Monday, 19 August 2013

THE WORST UMPIRE CALL OF THE YEAR

Ken Berwitz

Please note that I write this as a long-time New York Yankee fan, who wishes alex rodriguez would just disappear, and never wear a Yankee uniform again.

That said, in last night's game between the Yankees and their most intense rivals, the Boston Red Sox, rodriguez came to bat in the second inning.  Boston's pitcher, ryan dempster threw four pitches at rodriguez.  The fourth hit him square in the rib case.

There was no doubt whatsoever that Ryan was throwing at rodriguez.  I did not see the sequence when it happened (my wife and I were driving home from a beautiful day with our son, daughter in law and grandchildren), but saw the the videotape afterwards, and it was impossible to draw any other conclusion. 

In case you have any doubts at all, here is a slow-motion video of the first pitch to rodriguez (which was aimed straight at his legs and wound up behind him) and the fourth pitch, which hit him dead in the rib cage. 

The Boston fans certainly knew what was going on, and screamed with delight at every attempt - erupting into delirium when dempster finally hit rodriguez. (At this point I should note that Boston Red Sox fans have, for many years, been thought of as among the worst in baseball, going back to when they used to boo Ted Williams.  Ted Williams, for God sake - the greatest Red Sox player of them all).

So what was home plate umpire Brian O'Nora's reaction to four pitches aimed at rodriguez's body, one of which successfully hit him (a 92 mile per hour fastball, by the way)?  He ran out toward the mound, and animatedly......warned both teams not to do it again.

Incredible.   Instead of throwing dempster out of the game, which he had full authority to do, the umpire left him in the game.  And, by warning both teams, it meant that if the Yankees retaliated, it would be their pitcher tossed out, not the Red Sox clown.  In other words, a free shot at the Yankees.

How did Yankee manager Joe Girardi react?  I suspect you already have an idea.

 He ran - and I mean at top speed - out of the dugout and, in the words of my son, "went absolutely ape-manure"...except my son didn't use the word manure.  Girardi wound up being thrown out of the game and - given that during his rage, he tossed a roundhouse "punch" in the umpire's direction (nowhere near close enough to be accused of actually trying to hit him), I'm guessing he will be suspended for some number of games as well.

This could not be more unfair.

If major league baseball can get by its (understandable) distaste for alex rodriguez, and make a ruling based on reason alone, not only should ryan dempster be given a suspension, but so should O'Nora, for his unbelievably idiotic decision.

I've seen some pretty bad calls this year - both in favor of and against the Yankees.  But this tops them all.

free` I had a feeling that this was going to happen. (08/19/13)


OBAMACARE: THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE FINALLY GETS IT

Ken Berwitz

It took almost five years.  Five years of obeisance to their lord and savior.  But, just yesterday, the Chicago Tribune's editorial board - too late, of course, since Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term - has finally noticed what a monstrosity ObamaCare is.

Excerpted from yesterday's editorial (but please click here to read every word, because there is a lot more):

Democrats strong-armed Obamacare into law three years ago. Now they're busy flouting it.

The mandate that employers provide insurance next year or pay a penalty, as the law requires? Delayed for at least a year.

The law's dictate that people applying for federal subsidies to buy insurance provide proof that they're eligible for the government aid? Scaled back.

Sharp limits on Americans' out-of-pocket costs for health care? Suspended for a year.

Providing members of Congress and more than 10,000 staff members with federal health care subsidies that the law does not allow? Done, via a deal brokered by President Barack Obama.

And on and on.

Millions of Americans...stand to gain or lose from how this law is enforced - with the Obama administration bending that enforcement in ways that test, and arguably exceed, the boundaries of lawful conduct.

Bottom line: Let's delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch. Lawmakers can build on what all of us have learned from three years of painful trial and error. Three years of attempting, but failing, to make this clumsy monstrosity work for the American people.

The problem?  ObamaCare, however salutary its intentions may have been, is an ill-conceived, unbelievably badly written monstrosity - so bad, in fact, that Mr. Obama has decided to ignore the U.S. Constitution in an effort to pick and choose which of its parts he is going to implement and which he is going to ignore. 

Remember, please that this is Barack Obama's own law that he insisted on and which Democrats solely wrote.  Every word of it. 

Why is Mr. Obama doing this - apart from his ongoing disregard of the constitution he swore to preserve, protect and defend, that is?  Because if ObamaCare were implemented in its entirety when the law says it has to be -i.e. before the 2014 elections - there would be a political bloodbath so bad that Democrats would probably fall even further into minority status in the house and lose the senate outright.

Does this make you angry?  Sick to your stomach?  If so, I understand completely and share your feelings.  But let's place the blame where it belongs.

We voted this Chicago machine politician, unqualified for the office and in 100 miles over his head, to the presidency in 2008.  And after experiencing four years of little other than his failures, we voted him right back to the presidency last year.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.


ED SCHULTZ: REPATRIATED TO WEEKDAYS

Ken Berwitz

Here, apparently, is how Phil Griffin, who runs the relentlessly far-left MSNBC, admits a huge mistake.

Several months ago, Griffin removed Ed Schultz from MSNBC's prime time lineup (at 8:00PM, where he competed against Fox's perrenially top-rated Bill O'Reilly) and exiled him to MSNBC's version of Elba:  a late-afternoon weekend slot, where he had as much of a chance to generate ratings as Twiggy has to win this year's Biggest Loser competition.  Griffin, in his professional wisdom, replaced Mr. Schultz with Chris Hayes, The weenie of all weenies:  hard left, nerdy, and steroidally doctrinaire.

Well, tempus has fugited.  And now, less than half a year later, we have this memo to MSNBCers, from the self-same Phil Griffin:

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM PHIL GRIFFIN

I wanted to share some exciting news with you.

Starting Monday, August 26, "The Ed Show" is moving back to weeknights, now at 5 p.m. ET. "Hardball with Chris Matthews" will move to one, strong run at 7 p.m. ET.

Chris and the "Hardball" team have been the cornerstone of our evening lineup, pulling double duty for us at both 5p and 7p for years. This move will help us enhance the flow of our weeknight programming and concentrate Chris' audience to one key time period. And this allows us to bring Ed's powerful voice back to the Monday-Friday schedule. Ed connects with our viewers and I'm happy to have him back five nights a week. I've been thinking about making this change for quite a while and I know now is the right time with the right shows.

The full press release is below. My thanks to Chris, Ed, John Reiss, James Holm and the "Hardball" and "The Ed Show" teams.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. We have a lot to look forward to this fall.

PHIL

So what do we have here:

-Ed Schultz, who never got more than about 40% as many viewers as Bill O'Reilly, has been repatriated to the weekday lineup.

-However, he is not re-replacing Chris Hayes, whose audience usually is about 20% - 30% of O'Reilly's ... which, the last time I checked, is appreciably less than what Schultz was getting.

-Instead, Hayes (at least as of now) remains in the 8PM slot.  And Schultz is replacing the always low-rated Chris Matthews in his 5PM slot, with Matthews now being on only a 7PM instead of both 5PM and 7PM, neither of which he has ever done well in (what does this guy have on Griffin anyway). 

So the sum total of all this strurm und drang is that 8PM - the heart of prime time, not to mention the lead-in to Rachel Maddow's show - remains a disaster (how thrilled Ms. Maddow must be).  And if Schultz is really good, he will lose to Fox's "The Five" at 5PM by less than Matthews does.

This is how you correct a mistake?

Way to go, Phil.  No wonder MSNBC is where it is.


ED SCHULTZ: REPATRIATED TO WEEKDAYS

Ken Berwitz

Here, apparently, is how Phil Griffin, who runs the relentlessly far-left MSNBC, admits a huge mistake.

Several months ago, Griffin removed Ed Schultz from MSNBC's prime time lineup (at 8:00PM, where he competed against Fox's perrenially top-rated Bill O'Reilly) and exiled him to MSNBC's version of Elba:  a late-afternoon weekend slot, where he had as much of a chance to generate ratings as Twiggy has to win this year's Biggest Loser competition.  Griffin, in his professional wisdom, replaced Mr. Schultz with Chris Hayes, The weenie of all weenies:  hard left, nerdy, and steroidally doctrinaire.

Well, tempus has fugited.  And now, less than half a year later, we have this memo to MSNBCers, from the self-same Phil Griffin:

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM PHIL GRIFFIN

I wanted to share some exciting news with you.

Starting Monday, August 26, "The Ed Show" is moving back to weeknights, now at 5 p.m. ET. "Hardball with Chris Matthews" will move to one, strong run at 7 p.m. ET.

Chris and the "Hardball" team have been the cornerstone of our evening lineup, pulling double duty for us at both 5p and 7p for years. This move will help us enhance the flow of our weeknight programming and concentrate Chris' audience to one key time period. And this allows us to bring Ed's powerful voice back to the Monday-Friday schedule. Ed connects with our viewers and I'm happy to have him back five nights a week. I've been thinking about making this change for quite a while and I know now is the right time with the right shows.

The full press release is below. My thanks to Chris, Ed, John Reiss, James Holm and the "Hardball" and "The Ed Show" teams.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. We have a lot to look forward to this fall.

PHIL

So what do we have here:

-Ed Schultz, who never got more than about 40% as many viewers as Bill O'Reilly, has been repatriated to the weekday lineup.

-However, he is not re-replacing Chris Hayes, whose audience usually is about 20% - 30% of O'Reilly's ... which, the last time I checked, is appreciably less than what Schultz was getting.

-Instead, Hayes (at least as of now) remains in the 8PM slot.  And Schultz is replacing the always low-rated Chris Matthews in his 5PM slot, with Matthews now being on only a 7PM instead of both 5PM and 7PM, neither of which he has ever done well in (what does this guy have on Griffin anyway). 

So the sum total of all this strurm und drang is that 8PM - the heart of prime time, not to mention the lead-in to Rachel Maddow's show - remains a disaster (how thrilled Ms. Maddow must be).  And if Schultz is really good, he will lose to Fox's "The Five" at 5PM by less than Matthews does.

This is how you correct a mistake?

Way to go, Phil.  No wonder MSNBC is where it is.


EGYPT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

The killing continues.

Yesterday, anti-government forces in Egypt ambushed two trucks carrying off-duty police officers, and executed 25 of them.

And at least 35 protesters, who had been arrested and were being convoyed, by truck, to a different location, were killed by government forces, who claimed they were trying to escape.  One report claimed that the protestors somehow took a police officer hostage - so they fired tear gas into the truck and that was the end of the protesters (I have no idea what became of the police officer, if he existed at all).  Another claimed the tear-gassing was precipitated when gunmen tried to free the protestors

I pulled both of the above links from drudgereport.com.  But it should also be noted that I saw/heard the stories on NBC's Today Show as well.

And, as usual, there was no reference at all to the fact that these latest deadly incidents - the latest in a sequence which appears about to explode into full-scale civil war - was started by the deposing of Hosni Mubarak - which was accomplished with the full cooperation and support of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

At what point do the "journalists" on Today, and their kindred palls among the Accomplice Media, start tying what is happening in Egypt to who was instrumental in making it happen? 

Or is it that their lord and savior, Barack Obama, is so untouchable to them that they can never let it happen?

My opinion?  The events, and the subsequent reporting (or should I say non-reporting), speaks for itself.

Shame on them.


THIS IS A LIBRARIAN?

Ken Berwitz

How do you feel about librarians who discourage excellence?

If you like the idea....you're going to love Marie Gandron, the Public Library Director of Hudson Falls (New York).

Excerpted from Meg Hagerty's article in the Post-Star:

HUDSON FALLS - Tyler Weaver calls himself "the king of the reading club" at Hudson Falls Public Library. But now it seems Hudson Falls Public Library Director Marie Gandron wants to end his reign and have him dethroned.

The 9-year-old boy, who will be starting fifth grade next month, won the six-week-long "Dig into Reading" event by completing 63 books from June 24 to Aug. 3, averaging more than 10 a week.

His younger brother, Jonathan, 7, won second place two years in a row now, completing more than 40 books this time.

Prizes were also awarded for the top reader in the kindergarten division, best rock people creations and best coloring entries.

(Tyler's mother) Katie said she is "extremely proud" of her sons' accomplishments, especially Tyler for having held his title for this long..."Everybody he tells, he gets high-fives. Everybody's so proud of him."

Everybody, it seems, but Gandron, who was surprised to learn Katie notified a Post-STart reporter about her son being a longtime winner.  During a phone call Tuesday to Gandron, the library director said Tyler "hogs" the contest every year and he should "step aside."

"Other kids quit because they can't keep up," Gandron said.

Gandron further told the reporter she planned to change the rules of the contest so that instead of giving prizes to the children who read the most books, she would draw names out of a hat and declare winners that way. She said she can't now because Katie has come forward to the newspaper.

Katie said if Gandron takes an alternate approach to the contest next year, neither of her sons will participate and they'll head to Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls.

"I don't see the downside of Tyler winning five years in a row. I think people should be proud of him, especially a library director," she said.

I keep trying to figure out what makes sense here.  And I keep not finding anything.

We have a librarian - someone who should be thrilled with a child who reads this voraciously - holding it against him, accusing him of "hogging" the reading contest he wins because of his love of reading, and who thinks a better way of picking the winner of a reading contest is to ignore how much the children read and pick a name out of a hat.

And now she is upset because, since the child's mother notified a newspaper of his achievement, she can't turn the reading contest into a lucky draw.

This is a librarian

It seems to me, Hudson Falls should do some reading of its own:  reading the riot act to Marie Gandron.  Then offering her a position more in keeping with her ideas. 

 Like running a local BINGO tournament, for example.

free` Ken it is the same thing as not keeping score in tee-ball games, they don't want their to be any losers. It is how libs want the whole world to work. How hard you work is held against you. (08/20/13)


NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG EXPLAINS STOP AND FRISK

Ken Berwitz

I can't say that I'm New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's biggest fan.  But he has written an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, which explains New York's stop-and-frisk policy - why it is in place, why it is working and how many people would be dead if it were abolished - which should be must-reading for every decent person...

...but most especially for a) the Washington Post editorial board, which Mr. Bloomberg reams in his piece and b) Judge shira scheindlin, the far left activist ________ (fill in your own adjective, mine is too profane to post here) who, earlier this week, ruled the procedure unconstitutional.

Here are just a few excerpts.  But read them only if you promise to then use the link I've provided and read the entire piece, because every word deserves to be seen:

New York is the safest big city in the nation, and our crime reductions have been steeper than any other big city's. For instance, if New York City had the murder rate of Washington, D.C., 761 more New Yorkers would have been killed last year. If our murder rate had mirrored the District's over the course of my time as mayor, 21,651 more people would have been killed. That's more than Georgetown University's student body, faculty and administrative staff.

Based on crime data, we know that more than 90 percent of those 21,651 individuals would have been black and Hispanic. Some of them would have been children.

And yet this month, in two separate editorials, The Post lectured our police department about protecting the civil liberties of New Yorkers. The Post swallowed - hook, line and sinker - the attack leveled on the New York Police Department's (NYPD) practice of stopping, questioning and frisking by an ideologically driven federal judge who has a history of ruling against the police.

This judge ruled that our police officers on patrol - a majority of whom are black, Hispanic and other minorities - engaged in "indirect racial profiling." Never once in the judge's 197-page opinion did she mention the lives that have been saved because of the stops those officers made. Instead, throughout the recent trial, she showed disdain for our police officers and the dangerous work they do.

Unlike many cities, where wealthy areas get special treatment, the NYPD targets its manpower to the areas that suffer the highest crime levels. Ninety percent of all people killed in our city - and 90 percent of all those who commit the murders and other violent crimes - are black and Hispanic. It is shameful that so many elected officials and editorial writers have been largely silent on these facts.

Instead, they have argued that police stops are discriminatory because they do not reflect the city's overall census numbers. By that flawed logic, our police officers would stop women as often as men and senior citizens as often as young people. To do so would be a colossal misdirection of resources and would take the core elements of police work - targeting high-crime neighborhoods and identifying suspects based on evidence - out of crime-fighting. The absurd result of such a strategy would be far more crimes committed against black and Latino New Yorkers. When it comes to policing, political correctness is deadly.

Amazingly, out of several million stops that have happened over the past decade, the advocates who brought the case could identify only 19 stops that they believe were unjustified - and the judge disagreed with them on a majority of even those handpicked cases, finding that 10 of the 19 stops were in fact justified, even though they did not lead to an arrest.

Her decision was hardly a surprise. Even before the case began, as media have reported, the judge offered strategic advice to the plaintiffs about how to file the lawsuit in a way that would ensure she heard it, rather than another judge. Blind justice gave way to brazen activism.

Amazing, isn't it?  New York City's stop and frisk is a policy that makes sense, works, and mostly protects Black and Latino citizens.  But this ________ judge (you'll have to use your own adjective again, for the same reason as before), stacks the deck so she gets to rule on it, concocts a rationale for calling it racist, and rules against it on that basis.

In a sense, I suppose Judge scheindlin does have a point.  Since the preponderance of lives being saved are Black and Latino, it can be argued that she is right to call it racist.  But is the "racism" in question a problem to you?  I certainly know it isn't to me.  And you can bet the house, car and first-born it isn't a problem to the minorities whose lives it saves.

Bottom line:  Mayor Bloomberg is not right about everything.  But he is 100% right about this. 

Wake-up time for the Washington Post (which, despite its wrongheadedness about the issue itself, does get a few points for allowing Mayor Bloomberg to respond on its op-ed page). 

And go-to-sleep time for Judge shira scheindlin.  I wish her a sound, Rip Van Winkle-like snooze which, if New York City is very lucky, will continue until the day after her term ends.

Zeke .... ...... Stop & Frisk is a DETERRENT ! .... .... Low-lifes think twice before packing heat. .... ..... The initiative is back with the Po-Lisse . . . . . . . .. . . Folk what want to eliminate it ..... .... (i.e.: Stop the Stop and Frisk) . . . . . . must be in the KKK - - - cause it will be mostly minorities who get killed. . . . . . (08/19/13)


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