Saturday, 14 February 2009

A TASTE OF THE OLD SOD, SHARI'A STYLE

Ken Berwitz

Isn't it lovely when people come to the USA from other countries but bring elements of their culture to our shores?

Well, maybe not all the time.

Read this story from the New York Daily News and you'll see what I mean:

Afghan diplomat Mohammed Fagirad charged in all-day wife beating

Saturday, February 14th 2009, 12:20 AM

An Afghan diplomat was charged Friday with beating his wife "like a dog" for more than 15 hours in their Queens home, prosecutors said.

Mohammed Fagirad, 30, a vice consul at the Afghanistan Consulate, brutalized his wife inside their Flushing home from about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday until nearly midnight, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

During the attack, Fagirad bit, slapped, choked and beat the 22-year-old woman with a belt, pushed her down a flight of stairs and sat on her chest, prosecutors said.

At one point, prosecutors said, Fagirad threw his wife up against a wall, held her there by the neck and then let her drop to the floor, where he beat her with a belt.

Fagirad told police his "wife was a dog and he was going to treat her like a dog," prosecutors said.

When Fagirad left the home, his wife fled and went to the 109th Precinct stationhouse, where she filed a domestic violence report, prosecutors said. She then returned home.

When Fagirad returned, he demanded his wife's cell phone and called police to file a counterclaim, prosecutors said.

The woman, who was not named, was hospitalized for bruises and scratches to her neck and back.

Prosecutors said Fagirad's limited diplomatic immunity only covers work-related infractions.

He was awaiting arraignment last night in Queens Criminal Court.

This, of course, comes hot on the heels of  Muzzammil Hassan, that fine gentleman from Buffalo, NY, beheading his wife Aasiya.  Mr. Hassan, you may recall, is the founder of Bridges TV, a venue dedicated to casting Muslims in a more positive light.

Maybe beheading your wife, or beating her "like a dog" for 15 hours casts Muslims in a more positive light in Yemen, or the taliban areas of Pakistan (are there any other?), or among al qaeda enthusiasts.  But not here.

Not yet, anyway.


MICHAEL RATNER: A LAMB AT WORK

Ken Berwitz

Some call them left wing lunatics.  Some call them moonbats.  I call them LAMBs - i.e., members of the Lunatic-Left And Mega-moonbat Brigade.

Want to see one at work?

Here is a commentary by Michael Ratner, President of the hardest-of-hard-left "Center for Constitutional Rights" (click on the name to see for yourself), gleefully assuring us that the country wants Bush, Cheney, etc. to pay for being "torturers".

Sleepless Nights For The Torture Team: Gallup Poll Says To Obama Go Get Em February 14th, 2009

If I were one of the torture team, and by torture team I mean Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo and others, I would not be sleeping well. According to a recent Gallup poll two-thirds of Americans want to see former administration officials investigated for torture and wiretapping and forty percent want prosecutions. That is an astounding percentage in a country where press and pundits have led us to believe that Americans dont care, or worse, supported torture and the wiretapping of our phones. I am sure it made the torture team run to their shredders and their lawyers. It should have.

The torture team openly and publicly broke two of the most important criminal laws on our books: the anti-torture and war crimes statutes. It could be jail for life and even the death penalty for the perpetrators. Lets take a look at just one example of the hundreds available. Cheney bragged that he approved the use of waterboarding, the medieval drowning technique, condemned in the past as torture by our own courts. He even boasted he would authorize it again. Eric Holder, our new Attorney General stated at his confirmation hearing that waterboarding was torture. So there you have the case: an open, public confession of criminality by Cheney and a statement that such conduct is criminal by the highest law official in our land.

So whats the problem? Why has not Holder initiated a prosecution? Why has Obama been mealy mouthed about investigation and prosecution of criminal activities that he is obligated to investigate by our solemn treaty commitments under the Convention Against Torture. That treaty makes it absolute: if someone suspected of engaging in torture is in your country you must investigate. Obama is in violation of the law.

Here is his lame excuse: Obama says he wants to look forward and not backwards, and that the U.S. will not engage in torture going forward (lets hope that is true). Obama is smart enough to know better; its a facile statement that appeals to those who just want to hear it without examining its meaning. Prosecuting the torturers is about the future it is about deterring torture going forward. A failure to prosecute is the equivalent of granting impunity, an impunity that will embolden this administration or the next one to again violate human beings and break the law. The image that says it all is the one of Obama the day after his inauguration signing an executive order to end torture. A great day in America, assuming it really does that. But it is also one of the scariest images in American history. For what Obama did with a pen, the next President can just as easily undo with a pen. The absolute right to be free from torture should not depend on the vagaries of elections. Justice against torturers should be sure and swift. It is the only way this penultimate crime can be prevented and we can have a future free from torture.

And here are the data this commentary is based on:

The problem here?  All the poll says is that a majority of people want an investigation into what the question defines as possible use of torture on terrorism suspects. 

It doesn't suggest that the people accept this premise, only that, if it is a possibility, most would want it looked into.

Compare that to Ratner's comments, which tell us in so many words that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo, etc. are torturers.  Is this based on anything other than being a LAMB who hates these guys?  You tell me, because I don't see anything else.

Oh, and by the way, he points out they could go to jail for life or be executed.  Is this a LAMB, or what?

And here's the topper:  this genius is outraged that the Obama administration appears less than taken with the idea of going after Bush, Cheney, etc. for this "torture" that Ratner knows took place.  He can't understand why Obama would be this way.

Maybe, Mr. Ratner, it's because they didn't torture anyone - that includes the three instances of waterboarding - and if Obama spends time and money trying to prosecute the previous administration for aggressively trying to get information from terrorists who want us all dead - even you, Mr. Ratner - he will look like a prize idiot - just the way you do, Mr. Ratner.

Like I said at the beginning of this blog, some people give them different names.  But (a little Shakespearean touch here):  What's in a name?  That which we call a LAMB by any other name would smell as bad.

P.S. For whatever it's worth, Michael Ratner is the brother of is the brother of another LAMB, hard-left talk show host Ellen Ratner, and the brother of fabulously wealthy Bruce Ratner, who owns, among other things, the New Jersey Nets. 


THE DEMOCRATIC 'STEALFROMUS' PACKAGE

Ken Berwitz

The steafromus package has passed through congress.  And it is owned in its entirety by the Democratic Party.  It is theirs and no one elses.

It must be owned by Democrats.  It passed the house with 246 Democrats voting in favor versus 7 against.  It passed the senate with 57 Democrats voting in favor and none voting against.  By contrast every house Republican and 38 of the 41 Republicans senators voted against it.

This monstrosity, this raping of the US taxpayer, belongs to the Democrats.  It is the triumph of Obama/Pelosi/Reidism.  Their great victory.

Incidentally, does it worry you that, over the past week, the claim that it would "create four million jobs", magically changed to "create or save four million jobs"?

Bravo!  Great move.  Now, no matter what happens, Democrats can tell the sheeple they've done what they said.  If no jobs are gained, they can claim they saved four million.  How can you disprove it?  Hell, even if another million jobs are lost they can claim they saved five million.  Mission accomplished. 

And not a word about this presto-change-o from our wonderful "neutral" media.  I guess when you abet the election of Saint Barack, anything he says, and anything he revises, is perfectly okey dokey.

I hope this works, and that it isn't a catastrophe for the United States.  But I don't see how it does, or how it won't be.


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DEFINITION OF "WARNING"

Ken Berwitz

Want to see a "warning" that isn't a warning?

All you have to do is look at the Associated Press article describing Hillary Clinton's speech about North Korea.  Here is the excerpt which shows what I'm talking about:

Clinton warns N. Korea: No 'provocative' moves

She outlines priorities for Asia trip, including crucial issues in China, Japan

Image: Clinton at the Asia Society
U.S. Secretary Of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the Asia Society in New York on Friday, outlined the priorities for U.S. interests in Asia.

 

NEW YORK - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her first major policy speech, urged North Korea Friday not to take any "provocative" actions that could undermine peace efforts.

Amid press reports that North Korea might be preparing a long-range missile test, Clinton pledged to hold the communist regime to its commitments to give up its nuclear programs in return for international aid and political concessions.

"We will need to work together to address the most acute challenge to stability in northeast Asia: North Korea's nuclear program," she said.

Clinton spoke to New York's Asia Society on the eve of a trip to visit China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea her first as secretary of state and noted that their major economies and huge populations will be critical to turning around the global financial crisis.

She declared that President Barack Obama's administration is "ready to work with leaders in Asia to resolve the economic crisis that threatens the Pacific as much as any other region, ready to strengthen our historic partnerships and alliances while developing deeper bonds with all nations."

She also sought to reassure Japan, the top U.S. ally in the region, on one of its top concerns, promising to meet with the families of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

"I will assure our allies in Japan that we have not forgotten the families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea and I will meet with some of those families in Tokyo next week," she said.

Environment also a priority
Climate change will be another diplomatic priority, Clinton said, especially because of China's fast-growing industries. "Climate change is not just an environmental nor an energy issue, but also has implications for our health, our economies and our security," she said.

On North Korea, Clinton said the Obama administration is committed to working with the reclusive country through the framework of six-nation talks that produced the nuclear agreement.

"We believe we have an opportunity to move these discussions forward," she said. "But it is incumbent on North Korea to avoid any provocative action and unhelpful rhetoric toward South Korea."

The United States is willing to "normalize" relations with North Korea, Clinton said, but only if the regime in Pyongyang agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons programs and accept a program of verification.

She suggested the United States could provide energy and economic aid and sign a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War. The 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, and the two Koreas face each other across one of the world's most heavily armed borders.

"If North Korea is genuinely prepared to completely and verifiably eliminate their nuclear weapons program, the Obama administration will be willing to normalize bilateral relations, replace the peninsula's long-standing armistice agreements with a permanent peace treaty, and assist in meeting the energy and other economic needs of the North Korean people," Clinton said.

What is with the Associated Press?  Is it determined to irreparably damage its reputation by doing this stuff?

For someone who reads only the headline, Hillary Clinton has tough-talked North Korea. But in the very first paragraph, we find out that she hasn't "warned" North Korea about a thing.  She has "urged" them.  And then, further down, we find out that if they do what she is "urging" them to, the United States will give them things.

So it isn't a warning at all.  It isn't even an urging.  It is a bribe.  Nice work AP.  That'll do wonders for what's left of your credibility.

By the way, isn't this the same thing hubby Bill did after jimmy carter promised nuclear capability to North Korea in the early 1990's, provided it was used for peaceful purposes?  Isn't it how we wound up essentially building North Korea's nuclear capacity for them - after which they laughed at that "for peace only" promise?

If this is "change", it is only in the sense that the more things "change" the more they stay the same.

One other thing:  Is it just me, or does the accompanying picture looks like Ms. Clinton is describing, in highly exaggerated terms, what she found out about Bill on their wedding night?


THE HENRIETTA HUGHES SCAM

Ken Berwitz

Remember that pathetic, crying, indigent woman, Henrietta Hughes, who sobbed to a visibly touched Barack Obama that she and her son live in a car, and she needs her own kitchen and bathroom?  Remember how he pledged his help, to enthusiastic cheering by the crowd?  Remember how a politician and his wife (Nick and Chene Thompson) just happened to be there with a spare house to let her live in?

At the time, I blogged that it was an obvious set-up, and about as spontaneous as a professional wrestling match. 

But I didn't know the half of it.

Read this report from Nick Spinetto, writing for WINK TV in South Florida, and learn the real story:

UPDATE: Henrietta Hughes says she's not milking the system

By Nick Spinetto, WINK News

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - A woman making national headlines after a tearful moment with President Obama has a new home.

Thursday morning, Chene Thompson handed Henrietta Hughes the keys to her home in Hendry County. Thompson is the wife of State Representative Nick Thompson (R-District 73). Hughes and her son will live at the home rent free.

At President Obama's town hall meeting in Fort Myers on Tuesday, Henrietta Hughes stood up and told the President she has been homeless since 2003 and can't find a job.

She also says she's reach a dead end with government assistance and none of the local charity agencies will help.

However, a local organization is coming forward saying Hughes isn't being honest about how much help she's had in the past.

The director of We Care Outreach Ministry, Tanya Johnson, says just last month she offered Henrietta Hughes permanent housing and a place to stay free for three months, but Hughes refused.

"We would have allowed her to stay for the first 90 days, no income. You know free," said Tanya Johnson.

We Care Outreach Ministry is a faith based organization in Fort Myers.

Johnson says she also gave Henrietta and her son Corey, money, food and offered Corey job training courses, but it was refused.

"We have extended a lot of her services to her," Johnson said.

But Henrietta Hughes says these services weren't free and the apartment in East Fort Myers came with a price tag.

Hughes says Tanya Johnson wanted $400 a month immediately.

The disability check Hughes gets is a little more than $800 a month.

Hughes owes money on a loan, has her car insurance payment, a monthly storage bill and says she couldn't afford the rent.

"Where was I going to get $400 a month to give her if I got these expenses," Hughes told WINK News.

WINK News Reporter Nick Spinetto went back to talk to Tanya Johnson.
She stands by her story.

Henrietta Hughes says she's never taken advantage of the system and doesn't choose to be homeless. Like other programs she's tried to get help from,she says We Care couldn't meet her needs.

State Representative Nick Thompson and his wife Chene are standing by the Henrietta and her son, Corey. They spoke out against the allegations Henrietta is milking the system, even when confronted with the fact WINK News found out the Hughes' sold property, back in 2005. This is after Henrietta and her son lost thier home in 2003 and started living in their car. Henrietta and her son sold the land for $47,000 dollars. But Chene Thompson says that was all the money they had for several years and it's gone.

"They have nothing today. They need help today. They didn't need help in 2005. They need help today. So whether they had $47,000 or $147,000 in 2005, it doesn't matter. They don't have any money today," she said.

The Thompson's say they are sad Henrietta has to defend herself against these allegations and they will continue to help her. They also hope it doesn't deter other people from helping.


Now you might look at this and think that Henrietta Hughes still has a case, however thin.  But wait, there is more.  This comes to us from the redoubtable Steve Gilbert at www,sweetness-light.com:

The Property Records Of Henrietta Hughes

According to Lee County, Florida property records:

6/18/01 Property (Lot 19, Block 35, Unit 9, Sec. 20, Twnshp 44S, Range 27, Lehigh Acres Subdivision) purchased by Henrietta and Corey Hughes

10/10/03 - $124,400.00 lien release due to payment in full to Henrietta and Corey Hughes.

8/9/06 - Quit claim deed signed by Henrietta Hughes granting full ownership to Corey Hughes.

No transactions since for either Henrietta Hughes or Corey Hughes which means that Corey Hughes still owns the property. Taxes current (paid) on 1/1/09.

There are a number of mortgage lien holder transfers between 2001 and when it was paid off in 2003. This is normal as liens are often sold (think one mortgage holder buying out another). What is interesting is how this lien for $124,400.00 was paid off in less than 28 months.

To access the records:

http://www.leeclerk.org/OR/Search.aspx

Enter last name first, first name last.

Has this property been sold in 2005, a transfer would have been recorded since the county records not only purchases but sales as well. Also, why would someone sell a property they paid at least $124,000.00 for in June, 2001 for $47,000.00 in 2005 when market prices were still high?

The fact is this scam artist did not sell her property that was jointly owned with her son, Corey Lamont, from day one. What she did do was sign a quit claim deed in 2006, giving TOTAL ownership to her son Corey Lamont. I would guess this is because the value of the property would affect SSDI benefits along with Medicare/Medicaid. It would also affect any welfare she might be eligible for under SSDI. My guess is she applied for SSDI and was told that she could only have so much worth. Yet, the 2004 Rochester, NY article states she is already receiving Medicare/Medicaid.

It is also interesting that in 2004, Corey Lamont Hughes sought, and received, free medical treatment in Rochester, NY while he and his mother were still owners of property in Florida

Retire05 also added this:

Here is the history (remember to keep the lot numbers separate as that is important):

6/18/01 - Henrietta and Corey Hughes purchases Lot 18 and 19, Block 35 of Lehigh Acres

8/17/01 - Henrietta and Corey Hughes purchases Lot 22, Block 35 of Lehigh Acres

10/29/01 - Henrietta and Corey Hughes receives building permit for Lot 19, Block 35 of Lehigh Acres. The builder is Holiday Builders of Cape Coral, Florida

10/29/01 - (same day) Henrietta and Corey Hughes secures mortgage financing from Riverside Bank of The Gulf Coast, Cape Coral, Florida (this would be for the building of the structure constructed by Holiday Builders) in the amount of $124,400.00

7/15/03 - Forclosure filed by Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast on Lot 19, Block 35 Lehigh Acres in an amount of slightly over $123,600.00 (meaning she paid about $800 of the mortgage in 21 months)

10/16/2003 - Mortgage satisfaction filed by Riverside Bank granting ownership to Henrietta and Corey Hughes for Lot 19, Block 35 of Lehigh Acres for $124,400.00

6/30/05 - Lot 22, Block 35 of Lehigh Acres sold to Homeland, LLC.

8/9/06 - Quit claim deed signed by Henrietta Hughes to Corey Hughes for Lot 18, Block 35 of Lehigh Acres.

She originally owned 3 lots, #18, #19 and #22. Number #22 was sold in 2005 (when she claims she lost her home) to Homeland, LLC in June, 2005 and #18 was transferred to her son, Corey Lamont, on 8/9/06 (signing a quit claim deed gave him total ownership of #18 which they had bought jointly).

I can find no record of any subsequent sales of the home build on Lot 19.

At the very least it would seem that Mrs. Hughes circumstances are not quite the way they have been represented in the media.

It's bad enough that the Henrietta Hughes routine was an obvious set-up by the Obama people; a grotesque update of "Queen For A Day" to give the warm fuzzies to as many suckers as possible.  But now we find out that Hughes' home ownership is very, very different than the destitution and indigency she sobbed out to President Obama and everyone in televisionland.

Does the word "FRAUD" come to mind?

So, are you going to wait for mainstream media to go to town on this story....even do some investigative work on how Henrietta Hughes managed to cop a front row seat at an Obama rally and get that microphone in her hand?

If so, get ready; this is going to be a very long wait.  Maybe forever.

------------------------------------------------------

Note:  A commenter, "free", whom I know from an internet chat room (good guy, by the way), has pointed out that Nick Thompson is a Republican.  I have therefore changed the blog to reflect this. Sorry about the error....and, I assume, the Thompsons' offer of a house was not a set-up because I doubt Barack Obama is helping Republicans these days.

free` The couple that gave her the house rent free are Republicans, you may want to edit that part. You can delete this post, i just wanted to let you know about the mistake. Take care Ken, you are missed @ politics btw. (02/14/09)


MEDIA BIAS - THE LATEST IN A SERIES

Ken Berwitz

As regular readers know, I have shown blog after blog demonstrating that when a disgraced public figure is a Democrat, his/her party affiliation is magically exorcised from mainstream media's covera.  I have also shown time and time again that, when it is a Republican, these same media cannot wait to tell us about it.

Here, from Tom Blumer of www.newsbusters.org, is the latest example of this ongoing double standard:

AP's 'Name That Party' Twist: Disgraced PA Judges' Dem Party ID Disappears After Initial Inclusion

APabsolutelyPathetic0109.jpgThis "Name That Party" situation has many of the usual elements. There are several stories about two Democratic judges involved in criminal behavior in Pennsylvania, and, with one exception, they "somehow" don't get around to identifying their party.

But this saga is different for two reasons:

  • The crimes to which the judges have pleaded guilty involve "thousands" of juveniles.
  • In one lonely exception, the Associated Press's coverage prominently identified the judges' party. But in what was apparently a subsequent longer revision, their party identification disappeared.

What follows is a side-by-side picture of the first four paragraphs of a February 11 AP story carried at topix.com (also saved at my host for future reference, and of the five paragraphs of the story as it now appears at MSNBC (also saved at host; red and green boxes are mine; portions of the Topix link were moved from their original locations on the page for demonstration purposes; MSNBC graphic is of the printer-friendly version):

APtopixMSNBCcomparison0209

Looking at the green boxes, you can see that at the bottom left, MSNBC is the site to which Topix linked when it posted the story. The nine-digit page ID number at Topix is the same as the ID at the top of the MSNBC page on the right.

But my oh my, how the MSNBC page has changed:

  • The "Both are Democrats" sentence is gone.
  • The quote from the Juvenile Law Center attorney has been added.
  • (not visible in the picture) There are no other differences between the first eight paragraphs excerpted at Topix and the first nine paragraphs at MSNBC.
  • The full 856-word article at MSNBC does not identify the party of either of the two judges involved.

It is virtually inconceivable that Topix would have gratuitously added "Both are Democrats" on its own. Those words were almost definitely present at MSNBC when Topix did its excerpt.

Topix is the one and only place I was able to find the "Both are Democrats" sentence. Just a few of the other sites where the party affiliation-free AP story mirrors what is at MSNBC include NJherald.com, DCexaminer.com, Google, Yahoo! News, Fox News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and AOL.com. Even attempts to find cached versions of the story that might have been published earlier with the party affiliation failed (some examples are here, here, here, and here).

I contacted the Luzerne County Courts on Friday afternoon, and confirmed that Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are indeed Democrats.

Subsequent stories about the two judges have also failed to identify their party. A few examples are:

In a Google Web Search on ["both are Democrats" Pennsylvania] (typed as indicated within the brackets), the Topix article came back as the only result related to the judges. A Google News search on the same string came back with nothing.

It would appear that the person or persons at AP who released the earlier unbylined story picked up at Topix actually paid attention to the wire service's Stylebook (from 2000), which says that:

party affiliation Let relevance be the guide in determining whether to include a political figures party affiliation in a story. Party affiliation is pointless in some stories, such as an account of a governor accepting a button from a poster child. It will occur naturally in many political stories. For stories between these extremes, include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious about what it is.

Since this is clearly a national story involving a horrible, orchestrated, large-scale betrayal of the public trust, there is little doubt that the rest of the nation is quite "likely to be curious" about Ciavarella's and Conahan's party membership. But the AP's Michael Rubinkam and MaryClaire Dale, who are bylined here in the party-purged version of the story carried at DCexaminer.com, apparently didn't think readers were entitled to know.

Short of an open admission, the pulled party-affiliation sentence following a brief appearance is probably as convincing a piece of evidence as we'll ever see that the press is deliberately playing "Don't Name That Democrat" whenever it can.

Do we even need to ask what would have been reported if Ciavarella and Conahan had been Republicans?

Amazing, isn't it?  Just like clockwork.  Time and time again.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


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