The Spectacle Blog

Berlusconi Burlesque

By on 4.11.06 | 11:49AM

For the definitive take on Silvio Berlusconi's many failings, see my dear friend Frank Rocca's report in today's National Review Online.

Re: Conflicted

By on 4.11.06 | 11:31AM

The mega-clash coming on immigration is yet another symptom of something happening across and within the whole of the West. Italy's mega-close elections are an eerie reminder of our own -- and Spain's, and Germany's, and Ukraine's. The deep, broad, evenly-matched antagonism on immigration on both sides of the Atlantic is patterned across a whole slate of issues. The whole worldview of a civilization is contested. Behold! The polarization of the West...


By on 4.11.06 | 11:26AM

Over at Ankle Biting Pundits Pat Hynes has sparked an interesting/intense debate on immigration policy by basically saying that the absurd rhetoric/actions of warring factions on both sides of the debate is making it difficult to voice support for anything. Who wants to throw their lot in with either side when they're behaving so poorly? (I can say I certainly feel similar trepidation after the apoplectic emails I've received for suggesting we shouldn't refer to human beings as "parasites" in my McCain column today.) Anyway, Hynes' post is well worth checking out and the comment string that follows it is disturbing, to say the least, if it stands as a portent of the what sometimes seems inevitable mega-clash ahead.

Re: Reuters’s Man in the Senate

By on 4.11.06 | 10:18AM

Tabin, you'll appreciate this from the Daily Mail: drug firms hype up diseases to boost sales, experts say. But surely an expert is more authoritative than a critic?

Re: Reuters’s Man in the Senate

By on 4.11.06 | 10:00AM

Dave: The wire service, long seen as hopelessly biased, is engaging in a variation on the "critics say" trope that you highlighted last week...

Reuters’s Man in the Senate

By on 4.10.06 | 7:35PM

Reuters has a fawning story today on Sen. Ted Kennedy's role in the immigration debate and rally. Actually, "fawning" doesn't do this adulation justice: Kennedy is "the leading liberal voice in the U.S. Congress," and "long seen as a crusader for America's poor and downtrodden." News to me. Did Kennedy's office edit the reporter's copy?

Which Came First? The Q or the Are What?

By on 4.10.06 | 7:24PM

The rather amusing report on Brit news that the MI-6 folk are creating a research center modeled after the Desmond Llewelyn character in the James Bond movies -- "Q" -- is a bit backward historically.

I've been searching for my copy of "Of Spies and Strategems" by Dr. Stanley Lovell. Lovell -- nicknamed "Dr. Moriarty" by OSS leader Wild Bill Donovan in World War 2 -- was the real "Q" long before Ian Fleming wrote the first Bond adventure novel.

Lovell and his team's record of diabolic invention spanned everything from the OSS spike (a four-pointed sharp tool that landed one point upward no matter how it was thrown on a German runway) to a totally silent and flashless small-caliber assassination pistol that Donovan demonstrated thusly.

Beating Cynthia

By on 4.10.06 | 6:51PM

Blogger Will "Dignan" Hinton lives in Georgia's 4th congressional district, and is fed up with being represented by Cynthia McKinney:

Cynthia McKinney is not unfit for her job because she is liberal. There are plenty of liberal Democrats in this country who serve their constituents well, even though I often disagree with their positions.

Cynthia McKinney is unfit for her job because she is a do-nothing demogogue whose apparent goal in life is self-promotion through race-baiting and conspiracy theories.

So I am throwing down the gauntlet.

Unless a better candidate appears, I will run for Congress against Cynthia. If I have to spend every day after work knocking on doors in my district for the next 20 years, I will do what it takes to defeat her. If I have to places calls to every person in this country asking for donations to the campaign, I will do it.

Re: Can’t Help Falling in Love With John McCain

By on 4.10.06 | 5:52PM

I have a creeping fear that in 2008 I may find myself in the utterly horrifying position of supporting McCain for president. I find McCain's signature domestic project of circumscribing political speech through campaign finance "reform" to be vicerally repugnant and downright un-American. On the other hand, there are two key qualities that I'm looking for in a Republican nominee in 2008: a serious commitment to a muscular foreign policy with political change in the Middle East as its lynchpin, and the ability to win the general election. On both counts, McCain threatens to tower over the GOP field. What a terrifying thought.


By on 4.10.06 | 5:46PM

The New York Times’ lead piece on their web site right now, written by Maria Newman, provides a good distillation of how the use of the term “immigrant” has become an interchangeable term to describe both people who are here legally and those who are not. Her opening paragraph:

In rallies that appeared to be exceeding the expectations of organizers and the police, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters marched today in more than 100 cities throughout the country, casting off the old fears of their illegal status to assert that they have a right to a humane life in this country.

To say nothing of that last line; if they didn’t think they would achieve a "humane life in this country," they wouldn't have come here in the first place.

And again: