03/5/15
Israel

HOW PROUD WE ARE!

Arlene from Israel

Credit: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave the speech of his life today.  His speech was not merely good, it was, as one commentator here put it, perfect.

His pacing and his delivery were masterful; he managed to take the high road and deliver a powerful message at the same time.

But let me back up just a moment: before he spoke a word, he entered the chamber to a packed house and received a standing ovation that was overwhelming. It brought me and many others to tears, I will say.  Wow!

So much for the talk of boycotting the speech. Every seat was taken, and during that opening ovation, which went on and on, members of Congress cheered him, and reached out to shake his hand.  As I said (lacking a better term): Wow!

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I will include below both a full text of his talk and a full video. (If you haven’t seen the speech, I encourage you to watch – even though the video begins after that first standing ovation).

And so here I will simply touch upon his major points.

First, as to that high road.  He began by assuring everyone that he had no partisan intentions in coming to speak and said he understood that both Democrats and Republicans stand with Israel (which brought great applause). He thanked President Obama for all of the ways in which he has helped Israel: and he enumerated several ways.  Very gracious and non-confrontational.

Then too he refrained from revealing any secrets.  This was one of the major “concerns” voiced by Obama prior to the speech: we fear he will ruin negotiations by speaking of matters that should not be public.  Actually, what Bibi said was that the information he was sharing is available to anyone who Googles the Internet.  Took the wind right out of Obama’s sail, there.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bibi said he had a profound obligation to speak about Israel’s future, and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. He referred to the Book of Esther, and the upcoming holiday of Purim – which refers to an ancient threat to the Jewish people by Haman, in Persia.  Today, he said, another potentate in Persia (Iran is ancient Persia) is threatening to destroy the Jewish people.

Iran, however, is not just a threat to Israel, but to the entire world, which point is of considerable significance. He then proceeded to describe the nature of the regime in Iran, the zealots who seek to fulfill an ideological mission of jihad, exporting revolution around the world. In the Middle East, states are collapsing and Iran is rushing in. In addition, Iran is promoting terrorism worldwide. We must stop this march of conquest, subjugation and terror.

These are exceedingly important points: It’s not “just” about Iran nuclear, Iran is a problem and source of unrest in the world now.  What is more, in spite of the sweet words of Iranian leaders two years ago, there has been no moderation of Iran –it is as radical as ever.

Then Bibi delivered a warning: Do not make the mistake of imagining that in the battle between Iran and ISIS, Iran can become a friend. (Obama has promoted this ludicrous scenario.) Iran and ISIS are simply competing for the crown of the militant Islamic empire.

~~~~~~~~~~

The greatest danger to the world is Iran with nuclear weapons.  And, said Bibi, it could happen if the deal currently on the table is signed.

There are two major concessions that are of greatest concern:

1) Iran will be permitted to retain a vast nuclear infrastructure, which will allow a short breakout time.  Not a single facility would be demolished, and thousands of centrifuges would keep spinning.  The breakout time might be a year, but might be much less.

2) Apparently restrictions are to expire in about ten years.  The Iranians have declared intention to have 190,000 centrifuges – which would permit a whole arsenal to be put together in a matter of weeks.

The deal, as structured, paves the way for Iran to get the bomb.

As to inspections, the major problem is that inspectors inspect, but do not stop anything from happening. In 2005,  2006, and 2010, Iran defied inspectors, sending them packing.

Iran can also play “hide and cheat.”  Just yesterday, the IAEA said Iran won’t come clean.  They could get to a bomb by violating the deal.

The question of development of ballistic missiles is not even on the table; in time they will reach the US.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bibi does not believe Iran will change, but will actually become more aggressive with a deal.  They will be aggressive abroad and have prosperity at home.  A nuclear tinderbox will be created, as Iran’s neighbors rush to get the bomb too.

~~~~~~~~~~

But there is another way to handle the situation:

Restrictions on Iran must be kept in place as long as it continues its aggression in the region, fosters terrorism around the world, and threatens to annihilate Israel.

It is argued that the clock cannot be rolled back, as Iran has the know-how. But know-how without infrastructure goes nowhere. Roll back Iran’s infrastructure.

And keep the pressure on. (That is, sanctions.)  If Iran threatens to walk, call their bluff.

This is a very bad deal. No deal is better.

It is not true that the only alternative to this deal is war, the alternative is a better deal.

This is a fateful crossroad in history: Do not sacrifice the future for the present.

~~~~~~~~~~

NEVER AGAIN.  This, said Bibi, is the first time in 100 generations that the Jewish people are not powerless. We can defend ourselves.  Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. (The implication here is clear, and welcome on several levels.)

However, he knows that America stands with Israel. (This met with great applause.)

The story of Israel, he said, is the story of the human spirit that refuses to succumb to the world’s horrors.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bibi ended by citing Moses: “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them…”  This is Deuteronomy (D’varim) 31:6.  The completion of that phrase is, “for the Lord your God goes with you” – unspoken in Congress today, but, I am certain, clearly understood by our prime minister.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is the third time that Prime Minster Netanyahu has spoken before the Congress of the United States.  The only head of state to be similarly honored was Winston Churchill.  During the speech, there were some 24 standing ovations.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here you can find both video highlights of the speech, and, if you scroll down a bit more, the entire speech:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/192082#.VPYWMJv9nIV

And here you have the complete transcript:

http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=66628

~~~~~~~~~~

There has been enormous critical praise for this speech, beginning from the moment it was over.  Except on the left, of course.  Obama is perhaps the biggest clown with his comments on the speech which he only read in transcript form, he said, and which he referred to as “theater.”  (“theater”? and he wasn’t watching?) There was “nothing new,” he said, “no viable alternative” was offered.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/192093#.VPYZL5v9nIU

Barack Obama

Credit: Reuters

What nonsense.  Bibi was quite clear: do not allow the infrastructure for enriching uranium to stand, and keep the sanctions on in order to apply maximum pressure as long as Iran continues to display hegemonic intentions, export terrorism, and threaten Israel. (Because the price of oil is down, sanctions will do even more damage, and bring Iran to its knees if applied stringently.) Do not ally with Iran, reducing sanctions in the mistaken belief that a US-Iranian partnership against ISIS is possible.

I am certain that the Senators and Congresspersons present understood this quite well.  It now remains to be seen how much they will take this to heart.  There is betting that they will.

~~~~~~~~~~

Some Democrats are saying that this speech was just for political purposes, which is also nonsense.  Iran is a topic that has been of deep concern to Binyamin Netanyahu for many years.

~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, there are mindless comments coming from the left here in Israel as well. Take Zahava Gal-On, head of Meretz, for example. She called the speech “chutzpah” because Bibi told the US how to handle the negotiations with Iran. Oh, better he should have kept quiet and just watched Iran move towards the bomb?  This is called grasping at straws in an election season.

~~~~~~~~~~

In the end, it is still possible that negotiations will fall apart on their own.  Just today, Iran declared that the US demand for a ten-year freeze on certain nuclear activities was “unacceptable.”  They smell weakness, and push back against all restrictions.  Precisely how many backward steps will Obama take, especially now, with Congress watching ever so carefully?

~~~~~~~~~~

I would like to call your attention to a piece by Khaled abu Toameh – “Arab Joint Force”: A Vote of No Confidence in the West.”

Egyptian President al-Sisi has proposed a joint Arab force to confront Iran and radical Islam, and has gone to Saudi Arabia to discuss it.  This indicates a lack of faith in the West, and abu Toameh suggests that it may be the start of a move towards the Arab states taking the lead in fighting the radicals.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5304/arab-joint-force

When Bibi spoke today about Iranian aggression in the area, it was against these states that he was referring.  There is reason to believe these states would likely provide backup for us, should it be necessary.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tomorrow night is Purim (Thursday night in Jerusalem, which was a walled city and celebrates Shushan Purim).  It is a joyous time, and I, for one, am eager for the celebrations.  Time with grandchildren, a family dinner (seuda) and more. I even have my costume.

There will not be another posting, I suspect, until after Shabbat.  I will pick up then on responses from Congress and other pertinent issues.

Now I wish all who are celebrating a Purim Sameach!

03/4/15
Obama and Iran

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Let’s Make A Deal Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

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!!

WoW community member, Council Alumnus, author and speaker Trevor Loudon will be appearing on Glenn Beck’s TV show on March 9th, 5 PM EST. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to see Trevor in person before, you won’t want to miss this.

This week, Blazing Cat Fur, Gates Of Vienna 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!

03/2/15
Muslim Brotherhood Control of US Govt

Radio Interviews This Week – Trevor Loudon & William Palumbo

Hat Tip: Dick Manasseri

Radio Interviews This Week – Trevor Loudon & William Palumbo
Sound The Alarm – The Betrayal Papers
U.S. Captured by the Muslim Brotherhood

Trevor Loudon

  • Monday March 2nd 5 PM EST – The Greg Marshall Show


Listen Live http://bit.ly/1M1ujM3

  • Saturday March 7th 7:35 AM EST – The Abolitionists’ Roundtable


Listen Live http://bit.ly/1htkiuQ

William Palumbo

  • Wednesday March 4th 9 AM EST – The Mike Hewitt Show


Listen Live http://bit.ly/1F0OgQJ

03/1/15
Emperor Palpatine

Net Neutrality: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Emperor Palpatine. Photograph: Allstar

We keep hearing, from the saviors in Washington, DC, how government regulation is the answer and how “evil monopolies” (created, incidentally, by other government regulations) are responsible for all our trials and tribulations and the “fundamental unfairness” of the Internet as she is currently wrote.

Obligatory movie quote:

“No. No government. I know those people. Absolutely not.” – Col. Ira Kane

Yeah, it’s a movie. It’s also absolutely right.

The founder of Broadcast.com, Mark Cuban, has recently been vociferous in his opposition to so-called “Net Neutrality” with his most recent public appearance on the subject in an interview where he breaks it down. His effort to “plain-language” the argument notwithstanding, and frankly, it’s a subject that should not be oversimplified, he laid out the unintended consequences dominoes and how this “everything is equal” push plays out in terms of common services.

Now, you might want to shrug Mark Cuban off as “some rich guy who owns a sports team” and clearly that’s being done a lot, but don’t forget how he got rich: he pioneered live broadcasting over the Internet. He’s not some political hack, evil cable company exec, or mushy thinking me-too “fairness uber alles” flag waver. He is, for once, someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about.

Net Neutrality, like so many political labels, is a “fair sounding” name that hides the actual motives and consequences of the real world implementations we will experience after the seemingly inevitable adoption of this latest government overreach.

It won’t be fair. It won’t be optimum. And the right answer will never even be mentioned, never mind entertained: deregulate the cable and broadband space to eliminate the protected monopolies.

The broadband space needs more competition, not less; needs less regulation, not more. Companies like Google laying fiber? Cox, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast suddenly no longer have a free pass.

Otherwise? The cynical and dystopian view?

One of the unavoidable dominoes will be broad censorship. Once the deprioritization of broadcast packets leads to the epic traffic jam that will reduce the Web’s US speeds to worse than those found in Europe, the government of the day will, once again, have to “save us” from this “unforseen” outcome and their clever plan will include limiting who can “legitimately” have bandwidth preferences, since clearly “legitimate” news outlets need to bypass the buffering jams that will afflict TV signalling and once dot-gov starts adjudicating who’s a “real” news or other “essential” service, licensing will naturally follow, and then “standards” of what is “acceptable” traffic.

At which point, whichever political party is in power at that time will have the distinct advantage of licensing whomever they deem to be more politically correct in their eyes. “Neutrality” on the ‘Net? Yeah, not so much.

We’re in the hands of fools and corrupt bureaucrats. Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission held a faux meeting on open Internet rules and access to broadband Internet. Commissioner Ajit Pai made a statement before the FCC vote to take unprecedented control over the internet with a secret plan. Yes, secret. Secret as in no exposure to the public or Congress prior to its enactment. What follows is the transcript of his comments – in echoes of Obamacare, this had to pass before we could know what was in it. Except, they are still keeping it under wraps. It must be very, very bad indeed.

From Breitbart:

“The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through ‘an unusual secretive effort inside the White House.’ Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a parallel version of the FCC. Their work led to the president’s announcement in November of his plan for internet regulation, a plan which the report says blindsided the FCC and swept aside months of work by Chairman Wheeler toward a compromise. Now, of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Here’s what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say, ‘We’ve been hearing for weeks from our allies in D.C that the only thing that could stop FCC chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the president to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory. Congratulations. what the press has called the parallel FCC at the White House opened its door to a plethora of special interest activists. Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking the chairman’s driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials.

“But what about the rest of the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process altogether. They were being played for fools. And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan, and ‘asked’ the FCC to implement it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May, and it differs so dramatically that even zealous net neutrality advocates frantically rushed in, in recent days, to make last-minute filings, registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet, the American people, to this day, have not been allowed to see President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.

“Especially given the unique importance of the internet, Commissioner O’Rielly and I ask for the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Chairman did the same. According to a survey last week by a respected democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the document public. Still, the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obama’s 317-page plan so the American people can find out what’s in it. This isn’t how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record.

“We shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for political decisions made by the White House. And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today. There is no immediate crisis in the internet marketplace that demands immediate action. now. The backers of the president’s plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.

“These aren’t my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal plans that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. but rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement. At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Google’s former CEO, who once said, the internet is the first thing that humanity has built, that humanity doesn’t understand. This proceeding makes it abundantly clear that the FCC still doesn’t get it. but the American people clearly do. The proposed government regulation of the internet has awakened a sleeping giant. I’m optimistic we’ll look back on today’s vote as a temporary deviation from the bipartisan consensus that’s served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future commission, But I do believe its days are numbered. For all of those reasons, I dissent.”

Pai warned that the public and Silicon Valley were in for an unpleasant surprise. While that was being said, Demand Progress and Free Press, headed by Robert McChesney, flew a 2,000 square foot banner over the towering corporate headquarters of the cable giant Comcast, in Philadelphia, that showed Grumpy Cat and the legend: “Comcast: Don’t Mess With the Internet. #SorryNotSorry.” Referring to Pai’s comments, Evan Greer, Campaigns Director at Fight for the Future, had this to say: “What they didn’t know is that when they struck down the last rules we would come back more powerful than they could possibly imagine.” And that is exactly what happened – the Left surged, with Obama’s help and guidance and $196 million from George Soros, to come in and nationalize the Internet and communications. Obama has nationalized the banks, student loans, housing, healthcare and now the Internet. Americans walk around fancying that they live in a Republic that is no more. Marxism rules the red, white and blue now.

Not only will this stifle innovation and raise taxes massively, as well as costs… it opens us to UN intervention, which is exactly what Obama has in mind. You will see that basically your TV and Internet will become one as a utility. Higher costs, with slower speeds and horrid customer service await us. Not to mention, the Fairness Doctrine. Many of our blogs, such as this one, may cease to exist under these fascist rules.

Heed the words of Republican FCC commissioner Mike O’Rielly, when he states: “When you see this document, it’s worse than you imagine.” Of that, I have no doubt. I knew this was coming, but when it happened last week, a very cold shiver went down my spine. For the first time, genuine fear wormed its way into my being. I immediately squashed it and went back to work. I’m not that easily defeated.

The FCC on Thursday voted through strict new rules to regulate broadband and protect net neutrality – the principle that all information and services should have equal access to the internet. That is pure Socialism and worse. Few have seen the actual regulations – a number of Leftist organizations have, the White House who crafted this monstrosity in secret has, and Google who rewrote a portion of it has. We won’t get to see this baby until next week at the earliest.

From The Guardian:

Pai said the new rules would mean “permission-less innovation is a thing of the past”. The new rules will ban broadband providers from creating fast lanes for some or slowing the traffic of others for commercial reasons. They will also give the FCC the power to police conduct by broadband providers on a case-by-case basis.

Internet service providers will not be allowed to “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” consumers’ access to content and services.

O’Rielly said this would mean that any company looking to start a new service would have to seek permission ahead of time. He said anybody looking for new business opportunities in the document would be best off becoming a “telecoms lawyer”.

While the wording seems to confine this permission-first model to “services” such as NetFlix, Hulu, and things of that sort, what it will likely mean tomorrow, as scope creep is engaged, is that you would no longer just be able to start a new business or even a blog online, unless you get permission from the government. Is that the “change” everyone wanted? Well, here it is. This echoes the nationalization of the press in Venezuela and other dictatorial provinces.

From National Review:

Net neutrality’s goal is to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content,” says Phil Kerpen, an anti-net-neutrality activist from the group American Commitment.

The courts have previously ruled the FCC’s efforts to impose “net neutrality” out of bounds, so the battle isn’t over. But for now, the FCC has granted itself enormous power to micromanage the largely unrestrained Internet.

It’s not just the conservative Right that now fears these moves… Will Marshall, head of the Progressive Policy Institute, issued a statement that net neutrality “endorses a backward-looking policy that would apply the brakes to the most dynamic sector of America’s economy.” This will destroy the last domain of true freedom in America. Right on target for a Communist agenda.

Robert McChesney, the Marxist head of Free Press, made his stance on his goals crystal clear: At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies,” he told the website Socialist Project in 2009. “But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.” Earlier in 2000, he told the Marxist magazine Monthly Review: “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.” McChesney has come a long way… the Marxists know that if they get control of the military and communications, they can change the political structure of the US into a bonafide dictatorship. We’re here folks, they’ve done it.

We’re not done yet though… I suspect there will be a massive fight in Congress over this. If they can’t overturn it legislatively, they will try and starve it through funding. And the lawsuits and legal problems for the Marxists who have orchestrated this go on forever. The Republicans so far have been a massive, deadly disappointment. They better find their spines and stand against this. Between all the scandals, Amnesty, 2nd Amendment issues and this, the country is on the very edge of a civil uprising.

When the quislings in Silicon Valley finally wake up after this, they aren’t going to like what they have wrought. There will be unintended consequences galore and they’ll proclaim: “We couldn’t have seen this coming!” Oh, but you could have if you had any foresight at all. Quoting Emperor Palpatine, Republican Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”

02/27/15
The Watcher's Council

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 02/27/15

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.crystalinks.com/druids_stonehenge.jpg

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

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung. – Sir Walter Scott

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory. – General George S. Patton

I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside. – Sir Winston Churchill

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

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

This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sIs President Obama A Christian? Does He Love America? was my reaction to the question raised by former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the media meltdown that followed. Here’s a slice:

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani created a press-fueled tempest in a teapot when he raised those issues at a private dinner. As you know, only Democrats and Leftists are entitled to  private conversations and secrecy even the Mafia would envy. And of course, to the freedom to express their opinions  no matter how bat sh*t crazy they are. Rudy Giuliani obviously doesn’t qualify for that kind of protection.

Of course the press leaped on this. The current administration and its minions are free to refer to ‘right wing Tea Partiers’ as  terrorists and to deride a serving US General commanding a combat operation as ‘General Betray Us’ in the New York Times,  but again, the rule for Democrats and the Left is that you may never question  their patriotism under any circumstances, no matter what they say or do.

Having pretty much struck out trying to smear GOP front runner Governor Scott Walker for not undergoing four years or more of Leftist indoctrination at someplace like Harvard, Yale, Columbia or Princeton, the Obama media decided to grab at another straw and make a point of asking Governor Walker if he thought this president was a Christian.

His quite sensible reply was that he didn’t know, and as Byron York pointed out, a fair amount of Americans don’t know either. I suppose it all depends on whether you consider Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church with its radical politics and its  anti-Semitic and racialist overtones ‘Christian.’  Or whether you’re confused about a president who defends Islam and Islamists at every turn while dissing Christianity and standing by and doing nothing while Christians are being  ethnically cleansed from the Middle East by those peaceful Islamists.

But at any rate, the only way to know for sure would be to look inside this president’s head and heart, and Walker was astute in simply saying he wasn’t going to attempt that.

Now, does this president love America? Again, like the question about Christianity, it all depends on what your definition of loving America is.

In his memoir about his time as Secretary of Defense in the Bush and Obama Administrations, Robert Gates chronicled his struggle to contain his rage as former Democrat Senators and 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden chuckled to Gates about how their efforts during the second Bush administration to sabotage America’s war effort in Iraq and the Surge in particular while our troops were under fire were ‘hah hah,just politics, ho ho.’ As Gates related, these efforts along with their calculated attempts to insult and emasculate its commander General Petraeus literally cost American lives.

http://cdn7.wn.com/ph/img/e0/de/3323f9fe52c38f5d7d730f6feaca-grande.jpg

Now again, some people are going to say ‘what difference does it make?’ Others would be outraged at this and a lot of other things that have happened in this administration.

So you see, it all depends on your point of view.

But walk with me a minute.

Let’s say,just for giggles, we elected a president who actually didn’t love the country, but whose agenda could more accurately be described in one word – payback.

How would such a president behave?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn with Oh Beautiful For Specious Guys submitted by The Noisy Room.

Steyn exercises his usual mastery at getting to the heart of the matter, in this case the Obama Administration’s craven response to violent, radical Islamism uhhh, ‘violent extremism’ that dares not speak its name. A must read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only the Right Planet was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 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?

02/27/15
The Giver

‘The Giver’ Shows Where ‘Net Neutrality’ Leads; Keeps on Giving if You Want it Too (video)

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

It is almost March and catching wind of the new ruling called “Net Neutrality,” I am beginning to be frightened.

Some may be reminded of the opening line of a story; just borrowed it. It’s a story about what happens toward the end of the road down which today’s ruling has just pushed us. Call it… Book Burning 2.0, with a technocracy update, in a muted, camel’s-head-in-the-tent fashion, pardon the mixed metaphor.

But that story’s dystopia may not even be as hideous as reality can become.

GiverCharacterMap

A number of fantasies and sci-fi stories about children and adolescents have become more and more popular in recent years, following the jet stream created by Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

One of the best became adapted from its original novel to a movie last year; and as it turns out, The Giver is to the FCC and budding United Nations regulatory control of communications technology, what The Hunger Games is to Agenda 21, “sustainable development,” the EPA, and again, the UN. Have you seen the motion picture, yet? On disc or through an online service?

I just came across this brief set of Raymond Arroyo interviews, of its producer-star, Jeff Bridges, of producer Michael Flaherty, and of its author, Lois Lowry, from last August.

Gave it a micro-review without much spoiling of plot and showed a trailer last November: The Giver, the Movie, Out on Disc, Suggested.”

Enjoy! What children and young adults do you know who might?

Or, how about any friends or family childish enough to support the neutering of the power of free communications called Net Neutrality?

02/26/15
Obama and La Raza

Obama the Anti-American, Now Defies the Court for Amnesty & #NAU

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

obama.laraza.afpObama the neo-Marxist “community organizer” gets with the racists of the Hispanic world. Via CNN, “President Barack Obama addresses the National Council of La Raza annual conference Monday in Washington,” AFP photo

“The lawless one,” in the White House. President Antithesis (it’s like what Antichrist is to Jesus, but different… well, sort of different).

Obama defies judge, forges ahead with amnesty

As to the #NAU for North American Union, a.k.a., North American Integration, I may update this entry with more of that context, or may simply address how it all fits together elsewhere, later.

02/26/15
Trevor Loudon

BWC Conference – Trevor Loudon – The Enemies Within – Jacksonville, FL

Bear Witness Central

Trevor Loudon is a well-recognized freedom loving activist. He will be talking about current issues and his over 30 years research on the radical left. This is a real issue, threatening America’s national security, and indeed our very survival, right up to the present day.

02/25/15
ISIS Job Fair

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Getting Ahead Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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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 MidKnight Review, Anne’s Opinions 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!

02/24/15
Networking

Spinning the Circles

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

NetworkingMany years ago a friend of mine invited me to become a part of a multilevel marketing business, a chance to start something on the side and provide extra income.  This wasn’t some get rich quick scheme and would require effort and acquiring new skills to become moderately successful.

One of the first skills was learning to ‘spin the circles’, my friends way of saying that you had to stand in front of an audience with a chalkboard and invite them to share their dreams, dreams which were in fact goals worthy of extra effort needed to start their own business and join your group.

A random sampling would include new cars, home improvements like remodeling the kitchen, fancy jewelry, travel to exotic vacation spots and so on.  Inevitably there would be one person who was above ‘material things’, a person who dreamed of ‘World Peace’; the perfect beauty pageant answer that said absolutely nothing.  This individual wore a holier than thou smirk as if to say he was satisfied with a twelve year old beater and didn’t appreciate being challenged beyond the 40 hour work week; life was more than filling a toy box with more toys.  Next!

This came to mind as I went over the lessons shared at church yesterday.  During Sunday School we’d talked about  Miracles and how they were presented in the New Testament.  Class members shared some of their experiences which they considered to have been miraculous to some degree.

One brother had been involved in what could easily have been a fatal traffic accident; but for the ‘grace of God’ he some how survived and was able to regain full use of his body.  Another talked about a relative who’d been given six months to live after being diagnosed with cancer; but two years later is cancer free.

An older brother added to the discussion by mentioning that when he purchased tires for his car they came with a sixty thousand mile warranty.  He paused and formed his next thought carefully, “If I’ve calculated correctly…, I only need to purchase one more set of tires based on how many miles I drive a year”.   Now that’s a sobering thought; recognizing the inevitable ‘jumping off place’ as you approach mortality’s finite limits.

But what about those who die unexpectedly; step in front of a fast moving truck or have a sudden heart attack?  How do these individuals plan out their mortality, or does finality enter into the equation as they meander through life much as a leaf blown hither and thither?

spinning2I should mention that the last hour of study was tied to a General Conference talk given by Thomas S. Monson,  Guided Safely Home, wherein we were challenged to figure out our ‘purpose’; an extremely broad topic requiring a bit of thought.

Depending on what level of ‘purpose’ you were thinking about the answers could be as trivial as obtaining a new car, better employment, writing a best selling novel or…, the top prize, exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom sitting in the presence of our Father in Heaven.   What level of ‘purpose’ was/is worth altering your life style choices?

If you wanted to improve your relationship with your wife or children what would you consider doing?  If you wanted to become successful at work how would you go about improving your chances?  If you wanted to improve your relationship with God what have the prophets told us?

The more I thought about the lessons, putting the two together as I contemplated my own ‘purpose’, it came to me; these lessons had been presented much the same as ‘spinning the circles’, not much different than multilevel marketing.

I’m no spring chicken and recognize the time limits placed on my mortality.  What do I wish to accomplish with the time given me; assuming I don’t step in front of the proverbial truck or have that unexpected heart attack that takes me before I’ve planned my own funeral?

To ‘spin the circles’ and grow your own business you needed to find out your prospect’s short term, mid range and long term goals.  These goals must be strong enough stimulate a prospect into acting upon them.  If you couldn’t bring out a worthy challenge then the likelihood of bringing the prospect on board were greatly diminished.

I remember hearing about a fellow who when asked what he might do to improve his lot in life responded, “Hey, I’ve got a television and a six pack of beer; what else do I need?”  Not everyone will respond to an invitation to grow.

I’d love to have a new truck with all the bells and whistles.  My house in Buffalo is coming along; but wouldn’t it be great to have top of the line appliances instead of entry level Sears?  I’ve been slowing down my hours in business intentionally as I get closer to retirement; wouldn’t it be great to have some kind of supplemental income other than my police retirement and social security?

spinning3My creative writing has slowed down; isn’t it worth a little extra effort to share some of the thoughts that are lined up in that fog of a brain?  Spending more time at the temple, to be fully immersed in scripture study gaining a better understanding of what the Lord would have me do; that would be the sweetest thing of all…

A tune from Fiddler on the Roof invades my thought process.

…If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.
Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am.
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
If I were a wealthy man.

As I close my thoughts, pausing to breathe out and proclaim quietly, “Oye”…, the question remains, what is my purpose, my goal to accomplish in the time allotted me?   What will I do differently to bring about those changes necessary to accomplish my life’s mission?

More importantly, what will you do?  Will you take a few moments to consider your purpose?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.