Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Council Winners

Watchers Council winners for the week of November 2 have been posted.

The winner in the council was Syria's Assad Caught With His Hands in the Nuclear Cookie Jar by Joshuapundit, which attempts to nail down evidence of a Syrian-North Korean nuclear deal. I think it's too soon to declare that one yet, based on what's known. But it wouldn't surprise me.

This won on a tie-breaker vote after it finished in a dead heat with Why Hate Crimes Are a Joke Part 5783, and Why the University of Delaware Digs 'em by The Colossus of Rhodey. The U of D story is one you've probably heard of by now, if you're a conservative, and haven't heard of at all, if you follow the left-side blogs. Rhodey has a helpful introduction to it, including a proper Delawarean guide to pronouncing "Newark." (As one who grew up just across the curve, on the Chester County side, I needed no education.)

I gave this story a pass when it first made the rounds. The sole source was a group I'd never heard of, called FIRE. They seemed to have the goods on a really toxic "orientation" program, but the group itself seemed to be one of those, like the right-side version of the ACLU, that thrives on stirring up controversies then reaching out with fundraising appeals that say, "See how horrible things really are?" Plus their page on the Delaware affair linked only to other FIRE pages. I've learned to be cautious about that sort of thing.

But, in this case, the reality turned out to be as bad as FIRE said it was, if not worse.

Also getting votes were A Matter of Death by Rhymes With Right, and Of Stonewalling and Blackwater by Cheat Seeking Missiles.

Outside the council, the winner was Is This the State of Academics Today? at The QandO Blog. It's an excellent post on a professor of English who seems to mistake his professorial stature as an expertise in everything. He attempts to write an anti-U.S.-military screed online and reveals he knows less about the nuts and bolts of his subject than an armchair military buff with no string of letters tied to his name. I've had my own run-ins, in different contexts, with academics in humanities departments who thought they ough to be looked up to as experts in every discipline. In short, the answer to the question is, "Too often, yes."

Votes also went to I'm Sorry... Was That Supposed To Be Journalism? by Confederate Yankee, on the Scott Beauchamp tempest; The Inscrutable Angst of Little Round Headed Kids, a thoughtful reflection on Charlie Brown by Benjamin Kerstein; What's Wrong with America?, a look at Hollywood's latest season, where "Bad America" is a star as ubiquitous as Steve Martin was 20 years ago, by David Kahane at National Review Online; and Nevermind Alcohol, Is Living In Canada Haram? at Kafir Canada.