05/22/15
Hillary Clinton / Elizabeth Warren

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 05/22/15

The Watcher’s Council


Obama saves the Republic…


Anti-Stephanopoulos Artwork Posted Near ABC News Headquarters in Manhattan

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

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. – James Madison

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

Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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This week’s winning essay, Bookworm Room’sA phenomenal talk about the Constitution and how to make it meaningful to America’s young people, is a fascinating account of a presentation she attended on the Constitution, one she feels would be of great value to young citizens who are being indoctrinated by public education rather that educated. Here’s a slice:

I had the great pleasure today of attending a phenomenal talk by Prof. David Bobb, president of the Bill of Rights Institute. BRI uses original source documents to help teachers ans students understand America’s founding document and to see how it’s still relevant today. Its ultimate goal is to bring to an end our nation’s intellectual disengagement from the Constitution and to lead young people to “think the vote,” which is mindful, informed approach to elections, rather than to “rock the vote,” a mindless, drone-like approach to important issues that profoundly affect America’s young people.

Prof. Bobb could not be a better spokesman for his organization. To begin with, his bio is impressive:

David earned his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College, where he was the recipient of fellowships from the Pew, Earhart, and Bradley Foundation, as well as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

[snip]

David joined the Bill of Rights Institute in December 2013. Previously he was the founding director of two national centers for Hillsdale College, the Washington, D.C.-based Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, and the Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence, a civic education program. From 2001 to 2013 he also was lecturer in politics at Hillsdale College, where he taught courses in American politics and public policy.

David is the author of Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue (Thomas Nelson, 2013) and a contributing editor to The U.S. Constitution: A Reader (Hillsdale College Press, 2012). He has written articles and reviews for the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Washington Times, Boston Herald, and the Claremont Review of Books, among other publications. He has spoken widely to audiences in twenty-five states on topics including education reform, civic engagement, and the American Constitution.

In other words, Prof. Bobb knows his stuff and he is a natural communicator and teacher. His speaking style, something that always matters to me, is the essence of clarity. No fudging, no obfuscation, no blathering. Frankly, it was a challenge to take notes, because Prof. Bobb had no spare words or sentences in his speech. Every sentence was interesting and to the point. Since I don’t do shorthand, of necessity I had to condense some ideas and I know that I missed others. This means that, to the extent there are any errors in this post, they are definitely mine, not Prof. Bobb’s. With that warning, here goes:

If I were a more detail-oriented person, I would undoubtedly have noticed long ago that, on our one dollar bill, under the pyramid, there is a Latin inscription stating “novus ordo seclorum.“

And if I were a more curious person, I would have gone online to translate that phrase. For those who, like me, don’t remember their Latin and or who aren’t too curious about our dollar bill, the phrase means “New Order Of The Ages.” It is the Founders’ announcement to the world and to posterity that they were embarking upon a grand governmental experiment, one that had never been tried before. In the Federalist papers, Alexander Hamilton noted that Americans were about to take a step no other people had taken before:

” It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

Back in the day, then, the Founders, with a great deal of trepidation, were about to embark upon a planned government, one that would vest the maximum amount of power in the people and that, at the governmental level, would guard against the possibility of tyranny. After all, only a few years before, they had declared themselves free to part ways with England because, in their eyes, George III had become a tyrant by taking upon himself the powers of the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. They understood that human frailty is such that no one person should ever hold that much power over others.

The unique aspect of the new Constitution was the notion — the product of one hundred years of Enlightenment thinking (powered by an increasingly humanist Christianity) — that each person comes into the world with certain rights vested in him (or her). These are not gifts from the government that the government can then take a way. Instead, when a government infringes on these inherent rights, it’s the people who have the power to destroy the government and initiate a better one — and our Constitution was intended to define that better government.

The most exceptional thing about the Constitution — which is a contract between government and the American people — is the notion of separation of powers. England, of course, led the way with that idea, wresting from the King certain powers reserved for Parliament. This was a notion that was first institutionalized in the Magna Carta; was then tested under Charles I (who lost his head for picking “King power,” rather than “People power” when asked the question “who’s in charge here?”); and was re-tested under George III, who kept his head but lost America because he too thought that he could vest in himself the full powers of government.

The Articles of Confederation, the governing document that preceded the Constitution, did not have a tripartite approach to power. It created an executive office, but had no judiciary or legislature and, significantly, it did not give the executive office the power to tax. The office had, on the one hand, too much power and, on the other hand, no way to put all that power into effect. The Constitution would do better.

At this point in his talk, in light of the upcoming 2016 election, Prof. Bobb narrowed his his focus to the executive office. He noted that, although Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, the intellectual powerhouses behind the Constitution, devoutly believed in diffuse power as a bulwark against tyranny, they also understood that, to the extent they vested power in a specific institution, that power had to be meaningful. To that end, they didn’t try to create a weak executive by splitting that power among different individuals or groups.

It was Hamilton who envisioned as president an individual who, while hedged about with constitutional safeguards, could act with “decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch.” After all, in times of national emergency, one can’t have a committee laboriously working its way to a tame and untimely bureaucratic response.

While the president could be active, decisive, and secretive, he still had to have limitations — and control over these limitations had to be placed in an organization equally invested in protecting and advancing its power. Or, as James Madison said, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” The Constitution decided that three entities, each jealously protecting its power, would ensure that no single part of that trio would be able to aggregate too much power, the inevitable path to tyranny.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was The Baron at Gates of Vienna with a piece that resonates a great deal right now, Playing Nice submitted by Joshuapundit.

The Baron looks at western society’s surprising tendency to whitewash Islamist terrorism, deliberately distancing it from its obvious religious inspiration and even blaming the victims on many occasions for the ensuing atrocities. I think he’s on to something here when he talks about a certain very prevalent mindset as the cause of this dysfunction.

Well, that, and the billions of petro dollars from certain countries in the Middle East to universities, to various think tanks and lobbyists registered and unregistered, and especially to politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion and The Right Planet were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

05/20/15
George Stephanopoulos

Watcher’s Council Nominations – No Strings Attached Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://i0.wp.com/media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/gv051815dAPC20150518114519.jpg?w=540

Phony, corrupt little meat puppet…

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!!

Our own Tom White at VA Right continues his successful march to become the Guru of Virginia political bloggers with a radio interview May 16th with John Fredericks, the biggest talk show host in the state.

This week, The Pirate’s Cove and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion 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!

05/15/15
Obama's Middle East Summit

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 05/15/15

The Watcher’s Council

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

If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Those whom do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. – George Santayana

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

https://askmarion.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/right2bplanet.jpg?w=500

This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’s Which ‘Ism’ Will We Choose?, is about creeping totalitarianism, with a comparison with how its taken over in the past to events today. Here’s a slice:

Godwin’s Law … it goes a little something like this:

“… [I]f an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism….”

Undoubtedly, there is a certain amount of truth in Godwin’s adage. Since World War II, there probably has not been a U.S. president who hasn’t been directly compared to Adolf Hitler, at some point or another. As a matter of fact, it didn’t take me very long to dig up Hitler memes and analogies for a number of U.S. president via a Google search.

Often times such direct comparisons of U.S. presidents to Hitler are grossly hyperbolic at best, and utterly unconscionable at worst. Despite the fact how one may feel about current and past presidents, equating them on the same level with one of the worst monsters in human history does indeed minimize the terrible suffering of those who fell under the tyrannical and brutal reign of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Adolf Hitler and his henchmen have come to represent the epitome of evil, and rightly so. Nazism has become the benchmark used to measure all things evil. The question for me is not whether a current president is on equal par with Adolf Hitler. I don’t happen to believe any U.S. president, present or past, is as guilty of murderous and ruthless fanaticism as Adolf Hitler—on that point, let me be clear. My point is that Hitler and his notorious Third Reich provides the ultimate yardstick by which we can measure how far a government or nation is marching down the road toward total state control and merciless dictatorship. The mere act of using the Nazis as a measuring stick is not equating the thing being measured as being necessarily one and the same. Instead, the question for me is whether the U.S.A. is moving away from fascism or toward it. If we examine the rise and fall of Hitler’s Third Reich from a historical perspective, how does it compare to what we see going on today? This is a valid exercise—and a necessary one, in my opinion.

Perhaps someone who experienced the oppression and horrors of Nazism is better able to illustrate my points. I’ll just throw in a few of modern-day examples for consideration as well.

Kitty Werthmann, 87, survived World War II. She was an Austrian citizen and lived under Nazi rule throughout the war. A few years back she spoke to an American audience about her experiences during the war, and how the current political climate in this country greatly concerns her. She strongly feels the need to warn Americans about the horrors of socialism.

In her opening comments (see video above), Kitty Werthmann points out how Western media often times portrays Hitler’s annexation of Austria with Germany in 1938 (Anschluss) as an armed invasion, replete with troops and tanks. Without a doubt, German troops did indeed move into Austria at the time. But what is often overlooked, according to Werthmann, is the fact that the Austrian people overwhelmingly elected Adolf Hitler by ninety-eight percent of the vote—by means of the ballot box. How could this happen? What would lead Austria—a predominately Christian nation—to elect a monster like Adolf Hitler?

In the late 30s, Austria was in a very deep depression, with thirty percent unemployment, and twenty-five percent inflation. Austrian banks were charging twenty-five percent interest on loans. Businesses and farmers were going broke. Austrians could not afford to pay their taxes. Unions were calling for strikes; and factories were being closed down. Worse yet, the financial chaos was leading to riots in the cities. Entire blocks were burned down. Austrian police were ill-equipped to stop the ongoing destruction, according to Kitty Werthmann.

As Austria descended into despair, the Austrian people looked to their neighbor in the north, Germany, and saw full employment and a high-standard of living. As Kitty Werthmann puts it (emphasis added), “Hitler did not act like a monster; he did not speak like a monster; he spoke like an American politician.”

The Austrian people petitioned their government for a plebiscite (an election) to merge Nazi Germany with Austria. Besides—despite what Barack Obama might believe (cf. sarcasm)—the Austrians didn’t speak “Austrian”; they spoke German. The Austrians and Germans had a common heritage.

What is particularly chilling about Kitty Werthmann’s recollections, are the disturbing similarities of the policies implemented by the Nazis in Austria to the current policies and initiatives being instituted and promoted right here in the United States today.

For example, one of the first policies implemented by the Nazis in Austria was a National I.D. Austrians could not board a train or bus without showing their National I.D. card.

Following 9/11, the U.S. federal government “began to look at ways to increase security surrounding state identification cards and driver’s licenses,” allegedly “in an attempt to prevent further terrorism and/or unlawful entry into and out of the country.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn’s pungent comments on the Garland, Texas terrorist attack and the reaction to it in certain quarters in Stay Quiet and You’ll Be Okay”, submitted by The Noisy Room. It’s Mark Steyn at his best.

Here are this week’s full results. Both Ask Marion and The Independent Sentinel were unable to vote this week, but neither was affected by the usual 2/3 voe penalty for not voting:

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners:

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

05/13/15
Islamist Confusion

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Islamist Confusion Edition

The Watcher’s Council

71 Virgins.

Graphic courtesy of the awesome Chris Muir at Day by Day.

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:

Just a reminder… Don Surber’s new book “Exceptional Americans” is available at Create Space or Amazon and is a great read, take it from me.

This week, The Gates Of Vienna, Simply Jews, Fausta’s Blog and SooperMexican 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!

05/12/15
Benjamin Weingarten

Author exposes the ‘cabal’ of leftists and corporatists unwittingly supporting jihad through U.S. refugee resettlement

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

Recently there have been several stories published regarding secretive American refugee resettlement programs under which a disproportionately high percentage of Muslim immigrants are being dispersed across the United States, an issue that Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has brought to the State Department with respect to a town in his Congressional district.

Ann Corcoran, a patriotic citizen living out on a farm in rural Maryland has been the providing oversight that Congress has not on this issue for years via her blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch.

Based on her findings, Ms. Corcoran has recently published a book, the subject of our in-depth interview, titled “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America.”

In the book, Ms. Corcoran makes the case that the federal government at the urging of the United Nations is accepting thousands of immigrants each year, including from Muslim-majority countries hostile to the U.S., without concern for assimilation or any of the national security implications of such decisions. Corcoran believes that these programs aid and abet those individuals seeking to fulfill an element of jihad of hijra, in a bid to ultimately spread Islam and Shariah law in America.

Corcoran explains:

The hijra … is the Islamic doctrine of immigration. And Muhammad instructed his followers that one of the five responsibilities … that Muslims are supposed to do — one of them is to migrate and that migration is a form of jihad. And the refugee resettlement program as it is now constructed in the United States is now bringing large numbers of Muslims into the country from countries that hate us. We’ve brought over 100,000 Somalis, we have brought over 100,000 Iraqis — and most of the Iraqis … are Muslim. We’re about to admit potentially 11,000 Syrians, 93% so far that have come into the country are Muslim — into the country that the United Nations have picked for us. And thus, I’m making the case that the refugee resettlement program — that is by the way where the UN picks our refugees, U.S. State Department distributes them around the country is in fact a significant contributor to the hijra to America.

While Americans may be aware of the fact that as Corcoran argues during our interview, there are refugees being resettled all over the country with little to no local control over such programs or federal oversight — assisted by leftist religious groups that are taxpayer funded — perhaps less noticed is an alliance between leftist activists and big business enabling jihadists to come into the country, as we have seen for example in the Somali population of the Minneapolis area.

Corcoran explains:

… [T]he financial driving factor behind this … is cheap labor, which goes across all of these immigrant areas. The meat packers out in places like Minnesota have enormous power. And they’re working with left-wing foundations to convince local elected officials that this is all just a wonderful thing, diversity is a wonderful beautiful thing, but there’s really — money is driving this… And of course there’s the ideology, and the need for Democrat voters, or the wish for more Democrat voters… But there’s a big money component to all of this. And that’s why you see these elite Republicans supporting this program because it involves big money, big business, I call it “big meat” for example.

Corcoran continues:

… I should mention that for example with the meat packers, they were using illegal immigrant labor for the longest time. Well first off, they used to pay I’m told by people who worked in the meat industry, that they used to pay very well, good wages to American workers. Then they discovered the illegal alien. Well that didn’t work out so well because they were getting busted. And then the next thing they discovered was the refugees as a source of cheap labor. And it’s especially mean to the refugees I think because the refugees are captive essentially — they can’t just walk away from the job or go back to their home country or anything, so they’re really captive cheap labor… So there’s a big driving force there behind it. And it’s a convenient thing — you’ve got the hard leftist who wants the Democrat voters joining forces with the elite Republicans who with big business and financial backers — and it’s a terrible combination that’s a juggernaut essentially against the average American citizen worker.

As a microcosm of what is occurring, Ms. Corcoran told us about a situation she is studying that has recently come to light in St. Cloud, Minnesota:

Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America
Featured Book
Title: Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America (Civilization Jihad Reader Series) (Volume 2)
Author: Ann Corcoran
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… There’s a couple of men out in Minnesota near St. Cloud who did some research on their own, and here’s what they found … St. Cloud by the way is part of [former Rep.] Michelle Bachmann’s district … [T]here’s apparently a foundation called the Blandin Foundation — a left-wing foundation — that takes elected officials, and it’s hooked up with I’m told The Hormel Foundation which is a meat company foundation, and they take elected officials and community leaders and they train them for a week with this diversity training and then they send them back to their communities expecting them to carry the water on how wonderful diversity is for the community. And as a reward, the community gets little grants for little things that they might need … the community might get a new soccer field if they’re sufficiently welcoming… So there’s this cabal of foundations — left-leaning foundations, the meat industry and elected officials — all working together to shove diversity down the throats of their communities, and the community is rewarded with grant money if they’re sufficiently welcoming to the new Somalis. But then there’s this other factor in there: The local cronyism kicks in and the local builder gets the job of building the new subsidized housing facility that they’re gonna put the Somalis in. And the car dealer is happy to get money selling cars to the new refugees, so that there’s this money component that flows through the whole thing. In the meantime the average citizen out there who says “Whoa whoa whoa, this is changing the culture of our community,” is shoved out by this combination of supposed Republicans in some cases, and foundations, left-leaning foundations and big business… And of course they don’t care about the jihad aspects of all of this… It’s all about money I’m sorry to say.

During our interview, which you can find in full below, we also had a chance to discuss several other issues including:

  • How Ms. Corcoran became an activist on the issue of refugee resettlement
  • The theological background of “hijra”
  • The size and scope of America’s refugee resettlement programs
  • The danger of diversity visas
  • The complicity of leftist religious groups with the government in perpetuating these programs
  • The states rights issues at play
  • And much much more

Note: The links to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.