Monday, 28 March 2011


Ken Berwitz

hamas is a terrorist organization which took control of the Gaza Strip by force against its own people.  hamas is committed, in writing, to the annihilation of Israel through violent jihad.  hamas is supported, and supplied, by the terrorist state of Iran.  hamas has no problem beating, torturing or killing fellow Arab Muslims if they dare to question its actions.

These are facts - easily checkable and undeniable.

So why do you suppose there is so little in the way of negative reporting about hamas by on-scene "journalists"? 

I've written about this before.  But today we have another example that should provide a clear answer, so I want to show it to you, via the following excerpt from Khaled Abu Toameh's article in today's Jerusalem Post:

Gaza cops use beatings, stun guns on women reporters


Hamas security personnel raid offices of media organizations, including Reuters and CNN, confiscate equipment and documents.


A number of Palestinian women journalists complained on Sunday that they had been beaten and tortured by Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip.

They said the assaults occurred in recent days when they and their colleagues tried to cover pro-unity rallies in different parts of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas policemen used force to disperse the protesters, who were calling for an end to the dispute between the Islamist movement and Fatah. The rallies were part of a Facebook campaign organized by Palestinian youth on March 15.

At least eight journalists were beaten by the Hamas police officers during the rallies.

Some had their cameras and laptops confiscated, while others were taken into custody and made to sign a document pledging to refrain from covering such events in the future.

One of the female journalists, Samah Ahmed, complained that a Hamas policeman in military uniform stabbed her in the back as she tried to leave the al-Katiba Square, where pro-unity protesters were staging a sit-in strike.

She said that she and another female journalist, Asma al- Ghoul, were later also beaten with clubs before they were taken to detention.

At the police station, they continued to beat us and curse us, Ahmed told the Palestinian news agency Aswar Press. When they realized that I was bleeding from the area where I was stabbed, the police interrogators sent me to hospital.

She added that the Hamas police officers who accompanied her to the hospital forced the medical team to admit her under a different name and to list her as a victim of a traffic accident.

In case this isn't repulsive enough for you so far, use the link I've provided to read about the other female journalists who were treated this way, and worse, for their crime of trying to report what hamas does in the Gaza strip.

Then think about how likely it is that some, or most, or just about all, of the journalists there will color their stories in favor of hamas to protect themselves. 

Then think about how many stories have been, and will be, sugar-coated. 

Then think about how many stories have been, and will be, unreported altogether.

There's your answer.  


Ken Berwitz

President Obama used the speech to attack George Bush (can this man talk about anything without trying to make Bush his personal piata, and the reason for everything that goes wrong in his administration?);

He told us that he is "going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold" - but somehow neglected to mention that "the rebels" he is bombing on behalf of, have recruited al-qaeda to fight alongside them.

He compared this to Iraq and said there weren't results there for 8 years.  A total lie - we removed Saddam in a matter of weeks and free elections took place the next year. (CORRECTION:  I am off by one month. Saddam was removed in 2003 and elections for a transitional government were held January of 2005.  A permanent government was elected in 2006.  I have corrected my one month mistake - but I'm still waiting for President Obama to correct his total lie --and based on the fact that it was ignored on the shows I've watched this morning, it seems clear our wonderful "neutral" media are not going to push Mr. Obama's correction along.) 

He still doesn't say we are in there to remove qaddafi - and not one word about what happens if qaddafi stays. 

He doesn't give us any idea of what kind of governance he thinks Libya will have if qaddafi does fall.  Initially, my feeling was that nothing could be much worse than qaddafi; but now that I know "the rebels" include al-qaeda sympathizers and jihadists, I'm not as sure.  Is it possible that we are replacing one horror show with another?  

And what if "the rebels" win, then decide to take their fury out on qaddafi supporters?  Are we replacing one massacre with another?  If that happens, would we start bombing "the rebels"?  

And what about the brutal civil wars in Tunisia, Yemen, Syria and possibly even Jordan? Which side will we be bombing in those places?

But you have to hand it to Mr. Obama:  he speaks beautifully with a teleprompter in front of him.

Zeke .................... ................ ..... ...... What exactly did Gadaffi do that earned him such enmity from Obama and his allies ? ..... .... That he MIGHT start wholesale slaughter? .... .... (Sounds like jobs 'created or saved'). ..... .... ...... @Ken: No, this was NOT one of his signature inspiring speeches. .... I found it incomprehensible .... .... just a pot full of feel-good words, and no logical connection with actual facts on the ground. ... .... Kinetic Military Action ? ? Give me a break ... ... Democracy ? ? ... Can the 'rebels' even spell that word? ... "Rebels" ? ? .... Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton ... Old times there are not forgotten .... Look away, look away, look away in Dixie land. ........ ....... ........ ...... WHY are we fighting Gadaffi ? (03/29/11)

Zeke .... .... What are our objectives ? .... When can we leave ? ..... .... Who are the "rebels"? .... Exactly what has Gadaffi done ? Or, is it he MIGHT do nasty things ? ..... .... What if we've weakened Gadaffi enough that he cannot defeat the rebels ... but the rebels cannot defeat Gadaffi ? Will it be years of back and forth combat, laying waste to the entire country ? ..... ..... Why are we even there, if, as Defense Secretary says, the US has no vital interests there ? ... .... Did Obama ever shop in a china store .... "If you break it, then you've bought it". (03/28/11)


Ken Berwitz

A quick break from politics to discuss Carmelo Anthony. 

Mr. Anthony is a very talented NBA player, who toiled for the Denver Nuggets.  But he was terribly unhappy with the prospect of making $23 million for each of the next three years to run around in his underwear and shoot hoops for the Nuggets.  He wanted out.  So he made it clear that a trade was necessary - which, as you might imagine, did nothing for his popularity in Denver.

Lots of teams were interested.  But Denver demanded so much in return for Anthony - and fellow Denver Nugget player Chauncy Billups as well - that most of them decided to look elsewhere. 

The eventual "winner" was the New York Knickerbockers, who traded a large chunk of their team to Denver for this great prize.  The Knicks gave up 3 of their starting five players for Anthony and Billups.  They felt these two would make them a better team, and improve attendance.

So how did things work out?

-At the time of the trade, the Knicks' record was 28 wins and 25 losses.  Since then, they have won 7 and lost 12.  Not good.

-By contrast, The Denver Nuggets were 32 - 25.  Since then they have gone 12 - 4.  Very good.

And, attendance-wise, the Nuggets are drawing slightly more fans now than they did with Anthony, while paying millions and millions less to field their team.  A substantial net gain.

Maybe Carmelo Anthony, and the Knicks, had an inflated idea of his value as a player.  D'ya think?

Just thought I'd mention.

Ok, back to politics....


Ken Berwitz

This strange little story comes to us via the following excerpt of Martin Finucane's article at the Boston Globe:

A 22-year-old East Boston woman is to be arraigned today in East Boston District Court on cocaine trafficking charges after she allegedly flew into Logan International Airport with more than a kilogram of the drug concealed in what authorities said was a "diaper-like" garment.

...officers grew suspicious and decided to conduct a pat-down search. The search revealed a "powdery substance concealed in a diaper-like garment" she was wearing under outer clothing, State Police said in a statement.

She was arrested by the CBP, state troopers, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

It is hardly unusual to find a powdery substance in a diaper.  But usually it's talcum powder - and the wearer of the diaper is a bit younger than 22 years of age. 

At least the woman didn't stuff it into her buttocks, which is the preferred hiding place in several other cocaine-smuggling stories I have blogged about over recent months. 

Heck, there's too much crack cocaine out there already.


Ken Berwitz

Does Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker play hardball?

Read this excerpt from an article by Jason Stein and Patrick Marley of  the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and see for yourself:

Madison - Gov. Scott Walker's administration is no longer collecting dues on behalf of state unions and as of Sunday began charging employees more for health care and their pensions, even though nonpartisan legislative attorneys say the changes are not yet law.

Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Monday administration attorneys have determined the law is now in effect. State workers will receive paychecks April 21 that reflect the changes, he said in a conference call with reporters.

In addition to requiring state, local and school employees to pay more for their benefits, the measure ends most collective bargaining for public workers. The law also bars the state from charging dues to employees and passing them on to unions, as it has done for years.

The changes to collective bargaining drew massive protests at the state Capitol and prompted Senate Democrats to leave the state for three weeks in an effort to block the bill.

Other attorneys do not agree the law is now in effect, and the courts will be the final arbiter of whether the law goes into effect. Huebsch said he would abide by a ruling from a judge.


That's hardball.  The kind I far more expect from Democrats and unions than I do from a Republican.

Ok, now let's see what happens next. This could get real interesting, real fast.


Ken Berwitz

Congratulations - belated, but congratulations anyway - to the Washington Post, for noticing the ludicrous specacle of President Obama avidly looking forward to buying oil from Brazil instead of getting it from our own domestic resources.

I blogged about this a week ago today, using significant quotes from an Investors Business Daily editorial which started with the following sentence:

Energy Policy: While leaving U.S. oil and jobs in the ground, our itinerant president tells a South American neighbor that we'll help it develop its offshore resources so we can one day import its oil. WHAT?!?

The rest of the editorial is excellent, but IBD could have stopped right there.  The Obama administration's "policy", if you can call it that, is head-shakingly bizarre.

Now, a week later, we have the WaPost's take on it, as excerpted below:

Drill, Brazil, drill, says the U.S.


WHEN WAS the last time an American president stood before an audience in a foreign country and announced that he looked forward to importing more of its oil? Answer: Just over a week ago, when President Obama joined political and business leaders in Brasilia in hailing the fact that their newly discovered offshore petroleum reserves might be twice as large as those in the United States. Americans want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when youre ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers, Mr. Obama said.


Brazil is probably a more stable, secure supplier than, say, Libya. Still, the presidents words were ironic. Brazil already produces vast quantities of a fuel ethanol that the U.S. government, under a policy long supported by presidents and farm-state members of Congress from both parties, has promoted as a green alternative to gasoline. But the United States, protecting its own heavily subsidized ethanol industry by means of a 2.5 percent tariff and a 54-cent-per-gallon duty, prevents Americans from importing all but trivial amounts of the stuff from Brazil. Therefore, we need more oil much of it imported.


As for offshore drilling, Mr. Obamas enthusiasm for punching holes in the ocean floor off Brazil is hard to reconcile with his decision, announced Dec. 1, to keep the waters off the East and West coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits to exploration indefinitely. His policy was a reversal of an earlier decision he had made to open some of those areas.


... it is tough to reconcile with U.S. eagerness to help Brazil pump oil off its coasts and ship it here.  What does this posture say about American regard for the natural environment outside U.S. territory?


This makes no sense, economically or environmentally, and, sooner or later, a more balanced view must prevail.

To the Washington Post's editorial staff:  welcome to the real world, guys  The rest of us will enjoy your company.

Wind and solar may well be the answer - and I strongly support their development, as quickly as possible.  But even the most generous assesment of their current "state of the art" indicates both are decades away from replacing enough oil to satisfy our energy needs. 

So what do we have here?  We have a President who enthusiastically supports drilling for oil - as long as the USA is not the beneficiary of it.  Much better to make us even more dependent on other countries. 

That's supposed to make sense?

Can we move up the 2012 elections?  Please? 

free` Didn't we lend Brazil billions of $$$ to cultivate these offshore oil fields also? (03/28/11)

Zeke @ free` .... yes, we did lend George Soros billions to exploit the Brazilian off shore oil fields. ..... ...... .... .... @Ken ... assuming projected technological improvements are achieved, Wind and Solar will meet no more than 2% of the US energy needs. .... ... (03/28/11)


Ken Berwitz

Last week I blogged about the so-called Afghanistan "kill teams" - US soldiers who killed Afghani civilians, apparently for the fun of it, and took body parts as trophies.  I referenced an article at Der Spiegel, which claims to have thousands of pictures to prove such teams existed, and may still exist today.

For a week, our wonderful "neutral" media largely buried this terrible story - presumably because it took place during the Obama rather than Bush Presidency. (The proof:  did they bury the photos from Abu Ghraib for George Bush - photos that were comically trivial by comparison?)

But Rolling Stone Magazine has just published a major story by Tom Boal - complete with photographs and videos - which goes straight to the heart of these war atrocities. 

Now the rest of mainstream media can no longer run interference for Obama & Co.  If media blame a President for what happens on his watch, they have to blame President Obama for this.

But before you assume that's the way I personally feel, here is how I ended last week's blog:

What a disgusting story.  And what a bonanza for our enemies both in and out of Afghanistan.

But, despite how awful this is, it would be wrong to blame President Obama for what these soldiers did.  The President may be Commander In Chief.  But, realistically, he has absolutely no control over what happens at the field level. 

The blame - and obviously there is a ton of it - lies elsewhere.

For me, that still goes.

But it will be interesting to see how many of the same media which were so quick to villify President Bush for Abu Ghraib, will do the same now, when the name is Obama instead.

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