Friday, October 28, 2011

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!

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