The Spectacle Blog

“Barbarically” Killed

By on 6.20.06 | 9:07AM

So says Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Muhammed-Jassim, head of operations at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, about the two U.S./>/> soldiers whose bodies have been found. The Major General’s description is quoted in The Washington Post’s account, which also notes his comment that the bodies showed signs of torture. Similarly, Fox cites the torture comments. Neither CNN nor The New York Times deems it fit to mention, but the Times does show great attention to detail in quoting the numerous claims made by jihadi in Iraq on their web sites.

Too Close To Home

By on 6.20.06 | 8:31AM

I was in New York State preparing for my wedding last week when a Muslim lunatic walked into a movie theater a few minutes away from my townhouse in Maryland and shot a randomly selected Jewish man. (I just learned about this from Jesse Walker's Reason column.) How unsettling.

The shooter was mentally ill, according to his family, and refused treatment. "Because doctors said he wasn't a threat to himself or anyone else, the family couldn't force him to get help, [his sister] said." Bad call, doctors.

U.S. Open

By on 6.20.06 | 6:49AM

Nice going, Quin. I thought I was the only one who had noticed that the 1999 U.S. Open and the 2001 PGA ended with the exact same sequence of strokes from the winner.

Conservatives Backed Schori at Gen. Convention

By on 6.19.06 | 10:35PM

VirtueOnline reports:

VirtueOnline was told that Schori was brokered in by a cabal of West Coast bishops, liberal bishops who hated Griswold, and a number of conservative bishops who wanted to make it clear to the Anglican Communion that the Episcopal Church was hell bent and would never repent or do a U-turn away from its revisionist agenda. They wanted to make it crystal clear where the church was heading, and a vote for Schori would do it.

An already ugly situation is uglier than previously thought. When word gets out that conservative bishops helped elect Schori to promote division, that won't sit well with those who only wished well for the ECUSA.


By on 6.19.06 | 4:23PM

If the new Episcopal Church presiding bishop wants to spark a rift, this is a great way of going about it: saying homosexual acts are not sinful.

More: Fr. Richard John Neuhaus places Bishop Schori's election in the context of the last 30 years of ECUSA history, arguing that she is another step in a long march away from orthodox Christianity. Another mark against her: she is reportedly a friend and supporter of the notorious Bishop Spong, "who has long agitated against core doctrines of historic Christianity."

God Bless Texas

By on 6.19.06 | 3:18PM

Okay, there was a gang shooting in N'awlins last weekend and Nagin is already naggin' for troops to restore order. Houston had 11 inches of rain last night, and is suffering Katrina-like floods. And what are the Texans demanding? Nothing. Nada. They're taking care of bidness, and will let us know later. Can we just annex Louisiana as part of Texas? Or is that too cruel to the Texans?

Zoellick Out

By on 6.19.06 | 3:18PM

The loss of Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick should not be overestimated. It isn't clear that Zoellick was being put to good use by SecState Condi Rice, which was one reason Zoellick began looking outside of the State Department about four months ago, if not a bit earlier.

We hear that Zoellick lobbied for the Treasury Secretary's job, which ended up going to to the boss of the shop where Zoellick is now going, Goldman. When it became clear that Zoellick wasn't in line for that job, he began looking outside of the administration. There has long been talk that Zoellick felt he was being underutilized and, when he was being utilized, utilized poorly. Instead, Rice was turning to career State Department hack Nick Burns (he being the face of the Clinton administration-era State Department).

Zoellick should go down as one of the key contributors to what successes the Bush administration had related to expanding free trade around the world. He was a classy, disciplined and innovative thinker on the global scene and he will be missed.

Rumors are now flying that current deputy Treasury Secretary Bob Kimmitt may be in line for Zoellick's post.

Sad Times for the ECUSA

By on 6.19.06 | 3:13PM

As you may have heard, the Episcopal Church General Convention elected Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori as its presiding bishop this weekend. Major media is playing up the sex angle, as she is the first woman to lead a church within the Anglican Communion.

But the real story is how her election further divides a fractured ECUSA by continuing along a radically unorthodox path. The American Anglican Council lists major concerns, including her vote to consecrate Gene Robinson as bishop, her support for the church to bless same-sex marriage, and her vote against a resolution affirming basic tenets of Christian doctrine.

Her election sends a clear message to the Anglican Communion that her leadership will continue the revisionist agenda of the Episcopal Church.

The Ethanol Farce

By on 6.19.06 | 11:24AM

Ethanol isn't the answer, the WSJ reports today. In fact, it is inflating gasoline prices now that 10 percent is added throughout most of the country. Since its adoption as an additive, its price has increased by 65 percent to about $4.50 a gallon.

"We'd probably have retail gasoline prices between $2.30 and $2.40 a gallon if not for ethanol," estimates economist James Glassman of J.P. Morgan.

Why is ethanol suddenly more expensive? Two major reasons: 1- The ethanol market is facing artificial constraints. If ethanol must be mixed at a fixed proportion to gasoline, its price will closely reflect gasoline's price. The normal rules of supply and demand don't follow. 2- Ethanol costs more to produce because it requires gasoline for transportation. Yep, we're burning fuel just to produce and add a more expensive commodity to the fuel supply. Poor economics make a poor product.