Thursday, 25 November 2010


Ken Berwitz

Here's your reason, courtesy of the following excerpt from an article in the Newark Star-Ledger:

NEWARK The choice between a "virtual strip search" and a "grope" was strictly academic Wednesday for most holiday travelers flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

The majority of Newarks full-body scanners were idle throughout much of the day, depriving most passengers of the chance to opt out of the controversial screening procedure even if they had wanted to.

All in all, Thanksgiving eve was a non-event at Newark Liberty, reflecting the relative calm reported at airports around the country.

"Things have gone very, very smoothly," said Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration. "Wait times have been kept to a minimum, and weve been very pleased to hear quite a few compliments and thank yous coming from passengers."

The perfect solution to a potential mutiny by air travel passengers.  Don't use the machines.

Do you have any doubt this was done at numerous other airports as well?  I don't.

Can you imagine how outraged the New York Times editorial staff must be over this?


Ken Berwitz

Whoopi Goldberg is proof positive that a talented performer can also be an ignoramus with a big mouth.

Ms. Goldberg was on The O'Reilly Factor a couple of days ago   You can see the interview by clicking here

First, she assured viewers that Muslims were not especially involved in terrorism - that it was as likely to come from "White guys". 

Yeah, ok.  Sure. 

And then the following exchange occurred:

O'Reilly: Do you know what a madrassa is?

Goldberg: No, I don't.

O'Reilly: Okay, a madrassa is a school that teaches Islamic jihad, and there are madrassas all over the Muslim world.  They teach four and five-year-old kids to hate people.

Goldberg: Bill, Bill, that may be true.

O'Reilly: It is true!

Goldberg: It may be true; I can't prove it.  You''ve clearly been to them, and I'll take your word for it.

As you probably know, madrassas - Muslim "schools" - are where untold millions of children get their religious training.  And madrassas in places like Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc. etc. etc. are where they are taught the glory of violent jidhad, and shahid (martyrdom.)

So here we have the pathetic spectacle of Whoopi Goldberg going in front of  3 - 5 million people (over 3 million in prime time, plus additional viewers during the reruns) to lecture O'Reilly's viewers about terrorism -- and she doesn't even know what a madrassa is. 

All she can do is mount a weak sarcasm about O'Reilly having "clearly been to them" - which, sadly, would have gotten her a round of cheers and applause on "The View". 

I have some really good advice for Ms. Goldberg.  Stick to acting, and definitely stick to the "we're with you no matter how ridiculous you are" audiences of "The View".  It's a lot safer than venturing out to speak with people who have a different point of view and know what they are talking about.

free` She is more proof that dems don't need any facts to make up their minds about something. They just 'feel' it is that way, so it is. No facts needed or wanted. (11/25/10)


Ken Berwitz

"No, no!  This isn't news.  It's news when the right winger is a right winger.  Get me a real story"

I suspect that those words, or words like them, were said at more than a few newsdesks in our wonderful "neutral" media, after being apprised of the following story -- which I am excerpting from Bob Norman's blog at

The woman charged by the FBI with making a threat that led to the lockdown of more than 300 Broward County schools after hearing the words of right-wing talker Joyce Kaufman isn't a member of the Tea Party -- she's a member of the Green Party.

Ellisa Martinez was arrested yesterday for making an emailed threat and a phone call to Kaufman's radio station, 850-AM, on November 10. In the email, Martinez feigned agreement with the fiery arch-conservative rhetoric of Kaufman and Sarah Palin, but she's she's officially on the other side of the ledger. According to the Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Office, Martinez is a member of the Green Party, a progressive left-wing group focused on environmental issues.

Why do I think news desks in our wonderful "neutral" media reacted this way?  My answer is, try and find it in mainstream media today.  If it is all over the news, I am wrong.  If it isn't (and it won't be) you will have your answer.

I wonder how many other times this has happened - i.e. a left wing provocateur has pretended to be a tea partier and done something incendiary to turn people against the movement. 

We already know that such people were intentionally infiltrating tea party events carrying signs with hateful, often racist messages, so that they could be photographed among the legitimate tea party crowd for propaganda purposes.  During the year, I blogged several times about individuals who were caught doing this - including one who left the tea party event and went to the campaign offices of a local Democrat where, it turned out, he was a volunteer worker.

Will this always be true?  Nope.  There are right wing crazies too. 

All I am saying is that, when something like this happens, do not make any snap judgments.  Experience is teaching us that things may not be what they seem.


Ken Berwitz

Here, compiled by, is a list of articles about how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) nude-scan and groping procedures are working out. 

I recommend every one of them:

Ron Paul: Crotch Groped by TSA, Calls for Boycott of Airlines...

CAIR to Muslims: Ask to pat yourself down...


Vent their anger at fatties and smellies...

Inspection gloves spreading infections?

TSA: Some gov't officials to skip airport security...

Agency Advertises Jobs Openings On Pizza Boxes...

This, folks, is what the New York Times, in an editorial I blogged about yesterday, defines not as a diminution of our civil liberties, but as a few minutes of inconvenience.  That's all it is.  Inconvenient.  The scans and gropes are nothing at all.

I think my favorite of the bunch is the one informing us that, in the Washington DC area, they are using pizza boxes to recruit people whose job it will be to rub up passengers.  Can the TSA possibly think that pizza-eaters are more adept at groping than the general population?  I wonder if they pick and choose based on what toppings were ordered?  Do pepperoni pizza lovers only get to rub up men, while extra cheese lovers get the women? 

Plainly stated, this is idiocy on steroids.

Hey, I have a great idea.  Since the New York Times is constantly under threat by those rascally right wingers, I propose that they put nude scanning devices and designated gropers in the Times Building's lobby, and subject everyone to a thorough screening every morning - editorial staff included.

Somehow I doubt they'll take me up on my idea.......


Ken Berwitz

The euro is plunging in value (down about 5% in the past week).  Is this just a bigger-than-usual bounce, or is it the beginning of the end - to use a bad pun, the canary in the goldmine?

Read the following excerpt from the article in London's Daily Mail (among other places), and decide for yourself:

So who's next for financial meltdown?
Spain, Portugal and Belgium set to follow Ireland into abyss as debt crisis threatens to destroy the euro

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:23 PM on 25th November 2010

Belgium's debt reaches 100% of annual national income

  • Portuguese and Spanish borrowing costs rise sharply
  • Standard & Poor's reduces Ireland's credit rating to A
  • Eire PM resists EU pressure to raise corporation tax
  • Irish families each face 4,600 euro bailout bill
  • Euro drops to a two-month low against the U.S. dollar over bloc's financial health.
  • Report warns eurozone's problems won't stop at Ireland

New fears have been raised about the future of the euro with the domino effect of faltering economies spreading today.

The latest nation to get sucked into the crisis is Belgium after market traders pushed the cost of insuring the country's debt to record levels.

The rising cost of Belgium's debt is now 100 per cent of annual national income. That is raising concerns the country could join Portugal, Spain and Italy on the growing list of countries that could be heading for a financial crisis along with stricken Ireland.

The eurozone was dealt a further blow yesterday after Portuguese and Spanish borrowing costs rose sharply as investors worried that their debt levels will prove unsustainable, putting them next in line for a European bailout.

As a major public sector strike in Portugal further undermined market confidence there, the interest rate on the government's 10-year bonds broke through the 7 per cent barrier yesterday. The 10-year Spanish bonds rose to 5.08 per cent from 4.91 per cent at the start of trading.

Portugal and Spain are viewed as the 16-nation eurozone's next weakest links now that Ireland has followed Greece and accepted a massive international rescue package.

It is important to remember that the bailouts of these countries do not come from thin air.  They come from the countries that are not in similarly dire straits, thus do not need bailouts.  And, given Europe's history, that means they will come from/go to countries that have disliked, even fought each other, for centuries.  

Do Germany and France really want to bail out Greece, Belgium, Ireland Portugal and Spain -- so far, with more to come? 

Or do they say bye-bye, go back to their own currencies, and leave the rest of the euro countries to fend for themselves? 

I have a pretty good idea about which of the two it will be.  That is why I suspect that there soon will be no euro.

Zeke ..... .... If the European Union breaks up ..... what will happen to those tens of thousands of useless EuroBureauCrats ? ..... ..... No one to shuffle meaningless papers, compose meaningless emails, make meaningless speeches, go to meaningless conferences (at very meaningful expense), or to generally get in the way of productive enterprizes. ..... (11/26/10)

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