12/17/14
Cuban Flag

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Cuba Betrayed Edition

The Watcher’s Council

With today’s announcement by President Obama that the U.S. will be normalizing relations with Cuba, American foreign policy took a very dark turn. Just at the point when this hideous regime was on the verge of collapse, our president took action that will not promote freedom for the Cuban people, but will throw an economic lifeline to a brutal dictatorship to enable it to stay in power. Disgraceful and shameful beyond words.

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!!

Greg at Rhymes With Right was quoted in Breitbart.

My latest, Fear And Loathing – Labor And Livni’s Hatnua Join Forces is up at the Times of Israel.

This week, The Political Commentator, IOwnTheWorldReport.Com and Blazing Cat Fur 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!

12/12/14
American Pinata - UnsavoryAgents

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

The Watcher’s Council


UnsavoryAgents – American Pinata

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

Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. – Oscar Wilde

Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice… There is no revolution without violence. – Agitator at the Ferguson riots, as quoted by Reuters.

“You are hard at work madam,” said the man near her.
“Yes,” Answered Madam Defarge; “I have a good deal to do.”
“What do you make, Madam?”
“Many things.”
“For instance —”
“For instance,” returned Madam Defarge, composedly,
“Shrouds.”
The man moved a little further away, as soon as he could, feeling it mightily close and oppressive. – Charles Dickens in his novel about the French Revolution, A Tale Of Two Cities.

We’re liberators, not looters. – Al Sharpton

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--bd_Q_iBJfY/TsYx44QOX9I/AAAAAAAAAm8/QonbRkHSjmw/s400/Noisy%2Broom%2B2.jpg

This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’s The Movers and Shakers Behind the Ferguson Riots, explores the Ferguson protests and riots and is pretty much about what the title implies it is, a well written in-depth examination about a subject not much covered in the media… the plethora of very well organized groups who organized it and orchestrated it. Here’s a slice:

The Ferguson riots are not what they seem and those behind them are professionals. One of the top organizers of the protesters for the Ferguson riots is Lisa Fithian, someone who was intimately involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement. She has been deemed “Professor Occupy.” In 2005 and 2008, Lisa Fithian, Root Activist Network of Trainers, (2005), Alliance for Community Trainers Inc. (2008), was voted onto the Steering Committee for United for Peace and Justice. United for Peace and Justice is a partner organization of the George Soros linked Institute for Policy Studies. Several Marxist organizations are involved in the UFPJ leadership, but the most influential has been the Communist Party USA.

Lisa Fithian joined the labor movement through the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute in 1993. She is considered a legendary organizer. She also served as a human shield in actions conducted by the International Solidarity Movement in the Palestinian cities of Jenin and Nablus and has accused Israel of “slaughter[ing] Palestinians every single day in Gaza and the Occupied territories.” These are just a few of her credits.

Fithian is known for her statement: “create crisis, because crisis is that edge where change is possible.” Sound familiar? It should, it is straight out of Holder’s and Obama’s playbook, as well as Marxism in general. Fithian was a lead organizer in the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization that devolved into violence. She is known for teaching violent tactics as well as community organizing. She specializes in aggressive “direct action” tactics. Fithian previously provided training and support for the controversial ACORN group, National People’s Action, the new version of the Students for a Democratic Society and other radical organizations. She trained somewhere around 600 protesters for Ferguson.

The following video shows anti-capitalist radical Lisa Fithian training Chicago union teachers on how to stage their arrests for the camera in 2011:

Fithian is far from alone in her Revolution organizing. She is joined by the likes of Code Pink, RevCom, the New Black Panthers, Socialist Party USA, etc. The ACLU has been in the mix from the beginning as well, along with SEIU. The UN also became involved, along with national LGBT organizations, climate environmentalists, amnesty groups, pro-Palestinian organizations, Christian social justice groups and Planned Parenthood.

LGBT organizations represented include the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, National Center for Lesbian Rights Action Fund and PFLAG National.

Amnesty International sent a “13-person human rights delegation” to the town to “examine” potential human rights abuses, in what they refer to as an “unprecedented” move by deploying in the United States. Many other groups joined in, such as Tauheed Youth Development Life, the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), the Moorish Science Temple, the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression and the Universal African Peoples Organization (UAPO). No radical party would ever be complete without the Socialist Workers Party as well.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Andrew McCarthy at the NRO with What’s Really Going on with Holder’s Civil-Rights Crusade against Police Departments, submitted by Nice Deb. McCarthy has an excellent take here on what’s behind the sudden seemingly endless assault on the nation’s police departments by our Attorney General and the DOJ.

Here are this week’s full results:

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?

12/10/14
Lena Dunham in Rolling Stone - Sabo

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ Edition

The Watcher’s Counsel

Image: Unsavoryartists.com

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

So how does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?

Res ipsa loquiter… no morals, no character, no truth.

(Poster by Sabo. Go buy his stuff.)

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 Political Commentator, IOwnTheWorld Report, 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!

12/6/14

Book Review: Ebola – Understanding & Preparing for an Outbreak


Purchase at Amazon.com

Contrary to the media blackout out there, Ebola is still here in the US and very much a threat. According to Sharyl Attkisson, over 1400 people in the US are currently being monitored for the deadly disease. And every once in a while, from a foreign news source, you get a glimpse of what is really going on… you know, like someone bleeding out in a hair salon in New York. The monitoring is going on in 44 states and thanks to Obama’s new Ebola Czar, Americans don’t have any idea about the threat they face.

One author has written a book on how to get ready for the inevitable outbreak. “Ebola: Understanding and Preparing for an Outbreak,” by Alex Smith, is a must have for your survival shelf. It’s an easy read and not long and drawn out.

Smith covers most of the important subjects: symptoms, transmission, treatment, the history of the virus, the current outbreak, how to prepare, what to have on hand, measures to take if the worst is realized (quarantines, isolation rooms, cleaning procedures, etc.) and more. In fact, when the book arrived, my daughter took it first, thus the delayed review. It then went to hubby and then to me. I don’t know anyone out there that is not spooked by Ebola. One of my all time favorite books is The Stand by Stephen King. Ebola is eerily reminiscent of that scenario in so many ways.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Airborne droplets (Not  Confirmed by Authorities):
The CDC makes no mention of transmission through airborne droplets in humans.  Because of the severity of the current outbreak, however, transmission through airborne droplets seems like a possible explanation.  Note that the author says airborne droplets and not simply airborne.  There is a huge difference.  Airborne implies that a disease can be spread through the inhalation of tiny, dry particles that remained suspended in the air for long a period of time.  These particles could also theoretically be transferred through air currents.  Ebola is not airborne in this sense.  The rate of infection is much too low.  If Ebola was truly airborne, it should spread at a rate similar to tuberculosis, chickenpox or measles.  One person with measles, on average, infects 12 to 18 people.  The current Ebola outbreak appears to spread, on average, to one to two people.  This value is known as the Basic Reproductive Number, R(0).  The following is a chart of the Basic Reproductive Numbers for various diseases.

ebola outbreak book review

Airborne droplets, however, is a different story.  Airborne droplets are relatively large (when compared to the dry particles that are suspended in the air by an airborne disease), wet particles, propelled through the air by way of coughing, sneezing or violent vomiting, that land on walls, floors, or other people.  It is entirely possible that Ebola is spread via airborne droplets.  The CDC still denies this.  The WHO downplays the probability.  Other experts, especially those who are independent of governmental organizations, are not as quick to dismiss this.

Despite CDC claims that droplet transmission is not possible, it has been shown that VHFs have an infectious dose of 1 to 10 How to Survive Ebolaorganisms by airborne droplets in non-human primates.

1.    Source:  Franz, D. R., Jahrling, P. B., Friedlander, A. M., McClain, D. J., Hoover, D. L., Bryne, W. R., Pavlin, J. A., Christopher, G. W., & Eitzen, E. M. (1997).  Clinical recognition and management of patients exposed to biological warfare agents.  Jama, 278(5), 399-411.)

Additionally, laboratories have been able to demonstrate that primates exposed to airborne droplets from pigs have become infected.
1.    Source:  Twenhafel, N. A., Mattix, M. E., Johnson, J. C., Robinson, C. G., Pratt, W. D., Cashman, K. A., Wahl-Jensen, V., Terry, C., Olinger, G. G., Hensley, L. E., & Honko, A. N. (2012).  Pathology of experimental aerosol Zaire ebolavirus infection in rhesus macaques.  Veterinary Pathology Online, 0300985812469636.
2.    Source:  Mwanatambwe, M., Yamada, N., Arai, S., Shimizu-Suganuma, M., Shichinohe, K., & Asano, G. (2001).  Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF): mechanism of transmission and pathogenicity.  Journal of Nippon Medical School.68 (5), 370-375.
3.    Source:  Plague.  (2004). In R. G. Darling, & J. B. Woods (Eds.), USAMRIID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook (5th ed., pp. 40-44).  Fort Detrick M.D.: USAMRIID.
4.    Source:  Reed, D. S., Lackemeyer, M. G., Garza, N. L., Sullivan, L. J., & Nichols, D. K. (2011).  Aerosol exposure to Zaire ebolavirus in three nonhuman primate species: differences in disease course and clinical pathology.  Microbes and Infection, 13(11), 930-936.
5.    Source:  Feigin, R. D. (Ed.).  (2004). Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (5th Ed.).  Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier, Inc.
•    Aerosol Transmissibles (Not Confirmed by Authorities):  According to The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP),

“We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol How to Survive Ebolaparticles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.”  They continue, “Modern research, using more sensitive instruments and analytic methods, has shown that aerosols emitted from the respiratory tract contain a wide distribution of particle sizes—including many that are small enough to be inhaled.  Thus, both small and large particles will be present near an infectious person.  The chance of large droplets reaching the facial mucous membranes is quite small, as the nasal openings are small and shielded by their external and internal structure.  Although close contact may permit large-droplet exposure, it also maximizes the possibility of aerosol inhalation.  As noted by early aerobiologists, liquid in a spray aerosol, such as that generated during coughing or sneezing, will quickly evaporate, which increases the concentration of small particles in the aerosol.  Because evaporation occurs in milliseconds, many of these particles are likely to be found near the infectious person.  The current paradigm also assumes that only “small” particles (less than 5 micrometers [mcm]) can be inhaled and deposited in the respiratory tract.  This is not true.  Particles as large as 100 mcm (and perhaps even larger) can be inhaled into the mouth and nose.  Larger particles are deposited in the nasal passages, pharynx, and upper regions of the lungs, while smaller particles are more likely to deposit in the lower, alveolar regions.  And for many pathogens, infection is possible regardless of the particle size or deposition site.”

CIDRAP concludes:
“To summarize, for the following reasons we believe that Ebola could be an opportunistic aerosol-transmissible disease requiring adequate respiratory protection:
o    Patients and procedures generate aerosols, and Ebola virus remains viable in aerosols for up to 90 minutes.
o    All sizes of aerosol particles are easily inhaled both near to and far from the patient.
o    Crowding, limited air exchange, and close interactions with patients all contribute to the probability that healthcare workers will be exposed to high concentrations of very toxic infectious aerosols.
o    Ebola targets immune response cells found in all epithelial tissues, including in the respiratory and gastrointestinal system.
o    Experimental data support aerosols as a mode of disease transmission in non-human primates.”
The author tends towards CIDRAP’s stance.  Infection through Direct Contact is certain, and airborne droplet seems likely, but aerosol transmissibles for up to 90 minutes appears possible as well.
The complete CIDRAP article (with multiple sourced studies) can be found here (Click Here):

There is an endless stream of news out there that is distracting us from topics such as Ebola. But it did not go away or magically disappear. In fact, it is raging hotter than ever in Africa and there are no controls to stop it coming into this country and spreading. Do the math. Each of us should get a copy of this book and prepare just in case. It is better to over prepare than to be found wanting when an emergency comes knocking. Especially one that kills quickly and efficiently the way this one does.

I have heard nothing more on a vaccine or the efforts to contain Ebola here in the states. The silence is terrifying and deafening. When your government mandates a media blackout on something this serious, it is time to get worried. Start your preparations with this book: “Ebola: Understanding and Preparing for an Outbreak,” by Alex Smith. It’s an investment and a read that is a must. Highly recommended.

12/5/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 12/05/14

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.

“I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.” – From Officer Darren Wilson’s Testimony

“Before you think this is over, remember what happened in Rodney King,” – Al Sharpton, after the Grand Jury decision

“You can`t sell this sh*t” – Lesley McFadden, Michael Brown’s mother to other family members shortly before she and others in her party allegedly assaulted and robbed them over a dispute over whom had rights to the selling of Michael Brown tee shirts and other merchandise.

http://askmarion.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/right2bplanet.jpg?w=640

This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’s#Ferguson: If You Like Your Facts, You Can Keep Your Facts is a superb roundup of the incident and a reminder to us that no one is entitled to their own facts. Here’s a slice:

If you visit the blog on a regular basis, you might’ve noticed I haven’t posted much lately about the riots and mayhem going on in Ferguson, Missouri. The reason is simple: I’m not giving the agitators what they want. What do the Ferguson agitators and rioters want? They want to be seen and heard; and the more they are seen and heard, the better, as far as they’re concerned.

Like moths attracted to the proverbial flame, the major networks and countless other  media outlets have descended upon Ferguson, Missouri, like a plague of locusts. Recently, I watched Fox News’ reporter Mike Tobin claim there were more cameramen at his location than there were protestors a few days ago. (Apparently the cold weather was keeping the rioters at bay.) That image really stuck with me. It’s like a bunch of people grabbed their lawn chairs and ran off to go watch the riots in Ferguson. One must wonder whether the media would’ve been disappointed had there been no riots and looting.

Ever since this whole debacle in Ferguson started, I just wanted the facts. If Darren Wilson was in the wrong, then he should be brought to justice. But there were a number of initial eyewitness accounts that reported Michael Brown attacked police officer Darren Wilson and attempted to take his gun. Well, the Grand Jury report appears to substantiate the initial reports. Furthermore, the whole “hands up, don’t shoot” meme is based upon a fallacy. The forensics report, three autopsies, the medical examiner, the coroner, and eyewitness reports appear to show that Michael Brown did not have his hands up when he was fatally shot by Officer Wilson. But rest assured, facts do not matter to the people busily trying to stoke the flames of crisis and chaos in Ferguson.

The Chicago-based Revolutionary Communist Party USA stokes the flames of racial division in Ferguson, Missouri. (Credit: Twitter)

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what mobocracy looks like. The facts do not matter. As a matter of fact, they really just get in the way of some good ole fashioned “radical social change.” There is no such thing as due process or being considered innocent until proven guilty in a mobocracy; it is a lynch mob—pure and simple. Whether you’re guilty or not does not matter. Once the mob has labeled you the enemy, it’s over. There is no justice in a mobocracy. The rule of law is replaced with the law of force—chaos and violence that never ends. Our Founders warned us over and over again about the capricious will of the mob; they coined the term “mobocracy.”

From the very beginning, the whole meme has been a “racist, white pig” mercilessly gunned down an “unarmed, innocent black child.” Just forget the fact Michael Brown was 18-years-old—old enough to get married, old enough to join the military, old enough to be considered an adult by law—and stood 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 292 pounds. Oh, and just forget the fact Michael Brown (a.k.a. “The Gentle Giant”) had just committed a strong-arm robbery (a felony) at a local convenience store prior to his death.

michael-brown-strong-arm-robbery

I realize, as I believe most do, that the death of such a young man is truly a tragic thing indeed. But one must accept responsibility for one’s own actions, and their subsequent consequences. Crime and violence often ends badly for all involved. What we’re really talking about is bad behavior, not racism. Bad behavior is no respecter of race or ethnicity.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was an eye opening piece in the Atlantic by former AP reporter Matti FriedmanWhat The Media Gets Wrong About Israel submitted by The Glittering Eye.

In it, he reveals the innate bias of many news outlets including the AP in favor of the ‘narrative’ that casts the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians as the Good Guys and the Israelis as villains… and exactly how it is promulgated and shaped by them. It’s a must read piece, written by an insider.

Here are this week’s full results:

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?

12/3/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Post Thanksgiving Edition

The Watcher’s Council

a_thanksgiving-barack-obama-turkey-646592.jpg

This particular turkey isn’t quite cooked yet, but the heat’s turned up and we’re working on it.

(Graphic courtesy of IOwnTheWorld)

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, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, IOwnTheWorld, The Pirate’s Cove and Seraphic Secret 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!

11/28/14

The Council Has Spoken! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 11/28/14

The Watcher’s Council

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fjmYWFGjRLQ/VBZKcuHxAUI/AAAAAAAAi1w/5WIOcOHaH2s/s1600/confederacy.png

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

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act II, Scene 2

There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, 
it will be because we destroyed ourselves. – President Abraham Lincoln

This week, we had a tie between two pieces that both dealt with President Barack Hussein Obama’s plan for amnesty for illegal migrants by executive order.

Joshuapundit’sStrangling the Eagle – Barack Obama And Amnesty, Part I, was my analysis of exactly what this president is proposing and its ultimate effect on the country, much of what was hidden with President Obama’s obtuse rhetoric and serial prevarication.

Bookworm’s fine essay Brit Hume’s loud silence reveals the ugly secret about Obama’s immigration amnesty announcement, goes a great deal deeper in revealing her first person account with one of the major obstacles in dealing with what the president is attempting to impose on the country – sheer cowardice in unexpected places… and as usual, she takes us right to the heart of the matter.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ndmEdQX3AM/Tv04FWJ3kTI/AAAAAAAAAzg/P-WNaJRST6Q/s400/Bookworm%2B3.jpg

Since I break the ties, Bookworm’s insightful piece takes the honors this week. Here’s a slice:

There are some words that, as a writer, I’ve always wanted to use. One of those words is “cadaverous,” which I think is just a lovely, almost Dickensian word. Having attended last night’s delightful PRI Gala dinner, I finally have that chance. But let me start at the beginning…

I don’t usually attend galas. Indeed, I don’t ever attend galas, since I am almost pathologically cheap and, no matter how much I admire the speaker or expect the company to be delightful, I simply cannot make myself pay several hundred dollars for a dinner and speech. Add to that the fact that it’s disrespectful for me to spend huge sums of money on a political cause that my husband finds distasteful, and galas and I are not a common pairing. I only was able to attend the PRI event thanks to the incredible generosity of a local Marin conservative who sponsored a table and invited me to be one of his guests.

The event was held at the Fairmont, atop Nob Hill, which is one of the truly grand dame hotels in the world. The Fairmont was in the process of being built when the ’06 quake struck, causing severe damage. Once the dust cleared, building on the hotel resumed with help from architect Julia Morgan (of Hearst Castle fame), who had all sorts of wonderful ideas about reinforced concrete for structural integrity. In 1945, the Fairmont hosted the meetings that culminated in the United Nation’s creation. The hotel is sufficiently charming and magnificent that I forgive it for being the venue that gave birth to that appalling antisemitic, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-freedom, and anti-individualism organization. But as I so often do, I digress.

For me, there were only two problems with the evening: First, the table at which I sat was so large, and the volume of conversation so loud, that I was only able to speak to the men (very nice, interesting men) to my immediate left and right, which meant that there was a whole table full of manifestly intriguing people with whom I did not exchange a single word. Second, Steven Hayward, from Power Line, was supposed to speak there, but an attack of bronchitis kept him away. I’m a big admirer and was disappointed that I couldn’t meet him. The fact that those were was my only disappointments tells you that it was a damn fine evening indeed.

The food was exquisite (I love filet mignon), the speeches ranged from interesting to very interesting, and I was delighted to see former California Governor Pete Wilson receive the Sir Antony Fisher Freedom Award. I have a special reason for that delight. You see, just as in the 1980s I was a Democrat who utterly failed to appreciate what an extraordinary man, thinker, and politician Reagan was, I was still a Democrat in the 1990s, and therefore utterly failed to appreciate what an extraordinary man, thinker, and politician Wilson was. I grossly underestimated the measure of the man back then, and was therefore so pleased to stand up and applaud him now. (To appreciate what a great governor he was — a fact that the MSM successfully obscured in the 1990s for unthinking young Democrats like me — check out the Wikipedia article’s incomplete list of his accomplishments.)

After Gov. Wilson received his award and gave a short talk, the mike was turned over to the evening’s featured speaker, Brit Hume — and this is where I get to use the word “cadaverous.” I need to start out by explaining that, since I watch TV only occasionally (to satisfy my low passion for Dancing With the Stars or to see Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey), I had no idea who Brit Hume was sufficient to justify his role as a keynote speaker at a PRI gala. You probably know that he’s a former ABC correspondent and a current Fox News analyst. I did not know that.

My ignorance about Hume extended to his looks. I had no idea what he looked like. When I realized who he was, I went over to introduce myself and shake his hand, which took all of 10 seconds. (At NOUS events, protocol is to greet the speaker, and there are penalties for those who fail to do so. Having become familiar with this requirement, I like it and, if I can, extend it to all events that I attend.) Hume is very tall, and quite thin, and he has a slightly hound-doggish face, with a grayish cast to his complexion. He is a very nice looking man — but he is also somewhat cadaverous looking. (And there’s that word.) He’s not cadaverous in the sense of “corpse-like” but in the sense of “haggard and thin.” You TV watchers also already know what else I discovered about him, which is that he has a deep, lovely voice with a very slight Southern drawl.

Hume spoke about politics; Juan Williams; his start in an old-fashioned newspaper, complete with clattering typewriters and cigar-chomping copy editor; and Obama’s planned amnesty. It was this last that riveted my attention. Hume, whom I would describe as a very centrist Republican, had put together a laundry-list of things that Republicans shouldn’t do once Obama announces his amnesty. It was a comprehensive list. He started by noting that, because Republicans lack a Senate majority, Hume says it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to put together a veto-proof anything to block the amnesty and, failing that ability, any bills the Republican Congress passes will be a waste of time and the media will use any such efforts to paint Republicans as racist and selfish.

Hume also argued strongly that the House most certainly shouldn’t try to use the power of the purse to block Obama from putting the amnesty into effect because doing so will only precipitate another stand-off and shutdown. According to Hume, polls consistently reveal that voters hate shutdowns and, thanks to the media, that they always blame the Republicans, even though the president is arguably the true proximate cause. (I have a different feeling about shutdowns and the accompanying theater. Hume, incidentally, made clear that he has the lowest possible opinion of Cruz and the Tea Party.)

Impeachment, said Hume, is a no-go. The last time Republicans did that, it ended very badly for them. Just as with shutdowns, the public is hostile to this type of thing and, thanks to the media, it’s always the Republicans’ fault.

A lawsuit? Well, it’s true that Obama is acting outside of his Constitutional authority, but Hume believes that Congress will be found to lack standing to sue because it will not have sustained a direct injury as a result of the amnesty.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Dennis PragerWe Have a Moral Divide, Not a Racial One, submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s one of the better observations I’ve seen in print about what ails America.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the 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?

11/26/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – What Stays In Vegas Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Snake Eyes for ol' Snake eyes.

Snake Eyes For the Snake-In-Chief!

From the awesome Chris Muir at Day By Day, of course.

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 of Virginia Right is increasing in awesomeness every time we turn around! Aside from his status as a political guru in the Old Dominion, being virtually alone in predicting Dave Brat’s upset victory, he’s now becoming a local go to on other issues as well.

This week, he was cited in the Richmond Post-Dispatch, was interviewed on WRIC, the local ABC outlet and linked to on the station’s website after he wrote a big story locally about how parents in his locality were upset by the odd use of the name ‘Jihad’ in a kid’s math problem, which goes along with the Muslim Brotherhood line about ‘Jihad’ merely meaning ‘struggle’ and thus normal behavior… even though all four Muslim fiqhs (Muslim schools of jurisprudence) agree that it’s primary use is to refer to holy war against the infidel. Here’s Tom in action:

You just know that the retired teacher they let follow him is a hardcore Democrat, right? Outstanding, sir.

And speaking of outstanding, there’s another little matter we need to get to. Tom White just had a birthday that slipped by my notice, so it’s time for a belated festiva, que sabe?

Shadow Birthday Cake

This little number is called a Shadow Cake… yellow sponge with homemade chocolate buttercream, with some candy roses on top.

http://www.obrienswine.ie/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/41d1648ae883b8c941ef5f6213644ae5/1/9/19023.jpg

And to drink, I’m going to resist the urge to go local and splurge on some Veuve Cliqot.

And, for those of you whom indulge, some wondrous Virginia moonshine, manufactured by men who despise both the revenooers (don’t we all?) and the idea of turning perfectly good corn into ethanol. Instead, they provide us with this nectar.

Slanje, Lechaim and Kempai!

Tom is what used to be referred to as a Renaissance man, someone who does many things superbly well. Aside from his undoubted blogging talent (he was chosen a top political blogger by the AFP in the 2012 elections), he’s a highly accomplished singer/songwriter who gigs locally and has his own studio, is highly active in Virginia politics, runs his own insurance agency and is a top IT consultant as well.

Of course, all that aside, he’s a great guy and a firm friend. He’s never failed to help out any of us who are mired in techi-type difficulties and that especially applies to me. Although none of us on the Council have ever met him personally, he was our unanimous choice to be the Council’s treasurer, which is just a small indication of the respect we have for him and the esteem we hold him in.

Me? All I’ll say is that from minute one, Tom was one of those people I instinctively liked. And also on the plus side, he puts up with me… how good is that?

Happy belated my friend. Many, many more.

This week, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, The Political Commentator, The Elder Of Ziyon and Seraphic Secret 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, without further ado, 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!

11/21/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 11/21/14

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.romanobritain.org/Photos/roman-senate2.jpg

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

“This morning in Jerusalem Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue. To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable.”

“People who have come to worship God in a sanctuary of a synagogue were/// murdered in a holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder.” – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

“There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” – Victor Frankl, Auschwitz survivor, in ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’

“It’s not enough for us to say: ‘There are those carrying out Ribat’ (religious war over land claimed to be Islamic). We must all carry out Ribat in the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. It’s not enough for us to say: ‘The settlers have arrived [at the Mosque]’. They have come, and  we have to prevent them, by any means necessary, from entering the Sanctuary. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. – Mahmoud Abbas, inciting violence on Official Palestinian Authority TV

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s400/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week’s winning essay was Joshuapundit’sThe Blood Of Zion Cries Out. It was my reaction on the day four rabbis and a Druze traffic cop who tried to stop the killers were murdered with guns and meat cleavers in a Jerusalem synagogue. Here’s a slice:

Early this morning, four Jews at morning prayers were murdered in a synagogue in Jerusalem after two Palestinian broke in and assaulted the worshipers with gunfire and meat cleavers.

Many others were wounded and four are in critical condition.

The terrorist attack took place in Har Hof a predominantly Orthodox neighborhood at the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue on Agasi Street.

The Murder victims were identified as Rabbi Moshe Twersky, the head of the Torat Moshe yeshiva, 59; 40-year-old  Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky; 50-year-old Rabbi Kalman Levine; and 68-year-old Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg(HY”D). Rabbi Kupinsky, Rabbi Levine and Rabbi Twersky were all American citizens, while Rabbi Goldberg was a British subject. A Druze policeman, 30-year-old Master Sergeant Zidan Sif subsequently died of his wounds as well, and all Israel will mourn and honor him.

The killers stormed the synagogue at 7 AM local time. There was no warning and no way for the victims to defend themselves.The rabbis were murdered during the sacred prayer of Shimoneh Esrei, with siddurim (prayer books) in their hands and their tefillum on.

Eye witness Ya’akov Amos said: ‘The terrorist moved to within a metre of me then started shooting. One, two, three, bang, bang, bang. I immediately hit the ground and tried to protect myself with a prayer stand. He kept screaming ‘Allah hu’Akbar’.

There was blood everywhere, so much that one of the medical workers slipped in it and broke his leg.

The international reaction was interesting. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed shocked, with his voice quavering. He even used the “T” word and called for an end to incitement against Jews.

Phillip Hammond, Britain’s Foreign Secretary contented himself with a bloodless statement that ‘both sides’ should seek to ‘reduce tension.’ President Obama, of course, said much the same thing. Somehow, I doubt they would have merely talked about both sides reducing tension if four imams had been murdered by a Jew and Qu’rans profaned in this way.

Israel’s economics minister Naftali Bennett was interviewed by the BBC today, and provides us with another indication of exactly how sick and depraved Britain has become when it comes to Israel and the Jews.

(just a hint – when Bennett mentions Abu Mazen, he is using Mahmoud Abbas’s nom de guerre, the terrorist name he used as Arafat’s second-in-command.)

Notice how the interviewer doesn’t even address the issue of Abbas inciting terrorism, but pulls the case of an Arab bus driver who died yesterday, as though that made the savage murder of four Jews at prayer legitimate. That Arab driver, by the way, had a full investigation and an autopsy done on him and there is no doubt he committed suicide. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, Israel jails murderers no matter who they are.

I really felt like saying ‘Kol Hakavod’ when Bennett held up a picture of one of the victims, which the interviewer hastily told him to put down lest he upset the gentle sensibilities of her viewers. I think it is absolutely essential to do just that – to let the British public see what their government is funding and supporting. And I hope it upsets them to the point of utter shame.

At the end of the interview, Bennett says that Britain is going to have to make a choice of whether they support the Free World or not. As I’m sure Bennett knows, the British Government has already made that choice. Which is why, perhaps, they feel compelled to put up with soldiers being beheaded in broad daylight and no go areas for police and non-Muslims in London and other large British cities.

The murderers were both killed in a shootout with police at the scene. They were Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal from the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Needless to say, they were acclaimed as heroes and martyrs by all the factions of the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians.

A Palestinian woman scatters sweets as she celebrates with others an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue

Palestinian supporters of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLP), a small militant group, dance while waving their flags, after they heard the news of the shooting

“We responded with shouts of joy when we received the news about their deaths,” Ala’a Abu Jamal said of his cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal to Yedioth Aharonoth. “People here distributed candies to guests who visited us, and there was joy for the martyrs.”

In a message published on its official new website Al-Resalah, Hamas said the attack was “a quality development in fighting the occupation. We highly value the heroism of its operatives.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attack on Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera as “heroic,” calling for more attacks of the same kind.

Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri happily wrote on Twitter that “Jerusalem has nothing but men who love martyrdom. The heroes of the knife are in Jerusalem. The heroes of the run-over [car attacks] are in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem men take revenge.”

And he posted this on his Facebook page:

A cartoon posted on the Facebook page of Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri has perpetrators of the Jerusalem attack dressed in religious Jewish garb asking 'where are they?' (photo credit: Facebook)

The Arab killer is asking ‘Where are they hiding?” Needless to say, in spite of what this cartoon shows none of the worshipers were armed.

And Fatah? Mahmoud Abbas, AKA Abu Mazen issued a ‘condemnation’ that wasn’t one. In a statement (in English, not Arabic) it said that “The Palestinian presidency” condemns violence “from whatever source” and “demands an end to the invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocations of the Settlers.”

In other words, ‘So sorry, but unless you surrender Jerusalem to us expect more of the same.’

This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who accused Jews of “contaminating” Al-Aqsa Mosque last week, who just a few days ago was telling his people, in Arabic, to ‘defend Jerusalem’ by any means necessary. This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who said nothing when Fatah published cartoons and Facebook posts encouraging terrorist attacks on Jews and “days of rage” to defend the ‘threatened’ Al-Aqsa.

Tawfik Tirawi, former chief of the Palestinian General Security in the West Bank and a member of Fatah’s Central Committee made it even plainer, and in Arabic. Today he told a radio station in Hebron that the attack was “nothing but a reaction to the recent crimes of the occupation and the settlers in occupied Jerusalem and across the nation. The threats of the occupation against our people and the Palestinian leadership, represented by the president, will only increase our efforts in safeguarding our rights.”

His remarks were reprinted on Fatah’s official Facebook page.

I should make something clear here. This is not the fault of Abbas, or Hamas, or any of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians.

It is the fault of the Israeli government.

A significant number of the Palestinians are simply acting as they have always acted since the 1920′s, and these tendencies were unleashed even further once Arafat and the PLO were allowed in to take over after Oslo.

http://thesystemworks.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/hebron_massacre_newspaper.jpg

Israeli governments since Oslo have always allowed themselves to be pressured to ignore these instances of sheer horror… to release  convicted murderers, to make concessions to the terrorist entities on Israel’s borders, and most of all to avoid  finishing them off entirely when their violence and bloodshed mandated a response. This has been especially true since Barack Obama, who styles himself as the Palestinian’s very own community organizer entered the White House.

Is it any wonder that this sort of thing continues to happen? Is it really so puzzling that after allowing Hamas to continue in Gaza and maintaining any kind of relationship with Abbas and the PLO once they allied themselves openly with Hamas that they would resort back to Arafat’s tactics?

Yasser Arafat himself outlined for his followers what this war was really about. On Jordanian TV, right after signing the Oslo Accords he was criticized for signing a peace agreement with the Jews. He responded by reminding his audience of the Peace of Hubidiyeh, a treaty Mohammed made with the Quraysh tribe that he violated as soon as he was strong enough to massacre them, a story every Muslim knows. And then he outlined exactly what this war was about, saying that “either the Jews will push us into the sea or we will push them into the sea.”

Arafat, the leaders of Hamas and numerous members of Fatah have sung the same songs for years. Is it their fault that Israeli governments for years have refused to take them seriously?

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis HansonA Moral primer submitted by Joshuapundit. Hanson is an old classicist among his other virtues. In this essay, he looks at the state of America and the world, and especially the president who leads us and sees a lack of political and personal morality as a deadly problem, possibly a terminal one for our republic. Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

11/19/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Man Who Would Be King Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Cartoon_Daletoon_Merdas_25.jpg

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 Political Commentator, Gates Of Vienna, The Pirate’s Cove and Right Truth 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!