Sunday, 25 May 2008


Ken Berwitz

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm no fan of the New York Times these days.  But today's editorial on yugo* chavez is dead on target.  Here it is:

Mr. Chvezs Unsavory Friends

President Hugo Chvez of Venezuela has been caught. Despite his protestations of innocence, Interpol has corroborated the authenticity of thousands of computer files captured during a Colombian Army raid on a FARC rebel camp in Venezuela. Only a small share of this trove has been released, but it leaves little doubt that Venezuela has been aiding the guerrillas effort to overthrow Colombias democratically elected government.

The Colombian government released documents from the computers that suggest Venezuelan intelligence officials tried to secure weapons for the FARC and that Mr. Chvezs government offered the rebels oil and a $250 million loan. Information in the files has already led to the seizure of FARC funds in Costa Rica.

Colombia can now take the issue to the Organization of American States, the United Nations Security Council or the International Court of Justice. But it might need further corroborating evidence, as Interpol only certified that the Colombian government did not tamper with the files but said nothing about the veracity of their content.

Mr. Chvez has a more important choice to make: he can sink once and for all into the role of regional pariah, to be contained or isolated in the name of regional stability, or he can commit to becoming a responsible neighbor. All of his neighbors, and all Venezuelans, should urge him to choose the latter course.

Responsibility means that Mr. Chvez must halt all aid to the FARC which long ago chose drug trafficking over political liberation and use his influence to get the rebels to lay down their arms and join the demobilization process that is under way for Colombias right-wing paramilitary groups.

Mr. Chvezs posturing as a populist liberator is wearing thin at home, where voters defeated his proposal to overhaul the Constitution so he could stay in power indefinitely. It is also wearing thin abroad, where Mr. Chvez has used Venezuelas oil riches to meddle in Argentina, Bolivia and Nicaragua, among others.

Latin Americas leaders need to realize that his actions threaten the stability of the entire region and that cheap oil does not lessen that threat. They need to remind Mr. Chvez of the commitment to nonintervention and democratic rule in the Organization of American States charter. And they need to make clear that he has only two possible moves from here: he can become a responsible neighbor or be ostracized in the hemisphere.

Did anyone think he was beneath this kind of behavior?  I hope you didn't.

chavez is a goon.  A thug.  A buffoon who thinks the money that streams into Venezuela because it happens to have oil deposits, somehow makes him more than what he is. 

The sooner this goon, thug and buffoon is gone, the better it will be for Venezuela.  And for us too. 

Maybe Colombia will be involved in his downfall.  He certainly has earned their help.


*Yugo rather than Hugo, because his performance parallels that of the car.


Ken Berwitz

Just click anywhere in these few sentences to read Newsweek's "advice" to Barack Obama, which was written by Evan Thomas for the magazine's June 2 edition.  Keep a handkerchief nearby, because you don't find this kind of loving commentary often and it may cause you to weep. 

Please read it very carefully and after every point Thomas makes about White people, say to youself  "What does that mean about Whites, what is he saying about them?"   I bet you'll be troubled by the answers.


Ken Berwitz

This is the latest in a very long series of gaffes by Barack Obama.  It comes to us via the invaluable web site  Read it and then wonder why you aren't seeing it in mainstream media:

Obama: Bush is Responsible for Chavez (Bzzt! Wrong!)

Sun, May 25, 2008 at 9:06:22 am PDT

On Friday Barack Obama spelled out his Latin America policy (its just like his Middle East policytalk to everybody), and inadvertently supplied another example of his stunning ignorance of history and naive foreign policy ideas. The speech is transcribed at the official Obama campaign web site: Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas.

Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region.

No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.

This is pathetic. Hugo Chavez came to power during the Clinton Administration, and was first elected President of Venezuela in 1998, two years before the Bush Administration took office.

UPDATE at 5/25/08 9:15:04 am:

This is far from the first time Barack Obama has been wrong about a simple historical fact.

Id like to hear him answer some simple questions about world history, to see exactly how much he really does know. No blow-dried media talking head will ever do this, of course, but I suspect people would be in for a real shock if they knew the depths of his historical ignorance.

He's smooth.  He's slick.  He looks good in clothes.  He speaks beautifully. 

And he doesn't know what he's talking about.  Over and over and over again.

But media love him.  He's so great, and so we can't have the voting public worrying about every little mistake he makes, right. 

Oh, wait, these aren't little mistakes?  These are big mistakes that display ignorance and make him sound ridiculous?  Well, we can't worry about those either.  This is BARACK OBAMA for pete's sake.  Chill out.


Ken Berwitz

The greatest of congratulations to NASA!

Today its brilliance in technology has resulted in a spaceship landing on MARS - its northern polar region to be exact- for a three month (unmanned) exploratory mission.. 

This is not a satire or a joke, this is for real. 

What an astonishing, amazing, outstanding achievement!  What a great success for NASA and the USA! 


Ken Berwitz

Jeff Jacoby, the superb Boston Globe columnist, has written today about whether it is fair to criticize/attack Michelle Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.

You can read his entire column by clicking here.  But I want to excerpt the latter part of that column below, because it not only makes the point that Michelle Obama is fair game, but gives us a compendium of her quotes, the ones that legitimize her as a target.

Here they are:

In an interview on ABC, Obama growled that Republicans "should lay off my wife," and described the inoffensive Tennessee video as "detestable," "low class," and reflecting "a lack of decency."

If Republicans "think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign," he added ominously, "they should be careful."

Ooh, very fierce. But unless Obama is prepared to emulate Jackson - Old Hickory defended his wife's honor by fighting duels, in one of which he killed a man - he stands no chance of putting his wife's remarks off-limits to criticism. As long as he keeps sending her around the country to campaign on his behalf, everything she says is - and should be - fair game.

And unfortunately for Obama and his allegedly sunny politics of hope, what Mrs. Obama seems to say with grim regularity is that America is a scary, bleak, and hopeless place.

Here she is, for instance, in Wisconsin:

"Life for regular folks has gotten worse over the course of my lifetime, through Republican and Democratic administrations. It hasn't gotten much better."

And in South Carolina:

America is "just downright mean" and "guided by fear . . . We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day."

And in North Carolina:

"Folks are struggling like never before . . . When you're that busy struggling all the time, which most people that you know and I know are, you don't have time to get to know your neighbor . . . In fact, you feel very alone in your struggle, because you feel that somehow it must be your fault that you're struggling so hard . . . People are afraid, because when your world's not right, no matter how hard you work, then you become afraid of everyone and everything, because you don't know whose fault it is, why you can't get a handle on life, why you can't secure a better future for your kids . . . Fear is the worst enemy. It . . . creates this veil of impossibility, and it is hanging over all of our heads."

There is also her creepily authoritarian vision of life under an Obama administration. From a speech in California:

"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone . . . Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual - uninvolved, uninformed."

Michelle Obama is undeniably smart, driven, outspoken, and charismatic. She is also relentlessly negative about life in these United States. True, she is not the one running for president. But she is Barack Obama's closest confidante and adviser; if he is elected, her influence will be considerable. That is why her words matter. And why, whether her husband likes it or not, Michelle Obama is a legitimate issue in this campaign.

Does Barack Obama seriously think his wife - the first lady if he wins the election - can go on her merry way saying things like this and not be held to account for it?

And do you doubt for a moment that a great many media venues will back him up on this ludicrous expectation because they are rooting for Mr. Obama harder than they are working at providing neutral journalism?  

If Michelle Obama thinks the United States of America is such an excrement-hole, that's her right.  But can she do us all a favor and can her hatred of the country her husband would be President of, at least long enough so that we don't have to hear it while he's running for the office?

If not, then she should expect to be attacked early and often.  As she should be.  And if Barack Obama doesn't like it, that's just too bad.

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