Friday, May 22, 2015

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher's Council Results

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

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

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

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


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This week's winning essay, Bookworm Room'sA phenomenal talk about the Constitution and how to make it meaningful to America's young people is a fascinating account of a presentation she 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?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our Weasel Of The Week



nce again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week's nominees were all disgusting but one of them stood out as an almost unanimous choice. The envelope please....


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The Clintons' Own Media Meat Puppet George 'What Donations?' Stephanopoulos!!

 The Noisy Room :My nomination this week goes to George Stephanopoulos for failing to disclose that he donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and was obviously biased in his coverage and defense of Hillary Clinton. As the New York Post so astutely put it the bigger they are, the dumber they think we are:

Dan Rather of CBS was toppled by a phony document scam. Lyin' Brian
Williams at NBC casually mixed fact with self-aggrandizing fiction.
Now George Stephanopoulos is caught in a Clinton web of deceit at ABC.

The hat trick of arrogant anchor scandals helps explain why
Americans don't trust network news. With apologies to Walter
Cronkite, that's the way it is, and the way it is stinks.

Stephanopoulos shares with Rather and Williams the rotten
distinction of fessing up only after being exposed by real
journalists. In his case, the Washington Free Beacon
uncovered his secret donations to the
Clinton Foundation and contacted ABC for a response
.


Of course, just before the crapola hit the media fan, Stephanopoulos ran
to the Leftist rag, Politico, and vomited a confession. This was after
trying to cover it up. He didn't tell his bosses about the donations and
he didn't tell viewers that he had given money to the Foundation even as
he reported on it and the Clintons.


On April 26, Stephanopoulos put Peter Schweizer in the hot seat; he's
the author of the sensational"Clinton Cash" book that exposes the
Clintons and their graft. Stephanopoulos pressed him to admit the book
contains no 'smoking gun.' The implication was that, if it's not
indictable, it's not important. He sounded more like a lawyer than a
media hack. Stephanopoulos cleverly used that standard to give the
Clintons the all-clear. The anchor also cited Schweizer's 'partisan
interest,' noting that Schweizer was a speechwriter for President George
W. Bush. Boy, pot meet kettle.

Another media sycophant bites the dust amid lies and scandal. Flip this
media shill - he's done. Another Progressive weasel gets whacked.


Ah, yes, the Clinton's own Greek Trojan Horse.Actually even more of interest than the donations to me - after all, $75K is just a step above pocket change for a media talking head with an 8 figure yearly income - is the huge amount of time Stephanopoulos spent working for the Clinton Foundation h0sting events and quite possibly inducing others to donate. Since that foundation appears to be nothing more than a way for the Clintons to park tax free income for selling their offices their influence, and their country.Did George receive some of the swag for his complicity in this? I wouldn't be at all surprised. Nor do I think he'll be fired. The strategy the Clintons and their ilk pursue is lie, deny and delay, and media whores like Stephanopoulos aid and abet them. Six months later when the truth comes out, the American people are tired of hearing about it and weary of trying to fit all the convoluted pieces together, so it recedes from the public consciousness.

But we honor Weasels here, do we not? And George Stephanopoulos appears to be a weasel second only to his owners, the Clintons. Please come up and get your statue.

  Well, there it is!

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?

L.A. City Council Votes To Increase Unemployment, Destroy Tax Base

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Ah, Lah Lah Land! While it's not quite the People's Republic yet, it's getting there fast, with a nice side order of corrupt banana republic.

Today,they voted 14-1 to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, joining Seattle, San Francisco and several other municipalities:

Los Angeles became the largest US city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour on Tuesday, as a wage increase bill passed the city council by a vote of 14-1.

It is now up to city attorney Mike Feuer to draft an ordinance to implement the new minimum wage requirements. The ordinance will then return to the council for a final vote before becoming law. Under the proposed legislation, the city’s minimum wage would increase to $10.50 in July 2016, and would increase incrementally every year until it reaches $15 in July 2020. For small businesses with 25 or fewer employees, the wage hike would come on a modified schedule with the incremental increases starting in July 2017 and the minimum wage reaching $15 by July 2021.

The current minimum wage in California is $9 an hour and is set to increase to $10 in January 2016.


The one no vote might have come from this guy, who before getting into politics was L.A's nonsense police chief:

Council member Bernard Parks has previously expressed concern about $15 minimum wage leading to higher unemployment in the area.

“Every minimum wage increase that we’ve seen, if it’s too high, causes unemployment,” Parks told NPR in February. “If you have a big city like Los Angeles doing something, you’re going to find a lot of people will fall in line without any thought, because they believe that we’ve done the research. The fact is, we have not done the research.”


Proponents of the new law responded that they had done some research..from the Institute for Research on Labor Employment from University of California, Berkeley. And Berkeley, or Berserkely as we natives fondly refer to it, has a certain reputation in matters like these as some of you may know.

So, how will this new law effect Los Angeles? Believe it or not, a lot of the workers whom were egging the council on to pass this will end up far worse off.



The first thing that will happen is that lots of them will be fired. If you own a small business where you were paying people $12 an hour and you now are mandated to pay them $15 per hour so your bottom line costs go up 1/3, you'll either raise your prices (which will cut into your business), cut your work force by 1/3 or both. Or you'll move somewhere else.

San Francisco and Seattle, aside from their radical politics are both fairly small cities. San Francisco in particular is somewhat isolated on its little peninsula unless you take the ferries or pay toll to use the bridge, and it has the advantage of being a major tourist town. so it's a lot easier to get away with this there, to an extent.

Los Angeles isn't like that at all. It's a large, heavily populated area clustered with smaller, independently incorporated cities like Glendale, Burbank, Torrance and Calabasas.All of them are thriving because they've avoided L.A's ridiculous restrictions, costly permits and high taxes on business. The result is that when people start a business , lots of them do it outside Los Angeles unless it's something like a franchised fast food restaurant like a McDonald's where their location is mandated by the franchise. This does not do wonders for the city's tax base.

Next, the ones that still have jobs will be introduced to the wonders of unsubsidized ObamaCare and life without food stamps, section 8 rent subsidies or earned income credit refunds on their federal taxes, because they will no longer qualify for them.

And finally, those of them whom work at jobs where tips are a big part of their income can largely forget about that. In Seattle and San Francisco,the new normal is 'service charges' and no tips. In Seattle, the service charges are running a hefty 18.5% at restaurants like Ivar's and the Whale Wins. And no, the wait staff doesn't get that, the restaurant does to offset that $15 per hour wage, although some restaurants might choose to share a portion of it with the help..who will now be taxed on every cent they receive. Or, since people will be eating out less because the service will deteriorate and the cost will be much higher, restaurants will need those service charges to stay in business. Yes, those waiters and waitresses who used to make more than their co-workers by hustling and taking good care of their customers will have absolutely no incentive to do so. Talk about penalizing hard work and enterprise!

I can just imagine how that's going to work in a spread out, car friendly city like Los Angeles. People will eat out less, or they'll travel outside the city limits to do it. One huge trend in the L.A. area is specialty food trucks featuring gourmet and ethnic cuisine, and I would expect them to get a lot more business as well, since they're mostly small, family owned businesses.

I can hear the wheels turning in those of my reader's heads with socialist leanings. "Why, we can just mandate it in all of L.A. County. Or in all of California! And why not a federal minimum wage law? No one will be able to avoid it then, bwah ha ha ha!"

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Well, that's the way it is in much of Europe. It hasn't exactly worked out the way it was supposed to, and those legendary EU high unemployment benefits are already becoming a casualty out of sheer necessity,what with the double digit unemployment and all,

Here's something to think about.

Minimum wage jobs were never intended to be careers. They were always intended to be one of two things. Either they were entry level positions, with the low starting salary a sort of compensation for the employer training you and taking a chance on someone without experience so that you could either move up where you were or find a better paying position as an experienced worker elsewhere. Or they were a stopgap, a temporary situation designed to keep things together until you (a) got that big break (b) finished your schooling or training for something better or (c) were ready to move on somewhere else.

I've had such jobs before. My very first one, at age 15 was working at a gas station owned by a friend of my father's after school. I swept up, pumped gas, checked oil and tires and even did the odd lube job or tire change. I was absolutely thrilled to have it, even though I was paid in cash at slightly less than the minimum wage back then.Aside from being able to give my parents a little money, it meant I had money of my own to spend (there was no such thing as allowances in my house), and it introduced me into the adult world of work and responsibility. That experience was one of the many things I have to thank my father (Z"l) for.

No, I never had to support a family on that. But then, it never would have occurred to me to start a family I couldn't support either.


Attempts like this to bypass economic man never really work. What you end up with is collective misery and massive corruption as people do what they need to do in order to bypass the system. Just talk to anyone who used to live in the Soviet Union.

Watcher's Council Nominations -No Strings Edition

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Phony, corrupt little meat puppet...


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

Council News:


The Council In Action!!

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

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

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

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

Simple, no?

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

So, let's see what we have for you this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions


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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Open Wound - Racism Is Alive And Well In America

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TNT Academy is a private high school located in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The school is a private, non-traditional school founded for home-schoolers and others who have problems in public schools and whom are hoping to get an accredited degree.Unlike some private schools around the country, the black middle class is well represented in the student body because of the school's record of academic success and moderate tuition.

Last Friday, May 8th was the graduation ceremony, and Nancy Gordeuk, the founder and director of the school made the mistake of forgetting about the valedictorian's speech and dismissing the crowd before the speech was given. She then got on the microphone, admitted her mistake and politely asked those leaving the room to return, trying in vain to quiet the crowd so the valedictorian - who was white - could give his speech. When a number of them kept right on walking, she accused them of being rude. Most parents who've attended these type of things would agree with her.It's common courtesy that you don't leave while another parent's kid is onstage. She then said, "look who's leaving, all the black people."

That unfortunate comment was enough to ignite a real firestorm.

Nancy Gordeuk later apologized to the parents via email:

A terrible mistake on my part was part of the graduation ceremony on Friday night. The devil was in the house and came out from my mouth. I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness in in your hearts.

We all make mistakes and anyone who knows me realizes that I try my hardest to work with the students for them to obtain their goal of a high school diploma. I do not think I have discriminated against any family in the school. I just pray you will realize I am a human and make mistakes just like everyone else does and be willing to forgive and move forward instead of concentrating on the bad of the situation.

To address the incident at the graduation ceremony of May 8. Please keep the facts in perspective. An unknown man at the beginning of a speech decided to walk up to the front of the audience with his tablet, videotaping the audience and the students causing disruption to the audience and disrespect to the ceremony and its participants. When disregarding the request to please sit down, the security was asked to remove the man.At that point, booing of the request commenced.

Frustrated with the prospect of ruining the once-in-a-lifetime ceremony the graduates have worked so hard for, my emotions got the best of me and that is when I blurted out "you people are being so rude to not listen to this speech (valedictorian). It was my fault that we missed the speech in the program.

I sincerely apologize to all the persons in attendance at the ceremony for the actions of the few causing the disturbance and for my emotional, un-called generalization of the black persons in attendance. I deeply apologize for my actions made in the emotional state of trying to let this last student finish his speech.

I take a personal interest in the success of every student that comes through our doors without regard to their race, religion or ethnicity. My main concern for each is to provide them with an education and high school diploma to be able to continue on the pathway toward adulthood to become a successful member of society.

You will find many, many parents of all races, religions and ethnic groups that have been serviced by our school and are very appreciative of our efforts on the behalf of their students. This same group of students had the same support we have given to every other graduating class.

It is very easy to judge someone, however, we all make mistakes, as we are only human.Again, I deeply apologize for my offensive comment in the heat of my emotional state in trying to achieve respect for a student to be able to speak.


End result? She was fired in less than a week by the school's Board of directors after a massive media assault and high profile complaints by the local NAACP.

By the way, here's a link to a live video of what occurred at the graduation and the context in which Nancy Gordeuk's remarks were made. It certainly does seem to bear out her story that a lot of people in the audience were very unruly and disrespectful and that a lot of them just happened to be black, but I'll let you be the judge.

Now let's look at a similar incident in another part of the country.



This is Boston University’s Saida Grundy,the newest professor at the school’s African American Studies department. Dr. Grundy, who received her doctorate at the University of Michigan last year isn't the victim of an unfortunate outburst made in the emotional heat of the moment. She's an outright, loud n' proud racist. On her Twitter account, according to the AP story, she called "white college males" a "problem population" and wrote that "white masculinity is THE problem for America's colleges." But that's the tame stuff. Here are a few more gems from her Twitter account, which she's since made private: I HAD NO IDEA WHITE BALTIMOREANS WERE THIS TERRIBLE. I THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL MCNULTY! THIS IS *EXACTLY* LIKE FERGUSON. — lord commander (@saigrundy) April 29, 2015
BU Prof 1  Oh, and Surprise! She hates Jews too: BU Prof 6

Now these remarks and a few others I refuse to soil my site with were not only issued recently in Twitter's public forum for all to see, but were republished online at SoCawlege.com and elsewhere.

These aren't dredged up from the past either, nor are they occasional outbursts. Dr. Grundy is consumed with her racist sentiments and fires off remarks like this constantly.

Boston University harshly condemned these racist remarks. The College President, Robert Brown said in an open letter that there was no place for racism at the University and that Dr. Grundy would not be teaching classes there.

Yes, of course I'm kidding. Here's what actually happened.

When Dr. Grundy's racist statements came to light publicly, she issued, not an apology but a statement: "I regret that my personal passion about issues surrounding these events we now witness with regularity in our nation led me to speak about them indelicately."

”I deprived them of the nuance and complexity that such subjects always deserve."

AKA 'I'm sorry if you were offended.'

The university 'distanced itself' at first,with a spokesperson saying the university was "offended" by Grundy's statements. Other critics called her comments offensive and inappropriate for a professor at a major publicly funded university.

That brought out the racial solidarity cavalry. They started a hashtag #IStandWithSaida and launched an online petition supporting her. Part of the petition read, "Racism extends to virtually every institution in American society - including higher education. Calling Professor Grundy's tweets racist minimizes the very real effects of racism for people of color in the United States."

AKA 'Racism is fine if a person of color does it, just because.

President Brown immediately caved in, (emphasis mine):

President Robert Brown acknowledged Grundy's right to hold and express her opinions but said her remarks unfairly "typecast" certain groups of people. He stopped short, though, of acknowledging the comments were directed almost exclusively at whites. "I do not say this lightly or without a great deal of consultation and soul-searching," Brown's letter reads. "I understand there is a broader context to Dr. Grundy's tweets and that, as a scholar, she has the right to pursue her research, formulate her views, and challenge the rest of us to think differently about race relations. But we also must recognize that words have power and the words in her Twitter feed were powerful in the way they stereotyped and condemned other people."

Yes, I get his point, we all need to be challenged to be more accepting of racism, as long as it's coming from a black person. This, at the university Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got his doctorate at.

But I will say I'm certainly glad to hear that President Brown supports free speech and controversial views so passionately. So when are Pam Geller, Rush Limbaugh or Ayaan Hirsi Ali scheduled to speak at Boston University? How about Ann Coulter or maybe even Michelle Malkin?

Ri-ight, the fifth of Never.

Do I need to add that Dr. Saida Grundy wasn't fired? She reports for work July 1st.

So here we have two situations, where people involved in academia said inappropriate things.

Maybe Nancy Gordeuk's remarks were more bigoted than Saida Grundy's? Well, I don't know, but it seems to me like 'Look all the black people are leaving' isn't nearly as bad as some of the stuff Dr. Grundy wrote. Especially since Gordeuk's remark was a one time outburst under pressure while Saida Grundy's were premeditated and continuous. Look again at this video. In Georgia, we have a white educator who helped put together a school that arguably benefits children of color disproportionally upset at what was obvious disrespect for both the graduation ceremony and the valedictorian, whom happened to be white, and made an unfortunate generalization based on what she felt she saw happening in that room.

Imagine if the valedictorian was black instead of white and an audience of predominantly white people had disrupted the graduation and walked out on him. Imagine if Nancy Gordeuk was black and said, 'look all the white folks are leaving.' Imagine if instead of what she sent out, she had used Saida Grundy's 'apology' and said she regretted her remarks, but that she spoke out of passion at apparently seeing one of her students disrespected because of his race.

Does anyone remotely think Nancy Gordeuk would have been fired?

If Dr. Saida Grundy was white and the racist tweets on her Twitter account were directed at blacks, does anyone seriously think she wouldn't have been summarily fired? Would the President of Boston College be bloviating about Saida Grundy being a 'scholar' with legitimate views that 'challenge the rest of us to think differently about race relations?'

We are indeed cowards when it comes to race. And racism continues in America because people like Dr. Saida Grundy continue to promulgate it and too many people continue to excuse and tolerate it, provided it comes from a so-called 'person of color.'

This is what keeps racism alive and well in America. It's because its practitioners and their enablers like President Brown whom practice the bigotry of low expectations. Both are racist to the core. And as long as that remains true, it will continue to be America's open wound.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people whom have a vested interest in keeping it that way.

Dr. King would be appalled and ashamed.


UPDATE: Dr. Saida Grundy has surfaced again with racist remarks directed at a white rape victim. 
Quod Erat Demonstradum...when you give racist behavior a pass, it just emboldens racists in further outrages.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominations

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It's time once again for the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

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The Clintons' Own Media Meat Puppet George 'What Donations?' Stephanopoulos!!

The Noisy Room :My nomination this week goes to George Stephanopoulos for failing to disclose that he donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and was obviously biased in his coverage and defense of Hillary Clinton. As the New York Post so astutely put it the bigger they are, the dumber they think we are:

Dan Rather of CBS was toppled by a phony document scam. Lyin' Brian
Williams at NBC casually mixed fact with self-aggrandizing fiction.
Now George Stephanopoulos is caught in a Clinton web of deceit at ABC.

The hat trick of arrogant anchor scandals helps explain why
Americans don't trust network news. With apologies to Walter
Cronkite, that's the way it is, and the way it is stinks.

Stephanopoulos shares with Rather and Williams the rotten
distinction of fessing up only after being exposed by real
journalists. In his case, the Washington Free Beacon
uncovered his secret donations to the
Clinton Foundation and contacted ABC for a response.


Of course, just before the crapola hit the media fan, Stephanopoulos ran
to the Leftist rag, Politico, and vomited a confession. This was after
trying to cover it up. He didn't tell his bosses about the donations and
he didn't tell viewers that he had given money to the Foundation even as
he reported on it and the Clintons.

On April 26, Stephanopoulos put Peter Schweizer in the hot seat; he's
the author of the sensational"Clinton Cash" book that exposes the
Clintons and their graft. Stephanopoulos pressed him to admit the book
contains no 'smoking gun.' The implication was that, if it's not
indictable, it's not important. He sounded more like a lawyer than a
media hack. Stephanopoulos cleverly used that standard to give the
Clintons the all-clear. The anchor also cited Schweizer's 'partisan
interest,' noting that Schweizer was a speechwriter for President George
W. Bush. Boy, pot meet kettle.

Another media sycophant bites the dust amid lies and scandal. Flip this
media shill - he's done. Another Progressive weasel gets whacked.

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Rev Al's Understudy, Dominique Sharpton!

The Independent Sentinel : Al Sharpton's daughter Dominique Sharpton claims to have  “severely injured, bruised and wounded” her ankle when she fell over uneven pavement on Broome St and Broadway in Downtown Manhattan. She is suing the city for $5 million.

Her father, another weasel, said she "still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries.”

“I sprained my ankle real bad lol,” she wrote to Instagram.

The fall was on Oct. 2 and by December she was marching in her father's National Action Network Justice for All march in D.C. Despite her great suffering, she was seen in high heels in December and she was seen climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree according to the NY Post.

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Nice Deb's Favorite Troll, jensenempire2551!!

 Nice Deb :Can the nominee be a commenter on my blog? If so, I'd like to nominate jensenempire2551 who in the course of slamming Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, professed his desire for Obama to be "the first President to run Three Terms…"

A professor Alan Dershowitz trapped in his book learned education, not a creative bone in his body and has forgotten his childlike creativity! Sure blast Obama, personally we’ve need to open doors….
i would like to see Obama run another term an go down in history as the first President to run Three Terms…
So F__ken you Alan!



Just wow.

I guess weasels can be somewhat creative, but they're not exactly known for their intelligence, now, are they?

  Well, there it is. What a despicable group of  Weasels...ANY OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

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?

Ramadi Falls To ISIS In A Major Victory - And Why It's Important

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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 Kilomaters) 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 right now is a series of 19 U.S, airstrikes near Ramadi over the past 48 hours.

 Iraq's almost completely Shi'ite army has very little motivation to risk lives taking back Sunni dominated Anbar. The army purged almost all of its Sunni officers and men once the Americans left and the Iran oriented Shi'ite dictatorship we installed there took over.The careful relationship the Americans nurtured (okay, bought) with the Sunni tribes in Anwar via the Awakewning Movement is long gone. If they're not actively fighting with ISIS, they're mostly supporting it, and they aren't going to believe any horse manure about being full partners in a Shi'ite dominated state a second time.

There are the Americans, who President Obama has seen to it have been kept out of combat. He has little choice in the matter, even if he had the inclination. George Soros and the Democrat National Committee have recreated the Democrats as a far Left anti-war party, and Barack Obama was their candidate. He was the one whom constantly talked about 'Bush's War' and how wrong it all was, and how he was going to end it. And when it finally did end he bragged about that as his 'achievement as well.'*

At this point, it would be politically devastating for him to involve U.S. boots on the ground, especially with elections coming up soon and every Democrat candidate having made explicit statements opposing the Iraq war.

So that leaves one other force available - Iran and Iran's proxy Shi'ite militias in Iraq like Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

They're more than willing to mix it up with ISIS, but there are problems.

The few times they've gotten involved, like Tikrit, they have treated the Sunni civilians viciously. Rapes, plundering and murder of Sunni civilians were the Shi'ite victory parade in Tikrit, to the point where the Iraqi government and the Obama Administration had to order them to leave. The Iraqi army is incapable of recovering control and holding Tikrit without them, and as we've seen, ISIS had other objectives to go after. So right now, the town is in total anarchy, with various armed gangs, some of them ISIS sympathizers, battling each other over territory.

However, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi may have little choice. As I write this, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan is in Baghdad, and it may be that the Shiite militias form a defensive line with the Iraqi Army to keep ISIS at bay with the help of U.S. airstrikes until the Iraqi army recovers. I expect this to heat up into a long, drawn out sectarian war.

*(President Obama, in spite of his constant chest thumping had nothing to do with ending the war in Iraq, or for that matter, seeing to it that any U,S, forces remained in Iraq. The Bush Administration had already set out all the details of our withdrawal in the disposition of forces agreement with the Iraqi government under Maliki before George W, Bush left office. As I predicted a long time ago, in the end it was 'thanks for your time and money, infidels. Now get out.'

Not one Iraqi government official bothered to attend the ceremony where our flag was lowered for the last time as our military left Iraq.)

Forum: Who Are Your Three Favorite Heroes In American History? Why?



Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Who Are Your Three Favorite Heroes In American History? Why?

 Wolf Howling :The first great American hero is our deity, God. Rev. Jonathan Mayhew was the first, in 1750, to argue that the source of our British rights was God and to articulate a doctrine that can be summed up in the phrase "resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." His writings spread throughout the colonies and were adopted in various forms by most of the "dissenting" religions. When, in 1775, Boston royalist Peter Oliver wrote of the causes of the Revolution, he placed the blame squarely on the "Black [robed] Regiment" of clergyman who so roused the colonists in righteous defiance against the British. It is fair to say that the dissenting clergy, from Georgia to Massachusetts, played an indispensable role in driving the Revolution. To paraphrase one Hessian soldier, this was not an American Revolution, it was a Presbyterian Revolution.

As late as January, 1776, it was not clear what we intended by our fight with the British. Most colonists still wanted no more than an adjustment of our relationship with Great Britain, not an independent nation. Yet in January, 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, the best selling book our nation has ever seen on a per capita basis but for the Bible. In it, Paine used largely biblical arguments against the divine right of Kings to rule. His arguments electrified the nation, and set us almost immediately on the path that ended less than six months later in the Declaration of Independence.

And then there were at least two "acts of God" during the Revolution that were so fortuitous and unusual as ought to leave in the most hardened atheist with a bit of uneasiness. The first was at The Battle of Long Island. The British had decimated our forces and had surrounded Washington and his 9,000 men. Had the British completed their attack, the Revolution would likely have ended there. Washington ordered a night withdrawal by boat. That night, a very unusual fog descended on the area, one so dense that soldiers said they couldn't see further than 6 feet to their front. The fog allowed the withdraw to continue through night to the dawn and after, until all 9,000 soldiers had crossed to safety.

The second "act of God" occurred as the British, in June 1776, attempted to capture the wealthiest port city in the colonies, Charleston, S.C. Had Britain succeeded, the whole nature of the Revolution would have changed. The centerpiece of the colonist's defense of Charleston was a half built fort on Sullivan's Island that the British expected to easily defeat with an infantry attack across the ford separating Isle of Palms from Sullivan's Island, a ford at low tide that virtually never exceeded three feet. Yet in June, 1776, a highly unusual wind pattern developed and, even at low tide, the water at the ford was over 7 feet deep. With the British infantry stopped cold, the fort survived the most devastating bombardment of the war even while the colonists wreaked destruction on the British ships, saving Charleston from occupation for a critical three years.

And then, of course, it was this view of God as the source of our rights that animated our Founders. Our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not bestowed by man. They are natural rights that come from God. The first and most important hero of our nation must be God.
The second most important person in American history is George Washington. People who study the Revolution call him the "indispensable man," and that he was. He took charge of an army of amateurs and led them against the world's superpower of the era. He was in an impossible situation against impossible odds.

Washington was never a great military commander. He was outfoxed all too often on the battlefield. Indeed, by December 1776, he had been beaten so badly over the preceding six months that everyone on both sides thought the Revolution was over but for the signing of surrender documents. Yet Washington, a man whose persistence and refusal to surrender was inhuman, on Dec. 25, 1776, led a beaten force of 2,500 across the Delaware River in horrendous conditions. The next morning, his soldiers surprised the best light infantry forces in America, the Hessians at Trenton, and won a victory so stunning that it literally saved the Revolution.

And while Washington's command of the Continental Army over the next seven years was critically important, it was his actions at and after the end of the war that proved of importance equal to his victory at Trenton. The history of revolutions was equally a history of successful military commanders taking power as dictator or King, from Caesar to Cromwell. But not with George Washington, who not merely voluntarily relinquished all power at the end of the war, but put an end to a revolt of officers who had not been paid.

Then it was Washington, called out of retirement, who lent his credibility to the Constitutional Convention that resulted in the drafting of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. And while all knew that Washington would be elected President - he was elected to two terms with 100% of the electoral college votes - Washington easily could have chosen to be President for life. But instead, he opted to go back into retirement after two terms. Washington was a hero and perhaps the single man indispensable to the creation of our nation.

The third choice for American hero is harder. There are so many who could legitimately take this position. Let me just give it to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The history of America's treatment of blacks is indeed a mark on this nation. Even after the end of slavery and the enshrinement of equal rights in our Constitution at the end of the Civil War, racism and unequal treatment were still rampant in this nation. Rev. King was born in 1929, and while he did not start the Civil Rights movement, he became its most important voice. He shamed white America with their failure to live up to the promise of this nation, enshrined in our first Founding document, The Declaration of Independence, that "all men are created equal." Dr. King brought a moral message that our nation could not ignore, and he pushed it relentlessly, at great danger to himself, and he did so with non-violence. His speech in 1963 in Washington D.C., now known as the "I Have A Dream" speech, is perhaps the most recognizable speech in our nation's history, and rightly so. He finished the speech with a stirring call for an America where people are judged "not . . . by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

In our unique nation, Rev. King's call for equality was not only a moral clarion call, but a necessity if we are to survive as a melting pot. Since Rev. King's death, the movement he started has been wholly bastardized by the left for their own ends. That does not in any way detract from Rev. King's message, indeed, it only increases the need for us fulfill his vision.

 Don Surber : Washington, Lincoln and King. Put lives on the line for a greater purpose. Four bulletholes in GW's coat when he retired from the Revolution and he was only in battle for 3 years
Meanwhile none of them are in my book. Maybe I am doing this wrong.

(Obligatory Book Plug -- you do this when you author) https://www.createspace.com/5407939


Bookworm Room : My three favorite heroes in American history are George Washington, James Madison, and, and . . . I can't think of a third hero.

As far as I'm concerned, George Washington was the essential man.  It wasn't just that he proved, after a very steep learning curve, to be a brilliant general improvising guerrilla warfare as he went along, although that steep learning curve certainly deserves recognition.  Many wars, and many more men, have been lost because generals were incapable of learning from their failures.  And it wasn't just because he was a person of such rectitude that all parties, north and south, knew that they could rely on and trust him, although that is a rare quality in either the military or political world.

What made General Washington the essential man in my eyes is that he was averse to power.  Offered a kingship or an indefinite consulship, his primary goal was to get out of office and go home.  While in office, his learning curve and integrity meant that he carried out his duties in this brand new role to the best of his abilities.  But the most important thing he did was to leave office.

Around the world and throughout history, too many other people would have become invested in even the fairly limited power granted an American president (as opposed to a European monarch), but Washington didn't. Instead, he began a tradition that lasted until FDR of staying no more than eight years in office.  Moreover, this tradition was so powerful that, after FDR died following his third reelection, the American people passed a constitutional amendment to preserve Washington's most important legacy:  time-limited executive power.

If Washington's was the essential personality, than James Madison had the essential brain.  It is a rare man who understands the interaction between human nature and political power, and who seeks to craft a political system that optimizes man's nature -- even his basest nature -- in order to control man's access to unlimited power.  I understand that, in the beginning, Alexander Hamilton was his partner in crafting this exquisite balance of power, but Madison, by virtue of avoiding such rash things as duels, managed to last long enough to become president, thereby cementing his reputation as a great political philosopher, long after Hamilton became something of a footnote.

As for the third essential person? Certainly there have been a great many important people in American history, whether politicians, civilians, or military personnel, but I don't consider any of them essential in the way that I do Washington and Madison.


Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Growing up outside of Philadelphia and near Valley Forge, of course Benjamin Franklin makes my list of favorite heroes in American history. He is known as “The First American” for his support of the establishment of the United States of America. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he only went to school until 10 years of age, after which he became an apprentice printer to his brother James. At 17 he ran away to Philadelphia. He was a true autodidact; a voracious reader; and inventor of bifocal glasses, the lightening rod, and Franklin stove, among many others. He helped found the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin was the first United States Postmaster General. He was also the first president of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society. He was also the only Founding Father to sign all four founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris, and the United States Constitution.

Another hero in American history came from my hometown, Trappe, Pennsylvania. The son of Henry Muhlenberg, minister of the first Lutheran church in the Colonies, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg was also a Lutheran minister and member of what later became known as the Black Robe Regiment, a group of clergymen who rallied the people to take up arms against the King of England. On January 21, 1776, while delivering a sermon before his congregation in Virginia, he quoted text from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, which starts with "To everything there is a season..."; and after reading the eighth verse, "a time of war, and a time of peace," he declared, "And this is the time of war," and removed his robe to reveal his Colonel's uniform. He later became a U. S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

Finally, my favorite American hero of all would be Thomas Jefferson – He had me at sacred and undeniable.

 JoshuaPundit: How to choose just three out of a pantheon of great and heroic Americans? Tough indeed. Obviously, the men whose likenesses are carved on Mount Rushmore have to have a claim on every patriot's heart, and I expect that many of my comrades here would choose George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

George Washington, like all of the Founders was willing to risk his life, fortune and sacred honor in the cause of liberty. That was no small stake to risk, especially for a prosperous, wealthy Virginia landowner.

He had never really had much actual experience in military command, and it showed. But he never gave up, and more importantly he never allowed any of those with him to give up. There's a famous story about him confronting his disgruntled, hungry and unpaid officers when things looked blackest to read them orders. As he was fumbling for his spectacles, he said, "Please forgive the delay, gentlemen. Not only my health but even my eyesight is a casualty for the freedom of our beloved country."

As his officers realized how much he had sacrificed, many of them broke down weeping, but they also found their resolve; if General Washington could keep going, so could they.

After the victory, he became the model for future presidents, and a man universally respected by all, which molded 13 very diverse colonies into a nation. If you look at other countries whom have achieved independence in history and note how many of them have fallen quickly into corruption and despotism, you realize what a special man George Washington was.

While Lincoln behaved with fortitude and deserves great credit for his leadership, I'm going to pick someone else from the era, without whom Lincoln's efforts would likely have been in vain.

Joshua Chamberlain was a seminary student who decided not to join the ministry and became a Maine college professor at Bowdoin college. When the Civil War came, he enlisted in 1862 and received a commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 20th Maine. In spite of having no military experience whatsoever, he learned quickly and became a well regarded officer, being promoted to Colonel.

Chamberlain's appointment with destiny came in the Battle of Gettysburg on the second day, when he and the 20th were assigned to hold the southern slopes of Little Round Top, the extreme left flank of the Union position and a key post, since losing it would have allowed the Confederate Armies to roll up the Union defensive positions and break the line, winning the battle.

Chamberlain's men held out against repeated attacks by superior forces, and suffered so many casualties their battle line almost doubled back against itself. Finally, they had almost no ammunition left. Colonel Chamberlain didn't hesitate; he ordered his men to fix bayonets and led a charge downhill from his left to 'sweep the Rebs off the hill.' Amazingly it worked, one of the chanciest and most surprising maneuvers in the entire war. And with Little Roundtop saved, the Union was able to dig in and consolidate their positions, repulse Pickett's Charge the next day and win the decisive battle of the war. Joshua Chamberlain received the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Gettysburg. And he likely saved the Union as well. He was wounded six times, but he survived and finished the war as a Brevet Major General.

It was General Joshua Chamberlain whom was given the honor of commanding the Union troops at the surrender ceremony at Appomattox. True his character, he ordered his men to refrain from any cheering or demonstrations as the defeated confederates marched by, and to present arms and stand silently at attention in respect for their defeated enemy.

He later became Maine's governor and president of Bowdoin. At the age of 70, he tried to volunteer for service in the Spanish-American War, and called being rejected 'one of the greatest disappointments in my life.'

My third hero? Ronaldus Magnus of course. Elected president of a divided nation with a broken economy, in retreat from its foes worldwide and with a people who were wondering if America's greatness was at an end, Ronald Wilson Reagan took charge and dived in with a message of hope and patriotism that inspired America. In spite of opposition from a Democrat-dominated congress, he pushed through tax cuts and reforms that restored America's prosperity and its faith in itself. He was unafraid to call the Soviet Union exactly what it was, an evil empire and in spite of everything the foreign policy establishment said, he never had any doubts that it needed to be defeated. So he set the course successfully to do exactly that.

When the Iranians tried to shut down the Persian Gulf, he sent American forces in to sink most of their navy and had the Marines take and occupy Kharg Island, where the terminus of all Iran's oil pipelines were located and held it for awhile to give the Iranians a message. They never challenged America again while Reagan was president...they knew better.

When Castro tried to take over Grenada and hold Americans hostage, he gave the order to drive them out and rescue our citizens. And he effectively ended Castro and the Soviet's dream of subverting Central and South America.

Derided by the elites and Leftists in America, Ronald Reagan enjoyed massive support from his fellow Americans. His spirit, his eloquence, his leadership and yes, his superb sense of humor inspired the country. No president is perfect, being human. But President Reagan took us back from the brink. If I were president, I'd find some room on Mount Rushmore for him.


 Well, there you have it!

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?

Friday, May 15, 2015

BB King Makes The Passage 1925-2015

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BB King, that icon of blues and R&B has gone to the Lord, at the age of 89.

The news isn't unexpected, since he had diabetes and was in poor health generally. According to his lawyer, Brent Bryson, BB King went peacefully, dying in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas.

BB King was more than just an incredible guitar player and singer. During his career, which went back to the 1950's, his amazing performances influenced virtually anyone who played guitar. Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Mike Bloomfield, Robbie Robertson, Elvin Bishop, Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons, Peter Green,Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Cray were just a few of the musicians whom he inspired and in some cases mentored. To say he changed the face of music is to state the simple truth.




Riley B. King grew up in the Mississippi Delta, on a cotton plantation near Indianola, Mississippi in the Roaring Twenties, the time of the Great Flood and the black migration from the south to the north and west. There, he heard the sounds of people like Robert Johnson, Peetie Wheatstraw and his cousin Bukka White, music he later integrated with his gospel singing roots into his own unique sound. At the age of 23, he was appearing on Sonny Boy Williamson's King Biscuit Flower Hour on KWEM in Arkansas, a show that could be heard all over the South and even as far north as Canada if you were lucky.

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Later, BB went across the river to Memphis, the northern corner of the Delta where he got himself a spot performing and deejaying on WDIA. That's where he discovered the electric guitar courtesy of T-Bone Walker who was a guest on BB King's radio show.

A couple of years later he was recording for the Bihari Brothers' L.A. based label, with most of his tracks being produced by none other than Sam Phillips, who also recorded a number of other bluesmen like Howlin' Wolf, Pat Hare and Ike Turner, and later went on to form Sun Records...where one day, a skinny, black-haired white teenager with the unusual name 'Elvis' walked through the door.

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BB King was a regular on what was then called the 'chitlin' circuit - small to medium sized black clubs and social halls - ever since his first real hit, "Three O'clock Blues" in 1952. He was young enough to be able to deal with the extended touring involved and in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the revolution electric instruments and amplification brought to popular music.

It was around this time BB switched his guitar permanently from Fenders to various models of Gibson's ES ('electric Spanish' ) semi-hollow bodied guitars. The one below is, I believe,  an ES-345 SV with stereo wiring or an ES-335, the non-stereo version. Both utilize a Varitone, a switch to change the mid-range and treble on the guitar for different tones.

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 B King always called his guitars 'Lucille, ' a reminder of an incident on the chitlin' circuit where two men got into a fight over a woman named Lucille. One of them knocked over a lamp and set the club on fire, and BB ran back into the blazing club to retrieve his guitar. He called all of his guitars Lucille ever after.



BB King's real break came in the sixties, when the rock and roll guitar idols began mentioning his name in interviews as an influence, The Rolling Stones took him on tour with them in 1969 and he had a major 1970 crossover hit, "The Thrill is Gone" and a TV appearance on Ed Sullivan that brought him into the mainstream. Here's a fragment:



Just as he had for decades, BB continued to do his 300+ shows a year, slowing down only a little as age and illness crept up on him.

I ran into him three times, once on the road, once backstage after an incredible show with Bobby Blue Bland and Albert King, and once at his night club in Los Angeles. He was always gracious and friendly well beyond the usual show biz norm once he had sussed you out and realized you just wanted to say hell or, talk music or guitars and weren't trying to put the arm on him for something.

BB King went off peacefully, thank G-d, and his music will live forever.

We've lost quite a few wonderful musicians lately, and when someone like BB King leaves the building, it breaks a chain that goes all the way back to the Delta where it all started.That is a very grievous loss, because in many ways, music is sort of a conversation between musicians, which is how it grows and changes.  BB King was a huge contributor to that conversation. and sadly,  there aren't many new ones coming along whom are part of it,  whom are connected to that tradition, or have the talent to keep the flame kindled even if they were.

And that loss saddens me no end.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher's Council Results

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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

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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


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