Watcher’s Council Nominations – Drunk And Out Of Line Edition

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Ethics, you know…after all, if a DA can’t try and use her position to muscle herself out of a DUI,who can?

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 Council In Action!!

Terresa at The Noisy Room scored when her entry this week, Communists and the New Black Panthers Gin Up Violence and Racial Conflict in Ferguson was cited by DC Clothesline and Infowars…where it subsequently got picked up by Drudge!

This week, Blazing Cat Fur, The Political Commentatorand Gates Of Vienna 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 Is Your Reaction To Recent Events In Ferguson, Missouri?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:  What Is Your Reaction To Recent  Events In Ferguson Missouri?

 The Razor : I think Michael Brown may have had some kind of altercation with the police. I think the police overreacted due to inexperience and lack of professionalism. St. Louis county is riddled with municipalities with their own police forces and few compare in terms of professionalism and quality to the larger St. Louis County, St. Louis City or Missouri State Trooper forces. Municipality cops might know how to hand out a speeding ticket, but that’s about it.

American police forces have become militarized in ways that were predicted in dystopian science fiction movies of the 1970s and 1980s yet at the same time American society has grown less violent and the need for such militarization is disappearing.. Seeing the weaponry on display in Ferguson I have to ask why one needs fully automatic high caliber weapons in an urban setting? Do they plan on killing the target as well as 8 or 9 people behind him? Such weapons may make sense when facing the Taliban across a valley in Afghanistan, less so when facing unarmed Americans across a suburban street.

To be brutally honest the rioting and other reaction on display in Ferguson doesn’t concern me. Nothing much ever comes of that. What really disturbs me is the militarized police on display there and the “heavy footprint” the law leaves on society. In his piece in Time Sen. Rand Paul quoted a former member of the 82nd Airborne who said “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone.” In two generations we have gone from outgunned cops in inner city warzones to cops who view society as a warzone and act accordingly. We need to pull them back and re-engage them in their mission to watch over the people, not watch the people.

The Noisy Room :There have been and always will be riots and unrest. In a Progressive area such as Ferguson, with the entitlement mentality, poverty and want brought on by Democratic/Marxist policies, I am not surprised that these events happen. It’s disturbing to me that the media paints Michael Brown as some innocent teen who was executed by the state — a la Trayvon Martin, as the Rev. Jesse Jackson (race hustler extraordinaire), puts it. Brown was a very big boy and by all accounts he had just finished robbing a QuikTrip store. He towered over the clerk there and in a video, it showed him lifting and shaking the poor man before shoving him away after robbing the store. We can thank our lucky stars he wasn’t armed, or that clerk would probably be dead and maybe the cops would be too. We don’t have all the details yet and I don’t know if the cops did what they had to do to protect themselves. I suspect they did — a gun is not the only weapon to fear and like I said, Brown was a big, big guy with a bad attitude. The media can call him a teenager – at 18, he looked more like a truck and certainly had the stature of a man.

I do know that Obama, Holder and the DOJ are attempting to cover up evidence and manipulate the whole affair into race riots. They have lots of help from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as the New Black Panthers and the lapdog media. These people truly want violence in the streets so they can further their agendas. A curfew has now been called due to violence and we are one small step from martial law being declared. I can see Obama rubbing his hands in gleeful anticipation of such an event.

However, my attention is riveted on the militarization of the police.

As awful as the shootings and the senseless waste of life is, the underlying story lies with the police force itself in my eyes. Business Insider has a great piece up on the militarization of the Ferguson police force and it is sobering and frightening.

This is the evil gift of Obama’s governmental control fetish. He has facilitated police forces whose attire is fashioned after the US Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. If there were not police force patches on the arms, you would swear the US military was descending. These departments have been armed just like the military in preparedness for standing against regular American citizens. Now, I understand calling out all you’ve got to stop riots, but this is ridiculous and deadly.

In fact, these officers are more geared up than the military forces on the ground in various combat arenas. MRAPs and Bearcats — armored vehicles that can withstand IEDs and severe attacks from insurgents hardly seem everyday fare for taking on American unrest. Why are we arming more heavily to confront our own than enemies in war? Please tell me, because I sincerely want to know. There is no good reason, except to control and intimidate the American people.
Officers are brandishing short-barreled 5.56-mm rifles based on the military M4 carbine, with scopes that can accurately hit a target out to 500 meters. On their side they carry pistols. On their front, over their body armor, they carry at least four to six extra magazines, loaded with 30 rounds each. And these guys have attitude to match. “Bring it. You f*cking animals, bring it,” one police officer was caught on video telling protesters.

Not very professional conduct on the officer’s part and not how I choose to remember the men in blue who I have looked up to my whole life. I’m not sure when all of this morphed into the police turning into Obama’s new army. ‘Protect and serve’ has now become ‘us vs. them.’ Ferguson is not a war zone, at least not yet. Americans are supposed to have Constitutional rights and be innocent till proven guilty. This is not martial law. Not yet anyway.

So, now we have the FAA suspending flights over the area because they claim someone is firing at helicopters. How very convenient. The police are threatening reporters as well and protests are supposedly banned. It feels like I woke up in Moscow this morning – maybe I should check my passport. Papers please.

America better wake up and put a stop to this crap. Some day, and soon, this will come to a place near each of us. Every teeny tiny burg out there now is armed as if they are fighting ISIS in each of their neighborhoods. No doubt there are those just itching to use said force. The militarized police just rolled into Ferguson… next stop, your town USA.

Robert AvrechSeraphic Secret :My response is to republish my account of the ’92 LA riots: Jew Without a Gun.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD :If Ferguson Police Depts precepts are kinda unclear, maybe it’s why cause proponents don’t feel obligated or obliged to explain it to the media or community activists—cops just arrest them instead.

Who knew the 53-officer police force in Ferguson, Mo., even had all that military equipment and SWAT gear? Why do they have it?

The military is trained to engage and law enforcement is trained to defuse, nicht wahr?

Militarized Po Po deployments have increasingly come under scrutiny when, oh, you know, scrutinizable stuff like violating the 4th amendment or storming pot dealers houses in the middle of the night, shooting pet dogs and cats and terrorizing chirrunses and spouses with automatic weapons—sometimes at the wrong addresses—or like when they’ve ponderously established perimeters around active crime scenes while victims were still being shot in homes or schools.

In response to civic unrest after last week’s police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, those coppers turned out in force, in all their riot gear and SWAT splendor, while the brass stonewalled the community and street cops arrested journalists.

Ferguson’s police department is just one recipient; small towns all over America are now the proud owners of “MRAP” armored vehicles.

The Department of Defense provides military-grade weapons and equipment to local law enforcement agencies through the 1033 program, enacted by Congress in 1997 to expand the practice of dispensing extra military gear. Due to the defense industry’s bloated contracts, there is a huge surplus. To date, the Pentagon has donated military equipment worth more than $4 billion to local law enforcement agencies.

And the giving goes on, to police forces in all 50 states in the union.

For a police department like Ferguson’s, the path to becoming a paramilitary force is a short one. After getting fully crunk with free military gear, no big surprise that cops wanna use it. See, the 1033 program’s regs require the police use what they receive within one year.

Police militarization is a growing national threat. If the federal government doesn’t act to stop it, the future of law enforcement everywhere will look a lot like Ferguson.

JoshuaPundit : Trayvon redux. And when the toxicology report comes back, just like Trayvon I’d bet  they will find that Michael Brown was high out of his mind on something. No one who’s in his right mind does a strong arm robbery in a convenience store, slaps the clerk around and shoves him into a display case,  follows up by  walking in the middle of a major street disrupting traffic to attract law enforcement’s  attention and then indulges in cop fighting.

Two other points – First, A lot of people on the Left of the spectrum, especially certain black commentators have mentioned a lot about the ‘militarization of the police’ and how terrible it is. None of them will mention that it was President Obama, the man they voted for twice that was primarily  responsible for this. It was President Obama who called for that ‘domestic security force., just as well trained, just as well funded, just well armed as our military’ blah blah blah. Remember that? And it was the Obama Administration that opened up the floodgates  and who chose to sell local PDs military hardware by the boatload as well as establishing armed SWAT teams for over 70  government departments that never had them before.

It won’t happen, but it would be nice to get a sorry, at least.

Second, I have to admit I find it amusing in a bitter sort of way that some of the same  black folks who quiver with emotion over things like Emmett Till and the lynch mobs of the past seem all too ready to become part of a lynch mob now themselves.

The Right Planet: What really floors me about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is we really don’t have all the facts, yet so many are acting as if they do. No one is really sure just what happened during the confrontation between the police and Michael Brown, at this point, except for those who were eyewitnesses. But more and more details are leaking out, albeit slowly. The surveillance video showing what appears to be Michael Brown shoving a convenience store owner after stealing items from his store and brazenly walking out certainly has taken the wind out of the main-stream media’s narrative that Michael Brown was just a “gentle giant.”

There’s a logical fallacy called “confirmation bias” (also called myside bias), which is the tendency to favor information that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses. But let’s be clear, beliefs and theories are not synonymous with facts. No, I think there are those who only wish to use this tragic event to further their own political and social agendas–namely, all cops are bad, especially white ones. And to see the liberal press so eager to be the judge, jury and executioner of the town of Ferguson and the Ferguson Police Department–going so far as to print a map to the police officer’s home who was involved in the shooting–is beyond disgusting; it’s damn near criminal.

Whatever happened to simply reporting the who, what, why, where, when and how? For so many years now, I have watched the liberal media masquerade social advocacy as de facto journalism. It seems that many in the press and the administration wish to inflame and agitate an already volatile situation, instead of making a sincere effort to try and deescalate tensions by simply reporting on both sides of the story, leaving all the social activism and personal bias out the story. But I’m not holding my breath in the hope that the main-stream press will change their agitating ways anytime soon. As a matter of fact, I believe the whole purpose and mission of the main-stream liberal media is to agitate for radical social change, and then call it “journalism.”

The Glittering Eye :Sadly, the events in Ferguson reflect a series of “shouldn’ts”.

The police shouldn’t mistrust the people they’re supposed to be serving.

The people shouldn’t mistrust the police that are supposed to be serving them.

The police shouldn’t shoot unarmed civilians.

The people shouldn’t engage in violent protests.

The police shouldn’t overreact.

People shouldn’t rob stores under the guise of protest.

And on and on.

Most importantly, people shouldn’t be so quick to draw sweeping conclusions from an incident that is, sadly, all too common and more dependent on local conditions and issues than on any overarching national issue.

  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!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results

Me too, lil’ weasel!

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

“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.” - Hamas Prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, speech on February 12, 2012

“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”

Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.”- The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fisher.

“The true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the hatred taught to many Muslims when they are impressionable children—unable to defend themselves from having their lives poisoned with such beliefs.”

“This is the testimony of someone who witnessed it—and who experienced it—personally.” . - Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Muslim Apostate in a speech at Pepperdine University, 2008

Close races in both categories this week, a reflection of how good this week’s entries were.

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s fine essay The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians recounts a Facebook exchange she had with a ‘progressive’ about civilian deaths in Gaza versus Israel defending itself or committing national suicide. Being Bookworm, she goes far beyond that into a general discussion of jihad, but you’ll have to read all of it to marvel at how she ties it all together. Here’s a slice:

I have been engaged in a Facebook exchange with someone who believes that killing civilians is always immoral. This moral stance means that, because Israel is killing civilians more effectively than Hamas, he believes Israel is morally more culpable than Hamas in the current conflict. He therefore cannot support her, and his sympathy for Palestinians outweighs his sympathy for Israelis.

Because his is an argument I hear frequently; because Progressives think their overarching pacifism is virtuous; because this man was invariably polite in expressing his views, appearing more misguided than malevolent; and because there were other people auditing this exchange on Facebook, I took the time to respond at some length his arguments. Although doing so seemed like a somewhat futile effort while the ceasefire held, given that Hamas took up arms again the minute the ceasefire ended, this issue is not going away any time soon.

The man’s core operating principle is that killing civilians is so verboten that he can never approve of a group, party, or nation that commits such acts. I know he felt virtuous when he wrote that, but I tried to get him to see that, in certain circumstances, his pacifism will leave him with more innocent blood on his own hands (morally, speaking) than his own ostensibly high-minded position would.

I asked him to imagine that a large, well-organized, well-funded terrorist group (which we’ll call “Hamas” for short) carries out a series of attacks against a Jewish nation (which, for convenience’s sake, we’ll call “Israel”). The attacks are not as deadly as Hamas would wish, but Hamas plans to continue with the attacks — eventually someone will die — with the culmination being a coordinated attack through Israel which will, if successful, kill upwards of 10,000 Israeli civilians. This man’s moral calculus would mean that the only way for Israel, as a moral nation, to avoid the impermissible immorality of killing innocent civilians in Hamas’s ambit would be for Israel to surrender immediately and, indeed, for it to do so regardless of the seriousness of Hamas’s provocation.

In a perfect world, against an equally moral enemy, this moral purity might work. Of course, in that perfect world, the enemy too would have held itself to this high moral standard — never kill a civilian — and wouldn’t have attacked Israel in the first place. Sadly, though, we do not live in a perfect world.

In an imperfect world, which happens to be the world we inhabit, Israel knows that Hamas’s goal is to slaughter every man, woman, and child in Israel. Israel doesn’t have to go down the primrose path of conspiracy theories and paranoia to reach this conclusion about Hamas’s end game. Instead, Hamas has made the death of Israel’s citizens — all of them — the centerpiece of its charter, it preaches this goal from every political and religious pulpit, it acts upon this goal whenever possible, and it has spent millions of dollars in foreign aid, including money from Israel herself, to plan a terrorist attack intended to kill those 10,000 of Jewish civilians.

Despite this stark reality, the man I’m debating insists that Israel still has only one moral choice: she must refrain from fighting back if that fight means that she might kill even one civilian. Only in that way, he says, can he give Israel his support.

Israel, however, has figured out something that this man, either because he’s blinded by the self-righteousness of his own idealism or because he’s as genocidal as Hamas, refuses to grasp: If Israel takes this allegedly moral high ground and surrenders to Hamas, she will effectively have killed all off all of her own civilians. In other words, no matter what choices Israel makes, the nature of her enemy means that Israel will have the blood of innocents on her hands.

As between those two choices — either kill a few hundred Palestinians civilians or watch 6 million of your own people being brutally slaughtered — a non-suicidal nation will always opt to value its own citizens’ lives first. Moreover, a moral nation, such as Israel, even as it recognizes that civilian deaths are inevitable, fundamentally values life and does everything possible to protect both its own and its enemy’s citizens. Still, Israel recognizes that the nature of war, sadly, is death.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a piece that resonates with what’s on many minds this week, You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room
We are indeed living in interesting times.

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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

Watcher’s Council Nominations: ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On’ Edition

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Because we all know nothing says social justice like breaking into a convenience store and looting it.

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, MidKnight Review, The Political Commentator, The Pirate’s Cove and The Mellow Jihadi 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’s Your Prediction For The House And Senate Midterms?


Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:What’s Your Prediction For The House And Senate Midterms?

The Independent Sentinel : I honestly have no idea. We don’t have the enthusiasm of 2010 that the promise of the tea party brought to the table. I think we will take the Senate and keep the House but I’m not counting on it. If we do, it will be because the Democrats are that bad and not because the Republicans offered much.

The Razor :The GOP has discovered the Palestinian talent of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The midterms is theirs to lose – which means they’ll probably lose them by keeping the house but not gaining enough seats in the senate to make a difference.

Still I had to give kudos to Al Franken’s challenger in MN for calling the senate “Land of 10,000 excuses.” Franken wasn’t funny on Saturday Night Live but his performance there was much better than his performance has been in the senate.

 JoshuaPundit: I’d say the House remains here it is, assuming things stay pretty much as they are for the next 90 days.The GOP at best might pick up a couple of seats – the reality is that there are very few competitive House seats. The Senate? Again, assuming things stay as they are for the next 90 days ( a big assumption!),I think the GOP is looking at 5 to 8 pickups. The Republicans have already effectively made pickups in West Virginia, Montana, (Dem. John Walsh just dropped out over a plagiarism scandal) and South Dakota.  Tom Cotton in Arkansas, David Perdue in Georgia and Thom Tillis in North Carolina all look like they’re starting to pull away from their Dem opponents.

I also like Joni Ernst in Iowa. Alaska, Colorado and Louisiana are also possibilities.  Mississippi,OTOH could be a surprise Democrat pickup.

Keep in mind that most of these are Red States and lack the Democrat big city ghettos, except for Atlanta in Georgia.Wild cards will be the usual Democrat voter fraud,the disappointment of the Republican base over some of the candidates and the possible use of ‘Libertarians’ or ‘Independents’ financed by Democrats  to siphon off votes that would normally go to the GOP, ala’ the last governor’s race in Virginia.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the electorate is being changed by presidential diktat as we speak. The majority of illegal aliens are being sent to Texas, Arizona, California, Virginia and Florida. If they get amnesty as this president plans that they will, this may be the last time Republicans control the Senate for some time, let alone the White House.

 GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD :Over all – hoping it continues to look like a shellacking for the dems.

Aside from keeping a curious eye on Al Franken’s re election bid in some yankee state, the open, up for grabs race in the 13th colony for senate is the main event for moi.

Since GOP Senator Saxby Chamblis is whee tiring from office and the primaries are over the GOP’s Romneyesque David Perdue will be taking on former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn’s Democrat daughter Michelle in a very close looking race.

See, early in the new millennium, Georgia did more like a somersault than a tilt. GA had been among the last in the olde confederacy to cling to her Democratic roots: 42 carried Georgia in 1992, and a coalition of dazzling urbanites and some rural cats had kept the Democrats in control of the governor’s mansion, the legislature and even a Senate seat.

All of that changed in 2002, as rural voters revolted, throwing out the Democratic governor, senator, and (two years later) the legislature. Two years later, GOP cat Johnny Isakson rolled to a 58 percent-40 percent win over Congresswoman Denise Majette. Democrats enjoyed a reasonably close race in the 2008 general election, but totally sucked in the runoff necessitated when neither Saxby Chambliss nor Jim Martin topped 50 percent.

Democrats are excited about Michelle Nunn’s chances of ending the 14-year democrat dry spell in the Senate, and changing demographics may indeed help the party of Jackson regain its footing here. Yet the 13th colony is still a GOP state, and even with massive urban turnout in 2008, Democrats couldn’t put the Senate seat away. This race starts out close, with Nunn and Perdue trading leads in the polls, but given the environment and the Republican lean of the state, Perdue probably starts with an edge.

Mr P’s biz bona fides are stellar and he’s got tons of expertise in getting things done. The real hand grenade in the commode is Michelle Nunn’s affinity for terrorists.

41 estabbed a foundation thingy called Points of Light. Since 2007, Nunn has served as the CEO of Points of Light. Under Michelle Nunn’s leadership Points of Light has given money to some organizations that have less to do with fostering volunteerism than with fostering pet leftist causes. These include the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, which seeks to promote a global network of, yes, lesbian and gay bands.

She also gave grants to a sinister group that supports terrorism.

National Review got hold of a 144-page internal document drafted for the Michelle Nunn campaign in December. It includes plenty of juicy revelations on campaign strategy, including a potentially serious issue with a Points of Light connection to a charity that has ties to terrorists betwixt Suez and Jordan.

Points of Light, through a service called MissionFish, helped validate thousands of charities for EBay users who wanted to auction items and donate the proceeds to a specific charity.

One of those groups was Islamic Relief USA, which got $33,000 from individual donors through the Points of Light-validated system. Islamic Relief USA provides funds for emergency relief and other programs overseas. It has worked with the American Red Cross.

Islamic Relief USA states on its website that it “is an independent affiliate of Islamic Relief Worldwide and the Islamic Relief family of charities. We are completely separate legal entities that work together under the Islamic Relief Worldwide umbrella to provide aid.” It also says it shares a “common mission, vision and family identity” with the other “Islamic Relief” groups.

The worldwide group is where the politically explosive Hamas connection comes.

Islamic Relief Worldwide has ties to Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. In June, Israel banned the charity from operating in the country because, according to Israeli officials, it was funneling cash to Hamas. In 2006, Israelis arrested Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. They said he was working to “transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.” Ali admitted to cooperating with local Hamas operatives while working in Jordan and, on his computer, Israeli officials found photographs of “swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols,” and of Nazi officials, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Islamic Relief USA highlighted the work of Islamic Relief Worldwide in Palestine in its 2012 annual report, in which it talks generally about the work of Islamic Relief charities in the region without drawing a distinction between the branches. The organization has raised eyebrows before. According to a 2012 report, its bank account was closed by UBS and it was “under constant scrutiny by other banks due to nervousness about counterterrorist regulations.”

The group’s terror ties extend beyond Hamas, according to a former Israeli intelligence official. He says that Islamic Relief Worldwide’s country director in Palestine, Muneed Abugazaleh, met in April 2012 with Dr. Omar Shalah, a leader of the terror group Islamic Jihad and of the Riyad al-Saleheen Charitable Society, which is affiliated with the group. He is also the brother of Ramadan Shalah, the leader of Islamic Jihad.

Though the campaign plan recommends emphasizing Nunn’s accomplishments at the Points of Light Foundation, which she has done on the campaign trail, her strategists express enormous concern about attacks that might arise from her work there. She has served as CEO of Points of Light since 2007 and, according to the document, it has made grants to “terrorists” and “inmates” during her tenure. The document also makes reference to a 2010 audit that concluded Points of Light’s accounting system was “not adequate to account for federal funds.”

Ask Marion : Based on all the problems America is faced with and the increasing proof that most of them were caused or exacerbated by the Obama administration conservative Republicans and Independent-type candidates should be retaining the House and taking over the Senate and Governorships in a landslide in 2014. Instead many of the those that would have been true ‘movers and shakers’ have been defeated in the primaries and many of the other races will be close or at least a fight to the end, which is a snapshot of how far America has slipped from the point of normal common sense.

From what it looks like right now, based on the various polls, the Republicans should pick-up 5 seats in the Senate, but in the end, Joni Ernst could also pull out a win in Iowa. Her Democrat opponent appears to have a very weak lead at the moment. Ernst has the support of both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, a pretty wide swatch of the GOP, and she has a very impressive resume, so anything could happen in that race!! That 6th seat, of course, is the key to stopping the continued onslaught of Executive Orders, Executive Actions and the overreach by President Obama and the executive arm of the Federal government.

The Glittering Eye :I’m sticking with the prediction I’ve been making for the last six months or so. The Republicans will pick up a half dozen seats in the House and no more than five seats in the Senate, retaining control of the House and narrowly missing taking the Senate.

However, in recent months the Republicans’ prospects for the Senate have strengthened a little. I now think it’s possible they could take the Senate, especially if President Obama’s approval rating goes down which may well happen depending on what he decides to do about Iraq.

Although you didn’t ask, I’ll answer it anyway. The Democrats will pick up two governors’ seats.

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!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results

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

“It is a crime to lie to the public, to twist public opinion to insane lengths in the service of the vilest death-dealing machinations. It is a crime to poison the minds of the meek and the humble, to stoke the passions of reactionism and intolerance, by appealing to that odious anti-Semitism that, unchecked, will destroy the freedom-loving France of the Rights of Man.” – Émile Zola, J’accuse! (1898)

“If it bleeds, it leads” -News Director Bill Applegate, WNEV-TV, circa 1980

“Think of the press as a great keyboard
on which we can play.”
- Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Information Minister

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s J’accuse! The Western media has the blood of Gazan children on its hands is an absolutely superb vamp on Émile Zola’s famous piece, as she turns her scintillating style to use in applying one of life’s truths – that is isn’t just the criminal who stands guilty, but his or her enabler.Here’s a slice:

At a military level, Hamas’s advantages in the war with Israel are minimal. Its rocket strikes were ineffectual against Israel because of the Iron Dome missile defense system. In the ground war, it is certainly able to kill Israeli soldiers (most recently, three died in a booby-trapped UN building), but ultimately Israel has both the overwhelming fire power and technology that will enable it to destroy Hamas’s weapons caches and tunnels.

Because of Israel’s military advantage, she could and would win the war against Hamas if only she were given enough time to do the job. You see, time is the one thing Israel lacks. Unlike all other nations warring against a savage enemy intent upon committing mass murder against her citizens, Israel is being pressured from every corner to lay down her arms, to bend down, and to take it.

Why is this? Why is a nation that is stable, free, pluralist, and humanist being urged to surrender to a terrorist group that is tyrannical, genocidal, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and homophobic?

The answer is simple: Hamas has the ultimate weapon of mass destruction — its own children or, as I like to call this weapon, the Dead-Child WMD.

Hamas uses its children in two ways. Alive, they deter Israel; dead, they inflame the West. It is this second effect that triggers worldwide demands that Israel lay down her arms as she seeks to destroy rockets that fire and her homes, schools, hospitals, and civilian airports, and that she stop destroying the tunnels that were readied to facilitate a terrorist attack on Israel that would easily have rivaled 9/11 in its destructive power.

In utilizing its Dead-Child WMD, Hamas understands that Israel is a nation that values life, not just the lives of her own citizens, but the lives of all the innocents trapped in a terrorist madhouse. To that end, the IDF will immediately call off a rocket strike on a known Hamas arsenal and rocket launch pad if it sees even a single child (or, indeed, any civilian) in the area.

The problem for Hamas is that planting rockets in schools, playgrounds, and hospitals only defers pinpoint Israeli strikes, it doesn’t stop them. Israel will either try again when there are no visible civilians or it will eventually make the soul-searing decision that, if it is to save its own children, sometimes it will have to take action that harms Gazan children.

With regard to the West, Hamas’s use of its Dead-Child WMD is even more cynical and much more effective. Hamas has figured out that, when ignorant people, unaware of the real nature of the combatants in this war, see pictures of dead children, they will automatically cast Israel as the bad actor. In this scenario, Gaza – which freely elected the tyrannical, genocidal, brutal, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, misogynistic, homophobic Hamas to govern it – is transformed into the hapless and helpless victim of a predatory Jewish nation.

Of course, any WMD is useless if it just sits there. It requires a delivery system. Fat Man and Little Boy would have been merely decorative if it wasn’t for the Enola Gay. Hamas also requires a delivery system for its Dead-Child WMD. Without that delivery system, the Dead-Child WMD is useless. If you’re a death cult, dead children are just one of those things.

So who or what is the essential delivery system for the Dead-Child WMD, without which the WMD would be inoperative? Again, the answer is simple: The Western media has become an indispensable part of the Dead-Child WMD by becoming that weapon’s delivery system.

It’s the Western media that hungers for Gazan snuff films. It has an insatiable desire to fill its pages and screens with pictures of little corpses, of screaming children covered with blood, and of wailing women and children huddled around small, still bodies. This mentality demands a steady supply of dead bodies, the more heart-wrenching and disturbing the better. Put another way, the Western media is complicit in the death of those Palestinian children because, without its endless demands for more images showing small, bloodied bodies, the Dead-Child WMD would instantly become completely useless.

Much more at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was Roger L. Simon of PJ Media with Welcome To The 1930′s submitted by Nice Deb . It is a superb comment on what appears to be Déjà vu in one very disturbing aspect. It will move you – do read it.

Here are this week’s full results.

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 guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Dog Days Edition

Ah, the sultry days leading up to the end of summer, when the warm weather brings out the torpor and laziness in all of us and little gets accomplished except by the determined and the desperate.

Of course, in this election season, that group would include the members of the political class and a veritable army of consultants, pollsters, advance men, hangers on, hired muscle, campaign workers, groupies, sycophants, body servants, soundmen, lighting directors, you name it. Just the thought of it reminds me of the old touring days, slogging down the highway to the next town….an unnatural way to live, but the common lot of political junkies, musicians, carnies and con men always on the way to the next gig, the next score….

The Romans were the first to label this time of year the Dog Days(diēs caniculārēs), noting that the skies were ruled by Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky at this time of year. And Herodotus, Plutarch, Caesar and Thucydides all noted the effect this time of year has on men…the influence of the days of Dog Star giving rise to tempers, frustrations, gambles and many times, war and rumors of war. Some things never change. Or at least that’s what the smart money in Vegas, DC and other oracular venues where the entrails get read for omens says. The mood can get ugly very quickly.

http://frigginloon.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/dog-sleeping.gif

This week’s contest is dedicated to letting sleeping dogs lie…at least for the moment.

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 Council In Action!!

Tom White over at VA Right! is rapidly achieving guru status as a political expert in the Old Dominion. His latest mention was in a monthly Virginia Magazine, The Chesterfield Monthly.

This week, The MidKnight Review, Blazing Cat Fur, The Political Commenator and The Pirate’s Cove 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 Are The Things That First Attract You In Someone Of The Opposite Sex?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:What Are The Things That First Attract  You In Someone Of  The Opposite Sex?

 The Independent Sentinel: They have to look good overall – demeanor is important. A sense of humor, intelligence, chivalry all come through and that matters.

Like values are important after that. Looks are very temporary and one can’t hang one’s hat on that.

I could never be Mary Matalan and listen to James Carville every night.God, country and apple pie are important to me.

Bookworm Room : Let me confess right away to being terribly shallow:  I like the way men look.  So, unless I’ve first met a man over the phone and fallen in love with his voice, his looks are going to be on the top of my list in terms of what attracts me to them.  Having confessed to being this superficial, let me hasten to add that I’m not dreadfully picky.  Since I don’t look like Claudia Schiffer, I think it’s okay if he doesn’t look like Keanu Reeves (in Speed, preferably).  It is not okay, however, if the man is dirty, smelly, or ill-kempt, There are obviously exceptions to that rule (if I meet him after he’s just saved multiple people from a burning building, for example), but I do think we all owe it to ourselves and to others to appear well-groomed in ordinary circumstances.

Once I get past the visual aspect of meeting a man, I like men who don’t treat me as an audience.  I like men who can laugh at themselves and who have a sense of the ridiculous.  I like men who aren’t overwhelmed by the fact that I’m extremely verbal.  (I do not think I will ever recover from the law school professor who, after I waved hello to my boyfriend and his friends, all of whom were sitting with the professor, turned to the table at large and said “I don’t know why, but she reminds me of a Latin teacher.”  Even Sarah Palin got “naughty librarian.”

And those are the things that first attract me to someone of the opposite sex.  (All of this is hypothetical, of course, since I’ve had married person’s blinders on for a long, long time.)

 GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Just one thing: sexyful – the entire package – charm, charisma, intellect, hot!, Financially secure, smashing fashion, cool ride(s) fun to be with, generous, gallant, chivalrous, cool, merciful and forgiving.

JoshuaPundit:I’ve been married a long time. But what always used to initially attract me to a woman in any serious way was something I can only call her essence. It’s the way a woman walks and talks and carries herself, the way she smiles, her eyes, her innate sexiness or sensuality, which is all attitude.Some very conventionally pretty woman simply ain’t got it,and there are very average looking women whom do, so it’s not just a matter of looks..

Secondary things? Her voice (I once dialed a wrong number and wound up going out on a wonderful  blind date with a girl just on that basis) her natural perfume, her sense of humor, her intellect. Does she sparkle? Does she seem to have warmth and character? Do we click? Do I feel that wonderful little frisson d’coeur? Those were my criteria.

Ask Marion: Well, the things that first attract me to someone of the opposite sex, would depend on whether we are talking business, friendship, or dating… And yes, I do believe that men and women can be friends. But in all three categories a good personality and honesty are a must and a nice friendly smile is an immediate door opener.

In business, I’m attracted to go-getters and a no nonsense kind of guy; someone who will give me a run for my money.

As a friend I look for someone I can trust implicitly with any information or secret, whether they are guy or girlfriends.

And as a date, beau or mate I am attracted to someone who is outgoing but not over-bearing; someone who has a subtle sense of humor and someone who possess a general awareness about them. I’m  a driver personality, so am always up for a good, strong discussion; some would say an argument ;-). And I prefer to be with someone who is as busy as I am… so busy that he has to squeeze me in or make time for me over someone who has a fairly empty calendar! Wow… dating, I used to love the process!

   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!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results

 

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

 

The war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza has been very much in the headlines and recently something occurred that is unprecedented in America’s relationship with the Jewish State. This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Obama Betrays Israel In A Last Ditch Effort To Save Hamas is my chronicling of that event and what it means. Here’s a slice:

President Barack Obama took some time off the golf course to call Israeli PM Netanyahu and demand an immediate, unconditional ceasefire in Gaza.In a statement the White House put it this way:

“The President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities.”

Horse manure.

What happened is this; Secretary Kerry had originally told the Israelis that any ceasefire would ultimately entail Hamas disarming, but that for now what he was looking for was to implement the Egyptian proposal, which called for a ceasefire but allowed the IDF to stay in position and refused to recognize any of Hamas’ demands, which involved an IDF withdrawal and the opening of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, put in place to stop Hamas from obtaining heavy weapons from Iran.

Then Kerry tried to bypass the Egyptians and instead came up with a brand new proposal using Muslim Brotherhood friendly Qatar, who funds Hamas, and the anti-Semitic Islamist government of Turkey as intermediaries.The trio met in Paris, a city where John Kerry has had experience orchestrating betrayal before.

http://youtu.be/Cf8-o7kHF2c

That new proposal was very different from what Kerry had told the Israelis only a day or two earlier. As one of my notorious Lil’ Birdies told me directly, it recognized Hamas’ position as the ruler of the Gaza Strip, promised Hamas millions in aid and ‘reconstruction’ money ($47 million from the Obama Administration and $48 million from Qatar alone) and made no demands on Hamas as far as any demilitarization. Their rockets, tunnels and other weaponry would be allowed to remain in place. The IDF would have to withdraw, and the Rafah crossings and the Israeli Egyptian blockade would be lifted. Even worse, the wording of the proposal put Israel and Hamas on the same level, with no difference between the two.

This ridiculous proposal was unanimously rejected by Israel’s security cabinet, even the most dovish members. They were literally shocked by this duplicity.

This was on Friday. The call from Barack Hussein Obama to Binyamin Netanyahu came today.

In his call to Netanyahu, Obama spoke of the need to enact “a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.” He said that, ultimately, “any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”

So in other words, Hamas is to be rewarded, even though they were the aggressors, even though they are a terrorist group, even after the entire world has seen where that money goes. And the ‘Palestinian Authority’ which Hamas is now part of? That has to strengthened. Maybe, with some Obama funded ‘strengthening,’ Hamas and their Fatah partners might have better luck next time attacking Israel and killing Jews…

The story the White House is putting out now, of course, is that the leaked proposal was ‘just a draft’, accompanied by the usual verbiage by this president of his commitment to Israel’s security. Virtually no one in Israel believes that now.

Among other things, both Hamas leader Khalid Masha’al and Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh have already said that demilitarization will not happen, and both the president and John Kerry knew it. That why the so called ‘draft’ made no mention of it.In fact Hamas has already used a nice chunk of its ‘humanitarian aid’ money to purchase replacements for its missile arsenal from North Korea, which are en route.That’s something else the president and our Secretary of State had to be aware of too.

http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2013/05/North-Korea-Nuclear-N_Horo-e1368866843813-635x357.jpg

Even worse, Obama is trying to hold the safety of Israel’s population hostage. The Iron Dome missile defense system has been key to limiting Israeli civilian casualties.It was developed by Israel’s Rafael, but as part of the quid pro quo for doing some of the funding as a joint weapons project, the U.S. demanded that while the system itself could be produced by Israel, the missiles themselves would be produced in America, and those are made by Raytheon.

At this point, Israel has used up a significant part of its stocks and had asked America for a resupply. Congress almost unanimously authorized the funds. But then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a heartless and nasty maneuver that had to come straight from the White House attached it to the $3.7 billion the president wants to fund amnesty for illegal aliens. The Senate Republicans as I write this are attempting to write up a separate bill to bring to the floor, but it’s not certain Harry Reid will even allow it to come to a vote in the event the legislation gets out of committee. And then, even if it passes, it has to go back to the House and be signed by the president, all of which could take a very long time, especially with the president’s 18 day luxury vacay at Martha’s Vineyard coming up.

I obviously didn’t hear the phone call between Netanyahu and Obama, but I would bet my dollar to your dime the subject came up, and that it was made plain to Netanyahu that unless he accedes to Kerry and Obama’s demands and enables Hamas to rebuild, Israel might not get those Iron Dome missiles for awhile.

And of course, there’s almost certainly another motivation for President Obama here. The biggest beneficiary of the current turmoil in Gaza is none other than Iran,because it takes the eyes of the world off the West’s craven caving in on the July 2oth deadline to resolve Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program. Not only did the Iranians get another four months of ‘negotiations’ while the centrifuges spin, they got appeased for their trouble with a badly needed $2.5 billion bribe in the bargain.

President Obama realizes that like the Saudis, Egypt and the Emirates, Israel was appalled by this appeasement. And he knows that Netanyahu has his eye very much on that situation.In the president’s view, it probably works much better for him if Israel still has to deal with a military threat to the south as well as from Iran’s proxy Hezbollah in the north rather than to see Hamas defeated and Israel perhaps free to think about doing something about the Iranian threat itself.

More at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was Fred Maroun What Do Israel’s Critics Really Want? submitted by Simply Jews. Here, an Arab blogger asks and answers the simple and direct question in a simple and direct way. Do read it.

Here are this week’s full results:

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 guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Faith Edition

IDF soldiers sing before entering Gaza; “The whole world is a narrow bridge and you must not be afraid. Serve G-d with joy and come before Him with song. We have no one to rely upon except our Father in heaven.”

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:

Ah, the big news today is that it’s party time..

Our own Courtney, GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD adds another year to the ledger. The actual date was Monday, but we’ll celebrate it today…especially since she managed to get through her birthday weekend in one piece and without any serious encounters with the authorities.

 https://www.800florals.com/img/TW490.jpg

First, some flowers, just because..

http://www.tempstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Happy-Birthday-Cake-2.jpg

Now this is a decadent rum cake..the alcohol’s cooked off, but that wonderful flavor of Mount Gay Bajan rum remains. And I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to mar that wonderful chocolate top with candle holes, but I’ll let the birthday girl decide that one..and how many candles.

And some chilled Veuve Cliquot on the side to wash it down..

Another year Courts, and you still crack me up with the joyful mayhem you perform on the defenseless English language in your articles and of course in our asides! Even better is the real substance in what you write that’s behind it.It’s a great pleasure to have you in the group, and especially to have you as my friend..many, many more and keep treading the Narrow Way.

The Council In Action!!

My latest over at The Times Of Israel is up.When it comes to Hamas and Gaza, ‘demilitarization’ is the new buzzword, and it gets mentioned frequently as a solution. In What ‘Demilitarization’ Really Means’ I revisit what happened the last time this carrot was held out to push a ceasefire with the full force of the ‘international community’ behind it.

This week, The MidKnight Review, Blazing Cat Fur and Gates Of Vienna 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 ( 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 return the favor  by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out 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!