Tuesday, 04 May 2010

THE SUCCESS RATE OF BIG GOVERNMENT

Ken Berwitz

John Hawkins, writing for townhall.com, has put together a very entertaining explanation of why we should think twice before seeing big government as the be-all and end-all for everything.  I am posting the first part of his blog below, and I'm sure you'll want to click on the link I've just provided to read the rest of it:

If you ran into people who insisted on trying to pound nails with a screwdriver no matter how many times they were shown a better way, wouldn't you think there was something wrong with them? What if those people not only used a screwdriver, but demanded that everyone else use a screwdriver instead of a hammer, too? Worse yet, what if those people did this for decades on end?

 

Well, guess what? We have people like that in this country. They're called liberals and the screwdriver they're using to try to fix America's problems is called big government. Despite the fact that we have decades of accumulated evidence proving that big government doesn't work, liberals just won't give up on it.

 

Now we may not be able to convince the hidebound Left that government doesn't work, but there are a lot of other Americans with open minds. Maybe some of them can be reached by pointing out how life would be if big government actually worked as well as liberals seem to believe it does.

 

* FedEx and UPS would be out of business because there'd be no way they could compete with the ruthless efficiency, amazing speed, & dazzling customer service of the post office.

 

* Our southern and northern borders would be completely secure, the fence on the southern border would be done, and there wouldn't be enough illegals in the United States to even merit a debate about amnesty.

 

* Social Security would be fully funded and every dime you contribute would be invested, ready to be withdrawn when the government needs to pay your benefits.

 

* Something as important as Medicare wouldn't be a giant "Bernie Madoff style" Ponzi scheme that would merit fraud charges if a private citizen tried to create a similar project.

 

 

* When George W. Bush said, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," people all across the country would have said, "Yeah, he's right. He is doing a heck of a good job. Go, Brownie!"

 

* The American people would be clamoring for the billing departments of private companies to match the professionalism, customer service, and competence of the IRS.

 

* The massive government regulation that was already in place would have prevented the housing crisis that led to the latest recession that affects America -- instead of creating it by demanding that housing loans be given to poor risks.

 

* A trip to the DMV would be no more of a hassle than stopping by Wal-Mart to pick up some laundry detergent.

 

* The Soviet Union would have won the Cold War.

 

* Members of Congress would actually read and understand the bills they sign into law instead of saying things like,

 

What good is reading the (health care) bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill? -- John Conyers (D-MI)

 

* Prominent supporters of big government like Tim Geithner, Charles Rangel, Tom Daschle, and Al Franken wouldn't have been caught cheating on the taxes required to pay for the huge government programs they advocate.

Although I could have done without that use of the term "liberal", which I see in a very different light than Mr. Hawkins does, I found most of his points both funny and edifying. 

Maybe you do too.  Your call.


ERNIE HARWELL, R.I.P.

Ken Berwitz

Baseball lost one of its great icons today.  .

Ernie Harwell, recognized by just about everyone as one of the nicest, most unassuming gentlemen you would ever want to meet, passed away at the age of 92.   The cause was cancer.

Mr. Harwell's announcing career started in 1946 (the year I was born) when he called games for the minor league Atlanta Crackers. 

But, though he announced for a number of major league teams (The Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles), Mr. Harwell was best known as the voice of the Detroit Tigers.  He spent 31 years in the radio booth for Detroit before being ignominiously (and, frankly, stupidly) let go in 1991.  The fans were so emphatic in their disgust with this move that he was brought back in 1993, and announced TV and radio for Detroit until his retirement in 2002. 

Ernie Harwell's greatest gift,however, was not his prodigious announcing talent.  It was his personality.  He was known as someone who was just as happy to have a pleasant chat with a peanut vendor as a hall of fame ballplayer.  Harwell himself was installed in the baseball hall of fame in 1981.

I do not recall anyone in the game who more people spoke well of.  

May Ernie Harwell rest in peace.


RACIST IDIOT ALERT: MORON MIKE MADISON

Ken Berwitz

It's bad enough that there are racist idiots out there.  But do we have to have one as the principal of an elementary school?

Read this excerpt from an article at annarbor.com, and marvel at how the school's Principal rationalizes his overt racism:

An Ann Arbor elementary school principal used a letter home to parents tonight to defend a field trip for black students as part of his schools efforts to close the achievement gap between white and black students.

 

Dicken Elementary School Principal Mike Madison wrote the letter to parents following several days of controversy at the school after a field trip last week in which black students got to hear a rocket scientist.

 

In hindsight, this field trip could have been approached and arranged in a better way," Madison wrote. "But as I reflect upon the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that I saw in these childrens eyes as they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position, it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them.

 

It was not a wasted venture for I know one day they might want to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the Planet Mars.

 

I also think its important that you know that I have talked to the children who did not go on the field trip, and I think they have a better understanding of the purpose of the AA Lunch Bunch now, as I hope you do. Im sorry if any kids were upset by the field trip or my discussion afterwards with them, and I have let them know that.

 

The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.

The AA lunch bunch?  Let's understand what that is.  It is a group of Black children who are segregated out from the general mixed-race school population and given things that are not available to White students. 

Got that?  Black students went on the trip because they are Black.  White students were excluded from the trip because they are White.  And the principal tells us that "the intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students....".

And if that weren't enough, this racist moron tells us that a Blacks-only field trip is supposed to "close the achievement gap".  Isn't that kind of racial segregation exactly what the civil rights movement fought against? 

And this reversion to the days of segregation doesn't even come with the pretense of "separate but equal".  It is separate, but specifically not equal, because one skin color gets what the other skin color doesn't get.

Can you believe that the perpetrator this idiocy is entrusted with educating children????????????

Here's a question for moron mike madison:  do you think it would be possible for a Black child to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the planet Mars if Whites also heard the astronaut speak?  Or do you think the only way a Black child can aspire to be an astronaut or scientist is if he/she hears about it without any White children in the room?

I, of course, have nothing to do with the Ann Arbor board of education.  But if a school principal where I live ever pulled a stunt like this - i.e. segregating out one race of children for a field trip and leaving the rest of them at school because they have the wrong skin color - I would be demanding that he/she be fired immediately.  

And if the people in this school district don't do that, they are condoning overt racism every bit as much as moron mike madison is.

Zeke .... ..... .... .... Ken ... George Orwell's novel, "1984" becomes more and more a commentary on TODAY's Leftists. ... .... .... "Slavery is Freedom" ... "War is Peace" .... "Ignorance is Strength" ..... ..... ..... "Big Brother is Watching You" ... .... and of course, for our MSM, "Newspeak" and "Double THink". ..... .... .... ..... This is all Double Plus UnGood. (05/04/10)


SURVEILLANCE WORKED. WHO WILL THE ACLU AND OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BLAME?

Ken Berwitz

How were authorities so quickly able to catch the subhuman scumbag who tried to blow up a vehicle in Times Square last week?

Apart from his ineptitude (when a car bomb doesn't blow up, the perpetrator(s) inherently leave a treasure-trove of evidence), the key reason was.....

SURVEILLANCE

That's right.  Surveillance.  Exactly what organizations like the ACLU and significant parts of the Obama administration are so averse to.

Excerpted from today's article by Mike Allen at politico.com:

The number from a disposable cellphone led FBI agents to the suspect arrested Monday night for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on Saturday evening, according to a senior official.  

They were able to basically get one phone number and by running it through a number of databases, figure out who they thought the guy was, the official said.

A huge law-enforcement force tracked the suspect through the afternoon and evening. He was arrested at 11:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The vehicle identification number had been removed from the bomb-laden 1993 Nissan Pathfinder left in Times Square. But investigators were able to lift it from a second location on the vehicle, and used that to track down a Connecticut man who said he had sold the Pathfinder for cash about three weeks ago.

The man had offered the vehicle on Craigslist, and FBI agents were able to recover the number from a disposable cellphone that had been used by the buyer.

The suspect didn't still have the phone. But using a lot of technology and access to database, agents located the suspect.

Y'know, this worked out so well that, who knows, maybe the Obama administration might even decide that tapping the telephones of  terrorist suspects isn't such a bad idea......


OBAMA & HYPOCRISY

Ken Berwitz

From Michelle Malkin, today:

Really. How many more selective civility police lectures can we take from this vulgarity-clogged White House?

Via ABC News:

 

Three days after he decried the lack of civility in American politics, President Obama is quoted in a new book about his presidency referring to the Tea Party movement using a derogatory term with sexual connotations.

 

In Jonathan Alters The Promise: President Obama, Year One, President Obama is quoted in an interview saying that the unanimous vote of House Republicans vote against the stimulus bills set the tenor for the whole year That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.

 

Tea Party activists loath the term tea baggers, which has emerged in liberal media outlets and elsewhere as a method of mocking the activists and their concerns.

 

On Saturday, the president delivered a commencement address at the University of Michigan where he said one way to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate But we cant expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down.

In case there is anyone left who still  doesn't know, "teabagging" refers to a crude sexual act in which a man squats over another person, male or female, and dips his scrotum in that person's mouth.

That is the reference our ever-so-civil President is making when he uses the term.

Are you appalled?  You should be.

Are you surprised?  You shouldn't be.  This level of hypocrisy/dishonesty is standard issue for Barack Obama. 

Zeke ... .... ... "In case there is anyone left who still doesn't know, "teabagging" refers to a crude sexual act in which a man squats over another person, male or female, and dips his scrotum in that person's mouth. That is the reference our ever-so-civil President is making when he uses the term." .............. .................... ..................... ................. Well, Obama is a .... DouchBag ....... ............ (05/04/10)


CBS AND THE 'SLIM MAJORITY'

Ken Berwitz

Q:  When is a substantial majority a slim majority? 

A:  When it is a substantial majority supporting a position the media elites don't like.

Let me show you what I'm talking about.  First I will excerpt the description, by CBS News, of how its poll on Arizona's new immigration laws is seen by the public (see the entire article by clicking here):

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Despite their expectation that it will burden police departments and disproportionately affect certain ethnic groups, a slim majority of Americans believe the controversial illegal immigration measure recently signed into law in Arizona is "about right" in its approach, according to a newly-released CBS News/New York Times poll.

 

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed say the law, which critics say essentially mandates racial profiling, takes the right approach, and nine percent say it should go even further.

Thirty-six percent say the law goes too far.

Now the pie chart CBS put up to support this description:

(Credit: CBS)

A "slim majority"?  A "slim majority"? 

Yeah, sure, ok.  51% to 36% - a statistically significant difference - is just a bare-bones win for Arizona's new laws.  Then you add in the 9% who think the law isn't tough enough and you get 60% of the respondents saying the law is either just fine or should be even tougher, versus 36% who say it goes too far.  That's a "slim majority"?

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

Zeke .... .....[The Arizona illegal entry law] "essentially mandates racial profiling" .... ..... .... actually specifically prohibits 'profiling' and requires REASONABLE SUSPICION. .... .... ... But, what can you expect from the "See?, B/S" network .... .... in the tradition of Daniel Rather. ..... (05/04/10)


CONTESSA BREWER & HYPOCRISY

Ken Berwitz

Sorry for the redundancy of that title.

Here is a transcript of Contessa Brewer who, when she is not on MSNBC, apparently likes to chat on radio with Stephanie Miller.  Ms. Brewer is talking about the would-be Times Square bomber:

"I mean the thing is that- and I get frustrated and there was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country because there are a lot of people who want to use this terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry."

I happen to agree with Contessa Brewer's general concept that the actions of one person in no way tell us a thing about an entire group, whether its bond is religion, skin color or anything else.

But did Ms. Brewer ever say this about Tea Partiers?  Or did she have no problem generalizing about them and tarring them all with the same brush?

The operative word here is "hypocrisy".  And when it comes to media hypocrisy, especially among MSNBCers, Contessa Brewer ain't exactly flying solo.


GUANTANAMO RECONSIDERED

Ken Berwitz

Let's say President Bush took office with an explicit promise to close a detention facility within the year, and to give civilian trials to the detainees being held there.  Let's also say he was handed a huge majority in the house and senate to back him up on it.

Suppose it was almost 16 months later and not only was the detention facility not closed, but there were no realistic plans to close it?  Would the press be all over him for the miscalculation and indeptitude necessary to leave such a promise unkept?  Would the press - gleefully - have jumped on this as proof of his incompetence?

Well, George Bush is not the President.  But someone else is.  And here are excerpts from a piece by Robert F. Turner in today's New York Post that might describe a similar situation:  You decide:

Civilian terror trials are the violation

Last Updated: 12:50 AM, May 4, 2010


President Obama's deadline for closing the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay expired 102 days ago, and Attorney General Eric Holder has now admitted that at least 40 detainees will be held indefinitely, without trial.

 

Enough, already: It's time to rescind the order, rule out any civilian trials -- and explain to the world why holding the detainees at Gitmo is the right thing to do under the Law of Armed Conflict (which subsumes what was long known as the Laws of War).

 

Obama and Holder have repeatedly acknowledged that America is "at war," as did Congress by invoking the War Powers Resolution by a combined vote of 519-1 on Sept. 18, 2001. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that this war is governed by the Law of Armed Conflict -- which permits detention without charge or trial for the duration of hostilities.

 

Indeed, detaining enemy combatants for the duration of hostilities without charge or trial is a long-recognized and lawful practice. Thus, the United States held more than 400,000 German POWs (and many Italians, too) at detention camps spread across 40-plus states -- without lawyers, charges or trials -- until World War II ended.

 

Before citing the 1949 Geneva POW Conventions, critics should be aware what they actually say. Article 84 states: "A prisoner of war shall be tried only by a military court." And Article 97 says: "Prisoners of war shall not in any case be transferred to penitentiary establishments (prisons, penitentiaries, convict prisons, etc.)." [Emphasis added in both cases.]

 

It is only because terrorists like Khalid Sheik Mohammed & Co. don't qualify for full Geneva protection that we have the legal option of trying them in domestic courts.

 

But exercising that option is clearly unwise. The practical arguments are familiar: Such trials would likely result in theatrics like those we witnessed year after year in the Moussaoui trial (which cost tens of millions of dollars); they might endanger the lives of jurors and could compromise sensitive intelligence sources and methods.

 

And there's a very real risk that a judge might turn dangerous terrorists loose on American streets if the government refuses to identify and produce undercover witnesses who may have penetrated al Qaeda networks in foreign lands.

 

America's handling of captured enemies ought to comply fully with the Law of Armed Conflict standards to which we have agreed -- and nothing now taking place at Gitmo is contrary to those standards. Indeed, it is in many ways a model facility where terrorists who wish to kill us get better medical and dental care than many Americans can afford.

 

Since the administration has realized that many of these terrorists will need to be detained indefinitely without charge or trial, the time has come to reverse the decision to close Gitmo -- and to get on with the mission of educating Americans and critics around the world about the realities of the Law of Armed Conflict.

 

Robert F. Turner co-founded the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1981 and chaired the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security between 1989 and 1992.

I thank Robert F.Turner for the simple act of mentioning Guantanamo - which, now that President Obama looks ridiculous for his miscalculations and ineptitude in handling it, has become a non-story in our wonderful "neutral" media.

And I ask:  is Mr. Turner correct?  Should Guantanamo stay open for exactly, precisely the same reasons President Bush utlized it - even if it makes President Obama look that bad?

Finally, should any of these detainees be shuttled through our civilian court system?  If your answer is yes, tell me why?  What legal or practical reasons can you offer? 

Is the fact that President Obama's sock puppet, the eminently malleable eric holder, insisting on it good enough for you?  Because it sure isn't good enough for me.

free` Obama should admit he was mistaken about GTMO and explain why it is the perfect prison for holding our enemies. (05/04/10)


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