Thursday, 11 June 2009

IN DEFENSE OF FREE REPUBLIC

Ken Berwitz

Apparently james von brunn - i.e. the White supremacist anti-Semitic, nazi loving sack of manure who shot up the holocaust museum and killed a guard there - used to post comments at www.freerepublic.com.  And this is a great opportunity for some people to attack Free Republic as if von brunn's filth was in any way typical of the site.

I read Free Republic every day, and have for years.  I often use material I see there in this blog.  I even provide a link to the site, as you can see by looking to the right side of this page (don't get excited about it being "to the right", the left-wing links are also "to the right").  So I think I'm in a pretty good position to judge what it is all about.

My take on Free Republic is as follows:

-A lot of the posting is well to the right of where I am.  That's fine, people are entitled to their opinions.

-I tend to be a social liberal who is more conservative in fiscal and foreign policy matters.  Social liberalism is not the norm at Free Republic, but there are a good many people there who think the way I do, and if I chose to post comments there (I don't) they would be perfectly acceptable.

-Several people post "devotionals" each day.  I am neither Christian nor particularly religious so I skip by them.  There certainly is nothing wrong with people having such beliefs, which I respect as I hope they respect mine.

-I do not ever recall seeing an overtly White supremacist post at Free Republic.  I assume this is because if anyone posted one, it would be removed in short order.  If james von brunn ever posted garbage like that it wasn't there long enough for me to see it.

-I do not ever recall seeing an overtly anti-Semitic post at Free Republic.  In fact, I find that good will toward Jews is very, very prevalent there, as is support for the state of Israel.  I say this as a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel.

-I would also point out that the commenters on Free Republic tend to be significantly less nasty and intolerant than what I typically find at left wing sites, like crooksandliars.com (I'm singling crooksandliars out, but it ain't the only one - not by a long shot). 

I have no doubt there are far right sites with vile posts and vile commenters, but Free Republic is not one of them.

I suspect that if von brunn did post on Free Republic, either he did not put up his anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-Black vomit there or, if he did, it was quickly removed by whoever administers the site.

I strongly urge you to check this for yourself.  Never take anyone's word for anything on the internet, mine included.  If you do, I think you'll find that I am accurately portraying what is there.


THE LYING COMPETITION

Ken Berwitz

From my cousin Audrey:


Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town
one day. As they walked, they come across a sign: "Beauty contest for the
most beautiful woman in the world."

"I am entering!" said Snow White. After half an hour she comes out
and they ask her, "Well, how'd ya do?"

"First Place!" said Snow White.

They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the
strongest man in the world."

"I'm entering," says Superman. After half an hour, he returns and
they ask him, "How did you make out?"

"First Place," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"

They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest! Who is the
greatest liar in the world?" Pinocchio enters.

After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.

"What happened?" they asked.

"Who the hell is this Nancy Pelosi?" asked Pinocchio.


WHEN YOUR NUMBER IS UP.........

Ken Berwitz

As this grisly story from the Times of London shows, when your number is up, baby, your number is up.

June 11, 2009

Woman who missed Flight 447 is killed in car crash

(Brazil Air Force/AP)

The remains of Flight 447 is still being recovered

An Italian woman who arrived late for the Air France plane flight that crashed in the Atlantic last week has been killed in a car accident.

Johanna Ganthaler, a pensioner from Bolzano-Bozen province, had been on holiday in Brazil with her husband Kurt and missed Air France Flight 447 after turning up late at Rio de Janeiro airport on May 31.

All 228 people aboard lost their lives after the plane crashed into the Atlantic four hours into its flight to Paris.

The ANSA news agency reported that the couple had managed to pick up a flight from Rio the following day.

It said that Ms Ganthaler died when their car veered across a road in Kufstein, Austria, and swerved into an oncoming truck. Her husband was seriously injured.

Unbelievable.


JOHN BOLTON'S IRAN/ISRAEL ASSESSMENT

Ken Berwitz

When then-President George Bush appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, the left did everything in its power to prevent him from taking that position.  The only way he got it was temporarily August, 2005 to December, 2006) through a recess appointment.

Here, excerpted from the Wall Street Journal, is Mr. Bolton's assessment of the Iran/Israel issue.  Read it and see just how intelligent, substantial and realistic Mr. Bolton is - and then join me in lamenting the fact that he was forced out:

JUNE 11, 2009

What If Israel Strikes Iran?

The mullahs would retaliate. But things would be much worse if they had the bomb.

By JOHN R. BOLTON

So what would such an attack look like? Obviously, Israel would need to consider many factors -- such as its timing and scope, Iran's increasing air defenses, the dispersion and hardening of its nuclear facilities, the potential international political costs, and Iran's "unpredictability." While not as menacingly irrational as North Korea, Iran's politico-military logic hardly compares to our NATO allies. Central to any Israeli decision is Iran's possible response.

Israel's alternative is that Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs reach fruition, leaving its very existence at the whim of its staunchest adversary. Israel has not previously accepted such risks. It destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981 and a Syrian reactor being built by North Koreans in 2007. One major new element in Israel's calculus is the Obama administration's growing distance (especially in contrast to its predecessor).

Consider the most-often mentioned Iranian responses to a possible Israeli strike:

1) Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz. Often cited as Tehran's knee-jerk answer -- along with projections of astronomic oil-price spikes because of the disruption of supplies from Persian Gulf producers -- this option is neither feasible nor advisable for Iran. The U.S. would quickly overwhelm any effort to close the Strait, and Iran would be risking U.S. attacks on its land-based military. Direct military conflict with Washington would turn a bad situation for Iran -- disruption of its nuclear program -- into a potential catastrophe for the regime. Prudent hedging by oil traders and consuming countries (though not their strong suit, historically) would minimize any price spike.

2) Iran cuts its o wn oil exports to raise world prices. An Iranian embargo of its own oil exports would complete the ruin of Iran's domestic economy by depriving the country of hard currency. This is roughly equivalent to Thomas Jefferson's 1807 embargo on American exports to protect U.S. shipping from British and French interference. That harmed the U.S. far more than the Europeans. Even Iran's mullahs can see that. Another gambit with no legs.

3) Iran attacks U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some Tehran hard-liners might advocate this approach, or even attacks on U.S. bases or Arab targets in the Gulf -- but doing so would risk direct U.S. retaliation against Iran, as many U.S. commanders in Iraq earlier recommended. Increased violence in Iraq or Afghanistan might actually prolong the U.S. military presence in Iraq, despite President Barack Obama's current plans for withdrawal. Moreover, taking on the U.S. military, even in an initially limited way, carries enormous risks for Iran. Tehran may believe the Obama administration's generally apologetic international posture will protect it from U.S. escalation, but it would be highly dangerous for Iran to gamble on more weakness in the face of increased U.S. casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan.

4) Iran increases support for global terrorism. This Iranian option, especially stepping up world-wide attacks against U.S. targets, is always open. Assuming, however, that Mr. Obama does not further degrade our intelligence capabilities and that our watchfulness remains high, the terrorism option outside of the Middle East is extremely risky for Iran. If Washington uncovered evidence of direct or indirect Iranian terrorist activities in America, for example, even the Obama administration would have to consider direct retaliation inside Iran. While Iran enjoys rhetorical conflict with the U.S., operationally it prefers picking on targets its own size or smaller.

5) Iran launches missile attacks on Israel. Because all the foregoing options risk more direct U.S. involvement, Tehran will most likely decide to retaliate against the actual attacker, Israel. Using its missile and perhaps air force capabilities, Iran could do substantial damage in Israel, especially to civilian targets. Of course, one can only imagine what Iran might do once it has nuclear weapons, and this is part of the cost-benefit analysis Israel must make before launching attacks in the first place. Direct Iranian military action against Israel, however, would provoke an even broader Israeli counterstrike, which at some point might well involve Israel's own nuclear capability. Accordingly, Iran's Revolutionary Guards would have to think long and hard before unleashing its own capabilities against Israel.

6) Iran unleashes Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. By process of elimination, but also because of strategic logic, Iran's most likely option is retaliating through Hamas and Hezbollah. Increased terrorist attacks inside Israel, military incursions by Hezbollah across the Blue Line, and, most significantly, salvoes of missiles from both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are all possibilities. In plain violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, Iran has not only completely re-equipped Hezbollah since the 2006 war with Israel, but the longer reach of Hezbollah's rockets now endangers Israel's entire civilian population. Moreover, Hamas's rocket capabilities could easily be substantially enhanced to provide greater range and payload to strike throughout Israel, creating a two-front challenge.

Risks to its civilian population will weigh heavily in any Israeli decision to use force, and might well argue for simultaneous, pre-emptive attacks on Hezbollah and Hamas in conjunction with a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Obviously, Israel will have to measure the current risks to its safety and survival against the longer-term threat to its very existence once Iran acquires nuclear weapons.

This brief survey demonstrates why Israel's military option against Iran's nuclear program is so unattractive, but also why failing to act is even worse. All these scenarios become infinitely more dangerous once Iran has deliverable nuclear weapons. So does daily life in Israel, elsewhere in the region and globally.

For the remainder of Mr. Obama's term, uncertainty about his administration's support for Israel will continue to dog Israeli governments and complicate their calculations. Iran will see that as well, and play it for all it's worth. This is yet another reason why Israel's risks and dilemmas, difficult as they are, only increase with time.

What a knowledgeable man.  What an analytical mind.  What an asset.

What a loss for us when he was pressured out of the UN.


BARNEY FRANK: POMPOUS, IMPERIOUS JACKASS

Ken Berwitz

barney frank is so self-impressed, his ego so distended, that he keeps doing the same thing over and over again.  He is asked a question, and then goes into filibuster mode, showing anger and resentment if he is in any way challenged on his filibuster.  He lashes out at the person daring to regain a part of the conversation and then goes into a mega-snit.

In the case below, reported by Mark Finkelstein, he did the equivalent of picking up his marbles and going home.

See for yourself:

Frankly Rude: Barney Cuts Haines Interview Short

By Mark Finkelstein | June 11, 2009 - 13:31

It's a conversation, Barney, not a soliloquy . . .

Discussing the regulation of executive pay with CNBC's Mark Haines today, the testy liberal Dem from Massachusetts was affronted when Haines tried to get in a word edgewise.

Before long, Barney announced that the interview was over, and ripped off his earpiece.  Unruffled, Haines got off a good last line: "Fine, goodbye sir. We'll manage without you." [Hat tip reader Chuck S.]


View video here.

And if you think this shows frank up as a pompous, imperious jackass, you ought to see him chairing his committee with a gavel in his hand.  Even worse.  He's Harry Potter's draco malfoy.....without the charm, wit or tolerance.

But keep electing him, Newton MA.  He's apparently your kinda guy.


THE LETTERMAN "APOLOGY"

Ken Berwitz

Here, between the brackets, is david letterman's apology to the Palin family for his disgusting, offensive, viciously personal hate-jokes about them:    [                                       ]

The reason that space is blank is that Letterman did not apologize.  He parlayed his disgusting, offensive, viciously personal hate-jokes into another round of sarcasm, coupled with a series of whiney "I'm the victim" lines.  Here is the beginning of his segment, with letterman in maroon and my thoughts about what he said in blue.  If you want to see the whole sorry spectacle, just click here

Ladies and gentleman, Im in so much trouble, because Ill tell you why. The governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin is angry with me.  Fuming.  Angry.  Seeing red and has called me pathetic. I admit I havent been called pathetic since the honeymoon. I wont kid you I was feeling a little depressed when I heard the governor was mad at me and called me pathetic and to cheer myself up I went out and spent about $150k on clothes. I feel better now. (This is another attack on Palin, for the supposed $150,000 Republicans spent on getting her clothing during the campaign most of which, we have been told, she was not expected to, nor did she, keep.  Does that sound apologetic to you?) I feel a little better. I was thinking about this, great, my luck I pissed off a hunter. [Acts like he's shooting a gun.] There he is! Get him!  (Commercial break)

 

(After the commercial break)  Speaking of stupid human tricks I got myself into I just stepped into traffic the other day and by the way as this story unfolds its going to take some time so I hope youre comfortable at home. Think about whats happened here in the last couple of days.  If you think youd like to get yourself a talk showletterman says this ruefully, as if being a talk show host is some kind of curse.  He then mugs for the camera and his audience dutifully laughs along with him.  Poor david, hes the victim.

 

We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter and, uh, her daughter, the 18 y/o girl her name is Bristol.  So now theyre upset with me. Let me read to you how upset they are. I didnt realize this till today. And keep in mind, I cant really defend these, theyre just jokes.   Its just some jokes and I have to defend myself???  Poor me, how put upon I am.

And some jokes are fine and some jokes are not fine and of course we make some mistakes left and right.  But listen to how upset these people are about the jokes. And when I say these people I mean Gov Palin and her husband, Todd  What a surprise that comparing Governor Palin to a slutty stewardess and saying her daughter was knocked up at Yankee stadium is upsetting to them.  Whats wrong with the Palins anyway?

This is on their website I gotta get me one of them websites. The audience laughs at this.  There is funny here, pretty obviously, but it is his audience, so theyre laughing at anything).

This is Todd Palins:  Any jokes about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it, and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too.

At this point Letterman looks up, mugs for the camera, and the audience his people, lets always remember laughs along with him.  Do you think this is funny?  

He continues with a rueful tone:  Yeah, think about getting yourself a talk show.  Another whiney Im the victim line, which his audience treats as a laugh riot.

 The next statement is from the governor herself who by the way is an absolutely lovely woman. The audience spontaneously laughs.  They know that Sarah Palin is nothing other than a cheap joke to their hero.  I would love to have her on the show. I think we can put these differences behind us.  WHAT differences?  This isnt about some back-and-forth letterman and Palin had, this is about his vile personal insults aimed at her.  The fact that letterman suggests any parity in this matter is incredibly self-serving and pathetic.

The next comment comes from Gov Palin:

Concerning Lettermans comments about my young daughter, and I doubt he would ever dare make such comments about anyone elses daughter. Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity I am hardly a celebrity Letterman says hes hardly a celebrity and his audience erupts into laughter.  Why?  Not because it is funny, it isnt.  Not because it is true, its not.  But because the guy they sent away for tickets to see is the one saying it.  They are his fans, and determined to prove they are with him.  Im 62, yes.  Audience laughs and applauds.  At what?  That he admits to being 62 years old?  These letterman-lovers are obviously going to roar approval for anything and everything he says.   aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands: That acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyones daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others. (Audience laughter.  Again;  these people will laugh at anything if its letterman saying it.  

Well. I completely agree with that. I absolutely, completely agree with that. Thats not what I did. Actually that is what you did, you whining liar.

What a whining, self-pitying, immature jerk this man is.  The fact that he earns millions and millions of dollars a year to "perform" this way speaks volumes about what is wrong with this country.

Does letterman owe the Palins an apology?  Yep.  But he is far too snarky and egotistical to ever provide one.  Hey, he is DAVID LETTERMAN, and way above the rest, the little people (I wonder how derisive he is about his audiences when those mikes are turned off) and even a Governor and her family.

But grow old waiting for any similar jokes about the Obamas.

UPDATE:  Commenter Steve Schneider points out that when a a talking head on MSNBC (David Schuster) said the Clintons were "pimping Chelsea" during last year's campaign, he was suspended because of it.  But CBS won't do a thing about david letterman "joking" that a baseball player "knocked up" Sarah Palin's adolescent daughter.  They're all class, aren't they?

steve schneider personally i'm a letterman fan but that is irrelevent, i do think he crossed the line but, i think the big point here is the double standard. the media is considering what letterman said as no big deal. this is complete hypocrisy. wasn't someone from msnbc suspended for saying that the clintons were "pimping out chelsea"? there was a huge uproar over this and what letterman said was probably more offensive and less true. this is what bothers me the most. steve (06/11/09)

Ken Berwitz Steve You're 100% correct. The suspended on-air "talent" was David Schuster. Great catch! Now I'm kicking myself for not thinking to mention it in the blog. (06/11/09)


SO WHO DO WE BLAME NOW?

Ken Berwitz

Predictably, the holocaust-denying, nazi loving, White supremacist scumbag who opened fire at the holocaust museum yesterday was immediately tagged as a right winger.  And people to the right, as a group, are supposed to owe some kind of apology for him. 

Well, read this piece by Noel Sheppard at www.newsbusters.org and get a taste of reality.  The bold print is mine:

Holocaust Museum Killer Conservative? Not So Fast!

 

By Noel Sheppard
June 11, 2009 - 12:33 ET


Not surprisingly, the Left and their media minions are accusing conservative talkers such as Rush Limbaugh for inciting Wednesday's shooting at the Holocaust Museum Memorial in Washington, D.C.

 

As NewsBusters' Geoffrey Dickens reported Wednesday, Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh was quick to point such an accusatory finger.

 

Yet, as FrontPage Magazine's Ben Johnson noted Thursday, the assailant was hardly conservative:

 

A review of his lengthy associations reveals Von Brunn hardly fits the stereotype of a Religious Right, GOP precinct captain. He denounced the Christian faith as a dastardly Jewish conspiracy, a HOAX invented by the Apostle Paul to DESTROY ROMAN CULTURE from within by undermining its pagan virility. (All screaming capitalization and grammatical errors in this piece appear in the original.) Like others on the racist fringe, the shooter proclaimed clearly: SOCIALISM, represents the future of the West. 

 

Yesterdays attack was Von Brunners second attempted strike. Police arrested him on December 7, 1981, after they found him prowling the Washington, D.C., offices of the Federal Reserve Bank posing as a journalist. Inside a bag slumped over his shoulder, they discovered a handgun, a shotgun, and a knife, which he claimed he would use to place then-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker under citizens arrest.[3] After being convicted, he tried to obtain help by contacting then-Admiral Jim Webb, now a Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia, but Von Brunn claimed the postmaster purloined the letter. The New York Daily News reports after his release in 1989, Von Brunner worked at a bookstore run by a Holocaust-denying group called the Institute of Historical Review, then lived in Hayden Lake, Idaho then the headquarters of the Aryan Nations.[4]

 

At some point, he settled in the Maryland area and decided to jump into the publishing game himself.

 

Von Brunns motivation leaps off every page of his self-published book, Kill the Best Gentiles, a title supposedly derived from secret Jewish instructions to slaughter the goyim. (You can download the first six chapters here.) Remarkably, his words have received little scrutiny, likely because of what they establish: the right-wing terrorist of the Holocaust Museum is an anti-religious socialist.  

 

Readers are encouraged to review Johnson's entire piece to get facts about the assailant most in the media will likely ignore.

So if we're supposed to blame Rush Limbaugh because von brunner is a right winger.....and it turns out that von brunner is an anti-Christian socialist.....who are we supposed to blame now?  keith olbermann?  Rachel Maddow?  Ed Schultz?  Those fun loving neutralists at dailykos.com or crooksandliars.com?

Just wondering..........

BOBW I HAVE ONE COMMENT- WITH HIS PAST RECORD AND BEING A KNOWN POTENTIAL TIME BOMB- WHAT THE HELL IS THIS WALKING ASSHOLE DOING ON THE STREETS- WHY ARE THESE NUTS ON THE LOOSE? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PREVENTIVE MEDICINE? WHAT I MEAN IS WHY WAS THIS NUT JOB -NOT LOCKED UP FOR LIFE OR BETTER YET TURNED INTO FOOD FOR SOME ENDANGERED WOLVES IN MONTANA (06/11/09)


CARRIE PREJEAN II

Ken Berwitz

This is hilarious.

Carrie Prejean was fired as Miss California - supposedly for breaching her contract (though I doubt anyone believes she did).  I think we all sort of knew they were going to concoct a way of ridding themselves of her.  After all, she had the temerity to state that she thought marriage was between one man and one woman.  How dare Miss California have her own set of beliefs!

But there is a problem.....

The runner-up who takes Ms. Prejean's place, Tami Farrell, apparently has exactly the same views.

From Joe Kovacs of www.worldnetdaily.com:

THE STAR TREATMENT
New beauty: Marriage between man, woman
Tami Farrell: 'The right thing to do is let the voters decide'

Posted: June 11, 2009
5:50 pm Eastern

By Joe Kovacs
 2009 WorldNetDaily

Tami Farrell, the newly crowned beauty queen who is replacing the ousted Carrie Prejean as Miss California, apparently holds the same view as her predecessor, Carrie Prejean, that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Farrell, who is Christian, on his show today:

"[Prejean] went out and said that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Do you share that view?"

Farrell responded in the affirmative with a simple, "Uh huh."

"You do, OK," said Cavuto.

Farrell quickly added: "I don't think that I have the right or anybody has a right to tell somebody who they can or can't love. And I think that this is a civil rights issue. And I think that the right thing to do is let the voters decide."

Californians voted in favor of marriage being between a man and a woman in the most recent election on the issue in the Proposition 8 measure.

Earlier in the interview, Cavuto asked, "Do you mind my asking you, Tami, how you feel, about gay marriage since this has been such a hot issue with your predecessor?"

Farrell's response: "You know, I think it's hilarious right now that the world is turning to beauty queens for the answers for this. I think it's an important issue and I think that it's one that I don't think I can win a battle. I don't want to be any more divisive than it's already become."

What are they going to do?  Find a way to fire her too?  Try to book a wrestling match between Farrell and perez hilton/mario lavandeira? (which I'm betting he'd lose)?

Maybe they should demand that Barack Obama resign as President, since he is on record as having exactly the same views as both Prejean and Farrell.

What dummkopfs they've made of themselves.

free` From the article>> " I think that this is a civil rights issue. And I think that the right thing to do is let the voters decide." That doesn't make sense, if it is a civil rights issue than it shouldn't be left up to voters to decide. (06/11/09)

Zeke OMG .... Carrie Prejean wouldn't pose semi nude for Playboy .. so she is not fulfilling her contract with the beauty contest .... Does this mean that Playboy will run nude photos of Donald, instead ? (06/12/09)

Ken Berwitz free - you're right, it isn't a civil rights issue. That's a strange comment which I don't follow at all. But Farrell's belief about marriage, which is identical to Prejean's, is straightforward and easy to follow. Maybe the California pageant people will just keep going down the line until they find someone who agrees with perez hilton/mario lavandeira's views on marriage. I'm sure she'll be a knockout. (06/12/09)


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