The Council Has Spoken!

The Watcher’s Council has announced its picks for the most outstanding posts of the preceding week. The winner in the Council post category was The Razor’s post, “South Africa’s Neville Chamberlain”, for which I voted. Second place honors went to Soccer Dad for “The Whole Shebaa-ng”, a commentary on the so-called “Shebaa Farms” as a bone of contention in the conflict among Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.

The winning non-Council post was Classical Values’s “Why You Should Apologize — Ineffectively and Dishonestly — For What You Didn’t Do”, a post on the notion of group responsibility for slavery. Just for the record my ancestors fought for the Union and at least one was an abolitionist. My biggest problem with the idea of group or societal responsibility is somewhat different than the author of the post’s. I think it’s lacking in proportion. Surely, if you’re allocating blame based on an historic wrong you’ve got to allocate it based on the actual historic record, who did what to whom, and who actually benefited most. Otherwise the real beneficiaries of slavery receive (at least relatively) a free ride. So, for example, the idea that my French-German ancestor who was an abolitionist, a founding member of the Republican Party, and fought for the Union bore as much responsibility for slavery as Anglo-Irish slaveowners who fought for the South is peculiar to say the least. What, precisely, is it that he should have done? Second place honors went to ShrinkWrapped’s “The Unconscious Roots of Media Bias”. This is a rather interesting post that searches for a psychological explanation for a perceived bias against Israel on the part of our press. There may well be but I don’t think it’s the one that ShrinkWrapped offers. I’m inclined to think that the explanation is more political than psychological and that for largely historical reasons journalists have forced the square peg of the actual conflict between Israelis and Palestinians into the round hole of colonialism.

The complete results are here.

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