is A clear-thinking oasis.

Its understood that God had nothing to do with the origins of life on Earth. What, then, is the alternate explanation? Stein asks these experts, and their very serious answers are priceless. One theorizes that life began somehow on the backs of crystals. Another states electric sparks from a lightning storm created organic matter (out of nothing). Another declares that life was brought to Earth by aliens. Anything but God.

The most controversial part of the film follows Stein to the Dachau concentration camp, underlining how Darwins theories of natural selection led to the eugenics movement, embraced by Adolf Hitler. If there is no God, but only a planetary lab waiting for scientists to perfect the human race, where can Darwinism lead? Stein insists that he isnt accusing todays Darwinists of Nazism. He points out, however, that Hitlers mad science was inspired by Darwinism.

Now that the film is complete, the evolutionist prophets featured in the film are on the warpath inveighing against it, and the alleged idiots who would lower themselves to watching it. Richard Dawkins laments how the film will solicit cheap laughs that could only be raised in an audience of scientific ignoramuses. Minnesota professor and blogger P.Z. Myers predicts the movie is going to appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, and the ignorant which means they're going to draw in about 90% of the American market. Myers and Dawkins now both complain they were duped into appearing in the movie (for pay).

Everyone should take the opportunity to see Expelled if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But its far more than that. Its a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.

Now you know how liberal the sciences are today.  The answer?  They aren't. 

Toe the line and you'll be fine.  Think for yourself and be put on the shelf.  How sad.


Ken Berwitz

Did you know that Israel supplies Gaza with almost all its electrical power?  And much of its food?

Did you know that Israel provides hospital services to Gazans as well?

Does this seem a little odd to you?  After all, Gaza is controlled by hamas, a terrorist group that is committed to the destruction of Israel.  But despite this, Israel provides services to the people of Gaza - its blood enemies - that Gaza's own government does not. 

Not only that, but there is an obviously valid argument that, by doing so, Israel frees up the money which would have been used for these services, thus allowing hamas to purchase more weaponry and kill more Israelis.

Nowhere else in the world can you find a situation like this.  Nowhere else in the world does a country provide humanitarian services to a sworn enemy bent on its annihilation.  Only in Israel.

Just how bizarre does it get?  Read the following story from the Jersusalem post and see:

Shin Bet: Gazans pay doctors to declare them ill

Palestinians from Gaza bribed local doctors to declare that they were seriously ill and required treatment in Israel, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) charged on Monday.

"Recently there has been an increase in the exploitation of Israel's humanitarian policy by way of fraudulent medical permits in return for bribes to doctors in the Gaza Strip," a Shin Bet spokesman told The Jerusalem Post. "This, plus the requests of terrorist activists to enter Israel for medical treatment, increases the danger to state security."

The statement came in response to the latest allegations by Physicians for Human Rights, which charged that since the beginning of April, the Shin Bet has been preventing 12 new cancer patients from receiving life-saving treatment in Israel. In addition to these 12, the Shin Bet had for several weeks been preventing dozens more, including cancer and heart patients, from passing through Israel on their way to treatment in Jordan and Egypt.

PHR charged that the Shin Bet response to requests for entry permits to Israel is complicated and takes a long time, and thereby ignores the urgency of the situation. The slow processing by the Shin Bet follows an already protracted process in the Palestinian committee that approves the requests and in the IDF Liaison Office, before the matter comes to the Shin Bet.

PHR also charged that the shuttling of patients who are barred from entering Israel directly to Egypt and Jordan did not work properly. They said the shuttle operated on an average of once every five weeks, that buses could not accommodate all the patients, so some were forced to wait, that many of the shuttles were canceled and that patients did not know when the next shuttle would be running.

"The Shin Bet and the army portray the shuttle service as a genuine solution for the distress of many patients, including cancer patients, and as a worthy alternative to their demands to enter Israel for treatment," wrote PHR. "In this way, a flawed and unsuccessful procedure becomes a fig leaf for the continuation of the Shin Bet's harmful policy towards the sick population of Gaza and as a tool for the state to portray its alleged 'humanitarian' policy towards them."

In its response to these charges, the Shin Bet added that the question of allowing sick Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israel cut across many authorities and was not the sole responsibility of the agency.

The spokesman said that in all 12 cases, the agency had given its replies to the requests long ago, and therefore could not be held responsible for any delays that followed.

What you just read is true.  And it is incredible to the point of being almost impossible to believe. 

Israel literally suspends security procedures to give hospital treatment to Gazan citizens - who have a history of blowing up Israelis in the name of Allah.  That is humanitarianism beyond anything you can find anywhere else in the world.

Gaza itself, by contrast, has no such humanitarianism at all.  Not for its own perople and certainly not for Israelis.

In the past, Gaza has sent women and children to detonate themselves in order to kill Israeli Jews.  Gaza has even used ambulances to transport bombs for this purpose.  So who knows if the next hospital emergency is, in reality, a suicide/homicide bomber perfectly willing to blow up the hospital he/she is being transported to?

Yet Israel not only allows Gazans into the country for medical attention, its internal agencies argue over how quickly and expeditiously it can be done.

In the UN, and among most countries around the world, Israel gets exactly zero credit for the amazing, unique level of humanitarianism it provides its enemies.  But in this blog you can bet Israel will get all the credit it deserves. 

And be sure to tell your friends.


Ken Berwitz

You'd think that after making abject fools of themselves regarding that unevidenced gossip about John McCain and a female lobbyist, the "brain trust" (such as it is) at the New York Times would think twice before doing it again.

You'd think that.

Well, here is the Times' latest evidenceless shot at McCain, which comes to us from Michelle Malkin (www.michellemalkin.com):

April 22, 2008

John McCain's Real Estate Pal

The NY Times takes another shot at John McCain, this time conclusively establishing that (a) real estate development can be a politically arduous process involving politicians, and (b)
John McCain is a politician.  The Times also spends time on some corollaries - politicians need money, and real estate developers often have it.

What the Times does not bring forward is any evidence of anything like corruption.  Relatives on the payroll?  secret investments in land being swapped?  Nahh, that sort of thing is for the Senate Majority Leader to do, and the Times to ignore.

But that's OK!  McCain's critics want to pretend that McCain's standard is "If you write me a check I will never talk to you again".  My (unreasonably sympathetic) understanding of his position is that he won't do for a donor what he wouldn't otherwise do for an ordinary constituent.  (Whether ordinary constituents get their phone calls returned promptly and their problems dealt with crisply, I cannot say.)

The Times tries to hang McCain with some land swaps, and with the redevelopment of Fort Ord.  The funnier bit is in the land swap, so here we go:

The first two swaps involving Mr. Diamond that Mr. McCain helped sponsor were initially supported by local governments and conservationists, and Mr. Diamond argues the land would be worth far more today. But many Arizona conservationists later protested that the federal deals gave away too much.

That dastard McCain - supporting deals being pushed by conservationists!  The humanity.

And later, when they discover the private side of the public-private partnership made money, they go into a tizzy.  Oh, boy.  If only private developers would consistently and reliably lose money, like those nice sub-prime lenders.  No, they're bad guys too... baffling.

The more puzzling piece revolves around two deals tied up in the closing of the military base at Fort Ord.  The first deal:

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Diamond set his sights on Monterey County, Calif., where the Army was closing Fort Ord. It was a dream property hundreds of undeveloped acres and two golf courses in the ocean-misted hills overlooking Monterey Bay, one of Californias great tourist destinations.

Tipped off by a fellow Tucson developer, Mr. Diamond had snapped up a housing complex there that had been built on land leased from the Army, giving him the inside track to buying the land when the base shut down.

After the Army did so in 1994, Mr. Diamond asked Mr. McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, for an introduction with an Army official who could work out a sale. Mr. McCains legislative aide, Ann Sauer, arranged a meeting with Paul W. Johnson, a deputy assistant secretary, a Diamond executive involved in the deal said.

When the talks stalled over price and water supply, Ms. Sauer interceded with the Army, according to Mr. Diamonds deposition and others involved. She showed up and got the thing resolved, Mr. Diamond said.

Mr. McCains campaign aides said in a statement they did not believe Ms. Sauers involvement went beyond setting up the Pentagon meeting. Ms. Sauer, who no longer works for Mr. McCain, said she could not recall details of her role. A spokesman for the Army declined to comment.

Mr. Diamond finally bought the land for $250,000 in 1999. He obtained an unusual guarantee from the Army that provided a generous water allowance outside the standard allocation process a bonus that continues to rankle municipal officials on the dry Monterey Peninsula.

Those guys got a sweetheart deal, said Michael Keenan, whose family bought the housing complex from Mr. Diamond for nearly $30 million two years later. Mr. Diamond acknowledged turning a profit of $20 million.

First, as to this being a "dream property" take a breath.  Here is one consultant's view:

Progress toward production of new workforce housing has been slow. Barriers to housing development such as complex regulatory procedures and approvals, antiquated infrastructure on the former Fort Ord, and environmental contamination and costly building removal have made the reuse of Fort Ord a particularly difficult challenge for any kind of development, including workforce housing.

Secondly, it is absurd to think that McCain and his developer buddy pulled a fast one - the closing and redevelopment of Fort Ord got Presidential attention, was subject to Senate legislation, and had a member of the California Congressional delegation overseeing it.  In addition, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority won a planning award in 1998, so they weren't utterly stupid and corrupt, at least that year.

Third, the redevelopment has been a political quagmire caught up in a tussle over affordable housing.  On that point, if the Times would tell us the name of the leased housing complex purchased by Diamond we would be a step closer to pinning down some details.  The Fort Ord Reuse Authority, under "Housing", shows pictures of Preston Park and Schoonover Park.  Schoonover Park is now college housing; Preston Park was leased to "Mid-Peninsula Housing, ... a non-profit organization that develops high-quality affordable housing communities".  Which one was the developer's dream - the college housing, or the affordable housing?  Or was there a third choice of properties?  I am running out of time and Google, unfortunately, but if anyone can help me out here, that would be lovely.

More background on the golf course deal is here, and it sounds less savory.  Of course, McCain's involvement was to write a letter of introduction, but still.

I love that reference to Senate majority leader Harry Reid, by the way.  The land deals he cooked up with his family (and the money he got from clients of Jack Abramoff - some $60,000 of it)?  Nothing to talk about.  But an innuendo-laden bowl of hot air about John McCain?  Big story.  First page above-the-fold news.

It should be remembered that the New York Times ENDORSED John McCain before throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him (and that's probably being held back for later). 

These people have no shame, no honor and no integrity anymore. 


Ken Berwitz

During the past week, jimmy carter ignored everyone's pleas, even the state department's, and went to the Middle East to meet with hamas, a terrorist group specifically committed to Israel's destruction.  Having done so, he called a press conference and told us hamas would cut a peace deal if Israel would only go back to the 1967 borders.

(As you may recall, in 1967, when Arabs from 7 different nations, including three of its immediate neighbors (Egypt, Syria and Jordan) fought a war of annihilation against Israel, these were the borders. That doesn't exactly give you confidence it's the basis of a peace deal, does it?)

So, did jimmy carter get it right? 

Well, here, courtesy of al-jazeera,  is what hamas has to say about those same meetings:

Hamas ready to accept 1967 borders
Hamas has said it is ready to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders but "will not recognise Israel".
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Khaled Meshaal, the exiled Hamas political leader, reaffirmed Hamas's stance towards Israel and clarified his comments as relayed earlier by Jimmy Carter, the former US president.
"We accept a state on the June 4 line with Jerusalem as capital, real sovereignty and full right of return for refugees but without recognising Israel," Meshaal said.
The Hamas leader was making his first public comments following two meetings with Carter in Damascus last week.

Carter, speaking in Jerusalem earlier on Monday, said that Hamas had told him it would accept the right of Israel "to live as a neighbour" if a peace deal was approved by a Palestinian referendum.

Carter said Hamas leaders had told him they would "accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders if approved by Palestinians".
But Carter also said Meshaal turned down his appeal for a unilateral ceasefire with Israel to end violence threatening peace efforts.
"I did the best I could on that," Carter said of his failure to persuade Hamas to halt rocket fire for one month from the Gaza Strip it has controlled since June when it ousted the Fatah movement of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

US dismisses comments


TheUnited States brushed off Carter's report on Hamas on Monday, saying the group's basic stance had not changed.


"What is clear to us ... is that nothing has changed in terms of Hamas's basic views about Israel and about peace in the region," Tom Casey, the state department spokesman, said.


"They still refuse to acknowledge or recognise any of the basic quartet principles, including recognising Israel's right to exist; renouncing terrorism; and acknowledging all the previous agreements that have been made between the Palestinian Authority and Israel," he added.


Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, said the Hamas position should be taken "with a grain of salt".


"We have to look at the public comments and we also have to look at actions, and actions speak louder than words."

Carter said his understandings with Hamas called for a referendum to be preceded by reconciliation between the group and Abbas's Fatah faction.
In his news conference, Meshaal said Hamas would "respect Palestinian national will, even if it was against our convictions".
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Gaza-based Hamas official, said Palestinian refugees living in exile must take part in a referendum - a condition that could dim the chances of approval since Israel opposes their mass return, which could skew the state's ethnic make up.

Ghazi Hamad, a former Palestinian government spokesman, told Al Jazeera that Hamas would be willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders (leaving a reduced Israeli state inside its 1948 borders) but insisted that Hamas would not recognise Israel.
"Hamas says frankly - we will not recognise the right of Israel," he said.
"Israel until now has no clear position on recognising the rights of the Palestinian people within the 1967 borders or the right of return or the rights in Jerusalem."
He also said that a ceasefire with Israel was possible.
"Many times Hamas has stopped firing missiles from Gaza but Israel continues its aggression against our people, especially in Gaza," he told Al Jazeera.
"If Israel stops all military aggression against our people, I think Hamas will have no problem in reaching a compromise."
Carter criticised
Carter's meeting with Hamas has drawn criticism from both the Israeli and US administrations.
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, has refused to see Carter, who has for years been critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians.
Carter, who helped negotiate a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, said excluding Hamas is "just not working".
"The problem is that Israel and the United States refuse to meet with these people, who must be involved," he said.

Wow, hold the presses!!!!  What a great deal jimmy carter worked out!!!!!!!

IF Israel gives back all the land it won in 1967 when it was fighting for its survival, and...

IF Israel gives up Jerusalem, its capital city, which contains its most holy site, the wailing wall, and....

IF Israel allows all Arabs who claim to have been dispossesed of their land in 1948 and all their families that came afterward, to enter the country, which would immediately create a majority Arab population and end the one Jewish state on earth....

THEN hamas would accept the land Israel is handing them on a silver platter and call it Palestine....

BUT hamas would not recognize Israel anyway.

Oh, and by the way, they'll keep on bombing Israel from Gaza, the area that hamas violently took over from their own brethren last year. (I.e. hamas violently overthrew the fatah government from their fellow Arabs.  But Jews, who both hamas and fatah agree are subhumans who should be dead, should trust them to make peace).

Are you laughing, shaking your head in disbelief, or both?  I can't think of any other likely reaction.

There is one small silver lining here:  Until the last year or so, much of the country was convinced by his sycophants in the media that jimmy carter was a lovable philanthropist and promoter of world peace.  Now, I suspect, most people see him for the benighted, gullible, Jew hating moron that he actually is.

Fine.  Let's keep it that way. For once, truth will out.


Ken Berwitz

I've written a great deal about Zimbabwe over the past two weeks. 

Zimbabwe, under the corrupt, murderous racist robert mugabe, is one of the true horror shows - maybe the single worst - in the world.  I hope I have communicated this, along with the fact that the agencies most responsible for doing something about it are sitting on the sidelines like spectators at a soccer game.

Here is Jeff Jacoby's column from today's Boston Globe.  He hits at the points I've made and adds a few of his own.  It is very important reading, so I'm posting every word:


By Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe


Sunday, April 20, 2008



     In retrospect, it was the sheerest naivet to have imagined that Zimbabwes brutal strongman, Robert Mugabe, would relinquish power just because he had lost an election. It has been more than three weeks since the March 29 vote in which Mugabes party, known as ZANU-PF, lost control of the lower house of parliament. Yet official results in the presidential contest between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have yet to be released.


     There isnt much doubt who won. Public tallies posted at each polling station immediately after the ballots were counted showed Tsvangirais party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), garnering more than 50 percent of the vote. Were the electoral commission to certify those tallies, it would mean Mugabes 28 years at the top had come to an end. But the electoral commission, like everything else inZimbabwegovernment, is controlled by ZANU-PF. So there will be no official results until the books have been cooked to Mugabes satisfaction.


     Meanwhile, the regimes thugs have been busy, staging raids against foreign journalists and opposition-party offices, invading farms owned by white Zimbabweans, terrorizing voters in the countryside. US Ambassador James McGee warned last week that Mugabes goon squads were carrying out "threats, beatings, abductions, burning of homes, and even murder" in areas where the opposition party ran strong. A group of Zimbabwean doctors say they have treated more than 150 people who had been beaten since the election. Hundreds more have been detained, and the MDC says at least two of its workers have been murdered.


     Not for the first time, Mugabe is viciously stealing an election, and not for the first time, the international community is doing nothing to stop him. Particularly feckless has been South Africa s president, Thabo Mbeki. More than any other regional leader, he could exert the leverage to force Mugabe to abide by the voters decision. He has refused to do so.


     A week after the election, Mbeki insisted there was "a hopeful picture" in Zimbabwe; several days later he held a friendly session with Mugabe, then declared to the world that "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe" -- merely a "natural process taking place."


     Is it any wonder that Africa is so often thought of as the planets most miserable continent? "By failing to come together to denounce Mugabe unequivocally," The Economist lamented, Mbeki and other African leaders "have not only prolonged Zimbabwes agony; they have damaged the whole of southern Africa, both materially and in terms of Africas reputation."


     Rarely has one mans misrule so horribly wrecked a country. The MDCs David Coltart, a member of Zimbabwe 's parliament who serves as shadow justice minister, surveyed some of the data recently in a study for the Cato Institute in Washington:


     In a country once known as Africas breadbasket, agriculture has been all but destroyed. Annual wheat production is a fraction of what it was in the 1990s. The tobacco industry, once a mainstay, has crashed and burned. Manufacturing has collapsed. So has mining -- gold production has fallen to its lowest level since 1907, even as world gold prices soar to record highs.


     Thanks to ZANU-PF thuggery, 90 percent of foreign tourism to Zimbabwe has evaporated. Insane economic policies have fueled an inflation rate of well over 100,000 percent. Zimbabweans by the millions have fled the country, and 80 percent of those who remain live below the poverty line. Death from disease and malnutrition has exploded. Life expectancy for men in Zimbabwe has fallen to 37 years -- to 34 years for women.


     Mugabe and his loyalists stop at nothing to ensure their grip on power, Coltart writes. As of 2004, an astonishing "90 percent of the MDC members of parliament elected in June 2000 had suffered some human rights violation; 24 percent survived murder attempts, and 42 percent had been tortured." Three opposition members of parliament were killed, as were more than 600 of the partys supporters. Yet "not a single suspect has been tried, let alone convicted, for any of those crimes."


     The government, meanwhile, is now accusing Tsvangirai of treason. State-run media claims he has been plotting with Great Britain to overthrow the regime. But the real menace is Mugabe, who was preparing at week's end to receive a 77-ton shipment of Chinese arms, including AK-47 rifles, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and more than 3 million rounds of ammunition. What is he planning to do with so much additional firepower? That, Zimbabwe 's deputy information minister said, is "none of anybody's business."


     On Thursday, a South African government spokesman belatedly acknowledged that the situation in Zimbabwe "is dire." How much more dire it must get before South Africa -- or any other country -- finally does something about it?

When?  When does the UN act?  When does the African Union act?  When they're through condemning Israel for the 47,356th time?

This is the state of our world today.  It is more than a little scary.

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