Hat Tip: BB
Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.
You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.
To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.
It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?
So, let’s see what we have for you this week…
- The Noisy Room – Grover Norquist – The Enemy From Within On The Right
- The Right Planet – Post-Mortem: Glenn Beck vs. Grover Norquist
- Don Surber – Norman Borlaug. He saved a billion lives
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Forget The Nukes – Kill The Regime
- Joshuapundit – Cornell Dean: ‘Why Yes, ISIS Is Welcome To Train Jihadis On Campus!’
- Bookworm Room – Jesus would have supported RFRA
- The Razor – Red Barchetta Coming to a Road – and Sky – Near You
- The Independent Sentinel – Lt Gen Flynn-‘Incredible Policy Confusion’ While There Is a ‘Complete Breakdown of Order in the Middle East’
- VA Right! – Is Hanover School Superintendent Wilson Allowing Porn in School Libraries? You be the Judge!
- The Glittering Eye – Stability in Afghanistan and Other Oxymorons
- Rhymes With Right – Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District Dies Not With A Bang, But A Whimper
- Nice Deb – Pushing Back Against The Left’s Attack on Religious Freedom
- The People’s Cube – Smear Here: The Official Ted Cruz Denouncement Thread
- Maggie’s Notebook – Bowe Bergdahl: 8 Who Died Searching for a Deserter – Where’s Rose Garden Apology?
- Seraphic Secret – Obama’s Jihad Against Israel
- Howard Jacobson – Witness the final walk of a dog and know all you need to know of dignity in death… and life
- Sultan Knish – Obama’s Two State Tantrum submitted by The Noisy Room
- Frank Gaffney, Jr./Center for Security Policy – Grover Norquist is No ‘Useful Idiot’ submitted by The Right Planet
- Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – Exclusive: Virginia State Bar case against Israel trip falling apart submitted by Don Surber
- Alan Johnson/World Affairs Journal – Iran’s Latest Bait and Switch submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali/WSJ – America’s Academies for Jihad submitted by Joshuapundit
- Stately McDaniel Manor – Rape Investigation: Reality v. Narrative submitted by Bookworm Room
- Cathy Young/Real Clear Politics – The UVA Case and Rape-Hoax Denial submitted by The Razor
- Mychal Massie’s The Daily Rant – Obamacare: Crutch for the Irresponsible submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- The Bull Elephant – Virginia State Bar Accused of Boycotting Israel; Media Relations Failure Ensues submitted by VA Right!
- The Diplomad 2.0 – Let’s Hear a Big “Yemen!” for Obama’s Foreign Policy! submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Ace of Spades HQ – The New Intolerance: We Are Now Required To Embrace Just About Everything, Except the Gutter Religion Christianity submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Ross Douthat/NY Times – Questions For Indiana’s Critics submitted by Nice Deb
- Timothy P. Carney/Washington Examiner – The Left wages total war; and then plays victim submitted by The Watcher
- Victor Davis Hanson – The Putin Way submitted by The Watcher
By: Alan Caruba
This is hardly the best week to demonstrate his intense hatred of Israel, but since he has devoted 18 months to a fruitless and foolish negotiation with Iran, one can understand why Barack Hussein Obama is in a bad mood. His foreign policy “legacy” is close to being flushed down the Iranian toilet.
On March 31, the Defense of Democracies’ Iran Press Review quoted the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, who said, “All should know that we will not allow the inspection of the country’s military and defense industries.” Or, as they say in Farsi, “No deal.”
This week began with Palm Sunday celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and proceeds to Good Friday which, at sundown, coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover and Christianity’s “last supper.” It concludes with Easter; holy days that occurred in the holy land that was Israel then and now.
Jesus was a Jew preaching primarily to Jews, whose disciples were Jews, and doing so entirely in Israel, the homeland of Jews for more than a thousand years at that time. The ancestors of Arabs in those days would have been regarded as Assyrians or Egyptians. The people called “Palestinians” did not exist until designated as such by Yassir Arafat in the 1960s.
So why is Obama leading a virtual war on Israel by declassifying information about Israel’s nuclear defenses and a purported effort to get the United Nations to declare “Palestine” a separate state?
At what point will it be understood that the United Nations has no power to create states or to grant formal “recognition” to state aspirants and that the Palestinian Authority and/or Hamas does not meet even the most basic characteristics of a state, lacking for example either a capitol or a currency.
As spelled out in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, “Palestine” would have to have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. By contrast, the current president of the Palestinian Authority is now into his eleventh year of a term that, by their own law, is limited to four.
Not only have the “Palestinians” refused statehood and a two-state relationship since the founding of Israel, but they have participated in large wars and small against Israel, beginning with one in 1948 when Israel declared its statehood. Despite 1949 Armistice Agreements, reprisal operations continued through to the 1960s from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The Six-Day war occurred in June 1967 and the Yom Kippur War was fought in 1973.
Focusing on the “Palestinians”, the First Intifada, an uprising against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza occurred from 1987 to 1993. It was followed by a Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005. Responding to escalating rocket fire, there was a three-week Gaza War from December 2008 to January 2009 and in 2014, the Israelis had to respond to weeks of rockets again.
Obama has turned to the United Nations knowing that it took the UN seventy years to even acknowledge the January 28-28 anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau, the Nazi death camp in which millions of Jews perished. The UN has studiously avoided the subject of anti-Semitism because that would only call attention to the fact that it has been the global platform for anti-Semitism since its founding in 1945.
A perfect example has been its Human Rights Council that has always included nations famed for their own lack of human rights. When it began its March 2nd session since electing 14 new members last fall, it included Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China and Russia. By the end of March, the Human Rights Council had declared Israel the world’s leading woman’s rights violator and followed up with a general condemnation, adopting four resolutions condemning Israel, four times more than any other of the 192 members of the UN.
This is the same UN that in 2014 elected Iran to its woman’s rights commission, that selected genocidal Sudan and other slave-holding nations to its Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to oversee human rights activists, and whose UNRWA handed rockets found in Gaza schools back to Hamas. By acclamation, a senior post on the US Special Committee on Decolonization was given to the murderous regime of Syria.
The question of whether Israel is guilty of war crimes was raised in the UN when, after weeks of rocketing from Gaza, it defended itself with an air and land war. It followed the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014. Operation Protective Edge began on July 8 and lasted seven weeks. In the course of it, they discovered over thirty tunnels whose purpose was to provide access to Israel for attacks on its citizens. Apparently self-defense is not a privilege the UN wants to extend to Israel.
In last Saturday’s issue of The New York Times, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of the World Values Network, took out a full page advertisement comparing the deal to empower Iran to make its own nuclear weapons to the 1933 Munich Agreement by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Adolf Hitler that led to World War II. In the Jerusalem Great Synagogue on the same day, the American-born Chief Rabbi said, “The President of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews.”
No doubt this will be on the minds of Jews, less than 0.2% of the world’s population, when they sit down to celebrate Passover, remembering their enslavement in Egypt and the exodus that led them to freedom. Jesus celebrated Passover and the Kingdom of God. He would pay for it when the Romans put him to death shortly thereafter.
It is futile to think that Obama will cease from his assaults on Israel in the remaining 22 months of his second and final term in office. Those who know the history cited above must join hands to resist this latest enemy of Israel, this disgrace to America who is already widely regarded as the worst, most lawless President ever elected to that office.
© Alan Caruba, 2015
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Statistics show that 1.6 percent of the population identifies itself as gay or lesbian. But judging from the hysteria over Indiana’s religious freedom law, it seems that many of them are in positions of power in the media. These power brokers are not only openly gay, but also anti-Christian. Even Holy Week hasn’t kept them from demonstrating their anti-Christian animus.
Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence spoke on Tuesday about the media misinformation over his state’s religious freedom bill. The “perception problem” he referred to is of the liberal media’s making. In fact, one can argue that the misperception was deliberately created by the media.
“I have to tell you,” he said to the press and the public, “that the gross mischaracterizations about this bill early on and some of the reckless reporting by some in the media about what this bill was all about was deeply disappointing to me and to millions of Hoosiers.” He called the coverage a “smear.”
Pence was reluctant to identify the source of the bias—homosexual influence in the major media. But until conservative politicians step forward to identity the real source of the problem, the homosexuals will continue to win the public relations battle and hide behind the façade of “objective” coverage when none exists. The fact is that the liberal media and the gay lobby are essentially one and the same.
It’s this kind of media bias that should not have come as a surprise to Pence, a former member of Congress and a strong conservative.
Liberal media bias is an old problem. The new wrinkle over the last several years has been the relentless promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.
Two years ago a Pew Research Center study of news media coverage of the gay marriage debate found that “Stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1.” Pew reported, “The findings show how same-sex marriage supporters have had a clear message and succeeded in getting that message across all sectors of mainstream media.”
The media know they’re biased, of course. They are careful to conceal the depth and extent of the bias, in the sense that few members of the public are being told that most of the major news organizations are financial backers of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). Literally all of the major media, ranging from MSNBC on the left to Fox News on the right, are in bed with the NLGJA.
However, we were somewhat surprised to find that even a financial channel such as CNBC is not above the slanted coverage. On Monday, as we reported, coverage of the markets and economics gave way to a lengthy interview with open lesbian Kara Swisher, who smeared opponents of gay rights as the equivalent of racists.
Regardless of what happens in Indiana, where Pence has vowed to clarify the statute, the issue won’t go away.
The Indiana case should serve as a lesson in how the media distort the news. The clear homosexual/media strategy, in this case, has been to redefine discrimination as the failure to do what homosexuals have demanded that you do, without explaining to the public how the meaning of the term has been changed to meet the demands of the powerful gay lobby.
Since our major media organs are openly pro-homosexual, we have to conclude that the bias in the Indiana case is deliberately designed to fool the American people into thinking that homosexuals are the victims when they are, in fact, the victimizers.
In practical terms, this bias is reflected in the typical ongoing failure of the media to quote pro-family and Christian voices, such as American Family Association of Indiana Executive Director Micah Clark, who has called the claim that the law bestows a “license to discriminate” as “perhaps the biggest lie about this law.” Pence said much the same thing at this press conference.
If our media had simply bothered to cover the other side of the story, rather than rely on pro-homosexual interest groups, we might have gotten some truth and facts in the national debate.
The victims of this bias, unfortunately, include top CEOs and businesspeople, such as Marriott International CEO Arne Sorensen, who called Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act “madness.”
Upon reflection, Sorensen must himself be mad or completely misinformed. Or, perhaps, he’s just pandering to homosexuals for their business. Marriott was named Corporation of the Year by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in 2014. It received a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s “Corporate Equality Index.”
The Human Rights Campaign is the group whose co-founder, Terry Bean, has been arrested on child sex-abuse charges.
Perhaps people like Sorensen don’t want to know the facts and simply don’t care whether the rights of Christians are violated in the pursuit of providing special rights for homosexuals.
Micah Clark, of the American Family Association (AFA) of Indiana, explains how the Indiana law works: “This law does not allow a person of faith to deny service to someone, nor should it,” he points out. “No Christian bakery owner should say that people involved in homosexual behavior couldn’t shop in their bakery. That, in my opinion is wrong, un-Christian and discriminatory unless the patron is misbehaving ( i.e., ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service’). However, when a customer seeks special participation from the baker, asking him or her to specially decorate a ‘gay’ wedding cake and come set it up at a homosexual wedding, then there is a very different line crossed, and a problem for most people of faith.”
The Indiana law attempts to protect people of faith from being forced to participate in activities that they have religious objections to.
The American Family Association has noted the following four cases in states without a religious freedom law involving Christian business owners being prosecuted, fined or punished for refusing to bow to homosexual demands:
- Washington: Florist Barronelle Stutzman was fined by the state for not providing flowers for a homosexual wedding.
- New Mexico: Photographer Elaine Huguenin was ordered by the state to give a lesbian $7,000 for declining to take pictures of a lesbian wedding.
- Oregon: Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $150,000 by the state for refusal to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding.
- Kentucky: Blaine Adamson was ordered by the city of Lexington to undergo “sensitivity training” for refusing to print T-shirts for a gay pride festival.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group involved in several of these cases, says there are three key issues at stake:
- Whether the government can force Americans in expressive professions to communicate messages and ideas against their will
- The freedom of Americans to live and do business according to the teachings of their faith and the dictates of their conscience
- Whether Americans should be forced to compromise freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution
The case of the florist in Richland, Washington, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, illustrates the stakes. She is being sued by the Attorney General because she declined to decorate for a same-sex ceremony and may be forced into financial bankruptcy.
Joseph Backholm of the Family Policy Institute of Washington state has commented about the case: “…there’s a problem with the argument that she discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. She has consistently and happily done business with people who identify as gay for years, including the individuals involved in this case. She considered them friends.” What she objected to was being part of a same-sex marriage ceremony.
In this case, as noted by her attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a state judge ruled that the government can force her to do custom design work and provide wedding support services “even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
As such, this is a violation of the basic God-given right to freedom of religion that the founders of the United States gave to the American people. It is as sacred as freedom of the press.
This is the issue: In the name of “non-discrimination,” homosexuals want to force Christians and other religious believers to violate the principles of their faith. But this is precisely the point that has been deliberately obscured by a media that functions as the propaganda arm of the militant gay lobby.
ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner noted, “The couple had no problem getting the flowers they needed. In fact, they received several offers for free flowers. So, where’s the tolerance for Barronelle Stutzman? It’s hard to believe that Barronelle should prepare to have everything she has earned and built seized by the state just because of her beliefs about marriage.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook, an open homosexual, attacked Indiana’s religious freedom law, saying, “There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country.” What is dangerous is how a small minority is trying to dictate the acceptance of their lifestyle by the majority. They have gotten this far because the same small minority also seems to control major centers of media and corporate power in the United States.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
I was watching CNBC on Monday for updates on the markets and economic affairs when I suddenly found technology “journalist” Kara Swisher of “Re/code” being “interviewed” by the “Squawk Alley” team about Indiana’s new religious freedom law. She compared opponents of the homosexual agenda to racists and said that Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R), who signed the law, is “shameless.” The interview went on and on, with no opposing views presented.
Although shocked at first by her blatant hostility toward Christian America, a little digging discovered that Swisher is a major player in the gay community and CNBC is a major outlet for homosexual propaganda.
Swisher, who has interviewed President Obama and Hillary Clinton, had been a featured speaker at the “Lesbians Who Tech” summit, where she used the “F” word quite liberally and declared: “I’m often confrontational, so F— you.”
The group “Lesbians Who Tech” describes itself as “a Community of Queer Women in or around tech.” The American people might be interested to know that the sponsors of the “Lesbians Who Tech” event included Google, ebay, Wells Fargo, Intel, Walmart, Target and Amazon, among other corporations.
Not surprisingly, the pro-homosexual Huffington Post ran a glowing profile of the summit by its own correspondent, a self-described “Lesbian-Feminist, Public Intellectual PhD” by the name of Marcie Bianco. This appeared in the on-line publication’s “Gay Voices” section, which has also featured a video of full frontal male nudity.
When I pointed this out recently, I was attacked by the “conservative” Daily Caller for somehow exaggerating what The Huffington Post had done. It’s a sign of the times that even a “conservative” outlet is reluctant to expose the shameless promotion of homosexuality in the media. One of the main funders of The Daily Caller is a Christian by the name of Foster Friess.
At the risk of promoting this kind of repulsive “journalism,” it is important to note that The Huffington Post item, Male Full-Frontal Nudity Supercut: Which Stars Have Bared It All?, which appeared in the “gay voices” section, was exactly as I described it—a form of gay porn.
But when Christians get repulsed by this kind of thing and seek to protect their families and children from it, they are singled out as bigots.
With Google in the news because of its clout and influence with the Obama administration, it is important to note that Swisher has announced on her website that Megan Smith, a former vice president at Google and Swisher’s “longtime spouse from whom I am now separated and have two children,” is now the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, working for President Obama.
Smith’s White House bio also discloses that she previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, a company that targeted lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. It was then acquired by Here Media Inc., which owns the Alyson Books publishing division.
Do you remember the “children’s books” which carried the titles Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s New Roommate? Those were published by Alyson. Some of its more recent titles include the “S/M classics” Coming to Power and Leatherfolk. The latter is described as a book about a “distinct subculture” known as “the gay and lesbian leather underground.”
But don’t expect any coverage of this “lifestyle” by the major media, except perhaps to promote it.
Swisher’s softball interview was not a surprise. She has a CNBC “profile” on the channel’s website, demonstrating that she is a regular. Indeed, her online “news” service “Re/code” is owned by Revere Digital, whose minority investors and strategic partners include the NBCUniversal News Group. This guarantees Swisher access to such media properties as CNBC, MSNBC, “Today,” and the “NBC Nightly News.”
This helps explain some of the homosexual movement’s clout in the major media.
CNBC won’t advertise the fact, but the channel is itself a big backer of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). Mandy Drury, Simon Hobbs and Carl Quintanilla of CNBC have appeared at NLGJA fundraisers.
At one NLGJA event, Natalie Morales of the NBC “Today” show described how “Many of us here in this room—the media—we are responsible for opening the world’s eyes to these issues and the stories that have brought about such change.”
Now that they’re on the verge of getting the Supreme Court to declare gay marriage the law of the land in all 50 states, the homosexuals in the media are identifying and demonizing their enemies in the heartland of America. That’s what Indiana is all about.
Swisher and her lesbian and gay allies are saying “F— You” to traditional American values.