Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Ken Berwitz

Charles Schumer isn't the the only one pushing for the "fairness doctrine" (talk about misuses of words!), whose purpose would be to oversee free speech in this country.  Nancy Pelosi is hot on its trail.  And so is that insufferable little toad from Beverly Hills, Henry Waxman. 

Here is the story, from www.americanspectator.com.  Read it fast, before this sorry bunch forces half the article - and half my blog - to agree with them:


Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the "Fairness Doctrine" without actually calling it such. 

Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. "It's all about diversity in media," says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. "Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them." 

Copps will remain acting chairman of the FCC until President Obama's nominee, Julius Genachowski, is confirmed, and Copps has been told by the White House not create "problems" for the incoming chairman by committing to issues or policy development before the Obama pick arrives. 

But Copps has been a supporter of putting in place policies that would allow the federal government to have greater oversight over the content that TV and radio stations broadcast to the public, and both the FCC and Waxman are looking to licensing and renewal of licensing as a means of enforcing "Fairness Doctrine" type policies without actually using the hot-button term "Fairness Doctrine." 

One idea Waxman's committee staff is looking at is a congressionally mandated policy that would require all TV and radio stations to have in place "advisory boards" that would act as watchdogs to ensure "community needs and opinions" are given fair treatment. Reports from those advisory boards would be used for license renewals and summaries would be reviewed at least annually by FCC staff. 

Waxman and the FCC staff are also said to be looking at ways to ease the "consumer complaint" process, which could also be used along with the advisory boards. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is also looking at how it can put in place policies that would allow it greater oversight of the Internet. "Internet radio is becoming a big deal, and we're seeing that some web sites are able to control traffic and information, while other sites that may be of interest or use to citizens get limited traffic because of the way the people search and look for information," says on committee staffer. "We're at very early stages on this, but the chairman has made it clear that oversight of the Internet is one of his top priorities." 

"This isn't just about Limbaugh or a local radio host most of us haven't heard about," says Democrat committee member. "The FCC and state and local governments also have oversight over the Internet lines and the cable and telecom companies that operate them. We want to get alternative views on radio and TV, but we also want to makes sure those alternative views are read, heard and seen online, which is becoming increasingly video and audio driven. Thanks to the stimulus package, we've established that broadband networks -- the Internet -- are critical, national infrastructure. We think that gives us an opening to look at what runs over that critical infrastructure." 

Also involved in "brainstorming" on "Fairness Doctrine and online monitoring has been the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, which has published studies pressing for the Fairness Doctrine, as well as the radical MoveOn.org, which has been speaking to committee staff about policies that would allow them to use their five to six million person database to mobilize complaints against radio, TV or online entities they perceive to be limiting free speech or limiting opinion.

There is a simple, basic reality here.  Schumer/Pelosi/Waxman and other like-minded hardliners intend to make sure that they have a way of either inhibiting free speech (i.e. speech that they disagree with) or stifling it altogether.

Sad to say, this is a direct consequence of electing what amounts to one-party government in this country.  It is the price we will pay.  And while we can undo this atrocity in two years, a lot can happen in that period of time.  As you can see, it is already starting.

Maybe this bunch should contact hugo chavez for pointers.  They have a lot in common with each other....


Ken Berwitz

Warner Todd Huston is well to the right of me and, for that reason, we have some major areas of disagreement.

But not on senator Charles Schumer.  Huston can't stand this repulsive camera-hound fraud, and neither can I.

Here is Mr. Huston's latest commentary on "Chuck the schmuck" (as Mark Levin calls him).  Read it and see why we feel as we do:

Chuck Schumer: Liar, Propagandist, Anti-American, Killer of Free Speech

February 17, 2009 

-By Warner Todd Huston

Usually I dont go for the hard-edged treatment of politicians as my headline here does. I dont often call individuals liars and the like, though Ive been known to do so on occasion. Generally, I prefer to assume that those that oppose my views are truthfully advocating for deep held beliefs and not using lies and obfuscation to get there some exceptions to that, of course. I am not really the biggest fan of the wild-eyed, Olbermannesque sort of bombast and name-calling.

But, after what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of his desire to push the ill-conceived Fairness Doctrine down our throats, I just cant see any other explanation of his motives. Every single word he said on this issue was convoluted, unAmerican, illogical and meant solely as a cynical means to his ends of quashing free political speech so that his party could consolidate its domination of American politics.

Schumer made these remarks last November, so they arent new. But his remarks are of a piece with the Democrats push to launch an unAmerican crusade to eliminate free speech in this country, a campaign that has been gathering steam these last few days. And, since the quest to impose the Fairness Doctrine on Americans rights to free political speech is again a topic of the Democrats agenda, it behooves us to see the false logic and lies underlying the effort. Chuck Schumers words are the perfect guide for us to illustrate the lefts goals.

Schumer started off his screed against free speech by claiming he wanted balance. Schumer said on Fox News, I think we should all be fair and balanced, dont you?

Asked if he is a supporter of telling radio stations what content they should have, Schumer used the fair and balanced line, claiming that critics of the Fairness Doctrine are being inconsistent.

Yet, the only thing that Schumer and his cohorts on the left want to balance is AM talk radio. Why is that, exactly? If true fairness is the lefts honest goal, why is talk radio the only medium being targeted? Why else but that talk radio is the only one in which conservative principles predominate. On cable TV news the left owns 75% of them. On network TV the left owns 100%. In print, the liberal view is predominant and has been since the late 1960s. So on balance the left is predominant throughout the media. Yet, AM talk radio is all the Chuck Schumers of the world are interested in fostering that vaunted balance.

Now just look at the logical gymnastics and anti-American sentiment that Schumer indulges in to justify his destruction of one of Americas most cherished principles: free political speech.

The very same people who dont want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that But you cant say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. Thats not consistent.

There is so much wrong in this ignorant statement that it boggles the mind.

First of all, and this is seminal, the concept that government is not consistent unless it overtakes everything is so unAmerican in its basic concept that it truly shows Schumer to be an outright liar. After all, he stood foursquare against the Patriot Act, didnt he? Schumer didnt see any problems with inconsistency as he tried to stop a larger take over of surveillance by the federal government, of course. Yet, all of a sudden he is worried about being consistent now?

Clearly, he is lying. This consistency argument is merely a means to an end as opposed to a logically thought out policy based on American tradition.

In fact, there is only one theory of government in which government controlling all it surveys is central to its system and that is a tyrannical monarchy. Republics and Democracies, on the other hand, are entirely based on the idea that government has some power in some areas and less or none in others. Democracies are built on the process of governors and the governed carefully deciding upon which areas government will exercise power and to what degree. Schumers claim that its an all or nothing proposition is not only unAmerican, its both undemocratic and a strike against liberty and freedom everywhere.

With this concept of consistency that Schumer espoused, it seems that he is no better than Saddam Hussein or the Taliban with his concept that government should control every aspect of our lives.

But, again, we come back to the clear fact that he is less a despot than an outright liar. Schumer isnt interested in total control of government as a basic concept. He is only interested in the power of his party. He would not be for this sort of power in the hands of Republicans or Libertarians. He is only a shill for extremist liberals and their power grab.

And this, in the end, proves he is not smart enough to even understand the concepts he claims to be operating under. His consistency argument would only be consistent if the same power was absolute whether Republicans or Democrats were in command, yet he consistently fights Republican power. In truth Schumer seeks to deny this consistent tyranny to the Republicans while working to assure it for Democrats. He is not smart enough to understand that if his party gets this all out power, that tyrannical power will it must eventually devolve onto the opposite party at some point in the future.

This is the whole reason that the founders, men of vastly superior mental capacity than Chuck Schumer, created a system that made government less powerful than would befit Schumers consistency concept.

This so-called Fairness Doctrine is a rejection of liberty, a slander against fairness, and the destruction of one of the most basic freedoms in western theories of government.

Of course, there are levels of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, neither right being absolutely free. But, this isnt the argument that Schumer is making with his idiotic consistency argument. If he stuck with the long history of defining and re-defining freedom of speech and the free press hed at least have some legitimate grounds upon which to argue. But he did not do so.

In the final analysis the only conclusion that one can make is that Chuck Schumer is a liar and a very stupid man.

Unfortunately, the entire Democratic Party is following the inane argument of this stupid man right toward an entirely anti-American policy.

Mr. Huston is very blunt and very insulting to Schumer.  Maybe too much so.  But if he has gone over the edge, he has done so just barely.  Schumer deserves the opprobrium he is getting.  

Too bad it will just roll off of him.  He belongs to the Barney Fudd/Chris Dudd school of You Can Say Anything You Want and I'll Get Re-elected Anyway, So Who Cares?


Ken Berwitz

Here is a true profile in courage, brought to us by a 12 year old schoolgirl and reported by Chelsea Schilling at www.worldnetdaily.com:

12-year-old steals day with pro-life speech
Teachers threaten disqualification, but girl chooses to speak against abortion

Posted: February 16, 2009
8:36 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
 2009 WorldNetDaily

Despite facing threats of disqualification, a 12-year-old girl took first place in a speech contest when she eloquently argued for the rights of unborn children after an offended judge quit.

"What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were going to live or die?" the seventh-grader begins in a video recording of her speech on YouTube. "What if I told you that this choice wasn't based on what you could or couldn't do, what you'd done in the past or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?"

The girl, a student at a Toronto school identified only as "Lia," continued:

"Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing without even knowing them whether they are going to live or die.

"That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion."

But what made the 12-year-old choose to speak about abortion?

"It was really a family thing," her mother explained on the blog Moral Outcry. "I saw Lou [Engle] speak at a conference several years ago. I came back to my family with the Life Bands, and we all wore them, made our covenant, and prayed the prayer for abortion to end. We were invited to participate in a 'Life Tape Siege.' Once my kids heard of this invitation, they all agreed: 'We have to do that!' Since then, Lia's passion for seeing abortion end has continued."

Despite Lia's enthusiasm for her topic, her teacher "strongly encouraged" her to select a different one for her class presentation or she would be considered ineligible for an upcoming speech contest.

"[S]everal teachers discouraged her from picking the topic of abortion; she was told it was 'too big,' 'too mature' and 'too controversial,'" her mother wrote. "She was also told that if she went ahead with that topic, she would not be allowed to continue on in the speech competition."

Lia's mother continued, "Initially, I tried helping her find other topics to speak on, but, in the end, she was adamant. She just felt she wanted to continue with the topic of abortion. So she forfeited her chance to compete in order to speak on something she was passionate about."

Lia's teacher was so impressed by the speech that she allowed her student to advance as the winner. Lia presented her speech to judges in front of her entire school on Feb. 10.

The school principal and teachers called Lia's presentation the "obvious winner" but the judges suddenly disqualified her the following day "because of the topic and her position on abortion," her mother said.

Lia's father later revealed that the judges had a "big disagreement." One was offended by the speech and voluntarily stepped down while the others reversed their earlier decision declaring her the winner.

Now Lia plans to take her message of life to a regional speech competition, and more than 100,000 visitors have viewed her presentation online.

"Why do we think that just because a fetus can't talk or do what we do, it isn't a human being yet?" She asks in the video. "Some babies are born after only five months. Is this baby not human?

"We would never say that. Yet abortions are performed on 5-month-old fetuses all the time. Or do we only call them humans if they're wanted?"

She continues, "No, fetuses are definitely humans knit together in their mother's womb by their wonderful Creator who knows them all by name."

Would those same teachers have discouraged Lia if her speech had been about "a woman's right to choose"? 

I don't know for sure, but I have a very strong suspicion that she would have been encouraged rather than discouraged. 

That would mean the problem was not Lia's subject matter, it was that she didn't have the accepted belief system.

If so, that is the biggest problem of all; a problem that, I am certain, would have occurred in countless other schools around the country for the same reason.

My own position on abortion is guaranteed to be significantly more liberal than 12 year old Lia's.  But that does not in any way change the fact that a) she is fully entitled to her opinion and b) it is wrong to have made her feel like some kind of pariah and outcast for expressing it.

Is a school's job teaching children to think?  Or teaching them what to think? 

Think about it.


Ken Berwitz

Here is a five and a half minute video of Fox's Megyn Kelly arguing about the fairness doctrine with Bill Press - who hosts a "progressive" talk show that, to be perfectly frank, just about nobody listens to. 

Watch the video and hear Press talking as though left wing talk radio is some kind of great success when, in reality, he unwittingly is making the exact opposite argument. 

You'll especially enjoy the part when he says he's not demanding implementation of the "fairness doctrine", but instead wants......and then describes exactly, precisely what the "fairness doctrine" is:

See, the problem is that when Press argues about how many markets are natural venues for left wing...er, sorry, progressive...radio, he is making Ms. Kelly's point for her. 

Take Washington DC for example.  On paper, this is the classic market where progressive talk should do well, given that there are about 28 conservatives in the entire city.  But it has never done anything but fail. 

The most recent attempt was Obama 1260 AM (honest, that was the name).  Before trying this name, station WWRC was already a progressive radio station and it had a rating of .4.  That stinks.

After WWRC started calling it Obama 1260 and putting on Press, Stephanie Miller, Rachel Maddow, Lionel, etc.?  The ratings dropped to .1.  

Now it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if .4 was bad, .1 was worse.  A lot worse.  So last week Obama 1260 became Money 1260 and is doing business programming. 

I don't know if that will generate better ratings, but it sure as hell won't do worse.   

According to Brian Maloney at www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com, conservative talk radio succeeds in the DC area because it predominantly attracts suburban listeners.  Although I haven't seen the numbers, that seems pretty logical to me.

The bottom line here is that there is no "fairness" issue at all.  Listenership has made the market.  If Bill Press were palatable to enough people, he'd be on.  But people don't want to listen to him, so he isn't.  And whining that the government should force radio stations to carry his rejected show doesn't change this a bit.

To force Bill Press on an unwilling public, however, does lead to some interesting counterpart ideas in programming:

-What about The Today Show being forced to have a conservative commentator?  Maybe Megyn Kelly could do double-duty and banter with Matt & Meredith too.

- How about 15 minutes of NBC's nightly news with Brian Williams being done by L. Brent Bozell? 

-And then we could have Ann Coulter replace Joy Behar, so that, along with Elizabeth Hasselback, The View would have two conservative voices to balance the two remaining liberals?

How do you suppose Today, or Brian Williams, or The View would feel?  What would they say?  Heck, what would Bill Press say?

Are you laughing at the thought?  Me too. 


Ken Berwitz

Byron York, the chief political correspondent for www.dcexaminer.com, gets it.  He understands what the real story of the stealfromus package is.  Here is his commentary.  See if you agree -- and pay special attention to the parts I've put in bold print:

For Obama, its more about showmanship than sunlight

By Byron York
Chief political correspondent 2/17/09

After rushing Congress to act, why did he wait for days to sign the "emergency" stimulus bill?

Back during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised something he called Sunlight Before Signing. Obama complained that too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. So he pledged that, as president, he would not sign any nonemergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for five days.

(AP File Photo)

Sunlight Before Signing faded into darkness with the first bill that came across Obamas desk. The new president signed the Lily  Ledbetter Fair Pay Act two days after it was passed by Congress and without posting it on the White House Web site.

Then he signed the second bill of his administration, an update of the State Childrens Health Insurance Program, within hours after Congress passed it.

Both signatures clearly violated Obamas campaign promise. Questioned by reporters, White House officials said they were working out a series of procedures to handle newly passed legislation. Were working through the technicalities of how that happens, and well get a process together, spokesman Robert Gibbs told the press last week.

As Gibbs spoke, the massive economic stimulus bill was racing through Congress, and the spokesman stressed that Obamas campaign pledge specifically exempted emergency legislation. If we get this [stimulus] bill, this would certainly meet the presidents test of emergency legislation, Gibbs explained. And if were lucky enough to have it pass, well sign it rather quickly.

Then, late Friday, after House and Senate Democratic leaders moved heaven and earth to pass it, the bill was ready for the presidents signature. And did President Obama sign it rather quickly? Not at all.

He also chose not to sign it on Saturday. And not to sign it on Sunday. And he chose not to sign it on Monday. Only on Tuesday, with a big campaign-style event in Denver, would the president finally be ready to put his signature on the bill.

He signs nonemergency legislation in the blink of an eye. And he lets emergency legislation sit for days before lifting his pen.

Obamas delay in signing the stimulus is particularly ironic in light of the fact that Republicans had begged that the public be given more time to learn what was in the $787 billion bill before it was passed.

No, no, the White House and Democrats said. This is emergency legislation, and it must be passed as soon as humanly possible. Democratic lawmakers worked round the clock to produce a bill the final copy had handwritten revisions on it that could be voted on Friday evening.

And then, when Senate Democrats knew they didnt have the 60 votes necessary to move the legislation forward the ailing Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy had gone to Florida, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown was at home attending a wake for his mother, who had died a few days earlier Majority Leader Harry Reid took the extraordinary step of extending the vote for hours. The voting period, which normally lasts about 15 minutes, began at 5:30 p.m. Friday and ended only when Brown, his mothers wake over, flew to Washington to cast his vote at almost 11. Then Brown immediately flew back to Ohio for his mothers Saturday funeral.

It was a nearly unprecedented stretch of the rules. Republicans, knowing they didnt have the votes to stop the bill and planning to spend the Presidents Day weekend in their home states, had agreed to Reids plan ahead of time. But why was there such a rush, if Obama had no plans to sign it for days?

Go back to Sunlight Before Signing. In the case of the stimulus, there was never any doubt Obama would sign the legislation. The period in which the public needed sunlight was before the bill was passed, not before it was signed. And that was precisely the kind of sunlight the White House and Democrats wanted to stop. Once they accomplished that with Fridays voting gambit, Obama could take a few days off in Chicago while the emergency legislation sat on his desk. Then, it was on to Denver for the photo-op.

This delay had nothing to do with sunlight and everything to do with showmanship.

We elected him.  This is what we got. 

Now:  Did you see anything about Barack Obama demanding it be pushed through without enough time for congress to so much as read it, but then sitting on the finished bill for a half-week so he could get maximum exposure when signing it? 

Was it in the NY Times or any other major-city newspaper over the past several days?  On the network news?  On the morning shows? 

Oh, wait, maybe keith olbermann will excoriate Mr. Obama for this and make him his "worst person in the world" tonight".  (Yeah, and Michelle Obama will announce she's leaving Barack for Dick Cheney.....)


Ken Berwitz

I mentioned Brian Maloney of www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com in my previous blog.  Here is Brian's analysis of what is happening to so-called "progressive" talk radio.  See if it makes as much sense to you as it does to me:

Media Turmoil Hits Liberal Talk Radio Hard


How The 'Fairness Doctrine' Provides An Instant Bailout

If you're wondering why so many Democrats
have suddenly jumped aboard the Censorship Doctrine bandwagon, with Bill Clinton as the latest example, it might be tempting to believe it's merely a result of one-party rule in Washington.

There's a second, more pressing reason, however: the distressed state of liberal talk radio in 2009. These guys need a bailout, quickly, with the Fairness Doctrine providing an easy way to accomplish that through forced carriage on successful conservative stations.

For anyone in the media business these days, times are tough. With advertising revenues off by as much as 40% or more at some outlets, survival is the name of the game. Newspapers are dying, networks are forced into mass cost-cutting, and FM music formats face a desertion by younger, iPod-happy listeners.

But the news-talk format is in an entirely different position: while certainly not immune to radio's corporate financial difficulties, its fortunes are split between resurgent conservative talk (thanks to Obama) and its still-fledgling, deeply-troubled liberal offshoot.

Even before the economy melted down, libtalk struggled to attract a significant amount of advertising. Just imagine trying to convince sponsors to come aboard now!

Rumors of its financial shortcomings are certainly not new and Air America Radio previously declared bankruptcy, later emerging under new ownership and management. But the latest rumblings, all developing over the past few weeks, involve several players in the field and seem especially troubling for the format's future.

Some of libtalk's key concerns:

The sudden absence of syndicated talker Randi Rhodes, blamed on "technical difficulties", but more likely the result of a contract dispute. Her program continues for now with fill-in hosts in her place. Her own fans don't believe the network's official excuse.

Rumors that Rhodes may lose her national deal and be relegated to a local show covering only her home turf in West Palm Beach. She's been one of libtalk's highest-profile hosts for several years, so this would be significant.

Her current employer, NovaM Radio, an offshoot of Air America Radio, is caught up in a lawsuit filed by one of its former executives, John Manzo, who has longtime ties to Rhodes. Industry whisperers claim the company is having financial difficulties, which might shed light on these issues if proven to be the case.

Other NovaM hosts have resorted to extreme statements, including calling for the death of political opponents, in a desperate bid for publicity.

Rachel Maddow, the closest thing Air America Radio has to a "star" these days, has given up her radio show. The network now runs an audio-only rerun of her MSNBC cable show at 5am weekdays.

Thom Hartmann, the Oregon-based host who replaced Al Franken upon the latter's departure to run for a Minnesota Senate seat, is leaving Air America for another syndicator at the end of the month. This is a risky move that suggests he anticipates a need to depart his current employer for more stable surroundings elsewhere.

The expected bankruptcy of XM Sirius could have a tremendous impact on Air America if it affects the satellite radio provider's programming offerings. XM Sirius has provided a lifeline for the network as land-based affiliates drop its ratings-challenged shows.

So if you're wondering why a steady parade of elected Democrats,
led by libtalker Bill Press and others, are suddenly pushing so hard for talk radio censorship, look no further than their own sorry state of affairs.


UPDATE:  Read Brian's latest commentary here.  Nova M has folded and Sheldon Drobny, its co-founder (who also co-founded Air America), has reportedly tried to commit suicide.

Not to be flip about this, but Drobny was as successful at suicide as he was at "progressive" talk radio.  It just had the opposite result.  His network is dead and he's still alive.


Ken Berwitz

It's a funny thing:  Israel pulled out of Gaza three years ago.  Not one Israeli left in the entire land area.  And ever since then Palestinian Arabs have continued to call them "occupiers" anyway.  It doesn't matter that they aren't even there. 

Just like a kkk member might call all Black people "niggers", from the least educated to the Ph.D's, from the career criminal to the successful business entrepreneur.  It doesn't matter, they're all the same.

Israel has also removed some settlements from Judea and Samaria - also known as the west bank.  But that doesn't seem to enough for Palestinian Arabs.  They want all of the settlements removed.

Just like a White Citizen's Council in, say, central Mississippi might want every Black person removed from a town.

So how does Barack Obama feel about Israel and settlements? 

Here's an answer, from Aaron Klein of www.worldnewsdaily.com we have this:

Obama promises Palestinians he'll protect 'biblical heartland'
President pledges to protest Jewish housing developments

Posted: February 16, 2009
8:50 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
 2009 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM The Obama administration has pledged to the Palestinian Authority it will closely monitor Jewish construction in the West Bank and will protest any new housing developments in the biblical territory, a top PA negotiator told WND.

"They told us the White House will watch for any Jewish construction," said the PA negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Obama knows that if [Likud Chairman Benjamin] Netanyahu is the next prime minister, he will try to expand the settlements. They pledged to us this will be strongly protested," the negotiator said.

Although Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima party captured one more seat that Likud in last week's elections, Netanyahu is considered most likely to form the next government, since he is reportedly able to forge the most stable coalition with other parties in the 120-seat Knesset.

Earlier this month, WND quoted top PA officials stating they received a guarantee from Obama's administration that understandings reached with Israel during U.S.-backed negotiations while President Bush was in office would be utilized as starting points for current and future talks with the Jewish state.

The PA officials said they were enthusiastic about the new tone of the White House and about recent meetings with Obama's Mideast envoy, former Democratic Sen. George Mitchell. They said they believe that under Obama the Palestinians can extract from Israel concessions reaching "much further" than during talks held under the previous administration.

"Regarding all understandings achieved between the parties, the Obama administration told us they will give guarantees to carry them out," said a top PA official.

"With Obama, the number of settlers to be removed from the West Bank will much be more important than 60,000," said the PA official, referring to previous negotiations in which Israel expressed a willingness to withdraw from up to 94 percent of the West Bank and move about 60,000 settlers into central settlement blocks closer to Jerusalem.

WND reported exclusively in November that then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice collected notes and documens from Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to ensure the incoming U.S. administration would not need to start negotiations from scratch. PA sources said Rice's notes are being used by Obama's team as the starting points for new Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Documents noting agreements during previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been used in subsequent talks, sometimes as starting points. According to both Israeli and PA sources, American officials took detailed notes of talks at U.S.-brokered negotiations at Camp David in 2000 and then used points of agreement on key issues, such as borders, during recent rounds of intense Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Israeli and PA sources said Rice's notes document agreements that would seek an eventual major West Bank withdrawal and would grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem.

A top source said the PA requested that the Obama administration threaten sanctions against Israel for any new Jewish construction in the West Bank.

The source told WND that Obama is said to favor Israel withdrawing from nearly the entire West Bank.

Israel recaptured the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. The territory, in which about 200,000 Jews live, is tied to Judaism throughout the Torah and is often referred to as the biblical heartland of Israel.

The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at the West Bank city of Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring.

He was later buried with the rest of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, except for Rachel, in Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs. The West Bank's Hebron was site of the first Jewish capital.

The nearby West Bank town of Beit El anciently called Bethel, meaning "house of God" is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In the dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory. Earlier, God had promised the land of Israel to Abraham at Beit El. In Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested just north of Beit El in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

Let's see.....

Barack Obama will monitor Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the west bank) to make sure they don't expand. 

Translation:  It's bad enough that any Jews are there, but Mr. Obama will do what he can to insure that no more of them are on this land.

I have a few questions:

-Does Barack Obama know that this is NON-SOVEREIGN LAND, that DOES NOT BELONG TO PALESTINIAN ARABS ANY MORE THAN IT DOES TO ISRAELI JEWS?  Media conveniently forget this all the time, and it seems that Mr. Obama has the same problem;

-Has Barack Obama demanded that Palestinian Arabs who live in Israel (and there are between 1,250,000 and 1,500,000 of them) stop building homes and expanding their neighborhoods?

-If Jews are supposed to dismantle some or all of their settlements in the west bank, doesn't that accomplish the anti-Semitic goal of the land being "Judenrein" (free of Jews)?  Is that desirable? 

-And if Mr. Obama is ok with the west bank being "Judenrein", does he feel all Palestinian Arabs should leave Israel as well, so that the country would become "Arabrein"?  If he doesn't, why not - why the inconsistency?

About 78% of all Jews voted for Barack Obama last November.  Presumably, most of them support Israel.  I hope they're happy with their choice. 

Speaking as one of the other 22% I know I'm not.


Ken Berwitz

Just a couple of months ago the per-barrel price of oil dropped into the $33 - $36 range.  And in the area of New Jersey where I live, we saw gas at $1.37 - 1.43 a gallon everywhere.

Well, the per-barrel price of oil is in about the same place now (maybe just a touch higher), and has been for almost a week.  But those same gas stations are now charging around $1.70-1.75 a gallon.




Ken Berwitz

Ironic, isn't it? 

When Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate he was 100% within his rights to do so.  So hapless harry reid's fulminations and mouth-breathing tirades against the appointment amounted to exactly nothing.  Reid eventually agreed to it (as if he had any choice) and Burris was seated.

But now, weeks after the fact - and with Blagojevich impeached and removed as Governor - it turns out that Burris was lying about what he promised to do for Blagojevich to get the job. 

He has to be lying because his story keeps changing.  Only one version can be true -- and we don't even know if it's among the ones he's come up with.

Here are the lowlights, via excerpts from an article by John O'connor of the Associated Press:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. U.S. Sen. Roland Burris now acknowledges attempting to raise money for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich an explosive twist in his ever-changing story on how he landed a coveted Senate appointment from the man accused of trying to sell the seat.

Burris made the admission to reporters on Monday, after releasing an affidavit over the weekend saying he had more contact with Blagojevich aides about the Senate seat than he had described under oath to the state House panel that recommended Blagojevich's impeachment. The Democrat also said in the affidavit, but not before the panel, that the governor's brother asked him for fundraising help.

Though Burris insists he never raised money for Blagojevich while the governor was considering whom to appoint to the seat President Barack Obama vacated, the revelation that he had attempted to do so is likely to increase calls for Burris' resignation and an investigation into whether he committed perjury before the panel. Illinois Democrats have forwarded documents related to Burris' testimony to a county prosecutor for review.

The new affidavit submitted to the impeachment panel indicated contact not only with Robert Blagojevich, but with Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris and two other close friends all of whom Burris had been specifically asked about by the committee's top Republican.

"You would think those would be the kind of people you'd remember you had a conversation with," said Rep. Gary Hannig, a Litchfield Democrat.

Burris initially told the impeachment committee he had only a brief conversation with Rod Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat, before he was named to the seat Dec. 30. In testimony before the House committee Jan. 8, he added that he had discussed the seat with a longtime Blagojevich friend last summer.

If Burris lied under oath about the circumstances of his appointment, he should be dumped out of the senate forthwith.  And, as is 100% clear, he did just that.

Maybe there's room on that unbelievably egotistical, self-congratulatory monument Burris has built to himself at his future burial site, for one more accomplishment:  "First African American to be Forced Out of the Senate Because He Was a Liar".


Ken Berwitz

Anyone who doesn't know, by now, that Palestinian Arab children are indoctrinated with such hatred is either unbelievably ignorant, or probably agrees with what they are being taught.

This includes school textbooks that do not have Israel on their maps, not one square inch of it, and which teach that Jews are the spawn of pigs and monkeys. 

One particular area I've blogged about is the characters that are utilized on "kiddie shows" for the youngest of the young.  I've shown that every one of them teaches lessons of hatred against Jews. 

I would be remiss, therefore, if I didn't show readers the latest such character.  Here it is, from Arutz Sheva, complete with a video link that I urge you in strongest terms to click on and watch:

Nassur the Bear is the Latest Hamas Children TV Inciter

Reported: 03:34 AM - Feb/16/09

(IsraelNN.com) A puppet bear named Nassur appeared Friday on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV, promising to be a Jihad fighter, and declaring war on "the Zionists". He replaced Farfur the Mickey Mouse look-alike, Nahoul the bee and Assoud the rabbit -- who were all killed by "Zionist agents" on the TV show.

Palestinian Media Watch translated the video, according to which, Nassur carries on a dialogue with a girl named Saraa as follows:

Nassur: "I will join the ranks of the Izz A-Din Al-Qassam [Hamas'] Brigades. I will be a Jihad fighter with them and I will carry a rifle. Do you know why, Saraa?" Saraa: "Why?" Nassur: "To defend the children of Palestine, the children who were killed, the children who were wounded, the orphaned children. That's why, from this moment, I declare war on the criminal Zionists. Not only me, me and you. You are ready, right, Saraa?" Saraa: "We are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for our homeland!"

To view the video, click here. 

What a lovely lesson for the children.  Declare war on the "criminal Zionists" and assure each other of being ready to die.  Just what any well-adjusted young child needs in his/her head.

I would say that this is something the UN should look into....but, since the UN-run schools is where so much of this is taught every day, I guess that probaby wouldn't do the trick.

Maybe Barack Obama will exercise his moral authority and demand an end to hate-and-death programming for children.  But don't hang by your thumbs waiting for that to happen.  There are more pressing items on Mr. Obama's agenda.  Like insuring that Palestinian Arabs have as few Jews as possible on the west bank, for instance.

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