The Spectacle Blog

See, It Really Is Like Vietnam

By on 11.23.05 | 3:09PM

Who needs Cindy Sheehan when you have Daniel Ellsberg? The media's best-loved leaker of national defense secrets joined a gaggle of unwashed lefties with no Thanksgiving plans outside the Bush ranch for another round of demands that American foreign policy match the pictures they see inside their heads. Where was Cindy? Tending to "a family emergency," we're told, though what would qualify for such at this point is unclear. Sheehan has long since made her break from Burke's little platoons. She belongs to the People now.

One demonstrator held a sign that read, "Give me liberty or give me a ditch."

I better not comment further.

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AmSpec’s December/January Issue!

By on 11.23.05 | 12:44PM

Just in time for some good holiday reading by the fire, the December 2005/January 2006 issue of The American Spectator is now available to print and digital subscribers! Our special double issue features Michael J. Horowitz, Grover Norquist, Dan Peterson, I.C. Smith, and RET and the AmSpec regulars.

Not an AmSpec Print or Digital Subscriber? Subscribe today through one of three great offers.

Not sure what to give your favorite conservative for Christmas? How about a gift subscription to The American Spectator.... Just $29/year and your recipient will be both merry and well-informed!

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Recognizing Mongolia

By on 11.23.05 | 10:11AM

The WSJ editorial page returns fire at those criticizing President Bush for visiting Mongolia:

The press corps had a high old time mocking President Bush for visiting Ulan Bator this week, but Americans are lucky Mongolians aren't as cynical as journalists. Despite its small population, the country is keeping 150 of its troops in Iraq. As recent converts to democracy, Mongolians have a better appreciation for freedom's struggles than do certain Europeans we know.

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Re: New Vatican Document on the Priesthood

By on 11.23.05 | 9:45AM

Dave: As Diogenes points out at Catholic World News, the new Vatican instruction is not a liberalization of the 1961 ban on homosexuals in the priesthood. It in effect upholds that wise ban, the abandonment of which in practice has led the Church into endless headaches, doctrinal relativism, and a lampooned priesthood. Some people will spin the document as draconian; others will spin it as the Church's minor evolutionary step away from tradition. The truth is that it just reiterates the rationales of the 1961 ban.

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Iran’s Harriet Miers?

By on 11.23.05 | 7:59AM

It's not likely to generate a sympathy call from Dubya, but Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has struck out for the third time trying to get a nominee for oil minister confirmed by Iran's parliament. Mohsen Tasalotti -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's third pick for Iran's oil minister post -- is no Harriet Miers. His nomination was rejected by the Majlis according to the Beeb's report not because of his qualifications but as a result of rumors about his personal life and fortune. And how could such rumors be spread in a totalitarian state? On the internet, of course.

Taking a short break from planning the nuclear obliteration of western civilization, Ahmadinejad said, "The government respects the choice of parliament, but unjustly accusing a brother on an unknown internet site... is not fair." There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Ahmadinejad has hired Dan Rather and Mary Mapes to produce shows for Iranian TV entitled, "Only Infidels Blog," and "Why the UN should control the internet."

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WaPo Sensationalizes Document

By on 11.22.05 | 10:45PM

The Washington Post's story for tomorrow on the Vatican document does what I expected: plays up the New York Times' old story line on the matter without addressing the real news -- that the Vatican policy is not the total ban once predicted, but allows for some discretion with the three-year window. You won't find that fact in the Post story until the seventh paragraph.

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New Vatican Document on the Priesthood

By on 11.22.05 | 8:15PM

It's due to be released sometime next week, but blogs have apparently obtained it. Via Mirror of Justice, Catholic Culture has it posted in its entirety. Its contents don't match the New York Times report that the Catholic Church would bar all homosexuals from the priesthood -- even celibate men. If this leaked document is authentic, the Church will require that candidates be celibate for three years before entering the seminary. Read it before the media reports on it and get the full story.

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Re: It’s That Bad

By on 11.22.05 | 6:14PM

Bob, Bob and Peter: The president's venture into Mongolia isn't significant, either for an attempt to stay out of Washington or for the gesture to Mongolia itself. But it is significant in the context of what we're doing in the region, as Peter implies.

We have, in just the last year, changed our approach to the whole China question. We are now looking to blunt China's effort to establish hegemony among what Beijing calls the "peripheral nations." We are doing a lot, in many places, to make it much harder for Beijing to turn its neighbors into satellites. Consider this: we're about to do some military-to-military exchanges with Vietnam. For more, gents, you gotta wait for my next book coming from Regnery next year.

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Re: It’s That Bad

By on 11.22.05 | 3:52PM

Bob, given the need to solidify our diplomacy in the region, I'm not actually surprised President Bush went there. It's clear that he is in Asia in part because of his political woes, but at least he's not simply committing himself to tokenism; I think he's getting real work done. While fighting terrorism around the world, Bush's hawks are doing their best to make sure China's regional goals are tempered. It's why pulling out of South Korea hasn't been our top priority, though it's not the worst idea.

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Oranges Over Turkeys

By on 11.22.05 | 2:28PM

Yes, the presidential pardon of the Thanksgiving turkey dates back to President Lincoln and in its current form to President Truman. But something inside me is sympathetic to the argument forwarded by President Bartlet in a West Wing episode: that the practice is a bit absurd and constitutionally questionable.

That may explain why I favor another of today's presidential actions over the turkey pardoning. This one is more in the spirit of Thanksgiving: giving thanks for hard-won freedoms.

I send greetings to those celebrating the first anniversary of the Orange Revolution.

One year ago today, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens stood up to defend democracy in their homeland. Through great courage and determination, they showed the world that the love of liberty is stronger than the will of tyranny. Last year's revolution was a powerful example of freedom and democracy in action and an inspiration to those aspiring for freedom in their own land.

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