11/28/14

The Council Has Spoken! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 11/28/14

The Watcher’s Council

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act II, Scene 2

There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, 
it will be because we destroyed ourselves. – President Abraham Lincoln

This week, we had a tie between two pieces that both dealt with President Barack Hussein Obama’s plan for amnesty for illegal migrants by executive order.

Joshuapundit’sStrangling the Eagle – Barack Obama And Amnesty, Part I, was my analysis of exactly what this president is proposing and its ultimate effect on the country, much of what was hidden with President Obama’s obtuse rhetoric and serial prevarication.

Bookworm’s fine essay Brit Hume’s loud silence reveals the ugly secret about Obama’s immigration amnesty announcement, goes a great deal deeper in revealing her first person account with one of the major obstacles in dealing with what the president is attempting to impose on the country – sheer cowardice in unexpected places… and as usual, she takes us right to the heart of the matter.

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Since I break the ties, Bookworm’s insightful piece takes the honors this week. Here’s a slice:

There are some words that, as a writer, I’ve always wanted to use. One of those words is “cadaverous,” which I think is just a lovely, almost Dickensian word. Having attended last night’s delightful PRI Gala dinner, I finally have that chance. But let me start at the beginning…

I don’t usually attend galas. Indeed, I don’t ever attend galas, since I am almost pathologically cheap and, no matter how much I admire the speaker or expect the company to be delightful, I simply cannot make myself pay several hundred dollars for a dinner and speech. Add to that the fact that it’s disrespectful for me to spend huge sums of money on a political cause that my husband finds distasteful, and galas and I are not a common pairing. I only was able to attend the PRI event thanks to the incredible generosity of a local Marin conservative who sponsored a table and invited me to be one of his guests.

The event was held at the Fairmont, atop Nob Hill, which is one of the truly grand dame hotels in the world. The Fairmont was in the process of being built when the ’06 quake struck, causing severe damage. Once the dust cleared, building on the hotel resumed with help from architect Julia Morgan (of Hearst Castle fame), who had all sorts of wonderful ideas about reinforced concrete for structural integrity. In 1945, the Fairmont hosted the meetings that culminated in the United Nation’s creation. The hotel is sufficiently charming and magnificent that I forgive it for being the venue that gave birth to that appalling antisemitic, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-freedom, and anti-individualism organization. But as I so often do, I digress.

For me, there were only two problems with the evening: First, the table at which I sat was so large, and the volume of conversation so loud, that I was only able to speak to the men (very nice, interesting men) to my immediate left and right, which meant that there was a whole table full of manifestly intriguing people with whom I did not exchange a single word. Second, Steven Hayward, from Power Line, was supposed to speak there, but an attack of bronchitis kept him away. I’m a big admirer and was disappointed that I couldn’t meet him. The fact that those were was my only disappointments tells you that it was a damn fine evening indeed.

The food was exquisite (I love filet mignon), the speeches ranged from interesting to very interesting, and I was delighted to see former California Governor Pete Wilson receive the Sir Antony Fisher Freedom Award. I have a special reason for that delight. You see, just as in the 1980s I was a Democrat who utterly failed to appreciate what an extraordinary man, thinker, and politician Reagan was, I was still a Democrat in the 1990s, and therefore utterly failed to appreciate what an extraordinary man, thinker, and politician Wilson was. I grossly underestimated the measure of the man back then, and was therefore so pleased to stand up and applaud him now. (To appreciate what a great governor he was — a fact that the MSM successfully obscured in the 1990s for unthinking young Democrats like me — check out the Wikipedia article’s incomplete list of his accomplishments.)

After Gov. Wilson received his award and gave a short talk, the mike was turned over to the evening’s featured speaker, Brit Hume — and this is where I get to use the word “cadaverous.” I need to start out by explaining that, since I watch TV only occasionally (to satisfy my low passion for Dancing With the Stars or to see Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey), I had no idea who Brit Hume was sufficient to justify his role as a keynote speaker at a PRI gala. You probably know that he’s a former ABC correspondent and a current Fox News analyst. I did not know that.

My ignorance about Hume extended to his looks. I had no idea what he looked like. When I realized who he was, I went over to introduce myself and shake his hand, which took all of 10 seconds. (At NOUS events, protocol is to greet the speaker, and there are penalties for those who fail to do so. Having become familiar with this requirement, I like it and, if I can, extend it to all events that I attend.) Hume is very tall, and quite thin, and he has a slightly hound-doggish face, with a grayish cast to his complexion. He is a very nice looking man — but he is also somewhat cadaverous looking. (And there’s that word.) He’s not cadaverous in the sense of “corpse-like” but in the sense of “haggard and thin.” You TV watchers also already know what else I discovered about him, which is that he has a deep, lovely voice with a very slight Southern drawl.

Hume spoke about politics; Juan Williams; his start in an old-fashioned newspaper, complete with clattering typewriters and cigar-chomping copy editor; and Obama’s planned amnesty. It was this last that riveted my attention. Hume, whom I would describe as a very centrist Republican, had put together a laundry-list of things that Republicans shouldn’t do once Obama announces his amnesty. It was a comprehensive list. He started by noting that, because Republicans lack a Senate majority, Hume says it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to put together a veto-proof anything to block the amnesty and, failing that ability, any bills the Republican Congress passes will be a waste of time and the media will use any such efforts to paint Republicans as racist and selfish.

Hume also argued strongly that the House most certainly shouldn’t try to use the power of the purse to block Obama from putting the amnesty into effect because doing so will only precipitate another stand-off and shutdown. According to Hume, polls consistently reveal that voters hate shutdowns and, thanks to the media, that they always blame the Republicans, even though the president is arguably the true proximate cause. (I have a different feeling about shutdowns and the accompanying theater. Hume, incidentally, made clear that he has the lowest possible opinion of Cruz and the Tea Party.)

Impeachment, said Hume, is a no-go. The last time Republicans did that, it ended very badly for them. Just as with shutdowns, the public is hostile to this type of thing and, thanks to the media, it’s always the Republicans’ fault.

A lawsuit? Well, it’s true that Obama is acting outside of his Constitutional authority, but Hume believes that Congress will be found to lack standing to sue because it will not have sustained a direct injury as a result of the amnesty.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Dennis PragerWe Have a Moral Divide, Not a Racial One, submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s one of the better observations I’ve seen in print about what ails America.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

11/28/14

Diamond Rio: In God We Still Trust

Hat Tip: Citizen Scribe

THE SONG MOST RADIO STATIONS ARE BANNING IN THE USA

The song you are about to hear is from a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert.

They received an immediate resounding standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform.

Sadly, major radio stations wouldn’t play it because it is considered “politically incorrect.”

Consequently, the song was not released to the public.

We can all take care of that by sending it ON!!!

Although it is written for the United States it also applies to Canada and all other free Countries.

Every person in the USA, Canada and the free world needs to hear this song, so please keep it going.

11/26/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – What Stays In Vegas Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Snake Eyes for ol' Snake eyes.

Snake Eyes For the Snake-In-Chief!

From the awesome Chris Muir at Day By Day, of course.

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.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Tom White of Virginia Right is increasing in awesomeness every time we turn around! Aside from his status as a political guru in the Old Dominion, being virtually alone in predicting Dave Brat’s upset victory, he’s now becoming a local go to on other issues as well.

This week, he was cited in the Richmond Post-Dispatch, was interviewed on WRIC, the local ABC outlet and linked to on the station’s website after he wrote a big story locally about how parents in his locality were upset by the odd use of the name ‘Jihad’ in a kid’s math problem, which goes along with the Muslim Brotherhood line about ‘Jihad’ merely meaning ‘struggle’ and thus normal behavior… even though all four Muslim fiqhs (Muslim schools of jurisprudence) agree that it’s primary use is to refer to holy war against the infidel. Here’s Tom in action:

You just know that the retired teacher they let follow him is a hardcore Democrat, right? Outstanding, sir.

And speaking of outstanding, there’s another little matter we need to get to. Tom White just had a birthday that slipped by my notice, so it’s time for a belated festiva, que sabe?

Shadow Birthday Cake

This little number is called a Shadow Cake… yellow sponge with homemade chocolate buttercream, with some candy roses on top.

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And to drink, I’m going to resist the urge to go local and splurge on some Veuve Cliqot.

And, for those of you whom indulge, some wondrous Virginia moonshine, manufactured by men who despise both the revenooers (don’t we all?) and the idea of turning perfectly good corn into ethanol. Instead, they provide us with this nectar.

Slanje, Lechaim and Kempai!

Tom is what used to be referred to as a Renaissance man, someone who does many things superbly well. Aside from his undoubted blogging talent (he was chosen a top political blogger by the AFP in the 2012 elections), he’s a highly accomplished singer/songwriter who gigs locally and has his own studio, is highly active in Virginia politics, runs his own insurance agency and is a top IT consultant as well.

Of course, all that aside, he’s a great guy and a firm friend. He’s never failed to help out any of us who are mired in techi-type difficulties and that especially applies to me. Although none of us on the Council have ever met him personally, he was our unanimous choice to be the Council’s treasurer, which is just a small indication of the respect we have for him and the esteem we hold him in.

Me? All I’ll say is that from minute one, Tom was one of those people I instinctively liked. And also on the plus side, he puts up with me… how good is that?

Happy belated my friend. Many, many more.

This week, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, The Political Commentator, The Elder Of Ziyon and Seraphic Secret earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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.

Simple, no?

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, without further ado, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

11/21/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 11/21/14

The Watcher’s Council

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“This morning in Jerusalem Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue. To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable.”

“People who have come to worship God in a sanctuary of a synagogue were/// murdered in a holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder.” – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

“There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” – Victor Frankl, Auschwitz survivor, in ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’

“It’s not enough for us to say: ‘There are those carrying out Ribat’ (religious war over land claimed to be Islamic). We must all carry out Ribat in the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. It’s not enough for us to say: ‘The settlers have arrived [at the Mosque]’. They have come, and  we have to prevent them, by any means necessary, from entering the Sanctuary. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. – Mahmoud Abbas, inciting violence on Official Palestinian Authority TV

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This week’s winning essay was Joshuapundit’sThe Blood Of Zion Cries Out. It was my reaction on the day four rabbis and a Druze traffic cop who tried to stop the killers were murdered with guns and meat cleavers in a Jerusalem synagogue. Here’s a slice:

Early this morning, four Jews at morning prayers were murdered in a synagogue in Jerusalem after two Palestinian broke in and assaulted the worshipers with gunfire and meat cleavers.

Many others were wounded and four are in critical condition.

The terrorist attack took place in Har Hof a predominantly Orthodox neighborhood at the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue on Agasi Street.

The Murder victims were identified as Rabbi Moshe Twersky, the head of the Torat Moshe yeshiva, 59; 40-year-old  Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky; 50-year-old Rabbi Kalman Levine; and 68-year-old Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg(HY”D). Rabbi Kupinsky, Rabbi Levine and Rabbi Twersky were all American citizens, while Rabbi Goldberg was a British subject. A Druze policeman, 30-year-old Master Sergeant Zidan Sif subsequently died of his wounds as well, and all Israel will mourn and honor him.

The killers stormed the synagogue at 7 AM local time. There was no warning and no way for the victims to defend themselves.The rabbis were murdered during the sacred prayer of Shimoneh Esrei, with siddurim (prayer books) in their hands and their tefillum on.

Eye witness Ya’akov Amos said: ‘The terrorist moved to within a metre of me then started shooting. One, two, three, bang, bang, bang. I immediately hit the ground and tried to protect myself with a prayer stand. He kept screaming ‘Allah hu’Akbar’.

There was blood everywhere, so much that one of the medical workers slipped in it and broke his leg.

The international reaction was interesting. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed shocked, with his voice quavering. He even used the “T” word and called for an end to incitement against Jews.

Phillip Hammond, Britain’s Foreign Secretary contented himself with a bloodless statement that ‘both sides’ should seek to ‘reduce tension.’ President Obama, of course, said much the same thing. Somehow, I doubt they would have merely talked about both sides reducing tension if four imams had been murdered by a Jew and Qu’rans profaned in this way.

Israel’s economics minister Naftali Bennett was interviewed by the BBC today, and provides us with another indication of exactly how sick and depraved Britain has become when it comes to Israel and the Jews.

(just a hint – when Bennett mentions Abu Mazen, he is using Mahmoud Abbas’s nom de guerre, the terrorist name he used as Arafat’s second-in-command.)

Notice how the interviewer doesn’t even address the issue of Abbas inciting terrorism, but pulls the case of an Arab bus driver who died yesterday, as though that made the savage murder of four Jews at prayer legitimate. That Arab driver, by the way, had a full investigation and an autopsy done on him and there is no doubt he committed suicide. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, Israel jails murderers no matter who they are.

I really felt like saying ‘Kol Hakavod’ when Bennett held up a picture of one of the victims, which the interviewer hastily told him to put down lest he upset the gentle sensibilities of her viewers. I think it is absolutely essential to do just that – to let the British public see what their government is funding and supporting. And I hope it upsets them to the point of utter shame.

At the end of the interview, Bennett says that Britain is going to have to make a choice of whether they support the Free World or not. As I’m sure Bennett knows, the British Government has already made that choice. Which is why, perhaps, they feel compelled to put up with soldiers being beheaded in broad daylight and no go areas for police and non-Muslims in London and other large British cities.

The murderers were both killed in a shootout with police at the scene. They were Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal from the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Needless to say, they were acclaimed as heroes and martyrs by all the factions of the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians.

A Palestinian woman scatters sweets as she celebrates with others an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue

Palestinian supporters of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLP), a small militant group, dance while waving their flags, after they heard the news of the shooting

“We responded with shouts of joy when we received the news about their deaths,” Ala’a Abu Jamal said of his cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal to Yedioth Aharonoth. “People here distributed candies to guests who visited us, and there was joy for the martyrs.”

In a message published on its official new website Al-Resalah, Hamas said the attack was “a quality development in fighting the occupation. We highly value the heroism of its operatives.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attack on Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera as “heroic,” calling for more attacks of the same kind.

Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri happily wrote on Twitter that “Jerusalem has nothing but men who love martyrdom. The heroes of the knife are in Jerusalem. The heroes of the run-over [car attacks] are in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem men take revenge.”

And he posted this on his Facebook page:

A cartoon posted on the Facebook page of Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri has perpetrators of the Jerusalem attack dressed in religious Jewish garb asking 'where are they?' (photo credit: Facebook)

The Arab killer is asking ‘Where are they hiding?” Needless to say, in spite of what this cartoon shows none of the worshipers were armed.

And Fatah? Mahmoud Abbas, AKA Abu Mazen issued a ‘condemnation’ that wasn’t one. In a statement (in English, not Arabic) it said that “The Palestinian presidency” condemns violence “from whatever source” and “demands an end to the invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocations of the Settlers.”

In other words, ‘So sorry, but unless you surrender Jerusalem to us expect more of the same.’

This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who accused Jews of “contaminating” Al-Aqsa Mosque last week, who just a few days ago was telling his people, in Arabic, to ‘defend Jerusalem’ by any means necessary. This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who said nothing when Fatah published cartoons and Facebook posts encouraging terrorist attacks on Jews and “days of rage” to defend the ‘threatened’ Al-Aqsa.

Tawfik Tirawi, former chief of the Palestinian General Security in the West Bank and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee made it even plainer, and in Arabic. Today he told a radio station in Hebron that the attack was “nothing but a reaction to the recent crimes of the occupation and the settlers in occupied Jerusalem and across the nation. The threats of the occupation against our people and the Palestinian leadership, represented by the president, will only increase our efforts in safeguarding our rights.”

His remarks were reprinted on Fatah’s official Facebook page.

I should make something clear here. This is not the fault of Abbas, or Hamas, or any of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians.

It is the fault of the Israeli government.

A significant number of the Palestinians are simply acting as they have always acted since the 1920′s, and these tendencies were unleashed even further once Arafat and the PLO were allowed in to take over after Oslo.

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Israeli governments since Oslo have always allowed themselves to be pressured to ignore these instances of sheer horror… to release  convicted murderers, to make concessions to the terrorist entities on Israel’s borders, and most of all to avoid  finishing them off entirely when their violence and bloodshed mandated a response. This has been especially true since Barack Obama, who styles himself as the Palestinian’s very own community organizer entered the White House.

Is it any wonder that this sort of thing continues to happen? Is it really so puzzling that after allowing Hamas to continue in Gaza and maintaining any kind of relationship with Abbas and the PLO once they allied themselves openly with Hamas that they would resort back to Arafat’s tactics?

Yasser Arafat himself outlined for his followers what this war was really about. On Jordanian TV, right after signing the Oslo Accords he was criticized for signing a peace agreement with the Jews. He responded by reminding his audience of the Peace of Hubidiyeh, a treaty Mohammed made with the Quraysh tribe that he violated as soon as he was strong enough to massacre them, a story every Muslim knows. And then he outlined exactly what this war was about, saying that “either the Jews will push us into the sea or we will push them into the sea.”

Arafat, the leaders of Hamas and numerous members of Fatah have sung the same songs for years. Is it their fault that Israeli governments for years have refused to take them seriously?

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis HansonA Moral primer submitted by Joshuapundit. Hanson is an old classicist among his other virtues. In this essay, he looks at the state of America and the world, and especially the president who leads us and sees a lack of political and personal morality as a deadly problem, possibly a terminal one for our republic. Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

>And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

11/19/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Man Who Would Be King Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Cartoon_Daletoon_Merdas_25.jpg

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.

Council News:

This week, The Political Commentator, Gates Of Vienna, The Pirate’s Cove and Right Truth earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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.

Simple, no?

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…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

11/14/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 11/14/14

The Watcher’s Council


Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber and his Obamacare comic book for stupid Americans.


Net neutrality: Throttling innovation, for the greater good

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” – Thucydides

“They have healed also the hurt of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace”. – Jeremiah 6:14

“Let there be no mistake. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.” – Canadian PM Stephan Harper, addressing the nation after the Ottawa jihad attack on parliament, Oct. 23, 2014

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” – George Santayana

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sThe Day The World Stopped, was written on Armistice Day (called Remembrance Day in Canada, Australia, the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth) and consists of my reflections on that day, then and now. Here’s a slice:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– Lt. Colonel John McCrae, Canadian Army Medical Corps (1872-1918)

The poem above is a product of World War One, the great scar of history that changed the world and differentiated between ages. As you can tell by the dates, the writer became one of the millions who died in the carnage.

96 years ago today, November 11, 1918 started out as a day like any other day. Men sat in their trenches, looking at each other over the blasted and tormented ground that was No Man’s Land where so many of their comrades had fallen, where the very earth was gorged with blood and pain.

According to the accounts of those who were present, there was no air of celebration. The orders had come through that the Great War was to end on November 11th, 1918 at precisely 11 AM local time, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, but many of the soldiers refused to believe it, thinking it was a trick to lure them into exposing themselves to enemy fire.

The gods of war held sway until the last minute. Among the soldiers of the British Commonwealth,there are 863 who are recorded as having died on that November 11th. The constant din of machine guns, cries, small arms fire and artillery continued.

Colonel Thomas Gowenlock, who served as an intelligence officer in the American 1st Division was in the trenches that day.The orders had come through, but no one was completely certain they would be obeyed by either side, or that the armistice would last:

Official Radio from Paris – 6:01 A.M., Nov. 11, 1918. Marshal Foch to the Commander-in-Chief.

1. Hostilities will be stopped on the entire front beginning at 11 o’clock, November 11th (French hour).
2. The Allied troops will not go beyond the line reached at that hour on that date until further orders.
[signed]
MARSHAL FOCH
5:45 A.M.

Colonel Gowenlock wrote later that he drove over to the bank of the River Meuse to see if the war would really end. He wrote later that even with the orders for an armistice, the shelling was heavy on both sides.

“It seemed to me that every battery in the world was trying to burn up its guns. At last eleven o’clock came – but the firing continued. The men on both sides had decided to give each other all they had-their farewell to arms. It was a very natural impulse after their years of war, but unfortunately many fell after eleven o’clock that day.”

“…at the front there was no celebration. Many soldiers believed the Armistice only a temporary measure and that the war would soon go on. As night came, the quietness, unearthly in its penetration, began to eat into their souls. The men sat around log fires, the first they had ever had at the front. They were trying to reassure themselves that there were no enemy batteries spying on them from the next hill and no German bombing planes approaching to blast them out of existence. They talked in low tones. They were nervous.

After the long months of intense strain, of keying themselves up to the daily mortal danger, of thinking always in terms of war and the enemy, the abrupt release from it all was physical and psychological agony. Some suffered a total nervous collapse. Some, of a steadier temperament, began to hope they would someday return to home and the embrace of loved ones. Some could think only of the crude little crosses that marked the graves of their comrades. Some fell into an exhausted sleep. All were bewildered by the sudden meaninglessness of their existence as soldiers – and through their teeming memories paraded that swiftly moving cavalcade of Cantigny, Soissons, St. Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne and Sedan.

What was to come next? They did not know – and hardly cared. Their minds were numbed by the shock of peace. The past consumed their whole consciousness. The present did not exist-and the future was inconceivable.” *

We, who have grown up with the memory of wars like Vietnam with its 50,000 dead and Iraq with its 4,000 can barely conceive of what 5 years of total, merciless war was like. A whole social order overturned and a generation literally cancelled out, with over one million dead from the British Commonwealth and Empire, almost a million and a half Frenchmen, over one hundred thousand Americans and over 2 million Germans – something like 10 million military dead on both sides, and probably 6-7 million civilians who joined them.

It was a horror so complete that for the men who fought it, it became a way of life to the point where many of them had difficulty adjusting to any other, even if they survived.When the guns stopped it was as if the world had stopped.

And yet, as Lt. Colonel McCrae’s poem tells us, that sacrifice was not meaningless. And today is a day to remember that.

In Canada, where Veteran’s Day is called Remembrance Day, there was a special ceremony.

In Britain and Australia, Canada and other Commonwealth countries, today is known as Remembrance Day, a name that dates from the Great War so many never came home from. The red poppies, mentioned in Lt. Colonel McCrae’s poem are a symbol worn by millions – to remember.

Today, Canadians rededicated their memorial to those whom fell in the Great War in honor of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who were casualties of a newer war..one as yet undeclared, but no less of a sacrifice for freedom.

The Canadians are not the only ones who have lost men and women to this undeclared war that, at least here in America, doesn’t dare speak its name..not yet. Instead, there are attempts to hide it behind names like ‘workplace violence.’

There are defining moments in history. Sometimes, many of the men and women involved in them are aware of it as much as those whom come after them. Others remain unseeing of what is unfolding, and it is only revealed to them later.

We are in the middle of such a defining moment, whether we realize it or not.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Andrew McCarthy in the NRO with Amnesty and Impeachment, submitted by Nice Deb.

McCarthy, a very skilled former federal prosecutor as well as a brilliant writer (full disclosure… I’m halfway through my review copy of his new book, Faithless Execution), answers the question on many people’s minds right now – if President Obama orders amnesty for illegal migrants by executive order, can he be impeached? His answer may surprise you.

Here are this week’s full results. Only The Razor was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

11/12/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Give And Take Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

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.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Bookworm Room scored this week by being linked at James Taranto’s Best of the Web at the Wall Street Journal!

This week, The MidKnight Review, Blazing Cat Fur, The Pirate’s Cove, The Political Commentator and Seraphic Secret earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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.

Simple, no?

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…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

11/7/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 11/07/14

The Watcher’s Council


Putin manhandles Obama in Moscow’s propaganda art gallery

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee.” – Psalms 122:6

Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. – Benyamin Netanyahu

It’s not enough for us to say: ‘There are those carrying out Ribat’ (religious war over land claimed to be Islamic). We must all carry out Ribat in the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. It’s not enough for us to say: ‘The settlers have arrived [at the Mosque]’. They have come, and  we have to prevent them, by any means necessary, from entering the Sanctuary. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. – Mahmoud Abbas, inciting violence on Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 19, 2014

Jerusalem is united. it will never be divided again. – Yitzhak Rabin

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s400/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sA Murder In Jerusalem… And What To Do About It, is pretty much about what the title implies it is… a brutal murder committed during the recent outbreak of violence in Jerusalem and my thoughts on how to end it decisively. Here’s a slice:

Last night, A three-month-old baby was murdered and at least seven pedestrians in Jerusalem after a terrorist attack as an Arab driver deliberately drove his car into a crowd of people waiting at a Light Rail station close to the National Police headquarters.

The baby, Chayah Zissel Bron (HY”D) was an American citizen.

The killer has been identified as Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, who previously served time in jail for terrorist activities ( he was the nephew of Mohiyedine Sharif, Hamas’s former chief bomb maker) and has been identified by Israeli government spokesman Ofir Gendelman as a member of Hamas. He was shot by police as he attempted to flee and later died in the hospital. He had bragged for months on social media that he wished to murder Jews.

Needless to say, both Hamas and ‘moderate’ Fatah made him into a hero.

A poster honoring Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi issued by Fatah, October 23, 2014 (photo credit: Fatah Facebook page)

They published this poster honoring him. “The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem,” read the notice, posted on Fatah’s official Facebook page.

Both Hamas  and Islamic Jihad also praised the attack, with Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas spokesperson saying, “The attack in Jerusalem is an act of heroism and a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against our people and our holy places.”

Yes that is exactly how they look at it. Al-Shaludi’s family also received a financial award from Fatah. Yes, the murderer of an American citizen received blood money paid for by your tax dollars.

He was reportedly a resident of Silwan. I’d love to know why this cockroach was free and living in Jerusalem.Was he one of the terrorists freed from custody as a ‘gesture’ to Abbas? Or perhaps as part of the Shalit deal?

Nor was that the only violence in Jerusalem today. There was sporadic rioting in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and a Jewish kindergarten in East Jerusalem in the Ma’ale Hazeitim neighborhood on the Mount of Olives was pelted this morning by stones thrown at the children in their playground.

And attacks on the light rail continued, with Arab residents of the city hurling rocks and damaging two train cars in Shuafat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for the continued attacks in Jerusalem, saying Abbas was inciting violence against Jews in the city.

“This is how [PA President Abbas’s] partners in government act, the same Abbas who just a few days ago incited attacks on Jews in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said in a statement. Abbas has called for the Arabs whom identify themselves as Palestinians to ‘resist the settlers’ by any means necessary.

Of course Abbas is responsible. As I revealed previously, this intifadah, these attacks on Jews in Jerusalem and elsewhere were  planned at least a year ago, just like the last intifadah was by Arafat. Abbas and Hamas/Fatah were simply waiting for a good opportunity to unleash it. But Netanyahu is wrong here. The real blame lies with him and the Israeli government, who have put up with this nonsense for months.

It is the Arabs whom ethnically cleansed every Jews from their part of Jerusalem when they invaded the city in 1948. It is the Arabs who refused Jews access to their holy sites, who vandalized Jewish cemeteries, who destroyed 28 historic synagogues in the city and used the Western Wall as a garbage dump.It is the Israelis who offered to put that behind them, to share Jerusalem, share the Temple Mount and live in peace after reuniting the city in 1967. It is Israel who allowed the al-Aksa mosque to remain open.

It is time the Israeli government realized that this policy of reconciliation is a failure.For too many of the Arab residents of Jerusalem, sharing is simply not in their vocabulary.

Especially egregious to me was the reaction of America’s State Department. “We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

“We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.”

All sides? So according to our State Department, Israel and the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians are equally to blame?And it’s merely an ‘incident’ not a terrorist attack?

Maintain calm? Avoid escalating tension? Who is escalating the tension? Is it Israeli Jews murdering U.S. citizens in Jerusalem? What if it was your child, Ms. Psaki? Would you still call for restraint?

And if it was such a despicable attack, why is the U.S. government still funding Hamas/Fatah? And pressuring Israel for more and more concessions to the sort of people whom think this kind of attack is a heroic and even a holy thing?

Just compare the U.S. State Department’s reaction with that of Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma who posted this message on Twitter:

“Shocked by terrorist attack in Jerusalem + condemn unreservedly,” Sharma wrote. “Esp saddened by death of 3-month-old baby girl. Deep condolences to family.”

He wasn’t afraid to use the ‘T’ word, you’ll notice. And there’s no language in his message implying that Israel is equally to blame for this atrocity.

All that aside, what really counts now is Israel’s reaction.

Netanyahu has said he plans to reinforce the police units in Jerusalem, and come up with new plans formulated to deal with riots.Well and good, but it isn’t going to solve the problem.Israel needs to provide natural consequences for the violence that matters to the perpetrators, and frankly, a stint in the comfortable Israeli jails with three square meals a day, status as a ‘martyr’ and a nifty salary from the Palestinian Authority as a reward for killing Jews doesn’t qualify.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal with an interesting piece, How to Lose, and Win, Graciously, submitted by The Watcher. I admit to having my differences with Ms. Noonan, dating from her original love affair with candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that led her to trash vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in obscenely nasty terms over a hot mic – and then to try to lie about it.

It’s interesting because it shows the degree that Ms. Noonan has fallen out of love with this president, to the point where she counsels him to act with a little class, humility and decency in the wake of his recent political repudiation for the good of the country… but admits with a sigh that it probably just isn’t in him.

If I were to discuss this personally with Ms. Noonan, I might have more to say to her face about this, but for our purposes, I just recommend that you read this very well written column.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

11/5/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Elephant Stampede Edition

The Watcher’s Council

View image on Twitter

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.

Council News:

This week, Seraphic Secret, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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.

Simple, no?

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…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!