Friday, March 29, 2013

North Korea Beats The War Drums

Things are ramping up...

As of today. North Korea has announced that it is in a "state of war" with South Korea.

"As of now, inter-Korea relations enter a state of war and all matters between the two Koreas will be handled according to wartime protocol," the North said in a joint statement attributed to all government bodies and institutions.

This follows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement that the armistice that ended the Korean War is over and open threats to attack the U.S. and 'other enemies'.

The Norks have cut off all channels with South Korea, including a hot line between the two countries. And the U.S.? Well, we warned them that military confrontation would lead to - wait for it- "further isolation."

Yep, if he attacks South Korea,or Japan, we'll cut off his shipments of porn movies and film and pop music memorabilia.And be really, really upset with him.

On the bright side
, Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the US would not be intimidated. "The United States is fully capable of defending itself and our allies against a North Korean attack. We are firmly committed to the defense of South Korea and Japan."

That's a bit weightier than threatening the Norks with "further isolation". But it remains to be seen whether we follow through.

The entire Korea situation is an example of how weakness and appeasement in response to aggression only brings on more of the same..and always at a higher cost.

The West made a huge and needless mistake agreeing to a partition of Korea after WWII, just as there was no reason not to demand that the Soviets pull their armies out of Eastern Europe after the Nazis were defeated.In Europe, President Roosevelt,steered by Soviet agents in his administration like Harry Dexter White, Lauchlin Curtie and Alger Hiss chose to believe Stalin's assurances, and so did Harry Truman, who kept the same Roosevelt advisers in place after FDR's death.

There's no question that America, as the sole atomic power after WWII, with an army in place and the Soviets decimated and dependent on the U.S. for military supplies couldn't have given Stalin an ultimatum he couldn't afford to refuse, sent the Red Army packing back to Russia and freed Eastern Europe.Even Stalin knew that the Red Army was not ready for another war.

The rationale for allowing a partition of Korea was more of the same. It was a bribe to the Russians to aid the U.S. in what was seen as the high cost prospective invasion of the Japanese home islands. Once that was unnecessary after Japan;s surrender, there was no reason to allow the partition of Korea and had Truman stood up to Soviets, they would have had no choice but to withdraw.

Truman later compounded the error by ignoring South Korean leader Sygman Rhee's frantic request for heavy weapons, artillery and increased military assistance as Rhee watched the Nork's Soviet sponsored military buildup on his borders. When the North Koreans invaded, our troops on the ground in South Korea lacked even enough basic ammo, let alone anti-tank weapons and they were completely overwhelmed and forced back to a narrow defensive redoubt.

Korea has been called the Forgotten War, but it was also an unnecessary one.

Even after the war started and General MacArthur had landed at Inchon and driven the enemy forces back to the Chinese border, Truman declined to take the steps that would have enabled victory - diplomatic negotiations with the Chinese that would have resulted in clear borders and a united Korea. That was possible even after the Chinese came in (as China always has when what they consider enemy forces are too close to their borders), although it might have required a few strikes on Chinese military installations as necessary once that happened to underline the need to Mao Tse Tung for a diplomatic solution.

It's worth remembering in this context that China only came in after Soviet assurances that they would back them..assurances which later proved as empty as the ones Stalin made to Roosevelt and Truman at Yalta.

Instead of solving the problem, we settled for an armistice that left a poisonous regime in place.

The Kim regime has been gaming the West ever since...seizing the odd U.S. ship here and there, making agreements it had no intention of keeping, issuing numerous threats, attacking South Korean ships and territory, and acting as a major rogue nuclear weapons proliferator - all without any significant action by the West,and especially by the U.S.

It's the Iranian story all over again.Aside from enabling the Kim regime to survive in the first place after blatant aggression, we've never made the North Koreans suffer any significant cost for their actions since. Is it any wonder they're upping the ante? Or that they have no fear of U.S.response whatsoever?

That's what comes of kicking the can down the road for half a century.

The key to this situation, of course, is China. The best way of handling this would be to make it crystal clear to the Chinese that the present regime, (especially since they're armed with nuclear weapons) is unacceptable and threatens the U.S./China relationship. If we're smart and take note of history, we would offer the Chinese our support and assistance in a team effort in getting the Kims out, their nukes destroyed. And we would offer them the carrot of our acquiescence in their putting another regime in power to their liking to act as a buffer on their border, which is essentially what China wants North Korea for anyway.

This is not something that's going to be solved by a well written, nicely delivered speech loaded on to a teleprompter. And it will be interesting to see how President Obama and his team handle this.

Female Leftists In Gaza Aid Convoy Sexually Assaulted

Apparently it doesn't just happen in Tahrir Square in Cairo.

According to al-Guardian, three women who were part of a 10-vehicle convoy en route to Gaza that was held up in Benghazi because the Egyptians would not allow it to cross the border. The women were among a group of five British nationals who were kidnapped by some of the locals.

According to Abdul Barghathi, commander of preventative security in the Libyan defence ministry, the women had been sexually assaulted, but not raped. "There was no rape, just touching (sexual assault)," he said. "Because there is no British consulate here they were handed to the Turkish consulate."

The Brits are apparently on their way back home. It could easily have been worse, and perhaps they learned something

Benghazi these days is a place where the Libyan government, such as it is doesn't exist. Instead, different parts of the city are controlled by various militias. Ansar al-Sharia, the al-Qaeda militia who attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American is in de facto control of most of the central part of the city.

It's not a place for ferenghi(foreigners) to hang out unless they're very careful and very well armed.

Watch As The IDF Foils A Terrorist Attack

Just another day is Israel...

One of the reasons Israel has 'Israeli only' roads in Judea and Samaria (AKA The West Bank) is to protect innocent men women and children from exactly this kind of operations.

Here, we see five members of the Tanzim, the armed wing of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah shooting at at cars traveling the roads. Imagine, for a moment, that it was you and your wife and children traveling on that highway.The Tanzim, by the way, are salaried and the money comes from the aid the Palestinians the half a billion dollars President Obama just shoved through for them,by passing a congressional hold.

The IDF not only caught them shooting at cars on the road, but found improvised explosives on them.The men, who live Bet Fajr village near Bethlehem, confessed to have been behind shooting incidents aimed at Israelis and to hurling firebombs.

Peace is not words on a piece of paper. It's not guarantees, or promises. It's an attitude, a desire to both live and let live.

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have never had it. Which explains why there's no peace, in a nutshell.

Texas: "We Want Our Gold Back From The Feds"


The State of Texas wants its gold back..and so does Governor Rick Perry.

The state legislature has a pending bill that would establish a Texas State Bullion Depository to house $1 billion in gold bars owned by Texas within the state. That gold is s now stored at the Federal Reserve in New York City.

Governor Rick Perry is very vocal about the idea. On Glenn Beck's radio show, the governor said Texas was “in the process” of “bringing gold that belongs to the state of Texas back into the state.” He said that the state was at least as capable as the Federal Reserve of safeguarding Texas’ “physical gold.”

“If we own it,” Perry said, “I will suggest to you that that’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not.”

The bill's sponsor, State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, was quoted in the Texas Tribune, “For us to have our own gold, a lot of the runs on the bank and those types of things, they happen because people are worried that there’s nothing there to back it up.”

“We don’t want just the certificates. We want our gold. And if you’re the state of Texas, you should be able to get your gold,” said Capriglione.

If this goes through and Texas is successful in getting its gold back within the state's borders, it will be interesting to speculate whether other states, particularly Red states will follow Texas' lead and start a trend.

Feds Admit Warrantless Cellphone Tracking ‘Very Common’

Right to privacy? Don't bet on it.

According to a Washington Times report, the FBI has admitted that it made extensive use for the last five years of a cell phone tracking program that can pinpoint callers’ locations and record their conversations — all without a warrant.

The program, called 'Stingray' was revealed at a hearing today in a federal court in Arizona by Justice Department attorneys in the case of U.S. vs. Rigmaiden.The 2008 case involves a man charged with identity theft. His attorneys are seeking to quash evidence obtained by Stingray, using the argument that using Stingray constitutes a search and would require an actual warrant.

Stingray works by mimicking a cell phone tower, so that it can easily zoom in on a cell phone's location and pick up and record conversations as well as data. The apparatus can easily fit in an unmarked van.

The Justice Department lawyers told the court that instead of going through a process like getting a warrant and convincing a judge there's probable cause, Stingray operates under the authority of “pen register” orders. These court orders are usually issued to allow the collection of what's known as “metadata” — recording all phone numbers calling to or called from a particular number, for instance. Stingray, of course, collects a lot more than that.

Not only does it record calls and collect data from the targeted phone, but from all other phones within range.There also is apparently fairly lax oversight in how the FBI or other agencies uses it.

Underage Daughters of Syrian Refugees Forced into Prostitution


Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon are being 'helped' by their Arab brothers in a particularly horrendous fashion. As in Egypt, the new capitol for Arab sex tourism, young, often underage girls are the prey:

Um Majed sets down small cups of hot Turkish coffee to ease the tension. Nezar is a Syrian refugee and looking for a husband for her daughter. She lists the girl’s qualities.

“She is tall and pretty,” she tells Um Majed. “She finished the seventh grade.”

“There is one available. He is Saudi,” Um Majed answers.

This is what Nezar wants to hear. Saudis, flush with petrodollars, will pay well. She has high hopes for this Saudi.

So does Um Majed who will earn a $287 fee if the two sides agree to the match.

Um Majed, 28, is also a Syrian refugee, a former housewife from Homs. Um Majed isn’t her actual name but a respectable Arab moniker meaning ‘mother of Majed,’ her young son. She doesn’t want her full name published because of her shame about what she does for a living: procuring brides, some as young as 12, for men as old as 70 from all over the Middle East in exchange for money.[...]

“My daughter is willing to sacrifice herself for her family,” Nezar says. “If the war had not happened I would not marry my daughter to a Saudi. But the Syrians here are poor and have no money.”

Nezar’s daughter is 17. The Saudi groom is 70.

And it's a buyer's market. There's a surplus of desperate Syrian refugees with young daughrers to sell, and some grooms offering as little as $100 cash for a bride.

The age of consent in Jordan is 18, but there's no shortage of religious clerics who will marry underage girls for a fee. A number of Um Majed's clients simply want a temporary 'marriage', which sharia allows. It can last a few days, weeks or months, after which there's a 'divorce' and the girl is returned to her parents, sometimes to be sold over and over again in what amounts to religiously sanctified prostitution.

“One of my brides has been married three, four times,” Um Majed says. “She is 15.”

“I have 10 families looking for grooms,” she says. “Their girls are between 12 and 21. The grooms are always in their 40s, 50s, or 70s. They want beautiful girls, the younger the better.”

“The Saudis usually ask for 12-year-olds.”

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week's Watcher's Council Results


Alea iacta est...the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have the results  for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

This is an important week for a lot of reasons.

 It was the week of the Pessah, the Passover, the time when Jews the world over fulfill the mitzva of retelling the story of the Exodus and their delivery from the house of bondage,  a time to celelbrate as free men and women  their G-d-given freedom and to eat the unleavened bread, matzoh, to commemorate their ancestor's journey  and deliverance from bondage and slavery and the giving of the Torah at Har Sinai. It is a time, according to the Mishnah, when every Jew should  conduct himself as though he personally was redeemed from bondage by G-d's own hand.

This is also Holy week, culminating in  Easter Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. That too is a festival of freedom...freedom from sin, freedom of the soul and a promise of eternal life.

No, the rolling away of the stone does not only refer to a physical object.

 Both holidays change their dates on our calender from year to year..Passover because it is based on the centuries old Hebrew lunar calender, and Easter because the early Church fathers determined that Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon date of the year, which always occurs after Passover. But they always come close together.

It is fitting and appropriate that the two holidays should be linked in this way. Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover ceremonies and the famous Last Supper was a Passover seder. The bread Jesus spoke of as recorded in the Gospels was none other than the humble matzoh, the unleavened bread the Hebrew made because they were 'in haste to depart' from Egypt and had no time for it to rise.

At this time, when  freedom is under attack in ways and in  places where we never supposed it ever would be, it is important to reflect on the message of Passover and Easter, and how that message can freee of from bondage...especially the chains we forge ourselves.

I and my fellow  Council members wish you and yours Chag Pessah Sameach and a blessed Easter.

Speaking of the Holy Land, after 4 years of a fairly hostile and contentious relationship, President Obama finally saw fit to visit Israel as president.

This week's winning piece, Narcissus In The Promised Land Redux: Obama Learns You Can't Fool All Of The People All Of The Time over at Joshuapundit was my reaction to the president's trip and what occurred. Here's a slice:

I could almost pity President Obama for having his nose rubbed in the truth of Abraham Lincoln's famous statement if the mess wasn't so thoroughly of his own making.

President Obama got a friendly, if skeptical reception in Israel, because most Israelis are in fact pro-American.But Israelis, particularly sabras are noted for looking at deeds rather than words and schmooze.

While they appreciated President Obama's fine words on America's commitment to Israel as an ally, they also remember his previous hostility, his repudiation of agreements made with Israel by President Bush and his call for them to re-divide Jerusalem and retreat to indefensible borders.

And they notice that he chose to land in Tel Aviv rather than Israel's capitol Jerusalem, that he chose not address Israel's Knesset, that he was 'too busy' to meet personally with victims of Palestinian terrorism even if they hold American citizenship, that he refused to invite students at Ariel University to his speech to Israeli students...simply because their university is located in Judea ( AKA The West Bank), even though it's on land Jews purchased legally before Israel was even a state.

And many of them also noticed this map of Israel put out by Obama's State Department in spokesman Ben Rhodes' offical statement..that shows a map of Israel on the pre '67 lines, without the Golan, Judea and Samaria or East Jerusalem:


In the president's speech to Israeli students, he somehow forgot that over half a million Israelis (including a lot of the students he was speaking to) live in what he still refers to as 'settlements', saying that "Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable, that real borders will have to be drawn," and warning that Israel "must reverse an undertow of isolation".  

 In other words, Israel building homes and infrastructure for it's people - bad, hurts chances for peace. The Palestinian Authority's constant incitement against Jews, funneling donor aid to Hamas and using it to pay salaries to convicted killers in Israeli jails,  holding up the murderers of Israeli civilians as role models and heroes? The actions of a peace partner!

Yes, that's the looking glass world our Narcissus lives in, where his warped perceptions become 'what everyone knows'.

Trying as usual to have it both ways, the president also said it was time for the Arab world to "take steps toward normalizing relations" with Israel and that "Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state, and that Israelis have the right to insist upon their security".

How that's going to be accomplished with the borders he proposes the president did not elaborate on.And that's especially telling in view of the reception the president got in Ramallah from the Palestinians before he spoke to the students.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with Night Falls on Civilization submitted by The Noisy Room. All I can say is read it for yourself.

OK,  here are this week’s full results. Gay Patriot and Rhymes With Right were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the mandatory 2/3 penalty

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Because of Easter Sunday, this week's Forum will not appear, but don't forget to tune in a week from this Monday AM for the Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.....'cause we're cool like that!

Piers Morgan Caught Again - Falsely Claimed NewTown Shooter Was NRA Memeber


CNN's Piers Morgan was absolutely ecstatic at the news that a Newtown search warrant that showed there was an NRA certificate found in the Lanza household. Morgan tweeted:

Except Morgan, you know, got things wrong:

In the search warrants of the Lanza’s mother’s house, it showed a receipt for a shooting range along with a NRA certificates for both Adam and Nancy Lanza. These are given when a person takes a course in gun safety or training by an NRA-certified instructor.

The police also list a handbook published by the NRA. The book covers topics include safely using a pistol safely, shooting fundamentals, cleaning, storage and transportation.

The certificate was made out to Nancy Lanza, according to  LaPierre explain what checks they made on Adam Lanza before sending him a @NRA certificate. #Newtown
The NRA was forced to put out a statement clarifying for those in the media that people NRA certificates don’t indicate membership in the organization: “There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association. Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory.”


Now, an actual journalist might have made a few phone calls and checked something like that before putting something like that out there..

And remember, this is the man who called a pro Second Amendment guest on his show "unbelievably stupid." 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Israeli Filmmaker Beaten Unconscious By Arab 'Youths' At French Film Festival


Israeli film director Yariv Horowitz was attending the Aubagne Film Festival in France where his movie "Rock The Casbah" was entered when he was assaulted by a group of Arab youths and beaten unconscious just before his film won the Best Picture award.

Horowitz was treated at the festival and recovered in time to receive his award. Israeli singer and musician Assaf Amdursky also received an award for a movie he wrote music.

This was a particularly brazen assault, and a sign of why French Jews, once the largest Jewish community in Europe are now leaving.

Few of those who are left allow their children to attend public schools any more because of the danger of violence and assault, Jewish synagogues and community centers are under heavy guard and very few Jews appear on the streets wearing clothing or jewelry that identifies them as Jews.

Those French who choose to ignore what's happening ought to wonder...what happens when les Juifs are gone and the Muslims they imported seek new targets?

Two Big Victories For School Choice

There have been two recent major  victories at the state level for school choice that deserve to be shared.

Both involved Choice Scholarship Programs ( CSP) which provide vouchers to low-income and middle-income families to help pay the cost of private schools and get children out of the public school systems.

In Indiana, the state supreme court ruled unanimously in Meredith v. Pence that the CSP vouchers were constitutional, defeating a huge lawsuit and lobbying campaign by the teacher's union and the ACLU.

The decision affects 600,000 children, who will now be free to flee dysfunctional public schools for quality private education:

The union's lawsuit hinged on two legal points. First, constitutional provisions requiring that states provide a “general and uniform” system of public education and second, provisions forbidding state support of religion.

Or to put it more plainly, 'we'll be in charge of the mindrape and indoctrination, thanks. Not you Jesus freaks or racist Tea Party types.'

The court did not agree:

With regard to requiring a uniform system of public education, Gall goes on to write that the court “showed that the duty to provide a ‘general and uniform’ system of public schools is not violated when a state provides educational options above and beyond the system.”

As for the provision prohibiting state support of religion, the court noted that:

any benefit to program-eligible schools, religious or non-religious, derives from the private, independent choice of the parents of program-eligible students, not the decree of the state, and is thus ancillary and incidental to the benefit conferred on these families.

The Indiana legislature is now talking about expanding the program to serve even more students.

In Colorado, there was a victory that may even be more far reaching.

The Appeals Court overturned an injunction on the Douglas County CSP program issued by a Left wing judge in response to a suit by the teacher's unions, ACLU, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and similar actors.

They claimed that the CSP program violated, among other things, the establishment clause in the Colorado constitution. Their argument was that by subsidizing student to attend religious schools, the state was promoting and subsidizing particular faiths. And since Secular Leftism was already covered by the public schools it wasn't among them.

The appellate court decided to reason this out in an interesting way:

In rejecting the plaintiffs’ establishment clause claims, the appellate court applied the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Colorado Christian University v. Weaver, 534 F.3d 1245 (10th Cir. 2008). In this decision, penned by then-Judge Michael McConnell, the Tenth Circuit held that it violated the First Amendment to provide financial aid to students attending sectarian institutions but not to students attending “pervasively sectarian” institutions. As the Tenth Circuit noted, “inquiring into the pervasiveness or intensity of… belief” of religious institutions receiving funding is a form of anti-religious discrimination.

In the case challenging the CSP, the Colorado appeals court applied the same logic, holding that:

the inquiry in which the district court engaged—into the degree to which religious tenets and beliefs are included in participating private schools’ educational programs—is no longer constitutionally permissible. In the thirty years since Americans United was decided, the United States Supreme Court has made clear that, in assessing facially neutral student aid laws, a court may not inquire into the extent to which religious teaching pervades a particular institution’s curriculum. Doing so violates the First Amendment.

This means that a First Amendment violation does not occur when a facially neutral law happens to fund religious school. Rather, the true First Amendment violation occurs when an activist court seeks to scrutinize the curriculum of schools funded by vouchers to sniff out religion it doesn’t like.


Needless to say, no one has ever gone to Harvard, UW at Madison, Yale, or any other bastion of Leftist thought to challenge their right to public funds based on the depth of their beliefs.

These two decisions add to a growing file of case law supporting the right to school choice. And that's a very important issue..if not one of the most important.

A 15-Year -Old Conservative Deals With Bullying From Public School Teachers

Benji Backer is a politically active fifteen-year-old in Wisconsin. Here he speaks in his own words on the kind of indoctrination he's getting in the public schools:

As a 15 year old, I never imagined my activism in politics would translate into controversy for me at school.

My name is Benji Backer and I attend a public high school in Appleton, Wisconsin. I have always supported the public school system and plan to do so for the rest of my life. Many Americans who stand up for the public school system and the unions believe there is no attempt to sway opinion or that students with opposing beliefs are singled out. Unfortunately, experiences I have had with harassment and bullying prove that wrong. This is a timeline of the most extreme cases of harassment and indoctrination I have had in the three different public schools I have attended over the last three years.

I am currently in my freshman year of high school and the incidents are happening more frequently and I believe are more severe. As you can imagine, the ongoing pressure and bullying has been disturbing to me, my friends and my family.

Just before the 2010 Midterm election, I was on the front page of the local newspaper for my political volunteer work and my teachers noticed. One of my seven teachers made it very clear that she dissaproved of my civic engagement. In a period of two months, my Geography teacher frequently would take me aside after school for a few minutes and tell me how stupid, wrong and misguided I was for being Republican. The harassment with this specific teacher got so bad, I had to switch schools halfway through the year. At this time I was only 12 years old. To my knowledge, this teacher was not disciplined at all for her actions.

Two months after I switched to my new school, Scott Walker passed the controversial Budget Repair Bill. Most of the teachers at my new school were more than upset. A couple of my teachers wore red every day while crying, protesting and providing a one-sided perspective on the reforms and making it clear to us just how bad they believed Scott Walker was. One teacher even said she wouldn’t be able to have another child because Scott Walker was cutting so much money from her pay.

A few months later, I expected things to die down and be over with; it didn’t. Almost four months after Walker’s budget was passed, I walked into choir to find a substitute teacher showing us a 5 minute video about how great unions were and then she talked for an additional 10 minutes about how bad she believed Scott Walker to be. At the end of the class, I stood up, defended the governor and told her how inappropriate her behavior was. I was told she didn’t do that to another class for the rest of the day.

During my 8th grade year I received more attention for my political activity. I had become known in the community because of newspaper, radio and TV interviews and was aware that this would possibly make me a target. Not only was I a volunteer for Governor Walker, but I was a very vocal supporter of him as well. While there were some minor instances of teachers complaining about Walker and a few mentions of my media appearances and such, the rhetoric seemed to be dying down.

It was a short-lived reprieve. Things have deteriorated again this year, my freshman year. I came into the year with the knowledge that some teachers would already view me negatively because of my political views and I was correct.

Right after Scott Walker won the recall election, I started helping out candidates for November. I was named Young Americans for Mitt Romney Co-Chair in Wisconsin and once again, my teachers took notice; my English teacher in particular. In one of the first weeks of school, he had us write about an article we had read for homework. The article was about political campaigns “mining” into the personal lives of the American people. He asked, “other than Facebook and phone calls, how do campaigns mine into personal lives?” I raised my hand and replied: “well, you can check who signed the recall.” Immediately after, he said “I signed that!” That was the trigger to the last 40 minutes of class. He spent the remainder of that period lecturing us about how much he hated Scott Walker and explained all the reasons why. He said, “most small business owners and workers take off Fridays and summers”. According to him, small business owners go golfing every Friday. He also said many businessmen work fewer hours than teachers. He explained how his pay was too low to support his family. He told the class his pay was so bad he had to paint houses in the summers. During this discussion, he was swearing and saying how wrong it was for anyone to support Walker. Students were telling him to stop, and he wouldn’t.

I decided I would not argue with him. Past experiences had shown me that arguing with someone like him would only make things worse and inflame the situation. Since no one was debating him, these students were being presented a very biased view and placed in a very uncomfortable situation. By the end of class, some students had a completely negative view of Scott Walker.

A couple of days later, he took me into the hall and apologized. He said he had felt bad about it all weekend. He then gave me a book to read about Abraham Lincoln. He told me that “good politicians read a lot.” Then he said, “I don’t think Scott Walker likes to read.” The indoctrination and conversations with the class dropped off for a while after this incident, but in mid-October, it started up again. On a regular basis, he would talk about politics in front of the class or in private with me.

The harassment got particularly bad one day in late October, about a week after I was featured in USA Today for my involvement in the upcoming November election. Again, this video and article was sent throughout the school and was even played in several classes. The same English teacher who had lectured to almost 30 students about a month earlier took me aside during class again. He started talking about Mitt Romney and Scott Walker and his views on them. He reiterated how much harder he worked compared to my dad, a small business owner, which he had no knowledge of. He went on to ask how much my parents made because he wanted to compare it to his salary.

Later, I looked up this teacher’s salary. He had been making over $100,000 with benefits for the 2010-11 school year, the same year Walker's reform bill passed. For a few more days, he talked to me in class about his feelings about Walker and Romney. I decided to tell my parents about the two incidents. My parents thought it was very inappropriate and decided we needed to talk to the principal about it. The principal at my school was very upset with the situation. He was disappointed in my English teacher and he told me I needed to talk to my teacher one on one. After I talked to the teacher, my principal said he would meet up with him to follow up. When I went during my lunch hour to talk to my teacher, he apologized and took ownership for everything. Later during the apology, he started to talk about Walker again and how much he hated him. He just couldn’t stop. At the end of the conversation, my teacher asked “you know how you went down to the principal’s office?” I said yes, and he said “I don’t give a sh*t.” I asked why, and he went on to explain that he was friends with the principal so it didn’t matter to him and he wouldn’t get in trouble because of their friendship.

In my Health class, also this year, our very first homework assignment included writing down four activities you do as a person currently and four things you want to do in the future. We were also assigned to present in front of the class. In one of my four boxes, I wrote down that I was a conservative speaker. When I presented in front of the class, he asked if I supported the Tea Party. I said yes. He rolled his eyes and told me believing in the organization was “weird." He also told me he knew nothing about the Tea Party. This teacher then told me to explain, in front of the class why I supported the Tea Party, so I did. When I left the class, I thought about what had happened. Why was I being called “weird?” Why was I being questioned so much? The simple truth reveals that some teachers want to obstruct and block my personal views from looking valid. If a teacher asked why someone was homosexual, Atheist or Muslim and called what they believed “weird”, there would be serious consequences. I decided not to report this to the principal because I realized it wouldn’t help. I had experienced the fallout from reporting prior instances and I didn't want a repeat situation.

The latest incident involved another substitute teacher in my civics (government) class. Every day we watch a ten minute show called CNN Student News. The substitute asked us to recap the show and discuss it in class. The first part of the show had to do with gun control. Instead of having us discuss the topics as she said she would, she decided to share her views. She talked almost twenty minutes. In those twenty minutes, she said the recently released picture of Obama shooting a gun was forced out by the conservative and far-right members. She explained how she believed Obama’s birth certificate was forced out, therefore this was too. For about five minutes, she called all Republicans racist. According to her, she had never seen such discrimination against a president and President Obama has been the most ill-treated president in the history of the United States, all because the Republicans don't want a black man in the White House.

Read it all here.

4 Days After Assassination Reports On Syria's Assad - Still No Public Appearance Or Video


It's been 4 days after reports of the assassination or wounding of Syrian leader Basher al-Assad swept the world.

The normal course of events in these matters if the attempt was a failure is for the strong man to make a public speech or appearance in a day or so to show that he's still in control.

The only thing we've heard from Assad is a letter that could have been written by anyone addressed to the upcoming BRIC Forum (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) - to "work for an immediate cessation of violence that would guarantee the success of the political solution" of the Syrian civil war.

"This requires a clear international will to dry up the sources of terrorism and stop its funding and arming," Assad said in the letter, which was carried by Syrian state media on Wednesday.

Assad said Syria is subjected to "acts of terrorism backed by Arab, regional and Western nations" - a reference to the Western-backed opposition fighting his regime.

While it is highly ironic to see the likes of Basher Assad complaining about terrorism, the fact remains that in this particular case, he - or whomever wrote the letter - is entirely correct.

What I've found out from my sources thus far doesn't change my opinion that at the least, Assad was wounded and is now recovering. We know at this point that after reports of the assassination,  Assad was spirited off last Sunday to Shami Hospital in Damascus, that all roads to the hospital were blocked, and that the Syrian TV studios were evacuated and emptied.

If Assad wasn't killed or injured, the normal procedure would be for him to make a live or at least a television appearance by this time.He hasn't.

If he was killed, the other top members of the regime are using this time to plunder what's left and get out of the country. If he was wounded (the more likely scenario, I think) they're keeping things quiet until he can be patched up enough to make an appearance.

Watcher's Council Nominations - 'Till Death Or Lawyers Do Us Part Edition


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.

Council News:
This week, Ask Marion, Liberty's Spirit and The Pirate's Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some fine pieces.

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.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which 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.

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 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!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Detroit Gets Its Emergency Manager, And The Natives Are Restless


Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder finally did what he had to do and appointed Kevyn Orr, a Washington, D.C., bankruptcy lawyer as Detroit's emergency financial manager.

Orr pretty much has carte blanche to try to turn the looted city around in the next 18 months, and it would be an understatement to say that those that did the plundering to suit themselves and their enablers are not happy.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the fight against Detroit’s emergency financial manager on Friday, calling for mass, nonviolent protest in the city to fend off what he called an attack on residents’ voting rights.

Jackson and several other opponents to an EFM pledged to file a lawsuit next week challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s new emergency manager law. It takes effect Thursday and grants broad powers to the incoming emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, a Washington, D.C., bankruptcy lawyer.

“As opposed to having a city council that’s democratically elected and a mayor, you’ll have a plantocracy, a plantation-ocracy, replacing a democracy,” Jackson said.

Jackson was joined by Detroit City Councilwomen JoAnn Watson and Brenda Jones, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and a union representative at a rally inside city hall that drew about 100 people. He also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene to protect Detroiters’ rights to vote.

“We marched too long and bled too much and died too young for the right to vote to have a governor … take away the impact of our vote,” said Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Of course, it doesn't matter that Orr is black. To Jackson and those whose scam he's interfering with, he's just working for the Evil Republican White Man.

Of course, Governor Snyder could have just let Mayor Dave Bing, the current City Council and the public employee unions keep running things the same way they always have. In that case, after a few more months Detroit would degenerate into two cities - one with a small, embattled  Green Line where electricity and social services were maintained, sort of, and a larger, bankrupt perimeter that was falling apart.

It's gotten that bad.

Jackson, of course, is just rabble rousing and hustling for himself as always, and in a more sensible country he'd be a comic figure. But in Detroit, he's taken seriously because of the racial politics involved.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s office wasn't going to comment on Jackson’s inflammatory rhetoric, and neither would Council President Charles Pugh or President Pro Tem Gary Brown. Jackson, meanwhile is the figurehead who's leading the charge to get Orr's appointment legally challenged and have him ousted, and the public employee unions have likely shoved a wad of cash his way to do it. That's how these things work:

Earlier this week, Conyers of Detroit and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, both Democrats, asked for a General Accounting Office investigation into the use of any emergency manager laws and history in Michigan. Several Lutheran congregations from Detroit will travel the city via bus Sunday to oppose the EFM and speak out against other problems facing the city.

Jackson warned that Orr’s arrival could harm the city. He described a scenario in which rich people buy up acres of neighborhoods, turn them into vacant lots and sell off the property, forcing residents from their homes.

“Detroit cannot be reduced to a rummage sale,” he said.

Someone should clue Jesse Jackson in that in order to sell anything, you have to have a buyer...and no one wants to buy property in Detroit just now. There are vacant homes and commercial buildings at ridiculously low prices available with no takers, because the city's dysfunctional at this point.

The public employee unions, of course are as horror stricken as Detroit's City council that honest government and fiscal sanity might rear its ugly head:

“There is anxiety. There is fear of the unknown,” said Yolanda Langston, the president of a Service Employees International Union’s local in Detroit. “We don’t know which way he’s going to go. {...}

At the City Council’s last meeting before the takeover, some residents vented their anger, while Council members wondered aloud if they would have any statutory powers at all once Mr. Orr took office.

“I am angry, like so many thousands of other residents of Detroit,” said Kathy Montgomery, 64. “Angry that our governor and mayor decided we need an emergency manager. We must oppose them.”

The emergency-manager law gives Mr. Orr extraordinary powers to reshape the city, including eliminating Council members’ salaries.

“I don’t know what kind of role we can have,” said Brenda Jones, one of nine City Council members. “I feel that we are just sitting here as a symbolic symbol right now.”

The president of the Detroit chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., the Rev. Wendell Anthony, said he expected to see protests in the coming week. “It’s not about how we should brace for Mr. Orr,” he said. “Mr. Orr should brace for Detroit.” {...}

Emergency managers in other Michigan cities have sold assets, privatized services and eliminated entire government departments. But Detroit has been struggling financially on a much larger scale. The state’s review team said its cash shortfall could reach $100 million by June.

Still, there has been stubborn resistance to privatization from residents and unions, suggesting that Mr. Orr is in for protracted battles on possible moves like selling off the city’s water and sewerage department.

“We will not let him do it,” said Michael Mulholland, an official with AFSCME Local 207, which represents 900 city workers. “As they say, when hell freezes over, I’ll fight on the ice.”

If Orr's smart, the answer to  Brenda Jones' question about the council's role will be 'none at all.'
Not only has Detroit's City Council been a huge part of the city's mismanagement, they've consistent obstructed any efforts to make things right.

How did Detroit get this way? A combination of racial politics, corruption and and unfettered rule by Democrats and the public employee unions.

The rot started when Coleman "I don't know nothin' about no Krugerrands" Young took over  in 1972 as Detroit's first black mayor. An advanced practitioner of racial politics, he was a former member of the Communist Party and the National Negro Labor Council, a communist front group Young started with Soviet agent Paul Robeson. Young used to habitually refer to himself as 'the chief muthaf**ker in charge'.

He served five terms, essentially presiding over the city's decline. By the end of his last term, the population of Detroit had shrunk by more than half as middle class taxpayers and businesses fled, the school system became dysfunctional, and taxes skyrocketed along with the crime rate.

When Mayor Young's close friend and political adviser William L. Hart was convicted for stealing $2.6 million from city funds and when other Young cronies in the police department, school boards, sanitation, and other departments took the fall in what the FBI called 'a large circle of corruption surrounding the mayor', a substantial amount of the evidence they used was from wiretaps on Mayor Young's own home telephone.

The only reason he stayed out of jail is because the Carter Justice Department didn't want to indict a popular black Democrat mayor and risk antagonizing a reliable voting bloc.

Young's successors like Kwame Kilpatrick, now a guest of the State of Michigan have continued this legacy with gusto, if not the same ability to get away with it.

A part of what's going on is Republican versus Democrat, but an even bigger part of it is resentment because it is essentially a black-run city, and any attempt to step in with an intervention has led to prompt charges of 'racism'...which is exactly what Governor Snyder and Kevyn Orr are facing as they try and save Detroit from the people who ran a city that was once an emblem of American prosperity into the ground.

Will they be successful? We'll see. After 18 months. the Council can boot Orr out for any reason they want.

Dirty Little Secret - Applying For ObamaCare Includes Voter Registration

By any means necessary...

The new ObamaCare application has a hidden bonus for Democrats.

The 61-page application asks all sorts of personal questions about the applicant's identity and qualification for Obamacare. And on page 59, it asks the applicant to check a box to register to vote.

The placement of the question could lead some to believe they have to register to vote to get health care.

In the introduction of the document, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services declare: "This document-the 'questionnaire'-represents each possible item that may need to be asked for successful eligibility determinations."

After the box is checked, the helpful government functionary can hand them over to the equally helpful Organizing For America rep to make sure they register for the right party.I've even heard of cases where a registrar for ACORN, Organizing For America or similar groups told these low information, non-English speaking applicant that registering as a Democrat means you can only vote for Democrats.

Que lastima!

Considering that the Democrats want to extend ObamaCare to illegal aliens and that the amnesty the Administration wants obviously include them, the implications are pretty clear. Like the Clinton motor voter registration bill, this is a clear encouragement to voter fraud.

Aside from the other implications, access to this goldmine of personal data makes it dead easy for Democrat activists to target anyone who's applied for ObamaCare for Get Out The Vote efforts.

So, you ask yourselves...what does health and Human Services have to do with voter registration?

That's exactly what Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., chair of the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee
wanted to know, So he wrote a letter to HHS honcho Kathleen Sebelius:

"The draft documents wander into areas outside the department's purview and links applications for health insurance subsidies to voter registration," he wrote in the letter provided to Secrets. "The position of the question could lead some to think voter registration is somehow tied to subsidy eligibility," he added.

Boustany, a Louisiana Republican, said the application raises two alarming issues: What does HHS plan to do with all the information it collects on each applicant and will pro-Obama groups like AARP and Families USA that might be tapped as "navigators" to sign people up to Obamacare, steer them to register as Democrats. Others have indicated that groups like Planned Parenthood and ACORN could also act as a navigator.

In his letter, Boustany demands from HHS guidance for the navigator program, especially whether they will be encouraged to ask applicants about their voting status. He set an April 8 deadline for HHS' response.

He added that the Affordable Care Act does not let HHS probe into an applicant's choice to vote. What's more, he said the Paperwork Reduction Act requires that federal agencies seek only information needed to do their job.

"While the health care law requires that government agencies collect vast information about Americans' personal lives, it does not give your department an interest in whether individual Americans choose to vote," wrote Boustany.

Of course, Sebelius isn't going to reply. Or if she does, it will be along the lines of 'so what? what are you going to do about it?'

There's actually plenty Congress could do about it, if they wanted to. The House holds the purse strings, and they could stop ObamaCare dead in its tracks by simply not funding it.There's nothing in the U.S. Constitution that says they can't.

No matter how abusive, expensive and ill-planned ObamaCare is, the odds of the House doing so are slim and none.

I actually respect the Democrats more in this area. When it comes to obstructing cabinet or judicial nominations, appointments, laws, funding and procedures that disagree with their agenda, they're willing to go to the wall.

They could care less about appearing 'reasonable' or 'bi-partisan'. Because they're about winning.

Forum: If you could make one change in the world today, what would it be?

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. This week's question: If you could make one change in the world today, what would it be?

 The Razor:This question is so broad I’m not sure where to begin. Banish Death? Hunger? Greed? Immortality would be a game changer. Philosophers have tried justifying Death since they began pondering the topic around campfires tens of thousands of years ago. Personally I think we would be fine without it. We live in a universe that for all intents and purposes is infinite. We have plenty of lebensraum to expand, and the dystopia envisioned by the highly underrated movie Zardoz could be avoided with immortality being bestowed on everyone regardless of rank or privilege. Just think of the sports that would come about: Skydiving without parachutes. Lava swimming. High Explosives Catapulting. Maybe then the Olympics wouldn’t be so boring.

But seriously, if I could make one realistic change it would be to start an Islamic reformation. For over a millennia after its founding Islam had evolved into separate strains in the cultures it penetrated to the point where the Islam in Indonesia shared little in common with the Islam of India or the Magrib. The centuries and its integration into varied cultures had moderated the religion, but that all changed with the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood by Hassan al-Banna, and later the discovery of oil wealth which fueled the spread of Wahhabi intolerance. In recent years centuries old mosques and madrassas throughout the Islamic world are being taken over by fiery Wahhabi preachers trained in intolerance and hate, forcing the religion to evolve away from peaceful integration with other religions and towards violence. Although it should not be forgotten that the Christian Reformation itself wasn’t exactly peaceful, it did lay the groundwork for eventual co-existence between sects and other religions.

Without such a reformation I don’t see an end to Islamic extremism. Instead I see it becoming even more intolerant and violent, consigning entire swaths of humanity to a barbaric existence akin to that of the 13th century instead of the prosperity the 21st century promises.

The Glittering Eye: That's a tough one. I can think of a thousand things, both fanciful and serious, personal and universal. Chocolate and single malt scotch would be calorie-free. I would be able to write humor.

Coming up with a single, serious answer is just too tough but here goes.

People would genuinely care about each other, all people, more.

 GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD:  "Is it any wonder? I reject you first..."

Autocrats, dictators, leaders for life!

The latter bit of the last millennium shows perfectly well what a world full of despots looks like. The last century was like the bloodiest ever and all thanks to dictators. It was bloody not only because of the wars; it was bloody because of democide—the sheer mind numbing number of ppl that these creeps and jerks killed within their own Westphalian Sovereignity dodge proof borders -169 million.

Tyrannies killed more of their own citizens than foreigners. Despots caused the refugee flows; dictators caused the poverty; any prob found in 20th century is correctly and sweetly attributed to control freaks, autocrats and VIP's in Hell, jail or exile.

It's a wonder they are still around - even tho from like the Thin Lizzy era up til the new millennium - 1/2 the world's unfree, unfun dicts got the old heave.

While the hideously 2 dimensional (many with prestige and brains) discombobulate annihilating all the worlds despotries in a fun friendly non military way as a hot sticky fantasy or worse - deploy inappropriate jawflapping re: the sad played meme of imposing democrazy - it is the reverse that is true - despotry has to be imposed. Secret police, secret trials, secret prisons and secret executions do not ensure stability either.

Despite dissing dismissals as arrogant hubris (who what?) by the sad collective of unfun unexceptionals that for decency's sake shall remain linkless (many of which most certainly would fail to recog a good time even if it sat on their face), ppl are catching on to the concept of democrazy world.
The truth is that a world without dictators may not be such a lark. Yes, it has never been harder than it is today to be a dictator. Totalitarianism, the ultimate expression of dictatorship, is virtually extinct.
And picture, for a moment, the benefits of a dictator-free world. No more rogue regimes sponsoring terrorists or giving haven to mass murderers. No more famines in NoKo. The humanitarian benefits would be enormous. Once the last tyrant had fallen, imagine the creativity that would pour forth from the millions of people who had known nothing besides fear, repression and the best ways to survive it.
 Advocating fun and free choice for every one is not some slap happy buzz that never was. Uncle Tony taught "In all cases, to the same end, that the liberty we seek is not for some, but for all, for that is the only true path to victory in this struggle."

JoshuaPundit: I ask forgiveness in advance if I sound incredibly smug here.

I thought about this for awhile.

My initial 'wish' was that Islam had never existed. I think the world would be a far better. peaceful  and more decent place without it and I no longer believe, as I once did, that a 'reformation' is possible...not after Mumbai, Beslan and the deafening silence from the Muslim world that followed. Yes, there are many decent Muslims, but from personal observation I feel that their decency is innate and would be present regardless of their faith.

I also considered a few other things, both personal and universal...that the Holocaust had never happened, that my father ( Z"l) had not died as young as he did, that I'd gotten that huge mega hit record back in the day and actually held on to the money... (!!)

Then I realized all of this was inconsistent with my view of the cosmos,

I believe anything G-d sends us, He sends us for a reason. We may not be wise enough to understand that reason and its part in the divine plan,but I believe that part exists nevertheless. I'm convinced that there are things in this world that exist for the purpose of us overcoming them. Without the struggle to do so, the end result would be meaningless..perhaps even not beneficial at all.

There's a reason everything that is occurring now is occurring, no matter how evil or distasteful ,no matter how beneficent and pleasant.

That's no excuse for just sittin' back and not trying to change what we perceive needs to be changed or standing up for decency versus indecency ( there's that ol' debbil free will again) but I don't think it's for me to 'wish' changes without knowing their full effect, and at present that's beyond my pay grade.

There's an old Jim Kerry move called "Bruce Almighty" where he gets to assume G-d's powers for awhile.At one point, to enhance a romantic evening with his girlfriend, he uses his power to bring the moon closer to earth so it's more impressive looking. The next day, he reads a headline about a massive tide that flooded and devastated a Japanese island.

That may help give you a sense of my meaning here.

The Noisy Room:If I could make one change in the world today, I would replace our current Marxist President with a leader such as Calvin Coolidge. It is the one thing that would most significantly change the dynamics politically worldwide and would in effect reset the stage with America once again as the leader of the free world and would put a leash on our enemies if not bring about their demise and quickly. This is where the most power is concentrated and this would have the most effect on other areas that impact our lives.

Coolidge would slash the waste in our government to virtually nil. He would almost assuredly do away with the Department of Energy, Department of Education, the EPA and a whole slew of government agencies. He would slash government salaries and effectively drive out the elitists and money changers from the hallowed halls in DC. I believe Coolidge would do away with the IRS altogether and go to a flat sales tax, which all by itself would propel America into the world's #1 financial seat once again.

I also believe that Coolidge would keep us strong militarily, while closing unneeded bases, bringing home our troops and not getting involved unless we are engaged militarily or our allies and interests are attacked. No more rebuilding for our enemies - if war is called for, go forth and break things, kill if you have to and win... then come home and let the defeated lick their wounds, clean up the mess and bear the costs. When we give a warning to someone like Iran, mean it and be ready to attack if the situation calls for it. Don't hide behind diplomats and Taquiyya. No more funding non-allies and paying Jizya in the form of aid to radical Islamic regimes. No more supporting and coddling dictators who murder and suppress.

Coolidge believed in the Constitution and would return us to those principles. The majority of powers would lie with the states. People would be free to succeed or fail on their own and entrepreneurship would once again be encouraged. Free trade would cross state borders. Sane resource and energy development would rule the day and we would see another wildly productive and profitable era such as the 20s. We would unleash a truer form of capitalism and growth would take hold while paying off the debt. Replacing Obama with someone like Calvin Coolidge would change the game entirely for America and the world.

Bookworm Room: If I could make one change in the world today, I would have to think long and hard about the change that would redound to America's greatest benefit.  I've concluded that untethering the mainstream media from the Democrat party would make the greatest difference. 

The media infiltrates every aspect of American life by controlling almost all information disseminated to the public, from entertainment, to info-tainment, to "news." It's tentacles also reach into every corner of the world outside of the United States.

Because of it's increasingly hard Left ideology, in 2008, the mainstream media convinced Americans to vote for a manifestly unqualified candidate.  Then, despite his disastrous performance at every level (economy, national security, immigration,etc.), it convinced a brainwashed public to reelect the man in 2012. 

The media has consistently demonized the only democratically constituted nation in the Middle East (that would be Israel), although Americans seem to see through that one.  How long Americans will hold out against this relentless propaganda against Israel, with the concurrent whitewashing of her enemies, remains to be seen.

Drive-by media has aggressively pushed for dramatic changes in American society.  Perhaps some of these changes will be viewed as good or neutral in the long run, but Americans haven't had the time to think them through. They've been forced through media pressure and shaming to embrace big government, ObamaCare, gay marriage, unlimited abortion, women in combat, etc., without any of the thoughtful debate that should accomplish such drastic changes. The media overwhelms necessary contemplation.

When I first read this question, I was tempted to say that the change I would make would be to make Islam vanish (with former Muslims being equally divided amongst Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc.).  I think, though, that international Islamism would be much less of a problem if an honest media would identify it for what it is:  a backwards, totalitarian, antisemitic, anti-Christian, misogynist cult.  Calling it by its true name(s) would enable us to defend ourselves against it, and would provide a sanctuary for those people and countries trying to break way from it.

So, definitely . . . if I could change one thing, I would make the American media complex -- everything from news to entertainment -- VANISH.  (This would be a blood-free change, of course.  Currently movers and shakers in the media would -- poof! -- become truck drivers, grocery store clerks, farmers, etc.  They'd hold useful jobs and come to learn how the real world, not the dangerous Leftist utopian world, actually works.)

Rhymes With Right:What would I change?

Wow -- so many possibilities.

I can think of ways I would change our government, change our society, change the world in the political sphere.

I can think of things I would like to see changed, such as the elimination of a certain religion that is responsible for an inordinate amount of violence and repression around the world.

But when it comes down to it, there is one change that I would make that is much more simple -- I would like to see our world change so that children do not suffer and die from serious illness.

I think of Tammy, my childhood friend who died of a brain tumor before her tenth birthday. I think of Kyomi, the classmate who went from her first symptom of leukemia to her death in 72 hours at the age of 12. I think of Kristi, one of my first students, who lost her battle with cancer a few months after she completed my English class, at the age of 16.

I think of Eli, age 5, who spent the last year fighting a rare cancer and -- praise God! -- apparently winning that battle. And I think of Martin, one of my students this semester, who instead of planning for Prom in a few weeks and graduation in June is hospitalized fighting a serious illness that I know is often life-threatening.

I know we all have to die -- I know that we all have to fight the frailties of the human flesh in whatever time we have on this earth. But must young people suffer such things? Must they die before they have really had the chance to live? It does not seem right -- and so I would make my change there.

 Well, there you have it.

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.

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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Obama's Got Israel's Back All Right - Quietly Releasing $500M To The Palestinians

President Obama may have made some conciliatory noises to the Israelis, but the Palestinians are going to get their jizya from the American taxpayers, as the president bypassed COngress once again. ( h/t Sooper Mexican). Here's a presser with State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland:

QUESTION: Can I ask on Palestinian aid? There’s reporting out of the region that the funds have actually been unblocked kind of a bit quietly over the last couple of weeks, the 200 million that was held up in Congress, and that’s now been received by the Palestinian Authority.
MS. NULAND: Jo, I don’t – I’m just finding it here. I did go through this about a week ago in some detail. I can do it again for you. To date, we have moved $295.7 million in Fiscal Year 2012 money, 200 million of that – see, this – numbers don’t – oh, and 200 million in Fiscal Year 2013 assistance. So breaking that down again, 200 million in FY2013 ESF money was direct budget support for the Palestinian Authority; 195.7 million in FY12 Economic Support money went for development and humanitarian assistance implemented by USAID; 100 million in FY2012 for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement; and then in February – at the end of February we notified Congress about another 200 million that we’d like to move.
QUESTION: So you’ve moved the 295 --
MS. NULAND: Total of 295.7 in FY12 and 200 in FY13. Why don’t we go through it again afterwards if you need to?
QUESTION: That’s been moved, okay.
MS. NULAND: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: And then 200 is still – you want another further 200?
MS. NULAND: Correct. We’ve notified.

Sequestration? What sequestration? Congress? Who?

They're cutting tuition assistance for our military, control tower hours at a number of airports and kicking trained and experienced military out of the service with partial pensions. But the Palestinians will get their jizya just the same.Got to pay the salaries of those convicted terrorists is Israeli jails, and pass some along to Hamas, you know.

You can count on it with this president, come rain or come shine.

Breaking: Assad Assassinated?

According to several reports, Syrian dictator Basher Assad had been shot by one of his bodyguards.

This comes via Israel News One and the French site JSS News.

Needless to say things are still chaotic and Syrian TV has been shut down, but the gist of it is that Assad was shot Saturday night by Mehdi Yacoubi, an Iranian officer who was part of Assad's security detail.

If Assad actually was killed by an Iranian security officer ( and one reportedly picked for the job by Iran's President Ahmadinejad himself) that opens up a major topic for speculation. Did the Iranians get tired of supporting Assad? Was Yacoubi a spy? Or did the Russians tell Iran it was time to cut Assad loose? We will undoubtedly find out, and I'm already working on it.

Assad has been taken to Shami Hospital in Damascus and reports differ as to whether he is dead or just seriously wounded. All roads leading to the hospital have reportedly been closed and there are also reports of heavy fighting going on in Damascus itself...we may be approaching end game here, with a Sunni Islamist regime taking over Syria.

UPDATE:  AL-Arab is reporting Assad was wounded:
al arab assad

Assad's Wikipedia page is already reporting him dead, one reason I'm always skeptical of them as a source - anyone can write anything.

More as this develops.