Monday, 26 April 2010

MINDS THAT THINK ALIKE

Ken Berwitz

There's an old saying that "great minds think alike" --to which I usually add "so do idiots, but we won't talk about that"

With this in mind, I thought I would first post an excerpt from Ross Douthat's column in today's New York Times....

Across 14 on-air years, theres no icon South Park hasnt trampled, no vein of shock-comedy (sexual, scatalogical, blasphemous) it hasnt mined. In a less jaded era, its creators would have been the rightful heirs of Oscar Wilde or Lenny Bruce taking frequent risks to fillet the cultures sacred cows.

In ours, though, even Parkers and Stones wildest outrages often just blur into the scenery. In a country where the latest hit movie, Kick-Ass, features an 11-year-old girl spitting obscenities and gutting bad guys while dressed in pedophile-bait outfits, there isnt much room for real transgression. Our culture has few taboos that cant be violated, and our establishment has largely given up on setting standards in the first place.

Except where Islam is concerned. There, the standards are established under threat of violence, and accepted out of a mix of self-preservation and self-loathing.

This is what decadence looks like: a frantic coarseness that bravely trashes its own values and traditions, and then knuckles under swiftly to totalitarianism and brute force.

....and then post an excerpt from the blog I wrote yesterday on the same subject:

There is an old saying about why dogs lick their, er, private parts.  The answer is "because they can".

 

I sometimes (well, more than sometimes) think that is why those courageous paradigms of social commentary at places like Comedy Central and various talk shows - not to mention a host of other media - are so happy to bash Christianity and Judaism (or, more specifically anything that the state of Israel does).  They can.  They can crap all over Christians and Israelis, then sleep like a baby that night.

 

Ever wonder why they don't do the same when it comes to Islam?  I'm pretty sure you already know the answer but, if not, read this excerpt from Jamie Griswold's piece at mynorthwest.com and I'm sure you'll get it:

 

The answer - again, I assume most readers already know this, but I'm posting it pro forma - is that they are very brave when it comes to religions and places which present no threat to them.  But they cower under a bush when it comes to anyone who might actually do something about it.

 

And South Park is far from the only example.  Heck, it's far from the only example even on Comedy Central.

Are we great minds, idiots, or something else?  You decide. 

 

And please keep it as clean as possible.


THE RACIST CONGRESSPEOPLE AND THEIR RACIST LIE

Ken Berwitz

It's bad enough that these four are members of Congressional Black Caucus - an overtly racist organization that refuses membership based on skin color - is allowed to exist at all.  And just as bad that they are lying about other people being racist.

Excerpted from Andrew Breitbart's blog at biggovernment.com:

Rep. Andre Carson wants to change the subject. I dont blame him.

 

On April 13, 2010 he told AP reporter Jesse Washington, I think we need to move toward a dialogue that explores why this kind of divisive and reprehensible language is still making it into our political debate.

 

The divisive and reprehensible language that Rep. Carson is referring to is his claim that while he left the Cannon office building on March 20 with Rep. John Lewis, they were verbally assaulted by health care protesters hurling the N-word at them. He said the scene was so hostile he expected rocks to come when he was coming out of Cannon.

 

I wanted to see the evidence. I wanted the truth. In the course of our search we have actually uncovered further video evidence that casts serious doubt on Rep.Carsons claims:

 

Now this story is much more important than the accusation of fifteen racists among the thousands of protesters that day. This is now about the accusers.

 

Its not just that Congressmen Carsons accusation of an extraordinary racist verbal assault by the tea party participants on March 20 doesnt appear to have occurred, its that the accusers have now gone into the bunker and, having raised the incendiary subject, are doing everything they can to avoid the discussion. Why? Whats changed?

 

When the accusation was made, the mainstream media made it the number one topic on every news show. The Democratic Party was leading the discussion. But when confronted on the baseless accusation, without even a modicum of evidence that it actually happened, other than an assertion, the Democratic Party, and its symbiotic allies the mainstream media, want to have another beer summit.

 

We have spent the last three weeks searching for any evidence that might support the allegations, without any help from the accusers. The primary accuser, Congressman Carson, who audaciously claimed the crowd screamed the N-word fifteen times, would not return our call. So we have gone part way to try and piece together the events of March 20.

 

Not only is the audio devoid of any racial slur, but the scene at Cannon clearly shows the congressmen coming down the steps completely unobstructed, and with a clear path to the Capitol. And, when we juxtapose the audio accusation Rep.Carson made moments after the alleged event occurred with actual video footage of the moment Rep. Carson claims he first heard the racial slur, it is as plain as day that Congressman Carson was not isolated by a mob and facing a racist throng that could conceivably hurl rocks at him. As you can see for yourself.

 

The false accusation of racism grants left-wing hooligans carte-blanche to act out on their dehumanized Tea Party counterparts. Thats what the intention was with the false accusation. That was the game plan. It ties together with the similar strategy as employed by Pres. Clinton and Richard Trumka to compare tea partiers and the environment they are creating to a petri dish of hate that will spawn the next Timothy McVeigh or Lee Harvey Oswald.

 

As long as this false narrative lives to fuel the hatred of the activist left, which has on many occasions been acted out against Tea Party activists and other law abiding protesters, we will keep this story at the editorial forefront.

 

It is a slander with real-world repercussions.

 

The absence of a real investigation by a press that played up the accusations is a more-than-tacit admission that they were hoping the allegations were true. When I mentioned the lack of response to the $100k offer to Politicos Ben Smith, he messaged me on Twitter: I think youve pretty much won this one, no?

 

The power of the propaganda. The power of the repeated accusations. The power of the relentless race-based line of questioning. They are all adding up to the liars and slanderers getting exactly what they wanted. The Tea Party is marred by racism charges while Congressman Carson, at the least, should be facing an ethics investigation, and a civil rights legend should be asking for forgiveness for allowing for the hateful lie to stand.

 

Congressman Carson refuses to respond to our requests because he cant answer questions that deserve answers. The press is drawing a line in the sand for those that are doing the job the press should be doing: Are you calling a civil rights legend a liar?

 

Unfortunately, I am. And the mainstream media are as complicit in this lie as Congressman Lewis.

The congresspeople who said they were repeatedly called "nigger" are liars.

The congresspeople (John Lewis among them) who did not say it happened, but have remained silent knowing that it didn't, are just as bad as the liars.

And our wonderful "neutral" media, most of which had no problem whatsoever propagating this lie without any evidence, and most of which have never retracted the lies or held the liars to account?  They are the biggest liars of them all.

Then they wonder why people are fleeing mainstream media for alternative sources of information.


THE TODAY SHOW'S IDEA OF POLITICAL EVENHANDEDNESS

Ken Berwitz

This morning's Today show had a feature of about 3:45 minutes on what Matt Lauer introduced as "a new kind of millionaire's club; wealthy Americans using their own money to fund their own political campaign".  This was followed with a feature by Jamie Gangel.

That stopped me in my tracks. 

-Did Lauer ever hear the name Kennedy? 

-Or Jon Corzine who self-funded his senate and gubernatorial elections in New Jersey (and his loss for a second term as well)? 

-Or Mark Dayton, who self-funded his senate win in Minnesota? 

-Or Maria Cantwell, who self-funded her senate win in Washington? 

-Or Ned Lamont, who self-funded his primary win over Joe Lieberman in Connecticut and is now running for Governor of the state - something I will talk more about just a bit further on?

You may have noticed that every example I just provided is of a Democrat. That is not because Republicans have not done the same - they certainly have.  My reason for showing only Democrats is to demonstrate that there were plenty of them to pick from .

But - surprise, surprise - the only two politicians whose party affiliation was cited by Gangel were Republicans:  Connecticut senatorial candidate Linda McMahon and  Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley (not to be confused with Washington state's Tom Foley who was Democratic speaker of the house).

And how about Democrat Ned Lamont, running against Foley - and as rich as Croesus?  No mention of him by name or party.  Just a quick picture of him, as part of a visual montage of self-funders from both parties who you would only know if you recognized their faces during a showing of what appeared to be less than one second..

Nice.  Very evenhanded.

Then we come to the main thrust of the report:  the "David and Goliath" battle that Mark Boughton, a former social studies teacher and current Mayor of Danbury, CT, is waging to win his party's primary. 

The Boughton segment ran from about 1:10 to 2:35 - more than one-third of Gangel's entire report - then another :10 later on.  But never once did she mention that Boughton, like McMahon and Foley, is a Republican.  If you caught a fleeting glance of one of his campaign posters in the background, you might know.  But certainly not because Gangel mentioned it. 

Bottom line: 

-First Matt Lauer tells us that rich people self-funding their political campaigns is something new, which it is not.  However, claiming it is a new phenomenon eliminates the need to mention all those rich, self-funding Democrats from previous years.  How convenient.

-Then Jamie Gangel tells us there are a couple of rich Republicans running in Connecticut:  this is guaranteed to perpetuate the image of Republicans as the rich people.  But she does not mention the names or party affiliation of the rich Democrats also running for office in Connecticut (like Ned Lamont):  this is guaranteed to perpetuate the image of Democrats as the "little guys".    

-Gangel then does a segment-within-a-segment about Tom Boughton, a man of limited means who is running a quixotic primary race for governor.  But she does not mention that he also is a Republican:  which therefore cannot result in viewers perceiving that Republicans are sometimes the "little guys" too.

Then they wonder why people call them biased.......


JUDGESHIPS FOR SALE? JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

Ken Berwitz

Are judgeships for sale in the Obama administration?

Read this excerpt from a blog by Ed Morrissey at hotair.com  -- better yet, use the link and read it all.  Then you tell me:

On the surface, there isnt much doubt why Barack Obama selected John J. McConnell Jr. as his nominee to the US District in Rhode Island.  McConnell has had a long career as a litigator in cases that would thrill any advocate on the Left, suing manufacturers over lead paint, asbestos, and tobacco.  However, it may have been McConnells ability to turn those cases into cash for the Democratic machine that got him his nomination, as the Providence Journal reports:

John J. McConnell Jr., President Obamas choice for the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, is one of the top election campaign contributors among the nearly 1,500 nominees to the federal courts since the late 1980s.

McConnell, 51, a Providence lawyer, has given at least $432,456 to Democratic House, Senate and presidential campaigns since the 1990 election cycle, according to a Providence Journal analysis of reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Over the years, McConnell contributed tens of thousands of dollars in total to the campaign funds of major Democratic presidential candidates and of Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse. The Rhode Island senators last April recommended McConnell for a seat on the court. McConnell is also a substantial contributor to the party campaign arm that helps elect Democrats to the Senate, whose members must vote on whether to seat him on the federal bench.

That total obscures McConnells more recent efforts. The Journal notes that McConnell donated over $120,000 in the 2008 cycle alone

Let's review.  John J. McConnell Jr. is a long-time litigator of left wing causes, who has given almost a half million dollars to the Democratic Party.  And - amazing coincidence here - he is nominated for a District Court judgeship.

Well, President Obama promised transparency, didn't he?  And, in a sense, this proves that he's delivering.  Because it doesn't get more transparent than this.  

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.

And that goes double for 2012.


BARACK OBAMA'S "UNITY" PEP TALK

Ken Berwitz

Is President Obama keeping his promise to unite us?

Well, watch this video that was released today by the Democratic National Committee and decide for yourself:

 

 

Nice, Mr. President. 

First you say:

"Today I'd like to talk with you about the important role each of you will play in 2010"

That sounds pretty inclusive to me. 

But then you say:

"It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African Americans, Latinos, and women, who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again"

In other words, you ask for the support for everyone except White males who would not classify as "young" (that would be 30 years of age or older, maybe even 25 or older), and gays.  Evidently they need not apply. 

Quite an appeal to unity you have there, Mr. President.

And that's before we get to the part where you list out your two major pieces of legislation and make claims about them that are unsupportable because they are untrue. 

-ObamaCare - which has not helped anyone yet; not one person.  All we have is your comment that it was "desperately needed".  If that is so, how come virtually every major poll shows that most people didn't want it?

-And the "Recovery Act" (also known as the "stimulus package") - which has been a bust, with unemployment going from the 8% it was supposed to cap at, to over 10%, and currently to 9.7%.  We have had just one month of positive job growth since the "stimulus package" passed, and even that was driven primarily by temporary census jobs which won't even exist in a few months.

Let me say it straight (I better not say it gay, because evidently that would exclude me):  If the voters fall for this load of what a bull produces after meals, our country is beyond hope.


WHAT THE WORLD LOSES IF IT LOSES ISRAEL (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an article in today's issue of Ha'aretz:

Israel is getting ready to share technology and skills with African countries struggling to sustain agricultural output due to increasingly unreliable rains, said Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon.

Simhon said sharing know-how, especially in irrigation and water management, was his focus on a tour of Senegal, Ivory Coast and Gabon.

His trip comes as some 10 million people in West and Central Africa face food shortages due to failed rains.

 

"We are not arriving here in Africa to take resources from the African countries. We are coming here in order to give know-how and abilities to these countries to develop," Simhon told Reuters in Senegal over the weekend.

"Israel is the only country in the world that has been able to conquer the desert. More than 50 percent of our exports are coming from semi-arid areas. This is our strength - this we would like to bring here."

Simhon said Israel could help Senegal reduce dependence on imports, which currently account for around 80 percent of food needs. "Senegal's traditional agriculture is one crop a year. We know how to do three and four crops a year. We can teach that."

The minister would not give any figures on proposed Israeli aid to African farming or detail the role of Israeli companies in such programs. Senegal already hosts several Israeli-funded projects looking at using low-pressure drip irrigation to increase productivity.

Israeli farmers have been heavily involved in modern developments in irrigation, including drip irrigation systems and water recycling methods.

Some experts believe these techniques could become invaluable in Africa's arid growing regions, which risk becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate change.

"One of the most important things is the water technology and usage. The world is drying up. There is less water, there is less rain days," Simhon said.

"In Israel we are using recycled water, desalinated water, rain water, salty water, which almost anywhere in the world we will not have any use for (but) we (use to) make the sweetest tomatoes," he added.

Simhon said advances in technology had allowed Israeli farmers to use 30 percent less water while almost doubling output over the last decade, leaving the country with a 150 percent food surplus.

Now, tell me:  How much desperately-needed agricultural technology (or, for that matter, anything else) has come to Africa from Israel's neighbors? 

What does the world lose if it loses Israel?  This is another of the many, many answers.


JEWS PLAYING THE NAZI CARD

Ken Berwitz

Phil Gordon is the Jewish mayor of Phoenix.  I just watched Laura Ingraham interview him on the O'Reilly factor, and heard him compare Arizona's new law on immigration to naziism.

Jared Polis is a Jewish congressperson from Colorado.  According to Kasie Hunt at www.politico.com, Polis says Arizona is on its way to becoming a police state and its new immigration law is reminiscent of Nazi Germany.   It is absolutely reminiscent of second class status of Jews in Germany prior to World War II when they had to have their papers with them at all times and were subject to routine inspections at the suspicion of being Jewish 

Speaking as a Jew, all of whose ancestors came from Eastern Europe, these two are morons and they make me sick to my stomach.

The idea of comparing laws aimed at preventing illegal aliens from entering Arizona, to naziism - i.e. the mass murder of entire groups of people, including about 6 million Jews - is so beyond sanity that I do not have the words to define it.

Why don't these two morons just shut the eff up?

Zeke .... .... Reductio ad Hitlerum .... ..... .... aka Godwin's Law ..... ..... ..... Overuse of such terms robs the valid comparisons of their impact. ... ... ... ... .... Immigration Regulation is quite different than Genocide, Eugenics, or claims of Racial Superiority. ... ... ... ... (04/26/10)


OBAMACARE - REALITY STARTS SINKING IN

Ken Berwitz

Is ObamaCare as good as the administration claims or as bad as its critics claim?  The answer, not surprisingly, lies somewhere in between.  But, as detailed in the following excerpts from Grace-Marie Turner's article in National Review, the lean is pretty substantially to the negative:

Not one of its major programs has gotten started, and already the wheels are starting to come off of Obamacare. The administrations own actuary reported on Thursday that millions of people could lose their health insurance, that health-care costs will rise faster than they would have if the law hadnt passed, and that the overhaul will mean that people will have a harder and harder time finding physicians to see them.

1. People losing coverage: About 14 million people will lose their employer coverage by 2019, as smaller employers terminate their plans and workers who currently have employer coverage enroll in Medicaid. Half of all seniors on Medicare Advantage could lose their coverage and the extra benefits the plans offer.

2. Huge fines for companies: Businesses will pay $87 billion in penalties in the first five years after the fines trigger in 2014, partly because they cant afford to offer expensive, government-mandated coverage and partly because some of their employees will apply for taxpayer-subsidized insurance.

3. Higher costs for consumers: Tens of billions of dollars in new fees and excise taxes will be passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and devices prices and higher premiums, according to Foster. A separate report shows small businesses will be hit hardest.

4. A program created to fail: The new CLASS Act long-term-care insurance program will face a significant risk of failure, according to Foster. Indeed, he finds, there is a very serious risk that the problem of adverse selection will make the CLASS program unsustainable.

5. Spending increases: Under the new law, national health spending will increase by $311 billion over the coming decade. And instead of bending the federal spending curve down, it will move it upward by a net total of $251 billion over the next decade.

6. Free-riders: An estimated 23 million people will remain uninsured in 2019, roughly 5 million of whom would be undocumented aliens; the remainder would be the 18 million who decline to get coverage and who will pay the penalty.

7. Spending reductions are fiction
: Estimated reductions in the growth rate of health spending may not be fully achievable because Medicare productivity adjustments could become unsustainable even within the next ten years, and over time the reductions in the scope of employer-sponsored health insurance could also become an issue.

8. You cant keep your doctor
: Fifteen percent of all hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers treating Medicare patients could be operating at a loss by 2019, which will possibly jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries. Doctors are threatening to drop out of Medicare because cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates mean they cant even cover their costs.

9. Coverage but no care: A significant portion of those newly eligible for Medicaid will have trouble finding physicians who will see them, and the increased demand for Medicaid services could be difficult to meet.

This is an objective report by administration actuaries that shows this sweeping legislation has serious, serious problems.

The question now is whether these disastrous realities will find their way to the consciousness of average voters.

If those two paradigms of fair and balanced information, the New York Times and the Today show, are any indication, the answer is pretty iffy.  Neither the Times nor Today had a story on the ObamaCare report this morning; not even a little one. 

But the Times did have a front page story on how much New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg likes to go to Bermuda.  And Today did have features on picking your favorite dog and teen girls' desire to be skinny.

On the other hand, that's only fair.  I mean, what is more important:  the the fact that the Obama administration's own people are now admitting there are huge problems with its health care legislation, Mayor Bloomberg's opinion of Bermuda or who your favorite dog is?

Zeke ... ... .... #8 - Keeping (or finding) a Doctor won't be an issue --- --- Medical care will be provided by certified medical professional / janitors who will dispense a clean bill of health and clean floors. No need for those silly years at med school, internship and residency. .... .... .... Medical Care is easy, once you move standards to the most cost effective level .... .... After all, what medical care need ... better diagnosis and treatment or more bureaucrats. ObamaKare says, "More Bureaucrats". (04/26/10)


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