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.

Dr. Sanity, “Strategies for Dealing With Denial—Part III”

In this excellent post Pat Santy conforms to the advice “Shoemaker, stick to thy last” and, hewing pretty closely to her professional training, provides a wonderful analysis of recognizing and dealing with denial in yourself and others. A great post.

I think it remains to be seen, however, whether denial is the only or even the most important phenomenon in the obvious shall we say disagreement going on between Left and Right. None of us apprehend reality directly. The territory is not the map. It’s possible that both and neither sides are in denial and that both just are touching different sides of the same elephant.

For example, is it denial that causes one to choose mercy over justice in dealing with any given circumstance? It may be just a difference in priorities. One of the paradoxes of life, of course, is that to choose either mercy or justice invariably will inevitably provide neither.

The Glittering Eye, “Tired”

This is my submission for this week and in it I explain why my posting lately has lacked a certain verve.

New World Man, “Something that will never be discussed with intelligence or clarity anywhere”

Matt Barr discusses proposed labelling regulations for web pages with sexual content.

The Strata-Sphere, “Whistle Blowing the Right Way and the Wrong Way

AJ Strata considers the recent Mary McCarthy revelations. Is it whistle blowing or political activism by other means? He proposes a standard for determining when action can reasonably be considered whistle blowing with two factors: a) it’s true and b) it’s done without ulterior (political) motive. Lofty, but impractical. Everybody has a motive. And, people being what they are, the motive is frequently political.

ShrinkWrapped, “Defining terms: the Left”

ShrinkWrapped steps in it by attempting to arrive at some definitions. I’m inclined to define the terms “Left” and “Right” very narrowly. An example of my own definition is in this old (Instalanched) post of mine, Did the American Left support democracy in World War II?. Otherwise you begin to define anyone to your left as Left and anyone to your right as Right and whether that contributes substance to the discussion depends on where your own positions are, doesn’t it? I am proudly, deliberately, and demonstrably centrist. But I’ve frequently been pigeonholed as either Left or Right (sometimes for exactly the some expressed opinion) depending on the position of the speaker.

It’s an interesting subject but I’m afraid not too productive.

Done With Mirrors, “While Europe Slept”

Callimachus reviews Bruce Bawer’s book. Pay special attention to the suggestions at the end.

Dean Esmay believes that there will be a powerful reaction in Europe to the phenomena described here. I’m not as sure as Bawer, Callimachus, or Dean apparently is that there’s actually a problem of the scale that they conclude that there is. Or, rather, that the problem has quite the nature that they apparently think it has. It’s not only European society that has demographics.

The Sundries Shack, “Back to Sleep: Nighty Night”

Jimmie Bise critiques a post from the Daily Kos. I agree that, if the Kossacks took the realities of 9/11 seriously, they’d be compelled to draw one of only a few conclusions and none of them move their political ball forward too well. Cf. Pat Santy’s post on denial, above. Check the comments: the accusation of denial goes both ways.

The Education Wonks, “The Spellings Report: Today’s Big NCLB News!”

EdWonk notes that some states have been exploiting loopholes in the legislation to, well, leave some children behind. This kind of stuff is inevitable but that doesn’t mean that one should stop trying. But, if you idiot-proof something, it’s inevitable that someone somewhere will build a bigger idiot.

Right Wing Nut House, “Defend Dissent: Punish the Leakers”

Rick Moran tears off John Kerry’s arm and beats him over the head with it, this time with respect to comments the junior senator from Massachusetts made in reference to dissent. Rick extends the subject to the Mary McCarthy matter. I hope that, while he was at Faneuil Hall, Mr. Kerry did something worthwhile. Eating at Durgin Park, for example.

Rhymes With Right, “I Don’t See the Problem”

Greg doesn’t see a problem with deporting illegal aliens with minor children who are citizens. I agree.

Joshuapundit, “Time to Do the Mullah Dance”

Freedom Fighter considers the options on Iran and comes down on the side of massive bombing of Iran including both nuclear development facilities and oil production infrastructure. This is a topic I’ve considered here at some length. I agree with him that something needs to be done. And I agree with him that the longer we delay in taking substantive action the fewer options we will have (and, consequently, the greater the likelihood of mass slaughter). Let me re-state this: those who advocate we simply wait are advocating mass murder.

I don’t agree with Freedom Fighter on the need for the approach he advocates or its effectiveness now. I think there still remain non-aggressive alternatives that could be effective in the time available but we must advocate these alternatives forcefully before the world now.

Gates of Vienna, “Make My Day”

Dymphna wastes her time raking a spammer over the coals. This is not unlike shooting a gnat with a Howitzer. But her aim is certainly good.

Well, I’ve decided which posts will get my votes. Which would get yours?

3 comments… add one
  • kreiz Link

    Shrinkwrapped’s ‘defining terms- the left’. You suggest that being on the Left or Right has more to do with self-identification than definition. I agree with you. I was thinking about my own centrist identification. I’ve endured it since at least 1972, when faced with Nixon-McGovern. Argh.

  • AMac Link

    Dear Dave,

    This post (er, and the whole blog) suggests that your interests are pretty catholic, in an eclectic sort of way. Makes me wonder what you and fellow Watchers might make of this post by ‘Elizabeth’ on the illicit drug trade. What makes it poignant is that she’s an American posting from Dushambe, Tajikistan, and writing about how the drug trade affects the farmers the producing regionthat she knows first-hand, and the particulars of the trade’s economic distortions to the producers’ economy and society.

    I had to eat some humble pie after sniffing at one of her comments at another blog, before realizing that while some of her remarks may be kinda conventional, she often writes evocatively, and usually employs her unique viewpoint to good advantage. I’d trade ten me-too’s for one Elizabeth in the comments of my blog (if I was a regular blogger, of course).

  • Thanks fpr bringing the post (and, indeed, the blog) to my attention, AMac. I may nominate it as my non-Council nomination next week in the interests of giving her greater exposure.

    The problems of poor countries are so numerous it’s hard to know where to start. Credit, that crime and corruption aren’t perversions of the system they are the system, high costs of basic goods, lack of availability of land, the list is endless. Most Americans just don’t know.

    Just for the record my track record on nominations for the Watcher’s Council is pretty good.  Not my own posts (which do okay but just okay) but the posts of others that I nominate.  Although I’d like to think of myself as a writer I fear that my real skill is as critic and editor.

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