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. Here’s what the Council members nominated this week.

The Glittering Eye, “Why the Iranians aren’t deterred”

This is my nomination for this week.

Dr. Sanity, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Kerry”

Pat Santy produces her own variant of Eliot’s famous poem.

Done With Mirrors, “Carnival of the Etymologies”

Callimachus’s nomination this week is last week’s edition of his regular Thursday feature. Last week his umbrella topic for etymologies was the terms used for various methods of execution. If his Carnival isn’t a regular weekly stop for you, it should be.

The Education Wonks, “Boondoggle Of The Week: Driver’s Ed For The Blind”

In Chicago (and other places) students who couldn’t pass a driver’s licensing examination due to no or uncorrectably poor vision are required to take Driver’s Ed. It’s good to know that all of their other educational needs have already been taken care of. I think that we need to remember that curriculum decisions are as frequently made based on what’s easy to administer as on what’s pedagogically sound.

New World Man, “How evil and nefarious do you think the Bush Administration’s evil and nefarious secrecy policies are?”

Offhand, I’d say that quite a few people believe it’s pretty darned evil and nefarious and Matt Barr critiques the figures to prove it. Frankly, I doubt that the Bush’s Administration is much more evil or nefarious in its secrecy policies than any pre-television (or most post-television) administrations have been.

I do believe that just how much secrecy in government is prudent or desireable is one of the great problems of a democratic society like ours and if it were left to me I’d err on the side of openness—even if it places us at a disadvantage in comparison with other countries. Freedom has costs and one of them is the free hand of government.

Gates of Vienna, “King Solomon and the Roe-men ”

Dymphna comments on the lawsuit recently filed by the National Center for Men that attempts to secure freedom of responsibility for paternity on equal protection grounds, taking a page from the abortion rights activists’ book. I don’t know that I’ve ever posted on the subject of abortion here. It’s a knotty problem (requiring a Solomon, as Dymphna notes) and IMO what we’re doing now is lousy public policy.

ShrinkWrapped, “The Mythology of Causation”

ShrinkWrapped brings together the narrative approach of today’s journalistic writing and the psycho-analytical concept of multiple determination in an interesting post about making sense of what we’re hearing.

In my own view human motivations are extremely complex and the human will is imperfect. Any motive than we can imagine for any given decision is probably true at least in a small way. Of course, that won’t fit on a bumper sticker too well. Or a headline.

Right Wing Nut House, “Review: ‘Getting America Right’”

Rick Moran reviews Ed Feulner and Doug Wilson’s book and comments on improving the U. S. government. I doubt that Mssrs. Feulner and Wilson would approve too much of my own ideas on the subject since I believe in the principle of subsidiarity rather than minimalism. Feulner has always been snotty to me in correspondence.

The real question in my view is what’s doable i.e. how do you get there from here?

Perhaps a 12-step program is in order.

“My name’s George and I’m President of the United States.”

“Hi, George!”.

Rhymes With Right, “We Will Choose Our Congressman”

Greg comments on Tom DeLay’s prospects for re-election to his seat in Congress. He’s done much better in the primary than his critics hoped expected predicted. The key point to remember here is that politics is local and all that Congressmen need to do is prove satsifactory to the people in their districts not to the national press (much to the press’s chagrin).

New Sisyphus, “Bill Clinton, Idiot”

New Sisyphus critiques former President Bill Clinton in what is one of my pet peeves: former presidents interfering in the conduct of foreign policy. 150 years ago what was said was almost entirely said for domestic consumption. Today it’s said for an international audience and can do real harm, particularly with people who don’t really understand our system of government. Clinton will have to go some before he catches up with former President Carter’s land idiocy record.

The Strata-Sphere, “Was Zawahiri, AQ Number 2, In the US?”

AJ Strata considers the evidence that Zawahiri lived in the Sacramento are for a period in the mid 1990’s. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised but I’m not sure this is earth-shaking news.

The Sundries Shack, “That Ol’ Debbil, Global Warming”

Jimmie Bise rants about about a David Ignatius column on the subject. As I think I’ve said here before I think it’s pretty self-evident that human activity contributes to global warming—whether it’s determinative is something else again. And I think the measures that have been proposed to do something about it are too politically correct to have any real effect. I’d agree with Jimmie’s comment:

…good stewardship requires us to do what we can within limits of reason to treat the planet well and to use the resources we have wisely and without needless waste or destruction and that there are companies as we speak developing ways ot do just that.

It’s too bad we can’t discuss the subject dispassionately without somebody trying to stick their oar in the water but that’s the way we poor human beings are.

Well, I’ve made my choices for this week. How about you?

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment