The Spectacle Blog

Now-What Conservatism

By on 10.15.06 | 2:14PM

Sundays were once held back for contemplation. Now anyone thinking too hard -- meaning at all -- or too long -- meaning five seconds -- is faced with a portrait of conservatism at a crossroads. "Conservatism" itself means nothing if we don't agree on what must be conserved -- if we don't even agree on who "we" are. And yet these are the public conversations, swirling wild-eyed around a world, a nation, a culture, that by all accounts is going wrong. Somehow.

Opening steps, then, in the quickening moves of this fall formal dance -- toward an understanding of what's required of the conservative in postmodern times.

John Kerry and the KOS-ization of the Democrats

By on 10.15.06 | 10:17AM

If I had a dime for every time John Kerry said "Bush lied" or some variant thereof on his appearance today on Fox News Sunday, I'd have a lot of dimes.

When asked why Democratic primary voters should give him another chance, Kerry replied that he has learned a lot. Yes, and he has learned that the Democratic base has been hijacked by the nutroots. Just keep saying "Bush lied" enough times, Kerry seems to think, and you'll win over those who desperately need to be medicated. And if that doesn't go far enough, you can add on "People died."

Thank goodness that clown didn't win in 2004.

Gorby World

By on 10.14.06 | 1:28PM

Everyone's favorite small-c communist imparts his timeless wisdom:

"Today our American friends are suffering from an illness worse than AIDS. And I would say this is the victor's complex," Gorbachev was quoted as saying in an interview with the Netzzeitung.

Unable to extricate itself from its Cold War mentality, the United States was playing a dwindling role in world politics, while Russia, China, Brazil, Europe, India and Japan were becoming stronger, Gorbachev said.

Re: Outing and Sign Up

By on 10.14.06 | 8:36AM

Bravo, Hunter. Though it seems to me we church types will always be regarded as some exotic species, like Trobriand Islanders -- by a certain section of the self-designated elite.

As for third party voting, remember Ross Perot -- and what the votes for Perot got us.

Throw Twinkies if He Enters the Cafeteria

By on 10.14.06 | 7:42AM

Schools in Burleson, Texas are training students to fight back if a gunman threatens their schools, according to The Associated Press:

Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they got -- books, pencils, legs and arms.

"Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success," said Robin Browne, a major in the British army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools.

That kind of fight-back advice is all but unheard of among schools, and some fear it will get children killed.

How about another idea that is "unheard of among schools," one that might actually save lives -- arming teachers?

Re: The Stupidest Law

By on 10.13.06 | 4:52PM

Interestingly enough, the two biggest online poker rooms interpret the law differently. PartyPoker says it makes it "practically impossible" to fund US players' accounts. But PokerStars says the law doesn't apply to poker. Poker is a game of chance in the short run but a game of skill in the long run, and the "is poker gambling?" question is a staple of poker forums. The question now is how the feds will answer it.

Democrats: The Small Government Party

By on 10.13.06 | 4:16PM

Bill Clinton says:

"This is an election unlike any other I have ever participated in. For six years this country has been totally dominated - not by the Republican Party, this is not fair to the Republican Party - by a narrow sliver of the Republican Party, its more right-wing and its most ideological element. When the chips are down, this country has been jammed to the right, jammed into an ideological corner, alienated from its allies, and we're in a lot of trouble ... The Democratic Party has become the liberal and conservative party in America. If you want to be fiscally conservative, you've got to be for us. If you want to conserve natural resources, you've got to be for us," he said. "If you want a change of course in Iraq/>/>/>/> ... you've got to be for us."

South Koreans Want Nukes

By on 10.13.06 | 1:36PM

My friend Mingi Hyun has some interesting details from Korean language news sources. A new poll shows 65 percent of South Koreans want their country to be nuclear-armed, and nearly as many believe that South Korea's dovish "sunshine" policy toward North Korea has failed.


South Korea's 17 former defense ministers have apparently advocated the return of American nuclear weapons to South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, according to the Donga Ilbo.

Re: The Stupidest Law

By on 10.13.06 | 1:10PM

Dave, just to add to your post the obvious point about personal liberty: What business is it of government whether law-abiding adults play poker online in the privacy of their own homes? While I disagree with them, people who argue against the expansion of actual casino gambling at least attempt to justify their position on the basis of the "community effects" of casino gambling. But that clearly isn't an issue with online poker.

Full disclosure: My father has worked in the casino industry for over 20 years, though not for any online gaming sites.