Monday, 09 August 2010

IS THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER LILY-WHITE?

Ken Berwitz

I was a member of the SPLC for years.  They still send me membership cards each year. So I hope this excerpt from a write-up by Warner Todd Huston of publiusforum.com, and "Watching the Watchdogs" is wrong:

As we are sonorously and endlessly told, the Southern Poverty Law Center is all about exposing the hate and working for civil rights in America. But a new website, Watching the Watchdogs, has tracked down the salaries and identities of SPLCs top officers and it is interesting to note that they are all white people. Not a minority in the bunch. And they are all making a pretty penny, too.

 

So, what do you have when a civil rights organization that tries to fight the hate out there, an organization that claims it is all about protecting Americas minorities, hasnt hired any minorities? Maybe the word hypocrites comes to mind?

 

In June I also wrote a piece on the SPLC. In it I noted that the entirety of the Old Media use the SPLC as their number one source for information on hate groups and the danger of so-called white militias, but I ask what other sources there are for the hate groups that the SPLC claims it is tracking. The answer is, none. There are no other sources and the Old Media simply swallows the SPLCs claims whole.

No one checks the SPLCs claims, no one has any other statistics to tell us if the SPLC is right or not. We are forced to realize that the claims about the number and virulence of hate groups in America are coming from only one source: the SPLC.

 

And how does the SPLC make its money, again? By claiming that there are hundreds if not thousands of hate groups in America!

 

So, a single group that has a self-serving reason to multiply the number and dnager of hate groups in America serves as our only source for the numbers on that very subject? Seems a bit hard to accept, doesnt it? Yet the Old Media never once questions a single claim by the SPLC. Never.

 

And now we discover that this supposed civil rights organization is run exclusively by white folks? It all seems somewhat absurd, doesnt it?

 I will do my best to get the facts together and either substantiate or debunk this claim.  Frankly, I hope I can do the latter, not the former.

 

===========================================================================

UPDATE:  I called the Southern Poverty Law Center, told them my name, that I was a political blogger, that I had read the organization's hierarchy was all-White, and asked if that were true.  I was given the name of their internal public relations person ( I can't remember his exact title) and left a message.  I was never called back. 

 

Draw your own conclusions.

 

Zeke ... .... One after another, our nation's institutions and organizations are being kidnapped by hard core zealots. ... ... The original goals are abandoned, and the public's trust and support are squandered for hard left goals ..... ..... NAACP, Dem Party, Environmental Movement, the UN, League of Women Voters, National Education Association, much of our government, and now, it appears, the SPLC .... (08/09/10)


TEA PARTY INFILTRATORS (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

How desperate are Democrats to avoid an electoral tsunami this year?  How dirty will they play to misinform, disinform and generally abuse voters?

Watch the video below, and see for yourself:

Add this to the tea party infiltration I talked about yesterday.  Then wait for our wonderful "neutral" media to report on it.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased....


CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS' CANCER

Ken Berwitz

Christopher Hitchens, the absolutely brilliant, incredibly arrogant and impossibly grating contrarian, has cancer.

In his own words:

"I'm dying.  Everybody is, but the process has suddenly accelerated on me.  There are bad days and then there are worse days, and I'm never quite sure whether the exhaustion comes from the chemotherapy or the tumor itself. ... I can still write and I can still read. I can still talk, although there are days when I couldn't.

"I will be a very lucky person to live another five years. ... Win or lose I have some very grueling things to undergo."

A couple of years ago my son, Scott, and I attended a debate at Cooper Union in Manhattan in which Hitchens took radio personality and commentator Playthell Benjamin apart.  Benjamin never knew what hit him. 

And as an extra added attraction, Hitchens also took apart the (decidedly unfriendly) audience members who dared to start up with him.  He made them sound stupid.  No surprise, since his intellect, knowledge base and rhetorical skills are enough to make just about anyone sound stupid by comparison.

Do I always agree with Christopher Hitchens?  Not even close.   But I wouldn't look forward to debating him on our disagreements, I can tell you that much.

I hope he somehow beats the odds and conquers his condition.  It is unlikely, I admit.  But in a world where Alvin Greene can be the Democratic candidate for senate in South Carolina, I discount no possibility, however remote.

Good luck, Chris.


OBAMA AND ISRAEL (C0NT.)

Ken Berwitz

This editorial from the New York Post is posted for the Jews - all 78% of them - who voted for Barack Obama in 2008:

Insulting Israel -- again

Last Updated: 4:38 AM, August 9, 2010

 

Why did it take the State Department 24 hours to figure out that Israel was the victim in last week's clash on the Lebanese border?

After all, even the United Nations -- where hatred of Israel seems a prerequisite for membership -- absolved Israel of any blame.

It took a protest by Jerusalem's ambassador to Washington for the Obama administration to finally say publicly that an attack that killed one Israeli soldier and seriously wounded another was "totally unjustified and unwarranted." Earlier, the State Department had simply called on both sides to show restraint.

Last Tuesday's incident began when Israeli soldiers cleared underbrush along the border that could provide cover for infiltrators.

As one soldier balanced on a crane over a fence near the border to cut part of a tree, Lebanese forces opened fire. Israeli troops responded with shots that killed two Lebanese soldiers.

UN peacekeeping troops swiftly declared that the soldier had remained on his side of the border -- contrary to Lebanon's claims.

But the initial US response to the incident was decidedly neutral -- reportedly prompting a complaint from the disappointed ambassador, Michael Oren, which led to the second statement.

In recent weeks, Washington has been trying hard to mend fences with the Israeli government, following last spring's disgraceful White House snub of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This was an unfortunate backslide.

To you 78%, most of whom presumably support Israel:  I hope you're happy with what you got.

Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.


ATTACKING BUSH: A WINNING STRATEGY --- BUT FOR WHO?

Ken Berwitz

Can you believe that President Obama thinks he can resurrect this year's Democratic prospects by attacking President Bush?  Again?  For the (guesstimated) 37,694th time?

Excerpted from Ross Colvin's article for Reuters:

Obama attacks Bush policies in Bush's home state

Mon Aug 9, 2010 6:20pm EDT

 

* Obama hammers Bush's "disastrous" economic policies

* Republicans doubt that the tactic will work (Updates with fresh Obama quotes)

By Ross Colvin

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 9 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama attacked the economic policies of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush in Bush's home state on Monday as evidence of the way Republicans would operate if given power in Nov. 2 U.S. congressional elections.

At a fund-raising event for Democrats in Dallas, where Bush now lives, Obama said the former president's "disastrous" policies had driven the U.S. economy into the ground and turned budget surpluses into deficits.

Obama defended his repeated references to Bush's policies, saying they were necessary to remind Americans of the weak economy he inherited from Bush in January 2009.

"The policies that crashed the economy, that undercut the middle class, that mortgaged our future, do we really want to go back to that, or do we keep moving our country forward?" Obama said at another fund-raising event in Austin, referring to Bush's eight years as president.

Er, who used his huge majorities in both houses of congress to pass the so-called "stimulus package" which put us impossibly into debt?  Who said it would stop unemployment - then at 8.1% - in its tracks and create 3,500,000 - 4,000,000 million jobs by the end of 2010?  BUSH?

And under whose presidency did unemployment jump from 8.1% to 10.2% and now to its current 9.5%, with a loss of millions of jobs?  BUSH?

If I were a Republican, I would be loving this.  I would be hoping and praying that President Obama continues to campaign exactly this way right through to election day.

What confuses me is why any Democrats would want it.

Did they happen to notice what it did for Jon Corzine in New Jersey and Martha Coakley in Massachusetts?


OMAR THORNTON, BARACK OBAMA & RACISM

Ken Berwitz

Jack Cashill, writing for americanthinker.com, has a terrific column today, in which he takes a carving knife to the claim that omar thornton, the murderer who snuffed out 8 lives in Connecticut last week before taking his own, was a victim of racism.

Here is the beginning of Cashill's piece - which I urge you to read in its entirety:

August 09, 2010

Why Obama Does Not Address Connecticut Shootings

By Jack Cashill

 

A week ago, as is well enough known, Omar Thornton shot and killed eight of his coworkers while being escorted out of the building after having been terminated by his employer, a Connecticut beer distributor. 

As I write this, President Barack Obama has yet to address this subject in any public way. He is not alone in his restraint. The media have soft-pedaled the motive -- the whole shooting, for that matter. Four days after the fact, my wife, who watches CNN and listens to NPR, had not heard about it. Unlike, say, Oklahoma City or even Columbine, the tragedy served no useful political purpose. Just the opposite.

 

"You probably want to know the reason why I shot this place up," Thornton told the dispatcher in his final 9-11 call. "This place is a racist place. They're treating me bad over here. And treat all other black employees bad over here, too. So I took it to my own hands and handled the problem. I wish I could have got more of the people." For a media desperately seeking a whiff of Tea Party violence, this was not welcome news.

 

To the degree that the media have covered the subject, they have largely taken Thornton at his word. "Beer warehouse shooter long complained of racism," read the headline of a typically sympathetic Associated Press article. The AP shies from concluding what it should have: The complaints may have been real, but the inspiration for those complaints ranged from the trivial to the imaginary.

 

During Thornton's well-paid tenure at Hartford Distributors, there had been no claims of "racial insensitivity" made by him or anyone else through the company's anti-harassment policy, the union grievance process, or state and federal agencies. The company asked Thornton to resign only after he had been caught stealing beer. 

 

Given the higher threshold of proof HR managers require for protected classes, especially blacks -- "If you're white, male, and under 40," one HR exec joked to me, "we just kick your butt out" -- Hartford did not terminate Thornton until Thornton was caught on video stealing. It was not his first offense.

 

For Obama, this should have been a teachable moment. He could have shown black Americans the extraordinary safeguards the corporate world has put into place to protect their rights. He could have explored the historic roots of the deep-seated paranoia that undermines black self-confidence and explained the burden that paranoia puts on black ambition, but he has done no such thing. In that void, many blacks, and not a few whites, will insist on seeing Thornton as more of a martyr than a madman.

I read the AP story Cashill references, and cringed at how completely it bought into thornton's claims of racism, despite the fact that he never filed any kind of claim about it with his union.

I don't mean to be insensitive here, but the fact that a Black person claims racism does not mean there is racism.  Being Black and tossing out that charge confers no credibility on it at all.  The facts dictate what is and isn't true.  

In that regard, from what I have read over the past week omar thornton comes across as a man who couldn't hold a job for any appreciable length of time (ironically, his job at Hartford Distributors was, I believe, the longest-running job he had), never seemed to get ahead at any job he did hold, and always found reasons that his lack of success was someone else's fault. 

That isn't racism.  That is omar thornton. 

But what if he was the victim of racism at Hartford Distributors?  Is that supposed to justify bringing a loaded weapons to the company and opening fire on its employees?  

My best guess is that thornton had an idea that he was about to be busted for stealing from the company, and decided to take his revenge on the spot. 

Jack Cashill points out, very correctly, that President Obama missed an opportunity here to talk honestly and openly about racism - specifically what actions are and are not reasonable for someone who feels he/she is a racial victim.  But instead, he let a Black mass-murderer's claim of racism sit out there, ignored.  Fundraisers and pickup basketball games with NBA stars were much more important to him.

Is it fair to blame Mr. Obama for not saying anything?  Is it just the way he does things?  Er, no.

Mr. Obama had plenty to say about Shirley Sherrod - who, though the victim of a tape that led us to the wrong conclusion regarding a specific story she was telling, seems to be deeply invested in race based on other things she said (e.g. later in that same talk to the NAACP:  "I haven't seen such a mean-spirited people as I've seen lately over this issue of healthcare. Some of the racism we thought was buried. Didn't it surface?")

It seems to me that the President needed to make a statement about omar thornton's rampage.  And the fact that he has not said a word is not only remiss, it is intentionally remiss. 

Does Barack Obama agree with omar thornton?  I would like an answer and a reason.  Wouldn't you?


PANTLESS MAN WITH ARMLESS MANNEQUIN

Ken Berwitz

This story, which goes straight to the "you can't make this stuff up" file, comes to us from WSAZ-TV, Charleston West Virginia:

Man Caught with Pants Down and an Armless Mannequin in Public Park

 

According to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department, 61-year-old Eddie M. Campbell from Belle was caught at Booker T. Washington Memorial Park in Malden with his shirt off and his pants around his ankles.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office tell WSAZ.com Campbell was spotted in the park just before 9 a.m. Sunday.

When Deputy Middleton ordered Campbell to stop, Campbell replied, "Just trying to have a little fun."

In a press release, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says they "have yet to interview the mannequin, so they are unsure if it was picked up off the street or the two met for a date in the park, however the mannequin is now being held as evidence."

Campbell is still being held at the South Central Regional Jail on a $2,500 bond.

I love that line by the Sheriff that they "have yet to interview the mannequin". 

Hey, maybe it's not just armless, it's headless too.  That would make for a very difficult interview.

And since we have a guy who combines shirtless and pantless, you have to assume he's pretty brainless as well.

By the way, if his, er, love interest appears to be female, wouldn't that make it a womanniquen?  Just wondering...

Ken Berwitz The guy thought your comment was great. The mannequin was unmoved. (08/09/10)

free` It isn't right to discriminate against this type of relationship. The constitution must protect these types of unions. We need that California judge that canceled prop 8 to issue an immediate injunction against this sheriff. Who are we to judge the love that they feel for each other, plus we have a definite suit not only under the civil rights laws but also ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] laws. Not having arms has to qualify as disabled. (08/09/10)


THE NEW EXPLANATION OF MICHELLE AND SASHA'S TRIP TO SPAIN

Ken Berwitz

You're gonna love this one.

Excerpted from Lynn Sweet's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times, here is the latest explanation of why Michelle Obama, her daughter Sasha and some indeterminate number of "friends" (too many stories on the actual number to settle on just one) were in Spain:

She vacationed with two women, one of them a longtime Chicago pal, Anita Blanchard, who is the obstetrician who delivered Sasha and Malia. Blanchard is married to Marty Nesbitt -- President Obama's buddy and the treasurer of Obama's presidential campaign fund.

So why did Mrs. Obama go to Spain at this time? She's not tone-deaf politically. What was behind the "mother-daughter" vacation?

A White House source told me that Blanchard's father passed away and Mrs. Obama was not able to make the funeral at the beginning of July. Blanchard had promised her daughter she would take her to Spain for her birthday. She asked Mrs. Obama and Sasha to come with. (Malia is at overnight camp.)

"She felt it was important as a dear friend to do this," I was told.

How did they end up at the five star Villa Padierna, part of the Ritz-Carlton chain? Because of security concerns, there were just some places they could not go. Agents were able to secure Villa Padierna and the nearby beach area.

There you go, folks.  It wasn't Michelle Obama's idea at all.  Ms. Obama's friend Anita Blanchard was taking her daughter to Spain, and asked Michelle and Sasha to tag along. 

This comes across as a cock and a bull story on steroids.  Lots of them.

Here is what Ms. Obama could have said:  

"Look, we'd love to spend time with you and your daughter/  But if I take Sasha to Spain, the cost will run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, I'll have to have this big entourage with me, and we'll have to stay at the most expensive hotels.  People will see it as the President's wife spending money like it was going out of style, while the country is hurting economically, which a lot of them blame Barack for.  So thank you for the offer, but it just isn't something I can do.  When you come back home, we'll take the girls to dinner and a show".  

But here is what it looks like Ms. Obama did say:

"Sure, let's go.  I'll leave Barack at home to play b-ball and we can live like queens and princesses on the taxpayer's money.  What the hell, I'm the first lady of the United States.  I deserve it".

All the Lynn Sweet columns in the world won't change that perception.  Not for me and not for millions of others.  It wasn't even a good try. 

One more thing:  I definitely could have lived without that reference to the passing of Ms. Blanchard's father.  Why was he mentioned?  Are we supposed to see this as a bereavement trip? 

Oh brother.


BORDER SECURITY: WORTH ALL OF 34 SECONDS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Ken Berwitz

Incredible but true.

Read this, excerpted from R. G. Ratcliff's article for the Houston Chronicle:

AUSTIN Gov. Rick Perry's meeting at the Austin airport with President Barack Obama on border security lasted a mere 34 seconds, and Perry had to hand a letter on the issue to presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett because Obama declined to personally accept it.

That did not dissuade the governor from inviting Obama to come back to Texas and tour the border with him to get a first hand look at what Perry describes as the threat from Mexican drug cartels.

"Look, he's got the letter. I suspect he'll read it. I hope he responds to it," Perry said. "This is way past partisanship or politics."

Perry said Obama's decision to send 1,200 troops to the entire border with Mexico was inadequate, particularly since only 286 are coming to Texas.

Perry said he would like a substantial meeting with Obama to discuss the need for 1,000 National Guard troops until 3,000 Border Patrol agents can be trained to take over.

"We need a substantial amount of boots on the ground. We need the technology in the air. The predator drones. The other technologies we've talked about: night vision equipment, cameras, motion-detecting equipment," Perry said.

The governor said immigration reform is "a waste of effort until you secure the border."

During their airport meeting, Perry applauded as Obama came down the steps from Air Force One.

"It's the gracious thing to do. He's the president of the United States," Perry said later.

Obama and Perry shook hands for several seconds. Obama used his free left hand to give Perry two friendly slaps on the right arm.

When they released their handshake, Perry attempted to hand Obama a white envelope containing his letter on border security. Obama did not respond when Perry first held it forward. Then when the governor offered it up again, Obama turned to his right and motioned toward key adviser Jarrett. She took several quick steps toward the men and took the letter from Perry.

Obama then turned to a greeting of state Sen. Kirk Watson and state Rep. Mark Strama, both D-Austin. The lawmakers had been staunch supporters of Obama's during his campaign for president.

If you can possibly still be wondering about President Obama's "commitment" to border security", this should end your wonderment.

Can we move up the 2012 elections?  Please?


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