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, “Gone Across Peterson”
In my submission for this week I mourn the passing of a friend.
The Colossus of Rhodey, “What Did I Tell Ya?”
Hube wonders about the likelihood of a double standard in complaints of racism about a Cinco de Mayo party. Perhaps I can help Hube here. The first principle is that you may only consider people as groups not as individuals. The second principle is that racism is only possible if those doing the things that might be considered racist belong to a group that has power. Consequently, it’s just not possible that, for example, Hispanics in this country are racist—regardless of the power of individual members of the group, the group itself has no power. Similarly, whites are racists—regardless of the powerlessness of some members of the group, the group has power. Don’t bother trying to identify the inconsistencies in this line of reasoning. They don’t make a bit of difference.
Eternity Road, “Heroes, Memories, and Harbingers”
Francis Porretto muses about the ravages of time and age and, indeed, he’s right: singers are particularly susceptible. Too frequently, driven either by ego or necessity (or both) they continue past their time. For some, like Fran’s example, Gordon Lightfoot, it’s merely sad. For others, like Luciano Pavarotti, it’s outrageous—an affront to their former genius. Once in a very great while there’s a singer like Rosemary Clooney who, althought the pipes are gone, is able to bring a world of experience and hurt to the music of her old age that rises above anything she did in youth.
This is true of poets, too, by the way. Have you ever read the later works of William Wordsworth or William Butler Yeats? They’d become lampoons of themselves. Is anything sadder?
Bookworm Room, “Gaffes, and Why They’re Interesting”
Bookworm considers the sorts of verbal mistakes made by politicians, the slip of the tongue, making a clear error that reveals the sentiments that inform the judgement, and accidentally saying what one believes, then trying to pass it off as a slip.
Frankly, I think she’s cutting Mr. Bush a little too much slack. Has any administration had such a genius for miscalculation? I can’t think of any.
The Education Wonks, “Unprofessional Conduct”
I’m glad that EdWonk commented on this bizarre case of a group of teachers simulating an armed attack on a group of students by a masked gunman. Prank doesn’t seem to cover the situation.
Soccer Dad, “Talk Isn’t Cheap”
Soccer Dad doesn’t share David Ignatius’s relish for talks between Iran and the United States and gives the reasons why. For good or ill acknowledging Iran’s status and interests in the Gulf and negotiating with the regime is very nearly the only real alternative we have for securing any favorable outcomes at all. IMO the real challenge is in giving the Iranian regime enough to change its behavior without propping up the regime. It’s a lousy situation.
Joshuapundit, “Cheney’s Chess Moves in the Middle East”
Freedom Fighter tries to read the tealeaves about Vice President Cheney’s Middle East visit. I would genuinely like to see what FF thinks we should do within the realms of practicality. Since President Carter allowed the present Iranian regime to overthrow the Shah and take control of Iran, our balancing act between Sunni and Shi’a in the Middle East has been in a shambles. We aren’t going to bomb them into oblivion (at least not unless something a lot more serious happens) and we aren’t going to quarantine them. The neoconservative plan to spread liberal democracy by contagion throughout the Middle East from Iraq isn’t quite on schedule. We aren’t going to barricade ourselves within our own borders, either. Engagement seems like the only viable alternative.
Done With Mirrors, “You Asked For It”
Callimachus is upset with the Left Blogosphere and wonders what in the world they can be thinking. I believe I can help. They think they want power. It reminds me of nothing so much as an exchange between Radar O’Reilly and Henry Blake on an old episode of M*A*S*H:
Radar (giving Col. Blake a form to sign): Sign here, sir.
Henry: Radar, this page is blank.
Radar: Don’t worry, sir. I’ll fill in the rest later.
Cheat Seeking Missiles, “Positive Thinking vs. the Greenies”
Laer points out the, basically, Luddite view of many environmentalists with a post that can be summarized by something I’ve believed for many years: the solution to bad engineering is good engineering, not no engineering at all. Unfortunately, the fundamental approach of engineering, continuing approximation, is intolerable to many utopians.
Rhymes With Right, “It Breaks My Heart To Say This”
Greg reluctantly rises in opposition to the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.
Right Wing Nut House, “End of an Era? Falwell Passes”
Rick Moran comments on the life, contributions, and passing of Rev. Jerry Falwell. I haven’t commented on this so far and all I have to say is eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.
Big Lizards, “We Found the ‘Moslem Methodists’!”
Dafydd ab Hugh’s submission this week is a solid post that I agree with wholeheartedly that continues his consideration of moderate Muslims. There are lots of them and an enormous number live in Indonesia. The only thing I’d add is that it’s darned hard to rally a crowd or grab a headline with a call to moderation.
What a great selection of Council posts this week! Well done, gang. I’ve decided which posts I’ll vote for. Which would get your votes?