Watcher’s Council Results for 05-27-16

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Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 6.50.54 PMThe Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.” – Field Service Code issued by Tojo, 1941

“Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Ending wars is very simple if you surrender.” – P.J. O’Rourke

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This week’s winning essay,The Glittering Eye’s Apologize For What? is his reaction to calls by the usual suspects for President Obama to follow his usual practice and issue and apology for the bombing ogf Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here’s a slice:

There’s been quite a bit of speculation about what President Obama will say when he visits Hiroshima next week. Some say they think that the president should apologize. This report from ABC News should provide a taste:

A group representing Japanese survivors of U.S. atomic bombings urged President Barack Obama to hear their stories and apologize when he visits Hiroshima next week.

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Susan Rice: Racist, Gendered, Sexualized Diplomacy

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Susan Rice, reading whatever is put in front of her. credit: washingtonpost.com

Susan Rice, reading whatever is put in front of her.
credit: washingtonpost.com

Apparently “smart diplomacy” is no longer sufficient. Of course pretty much anyone could have made that observation. The Middle East is in flames, Russia and China are on the march, North Korea is as berserk and belligerent as ever, but with more nucs.  The EU is imploding, Latin America is falling apart, and Barack Obama’s main concerns are propping up Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, and putting male perverts in the bathrooms and locker rooms of every girl and woman in America. “Smart diplomacy” no longer seems to be such a brilliant “reset,” and neither was Hillary Clinton’s reset, or Libya, or… Now, in order to fulfill the promise that is a fundamentally transformed America, we need “racist diplomacy.” Truth Revolt.org reports:

National Security Advisor Susan Rice told graduates at Florida International University that the presence of too many ‘white, male, and Yale’ staffers is posing a threat to the security of America.

‘Too often, our national security workforce has been what former Florida Senator Bob Graham called ‘white, male, and Yale,'” Rice stated. ‘In the halls of power, in the faces of our national security leaders, America is still not fully reflected.’

‘I’m not talking about a human resources issue,’ she stressed. ‘I’m highlighting a national security imperative.

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The Freddie Gray Case, Update 34.6: Challenging A Social Justice Narrative

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Baltimore-OfficersSeveral interesting issues have arisen since Officer Edward Nero was acquitted on all charges by Judge Barry Williams. Judge Williams’ entire decision is avaiable embedded in Andrew Branca’s article at Legal Insurrection. I’ve already summarized Williams’ rationale, but there is one item that deserves a bit more attention. In response to the claim by the prosecution that Nero arrested Gray, or participated in a sort of joint arrest, Williams wrote:

The testimony that was presented from Miller and the interview with the defendant, where both indicated that ‘we handcuffed,’ is more in line with the habit of Baltimore City Police Officers who testify to speak in terms of what was done by the collective and not necessarily what is done by the individual. Therefore, the Court does not find that the use of the term ‘we’ implicates the defendant in either participating in the initial detention of Mr. Gray or the subsequent decision to arrest Mr. Gray.

By simply declaring that Nero had no real role in the arrest of Gray—which he did not—Judge Williams was able to avoid directly ruling on the lawfulness of the arrest of Gray. Some commentators apparently see in this certain doom for the remaining officers, but that’s wildly pessimistic. Officer Garrett Miller’s testimony about his arrest of Gray, because of the prosecution’s short-sighted immunity agreement, cannot be used against him in his trial. And in any case, his pursuit and rapid arrest of Gray were governed by Terry and Wardlow, which Judge Williams relied upon in his decision on Nero. The prosecution even stipulated to the legitimacy of the arrest in the Nero case. This will not, however, keep them from arguing otherwise, consistency and the law having little effect on their strategy and arguments to date.

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Watcher’s Council Nominations For 05-25-16

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The School of Athens by Raphael

The School of Athens by Raphael

Graphics by the one and only Chris Muir, of course!

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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 morning.

Council News:

We have a special treat for you this week! A lot of the Council have long enjoyed Angry White Dude’s writing and we’re glad to welcome him aboard as a new member of the Watcher’s Council. Be sure to check out his site and savor his debut this week.

So, let’s see what we have for you….

Council Submissions:

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Comic Writings For 05-24-16

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Throughout each school year I collect the inadvertently funny things my students write. These linguistic train wrecks are usually the result of momentary confusion, or knowing what one wants to say, but getting derailed on the way to the destination. In any case, no one should consider these little delights as examples of what is wrong with our schools, but merely of the little failings and distractions that help to make life a bit more fun. Enjoy!

Furniture Appreciation Department: “I gave respect to my couch.”

Native American Movie Department: “This production was originally meant to be a horror film, but because of all the tribal mistakes became known as the worst movie ever made.”

New Franchise Opportunity? “They plan to rinse the dead to stop the humans.”

Ready, Get Set… The aliens believe the best way to go about this is to race the dead and stop them.”

A Cardboard Thumb…? The graveyard was pretty much cardboard, and the thumb of the old man was all cardboard…”

And This Surprises You? The other two actors who were dead didn’t have any facial expression.”

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The Freddie Gray Case, Update 34.5: Nero Acquitted/Mosby Absent

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Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.36.01 PMFor the Edward Nero trial, Judge Barry Williams decided to uphold the rule of law rather than delivering social justice. He found Nero not guilty on all counts. Baltimore City Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby was conspicuous by her absence.

credit: patdollard.com

credit: patdollard.com

Prior to actually delivering his verdict, Williams spent roughly a half hour explaining how he came to his decision for each count. What he made abundantly clear was that not only did the prosecution fail to prove each count beyond a reasonable doubt, they had no proof at any level. He also obliterated the prosecution’s “novel legal theories.” Following the law left him no choice.

As was inevitable, many “community activists” were not impressed (via the local CBS affiliate): 

One of the people leading the charge is Rev. Wesley West.

‘I’m angry because this is what we deal with, and when I say ‘we,’ we’re talking about the black community and I’m a part of and represent that community as well, it seems like we have no voice when it comes to these issues,’ he said. ‘When it comes to conversations like this, we’re not involved. This should have been a jury trial where the community had a voice in this case. Of course a system works in a system’s favor, that’s how I look at it. That judge represents the system, and the police officer represents a system, but they’re all one system working together. And again I don’t think the case was actually tried fairly when it comes down the community being involved.

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Watcher’s Council Forum For 05-23-16

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The Forum, Rome, Italy credit: wikipedia.en

The Forum, Rome, Italy
credit: wikipedia.en

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Can Public Education And The University System Be Fixed?

Stately McDaniel Manor : The most serious problems in K-12 and “higher” education are not what most people think. Conservatives are, at least rhetorically, for local control of education. There we find a situation about as close to actual democracy as is possible in America circa 2016. School board members are often elected by a handful of votes, sometimes, single votes. One can often discuss school issues with board members over the backyard fence or at the local coffee shop.

Instead, we have huge and overbearing state and federal departments of education that exist not to ensure that teachers have all they need to teach as well as possible, but to perpetuate political control and power over others. These days, education has little to do with learning, with building individual bigger, better brains, but everything to do with mandatory, high stakes tests and the production of data. It’s big business and cronyism, not building the virtuous citizens necessary for a vibrant, constitutional America.

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Delusions Of The Left

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credit: dailymail

credit: dailymail

Politico has a well-deserved reputation as a Democrat house organ and reliable apologist for Leftist thought and politicians. One of the primary principles of Leftist thought, as I’ve often written, is that no Leftist policy or idea can possibly be wrong. If a progressive policy appears to be wrong, or has obviously failed, that’s just a lack of proper communication. The right “messaging” will set everything aright. The right messaging will inevitably tell us that not enough time has passed to allow the wonders and benefits of the policy to come to full flower. If that won’t fly, the problem is that the policy wasn’t sufficiently progressive. Just let us do what we really want to do—none of this democratic republic compromise silliness–and everything will be great! And if the damned, ungrateful public won’t buy that, the problem is not enough money was spent. Toss another trillion or so at the policy, and it will really take off! And of course, there is always one great impediment to the success of any progressive policy: conservatives continue to exist. Yes, the Constitution and the law are always niggling obstacles, but if one accepts that one’s ideas can never truly be wrong, it’s impossible to ever admit failure, or to correct it. But one can always message the hell out of it.

A recent example is the New York Times piece on Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, a man with no qualifications whatever for his position, save the ability and willingness to construct leftist narrative–lies–and to enlist willing journalists to help sell them. The article focused on his abject and continuous lies in selling the Iran deal, that actually isn’t a deal at all. Nothing was signed, the Iranians reject the American version of the deal, and they’ve been cheating for year anyway and continue to do so. But that’s not the subject of this article.

A perfect example of leftist messaging is a long article—The Selling Of Obama—the inside story of how a great communicator lost the narrative—by Michael Grunwald. I’ve seldom seen a more ironic example of Leftist self-delusion, beginning with the title. Barack Obama is not a great communicator or public speaker.  He is, at best, a mediocre, hectoring speaker, and without a teleprompter, frequently helpless and hapless.

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For My Students: Love Always Wins

credit: bostononlyricopera.blogspot.com

credit: bostononlyricopera.blogspot.com

The end of the school year is a bittersweet time for teachers. It’s satisfying to bring to an end a year of hard work. That engenders a feeling of accomplishment, of completion. But it’s always sad, because very soon, our classes will meet for the final time. Each class with its unique personality, comprised of the unique personalities of each of you, will die, never to be reborn.

That understanding always leaves me with a sense of loss. Soon, I’ll rise in the morning and realize I can no longer look forward to seeing each of you every day. It’s like losing an old, trusted, beloved friend, many times over.

Does this surprise you? You didn’t know I felt that way about you? I do, and so do all dedicated teachers.

Teaching is not about the money. It’s about being a part of something bigger than oneself, something with the potential to change lives, to build a better future. It’s about giving of yourself that others might become more than they are, that they might build bigger, better, more wrinkly brains.

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