The Spectacle Blog

World Press Freedom Day

By on 5.3.06 | 12:43PM

Press Freedom Day is being celebrated in the Islamic world, according to this report from the Saudi government "Arab News." The Organization of Islamic Conference has endorsed press freedom with one little catch. Here's the money quote:

The OIC has always underscored the importance of ensuring freedoms for all, chief among which is the freedom of expression. The organization has demanded that journalists performing their professional duties be protected.

However, the pan-Islamic organization said that with freedom comes responsibility. "The publication of the blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet (peace be upon him) last September and its ramifications, have provided each and everyone with the absolute evidence of the consequences of non-abidance by these regulations," the statement said.

"Therefore, the organization demands that an international legislation or a code of conduct be issued affirming the need to prevent dissemination of hatred, premeditated defamation and incitement of denigration," it added.

NBA Gangsta

By on 5.3.06 | 12:38PM

Should an NBA player who settled with the victim in a sexual assault case several years ago be bragging how he likes to play rough on the court? After last night's elbow-fest loss to Phoenix, which saw both him and the fellow defending him ejected from the game, here's what Kobe Bryant had to say: "That's how I grew up playing basketball in Philadelphia. I love playing that style. It excites me more than anything."

O.J. Simpson never had it so good.

Charlie Wilson’s War

By on 5.3.06 | 11:23AM

Democrat Charlie Wilson won his primary race in Ohio’s 6th Congressional district as a write-in candidate on the backs of more than $1 million in Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee funds and more then $1.5 million in AFL-CIO money being poured into the district.

Wilson himself spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get out enough votes to win. By AFL-CIO estimates, labor loaned Wilson more than 300 volunteers to get Wilson into the November election. In total, more than $3 million was spent to get Wilson on the ballot. This show just how desperate Democrats are to take a chunk out of the Republican majority. But it also shows the silly lengths they are willing to go. That’s two million bucks more than the Democrats should have had to spend to get their boy on the ballot.

This election cycle is going to be fun to watch. Especially if you’re in a business that makes money off of campaigns.

Clueless DeWine

By on 5.3.06 | 10:26AM

Whatever happened to the principled, conservative, smart Mike DeWine who first was elected senator from Ohio? As I noted in today's web column, DeWine (who has been a disappointment on many levels) failed last year to give assurances that the judicial nomination of brilliant White House aide Brett Kavanaugh would be filibuster-proof by "Gang of 14" standards. Now, the Sulla Institute reports that at a campaign party last night in Ohio, DeWine appeared utterly clueless even about who Kavanaugh is, even though the Senate leadership has very publicly announced that Kavanaugh's will be the next nomination pushed to a floor vote. But wait, it gets a little worse: Sulla's "Lucius Cornelius" reported to me via e-mail that even after DeWine "nodded his head" when reminded that Kavanaugh was a judicial nominee, it appeared that "he probably still could not place the name."

Rosen on Roe

By on 5.3.06 | 10:12AM

In this interview in The Atlantic Online, center-left law professor Jeffrey Rosen gets into a fascinating discussion about Roe v. Wade and its effect on American politics for the past 33 years. Rosen's thesis that the Supreme Court should somehow function as "the most democratic branch" of government is sheer nonsense, but Rosen at least maintains some intellectual consistency within that rather untenable argument, and meanwhile his other insights are acutely perceptive. Oh, and by the way, Rosen, who considers himself pro-choice, has always said that Roe was wrongly, or at least poorly, decided.

Lone Coburn

By on 5.2.06 | 10:35PM

Speaking of senators good and bad, it's a shame that Tom Coburn is the lone crusader on earmarks in the Senate. (John McCain is his "Sancho Panza" -- sidekick suits him well.)

The Party of Specter

By on 5.2.06 | 5:48PM

It should come as no surprise that Sen. Arlen Specter is supporting the liberal Republican leadership in the Pennsylvania statehouse against their conservative primary opponents. Again, we ask, what hath the GOP wrought in supporting Snarlin' Arlen in 2004?

Those legislators are the ones who voted themselves and the Pennsylvania judiciary an unconstitutional pay raise last year, detailed here.

Re: White guilt

By on 5.2.06 | 4:43PM

Shelby Steele left out something important -- the source of even worse white guilt in Europe. Imagine what it must have been like to see one of your fellow countries, a renowned source of sophistication and artistic achievement, the country of Goethe and Beethoven and Schiller, succumb to the tribal barbarities of Nazism -- and then do its best to conquer the world under that savage banner.

No surprise that Europe as a whole reacted against the Nazi plague by turning its back on nationalism, tradition, religion, and Western philosophy. Today, in Germany, some 35-40 percent of Germans believe George Bush plotted and executed the attacks of 9/11. Those who purport to believe in nothing will believe anything.

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