The Spectacle Blog

Oliver Stone, The Triangulator

By on 9.12.06 | 2:00PM

The Globe and Mail reports:

U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone, who surprised many with the patriotic flavour of his new film World Trade Center, hinted in Moscow yesterday that he is considering a more controversial follow-up investigating the "conspiracy" around 9/11.

"There is a great story in a movie, a conspiracy by a group of people in the American administration who have an agenda and who used 9/11 to further that agenda," he told journalists in Russia.

Link via Alarming News.

The Conservative Case Against Pork

By on 9.12.06 | 11:51AM

Actually, it isn't made by a conservative, but by a liberal over at The New Republic, Bradford Plumer:

The point is this: Any big-government program on the progressive wish list will likely prove even more difficult to pass than the 1986 tax reform or 1993 budget. Single-payer health care? Card check for unions? Reductions in carbon emissions? It won't get done without an orgy of earmarks to entice the inevitable skeptics in Congress. That won't be pretty, but if the price of, say, universal insurance is a bit of borderline corruption here and there, it's a tradeoff worth making. And, while it's also true that conservatives can use earmarks to pass their own massive spending programs--the prescription-drug benefit comes to mind--in the long run, institutional mechanisms that are biased toward activist government will favor liberals.

If the right ever needed an air-tight reason why to oppose pork, that's it. Let's hope Plumer's column gets read by every Congressional member of the GOP.

Avenging Steve Irwin

By on 9.12.06 | 11:22AM

The AP reports:

BRISBANE/>, Australia/>/> The death of the "Crocodile Hunter" appears to have triggered a war on stingrays in Australia/>/>.

A fisheries department official says up to ten of the normally docile fish have been found dead and mutilated on Australia's eastern coast since Steve Irwin was killed by one last week. At least two had their tails lopped off.

Hamas: Show Me The Money!

By on 9.12.06 | 11:09AM

Hamas has put on a good show for the world by agreeing to form a unity government with Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah in a bid to win back the international aid that was rightfully cut off when the terrorist group was elected. 

According to the NY Times article, Hamas will implicitly accept working toward a two-state solution by recognizing all previous agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinians and will allow Abbas to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians.

What this really means is that Hamas will use Abbas as its public face to make overtures of peace to the world so that it can rake in more money to fund its terrorism against Israeli civilians. And whenever you hear talk of Hamas implicitly accepting a two-state solution, you should always keep in mind this statement from Hamas leader and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, made this January, just before the elections:

Bush’s Speech

By on 9.12.06 | 10:25AM

Bush said what needed to be said last night, but ultimately no speech is going to make much of a difference in public opinion, especially with regard to Iraq. A majority of Americans are set in their opinions on the war, and those who are swayable won't be swayed by words, but only an actual improvement in conditions in Iraq. I'm also having a harder and harder time taking Bush's tough talk seriously. Bush said, "The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad." He said he believes that Iraq is the central battle in, "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation." If Bush truly believes these statements, then he's going to have to do more than stick with the same strategy that obviously hasn't been working too well. William Kristol and Rich Lowry have a piece in today's Washington Post, arguing for more troops to reinforce Baghdad. Perhaps more troops is the answer, perhaps it's too simple of a solution to a far more complicated situation.

TAS Contributor Francis Beckwith’s Tenure Battle

By on 9.12.06 | 8:45AM

Want the latest on the Francis Beckwith (formerly my grad advisor) tenure battle?

It's all at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Yep, it's a big story now.

This thing is growing into one very unhappy situation. It's still under appeal at Baylor.

One of the prof's quoted in the story, Stephen Evans, is a liberal democrat who I think may actually have voted for Howard Dean. He threatens resignation over the way Beckwith has been treated. Bless you, Prof. Evans.

By the way, you can check out Beckwith's C.V. at his website.

Damned If You Do…

By on 9.11.06 | 9:42PM

Tim Russert seems to think it was terribly rude and political for the President to talk about Iraq in his speech, and that Democrats will make hay over that. What do you suppose would be the reaction if he had given a speech tonight and not discussed Iraq?