Sunday, December 23, 2007

Council Winners

Council winners for the week of Dec. 21 have been posted.

The winner in the council was "The Courage to Do Nothing" at Big Lizards. The topic is the recent climate change conference and the whole issue of whether it's time to panic or not.

We're told this is based on science, but the conference itself, at least based on the reporting, seemed to be driven by boos and tears more than science. You have to be suspicious of something that partakes of alarmist rhetoric based only on guesses, that insists dissent is treason, and that offers as solutions the exact things the interested parties have wanted to do all along.

Or not.

Also getting votes were Separation of Church and State, Secularist Style by Cheat Seeking Missiles, and More on the Teacher Accused of Insulting Religion in His Class at Bookworm Room, both writing about a California public school teacher who seems to have turned his lectern into a pulpit for his evangelical secularism, among other things.

Votes also went to Whatever Happened To Separation of Mosque and State? at Rhymes With Right, about events at a local community college that could serve as a parable for a global problem.

And to The Very Deep Thoughts of Mike Huckabee at Right Wing Nut House, which looked at the latest GOP front runner's attempt at a serious foreign policy statement. Rick did such a good job of dismantling it that I didn't have to pile on. As someone who had been trying hard to like Huckabee, I was put off from the very first sentence:

The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

"Less vulnerable ... more vulnerable ..." Than what? Or when? It's the kind of sentence a smart but bored 11th grader writes on an essay test that he never studied for.

The article is all vision, no substance, in a world where only substance can save you. It contains many lines like this one: "As president, my goal in the Arab and Muslim worlds will be to calibrate a course between maintaining stability and promoting democracy." To which I'd say, nice work if you can get it.

Outside the council, the winner was A Stand-up President by Orson Scott Card, which was a vigorous defense of George W. Bush from his detractors left and right, comparing him favorably to even Ronald Reagan. It was refreshing to watch someone actually take up that cause, and I enjoyed it thoroughly even if I didn't entirely agree.

Also getting votes were A Muslim American, a fascinating interview in National Review Online; Mearsheimer, Walt, and "Cold Feet" at Sandbox; Only a Few Months and Hours Together But Memories for a Lifetime at Wizbang; and The Pulpit and the Potemkin Village by Peggy Noonan.