Now that Tookie Williams has been executed, there is great concern among anti-death penalty advocates over who is next in line. Turns out to be a 75-year-old blind diabetic -- who was convicted of ordering the shotgun killing of three unfriendly witnesses 25 years ago. The story in today's Sacramento Bee about him and others on deck bears a creepy resemblance to stories that handicap the chances of likely candidates to fill a vacancy on the high court and analyze the political calculations that are likely to influence the chief executive in reaching a final decision. We're all postmodern now, which isn't a bad way to avoid serious thinking about murder and retribution.
The Spectacle Blog
Jed: Today on NRO, R. James Woolsey wrote:
Words and beliefs have consequences, and totalitarians are often remarkably clear about what they will do once they have enough power. Many brushed aside Mein Kampf when it was first written but it turned out to be an excellent guide to the Nazis' behavior once they had the power to implement it.
The Iranians do make feints to ploy the West (remember arms for hostages?), but I don't think this is one of them.
Jed, John: Why not? The key to understanding Iran's president probably lies in his apocalyptic religious fanaticism, as Patrick Devenny will explain on our main site tomorrow. There is indeed every reason to think he means every word he says.
Media bias comes in packages large and small. ABC News' The Note (certainly no partisan outfit) notes a very telling moment last night:
Last night, in the very New York Hilton ballroom in which the annual Inner Circle dinner is held, Bill and Hillary Clinton showed up to raise a little money for her Senate campaign. He spoke first and introduced her.
But before that, Democratic Party major fundraiser Alan Patricoff's para-stirring introduction of the spouse/FPOTUS included the applause-generating line "he's still our president," which required no explanation or qualification for the assembled Blue group.
Now, for those of you who see no liberal/Democratic bias in the media: imagine Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States in 2008, and in 2009 at a massive Houston fundraiser for a GOP candidate, the Republican equivalent of Patricoff introduces George W. Bush and says about him "he's still our president." What kind of press coverage do you think that that would get?
John: It's just my nasty suspicious mind that makes me wonder what they're trying to take our eyes off while we ponder the latest rant against Israel. They gain nothing from international opprobrium that comes with these statements, so there must be another reason for the timing. My guess is that they're trying to conceal something else with the minor kerfuffle that this is.
Is this the critical time for their nuke plans when they achieve some milestone they believe is irreversible? Is this the moment when they choose to do something bigger and worse in Iraq? Or is ol' Mahmoud trying to cover his political tush because he's in trouble for something at home? Or is there another event, which is entirely possible, that we aren't aware of and haven't forseen? I'm not going to lay awake tonight worrying. But I'm one of those people who do not believe in coincidences, and I wonder.
Watching Mel Karmazin promote Howard Stern on satellite radio is like finding your defrocked priest selling condoms on a street corner.
Jed: Do you have any reason to think Ahmadinejad doesn't mean every word he says? The nutty statements seemed to start almost as soon as he became president. I suspect he's simply speaking his mind. Why did the Mullahs pick a wild-eyed true-believer as president now? They must have needed someone whose fealty to the Islamic Republic wasn't in question, and felt that this was more important than presenting a friendly face to the world. If I'm right, they're feeling weak. Good.
Permit me to take a moment to point out what a significant day the 14th of December is. For on this day:
-George Washington died at Mount Vernon (1799)
-Stock car racing was organized (1947)
-National Velvet opened (1944)
-Amundsen reached the South Pole (1911)
-USSR expelled from the League of Nations (1939)
-Our own dear leader RET was born. (Not going there)
Happy birthday, dear sir. And many, many more….
(Please feel free to leave your birthday greeting for RET in the comment section...)
At least, that's what the caption on the picture in this New York Post item should say. In the process of raising $600,000 for his wife's reelection bid, Bill Clinton amazingly admitted being somewhat of a bad husband:
I'll say. Or Gennifer. Or Paula. Or.. or...
That the Iranian kakistocracy wants to destroy Israel is not news. That they also are hell-bent on obtaining nuclear weapons and the achieving the ability to manufacture their own is also not any revelation. So why is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, making so loud a noise about Israel and the Holocost these days?
The timing is curious. Mohamed el-Baradei, head nuclear watchdog for the UN, says Iran may achieve its nuclear ambitions in six months or less. Most experts believe that underestimates, by at least a year, Iran's ability to arm itself with nukes. So why would Ahmadinejad be spouting off so loudly now?
Is he under political pressure at home? His relations with Iran's parliament are spotty, but they do what the mullahs tell them to, and so does he. Is this for foreign consumption? But why -- when Iran is interfering in Iraq -- would it want to draw more attention to itself?
Something is missing here.