Friday, November 15, 2013

This Weeks' Watcher's Council Results


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

But before we get to that, we have some important business to take care of..likely celebrating our compadre Tom White of VA Right's birthday!

Aside from his prodigious writing talents featured on one of Virginia's top blogs (which includes some pretty good songs and musicianship by the way as well as his writing),Tom has many of the qualities that makes a great friend..a great sense of humor, clear insight and the rare quality of being there when you need him. He's always there to share his IT expertise and help out someone in the Council with a techie problem, and he's someone I can always rely on to give me an honest and common sense answer whenever I've asked his advice. Ever since he joined our posse, I've always felt like I've known him for years, which might seem odd to some people since we've never met in person yet, (although we've yakked on the phone) but that's just how it is.

We have carrot cake today with chocolate pralines ( be sure and take a hunk home for Mrs.Tom,OK?)

To go with the cake, in honor of the Old Dominion we have a nice couple of bottles of Williamsburg Winery's 2011 Vintage Reserve Chardonay to share around. Yes, I'm told by reliable sources that they actually make good wine in Virginia.

For those of you who prefer grain to grape...some wondrous Virginia moonshine, made by men who despise both the revenooers and the idea of turning good corn into ethanol and go their own way. Pure heaven, and dandy for the sinuses:

And I arranged for a special express delivery to get it here on time:

One of the best parts of being involved in the blogosphere isn't the fame and huge amounts of money involved,but the great people you meet. Tom is definitely one of them. Have an absolutely wonderful birthday my friend..many more

OK, down those shots and let's look at this weeks results...

Last week in Geneva, the permanent members of the UN Security Council met with the Iranians on their illegal nuclear program . We heard a number of versions of what happened, especially from our Secretary of State John Kerry, who assured us that a wonderful deal was all ready to be signed, but..

This week's winner, Joshuapundit's  What No One's telling You About Iran's Big Victory In Geneva  is the real story of what actually happened inGeneva, why the French opposed the deal, and why it ended up as a huge victory for Iran for reasons that are simply not being reported here in the West, probably because a lot of Americans would be shocked at what went down. Here's a slice:

What exactly happened in Geneva?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's tells us that the Iranians 'walked away' from the impending deal:

According to Mr Kerry the P5+1 group, representing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, were united when the proposed deal was presented to the Iranian negotiating team on Saturday.

“But Iran couldn't take it, at that particular moment they weren't able to accept," Mr Kerry said.

Our hope is that in the next months we can find an agreement that meets everyone's standards.”

I thought that Secretary Kerry spoke fluent French,but somehow it seems he's lost the ability.French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was fairly and publicly open about France's opposition to the Iran deal, and the French refused to sign on. What France wanted was the Iranians agreeing to halt work on their Arak heavy water reactor, which can produce plutonium and has no peaceful application. The French also insisted that the Iranians 'downblend' their stockpile of 20% uranium to 5%, which could still be used for nuclear fuel but was much further away from weaponization. The French also wanted the Iranians to cease enrichment during the talks, as well as the inclusion of far better plans for verifying Iranian compliance.

France's motivation for opposing the proposed deal was their country's own self interest,nothing more.

France has always had major trade and diplomatic interests in the Arab world, and they aspire to a larger role in the region, especially since the U.S. is retreating. And France has particularly close trade and security relationships with to Sunni Arab countries in the Middle East that oppose Iranian domination and a Shi'ite nuclear power. Saudi Arabia, for example, is the Middle East’s foremost buyer of French arms. Last August, the French signed a €1 billion ($1.34 billion) defense contract with Saudi Arabia, which included overhaul work on four frigates and two refueling ships in the Saudi navy, and the French reportedly have arms sales contracts with other Sunni countries in the GCE and throughout the region.At the same time the Saudis and others are investing heavily in France's farming, food and industrial sectors. Given France's economy, all this represents a substantial and important financial interest for the French. And in terms of their influence, a nuclear armed Shi'ite Iran undermines France's long standing Mediterranean Union' project with the Arab world. This explains why the French have consistently been fairly tough on Iran in general.

France's stance on Iran is also affected by domestic politics. Almost all of France's Muslims - whom voted for the ruling Socialists and Hollande by a 90% margin or so - are Sunni and fear Iran's dominance over Islam.

And while the French could hardly be said to be Israel's best friend, France and Israel have substantial trade relations as well as a number of French nationals who hold dual French-Israeli citizenship, which added up to one more reason for the French.

So when Secretary Kerry says that the P5+1 group were united....we can only assume something got lost in translation.

The real story is the huge victory in Geneva the Iranians walked away with that no one's reporting on.

You see, the Iranians have their own version of what went on in Geneva. As the Iranian government organ Fars reports, the Iranians consider what happened in Geneva as a huge win, and an important development. I can certainly see why.

More at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn with  The Drift Towards Depotism  submitted by Liberty's Spirit. It's Steyn at his best looking at certain disturbing trends in our Republic and  the reality of Barack Obama's presidency.. Do read it.

OK, OK, here are this week’s full results. Only Rhymes With Right was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by th e2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget 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 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!


Anonymous said...

oo, oo, Mr Kotter ! This is off-subject, but I have always wanted to ascertain Joshuapundit's ( Mr Miller's ) opinions re the 1963 Kennedy assassination.

Do you believe : 1) Oswald was alone & there no conspiracy with that evil man ? ( whilst not necessarily endorsing all aspects & conclusions of the Warren Report ) ; or 2) ( at the other end of the spectrum of theories, ) that O was completely innocent & was set up as a ' patsy ' ? ; or 3) O + a conspiracy ? ( please elaborate, if you tick this box ) ; or the very rarely proposed 4) O was guilty & was not part of a conspiracy, but there was a 2d independent shooter at Dealy Plaza ?

Since the mid-1960s, I have generally believed in # 4 . The efforts to remove Oswald from the building & exculpate him are very unconvincing to me ; however, the Spectre single-bullet theory never convinced me, either. Applying Occam's maxim of ' entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem , viz, don't multiply theoretical entanglements beyond necessity, &, recalling that the motorcade path was published on la Une, the 1st page, the front page of the previous day's Dallas paper, I have often conjectured that the grassy knoll might be part of the explanation. Possibly, perhaps, maybe, a Dallas native. Eg, who was the fake Secret Service agent encountered by the Dallas cop ? ( no real Secret Service agent was there ) Another shooter ? Or just someone with access to a good counterfeiting operation passing through town & trying to pick up some Dallas girls for a couple of nights whilst there ? ( & having the good sense to remain silent for ever on the subject thereafter )

I'm willing to listen to any theory which is not TOO farfetched, ie, involving half of the Dallas police force ! About 40 years ago, I sat down 1 rainy week & read carefully about 400 pages of the Warren Commission's report & had read a few of the books in that era. It was possible for me to keep up a conversation in that era re this, but I have not followed it at all since. Wished to get your views last year & 2 years ago, but the Wikileaks' leader's followers' internet jamming & early Thanksgiving rush & resultant internet mess kept me thwarted & obstructed me for one year & business stymied me during another.

Anonymous said...

ps, forgot to sign, ... [ checking through a very battered note-book with barely legible scrawls ] ... dinosaur, or dragon/dinosaur !

I was alive at the time, & that day, & the preceding Cuban Missile crisis period, had to be be the scariest of all. I had no fluency in spoken English, having switched from an American Indian language to French &, then, only recently, to English. No telly. Just listening to radio. Was sick, ill, that day at home, in new house. No-one else was there for 2 hours. Could not tune in Quebec French stations of former, old house for news' explanation. Had to decipher new language, viz, English, having learnt it from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes & ' ' Fall Of Roman Empire ' , & from Father, a native Anglophone ( ie, English-speaker ) . ( Mum was Indian language & Francophone, ie, French-speaker. New England & far NE US were once linguistically divided. ) This was scarier than 2001 : one thought nuclear war might be in the offing !

--Ciao !

Rob said...

Hello DD!
Comment ca va?

Actually, I believe none of the above choices.

There were two groups who had motive to kill off JFK (who BTW, was dying of Addison's disease and might not even have finished his term out anyway).

One was the Mob. Because of the help given JFK by Frank Sinatra and others whom were 'connected' during the 1960 campaign,the Mob expected a quid pro quo in certain areas. Instead, Sinatra ended up having zero influence (when Kennedy went to Palm Springs, he stayed at Republican Bing Crosby's house), AG Bobby Kennedy bore down heavily on the Mob and JFK did nothing to get back the Mob's purloined property in Havana.

In edition, Kennedy was sleeping with Mob Boss Sam Giacana's girlfriend Judith Exner, which made Giacana look foolish when he found out about it.

The second group was the Castro brothers and the Cubans themselves.Kennedy had made a number of amateurish efforts to bump off Castro, even trying to get him to smoke poisoned cigars...not to mention the aborted attempt to overthrow him in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

I would think the Cubans are more likely to have done it. (A) Because Lee Harvey Oswald was heavily involved in pro-Castro groups like the Fair Play For Cuba committee and may even have been a Soviet agent (B) because when he was captured, Oswald repeatedly asked to talk to Hoover and the FBI before he was murdered and (C) This would explain the continued U.S. blockade and isolation of Castro's Cuba...which I believe will end once Fidel is dead, and also explains the Warren Commission whitewash..because to retaliate against Castro might have meant nuclear war with the Soviets.

A third possibility - a long shot,but not out of the question - would have been a joint effort by the Mob and Castro. I say this mainly because of mobbed up nightclub owner Jack Ruby's involvement.

Ruby had terminal cancer, and there's certainly a possibility he might have been leaned on to do the job, and perhaps even promised a lil' somethin' somethin' for his family if he successfully did the deed.

Oswald's death certainly tied up a lot of loose ends, didn't it?

Plus Tard, Mon Ami


Anonymous said...

So, # 3) O + conspiracy ? ( wasn't sure if you were still including O as the murderer ) . Ta !

You have just reminded me of something from the 1970s. There was a theory in Europe that this was a retaliation by 1 of the Pieds-Noirs, the French Whites driven out of Algeria in 1962 & numerously murdered as civilians by the ethnic Algerians in retaliation for the losses suffered & endured by the independence campaigners, especially & particularly in Oran. ( the period of choice of ' La valise ou le cercueil ' / ' the suit-case or coffin ' having expired ) The theory was that Jack Kennedy, commencing with his 1957 speech advocating support for Algerian independence, launched his presidential campaign unofficially & rode it to the White House ( Casa Blanca / Maison Blanche ) , & signalled to De gaulle ( ironically restored by supporters of the French settlers to the presidency ) that he could expect US support for an exit. The image of that Leon The Professional character ( Jean Reno was brilliant )springs to mind. This would be the perfect hire for the mob : experience, motive, opportunity, & ability.

I concur with the mob suggestion. To keep my earlier letter brief & short, I did not enumerate my list of suspects for the 2d shooter, nor the possible & potential motives. The mob is the likeliest, in my opinion. As you remarked & noted, they hated Bobby Kennedy, but Jack Kennedy was the president & Bobby's power was solely derivative of his brother's. As 1 mobster detailing his theory phrased it : if you are being bitten by a rabid dog, & you have a gun, you don't aim at the dog's tail -- you aim at the dog's head.

As a thank you, a quick quote from a late Georgian / early Victorian poet, Thomas Hood : November : / No sun - no moon ! / No morn - no noon - / No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day. / No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, / No comfortable feel in any member - / No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, / No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds ! - / November !

-- dragon/dinosaur