Thursday, 01 December 2011


Ken Berwitz

I don't have many opportunities to compliment the Obama administration on getting things right.  But this is one of them

Excerpted from Matt Apuzzo's article for the Associated Press:

U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida, top national security lawyers in the Obama administration said Thursday.

The lawyers were asked at a national security conference about the CIA killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaida figure. He died in a Sept. 30 U.S. drone strike in the mountains of Yemen.

The government lawyers, CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson, did not directly address the al-Awlaki case. But they said U.S. citizens do not have immunity when they are at war with the United States.

Johnson said only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.

Exactly right.  And good for them to say it so clearly and assertively. 

I probably should note that our wonderful "neutral" media would not have been as agreeable if the President were George Bush.  But I'm so happy about the administration taking this position that I won't make a big issue of it.(Bbesides, in a classic demonstration of paralepsis, I've already said it, haven't I?)

Good job!

Zeke .... .... Gingrich made the exact same point two weeks ago, when questioned by lib talking head Scott Pelley -- War is where you strive to kill your opponent before he kills you. ..... Newt Gingrich: .... .... "If you engage in war against the United States, you are an enemy combatant. You have none of the civil liberties of the United States. You cannot go to court. Let me be-- let me be very clear about this. There are two levels. There's a huge gap here that-- that frankly far too many people get confused over. Civil defense, criminal defense, is a function of being within the American law. Waging war on the United States is outside criminal law. It is an act of war and should be dealt with as an act of war. And the correct thing in an act of war is to kill people who are trying to kill you. " .... ..... (12/01/11)


Ken Berwitz

What a night in Manhattan!!!

First we have President Obama. 

On the day that Broadway has both matinee and evening performances, and Rockefeller Center has its Christmas tree lighting, Mr. Obama decides to run not one, not two, but three political events in midtown Manhattan.  You could almost hear him telling New Yorkers "Who cares if I snarl pedestrian and vehicular traffic beyond recognition?  I know that you "sophisticated" Manhattanites (heh heh heh, wink, wink) are so far in the tank for me that nothing I do will stop you from voting for me again.  So as long as I get mine, who cares what happens to you."   

Then there are the "Occupy" protesters. 

This sorry crew has watched their movement disappear faster than beer at a frat party.  They had to do something.  So they flexed their muscles, pulled their weight, pulled out all stops, and got a huge turnout of ..... maybe 100 protesters.  Their mission?  attacking President Obama for his fundraising, on the grounds that he was benefiting from rich people.  (They just figured this out?????) 

The intrepid 100 decided to march from Bryant Park, at 6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street, through the Times Square area, to the Sheraton Hotel at 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, where Mr. Obama was speaking to his latest group of rich liberal/leftists (of which there is no shortage whatsoever, in or out of Manhattan). 

How'd that work out for the regular, everyday folks just trying to get from point A to point B?  This excerpt from the New York Times article should tell you:

The 45-minute march from Bryant Park forced shoppers and theatergoers into retreat on what most likely would have been a difficult night to find sidewalk space anyway. At one point, two pedestrians tried to move through the crowd head-on but quickly reconsidered, breaking into a jog in the other direction. You better not go that way, one protester told them moments earlier. Youre going to hit democracy.

Officers, on foot and on motorcycles, followed the protesters with each step, trying with occasional success to keep marchers off the road. Many protesters chafed at the sight of barricaded pens near the hotel, but a majority decided to stay, given how close they were to their destination. Shortly before 9 p.m., as the police cut off traffic and began making final preparations for the presidents arrival, officers informed demonstrators that the area had been designated a frozen zone until the presidents departure: They were not allowed to leave their enclosure, bound by three lines of barricades and a Chase bank. Some protesters tried to break through, but were swiftly rebuffed by officers, who shoved them back to their initial perches.

How nice of that protester to tell pedestrians that "democracy" is defined as effing up traffic during the holiday season.  It was a public service, I tell you.  Heck, they might have mistakenly thought democracy was a bit more than that.  Lucky for them they got that heads-up (heads-up where, I'm not saying).

But the Occupiers did prove two points.  They proved a) that they have become irrelevant, even in the left wing bastion of New York, and b) that they don't like Barack Obama - hardly surprising since the "movement" has been co-opted by left wing radicals and anarchists who make Obama look like a yellow dog conservative by comparison, along with freeloaders feasting on the handouts "Occupy" protesters are being shtupped with, and street people of all sizes, shapes and mental states.

My wife and I, frequent visitors to Manhattan, were not in town last night.

Lucky us.

Zeke .... The issue is not "The Issue". ..... The issue is POWER. .... .... The unbathed scaliwags and zoo people practicing outdoor defecation are NOT the principals -- .... .... The vast organization and financiers behind them are the puppet masters. .... .... Without the string-pullers, there were not enough demonstrators to have a baseball game at Limbaugh's event. .... ..... .... Just as Cindy Sheenan was ignored, when she challenged Nancy Pelosi for her seat in Congress. .... .... (12/01/11)


Ken Berwitz

I don't get Justin Bieber. 

Maybe it's just that I'm 65 years old, and therefore not supposed to get him.  But I usually do get what the big deal is about with other teen and pre-teen idols.  Not Bieber, though.

Please do not take this as any kind of personal attack.  He seems to be a very nice 17 year old (the paternity accusations against him notwithstanding - we don't know if they're true).  At any rate I hope he is.

But, to me, his looks appear to be nothing more than what would be "cute" to little girls.  Far from what would make them squeal and scream. 

And his singing?  Forget it.

I caught part of NBC's "Christmas tree lighting" in Rockefeller Center last night, and watched/heard him perform part of a Christmas song. 

It wasn't awful.  I mean he hit all the notes and remembered all the words.  But it was - at least to me - formulaic and insipid.  

Yet there were all these fans, especially the young girls, screaming and jumping as they had been hit with an epidemic of Saint Vitus' Dance.

I guess he's just a triumph of marketing.  A very, very big triumph.

Oddly - and coincidentally, given that, like Bieber, he is Canadian - I have the same feeling about Michael Bubl.  Mr. Bubl hits the notes, remembers the words....but, to me,  projects little in the way of style or emotion.

Maybe if there is a sequel to the South Park Movie they can do a piece on these two during the "Blame Canada" segment.

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