Watcher’s Council Nominations – #Hashtag Edition!

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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!!

 

  • Joshuapundit’s

 

latest is up at the Times of Israel Britain And Sweden Send A Clear Message To Israel

 

 

The CDC Should Reevaluate Its Ebola Protocols

So. A nurse in Dallas who had treated the Ebola-infected man from Liberia, was diagnosed with the deadly disease at 9:30 last night. She’s the second person in the United States who has been diagnosed with Ebola.

“At some point there was a breach in protocol” CDC director Tom Frieden said to explain how he thought the health care worker was infected.

Via The New York Times:

While the new Ebola patient was not publicly identified, officials said that she was a nurse who had helped treat Mr. Duncan at a hospital here and that she may have violated safety protocols. It was the first confirmed instance of Ebola being transmitted in this country. Officials expanded the pool of people they had been monitoring, because the nurse had not been among the 48 health care workers, relatives of Mr. Duncan and others whom they were evaluating daily.

***

The woman was in stable condition on Sunday. Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, which oversees Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, told reporters on Sunday that the worker had worn protective gear when coming in contact with Mr. Duncan, although he did not detail the type of contact.“This individual was following full C.D.C. precautions,” Dr. Varga said, adding, “Gown, glove, mask and shield.” Asked how concerned he was that the worker tested positive despite the precautions, he replied, “We’re very concerned.”

Despite Dr. Varga’s reassurances about C.D.C. precautions having been followed, Dr. Frieden said it appeared the woman had breached safety protocol at the hospital, possibly when removing the protective gear. Speaking on the CBS program “Face the Nation” and later at a news conference, he said that questioning of the worker had not identified precisely how a breach occurred, and that the cause of her infection was not known. Dr. Frieden said everyone who treated Mr. Duncan was now considered to be potentially exposed and that other cases of Ebola were possible.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier said on Twitter that he thinks it’s time for the CDC to reconsider its protocols.

I expressed my similar concern, later Sunday morning.

Some doctors are disputing the CDC’s assertions about how Ebola is spread.

A group of German medical doctors in a peer-reviewed medical journal article published by Oxford University Press have challenged a key assumption regarding the Ebola virus repeatedly asserted by Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The researchers found that a patient showing no symptoms of the disease can still transmit a virus like Ebola by air if droplets containing the virus are transmitted to another person by a sneeze or cough.

As WND reported Tuesday, the World Health Organization has admitted that “wet and bigger droplets from a heavily infected individual, who has respiratory symptoms caused by other conditions or who vomits violently could transmit the Ebola virus over a short distance to another nearby person.”

***

Dr. Norman M. Balog, D.O., a board-certified family doctor practicing in Silver Spring, Maryland, brought the research of the German medical team to the attention of WND as evidence that the CDC’s Frieden could not prove his assertion air travel was safe as long as a person infected with Ebola were not showing symptoms. An infected person can go as long as 21 days in an incubation period before being infected.

“Dr. Freiden is either completely uninformed of this research,” Balog explained to WND in an exclusive telephone interview, “or he is deliberately lying because he does not want to panic the general public.”

Balog pointed out that asymptomatic carriers of diseases infecting others is a phenomenon that has been widely documented in virology studies for decades.

 

The Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. David Lakey  health officials are still trying to figure out how the nurse got infected.

Meanwhile, the CDC is bracing for more Ebola patients.

The C.D.C. said it would conduct a nationwide training conference call on Tuesday for thousands of health care workers to ensure they would be fully prepared to treat a patient with Ebola.

“The care of Ebola patients can be done safely, but it’s hard to do it safely,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the C.D.C., told reporters Sunday. “Even a single, inadvertent innocent slip can result in contamination.”

So this is our new normal.  Americans now get to deal with a hideous third world disease that causes death in up to 80% of those infected – because we have a president who refuses to authorize a travel ban from effected countries.

In Boston, a hospital quarantined a man who was showing “Ebola-like symptoms.”

He had recently been in Liberia.

During a press conference outside of Beth Israel, officials said the patient will undergo an evaluation to determine whether Ebola is a possible cause of the patient’s symptoms. If warranted, the hospital will test for Ebola and send the collected material to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC generally take 24 to 48 hours to return test results.

The patient was carried to Beth Israel by Brewster Ambulance. In a statement, company president Mark Brewster said the patient was waiting in his car, as instructed by Harvard Vanguard personnel. The Brewster Ambulance team followed its Ebola protocol when interacting and transporting the patient.

“Our staff has been carefully preparing over the last several weeks for situations like this, and today those preparations were put into practice,” Brewster said. “The actions by all emergency responders, including Braintree fire fighters and police and our EMS team, went exactly according to protocol.”

The Boston Public Health Commission now says that the patient “does not meet criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola.”

Of course – all these panics, false alarms and eventually –  inevitably – “real things” could be avoided if we had one major protocol in place.

Via Attkisson’s article: Ebola: Officials Sound the Alarm:

“Failures in leadership have allowed a preventable disease to spin out of control,” write Lawrence Gostin and Eric Friedman in the current issue of the medical journal Lancet. Gostin, a Georgetown Law professor, is Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights. Friedman is Project Leader for the Joint Action and Learning Initiative on National and Global Responsibilities for Health.

If nothing changes, public health officials estimate there will be 1.4 million Ebola cases worldwide by January. There are no current projections as to how many of those might be in the U.S.

U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that we “will” have more Ebola cases here. How do they know?

“It’s inevitable,” one official told me. He asked not to be quoted by name.

Fair is fair…

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said in May of 2008.

If Western Africa gets Ebola – then so should we.

UPDATE:

And see – I’m not the only one saying this. 

Via Moonbattery, Psychiatrist Keith Ablow tries to understand Obama’s refusal to stop to  Africans from infected West African nations from traveling here.

Such a travel ban would go some distance to stem the tide of Ebolophobia [i.e. Ebola anxiety], too. It would symbolize our country’s intention to shore up its defenses against the illness. But President Obama is very sensitive to being defined in any way by the borders of this country. I think he sees himself as a citizen of the world and sees Americans as having infected others with our deadly economic policies [i.e., capitalism] for a long time, thereby inflicting untold suffering on developing nations. To now lead the way to America insulating itself from a scourge sweeping the very countries he seems to think we have preyed upon could, of course, strike him (if only unconsciously) as profoundly unfair.

I believe the president may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations. And if he does, that is a very dangerous psychological stance from which to confront Ebola.

Let me say this plainly, as a psychiatrist who has studied this president only from a distance: In order for President Obama to keep thinking of himself as the leader of the world — and not just the free world — it may be that our boundaries must remain porous, allowing illegal immigrants and, potentially, even diseases to flow through them. …

The toll of having a president who seems to see America as having no particular manifest destiny may be seen in the spread of ISIS abroad. And it could be seen, God forbid, in not mounting a sufficient immune defense here at home, to Ebola.

Obama believes in spreading our wealth and their misery

Forum: Should Islam In America Be Subject To Some Kind Of Regulation Or Control

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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: Should Islam In America Be Subject To Some Kind Of Regulation Or Control?

The Independent Sentinel: Mosques need to be under surveillance. Radical Islamic communities need to be under surveillance and banned if they are training commandos as reports indicate they are.

Instead of trying to ban the name, “Washington Redskins”, they need to ban Shariah law. They should also ban Shariah finance.

We should stop immigration to this country from terrorist nations until we have a better handle on radical Islam. Radical Islam presents an existential threat to the United States.

The Razor: Absolutely not. We do not – and should not  – regulate hate speech. Nazis are free to spout off their dreck, white supremacists theirs. Islamists should be allowed to do the same.

What we need to do is stop making excuses for Islam. I’m tired of being told what Islam isn’t by non-Muslims and shown what Islam is by Muslims like Hamas and ISIS. What other religion has caused as much havoc over the past 50 years? If a Christian sect started wrapping women in bags, banning non-believers from their holy sites, and made conversion out of their faith punishable by death there would be an outcry from the secular as well as religious communities the likes of which have never been seen. Yet Islam gets a free pass.

In the US the Westboro Baptist Church is held up as the epitome of Christian hate because of its protests against homosexuality, yet the WBC does not preach violence against non-believers. If WBC were an Islamic sect it would be considered moderate to liberal by outsiders because of its religious tolerance and treatment of women and minorities. It’s also ironic that WBC holds the same abhorrence of homosexuality that Islam does, but does not call for the murder of homosexuals as many Islamic clerics do.

Why is Islam treated differently than other religions? The reason is that the vast majority of Americans aren’t familiar with the religion. They have only a superficial knowledge of it gleaned from various media sources, and so fill in the blanks with their own experience of the Judeo-Christian religions. They assume that Islam is just like Christianity or Judaism. It even recognizes Jesus and Moses as prophets. This blend of naiveté and ignorance provides plenty of space for Muslims to portray Islam as progressive while it’s social order is based on 7th century Arabian tribes, and peaceful at the same time it works for the overthrow of any non-Islamic political or religious regime and the establishment of a worldwide caliphate.

The solution is not to regulate Islam: it’s to convince Americans and Europeans to confront reality and ask what Muslims are going to do to make their religion fit the modern world.

Simply Jews: I think any extremist outfit should be under control – if not under lock and key. Saying this, I still do nurture some hope that adherents of Islam are not extreme and violent en masse, and that only a relatively small cells of domination-thirsty individuals could be (as the should be) controlled. This, by the way, goes for any potentially subversive, violent and disruptive religious or ideological organization.

The real problem with nowadays Islamic population is that its members are very unwilling to separate themselves from and to isolate and expel the extremist elements. This creates an additional and almost insurmountable issue for FBI and other security organizations (all over the world, by the way) in their fight against the extremism.

It is educational to see that most of FBI successes in this direction, at least the published ones, are in the area of so called “entrapment”, where a dupe, who may have never thought up by himself a violent act, is carefully led by his “handler” into a situation that eventually resolves itself in a widely trumpeted success in anti-terrorist activity.

I hope that by making more investment in quality humint – planting successfully trained agents on the ground in places like mosques, where much of potential extremists are grown and nurtured, by detecting and isolating the real culprits in the brain-washing, indoctrination and recruiting of suggestible youngsters – FBI will eventually able to get an upper hand.

 JoshuaPundit: Well, it depends.  Do we want it to control us, as the Qu’ran mandates? There’s no getting away from the fact that this is what Islam commands its followers to strive for, and what Mohammed ordered them to do.It remains an imperative to this day, and while many Muslims reject it, there are almost certainly  more whom do not, especially overseas.

In order to answer the question at hand, we would need to decide what ‘radical Islam’ is as opposed to what we consider ‘acceptable’ or ‘moderate’ Islam, something I think is farcical for non-Muslims to try and figure out. The only guidelines, really, are the legal and cultural norms we have for our own society and the degree to which Islam can conform to them, rather than the other way around.

Fortunately, as I’ve written in the past,  we have those guidelines already in our Constitution and in applicable  legal precedents. As a matter of fact, every time religious practices in the past have clashed with those guidelines and precedents, our courts have ruled against the religion.

Islam, however, is not subjected to any of this.

We aren’t applying those guidelines and precedents to Islam,quite simply,  because there is huge money in it for a number of government officials and politicians, even extending to the White House. One merely needs to look at who funded a large part of the presidential libraries of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who funds the Carter Peace Foundation that provides former President Jimmy Carter with a handsome stipend, the connections between the Bush  Family, the Carlyle Fund the Saudis and  several of the Emirates, and how President Clinton became a multimillionaire after he left office. And they are by no means the only ones. A look at which politicians and former functionaries (not to mention their family members) are the beneficiaries of lucrative business opportunities, six figure honorariums, legal retainers, speaking fees and ‘consulting fees’ from the likes of the Saudis and the UAE is absolutely astounding.

We need merely to take away the golden carrot  and apply our laws and our Constitution, perhaps with a few perfectly legal and constitutional tweaks.

The Noisy Room :Yes. Here is why…

One of the founding principles of this country, one that was so important that it was enshrined in the First Amendment — an Amendment without which the Constitution could not be ratified — was the principle of religious freedom. More particularly, the freedom to practice a religion of one’s own choosing, not one imposed by the State. It goes without saying that this includes a religion imposed by a non-State actor, such as a big, evil corporation. Islam turns this precept on its ear. Islam is a State as well as a religion. Islam has a legal and political arm. The acceptance of Islam into a society of diverse religions is similar to the acceptance of an invasive species of fish into the Great Lakes. The system by which Islam is propagated is one of simple, physical conquest – raw force. Providing a safe haven for a religion which is a State and a legal system, is immediately hostile to the concept of the free practice of religion, because a primary precept in Islam is that no other religion shall be tolerated. Consequently, Islam as it is practiced almost everywhere in the world negates the First Amendment. The irony is that if one buys the idea that freedom of religion means accepting Islam, one buys the idea that’s okay for one religion to displace others and that somehow freedom of religion means allowing one of them to take over the world.

The analogy of invasive species is imperfect, but provides a model for projecting the outcome of allowing into your midst a hostile philosophy which feeds on your freedoms to destroy them.

So, therefore it would seem prudent to keep a watchful eye — profiling if you prefer — on areas where Islam has inserted itself, displacing other religions. It is part and parcel of Islamic doctrine that force, misrepresentation, lying and intimidation — practices against which we have a whole system of laws — are simply routine tools of the trade to propagate their beliefs. Consequently, Islam, regardless of its size, regardless of its age, regardless of its “stature” in the world… must be regarded with the same skepticism normally reserved for cults. It is a broken philosophy, one which runs completely against modern concepts of liberty and survival norms that are part of a thriving and moral society.

It must be strictly enforced that the nation’s laws as they descend from the Constitution and the principles of its founding are held to be senior to any system of “religious law” practiced under the flag of religion. For example, a religious law that prescribes how one shall beat his wife is, in this country, automatically null and void. There are many other examples of religious law under Islam, too many to list here, which simply would never be accepted, practiced outside a religious framework. Essentially, assimilation into the culture of liberty that underpins this country is important to the adoption of new communities and where a community is seen to isolate itself from our culture, creating an island of not-really-America, hostile to the rest of America, that community must be constrained even ejected.

We seem to have people in positions of authority and power, who desperately seek to import Islam and its practitioners before our society catches on to the fraud and subterfuge to accomplish a coup from within, feeding on our freedoms to destroy them. Incidentally, the behavior of “feeding on your freedoms to destroy them,” is something you’ll recognize from a non-religious framework: the sociopathic individual who uses the social norms and laws of society as weapons against his victims.

In summary, profiling and background checks (especially for those being elected and appointed to positions of power) should be implemented thoroughly and extensively, despite how distasteful that measure is to a free people.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : Trick question.

There are actually built in operational methodologies to regulate undesired and reinforce desired behavior. The Constitution and Bill of Rights.

As best understood, certain elements cannot accept the legitimacy of the American secular system, which “is against the orders and ordainments of Allah.”

Perhaps the best piece out there on certain mindsets that need unbridled power to change America and make it more like any number of illiterate barbaric rat’s nests in the 3rd world is by Shamim “Skippy” Siddiq. (available here in PDF)

Cryptically titled Methodology of Dawah Ilallah in American Perspective (more idiomatically rendered as “The Need to Convert Americans to Islam”), this 168-page study, published in Brooklyn, remains largely unavailable to general readers . In it, in prose that makes up in intensity and vividness for what it lacks in sophistication and polish, Siddiqi lays out both a detailed rationale and a concrete plan for Islamists to take over the United States and establish “Islamic rule” (iqamat ad-din).

As America is burdened with secular sinfulness, “The orientation of the Qur’an pushes us in the exact opposite direction.”The United States has “no thought, no values, and no ideals”; if Mohammedists “stand up, with the ideology that we possess, it will be very easy for us to preside over this USA.”

Why America? In Siddiqi’s judgment, the need to assume control here is even more pressing than the need to sustain the revolution of the mullahs in Iran or to destroy Israel, for doing so will have a much greater positive impact on the future of Islam. America is central not for the reasons one might expect—its large population, its wealth, or the cultural influence it wields around the world—but on three other grounds.

The first has to do with Washington’s role as the premier enemy of Islamism (or, possibly, of Islam itself). In Siddiqi’s colorful language, whenever and wherever Muslims have moved toward establishing an Islamic state, the “treacherous hands of the secular West are always there . . . to bring about [their] defeat.” Nor are Muslim rulers of any help, for they are “all in the pockets of the Western powers.” If, therefore, Islam is ever going to attain its rightful place of dominance in the world, the “ideology of Islam [must] prevail over the mental horizon of the American people.” The entire future of the Muslim world, Siddiqi concludes, “depends on how soon the Muslims of America are able to build up their own indigenous movement.”

Secondly, America is central because establishing Islamism here would signal its final triumph over its only rival, that bundle of Christianity and liberalism which constitutes contemporary Western civilization. (One cannot help noting the irony that Siddiqi’s tract appeared in the same year, 1989, as Francis Fukuyama’s famous article speculating that, with the collapse of Communism and the apparent triumph of liberal democracy, we had begun to approach the “end of history.”)

And thirdly, and still more grandly, the infusion of the United States with Islamism would make for so powerful a combination of material success and spiritual truth that the establishment of “God’s Kingdom” on earth would no longer be “a distant dream.”

For Islamists, converting Americans is the central purpose of Muslim existence in the United States, the only possible justification for Muslims to live in an infidel land. In the view of Shamim Siddiqi, there is no choice in the matter—American Muslims are “ordained by Allah” to help replace evil with good, and otherwise “have no right even to breathe.” “Wherever you came from, you came . . . for one reason—for one reason only—to establish Allah’s din [faith].”

Siddiqi sees Islamists in power in Washington before 2020. Implementation of the shari’a in the United States “appears to be approaching fast,” and in contemplating what that means his language grows ecstatic:

“I have a vision in America, Muslims owning property all over, Muslim businesses, factories, halal meat, supermarkets, all these buildings owned by Muslims. Can you see the vision, can you see the Newark International Airport and a John Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia having Muslim fleets of planes, Muslim pilots. Can you see our trucks rolling down the highways, Muslim names. Can you imagine walking down the streets of Teaneck, [New Jersey]: three Muslim high schools, five Muslim junior-high schools, fifteen public schools. Can you see the vision, can you see young women walking down the street of Newark, New Jersey, with long flowing hijab and long dresses. Can you see the vision of an area of no crime, controlled by the Muslims?”

Laura Rambeau Lee Right Reason : Regulation or controls will not solve the problem of radical Islam in America. We must rely on the Constitution and the First Amendment, which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Everyone in this country must be able to freely exercise their religion. What Muslims need to understand is that their right to freely exercise does not allow them to impinge on others’ rights. The laws of the Constitution of the United States and state constitutions must always take precedence over foreign or religious laws. Individual rights must always be upheld.

What we are experiencing is civilization jihad, and Muslims and pro-Muslim groups have learned how to use our laws and the left’s political correctness against us. They have become bullies, and our leaders have been caving in to their tactics. United Voices for America celebrates Muslim Capitol Day in several states, and grooms promising Muslim high school students to attend universities and become involved in politics. They are growing their presence in local, state, and national politics in an attempt to subvert our laws to shari’ah.

At the local level, here in Tampa, we have experienced Florida CAIR director Hassan Shibley speaking to high school students in an AP History class without parents having been given prior knowledge or the option to opt out. I attended several school board meetings where concerned parents and grandparents expressed their objections. Most are associated with Tea Party groups and were of course labeled as racist, bigoted, and Islamophobic. The school board did nothing.

In 2009 we experienced the brutal beating and murder of Fatima Abdallah, an Israeli Palestinian woman, and whether it was an honor killing or domestic violence, the local police and medical examiner determined her death to be accidental; the result of a fall. One must ask oneself, if a woman can be beaten to death in America, in Tampa, Florida, and our police do not pursue justice, who among us is really safe?

Last year CAIR-Florida attempted to advertise on our county HART buses. Their “My Jihad” campaign wanted the buses to bear slogans such as:

“My Jihad is to stay fit despite my busy schedule. What’s yours?”

“My Jihad is to build friendships across the aisle. What’s yours?”

“My Jihad is to not judge people by their cover. What’s yours?”

The attempt to insert the word “jihad” into everyday slogans was deceitful, and after public outcry they pulled the advertising for a more “acceptable” advertising slogan:

“Embracing Diversity at Work, Defending Civil Rights in the Community”

The “Embracing Diversity” advertisement was approved by the board after the board counsel advised if they did not approve the ads they would most certainly face a First Amendment lawsuit.

All of these incidents demonstrate a lack of courage on the part of our elected officials. We need people with courage to stand up to the bullying and who are not afraid to call violence committed in the name Islam “terrorism.” We need our government to have the courage to acknowledge that the violence at Ft. Hood; the shooting of Marine recruiter Private William Long in June 2009 in Little Rock, Arkansas by Carlos Bledsoe, a young man radicalized through Muslim student organizations at Tennessee State University; the 2013 Boston bombing; and the recent beheading of 54 year old Colleen Hufford at her Oklahoma workplace; were all terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam.

Americans must realize that Islam is the second largest religion in twenty states in America, and that Muslims outnumber Jews in America today. We are seeing more women in hijabs and niqabs in our malls and shopping centers. Communities, schools, colleges and universities, police and government agencies at all levels, must understand the threat of civilization jihad. We have seen its consequences in Europe, and we are seeing its expansion in America.

We could and should expose those who preach extremist ideology and incite violence against America and Americans. Our government should be able to profile and root out those who seek to commit violence against Americans in the name of Islam or for any reason. The only thing that will stop radical Islam from growing in America is the courage of Americans to face these bullies and not bow down to their demands.

 The Right Planet : Years ago I was in downtown Indianapolis with a friend of mine who was from Latvia. As we made our way toward the Circle, we were confronted with a huge police presence. There were cops everywhere. Rows of police cruisers lined each side of the street. I politely asked a police officer what was going on. He said there was a simultaneous KKK and Black Panther rally being held at the Circle that day. Obviously, the city thought it prudent to prepare for any mayhem that might ensue. Since my Latvian friend had not been in the States for very long, he was quite eager to see what all the fuss was about.

When we arrived at the Circle, there was a small group of around 30 blacks listening to the hate-filled rantings of Mmoja Ajabu, leader of the Indianapolis Black Panther Militia. On the other side of the Circle, I saw a man dressed in some sort of KKK garb spewing his hate-filled crap to a crowd of one. Obviously, there weren’t too many people in Indy interested in listening to either the Black Panthers or the Ku Klux Klan. Although I have no use for the Black Panthers or the KKK, I still support their First Amendment rights. We have the right in this country to express our beliefs, regardless of how loathsome or vile those beliefs may be. On the flipside, the First Amendment does not give anyone the right to engage in violence or usurp the law.

Muslims are free to peaceably assemble and worship as they see fit in this country. That being said, there is one regulation or control I would support regarding Islam in America–no Sharia Law in this country, period. Allowing any group to implement their own form of jurisprudence outside the legal system we already have is akin to opening up Pandora’s Box. If Muslims are allowed to practice their own set of laws, then why can’t Christians and Jews have their own legal system? And I’m sure the Satanists would want their own set of laws–and on and on and on. As long as you obey the law, you can be whatever you want to be in America, even if I hate it.

 The Glittering Eye : No. My feelings about the question are actually stronger but I’ll leave it at that.

The five countries with the largest Muslim populations are Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Nigeria. Together they account for about half of all of the Muslims in the world. To the extent that we have problems with the Muslims in any of those countries it is largely due to hatred-preaching imams who are funded by rich Saudis or even by the Saudi government. I think the reasonable conclusion to draw from that is that we don’t a have problem with Muslims but with a relatively small number of Saudis and we need to address that seriously.

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.

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Surveillance Video Emerges of Michael Brown Robbing Ferguson Convenience Store

Well! Finally – some concrete evidence emerges about what happened the day Michael Brown was shot by a Ferguson police officer – his name revealed today to be Darren Wilson – (not the Darren Wilson who is the president  of the Ethical Society of Police, who has been with the St. Louis Police Department since 1996. There was some confusion about that on Facebook, and at least one blogger jumped the gun and reported that it was that Darren Wilson before all the facts were known.)

I’ve refrained from writing about the incident thus far because with only limited information and no evidence to go on, I felt there was little for me to say – other than to comment on the appalling riots and looting that happened in its wake, and the bad actions of a few police officers – something hundreds of other blogs were already commenting on.  Even the disturbing militarization of the police I felt might be somewhat justifiable in an instance of massive civil unrest like this one.  I don’t like to waste everyone’s time being Captain Obvious – “looting is bad!” , “destruction of public property is bad!” “Arresting reporters for no good reason is bad!” So much distressing news – even a potentially positive story – like the one about the decent people who came out to clean up after the riots, was marred by the ugly racial animus that has so poisoned the nation since the “post racial president” was elected: Volunteers Clean Up at Ferguson QuikTrip, Get Yelled At for “Helping the White Man.” Ugh.

Anyway, I don’t know why it took this long for the surveillance video to come out. I think it would have made a huge difference in how the community reacted to the shooting because it sheds important light on the altercation that led to Brown’s death. Brown wasn’t stopped for no good reason – he was stopped by a cop responding to a 911 call because Brown was suspected of robbing a convenience store. The witness to the shooting (whose story never sounded plausible to me) had every reason to lie about the altercation because he was an accomplice to the crime.

Had the surveillance video come out right away, would we have seen the social unrest in Ferguson we’ve been seeing for the past week?

SEE ALSO:

John Hayward, The Conversation: The Ferguson story changes dramatically:

“I think [the robbery and the shooting] are two separate issues,” Captain Johnson said today, as reported by Mediaite.  “People in our country commit crimes every day. I don’t want to mix the two, I’m not going to say that one justifies the other, and I think if we’re going to give answers, we need to not give hints. We need to say it.”

Again, with all due respect, this is sheer nonsense.  Of course it’s hugely relevant that Brown was the suspect in a robbery, and was seen to use physical violence to pull it off.  The story that sparked riots in Ferguson was that gentle, sweet, innocent, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly Brown was just walking down the street when the cop pulled up and gunned him down for no reason at all.  Brown had his hands up, and was trying to be nice, but the cop blew him away, shot him in the back, emptied God knows how many bullets into him.  We were told over and over that Brown was a great kid, and it was utterly inexplicable that a police officer would confront him at random – well, explicable only by vile racism, that is.

As for whether the police should be “giving hints”… good Lord, Captain Johnson, the police have been tackled and pummeled by the combined force of the entire U.S. media establishment and excoriated for not saying anything about the case.  They were taking heat for their silence less than 24 hours after the shooting.  The police department is currently being made to look like bumbling fools, stormtrooper wannabees who had to be sent to the showers while the state Highway Patrol takes over.  A billion editorial pixels have been spilled on roasting the police merely for being slow to release the name of the officer involved, even though the threat to his safety was palpable.

Ace of Spades HQ: Video of Suspected Strong-Arm Robber Stealing Cigars in QuikTrip Convenience Store

One important point is this: I am getting very tired of the “teenager”meme from the media.

Michael Brown was 6’4″ and 300 pounds. He was, physically, a full-grown man. (Well, maybe he might have grown a bit more to 6’5″, but certainly he was more fully grown than 90% of men on the planet.)

It is time for the media to stop peddling this deliberately misleading descriptor, which they know:

1. Suggests a thin, awkward whelp, as most “teenagers” are. The description suggests child. Whereas an older teenager is in fact usually a full-grown man.

2. Suggests, without actually saying so, that the “teenager” musthave been shot maliciously, because certainly a full-grown cop doesn’t need to resort to deadly force to restrain a “teenager” — again, the image in our heads is of a thin, gawky 14-year-old whose voice is just beginning to change.

These situations are always heavily dependent on facts, and it’s well past time the media began getting the facts right, without resorting to deliberately-misleading carnival-barking and deceptive hype.

The Hill: Police chief rips Obama remarks:

The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police criticized President Obama Thursday for his remarks about law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.

“I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation,” director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill.

“I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors’ office,” Pasco added.

Posted in Stuff. 1 Comment »

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/15/14

watchers081514 (1)Me too, lil’ weasel!

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

“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.” – Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speech on February 12, 2012

“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”

Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.” – The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fisher.

“The true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the hatred taught to many Muslims when they are impressionable children — unable to defend themselves from having their lives poisoned with such beliefs.”

“This is the testimony of someone who witnessed it — and who experienced it — personally.” – Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Muslim Apostate in a speech at Pepperdine University, 2008

Close races in both categories this week, a reflection of how good this week’s entries were.

bookworm-3

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s fine essay The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians, recounts a Facebook exchange she had with a ‘Progressive’ about civilian deaths in Gaza versus Israel defending itself or committing national suicide. Being Bookworm, she goes far beyond that into a general discussion of Jihad, but you’ll have to read all of it to marvel at how she ties it all together. Here’s a slice:

I have been engaged in a Facebook exchange with someone who believes that killing civilians is always immoral. This moral stance means that, because Israel is killing civilians more effectively than Hamas, he believes Israel is morally more culpable than Hamas in the current conflict. He therefore cannot support her, and his sympathy for Palestinians outweighs his sympathy for Israelis.

Because his is an argument I hear frequently; because Progressives think their overarching pacifism is virtuous; because this man was invariably polite in expressing his views, appearing more misguided than malevolent; and because there were other people auditing this exchange on Facebook, I took the time to respond at some length his arguments. Although doing so seemed like a somewhat futile effort while the ceasefire held, given that Hamas took up arms again the minute the ceasefire ended, this issue is not going away any time soon.

The man’s core operating principle is that killing civilians is so verboten that he can never approve of a group, party, or nation that commits such acts. I know he felt virtuous when he wrote that, but I tried to get him to see that, in certain circumstances, his pacifism will leave him with more innocent blood on his own hands (morally, speaking) than his own ostensibly high-minded position would.

I asked him to imagine that a large, well-organized, well-funded terrorist group (which we’ll call “Hamas” for short) carries out a series of attacks against a Jewish nation (which, for convenience’s sake, we’ll call “Israel”). The attacks are not as deadly as Hamas would wish, but Hamas plans to continue with the attacks — eventually someone will die — with the culmination being a coordinated attack through Israel which will, if successful, kill upwards of 10,000 Israeli civilians. This man’s moral calculus would mean that the only way for Israel, as a moral nation, to avoid the impermissible immorality of killing innocent civilians in Hamas’s ambit would be for Israel to surrender immediately and, indeed, for it to do so regardless of the seriousness of Hamas’s provocation.

In a perfect world, against an equally moral enemy, this moral purity might work. Of course, in that perfect world, the enemy too would have held itself to this high moral standard — never kill a civilian — and wouldn’t have attacked Israel in the first place. Sadly, though, we do not live in a perfect world.

In an imperfect world, which happens to be the world we inhabit, Israel knows that Hamas’s goal is to slaughter every man, woman, and child in Israel. Israel doesn’t have to go down the primrose path of conspiracy theories and paranoia to reach this conclusion about Hamas’s end game. Instead, Hamas has made the death of Israel’s citizens — all of them — the centerpiece of its charter, it preaches this goal from every political and religious pulpit, it acts upon this goal whenever possible, and it has spent millions of dollars in foreign aid, including money from Israel herself, to plan a terrorist attack intended to kill those 10,000 of Jewish civilians.

Despite this stark reality, the man I’m debating insists that Israel still has only one moral choice: she must refrain from fighting back if that fight means that she might kill even one civilian. Only in that way, he says, can he give Israel his support.

Israel, however, has figured out something that this man, either because he’s blinded by the self-righteousness of his own idealism or because he’s as genocidal as Hamas, refuses to grasp: If Israel takes this allegedly moral high ground and surrenders to Hamas, she will effectively have killed all off all of her own civilians. In other words, no matter what choices Israel makes, the nature of her enemy means that Israel will have the blood of innocents on her hands.

As between those two choices — either kill a few hundred Palestinians civilians or watch 6 million of your own people being brutally slaughtered — a non-suicidal nation will always opt to value its own citizens’ lives first. Moreover, a moral nation, such as Israel, even as it recognizes that civilian deaths are inevitable, fundamentally values life and does everything possible to protect both its own and its enemy’s citizens. Still, Israel recognizes that the nature of war, sadly, is death.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a piece that resonates with what’s on many minds this week, You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room.

We are indeed living in interesting times.

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this weeks’ Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

 

Yazidi Survivor Claims Muslim Neighbors Joined ISIS Slaughter

CNN reported that an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people remain on Mount Sinjar, as of yesterday as “a few thousand” more are reportedly moving toward the mountain from their villages.

Thanks to the help of Syrian Kurdish fighters, thousands who have been able to escape the mountain into Kurdish held territory in Syria and eventually back to now safe Kurdistan in Iraq.   CNN calls the Yazidi displacement an “exodus of almost biblical proportions,” as thousands of refuges trudge across a river to escape killers belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.  

One Yazidi man told CNN that after ISIS arrived in his town, his Muslim neighbors actually ratted them out – and helped ISIS kill members of the various minorities.

Entire families carry nothing but the clothes on their backs. Some are barefoot.

Jamal Jamir, a 23-year-old university student from Sinjar, told CNN his family fled to the barren and windswept Mount Sinjar more than a week ago after ISIS captured their town. The group, which calls itself the Islamic State, has been on a rampage, killing members of various minorities, including Yazidis.

Jamir said after ISIS arrived in his town, Arab neighbors of his turned on the minorities and helped ISIS kill. “They join them, and actually they kill us.”

“People you know?” CNN asked.

“Yes,” he responded. “People — our neighbors!”

Jamir’s family was among tens of thousands who flocked to the mountain and desperately waited for airdrops of food and water.

His family escaped to Mount Sinjar on foot and made a marathon 15-hour journey to Syria. After traveling northeast along the border, many families have been crossing a bridge in Faysh Khabur, back into Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

Jamir said two of his young brothers didn’t make it. “What we do?” he said. “Not enough water and dusty. … They died.

“We are poor people. We don’t have any problem with anybody. We need someone (to) help us.”

The Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi air force have orchestrated helicopter flights to bring necessities to the mountain and lift some people out. One flight crashed Tuesday, killing the pilot and injuring some others on board.

Now, the United States is considering a possible air evacuation, a U.S. official said Wednesday. No decision has yet been made.

Well, take your time, there, Obama. Enjoy your vacation at Martha’s Vineyard while all those people die of thirst and exposure up on the mountain where it gets to 100 degrees or higher. God forbid he take any time off partying and golfing to actually make a decision. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said late Wednesday “only a few thousand of the refugees remained stranded — far fewer than first thought — and they appeared to be in relatively good shape, reducing the likelihood of a U.S. rescue mission.”

The optimistic report came after 12 to 20 U.S. military personnel landed on the mountain to assess the situation and evaluate how to best conduct a military evacuation.

Their report is somewhat at odds with the CNN’s 10,000-20,000 number of refuges still up on the mountain.

CNN: An uncertain future:

Descendants of Kurds and followers of an ancient pre-Islamic religion, Yazidis are one of Iraq’s smallest minorities. They have faced persecution for centuries and have a strong sense of community.

When the refugees crossed a river and stepped into Syria, their suffering did not end.

Relief workers provided two plates of chicken to a family of 12. People slept in the open, perhaps using scraps of cardboard for a bed.

Many were too sick and exhausted to walk any farther.

It’s unclear what lies ahead for those who managed to escape ISIS and Mount Sinjar. Some aid groups have teams helping, and the United States is working to help Iraqi leaders organize humanitarian relief. But for now, some Yazidis tell CNN as they re-enter Iraqi territory, they play plan to camp out by the river.

ISIS executes civilians who don’t adhere to its version of Sunni Islam. The group celebrates its own savagery, hoisting severed heads on poles and posting numerous videos online.

CNN’s Nick Walsh reported yesterday, that ISIS has captured approximately 100 Yazidi women and children. Most likely, he says, they’ve been given a time frame in which to convert to Islam. If they choose not to convert, Walsh says, “it is likely they’ll suffer what most infidels in the eyes of ISIS tend to suffer – and that is often some type of brutal punishment, indeed.”

UPDATE:

Via Fox News: Obama says militant siege broken – but Iraq mission not over yet:

Obama seems to be taking most of the credit for allowing the Yazidis to escape.

President Obama announced Thursday that U.S.-led airstrikes have broken the siege by Islamic militants against religious minorities who were trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq — but made clear the U.S. mission in the region is not over yet. 

The president, in brief remarks from Martha’s Vineyard where his family is on vacation, said he expects the specific operation at Mount Sinjar to wind down. He said military planners will be leaving in the coming days, aid drops will stop and a U.S.-led evacuation is likely no longer needed. 

“The situation on the mountain has greatly improved,” Obama said. “We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar. We helped vulnerable people reach safety.” 

But Obama said U.S. involvement will not come to an end, as militants with the Islamic State — also known as ISIS, or ISIL — continue to brutalize the civilian population in the region, especially minorities like Iraqi Christians and Yazidis. 

Obama said “we will continue airstrikes” where necessary to protect American personnel and facilities in Iraq. 

Only a few days ago, a senior Pentagon official said the US air strikes would have minimal impact on stopping ISIS.

Via The Guardian:

A senior Pentagon planning officer expects the current US air strikes in Iraq to have minimal and fleeting impact on the forces of the Islamic State (Isis) that have overrun much of the country.

“In the immediate areas where we have focused our strikes, we’ve had a very temporary effect and we may have blunted some tactical decisions to move in those directions, further east to Irbil,” Army Lt Gen William Mayville told reporters on Monday, providing a dour view of the “limited strikes” president Barack Obama authorized on Thursday.

“What I expect Isil to do is to look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere. So I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by Isil.” Isil is the acronym for Isis favored by the US government.

The air strikes, now in their fourth day and still something less than a concerted air campaign, have bought US-backed Kurdish irregular forces, known as Peshmerga, “time to fortify their defensive positions” outside the regional capital of Irbil, said Mayville, the director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, and have slowed Isis’ advance toward the crucial city.

Beyond that, said Mayville, who commanded a brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the strikes “are unlikely to affect Isil’s overall abilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria”.

SEE ALSO:

Weasel Zippers: ISIS Chopping Off Arms And Legs Of Yazidi Men For Being “Devil Worshippers”…

Posted in Stuff. 3 Comments »

Watcher’s Council Nominations: ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On’ Edition

ferguson_riots_lg

Because we all know nothing says social justice like breaking into a convenience store and looting it.

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:

This week, MidKnight Review, The Political Commentator, The Pirate’s Cove and The Mellow Jihadiearned 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!

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