09/18/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – War? What War? Edition – 09/18/14

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.

This week’s contest is dedicated to Senator Ted Cruz – for courage under fire.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

This week, The MidKnight Review, Blazing Cat Fur, 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 e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

09/12/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 09/12/14

The Watcher’s Council


U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas claps before speaking at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the site for the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston.

Did you know? — Because none of them are making headlines and all are deadly serious:

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

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“There is no substitute for victory… It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.” – General Douglas MacArthur

“Sons of Islam everywhere, the jihad is a duty – to establish the rule of Allah on earth and to liberate your countries and yourselves from America’s domination and its Zionist allies, it is your battle – either victory or martyrdom.” – Ahmed Yassin, AKA The Blind Sheik

“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.” – Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini

“My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” – General William Tecumseh Sherman

A lot has been said about The Islamic State, not least by our president who laid out last night what he considers a strategy… although of course, as our Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN, we’re not, you know, actually at war. The day before, I finished a piece I’d been working on for a while at Joshuapundit, Defeating The Islamic State that puts forth the proposition that we are very much at war and have been for some time as our leaders continue to deny it – and how to go about winning it.

Here’s a slice:

President Obama has revealed – surprise! – that he has no strategy for even combating, let alone defeating Islamic State. His excuse is that he’s ordered his military advisers to give him “a range of options,” which is another confession of how inept this president is.

He’s known about Islamic State (formerly ISIS) for a long time now now, and even had a significant part in Islamic State’s growth, arming and training them with the assistance of Turkey and Qatar.The mess with Islamic State is very much of Barack Obama’s making. And let’s not forget that his illegal intervention in Libya to save the jihadis and al-Qaeda militias in Benghazi, that allowed all of Khaddaffi’s arsenal fall into jihadi hands and created a failed state now known as ‘jihadi central’ where groups like Islamic State’s allies al Nusrah, al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) and others now have a base to arm and train.

Yet, after all that, this president never bothered to have our military put together a contingency plan to deal with any possible blowback, and is just now consulting with the military and ‘waiting for options!’

In the president’s actual statement, he of course substituted ‘we’ rather then ‘he’, because as you know, nothing is ever his fault.I actually know children who are more responsible when they’re confronted by an error.

But the problem of defeating Islamic State is not as simple as it seems. The president’s dysfunctional buffoonery aside, there are a lot of considerations here that need to be looked at.

The first part of making any decision is actually having definable foreign policy goals, something this president seems to lack except for his fetish for empowering and protecting Islamists.

So job one, the way I see it, is to formulate such goals. I think eliminating imminent security risks to America is a good one. And if that’s the goal, simply bombing the hummus out of Islamic State, something I’ve heard a lot of people push for, won’t do it. The reverse in fact.

It has apparently never occurred to them that odious as Islamic State is, they are a counterbalance to an almost equally odious Iranian regime. Taking out Islamic State only helps Iran and the likes of Hezbollah consolidate their goal of a nuclear armed Shi’ite bloc.

That, by the way, is one of the main reasons why taking out Saddam Hussein was such a dumb idea, and why old hands like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld tried to talk George W. Bush out of it.

Iran has been gulling the West on their rogue nuclear weapons program for almost a decade now, and here has been no progress in terms of diplomacy in getting them to stop, while the centrifuges keep spinning. Nor will there be. Iran is the key to this situation, and a much more serious threat than Islamic State.

So, how to accomplish the goal of eliminating these security threats to America?

The first thing, of course, is to be honest at long last and finally let the peoples of the West know what we’re fighting. Call it Islamism, Islamic fascism, Radical Islam, jihad, whatever you will. But identifying it without tiptoeing around it and letting the peoples of the West know what’s at stake is key. We are fighting an ideology. And it’s an ideology that has to be shamed, demonized and ridiculed, especially in the West, with no false notions about political correctness. Propaganda works both ways:

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The West needs to understand what characterizes jihad, and that while Islamic State is a Sunni organization, the same applies to Iran, the other, Shi’ite side of the same coin. We are not dealing with rational actors as we understand the term, and we need to understand the dedication and fanaticism of our enemies, just as we did in WWII. And we need to also understand that this needs to be a war, not an ‘operation’  or a few desultory airstrikes. This video, from Islamic State about the taking of Mosul and surrounding areas is valuable in achieving that perspective:>

The simplest and best first step is the old one of arming and strengthening our friends while destroying our enemies. To me, that means a strong and independent Kurdistan that’s a US ally, while leaving the Shi’ites to hold their line in the south near Baghdad. There’s no sense whatsoever in giving the Shi’ite regime in Iraq much more in money and support. They’ve already had over $25 billion in arms, training and logistics lavished on them and have performed with all the martial fervor and expertise of the majority of the ARVN troops in South Vietnam. All those shiny American arms and supplies ended up in Islamic State’s hands. But the Iraqi army can can probably manage to hold a line at Baghdad and points south, especially if The Islamic State has other fronts to worry about.

The Kurds, on the other hand have already proven that in anything like an equal fight they can hold their own and win. And they would also have the incentive of fighting for an independent Kurdistan, a dream they’ve had for years. Kurdistan is where we should have made out base and our stand in the beginning, a naturally democratic,pro-American enclave that begged us to do so. At least they were pro-American until they were betrayed by President Bush and President Obama, but I think the relationship with the Kurds is salvageable, although perhaps not with President Obama in power.

The next step would be a much improved relationship with Israel. This would include a joint project for a pre-emptive strike to take out Iran’s nukes and Iran’s capacity to cause mischief to anyone for some time. Tactical nukes might unfortunately be necessary. At this point, it would almost certainly be necessary to take out Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure and refineries as well to make sure their nuclear ambitions stay dormant, something that could have been avoided had the job been done a lot earlier.

I would also leave the carnage and destruction intact,certainly as long as any semblance of the present regime is in power.Some monuments are built of stone, others of rubble. But both fulfill a similar function, that of remembrance. Just ask the Germans and the Japanese.

I repeat, Iran is the key to the region, not Islamic State. And Iran can be dealt with, more or less swiftly and decisively because of its systemic vulnerabilities, its fixed address and its lack of sufficient air and sea power. This is not to say that a strike on Iran would be without cost, but the cost will be infinitely less if it is done now before Iran achieves nuclear weapons capability than later.President Obama’s thoughts about strategy to the contrary, a nuclear amred Shi’ite block is not going to be something that can be worked with or ‘contained.’ Iran’s demographics and plunging birthrate doesn’t give Iran much time to put the Shi’ite hegemony they want together, and the Ayatollahs know it.

It is our failure to deal effectively with Iran, it’s fomenting of terrorism and its rogue nuclear program that has caused the present crisis.If not for that, the Russians would not be a factor and Basher Assad would have had to come to terms with Syria’s Sunni majority. Instead, he had the means to expel millions of them.

Without the war in Syria,  ISIS would never have received arms and training covertly from the Obama Administration, with the help of Turkey and Qatar. Without Iran, Iraq’s Shi’ites would have had to compromise with the Sunnis and Kurds and disaffected Sunnis would not have allied themselves with ISIS,Islamic State’s former identity.

There is no victory possible in this war without taking Iran off the board.

Here, members march carrying the group's black flags.

The destruction of Islamic State and its affiliated jihadis is going to be more difficult, but again not beyond our capabilities. Again, let’s remember that we are fighting an ideology. To start, were I president, I would insist on a formal declaration of war by Congress. To get that, I would have to make the case of Islamic State and it’s allied militias constituting… an imminent security risk to America, and then put forth the clear goal of its defeat and exactly what that would look like.

A Declaration of War clarifies exactly what a war is about, who the enemy is and gives a commander-in-chief certain powers that can come in handy where sedition, espionage and sabotage are concerned. And it puts congress on board in a much more decisive and straight forward way then foggy ‘resolutions.’ It says volumes about President Obama’s arrogance and unsuitability as commander-in-chief that his plans reportedly include not consulting congress at all. But moving on…

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Obama’s Untruth, Inc. submitted by Joshuapundit, a classic recounting and cataloging of the many lies this president has told the American people… and quite possibly, himself as well.

Here are this week’s full results. The Colossus of Rhodey, Ask Marion, Simply Jews and Rhymes with Right were unable to vote this week. None were affected by the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:

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?

09/10/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Obama Balloon Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Floating above reality and full of hot air…

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

Council News:

First and foremost, we have a very special day to celebrate… Terresa Monroe-Hamilton of The Noisy Room’s birthday!!!! Now, the actual day was Sunday, but these parties take awhile to arrange properly with our Council schedule sometimes and I certainly didn’t want to hold it when we were naming the week’s weasels… so today’s the party.

Now this one looks rather scrumptious, no? It’s a rich German Chocolate cake covered with a secret custom pecan filling and crushed oreos.

We’ll have some Louis Roederer Cristal Brut I think, in honor of the occasion:

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And a song from a certain troubadour, dedicated to our birthday girl:

And yes, my dear Mrs. Hamilton… you truly are among the young at heart, with all the passion, generosity of spirit and grace that implies.

Happy Birthday, Terresa. Many, many more.

This week, 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 e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

09/5/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 09/05/14

The Watcher’s Council


Fore-ward!!!

The People’s Cube:

Raising awareness, one drop at a time.

The ISIS Bucket Challenge: a life-saving activity involving dumping buckets of piss on the heads of Western pacifists with “Coexist” bumper stickers to raise their awareness about them actually having those heads, at least until ISIS shows up and chops them off.

* * *
Special thanks to Comrade General Secretary for the idea.

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

“What did the President know and when did he know it?” – Senator Howard Baker (R-TN) during the Watergate Scandal

“If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” – President Barack Obama dismissing ISIS in a January 27th, 2014 interview – right after they had just taken over Fallujah, Iraq.

“I know in Western countries this is vacation period but when people die, you must return from vacation.” – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asking that President Obama return from Martha’s Vineyard to meet with the EU to plan a strategy to stop the Islamic State, August 14th, 2014.

This week, we had a tie in the Council category which, I as Watcher, have to break. Fortunately, this was an easy choice. On the one hand, there was Joshuapundit’s It’s Time To Give Abbas What He’s Asking For, my take on what I thought a fitting response from Israel would be to Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas’s threats to try and coerce the UN into a resolution gifting him all of Judea and Samaria.

But the other was a marvelous piece by Nice Deb, West Point Report: Obama Watched And Did Nothing As ISIS Threat Grew – Why?, an in-depth examination of exactly what our prevaricator-in-chief knew about the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS and how he essentially ignored it. I’ve always really liked what Deb writes, but this one’s special. Here’s a slice:

A new report from the West Point counterterrorism center says the Obama administration ignored warning signs as ISIS grew and trained over a four-year period following the US withdrawal from Iraq.

Via IBD:

As President Obama dithers about whether to strike the Islamic State’s sanctuary in Syria, a report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point shows how we got to this point. Obama simply overlooked the “JV” team until it was ready for terrorism’s Pro Bowl.

Instead, he was focused on getting us out of Iraq and creating a power vacuum that the terrorist group was all too willing to fill.

“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014,” the report states. “It has been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years.”

The Islamic State’s rapid expansion into Iraq was “the result of years of patient preparatory operations,” wrote the report’s author, Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

United States intelligence officials tried to claim they were blindsided back in June when fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seized two major Iraqi cities and sent Iraqi defense forces fleeing. “With U.S. troops long gone from the country,” the story goes, “Washington didn’t have the spies on the ground or the surveillance gear in the skies necessary to predict when and where the jihadist group would strike.”

What a load of malarkey.

As the West Point report notes, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “re-booted” the group in 2010 into a “highly motivated cadre of quality light infantry forces,” beginning a nationwide campaign of car bombings in Iraq in 2013.” Their attacks were reported on and evident to anyone with an internet connection.

In August 2013, the Iraqi government even reached out to the Obama administration for help.

Bloomberg News reported that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari arrived in Washington seeking “U.S. advisers, air surveillance, or even drone strikes” to deal with the growing ISIS threat.

Zebari returned home empty-handed, ignored by an Obama administration more intent on keeping a campaign promise to withdraw from Iraq than in dealing with the new terror threat. Zebari’s requests were apparently lost between all those fundraisers and rounds of golf.

Earlier this year, Iraq continued pleading for help. As we noted, according to a June 11 piece in the New York Times, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met on May 11 with American diplomats and Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of Central Command, asking the U.S. for the ability to strike IS using drones.

If that wasn’t doable, al-Maliki said that he would approve U.S. drone strikes or airstrikes. That plea also fell on deaf ears.

The question is – why? Obama knew there was an uber-terrorist group rampaging through Syria, with its sites set on the fledgling democracy of Iraq – where so many American troops had made the ultimate sacrifice to secure. Was it not in America’s interest to stop the growing menace before it got to Iraq?

Its “blitzkrieg” into Iraq was due less to the failure of Iraqi forces than to IS’ methodical training, preparation and planning — sort of like the Wehrmacht’s advance into France in 1940.

Their blitzkrieg was also due to the Obama administration’s funneling of advanced weaponry to ISIS infested rebel fighters in Syria – ostensibly to help them topple the Assad regime. The Obama administration began funneling the weapons from Libya after Qaddafi was overthrown, murdered, and dragged through the streets by Islamists in 2011.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Ivy Mike Cafe#Ferguson – When Assholes Collide, submitted by Nice Deb. I should warn some readers that you’re dealing with NSFW language here, but it’s a pretty cogent analysis of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri… and why.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Simply Jews, enjoying a brief hiatus, was unable to vote this week and was not subject to usual the 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 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?

09/3/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Selfie Edition

The Watcher’s Council

There’s nothing like a scandal involving celebrities, especially female ones to take the public’s mind off far more serious matters, eh?

Ordinarily I wouldn’t pay the least attention, but I admit that I find it a symptom of our age that fewer and fewer people ever want to take personal responsibility for anything they do. That leads to views expressed like this one, who apparently feel that the women involved are simply blameless victims of Evil Males. These women should be entitled to take naked photos of themselves, dammit!

Victims they are indeed, but with exception of a couple of the actresses involved who claim they’ve been Photoshopped or that they thought the photos were deleted, you can hardly say they were completely blameless. If I go for a leisurely stroll in certain neighborhoods late at night and then get robbed or worse, I’m definitely a victim, but you certainly can’t say I didn’t contribute to my own victimization by doing something foolish. Assaults on one’s person or privacy are criminal behavior and shouldn’t happen, but human nature being what it is, they do.

The always sensible Talmud teaches that a man who entices someone, even unknowingly, to become a thief by leaving money or valuables where they can easily be found to tempt him bears partial responsibility for the sin. That, by the way, does not mean that the perpetrators shouldn’t be punished.

But given our modern lack of traditional virtues and the technology available, I can’t help but feel that someone who takes intimate photos or videos of themselves and knowingly leaves the file on a computer or a camera or phone when the possibility of hacking always exists, bears a certain responsibility if those photos go public.

Selah.

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, Blazing Cat Fur, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (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! Be sure to tune in Thursday AM to see which Weasel Of The Week nominee walks off with the statuette of Shame! Don’t forget to tune in Friday for this weeks’ Watcher’s Council results!

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

08/29/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/29/14

The Watcher’s Council


Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire

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

“If I have learned one thing from life, it is that race is the engine that drives the political Left. When all else fails, that segment of America goes to the default position of using race to achieve its objectives. In the courtrooms, on college campuses, and, most especially, in our politics, race is a central theme. Where it does not naturally rise to the surface, there are those who will manufacture and amplify it.” – Ward Connerly

“…Liberals see racism where it doesn’t exist, fabricate it when they can’t find it and ignore it within their own ranks.” – Michelle Malkin

“Since neither black animosity nor the Left’s falsehood of “racial tensions” is based on the actual behavior of the vast majority of white Americans, nothing white America can do will affect the perceptions of many black Americans or of the leftist libel.” – Dennis Prager

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Blackgammon: Eric Holder Plays the Game in Ferguson, is my contention that the Obama Administration’s obsession with the Michael Brown shooting has little to do with justice, civil rights or ultimately even with Michael Brown himself.

Here’s a slice:

Backgammon, on the surface, is a pretty straight forward game. You roll the dice and move your pieces. But beneath that seeming openness are hidden strategies that may only reveal themselves later.

Today, Eric Holder traveled in person to Ferguson, Missouri, where the Aug. 9 shooting of black teen& Michael Brown by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during an altercation has sparked massive violence, looting, protests and media coverage.

Holder’s version of the game was revealed as he made his moves today in Ferguson.Ostensibly he was there to oversee the massive Federal investigation of the Brown shooting with the goal of trying to arraign Officer Darren Williams on civil rights charges should the St. Louis County Grand jury fail to charge him with murder ala’ George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. But this was essentially a campaign stop at government expense.

Read his remarks here and note the parts I’ve emphasized:

“I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man,” Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. “I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. … ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”

“The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now,” Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. “The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”

Let’s translate this, shall we?

“See Y’all, I’m black just like you are and that comes first before anything. So I understand your totally justified rage and anger against the white power structure. It’s them that are on trial, not just a police officer although he’ll do as a symbol ofeverything you feel whitey and the police have done to you over the years.That white power structure, you know, those white Republican Tea Partyers have always oppressed you,and this is just the latest outrage. I understand that, and that police officer looks just like them so they’re going to try to protect him. But since we’re in charge, we’re going to do our very best to see that you get what you want. Because remember, I’m black and I look like you and so does the president, so you all need to vote Democrat in November to make sure we stay in charge.”

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was former AP Middle East correspondent Matti Friedman writing in Tablet Magazine with An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth, submitted by Joshuapundit. The ‘most important story on earth’ is Friedman’s satirical way of referring to media coverage of Israel and he gives you an insider’s view of exactly how this story is twisted, propagandized and misrepresented by the media… and more importantly, why. Some of the reasons will astound you.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting next week, the Watcher’s Council is adding an exciting new feature!

Every Tuesday, the members of the Council will nominate a Weasel of the Week… some public figure who merits special singling out for ignominy, stupidity, cowardice, corruption or just a particularly evil deed. The Council members will provide a short explanation for their choices and the nominations and explanations on why each choice is worthy of being singled out for special attention will appear Tuesday morning.

We’ll vote, (we’re working on making this public, so you can weigh in) and every Thursday the winner of our own special Mark of Shame, The Weasel of the Week, will be highlighted in all his or her putrid, despicable glory. Who will it be?

Don’t miss it!

Okay, here are this week’s full results. Both GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and The Razor were unable to vote this week, but neither were subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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

08/27/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Accountablity Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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

Council News:

This week, The MidKnight Review, The Political Commentator, Seraphic Secret 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.

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Simple, no?

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Council Submissions

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08/26/14

Do Property Rights Exist in Our Day?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

A curious question, “Do property rights exist in our day”?  The reason I asked had to do with recent observations on the social medium Facebook.  Most of the articles that I commented on recently had to do with property rights in one way or another; but the issues associated with each comment came across as if the property rights mentioned by the Founders were considerably different than those in our day.

There must be some kind of common footing, an agreement on the use of language upon which to start this off; what better foundation than one supplied by Ezra Taft Benson in his talk, The Proper Role of Government.

“It is generally agreed that the most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.”

But what is government?

“The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess. So, the question boils down to this. What powers properly belong to each and every person in the absence of and prior to the establishment of any organized governmental form?”

And what powers/rights belong to each individual?  Elder Taft included a simple explanation as written by Bastiat:

“Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?” (The Law, p.6)

Our Founders understood these basic principles and placed them in front of the world in our Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creatorwith certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Some reading this are already mumbling, “Yea, yea, yea…so what’s point?”

There’s a fellow up in Oregon, Gary Harrington, who went to jail because he was collecting rain water on his own property.

“For years, Gary Harrington has battled with the Oregon Water Resources Department over reservoirs on his land that collected rainwater. The water officials claim that Harrington is violating a 1925 law by diverting water from the Big Butte River.”

The presumption made by the Oregon Water Resources Department must be that rain water belongs to the State and would have been redistributed among the masses if not for Harrington’s collection methods which restricted the rain from running off his property.   It must also presume that the State created that rain, omitting the existence of God or, for those without faith, omitting natural forces beyond the control of the State.

Time to back up and explain to the Oregon Water Resources Department something they have neglected or ignored, “The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess.”

Do I have, within my God given or natural rights as an individual, do I have the ‘right’ to tell anyone else how to conduct their use of natural resources which occur on that individual’s private property?   Clearly the answer is, No.   Then can I give to a government agency power to do that which I do not possess to begin with?  Again, No.  Lastly, can a group of my neighbors gather together and deny anyone the use of their inalienable God given or natural rights?  You see where this is going?

Our Founders made sure to put down in writing that individuals have inalienable rights to protect them from the collective.  In modern terms, all of you progressive communist leaning pricks don’t have and never had the power to impose social justice mandates on any individual regardless of how many conspire to erase that individual’s inalienable rights.

I won’t bring up Federal mandates on how much water a toilet can use to flush away a pile of progressives at the bottom of the bowl or what kind of light bulb can be used to illuminate the shadows wherein communists hide and carry out their works of darkness.   (Oops; too late, I just inserted that idea)

What about the couple in Texas who were asked to take care of their neighbor’s vacant house, the couple who responded to an audible burglary alarm, caught a felon in the commission of his crime while inside the vacant residence, a felon who then assaulted the caretakers of the vacant property?   Did these folks violate the law when they shot the burglar; did they go too far?

I ask only because there are many who believe it was none of their business, that they had no ‘right’ to confront anyone who wasn’t on ‘their’ property.  They also brought up an interesting twist, that while they might have been given stewardship to watch over their neighbor’s property, they shouldn’t have placed themselves in confrontation with a burglary suspect (that’s for the police), a confrontation which eventually led to shooting and killing that burglary suspect.

While unspoken, these good neighbors were compared to vigilantes;… judge, jury and executioners all wrapped up in a concealed handgun permit.

“As a general rule, the law tends to view human life as being more valuable than material things.  The law also tends to take a dim view of people who escalate a non-life threatening situation into a deadly force encounter.”

{…}

“The couple could be charged with man slaughter or even murder for the killing of the burglar.”

It’s time to hit the “stop right there” buzzer.  I’m not going to let that journalistic BS pass without hanging a red flag on it, and by the way, that’s a pure communist red flag which marginalizes inalienable God given property rights as if they were not inalienable,… even to the point of taking the life of a thief.

Getting back to Ezra Taft Benson’s explanation of The Proper Role of Government…

“Since God created man with certain unalienable rights, and man, in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that man is superior to the creature which he created. Man is superior to government and should remain master over it, not the other way around. Even the non-believer can appreciate the logic of this relationship.”

The protection of property, whether it is your own or your neighbor’s includes the individual’s right to use any and all means available, and yes, that includes the use of deadly force.   The problem with communists/socialists, call them what you will, these folks don’t believe our founding ideas regarding inalienable God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Progressives would rather impose their idea that the State is the source of ‘rights’, all the while renaming any and all rights as entitlements or permitted activities under control of the State.   In this way individuals no longer need be concerned with defending life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness; these don’t really exist in our day and have been consigned to the scrap heap of antiquated language no longer valid or even understood.   Common Core students would be hard pressed to recognize these archaic thoughts.

Using deadly force for any reason bothers some folks.  We’ve been told to run and hide, retreat to avoid confrontation and avoid stopping criminals at all cost; that’s a job for the police.  These generalities on human interaction have been imposed because nobody wants to be responsible for their own actions;… but to take a life simply because a thief or burglar wants to take something that doesn’t belong to him/her…   Oh the humanity!   (sarcasm button in use)

So who decides what belongs under the umbrella of protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (property rights)?  In our day it has fallen on the court of mass media, trial by television coverage.   The public’s perception of nearly any event can be shaped to fit the desired outcome of those running the media; and the large media outlets all just happen to be run by progressives (communists).

So, back to my original question, “Do property rights exist in our day”?  Yes; but you’ll still have to prove it in court and the odds are now stacked against you.

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