Wednesday, 27 March 2013

AM I OR AM I NOT MARRIED? (WE MAY NEVER KNOW)

Ken Berwitz

My wife...or at least I think she is my wife...needs our marriage certificate to apply for social security.  But when we looked for it this morning we couldn't find it. 

All found is our "ketubah" - which is a traditional Jewish marriage agreement that will not be recognized as an acceptable New York marriage certificate (though we live in New Jersey now, we were wed - or so I seem to remember - in lovely Brooklyn, New York.  Without proof, I'm not saying for sure).

For this reason I have spent much of the day looking for the official marriage certificate - with no success. 

Then I called the New York City Department of Health (which is where you apply for a copy of your marriage certificate).  But as I type this, I am well over an hour into the hold time to get someone on the line, and still there is no answer (maybe Bloomberg was more successful in banning helpful city personnel than he was with large, sugary soft drinks).

So now I'm starting to wonder.  If I don't have an official marriage certificate...and NYC is incapable of giving me a chance to get one....does it mean...................

I wonder what the palimony laws are in New Jersey.

free' Ken, my marriage license is in the box with my tax returns and insurance stuff, right next to the divorce decree. :( (03/27/13)


REAL RACISM (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

This edition of the all-too-often-needed series is not about racism in the United States. It is about racism in a country that claims to have eliminated it a long time ago:  Cuba.

Years ago, I wrote a blog about how racist the Castro government was - i.e. the virtual non-existence of Black Cubans in positions of power or authority there. 

On Sunday, the New York Times (a surprising source for this kind of material) published a commentary by Roberto Zurbano - a man who wears many different hats (publisher, social commentator, music historian, radio deejay, etc.) talking about how racist Cuba has been under the Castro dictatorship, and how little progress has been made/how racist it remains to this day. 

This is not to say Zurbano is out of sympathy with the communist revolution itself:  although he doesn't specifically talk about it,  the tone of his piece suggests he is happy with a lot of what passes for existence in Cuba these days.  But, as a Black man of Cuban heritage (he currently lives in Connecticut) Zurbano talks very openly about how few doors are open to people of his race in that country. 

Here's a little taste for you:

Black Cubans have less property and money, and also have to contend with pervasive racism. Not long ago it was common for hotel managers, for example, to hire only white staff members, so as not to offend the supposed sensibilities of their European clientele.

That type of blatant racism has become less socially acceptable, but blacks are still woefully underrepresented in tourism - probably the economy's most lucrative sector - and are far less likely than whites to own their own businesses. Raul Castro has recognized the persistence of racism and has been successful in some areas (there are more black teachers and representatives in the National Assembly), but much remains to be done to address the structural inequality and racial prejudice that continue to exclude Afro-Cubans from the benefits of liberalization.

Racism in Cuba has been concealed and reinforced in part because it isn't talked about. The government hasn't allowed racial prejudice to be debated or confronted politically or culturally, often pretending instead as though it didn't exist. Before 1990, black Cubans suffered a paralysis of economic mobility while, paradoxically, the government decreed the end of racism in speeches and publications. To question the extent of racial progress was tantamount to a counterrevolutionary act. This made it almost impossible to point out the obvious: racism is alive and well.

Are you surprised that Castro told the world one thing, while reality was 180 degrees different from the words he mouthed?  Unless you happen to be one of the celebaboons like Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, etc,  who believe whatever any hard-leftist tells them, I'll assume your answer is no.  And good for you if it is.

Real racism.  It comes in all forms, from all sources.  No group is immune to it and no group is immune from it.  Not even the "workers' paradise" of Cuba, where Black people will be happy to tell you how wonderful things are....until they find a way to escape.


THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN CRUSADE (CONT.): THE INSTRUCTOR

Ken Berwitz

Twice over the past week I have written about a student at Florida Atlantic University, Ryan Rotella - a practicing Mormon who was suspended from the school, and threatened with a raft of criminal charges, for refusing an instructor's requirement that he, and other students, write "Jesus" on a piece of paper, toss it on the floor, and stomp on it.

The school first lied about suspending Mr. Rotella and threatening him this way.  But then, when the letter from an Associate Dean which specifically showed it all to be true was made public - primarily by Fox - you know, the folks who are constantly accused of not reporting news - the school suddenly had a change of heart; it allowed Rotela back in class and withdrew the threats against him (what else can you do when you are caught so dead to rights)?

But, so far as I am aware, the instructor, Deandre J. Poole, remains in good standing without any suspension or threats regarding his Jesus-bashing (stomping, more exactly) "assignment".

With this in mind, I thought you might be interested in knowing that:

-Poole is the Vice Chairperson of the Palm Beach Democratic Party, and

-is currently writing a book with the working title "Obamamania: The Rise of a Mythical Hero"

I can't tell you how shocked I am that Poole is a hardline Democrat and Obama lover.  (Please take that literally:  I really can't tell you how shocked I am.  Because I'm not).

Tell me:  What does it take for Florida Atlantic University to make this clown a mythical instructor?  Obviously not his Christian-bashing

FYI: Poole claims to be an observant Christian.  How can anyone take that seriously?  And, for that matter, given its behavior in this matter, how can anyone take Florida Atlantic University seriously?

free' I wonder what the reaction would have been if Mr. Rotella would have written Mohammed or Allah on the paper and followed through with the assignment. (03/27/13)


GAY MARRIAGE: THE KEY QUESTION

Ken Berwitz

 As the USSC continues to hear arguments about whether it is constitutional to define marriage as one man/one woman, I have a question:  who gives a damn - or, more exactly, who SHOULD give a damn?  Why is marriage anyone's business but the people who want to be married?

Here is a question opponents of gay marriage should ask themselves: in what way does same sex marriage alter or infringe upon hetersexual marriage?  The answer is, in no way at all.  The legality of gay marriage does not in any way prevent even one hetero couple from getting married. So why should it be an issue?

If gay marriage were being promoted as a substitute for hetero marriage, I would see the point: i.e. it would prevent people who are in love and want to share their lives together from doing so.  But legal same sex marriage doesn't PREVENT that from happening, it ALLOWS it to happen, for people who are CURRENTLY prevented from doing so. It seems to me that anyone who cherish
es basic freedom would celebrate this, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Similarly, if gay marriage were being forced on people - i.e. not between consenting adults - I would understand the objection. But, to tell you the truth, the only people I ever heard of who "had to get married" were heteros. I have never heard of any gay marriage that was not consensual in nature.

So, going back to the original point which, in my view, supersedes all others --- it is nobody's business but the couples who want to be married.

You don't like homosexuality?  You have a bunch of insulting names that you call gay people?  Congratulations.  This is the United States of America and you can be just as intolerant as you want to be - providing you don't inflict your intolerance on others.  So feel free to hate, to judge, to do whatever floats your boat, to your heart's content.  Just don't insist that other people live the way you think they should...and be happy that no one is poking around your personal life telling you to live their way.

"Live and let live" is more than just a saying. It is some of the best advice there is. How about, let's all do it?

WisOldMan The gay marriage debate has been a lopsided event since the start. What it boils down to is there are advocates for redefining marriage, and those who choose to prevent it from being redefined. Each has an equal right to do what they do. Our system allows for majority rule. It's okay to defend traditional marriage. It's also okay for gay marriage proponents to find a name for their new practice, and go for it. Problem solved. (03/28/13)

WisOldMan The gay marriage debate has been a lopsided event since the start. What it boils down to is there are advocates for redefining marriage, and those who choose to prevent it from being redefined. Each has an equal right to do what they do. Our system allows for majority rule. It's okay to defend traditional marriage. It's also okay for gay marriage proponents to find a name for their new practice, and go for it. Problem solved. (03/28/13)


DO TENTH GRADERS KNOW ABOUT VAGINAS?

Ken Berwitz

Call me a cockeyed optimist (there's got to be a bad pun in there somewhere),  but I'm betting the answer is yes, they do.  And I'm pretty sure you will agree with me.

So why are some parents of 10th grade students in Deitrich, Idaho having a cow over a teacher who, when discussing the reproductive system, mentioned that vaginas are involved?

Excerpted from Kimberlee Kruesi's article for Decatur, Idaho's Herald-Review:

A Dietrich science teacher is being investigated by the state's professional standards commission after a complaint from parents over his teaching methods.

Tim McDaniel is being investigated after a complaint was filed by a handful of parents who objected to how McDaniel taught the reproductive system, Dietrich Superintendent Neil Hollingshead said.

"It is highly unlikely it would end with his dismissal," Hollingshead said. "Maybe a letter of reprimand from the school board."

According to McDaniel, four parents were offended that he explained the biology of an orgasm and included the word "vagina" during his lesson on the human reproductive system in a tenth-grade biology course.

"I teach straight out of the textbook, I don't include anything that the textbook doesn't mention," McDaniel said. "But I give every student the option not attend this class when I teach on the reproductive system if they don't feel comfortable with the material."

The science teacher said he has taught Dietrich's science classes for the past 18 years without receiving a complaint from parents or students.

According to McDaniel, the commission is also investigating a complaint that accuses him of using school property to promote a political candidate. The complaint was because he showed the climate change film "An Inconvenient Truth," also in his science class.

Okay, which do you think it is?  Is it that Mr. McDaniel taught 16 year old teenagers that there is such a thing as an orgasm and that vaginas are involved in procreation, or is it an end-around attack on him because he showed "An Inconvenient Truth" to the class?

I don't know the context in which Mr. McDaniel showed "An Inconvenient Truth" - i.e. whether, for example, he balanced the positions it takes with material and/or a discussion of the other side of the issue - so I'm not in a position to judge.

But if the accepted curriculum for 10th graders is to teach about reproduction, how exactly is this done by not mentioning orgasm - which, for the male, is when sperm is ejaculated from the (gasp!) penis - and by not mentioning the vagina, which is both the entry point for that penis and, other than caesarian sections, where babies eventually leave the mother's body?

For teaching about these facts, Tim McDaniel is at risk of being reprimanded, or even being dismissed?  What would they have had him do instead?  Teach a class of 16 year olds that you make babies by putting a man's pee-pee into a woman's wee-wee?

There is nothing dirty or obscene about sex or the bodily organs involved with sex.  Having penis-vagina sex and climaxing is what happens during reproductive activity.  It is completely natural and completely acceptable.  Our mothers and fathers did this.  So did our grandparents, great grandparents, etc. etc. etc. Were they all perverts?  I hope not.

And this, of course, is before we get to the fact that, even without attending Tim McDaniel's class, average 16 year olds in Deitrich, Idaho are likely to be well acquainted with - maybe even actively involved with - the er, ins and outs of sexual activity.  At the very least they have heard of vaginas.  Heck, I'll bet about half the students have vaginas.

It seems to me that somehow, in the great scheme of things, there are a lot more worrisome things for our almost-adult children to come in contact with than basic information about natural physical functions.  That's something those parents should - citing another body organ - take to heart.

Zeke .... .... .... In England, the courts ruled that Inconvenient Truth may not be shown in schools UNLESS an opposing view is also shown in that class. ..... ..... (03/28/13)

free` Climate change is a myth, just like a womans' orgasm. ;) LOL (03/28/13)


MEDIA'S KERMIT GOSNELL PROBLEM (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

This week we have the start of kermit gosnell's trial.  gosnell is a Philadelphia doctor who made millions of dollars by performing abortions - except, it is alleged, sometimes the babies were born alive and he killed them. 

gosnell also is charged with anesthetizing his patients based on how much they could pay.  The more money, the more anesthesia, the less money the less anesthesia. 

In all, gosnell is charged with 8 counts of murder - one adult and 7 live babies - along with a raft of illegal procedures, including (but not limited to) falsifying how far along pregnant women were so that he could turn illegal abortions into legal ones.

Asking the readers who do not live in the Philadelphia area (though I probably could include them as well):  How much coverage have you seen or heard about this absolute monster's trial from our media?  As much as Tiller's shooting?  Half as much?  A quarter?  A tiny fraction?  Anything at all? 

I wrote those words last week, at the start of the kermit gosnell trial.

So, almost a week later, are media finally covering the trial of this alleged mass murdering monster who, among other offenses, had no problem killing live babies out of the womb?

Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center checked to see (who did you expect to check?  Mainstream media?  You're kidding, right?).  Here are a few excerpts detailing what he found out:

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell is on trial in Philadelphia, and not just for killing babies outside the womb, but also for killing a mother through reckless use of anesthesia. Network TV coverage of the trial? Zero on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS. CNN's entire coverage seems to be one sentence from Jake Tapper on March 21.

The New York Times wrote one story before the trial began on March 19 (buried on page A-17). The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today couldn't be "national" newspapers and report this trial.

They're not unaware of it. CBS aired one story after the initial clinic raid in 2011. NBC offered 50 words. CBS even passed along that Gosnell's clinic was described as a "house of horrors."  Now it's in court, and the networks can't find any horrors.

The trial testimony is graphic, and should make "choice" advocates sick to their stomachs. Again, see the AP: "A medical assistant told a jury Tuesday that she snipped the spines of at least 10 babies during unorthodox abortions at a West Philadelphia clinic, at the direction of the clinic's owner."

ABC, CBS, and NBC piled up 96 stories on Todd Akin's medically inept comments on rape and abortion, and also wallowed in outrage over Richard Mourdock's remarks on God's will and a child conceived in rape. Their pro-life rhetoric was sold as a major scandal. It's unbelievable that Dr. Gosnell's trial for his actions inside his "house of horrors" haven't drawn one network story.

Media have no problem being outraged by pro-lifers.  And this is fine.  When an Akins, or a Mourdoch, makes ridiculous comments, those comments should be fully reported and he should be held to account for what he said.  That is simple, basic news reportage.

But when an abortionist is accused, with what seems like massive, indisputable evidence, of being a mass murderer, mostly of just-born children - one who bent or ignored the laws regarding when abortions are and are not legal - and the same mainstream media which jumped all over Akins and Mourdoch completely ignore the story?  That is something very different.  It is simple, basic journalistic fraud.

Last week's blog ended this way:

See, our media have a problem.  The preponderance of media sentiment favors the legality of abortion.  And gosnell performed lots and lots of abortions. 

So the fact that he is charged with ignoring even the most rudimentary procedures in doing so, of lying about the stage of some women's pregnancies, of  doling out anesthesia on a "how much $$$ do you have" basis, and of killing the babies which, inconveniently, managed to be born alive?  Well we better tread softly on this one, guys.  If we are serious about reporting this we risk being attacked by NARAL, NOW, and other organized left-wing ideologues posing as "women's rights" groups.  We'll lose our credibility with them, and we can't have that.  Better to do some nominal reporting on gosnell, and go on to other news.

Like I said, media have a kermit gosnell problem.  Which means we have a media problem.

As you can see, I owe readers an apology.  When I speculated that mainstream media would restrict itself to "some nominal reporting on gosnell", I was wrong.  They aren't even doing that much.

Shame on these people.  They may think they are journalists, their business cards may say they are journalists, but they are no such thing.  They are propagandists for one side of this issue, and should - but probably won't be - ashamed of how they have prostituted their professional integrity in the process.

free` I will ask this question again, since no one answered it the last time I asked. When did reporters become "journalists"? You see Ken, what seems biased and fraudulent to us, is what a journalists job is, it is not what an old time REPORTERS job was. (03/27/13)


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