Wednesday, 04 September 2013

THE FREE SPEECH 360

Ken Berwitz

October 1, 1964, at UC-Berkeley:  Student Mario Savio starts a sit-in which spawns the "Free Speech Movement".

November 6, 1996:  Mario Savio passes away in body, but his spirit and legacy live on.

September 3, 2013, at UC-Los Angeles:  The student government at UCLA unanimously votes for a ban on the term "illegal immigrant", because it has decided that it is "a violation of...human rights" to refer to immigrants who have come to this county illegally by that term.

September 3, 2013:  Mario Savio passes away again, this time in spirit and legacy.

zeke ..... I had an NSF summer grant for Physics and Math at Manhattan College at the end of my Junior year in high school. .. . .. . . . . One of the class was extremely tongue-tied -- could not get a single sentence out without stopping and sorting out his thought. . . .. .. Guy was bright as hell, even though he could not speak without impediment. . . . . . He name was Mario Savio. . . . . .. A few years later, dressed in a sheep skin coat, he was leading the student boycotts at UC Berkeley (09/04/13)


THE SYRIA FIASCO: WHILE OBAMA DITHERS....

Ken Berwitz

Would it be fair to say that the idea of a military operation is to achieve an objective of some kind?

If the objective of what Barack Obama is proposing is to degrade or eliminate bashar al-assad's military, how is it going to happen when this is going on - as excerpted from Ryan Lucas's article for the Associated Press:

As the Obama administration tries to prod Congress into backing armed action against Syria, the regime in Damascus is hiding military hardware and shifting troops out of bases into civilian areas.

Politically, President Bashar Assad has gone on the offensive, warning in a rare interview with Western media that any military action against Syria could spark a regional war.

If the U.S. undertakes missile strikes, Assad's reaction could have a major effect on the trajectory of Syria's civil war. Neighboring countries could get dragged into a wider conflict, or it could be back to business as usual for a crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people over 2 years.

Let's review: 

-bashar al-assad has been killing his fellow Syrians with gleeful abandon for years, with the total dead now estimated to be over 100,000.

-al-assad's puppeteers in Tehran have looked on proudly, waiting patiently for the day when they can do the same and a lot more to Israel, and secure in the knowledge that President Obama is a weak, indecisive incompetent, way out of his capability level; a reality they learned in 2009, when the people were marching in the streets to remove them from power and and Obama didn't do a thing about it, not even voice support of the brave Iranians trying install a real democracy.

-Now that 1,400 additional Syrians...added to the top of the pile of 100,000 corpses - were apparently gassed, most likely by al-assad (but not 100% certain, since the opposition is now loaded with al-qaeda terrorists and their offshoot groups, who care as little about human life as he does) suddenly Obama springs to action. 

-His action is to announce to the world, al-assad and Iran included of course, exactly what we are going to do militarily, how long we will do it and what specific types of action we will and will not engage in:  pretty much everything but the minutes of the last Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings and the passwords to access our intelligence data.

-Polls came out showing that the country was opposed to Obama's "plan".

-Only after seeing how unpopular his Syria "strategy" was, Mr. Obama announced he would wait until congress votes its approval or disapproval.

-But Mr. Obama does not say that congress's vote will affect his decision.  In other words, if congress votes him down, he will decide whether to attack Syria anyway.

-This renders the delay until there is a congressional vote, and the vote itself, absolutely meaningless....except to al-assad, who is using the time so generously provided by Mr. Obama to move his assets into different places, including civilian areas (refer to the excerpt above). 

-Now, to bomb those assets is to make Obama as much a murderer of civilians as al-assad is. 

-And that is before we get to al-assad's threat that if we go in, he will attack Israel...which could set the entire Middle East aflame.

If there is a way that this could be more of a fiasco, if there is a way that it could be more completely bungled by the incompetents, clowns and navel-gazers assembled by this hopelessly overmatched President, I can't come up with it.

And we gave him a second four year term?  What were we thinking?  What have we done to ourselves, and the rest of the world?

ZekIe ..... ..... ...... Here is the Obamabot announcement : - - - "The poison gas used in Syria was produced by Saddam Hussein's regime, and hidden in Syria prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. . . .Therefore, the nearly 1,500 Syrian gas deaths are ALL George Bush's Fault! " . . . . . . . . . . . . (09/04/13)


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from a very familiar source, but for a very unexpected reason.

Chris Matthews - temporarily out of Chrazy Chris mode (and long may it continue) - has said something very honest, reasonable and logical.

On today's "Morning Joe" show, while speaking of the Syria fiasco and the impossible position Barack Obama has put his party into, Matthews said:

"I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don't want to vote for this.  They're going to have to vote for it to save the president's hide. That's a bad position to put your party in.

"When you hear Barbara Boxer, when you hear Jim Moran, you have to wonder what they would have said had it been a Republican president.  Clearly people are changing sides. Just like the Democrats who supported Lyndon Johnson after the Vietnam war, after it was over they turned on Nixon. The same exact people. So partisanship shows its ugly head here."

Did that really come out of Chris Matthews?

Yes it did, and he wins Quote Of The Day honors - this time for saying something that makes all the sense in the world.

Congratulations, Chris.  And try to stay unchrazy; you're much better when you make sense...

Zeke K e n - - - Comments are still having problems ..... see "IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LYING ABOUT THE DEATH COUNT IN SYRIA?" (09/04/13)


ANOTHER APOLOGY FOR "COMMENTING" PROBLEMS

Ken Berwitz

The problems persist, but I've spoken to the web administrator and he is going to take care of it.  And, since Martin is a good guy who knows what he's doing, I have every confidence...etc.

Sorry about that (with hopes that I won't have a reason to be sorry very much longer).


IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LYING ABOUT THE SYRIA DEATH COUNT?

Ken Berwitz

That title has a very serious charge:  that Barack Obama and his people are intentionally overstating how many people died in bashar al-assad's gas attack on Syrian civilians (assuming he was the one who did the gassing, that is:  I again emphasize that we don't know it for 100% sure and there are reports that gas was used by al qaeda or one of its kindred factions instead).

Whoever would make a charge like that had better have some pretty solid evidence to back it up.

Well, the source happens to be the Los Angeles Times, which has had Barack Obama's back for five years.  And the evidence, while far from definitive, looks pretty solid to me.

Excerpted from Ken Dilanian and Shashank Bengali's article:

The death toll given by the Obama administration for an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack is far higher than confirmed counts of two key allies and a main activist group, which said it was shocked by the U.S. figure.

In pressing Congress to authorize a military strike against Syria, the administration has asserted that the government of President Bashar Assad killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, in an Aug. 21 attack on the suburbs of Damascus.

But Britain and France have cited far lower numbers of confirmed deaths, raising questions about the intelligence the White House is using to make its case to launch missile strikes against Syria.

U.S. officials say they can't disclose how they derived their figure without compromising intelligence, but they say it is based on a variety of sources and they stand by it.

British intelligence organizations said last week that they believed at least 350 people had been killed. French intelligence said Monday that it had confirmed at least 281 deaths through open-source videos, although its experts had created models that were consistent with as many as 1,500 deaths.

Given that the CIA does not have a strong presence in Syria, a former CIA official said, the agency is probably basing its estimates on whatever sources it may have in the Assad government; on reporting from opposition groups; and in mathematical modeling based on the number of rockets fired, wind patterns, dispersal rates, hospital admissions and other data.

Look, even if the true number of dead is in the 280 - 350 range, that is a horrific total and the use of chemical weapons is 100% unacceptable and unallowable.

That said, here are two key questions:

-Is the administration intentionally cherry-picking the highest death count to build a stronger case for bombing Syria? 

-Is the count it is using anywhere near accurate?

I don't know the answer, and neither do you.  But I do know this administration has lied about so many other things so many times that I have no confidence that they are not lying here as well.

And, importantly, those are not the only questions which must be asked.  Here are some of the others:

-Are we completely sure that it is al-assad and not one or another of the rebel factions who have killed these people?

-If we go in, bomb Syria and it results in bashar al-assad being deposed, will we be handing the country over to al-qaeda, al-nusra, and the other USA hating, Israel hating terrorist groups which have infiltrated, even taken over, the opposition?

-As bad as al-assad is, do we want to be responsible for handing Syria over to people who are even worse?

In Egypt, our legacy is replacing a sometimes-ally, with an all-the-time Islamic fanatic who tried to turn the country into a shari'a law state...and whose forcible removal has plunged the country into near civil war.

In Libya, our legacy is replacing a deranged lunatic with a "government" that hates the USA so much it had its soldiers stand down while our consulate in Benghazi was being attacked, torched, and four of our people killed, and in which al-qaeda has enough of a presence to at least influence, maybe soon take over.

And in Syria?  What will we leave that sorry country?

Remind me:  Did the Nobel committee really give  Barack Obama a peace prize, almost the minute he became President? 

Have they asked for it back yet?  If not, how come?  Is it that they like the military actions he has been responsible for, and the results they have yielded?

Just asking....

zeke Zeke .... ..... (1) Poison Gas is horrific; it blankets large areas and kills all within. . . . For that reason, its use is outlawed by the Rules of War (Geneva Convention, etc). . . . which are binding on those nations which are signatories. , , , , , (2) Enforcement of the Rules of War cannot be done by ONE nation; it requires a multinational agreement on action - - - such as the United Nations . . . . . . (3) . . . . Given how Obama's Boyz have played very fast & loose with numbers and facts in most other areas, credibility here is stretched rather thin - - - - the aforementioned lack of cloaks and daggers on the ground. . . . . . (4) NO OTHER NATION in the World agrees with Barry Obama on this issue (09/04/13)


ARIEL CASTRO: R.I.H.

Ken Berwitz 

ariel castro, the subhuman creature who kidnapped, raped and tortured three young girls for a decade, and killing one of the babies he fathered with them by forcing her to abort it, is dead.

On August 1, castro, having pled guilty to 937 counts, including aggravated murder of the fetus, was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in jail.

Yesterday, he was "found" hanging in his cell, where staff "tried" to resuscitate him and failed.  His death is being ruled a suicide.

I put "found" and "tried" in quotation marks because, while I have no way of proving it, I can't help being suspicious that the staff helped this "suicide" along, and didn't work especially hard at the resuscitation.  

If that is what happened, they should receive a thank-you note from civilized society...and a bonus for how much money they saved taxpayers, who otherwise would have had to foot the bill for this obscenity on legs to be fed, clothed and sheltered for decades. 

May ariel castro rot in hell.


THE INNOCENCE OF ANNABELLA

Ken Berwitz

A short, sweet - and true - story an acquaintance just told me about her granddaughter.

I won't give away Annabella's age, but suffice it to say that she is still in single digits.

She was at grandma and grandpa's house, and grandpa was playing with her.  She was acting so cute that he asked "Where do you get your genes, anyway".

Her answer?  "Walmart".

If that doesn't make you at least smile, you're no grandparent.

Ken When we crested the hill and my 2 year old granddaughter first saw the bay that's situated just past at the bottom of our street she said to me "cool pool Papi!" (09/04/13)

Ken When we crested the hill and my 2 year old granddaughter first saw the bay that's situated just past at the bottom of our street she said to me "cool pool Papi!" (09/04/13)

Ken When we crested the hill and my 2 year old granddaughter first saw the bay that's situated just past at the bottom of our street she said to me "cool pool Papi!" (09/04/13)


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