01/28/15
Snowed In

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Snowed In Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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

Council News:

The Council In Action!

*Terresa Monroe-Hamilton of The Noisy Room was quoted quoted from coast to coast on Christian radio for a post at Right Wing News: For God and country’ recruiting poster was ordered removed by the US Army; ‘God’ is a problem in Obama’s military

*This week, Trevor Loudon, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, The Political Commentator 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 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!

01/23/15
Obama - Just Resign Already

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 01/23/15

The Watcher’s Council

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

I came from the United States of America to stand for freedom, with all free people, against the forces of oppression and darkness which you are representing. … You are fighting for the most radically intolerant and hateful ideology on the planet. … You are already subjugated! You are already their useful idiots. You are already their tools. – Robert Spencer, speaking to a Left wing audience in Europe, June 2, 2011.

Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran… should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth. – CAIR Co-Founder Omar Ahmad

The ideological descendents of the communist/progressive Left that spent its capital hoping the West would lose the Cold War to the Soviet Union are today’s leftist core. Based on their hatred for the United States, the Left has forged a symbiotic relationship with radical Islam, whose hatred for America equals theirs. Both make it clear that they consider Western civilization evil and unworthy of preservation. – Ben R. Furman, Former FBI Counterterrorism Chief

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This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’sAn American Intifada – Communists and Radical Islamists Join Forces, is a scintillating piece that concerns something only the most blind refuse to see, the alliance between the Red and the Green, between the radical Left and Islam. Here’s a slice:

Trevor Loudon wrote an article that each and every one of us should read and take note of: Intifada USA? American Radicals Build Ties to “Palestinian” Revolutionaries. I agree completely with Trevor when he says that 2015 could usher in chaos, unrest and violence as we have not seen in our lifetime. The Communists are now joining hands in America with the Radical Islamists, forming an American Intifada – an uprising, resistance, revolt. They are using racism as the building blocks and their hate for America as the glue to forward massive havoc and violence in our streets.

The riots in Ferguson and New York were just the warm up act for these thugs. They are looking to create what they think is an American Spring, which will push every radical and Communist ideal there is out there. It will scream racism, go after the police and alphabet agencies, cry social and environmental injustice, push demands for Islamic acceptance and Shariah law – and in the mix will be the ever-present Jew-hatred which is the kindling for their hatred. In this twisted case, the enemy of my enemy is my ally. For the short term anyway.

Taking the lead are primarily Black and Latino revolutionaries who claim to represent the movements for “black lives” and racial justice, who took a jaunt to Palestine to show solidarity against – you guessed it – Israel. Meet the Dream Defenders Palestine Delegation:

Representatives at the forefront of the movements for Black lives and racial justice took a historic trip to Palestine in early January to connect with activists living under Israeli occupation.

Black journalists, artists and organizers representing Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and more have joined the Dream Defenders for a 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

The trip comes after a year of highly-publicized repression in Ferguson, the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as solidarity between these places.

Ahmad Abuznaid, Dream Defenders’ legal and policy director and a co-organizer of the delegation, said that the goal of the trip was to make connections.

“The goals were primarily to allow for the group members to experience and see first-hand the occupation, ethnic cleansing and brutality Israel has levied against Palestinians, but also to build real relationships with those on the ground leading the fight for liberation,” wrote Abuznaid.

“In the spirit of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael and many others, we thought the connections between the African American leadership of the movement in the U.S. and those on the ground in Palestine needed to be reestablished and fortified.”

Abuznaid said the trip represented a chance to bring the power of Black organizing to Palestine.

“As a Palestinian who has learned a great deal about struggle, movement, militancy and liberation from African Americans in the U.S., I dreamt of the day where I could bring that power back to my people in Palestine. This trip is a part of that process.”

[…]

For Steven Pargett, communications director for Dream Defenders, visiting the Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside of Bethlehem made these connections clearer: “A camp doesn’t have to have a fence with barbed wire all around it in order to be a place where displaced people are struggling to survive.”

Pargett said that Black people in the United States are also displaced refugees.

“Our refugee camps are lower income communities and project buildings all around the country that many would not be living in had we not been taken into slavery generations ago. Rather than having the Israeli Defense occupation in our hoods, we have the occupation of police officers who often prove to have little regard for our lives, being that they are not from these communities,” Pargett wrote.

Hip-hop was a unifying force for the delegation, Pargett said, commenting that Palestinians have been inspired by hip-hop in the U.S. and use it as a tool to amplify their own voices.

St. Louis-based rapper and activist Tef Poe said his experience in the camps connecting through hip-hop was the best day of his life.

“A refugee camp with a bunch of people fighting for their lives and using hip hop to lift their spirits and spark the minds of the children and break down gender barriers between young girls and boys,” Tef posted to Facebook. “I spent a day with these ppl .. Most amazing day of my life. Thanks be to the Most, the struggle is beautiful.”

This trip is another chapter in the recent history of Black-Palestinian solidarity. In November, a group of 10 Palestinian student activists visited Ferguson and St. Louis, meeting with people organizing in the streets.

A month later, upon their return, the students hosted a series of events at their university in the West Bank to raise awareness with the Black struggle and stand in solidarity. Dream Defenders unanimously passed a resolution to support the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in this interval.

[…]

Moving forward, delegates expressed a desire for Black and American action in support of Palestine.

“I believe the Black Lives Matter movement can benefit greatly by learning about struggles outside of the U.S., but particularly the Palestinian struggle,” said Patrisse Cullors. “I want this trip to be an example for how Black folks and Arab communities can be in better solidarity with one another.”

Cherrell Brown sees joint action as a way to global freedom.

“I want us to take back things we can do in the now, as Americans, to raise awareness and action around Palestinian liberation. I want us to reimagine what society could and will look like when we’ve dismantled this white-supremacist patriarchal and capitalist society. I want us to do it together. I want to bring back these conversations and stories in hopes that it will help add to this global struggle to get free.”

The full list of delegates includes five Dream Defenders (Phillip Agnew, Ciara Taylor, Steven Pargett, Sherika Shaw, Ahmad Abuznaid), Tef Poe and Tara Thompson (Ferguson/Hands Up United), journalist Marc Lamont Hill, Cherrell Brown and Carmen Perez (Justice League NYC), Charlene Carruthers (Black Youth Project), poet and artist Aja Monet, Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter), and Maytha Alhassen, a USC PhD student. Catch up with the delegation and follow their last few days using #DDPalestine on Twitter and Instagram.

Gee, that’s a who’s who of racists, social justice agitators and Communists. Just look how chummy and united they have all become. I know you will be really, really shocked to learn that the Tides Foundation is funding this. And who is behind the Tides Foundation? Why, that old spider George Soros who hates Jews, America and freedom in general. You know, the guy who gave $33 million to the activists who took part in Ferguson and other venues of violence.

This is all part of a movement that has been gathering steam for a while now and it is thoroughly anti-Israel. Guess who is in the thick of it? Dr. Marc Lamont Hill of HuffPost Live, BET News and CNN. Watch it Marc, your antisemitism is showing and badly. Our comrade Hill also spouted revolutionary rhetoric to promote the Dream Defenders. Ferguson, Eric Garner and #BlackLivesMatter protests have become the calling card for the new face of the Occupy Movement. You are witnessing the rise of the Islamo-Communist Axis in America.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis HansonMuslims And Islamists submitted by Joshuapundit. I’m a huge fan of VDH, even when I disagree with him. In this particular case, I think he is spot on and all I’ll say is that what he wrote here deserves your utmost attention.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

01/21/15
SOTU Denial

Watcher’s Council Nominations: When The Going Gets Weird, The Weird Turn Pro Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.

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!!

*Virginia Right’s Tom White continues to ascend! This week, an original song of his was featured on John Stossel’s FOX show. It starts about 5 minutes into this segment:

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

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

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course your e-mail address 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!

01/19/15
Constitution

Delegates to an Article V Convention Can’t be Controlled by State Laws!

By Publius Huldah

Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) sets forth our long forgotten Founding Principles that:

  • All men are created equal.
  • Rights come from God.
  • People create governments to secure God-given rights. The first three words of our Constitution throw off the European model where political power originates with the State; and establish the new Principle that WE THE PEOPLE are the “pure, original fountain of all legitimate political authority” (Federalist No. 22, last sentence).
  • When a government seeks to take away our God given rights, we have the right to alter, abolish, or throw off that Form of government.

These are the Principles which justified our Revolution against a King.

These are also the Principles which permit us today to throw off our Form of government by discarding our existing Constitution and replacing it with another one. This is why the language at Article V of our Constitution, which authorizes Congress to call a convention “for proposing amendments”, does not restrict Delegates to merely “proposing amendments”: Delegates are invested with that inherent pre-existing sovereign right, recognized in our Declaration, to abolish our existing Form of government (our Constitution) and propose a new Constitution.

This has happened once before in our Country. I’ll show you.

The Federal Convention of 1787: Federal and State Instructions to Delegates

Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia

for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

The Continental Congress authorized each of the then 13 States to appoint Delegates to the convention. Twelve of the States 1 made laws respecting the appointment of Delegates and issuing instructions to Delegates. Ten States instructed their Delegates to propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation; and only two (North Carolina and New Hampshire) gave instructions which arguably permitted their Delegates to do more than propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation. 2

But the Delegates ignored the federal and State limitations and wrote a new Constitution.  Because of this inherent authority of Delegatesit is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.

The Delegates also instituted an easier mode of ratification. Whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation required approval of all of the then 13 States before an amendment could be ratified; Article VII of the new Constitution provided that only 9 States were required for ratification of the new Constitution.

Why is an Article V Convention Dangerous?

So! Do you see?

If we have a convention today, there is nothing to stop Delegates from proposing a new Constitution with its own new method of ratification.

New Constitutions are already prepared and waiting for a convention. Here are three:

  • Fifty years ago, the Ford & Rockefeller Foundations produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America. It is ratified by a referendum called by the President [Art 12, Sec. 1]. If we have a convention, and Delegates propose the Newstates Constitution, it doesn’t go to the States for ratification – it goes directly to the President to call a Referendum. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. Read the Newstates Constitution and tremble for your country.
  • The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA has a Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America.
  • The Constitution 2020 movement is funded by George Soros and supported by Marxist law professors and Marxist groups all over the Country, Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder. They want a Marxist Constitution and they want it in place by the year 2020. It further appears that Soros is funding much of the current push for an Article V convention.

Warnings from the Wise

Brilliant men have warned against an Article V convention. It is immoral to dismiss their warnings:

  • Alexander Hamilton writes of “the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”  Federalist No. 85 (9th para)
  • James Madison writes in his 2, 1788 letter to Turberville that he “trembled” at the prospect of a second convention; and that an Article V Convention would give “the most violent partizans” and “individuals of insidious views” “a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric” of our Country. In Federalist No. 49, he shows that the convention method is NOT GOOD to correct breaches of the federal constitution because the People aren’t philosophers – they follow what influential people tell them! And the very legislators who caused the problem would get themselves seats at the convention so they could control the outcome.
  • Former US Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg reminds us in his 14, 1986 article in The Miami Herald, that at the convention of 1787, the delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress and instead of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation, wrote a new Constitution. He warns that “…any attempt at limiting the agenda [of the convention] would almost certainly be unenforceable.”
  • Former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger warns in his June 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly that “there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention”; “After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda”; and “A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn…”

Can State Laws Control Delegates?

Convention supporters say we don’t have to worry about any of the above because States can make laws controlling their Delegates.

Really? James Madison, Father of our Constitution and a consistent opponent of the convention method of proposing amendments, didn’t know that. Two US Supreme Court Justices didn’t know that. They said there is no effective way to control the Delegates.

But in case you are uncertain as to who is telling you the Truth – and who isn’t – I will show you how easily State laws which pretend to control Delegates can be circumvented.

Let’s use House Bill 148, recently filed in the New Hampshire Legislature, to illustrate this:

Section 20-C:2 I. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“No delegate from New Hampshire to the Article V convention shall have the authority to allow consideration, consider, or approve an unauthorized amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America.” [italics mine]

Section 20-C:1 V. of the bill defines “unauthorized amendment” as:

“any amendment outside the scope permitted by the Article V petition passed by the general court of New Hampshire”.

What is wrong with this?

  • It doesn’t prohibit New Hampshire Delegates from proposing or approving a new Constitution.
  • Article V of the US Constitution provides that Amendments will be proposed at the convention. Any state laws contrary to Article V must fall under the supremacy clause at Article VI, US Constitution.
  • New Hampshire Delegates can’t restrict Delegates from other States.
  • It ignores the inherent sovereign authority of Delegates to throw off both their State governments and the federal government by proposing a new constitution with whatever new mode of ratification they want. Remember! Under the proposed Newstates Constitution, the States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

And if the States already know what amendments they want, they should tell their State congressional delegations to propose them in Congress. This is the method James Madison always advised.

Section 20-C:2 II. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“Any vote taken by a delegate from New Hampshire at the Article V convention in violation of paragraph I of this section shall be null and void. Any delegate making this vote shall be immediately disqualified from serving as a delegate to the Article V convention.”

What is wrong with this?

Section 20-C:2 III. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“Every delegate from New Hampshire to the Article V convention called for by the Article V petition shall be required to take the following oath:”

“I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a delegate to the Article V convention, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of New Hampshire. I will accept and will act according to the limits of the authority as a delegate granted to me by New Hampshire law, and I will not vote to consider or approve any unauthorized amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America. I understand and accept any penalties that may be imposed on me by New Hampshire law for violating this oath.” [boldface mine]

Does one need to comment on the efficacy of Oaths of Office in our degenerate times? Article II, §1, last clause, of our Constitution requires the President to take an Oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”; and Article VI, last clause, requires everyone in the federal and State governments to take an oath to obey the Constitution.

Who today honors his Oath of Office?

Section 20-C:2 IV. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“Any delegate who violates the oath contained in paragraph III of this section shall be subject to the maximum criminal penalty under RSA 641:2.”

Any criminal defense attorney worth her salt can figure out how to get around this one:

  • As shown above, if the proceedings of the convention are kept secret, or Delegates vote by secret ballot, one would never know if any one Delegate violated his oath. Defense counsel would get any attempted criminal prosecution of any particular Delegate dismissed at a pretrial hearing.
  • Congress can pass a law granting immunity from prosecution to the Delegates.
  • The Delegates can insert a clause in the new constitution granting themselves immunity from prosecution.
  • If the new constitution abolishes the States, as does the Newstates Constitution, there is no State left to prosecute Delegates.
  • The local prosecutor is the one who decides whether he will prosecute any criminal offense under his jurisdiction. Politics are a deciding factor in deciding whether to prosecute. Remember Eric Holder refused to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated white voters at a polling place?

Do you see? James Madison, Justice Arthur Goldberg, and Justice Warren Burger were right: It is impossible to restrict the Delegates.

Everything to Lose, Nothing to Gain

If there is a convention today, George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you. Who will the Delegates be? You don’t know. Do you trust them?

Our Framers never said that when the federal [and State] government violate the Constitution, the remedy is to amend the Constitution they violate. They never said the remedy is to file a lawsuit and let federal judges decide.

They expected us to act as they did – with “manly firmness” 3 – and resist unconstitutional acts of the federal and state governments.   Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing” – it needs to be read and enforced by our votes; and failing that, by manly opposition – resistance – nullification.

Endnotes:

1 Rhode Island boycotted the Convention. See RI’s Statement of Reasons in document at 2 below.

2 For the texts of the States’ instructions to their Delegates and a helpful commentary, go to Principled Policy Blog HERE.

3 The 7th paragraph of the Declaration of Independence says: “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.” [boldface mine] PH

01/16/15
The Surreal & Sinister World in 2015

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 01/16/15

The Watcher’s Council


The ‘Surreal & Sinister’ World In 2015 (According To The Economist)

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

“I am not afraid of retaliation. I have no kids, no wife, no car, no mortgage. It surely is a bit dramatic, but I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees” – Stephane (Charb) Charbonnier, Editorial Director of Charlie Hebdo

“They might have different names… but all of them are driven by the same hatred and blood-thirsty fanaticism. And all of them seek to destroy our freedoms and impose on all of us a violent, medieval tyranny. This is a global struggle. This is everybody’s battle… And the first rule in fighting terrorism is to refuse to be afraid. The people of Israel embrace the people of France as brothers and sisters. We understand we are in a common battle for our values and a common battle for future and we refuse to be intimidated.” – Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu

“This attack must instead free our speech about Islamic fundamentalism. We must not be silenced. – Marine Le Pen, Leader of France’s Front National Party

“In the past year, 7,000 Jews have already left France and after this there will be many thousands more. We are not safe in France any more. There is no future for Jews here in France. We are finished in France.” – Anonymous father of a Jewish survivor of the kosher supermarket killings

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

This week’s winning essay, Jihad, Islam and The French Farce In Paris, is my reaction to the events last week in Paris. Here’s a slice:

By now the world knows about the latest atrocity carried out in Paris by jihad terrorists. The wholesale murder of the staff of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo including its editor ‘Charb,’ Stephane Charbonnier. The murders at the magazine, the shooting of a female police officer, a car bomb exploding at a local synagogue, a gunman invading a kosher supermarket filled with women and children and killing four shoppers and wounding a number of others..these have all been covered by the media and digested by the world at large.

For a couple of days, this made headlines, but by now the world has processed it. And it is last week’s news,because to really focus on it would mean we’d have to actually do something about it.

Beslan, 9/11, Boston, Bali, Mumbai, London, Itamar, Jerusalem, Nairobi, Fort Hood, Sydney, a never ending list..and those are just the ones we notice,because they’re either in the West, or involve the murder of Westerners. The ones that don’t barely rate a mention. In Nigeria last week for instance, Boko Haram, who have already pledged their support and allegiance to Islamic State attacked the city of Baga, near Lake Chad. The known death toll from that one attack alone is over 2,000. And it may go higher, once the final figures come in.

Chant with me, why don’t you..’black lives matter!’ Except when they’re murdered by Muslim terrorists.

I wonder if it has occurred to many of us how much our society has normalized terrorism committed by Islamist fascists? The limitations to our freedoms we’ve already accepted without complaint? The millions in additional tax dollars we’re forced to spend? The handcuffs we’ve put on ourselves and the forces we enlist to protect us because we’re unwilling to be honest?

We have become acclimated to accepting Islamist terrorism as the norm, as business as usual. We’ve been doing it for so long it barely moves us, let alone raises the revulsion and the resolve to stop it, the normal reaction. Instead, we hide behind inane rhetoric, insipid and cowardly rationalizations and yes, hash tags.

If we were really all Charlie Hebdo, or Theo Van Gogh, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Molly Norris, or Kurt Westergaard, or Drummer Lee Rigby, or Daniel Pearl or the Fogel Family, this would have ended long ago, because we would have risen up en masse to demand that the political class do something to stop this once and for all.

We haven’t. We simply ingest the latest atrocity and continue to sleepwalk. After a few words from our sponsor, of course. And the usual ‘Muslims fear backlash’ stories, although somehow that backlash never seems to occur.

A case in point is the recent ‘Unity rally’ in Paris. No one, of course, would dare call it a rally against Islamist fascism, a rally against ‘radical Islam’ or even a rally against terrorism. No, it was all about unity, with signs saying ‘Je suis Charlie’ and flags and forty world leaders marching together in the streets of Paris. Nice, until you look behind the facade.

Among the participants was the Emir of Qatar which openly funds terrorism. Also at the rally was Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu, who country has more journalists in jail than any other NATO member for what’s labeled as ‘un-Turkish sentiments’, whose Islamist government is a haven for Hamas. It is also the country where at least one of the killers, Hayat Boumeddiene was allowed to enter France freely via a ticket from Istanbul to Spain and the country from which she was allowed to escape back to Syria.

And of course, Palestine’s unelected Dictator Mahmoud Abbas was there too. Yes, Abbas, the Holocaust denier with his history of terrorism as Arafat’s second in command, Abbas who is allied with the genocidal Hamas in a unity government. Interesting how that came about.

Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu had wanted to show up in Paris to take part as one of the world leaders involved. You would think he’d be a natural participant, given Israel’s history of combating Islamist terrorism, and especially since about a third of the victims of the attacks were Jews.

But the Israeli PM was told outright by the French government that he was persona non grata and unwelcome, since his presence was deemed ‘divisive’ and would ‘make having the rally difficult.’

After mulling it over for a day, Netanyahu simply told the French he was coming anyway. My sources differ on whether Abbas had already been expressly invited (the Palestinian Authority insists he was, and a private meeting between Abbas and Holland scheduled the next day seems to bear this out) or whether he was invited simply out of spite towards Netanyahu,but the fact remains that the leader of a democracy with a free press and an admirable record fighting exactly the forces responsible for last weeks’ carnage was insulted and initially shunned while nations that finance and support terrorism and rigidly repress any criticism were courted and invited.

Much more at the link. I guarantee you won’t be bored.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Andrew McCarthy with Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism’ submitted by Joshuapundit.

With his usual merciless logic, the former prosecutor shreds the Leftist pretense that what happened in Paris has nothing to do with Islam and is just ‘extremism.’ A worthy read.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

01/14/15
Obama - You Let The World Down

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Watcher’s Birthday Bash Edition

The Watcher’s Council

*** The Watcher’s Council wishes Rob Miller of JoshuaPundit a very happy and blessed birthday! Hope you had a fantastic celebration with cake and presents and the love of your family all around you.

Here’s to a great friend, mentor and a terrific Watcher’s Council leader!

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, MidKnight Review, The Pirate’s Cove and The People’s Cube 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!

01/12/15
Federalism

The Dismantling of Federalism

By: Nancy Salvato

It wouldn’t be surprising, if polled, that many United States citizens would feel disenfranchised when it comes to politics. Though the right to vote and petition the government is supposed to make sure the people’s interests are considered, we the people are not given standing to question the constitutionality of laws, i.e. The Affordable Care Act. Political parties are no longer able to moderate the positions of the most extreme members of our society, who feel compelled to take law into their own hands, i.e. exhibiting anarchy against the rule of law in response to the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict in the events surrounding Ferguson. Extremism, lack of understanding, apathy, an agenda driven 4th Estate, all work against the citizenry in exercising their rights and responsibilities with fidelity in today’s society. How did it come to this?

One of the earliest Supreme Court cases to set precedent (A decided case which is cited or used as an example to justify a judgment in a subsequent case—ninja words) for our rule of law was Marbury v Madison. What happened is this. Before leaving office at the end of his term, 2nd President John Adams appointed a slew of judges to the federal courts to maintain an ongoing Federalist Party influence during upcoming Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson’s tenure in office. John Marshall was unable to deliver all the commissions before our 3rd President began his term of office and Jefferson refused to have the remainder of the commissions delivered. William Marbury, who was to receive a commission, was not pleased with this turn of events and applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus, to force delivery of the commissions.

Angered by the appointment of the “midnight judges” Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party controlled congress attacked the Federalist controlled courts, removing many of the appointees by repealing the Judiciary Act of 1801, under which authority many of the appointments were made. To prevent an appeal on the subject, they determined the Supreme Court would not reconvene until 1803. By doing so, the executive and legislative branches appeared to be cementing their authority over the judicial branch.

The newly appointed Chief Justice John Marshall was in a bind. He did not want to further anger the Democratic-Republicans, fearing the administration would go as far as to simply ignore any decision made by the Supreme Court, if it appeared to further a Federalist agenda. Yet, he truly believed that Marbury’s commission was legally binding and should have been delivered. He resolved this conundrum, at the same time elevating the judiciary branch as co-equal to the other branches, by determining that the power to issue a writ of mandamus –given to the Supreme Court as part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, was actually “unconstitutional.” Therefore, he could not issue a mandate regarding the commission, satisfying Jefferson. At the same time, Marshall established the power of judicial review, ensuring the other branches abide by the Constitution, as interpreted by the Judicial Branch. In doing so, this elevated the status of the Judicial Branch, giving it the sole power to determine the constitutionality of law – a power for which it was never intended, but is now associated with this branch.

Influenced by Baron de Montesquieu, the Framers intended to prevent tyranny by dividing the powers delegated to the federal government into three branches of government, which could check and balance each other. In addition, according to the 10th Amendment, powers not delegated to the federal government were to remain with the states and the people. If the constitutionality of a law is in question, this determination is presumably up to the states and the people to decide. The precedent for this is called nullification.

“If the feds pass a law that a state deems to be outside the boundaries of its proper constitutional authority, the state will simply ignore the law and refuse to comply with it.” – The New American

This idea, that the states could declare a federal law null and void because it violates the compact between the states and the federal government, eventually leads to the secession of the southern states from the union.

Because most people associate the Civil War with making good on a promissory note to those who were not treated equally under the law, the precedent for nullification is lost on the majority of citizens.         This is problematic because citizens have no standing to bring questions of constitutionality before the Supreme Court and states have lost the main check and balance intended to ensure their interests were defined and respected by the federal government with passage of the 17th Amendment—which eliminated the choosing of senators by the state legislatures and having them directly elected by the people. There is currently a movement to remove the last check and balance of the states with the elimination of the Electoral College.

There are currently a number of issues against which the states and people seem to be rendered powerless.

1) Immigration: By not enforcing the laws that Congress has passed on securing the border and immigration, the Executive Branch is marginalizing the Legislative Branch.

2) Obamacare: By unilaterally changing the text of the Affordable Care Act without seeking the changes legislatively, the Executive Branch is manipulating written law by decree, marginalizing the Legislative Branch.

3) Gitmo: Mr. Obama is “transferring” enemy combatant prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in an effort to empty the prison, in effect forcing a “closing” of the facility, something that Congress has passed legislation to prevent.

4) EPA: Using Executive Branch decreed regulations instead of seeking legislation from Congress, Mr. Obama is effectively legislating by regulating, and affecting many pieces of legislation Congress has passed to affect pro-economic growth.

Now that the new Congress has been seated, the President Obama has promised to veto any legislation that doesn’t further his agenda. It would seem that more than ever, the states and the people must reassert the powers which were never given to the federal government in order to prevent the tyrannical practices taking place at the federal level.

James Madison, in Federalist 51, writes,

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

It seems that the failsafe measures which were put in place to oblige the government to control itself have been breached.         It is up to the states and the people to restore the natural order once again.

Copyright ©2015 Nancy Salvato

Nancy Salvato is the Director of Education and the Constitutional Literacy Program for Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country. She is a graduate of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Academy for Civics and Government. She is the author of “Keeping a Republic: An Argument for Sovereignty.” She also serves as a Senior Editor for NewMediaJourna.usl and a contributing writer to BigGovernment.com and FamilySecurityMatters.org.

01/11/15
Constitution

Philadelphia Freedoms

By: Nancy Salvato

The founding documents, which include the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, capture the philosophy and political thinking that drove the Founders and Framers of our country. Afraid of losing the freedom we gained from a tyrannical government, the Federalists wanted a stronger (albeit “limited”) federal government to ensure our country’s sovereignty and ability to “keep our republic.” Afraid that a strengthened federal government would abuse its power, as those with governing authority are prone to do, the Antifederalists wanted not only to limit the authority we ceded to a federal government, but to add a Bill of Rights, to guarantee our rights against encroachment by a government which didn’t understand or respect the sovereignty of the people.

Alexander Hamilton argued vehemently against the need for a Bill of Rights. Because the federal government’s powers were enumerated, there was no concern of over-reach. We were only yielding a specified amount of authority and what we didn’t hand over was ours to keep. The Antifederalists, looking to history, were fervent in their arguments that our rights needed to be specified on paper, so that there would be no question about what belonged to us. John Adams, though a Federalist, captures this sentiment so well when he says, “We are a nation of laws, not men.” By writing down our laws, we can prevent men from impulsively reacting to public demagoguery or from despotic tendencies. It is no surprise then that the Framers capitulated on these demands and made good the promise of a Bill of Rights.

There is a difference between the power to require of people certain behaviors and rights to behave without fear of reprisal. This is the balance the Framers sought and the balance which must be maintained in order to provide a climate of freedom and security. Though we are mostly familiar with the 1st amendment freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition, the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, and the 5th amendment right to a jury and to remain silent, the people, who are the ruled and the rulers alike, should understand what compelled the Framers to include the 9th and 10th amendments.

Amendment IX states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Amendment X states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Surely, the Framers hoped to assuage the fears of a populace intimately familiar with tyrannical practices such as illegal searches and seizures, unreasonable punishments, and other abuses (many listed in the Declaration of Independence). However, two concerns were not evident in any of the first source materials left behind from our founding, perhaps they weren’t even considered, but they should be. The first being preciseness of language. If we go back to Hamilton’s belief that the powers not specifically enumerated in the Constitution belong to the people, we wouldn’t be having any discussion over what specifically is meant or not meant by the rights listed in the first ten amendments. The second is that there is no right “not to be offended.” When we bow to political correctness and prevent certain forms of free speech in certain venues, we hobble the very freedoms for which we fought to maintain. It’s that simple.

The Framers were concerned that we respect minority rights and this includes minority views or views that may offend some. It is in this way that we honor our first amendment freedoms. It is power that is limited, specifically that which is granted to our intentionally limited government.

Copyright ©2014 Nancy Salvato

Nancy Salvato is the Director of Education and the Constitutional Literacy Program for Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country. She is a graduate of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Academy for Civics and Government. She is the author of “Keeping a Republic: An Argument for Sovereignty.” She also serves as a Senior Editor for NewMediaJourna.usl and a contributing writer to BigGovernment.com and FamilySecurityMatters.org.

01/10/15
Inventing Freedom

Book Review: Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Purchase at HarperCollins or Amazon.com

Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World by Daniel Hannan is a magnificent journey through history and politics. Thought-provoking and emotionally gripping, this book is a must read for those who cherish liberty and the law. It is a triumphant testament to English history and one of my all-time favorite books. Hannan’s masterpiece is also bawdily politically incorrect in its attitude – I simply love it!

From the Back Cover:

Why does the world speak English? Why does every country at least pretend to aspire to representative government, personal freedom, and an independent judiciary?

In The New Road to Serfdom, British politician Daniel Hannan exhorted Americans not to abandon the principles that have made our country great. Inventing Freedom is a much more ambitious account of the historical origin and spread of those principles, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled.

According to Hannan, the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms—individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government—are not broadly “Western” in the usual sense of the term. Rather they are the legacy of a very specific tradition, one that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.

The first English kingdoms, as they emerged from the Dark Ages, already had unique characteristics that would develop into what we now call constitutional government. By the tenth century, a thousand years before most modern countries, England was a nation-state whose people were already starting to define themselves with reference to inherited common-law rights.

The story of liberty is the story of how that model triumphed. How, repressed after the Norman Conquest, it reasserted itself; how it developed during the civil wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries into the modern liberal-democratic tradition; how it was enshrined in a series of landmark victories—the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the U.S. Constitution—and how it came to defeat every international rival.

Yet there was nothing inevitable about it. Anglosphere values could easily have been snuffed out in the 1940s. And they would not be ascendant today if the Cold War had ended differently.

Today we see those ideas abandoned and scorned in the places where they once went unchallenged. The current U.S. president, in particular, seems determined to deride and traduce the Anglosphere values that the Founders took for granted. Inventing Freedom explains why the extraordinary idea that the state was the servant, not the ruler, of the individual evolved uniquely in the English-speaking world. It is a chronicle of the success of Anglosphere exceptionalism. And it is offered at a time that may turn out to be the end of the age of political freedom.

There is no one like Daniel Hannan. A speaker that commands attention and stands above everyone else, his writing is excellent and his prose gives history life. Inventing Freedom is one of those rare books that teaches and entertains. The principles and ideals of freedom are universal and are what have made America the great nation she is. America inherited individual rights, private property, the rule of law and the institutions of representative government from England. But we took it further and in a more independent direction I contend. Hannan chronicles Anglosphere exceptionalism and how, if America is not careful, we could lose it and our freedoms as we have always known them.

FrontPage Magazine does a tremendous review of the book – here’s a slice:

The fundamental incoherence of multiculturalism comes from its cultural relativism that posits no one way of life is better than another, but then singles out the West as a uniquely oppressive global villain. Even more contradictory, at the same time that multiculturalists slander the West for its alleged crimes, they praise and promote political and social ideals––democracy, freedom, equality, and law-based justice–– that flourish only in the West. This cognitive dissonance is made possible by massive historical ignorance of just where such ideas originated and developed. The great value of Daniel Hannan’s Inventing Freedom lies in its recovery of that history, and the role that the “Anglosphere,” the English-speaking countries, played in recognizing and nurturing those ideals for over 1500 years.

Hannan is a writer, blogger, and currently the Conservative representative of Southeast England in the European Parliament, where he vigorously monitors and battles the dirigiste excesses and autocratic impulses of the European Union functionaries. He is also a stalwart friend of the U.S., a throwback to the days when the “special relationship” between Britain and the U.S. was instrumental in turning back the fascist, Nazi, and communist assault on everything that comprises the liberal democratic ideals universally admired and imitated, even by those illiberal regimes who must pay lip-service to democracy and freedom even as they work to subvert them. Readers will find in Inventing Freedom an immensely readable, clearly argued survey of those ideals, the history in which they struggled to survive, and the great heroes whose sacrifice and commitment to them ensured that we enjoy them today.

You should read the whole review – it’s comprehensive in scope.

This book is a slap upside the head of Leftists. As Benjamin Weingartin at The Blaze says, it “argues for the superiority of the Anglosphere in terms of the culture, values and institutions that it has bequeathed us…if we can only keep them.” Benjamin and I think a great deal alike and we love and respect Hannan’s work. You really need to read this book. It is a keeper.

If you are a patriot and a fighter… if you are proud of your American heritage and English history… this book is for you. Right here, today, we fight the fight that Ronald Reagan spoke of. It is a fight for freedom we dare not lose.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan in his Time for Choosing speech (October 27, 1964)

Hannan covers the gambit of history from the 10th century through today. It is a sweeping historical and political discussion that engages and inflames a patriot’s desire. Daniel Hannan makes the steadfast argument that the separation of powers, with sovereignty of the legislative branch representing the people, over and above the executive, and protections for the smallest minority, the individual, are in fact the fundamental building blocks on which an Anglosphere government was built. It remains to be seen if Americans still have the intestinal fortitude to embrace the principles of which Hannan extols upon, or whether they will submit to Progressivism ushering in a new Dark Age. This book should be part of our fight to reimplement our founding principles. Get your copy of Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World today. It’ll become one of your favorites as well.

01/10/15
Barack Obama

What would the Founding Fathers say about #FreeCommunityCollege?

By: Renee Nal
New Zeal

feartotread

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic” – Benjamin Franklin

For those paying attention, President Obama’s plan to “invest” $60 billion taxpayer dollars into community colleges, along with an additional 25 percent funded by “participating states,” is a clear political ploy to gain the allegiance of the low info crowd.

Under the hashtag, #FreeCommunityCollege the White House tweeted:

According to the White House “Blog:”

Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.

Even more troubling, perhaps, is the administration’s proposal to “expand access to mortgage credit” for low-income families under HUD chief Julian Castro, doubling down on failed polices that led to the 2008 economic crisis.

While it should be common knowledge that a president has absolutely no power to make such decisions, as Congress has the “power of the purse;” this unconstitutional breach is barely noticed by those who applaud the idea of free stuff.

In the federal government of the United States, the power of the purse is vested in the Congress as laid down in the Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 (the Appropriations Clause) and Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 (the Taxing and Spending Clause).

But as it turns out, Congress has allowed this breach by giving up it’s own power. Consider a quote from a little-seen video posted by Regulations.gov:

Most people think of laws as being created by Congress or maybe through interpretations of the Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court; but actually by volume and significance, regulations adopted by administrative agencies dwarf the decisions passed by Congress.

While speaking of the size of government, James Madison wrote in Federalist 48,

It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it

President Obama does not need to worry about backlash from the mainstream media, academia or the GOP establishment, unfortunately. In fact, the watchdog institutions praise these taxpayer funded “investments.” That leaves those who care about the future of America to educate others.

“It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government.” – Thomas Paine

“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

What would the founding fathers say about such taxpayer-funded “investments?”

Consider these quotes (found here, and here):

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” – Thomas Jefferson

“A wise and frugal government, shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” – James Madison

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”- Thomas Jefferson

“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” – James Madison

“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.” – John Adams

“I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil.” – Benjamin Franklin

“I consider the foundation of the [Federal] Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” – Thomas Jefferson

“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” – John Adams

As a reminder, President Obama once called the national debt under President Bush “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” The national debt has increased by 70% on his watch.