Monday, 16 February 2015

WHY BRIAN WILLIAMS WILL NEVER ANCHOR NBC

Ken Berwitz

How do I know Brian Williams is finished as the anchor of NBC Nightly News?

When Conan O'Brian (and others) put up material like this, there's no doubt that his credibility is shot.

Joseph C. Robles's photo.


Chris Weakley's photo.


Joe Pratt's photo.


Chris Nichols's photo.


Too bad.  I actually have always liked Brian Williams.  He seems like a personable guy.  And he's from Jersey, which counts for something as well.

But things are as they are.  And when comedians get laughs by defining him this way, it seems pretty clear that Mr. Williams' days as a news anchor - a trusted presence who must be taken seriously - have ended.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: UN-WISE

Ken Berwitz

It isn't often that I compliment someone for being unwise (actually, in this case, un-Wise).  But today's the day.

As you may be aware, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has invited Jews in Europe to come "home" to Israel - and by so doing, has enraged European leaders (along with, no doubt, President Obama - who doesn't seem to think Jews are having any problems there, it's only random acts of murder and mayhem which just happen to keep being directed in places where Jews are).

Excerpted from yesterday's article at Agence France Presse (AFP):

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed in an attack outside Copenhagen's main synagogue.

"Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe," Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadists in Paris last month when four Jews were among the dead.

"Extremist Islamic terrorism has struck Europe again... Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews," Netanyahu said in the statement.

The Israeli prime minister said his government was to adopt a $45 million (39.5 million euro) plan "to encourage the absorption of immigrants from France, Belgium and Ukraine".

Why do I call Mr. Netanyahu's statement un-Wise? 

Because of this reminder, excerpted from a statement by Mort Klein,  - President of The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA):

The most prominent Jewish leader of the WW II era, Reform Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and his colleagues urged the Roosevelt administration and Congress not to listen to brave Jewish leaders such as distinguished screenwriter Ben Hecht and activist Peter Bergson (a/k/a Hillel Kook) and their Bergson group, who were trying to publicize and stop the Nazi massacres of European Jews.

Rabbi Wise demonized Bergson and Hecht, demanded that Bergson and Hecht stop their activities on behalf of European Jews, demanded that Jews should "not make an issue" out of the Nazi massacres, and demonized Bergson and Hecht.  Rabbi Wise and Nahum Goldmann stated that the Bergson group "did not represent the Jews" and told the U.S. State Department that Bergson and Hecht were as "big a threat as Hitler to the well-being of American Jewry."

The parallels to the certain Jewish leaders' statements today in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat are downright eerie.

As you can see, Mr. Klein feels that he is watching the 1930's repeat itself today.  Is he right?

Well, what happened in the 1930's?  Europe, and the FDR-led USA, watched and did little or nothing as anti-Semitism flourished, and anti-Semitic acts, increasingly violent in nature, became commonplace.  This culminated, you may recall, in the holocaust. 

Today, Jews - some of them, anyway - say "Never Again".  But are we not watching a repeat performance in today's Europe of what we saw during the 1930's - complete with a President of the United States desperately trying to look the other way by claiming the acts of terrorism against Jews are "random"?  and, other than a few perfunctory, template-quality words, is the carnage directed against Jews truly being addressed?  The answer is no.  just as it was then.

I can't help thinking of that ominous scene in the movie of Katherine Ann Porter's "Ship Of Fools", in which a German laughs off the impending nazi takeover, saying "There are a million Jews in Germany.  What are they going to do?  Kill all of us?".

To answer that character:  they certainly tried, didn't they? And Europe has no shortage of people who would be happy to try again now.

But there is a difference between the 1930's and today.  A huge one.

The difference is the existence of Israel; a strong, independent, Jewish state where alienated, endangered Jews can go. 

Its Prime Minister urges that they do so now - before Europe reverts to what it was in the 1930's (and, truth be told, before then as well).   In other words, he is telling the European Jews of 2015 to ignore Stephen S. Wise, as Mr. Bergson, Mr. Hecht and others did so in the '30s.

Should European Jews heed this warning and immigrate to the Jewish state?  That, of course, is for each individual to decide.

But no one can deny that suggesting they do so makes Benjamin Netanyahu un-Wise. 

And whether or not they take him up on it, European Jews owe Mr. Netanyahu a debt of gratitude for plainly stating his offer, and explaining why.


FROZEN

Ken Berwitz

I just took a quick course in how to unfreeze pipes.  It was not an elective.

When you wake up in the morning, use the bathroom and note that the flush is successful, but none of the water is replaced, you sort of know you have a little DIY work to do (after first thanking whatever gods may be that, even in a house with frozen pipes, each bathroom gets one successful flush).

Here's an FYI on the DIY:  I went to oldhouseweb.com and got this information.  It worked perfectly.

Temperature in my area is a touch over 0 degrees...with more snow, possibly heavy, on the way tonight.  This may be laughable to the folks up in Boston...but, for us, it is a pain in the nether regions.

I wish you all warm weather and running water.


DEMOCRATS & OBAMACARE - THE TRUTH SINKS IN

Ken Berwitz

Very interesting article by the Associated Press's Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar today.  It seems that Three top ranking Democrats are outraged by the punitive nature of.............

ObamaCare.

In a joint statement from Senator Sander Levin, ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash) and Rep. Doggett (D-TX), we have this:

"Open enrollment period ended before many Americans filed their taxes,.  Without a special enrollment period, many people (who will be paying fines) will not have another opportunity to get health coverage this year. 

"A special enrollment period will not only help many Americans avoid making an even larger payment next year, but, more importantly, it will help them gain quality health insurance for 2015".

Welcome, guys, to the realities of ObamaCare.  Or, more exactly, welcome to dealing with your constituents, who just might have a very different attitude about ObamaCare now that it is lightening their wallets.

Well, look at the bright side:  at least they can keep their own doct.....oh, wait.


OBAMA: NO RADICAL ISLAM...AND NO COPTIC CHRISTIANITY EITHER

Ken Berwitz

About 10% of Egypt's population (that would be about 8,500,000 people) is comprised of Coptic Christians.

On Sunday, the radical Islamic murdering lunatics of ISIS released a video of them beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians because they were Coptic Christians.

And here is the entire White House statement about these beheadings.  Every word:

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Murder of Egyptian Citizens

The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists.  We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.  ISIL's barbarity knows no bounds.  It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity.  This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL. 
 
This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL.  We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat.  We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.


Do you see anything in that boilerplate drivel about ISIS being an arm of radical Islam?  Do you see any mention of the fact that the beheading victims were all Christians?

How can anyone believe Barack Obama is serious about addressing the threat of radical Islam, or its threat to Christianity - or Judaism, as we saw when he called the killing of Jews at a kosher food store "random", and then did not bother to show up at a march against terrorism that over 40 heads of state attended?

Less than two more years of this nightmare administration.  I count the seconds.


A QUESTION FOR OUR WONDERFUL "NEUTRAL" MEDIA

Ken Berwitz

Would you please consider these articles (links pulled from drudgereport.com):

ISIS releases video of Egyptians slaughtered...
Christians beheaded...
Prisoners paraded in cages 'to be burned alive'...

Then consider that President Obama told us he had "virtually decimated" al-Qaeda and that ISIS was nothing more than a "jayvee squad",

Then remember that his stewardship of our military and foreign policy has been in place for the last 6+ years...

...and explain to us why you are not all over his astounding dishonesty and incompetence as it happens?

I'll wait.



IS THIS A NECESSARY WAR?

Ken Berwitz

Remember that term?  "Necessary war"? 

That is what Presidential candidate Barack Obama called the war in Afghanistan - and President Barack Obama blew eight ways from Sunday.

Mr. Obama never called Iraq a "necessary war".  But I wonder if he might have to change his tune now.

Excerpted from an article at Fox News:

Islamic State has reportedly seized al-Baghdadi, in Iraq's Anbar Province, 5 miles from an air base staffed by U.S. Marines, as the terror group continues its push beyond its bases in Syria and Iraq in an attempt to establish militant affiliates in other countries.

Hundreds of Islamic State fighters reportedly captured most of al-Baghdadi, which is 55 miles from the capital Ramadi, on Thursday.

On Friday, Iraqi soldiers had retaken several government buildings, but the soldiers withdrew early Saturday, handing the town back to the militants, The New York Times reported, citing local security officials.

One local Iraqi official told Reuters that, "Ninety percent of al-Baghdadi district has fallen under the control of the insurgents."

Militants attacked the town of al-Baghdadi from two directions before advancing inward, Reuters reported.

Would this have happened if President Obama had insisted on a significant residual force being left in Iraq when we pulled out, instead of the next to nothing we have there now? 

Would it have happened if he were interested in doing anything more than taking credit for the pullout (which, in fact, was negotiated and agreed to by President Bush in November, 2008)?  We can never know for sure.  But it seems pretty obvious that Iraq, and the USA, would be a dramatically better situation today if he had.

But President Obama did not insist on that residual force. He did little other than get in front of the cameras to strut and preen over pulling out the troops that President Bush was responsible for....without ever mentioning Mr. Bush's name, of course. 

And anything that happened after that?  Like what is happening today?  Well, you can bet your bottom dollar that is Mr. Bush's responsibility.

So what will it be, Mr. President?  Are we going to do anything about the safety of our own marines, in a place that they have been for over 6 years of your - not Mr. Bush's, but your - presidency?

Or do you want to see members of our military beheaded?  In cages waiting to be burned alive?

It's your call.  Time to make it.  Time to do something other than strut and preen. 

How about it, Mr. President?  Will you do the right thing?  Or do nothing, and blame the consequences of doing nothing on your predecessor?  Again.

Zeke . . . . . . . . And, in Yemen, the US evacuated its embassy - - - and the marines were compelled to leave behind their weapons ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . Guaranteed, the NEXT time that demand is made, they, and the embassy staff, will be slaughtered - - - just as the 16,500 troops and dependents were during Retreat of Major General Sir William Elphinstone's Army from Kabul during the First Anglo-Afghan War, 1841. . . . . . . . . Only ONE European survived to tell the tale, Assistant Surgeon William Brydon. . . . . . . . .It was the worst defeat of the British Army until the fall of Singapore, 100 years later in WW II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elphinstone was "the most incompetent soldier who ever became general". (02/16/15)


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from Ed Schultz.  And I can almost guarantee it is not the kind of quote you are expecting.

In fact, it is so unlike what you might expect from Mr. Schultz that I won't tease this anymore.  Here is what he had to say on today's show:

It was a weekend of terror around the globe. In Libya, ISIS released a video showing more bloodshed. The video released on Sunday claims to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. The brutal act of violence is clearly a gross display of what ISIS is capable of, what they're motivated about, and what they are really all about. And I think this act of mass murder amounts to a religious war. Now we all have our own interpretations at this point. This continues to go on. At this point these people were targeted, as I see it, and murdered because of their faith . . . As I see it, the United States is going to have to have continual reviewal of its strategy. We can't sit back here and watch hordes of people get their heads cut off. And why would we tell ISIS there's no way we would ever put ground troops in combat situations? I think it has reached a point where we really have to have a very strong debate in this country. As I see it, it's a religious war. What is going to turn back ISIS? ...

"...How do you trot out 21 people with nobody else around and do something like that? It takes organization. It takes protection, and I think it has reached a level right now that we're the United States, we might have to have a conversation that special ops and some ground forces might be part of the equation, but basically we have told ISIS well that's not going to happen. We have told other countries who are getting hit by this group that we're not going to put ground troops in.

Surprised?  I sure am.  But I don't have anything cutesy to say about Ed's sudden epiphany.  Because the reasons it came about are nothing to be cutesy about.

I award Ed Schultz Quote Of The Day Honors for having the honesty to call this what it is, and suggest that we consider actions that we have to consider. 

In doing so, I understand that he has only come part-way.  There is no direct attack on Barack Obama for allowing things to get to this point, and for living in a delusional world where radical Islam doesn't exist; where untold thousands of deaths at their hands are less important than a few hundred housing units being built in east Jerusalem.  Not yet, anyway.

But if he can go this far, he can go further.  A lot further.  And if Ed Schultz is an honorable man, it will happen sooner rather than  later.


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