26 November 2014

Pushing out Hagel not shake-up Obama needs

Remember that "Change" slogan? Here are some thoughts on that, between other things:

Removing him will be unsettling to those in the Pentagon who realize he is being let go for advocating their views as well as to those throughout the administration who will worry whether getting rid of him will be seen as enough. The real changes needed are at a high level in the White House, in the team immediately around the President advising him on national security.

Unless those changes happen, view the Hagel move as a distraction, as an effort to create the illusion of change where a shake-up is needed.

Weasel Of The Week Nominees


Hello and welcome to the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we award the famed golden plastic Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

Here are this weeks' nominees...


Democrat Congressman And Illegal Alien Grievance Monger Luis Gutierrez!

 The Noisy Room : For his telling GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stop whining and start legislating and for his smug "It's a beautiful day to celebrate #ImmigrationAction in Las Vegas!"

Gutierrez, a true Marxist revolutionary and a committed racist is celebrating the defeat and coup of the Republic. For that, I brand him a treasonous weasel. Is that constructive enough?

Cleveland City Councilmen And Bathroom Monitors Matt Zone And Joe Ciperman!!

The Independent Sentinel : My weasel of the week is the Cleveland City Council especially councilmen Matt Zone and Joe Cimperman who suggested we have to get used to people of any gender using any bathroom.

Businesses and individuals who voice concerns or express discomfort will be subject to a $1000 fine. This is to please the less than 1% of the population who call themselves transgender.

"This is common sense legislation, and it's long overdue," Zone asserted, noting that the ordinance does not mandate businesses to provide separate restroom or locker room facilities or signs warning unsuspecting visitors. "We're in the 21st century, and it would allow Clevelanders to feel comfortable in their own environment and to use facilities that they're most comfortable with."

El Presidente Y Jefe Barack Hussein Obama!!

Rhymes With Right:Barack Hussein Obama, who by executive decree has declared the Constitution, and with it the principle of separation of powers, is null and void and that therefore all powers granted to Congress shall instead reside in the hands of the President in the event he does not approve of their decision not to pass laws that he demands be passed.

The P5+1 And Particularly Secretary Of State John Kerry!!

JoshuaPundit: For allowing Iran to play them for even more time in 'negotiations' while Iran gets closer to having a nuclear weapon. The latest deadline (giggle) ended November 24th, with the Iranians still refusing even basic concessions like reducing the number of centrifuges, changing their heavy water reactor at Arak to a light water one incapable of increasing plutonium, ceasing all ballistic missile activity or even disclosing info on  their  program, or even a reliable verification program.

Kerry's reaction? After a year of sheer horse manure that has accomplished nothing except to dismantle the sanctions regime and give badly needed billions to this fascist regime,Kerry and the P5+1 are begging Iran to continue the talks for another 7 months, until July 2015. They've caved on everything. The weakness this projects to the Iranians can only be imagined and it's weaselness that threatens both our country and the peace of the world.

Well, there it is! Are these worthy weasels or what? Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

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

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

25 November 2014

חוק הלאום - "אני אראה לכם מה זה"!!!

חוק הלאום החדש, אשר עדיין לא אושר, מעורר מחשבות נוגות בפנים ותרעומות רבות בחוץ.
הרשת גועשת מדיונים בעד ונגד, כלאמר כל מי שכותב משהו נגד ישר זוכה לקיטונות של "הסברים" גזעניים בצירוף נאצות וגידופים.

הצורך הזה של הימין להגדיר בחוק את היותנו מדינה יהודית מזכיר לי את הביריון הזה, שכולו שרירים נפוחים, שעומד מול איש צנום ורועד מפחד, וצועק עליו ש"הוא יראה לו מה זה". כאילו שהוא לא מספיק מפחיד עם השרירים שלו, כאילו שלא מספיק ברור שהוא החזק והשני הוא החלש.

מהן המחשבות הנוגות שלי?
ובכן, הסבים והסבתות שלי היגרו לישראל בשנות העשרים של המאה העשרים ממניעים ציונים. ארבעתם התמודדו עם הנוכחות הערבית בארץ - כל אחד ממקום מושבו ובדרכו שלו. ארבעתם תרמו להקמת מדינת ישראל - מי בקיבוץ, מי בעיר בהקמת עסק ומי בייסוד ועריכת עיתון. הם היו מגוונים בדעותיהם הפוליטיות אך אחידים באהבת הארץ ובאמונה בצורך להקים את המדינה.
שני הורי, ילידי הארץ, השתתפו באופן פעיל במלחמת השחרור ובהקמת המדינה הצעירה שלאחר מכן.
לאף אחד מהם לא היה ספק בהיותנו מדינה יהודית, בית לעם היהודי. הם הסכימו לכל מילה במגילת העצמאות וחינכו אותי לאורה.
ילדותי עברה עלי בין מלחמת סיני למלחמת ששת הימים (אז עדיין היו מרווחים גדולים בין המלחמות....), כאשר ברור היה לכולם שמדינת ישראל היא מדינה יהודית, ושהעליות השונות חשובות לנו.
אחרי מלחמת ששת הימים הייתי בין המפגינים הראשונים להחזרת השטחים וקידום תהליך השלום עם המדינות השכנות. הפגנות שהלכתי אליהן ביתר דבקות אחרי מלחמת יום כיפור.
אני מאמינה בכל לבי שאנחנו מדינה יהודית, ושיש הכרח שנהיה מדינה יהודית.
אני לא מסכימה עם הפרדוקס שמצד אחד אנו שולטים על מיליוני ערבים ומצד שני צריכים להגדיר בחוק את היותנו מדינה יהודית:
בואו וניפרד מהפלסטינים ואז באופן אוטומטי אנחנו כבר מדינה עם רוב יהודי שמכתיב את אופי המדינה.

Forum: What was your reaction to the President’s New Executive Order On Immigration?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What was your reaction to the President's New Executive Order On Immigration?

GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD : Kinda shocked at the lawlessness. I mean, if a GOP pres decided to Executive Order a Berlin Wall type barrier along the South 40 - ppl would totally freak. Methinks the GOP will NOT fall into an over reaction trap - instead they'll use the Cruz Maneuver:

“Step number one that I have called for is the incoming majority leader should announce that if the president implements this lawless amnesty, that the Senate will not confirm any executive or judicial nominees, other than vital national security positions, for the next two years, unless and until the president ends this lawless amnesty,” Cruz told Chris Wallace on Faux News Sunday. “If the majority leader would announce that, it would impose real consequences on the president and the administration.”

Cruz didn’t say if he regards the attorney general as a “vital national security position,” leaving open the question of whether he wants the GOP to block confirmation of Loretta Lynch, 44’s nominee to replace Attorney General Eric The Red Holder.

“The second constitutional power we’ve got is the power of the purse,” Cruz continued. “And we should fund, one at a time, the critical priorities of the federal government, but also use the power of the purse to attach riders.”

By riders, Cruz is likely referring to an appropriations bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security but stipulate that none of the funds appropriated may be used to implement 44’s recent executive orders. And, following Cruz’s thinking, if 44 vetoes that bill next year, it wouldn’t result in a government-wide shutdown because Congress will have passed bills funding other parts of government.

Cruz’s plan is very similar to the one he hoped to execute during the fight to defund the health care thing, with one crucial difference: Republicans now control the Senate, so Harry Reid, in theory, can’t block the bills that would fund the rest of government.

Also, tired of the tired refrain that somehow deporting 11 million ppl is undoable. Au Contraire mon frer!

Mass Deportation is very doable - after all - if the Germans can tote off over half that many folks and kill them - we can certainly carry off that many folks to their nation of origin and ensure they have a sack lunch on the bus.

Think of the economic boom the nation would enjoy - thousands of busses, drivers, relief drivers, petrol, safety officers, translators, sack lunch fixer uppers, paper pushers etc etc.

Or how about fining sanctuary cities for helping craft and continue the entire sorry mess to begin with? And the sudden stoppage of the drain on municipalities resources for illiterate and semi literate unskilled workers and families as they shed the 'shadow dwellers' by the bus loads simply raises quality of life for citizens.

The Right Planet : So often times those of us who want a secure border and current immigration laws to be enforced are labeled as “xenophobes,” “racists,” and the like, by the rampagin’ “open borders” crowd—the implication being we’re “anti-immigrant.” Hey, I have no problem with legal immigration. I think it’s a good thing. But we have immigration laws, like most nations do, thank you very much. George Stephanopoulos asked the president, "If you can selectively enforce immigration law, what prevents another president from not enforcing tax laws?" Obama's response? Oh, that would be wrong. And how do legal immigrants feel about Obama's imperial decree to grant executive amnesty after they followed all the rules? You can read more about that here. Back out quiet.

JoshuaPundit: First we have to start by understanding this. This was not about compassion, or fairness or the good of the nation. It was about politics. The president's aim here is to create a brand new bloc of government-dependent Democrat voters. See if in one year or so there isn't a push by the Democrats and this president to provide these people with a streamlined 'path to citizenship' and voting. "After all, they're here, they're paying taxes..."

The other reason it was done in this way is because the president hopes to provoke the Republicans into a government shutdown come December 12th and recreate what happened previously, where he deliberately shut down things that would most impact and inconvenience the American people while blaming it on the GOP while his media sycophants sing the same song.. In his mind, he's still as popular as he was back then and the midterm elections meant nothing.

I think the Republican caucus did exactly the right thing by getting out of Dodge just now. They need to plan a cohesive strategy, some of which I explored here.And they need to feel out who's really on board and whom isn't. For instance, Senator McCain, the creature of his biggest financial backer UniVision cannot be trusted.

Lawsuits are not only useless but take far too long. First, everything connected with the president's new executive diktat can be defunded by congress, and anyone whom believes the nonsense that entities like the USCIS can't be defunded 'because they operate using fees rather than appropriations' needs to click on the above link to find out exactly how ridiculous that is.

They can halt any of his nominations and appointments, saying quite frankly that since this president has shown his contempt for the incoming congress and the separation of powers, they feel under no obligation to cooperate with him on anything.

They can pass common sense legislation that forces him to use his veto pen and shows whom the real obstructionists in congress are. They can block anything he plans to do including his planned global warming $3 billion slush fund and honestly say that until he reverses himself, that's simply how things are going to be. This can easily apply to ObamaCare also if the Supreme Court doesn't gut it first, since the president has said he will never sign any legislation repealing or changing it in any way.

I personally would extend the defunding to the president's discretionary funds. No more lavish fundraisers and vacations on the public's dime, severe cuts in his and the First Lady's personal staff..no more personal chefs, masseuses, hair stylists and 'assistants.' No more pricey state dinners and parties featuring Hollywood entertainers, no more greens fees for his golf games. Let the president pay for these himself, if he likes.

And most important of all, the very first thing the new House and Senate need to do is pool their resources and hire a special prosecutor and staff to collect evidence so the House can prepare articles of impeachment.

I think a lot of people get confused and think that impeachment is a legal remedy because it has a legal process. It is actually a political remedy, and only works when a president has gone so far off the rails as to be unpopular enough with the American people that it can succeed. I think the president (whose approval ratings I think are at least 5-10% exaggerated in his favor) is at that point now, and that will become even more obvious if the articles are prepared properly and the American people get a good summation of everything this lawless, would-be autocrat has done to disgrace his office.

At that point, even many Democrats are likely to urge him to resign to save themselves, dangling a pre-arranged pardon okayed by soon to be interim President Biden as an incentive.

Once he's gone, Congress can simply reverse what he's done. And a far better solution to illegal migration can be formulated, one that protects the borders and deports people here illegally whom do not benefit America in the 21st century while importing other immigrants who do.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: President Obama knows once the newly elected Republican led Senate and House members convene in 2015 they will not pass a comprehensive immigration bill he would sign, which is why he issued this executive order. This action defies the powers granted to the executive branch in our Constitution. Even President Obama acknowledged on many occasions he did not have the power to act unilaterally on this issue.

The President is correct in saying that rounding up and deporting millions of illegal immigrants in this country is not practical. He said that by issuing this executive order he was being fair and just. The Republicans should appeal to the immigrants who have waited for years to come here legally, and to every American citizen whose hard earned tax money will be used to pay for this illegal “amnesty.” Is the President being fair and just to them?

I would love to see the Republicans put forth a bill building on this executive order to enforce and enhance border security, assure criminals who are caught are deported immediately, and those given permission to stay under this executive order should never be permitted to become American citizens unless they leave the country and apply through the proper legal channels to do so.

The goal of the left in granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is to create a new voting block of millions of voters who will vote for Democrat candidates. The Republicans can stop this by not allowing them to become citizens. Let them work here legally, out of the shadows, and take advantage of the opportunities available to them. They should not be rewarded for their crimes by being given a special path to citizenship. I believe this is fair and just, not just to the illegal immigrants, but to those of us who are American citizens by birth or who went through the proper legal channels to become American citizens.

The President will not sign such a law, but the Republicans can show the American people that the purpose of this executive order is to gain millions of new Democrat voters and has nothing to do with compassion.

Well, there you have it!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

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

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

24 November 2014

Bibi and the ‘Jewish state’ bill or what to do when she doesn't love you back

"There will be no peace with the Palestinians until they recognize the Jewish right to a homeland in Israel..."
For quite a long time Bibi made this statement a cornerstone of his policy on the solution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
A necessary condition to getting a true solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict was and remains clear as the sun: ending the refusal to recognize the right of the Jews to a homeland of their own in the land of their fathers,” he said. “That is the most important key to solving the conflict.
For the same long time Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen steadfastly refused to grant such recognition to the state of Israel.

The reasons for the former demanding this recognition as part of the future peace deal and for the latter refusing the recognition are many, some of them serious and some less, but let's not go into it for the moment. Suffice to say that I do understand Bibi's logic in this case and don't necessarily disagree with it.

The latest bout of lawmaking activity by a few usual suspects of our illustrious bunch of solons (Ze’ev Elkin, Yariv Levin, Ayelet Shaked) seems to be an attempt at a crushing answer to Abbas' negative response to Bibi's advances.
The cabinet is expected to approve on Sunday two controversial bills that seek to enshrine Israel’s definition as a Jewish state among the country’s Basic Laws.
Bibi, unable to sit still while somebody tries to out-patriot him from the right, just had to counter-strike with his own proposal:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed his own version of such legislation in May. He said then that the state lacked “adequate expression” of Israel’s “existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people” in the country’s set of Basic Laws, which constitute its de facto constitution.
Sounds fishy to me, since the Declaration of Independence states quite clearly:
It also states, by the way:
...it [the state] will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture...
Of course I am not a lawyer and indeed there is no basic law that defines Israel as a Jewish state - but isn't the Declaration quite enough? Isn't the whole brouhaha with that new basic law (that is being objected to by the Attorney General) just a too obvious attempt to stick a finger in Abbas' eye?

And how should one take the Bibi's proposal of the law that says, between other things:
The State of Israel is a democratic state, founded on the principles of freedom, justice and peace, in accordance with the vision of Israel’s prophets, and upholds the individual rights of all of its citizens according to the law.
Does the reference to the "vision of Israel's prophets"  mean a whole new era in the local law schools and courts? Strange, innit?

Anyway, back to the reasons for all this: what would a boy do when she doesn't love him back after all his efforts at courting? What if she continues to refuse him the... ah... pleasures of her company, so to say? And what if the boy doesn't want to switch his attention to someone else, possibly more responsive? Or if there simply isn't anyone else?

A man must do what a man must do, surely. Which mean glumly pleasure himself. For instance, issuing new laws like this misbegotten one.

Wanking, in short.

23 November 2014

Let's counter boycott the boycotters!

It occurred to me that there might just be a solution to the problem of the Boycott. Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement: counter boycott. Why not? There are lots of us wrinklies remembering how we boycotted South Africa (if you want a real apartheid, there's one you youngsters out there should study). We might not have had the effect that we desired, but, by heck, we sure felt better!

Further, these days, Jewish communities in the West, especially, actually do have some real economic clout. This autumn, for those of you who missed it, the UK (for United Kingdom) Jewish Film Festival was due to show some of its films in a cinema/theatre complex called the Tricycle. situated in North London, in an area noted more for its Irish and Afro-Caribbean "immigrants" than those of any other ethnicity. The Tricycle had shown films for the Festival in previous years, but this year, for some unknown reason, they demanded to view the films due to be screened in advance, with a clear implication of potential censorship. Fortunately, the UKJFF Executive flatly refused.

So, the Tricycle Chief Executive and Board scrutinised the Festival's sources of finance and alighted on a grant of £1400 ($2100, or NIS8400, both approximate) from the Israeli Embassy (clearly an Arts Grant from the Israeli - for the Brits reading this - the equivalent of one from the UK Arts Council: government money but administered independently). They demanded that the Festival return this and they would replace it, pound for pound. Naturally, the Festival rejected this out of hand and withdrew their films.

The reaction among the London Jewish literati was immediate: lots of us (my wife and I and all our friends on their mailing list, etc) immediately wrote to them, telling them to delete our addresses from their lists and that we would not be returning until they changed their policy. It is notable that a significant number of Jewish sponsors/donors also withdrew their support. The Tricycle reaction was almost immediate: they promised to reinstate the Festival next year (2015). However, none of us going back until the Tricycle makes good on its promise.

They must have had a nasty shock when they lost the support of a significant number of their sponsors and mailing list members.

They forgot that Jews, these days, are, in the Diaspora, collectively pretty Middle Class +, with a significant spend available for the arts and entertainment sector.

The point of this preamble is to note that the Zim Line has decided to stop attempting to unload cargoes in Long Beach, California, following problems with BDS demonstrators at the port (see this Times of Israel article for details). Despite the efforts of the port authorities to play down the problems, one of them, Lee Peterson stating that "“At the time,...it did not affect the longshore workers and operations continued”, and despite a spokesperson for Zim Lines (apparently, the 10th largest sea-borne freight carrier in the world) suggested that this situation wasn't necessarily permanent, it would appear that Zim Lines will unload elsewhere on the West coast of the US for as long as it takes.

So, all of us supporters of Israel have purchasing power: we can buy or not buy where we like. Perhaps we should be making sure we buy in stores, etc, that are prepared to stock Israeli goods (even if that's not what we're buying today), and avoid stores that support BDS.Capitalist principles of the bottom line and profit margin will soon take over!

By Brian Goldfarb.

Update: Commenter Larry Sheldon is absolutely right, saying:

You make an error if you fail to include the Christian communities that feel and act more strongly FOR Israel [than] some Jewish communities do.
Indeed, the same call applies to our Christian friends as well.

A NYT/Jodi Rudoren Equivalency - this revolting Olympian indifference of NYT

Another NYTimes (im)moral equivalency:

"More than 100 people on each side died in a week of rioting in 1929 over access to the Western Wall below."
Now read the whole post by Yisrael Medad.

22 November 2014

On the benefits of higher education. Oh, and the fungi, the fungi

And no comments from me. Just enjoy.

But keep in mind that: Berkeley gas pumps to soon feature global warming warning stickers

Since I promised no comments on all of that, please don't count the following as a comment - just as an additional piece of the puzzle that helps to clear up the whole picture:

New mushroom species found on Berkeley's campus
Suffice to say, the place is no stranger to mushrooms.
Yeah... that will be all.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

21 November 2014

That sweet, sweet taste of propaganda

This collage of three pictures or, rather, of one picture repeated three times, requires some translation work.

The leftmost one, coming from a Ukrainian source and written in Ukrainian, says that a Russian missile damaged the truck but didn't explode, adding that Russian forces continue to bombard the peaceful citizens of Donetsk.

The picture in the middle, by Russian TV this time, says that Ukrainian "chasteners" shoot at their own citizens.

And the rightmost one, coming (live, no less!) from Al Jazz... well, see for yourself.

How do you like them propaganda chickens?

Simon Jenkins, you win. Again.

 I was going to put here a few words about the new inanity by Mr Jenkins, published as usual in the Guardian and titled If Charles Manson has found love, surely that’s a good thing?. But somebody - Claire Berlinski in this case - has already written all I had to say, including the headline: Simon Jenkins, You Win. Here is what she (me too, me too!) says:
The only explanation for this column I can fathom is this one: Simon Jenkins placed a bet, probably a large one, that there is simply nothing — literally nothing — he can write so insane that The Guardian won’t publish it.
Upon second thought, I have added one word to Ms Berlinski's headline. Cause Simon Jenkins has done it quite a lot of times already and, undoubtedly, will do it in the future.

So there.

Our Weasel Of The Week!

Once again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week's nominees were all slime-worthy,but in the end the winner was..the envelope please...

 House Minority Leader Nancy 'What VISA IPO?' Pelosi!!

  The Independent Sentinel :    Nancy Pelosi was so very weasley this past week.

“I do not believe what happened the other night is a wave,” Pelosi said about the election, she described it as “an ebb tide.”

She can say any dumb thing she wants because the imbeciles who vote for her will continue to vote for her no matter what she says.

She went into a crazed rant about sexism and ageism last week because CBS news reporter Nancy Cordes asked her if she gave any thought to stepping down as the leader.

After she was asked the question, Nancy said, “What was the day,” she replied to Cordes, “when any of you said to Mitch McConnell when they lost the Senate three times in a row . . . ‘Aren’t you getting a little old, Mitch? Shouldn’t you step aside?’ ”

It’s “interesting that, as a woman, to see how many times that question is asked of a woman and how many times that question is never asked of Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi added.

The rant continued: “I was never on the front of Time magazine even though I was the first woman — wasn’t that a curiosity? Then the Republicans win and [House Speaker John] Boehner’s on the front of Time magazine. Mitch McConnell wins, he’s on the front of Time magazine. . . . As a woman, it’s like, is there a message here?”

Best yet was her big lie about Jonathan Gruber.

She said she didn't know him but there is video of her referencing him in 2009.

Ah, good ol' Nancy. For an elderly politico confused about who won the 2014 midterms, she still manages to shock, offend, bamboozle and mislead with the best of 'em.

And her memory tricks! Remember when she swore she'd never been briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques and it turns out she was - in depth?


Congresswoman Pelosi has whole bunch of stories we could tell..her burying a swipe fees bill for VISA and her and her husband getting access to a special IPO as a reward that even a lot of stockbrokers didn't have access to, her conduct that would have been out and out treason during the Iraq War if congress had declared it, her non-union winery..and who can  forget her telling America that we had to pass Obama Care to find out what was in it! Even her recent shenanigans in denying a Democrat congresswoman who's unable to go to DC because she lost both legs in  Iraq and is heavily pregnant a  vote on committee assignments is weaselly beyond weaselly.... So think of this Weasel as more of a tribute to your long career rather than for just one bit of  prevarication! Enjoy, Leader Pelosi..it's all yours!

Well, there it is!

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week's nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

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

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

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

20 November 2014

Western media on Jerusalem terror or Palestinian media on same: who is better?

Sometimes I think that we here in Israel pay too much attention to the skewed coverage the local events receive from the main Western media outlets. Sometimes it seems to me that we are harboring unreasonable expectations from a reasonable world that just doesn't care what our expectations are - and why should it?

Of course, the yesterday's (November 18, 2014 for the record) headlines and contents of some senior members of the media world were somewhat bewildering. Starting with the now famous CNN's first headline:

Clearly it was an unintentional gaffe, created by a poorly informed editor, who wouldn't know a mosque (or a synagogue) from Red Lobster.  But then came the second version:

Doesn't smell like an innocent gaffe anymore, does it? More like a deliberate... and then, again, came a change (or a new twist, if you will).

Looks almost like reporting on results of an especially frisky football game, quite multicultural, isn't it? And the usual CNN (and BBC) penchant of setting the words "terror attack" in quotation marks. OK, later CNN has corrected that one after a while, doing "justice" to the two Palestinian "martyrs".

Of course, CBC tried to outdo CNN on that day, with its fabulous entry:

Mm... still not quite up to its big bro, but showing promise.

BBC came with its own contribution, from a bit more sophisticated angle. Unfortunately I haven't saved the original, so the cached version from Yahoo UK will have to do:

As you can see, to serve their unshakable political beliefs, BBC folks moved the synagogue in question to East Jerusalem. Of course, for a reason: that way they could explain ("no, we do not justify or condone such acts, we only explain them") the murder as a spontaneous act of freedom fight.

Then comes the Guardian... yes, I know that placing the Guardian in the same league as the above mentioned senior members of the media world is a bit reaching. But the Guardian "methodology" deserves a separate mention:
The website of British newspaper The Guardian ran a story about the attack from Reuters. The wire dispatch the agency sent included the headline 'Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack' and led with the sentence: ''Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police…."
However The Guardian changed their headline to "Four worshippers killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue" and in their lead, they also excised any reference to Palestinians, publishing: "Two men armed with axes, knives and a pistol have killed four Israelis and wounded several others in a Jerusalem synagogue …"
The normally happily multicultural Guardian for some intangible reasons shuns the mention of the murdered and of the murderers' national identity. Ain't it strange?

The last but not the least in the litany of complaints about the intentional on unintentional slips of tongue and slips of finger is to be CBS (thanks to Peter that pointed to the following):
Introducing a report from Jerusalem, anchorwoman Nora O’Donnell says the following:
The two Palestinian attackers died in a shootout with police. It happened at a contested religious site in Jerusalem.
There is, of course, nothing “contested” about the Har Nof synagogue where the terror attack took place. Nor is there anything “contested” about Har Nof itself, a Jewish neighborhood in the western side of Jerusalem.
Well, looking at all of the above, the best way to summarize it was found by Francine Robin - "My tribute to CNN, that exemplar of accurate, unbiased, thoroughly investigative news journalism":

Quite. So let me offer a refreshing and straightforward alternative to all that double speak and the special, biased brand of political correctness of the Western media. Let's go to our cousins the Palestinians for a dose of fresh air. Here my Facebook friend, Dave McAvoy, explains the Palestinian TV clip (below):
This is the opening 40 seconds of a news report on Palestinian TV - this is the channel run and controlled by the Palestinian Authority - Mahmoud Abbas & Fatah.

This isn't Hamas' channel (Al Aqsa) or Jazeera, or Hizbullah's channel (Al Manar). This is the channel representing a side in these peace talks which Kerry & Obama are in a hurry to start. Again the thugs who went into a synagogue with meat cleavers and were killed by police are described as martyrs - martyrs of the 72 virgins go straight to paradise variety.

The language used here does not sound like that of a party which seriously wants peace or wants to reach any sort of agreement - and notice how it contrasts with what it says in English.

The news editors in this channel have to either run everything through the PA's Ministry of Information - or rather are told what to say by this ministry. No different to Syrian state TV news being dictated to by the Ministry of Information in Damascus. There is no editorial independence. None. This is as party line as it gets.

That, of course, a day after Mahmoud Abbas, the two-faced Palestinian "President" condemned the massacre. Now you know where to go if you want to get some undiluted, prime quality hate, unencumbered by the stale and smelly burqa of political correctness.

Now you know.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Man Who Would Be King Edition

Full edition here.

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

19 November 2014

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and the koala's heartbreak

What do you mean "he left"?!?
That was the Russian response to the rumors that Putin left the Brisbane’s G20 earlier than planned in a huff, because of the strong criticism leveled at him by other members of the forum.

As for why the koala figures in the story - a reminder:

Update: Some people have seen the reason for the early departure and recorded what they have seen: