The Spectacle Blog

On the Move

By on 12.7.05 | 9:56PM

KUWAIT CITY -- We're on the move into Iraq in about an hour. (It's now 0640 in Kuwait City). The flight was very long, but tolerable. We were whisked through customs last night and managed to get a decent calzone at a place near the hotel. We'll be met by our military escorts who will issue body armor and helmets in a few minutes. Then on to a C-130 for the flight to Baghdad. More later as computer access becomes available.

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Smoking Nags on the March

By on 12.7.05 | 2:46PM

They won again today, this time in Chicago.

We received some interesting comments on my earlier post on the D.C. smoking ban. This issue seems to test conservatives who may personally enjoy smoke-free restaurants, but believe in limited government. Good conservative friends argue, "But my clothes don't smell like smoke at the end of the night." Surely, there's a better justification -- somewhere -- for the imposition of smoking bans. Yet that's what the pro-ban arguments boil down to: a pleasant eating experience. If conservatives believe that is government's business, limited government is dead. D.C. Councilman Carol Schwartz offered a compromise resolution which would ban smoking except in businesses that install high powered fans to clean the air, etc. In other words, businesses could eliminate the health risk. The D.C. Council roundly rejected her proposal.

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“An Enormous Defeat”

By on 12.7.05 | 2:00PM

So says Andrew Cochran over at the Counterterrorism Blog regarding Sami Al-Arian's acquittal yesterday on 8 of the 17 charges brought against him. Cochran calls it "the most important terrorism-related trial in the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks." Worse, he concludes that "the verdicts are an enormous defeat for the Justice Department and, I predict, will have a chilling effect on all planned terrorism prosecutions, especially in Florida … Yes, the government can retry Al-Arian on the deadlocked counts, but realistically, that will be very tough."

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I Gave Clinton My Money…

By on 12.7.05 | 1:42PM

...and all I got was a lousy T-shirt. This quid pro quo is truly a bummer. You used to be able to give the Clintons money and receive in exchange a night in the Lincoln Bedroom or loosened export controls on key military technology.

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Bush’s Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations

By on 12.7.05 | 1:27PM

Catch his full remarks here. Some highlights:

On September the 11th, 2001, our nation awoke to another sudden attack. In the space of just 102 minutes, more Americans were killed than we lost at Pearl Harbor.

Like generations before us, we accepted new responsibilities and we confronted new dangers with firm resolve.

Like generations before us, we're taking the fight to those who attacked us and those who share their murderous vision for future attacks.

Like generations before us, we face setbacks on the path to victory, yet we will face this war without wavering. And like the generations before us, we will prevail.
...
Senator Lieberman is right. There's an important debate going on in our nation's capital about Iraq. And the fact that we can debate these issues openly in the midst of a dangerous war brings credit to our democracy.

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Churches Closing on Christmas

By on 12.7.05 | 12:48PM

Via Mirror of Justice, CNN reports that some seeker-friendly (read: watered-down) evangelical churches will close on Christmas -- particularly shocking news, since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. These churches normally mark the feast day on Christmas Eve, and so will relieve members from the Sunday obligation because Christmas is a "family day." I don't even know where to start with this one...

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