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, “The Death of 1,000 Cuts”

This is my nomination for this week.

Dr. Sanity, “No Relation to Reality, Indeed”

Pat Santy takes an interview with a Muslim cleric as a springboard for commentary about the treatment of women in Muslim countries. I honestly don’t understand why Muslim clerics and scholars go out of their way to defend horrific practices like female genital mutilation: it’s not an intrinsic part of Islam. It’s an ancient cultural practice that predates Islam in a band of countries, mostly in Africa.

I suspect that it’s a byproduct of Islam’s lack of an ordained clergy and a church hierarchy.

The role of women in Muslim countries more generally is a critical issue for these countries. I see no way that they’ll be anything but economic backwaters so long as half their populations are held back.

New World Man, “”He’s No Ken Blackwell””

Matt Barr analyzes the Ohio gubernatorial race with one ironic eye cocked on press coverage. Remember, Matt, conservatism is an ideology; progressivism is a law of nature. The writers of the editorial pages may not know anybody who’s a conservative (or will own up to it, anyway).

Done With Mirrors, “Not Good News Just News”

Short version of Callimachus’s post: if it bleeds it leads.

Rhymes With Right, “Not a Firing Offense?”

Greg is outraged by an Alabama high school teacher’s blatant political propagandization done under the pretext of class material. So, why isn’t the guy removed?

Let me suggest a few explanations other than those mentioned by Greg or those in his comments. First, the classroom is the last bastion of monarchy: other than sexual misconduct or religious proselytizing nearly anything goes. Second, the teacher in question is undoubtedly both tenured and unionized. Third, the great law of bureaucracies is “Don’t Make Waves”. Fourth, the school board would undoubtedly rather spend its money on something other than legal fees.

ShrinkWrapped, “Affect Storms”

I frequently find many points of agreement with ShrinkWrapped but not this time. I don’t think the sparring that’s going on in the blogosphere between groups who’ve already closed their minds to rational argument will play itself out until serious real harm is done. I don’t think this is an “affect storm” so much as a well-known social transaction: “Now I’ve Got You, You SOB”. This transaction is not self-limiting; intervention is required.

The Education Wonks, “Banning a Piece of Americana in South Florida”

Ice cream trucks? Ice cream trucks? Over the years there have been lots of complaints about safety issues, etc. with respect to ice cream trucks. Is banning the proper recourse or establishing and enforcing standards? I suspect there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Cui bono? I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners of storefront franchises aren’t complaining about competition. Or there may be an ethnic or social issue involved. I’d like to know more.

Joshuapundit, “NASCAR Islamophobic Psychosis—the Script Ain’t Working Out”

Lord knows there’s not enough real news to report these days so what’s a self-respecting network news organization to do? Why, create some, of course! But what if the prospective entrapees won’t be entrapped? Seems to me that’s news, too. Freedom Fighter explains all.

Gates of Vienna, “Can Religions Build Their Own Enclaves?”

Dymphna considers the Amish, Muslim, and the prospective Roman Catholic enclave. Of course they can, Dymphna, on the basis of contract law as long as the federal and state constitutional guarantees of civil liberties aren’t violated. The history of various religious utopian communities in America is older than the republic. But such groups operate strictly by the consent of the governed: local law doesn’t trump the Constitution.

But restrictive convenants on the basis of race or religion have no legal force. That’s been fully litigated—it’s settled law.

The Sundries Shack, “Breaking News: Skeptic Says Jesus Might Not Have Performed a Miracle!”

Yeah, Jimmie, I thought that all of the media attention this non-story about some guy who’s desparate to find a logical explanation for the story in the New Testament about Jesus walking on the water got was pretty outrageous, too. I’m not surprised by the guy: finding rational explanations for the Jesus’s miracles are as old as Christianity. What baffled me was why was it news?

Right Wing Nut House, “The Iranians Respond: “You’re Bluffing…We Think””

I think that Rick Moran’s analysis of the developments of the Iran nuclear weapons program story is pretty sound. Note his consideration of the gamesmanship of the various parties.

The Strata-Sphere, “JFK Must Have Been a Traitor!”

AJ Strata considers the story about Mr. Bush’s de-classifying information with an analogy to JFK’s actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Imagine. A president de-classifying information to build support for his actions. Quelle horreur!

Well, I’ve made my decision.  Which Council selection would get your vote?

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