12/18/14
Operation Underground Railroad

Please give to Operation Underground Railroad this Christmas…

Of all the charities out there, this is the one I promote. Operation Underground Railroad rescues children from slavery and the men and women who do it put their lives on the line to do so. Your dollars can save the life of a child and give them the chance to have a life they would be denied otherwise. Read just one of their moving rescue stories here… This year, I ask nothing of any of you for this blog… but I do ask that if you can at all, that you give to OUR. For those who cannot fight for themselves, we must fight for them any way each of us can.

Merry Christmas!

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
NoisyRoom.net

12/18/14
Weasel Statuette of Shame

Our Weasel Of The Week!! – 12/18/14

The Watcher’s Council

Once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all disgusting, but the votes are in and we have our winner… the envelope please…

http://weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/Boehner.jpg

Squeaker of the House, Obama Doormat and RINO extraordinaire, John Boehner!!

The Noisy Room: John Boehner for betraying his conservative base and aligning himself with Obama and the Progressives on the Left. In the CRominbus bill, he gave everything and more to Obama on every Progressive issue addressed. It was a breathtaking act of treason against conservatives and the Tea Party.

I agree wholeheartedly with Sean Hannity:

“John ‘Gruber’ Boehner, two days after the midterm elections, talking tough on the issue of amnesty, but unfortunately, that’s all it was. Because today it’s conservatives who feel like they’ve been burned as the Speaker aligned himself with the president, with Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer and Joe Biden to pass a spending bill a short time ago,” Hannity said.

“John Boehner ‘Grubered’ conservatives tonight and by that, I mean, the conservative base in particular, and Michele Bachmann hit the nail on the head,” he continued. “He never would have done this before the election. He has no inspiring vision and to me, he is everything that is wrong with Washington. He is a Democratic Party-lite. He doesn’t have those bold colored differences that Reagan talked about. And he should, in my view, he should not be the Speaker and should be replaced.”

Boehner would not even speak, much less negotiate with conservatives on this and he implemented a provision that would effectively raise the amount that high net-worth donors can contribute to political party committees from $97,250 to $777,600, which was an egregious slap in the face to the Tea Party and conservatives. It basically ensures that fat cats are the only ones who can afford to run and it is a blatant attempt to shut out Tea Party candidates.

Time to go RINO hunting as Sarah Palin put it. Lock and load.

The Independent Sentinel: John Boehner is unquestionably my choice for weasel of the week, perhaps for the month, no the year. He said he would stand up to Barack Obama before the election, but the only ones he has stood up to are conservative Republicans. When it looked as if the budget wouldn’t pass, he pressured conservatives and when that didn’t work, he went to the far-left Steny Hoyer and Barack Obama to get the bill passed.

Boehner tweeted this on December 11th: “By the House’s action, we are setting up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration next month…″

Horse feathers!!!

Boehner pushed through a budget that funds amnesty. The Republicans have nothing to fight with next year. We can’t defund the DHS.

They won’t fight anyway.

Any fight is always pushed off into the future with this phony.

He betrayed the people who put Republicans in control of the House and the Senate. My second runner up for weasel is Karl Rove who is pleased that we are on our way towards having a budget as if that were the end all and be all. We passed an exorbitant spending bill that funds all of Obama’s lawless actions and neither Karl Rove or John Boehner appear to care about the Constitution in all of this.

VA Right: I’m going to go with John Boehner and his lead from behind deal with Barack Obama on the Omnibus bill.

The voters made this a wave election, not to get the Republicans to work with the Democrats, but to get them to push back. Boehner gave up an entire year of leverage and opportunity. He managed to prove that Republicans are not the answer either.

———————-

Yes, John Boehner came out ahead in a crowded and despicable field to walk off with the honors. Like some of our other winners, this is something of a life time achievement award for excellence in Weaseldom rather than simply a recognition of his extraordinary performance during the current lame duck session. Remember when he first took over as Speaker back in 2011 and had us all convinced he was a fine, conservative choice?

http://halifaxbloggers.ca/thelocaltraveler/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/HalifaxComedyFestphotocreditChrisSmth.jpg

Woo yeah, Mr. Speaker, boy did we fall for that one! And I bet you and your friends had a big laugh over it too!

http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/50a6639869beddad45000020/heres-obama-chiding-john-boehner-about-his-upcoming-birthday.jpg

Well, at any rate, I at least want to commend you for being a good sport and showing up in person to get your well-earned Weasel… please come to the stage Speaker Boehner!

http://assets0.ordienetworks.com/images/user_photos/1170849/boehnercrying_fullsize.jpeg

Speaker Boehner… umm Speaker Boehner, I realize… I know it’s an emotional moment for you sir, but could you please stop… no I don’t want a hug sir… yech, you’re getting it all over me! Please, someone get me a towel…!

Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum 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?

12/17/14
Cuban Flag

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Cuba Betrayed Edition

The Watcher’s Council

With today’s announcement by President Obama that the U.S. will be normalizing relations with Cuba, American foreign policy took a very dark turn. Just at the point when this hideous regime was on the verge of collapse, our president took action that will not promote freedom for the Cuban people, but will throw an economic lifeline to a brutal dictatorship to enable it to stay in power. Disgraceful and shameful beyond words.

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!!

Greg at Rhymes With Right was quoted in Breitbart.

My latest, Fear And Loathing – Labor And Livni’s Hatnua Join Forces is up at the Times of Israel.

This week, The Political Commentator, IOwnTheWorldReport.Com and Blazing Cat Fur 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!

12/17/14
The Enemies Within 2015-2017 Edition

Who is Killing America? Find Out by Pre-ordering Trevor Loudon’s “The Enemies Within” 2015-2017 Edition

New Zeal

Who is killing America?

Why is the world’s greatest nation struggling? The economic recovery is a sham. “Obamacare” is wrecking the world’s greatest healthcare system. The world’s greatest military is being gutted.

The southern border is being erased with “amnesty’ being granted to millions of illegal aliens, while millions of Americans are unemployed or “underemployed.”

The US Constitution is being trashed daily, by the very people delegated and paid to uphold and protect it.

Why is this happening? Why do America’s leaders continue to force policies like “Obamacare” and “amnesty” down the throats of America’s voters?

Clearly America has enemies. What if some of the worst of those enemies are currently serving in the US House of Representatives? What if many of them are allied with radical Marxist organizations, or even hostile foreign governments, who are intent on bringing the United States of America to its knees?

The first rule of warfare is to “know thine enemy.” Your enemies in the US Congress know everything about you. But what does the “mainstream media” let you know about them?

enemieswithincoverThe 2013/2015 edition of my book “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists, and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” began the urgent task of exposing America’s many internal enemies.

From Amazon:

This book contains the keys for understanding the political process in America. The Communist fronts of the 1930s and 40s never disappeared, but merely changed their names or even remained as they were. The end of the Cold War, it turns out, was irrelevant for the continued advance of socialism in America. All the basic methods for infiltrating American institutions were at hand and the socialists were determined to change the country, change its economic system and eliminate capitalism as far as they were able.

Everywhere, the socialists grab issues, even inventing crises where there are none. In this book we learn about the various fronts in the war of the far left to remake America as a socialist society. If you want to understand what’s really going on in the U.S., you have to read this.

J.R. Nyquist

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Who knew that it would take a New Zealander to really describe in detail the ominous processes at work to destroy countries such as the United States. It would be very informative for anyone, especially those who have fallen into the trap set to slowly bring the destruction about.

Jane H. Kelley

If I was teaching a course in Political Science or Government, this would be one of the required textbooks! Finally, a competent researcher who also has the courage of his convictions has shined the light where it should be: The Communist Party Internationale. If you honestly want to know the single cause of America’s problems, from social to economic to moral, look no further. Get and read this essential book!

Calvin Fields

My updated version, exposing the radicals in the 2015-2017 Congress is even better!

The 2015-2017 edition of “Enemies Within” will expose covert radicals in several new states, including Hawaii, Kentucky and Rhode Island, plus, it will include new profiles from California (six), Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Why does Red State Arizona have two communist affiliated Reps? Why does even redder Texas have four?

Why does a young new Senator work so hard to empower Colombia’s narco-terrorist Marxist guerrillas? Who is Beijing’s best friend in the US congress? Which US Senator is claimed as a member by America’s largest Marxist organization? Who are the Communist Party USA’s best friends in the House of Representatives?

How many US Congress members and Senators would fail a basic FBI security clearance? Does it matter that these people can still serve on the Homeland Security Committee, the Armed Services Committee? Even the Intelligence Committee?

My new book will be released on April 11, 2014, but you can begin to pre-order PERSONALLY SIGNED copies immediately.

As a bonus, the first 25 people to pre-order the 2015-17 edition, will earn a half hour personal phone call with author and speaker Trevor Loudon, on my next visit to the United States, commencing February of 2015.

The first 11 people to order three copies or more will get a whole hour’s conversation!

To pre-order my book, or books, please use the button below.



Buy 1 or more




If you would like a special inscription in your book or books, please email your instructions to me at Trevor Loudon.

12/16/14
Israel

Light the Lights

Arlene from Israel
Tonight we light the first light in the eight day Festival of Chanukah. A time for joy and hope.

Credit: ebay

Actually, there are two stories of Chanukah: One has to do with the miracle of the oil, which burned in the Temple for eight days although there was only enough oil for one day.  In commemoration of this, we eat foods associated with oil – potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts).

Credit: ourtastytravels

Credit: Jerusaleminsiders

In truth, if we are going to talk about miracles: the existence of modern Israel is a miracle. We should be ever mindful of this, and ever grateful.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is the historical Chanukah story of the Maccabees battle against the Greeks – which enabled them to regain and rededicate the Temple after it had been defiled.  There are lessons here in terms of determination and bravery (for the war was very long and bitter) and dedication to our traditional practices and our faith.  All very much lessons for today.

~~~~~~~~~~

A particular determination is required right now.  For these are very tough times, no matter how you cut it.

I held off posting yesterday to see what would evolve with regard to the UN Security Council and anti-Israel resolutions to be brought forward.  But there is nothing definitive to report yet.

Prime Minster Netanyahu, who met with Secretary of State Kerry yesterday, seems to be holding tough.  He says he will not agree to any UN coercion.

Kerry himself is waffling, and this is very unsettling.  Netanyahu put on a good front before meeting with Kerry, saying that there was no reason to believe that the US would diverge from its traditional position of vetoing Security Council measures that are anti-Israel.  But that is not really the case.  We know what a lame duck Obama is capable of.

~~~~~~~~~~

At a press conference today, Kerry said that the parties themselves must resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict – it cannot be done from the outside.

Nu?  That means it cannot be resolved via UN attempts to force Israel to move back to the ‘67 line.  No?

But in that same press conference he offered no assurances about his readiness to veto what might yet be proposed.

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Kerry-A-solution-to-the-Israeli-Palestinian-conflict-cannot-be-imposed-from-the-outside-384833

~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, it is possible that the Kerry “indecision” is a tactic aimed at getting Netanyahu to cave on agreeing to negotiate. So far I have no indication that Netanyahu has agreed to anything.

One of the things I picked up today was a reference by Kerry about “the cycle of violence,” which invariably infuriates me. This is a false moral equivalency. There is no cycle of violence, only Arab terrorism and Israeli response.

~~~~~~~~~~

The PA may bring forward a proposal this week that would require Israel to return to its situation prior to the 1967 war by February 2016; it would acknowledge eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, and would make provision for the “Palestinian refugees.”  There is no precise wording of this proposal available in its entirety yet.

The French are working on a different proposal that would, as I understand it, require that negotiations between Israel and the PA be completed in two years.  Somewhat less horrendous than the PA version, but neither viable nor acceptable.

Please, dear readers, do not panic about any of this.  It’s a long way from a PA-proposed resolution in the Security Council, which has not yet materialized, to a real shift in Israel’s situation.

~~~~~~~~~~

Relevant to this, I believe, is the announcement by the PA that they would not be cancelling security cooperation with Israel over the death of Abi Ein, as had been threatened. A PA official now admits that they never intended to follow-through with the threats.  They rely on Israel, said this official.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.631570

Hey, no surprise there.  Abbas wouldn’t last a week if not for Israel’s control of Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

What we see then is that the PA leadership makes threats that it doesn’t necessarily intend to act upon.  And that Israel has some leverage over the PA.

So…stay tuned.

~~~~~~~~~~

The PA says that if its proposal does not pass in the Security Council it will go to the International Criminal Court and level charges of war crimes against Israeli leaders.  This may be yet another threat.  Abbas has already been warned by our leaders that this path would work two ways. In any event, there is no guarantee that the ICC would accept “a Palestinian state” as a member.

But see what one very wonderful legal warrior in Israel, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat Ha-Din – the Israel Law Center, is doing: filing claims in the ICC against Abbas and Hamas leaders.  She is taking the offensive and hopes to make Abbas think twice.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-best-defense-against-palestinian-lawfare-is-offense/

 

Credit: Wikipedia

~~~~~~~~~~

Let me turn here, then, to a brief update on the political circus:

Eli Yishai has made it official. He has broken with the Shas party and is forming a new party, Yahad – Together.  It is being watched very closely, for it appears that it will not be just a duplicate of the haredi party, Shas, but will bring in national religious elements as well.  It aims to be a party that, indeed, unifies people in their concern for religious values and political nationalism.  Although it is early to make predictions, it carries genuine promise.

What we know so far is that Yoni Chetboun, who just left Habayit Hayehudi because of some deep discontents, will be joining Yishai. And now all eyes are on the relationship between Uri Ariel and Naftali Bennett.  If Uriel walks out of Habyit Hayehudi with his Tekuma faction, he would very likely join Yishai.

There are very early predictions that when the dust settles this new party might bring in as much as seven mandates.  Aryeh Deri, who now heads Shas, is having conniptions. But on Aryeh Deri, who is not exactly the model of an upright politician, it looks good.  Apparently Yishai – who was pretty much shafted by Deri – will take a fair amount of support with him and has already received the endorsement of some significant rabbis.

~~~~~~~~~~

Finally…Chanukah, songs.  First a medley of some traditional songs with a pleasing twist:

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/taking-tradition-to-a-whole-knew-level/  (Yes, it should be a “new” level, but the singing is nice.)

And then, a very lovely new version of the classic Maoz Tzur, by much-loved Israeli entertainer and cantor Dudu Fisher:
https://soundcloud.com/algemeiner/maoz-tzur-dudu-fisher-mix

Enjoy, and Chag Chanukah Sameach!

12/16/14
Weasel

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!! 12/16/14

The Watcher’s Council

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/89/256833910_dc5e794df2.jpg

It’s time again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the famed Golden Weasel, which will be awarded to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

Here are this weeks’ nominees:

http://weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/Boehner.jpg

Squeaker of the House, Obama Doormat and RINO extraordinaire John Boehner!! 

The Noisy Room: John Boehner for betraying his conservative base and aligning himself with Obama and the Progressives on the Left. In the CRominbus bill, he gave everything and more to Obama on every Progressive issue addressed. It was a breathtaking act of treason against conservatives and the Tea Party.

I agree wholeheartedly with Sean Hannity:

“John ‘Gruber’ Boehner, two days after the midterm elections, talking tough on the issue of amnesty, but unfortunately, that’s all it was. Because today it’s conservatives who feel like they’ve been burned as the Speaker aligned himself with the president, with Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer and Joe Biden to pass a spending bill a short time ago,” Hannity said.

“John Boehner ‘Grubered’ conservatives tonight and by that, I mean, the conservative base in particular, and Michele Bachmann hit the nail on the head,” he continued. “He never would have done this before the election. He has no inspiring vision and to me, he is everything that is wrong with Washington. He is a Democratic Party-lite. He doesn’t have those bold colored differences that Reagan talked about. And he should, in my view, he should not be the Speaker and should be replaced.”

Boehner would not even speak, much less negotiate with conservatives on this and he implemented a provision that would effectively raise the amount that high net-worth donors can contribute to political party committees from $97,250 to $777,600, which was an egregious slap in the face to the Tea Party and conservatives. It basically ensures that fat cats are the only ones who can afford to run and it is a blatant attempt to shut out Tea Party candidates.

Time to go RINO hunting as Sarah Palin put it. Lock and load.

The Independent Sentinel: John Boehner is unquestionably my choice for weasel of the week, perhaps for the month, no the year. He said he would stand up to Barack Obama before the election, but the only ones he has stood up to are conservative Republicans. When it looked as if the budget wouldn’t pass, he pressured conservatives and when that didn’t work, he went to the far-left Steny Hoyer and Barack Obama to get the bill passed.

Boehner tweeted this on December 11th: “By the House’s action, we are setting up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration next month…″

Horse feathers!!!

Boehner pushed through a budget that funds amnesty. The Republicans have nothing to fight with next year. We can’t defund the DHS.

They won’t fight anyway.

Any fight is always pushed off into the future with this phony.

He betrayed the people who put Republicans in control of the House and the Senate. My second runner up for weasel is Karl Rove who is pleased that we are on our way towards having a budget as if that were the end all and be all. We passed an exorbitant spending bill that funds all of Obama’s lawless actions and neither Karl Rove or John Boehner appear to care about the Constitution in all of this.

VA Right: I’m going to go with John Boehner and his lead from behind deal with Barack Obama on the Omnibus bill.

The voters made this a wave election, not to get the Republicans to work with the Democrats, but to get them to push back. Boehner gave up an entire year of leverage and opportunity. He managed to prove that Republicans are not the answer either.

 http://ericpetersautos.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/hag-one.png
Senator Dianne Feinstein!

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: For unleashing a partisan report that only spoke to terrorist pro bono attorneys with serious Nat’l Security repercussions. Allies and fence sitters will be less likely to work with America since anything they help with could be blown by a spiteful old lady. Enemies may use it as a rallying point to continue their mad jihad to kill innocents and innocent Americans.

 http://www.thecommentator.com/ckeditor_assets/pictures/101/content_kaufmanhan.jpg
Hamas Shill And British Labour Party Nutjob Sir Gerald Kaufman!!

Bookworm Room: Gerald Kaufman, a Jewish-born, British member of Parliament (Labour, of course), for coming up with one of the most foully antisemitic statements ever:

“You cannot appeal to the Israelis’ better nature, because they do not have one.”

The video and transcript can be found here.

http://cdn.breitbart.com/mediaserver/Breitbart/Big-Government/2012/05/14/warren-nervous-smile.jpg

Sen. Elizabeth “Stands With Fistfuls of Corporate Cash” Warren!

The Razor: My pick of the litter this week is Sen. Elizabeth “Stands With Fistfuls of Corporate Cash” Warren. As Kevin Williamson writes in this week’s National Review, Sen. Warren has become a darling of the progressive community for her attacks on Wall Street yet at the same time has taken its cash. The New York Times has supported the narrative of Warren’s opposition to the federal bailouts, writing ““The liberal base of the Democratic Party, led by Ms. Warren, also found itself in an unlikely alliance with the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Both opposed the Wall Street bailout of 2008 and feared that the spending measure would not only provide a bounty for big banks but would also help cause another economic crisis.” Williamson writes, “Senator Warren is an energetic proponent of corporate welfare for Boeing, General Electric Bechtel, Caterpillar, and other such poor, defenseless little mom-and-pop operations.” Williamson also references the funniest movie ever, Blazing Saddles, referring to Warren’s claim of Cherokee ancestry (she’s 3.1%) “Senator Warren is as much an authentic champion of ordinary working people as she is an authentic Cherokee princess — and Mel Brooks and those Yiddish-speaking Indians from Blazing Saddles were more convincing in that role.”

Sen. Warren is the new face of progressives in the Democratic party, meaning she’s extremely wealthy, white and old – having turned 65 last June. She’s being considered as the youthful alternative to Hillary Clinton (who turned 67 in October). But being eligible for full Social Security benefits doesn’t deter her nomination for weasel of the week, especially for one as weaselly as Warren. Weasel Warren: it has a certain ring to it..

Yeccch! Can you smell the stench these weasel creatures emit or what? Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

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?

12/15/14
Nativity Scene

What drives a Latter Day Saint?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Nativity SceneThis evening my wife and I attended a Christmas Devotional Service for Temple Ordinance Workers who serve in the Houston Texas Temple.  For us it’s become something of a tradition, a means of kicking off the Christmas Season.  This year was no different as we heard talks which touched our hearts from members of the Temple Presidency and their wives, short explanations of gratitude for all who serve along with insightful messages as pertain to the workings of the Temple.

President Brad Crane addressed us near the close of the meeting with an historical perspective based on his attending the Nauvoo Temple’s dedication.   I should mention this was the 2002 dedication for a replacement Temple for one which the Saints had to abandon in 1846 when they were driven out of their homes in the middle of winter and began their 1250 mile trek which eventually brought them to the Salt Lake Valley.

LDS TemplePresident Crane wondered aloud what could provide enough motivation for a family to leave their home in the middle of winter, cross the frozen Mississippi River and plod along in the wilderness day after day and continue to rejoice in the Lord?  Thousands were starving, sick or died as they faced hardships along the way and yet they persevered and even flourished upon reaching their new ‘home’ in the desert where nothing grew.

How could this be so?

It must have something to do with what the Saints learned in the Nauvoo Temple, a place they would only get to visit once prior to being forced to leave everything behind.  What could you learn about God and your relationship from ordinances which are performed in the Temple?

I pondered what was being offered at the Christmas Devotional as it became clear that each Saint who crossed the Great Plains under extreme conditions, many lost family and friends along the way; these Saints learned of God and His love for each them to such an extent that their testimonies were strengthened beyond their physical weaknesses and permitted them to complete the journey.

There’s an account as recorded from the Family Record of Francis Webster Written by William R. Palmer which documented the testimony of a surviving member of the ill fated Martin Handcart Company.  (please take the time to read the included link)

Many years later during a Sunday School lesson a discussion was being held on the foolishness and lack of planning that went into the Martin Handcart Company and tragic consequences that befell so many Saints.  An old man who had been sitting quietly through the discussion could take no more as he stood up and silenced the class by explaining that he had been one of the survivors.

“We suffered beyond any thing you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation; but, did you ever hear a survivor of that Company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that Company ever apostatized or left the church because every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities. I have pulled my hand cart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.

Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company.” The speaker was Francis Webster, and when he sat down there was not a dry eye in the room.”

I suppose my original question, “What drives a Latter Day Saint?”, has an answer; but even so, few outside the Church can wrap their arms around it.  The driving force behind Latter Day Saints has to do with understanding their eternal relationship with our Father in Heaven, His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The ordinances available in the Temple are of an eternal nature.  The blessings enumerated in these ordinances are combined with covenants with the Lord which detail our responsibilities and commitment to building up the kingdom here on Earth.  If an individual understands his/her place in the eternities along with the rewards for faithfully adhering to the covenants made in the Temple; then hardships, sickness and even death have little power over such a testimony.
In closing I’m reminded of a particular Hymn,  Come, Come Ye Saints.

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell—
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!

We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we’ll tell—
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell—
All is well! All is well!

Text: William Clayton, 1814-1879  Music: English folk song

May this Christmas bring you closer to your Father in Heaven and the gift He gave us through His Only Begotten Son, our Savior, even Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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”.

12/15/14
Sendolo Diaminah

Weekly Featured Profile – KeyWiki – 12/15/14

KeyWiki

Sendolo Diaminah

Sendolo Diaminah

Sendolo Diaminah is a new addition to the Board of Durham Public Schools, in North Carolina. Strangely, during his campaigning, he didn’t describe himself to the voting public as he does to his friends, as “a black, queer communist.”

Comrade Diaminah is General Secretary of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the US’ most influential Maoist grouping. As leader of the organization, Diaminah represented Freedom Road at a 2013 meeting in New York with leaders of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Communist Party USA and Democratic Socialists of America to discuss closer cooperation and even a possible merger.

Sendolo Diaminah’s election to the school board was helped by an endorsement from the Durham People’s Alliance, one of the city’s big-three political groups. Another Freedom Road Socialist Organization leader Aiden Graham, serves on the Durham People’s Alliance board.

Diaminah is an organizer with a similarly named Freedom Road front group, People’s Durham, a “new organization committed to building a participatory democracy led by low-income people and people of color.”

Diaminah earned a degree from City University of New York in 2006 and has worked as a “community organizing” trainer for Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD). Before organizing for BOLD, he was a North Carolina adviser for Southerners On New Ground, a Rank-and-File Labor Organizer, and a campus organizer with All City in New York. Diaminah has received several awards, including the 2012 Indy Citizen Award, the 2012 Louis Burnham Award and the 2013 Black Workers for Justice Self-Determination Award.

He is clearly a perfect fit to help educate the children of conservative North Carolina.

(more…)

12/15/14

Forum: How Do You feel About The ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill? What Does it Signify Politically?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: How Do You feel About The ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill? What Does it Signify Politically?

The Independent Sentinel: I will take the last part of the question first. It signifies that the Republicans aren’t willing to accept the results of the last election. It’s a Boehner sell-out.

I don’t want to say too much until I see what the new congress does. If they do nothing, it’s time for a third party. They’re trying to shove Jeb Bush on us and have decided that he, Romney and Christie are our only presidential choices for 2016.

The bill funds the unconstitutional amnesty, Obamacare, EPA regulations, abortions, et cetera. The bargaining chip is the DHS. What are they going to do? Tell Barack Obama no amnesty or they will stop funding the Border Patrol?

The Noisy Room: Richard A. Viguerie is absolutely right when he calls most of the Republican leadership “boneless wonders.” And as Senator Rand Paul correctly labeled the CRomnibus, it is an “abomination of a bill,” and it passed narrowly thanks to the betrayal of John Boehner. Boehner lied himself silly as he did exactly what I predicted he would do… he claimed that the Republicans didn’t dare shut down the government and had to pass the CRomnibus to find out what was in it, a la Pelosi. He also claimed the good in the bill, outweighed the bad. So many lies in such a short time. He went all the way with Obama, knowing that the President would kick him out of bed in the morning. Conservatives were Grubered by Boehner and the other Progressive RINOs who wanted everything they passed – they also gave Obama ALL he asked for and oh, so much more.

Every Republican who voted for the CRomnibus must be targeted in primaries and gotten rid of. They are cancerous to the Republic – they are Progressives on the Right side of the aisle and are every bit as much a danger to our country as the Progressive Liberals are. Every one of these Republicans owns this. They weren’t ‘forced’ into anything… they chose this because of money and power. It’s as simple as that.

The implications basically include that unless there is a thunderous turn around, the Republican Party is done. A third party will rise over this betrayal. Conservatives have had enough of the lying RINOs and being manipulated. My hope is that Sarah Palin will run in 2016 with Ted Cruz at her side, or Ted Cruz and Mike Lee or Allen West. It is the only chance left for the Republican Party as it now stands.

One last minute rider in particular – a provision that would effectively raise the amount that high net-worth donors can contribute to political party committees from $97,250 to $777,600, was an egregious slap in the face to the Tea Party and conservatives. It basically ensures that fat cats are the only ones who can afford to run and it is a blatant attempt to shut out Tea Party candidates. The rider would give the Republican and Democrat Party establishments huge advantages in battles with primary challengers to incumbents.

The bill will obviously pass and it is the exact antithesis of what America wants. But this is not a new political alignment. Warren is a die-hard socialist – the bill wasn’t Progressive enough for her. Conservatives want the polar opposite on this.

Are the Republicans so deaf, dumb and clueless that they can’t battle corrupt Democrats even when they control the House and the Senate? Or are they just as corrupt as the Progressive Liberals? Both is the answer. Just more arrogant elitist bull crap… slapping each other on the back, wallowing in their greed for power and money – they feel as though the party will never end. But walking on the wild side always has a price and Americans won’t take this much longer. The RINOs are going to find themselves on the wrong dance card after waking with a major hangover and the realization that the tab has come due and Obama doesn’t love them in the morning. Suckers. All the back room deals, lies and manipulations, just simply delay the demise of the Republican Party. But an accounting is coming and soon.

Boehner’s dirty deals with Obama have increased spending by $3.8 Trillion in 3.8 years. It’s just flat out criminal what they are doing to this nation. It is suicide and they know it and just can’t seem to care evidently. The arrogance of Boehner and his cronies is stunning. He wouldn’t work with conservatives at all on the CRomnibus.

As Sarah Palin says, this bill stinks to high heaven. RINO season is now officially open. Lock and load. More on this in my article:  Boehner Betrays His Conservative Base by Passing the CRomnibus and ‘It Stinks to High Heaven’. This is what it has come to – one party… the Progressive Party. Where Boehner and the RINOs identify more with Obama and the Liberals than conservatives, the Tea Party and America in general. Let America eat cake. Never mind the smell.

JoshuaPundit: There are several things I take away from this.

First off, this has all the appearance of a political coup d’etat. The chief leverage congress always has against a president is the power of the purse. That leverage has now essentially been lost for the incoming Republican congress until September of 2015.

It would have been quite easy to simply pass a basic continuing resolution (which is all cromnibus is) which funded everything and made no major changes that lasted until, say January 30th, when the new congress would have been seated. That would have made political and tactical sense, and Majority Leader Reid could not have held it up nor could the president have vetoed it without sustaining major political damage as the cause of a government shut down for no reason.

So why wasn’t it done that way? Instead,the Republican leadership stuck in changes that could almost have been made to order for the upcoming Democrat class warfare campaign (even though they actually benefit Democrats far more, which is why Harry Reid let them go through) and essentially neutered themselves and the incoming Republican dominated congress. Not only that, but the confab in the senate gave Elizabeth Warren a major boost in her public profile, especially among the Professional Left.

The way this was done made no sense politically or tactically, but it was so important that Speaker Boehner and his whip Rep. McCarthy were actually willing to blatantly lie to a number of House members to get them to vote in favor of a procedural rule without which cromnibus could not have come to a vote, something that is going to further split the GOP caucus, weaken the whip and do serious damage to Boehner’as credibility, whatever was left of it.

The only possible side benefit for Boehner and the Republican leadership was to damage the conservative branch of the Republican caucus, but that also makes no real sense because it weakens them to no purpose and divides the caucus. Many of the new electees are not necessarily associated with the Tea Party, but they’re also not stupid. They will look at this and realize that Boehner, McCarthy and new senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell are not to be trusted.

That Boehner was willing to go to these lengths convinces me of something I’ve suspected for a long time… that President substantial Obama has something on John Boehner (and likely others).

Boehner wasn’t paid off, he’s paying off. And by the way, this also explains this president’s aggressive and combative stance after the debacle of the midterms, something unique in modern history. He obviously knew something.

Remember, we’re dealing with the sort of Chicago pol who got elected to the Senate by judge shopping to get his opponent Jack Ryan’s sealed divorce records made public so Ryan was forced to quit his campaign to protect his child.

You might also remember how the White House found out about General Petraeus’ affair months before it came out and got him to lie about Benghazi – before they released the info publicly anyway to discredit him and get him to resign. He changed his story on Benghazi afterwards but no one took him seriously after that.

With the resources Barack Obama commands as president, there’s no limit to what he might have tucked away on various people. And I think we also have ample evidece of his lack of scruples and what some might think of as simple decency.

The Republicans may dominate congress, but with compromised leadership, nothing much is going to get done. That is something that is going to have to change, and quickly.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Here’s what Rush Limbaugh had to say about the latest developments:

Where do we stand on this thing now? It’s a legitimate question because the way this has been reported is that it’s a done deal. It’s a done deal because the House voted for the rule and then voted for the whole thing and it’s done and it’s considered a rubber stamp in the Senate and so it’s done. But it isn’t yet, is the thing. The media’s reporting that it’s done, but it’s really not, and all eyes are focused on Elizabeth Warren. And the question is, can she stop it?

Now, everything I mentioned in the previous hour’s true. Obama and Steny Hoyer and Biden, these guys are all helping Boehner, all the Democrats are doing everything they can to help Boehner, or did do everything they could to help Boehner get the votes that he needed in the House. It was the strangest thing. So now, the attention shifts focus to the Senate, and the question there is, “Can Democrats in the Senate still scuttle this thing?” And the answer is yes. They could still scuttle the deal, but they can’t do it alone. And there’s the rub.

They’re going to need some help from Republicans if the Senate is to stop this from happening. Now, what we’re talking about is the $1.1 trillion, it’s called the omnibus spending or cromnibus, and some people have even given to calling it the crimenibus because they think it’s an outrage the way it’s happening. It really is a piece of legislation that is in stark, in-your-face opposition to the people who voted this past November.

The American people want no part of this, or very little of it. The Washington establishment doesn’t care, and a lot of people are fuming, and rightfully feeling that, well, what, did the election not matter? And I’ll tell you, the answer to that question is a question a lot of people don’t want to hear the answer to.

So here’s where we are. A little help from Fox News. They’ve had some analysts looking at this trying to figure out where it goes from here. Now, last night, both the House and the Senate passed a two-day continuing resolution to keep the government running and avoid a partial shutdown. The House also passed the omnibus, this $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the remaining nine and a half months of the government’s fiscal year through September 30th.

Now, stop there for a moment. A lot of people think that’s asinine. The Republicans just won a landslide election. Why do a bill that funds the government for the rest of this fiscal year, which basically takes a year away from Republicans and the power they have over the budget next year and the year after the Republicans won the show and run the budget if they want to, albeit with Obama. So why punt one of those two years, which is what’s happened by going for the omnibus to fund it all the way through.

The Republican establishment’s answer to that, “Well, you know, we need to fund the government and then take care of that because the president will present his budget in February for 2016 and that’s where we’ll fight.” And a bunch of us frankly are getting real tired of the Republicans saying let’s go ahead and let this happen now and in a couple of months that’s when we’ll kick butt. They never kick butt, is the problem.
So what happened is, the House passes the omnibus bill that funds the remaining nine and a half months of the federal fiscal year, but funding immigration programs for just three months, which will allow Republicans to try to roll back Obama’s executive amnesty after the Senate is in Republicans’ hands.

Now, the House’s move punted the ball over to the Senate for final passage and then Obama’s signature. But that’s not as easy as it seems with Elizabeth Warren lurking in the weeds. The Senate convened at ten o’clock this morning but had to first finish the National Defense Authorization Act, and time will run out on that bill sometime this afternoon. Until the must-pass military measure is finished, Harry Reid cannot file cloture to move to the vote on the spending package, and he needs 60 votes for it. They can’t get to it ’til this afternoon, ’til they finish this military funding thing, which is a mass requirement.

If Elizabeth Warren, Fauxcahontas, and liberal senators get enough help from conservative Republicans opposed to the bill for other reasons, they could prevent it from advancing.

They have to find 41 votes to stop it. And finding 41 votes for what would essentially be a government shutdown is what the media think is impossible to do, because nobody wants to shut down the government.

Nobody wants to get blamed for shutting down the government. So if the bill is stopped, the end result’s a government shutdown, and that is the big obstacle that’s in the way, the abject fear of that. Now, it is reported that both conservatives and liberals have some additional options even after the thing passes, if it does. For example, a single senator, or a small group, could insist on using all 30 hours of debate time, which would pass the two-day emergency funding plan that was approved last night. Remember, it’s only just two days that they gave them.

Finding 41 votes is a tough thing because that’s a government shut down. But even at that, there’s still some other things they could do, like insist on full-fledged 30 hours of debate, which would then cause the current two-day spending measure to expire. That would force leaders to go back to the House for yet another emergency patch, if you will, say of another 48 hours to fund the government. You see how ridiculous this is getting? And another vote in the House would give conservatives, who they say they were lied to by House leaders into backing the emergency bill, a chance to redo their vote.

This takes us back to the Santa impersonator and Marlin Stutzman, who openly claims he was lied to about this. Just to refresh your memory, Stutzman was promised if he voted for the continuing resolution, the rule, not the ACR, but for the procedural vote, if he voted for the rule, that they would pull the omnibus and enact a 30-day continuing resolution to get the Republicans in power in both the House and the Senate and then start working on the omnibus, and they lied to him. They didn’t pull the omnibus.

So, again, if they get back to the House, if they have to go back to the House for another 48-hour emergency funding patch, that would give these conservatives who say they were lied to by House leaders into backing the emergency bill on the grounds that the bill was dead and buried, and with the shutdown threat revived, liberals and conservatives alike could make some additional demands, or at least use the time to try to find 51 Senators to vote against the final package.

Now, it must be said that while on paper this sounds like it could all shake out, the odds of it happening are said to be very unlikely. But the procedure provides some sticking points to bedevil the establishment, also some unhappy votes for ideological purists. The Senate could avoid this whole mess by invoking unanimous consent to vote on the big spending bill this afternoon. But if one Senator objects, then the whole decision is rejected, and that would mean that the Elizabeth Warren wing and the Republican rebels alike would all have to cave to some degree.

So this is an outline of what would have to happen to once again scuttle it or put some roadblocks up, and everybody involved thinks that all of this is really, really unlikely to happen. But it could still. A lot depends on Elizabeth Warren and just how big a flag she wants to plant on this. So we’ll just sit back and casually observe and see what happens. But the smart money is that it’s going to happen with no controversy whatsoever, that it’s practically already a fait accompli. “Is there still a way of stopping it?” But, again, the smart money says it’s not very likely.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: Unfortunately, the bill will pass. Another voluminous spending bill no one has read. It appears we still have a ways to go to convince our “trusted servants” we will not stand for this continued confiscatory theft of our hard earned tax dollars. The efforts of conservatives delivered the Senate to the Republicans and increased their numbers in the House this past November, but apparently it is business as usual. There has been no effort whatsoever to shrink the size of government. Regulations continue to take more money out of our pockets and into the hands of the government. The GOP has essentially given away nearly a year of control over the purse strings, half of the time they will have control of both houses of Congress.

Hopefully during the next two years many more Americans will wake up and realize their earnings and personal wealth are not growing as they continue to pay more for essentials such as food, energy, and gas and have less left over for discretionary spending. We cannot continue on this path. The debt has surpassed $18 Trillion dollars with no attempt being made to cut spending.

2016 will be a major turning point for America. It will be up to We the People to decide whether we continue along this path towards a progressive America, or take our country back from the political and elite class and restore our country to government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The Glittering Eye :The continuing resolution omnibus spending bill, waggishly nicknamed “CRomnibus”, is about what you’d expect from one of its kind. Neither party is happy with it and the more ideological you are the less happy you’re likely to be. That’s the way things get done in a representative democracy, particularly one as large as ours.

The question boils down to whether you think we’re better off with a crummy budget than none at all. I think that on balance we are. Isn’t this the first budget that the Senate has actually voted into law? That’s something of an accomplishment in its own right. I guess elections do have consequences.

I would prefer that these huge, opaque omnibus spending bills be abolished in favor of bills that were about a single matter and a single appropriation. That won’t happen without a constitutional amendment forcing it. It’s just too hard to get graft into a simple, short bill on a single subject.

Relevant-it’s often attributed to Bismark but it was apparently first said by John Godfrey Saxe: if you like law or sausages you should never watch either one being made.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. 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.

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

12/14/14
Israel

Tight Position

Arlene from Israel

Things are never easy for Israel, but matters do seem to be getting tougher, day by day, with regard to the international community.  To begin with, the parliament of one European nation after another has adopted a non-binding resolution of some sort regarding recognition of a “Palestinian state”:

On Friday, the Portuguese parliament passed a resolution recommending that the government recognize “Palestine.” Just days before, the Irish and French parliaments, in symbolic votes, did likewise and Denmark was gearing up towards a similar effort.  Back in October, the parliaments of the UK and then Spain passed non-binding resolutions in support of recognition of “Palestine,” while at the end of October, the Swedish government actually did vote to recognize “Palestine.”

A vote by the EU parliament on the issue, which had originally been scheduled for late November, was postponed because of disagreement within the EU and strong lobbying by Israel.  It is due to come around soon.

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I emphasize again that the key issue here is not legal.  “Palestine” does not fulfill the criteria for a state, and the votes of various European parliaments and governments does not change this essential fact.  Especially is this the case because the “Palestine” that the European nations seek to recognize is within borders that the PA does not control.

What these votes – even if symbolic – do is set a tone that is anti-Israel, encouraging the BDS movement and similar actions again Israel.

There is no way to avoid the perception that what is taking place here, with regard to all of these resolutions and votes, is more anti-Israel than truly pro-Palestinian Arab. The Palestinian Arabs simply do not merit the attention they receive, except for the fact that they impinge upon and challenge Israeli rights.

~~~~~~~~~~

But there is more:  Switzerland has invited the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to attend a conference in Geneva on December 17.  The Fourth Geneva Convention on the Rules of War was adopted in 1949 in an effort to ensure that the horrific behavior of the Nazis with regard to the occupation of Europe would never be repeated.  This Convention is utilized as a weapon against Israel – as it is said that the Convention makes Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria an illegal occupation.

See what international lawyer Alan Baker, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, had to say about this:

“…both the text of that convention, and the post-World War II circumstances under which it was drafted, clearly indicate that it was never intended to refer to situations like Israel’s settlements. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC], Article 49 relates to situations where populations are coerced into being transferred. There is nothing to link such circumstances to Israel’s settlement policy…(see more below)

“The continued reliance by the international community on the Geneva Convention as the basis for determining the illegality of Israel’s settlements fails to take into account the unique nature of the history, legal framework, and negotiating circumstances regarding the West Bank.”

For more:  http://jcpa.org/article/the-settlements-issue-distorting-the-geneva-convention-and-the-oslo-accords/

~~~~~~~~~~

Switzerland – as the depository of the Accords – is supposed to behave in a neutral and apolitical manner. Yet, when the PA joined the Convention, and then requested that the conference be held, Switzerland acceded. Needless to say, Israel is furious and will boycott the conference.  The US, Canada and Australia are expected to boycott as well.

What we can expect is condemnation of Israel for “illegal occupation” in Judea and Samaria.

Since 1949, the High Contracting Parties have met only twice: in 1999 and 2001, both times in order to discuss Israel.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-blasts-Switzerland-for-acceding-to-Palestinians-convening-Fourth-Geneva-Convention-384429

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It is important to note here that the ICRC, the official arbiter of the Geneva Conventions, finds that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Israel, i.e., that Israel is an occupier.  But I should note here as well, that officially the International Committee of the Red Cross is associated with the Red Cross and the Red Crescent [the equivalent of the Red Cross in Muslim countries.].

~~~~~~~~~~

My readers know that I have mentioned the Legal Grounds Campaign, which I co-chair with Jeff Daube, several times now.  But you what you’ve heard to date is just the beginning: Jeff and I, seeing the threats leveled against Israel, understand the major importance of promoting Israeli leadership prepared to speak out strongly on our rights.

~~~~~~~~~~

With everything else, Mahmoud Abbas of the PA is threatening to go to the Security Council by the end of this year, submitting a draft resolution for Israel’s withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem within two to three years.

The US could simply veto this. But Kerry is trying a different – more worrisome – approach.  Said the Secretary of State:

“There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction…We’re trying to figure out a way to help defuse the tensions and reduce the potential for more conflict, and we’re exploring various possibilities to that end,”

To that end, Kerry is meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu in Rome on Monday.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/188597#.VI24zZv9nIV

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ibtimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: ibtimes

UH OH!

All pulling in the same direction?

This is what I envision Kerry saying to Netanyahu:  “Bibi, old buddy, we’ve got to present a united front here.  If we are going to keep Abbas from the UN we have to show the world that you are on board for negotiating a Palestinian state…then I can make the case that Abbas should hold off.”

The picture I provide above is simply one that I consider illustrative of how our prime minister may be feeling tomorrow – never mind that in Rome he’ll probably be all smiles for the cameras.

~~~~~~~~~~

At the beginning of the Cabinet meeting today, Netanyahu made this statement:

“Tomorrow I will leave for Rome to meet with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and US Secretary of State John Kerry.  I will tell them that Israel, to a large degree, stands as a solitary island against the waves of Islamic extremism that are washing over the entire Middle East.

“Until  now we have successfully withstood and repelled these attacks and now we also stand against the possibility of a diplomatic assault, i.e., an attempt to compel us – by means of UN decisions – to withdraw to the 1967 lines within two years. This will lead to Islamic extremists [coming] to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem.

“We will not allow this.  We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/188632#.VI3Ebpv9nIV

Well…there some nice words here, but they don’t satisfy me, for they sound like rhetoric.  What does “We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this” mean?

Netanyahu speaks about the possible UN demands.  But he says nothing about what he will or won’t agree to in consultation with Kerry.

Stay tuned.

~~~~~~~~~~

What perhaps grieves me the most – and is for me the most incomprehensible – is the attitude on the Israeli left, which is that we should go back to the negotiating table, and should try harder to please the world.  (The anti-Semitic world, that is, but why quibble.)

Even centrists such as Michael Oren (about whom more below), who is a “two-state” man, says there is no one to negotiate with now. And yet, the delusion persists amongst such people as Livni and Herzog.

~~~~~~~~~~

This leads me to a very brief review of the ever-changing political circus:

Right wing activists have decided to form a party to the right of Habayit Hayehudi, which will be called Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) and headed by Michael Ben-Ari – a former MK (with the National Union) – who will be working with Itamar Ben- Gvir and Baruch Marzel.
Former MK Michael Ben Ari in 2012 (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash 90

They will not run with Habayit Hayehudi, but if there is a breakoff from Habayit Heyehudi (with Uri Ariel – who is to the right) they might join with that.

They might also join with the Eli Yishai (pictured), who looks like he is going to break off from Shas because of tensions with Arieh Deri.  I’ll have more on this.

Credit: Lior Mizrachi

Or the three might run together.

What’s important with these small parties is passing the electoral threshold for getting into the Knesset. That threshold is now 3.25 percent of the vote, which translates to a minimum of four seats.

~~~~~~~~~~

As to Habayit Hayehudi itself, former Yesha Council chair Dani Dayon (not to be confused with Danny Dannon of Likud!) has joined their ranks.


Credit: TOT

Here is a man very clear on the legality of Israel’s communities in Judea and Samaria.

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There are very strong rumors that Michael Oren, immediate past Israeli ambassador to the US, will be joining the Kulanu party of Kahlon.

Lieberman continues to be all over the place.  The only thing that seems clear is that Lieberman’s first concern is Avigdor Lieberman.

~~~~~~~~~~

And the good news:

The Israeli Embassy in Senegal has established a farm utilizing Israeli-innovated slow drip irrigation, ideal for a region of drought.  Water is saved and the produce is superior.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4603023,00.html

This is just one example of the outreach Israel does to help impoverished communities in Africa.