Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Watcher's council Nominations, 6/20/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council members 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

Some real good stuff this week, both in the council and non-council links... check them out for some of the the best stuff in the blogosphere.

OK, here's this week's Council lineup:

1. JoshuaPundit: Gaza Becomes Hamastan Part 2: Clarity And An Opportunity In the first part of this twofer, I explained in detail what led to the gang war between Hamas and Fatah, why a better armed and numerically superior Fatah fell apart like a cheap suit and what it cost us, both materially and in captured intelligence.

In this second part, I analyze the implications of all this, as a reflection of the contradictions inherent in our Middle East policy, and more importantly the opportunity we have to make this an historic turning point. I'll give you a hint- the answer's most emphatically not what the Bush administration appears to be doing, lavishing even more money and arms on a corrupt, duplicitous and weak Fatah staffed by our `preferred' terrorists in an idiotic effort to make Fatah's part of Judea and Samaria into Belgium. Talk about good money after bad!

We need to see things as the Arabs see them, look at the history of what's worked there and proceed accordingly to solve this once and for all...or we can keep paying the band for the same old song and dance.

2. Done With Mirrors; A Tragic Case Callimachus has an interesting piece this week, in which he comments on an anonymous marine wife who wrote a bitter letter on a chat post after she lost her husband in Iraq.

Cal wants to track her down and reach out to her, for the most commendable of motives.No disrespect to Cal whatsoever, but my take on it is that the person may have chosen anonymity fo a good reason, and we are bound to respect that, IMO.

3. Soccer Dad: The resiliance of Olmert and Kadima Soccer Dad writes about the political resiliancy of Israeli PM Ehud Olmet and his Kadima Party, I hated this piece,not because it was bad (it definitely wasn't ) or because I disagreed with it so much as because it disgusts me that some Israeli politicians would choose realpolitik and their own selfish motives over ousting this corrupt, idiotic hack and his pals from the reins of power. Especially with war this summer a distinct possibility. @#$ARGGGH!$%##

4. The Glittering Eye :Don't Throw the Chinese Baby Out With the Contaminated Bath Water This week, The Glittering Eye's Dave Schuler writesan eye opening piece on a subject dear to his heart, trade with China. He takes exception to what he considers China bashing in the media in view of all the major product recalls.

I agree with him - to an extent - that China is not a significant military threat to us now, and that trade with China benefits both countries. I would only add that I think it's imperatuive that China begin playing fair by ending the artificial devaluing of their currency and opening their markets further to US companies. I'm also not quite ready to acquiesce to the loss of all those highly skilled manufacturing jobs to China and elsewhere. Aside from the fact that those skilled blue collar jobs largely built the American middle class, the American worker is still the most skilled and productive in the world, and that's an asset I don't think we should let simply atrophy to add a few bucks to the corporate bottom line.

Among other things, it's a national security issue. We need to remain the arsenal of democracy, and we just might want to build tanks or warships on a large scale sometime in the future.

5. Bookworm Room: The New York Times spins away Ms. Bookworm takes on the Paper of Refuse, this time focusing on an old trick of the dinosaur media...leading off with a biased take on our military efforts in the opener of the story ( knowing that's what people mostly skim) and including carefully nuanced qualifying information deep inside the story.

The New York Times continues to be a dying relic..but with a substantial amount of venom left at its disposal as it passes on.

6. Rhymes With Right:Overstating a problem Greg writes about an apparently nit picking internal FBI audit on `potential' violations of the law or agency rules while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions.

It appears to be a giant case of CYA, especially unnecessary in a post 9/11 environment...but more evidence on how we're not taking this war seriously yet.

7. The Colossus of Rhodey: "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" Review Hube goes to town reviwing this latest screen opus based on the Marvel comics heros. Did he like it? Find out here...

8. Right Wing Nut House : A conversation with my dead father Rick looks inward this week, taking the occasion of Father's Day to have a conversation with his deceased father.

This hit home with me, especially since, in accordance with tradition I recently commemorated the passing of my own father of blessed memory..an amazing man in every sense of the word.

9. Cheat Seeking Missiles:Muslim and Christian? In one body? Laer writes about someone, an Episcopalian priest of African-American descent who claims she is both `Christian' and compelled to be a Muslim.

In this case, there are obvious contradictions. Aside form the fsct that Christians accept the divinity of Jesus and Muslims emphaticaly do not, Islam allows that Christianity is inferior to Islam, that the only true prophet is Mohammed and that apostates are liable for the death penalty. This individual is obviously a Muslim (since she reverted and pronounced the shaheedah) who simply likes the idea of holding on to her position and salary as an Episcopal priest, a position she could never hold as a Muslim.

It always puzzles me why some American Blacks feel such an attraction to Islam. Arab Muslims virtually ran the slave trade in Africa and for every slave who went west via the Middle Passage ten went East. Not to mention that defacto Black slavery is still practiced in parts of the Arab world in places like Darfur. Slavery was legal in Saudi Arabia until 1963, and is still practiced there today.

10. Big Lizards: Yon on Baqouba Dafydd Ab Hugh writes a fine piece about the one and only Michael Yon and his writing about the US offensive in Iraq. Dafydd is a fan..so am I.

11.The Education Wonks:The wanker of the day: Principal Crackjob
I love it when EdWonk gets into the seedy absurd side of public education. Here, EdWoink writes about a Florida middle school principal who's habit got the better of him..and who wants to return to his career in education after he serves his sentence!!

12.Happy Father's Day to the "Dragon Slayer" at ‘Okie’ on the Lam Our favorite Okie reminisces about his dad,and weaves a wonderful tapestry about their old homestead in Oklahoma,the state of freedom in America these days and one big bad cottonmouth.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy


Unknown said...

FF, I've been fighting the battle over the reorganization of the American economy in my blog for the last four years and in my working life, off and on, for decades.

There were two competing strategies. Either we could have a small number of workers with a higher level of skills and commensurately higher pay or American industry could organize around a larger number of workers with lower skills and a commensurately lower level of pay. The former required the investment of capital and the application of intelligence and was seen to be a higher-risk strategy. Without protectionism there's nothing to prevent the jobs under the latter strategy from picking up and moving elsewhere.

That battle is lost. Both the blue collar and the related white collar jobs (which include both managerial and engineering jobs) will be in China and India.

What could upset that applecart is reforms in manufacturing due to nanotech and fab labs. If those mature as they might, the demand for manufacturing labor at any skill level could drop to zero. That could result in a new industrial revolution with even greater social upheaval than the original, upheaval that will affect the countries most dependent on manufacturing e.g. China the most.

Soccer Dad said...

I hated it too. But I thought that Pfeffer had a point. For all his faults, Netanyahu (and his likely Defense Minister Gen. Yaalon) understands the Islamist threat. But he can't assume power unless there are new elections. And right now Olmert seems election proof.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Guys!
Grab a brew and pull up a chair...

Dave , I really liked a lot of your post, and totally understand where you're coming from on this. You've obviously done a lot of deep thinking here. I don't quite agree that it was either or in all cases, simply because different jobs and industries require different skill levels.

There's a difference between obsolescence and outsourcing for profit.

To me, this is also a qualitative and national security issue which goes beyond the dollars and cents. (a)Most of the stuff being manufactured in China is of remarkably poor quality compared to what US workers are capable of turning out

(b)Those decently paid blue collar jobs were an important part of building the American middle class and are an important p[art of maintaining it, which helps the economy overall much more than cheap imports.

(c) If we continue to farm out our manufacturing and allow the skills of our workers to atrophy, it could have a disastrous effect in the event we need to go to war again.


Soccer Dad I know where you're coming fropm on this. I just wish it were different, y'know?

We both want Israel to survive,and its present leadership is a disaster.