The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.
But first, we have some important business to take care of. We have an important Occasion to celebrate, the birthday of our own Dave Schuler, The Glittering Eye.
It actually works out in a way that this week's Council Results coincide with Boxing Day rather than Dave's actual birthday, which falls on Christmas Day. This way, he doesn't have to share his birthday party with any other holiday, and it gives us an extra day for celebration.
First, a suitable cake. On a previous occasion, we really enjoyed a double Dutch chocolate number with chocolate ganache icing and just a lil' bit of rum for flavor, and it went over so well I decided to get two for this occasion...one with rum, one without.
I also picked out some chilled Veuve Cliquot to drink...brut, of course.
And we'll also have a nice assortment of fruit juices and mineral water.
For those of you whom want something a little stronger, one of my faves..Talisker's 18-year old Single Malt,a real charmer.
Dave and I go back, what..is it really ten years? He predates me on the Council, and I've never forgotten his first reaction when I came aboard. In those days, we didn't vote on new members, the Watcher simply decided on his own, and Dave used to write little blerbs giving his own reaction to each Council member's entry, something I wish he still did. At my debut, he wrote on his site to the effect that he had enjoyed New Sisyphus (the member I replaced) but was going to wait and see about this Joshuapundit guy. I hope he's made up his mind about me!
Dave Schuler runs one of the best one man blogs out there. He remains very much the Council's renaissance man, whose varied interests run the gamut from politics and world affairs, to opera, wine, economics, cooking, dogs, martial arts and a thousand other subjects. And he has a lot to say about all of them! Even more to his credit, he specializes in common sense, a quality today that's not at all common nowadays.
In all the time I've known him, not only has he cheerfully put up with all my nonsense but he's always been there whenever I've needed help and good advice. And I've never ceased to appreciate his clarity of thought, his ability to get to the heart of the matter, or our friendship.
And that's the thing, really. You meet the most wonderful people blogging.
Happy Birthday, Dave, and many many more. And no worries..we've already alerted the Fire Department about all those candles.
Another brief note before we get down to business. Our dear friend and Council member Marion Algier of Ask Marion has been fighting a tough battle against cancer. She's a real scrapper though, and I'm proud to say that based on a recent medical report she appears to be getting the upper hand, G-d willing!
Such fights are fairly expensive, however.
If any of you feel able to visit her site and drop some shekels in her PayPal tip jar, please do so. It would be a wonderful thing to do, especially at this time of year.And send her your prayers.
"Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas." - President Ronald Reagan
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
"And in despair I bowed my head;
There is no peace on earth," I said;
For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Christmas isn't a season, it's a feeling -Edna Ferber
Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. - Sir Winston Churchill
This week's winning essay is my piece over at Joshuapundit-What Christmas Really Means, And Why The Left Hates It .Here's a slice:
In two days, Christians around the world will celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth, called the Christ..or as I, a non-Christian sometimes respectfully refer to him, Rav Yussel ben-Yosef. For among other attributes, Jesus was also a learned rabbi.
While historical evidence points towards the actual birthday of Jesus being in the spring, the December 25th date - January 6th for Orthodox Christians - are the traditional days Christians celebrate.
It is a time of year when people in predominantly Christian countries are more expansive, more gentle and more at peace with each other. They smile more, and they let the little things go because it's Christmas, a time of cheer and good will, a time for friends and family.
It is also a time when the secular Left unleashes savage attacks on the very nature of Christ and the holiday itself. Satanists demand the right to set up displays next to manger scenes, smarmy writers mock the traditions of Christmas and Christianity and atheists and Leftists go on the warpath with lawsuits designed to try and stop public religious displays of faith, especially Christian ones.
One writer whom I won't link to even made the point in a very well-known far Left outlet that religion in general is 'rapey' (her word) and Christianity in particular because - wait for it- it teaches that G-d raped the Virgin Mary without her consent, since consent isn't explicitly mentioned in Scripture. So of course, this is just another instance of the 'Patriarchy' in action.
Before I go on, let me point out that all of these attacks are permissible free speech, although there's no doubt in my mind that if we were talking about Islam, they'd be a lot more circumspect.Or perhaps outright cowardly and hypocritical is a more accurate way to put it.
But if we get beyond the secular trapping and look at the real meaning of Christmas, it becomes obvious that all these attacks on Christianity have a distinct motivation.It becomes glaringly apparent why the Left does what it does.
Christmas is above all a time for Christians to celebrate a miracle of their faith, the birth of their Messiah,born in the humblest of surroundings but recognized by the Magi and generations of future Christians as Lord and Savior. To Christians, Jesus is whom they owe ultimate allegiance to, not to government or to secular power, but to heavenly power. If Jesus is their Lord, than no secular lord can be, and if Jesus is the way, the truth and the light, salvation comes from the Lord, not from Moscow, or Peking, or Washington DC, or any other seat of government.
The Founders themselves understood this quite well, that the unalienable rights they sought came from their Creator, not government, or an earthly king.
To the Left, this belief goes against everything they stand for. That's why the Left needs so badly to to mock, attack and destroy it. And why all of us, even those of us whom are not Christians need to defend it.
You'll find much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Heather MacDonald's fine piece at the City Journal – The Big Lie of the Anti-Cop Left Turns Lethal submitted by The Watcher. It is simply one of the better things written so far about the current war by the Left against the police.
We hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!
Here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 5 votes! -Joshuapundit-What Christmas Really Means, And Why The Left Hates It
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –The Right Planet – The Left's War On The Police
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –VA Right! - War on Christmas and the Establishment Clause
- Third place with 1 vote –Simply Jews – Omar Mahmood and the goddess of Political Correctness
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes –The Noisy Room – 2 NYPD Officers Shot in the Head, Killed in Ambush on Cop Car in Brooklyn
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes –The Glittering Eye -As Plain As the Nose On Somebody Else’s Face
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes –Rhymes With Right – Is It Our Patriotic Duty To See “The Interview”?
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Nice Deb – Rioting For Change in the Age of Obama
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote –Bookworm Room – Has American higher education reached a tipping point?
- First place with 2 1/3 votes! –Heather MacDonald/City Journal – The Big Lie of the Anti-Cop Left Turns Lethal submitted by The Watcher
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –Doug Giles/Townhall -Jessica Chambers:Teen Murdered Immediately After Local Blacks Called For Rape & Burning Of White Women: submitted by Nice Deb
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –Victor Davis Hanson – War Clouds on the Horizon? submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –Walter Russell Mead/The American Interest – Next Up in America: the Liberal Retreat submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Third place *t* with 1 vote –Sultan Knish–Saving Comrade Castro submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place *t* with 1 vote –Kevin D. Williamson/NRO-The United States Of Anxietysubmitted by Bookworm Room
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes - Ron Radosh/PJ Media – ‘The Third Narrative,’ and Michael Walzer and Todd Gitlin, Join the Fight Against Israel submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes - War Is Boring – China’s Building Stealth Fighters Faster and Faster submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes -Reason.Com –Don't Try to Blame 'Rhetoric' for the Deaths of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos submitted by The Razor
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes - GotNews.com – NYPD Cop Killer Worked For Alleged Muslim Terror Front Group submitted by VA Right!
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes -Bret Stephens/WSJ – The Marvel of American Resilience submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place with 1/3 vote -The Switch/ Washington Blog – German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls. submitted by The Watcher
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!
And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher's Council content.
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