Now that we have an internet satellite connection, getting the Watcher’s posts up in time will be far less problematic. Living in the country has its advantages, but access to cable or DSL isn’t one of them. Now we get to join the rest of the world, and it doesn’t take twenty minutes to load Council posts anymore. Deo gratias.
So here we are behind only two weeks this time. On St. Patrick’s Day, Gates of Vienna won first place only by a tie-breaker from the Watcher. My submission was a post concerning the changing ideas about what constitutes gender equality. While the protagonist in this case doesn’t sound like a nice guy, neither does the woman who is his adversary. This bears watching.
The Glittering Eye tied with Gates. His post, “Why The Iranians Are Not Deterred” makes some thoughtful points about that country’s thinking. It’s hard to say whether or not he has them pegged, but I certainly agree with this one:
The Iranians believe they have us over a barrel: an oil barrel. The KSA is probably producing as much oil as it reasonably can as is Kuwait and other Gulf producers. Both Nigeria’s and Venezuela’s production can reasonably be seen as unstable. We’ve been unable to get Iraq’s production up or to keep it up due to (possibly Iranian-assisted) sabotage. The likelihood of stabilizing Iraq’s production in the near future is probably nil. Russia probably does have more capacity. Is that enough to stabilize the world’s oil supply if Iran goes offline? I think it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that the disruption to the world economy caused by Iran’s oil production becoming suddenly unavailable will be disastrous. No doubt the Iranians think so, too, and have concluded that we can’t afford to bomb them or invade them.
The Non-Council winner was a doozy. You must read this post to get the experiential foretaste of what we have coming if we don’t stop the socialist medicine freight train.
The Crippen Diaries, Week 11 comes from a blog about the horrible conditions that exist in the National Health scheme in the UK. It is not a place you would want to be old and sick. Or a place you would want to practice medicine. Here’s an excerpt from the author’s profile:
Dr Crippen is angry. He has worked for over 20 years in the NHS. He watches and weeps as the Health Service, slowly but inexorably, is destroyed. He takes a sad, sometimes humorous, sometimes cynical, look at the health care from the inside
And here is an excerpt from his disturbing post, notes on one of his patients:
Mavis is a hugely efficient retired social worker. Her husband has Alzheimer’s disease, quite advanced now. There is a three year waiting list for in-patient care of Alzheimer patients and he has only just gone on it. Social services offer her two weeks respite care a year. She is not managing. She is on her knees. She has a bit of angina (stable) and needs full investigation but will not go for it at present.
Trouble is, she is looking after her husband really well. So when social services “assess” her, she is classified as low need. She knows the system. She worked in it herself. “The best thing I could do is have a heart attack, then we would be high need” she says.
She is right.
Second place was taken by Middlebrow blog for Why George Bush Will Be Important for Decades.
Since I happen to think that the Bush Doctrine is the most important piece of work since Truman wrote his, I found Middlebrow’s arguments compelling:
And at some point the nation will remember that for six years and counting there has not been a major terrorist attack on the nation since 9/11. Bush kept us safe, far safer than any predicted. Committees can go on writing reports of this failure of this or that department, but they cannot hide the fact that Bush and his government has been competent enough to keep us safe.
Bin Laden has failed, utterly failed, to hit the United States again since 9/11. Even if he lands a blow soon, six years of impotence cannot be an accident. George W. Bush cannot please Howard Fineman with long discussions on the economics of the french fry, but he has kept us safe from terror.
The chief difference between Bush and Lincoln when examining their time of troubles before their final victory is that Bush has already won his second term. He need only stay the course and get Iraq to stability to become a Rushmore president. They say that less than forty percent still support the President. I can understand that. We are all tired. But polls don’t show the Democrats winning in 2008 against the two leading Republicans. Why? We are tired, but we are not stupid. We will gripe at our leaders, like all good Americans, but we are not willing to fail. The next President, like the next Congress, will continue the fight that Bush has begun so well and, just as in all our great wars, the United States will win.
Find the rest of the entries for March 17th at The Watcher’s Place. He’s always there.