The Spectacle Blog

Re: Castro sick

By on 8.1.06 | 1:21PM

On our local radio newscast in the morning, the TV anchor from the radio station's companion TV station stops by to tout her upcoming noon broadcast. After mentioning Castro's illness, she said, "I didn't even know he had a brother Raul." And she obviously thought herself very clever.

This is a news broadcaster. I'm speechless.

Senate Votes

By on 8.1.06 | 11:33AM

Some legislative dope off of the Senate side.

One reason not to count out a successful vote in the Senate on both ending the Death Tax, pension reform and some other tax issues is the number of tax and tax credit issues tacked onto the pieces of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Leader John Boehner.

Frist actually deserves more credit, because while reporters were running around worrying about Republican political failings, Frist and his leadership team were pushing through appropriations bills with far too few earmarks to Senators' likings. Now the Death Tax and minimum wage bill have some earmarks to meet the needs of Democrats. If they vote that bill down, it is doubtful they get a shot at them for the rest of the year.

It is still a 50-50 proposition that they get it through, but the comparatively unlarded approps bills will be interesting to see move onto the floor later this year.

Another byproduct of the minimum wage bill is that some Senate insiders think they will have a shot later this year at some decent fixes to the Medicare system.

That Stalinist AlterNet

By on 8.1.06 | 10:52AM

If you want to see why the hard left is evil, take a look at the blog page over at AlterNet. One the one hand, they have a link to a video of Noam Chomsky meeting with the anti-Semitic Hezbollah. The post says Chomsky's visit "proves why AlterNet readers voted him their most valuable progressive."

Down below that is a post titled, "Mel Gibson, Jew Hater."

Apparently it is okay to simultaneously condemn anti-Semitism and embrace anti-Semites.

Looking up from Hell, uncle Joe must be proud.

Ben Stein: The Passion of Mel Gibson

By on 8.1.06 | 10:51AM

The fascinating fact about actors is that they usually play who they really are. Mel Gibson played a crazy, angry, hard-drinking loner. That's who he turned out to be. An alcoholic. A racist of the worst kind. A bully. A braggart. A rich thug.

But let's also be clear about something else: he is going to be charged with driving under the influence. Probably he will be also charged with resisting arrest and seeking to flee the scene of a crime and also resisting a lawful order (or something similar). That's fine. That's what should happen. It sure looks as if he did all of these things, although some smart lawyer will try to get him off (probably some smart Jewish lawyer at that).

However, the anti-Semitic, hateful, vicious, sick things he said about Jews are not a crime. It is not a crime to say cruel things about Jews to a deputy sheriff. It is not a crime to ask a deputy if he's Jewish. These things are not nice. They're disgusting. But they are not crimes.

Castro Sick

By on 7.31.06 | 11:30PM

Yeah, the Castro-is-dying story is a perennial, but this time he's temporarily handed power over to his brother. Here's wishing old Fidel all the worst.

UPDATE: Celebration in Miami:

The announcement drew cheering in the streets in Miami. People waved Cuban flags on Little Havana's Calle Ocho, shouting "Cuba, Cuba, Cuba," hoping that the end is near for the man most of them consider to be a ruthless dictator. There were hugs, cheers and dancing as drivers honked their horns. Many of them fled the communist island or have parents and grandparents who did.
Meanwhile, NBC News provides a bit of the sort of vague analysis that we used to call "Kremlinology": "How would Raul Castro govern?"

In Defense of A.I.

By on 7.31.06 | 4:00PM

Dave: "Little work"? Maybe Allen Iverson doesn't like to practice, but there's not a more hardworking player on the floor anywhere. If everyone else on his team played as hard, maybe it would get somewhere. Plus he's absolutely fearless. Given his many negatives, no way he'd survive in the league as long as he has. Look how quickly Shawn Kemp disappeared. Or the countless other talents that join the NBA prematurely and never cut it.

RE: The Ant Pimp

By on 7.31.06 | 3:30PM

In addition to glorifying the thuggish, our culture also works hard at diminishing the fruits of accomplishment. Over at, they call the top 50 paid athletes the "Fortunate 50".

Fortune? As in Tiger Woods got to his position by mere luck? The guy gets up and practices at 7:00am everyday. Sure, there are a few guys who make mega-bucks with sheer talent and little work--Alan Iverson comes to mind (he isn't on the list, though). Of course, there are such people in all walks of life, not just sports.

That list is surely dominated by people who have busted their rears to get where they are. Yet CNNSI makes it look as though they achieved their heights by the whim of the gods.

UN to Iran: Stop It Or We’ll Talk Even More

By on 7.31.06 | 2:24PM


The U.N. Security Council passed a weakened resolution Monday giving Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.


Because of Russian and Chinese demands, the text was watered down from earlier drafts, which would have made the threat of sanctions immediate. The draft now essentially requires the council to hold more discussions before it considers sanctions.

Oh, that'll have 'em shaking in their boots.