Thursday, 21 October 2010


Ken Berwitz

The NAACP has issued a report accusing Tea Partiers of being a bunch of racists. 

And what does the organization base this on?  A study conducted for them by a far left fringe group, and fronted by two long-time far left fringers who fit that group like a glove. 

Very neutral I'm sure. 

Here is the beginning of a well-researched, and absolutely devastating take-down of the NAACP report, written by Meredith Jessup of  I urge you to click here, and read the entire piece.

Two weeks before a potentially game-changing midterm election, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has given its endorsement to a report labeling the tea party as a self-preserving movement of racist bigots. Its no wonder given the fact that NAACPs political agenda conflicts with the vast majority of the tea party platform of smaller government and reduced spending.

With Wednesdays release of the report, however, the news media is once again dropping the ball, not only by not pointing out the NAACPs obvious conflict of interest with the tea party movement, but in failing to do their due diligence in reporting on where the report comes from and why it was written.

The Washington Post reports that the NAACP-endorsed Tea Party Nationalism was put together by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, but doesnt report further on who the IREHR is. Politico reports that the NAACP commissioned Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart to write the study, but makes no mention of who Zeskind or Burghart are other than noting their association with the Institute.

The IREHR is a group with long-held dreams for social and economic justice, who condemn the so-called Christian right, paleo-conservatism, and other far-right movements for their symbiotic relationship[s] with nativism and white nationalism.

Call me crazy, but I think this group may have had a specific agenda in mind before they set out to paint the tea party movement as uh nativists and gee, white nationalists.

But who are Zeskind and Burghart, the two authors the NAACP commissioned to write the report? The New York Times reports that Zeskind, a lifetime member of the NAACP, has written extensively on white nationalism, a serious understatement. Zeskinds career has revolved around an obsession of the abyss of mayhem and murder America faces at the hands of white nationalists. He has worked to establish himself as an expert on extremist groups various media outlets routinely rely on for comment, but few have bothered to expose his own extremist past.

Jessup goes on to lay out, in detail just how far into the leftward ionosphere Zeskind and Burghart really are.

It is hard not to conclude that, given its timing and content, this report is supposed to act as a call to arms for Black voters, so they will come out in droves and possibly save a few Democratic hides.

I don't know if that will happen.  But what I do know is that the NAACP (which, as a matter of disclosure, I used to be a member of) is a shambles; a weak shell of its former self.  An organization that, other than a few black-tie events during the year to make its higher-ups feel important, is little more than a supplicant to the Democratic Party.

The NAACP used to really be something.  But that was years and years ago.

How said that it has fallen to such a level.


Ken Berwitz

From the classic 1950 movie, "Sunset Strip":

Joe Gillis:  "You used to be big"

Norma Desmond:  "I am big. It's the pictures that got small"

Joe Gillis (sarcastically):  "I knew there was something wrong with them."

You can't say it isn't an interesting strategy. 

Democrats, not content with calling Republicans stupid (among many other things - that's politics), are now, more generally, putting themselves above people who dare to vote for Republicans and looking down their noses at them.

Here is the beginning of Ben Smith's excellent, very balanced article at  Read it - and then the entire article by using this link - and see what I mean.  (NOTE:  I've added one small note to Mr. Smith's text, which is in blue.

The 2010 election has devolved in its closing days into a battle familiar in American history and high school alike over whos stupid, and whos a snob.

Republican candidates have served up their share of bloopers humanoid mice, sunspots causing climate change and Democrats have taken the expected delight in their opponents stumbles.


But theyve taken their mockery one step further contending as a part of their closing argument that the tea party movement, its champion Sarah Palin, and the lefts favorite Republican candidate, Christine ODonnell, are, frankly, dumb.

Palin has made ignorance fashionable, the New York Times Maureen Dowd wrote Wednesday, comparing the Alaska Governors intellect unfavorably to Marilyn Monroes.

Rachel Maddow occupied her MSNBC show Tuesday night mocking a series of Republican figures, laughing through a clip of ODonnells attempt to explain that the phrase separation of church and state doesnt appear in the Constitution, a point that drew nothing but ridicule on the left and in the British press. The crowd is laughing at you, she said as ODonnell appeared on-screen. (ODonnell was 100% correct, Rachel***.  Whos laughing now?)

Republicans say this strategy will work about as well this year as it did when used against Ronald Reagan.

But the Democrats are just getting started. Their laughter will be noisiest in a rally on the Mall on the eve of the midterm election, led by two comedians who have reveled in mocking the resurgent conservative grassroots. Comedy Centrals Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have tapped into the Democratic Partys ironic, scornful mood.

In doing so, theyve also brought to light some of the partys most self-destructive tendencies, the elitism and condescension that Bill Clinton sought to purge in the 1990s, when he matched a progressive agenda with the persona of a likeable Bubba to win two terms. Not many Democrats could pull it off. Charges of elitism dogged John Kerry in 2004 and resurfaced against Barack Obama at his lowest points in Pennsylvania in the spring of 2008, when he was recorded saying that small town people cling to their faith and their guns.

And President Obama himself has given his blessing to the election-eve irony-fest on the Mall, planning to appear on Stewarts show in advance of the rally and plugging it in a recent appearance in Ohio, suggesting that Stewarts point was to rally a silent, sane majority. The embrace led conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer to label the party the Colbert Democrats and to warn that the hip face of the new liberalism would leave the broader electorate decisively not amused.

How can you walk away from this without knowing that, just like Norma Desmond, these people think they are above everyone else?

Do they - can they - really think that people considering a Republican candidate will be converted to the Democratic side by being told, in one way or another, that they are stupid?

Maybe they can demand that everyone who votes for their candidates this year should have a second box to check off, that says "Yes boss, you sure are right, boss, anything you say, boss, you sure"

I wonder how Norma would have felt about this?  Personally I'd bet that instead of "Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up" she'd have said "Hey, that's my part.  Stop stealing my lines"


***The term "separation of church and state" is not mentioned in the first amendment.  In fact, as you can see below, neither "church" nor "state" is used in any context at all:

FIRST AMENDMENT:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Although supreme courts of the past 60 or so years have, over time, expanded the first amendment to mean "separation of church and state", the term does not exist.  Further, you can easily argue that, because the amendment says there should be "no law....prohibiting the free exercise thereof", it specifically allows the two to conmingle.

Please do not, however, take this to mean I am against the separation of church and state.  In almost all cases, I support the separation concept.

Finally, from, here is a chronology of what the original amendment was to have been, and how it was revised and re-revised to its current wording.  This should give you a pretty good idea of what the intent was:

Madison's original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ''The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.'' 1 The language was altered in the House to read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.'' 2 In the Senate, the section adopted read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, . . .'' 3 It was in the conference committee of the two bodies, chaired by Madison, that the present language was written with its some what more indefinite ''respecting'' phraseology. 4 Debate in Congress lends little assistance in interpreting the religion clauses; Madison's position, as well as that of Jefferson who influenced him, is fairly clear, 5 but the intent, insofar as there was one, of the others in Congress who voted for the language and those in the States who voted to ratify is subject to speculation.

free` It doesn't matter that she was right about the 1st amendment, just like with Palin the msm will continue to attack even though they are wrong and O'Donnel was right. (10/21/10)


Ken Berwitz

On this morning's Today show, Matt Lauer interviewed Pennsylvania senatorial candidates, Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey.

During the interview, he asked Rep. Sestak the following question:

You have a bit of a, you have a bit of a problem here.  I mean, Mr. Toomey spent 10 years in congress and yet he has managed to retain, he has not been labeled as a Washington insider.  Youve spent 3 years in Washington and people are calling you a Washington insider.  How did that happen?

Terrific question for Sestak, isn't it?  Lauer positioned him as the victim of voter ignorance, and gave him a softball to hit out of the park.  Except for a few small, inconsequentional details:

-Mr. Toomey spent 6 years in congress, not 10.  He pledged to serve no more than three terms and, true to his word, retired after they were finished. 

-Mr. Toomey has been out of congress for almost 4 years, therefore it is perfectly reasonable not to label him as a Washington insider.

-Joe Sestak has spent almost 4 years in congress, not 3.  And he is currently a congressperson in the majority party, therefore it is perfectly reasonable to label him as a Washington insider.

But, in fairness, did Mr. Lauer give Pat Toomey a softball to hit out of the park too?

Well, here are the questions questions he asked Toomey.  See if you can find a softball:

-You had a 6-7 point lead in the polls, and that has evaporated.  What happened?

-You have tea party backing (Today constantly does negative stories on the tea party), and Dick Armey says the tea party was born with you.  What about that?

-Pennsylvania has gotten 29 billion dollars in stimulus package money.  Would you have turned that money down? (FYI:  Lauer did not mention that 29 billion dollars is 3% of the total stimulus package money, but Pennsylvania has 4% of the U.S. population, so PA actually loses out on the stimulus package).

-Sarah Palin (whom Today has relentlessly attacked for years) endorsed you yesterday.  Do you like that endorsement?

Great going, Matt.  Very neutral.

free` Lauer exemplifies what we have come to expect from the network "media" and the Hollywood left. (10/21/10)


Ken Berwitz

Credit where credit is due.  The following excerpt is from an investigative piece, written by Russ Choma,  which I saw at MSNBC's web site - a place I don't associate with attacks on President Obama:

Hot air? White House takes credit for Bush-era wind farm jobs

Administration claims 50,000 jobs created, but many projects were completed before funds were handed out


By Russ Choma


Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University

The Obama administration is crediting its anti-recession stimulus plan with creating up to 50,000 jobs on dozens of wind farms, even though many of those wind farms were built before the stimulus money began to flow or even before President Barack Obama was inaugurated.

Out of 70 major wind farms that received the $4.4 billion in federal energy grants through the stimulus program, public records show that 11, which received a total of $600 million, erected their wind towers during the Bush administration. And a total of 19 wind farms, which received $1.3 billion, were built before any of the stimulus money was distributed. ( See a list of the projects here.)

Yet all the jobs at these wind farms are counted in the administration's figures for jobs created by the stimulus.

In other words, the wind farms themselves originated under President Bush.  More than a quarter of them (19) were built before there was ever any stimulus money.

But the Obama administration is taking credit for all of them, as though none of this would have happened without the so-called "stimulus package"

What liars.  What frauds.

How can you believe anything these people say?


Ken Berwitz

Today, NPR fired Juan Williams.  Here, in NPR's own words, is the reason:

NPR News has terminated the contract of longtime news analyst Juan Williams after remarks he made on the Fox News Channel about Muslims.

Williams appeared Monday on The O'Reilly Factor, and host Bill O'Reilly asked him to comment on the idea that the U.S. is facing a dilemma with Muslims.

O'Reilly has been looking for support for his own remarks on a recent episode of ABC's The View in which he directly blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in the middle of his appearance.

Williams responded: "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Williams also warned O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

But strong criticism followed Williams' comments.

Late Wednesday night, NPR issued a statement praising Williams as a valuable contributor but saying it had given him notice that it is severing his contract. "His remarks on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR," the statement read.

Williams' presence on the largely conservative and often contentious prime-time talk shows of Fox News has long been a sore point with NPR News executives.

His status was earlier shifted from staff correspondent to analyst after he took clear-cut positions about public policy on television and in newspaper opinion pieces.

Reached late Wednesday night, Williams said he wasn't ready to comment and was conferring with his wife about the episode.

Transation:  NPR couldn't abide Juan Williams being on (gasp!) Fox News Channel and specifically on the (gasp!) O'Reilly Factor.  So it concocted a reason to fire him - namely because he honestly expressed a fear that, I would guess, about 95% of the rest of us have - including many, maybe most, maybe all of the NPR "brain trust" (such as it is).

NPR's "firing squad" has yet to explain how come the rest of its highly opinionated, (but, for them, much more comfortably leftward) on-air talent has not been fired along with Mr. Williams.

Every time I think of the fact that this wholly partisan enterprise is funded with our tax dollars, my stomach turns.

FYI, Fox immediately stepped into the breach and offered Mr. Williams a multi-million dollar three year deal.  I hope he takes it, graces Fox with his presence, and gets his own show to boot. 

Cable news networks need people like Mr.Williams, who aren't afraid to speak their minds, whether from the left or the right. 

Obviously one-half of that attribute is not very prized at NPR.


UPDATE:  I just watched the beginning of tonight's O'Reilly Factor, featuring (as you might expect) Juan Williams.  And I found out three things that bear directly on this story:

1) Last week george soros, the radical leftist, contributed 1.8 million dollars to NPR.  Does anyone in his or her right mind think that soros gav NPR almost two million dollars because he finds it a NEUTRAL organization? 

2) Media matters, whom soros also contributes heavily to, is now demanding that Mara Liason, another NPR personality who also is on Fox News Channel, should be fired as well.  Can it possibly be clearer that this is a purge of anyone and everyone who is on Fox, and has been bought and paid for by soros?  Maybe the geniuses at NPR would like to try explaining this away.

3) Finally, it turns out that Juan Williams is - make that was - the one and only Black male on NPR.  Now, at least man-wise, it is as lily-white as a KKK meeting. 

I wonder if soros had that in mind too.

free` We are just supposed to make believe that islam is no danger to us or our freedom. We are supposed to make believe that seeing people dressed in muslim garb on an airplane doesn't make you the slightest bit nervous as Juan Williams said. Just repeat over and over islam is a religion of peace... (10/21/10)


Ken Berwitz

I am, for better or worse, a product of the New York City school system.  From elementary school (P.S. 163, then P.S. 201 because it was a new school nearer to our apartment, then P.S. 165 because we moved) to Parsons Junior High School (long walk) to Forest Hills School (by bus, we didn't live anywhere near there). 

And throughout my school career I, and every other student, was evaluated by teachers on many criteria, including (but not limited to) how well we performed academically, physically (the dreaded gym class) and interpersonally (what NYCer my age can ever forget being marked on "Works and plays well with others"?). 

Wouldn't it be nice if the teachers union accepted even a fraction of the accountability its members demanded of us students?

Excerpted from an article at

Teachers Union Fights Release of Test Score Report

New York City's school system plans to release ratings for nearly 12,000 teachers based partially on student test scores -- but the city's teachers union is fighting its release, saying the measuring system is far too flawed to make names public.

The report will attempt to measure the progress made by students from fourth through eighth grades under their teacher by comparing test scores in math and English in a given to the previous year.

The United Federation of Teachers, claiming such data should be kept internally, will take the matter to court this afternoon. A DOE spokeswoman said that unless a court interferes today, the city will make the reports public on Friday.

The ratings come amid a national debate over how teachers should be evaluated and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call to eliminate automatic tenure for the city's teachers.

New York City's Department of Education officials, who originally told union representatives that they intended to keep the sensitive information private, said they could not find an exemption to state records laws that would preclude disclosure, The Los Angeles Times reports.

 How dare New York City rate its teachers?  What gall. 

I mean, why do they need evaluations anyway?  Doesn't every teacher perform with uniform excellence?  Doesn't every student get straight As? 

Look, I have the greatest respect for teachers.  Teaching is not an easy job, especially these days.  And despite what appear to be short hours and a long vacation, dedicated teachers often work far longer and far harder than what it says on that union contract.

But why in the world should they be exempted from accountability?  Why in the world should there be no evaluative process to determine who is and isn't cutting it in the classroom?

And how does it make you feel, knowing that the union would rather battle New York City in court than try to determine who their capable and not-so-capable teachers are?

Do they care more about job security, even for deficient teachers, than they do about educating children?

Zeke ... ... .... Sit down and fill out your Delaney Card. ..... ..... Last Name first, First Name last : ..... .... .... Berwitz Ken Ken Berwitz ...... ..... ..... ..... ..... and slip in one for Richard Hurtz ..... (10/21/10)

Ken Berwitz Zeke - so help me, there is an old-timer (like me) in the marketing research business, named Richard Kurtz. Same difference --- which is why he hates being called Dick as much as Bennie Siegel hated being called Bugsy. (10/21/10)


Ken Berwitz

This is not a joke, a spoof, a satire, a parody or a delusion.  He actually said it:

"...people have been hurting and I understand that.  And it doesn't give them comfort or solace for me to tell them, uh, y'know, but for me we'd be in a world-wide depression":  Harry Reid, tonight, on MSNBC's Ed Show.

You cannot make this stuff up.  And you cannot be more bizarre than Harry Reid, taking personal credit for saving the world from economic disaster. 

If you find it hard to believe that Reid actually mouthed those words in that context, I don't blame you a bit.  So just click here, and you can see/hear it for yourself.

When the Republicans rejected Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, instead selecting Sharron Angle as their candidate, I thought Reid would probably win another term. 

But every time this man opens his mouth he loses votes.  Now - no prediction, just an opinion - I think it is very likely that Ms. Angle will defeat him.

I only wish he was taking his bosom buddy Nancy Pelosi with him.  On the other hand, if things go the way they currently look, she'll just be another house member in the minority party, so it won't matter anyway.


Ken Berwitz

Well, at least they found a decent means of redress.

Excerpted from Wesley Young's article for the Winston-Salem (NC) Journal:

Some 6,400 staffers and students at Winston-Salem State University received e-mail exhortations Monday to take advantage of early voting and help the Democratic Party, setting off local Republicans.

After a complaint by Nathan Tabor, the chairman of the Forsyth County GOP, university officials acknowledged that the e-mail sent from the student-affairs division was improper.

The university cited a state law that prohibits the use of a state employees authority or state property to support or oppose a person or an issue in any election.

We regret it, said Nancy Young, the director of public relations at WSSU. We sent out a retraction and said to disregard the earlier e-mail.

That wasnt the end of it, though. Yesterday, the university sent out what Tabor called an equal time e-mail inviting all the same recipients to work for Republicans during early voting.

That message was to be retracted by the university last night once it had been out six hours the same amount of time the Democrat message was out before being retracted.

I wonder how many other universities have acted on behalf of Democrats in various ways, legal and otherwise, which haven't been redressed and never will be.

My guess?  Plenty.

free` The left was pretty smart to basically take over education 50 or so years ago. (10/21/10)

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