Monday, 24 November 2008

NORTHWESTERN AND FREE SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

I have a couple of reasons to root for Northwestern University.  My mother graduated from the school (class of 1940!) and it is close to Chicago, which is a city I love and which has a business I am President and co-owner of.

But, reading a story like this one from www.frontpagemag.com, makes it awfully hard:

Horowitz Speech on Radical Islam Has Repercussions at Northwestern  
By Frontpagemag.com
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, November 24, 2008

Less than a week after defaming David Horowitz by claiming that he spreads blatant lies about Islam and criticizing the College Republicans for bringing such an offensive and divisive speaker to campus, the Muslim-cultural Students Association (McSA) at Northwestern has announced plans to bring infamous Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers to campus.

In her letter to the Daily Northwestern, McSA co-president Dana Shabeeb criticized Horowitz for attacking the Muslim Students Association (which was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood) as supporters of jihad. Let me make clear that Muslims vehemently reject the use of violence in the name of our religion and don't support the killing of innocent civilians for any reason, she stated. Yet the McSA has now chosen to spend a vast sum of student government funding on a speaker who dedicated a book to the Muslim assassin of Robert Kennedy and is best known for being a co-founder of a terrorist organization and has publicly stated that he does not regret setting bombs and in fact we did not do enough.

The McSA plans to spend its entire Fall speakers budget of $21,000 to fund the event which features Ayers along with his wife and fellow Weather Underground member Bernadine Dohrn and Muslim radical, Imam Zaid Shakir, who co-founded the Islamic fundamentalist mosque Masjid al-Islam in Oakland, California. The honorariums offered the speakers are so large that the contract must be approved by the Universitys General Counsel and its Vice President for Student Affairs. Horowitz, of course, was provided no student funds for his speech, which was underwritten for a fifth the cost by Young Americas Foundation.

It is ironic that the McSA which expended considerable effort in an attempt to discredit my speech about the jihad on campus and the Muslim Students Associations ties to the Muslim Brotherhood is now dedicating their entire fall speakers budget to bringing two notorious terrorists to campus, said Horowitz. This is a more eloquent link between the Muslim Student Association and the agendas of Islamo-fascism than I could provide. Bill Ayers was setting bombs during the Jimmy Carter Administration. He and his wife have dedicated their lives to attacking America, and are supporters of the jihadist enemies of the West.

Horowitzs speech also sparked considerable debate on the website of the Daily Northwestern, the main student paper on campus where real discussion over issues of radical Islam was disrupted by a flurry of hoax comments posted by a student or students claiming to be David Horowitz, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, Horowitz Freedom Center staffer Reut Cohen, and others. The comments appear to have been intended to discredit Horowitz and others by ascribing them false motives for their warnings about radical Islam. One post claiming to be from Horowitz states that we need to make sure that Americans are afraid of the Muslim worldthats the only way we can get them to keep tying up their foreign policy in the Middle East with Israel. This is the propaganda line of al-Qaeda, and hardly something Horowitz would write.

Once notified about the hoax comments, the Daily Northwestern shut down the comment feature for the article about Horowitz, preventing further discussion. Campus police have been notified about the hoax comments but did not see any need to respond, despite the fact that this is a form of identity theft. It remains to be seen whether the University will launch an investigation and take action against the student(s) who posted these fake comments, but it does not appear likely. Last year the authorities at George Washington U. were exercised during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week over a similar hoax until they discovered that it was indeed a hoax perpetrated by the left.

David Horowitz is president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Through its Islamo-Fascism Awareness Program (IFAP), the DHFC has organized events to combat radical Islam and terrorism on hundreds of American campuses. More information on the program can be found at www.terrorismawareness.org.

Let's review. 

-At no cost to the school, David Horowitz is brought in to speak at Northwestern. 

-Then, at great cost to the school, a terrorist scumbag and radical islamic are brought in to speak at Northwestern. 

-After Mr. Horowitz' speech, fraudulent comments are put up on the school newspaper's web site that defame Horowitz.  But the school does not intend to investigate, thus it will not act against any student(s) who perpetrated the fraud.

This is what passes for a center of learning and diversity these days - a place where all views have equal voice.  It makes me sick. 

As a parent, if our children were of college age today it would make me want to shun Northwestern, or any other school that operated in this manner.

When will it change?  When enough parents of enough children find out what is going on at these campuses and act accordingly. 

Maybe that will happen someday and maybe it never will.  If not, congratulations to the ayers' and the shakirs of the world.  You win.


IS BARACK OBAMA LEGALLY ABLE TO BE PRESIDENT (cont.)

Ken Berwitz

The simple truth is that if Barack Obama had shown us his ORIGINAL birth certificate - not the facsimile Certificate Of Live Birth that he produced instead - this matter would have ended a long time ago.

But Mr. Obama has never done so and, instead, has engaged a team of lawyers to fight every court challenge to his presidential eligibility

If you're a guy from the boroughs of New York like I am, that sets off buzzers, alarms and sirens.  Red flags pop up in front of your eyes.

If you're Caleb Howe of AOL news (or a multitude of other supposedly curious journalists), however, it apparently gets little more than a shrug and an "ok".

Howe has written an article supposedly debunking the people who question Obama's legitimacy.  I've read it (and so can you by clicking here).  But for brevity's sake I'll just post the part that is supposed to put this issue to rest:

Now that the campaign season is over, we can stop hearing all this nonsense.
Or can we?

Some, it seems, haven't quite made up their minds. As Forbes reports, lawsuits still abound regarding the legitimacy of Barack Obama's election. The suits specifically call for the President-elect to produce his birth certificate from the State of Hawaii. The certifcate was released electronically but met with some skepticism, and since that time, the State of Hawaii has issued an official press release stating in no uncertain terms that they have the certificate on file. Although a number of such suits persist, the chief face behind the allegations is clearly Phillip Berg, an attorney and Democrat from Philadelphia. Berg is not only filing in court, he has run advertising in major newspapers and put out youtube videos and a website, all regarding the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate and alleging that he was born in Kenya. As noted at Forbes, Berg is unmoved by debunking of the issue by sites like FactCheck.org and noted myth-busting website Snopes.com.

What are my problems with this? 

-The "birth certificate" presented to us is not the original.  It is a facsimile - and one that may very well have been written over, as I showed in an August 4 blog .  Where is the original?

-Saying they have the original on file is nice.  But what they don't say is what is on the original.  Why is Mr. Obama so desperately trying to prevent us from seeing it?

-Invoking www.factcheck.org and www.snopes.com doesn't impress me.  They're not the last word on anything.  I've read both their pieces and neither addresses what I just pointed out. 

-Snopes.com is run by two people in LA, a husband and wife team named Barbara and David Mikkelson.  What are their politics?  Who did they vote for?  Most importantly, who died and made them the last word on Barack Obama's ORIGINAL birth certificate?  Do they claim to have seen it?  If not, how would they know what it does or doesn't say?  (I would ask those last three questions of the pompous oracles over at factcheck.org too).

Mr. Howe does have an answer for us regarding the snopes.com claim of legitimacy.  Here it is in its entirety:

Well, for starters, as Snopes points out, there is something silly about the idea that a major party, with so much to lose, would stake their entire reputation on a forgery so lame that internet snoops could pick it apart in a day visiting a public website. The McCain question was a matter of law regarding a matter of record, silly though the matter was. The Obama question isn't a matter of law, unless the campaign lied and produced a forgery to cover something up. In other words, the McCain story was actually about eligibility, while the Obama story is about the Democrats and the Obama campaign willfully committing a series of crimes and coverups in an attempt to defraud the entire nation. It's hardly the same thing. Put in terms of the impact, you can have one of two reactions. You can go into panic/attack mode like Berg, thinking that it's such a huge deal someone must do something fast. Or you can think that, well, how dumb would the Democrats have to be to pin their great Presidential hopes on someone who wasn't born here and cover it up with an electronic forgery? It simply doesn't seem like a rational theory, in other words. Furthermore, contrary to Berg's assertions, the so-called smoking gun questions about the electronic version of the certificate are easily explained. Lastly, Hawaii says they have the certificate, which should be case closed.

This is proof?  About 4/5ths of the entire commentary tells us it would be stupid if Obama wasn't eligible (I agree).  That, however, doesn't explain a thing about his birth certificate.  All Howe offers us is that it is "easily explained" (without benefit of any explanation) and that Hawaii has the certificate (which they won't show to us because Barack Obama won't let them).

Let's just say that Woodward and Bernstein are not looking worriedly over their shoulders at Caleb Howe.

My personal opinion?  I don't know if Mr. Obama is or is not eligible to be President because what we have been shown does not prove it one way or the other.

But when someone who can easily show you proof fights tooth and nail to hide it, the Brooklyn comes right out of me.  Instead of just shrugging and saying "ok", I assume there must be something he does not want me to see.

Maybe Caleb Howe should too.

marty Zeke is wrong. His authority lay in the office he occupies, not in the assertion that he is not eligible. (11/25/08)

Zeke^ For sure, the "Is Obama Legally President" issue will be litigated by the very first law he signs that has civil or criminal penalties. The defense lawyer will seek to have to law declared null and void, as it was not signed by an individual CONSTITUTIONALLY qualified to be President. (11/25/08)

Ted The Supreme Court CANNOT DUCK Obama’s Birth Certificate Constitutional Crisis (albeit the media blackout on the issue). The messiah will NOT become President! This 90-minute blogradio program explains why: politicalpistachio.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-is-obamas-birth-certificate-still.html (11/24/08)


HANNITY & ???)

Ken Berwitz

I like Alan Colmes.  He's a better debater than Sean Hannity and, though certainly leftward in his views, less ideological than Hannity as well. 

He'll be missed.

It turns out that, after 12 years of battling it out with Hannity, Colmes wants to move on.  Here are the particulars, from www.breitbart.com:

Alan Colmes to Depart Top Rated Hannity & Colmes
Nov 24 02:26 PM US/Eastern
FOX News Channels (FNC) Alan Colmes will relinquish his role as co-host of Hannity & Colmes at the end of the year.

In announcing his decision, Colmes said, I approached Bill Shine (FNCs Senior Vice President of Programming) earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network. Although its bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, Im proud that both Sean (Hannity) and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years.

Colmes will continue to have a presence on FNC as he will serve as a liberal commentator on a variety of FOX News programming, including Foxnews.coms The Strategy Room and continue hosting his radio program, The Alan Colmes Show on FOX Talk, a division of FOX News Radio. He will also begin developing a weekend program.

Shine said, Were very sorry to see Alan reach this decision but we understand his desire to seek other creative challenges in his career. We value his incredible hard work in making Hannity & Colmes the most successful debate program on cable news and were going to miss him on the show. Thankfully, he will begin developing a weekend pilot for us.

FOX News Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes added, Alan is one of the key reasons why FOX News has been such a remarkable success. Were sad to see him leave the program but we look forward to his ongoing contributions to the network.

Hannity & Colmes is the only FNC program which has remained in the same timeslot for 12 years, catapulting to number one in 2003 and never relinquishing the top spot. The second highest-rated program in cable news behind only The OReilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes averaged 3.3 million viewers nightly for the Nielsen month of October and is poised to mark 60 consecutive months at number one at the end of November.

Hannity added, Not only has Alan been a remarkable co-host, hes been a great friend which is rare in this industry Ill genuinely miss sparring with such a skillful debate partner.

Throughout his 12 year tenure on Hannity & Colmes, Colmes has interviewed numerous key political figures, including: President Elect Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), DNC Chairman Howard Dean and former Vice President Al Gore.

I've never been on Hannity & Colmes (though Dan Cohen, who was - and quite possibly still is - the show's producer has a copy of our book, and at one time was at least somewhat interested in working me into a segment or two). 

But I would have loved to see if I could get one or two sentences in a row past Colmes, while preventing him from his specialty - overwhelming guests with a torrent of opinions they would never be able to remember, let alone answer one by one.

Maybe on the new show he's developing with Fox..........


A TALE OF TWO CITIGROUPS

Ken Berwitz

From an article in today's New York Times:

U.S. Approves Plan to Help Citigroup Cope With Losses

By ERIC DASH

Published: November 23, 2008

Federal regulators approved a radical plan to stabilize Citigroup in an arrangement in which the government could soak up billions of dollars in losses at the struggling bank, the government announced late Sunday night.

The complex plan calls for the government to back about $306 billion in loans and securities and directly invest about $20 billion in the company. The plan, emerging after a harrowing week in the financial markets, is the governments third effort in three months to contain the deepening economic crisis and may set the precedent for other multibillion-dollar financial rescues.

Citigroup executives presented a plan to federal officials on Friday evening after a weeklong plunge in the companys share price threatened to engulf other big banks. In tense, round-the-clock negotiations that stretched until almost midnight on Sunday, it became clear that the crisis of confidence had to be defused now or the financial markets could plunge further.

Whether this latest rescue plan will help calm the markets is uncertain, given the stress in the financial system caused by losses at Citigroup and other banks. Each previous government effort initially seemed to reassure investors, leading to optimism that the banking system had steadied. But those hopes faded as the economic outlook worsened, raising worries that more bank loans were turning sour.

Under the agreement, Citigroup and regulators will back up to $306 billion of largely residential and commercial real estate loans and certain other assets, which will remain on the banks balance sheet. Citigroup will shoulder losses on the first $29 billion of that portfolio.

From an ACORN press release, September 20, 2004:

Citigroup and ACORN Sign Groundbreaking Agreement to Expand Homeownership in Communities Around the Country

September 20, 2004

New York-Citigroup and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) today announced a landmark partnership that advances the goals of both organizations in promoting homeownership in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, especially in immigrant communities, increasing the availability of affordable credit, and promoting financial education. The partnership also reinforces Citigroup's position as a key industry leader in responsible and innovative lending practices.

As part of the partnership, announced today at an event in New York City, Citigroup and ACORN have agreed to collaborate on several initiatives, including to:

  • Form an affordable mortgage-lending program between Citigroup and ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC) to develop a specialized mortgage product for all AHC's homeownership centers, and make mortgages available to immigrants who have previously been shut out of credit markets.
  • Work together to expand access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, and, in immigrant communities, expand access to Citibank's Access Account and low-cost remittance program.
  • Expand financial education to assist low- and moderate-income consumers in saving, obtaining credit, and using credit wisely.
  • Focus on community-development lending to increase affordable housing in areas where the Citibank Community Development and ACORN footprints coincid
  • Provide borrowers with access to the best combination of loan product, price, service, and attributes.
  • Establish a net-benefit test for real estate secured loans.

"Citigroup is excited to announce this historic agreement," said Marge Magner, Chairman and CEO of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group. "By joining forces we can make great strides in building stronger communities and fostering a new generation of proud homeowners."

"With this agreement, ACORN will be able to expand our mission of strengthening communities by helping low- and moderate-income families, including new immigrants to this country, become homeowners," said Maude Hurd, National President of ACORN.

Through the alliance, Citigroup and ACORN will work together to reach out to low- and moderate-income, underserved consumers across the country. In addition to real estate loans, Citigroup's affiliates are offering their breadth of products and services, including Citibank's Access Account, designed as a starter account for consumers who have not traditionally had banking relationships; Citipro, the bank's complimentary financial needs checkup; free online banking; and affordable money remittance services, among others.

A few questions, only one of which is tough at all:

-Do you see any connection here?

-Should this inform future policy?

-Do you think the incoming administration sees any connection here?

Like I said, two are easy.  It's the third one that should have us worried. 


THE STEALING OF NORM COLEMAN'S SENATE SEAT (cont.)

Ken Berwitz

If (when) Norm Coleman is unseated as the senator from Minnesota, it appears that Somali immigrants who came to this country under wholly fraudulent circumstances will account for substantially more than al franken's "margin of victory" (I use quotation marks because I don't consider the term realistic in this instance).

Here are the specifics, from Diana West, writing for the Washington Times, via Scott Johnson of www.powerlineblog.com:

From Mogadishu to Minneapolis

November 24, 2008 Posted by Scott at 5:57 AM

The Twin Cities is home to the largest population of Somali immigrants in the United States. In her latest Washington Times column, Diana West reports the discovery of immigration fraud involving the P-3 family designation in the current United States Refugee Admissions Program:

Within the last week...the State Department confirmed that massive immigration fraud has been perpetrated overwhelmingly by Africans claimed as close kin (parent, spouse, minor child) by legal residents in the United States. (According to a report in the City Pages in Minneapolis, this scam has been netting some unknowns along the food chain up to $10,000 per head.) Given that Somalis form the largest bloc of African immigrants to the United States, this becomes another story with Somalis playing a starring role.

West's column cites this City Pages article and this State Department fact sheet on the fraud. West concludes her column with a look at the ramifications on Minnesota politics:

Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, who famously swore his 2007 oath of office on the Koran as the first Muslim elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, routinely declares that his 7,000-vote margin of victory came from Somali Muslims. Last month, Mr. Ellison was campaigning for that same Somali Muslim vote on behalf of Mr. Franken.

And what's newsworthy about that? In this case, the point is not that Mr. Ellison was campaigning for the Somali vote, but rather with whom he was campaigning. According to AsianTribune.com, after Mr. Ellison made a standard, if Somalii-oriented campaign pitch on behalf of Mr. Franken before a gathering of Minnesota Somalis, another speaker appeared before the crowd.

Described in the report as a "highly regarded prominent Somali traditional leader" -- i.e., a Somali leader from Somalia, not Minnesota -- Abdullahi Ugas Farah spoke on behalf of the Ellison-Franken cause. "In order for Keith to be helpful to the situation in Somalia, you must also elect Al Franken to the Senate," he said.

Now, there's something new on the American hustings: a "Somali traditional" leader. Curious, I Googled Mr. Farah and came up with one news story, a 2003 brief from the Asia Africa Intelligence Wire headlined, "New Islamic court opens in Mogadishu." The story reported that Mr. Farah was one of two speakers who presided over the opening ceremony for a new Sharia court in Mogadishu's Shirkole area. From Sharia courts in Mogadishu to an Al Franken rally in Minnesota.

Only in ... America?

West notes that the State Department is punting the question of what to do with fradulently admitted Somalis over to the Department of Homeland Security. And what is DHS doing with it? My guess is that the fraudulently admitted Somalis have about as much to fear from DHS as does President-elect Obama's deportable auntie Zeutuni. Help is on the way!

There you have it.  Large numbers of somalis who have come to this country illegally, and were exhorted to vote for al franken by a proponent of shari'a law. 

This election is being stolen right in front of our faces.  In the middle of town.  On the 50 yard line. 

And it stinks.

free I saw this headline on drudge>>> DRAMA: Franken Worker Infiltrates Process; Counts Ballots As 'Nonpartisan' Volunteer... (11/24/08)


AND IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, WE'VE GOT THE WIGGLES.....

Ken Berwitz

They sure know how to punish 'em in Fort Lupton, Colorado:

Noise violators in Fort Lupton sentenced to listen to Barry Manilow

Published November 22, 2008 at 4:19 p.m.
Updated November 22, 2008 at 4:19 p.m.

Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs" may begin with the line, "I've been alive forever,'" but for noise ordinance violators, listening to Manilow may feel like forever.

Fort Lupton Municipal Judge Paul Sacco says his novel punishment of forcing noise violators to listen to music they don't like for one hour has cut down on the number of repeat offenders in this northwestern Colorado prairie town.

About four times a year, those guilty of noise ordinance violations are required to sit in a room and listen to music from the likes of Manilow, Barney the Dinosaur, and The Platters' crooning "Only You"

"These people should have to listen to music they don't like," said Judge Paul Sacco for a segment about the program that aired Friday on Denver's KUSA-TV.

Sacco began the program years ago when he noticed that many of the repeat offenders simply showed up at his courtroom to pay their fine with cash.

"Most kids don't want to hear somebody like Glenn Close trying to sing opera," he said.

Video of a recent class showed teenagers with long faces shifting in their seats or looking up at the ceiling.

"You can't fall asleep," said teenager Rueben Fuentes right before letting out a bit of a sigh.

Members of a garage band were at the class after playing music late at night in their backyard.

"The cop station was two blocks away," said band member Robert Mort. "People who were at the party loved it. I'm not sure the cops did."

"Too much music, too loud, too late," added band member Harrison DeRuiter.

So what does Sacco think of Barry Manilow?

"I actually don't think Manilow's too bad," he said.

Personally I like Barry Manilow.  And I especially like the Platters -- even though Tony Williams admittedly goes overboard with that "ah-AHHH" when he re-sings the last part of the song. 

But Barney?  Count me among the millions and millions (I'm guessing) of people who would punch that insipid purple brontosaurus right in his snout if any of us could get close enough.  When it comes to annoying, Barney leaves them all in the dust.

Besides, I've read that the brontosaurus may never even have existed and what was thought to be a bronto was, in reality, a variation of the apatosaurus.  With this in mind, I would pay Barney's producers if they would banish him forever and give us an apatosaurus with a different personality.

Maybe it could do a couple of Manilow songs.  I figure the Platters would be covered by a group of platypusses.


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