Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Watcher's Council Nominations, 1/10/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council nominate two posts each, one from the Council members and one from outside for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week's Council nominations can be found at the site of our fearless leader, Watcher of Weasels

Here's this week's lineup:

1. J O S H U A P U N D I T: Weekend Monkey: Let's play `You're the Qadi!' Today thanks to Weekend Monkey. you have a real treat in store for you..a fun quiz called `You're the Qadi'!

A Qadi is an Islamic judge versed in sharia Islamic law, and you get to be one. Here are ten actual cases for you to rule on. Answer these questions and test your knowledge of the time tested wisdom of Islamic jurisprudence. Be careful..some of these are tougher than you think!

2. Done With Mirrors: Why is There Still a CIA? Callimachus writes a fine essay that asks the question, and suggests that the CIA be umm...terminated and its functions absorbed by State and the Pentagon. A nice capsule history of the agency included, BTW.

3. Soccer Dad: Uday and the maiden Soccer Dad does a fine job reminding us of exactly what kind of genocidal maniacs we removed from power in Iraq. Here, he talks about Saddam's psychotic son Uday and the way he administered the Iraqi national sports program. Hint: the `maiden' referred to is likely different than you might think.

4. Right Wing Nut House : ELLISON AND THE OATH: A MATTER OF FAITH Here, Rick again writes on CAIR's own congressman, Keith Ellison and the Qu'ran oath controversy. I agree with him that there should be no test for religion, and that the oath itself is a secondary one. But as I've said before: (a)it is interesting that a Congressman would take an oath on a book that directly opposes everything the Constitution stands for while swearing to defend it and (b) since Muslims are not only allowed but encouraged to lie to infidels to advance Islam, the oath is less meaningful than the fact that Ellison, with his CAIR connections, is in Congress at all.

And since Elison chose Thomas Jefferson's Qu'ran to swear on, here's a quote from Mr. Jefferson himself on the matter, when he reported to Congress after calling on the Ambassador of Tripoli in London, Sidi Haji Abdrahaman and asking him by what right he extorted tribute and took slaves among Americans and Europeans:

"The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."

Nothing has changed since.Jihad then, jihad today.

5. The Sundries Shack::Howard Fineman: Sooper Political Genius? Here, Jimmie Bise has a few issues with leftist political guru Howard Fineman. Understandably so.

Like the old song says, `I used to be disgusted - now I'm just amused'.

6.Rhymes With Right: Romney Watch Here, Greg examines the burgeoning candidacy of the ex-governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. In particular, he talks about Romney's efforts in Florida and, of course, the `M' word.

7. The Glittering Eye : Skies darkening over ChinaHere, Dave writes a thoughtful piece about a little known problem, environmental pollution in China - and how it might effect the rest of the world.

8. AMERICAN FUTURE - Once Wrong Doesn’t Mean Always Wrong Marc has an interesting bit this week on comparing the situation in Iraq with that in Vietnam. As a hook for his take on this, he chose writer David Halberstam's `The Best and the Brightest' as compared with Halberstam's earlier hawkish views on the subject..

9. Andrew Olmsted : It Was My Understanding There Would Be No Math This week's piece by Major Andrew Olmsted focuses on affirmative action, hiring quotas, and their implications, and provides some interesting statistics as food for thought.

My personal view? As an employer, I want to hire to best applicant period, simply out of self-interest because if I don't they'll go to work for my competition, or become my competition by starting their own firms.

As a consumer, I want the best possible person handling my needs, regardless.

I likewise don't see how you create a colorblind society (if that's even possible) by balkanizing things further by using quotas.

10.The COLOSSUS OF RHODEY: American Fascists Hube has a masterly rant on a book just reviewed in the Paper of Refuse, Chris Hedges `American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.'

You have to wonder whether ex-NYT reporter Hedges, who presumably went through a few years of J-school at the university level and probably considers himself well-informed actually understands what fascism is or even how to recognize it!

Hube uses that as a springboard to discuss America's leftist university culture,perhaps the most intolerant environment in American society.

11. The Education Wonks: A School Administrator's Worst Nightmare?
EdWonk writes about a school administrator faced with a question...what do you do with a special ed student who you believe deliberately wets herself as a means of controlling a situation? Or is it deliberate at all?

12. Francis W. Porretto - Eternity Road: Peace Through Strength: Thoughts On American Military Preparedness Francis muses over the nature of war, military preparedness and what the future might hold in these areas..a well written, thinking out loud kind of piece I found most interesting.

The problem,of course is that the democracies have forgotten the lessons of history, even the lessons of the last 60 years. And, to bowdlerize the old hackneyed Santayana quote, those who forget their history relive it.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy!

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