January 26, 2015

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The Forum Is Up: Will You Watch The Super Bowl?

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:Will You Watch The Super Bowl? Why Or Why Not?

The Razor : I gave up watching the Super Bowl or any NFL game two years ago. At the time CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy was making the news, as was the NFL channeling their inner tobacco company to deny it just as the latter denied the cancer link to smoking. I was also getting sick of seeing players laid out in the field. I was eating at some sports themed restaurant one Sunday afternoon and there were three games on at the same time, each showing players injured on the field. I felt that it was only a matter of time before someone died, and that even though I loved the sport, I couldn’t stomach it anymore.

The business of the game had also pulled at my libertarian and populist instincts. Seeing taxpayer money funneled to billionaires to pay for their stadiums as they blackmailed their host cities appalled me, a situation that my hometown of St. Louis finds itself in yet again with the owner of the Los Angeles St. Louis Rams threatening to move the team back to LA if he doesn’t get a grand stadium his team can lose games in. St. Louis has one of the best baseball teams in that sport, and even its hockey team is worthy of celebrating, but it has never had a decent football team. For some reason the NFL owners have some kind of mind control over politicians to fund their pet projects, and St. Louis is no different. They seem willing to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to keep a bad football team around.

So no I won’t watch the Super Bowl even if the New England Patriots aren’t a bunch of cheating weasels which I believe without a shadow of a doubt they are. Instead I’ll be streaming Downton Abbey or a Sons of Anarchy episode through my Roku as I gather my courage to cancel my DirecTV subscription and cut the cable once and for all. But in the meantime a pox on the Pats.

Ask Marion :  No…NO…No…NO!!!!

My husband is a sports fanatic. He loves every sport and I’ve watched more games than I care to remember, so I really pick and choose the ones I will waste my time on these days! And this upcoming Super Bowl is not one!

I’m tired of hearing about soft and squishy balls!!

I don’t like the Patriots and I don’t like Pete Carroll!!

The Patriots have cheated before, so does anybody really believe that they didn’t this time around? Neither Tom Brady nor Bill Belichick have reasonable explanations for ‘DeflateGate’. Plus, Brady and his wife are arrogant and have severe potty mouths. None of which excites me.

Pete Carroll was definitely part of the problem that ultimately crippled the USC football program in 2010, bailed when everything hit the fan for the school and the program, deserting them for the Seahawks to line his own pockets. I can never understand why any USC fan would root for him or the Seahawks.

Perhaps the bigger question the media, who have been obsessed with the ‘deflated balls’ should be asking is: Which NFL Super Bowl XLIX (49) coach is a bigger cheater Bill Belichick or Pete Carroll?

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick:

SpyGate Scandal

In 2007, Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the New England Patriots had their 2008 first round draft pick taken away by the NFL after the Patriots had videotaped New York Jets defensive assistant coaches calling signals from the sidelines. Belichick admitted he had been taping other teams since 2000, and that he thought it was a legal practice because he did not use the tapes in the same game.

The Patriots have actually had a better overall record (75% wins vs 71%) after the taping controversy ended from 2008 to today than they did from 2000 to 2007. It’s highly questionable how much the team benefited from the tapes.

DeflateGate Football Scandal

After the Patriots beat (could be said clobbered) the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in the AFC Championship game for the 2014 season, 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots used in the game were found to have less air pressure in them than required by NFL rules.

The footballs in question clearly played little in the outcome of the game, something the Colts players themselves have said, so it remains to be seen what sanctions will be imposed. But looking at the Patriot’s history the sanctions and penalties should be tough.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll:

USC NCAA Sanctions

On June 10, 2010, the NCAA imposed a two-year bowl ban, the elimination of 30 football scholarships and the forfeiture of many wins from the 2004 to 2006 seasons on the USC Trojans college football team due to the rules that USC broke over the time frame. Pete Carroll was USC head football coach during the time the rules were broken and he had victories removed from his college coaching record.

Some would say the sanctions were overdone considering the allegations primarily focused on Reggie Bush getting improper gifts like a house for his family to temporarily live in.

NFL Fines and Penalties for Illegal Practices

In August of 2014, the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll were fined $300,000 by the NFL for holding contact practices during training camps when it was forbidden by the rules during the offseason. Carroll was found to be a repeat offender for the offense over many years and the Seahawks are being further penalized by not being allowed to hold a few practices in the upcoming 2015 mini-camp season. Seahawks players will still be paid for those now missing practices.

Drug Suspensions

Since 2010, when Pete Carroll left USC to take over the coaching job, at least eight Seattle Seahawks players have been suspended nine times by the NFL for drug violations. The Seahawks players suspended were LenDale White (played for Carroll at USC), Brandon Browner (twice), Leroy Hill, John Moffitt, Allen Barbre, Winston Guy, Bruce Irvin, and Walter Thurmond.

I would say it’s a toss-up which coach has been the bigger cheater. So no thank you… I will not be watching the upcoming CheaterGate Super Bowl.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD :I reckon I’ll watch the ads and the haff time entertainment yet sports on TV knocks me out faster than the Golf Channel or Canadian Parliament…

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: Being a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, if they are not in the Super Bowl I don’t have much interest in the outcome. However, it is a big day and our extended families get together for lots of food and fun. The game will be on for the guys, while the girls will be catching up on family events. And of course, we will be watching the commercials and half-time show.

The Independent Sentinel : I’m going to watch it because it’s the game of the year. Ballgazi doesn’t affect it. I won’t stop watching baseball because Whitey Ford is in the Hall of Fame even though he cheated and threw a spitball.

The Glittering Eye :
I don’t plan to watch the SuperBowl next weekend. I rarely watch it–only when I’m out of town and the people I’m visiting are watching it.

I’m just not particularly interested in professional athletics and I’ve always found the half-time show lame.

The only reason to watch it would be the ads and if I were that interested I’d could catch those on YouTube.

 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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January 19, 2015

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The Forum Is Up: What Is Your Opinion Of The New Proposed Internet Rules President Obama Wants The FCC To Impose?

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: What Is Your Opinion Of the New Proposed Internet Rules President Obama Wants The FCC To Impose?

The Independent Sentinel : It’s the government getting its tentacles into one more thing.

It gives companies immunity when they share our data. We no longer have privacy protections from the government in the name of security. The government will freely share our information among government agencies.

The government claims the information-sharing system would not put privacy at risk as the information disclosed will principally concern the method of attack on computer data and systems, rather than its content.

Who trusts them?

Why do they need these rules when they can already do it? Is it just a way of bullying companies into doing it more readily? They have been resistant.

According to the Guardian, “it would criminalize the overseas sale of stolen US financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, would expand federal law enforcement authority to deter the sale of spyware used to stalk or commit ID theft, and would give courts the authority to shut down botnets engaged in distributed denial of service attacks and other criminal activity.”

Meanwhile, our government won’t allow illegal immigrants to be charged or held if they steal IDs.

There will be more consumer notifications pushed on companies who become aware of breaches but they already notify consumers. It’s more regulation and more expense that will be passed down to consumers.

The bill is vague and will be misinterpreted.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason:If we have learned anything with this administration, what they say and what we get are diametrically opposed. The Affordable Care Act has proven unaffordable for many. President Obama wants the FCC to reclassify the internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and extend that regulation to mobile broadband service as well. Net neutrality will not lead to a fairer, more open and free internet as the president promises. As Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz stated: “Net neutrality puts the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service, and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities, and higher prices for consumers.” I believe that about sums it up.

The internet has been working very well in a free market system. If we want to keep an affordable, free, and open internet, we must keep government out of it.

The Glittering Eye : I’m not sure how to answer the question. Perhaps the best way would be for me to state what I’m in favor of. First, a brief preface.

The Internet grew from developments by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for a computer network that could survive nuclear war. The Internet has succeeded because a) it was in the public domain, b) ICANN (the ultimate registrar of domain names) has been seen as apolitical and fair, c) it has largely been free of regulation and taxes, and d) the cost of entry was relatively low. Later that development was augmented by the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the University of Illinois’s computer science department.

Previous attempts at large scale computer networks whether public (in France) or private (by many companies) had failed. There is no reason to believe that any proprietary network would have succeeded.

I am unsympathetic to the complaints of the mega-service providers. In large part they enjoy the position of power they hold because of their government-granted monopolies. They have expended very little capital on research and development in their Internet service enterprises and have enjoyed substantial revenues with things as they are. That other companies, e.g. Google, Netflix, are making profits out of the Internet as it is is merely sour grapes on the part of the ISPs. If they demand more money from their investments on network infrastructure, minor relative to the revenues they’ve derived from them, they should meter bandwidth at the customer level and leave providers alone.

Consequently, I believe in network neutrality, that the Internet should be largely free of sales taxes, that it should remain predominantly uncensored, and that Time-Warner, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and so on should be regulated by the FCC. In particular I think that any business that has gained its present position as the result of government-granted monopoly should be kept out of the content business. I’m not sure where that puts me relative to the Obama Administration but that’s what I think.

JoshuaPundit: What government can regulate, it can control. And what it can control, it can tax. Ultimately, screwing yet more tax revenues out of the American people is a lot of what this is all about,and the fact that this president wants the FCC to impose these new proposed rules without congressional oversight while it has a  majority of his appointees who took their seats while he had a congressional majority tells me all I need to know.

The other major part of what this is about is censorship and control of content. This president is also not only hyper-partisan but a long time appeaser of Islamists, and he has already said that he is going to ‘fight the media ‘  and the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles,using the lame excuse that he is suddenly concerned about the welfare of the same troops overseas whose lives he has endangered with ridiculous Rules of Engagement and his illegal wars. Rest assured that very selective censorship in a great many areas will be the order of the day if he gets his way.

Ask Marion: On Thursday 01.15.15 the White House said legislation was not necessary to settle the “net neutrality” rules issue because the Federal Communications Commission had the authority to write them. And President Obama’s rallying cry this past week has been… ‘Everyone deserves free Internet’. Beware of politicians bearing free gifts!!!

Quick Background:

What actually is at immediate stake here is what rules should govern how Internet service providers (ISPs) manage web traffic on their networks to ensure they treat all Internet content fairly. At the heart of the latest phase in the debate over the rules is what legal authority should guide those regulations.

Obama is urging the FCC to regulate ISPs more strictly under a section of communications law known as Title II, treating them more like public utilities. The broadband companies adamantly oppose this plan, saying the added regulatory burden would reduce investment and stifle innovation in their industry.

The Republican chairmen of the Senate and House commerce committees, John Thune and Fred Upton, have been working to strike a legislative deal with Democrats that would adopt some of the same net neutrality principles but without resorting to Title II.

Late on Wednesday, Thune released a list of the net neutrality principles he would pursue, which closely echoed Obama’s, such as bans on blocking or throttling of websites.

While some Republicans have also sought a delay in the FCC’s vote to establish new net neutrality rules, planned for February 26th, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has indicated no interest in a change or delay.

“Chairman Wheeler believes it is important to move forward as quickly as possible to protect consumers, innovation and competition online,” FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said in a statement.

Evoking net-neutrality and expanding the scope and power the FCC has been on the Obama administrations’ radar since day one and now that they are in their final two years, the administration has entered their complete lawless phase. So controlling communication is high on their agenda. It is all about control and these changes are just the tip of the iceberg. Censorship; monitoring newsrooms; and taking control of every aspect of communication… newspapers, radio, TV, Internet, news outlets, textbooks, movies, even art, plus the services that support them have been on Obama’s list since 2009, when both minority groups and Democrats questioned net neutrality.

The Republicans in Congress are in favor of a net neutrality law as long as the federal government doesn’t handle it, so are trying to drum up support for a bill that would counter the FCC’s upcoming new rules. But after the Obama administration’s comments getting Democrats on board could be difficult.

The proposed bill attempts to offer a compromise between hard-line opponents of net neutrality and the larger changes preferred by President Obama and many progressive activists. It would modify the Communications Act of 1934, adding the basic elements of the FCC’s “open internet” plan. That includes the following major points:

The proposed bill attempts to offer a compromise between hard-line opponents of net neutrality and the larger changes preferred by President Obama and many progressive activists. It would modify the Communications Act of 1934, adding the basic elements of the FCC’s “open internet” plan. That includes the following major points:

No blocking of lawful services on a network
No prohibiting the use of non-harmful devices
No traffic throttling — except for “reasonable network management,” it would be illegal to slow or degrade any site or service
No paid prioritization
Transparency requirements for ISPs

Much of the language for this bill was lifted directly from the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order, which was thrown out in court last year?!? It includes less-than-ideal exceptions for network management and “specialized services” like VoIP, but it settles a major point of contention in Wheeler’s proposal by banning paid prioritization, which would have allowed ISPs to offer faster service for companies that paid more. In some ways, it’s exactly what net neutrality supporters have been asking for, although the advocacy group Public Knowledge has expressed concerns about how strong its protections would be in practice.

A crucial point is that the bill adds all of this to Title I of the Communications Act, classifying broadband as an “information service.” Title I services are regulated more lightly than Title II “common carriers” like telephone companies. The last FCC net neutrality framework plan was struck down because it came too close to making rules that only Title II allows:

“In terms of legislation, we don’t believe it’s necessary given that the FCC has the authorities that it needs under Title II,” said a White House official. “However, we always remain open to working with anyone who shares the president’s goal of fully preserving a free and open internet now and into the future.”

Of course in reality, preserving a free and open Internet is the opposite of the this administration’s goal and we all should have learned by know that anything regulated and run by the government makes it and us less free. In fact, in March of 2014 ICANN and the US government announced their intention to relinquish control of the Internet to the UN by 2015, so there is much more to this plan than just a few rule changes! Anything turned over to the United Nations brings us just us one step closer to globalization and the ruling elite’s goal of a New World Order which will definitely make us all less free.

Everyone deserves free Internet. Sounds good until you remember… you can’t have both freedom of speech and big government that controls the media… It is a choice!! And it not only won’t be free, it will more expensive for everyone. We (you) will all be paying for everyone’s Internet service plus the government bureaucracy that will run it.

Pay attention America, if government controls the media… TV, radio, the Internet… your free speech stops and the attempt to take over media and your information will be even easier and more blatant than it already is…

My feeling, like always, is less government involvement is always best!

 Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

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

Continue reading...

January 12, 2015

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The Forum Is Up: What Should The Western Response Be To The Attacks In France, If Any


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 :
What Should Western Response Be To The  Attacks In France, If Any?

 Simply Jews: I shall use as a starting point a precise example of what the Wester response should not be. It was helpfully provided by one of the more moronic representatives of the Guardianistas, one Simon Jenkins, concerned most of all about possible damage to Western democracy as a result of new laws, new controls, new additions to the agenda of illiberalism.

There is no need for new laws/controls/etc. The West has enough legal, law enforcement, intelligence and military tools in its disposal, the only problem the West has is with the will and the readiness to use them. First of all, the West should pound into the ground the many heads of the militant Islamism – Al Qaeda, Taliban, ISIL (IS), Hezbollah, Bokko Haram, Hamas and all its other guises.

As long as all or even part of the above continue to exist, providing rich and fertile grounds for the so called “lone wolf” growth, there wouldn’t be a chance to destroy the domestic terrorism.

And then will come the second stage: integration. The choice that must be offered to the adherents of the militant Islam in Europe and US should be simple: accept the laws of the land or move to a place where the law of the land suits you. Which is elsewhere.

The Noisy Room :My answer to ‘What should the Western response be to the attack in
France, if any?’ is a mixture of responses from Allen West and from
Ralph Peters.

1. Accept that we are in a war with Islamist terrorists.
2. Name the enemy – Islamist terrorists/Jihadists.
3. Know that we cannot continue to make our culture and values
subservient to others.
4. We have to reconsider who we allow into the US and who can stay here.
We also need to profile.
5. Get the lawyers out of the way and off the battlefield.
6. Accept that there will be collateral damage and don’t apologize for it.
7. No nation building or rebuilding.
8. Do not just ‘try’ to hold ground.
9. Go wherever the terrorists are and kill them. Try to exterminate them
with prejudice.
10. When you leave a war theater, actually leave.
11. Leave behind smoking ruins and grieving widows. War means killing
and breaking things. Accept it.
12. If in 5 or 10 years, the enemy even thinks of raising his head, go
back and do it all over again. Finish it.
13. Never send American troops into a war that you do not intend to win.
14. We win, they lose and no soldier is left behind.
15. We don’t make deals with the enemy, no matter the immediate cost.
The long term cost will be far worse.

If we do these things, France and the rest of Europe, will benefit and
will finally have an example they can follow.

I think that about covers it. Any questions?

The Independent Sentinel : Curtail any Muslim immigration from terrorist countries.Stop using GITMO as the terrorist farm team.

Tighten surveillance on radical Muslims and Mosques.Move to arrest any Muslims returning from fighting with ISIS or al-Qaeda or from any known terrorist hotbed.Put the words “jihad” and “radical Islam” back into the FBI and Army manuals and use the words in my speeches.

Change the rules of engagement and start capturing some of these terrorists for the purposes of interrogation.
I’d immediately announce that I was leaving a residual force of 10,000 in Afghanistan. Stop aid to Yemen and other terrorist countries like Gaza until they come up with a plan to fight terrorism. Meet with al-Sisi of Egypt and re-establish that relationship after I met with Netanyahu and re-established that relationship.

Send weapons to the Peshmerga and tell the Iraqi government to pound salt. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards wouldn’t be my boots on the ground and I’d end those talks immediately. Instead, I’d meet with Congress about adding new sanctions.Talk about the need to stop the genocide in the Middle East and try to actually form a real coalition with allies, not with other terrorists.

I’d declare war on radical Islam, sit down with my generals and develop a comprehensive plan to defund them to start and all options would be on the table.

The Razor :It’s difficult to consider what the western response to the attacks in France that killed 18 innocents, considering we’re still waiting for the response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine that killed 298. It does pose a bit of a dilemma since it’s impossible to convert to Islam AND Russian Orthodox at the same time, though if anybody could do it the Europeans can.

The Glittering Eye : As I wrote in a post earlier today.

I have been asked what I think the West should do in response to the incidents. In preface I should mention that I object to the framing. I do not believe there is a “West” in any meaningful sense. Whom does it include? Western Europe, the British Commonwealth, Canada, the U. S., Japan, and Israel? More? Less? I think that the term was originally coined to distinguish between Greece on the one hand and the Persian Empire on the other and was resurrected at the turn of the last century to unite the United States with the older, presumably more sophisticated United Kingdom and Continental Western Europe. After World War I, it received new currency to tie the United States to Western Europe against Russia and its satellites. I think that distinction has largely lost its meaning and is no longer helpful to the United States.

However, I’ll divide my response into two questions. What should we (the United States) do? What should the countries of Europe do?
I don’t think we should do anything. France has its own distinct issues, quite different from ours. France is quite capable of dealing with its own problems and its citizens need to decide what response if any is appropriate.

What should the countries of Europe do? They really have only three alternatives. They can push their Muslim populations farther away possibly alienating and radicalizing them in the process, they can do nothing and determine that occasional mass murders by radical members of that population are an acceptable risk, or they can take affirmative steps to integrate their Muslim populations more closely into their societies.

I think it is up to the citizens of those countries to decide what kind of countries they wish to be. My preference would be that they accept their Muslim populations whether citizen or resident, not relegating them to second class status as is too frequently the case but that’s not a decision for me, an American, to make. They should do as they think best in the full knowledge that whatever they decide will have implications.

Ask Marion :The Western nations, minus the US, made a big stride forward in standing up to Islamic terrorism on Sunday in Paris as their leaders walked arm in arm in unity. And the French Prime Minister declared war on radical Islam.

And I’m with Judge Jeanine Pirro… The US (And the Rest of the Western World) Must Arm Muslims Fighting Extremists ‘To the Teeth.’

Americans should be more than concerned; they should be frightened at the weak kneed reaction of our president to this latest terror attack as the rest of the world is finally waking up. Americans need do their homework. Why isn’t our president in Paris today? He certainly had plenty of time to fly to and vacation in Hawaii for the holidays. Are we still paying money to the Muslim Brotherhood? Hillary Clinton said back in 2011 that we were reaching out to the Brotherhood and just recently she said we needed t0 be more tolerant of our enemies; reason alone that she should be out of the 2016 presidential race. And let’s not forget Hillary’s aide with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.

America is now suffering from electing a president they didn’t vet and instead chose to ignore all the warning signs. Hopefully we will not be that foolish again, for the battle against radical Islam is a battle that the West must win and our leadership doesn’t even see interested in participating!

The Right Planet : I don’t honestly know what sort of coherent and decisive response can be delivered by the Western World if they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge they have a problem with Islamic terrorism. The stance many Western leaders assume is to bury their collective heads in the sand when it comes to the subject of Muhammadanism, i.e., Islam. The refusal by many Western leaders, especially President Barack Obama, to admit Jihad is codified into Islamic law, and that the works of Muhammad contained in the Hadith, Siri and Koran greatly influence the actions and plans of Islamic terrorists, is an exercise in either lethal incompetence or villainous treason. I’m just not going to mince words here.

I have seen video after video of Islamic terrorist groups of both Shia and Sunni extraction shouting, “Allah U’ Ahkbar!,” as they commit their murderous rampages. Yet I hear my own leaders telling me it has nothing to do with Islam. Please, do not insult my intelligence. To me, the point is not to condemn everyone who may call themselves a “Muslim.” The point is to understand how Islamic ideology inspires so many who do call themselves “Muslim” to commit barbarous acts against anyone who does not submit to the severity and ruthlessness of Muhammadanism.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Following this past week’s attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that France is at war with radical Islam. Heads of state from many nations across Europe and the Middle East came together in unity against the attacks, joined by millions of people carrying signs says Je Suis Charlie – We are Charlie. The Obama Administration was pathetically absent from Sunday’s show of solidarity against these attacks. Attorney General Eric Holder went to Paris but did not participate in the march of unity with the other nations. Instead he appeared on the many Sunday talk shows. When asked if we are at war with radical Islam, he could not bring himself to state what has become obvious to the rest of the civilized world. Utilizing the Obama administration’s tired narrative, he declared we are at war with terrorists who commit heinous acts and who use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions.

In the aftermath of the massacres, we are discovering the Kouachi brothers were known to United States, British, Yemeni, and French intelligence. The younger brother served 18 months in prison in France after being convicted on charges of terrorism in 2008. Both brothers were on the no fly list. We knew one and possibly both brothers received training in Yemen in 2011 with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). There they met Anwar al-Awlaki, the American Muslim preacher killed in a drone strike ordered by President Obama in 2011. Let’s not forget, Al-Awlaki was also behind the Ft. Hood shootings committed by U. S. Army Major and “Soldier of Allah” Nidal Hasan. It makes me wonder why there was no international outpouring of concern or unity then. It appears the French lost interest in their surveillance of the Kouachi brothers in spite of their history of terrorist connections.

The Obama Administration is attempting to frame this incident as an attack on free speech. This was not an attack on free speech, it was an attack on those who chose to blaspheme the prophet Mohammed, and as President Obama has told us, “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” We must not let them redirect our focus from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. We must not try to understand why they are committing these acts of terror, or empathize with them, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said. We need to understand that sometimes evil just is, and it must be annihilated.

It appears we had the intelligence. It appears we shared the intelligence. And yet, we continue to see these attacks being committed at an alarmingly increasing number with better planning and organization. The Western response should be focused on increased surveillance, more intelligence gathering by capturing and questioning those found to be involved with al Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL or any other variant of these radical Islamic groups, and being proactive instead of reactive in the fight against radical Islam. We must declare CAIR a terrorist organization and prohibit them from having access to and directing how we train our national security agency personnel in their investigations of terrorist threats.

Here in the South we have these nasty insects called fire ants. They live in colonies built upon mounds of sand. If you happen to step in one unaware they will climb up your body by the hundreds without you feeling a thing. Then some silent signal is given and all of them will bite in unison, causing incredible pain. My biggest fear is these radical Islamists are planning some nationwide or even worldwide terror event, and like the fire ants, are coordinating to synchronize these events to happen simultaneously.

Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

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

Continue reading...

January 5, 2015

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The Forum Is Up: What Do You See As The Greatest Strategic Threat America Faces Today?

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: What Do You See As The Greatest Strategic Threat America Faces Today?

 Simply Jews: I would say it is Chinese economic (and, in its steps) military expansion. The way to counter it is in reviving US economy and US economic presence all over the world. Starting with South America, where China, Iran and similar regimes are making inroads.

 The Razor: The greatest strategic threat to America continues to be an internal one. External forces, whether it’s Great Britain, Japan or al-Qaeda always serve to unite us when they attack. It’s the internal threats that are particularly worrisome.

To say this threat is the modern American Left would be a mistake. The Left is as fractured and splintered on important and not-so-important issues as the Right is, and there are many on the Left wing who do not seek to undermine American society and instead want to strengthen it.

But there is a strain of Leftism that is quite dangerous. It is a nihilistic strain that blames America for all the world’s ills and sees America as History’s greatest villain. A leading thinker of this strain continues to be Noam Chomsky who has acolytes in the media such as director Oliver Stone and actor Sean Penn. These white men have allied themselves with some particularly odious characters such as Kim Jong-Il, Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin. Ironically these men have profited from their views while living in the very society they seek to destroy. Chomsky hasn’t given up his comfortable life in Massachusetts for Pyongyang, and Oliver Stone hasn’t quit Hollywood for Moscow, yet that hasn’t stopped them from condemning their own society while extolling the virtues of despotic regimes.

Ideologies exist on a multi-dimensional spectrum, and the Right has its racist paleoconservatives just as the Left has its moonbats. But the difference is that the Left hasn’t rejected their crazies the way the Right has been forced to do. Rep. Steve Scalise made front page news when it was reported that he spoke before a white nationalist conference in 2002. What didn’t make the front page was the fact Scalise spoke to a different, non-racist group within the same hotel at that time. Meanwhile anti-Semites like Al Sharpton, Rev. Wright and Jesse Jackson continue to be embraced by the Left just as Chomsky and his minions are. The Left has not purged itself of the crazies the way the Right has, most notably William F. Buckley jr’s purges of the 1950s and 1960s that created modern American conservatism.

Just as the Aryan Nations seeks to create a new America without minorities, Leftists like Chomsky seek to create a world without America. They therefore actively undermine American efforts both internally and externally whenever possible, thereby increasing the suffering of both Americans and those they wish to help such as Ukraine, where Oliver Stone recently stated his support for Vladimir Putin’s partition of the country.

Russia is not the danger to the US. The condoning of Oliver Stone’s statements by the silence of the Left is far more dangerous. Such silence increases the likelihood of war between the US and Russia. It also encourages our enemies to see America as a “paper tiger,” the greatest historical fallacy America’s enemies have ever believed. Once they reach that point there is no return except through conflict and their inevitable destruction.

 JoshuaPundit : 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, AKA The White House. A fish rots from the head.

We have a dysfunctional commander-in-chief whom the vast majority of our military hold quite rightly in disdain, because he has no understanding of their actual mission and endangers their lives with ridiculous rules of engagement. He’s gotten us in two illegal wars while losing the war in AfPack and squandering the peace won in Iraq. He’s responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Libya, Algeria and Mali as well as the rise of IS in Syria and Iraq. He has successfully shrunk our military to pre-WWII numbers and cut our nuclear weapons stockpile to unacceptable levels, including our anti-missile defenses.And the Obama presidency has given encouragement to some of the worst radicals in America, as well as putting America deeply in debt to no purpose.

Even worse, he has emboldened our enemies and alienated our allies. He and his State Department appointees have mismanaged the relationship with,among others, Israel, India, Canada, Germany,  Russia and China to the point where they are far worse than they were when he took office… not to mention his outright appeasement of Iran

I’m not particularly worried about Russia or China. Both are rational actors, and neither can afford a war either financially, strategically or demographically. A different tone in Washington backed by appropriate action  is needed, but that’s not out of the realm of possibility. China in particular needs the U.S. as a market and as a counterbalance against Russia, with whom they have never had a good relationship historically in spite of appearances.

Iran is a very different matter. They are not rational actors and are by far the biggest threat after the current leadership in Washington. The  Iranian regime has never suffered any major consequences for their actions against the United States including their aiding and abetting 9/11  and have learned that they need not fear us, especially under this president.

That, I’m convinced, will come back to haunt us unless we do something drastic to correct it.

The Glittering Eye : The short answer to the question is that we don’t have one. Let’s consider that with a little more rigor.

To be a geopolitical challenge a country, group of countries, organization, or institution must have at least three attributes. It must be expansionary, it must have the capacity to reach us, and it must be attractive.

Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Soviet Russia were all geopolitical challenges, each with all of those attributes. That’s something too frequently forgotten after their defeat. The Third Reich, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the Soviet Union each had substantial support outside of Germany, Japan, or Russia.

In contrast, nobody wants what China’s rulers want outside of a few of the world’s worst autocrats. China isn’t expansionary. It claims Taiwan and a few rocks in the waters adjacent to China but it’s been claiming those for the better part of a century. It’s not marching its armies into Burma, Southeast Asia, or India, at least not for the foreseeable future. And, finally, China doesn’t have the capacity to reach us, other than with nuclear weapons, something we have in orders of magnitude more abundance than they.

Similarly with Russia. Putin’s Russia is nationalist and irredentist but not expansionary and it has been spectacularly unsuccessful in attracting anyone to their banner. Like China, Russia is unable to reach us other than with nuclear weapons. Its nuclear arsenal is what makes the Russia-U. S. relationship the most important bilateral relationship in the world, something we are mismanaging tragically.

I don’t see any group of countries challenging us, either.

Radical Islamism continues to attract people to its banner and it’s obviously expansionary but it doesn’t have the ability to reach us and it never will have due to its own internal contradictions. In the 21st century it’s impossible to pose a military challenge when you’re as nostalgic for the 6th century as militant radical Islamism is. You can only be a parasite. That’s why they utilize terrorist attacks, the strategy of the poor and weak.

China, Russia, and radical Islamism all pose challenges to our clients rather than to us. However, that’s entirely because our clients allow them to pose challenges. We have pretty lousy clients and IMO they need us a lot more than we need them. Whether they will come to that realization is unclear to me.

The closest thing we have to a geopolitical challenge is internal. Basically, Schumpeter was right. What we have to fear is our own professional, intellectual, and political classes, all of which are busily undermining the very economy, society, and politics on which they depend for their survival.

The Noisy Room : The greatest strategic threat America faces today is a toxic mix of the enemies from within, comprised of Marxists, Progressives, Communists and Radical Islamists. We are at war within.

Fueling these enemies is a stew of corruption, greed, power mongering and religious zealotry that has never been seen the likes of in American history. Our Republic stands on the brink of a full-fledged civil conflict and the fall of the greatest and freest nation that has ever graced the earth. The final demise will be led by a megalomaniac leader in the guise of President Obama who despises what he views as an oppressive, colonialist America. He will settle for nothing less than bringing her to her knees, forcing a massive wealth redistribution and the subjugation of America as a country and an ideal to Islam and the Caliphate.

While this is happening, the greatest theft of every form of asset and wealth the nation has ever known is occurring by the corrupt, wealthy elite. They will take everything not nailed down until there is nothing left and will leave the nation with nothing but debt, despair, agony, poverty and weakness. She will then be ripe for the taking by the enemies without and the new Axis of Evil: Russia, China and Iran are breathlessly waiting in the wings to feast at the American table after our esteemed leaders lay out the final buffet. The leftovers will be to die for. Only the rise of a true Constitutional Conservative will slow or stop this monstrous chain of events. That rise will have to come very soon now.

The Right Planet : There are number of security concerns and strategic threats I see facing America right now. One of the most concerning is Obama’s dismantling of the US military. China is flexing its muscle, and has long been modernizing its army and navy. Additionally, Russia and China are becoming quite chummy as of late. Furthermore, the BRICS economic alliance–comprising Brazil (now under the reign of a former communist terrorist. Dilma Rouseff), Russia, India, China and South America–is attempting to usurp the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The fact that the national debt has increased by nearly $8 trillion during Obama’s presidency is an ominous threat to national security in and of itself. The march of ISIS across the Middle East is yet another ominous development that threatens U.S. interests, and Israel as well.Of course, internal unrest being stoked by the administration certainly is not helping matters, either. I just don’t see any of this ending well.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : The greatest threat all Americans should be concerned about is the federalization/nationalization of our education system. While external threats are real and imminent, we need to focus on our children if America is to survive as a sovereign nation and Constitutional Republic. We must return to teaching them the concepts of individual freedom and our inherent rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If they do not understand the founding concepts of America, how are we to survive?

The Common Core State Standards are being implemented in nearly every state for grades K-12. President Obama has made a further commitment to funding Head Start for children before they are old enough to enter kindergarten. Think about it. In Florida, nearly 40% of our property taxes go to local and state school revenue. Nearly a quarter of all revenue in the state goes to education. Cursory research shows similar percentages in other states. This is a massive redistribution of wealth from the American people to the corporatists and academics as we see the curricula, technology, hardware and software being purchased and utilized for testing and collecting data on every single child, from cradle to grave. Proponents say Common Core prepares a child to be career or college ready. From what I have seen, the materials our children are being exposed to are poorly written, and the topics are dark and inappropriate for their age.

Our local school boards no longer have control over much more than budgetary matters. Directives come from the state and federal departments of education. Much of the time in the classroom is spent teaching for the next test. Home schooling and private or charter schools are not an option as all are required to teach to the standards. We are paying all of this money into a system where we no longer have any input as to how it is spent.

We must fight the Common Core State Standards.

Bookworm Room : I’m struggling to come up with a “greatest” strategic threat to America. The way I see it, there are many strategic threats to America, both at home and abroad. I simply can’t predict which is most likely to happen, nor would I discount a Black Swan on the horizon creating a level of chaos we’ve never imagined. Here, in no particular order, are the various long-term threats I see coming our way:

1. Unfettered immigration. The Democrats’ goal, as we know, is a permanent Democrat voting bloc. What worries me more is America’s decline into a third world country because it is swamped by people who break the system, socially and economically, and then replace it with what they know best: corruption, centralized criminal government, and anarchy wherever that government fails to get its hooks into the system.

2. Rampant Islam. Yes, Europe will go down first, but once the Islamists have Europe under their control, they also have Europe’s weapons. Europe may not be a great arsenal, but thanks to Obama’s two terms, America isn’t a great arsenal anymore either. More than that, as the Israelis have long known, Muslims relish death, while Americans, no matter how brave, don’t. In the short run, the murderers and sadists tend to have the battlefield advantage. While America can win a long war, I can’t see our public or our troops having the stomach for it.

3. Climate change initiatives. All the way back in 1992, when Al Gore, who used to believe in global cooling, suddenly became a fervent global warming hysteric, Rush Limbaugh instantly knew what was going on: wealth redistribution from rich nations to poor nations, and from all Americans to a select, elite, self-chosen few. Even as one climate change prediction after another fails, the true believers are still working to destroy America’s energy infrastructure. Without that infrastructure, what’s left to keep us from becoming just another benighted has-been nation.

4. Putin. Russia may be an economic basket case, but Putin is a grand master chess player in a world of two-bit checkers players. Obama hasn’t even graduated to marbles yet. Russia may not yet have a lot of pieces in play on the globe, but he will.

5. China. Again, the Chinese economy is not a healthy one and it’s begin to suffer real consequences from its one-child policy, not the least of which is an up-and-coming generation of young men who won’t be able to find young women. However, the Chinese leaders, like Putin, are chess players. The best that can happen to the US and the rest of the world, is if the Russians and Chinese play against each other . . . but why should they? The rest of the world is so badly managed that, in the short term, they can just divide it up amongst themselves.

6. Internal collapse. In Obama’s six years, America’s social fabric has frayed at an accelerated rate. Democrats started the process during the Bush era but, having revealed to America how fragile how social compact is, then promised Americans that with Obama in the White House all would be healed. Instead, Obama has accelerated the process even more. If America doesn’t find a stable middle very soon, we’re likely just to spin apart.

And yes, I am a pessimist.

 GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : A nuclear Iran led by unelected and illegit preachers.

A Persian power with a keen sense of its 2,500-year history, Iran occupies a pivotal position straddling the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. The country has the largest population in the Middle East, the world’s third largest oil reserves, the second largest natural gas reserves, and aspirations to again become the region’s major power. Add nuclear weapons, and this mixture become highly combustible.

The danger is not that Iran would build and use a nuclear weapon against the United States or its allies. Iranian leaders know that such an act would be regime suicide, as a powerful counterattack would follow immediately.

This is not a nuclear bomb crisis, but a nuclear regime crisis. The danger is that a nuclear-armed Iran would lead other states in the Gulf and Middle East, including possibly Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and even Turkey, to reexamine their nuclear options.

This potential wave of proliferation would seriously challenge regional and global security and undermine the worldwide effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. If the international community is unable or unwilling to impose penalties on Iran, and if Tehran continues its nuclear development unconstrained, the nuclear chain reaction from the region could ripple around the globe.

For example, if Iran used its nuclear weapons, transferred them to a third party, invaded its neighbors, or increased its support for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the United States would be compelled to respond, although the measures it chose to adopt would not be specified in advance. This argument reflects the public position of many senior U.S. and European officials, as well as a number of prominent academics and defense intellectuals.

Yet this view is far too sanguine. Above all, it rests on the questionable assumptions that possessing nuclear weapons induces caution and restraint, that other nations in the Middle East would balance against Iran rather than bandwagon with it, that a nuclear-armed Iran would respect new red lines even though a conventionally armed Iran has failed to comply with similar warnings, and that further proliferation in the region could be avoided.

It seems more likely that Iran would become increasingly aggressive once it acquired a nuclear capability, that the United States’ allies in the Middle East would feel greatly threatened and so would increasingly accommodate Tehran, that the United States’ ability to promote and defend its interests in the region would be diminished, and that further nuclear proliferation, with all the dangers that entails, would occur.

The greatest concern in the near term would be that an unstable Iranian-Israeli nuclear contest could emerge, with a significant risk that either side would launch a first strike on the other despite the enormous risks and costs involved.

Over the longer term, Saudi Arabia and other states in the Middle East might pursue their own nuclear capabilities, raising the possibility of a highly unstable regional nuclear arms race.

Well, there you have it! Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week! And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning. It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

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December 29, 2014

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The Weekly Forum Is Up!



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
: What Are Your Predictions For 2015?

 The Noisy Room :

1. Gitmo will be emptied and closed.
2. The Republicans will facilitate and fund the full implementation of
Amnesty.
3. The Republicans will facilitate and fund the full implementation of
Obamacare.
4. The Republicans will support and assist Obama with the Trans-Pacific
Partnership.
5. Riots and violence will increase across the US and you will see a
nationalization by Obama of our police forces.
6. Net Neutrality and censorship will be implemented on the Internet.
7. There will be a stock market correction or crash.
8. Inflation will begin to spiral out of control.
9. The dollar will be replaced as the international monetary standard.
10. Christians and Jews will see increased persecution worldwide.
11. Russia will bring more satellite countries into the fold and will
encroach on Europe.
12. ISIS will march on and spread the caliphate further.
13. China will expand their military.
14. Venezuela will finish going bankrupt.
15. Russia, China and Iran will gain a much bigger toe hold in South
America.
16. There will be a rapid rise in the illegal alien influx, cartel
violence and border skirmishes.
17. There will be a major terrorist attack in the US.
18. IRS abuses will get even worse in the coming year.
19. Taxation will increase on many fronts.
20. Employment will continue to diminish for Americans and all economic
indicators will be further manipulated by the government and become
utter fabrications of reality. It will be one aspect of a massive
propaganda blitz by the US government to keep Americans docile.

My last prediction is that I will not be invited to any cocktail parties
as I can clear a room in 10 seconds flat. ; )

The Right Planet:I’m not really one to make predictions, since I always seem to be wrong. But, I’ll take a stab at it …

  • The national debt will continue to skyrocket (as always) and nothing will be done about it.
  • Obama will continue his racial agitation, despite the fact he’s the first “black” president in U.S. history who promised a “post-racial” America.
  • The radical left will continue to search for the next Michael Brown in order to in order to whip even more racial animus.
  • Obama will continue to dismantle the military.
  • The GOP establishment will do nothing to stop Obamacare, despite campaign promises to the contrary
  • Another massive new wave of illegal immigrants.
  • The GOP establishment will continue to push presidential candidates like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, despite the base’s lack of enthusiasm for these establishment types.
  • The left will push for Marxist radicals like Elizabeth Warren as their next presidential candidate in 2016.
  • Despite the fact the GOP won a major victory in the 2014 midterms, they’ll still act like they lost.
  • Obama will unleash the most radical agenda ever seen in the history of the United States, because he feels he’s got nothing to lose.

Sorry, I think it’s going to be a sh*tty year for the USA. And I think it’s only going to get worse.

Laura Rambeau Lee at Right Reason : 2015 is shaping up to be a defining year for America. Lame duck President Obama will continue to push through executive orders, further undermining the balance of power and the rule of law. Even with Republican majorities in the House and Senate I don’t see them effectively challenging him. One or two will speak out, but will be vilified as radical right extremists by the left and also by the establishment GOP.

I am afraid the events at the end of 2014, with thousands of people protesting against the police in Ferguson, MO and New York, are a precursor of things to come in 2015. The left will continue its agenda of dividing our country by race, religion, class, and cries for social justice.

As we head into the 2016 election season, younger voters will become involved in the political races based on social issues, such as same sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana and align themselves with Democrat candidates or Libertarians. Conservative Republicans will need to find a strong voice who will speak out for fiscal restraint, smaller government, and traditional values, or we can expect to see Jeb Bush being propped up as the frontrunner.

As the world continues to become more dangerous we will be drawing down our military and will be unable and unwilling to get involved.

While we have seen a little improvement in the job market and the economy, as new regulations roll out expect small businesses to take a bigger hit and many will close their doors for good. The cost of doing business in this country has become punitive for the average small business owner.

I hope I am wrong, and the Republican led Congress will work towards gutting Obamacare, cutting punitive regulations from the EPA and CFPB to name a couple, and not approving any funding for Obama’s illegal amnesty action, but I just don’t see it happening.

JoshuaPundit : Hmmm…OK, domestic politics.  I’m not prepared to predict  how the new congress will behave, but  I will say that if it simply becomes business as usual, you will see a major revolt by the Republican Party base to the extent where we may end up with a third party that ultimately replaces it.That’s almost certain if the GOP leadership tries to foist someone like Jeb Bush on the party as a presidential nominee.I actually expect the new congress to attack some areas, like EPA regulations that restrict coal. And don’t be surprised if you see increased opposition to the president’s amnesty bill, especially when it comes to attacking its funding. It was the one area Boehner left open, not because he wanted to but because he had to give the conservatives in congress something in order to get votes to pass cromnibus in the House.

Don’t be surprised if the Supremes gut ObamaCare. What will happen after that is anyone’s guess, since the health insurance industry has been monkeyed with almost beyond repair and will take some time to come back.

I also predict that we will see increased tension  between the president and the new congress, especially when it comes to his appointments, investigation of the various scandals surrounding the White House, his amnesty and the funding of certain presidential executive orders.

I think the GOP nomination will boil down to a choice between Rand Paul,  Mike Huckabee,  and Jeb Bush. I don’t think Dr. Carson will run in 2016, nor will Ted Cruz as much as I ‘d like to see him do so, but I’m happy to be wrong on that one. Either one may end up as VP candidates.

I see the chances of Hillary Clinton running as no more than 50-50, because of her health, her unpopularity withthe party’s far Left progressives  and because of continued revelations on how horribly she ran the State Department, including the Benghazi fiasco. Elizabeth Warren is a more likely choice, I think.

Other domestic predictions; I regret to say that I think we’re headed for a major terrorism attack, along with a huge scandal concerning our domestic intel setup. I see it as being an attack that the media will attempt to paint as being carried out by a so-called ‘lone wolf’, but will in reality be one aided and abetted by our overseas enemies, just like 9/11 was. I hope I’m wrong on that one.

The economy will continue about how it’s been, but probably with slightly higher interest rates come midyear. The economy is a colossal con, with real unemployment and real CPI inflation far higher and our growth and GDP far lower than we’re being told, but so far we remain the best game in town in terms of relatively safe foreign investment. The reckoning will come in very gradual stages after Obama is safely out of office.

Baseball will have a resurgence next year. This year was about getting rid of the stench of the steroids scandal. 

Foreign Affairs; We will continue to flail around in Iraq, with this president gradually increasing troops on the ground. His real object is to have Iran doing more of the fighting against Islamic State, with the result, of course, that Iran will control Iraq as part of the nuclear armed Shi’ite bloc they wish to create. 2015 will also likely be the year that Iran explodes a successful nuclear weapon unless Israel stops them. Obama will not.

Syria may well see a cease fire and an arrangement between Assad and IS to share the country, midwifed by Putin. The way things are now, neither side can win but both sides need time to consolidate their gains and lick their wounds.

Israel will continue its move to the right politically, with Naftali Bennett continuing to rise in popularity. Israel will continue to expand its increasingly closer ties with India, China and East Asia. The EU will continue to become more hostile to Israel, perhaps even to the point of sanctions by countries like Ireland, the UK (at least in the short run) Spain, Portugal,  Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.Other countries like Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, the Balkan states  and other eastern European countries will simply ignore any sanctions.

While the Obama Administration will likely veto the current UNSC resolution to unilaterally force a Palestinian state by the Palestinian Authority,  the Obama regime  will almost certainly abstain and allow another one to pass if it’s  put before the UNSC after the Israeli elections in March. The Obama team is attempting  to interfere in the Israeli elections to get the Left wing Labor Party elected  and they will want to see if they can mange it before taking the political flak of allowing a UN diktat to pass..which would be opposed vociferously by congress. 

Of course once that happens the relationship between America and Israel is going to change quite a bit,which was what this president has wanted all along. Since getting Labor/Hatnua elected with enough seats to form a governing coalition is highly unlikely, I think that scenario is what we’re ultimately looking at. Expect continued terrorist attacks on Israel in this current Third Intifada, which will be followed by a major crackdown boo-hooed by all the usual suspects.

Russia will likely attempt to assert its authority over one or more of the Baltic States…not by invasion, but by simple intimidation ala’ Finland. I’d say Estonia is the most likely target.

Japan and  Australia will rearm and increase their defense spending.They will also increase their security cooperation, which will likely include Vietnam and the Philippines. Germany will do the same; expect an enlargement of the Bundeswehr and security coordination with its neighbors like Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Expect UKip to do exceptionally well in the British Elections, And while French elections aren’t until 2017 unless the socialists and the extremely unpopular Hollande is forced out,  expect Marine Le Pen’s right leaning Front National (FN) to continue to gain massive ground. 

 Rhymes With Right : Well, my friends, after having had a mixed year making projections for 2014, I’m once again at it. I’ll once again stare into that foggy crystal ball and catch a glimpse into the future — undoubtedly with mixed results. Each of my four categories will have a prediction that I feel is almost certain to come true, one I feel is somewhat more iffy but still probable, and one that is a long-shot and will in twelve months be seen either as prophetic genius or utter folly.

World Affairs

  • Safe Prediction — Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Prime Minister of Israel following a challenge by a more secular and more leftist coalition. The reason for his success — which will not be expected only weeks prior to new elections — will be a renewed campaign of terrorist attacks on civilians in the wake of UN recognition of a “State of Palestine”.
  • Not-So-Safe Prediction — Continued North Korean anger over The Interview will lead to more attacks on the American entertainment industry. The target? Online streaming services renting/selling The Interview and Team America: World Police.
  • Long-Shot Prediction — King Abdullah of Jordan is overthrown in an Islamist coup.

National Affairs

  • Safe Prediction — Barack Obama will continue to govern using the same playbook as the late Hugo Chavez, issuing executive decrees and usurping Congress’ lawmaking role despite the restrictions on executive power contained in the Constitution.
  • Not-So-Safe Prediction — There will be an unexpected resignation from the Supreme Court at the end of the 2014-2015 term. This will set the stage for a major confirmation fight and, after the rejection of Obama’s nominee, an effort by the President to make a recess appointment to the High Court.
  • Long-Shot Prediction — A bipartisan immigration reform bill will be passed by both houses of Congress and be signed by the president. It will have broad support among the American people, but will be rejected by both the progressive wing of the Democrat Party and conservative wing of the Republican Party in Congress.

Texas Affairs

  • Safe Prediction — Despite strong opposition by the grassroots, Joe Straus is again selected as Speaker of the House in the Texas Legislature. When the filing date for the 2016 primary passes in December, a record number of well-funded conservative challengers will have filed to run against incumbent legislators in the Republican primary.
  • Not-So-Safe Predictions — The resignation of Steve Munisteri as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas will result in the election of Tom Mechler by the State Republican Executive Committee. The selection of the current RPT treasurer will be more about interim stability than the long-term direction of the state party, with everyone looking toward a major floor fight at the 2016 convention between former Harris County GOP chairman Jared Woodfill and Dallas County chairman Wade Emmert in which the grassroots will make their voices heard.
  • Long-Shot Prediction — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick surprises political observers by being an even-handed consensus builder as the presiding officer over the Texas Senate.

2016 Presidential Politics

  • Safe Prediction — As 2015 ends, the GOP will have a spirited race for the presidential nomination underway, with the leading contenders being Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul, followed by Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, and Paul Ryan.
  • Not-So-Safe Prediction — Chris Christie does not seek the Republican presidential nomination.
  • Long-Shot Prediction — As 2015 ends, the Hillary Clinton juggernaut faces unexpected difficulties in the race for the Democrat presidential nomination. These will come in the form of leaked documents from Hillary’s time as Secretary of State, a new Bill Clinton sex scandal that raises questions about Hillary’s sensitivity to women alleging sexual abuse/assault, and an unexpectedly strong challenger from the Left.

The Glittering Eye :For many years at The Glittering Eye I would do an annual predictions post. Last year I gave up the practice. It wasn’t because my track record wasn’t pretty good — it was around 85% right — but because like everybody else I never managed to predict the really big stories of the year.

However, I’ll get into the spirit of things and give you one prediction. The Supreme Court will decide in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell with a vote of 5-4, Justice Kennedy concurring with the majority. That’s the case challenging the paying of federal subsidies to individuals who live in states that did not set up their own healthcare insurance exchanges.

Well, there you have it! Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week! And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning. It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

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December 22, 2014

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The Forum Is Up!

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: What Are Your Thoughts On President Obama’s Normalizing Relations With Cuba?  The Razor : I support it. The Castros have […]

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December 21, 2014

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Subversion: Attacks on Police are Part of a Long Term Program

Hat Tip Trevor Loudon’s New Zeal Blog “If you want to understand Julian Assange Wikileaks, the Edward Snowden affair and the current campaign against the United States police, watch this hour long video. From the 1980s, the video will make it clear that all these supposedly spontaneous movements are part of an ongoing, KGB and […]

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December 15, 2014

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The Weekly Forum is up!

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:How Do You feel About The ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill? What Does it Signify Politically?  The Independent Sentinel : I will take […]

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December 8, 2014

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The Weekly Forum Is Up!

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: What Is The Chief Problem With  Race Relations In America ? What Would It Take To Improve Them?  The Right […]

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November 24, 2014

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The Weekly Forum Is Up!

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: What was your reaction to the President’s New Executive Order On Immigration? GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : Kinda shocked at the […]

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