Sunday, 08 September 2013

EGYPT'S HOSNI MUBARAK RETROSPECTIVE

Ken Berwitz

Well, Barack Obama may not want Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's head of state.  But, if events of the past few weeks are any indication, the folks who seem to be running the country these days seem to miss him a great deal

Earlier this week, we had this, excerpted from an article at London's Daily Guardian:

An Egyptian judicial panel has recommended the legal dissolution of Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, the latest setback for the Islamist group that was Egypt's most powerful civil organisation until Morsi was overthrown in July, and which has since been driven all but underground by an army-led crackdown.

And then there was this, excerpted from an article at BBC News:

At least nine Islamist militants have been killed in a major offensive by the Egyptian army in Sinai, security officials have said.

 

There have been frequent attacks on pipelines and security forces since the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

 

The northern Sinai has long been a haven for militant groups, but clashes with the army have surged since July when Mr Morsi was deposed, the BBC's Bethany Bell, in Cairo, reports.

 

The army has accused the ousted leader of being too lenient toward militant activity in the region, after he released Islamists from prison and vetoed military operations in Sinai.

 

Rebel fighters in the region can threaten Israeli cities with long-range rockets. Weapons are being trafficked across the desert from Sudan and Libya into the Hamas-run Gaza.

 

Analysts say the army's crackdown down on Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood is adding impetus to militants in the northern desert.

Egyptian deployments in the peninsula are subject to the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Is it my imagination, or are the Egyptian judiciary, and military, reverting to the days of Hosni Mubarak?

Keep in mind that, under Mubarak, the Muslim brotherhood was an illegal group and the Sinai was mostly a safe area for Egyptians and Israelis both.

Under morsi, the Muslim brotherhood became fully legal (it sort of had to, since morsi is a member of the group) and the Sinai became something of a shooting gallery.

The bottom line?  Our President may not have liked the way mohamed morsi ran Egypt, but evidently a good number of Egyptians did.

Who do you suppose is right?  Hmmmm, lets see:  Egypt run by a secular leader with a more or less peaceful Sinai peninsula, Egypt run by a member of a terrorist group and the Sinai a battleground. 

Which do you think is preferable? 

And now, with his same knack for reading the consequences nosing into other countries' affairs, Barack Obama wants to bomb Syria. 

On behalf of whom?  A bunch of "rebel" groups with a large terrorist contingent among them, that's who.  

And his basis for doing so?  A chemical attack which may possibly have been perpetrated by one or another of the "rebel" groups instead of Syrian President bashar al-assad's forces.

In other words, we may be picking sides between a mass murdering subhuman scumbag, and mass-murdering subhuman scumbags. 

Little wonder that every poll shows the people are so clearly against him.


DENNIS MCDONOUGH & OUR NON-EXISTENT SYRIA "COALITION"

Ken Berwitz

Poor Dennis McDonough.

McDonough, the current White House Chief of Staff, was sent out by Barack Obama to make a case for military action against Syria.  And when he was interviewed by CNN's Candy Crowley, he most likely thought this was a safe haven:  after all, wasn't Ms. Crowley the one who tag-teamed on behalf of Mr. Obama during his debate with Mitt Romney (and then, admitted after the debate when there was nothing anyone could do about it, that she was wrong)?

Well, that's not the way it worked out, as you can see from this excerpt of blog at nationalreview.com:\

When asked this morning if the U.S. has any pledges of military support for strikes in Syria, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough emphasized that the G20 and other nations have made supportive condemnations of the Syrian government's actions, but repeatedly pressed by CNN's Candy Crowley, provided no examples of countries that have endorsed or will provide personnel or equipment for a military intervention.

 

He wouldn't explicitly admit that the U.S. actually has no allies willing to provide support, saying, "you're trying to get me to say that, but I'm not going to say it." There is specific support from the EU and others, he said, for "holding Syria accountable." 

That's it?  There's support for "holding Syria accountable"?  That has all the seriousness of your mommy saying "I'm warning you" about cleaning up your room. 

Good for Candy Crowley, who apparently would not buy the thin gruel Mr. McDonough was ladling out, and pressed him to name a country - any country - which said that said it will join us if we attack Syria.  That is called "journalism", and it is nice to see her engaging in it this time around. 

As for Chief Of Staff McDonough, I do feel a modicum of pity for him.  Like Susan Rice after Benghazi, he is being trotted out on the Sunday Morning shows to duck, shuck, dive, jive and weave for his boss.  But there are two major differences:

1) He is being asked to wordsmith dishonestly, rather than lie overtly, as Rice did when she claimed Benghazi was due to an obscure youtube.com video;

2) This time media are not disgracing themselves by nodding dumbly and accepting what this inept, incompetent, dishonest administration is tossing out at them.

What will they try next week? How about trotting out "Dim Bulb Debbie" Wasserman Schultz, to tell us about the "dozens of countries" which are with us so completely that... not one of them can be mentioned by name?


REAL RACISM (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Want to see the most racist headline of the year?  You've come to the right place.

First, let me show you the beginning of CBS News's article about Jeffrey Babbitt, a man walking down the street at Union Square in Manhattan, who was punched to the ground, hit his head on the concrete, and now, if he survives at all (very doubtful), will be clinically brain dead:

It came out of nowhere.

A man allegedly went on a rampage in Union Square on Wednesday afternoon that left a complete stranger critically hurt, reports CBS New York.

Jeffrey Babbitt, a 62-year-old retired train conductor, was walking through the crowd near tables set up with chess boards when the suspect in the attack - 31-year-old Lashawn Marten - shouted a racial comment before hitting Babbitt in the head.

"He said 'The next white person who walks by, I'm going to [expletive],'" one female witness told WCBS-TV. "His fist went in and the man's head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground."

The man continued his rampage before demanding to see police officers.

"He stood there and hit two more people and asked for the police to come," Michael Benson said.

Is the motivation for this insane attack clear enough for you?

Now, here is the headline, exactly as it appears on CBS News's web site:

NYC man reportedly brain-dead after random, possibly racially motivated, attack

Possibly racially motivated?  POSSIBLY racially motivated?  

Let me ask you a question:  if a White man said "The next Black person who walks by I'm going to (expletive)", and then punched a Black man to the concrete so hard that he wound up clinically brain dead, do you think CBS would have referred to it as a "POSSIBLY" racially motivated attack?

That is right up there with the countless stories we have seen involving Black suspects - be they individuals, flash mobs, etc. - where race is simply not mentioned, even when a description is being provided. 

The idea, I suppose, is that CBS thinks it is being racially sensitive. But, in reality, what it has done is every bit as racist as a Klan meeting. Why? Because it singles out Blacks as some kind of "other species" instead of as just plain human beings like everyone else.

And ironically, in a backfiring kind of way, this kind of "journalism" has become an identifier.  If there is a crime with a racial component, or one in which there is a description of the suspect, and race is not mentioned, many, maybe most, people now assume out of hand it is a Black person.

The fact that there are Black suspects and Black criminals does not make all Blacks guilty of anything, any more than Whitey Bulger makes all Whites guilty of murder, Bernie Madoff makes all Jews guilty of financial crimes, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  Benevolently "protecting" Blacks by not mentioning skin color when it is germane to the story, is journalistically unprofessional...and both patronizing and insulting to every decent Black person out there, which is to say a huge majority of the Black population.

Real racism. It comes in all forms, from all sources. No group is immune to it, or from it. Certainly not media venues which single out Black people in this manner.

One other thing:  Jeff Babbitt, the victim of this ugly racial attack, is (more accurately, was) the sole caretaker of his 92 year old mother.  Do you think al sharpton or Jesse Jackson, or any of the other professional race hustlers out there will march on her behalf;  maybe raise a few dollars for her care?   

If so, I want a puff of what you're smoking.

free' Ken wrote;"And ironically, in a backfiring kind of way, this kind of "journalism" has become an identifier. If there is a crime with a racial component, or one in which there is a description of the suspect, and race is not mentioned, many, maybe most, people now assume out of hand it is a Black person." ----------------- depending on the situation instead of assuming it is a black person we may think it is a Muslim. Because they do the same whitewash (pardon the pun) with crimes committed in allahs name. (09/08/13)


CORY BOOKER'S COOKED BOOKS?

Ken Berwitz

What a lovely choice we have in New Jersey's special US Senate election.

We have Steve Lonegan, a take-no-prisoners far right winger whose most notable accomplishment, other than once being the mayor of a small town, is losing election after election after election.

And we have Cory Booker, the "moderate" Democrat (well, he's certainly a more moderate Democrat than Lonegan is a moderate Republican) Mayor of Newark, who media have had a years' long love affair with...and who, it now turns out, may be just another crooked, lying politician.

Excerpted from Michael Gartland's article in today's New York Post:

Despite years of denying he worked for a law firm holding millions of dollars in government contracts, Newark Mayor Cory Booker's last three tax returns show the exact opposite.

And he's now blaming his accountant.

In federal tax forms detailing $689,500 in payments from the Trenk DiPasquale firm, Booker checked off that he "materially participate[d] in the operation of this business" from 2010 to 2012.

"Under penalty of perjury, he's saying he participated," explained Jay Soled, a Rutgers accounting professor. "Regulations under [the tax code] say that to 'materially participate,' you have to work over 500 hours."

He insists the money he continued to collect from the firm from 2007 to 2012 wasnt salary but part of a confidential "separation agreement" or buyout.

Kevin Griffis, a Booker spokesman, blamed the discrepancy on an accounting error.

Sniff, sniff, sniff.  Does this pass any serious smell test you know of?

Personally, I started out loving Cory Booker.  Just last year I wrote that "if anyone can turn Newark around, Mayor Booker can. He is a young, fresh, dynamic Democrat..."

Then we had Booker's distasteful 24 hour cave-in during last year's presidential campaign, when he first stood tall and said attacks on Mitt Romney over his Bain Capital company were "nauseating", because companies like Bain were what made business work.  And then, within a day's time, (and, no doubt, after being reamed by the Obama people) did a quick u-turn and joined the attack.

Now we have this.

The saddest part?  This election shouldn't even be happening.

If Governor Christie had the set of cajones some people think he has, he would have replaced Frank Lautenberg, whose death opened the senate vacancy, with someone serious about being a Senator...and appointed him to finish out Mr. Lautenberg's entire term.  The legality of whether he could do so is a little unclear/not 100% definitive, and Democrats would certainly have howled about it...but a strong Governor would have stood his ground.  

Instead, Christie gave us the disgraceful, laughable, pathetic appointment of his law firm buddy, Jeff Chiesa - a baby sitter who cheerfully acknowledges he has no interest in being a senator beyond the few months until October's special election (FYI:  the date of the special election is another disgrace for Christie, but I'll hold off on that part of it now). 

In other words, the fault for New Jerseyans' "choice", between a fringe right wing Republican, and a Democrat who may well be just another corrupt hack, just with better PR than some of the others, belongs with Chris Christie - who, apparently is nowhere near what he was cracked up to be either.


GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

This one is for the "scientists" and "academics" who not only believe global warming is on us, but refuse to accept as legitimate any argument to the contrary.

Excerpted from David Rose's article at London's Daily Mail:

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year - an increase of 60 per cent.

The rebound from 2012's record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores.

 

global cooling

Does this prove that global warming is a myth?  No.

But does it show that there are two sides to this story, and shouting down one of those sides while calling its proponents idiots, neanderthals, and a lot worse is....well, idiotic and neanderthal?  Yes.

Let's continue the global warming dialogue and keep a very close eye on what is happening.  But can we try to understand and respect both sides of it?  I hope so.

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

UPDATE:  It occurs to me that no article on global warming would be complete without Al Gore's input.  So here it is, from the 2009 UN Climate conference:

COPENHAGEN New computer modeling suggests the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in the summertime as early as 2014, Al Gore said Monday at the U.N. climate conference. This new projection, following several years of dramatic retreat by polar sea ice, suggests that the ice cap may nearly vanish in the summer much sooner than the year 2030, as was forecast by a U.S. government agency eight months ago.

 

"It is hard to capture the astonishment that the experts in the science of ice felt when they saw this," said former U.S. Vice President Gore, who joined Scandinavian officials and scientists to brief journalists and delegates. It was Gore's first appearance at the two-week conference.

Words fail me. 

Too bad they never seem to fail Mr. Gore.....

Zeke .... ..... So help me Hannah ! . . . The Warm Mongers are claiming that Polar Ice Cap buildup is PROOF of Global Warming. . . . . . . (09/08/13)


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