The Watchers Council


Watcher’s Council Nominations – Fall Back Edition

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.

This week’s contest is dedicated to Gilad Shalit. Baruch shuvcha habayta, khayal shel Yisrael…

Council News:

Our good friend Brian over at Snapped Shot has decided to devote his energies to other pursuits instead of blogging and has resigned his seat on the Council. It’s been great having him, and we’ll all miss his good humor and insights on photojournalism.

But hey…looky what we got here! I’m proud to announce the debut of two brand new Council members, Sard from The Right Planet and The Mellow Jihadi, both of whom bring unique outlooks and writing skills to the group. Both have previously appeared as Honorable Mentions and non-Council nominees, and if you’re not already familiar with them, then you’re in for a real treat.

And speaking of Honorable Mentions, this week, Maggie’s Notebook and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned Honorable Mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and leave a comment with the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with the mandatory e-mail address in case I need to contact you (it won’t be published) no later than Monday 6PM PST. Then simply return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week. Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have this week….


Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Occupy’ Edition

on Oct 12 2011 | Filed under: Nominations.

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.

Council News:

This week, The Right Planet and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to the ‘Contact Me’ page at Joshuapundit and post a link to the piece you want considered along with a mandatory e-mail address so I can contact you (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week….


Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watchers Council Results

on Oct 07 2011 | Filed under: The Council Has Spoken!.


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the akashic records of cyberspace.

We had close matches this week in both council and non-Council categories, a measure of the quality of all these entries. And boy, do we have some excellent winners this week!

Race is still cited as a large factor in American politics almost exclusively by the Left and the Democrats, who depend on identity politics to win elections. In fact,it’s become such a factor that Democrat strategists almost depend on a monolithic black turnout for the Democrats at election time,with the Obama Administration being particularly egregious in this regard. The week’s winner, The Razor points out exactly How Taking the Black Vote For Granted Is Racist. Here’s a slice of this excellent essay:

I’m a white guy and I don’t claim to understand what it means to be black in the United States although I try. I grew up in a house with a father who worked with black people and spoke about them using an assortment of epithets. When I referred to my late father as a bigot, my elderly mother was shocked and defended him saying that he didn’t have a problem with black people just those he worked with. I grew up in a different era after the Civil Rights struggle had been won, raised by a mother who cultivated a conscience within me, one based on the morality of her strong Roman Catholic faith mixed with egalitarianism arising from her German work ethic. My political heroes were men like Martin Luther King Jr., FDR and Abraham Lincoln. My favorite baseball player electrified the diamond whenever he made it to base: Lou Brock. And the music I listened to with my friends as we explored the woods surrounding our suburban neighborhoods: rap pioneers Grandmaster Flash, the Gap Band and Kurtis Blow.But appreciating black culture doesn’t mean that I understand what it means to be black. Living in Japan I was regularly discriminated against because I was a foreigner, and that gave me an insight into what it must be like. I’d walk into a store and the clerk behind the counter would watch me suspiciously afraid that I would steal something (and afraid I’d speak English to him). Newspapers regularly insinuated that foreigners were behind all crime even though statistically 95% was carried out by native Japanese. Restaurants with empty seats that I entered suddenly became “full.” Landlords refused to rent an apartment to my wife and I, so the rental agent who assisted us resorted to calling prospective landlords and asking them flat out, “Are you willing to rent to Americans?” After 25 or 30 we found one willing to take the $8,000 bribe known euphemistically as “key money” (reikin) and rented to us. At the English Language school I taught at one of the teachers had been warned not to date a Japanese girl. A few days after that warning he was assaulted by a biker gang and nearly killed, spending 3 weeks in the hospital. For four years there I was a subject of scorn and fascination wherever I went, and it took several years after leaving Japan for me to regain my perspective and love of the Japanese and their culture. But escape from that racist environment was only a plane ticket away, and for a variety of reasons I chose to live there. I recognize that isn’t an option for black Americans.

I lived in a very isolated place in Tanzania for a year and that showed me the limits of skin color. The people I associated with shared the same skin color but were very different. The Tongwe tribe that I lived with had avoided Arab slavers during the 15th-19th centuries by hiding in the mountains. They had been forced off the mountains and their small villages into large towns of mixed tribes during President Nyerere’s socialist collectivization experiment known as Ujamaa. They were very poor and viewed as backward by the other tribes, especially the Chagga, the tribe making up most of Tanzania’s ruling elite. I noticed these differences whenever I traveled up Lake Tanganyika from our research site to Kigoma with some Tongwe I hired as guides and helpers. They were quite uncomfortable in town, and acted in the way you would expect someone from Iowa might after stepping foot for the first time in Manhattan, and relied upon me to deal with government officials and merchants even though my command of Swahili was rudimentary. At the time I was noticing the differences between tribes in Tanzania, I was also exposed to the aftermath of the greatest genocide since the Killing Fields in Cambodia. Outside of Kigoma refugee camps had been set up for the Hutus who escaped to northern Tanzania after the Tutsi took over of Rwanda, ending the Hutu’s slaughter there. There was no difference in skin color between Hutu and Tutsi – but like the Tongwe and Chagga they came from cultures different enough to cause trouble. To the Tongwe that meant a lower standard of living and subservience to the Chagga; to the Tutsis it meant slaughter on a horrific scale.

In our non-Council category this week, the honors were carried off by Barry Rubin for Why Most of The Mass Media Can’t Report Honestly on Israel—Or Other Middle East Issues submitted by Joshuapundit.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Snapped Shot was unable to vote this week, but he was not affected by the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:

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!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Finger Lickin’ Good Edition

President Obama appears destined to be known for more than his abysmal economic policies, extravagant ways and amateur foreign policy. He’s now in a prime position to replace Colonel Sanders as KFC’s spokesman and trade mark endorsee in China!

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.

Council News:

This week, Monkey In The Middle, The Grouch, Liberty’s Spirit and Right Planet took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to the ‘Contact Me’ page at Joshuapundit and post a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week….


Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results

on Sep 30 2011 | Filed under: The Council Has Spoken!.


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the akashic records of cyberspace.

Israel is very much in the news these days (when isn’t it) and a number of pundits have looked at the threats the country faces and concluded that its very existence is in danger. This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Can Israel Survive? analyzes at the question and the threats and sees things quite differently. Here’s a slice:

There’s a great deal of speculation these days on Israel’s dire situation, most notably from renowned author and scholar Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review, who prefaces it with a remark that the country has never been in more danger.The Islamist regimes in Egypt and elsewhere brought on by the Arab Spring and their growing hostility to Israel, the genocidal influence of Iran and its missile armed proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, Erdogan’s Islamist Turkey, the huge influence of Arab petro-dollars, and the indifference and growing anti-semitism in much of Europe and the exhaustion and debt of the United States are frequently cited.

It’s a gloomy picture, and none of it is to be trivialized. But I think dire predictions of Israel’s demise are premature, to say the least.

It’s worth remembering that Israel has faced far worst and survived. In 1948, the British left Palestine, but not before confiscating as many arms in the hands of Jews as they could find and turning over strategic locations to Israel’s genocidal enemies. In the year leading up to that conflict, the British armed the Arab nations with modern weapons including aircraft and tanks in spite of their open and explicit threats of jihad against Israel’s Jews. In the case of Jordan, the British not only trained the Arab Legion but officered it during the 1948 war and oversaw the ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, led by a Jew hating British Colonel by the name of John Glubb, AKA Glubb Pasha. And this was a mere three years after the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Jews had no aircraft or artillery, and used homemade ‘Davidka’ mortars and improvised armored trucks as ‘tanks’. They were unable to purchase weapons from the United States because President Truman decided to put an arms embargo on both sides, something that affected Israel greatly and the Arabs not at all, since they were able to purchase arms openly from Britain and other European countries, many of whom were unwilling to sell arms to Israel for fear of angering the oil rich Arabs. In one of the ironies of history, a major cache of the arms the Jews used to win their war of independence were Nazi arms left over from the occupation of Czechoslovakia, purchased by Israel on the black market.

Somehow, the Jews prevailed against the attempted second Holocaust. And without the help of Europe, the United States or the UN.

They prevailed again in 1967, after a last minute cutoff of arms and supplies from Charles DeGaulle deprived them of all arms and supplies from France, their major arms source. The US remained neutral during that war and supplied no arms to the Jewish State, who were facing war on three fronts from Arab nations armed with the latest Soviet weapons. The Six Day War was a miracle not only because Israel won against overwhelming odds, but because they were able to win before the supplies and spare parts for their French weapons ran out.

Today’s situation is not to be underestimated, but not nearly as dire as it might seem. In many ways, Israel’s position is far more secure and superior than it was then.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Gonzalo Lira for What I learned At Dartmouth submitted by Rhymes with Right. It’s an excellent first hand account on what can happen because of the war on American males on college campuses and political correctness run amuck.

Here are this week’s full results. Snapped Shot was unable to vote this week, but was not affected by the 2/3 vote penalty:

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!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Apples n’ Honey Edition

on Sep 28 2011 at 3:01 am | Filed under: Nominations

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.

Council News:

First off, a shout out from me to the Council for their assistance and good will this week…much appreciated! And for those of you whom celebrate it, L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu.

This week, The Mellow Jihadi, The Grouch, Liberty’s Spirit and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to the ‘Contact Me’ page at Joshuapundit and post a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week….


Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

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