The Spectacle Blog

Today’s Best Headlines

By on 2.10.06 | 10:34AM

Are all for stories on a jury in Mineola, N.Y., rejecting a widow's claim in a civil suit that her husband's injuries suffered from ducking a piece of shrimp led to his death. (May the man rest in peace, but this is the kind of suit that gives torts a bad name.) Headline writers around the world had a great time with this:

The Wall Street Journal's headline first came to my attention: "Jury Rejects Claim Flying Shrimp Led to New York Man's Death."

L.A. Times: "Flying Shrimp Didn't Kill Man, Jury Decides."

New York Times: "Benihana Wins Flying Sizzling Shrimp Case."

And it goes downhill from there:

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Re: Allen’s Speech

By on 2.10.06 | 7:42AM

Dave, I agree that he could have done better; he seemed to only fall into a good rhythm about halfway in. But my point was that the crowd seemed to like him a lot.

(Unfortunately, my recording of the speech is too low-quality to post -- he spoke during dessert and there was lots of dish-shuffling near my recorder -- so readers will just have to take our word.)

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Re: Allen’s Speech

By on 2.10.06 | 7:25AM

John, I'm sure his numbers will go up, but I'm not sure that reflects last night's speech as much as his general political fortunes. I favor him in spite of last night's speech.

Generally, he came across as affable and charming. But the content and delivery of his speech was largely rough and stumbling. He needs a speechwriter and a speech coach who will play to his folksy strengths (for example, the repeated "all y'all" seems like he's trying too hard -- "y'all" would do nicely).

Clearly, Sen. Allen's running for president. But the Senate campaign is a much needed warmup. Because if that's how he looks in two years' time, I seriously doubt he can beat Hillary.

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Bomb Iran soon enough

By on 2.10.06 | 12:35AM

Source who is my new Dr. Strangelove argues effectively that strategic bombers with gravity bunker buster bombs can sufficiently damage Iran's nuclear weapons fuel cycle facilities in one night to end the program.

Argues that it is not necessary to destroy all the facilities, just key nodes.

When asked about the day after, source is matter of fact that the Iranians will respond in some of seventeen ways, including closing the Hormuz Strait, and that any one of the seventeen ways will be enough to paralyze worldwide energy markets.

I asked if the one night of bombing will begin several years of nightmares.

Source counters that the oil shock will be severe but not indefinite: that Western economies will recover; that Iran's economy will not recover and surrender will follow eventually.

In sum, bombing Iran to end the nuke program is not the end of the markets, but a shadow will fall over your kitchen table for a few quarters.

Source argues that the alternative, permitting Iran to produce and mount a nuclear weapon force in due time, will lead to much worse than an oil shock.

Okay. I begin to see the unseeable.

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Third Intifada imminent

By on 2.10.06 | 12:24AM

Spoke several excellent sources in re Israel and Palestinians, and all agree that a third intifada is imminent, though one did call it a war, not an intifada. Hamas will not relent on its position that it is committed to a violent defeat of Israel. The intifada will be run by Al Aqsa from the West Bank, especially the Balata refugee camp, and by Islamic Jihad from the West Bank and Gaza. The third intifada will include suicide belts as well as the first-ever rocket attacks from the West Bank into Israel.

Israel's response to the intifada is not predictable. Olmert is campaigning to the left to win as many peace-now seats as possible. Netanyahu will stay hard right and urge war and effective annexation of the territories.

Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad gain with the new intifada by establishing credibility as the street fighters, while Hamas gains by assuming the role of diplomat to the Europeans: the Putin gesture to Hamas is the beginning of the reinvention of a terror gang into a freedom collective.

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Double Standard

By on 2.9.06 | 11:30PM

It hasn't been a good week for the editorial brain trust at CNN. As widespread rioting and intimidation gripped the Islamic world following the publication, in a Danish newspaper, of cartoons depicting Muhammad as an enabler of terrorism, the network decided to run only blurred-out versions of the offending images -- out of respect, CNN explained, for Muslim sensibilities.

But then came yesterday's episode of The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer's risibly titled late afternoon round up of breaking news. During a segment on the cartoon controversy, Blitzer raised the question of whether Muslim outrage over insulting images of the Prophet might be a tad hypocritical, given that state-owned media throughout the Islamic world regularly run cartoons of greedy, hook-nosed Jews doing the devil's work. As Blitzer spoke, the screen was filled with one image after another of -- you guessed it -- greedy, hook-nosed Jews doing the devil's work... and, for a finale, a swastika embedded in a Star of David.

Not one of the images was blurred out.

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Pro-Lifer Assaulted at William & Mary

By on 2.9.06 | 9:55PM

Make no mistake about it. The so-called "choice" crowd doesn't favor choice. They favor abortion.

At a memorial for abortion victims Tuesday night, a female student was allegedly assaulted while passing out pro-life information.

Just imagine if pro-lifers assaulted a pro-abortion activist on a college campus. Why, if Katie Couric weren't in Turin, she'd be in Williamsburg for tomorrow's show. This incident will likely be met with total national media silence.

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Planning the Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.9.06 | 5:57PM

An editorial in the Saudi government daily "Arab News" today explained how representatives from 57 Muslim nations met in Mecca/>/> in December to organize their response to the Danish editorial cartoons that they believe blasphemed by publishing images of Mohammed. I read a passage from it this morning on the Laura Ingraham show. It has since disappeared from the Arab News website.

Fortunately, the same substance is still published on the IHT website. Here's the money quote, from the communique that was published at the end of the conference:

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