04/18/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results — 04/18/14

The Watcher’s Council


After the week all of us have had, I think we can relate…


A Young Huntress And Her Golden Eagle

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the records of cyberspace.

This week has been a celebration of hope and freedom, with Passover starting last Monday night and continuing through the weekend until next Tuesday. Which of course also coincides with Holy Week, which culminates this weekend with Easter Sunday. This linkage is entirely appropriate, since Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover ceremonies and the famous Last Supper was a Passover Seder… the ritual meal where Jews all over the world retell the story of the Exodus, celebrate their G-d-given freedom and eat the unleavened bread, matzoh, to commemorate their ancestor’s journey and deliverance from bondage and slavery.

The story of the Resurrection is a story of freedom too… freedom of the soul and a promise of eternal life to believing Christians who understand what the rolling away of the stones means for them.

Both holidays change their dates on our calender from year to year, Passover or Pessah in Hebrew, because it is based on the centuries old Hebrew calender and Easter because the early Church fathers determined that Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year, which always occurs after Passover.

However, it’s rare that the two holidays occur this close together and in this momentous year, when Judeo-Christian values seem to be under siege, I likewise see in that a sign of hope for the future.

I and my friends on the Watcher’s Council wish you and yours Chag Pessach Sameach and a blessed Easter.

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” – George Orwell

Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” – Hadith Bukhari (84:57)

“People ask me if I have some kind of death wish, to keep saying the things I do. The answer is no: I would like to keep living. However, some things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.” – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This Week’s winner, Joshuapundit’sAn Honor Killing On Campus, is my reaction to the decision of Brandeis University to withdraw an honorary degree and a chance to address commencement ceremonies from writer, thinker and women’s rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, under pressure from Muslim Brotherhood fronts and a few scared and clueless lefties. Here’s a slice:

Regular members of Joshua’s Army may recall the name Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

She was raised as a Muslima in Somalia and Saudi Arabia, survived female genital mutilation, beatings, abuse and various aspects of Somalia’s internecine clan warfare and became a devout member of the Muslim Brotherhood, after which her questions about Islam and the life she was leading led her to escape being ‘given’ in marriage to a distant male relative she had never met.and flee to Holland. There, she was granted Dutch citizenship and eventually became a member of the Dutch parliament where she became a voice alerting the people of her adopted country to the menace of radical Islam, and against the abuse of Muslim women and children in the Netherland’s Islamic ghettos.

She later collaborated with the late filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on a film called ‘Submission’, which chronicled the plight of many Muslim women victimized as she was by the traditional tribal culture.The film caused a firestorm of protest among Muslims. Van Gogh was murdered in broad daylight by a fanatic Muslim while cycling to work one morning in 2004 and then had his corpse ritually mutilated. A note was pinned to Van Gogh’s corpse promising Ayaan Hirsi Ali that she was the next target, with explicit Qu’rannic details of her `crimes against Islam’ as an ‘apostate’, a death sentence in Islam. Other death threats followed, and Ayaan has lived under 24 hour security protection ever since.

She went through the experience of being forced to move out of her apartment because her Dutch neighbors were annoyed that the security protection ‘inconvenienced them’ and because they were afraid that the violence directed towards Ayaan Hirshi Ali might involve them. And the Dutch government, which was obligated to pay for her security as a member of Parliament also disliked the cost, the inconvenience and the political stigma of protecting an ‘enemy of Islam’ in a country that’s over 25% Muslim, so they found a trumped up reason to take away her citizenship and force her to step down from her seat in parliament. Whereupon, she came here to America and became a noted author and speaker. You can read her story in her books ‘Infidel’, ‘Nomad’,and ‘The Caged Virgin.’

So Brandeis decided to honor Ayaan Hirshi Ali. She was to be their commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree.

But when the local chapters of Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR and the Muslim Student’s Association heard about this, they went absolutely ballistic and were able to rope in enough guilty and frightened non-Muslim Lefties to go along with the mob to get Ayaan’s honorary degree ‘rescinded’ and her invitation to speak revoked.

“This is a real slap in the face to Muslim students,” said senior Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Muslim Student Association who created the petition said before the university withdrew the honor.

“But it’s not just the Muslim community that is upset but students and faculty of all religious beliefs,” she said. “A university that prides itself on social justice and equality should not hold up someone who is an outright Islamophobic.”

Thomas Doherty, chairman of American studies, refused to sign the faculty letter. He said it would have been great for the university to honor “such a courageous fighter for human freedom and women’s rights, who has put her life at risk for those values.”

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group, said, “It is unconscionable that such a prestigious university would honor someone with such openly hateful views.”

The organization sent a letter to university President Frederick Lawrence on Tuesday requesting that it drop plans to honor Ali.

“This makes Muslim students feel very uneasy,” Joseph Lumbard, an American convert to Islam and the chairman of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, said in an interview. “They feel unwelcome here.”

The university said that the decision had been made after a discussion between Ali and university President Frederick Lawrence.According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that ‘discussion’ consisted of a phone call made simply to inform her after the decision had already be made.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a superb piece on the Nevada standoff between the Bundy family and the Bureau of Land Management, The First Amendment is Not an Area, submitted by The Noisy Room. Mark Steyn is absolutely on fire in this one… A must-read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only The Colossus of Rhodey was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the 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!

04/16/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Yippee-Ki-Yay 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:

The Council In Action!

This week, Midknight Review, 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 (which 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 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 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!

04/11/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 04/11/14

The Watcher’s Council


We Stand With Cliven Bundy

Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“In war, truth is the first casualty” – Aeschylus

“We maintain peace through our strength; appeasement only invites aggression” – President Ronald Reagan, 1983

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 8:11

This week’s winner was Joshuapundit’s Yes, The Peace Talks Are Dead – And An Opportunity For Real Peace Comes Alive. Here’s the real story of how things imploded and why, and how the Obama Administration set things up for failure. I attempt to wrap up the post mortum and show that there’s an opportunity for real peace here, what I think it would take and what it might look like. Here’s a slice:

While neither side has formally acknowledged it, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead, and even John Kerry has thrown in the towel.

The Obama Team would never admit it, but they’re fully aware that it was Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas that pulled the trigger and ended the talks, and his own controlled Palestinian media proudly admits it. Both Palestinian and Israeli media outlets on Thursday night quoted Abbas as saying, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed on Tuesday to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions.

Kerry and the rest of the Obama team managed to arm twist the Israelis into discussing a further release of convicted terrorists along with releasing the fourth batch provided Abbas rescinded the UN membership applications and agreed to extend the deadline of the talks.

Instead of agreeing to what amounted to another gimmee, Abbas came out with a whole new set of pre-conditions to continue talks, conditions he knew no Israeli government could accept. According to Abbas’ own Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, the new pre-conditions included formal Israeli recognition of the borders of ‘Palestine’ as the pre-67 lines with all of East Jerusalem as its capitol; the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including convicted terrorist leaders Marwan Barghouti, Fuad Shweiki and Ahmad Saadat; a Israeli building freeze in East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria; Israeli citizenship for 15,000 Palestinians under a ‘family reunification program’ essentially a recognition of a Palestinian ‘right of return’; the end of Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza; the right of return for PLO terrorists who were exiled to European countries under an agreement between the EU and Israel after the 2002 Palestinian siege of the Church of the Nativity; forbidding the IDF to enter Area A, the part of Judea and Samaria under PA control which would essentially create an escape zone for terrorists after attacks on Israelis since the PA has never jailed anyone for murdering an Israeli; and Palestinian control of parts of Area C, the areas now under full Israeli sovereignty.

And that was just to continue listening to Abbas say no for another few months!

Kerry’s deputy Martin Indyk mediated a nine hour meeting between head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho and tried to cable together some semblance of a reasonable platform, but he was yelled down by the Palestinian negotiators and the entire meeting turned into a shouting match, with even the ever flexible Tzipi Livni unable to contain herself. At one point, Livni reportedly demanded of Erekat that Abbas rescind the applications to the 15 UN organizations and conventions he’d submitted in order to negotiate any other preconditions. Erekat flatly refused, and Livni announced the next day that Israel would definitely not release that fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists.

When Indyk tried to reason with the Palestinians, saying that any agreement had to consider Israel’s security considerations, Faraj snapped back that the Palestinians weren’t there to discuss Israeli security, but to negotiate over a timetable to get all of their demands met.

Things went quickly downhill from there, with the Palestinians threatening to join even more international bodies and take prosecute Israel for ‘war crimes’ at the International Criminal Court and the Israelis promising retaliation if they did so.

Abbas never had any intention of actually negotiating. Even Saeb Erekat admitted earlier this month that Abbas was staying in the talks just to get the terrorist releases.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matt WalshHey gay rights militants: your fascism is showing, submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Walsh’s defiant blowback to the Gay Mafia and progressive fascism in general, and it makes for some stirring reading.

Okay, 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 special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

04/9/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The New Fascism Edition

The Watcher’s Council

It’s all over the place, isn’t it? ‘Nuff said.

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 off, we have a party to go to, we do. Nice Deb’s actual birthday was April 6th, but we’ll celebrate it in style today!

First off, a cake. I chose a double Dutch chocolate number, with chocolate ganache icing and just a lil’ bit of rum for flavor.

Beverage? I thought some Kristal Brut would go nicely. Can’t go wrong with a classic, yes?

Our friend Debra is fairly new to the Council. Back last June, when a vacancy opened up, I happened across her site and really liked what this no nonsense conservative lady was putting out. Her response when I asked if she’d be interested in joining the Council? “Sure, sounds like fun.”

You see, that’s the other side of her persona. Among her other attributes, she has a really good sense of humor, so I knew right then she’d fit in well with the rest of the gang. And she certainly has, to say the least.

Not that it should be any surprise, of course. As she’s shown me and her other Council mates on many occasions, she really is Nice Deb.

Happy Birthday, Debra… and many, many more.

THE COUNCIL IN ACTION:

This week, Midknight Review, Right Reason, Maggie’s Notebook and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some fine 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 (which 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 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!

04/4/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 04/04/14

The Watcher’s Council


Premieres Sunday, 04/06/14 at 9/8c on AMC

Based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, AMC’s TURN tells the untold story of America’s first spy ring. A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War, TURN centers on Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his childhood friends to form the Culper Ring — an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war but also gave birth to modern spycraft.

“Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” – President Ronald Reagan

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” – Ambrose Beirce, The Devil’s Dictionary

“A whitewashed crow soon shows black again” – Chinese proverb

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

Even taking into consideration the normal high level of quality in both the Council and Non-Council entries, this was a tough call with some exceptional pieces to choose from and the close vote tally reflects it.

For instance, we had a tie this week in the Council category which I, as Watcher, have to break.

On the one hand, we had a superb in depth look at the scandal of Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist, by The Noisy Room, an example of how a poster boy for San Francisco’s Progressive set, presented one face in public and a totally different one in private.

Call it a political kind of Dorian Gray tale.

On the other hand, there was Joshuapundit’s effort, Sharia Rears Its Head In Pennsylvania, a cautionary look at how Islamic Sharia law is affecting American jurisprudence.

The choice for me was an easy one… here’s a slice of The Noisy Room’s excellent Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist:

For years now, Trevor Loudon has warned about Progressives, their corruption and their oft connection to the Communist underworld… especially in Asian circles of influence. A member of the California Asian Pacific Island Legislative Caucus, Yee has some splainin’ to do… Leland Yee is an excellent example of this ilk of Progressive politician. Yee just got caught stepping in criminal crap big time. This one is sheer poetry.

But he wasn’t the only one this week and he is the third in California alone. It would seem the FBI has developed a hankering for corrupt Democrats suddenly. From bribery in Pennsylvania, where charges were dropped because the judge deemed them ‘racist,’ to the Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina resigning over bribes taken for business favors, it just keeps getting better and better.

Enter Leland Yee, originally — wait for it — from Hawaii. Not only is Lee connected to the Communist underworld and political power brokers in California, he’s been a bad, bad boy and has been gun running in connection to radical Islamic terrorists. A staunch gun control advocate, one has to savor the irony that he was suppressing gun rights, so he could sell arms on the black market to his constituents. A hypocrite extraordinaire, Yee called for Progressive-style transparency and guns for those who could afford them.

You’ve got to give it to Lee, he sported a big set as he flipped the bird to authorities and was running for Secretary of State. That would have been hard to do with cuffs on and behind bars, just sayin’. He’s now withdrawn from the race with more pressing matters to attend to. A 137-page, FBI-sworn affidavit against California State Sen. Leland Yee, as well as over two dozen other individuals, has been filed. This is some good stuff… entertainment and enlightenment for the whole country.

Charges include not only gun running, but wire fraud, money laundering, corruption and bribery. And it gets better. The affidavit contains alleged murder-for-hire plots involving a political consultant close to Yee, as well as large international weapons trafficking operations. These operations included automatic weapons, shoulder-fired missiles, rocket launchers and heavy artillery. Anyone for adding treason to the charges? These weapons were allegedly being brought in from Russia and Islamic rebels in the Philippines.

California, we have a problem:

Out in California, State Senator Leland Yee, a longtime California politician who was praised for his efforts to make government more transparent and authored gun control legislation, was arrested Wednesday, accused of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud. According to the NY Daily News, Yee discussed helping the undercover FBI agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles, and showed the agent the entire process of how to get those weapons from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines into the United States, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

Yee performed “official acts” in exchange for donations from undercover FBI agents, as he sought to dig himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed San Francisco mayoral bid, according to court documents. Yee is also accused of accepting $10,000 in January 2013 from an undercover agent in exchange for his making a call to the California Department of Public Health in support of a contract under consideration with the agency.

Another individual named in the affidavit is Raymond Chow, aka “Shrimp Boy,” the former leader of a Chinese criminal organization with ties to Hong Kong. Chow is accused of money laundering, conspiracy to receive and transport stolen property and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.

Yee is the third Democrat senator from California to face charges this year along with Sen. Rod Wright, convicted of perjury and voter fraud, and Sen. Ron Calderon, indicted on federal corruption charges. Wright and Calderon are both taking a voluntary leave of absence, WITH pay of course– so typical.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon with an absolutely magnificent take down of Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, entitled The Grandfather and submitted by Joshuapundit. This is definitely a must-read piece.

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!