Friday, June 02, 2006

Council Winners

This week's Watcher's Council winners have been posted.

The winner within the Council this week was Who Do You Trust With Your Constitution? by New World Man, which wades into the balance of power struggle between Congress and the Supreme Court.

What the Court does too often today is take away the most powerful guarantee of the Constitution: that we -- everybody, with equal access and equal ability to debate and persuade, without being censored, without being thrown in jail for dissent -- can get together and go pass a new, different law or repeal an old one. In Roper, Kennedy basically said, "look at all the cute states outlawing the 'juvenile death penalty.' You can stop now, I've got it from here."

I'm always in favor of keeping a historical perspective on these things. For instance, the Bush Administration seeks a lot of executive power. But to say this is "unprecedented" is hyperbole. Teddy Roosevelt and Andy Jackson, to name just two, regarded the presidency as having the power to do just about anything for the good of the country that is not expressly forbidden by the Constitution -- and prefered to read the Constitution very loosely in that regard.

Also getting votes were The Pope at Auschwitz by Joshuapundit, in which he defends the Pope for not making a stronger statement about the role of the Church in Nazi Germany during the Pope's recent visit to Auschwitz:

We live in an age where academics and heads of state make a fetish of denying that the Holocaust occurred, or minimizing its scope. As the survivors of the Holocaust die off, it becomes easier and easier to conveniently forget what happened.

By linking the fate of the Jewish people to Christianity, Pope Benedict was making an important point in view of the threat of radical Islam in Europe, the embrace of `anti-Zionism' by some Europeans as a way of dealing with the continent's guilt over the Holocaust and the threats of a new Holocaust by people like Iran's Ahmadinejad.

Rhymes With Right got votes for Blog About School, Get Expelled, which tells an astonishing story of a student punished by his school administrators for things he did and said on his own time.

Votes also went to Live Flying Reindeer by ShrinkWrapped, which looks at a graduation speech given by New York Times publisher Pinch Sulzberger, who seems shamelessly committed to the idea that most problems in the world today can be traced to the fact that trhe hippies in the '60s never finished their overthrown of The System.

Also scoring was Who Do You Believe On Global Warming? by Right Wing Nut House ; a sober and sobering look at the global warming debate.

If we follow the lead of those who demand instant action, expect pain:

In the short term, there is a 100% chance of reduced economic activity, loss of jobs, drastic reductions in GDP growth, and what would amount to a massive change in lifestyle for Americans if the advocates get their way. If anyone tells you anything differently, do not listen to them. Many of them were the same soothing voices from the 1970’s who assured us that clean air regulations wouldn’t destroy the steel and coal industries in America. And while there were certainly other factors involved in the massive downsizing of those basic industries – including the utter stupidity of unions and company management – there is also no denying the role played by government regulation in their demise. It is disingenuous of global warming advocates to downplay the consequences of what they are proposing.

Meanwhile, those who choose to remain skeptical about it are caught between the Scylla of political ideologues and the Charybdis of a science community speaking in a coded jargon few of us can translate and assess:

It would be great if we had the scientific acumen to dissect the various theories and climate models that purport to prove that a catastrophe is on the way. But most of us don’t. This does not mean, that we should wallow in our ignorance and spout inanities about what Al Gore said or what the latest global warming debunking evidence shows. For myself, and I believe a growing number of people, our agnosticism on global warming is indicative of our suspicion regarding the confluence of science and politics – an incendiary mixture to be sure. Both sides feature advocates who are using the controversy over global warming to advance a political point of view. The danger is obvious; either the politics of global warming will swamp our economies in an unnecessary regulatory briar patch of emission reductions and an infringement on personal liberty or we will sleepwalk our way to disaster.

Outside the Council, the winner was MaxedOutMomma for "Guest Workers" Are Destroying the US.

Many of the people coming here aren't coming here to live. They wouldn't bring their families here even if they could, because they don't earn enough to support them here. They are coming here just to work, and they send the bulk of their wages back home to support their families. They could not support their families on their wages if their families lived here.

I think here a little historical perspective helps, again. Did 19th and early 20th century immigrants from Europe also do the same?

Also getting votes were The "L" Word By Dr. Demarche at American Future, which takes a sneak peek at Dubya's legacy.

My nominee this week, How Porn Has Transformed Teenage Life by the British columnist Johann Hari, also got a few votes. I made a post out of it over here.

Another vote went to Kerry Still Fighting the Swift Boat Veterans by The QandO Blog

I'm not sure why Kerry wants to revisit the Swift Boat Vets campaign, but if he wants to deal with it once and for all, he needs to do more than the piecemeal release of records to friendly observers, and he — along with his defenders — need to directly address the criticisms made by the more reasonable observers like Patterico, Tom Maguire and Beldar. But if he wants to just drop the whole thing, I don't think many people would blame him. Or care.

That whole episode in the election made me feel like taking a hot shower; the few legitimate questions it raised about Kerry's military record were more than counterbalanced by the amout of sewage it flung around. My problem with Kerry's past began after he came home from the war. During the fight, he did better than most of his peers.

But Kerry's reaction to the attack was enlightening, and it didn't bode well for his leadership qualities. Seems he's still trying to figure that one out.

Another vote went to What Happened in Haditha? by Hugh Hewitt, which takes a cautionary look at exactly how much, and how little, was known at the time about the now-infamous incident in the Iraqi town, and notes that some of the left-side voices were getting ahead of the story as it unfolded.