Sunday, September 30, 2012

Obama Monopoly: Burn An American Embassy, Collect $450 Million!


I'm not kidding in the least.

Just days ago, our Cairo embassy was invaded and sacked by a mob while Egyptian security ttood by and watched. None of the perpetrators have been arrested and Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi took almost a week before issuing a pro forma grudging apology.

None of that matters.  President Obama wants to give his Muslim Brotherhood pals a special jirzyah of nearly half a billion dollars:

The Obama administration notified Congress on Friday that it would provide Egypt's new government an emergency cash infusion of $450 million, but the aid immediately encountered resistance from a prominent lawmaker wary of foreign aid and Egypt’s new course under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The United States Agency for International Development notified Congress of the cash infusion on Friday morning during the pre-election recess, promptly igniting a smoldering debate over foreign aid and the administration’s handling of crises in the Islamic world.

An influential Republican lawmaker, Representative Kay Granger of Texas, immediately announced that she would use her position as chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing foreign aid to block the distribution of the money. She said the American relationship with Egypt “has never been under more scrutiny” than it is in the wake of the election of President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Keep in mind that this is on top of all the aid we already give Egypt's Islamists.

This money is in addition to $1 billion worth of debt forgiveness, a $60 million 'investment fund' for Egyptian businesses that will mostly end up in the regime's pockets or go to well connected family with government granted monopolies, plus US intervention in getting Egypt a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, which is also primarily funded by the American taxpayer. Oh, and let's not forget an additional $1.3 billion in military aid, to help Egypt defend itself from all it's many enemies. Or more accurately, to build up its military for an attack on what Egypt considers its primary enemy, Israel.

Let's hope Rep. Granger sticks to her guns on this one., although the last time this happened President Obama used one of his famous executive orders to override a congressional hold on questionable aid to his Islamist friends.

Actually, we've been down this road before.


President Eisenhower tried it with Egypt's Gamal Abdul Nasser back in the 1950's,  when he likewise tried improving our relations with the Arab world by giving Egypt massive amounts of US economic and even military aid. You may remember, at that time the U.S. was not providing aid to Israel at all.

The idea President Eisenhower had was that he would bribe Egypt and other Middle East countries to keep the Soviets out, keep the Suez Canal open and the oil flowing. The Eisenhower Administration even gave  Nasser $3 million bribe to join a proposed Middle East Defense Organization along the lines of NATO; Nasser took the money, but then refused to join and the whole idea collapsed.

In the end,  Nasser simply played Eisenhower and his secretary of state John Foster Dulles against the Soviets as long as the money held out, and Egypt became a Soviet Client state when Eisenhower finally got tired of Nasser's lies and duplicity and refused to fund the Aswan Dam project.

For that matter, President Carter behaved similarly with Iran's Khomeini, figuring that his help in pressuring the Shah, getting Khomeini  permission to return to Iran with his followers and the promise of massive US aid  were going to buy America a friend. As you know, that did not end well.

Barack Obama isfollowng the same path, just to a more clueless degree. He idealizes Islamists like Mohammed Morsi and Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan and  imagines that by bribing the Islamists and distancing America from its ally Israel, the Islamists are going to turn into  America's friends and end their  idea of a new Caliphate.

As usual, the Islamists will take the infidel's money as long as he's stupid enough to keep handing it out, but in the end, Islam and hatred of the west trump everything else.

The appeasement mentality never really changes - just the names of the players do.

Sgt. Ist Class Speers' Killer Leaves Gitmo

Sergeant Ist Class(SFC) Christopher Speers was an Army medic who was killed in a firefight in Khost Province, Afghanistan when a hand grenade was thrown at him by one Omar Khadr, a fifteeen-year-old Canadian jihadi of Egyptian background.

Ironically, Khadr's life was only saved because SFC Speers' fellow medics treated him.

Khadr, whose father was a top al-Qaeda figure was sent to Guantamano, where aside from providing a fair amount of valuable intelligence  he confessed to killing Speer among other crimes. After Khadr  pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder, providing material support for terrorism, spying and conspiracy, he was sentenced to - wait for it - eight years, with no credit for time served.

Eight years.

As part of the Obama Administration's drive to close Guantamano no matter what, Khadr is now being transferred to his country of citizenship, Canada, where he will serve the rest of his sentence at Millhaven Prison in Bath, Ontario, about 130 miles east of Toronto.

Unlike a number of countries I could mention, the Canadians can be trusted to keep Khadr in jail , at least until his sentence is up in spite of the usual leftist agitation. After he's freed, he'll probably be released and go back to fighting the jihad against the very people who showed him mercy.

On the other hand, SFC Speers and his loved ones received  a life sentence with no chance of parole at the hands of Omar Khadr.

Remember this when you wonder, 'why don't the Muslims respect us?'

California Bans All 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Designed To Change Sexual Orientation


California has set yet another interesting trend.

If you're a young person who discovers you have have homosexual tendencies, decide that's not what you want in life and want to seek counseling or therapy to help you towards eliminating those tendencies, you are now breaking the law. And so is anyone who provides that counseling.

 Governor Jerry Brown, after heavy lobbying from gay activist groups has just signed a bill outlawing any therapy or counseling for minors that attempts "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

While the law  is targeted at mental health professionals, in practice under the new law, SB1172, even a young person seeking counseling from his rabbi, pastor, imam or priest on the matter of trying to give up  homosexuality is banned. That is, unless the cleric's response is to dissuade them from wanting to eschew homosexuality, hand them a rainbow sticker and  tell them to be proud to be gay!

Needless to say,  this isn't the sort of thing Governor Brown and his Democrat cohorts want to bother consulting the voters about.

The supposed rationale behind this law  is that there are supposedly thousands of gay teens being forcibly 'repaired' by religious wackos posing as therapists to give up homosexuality, and that  it may cause the teens psychological damage.

Needless to say, there are no actual figures on this, but I have no doubt that may have happened in a few cases and that gay rights groups have a couple of poster children  this happened to ready and waiting in the wings for the media. But instead of simply allowing the victims to sue the parties responsible and allow a court to decide as prescribed by existing law, the Governor and the California legislature  has decided to  simply take everyone's choice  away, satisfy the gay lobby, and keep those campaign contributions coming in.

One interesting question this raises. The Qu'ran is violently anti-gay, and alone among religious scriptures mandates the death penalty for homosexuals.Is California going to ban the Qu'ran, and legally sanction any imam who preaches or sermonizes on the topic of homosexuality? After all, religious ministry is definitely a form of counseling, and this would simply be a logical extension of this law.

Strange days indeed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Video: Why A Young Jewish Democrat Changed Her Views On Obama

This new, 18-minute mini-documentary follows the journey of Irina, a 23-year-old liberal, Jewish New Yorker who voted for Obama in 2008. Yet as she has learned more about the President's policies across the Middle East and towards Israel in particular, Irina has changed her views dramatically. Definitely worth the watch.

Friday, September 28, 2012

How The West Lets Jihad Stifle it's Freedom

Ace has a superb post on the subject, entitled 'The Normative Power of Law and the Emotional Power of Drama'. It expresses exactly how the west is cooperating in sabotaging its own freedom.

Here's a slice:

Suppose you accidentally click on a link and wind up seeing the raunchiest, most grotesque pornography imaginable.

What do you do?

You probably close the link and perhaps bark at whoever linked you to it.

But do you attempt to have the site shut down?

In all likelihood you do not. And that doesn't mean you approve of the pornography, or even tolerate it.

You don't attempt to have the site shut down, or stir up a rage, because you know it will be futile. The law has spoken on this point; and where the letter of the law hasn't spoken, the actions of thousands of LEO's and politicians have. There will be virtually no action taken against pornography, ever.

So you don't attempt to get the site shut down because the letter of the law, and the actions of those enforcing it, have informed you that it is a situation you'll just have to live with.

The law has become normative. You may not agree with it (or, of course, you might). But you have internalized the teaching of the law, just as a student internalizes the real rules of his school, what he can get away with, what he can't.

The law has taught you what you will have to accept, what you will have to work around, what you will have to teach yourself to ignore and come to peace with.

The law is normative. It establishes our norms.

The law is currently establishing a new norm. Some -- liberals, chiefly, are quick to line up to embrace the new norm.

The new norm is that certain religions -- oh, why be coy with the plural? One religion -- shall have the protection and sanctification of state power.

One religion, and one religion only.

Piss Christ is being shown in New York City again. There are few calls for the exhibit to be banned, and none for the artist to be arrested -- or vigorously investigated to find if there are any breaches in his past to be arrested for.

Because we know the law and the action of government in executing the law would not be responsive. Not even a little bit.

The law is normative. We have learned there is no point protesting Piss Christ, or any thousand "slanders" against the Prophet of Christianity. We have learned that we will just have to live with it, and, if such things offend us, learn to control our tempers, and learn to avoid certain things that might otherwise give us pleasure, like museums.

What norms are the laws currently teaching the most extreme and intolerant members of Islam?
That they must respect other people's rights to engage in free speech? That they must accept that their religion, like any other, is subject to critique, disrespect, and even hate?

No. They are learning that threatening violence, or actually engaging in violence, is not futile at all, but rather achieves the precise goals they seek (a de facto prohibition against Islam or Mohammad, and no other religion).

The law is normative. This is what it is teaching. This is the lesson it is currently filling minds with.
Violence works. Intolerance -- at least intolerance with a brown face -- is justified and even noble.
And Islamic values are superior to American ones. After all, when the two come into conflict, which values win out?
Read the rest here. We have been teaching this lesson to the Muslim world since the formation of OPEC and the takeover of our embassy in Iran, that we can be rolled and will submit to them. Unfortunately, while the Bush Administration certainly did its part to show Islamists there was no penalty for their violence and savagery, the Obama Administration has doubled down on the matter to the point of sheer cravenness. Appeasement of this kind doesn't end violence, it only make an aggressor reach for more. That's the situation we find ourselves in today.

Obama Continues To Align US With Islamists: Joint US-Egypt Naval War Games Scheduled

Here's yet another indication of President Obama's desire to create what he referred to in his own words as 'daylight' between America and Israel while embracing the Islamist regimes.

Never mind that Egypt just sacked our embassy while the Egyptian security personnel  looked the other way, none of the perpetrators were arrested and  and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi didn't even bother to apologize for the incident for almost a week.

Our commander-in -chief has ordered our Navy to begin meeting to schedule war games with Egypt's navy:

Talks are under way between senior Navy officials and their counterparts in Cairo to begin conducting joint war games for the first time since Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi took power earlier this year. 

While bilateral discussions on the naval drills are still being discussed, the exercises would focus on improving Egypt's ability to deal with small boat attacks and general patrol operations of its coastal waters, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told reporters Thursday. 

In the near term, the Pentagon is laying out the conditions with the country's new military leaders to allow American warships to begin docking at Egyptian ports again, Greenert said during a speech at an Association of the U.S. Navy-sponsored event in Washington that same day.

In other words, not only is the US going to continue to supply Egypt with $1.5 billion in military aid, we're going to help train them how to use it.

Now, riddle me this...who is all this training and military aid to the Egyptian military ultimately targeted against? Who does the Islamist regime in Cairo consider to be its main enemy?  For which country has Egypt already set up a scenario for to declare their mutual   peace treaty null and void? When the Egyptian military performs its own war games, what country do they always designate as their enemy, treaty or no treaty?

You win the teddy bear if you guessed 'Israel'. And now you know what President Obama was talking about when he referred to Israel as merely 'one of our closest allies in the region.'.And one whose concern over Iran going nuclear is mere noise to him, an annoyance to be to be ignored.

Now the Islamist regimes like Egypt and Turkey...well, that's something different to this president. Those regimes and their whims and concerns  need to be appeased at all costs.

Which brings to mind another question. How can you call one country 'one of your closest allies in the region' while aligning yourself with it's enemies?

LATMA's Latest..Cutting Edge Israeli Satire!

Ah, Those Polls...The New Campaign Tool

Usually, I limit the attention I pay to polls, because I realize that there's only one that counts, and it happens on Election Day.

But we're seeing a new development here, and it's insidious and worrisome.

Sometimes in past elections, you'd see an outlier poll or three that was obviously skewed. What new this year is that we are seeing an organized attempt to corroborate seriously cooked polls commissioned by the Obama Media with a serious media narrative by those same outlets that keeps working on drumming in the message that Mitt Romney is losing badly and that President Obama is inevitable.

The idea, of course is to dampen Republican voter enthusiasm, fundraising  and turnout.

Aside from oversampling Democrats, the Obama Media polls are getting the results they're getting from overestimating Democrat turnout.Let's examine how this works.

In 2008, the electorate that elected Barack Obama was 39% Democrat, 32% GOP and 29% Independent, a  D+7 electorate. And Barack  Obama defeated McCain by 7 points, the same margin.
In 2004, the electorate was 37% Democrat, 37% Republican, and 26% Independent.. President Bush beat John Kerry by 3 points nationally.

What alomost every Obama Media poll is doing is assuming to get their results is that the  Democrats equal or increase their share of the electorate over 2008, which was their largest in decades. That isn't going to hasppen.

2008 was a special year, with a seriously unpopular lame duck Republican in teh White House, with economic anxiety that was primarily created by the Democrat congress but was manipulated by their friends in the media to cast a taint on the GOP nominee that year, John McCain.

The Democrats had a young, charismatic Barack Obama selling hope n' change to camouflage his non-existent resume, someone who was a mirror for whatever people wanted to see in him.Since he had no real record, he was able to run on promises. And to add to the mix, John McCain was a flawed candidate disliked by much of his own party, ran one of the worst campaigns in living memory and,because McCain opted for public financing while Barack Obama famously broke his word on that subject and went private, McCain was outspent roughly ten to one.

None of these factors exist today. President Obama has a record he needs to run from, the financing is pretty much a level playing field this year, Barack Obama has a muchg tougher candidate to face  and Republican enthusiasm is a lot higher than it was in 2008, with higher percentages of Republicans and independents in the battle ground states and lower percentages of registered Democrats. Recent polls from AP, Politico and the daily tracking polls from Rasmussen and Gallup all figure in what will be a relatively lower turnout of Democrats in 2012 as compared to 2008, and they all  show the race essentially tied. Only those polls showing an electorate with Democrat affiliation equal or greater than 2008  show Obama with any sizable lead.

The proof on the ground  of this is that we're seeing President Obama speaking at smaller venues to smaller crowds than he did in 2008. If he was really pulling away, he be speaking tol arger crowds in bigger venues.

Another factor driving things is that the Obama Campaign spent a massive amount of money on ad buys right after their convention, while the Romney forces held off for the stretch. That may or may not have been a wise strategic decision, but we'll see.

My sense of this is that the country is divided right now, and that there's a great deal of flux in at least 10-15% of the electorate. In spite of the media's best efforts to keep it out of the news, a lot of Americans are waking up to the fact that the country is in dire economic straits and that things are getting worse, not better. And the economy is going to be the main issue of this election.

Mitt Romney has yet to sell  at least a part of the electorate that he is the man to lead us to an economic recovery, and the Obama Campaign's 'look a squirrel' strategy has done a decent job of distracting people from the president's own abysmal record, with the active participation of the ever helpful Obama Media.

However, in the debates, even though they are being hosted primarily by Obama partisans, Governor Romney  will have a chance to talk to the American people unfiltered and President Obama will likewise have to face up to his dismal performance.Americans are going to watch the debates and make up their minds.

One thing you can expect, of course, is that no matter how well Governor Romney actually does in the debates, the Obama media will call it for the president and release new polls showing the president 'won'. Expect skewed exit polls showing President Obama winning handily and early calls of states ala' Florida in 2000 to occur in a final effort to suppress GOP turnout.

Many of these people refer to themselves as journalists when  in fact,they're just campaign operatives.

Most of them have no idea how damaging this is.

Distrust of America's media is at an all time high, and what's even worse in many ways is the fact that a significant part of the media no longer evenmake an effort to hide thei rbias any more.

That's a very dangerous place for a free society to be in.

al-Qaeda Attacks Iraqi Prison, Frees 90 Inmates

In a well coordinated raid, al-Qaeda fighters attacked Tasfirit prison in Tikrit, Iraq, killing a dozen guards and freeing an estimated 90 inmates.

The jihadis attack on the prison started with a suicide car bomb that was detonated outside the gates, followed by an attack with heavy weapons:

Iraqi lawmaker Hakim al-Zamily was quoted in local media as saying that "hardcore" al-Qaeda militants were among those who managed to escape.

Mr. Zamily, who is a member of the parliamentary security committee, said that the escapees seized documents identifying people who had provided information about them to the authorities.

The personal files on the inmates were also destroyed, he said, making it "impossible" to track them down.

In addition, the attackers reportedly took with them a police car and weapons seized from the guards.

It's fairly obvious what's in the future. There have been a number of assaults on Iraqi prisons lately with the goal of freeing Sunni jihadis locked up by the present Shi'ite dominated Iraqi regime.

In spite of our promises to the Awakening Movement, the Sunni tribesmen who fought al Qaeda with us, Iraq's Sunnis have been marginalized and treated as secodn class citizens by the newly ascendent Shi'ites, who are in th eprocess of turning Iraq into an Iranian Shi'ite satellite.

The last election, which was essentially stolen by Maliki and the Shi'ite bloc with the aid of Iranian proxy Moqtada al-Sadr, Sunnis in the military and police have largely been disarmed and dismissed from service, and the Sunni Vice President of Iraq, th ehighestr ranking Sunni in Iraq has fled the country and is under a death sentence by the Maliki regime on trumped up charges

Al-Qaeda's resurgence in Iraq is no accident. They are gearing up for a renewed civil war.

Islamists Win One - NYC Transit To Prohibit Ads That Could 'Incite Violence'


You'll remember that self described 'proud savage' Mona Eltahawy was arrested in New York City for vandalizing an anti-jihad, pro Israel ad in a New York subway station and spray painting a woman who tried to stop her.

Well,  New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority met hurriedly to change its guidelines on advertising and ruled 8-0 that it will henceforth prohibit any advertisements that it “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

In other words, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic ads, or advertisements for New York City's Piss Christ exhibit  are perfectly acceptable, because the MTA feels there's no danger of Jews or Christians rioting or committing violence over them. An ad like the one above that is merely perceived as being critical of Islam by its adherents is going to be banned.

Essentially, New York City's transit authority is rewarding criminal behavior based on its own laws,  cringing into dhimmitude and obeying the sharia guidelines for the anti-blasphemy laws the Islamists world wide are pushing for.

Pam Geller, whose organization is behind the pro-Israel, anti-jihad ads remains optimistic that her ads are not going to be affected.As she writes, if the MTA bans her ads, 'we'll just sue again.'

Stay tuned.

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


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

As the Obama Administration's fairy tale on what happened in Libya and throughout the Muslim world continues to unravel even the normally complicit media seems to be shocked at how amateurish, appeasement minded  and incompetent the regime actually is.

This week's winner, Joshuapundit's Shoot The Messenger - US State Dept Blasts CNN For Revealing Its Misrepresentations On Libya Attack  examines what amounted to a fistfight between CNN and the Obama State Department over information that revealed exactly how deep the security breech was that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya and how literally everything the American people were told by the Obama Administration about the nature of the attack , what caused it, and what actually happened to Ambassador Stevens was a deliberate falsehood. It isn't's a slice:

The Obama State Department is outraged at CNN.

The State Department – in a harsh, detailed statement – is accusing CNN of an “indefensible” invasion of the privacy of Christopher Stevens, the late U.S. ambassador to Libya, after finding his seven-page journal in the consulate where he was killed. CNN fired back by saying that the State Department may be “attacking the messenger” because of “questions about why the State Department didn’t do more to protect Ambassador Stevens.”

So what was in the journal that made the State Department and the Obama Administration so angry?

Simply put,along with everything else we've managed to find out about the Libya attack, it reveals that almost everything we were told by the Obama Administration was an out and out lie designed to cover them for a major security breach and for almost willful negligence in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans.

 Let's start by reviewing what President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the nation when the news of the Libya attack broke. We were told that the riots were 'spontaneous' and occurred because of an obscure video trailer on YouTube. We were told that the Libyan security guards fought the rioters but were overwhelmed, and that the Libyans later carried Ambassador Steven s to a hospital, where they were 'unable to revive him.'

The White House, even as the entire concocted story crumbled, stuck to this narrative at all costs for over a week, until September 19th when Matt Olsen, the Obama Administration's director of the National Counterterrorism Center finally admitted that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Even after that, the White House is still sticking to the 'spontaneous attack caused by the movie' nonsense

The attacks in Libya had nothing to do with any video. They were carefully planned to coincide with 9/11 and in revenge for the drone killing of al-Qaeda operative Abu Yahya al-Libi.

Here's what actually happened. As Ambassador Steven's journal revealed, he was concerned over the Islamist presence in Benghazi, what appeared to be a major security breech and the fact that his name had appeared on an al-Qaeda hit list, as CNN's Anderson Cooper reported.It's impossible to believe that a diplomat like Ambassador Stevens with his experience in this part of the world failed to communicate that to Washington.Proof that he likely did  is that the Benghazi consulate was given a 'health check' prior to 9/11/12,
as the Independent revealed in it's ground breaking story on the attacks a few days after they occurred.

As eyewitnesses reported to both the Independent and CBS News, in spite of what President Obama said, the Libyan guards simply ran away and offered no resistance to the rioters. There was no U.S. security contingent present.

Most of the 40-odd personnel were moved off to a supposed 'safe house' - one that the rioters and al-Qaeda knew all about. Ambassador Stevens got lost on the confusion somehow  was not evacuated, and may have died of smoke asphyxiation. The Libyans did not 'take him to the hospital'. Instead as I surmised earlier, he was paraded through the streets in triumph.
It has surfaced now that his body was sodomized by the mob and mutilated.

This is by no means uncommon or unknown in this culture.
Just ask the Israelis.

In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn with  Bowing To The Mob submitted by Joshuapundit.This is Steyn at the height of his brilliance, as outraged over what the current events in the Muslim world reveal as every American should be. My humble thanks to my pal Terresa at The Noisy Room for sending it my way.

Steyn's piece was by no means the only great Non-Council piece this week. All of the Council and Non-Council pieces will reward your attention, but in the Non-Council category this week I particularly enjoyed and would like to recommend Sultan Knish's Muslim Multiculturalism and Western Post-Nationalism submitted by The Noisy Room,  Michael Totten's Terrorist Veto submitted by The Razor and  Noahpinion's hilarious  EconoTrolls: An Illustrated Bestiary submitted by The Glittering Eye. 

OK, without further ado, here are this week's results. Only The Right Planet and Gay Patriot were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the usual mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Economy Hits Red Lines, And The Media Ignores The Story

There were a number of highly disturbing signs on the economy today. It is simply appalling that the Obama Media is largely embargoing the story.

 For starters, America's gross domestic product (GDP), the market value of all officially recognized goods and services produced during this last quarter shrunk and plummeted into the red zone. Originally predicted to grow by an already anemic 1.7%, the GDP's actualpercentage of growth has been revised down to 1.3%, which means the economy as a whole is actually shrinking.

Another sign of this is that durable goods orders fell by 13.2 percent, the largest drop since January 2009, when the economy was in the throes of a recession.People aren't buying. To translate that into street terms, with a lot less orders, inventories are up and those 'no help wanted signs' are going to stay up.

Economist James Pethokoukis calls this a 'red zone' :

U.S. economic growth is dangerously slow. I’ve frequently written about research from the Fed which finds that since 1947, when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 48% of the time. And when year-over-year real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 70% of the time.

And he's by no means alone in seeing the danger signs.

Citigroup has also taken a shot at determining the stall speed: “Specifically, when U.S. growth has cut below 1½ percent on a rolling four-quarter basis, it has tended to fall by nearly 3 percentage points over the following four quarters, and the economy has typically entered recession.

CNBC's Rick Santinelli sees it the same way:

Actually, these aren't new trends. They're just showing the inherent weakness in the economy that's already there.

If Barack Obama is reelected, the sticker shock of new taxes and the price tag on ObamaCare, higher energy prices  and this president's other initiatives (including the eventual blowback from digitizing money to purchase debt known as quantitative easing) iare going to send large sectors of the private economy into collapse. A lot of those collapsed businesses won't be bailed out, because the money won't be available. Instead, they'll be bought up and eaten by larger fish well connected to the Obama Administration, which has already shown a disturbing predilection for crony capitalism.

The way to grow GDP, of course, is to cut taxes and free up capital for purchases, R &D, new hiring and investment, all of which create economic activity and actually increase revenues when they're taxed.  

But that is most definitely not on this president's agenda.

It will be interesting to see whom a re-elected Presdent Obama blames this as if it happens.And it will be even more interesting to see how the recipients of 'free' phones and 'Obama money' react whenit isn't forthcoming anymore.

Police Bust Ends ‘Free Sex After Nine Car Washes’ Promotion!!


Ah, enterprise takes it on the chin again...

It's a classic business tactic to increase sales. You offer something special to increase customer loyalty and leep 'em coming back.

In this case, you had a car wash that teamed up with a massage parlor to offer a unique proposition - free sex with the tenth wash. Th ecar wash promoted the massage parlor and told its customers abiout the promotion. At the massage parlor end, customers who visited the girls for a massage and and other extra services  received loyalty cards and a referral to the car wash. You have to admit, it's a step up from  "free car wash with oil change'.

For three months, it worked like a charm. But then the police  got suspicious after they found some of the loyalty cards. And then they noticed the some of the same cars repeatedly re-entering the car wash....

So  the cops moved in, raided the massage parlor, arrested nine women  and closed the massage parlor part of the partnership down.  I guess you could say they were a victim of too much success. Or something.

Unfortunately, I have to predict that this particular car wash will now see a decrease in sales.To say the least.

Netanyahu's Speech Today At The UN

Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu spoke today at the United Nations. Most of his speech concerned Iran, it's illegal nuclear program and the danger it poses not just to Israel but to the West.

"At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs and that's by placing a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons program," Netanyahu said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly. "Red lines don't lead to war; red lines prevent war."
"Iran uses diplomatic negotiations to buy time to advance its program," he said. "The international community has tried sanctions, has passed some of strongest sanctions. Oil exports have been curbed, and the Iranian economy has been hit hard. But we must fact the truth that sanctions have not stopped Iran's nuclear drive."
Citing data from the IAEA, Netanyahu said that Iran "doubled its centrifuges last year."
Physically drawing a red line across a diagram of the Iranian bomb, that he held up before the assembly, Netanyahu said that a red line must be placed on Iran's uranium enrichment program: "Then Iran will back down,"

 To PM Netanyahu's thinking, red lines prevent war by giving a clear message to a potential aggressor. Needless to say, that clashes with the President Obama's appeasement mentality. The two men clearly have a very different priority about how urgent the prospect of a nuclear Iran is.

 Speaking of priorities, as you probably know, PM Netanyahu requested a meeting with President Obama and was turned down in favor of campaigning, appearances on David Letterman and the View and of course, golf.However, President Obama graciously agreed to interrupt his busy schedule to take a call from the Israeli Prime Minister is Netanyahu feels like ringing him...but only after PM Netanyahu first talked to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As I said, different priorities.

This comes only a day after Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again said that Israel should be 'eliminated'.

"I'm Votin' Obama! He Gave Me A Phone!"

Um, yeah..Mitt Romney didn't know what he was talking about when he said people who are dependent on government for their goodies will vote for Obama regardless.."more food stamps, more ben-e-fitz.."

Of course, what none of these people are bothering to think about is where President Obama is getting the money. And it isn't from 'his personal stash.'

What happens if Barack Obama gets re-elected,  we become Greece and the freebies these people are accustomed to are no longer either affordable or available?

 (ht, Jammie Wearin' Fool)

'Liberal' Media Talking Head Arrested in NYC For Defacing Anti-Jihad Ads

Whenever CNN and MSNBC want to drag out a self-proclaimed moderate Muslim to try and disguise what the Arab Spring actually is, a frequent choice is Mona Eltahawy, 45, an Egyptian-born Muslim columnist and pundit who now lives here in America.

 She made the news today by getting arrested for defacing what she referred to as an 'anti-Muslim' ad now posted in New York City subways, thanks to the legal efforts of Pam Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs. Here's the ad:

Ms. Eltahawy took exception to the ad,( which, you'll notice, does not mention Islam at all) She tweeted as follows, grabbed some paint and went out to find a sign to deface.


You can see for yourself what occurred next.As she began defacing the ad, one Pamela Hall, who apparently supports the ads tried to stop her.

“Do you have a right to do this?” demanded Hall. “I do actually,” replied Eltahawy. “I think this is freedom of expression, just as this [the ad] is freedom of expression.”

Hall tried to physically block Eltahawy, who shot bursts of paint around her. “If you don’t want paint, you should get out of my way,” Eltahawy said and then sprayed Hall. Eltahawy was then arrested by a NYPD officer and an MTA cop, who put the cuffs on her and led her away. She's been charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument, all misdemeanor crimes in New York City. Ms. Hall has also said she's going to press assault charges against Eltahawy.

 This is pitiable on a number of levels.

 Mona Eltahawy is no jihadist or Islamist.She could best be described by as a fairly clueless left winger. Yet, she's doing exactly what the Islamists want...trying to demonize anything that could be construed as criticism of Islam, and no other faith.I don't recall seeing her protesting the show 'The Book of Mormon' or defacing those ads, and believe me, that show is equally offensive to a lot of members of the Latter Day Saints.They just aren't murdering people or bombing buildings over it.

Mona Eltahawy's bread and butter for the last two years or so has been to be the U.S. apologist for an idealized version of the Arab Spring, particularly in Egypt,  when liberty, liberalism and democracy were supposed to triumph.Unfortunately, as we now know, Islam, which doesn't  have much if any regard for  these characteristics won out instead. I can recall when Ms. Eltahawy was on CNN telling America and the world that the Egyptian people weren't going to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to 'steal their revolution'. Unfortunately, she still appears to remain clueless that not only did the majority of Egyptians allow it, they really, really liked the idea.

It's an amazing bit of cognitive dissonance for someone like Mona Eltahawy  to refer to herself as a 'proud savage' and take a pro-jihad stance, but that's exactly what she's done.

As for the free expression argument she used as her excuse for toeing the Islamist line, I wonder - if defacing an anti-Jihad ad as 'hate speech' is her idea of free expression, what would she think about someone  spray painting a number of pages in the Qu'ran that are a lot more explicit  than the ad she attacked when it comes to expressing out and out hatred. misogyny  and racism?

I have a feeling she might have different rules of what free expression is allowed  in that particular instance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This Week's Watchers Council Nominations - Atonement Edition


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

This week's contest is dedicated to the spirit of true atonement and redemption for all men and women of good will. For those of you whom celebrate that virtue tonight, gmar hatima tovah. 

Council News:

This week, Right Truth, Ask Marion, The Pirates Cove and Against All Enemies took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some great articles they sent in.

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

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then just return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it appears Wednesday morning.

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

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

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

Hamas Loses Its Leader, But The Anti-Jewish Jihad Remains

Ah, transitions....

The head of the Hamas Politbureau and its' de facto leader Khalid Meshaal has decided to step down, giving Hamas the opportunity to choose its first new leader in 15 years.Leader of the Hamas politbureau since 1996, he took over full leadership of Hamas after the former Hamas ruler of Gaza, co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi had a terrible accident in 2004 involving a car, a burka clad woman not his wife and an Israeli Hellfire missile. Well, mostly the car and the missile.


In a press release, the organization clarified that Meshaal stepping down will not alter  it's worldwide jihad against Jews and Israel. That  is still very much on the agenda.

Now, did  Meshaal jump, or was he pushed? According to one of my notorious Lil' Birdies, it was a bit of both.

Meshaal's influence has steadily waned since Syria exploded and he was forced to abandon his Damascus HQ by the Assad regime after he refused to provide Hamas fighters to suppress his fellow Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Islamists. Unlike Hezbollah, who are  Shi'ites and were more than willing to send troops from Lebanon across the border, Meshaal was unable to convince Hamas to get with the program.

Word has it that Meshaal, who was instrumental in getting backing for Hamas from Syria and Iran is now pretty much persona non grata in Tehran at this point. And as such, a lot of his usefulness was at an end to Hamas as well.

Meshaal now hangs out in Islamist friendly Qatar, where's he's been since he was ousted from Damascus. He'll likely live out his days there, living off the money he squirreled away during his days as Hamas' leader like an aging Mafia Don retiring to a villa in the Old Country. From Meshaal's point of view, I'm sure it beats the way al-Rantissi was retired!

Top candidate to succeed him as head of Hamas? Probably Ismail Haniyeh, the de facto head of the Hamas reichlet in Gaza.

If Haniyeh takes over, it might accelerate the integration of Hamas and Fatah and the eventual takeover of the Arab occupied areas of Judea and Samaria, since Fatah leader  Abbas wants out and Haniyeh's relationship with Abbas is a bit better than Meshaal's was.

In the end of course, the real difference between Fatah and Hamas is just a matter of image and packaging. They both have the same agenda.

Insanity: U.S. Turns Over Custody Of Thousands Of Taliban Fighters To Afghans

 U.S. forces have turned over control of Bagram Prison and about 3,000 Taliban inmates to the Afghan government, in the midst of record levels of what are called green on blue killings - the murder of American troops by Afghan soldiers or police they have been training.

Bagram is the U.S. military's main military prison in Afghanistan.

“We have a serious trust problem with the Afghan security forces, as evidenced by the escalating ‘green on blue’ shootings,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and an Army contractor. “Turn[ing] over Afghan prison keys to these same people will only make matters worse and cost more American lives.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai celebrated the transfer as a victory for his country’s sovereignty and a step toward a planned NATO troop withdrawal by the end of 2014.

“Now, the Bagram prison is converted to one of Afghanistan’s regular prisons, where the innocents will be freed and the rest of the prisoners will be sentenced according to the laws of Afghanistan,” Mr. Karzai said.{..}

The mistrust on detention issues was evident at the transfer ceremony Monday.

The Afghan government dispatched its defense minister and armed forces chief of staff. The U.S. command sent an Army colonel as its senior representative, the Associated Press reported.

The AP said there are 2,000 Afghan police officers at the prison, and it quoted one of them, Ashna Gul.

“We are Afghan, and they are Afghan. They are Muslim. We are Muslim,” Mr. Gul said. “We can see each other through the steel windows. Sometimes we are laughing and joking with the prisoners and they are happy with our guys.”

I'll just bet they are. Since they're going to be tried (if that) under what passes for law in Afghanistan, shooting at a ferenghi is no big deal and most of them will be out soon, to kill again. Some of the Afghan police who want to be especially helpful might even see to it that the Taliban insurgents get American-provided arms and Afghan uniforms as they leave.

As a matter of fact, there are already signs that the Afghan government is prepared to ignore the agreement with the U.S.under which the prisoners are being transferred and simply set most of them as soon as possible.

It's worth briefly revisiting how this transfer came about. In March of this year, some U.S. guards at Bagram caught the Taliban prisoners using the Qu'rans provided to them at U.S. taxpayer expense to send secret messages to each other and to the outside, and confiscated them. The books were subsequently burned, and reportedly five American soldiers were involved.

The Afghan reaction was typical for the Muslim world - hysterical rage, and violence directed at people who weren't even involved.

At least four American soldiers were murdered, two of them American officers murdered inside the Interior Ministry building in a highly secured area by an Afghan security officer, and two other American soldiers were shot to death by a member of the Afghan Army at a base in eastern Afghanistan. A number of others, both military and civilian UN and NATO personnel were injured, and an even larger death toll was avoided when an Afghan cook at Bagram Air Force base was caught attempting to poison food scheduled to be served to American personnel at the base.

After a successful car bombing in front of Jalalabad airport that killed nine and injured nineteen Afghan civilians and law enforcement officers and four NATO soldiers (Jalalabad is used exclusively by NATO forces and the military) NATO Commander General John Allen ordered all NATO military and civilian personnel to leave the Interior ministry and a number of other strategic locations in Kabul and go into what amounts to virtual lockdown. And of course, both General Allen and of course, President Barack Hussein Obama promptly issued groveling apologies.

The apologies did nothing except to inflame the Muslim mindset. In that honor/shame culture, apologies are regarded as an admission of weakness, and Hamid Kharzai never apologized or expressed any regret whatsoever for the Americans who were murdered.

What Kharzai did instead was to use the cringing dhimmitude of the Americans to his advantage. He demanded sufficient baksheesh to grease the wheels, and control of Bagram Prison and its inmates, which will give him some major bargaining chips to use with the Taliban as prisoners are released in exchange for Kharzhai's own survival and ultimately, his escape along with all the aid money he's squirreled away.

At this point, the murder of Americans by their Afghan 'allies' - often with arms we've given them is so widespread and out of control that all joint training missions have been suspended.

Obama At The UN:'The Future Must Not Belong To Those Who Slander The Prophet Of Islam'...


President Obama addressed The UN today. He has met with no foreign leaders at all, so this speech is virtually the only diplomatic activity he's been involved in lately as he concentrates on campaign appearances and fund raisers.

His speech itself was, well, pathetic and you can expect the Obama media to gloss over most of it.

While the president managed a pro forma condemnation of violence in the Middle East, at no time did he mention Islamic radicalism as the cause. spite of his own administration belatedly admitting after over a week of misrepresentation that the violence  in Benghazi that resulted in the death and mutilation of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens was a terrorist attack, it was all about The Movie. Not once did he even mention terrorism.

The president is sticking to that execrable narrative, and by doing so, he's essentially offering the Islamists and Salafists an out, essentially saying, 'we condemn the violence, but we understand why it's natural that Muslims would act that way. Just so you know, our government had nothing to do with that movie, and we apologize and  condemn that too, but what can we do? It's that pesky Constitution.'

Not only that, but the Obama Administration's insistence that a poorly put together YouTube trailer for a film hardly anyone in the Muslim world had even heard about has served to give 'The innocence of Muslims' a lot of publicity it never warranted, providing  the imams and mullahs fresh fuel to whip up the mobs with and exacerbated the violence.

The Islamist's answer, led by the president's good friend Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist leader of Turkey is a renewed push to criminalize any criticism of Islam in international law.

The president  decided to try and channel Gandhi, with all the depth of one of those 'coexist' stickers you see on a Prius or SUV in San Francisco, Manhattan, or some other left leaning enclave:

The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted “Muslims, Christians, we are one.” The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons. The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources – it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs; workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the men and women that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support.

I suppose that's why President Obama has provided so much support for Islamists, known for their tolerance towards Jews, uppity women, gays and Christians! Actually, in another part of his speech the president signaled to Islamists that their brand of sharia fueled 'democracy' is still going to get jirzya from the American please don't hate us!:
“The events of the last two weeks speak to the need for all of us to address honestly the tensions between the West and an Arab World moving to democracy,” he said. “Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not, and will not, seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad, and we do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue.
Of course, addressing things honestly, as the president put it, would  involve a severe reality check and looking at what the Islamists actually stand for. Needless to say, that isn't going to happen.

Even by President Obama's standards, this was weak and self abasing, and that is a remarkably low bar. It's quite obvious from his demeanor  that it was a disagreeable chore  he wanted to get out of the way, so he could go back to his preferred activities of campaigning, hobnobbing with celebrities and golf.

The Pentagon's Solution To Afghan Murders Of Americans? Blame Our Troops!


The situation in Afghanistan continues to go from bad to worse.

The myth Americans  were told about Afghanistan by the Obama Administration is that the increased troop presence would be necessary to keep the Taliban away while we, at huge expense, trained Afghan police and troops and embarked on yet another farcical joyride of nation building.

Except President Obama handicapped our forces with ridiculous rules of engagement and a set in stone withdrawal date that ensured that the Taliban would just wait us out, and that the other Afghans would hedge their bets knowing in advance when we were on the way out.The Obama Administration also made sure our military commanders went out of their way to order our troops to conduct themselves with appeasement and political correctness in mind.

The results were predictable.  Almost everything our warriors accomplished with heroic operations like Operation Mountain Thrust has been undone.

 Our supposed 'allies' the Afghan security forces,  are murdering American troops. Thirty-three soldiers have been killed by “green on blue” attacks this year alone. The situation is so bad that the training of Afghan forces has been  suspended.Even Bagram prison, our main military holding area for Taliban killers has been turned over to Afghan control, which means most of them will be back waging jihad again shortly.

The Pentagon's response tells volumes about  about what's going on in Afghanistan. The murders of our troops in Afghanistan? Hey, it's their own fault. Because our troops don't sufficiently bow down to Sharia or 7th century Islamic norms of behavior.

According to President Obama's head of the JCS, General Martin Dempsey, a lot of these murders are due to what he calls "cultural affronts' on our part.

So our troops are being put through heavy  'Muslim sensitivity ' training, with heavy penalties for  infractions. The orders include:

* Wear surgical gloves whenever handling a copy of the Koran.
* Never walk in front of a praying Muslim.
* Never show the bottom of boots while sitting or lying across from a Muslim, which in Islam is considered an insult.
* Never share photos of wives or daughters.
* Never smoke or eat in front of Muslims during the monthlong Ramadan fasting.
* Avoid winking, cursing or nose-blowing in the presence of Muslims — all viewed as insults in Islam.
* Avoid exiting the shower without a towel.
* Avoid offering and accepting things with the left hand, which in Islam is reserved for bodily hygiene and considered unclean.

Yes, show the bottoms of your feet to a Muslim or blow your nose in front of him and it's perfectly understandable  if he murders you. You had it coming!

What's going on here, of course, is a simple failure to process reality by people like General Dempsey and our commander in chief.

The Afghans aren't killing our troops with the very weapons we've given them because somebody winked or offered someone a pack of cigarettes with their left hand. They're killing them because they consider us infidels, have no respect for us, and want to be able to prove their bonifides to the Taliban as jihadis once we leave.

It wasn't always that way.  Here's something I've heard from virtually everyone I've talked to that has served in Afghanistan. In the very beginning the Afghans saw us defeating the Taliban left and right and actually holding territory. Once they saw that we weren't like the Russians, some of them were prepared to serve with us on our terms,  and were actually decent, trustworthy soldiers.

At that point, we could have made separate deals with the local Pashtun tribal chiefs to buy their opium, give them a monthly stipend and a few arms to protect themselves. For a lot of them it might have been a better deal than paying taxes to the Taliban and taking whatever price the Taliban offered them to buy their  crop and take it across the border to Pakistan for processing.

Instead, we became committed to trying to turn Afghanistan into Belgium. We cobbled together a central government most Afghans thought of as removed and corrupt, concentrated on building a huge standing Afghan army and police, changed our tactics to be more in line with an emphasis on political correctness and hearts and minds and hunkered down for a war of attrition that settled nothing,

Once President Obama got his hands on Afghanistan, changed our rules of engagement and announced a written in stone departure date ( his words) things regressed fairly quickly to where they are now.The Afghan troops we were recruiting changed remarkably by all accounts. The majority are reluctant to follow orders, shirk actual combat whenever they can, and are noted for thieving, corruption and actual betrayal.At this point, they realize there are essentially no consequences from us for this behavior.

The Afghans have an old fashioned view of war. You either win, or you lose, and terms like 'exit strategy' aren't part of their vocabulary. They see us as losing, the Taliban as winning and any respect they once had for us is mostly gone.And forcing our troops to go through 'Muslim sensitivity training' isn't going to do anything to change that..

They can't wait for us to leave so they can settle things in their accustomed style and go back to the 7th century norms they enjoy so well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Uh Oh!! Elizabeth Warren Caught Practicing Law Without A License!

 Elizabeth Warren

Fake-a-hontas may be in heap big trouble.

Professor Bill Jacobsen over at Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion has the scoop. It appears that Princess Dances-With -Socialism was practicing law in Massachusetts without being licensed to do so! Not only did she violate Massachusetts law, but she had the gall to use her taxpayer provided Harvard office as her law office! Here's the statute, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 221, Section 46A: Section 46A. No individual, other than a member, in good standing, of the bar of this commonwealth shall practice law, or, by word, sign, letter, advertisement or otherwise, hold himself out as authorized, entitled, competent, qualified or able to practice law; provided, that a member of the bar, in good standing, of any other state may appear, by permission of the court, as attorney or counselor, in any case pending therein, if such other state grants like privileges to members of the bar, in good standing, of this commonwealth. I won't get into Professor Bill's fine work further, except to say that he has her dead to rights and you should visit the link for the gory details.

Whether the Attorney General  of Massachusetts is going to prosecute a Democrat candidate for senate is of course another question.
GOP incumbent Senator Scott Brown touched on this when he hammered Warren in the latest debate for representing Traveler's Insurance against asbestos victims, something she received a fee of $212,000 for.



Warren attempted to lie her way out of it, but the paper she cites, the Boston Globe, actually backs up Brown's account. And apparently she represented Travelers while not being legally entitled to do so.

This is Massachusetts so anything could happen, but I have a feeling this serial prevaricator is too devious and slimy even for them. We'll see in November

Watcher's Forum: How would you change the role teachers unions play in public education?

 Every week on Monday morning , the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day. This week's question: How would you change the role teachers unions play in public education?

 The Noisy Room: Overlooking the fact that a US Federal Department of Education is not enumerated among the federal government's powers and is therefore in and of itself unconstitutional -- overlooking that -- let us presume that a public education system has any validity to begin with. With that as a foundational premise the purpose of teachers is ostensibly to teach. To convey knowledge to new generations, where knowledge is presumed to be factual and truthful. Therefore, a union of teachers that does not acknowledge the mission of teaching as part of its foundational premise applies a vector not parallel to the mission of teaching. Thus, the role of unions, aside from providing for such mundane things such as insurance and training and best practices (the way a guild might be presumed to work), any such union should strive to improve the level of professionalism and quality of product among teachers as a point of professional pride after the fashion of a guild or other professional association.

Political alignments should be entirely out of scope. We hear the never-ending refrain of teachers as professionals. It's time they took the professional moniker seriously and transformed the unions into a professional association, such as those associations whose memberships include engineers, scientists and physicians. The unions should become a standards institution, not a bully pulpit.

This is primarily a state's issue, but whether done at the state level or the federal level, whether one belongs to a union or not should be strictly voluntary with no form of repercussions or punishment attached. Currently, in a number of states, teachers are forced to join the union and that should be stopped. And in a number of other states, they are forced to pay dues whether they belong to the union or not. This is in itself constitutes extortion.

In all other professional fields, competition has helped refine and polish the quality of service, the level of professional standards and the state of the art generally. As long as teaching is a public (bureaucratic) endeavor, competition doesn't exist in any meaningful form. There is no incentive to improve standards or state of the art and teaching as a science stagnates. Consequently, in the interests of improving teaching as a practice, its role as a public sector entity should be eliminated. It should be returned to the private sector and teaching institutions should be made to strive for excellence in a competitive environment.

 The Independent Sentinel:
The collective bargaining process sets up a corrupt relationship between unions and politicians. For this reason, automatic withdrawal of union dues needs to be stopped. 

Tenure should be renewable. 

Teacher evaluations should be based on some quantitative performance measures.

Unions do not represent children. One teacher union president  told me the job of the union is not to worry about children, it's to worry about teachers. Unions think schools exist for them, not children.
 JoshuaPundit: I see the problem of unions in public education as a seminal one. It is not only a matter of political bias in many states ( and anyone who doubts that should just take a look at your local college campus or the sort of people who make up a large chunk of the Chicago teacher's union)   but  cultural bias, even coming down to the way young boys and girls are socialized. 
The unions can't be banned because of the First Amendment, but their power and stranglehold on public education could be reduced a great deal with a few fairly simple reforms at the federal level.

While the Federal Government should never have gotten involved in public education, since it is, it's an opportunity for lemons to be turned into lemonade and the largely superfluous Federal Department of Education to do something useful, for once. The money's the key.

The Federal Government could very easily promote a nationwide voucher program, thus allowing parents to vote with their feet. This would be particularly popular with minority parents, who at last would be able to take advantage of decent private schools. 
When it comes to public school teachers and unions, The Department of Education could even put in place a de facto ban on non-voluntary  union dues deductions for political purposes, They could even come up with a standard, non-biased curriculum and texts as well uniform standards for teacher evaluation and get them adopted even in the most Blue, union ruled states.. The method is simple...any school district not conforming to  Federal standards and practices  in these matters would simply not receive any federal funds for education whatsoever.

If you think this is impractical, all you need to remember is how President Clinton forced the 50 states to all conform to his  much tougher .08% blood-alcohol standard for drunk driving. He did it by simply threatening to withhold federal highway funds from any state that failed to comply. The Federal government did the same thing in 1974 to enforce a national 55 MPH speed limit.
 Rhymes With Right:I come at this one from the perspective of a teacher in the great state of Texas, which is a right-to-work state. I am also the building rep for one of four teacher organizations that operates in my district, one which explicitly declares itself to not be a union. I therefore look at this particular question with great interest.

First, I'm opposed to banning teacher unions, even though I have made a point of not joining one -- even to the point of having moved from a state where union dues are compulsory. Why do I oppose the the solution that so many opponents of teachers unions call for? Easy -- the First Amendment 's guarantee of freedom of association obviously allows for teachers, like every other group of Americans, to form organizations. What needs to happen, though, is for the courts and Congress to recognize that compulsory union membership in the public sector is improper -- and that any requirement that teachers (or other public employees) give any portion of their salary to an organization as a condition of continuing their employment is corrupt on its face. That those dues are used for political purposes makes that compulsion no different than the old practice of "the lug" in which public employees were compelled to donate to the party and favored candidates of the reigning regime as a condition of maintaining public employment. No private organization should have any claim on a portion of the paycheck of teachers or other public employees as a condition of those individuals being allowed to work for the government which they support with their taxes. And if unions are to be allowed to extract mandatory dues from teachers, then those unions should be prohibited from directing even a single dollar to any political purpose, either directly or indirectly -- all dues money collected must be spent only on negotiating contracts and dealing with teacher grievances, which is the putative reason that the unions were initially granted the privilege of collecting mandatory dues in the first place..

A second change I would make with regards to teacher unions is doing away with notion of union monopolies and instead allowing for a competitive system like we have here in Texas. Believe it or not, the four organizations that operate in my district actually compete for membership! Teachers have a choice of joining one of them, switching organizations year to year, or remaining independent of all of them. The result is that multiple views are heard and the organizations hustle for members each year -- and also lobby aggressively on both the district and state level for changes that their members see as beneficial to their members. The diversity of views means that good ideas get brought forward and adopted -- indeed, about five years ago my organization suggested a change to state law based upon a situation at my school that I brought to my organization's attention. The result was a law that was good for both schools and teachers. When teachers have choices of organizations, their voices can be heard over the voices of the union oligarchs. Of course, this does require going to a right-to-work system -- something that may not happen easily in some parts of the country.
 Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
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