February 27, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

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

"Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung. "
-Sir Walter Scott

Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory. - General George S. Patton

"I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside. - Sir Winston Churchill

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” - 1 Samuel 16:7

This week's winning essay,Joshuapundit's -Is President Obama A Christian? Does He Love America? was my reaction to the question raised by former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the media meltdown that followed. Here's a slice:

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani created a press-fueled tempest in a teapot when he raised those issues at a private dinner. As you know, only Democrats and Leftists are entitled to  private conversations and secrecy even the Mafia would envy. And of course, to the freedom to express their opinions  no matter how bat sh*t crazy they are. Rudy Giuliani obviously doesn't qualify for that kind of protection.

Of course the press leaped on this. The current administration and its minions are free to refer to 'right wing Tea Partiers' as  terrorists and to deride a serving US General commanding a combat operation as 'General Betray Us' in the New York Times,  but again, the rule for Democrats and the Left is that you may never question  their patriotism under any circumstances, no matter what they say or do.

Having pretty much struck out trying to smear GOP front runner Governor Scott Walker for not undergoing four years or more of Leftist indoctrination at someplace like Harvard, Yale, Columbia or Princeton, the Obama media decided to grab at another straw and make a point of asking Governor Walker if he thought this president was a Christian.

His quite sensible reply was that he didn't know, and as Byron York pointed out, a fair amount of Americans don't know either. I suppose it all depends on whether you consider Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church with its radical politics and its  anti-Semitic and racialist overtones 'Christian.'  Or whether you're confused about a president who defends Islam and Islamists at every turn while dissing Christianity and standing by and doing nothing while Christians are being  ethnically cleansed from the Middle East by those peaceful Islamists.

But at any rate, the only way to know for sure would be to look inside this president's head and heart, and Walker was astute in simply saying he wasn't going to attempt that.

Now, does this president love America? Again, like the question about Christianity, it all depends on what your definition of loving America is.

In his memoir about his time as Secretary of Defense in the Bush and Obama Administrations, Robert Gates chronicled his struggle to contain his rage as former Democrat Senators and 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden chuckled to Gates about how their efforts during the second Bush administration to sabotage America's war effort in Iraq and the Surge in particular while our troops were under fire were 'hah hah,just politics, ho ho.' As Gates related, these efforts along with their calculated attempts to insult and emasculate its commander General Petraeus literally cost American lives.

Now again, some people are going to say 'what difference does it make?' Others would be outraged at this and a lot of other things that have happened in this administration.

So you see, it all depends on your point of view.

But walk with me a minute.

Let's say,just for giggles, we elected a president who actually didn't love the country, but whose agenda could more accurately be described in one word - payback.

How would such a president behave?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn
with Oh Beautiful For Specious Guys submitted by The Noisy Room.

Steyn exercises his usual mastery at getting to the heart of the matter, in this case the Obama Administration's craven response to violent, radical Islamism uhhh, 'violent extremism' that dares not speak its name. A must read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only the Right Planet 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 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?

|| Greg, 07:08 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (13) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Faux Outrage Of The Fatuous Left And The Fabulist Media

Scott Walker had the audacity to indicate that dealing with a major crisis in which a mob occupied the Wisconsin state capitol building and attempted to shut down the state government helped prepare him to deal with the terrorists of ISIS. And the Left, along with their media allies, are not going to let that analogy stand!

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said something he shouldn't have on Thursday night during his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. Talking about the threat posed to the United States -- and the broader global community -- by the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State and is also known as ISIS, Walker volunteered: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters. I can do the same across the world.”

He's referring to the massive protests in 2011 at the Wisconsin State Capitol that followed hard on Walker's decision to push legislation that effectively ended collective bargaining for public-sector unions. And, you get what he's going for: I know about tough fights. I know about persisting in the face of adversity.

The problem for Walker is that Americans protesting at a state capitol over labor issues, while serious, is just not on the same level as the threat posed by a militant group that uses beheadings, burnings and other savagery to spread terror in the world. It might seem the same to Walker because the personal vitriol aimed at him was so massive during the protests and the recall effort that followed. (Walker beat the recall and won reelection.) But, it's just not -- and most people not in Walker's immediate orbit get that.

The mistake Walker made is the same one that politicians make when they compare something happening in, say, a domestic policy fight to what happened in Nazi Germany. As soon as you are comparing something that doesn't involve mass deaths and unspeakable atrocities to something that does, you've lost the argument. No fight over education policy or immigration is "like what the Nazis did" and/or "like what Hitler did." Ditto comparing a fight -- albeit a pitched one -- over collective bargaining to a group bent on terrorizing the world with its willingness to murder people.

No, the two things are not exact equivalents. But nobody with a lick of sense would believe that Walker meant them to be, His point was that, having dealt with the closest thing to an attempt to overthrow a state government since the rebellions lead by Daniel Shays in Massachusetts and Thomas Dorr in Rhode Island, he was prepared to deal with a crisis. He certainly did not intend to imply that union thugs are the same as jihadi practitioners of the religion that must not be named.

But more outrageous about this reaction is that the Left and their presstitute allies have never applied this sort of standard to drawing equivalency between Americans and terrorists -- provided that those being accused of being like terrorists are conservatives and those making the accusation are on the Left or part of the media.

Consider, after all, the rhetoric of those protesters in Wisconsin about Scott Walker himself. Heck, this is a protester in Wisconsin on Wednesday, February 25, opposing Walker's right to work legislation while it was being debated by the Wisconsin legislature.


That sign is not an isolated incident. Consider this from the 2011 recall campaign against him.

Or if you want to go bigger, you might want to consider the attacks by both Democrat politicians and various media figures likening conservatives and Republicans to terrorists.

Consider this attack on Rep. Paul Ryan by Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston back in 2011. Apparently liking -- or even reading -- the works of political philosopher Ayn Rand makes one a terrorist, or at least a terrorist sympathizer.

I don't think their plan will pass, but it's important to understand what they're proposing, and Congressman Ryan requires his staff to read Ayn Rand, whose fictional hero, Howard Roark, is a man who blew up a building because it wasn't built exactly to his specifications as the architect.

I mean, that's the kind of society we want, where our leaders say not only are we gonna take from the sick and poor, but we’re going to hold out as a model people who commit felonies like blowing up buildings? We really need to dig into understanding the kind of people who would put forth these ideas."

Got that -- reading a dystopian novel designed to point out the flaws of big government and the benefits of liberty makes one an advocate of terrorism. Oddly enough, the media was silent -- perhaps because this came from one of their own.

For that matter, MSNBC has repeatedly hosted guests who have been permitted to accuse Republicans of terrorism without rebuke. Take this example from 2011.

"Frankly, the Republicans here, not all the Republicans, but the extreme right of the Republican party are acting like ideological terrorists. They're literally willing to blow up our economy and the future of our nation to score a few political points. And I think this is the point where the President has to say 'look, we don't negotiate with ideological terrorist,'" MSNBC guest Sally Kohn said on the "Last Word."

Again, no outrage -- just the norm from a mainstream media outlet.

For that matter, we've seen members of the Obama Administration accuse Republicans of being terrorists. Not low-level staffers -- among others, Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.

Biden was agreeing with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting.

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists.”

Media outrage and condemnation? None at all. You see, it is OK to accuse Republicans of being terrorists if you don't like their efforts to rein in big government.

Which is also why senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer was able to get away with this statement unscathed.

Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Thursday compared Republican lawmakers to suicide bombers as the showdown over a possible government shutdown intensified.

“We are for cutting spending, we are for reforming our tax code, we are for reforming entitlements,” Mr. Pfeiffer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But what we are not for is negotiating with people who have a bomb strapped to their chest.”

Cuz, you know, folks who dare to disagree with the Left really are just like suicide bombers. Why would the press object to what they view as nothing more than a statement of fundamental truth?

Which is probably why President Obama was able to get by with making this accusation on Wednesday of this week -- and posting it on the official White House website.

And in the meantime, what we said to Republicans is, instead of trying to hold hostage funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which is so important for our national security, fund that, and let’s get on with actually passing comprehensive immigration reform.

You see, Republicans trying to stop the Lawbreaker-in-Chief from usurping the powers the Constitution delegates to the Legislative Branch is a tactic for terrorists -- and the media will stand by and nod their heads in affirmation as Obama makes that explicit charge.

But God forbid that Scott Walker dare to suggest that dealing with a domestic crisis toughened him up for dealing with national security crises if he is elected as our nation's chief executive. That's just beyond the pale.

|| Greg, 04:35 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (11) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 26, 2015

Lynch Nomination Presents An Opportunity For Compromise Between Obama And The Senate

Since the Lawbreaker-in-Chief’s nominee for Attorney General has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to confirm U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch as the next attorney general, sending her nomination to the full Senate, where it is expected to be voted on in the coming days.

By a vote of 12 to 8, the committee approved the nomination of Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as the first African American woman to take the reins of the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced in September that he would step down as soon as the Senate approved a new nominee.

Republicans want to defund Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty for illegal immigrants. Obama and the Democrats want Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Seems to me that there is room for compromise here – Senate Democrats end their filibuster of the House version of the DHS funding bill and the President signs it, then the GOP leadership schedules a floor vote on the Lynch nomination. Otherwise, that nomination never reaches the floor.

After all, what are Obama and the Democrats going to do – implicitly accuse the GOP of being terrorists and accuse them of taking hostages?

|| Greg, 07:43 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

But The Obama Administration Assured Us These Folks Were Poor People Who Just Needed Jobs!

But ISIS executioner Jihadi John is anything but that.

The "Jihadi John" masked fighter who fronted Islamic State beheading videos is Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Briton from a prosperous family who grew up in London and graduated with a computer programming degree, according to the Washington Post.

In videos released by Islamic State (IS), the black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent appears to have decapitated hostages including Americans, Britons and Syrians.

The Washington Post said Emwazi, who used the videos to threaten the West and taunt leaders such as President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, was believed to have travelled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined IS.

"His real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming," the Post said.

Just call this one more example of the incompetents in the Obama Administration getting things wrong.

|| Greg, 07:42 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (15) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Irony – Obama Says Government Employees Who Follow Law Will Face “Consequences”, Aliens Who Break Law Will Not

Because he’s Obama, and he writes the laws!

President Obama warned workers at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: implement executive amnesty, or else. He made the comments in a town hall event on immigration on MSNBC.

* * *

“If somebody’s working for ICE … and they don’t follow the policy, there’s going to be consequences to it.”

Wow! Just. . . wow. The Lawbreaker-in-Chief is going to punish those who insist upon following the law and the ruling of a federal judge on the matter of Obama’s illegal amnesty plan that Obama himself said for years was beyond his power to implement -- but those who break the laws of the United States will face no consequences at all. Unbelievable!

|| Greg, 07:41 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (255) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Why Does Obama Care More About Law-Breaking Aliens Than The Security Of America?

That is the question that ought to be asked in light of the latest veto threat from the Lawbreaker-in-Chief.

President Barack Obama’s town hall airing now on Telemundo included a vow to veto any efforts to roll back his immigration executive actions — and warned of consequences for immigration agents who don’t follow his new directives.

* * *

“Unfortunately a group of Republican governors sued. They found a District Court judge who enjoined… but that’s just the first part of the process. This is just one federal judge. We have appealed it very aggressively. We’re going to be as aggressive as we can,” Obama said, per the White House pool.

“In the meantime, what we said to Republicans is, ‘Instead of trying to hold hostage funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which is so important for our national security, fund that and let’s get on with passing comprehensive immigration reform.’”

Obama then vowed to veto efforts by House and Senate Republicans “over whether what I’m doing is legal or not.”

The reality is that what Obama is doing is not legal – it is in direct violation of existing federal law and the constitutional prerogative of Congress to determine the rules for immigration and naturalization. Obama and his Democrat lackeys are prepared to shut down the Department of Homeland Security in order to implement an illegal policy to reward illegal aliens for violating American law. Why is it Republicans – who seek to uphold the law and the Constitution – who are being equated to terrorists? Why not those who are actually willing to endanger America in order to uphold a policy that has been ruled illegal by a federal judge and which is unconstitutional on its face?

|| Greg, 07:36 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (28) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 25, 2015

Again Proving That Islam Is A Human Rights Violation

I’ve got no problem with the average Muslim – but stuff like this raises serious questions as to whether Islam as practiced today constitutes a violation of international human rights norms.

On Tuesday morning, Saudi newspapers reported that the death sentence had been handed down in the town of Hafr al-Batin to a man who had "denounced his faith".

He was not named but was said to have uploaded a video of himself tearing up a copy of the Koran and hitting it with his shoe.

"In the video he cursed God, Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and his daughter Fatimah and ripped a copy of the Holy Qur'an and hit it with a shoe," the Saudi Gazette quoted an official as saying. "The death sentence was issued after his apostasy was proved."

The death penalty is the standard penalty for apostasy in the Muslim world, though it is rarely carried out, even in Saudi Arabia which still carries out regular executions.

The man in this case has the right to appeal, and can also avoid the penalty by repenting.

Now let’s look at the relevant portions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

* * *

Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Now let’s boil this down to its essentials.

This man has an internationally recognized human right to reject the faith in which he was raised and to instead embrace religious beliefs (or non-belief) without penalty.

This man has an internationally recognized right to communicate his contemptuous opinions of Islam’s false prophet and his daughter, and to express his contempt for the teachings of Islam by abusing his own inanimate personal property.

The government of Saudi Arabia has an obligation under international law to respect the right of this man to change his religion and to express his religious opinions.

That the Islamic faith demands the execution of individuals for exercising these fundamental human rights is itself a violation of internationally recognized human rights norms.

|| Greg, 03:21 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 24, 2015

Yes, Liberals Are Less Patriotic Than Conservatives

And the data proves it.

|| Greg, 04:37 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Alternate Reality Of The Democrats

Exemplified here by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) accused Republicans of “blocking action” on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill that Senate Democrats are filibustering.

“Those who are blocking action have clear choice: are they going to prioritize politics or are they going to prioritize national security,” Shaheen said Tuesday during a press conference with Democratic leadership. “The American people are counting on us to put safety ahead of partisan politics.”

Senate Democrats have repeatedly filibustered a motion to debate the House-passed DHS appropriations bill because it includes a stipulation that Obama cannot use the money to implement his recent executive orders on immigration.

Let’s see.

Republicans have passed a funding bill in the House.

Republicans have sufficient votes in the Senate to pass that funding bill.

Democrats have filibustered the bill, preventing it from coming to the Senate floor, so that Obama does not have to carry out his threat to veto the bill and take the heat for shutting down the Department of Homeland Security.

But somehow the Republicans are blocking action and responsible for the impending shutdown?

Only in the alternate reality inhabited by the Left.

UPDATE: Looks like Senator Amy Klobuchar lives there, too. Having voted against cloture on the DHS funding bill in order to shield Obama from another unpopular veto, she now demands that Republicans quit being obstructionist and aiding terrorists.

|| Greg, 03:52 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Does Jury Verdict In Palestinian Terror Case Create A Foreign Aid Conundrum?

It seems to me it should.

The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization were found liable on Monday by a jury in Manhattan for their role in knowingly supporting six terrorist attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004 in which Americans were killed and injured.

The damages are to be $655.5 million, under a special terrorism law that provides for tripling the $218.5 million awarded by the jury in Federal District Court.

The verdict ended a decade-long legal battle to hold the Palestinian organizations responsible for the terrorist acts, an effort that encompassed fights over jurisdiction, merit and even practicality: History has shown that it is difficult for victims of international terrorism to bring their civil cases to trial, let alone to recover damages.

The United States government gives some $400 million in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority annually. It seems to me that this jury verdict ought to be sufficient to end that funding permanently – unless the US government intends to add itself to its annual list of state sponsors of terrorism.

|| Greg, 03:50 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Is Obama A Christian?

I answered this question back in 2007. Let me repeat it for those of you who weren’t around back then.

Guys, Barack Obama is a Christian. I may have some serious problems with his theology -- after all, the UCC is such a mess theologically that it approaches apostasy on a regular basis -- but I have no reason to doubt his sincerity when he calls himself a Christian.

But now Scott Walker is being pilloried for saying he doesn’t know if Obama is a Christian.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a prospective Republican presidential contender, said Saturday he does not know whether President Obama is a Christian.

“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, where he was attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith, Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.

“I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”

Walker went on to point out, rightly, that the media focus on the question is a distraction and not relevant to most Americans. And given that Walker is the son of a Baptist minister for whom that question (“Is someone a Christian?”) has a certain theological context that folks who are Catholic or members of mainline denominations (not to mention secular Jews) don’t generally think about (“Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?” as opposed to “Were you baptized?”), I can understand why he said that he is unsure based upon his lack of having had a conversation with Obama about his faith.

But the reality is that over the last several years, events have made it reasonable for folks to wonder about Obama and his religious beliefs. So let me make the following observation and suggest that there is a better response to questions about Obama’s faith than the one I gave in 2007, one that looks something like this:

Well, Obama SAYS he is a Christian, but that there is plenty of evidence that can lead one to be unsure about his faith.

As such, it isn't unreasonable to have doubts about the depth or sincerity of Obama’s Christian faith. But in the end that is a matter between Obama and God, not Obama and the American people, because our Constitution forbids religious tests for the holding of public office.

Would that satisfy the Democrat-Media Establishment? Probably not – but it ought to satisfy Americans who are more interested in solving America’s problems than bickering over non-substantive matters. After all, whether Barack Obama is or is not a Christian are irrelevant to solving the serious issues facing this country.

|| Greg, 03:50 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (12) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Giuliani’s Questioning Obama’s Love Of Country

Does Barack Obama love America? That is a question which strikes so many as both absurd and offensive, and which the press is turning into a litmus test. Rudy Giuliani raised the issue last week in a talk before a private function, and now the nation is abuzz with talk on the subject.

The reality is that we can probably safely claim that Obama loves America – and at the same time assert that his love for this country is irrelevant. After all, a person – indeed, a leader – can love his country while still favoring policies that are harmful to it.

Consider, for example, one of the great dictators of the twentieth century – Benito Mussolini. Most of the world looks upon the Fascist leader and views him as evil. But in 1931, Mussolini was visited by Mahatma Ghandi – and Ghandi was struck by the dictator’s “passionate love for his people”. Mussolini undoubtedly loved Italy, and aspired to raise that country to greatness. Does that love of country – call it patriotism or nationalism or what you will – excuse or mitigate the harm that his program ultimately inflicted upon his country?

Or consider Fidel Castro. A committed revolutionary, it is undeniable that Castro has also committed his life to what he views as the betterment of Cuba. Unfortunately, that vision of a fundamentally transformed Cuba involved oppression of the people, suppression of liberties, and imprisonment of those who dared to have a different vision. Does that love of Cuba make up for the fact that the Castro’s program has been harmful to the Cuban people?

Read the Quotations of Chairman Mao in his “Little Red Book”. Does Mao not talk about the revolutionary devoting himself to the transformation of his country? Of course he does, even arguing that a revolutionary devoted to the concept of internationalism must first love his own country. Lenin wrote of the importance of national pride among the Russian people and his sharing of that pride – yet for all that he indicated that he loved Russia, was the revolution that Lenin brought about a boon for the Russian people? Stalin went so far as to call World War II “the Great Patriotic War” and spoke of the importance of devotion to the Soviet Union – but was this love of country the sort of love that should be praised and emulated?

Which leads us back to Barack Obama. Obama has long talked of fundamentally transforming America as his major goal. He has long said that he views that transformation as being something that will improve this country, making it a better place. That, for me, indicates that Obama does feel some sort of love of for this country. Unfortunately, the policies he has sought to implement as a part of this transformation do not sit well with many of his fellow Americans and have done harm to them. Consider that Obamacare has been a failure and has been massively unpopular. Look at the fact that his economic policies have moved more Americans out of the labor force and onto the government dole. Remember that the national debt has increased by roughly 8 billion dollars during the Obama administration and gone from 68% of GDP to 101% of GDP during that time. Is it any wonder that some would question whether Obama has been good for America – and if the transformation he has wrought has been based on a love for America or a desire to lay her low?

But as for me, I prefer the simpler argument – namely that Obama did not seek high office with nefarious intent. Instead, like the four men of the Left I cited earlier – men who set out to fundamentally transform nations that they loved – the problem is with the progressive policies that Obama seeks to impose. That may not pass the neo-McCarthyite media’s standard for affirming the patriotism of the unicorn-riding demigod in the Oval Office, but it is the best that they will get from me.

|| Greg, 03:44 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (29) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 20, 2015

Watcher's Council Results,_castelli,_carmine_gentile,_ovale_con_allegoria_dell%27accademia_degli_illuminati,_1730-1750.JPG

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

"The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can't improve your lie." - George Duekmejian, former Republican governor of California

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -President Thomas Jefferson

""If we can really understand the problem, than the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem." - Krishnamurti

"It's easy being a humorist when you've got the whole government working for you." - Will Rogers

This week's winning essay, The Right Planet's – More Hipster Harf: ‘We Can’t Stop ISIS by Killing Them; We Need to Give Them Jobs’ uses State department Spokesperson Marie Harf's ridiculous statement about buying off Islamic State and others with 'jobs' as a starting point for an explanation on why the Left has such a problem facing up to radical Islam. Here's a slice:

For many years now I have said the State Department needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. And I’m not alone in that opinion, either. The U.S. Department of State has a long history of working against the best interests of the United States, consistently shilling for all things socialist. Those who have looked into tax-exempt foundations like the Carnegie Endowment, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Consortium, Guggenheim Fellowship, etc., and the subsequent investigation by the Reece Committee, might know what I’m talking about.

The first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, once said, “Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If the diplomats who have mishandled our relations with Russia were merely stupid, they would have occasionally made a mistake in our favor.”

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf recently told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ISIS could be stopped if we could just create jobs for them.

At first blush, for those ignorant of Marxist ideology, this sort of thinking seems preposterous. Well, I am strongly inclined to agree. But I digress.

For dyed-in-the-wool Marxists and their fellow travelers (sympathizers), it makes perfect sense. This is why I believe it so important more Americans gain a better understanding of Marxism—since it is lauded and approved of by so many American universities and the liberal media, not to mention those in positions of power within our own government.

Karl Marx believed our view of history needed to be changed (cf. “hope and change”). Cleon Skousen wrote in his book The Naked Communist about the central importance economics plays in the Marxian religion. Marx believed history should be changed to “a fixed, undeviating, pre-determined course of progress which could be charted in the past and predicted for the future on the basis of a single, simple criterion—economics

According to Marx and his votaries, if we could only “level the playing field” by making everyone and everything the same (see “equality and fairness”), it would usher in a veritable utopia, i.e., the long hoped for “workers’ paradise.” Interestingly, about 90 percent of what Karl Marx wrote concerned economics (see Das Kapital).

Well, let’s just get something straight: ISIS doesn’t give a damn about economics—quite the contrary. Their motivations and actions are not influenced by Marxism, per se, but rather the teachings of Muhammad, and a literal interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith.

Although it should be noted that Marxism and Islam have quite a bit in a common.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Graeme Wood in the Atlantic with an interesting piece, What ISIS Really Wants submitted by Bookworm Room . He attempts to present something very rare in today's climate, an examination of the conflict from the point of view of Islamic State.An excellent read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm Room and Ask Marion 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 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?

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February 13, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

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

This week's winning essay,Joshuapundit's -The Burning Man And The Walking Dead is my look at Islamic State, the recent immolation of a Jordanian Pilot, the reaction of certain western leaders and the uncomfortable truths of what they all signify.

Here's a slice:

By now, the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by Islamic State has become common knowledge.

His captors imprisoned him in a cage, doused it with gasoline, and made a trail of gas leading to it, so that he could see the flames approaching. They then lit it on fire, filmed his agony as it spread to the cage and engulfed it and then put out a slick,professionally produced video of the whole thing, released by Islamic State's Al-Furqan media center. The video was titled 'Healing the Believers' Chests,' which has a meaning worth exploring it detail.

The video itself started with footage of Jordan's King Abdullah essentially declaring war on Islamic State and announcing his support for the anti-IS coalition. It then interspersed shots of al-Kasasbeh sitting in a darkened room and giving details on the air strikes he participated in against Islamic state with TV-style news reports showing the results of the airstrikes. And of course, an emphasis on scenes dead and dying child victims. It then cuts to the immolation of al-Kasasbeh.

The reaction from the West was illuminating. Both UK PM David Cameron and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond referred to this as 'murder'. President Barack Hussein Obama's statement didn't even go that far:

“You know, I just got word of the video that had been released. I don’t know the details on the confirmation. Should in fact this video be authentic, it’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization. And I think we will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated. It also indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they are operating off of, it’s bankrupt. We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better. And this organization appears only interested in death and destruction. Thank you very much, everybody.”

Both PM Cameron and President Obama's remarks reveal a great deal about their mindset. To Cameron and Hammond, this is a 'murder' carried out by criminals. President Obama didn't even go that far, just seeing IS as some malcontents who need 'increased vigilance' and 'determination' to be thwarted. That's how they see it..not as war, or as terrorism or, mercy no, anything to do with Islam, but just a band of criminals.

Want to know how Islamic State sees it?

As a wartime execution, as tactics, as fully justified by Islam and not as murder at all. And as barbaric as they are, they have a point. Murder, after all, has a personal element, for sex, for money or to shut someone up. This wasn't murder.

Perhaps it's worth remembering that Islamic State was originally armed and trained by the Obama Administration,  and that their enemies were Hezbollah, the Syrian forces of Basher Assad and the corrupt Shi'ite Iraqi government and its troops. They did not attack U.S. forces or those of any European country. The way they see it, we declared war on them, and without formally announcing it as the Qu'ran mandates. And it was the U.S. that intervened with air strikes, that has put together a loose coalition of Sunni autocrats to attack them and has been allowing Shi'ite Iran to intervene directly and wage war on them.

Of course, after the brutality Islamic State has made its trademark, especially  on any non-Muslims like Christians and Yazidis, a case could be made for going to war against them. But it wasn't and we haven't. All we've done is supply some arms and advisers to the Kurds and the Iraqi Shi'ite army and perform some air strikes and drone attacks.

Because to actually go to war against Islamic State might also involve certain problems, since literally everything Islamic State is doing is fully justified by the Qu'ran. That's why the Obama Administration and UK PM David Cameron are ever so careful not even to whisper the word 'Islam'  where IS is concerned.

Now, Jordan, being an Arab Muslim State did declare war on IS, and publicly. That's exactly why Islamic State showed that footage of the King doing so in their video, why they were careful to include the Jordanian pilot's confession of participating in the bombing attacks and why they were careful to show a number of brutalized children that IS  claimed were victims of those attacks.

You see, they learned this tactic from Hamas and Hezbollah. And while they probably may have figured out by now that it only works in creating an uproar in places like Europe and in the UN if it's Israel defending itself, it will likely have that desired effect on many Muslims.

In fact some Arab members of the coalition were already easing themselves out, although the White House is claiming that they're all still committed to defeating Islamic State and were just taking a breather.We'll see, but it's a fact right now that only Jordan is now more committed than it was after Moaz al-Kasasbeh's death. That's why the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a big part of the coalition,  just sent a squadron of F-16s to Jordan that the  Obama Administration just gifted the UAE as a 'reward' for joining up .

King Hussein's renewed commitment can be understood because Jordan is a U.S. client state heavily dependent on foreign aid, and because al-Kasasbe's death has been a unifying issue in an increasingly disunified kingdom. How long that lasts is anyone's guess.

The Sunni autocrats are wary for a couple of reasons. First, as they see the Obama Administration becoming increasingly closer to Iran, they also understand now that the Sunni forces of Islamic State represent one of the few checks to Iran in the region.

Obama allowing Iranian backed Shi'te rebels to overthrow a Sunni ally of America in Yemen and essentially okaying an Iranian colony and a brand new strategic threat to the Saudis and the UAE to emerge was a major wake up call. The Saudis are now bracketed by Iranian client states from the north in Iraq and from the south by Yemen, and they fear being surrounded and overwhelmed.

The second reason is that the Saudis and the other Sunni autocracies are gradually becoming leery of fighting Islamic state has to do with their need to placate conservative religious constituencies in their own kingdoms. However barbaric Islamic State seems to us, their ideology isn't 'whatever it is'  to quote President Obama but a mainstream fundamental reading of the Qu'ran and Sharia.

Which of course, is the core of the matter.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was former deputy assistant secretary of defense and former senior director of the National Security Council Michael Doran's essay in Mosaic Magazine – Obama's Secret Iran Strategy submitted by Joshuapundit.

What he's done here is a must read. His premise - and I largely agree with him - is that President Obama's appeasement of Iran isn't merely inexperience. It's not so much that there is no strategy in place, but that there has indeed been a consistent strategy, one based on this president's malignant ideology that has been his goal since day one. And thus far more dangerous.

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 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 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?

|| Greg, 07:06 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (22) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Chris Hayes Gets One Right On Similarity Of Muslim Murders To Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Killings

Of course, he gets it right for the wrong reasons, and means something entirely different than what the truth actually is.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes took about a minute and a half out of his show All In on Thursday night in between guests to give his thoughts on the recent killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina and, naturally, he brought their minority status into the picture by proclaiming their deaths to be a “galvanizing” “Trayvon Martin moment” and “Michael Brown moment for Muslim-Americans.”

In such a short period of time, Hayes was able to perfectly espouse a representative commentary on how the left views race and minorities and omit any mention of reality or observe the awful tragedy as it was.

And he’s right.

Like the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases, the truth of the matter does not matter to those who are seeking to shape the narrative. Details that don’t fit the narrative are dismissed. Thus family members of the victims – three young people who remind me very much of three beloved Muslim former students (a brother and two sisters) who are now doctors – have insisted upon blaming Fox News, Christian conservatives and Republican politicians for the murders, despite the fact that the killer was an atheist, a left-winger, and a fan of MSNBC who apparently committed this crime because of a dispute over a parking space. In a situation where the killings are senseless and meaningless, there is an attempt to make the event have meaning – even if doing so comes at the cost of making the facts the fourth casualty.

But this has become a common tactic – falsely declaring someone a martyr in the service of something that is declared to be a greater good. But that method, championed by Hayes here, comes at a cost – whether it is the persecution of a man who defended himself from an assault, the destruction of a town because a police officer used lawful force when attacked by a suspect, or the destruction of the lives of young men on college campuses who have been falsely accused of sexual assault and have been condemned by kangaroo courts. After all, the logic goes, the truth is not nearly as important or as relevant as the meta-truth that the lies are intended to serve.

|| Greg, 04:53 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (16) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 12, 2015

Chris Cuomo Rejects Declaration Of Independence

“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…”

We all learned those words as kids in school. They are the acknowledgement by the Founders that our rights are not the gift of government, but instead are fundamental to our humanity. That understanding is essential to our entire understanding of human rights and the nature of government.

Unfortunately, Chris Cuomo doesn’t seem to believe that, and rejected this founding concept in a discussion with Chief Justice Roy Moor of Alabama (whose recent antics I find objectionable for other reasons).

“Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man... That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”

Of course, the problem with Cuomo’s assertion is that it would legitimize the elimination of any right by a majority of the people. It would mean, for example, that we could strip Cuomo of his right to report the news or forbid the practice of Islam I this country. As such, no transcendent rights would exist, merely ephemeral privileges that could be revoked.

|| Greg, 03:55 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 11, 2015

Brownback Gets It Exactly Wrong On This One

Well maybe not exactly wrong -- after all, he does have a point that this is a matter that should be dealt with legislatively rather than through an executive order -- but wrong enough that I have a real problem with the net result of his action here.

Gov. Sam Brownback has rescinded a former governor’s order barring discrimination against gays and lesbians in hiring and employment throughout much of state government. Mr. Brownback, a Republican, said Tuesday that he had issued an executive order canceling the 2007 order by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat. She ordered departments under her direct control to bar discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Kansas’ antidiscrimination law covers private employers and housing, but it does not extend to gay, lesbian or transgender residents. Mr. Brownback says that legislators should approve any expansion of antidiscrimination laws, and that Ms. Sebelius acted unilaterally. In response, a Democratic state representative, John Carmichael of Wichita, on Tuesday asked a House committee to sponsor a measure to expand the state’s existing antidiscrimination act. The committee agreed to do so.

Here's my problem -- this has the effect of allowing discrimination by the government on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. But equal protection of the law ought, by any reasonable standard, forbid ANY discrimination for any reason by government. If you are qualified to do the job, government has no placed discharging you or refusing to employ you because of your sex life (absent something like your having a tendency to engage in pedophilia or sexual assault). Similarly, there should be no need for laws forbidding discrimination by government because of race or religion -- again, equal protection means equal protection. No taxpayer -- no citizen -- may be treated unequally by government unless there is an overwhelmingly compelling reason that necessitates such treatment as a matter of public safety. While a case can be made that the imposition of such non-discrimination principles upon the private sector constitutes an unreasonable exercise of government power against property rights, the essential nature of government as a neutral protector of our liberties makes discrimination by it unacceptable.

|| Greg, 04:22 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (8) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime Continues To Hide Results Of Investigation Of Criminal Abuse Of IRS To Punish Its Enemies

Remember, Obama assured us that there was not a scintilla of evidence that the IRS was used to punish his enemies and opponents. Why won’t the most transparent administration in history provide us with the evidence which confirms that claim?

The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency’s scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations. The Hill sought access to government documents that might provide a glimpse of the decision-making through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups. TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal. TIGTA also declined to comment for this article.

There was a time when such things would have resulted in impeachment. Now the media yawns and the Democrats play toady for the dictator.

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February 10, 2015

David Axelrod Confirms Joe Wilson Was Right


This isn't a hostile opponent accusing the Prevaricator-in-Chief of being a deceiver -- it is a close associate who orchestrated Obama's campaign for the presidency.

Barack Obama lied about his opposition to gay marriage, according to David Axelrod’s new memoir. The revelation is reported by Time magazine’s Zeke Miller as: “Axelrod: Obama Misled Nation When He Opposed Gay Marriage In 2008.” But that headline could just as easily have read: “Obama Misled Nation About His Faith,” since Obama claimed his opposition to gay marriage was based on his religious views.

In 2004, he said: “What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting.” He repeated that claim during the 2008 presidential campaign and beyond, citing his understanding of “traditional definitions of marriage.” Those assurances came after Obama had initially backed gay marriage in 1996.

For example, during the Saddleback Forum in August 2008, where Obama and Republican rival Sen. John McCain appeared separately to answer questions from Pastor Rick Warren about their faith and political beliefs, Obama declared: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian–for me–for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

Given Obama's attack on Christians and Christianity last week, one has to wonder to what degree his profession that he is a follower of Christ was a lie to garner votes. Will Barry be feeling heat over this lie -- not just during the final two years of his term, but when he stands before the judgement seat?

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Hillary’s Brian Williams Problem

I’ve been wondering this myself.

Emmy Award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who covered the story of Hillary Clinton's lie about being shot at in Bosnia, says she can't understand how the former secretary of state weathered the scandal while NBC News anchor Brian Williams may not.

"To me, part of the irony is if Brian Williams isn't able to survive it — that we think it's important enough when somebody gives this kind of story that he would lose his career — yet we didn't care enough to have it matter that much with someone who became our secretary of state," Attkisson said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV

After all, Williams is just a news reader. Hillary wants to be commander-in-chief.

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Some Of Our “Leaders” Forget Our Nation’s Heritage

Take the gun grabbers and ammo limiters behind this proposal.


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February 09, 2015

One Tweet That Says It All

H/T Instapundit

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SCOTUS Telegraphs Outcome Of Same Sex Marriage Case Before They Are Even Argued

The refusal to stay this ruling pending the outcome of the High Court’s decision tells us that, even though oral argument is scheduled for April, the justices have already decided how they will rule.

In an order issued Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it had turned down an application by the state to stay the lower court decisions until the justices resolve the issue of whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

* * *

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday provided no explanation from the justices who declined to block the effect of Granade’s decisions.

However, Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissented from the high court’s action, with Thomas writing that the court’s “ordinary practice” is to let such laws take effect while the Supreme Court hears arguments and prepares a decision on the laws’ constitutionality.

* * *

The U.S. Supreme Court announced in January that it will take on the issue of whether same-sex couples can marry nationwide. Arguments are set to begin in late April, with a decision to come before the term’s end in June.

SCOTUS has, in recent months, failed to abide by that “ordinary practice”, which signals to many SCOTUS observers that constitutionalizing a right to same sex marriage is a done deal. Consider this observation by Owen Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy.

Last month, when the Supreme Court granted cert in the same-sex marriage cases, I noted the lack of uncertainty about to how the Court would rule. Today’s denial of a stay in the Alabama same-sex marriage case is the latest piece of supporting evidence for that conclusion. Justice Thomas’s dissent from the denial of a stay, joined by Justice Scalia, even acknowledges the implication: The denial of a stay after the Court has already granted cert to resolve the question “may well be seen as a signal of the Court’s intended resolution” of the same-sex marriage cases. We’ll have to wait until late June for the opinion, but I don’t think the result is in doubt.

Frankly, this course of action concerns me. I believe that by acting in this fashion the justices are undermining the notion that their decisions are based upon the law and the facts of the cases before them. As Justices Thomas and Scalia note in their dissent, this signals a decision before the parties have even presented their cases. Such a perception is corrosive of respect for the court.

|| Greg, 04:26 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (5) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Lest There Be Any Question That The LGBT Agenda Includes An Attack On Religious Freedom

Consider what is deemed an appropriate use of tax dollars by some LGBT folks.

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell has apologized to the entire police force for comments in the latest issue of a monthly newsletter published by the department's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison officer. The newsletter contained an excerpt from The Huffington Post that said if someone is a member of a religion that does not support "transgender identities" and paying tithes he is supporting the "slaughter of innocents." The newspaper also listed local places of worship that do support transgender identities.

Apparently someone forgot that non-establishment means that tax dollars are not to be used condemning religious beliefs and doctrines. But then again, if tax dollars can be used to force Americans to participate in gay weddings, why not this?

|| Greg, 04:25 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

I Wonder How Many Of These Students Receive Government Financial Aid

If they do, these UCLA students should have the moral integrity to renounce it as an example to the larger university community of their dedication to the cause of divestment from the US.

As to the U.S., the grounds for divestment were:
WHEREAS, The government of the United States of America is engaged in drone strikes that have killed over 2,400 people in Pakistan and Yemen, many of them civilians. The government oversees, by far, the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement agencies, particularly for drug­ related offences. 400,000 undocumented immigrants are held in detention centers every year, and millions have been deported since the current Administration took office, and the government is directly supporting and propping up numerous dictatorships around the world with weapons sales and foreign aid.

WHEREAS, The University of California conducts research and accepts funding from the United States Department of Defense and the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), institutions actively involved in the United States’ military actions worldwide, on its Los Angeles, Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Diego, San Francisco, and Merced campuses, thereby furthering and enabling military agendas;

The Resolution demands:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association calls upon the University of California to withdraw investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings in the aforementioned governments, at such time and in such manner as fund trustees may determine; and that the University of California maintain the withdrawal of investments, in accordance with trustees’ fiduciary duty, until these governments are no longer engaged in the violation of human rights and other behavior that fail to adhere to the University of California endorsed Principles of Responsible Investment;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association determines if it is found that UC funds are being invested in any of the above mentioned governments, the University of California Student Association calls upon the University of California to divest all stocks and securities of such governments, at such time and in such manner as fund trustee may determine, and maintain divestment from said governments, in accordance with the fund trustees’ fiduciary duty, until they meet the University of California endorsed Principles of Responsible Investment;

The second Resolution is sufficiently broadly worded to also require divestment from almost every Muslim-dominated country in the Middle East, were discrimination against Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities is rampant and institutionalized:

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association calls upon our university to dissociate itself from governments and companies that engage or aid in systematic prejudiced oppression, whether this system targets people based on their religion, nationality, gender, race, or orientation, by divesting from governments and companies that participate in or profit from human rights violations.

Better yet, these students need to not only divest themselves of student aid funded by the US – they should also divest themselves of their US citizenship and depart our shores immediately.

|| Greg, 04:24 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

College Should Be the Ultimate Unsafe Space

I like the approach – in the face of demands for censorship, one college student has made the point that the best way to combat bad ideas is to expose them to the light of day and refute them rather than establish an orthodoxy that cannot be challenged.

At Columbia, the Ivy League, super-supposedly-liberal university in NYC, one student rebelled against a request that he, and every other student, hang a sign in their dorm-room windows declaring that their living quarters were ‘safe spaces’ in which ‘homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, racism, ableism, classism and so on’ will not be permitted and everyone who enters will be expected to ‘not be oppressive in [their] interactions’. Most students dutifully displayed the Safe Space sign, but one Adam Shapiro, a junior majoring in history, refused. In fact, he hung up a different sign, his own one, declaring his room an unsafe space. ‘People call them safe-space zones, but actually they’re censorship zones, that’s exactly what they are’, Shapiro tells me. ‘Students need to fight back and have dangerous spaces.’ Towards the end of last year, Columbia — home to some of the most PC, word-watching students in the modern West — had at least one ‘dangerous space’: Shapiro’s room. Instead of hanging up the sad ‘safe space’ sign shoved under his and every other students’ dorm door, Shapiro wrote and displayed a sign headlined ‘I do not want this to be a safe space’. His room, the sign said, is a place where all who enter will be expected ‘not to allow identity to trump ideas [or] emotion to trump critical thinking’. ‘Whether you’re black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, bi, transgender, fully abled, disabled, religious, secular, rich, middle class or poor, I will judge your ideas based on their soundness and coherence, not based on who you are’, his sign declared. Then there was the sign-off, in bold, a warning to anyone who thought they could pop into this student’s room and arrogantly expect that certain things would not be thought, said, or argued out: ‘This is a dangerous space.’ ‘I came to university because I wanted to be in a dangerous space in which controversial ideas could be explored’, Shapiro tells me. But safe-space policies, he says, mitigate against such open-ended, free-wheeling and, yes, sometimes difficult thought-excavation by chilling what can be thought and discussed. ‘The idea behind them seems noble: to be kinder to each other — I’m all for that. But the underlying principle is that there are certain rules that you can’t break and certain things that, if you say, the discussion will be closed.’ Once a safe-space is created, he says, anyone can say to anyone else ‘That’s really offensive, and shut an idea down and not engage with it’. So what is presented as a morally upstanding stab at keeping students safe from harm is in fact more about cushioning them from controversy, from ideas. ‘That isn’t what I came to university for’, Shapiro says.

The idea of the university is that ideas should be rigorously examined and debated. That isn’t just good ideas or ideas that make folks comfortable – that is all ideas, as a means of determining which are worthy of acceptance. One of the hallmarks of an intellectually bankrupt institution ruled where rigorous thought is rejected is that it puts certain views off limits as somehow heretical. Bravo, Adam Shapiro, for having the guts to stand for that idea.

|| Greg, 04:23 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Texas Earthquakes Caused By Long-Dormant Fault, Not Fracking

Another anti-fossil fuel scare story debunked.

Scientists are discovering what is to blame for the recent earthquakes in Irving.

Many believed that the former Texas Stadium implosion or gas drilling could be the blame but SMU seismologists say they just don’t know yet.

They are identified fault line that runs right through Irving and into Dallas.
It is about 2 miles in length and 3 to 5 miles deep.

In the area of the newly identified fault are: buildings, businesses, high-rises, and residents.

The SMU seismology team says the fault stretches from state highway 114 in Irving and extends north-by-north east to Walnut Hill in West Dallas.

“This is not new faulting. This is not the formation of a new fault this is just reactivation of a fault that’s probably hundreds of millions of years old,” explains SMU Seismologist Heather DeShon.

This happens – previously inactive faults become active, just like previously inactive volcanoes become active (see Mt. St. Helens for details). We puny humans don’t have nearly as much control of or impact on the ecosystem as some would have us believe.

|| Greg, 04:22 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Climate Fraud To Promote Climate Change Hysteria?

If the numbers don’t support the hypothesis, change the numbers!

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record.

Following my last article, Homewood checked a swathe of other South American weather stations around the original three. In each case he found the same suspicious one-way “adjustments”. First these were made by the US government’s Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN). They were then amplified by two of the main official surface records, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) and the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), which use the warming trends to estimate temperatures across the vast regions of the Earth where no measurements are taken. Yet these are the very records on which scientists and politicians rely for their belief in “global warming”.

Science, of course, changes hypotheses to fit the data. That the data has been adjusted instead tells us that we are looking at fraud.

|| Greg, 04:21 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 06, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

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

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran…should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth." - CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad

“Mohamed Akram, explained that the Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” - Robert Spencer, Muslim Brotherhood in America

This week's winning essay,The Noisy Room's – The Muslim Brotherhood Calls For “A Long, Uncompromising Jihad” In Egypt After Meeting With US State Department is a well written account showing yet again how the Obama Administration empowers and supports Islamist at every turn. Here's a slice:

It couldn’t be more obvious to me that Obama and his Administration are in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. This past week, they held a confab at the State Department concerning their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who rose to power following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Brotherhood, in 2013. And that just pissed Obama off to no end. Not hard to tell where his allegiances lie and they certainly aren’t with Israel.

Waleed Sharaby, who is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood, posed for a selfie in front of the State Department emblem while showcasing the Muslim Brotherhood Rabia four-finger sign. The caption under the pic says, “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone.” The sign is named after Rabia Square in Cairo, where a large anti-coup sit-in was held for about forty days before it was dispersed. The sign is meant to express solidarity with the thousands wounded, killed and burnt by the Egyptian army during the dispersal and persistence of the anti-coup movement, whereas pro-coup activists, figures and media consider the sign to be a terrorist sign. Or should that be called an ‘armed insurgent’ sign since we are not allowed to call the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban or CAIR the scum bag terrorists they are? Confusing, huh? Only certain terrorists are actually terrorists according to Obama. Only the ones he doesn’t snuggle with. Actually, doing away with the word ‘terrorist’ altogether is straight out of CAIR’s playbook. Radical Islamists of a feather and all that.

The delegation not only included Sharaby, it also had on board Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor as part of its makeup. Maha Azzam, who was also part of the delegation, proclaimed that the talks were ‘fruitful.’ Yeah, I bet they were. Azzam was speaking at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). This is yet another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood. Azzam also declared that the State Department expressed openness to engagement. Quoi? Engage in what precisely? So, does this mean that the Brotherhood is now just another arm of our State Department? It’s sure beginning to look that way.

Any fool can see that Obama is still supporting putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt and wants al-Sisi dealt with and gone. State Department officials would not comment on the content of the talks, several of which consisted of public get-togethers (by invitation) in Maryland and Virginia last week. I’m sure they had cocktails, while discussing the ouster of al-Sisi and the destruction of Israel.

From Patrick Poole:

Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter, said the powwow at the State Department could be a sign that the Obama administration still considers the Brotherhood politically viable, despite its ouster from power and a subsequent crackdown on its members by Egyptian authorities.

“What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,” Poole said.

“This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said.

Two days after the delegation meeting, the Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising Jihad” in Egypt. They released an official statement calling on their supporters to “prepare” for Jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.

In typical Muslim Brotherhood fashion, the releases in Arabic and English contradicted each other. Look to the Arabic translation for their true intentions. The English release is propagandic taqiyya for the infidels and nothing but lies:

A call for “a long, unrelenting Jihad” appeared on the Brotherhood’s Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

On its English language website Friday, the Brotherhood struck a dramatically different tone in an article in which it “Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence.”


The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence “no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say.”

As the IPT has shown, offering mixed messages in Arabic and English is routine for the Brotherhood.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Michael Totten with a great piece in the City Journal – Chris Kyle wasn’t a savage; he killed savages. submitted by Joshuapundit. The film "American Sniper" seems to have sparked a visceral reaction in the Left, regardless of whatever cinematic or artistic merits it might or might not have. Michael Totten, as usual, cuts to the very bone of the matter. Recommended.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was nit 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 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?

|| Greg, 07:04 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech

I wanted to write about this last night, but other commitments kept me away from my keyboard. But it seems to me that an additional twenty-four hours to think my way through the President’s appalling effort can only improve upon what I had in mind at the time.

Now let’s hit the highlights (or dare I say “lowlights”) of the speech.

The first came just moments into the speech – and involved a greeting to the Dalai Lama.

I want to offer a special welcome to a good friend, His Holiness the Dalai Lama -- who is a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion, who inspires us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings. (Applause.) I’ve been pleased to welcome him to the White House on many occasions, and we’re grateful that he’s able to join us here today. (Applause.)

Yeah, about that. Surely you folks remember this.


The Dalai Lama, Nobel Laureate and spiritual leader of a major segment of the Buddhist faith, was ushered out of the White House through a door used by the cleaning staff and cooks, past a pile of garbage. That says all that needs to be said about the regard Obama has for this great man.

But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge -- or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism -- terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.

We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion.

So how do we, as people of faith, reconcile these realities -- the profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths, operating alongside those who seek to hijack religious for their own murderous ends?

But are these the twisting and distortion of Islam? For centuries Islam has nurtured such barbarism in its belly, and these deeds have always been cloaked in the approving words of religious leaders and the deeds of historical personages. Indeed, some of these practices date back to the time of Muhammad himself – was the so-called Prophet twisting and distorting the faith that he preached? Did he who Islam declares to be the very model of that which Allah demanded of his followers hijack Islam at its very founding?

Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and I returned from India -- an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity -- but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs -- acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.

But let’s think about this. Great wrongs have been done in the name of the Christian faith – no one with even a passing understanding of history can deny that. But where the deeds of those who Obama is loathe to call “Muslim extremists” are of a kind with those of Muhammad and the earliest caliphs, the deeds Obama cites as proof that Christians are just as bad are contrary to the teachings and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth.


What’s more, one might want to consider the context of some of those deeds committed centuries ago – the Crusades were, after all, a response to some five centuries of Islamic aggression against Christians and the Christian world. Similarly, the Spanish Inquisition (often exaggerated in scope due to the polemics of contemporary Protestant writers and historians who rely upon them) was also, in part, a response to some seven centuries of Islamic occupation of portions of the Iberian Peninsula following Muslim wars of aggression. In the end, neither can be viewed as giving glory to God – but when one contextualizes these two blots on Christian history one sees that they came about due to the same sort of deeds committed in the name of Islam that Obama wishes to attribute to anything but Islam today. And I say that as one who traces my lineage back to conversos whose exile from Spain was due to the Inquisition.

And while some used the Bible to justify slavery and Jim Crow, they were just as strongly opposed by other Christians proclaiming those evil deeds to be an offense in the sight of God. But for Obama to acknowledge those details would be to undermine his effort to whitewash Islam.

So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try. And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.

And, first, we should start with some basic humility. I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt -- not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.

Our job is not to ask that God respond to our notion of truth -- our job is to be true to Him, His word, and His commandments. And we should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards Him, and have some humility in that process. And that means we have to speak up against those who would misuse His name to justify oppression, or violence, or hatred with that fierce certainty. No God condones terror. No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives, or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number.

Talk of humility from Obama? Really?


I don’t think so. It is akin to talk of chastity from a prostitute.

And so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion -- any religion -- for their own nihilistic ends. And here at home and around the world, we will constantly reaffirm that fundamental freedom -- freedom of religion -- the right to practice our faith how we choose, to change our faith if we choose, to practice no faith at all if we choose, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination.

Freedom to practice our faith? This from the man whose administration argued that the government has the authority to determine when a religious group may hire and fire ministers, whose signature legislation seeks to make nuns pay for abortions, and who allies himself with those who seek to force those whose faith rejects gay marriage to participate in them as contractors. I don’t think Obama has any clue as to what it really means to have the right to practice one’s faith.

There’s wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.

But part of humility is also recognizing in modern, complicated, diverse societies, the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment. And if, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another’s religion, we’re equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults -- (applause) -- and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities who are the targets of such attacks. Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t question those who would insult others in the name of free speech. Because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcome, that they, too, are full and equal members of our countries.

So what Obama is insisting is that the only legitimate use of free speech is to implement his words to the UN in 2012 – “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” After all, I don’t recall ever hearing him condemn his political allies who attack and defame Catholics and Evangelicals for being true to their religious faith. Heck, this is the guy who mocked Americans for clinging to their religion rather than flocking to his “Hope and Change” crusade. Time and time again Obama has stood shoulder to shoulder with those who insult and defame and condemn the faith of his fellow Americans. Apparently his solicitude extends only to those of the Muslim faith.

So humility I think is needed. And the second thing we need is to uphold the distinction between our faith and our governments. Between church and between state. The United States is one of the most religious countries in the world -- far more religious than most Western developed countries. And one of the reasons is that our founders wisely embraced the separation of church and state. Our government does not sponsor a religion, nor does it pressure anyone to practice a particular faith, or any faith at all. And the result is a culture where people of all backgrounds and beliefs can freely and proudly worship, without fear, or coercion -- so that when you listen to Darrell talk about his faith journey you know it's real. You know he’s not saying it because it helps him advance, or because somebody told him to. It's from the heart.

Well, Obama is partly right – our government doesn’t sponsor religion, but it sure does pressure Americans to conform to one vision of faith, one that involves practice of one’s religion only in your home or church and not letting that faith impact one’s life outside of those two places. Obama doesn’t really believe in Americans being free to practice their religion freely – because at every turn he has been opposed to Christians practicing their faith in ways that are not his way or opposing his policies because they believe the Gospel calls for something different than what the President wants.

But when one looks at Obama’s words, one cannot help but be struck by the contrast between the platitudes he mumbled and the message he actually intended. This is not a speech about religious freedom and religious tolerance. It is instead a defense of a single religion and a condemnation of another – and it is the faith that seeks to avoid violence and the sword that is chastised. After all, it isn’t “Hail Mary, full of grace” that is shouted by suicide bombers and it isn’t “Our Father who art in heaven” that is proclaimed by those beheading and burning captives in the name of their faith. Christian wars of religion are a thing of the distant past – which is why Obama could be sure that uttering such criticisms of Christianity before a mostly Christian crowd would earn him nothing more than harsh words instead of a fatwa marking him for death.

|| Greg, 04:42 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Evidence that Obama Is Unclear On The Concept Of Borders, Citizenship, And Law

As painful as it is for me to say this, knowing that some of these so-called “DREAMers” are kids sitting in my classroom on a day to day basis, Obama is fundamentally wrong here.

I don't think there’s anybody in America who’s had a chance to talk to these six young people who or the young DREAMers all across the country who wouldn’t find it in their heart to say these kids are Americans just like us and they belong here and we want to do right by them.

And so often in this immigration debate it's an abstraction and we don't really think about the human consequences of our positions. And part of the reason that I wanted to hear from these young people today, and part of the reason why I've heard from young DREAMers in the past is because it's a constant reminder to me of why this is important.

Barry, let me explain this to you.

  1. The United States is a nation with borders.
  2. Those borders define the territory which is home to citizens of America, whether naturalized or natural born.
  3. Those who are not citizens of the United States are legally admitted according to the laws of the United States. Illegal entry or overstaying one’s visa is a violation of our laws and our sovereignty.
  4. One who is not a citizen and not currently in the United States in conformity with the laws of the United States has no right to be here. Neither length of illegal residency nor age at which that illegal residency began makes one an American.
  5. It is a fundamental proposition of law and justice that those who violate the law should not be permitted to profit by their illegal activity.

Now I want you to notice something – Obama insists that he wants to meet with and hear from these illegal aliens because their demands conform with his policy preference. Who does he not want to hear from? Americans – indeed, Americans who constitute a majority of the citizenry – who disagree with those policy preferences. The wants and desires of those who are not citizens apparently trump the wants and desires of Americans who insist that our nation’s laws be respected, borders be secured, and citizenship be granted only when the law is complied with. Something is quite wrong with that picture.

Of course, the might be a case to be made for granting some special dispensation for those who were brought to this country as children. Any such provision would be a matter of special grace granted by this country, not a matter of right for these individuals. But any such plan must ensure that the parents who brought – or sent – these children to the United States in violation of the law are not rewarded with legal status because of this.

And as far as the argument that these young people should not suffer because of choices made by their parents that they could not control, I would like to suggest that said argument flies in the face of what happens to the children of others who break our laws. Some years ago I had a young lady in my class who was doing well in school and looking forward to heading to college. At the star of her senior year, however, she found those dreams dashed to the ground. Her father, it seems, had been involved in marijuana trafficking, and after his arrest and guilty plea the government confiscated a large number of family assets deemed to be fruits of the criminal activity – including this student’s college fund. She had committed no crime and was in no position to stop her father’s actions, but she found herself moved from a nice house to a small apartment and forced to get an after school job to support her family. Suddenly, the hopes and dreams of this “American just like us” were ripped from her. I somehow doubt that Barack Obama would advocate that this young lady – an African-America natural born citizen – should not suffer the consequences of her father’s crime. Why the special solicitude for non-citizens. Mr. President?

|| Greg, 04:30 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (7) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

A Note On The Use Of Language To Delegitimize Democracy

In that same article about Rand Paul and the Fed.

Yellen, who met with Senate Democrats last week on Capitol Hill, is scheduled to testify before Congress later this month. The appearance will be her first since Republicans seized control of the Senate, and she will likely face questions on the legislation.

Got that? “Republicans seized control of the Senate.” You know, by rolling tanks in the streets and overthrowing the legitimate elected members of the Senate, rather than winning seats in the November 2014 election.

Or so the fine folks at “The Hill” would have you believe – because having the Democrats in control of government is how it is supposed to be.

|| Greg, 04:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Federal Reserve Attacks On Rand Paul Illustrate Why Federal Reserve Needs More Oversight

The Federal Reserve operates as our nation’s central bank. It is a creation of Congress intended to fulfill certain functions within the purview of both the legislative and executive branches. Its top officials are presidential appointees confirmed by the Senate. As such, it is the duty and the obligation of Congress to oversee its operations and to make them transparent for the American public. Rand Paul has offered a proposal to do exactly that – and the top officials of the Fed are quite vocal in their disdain for that idea.

The Federal Reserve is lashing out at Sen. Rand Paul’s plan to give Congress more oversight over the central bank, a proposal that could gain traction in the new Republican-led Congress.

The Kentucky Republican reintroduced his “Audit the Fed” legislation last month with 30 co-sponsors, including other potential 2016 GOP hopefuls, Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).

* * *

Regional bank presidents from around the country are decrying the plan, which they argue could damage the economy.

“Who in their right mind would ask the Congress of the United States — who can’t cobble together a fiscal policy — to assume control of monetary policy?” Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said during an interview with The Hill.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has already vowed to fight the legislation, and President Obama would likely veto it.

* * *

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser told The Hill that financial auditing “already exists” for the Fed, and warned that Paul’s plan would empower Congress “to audit and question monetary policy decisions in real time.”

“This runs the risk of monetary policy decisions being based on short-term political considerations instead of the longer-term health of the economy,” Plosser said.

Paul pushed back against the criticism, saying Fed officials “will say and do anything to keep their business hidden from the American people.”

Now I’m not sure where I stand on this particular piece of legislation – but I do know where I stand on the reaction of these Federal Reserve officials. They are showing that there is a problem with the Federal Reserve being too independent and having grown too arrogant, as demonstrated by the contempt expressed for the elected representatives of the people fulfilling their constitutional function. Indeed, it seems to me that these officials need to be replaced at the earliest opportunity – or that the Federal Reserve needs to be abolished and replaced with something that stays within its proper bounds.

|| Greg, 04:28 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 03, 2015

A Book I've Been Waiting Decades For

I shocked my students this afternoon when I checked my email.

I let out a scream worthy of a ten-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

A sequel -- of sorts -- to one of my favorite books is soon to be published.

Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman will be published this summer.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" will not be Harper Lee's only published book after all.

Publisher Harper announced Tuesday that "Go Set a Watchman," a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. Rediscovered last fall, "Go Set a Watchman" is essentially a sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird," although it was finished earlier. The 304-page book will be Lee's second, and the first new work in more than 50 years.

The publisher plans a first printing of 2 million copies.

"In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called 'Go Set a Watchman,'" the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. "It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout's childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became 'To Kill a Mockingbird') from the point of view of the young Scout.

"I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn't realized it (the original book) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years."

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal was negotiated between Carter and the head of Harper's parent company, Michael Morrison of HarperCollins Publishers. "Watchman" will be published in the United Kingdom by William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

According to publisher Harper, Carter came upon the manuscript at a "secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'" The new book is set in Lee's famed Maycomb, Alabama during the mid-1950s, 20 years after "To Kill a Mockingbird" and roughly contemporaneous with the time that Lee was writing the story. The civil rights movement was taking hold in her home state. The Supreme Court had ruled unanimously in 1954 that segregated schools were unconstitutional, and the arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955 led to the yearlong Montgomery bus boycott.

"Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus," the publisher's announcement reads. "She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood."

Twenty-one years ago, back when I was an English teacher, I taught "To Kill A Mockingbird" for the first time. Actually, I should be a bit more honest -- teaching four different classes in three different departments, I read that book for the first time and explored it along with a class of ninth graders who were consigned to the class of an overwhelmed first-year teacher. I remember very little else from that year -- but I fell in love with the book.

A couple of years later, in a different school in a different state, I was blessed to teach the book again from a more mature perspective, tying the novel in with both the setting of the story and the era in which it was published. The major observation for my teacher evaluation occurred during that unit, and it earned me high praise from my principal for being "a new white teacher knowledgeable enough to teach that material well and crazy enough to do so with a black administrator in the room".

In all those years of teaching the novel, I never had a single student get my extra credit question correct -- "According to the narrator, what story is this book telling?" I'll share the correct answer at the end of this post.

And while I may have left the English Department thirteen years ago to teach History, Government, and Economic, I still treat myself to a return visit to Maycomb every year and imagine the changes that might have come along in the following decades of turmoil for an America that faced war, racial strife, assassinations, and social upheaval. I wonder about characters I have come to love -- Scout, Jem, Dill, Atticus, Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra, Boo Radley and all the rest.

Go Set a Watchman will answer a few of the questions -- and no doubt leave me with a whole lot more. And I cannot wait to return to that little town this summer to renew my acquaintance with these old friends.

Oh -- the answer to the extra credit question is below the fold.

Continue to be enlightened while reading "A Book I've Been Waiting Decades For" Ā»

|| Greg, 07:42 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Are Drag Shows Discriminatory?

Mary Cheney, the out-and-proud lesbian daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has posed an interesting question regarding apparent sexist bias in the gay community.

“Why is it socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for men to put on dresses, make up and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc.) — but it is not socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans?”

An interesting question -- and one where the person raising the question would appear to have (based upon liberal politically correct victimological categorization) the morally superior position.

After all, Cheney is both gay and a woman. That should trump the view of any gay man.

Although one does have to ask if the participants in the drag shows are both gay and "trans-women", therefore trumping a mere "cis-woman" like Cheney.

Unless, of course, the "trans-women" are using their birth with male genitalia as a way of subjecting women -- especially lesbians -- to their male privilege.

Which ought to indicate to you just how absurd the entire progressive effort to "re-imagine gender", "empower individuals of non-traditional sexualities", and "destroy patriarchy" really is and why the whole politically correct construct deserves nothing but mockery from anyone with an ounce of sanity.

H/T GayPatriot

|| Greg, 06:43 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Sometimes My Fellow Educators Embarrass Me

Suspended over a magic ring? Really?

A nine-year-old boy's love of The Lord of the Rings has gotten him in trouble with a power more terrible and despotic than Sauron himself: school administrators.

The boy, Aiden Steward, was suspended by officials at Kermit Elementary School in Kermit, Texas, after he tried to make a classmate disappear using his magic ring. Steward had just seen The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and was inspired by the timeless fantasy stories of J.R.R. Tolkien that have entertained kids, teens, and adults for generations.

Since Steward was not in possession of the One Ring To Rule Them All, his attempts at dark magic failed. Still, administrators considered it a "terroristic threat" and had no choice but to take action, according to Odessa American.

In the early days of my blog, I used to write a lot about zero tolerance policies and the stupidity that were at their heart. After all, failure to treat remotely similar things identically could lead to lawsuits and courtroom losses – thus a plastic knife must be treated exactly like a broadsword lest the kid with the real weapon go scot-free due to inconsistent application of policy. I’m sure that some school administrator felt compelled to suspend this kid on the off chance that another student might show up with a functioning magic want and begin killing classmates with Avada Kedavara spells and the school be unable to apply an appropriate punishment.

|| Greg, 05:53 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (10) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Obama Regime Has Been Flouting Immigration Law Since 2009

The president’s job is to see that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed. This makes it clear that this president has failed to ensure such faithful execution of our nation’s immigration laws – and helps explain why he is willing to ignore the law and the Constitution with his recent immigration lawlessness.

More than 5.46 million foreign nationals have received work permits from the federal government since 2009, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Data uncovered from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency reveal that approximately 982,000 work permits were given to illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals unqualified for admission, most of whom crossed the border without inspection.

* * *

The remarkable number of work permits granted by the federal government to law-breaking aliens better explains how all net jobs growth since 2007 has gone to immigrants. The government issued approximately 1.7 million work permits since 2009 to aliens whose status was not known, not recorded, or not disclosed by USCIS, according to the report. The report says employment is not authorized by law for approximately 1.2 million immigrants who collected work permits while having a temporary visa status. And the data show that approximately 1,200 new work permits went to unlawful entrants who were denied asylum, were suspected of using fraudulent documentation, were stowaways, or were refused at a port of entry.

If Democrats believed in the Constitution, they would join Republicans in impeaching and removing Barack Obama over this. But then again, they benefit by this lawlessness.

|| Greg, 05:51 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (9) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

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