Monday, 18 March 2013

TRUSTING HUMAN NATURE: WILL IT WORK AGAIN?

Ken Berwitz

The last time we replaced our appliances, the dishwasher was in excellent condition - it just didn't fit the decor anymore.  So, that Saturday, to laughter and derision from the couple we were going out with, I put on the curb with a note saying I wanted $60 for the dishwasher but would settle for $50, I was trusting anyone interested to put the money in an envelope I had attached and place it in our mailbox...and I would take the chance that even a dishonest person wouldn't cheat me for so little money. 

When we came back that night, the dishwasher was gone...and there was nothing in the mailbox.  Our friends drove away laughing.  But their reason for laughing lasted only a minute or two, because when we came into the house we found the envelope, with $50 in it, stuffed into our front door.  When we called and told them, they were amazed.

Well, I'm trying it again today. 

Yesterday, I was up in the attic and found an old (maybe 20 years), but not-very used, three piece set of luggage.  It consists of a large suitcase with wheels and a handle made of suitcase material rather than the more modern metal pull-out kind, a smaller piece, also with wheels/material handle, and a carry-on. 

We were going to throw it out, but I have decided to test human nature again.

It is in front of our house with this note:

3 PIECE MATCHED LUGGAGE SET

(THE ONE YOU SEE, WITH A SMALLER PIECE AND A CARRY-ON INSIDE) 

$25 (but I'll let you "bargain me down" to $20

Nearly perfect condition (only used a few times). 

Just leave the money in the attached envelope, put it in our mailbox, and the luggage is yours. 

Why do I trust you to do this?  Two reasons: 

1) I think (or at least hope) most people are honest;

2) Even if you aren't honest, would it really be worth it for you to cheat me out of $20?  I'll take my chances that you wouldn't.

Will lightning strike twice? 

I'll let you know what happens.

Zeke .... .... ... Where is the Picture ? ..... (03/18/13)


THE BIBLE & PRESIDENT OBAMA: IS THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS?

Ken Berwitz

As some of you may know, The History Channel has been running a 10 hour series called "The Bible", which tells selected biblical stories from Genesis to Revelation.

Though barely promoted to anyone outside of History Channel viewers (personally, I didn't know it existed at all) The Bible has generated ratings that make the heavens look like low-lying fruit.  Its cable premier, earlier this month, was watched by over 13 million people, and outperformed every network show in its timeslot. 

A show about the bible, on The History Channel whipped every networks' alternative?  It's a miracle (I tried, but cannot resist calling it a miracle whip.  Kraft Foods, you owe me).

In any case, apart from the huge, unexpected (I would think) ratings, there now has sprung up a major controversy, concerning The Devil.

It seems that The Devil, portrayed by actor Mehdi Ouazzani, looks a lot like a very well known USA political figure.

Which one?  Well, take a look and see for yourself:

Spooky: Viewers noted the Devil from the History Channel series 'The Bible' Satan looks similar to President Barack Obama  

 

I know what you're thinking.  This doesn't look a thing like Sarah Palin, right?  But it does look like someone else who ran for national office, with a bit more success than Ms. Palin, wouldn't you agree?

Here, let me show you:

The resemblance between Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani (left) and President Obama left some viewers of 'The Bible' taking to Twitter to express their amazement  ,,,,

 

What do you make of this?  Is it an inadvertent whoopsie?  That seems unlikely.

Is it an intentional way of creating controversy and booming up viewership?  That seems a lot more likely.

Do you have a third possibility in mind?  My answer, as a long time Obama detractor is, "Oh, c'mon guys.  He's not that bad".

Well, look at the positive side, we no longer have hugo chavez around to watch the next episode and give us a read on its sulfur content......


ROBERT "MENENDACIOUS" MENENDEZ (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Just in case there's anyone out there who thinks the mendacious one, Robert "Menendacious" Menendez has gotten past the corruption/prostitution scandals, we have an editorial from the (usually liberal/left, avid Menendez-supporting) Newark Star-Ledger calling on him give up his position as chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, until these stinky-and-getting-stinkier allegations are disposed of one way or the other

A few key excerpts (the bold print is mine):

The news that a federal grand jury in Miami is investigating U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez pushes this scandal to a new level, undermining the senator's credibility and his effectiveness as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

With reluctance, we urge him to surrender his gavel, at least until this investigation is complete. If he refuses to do so, we urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to remove him. This committee's work is too important to put at risk.

Our reluctance stems from the fact that Menendez could be entirely innocent. He has not been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.

But he is damaged. He has conceded that he accepted two free rides on the private jet of a major donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, and vacationed at Melgen's home in the Dominican Republic. He paid for those flights only after Republicans began to question their propriety, and claimed the failure to reimburse Melgen earlier had been an oversight. That is hard to believe, frankly. He faces a heavy risk of being reprimanded by the full Senate.

He also intervened to help Melgen on two occasions. He pressed federal officials to urge the Dominican Republican to activate a contract awarded to Melgen for port security, a contract that was worth a fortune to Melgen even though he had no experience in the field. That deal was widely criticized as a product of favoritism, and was never enacted.

Menendez also questioned Medicare officials over their accusation that Melgen overcharged them for care he provided. The FBI is investigating.

Make no mistake:  the Star-Ledger is in love with Robert Menendez.  If its editorial board is going on the record this way, those folks know there is plenty to worry about. 

Tick tock, tick tock.  How long before Governor Christie is appointing a new Senator.


IN CASE YOU THINK FASCISM ONLY OCCURS IN U.S. COLLEGES ....

Ken Berwitz

....read the following excerpts from Ezra Levant's March 17th piece for Canada's Sun News Network (then, by all means, use the link and read it all);  you will see how easily it crosses borders:

Last Wednesday night, a pro-life student club at the University of Waterloo invited a local MP to speak.

Within minutes, a small group of other students stormed the front of the room, screaming abuse at the guest speaker, taking over the podium and grinding the event to a halt.

All under the watchful eyes of campus police.

They just stood there.

Actually, that's not quite right, they did intervene. They told the speaker - Stephen Woodworth - that for his own safety he'd better leave.

They didn't take steps to protect his safety. They didn't remove the screaming trespassers, or even just ask them politely and quietly to stop. They just stood there, as a campus club was physically barred from holding a peaceful event.

Welcome to free speech on Canadian campuses, in the wake of the Supreme Court's abominable censorship ruling in the William Whatcott case*.

Its student body evidently feels ill-equipped to handle ideas they don't agree with, and prefers to physically silence opponents than to engage or even ignore them.

They did this to the great Christie Blatchford, a columnist and author of Helpless, a book about just this sort of bullying - and police cowardice - at Caledonia, Ont.

When Blatchford was invited to campus to talk about the book, screaming students - calling her a neo-Nazi - stormed the stage and stopped the speech.

Storming a speech and shutting it down, while calling a peaceful journalist a Nazi? They must not teach history at Waterloo, either.

Just a final thought: Do you think universities would accept a left-wing speaker, like David Suzuki**, being shouted down by his opponents?

Don't be silly - Tasers would be sparking, and police would be filling paddy wagons.

This scenario - a conservative or religious view being shouted down by an organized mob, while campus authorities do nothing about it - has been played out so many times in the United States that I've lost count. 

These are the places where parents pay tens of thousands of dollars each year to educate their children.  For what?  An advanced degree in suppressing anything the organized left-wing thugs who seem to have free rein on so many college campuses don't want them to hear? 

Heck, that's wasted money.  Their children can get pretty much the same thing at most teacher's union, AFSCME or SEIU meetings for free.

Freedom is fragile.  Fasicsm is malignant.  College campuses used to at least pretend they treasured the first and rejected the second.  When did they change gears and go in reverse?

============================================

*William Whatcott is a Christian activist who petitions against abortion and homosexuality.  He has been arrested countless times for overaggressively pursuing these beliefs.  Last year the Canada Supreme Court ruled that Whatcott engaged in hate speech because his literature called gay people "pedophiles".  Whatcott contended that his literature did not call all gay people pedophiles, but said it is three times as prevalent among gays as heterosexuals. 

**David Suzuki is an environmental activist and one of Canada's left wing icons

Zeke ..... . . . . Freedom for ME, but NOT for THEE . . .. . . . .. . . . (03/18/13)


IF FOX NEWS IS FAUX NEWS, WHAT IS MSNBC?

Ken Berwitz

The following chart, which I pulled from The Pew Center's "State off the News Media 2013" report, shows the amount of factual versus opinion reporting for the three major "cable news" stations.  One look will tell the story better than any words I can come up with:

1-On MSNBC, Opinion Dominates Reporting

Oh, and one other thing:  according to Forbes, Fox spends 3 1/2 times more on news-gathering than MSNBC does - $820 million versus $240 million.....which affords MSNBC the luxury of saving all that money, while preaching relentlessly to viewers that it, rather than Fox, is a true source of news. 

I wonder how many gullible saps believe it.

Zeke ..... ... What is MSNBC ? ? ? .... Why, it's . . M.O.R.O.N.S. . . . S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. . . . N.O.T.H.I.N.G. . . . . B.U.T. . . . . C.R.A.P. . . . . . . (03/18/13)


THE SHARPTONIZING OF DETROIT

Ken Berwitz

It is bad enough that Detroit is rapidly approaching third-world status.  But why do some of the residents so angrily demand that it stay on this path?

Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Mr. Kevyn Orr, a hugely successful lawyer with particular expertise in bankruptcy, as Detroit's Emergency Manager, to supersede its city council on fiscal matters.  Why?  Because the city is so far in debt, and has been run so far into the ground, with so many people taking from government instead of providing tax revenues, that its situation is literally hopeless.

So, naturally, the same crowd which supported the policies that destroyed this once-great city is outraged that the Governor is doing something about it.  

Here are excerpts from Patrick Howley's dailycaller.com piece about what is happening in Detroit, in rust....with my comments in blue:

Hundreds of well-organized demonstrators vowing "civil disobedience" will greet Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's visit to Cobo Hall in Detroit Monday for an economic summit in order to protest Snyder's selection of a powerful "emergency manager" to save the city of Detroit from bankruptcy.  Protesting an attempt to rescue the city from total collapse?  Do these "well-organized demonstrators" favor total collapse?

On Thursday, Snyder appointees on a three-person panel confirmed African-American lawyer Kevyn Orr as the city's "emergency manager," a powerful position that gives him authority to restructure the city's finances and change labor contracts while the all-black elected city council sits on the sidelines. The move, facilitated by Snyder, has sparked charges of racial animus and "anti-democracy" against the governor.  Claiming that it is "racial" to put a Black man in charge over the Black City Council of a vastly Black city?  Sure, that makes lots of sense...

"It's obvious that race played into this decision," Rev. Charles Williams III, the head of the Michigan affiliate of Al Sharpton's National Action Network, told The Daily Caller.  "There may be some voter suppression behind it." 

Williams confirmed that Sharpton has been very involved in his group's efforts in Detroit. It's racism to put a Black man in charge...and it's voter suppression even though Mr. Orr's appointment has exactly nothing to do with who can and cannot vote?  Figures al sharpton would be in the center of it.  The fraud level is just right for him.

"Maybe we won't take it to the level of the '60s riots, but this thing is escalating," Williams said.  "Maybe" there won't be riots like in the 60's...which were characterized by violence and looting?  Ok, great.  How could anyone doubt this will put Detroit on a sound fiscal course and convince investors to bet on its future?

While supporters of the emergency manager say that Orr's appointment is the "only option" for a city racked last year with a $327 million budget deficit and $14 billion in long-term liabilities, others see it as a civil rights issue.  A huge deficit, an impossible debt, insufficient and dwindling receivables...and this is a civil rights issue?  Y'know, those "others" have a point.  Because an attitude like this is likely to set civil rights back decades.  Stupidity like this is a wet dream for racists everywhere, who will point to it as proof that every stereotype they have of Black people is true.

"Obviously [Orr] is a black proxy for the governor," Williams said. "Detroit is 84 percent African-American, and this is an obvious opportunity for Snyder to utilize this man as an Uncle Tom, quite frankly."  That comment is a perfect example of why the situation looks so hopeless.  Detroit is a Black-dominated city in total disrepair with no hope in sight.  The appointment of a Black man to rescue the city can be looked on as a demonstration that the city's situation was not just created by Black people, but can be resolved by Black people as well. Yet instead of presenting Mr. Orr, a renowned attorney (with his undergraduate and law degrees from the U. of Michigan, by the way) as a positive role model who disproves the negative racial stereotypes, these whining, simpering, excuse-making losers condemn him as an Uncle Tom.  The racists I referenced in the previous paragraph must be deliriously happy - again, because they will see it as proof of everything they say about Black people.  Is that unfair?  Absolutely.  But is it fully facilitated by the people condemning Mr. Orr?  Just as absolutely.

When do these losers, these ridiculous, self-destructive sharptonesque fools, just shut the hell up for once and for all? 

Sadly, the answer to that question is probably never.  Poverty and dependency is their culture, it is what they revel in, and it is what they seem determined to pull every Black person down to. 

How terriby, horribly sad.

Zeke ..... .... How is the DMF (Detroit Method of Financing) any different than OMD (Obama's Massive Deficits). ...... Both are KCDR (Kick the Can Down the Road). ..... ..... Just like Cyprus (confiscate 10% of all private bank deposits), it is a CCHR (Chickens Come Home to Roost). ..... .... . Banking systems are backed by Trust and Confidence --- and THAT is being squandered -- which will result in high inflation, retreat to hard assets (gold). .... ...... (03/18/13)


SEQUESTER WATCH

Ken Berwitz

It is day 18 of the sequester.  

Do you feel any different?  Do you think anything has changed?  Do you think the country has gone to hell in a handbasket?

No?  Me neither.

But now congress is rising up to prevent President Obama from intentionally insisting on high-pain budget cuts, to force congress (mostly but not exclusively Republicans) into submission...which is defined as more spending, more taxes but precious little in the way of cuts.

Excerpted from Tim Mak's piece at politico.com:

If the Pentagon hoped that canceling troops' tuition assistance would get Congress to undo sequestration, it hasn't worked. Instead, Congress may simply force the Defense Department to restore it.

Lawmakers are angry about the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps decisions to cancel tuition assistance for the rest of the fiscal year. An indignant Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) suggested that President Barack Obama ordered the cuts to make sequestration appear more severe.

"The president wants Americans to feel the pain of the arbitrary across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration, but to cut off promised education assistance for our service members when there are other, lower-priority spending programs to draw from is an injustice," Inhofe said.

That's right.  In an effort to force congress to knuckle under, President Obama is perfectly willing to hurt the career prospects of military men and women who seek to further their education.  If Senator Inhofe is correct when he says, there are other, less important, places to cut funding - and I have no doubt he is - then Mr. Obama intentionally passed over, didn't he?

President Obama desperately needs a crisis to "prove" he was right about what horrible consequences would come down on us if there were forced cuts in our impossibly bloated deficit spending.  And, by God, he is going to come up with one, even if he has to create the crisis out of thin air - while hoping you are "low information" enough to be convinced it is real. 

But in the absence of any such real crisis, he apparently is stooping low enough to damage the futures of those who have honorably served our country;  the people he himself commands as President.  Hey, what's the difference who gets hurt as long as congress can be forced to make our insanely high deficit even higher?

Another installment of sequester watch tomorrow.


TRUSTING HUMAN NATURE: WILL IT WORK AGAIN?

Ken Berwitz

The last time we replaced our appliances, the dishwasher was in excellent condition - it just didn't fit the decor anymore.  So, that Saturday, to laughter and derision from the couple we were going out with, I put on the curb with a note saying I wanted $60 for the dishwasher but would settle for $50, I was trusting anyone interested to put the money in an envelope I had attached and place it in our mailbox...and I would take the chance that even a dishonest person wouldn't cheat me for so little money. 

When we came back that night, the dishwasher was gone...and there was nothing in the mailbox.  Our friends drove away laughing.  But their reason for laughing lasted only a minute or two, because when we came into the house we found the envelope, with $50 in it, stuffed into our front door.  When we called and told them, they were amazed.

Well, I'm trying it again today. 

Yesterday, I was up in the attic and found an old (maybe 20 years), but not-very used, three piece set of luggage.  It consists of a large suitcase with wheels and a handle made of suitcase material rather than the more modern metal pull-out kind, a smaller piece, also with wheels/material handle, and a carry-on. 

We were going to throw it out, but I have decided to test human nature again.

It is in front of our house with this note:

3 PIECE MATCHED LUGGAGE SET

(THE ONE YOU SEE, WITH A SMALLER PIECE AND A CARRY-ON INSIDE) 

$25 (but I'll let you "bargain me down" to $20

Nearly perfect condition (only used a few times). 

Just leave the money in the attached envelope, put it in our mailbox, and the luggage is yours. 

Why do I trust you to do this?  Two reasons: 

1) I think (or at least hope) most people are honest;

2) Even if you aren't honest, would it really be worth it for you to cheat me out of $20?  I'll take my chances that you wouldn't.

Will lightning strike twice? 

I'll let you know what happens.

Zeke .... .... ... Where is the Picture ? ..... (03/18/13)


IF FOX NEWS IS FAUX NEWS, WHAT IS MSNBC?

Ken Berwitz

The following chart, which I pulled from The Pew Center's "State off the News Media 2013" report, shows the amount of factual versus opinion reporting for the three major "cable news" stations.  One look will tell the story better than any words I can come up with:

1-On MSNBC, Opinion Dominates Reporting

Oh, and one other thing:  according to Forbes, Fox spends 3 1/2 times more on news-gathering than MSNBC does - $820 million versus $240 million.....which affords MSNBC the luxury of saving all that money, while preaching relentlessly to viewers that it, rather than Fox, is a true source of news. 

I wonder how many gullible saps believe it.

Zeke ..... ... What is MSNBC ? ? ? .... Why, it's . . M.O.R.O.N.S. . . . S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. . . . N.O.T.H.I.N.G. . . . . B.U.T. . . . . C.R.A.P. . . . . . . (03/18/13)


THE BIBLE & PRESIDENT OBAMA: IS THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS?

Ken Berwitz

As some of you may know, The History Channel has been running a 10 hour series called "The Bible", which tells selected biblical stories from Genesis to Revelation.

Though barely promoted to anyone outside of History Channel viewers (personally, I didn't know it existed at all) The Bible has generated ratings that make the heavens look like low-lying fruit.  Its cable premier, earlier this month, was watched by over 13 million people, and outperformed every network show in its timeslot. 

A show about the bible, on The History Channel whipped every networks' alternative?  It's a miracle (I tried, but cannot resist calling it a miracle whip.  Kraft Foods, you owe me).

In any case, apart from the huge, unexpected (I would think) ratings, there now has sprung up a major controversy, concerning The Devil.

It seems that The Devil, portrayed by actor Mehdi Ouazzani, looks a lot like a very well known USA political figure.

Which one?  Well, take a look and see for yourself:

Spooky: Viewers noted the Devil from the History Channel series 'The Bible' Satan looks similar to President Barack Obama  

 

I know what you're thinking.  This doesn't look a thing like Sarah Palin, right?  But it does look like someone else who ran for national office, with a bit more success than Ms. Palin, wouldn't you agree?

Here, let me show you:

The resemblance between Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouazzani (left) and President Obama left some viewers of 'The Bible' taking to Twitter to express their amazement  ,,,,

 

What do you make of this?  Is it an inadvertent whoopsie?  That seems unlikely.

Is it an intentional way of creating controversy and booming up viewership?  That seems a lot more likely.

Do you have a third possibility in mind?  My answer, as a long time Obama detractor is, "Oh, c'mon guys.  He's not that bad".

Well, look at the positive side, we no longer have hugo chavez around to watch the next episode and give us a read on its sulfur content......


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