Google
 
Web rhymeswithright.mu.nu

May 30, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

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

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

"So we want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The Shariah is set and fixed, so why do we need to discuss it anymore? Just implement it! - ISIS Leader Abu Bakar Bashir

"We're definitely not losing in Iraq" - Barack Obama


"In a very short time the Islamic State has become the most compelling and attractive organisation for Muslim fighters around the world, more so than al-Qaeda ever was" - Sunny Hundal, Al Jazeera


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s1600/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week's winning essay,Joshuapundit's -Ramadi Falls To ISIS In A Major Victory - And Why It's Important is pretty much about what the title implies it is...an analysis of how and why ISIS won a huge victory in Ramadi, Iraq and what it means. Here's a slice:

http://w0.fast-meteo.com/locationmaps/Al-Fallujah.8.gif

On Sunday, Islamic State forces captured Ramadi, routing the Iraqi army, many of whom literally fled from the scene, those that could. Over 500 Iraqi soldiers died in the assault, and the debacle came so quickly that substantial pockets of Iraqi troops were trapped there after taking heavy casualties. They aren't expected to hold out very long and I've already received reports that some of them have already been captured and executed by ISIS.

Hundreds of civilians fled along with the Iraqi troops.


ISIS is using some fairly innovative tactics against fixed defensive points like Ramadi. First they seek to control the ingress and egress via outlying areas, to prevent or delay reinforcement and resupply. The next step in Ramadi was to break the defensive line using car and truck bombs, after which ISIS fighters stormed into the breach.

Many Americans may recall hearing the name Ramadi before, and some might recall that quite a few American lives were spent in securing it. Here's why Ramadi matters.

Look at the map above. Ramadi controls all of the traffic on the Euphrates River. It is only 68 miles (110 Kilometers) from Baghdad and opens the road to that city from the west, just as Fallujah, which ISIS also holds does from the east paving the way for a two-pronged assault. Also, ISIS captured the town of Jubbah in this new offensive, next door to Iraq’s biggest air base at Al-Ansar. That's where US soldiers, AKA advisers are trying to train Iraqi troops to fight ISIS, which so far hasn't been particularly successful.

ISIS has also surrounded the oil-producing town of Baiji near Ramadi, where a small Iraqi army force of a few hundred soldiers is trying to hold out. It's probably only a matter of tie until they're forced to surrender or are wiped out.

Our Secretary of State John Kerry announced from a news conference in Seoul, South Korea that as far as he was concerned Ramadi was " a target of opportunity" for ISIS rather than a carefully planed strategic offensive.

"I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead that's going to change, as overall (they) have been driven back ... I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed."

Let's examine that.

Exactly what forces is Secretary Kerry talking about? True, the Iraqi government announced that "major military reinforcements" were being deployed to halt the advance of ISIS. The problem is that between Ramadi, the recent 'victory' in Tikrit (about which more later) and an attempted counterattack on Fallujah that went horribly wrong, the Iraqi army has very little strength to 'deploy' between ISIS and Baghdad right now. They're a badly defeated army that is incapable of an offensive against Islamic State right now. The only thing keeping ISIS away from Baghdad is a series of 19 U.S, airstrikes near Ramadi over the past 48 hours.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knishwith De-Islamization Is The Only Way To Fight ISIS submitted by Joshuapundit


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 :


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, 05:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

cemetery-us-henri-chapelle.jpg

So often our Memorial Day remembrances are of beautiful rolling lawns filled with the graves of those long dead. They were not always that way. Seventy years ago, the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium held the graves of brave young men who had only a short time been among the living.

Among those men was Sgt. William G. Engels, my wife's cousin. He was one of the soldiers of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He was killed in action on November 18, 1944, near Hamich, Germany.

williamgengels.jpg





|| Greg, 09:16 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (11) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 23, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

http://primitivehebrews.org/_Media/pasted-file_med-2_med.jpeg

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

[snip]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More at the link.

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

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

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

Do read it.

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


Council Winners




Non-Council Winners


See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the 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, 05:32 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 17, 2015

Be Kind To Wheelchairs

Many of you know -- or maybe don't know -- that my wife makes use of a wheelchair when we are out due to a couple of medical conditions. Most folks are quite decent when we meet them -- but it seems like when we frequently meet some of the other sort of folks when we are out at a ball game, a play, or a concert.

And we have met some real winners over the years.

But Friday night was the most outrageous experience we have had in a long time. He kicked that big hind wheel not once, not twice, but three times -- and I'm talking with the force necessary to kick a field goal, not incidental contact. She was a frustrated drummer who decided that the handles were great to use to keep time with the beat of the music. Repeated glares did nothing to alleviate the problem. Rolling forward wasn't an option -- not if we were going to allow people to pass through the aisle in front of us. I finally stood up at intermission after one particularly brutal kick of the wheel, turned, leaned over the row and explained pointedly that they did not want to make any contact with the wheelchair for the rest of the evening if they didn't want me having the usher getting a police officer so we could file assault charges. At that point, things got better.

A bit later, I posted about it to Facebook. The response was so positive that I made this graphic. Please feel free to share it or repost it anywhere you want -- the message must get out.

Wheelchairwarning.jpg





|| Greg, 09:22 AM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 16, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

http://www.crystalinks.com/IroquoisGathering.jpg


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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More at the link.

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

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


Council Winners




Non-Council Winners


See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the 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, 05:30 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 15, 2015

Hillary Declares That Any SCOTUS Nominee Will Be Ethically Unfit To Serve On High Court

Not too many days ago, former Texas governor Rick Perry noted that the 2016 presidential election is of great importance because it will decide the sort of justices that end up on the Supreme Court, given the advanced age and health issues of several sitting justices. Hillary Clinton has now made this a major issue by indicating that she is going to demand a commitment on the part of any nominee to pre-judge the outcome of cases and promise to overturn a precedent that she opposes.

Hillary Clinton told a group of her top fundraisers Thursday that if she is elected president, her nominees to the Supreme Court will have to share her belief that the court's 2010 Citizens United decision must be overturned, according to people who heard her remarks.

Clinton's emphatic opposition to the ruling, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums on independent political activity, garnered the strongest applause of the afternoon from the more than 200 party financiers gathered in Brooklyn for a closed-door briefing from the Democratic candidate and her senior aides, according to some of those present.

"She got major applause when she said would not name anybody to the Supreme Court unless she has assurances that they would overturn" the decision, said one attendee, who, like others, requested anonymity to describe the private session.

If the make-up of the court does not change by 2017, four of the justices will be 78 years of age or older by the time the next president is inaugurated.

Clinton’s pledge to use opposition to Citizens United as a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees echoes the stance taken by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is challenging her for the Democratic nomination.


Such a commitment would make any nominee unfit for confirmation. Set aside, if you will, your opinion of the decision in Citizens United. It is never appropriate for a president to extract such a commitment from a nominee to any court. What would be the response be to a Republican candidate who stated that he/she would not nominate anyone to the High Court who did not commit to overturning Roe v. Wade – or the impending decision that is likely to constitutionalize a right to gay marriage? There would be howls of outrage, and any nominee made by that candidate if elected would be viewed as falling outside the ethical norms of the legal profession – because a judge is supposed to judge based upon the facts, the law, and the Constitution, not upon the whims and campaign promises of the president who put them on the bench.

The proper response? Any GOP candidate for US Senate must commit to rejecting each and every Clinton judicial nominee – especially Supreme Court nominees – as irremediably tainted by Mrs. Clinton’s remark.

Doug Mataconis has a great take on Citizens United and Hillary’s pledge over at Outside the Beltway.





|| Greg, 02:53 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 09, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

https://news.missouri.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/20130419_Tap_Day_007.jpg


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

"One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting." - Salman Rushdie

My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish." - Joyce Carol Oates

Those who claim to be hurt by words must be led to expect nothing as compensation. Otherwise, once they learn they can get something by claiming to be hurt, they will go into the business of being offended. - Jonathan Rauch

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

This week's winning essay,The Right Planet'sGarland and the Moral Equivalency Penchant is his examination of the recent terrorist attack in Garland and what the divide in the reaction reveals about our present attitudes on free speech and freedom of expression..especially when it comes to Islam. Here's a slice:


Two Muslim terrorists were killed after firing on a security guard outside a Draw Mohammad Contest in Garland, Texas, on Sunday. NBC News reported the two assailants were roommates from Phoenix, according to Buzzfeed News.

The attackers have been identified as Elton Simpson, 30, and his roommate, 34-year-old Nadir Hamid Soofi. Simpson had been under investigation by the FBI for the past 10 years.

Like clockwork a number of Muslims and liberals, et al., saved their moral outrage for the those who hosted and attended the Muhammad Art Exhibit, yet not so much the two unhinged individuals who attempted to indiscriminately murder people because they were “offended.”

Pamela Geller, who headlined the “art exhibit” in Garland, addressed the whole moral equivocation argument we so often hear from liberals and Muslims in an interview CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who suggested offensive anti-Islamist speech should not be allowed in modern-day Western society.

Like clockwork a number of Muslims and liberals, et al., saved their moral outrage for the those who hosted and attended the Muhammad Art Exhibit, yet not so much the two unhinged individuals who attempted to indiscriminately murder people because they were “offended.”

Pamela Geller, who headlined the “art exhibit” in Garland, addressed the whole moral equivocation argument we so often hear from liberals and Muslims in an interview CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who suggested offensive anti-Islamist speech should not be allowed in modern-day Western society.

Garland-Rukmini-Tweet

Some have compared this sort of moral equivocation, as evidenced in the Tweet above by a NYT reporter, to a woman who dresses provocatively and is subsequently raped: “Well, she had it coming.” And there is no shortage of similar examples of this sort of nonsense and equivocation (see here).

 060206_wp_london_protest_hmed9p.hmedium

I’m sure we all have been offended by something in our lives, maybe even greatly offended. I can think of few art exhibits, movies, concerts, and the like, I’ve attended that were so far over the top I simply walked out. Yes, I was offended. But I didn’t come back with a gun and start blowing people away because I was greatly offended. As much as I have found some things offensive, people have a right to be offensive, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the unalienable rights of others or cause them grievous harm.

For example, some gay pride parades, and similar events, are often times intentionally provocative. If you have children, you may not want them exposed to such blatant over-the-top sexuality and nudity. But, once again, obviously it does not give anyone the right to kill the people participating in such events because one might be disgusted or outraged. Think about it: if two people shot up a gay pride parade, would your initial response be to question the “common sense” of the parade?

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Michelle Malkin's Debunking Obama's Bilious Baltimore Babble submitted by Don Surber. It's a superb skewering that shows no mercy to our president's usual attempt to excuse the inexcusable.

Here are this week’s full results. Ask Marion and The Independent Sentinel 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?





|| Greg, 05:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 05, 2015

Dana Perino’s And the Good News Is...

All right – I’ll admit it.

When I received an email from her publicist asking if I wanted a copy of this book, I had a certain amount of. . . well, not fear, exactly, but maybe anxiety. After all, the title and advance material I had seen made me wonder if this was going to be a “fluffy” book that was long on chatter and short on substance. And I’ll be honest, I’ve quit watching cable news on a regular basis, and found her Fox show, “The Five”, to be hard to watch because of its format and the presence of Bob Beckel. But after sleeping on it, I decided to accept the offer. What was the worst thing that could happen? I’d be disappointed and develop amnesia about writing a review.

I made the right decision there – I’ve rarely had more fun with a book, and I grew in respect for Ms. Perino.

Now let me tell you quite clearly that this is a memoir that is written with a sunny disposition. It is full of positive stories that lift you up. But this isn’t “happy talk” – it is a reflection on how one can learn and grow even in the most trying of circumstances while working in the klieg lights of the White House press room in years of political crisis. It is about the startlingly beautiful moments that one can experience in such a setting, and the goodness of men and women in positions of power – even those with whom we disagree. It is about how to be better and more effective at what you do and how you communicate. It is, dare I say it, a damn fine book – and one that I think made me a better person for having read it.

But where I believe this book will be of long term value is in its depiction of the Bush White House generally and President George W. Bush more specifically. Bush 43 left office under a cloud, the victim of slanders, libels, and calumnies from detractors on both the Left and the Right, and with a low approval rating. The stories Perino shares, though, show the depth of Bush’s humanity and faith, his love of country and love of the men and women who were placed in harm’s way because of the armed conflicts that marked his presidency. One cannot read of Bush weeping at the bedside of a Marine as he awarded the Purple Heart or of his humbly allowing the mother of a serviceman to berate him without a word of self-defense without recognizing that he, like Lincoln, took each casualty to heart and bore it as a wound upon his soul. Just as stories of the real Jimmy Carter have emerged from behind the scenes and detracted from his image, I believe that the revelations of insiders like Perino about Bush will serve to improve his standing in the eyes of Americans for generations to come. What we learn about here is a man who had the strength of character to forgive his political enemies and to stay loyal to former allies who failed to show loyalty to him. The decency of George W. Bush, sandwiched between the nastiness that marked the administrations that preceded and followed his, ought to stand as an exemplar for future generations of leaders.

Now I could go on and compose some beautiful words to summarize the book and heap praises upon the author. All would be deserved. But I think that doing so would take away from what I really want to say, so instead I will close with just three words.

Read this book.





|| Greg, 01:03 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Senator Mike Lee’s The Lost Constitution

It has been decades since a United States Senator was nominated to the Supreme Court by a president. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) would be one of two serious candidates to be the next one if a Republican wins the White House in 2016. After all, Lee has a resume that would suit him for the job. He was a clerk for the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah before serving as a clerk for future Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he was a judge on the Third Circuit Court. Lee spent several years as an appellate and Supreme Court litigator with the Sidley Austin law firm in Washington D.C., before serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, from 2002 to 2005. He then served as the general counsel in the office of the governor from 2005 to 2006 before again clerking for Alito, this time after he joined the High Court. He then returned to private practice. Lee was elected as senator from Utah in 2010.

Lee’s latest book, The Lost Constitution, , focuses on six areas of the Constitution which he believes have become neglected or distorted by politicians and judges, to the detriment of the country.

As one who has taught American government at different levels for over 15 years and blogged about our out of control government for over a decade, I have to agree that these six provisions, designed to limit government, have been twisted beyond recognition, limiting the freedom of Americans while putting too much power in the hands of government.

The thing I most like about Lee’s book is that he presents his material not as a scholarly treatise, but as a book for the average American who does not have an advanced education in history or the law. He presents a clear narrative about how principle has been perverted, and does not shy away from laying the blame for the harm that has been done to the American people by the failure to follow the clear meaning of the Constitution. If I assigned this book to my paralegal students, they would have no difficulty with his arguments; if I handed it to my high school students, they would be able to follow his arguments.

Frankly, I found the book quite engaging and particularly enjoyed Lee’s take-down of Justice Hugo Black, the anti-Catholic bigot whose First Amendment decisions while wearing black robes hearkened back to the ideology he espoused while wearing the white robes of the Ku Klux Klan. The damage done to the First Amendment by the Alabama Democrat is incalculable, for he laid the basis for turning the Establishment Clause from a provision that protected religious freedom to a cudgel with which increasingly hostile judges and bureaucrats could use to attack religious groups and individuals.

Senator Lee concludes his book with four chapters outlining how to fix the damage done. I won’t give away his suggestions – instead I will urge you to get a copy of the book and discover them yourself. After all, citizen vigilance is a key part of holding government – including the courts – accountable to the limits of the Constitution.





|| Greg, 12:58 PM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 04, 2015

Guy Benson Nails it On Identity Politics

This is beautifully said, and expresses a support for real diversity that the left-wing supporters of faux diversity vocally reject whenever a member of some minority group dares to express a non-approved point of view.

“A free-thinking, free citizen of a free country is not obliged to be confined to a bedazzled ideological straitjacket because that’s how they ‘ought’ to think and ‘ought’ to vote and ‘ought’ to rank their priorities,” he said. “It’s not true, it shouldn’t be true, and I think part of liberty and tolerance and coexistence is understanding that, ‘Hey, I might have something in common with this person over here, and they have every right under the sun to disagree with me on this whole panoply of public policy questions over here.’ And if their views on those things lead them to another conclusion about how they exercise their right to vote, to jump to the conclusion that that is borne of some secret, deep-seated self-loathing is just lazy and boring.

“And false.”

It is stuff like this that shows why Benson is one of my favorite expositors of contemporary conservatism, as both a writer and a broadcaster.

Oh, and by the way -- Benson is gay. To which I say "So what?"





|| Greg, 07:56 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

On The Garland Terrorist Attack

A New York Times foreign correspondent asked the following in the wake of the Islamist terrorist attack on a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, TX..


My answer is simple and straightforward.

When it is declared that, on pain of death, an idea may not be spoken, it becomes the obligation of the free to speak it.

Consider the winning entry, which expresses the same view as I expressed above.

194522_5_[1].jpg


The Federalist Papers reported on the winning cartoon and asked the question, “Does this cartoon justify mass murder?”

The $10,000 prize-winning cartoon was drawn by Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim.




|| Greg, 07:23 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

May 02, 2015

Watcher's Council Results

http://primitivehebrews.org/_Media/pasted-file_med-2_med.jpeg


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

"Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence." - Thomas Jefferson

"The Tea Party represents stakeholders in the American system; people who were never involved in politics or thought they had to be, yet realized that political corruption and incompetence threatened not only their families, but the future of the nation itself." - Tammy Bruce


"Politics, n: [Poly “many” + tics “blood-sucking parasites”]-Ambrose Bierce

“All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others" -New law posted by the pigs in George Orwell's Animal Farm

“If you hires you a thief, don't holler if they steals." -old black American saying in the Mississippi Delta


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


This week's winning essay,Joshuapundit's -How To Make Millions Off 'Public Service' -The Corrupt Clinton Cash Machine was occasioned by the furor surrounding the release of an important new book about the Clinton Foundation scandal. Here's a slice:

My old editor at Breitbart Peter Schweizer has a new book coming out May 5 entitled “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

My review copy will be arriving shortly, so I haven't read it yet. But the New York Times has, and it's good enough that even Pravda-on-the Hudson had to pay it grudging attention,admitting, "He writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons."

That's no news to anyone who has read Peter's other books on crony capitalism, which target pigs at the trough in both parties.

The subject of this particular book is a detailed 186 page investigation of how the U.S State Department would grant favors to foreign entities in exchange for high-dollar speaking fees and donations paid directly to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

As I pointed out previously, foundations are one of the most egregious scams to hide and shelter income and avoid taxation for the super rich:

Now, foundations are interesting creatures. As Jane Fonda shows us , if the foundation has 501(c) status (and the Clinton Foundation certainly does), they can be used as a place to park income so it isn't taxed and can be used for various 'expenses'..or even invested, tax free. Why else do you think that most of the super-wealthy in America like the Clintons have such foundations?

Another thing about foundations that's interesting is that according to the IRS rules, they're allowed to pay salaries and 'administrative costs' (pretty much anything you can think of) with any portion of the donor money, something that has attracted a lot of prominent politicians. Ex-president Jimmy Carter's Peace Foundation, for example provides a very nice income for him courtesy of his anti-Israel Arab friends. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is another prime example of how 'foundations' , 'libraries' and 'centers' can be used as cash cows by their 'owners'.

And here's the kicker about Hillary's 'charitable donation'. Anything the wealthy 'donor' to such a foundation donates likewise becomes a deduction against whatever taxes they might owe the IRS. So if Hillary Rodham Clinton actually did 'donate' all that money to the Clinton Foundation, she got paid two ways..first by reducing her taxable income significantly to lower her taxes and second by acquiring a huge deduction to leverage against the taxes on her other income. And since her husband 'owns' the Clinton Foundation, the money stayed in the family.

Both The New York Times, of all people, and The New York Post had some disturbing things to say about where the huge sums of money the Clinton Foundation collects were spent...and the Clinton Foundation's infrequent audits.

The Clinton Foundation's mission statement ought to be a tipoff:

"We convene businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change."

Or as I would translate it, 'We actively pursue fundraising from governments, private enterprise and our well connected friends for various nebulous causes. Yeah, we got a few good things going on, a few programs we can point to, some conferences and some meetings so we have the slideshow as a marketing tool, but essentially, our real object is fundraising and covering our substantial expenses.'

Don't be surprised if some those 'expenses' end up being in kind, cash contributions to Hillary's 2016 campaign that not only evade McCain-Feingold but allow 'donors to get a nice tax deduction to a 501 C in the bargain. It's a dodge, just like the huge $14 million advance Democrat donor-owned Simon & Schuster ponied up for Hillary's failed book. Hillary will pocket the cash and Sumner Redstone and his friends will recoup it courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers after they deduct it as a loss against their other income.


More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was David French in the National Review with a gripping piece, Wisconsin’s Shame: ‘I Thought It Was a Home Invasion submitted by Nice Deb .

This is the story of Wisconsin's 'John Doe' investigations where a rabidly Democrat prosecutor found a judge to sign off on targeting what the Left in Wisconsin saw as their political enemies and their families using methods more resembling the Gestapo or the NKVD than what we would think of as a free country. This story has to be read to be believed, and the court case that resulted is now headed to the Supreme Court.

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:


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, 05:28 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Playing The Waiting Game On Open Records Request Regarding Shoreacres Election Regulations

I submitted this open records request to the city of Shoreacres in connection with the campaign sign problems being had by candidate's David Jennings and Nancy Schnell.

April 22, 2015

David K. Stall
City Secretary
City of Shoreacres
601 Shore Acres Blvd.
Shoreacres, Texas 77571

Dear Mr. Stall;

Under the Texas Public Information Act, §6252-17a et seq., I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records that relate to city ordinances and policies regarding the display and placement of campaign and/or political signs within the city limits of the City of Shoreacres. This request specifically includes not only all ordinances or policy statements in effect on or after April 15, 2015, but also all physical and/or electronic correspondence between officials and/or employees of the City of Shoreacres regarding campaign/political signs, as well as their physical/electronic correspondence to or from officials/employees of other government entities and their physical/electronic correspondence to or from members of the public on or after April 15, 2015.

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $20.00. However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the city’s stance on the First Amendment rights of citizens to engage in political speech. I am asking for these records in my capacity as a citizen-journalist who regularly publishes the political blog Rhymes With Right(http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu), which is based in Seabrook, and as a politically active citizen who anticipates engaging in political speech and activity within the City of Shoreacres in connection with current and future elections. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.

The Texas Public Information Act requires that you "promptly produce" the requested records unless, within 10 days, you have sought an Attorney General's Opinion. If you expect a significant delay in responding to this request, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely,
Gregory S. Aydt

One would think that since they are currently in the midst of city council elections (early voting is ongoing, and election day is one week from today) that such material would be at hand and easily available for release to interested citizens. Indeed, it is my understanding that the initial sign issue has been resolved between the candidates and the city -- within 24 hours after my having submitted this request for public information. So why is it that we are eight business days into the ten business day period for response and I have heard nothing on the matter from city officials? Is it simply a control issue whereby public officials seek to avoid letting citizens know what government is doing behind closed doors? Or is there something that is actually being hidden?

I should know by Tuesday afternoon -- the tenth business day following my request being both emailed and hand-delivered to Shoreacres.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.





|| Greg, 10:02 AM || Permalink || Show Comments (1) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||
AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg





Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Abortion (posts: 1)
Announcements (posts: 13)
Blogging (posts: 187)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 421)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 685)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1570)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 108)
Politics (posts: 5265)
Race & Racism (posts: 281)
Religion (posts: 819)
Terrorism (posts: 884)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)

Archives

February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



MuNuviana



Licensing

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64
AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure

adpolicy.gif

About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
MARITAL STATUS: Married
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.

Search This Site


Support This Site



Recent Entries

Watcher's Council Results
Memorial Day 2015
Watcher's Council Results
Be Kind To Wheelchairs
Watcher's Council Results
Hillary Declares That Any SCOTUS Nominee Will Be Ethically Unfit To Serve On High Court
Watcher's Council Results
Dana Perino’s And the Good News Is...
Senator Mike Lee’s The Lost Constitution
Guy Benson Nails it On Identity Politics

Blogroll


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs