Tuesday, 27 July 2010

TWO QUESTIONS FOR SHIRLEY SHERROD

Ken Berwitz

Just two quick questions for Shirley Sherrod: 

1) When you were telling the story of withholding help from a White farmer based on his skin color, and the NAACP audience was so enthusiastically receptive to what you did - before you said that you subsequently had a change of heart - did you consider them as racist as Andrew Breitbart?  Or more racist? 

2) Now that a video has surfaced of your husband, Charles, from January of this year, exhorting a Black audience to "vote Black", do you consider him as much of a racist as Andrew Breitbart?  Or more of a racist?

Any help you can give me on those two questions will be most appreciated.....


IS NANCY PELOSI A LIBERAL?

Ken Berwitz

Before you jump all over me for that title, let me assure you I'm not the one asking.  To me, the issue of whether or not Nancy Pelosi is a liberal (more accurately, a hard-leftist) is right up there with "If I jump in the ocean will I get salt water in my bathing suit?"

So who would question whether Nancy Pelosi is a liberal?  According to hotair.com's Ed Morrissey, it is none other than Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), who is running against Republican Pat Toomey to fill the senate seat currently held by Arlen Spector (D, but formerly R...if in name only).

Here is the relevant excerpt from Ed's latest blog:

Nancy Pelosi represents one of the most liberal Congressional districts in the country.  She has relentlessly pursued a very liberal agenda of bigger government, higher spending, and greater top-down control of the economy.  Pelosi herself has claimed to be a progressive.  Yet Joe Sestak, who has supported her agenda for four years, seems to have trouble deciding whether Pelosi is a liberal or not:

Joe Sestak continued Monday to distance himself from Nancy Pelosi while at the same time tying his Republican opponent Pat Toomey to George W. Bush.

Sestak, speaking at the Pennsylvania Press Club, was asked whether he believes Speaker of the House Pelosi is a liberal or a pragmatist. Sestak describes himself as the latter.

He said he didnt know, but also said he never looks at her voting record.

Pat Toomeys campaign scoffed at this claim:

He voted for the stimulus and thought it should have been $1 trillion; he voted for the cap-and-trade energy tax and thought it didnt go far enough; and he voted for government-run health care and thought the government should have had even more control over peoples health care decisions, said Nachama Soloveichik, Toomeys spokeswoman. If thats not liberal, what is?

If the polls are correct, Pat Toomey currently holds a lead over Joe Sestak (Rasmussen puts it at 45% - 38%).  Does Sestak really believe that playing this dumb is going to help him close the gap?  If so, he has a terribly low opinion of Pennsylvania voters. 

It seems to me that the Toomey people should be spending the next few days, at least, pointing this out to everyone who will listen. 


JAN BREWER'S TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUNS

Ken Berwitz

I apologize for this blog being over two months late.  But somehow, I missed reading Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's response to the owners of the Phoenix Suns, after they made clear their opposition to the state's new immigration law.

Here is what Ms. Brewer posted on her facebook page at that time:

"What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected. Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?"

My reaction to Ms. Brewer's comment is from a different sport.  Maybe you recognize it.

Game.

Set.

Match.

free` No kidding, that has to have shut them up, of course you won't see that run on any MSM enterprise. (07/27/10)


THE VALUE OF ISRAEL (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an article I found at Reuters - and please pay particular attention to the last sentence:

EIN SHEMER AIR BASE, Israel, July 27 (Reuters) - As World War Two raged in the years before Israel's founding, colonial British planes were scrambled here to fend off German forces. Now the German Luftwaffe is back, preparing for a far more remote fight with the modern equipment and expertise of the Jewish state established after the Nazi Holocaust.

 

Worried by insurgent ambushes on its soldiers in Afghanistan and return fire that sometimes kills civilians or local allies, Germany last year ordered a small fleet of Israeli Heron spy drones designed to provide real-time images above a battlefield.

 

That has brought German jet pilots to coastal Ein Shemer air base for accelerated retraining on the unmanned propeller planes, already daubed with their flag and Iron Cross emblem.

 

"It's for the need of the ground troops, for our own protection, like convoy protection," said a Luftwaffe (airforce) major, who formerly flew a Tornado fighter-bomber on Afghan reconnaissance missions and could not be named due to military secrecy.

 

"In Afghanistan it's really hard to compare the good guys from the bad guys. So you have to surveil them a long time."

 

Israel is a pioneer of combat drones, having deployed them in Lebanon in the Palestinian territories. Heron's manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), says it is also used by Canadian, French and Australian forces in Afghanistan.

 

Yet the fact Israeli know-how may now be saving German military lives offers up a unique historical irony lost on none.

 

"As a Jew, I felt very proud at this specific moment," said Tomer Koriat, deputy director of the IAI training programme, who praised the Germans' mastery of the Heron within intensive courses lasting just three-and-a-half weeks.

 

"All of us have learned that today we are talking about another Germany than what we used to know ... A very, very good friend, if not the best friend of Israel today in the world."

 

Germany has become a key ally of Israel despite Berlin's criticism of its Palestinian policies.

 

While the United States regularly conducts drone air strikes in Afghanistan and on suspected insurgent bases in neighbouring Pakistan, its allies are generally limited to using the planes for unarmed surveillance.

 

This is especially true for Germany. Although it has the third-biggest NATO Afghan contingent -- some 4,300 personnel -- it often appears uncomfortable with being involved in hostilities while World War Two is still a living memory.

 

"We're kept to 'recce' (reconnaissance) missions only. We're the good guys," joked another Luftwaffe major at Ein Shemer.

 

Israelis are barred by Afghanistan, so IAI ceded maintenance services to German partner firm Rheinmetall Defence.

No Israelis in Afghanistan?  Even as Israeli technology protects the forces that prop up the government which bars them?

What a world.


RACISM: A FEW QUESTIONS I'D LIKE ANSWERED

Ken Berwitz

Since our wonderful "neutral" media have spent the last week talking relentlessly about racism, I would like to ask a few questions on the subject:

When are these media, which spared no effort to express their shock and outrage regarding accusations that Shirley Sherrod is a racist, finally going to stop lying about the racial epithets supposedly tossed at Black congresspeople by Tea Partiers months ago?

Why is this a one-way street, in which the accusation against Sherrod (who, by the way, is not as post-racial as they're portraying her) is immediately attacked, while a far worse lie about the Tea Partiers is retold countless times as if it were true?  (FYI there are plenty of offenders, but the McClatchy newspaper group appears to be the worst of them.  McClatchy's own video, the one it put up on its web site, has not one such epithet.  Click here and see for yourself.  Then note that the headline says "Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at Black congressman".  God, what liars they are.)

When are those same media going to demand that John Lewis, Emanuel Cleaver, Andrew Carson and James Clyburn demonstrate even one small shred of integrity and admit that no one screamed any such epithets at them?  Isn't it amazing that the same  so-called journalists who have relentlessly played the Shirley Sherrod clip to "prove" she wasn't a racist, demonstrate exactly zero interest in playing the clip of congressional Black caucus members walking through the Tea Party demonstration without so much as one instance of "nigger" being uttered by anyone?

And now the big one:  When are media going to come to grips with the fact that the Congressional Black Caucus, to which all four accusers belong, is itself an overtly racist organization? 

The Congressional Black Caucus, by design, consists solely of Black members.  No Whites can join, regardless of  how compatible their voting records are with CBCs positions.  Why?  Because of the color of their skin.  If this were a private organization - say, a White Citizen's Council or restricted country club - it would be odious enough.  But the CBC is a group of federal employees, paid by federal dollars, who function on federal property.  That means US taxpayers are involuntarily subsidizing their racism.

When do officials, elected or otherwise, start talking about this disgrace and demanding that it come to an end?

Racism is an enormous problem in the United States (and everywhere else).  Unfortunately, there's more than enough of the real kind without having to invent incidents out of thin air.

And the existence of groups like the Congressional Black Caucus makes the problem even worse.  You can't fight racism by creating more of it.


ELTON JOHN: THINKING FOR HIMSELF

Ken Berwitz

You may or may not like Elton John as a performer (I do) but you cannot say he doesn't think for himself.

From www.azstarnet.com:

 Elton John didn't mince words in slamming his fellow musicians for boycotting Arizona over the controversial SB 1070 immigration law. From the stage at his sold-out Tucson Arena concert Thursday night, John savored a few choice, not-so-family-friendly words:

  "We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona. I have read that some of the artists won't come here. They are (expletive)wits! Let's face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what's the (expletive) with these people?"

  John has never been one to cave into political pressure from his musical colleagues. He ignored an artist boycott of Israel in June over the flotilla fiasco and played a show in Tel Aviv. He also played Rush Limbaugh's latest wedding reception in early June, which drew the ire of gays and lesbians. Limbaugh is vehemently anti-gay marriage; John is married to his longtime partner David Furnish.

Is John right?  As they say in Fargo, yer durn tootin' he is.

What is the problem with Arizona?  That after being inundated with something like a half million illegals it got tired of waiting for the federal government to DO something about it?  This is what entertainers find so objectionable that they will boycott the state?

I have a great idea.  On the theory that refusing equal rights for gay and lesbian citizens is a lot more egregious to these people than refusing an open border to illegals, and since there are almost certainly more gay and lesbian legals in the United States than Mexican illegals, why not boycott every place that does not allow either same sex marriage or same sex civil unions with all the rights of marriage. 

Huh?  What's that you say?  If entertainers did that they would not be able to work almost anywhere in the United States, and they'd lose lots and lots of MONEY?   Well, so what!  This is a principle, right?  And principle trumps money, right?

Or......

Maybe the reality is that since Arizona's new immigration law is a hot-button issue in the news, entertainers who go public with their "boycott" are getting publicity that sells tickets everywhere else, while simultaneously proving what great "humanitarians" they are.

Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows that I am fully committed to gay rights.  Always have been, always will be.  And it sickens me when these phonies play-let's pretend when it comes to immigration, even as they have no problem at all performing in places where homosexual citizens do not have equal rights.

So I applaud Elton John.  Not for being right about this issue, as I believe he is, but because he thinks for himself instead of whoring himself to get some cheap PR.

Benny would be proud.  And all the Jets too!


NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT.....

Ken Berwitz

With a tip of my (nonexistent) hat to the late, great Jimmy Cannon, here is my version of "nobody asked me, but..."

-Charles Rangel has to resign.  No two ways about it.  If he doesn't, he'll bring down the wrath of his fellow Democrats, because the last thing they need in this already-disastrous-looking election year is another ethics nightmare.  Look for him to go - at the very least announce he is declining to run for re-election - within a week.

-Wegman's has the best house-brand ice cream on the planet.  Their pistachio vanilla swirl, in particular, is one of the two or three best store-bought ice creams I've ever had, "name" brands included.

-I was very sorry to read that Dick Morris' father passed away this weekend.  Condolences to Mr. Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann.

-Curtis Granderson's outfield defense has been a major asset all year, and now he is finally starting to pay some dividends at bat too.  Since Granderson seems like just about the nicest guy in the world, I am rooting for this trend to continue and strengthen (the fact that I'm a lifelong Yankee fan may also come into play here....)

-Did Barney Frank really go nuts at the Fire Island ferry terminal in Sayville, Long Island because he was refused a $1 senior discount?  If I had been there I would have paid the entire fare just to avoid listening to that mouth of his. 

For the record, my wife and I have taken this ferry (though we don't stay in the same part of Fire Island that Barney Frank would favor) and the ride is very enjoyable.  Certainly worth an extra buck.

One other thing about Frank:  why doesnt he get a set of dentures?  Can he possibly think he looks better without them?

-Why does the Garden State Parkway always crowd up between exit 142 and 145, even when theres no traffic before it and after it?  For that matter, why is there always heavy traffic on the Staten Island Expressway until Bradley Avenue, where it magically dissipates?

-When was the last time Tom Cruise, or Jessica Lange, or Chevy Chase had a hit movie?

-I cant prove it, of course, but I have a strong suspicion that over the next couple of months Florida Governor/independent senate candidate Charie Crists poll numbers are going to drop and Democrat Kendrick Meeks are going to rise, both movements to the benefit of Republican Marco Rubio.  

-I also have a strong suspicion that Sharron Angles amateurish and far-too-conservative candidacy is going to wind up handing the eminently undeserving hapless Harry Reid another senate term.  I certainly hope Im wrong about this.

-Im not a bartender, not by a long shot.  But when I make cosmopolitans (far and away my best mixed drink) Ive found that Balinoff vodka is every bit good (and every bit as French), as Grey Goose, but costs about half as much.  Ditto for GranGala orange liqueur which, to me, is indistinguishable from the far more expensive Cointreau.  NOTE:  It is a couple of hours after I posted this blog.  We went to the liquor store for wine, so I checked exact prices:  Balinoff vodka is $17.99, Grey Goose $34.99.  GranGala is $18.99 and Cointreau $34.99.  That's a savings of $33 on the two of them, without any difference in the taste of the cosmo.  Good deal!

-For no rational reason I think the New Jersey Nets are going to more than double the number of wins this NBA season. After their unbelievably bad 12 wins last year, I put them somewhere in the 30 range now.  And if they pull off a major trade, that could jump higher.  Who said Im not a hopeless optimist?

-We prefer the beach at Avon (pronounced AH-von, not AY-von) over Spring Lake because you can bring food onto Avons beach.  Spring Lake doesn't let you do so, and that's a big tiebreaker. 

-As weak a candidate as Kristin Gillebrand ought to be, especially in this year of the Republican, I just cant see Rick Lazio beating her out for the senate seat formerly held by Hillary Clinton.  He sounds, and looks, like a tired, unthreatening sacrificial lamb.  Heres hoping hell prove me wrong.

Zeke .... .... Ken ... Ocean Spray is " Cranberry Juice COCKTAIL " .... not real juice. .... ... I've noticed the Cosmos from O/S are very pale, compared those at a restaurant/bar ... .Extra Lime Juice? Yeah ... nice tart taste... (07/27/10)

Zeke .... .... Ken, what brand of cranberry juice do you use for your Cosmos? ..... Does it come in small sizes, and where do you get it ? (07/27/10)

Ken Berwitz zeke - maybe that's why I find myself using as much of it as I do. In any event, that's how I make cosmos, and people seem to like them. (07/28/10)

Ken Berwitz zeke - I use basic cranberry juice - Ocean Spray usually. But I use a lot more than the "splash" most cosmo recipes call for - maybe a couple of ounces instead. I also overdo the squeezed lime by about 50%. Trust me, the cosmo will be better for it. (07/27/10)


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