Sunday, 03 October 2010

MARGARET MATTHEWS: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?

Ken Berwitz

Please read the following excerpt from Duaa Eldeib and William Lee's article in the Chicago Tribune.  As you do, put yourself in  Ms. Matthews' shoes. 

Woman who shot boy hailed as hero by neighbors
Homeowner has no regrets, said child hit her with brick

September 29, 2010|By Duaa Eldeib and William Lee | Tribune staff reporters

A thin woman with silver hair and dark-rimmed glasses stood Wednesday evening on her front steps, shattered glass at her feet and crowds of neighbors milling around the block and speaking of her in heroic terms.

Margaret Matthews, 68, said she had been harassed for more than a year by a pair of boys in her South Shore neighborhood. On Tuesday, the boys stood on a shed in her front yard hurling bricks at her. Matthews, exasperated and uncertain whether police would respond, pulled out a gun and shot at them.

"There is no explanation for how I felt," she told the Tribune. "I was terrified."

Her shot hit one of the boys a 12-year-old in the shoulder. The boy was treated at a hospital and released, and Matthews said she's thankful he's alive but doesn't regret her action.

"The young man hit me in the chest with a brick," she said. "After a year of harassment, that was the straw that broke the camel's back."

In this rough South Side neighborhood where residents often observe a code of silence, voices rose up in unison Wednesday to support Matthews, affectionately known as "Miss Margaret."

"I think she did right," said Jimmie Johnson, echoing a sentiment heard over and over on Matthews' block. "She was just protecting her property."

Tnoila McCoy, 54, a neighbor and decades-long friend of Matthews', said the two boys had been causing problems for months.

"They've been terrible to her for over a year. They burned up her barbecue pit and her flower bed," McCoy said. "She was protecting herself. These kids came to her yard, jumped her fence and started terrorizing her. She didn't just shoot a kid."

The 12-year-old and his companion, 13, were charged with aggravated assault. Police said Matthews would not be charged.

The shooting raised questions for many about the often-thin line between vigilante justice and the right to personal defense.

What would you have done?  Anything different?  If so, would you have done more or less than Margaret Matthews?

Regardless of whether you agree with her specific actions, do you in any way blame Ms. Matthews for taking matters into her own hands?

Wait, don't go away.  I have a lot more questions:

Those neighbors extolling Margaret Matthews for acting as she did - the ones who seemed to know exactly what these two "children" were doing to her (and probably many others) for over a year.  What did they do to protect her?

How could they have knowingly allowed these "children" to act this way?  Did any of them try to stop the "children"?  Call the police?  Call one of the many religious or social groups that might have interceded?  If not, why not?  Does the "code of silence" extend to letting feral children commit violent acts at will?

Did anyone attempt to talk to whoever was supposed to be responsible for these "children?  I don't give a damn if they have both parents, one parent, no parents.  Whoever was supposedly taking care of them should have been told about this repeatedly and warned repeatedly that something would be done if it didn't stop.  

Neighbors who sit back on their butts and allow "children" to do this are their accomplices.  They are aiding and abetting them.

Where is the city of Chicago?  The Mayor?  The city council?  the council member responsible for this neighborhood?  Who is doing one effing thing to start reversing the hell of neighborhoods like this?  Do they think another well-publicized social program - i.e. pouring more money down a bottomless pit - will do it?  If so, why hasn't anything changed yet?  When are these full-of-crap frauds called to account for doing nothing on behalf of the decent people in south Chicago (of which there are plenty, make no mistake about it)?

One other group of questions - the ugliest of the bunch: 

How hopeless is it for children - real children who act like children - to exist in this neighborhood?  How hopeless is it that they could go to school capable of teaching them, learn, become productive and escape intact - which second-naturedly happens in other neighborhoods throughout Chicago?  When are these children, who did nothing to deserve their fate, given even a ghost of a chance? 

It makes me want to cry.


MEDIA REALLY DOES MATTER

Ken Berwitz

If media matters, why do the people at the mediamatters web site keep abusing it?

Excerpted from Jack Coleman's blog at newsbusters.org:

At least Eric Boehlert of the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters isn't opposed to all tax cuts. He's just hazy on when it's actually happened.

Appearing on Stephanie Miller's radio show this past Monday, Boehlert praised former president Bill Clinton for cutting taxes on top earners in this country -- when Clinton did just the opposite.

Here's the relevant exchange between Boehlert and Miller, during a discussion of Republicans' Pledge to America which cites a quote from John F. Kennedy on tax cuts (audio here) -- 

MILLER:  We were talking last hour about, you know, just a little history lesson with the Rude Pundit. You know, they use this JFK quote in this pledge. You know, the tax rate was 90 percent. He was talking about a tax cut to 70-something! To try to, you know, to try to make it seem like JFK would be against, you know, rich people paying 35 percent now is ...

BOEHLERT (laughs): Right. I mean, there was actually an argument to be made three or four decades ago when the tax rate was actually, you know, by today's standards astronomical, but of course, none of it translates to today.  I mean, Clinton did more to lower that tax rate than anyone.

MILLER: Yeah, exactly.  

Yeah, exactly the opposite is more accurate, but first things first. The quote from Kennedy mentioned by Miller, in case you're wondering, reads as follows -- 

An economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs.

After this, however, the conversation quickly heads south. Boehlert makes the demonstrably false claim "that Clinton did more to lower that tax rate than anyone."   

Right -- aside from JFK, Reagan, and George W. Bush. After the Kennedy tax cut set off an economic boom in the '60s (at the height of the Cold War and while the US fought a costly war in Vietnam), Reagan dropped the highest rate further, to 28 percent during the '80s (triggering another economic expansion).

After President George H.W. Bush agreed with Democrats in Congress on raising the top rate to 31 percent, Clinton raised the rate much further, to 39.6 percent, not dropping it lower "than anyone" as claimed by Boehlert.

In a March 2008 WebMemo published by the Heritage Foundation, "Tax Cuts, Not the Clinton Tax Hike, Produced the 1990s Boom," Heritage economist J.D. Foster outlined the Clinton tax hikes of 1993

Regular readers know that this is far fromt he first time I've posted material showing what apparently is either ignorance, dishonesty or both from media matters.

Don't count on it being the last.


INDONESIA: REPORT FROM A "MODERATE" MUSLIM COUNTRY

Ken Berwitz

From the Jakarta Globe:

Jantho, Aceh. (Northwest Indonesia)

With heads bowed, two young women walked toward a wooden stage outside Al Munawwarah Mosque in Jantho, Aceh Besar. Friday prayers had just ended, and hundreds of residents surrounded the platform, keeping a respectful distance but keen to watch.

The eyes of Murni binti Amris, 27, and Rukiah binti Abdullah, 22, began to water.

They feared the worst when officers of the Shariah Police dragged them to the center of the stage.

The women had dared to sell cooked rice in the daytime during Ramadan, violating the 2002 Islamic bylaw in Aceh.
With a quivering voice, Murni said: Wait, sir. She wanted to correct her sitting position.

However, the man standing over her brandishing a rattan cane took no heed, lashing her three times across the back.

When it was Rukiahs turn, she was whipped twice. She did not make a sound, although her face was wet with tears. A shout was heard from the crowd: Add to it. Let her feel it.

A top official of the Shariah Police, Marzuki Abdullah, told the Jakarta Globe the women had been arrested on Aug. 23 for violating the regulation that stipulates: Whosoever prepares facilities for Muslims that do not fulfill religious standards during the fasting month of Ramadan faces either a year in jail, a fine of Rp 3 million ($340) or being caned in front of an audience for a maximum of six times.

They were selling cooked rice in the daytime during Ramadan. They were arrested by Shariah officers at a small stall in the Baitussalam district, Marzuki said.

The ruling was issued by the Jantho Shariah Court on Thursday. Both women were of good character and did not make a fuss in court, Marzuki said.

They did not have a lawyer. We told them they could be represented by a lawyer but they refused, he said.

Next it was the turn of Fakhruddin bin Teuku Harun, who was caned eight times for gambling.

Marzuki said Fakhruddin also chose not to be represented by a lawyer in court.

Speaking outside the mosque before the canings, Marzuki said Acehnese authorities had had the right to cane those who broke Shariah law since 2005.

The Wilayatul Hisbah [Shariah Police] were handed the right in order to uphold Shariah in Aceh, Marzuki said.

When asked if this law applied to legislators and councilors, Marzuki said it did, but if they had not been caned it was because they had appealed their sentences.

Women being caned in public, with a crowd gathered to watch the fun.  For selling food and for gambling, both illegal during a muslim religious holiday whether you are a practicing Muslim, a non-practicing Muslim or not a Muslim at all. 

Any questions?


WHAT IF IT WERE A TEA PARTIER?

Ken Berwitz

From Jason Mattera at humanevents.com:

HUMAN EVENTS Reporter Assaulted at Leftist Rally

by Jason Mattera

10/03/2010

 

A liberal protester at the One Nation Working Together march physically assaulted a HUMAN EVENTS reporter who was videotaping Rep. Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y) at the event at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The reporter, Emily Miller, was first hit from behind while she was taping Rangel as the Harlem congressman glad-handed supporters in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Miss Miller is heard on the video saying, Please dont hit me. The protester proceeds to yell at the reporter, Well get out of the way! What do you think this is? Asshole. The activist was attempting to meet Rangel herself. Miss Miller continued videotaping the event, when suddenly the same unhinged protester lunged at her, hit her on the arm, and yelled, Dont take my picture.

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO

Just one unhinged individual, right?

An unhinged individual that was part of a large group (note the shirts).  A group whose other members watched it happen and did not do a thing to restrain her.

What if these were members of a Tea Party chapter?  How do you think media would have treated it?  Would they have been all over it, complete with projections of this woman's behavior to the rest of the group? 

Do you think they'll be doing that for this woman and this group?

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

 


AHMADINEJAD WALKS THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR

Ken Berwitz

No matter how many times Barack Obama is spat upon by Iran's illegitimate head of state mahmoud ahmadinejad, he keeps coming back for more.

Here is the latest answer to Mr. Obama's assurance that our door is always open to ahmadinejad, via the following excerpt from an Associated Press article:

TEHRAN, Iran Iran's president Sunday called for U.S. leaders to be "buried" in response to what he says are American threats of military attack against Tehran's nuclear program.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is known for brash rhetoric in addressing the West, but in a speech Sunday he went a step further using a deeply offensive insult in response to U.S. statements that the military option against Iran is still on the table.

"May the undertaker bury you, your table and your body, which has soiled the world," he said using language in Iran reserved for hated enemies

Is that door still open, Mr. Obama?  Are you still begging ahmadinejad to be nice to you?  Are you still determined to look that weak and that pathetic in front of him, and the rest of the world?

If so, I suggest you stock up on dry handkerchiefs.  You'll need them.


THE ASTROTURF MARCH ON WASHINGTON

Ken Berwitz

For months - until it became embedded in enough people's minds to warp it into "truth" - the left and their numerous media sycophants described Tea Parties as an "astroturf" movement:  i.e not grass roots at all, but concocted by political activist groups.

So what happened when there really was an astroturf event - yesterday's march that was orchestrated largely by unions that supplied busses and the union members to fill them, along with numerous other political activist groups down to and including the communist party?  Try and find any mention of astroturfing in the newspaper and broadcast accounts.  I dare you.

Here is a very funny take on the march, from Doug Powers' blog at michellemalkin.com (too short to excerpt so, with apologies to Doug and Michelle, I'm showing it in its entirety):

Radio host/activist Joe Madison, after being introduced by Ed Who? Schultz at yesterdays One Unionized Nation rally, said, They sent in a satellite image of the crowd somebody go tell Glenn Beck there are more people here right now than there was [sic] on the 29th!

It was refreshing to hear a completely honest, non-inflated assessment of the crowd size.

I dont doubt Mr. Madisons claim for a second, because heres how many people were in the Mall to see Glenn Beck on August 29th:

null
 
Thats because Becks Restoring Honor gathering was on August 28th.
 

Even if we compare apples to apples on the correct dates, the Associated Press isnt even buying the bigger than Beck claims.

I can understand the confusion as to crowd size though from a satellite photo, all those pieces of paper, socialist flyers and union placards littering the ground could be easily mistaken for people.

Too funny.


GIVING IT UP FOR ISLAM

Ken Berwitz

Why is the west bowing before islamic radical lunatics?  Why are we conceding ground to them?

The latest evidence comes to us via the following excerpts from an article by  Eileen F. Toplansky at americanthinker.com:

October 03, 2010

We Allow Them to Blackmail Us -- Islam vs. the West

 

By Eileen F. Toplansky

 

The Muslim world does not have to fire a single shot; the Western world is capitulating to the Islamists' every demand. Three recent events show the continuing and relentless interplay among Islamists worldwide.

 

The latest assault is playing out in SpainLa Meca, a popular "discotheque in southern Spain, has agreed to change its name and architectural design" because of pressure from Islamic extremists who find the name of the discotheque and its design "offensive and insulting to their religion." 

 

Like the Danish cartoon uproar in 2005 when Muslims took to the streets in outrage because the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a series of twelve cartoons about the prophet Muhammad, the Spaniards now find themselves being threatened and sued by Islamic organizations.  Moreover, this incident has sparked a diplomatic confrontation and has created an international uproar within the Muslim world. 

 

The Spanish nightclub event began in August 2010 "when a Senegalese immigrant rejected a job offer at La Meca because the club's name offended his religion.  Soon after, a group of Muslim radicals posted a video on the Internet calling for a boycott of Spanish goods and a jihad against those who blaspheme the name of Allah.'"

 

In fact, in early September, Spain's intelligence agency actually warned La Meca's owners that the discotheque was being directly targeted by Islamic extremists.  Mohamed Ali, of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Entities stated that "calling a place for dancing and drinking by that name is grotesque and constitutes a lack of respect for Muslims."  A suit against the discotheque is being considered "for insulting the honor of [Islam.]"

 

The net effect is that yet another European country is now surrendering to the demands of Muslims who claim that "territories once occupied by Muslims must remain under Muslim domination forever."  In September of this year, the Spanish intelligence agency "reported a jihadist media offensive' unlike any seen since the March 2004 attacks in Madrid.  Analysts say that ... jihadists are now calling for a crusade' that involves Spain's two North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla."

 

In another example of Islamist dominance, in Egypt, Coptic Christian leader Pope Shenouda III "apologized in a television interview to any Muslims who were offended after [Shenouda's] top Bishop reportedly disputed the authenticity' of some verses of the Koran."  So once again, the Muslim world shuts down dissenting voices and erupts in mindless violence.  Shenouda acknowledges that Egypt is "not their country anymore."  He states that the [Coptics] "are the ones who are guests since Muslims are the majority."

 

In fact, Coptics and other non-Muslims have been reduced to dhimmis under constant threat from their Islamic overlords.  Construction of new churches or fixing of old ones is forbidden under Islamic law and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie urges Muslims to "respond to whomever slanders the book of God or the prophet."

 

These three events are not isolated occurrences and exemplify the findings of a Center for Security Policy report entitled Shariah: The Threat to America -- An Exercise in Competitive Analysis --Report of Team B' II published in 2010.  Some salient features of this 170+ page report include:



  • Sharia is a totalitarian, socio-political doctrine because it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere -- economic, social, military, legal, and political. In fact, "shariah is fundamentally about power, namely the enforcement of a body of law, not faith."
  • Whether pursued through the violent form of jihad or holy war or stealthier practices referred to as dawa, shariah rejects fundamental premises of American society and values such as freedom of conscience; individual liberty (including in matters of personal privacy and sexual preference; freedom of expression (including the liberty to analyze and criticize shariah), economic liberty (including private property); equal treatment under the law (including that of men and women, and of Muslims and non-Muslims) [and] an abiding commitment to deflate and resolve political controversies by the ordinary mechanisms of federalism and democracy, not wanton violence. In fact, "any system of man-made law is considered illicit under Islamic law[.]" Thus, "Islam and democracy can never co-exist in harmony."

In fact, the unremitting rhetoric of rage emanating from the Muslim world must be viewed as a hypocritical ruse to bully the West. Has the West become so lacking in resolve that it should surrender to these hysterical rants as if there were any merit to them? 

 

Ostensibly mollifying the Islamic world by changing the name of a nightclub, by complying with shariah financing or by having American women whether they be Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton or Diane Sawyer wear a head covering or hijab is a subtle acquiescence by the West which will only embolden the enemy.  Bat Ya'or explains that this "tacit, non-comprehended acceptance of shariah's dictates" in essence "puts the Western public sphere in the position of conforming to one of the basic rules of dhimmitude: the express prohibition of Christians and Jews to criticize Islamic history and doctrine." 

Are most Muslims radical lunatics who seek out the most far-fetched "offenses" and then target their perpetrators for violence or death? 

Almost certainly the answer is no.

But are there enough radical lunatic Muslims in enough places to scare Muslims who do not feel that way into silence?   Enough to scare "offenders", whether discotheque owners or entire countries, into submission? 

Apparently the answer is yes.

When does the west realize how real and how great the danger is that one day in the near future these people can be knocking at our door and telling us to submit to shari'a law? 

When do we realized that it has already started? 

And why are we helping them to do it?


HOUSEKEEPING: A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION

Ken Berwitz

The New York Times' lead article today assures house Democrats that they are in far better shape than many political analysts think

In that article, the Times has an analysis of how the house currently falls out:

-Solid Democrat:  159

-Leans Democrat:  48

-Toss-up:  36

-Leans Republican:  24

-Solid Republican:168

If you give all the "solid" seats to each party, 3/4 of the "lean" seats, and split the "toss-up" seats, Democrats wind up with 219 and Republicans with 216:  a result that would make Democrats deliriously happy.

But after reading the Times article, I looked at the house analysis from www.realclearpolitics.com.  And it has things a bit differently:

-Solid Democrat:  139

-Leans Democrat:  51

-Toss-up:  38

-Leans Republican:  44

-Solid Republican:163

Using these numbers, and the same assumptions, Democrats wind up with 208 seats and Republicans with 227.  That's just a tad different than what the Times estimates:  a result that would make Republicans deliriously happy.

So who do you believe?  The New York Times or realclearpolitics.com?  Which source do you consider more neutral/less partisan?

Your call.

Zeke ..... ...... ...... "All the News [ that fits our agenda ], we Print " ...... ....... (10/03/10)


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