Monday, 23 August 2010

A FRIENDLY GREETING FROM AHMADINEJAD

Ken Berwitz

Here, from an Associated Press article, is Iranian faux-President mahmoud ahmadinejad's friendly greeting to President Obama.

CAIRO Iran's president offered friendship to the United States but also taunted Washington by saying he does not fear an attack by the U.S. because it could not even defeat a small army in Iraq, according to a television interview with the leader aired Sunday.

There are no logical reasons for the United States to carry out such an act," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the Arabic satellite television channel Al Jazeera, according to an Arabic translation of the interview in Farsi.

"Do you believe an army that has been defeated by a small army in Iraq can enter into a war with a large and well trained army like the Iranian army?" he asked, referring to the insurgents in Iraq.

Can't you just feel the respect.  Can't you just feel the concern.  Can't you just see ahmadinejad quaking at the thought of President Obama's previous warnings, and the warnings that will come in the future?

The 2012 election cannot come fast enough.


VENEZUELA'S MURDER RATE

Ken Berwitz

Here's a little something you won't be hearing Hollywood dupes like sean penn and danny glover bragging about.

And, very surprisingly, it comes to us by way of a feature in today's New York Times - a newspaper which I am usually very critical of, but my hat (if I ever wear one) is off to this morning.

Here are some key excerpts:

Venezuela endures worse murder rate than Iraq

Number of homicides is three times higher than when Chvez was elected in 1998

By Simon Romero (and Maria Eugenia Diaz)

 

CARACAS, Venezuela Some here joke that they might be safer if they lived in Baghdad. The numbers bear them out.

 

In Iraq, a country with about the same population as Venezuela, there were 4,644 civilian deaths from violence in 2009, according to Iraq Body Count; in Venezuela that year, the number of murders climbed above 16,000.

 

Even Mexicos infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives.

 

Venezuela is struggling with a decade-long surge in homicides, with about 118,541 since President Hugo Chvez took office in 1999, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a group that compiles figures based on police files. (The government has stopped publicly releasing its own detailed homicide statistics, but has not disputed the groups numbers, and news reports citing unreleased government figures suggest human rights groups may actually be undercounting murders).

 

There have been 43,792 homicides in Venezuela since 2007, according to the violence observatory, compared with about 28,000 deaths from drug-related violence in Mexico since that countrys assault on cartels began in late 2006.

 

Caracas itself is almost unrivaled among large cities in the Americas for its homicide rate, which currently stands at around 200 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Roberto Briceo-Len, the sociologist at the Central University of Venezuela who directs the violence observatory.

 

That compares with recent measures of 22.7 per 100,000 people in Bogot, Colombias capital, and 14 per 100,000 in So Paulo, Brazils largest city. As Mr. Chvezs government often points out, Venezuelas crime problem did not emerge overnight, and the concern over murders preceded his rise to power.

 

Reasons for the surge are complex and varied, experts say. While many Latin American economies are growing fast, Venezuelas has continued to shrink. The gap between rich and poor remains wide, despite spending on anti-poverty programs, fueling resentment. Adding to that, the nation is awash in millions of illegal firearms.

 

Police salaries remain low, sapping motivation. And in a country with the highest inflation rate in the hemisphere, more than 30 percent a year, some officers have turned to supplementing their incomes with crimes like kidnappings.

 

But some crime specialists say another factor has to be considered: Mr. Chvezs government itself. The judicial system has grown increasingly politicized, losing independent judges and aligning itself more closely with Mr. Chvezs political movement. Many experienced state employees have had to leave public service, or even the country.

 

More than 90 percent of murders go unsolved, without a single arrest, Mr. Briceo-Len said. But cases against Mr. Chavezs critics including judges, dissident generals and media executives are increasingly common.  

Way to go, hugo.  Now that you've expropriated just about all the freedoms Venezuelans had, you don't have to worry about a thing. 

 

Who cares if the streets run with blood?  It's not your blood, hugo. 

 

Who cares if the murder rate in Venezuela is almost 8 times that of the United States (which our media never tires of describing as gun-happy and bloodthirsty)?  Life is sweet.  You've got your palace, don't you.  You've got your podium at the OAS and at the UN, don't you?  The USA-haters think you're great, don't they?

 

And so what if, after 12 years of a chavez government, oil-rich Venezuela has a third world economy where people cannot support themselves, so they turn to kidnapping, drugs, etc?  You're certainly living well, aren't you?

 

Heck your biggest problem is deciding what to serve for dinner when one of the Hollywood idio...er, enablers - and Iranian terrori...er,  "leaders" visit. so they can stand in front of the cameras and sing your praises.

Al Salzman What bullshit! Did the New Yuck Times have front page stories about Pinochet's slaughter and Kissinger's involvement? What about Donald Rumsfeld's kissing Sadaam's ass after he gassed the Kurds with American chemicals. I do have problems with Chavez but when the pusillanimous 'newspaper-of-record' expresses moral indignation and sheds croc tears over abuses in a third world country especially when that country is giving a warranted finger to rapacious U.S. corporations - head for the hills because the 'shock doctrine' is about to be implemented at the end of a gun. Pre-emptive war anyone??? (08/24/10)


JOE BIDEN'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE VICE PRESIDENCY

Ken Berwitz

I have been asked by a reader (face to face, not online) to explain why I have said that Joe Biden mangled the duties of the Vice Presidency during his debate with Sarah Palin.

I told him I would post the answer on my blog, for everyone to see.  So here it is.

First, from the debate transcript, we have Senator Biden's verbatim description of the Vice Presidency (scroll about 3/4 of the way down), which suggests Dick Cheney was an ignoramus who didn't understand his own job:

BIDEN: Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

Then we have the constitution's verbatim description of the Vice Presidency, straight from Article 1:  The Legislative Branch, Section 3:  The Senate: 

CONSTITUTION:  The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Let's review:

-Joe Biden, a 6 term Senator, disdainfully claimed that then-Vice President Dick Cheney "doesn't realize" he works in the executive branch;

-The constitution specifically states the Vice President works in the Legislative branch - exactly what Cheney said.

Not for nothing do I call him Jackass Joe.

free` I don't understand, the media said Biden won the debate. lol (08/23/10)


DEMOCRATS AND THEIR SENIOR CITIZEN PROBLEM

Ken Berwitz

How do you retain support from senior citizens, when your economic policies have resulted in a major depletion of their retirement savings, and your health care legislation is taking at least a half billion dollars from medicare funding?

Logic tells me that this is a major problem, maybe an insurmountable one. 

But, as discussed by Paul Mirengoff of powerlineblog.com, Democrats are trying it anyway. 

Here is a key excerpt from his commentary (you can read it all by clicking here).

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Democrats, in their desperation to avoid a crushing defeat in November, are making a new run at the votes of senior citizens. I doubt that this portion of the electorate holds much promise for the Dems in this cycle. Seniors are at least as appalled as the electorate as a whole by the failure of the economy to stage a decent recovery -- a failure that dims both their retirement prospects and the job prospects of their children.

Nor are seniors likely to be thrilled that Obamacare is being funded in significant part by massive cuts in Medicare. The Dems claim that this will have no real impact on the quality of medical care for the elderly, since the cuts will come from fraud, waste, and abuse. But seniors weren't born yesterday.

At a more fundamental level, I wonder whether there isn't a powerful anti-government attitude taking hold among the elderly. This thought occurred to me when I happened to channel-surf my way onto one of those PBS fundraising programs. Instead of the normal fare -- a show devoted to doo-wop or British invasion music -- this program featured a guy named Ed Slott who was explaining how to "stay rich for life." In practical terms, this seemed to mean mostly how seniors can protect their hard earned lifetime savings from the clutches of the federal government.

I think Paul's blog is excellent from start to finish.  But my favorite part is how he ends the second paragraph:  "But seniors weren't born yesterday". 

That's right.  They weren't.  That's why so many of them know a) when they are being given the short end of the stick and b) that it is not a good idea to re-elect the people who are giving it to them.

November is shaping up as a very unhappy month for Democrats.  And they've earned it.

 


ISRAEL AS A SCAPEGOAT FOR ARABS

Ken Berwitz

I may have to start wearing a hat, because I have a second reason to tip one today.

Here, from today's Toronto Sun, are excerpts from an excellent commentary on the unsurpassed absurdity of blaming Israel - with less than 1/5 of 1% of Arab land area, 1/50th the population of Arab states (1/70th if you're only counting Jew) and virtually no oil - for Arab ills and deficiencies around the world.  It was written by Salim Mansur - and, yes, Mr. Mansur is a practicing Muslim:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dont blame Israel for Arab failures

Last Updated: August 21, 2010 2:00am

TEL AVIV Size matters, and in geopolitics it can be critically important.

A grasp of this elementary fact could provide a better understanding for, and empathy with, a small country besieged by hostile powers on its borders.

Israel is merely a dot relative to the Arab world, and yet made responsible, in the logic of the anti-Zionist bigots, for the problems of the Middle East and the inability of the Arab-Muslim culture to deal with the challenges of the modern world.

Consider the following: The Arab world, excluding Iran and Turkey, is comprised of 22 countries stretching from the Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean with a total area around 13 million sq. km and a population of nearly 350 million.

In terms of territorial size, only Russia is larger than the Arab world at 17 million sq. km.

Israel is barely 22,000 sq. km, or about three times the size of New York City, with a population of 7.5 million of which 20% are Israeli Arabs.

An objective consideration of the huge disparity in size and population between the Arab world and Israel should dispel the drivel the world has been fed that Arabs are the underdog in a colonial struggle against Jews as a colonizing people.

The reverse disparity between Israelis and Arabs is the tremendous human achievement of the former as free people, and the contrast when measured against the sullen reality of the Arab world just about at the bottom of the UN human development index despite the resources available.

But here, too, Arabs, Muslims and their apologists in the West will fault Israelis for the collective failure of the Arab world.

It is as if the plight of Palestinian occupation by Israelis explains the Sudanese civil wars and genocide in Darfur, or the savage killings inside Algeria, or the long list of atrocities, gender oppression, humiliation of religious minorities, wars, military dictatorships, and with no end in sight of violence and murder in the name of Islam across the Arab world.

What a refreshing breath of fresh air!   And how exasperating it is that this obvious logic is denied or just ignored by so many in the domestic and international media.

Let me end with a quote by Mr. Mansur;  one that we should be especially mindful of in this day and age:

"only in a free society will you find Islam as a faith and not a political religion."


FEISAL ABDUL RAUF: WHAT HE THINKS OF THE USA

Ken Berwitz

feisal abdul rauf is the front man for the so-called "ground zero mosque".  He is also on a taxpayer funded junket around the world - the Muslim world, that is - for reasons that neither he nor the Obama administration are telling us.

With that in mind, I thought you might be interested in finding out what rauf thinks of the USA.  The following article by Jason Mattera of www.humanevents.com is based on an audio tape uncovered by Pamela Geller, of www.atlasshrugs.com.  Listen to rauf's own words, and then see if you can come up with any reasonable explanation for our wonderful "neutral" mainstream media not coming up with the tape and reporting about it:

Ground Zero Imam Says U.S. Worse than al-Qaeda

by  Jason Mattera

08/23/2010

New audio has surfaced of the imam behind the controversial mosque near Ground Zero allegedly telling an audience overseas that the United States has been far more deadly than al-Qaeda. "We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non Muslims," Feisal Abdul Rauf said at a 2005 lecture sponsored by the University of South Australia. After discussing the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Rauf went on to argue that America is to blame for its testy relationship with Islamic countries.

"What complicates the discussion, intra-Islamically, is the fact that the West has not been cognizant and has not addressed the issues of its own contribution to much injustice in the Arab and Muslim world." The audio was uncovered by blogger Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs.

(TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO, CLICK HERE)

If Pamela Geller could find this audio, it stands to reason that mainstream media could have as well.  Why didn't they find it?  Or maybe the question should be why did they find it and then bury it?

Are our mainstream media so hopelessly politcally correct that they will not tell us who the "ground zero Imam" is? 

Based on the above, that answer, despicably, is yes.


TELL ME WHAT HE ATE! I'M BEGGING!

Ken Berwitz

I came upon this perfectly repulsive story while scrolling through www.freerepublic.com (which I do every day).  It is from Felicia Kitzmiller, writing for the Panama City (Florida) News Herald, and is a definite entry for our "you can't make this stuff up" file (and, in this case the "you can't stuff this stuff up" file too):

Cash falls from man's posterior during strip search

August 18, 2010 10:28:00 AM

FELICIA KITZMILLER / News Herald Writer

BAY COUNTY - A man being booked into jail gained another charge when detention officers found dollar bills falling out of his posterior.

Nicholas Ryan Harris, 19, of 503 Wood Trail, was undergoing a strip search after being booked into Bay County Jail on charges of driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia when several dollar bills fell from Nicholas buttocks area, according to an incident report. There were $45 total recovered.

According to the report, Harris had been asked prior to the search if there was anything hidden on his body and he said no.

Officers added introducing contraband into a county facility to his charges.

Maybe he lost his wallet. 

He said he wasn't hiding anything, but that didn't pass the smell test.

Well, since the money fell out, at least we know he's not anal-retentive.

Ok, enough is enough.  The next bad joke is yours.  No ifs, ands or butts......


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