07/7/15
OilPrice.com

Is Saudi Arabia Leaving The U.S. Behind For Russia?

The news from the recent St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which took place from June 18 to 20, inspired a torrent of speculation on the future direction of energy prices.

But the real buzz at the conference was the unexpected but much publicized visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, as an emissary of the King. The Prince, who is also his country’s Defense Minister, carried the royal message of a direct invitation to President Putin to visit the King, which was immediately accepted and reciprocated, with the Prince accepting on behalf of his father.

It would be news enough that the unusually high level delegation from a long-time ally and protectorate of the U.S., like Saudi Arabia, was visiting a Russian sponsored economic conference, in a country sanctioned by the U.S.

Some saw this well publicized meeting as the first sign of an emerging partnership between the two greatest global oil producers. If the warmth of the meeting was any evidence, it seems likely that Russia, a non-OPEC producer, might come a lot closer to the fold.

That could mean that, at the very least, Russia would have a voice in the cartel’s policy decisions on production. And if so, it would be a voice on the side of stable but rising prices.

The great Indian journalist, M.K. Bhadrakumar (MKB), may have been the first to point out that there was plenty of reasons for the Saudis and Russians to come closer together. Among these are the U.S.’ diminishing dependence on Middle Eastern energy, due to the momentous development of shale resources. There’s also the over-riding goal of the U.S. to pivot toward the East, where a huge economic transformation is unfolding, while reducing the U.S. role in the Middle East. It’s clear that the Saudis are going to have to make new friends.

MKB also makes the point that although the Saudis are wildly opposed to any form of U.S. entente with Iran, the clear-eyed Kremlin understands that there are many temptations for its erstwhile ally, Iran, to move much closer to the West.

Pepe Escobar of Asia Times saw the Prince’s visit as harboring the first glimmer of light in ending the current global oil trade war, in which the Saudi’s might turn down the spigot and lower production, enabling prices to rise: “Facts on the ground included Russia and Saudi Arabia’s oil ministers discussing a broad cooperation agreement; the signing of six nuclear technology agreements; and the Supreme Imponderable; Putin and the deputy crown prince discussing oil prices. Could this be the end of the Saudi-led oil price war?”

Bullish oil traders thought they found some hope in the words of Ali al-Naimi, the famous and longtime President and CEO of the Saudi National Oil Company, Aramco, and current oil minister. Naimi publicly stated: “I am optimistic about the future of the market in the coming months in terms of the continuing improvement and increasing global demand for oil as well as the low level of commercial inventories.” This, the minister said, should lead to higher oil prices by year’s end.

Ali al-Naimi publicly praised the enhanced bilateral cooperation between Riyadh and Moscow, stating that, “[t]his, in turn, will lead to creating a petroleum alliance between the two countries for the benefit of the international oil market…”

This could be music to the ears of oil price bulls. But more skeptical minds were quick to clamp down excessive optimism. “Of course, we shouldn’t read into any new developments outside political frameworks, because I can hardly imagine that Saudi Arabia has decided to turn against its alliances—but it probably wants to get out of the narrow US corner and expand its options,” Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, wrote in a column after the summit.

At the meeting, the Saudis and Russians signed several memoranda of understanding including the development of nuclear power plants in the Kingdom, with the Saudis planning some 16+ plants.

The two sides also plan on setting up working groups to study other possible energy joint ventures in Russia. Russia also agreed to the construction of railways and metro subways for the Saudis. Russia is also believed to have agreed to supply advanced military defense equipment to the Kingdom, despite the Saudis being long time arms customers of both the UK and U.S.

However there is quite a bit of doubt that the U.S. is ready to just step aside and be replaced by Russia as the Saudis’ main ally. Saudi Arabia and Russia are on opposite sides on a range of geopolitical issues, including Iran, Syria, and Yemen. These conflicts will likely put a limit on any potential entente.

Also, there is serious doubt as to whether it is so simple for the Saudis to raise oil prices. Flooding the markets with oil to crash prices only requires the Saudis to over-produce by some one and a half million barrels of oil per day, easily within their grasp, and something the Saudis can do on their own.

Bringing prices up is a different story, requiring global oil producers to comply in oil cutbacks.

At the same time, rising prices are a clear signal to global producers to increase production, worsening the current glut, so that any price increase may prove to be temporary.

And yet, the fact is prices have been rising since the first of the year, and many are convinced there is more to go. C. DeHaemmer, a well-known energy newsletter writer, is now predicting a price rise by WTI to a range of $73-$78, and a Brent range of $82-85, by years end. Not impossible, but long term, the issue becomes cloudier.

On a different matter, there was another surprise announcement at the forum, with India, a longtime U.S. ally, confirming that it will sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a Russian-led trade bloc including Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Russia and China have agreed on making the EEU a central part of the Chinese sponsored Silk Road, so by default, it would appear that India is moving towards joining the grand Chinese project.

As has become standard at the St. Petersburg Forum, a number of energy deals were signed, including a BP deal to buy a major stake in a Siberian oil field owned by Rosneft, a company suffering under international sanctions. BP, as a twenty percent stakeholder in Rosneft, says it is seeking to expand on its joint ventures with the Russian company

Another deal was signed with Gazprom to build a second pipeline under the Baltic, following the path of Nordstream to Germany, in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, Germany’s E.ON, and Austria’s OMV. Apparently, Western Europe’s oil giants find Russian sanctions to be no hindrance in dealing with Russian energy companies.

After his onstage TV interview with Putin, Charlie Rose, the well-known TV celebrity, was asked why he had decided to become a moderator at the Forum. He said, “I believe it’s important to talk to people.”

In the meantime, the U.S. reporter, with camera man in tow, found nothing of interest to report at the conference.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Is-Saudi-Arabia-Leaving-The-US-Behind-For-Russia.html

By Robert Berke for Oilprice.com

07/7/15
Greece Russia

Pro-Marxist Sells Greece to Moscow

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The coverage of the economic disaster in Greece, a strategic NATO country, has mostly ignored the role of Vladimir Putin’s Russia in the growing global turmoil.

Reports continue to circulate that a new European Union (EU) bailout deal with Greece is possible, as Yanis Varoufakis, a self-described “erratic Marxist,” has resigned as finance minister. But these developments appear to be for the purpose of diverting attention away from the fact that Greece has already become, in effect, a satellite of Moscow.

The Greek regime is a Moscow-backed left-right coalition led by Alexis Tsipras, the pro-Marxist and pro-Russia head of Greece’s “Coalition of the Radical Left.” Tsipras, who presented himself as a moderate when he spoke at the Brookings Institution on January 22, 2013, was a member of the youth wing of the Greek Communist Party, the KKE.

The political party known as ANEL (The Independent Greeks) is supposed to be a “conservative” party in the ruling government and yet it is pro-Russian. This reflects Putin’s cultivation of right-wing forces throughout Europe and even in America.

Back from a recent visit to Russia, Tsipras is now counting on cheaper gas and increased Russian investment from Moscow. The prospect of Russian military bases in NATO territory—Greece—cannot be ruled out at this point.

Tsipras previously signed a memorandum that is designed to make 2016 into the “Year of Greece-Russia relations.”

After his coalition won the elections in January, Tsipras received a congratulatory call from President Obama. The two leaders “reviewed close cooperation between Greece and the United States on issues of European security and counterterrorism,” the White House reported.

That alleged “close cooperation” has been replaced by a Greek deal with Moscow.

It seems like just another foreign policy disaster under President Obama, except in this case the stakes are huge. NATO notes that “Greece is strategically located in the Southern region of the Alliance, in close vicinity to South Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa.”

But other than expressing a vague hope that European leaders would devise a plan to allow Greece “to return to growth and debt sustainability within the Eurozone,” Obama has been AWOL on the crisis, leaving it mostly in the hands of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The subject of reports and even a book suggesting she is a Russian agent, Merkel knows full well that Tsipras and Putin have been undermining the NATO alliance at a time when the West fears a Russian invasion of another former Soviet republic.

For example, in the report, “Stop Putin’s Next Invasion Before It Starts,” Terrence K. Kelly of the Rand Corporation argues that “The United States needs to seriously consider stationing forces in Eastern Europe to support the nation’s commitment to protect the independence of the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—NATO members all—against the specter of Russian aggression.”

Some news organizations have alluded to Russia’s role in the current crisis. “Russian President Vladimir Putin feted Tsipras in St. Petersburg last month as bailout negotiations took place in Brussels,” noted Michael Birnbaum and Griff Witte in The Washington Post.

During that meeting Tsipras discussed energy and the “Greek Stream” gas pipeline project with Russian Gazprom chief Alexei Miller during a meeting in St. Petersburg. In fact, Russia and Greece signed a deal to construct a Turkish pipeline across Greek territory. Tsipras also met with representatives of the new development bank for BRICS countries, referring to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, “who expressed their intense interest in cooperating with Greece,” one report noted.

“Russia has its eye on Athens, trying to break European unity to put an end to economic sanctions imposed over its actions in Ukraine,” Birnbaum and Witte noted in the Post.

But the situation is far more serious than the Post lets on. Syriza’s 40-point program includes undermining NATO, the global battle against Islamic terrorism, and Israel:

  • Closure of all foreign bases in Greece and withdrawal from NATO.
  • Withdrawal of Greek troops from Afghanistan and the Balkans. No Greek soldiers beyond our own borders.
  • Drastically cut military expenditures.
  • Abolition of military cooperation with Israel. Support for creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Syriza, a Greek political party, is a member of The European Left (EL). Member Parties of the EL are described as “socialist, communist, red-green and other democratic left parties of the member states and associated states of the European Union (EU) that work together and establish various forms of co-operation at all levels of political activity in Europe, based on the agreements, basic principles and political aims laid down in the EL Manifesto.” The chairperson of EL is Pierre Laurent of the French Communist Party. Tsipras is the Vice-Chairperson.

In addition to the support from these international Marxist political parties and groups, Tsipras met with the leftist Pope Francis on September 19, 2014. Tsipras said, “We pleaded with him to continue struggling against poverty and to speak in behalf of the dignity of humans as well as the structural causes behind poverty which are the inequality in the distribution of wealth and the rampant behavior of the financial markets. …we agreed that the dialogue between the Left and the Christian Church must go on. We may have different ideological starting points; however, we converge on common values, like solidarity, love for the fellow human being, social justice, and our concern regarding world peace.”

“For the first time ever the head of the Catholic Church will meet a leader of the radical Left,” is how Tsipras described the meeting with the pope at his “Change Europe” website.

In their book, EUSSR, Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov argued that the European Union was itself a project of the old Soviet Union, and that the EU has always been subject to manipulation by Moscow and its agents. Based on this analysis, what’s happening in Greece is part of a process of pulling Europe as a whole to the left and away from the United States.

The eventual goal, some observers say, is the removal of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a development that would strike a mortal blow to the global capitalist system.

07/4/15
George Washington

Vapid Musings At Vox And Why The American Revolution Was NOT A Mistake

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

George Washington

Over the years I have seen many idiotic pieces of what pass for journalistic regurgitation and moronic self-indulgence… the piece over at Vox entitled: 3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake, by Dylan Matthews, is in a class all by its lonesome. It begs for a brutal fisking and on this Independence Day in 2015, far from the revolutionary battlefield (but perhaps getting closer by the day and hour), I will oblige this vapid moonbat in honor of our Independence. Hard won for us all, benefiting even the likes of this troll.

Now, granted… this wannabe hipster is no brain trust. In fact, he looks stoned and addled:

Dylan Matthews

Dylan Matthews of Vox

Dylan Matthews has been writing since the age of 14 in 2004. He went to Harvard as well. Then he went on to write for the Washington Post. He also writes for Salon and The New Republic. In other words, he’s a radical Leftist and a Marxist. Duh. Dylan Matthews was an identified member of JournoList – an email group of approximately 400 “Progressive” and socialist journalists, academics and “new media” activists. The group was shut down in 2010 after being exposed from within. Yep, no bias there. Right.

Our young Marxist starts off his diatribe with a picture of George Washington, where he wittily captions it: George Washington crosses the Delaware, makes the world a worse place in the process. Only if you detest freedom and living in the greatest nation to ever grace the planet, which of course he does.

After besmirching our first and greatest president and someone that Matthews will NEVER be, a man of courage and character, he goes on to opine that on this July 4th, he is flying to the UK. The symbolism of it all is not lost on this raving moonbat. Matthews then proclaims that “American independence in 1776 was a monumental mistake” (never mind the years from 1776 to 1783 when Independence was actually attained) and that we should be grieving that we left the Brits instead of staying indentured to the British Empire. Does this guy even read history? Evidently not, because he knows nothing of the American Revolution or the Independence our forebears fought, bled and died for, all so we could be free. Free to practice our religion as we see fit… free to speak out without fear of persecution… free from crushing taxes and free to craft our own laws and conduct business as a free nation would. The pseudo-intellectuality of this cretin is nauseating.

His first premise is that abolition would have come faster without Independence:

Abolition in most of the British Empire occurred in 1834, following the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act. That left out India, but slavery was banned there too in 1843. In England itself, slavery was illegal at least going back to 1772. That’s decades earlier than the United States.

This alone is enough to make the case against the revolution. Decades less slavery is a massive humanitarian gain that almost certainly dominates whatever gains came to the colonists from independence.

There’s a gaping fallacy in the above and unless Matthews is just stone stupid (which could well be the case), it is dishonest. In 1772, the US colonies were still under British rule. He claims that slavery was illegal for the Brits dating back to that year, but it didn’t end slavery here in the US. That was under the control of the British. And the infamous British slave trade was not ended until 1807. It’s also a fact that in the West Indies, where slaves were freed in 1834, they were forced to continue working for their former masters for four to six years without compensation after they were set ‘free.’ Chattel slavery was replaced by serfdom. When they were freed, they did not own the houses they lived in, their livestock or their farms. They had to start paying rent. They were still forced to work for the very masters who set them free and follow their orders or starve. So, claiming that slavery was eradicated by the Brits long before the US did is somewhat specious. Saying that slavery ended at that time was akin to saying what ‘is’ is. Very little changed in the beginning.

Contrary to his gender-studies/racism-fusion rant, the revolution did not give more power to the “white male minority” as its primary motive. He purports that from the very beginning the whole country was about repression. We were fleeing repression. The people who settled this country, for the most part, came here to escape religious and political persecution in England and Europe. His argument has no foundation and is entirely speculative, written as though to answer an academic “how does the American Revolution make you feel?” question. Do you honestly believe that women, Indians and blacks would have been any better off under British rule in the colonies? Not a chance. The British didn’t care about women’s rights or the plight of the Indians or the civil rights of African Americans. They were for power for the King, the nobility and whatever benefited the monarchy. Their “rights” were granted at the whim of the monarch, not from God nor even seen as natural human rights. The British nobility reveled in servants and to this day they still do… they’re just paid a wage now and appear to be free. His arguments on emancipation are even more ridiculous.

As for Matthews claiming that the majority of African Americans fought for the Crown, once again, history is a bitch. Prior to the revolution, many free African Americans supported the anti-British cause, most famously Crispus Attucks, believed to be the first person killed at the Boston Massacre. At the time of the American Revolution, some blacks had already been enlisted as Minutemen. Both free and enslaved Africans had served in local militias, especially in the North, defending their villages against attacks by Native Americans. In March of 1775, the Continental Congress assigned units of the Massachusetts militia as Minutemen. They were under orders to become activated if the British troops in Boston took the offensive.

In April of 1775, at Lexington and Concord, blacks responded to the call and fought with Patriot forces. The Battle of Bunker Hill also had African-American soldiers fighting along with white Patriots. Many African Americans, both enslaved and free, wanted to join with the Patriots. They believed that they would either achieve freedom or expand their civil rights. In addition to the role of soldier, blacks also served as guides, messengers and spies.

American states had to meet quotas of troops for the new Continental Army and New England regiments recruited black slaves by promising freedom to those who served in the Continental Army. During the course of the war, about one fifth of the northern army was black. At the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, Baron Closen, a German officer in the French Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment, estimated the American army to be about one quarter black.

You cannot secure freedom for a minority of any kind if there is no freedom to be had for anyone. The patriots of the American Revolution knew this and fought to the death for it.

However, in the spirit of identifying actual causes of oppression, since that seems to be his “hot button” issue, let’s remember that, indeed, there was a faction in this country that labored long and hard to preserve the subservience of the blacks long after their official emancipation. That faction was the Democrat party and its adjuncts, such as the KKK. The Democrats hated that the Republican party — expressly founded to secure the rights and equality of blacks — was beginning to gain traction, to the point that they mounted a massive subterfuge to blame the plight of blacks on the very people who had worked to free them, culminating in the infamous words of Lyndon B. Johnson: “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” So, Dylan, if you wonder why the Black Man is still struggling in America, check your Dem privilege, you simpering fop.

The Revolutionary War was fought over the right to bear arms and against taxes and tariffs, plus a long list of grievances. Please see below – the Declaration of Independence gives lie to his ill-informed assertions:

…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Next, Matthews claims that independence was bad for Native Americans:

Starting with the Proclamation of 1763, the British colonial government placed firm limits on westward settlement in the United States. It wasn’t motivated by an altruistic desire to keep American Indians from being subjugated or anything; it just wanted to avoid border conflicts.

But all the same, the policy enraged American settlers, who were appalled that the British would seem to side with Indians over white men. “The British government remained willing to conceive of Native Americans as subjects of the crown, similar to colonists,” Ethan Schmidt writes in Native Americans in the American Revolution. “American colonists … refused to see Indians as fellow subjects. Instead, they viewed them as obstacles in the way of their dreams of land ownership and trading wealth.” This view is reflected in the Declaration of Independence, which attacks King George III for backing “merciless Indian Savages.”

Nice skewed version of history you’ve got there son. I know you’ll be shocked, but he gets it wrong yet again. The Proclamation of 1763 does not mean what he is claiming it does. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7th, 1763, by King George III, following Great Britain’s acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years’ War, which forbade all settlement past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains. The Royal Proclamation continues to be of legal importance to First Nations in Canada and is significant for the variation of indigenous status in the United States. It eventually ensured that British culture and laws were applied in Upper Canada after 1791, which was done to attract British settlers to the province. Last time I looked, we were not Canada. This was the Brits’ way of trying to manage North America and had nothing to do with Native Americans. The colonists objected to being slaughtered by the Indians, I’m sure. Racism did exist, but it would have been no less under British rule, I assure you. Border conflicts and battles would still have been the norm until the Brits had had enough and quelled them.

And lastly, Matthews claims America would have a better system of government if we’d stuck with Britain.

I’ve heard this argument many times… that any government is better than our Constitutional Republic – especially the parliamentary system. That’s an ill conceived joke. I’m sure whatever history that Matthews was taught was biased and left huge holes in reality and how things truly unfolded here in the States. Matthews is a big government guy – an outspoken Progressive. The people don’t know what is best for them and never have according to him – you know, as in a dictatorship. They would be far better off, in his warped view, if our elite betters simply decided everything for us. This is how we have gotten to where we are today, via Obama. In fact, Matthews during his brief adult life, at the tender age of 25, has never known anything else than an Obama Administration. He’s in for quite a culture shock when a true conservative, such as Ted Cruz, is elected.

RedState points out that Ben Domenech, in The Transom, points out the best critique of this nonsense comes from Mark Twain, who did not graduate from Harvard and would rip Matthews to shreds:

“For in a republic, who is “the Country”? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. Who, then, is “the country?” Is it the newspaper? Is it the pulpit? Is it the school-superintendent? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it; they have not command, they have only their little share in the command. They are but one in the thousand; it is in the thousand that command is lodged; they must determine what is right and what is wrong; they must decide who is a patriot and who isn’t.”

“In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country; in a republic it is the common voice of the people. Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country — hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.”

When drafting the Constitution, the founders ensured that the executive, judicial and legislative branches had co-equal power, with checks and balances to ensure that neither branch produced a dictatorship. I’m sure that is much to Matthews’ dismay. I wonder in Matthews’ lack of study, if he ever considered the history of 20th-century parliamentary systems, especially one in particular — the Weimar Republic. Matthews supports a parliamentary system in opposition to our Republic, claiming it is a bulwark against a dictatorship. Seriously? And this is because he likes unchecked big government power. You can’t make this stuff up:

In the US, activists wanting to put a price on carbon emissions spent years trying to put together a coalition to make it happen, mobilizing sympathetic businesses and philanthropists and attempting to make bipartisan coalition — and they still failed to pass cap and trade, after millions of dollars and man hours. In the UK, the Conservative government decided it wanted a carbon tax. So there was a carbon tax. Just like that. Passing big, necessary legislation — in this case, legislation that’s literally necessary to save the planet — is a whole lot easier with parliaments than presidential systems.

Yeah, screw that whole ‘freedom’ thing. Big government gets it done faster and eliminates the riffraff factor. This guy is the very definition of a useful idiot.

Krystal Heath had this to say about the greatness of America over at Louder with Crowder15 reasons why the American Revolution was the best thing that ever happened to the world:

1. It established a haven for religious freedom. Oppressed men, women, and children from all around the globe flocked to our shores to worship the god they pleased in the manner they desired to… and no one was going to stop them, kill them, or force them to convert.

2. It created a democratic republic. For the first time in modern history, the average citizen had a voice in his own government. And it’s worked out pretty well for us.

3. It recognized that mankind is endowed with certain unalienable rights by their Creator. Government doesn’t give us our rights, our very existence does. Yes, America, we were the ones who put that in writing and created a standard for human rights unparalleled by any other governmental system.

4. It ended tyranny. No more would a people be governed by a single man, woman, or family. Three separate yet equal branches of government were established to ensure justice and domestic tranquility.

5. It brought with it a Bill of Rights. America today is the most free nation on earth because we have the right to say what we will, assemble where we will, defend ourselves as we will, and so on – these liberties are often threatened, yet they remain our own.

6. It gave us some of the greatest governing charters in the world. From the Mayflower Compact to the Declaration of Independence, the United States from its inception created a blueprint which other nations have aspired to duplicate.

7. It gave mankind a haven for pursuing happiness. Life in America is good. The US has more self-made millionaires and billionaires proportionally than anywhere else in the world. And by global standards, America’s middle class is really, really rich. Our standard of living is second to none. Period.

8. It created a land of opportunity. Success or failure in America is dependent on an individual’s own work ethic. We rise and fall on our own. If you can dream it, you can do it.

9. It birthed a land of virtue and ideals. Like it or not, the United States was founded on Biblical principles. Those principles embedded in our framework a standard of decency and decorum rarely found elsewhere.

10. It brought unparalleled innovation and technology to the world. Who built the first automobile? Who invented the airplane? Who put a man on the moon? Who created your iPhone? ‘Merica.

11. It gave the world the best in entertainment. Maybe Pride and Prejudice and British soap operas are your thing. But in case you haven’t noticed, all the best shows are Made in the USA.

12. It brought baseball and football to mankind. Our basketball and hockey teams are pretty epic, too.

13. It set the standard for modern, civilized societies. Travel the world. You’ll find America has the best cities, the best stores, and the greatest communities on the globe.

14. It made cultural diversity a reality. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” Unlike any other country on the planet, the USA is a nation of immigrants. People from all backgrounds and faiths live here together, united.

15. It’s about freedom. America is synonymous with liberty. And without the Revolution, that wouldn’t have been possible.

Britain kept their monarchy, how’s that working for them? They have one of the world’s highest violent crime rates. They’re overrun with Islamists and terrorists. Their violent crime has gotten so bad, in spite of their having banned guns decades ago, now they are looking at banning knives. And tell me how their people are anything but indentured servants with the failed economy they have? How does having a ruling family, who is answerable to just about no one, trump a Constitutional Republic? Even if you’ve only watched “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson, you are light years more enlightened than this moron. This liberal writer at Vox is an over-educated, biased asshat, in addition to being stupid and ignorant. If he likes Britain so much, why, by all means, go… please. I’ll take up a collection to buy you a ticket. Just don’t come back.

07/3/15
Gay White House

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 07/03/15

The Watcher’s Council

Gay White House

Bernie Sanders

You've Been Hacked

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

On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed. – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds. – Samuel Adams

We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. – Abraham Lincoln

http://i2.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/--bd_Q_iBJfY/TsYx44QOX9I/AAAAAAAAAm8/QonbRkHSjmw/s400/Noisy%2Broom%2B2.jpg?w=540

This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’sThe End Of Constitutional Government is a tour de force… her reaction to last week’s Supreme Court decisions. Here’s a slice:

It’s been an historic week and although I am not surprised by the Supreme Court decisions, they saddened me beyond belief. I have sadly come to the conclusion that many of my colleagues are correct… our Constitutional form of government is now dead and Obama’s transformative ‘change’ is all but complete.

Things are now snowballing and it is more than most Americans can take or bear. From gay marriage and the ensuing infringement on free speech and our religious rights, to enforced Obamacare, to forced wealth redistibution in our neighborhoods, to the EPA run amok… our freedoms are being absolutely nullified. States are now saying they won’t comply with the EPA on coal and who can blame them? Americans will get very dangerous when they are hungry and cold. And then there is the Iran deadline, which is this weekend. Instead of holding their feet to fire, we are actually giving Iran nuclear reactors while they shout, “Death to America!” in their parliament. Insanity is the norm now. Then there is the increased Islamic State threat on our southern border and the attacks on our power grid coming down the pike. It’s surreal and all instigated, manipulated and planned for by our government – the ultimate enemy from within.

Adding to the tyrannical frenzy of the aftermath of the mass shooting in South Carolina, evidently America is cool with censoring her own history, but wants to hang on to the likes of Nazi Germany and bloody communist regimes. Satanism is still in vogue it would seem as well… but if you are a lover of the Confederate flag, well, you should be summarily burned at the stake. Let’s not leave out Stalin or concentration camps as making the ‘cool’ list either. And it goes without saying that Che Guevara is tres chic. Prohibition of thought and our history is all the rage now. No doubt next on the censorship bandwagon… burning books and thought police. Oh, wait…

The flaming lynch mob mentality of Progressives is burning through businesses across the former land of the free. They are feeling immense pressure to conform and be politically correct. None of them seem to have a spine. This is insane. Not only are they banning all Confederate flags and calling for Civil War statues to be taken down (which is erasing American history), they are getting rid of General Lee, an orange Dodge Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Walmart and Amazon have stopped selling anything having to do with the Confederate flag, but Walmart is still selling Che Guevara shirts, as well as Castro memorabilia and Iranian flags. Apple just removed Civil War Games from their App Store. South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Kentucky are all removing Confederate flags as well. It’s an all you can eat buffet of political correctness feeding a ‘get em!’ move by Progressives. Now, they want to ban Gone With The Wind. We have literally plummeted down the rabbit hole and are sipping tea with the Mad Hatter. The Constitution is now being replaced with censorship and regulation – it’s incomprehensible.

At least one good thing came out of the Supreme Court this week. During the Great Depression, the government decided that prices paid to farmers were too low and undertook to correct the problem by limiting their output. It was a fascist move then and is still one now. It is sheer theft. Marvin and Laura Horne decided not to play that game and took their beef all the way to the Supreme Court – raisin hell, so-to-speak. And they won on Monday! The feds claimed they owed $700,000 because they would not surrender 47% of their crop for over a decade to the government with no compensation. Not even the left-leaning Supremes could let that one slide.


Raisin farmer Marvin Horne stands in a field of grapevines planted next to his home in
Kerman, Calif. Horne was accused of violating a 1937 federal rule that regulates raisin prices
by setting aside a percentage of crop to avoid a glut. (Gary Kazanjian, AP)

The Raisin Administrative Committee, which operates under the supervision of the USDA, sells or gives away the raisins it takes, with the proceeds going to cover its operating costs, storage fees and promotional efforts abroad. If any money is left, the farmers get some of it. If not, they receive nada. Looks like the Road to Serfdom has been detoured on this issue, at least for now. The unconstitutional theft being imposed on farmers such as the Hornes is no more. But at least these raisin farmers can get back to raising their crops and taking care of business – liberal fascism has moved on to the next hot topic.

Then there was the ultimate betrayal by Justice Roberts and the ruling in favor of Obamacare this week. The ruling stomped all over state’s rights and bent over backwards to reinterpret the Obamacare statute in favor of federal exchanges. “The somersaults of statutory interpretation they [the Justices of the Supreme Court] have performed …will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence,” concludes Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito. “And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with No Truce With the Left, submitted by The Independent Sentinel. The title pretty much speaks for itself.

Here are this week’s full results. Ask Marion, Don Surber and Puma By Design were unable to vote this week, but none of them were subject to the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners:

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

07/1/15
James O'Keefe

VA Still “Dysfunctional” with “Unaccountability at Every Level” Say Insiders Caught on Hidden Cam

In a new James O’Keefe video doctors, staffers, and a top official are captured on hidden camera speaking about the problems that continue to plague the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA doctor tells undercover Project Veritas journalist: “We’re way below water in terms of the ability to supply, to meet the requests that’s demanded.” According to VA Undersecretary/ Brigadier General: “Once you’ve entered the appeals process all bets are off, the only solution to that is changing the law or more people.”

Website: http://projectveritas.com/
Donate: http://projectveritas.com/donate
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectVeritas
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Project_Veritas


Project Veritas:

Here’s our latest undercover video showing that after more than a year of significant public outcry over incredibly long wait times, which in numerous cases resulted in the deaths of veterans, the VA is still failing to meet the basic needs of our veterans. Project Veritas investigative journalists captured on hidden camera a host of VA doctors, staffers, and one top official speaking about the many problems that persist at the VA despite official claims to the contrary.

This is the second video we have release dealing with serious issues at the VA: “Hidden Camera: Senior Veterans Administration Official and Staff say VA Turning Veterans into Drug Addicts” may be viewed here.

Among the outspoken in this video was Dr. Kristoffel Dumon, a general surgeon for the VA in Philadelphia, who told a Project Veritas undercover journalist that the VA has a “culture of unaccountability at every level.” VA Undersecretary and Brigadier General Allison Hickey was captured on hidden camera saying that once veterans enter “the appeals process all bets are off, the only solution to that is changing the law or more people.”

A Project Veritas journalist also spoke with Scott Westguard, a VA contractor, who said on hidden camera that “it’s messed up, it’s dysfunctional, it’s incapable of getting the job done because people are there simply picking up the paycheck. There’s no accountability.”

Project Veritas also caught up with Dr. Raul Zambrano, a VA Medical Officer in the VISN & Network Office, who stated that: “we’re way below water in terms of the ability to supply, to meet the requests that’s demanded.”

It has been over a year since the truth about the VA’s abysmal and unacceptable practices were thrust to the forefront of American politics, and yet there has been no discernible change in this bureaucratic nightmare. Our nation’s veterans deserve so much more and this continued mistreatment of our nation’s heroes is a troubling trend that shows no signs of any, let alone imminent, improvement.

Our first VA video has already been used to brief Congressmen about overprescribing dangerous medications to veterans at a recent hearing on Capitol Hill. It’s crucial for us to continue to shed the light on the VA, so please consider making a donation immediately below to help us continue to expose the way our veterans are still being treated.

07/1/15
Bake My Damned Cake

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Rain-bo Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://i0.wp.com/moralmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/HomosexualActivistsLBGTBakeMyCake11130140_10200526944171526_294534521920097925_n.jpg

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, Sharyl Attkisson and Simply Jews 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 email 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!

06/28/15
Supreme Court

United States of America Becomes the Newest Socialist Country

By: Sher Zieve
Gulag Bound

The Supreme Court of the USA has now become the latest branch of the ObamaGov to legislate illegally. We no longer have 3 co-equal branches of government. As the Republicans have shown for — at least — the past several months, the people of the former USA no longer have any voice in government. Despite constituents “burning up the phone lines” to their Republican Congress members and Senators telling them to vote NO on TPA — which gives Obama virtually unlimited and unchecked power to do anything he wants with this treaty and likely those to come — they voted YES in a large majority. Like their Marxist Democrat brothers and sisters, the RINOs have chosen to ignore their constituencies and do that which benefits them — not us.

obamacare-irs-cartoonWith its two major decisions on Thursday, 25 June 2015 and Friday, 26 June 2015, SCOTUS has now shown us that CJ Roberts’ decision to rewrite ObamaCare in his first anti-Constitutional decision — and now the decision to uphold this monstrous piece of legislation announced on Thursday — was not a fluke. With this decision — supported by the RINOs — the American people were told again that they no longer have any choice in their healthcare and that the government will force them to buy it — irrespective as to whether or not they can afford it — and they will pay for it…or else. So, they had better get used to it as their masters have spoken. The USA has become a Socialist form of government. As a Note, Roberts also rewrote this one to say that the word “State” could mean one of the 50 States or the massive federal government State! It depends what your definition of “is”…is.

With Friday’s decision to remove States’ rights from the actual 50 States and give the federal government the right to determine who can marry and whom or what they can marry, the Communist Goals set out for the USA are virtually complete. The ruling minority has won over the majority in the USA, because they placed their operatives in virtually all strategic positions necessary to rule over a population however they want…because the rest of us were actually working to better ourselves and our country. Will the 50 States rise up against this oppression and usurpation of their authority under the now nearly-dead US Constitution? Or will they be part in parcel in digging its grave?

We are now in the newest Socialist country on the planet and will soon go completely Communist. BTW, with respect to these same Communist goals and what’s currently happening with our police forces, you may find it of interest to read #38. It is: “Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].” The ObamaGov has changed it slightly in that local PDs are being turned into social agencies.

Obama-communist-gesture

We’ve pretty much reached the end of the road, comrades, although I suspect the ObamaGov has some upcoming intensely disturbing and debilitating-to-us-all surprises up its sleeves. Now that all 3 branches of the US government have turned solidly against We-the-People, the repeal—without our consent—of the Bill of Rights (starting with the Second Amendment) will occur shortly. The repeal efforts are already said to be underway.

Will Americans finally rise up against their oppressors or will they continue — as did Nazi Germany — to ignore it and “hope” it gets better. Even history no longer seems to matter to some, as they keep repeating the same patterns that got them into trouble in the first place…and then never seem to correct it for very long. Thank God it won’t be long now before He returns!

The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
— Isaiah 59:8

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
–Matthew 7:16

Communist Goals [for America] of 1963:
at uhuh.com

The Communist Takeover Of America – 45 Declared Goals:
in GulagBound