03/27/15
Barack Obama - Bowe Bergdahl

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 03/27/15

The Watcher’s Council

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

Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality. – Thomas Sowell

Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing. – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. – GK Chesterson

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This week’s winning essay, Bookworm Room’sWhen it comes to campus fascism, revolutions always eat their own is a tour de force on how radicalism is taking 0ver America’s college campuses. Here’s a slice:

One of the truisms I grew up hearing is that “revolutions always eat their own.” I have understood this to mean that, in any revolutionary movement, the second generation, having been marinated longer in the revolutionary brine, is more extreme than the first generation and invariably purges that first generation. Both the French and the Russian revolutions prove this point.

We in America have had a revolution too. It’s been a very slow-moving revolution of the kind that the British used to call a Fabian Revolution. It involves advancing revolutionary goals, not through violence, but through slow, reformist means. As Ferguson shows, the violence then comes after the revolution. Indeed, Ferguson is one of the best manifestations of that revolution.

The other obvious manifestation is the American college campus. On campuses throughout America, a Nanny state fascism is the norm. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened through Fabian gradualism, with hard-Left revolutionary principles being slowly introduced in the classrooms (increasingly open, aggressive Marxist teaching), in the administrative buildings (read Heather MacDonald’s Multiculti U for the best discussion about the hard Left Fabianism in college administration), and in the dorms (which had a slow Progression away from same-sex dorms, same-sex floors, same-sex bathrooms, and same-sex rooms, which a completely unsurprisingly commensurate uptick in rape claims).

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

Over the last few months, however, something interesting has happened: The Fabian revolution’s Founders are getting disgusted with their progeny’s extremism. It began when Jonathan Chait questioned the stifling effects of the new orthodoxy. In his article challenging the orthodoxy, he still oozed contempt for conservatives having a say in things, but he was definitely perturbed by modern young people’s inability to tolerate any opposing opinions, ideas, or facts. I wonder if Chait was surprised by the subsequent Leftist demand that he be silenced.

The next salvo from old revolutionaries against new happened when Laura Kipnes wrote about the sexual paranoia that is the norm in academia. Kipnes too was excoriated. Michelle Goldberg, writing at the hard-Left Nation, describes the attack on Kipnes and, as part of the same article, also suggests that the revolution has gone too far.

One week later, Judith Shulevitz got an opinion piece published in the New York Times entitled “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas.” She too is shocked to see that sensitivity has morphed into censorship. (Jonah Goldberg, author of the informative and prescient Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, would not have been shocked at all. He explained in his book how the next revolution was being ushered in, not with guns, but with stifling nanny statism.)

I certainly appreciate the effort these old revolutionaries are making to stem the flood waters they first let loose. I doubt they’ll be successful, though. I see them as this revolution’s Robespierres. He, of course, ended up on the same guillotine to which he had so mercilessly consigned others.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was James Simpson with a superb article in Accuracy in Media, Obama Accused of Obstructing Battle against Boko Haram to Promote Axelrod’s Nigerian Muslim Client submitted by Nice Deb.

Apparently Israel’s election isn’t the only one this president is trying to subvert. Read about his deliberate schemes to do his best to oust another friend of the West in Nigeria and replace him with a Muslim with ties to Islamists, including Boko Haram.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

03/25/15
Cartoonist Gary Varvel: White House response to Netanyahu win

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Temper Tantrum Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

Our own Tom White at VA Right was named one of Newsmax’s top 50 Conservative Blogs for 2015. Congrats, Tom. It’s nice that Newsmax is finally recognizing what we all already knew… Council Akbar!

This week, The Pirates’ Cove, ThePeople’s Cube and Maggie’s Notebook 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!

03/21/15
The Uncanny Reader

The Uncanny Reader – A Book Review


Purchase at MacMillan Publishers or Amazon.com

Anyone who knows me well, knows that reading is my form of therapy. I have never been able to get enough of it during my lifetime and I have always carted a huge library around with me. Some books I read over and over… The Uncanny Reader is one such book. I have an inherent love of the supernatural and I am fascinated by science fiction and horror that is well-written. Thus, my devotion to Dean Koontz, who is simply the master of such works. Marjorie Sandor has written an anthology of ghost stories, fairy tales, science fiction and fantasy that is just addictive.

Here is a synopsis of the work:

From the deeply unsettling to the possibly supernatural, these thirty-one border-crossing stories from around the world explore the uncanny in literature, and delve into our increasingly unstable sense of self, home, and planet. The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows opens with “The Sand-man,” E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1817 tale of doppelgangers and automatons–a tale that inspired generations of writers and thinkers to come. Stories by 19th and 20th century masters of the uncanny–including Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka, and Shirley Jackson–form a foundation for sixteen award-winning contemporary authors, established and new, whose work blurs the boundaries between the familiar and the unknown. These writers come from Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, Scotland, England, Sweden, the United States, Uruguay, and Zambia–although their birthplaces are not always the terrains they plumb in their stories, nor do they confine themselves to their own eras. Contemporary authors include: Chris Adrian, Aimee Bender, Kate Bernheimer, Jean-Christophe Duchon-Doris, Mansoura Ez-Eldin, Jonathon Carroll, John Herdman, Kelly Link, Steven Millhauser, Joyce Carol Oates, Yoko Ogawa, Dean Paschal, Karen Russell, Namwali Serpell, Steve Stern and Karen Tidbeck.

I recognize many of those authors and adore their works. Sandor opens her works with an essay dedicated to explaining the differences between the uncanny and the weird. She dissects the word ‘uncanny’ and defines it for her readers. Then she delves into its historical significance and what it means to her personally.

From Weird Fiction Review:

Weird Fiction Review: Why do you think the uncanny has been around for so long and pervaded so many cultures and countries?

Marjorie Sandor: You probably already know the wonderful opening salvo of Lovecraft’s Horror in Supernatural Literature: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” If we think about this in terms of what art has always done for humankind, it’s always hovering in this intersection between the known and unknown — between the “official story” and the obliterated history that is not really gone, but suppressed or forgotten. We’ve been using this word, uncanny for hundreds of years, to describe the way we feel when something utterly mysterious happens close by—in the neighborhood, in the house-and-family, in our own bodies and sense of self. It might be supernatural. It might not. It might be fate. Or it might be chance. The crucial thing is that we can’t resolve it. The uncertainty — and what it makes us do and say — makes us uncanny to ourselves.

One cool thing to add here: the really old Scots/Gaelic word, “canny,” and its German equivalent, “heimlich,” originally meant not only safe and cozy but also private, hidden, and in old Scots, possessed of supernatural knowledge.” You might, for instance, go to a “canny man” to lay a curse on someone who’d pissed you off. This means that canny, as a word, has already secretly given birth to its eventual opposite, uncanny. That’s creepy, no?

But to go back to your question: we’ve always told ourselves stories after meeting with something inexplicable. The more we try to light up all the corners and rid ourselves of dangers, the more this primitive sensation takes root — like a seed of anxiety that will find a home wherever it can. The harder we try to expel it, the more it wants in. You can see why this is so rich and complex and unnerving when it comes to the art of storytelling, and all art forms, for that matter.

These stories are a great read for those who like the uncanny, the strange, the weird, the unexplained, as I do. The stories are just long enough to enthrall the reader and short enough to complete and then come back to the next one for more nourishment and delight. Pick up a copy of The Uncanny Reader – leave the light on and read all night. It’s just that good.

03/20/15
LA Tyranny Marathon

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/20/15

The Watcher’s Council

Courtesy of 100% Fed Up!:

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

You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness? – Adolf Hitler

I studied the Qu’ran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction that by and large there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad. As far as I can see, it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today in the Muslim world and, though less absurd than the polytheism of old, its social and political tendencies are in my opinion more to be feared, and I therefore regard it as a form of decadence rather than a form of progress in relation to paganism itself. – Alexis de Tocqueville

All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them — not most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn’t condemn their people… There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say ‘look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we’ll f**king cut your head off, and nobody calls them on it — there are very few people that will call them on it. It’s like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don’t blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he’s a violent drunk. – Bill Maher

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s The Chicken Or The Egg?, looks at some elements of Islamic culture and asks: is it Islam that promotes the extreme violence and misogyny associated with Muslim societies? Or is that just part of a tribal society that persists in spite of Islam? Here’s a slice:

Unless you’re in a coma, you’ve probably noticed that a great many of the violent and barbaric acts in our modern world can be attributed to followers of Islam.

In the Islamic world today, aside from homicide bombings, jihad and terrorism directed against dar harb ( the part of the world not ruled by Islam), honor killings, female genital circumcision and other forms of violence against women are commonplace, and homosexuals are routinely brutalized and murdered. Non-Muslims are treated as barely human in much of the Islamic world, if they’re allowed to exist at all. Warfare carried out by Muslims is done with modern tools of the trade provided by the despised infidels, but is a relic of the good ol’ primitive and tribal days. Hostages, beheadings and the deliberate killing of civilians are all fair game, and the language of jihad is essentially the same heady stuff used back in the 7th century against the infidel. And through it all, there remains the miasma of seething violent rage at things like the Danish cartoons that simply doesn’t exist in other religious groups.

The question nobody wants to ask keeps floating to the surface: Is Islam to blame? Or, to put it another way, are the perpetrators simply bad Muslims or are they actually good ones who are simply more in tune with Mohammed’s message than the majority? Does Islam itself promote violence? Or are the acts simply a product of primitive tribal society that persists in spite of Islam?

Actually, this is a trick question. I personally believe that Islam and the primitive tribal culture combined back in the day to sustain each other and can’t be separated by their very nature…even though some valiant attempts have been made in the past, and are being made today.

Let’s look at honor killings, for example. Probably the oldest recorded one is in Genesis 34, when Jacob’s daughter Dinah was seduced (or raped, depending on how you interpret the text) by a man from the town of Shechem( modern day Nablus). Afterwards, Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi instigated the killing of the town’s men in revenge. But the Torah also tells us how Jacob denounced the killings and actually took the time to bad mouth his sons for the deed from his deathbed. Not only that, but you’ll notice a profound difference from the Islamic way of handling this – the onus of punishment fell on the male, not the female.

his isn’t the only honor killing mentioned in the Bible, but they were never condoned or part of Jewish law, just merely reported.

Islam, on the other hand, not only sanctions honor killings but is quite clear about its position in the matter. Killing or flogging an adulteress or a female that has relations with a non-Muslim male are part of sharia ( Qu’ran: 4:15, for example) – provided an Islamic court orders the punishment rather than an individual male family member going off on his own.

Even at that, Islamic courts today in the Muslim world frequently view male family members taking the law into their own hands fairly leniently. In Jordan, for example, many brutal honor killings have been punished by as little as a three month sentence under Jordanian Public Law 340. Moreover, in the context of Islamic society such murderers are often celebrated and held up as role models. Just as homicide bombers and terrorists who kill infidel civilians often are.

But what if a Muslim feels himself disrespected and lives in say, Britain or New Jersey? If no Islamic courts are available, is it permissible to take the law into one’s own hands? Probably. There’s not much in the way of Islamic rulings or commentary on that particular subject, but the near silence of most Muslim clergy in the West when it comes to denouncing honor killings speaks volumes…one of those little inconvenient truths Western apologists for multiculturalism and Islam constantly run up against when a number of Muslim clerics themselves insist that honor killing, female genital mutilation, and stoning of adulterers are mandated by Islam. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now , that’s one of the unspoken reasons behind the push among many Muslims in the West for sharia courts to handle those messy domestic problems that come up with uppity females from time to time.

Violent death penalties for women caught in adultery is fairly typical of a primitive society, but only Islam continues the practice into the present day. No Christian court has ever condemned a woman to death for adultery. And although the death penalty for adultery is found in the Book of Leviticus, there is no record of such a sentence ever carried out by any Jewish court. The same is true of homosexuality; while both Christianity and Judaism consider it ‘a sin and an abomination’ only Islam clearly mandates the death penalty for such activities and carries it out in our present day.

So why does Islamic society persist in these practices?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Daniel Greenfield’sObama’s Treason Is The New Patriotism, submitted by The Noisy Room. Daniel has some very hard hitting things to say about President Obama and a number of his questionable actions… and the tendency by the usual suspects to name anyone whom disagrees with the Regime a ‘traitor.’

Here are this week’s full results. GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but were not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

03/18/15
Benjamin Netanyahu

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Winners And Losers Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Some pictures really are worth a thousand words. This was a major defeat for Barack Obama and perhaps, as Winston Churchill once famously put it, ‘the end of the beginning.’

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 Watcher’s Council is proud to welcome a new member, Don Surber. I’ve admired his work for quite some time and we’re all glad to have him aboard. Please check out his fine site, and feast your eyes and brain matter on his Council debut below.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

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!

03/13/15
Hillary Clinton Doll

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 03/13/15

The Watcher’s Council


From the Genius of The Right Planet

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

One of the critical issues that we have to confront is illegal immigration, because this is a multi-headed Hydra that affects our economy, our health care, our education systems, our national security and also our local criminality. – Allen West

Illegal immigrants are to immigration what shoplifters are to shopping. – Jerry Agar

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. – President Theodore Roosevelt

A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation. – President Ronald Reagan

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This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’sA Strong Warning from Trevor Loudon on Illegal Amnesty, is an in-depth look at amnesty for illegal aliens, the radical roots of many of its activists and how it is being used as a tool to subvert the basic fabric of the country. Here’s a slice:

For the past three years, Trevor Loudon, author of the book “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within,” has been trying to warn Americans about the Marxist takeover of the Democratic Party. If you listen to the video above, you can hear Trevor is losing his voice from all the rallies he’s been attending lately. He is trying, with every fiber in his being, to warn Americans of the dire consequences of ignoring the ominous slide toward pure socialism occurring now in the American body politic.

A little while back I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down and talking to Trevor Loudon at length when he visited Indianapolis. Many of the points he is making in his presentation to the Leadership Institute were the same ones he made during his visit to Indy.

I want to focus on some key points regarding illegal immigration Trevor made in his presentation.

Before 1995, the AFL-CIO labor union was lead by alleged anti-communists like Lane Kirkland and George Meany. But, in 1995, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Gramcsiist communists kicked out Lane Kirkland, replacing him with DSA member John Sweeney. Sweeney is currently President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO. He was president of the organization for four terms, from 1995 to 2009. Richard L. Trumka is the current AFL-CIO President.

The radical leftists took over every major labor union in the country, and purged the Democratic Party of all the moderates, dixiecrats, centrists and bluedog democrats—with Sen. Joe Lieberman being the last to go.

Today, there is not a single policy embraced by the Democratic Party that can be distinguished from the platform of the Communist Party USA or the Democratic Socialists of America. This is full-on Marxism-Leninism, ladies and gentlemen. I have been warning about this for years—Trevor, even longer. Now we have a situation where some twenty-thousand Marxists own the unions, and the unions own the Democratic Party. It was Vladimir Lenin who once wrote that the labor unions are “the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses.”

Trevor mentioned some key individuals worth noting in his presentation that have been major driving forces behind the “immigration reform” movement (i.e. amnesty) in the United States.

The first organized effort to bring Latinos into the Democratic Party started with hardcore communist Bert Corona in the 1950’s. It was Corona who set up the Viva Kennedy clubs that, for the first time, brought large numbers of Mexican-Americans into a Presidential campaign.

The former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa—a hardcore Marxist, who cut sugar cane in Cuba for the Castro brothers—turned L.A. into a sanctuary city, and forbade the LAPD from enforcing immigration. The illegals flooded into California by the hundreds of thousands.

Communist Party supporter, and former head of the California senate, Gil Cedillo, pushed through the DREAM Act in California about three years ago, giving so-called “rights” to the children of illegal immigrants—euphemistically called “undocumented workers.”

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with The Enemy Of My Enemy submitted by The Noisy Room. This is Steyn’s take on Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress… and as usual with Steyn, he gets to the heart of the matter with his customary wit and brilliance. Do read it.

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

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

03/11/15
Hillary Clinton

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Delete To The Beat’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Hillary Clinton is one of those people who should have resolved a long time ago never to lie. She’s absolutely awful at it. Aside from violating the Federal Records Act, there’s also the question of National Security. Unless Mrs. Clinton spent a great deal of money encrypting her private server to government standards, her illegal account was an open invitation to foreign governments or even private hackers to gain access to her account and spy on what she insists were ‘mostly private e-mails’ that had nothing to do with government affairs, something I think we all pretty much know is horse manure.

No matter how you slice it, this is a gross violation of federal law, something Hillary Clinton had full knowledge of when she did it.

Me, I still want to know what happened to that $6 billion in State Department funding that mysteriously ‘disappeared’ while she was Secretary of State and about those mysterious donations from foreign countries like Algeria to the Clinton Foundation.

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, Simply Jews, Seraphic Secret, Maggie’s Notebook and The 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 on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

03/8/15
ALOA

Texas Locksmith’s Eyes Beginning to Open

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

ALOAYears ago I did my best to convince my fellow locksmiths that jumping on the licensing bandwagon was a mistake.  During a heated discussion while attending a meeting organized by the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) one fellow wanted me to step out back and settle our differences the old fashioned way; maybe that would have been fun in my younger days.

We were told the state had already decided the locksmith industry was going to be licensed and so we had better come up with a plan to submit to the legislature, one that would be favorable toward our needs.  That plan was approved by members of the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA) board and passed around so everyone in attendance could get a look at it.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the bill which the legislators were handed.

I couldn’t say for sure what happened in the back rooms of Austin; but you can bet the farm that the ALOA and Alarm Service Industry folks had their hand in the deal since these were the same folks who’d insisted the locksmith industry get licensed to begin with.  We were placed under the Department of Public Safety held in check by a bureaucracy which is now called the Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB), a board of appointees which supposedly represents the interests of the entire Security Industry, more particularly, the Alarm Services Industry; well shucky-dern, isn’t that a coincidence.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since that time; but there has yet to be one locksmith sitting on the DPS/PSB, something which should tell you locksmiths are not being given any representation when it comes to laying down the rules.

I expect one day a locksmith will eventually sit on the DPS/PSB as promised so many years ago; but then again, consider who that individual might be…  You can count on it being a sycophant willing to go along with whatever the powers that be direct, just like the TLA and GHLA board members of the past.  No thank you, let’s just step outside and settle this like we should have done so many years ago.

Licensing serves a couple of purposes, neither of which protects the public from unscrupulous vendors.  First, licensing limits competition for those who are already covered and secondly it acts as a revenue generator for the State which is more than happy to destroy the free market system (socialism/communism) by enslaving those required to obtain and then maintain a license.  All cost increases to a business are then passed along to the consumer who must also pay for a protection racket run by the State which doesn’t provide protection; not much different than protection rackets run by the Mafia.

Fast forward to the present, specifically a message from the president of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) found in the monthly newsletter.

“At the TLA Convention, the legislative update from DPS/PSB was simply about the locksmith laws that those in the industry are already aware of them. As an organization, we need to be prepared to take a different approach when it comes to the lobbyist in Austin, Texas. It takes money to see changes and not be ignored by the P.S.B. A different approach is much needed.” (emphasis added)

After all these years GHLA board members have finally figured out that the DPS/PSB folks have been ignoring them.  The DPS/PSB is good at ignoring locksmiths and imposing mandates arbitrarily, mandates which are costly in both time and effort and do absolutely nothing to improve the industry or provide any measure of ‘promised security’ for the public.

ALOAJust a couple of weeks ago while attending the TLA convention in Plano, Texas, the one mentioned in the president’s message, I met with a couple of new GHLA board members.  My purpose for attending was to represent the Society Of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL) and to encourage those in the TLA and GHLA to become members and support this national locksmith association; one which wasn’t under the thumb of the Alarm Services Industry or the ALOA.

SOPL has on-line training courses which cover a wide variety of locksmith related items and are cost efficient.  If these classes were to be approved and shared at meetings held by either the TLA or GHLA for the purpose of obtaining Mandated Credit Hours to maintain an individual’s locksmith license, members would be that much better off.

I introduced myself to one of the new board members who didn’t know me; no surprise since I prefer tending to my business rather than attending local meetings, and explained that he needed to properly represent locksmiths along with some history (some of this was a real eye opener to him), history which can be reviewed by reading articles I’ve written on the subject.

I drove home the point that it was important to stop dancing with the enemy, the enemy being the DPS/PSB, that our going along quietly had done nothing to improve the individual locksmith’s position and that we were in fact 2nd Class citizens that had no voice.

Maybe, just maybe some locksmith’s eyes are starting to open.  They are beginning to understand that the State is not our friend and that somebody needs to stand up to them instead of paying a lobbyist to plead mercy at the feet of our Puppet Masters (DPS/PSB).

A complimentary copy of this article will be sent to the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA), the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) as well as the Society Of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL).

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.