Friday, January 19, 2007

Watchers Council Winners

[posted by Callimachus]

The latest Watchers Council winners have been posted.

First place within the Council went to MLK Day -- A Singular Holiday by Rhymes With Right, a short and sweet post that makes a simple but insightful observation:

MLK Day stands alone as the one national holiday not commercialized, trivialized, or ignored.

And goes on to say merely, would that it stayed that way, and would that they all were that way.

Votes also went to The Beauty of "Fairness" by Andrew Olmsted, which decries Dennis Kucinich's bid to resurrect the "Fairness Doctrine." He rightly points out that it makes even less sense now, in the Internet age, than it did when Reagan killed it.

Reactions to Bush's big Iraq "surge" speech also drew some votes. One was Bush Speaks... and Belittles Us All by Joshuapundit, who, from a hawk's eye view, finds little to like about it. American Future, meanwhile, looked at ways "It Could Work" -- the surge, not the speech, that is. Dave at The Glittering Eye, meanwhile, weighs in with "Running Out the Clock":

I believe that the President’s understanding of both the American experience and human nature, while consistent with his own experience and beliefs, are flawed.

I don’t necessarily see “social disintegration” in Iraq. What I see is the foreseeable consequences of the re-assertion of remaining institutions there.

[In the non-council category, votes also went to War? -- What War? by by Victor Davis Hanson, which touches on the surge, among other things.]

Votes also went to our discusstion of iconic 9/11 pictures; A New Standard for Political Hideousness by Eternity Road, which looks at the Duke University (non)rape case; and James Traub Has a Semite Problem by Soccer Dad.

Outside the council was A Framework for Thinking About Iraq Strategy by Small Wars Journal, which offers a useful, if obvious, model for thinking about the current Problem from Hell, for those of us who weren't forever put off Venn Diagrams by indoctrination in The New Math circa 1966:

Iraq is not just an insurgency, it is an insurgency plus a terrorist campaign plus a sectarian civil war, sitting on top of a fragile state within a divided region.

Also getting votes were AP: Discrediting Jamil's Sources by Confederate Yankee, a post about the blog story that just won't die about the MSM souce who won't stay sourced.

Votes also went to IRS Agents, May Every One of Them Burn in Hell by Dispatches from TJICistan; and No Word For Liberty by Classical Values. The source of the header for the latter post is the famous quip by Thomas Jefferson's friend John Ledyard. The subject is the Arabic language. I have long wondered whether this is true or not, and if so, whether related languages (such as Hebrew) have such a word; whether there ever was one and it was lost; and what word is used to translate "Statue of Liberty" into Arabic.