The Spectacle Blog

Burnishing Catholic Creds

By on 3.23.06 | 9:46AM

Mitt Romney's traveling to the Vatican today to attend Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley's elevation to cardinal.

Also, he's declining to issue the annual gubernatorial proclamation celebrating the 1972 Supreme Court case Eisenstadt v. Baird, which legalized birth control for unmarried couples, as a precursor to Roe v. Wade. He issued the proclamation last year, though omitted the traditional references to Roe v. Wade.

This gradual turning away from Roe is a far cry from his answer to Planned Parenthood's 2002 candidate questionnaire. To the question "Do you support the substance of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade?" Romney answered, "yes."

Re: To Hell With the to Hell With Them Hawks

By on 3.23.06 | 9:15AM

John: Regardless of where the term was first used by Lowry, he was re-positioning NR after its founder, Bill Buckley wrote here that the American objective in Iraq had failed and was the cause for continuing troubles there. Never mind who Lowry might have been referring to, or whether there is anyone other than Buckley (but there are, viz. George Will and others) who subscribe to that view.

So This is the March of Freedom?

By on 3.23.06 | 9:07AM

The trial of the Christian convert is disconcerting on a number of levels.

First, I know it's a bit rhetorical, but this shouldn't be the sort of freedom we're fighting for there. In fact, this isn't freedom at all. Islamic countries may choose to implement strict behavior, but to mandate what a man believes, under the penalty of death, is tyranny under state management.

Second, if this is the sort of mainstream, reformed Islam to which we're looking forward under the Bush administration's new Wilsonianism, I'm not enthused. CAIR's (the American Islam PR effort) claims that "Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience" are quite unconvincing.

Third, isn't it disheartening that our warm weather allies in the war on terror are more vociferous on condemning the trial than our own State Department, whose spokesman called for the trial to be conducting with fairness and transparency. What does that mean? Kill him, as long as there's open, due process? It just shows how much work Ms. Rice still has to do over there -- or isn't doing.

Pacifists Rescued by Troops

By on 3.23.06 | 8:58AM

Not only is it a happy event, but it makes for enjoyably ironic headlines.

Taliban at Yale

By on 3.23.06 | 6:21AM

John Fund, also our Politics columnist in the print mag, is still hot on the trail.

Save the Date

By on 3.22.06 | 3:08PM

For those of you in the D.C. area, Capital Research Center is holding a Capitol Hill briefing Monday on the Endangered Species Act entitled, "Why Protecting Property Rights Is Good for Landowners and Species." CRC will bring their best guns on the topic, including president Terry Scanlon, TAS contributor and Greenwatch Executive Director David Hogberg, and others. It's Monday, March 27 at noon in 385 Russell Senate Office Building.

Re: To Hell and Back With Them Hawks

By on 3.22.06 | 2:13PM

Jed: To the first point, that Corner post was definitely the first time Rich used the term "'to hell with them' hawks." Buckley probably had something to do with it, but since I can't read Rich's mind and he didn't mention Buckley in the piece, I can't say for sure. Buckley might fit the "'to hell with them' hawk" description, though I'm not sure he's even written on every topic that I noted by letter, let alone that he believes what "'to hell with them' hawks" are said to believe. The same goes for other NR-niks, like Andrew McCarthy and Jeffrey Hart, who seem to tend in the to-hell-with-them direction. That was my point: The NR cover story is written too much like there's a group of people who have signed on to a particular manifesto of positions.

To the second point: What do you consider a significant attack? Does 9/11 qualify? You don't really need state support to kill a few thousand infidels these days. Terrorism is just too easy. The relationship between Middle Eastern regimes and the radicalism they breed is much more complicated than a head/body metaphor implies. We're not threatened by a single organism -- more like an ecosystem.

Romney Movement

By on 3.22.06 | 1:00PM

Another sign that Mitt Romney's gearing up for his presidential run: shifting staff from his official offices to his Commonwealth PAC.

Readers, Respond Please!!!!

By on 3.22.06 | 12:52PM

Okay, readers, here's a VERY important poll, because some important people may be looking at it. Of the appeals court nominees now pending (look for ones listed beside "CCA" on the list) which of them do you think are the three most important to be confirmed, and why? Please be thoughtful and constructive, and please be as specific as possible. By the way, my own answer begins with Brett Kavanaugh.

One more vote for the endgame

By on 3.22.06 | 11:27AM


Since I'm an old printer, here's one I know. Corrupt nation states like those you've mentioned supply terrorists with documents -- passports, cartes d'itentite, etc. -- through suborned and infiltrated government printing offices. It's an essential element in the terror arsenal, without which the jihadist movement would be seriously crippled. If for no other reason, shut down the corrupt states to shut off the supply of travel documents to terrorists.

Many jihadists, I have read, are still traveling on Kuwaiti documents printed up during the Iraqi occuption of that country.