Monday, August 21, 2017

Jerry Lewis to Raymond Arroyo on 2015 EWTN Interview: "You're the best interviewer I've ever had, and I've had thousands."

Raymond Arroyo, the host of EWTN's The World Over, interviewed Jerry Lewis, a few days before Christmas, 2015. I suspect it was one of the most popular interviews Arroyo ever gave. I assume many of you remember it. I missed it.

Lewis died, yesterday, at the age of 91.

I've transcribed a few minutes of the interview, below (I had a bit of help on the last third of it from EWTN and Lifezette). The transcription is from the most "politically incorrect" section, where Lewis says, "the refugees should stay where the hell they are," praises Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan, makes a joke about how the Chinese name their children by seeing where thrown utensils land on a platter - "ting, tong," and (worst heresy of all) calls Stephen Colbert, "an elitist snob."

But calling it "politically incorrect" is unfair to Lewis and the interview. I don't think Lewis was trying to be anything. That's bull__t, he might have agreed. He was simply answering the questions as truthfully as he could (and trying to be a bit funny). He dissed Colbert but praised Tina Fey as "brilliant."  

Lewis was not really part of my generation, and I am somewhat unschooled in vintage comedies, so I can't say I was ever a great fan. I always associated him with silly movies and the Muscular Dystrophy telethons. Though I did think his portrayal of "Jerry Langford" in The King of Comedy was nifty.

But the interview made me want to review his work (the EWTN segment contained some clips).

At the end of the interview (not transcribed here). Lewis tells Arroyo that he was the "best interviewer he ever had." I can believe it. And I think Lewis meant it. Among other things, there's such an obvious sense of good will between the two men.

If you missed it in 2015, and if you have time, watch the full interview, below. It reveals much about Lewis, the comedian and the person, as well as giving a glimpse into the history of mid-20th century comedy and show business.

Tomorrow, I'll post a video of the worst interviewer Jerry Lewis ever had...

The EWTN segment lasted 57 minutes, with the interview taking up most of it. The transcribed section is from approximately 43:55 to 50:00:

Raymond Arroyo: You told a story about going to China recently...

Jerry Lewis: Well they took me to the Great Wall, and I was with probably 200 press. (They) followed me all over Shanghai and all over China. But at the Great Wall I'm standing there with a reporter from United Press and he said, "well what do you think of the Great Wall?" I said "I think it's nice but it ain't great." It made the front pages of every paper in Asia: "Jerry Lewis calls the Great Wall, 'nice.'" And I said, "how do you say nice in China?" "Tongue-Yao." Nice.

Arroyo: Not so nice.

Lewis: I don't even know what that means, "Tongue-Yao." Well you never know that they have a special way of naming Chinese children. It's a special way. They take a huge silver platter. They put it on the ground. They grab a handful of silverware. They throw the silverware up in the air, and as the silverware hits the platter - "ting tong ching chong tong ting" is how they named Chinese children.

Arroyo: Now, you know when some people hear a joke like that, they say, well that's politically incorrect. You shouldn't be telling that joke.

Lewis: Oh, bullshit. [EWTN bleeped this out.]

Arroyo: What do you say?

Lewis: I got six Catholic jokes that'll stop their services.

Arroyo: You can't tell them now.

Lewis: No, of course not.

Arroyo: But you can tell me when we're finished.

Lewis: So these two Jews... no [Lewis makes the sign of the cross].

Arroyo: That's what I like, to see, Jerry.

Lewis: And that's not easy when you're a Jew [winks].

Arroyo: I know, I know, but that's good, it's good practice. Um, tell me who do you consider funny today. I'm going to give you some names...

Lewis: Robin Williams...

Arroyo: Oh, but he's gone.

Lewis: What he did is not gone. Billy Crystal...

Arroyo: Oh hilarious.

Lewis: I mean...

Arroyo: Jimmy Fallon...

Lewis: He's a beginner. He's got a long way to go. But he's doing well, he's doing well. The fact that he's doing the third show makes it well. Jimmy Fallon could never ever be like the old comics that we remember. He could never do what I do because he had too many years on Saturday Night Live, which was a series of this is what you will do and that's what we're shooting next. No point of view. No contribution. They just did what was on the credit...on the cue card. And I think Jimmy is suffering from that kind of work. And watch him in about a year. You're going to see a development of this kid that's going to be so wonderful.

Arroyo: What about Stephen Colbert?

Lewis: I don't like him.

Arroyo: Why not?

Lewis: I think he's a snob. I think he's elitist and snob.

Arroyo: Hmm Tina Fey...

Lewis: Ah, wonderful.

Arroyo: Really?

Lewis: Brilliant, brilliant, everything comes from her brain. Marvelous.

Arroyo: I want to talk about some quick contemporary events. You are beloved in France.

Lewis: Don't forget it [makes funny look off camera].

Arroyo: The French Legion of Honor.

Lewis: And the Commander of Arts and Letters.

Arroyo: You are adored there. I mean, when you show up at Cannes or... it's, forget Angelina Jolie or anybody else. It's Jerry Lewis everybody wants to see.

Lewis: Pretty much.

Arroyo: And humble, too...[Lewis smiles]. When you watch what’s been happening on CNN and on Fox, ISIS blowing up, shooting people indiscriminately — what went through your mind as you saw this?

Jerry Lewis: You gotta remember something. ISIS has attacked the world, OK? And all of a sudden I’m wondering, where are all of our NATO allies? Why don’t I have Germany, and Italy, and Great Britain? Why don’t I have all of them, including Spain, doing something? Get all of your military together, bring that military to our military, and wipe ’em out. They’re asking to be stopped. And we’re not stopping them, we’re just reporting what they’re doing. That’s ridiculous.

Arroyo: And what do you think about the refugees?

Lewis: The refugees should stay where the hell they are.

Arroyo: They say there’s a humanitarian crisis. They’re fleeing. They have to come to America...

Lewis: Hey, nobody has worked harder for the human condition than I have. But they’re not part of the human condition, if 11 guys in that group of 10,000 are ISIS. How can I take the chance? I don’t want to lose another Frenchman or another Englishman. That bothers me. You can’t really knock the president [Obama] per se because he was never given to understand that’s out there. He was never ready, never prepared for it. And what I’m watching in him is uncertainty. And you don’t have uncertainty in a leader. A leader doesn’t give a s___ what he does, but he gets it done.

Arroyo: Politics: I know you watch it. I see you watching news every minute of the day. What do you think of Donald Trump?

Lewis: I think he’s great.

Arroyo: Why?

Lewis: Because he’s a showman. And we’ve never had a showman in the president’s chair.

Arroyo: Well, you had Ronald Reagan. He was a bit of a showman.

Lewis: Well, that’s different. You can’t make a comparison with Ronald Reagan, because I can do three hours on him with just praise, he was so good.

Arroyo: Alright, final questions: What is the legacy of Jerry Lewis?

Lewis: The legacy?

Arroyo: The legacy of Jerry Lewis.

Lewis: My son.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Muslim Bomb and Stabbing Attack in Siberian City Leaves 8 Injured, 2 Critically

A lone policeman calls for help over the body of a man who went on a  bomb and stabbing rampage in Surgut, Russia

Only 24 hours after the Muslim stabbing attack in Turku, Finland, there was another Muslim stabbing incident in a far-north European city.

In Surgut, Russia, a man detonated a molotov-cocktail-like device in a shopping mall and then went on a stabbing spree before being shot dead by police. Eight people were injured, including two who are "fighting for their lives."

The attacker is believed to be a Muslim from the Russian republic of Dagestan. ISIS allegedly took credit for the attack, though Russian authorities are skeptical of the link.

Surgut is a city of approximately 350,000 located in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug of Siberia. Ironically, the administrative area is roughly the size of Finland and its latitude of 61 degrees North is almost precisely that of Turku.

Russia has a Muslim population of at least 12%, many of them concentrated in a few republics in the Caucasus. Mahound's Paradise has no idea what the figure is for the proportion of Muslims in Surgut or west-central Siberia.

From the Daily Mail (the CCTV video is accessible on the site):
CCTV ‘shows Russian knifeman planting and igniting explosive device in shopping mall moments before going on a stabbing spree which killed eight’
  • Siberian knifeman, was named locally as 19-year-old Artur Gadzhiev
  • He is believed to be from Dagestan, a strongly Muslim region of Russia
  • He was shot dead by armed police in a busy street in Surgut, central Russia
  • At least two people fighting for their lives while another five were hospitalised
  • New video has emerged appearing to show him igniting device in shopping mall
A new video of the Russian teenage knifeman, appearing to plant and ignite an explosive device in a shopping mall before going on a stabbing spree, has emerged today.
The footage showing an explosion in Surgut shopping mall will raise fears that the incident was a terrorist attack, as the Islamic State has claimed.
The man, believed to be 19-year-old Artur Gadzhiev is shown clearly from a CCTV camera. He is also accused of stabbing at least eight people in city streets.
An explosion is seen on the footage, matching witness statements about the incident.
Russian officials on Saturday gave minimal details about the attack in the Siberian oil city, and initially played down a terrorism incident.
The attacker, named locally as Gadzhiev, was shot dead by police in a busy main street in Surgut, central Russia, at about 11.20am local time.
He is believed to be from Dagestan, a strongly Muslim region of Russia in the Caucasus.
Gadzhiev's father Lametulakh was reported to be registered with Russian police as an 'extremist' and 'supporter' of radical Islam.
Shocking CCTV shows people fleeing for their lives as the attacker rampaged outside shops in the city.
Footage shows him running by a pavilion and throwing something away before he was shot dead.
At least two people are fighting for their lives, while another five were hospitalised in the stabbing spree, authorities said.
However witnesses claimed that the number of victims could be much higher.
The attacker was originally named as Bobichel Abdurakhmanov but his 'real name' was later reported by Mash, a media seen as close to law enforcement sources, and quickly reported by mainstream Russian news sources, including state media.
There was no immediate separate confirmation from the authorities. Gadzhiev was from Khasavyurt town, and it was unclear why he was in Surgut.
He was reported to be a supporter of Zenit St Petersburg and Manchester United football clubs.
His behaviour was sometimes described as 'strange' but he was not registered as a person with 'mental problems', according to unidentified locals.
Earlier the Russian Investigative Committee said it was looking into 'his possible psychiatric disorders'.
But local news agency, Surgut Inter Novosti, suggested the violent attack was larger than the authorities had initially revealed.
'According to witnesses, unknown people threw a Molotov cocktail bottle inside 'Severny' shop, then they attacked a woman with an axe near a cash machine.
'More than 10 people with injuries have been taken into emergency care.'
But there was no immediate official confirmation of this claim.
The knifeman 'carried out attacks on passers-by, causing stab wounds to eight,' Russia's Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes said.
The spokesman added that armed police 'liquidated' the attacker.
Nobody was killed in the assault but victims needed immediate medical treatment, said officers.
At least two of the victims were fighting for their lives while five more were in a stable condition, the government of the Khanty-Mansi region said in a statement.
There were reports that more than one attacker was involved and that the number of victims was higher than officials have disclosed, but these claims have not been verified.
The attacker may have suffered from a psychiatric disorder, the interior ministry said.
'The version that the attack was a terrorist one is not the main one,' the interior ministry added.
'In the interests of public calm and also of the investigation, citizens and media are recommended to use reliable information in assessing the situation until all the circumstances are established.'
Surgut is the largest city of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area region with a population of around 350,000.
It is a major centre for oil and gas production in the country.

Finland Stabber a Moroccan Asylum Seeker, Specifically Targeted Women, May Have Been Part of Larger Terror Cell

On the site where two people bled to death, a woman plays a lullaby on a traditional Finnish instrument 

Finnish authorities revealed that the Turku, Finland stabber, who was injured but is now in custody, is an eighteen-year-old asylum seeker from Morocco. After first claiming that there was no evidence that it was a terror attack, the authorities stated that they had "received additional information" confirming that "the criminal offenses are now terrorist killings." Five other men were arrested.

The article from The Telegraph, below, summarizes the recent news as well as highlighting what has now become a mini-story in the international press - that the attacker targeted women, and the two men that were injured were hurt trying to come to their defense.       
Finland 'terror' attack: Briton injured 'trying to save' women targeted in attack which left two dead 
A British man was injured in the Finland terror attack as he tried to help save eight women from a knife-wielding attacker who killed two of them. 
The attacker stabbed two Finnish women to death and injured six more in a market place in the city of Turku, 90 miles west of the capital, Helsinki, on Friday, as a British man tried to save them. 
Police shot and wounded the 18-year-old attacker in the leg and arresting him minutes after the afternoon stabbing rampage in the busy market square. 
The police say the Moroccan man specifically targeted women and it was the intervention of the British man and one other that helped to save more lives before he was apprehended. 
"We think that the attacker especially targeted women, and the men were wounded after coming to the defence of the women," superintendent Christa Granroth of Finland's National Bureau of Investigation. 
"One man was injured trying to help a victim and one man tried to stop the attacker," Granroth said. 
Two Finnish citizens were killed in the attack and a British man, two Swedes and an Italian were injured. 
The victims ranged in age from 15 to 67. 
The British Embassy in Helsinki said: "We have been in touch with the British National and offered consular support." 
The British man sustained minor injuries, he was taken to hospital for treatment and later released. 
Hassan Zubier, 45, the other man who tried to help, was repeatedly stabbed in the neck and chest as he tried to protect his girlfriend and others. 
One victim died in his arms as he tried to save her. 
"We were strolling around the square when we suddenly heard someone screaming. I turned around and saw a guy stabbing a woman with a knife while she was on the ground," Mr Zubier told Swedish daily Expressen from the Turku hospital. 
"I rushed to help her and tried to stop the blood flow. Others gave her heart and lung assistance." 
Mr Zubier, a Swedish national. 
"I try to stop the violent bleeding from her throat. Then he stabs me with the knife again. The woman is so badly injured and she died in my arms." 
Mr Zubier and his girlfriend were on holiday in Turku. They were planning to have taken a cruise ship back to Stockholm on Friday night. 
Finnish police say the suspect, from Morocco, entered the country last year and was going through the asylum process. 
"The act had been investigated as murder, but during the night we received additional information which indicates that the criminal offenses are now terrorist killings," police said in a statement. 
The suspect's "identity is known to the police. He is an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen," it said. 
The attacks on Thursday in Barcelona were also carried out by a Moroccan-born terror cell, which left 14 dead. 
"There was a raid and we have now six suspects in custody, the main suspect and five others," detective superintendent Markus Laine of the National Bureau of Investigation said. 
"We are investigating the role of these five other people but we are not sure yet if they had anything to do with [the attack]... We will interrogate them, after that we can tell you more. But they had been in contact with the main suspect," Mr Laine added.

Friday, August 18, 2017

BREAKING: Muslim Terror Stabbing in Finland - At Least 1 Dead, 6 Injured Including a Woman and Her Baby

The video after the story shows people running during or after the attack, with "Allahu Akbar!" being screamed by someone. [Edit: the phrase audible in the video might have been "Watch out!" In Finnish. But as I understand it, the original claim that the attacker shouted "Allahu Akbar!" was based on the testimony of one or more eyewitnesses. See, for example, the recent story at the New York Times.] From the Daily Mail:
BREAKING: One person killed and multiple victims are injured after man ‘screaming Allahu Akbar’ goes on knife rampage in Finland before being shot and arrested
  • Several people reported to have been stabbed in Turku, Finland after rampage
  • A witness reported seeing a body lying lifeless on the floor in the Market Square 
  • Police have warned people to stay away from the area while they respond 
  • Local media reporting that a woman with a pram was one of those stabbed
  • One person is feared dead after a man armed with a knife stabbed several people in Finland before being shot by armed police. 
Eyewitness reported hearing one or more gunshots and seeing at least one person lying dead on the ground. 
In a video purporting to show the aftermath of the attack, a scream of 'Allahu Akbar' - Arabic for 'God is the greatest' - can be heard as people run in the street. 
The Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat said six people are injured, one man and five women, and that a woman with a pram was attacked by a man with a large knife. 
Police shot a man in the leg before arresting him, according to reports. 
The attack is said to have occurred in the city of Turku, in the southwest of the country. 
The Turun Sanomat newspaper said that at least one person was killed in the attack. 
At least two people have been reported to be hurt in the Market Square. 
According to local media site Uutiset, police tweeted: 'Several people stabbed in central Turku. People are requested to avoid the city centre.' 
Moments later a suspect was shot in the leg and arrested. 
Officials have warned people to stay away from the area. 
Police have said they are upping security at Helsinki airport and train station in response to the incident.

Jared Tucker, 43, American Man Among the Missing in Barcelona Attack

Jared Tucker and his wife, Heidi Nunez
An American man is among the missing after yesterday's terrorist attack in Barcelona, according to news sources. Today's article from Daily Mail also summarizes yesterday's events:
San Francisco wife in desperate search for her husband in the wake of the Barcelona terror attack - after he went to find a toilet moments before a van rammed into crowds on Las Ramblas
  • Jared Tucker, 43, was in Las Ramblas area of Barcelona during the terror attack
  • 13 are dead, around 100 wounded after van ploughed through crowds of people
  • Tucker and wife Heidi Nunez were shopping for souvenirs when chaos unfolded
  • She fled the area with a friend unscathed but later returned to try and find him
A San Francisco man who was in the Barcelona tourist district when a terrorist ploughed a van through dozens of bystanders has not been seen since.
Jared Tucker, 43, was in Las Ramblas area with his wife Heidi Nunez when they became separated in the chaos of the attack which left 13 dead and more than 100 injured.
Hours after the first attack, five jihadis in fake suicide vests were shot dead by police after launching a second onslaught in Cambrils, 70 miles from Barcelona.
Tucker's brother-in-law Kalani Kalnui says they were buying souvenirs on the sidewalk when the vehicle came rampaging through the street packed with holidaymakers.
He told ABC News: 'He left, and seconds later she was pushed over into the kiosk and she was disoriented trying to find him. Police evacuated... her from the area.'
Kalnui says Nunez was able to flee the area unscathed but went back to try and find her husband.
Nunez is said to have contacted hospitals, temporary rescue centers and the Red Cross to try and find Tucker.
She was able to get out of the area with the friend they were staying with in Barcelona, who came and picked her up.'
'She's not able to find out information,' Kalnui said. '[Officials] haven't posted anything as far as names who are injured or deceased.'
Spanish officials have said the dead and injured from the attack, in which a jihadi drove a van through crowds of people at 60mph, span 24 different countries.
Police are today hunting for Europe's most wanted man Moussa Oukabir, an 18-year-old Moroccan-born teenager believed to have been the driver.
His brother's ID was used to rent up to three vans, including the one in the attack, but he has since handed himself into police and denied any involvement.
Oukabir fled on foot, but it is unclear if he joined the Cambrils attack which police are now linking to the one in Las Ramblas.
Police believe the terror cell lived in the resort town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, where a house-cum-bomb factory packed with gas canisters was destroyed in an explosion on Wednesday killing one man and injuring another.
Catalonia's interior minister, Joaquim Forn, tells Onda Cero radio that the suspects in Cambrils were driving in an Audi 3 and began plowing down people near the boardwalk.
A police car was damaged and an officer was among the six people injured in the second attack.
Forn says the suspects killed in a subsequent shootout with police were wearing fake bomb belts. He says the belts were very well made, and that authorities only determined they were phony after a controlled explosion.
Seven people including a policeman were injured in Cambrils on the Costa Dorada where the Jihadis' Audi A3 car overturned after ploughing through crowds on the seafront.
The terrorists bailed out clutching knives and were seen smiling and shouting taunts at police who shot them dead in the street at around 1am.
Tourists ran for their lives and hid on the beach or in seafront bars as gunshots rang out around them and holidaymaker Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, described how police gunned down one of the Cambrils attackers but he got up again and started 'ranting and raving'.
He said: 'He must have been on drugs. He was taunting, smiling, laughing and he carried on walking to the police, and then they gave it to him again, a couple more shots and then he fell to the ground'.
  • 13 are dead and at least 100 are injured after an ISIS jihadi used a white Fiat van as a weapon on Los Ramblas, Barcelona at 4pm yesterday
  • The driver flees the scene after driving at 60mph along 500 yards of road swerving to hit men, women and children including dozens of tourists
  • Fugitive Moussa Oukabir, an 18-year-old Moroccan-born teenager, is Europe's most wanted man and is believed to have been the driver of the van
  • He may have rented up to three vehicles using his brother Driss' ID and his 28-year-old older sibling has since handed himself in to police and is among three suspects arrested
  • At 1am a second terror attack takes place in Cambrils, a seaside resort around 70 miles from Barcelona. An Audi A3 with five jihadis injures seven including a police officer as they plough through crowds. Their car turns over and they bail out with knives before being shot dead by police in the street
  • Police say a house in Alcanar, further along the Costa Dorada from Barcelona, exploded in Wednesday killing one. They say it was packed with gas canisters and contained maps of Barcelona and is now understood to be the terror cell's headquarters and bomb factory;
  • A man was shot dead in the town of Sant Just Desvern close to Barcelona after he drove at a road block but police now believe he was a not a terrorist;
  • ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are strikingly similar to attacks in London, Berlin, Stockholm and Nice, where rented vehicles were used as weapons

Thursday, August 17, 2017

PBS Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Removal of Confederate Statues

A mob pulls down a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina. The police did not intervene, but authorities now claim they are trying to identify and charge those involved. 

A PBS poll asked 1,125 Americans what they thought about the Civil War statue removals in Southern states. (The poll result was buried in an article with the headline, "Majority of Americans unhappy with Trump's response to Charlottesville.") Here are the results of the statue poll:
Do you think statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy should:
Remain as a historical symbol? 62%
Be removed because they're offensive? 27%
Unsure? 11%
Even among African-Americans, a slight plurality (44% to 40%) wanted them to remain.

I assume that the pro-statue results would have been even more pronounced within some of the states in question, such as, say, Virginia.

(By the way, if you object to the arguably extraneously benign wording of the first answer - remain as a historical symbol - take that up with PBS, not me.)

So, on the statue issue at least, the vast majority of Americans agree with the "neo-Nazis" in Charlottesville.

The statues are being removed by anti-democratic ideologues in local government, egged on by violent mobs - or, in at least one case, simply by violent mobs. See above.

Fascist mobs, I should add. That they call themselves "anti-fascist" while often dressing in black and attacking their opponents with baseball bats, makes the Orwellian irony all the richer.

Even the right to assemble and oppose the statue removals is being denied, either officially, by government decree - canceling the "Unite the Right" event at the last minute - or unofficially by the ever-present threat of physical violence by the mobs.

Richard Spencer et al. are poseurs, clowns and fringy losers with too much time on their hands. I don't think they're Nazis - though many of them do seem to get their jollies from flirting with Nazi imagery and symbolism (it's "edgy" or whatever). But if they didn't exist, the fascist left would need to invent them.

Or maybe it partly did. The chief planner for "Unite the Right" was an Obama supporter and "Occupy" activist up until quite recently. And many observers have alleged (with what degree of truth it is impossible to determine) that "the Feds" have thoroughly infiltrated the "alt-Reich" ranks.

But there's absolutely no question who the real fascists are.

Charlottesville was their Reichstag fire.

Or, at least, they want it to be.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Not a Parody: Ventura County Nuclear Preparedness Video Advises Bursting Into Song and Dancing

This is a real video put out recently by the Ventura County Health Care Agency on how to survive a nuclear strike nearby. I have idea whether the county is liberal or conservative or whatever.

I do know that if you thought Duck and Cover was silly (or even if you didn't), this is a thousand times that.

As for the advice itself, I think merely staying inside is problematic. Depending on where you are, and the characteristics of the bomb as well as the weather, etc., moving farther away or out of the path of the radioactive cloud might be a better option. It sort of depends. Though perhaps the idea is that by watching the news, you'll know whether to evacuate or not. If your electricity still works.

But I assume that singing and dancing will usually be ineffective.