Eye on the Watcher’s Council

As you may know the members of the Watcher’s Council each nominate one of his or her own posts and one non-Council post for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week’s Council nominations is here.

There’s an announcement, too.  Dr. Sanity, Pat Santy, is leaving the Watcher’s Council to devote more time to a book she’ll be publishing.  I am going to miss dissecting Pat’s posts enormously.  Although I didn’t always agree with her point-of-view I always relished mulling it over.

A new council member, although, inevitably, not really a replacement for Pat is being sought!  If you’ve got a blog of your own or contribute to a group blog, take a look at the by-laws and, if you’re interested, throw your hat into the ring!
Here’s what the Council members nominated this week.

The Glittering Eye, “Escalation in Middle East”

In my submission this week, one of my several posts on the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, I reflect on the situation there and lament that so much bullheadedness and hatred has brought things to the pass they’ve reached.

Joshuapundit, “When History Bites Back”

Freedom Fighter notes the parallel between the situation that Czechoslovakia was in between the world wars with that of Israel.

Socratic Rhythm Method, “Juvenile crime is up, and you could knock me over with a canoe paddle”

Matt Barr has renamed his blog from New World Man to Socratic Rhythm Method.  I’m still scratching my head over that one.  In this post Matt muses over the relationship between the rising rate of violent crime among juveniles and the abolition of the death penalty for juveniles.  His conclusion:  the relationship may be more complex than you might think.

I’m a death penalty skeptic, myself.  Statistical studies have demonstrated that the death penalty does have something of a deterrent effect:  innocent lives are saved as a consequence of the death penalty.   However, I also see the sense behind those concerned that an innocent might be executed.  My own view is that proportionality requires that, for some crimes, the death penalty should be available but that it’s imposed too frequently.

For many years there’s been an acrimonious dialogue between those who favor punishment as a means of dealing with crime and those who favor rehabilitation.  As a consequence we do neither effectively.

Rhymes With Right, “VRA Renewal:  Solving the Problems of 1964 Until 2032”

Greg comes out against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act.

I remember the injustices of the racial segregation system that prevailed in the Deep South until 40 years or so ago vividly.  I’m absolutely convinced that overthrowing that system was moral, jusitified, and necessary and that we needed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act enacted in the mid 1960’s.

But I also think that things have genuinely changed.  Changed at more than a superficial level.  The remedies of more than a generation ago are not nearly so appropriate for dealing with the problems of today.

Done With Mirrors, “Kennedy in Berlin”

Callimachus remembers one of those rare, unscripted moments in public diplomacy.  IMO those are the ones with real significance and I’d gladly trade a dozen vacuous formal statements for a single, glorious blurt.

The Education Wonks, “South Carolina’s ‘Parents’ from Hell”

Yet another children-tied-to-their-beds story and, yes, EdWonk, it makes my blood boil, too.

ShrinkWrapped, “The Limits of Intelligence”

The comments from Efraim Halevy, former director of Israel’s Mossad, recounted here by ShrinkWrapped should go a long way to explaining why one Israel is worth a dozen CIA’s.

Right Wing Nut House, “Enjoying the Academic Freedom To Be An Idiot”

Rick Moran considers University of Wisconsin lecturer Keith Barrett’s indoctrination in conspiracy theories in lieu of solid coursework.  I think that this must be part of the search for relevancy they started prating about when I was in college.

Gates of Vienna, “Sovereignty, Terrorism, and Those Caught Between”

Dymphna uses an observation left by a commenter and one left by me in a previous post of the Baron’s as points of departure for examining the themes in the title.

The Strata-Sphere, “Is Iran Bucking Up Syria?”

AJ Strata asks what is without doubt the most serious question surrounding the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah:  what sort of game is Iran playing?  The answer could well determine the future of the world.  If any.  I think that Iran’s playing a gargantuan instance of the destructive game “Let’s You and Him Fight”.  It will have paid off if we take our eyes off Iran’s nuclear development program.

The Sundries Shack, “Blogging for Dummies Like Me”

Jimmie Bise explains why he blogs.  You don’t need to explain, Jimmie.  It’s enough that you do it.

Well, I’ve decided which posts I’m going to vote for.  Which would get your vote?

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