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.
The Glittering Eye, “Is It Time to Start Thinking About Pakistan Yet?”
In my submission for this week I consider the challenges posed by Pakistan and some of our options in dealing with.
Francis Porretto considers the nature of the relationships that form the bases of societies.
Rhymes With Right, “Death Penalty Debate Highlights Liberal Hypocrisy on Religious Values”
In this post Greg notes the difficulty in putting together a coherent program when values (religious and otherwise) conflicts with ideology.
The Colossus of Rhodey, “Best Star Trek Movies (in Order)”
I disagree with Hube on the relative value of some of the Star Trek movies. The easy way to think about the ranking is that the odd-numbered movies were lousy and the even-numbered ones were better. So, for example, I liked IV (save the whales) best, followed by II, VI, and so on. I thought Star Trek: the Movie was truly awful—a lousy episode that we’d already seen of TOS with worse acting (if such a thing be possible) on a wide screen with special effects.
Soccer Dad, “Differing Values”
Soccer Dad’s point is that opposition on the part of people in the Middle East to U. S. Middle Eastern policy didn’t start with Bush but I think that the point is a lot larger than that. When you read about the disrepute that Bush has brought upon the United States by his actions, low ebb, etc. it can be placed in some perspective when you remember that those who’ve liked U. S. foreign policy outside of the U. S. have always been a small minority.
Done With Mirrors, “Germany and Iraq, Part 4”
Callimachus continues his consideration of the U. S. occupation of Iraq with that of Germany after World War II.
Right Wing Nut House, “A Man for His Times, A Man for All Time”
Rick honors Washington’s birthday by considering Washington, the Man.
The Education Wonks, “Give Homework the Heave-Ho”
EdWonk notes that homework for elementary school students may be going by the boards. When I was in elementary school there really wasn’t a great deal of homework. That increased rapidly shortly thereafter. Did the practice ever have an empirical basis? Or was it just a response to pressure from parents?
Freedom Fighter does a point-by-point refutation of the arguments of an anti-Zionist commenter. One of his points caught my eye:
ZionistNot leaves out the leetle facts that the Jews had a continuous presence in Israel throughout all recorded history, and that the Ottoman government actually encouraged Jewish settlement in Israel and sold them land because the Jews created prosperity there and renewed what was essentially a depopulated backwater.
I’ve posted a bit about Ottoman property law and I’d welcome evidentiary support of the prevalence of FF’s point. My understanding was that most private ownership of real property under the Ottoman was by Christians and that much of the purchasing of land by Jews in Palestine took place under the British Mandate. I may well be wrong in this understanding.
Bookworm Room, “Means and Ends”
I think that Bookworm’s point about American progressives being undeterred by past failures of their preferred policy solutions is a good one. I don’t think they have any monopoly on that and I’ve attributed the willingness to ignore experience on the part of Americans, generally, as the conviction that only the present and future are really important. Remember Henry Ford’s famous comment, History is bunk!?
The Sundries Shack, “Gore Fights Back, Feebly”
I don’t know that Al Gore’s enormous energy-guzzling house is hypocritical, precisely. I suppose that activists, like Caesar’s wife, should be above reproach but I think the real question is, in what precisely does Mr. Gore (or Mr. Edwards who also lives in a palace) believe? I suspect that in the final analysis it’s paternalism.
American Future, “Senator Obama on Iraq and Darfur”
I don’t think that I find the different positions held by Barack Obama on Iraq and Darfur, respectively, quite as puzzling as Marc does. There’s a position held by quite a few (and Sen. Obama may be one of them) that the U. S. should only deploy its military when the action is uncontaminated by national interest. I think it’s a baffling position and diametrically opposed to my own but quite a few people do seem to hold it.
Well, I’ve decided which posts I’ll vote for. Which would get your vote?