05/22/15
Hillary Clinton / Elizabeth Warren

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

The Watcher’s Council


Obama saves the Republic…


Anti-Stephanopoulos Artwork Posted Near ABC News Headquarters in Manhattan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[snip]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More at the link.

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

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

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

Do read it.

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

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

05/20/15
Bill de Blasio

De Blasio’s “Contract for Communism”

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Red Bill de Blasio just unveiled a 13-point national “Progressive Agenda” that is being touted as the liberal “Contract with America.” It more closely resembles a “Contract for Communism.”

And a majority of Democrats wholeheartedly approve this as the basis for the “Progressive Agenda” – the bedrock for their primary economic policies and the running platform for their anointed 2016 presidential candidate. The mask is coming off… they are going full bore Marxist/Communist and are proud of it. Members of Congress are praising de Blasio for uniting Progressives.

Rev. Al Sharpton stated that the shared goals of Progressives are more important than each individual leader’s specific opinions – how very communist of the Reverend:

“We don’t agree on everything but we agree that we have to deal with income inequality and wages and how we get there,” he said. “We can’t debate that America has to be fair for everybody. We can’t debate that the billionaires are playing games with us and treating us like hamsters on a treadmill rather than people that are focused on the goal line. We will change the debate starting today.”

Comrade Sharpton waxes poetic for the communist agenda. Is anyone surprised that the weasel who is vocally advocating for the nationalization of our police forces stands on a communist perch worthy of Lenin?

De Blasio comparing this to the Republican Party’s 1994 “Contract with America” only holds up if you consider it the very antithesis to such a political platform. But it certainly does lay bare their wealth redistribution and class realignment goals.

Aaron Klein at WND has documented that most of the 13 points in de Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda” can also be found in the manifestos and literature of the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Party USA:

Here is a comparison of the Agenda’s plan with literature from the manifestos and writings of the Community Party USA, or CPUSA, and the Socialist Party USA, or SPUSA.

Progressive Agenda: “Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15/hour, while indexing it to inflation.”

SPUSA: “We call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living.”

CPUSA: Calls for “struggles for peace, equality for the racially and nationally oppressed, equality for women job creation programs, increased minimum wage. … Even with ultra-right control of the Federal government, peoples legislative victories, such as increasing the minimum wage, can be won on an issue-by-issue basis locally, statewide, and even nationally.”

Progressive Agenda: “Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.”

SPUSA: “The Socialist Party stands for the right of all workers to organize, for worker control of industry through the democratic organization of the workplace.”

CPUSA: “One of the most crucial ways of increasing the strength and unity of the working class as a whole is organizing the unorganized. Working-class unity depends on uniting all the diverse sectors of the multiracial, multinational working class in the U.S. … Speeding up the organization of unorganized workers is one of the most important challenges to labor and all progressive forces.”

Progressive Agenda: “Pass comprehensive immigration reform to grow the economy and protect against exploitation of low-wage workers.”

SPUSA: “We defend the rights of all immigrants to education, health care, and full civil and legal rights and call for an unconditional amnesty program for all undocumented people. We oppose the imposition of any fees on those receiving amnesty. We call for full citizenship rights upon demonstrating residency for six months.”

CPUSA: Declares the “struggle for immigrant rights is a key component of the struggle for working class unity in our country today.”

Progressive Agenda: Pass national paid sick leave. Pass national paid family leave.

CPUSA: In October 2014, hails that “women are fighting back to defend their jobs and their families against candidates who want to destroy women’s reproductive rights, health care, family leave and paid sick days. Women’s voices and votes can make the difference in this election in the U.S. Senate and House, for Governors and State Legislatures, and in the movement going forward for full equality.”

Progressive Agenda: “Make Pre-K, after-school programs and childcare universal.”

SPUSA: “We support public child care starting from infancy, and public education starting at age three, with caregivers and teachers of young children receiving training, wages, and benefits comparable to that of teachers at every other level of the educational system.”

Progressive Agenda: “Earned Income Tax Credit.” “Implement the ‘Buffett Rule’ so millionaires pay their fair share.”

SPUSA: “We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax. …”

CPUSA: “No taxes for workers and low and middle income people; progressive taxation of the wealthy and private corporations. …”

Eerily similar, huh? Getting a little hot in our comrade’s kitchen – in fact, hot damn!

De Blasio considers Obama “too conservative” to implement a progressive economic vision and “too afraid to take the bold kind of action that President Roosevelt took” during the Great Depression. It is widely rumored that de Blasio is considering running for president in 2016. At the very least, his agenda for New York is very clear. No way would I live in New York these days – did you know 46% of the population there lives in poverty? Of course, de Blasio blames it all on the Bloomberg administration. Bloomberg deserves a lot of blame, but if he pulled the city into ghettosville, de Blasio is tripling down on it. He wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, just like Seattle. That was disastrous for Seattle by the way. And now LA has decided that they are copying this suicidal move. Looks like both coasts just can’t get enough Marxism going on. Both are racing to see who can go third-world first.

Speaking at the “Progressive Agenda” launch event, de Blasio said “something is changing in America.” Yeah and not for the better. “It’s time to take that energy and crystallize it into an agenda that will make a difference,” he said. “We’ll be calling on leaders and candidates to address these issues, to stiffen their backbones, to be clear and to champion these progressive policies.” It’s an all-you-can-eat Marxist buffet. In attendance were politicians, union leaders and of course, race monger, Al Sharpton. In other words, the who’s who of America’s communists.

The Hill quoted Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., saying de Blasio’s plan “could be the beginning of a revolution.”

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., commented the mayor’s plan represents “the meat on the bones of a progressive agenda.”

Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., said, “The cavalry has arrived.”

Either de Blasio is taking his communist agenda on the election trail, or he is trying to force the Hildebeast even further to the left. But honestly, it’s hard to see how she could go much further left these days.

The Atlantic reported the coalition supporting de Blasio’s plan includes Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party. Cantor was also a founder of the socialist-oriented New Party. Did you know de Blasio once served as executive director of the New York branch of the New Party? Trevor Loudon has done massive research on Obama, who was also listed in New Party literature as a member. WND did as well.

De Blasio’s plan is based on a plan crafted by a George Soros-connected professor. De Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda” was formed around a 112-page policy report at the liberal Roosevelt Institute titled, “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.” The author is Joseph Stiglitz… the Columbia University economist who was an integral part of Occupy Wall Street. De Blasio is a big fan, which should tell you all you need to know. Stiglitz wants more government regulation of the economy.

Stiglitz previously chaired the Commission on Global Financial Issues of Socialists International, the world’s largest socialist organization. He’s also an economic adviser to Obama. His Keynesian economics are pure Marxist pablum.

Gavin Wright, chairman of Stanford’s economics department, summarized Stiglitz’s work:

“Broadly speaking, Joe’s theoretical work has had to do with the shortcomings and imperfections of market economy, not from the standpoint of a thorough-going rejection of the market economy but from the perspective that holds out hope for improvement through government regulation or use of the tax system,” Wright said.

From WND:

Stiglitz was a member of President Bill Clinton’s administration, serving both in Clinton’s cabinet and as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Stiglitz’s most important contribution during his time in the Clinton administration was helping to define a new economic philosophy called a “third way,” which called for business and government to join hands as “partners,” while recognizing government intervention could not always correct the limitations of markets.

“Third Way” is an ideology first promoted as an alternative to free markets by Mikhail Gorbachev after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The “Third Way” of governing would be neither capitalist nor communist, but something in between.

In his 1998 “State of the Union” address, President Clinton outlined the “Third Way”: “We have moved past the sterile debate between those who say government is the enemy and those who say government is the answer. My fellow Americans, we have found a Third Way.”

The “Third Way” calls for business and government to join hands as “partners.”

Discover the Networks criticized the theory: “In short, Big Business would own the economy (as under capitalism), while Big Government would run it (as under socialism). Corporations would be persuaded to comply with government directives through subsidies, tax breaks, customized legislation, and other special privileges.”

Soros himself has been a vocal proponent of the “Third Way” economic policy.

Stiglitz, meanwhile, also became involved in “global warming” issues, including serving on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, helping to draft a new law for toxic wastes and serving on the boards of numerous environmental groups, such as the Alliance for Climate Protection.

Stiglitz is calling for a “New Global Economic Order” in which the world is “no longer dominated by one ‘superpower.’”

So you see, the communist ideals are endemic to de Blasio and his “Contract with America.”

In closing, here is the Progressive Agenda he is pushing:

Lift the Floor for Working People »

  • Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15/hour, while indexing it to inflation.
  • Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.
  • Pass comprehensive immigration reform to grow the economy and protect against exploitation of low-wage workers.
  • Oppose trade deals that hand more power to corporations at the expense of American jobs, workers’ rights, and the environment.
  • Invest in schools, not jails– and give a second chance to those coming home from prison.

Support Working Families »

  • Pass national paid sick leave.
  • Pass national paid family leave.
  • Make Pre-K, after-school programs and childcare universal.
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and protect and expand Social Security.
  • Allow students to refinance student loan debt to take advantage of lower interest rates, and support debt-free college.

Tax Fairness »

  • Close the carried interest loophole.
  • End tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
  • Implement the “Buffett Rule” so millionaires pay their fair share.
  • Close the CEO tax loophole that allows corporations to take advantage of “performance pay” write-offs.

There are many on the right pushing some of this crap too – especially Van Jones‘ ’empty the prisons’ mantra. This is a blueprint for solid communism – just say no to Red Bill de Blasio and his commie policies. His “Contract for Communism” is a road map to tyranny and the fall of the Republic.

05/20/15
George Stephanopoulos

Watcher’s Council Nominations – No Strings Attached Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Phony, corrupt little meat puppet…

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

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

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

This week, The Pirate’s Cove and Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

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

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

05/20/15
Obama's Foreign Policy

What’s Your Vision of Our Future?

By: Dick Manasseri


Jon McNaughton

Once you read:

Obama’s Betrayal of America: Stating, and now Proving, the Obvious

Think about your own vision for what happens to America – to our children/grandchildren:

Here’s mine:

Obama is favoring the Shia in Iran to hold back the Sunni-ISIS in Iraq.

He is OK with Iran having nukes and he knows that the Saudis can get nukes from Pakistan.

I believe that Obama/Putin/China want the threat of nuclear chaos in the Middle East to bubble over to a potential terrorist nuclear attack here; that combined with the spectacle of American cities on fire via anti-Cop jihad will bring the US to its knees with a declaration of martial law and suspension of the Constitution – an important milestone.

The resolution of hostilities and the threat of greater chaos here lead to a UN resolution and national referendum that it is OK to drop the Constitution indefinitely. We will need a strong leader to quell the chaos and align us with the governance of the UN.

Russia/China/Nuclear-Islam will call the shots and we will essentially become a colony of the UN with enclaves of people living in fear of each other needing the national police force to keep order and control. Third world enclaves will expand exponentially with open borders and unrestricted UN-driven refugee resettlement.

Our natural resources will be administered by the UN and China will begin to be paid back for our debt with our oil, coal, land, etc. Russia will get access to resources in Alaska and the Arctic. Islam will have growing enclaves within America plus much of the Caliphate secured in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and countless enclaves in Western Europe. Russia expands into Eastern Europe and South America. China gets much of the Pacific.

We are enslaved within a colony which was once free.

Comments from a friend: “Total police control. Spying on people. People get money by computer credits that can be removed based on a crime or bad behavior. Or just not going with the project/program.”

What’s in your crystal ball?

05/19/15
Jeff Sessions

Sessions: No More Lost Jobs To Poorly-Negotiated Trade Deals

“The day when we can enter into a trade agreement that costs one job as a result of unfair trade practices by our trading allies is over. That needs to end. We need to defend the American worker and American manufacturing on the world stage.”

“I’ve got to say, colleagues, first and foremost I don’t know why we have to create a new transnational commission that has the ability to discipline the United States, to impose penalties on the United States, and create additional constraints on the ability of this great nation to function… So I’m disappointed that we are not going to be able to have that amendment called up now, because if they can block this amendment from being called up, this amendment can be shut out altogether.”

05/19/15
Jeffrey Sachs

Liberal Academic Says America’s Founding Document Outmoded

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Top Vatican adviser Jeffrey Sachs says that when Pope Francis visits the United States in September, he will directly challenge the “American idea” of God-given rights embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

Sachs, a special advisor to the United Nations and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is a media superstar who can always be counted on to pontificate endlessly on such topics as income inequality and global health. This time, writing in a Catholic publication, he may have gone off his rocker, revealing the real global game plan.

The United States, Sachs writes in the Jesuit publication, America, is “a society in thrall” to the idea of unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the “urgent core of Francis’ message” will be to challenge this “American idea” by “proclaiming that the path to happiness lies not solely or mainly through the defense of rights but through the exercise of virtues, most notably justice and charity.”

In these extraordinary comments, which constitute a frontal assault on the American idea of freedom and national sovereignty, Sachs has made it clear that he hopes to enlist the Vatican in a global campaign to increase the power of global or foreign-dominated organizations and movements.

Sachs takes aim at the phrase, which comes from America’s founding document, the United States Declaration of Independence, that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These rights sound good, Sachs writes, but they’re not enough to guarantee the outcome the global elites have devised for us. Global government, he suggests, must make us live our lives according to international standards of development.

“In the United States,” Sachs writes, “we learn that the route to happiness lies in the rights of the individual. By throwing off the yoke of King George III, by unleashing the individual pursuit of happiness, early Americans believed they would achieve that happiness. Most important, they believed that they would find happiness as individuals, each endowed by the creator with individual rights.”

While he says there is some “grandeur in this idea,” such rights “are only part of the story, only one facet of our humanity.”

The Sachs view is that global organizations such as the U.N. must dictate the course of nations and individual rights must be sacrificed for the greater good. One aspect of this unfolding plan, as outlined in the Sachs book, The End of Poverty, involves extracting billions of dollars from the American people through global taxes.

“We will need, in the end, to put real resources in support of our hopes,” he wrote. “A global tax on carbon-emitting fossil fuels might be the way to begin. Even a very small tax, less than that which is needed to correct humanity’s climate-deforming overuse of fossil fuels, would finance a greatly enhanced supply of global public goods.” Sachs has estimated the price tag for the U.S. at $845 billion.

In preparation for this direct assault on our rights, the American nation-state, and our founding document, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon told a Catholic Caritas International conference in Rome on May 12 that climate change is “the defining challenge of our time,” and that the solution lies in recognizing that “ humankind is part of nature, not separate or above.”

The pope’s expected encyclical on climate change is supposed to help mobilize the governments of the world in this crusade.

But a prestigious group of scholars, churchmen, scientists, economists and policy experts has issued a detailed rebuttal, entitled, “An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change,” pointing out that the Bible tells man to have dominion over the earth.

“Good climate policy must recognize human exceptionalism, the God-given call for human persons to ‘have dominion’ in the natural world (Genesis 1:28), and the need to protect the poor from harm, including actions that hinder their ascent out of poverty,” the letter to Pope Francis states.

Released by a group called the Cornwall Alliance, the letter urges the Vatican to consider the evidence that climate change is largely natural, that the human contribution is comparatively small and not dangerous, and that attempting to mitigate the human contribution by reducing CO2 emissions “would cause more harm than good, especially to the world’s poor.”

The Heartland Institute held a news conference on April 27 at the Hotel Columbus in Rome, to warn the Vatican against embracing the globalist agenda of the climate change movement. The group is hosting the 10th International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, D.C. on June 11-12.

However, it appears as if the Vatican has been captured by the globalist forces associated with Sachs and the United Nations.

Voice of the Family, a group representing pro-life and pro-family Catholic organizations from around the world, has taken issue not only with the Vatican’s involvement with Sachs but with Ban Ki Moon, describing the two as “noted advocates of abortion who operate at the highest levels of the United Nations.” Sachs has been described as “arguably the world’s foremost proponent of population control,” including abortion.

Voice of the Family charges that environmental issues such as climate change have become “an umbrella to cover a wide spectrum of attacks on human life and the family.”

Although Sachs likes to claim he was an adviser to Pope John Paul II, the noted anti-communist and pro-life pontiff, Sachs simply served as a member of a group of economists invited to confer with the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace in advance of the release of a papal document.

In fact, Pope John Paul II had worked closely with the Reagan administration in opposition to communism and the global population control movement. He once complained that a U.N. conference on population issues was designed to “destroy the family” and was the “snare of the devil.”

Pope Francis, however, seems to have embraced the very movements opposed by John Paul II.

Sachs, who has emerged as a very influential Vatican adviser, recently tweeted that he was “thrilled” to be at the Vatican “discussing moral dimensions of climate change and sustainable development.” The occasion was a Vatican workshop on global warming on April 28, 2015, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Roman Catholic Church. Sachs was a featured speaker.

The plan going forward involves the launching of what are called “Sustainable Development Goals,” as envisioned by a Sustainable Development Solutions Network run by none other than Jeffrey Sachs.

“The Network has proposed draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which contain provisions that are radically antagonistic to the right to life from conception to natural death, to the rights and dignity of the family and to the rights of parents as the primary educators of their children,” states the group Voice of the Family.

In July, a Financing for Development conference will be held, in order to develop various global tax proposals, followed by a conference in Paris in December to complete a new climate change agreement.

Before that December conference, however, Sachs says the pope will call on the world at the United Nations to join the crusade for a New World Order.

Sachs says, “Pope Francis will come to the United States and the United Nations in New York on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, and at the moment when the world’s 193 governments are resolved to take a step in solidarity toward a better world. On Sept. 25, Pope Francis will speak to the world leaders—most likely the largest number of assembled heads of state and government in history—as these leaders deliberate to adopt new Sustainable Development Goals for the coming generation. These goals will be a new worldwide commitment to build a world that aims to harmonize the pursuit of economic prosperity with the commitments to social inclusion and environmental sustainability.”

Rather than emphasize the absolute need for safeguarding individual rights in the face of government overreach and power, Sachs writes that the Gospel teachings of humility, love and justice, “like the teachings of Aristotle, Buddha and Confucius,” can take us on a “path to happiness through compassion” and “become our guideposts back to safety.”

Writing elsewhere in the new issue of America, Christiana Z. Peppard, an assistant professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University, writes about the “planetary pope,” saying, “What is really at stake in the collective response to the pope’s encyclical is not, ultimately, whether our treasured notions of theology, science, reality or development can accommodate moral imperatives. The real question is whether we are brave enough and willing to try.”

The plan is quite simple: world government through global taxes, with a religious face to bring it about.

05/15/15
Obama's Middle East Summit

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

The Watcher’s Council

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More at the link.

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

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

Council Winners:

Non-Council Winners:

See you next week!

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

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

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

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

05/13/15
Islamist Confusion

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Islamist Confusion Edition

The Watcher’s Council

71 Virgins.

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

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

Council News:

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

This week, The Gates Of Vienna, Simply Jews, Fausta’s Blog and SooperMexican earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

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

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

05/12/15
Benjamin Weingarten

This one policy has correlated with higher unemployment, more bankruptcies and greater inequality. Can you guess what it is?

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

In a new book titled “The Floating Kilogram,” former long-time Wall Street Journal editor and founder of the New York Sun Seth Lipsky makes an impassioned, reasoned, common sense case for returning America to sound money in the form of the gold standard.

Much like Steve Forbes and Jim Grant with whom we have touched on this issue before, as Seth and I discussed during an in-depth interview, Lipsky believes there is significant economic and moral merit to backing currency with a tangible asset, with benefits for all Americans.

One of his more interesting and overlooked arguments concerns some of the devastating consequences for the country since we officially severed the link between the dollar and gold under President Nixon in 1971. Lipsky explains:

From 1947 when [the] Bretton Woods System really got operating to 1971, when the dollar was convertible into gold at a 35th of an ounce, unemployment in America averaged 4.7 percent. And then we got rid of the Bretton Woods system — we defaulted on it — we went to fiat money, and in the years from 1971 to today, unemployment has averaged significantly above 6 percent. Low unemployment: gold standard. High unemployment: fiat money.

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But it’s not just unemployment. The bankruptcy rate which Elizabeth Warren likes to focus on was one point something per thousand for years, and suddenly it shot up. When did it do that? The mid-1970s when we went off the gold standard and moved to the age of fiat money.

And you’ve no doubt read about this economic Thomas Piketty who likes to warn about the inequality rate. It was trending gently downward for years and suddenly it began to shoot up. That was the mid-1970s when we abandoned the gold standard and went to a system of fiat money.

So there are a lot of reasons to start looking at this and to see whether the absence of a sound dollar is the root cause of our system of growing inequality and high unemployment and lack of jobs and high bankruptcy rate, and to see whether something can be reformed so as to bring us back to a system of sound money. [Links ours]

The title for Lipsky’s book, “The Floating Kilogram,” reflects an editorial published in 2011 in his New York Sun, in which Lipsky asked the question, “Why don’t we let the kilogram float?” The implication is that if weights and measures are no longer defined, why shouldn’t the kilogram — a man-made measure which the New York Times noted may have been losing mass — fluctuate just as a dollar fluctuates in value. Lipsky wrote:

[H]ere in the modern age, the members of the Federal Reserve Board don’t worry about how many grains of silver or gold are behind the dollar. They couldn’t care less. And when the value of a dollar plunges at a dizzying rate, the chairman of Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, goes up to Capitol Hill and, in testimony before the House, declares merely that he is “puzzled.” No “new urgency” to redefine the dollar for him. The fact is that we’ve long since ceased to define the dollar, and it can float not only against other currencies but against the 371 ¼ grains of pure silver.

So why not the kilogram? After all, when you go into the grocery to buy a pound of hamburger, why should you worry about how much hamburger you get — so long as it’s a pound’s worth. A pound is supposed to be .45359237 of a kilogram, of course. But if the Congress can permit Mr. Bernanke to use his judgment in deciding what a dollar is worth, why shouldn’t he — or some other PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology — be able to decide from day to day what a kilogram is worth?

During our interview which you can listen to in full below, we discuss the fundamental flaws in and immorality of floating fiat money and several other topics including:

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