The Spectacle Blog

Fair Print

By on 11.18.05 | 12:34PM

As reported this morning by Publishers Weekly in PW Daily, and following up on RET's column in September, the ongoing debate over Google continues:

The debate between publishers and authors and Google and its allies held last night at the New York Public Library was heated, sometimes contentious and mostly civil, and even produced a point on which all sides agreed--that they are miles apart on what they view as fair use in the 21st century.

AAP's Allan Adler said if Google's theory of fair use was adopted, it would put Google in control of other people's content that it downloaded onto its own databases. While Google says it will use the scanned book content in a limited way, that could all change, Adler said.

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Answering Murtha

By on 11.18.05 | 11:49AM

Texas Army National Guard Colonel James K. Brown commands the 56th Brigade Combat Team operating now in Iraq. In a Q&A with reporters this morning, he had some choice words in answer to Rep. John Murtha, who called yesterday for withdrawal from Iraq because we've done all we can do there militarily. Here's the money quotes:

QUESTION: "Colonel Brown, I didn't know if you'd heard the remarks yesterday made by Congressman John Murtha calling for an immediate pullout from Iraq; Congressman Murtha being a Marine for 37 years, Vietnam veteran who had been awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Coming from someone like that, what do you think of this call?"

COLONEL JAMES K. BROWN: "Well, certainly I think that, coming from a distinguished American, a distinguished member of our Congress, that's the ongoing rhetoric of a democracy, our own democracy, as we look at the future of our participation here.

"But physically here on the ground, our job's not done. It's been very clear by administration and by the leadership of the military here in Iraq that our exit from this theater should be conditions-based."

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Big Murtha

By on 11.18.05 | 11:21AM

"Vietnam Veteran Reacts to Challenges by 'People With 5 Deferments'" -- that New York Times subhead pretty much captures the problem with Rep. John Murtha's bombshell press conference yesterday. Evidently, Murtha fought in Vietnam so that elected officials who did not would have no standing under our Constitution.

Dana Milbank, who from all indications never served in the military either, nevertheless joins in to attack Republican critics of Murtha who do not "have military service on [their] resume..." (even while saving his cheapest shot for a Republican congressman who is an Army veteran). Suddenly Milbank has great respect for Murtha, an obscure hawk "whose brand of hawkishness has never been qualified by the word 'chicken.'" Milbank confidently declares that Murtha "has long served as Democrats' conscience on military matters because of his moral authority on the subject." But how would Milbank know? Today's column is the first time he has ever bothered to mention Murtha.

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Scientific Standards in the Evolution Debate

By on 11.18.05 | 11:15AM

The Post's other erstwhile conservative, the august Charles Krauthammer, takes his shots at intelligent design today. While a healthy, honest debate on this subject is warranted and even welcome, Krauthammer and his fellow vituperative ID critics aren't interested. He trots out tired and unjustified attacks on ID: "warmed-over creationism," that it's "not science," "as science it is a fraud."

The standard for a scientifically defensible theory, Krauthammer writes, is

that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution -- or behind the motion of the tides or the "strong force" that holds the atom together?

In other words, Krauthammer doesn't bother directly to address ID, but rather his caricature of it. ID demands the scientific evidence for evolution between species and, finding little or none, posits the more reasonable theory. Occam would be proud.

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The Democrats Want Another Vietnam

By on 11.18.05 | 11:11AM

Dear Congressman Murtha:

     I’m sorry you feel the way you do. But I’m sorrier that your party leaders have co-opted you, your valiant war record and your credibility on military matters over your congressional career, in their attempt to mislead the American people and damage the Commander in Chief.

What none of our political leaders has said, I suspect for fear of being attacked by the left and the MSM, is that the Democrats want Iraq/> to turn into another Vietnam/>/>. They want America/>/> to lose both the war on the ground and the war of ideas here at home.

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By on 11.18.05 | 9:59AM

Clearly, CIA boss Porter Goss is the target of the latest Post leaks. And these reports are doing real damage overseas.

According to some folks we talk to, at least two countries involved in helping the U.S. with its internment of al Qaeda terrorists have asked in the past two weeks for assistance in tracking what they call an increase in communications traffic between suspected Islamic terror networks in country. They say there is heightened concern for domestic terror activities as a result of the Post "black site" and third-party leaks.

Congress better put a clamp on some of this, and those "former" intelligence sources who are doing this -- in part to get back at the administration over the Joe Wilson scandal -- had better be shut down too.

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Re: The Recount Lingers

By on 11.18.05 | 9:35AM

Paul -- The recount may have been a turning point, but I would think it happened earlier. President Clinton's tenure was the milestone of the postmodern era, where it was no longer important what someone did or didn't do; How he played to the camera was what was most important. It was said that no Republican administration could get away with what his did, but what was most galling was that no administration prior to his would have ever dared behave like his, regardless of party. (You can make an argument for Carter, except his public diplomacy was a caricature of itself enough to quicken support for Our Ron.)

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NOC, NOC: Who’s There?

By on 11.18.05 | 8:09AM

The idea that Valerie (99) Plame -- famously CIA-employed wife of Joe (Agent 86) Wilson -- was a "non-official cover" or covert agent is about as serious as your kid's last "knock-knock" joke. WaPo's Bob Woodward said, on CNN's Larry King Live on 27 October, the day before Libby was indicted:

"They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment." Just "some" embarrassment?

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The Recount Lingers

By on 11.18.05 | 7:46AM

Near the end of a typically strong column by Daniel Henninger in today’s Wall Street Journal, he makes a point in passing that probably doesn’t get made enough: that the 2000 presidential recount has played a significant role in weakening our national security:

"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington/>/>/>/> arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency."

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Dana Priest Strikes Again

By on 11.18.05 | 7:32AM

The increasingly infamous Washington Post reporter has penned another disclosure of classified information regarding the U.S. Counterterrorist Intelligence Centers. Her sources are current and former intelligence officers, foreign intelligence officials, "as well as diplomatic and congressional sources." Look for this to become more fuel for a congressional investigation into a truly damaging leak, rather than one impacting a gal commuting not-so-covertly from her house in Washington across the river to CIA headquarters each morning.

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