Monday, January 31, 2011

Watcher's Council Nominations - Walk Like An Egyptian

(This video especially dedicated to those fun lovin' Ikhwan cray-zees! نظرة على تلك الفتيات وكشفت!)

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

Council News:

This week, The Political Commentator, The Grouch, Thinking Strategically and Liberty's Spirit took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

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

Simply e-mail me a link at with the subject heading ‘Honorable mention’ no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

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

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

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions


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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rutgers Puts Apartheid Against Jews Into Practice

Rutgers, which bills itself as the State University of New Jersey has long been a hotbed of Leftist politics and 'anti-Zionist' activity.But this time the University went far beyond its normal tolerance for Jew haters and had the campus police enforce a restricted event.

Last night, campus police barred some 400 Jewish students and their supporters from attending what was billed as an anti-Zionist gathering at Rutgers' New Brunswick campus. The group included some Holocaust survivors,who undoubtedly had a few memories of seeing signs like the one above.

Yes Jews were indeed unwelcome at a student-sponsored event put on by an 'anti-Zionist' coalition calling itself "Never Again for Anyone". When the group arrived for its event and saw that they were outnumbered by about 4-1 by Jewish protesters, they called the campus police and specifically asked them to bar Jews wearing kippas or carrying signs protesting the event. A handful of the kind of Jews these people knew and were willing to tolerate,coming from groups like International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Americans for Muslims in Palestine and Jewish Voice For Peace were allowed to attend without a problem...shades of the old Auschwitz 'selection' process!

The event was advertised as an open invitation campus-wide,in accordance with Rutgers policy that all student-sponsored activities to be open to the public.In spite of that, requests to university officials from the Jewish students asking for access to the event were denied and Rutgers campus police continued to enforce the ban.

As for the Jewish students, led by Aaron Marcus, they simply gathered with their supporters outside the event and sang religious songs in Hebrew.

"We wanted to protest this event because as the children and grandchildren of victims of the Holocaust we believed it to be absolutely absurd to compare Israeli act of self defense to the vicious, systematic murder of millions of Jews, Catholics, Gays, Gypsies, Russians and others," Marcus said.

The President of Rutgers is Richard L. McCormick, and he's made a number of high sounding statements about diversity and academic freedom in the past, some of which are touted on the University's website.

He can be e-mailed at And for those of you whom live in New Jersey and want to know why a public university you support with your tax dollars is acting in this manner, you might want to ask Governor Christie about it.

(h/t,the Elder of Ziyon)

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Wind Shifts In Egypt - And In The Middle East

Friday morning, I wrote that the end result of the Egyptian revolt would depend on which way the army jumped - and predicted that we would know within 48 hours.

The army has decided to let Mubarak fall.I suspected as much after I heard President Obama's statement essentially cutting Mubarak loose Friday afternoon.

The army is deployed in the riot areas, but has taken great care not to fire on the protesters or attack them in any way. Instead, they have formed cordons around some of Egypt's more important government,infrastructural and cultural buildings and some of the areas where the country's elites live, while allowing widespread looting and chaos as long as the protesters stay outside the military cordons. The only aid they have given the police was in the early hours of the army's deployment in places the army wanted to secure, liked the famed Egyptian Museum where mobs had broken through police lines and threatened to steal or destroy the artifacts there. Outside the cordons, it's chaos, and this is likely a deliberate strategy on the part of the army in order to let the protests run out of steam as the new regime takes control.

Today, Egypt's President Mubarak accepted the resignations of his entire cabinet and appointed General Omar Suleiman, the tough minded former head of Egypt's intelligence services as his new vice president, and General Ahmed Shafik as his new Prime Minister. What's happened is that the army has informed President Mubarak that he no longer has their support. Mubarak will be leaving the country in a day or so, most likely to Dubai, where many of Egypt's wealthy elite connected to the regime have already fled.

The army has positioned itself either to put one of its own in power as the new strongman or more likely, has made a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood to preserve its prerogatives in a new Islamist republic. This is the exact same devil's bargain the Iranian military made with Khomeini in 1979.

Suleiman and Shafik are likely just caretakers until the new regime takes over.

One likely figure whom might surface is Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the IAEA.

During his time as head of the IAEA, ElBaradei repeatedly ignored evidence on Iran's illegal nuclear program, and when it became too obvious,ElBaradi put his weight behind trying to prevent any UN sanctions against the Iranian regime. He continues to dismiss the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, citing the discredited 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate claiming Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 as accurate.

Aside from being pro-Iranian, ElBaradei is also close to the Muslim Brotherhood. He consistently defends the terrorist organization that is the parent group of Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hizb-al-Tahrir and other salafist groups, saying the West has to 'stop demonizing them'.

Indeed, I notice a number of foreign policy 'experts' echoing exactly those sentiments over the last few days. The abysmal stupidity expressed by that view is almost beyond belief.

That, of course, is likely ElBaradei's appeal to the Muslim Brotherhood, and its why they've desinated him to be a front man and negotiate with the army on their behalf. As a former UN functionary, ElBaradei might have just enough credibility with gullible westerners to get them accept the new Islamist least for a while. And El Baradi is also the sort of figurehead who can be pushed out of the way easily when it's time, the way Bakhtiar and later Bazargan were in Iran.

Whether ElBaradei ends up heading the new government or not, the immediate consequences of a takeover of this sort as serious.

Just as in Iran, the Egyptian military has substantial stocks of US weapons that were given to the regime as part of the peace treaty with Israel, and Egypt has been receiving around $2 billion a year in US aid. Its air force has close to 300 F-16s and the Abrams M1a1 tank is produced in Egypt under US license for use by the Egyptian Army. The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt will undoubtedly be voided fairly soon and those new US weapons are very likely to be turned against Israel and the West, with the new Islamist regime making common cause with Hamas and perhaps Iran.

And both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran are crowing that US client states throughout the Arab world will soon be toppled as Islamist regimes take over.

Winds of change are blowing, there is an historical shift underway in the Middle East , and the West had better take notice.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

The Egyptian Rebellion - A Tale Of Two Speeches

Two world leaders addressed the turmoil in Egypt today, and you can read between the lines and figure out a great deal about what's going on.

Egypt's 'President' Hosni Mubrak ( and yes,someone inform the clueless Joe Biden, Mubarak really is a dictator)went on state television to address the nation today saying that he is "on the side of the people" will take steps to guarantee the rights and freedom of Egyptians, develop job opportunities and "stand by the poor."

He said he had asked his entire cabinet to resign, including interior minister Habib al-Adly, who was a major target of the protesters because he runs the hated security services. He made no mention himself of leaving.

Mubarak said there was a fine line "between freedom and chaos" and that he would work to secure both freedom and security in Egypt.

"I am absolutely on the side of the freedom of each citizen and at the same time I am on the side of the security of Egypt, and I would not let anything dangerous happen that would threaten the peace and the law and the future of the country." he also blamed recent protests on a "conspiracy with ulterior motives."

Mubarak is hanging on by his fingernails, if that.

The Egyptian Army is already deployed in Cairo and Egypt's other cities, and they are going to be the deciding factor in how things go. In spite of being in place, the army has yet to crack down significantly on the protests. Behind the scenes, Mubarak is obviously still trying to convince the army to go his way, reminding them that if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, their own futures are forfeit.

The army may very well be thinking that Mubarak is finished, and it might be time for them to join in the revolution and preserve their prerogatives. Of course, when the Shah's generals did that in Iran, many of them ended up being slaughtered by the regime once Khomeini took over.

One key factor that is going to weigh in on how the Egyptian Army jumps is what the US and President Obama does, and having just heard the president's statement speak, I don't imagine it bodes well.

President Obama is not a man who likes to make decisions, and here he was faced with an unpleasant one. His annoyance was fairly evident.

On the one hand, Obama has always been all about mouthing platitudes about democracy and freedom, which is exactly what his Cairo speech was about. On the other hand,here he was faced with a probable radical takeover of Egypt and other regimes, and some old US clients who needed assurance on which way the US was going to jump.

Being Obama, he went for slogans and platitudes over substance. President Obama has essentially cut Mubarak loose. He is even going to have David Axelrod make the round of the talk shows doing damage control and explaining how Obama 'confronted' Mubarak for the past 2 years 'to get ahead of this'.

The administration may even have done more than that, if you believe the report in today's Telegraph that the Obama Administration has encouraged anti-government forces covertly for quite some time.

If Egypt does morph into a Muslim Brotherhood run Islamist state, I wonder if Obama will claim credit for it?

It's obvious that Egyptian Chief of Staff Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi went home from Washington empty handed, and he no doubt has informed his military colleagues. This is a bigger deal than it seems, as US allies and enemies throughout the region are taking notice of what American alliance is worth.

As a Turkish General once famously said, the problem with being an ally of America is that you never know when they're going to stab themselves in the back.

Muslim Brotherhood Islamist state or military dictatorship, the same place Mubarak and all of Egypt's rulers have come from for the past sixty years. We'll know within 48 hours.

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Anti-Government Protests Spread To Jordan

Members of the Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jordan's largest opposition party have joined what al-Jazeera calls 'trade unions and leftist organizations' in widespread anti-government protests across Jordan.

That alliance between the Left and the Islamists is a key one, as both favor an end to western-style free market capitalism.

Jordan is similar to Egypt in having no oil to buy off a compliant population with subsidies, in being a US client state, in having a strong Islamist movement and in having a population beset by economic turmoil.

The key difference is one of tribalism.

When the British drew a line in the sand in 1923 and established the Kingdom of Jordan, it was intended to be the division between the Arab part of Palestine and the Jewish state the British had agreed to establish in Palestine under the League of Nations Mandate and later, the San Remo Agreement.

The majority of Jordan's population were 'Palestinian' - Quraysh Arabs, who were town dwellers as opposed to the Bedouin, who were desert dwellers. King Faisal, leader of the Bedouin Hashemite tribe had aided Britain in a minor way in fighting the Arab's former Ottoman rulers during WWI, and the British rewarded King Faisal's sons with thrones.

Iraq, made up of various pieces of Mesopotamia went to Ali. Jordan, comprising 80% of Palestine was given to Abdullah, the present King's grandfather who established a minority Bedouin Hashemite monarchy over the 'Palestinians' that continues to this day. Presently, even given the inevitable intermarriage, the split is roughly 75% 'Palestinian' and about 25% Bedouin, with many of the Bedouin Hashemite loyalists in key positions in government and the army.

In effect, a number of 'Palestinians' have always felt, with some justification, that they had a foreign monarchy imposed on them. This situation blew up once before, in 1970 when Yasser Arafat attempted to use the PLO to take over the country.
It failed, because the Israelis intervened at US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's request and mobilized their armor to counteract Syria's attempt to send troops into Jordan to aid the PLO. That left King Hussein free to use his army on the 'Palestinians' in a period known to the 'Palestinians' as Black September, when thousands of Palestinians were killed outright by King Hussein's Arab Legion and the PLO and Arafat were driven across the borders through Syria and into Lebanon.

Even today, the Hashemite Bedouin monarchy is trying its best to even the odds by arbitrarily depriving Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship who have held it for years.

So the current protests not only have an anti-US and Islamist element but a tribal one as well.

It remains to be seen if the protests are going to reach the level they have in Egypt.

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The Egyptian Revolution Continues

The revolt against Sunni autocracies throughout the Arab world shows no signs of abating...especially in Egypt.

Demonstrators are defying the curfew, torching buildings and attacking police vehicles, and their ranks have been swelled by the membership of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has officially ordered its followers to join the protests.

The protesters attempted to storm the Foreign Ministry and the State TV station in Cairo,but were beaten back. Thousands have been arrested and a number have been wounded as police have now started using live ammo on the protesters instead of rubber bullets and water cannons.

Last night, the regime issued orders to the imams (who are state employees) to use their sermons today to promote calm and keeping the peace and not to participate in the anti-government demonstrations.But it's unlikely that the imams will dare defy the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mubarek has finally ordered the army into action, but he may have left it too late. With the size and momentum of the demonstrations, its not certain whether the officers would order their men to shoot demonstrators, or whether the soldiers would obey.

According to one of my sources, the army so far has refrained from firing on the protesters and were actually greeted with cheers in Cairo and Suez, as opposed to the hated police. In Cairo's Tahrir square, the protesters climbed on tanks and APC's, cheered the soldiers, and chanting pro-army slogans.

If the army decides to stand aside and not defend Mubarak's regime, we are either looking at a military takeover under a new strong man or a Muslim Brotherhood Islamist regime.

The Iranians, of course, are absolutely giddy at what's going on in Egypt.

The next 48 hours are going to tell the story.

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The Council Has Spoken!

The Council has rendered its judgment and the results of the Watcher’s Council contest this week are history. We had a very tight competition this week as you can see below, a testimony to how especially good all the entries were.

Our winner this week, The Razor, took a look at an interesting problem in East Asia's most prosperous societies that it shares with Russia and much of Western Europe - a low birth rate among the native population. Some of these Asian societies have a built in animus towards migrants settling there, and the Razor came up with a fascinating look at Japanese culture to tell us why he feels Japan Will Not Be Saved Through Immigration:

...the Tokugawa Shogunate cut off all ties to the outside world. They cut loose the Japanese outposts in East and South Asia, forcing hundreds of thousands of Japanese there to fend for themselves. They banned contact with foreigners, making it punishable by death. Any foreigner found on Japanese soil (the Portuguese outpost of Nagasaki notably excluded) was immediately executed. And any Japanese that left Japan could never return. This policy was known as “Sakoku” – isolated country. That situation lasted until 1853 when the American Commodore Perry shelled Yokohama and made the Japanese accept foreign ships at their ports. I think Perry had to shell it a couple of times before the Japanese got it through their top-knotted skulls that he was serious.

Skipping to the modern era, sakoku thinking lives on in Japan today. The Japanese aren’t comfortable with foreigners at all. There is simply no place in their culture for them. It’s difficult for us to relate to this because our nation was built by immigrants, and our national identity for better or worse has been forged in the melting pot. Not so with the Japanese. For 90% of their history they have lived isolated amongst themselves. Some Japanese try to change things, but change is impossible; I learned that the hard way in Japan. Japan beat the liberal right out of me.

Japan will never accept foreigners. It will most likely automate (Japan leads the world in robotics) and eventually fade away. Don’t get me wrong, I love the crazy racist bastards – they are unimaginably interesting to watch – but I don’t think their future is bright. It’s a shame, because they gave us anime, addicting video games, and excellent electronics – not to mention Yukio Mishima, Akira Kurosawa and Zen.

In the Non-Council category we had a tie between:

Barry Rubin's SCOOP: Explaining How The "Palestine Papers" Story Is A Fabrication That Teaches Us The Truth - a total fisking of the wikileaks-style journalistic joke pulled off by the Guardian and al-Jazeera and Sultan Knish's Anglophobia or Islamophobia - What's the Real Problem? - an examination of Islamism's death grip on Britain.

In accordance with our by-laws, I put on my Watcher's hat and broke the tie. While both pieces were excellent, Sultan Knish's hit a little harder and closer to the bone to me personally, so the honors this week go to Anglophobia or Islamophobia - What's the Real Problem?

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Funniest Nigerian Spam E-Mail Of The Day

This one is just too good not to share with you. I bolded the funniest bits.

FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D..C. 20535-0001


Attention Funds Beneficiary,

This is to inform you that it has come to the notice of the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) that the sum of $10.5 million united states dollars were transferred/delivering from the APEX bank of Nigeria to the bank of America here in the united states, bearing your name as the beneficiary.

We did not believe this at first until we saw the transfer, then we had no other option than to place the funds on hold until you are able to prove to us that you are not a terrorist or a money launderer, by obtaining what is called a diplomatic immunity seal of transfer certificate from the funds originated country.

Note that we have done a proper investigation on this transaction and from our investigation, this funds truly belongs to you and it is not a scam, but we have instructed the bank of America not to release the $10.5 million to you until you prove the legitimacy of the funds you are about to receive.

As a matter of fact, you will be charged for money laundering and terrorism, if you fail to prove to us that you are not a terrorist or a money launderer by obtaining the above mentioned certificate from the funds originated country, and if you are found guilty as charged, you will go to jail.

You have just only 72 hours to prove to us you are not a terrorist, failure to comply with our instruction, you will be arrested and detained until this matter is settled. Meanwhile we have your full contact address which makes it easier for us to arrest you when ever we want to.

We are going to direct you on how to obtain the required document from the funds originated country in our next email to you, and your $10.5 million will be released to you as soon as the required document is obtained.

Therefore you have been advised to get back to us immediately you receive this email or you will be arrested by the FBI, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

For more information's and quick response, reply back to us through this email address:




Yeah mon! I had a 'fitfull' of laughter when I read this lame thief's attempt, I tell yah.

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Lovely - Obama To Step Up Criticism And Pressure On Egypt's Mubarak

He really is Jimmy Carter on steroids, you know.Just as Carter undercut our ally the Shah in a similar fashion, Prez Zero is looking to destabilize Egypt during a time of unrest - and it will end with the same result, an Islamist regime, only this time run by the Muslim Brotherhood instead of Khomeni and the Ayatollahs.

Obama is simply throwing gasoline on an already burning fire.

That's a stupid move any way you slice it. If Mubarak is overthrown, the new Muslim Brotherhood regime will certainly not be US friendly, just as the Islamic Revolution in Iran gave no props to then-President Carter for his part in undermining the Shah.

And if Mubarak hangs on, Obama has alienated a country who, while not exactly a US ally was at least a client of sorts and not an enemy.

The latest I hear from Egypt is that the security forces have cracked down on the protests heavily, with over 2,500 arrests, including a number of journalists who are being held so that they can't cover the 'uprising' and add fuel to the fire. There have been over a dozen deaths, including one policeman, and Twitter and FaceBook have also been blocked.

According to one of my sources, Mubarak's defense minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi was in Washington briefing the Obama Administration on the crisis and letting them know that the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to take over if the regime falls. He was also trying to get the Obama Administration to oaky an urgent airlift of advanced riot control equipment, and according to my source,he was turned down flat while the matter was 'considered.'

Mubarak has already mobilized the army,with military bases on alert and all leaves canceled. Four armored divisions are reportedly on standby two outside Cairo and two near the towns on the banks of the Suez Canal.

My pal Micheal over at The Political Commentator has a few additional thoughts.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gamal Mubarak Flees Egypt InThe Face Of Widespread Unrest

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's heir apparent Gamal has fled to London with his family in the face of the widespread unrest and riots in Egypt.

The plane with Gamal Mubarak, his wife and daughter on board left for London from an airport in western Cairo, according to the website Akhbar al-Arab. The Arab Herald reported on the same story.

Riots and protests are wide-spread all over the country in what Egypt's anti-govenrment forces are calling a 'Day of Wrath.' The official demands of the protesters are for the Egyptian government to end its 30-year state of emergency, pass a law preventing a president from serving more than two terms, and the resignation of Interior Minister Habib al-Adly.

By leaving, GaMal Mubarak made a huge mistake if he had any intentions of ruling Egypt. It remains to be seen if his octogenarian father
still has the means to bring the country under control, but even if he does Gamal's credibility is gone with the one group who has the major voice in the matter - Egypt's military and security services.

The future will belong to one of two paths in Egypt. Either the army will stand aside as they did in Iran in 1979 and the Muslim Brotherhood opposition will take over and install an Islamist government, or the military will install another strong man to take over from Mubarak.

Time will tell.

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Al-Guardian Hits A New Low - They're Now The Official Mouthpiece For Hamas

Britain's Guardian has been a Left wing anti-Semitic rag for quite some time now, so it certainly shouldn't be a surprise that they now feature op-eds by members of Hamas.

This one, written by Osama Hamdan, head of the Hamas 'international relations' department gets one thing very right. Hamas is the democratically elected voice of the 'Palestinians'. Abbas and the rest of the Fatah mafia were simply a means to funnel cash to the 'Palestinians' and please people like the Saudis without being too overt about backing the underlying murderous intentions.

Now the West is going to have to decide whether their love affair with the 'Palestinians' extends to funding and supporting genocidal terrorists backed by Iran who consider murdering Jewish women and children a holy act.

In Britain at least, I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was that they're just fine with that.

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And For Those Who Need An Additional Penicillin Booster After The SOTU, Here's Michelle Bachmann

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The State Of The Union - "I gave You The Dancing, I Gave You the Disease"

"We need to teach them [school children] that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work." - Barack Hussein Obama, SOTU Speech 2011 *gag!* * cough!*

I watch this stuff so you don't have to. President Obama still thinks we're all stupid, frankly. Here's a brief but accurate summary and translation of last night's State of the Union Speech:

"The recession is over. Happy days are here again thanks to me and the tax cuts I passed..and never mind that I fought them tooth and nail. I was against them before I was for them. And look it all the jobs I created!"

"I'm now Mr. Private Enterprise. This is the country of Edison, which is why I want to outlaw his cheap, efficient light bulb and substitute curly fries light bulbs that have mercury in them and create a biohazard if they're broken. It's for the environment. And I want to shovel millions of government dollars at companies run by my political allies to know, inner-vention, especially all those non-existent green jobs that will use unicorn farts to power our cars and our homes. In fact, I'm going to try to use the EPA to see to it that everyone will have to buy the Volt, or something like it - if they can afford to own a car at all, because I plan to continue to prohibit a huge chunk of domestic oil drilling so gas prices and the price of everything shipped by truck goes sky high. And the high speed rail I'm going to somehow find the money to build on the taxpayer's dime is better for the likes of the peasants anyway."

"In fact, I want to increase government spending to rebuild our infrastructure and help prime the unions so they can kick in to my 2012 campaign fund. Oh, I know, the stimulus was supposed to be for building infrastructure at all those shovel ready projects I told everyone were ready to go...what of it? This time, trust me, there are lots of shovel ready projects out there. Deficit? Hey, we'll find the money wherever, y'know?"

"Oh, those oil companies and big business don't count as free enterprise. They're evil, and I want to use the tax code and federal regulations to stifle them, to penalize them, maybe even take them over. Spread the wealth around and beat that class warfare drum."

"Education is good. I want to see lots of you go on to become good, Democrat voting dues paying NTA members.So forget about any notion of school choice while I'm president."

" And speaking of education, we need to pass the DREAM Act. There are thousands of undocumented Democrat votes at stake,dammit!"

"Mouth off all you want about ObamaCare. What the Democrats in the Senate can't stop I'll veto."

"I want to freeze domestic spending for the next five years, to act like I'm a fiscal conservative. Besides it sounds good in a speech and poll tested well. How that's going to work in view of all the other spending I'm telling you tonight I want to do is not something I'm worried about right now."

"I'm all for Social Security reform since I know it's pretty much bankrupt. As long as we don't actually do anything."

"Oh, and those tax cuts I was bragging about earlier? I want them repealed as soon as possible. Like I said, beat that class warfare drum."

"Me do foreign policy good. Look at my success with Iran, Russia and North Korea, hmm?"

"And look, I'm wearing my flag pin now. I am officially patriotic. Is this a great country or what?'

For those of you who think I'm exaggerating, the full text is here. You're welcome to it if you're a masochist with a strong stomach.

And now, after the dancing and the disease, a nice shot of penicillin, courtesy of Paul Ryan:

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Watcher's Council Nominations - State Of The Union Edition

Ah, he never changes, does he? No, the president hasn't changed a bit..he still thinks everyone's stupid except him.

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

Council News:

This week, The Political Commentator and Liberty's Spirit took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

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

Simply e-mail me a link at with the subject heading ‘Honorable mention’ no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

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

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

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lebanon Spirals Into The Abyss

It's official. Hezbollah has officially taken over Lebanon, and will now administer it as a colony of their Iranian masters. Ex-Prime Minister Said Hariri and the March 14th movement are history.

Druse leader Walid Jumblatt, seeing the writing on the wall threw his support and his votes in parliament behind Syria and Hezbollah, the murderers of his father and of his friend, Rafik al-Hariri in order to ensure his personal survival and that of the Druse.

That meant that Hezbollah could pick whomever they wanted as Prime Minister, and their choice was Najib Mikati. He's been given permission by Hezbollah's hand picked President Michel Suleiman to form a government.

Part of their discussion, I'm sure, was Mikati's pledge to refuse to cooperate with the UN Special Tribunal investigating the murder of Rafik Hariri and other Lebanese political figures and to repudiate its finding when it announces them.

Mikati is a Sunni, because Lebanon's constitution - as of now, anyway - mandates that he be one.
But he will serve without the support in the Sunni community but will be at Hezbollah's beck and call, because they the votes in parliament to put him in, and to throw him out if he fails to do their bidding. And as Mikati knows very well, if he fails to follow orders and by some remote possibility Hezbollah has any problems getting rid of him legally, they will simply murder him as they did Hariri.

This is going to have major implications in the region far beyond Lebanon. To observers in the region, it's obvious that Iran is the strong horse now and US influence in the Middle East is declining.

Hezbollah, Iran and Syria not only got away with defying UN Security Council Resolution 1701 calling for Hezbollah's disarmament, they rearmed Hezbollah right under the UN's nose and moved back into their old strongholds in South Lebanon with the UNFIL peacekeepers doing nothing to stop them.

Hezbollah then used their forces in 2008 to blockade the Lebanese government in Beirut, and assassinated enough parliamentary members of the March 14th movement to enable them to push pro-Hezbollah tool Michel Suleiman into the presidency and claim 11 ministries in Lebanon's government as a legitimate political party.

Through all of this, the West and particularly the US did nothing concrete to stand with the pro-western government of Lebanon or to take action against Syria and Iran for destabilizing the country. On the contrary, the magic words for these murderous regimes were 'engagement'.

That 'engagement' culminated in President Obama's puerile decision to send an ambassador to Syria by recess appointment because the Senate refused to confirm the candidate he wanted or his mission.

If nothing else, that sent a message to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah that they could get away with pretty much anything in Lebanon - so, with the indictments from the UN tribunal imminent, they saw no problem in collapsing Lebanon's government and taking over the country.

While the Obama Administration has made statements to the effect that it would find it 'difficult' to continue aid to Lebanon with a Hezbollah government, it remains to be seen whether they would actually curtail aid, even with Hezbollah dominant.

Lebanon's Sunnis spent today in a 'day of rage', violent protests against Mikati and Hezbollah. It remains to be seen whether they or the Maronite Christians will continue protests or even take things to the point of a renewed civil war. I doubt they would without firm western backing, and since they likely won't get it what's more likely is that the Sunnis will take their cue from the Druse and hunker down, while the Christians will do the same..and continue their exodus out of Lebanon, which was once a Christian majority country.

Another factor, as Michael Totten presciently noted, is Israel.

All of Israel's wars with Lebanon have been waged against terrorist organizations like the PLO or Hezbollah that were not officially part of the Lebanese state, which meant these groups could hide to a certain extent. If another war breaks out with a Hezbollah government in Lebanon, the gloves wil definitely be off.

It will be interesting to see how this play out, to say the least.

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Rahm Back On The Ballot

Per the Illinois Supreme Court, 'until his case is considered'.

Heh! That was quick.

And yes, they're going to hear his appeal. Not only that, but the Illinois Supreme Court said it's not going to accept any new legal briefs or even hear oral arguments on the case.

“This Court is taking the case on the briefs filed by the parties in the appellate court,’’ the Supreme Court’s order reads. “No additional briefs will be filed in the Supreme Court. Oral argument will not be entertained".

Which means they've already pretty much made their decision.

Faggedaboditt. It's Chicago.

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Massive Protests Hit Egypt

Al-Jazeera is reporting on massive protests in Egypt's major cities, calling for reforms and demanding the ouster of octogenarian President Hosni Mubarak and the ruling National Democratic Party.

Downtown Cairo was brought to a standstill with protesters chanting slogans against the police, the interior minister and the government, and further demonstrations were reported in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the Nile Delta cities of Mansura and Tanta and in the southern cities of Aswan and Assiutin.

Egyptian riot police responded with water cannons, riot batons and tear gas and numerous arrests were reported. Official sources say that there were 30 arrests in Cairo alone, but my sources indicate that there were a lot more. Habib el-Adli, the interior minister, has issued orders to "arrest any persons expressing their views illegally".

Interested parties can follow developments on twitter:

Here's the back story.

Hosni Mubarak has been ruling Egypt since the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel.Egypt is a US client state with very little oil wealth, a large and increasingly poverty stricken population - it's the most populous country in the Middle East, has an official unemployment rate of 10% and rising and a per capita household income of $5400.

The chief political opposition comes from the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas.

Mubarak has been attempting to ensure the succession of his son Gawan to leadership,but its an open question whether he'll succeed. Egypt's last parliamentary elections were held at the insistence of George W. Bush at the height of his Arab Democracy fetish,but unlike the 'Palestinians' Mubarak was savvy enough not to go along with the program and game the results before things got out of hand.

If Egypt falls to a popular revolt,(and as in most Arab countries, it all depends on which way the army jumps) expect the following:

1)the Muslim Brotherhood will co-opt it and turn Egypt into an Islamic Republic along the lines of Iran or Gaza.

2)The new regime will be hostile to the US and it's armistice with Israel will be a thing of the past.

3)Jordan's King Abdullah may very well be the next to go, as Jordan becomes what it was supposed to be back when the Brits first created it in 1923 - the Arab Palestinian state, but under Muslim Brotherhood elements rather than the old Fatah mafiosos.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Rahm Emanuel Tossed Off Chicago Mayoral Ballot

In a surprise move, the three-judge Illinois Appellate Court issued a ruling that ex-Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is not eligible to run in Chicago's mayoral election because he doesn't meet the residency requirements.

The Court ruled that Emanuel did not meet the requirements to run because he wasn't actually residing in the city of Chicago for a year prior to the election as municipal law requires, although he had been paying property taxes on his Chicago home while renting it out during his time in Washington. The court defined the word "reside" to mean that the potential candidate has to actually live in the city to qualify for candidacy.

This reversed a lower-court decision that had given Emanuel the OK to run, and it's particularly awkward because Emanuel is the current front runner and has already raised over $10 million for his campaign...much of it from out of state.

The case goes next to the Illinois State Supreme Court on appeal...and the election is set for February 22nd.

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Targeting The New Climate Of Civility

Another original by Joshua's Army member Jesse Comeau!

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'Palestinian' Concessions? Says Who?

The anti-Israel Left is all a-twitter over a document dump that supposedly shows magnanimous concessions by the 'Palestinians' on Jerusalem during their negotiations with disgraced Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

Frankly, who cares what the likes of Mahmoud Abbas or Saeb Erekat claim they offered then on Jerusalem? Based on what they're saying now and how good their word has been in the past, why would the Israelis have any reason to trust them? And why should Israel trust any guarantees along those lines from the so-called International Community?

In 1948, the world stood by and watched as Jews were ethnically cleansed from Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem as well as from the entire Arab world, almost a million of them...after everything but the clothes on their backs was stolen from them. Nobody in the 'international community' gave a damn about them. Most of them were settled in Israel without a penny's help from the UN.

No one in the International Community ever complained about Jordan's 19- year illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or their attempt to colonize it.

And no one gave a damn what happened to the Jewish Holy sites in Jerusalem either. Jews were barred from them, over 28 historic synagogues were destroyed or used for public urinals and historic Jewish gravestones from the Mount of Olives were used to pave the streets.

Now that the Jews have recovered what was rightfully theirs, Jerusalem is one city open to all faiths and that's how it's going to stay. Depend on it.

And as an interesting aside, what Mahmoud Abbas is openly saying now is that what al-Jazeera and al-Guardian were representing as Palestinian concessions were actually the Israeli offer from Olmert! Which of course they rejected.

That's more in line with what Abbas and the 'Palestinians' have always said - no concessions or negotiations on any 'Palestinian' demands and no Jews at all allowed whatsoever in their little reichlet.

Fascinating how so many people on the Left support apartheid and segregation, provided it's confined to Jews.

UPDATE: Melanie Phillips offers her own perceptive analysis of this nonsense here.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Olbermann Hits The Road

Ah, Keith... why now? Why not four years ago?

MSNBC's resident spittle flecked madman has finally left the building.He made a terse statement on his Friday show announcing that it would be his last one, and that was pretty much that.An NBC Universal executive who spoke off record characterized it as a mutual parting of the ways, with Olbermann taking the first step.

What happened according to my sources is the new merger between NBC and ComCast provided a perfect opportunity to do a little housecleaning...and apparently when Keithie asked for a raise on his $7 million per year contract, it provided a good excuse.

Comcast needs to bring up MessNBC's profitability somehow, and one way to do it is cutting costs. They probably saw no reason to pay megabucks to a host that delivered less than half the audience of his cable news competitor, Bill O'Reilly

Olbermouth had already been eliminated from his other NBC gig, on Sunday night football, his MessNBC ratings weren't going to go anywhere and could probably be replicated by fellow Left wing crazy Lawrence O'Donnell, who inherits Olbermouth's 8PM time slot.

Another factor in this was undoubtedly Olbermann's off-air personality. By all accounts he is one of the most unpleasant and difficult people to deal with imaginable, and has burned a number of bridges during his career.

Olbermouth's first major gigs were a three-year stint at CNN, and a few months as sports anchor at Boston's WCVB-TV, both of which he was fired from after antagonizing the management and his fellow on-air personalities.

His next landing was at at ESPN, becoming part of the SportsCenter team. But Olbermann's tenure there was, um, legendary. He made enemies out of a number of ESPN executives and actually subjected on-air colleagues to harangues and criticism to the point where he 'resigned'. When ESPN celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2004, Olbermann was pointedly not invited to the reunion of current and former hosts.And he was personally fired from his next gig at Fox Sports by Rupert Murdoch in 2001.

Now it appears he's repeated the process at MessNBC.

But there might be some behind the scenes dealing going on, and much of it concerns whether Olbermouth quit, was fired, or whether it was mutual.

If NBC bought out his contract, there's typically a 'no compete ' clause that keeps an on-air personality off the air for a given amount of time. On the other hand, if NBC fired Olbermann that clause is typically inoperable.

One of the few places left Keith Olbermann might be able to land a gig is at CNN whose prime-time ratings are beyond awful. Their 8PM slot is filled(if that's the right word) by Parker/Spitzer, whose audience by this point hardly extends beyond their immediate family. The word is that CNN is already looking for a replacement, and even Olbermouth's numbers would be an improvement.

It could very well be that Olbermouth's agent was approached by CNN, and then went to MessNBC asking for more moolah, figuring that if he was turned down he and MessNBC could then negotiate a buyout at a figure that would preclude the 'no compete ' clause becoming operable.

We'll see if that's what happened if Keefie ends up screaming at the cameras from behind a CNN logo in the near future. Meanwhile, here's some of Olbermouth's gratest hits for you...

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FantasyLand - Isn't it Fun To Carve Up A Map Of Israel?

Today's New York Times (where else?) sports the nifty little map above, courtesy of David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Pravda-on-the-Hudson identifies Mr. Makovsky as 'a mild-mannered analyst at a pro-Israel think tank'.

What he was attempting to do here was to show how a new Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza could be created using the pre-1967 boundaries of Israel as a starting point while keeping the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria largely within Israel...or as the Times puts it, reconciling 'the Palestinian demand for sovereignty over the West Bank with the Israeli demand for control over a majority of the settlers.'

“In my view, it is definitely possible to deal with each other’s core demands,” Makovsky said. “There are land swaps that would offset whatever settlements Israel would retain. The impossible is attainable.”

Isn't it pretty?

The Time's editorial comments, by the way, point out a key reason this is pure fantasy.

To begin with, it's not the Israelis who are demanding 'control' over the 'settlers', it's the 'Palestinians' who are demanding that their new reichlet be 100% Jew-free. And therein lies the problem with the pretty map above.

The little fingers of land containing major Jewish communities like Ariel and Ofrat are isolated sitting ducks for terrorist attacks and in the event of hostilities, could easily be cut off and the inhabitants massacred. Does anyone seriously think that the 'moderate' Fatah mafia who can't even abide the idea of a single Jew living among them could be trusted to honor an agreement like this? Not only that, but anyone who knows the topography of the area knows that these borders would sacrifice the high ground to the 'Palestinians'..ideal sites for rocket attacks that could not only devastate the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria but Israel's densely populated central plain.

It gets even more ridiculous. Part of the land swaps Makovsky envisions involve areas adjacent to Gaza,now under Hamas rule. How are these going to be connected to a 'Palestinian' reichlet in Judea and Samaria? And how long would they survive a Hamas takeover?

For that matter, the same question could be asked about the new 'Palestinians' state itself. The unelected Abbas and Selim Fayyad regime are far from popular, and Hamas has considerable support in Jordan and in the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria. The main thing keeping Hamas at bay there right now is the IDF's security apparatus. Once the IDF moves out, the shiny new Fatah army the US spent millions equipping and training under General Keith Dayton is on it's own.

That army didn't even last a day in Gaza, and likely would last about as long in Judea and Samaria once Hamas attacks the Fatah enclave there. What does Israel do then?

Needless to say,neither the Israelis or the 'Palestinians'would entertain anything like what's presented above for a moment - the Israelis because it would be suicidal and the 'Palestinians' because accepting something like this would involve them negotiating their demands and making concessions, which they adamantly refuse to do.

What the Times, David Makovsky and those who think like them don't understand is that the main obstacle to settling the Arab-Israeli conflict isn't 'settlements', borders or Jerusalem. It's the inability of Arabs to live next to Jews in conditions of peace and equality in the areas the Arabs control.

Solve that problem, and the rest of them fall into place. Ignore it and absolutely nothing changes.

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