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, “Where’s the Beef?”

Or, perhaps better, “What’s the Beef?”. In my submission for this week I wonder if anyone has noticed that the top tier Democratic presidential aspirants aren’t promising to do anything with respect to Iraq a great deal different from the Bush Administration.

Cheat Seaking Missiles, “Maybe We Should Dunk the Administrators in the Toilet”

Laer takes on the Qur’an-dunking “hate crime”. I have a question about hate crimes statutes for any legal eagles in the audience. Why don’t they run into trouble on First Amendment grounds? And, when they extend protection to something other than the groups protected under the 14th amendment why don’t the have a problem on 14th amendment grounds?

Done With Mirrors, “More Disturbing Questions”

Callimachus is not completely sure that the military’s facility in managing civil affairs is altogether a good thing. I don’t think he should be quite so concerned: there are several large corporations that are capable of managing the sorts of civil projects and, indeed, lots of individual Americans, too. Getting the nation-building sorts of projects off the backs of the military is the underlying reasoning behind the volunteer civilian reserve corps Mr. Bush proposed in the 2007 SOTU.

The Colossus of Rhodey, “NEA Also Confused About SCOTUS Ruling Regarding Race & Schooling”

Hube dissects the NEA position with respect to extraordinary i.e. “voluntary” school integration programs and comes within a hair’s breadth of making exactly the right point so I’ll make it here. The problem is a definitional one. The opposite of segregated is not integrated. The opposite of segregated is unmanaged. And therein lies a critical divide in political thought which I note is reflected in many of the Council selections this week). Some people believe that everything should be managed; others don’t.

Rhymes With Right, “Some More Thoughts on Chief Justice Roberts’ Health”

Given that he’s now had two seizures albeit in a fifteen year period, Chief Justice Roberts now satisfies the technical (although not the colloquial) definition of having epilepsy. Greg has a few more thoughts.

Soccer Dad, “You Can’t Hurry Peace”

Soccer Dad muses on the lack of change that the various wars and treaties between Israel and its neighbors have wrought. I have a somewhat different take but to explain it I must make a guilty admission: I do not believe in limited war. I believe that, if you don’t care enough about the outcome that you’re willing to really, truly, and genuinely defeat your enemy, then you should find another way. The corollary to that is that, generally speaking, the U. S. should find another way and that, essentially, is my position.

‘Okie’ On the Lam, “Iraq Wins Asian Cup—LA Times Covers Iraqi Joy and Unity…Kinda”

I guess the conclusion that I take away from the LA Times editorial decision on how to cover Iraq’s victory in the Asian Cup football competition is that the Times really is antithetical to religion, even when the religion is sports.

Bookworm Room, “He’s Not My President”

Bookworm considers the trope in the post’s title and I agree that the notion is profoundly undemocratic. I attribute this to the increasing radicalization of the activist component of th electorate. But it’s also something that much of the world gets wrong about us. How often do you year “I like Americans but I don’t like the policies of the American government” as if there’s daylight between those?

Joshuapundit, “Desert Mirage: Bush Administration to Offer $20 Billion Arms Deal to the Saudis”

Freedom Fighter is opposed to the deal for reasons I completely understand. Saudi financing and what one might call “infrastructure support” are among the critical success factors for radical Islamist terrorism. I would remind FF that we can only choose among the alternatives that we actually have and among those alternatives, continued support for the Saud family is probably the best. We could be urging them on more. Welcome to the Great Game, Freedom Fighter. We’ll continue to support the Turks and Saud family and, if we’re lucky, learn to play one side against other.

The Education Wonks, “Yet Another Taxpayer Funded Incentive for Illegal Aliens?”

EdWonk looks into revisions in the new version of the SCHIP (health insurance for children) bill and isn’t pleased to find that the requirement to prove citizenship for the recipients has been removed. Univeral health care coverage. Open borders. Pick one.

Right Wing Nut House, “Whose Freedom? What is Speech?”

Rick Moran, too, comments on the Qur’an-dunking incident. Hate crime legislation has a couple of effects. First, it upgrades some acts from misdemeanors to felonies (the Qur’an in question didn’t belong to the dunker). Second, it federalizes them, removing them from the control of local jurisidictions. I don’t think that either is a good thing.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the future is which good intent is everything, intent may be imputed from the acts themselves, and the real consequences of policies don’t matter as long as their proponents mean well.

Big Lizards, “Miracle on Sand”

Dafydd ab Hugh links the victory by the U. S. Olympic ice hockey team over the USSR’s team in 1980, Reagan’s election, and the victory of the Iraqi national team in the Asian Cup competition.

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

2 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    Dave, part of the answer is that he was not getting charged with “hate crimes,” but “fourth-degree criminal mischief.” This sounds like a “breach of peace” crime; the kind of thing that might get you a night in the slammer and a fine. The notion that the crime was convicted to disparage a protected group was an enhancement that earned a felony level penalty. The courts have distinguished crimes from enhancements. Here though, the enhancement changed the punishment from a misdemeanor to a felony. I sense a line being crossed.

  • PD Shaw Link

    OK Dave, I just noticed in your comment on Rick Moran’s piece that you got the notion that the hate crime was acting as an enhancement, but I also should point out that this particular instance involved a New York law, so we are not federalizing anything. AFAIK, federal law has a very limited set of civil rights crimes like interfering with someone voting on account of race, gender or creed. The federal sentencing guidelines enhance the penalties to federal crimes. Plus, I think the federal government has hate crimes specialist which offer their services to state and local government.

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