Friday, June 03, 2005

The Winners Are...

Watcher's Council

This week's winners cover two disparate but important issues: the first is epidemiology and the threat that wide-spread communicable disease poses for all of us; the second is the huge failure of our leaders -- cultural, political, media, etc.-- to demand that Islam clean house and take responsibility for the extremists in their midst who are wreaking carnage.

In a way, these topics are not that disparate. Their theme is destruction and death; one via microbes, the other through hatred. Both are communicable disorders and rightly to be feared. It is up to us individually and collectively to find an effacacious response to these clear and present dangers. But especially to demand of those in leadership positions to come up with something better than what we have right now.

Council Winner:

A Killer in the Shadows by Right Wing Nut House

Prepare to worry. The next epidemic could be appearing near you.

The problem is that flu viruses have a nasty habit of mutating. The reason they mutate is as old as life on the planet; microbes do whatever gives them the upper hand in the fight for species survival. In Jared Diamond’s fascinating Pulitzer Prize winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, the author lays out a natural history of infectious disease and how those diseases made the jump from animals to humans. Diseases like Measles (cattle), flu (pigs and ducks), Pertussis or whooping cough (pigs and dogs), and smallpox (cattle), made the successful leap in early farming societies because people lived in such close proximity to both the animals and their waste products. Microbes discovered (quite by accident) that humans were just as good a place to reproduce as animals.

Non-Council Winner:
Taking Islam Seriously by Bloggledygook

The US seems to be asleep at the wheel. According to Bloggledy,

This issue is not who is most honest and who has what agenda, but what is to be done about Islam. No one from any institution of American life has as yet enunciated the dangers of failing to demand that Muslims the world over take control of their religion and either reform or eliminate those that would destroy a centuries-old spiritual path that boasts peaceful adherents in every country on earth, a tradition of scientific and cultural innovation and at least, a history of tolerance and peaceful respect of other religious practices.

Go see all of them over at the Watcher's place. There is everything from girls who are into boy-bashing (isn't that cute?) to bias as a butterfly, to the terrorists in your backyard to Memorial Day celebrations to the Kafkaesque Syria to the fact that words actually mean something...that last not being a strong point in the MSM, known for its plasticity of meaning. Or was that the Politics of Meaning? Anyway, it's a great round-up. e-claire's a hoot, as usual.


BTW, Dr. Sanity has quite a gift for satire. Her prayer for Zarqawi was on this week's list, but a must-link is her latest endeavor, a parody of "Blowing in the Wind," surely one of the more vapid of the songs of that era. Her version is called Blowing in the Sand. It's wicked funny. You'll never hear that ditty the same way again. But put down your latte so you don't blow it all over the computer screen.