Sunday, 10 January 2010

AND THEN THERE'S INDIVIDUAL HOME SECURITY.....

Ken Berwitz

This insane story comes to us from the UK.  But, sadly, I can easily picture the same thing happening here.

From Roya Nikkhah, writing for London's Daily Telegraph:

Myleene Klass warned by police after scaring off intruders with knife

Myleene Klass, the broadcaster and model, brandished a knife at youths who broke into her garden but has been warned by police that she may have acted illegally.

 

By Roya Nikkhah
Published: 8:00PM GMT 09 Jan 2010

 

The Sunday Telegraph is seeking a change in the law

 

Miss Klass, a model for Marks & Spencer and a former singer with the pop group Hear'Say, was in her kitchen in the early hours of Friday when she saw two teenagers behaving suspiciously in her garden.

 

The youths approached the kitchen window, before attempting to break into her garden shed, prompting Miss Klass to wave a kitchen knife to scare them away.

 

Miss Klass, 31, who was alone in her house in Potters Bar, Herts, with her two-year-old daughter, Ava, called the police. When they arrived at her house they informed her that she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an "offensive weapon" even in her own home was illegal.

 

Jonathan Shalit, Miss Klass's agent, said that had been "shaken and utterly terrified" by the incident and was stepping up security at the house she shares with her fianc, Graham Quinn, who was away on business at the time.

 

He said: "Myleene was aghast when she was told that the law did not allow her to defend herself in her own home. All she did was scream loudly and wave the knife to try and frighten them off.

 

"She is not looking to be a vigilante, and has the utmost respect for the law, but when the police explained to her that even if you're at home alone and you have an intruder, you are not allowed to protect yourself, she was bemused.

 

"Her questions going forward are: what are my rights, and what are you actually allowed to do to defend yourself in your own house?"

 

The Sunday Telegraph's Right to Defend Yourself campaign is seeking a change in the law to provide greater rights and immunity from prosecution for householders in dealing with intruders.

 

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said: "This incident just shows why things are still very confused on this issue and why we need a change in the law."

 

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: "We got a call at 12.45am on Saturday to reports of the owner of the property hearing noises outside their address.

 

"Officers were in attendance and checked the property.

 

"There was no one around although they could see footprints in the snow. No property had been taken and there were no intruders. It was treated as a trespass incident.

 

"Words of advice were given in relation to ensuring suspicious behaviour is reported immediately."

Let's piece this together:  A young woman is with her infant child in the kitchen, and two people (teenagers, adults, whoever) she does not know materialize on her property and appear to be ready to rob the place.  Or worse - a lot worse.

She waves a kitchen knife at them to scare them away, and, thankfully, succeeds.

She then calls the police and they tell her that SHE was the one acting illegally by brandishing the knife to protect herself and her child.

Has this world gone completely out of its mind?

Zeke .... .... The British Lion is now a Pussy. .... .... .... Appeasement merely means the crocodile will eat you last (paraphrasing Winston Churchill) (01/11/10)


HARRY REID'S APOLOGY

Ken Berwitz

Harry Reid has apologized for saying the following: (this is excerpted from an article at www.cnn.com, but is all over the news media):

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Saturday following reports he had privately described then-candidate Barack Obama during the presidential campaign as a black candidate who could be successful thanks in part to his light-skinned appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

 

In his Saturday statement, Reid said he apologized for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments.

I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obamas legislative agenda.

I wonder if he realizes just how improper those comments really are.

 

I get the sense that Mr. Reid, while offering a generalized apology to the world, really intended it for Barack Obama.  Mr. Obama certainly seemed to feel that way, since he personally accepted the apology.

 

But that was not a slur against Mr. Obama individually - who Senator Reid avidly supported him in the general election.

 

The slur was against millions and millions of Black people, and to the country as a whole.

 

What Harry Reid said was that it is more desirable to be lighter skinned and not have a so-called "Negro dialect".

 

If he wants to apologize to an individual, maybe John Lewis (D-GA), a darker skinned man than Barack Obama, with a "Negro dialect" that he can't turn on and off, would be a good start.

 

Then he can apologize to ALL Black people, since what he said was that the Blacker they look, and sound (there's that "Negro dialect" thing again), the worse off they are:  a repulsive, race-based generalization that speaks not only to about 40 million or so Americans, but insults non-Blacks as well by generalizing the assumption they define Black people the way he does.

 

But before Black citizens think Reid only makes stupid offensive statements about them, let's also remember that this is the same Harry Reid who complained about tourists (presumably, regardless of their skin color) who visit the capital in the summer, because they smell bad.  His exact quote?

"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway.  In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

Maybe Harry Reid shouldn't apologize at all for his comments.  Maybe this hopeless jerk should just resign and go away.

 

That would be a great idea in ANY dialect.

free` Nope, he wont quit, only Republicans have to quit when the say something like this. (01/10/10)

Ken Berwitz Zeke - Ironically, the song you're referring to, I'm Just Wild About Harry" was written by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle - both Black. I wonder how wild they'd be about THIS Harry.... (01/11/10)

Zeke ... .... Unclean ! Unclean ! Spawn of the Devil ! or, to state it more strongly: RACIST ! ! ... .... .... ... .... .... After all, this is the age of Sound Bite Media. ... ... Just because Harry likes a Haahvaahd accent ... well, Barry don't think that makes him no RACIST. ... ... Not when Barry needs EVERY dimocrit vote in the Senate ... including Harry's .... ..... ...... "I'm just wild about Harry, .... and Harry's wild about me" (01/11/10)


MEDIA BIAS? NAAAAHHHH

Ken Berwitz

Trent Lott said it.  He then apologized almost immediately.  And until he was hounded out of office, he was marked as a racist (which, for the record I think he was - but not for this comment, which was made for the purpose of coimplimenting a 100 year old colleague).

Harry Reid said it.  He then apologized, almost a year later.  And life will go on without retribution for him, you can count on it.

What am I talking about?

Steve Gilbert at www.sweetness-light.com will tell you:

Reid: Obama Light-Skinned, No Dialect

January 10th, 2010

From Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic:

The Juiciest Revelations In "Game Change"

Jan 8 2010, by Marc Ambinder

"Game Change," the long-awaited and very gossipy chronicle of the 2008 campaign by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, is chock full of revelations that are bound to stir the folks who live within ten miles of the Beltway and perhaps even reverberate beyond Washington.

The book doesnt officially go on sale until next Tuesday. The authors are slated to appear on 60 Minutes Sunday to preview it. I found it available for purchase at a Washington, D.C. bookstore tonight.

Among the more fascinating items:

On page 37, a remark, said "privately" by Sen. Harry Reid, about Barack Obamas racial appeal. Though Reid would later say that he was neutral in the presidential race, the truth, the authors write, was that his

encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He was wowed by Obamas oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one," as he said privately.  Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obamas race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.

In typical fashion, such news about Democrats only trickles out long after the fact on a late Friday night.

As for Mr. Reids support of Obamas candidacy, as we recall, Reids eldest son was the chairman of Ms. Clintons campaign in Nevada.

Also in typical fashion, we are supposed to quickly forgive and forget because of a apology:

Reid Apologizes For "Negro" Remark

Jan 9 2010, by Marc Ambinder

Sen. Harry Reids office sends along this statement, confirming that Sen. Reid did refer to Barack Obamas lack of a "Negro dialect" in private conversation and apologizing for it.

I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments. I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obamas legislative agenda. Moreover, throughout my career, from efforts to integrate the Las Vegas strip and the gaming industry to opposing radical judges and promoting diversity in the Senate, I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community.

And yet there is no mention of Mr. Reid resigning.

Which is odd, since Trent Lott was hounded from office for far less.

Of course Mr. Lott is a Republican.

Is Steve right?  Does Reid get a free pass?

Bet the ranch on it.

Media bias?  Naaaaaaahhhhh.


OLIVER STONE AND HITLER

Ken Berwitz

These quotes are from Oliver Stone, who is about to make a miniseries about adolf hitler:

"Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy -- these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history," Stone told reporters at the Television Critics Association's semi-annual press tour in Pasadena

"Stalin has a complete other story," Stone said. "Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can't judge people as only 'bad' or 'good.' Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He's the product of a series of actions. It's cause and effect ... People in America don't know the connection between WWI and WWII ... I've been able to walk in Stalin's shoes and Hitler's shoes to understand their point of view. We're going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions ... Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated."

You might remember this the next time you come across someone who makes reference to what they "learned" from the Oliver Stone movies about JFK, or Nixon, or war, or anything else.

It is good to know the perspective of the person behind those "history lessons".

Zeke ... ... Just a few ordinary Megalomaniac, Murdering, Ruthless Tyrants. ... ... They did not get understanding and sympathy as they murdered tens of millions of helpless people. ... ... Stone does not bother with the facts and realities when he does a movie -- just about all his stuff is propaganda, with major factual errors. ... ... Stone loves leftists, and changes facts, weaves conspiracy tales and omits the truth, when it goes against his world view. ... ... What Stone says has nothing to do with what actually happened (01/10/10)


THE COAKLEY/BROWN SENATE RACE: A BLOWOUT OR A TOSSUP

Ken Berwitz

We have two polls on the race for the senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. One is from the left-leaning Boston Globe and the other from the right-leaning Boston Herald.

-The Globe has Democrat Martha Coakley leading Republican Scott Brown by a very safe margin, 50% to 35%.

-The Herald has Mr. Brown leading Ms. Coakley, 48% - 47% - a statistical tie. 

So what differences, if any, are there in how the polls were conducted?  Let's see (in reading these data, please note that some of them have been derived from an article by Philip Klein, writing for American Spectator.  I assume them to be correct, but cannot be 100% sure.):

-The Boston Globe poll was conducted January 2 - 6, among 554 likely voters.  Its sample was comprised of 56% Democrats, 29% Republicans and 15% independents, with independents in a statistical tie between the two candidates (41% Coakley, 40% Brown);

-The Boston Herald poll was conducted January 7 - 9, among 744 likely voters.  Its sample was comprised of 44% Democrats, 17% Republicans and 39% independents, with independents favoring Brown by about 2 to 1.

Those are some pretty big differences.  Let's look at them a little more closely:

-The time period is obviously a factor that favors the Herald poll - i.e. the data are more recent;

-The sample size also favors the Herald poll;  it is 35% larger;

-The disparity between Democrats and Republicans is greater in the Herald sample (72% of the people who identified themselves as members of a major party say they are Democrats), than in the Globe (66%).  This means the Herald poll, in relative percentages, gives Democrats somewhat more of an edge than the Globe poll;

-But the big difference - the deal-maker - is independents.  The Globe says only 15% of its sample is comprised of independents, and they break evenly between the two candidates.  The Herald says that 39% of its sample is comprised of independents, and they break about 2 to 1 for Brown.  That is a huge disparity between these two polls.

Are there any national data that can give us additional insight?  Yep. 

-The latest I can find, from Gallup (less than one month ago), indicate that 33% of the country's voters are Democrats, 29% are Republicans and 36% are Independents - which obviously is far more in sync with the Boston Herald poll.  Further, the last time Gallup showed less than 30% independents was almost 5 years ago (February 2005).  

-In the most recent statewide elections - the Governorships of New Jersey and Virginia - independents voted about 2 to 1 for the Republican over the Democrat.  Here, again, this recent history seems to argue for the accuracy of the Herald poll over the Globe.

The bottom line?  We still don't know who is going to win this race.  And we still don't know what the real numbers are right now or how they might change on election day. 

But what we do know is that a) the Boston Herald poll looks one hell of a lot closer to reality than the Boston Globe poll and b) if so, Scott Brown is giving Martha Coakley a real run for the money.

Stay tuned....

Darren The "Herald" poll you cite is actually PPP's. Herald hasn't yet released theirs yet today. Indies make up 49% of registered voters in Massachusetts, so PPP's 39% makes sense given indies are less likely to vote in a special election than partisans. The Globe must be pushing indies to lean to one party. PPP's other internals on race breakdown and ideology are also close to Census figures and Gallup's liberal/moderate/conservative breakdown from last year. In fact, PPP oversamples blacks and undersamples whites, and arguably oversamples 18-29 year olds given their sharp drop in turnout in NJ and VA, thus making Brown's lead even more impressive. (01/10/10)

Ken Berwitz Darren - that's true, just as it is true that the University of New Hampshire's Survey Center conducted the Boston Globe poll. I call them the Globe and Herald polls because the newspapers commissioned them. But, irrespective of whose they are, that disparity is enormous, and appears to be predominantly based on the difference in how many independents were interviewed. If I were Martha Coakley I'd be plenty worried right now. (01/10/10)


NATIONAL SECURITY: WHEN THE AMATEURS ARE IN CHARGE

Ken Berwitz

If there is one area of government responsibility that absolutely, unequivocally cannot be mis-run, it is national security - otherwise known as the safety and well being of our people. 

But are there competent people running our national security?  Or even people who have a position about it that doesn't change with the shifting winds? 

Before you answer that, please read this piece by Austin Hill, writing for www.townhall.com: 

What I Saw At the Napolitano "Revolution"

by Austin Hill

 

Two terrorist attacks on American soil within les s than sixty days. Administration officials declare that the system worked after the Christmas day attack, only to be contradicted by the President days later. The President notes on December 29th that the Christmas day attack was carried out by merely an isolated extremist, but then declares on January 7 that we are at war, and that we must stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary," in complete contradiction of his Homeland Security Secretary and his own previous remarks.

Oh, my how does Americas liberal media explain it all away?

One of the most extraordinary accounts of this chaos was served up by Washington Post columnist David Broder. In the aftermath of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitanos sweep-it-under-the-rug the system worked analysis of the Christmas day attack, Broder published a column on January 1 explaining her terrific handling of the crisis.

In the years I have known her, Broder wrote, she has managed every challenge that has come her way with the same calm command that she showed in this instance. If there is anyone in the administration who embodies President Obama's preference for quiet competence with no drama, it is Janet Napolitano.

Well, - gosh! - I cant claim to have known Napolitano for years like the super-cool Mr. Broder does. However, I was an Arizonan for all six years of Napolitanos tenure as Governor in that state, so I know some things about Ms. Napolitano.

As Arizona Governor, Napolitano was all over the road with policy positions on security. Early in her first term in 2003, she voiced support for a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to be issued state driver's licenses. When public outcry turned against her, she fell silent on the issue, and later refused to take a position on the matter when her fellow Democrats introduced legislation to actually make the drivers license dream a reality.

And while 2003 saw the states of California and Texas contemplate whether or not to send state National Guard Troops to the U.S. / Mexico border, Napolitano opposed the idea for Arizona, arguing at the time that border security is a federal issue and not the job of state government. Yet three years later, in the midst of her 2006 re-election campaign, Governor Napolitano shocked Democrats and Republicans alike by dispatching the Arizona National Guard to the Mexican border, to help with the flood of illegal immigrants.

One of the most extraordinary components of Napolitanos Arizona legacy has to do with her attempt to monetize state security. With virtually no input from the state legislature, Governor Napolitano used her executive powers to mandate the purchase and installation of speed-limit enforcing photo radar cameras which are now dispersed literally everywhere in Arizona - - in the city, and throughout the states vast rural regions as well.

Napolitanos approach to speed enforcement is bad enough for its draconian, big-brother approach. But worse still, in a blatantly cynical move, Napolitano established that citations from the statewide speed cameras would carry with them no penalty to ones driving record - - just a monetary fee. As long as offending drivers are willing to write the check and pay off the government, they can continue to violate speed limit laws with no restrictions on their driving privileges, and the state profits all the more.

In 2009 during her last few days as Arizonas Governor, Napolitano explained that her speed cameras were a solution to the states budget woes. And this should raise concerns for all Americans today: as Governor of Arizona, our current Secretary of Homeland Security took the moral imperative of public security and reduced it down to a matter of mere revenue generation.

Had David Broder waited a couple more days before publishing his I love Janet piece, he may have seen the New York Times report on January 3rd noting that Napolitanos Arizona security experiment is likely headed for the trash heap. As if the intended purposes of the program arent bad enough, Napolitanos photo radar program has also failed to save Arizona from its budget woes, producing less than a third of Napolitanos projected $120 million in annual revenues.

In the aftermath of the Christmas day terrorist attack, there has been chatter about shake-ups among President Obamas security team. But dont look for Napolitanos departure any time soon. She earned a secure position in the Obama Administration by defying her long-standing friendship with the Clintons (President Clinton once appointed Napolitano as a U.S. Attorney) back in 2008 and endorsing Obama over Hillary. It is political cronyism at its worst - but it is the way things work in Washington.

And this is why we need a security professional heading-up the DHS and not a politician.

One quick disclaimer:  I can do without Hill's generalization of David Broder to all media.  And Broder himself, while certainly a political liberal, doesn't toe that line 100% of the time.

That said, does Mr. Hill have a point regarding Ms. Napolitano?  Is she either an incompetent, someone with no core beliefs (other than a determination not to use the term "terrorist") who will change her positions on a dime for political reasons, or both? 

The sense I very strongly get is that she is both.  And this is the person Barack Obama has appointed to oversee our homeland security -- along with eric holder, who seems fully committed to cutting terrorists a break by giving them civil trials instead of military tribunals.

But, then again, what do we expect from a Chicago machine politician, unqualified to hold the office, whose political experience is that he can say anything, even if it contradicts what he said before, and a fawning media will look the other way?

This administration is literally playing with the lives of our people.  Our families.  Our wives and husbands and children and parents and grandparents.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.


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