Sunday, 29 June 2008

THE 'VOLUNTARY' HIJAB

Ken Berwitz

This horrific story comes to us via www.littlegreenfootballs.com.  Read it and see our future if we do not successfully fight fundamentalist islam:

Canadian Muslim Charged with Murdering Sister for Removing Headscarf

Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 8:33:39 am PDT

Remember this horrifying story the next time an Islamic advocacy group tries to tell you that wearing the hijab is a completely voluntary choice for Muslim women: Murder Charge for Brother Whose Sister Shed Scarf.

TORONTO   The brother of a Canadian teenager who was slain in what friends described as a family dispute over a Muslim head scarf was charged with murder, becoming the second family member accused in her death, police said Friday.

Aqsa Parvez, 16, of Pakistani origin, was strangled in December at her Mississauga, Ontario, home. Waqas Parvez, 27, who had faced obstruction allegations in his sisters death, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder.

Their father Muhammad Parvez, 57, was charged with first-degree murder earlier this month. He had been a suspect since shortly after her death.

Police would not disclose details of any new evidence that prompted the Fridays charges or what impact they would have on the case against the father. But spokeswoman Samantha Nulle said investigators were checking if other people had been involved in the death.

Police have refused to confirm the killing was over the scarf, and Muhammed Parvezs lawyer, Joseph Ciraco, has said that more than just cultural issues played a role. He did not return calls for comment Friday.

But friends said her death came during a family feud over her refusal to wear the traditional Muslim veil.

Take a good look.  Because if these lunatics take over, western civilization will be gone and this is what it will be replaced with.

Remember that the next time someone smugly assures you there is no point to fighting al qaeda and its likeminded counterparts because, after all, it's only happening over there, not here.


GOOGLE-ECTOMY

Ken Berwitz

Is Google, the single most used search engine there is, intentionally working on behalf of Barack Obama's presidential bid?

Well, Warner Todd Huston of www.newsbusters.org seems to think so.  And with good reason too. 

Here, read it for yourself:

Google Shuts Down Anti-Obama Sites on its Blogger Platform

By Warner Todd Huston | June 29, 2008 - 15:22 ET

It looks like Google has officially joined the Barack Obama campaign and decided that its contribution would be to shut down any blog on the Google owned Blogspot.com blogging system that has an anti-Obama message. Yes, it sure seems that Google has begun to go through its many thousands of blogs to lock out the owners of anti-Obama blogs so that the noObama message is effectively squelched. Thus far, Google has terminated the access by blog owners to 7 such sites and the list may be growing. Boy, it must be nice for Barack Obama to have an ally powerful enough to silence his opponents like that!

It isn't just conservative sites that Google's Blogger platform is eliminating. For instance, www.comealongway.blogspot.com has been frozen and this one is a Hillary supporting site. The operator of Come a Long Way has a mirror site off the Blogspot platform and has today posted this notice:

I used to have a happy internet home on Blogger: www.comealongway.blogspot.com. Then on Wednesday night, June 25, I received the following e-mail:

Dear Blogger user,

This is a message from the Blogger team.

Your blog, at http://comealongway.blogspot.com/, has been identified as a potential spam blog. You will not be able to publish posts to your blog until we review your site and confirm that it is not a spam blog.

Sincerely,

The Blogger Team

It turns out that there is an interesting pattern where it concerns the blogs that Google's Blogspot team have summarily locked down on their service. They all belong to the Just Say No Deal coalition, a group of blogs that are standing against the Obama campaign. It seems the largest portion of these blogs are Hillary supporting blogs, too.

All I can say is, WOW! If Google is willing to abuse its power like this even against fellow leftists, what does it plan against conservatives, the folks Google hates even more!?

Here is a list of the Blogspot blogs that have been frozen by Google thus far:

I've heard rumblings about Google's political censorship before.  I've never written about them because, I reasoned, it was possible that the incidents were isolated -- and for all I knew there might have been similar incidents among pro-Obama sites as well.

But this is too blatant to ignore.  And if it is what it appears to be, Google's actions are despicable.

Who are these people?  How dare they censor anyone's ability to see all sides of an issue?  What belief system do they subscribe to that makes them think it is ok to do this?  Would they like that belief system to be used against them as they are using it against opponents of their candidate? 

How much do you think robert mugabe would love what Google is doing?  He certainly would recognize it.


JUSTICE KENNEDY AS GOD

Ken Berwitz

What is the function of a United States Supreme Court justice?  To apply the constitution to legal matters or create it?

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has emerged as the "tie-breaker" between the so-called liberal and conservative wings, seems to have decided on creationism.  And he appears to be reveling in his newfound power.

Here are the particulars, courtesy of  www.powerlineblog.com writer Scott Johnson:

June 29, 2008
Anthony Kennedy's Song of Himself

From his perch on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy sings a song of himself. He specializes in grandiloquent assertions that are long on begged questions and pronouncements of the ipse dixit variety. Here are a few highlights from past terms of the Court:

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (joint opinion with Justices O'Connor and Souter), reaffirming the "essential holding" of Roe on the unconstitutionality of laws restricting the right of abortion: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

Lawrence v. Texas, on the unconstitutionality of sodomy laws: "Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions...."

Roper v. Simmons, on the unconsitutionality of juvenile capital punishmetn: "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty."

This term Justice Kennedy added a few more highlights:

Boumediene v. Bush, extending the right of habeas corpus to Guananamo detainees: "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law."

Kennedy v. Louisiana, on the unconstitutionality of capital punishment for child rape: "In most cases justice is not better served by terminating the life of the perpetrator rather than confining him and preserving the possibility that he and the system will find ways to allow him to understand the enormity of his offense. Difficulties in administering the penalty to ensure against its arbitrary and capricious application require adherence to a rule reserving its use, at this stage of evolving standards and in cases of crimes against individuals, for crimes that
take the life of the victim."

In today's New York Times Linda Greenhouse confers the Times's customary recognition on those who rewrite the Constitution in a leftward direction: "In a complicated term, Kennedy left boldest mark."

At least two justices, both decidedly on the liberal side (Stevens and Ginsburg), will almost certainly be replaced by the next President.   The good news is that this effectively will end Kennedy's reign as God. 

The big question is which way voters intend for this court to go.  Do they want Supreme Court rulings to interpret the constitution or to legislate it (which, itself, is unconstitutional)?

We'll find out in November, won't we? 


BARACK OBAMA: POLITICIAN

Ken Berwitz

Here is a short article from Ginger Adams Otis which appears in today's New York Post.  It details what Otis calls "flip-flops".  Personally, I think of them as very carefully worded "readjustments":

OBAMA THE CANDIDATE OF 'CHANGE MY MIND'

By GINGER ADAMS OTIS

Click image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.

Last updated: 4:14 am
June 29, 2008

It's back and forth for Barack Obama.

The candidate of change has changed some of his own positions in recent weeks, raising the risk he'll be labeled a flip-flopper on hot-button issues that look as if they will play a central role in the general election.

First it was his about-face on public financing. Last week, Obama insisted "I never said that I was definitely going to be in the public-financing system."

But his statement that he would "aggressively pursue" a public-financing deal with the GOP was widely reported when he made it at the start of the primary season.

Obama blamed a "broken" system and rivals who are "masters at gaming" it for his sudden turn in direction - not the enormous advantage he'll have over Republican front-runner John McCain in fund-raising.

Next up was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - a bill that would protect telecommunications companies from lawsuits for cooperating with the federal effort to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects. The bill's provision for "retroactive immunity" raised hackles among Democrats in Congress.

Last year, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said: "Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity."

As recently as February, while campaigning in the Maryland and Virginia primaries, the Illinois senator said he refused "to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty."

Fast-forward to June 20: Obama's far-left base was shocked to hear the candidate announce his support of new FISA bill because of the "legitimate threats we face."

Even his pledge to "carefully monitor the program" from the White House didn't mollify many of his outraged liberal backers, including MoveOn.org, an Internet group that has done a lot of fund-raising for Obama.

Obama's campaign staff has denied he is moving to the political center in a bid to steal votes from McCain.

But Obama's carefully nuanced reaction to Thursday's Supreme Court decision striking down a 32-year-old ban on handguns in Washington, DC, seemed designed to split the controversial issue down the middle.

"I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms," Obama said after the ruling,

"But I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through commonsense, effective safety measures."

His waffling set off a fusillade of press releases from McCain's camp. "Does [Obama] believe that the DC handgun ban was constitutional or unconstitutional? We can't tell, and [he] won't say," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

Obama offered up another carefully worded response earlier in the week when he sided with conservative Supreme Court justices who opposed a ban on executing child rapists.

"I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes," Obama said after the decision. But back in 1996, he had said that capital punishment "does little to deter crime."

Are you at all surprised by this?  Did you actually think that Saint Barack was above it?  If so, shame on you.

Never forget that Barack Obama is a politician.  A politician straight from the Chicago political machine.  And, because that is what he is, expect more  "flip-flops", "readjustments" or whatever word you prefer.  Because I assure you they are coming.


OUR UNBIASED MEDIA: EXAMPLE #43,782 (OR SO IT SEEMS)

Ken Berwitz

Here is another example of our "unbiased" media, courtesy of www.patterico.com.  Enjoy:

6/28/2008

L.A. Times Forgets to Tell Readers That Obama Supported the D.C. Gun Ban

Howard Kurtz notes that Big Media is failing to hold Obamas feet to the fire for his flip-flop on firearms.

Barack Obama is under hostile fire for changing his position on the D.C. gun ban.

Oh, Im sorry. He didnt change his position, apparently. He reworded a clumsy statement.

That clumsy statement, which his campaign is now running away from, was pretty categorical: Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional. Yet, Kurtz says, the newspapers arent calling him to task:

But even though the earlier Obama quote and the inartful comment have been bouncing around the Net for 24 hours, Im not seeing any reference to them in the morning papers. Most do what the New York Times did: Mr. Obama, who like Mr. McCain has been on record as supporting the individual-rights view, said the ruling would provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.

Add the L.A. Times to the list. In David Savages piece on the Heller decision, he allowed Obama to pretend he has always supported the decision, which found unconstitutional the very ban Obamas campaign had declared constitutional:

On the presidential campaign trail, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama were supportive of the courts ruling.

. . . .

For his part, Obama drew a somewhat different lesson from the courts decision. He said it endorsed both gun rights and reasonable regulation.

I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures, he said.

I know what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun-show loophole and improving our background-check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals.

Wouldnt it have been helpful to tell readers that Obamas campaign said the D.C. law was constitutional?

Yes, that would have been helpful . . . to the truth.

But not to Obama.

And increasingly, that appears to be the editors calculus for deciding what appears in the paper.

UPDATE: In a story today about the Obama move to the center, the editors once again allow Obama to act as though he has always been in favor of the result in Heller:

Obamas reaction to another Supreme Court ruling, which struck down a gun ban in Washington, D.C., stood in contrast to that of many local political leaders and was more tempered than that of many liberals. Whereas his hometown mayor, Richard M. Daley of Chicago, and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton sharply criticized the court decision, Obama was more welcoming. He said the ruling reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

The best they do to undercut this notion is to say that McCains campaign said Obama was unable to give a clear account of whether he viewed the Washington gun ban as constitutional and claim that Obama has given mixed signals on the issue. How about saying that his campaign flatly declared the ban constitutional? Theres nothing mixed about that signal . . .

UPDATE x2: Is this a mixed signal, or a flip-flop?

Thanks to daytrader.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them what they are:  biased.


TRYING TO BE FAIR ABOUT OLBERMANN-O'REILLY

Ken Berwitz

In a way, I sympathize with Brian Lowry of Variety, I really do.

He tries so hard to prevent his animosity towards Fox News Channel from overtaking him when he reports on the "feud" between keith olbermann and Bill O'Reilly. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn't.  Mostly, he doesn't..

Here is his article.  See for yourself (the bold print is mine):

Olbermann-O'Reilly feud spreads

Parent companies embroiled in grudge match

After recapping the five-year-old Keith Olbermann-Bill O'Reilly feud that has spilled over to other assets of their respective employers GE and News Corp., the gossip site Gawker cheerily noted: "The real winners, as always: us!"

Indeed, anyone with a taste for mud wrestling or a pissing match has to enjoy the back-and-forth that has sprung from MSNBC host Olbermann's fateful decision to "punch up" at O'Reilly, Fox News' top-rated personality and his time-period rival. As for whether viewers or something so quaint as journalistic standards are "winning" in the eye-poking Three Stooges act that has ensued -- maybe not so much.

The convoluted affair has begun to resemble "Weapons of Mass Distraction," an HBO satire written by Larry Gelbart, in which two dueling media moguls bring their various holdings to bear in an escalating war to ruin each other. Yet what passed for satirical farce in 1997 seems almost restrained by comparison now.

For those who have somehow ignored this food fight, Olbermann started it by regularly jabbing at O'Reilly and naming him the "Worst Person in the World," a nightly segment on his MSNBC talker.

Thin-skinned in his best days, O'Reilly has grown especially sensitive to criticism (or as he's prone to call it, "vicious personal attacks," emanating from "vile left-wing smear sites") since the embarrassment of having a sexual-harassment suit filed against him in 2004. That irritation has rather transparently led him to retaliate against NBC higher-ups, including NBC News and even parent General Electric, going so far as to have a producer ambush GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, stretching to accuse him of shady dealings with Iran and, this week, of personally despoiling the Hudson River.

All of this has been fodder for Olbermann, who has gone public with claims that O'Reilly and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes have threatened retaliation if NBC doesn't rein him in.

News Corp.'s assault, whether coordinated or not, is now happening. The company's New York Post Page Six column has joined the fray with several unflattering items about Olbermann. Those rumors are then parroted by Fox News' dimwitted morning show, "Fox & Friends," creating a circular echo chamber.

Olbermann responded, of course, by preemptively lashing out against the Post on air, calling Page Six "entirely disreputable" and crowning Richard Johnson and Paula Froelich, at separate moments, as the "Worst Person." Nor has Rupert Murdoch -- who Olbermann impersonates by affecting a snarling pirate voice -- escaped his wrath.

Murdoch was recently quoted noting that he fired Olbermann from Fox Sports several years ago, saying, "He's crazy." For her part, Froelich told Gawker that Olbermann is "as infantile as he is narcissistic."

Whichever side you're on, there's surely plenty of narcissism to go around here -- and it raises a few troubling issues for both.

Critics have long muttered about Murdoch -- more than any other mogul -- openly using his corporate assets to buttress each other and lash out at his foes. Even if it's not an orchestrated campaign -- as opposed to like-minded foot soldiers simply knowing what the boss wants -- the collaboration by Fox News and the Post in this particular endeavor has a bilious odor and doesn't provide much comfort to nervous journalists seeking reassurance that Murdoch won't lead his newest toy, the Wall Street Journal, stumbling down a similar credibility-sapping path.

NBC News, meanwhile, risks allowing its talk-driven personalities -- the mother's milk of cable, where loud and inexpensive is the formula -- to eclipse what little solid journalism the news division still generates. And while it was initially amusing watching Olbermann playfully try to nudge O'Reilly off the deep end, there's a significant difference between that and self-indulgently using his forum as a pulpit to bash enemies, which actually makes him more like his Fox counterpart than he would care to admit.

To borrow a phrase from his sports days, there really is such a thing as too "inside baseball."

Tellingly, Gelbart's movie incorporates a fictional blue-collar family who continue vegetating in front of the TV even as their lives become collateral damage in the moguls' war.

One is tempted to say "Grow up" and leave it at that, but the combatants should be cautious against becoming too embroiled in this private skirmish. Because whatever blows they land, both might look up between rounds to find that while the other guy is bloodied, the bored spectators have finally opted to do their vegetating elsewhere.

First off, let's dispense with this "feud" business.  The word does not fit.  A feud is when two people go at it against each other.  But this "feud" has been a decidedly one-way affair.

What happened was that keith olbermann, whose ratings were a small fraction of O'Reilly's, decided to attack O'Reilly as personally and as viciously as he could get away with.  The idea, apparently, was that if he could draw O'Reilly into a juvenile food-fight it would create an aura of equality between the two - which would obviously help olbermann's far lower-rated show.

And the ploy may have worked to some extent;  after five years,  O'Reilly still more than doubles olbermann's viewing audience but used to triple and quadruple it.  (Of course it could also be that after almost a decade of dominance, O'Reilly's show is just winding down a bit in the normal course of things). 

O'Reilly, for his part, has (to my knowledge) never mentioned keith olbermann's name throughout this nonstop assault.  I assume he avoids doing so to deprive olbermann of getting the one-on-one fight he so desperately wants.  Instead, O'Reilly has gone after NBC and MSNBC in general, accusing them of having no journalistic standards - an accusation that is hard to dispute under the circumstances.

Frankly, allowing unbelievably childish, unprofessional behavior like that of olbermann, and his groupie Dan Abrams (who used to know better), makes NBC and MSNBC exactly what O'Reilly accuses them of being.

But read those emboldened passages again and see which side is taking the real beating from Brian Lowry.  Hint:  It ain't NBC.

From the look if it, If Lowry was stuck between the professional and personal.  Professionally, he was writing a story about keith olbermann's pathetic behavior and how it was allowed to continue all this time by NBC/MSNBC.  But to leave it at that would require allowing Fox News Channel to be the victim.  And, from a personal vantage point, that clearly did not sit well with Lowry. 

So Fox had to be an equal participant in a "feud" it did not start.  To this end Lowry attacked Fox in something like a half-dozen ways (O'Reilly's "thin skin", the "dimwitted" morning news team, Murdoch's use of the Post, etc.).  This appears to have liberated Lowry to be able to go after olbermann at all.

I wonder how the Lowry article would have looked if it were Bill O'Reilly with the low ratings personally and viciously attacking keith olbermann.  

Actually, maybe I don't wonder about that at all.  Maybe I already know the answer.


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