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.

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 Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

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”.

08/22/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/22/14

The Watcher’s Council


Poster: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn as Boris and Natasha

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

“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“In keeping people straight, principle is not as powerful as a policeman.” – Abel Hermant, Le Bourgeois, 1906

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.” – Muhammad Ali

This week’s winner, The Right Planet’s #Ferguson: Facts Don’t Matter Anymore, is an excellent rundown on the Michael Brown shooting and the subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri by someone fairly close to the action. Here’s a slice:

Facts and details are starting to leak out concerning the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—albeit slowly. But facts don’t seem to matter anymore in our idiocracy, i.e. mobocracy. If they did, I doubt Ferguson would be in flames right now. But I digress.

Earlier this week, I was listening to a caller on the Dana Loesch radio show who allegedly had spoken with the spouse of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson—the officer who shot Michael Brown. The caller claimed Michael Brown became involved in an altercation with Officer Darren Wilson, and even tried to take his gun—which allegedly went off during the struggle. The caller also stated Brown bum-rushed the police officer.

Additionally, an audio of some alleged eyewitnesses to the lethal shooting of Michael Brown has recently come out and seems to corroborate the details provided by the caller on Dana Loesch’s radio show.

Here’s the audio from both sources (hat tip: Representative Press):

Now, an autopsy report published in the New York Times seems to corroborate the two aforementioned sources, showing Michael Brown was shot from the front, not the back, as is alleged by some who claim Officer Darren Wilson mercilessly “executed” Michael Brown simply because he was black.

The notion Michael Brown was simply an innocent 18-year-old “child” who was ruthlessly “executed” by a “trigger-happy, racist white pig” was brought into question when surveillance video appeared to show Michael Brown committing a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store, roughing up the store’s owner and brazenly walking off with approximately $50 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars in the process.

The suspect in the video shoving the store’s proprietor is wearing the exact same clothes and shoes as Michael Brown, and matches Brown’s physical description, when he was shot.

I’m sorry, for the doubters out there, if that isn’t Michael Brown, my name is Barack Obama. Michael Brown was no “child”; he was a young man who stood 6’4″ tall and weighed 292 pounds, and he apparently had an attitude to boot.

Despite these important details that are now starting to come out, the city of Ferguson, Missouri, has been plunged into utter chaos and mayhem for the past week. Last night, the situation in Ferguson escalated to a point where Missouri Governor Jay Nixon felt it necessary to call in the National Guard.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Traffic opened again in downtown Ferguson along West Florissant Avenue, the center of an hourslong running battle between heavily armed police and hundreds of protesters Sunday evening that started at about 8:30 p.m. Police said Molotov cocktails thrown at them, as well as shootings throughout the neighborhood, forced them to respond with smoke devices and tear-gas canisters.

Before anything was really known about the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown, a throng of “outside agitators” flocked to Ferguson to inflame an already volatile situation—namely, the main-stream media, who apparently seems hellbent on creating even more racial strife by stirring the pot and fanning the flames. This is what “social justice” looks like, and it has nothing to do with the rule of law, but it has everything to do with furthering a cynical political agenda.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner by a nose was Kurt Schlichter with The GOP Needs to Return to a “Feared By Our Enemies” Foreign Policy, submitted by Joshuapundit. I nominated this, quite simply, because it’s one of the best short capsulizations of what I think America’s foreign policy direction ought to be that I’ve read in quite some time. Short, sweet and simply superb.

Okay, let’s get to this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum as the Council and their invited 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!

08/20/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Drunk And Out Of Line Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Ethics, you know… after all, if a DA can’t try and use her position to muscle herself out of a DUI, who can?

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 two best posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Terresa at The Noisy Room scored when her entry this week, Communists and the New Black Panthers Gin Up Violence and Racial Conflict in Ferguson was cited by DC Clothesline and Infowars… where it subsequently got picked up by Drudge!

This week, Blazing Cat Fur, The Political Commentator and 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 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 Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/20/14

#Ferguson: Ochlocracy (Mob Rule) in Action

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

Our Founders called it “mobocracy.” And mobocracy is synonymous with democracy. But isn’t democracy synonymous with freedom? No! Not unless one defines “freedom” as mob rule.

It might surprise some to learn the United States is not a democracy. Article 4, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution clearly states the United States “shall have a republican form of government.” Our form of government, as required by the Constitution, is a constitutional republic, not a pure democracy, despite what the so-called “constitutional scholar” who now occupies the Oval Office claims. (Barack Obama has stated in the past that the U.S. is the world’s oldest constitutional democracy, which is patently false.)

The Founders warned, from the very beginning, that pure democracy is one of the worst forms of government that exists. Pure democracy is simply the rule of the majority, i.e. mob rule. But a constitutional republic is based on the rule of law, which protects both the majority and the individual.

“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.”

—E.B. White

The term “democracy” does not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence, or in any State constitution.

Even in the Federalist Papers, “democracy” is rarely mentioned. But there are a few places in the Federalist Papers where democracy is discussed–specifically, in Federalist Papers #10, #14 and #48.

On democracy, from Federalist Paper #10, my emphasis:

… From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.

The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended….

On democracy, from Federalist Paper #14:

… The error which limits republican government to a narrow district has been unfolded and refuted in preceding papers. I remark here only that it seems to owe its rise and prevalence chiefly to the confounding of a republic with a democracy, applying to the former reasonings drawn from the nature of the latter. The true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a former occasion. It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region.

To this accidental source of the error may be added the artifice of some celebrated authors, whose writings have had a great share in forming the modern standard of political opinions. Being subjects either of an absolute or limited monarchy, they have endeavored to heighten the advantages, or palliate the evils of those forms, by placing in comparison the vices and defects of the republican, and by citing as specimens of the latter the turbulent democracies of ancient Greece and modern Italy. Under the confusion of names, it has been an easy task to transfer to a republic observations applicable to a democracy only; and among others, the observation that it can never be established but among a small number of people, living within a small compass of territory….

On democracy, from Federalist Paper #48:

… In a democracy, where a multitude of people exercise in person the legislative functions, and are continually exposed, by their incapacity for regular deliberation and concerted measures, to the ambitious intrigues of their executive magistrates, tyranny may well be apprehended, on some favorable emergency, to start up in the same quarter. But in a representative republic, where the executive magistracy is carefully limited; both in the extent and the duration of its power; and where the legislative power is exercised by an assembly, which is inspired, by a supposed influence over the people, with an intrepid confidence in its own strength; which is sufficiently numerous to feel all the passions which actuate a multitude, yet not so numerous as to be incapable of pursuing the objects of its passions, by means which reason prescribes; it is against the enterprising ambition of this department that the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions….

Still, many people nowadays believe democracy and republic are just interchangeable terms–meaning, they are one and the same. Well, that is just what the purveyors of democracy would like you to believe. Nothing makes the democracy enthusiast happier than to hear individuals on both sides of the political spectrum refer to our form of government as a democracy. And, quite frankly, it is quite dangerous; and one of the reasons, I believe, the United States has moved so far toward pure socialism.

Granted, the concept and influence of democracy has a long history in the history of American politics, stretching all the way back to the founding of the nation.

The modern Democratic Party was founded in 1828, and traces its origins back to the Democratic-Republican Party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. According to WikiPedia: “The term Democratic-Republican Party is the name primarily used by political scientists for the Republican Party or the Jeffersonian Republicans.”

The first U.S. president who successfully ran as a Democrat was Andrew Jackson, who served from 1829 to 1837. The modern Democratic Party was formed in the 1930′s from factions of the Democratic-Republican Party.

The term democracy also came heavily into vogue during the Woodrow Wilson Administration, whose famous slogan “making the world safe for democracy” has become a mainstay in the American lexicon. Wilson served two terms from 1913 to 1921. It was around this time that democracy was heavily sold as being synonymous with republicanism and representative government … it has been sold as such ever since.

One constitution where “democracy” appears numerous times is the Soviet Constitution of 1977. Additionally, the term democracy is commonplace in the writings of countless Marxist writers—such as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Josef Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Antonio Gramsci, and many others. If you would like to confirm this for yourself, visit the Marxist archive at Marxists.org and enter the search term “democracy.”

Granted, Marxian socialists make a distinction between what they call bourgeois democracy versus proletarian democracy, i.e. social democracy. But “democracy is indispensable for socialism,” as Max Shachtman wrote in 1943 in a piece entitled “Trotsky on Democracy and Fascism” (New International, Vol.IX No.7 [Whole No.74], July 1943, pp.216-217).

Another example of the importance direct democracy plays in Marxian socialism appears in the Communist Party of Great Britain’s (CPGB) program from 1951 entitled “The British Road to Socialism.” Section V of the CPGB’s program is titled “People’s Democracy—The Path to Socialism.”

Communism is brought about in stages, and it all starts with pure democracy. Vladimir Lenin once said, “The goal of socialism is communism.” But, as Ivor Thomas wrote in The Socialist Tragedy (1954), there really is very little difference between socialism and communism in practice, despite some of the objections by modern-day Marxist theoreticians to Thomas’ conclusion regarding the ultimate failure of socialism-communism. Pure democracy is a form of collectivism—it readily sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes (a.k.a. mobocracy).

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Dr. Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation by a woman who asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Dr. Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Related:

08/15/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/15/14

The Watcher’s Council

Me too, lil’ weasel!

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

“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.” – Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speech on February 12, 2012

“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”

Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.” – The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fisher.

“The true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the hatred taught to many Muslims when they are impressionable children — unable to defend themselves from having their lives poisoned with such beliefs.”

“This is the testimony of someone who witnessed it — and who experienced it — personally.” – Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Muslim Apostate in a speech at Pepperdine University, 2008

Close races in both categories this week, a reflection of how good this week’s entries were.

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s fine essay The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians, recounts a Facebook exchange she had with a ‘Progressive’ about civilian deaths in Gaza versus Israel defending itself or committing national suicide. Being Bookworm, she goes far beyond that into a general discussion of Jihad, but you’ll have to read all of it to marvel at how she ties it all together. Here’s a slice:

I have been engaged in a Facebook exchange with someone who believes that killing civilians is always immoral. This moral stance means that, because Israel is killing civilians more effectively than Hamas, he believes Israel is morally more culpable than Hamas in the current conflict. He therefore cannot support her, and his sympathy for Palestinians outweighs his sympathy for Israelis.

Because his is an argument I hear frequently; because Progressives think their overarching pacifism is virtuous; because this man was invariably polite in expressing his views, appearing more misguided than malevolent; and because there were other people auditing this exchange on Facebook, I took the time to respond at some length his arguments. Although doing so seemed like a somewhat futile effort while the ceasefire held, given that Hamas took up arms again the minute the ceasefire ended, this issue is not going away any time soon.

The man’s core operating principle is that killing civilians is so verboten that he can never approve of a group, party, or nation that commits such acts. I know he felt virtuous when he wrote that, but I tried to get him to see that, in certain circumstances, his pacifism will leave him with more innocent blood on his own hands (morally, speaking) than his own ostensibly high-minded position would.

I asked him to imagine that a large, well-organized, well-funded terrorist group (which we’ll call “Hamas” for short) carries out a series of attacks against a Jewish nation (which, for convenience’s sake, we’ll call “Israel”). The attacks are not as deadly as Hamas would wish, but Hamas plans to continue with the attacks — eventually someone will die — with the culmination being a coordinated attack through Israel which will, if successful, kill upwards of 10,000 Israeli civilians. This man’s moral calculus would mean that the only way for Israel, as a moral nation, to avoid the impermissible immorality of killing innocent civilians in Hamas’s ambit would be for Israel to surrender immediately and, indeed, for it to do so regardless of the seriousness of Hamas’s provocation.

In a perfect world, against an equally moral enemy, this moral purity might work. Of course, in that perfect world, the enemy too would have held itself to this high moral standard — never kill a civilian — and wouldn’t have attacked Israel in the first place. Sadly, though, we do not live in a perfect world.

In an imperfect world, which happens to be the world we inhabit, Israel knows that Hamas’s goal is to slaughter every man, woman, and child in Israel. Israel doesn’t have to go down the primrose path of conspiracy theories and paranoia to reach this conclusion about Hamas’s end game. Instead, Hamas has made the death of Israel’s citizens — all of them — the centerpiece of its charter, it preaches this goal from every political and religious pulpit, it acts upon this goal whenever possible, and it has spent millions of dollars in foreign aid, including money from Israel herself, to plan a terrorist attack intended to kill those 10,000 of Jewish civilians.

Despite this stark reality, the man I’m debating insists that Israel still has only one moral choice: she must refrain from fighting back if that fight means that she might kill even one civilian. Only in that way, he says, can he give Israel his support.

Israel, however, has figured out something that this man, either because he’s blinded by the self-righteousness of his own idealism or because he’s as genocidal as Hamas, refuses to grasp: If Israel takes this allegedly moral high ground and surrenders to Hamas, she will effectively have killed all off all of her own civilians. In other words, no matter what choices Israel makes, the nature of her enemy means that Israel will have the blood of innocents on her hands.

As between those two choices — either kill a few hundred Palestinians civilians or watch 6 million of your own people being brutally slaughtered — a non-suicidal nation will always opt to value its own citizens’ lives first. Moreover, a moral nation, such as Israel, even as it recognizes that civilian deaths are inevitable, fundamentally values life and does everything possible to protect both its own and its enemy’s citizens. Still, Israel recognizes that the nature of war, sadly, is death.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a piece that resonates with what’s on many minds this week, You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room.

We are indeed living in interesting times.

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this weeks’ 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!

08/13/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations: ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Because we all know nothing says social justice like breaking into a convenience store and looting it.

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 Political Commentator, The Pirate’s Cove and The Mellow Jihadi 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 Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/8/14

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

The Watcher’s Council


Obama’s Border Plans and Some Guys Named Al

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

“It is a crime to lie to the public, to twist public opinion to insane lengths in the service of the vilest death-dealing machinations. It is a crime to poison the minds of the meek and the humble, to stoke the passions of reactionism and intolerance, by appealing to that odious anti-Semitism that, unchecked, will destroy the freedom-loving France of the Rights of Man.” – Émile Zola, J’accuse! (1898)

“If it bleeds, it leads.” – News Director Bill Applegate, WNEV-TV, circa 1980

“Think of the press as a great keyboard
on which we can play.”
– Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Information Minister

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s J’accuse! The Western media has the blood of Gazan children on its hands is an absolutely superb vamp on Émile Zola’s famous piece, as she turns her scintillating style to use in applying one of life’s truths – that is isn’t just the criminal who stands guilty, but his or her enabler. Here’s a slice:

At a military level, Hamas’s advantages in the war with Israel are minimal. Its rocket strikes were ineffectual against Israel because of the Iron Dome missile defense system. In the ground war, it is certainly able to kill Israeli soldiers (most recently, three died in a booby-trapped UN building), but ultimately Israel has both the overwhelming fire power and technology that will enable it to destroy Hamas’s weapons caches and tunnels.

Because of Israel’s military advantage, she could and would win the war against Hamas if only she were given enough time to do the job. You see, time is the one thing Israel lacks. Unlike all other nations warring against a savage enemy intent upon committing mass murder against her citizens, Israel is being pressured from every corner to lay down her arms, to bend down, and to take it.

Why is this? Why is a nation that is stable, free, pluralist, and humanist being urged to surrender to a terrorist group that is tyrannical, genocidal, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and homophobic?

The answer is simple: Hamas has the ultimate weapon of mass destruction — its own children or, as I like to call this weapon, the Dead-Child WMD.

Hamas uses its children in two ways. Alive, they deter Israel; dead, they inflame the West. It is this second effect that triggers worldwide demands that Israel lay down her arms as she seeks to destroy rockets that fire and her homes, schools, hospitals, and civilian airports, and that she stop destroying the tunnels that were readied to facilitate a terrorist attack on Israel that would easily have rivaled 9/11 in its destructive power.

In utilizing its Dead-Child WMD, Hamas understands that Israel is a nation that values life, not just the lives of her own citizens, but the lives of all the innocents trapped in a terrorist madhouse. To that end, the IDF will immediately call off a rocket strike on a known Hamas arsenal and rocket launch pad if it sees even a single child (or, indeed, any civilian) in the area.

The problem for Hamas is that planting rockets in schools, playgrounds, and hospitals only defers pinpoint Israeli strikes, it doesn’t stop them. Israel will either try again when there are no visible civilians or it will eventually make the soul-searing decision that, if it is to save its own children, sometimes it will have to take action that harms Gazan children.

With regard to the West, Hamas’s use of its Dead-Child WMD is even more cynical and much more effective. Hamas has figured out that, when ignorant people, unaware of the real nature of the combatants in this war, see pictures of dead children, they will automatically cast Israel as the bad actor. In this scenario, Gaza – which freely elected the tyrannical, genocidal, brutal, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, misogynistic, homophobic Hamas to govern it – is transformed into the hapless and helpless victim of a predatory Jewish nation.

Of course, any WMD is useless if it just sits there. It requires a delivery system. Fat Man and Little Boy would have been merely decorative if it wasn’t for the Enola Gay. Hamas also requires a delivery system for its Dead-Child WMD. Without that delivery system, the Dead-Child WMD is useless. If you’re a death cult, dead children are just one of those things.

So who or what is the essential delivery system for the Dead-Child WMD, without which the WMD would be inoperative? Again, the answer is simple: The Western media has become an indispensable part of the Dead-Child WMD by becoming that weapon’s delivery system.

It’s the Western media that hungers for Gazan snuff films. It has an insatiable desire to fill its pages and screens with pictures of little corpses, of screaming children covered with blood, and of wailing women and children huddled around small, still bodies. This mentality demands a steady supply of dead bodies, the more heart-wrenching and disturbing the better. Put another way, the Western media is complicit in the death of those Palestinian children because, without its endless demands for more images showing small, bloodied bodies, the Dead-Child WMD would instantly become completely useless.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Roger L. Simon of PJ Media with Welcome To The 1930′s submitted by Nice Deb . It is a superb comment on what appears to be Déjà vu in one very disturbing aspect. It will move you – do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited 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!

08/6/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Dog Days Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Ah, the sultry days leading up to the end of summer, when the warm weather brings out the torpor and laziness in all of us and little gets accomplished except by the determined and the desperate.

Of course, in this election season, that group would include the members of the political class and a veritable army of consultants, pollsters, advance men, hangers on, hired muscle, campaign workers, groupies, sycophants, body servants, sound men, lighting directors… you name it. Just the thought of it reminds me of the old touring days, slogging down the highway to the next town… an unnatural way to live, but the common lot of political junkies, musicians, carnies and con men always on the way to the next gig, the next score…

The Romans were the first to label this time of year the Dog Days (diēs caniculārēs), noting that the skies were ruled by Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky at this time of year. And Herodotus, Plutarch, Caesar and Thucydides all noted the effect this time of year has on men… the influence of the days of the Dog Star giving rise to tempers, frustrations, gambles and many times, war and rumors of war. Some things never change. Or at least that’s what the smart money in Vegas, DC and other oracular venues where the entrails get read for omens says. The mood can get ugly very quickly.

http://frigginloon.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/dog-sleeping.gif

This week’s contest is dedicated to letting sleeping dogs lie… at least for the moment.

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!!

Tom White over at VA Right! is rapidly achieving guru status as a political expert in the Old Dominion. His latest mention was in a monthly Virginia Magazine, The Chesterfield Monthly.

This week, The MidKnight Review, Blazing Cat Fur, The Political Commenator 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 Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!