Sunday, 07 June 2009


Ken Berwitz

My father just called.  He was shown a "Doonesbury" comic strip and he is incensed by it because he considers it a slander against Jews. 

He tried to read it to me on the phone, but that really doesn't work with a comic strip.  So I promised I'd look at it on the internet and see for myself.

Well, I did.  And he's right.

Here is the strip:



Here is what the Anti-Defamation League spokesperson had to say about this:

June 02, 2009

Anti-Defamation League Says Garry Trudeau 'Maligned Judaism'

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday released the text of a letter it sent to cartoonist Garry Trudeau over his May 31, 2009 Doonesbury strip (at left, click on the image or here for full view). Several of the comics characters, including Sam and Rev. Sloan, are discussing Jesus Christ, and how the one time Christ really only snaps once in the Bible was with the moneylenders.

Which, apparently, was enough to spur the ADL into action. Check out the full text of the letter, here.  Not all will agree with the assessment.
On Tuesday, the Rabbi David Saperstein of the Union for Reform Judaism weighed in on the
comments section of Trudeaus site. To be clear, I write as a fan, he states. The strip, we hope and assume unwittingly, perpetuated centuries of anti-Semitic canards about Biblical-era moneylenders -- who were almost uniformly Jewish -- as the enemies of Jesus and the villains of the New Testament. As you know, similar caricatures have been used throughout the years to incite hate against the Jewish community and have cultivated and perpetuated offensive stereotypes.

You're a fan, Rabbi?   Enjoy it.

And thanks, gary trudeau.  You won't get me to answer in kind -- no matter how slimy and hate-filled you are.



Ken Berwitz

Isn't it bad enough that Charles Rangel is a tax cheat running the house ways and means committee?  Isn't is bad enough that his comments are more and more irrational every day?

Does he have to be a repulsive racist too?

From Glenn Thrush at

June 07, 2009

Rangel: "racial polarization" if Cuomo runs


Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has dealt the race card to Andrew Cuomo, who is miles ahead of wildly unpopular New York Gov. David Paterson in a possible primary match-up next year.


Rangel -- who had to apologize for suggesting the NYPD might endanger President Obama if he traveled to Harlem -- said the AG's challenge of his old friend Paterson would cause a black-white split among New York Dems.

Cuomo hasn't said if he's running but those in the know would be shocked if he didn't, given the governor's staggering unpopularity and missteps.


Asked about Cuomo on NY1, Rangel said:


"You cannot support the governor, prepare for reelection and at the same time say that you're keeping your options open for a primary," Rangel said.

"I think that there might be an inclination for racial polarization in a primary in the state of New York," he added. "Since we have most African-Americans registered as Democrats, and since you would be making an appeal for Democrats, it would be devastating in my opinion."

The Ways and Means chairman, who is the subject of a House ethics probe, also brushed back the White House for pressuring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Long Island) to abandon a challenge of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand saying it was "bad policy."

The saddest part is that there is virtually no way Rangel will ever be defeated in his congressional district.  It means this ugly, distasteful man will almost certainly remain in office, and that his "safe seat" liberates him to continue saying and doing the things which make him so ugly and so distasteful.

In 1970, Rangel himself "squared the circle" by defeating the legendary (and far more significant) Adam Clayton Powell, after Powell became so tainted by corruption that he became vulnerable.  Today, however, Rangel's corruption level and big, stupid mouth does not appear to hurt him at all. 

Certainly not with our wonderful "neutral" media.......


Ken Berwitz

I pulled this article from BBC News, because it is one of the relatively few media venues talking about what the Barack-Chavez administration is doing to investors, as it nationalizes our auto industry.  Please pay special attention to the passage I have put in bold print:

Court asked to stop Chrysler sale

Pension funds opposed to Chrysler's sale to Fiat have asked the US Supreme Court to block the deal immediately.

Three Indiana state pension and construction funds filed papers at the court on Sunday calling for the sale to be halted so they can pursue an appeal.

It comes after a US appeals court approved Chrysler's sale to a group led by Fiat, a union-aligned trust and the US and Canadian governments.

Chrysler entered bankruptcy protection in April after falling vehicle sales.

US carmakers have suffered from a massive slump in sales during the recession.

Fund assets

The US government has backed its sale to the Fiat-led consortium, which would see it emerge from bankruptcy.

Fiat would control 20% of Chrysler, while 68% would be owned by a union trust, and the two governments would share 12%.

However, the pension funds, which hold about $42m (26.3m) of Chrysler's $6.9bn in secured loans, are opposed to the sale.

They say it inverts usual bankruptcy practice and unlawfully rewards unsecured creditors, such as the union, ahead of secured lenders.

'Critical issues'

The emergency legal request from the Indiana State Police Pension Fund, the Indiana Teacher's Retirement Fund and the state's Major Moves Construction Fund goes before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It calls for a block on the sale until 1600 local time in New York (2100 BST) on Monday.

The judge can act on her own or refer the matter to the full court, when a vote from five of the nine Supreme Court members would be needed to put the Chrysler sale on hold.

The legal filings call on the court to "decide critical, nationally significant legal issues relating to management of the economy by the United States government".

If the sale is put on hold by the court, the Indiana funds would then pursue a full appeal.

If the deal is not completed by 15 June then Fiat, which is not paying anything for its 20% stake, has the option of pulling out.

That's right.;  This "deal" screws secured lenders in order to hand a huge payoff to the unions - the ones which supported Obama in last year's election and will do so again because of the payoff.

Tell me:  Would you ever invest as a secure lender again in anything that Barack Obama could get his hands on (which, it seems to me, is everything)?

We are spending trillions upon trillions of dollars we don't have, and finding new and apparently illegal ways of screwing over the exact same people whose investments and industriousness might pull us out of the black hole we are falling headlong into.

But the unions?  It's Christmas every day - until the money runs out.

According to the Rasmussen poll, Barack Obama's job approval ratings have plummeted to where he is barely in positive territory overall and there are as many people who strongly disapprove of his performance as there are people who strongly approve. 

The day Obama took office, his approval ratings were 65% positive - 30% negative.  Now they are 53% - 47%.  His strongly approve/strongly disapprove ratings have gone from 44% - 16%  to the current 34% - 33%.

I doubt that his trashing of the rules to pay off his union pals is a reason for this happening.  But if it results in an inability for this country to come out of the recession we are in, and/or prolongs the recession, that will be another story.

Even if our wonderful "neutral" media don't like to talk about it.

Zeke ....... I can't believe this article.... Why, you'd have us believe that the Obama administration is nothing but a bunch of street thugs .... trash-talking those "speculators" ... or are they pension funds of public workers. ... The nerve of them ... insisting that their contractually and legally established rights to repayment be ..... well .... ignored.... Secured creditors being "forced" to give up their right of repayment? How on earth can they expect to get away with that? Pension fund administrators have a fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiaries . That means, the administrators are PERSONALLY liable for not acting in their client's best interests. Giving away money to the Government, ... so Auto Unions can rake it in, .... is NOT acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries. .... It ain't over yet.... Where's that lawyer that sued McDonald's when the woman spilled hot coffee on herself. (06/08/09)


Ken Berwitz

Read this excerpt from an Associated Press article by Rachel Beck and see that these folks may finally be seeing things as they are, not through the rose-colored glasses of Obamesmerization:

ALL BUSINESS: Bond-market rout lifts mortgage cost
Jun 6, 8:39 AM (ET)


NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Reserve announced a $1.2 trillion plan three months ago designed to push down mortgage rates and breathe life into the housing market.

But this and other big government spending programs are turning out to have the opposite effect. Rates for mortgages and U.S. Treasury debt are now marching higher as nervous bond investors fret about a resurgence of inflation.

That's the Catch-22 threatening to make an awful housing market potentially worse and keep the economy stuck in a funk. Kick-starting the economy requires higher spending, but rising rates mean fewer Americans will be able to refinance their home loans. And some potential buyers will be shut out of the market by higher monthly payments they won't be able to afford.

Yes.  That's right.  The programs, which were drooled over by most of our wonderful "neutral" media are not only not working, they are having the opposite effect.

Welcome to the real world.  Please stay a while.


Ken Berwitz

There is nothing surprising about Jeff Jacoby writing an intelligent, insightful opinion column.

Here is his predicably intelligent, insightful take on President Obama's Cairo speech:

Obama's missed opportunity in Cairo

PRESIDENT OBAMA went to the Middle East, he said, to speak frankly and forthrightly about the issues that bedevil America's relations with the Muslim world. "Part of being a good friend is being honest," he had said in an interview just before his trip. He warned his Cairo audience that he intended to be blunt. "We must say openly the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors," he declared, so he was going to "speak as clearly and plainly as I can."

About some things, the president was indeed direct. He conveyed his impatience with those - there are many in the Middle East - who blame the 9/11 terrorist attacks on a Jewish or American conspiracy. "Let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day" and "the victims were innocent men, women, and children . . . These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with."

He was even more scornful about Holocaust denial. "Six-million Jews were killed" by Nazi Germany, Obama said - "more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful."

Would that the rest of his remarks had been equally plain-spoken. As the first American president with Muslim roots, Obama benefits from much acclaim and goodwill in the Middle East. Rarely has a president had a better opportunity to openly address the pathologies and prejudices that drag Islamic societies backward, trapping so many of the world's Muslims in cultures that are unfree and unenlightened. As a candidate for president, Obama had argued that his experience of Muslim life gave him the moral authority to speak truth to Islamic power. "I can speak forcefully," he told The New York Times, "about the need for Muslim countries to reconcile themselves to modernity in ways they have failed to do."

But he didn't do so. Instead Obama pandered to his audience. He repeatedly praised Islamic history and teachings, repeatedly drew attention to American or Western shortcomings - and repeatedly avoided speaking frankly about the dysfunctions in contemporary Islam.

He spoke of democracy, for example, but only in gauzy platitudes about "the freedom to live as you choose" and the need for "government of the people and by the people." Obama could have mentioned that democracy is almost entirely absent from the Arab world, or called for the release of imprisoned dissidents. He could have used his bully pulpit to urge an end to Egypt's repressive "state of emergency." He could have contrasted Iraq's hard-won constitutional democracy with the Middle East's ugly autocracies and dictatorships. He could have offered hope and encouragement to persecuted reformers and pro-democracy activists. Why didn't he?

"I want to address . . . women's rights," the president said, as well he might, given the appalling subjugation of women in so many Muslim countries. But about that subjugation - the gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia, the fanatic misogyny of the Taliban, the female genital mutilation - he spoke not a word. The closest he came to denouncing the thugs who blow up girls' schools and murder their teachers was to observe tepidly that "a woman who is denied an education is denied equality." He disagreed, he said, with those who think "that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal." But what about women who are forced to wear a hijab? About them, Obama was silent.

Most astonishing, Obama never spoke the words "Islamist" or "Islamism." In a speech directed to Muslims worldwide, he made no effort to refute radical Islam's endorsement of global jihad. He spoke only of "extremists - as in "violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security" - but said nothing about the totalitarian Islamist ideology that drives them. For Obama, speaking in the heart of the Arab world at a seat of Muslim learning, it was the perfect moment to strike an intellectual blow against radical Islam. It was the ideal venue to implore Muslims everywhere to rise up - vocally and en masse - against the jihadists who preach violence in the name of Islam.

What the Brandenburg Gate was for Ronald Reagan in 1987, Cairo University could have been for Obama. Reagan seized the moment, spoke the truth, and helped liberate half a continent. All Obama did was give a speech.

Better read this twice.  Because you're not going to see much like it in our wonderful "neutral' media. 

It is hard to criticize and genuflect at the same time.

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