Wednesday, 29 May 2013

"ZERO TOLERANCE": ANOTHER TERM FOR "WE DON'T HAVE TO THINK"

Ken Berwitz

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" - a memorable lyric from "Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson and sung by Janis Joplin - her only #1 single.

The descent of common sense in education - as typified by the imbecilic "zero tolerance" rules so many schools now live by - matches up very well to that lyric...and continues unabated.

Here is the latest example.  See if you can even begin to make sense of it: 

A 6 year old child (his name has not been made public) at Old Mill Elementary School in Palmer, Massachusetts, has been given detention, and may temporarily lose his bus privileges, because he "traumatized" the children on his schoobus.

And how did he traumatize those children?  He did it by being in possession of something that looked like a weapon.

Want to see what this fearsome "weapon" looks like?  Ok.  Here, from the article in London's Daily Mail (I liked its coverage better than what I read stateside), is what, we are told, caused the "trauma":

Tiny weapon: A 6-year-old kindergarten student was slapped with detention for bringing this Lego gun, which is only slightly larger than a quarter, on a school bus  

 
Yep.  You got it.  A Lego "weapon", made of plastic, weighing a fraction of an ounce, and maybe twice the length of a quarter's diameter.  This is what is supposed to have "traumatized" a busload of children.
 
Does anyone in that school district have a brain?  One which works at enough of a functional level to say "this is ridiculous, just tell the child not to bring it in anymore and let it go"? 
 
I wonder how these geniuses feel about having either an armed guard at the school, or one or more faculty members trained in the safe use of a handgun, which would be stored safely under lock and key to be used in case an adam lanza wannabe showed up to commit the kind of mass murder we saw at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
 
I wonder if their attitude is that there should be no armed guard or faculty member capable of preventing a mass murder, but they are somehow doing something about the children's safety by punishing a 6 year old with a 1 1/2 inch plastic lego gun. 
 
Because if that is what they think, they need group therapy.  A lot of it.  And fast.
 
Zero tolerance:  Another term for "We don't have to think".  There it is in action.
 
==================================================================
 
UPDATE:  Has sanity prevailed - or has the Palmer, MA school district just been embarrassed into using a little common sense?
 
Excerpted from an article from UPI:

Massachusetts woman said officials at her son's school have backed off plans to discipline the kindergartener for bringing a Lego gun on the school bus.

Mieke Crane said she was initially told her son would have to write a letter of apology to the school bus driver, serve detention Tuesday and face suspension from the school bus for bringing the Lego gun -- which is slightly larger than a quarter -- on the bus to Old Mill Pond Elementary School in Palmer Friday morning, WGGB-TV, Springfield, Mass., reported Wednesday.

The principal of the school declined to speak with WGGB-TV, but Crane said she has since spoken to the official and her son will not be punished.

I certainly hope that, of the two possibilities mentioned above, it is the former rather than the latter.  Because it would mean that this insanity will not be duplicated if a similar incident arises in the future.
 
Let's keep our fingers crossed....

free` Ken, You don't get it, they have to catch them when they are very young, so they can reprogr err teach then to be against guns as they grow older. (05/29/13)


CACTUS PLOWER

Ken Berwitz

Most people know you should not drink and drive, but a lot of people do it anyway.

I'd like to think most people also know you should not engage in sexual intercourse when you drive.  But I'll bet not many have had experience learning that if you crash your car while having sex it is probably a bad idea to hide inside a cactus.But how many have first hand experience (though I'd like to think most folks would pretty much figure it out anyway).

What am I talking about?  Well, read the following excerpts from Patrick Lohmann's article in the Albuquerque Journal and you'll see:

A 25-year-old man is facing multiple charges after police said he was drunkenly having sex with a woman while driving, crashed his car and then ran from police.

Luis Briones, 25, was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night, hiding in a cactus, after he crashed his Ford Explorer on the 2600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NE on Monday night.

Briones female passenger was found naked outside the vehicle after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head, but was in stable condition when she was sent to the hospital, police said.

Witnesses told police Briones was clearly drunk when he got out of his car, and officers found a partially full bottle of vodka in the vehicle.

When Briones tried to drive away from the scene, leaving his passenger behind, a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition.

Thats when Briones tried to take cover in a cactus, where he later refused police demands and became hostile with paramedics and others, police said.

When Briones was in the police car, he refused to keep his pants on, police said.

How's that for bizarre.

Tell you what, though:  If I had one shoe off and was trying to get my shorts on, about the last place I would try to hide is in a cactus.  That could make for a really prickly situation.

There is no truth to the rumor that his naked companion said, this time, the earth really did move.  

The police did not believe Briones's claim that he did it because his doctor recommended that he work on his sex drive.

Ok, that's enough.  Next bad joke is yours.


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: STILL HAS BARACK OBAMA'S BACK

Ken Berwitz

I guess the Associated Press doesn't spying on their reporters such a big deal after all.

An AP release, today, tells readers that "many people" this fall will find that their insurance plans - the ones President Obama told them they could keep - will not be available to them, because they will not meet the criteria necessary to be acceptable under ObamaCare.

That is bad news, right?  That means President Obama either did not know what he was talking about or lied to their faces, right?

Well, not if you keep reading.  Further on, you find this:

But supporters of the overhaul are betting that consumers won't object once they realize that the new coverage they will get is better than current bare-bones plans.

Maybe I missed the disclaimer, at the beginning of this piece, that said "Editorial content, contains opinions, should not be viewed as a straight news story".  Let me double-check.

Nope, it's not there. 

But, absent any such disclaimer, there is the Associated Press telling me that ObamaCare supporters figure the people losing their insurance policies will be ok with the fact that they were grossly misinformed by President Obama, because the new coverage they will be forced to take is better than what they had.

Says WHO?  It certainly is not the policyholders - who are currently unaware that their policies are being deep-sixed and therefore cannot be asked. 

That leaves Barack Obama, the guy who misinformed them, his supporters, who are inherently biased in his favor, or the AP writer. 

The first two are obviously 100% partisan, this we know.  And unless I'm missing something, wouldn't the writer, Ricardo Alonzo-Zalvidar, have to be just as partisan to insert this into his story as if it were a fact? 

Bottom line:  this is not news.  This is propaganda.  And, astonishingly, the propaganda is coming from a "news" venue which should be triple-wary of the administration its propaganda is protecting.

If you are wondering how completely in the tank some media are for Barack Obama, this should be very instructive to you. 


SARAH HALL INGRAM UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Remember sarah hall ingram?  Remember that she is:

-The head of the IRS Tax Exemption Division before lois lerner? 

-The one under whom the targeting of groups most likely to be critical of Barack Obama went into high gear?

-The one who, for her successful efforts in minimizing contributions to those groups, which accrued so heavily to the benefit of Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats, has been promoted to head the IRS's enforcement of ObamaCare?

Well, if you do, you've got one up on our wonderful "neutral' media.  Because, to them, the sarah hall ingram story lasted one day, if that long.

Take a good look at the newspapers.  The network news.  The morning shows.  Try and find her name.  You will see that media have completely buried this huge scandal, which is right in front of their faces, every bit as much as it is right in front of ours.

I, however, will keep reminding you, and anyone else who reads this blog, about it - and hope that at least a few people in mainstream media, who care about their journalistic integrity, will join me in doing so.

The fact that this  is the right thing to do may not be very important to most of these folks, but it should be.


TRAYVON TRAVESTY? (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

As the trial of George Zimmerman, on the charge of second degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin, moves closer....

....Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press reports that:

A court employee who retrieved photos and deleted text messages from Trayvon Martin's cellphone has been placed on administrative leave after an attorney testified that prosecutors didn't properly turn over the evidence to the defense, an attorney said Wednesday.

Can George Zimmerman possibly get a fair trial?  And even if he did, would the fact that there is no way in the world the prosecution can prove second degree murder even going to matter?

Is this case being cooked, out of fear that activists and radicals will riot if George Zimmerman is not sacrificed to them?

Stay tuned.

Zeke .... ... O.J. trial, in reverse. .... .... ..... There is a good chance that a Zimmerman conviction would be reversed, and they'd have to do the whole thing over. .... .... The prosecution withholding evidence is grounds for that. ..... .... (05/29/13)


THE LATEST CABLE NEWS RATINGS

Ken Berwitz

FYI, here, from hollywoodreporter.com, are the latest Neilsen cable news ratings:  for May, 2013, compared to May, 2012:

Total Day

FNC: 1,246,000 total viewers, up 24 percent (236,000 in 25-54, down 5 percent)
CNN: 465,000 total viewers, up 61 percent (161,000 in 25-54, up 92 percent)
MSNBC: 346,000 total viewers, down 10 percent (115,000 in 25-54, down 7 percent)
HLN: 494,000 total viewers, up 111 percent (175,000 in 25-54, up 90 percent)
 
Primetime

FNC: 1,973,000 total viewers, up 17 percent (308,000 in 25-54, down 6 percent)
CNN: 660,000 total viewers, up 70 percent (225,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)
MSNBC: 539,000 total viewers, down 20 percent (175,000 in 25-54, down 19 percent)
HLN: 624,000 total viewers, up 91 percent (209,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)

So what do we have here:

-Fox News is blowing everyone else away in total, with more viewers than all the other three combined.

-Fox retains a very large lead in the key 25-54 demographic as well - though a) it is nowhere near as dramatic as the lead in total viewership and b) it has dropped somewhat from last year.

-MSNBC is getting its collective backside kicked, and hard:  the only cable news network to take a dive.  By contrast, CNN has made a fast recovery from its catastrophic viewership levels of last year and Headline News (HLN) -  in no small part, Hollywood Reporter suspects, because of its Jody Arias coverage - has made a big move as well.

Another interesting tidbit - one we have discussed several times already in this blog - is that Chris Hayes' "All In" show not only is tanking big-time (32% less viewership than Ed Schultz, the guy Hayes replaced), but it is taking Rachel Maddow down with it (she has the lowest ratings since her show started in 2008).

What does all this mean?  You decide.  Me, I'm going home and eating dinner.


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from the great Washington Post columnist and brilliant Fox News commentator, Charles Krauthammer.

Here, ominously, is what Mr. Krauthammer has to say about where the Benghazi scandal has yet to go:

"He had a routine meeting at five o'clock. He never after, during the eight hours when our guys have their lives in danger, he never called the Secretary of Defense, he never calls the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he never calls the CIA Director.  

"Who does he call? About five hours in he calls the Secretary of State. And after the phone call she releases a statement essentially about the video and how we denounce any intolerance. 

"It looks as if the only phone call was to construct a cover story at a time when the last two Americans who died were still alive and fighting for their lives. There's the scandal and that has to be uncovered."

Is Mr. Krauthammer right?  Was the real Barack Obama - not the Democrat construct but the real one - callously indifferent to the lives of our personnel in Benghazi, and only interested about protecting his re-election prospects?

And, even if Mr. Krauthammer is right, will Barack Obama's Accomplice Media sniff it out and report it?  For that matter, even if they do not sniff it out, will they report it if someone else does?

Charles Krauthammer, in typical fasihion, is on point, logical and insightful, as he reminds us of how truly sickening the possibilities are regarding Benghazi.

For that, Quote Of The Day honors are his.


THE IRS SCANDAL: BLOWING SKY-HIGH

Ken Berwitz

The IRS scandal - or, as I have been calling it, the Lie-RS scandal - not only is not going away, it is blowing sky-high.  Here is the latest, via excerpts from an article at, of all places, NBC News:

Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing 27 conservative political advocacy organizations that applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, provided some of the letters to NBC News.  He said the groups' contacts with the IRS prove that the practices went beyond a few "front line" employees in the Cincinnati office, as the IRS has maintained.

 "We've dealt with 15 agents, including tax law specialists -- that's lawyers -- from four different offices, including (the) Treasury (Department) in Washington, D.C.," Sekulow said. "So the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct."

Among the letters were several that bore return IRS addresses other than Cincinnati, including "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C.," and the signatures of IRS officials higher up the chain. Two letters with "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C." letterhead were signed by "Tax Law Specialist(s)" from Exempt Organizations Technical Group 1 and Technical Group 2. Lerner's signature, which appeared to be a stamp rather than an actual signature, appeared on a letter requesting additional information from the Ohio Liberty Council Corp.

Does that look like the work of a couple of low-level people in one location to you?  Or, put another way, could we possibly have been lied to more blatantly?

And who has lied to us?  Here is how I see it:

-lois lerner, current head of the Tax Exempt division (now on PAID administrative leave - otherwise known as a vacation in which you don't lose vacation time)?  Yep. 

-steven miller - acting head of the IRS, who President Obama accepted a resignation from with great fanfare -- but it turned out his temporary stint was over in early June and he was leaving anyway, so even that was a lie?  Yep.

-douglas shulman - former head of the IRS, who claims he either had no involvement with, or could not recall, virtually anything at all relating to the IRS scandal:  the same douglas shulman who Democrats told us, countless times, was a Bush appointee - but who contributed $500 to the DNC in 2004, to be used against Bush and, in any case, has served at the pleasure of President Obama for the last four years?  Yep.

-neal wolin, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, who, like shulman, saw, heard and remembers nothing?  Yep.

-eric holder - who, as Attorney General, has made a career of lying to our faces over and over again about scandal after scandal?  Yep

-President Obama - who, if we were stupid enough to believe him, is the single most uninformed President in the history of the United States - not only about the IRS scandal but about everything else he is supposed to be in charge of?  Yep.

And what were the consequences of the IRS targeting groups from only one side of the aisle, while leaving tax free exemptions in place for such "non-political" groups on the left as mediamatters.org, the Center for American Progress (CAP), moveon.org, etc. etc. etc.?  Nobody knows for sure, but it is at least a possibility that the ability for the left to solicit tax-free donations while groups on the right could not, is what won President Obama his re-election last year.

This is not going away.  And - I keep saying this, I keep being right about it, and I'm saying it again now - it is virtually certain that the worst is yet to come.

Oh, one other thing.  As mentioned earlier, I referenced an article at the NBC News web site for this blog.  But on the Today show this morning?  Unless it was barely mentioned in passing, the IRS scandal went unreported.  Here are videos of each show segment - see for yourself.

In other words, NBC has covered its rear by putting the latest IRS news on its web site, but the millions of Today Show viewers, many of whom rely on Today for their news, have no idea at all about the latest on this huge-and-growing scandal.

Keep 'em ignorant and you own 'em. 


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from the great Washington Post columnist and brilliant Fox News commentator, Charles Krauthammer.

Here, ominously, is what Mr. Krauthammer has to say about where the Benghazi scandal has yet to go:

"He had a routine meeting at five o'clock. He never after, during the eight hours when our guys have their lives in danger, he never called the Secretary of Defense, he never calls the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he never calls the CIA Director.  

"Who does he call? About five hours in he calls the Secretary of State. And after the phone call she releases a statement essentially about the video and how we denounce any intolerance. 

"It looks as if the only phone call was to construct a cover story at a time when the last two Americans who died were still alive and fighting for their lives. There's the scandal and that has to be uncovered."

Is Mr. Krauthammer right?  Was the real Barack Obama - not the Democrat construct but the real one - callously indifferent to the lives of our personnel in Benghazi, and only interested about protecting his re-election prospects?

And, even if Mr. Krauthammer is right, will Barack Obama's Accomplice Media sniff it out and report it?  For that matter, even if they do not sniff it out, will they report it if someone else does?

Charles Krauthammer, in typical fasihion, is on point, logical and insightful, as he reminds us of how truly sickening the possibilities are regarding Benghazi.

For that, Quote Of The Day honors are his.


THE IRS SCANDAL: BLOWING SKY-HIGH

Ken Berwitz

The IRS scandal - or, as I have been calling it, the Lie-RS scandal - not only is not going away, it is blowing sky-high.  Here is the latest, via excerpts from an article at, of all places, NBC News:

Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing 27 conservative political advocacy organizations that applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, provided some of the letters to NBC News.  He said the groups' contacts with the IRS prove that the practices went beyond a few "front line" employees in the Cincinnati office, as the IRS has maintained.

 "We've dealt with 15 agents, including tax law specialists -- that's lawyers -- from four different offices, including (the) Treasury (Department) in Washington, D.C.," Sekulow said. "So the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct."

Among the letters were several that bore return IRS addresses other than Cincinnati, including "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C.," and the signatures of IRS officials higher up the chain. Two letters with "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C." letterhead were signed by "Tax Law Specialist(s)" from Exempt Organizations Technical Group 1 and Technical Group 2. Lerner's signature, which appeared to be a stamp rather than an actual signature, appeared on a letter requesting additional information from the Ohio Liberty Council Corp.

Does that look like the work of a couple of low-level people in one location to you?  Or, put another way, could we possibly have been lied to more blatantly?

And who has lied to us?  Here is how I see it:

-lois lerner, current head of the Tax Exempt division (now on PAID administrative leave - otherwise known as a vacation in which you don't lose vacation time)?  Yep. 

-steven miller - acting head of the IRS, who President Obama accepted a resignation from with great fanfare -- but it turned out his temporary stint was over in early June and he was leaving anyway, so even that was a lie?  Yep.

-douglas shulman - former head of the IRS, who claims he either had no involvement with, or could not recall, virtually anything at all relating to the IRS scandal:  the same douglas shulman who Democrats told us, countless times, was a Bush appointee - but who contributed $500 to the DNC in 2004, to be used against Bush and, in any case, has served at the pleasure of President Obama for the last four years?  Yep.

-neal wolin, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, who, like shulman, saw, heard and remembers nothing?  Yep.

-eric holder - who, as Attorney General, has made a career of lying to our faces over and over again about scandal after scandal?  Yep

-President Obama - who, if we were stupid enough to believe him, is the single most uninformed President in the history of the United States - not only about the IRS scandal but about everything else he is supposed to be in charge of?  Yep.

And what were the consequences of the IRS targeting groups from only one side of the aisle, while leaving tax free exemptions in place for such "non-political" groups on the left as mediamatters.org, the Center for American Progress (CAP), moveon.org, etc. etc. etc.?  Nobody knows for sure, but it is at least a possibility that the ability for the left to solicit tax-free donations while groups on the right could not, is what won President Obama his re-election last year.

This is not going away.  And - I keep saying this, I keep being right about it, and I'm saying it again now - it is virtually certain that the worst is yet to come.

Oh, one other thing.  As mentioned earlier, I referenced an article at the NBC News web site for this blog.  But on the Today show this morning?  Unless it was barely mentioned in passing, the IRS scandal went unreported.  Here are videos of each show segment - see for yourself.

In other words, NBC has covered its rear by putting the latest IRS news on its web site, but the millions of Today Show viewers, many of whom rely on Today for their news, have no idea at all about the latest on this huge-and-growing scandal.

Keep 'em ignorant and you own 'em. 


CACTUS PLOWER

Ken Berwitz

Most people know you should not drink and drive, but a lot of people do it anyway.

I'd like to think most people also know you should not engage in sexual intercourse when you drive.  But I'll bet not many have had experience learning that if you crash your car while having sex it is probably a bad idea to hide inside a cactus.But how many have first hand experience (though I'd like to think most folks would pretty much figure it out anyway).

What am I talking about?  Well, read the following excerpts from Patrick Lohmann's article in the Albuquerque Journal and you'll see:

A 25-year-old man is facing multiple charges after police said he was drunkenly having sex with a woman while driving, crashed his car and then ran from police.

Luis Briones, 25, was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night, hiding in a cactus, after he crashed his Ford Explorer on the 2600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NE on Monday night.

Briones female passenger was found naked outside the vehicle after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head, but was in stable condition when she was sent to the hospital, police said.

Witnesses told police Briones was clearly drunk when he got out of his car, and officers found a partially full bottle of vodka in the vehicle.

When Briones tried to drive away from the scene, leaving his passenger behind, a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition.

Thats when Briones tried to take cover in a cactus, where he later refused police demands and became hostile with paramedics and others, police said.

When Briones was in the police car, he refused to keep his pants on, police said.

How's that for bizarre.

Tell you what, though:  If I had one shoe off and was trying to get my shorts on, about the last place I would try to hide is in a cactus.  That could make for a really prickly situation.

There is no truth to the rumor that his naked companion said, this time, the earth really did move.  

The police did not believe Briones's claim that he did it because his doctor recommended that he work on his sex drive.

Ok, that's enough.  Next bad joke is yours.


THE LATEST CABLE NEWS RATINGS

Ken Berwitz

FYI, here, from hollywoodreporter.com, are the latest Neilsen cable news ratings:  for May, 2013, compared to May, 2012:

Total Day

FNC: 1,246,000 total viewers, up 24 percent (236,000 in 25-54, down 5 percent)
CNN: 465,000 total viewers, up 61 percent (161,000 in 25-54, up 92 percent)
MSNBC: 346,000 total viewers, down 10 percent (115,000 in 25-54, down 7 percent)
HLN: 494,000 total viewers, up 111 percent (175,000 in 25-54, up 90 percent)
 
Primetime

FNC: 1,973,000 total viewers, up 17 percent (308,000 in 25-54, down 6 percent)
CNN: 660,000 total viewers, up 70 percent (225,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)
MSNBC: 539,000 total viewers, down 20 percent (175,000 in 25-54, down 19 percent)
HLN: 624,000 total viewers, up 91 percent (209,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)

So what do we have here:

-Fox News is blowing everyone else away in total, with more viewers than all the other three combined.

-Fox retains a very large lead in the key 25-54 demographic as well - though a) it is nowhere near as dramatic as the lead in total viewership and b) it has dropped somewhat from last year.

-MSNBC is getting its collective backside kicked, and hard:  the only cable news network to take a dive.  By contrast, CNN has made a fast recovery from its catastrophic viewership levels of last year and Headline News (HLN) -  in no small part, Hollywood Reporter suspects, because of its Jody Arias coverage - has made a big move as well.

Another interesting tidbit - one we have discussed several times already in this blog - is that Chris Hayes' "All In" show not only is tanking big-time (32% less viewership than Ed Schultz, the guy Hayes replaced), but it is taking Rachel Maddow down with it (she has the lowest ratings since her show started in 2008).

What does all this mean?  You decide.  Me, I'm going home and eating dinner.


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