Sunday, April 23, 2006

Council Winners

The latest Watchers Council winners are up.

First place in the in-council category went to a post on Rhymes With Right that picked up on an astonishing story of racial prejudice in a public school.

Imagine this situation. Two black children, a brother and a sister, enrol at a school which is predominatly white. they are subject to racial slurs and other harrassment. They are threatened and assaulted. In one instance, after the girl is threatened, her white nemesis is forced to apologize -- only to return to school three days later with a weapon, threatening to kill the girl.

What do you think would happen?

We know the answer. There would be marches, protests, outaged community members appearing at emergency meetings to demand that action be taken. State and federal officials would intervene. There would certainly be changes inthe school and district administration, designed to change the "festering culture of racism" that had been permitted to arise in the school.

Well, that isn't what happened at one school in Peoria, Illinois. But then again, the victims were white, and the perpetrators were. . . well, the columnist is too PC to actually tell us what race the perpetrators are. Doing so might be construed as racist, I suppose.

It was such a good story, I did my own version of it.

Second place went to Sundries Shack for "Hate Central," one of many, many takedowns of Maryscott O’Connor, the BDS-fueled leftist blogger profiled in the "Washington Post."

I thought it was both stronger and at the same time more compassionate than much of what was written in reaction to her:

I do feel pity, though. I feel sad that she’s chosen this course for her life and that her family must endure her anger for what appears to be a pretty big part of the day. I wonder what sort of sadness must set into a man’s heart to know that when his wife wakes up, she doesn’t think of the love she has for him but of vulgar rage toward a man she’s never met.

But I think the post, like a great many that gleefully piled on her, missed the bigger picture of this story: the big Legacy Media once more managed to paint bloggers as a pack of wild-eyed fanatics, and managed to get us to second the motion.

Two other strong contenders from the list were the dot-connecting on the Mary McCarthy CIA leak story done by Strata-sphere and Dr. Sanity's conclusion to her awesome "Denial" series.

[Which reminds me, some co-workers, after hearing "awesome" used in reference to, say, choosing the espresso over the decaf, have decided that "awesome" is drained of all force and meaning now. We need a new "awesome" -- something you'd say when you catually did, say, see the face of God. After some back-and-forth, "sizeable" was nominated as the new "awesome." Pass it on.]

Outside the Council, the winner was Wolfgang Bruno's opening dive of a deep plunge into the topic of religion, sparked by a reading of former Muslims at While Bruno finds their very existance, and continued survival, cause for hope, he cannot join them on the secular path.

This is where Sina and I part ways. As this is probably one of the most important issues of our age, it could make for an interesting discussion. Can you have morality without religion? I’m not so sure, which is why I will recommend a strengthening of the traditional Judeo-Christian religion of the West. When I first thought of writing my book, I imagined myself concluding it with some short recommendations for how Westerners should deal with Islam and Muslim immigration. The more I have looked into the matter, the more I have discovered that the really interesting issue is not what's wrong with Islam, but what's wrong with the West, which is why I will devote up to one third of the book to answering this question.

I can find much to argue with there (for instance, I grapple with the question "Can you have morality with religion?), but it's a fine, humane piece of writing nonetheless, and one worth arguing with.

Second place in this category went to Chester's useful arrangement of different ways to approach the Iran nukes crisis.