August 19, 2007

Watch That Watcher!

Hatched by Dafydd

Well, I can see by the old clock on the wall that it's time to get a new clock on the wall. And also that the old Watcher's Council time has rolled around once more (time to get a new Watcher's Council).

Big Liz had a spectacular week this week in the Council, not so good in the Nouncil. In the first place, look who came in first place:


Of course, you all remember (because you read it) that this was my rumination about the politics of the Iraq war... specifically, that I reject the meme that, unless Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki puts on his manly gown, girds his loins, and pulls up his socks, and bullies parliament into passing a bunch of Washington D.C.-generated legislation, then we've lost the war -- even if we've won the war.

Rather, I argue that we should focus on the military, encourage the politics to trickle up from the individual, tribal, and provincial level, and let the Iraqis sort things out.

We received four points... which means (via the cockamamie voting system) either six first-place votes (out of eleven voting members of the Council who are allowed to vote for Big Lizards), or else five firsts and two seconds, or four firsts and four seconds, three and six, two and eight, or one and ten, to be annoyingly completist about it.

But that's not all: Besides our win (and the Ginsu knife set), our two choices for our own votes...

  1. Political Fairy Tales, by Bookworm Room;
  2. Globalization Killed the Bison?!, by Cheat Seeking Missiles.

...Came in second and third, respectively. In the Council vote, that makes a clean sweep.

The first explicates the journalistic phenomenon whereby the actual facts of real-world events (with political implications) become subordinated to a pre-created narrative... in other words, newspapers substitute a leftist political fairy tale for the facts.

In the other post, Laer takes environmentalists to task for exaggerating both how "good" things were before industrialization and also how "bad" things are today.


We didn't do so well in the Nouncil, however. The winner was a very, very good piece about changing our lexicon for describing terrorists, so that we don't inadvertently validate their own self-descriptions as "martyrs," "holy warriors," and "caliphs;" but I thought it a bit too similar to an earlier piece in the same magazine:

By contrast, those blogposts that we voted for in the Nouncil category had slim pickin's:

  1. Are You Black Enough?, by Logosphilia;
  2. False Altruism, by JunkYardBlog.

The Logosphilia post tied for fourth, while the JunkYardBlog post tied for eighth with three other nominees. I really thought both of these deserved better.

In the first, K2aggie07 (a frequent commenter here) runs through the history of black achievement in America -- and notes how such progress cut off abruptly when pro-black racial preference (that is, "affirmative action") was enacted: The free market was doing a great job of equalizing the races, until the "invisible foot of government" came along and tripped them up.

K2aggie07 echoes the pioneering work of Walter Williams, who in 1989 published an entire book -- South Africa's War Against Capitalism -- about how blacks in South Africa were actually achieving parity in many areas under a relatively free market... until the turn of the last century, when the Boers began to impose Apartheid, stopping such progress in its tracks.

In addition, as Thomas Sowell discussed a year later in Preferential Policies, many of the early Apartheid laws bore a strange and suspicious resemblance to supposedly pro-black affirmative-action programs -- the best example being a law rammed through following the horrific Rand Rebellion, one of the bloodiest labor riots in history, imposing a minimum wage for South African miners. (During the Rand Rebellion, the Communists joined on the side of the white mining unions, unfurling the slogan, "workers of the world unite and fight for a white South Africa!")

A minimum wage to help blacks sounds great, right? Except that, under the old system -- where blacks could, if they chose, work for less than the new "minimum wage" and far less than the prevailing (white) rate -- there was a financial incentive for companies to hire competent blacks in place of equally competent whites... which they often did in defiance of racial-quota legislation. Thus, companies hired more and more blacks to supervisory and managerial positions over whites... which drove the unionistas into a frenzy.

For anyone interested in reading further about the issues that K2aggie07 raises in this post, I strongly recommend the Williams and Sowell books.

"False Altruism" is an exemplar of truth in advertising: SeeDubya explains that altruism is bad enough; altruism is when a person sacrifices himself so that another person, no more deserving, can live. But under false altruism, liberals and lefties (for the most part) sacrifice your money to give to the undeserving poor -- for the primary purpose of making the lefty (who orchestrated the confiscation) feel good about himself. This is like a father taking food away from his own starving child in order to feed a total stranger's starving child, then turning to the audience and saying, "oh what a good boy am I!"

Funnily enough, our own Nouncil nominee was the Captain's Progressive For Racist Smears? (Update: Progressive Wises Up A Little Late)... which we didn't even vote for, given how much we loved the two above. Yet even so, our nominee came in second place.

At least we're spared the ignominy of having cost the Captain a win... even had we cast our first place vote for it, it still would have been second.

Lookee here

That is, here, if you want to see the full list of every entry that garnered at least one vote from somebody.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 19, 2007, at the time of 8:28 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing:


The following hissed in response by: Fritz

Some weeks produce more interesting articles than others, and last week was a good week. I particularly liked "Political Fairy Tales" because I remember seeing the movie and hating Charles Laughton as the evil Captain Bligh, but the rest were above average overall. Of course it helped that it was led by a brilliant lizard whose name escapes me.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 20, 2007 10:46 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved