The Spectacle Blog

Mike – You Coulda Been Somebody

By on 8.21.06 | 6:39PM

There's a story over at LA's tony Hillcrest Country Club that some say is apocryphal but I suspect is true. About a decade ago, I discussed the episode with an octogenarian member, but even then the episode was apparently still too raw, too personal, for him to give me a straight answer.

p> Seems that, a while back, the club decided that one of their members, known to the public as Bugsy Siegel, should no longer be a member. The sticky question was "who's gonna tell Ben?" The story goes that they recruited the oldest member of the club on the theory that he had the fewest years to lose.

Watching Mike Wallace interview Iranian President Ahmadinejad last week, I thought of the Bugsy story and the opportunity missed. What if, instead of doing the kind of celebrity suck-up interviews on which he built his career, Mike had instead dropped into his mid-career bunco squad prosecutorial mode. You know, how with dripping condescension he asks "Mr. Phillips, are we to believe that this white colored water your dairy has been selling to the government is really low fat milk??"

Macaca Has Legs

By on 8.21.06 | 5:58PM

Blame George Allen. Blame Jim Webb's campaign. Blame the Washington Post. But any way you look at it, "macaca" has legs in the polling. A new SurveyUSA poll finds Allen edging Webb by 48 to 45 percent if the election were held today. Allen's support is particularly low even among those who support the state's marriage amendment.

The bright side for you Allen supporters: the election is still months away. Hopefully Senator Allen can avoid stepping into any more caca between now and then.

Dear Eliot Ness

By on 8.21.06 | 5:46PM

To: Attorney General, City of Chicago

Your worship:

As I recall, I shot a man named John Dillinger to death in your city in the summer of 1934.

It was outside a movie theatre and I could name the movie that was showing and a woman named Anna who accompanied him, along with a woman of lesser repute.

I can recite numerous details of this event if you will reserve for me First Class flight accommodations from Washington, D.C. to your city. A champagne flight, please. Large prawns for lunch would be nice.

Yours contritely,

Reid Collins

Re: Woods

By on 8.21.06 | 5:25PM

Wlady, of course you're right. But what is there to say? As entertainment, the last round of the PGA didn't amount to much. The third round was terrific. I may watch that again. But I erased the final round recording the moment it reached its inevitable confusion.

Interesting thing. I save recordings of choice golf and tennis tourneys, and, while I have saved a number of recordings of Pete Sampras's victories, I have saved very few of Tiger's because they're usually pretty dull.


By on 8.21.06 | 3:45PM

Quin, Larry, I'm surprised (i.e. sad) I haven't seen anything from you on Tiger Woods' ultimate stinger in not only winning the PGA yesterday but re-establishing himself as the most phenomenal golfer/athlete/competitor/sportsman imaginable. Apart from his super-human excellence, most interesting to me is how his competitors respond to him.

Take, for instance, his playing partner yesterday, Luke Donald. Before Sunday, Donald's play was superb. His drives straight and true, his irons right on target, his puts deadly accurate. If you'd never seen him before, you'd have concluded he was one of the best. He started off yesterday in much the same form. But after a few putts that just missed and a bad break on the fifth hole, suddenly his edge was gone. From that point on it was clear as day that he knew there was no way he could compete with Woods. Having started the day even with him, he ended six strokes behind.

More on Torture

By on 8.21.06 | 2:49PM

I just noticed that Julian Sanchez responded to a post I had last week in which I argued that the revelation that Pakistani authorities may have used torture to expose the British airplane terror plot, if proven true, pokes holes in the argument that torture isn't an effective means to extract information from terrorists. Sanchez says I miss the point:

Re: August 22

By on 8.21.06 | 11:28AM

Michael Totten reports that Israelis generally scoff at worries about tomorrow.

Speaking of which, Andrew Sullivan is on vacation and his blog is, as usual, better than when he's in town. Totten's fellow guestblogger Dave Weigel has even managed, while standing on Andrew's own platform, to sneak in some subversive teasing about the "Christianist" tick ("I am under contract to use this term at least twice a day.")

British Equipment in Hezbollah Hands?

By on 8.21.06 | 11:01AM

The Guardian reports:

The Foreign Office today confirmed it was investigating claims that British military equipment sent to Iran in the fight against international drug smuggling had ended up in the hands of Hizbullah fighters in Lebanon.

August 22

By on 8.21.06 | 10:53AM

I am skeptical that anything big will happen tomorrow, for no other reason that it seems nothing happens when we are expecting it to (whether it's July 4th, the anniversary of Sept. 11th, etc.). What was most remarkable about 9/11 was that it happened on a completely normal day-- a sunny Tuesday in New York and DC.

Here is Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis writing in the WSJ a few weeks ago on the significance of 8/22:

Writers Against Israel

By on 8.21.06 | 10:34AM

The Website of the Nation republishes an anti-Israel letter that has been reprinted in newspapers such as Le Monde, El Pais, The Independent and La Repubblica. Signed by the likes of Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Toni Morrison and Harold Pinter it says that Israel's secret aim is the "liquidation of the Palestinian nation." That's a rather odd charge considering that the Palestinian government is the one that's run by a group that was founded on the stated goal of destroying Israel. Furthermore, the Palestinian population is growing at a faster rate than the Israeli population, so if there is a liquidation project going on, the Israelis haven't been doing a very good job.