The Spectacle Blog

Falun Dafa speaks the facts

By on 4.21.06 | 1:27AM

Spoke with Falun Dafa sources this evening re Hu protest at White House.

Dr. Wang Wanyi, a medical physician, a graduate of American University, an accredited journalist with Epoch Times, a New York area resident, an American citizen, is charged by the Federals with disorderly conduct and with intimidating and disturbing a foreign official, for her bold, accurate Mandarin statement during the joint press conference at the White House by Bush and Hu, that Hu is a criminal and an evil person.

Dr. Wang is speaking to the facts of the abuse and murder of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) prectitioners in the PRC , and to the fact of the organ harvesting by Chinese authorities. A fresh human heart cost $170,000. A fresh human eye cost $30,000.

Re: Undeserved Unpopularity

By on 4.20.06 | 7:39PM

Larry: Truth be told, it's more than just not spreading the message well. That's the libDem excuse. You gotta walk the walk as well as talk the talk. We can forgive his malapropisms, his unease with the press and his lack of imagination in speeches. I could forgive all that and leap to help fix the broken wheels on the bandwagon if only he'd do some of the stuff we need that should be terribly easy, especially for a second-termer.

Maybe that's the problem: Bush does reasonably well on the hard stuff and completely blows it on the easy ones. It's like he doesn't want to be bothered. Josh Bolton should talk him into picking some of the low-hanging fruit on the political tree. We'd all be better off.

And then he can get on to the tougher ones. I'm paying well over $3 a gallon for super premium to feed the Mustang. How long can the economy keep heading up while we're sending the Saudis, et al., every dollar we can stuff into a gas pump? And just how many nukes will ol' Mahmoud have in a year or less?

Re: Undeserved Unpopularity

By on 4.20.06 | 7:26PM

In my column of January 11, I quoted David Gregory of NBC asking President Bush why he thought his poll numbers were so low. And then wrote:

Let's imagine that President Bush could have answered that question the way it deserved.

"Oh, I don't know, Stretch. I suppose when the greatest image- and opinion-making machine the world has ever seen devotes five years to making me look bad, it might have some effect."

Contrast that treatment to the ongoing media love affair with Bill Clinton, and you have a 30 point difference.

Back in the Clinton wars, I used to think regularly, "Any time now, the whole American people will know that the media just lies." Well, more of them know that than used to. But a lot of them still don't.

And Jed, as you've said so well, Bush makes his case very badly -- and very seldom.

Re: Undeserved Unpopularity

By on 4.20.06 | 5:55PM

Quin: I'm with you, almost. The president does, on the facts, deserve much more support than he receives from conservatives as well as others. But he has to do more. There are so many things he could do easily - veto a horrendous spending bill, do something (anything) serious about closing the borders to illegal immigrants, start bringing possible 2008 presidential candidates in for consultations, I could (and will) go on and on. If he meets us less than halfway, his polls will skyrocket. Next move has to be from La Casa Blanca.

Undeserved unpopularity

By on 4.20.06 | 5:08PM

Jed, this is all getting bizarre. I have been a frequent critic of this president, but for the general public to give him such low ratings is absurd. By all normal indicia, this nation is in terrific shape. Unemployment, interest rates, inflation: All at levels that by historical standards are incredibly low. Crime down. Home ownership up. Stock market back up, while stock ownership is, too. Taxes low. No domestic terrorism since 9/11. Success in Afghanistan. The end of Ghadafi's nuke program. Solid relations with both India AND Pakistan at the same time. Very solid relations with Japan and Great Britain and Australia and with much of Eastern Europe. More countries rated "free" (and more "somewhat free" as opposed to "not free") by Freedom House that at any time in recorded history. But Americans are spoiled. We don't realize just how good our lives are today. I may have to write a column on this.

Just How Low can it Go?

By on 4.20.06 | 4:48PM

The new Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll puts the president's popularity at 33%. A little -- admittedly incomplete -- internet research doesn't show a lower number for any president. LBJ, befor announcing he wouldn't run again was at about 38%. Is this the lowest ever measured for any president?

Moqtada al Sadr, Kingmaker

By on 4.20.06 | 2:19PM

What personage, what veilwork of reasons, could lurk behind Jaafari's decision to make himself removable as Prime Minister of Iraq? AP reports:

Key to al-Jaafari's change of heart was pressure from U.N. envoy Ashraf Qazi and his meetings Wednesday with the most powerful Shiite cleric in the country, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and Muqtada al-Sadr, a radical cleric who has backed al-Jaafari, said Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman.

"There was a signal from Najaf," Othman said, referring to al-Sistani's office in the Shiite holy city. "Qazi's meetings with (al-Sistani) and al-Sadr were the chief reason that untied the knot."

May Issue

By on 4.20.06 | 12:26PM

The May issue of The American Spectator is now up for digital subscribers. Among many other fine pieces, Roger Scruton kicks off his monthly column with an article on modern Islam's abandonment of its own culture and Shawn Macomber considers his fortune to return to the United States while brave Iraqis and American troops sort out the mess there.

If you're a print subscriber, access the online edition here. Not yet a subscriber? You're missing out: the digital subscription is a mere $19.95 a year, and the print/digital subscription is $39.95. Subscribe today.

Reid’s Read on Iran

By on 4.20.06 | 10:29AM

Thanks to Harry Reid - speaking for the party of Cynthia McKinney - we now know that the United States lacks a military option on Iran because we're too tied up in Iraq. Funny. No one I know among the nation's senior military leaders would say that. Maybe Harry wouldn't listen to his senior military advisors. Oh, sorry. I forgot. That's not the province of Dems who brought us Blackhawk Down, US soldiers wearing UN berets and so forth. That, according to the Dems, is the province of Don Rumsfeld.

Why, oh why, does anybody take Reid seriously about anything, especially national defense? Thanks, Harry babe, for proving to the world that the Iranians are entirely free to pursue nuclear weapons if they can outwait GWB.

Re: Great Burke Quote

By on 4.20.06 | 10:22AM

Quin, your cite to Burke at once brought to mind a few lines from Philip Rieff, of whom I am a great and all-too-rare enthusiast:

A culture in control needs first of all to preserve that control by not reaching its legal arms too far into the labyrinths of public life. The guardians of any culture must constantly protect the difference between the public and private sectors -- and encourage forms of translation between the two sectors; that is the meaning of ritual in all traditional cultures.

For the reader who'd like to read deeper, I've put together a sort of concordance of my glosses and commentaries on Rieff and culture here.