Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
This week’s winner, The Right Planet’s The Closest I’’ve Ever Come to War, is that rare thing, a personal narrative that hits home as Sard takes a look at war and the military and examines his feelings about something he’s never personally experienced based on those he’s known and loved. Here’s a slice:
I’ve been thinking about war a lot lately. I’ve never been to war–never fought in combat. I’ve never been in the military, either. But I’ve been thinking a lot about all my family members and friends who have. When I sat down and thought about it, there’s been quite a few people I’ve known who have been to war.
One man who I idolized and adored growing up was my Granddad. He was a real American hero. Granddad flew 39 missions over Nazi Europe during WWII as a flight engineer on a B-17 bomber and was shot down over Memmingen, Germany, in 1944. He ended up spending a year in a German Stalag. But he survived his experience and came home and raised a family and lived the American dream, albeit modestly, but richly.
He had a huge impact on my life. I am so blessed to have known him. I realize most of us are partial to our own. But Granddad was truly a special person. Despite the hardships and toil he endured growing up during the Great Depression, and his honorable service to our nation during its darkest hour, he was kind and gentle to everyone he met, yet calmly firm.
One moment with him stands out in my mind, as if it happened yesterday.
When I was a kid, my parents and I would spend some summers in Indiana with my Grandparents. Now, my Granddad smoked. Many did back in that day. It was actually socially acceptable to smoke cigarettes back then. So, he asked me if I would like to go up to the gas station and get some gas and cigarettes, and then get some breakfast. I was only about nine years old at the time. Of course I agreed!
We stopped by the gas station then headed over to a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant he liked to frequent. We were led to a table by a young waitress. Now, for some reason, I remember very vividly the expression on the waitress’ face. She looked sad–depressed–not happy at all. But the one thing about my Granddad was he would always treat you as if you were the only person in the room.
Granddad looked at the young woman square in the eyes, smiled, and said, “How are you!?” Writing that in words really doesn’t do it justice. When he asked you how you were, he truly meant it. He really wanted to know how she was doing. He cared. It wasn’t an act. He proceeded to ask her about her day and displayed an amazing warmth and concern for her plight. It warmed up the whole room. Her reaction was one I will never forget: her face lightened, almost glowed, and slight smile appeared, then a full one. He treated her like a queen. It was obvious to me, even at such a young age, that he had done something very good–very good, indeed.
Granddad never treated people like dirt. He truly respected the dignity of all people. He didn’t shout and quarrel. I often wonder if it was because he had seen so much suffering in his life that he deeply valued good relationships with others, no matter their station in life. He had seen all the wretchedness of what man’s hate can bring forth. He wanted no part of it. But he was a fighter. You better bet your bottom dollar on that! He knew the true cost of hate and rage. He knew life wasn’t a game. He didn’t have to prove it, he already had.
In our non-Council category, the winner by a nose was Mark Steyn with A Dagger at the Heart of Justice, submitted by The Razor. It’s Steyn’s trenchant examination of the hype versus the reality of the Zimmerman trial and what the stakes actually were. Do read it.
Okay, here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm Room was unable to vote, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 4 1/3 votes! – The Right Planet – The Closest I’’ve Ever Come to War
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Joshuapundit – Race As Politics And Politics As Race – The Slave Mentality Revisited
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Simply Jews – What is in store for Egypt now?
- Second place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Nice Deb – At What Point Will America Have Had Enough Of Obama’s Constant Lying?
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes – The Razor – Race Riots in America 2013
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – VA Right – Zimmerman NOT Guilty, Justice Prevailed. Put Yourself In Zimmerman’s Shoes
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Bookworm Room – A sour, mean-spirited post about Stockholm
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Maintaining your “progressive” cred
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi – Stupid Kids at #freejahar
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Noisy Room – Roger Ailes Off Camera – A Book Review
- *First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Mark Steyn – A Dagger at the Heart of Justice submitted by The Razor
- Second place with 2 votes – Sultan Knish – Wrong Side Of The Street submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – Doug Ross@Journal – President Barack Obama’s Complete List of Historic Firsts [Updated] submitted by VA Right!
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Raymond Ibrahim – Exposed: Final Conversation Between President Morsi and General Sisi submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Israellycool – The Arabization Of US Media submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Allergic to Bull – So Just How Hard Should Zimmerman Have Allowed Martin to Beat Him? submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – Will Saletan/Salon – You Are Not Trayvon Martin submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – Victor Davis Hanson – President Obama’s New American Vocabulary submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – The Mental Recession – Flashback: 5 Racially Motivated Violent Crimes That Weren’t Reported in the Media After the Trayvon Martin Case submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The First Street Journal – Shhhh! We can’’t talk about race! submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Plan Of The Day – First Carrier Drone Operations submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!