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Sunday, 21 September 2014

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A CHOCOLATE LOVER....

Ken Berwitz

Many years ago Henry S. Levy & Sons, a Brooklyn bakery best known for its rye bread, had an advertising campaign consisting of posters - mostly in subway stations as I recall - in which people of obviously different ethnicities were enjoying delicious looking sandwiches....with the words "You don't have to be Jewish to Love Levy's real Jewish rye". 

Illustratively (and I do mean illustratively), here is one of them:




















Well, here is a delightful updating of that clever little slogan.

You don't have to love chocolate to love chocolate labrador puppies.

The proof?  How could you not love these?

I wouldn't mind having this entire box of chocolates. No weight gain and plenty of happiness. <3

In a world that is in such godawful shape, it is good to find things that give you a warm smile here and there.  This is my offering for the day.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 18:19 PM   Add Comment

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S STEALTH COALITION

Ken Berwitz

When President Bush pulled together a coalition of dozens of countries for his invasion of Iraq, did media expect to hear the names of those countries and what each would be doing?

How do  you suppose media would have reacted if President Bush's Ambassador to the United Nations, sent out to do the Sunday morning shows, would or could not name even one of the countries, let alone what they promised to do?

Journalists all over the country would have had their hoods, torches and pitchforks out in about 3 minutes.  They would have been deriding Bush for barfing out claims that he had no way of supporting.  They would have called him names, impugned his honesty and made sarcastic references to his intelligence level. 

How do I know?  Because they spent 8 years doing exactly that, often for far less significant incidents.

With the above in mind, please read the following excerpt from today's article at foxnews.com (that's right, Fox.  Who'd you expect to provide this kind of information?  The major networks?  MSNBC?):

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that the American-led effort to destroy the terror group Islamic State has support from more than 40 countries but declined to name them or the extent of their support.

"It's up to the individual country," Ambassador Samantha Power told ABC's "This Week."

France last week joined the United States in airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq, and Saudi Arabia has offered to help train moderate anti-Islamic State group fighters.

However, what remains unclear is whether Turkey and such Arab States as Egypt and Qatar will join in the airstrikes, also pending in Syria, or send combat troops in join Iraqi forces in the fight against Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Can this possibly be right?  Can Samantha Power possibly be telling the country that 40 countries have signed on.....but she is not at liberty to tell us which countries they are? 

We're supposed to find this claim credible?  We're supposed to believe there are 40 countries ready, willing and able to go....but not who they are? 

Do these people think we are all idiots?  Evidently the answer is that they do.

Susan Rice - Power's predecessor at the United Nations and now President Obama's National Security Advisor - better watch out.  For her "it was a video" BS after Benghazi, she is currently the undisputed champion among Obama administration members for lying to our faces on the Sunday shows.  But with equally ridiculous BS like this, Rice is giving Power a run for her money.

How can anyone believe a thing that comes from any member of this administration?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 17:09 PM   Add Comment

ARE THESE THE PEOPLE WE ARE ARMING?

Ken Berwitz

These excerpts from Rick Gladstone and Hwaida Saad's article in the New York Times tells the story:

An improperly mixed or possibly sabotaged measles vaccine has killed as many as 50 children in insurgent-held areas of northwestern Syria, volunteer medical organizations and physicians reported Wednesday, forcing the suspension of a large-scale United Nations vaccination campaign intended to stop the spread of measles, rubella and polio.

The victims, some of them infants, apparently all died Tuesday, mostly concentrated in the cities of Jarjanaz and Sinjar in Idlib Province, an area controlled by forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

Dr. Abdulla Ajaj, a physician who helped administer the vaccine, said the suspect batch of doses had been received three days before they were used. "This is the first time we have had such a problem," he said in a Skype interview.

The provenance of the vaccine also was not immediately clear. Dr. Ajaj speculated that the doses might have been stored at improperly high temperatures, but other physicians discounted that possibility, partly because the same vaccine had been used on many other children with no ill effects. Some speculated that toxins or other contaminants might have been introduced when the vaccine, which comes in multiple-dose vials, was diluted for individual injections.

Another Syrian physician in the affected area, Mohammad Hamadi, the secretary of a group called the Free Doctors Union, said medics who diluted the vaccine might have mixed it with Atracurium, a muscle relaxant used in surgery. Dr. Hamadi said the Atracurium bottles looked similar to the bottles of vaccine diluent. "We are investigating if it's a mistake by the medical crew or a criminal act," he said.

What is the answer?  Is this an amazingly disastrous error by medics working in Idlib Province?  Or is it s horrific message sent to what is left of the Syrian population by one of the so-called "rebel groups"?

And if it is the latter, is this one of the groups President Obama has announced he is arming? 

We had damn well better find out, hadn't we?  Before arms are shipped, wouldn't you say?

One other thing:  Since this has occurred under the auspices of the United Nations, do you think it will conduct a full investigation, to determine whether one of the warring factions in Syria - bashar al-assad's government very much among them - is responsible for this mass execution of children? 

Or does the UN only conduct investigations when Israel, after thousands of rockets and missiles are fired into its land, decides to do something about it?

Almost 200,000 Syrians are dead over the last three years, and there have been no UN investigations that I know of so far.  But 2,000 Gazans are dead, largely because their "leaders" fire rockets from residential locations, and then demand the residents stay right where they are, even when Israel literally tells them it is going to hit back, and there is an immediate investigation...of Israel.

I call the UN Useless and Neutered.  Any doubt about why?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:38 AM   Add Comment

WEGMAN'S AND HOGWARTS

Ken Berwitz

Apropos of nothing political....

I really like Wegman's.  It's a terrific store.

But sometimes I think it has a deal with the same people who built the stairs at Hogwarts.  Because every #&$%ing time you walk in there things have been rearranged, and what used to be right here, is somewhere else that you don't know about and have to figure out.

I have no idea why they do this.  Maybe Professor Dumbledore can help out.

Ok, back to politics, where legislation moves the same way, and all too much of it is described by the first syllable of the Professor's name.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:22 AM   1 comment

THE FERGUSON FALLOUT (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

On August 9th, Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.

As of now, we have conflicting eyewitness accounts of what happened at that time, and an investigation is ongoing - both local, state and federal (I'm still trying to figure out what possible reason 40 FBI agents - not 1 or 2, but 40 - were assigned to this case, and how they all occupy their days in Ferguson - maybe you can help me out on that one).

We know a lot of facts about Brown and Wilson.  But, at least as of this moment, we don't know anything that clearly indicates whether Wilson acted illegally.  That is why we have investigations; to find out what happened.

If this were just a local investigation - especially given the racial makeup of Ferguson's police force (50 of its 53 officers are White, in a town that is now 2/3 Black), it would not be acceptable.  This is not to say the investigation would inherently be compromised, it is to say that it would inherently be, at the very least, suspicious in nature - which, to most people, is essentially the same thing.

If it were local and state as well, that would be far better, and would largely ameliorate any likelihood of a miscarriage of justice. 

Well, it is local and state, and federal too - the federal being the Obama Administration's Department of Justice.  You can bet that nothing is being covered up here.

Which makes it all the more disheartening to read this, as excerpted from Awr Hawkins' article at breitbart.com:

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri say they will begin disrupting grocery stores and sports events unless Officer Darren Wilson is arrested. 

Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson on August 9, and the grand jury for the incident has until next year to decide whether or not Wilson should face charges. Protesters say charges need to be filed now, and they are going to take to the streets unless "justice" is served. 

Mail Online reports that protesters made their plans known at the September 16th St. Louis City Council meeting. They "promised to disrupt grocery stores" and warned that if St. Louis Cardinals make it to the World Series, they will disrupt that too. 

The protesters grew louder as the council meeting went on, demanding not only the arrest of Wilson but also "the resignations of both County Police Chief John Belmar and Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson." They also demanded that County Prosecutor Robert McCullock be removed from the case.

CBS St. Louis reports that the protesters are also trying to get St. Louis Rams ticket holders to donate tickets so protesters can "get in the dome" and shut the game down.

Does anyone in his/her right mind believe doing this will further an honest investigation of what happened on August 9th?

Does anyone in his/her right mind believe that the people involved in these threats want an honest investigation?  Or it is plain that what they want is the arrest, charging, conviction and jailing - possibly the execution (it has been mentioned among this crowd) of Darren Wilson - before the facts come out?

How many people who either had no racist feelings, or were at least on the fence, will actions like these convert to people with ingoingly negative attitudes about Black people?

Who do they hurt more than themselves?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:01 AM   Add Comment

OUR OPEN BORDER POLICY & TUBERCULOSIS

Ken Berwitz

Suppose I told you that 700 infants in the border town of El Paso, Texas, which has been "stocked" with illegal aliens over the past two years, have been exposed to tuberculosis - a horrible disease which was - until recently - virtually eradicated in the United States, but which is no stranger at all to parts of Central America - including Guatemala and Honduras, where a large percentage of the illegal aliens flooding into our country are coming from.

Would you put those facts together?  Would you at least be consider the possibility that they are connected?

Well, it happened.  And here is the entire report on it from CBS News - Dallas/Fort Worth & The Associated Press.  Read it and weep for the triumph of political correctness over journalism:

EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - More than 700 infants at an El Paso hospital have been exposed to tuberculosis by an employee infected with the disease, according to public health officials.

The city's Department of Public Health says the infants along with about 40 employees at Providence Memorial Hospital were exposed.

Officials say they were exposed from September 2013 to August. The employee worked in the hospital's nursery. Officials said employment and medical records were reviewed to determine which infants and employees were exposed.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the health authority for El Paso County, says the hospital workers have been tested and officials are waiting on results. Letters were sent Thursday to the parents of the infants directing them to undergo screenings.

Ocaranza says TB is treatable and the exposure doesn't represent a public health threat.

The CDC warns that tuberculosis, if not treated properly, can be fatal.

The El Paso Department of Public Health setup a website to provide updated information to the community, including a detailed calendar of potential exposure dates.

No mention at all of any possible connection between a sudden appearance of tuberculosis and the influx of these illegal aliens.

No mention at all of how many illegal aliens were specifically shipped (for lack of a better word) to El Paso, as they have been shipped to cities around the country, while most of our media desperately find rationales to look the other way and pretend this is not happening.

But what we do have is a benignly worded reassurance that "TB is treatable and the exposure doesn't represent a public heath threat".  If one of those infants were yours, or if you were one of the 40 exposed employees, would that be reassuring to you?

FYI:  here, straight from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), are the treatment options so gently touched on above:

Choosing the Most Effective Regimen

Treatment of LTBI should be initiated after the possibility of TB disease has been excluded. Persons suspected of having TB disease should receive the recommended multidrug regimen for treatment of disease until the diagnosis is confirmed or ruled out.

Consultation with a TB expert is advised if the known source of TB infection has drug-resistant TB.

Table 2. Latent TB Infection Treatment Regimens

Drugs

Duration

Interval

Minimum doses

Isoniazid

9 months

Daily

270

Twice weekly*

76

Isoniazid

6 months

Daily

180

Twice weekly*

52

Isoniazid and Rifapentine

3 months

Once weekly*

12

Rifampin

4 months

Daily

120

*Use Directly Observed Therapy (DOT)

Note: Due to the reports of severe liver injury and deaths, CDC recommends that the combination of rifampin (RIF) and pyrazinamide (PZA) should generally not be offered for the treatment of latent TB infection.

Would that have been worth mentioning in this article - even in passing?  Or is it acceptable journalism to tell readers that "TB is treatable", without mentioning the seriousness and extent of the treatment?

Looking at that, do you think CBS and the Associated Press reported this story properly?  If you had an infant in that hospital, would you think you received meaningful information about what he/she was exposed to?  Or would you think this article blatantly covered that information up?

Every time I think that media commitment to protecting the Obama administration could not get lower, I am proven wrong.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:34 AM   Add Comment

Saturday, 20 September 2014

PAT ROBERTS' RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN: IS IT REALLY IN TROUBLE?

Ken Berwitz

I just read the latest commentary - this one from Kyle Cheney at politico.com - telling me how much trouble three-term U.S. Senator Pat Roberts is in.  It points out how well "independent" candidate Greg Orman is doing one-on-one against Roberts, suggesting he has a strong shot at winning in November (no mention of the fact that Democrats - even with the Kansas Supreme Court in their pocket - might have to put up an alternative to Chad Taylor, the Democrat primary winner who dropped out last week, which would split the anti-Roberts vote).

I do not bet on political campaigns.  But if I did, I would lay odds on Mr. Roberts returning to the senate for a fourth term.

His admittedly stiff primary challenge came not from someone like Greg Orman, but from the other side:  hardline conservative Dr. Milton Wolf.  Wolf's supporters, still disgruntled that they didn't get a candidate even more conservative than Roberts, have not yet shown they will vote for him - which, of course, they will over Orman, who is supposedly independent, but in actuality is the Democrats' choice.  So, in red state Kansas, where Roberts already has three victories under his belt, how does he lose this time?  I don't see it.

Nothing more to this blog.  I just want it on the record.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:25 AM   Add Comment

THE "COALITION"

Ken Berwitz

In the previous blog, I derided the "coalition" being claimed by President Obama and his people.

In that connection, please read the following transcript, which I pulled from Tom Blumer's blog at newsbusters.org, of Fox News' Sheppard Smith interviewing President Obama's Press Secretary; the amazingly unfortunately named Josh Earnest:

JOSH EARNEST: There's no doubt that boots on the ground are necessary to take the fight to ISIL

SHEPARD SMITH: I know, but are those the only boots that are available, and if so are they good boots? Will those boots to the job?

EARNEST: Well, shep, they will do the job more effectively in terms of solving our longer-term problem. We need to make sure that it's Iraqi security forces who are taking responsibility for their own country

SMITH: Oh, no doubt. But last time we gave the Iraqi security forces, Josh, you're in this job yet, but last time we gave Iraqi security forces weapons, they put them on the ground and gave them to ISIL. Now ISIL's trying to kill people with them. The fear among some of that could happen again.

EARNEST: ... we are going to have Muslim-led countries who are part of this coalition. This is not going to be the United States against ISIL. This will be the international community, including the Muslim world, against these extremists

SMITH: Like Saudi Arabia's gonna have some boots over there. Or Jordan.

EARNEST: I will let individual members of the coalition announce the commitments that they're prepared to make.

SMITH: There will be no commitment from those two. I will bet every penny I will ever make it this network.

EARNEST: that's a substantial bet.

SMITH: It is a big bet, and it's a good bet, because it's not gonna happen and the whole world knows it. That's why I wonder if sometimes like, when the Bush administration was doing this, these questions were asked from this desk and now that you are doing it, these are fair questions that deserve answers.

We have a coalition of the Muslim world? I don’t see it. No one from Saudi Arabia, no one from Jordan–it has its own problems, Turkey has its own problems. We are not getting help from any of those nations, and to suggest that these people, with great respect, from Syria, who are not organized, and the Pentagon says it will take a year to train, and the Iraqi army, which has already folded and given away the weapons, are going to come together and fight ISIL for us and with us seems like, as the president once put it, something of a fantasy.

Shep Smith - who, despite what you may have heard about Fox News being a right wing counterpart to MSNBC, is no conservative - said it exactly right.  This coalition is a fantasy.  It is another of the countless lies served up by an administration so used to lying and getting away with it, courtesy of a shamelessly obeisant Accomplice Media, that it doesn't even have to give us a good try.

With few exceptions (and the exceptions are all among countries and sects directly in ISIS's line of fire, who have to do something or be slaughtered), If we don't have boots on the ground, they don't have boots on the ground. 

End of story.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:19 AM   Add Comment

BOOTS ON THE GROUND: WHY THERE?

Ken Berwitz

Suppose you read this excerpt from, say, Time Magazine's web site.  What would you think:

The United States is dramatically escalating its efforts to combat the spread of ISIS in Syria, Iraq and beyond, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday, during a visit to the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

The unprecedented response will include the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military forces and more than $500 million in defense spending drawn from funding normally used for efforts like the war in Afghanistan, senior administration officials outlined Monday. Obama has called America's response to ISIS a "national-security priority," with top foreign policy and defense officials leading the government's efforts.

The officials said Obama believes that in order to best contain ISIS, the U.S. must "lead" the global response effort. In the Pentagon's largest deployment in response, more than 100 officials are currently on the ground and $175 million has been allocated to Syria to help combat the spread of ISIS. Those efforts will be expanded with the assistance of U.S. Middle East Command, which will deploy logistics, command and control, medical, and engineering resources.

Would you think it made sense?  Would you see it as a very unpleasent and undesirable decision, but one that had to be made because of the significant, and rapidly increasing, threat ISIS poses - not only to the Islamic world but to the west as well:  especially to the United States, which ISIS has specifically told us it intends to hit? 

If so, we are largely in agreement (not completely, because we don't know who the good guys, if any, are in Syria).

But none of this matters.  We are not doing this.  We have committed no troops to fight ISIS (which is why the so-called "coalition" being touted by Obama & Co. is such a farce:  i.e. since we're not putting our boots on the ground, neither are they).

So what was that hypothetical Time Magazine article about?  

 It is about the fact that, although President Obama will not put boots on the ground to fight radical islam as it goes about the business of taking over more and more of the Muslim world, he will send 3,000 troops to Africa... to "fight ebola".

Excerpted from Zeke J. Miller's article at (you guessed it) Time Magazine - and this is not hypothetical, it is real:

The United States is dramatically escalating its efforts to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday, during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The unprecedented response will include the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military forces and more than $500 million in defense spending drawn from funding normally used for efforts like the war in Afghanistan, senior administration officials outlined Monday. Obama has called America’s response to the disease a "national-security priority," with top foreign policy and defense officials leading the government's efforts.

The officials said Obama believes that in order to best contain the disease, the U.S. must "lead" the global response effort. In the CDC’s largest deployment in response to an epidemic, more than 100 officials from the agency are currently on the ground and $175 million has been allocated to West Africa to help combat the spread of Ebola. Those efforts will be expanded with the assistance of U.S. Africa Command, which will deploy logistics, command and control, medical, and engineering resources to affected countries.

???????????

Look, I'm no military expert. Maybe I'm missing the rarefied nuances of this move. But I can't help thinking that delivering these supplies to humanitarian organizations already working in the affected areas - along with a small contingency force to insure they actually get to where we are sending them (a significant problem in third-world countries) is what makes sense. 

Why are thousands of military troops being deployed?  What are they going to do?  Shoot their weapons in the air hoping to hit an ebola air pocket?  Why are they being put in harm's way of this deadly condition?

Those same 3,000 troops, committed to leading, organizing and advising other countries' troops to fight ISIS, might have generated a real international coalition, with real soldiers willing to put their lives on the line because the coalition's leader is right there with them: not just in airplanes, on high, watching the combat take place.  

But that seems to have escaped this President and his administration.  So, instead, we have a coalition of promises, promises, promises, with little or no substance to it - which Mr. Obama's Accomplice Media are shamelessly comparing to the real coalition President Bush put together when he invaded Iraq.  To Obama & Co. it makes more sense to send our troops to Africa, where they can use their military know-how to "fight ebola".

Is it January 17th, 2017, about noontime, yet?  Please tell me it is.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:30 AM   Add Comment

WHY WE MUST FIGHT RADICAL ISLAM (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

With all the attention being paid to ISIS (and all of it fully justified), it is good to remind ourselves of what kind of world we would live in if these lunatics ever took over.

And the best way to do so is to note what kind of a world it is where they have taken over.

Like Iran, for example.

Excerpted from an article at billboard.com:

A defense lawyer in Iran says six young Iranian men and women videotaped dancing to Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and the video's director have been sentenced to suspended jail terms and lashes.

Lawyer Farshid Rofugaran said Friday the seven have been sentenced to six months in jail and 91 lashes each, though the verdict won't be carried out unless the defendants commit crimes and are found guilty in the future. He says the suspended jail term is the punishment for acting in the video and the lashes are over ignoring Islamic norms.

And if that doesn't remind you clearly enough, there is this, from an article at London's Independent:

A blogger in 'poor psychological condition' has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammad on Facebook.

According to an 'informed source', speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Soheil Arabi, 30, had kept eight Facebook pages under different names and admitted to posting material insulting to the Prophet on these pages.

Mr Arabi, who was arrested along with his wife in November last year by agents from the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is said to have written the "material without thinking and in poor psychological condition".

Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting the Prophet carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes. 

If we fight radical islam, we may win and we may lose.  But if we don't, we most assuredly will lose, because radical islam will fight regardless.

And for what?  To turn us into a society which punishes teenagers for dancing to music they like?  Which sentences bloggers to death for expressing thoughts that the ruling religious fanatics disagree with?

There may be some people who are perfectly happy to live this way.  But I'm not one of them, and I suspect you are not one of them either.

That is why we must fight radical islam.


Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:11 AM   1 comment

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