The Spectacle Blog

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?

It’s About Time This Was Said Clearly

By on 9.11.06 | 9:36PM

From the President's speech tonight: "This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations."

Friends Lost Today

By on 9.11.06 | 5:32PM

I would like to pay tribute today to Jason Sabbag, a high school friend of mine. Jason went to Georgetown, worked for Fiduciary Trust, and was only 26 years old just five years ago.

He worked at the World Trade Center.

Jason: you were a good friend, a fun classmate, and are missed by many.

God bless you.

Is the Boston Globe on Crack?

By on 9.11.06 | 3:12PM

That's about the only charitable explanation I can find for this dunderheaded editorial.

I could go into detail about why this thing is so absurd, but I'll leave most of that to our readers. Please comment away.

I'll just point out this. In the middle the editorialists claim:

The long war against the insurgency in Iraq has further inflamed Mideast opinion against the United States without enhancing US security.

Toward the end they claim that Bush can point to some successes such as "the decision of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy to end his support for terrorists."

As I recall, Khadafy made that decision in the wake of the Iraq War. Well, if Khadafy's decision enhances US security, and he made that decision after seeing what happened to Hussein, the logical conclusion is that the Iraq War has made us more secure.

But logic is hard to employ when you're taking puffs from the pipe.

Nothing In The Middle?

By on 9.11.06 | 2:57PM

Jonathan Rauch says that:

Now is therefore as good a time as any to jump to a conclusion: the question history will ask is whether Bush's presidency was as bad as Richard Nixon's or only as bad as Jimmy Carter's.

and,

For the disenchanted--again, including me--the relevant points of reference now are not Churchill or Truman but Nixon and Carter.

Is there no middle ground between Truman and Carter? Maybe an Eisenhower or Woodrow Wilson?

Rauch says there are four things that will lead to Bush being compared to Carter and Nixon: the fiscal mess, the Iraq mess, international opprobrium (i.e., the international community doesn't like us), and the extralegal terrorism war (i.e., wiretapping).

I'll largely concede the fiscal mess, although Bush might still get some relief on that one if the deficit keeps heading in the direction it currently is.

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