Watcher of Weasels http://www.watcherofweasels.org Keeping an eye on the weasels of the world Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:12:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Forum: Do Ethnic Or Religious Sensibilities Trump Free Speech? Should A Line Be Drawn?http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-do-ethnic-or-religious-sensibilities-trump-free-speech-should-a-line-be-drawn/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-do-ethnic-or-religious-sensibilities-trump-free-speech-should-a-line-be-drawn/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:12:42 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4403

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: Do Ethnic Or Religious Sensibilities Trump Free Speech? Should A Line Be Drawn?

Liberty’s Spirit:  Absolutely NOT. As Voltaire said {paraphrased} about freedom of speech “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend to my death your right to say it.” Freedom of speech is the right to insult people as much as you want and for them to insult you back. It is a precarious slippery slope deciding what is or is not permitted speech, because that tyranny will change depending upon who is in power at any given time. Additionally, without free speech society could not challenge, grow and develop into democracies. No ruler, potentate, oligarch or tyrant would ever allow anything they did to be challenged especially, by free speech. This is why free speech is a crime in the majority of countries in the world.

In fact, the first line of freedom is freedom of speech. It is why it is one of the 5 freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment. These are the rights that the founding fathers knew to be the most essential in order to preserve a democratic society. Freedom of speech may allow haters to vent their ignorance but it also allows you to answer them and to fight them. This is why the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality are so insidious, and why free speech advocates are enraged that the Obama administration is going to turn over certain operations of the internet to the UN. This organization is run by tyrants, absolute monarchies and oligarchs. The importance of the internet is exemplified by the fact that the overt first acts of these dictatorship is to cut off or severely limit access to the internet or internet programs like twitter.

The UN, in fact, may best be described as “Animal Farm,” without the human element of compassion. It is important to remember that the UN directorate, which is beholden to Islamist nations for their positions (due to voting blocs), is also pushing for a blasphemy law promoted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This law would punish anyone who questions Islam on any level. It is important to note that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration support such a law curtailing freedom of speech. These laws and dictator-run-groups are meant to cut off and prevent freedom of speech on every level. It is beyond comprehension how anyone in the political class of the United States would support curtailing our most basic freedoms, but our President and presumed democratic nominee for 2016 do apparently support tyranny.

Freedom of speech is not easy. But it is important to note that freedom of speech is the hallmark of the enlightenment period. Without it all humanity would revert back into serfdom. Meant only to serve the political classes’ desires and wants, just as our ancestors were forced to serve the ruling/royal classes during much of human history. Like the novel “1984,” the march forward into a better world would end and we would see another Dark Ages. Something, by the way, the international political classes are trying to engineer by promoting and capitulating to Islamist aggression coupled with political correctness and cultural relativism worldwide, including in the United States.

 Simply Jews: No.

Sorry, it was a partial answer only. Here is a full one:

No. No.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Oh, that’s easy!

NOT!!

Perhaps the most contentious issue in Free World?

If liberty of expression is not highly valued, as has often been the case, there is no problem: freedom of expression is simply curtailed in favor of other values. Free speech becomes a hot issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial.

The first thing to note in any sensible discussion of freedom of speech is that it will have to be limited. Every society places some limits on the exercise of speech because speech always takes place within a context of competing values. In this sense, Stanley Fish is correct when he says that there is no such thing as free speech (in the sense of unlimited speech).

If free speech were ‘absolute,’ you could even lawfully kill somedobby, as long as you were doing it to make some statement.

On all sides of the debate, we can agree that speech is necessary for democracy. Governments ought not to abridge speech en masse. Government must show how the speech in question poses a genuine danger.

FreeSpeechDebate has an excellent piece up that systematically knocks out 19 arguments in favor of Speech Control. Well worth checking out, here is just a killer sample

The ‘globalisation’ argument:

‘The 2005 Danish You Know Who cartoons demonstrated how free speech in the West, even if harmless at home, can have violent repercussions around the world. In an era of instantaneous electronic communications, overly broad freedoms of speech can have dangerous consequences.’

Reply:

It is illegitimate a priori to suggest that one society’s norms of democratic citizenship must be abridged because members of another society dislike its exercise. By analogy, in many societies, electronic communications revealing scantily clad Western women also provoke hostility, which, however, would scarcely justify calls for Western women to start covering themselves up.

JoshuaPundit : Our Supreme Court has weighed in on this a number of times, and originally came up with an excellent dividing line in Schenck v. United States where Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. coined the “clear and present danger” doctrine. Simply put, if speech was intended to result in a crime and had a good chance of succeeding, it was no longer protected speech.I largely agree with that doctrine. It’s a necessary line for the protection of a civil society.

Since then, our courts and our politicians have steadily chipped away at that doctrine, with various ‘hate speech’ codes in universities and other institutions being upheld whether they advocated crime and violence or pose a clear and present danger or not. This is a huge danger to the First Amendment that, frankly, comes with the Left’s increasing use of identity politics to foster division in this country. A president like Barack Obama who makes use of this as a major part of his political strategy is the natural result.

This danger to our traditional freedom of expression from this new ‘right to be offended’ has spread over the American landscape, the more so because the use of partisan identity politics is unequal, as is the fear of retaliation. An Al Sharpton, a Gloria Alred or a Louis Farrakhan can freely indulge in blatant sexism, racism or anti-semitism with no consequences, while it is open season on anyone not belonging to one of the protected groups who is guilty of what Orwell would have called thought crimes.

Another part of what I’ll call the Fear Factor is the introduction into America of fundamentalist Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood by our last three presidents. While hardliners belonging to other religions may be unpleasant and call names, Islam mandates the violent death of those whom ‘insult’ its doctrines,its prophet or its Qu’ran and a significant number of Muslims agree with that view entirely. The fear of Muslims and how they might react to something has become so pervasive in our media, military, law enforcement, academia, and politics that in itself, a significant amount of Islam and how it is practiced and proselytized in the West has become that clear and present danger Justice Homes spoke about, any number of decent, peaceful Muslims not withstanding. It has even infected our Supreme Court to the point where one Supreme Court Justice has been open about abrogating our First Amendment and another certainly leans in that direction in order to avoid any possibility of angering restive Muslims.

These threats to our First Amendment freedoms are something we are going to have to deal with in the future if we wish to retain them at all.

The Razor: Tricky question.The cliché is the limit of free speech is yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there isn’t one, so free speech isn’t without limits. Another example would be personal threats. One isn’t free to threaten to kill another. The problem is once you draw the line it’s difficult to stop moving it.

Take for example the Islamic extremists in the UK who threaten non-believers. Is that protected speech? I would say it is. However if the extremists threaten to kill David Cameron or move from the general to the specific, such as threatening to kill Jews or a British soldier, then in my view they’ve crossed that line.

But the question really is nowhere near that limit. It’s really about offensive speech. Muslims and their Leftist useful idiots have become quite adept at using speech codes to silence opposition to Islamic extremism in the UK as well as on American college campuses. These codes have nothing to do with protecting against threats and everything to do with silencing opposing voices through the justification of causing offense. The “logic” behind such codes is that there is an equivalent between mental anguish and physical pain; therefore the old adage that “sticks and stones my break my bones but words can never hurt me,” is false. Words can hurt just as much as physical abuse. That’s bulls**t. This twisted logic also assumes that humans can exist in a social state of non-confrontational bliss, which is also bullocks. Such a state assumes a level of conformity in thought and action that simply isn’t achievable without social engineering on a scale that has only been glimpsed in books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Given that such utopian social engineering underlays both Leftist and Islamic ideologies, I suppose it’s not a surprise to find these unlikely bedfellows united in their promotion of speech codes limiting the free expression of contrary ideas and opinions.

It would be nice to live in a completely free society, one without lines, but the real world demands we must set boundaries and that means drawing lines. But these lines should be set as close to the ideal as possible, meaning that the cases that cross the line and the impact such crossing has affects as few people as absolutely necessary.

 The Independent Sentinel:No. People shouldn’t be rude but it’s the price we pay for free speech. Sensibilities never trump free speech.

People shouldn’t be sued or have to accommodate others for their inherent right to free speech simply because someone is offended. If every time we speak, we have to think of who we might offend, we lose far too much freedom.

I was giving a lecture one day and I referred to my flip chart. Everyone’s gasped. I had no idea why. Apparently it’s an insult to Philippine people. Where do we stop if we have to worry about people’s sensibilities? Do we have to know insults in other languages and do we have to know the origin of words because they might have been offensive once?

The recent event on the Bundy ranch should have everyone offended. The government, in addition to the whole martial law thing, set up free speech zones far from the ranch. They made a point of calling them free speech zones. Using those words was meant to send a message that the rest of the areas are not free speech zones. It was done deliberately because they want us to get used to the idea.

All of America is a free speech zone!

Bookworm Room : No. Free speech must trump any ethnic or religious sensibilities. It’s that simple. Once you start carving out little exceptions, you stop having free speech, no matter how little those exceptions are initially. And once you lose free speech, you lose freedom which is easily lost and almost impossible to regain.

Part of living in a free society is having a thick skin. One of the most terrible things the Left has done to America is to turn various ethnic, religious, racial, sex, and gender identity groups into panicked, hysterical bundles of over-exposed nerves. Few things are more dangerous than an angry, aggressive coward fighting for what the coward perceives to be his survival — and that’s what we’ve all been trained to be over the last forty, and especially the last twenty years.

 The Glittering Eye :No. Your free exercise ends where my freedom of expression begins. The First Amendment is pretty clear on this subject and, since it’s incorporated, that applies to state and local governments as well.

There is no guarantee of not being offended by the speech of others, either explicit or implied.

AskMarion: In the end each of our relationships with and to God is all that matters, and so I believe it is with countries and societies as well. As for organized religion, I have gone through my phases with religion(s) in general, individual churches and practicing at all, throughout my life. And looking at America’s changing relationship with God and His principles on which our nation was founded and the corresponding decline in America, American society and in our standing in the world, I would say that there is a fine line between the importance of freedom of speech, basic principles and ethnic or religious sensibilities.

I believe that in the end, if you do not have freedom and the right to speak out you lose it all, or at best life becomes very difficult, but in order to have freedom and allow freedom of speech, it requires civility, understanding and some compromise by all. For if you destroy the vehicle that allows you your freedoms, even if they aren’t perfect, you will soon find yourself living in anarchy and in a place that just might not allow you any freedom or at least not the freedoms that are important to you.

We are now seeing the exact opposite of what our Founders envisioned. We are living in a country where you can be destroyed, fired, and singled out for speaking up or donating to a cause that aligns with your religious beliefs, especially if you are a Christian, in deference to groups that have made huge strides in their freedoms in the past 10-years, because average Americans were willing to compromise.

Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders believed that they were inspired by God and that God had his hand on America. They believed that there definitely should not be central religion, like in Great Britain, but they believed that our country and Constitution would be best served if based on Judeo-Christian principles…. and they absolutely supported prayer at governmental events and in school as well as the mention of God and posting of the 10 Commandments in founding documents and governmental buildings and monuments. That is the basis for the huge misunderstood principle of separation of church and state, that is nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

So yes… sometimes what is best for the society or country as a whole, must prevail. There are few absolutes, so although generally freedom of speech must be the measuring stick, sometimes common sense or the greater good must prevail because there is no freedom in chaos.

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.

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The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Resultshttp://www.watcherofweasels.org/the-council-has-spoken-this-weeks-watchers-council-results-142/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/the-council-has-spoken-this-weeks-watchers-council-results-142/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:14:20 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4400

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

“In war, truth is the first casualty” -Aeschylus

“We maintain peace through our strength; appeasement only invites aggression” – President Ronald Reagan, 1983

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” –
– Jeremiah 8:11

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This week’s winner was Joshuapundit’s  Yes, The Peace Talks Are Dead – And An Opportunity For Real Peace Comes Alive . Here’s the real story of how things imploded and why, and how the Obama Administration set things up for failure. I attempt to wrap up the post mortum and show that there’s an opportunity for real peace here,what I think it would take and what it might look like Here’s a slice:

While neither side has formally acknowledged it, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are dead, and even John Kerry has thrown in the towel.

The Obama Team would never admit it, but they’re fully aware that it was Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas that pulled the trigger and ended the talks, and his own controlled Palestinian media proudly admits it. Both Palestinian and Israeli media outlets on Thursday night quoted Abbas as saying, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed on Tuesday to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions.

Kerry and the rest of the Obama team managed to arm twist the Israelis into discussing a further release of convicted terrorists along with releasing the fourth batch provided Abbas rescinded the UN membership applications and agreed to extend the deadline of the talks.

Instead of agreeing to what amounted to another gimmee, Abbas came out with a whole new set of pre-conditions to continue talks, conditions he knew no Israeli government could accept. According to Abbas’ own Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, the new pre-conditions included formal Israeli recognition of the borders of ‘Palestine’ as the pre-67 lines with all of East Jerusalem as its capitol; the release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners including convicted terrorist leaders Marwan Barghouti, Fuad Shweiki and Ahmad Saadat; a Israeli building freeze in East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria; Israeli citizenship for 15,000 Palestinians under a ‘family reunification program’ essentially a recognition of a Palestinian ‘right of return’; the end of Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza; the right of return for PLO terrorists who were exiled to European countries under an agreement between the EU and Israel after the 2002 Palestinian siege of the Church of the Nativity; forbidding the IDF to enter Area A, the part of Judea and Samaria under PA control which would essentially create an escape zone for terrorists after attacks on Israelis since the PA has never jailed anyone for murdering an Israeli; and Palestinian control of parts of Area C, the areas now under full Israeli sovereignty.

And that was just to continue listening to Abbas say no for another few months!

Kerry’s deputy Martin Indyk mediated a nine hour meeting between head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho and tried to cable together some semblance of a reasonable platform, but he was yelled down by the Palestinian negotiators and the entire meeting turned into a shouting match, with even the ever flexible Tzipi Livni unable to contain herself. At one point, Livni reportedly demanded of Erekat that Abbas rescind the applications to the 15 UN organizations and conventions he’d submitted in order to negotiate any other preconditions. Erekat flatly refused, and Livni announced the next day that Israel would definitely not release that fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists.

When Indyk tried to reason with the Palestinians, saying that any agreement had to consider Israel’s security considerations, Faraj snapped back that the Palestinians weren’t there to discuss Israeli security, but to negotiate over a timetable to get all of their demands met.

Things went quickly downhill from there, with the Palestinians threatening to join even more international bodies and take prosecute Israel for ‘war crimes’ at the International Criminal Court and the Israelis promising retaliation if they did so.

Abbas never had any intention of actually negotiating. Even Saeb Erekat admitted earlier this month that Abbas was staying in the talks just to get the terrorist releases.

Much more at the link

In our non-Council category, the winner was Matt WalshHey gay rights militants: your fascism is showing submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Walsh’s defiant blowback to the Gay Mafia and progressive fascism in general, and it makes for some stirring reading.

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

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Watcher’s Council Nominations – The New Fascism Editionhttp://www.watcherofweasels.org/watchers-council-nominations-the-new-fascism-edition/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/watchers-council-nominations-the-new-fascism-edition/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:05:17 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4398 http://conservativehideout.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/gay_nazi-e13203016947421.jpg

It’s all over the place, isn’t it? ‘Nuff said.

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:

First off, we have a party to go to,we do. Nice Deb’s actual birthday was April 6th, but we’ll celebrate it in style today!

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First off, a cake. I chose a double Dutch chocolate number with chocolate ganache icing and just a lil’ bit of rum for flavor.

http://www.finecooking.com/CMS/uploadedimages/Images/Cooking/Articles/Issues_111-120/051119082-01-chocolate-layer-cake-recipe_xlg.jpg

 Beverage? I thought some Kristal Brut would go nicely. Can’t go wrong with a classic, yes?

 http://nicedeb.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/brut.jpg?w=780

 Our friend Debra is fairly new to the Council. Back last June when a vacancy opened up, I happened across her site and really liked what this no nonsense conservative lady was putting out. Her response when I asked if she’d be interested in joining the Council? “Sure, sounds like fun.”

You see, that’s the other side of her persona. Among her other attributes, she has a really good sense of humor, so I knew right then she’d fit in well with the rest of the gang. And she certainly has, to say the least.

Not that it should be any surprise, of course. As she’s shown me and her other Council mates on many occasions, she really is Nice Deb.

Happy Birthday, Debra..and many, many more.

THE COUNCIL IN ACTION:

  • Elise Ronan at Liberty’s Spirit has a fine new piece up at The Times of Israel, April is World Autism Awareness Month: Heck, We are Autism Awareness
  • Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye has a very interesting piece on China at Over The Beltway, No Meltdown But the End of 10% Economic Growth for China
  • VA Right’s Tom White did a great interview with Freedom & Prosperity Radio that played at 10 or so stations around Virginia. The interview, which concerned Virginia politics can be heard on his site here or by accessing the show’s archives here.
  • Debra Heine at Nice Deb has another fine piece on Breitbart concerning the always pathetic White House press secretary, Carney: Republican Opposition To Paycheck Fairness Act Just Like Their Opposition To Civil Rights
  • And yours truly at Joshuapundit has a piece up at American Thinker entitled Endgame: Israel, ‘Palestine’ And The Post Peace Talks Era, as well as a piece up at The Times of Israel on the recent conviction of a former Israeli prime minister, Justice: Former PM Ehud Olmert Convicted
  • This week, Midknight Review, Right Reason, Maggie’s Notebook and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some fine 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 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!

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    Forum: Have Your Views On Same Sex Marriage Changed Recently?http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-have-your-views-on-same-sex-marriage-changed-recently/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-have-your-views-on-same-sex-marriage-changed-recently/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:14:45 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4396

    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: Have Your Views On Same Sex Marriage Changed Recently?

    The Independent Sentinel : No. Why should they? What’s happened? Because Obama now thinks it’s okay and the media thinks I’m a homophobe because I believe in traditional marriage?

    Who cares? I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

    My views haven’t changed except that I am resigned to having lost the battle.

    I am not a bigot against gays but I believe that gay unions with equal rights would have been preferable to opening up the definition of marriage.

    Now, let me state the obvious, if polygamists want to marry, I don’t see how they can be stopped. Is that really okay with people? It’s not with me.

     Liberty’s Spirit : No, my views on same sex marriage have not changed at all. I have always believed that gay couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage and all its benefits; whether it is taxation, rights of inheritance and family rights in a hospital. I do believe that it is despicable to deny people their human rights simply because of their sexual orientation. When the gay marriage controversy first started my sons actually were incredulous. “They’re people,” was their response, and then the boys added,” Don’t we have some real problems in this country to deal with?”

    I am also not so sure that I disagree with the “gay mafia” in their attacks on opponents of gay marriage either. If someone was trying to deny me something I considered a human right I would push back as hard as I could. That Brendan Eich was pushed out from Mozilla/Firefox because of his anti-gay marriage stance well that is the cost of having free speech and doing business in the USA. (FYI he invented javascript I don’t think he is gong to suffer any.) In truth if there was an antisemite running a high profile company, I would try to get them booted out if I could. Supporters of Israel have gotten Congress to pass laws against the economic boycott of Israel and there is a push to withhold tax funding to educational organizations that decide to boycott Israel as well. Just recently t-shirts that could be viewed as antisemitic were removed from H&M stores. Think someone got in trouble for that clothing debacle? Maybe lost their job? I personally would be offended if a corporation hired someone who sent money to terror supporting groups like CAIR. I would have every right to demand their ouster if that corporation wanted me to use their product. I would have every right to promote a boycott of that corporation. So the push by gay activists to boycott products of people that are against gay marriage is as much their right as is it for the pro-Israel community or the pro- anything community to demand satisfaction from a corporation.

    Also when people lose their jobs over the issue, that is a corporate and financial decision. Believe the truth that if corporations didn’t think they were going to take a financial hit about a political issue they would never fire anyone no matter what their political persuasion. A Board that fired someone due to a political issue that would end up costing the corporation money would be sued for breach of their fiduciary duty. The purpose of a corporation is to make money for their shareholders. That is where their duty alone lies. If there is something that comes to light that effects the bottom line, yes it is the boards duty to fire that person. In fact, this is no different than when the pro-gay marriage Romney foreign policy adviser, Richard Grenell, quit during the presidential campaign so he would not be a drain on Romney due to the hullabaloo over Grenell’s non-conservative-politics. Where was his political right to his opinion and to keep his job?

    Yes you have a right to your political speech in your private life. But if you are gong to work for certain corporations that right ends at the corporate door. Corporations have a right to take your politics into consideration of how it effects their bottom line. That is generally why when going to a job in any major corporate environment you are actually asked about affiliations, conflicts and even volunteer activities; including what your spouse may or may not be involved with. (Check out IPOs, they list all this about every officer of the corporation) Clients are especially leery of hiring people that they feel have objectionable political views. That too is their right. It is why I tell my sons to be careful the petitions you sign and the groups you affiliate with. Make sure that their ideals are something you are willing to stake your future on because you never know if that is exactly what will happen. You never know who or what you will want to become in the future. You do not want anything to come back to bite you on the tuchas and destroy your dreams. In truth no one guarantees you a living. Any corporation would be in their rights to decide if it made financial sense to fire any individual that threatens their bottom line for any reason; from political activities to lack of social appropriateness.

    Personally I have had enough of all the hullabaloo over gay marriage. I also will eat at chick-fill-a if I am hungry and I will continue to use firefox because it is the browser I like best, as well. In fact I will continue to use Javascript since it is part and parcel of the internet, any and all computer environments and a requirement for most jobs in the computer science field, even if it was invented by Brendan Eich. As my sons continue to ask..don’t we have some real problems in this country?

    The Colossus of Rhodey: I don’t think my views have changed much, if at all. I’ve always thought of this as an equal protection issue: as long as gay couples receive the same [governmental] benefits as anyone else, the whole “marriage” debate should be moot. However, the gay “marriage” lobby is unsatisfied with that. To them, applying the term “civil unions” is akin to “second class citizenship” and “separate but equal.”

    This is ludicrous, of course. Just as men and women are fundamentally different (no matter what radical sociologists may say), so too is a heterosexual union different from a homosexual one. Gays obsessing on the term “marriage” (despite their recent judicial successes) is, in my opinion, silly. Attempting to alter a fundamental millennia-old tradition in a matter of years, as well as turning people like Mozilla’s Brendan Eich into monsters for supporting traditional marriage, is ultimately incredibly counter-productive. Just look at the backlash Mozilla is already dealing with after Mr. Eich resigned as CEO amid intense gay lobby (and mainstream media) pressure.

    GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD :Actually, had to keep my tho’ts about it under the radar for most of me life as the ‘rents, preachers and teachers were always so traditional. So it was kinda cool to rebel and believe if two ppl were in love – why not?

    Now, being alledgedly all grown up, the constant gay, gay, gay all the time chiz has like totally queered the mix for moi.

    Since gay ppl can’t reproduce – they recruit. Certainly explains why they have parades and wanna steal children’s innocence by going into schools

    Don’t really care either way – just don’t wanna subsidize it or get lectures and movies bout how intolerance ppl are that for whatever reasons that don’t support it.

    Ask Marion: Just as I was pondering this question, I came across the following article:  HOMOSEXUALS FLINGING POO

    It’s common knowledge that the best way to legitimize your cause is by throwing feces at people who disagree with you, right? WRONG! Helloooo… do they really think this is going to help their case?

    As if throwing feces weren’t enough, they also ripped pages from Bibles, wiped their bums with the pages, and then threw the feces covered Bible pages at others.

    So much for civil discourse. I’m sure this will make everyone want to support the homosexual agenda (yes, they were the ones throwing the poo).

    And because of events like this and a seemingly growing belief by many in the LGBT community these days that my attitude has changed on same sex marriage and on gay rights overall.

    I grew up in Southern California, the greater Hollywood area, and have had gay friends all my life, never really gave it any thought until the past several ‘in your face years’, as well as gay family members and co-workers. And although I am a Christian, I have always had a ‘live and let live’ attitude, regardless of my own personal beliefs and convictions, and looked at one’s sexuality as an issue between each of us, our conscience and God. My brother-in-law died of AIDS in our home, when most people had little understanding of that disease and he had nowhere else to go.

    But like many other groups who fight for rights and equality, it seems that as the LGBT community has become more mainstream and accepted fighting for their own rights, they have forgotten the feelings, beliefs and rights of others.

    Marriage, between a man and a woman is a sacrament in the Catholic religion, a pillar at the center of most religions, and the concept of traditional marriage to produce and nurture children and anchor societies is at the heart of most cultures. Yet most people have long accepted civil unions or civil partnerships and agree that gay couples deserve most, if not all, the rights of married couples. From my experience, most Americans have searched their souls for compromise and grappled to find balance as Adam T. Barr writes in Compassion Without Compromise: How the Gospel Frees Us to Love Our Gay Friends Without Losing the Truth. There are instances when different but essentially equal makes sense and just because something is different, doesn’t make it bad or a negative.

    Gay marriage has recently been approved in Great Britain and Elton John and his husband, filmmaker David Furnish, who have a civil partnership and have adopted two sons, will now get married, even though Elton has always said that he understands the feelings of the religious community and is fine with a civil partnership. Sometimes just ‘time’ changes things and other times you realize you were fighting for the wrong or an unnecessary goal, but either way, if you taint the water supply every step of the way, everyone is affected by the poison in the end. Let us also remember that President Barack Obama supported traditional marriage in 2008 and has since changed his position.

    My gay friends are split 50/50 on the necessity of gay marriage over civil partnerships, understanding the religious roots of the concept of marriage, but 90 percent of them believe that the over-bearing and completely self-focused path that the movement is presently on is counter-productive and wrong. Winning your own rights or freedom at the price of others’ is a very hollow victory. What has always made America great is that everyone had the right to their own opinions and were allowed to voice them because the Constitution guaranteed everyone’s freedom. It is easy to support freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of religion when you agree with what is being said, believed or done. The true test of freedom is supporting someone’s right when you completely disagree with them. One of the best examples of freedom in action is the Supreme Court’s support of pornographer Larry Flynt.

    Larry Flynt, one of the world’s most well-known publishers of pornography, published an unflattering parody of Jerry Falwell in Hustler magazine, Falwell waged a suit that eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in Flynt’s favor, citing the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech, which was depicted in the film, The People vs. Larry Flynt [Blu-ray]. Funny how the left is happy when the law works for them and wants to ignore it when they disagree.

    Just this week Mozilla CEO and Co-Founder Brendan Eich stepped down after pressure from the Gay Community because Mr. Eich made a $1,000 donation five years ago  in support of California’s anti-gay marriage law, Proposition 8. which was widely known, but his promotion to CEO brought the issue to the forefront once again. The ensuing outcry from the gay rights coalition and certain Mozilla employees on social media ultimately pushed Eich to abandon his promotion and leadership post. But now conservatives are striking back with a boycott of Mozilla.  Let us remember the recent conservative victories for Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty as Hobby Lobby is expecting a positive ruling at any time in their fight for religious freedom.  Waking a sleeping giant is usually the wrong course!

    In Islamic countries they still kill Gay people just for being Gay. In America Gays now attack Christians because of their Bible rooted religious beliefs and somehow feel they are entitled to trample everyone else’s rights to promote their agenda. Perhaps something to think about.

    Although the question here was about gay marriage, the underlying question is whether Free Speech (and Freedom in General) Is Only for Progressives These Days?  So yes… my views on gay marriage have changed recently and sadly not in a good way!  As my mother used to say; “It is often not what you say, but how you say it that makes all the difference.”

    The Right Planet: No, my views on traditional marriage have not changed. But apparently Barack and Michelle Obama’s views on gay marriage have changed. Although I realize Obama’s minions consider this major change in position by the Obama’s as “progressive”–a mere “evolution” in views; it simply appears to me as political expediency. But that’s the beauty (cf. sarcasm) of progressive (a.k.a. socialist) ideology: everything is relative … things must change in order to adapt to the times–meaning: it’s okay to lie; it’s for the “common greater good,” don’t ya know.

    I realize that it is chic to support gay marriage. I also realize it is considered “hateful” and “homophobic,” i.e. “anti-gay,” to oppose “same-sex marriage.” Well, I was never very fond of government being in our bedrooms in the first place. Besides, gays are free to do as they wish. It is a bit perplexing to me why homosexuality is even a political issue in the first place. But, then again, it’s not … since I have studied the philosophy and origins of Marxism and collectivist ideologies for several years now. But I digress.

    I don’t know how one can say that “same-sex marriage”–a peculiar concept, by the way–is “equal” with the union of a man and a woman. Why? One word: procreation. Without procreation, there is no “society.” But, of course, many on the left are ardent supporters of Planned Parenthood, i.e. population control–all under the guise of “environmental sustainability” and the “common greater good.”

    Yes, I know, I’m considered “anti-gay” because I staunchly oppose redefining marriage. But it’s just a lie. Not all gays agree on the same-sex marriage issue. Does that make them “anti-gay”? It just means they have a difference of opinion.  The federal government involved in redefining marriage is about redefining words for the sake of political expediency–a very Orwellian concept–don’t like the words, change their meanings. No, I’m sorry, I don’t see all of this an “anti-gay” agenda, but rather an “anti-family” agenda, hence an “anti-individual” agenda. Best of luck to you, Brendan Eich.

     Rhymes With Right: Yes, my view has changed.

    But not as to whether or not gay marriage should be recognized by the state. I still believe it should not.

    That said, what has changed is my view of what needs to be done in regards to it. Given that our nation’s leaders abdicated their responsibility to preserve the natural definition of marriage a decade ago, we must now go a different route and preserve the liberties of those of us who refuse to cave in to the spirit of the modern age. To that end, laws must be passed that protect the right of individuals and businesses to refuse to participate in gay marriages as an officiant, host, or vendor. Failure to do so will gut religious liberty in this country.

    The Glittering Eye: No, my views haven’t changed. I think that the direction we’re headed in is poor public policy.

    I can understand deciding as a society that all human sexual relationships are equally socially valuable. I may or may not may not agree with that position but I can understand it. In that case we should stop subsidizing marriage–essentially civil marriage should be abolished. Subsidizing all relationships equally, regardless of value to the society, just doesn’t make much sense to me.

    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?

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    The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Resultshttp://www.watcherofweasels.org/the-council-has-spoken-this-weeks-watchers-council-results-141/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/the-council-has-spoken-this-weeks-watchers-council-results-141/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:08:23 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4394  

    “Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” - President Ronald Reagab

    “Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” – Ambrose Beirce, The Devil’s Dictionary

    “A whitewashed crow soon shows black again” – Chinese proverb

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

    Even taking into consideration the normal high level of quality in both the Council and Non-Council entries, this was a tough call with some exceptional pieces to choose from, and the close vote tally reflects it.

    For instance, we had a tie this week in the Council category which I, as Watcher have to break.

    On the one hand, we had a superb in depth look at the scandal of Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist by The Noisy Room, an example of how a poster boy for San Francisco’s progressive set presented one face in public and a totally different one in private.
    Call it a political kind of Dorian Gray tale.

    On the other hand, there was Joshuapundit’s effort, Sharia Rears Its Head In Pennsylvania , a cautionary look at how Islamic sharia law is affecting American jurisprudence.

     

    The choice for me was an easy one.. here’s a slice of The Noisy Room’s excellent Leland Yee – Gun Runner, Terrorist Enabler, Progressive Communist

    For years now, Trevor Loudon has warned about Progressives, their corruption and their oft connection to the Communist underworld… especially in Asian circles of influence. A member of the California Asian Pacific Island Legislative Caucus, Yee has some splainin’ to do… Leland Yee is an excellent example of this ilk of Progressive politician. Yee just got caught stepping in criminal crap big time. This one is sheer poetry.

    But he wasn’t the only one this week and he is the third in California alone. It would seem the FBI has developed a hankering for corrupt Democrats suddenly. From bribery in Pennsylvania, where charges were dropped because the judge deemed them ‘racist,’ to the Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina resigning over bribes taken for business favors, it just keeps getting better and better.

    Enter Leland Yee, originally — wait for it — from Hawaii. Not only is Lee connected to the Communist underworld and political power brokers in California, he’s been a bad, bad boy and has been gun running in connection to radical Islamic terrorists. A staunch gun control advocate, one has to savor the irony that he was suppressing gun rights, so he could sell arms on the black market to his constituents. A hypocrite extraordinaire, Yee called for Progressive-style transparency and guns for those who could afford them.

    You’ve got to give it to Lee, he sported a big set as he flipped the bird to authorities and was running for Secretary of State. That would have been hard to do with cuffs on and behind bars, just sayin’. He’s now withdrawn from the race with more pressing matters to attend to. A 137-page, FBI-sworn affidavit against California State Sen. Leland Yee, as well as over two dozen other individuals, has been filed. This is some good stuff… entertainment and enlightenment for the whole country.

    Charges include not only gun running, but wire fraud, money laundering, corruption and bribery. And it gets better. The affidavit contains alleged murder-for-hire plots involving a political consultant close to Yee, as well as large international weapons trafficking operations. These operations included automatic weapons, shoulder-fired missiles, rocket launchers and heavy artillery. Anyone for adding treason to the charges? These weapons were allegedly being brought in from Russia and Islamic rebels in the Philippines.

    California, we have a problem:

    Out in California, State Senator Leland Yee, a longtime California politician who was praised for his efforts to make government more transparent and authored gun control legislation, was arrested Wednesday, accused of conspiracy to deal firearms and wire fraud. According to the NY Daily News, Yee discussed helping the undercover FBI agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles, and showed the agent the entire process of how to get those weapons from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines into the United States, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

    Yee performed “official acts” in exchange for donations from undercover FBI agents, as he sought to dig himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed San Francisco mayoral bid, according to court documents. Yee is also accused of accepting $10,000 in January 2013 from an undercover agent in exchange for his making a call to the California Department of Public Health in support of a contract under consideration with the agency.

    Another individual named in the affidavit is Raymond Chow, aka “Shrimp Boy,” the former leader of a Chinese criminal organization with ties to Hong Kong. Chow is accused of money laundering, conspiracy to receive and transport stolen property and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.

    Yee is the third Democrat senator from California to face charges this year along with Sen. Rod Wright, convicted of perjury and voter fraud, and Sen. Ron Calderon, indicted on federal corruption charges. Wright and Calderon are both taking a voluntary leave of absence, WITH pay of course– so typical.

    Much more at the link

    In our non-Council category, the winner was Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon with an absolutely magnificent take down of Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, entitled The Grandfather and submitted by Joshuapundit. This is definitely a must read piece.

    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!

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    Watcher’s Council Nominations – April Fool’s Editionhttp://www.watcherofweasels.org/watchers-council-nomnations-april-fools-edition/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/watchers-council-nomnations-april-fools-edition/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:31:05 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4387 http://images.sodahead.com/profiles/0/0/1/1/4/2/6/9/8/Obama-jester-fool-clown-62875364781.jpeg

    Yes , it’s April Fool’s Day all right. Especially when it comes to discussing all those ‘ObamaCare enrollments’ while not revealing how many people actually bought insurance, figuring in the between 5 and 6 million people who lost insurance, or how many of those who enrolled are medicaid clients applying for free stuff, hmm? And to make this speech on April Fool’s Day! Who knew the president had such a great sense of humor? Why, when it comes to this healthcare riff, he’s almost as funny as Fidel Castro, and that’s saying something!

    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!!

  • Liberty’s Spirit has a brand new post up st the Times of Israel, Bullying and PTSD: Not just for those on the Autism Spectrum
  • Nice Deb recounts Ebony Magazine’s response to a racist tweet by a senior editor in her piece up on Breitbart, EBONY Apologizes to Raffi Williams and the Black Republican community
  • Joshuapundit has a new piece up at the Times of Israel, Abbas to Kerry “Sorry, not interested in even discussing any peace deal just now”
  • This week, Right Reason, Blazing Cat Fur, The Mellow Jihadi 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.

    Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then 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, without any further ado, 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!

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    Forum: If You Were President Obama, How Would You Handle The Situation In Ukraine?http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-if-you-were-president-obama-how-would-you-handle-the-situation-in-ukraine/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-if-you-were-president-obama-how-would-you-handle-the-situation-in-ukraine/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:03:35 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4385

    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
    : If You Were President Obama, How Would You Handle The Situation In Ukraine?

    Liberty’s Spirit: Keeping Russia out of the G-8 was a good move. Also finding a way to limit Russia’s ability to sell their oil and natural gas on the open market would also hit Russia in the pocketbook. Of course a wounded bear is not so easily contained and it is a fine line between showing international condemnation and making that bear even more hostile. Remember a wounded Germany after WW1, instead of being cowed by sanctions and world derision turned to the Nazis and hence we ended up with the horror that was WW2. A wounded and angry Russian bear could turn us back into the bad-old-days of the Cold War.

    Russia is in a highly vulnerable state, economically and internationally. We do not want to make the same mistake with Russia that we made with post WW1 Germany. However, unless you are willing to go to war over Crimea (you need to ask yourself, and answer honestly, is this incident worth the lives of YOUR children before you decided military action is tenable) then the only alternative is economic sanctions and keeping Russia out of organizations like the G-8. Of course the reality is that the entire first world has to be in line in order for there to be any real effect upon Russia. However, Europe as usual does not have the stomach for anything but specious pronouncements as they are beholden to Russia for their energy needs, especially Germany. Also there are too many financial and economic ties to Russia for any one nation to truly do anything about Russia’s aggression. Businesses worldwide would have to be willing to take a huge financial hit if they boycotted Russia and that is not something that anyone is going to make happen anytime soon. You can ask what is the tipping point? Honestly considering that the world’s red line (not just Obama’s) has continued to be crossed when dealing with the Iranian nuclear bomb, nor stopped the slaughter in Syria, it is highly doubtful that anyone has the desire to really do anything about Putin.

    However, it would be good to have those in the White House who understand that rhetoric really gets you nowhere with someone like Putin. That a “Smartpower” policy would have to have a policy of decisive containment (sadly we are dependent on Russia for our space program now), energy independence (no Keystone pipeline and a refusal to open up areas to drill leaves us energy vulnerable to the likes of Putin) and allies that believe you are on their side (canceling the missile shield in Poland leaves vulnerable all those east European allies who are now once again in fear of Russian hegemony). Obama’s foreign policy has completely ignored these three major policy areas in dealing with Russia. In fact, in the case of the missile shield and nuclear downgrade of our military, Obama completely capitulated to Russian demands from the outset.

    Now would Putin be so aggressive if he thought that the US had descent leadership? He did invade Georgia while Bush was in office and compared to Obama, Bush was highly aggressive and continually attacked for his “cowboy diplomacy, aka military actions.” So the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t necessarily matter who is in the White House when you are dealing with an oligarch like Putin. However, containment of Putin’s aggression is possible if you practice “Smartpower.” Something the Obama national security team never has done and is totally incapable of producing.

     GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Commonwealth Russia’s annexation of Crimea is gon be like a short-term political high at home that will eventually fizzle out. Long term though, Russia gains nothing from the annexation but a bleak peninsula of no economic or military importance, and the distrust and/or hatred of her neighbors.

    A campaign of insurgency – funded by interested nation states with all the faux cover that terms like non state actors can provide would be interesting to say the least.

    Nasty things like IEDs or better – EFPs (explosive formed penetrators) detonating amidst periodic sniper attacks would certainly queer the mix of Commonwealth’s adventures in her Near Abroad if hooked up with a myriad of ‘Rebel’ groups in Crimea and their Public Relations wave. Rebel Radio and TV could play on underground chic – particularly in old Ost Europa

    Spectacular attacks will keep the spotlight on the area, granting internat’l interest and attention.

    Commando style attacks on communications centers – storming, seizing and holding TV and radio stations would have a short life span as Russia would most likely play back with a heavy hand – thus sparking the insurgency to actually launch attacks outside of Crimea – even in Mommie Russia herself.

    JoshuaPundit: The first thing I think that’s important going in is to understand that what we did to Russia and the Serbs with Kossovo is far worse than what Putin did with the Crimea. And what’s more, we didn’t even have any national interests at stake there. It was simply wag the dog, to distract the news headlines from Bill Clinton’s intern problems and look good to the Muslim world. And it has negatively affected our relationship with Russia severely to this day.Memories are long in that part of the world.

    The last thing we want,in my opinion,  is any kind of military action. Ever since Barack Hussein Obama was a Senator, he’s demonstrated a disdain and a profound  disrespect for our military, so the idea of  any kind of action while he’s C-in-C is out of the question if we can possibly avoid it.

    What would I do about the Ukraine? Assuming that Obama was out of the picture, John Kerry was out closing in on another rich widow and I had total control over things,  I would schedule a sitdown with President Putin for some serious horsetrading and a discussion of our future relationship.

    I would happily offer to swap the entire Ukraine if necessary in a covert agreement in exchange for Russia looking the other way and keeping stuhm while we dealt with Iran’s nukes. We have no interests there. Especially if I offered this carrot with a regretful mention of my being forced to resort to the ultimate stick if we couldn’t agree – barring Russia and anyone trading with them from doing transactions via the US banking system. Since oil trades are delineated in dollars and the world banking system flows through New York, this would be the ultimate sanction on Russia, one they couldn’t get around. Plus the Europeans and the Chinese would be forced to go along because of their exports and financial dealings here in America. What we’re doing now is mere pinpricks.

    I think there’s a very good chance Putin would go for it, especially since dealing with me, he’d be pretty certain I planned to solve that particular problem with Iran anyway, agreement of no agreement.

    You see, I look at it from the standpoint of what benefits us and gives Putin a little something to save face with. That’s exactly the opposite of what you’re seeing with Obama and Kerry.

    I’m not particularly worried about Putin expanding to any of the other countries near his border aside from Moldava,perhaps. With the exception of Finland, they’re all NATO allies who could call on Article Five of the treaty, and Putin knows it. He’s a rational actor. Russia is not in a position to fight that kind of war right now, and going after the Finns would be a serious mistake. The Russians tried that before and it was not pleasant for them in the least.

    Provided we no longer have a president who’s a serial prevaricator who can convince our allies we can be depended on,  building up the military power and our security cooperation with the Visegrád Group would also be a good check on any ideas Putin or anyone else might have. Those countries certainly don’t trust Obama, and with good reason. But that can change with different leadership.

    The Glittering Eye: There isn’t much that can be done at this point. The economic sanctions that are palatable to the Europeans aren’t enough to discourage the Russians so we’re limited to ineffectual gestures and condemnation. The president has already condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea and repeating it won’t make it more effective. Less to, if anything.

    Most of all we shouldn’t get cozier with Ukraine’s government. There’s little reason to believe that they’re freedom-loving liberal democrats. Indeed, in all likelihood they’re the same corrupt kleptocrats that the Yanukovych and Tymoshenko governments were.

    We might have been able to do something if we’d started twenty years ago. We could have tried to slow the transition from the Soviet system to the present one, allowing liberal institutions to gain strength. We could have given the fledgling Russia a little more support. We didn’t need to treat them like vanquished foes. We could have discouraged the expansion of the EU and NATO into former Warsaw Pact and Soviet countries or, at least, slowed it. That expansion, coupled with the interventions in Serbia, Kosovo, and Libya, convinced the Russians that NATO wasn’t a defensive alliance but an anti-Russian alliance.

    We’ve also over-emphasized the importance of individuals, first Yeltsin, now Putin. But that’s a somewhat different subject.

    Every one penny drop in the price of oil takes money out of the Putin’s pockets. We can influence the price of oil by a) producing more and b) consuming less. Lowering the price of oil is a two-edged sword. It will hurt Russia and it will help China.

     The Razor: This is an easy question: I’d handle it exactly as Obama has.

    It’s impossible to learn something new when one knows everything. Obama believes he knows the situation better than anyone on his staff, which is why he pursues this policy. Since he knows everything and implemented this policy, he cannot change it.

    From his narcissistic perspective, he has done nothing wrong. It’s Putin who refuses to see reality, which from an outside perspective is Obama’s reality, not the reality that exists outside his own mind. From Obama’s perspective Putin is acting irrationally and almost insanely because Putin refuses to acknowledge the post-Cold War/Transnational reality where Russia is no longer a powerful nationalistic state. Because Obama is completely unable to perceive the world in any other way, let alone from another person’s perspective in an objective, unbiased way, he cannot understand Putin’s actions. They seem random and disconnected; it must puzzle him – and I wonder if he believes Putin is being poisoned or becoming mentally disturbed.

    But from a perspective other than Obama’s we can see Putin’s action as quite rational when viewed in nationalistic terms. While I personally have wished Russia and China would see the world in a broader perspective, one that recognizes that international relations in the 21st century is not a zero-sum game, I understand that if a person sees you as an opponent you must treat him as an opponent. No amount of wishing is going to stop him from trying to hurt you. Therefore we have to react to Putin (and China, which is on deck to create the same mayhem in South Asia that Putin is making in Eastern Europe) in a way that he understands; by undermining his actions through diplomatic and military means when necessary. This would mean supporting rebel elements throughout the fringes of the Russian Empire, arming the Ukrainians, and generally attacking Russia through all means necessary short of a hot-war.

    Luckily for Putin he has plenty of time before Obama leaves office, and that time may grow even longer if America elects an Obama-like Hillary Clinton or an isolationist-leaning Rand Paul. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand the Russian Empire, and from Putin’s perspective he’d be crazy not to take it.

    Simply Jews : Thankfully I am not in the POTUS shoes at the moment, because in my opinion the man is in a bind in the current situation.

    Obama and USA don’t really have a military option, aside of a doomsday scenario, which will be sheer madness, taking into account the questionable qualities of both sides of the conflict. To support the (ostensibly) pro-Western side in the Ukraine means extending the patronage to a big group of raving ultra-nationalist with roots in the Ukraine stained past. So I would exclude the military option anyway.

    On the political front the POTUS has a totally immovable adversary in Vladimir Putin. Not only Putin has demonstrated several times during the recent years that he is a better poker player than Obama, he is also immune to political pressure, having unprecedentedly strong support at home. And not caring much for the world’s opinion, it has to be added.

    Economically POTUS’ hands are bound, at least in the short term. Trying to apply economic pressure at the moment, with Europe being held hostage by Putin’s hand on the gas and oil taps, will almost certainly leave US alone in the battlefield.

    The only remaining way is to establish the infrastructure for replacement of Russian source of gas and oil by US and others, which will take time. This, however, should be done anyway, since Russian expansion is by no means limited to the Crimea adventure. Having the Europe fueling solution in place, Obama then can seriously move to the economic blockade of Russia – which in the long run is the only measure that could endanger Putin and his KGB cronies at the helm.

    Ask Marion: If I were President Obama, I would never have found myself in his position with Putin and the Ukraine to start with. Weakness and/or dysfunction begets weakness and dysfunction!

    I am a Sarah Palin kind of gal… so would be a Ronald Reagan kind of president in a skirt! However, that being said:

    If I were President Obama I would start by keeping my mouth shut unless I was ready to act:

    The President addressed an audience in the Netherlands this past Tuesday after which he stood at his podium awaiting the customary round of applause. Instead, none came… virtually nobody applauded. One audience member can be heard clapping a slow, awkward clap for a few seconds before promptly giving up after noticing that his enthusiasm was not catching on (He and the United States have become laughable.

    And then I would follow the KT McFarland route, giving the following speech (short and sweet)… and then take action:

    First: I will reverse my decision to halt the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. America will go ahead as originally planned and build the missile shield, but an accelerated basis. That means U.S. military personal will be working alongside Polish and Czech military to construct and operate the systems. The missile shield is designed to protect Europe from Iranian missiles, but you get the point. Uniformed U.S. military will soon be stationed near the Russian border.

    Second: I will reverse course on the defense budget. Your defense minister just announced Russia is negotiating basing rights in seven nations around the world. He also said you were rebuilding old Soviet era military bases in central Asia. Your parliament has just voted unanimously to invade Ukraine. In light of that, this is no time for my Secretary of Defense to announce we’re gutting our military.

    Third: I will allow the Keystone Pipeline to go ahead, again on an accelerated basis. That will not only give a boost to the American and Canadian economies, it will start driving down the price of oil.

    Fourth: I will give my wholehearted support for fracking and horizontal drilling. American energy companies will now develop the vast oil and gas resources that lie, literally, under our feet. We’ve seen the U.S. go from natural gas importers to exporters in less than five years and the price of gas fall accordingly. We will now do the same with oil. Analysts expect the price of oil could decline by 20%.

    I don’t have to tell you what that means for the Russian economy. Your economy and government are solely dependent on energy revenues. You need oil above $90 to meet payroll. It should settle well below that within a few years time. And free markets are a great thing – they anticipate change and will start short selling you now. That will make it difficult for you to pay for food imports, subsidies, your military buildup, and of course the extremely expensive the Sochi Olympics.

    Fifth: I will send a trade delegation to Poland and other countries in Central Europe to explore ways of helping them use fracking technologies to develop their own gas reserves. Chevron and Shell have already signed a $13 billion deal with Ukraine. I expect others to follow.

    At the same time I will throw roadblocks in front of any American energy company that seeks to develop your eastern Siberian fields. Your existing oil fields in western Siberia have, maybe, a decade left. You need our technology to develop new ones. You’re not getting it.

    Sixth: It’s time we refocus on Western Europe’s over-dependence on Russian natural gas. We will explore ways to export our new found natural gas surpluses to Europe by underwriting building of LNG terminals to accept imports from America. And while we’re at it, we will reassure our NATO allies, especially those that used to be under Soviet control, that Article Five of the NATO charter is still valid. If you are setting your sights on them next, think again. It’s all for one and one for all.

    Seventh: It’s high time we expand our relations with the oil and gas rich nations of central Asia. We will extend invitations to each of them to visit Washington, to see how America and American energy companies might work with them to build pipelines to get their energy exports to Europe and beyond bypassing Russia.

    Time for some real leadership… of course that would mean that this administration wanted the U.S. to succeed!?!

    The Independent Sentinel: If I were in Mr. Obama’s place, I would put the missile defense shield in Poland and send arms to Ukraine. After all, we sent arms to the Syrians and we apparently give Russia tactical weaponry for free.

    If Putin thinks he can just walk into Ukraine and not pay much of a price, he will do it. The reverse is true.

    If I had the same mindset as Mr. Obama, however, I would challenge Putin to a golf match.

    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?

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    The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Resultshttp://www.watcherofweasels.org/the-council-has-spoken-this-weeks-watchers-council-results-140/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/the-council-has-spoken-this-weeks-watchers-council-results-140/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 07:22:13 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4383

    The Council has spoken, the sacred bones have been tossed and the votes have been cast, and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

    “We stand with Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. America’s commitment and my commitment to the security of Israel is unshakeable.” - President Barack Hussein Obama, 2012 campaign speech

    I hate that man like the very Gates of Death who says one thing but hides another in his heart. – Homer,The Iliad

    “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” – George Orwell, Shooting An Elephant

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EJUOhvNqRRs/T78zvPHfZ_I/AAAAAAAABWo/ASPf9nOXicI/s400/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

    This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Obama Commends Abbas For ‘Consistently Renouncing Violence’ ??? is my reaction to a few things President Obama said about Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas during during their cozy photo op at the White House last week. Here’s a slice:

     On Monday, before his meeting with Palestine’s unelected dictator Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama did the usual press appearance with Abbas and said something quite interesting:

    “I have to commend President Abbas,” Obama said alongside the Palestinian leader. “He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”

    Let’s examine that, shall we?

    For starters, Abbas just signed a new unity agreement with Hamas, an organization that is openly genocidal and makes its members swear an oath to pursue a second Holocaust.

    Abbas is a Holocaust denier, even if he lies about it today to handpicked audiences of Left wing Israelis. And his Moscow University thesis denying that the Holocaust occurred is a required part of Palestine’s educational curriculum.

    Abbas and the Palestinian Authority under his control have always glorified the murderers of Israeli civilians. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, after all, are the same folks who made child murderer Sami Kuntar an honorary ‘Palestinian’ citizen and gave him a hero’s welcome after he was released in a prisoner swap. Abbas and his Fatah faction have made a point of naming public buildings and streets after murderers and teach their children about the virtues of killing Jews in their mosques, media and schools.

    And Abbas pays terrorist murderers who are convicted in Israeli civilian courts monthly salaries to encourage further violent  attacks against Jewish civilians, with the higher salaries for both Hamas and Fatah killers reserved for those who commit the most heinous murders and thus get longer jail terms.

    The Fogel family who lived in the Jewish community of Itamar  were at home relaxing after the Sabbath on March 11, 2011 when two Palestinians affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Hakim Awad and Amjad Muhammad Fawzi Awad carried out an ‘operation’ they had planned in advance. After cutting through a security fence, they broke into the Fogel’s home and murdered five members of the family pictured above, including a 3-month-old baby. They butchered them without even the regard a slaughterer usually gives to an animal. They are on the PA’s salary list, receiving top dollar because of the five life sentences they received.These are your tax dollars at work, courtesy of President Obama, the UN and the EU.

    Much more at the link

    In our non-Council category, the winner was a simply masterful piece by John Hindraker over at Powerline, Washington Post Falls For Left-Wing Fraud, Embarrasses Itself [Updated With Post's Response] submitted by The Glittering Eye. John caught the WAPO red handed publishing a completely false story designed to libel the Koch Brothers for partisan political purposes. And to add to the mix, written by a reporter who is married to a democrat operative who works for the Obama Front group the Center For American Progress.

    As Rush Limbaugh famously said, these people aren’t journalists, but Democrat activists with a byline.

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

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    Watcher’s Council Nominations – March Madness Editionhttp://www.watcherofweasels.org/watchers-council-nominations-march-madness-edition-2/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/watchers-council-nominations-march-madness-edition-2/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 06:11:10 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4378 http://cdn.breitbart.com/mediaserver/Breitbart/Big-Government/2012/Obamas/obama-honest-leadership.jpg

    Yes, honest,law abiding leadership…..that.

    The sort of leadership that would rewrite the Freedom of Information Act secretly without consulting congress. The sort of leadership that would gut an existing law to shield himself and any ‘White House equities’ – which are anything this president says they are – from being lawfully released under the FOIA Act for as long as he chooses to stonewall them. The kind of honest, transparent leadership that would commit an illegal and unconstitutional act three months after he was sworn in and violate his oath of office with impunity.

    The fault isn’t in Caesar, but in ourselves in that we choose to be underlings. Yes, the shame is ours, in that we choose to put up with this without screaming bloody murder and insisting justice be done.

    Sheer madness.

    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!

    Liberty’s Spirit has a new article up at the Times of Israel, Rejecting God: Atheism and Autism

    Nice Deb has a new piece up at Breitbart about a significant legal challenge to Obamacare, DC Circuit Court to Decide Tuesday Whether Obama Administration Can Rewrite Laws

    Joshuapundit has a new piece up at the Times of Israel,What Caroline Glick’s One State Plan Unfortunately Misses

    ****************************************************

    This week, MidKnight Review, The Pirate’s Cove, Maggie’s Notebook and Right Truth 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 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, without further ado, let’s see what we have this week….

    Council Submissions

    Honorable Mentions

    Non-Council Submissions

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

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    Forum: What Is The Meaning Of ‘Spirituality’ To You?http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-what-is-the-meaning-of-spirituality-to-you/ http://www.watcherofweasels.org/forum-what-is-the-meaning-of-spirituality-to-you/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 05:54:11 +0000 JoshuaPundit http://www.watcherofweasels.org/?p=4375

    Every week on Monday morning , the Watcher’s 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 The Meaning Of ‘Spirituality’ To You?

    Liberty’s Spirit:Spirituality is the understanding that the universe is greater than yourself, but at the same time, you are obligated to better the world around you as if you, and you alone, are responsible for the continuation of all living creatures. It matters not to me how any one person comes to this realization. I do not believe that a person has to have a religion to be a good person (unfortunately there are too many people in the world who use religion as a weapon to hurt others instead of a path to goodness). What matters is that individuals understand that their singular actions effect everyone around them and that there is a ripple effect in the dynamics of the universe. The constant desire to be kind to all living creatures around you is the epitome of spirituality. Every little action can have a positive effect on a stranger. A simple smile at a passing individual could bring joy to their world in ways you will never know. Trying to be a better person than you were the moment before is the path to spirituality and the constant challenge of humanity.

    Simply Jews:That one sent me to the dictionary.

    The first meaning (“Property or income owned by a church”) is hardly relevant to me.
    The second one (“Concern with things of the spirit”) is somewhat more interesting, although, I suspect, much easier to deal with for religious people, which I am not.

    So, I shall have to define it for myself, then. I would say that spirituality means several activities that a person occupies him/herself during the breaks in the daily mundane pursuit of happiness in its material aspect.

    Our spiritual pursuits could be the main difference between us and the animals, although as a definition this statement doesn’t add much understanding of spirituality.

    So, to be more specific, let’s go by example: fine arts, literature, music and, (unfortunately I have to say it), the elements of popular culture such as pop, heavy metal and similar kinds of musics, should be all named as part of our spirituality.

    As, of course, the religious person’s study of things religious and praying, equivalent of which for a secular person would be philosophy – provided the secular person indulges in this field of activity.

    And, if you want to take the root of the word “spirituality” more literally, a good bottle of spirit, like the one distillated by the magicians of Scotland, has something to do with spirituality too. Depending on the dosage, of course.

    The Noisy Room: The meaning of ‘spirituality’ to me is simply my lifelong walk with God. As a child, my father was in construction and we moved constantly. My father was agnostic and my Grandmother was a devout Christian. However, we were never forced to go to church. From the time I can remember walking and talking, I have always gravitated to the Bible and its teachings. I went to church myself from the time I was very young – always alone. I have always felt Him with me – in the good and bad times and he has sustained me through many battles during my life. I could no more separate my life and being from my belief in God, than I could stop fighting against Communism. Most of my life, I have felt led by my spirituality to pursue the work I am ensconced in. It is my belief that I follow a calling from God and each and every day I pray for guidance. I gladly follow my path and His lead… I always will until I leave this world for the next.

    JoshuaPundit: Spirituality is the horse that takes you on your journey towards Almighty G-d. Faith and acceptance is the reward at journey’s end. And should you be so fortunate as to be so close to the Father of Us All to be blessed with faith and acceptance, the next step is the self discipline to practice and live that faith and acceptance in this world, as an offering.

    GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: “Authentic spirituality involves an emotional response, what I will call the spiritual response, which can include feelings of significance, unity, awe, joy, acceptance, and consolation. Such feelings are intrinsically rewarding and so are sought out in their own right, but they also help us in dealing with difficult situations involving death, loss, and disappointment. The spiritual response thus helps meet our affective needs for both celebration and reconciliation. ”

    As Richard Dawkins puts it in his book Unweaving the Rainbow, we have an “appetite for wonder,” an appetite for evoking the positive emotional states that are linked to our deepest existential questions.
    But what might evoke these states? Spirituality often involves a cognitive context, a set of beliefs about oneself and the world which can both inspire the spiritual response and provide an interpretation of it. Our ideas about what ultimately exists, who we fundamentally are, and our place in the greater scheme of things form the cognitive context for spirituality. By contemplating such beliefs we are temporarily drawn out of the mundane into the realization of life’s deeper significance, and this realization generates emotional effects. But equally, the spiritual response thus generated is itself interpreted in the light of our basic beliefs; namely, it is taken to reflect the ultimate truth of our situation as we conceive it. The cognitive context of spirituality and the spiritual response are therefore linked tightly in reciprocal evocation and validation.

    A third essential component of spirituality is what is ordinarily called spiritual practice. Since the intellectual appreciation of fundamental beliefs alone may not suffice to evoke a particularly deep experience, various non-cognitive techniques can help to access the spiritual response. Activities such as dance, singing, chant, meditation, and participation in various rituals and ceremonies all can play a role in moving us from the head to the heart. And it is in the heart, or gut, after all, where we find the most powerful intrinsic rewards of spirituality, as profound as its cognitive context might be.

    Although the emotional content of the spiritual response – feelings of connection, significance, serenity, acceptance – is common to all spirituality, the background beliefs and specific practices vary tremendously. Almost all of us have the biological capacity to feel spiritually transported, but the cognitive context of those moments and the techniques to induce them are a matter of our culture.

    A fascinating variety of spiritual traditions have arisen, ranging from the rigorous, ascetic regimes of Zen meditation to the ecstatic communal celebration of a Sunday morning gospel service, and each tradition has its own conception of the world and the individual’s place in it.

    Stemming from these beliefs there are a multiplicity of spiritual objects of veneration, of deeper realities to be encountered: God, Earth, Nature, Emptiness, angels, devils, ancestors, previous incarnations, the Force, you name it (for a current, pop-cultural sampling of these, visit Beliefnet). For each tradition, spiritual experience is taken to be the direct appreciation of the ultimate truth about the world, a way to transcend one’s limited everyday perspective in the quest for meaning, unity, and serenity.

    One of the most prominent recurring themes in Paul’s writings is the contrast between the flesh and the spirit. In the original Greek manuscripts of Paul’s letters, the Greek word SARX appears over ninety times. This word is most often translated as “flesh” and represents the physical, literal, carnal viewpoint. The opposite of the word SARX is the word PNEUMOS. This word appears over one hundred and thirty times in Paul’s writings and is translated as “spirit”.

    The PNEUMOS represents the spiritual, non-physical, symbolic view. One of the best examples illustrating this contrast between the fleshly, literal outlook and the non -physical, spiritual perspective can be found in the epistle that Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome.

    In this letter he declared: “there is therefore now no condemnation to those… who do not walk according to the flesh (SARX), but according to the Spirit (PNEUMOS)… for the mind of the flesh (SARX) is death; but the mind of the Spirit (PHRONEMA TOU PNEUMATOS) is life and peace; because of this the mind of the flesh (SARX) is enmity towards God… those in the flesh (SARX) are not able to please God… if anyone has not the Spirit (PNEUMOS) of Christ, this one is not His… for as many as are led by the Spirit (PNEUMOS) of God, these are sons of God” -Romans 8 (Interlinear Bible)

    When Paul spoke of “those in the flesh [who] are not able to please God”, he certainly was not implying that anyone who has a physical, fleshly body can’t please God. Instead, he’s referring to the “mind of the flesh (SARX)”… the fleshly, literal attitudes, interpretations and ways of thinking which “are not able to please God”. It is the “mind of the flesh” – being literal minded which is “death.” It is the “mind of the spirit” – having a spiritual viewpoint which “is life”.

    To make absolutely certain that Christians don’t miss this important point, Paul repeats it again in another passage. He wrote: “God made us able ministers of a new covenant; not of letter, but of Spirit (PNEUMOS). For the letter [the literal] kills, but the Spirit makes alive” -2 Corinthians 3:6 (Interlinear Bible)

    The literal “kills”. The “mind of the flesh” is “death”. But seeing things in terms of their spiritual meanings breathes life into them and fosters true understanding.It was to these kinds of literal minded people that Jesus was referring when he said “seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand”.

    The Glittering Eye: I think that people refer to themselves as “spiritual” when they don’t want to be inconvenienced by a religion or systematic theology or ethics that might demand something from them or constrain their actions.

    Perhaps that’s unkind of me.

    Ask Marion: Spirituality to me is my (everyone’s) personal connection to God, our creator, but also to each other, to all living creatures and to nature. I liken it to a telephone for our souls.

    Spirituality is the personal side of religion. Religion educates us and often helps people find a way to meet and mingle with like minded souls or searchers, but organized religion also has a worldly agenda that sometimes steers us far from spirituality and what I see as organized religions’ true and original intent.

    I grew up Catholic and they actually steer you away from what I see as spirituality where each of us can speak and pray to God directly at any and all times instead of having to go through a third party. You can see how popular I was with the nuns… ;-)

    For me spirituality includes the little voice in our heads, the tug in our hearts and the dreams or premonitions that tell us what is right or lead us in the right direction… if we listen. For those of us driver personality types, like me, I try to listen and often hear but then have to fight myself not to try to take control and argue with God, in our discussions that I have with him throughout the day, for my point of view.

    The voice of spirituality is far too often not heard by many and even if they do, it is equally as often ignored. I remember Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Founder of the Crystal Cathedral, saying in one of his sermons, that we in countries like the United States and other first world countries, where we have so much to be grateful for, often have a much shallower connection to God and that inner voice than people in very poor nations where merely surviving is an every day struggle, because our world is so busy, so noisy and so full of distractions, that we no longer search for God, take time to listen to him talking to each of us, or recognize His messages to us. Just like many of us never take the time to pray or just talk to God… until we need or want something from Him. for as they say… there are no atheists in foxholes.

    Also included in the realm of spirituality for me are joy and sadness… the feeling you get when you look into your children’s eyes; the feeling you get when you look into your pets’ or any animals’ eyes; the indescribable feeling you get when you see the beauty in nature; the feeling of peace you get when you took action or stood for the right thing, no matter what the personal cost to you. Spirituality is what makes living creatures of all kinds help each other and do good deeds that no one will ever know about and for which the only reward is the fulfillment of having done something good. But for me it is also the sadness you feel when we, humans anywhere in the world, abuse each other, when animals are mistreated, when we destroy a part of the world’s landscape or when humanity falls short no matter how far we are removed from the person (people), place, living-creature or event… and the guilt that we should feel for not having stepped-up. It is also the combined feeling of joy and sorrow that one feels if they were ever blessed to be holding another living creature… a loved-one or a pet, when they take their last breath and leave this world, knowing… if you have the belief, that they are entering the next.

    Spirituality is the glue that holds us all together and that will hopefully someday prevail over the hate and politics that run the world.

     Bookworm Room: When I was young, I called myself an atheist. There is no God, I thought.

    As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve realized a few things. First, we humans are definitely greater than the sum of our parts. We can deconstruct humans down to the atomic level without ever touching upon the animating force that powers us or understanding our ability to function not just mechanically, but in a moral, abstract way. Second, no one has answered to my satisfaction what preceded the Big Bang. And third, without a belief in something greater than ourselves, nothing controls our baser instincts. Incidentally, by greater than ourselves, I don’t mean a collection of individuals, such as government, as opposed to a single individual or a small group of individuals. When I speak of something greater, I refer to an entity other than mankind. I don’t know if this entity created us, controls us, or just observes us, but I believe it exists and that we would be wise to assume that it has certain expectations about our behavior.

    To me, then, spirituality means accepting that there is — and must be — something out there bigger than we are, and believing that this greater being demands that we behave according to our best abilities, not our worst. I find the Judeo-Christian tradition a very satisfying way of both recognizing a greater being and demanding a higher standard of living.

      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?

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