The Spectacle Blog

Iran Embassy Beirut

By on 7.19.06 | 3:20PM

Two sources, best signals source and best theater source, locate two IDF soldiers abducted by HizbAllah now being held at the Iran Embassy in Beirut. Am told this is not confirmed. Am told this is not for air confirm. This report is now 45 hours old. Emphasize: Not confirm. Watching. Will ask each day. Also, the manpad alert for Gaza and Central Israel continues. Old alert, still on. Confirmed.

Annoying Phrases, Pt 6

By on 7.19.06 | 2:15PM

Tracey Lingo sends this sensible email:

"Disproportionate use of force." Do I really have to explain that one? That's been in the press for the last week since the situation in the Middle East has blown up and I (for one) am quite sick and tired of it. Several pundits have put it better than me: "If rockets were raining down on Chicago or Miami on a daily basis, would you be complaining that our military was using "disproportionate use of force" against the thugs that were dropping those rockets on our cities?"

Tom Cook really dislikes the phrase:

This phrase has quickly become the most annoying noise on news reports. Like a car alarm at 8:00 in the morning, like a mosquito buzzing next to my ear, like a cell phone ringing six levels too loud, the repeated use of this brainless retort sets my nerves on end and nearly causes me to exert a disproportionate use of force against my television.

And Donald Palmer sends these words of wisdom:

McKinney Update

By on 7.19.06 | 9:51AM

It appears the famed pugilist and loudmouth Rep. Cynthia McKinney is headed to a runoff on Aug 8th. Given the makeup of her suburban Atlanta district, there is little hope of a Republican pick up here, but folks we talked to on the ground said the McKinney's staff was surprised she failed to get a majority of the vote in the primary. That means she likely will face off againse Hank Johnson, a lawyer and former local county official.

McKinney showed up her "victory" party last night with Cindy Sheehan in tow. Perhaps they're dating, who knows. Regardless, the fact that McKinney failed to gain a clear majority should be troubling news for the far-left, who have touted McKinney's convictions and courage on the stump to oppose Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Once again, MoveOn appears to have lost yet another election, and one has to wonder how long the MSM can hold off on reporting the abject real-life failures of the extreme leftist political movement in this country.

War Warn 1-5, restated: Gaza/Lebanon Theaters

By on 7.19.06 | 2:04AM

Iran's War Games

July 18, 2006

American observers have long anticipated the strategic offensive by the Islamic Republic of Iran that began with Iranian proxies in Gaza and Lebanon provoking Israel. The next weeks will see Iran maneuver for the global crisis it wants to create by winter. The confrontation at the United Nations Security Council over Iran's refusal to suspend nuclear fuel cycle processing will be the presenting issue; however, the contest is decades in the making and is best understood as Iran's aim to defeat the United States and to establish itself as the pre-ordained hegemon of the Persian Gulf and ummah.

War planning by all sides is well advanced. Israeli strategic plans are now on display. Iran's strategic plans are discernible because Iran has twice in the last months conducted war games that describe what is ahead.

Annoying Phrases, Pt 5

By on 7.18.06 | 5:56PM

More entries keep coming in, and they are of pretty high quality. Herre is a anotheer good one, this from Kate Shaw:

One of the words (next to "disenfranchised") that causes me to grind my teeth is the word "disadvantaged". The dictionary defines 'advantage' this way:

advantage: noun. 1. advantage, reward; benefit resulting from some event or action; "it turned out to my advantage"; "reaping the rewards of generosity"

Yet those who use the word "disadvantaged" seldom mean "lack of benefit due to NOT performing some event or action (such as getting up, getting dressed, packing a lunch and heading off to work)." They mean that the 'disadvantaged' person lacks Goodies that, by implication, they are owed. This follows on another permutation of the same ilk: "less fortunate", and invites us to believe that "fortune" and "advantage" is something that is sifted down upon us from Heaven, regardless of our personal actions, and our "disadvantage" is due solely to the fact that we happened to be standing in the wrong place when the Cosmic Lotto Tickets were scattered from On High.

Annoying Phrases, Pt 4

By on 7.18.06 | 3:20PM

Well, don't anyone say I only take those who flatter me. From Bob Keiser:

You aren't going to like this one Mr. H.!

Let's start calling the "death tax" what it really is. It's an INHERITANCE TAX dammit!

It causes problems, mainly to people who inherit small businesses and farms, and are forced to sell them to pay the tax, but this can be resolved simply enough by exempting the first $25,000,000.00 or so from any tax and taxing the balance left over.

Hell, you can make a case for taxing 100% of a survivors inheritance! Consider, for instance, Pinch Sulzberger.

No, I do not like it. And I could say what I think is wrong with it, but I'll let you folks do that in the comments section.

Annoying Phrases, Pt 3

By on 7.18.06 | 2:37PM

Here's another from Jay Molyneaux:

My pet deceptive phrase in Mrs. Clinton's oft spoken of "vast right wing conspiracy." Given that a conspiracy is a secret undertaking by a small, secretive group of people to accomplish some unlawful act, it would follow then that vastness would not be a component. It must then be also true that there be an unlawful end which is the reason for the conspiracy. What unlawful acts has Mrs. Clinton pointed out as the subject of this nefarious group of fanatics? Perhaps bring to public attention her husband's serial adultery? Making known his alleged assaults on women? Or is the phrase just another attempt by a totalitarian socialist to obscure and avoid discourse on facts? Methinks the latter.

Kelley Dupuis sounded a similar note:

How about "vast, right-wing conspiracy?" It isn't just misleading and inaccurate, it's a LIE!!!! (I'm still trying to figure out how Hillary Clinton got away with saying this on television and going completely unchallenged.)

So am I.

‘Get Whitey’ Laws?

By on 7.18.06 | 12:40PM

While we are talking about annoying phrases, another I can't stand is "Hate Crimes Law." When was the last time you had heard of a "Love Crime"?

Yesterday in New York City, a white thug, Nicholas Minucci, who took a baseball bat to the head of black car thief, Glenn Moore, was sentenced to 15 years. Among other things, he was convicted of a hate crime. I wonder, what is the average sentence for people who take a baseball bat (or other heavy object) to the head of another? I'll bet it isn't even close to 15 years.

Anyway, Steve Dunleavy has this take on it:

Annoying Phrases, Pt 2

By on 7.18.06 | 11:30AM

Here is a good one from a Mr. Robert Staggs:

A phrase that is overused today is "obscene profits" as if some level beyond normal profits is too much. Must we emposer a pane of economists and social engineers to ascertain the exact profit margin at which "much higher than normal" profits reaches the "obscene" level? Should we therefore have a special tax rate on obscene profits and, out of "fairness", subsidies for "obscene losses"?

Another phrase similar to yours is "tax cuts for the rich". Well, only "the rich" pay taxes. Two thirds of personal income tax receipts are paid by the top ten percent of wage earners, those making at least $95,000 a year.

But the phrase that really bugs me is "speaking truth to power". What does that even mean?

You should try "A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence." It's a lot of the hippy dippy nonsense Quakers are famous for, but if you scroll down a bit there actually is a good definition of speaking truth to power.