Thursday, 01 October 2009


Ken Berwitz

I don't always agree with Roland Martin.  But, for the most part, he makes perfect sense here, as he skewers Roman Polanski -- and every especially the celebrity geniuses who rationalize what he did.

See for yourself:

October 1, 2009

Commentary: Hollywood is clueless when it comes to Polanski

Posted: 02:21 PM ET

By Roland S. Martin

CNN Political Contributor

If a famous child actress such as Tatum ONeal, Anna Paquin, Dakota Fanning or Natalie Portman were raped by a stalker who pleaded guilty to the crime and then fled the country and lived a life of luxury in Europe for 32 years, would Hollywood heavyweights be standing behind the convicted rapist?

Hell no.

So exactly what is the difference between a nobody raping a famous child actress and Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski admitting to raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977? Rape is rape and whether the rapist is a visionary filmmaker or a low-life nobody, they should rot in jail for their pathetic behavior.

Martin Scorsese. Harvey Weinstein. Debra Winger. Michael Mann. Woody Allen. Mike Nichols. They are all protesting the arrest of Polanski, 76, in Switzerland in the decades-old rape case, with even Winger reducing the case to minor technicalities and saying she awaits his next masterpiece.

Even Whoopi Goldberg, whose analysis on ABCs The View is often spot on, clearly lost her senses on this one, saying: I know it wasnt rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I dont believe it was rape-rape.

He pled guilty to having sex with a minor and he went to jail, and when they let him out he said You know what, this guys going to give me 100 years in jail. Im not staying. And thats why he left.

Do any of these people have any idea how stupid, narcissistic and sick they sound?

The facts in this case are not in dispute. Polanski, then 44 years old, raped Samantha Gailey, who was 13 years old at the time. She testified that Polanski gave her part of a Quaalude tablet and champagne, took a bunch of nude photos of her and performed various sex acts, including intercourse. Prosecutors allowed Polanski to plea bargain if he admitted to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

He spent 42 days in prison while undergoing psychological testing and the judge indicated he might sentence him to another 48 days in prison. He didnt want to stick around for the added jail time and decided to use his fame and fortune and took off for France, where he was welcomed with open arms.

His case has long been discussed in Hollywood and legal circles. The Los Angeles prosecutors office has been accused of not caring about seeing that justice was served by not seeking the extradition of Polanski when he visited countries where the U.S. has an extradition agreement. They contend that they tried to have Polanski arrested many times over the years with no success.

But I really dont care. This miscreant of a man, no matter how famous and talented, must face the U.S. justice system for what he did. This was no small problem, as one of his longtime friends called it.

In an op-ed piece in The Independent, a U.K. paper, Weinstein wrote: It is a shocking way to treat such a man. Polanski went through the Holocaust and the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, by the Manson family. How do you go from the Holocaust to the Manson family with any sort of dignity? In those circumstances, most people could not contribute to art and make the kind of beautiful movies he continues to make.

So now hes the damn victim. Hey, Harvey, the man forced himself on a 13-year-old girl! His wife was the victim of a brutal crime and so was Samantha Gailey. And Im sorry, but the Holocaust isnt a get-out-of-jail-free card. This sadistic man took advantage of a 13-year-old girl and its time for him to pay the price.

This is not the case of two teenagers having consensual oral sex. This is not two adults having consensual sex. This is a man who was 31 years older than the victim forcing her to have sex. No man, director or not, should be allowed to get away with this.

As a Christian, I am taught to have love and compassion for everyone. We are taught to hate the sin and love the sinner. I can pray for the soul of Roman Polanski and hope that God forgives him for his sin but the Lord can deal with this man just as easily in a jail cell, as opposed to his palatial pad in France.

Maybe we also need to pray for these depraved Hollywood folks who clearly are so out of touch with reality that they havent figured out that this is called life; its not a movie. The only appropriate ending to this story is Polanski coming back to the United States, standing before a judge, and accepting his fate. And when he is led off in handcuffs, then we can say this sad and pathetic story has come to its rightful conclusion.

Can you argue with Mr. Martin's logic?  I find it hard to do so.

I started somewhat on the fence about Polanski. But having learned/refreshed myself about more and more of the specifics of the case, I find myself hoping they bring the bastard back and toss him in jail as quickly as possible.  How about you?


Ken Berwitz

From Reuters:

Obama to take weeks to study Afghanistan strategy

30 Sep 2009 23:57:07 GMT

Source: Reuters


WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will take several weeks to review U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House said on Wednesday after a meeting between top U.S. officials about the region.


"When it comes to decisions as important as keeping this country safe and putting our troops into harm's way, the president has made it clear that he will rigorously assess our progress," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.


"That is why he held this meeting today and will take the next several weeks to review our strategy." (Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Chris Wilson)

NOTE:  General McChrystal's request for more troops was made A MONTH AGO.  So President Obama, after sitting on his decision for a month, finally meets with his military heavyweights  --  and now will wait several more weeks to decide if he's going to send the troops? 

Well, hell, why not.  It isn't HIM out there getting shot at.  It isn't HIM at risk. 

Barack Obama personally supported the war in Afghanistan.  He called it a war of necessity.  His administration appointed General McChrystal, who is telling him he must have more troops.  At what point does Mr. Obama give enough of a damn to make a decision about it?  How many of our soldiers have to die before he gets around to doing so?

How many TV appearances and speeches did Barack Obama make in the past month?  How many will he make in the next few weeks before he decides what to do about Afghanistan?  There's enough time for that, but not time enough for a decision that directly affects the safety and well being of our troops?????

What an unspeakable disservice to the men and women who risk their lives for our country.


Ken Berwitz

If you thought freshman house member alan grayson was going to stop at accusing "Republicans" (no one person or segment in particular, just all of them) of a health care plan consisting of "Don't get sick.  And if you do get sick, die quickly", you were wrong.

Here is an excerpt from an article at CNN's web site that will show you how much further this genius has gone:

Democrat stands ground after 'die quickly' health care remark


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson refused to back down Wednesday from remarks made on the House floor the night before, in which he said the Republican health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly."

In fact, Grayson, a Democrat who represents a central Florida swing district that includes Orlando, made another floor speech in which he apologized to the dead and their families for not acting sooner on health care reform. He then defended both speeches on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"What I mean is they have got no plan," Grayson told Wolf Blitzer. "It's been 24 hours since I said that. Where is the Republican plan? We're all waiting to see something that will take care of the pre-existing conditions, to take care of the 40 million Americans who have no coverage at all.

"I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America," he said.

I urge you to use the link and read CNN's entire article.  You'll wonder whether grayson belongs in the house, or the nearest clinic.

Let me address just a few of grayson's comments.

No plan?  It sounds great when you're ranting on the floor of the house of representatives, I suppose.  But it is a complete lie.  Three weeks ago, Byron York wrote about how many Republican alternatives there were:

The virtual embargo on reporting Republican legislation has allowed Democrats and their allies in the media to keep up the "Republicans have no plan" attack. Just hours after the president's speech, for example, the Democratic National Committee released a new commercial claiming that Republicans "refuse to offer a plan" to reform the health care system.

Just for the record, in case you want to check them out, these are the bills proposed, so far, by Price and his allies in the House: H.R. 77; H.R. 109; H.R. 198; H.R. 270; H.R. 321; H.R. 464; H.R. 502; H.R. 544; H.R. 917; H.R. 1086; H.R. 1118; H.R. 1441; H.R. 1458; H.R. 1468; H.R. 1658; H.R. 1891; H.R. 2520; H.R. 2607; H.R. 2692; H.R. 2784; H.R. 2785; H.R. 2786; H.R. 2787; H.R. 3141; H.R. 3217; H.R. 3218; H.R. 3356; H.R. 3372; H.R. 3400; H.R. 3438; H.R. 3454; and H.R. 3478.

Note to Rep. Grayson:  There is a difference between offering no alternative health care legislation, and offering dozens of health care bills that are killed off by your Democratic majority. .

Next, we have the "40 million Americans who have no coverage at all".  Based on what?  At one time Democrats claimed that 30 million were uninsured.  Then they started raising the estimate in their speeches, through the 30's, into the 40's and, until recently, in the 45 - 50 million range.  Then President Obama, in his health care address, used the 30 million estimate again.  Now Grayson has upped it to 40 million.

At some point, even hardliners may become embarrassed enough to concede that the estimates of how many people are uninsured are total BS.  

In any event, can we remember that they include illegals, people who earn enough to insure and choose not to, etc. etc. etc.  I've seen estimates that the real number of people who are uninsured is closer to the 10-15 million level.  If this is so - taking into account that the polls show the country is about evenly split on "Obamacare" (presumably with a majority of the uninsured wanting it and a majority of the insured not wanting it), maybe the legislation should be addressing those 10-15 million and leaving the rest of us alone.

Then we come to use of the term "holocaust" to describe people who may have died because they didn't get sufficient health care.  I don't give a damn whether you agree or disagree that health care reform is necessary; comparing the quality of U.S. health care to the intentional extermination of 6 million people because they were Jews is beneath contempt. 

It is sickening, despicable, and could only come from an unhinged jerk.

Which leads us right back to grayson, doesn't it?


Ken Berwitz

Here is michael moore's interview with Nicholas Ballasy of   You certainly don't need any commentary from me to see the disconnect between fact and fiction:

Millionaire Filmmaker Michael Moore: Capitalism Did Nothing For Me
Thursday, October 01, 2009
By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter

( -- Documentary film director Michael Moore, who has become a millionaire thanks to the profits from his movies, told that capitalism did nothing for him. spoke with Moore on the red carpet at the Uptown Theatre in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night before the premiere of his upcoming documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story." asked: Critics may say, when they see this movie, Michael Moore has amassed a fortune of over $50 million, some have said and
Moore said:  Really? Are you kidding me? Seriously? Wow. Where did it go? then asked Moore: Critics would say hes [Moore] been very successful under a capitalist system. How would you justify making a movie where you paint capitalism as evil?
Moore said: Well, capitalism did nothing for me, starting with my first film.

You know, I had to pretty much beg, borrow and steal, he said. The system is not set up to help somebody from the working class make a movie like this and get the truth out there.

In fact, in Fahrenheit 9/11 if you remember, capitalism, the Disney Corporation, tried to kill that film--tried to make it so that people couldnt see it, said Moore. My book Stupid White Men--Harper Collins tried to kill that book so that people couldnt see it. It's only because I put the light of day on it and told people what was going on did people get the chance to see these things.

According to Fortune Magazine, Moores films have grossed over $300 million worldwide. His highest grossing film was Fahrenheit 9/11, which critiques the Bush administrations handling of the war in Iraq and earned over $200 million worldwide. 

Moore reportedly was paid $21 million by Disney for producing, directing and creating the film. 

Moore also earned 50 percent of the profits of his 2007 film Sicko, totaling $25 million plus DVD sales, according to Vanity Fair. 

The Los Angeles Times
reported that Moore would receive all of the profits made from DVD sales of Sicko, sales of which have been estimated at over $17 million.
Look, you know, I mean, I make documentary films, said Moore. So, clearly, Im not loaded in the way you described. But I do well, obviously because my films do well.

So, that means I have an extra responsibility to make sure I spend my time trying to make things better for the people that dont have what I have, right? I mean, everybody should do that, he said.
Moores newest film, Capitalism: A Love Story opens in theaters October 2.

This is as good an example of someone peeing on your leg and tellling you that it's raining as I've ever seen. 

moore has become fabulously wealthy within a capitalist system, and says capitalism does nothing for him.  Why?  Because he had to struggle to become successful. 

Ooooooooooooohhhhhh, poor baby.  No one else struggles to become successful.

The point, of course, is he BECAME successful within a capitalist system.  Why?  Because the people who distribute his movies and publish his books think they can make a profit from them. 

They risked millions of dollars because they felt his product would make them more than they risked.  What do you call that?  You call it capitalism.

What contempt michael moore must have for the public, to make these comments and believe anyone with a functioning cerebrum would buy into his BS.


Ken Berwitz

Well, the criticism about his priorities (going on a jaunt to Copenhagen instead of making a decision on a troop surge in Afghanistan) apparently stung President Obama into action.

A full month after commanding General McChrystal told him that 45,000 more troops were necessary for the war effort, Mr. Obama finally put together a meeting of security advisors and military personnel yesterday.  Unfortunately, little seems to have come out of it - possibly because, due to the fact that since it apparently was a spur-of-the-moment event, there was insufficient preparation. 

And now Mr. Obama promises he will stay in Copenhagen only four hours - just long enough to make his presentation - and then fly right back.  (How much is that going to cost the taxpayers?  How big is the carbon footprint of the three - that's right, not one but three - planes that have to fly for him to go there?  Where's Al Gore when we actually need him?)

Politically, this may diffuse some of the criticism.  But for our soldiers in Afghanistan, whose lives are at risk every day, we need some serious decision making, complete with good reasons for whatever the decision is.  Not a PR-driven dog and pony show.

By the way, the Chicago Tribune had a poll conducted among the city's people to see if they even want the Olympics.  The result?  47% yes and 45% no.  That isn't exactly a sterling endorsement. 

But too many people in, or affiliated with, Chicago's entrenched Democratic political machine stand to gain too many millions for the people's wishes to be taken into consideration.  Besides, it isn't like they're going to vote Democrats out of office, is it?

I'll be blogging more on how big a windfall the Olympics would be for the corrupt Chicago machine later on.


Ken Berwitz

I don't have much regard for Richard Wolffe, who used to write for Newsweek and was a regular - pretty much daily - sycophant for keith olberman's "Countdown" show.  But this one takes the cake.

Wolffe is trying to figure out why Israelis are so overwhelmingly negative toward Barack Obama.  And boy oh boy are they ever:  the last two polls conducted for the Jerusalem post show that Israelis went from an unbelievably low 6% who feel that Mr. Obama supports Israel over palestinian Arabs to an even more unbelievably low 4%.

Here is the beginning of what passes for Wolffe's analysis:

Is Obama surrounded by self-hating Jews?   That was one of the most ridiculousand yet perversely tellingstories to emerge from the last several weeks of Israeli media coverage.


Not because the president is surrounded by Jewish aides who want to sabotage their own identity. Far from it. David Axelrod openly reveres the old Jewish deli in Chicago known as Mannys. He has a sign in his West Wing office saying Barack Obama in Hebrew script.


Holy kaka. 

The evidence that David Axelrod is not a self-hating Jew is that he likes Manny's Deli and has a Barack Obama sign in Hebrew?  That's it?

Tell you what:  I don't know what David Axelrod's feelings are about Judaism or Israel.  But if Richard Wolffe thinks that liking the food at a kosher-style deli defines them, I don't see any reason to discuss this any further, because it is too effing dumb.

If you want to read more, use the link I provided above.  I'm out of here.

One last thought:  I wonder what Wolffe would say about mahmoud ahmadinejad's position on Israel, if he found out that ahmadinejad's favorite lunch was a pastrami on rye and a can of  Dr., Brown's Cel-Ray tonic?

Zeke ...... Ken ... What is truly disheartening is that such drivel is reported as NEWS. ... Sadly, we mostly get mush or feel-good ... but not incisive, investigative news reporting and analysis. Fact checking is no longer part of the process. ..... PR agents provide much of the copy. .... I miss the NY Times of my youth. (10/01/09)


Ken Berwitz

Is Attorney General Eric Holder a racist?  The Washington Times thinks he may well be.  Here is the paper's editorial on this subject - see if it makes sense to you.  Please pay special attention to the section I've put in bold print:

EDITORIAL: Panther injustice continues

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission is not backing off its showdown with the Justice Department about mishandling the voter-intimidation case involving agents of the New Black Panther Party. Nor should it.

Yesterday, the commission sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. demanding that Justice "fully cooperate," according to specific legal authority vested in the commission, with the commission's inquiry about why Justice dropped the case after it had already been won. The commission wrote that Justice's replies to earlier commission requests either are "overdue," have been "largely non-responsive" or have provided "none of the documents we requested."

A Sept. 9 letter from Justice to the commission said the commission should wait until Justice's own internal investigation of the matter is complete. But as Commission Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds wrote yesterday, "many aspects of the Commission's inquiry have no connection with the matter subject to [Justice's internal investigation]," and thus should not be delayed in any way. Among these broader inquiries are questions about Justice's "prior voting intimidation investigations," about whether dropping the Black Panther case "is consistent with departmental policy or practice in the past," whether dropping the current case "may encourage voter intimidation," and whether the Justice Department is properly enforcing the Voting Rights Act.

The subtext of this investigation is whether Mr. Holder is using civil rights laws to protect only citizens of color, while leaving everyone else unprotected. If so, then Mr. Holder, in effect, would be declaring open season on white voters while treating white citizens as somehow less equal than others. That would be racial discrimination, pure and simple.

Consider again the nature of the charges. The Black Panthers in question were videotaped standing in front of a polling place, nightstick in hand, in paramilitary garb, and were quoted multiple times using racial epithets and threatening language. The Panthers are deadly serious. At, there is a National Geographic video clip of these same Black Panthers saying, "You want freedom, you're gonna have to kill some crackers. You're gonna have to kill some of they [sic] babies."

One of these menaces is a local Democratic official and was a registered Democratic poll watcher on the day in question. Three days after the case was dropped against him, he again served as an official poll watcher for Democratic municipal elections in Philadelphia.

Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, said in a floor speech yesterday that the Justice Department's dismissal of the case has "serious and dangerous consequences for future voter intimidation enforcement." The more Mr. Holder stonewalls, the more it looks as if he is trying to hide something noxious.

We still wait for an explanation as to why a default judgment against these thugs was dropped, allowing them not only to go free after clearly intimidating voters by race, but allowing one of them to be a Democratic poll watcher in a subsequent election.  So far, we haven't gotten one. 

Are we not entitled to know?  Are we too unimportant to be told?  Is the justice department functioning unto itself without any accountability to the people?

If this isn't flat-out racism, what is it?

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