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!

08/19/14

Listen to the American People: Secure Border, No Amnesty

By: Michael Johns

“He was tortured, beaten to death, strangled and then set on fire,” Laura Wilkerson said earlier this month in McAllen, Texas. She was recalling her beloved 18-year-old son Josh, who was brutally murdered by illegal alien Hermilio Moralez in November 2010.

The details of Josh Wilkerson’s murder are gruesome: Moralez, in the United States illegally from Belize, violently kicked Wilkerson in the stomach, slicing both his liver and spine and rupturing his spleen. The illegal alien then proceeded to beat Wilkerson over the head with a closet rod with such force that the rod ultimately shattered in four pieces. With Wilkerson defenseless and motionless, Moralez then took two dollars from Wilkerson’s wallet, purchased gasoline, and set Wilkerson’s motionless body aflame. His mugshot reveals a young man smiling smugly. Later, at Moralez’s trial, the illegal alien would speak from the stand about how he was a “trained killer” and that his “killing instincts” had taken over. There was no remorse.

Young Josh Wilkerson is just another life lost and another cost paid in a long list of lives lost and costs paid because Washington, D.C. policymakers continue to fail to do what logic and all sensibility dictate should have been done decades ago: Securing the United States border with Mexico so that illegals are not afforded illegal access to the United States.

The U.S. federal government’s multi-decade failure to secure its 1,989-mile border with Mexico might well stand as the most glaring example of both parties’ ongoing refusal to be responsive to the American people’s overwhelming belief that American border security (as Josh Wilkerson’s murder demonstrated) is now perhaps the most critical issue facing the nation, presenting increasingly grave economic, security and other threats.

It’s worth asking the obvious question: With more than 35,000 illegals monthly now crossing the border into the U.S., why exactly has this border not been sealed? Laughingly, the Obama administration has said that the border with Mexico is more secure than it has ever been. It’s a sentiment shared by Congressional Democrats. “The border is secure,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid absurdly stated last month. Other policymakers acknowledge the obvious, but obfuscate the issue, speaking wrongly of supposedly insurmountable challenges associated with keeping illegals from entering the country illegally.

The reality, of course, is the very opposite. The U.S. border with Mexico is consciously not secure because (for decades now) both parties have seen a political self-interest in ensuring it is left unsecured. Democrats, envisioning ultimately granting citizenship to these illegals, see the influx as politically advantageous: Millions of largely government and benefit-dependent illegals who, once afforded amnesty, will (Democrats believe) represent a groundswell of additional votes for their party and its candidates, possibly ushering in generations of Democrat victories in national and regional elections. Similarly, some Republicans, influenced by the desire of some private sector forces to attract cheap, illegal and sometimes sub-minimum wage labor resources, see the influx as a means to breaking organized labor and serving as a deflationary force in the largely blue collar and labor positions these illegals are likely to assume. Never stated openly, the reality is that the U.S. does have a policy on the border, and it is–scandalously–to keep it open.

In many respects, it is exactly this sort of unresponsiveness of elected officials to the concerns of the American people that gave birth to America’s Tea Party movement in 2009. Five years later, the practical reality of Washington’s unresponsiveness is such that this crisis may now well be left to the Tea Party movement to solve. Should the Tea Party embrace this cause, as it must, the movement likely will be largely shunned by Washington elites, but they will have an ally in the American people, who see the seriousness of it, resoundingly support logical conclusions and importantly believe this administration has been at least complicit and possibly even a force behind the latest influx of illegals that now threatens the nation.

Support for border security and opposition to amnesty is broadly popular. In a Rasmussen Poll taken last month, on July 17, a clear majority of likely voters (59 percent) were clear: They want those who have entered this country illegally to be returned to their home countries. And the American people are under no illusions about who holds the blame for the current border crisis: Another Rasmussen poll, also taken last month, found that nearly half of likely voters (46 percent) believe the Obama administration, through its policies and statements, has contributed to the crisis. An overwhelming majority of Americans (58 percent, according to the same poll) believe the top priority in the crisis is for the U.S. to gain control of its border.

The arguments for urgently securing the border with Mexico and opposing Washington’s amnesty initiatives are extensive and they strike at the very heart of the issues that most concern Americans:

1.) National security. The American people have patiently undergone extensive and intrusive governmental measures since the September 11, 2011 attacks, ostensibly designed to protect the country against an al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda-aligned terrorist attack. They can be forgiven for asking a reasonable question: What point exists in prohibiting American citizens from boarding U.S. airlines with, say, 3.5 ounces of non-flammable liquid, as opposed to the mandated 3.4 ounces, when literally any non-citizen–including the bloodiest of terrorists–can simply walk across our southern border?

As it is today, our government cannot answer basic questions about the flood of illegals across our border. How many illegals exactly have crossed the border and are in this country? There are only estimates (more than 12 million and as many as 20 million). Where in the U.S. are these illegals located exactly? Answer: Just about everywhere, but no government agency can say exactly. And how many of these millions have crossed the border illegally with malicious intentions for this country? We do know that they have included members of a broad range of global terrorist movements, violent gangs (including arguably the most violent, MS-13) and felony criminals, including murderers, violent criminals, rapists, and sexual offenders. And even when (by good fortune alone) they have been detained, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have released thousands of these illegal felons into the general U.S. population. As evidence of the utter lack of border security to criminals and potential terrorists, videographer James O’Keefe last week released video of him crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the U.S. dressed as Osama bin Laden. What barriers did O’Keefe encounter in entering the U.S. dressed as the infamous al-Qaeda terror leader? None.

2.) Jobs. America’s job crisis is vastly worse than what one might gather from the numbers released monthly by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, which systematically exclude the many millions of Americans who comprise the long-term unemployed and those who have simply given up looking for work. Including these, there are roughly 102 million working-age Americans without jobs as of August 2014, an all-time high and growing. A stunning study released by the Center for Immigration Studies this past June found that all of the net gain in American jobs created since 2000 has gone to illegal and legal immigrants—that is, there has been no job growth for 14 years for native U.S. citizens.

It is absurd that we must state the obvious: Basic supply and demand economics indicate that granting amnesty to the estimated 12 to 20 million illegals now in this country will only further exacerbate the U.S. employment crisis, both adding to the existing number of jobless Americans and also contributing to wage deflation (lower pay) as a greater number of Americans compete for a fewer number of existing jobs. As such, it should not prove surprising that sealing the border and opposing amnesty are agenda items very high on the agenda of traditionally progressive constituencies, including labor unions and African-Americans, both of whom correctly see amnesty and a failure to secure the border as a recipe for higher unemployment and wage deflation, especially in traditional blue collar and lower wage occupations.

3.) Public resources. It is perhaps the greatest irony of all that progressives who clamor for vastly greater federal and state funding for health care, education, transportation and other public services are also those spearheading the opposition to border security initiatives and amnesty support. The influx of millions of illegals has only made all of these mounting problems worse as illegals consume these resources (and, of course, pay no offsetting federal or state taxes in exchange for them).

4.) Fairness. Many millions of foreigners from all over the world are, right now, legally seeking U.S. citizenship. The legal process to obtain U.S. citizenship is largely cumbersome, bureaucratic and lengthy, but many follow this process exactly and patiently as required. Under amnesty proposals, however, these foreigners, those we might call “legal immigrants,” continue waiting in their foreign lands as those who crossed our southern border in violation of U.S. federal law are rewarded with U.S. residency, access to many of our country’s public benefits and infrastructure, and ultimately citizenship. These illegals will enjoy the backing of an entire U.S. political lobby that (motivated almost exclusively by its own selfish political and economic agendas) seeks to reward their lawless entry with the same highly-coveted U.S. citizenship denied those now following the process legally.

5.) Will of the American people. There are few issues on which Americans are more united than the fact that the borders of the country should be secure and that those who enter this country illegally in violation of U.S. federal law should not, in turn, be rewarded. The American people remain understandably compassionate towards those fleeing tyranny, but they are united in their logical, on-target conclusion that open borders and amnesty are harming the U.S. in multiple ways. Indeed, perhaps never before in the modern history of the conservative movement, has there been such an enticing opportunity for conservatives (and now the Tea Party movement) to build political alliances with unions, minorities and low-wage workers than there is right now in supporting an urgent securing of the U.S. border and opposing amnesty, showing that the Tea Party and conservative movements stand with working Americans and the rule of law.

Of course, all of these are facts lost on most Washington policymakers who are increasingly disengaged from the sentiments and concerns of the American people they purport to represent. Americans in 2014 are hurting. Failing to secure the border and granting amnesty to millions of illegals stands to further inflame these problems: damaging the already anemic U.S. job market, increasing crime and the demand on public resources, and perhaps even opening the door for what Americans have feared most since September 11, 2001: a coordinated terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland. These are deadly serious problems. But a political movement that can, right now, understand and communicate these facts with the urgency they require is likely to find broad support among the American people.

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!