The Spectacle Blog

Taboos and Old Reliables

By on 2.3.06 | 2:07PM

You didn’t think you’d see the day when the European media was taking a harder stand than the U.S. on an important issue in the Islamic world, but that’s what appears to be happening, as major U.S. media outlets are refusing to run the offending cartoons. "I don't think we would run a cartoon in this newspaper that would be deemed offensive to any religious figure," says a foreign editor of The Detroit Free Press. "We're very careful in terms of any photo or any caricature that we run." Can someone do a check and see if this paper has ever run Ted Rall cartoons?

Send to Kindle

India waking

By on 2.3.06 | 1:50PM

Report from Gujarat province in India that the national strike by government employed airport workers that has paralyzed India air travel and commerce is a sign of India transforming itself into a 21st century economy. The Singh-led Congress Party created a welfare state of indolence from the 1950s to 2000, and the Congress Party must now lead the struggle to dismantle the sloth machine.

The airport strike is called because the Congress Party-led government wants to privatize the airports. This certainly means up to half their workers will be out of a job in three years. The Communist-led Calcutta governent fights back by supporting a shutdown in the Calcutta airport. But the Congress Party is adamant.

India is the dozing tiger of Asia; it will match and surpass the late start Chinese when Mother India finally finds the will to shed its fantasy of Marxism and fatalism and sentimental indolence. Sooner or later?

Note that the future prosperity of the United States depends upon its alliance with India, and upon India's ability to discover that supply-side capitalism works and works and works.

Send to Kindle

New York Times errors!

By on 2.3.06 | 1:23PM

Re: this ridiculous paragraph from a story by Adam Nossiter in the New York Slimes:

In the late 1980s, Mr. Landrieu was one of a handful of white state legislators who distanced themselves from the ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, when Mr. Duke was elected to the state House from Metairie. Mr. Landrieu denounced Mr. Duke while other white lawmakers, particularly Republicans, embraced him. That stance solidified his support among blacks.

This is so wrong, on so many levels, that it raises the question of how incredibly skewed and biased and insular is the worldview of the NY Times editors who could let this see print without a fact check.

Send to Kindle

Iran indicator, watch the fleet

By on 2.3.06 | 1:23PM

Much noise and doubt from the EU and UN remains to sort through about Iran and its apocalyptic aggression; however the leading indicator I am told to watch, at the end of the day, is the US Navy.

When it is time, the POTUS, whoever he is at the time, will deploy multiple carrier battle groups to the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Med, Indian Ocean; and the deployment will be deliberate and over weeks. The interval will be a form of last grasp diplomacy.

Until the fleet puts to sea with the usual arsenal of recon and strike aircraft, until the straegic bombers concentrate, the posturing in Tehran and Vienna and Washington will be entertainment value only. Enjoy.

Send to Kindle

The Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.3.06 | 1:09PM

Jed -- quite right to name-check Salman Rushdie. The crucible for the European will to liberty is the howler you quoted: "Freedom of the press and of artists must be protected. But it ends where you start trampling on people's dignity."

By this standard, Mapplethorpe and Serrano would have been run out on a rail long ago. Marilyn Manson, who is a very good artist if you like that sort of thing, would be banned out of business. Whose dignity counts? The trouble is that "people's dignity" is a legal netherworld when definitional reliance is placed upon the indignant. That problem is illustrated by Salman Rushdie, someone who should know about the dilemmas stirred up by dignity and Islamist censorship. Writes he, back on December 10, 2005 in the Times of London:

Send to Kindle

Taboos or Free Speech?

By on 2.3.06 | 12:11PM

The battles over the cartoons published -- first in Denmark and then in several other Euro nations -- depicting Islam's founder Mohammed are still escalating. Danish PM Rasmussen characterized the controversy as a clash between Islamic taboos and western freedom of the press. In that, he is entirely correct. But the EUnuchs had yet to sound off. Now they have, as reported here in the Financial Times:

Peter Mandelson, European Union commissioner, said republishing the caricatures was "throwing petrol on the flames of the original issue."

"I can understand the motivation at one level; they are standing up for freedom of speech. They also have to understand the offense that's caused,'' he told the BBC.

Nadeem Elyas, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, a moderate German Muslim lobby, said the cartoons were "insulting."

Send to Kindle

Smack!

By on 2.3.06 | 11:24AM

Business Week's Eamon Javers has been on quite the witch hunt for conservative columnists with ties to lobbyists and think tanks in recent weeks. Turns out Javers has some lobbyist pals of his own. Lisa DePasquale nails him here.

Send to Kindle

Olmert sweating

By on 2.3.06 | 1:06AM

Best Israeli source reports that the decision to send in mounted and billy club tough guys at Amona settlement on West Bank was Olmert, acting as a poll reading pol. Olmert sees that he can get no more votes from the right, so he is zipping left to attract the vote that despises the settlements, specially the outpost temp settlements.

Olmert with sweaty palms. Polls show seat count between 33 and 45, and this swing illustrates how the public does not know how to read him

Read Olmert uncertain.

Send to Kindle

NSA Leak Investigation

By on 2.2.06 | 5:19PM

Powerline posits the motivations and sources of information that had Sen. John Rockefeller spluttering over CIA Director Porter Goss's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee today.

Goss did a couple of things today that should have some folks sitting up and paying attention.

First, he outlined in fairly strong language just how damaging the leak of the NSA international eavesdropping program was. It made his job harder, froze ongoing programs and placed American operatives and assets in danger.

Second, by detailing the severity of this leak, he placed in clear context the Valerie Plame case. Only Democrats and former intelligence community members sympathetic to Plame and her husband Joe Whatshisname and antagonistic toward the Bush Administration have claimed damage was done by the release of her name. Rockefeller in particular has made such charges with no evidence to back them up.

Send to Kindle

This Will Make You Proud

By on 2.2.06 | 5:05PM

Even though it's about a U.S. Marine, the Army colonel father-in law of one of our contributors sent him this link to an usual posting that both pays tribute to this Marine's heroics and asks why such people aren't being featured on the Evening News.

Send to Kindle

Pages