04/16/14

Spying The Open Skies Of America

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


MQ-9 Reaper

For those of you out there that thought there was any truth to Obama opposing Putin in Russia, you might want to rethink that and fast. He’s proving just how flexible he really is these days. There is a fight within the Administration, with one side supporting surveillance flights from Russia over American soil and the other opposing it. One guess which side Obama is on.

Have you ever heard of the Open Skies Treaty? Per Wikipedia: The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002 and currently has 34 States Parties. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities. The concept of “mutual aerial observation” was initially proposed to Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin at the Geneva Conference of 1955 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower; however, the Soviets promptly rejected the concept and it lay dormant for several years. The treaty was eventually signed as an initiative of US President (and former Director of Central Intelligence) George H.W. Bush in 1989. Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki, Finland, on March 24, 1992. So you see, Progressives on both sides of the aisle are part and parcel of this suicidal pact.

The Open Skies Treaty allows Russia to fly over US territory with planes loaded with certain agreed-upon sensor packages, in order to ensure compliance with arms control agreements and to provide assurance against preparations for various military surprises. Russia has asked the U.S. to agree to an upgrade in the sensor package their planes can carry. I’ll bet they have. Now, we not only have the NSA and our government watching our every move, we are letting the Russians spy on us as well. I’m also certain the Chinese have been invited in for a test drive. You thought spying was bad with our Intel agencies, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

There was supposed to be a meeting yesterday, to discuss this and resolve a bitter inter-agency dispute over a request from Russia with respect to the Open Skies program. I don’t know what the outcome was, if any, that came out of that meeting behind closed doors. The powers that be are trying to keep this very quiet. Insiders are saying that the White House is likely to side with the State Department, which wants to accommodate Russia, over the objections of the Obama Administration’s Defense Department and Intelligence agencies. I agree with Allen West that the Defense Department and Intelligence agencies had to have thought this was a very bad joke. Unfortunately, it’s not. We’re not just sleeping with the enemy, we are deferring to them.

From Allen West:

What is troubling is that it seems John Kerry and the State Department are willing to acquiesce to the request while the Defense Department, after they stopped laughing, is up in arms. Unfortunately, it looks like the Obama White House is siding with the State Department. Oh, what I miss the most — not really — about Washington DC are all the sneaky, behind-closed-doors escapades that transpire without everyday American citizens having an idea.

House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers is apparently so concerned that he sent the president an unusual public letter Friday — of course when things are done on a Friday before the whole gang goes on Easter recess, chances are no one notices. Here are the highlights:

Chairman Rogers wrote, “Given current world events, President Putin appears to be more than willing to disregard international norms of behavior in seeking geopolitical advantage. We should not now naively believe he will unilaterally adhere to the limitations of the Open Skies Treaty. Putin’s attempt to upgrade Russia’s sensing capabilities now is particularly problematic. I have serious concerns about the technical advantages Russia would gain.”

West also asks a great question: if we have the ability to openly fly over Russia according to this treaty from the Clinton administration — how did we get caught by surprise with Putin’s actions in the Crimea? We didn’t, is the answer. I believe that Obama knew exactly what and when it was going down. Then he put on a show of protest and not a convincing one at that. Imposing sanctions that he knew meant nothing and letting Putin do as he pleases. Obama and Putin have had numerous long conversations – probably on conquering the known world and divvying up the spoils. Even if it is put out that the upgrade to Putin’s sensor package as part of his overflight aircraft is rejected, don’t be quick to believe it. Obama has proven that deceit takes a myriad of forms and he is adept at achieving his desired outcomes.

The Intelligence community is extremely alarmed and should be. Every American should be up in arms over this. We are inviting Russian spies and their military into our country. It’s like letting in a vampire, it can’t be undone and it will get you killed. Russian spying is about to go mainstream in America. Spying the open skies of America will telegraph our strengths and weaknesses to our enemies and invite an attack. Obama and Putin are fellow travelers. Ask yourself, why would a sitting President allow a known enemy to fly freely above and around America? Flexibility Comrades.

For reference, here is a letter from a bipartisan group of senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee — addressed, interestingly, to Secretary of State Kerry, whose department has been pushing the agreement:

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington, DC 20521

Dear Mr. Secretary,

In the past few years, the Russian Federation completed construction of two new Open Skies aircraft that will support digital photograph equipment, sideways-looking synthetic aperture radar, and infrared equipment. As you know, state parties to the Open Skies Treaty must certify any new aircraft before it can be used for treaty observation flights.

We understand that an upcoming Deputies Committee meeting will address the question of Russian certification. We strongly urge you to carefully evaluate the ramifications of certification on future Open Skies observation flights and consider the equities of key U.S. Government stakeholders.

The invasion of Crimea and Moscow’s ongoing efforts to destabilize Ukraine using subversive methods in sufficient enough to counsel further review, irrespective of any technical concerns that may exist.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important and timely manner.

Sincerely,

Dan Coats

Mark W. Warner

James E. Risch
Martin Heinrich

04/16/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Yippee-Ki-Yay Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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!

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

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which 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 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 this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/15/14

Jay Carney: Cooking With Communism

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Evil, being inherently stupid, strikes again and again with Jay Carney. He just can’t help himself and actually, he’s proud of being a Communist. The Carneys, in their incredible conceitedness and arrogance, decided that it would be so very cool to let the magazine, Washingtonian MOM, do a feature on the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s wife, Claire Shipman, and how she manages her “active role as a journalist, wife, and modern working mom.” What they didn’t list, is how she manages all this while juggling her Communist beliefs evidently. We all know how these people lean, but come on! This is rubbing it in our collective faces.

Highlighted is the Carney kitchen with a heartwarming scene of Mom and kids cooking away. It looks like they cooked up enough for a Communist regime if you look closely as well. Sweet rolls, pancakes, melons, a whole host of other fruit, eggs and bacon, muffins… Just who are they getting ready to feed? A third world America? This is a Soviet-style propaganda puff piece for the masses and it is very professionally done, right down to the two Soviet propaganda posters on their walls behind them in the above pic. Where most people would put beloved family photos or treasured art, the Carneys display what is closest to their ideology – from Russia with love.

On the wall, is “a version of this iconic design by artist Dmitry Moor with a soldier pointing his finger alongside text that says ‘Have YOU Enlisted?’ in Russian.”

The Business Insider says of this poster: “The woman in the poster is switching out a tag with a man’s name to one with hers and the text says: ‘Women! Learn production, replace workers who went to the front! The stronger the hinterland – the stronger the front!’”

Memories from the Motherland. Good times for the Carneys.

It’s a love story really… Russia is where Carney and Shipman met in the 1990s. How touching. Of course they didn’t actually fall in love until the late 1990s while working for a list of mainstream media outlets and then meeting at a White House press conference. She was divorced and Carney swooped in. Carney worked at Time magazine’s Moscow bureau when in Russia and Shipman was with CNN there. It’s a small world for Communists, don’t ya know? And did you know, Carney also graduated from Yale with a degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies? What a wild coincidence. I’m sure that he and his adorable wife aren’t Communist plants at all. Nooo.

Bringing Soviet propaganda on home to America just fits, as our friends at The People’s Cube illustrate brilliantly:

The Heritage Foundation nailed it on the topic as usual:

“This is clearly in extremely poor taste against the backdrop of growing Russian intimidation in the Ukraine,” says Nile Gardiner, director of Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation.

‘You have a key Obama administration official celebrating the Soviet era, an era in which tens of millions of people died at the hands of a brutal totalitarian system,” Gardiner adds. “It is simply disgraceful for the White House press secretary to be glorifying the propaganda of a monstrously evil tyranny.”

What you are seeing here is an intentional glimpse into the real leanings of our Progressive leaders. You have a Communist Press Secretary and a journalist, who is right at home in our Marxist media, spreading propaganda to the masses. How’s your KGB file hangin’ ABC? The Carneys shamefully flout their wealth, use their children as a photo op and go out of their way to show how much more intelligent they are than common Americans. Just look at the Photoshopped image below:

Lots of books equals really smart. Not so much, especially when you are caught red-handed manipulating info and photos to the public. Gee, this is ‘sub-par‘ for the course concerning the media.

This last pic of an uber Jenga set, is telling. Modified a bit by someone who sees through all the hype and propaganda. ;) It reflects just how stable our government is. Sadly, when the wrong block is pulled, it will all come tumbling down and America with it.

Jay Carney and family: cooking with Communism. Better not invite Mooch over — you’ll be in big trouble over that spread in the kitchen (after she eats it). Our comrades, the Carneys, should move back to Moscow, their first love – the Motherland is calling. The Carneys — the all-American Marxists.

04/13/14

A Nation In The Red – A Book Review

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Purchase at Amazon.com

Murray Holland has penned a blunt, informative book entitled: “A Nation In The Red: The Government Debt Crisis and What We Can Do About It.” Holland is a world class writer who has written a book, frankly, I wish I had written. I love this quote: “The laws of economics are like the laws of physics — they can’t be changed by government action.” Oh, how true that is and it is something I have warned on for years. You can’t print money forever and spend as though the well will never run dry, without reaching a tipping point of no return.

You see it all around you right now – the consequences of being in the “red.” Skyrocketing food prices. With gas wars on the horizon in Europe, we will experience gas and oil shortages and rationing once more ala the ’70s. Inflation is here and biting hard. Last week alone, we noticed Hamburger Helper jumped 50% in price. Meat is up 20% this year already and with a pork emergency here in the States, meat is going to become a luxury. Especially with Obama’s EPA and regulations squeezing us. Can food lines and violence be far off? Theft, riots and very hard times are on the way. Hyperinflation and hunger loom thanks to Progressive financial policies that are not just self-destructive and insane — they are suicidal. When a nation has almost $18 trillion in debt, it is a no-brainer. By the time Obama departs, we will be $20 trillion in debt and don’t look for Progressive Republicans to lighten the load much. Their idea of fiscal restraint is cutting the amount of future increases, not the bottom line of debt.

I consider Murray Holland a visionary. Americans are going to have to face hard reality and soon. As Holland’s “Debt Trap” slams shut on the US, you will see financial devastation similar to Greece. Bank account hair cuts and the seizure of retirement funds and savings will be a fact of life. There was a hint of this that occurred last week, where a woman had her tax refund seized by the government to pay the purported debt of a dead relative to Social Security. That was an incident that got scant attention, but it is an event that will become common as the government scrambles for more and more money to keep afloat.

Holland on the rising interest rates:

“The markets will require the United States to cut expenses or raise taxes to balance the budget, but in doing so, the government takes that much money out of GDP and the country falls straight into a deep recession or depression.”

This will necessitate a never-ending recessionary/depressionary cycle, where revenue from rising taxes will decrease. Interest rates will explode. At some point the government will have to slash expenses and social services, cutting off a dependent population. They’ve already gutted the military leaving us vulnerable to our enemies. Catastrophe is only a black swan event away.

People don’t want to think about this. It is too depressing. They’d rather watch cable, play video games and bar-b-cue. But just because we shun responsibility, doesn’t mean it won’t slap us along side the head or across the face with a fiscal trout. Our sugar daddy government is about to dump us on the street.

Holland is correct that we have two sane option: decrease deficit spending and increase economic productivity. Going after energy production here in the States would go a long way to doing just that. With an aging population, it will be even more difficult to turn the USS Titanic around, but there are ways. However, if we recover, it will be long, hard and painful.

I’m one of those crazy preppers and I believe a reckoning is approaching quickly. Holland is a sane voice in a wilderness of Progressive madness. Want the truth of the “Debt Trap” and what is really going on financially here in America? Then Murray Holland’s book is for you. He’ll rock your world. This book is a lifeline and just a great read. You can get a copy of “A Nation In The Red: The Government Debt Crisis and What We Can Do About It” at Amazon.com.

04/12/14

Playing Cowboys And Feds

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Update: Sheriff Gillespie has stated that the BLM is standing down.

FEDS RETREAT IN NEVADA RANGE WAR

See my previous posts on this:

The latest in the Bundy Ranch standoff is coming in this morning. It seems the FAA has designated the airspace over the area a No-Fly zone now – no news helicopters allowed:

NOTAM : 4/1687

FDC 4/1687 ZLA NV..AIRSPACE MESQUITE, NV..TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS WITHIN AREA DEFINED AS 3NM RADIUS OF 364624N/1141113W (MMM71 RADIAL AT 4.3NM) SFC-3000FT AGL LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATION. PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 91.137(A)(1) TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT. ONLY RELIEF AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS UNDER DIRECTION OF BLM ARE AUTHORIZED IN THE AIRSPACE.

BLM TELEPHONE 702-335-3191 IS IN CHARGE OF ON SCENE EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIVITY. LOS ANGELES /ZLA/ ARTCC TELEPHONE 661-265-8205 IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY.

And although there were reports that cell towers were being blocked, as of right now, it appears that is not the case. More likely the media was hogging bandwidth. Will watch that. Rumors are running rampant, so be careful what you believe. I have also heard Feds were searching cars and seizing guns. This is from the Bundy web site. Things look to escalate and fast today as the Oath Keepers and militias arrive en force. DHS is also incoming according to reports on the ground.

As many of you know, one of my top favorite blogs out there is SurvivalBlog. Level headed guys who know their stuff. Along with Dana Loesche and Allen West, they are supporting the Bundy Ranch. I want to give you their spot on analysis from today:

The Bundy Ranch continues to spiral with the BLM not backing down, and the militias are beginning to show up. This escalation of the conflict is not good and will result in bloodshed, unless the federal government backs down. For those who are not sure about what rights are being violated, I’ve broken it down into several sections here:

  • First Amendment rights.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Make no mistake, the entire land in question is public land, managed by the BLM. The BLM violates the rights of the U.S. citizens when it tries to create “no free speech zones” by cordoning off sections of the land for people to express their First Amendment rights. Not only the highway but also the the land itself (managed by the BLM) is public. As stated yesterday, there already exists a zone for people to express their First Amendment rights– it’s called the United States of America. It is completely repugnant for the BLM to attempt to restrict those rights, and it suggests that the true intent of their actions and possibly the actions themselves are shameful. Today, we have unconfirmed reports that the cell towers that serve the Bundy’s ranch have been shut down, suggesting that the law enforcement are intent on hiding their own actions. We have already seen the near riot that ensued when BLM officers with dogs, drawn tasers and slung AR-15s/M16s were confronted by protestors armed only with wagging fingers and cell phone cameras. The BLM engaged with escalated violence first, and then reported to the mainstream media that their dog was kicked and the protestors had to be tased to be controlled. Watch yesterday’s video again and see for yourself if their claims hold true. The dog was clearly released on the person who then kicked it. The officers tased a person who was only armed with a wagging finger. For this reason, they want a communications blackout to perpetuate their skewed and false narrative.

  • Prior usage rights.

    The southwest states of the United States of America have a long tradition of recognizing “prior usage rights”. There are land grants that trace their history clear back to the 1600s. Water rights are similarly recognized based upon when the water was first used for agricultural usage. Cliven Bundy’s family’s grazing rights can be traced back 150 years to the formation and recognition of the State of Nevada in 1864. The BLM was formed in 1946. It is clear that the Bundys have prior usage rights that predate even the formation of the BLM. If you include the predecessor of the BLM– The General Land Office (GLO), which was formed in 1812, their formation could be considered to predate the Bundy’s usage, but the fact that the land was continually grazed for over 150 years shows that the GLO and the subsequent BLM not only allowed but agreed to the land usage by the Bundy family. The courts have erred in their rulings over these usage rights and have either set a dangerous precedent or followed in the footsteps of decisions that overstep moral and ethical boundaries regarding eminent domain. This dangerous trend is becoming the powder keg that we see being worked out in this case. The fact that multiple branches of the federal government have ruled against what should be standard law simply shows that they are either colluding or ignorant. The rulings by the judges are a prime example of progressive judges creating law, rather than interpreting law.

  • Open range laws.

    Under open range laws, if you don’t want cattle grazing on your land, it is your responsibility to fence them out. By requiring the rancher to fence his own cattle out of the BLM land, they are placing unfair, unprecedented, and unlawful burden on the rancher. It is the responsibility of the BLM to erect fences around property they don’t want grazed.

  • Moral and ethical issues.

    Morals are what we do; ethics are what we ought to do. In this case, the Bundys have chosen to press for their rights rather than knuckle under the heavy-handed tactics of the federal government. No tortoise nor any cow is worth the loss of human life, yet that is where this is headed if the federal government does not back down. There is suspicion that the contractors who have been brought in to remove the cows are killing many of them (whether by accident or design). There is suspicion that some wearing the BLM uniform are not duly sworn law enforcement officers.

  • Escalation of conflict.

    So far, the conflict has been between the Bundy ranch, neighbors, a few friends and the BLM. As this drags on, the conflict will escalate with militia and others from across the country getting involved. The emotions will run higher. The thin line between anger and action will be narrowed, and at some point either a law enforcement officer who feels threatened or a protester who is being unfairly attacked will pull their firearm, and it will escalate into bloodshed. The longer the conflict runs, the greater the chance of this escalation occurring. The governor has already weighed in verbally in support of the Bundys. Where is Harry Reid?

And there is other suppressed case history in Nevada that is worth a read here.

So far, I’ve heard elected officials are coming from Arizona, Utah, Washington and Montana. Others are considering it as well. Michele Fiore is on the ground with the protesters and doing a fantastic job (I knew she would!). TheBlaze, who has been on the wrong side of the argument (and still is pretty much), posted a great interview with Michele:

“I’m seeing a lot of passionate Americans willing to stand up for important rights,” said Nevada state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.

Fiore, a Republican, said Friday she has been making the 80-mile drive from Las Vegas to a growing tent city of militia members, advocates and protesters in dusty but scenic rangeland near Bundy’s ranch, just east of the Virgin River. She said she was horrified that BLM police used stun guns on one of Bundy’s adult sons during a Wednesday confrontation on a state highway near the Bundy melon farm in the Gold Butte area.

By all accounts, the Feds have hundreds of vehicles there now and they are gearing up for a confrontation. They are not just pushing in Nevada either. Now the BLM is in my backyard. They are looking to seize 90,000 acres of the Red River from Texas. If they do, it will change the boundaries between Texas and Oklahoma, just as the BLM/EPA did to Wyoming. Texas gets screwed in the process. Since when does the government get to just ‘redraw’ state lines? People own that land and have been paying taxes on it for over 100 years. Sound familiar? We are all Nevada ranchers now.

In Utah, the BLM is doing as crappy a job at range management as they do in Nevada apparently. There is a dust up there now over 2,000 wild horses that are taking over grazing areas that cattlemen are paying fees on. The environmentalists want the horses to win, the ranchers want the cattle to have priority because they are paying the Feds for that right.

These fights are happening all over the west, every hour of every day. The BLM and the government are hated and rightly so. The Feds want power and control — we just want to be left the hell alone.

When the government was cornered yesterday and asked if they were euthanizing Bundy’s cattle, they had no comment. I told you days ago they were doing it and were lying about it. What else are they lying about? You could start by asking Clean Face Harry Reid who has his buddy heading the BLM in Nevada and stands to make millions on shady real estate deals if he can just get rid of these pesky ranchers.

In typical Marxist fashion, the SPLC just labeled 67 year-old, Mormon cattle rancher, Cliven Bundy a domestic extremist. In fact, what the BLM and Feds are doing here is nothing less then domestic terrorism on Americans.

In the end, this is not about grazing fees, grazing rights or court orders. It goes way deeper than that. This is about our Constitutional freedoms and the government militarizing up, treating the west as a territory and not as sovereign states and people as slaves, not Americans. Will the people become the Fed’s cattle or will we fight for our God-given freedoms? I believe the time has come that the question must be answered.

Playing cowboys and Feds probably will end badly, but at some point, patriots have to make a stand. Time to choose a side and dig in.

04/11/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 04/11/14

The Watcher’s Council


We Stand With Cliven Bundy

Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“In war, truth is the first casualty” – Aeschylus

“We maintain peace through our strength; appeasement only invites aggression” – President Ronald Reagan, 1983

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 8:11

This week’s winner was Joshuapundit’s Yes, The Peace Talks Are Dead – And An Opportunity For Real Peace Comes Alive. Here’s the real story of how things imploded and why, and how the Obama Administration set things up for failure. I attempt to wrap up the post mortum and show that there’s an opportunity for real peace here, what I think it would take and what it might look like. Here’s a slice:

While neither side has formally acknowledged it, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead, and even John Kerry has thrown in the towel.

The Obama Team would never admit it, but they’re fully aware that it was Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas that pulled the trigger and ended the talks, and his own controlled Palestinian media proudly admits it. Both Palestinian and Israeli media outlets on Thursday night quoted Abbas as saying, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed on Tuesday to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions.

Kerry and the rest of the Obama team managed to arm twist the Israelis into discussing a further release of convicted terrorists along with releasing the fourth batch provided Abbas rescinded the UN membership applications and agreed to extend the deadline of the talks.

Instead of agreeing to what amounted to another gimmee, Abbas came out with a whole new set of pre-conditions to continue talks, conditions he knew no Israeli government could accept. According to Abbas’ own Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, the new pre-conditions included formal Israeli recognition of the borders of ‘Palestine’ as the pre-67 lines with all of East Jerusalem as its capitol; the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including convicted terrorist leaders Marwan Barghouti, Fuad Shweiki and Ahmad Saadat; a Israeli building freeze in East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria; Israeli citizenship for 15,000 Palestinians under a ‘family reunification program’ essentially a recognition of a Palestinian ‘right of return’; the end of Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza; the right of return for PLO terrorists who were exiled to European countries under an agreement between the EU and Israel after the 2002 Palestinian siege of the Church of the Nativity; forbidding the IDF to enter Area A, the part of Judea and Samaria under PA control which would essentially create an escape zone for terrorists after attacks on Israelis since the PA has never jailed anyone for murdering an Israeli; and Palestinian control of parts of Area C, the areas now under full Israeli sovereignty.

And that was just to continue listening to Abbas say no for another few months!

Kerry’s deputy Martin Indyk mediated a nine hour meeting between head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho and tried to cable together some semblance of a reasonable platform, but he was yelled down by the Palestinian negotiators and the entire meeting turned into a shouting match, with even the ever flexible Tzipi Livni unable to contain herself. At one point, Livni reportedly demanded of Erekat that Abbas rescind the applications to the 15 UN organizations and conventions he’d submitted in order to negotiate any other preconditions. Erekat flatly refused, and Livni announced the next day that Israel would definitely not release that fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists.

When Indyk tried to reason with the Palestinians, saying that any agreement had to consider Israel’s security considerations, Faraj snapped back that the Palestinians weren’t there to discuss Israeli security, but to negotiate over a timetable to get all of their demands met.

Things went quickly downhill from there, with the Palestinians threatening to join even more international bodies and take prosecute Israel for ‘war crimes’ at the International Criminal Court and the Israelis promising retaliation if they did so.

Abbas never had any intention of actually negotiating. Even Saeb Erekat admitted earlier this month that Abbas was staying in the talks just to get the terrorist releases.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matt WalshHey gay rights militants: your fascism is showing, submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Walsh’s defiant blowback to the Gay Mafia and progressive fascism in general, and it makes for some stirring reading.

Okay, here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/11/14

Standoff In Nevada – Ranchers, Patriots and Citizens vs. the Feds

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Please see these two posts concerning the standoff as well:

The standoff in Nevada is personal to me. It involves people who are my family and principles that I believe in with all my heart and soul. Nevada State Rep. Michele Fiore is on the ground there helping the Bundys and she is rallying State Reps from numerous states in the fight against the Feds and to protect Constitutional rights. Michele might as well by my sister — we have known each other for decades. She sat with me all night when my Dad passed away in 1999. A better friend, you could never ask for. Say a prayer that God watches over her and all the others on the ground in Nevada.

Cliven Bundy’s family has ranched on his property since the 1870s. He has about 900 head of cattle and as of yesterday, the Feds had seized about a third of them. Don’t believe everything you hear out there – hype is being spewed to disparage Bundy as some kind of freeloader which is just not true. He’s the last rancher there – over 50 others have been driven off by the government. He does pay fees to the county, what he contests is the racket of paying the government for grazing on open range land. 600,000 acres that the government simply deemed as theirs and then further decreed that Bundy had to pay or else. Well son… we have arrived at ‘or else.’

The Feds tasered, beat up and arrested one of his sons day before yesterday. Yesterday, they hit his sister, I believe, with a front loader. They tased another man three times, threw a 57 year-old woman who is a cancer survivor on the ground, hit a pregnant woman and used dogs on these people. They have arrested three – two of them for walking past a cattle area that was cordoned off. They were beaten up and accused of violence, which is not true. And this is just the beginning. Some of them did break out about 30 head of cattle yesterday. I don’t blame them, not in the least. Tempers and emotions are running high and they, at times, are confrontational… but they aren’t armed. The Feds however, are.

The BLM is bringing in armed Rangers from other states to fight this. They have heavy artillery there, machine guns and snipers. They are hired guns and many of them don’t even know why they are there. Well, they are beginning to figure it out:

Cox said she spoke with an out-of-state Ranger who was ashamed of his job.

“I actually went and talked to one, he was in the back, nobody was even talking to him. He didn’t say much,” she said. “He had a huge big gun on him, but he didn’t really even touch his gun.”

“I asked him, ‘What are you doing? Do you know what you’re doing? You’re stealing an old man’s cattle, his livelihood. He’s a poor man that doesn’t have anything,’” she said. “And I said, ‘You’re pushing baby cows’—I watched a baby cow not want to move and a helicopter swoop down and honk at him till he had to move.”

Cox said the Ranger said, “No, no, we don’t want that.”

“But I saw it,” she said.

“‘Well, well,’ and he goes, ‘I don’t even want to be here. Do you think my grandfather’s proud of me? You think I like this? You think this is fun for me?’”

“Then what are you doing here?” Cox asked him.

“He said, ‘It’s my job.’”

My friend, you need a new job… right now. You’re on the wrong side here. The Feds are removing the watering areas for the cattle. They will die of thirst and/or be driven to the river. It’s calving season – those calves will die. I hear that they are slaughtering the cows that they are taking from Bundy. The whole thing is beyond despicable. Government rustlers unite – in the old days you got hung for that. Now you get free healthcare.

Just how does everyone think this will end? Thousands of Oath Keepers and militia members are en route. They don’t want an armed confrontation, but they believe their large numbers will deter the government. I doubt it and I don’t see this ending well. If it fizzles out, that is almost as bad, as it is a win for the Feds. What the goons don’t get is these people are willing to go down for their land and families. On the other hand, maybe that is what the Feds want – it’s been a while since they’ve had a good slaughter. Is this the pivotal moment that lights fire to the confrontation the Progressives have wanted for so long? It could very well be and if it does, they’ll come down with all their might. If it is not this event, it’s not far off judging from how angry Americans are over this confrontation.

The politicians in Nevada are worried this will end badly as well:

Nevada state Sen. Peter Goicoechea (R.) expressed concern that the federal government was exacerbating the problem.

“This morning was the first I actually heard that there were military personnel there,” said Goicoechea, who is also a public land rancher. “If, in fact, we actually have military personnel down in that area because that equates to martial law.”

Goicoechea brought up the questionable handling of a previous case by armed BLM officers in the state two months ago.

“We have always challenged that BLM Rangers have no jurisdiction or police powers in the state of Nevada,” Goicoechea said. “They typically are an unsworn officer. And we had the case where a young man was shot a couple months ago at Red Rock by two BLM Rangers.”

That young man was shot seven times by two BLM Rangers, who claimed he was going for a rifle in their vehicle. Listen, in a state where you can strip your clothes off, neatly fold them in your sports car, walk out into the desert, tie your hands behind your own back and then shoot yourself in the back of the head and it is ruled a ‘suicide,’ let’s just say I am suspicious of the BLM’s claims. By the way, the previous sentence is true and is a story for another time. Me thinketh the BLM is full of crap:

The BLM officers shot and killed an unarmed young man in February near the Red Rock National Conservation Area, just outside of Las Vegas.

A graphic video documented the encounter. BLM officers fought with the suspect, ultimately shooting him seven times when he attempted to get into a Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle and remove an AR-15 rifle from a locked compartment, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

“He was definitely disoriented, he was unarmed, and they were questioning him, along the state highway,” Goicoechea said. “And if you press for this they’ll tell you it’s still under investigation.”

“They shot him seven times, killed him dead,” he said. “They said, well, they thought he was trying to get—there was a highway patrolman there, and they said it looked like he was trying to get into the highway patrolman vehicle, and we were afraid he’d get the shotgun out of there. So they shot him. They killed him.”

These ranchers are homesteaders. I wish before people in the national media started just flatly condemning Bundy, that they would actually look into homesteading and how these disputes were handled in the past:

Since the 1800s ranchers have taken up homesteads and used land for their cattle herds. Ranchers abided by the “Three-mile Water Law,” which entitled them to grazing rights for land three miles around water the rancher owned or maintained. Disputes were settled amongst the ranchers themselves.

“There have been people shot through the last century over grazing disputes,” Goicoechea said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Until 1934, disagreements over the land were not adjudicated. The “Taylor Grazing Act,” signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, set up districts for grazing on public land, and issued permits to ranchers for a more orderly process.

However, those permits for the majority of Clark County—including the permit for the Bundy Ranch—were transferred in 1998 to the Habitat Conservation Plan to protect the desert tortoise.

So, one day the government used a tortoise for an excuse to seize land and because it was just a bunch of ranchers in Nevada, no one got riled up over it. Well, we better get angry over this. The government has seized (notice I did not say ‘owns’) 81 to 83% of the land out west. Out west where most of the food production is. You control the food, you control the people.

The ridiculous ‘First Amendment Areas’ have been ignored and basically taken down. But that is a huge indicator of the mindset of the government over this. More alarming is the fascist rhetoric coming from Dems in the state. Harry Reid is cheering the BLM on. Well, why wouldn’t he? They want those water and mineral rights. There is prime real estate along I-15 that they would love to sell for condos and green energy plants. Nothing new under the Nevada sun here. But I want you to hear the downright chilling statements of Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins – Democrat (although you have to look long and hard to find out his party affiliation). Collins is one classy Progressive Marxist:

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins has caused outrage by remarking that Utahns planning to travel to Nevada to support Cliven Bundy in his standoff against the feds “better have funeral plans”.

The comments were revealed by Darin Bushman, a Piute County, Utah, commissioner after he spoke with Collins about Utah ranchers and his colleagues on the County Commission complaining about tactics used by Bureau of Land Management agents during their seizure of Bundy’s cattle in southern Nevada.

“I was just told by commissioner Collins of Clark County NV that all of us folks from Utah are a bunch of “inbred bastards” and if we are coming to Clark Cointy NV to support Cliven Bundy we all “better have funeral plans”. We should “turn our asses around on mind our own f-ing business”. Now there’s some classy leadership for you,” wrote Bushman on his official Facebook page.

After the story was picked up by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Bushman responded to the controversy by posting on Facebook, “I guess I’ve made an enemy in Las Vegas.” The commissioner also lambasted Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie as being, “too spineless to exercise his Jurisdiction”. Earlier this week, Cliven Bundy called on Sheriff Gillespie to start arresting BLM feds on charges of trespassing and theft.

Collins’ remarks were made in the context of him fearing that protests against the BLM could turn violent, which is ironic given that the only person invoking direct violence is Collins himself.

“I’m trying to do everything I can to discourage anybody who tells me they’re coming here with loaded guns,” Collins said. “I’m going to tell them not to come,” adding, “The Bundys want peace, they don’t want any violence going on so all these gun-packing folks just need to go home.”

Special, huh? This is the true face of the Democratic criminal party. Soon, the threats will get real, but they might not turn out quite the way Collins and Reid would like. The standoff in Nevada is where ranchers, patriots and citizens are drawing a line in the desert sand against federal overreach and control. I stand with them.

04/10/14

Communities Digital News Hour – Guest Ms. Terresa Monroe Hamilton

Open Rebellion Radio

My special guest on the new Communities Digital News Hour is Ms. Terresa Monroe Hamilton, a friend of Open Rebellion Radio and Blasted Fools and a noted blogger on Noisy Room.net. Terresa is also one of the best networked individuals nationally in the Tea Party movement and assists Trevor Loudon with research for KeyWiki.org and his blog site, NewZeal.

In addition to wrapping up the news of the week, we will discuss an event that Terresa is covering, having to do with the Bureau of Land Management Federal Agents, 200 of them, acting arrogantly under color of law and subverting a Nevada rancher’s due process and arbitrarily limiting 1st Amendment rights.

Tune in tomorrow, Friday, April 11th, at 3:30 PM PST, 5:30 PM Central or 6:30 PM EST at Open Rebellion Radio.

04/9/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The New Fascism Edition

The Watcher’s Council

It’s all over the place, isn’t it? ‘Nuff said.

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:

First off, we have a party to go to, we do. Nice Deb’s actual birthday was April 6th, but we’ll celebrate it in style today!

First off, a cake. I chose a double Dutch chocolate number, with chocolate ganache icing and just a lil’ bit of rum for flavor.

Beverage? I thought some Kristal Brut would go nicely. Can’t go wrong with a classic, yes?

Our friend Debra is fairly new to the Council. Back last June, when a vacancy opened up, I happened across her site and really liked what this no nonsense conservative lady was putting out. Her response when I asked if she’d be interested in joining the Council? “Sure, sounds like fun.”

You see, that’s the other side of her persona. Among her other attributes, she has a really good sense of humor, so I knew right then she’d fit in well with the rest of the gang. And she certainly has, to say the least.

Not that it should be any surprise, of course. As she’s shown me and her other Council mates on many occasions, she really is Nice Deb.

Happy Birthday, Debra… and many, many more.

THE COUNCIL IN ACTION:

This week, Midknight Review, Right Reason, Maggie’s Notebook and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some fine 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 (which 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 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 Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/9/14

Last Man Standing – Federal Fascism Cowboys Up In Nevada

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


“We’re not pointing guns at anyone but we’re sure getting a lot of guns pointed at us.”

- Carol Bundy, wife of Nevada rancher

I’m from Nevada and trust me when I say there is a long and deep hatred of the BLM there. Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, Nev., and his family have run a ranch there for well over a 100 years. Their cattle have fed off open range grazing freely, until 1993, when the US government decided they wanted to extort Bundy by charging him fees to let his cattle feed on a ranch that he oversees. Now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has moved in with officials armed with machine guns, who are surrounding the ranch and forcibly removing the owner’s cattle, according to the rancher’s family. This is with the help of hired cowhands. Shame on them. Bundy won’t go down without a fight – you see, he’s fighting for his family and his Constitutional rights and he’s willing to go down for it. He’s not alone by any means… this whole situation could turn into another Ruby Ridge or Waco — the Feds are making their fascist point: we own all of the land and you can pay up or have it seized.

After 20 years of court battles, the BLM finally got a corrupt judge to issue a federal court order to have Bundy’s “trespass cattle” forcibly removed with heavy equipment, sporting artillery, the family said. Heavy handed doesn’t begin to cover it here.

The Washington Free Beacon:

“The battle’s been going on for 20 years,” Bundy told theWashington Free Beacon. “What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”

Bundy said the government has brought everything but tanks and rocket launchers.

I’m sick of this. I’m sick of the Feds breaking down our doors with SWAT teams in the dead of night. I’m sick of warrantless search and seizures. I’m sick of them seizing our property and forcing us to prove innocence to get it back. I’m sick to death of the spying and bullying. And I think the rest of America feels the same way. These jack booted thugs are taking away this family’s livelihood that they have owned and worked for since 1870… now they’ve arrested his son. Bring on the Range War you asshats. I wish I was back in Nevada, I’d be standing with the “Red Dawn” supporters out there. The Feds are saying the protestors violated a “First Amendment Area” that was cordoned off by these brown shirts. WTF? What the bloody hell does that mean? Hundreds told the goons they could stuff it and protested any way.

This is the fricking EPA Marxists at work over the endangered desert tortoise. More Agenda 21 forced upon the people – more government regulation and control. These radical environmentalist thugs are cheering all this. You are evil and we’ve had enough.

More liberal fascism:

Environmentalists are praising the government’s forceful actions, which are being taken to protect the “desert tortoise.”

“We’re heartened and thankful that the agencies are finally living up to their stewardship duty,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Gold Butte area has been officially designated as critical habitat for threatened tortoises—meaning the area is essential to their long-term survival as a species.”

“[Cliven] Bundy has long falsely believed that Gold Butte is his ranch,” added Terri Robertson, president of Friends of Sloan Canyon.

The BLM designated 186,909 acres of the Gold Butte off-limits for the “critical desert tortoise” population in 1998. Bundy had already lost his grazing permit five years earlier for refusing to pay fees for the land, which his family has ranched since the 1870s.

The “federal grazing fee” is $1.35 per “Animal Unit Month,” or the amount of forage needed per animal, each month. Bundy said he owes roughly $300,000 in back fees, while the BLM asserts he owes over $1 million. The BLM defended the removal because Bundy did not “voluntarily” give up his cattle.

So, the government just decided they own the land and that is the way it is, huh? Screw the government. And I mean that. I am beyond angry over this and am struggling not to get profane here.

From the DC Clothesline:

“We’ve had enough, we’re going to take our land back, we’re done,” said Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy, adding that the rally was held “to show that we are not standing alone. People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power.”

More than 100 supporters violated a crudely taped off “First Amendment Area” to rally in support of the Bundy family, erecting two flagpoles with the words “We the People” attached, above a flag which read, “Liberty Freedom For God We Stand”. The first amendment area stood empty, with one sign nearby declaring, “1st Amendment is not an area.”

“I grew up on this ranch. This is what we knew,” said Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy’s younger sister. “It’s got nothing to do with the cattle and the tortoises. It’s about taking our rights — power — and it’s wrong.”

“Right now it looks like the movie Red Dawn,” said, Ryan Bundy. “Right now we’ve got 200 plus federal agents up there in a military compound that they have put together and they’ve got snipers….everybody’s armed, and they’ve been monitoring our ranch with high-tech surveillance equipment….it was never about the grazing fees, it’s about control.”

Ranch manager Derrel Spencer warned that a “revolution” was brewing unless a solution could be found to settle the dispute.

As we reported yesterday in an article that has already garnered over 4300 comments, Bundy’s son Dave Bundy was arrested on Sunday by BLM officials after refusing to follow a dispersal order as he filmed cattle from a state highway. According to Dave’s brother Ryan Bundy, snipers had guns trained on them throughout the incident. Feds claimed Dave Bundy had violated the ludicrous “First Amendment Area,” outside of which free speech is banned.

Trained snipers have their sites on these people, just itching for a bloodbath:

I would ask these Feds how they sleep at night? How do you justify this and live with yourselves? Have you really pledged all to the government and have forgotten what it is to be a free American? Obviously, you’ve made your choice. Well, mine is made too and I stand with the Bundys. After his son’s arrest, Cliven Bundy posted a statement on his website which read, “They have my cattle and now they have one of my boys. Range War begins tomorrow.” Damned straight Cliven – they stepped way over the line. They arrested his son and threw him physically on the ground for taking pictures. The BLM said they took Dave Bundy into custody following his “failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands.”

This is what arming the Fed to the teeth brings and don’t kid yourselves, the Bundys are not an isolated case. They are coming after many of us and this is just one line in the sand. This is Obama’s new homeland military force in action:

“They’re carrying the same things a soldier would,” he said. “Automatic weapons, sniper rifles, top communication, top surveillance equipment, lots of vehicles. It’s heavy soldier type equipment.”

His wife, Carol Bundy, said that roughly 200 armed agents from the BLM and FBI are stationed around their land, located about 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Helicopters circle the premises, and the airspace and nearby roads remain blocked.

“We’re surrounded,” Carol Bundy said. “We’re estimating that there are over 200 armed BLM, FBI. We’ve got surveillance cameras at our house, they’re probably listening to me talk to you right now.”

Video has been taken of helicopters and cowboys removing the cattle, but true to their evil nature, the Feds are lying about it. What did you expect? They are claiming their security is in place because ‘they’ have been threatened. That’s rich and so typically Progressive. As of Monday, officials had seized 234 of Bundy’s 908 cattle. Impounding the cattle alone could cost the government as much as $3 million, but to the Bundys, it is priceless in its devastation.

The sheriff and governor there are being cowards. They say there is nothing they can do. No… they don’t want to get into a pissing contest with the government. Weakness is being bleated from politicians who could damn well put a stop to this:

“And our sheriff says he just doesn’t have authority, our governor says he doesn’t have authority, and we’re saying, why are we a state?”

“I’m a producer,” Cliven Bundy said. “I produce edible commodity from the desert forage, and all of these things are governed under state law. So, in other words, this type of government has eliminated all of our state law, eliminated our state sovereignty, and has took control over our public lands and even took control over our Clark County sheriff. They’ve taken the whole county over. The whole state, almost.”

“This is just about power of the government,” Carol Bundy said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R.) voiced his concern about so-called “First Amendment Areas,” designated locations set up by the BLM where citizens can protest the removal.

“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

“To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately,” he said. “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

Sandoval also said his office has received numerous complaints about the BLM’s conduct, including road closures and “other disturbances.”

Nice speech Governor, how about putting something behind your words? Offensive? That’s an understatement if I’ve ever heard one and you know it. Grow a set and kick the Feds out, it’s your state damn it. The Bundys will do whatever they have to. They’ll protect their family and land, no matter the cost. What’s your cost? What are you doing? A tough-as-nails rancher will be the last man standing as federal fascism cowboys up in Nevada. I feel a revolutionary rallying call coming on.

Update: