The Spectacle Blog

I Hope Neil Young Will Remember

By on 5.21.06 | 10:58AM

“A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow,” sang Lynyrd Skynyrd in the 1970s, in response to Young’s South-bashing “Southern Man./>” Now, as if in response to Young’s latest screed, “Let’s Impeach the President,” comes “Bush Was Right,” from the Right Brothers. You can listen to and view the song here, and the lyrics are here (scroll down a bit). I never thought I’d live to see a defense of Bush set to rock music. Country music, yes, but not rock. Then again, the Right Brothers hail from Nashville/>/>.

Teaching Johnny About Islam

By on 5.21.06 | 8:33AM

A hat tip to Internet activist JulieRNR21, who spotted and circulated an invaluable Investor's Business Daily editorial here. Seems the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals thinks it's just fine to have a two-week indoctrination and role-playing course of Islam in California public schools. Key grafs:

More Murtha Madness

By on 5.20.06 | 1:59PM

Cong. John Murtha of Pennsylvania -- a Marine veteran -- has become the Cut and Run Party's voice of choice to scream their demands immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Last week he condemned the November 2005 action by Marines in Haditha, accusing them of massacring innocent civilians. Something happened in Haditha, and a serious investigation is in progress. But what it will find, and what conclusions it will draw, are unknown. Murtha's irresponsible speculation serves no legitimate purpose (unless he thinks that feeding Al Jazeera's high-octane anti-Americanism is such) Al-J headlined Murtha's comments as the gospel of jihad.

Murtha, according to a Defense Department source, had asked for and received a confidential briefing by the Marines. Which confidence he totally violated, jumping to conclusions worthy of John Kerry.

Is there any wonder that the Executive Branch doesn't trust Congress? Is there any confidence its members won't break or secret they won't leak?

Reagan Awards for Big Government

By on 5.19.06 | 3:39PM

The cynical politics on Capitol Hill sink even lower. Human Events reports that the House Republican "Theme Team" (never heard of 'em), led by Rep. Jack Kingston, is handing out "Ronald Reagan Awards" to Members who have promoted the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

I'm sure the Gipper would smile on that.

My Kingdom for a Horse

By on 5.19.06 | 2:47PM

I’ll be rooting for Barbaro in tomorrow’s Preakness, as I root for any Kentucky Derby-winning horse until we once again have a Triple Crown winner (at which point I’ll go back to rooting for underdogs). At 27 years and counting, the Triple Crown drought has become depressing. Barbaro will be going up against a field of 8 other horses, only two of whom ran against him in the Derby/>/> two weeks ago. This is one of my pet peeves, as a casual fan. It seems to me that once a horse is entered into one of the Triple Crown races, he should not be allowed to come and go between races. In other words, if you run the Derby/> and skip the Preakness, you forfeit the chance to run in the Belmont/>/>.

Tarred in California

By on 5.19.06 | 2:30PM

Rush Limbaugh today had some fun putting down Southern California beaches after a listener complained that he had ruined his Disneyland beach towel after placing on tar-covered sand, the listener's implication that oil-drilling off the California coast was responsible for the gooky state of its beaches.

As a native of Santa Barbara I naturally know better. Its beaches (some more than others) have always been covered filled with sundry lumps of tar, all of it washed ashore after seeping up from cracks in the ocean bottom. Ever try surfing when thanks to the tar your thighs get stuck to the side of your board? That always seemed to happen to me at El Capitan Beach or a place called the Sands up the coast from the city during my high school years. After getting home the first thing one did before going inside did was scrape and clean off the tar from one's soles.

Webb Not Quite Ready for Primetime

By on 5.19.06 | 1:43PM

Maybe national Dems are looking forward to a Jim Webb upset over George Allen in the fall. (The conventional wisdom predicts a Webb victory over Harris Miller, his Democratic opponent, in the primary next month.)

One very active Democrat friend, a Dean supporter who is working on a liberal Senate campaign this year, said this week in an email, "George Allen's got a fight on his hands" if Webb gets the nomination.

After seeing Webb in action at Shad Planking, I have my doubts. He hung back drinking with his small cadre of supporters. In any race, a good candidate mixes with the crowd -- even folks from the other party. George Allen has mastered that skill. Without it, I would predict that Webb lacks the temperament to win.

Da Vinci Decoded

By on 5.19.06 | 12:57PM

Since the film version of The Da Vinci Code is out today I thought I'd link to two hilarious takedowns of the much-heralded story. First, Mark Steyn on "bad writing for biblical illiterates." Here's the opening graph:

It's a good rule in this line of work to respect a hit. But golly, The Da Vinci Code makes it hard. At the start of the book, Dan Brown pledges, "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." It's everything else that's hokum, beginning with the title, whose false tinkle testifies to Brown's penchant for weirdly inauthentic historicity. Referring to "Leonardo da Vinci" as "da Vinci" is like listing Lawrence of Arabia in the phone book as "Of Arabia, Mr. L," or those computer-generated letters that write to the Duke of Wellington as "Dear Mr. Duke, you may already have won!"

And then there's Tim Cavanaugh on taking in a bestseller by osmosis. A taste from the middle of a brilliant piece: