The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watchers Council Results


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, engraved on stone tablets in our secret guildhall.

We had a tie this week in the Council category between Joshuapundit’s Blood And Sand a piece with some observations on Libyan dictator Moamar Khaddaffi’s fate that might not be apparent at first look and Bookworm Room’s Is it true that the poor ye always have with you? , an excellent essay on what being ‘poor’ means in America as opposed to the rest of the world and more importantly, how our culture and educational system have fed the unrealistic sense of entitlement evidenced by the OWS protesters.

In accordance with our by-laws, I put on my Watcher’s hat to break the tie, which always gets decided in favor of my fellow Council members in these situations where I’m involved. And so I’m proud to cast my vote and declare Bookworm Room’s Is it true that the poor ye always have with you? as this week’s very worthy winner! Here’s a slice:

But in a peculiar way, those non-starving, non-homeless, non-refugee young people playing at being poor in cities across America have a point. They represent some very specific — and sad — types of poverty.

To begin with, there’s the sense of poverty created by utterly ludicrous expectations. We promised these kids that they were all “good enough, smart enough and, gosh darn it!, that everyone would like them.” We promised them that they were all number one, and that they would never need to make any actual effort to achieve that blue ribbon status. We taught them, through MTV and computer games, that a 3 minute attention span is sufficiently long to be awesomely cool and win the game. And, God help us, we taught them that a Womyn’s Studies, or Africana Studies, or GLBT Studies, or Oppressed People’s degree from some big name university would assure them the kind of job that would enable them to pay off $25,000 or $100,000 or even $250,000 in student loans. We, the older generation, created this wealth of stupidity.

These young people also suffer from a vast intellectual and moral poverty. One of the things that shines through when we interview the people taking to the streets is that so many are woefully ignorant, and that they wallow in a sea of relativism that allows for no morality other than that gained by intense navel gazing. They are the antithesis of the original American revolutionaries, whose leaders were men of exceptional erudition and thoughtfulness, and whose followers knew at the very least their Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. Revolutionaries of old were shaped by philosophy, known science, literature, practical life experience, and a deep sense of morality and justice. Today’s little park piddlers are shaped by an aching sense of unfairness, a terrible fear of human-kind (that would be the AGW shtick), and a morality shaped by Oprah and whichever fabulously rich Hollywood Leftist happens to grab the microphone on any given day.

These self-styled 99%-ers are not poor, not by any known standard, either today or in the history of the world. They are intellectually and emotionally bereft, but otherwise awash in material benefits.

The fact that these posers aren’t poor, as poverty has traditionally been understood, does not mean that there aren’t poor people in America. New immigrants are poor, although America quickly absorbs them and propels their children and grandchildren into the working and middle class. Elderly people whose life savings have been destroyed by the Democrat economy are poor, and deserve our help. Those who suffer from profound physical or mentally disabilities, through birth or injury, may experience great poverty, and they too deserve our help. Those are traditional kinds of poverty and, true to Jesus’ word, we will always have these people with us.

Lastly, there is a unique kind of poverty, one that could only occur in America. I know about this poverty because someone close to me dwells among these poor (although she is not quite of them), and reports back faithfully. These are not people who are poor in the old-fashioned way. They were not deprived of opportunities due to class distinctions, because we do not have a European-style class-based society. Although most are profoundly ignorant, all had available to them the basics of an American public school education. Living in the modern age, their lives have not been blighted by epidemic diseases (polio, rheumatic fever, mumps, measles, small pox, etc.), nor have their family structures been decimated by the mortality that ripped through the pre-modern world, leaving large numbers of children as half or full orphans.

We also had a tie this week between two must read entries in our non-Council category, Bruce Thornton’s excellent piece in FrontPage Magazine, Obama’s Libyan Disaster submitted by The Noisy Room and Andrew Klavan’s The Mask Of Fascism submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey.

Tough choice here! Thornton, astute observer that he is picked up as I and a number of others did that the back slapping the president is getting in certain circles over our Libyan adventure is extremely misguided. Thanks to our intervention on behalf of Britain and France’s oil contracts, Libya is now an Islamist state under sharia and a likely candidate for a part of the new Caliphate, and Thornton lays out the facts bluntly on the damage done.

Klavan’s masterful essay probed the fascist underpinning of the core of OWS movement in his inimitable style, and those of you familiar with his work won’t be disappointed.

In the end, after careful consideration, I ended up going with Thornton’s Obama’s Libyan Disaster, but like I said, tough choice and both are excellent reads.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

The Watcher’s Council Nominations – Fear And Loathing Edition


Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

This week’s contest is dedicated to TOTUS..may he soon return safely, because there’s no POTUS without TOTUS.And to our pal Gerard Van Der Leun…get well soon Bro.

Council News:

This week, The Grouch and Liberty’s Spirit took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the link and title of the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watchers Council Results


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the akashic records of cyberspace.

Many of this week’s Council entries focused on the OWS protests. This week’s winner, Joshuapundit for Egypt Moves Towards The Abyss took at look at the current state of affairs in the place many of the OWS protesters look to as an inspiration for their current tactics, and how those developments look to be playing out for Egypt,the region and ultimately for America. Here’s a slice:

The recent bloody clashes and unrest in Egypt is merely a foretaste of what could easily occur next month, when elections are supposed to be held.

The latest violence, between Egypt’s Christian Copts and the army, involved a protest over a whole series of church burnings and killings at the hands of Muslims and ended with the army driving armored vehicles at top speed into the crowd and crushing people to death. It left 26 dead and over 200 wounded.

The Copts, who comprise about 10% of Egypt’s 80 million population mostly supported the ouster of Mubarak. They’re one of the earliest groups who are likely destined to be very disappointed at the way the ‘Arab Spring’ turns out in Egypt.

One of my notorious Little Birdies on the ground who ought to know tells me that if elections were held today, there’s absolutely no doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood would win a majority in both the Majilis Al-Sha’ab ( “People’s Assembly”) and the Majilis Al-Shura, the lower and upper houses in what passes for Egypt’s parliament.They have proven far better organized than the group we’ll refer to as the Twitter Liberals and are in position to dominate the next Egyptian government provided elections are held as scheduled.

Mubarak’s National Democratic Party(NDP) controlled the last national assembly. While it no longer exists, its members are active among a few newly formed secular parties whose agenda is to band together to block the Muslim Brotherhood from establishing a religious state.

In response the Muslim Brotherhood upped the ante by giving the military leaders now ruling Egypt an ultimatum – that they expect former NDP members of Parliament to be banned from participating in the upcoming elections.

As in most Muslim countries, Egypt’s Army is one of the few parts of society that actually functions. It’s an entity unto itself that owns about one third of Egypt’s economy, and supports a number of wealthy businessmen with Army connections. At present, the Egyptian Army rules Egypt through the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The big question for the Army is whether to continue to assume its normal role in Egypt as guardian of the status quo or to stand aside and allow the ascension of an Islamist government, which would entail the loss of a number of its current privileges.

That’s the choice the Egyptian Army is going to have to make fairly soon, and by all accounts there’s a deep division within the military on which way to go.

Even worse, whatever choice they actually make is going to lead to more outbreaks of violence and instability, the last thing Egypt needs right now.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Dana Loesch’s superb piece in Big Government, Journolist 2.0: Occupy Wall Street Emails Show MSM, Dylan Ratigan, Working With Protesters To Craft Message submitted by Bookworm Room. It examines in detail how Jornolist, the now not-so-clandestine organization of left wing journolists who supposedly report the news in a neutral fashion collaborate to promote talking points and a narrative in ways that suit their agenda and that of the Obama Administration.

The last time this surfaced, we saw how the Journolistas plotted to destroy then GOP Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin while burying stories like the Reverend Wright revelations that reflected badly on candidate Barack Obama. This time,their working together to craft a narrative sympathetic to the OWS protesters.

Here are this week’s full results. Only New Zeal was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty :

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Fall Back Edition

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

This week’s contest is dedicated to Gilad Shalit. Baruch shuvcha habayta, khayal shel Yisrael…

Council News:

Our good friend Brian over at Snapped Shot has decided to devote his energies to other pursuits instead of blogging and has resigned his seat on the Council. It’s been great having him, and we’ll all miss his good humor and insights on photojournalism.

But hey…looky what we got here! I’m proud to announce the debut of two brand new Council members, Sard from The Right Planet and The Mellow Jihadi, both of whom bring unique outlooks and writing skills to the group. Both have previously appeared as Honorable Mentions and non-Council nominees, and if you’re not already familiar with them, then you’re in for a real treat.

And speaking of Honorable Mentions, this week, Maggie’s Notebook and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned Honorable Mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and leave a comment with the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with the mandatory e-mail address in case I need to contact you (it won’t be published) no later than Monday 6PM PST. Then simply return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week. Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watchers Council Results


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this weeks’ Watchers Council contest!

Ah, choices….we all make them in life, and this week’s winner discusses his choices freely, choices based on what he values as opposed to what he doesn’t. And that’s freedom, isn’t it? Here’s a slice from The Razor’s fine essay Chosen Paths: Why I Don’t Resent People Making More Money Than I Do :

Our system has its flaws. I have personally lost a job in a futile campaign against offshoring and labor dumping through the government’s meddling in the labor market. I worry about things like the cost of education and the future value of college degrees. Just like many liberals I too resent seeing the same people who caused the financial meltdown still in power instead of the chains they deserve. But for all of its flaws, it’s still the best at providing choice to anyone who demands it.

If you want to become a doctor, you can become one. If you want to start your own business and sell tutus to little girls studying dance, you can. If you want to start a restaurant or cook at one, there is no bureaucrat needing a bribe or law preventing you. Our system excels at providing choices to people whereas other systems provide outcomes. You are a farmer, but you will sell your produce to us at a price we determine. You are a doctor, but we will determine how much you are paid for each patient. You want to sell shoes in my district, you will have to pay me a flat fee every month (that’s how my friend Jan Mohamed was shaken down in Tanzania under socialism).

It takes much more than education and hard work to become a millionaire or a billionaire. To reach those heights one needs luck, family connections – a variety of things that are out of reach to all but a very few. But if you are young and your goal is to make a solid middle class salary of $100k a year, or $200k for the top 2% of households, you have to choose a career that pays well and you have to marry or live with someone with the same goal. There’s nothing magical about that formula, and no reason to resent those who have achieved that goal.

As my late mother-in-law said, usually when I had come home complaining after a rough day at the office or the Wife had a particularly tough night on call, “You chose this path.” And we have, all of us, chosen our paths. The Wife and I could have chosen to forgo having children, moved to a major city and gotten higher paying jobs; but we chose to live in a rural area with our rescued animals and our son. She could make much more money as a dermatologist or cardiologist, but she chose the lower paying specialty of family medicine because she wanted to be an old country doctor.

In our Non-Council category the winner was a superb piece by The Investigative Project On Terrorism entitled Abbas could be next Domino To Fall submitted by Right Truth, an examination of why the corrupt, unelected Arab dictator of the ‘Palestinian’ Authority could easily be the next victim of the Arab Spring.

Here are this week’s full results. New Zeal was unable to vote this week and was affected by the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!