Forum: What Was Your Reaction To Trump’s Acceptance Speech?

Every week on Monday, the Council, members of the Watcher’s Council Community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Was Your Reaction To Trump’s Acceptance Speech?

 Stately McDaniel Manor : Donald Trump’s Convention acceptance speech embodied everything I like about him, and everything I fear could easily derail his campaign and allow Hillary Clinton, the most hateful, angry and corrupt harridan imaginable, to seize the White House at a time when the Supreme Court, and the future of Western Civilization are up for grabs.

I suspect Trump’s popularity comes from his willingness to say, loudly and even a little crudely and clumsily, what so many Americans think and feel. There is no politically correct filter there. He is a self-made man, a genuine American success story, and he does get things done when others can’t. His deal-making skills may be of great value, as might his stubbornness and self-assurance.

But what scares me more than a little are the same things, and more. His speech was ridiculously long. People inexperienced in public speaking often try to throw everything into every speech as though it’s the only chance they’ll ever get. Some just love the sound of their own voice, even though they, like Trump, tend to endlessly repeat themselves, and fill their speeches with verbal fillers, particularly when they speak without notes or a teleprompter.

Trump also tends not to focus on the issues of the moment, and flies off on tangents, particularly when he thinks someone has personally slighted or attacked him just as he did today when he went after Ted Cruz. He earlier tweeted that Cruz’s failure to endorse him was no big deal. He should have left it there and looked magnanimous, but nooooo! He just has to go after people personally, and when he does, he runs his mouth and might say anything. If he can’t drop that habit, he won’t become president. And if he does it as president, that’s all he’ll be doing. George W. Bush had that part of presidential temperament right. He knew everyone and their dog would go after him, and he just let them have at it. To do otherwise, elevates ankle biters to the level of President of the United States.

Trump has to learn, and very soon, to stay on message. He can do it without becoming wooden and inflexible. Learning to prioritize, to focus on what is most important, is an essential adult skill that Trump has seemingly yet to master. Being outrageous is cute and endearing for a time, but eventually, presidents have to identify big problems, explain how they are going to solve them, and do it.

We’ve had eight years of Barack Obama’s personal references. Today after the attack in Munich, I heard him on radio saying he knew nothing about what happened, but proceeded to rattle on anyway mouthing meaningless platitudes that did nothing to suppress terrorism or further international relations. Sometimes presidents accomplish most by saying least. A trumpian version of that kind of meaningless twaddle will get old very fast. We really don’t need to hear from the president every day, about everything that happens, and when we do, we quit listening. He becomes the boy that cried wolf, and isn’t heard or believed when it really matters.

It’s time for Donald Trump and his advisors to sit down and lay out a coherent plan for the rest of the campaign. That plan has to include focus on specific issues, particularly those on which Hillary is uniquely vulnerable–there are more than enough of those–Trump’s solutions and how he’ll implement them, and little or nothing else.

One other important issue: someone needs to whack Trump upside the head and convince him the President can’t “make” anything happen alone. Donald Trump, businessman, can do that; Presidents can’t. They can set agendas, cajole, guide, maneuver, use the moral bully pulpit for good and to support the Constitution. He has to learn how to play the political game for the benefit of America.

“I’ll make America great again, “ “I’m the only one that can do it,” is meaningless without answers about how that’s going to happen, and after the conventions, people are going to demand those answers. If Trump can’t provide them, if he can’t incorporate presidential demeanor without abandoning the personal qualities that have thus far inspired so many, enough people are going to go with the devil they know to elect Hillary.

Always, it’s important to remember if it’s not close, Democrats can’t win through vote fraud. We’re going to see unprecedented vote fraud in this election. Trump and the Republican National Committee need to be very concerned, and very focused, on that issue too.

The Razor : He scares the living daylights out of the Left, quite a few centrists and even a smattering of conservatives. Given the Left’s demonization of every Republican candidate since Nixon as a demagogue along the lines of, well, Nixon – it’s refreshing to actually have a candidate that lives up to their hateful rhetoric.

One thing’s for sure: if he becomes president the next 4 years are going to be interesting. Very interesting.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Donald Trump’s acceptance speech appealed to the concerns of many if not most Americans. He promised to be the law and order president and would keep us safe, build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants, and return jobs to our country.

He recited a litany of the failures of the Obama administration and the Clinton State Department, which have made us less safe at home and is leaving us a less safe world. Under the current administration we have higher rates of unemployment in minority populations, poverty, people relying on food stamps, and crime in the inner cities.

In several attacks on his Democrat opponent, he said Hillary’s greatest accomplishment might be getting away with the many crimes she committed during her term as Secretary of State.

Trump explained that “nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” He promised the American people that “I am your voice.” While it would have been better to say “I hear your voices” hopefully that is merely a quibble over semantics. Time will tell.

When he becomes president Trump promised we will defeat the barbarians of ISIS and we will defeat them fast. It would have been preferable to have given some specific details of his plans to defeat this radical Islamic terrorist group whose barbarism is growing and reaching across the globe.

Trump’s speech was well delivered and well received. The main stream media outlets all focused on how dark it was but unless you have not been paying attention to national and world events we truly do find ourselves in a dark place.

I look forward in the coming months to hear more substantive comments on exactly what his plans entail and how Trump will Make America Great Again.

I reserve my concerns that Trump is just another big government politician. He appears to believe he alone can do all the things he promises. Hopefully that is just ego, for if that were the case we no longer live under the laws of our constitutional republic; a Constitution which provides a balance of powers to keep despots in check.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : The speech hit mostly high notes: the country is on the wrong track.

Crime and violence are serious concerns. Trump promised to be a “law and order” president, specifics to come. Many believe race relations have deteriorated since 44 took office. Cops are under attack. Poor kids are trapped in failing public schools and Democrats won’t let them escape. Trump promises school choice.

Terrorism is on the rise at home and overseas. Instead of focusing on battle readiness, our depleted military focuses on goofy fakebelieve stuff like Climate change or worse, the inclusion of transgender and women soldiers. Veterans are not being adequately cared for.

Bad trade deals are notorious for helping certain elements at the expense of the country and Democrat policies are the reason for the sorry shape the nation is in.

JoshuaPundit : Honestly, I’d give the speech a B++ if there is such a thing. By that I mean it was a really good speech with some flaws.

I’ve always loved hearing Donald Trump speak. His rallies didn’t involve scripted, jowl shaking oratory but a sort of down to earth conversation between him and say, 30,000 people. He was so relaxed, so comfortable in his own skin it was almost eerie. Unlike most pols, he wasn’t talking at them, but with them. He’d come up to the podium, take that sheet of folded paper out of his pocket and have at it. He’d get the talking points out at each spot and say what needed saying, but he’d mix them in with anecdotes about the campaign, or whatever else was on his mind, and there were always a few jokes at his own expense. And then there was the impromptu audience responses, like singing along to your favorite singer’s hit songs. Going to his rallies was fun!

Trump’s acceptance speech was different. The content was just fine, and it mirrored what a lot of Americans are concerned about right now, with outreach to a lot of groups who Trump is going to get more votes from than most people think. I mean, if you were LGBT and in your right mind, would you vote for Hillary who wants to bring boatloads more unvetted Muslim ‘refugees’ into America and take away your guns too? Ditto if you’re a young woman unless you enjoy the thought of being raped.

And his attack on Hillary Clinton was bone-crushing, which is why a lot of the Democrat media ignored it.According to pollster  Frank Luntz’s Democrat and Republican focus groups, that part of Trump’s speech was off the charts as far as approval went.

The problem was that it was about 20-25 minutes too long, and it needed to touch the bases in a more succinct, sound bitey way. It reminded me of some rock concerts where things start out energetic, hit a lull in the middle with the drum solo and then pep up for a high energy finish.

And that relaxed, natural Trump wasn’t visible enough, although it was there. One of my favorite bits was when Trump was talking about the rigged system we have and how he was going to fix it and then looked at the audience, grinned, spread his hands out and said ” And who would know better than me?”

It broke the audience up, and it broke me up watching the stream.

I also was a little uneasy about his refrain that he was going to fix this and that and ‘we’re gonna do it fast.’ Government doesn’t work that way, and especially not for this outsider taking on entrenched interests in both parties. Things need to be parsed, refined and done by consensus. That, by the way is why I’ve never been bothered by Trump’s not getting into too many details but focusing on goals. That’s how business gets done. The goals come first and the mechanisms come later after the pros and cons have been weighed and agreed on.

And while Ivanka was absolutely wonderful, I couldn’t help wondering if a real fire breather like the Reverend Mark Burns as an opener might not have been better. The Rev reminds me of a clerical Howlin’ Wolf, and that’s some heavy duty praise. It would have gotten that crowd fired up like nobody’s business and perhaps then The  Donald would have felt able to be a bit less strident in places.

All in all though, a really good job. And as we’ve seen in the past, it will likely get better because if nothing else, we’ve seen that Trump has an astonishing ability to recover, step back and learn from his mistakes.

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.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

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

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results

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

“Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.” – John Harrington

“…Give the devil his due” – Shakespeare- “Henry The Fourth”

“GRAPESHOT, n. An argument which the future is preparing in answer to the demands of American Socialism.” – Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

This week, we had a tie in the Council Category between Joshuapundit’sA Message For France – And For Us which was my reaction to what happened in Nice and what is happening aro0und the world and Bookworm Room’sThe Devil And Gun Control .

I got off some pretty good riffs as well as some decent perspective in my piece, but I have to give pride of place to Bookworm’s wickedly imaginative idea of a dialogue between Satan and one of his minions!

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Here’s a slice:

Gun control proponents have a problem. Irrefutable data shows that, since 1992, as American gun ownership has gone up, crime has gone down. When pressed about the dramatic decrease in crime, the best that the Left can do is to point to anything but the increase in privately held weapons:

“Possible reasons for the decline include the country’s high incarceration rate, an aging population and an increased use of security cameras and cell phone videos capturing incidents.”

If gun grabbers were forced to grapple with the fact that the increase in guns tracking precisely with the decrease in crime, they’d also have to acknowledge that all the aging Americans, the imprisoned Americans, and the video cameras are irrelevant. Why? Because if more guns really meant more crime, as they insist, the 300 million guns in America today would more than offset age, imprisonment, and video.

The fact is — as even the CDC was forced to admit — that guns are used defensively as often as 1.2 million times a year. This short John Stossel piece gives a very down-and-dirty explanation for the fact that, while guns are a problem when they’re in criminal hands, they’re not a problem in the hands of law-abiding citizens (and, in America, most citizens are law-abiding or at least non-violent):

So what do you do if you desperately want gun control, but the data refuses to cooperate? Well, I can imagine Lucifer and his chief minion having a meeting that goes something like this:

The scene: A well-appointed office in Hell. Satan, in a snazzy red suit is seated behind a heavy oak desk. Standing in front of the desk, facing him, is Jezebeth, a pimply young demon, who’s one of his primary Earth operatives. The year: 2009.

LUCIFER: Jezebeth, you know and I know that too much freedom is good for human souls and therefore bad for our business. Without an all-controlling government, there’s so much less scope for the corruption that fills our Hell halls. After all, every time a petty official is given the power to control a person’s activities, we’re going to start seeing all sorts of wonderful bribery and other graft.

JEZEBETH: Oh, I agree, Satan the Supreme, I agree.

LUCIFER: Don’t interrupt again. We’ll take the groveling as given. Now where was I? Oh, yes. It’s very hard to empower a corrupt, despotic government when the people are armed. Those bureaucrats may crave power, but never enough to put themselves on the wrong side of an armed citizenry. You understand, then, what we have to do: We have to take guns away from Americans.

JEZEBETH: Your Supreme Evilness, you know that we’ve been working in America for years to get guns out of people’s hands. We’ve arranged with our earthly operatives to ensure that every single time more than two white people are shot with a gun in the same event, that our friends in the Democrat party blame guns and demand gun control. But it’s just not working. People keep getting more and more guns — and let me tell you, 9/11 didn’t help us at all. Neither did Hurricane Katrina. Those people we couldn’t sway directly or through our media imps actually realized that, when there’s a crisis, that non-damned NRA was right all along — when seconds count, the police are minutes away.

LUCIFER: Stop babbling, Jezebeth, and focus here. I know that your team has been pushing gun control for years, but you’re failing. We need to brainstorm here. The problem, as I see it, is that the more that ordinary Americans get guns, the fewer guns crimes there are. It’s devilishly hard to convince people to give up their guns when they’re feeling safer. We have got to make them feel less safe.

JEZEBETH: Well, your Evil Lordship, I have been thinking about this and I’ve got an idea. How about if we increase the violent crime rate so that people feel less safe?

LUCIFER: How in the Hell are you planning to that, Jezebeth? I just said that the problem is less crime.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Gavin McInnes in Taki’s Magazine with Oops, We Started A Race War submitted by The Watcher .

He has quite a few interesting things to say about race relations, cime, #Blacklivesmatter and a few other juicy topics.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Daley Gator was unable to vote this week but was not affected by the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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.

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

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

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – We Bleed Edition


We bleed again, along with France. And Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic weeps…along with the civilized world. But the shame is ours.

How many more of these atrocities are we going to allow? How long will we put up with it as business as usual, as part of daily life? When will we realize that those stupid candlelight vigils, cartoons, hashtags and banners are meaningless drivel?

When is the civilized world going to revolt against this slaughter? And when will we insist that our craven, smug incompetent leaders stop tolerating this madness in the name of ‘diversity’ and stop importing this contagion to our shores? Are we deaf, dumb and blind? Or slaves?

Enough. By G-d, enough.

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

Council News:

The Watcher’s Council will have an exciting, brand new development to announce in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

This week, The People’s Cube,Simply Jews and Creeping Sharia earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

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

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Forum: Is Islam Compatible With A Free Society?

Every week on Monday, the Council, members of the Watcher’s Council Community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:Is Islam Compatible With A Free Society?

 The Glittering Eye : Of course it is. To the same extent as Christianity or Judaism is.

Islam is inclusive of more diversity of beliefs than Christianity and enormously more than Judaism. Within it is contained variants that are completely compatible with a free society, whatever radical conservatives within Islam and foes of Islam of other confessions might think.

The question is somewhat beside the point. For me the much more important question is whether Wahhabist/Salafist Islam is compatible with a free society and to that question the answer is “No” and, honestly, I think that those who profess the Wahhabist/Salafist versions of Islam would agree with me.

The additional challenge is that the Wahhabist/Salafist variants of Islam are on the rise, largely propelled by the money of Gulf Arabs, not just among the Gulf states but everywhere including the West. Something like three-quarters of all imams in the United States are foreign born, most of those are Saudis, and a distressingly large proportion of those hold to very conservative Wahhabist/Salafist beliefs.

Then the question is what is to be done?

Stately McDaniel Manor : Islam is not compatible with individual or societal freedom. This is not merely an unfortunate side effect, an unintended, unforeseeable consequence of Islam, but its very nature. “Islam” means “submission,” which definition and all of its connotations must be taken very seriously indeed.

Islam is not a religion as Americans define religion. It is rather a political, moral, philosophical, military system with some religious trappings. It’s reason for being, its goal, is to conquer the world and impose, by force of arms, on every human being, Islam. One need not infer this. The Koran plainly and unambiguously requires it.

Islam is an invention of a medieval, tribal mindset, yet is an attempt to unite all tribes under the Islamic banner. The tribal mindset is still very much a part of much of the world, and particularly the Middle East. Americans tend to think of themselves as Americans first, and every other identity category thereafter. A Methodist American is still an American. A Catholic American is still an American. Not so with Islam.

Muslims are Muslims, first, last and always. Islam does not recognize the concept of nations, governments, allegiance to the values and rule of law that are the heart of America. Americans swear allegiance to the Constitution, but worship God as a member of one of many denominations, denominations that peacefully coexist under the Constitution. Americans also sometimes choose not to worship God, or even to acknowledge His existence. In America, we take to heart the wise counsel of the Founding Father most responsible for religious liberty, Thomas Jefferson, who said:

“But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, of no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. …Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.”

The Koran, however, exhorts Muslims not only to enslave the world, but to kill all that resist. It actually goes into specific methods of killing, and holds particularly enmity for Jews. It’s fascinating, and horrifying that it is the Muslims that kill in the name of Islam that are following the words of its prophet. Muslims that wish only to live in peace, and that are willing to follow the American rule of law are not following the very specific and bloody dictates of their faith.

This is in part why most Muslims do not actively criticize jihadists or take active measures to reform Islam. Not only are jihadists actually acting on the letter and intent of their faith, they are more than willing to kill other Muslims that disagree with them.

Islam holds women and children to be of little value, essentially possessions of men. One need not spend much Google time to discover Islam is completely incompatible with every form of liberty for women. Fascinating too is the willingness of American leftists to ignore this horrific side of Islam. Cut out a girl’s clitoris without anesthetic? Grope and rape women at will? Beat women as a religious duty? Hey, we have to honor diversity! Who are we to judge other cultures?

It is probably true that most Muslims will never take the path of jihad. However, we’ll never know their actual numbers, annoying jihadists tending to result in torture, mutilation and death and all. It is equally true that huge numbers of non-violent Muslims are sympathetic to the acts and goals of jihadists, support Sharia, and actively lobby against assimilation and for the establishment of Muslim no-go zones within democratic nations, zones ruled by Sharia. Great Britain has allowed the establishment of no less then 88 Sharia courts, abandoning the rule of law for all.

But we must accept Islam and let any Muslim into America. Refusing to do that is not who we are, as Barack Hussein Obama says. Forget, for the sake of argument, that there is no one less fit to identify American values than Barack Obama. “We can’t deport Muslims that want to establish a caliphate in America! It’s unconstitutional!”

People expressing that moronic opinion might want to spend a bit of time actually reading the Constitution. Americans have the absolute right to establish immigration laws, and may deport foreign nationals at will. For citizens, native-born or naturalized, a brief visit to 18 U.S. Code Chapter 115 might be equally instructive. The overall point is that the Constitution and laws of the United States cannot be interpreted to be a suicide pact, unless of course, we wish to embrace Islam.

Islam recognizes no individual liberty, and no authority but Islam. Such people cannot assimilate, nor can they faithfully accept and follow the American rule of law, which though under constant attack during the Age of Obama, is the foundation of American uniqueness and liberty.

JoshuaPundit : Looking at what Islam has wrought during its history and what it continues to produce today answers the question.

I have Muslims in my life who are decent, fine people. But in all but two instances, they are secular Muslims. The two devout Muslims I’m close to practice a faith primarily based on Mohammed’s early, peaceful Mecca Qu’ran and would be regarded as heretics by most Sunni and Shiah. ISIS, al-Qaeda, al Nusra, The Muslim Brotherhood and it’s Islamist offshoots, the wahabbis, Boko Haram, Lakshar e Tiaba, etc. are actually much more faithful to what the Qu’ran demands than the Muslims I know. The money and momentum in Islam is with jihad.

In Islam, the peaceful Mecca Qu’ran has been almost entirely superseded by the violent Medina Qu’ran via Islam’s Doctrine of Abrogation, something accepted by all four major fiqhs (Muslim schools of religious dogma and jurisprudence).

When you read the Qu’ran and hadiths and see what’s in them, the ridiculous nature of the term ‘radical Islam ‘ become very clear. Islam is Islam. Among other things, Islam has nothing comparable to what we would call the Golden Rule. What passes for it in Islam only pertains to fellow Muslims, not kuffars, non-believers. They can be murdered, raped, openly deceived and enslaved as long as it advances Islam. While many Muslims choose to ignore this, many others do not and the religion encourages this behavior. To be a non-Muslim under Muslim rule means to be bled white with jizra, the protection money demanded by Muslims from the conquered, to have no legal rights at all except the right to life as decreed by the changing whim of Muslims.

The whole history of Islam and its death toll of over two hundred million people as well as millions enslaved tells us all we need to know about that. Islam doesn’t play well with others.

While Muslims are able to live in a free society if they accommodate their beliefs to our norms and culture, Islam is totally incompatible. Our current leaders frequently make the point that WE have to change our laws, customs and norms to accommodate Islam. The reverse is true, and any sane society demands it.

The way to end this war – and that’s what it is – is exactly the way we defeated the Nazis and Japan…by securing our homelands, by destroying Islam’s armed might where necessary, by attacking them economically, by discrediting their ideology and by making the consequences of any attack on us so horrendous in cost as to be unthinkable.

If we had done that after 9/11, we wouldn’t even be talking about this now.

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.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

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

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results

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

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. – Lao Tzu

“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. – Mary Shelly

“Much of the wisdom in the world is contained in these two words; wait, and hope.” – Alexandre Dumas ‘The Count Of Monte Cristo

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This week’s winning essay,Joshuapundit’s Life, Death And Faith is my reaction to the untimely deaths of two people and what I guess I would call some larger questions. Here’s a slice:

Recently, a young man of my acquaintance passed away. He was one of those people who seemed to have everything going for him…a great, successful career doing what he loved, a loving wife and family, and wonderful friendships. I never met him personally, but based on what I know of his courageous struggle with his disease and the sincere outpouring of sorrow not just from his family but those he knew and worked with, he was a good, decent and loving human being who seems to have left this earth far too soon. He had yet to have his 40th birthday.

In Israel just a few days before that, one of the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians broke into the bedroom of a 13-year-old Israeli girl who never did harm to him or anyone else and happily murdered her. He was shot down after he attacked another human being, but in his mind and the mind of the Palestinian Authority, its schools, mosques and media, he was a hero, a jihad warrior and a martyr doing Allah’s will. Not only that, but to his family, he represented a handsome financial stipend.

Thirteen-Year-Old American Girl Stabbed to Death in Her Bed By Palestinian Terrorist

I can’t get her mother’s anguished cry at her funeral out of my mind…”How do you say goodbye to your 13-year-old child?”

Is there any way to answer that?

If G-d exists, why does He allow such things to happen? Or to use the old cliche,why do bad things happen to good people? And it’s even more interesting to turn that one around…why do good things seem to happen to those whom do evil, if a truly just G-d exists? Is it all just random? Does G-d exist at all or is He just a convenient fable man thought up with many names and guises to explain the inexplicable? Karl Marx referred to religion as ‘the opiate of the masses.’ Is G-d simply a fairy tale, just a ploy by the ruling classes to keep people in line?

As a reasonably observant Jew, one example that’s always thrown at me by people when this sort of thing comes up is the Holocaust. Millions of Jews, many of them quite religious were murdered in the most brutal fashion imaginable. Whole Rabbinic dynasties going back centuries were wiped out. Even the most predatory beasts do not engage in such behavior at their worst. And in the end, only a handful of the perpetrators and their many enablers were ever punished in any way. If a loving, just G-d truly exists, how could he possibly allow that?

I can’t say I know all the answers, nor frankly, would I really wish to. One of my favorite spiritual quotes comes from Ramakrishna, who wrote that a G-d who can be explained is no G-d at all. Or as one of the pithier Jewish sages once said, “If I understood G-d, I’d be G-d.”

There’s a great deal of insight there, I think. Given the nature of G-d as defined by every major faith, how could we possibly judge Him by our human standards?

Another thing I’ve realized over time and with study is that G-d simply plays on a much bigger field than we do. By nature, our perceptions are limited. We simply don’t see the big universal picture, the Divine Plan and the reasons certain things might need to happen that seem random good or evil to us. And our view of such things is limited to what happens in this physical world. We have no view as to what happens in the next world, its judgements and designs.

Take the Holocaust, for instance.

I would not remotely represent that I of all people have the answer, but here are a couple of things to consider.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was a Facebook post by black police officer Jay Stalien, Facebook post re blacks and crimesubmitted by Bookworm Room . It’s a street level view of this topic and a must read.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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.

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

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

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Hey,Waiter!’ Edition

Yes, exactly what was ordered,and served just right…tres obséquieux as the French would say.

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

Council News!

Council alumnus and community member Don Surber has just published a new book, “Trump the Press,” which just drew raves from Austin Bay and Steven Hayward. I’m about half way through it and it gets my rave as well…Don is one heckuva a writer! You can pick it up at Amazon along with Don’s other books, or you can bypass The Bezos and give Don a higher royalty by getting it at create space direct.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Forum: What’s Your Reaction To The Nationwide Attacks On Police?

Every week on Monday, the Council, members of the Watcher’s Council Community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:What’s Your Reaction To The Nationwide Attacks On Police?

 Don Surber : Pray. Blame the shooter, not the BLM or the president.

 The Razor : Why can’t we be pro-black and pro-cop? I’m getting sick of this black and white world we are living in.

My last few interactions with the police haven’t been all that great. I’ve been treated rudely and without respect. If they’re treating a 50 year old middle class white guy that way, I can just imagine how they treat minorities. I’ve seen the videos, and while some are more damning then others, the last few have shown the root of the problem. It’s not racism – contrary to what BLM believes – it’s poor police training. The shooter in the Castile video was scared witless, shaking and cursing and clearly out of his depth. We have a nation that trains cops to go to war and protect themselves at all cost – even if that means shooting an unarmed man in a car with a 4 year old child and her mother inside of it – instead of serving their communities.

Think about that: shooting a 40 caliber handgun into a car with a woman and 4 year old child in it. There is just so much wrong with what that cop did I don’t know where to begin. Cops have been taught how to use their guns but not how to use their brains. They have been trained to gain control of a situation and everyone in it, and then are shocked when this tactic backfires, escalating a situation that inevitably ends with an unarmed dead man.

We cannot be surprised that these video executions aren’t going to inspire some to take the law into their own hands and fight back. But just as the NRA can’t be blamed for every unarmed man shot by a cop, the BLM cannot be blamed for what went down Thursday night in Dallas. We have been afflicted with poor leadership for a generation. Great men and women could have built upon the Civil Rights movement to make MLK’s dream a reality. Instead they have divided us, fragmenting us like some kind of social grenade.

We need to find a middle path between the extremes of anarchy and a police state. Cops won’t feel that they are under siege when the people within the communities they serve believe they are being treated fairly. Perhaps cops can learn from police departments that have been successful with deescalation training or neighborhood policing. Ending the War on Drugs by legalizing possession of narcotics would help too. But cops won’t be safe until the people they serve feel safe.

If we can’t find this middle path, then America is dead.

JoshuaPundit : This isn’t about the police, or ra-aaa-acism. It’s about power, politics and control.

President Barack Hussein Obama has a long history of using the presidency as a platform to attack the police. From the ‘stupid’ police who arrested Professor Skip Gates when he was arrested and refused to show his ID after a neighbor reported someone breaking into the professor’s home to his shoot from the lip comments about his ‘son’ Trayvon Martin, to he and his friend Al Sharpton essentially helping to incite a riot in Ferguson Missouri, to the Freddie Gray travesty. You’ll also remember that the day before the nation-wide attacks on police, the president weighed in harshly on incidents involving confrontations between blacks and police in Louisiana and Minnesota where the full facts aren’t known yet, saying police must ‘root out racism.’

This is exactly the same type of gasoline our president always throws on this kind of thing and it almost always has the same result,followed by a carefully phrased condemnation of the violence it help create.

So, why would a sitting president do that?

Recall two things this president said in the early days of his first term. The first thing he said was tha the wanted to be a ‘transformational president.’

The second? That he wanted a ‘civilian security force, just as well armed, just as well funded, and just as well trained as our military.’

Remember that one?

Just as Obama has done his best to transform our military, he now intends to change the police, making ‘social justice’ and ‘diversity’ a paramount part of their mission rather than law enforcement and crime fighting, dictating the policies from DC and federalizing the large and mid-sized urban departments.

Both the president and Mrs. Clinton pointedly mentioned federalizing the police in their statements following last Friday’s carnage…after blaming white ra-aa-acism, of course, which as Mrs. Clinton said, ‘must change.’

That’s the power aspect, and the political aspect is equally obvious. Has anyone but me noticed how often these incidents happen in election years?

Magnifying what amounts to rare incidents like these and making a convenient enemy out of the police using the Soros funded Black Lives Matter movement is a convenient platform for maximizing fundraising and black turnout for the Democrats. Without that, they simply don’t win elections. Given how Obama’s policies have severely hurt the black working class, something has to be created to keep them on the Democrat plantation.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnDOne of the pillars of any successful society – and let’s face it – the American society is the most awesome of all – is Rule of Law.

Law enforcement is key obviously and works hand in hand with our criminal justice system.

Breaking down this pillar will result in tons of uncool chiz initiating a collapse of America as we know it.

The last week has seen perhaps the biggest skirmish in the War on Cops.

The current and the former Attorney Generals as well as 44 himself have constantly misdirected and encouraged lawless elements every since the Professor Skip Gates affair – when 44 LOL’d that “the Police acted stupidly. They followed through in the immediate aftermath of Ferguson.

44 should have briefly reiterated the grounds for not indicting the officer at Ferguson and applauded the decision as the product of a scrupulously thorough and fair process. He should have praised the jurors for their service and courage in following the evidence where it led them. And he should have concluded by noting that there is no fairer criminal-justice system in the world than the one we have in the United States.1

Instead, 44 reprimanded local police officers in advance for an expected overreaction to the protests: “I also appeal to the law-enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur. . . . They need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence . . . from the vast majority who just want their voices heard around legitimate issues in terms of how communities and law enforcement interact.”

Such skepticism about the ability of the police to maintain the peace appropriately was unwarranted at the time and even more so in retrospect; the forces of law and order didn’t fire a single shot. Nor did they inflict injury, despite having been fired at themselves.

The growth of proactive policing in the 1990s, along with lengthened sentences for violent crime, saved thousands of minority lives. In fact, no government agency is more dedicated to the proposition that “black lives matter” than today’s data-driven, accountable police department. 

 The Glittering Eye : I think there’s a lot of exaggerated fear on all sides.

It is not true that police are being murdered in numbers. Here in Chicago there hasn’t been a police officer killed in the line of duty in five years. Police killings, e.g. Laquan McDonald, simply can’t be attributed to rational fear on the part of police.

It’s also not true that blacks are being murdered in numbers by police. Blacks are killed by police in numbers proportionate to the number their arrests for violent crimes at about the same rate as whites. Black anger of the sort that apparently motivated the murderer in Dallas last Thursday simply can’t be thought of as a righteous response to black men being hunted by the police.

The United States is a country of 320 million people and there are more than a million law enforcement officers. With such a large population and tens or hundreds of thousands of encounters between the police and black menu daily, occasional tragic incidents are inevitable. Comparing the United States with, say, Denmark is facetious. Denmark is the size of a good-sized U. S. county. There are thousands of U. S. counties where no police officers or civilians have been murdered in decades.

Why the fear? I think there are several reasons. The power of social media and every phone a video camera mean that these inevitable incidents are made available to a worldwide audience in minutes. The news media pick up these viral accounts and perseverate on them, giving the impression that they’re much more frequent and much more severe than they actually are.

Another contributing factor is political leadership that feels the need to provide a misguided balance in their statements about these unfortunate incidents. IMO if President Obama merely said nothing on the grounds that these incidents are local matters and he shouldn’t insinuate himself into them or supported the police unconditionally we’d all be better off.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : We must understand the nationwide attack on police in this country is being orchestrated by the radical left in an effort to create chaos, destruction, division, and death. This past week we saw the shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 5th and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on July 6th. The Black Lives Matter movement organized protests in several cities following these shootings. As we have seen they are very good at quickly mobilizing protestors. They do not care that the facts surrounding these shootings have yet to be determined. Their rush to judgment, along with our President, condemns the police and portrays the men who were killed as not guilty of anything except being black.

American blacks need to realize they are being used by the most radical forces at work in this country to divide us in order to destroy us. The police are not our enemy. Of course there are some bad actors and they will be brought to justice. We must respect our legal system to determine guilt or innocence in these cases. The media spin on the left and the right will not reveal all the facts in their rush to judgment. As the song says “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” Time after time we have a black man killed by police, and time after time we have protestors in the streets, always at night it seems, protesting the actions of the police. Of course the instigators use these protests to riot, loot, burn and destroy everything they can until the next time. The pattern repeats because the pattern works. The Obama administration would jump at the opportunity to nationalize our police force and to strip law abiding citizens of their Second Amendment right to possess firearms. The left would not hesitate to create circumstances to hasten such a move if possible.

Does anyone else find it odd that the Dallas shooter was able to commit his terrorist acts, killing five policemen and wounding many others, seemingly spontaneously with a hastily assembled Black Lives Matter protest in a city with very little racial unrest and where the diversity of the police force reflects to a good measure the diversity of its citizens?

It is also interesting how FBI Director James Comey’s announcement on July 5th of Hillary Clinton’s many felonious actions and his determination they did not rise to the level of indictable offenses but merely “extremely careless” was the media story for less than a twenty-four hour news cycle. Once these shootings occurred there was no more coverage of the Clinton scandal. The American people are being manipulated by the media.

Stately McDaniel Manor :Statistically, policing is not among the most dangerous professions, however, every day, back in the 1400s, when I put on the blue suit, I understood just how vulnerable I was. If someone really wanted to ambush me, there was little I could do to avoid it. I practiced good tactics, varied my routine, and was always extra alert at choke points and potential ambush sites, but the truth is, if someone wants to kill you, and is willing to die in the process, it’s likely they’ll succeed.

I also knew that if the job required it, I would, without hesitation, put my body between people I didn’t know, had never met, to protect them from the bullets of killers. I would, of course, do my best to make them pay with their lives, but being willing to sacrifice myself was a matter of duty, of honor.

And I also had no doubt that if I had to shoot, to kill another human being, I would do it without hesitation. Any police officer that hasn’t worked that one out is a danger to him self and the public. Hesitation can kill.

I am glad–very glad–that I am no longer a police officer. Today’s officers not only have a very large and racist target on their backs, they can no longer be reasonably certain that if they have to shoot to save their life, or the lives of others, they can expect a competent investigation under the rule of law, particularly if they have to shoot a member of a favored victim group. At the moment, that group is young black males, who, coincidentally, commit serious, violent crimes in numbers far out of proportion to their numbers in the population (around 5%). In addition, they can no longer expect that prosecutors will analyze their shoots using the same legal standards that apply to those victim groups, namely probable cause, and the ability to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.

It’s a lie, you know–the idea that the police are engaging in some racist conspiracy to kill black men. Police officers—justifiably–kill far more white people than black, and police officers are less likely to be racist than the general population. Police agencies spend a great deal of time and money in recruiting, hiring and continuing supervision to screen for that sort of deviance, and very, very few Americans are actual racists. The Civil Rights Movement achieved its goals, and rightfully so. Actual racists are treated as social pariahs. All Americans of good will are proud of that, and glad for it. That’s in large part why Barack Obama was elected President, to make that point, to demonstrate the ultimate vindication of the Civil Rights Movement. Look how he has repaid us.

Every officer knows, every day, the extent of their vulnerability, which is bad enough without the President of the United States and other racist twits lying about the police and stirring up irrational hatred toward them. Yet every day, they still go out there on the streets and pray their number isn’t up.

So do I.

  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.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

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

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results

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

“Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.” – John Harrington

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. “ – Proverbs, 16:18

“What difference does it make now, at this point” – Hillary Clinton

This week, we had a three way tie in the Council category. My piece, When Justice Just Is Not dealt with the recent circus in Washington, the acrobatics of our FBI director in rewriting existing law and the how and why of what happened. Bookworm Room’s fascinating piece dealt with the inside details behind the scenes on the anniversary of one of Israel’s periodic miracles, The 40th anniversary of the raid on Entebbe . Stately McDaniel Manor’s Hillary Clinton: You’ll Be Able To See It From There examines in splendid form Mrs. Clinton recent history of corruption, deception and dare I say it, soullessness.

Since it’s my job to break ties around here, I get an extra vote to pick the winner. A tough choice indeed, lemme tell you!

After mulling it over, I had to go with Mike McDaniel’s piece, simply because he encapsulated so well in a concise, well written package exactly what we face if this corrupt snake gets her hands on the presidency.I have no patience with anyone who facilitates that in any way, and that includes a great many people I used to have respect for.

Stately McDaniel Manor

So without further ado, here’s a slice
:

During his white-suited standup days, Steve Martin did a bit about buying a $300 dollar pair of socks. It was funny–absurd really–because who in their right mind would pay that much for a pair of socks? Martin played it masterfully, acting like a dim-witted, self-important twit. Who would really do something like that? Hillary Clinton would; Hillary Clinton who campaigned in a $12,000 dollar jacket. Hillary Clinton, the women who was so poor when she left the White House she had to steal the furnishings. Hillary Clinton, the woman that is just like us and is going to fight, fight, fight for us, the middle class!

In composing this brief article about Hillary Clinton, I immediately realized I could easily write ten thousand words and not come close to touching on her major scandals, lies and violations of the law, to say nothing of her innumerable minor outrages. Never in my living memory has any political party put forward a more dishonest, dishonorable, corrupt and criminal candidate for national office. I’ll have much more to say in the near future, but for now…

With the release of the Benghazi report we know Hillary lied about the attack. She lied to the public even as she was telling her daughter and Egyptian authorities the truth: it was a planned terrorist attack. When the caskets of our honored dead returned to America, Clinton, over the bodies of the dead, lied to the survivors, and later called them liars for daring to tell the truth about her lies.

 

Hillary-Shattered-copy

But we learned a number of new and equally dishonorable things, things that alone should convince any rational American that Hillary Clinton should never again be allowed to hold any position of authority or responsibility in our government. I’ll mention only one.

We now know the night of the Benghazi attack, she presided over a teleconference of several hours. Apparently by that time, President Obama and the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had given the authorization for mobilizing our military rescue forces. Remember, please, gentle readers, that Clinton ignored hundreds of actual requests–pleas, really–from Ambassador Chris Stevens and others for enhanced security assets in Benghazi.

Our military assets weren’t sent. A Marine FAST team in Rota, Spain was forced to sit and wait. At one point, Clinton and her dithering nitwits were trying to decide whether the Marines would be sent unarmed. The Secretary of State of the United States of America, the woman who claimed Americans wanted her answering that 3:00 AM phone call, was actually intending to send Marines on a rescue mission, into a failed state–a state she caused to be a failed state— a war zone where we knew hostiles were trying to kill Americans, unarmed. No less than four times, the Marines had to change in and out of civilian clothing and uniforms because Clinton couldn’t decide what they should wear as she worried about offending the virtually non-existent Libyan government, a government she destroyed.

Ultimately, it was an ad-hoc convoy of former Libyan military that rescued our remaining personnel and allowed them to evacuate, but not before Hillary Clinton’s carelessness, inattention and dithering caused the loss of four American lives.

Marines changing back and forth–four times–from civvies to uniforms. That’s insane. That’s criminal. Americans are dying, and Hillary Clinton is obsessed with appearances. Surely this is unprecedented.
No. It’s not.

 Consider this from Dereliction of Duty, by Lt. Col. (USAF ret.) Robert “Buzz” Patterson (Regnery, Washington. 2003). Patterson was the Air Force officer that carried the nuclear “football” in the Clinton White House. He carried the means by which the president could launch a nuclear strike. Bill Clinton once lost the card with his nuclear launch codes and didn’t tell anyone. It was never found, but that’s another story.

 “Early in the administration the ‘buzz” was that Chelsea had refused to ride to school with her military driver and that Hillary had banned military uniforms in the White House. The president eventually called the uniform ban ‘an abject lie,’ once it because apparent that this story didn’t play well politically. I can’t speak on whether Chelsea refused military drivers, but I do know the uniform issue with Mrs. Clinton was real. Soon after I arrived in the White House, my predecessor briefed me that Mrs. Clinton didn’t want the military aides in uniform. The White House Military Office argued that, for the safety of the president, it was critical that the Secret Service and staff be able immediately to identify the military aide. Common sense and security finally prevailed–at least at official functions with the president. At all other times, however, we were expected to be in business suites or civilian clothes in order to downplay the military presence at the White House.”

 Patterson’s book is full of examples of Mrs. Clinton’s hatred for and abusively vile behavior toward White House military staff. It would appear her disrespect for those that serve our nation has very deep roots indeed.

Hillary-emails

And now we come to Hillary’s absolution. There was, of course, no way that the Obama Administration would allow the Democrat’s presumptive nominee to be indicted. It would be difficult to imagine any crime that could possibly have provoked an indictment. Bill Clinton’s in-your-face meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch was nothing more than a last minute sneer, a spit in the face of the collective American public.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Kurt Schlichter with You Owe Them Nothing – Not Respect, Not Loyalty, Not Obedience submitted by Joshuapundit.

In it, I think he catches the mood of a substantial part of the country right now as well as his own. And given that he’s a highly decorated combat veteran, a sensible human being and an undoubted patriot, that says something.

Here are this week’s full results. GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD was unable to vote this week, the result of some last minute travel, but she was not subject to the normal 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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.

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

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

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Not Guilty 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 morning.

Council News:

This week, Heat Street, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, and Seraphic Secret earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

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

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Forum: What Does The Fourth Of July Mean To You?

Every week on Monday, the Council, members of the Watcher’s Council Community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Does The Fourth Of July Mean To You?

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Growing up, every Fourth of July our family traveled and celebrated the holiday with a big family reunion which revolved around the Kutztown State Fair in Pennsylvania. The fair showcases Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish tradition, culture, foods, and crafts. My family goes back to the early 1700s and the first of my ancestors who arrived in the colonies fought in the Revolutionary War.

The Fourth of July fills me with wonder at the sacrifices of these early settlers who traveled from Germany to find a new life, not knowing exactly what they would find once they reached these shores. I am filled with pride knowing they were a part of this country’s founding. Their legacy of freedom lives on in me, and in my children and grandchildren.

We have been blessed with three grandchildren, and as I look into their eyes I see my posterity. It is because of them I am resolved to do whatever it takes to assure their future remains secure and that they will be able to live in a free America. To do nothing, to say nothing, to not teach them about their proud heritage and the history of the United States is unacceptable. I am reminded of the words of President Ronald Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” It is up to us, parents and grandparents, to make sure our children understand our history, the history of humankind, civilization, and how our republic came to be. It begins with education, and this is where we must focus our attention.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: 4 July 1776 fired off a crazy rocking rolling ride that hasn’t stopped ‘stirring things up’ on a global scale.

Advancing arrogance into an art form with a remarkable relentless risque commitment to liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, and laissez-faire values.

America differs qualitatively from all other nations, because of her unique origins, nat’l credo, historical evolution, and distinctive political and religious institutions.

America is magically especial because she was a country of immigrants and the first modern democracy.

Loud, proud and rowdy – early America forecast future stuff with a provocative lingo that still fits today. “Don’t Tread On Me!” “Liberty Or Death”, “Live Free Or Die”

America’s superiority of the American Experiment is reflected in the perception among Americans of America’s role in the world. That American foreign policy is based on moral principles is a consistent theme in the American hot diplopolititary gossip – a phenomenon recognized even by those who are skeptic of such an assessment.

This inclination to do right has been virtually unique among the nations of the world – and for this very reason – America has been totally misunderstood. How could a nation so rich, so successful actually, really be so unselfish and so caring?

Unconvincing (and either historically igno – or deceitfully dishonest – either term will do) critics cry America must have darker motives! America must be seeking imperium – to dominate everyone else, suck up all the oil, to trade and rob blind for America’s selfish purposes.

People from more grasping, less idealistic societies find it nigh impossible to accept that America honestly believes that giving everyone opportunity is the real roadmap for abundance and happiness everywhere – not merely in the magical USA.

Americans honestly believe that securing other people’s freedom is actually like the best guarantee that America can keep her own.

America does not want to dominate the world. Americans want to live in peace and hope other people will too.

America will go out into the world, redress errors, stop uncool unacceptable behavior, to first challenge, then annihilate threats to our liberty.

Creative destruction is America’s middle name. It is her natural function, for she is the one truly revolutionary country in the world for more than 2 centuries.

She does it automatically, and that is precisely why creeps and tyrants hate her guts, and are driven to attack her. An enormous advantage, despots fear her, and oppressed peoples want what she offers: freedom.

Amazingly, some suspect states, illegit leaders and some people have not yet comprehended that America’s primary intention is to preserve and keep our own land and liberty and all it’s prosperity and that America will do anything and go anywhere to make it happen.

America built the modern world.

And She knows her way around.

Joyeuex Anniversarie America!

Stately McDaniel Manor:  As we plan our Independence day activities, thinking back on the intentions and sacrifices of those who gave us liberty is surely worthy of a few minutes of our time.  We tend to think of Ben Franklin’s aphorism as merely one of a great many bits of wit he coined, many published in Poor Richard’s Almanacs, for Franklin made his fortune as a printer, only one of the innumerable talents of this renaissance man.  But this brief saying is much more than that, for it expresses an essential truth known to all of the Founders: if they lost, they were dead.  Perhaps even their families were dead, and all of their property would be forfeit to the Crown.  For them, it truly was liberty or death.

With this in mind, the final sentence of the Declaration of Independence takes on new significance.  The Founders—among their number were a significant number of renaissance men—did, in fact, pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes, and above all, their sacred honor.  If they could not trust each other, not only to keep their word, but to stay the course no matter the sacrifice, to fight to their last breath to secure freedom, not only for themselves but for the future, for an America they hoped and trusted would be worthy of their sacrifice, they surely would have hung separately.  But they were men of integrity, men of honor, and they established the greatest people and the greatest nation in history, a nation not of takers and conquerors but of builders, thinkers, humanitarians and warriors for liberty.  Americans have liberated untold millions and asked no more than the space necessary to bury those that fell in the fight.

About a century later, men of integrity, honor and courage would be needed again.  Consider Gettysburg, where between July 1-3, 1863, more than 51,000 Americans were counted missing, wounded or dead.  On November 19, 1863, a ceremony to dedicate the cemetery was held at Gettysburg.  Edward Everett, then considered one of America’s greatest public speakers, delivered the main address.  He spoke for more than two hours.  Few remember his name; fewer remember his remarks.

 Abraham Lincoln was invited to speak as a formality, as a matter of decorum.  It was fitting that the nation’s chief executive say a few words to dedicate the cemetery, but no one expected him to equal, let alone surpass Everett.  Lincoln spoke for only two minutes and many initially thought his speech a failure.  Its greatness was not immediately apparent, yet those two minutes, those few words, will be read, spoken, and will inspire as long as liberty lives in the hearts and minds of free men and women.

 By all of the failings and frailties the Founders knew human beings fall prey, we have strayed from the path, and our government is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people.  We see offices once held by men of honor occupied by petty and dishonest men and women, people who lie, steal, take the fifth, squander the public’s money and trust, people who know no cause but imposing their self-imagined superior morality and intellect on those they arrogantly and dishonorably think too unsophisticated to recognize their mean estate, and who recognize no good but their own glorification.  Despite millennia of history’s lessons, they believe their version of socialist utopia will work this time because they and they alone are special, able to transform human nature and reality by the force of their personalities and brilliance.  We watch the man occupying the office held and honored by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln denigrate America, Americans, and our allies and shaking the foundations of liberty, actually saving and rewarding tyrannies sworn to our destruction.

 So this July 4th, as our elected representatives consider whether American citizenship has any value, or whether it may be won by simply crossing an undefended border, as the enemies of modernity, civilization and liberty plot and crucify children, behead, rape and torture, and as the fundamentally dishonorable and destructive forces that would “fundamentally transform” America and Americans into something far less vital, honorable and free believe they have regulated freedom into retreat, take a moment to remember the words of Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln.  Take a moment to remember all those Americans that gave that last, full measure of devotion that we might enjoy not only the material, technological comforts American liberty has provided in such abundance, but that we too might recognize the call and duties of honor, and that we might, in this time of attack from within and without, in this time of potential final darkness, pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

It’s our time; it’s our turn. May we teach our children well.  Dear God, grant that we may not have to take up arms to recover our own nation, but if that be necessary, grant that we will answer the eternal call, and that we may be worthy of the sacrifices of those who came before us that have given us so much.May our children be the inheritors of a free, prosperous and generous America; may they too know that the tree of liberty must, from time to time, be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants, and may they one day speak well of us rather than curse us for our apathy and cowardice.

JoshuaPundit:  I admit to enjoying  the Fourth. I live in a fairly Red part of a terminally Blue state  (not that it means much since we were redistricted to become part of a solid Democrat district) and things are rather old fashioned here, complete with flags posted all over, a parade, and even banners on the main boulevard honoring all the young men and women from the area by name, rank and branch of service who are serving in our military. There are a fair amount of those banners in my little corner of the universe.

There are a lot of stories in the news today about how America is falling apart; a Gallup poll that shows only 52% of Americans are ‘extremely proud’ to be Americans (although the breakdown by party and demographics is interesting) lots of stories of flag burning and desecration, even a column by some melon head in the New York Daily News ranting about banning the playing of America the Beautiful at baseball games during the Seventh Inning Stretch ‘a song that offends everybody.’

A lot of this stuff is more intensified than it seems, because the man who’s in the White House supports and encourages it at every turn, because our poisonous media culture amplifies it and because of our educational system now promotes it, especially at the university level. But historically, America has always had its share of malcontents. Even during the revolution,  many Americans stayed loyal to the crown and even fought on the British side as Tories. I wouldn’t deny that there’s a great deal of that sentiment especially in certain parts of the country and among many of the new ‘refugees,’ illegal migrants,and even many new citizens whom are now no longer required to defend the United States if called upon to do so,something that was part of the citizenship oath for years.

It remains to be seen how prevalent and widespread this virus actually is,but at present, I think that at the core, most Americans remain patriotic, even though many of the traditional institutions that formed the core of that patriotism ans America’s culture  are under attack.

It bears remembering in times like these that when our Founders chose the motto for our new Country, it was ‘In G-d We Trust.’ Certainly I believe He has intervened for America before in dark times.

 I think of the Fourth itself as kind of one of our American tribal rites, and it’s too bad more people don’t appreciate it. If they don’t, well,  it’s their problem, and I’m not letting them spoil it for me.

If a little kid or a new immigrant were to ask me what it’s all about, I’d tell him it was America’s birthday party, and birthday parties are supposed to be fun. I’d tell them it’s when we celebrate the guys who decided to take a bet on freedom, put everything on the table,beat the odds and won.

So may it continue to be.

The Glittering Eye: I was going to subject you to a lecture on the meaning of the Fourth of July.  Perhaps another time.

Instead I’ll share some of my fondest memories of Fourths of Julys past.

I remember watching fireworks shot over the Meramec River from Aunt Margaret and Uncle George’s house on stilts down on the river. I remember fireworks displays in the Valley Park village square.

I remember enduring 90% humidity and 105 degree temperature with a million (not an exaggeration) other people under the St. Louis Arch 40 years ago on the Bicentennial Fourth of July.

I remember watching the fireworks going off at eye level from our friends’ 16th floor condo in Marina Towers on the marina.

Perhaps my fondest Fourth of July memory is of sharing a Fourth of July in a small town in rural Illinois. Veterans parading. Fireworks in the town square. Speeches by local politicians. A perfect Fourth of July of classic Americana. It was like taking a time machine and experiencing a shared understanding we’re in danger of losing.

Well, there you have it.

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