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.

The Glittering Eye, “Look in the Mirror”

In my submission for this week I consider the real reasons behind the rising price of gasoline.

The Colossus of Rhodey, “Why Are Liberals So Afraid of Their Own Ideas?”

The idea that Hube is talking about in his submission this week is the Fairness Doctrine. I’m not as negative about it as Hube or many commentators seem to be but I think the arguments in favor of it were much stronger in the all-broadcast world of the 1950’s than they are in the mostly-cable environment of the Aughts. Today’s information environment is just too complex for a resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine actually to achieve anything.

Done With Mirrors, “Stuck in Westphalia”

I agree with Callimachus that it would be nice if liberals were actually liberal. I find the extent to which some of today’s progressives are willing to make common cause with the very illiberal for shortterm political gain is a scandal and an outrage.

Eternity Road, “The Political Problem: Changing the Game”

And I agree with Francis Porretto that changing the subject when your argument is failing should be called for what it is—a cop out. I think, however, that it’s a common human tendency when your argument is on the ropes and not the special province of either left or right.

The Bookworm Room, “For This Reason Alone I’d Vote Against Her”

The reason in question is Sen. Clinton’s support for mandatory state-run preschool programs. My predisposition is to look for the smallest solution to a given problem rather than the most sweeping and, while I’d like to see kids who need extra help or who just have lousy parents get more educational support before kindergarten (and think that “the state” i.e. the society at large does have an interest in such things), I don’t think that a state-run program is the only or even the best solution to the problem. And California is just a lousy example for practically anything governmental. If there were ever an argument for federalism it’s in California itself, a state whose population is larger than the entire nation’s population was in 1790.

Soccer Dad, “The Silent Iconoclasm”

Soccer Dad posts on the effectiveness and shortcomings of Rachel Carson’s environmentalism. If you’re too young to remember, Ms. Carson’s best-selling book Silent Spring was instrumental in mobilizing support for the banning of DDT. I don’t think that either “liberal orthodoxy” or “political correctness” are the problem here. I think that the underlying problem is radicalism, an -ism whose view is that if some of something is good and proper, a lot is better. Or that if less of something would be good, then none of it would be better. Here in the real world even poisons may have their proper, prudent, and effective uses.

Cheat Seeking Missiles, “Hello, Hillarycare!”

Laer uses an example of a woman who died as a consequence as not receiving care in a Los Angeles Hospital as a club to beat over the head of what’s generally characterized as “socialized medicine”. I think the greater problem is the abandoning of the professional model of healthcare delivery in favor of the retail distribution model in a mad grab for a dollar bill.

Joshuapundit, “Israel Faces Its Choices in Gaza”

Is it possible for a government to have less than no popular support? Olmert’s government in Israel, its support already in single digits, seems to be headed in that direction.

On this subject Freedom Fighter and I seem to be in complete accord on at least one particular: Israel is in a pickle. I do have one question for you, FF. How much political support is there within Israel for the approach that you favor?

Big Lizards, “Pressure Mounts for Clinton, Obama, Feingold, Biden, Reid to Resign from Senate”

I found Dafydd ab Hugh’s submission this week lampooning the kabuki in the Senate last week on the supplemental appropriations bill very amusing. If only the situation itself were that amusing! Will the supporters of the Congressional Democrats who favor immediate withdrawal finally get the message that the Democratic leadership doesn’t plan on doing any such thing? Or will they just keep supporting them come what may? I’m betting the latter. Meanwhile, the situation for Democratic presidential aspirants is perfect. They get to be rhetorically pro-withdrawal while being objectively anti-withdrawal. Shhh! If they’re very careful, perhaps no one will notice.

I really wish that rather than engaging in symbolic action the Congressional Democrats would enter into the serious discussion of how we’re going to justify keeping our troops in Iraq. Which is what we’re going to do.

If you’d rather let the Congressional Democrats off the hook and blame the President, let me remind you of the opening words of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution: “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives….

The Education Wonks, “Administrative Buffoonery: Principal Photoshop”

Okay, I’ll bite. Why did the principal of a Lousiana elementary school exclude the portraits of kids with learning disabilities from the school’s yearbook? And when did elementary schools start having yearbooks? Sounds like a marketing move of some kind to me.

Rhymes With Right, “Why Don’t We Celebrate These Kids?”

Greg asks a very good question: why don’t we celebrate the academic achievements of kids in inner city schools as much as we do the athletic achievements of kids from inner city schools? And I’ll ask a follow-up: why do kids in inner city schools think they’re more likely to get a good job through professional athletics than by studying? For extra credit you might want to take note of how much television programming is devoted to athletics.

Right Wing Nut House, “Musings on a Late Spring Afternoon”

Rick Moran is discouraged about blogging and the world situation, generally, and you may be, too, after you read his submission for this week. To cheer you up again I’ll point out that, historically, the candidate of the major political party who presented the more positive view of America and its future has been elected president.

Well, I’ve decided which posts I’ll vote for this week. Which posts would get your votes?

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