The Spectacle Blog

Outsourcing the UN

By on 2.13.06 | 7:56AM

A report yesterday said that Kofi Annan was preparing to oursource and "privatize" many of the functions of the UN Secretariat. We expect to receive reports that the Gottis, Gambinos and Profaccis are all preparing bids. If one of the Families were to win the contract, there would be certain improvements in UN operations. Their practice is superior to the UN's in at least one respect: they hold employees responsible for job performance.

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Re: Shot Heard Round the World

By on 2.13.06 | 6:36AM

Wlady, since hunting's a sport, and shooting from the backseat window isn't sporting, the situation you describe is a plutocratic exercise, not hunting. I'm not sure about the laws in Texas or even my adopted home of Virginia, but I know that in Montana shooting from the backseat window is not only unsporting, it's illegal.

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Shot Heard Round the World

By on 2.13.06 | 12:30AM

"Some Cheney critics pointed out that this is not the first Cheney hunting controversy," the Washington Post notes in taking pot shots of its own at Dick Cheney in its report today on the accidental shooting of Harry Whittington this past weekend. So going duck hunting with Antonin Scalia is the equivalent of a near-tragic accident? Better yet, the Post ends it story by giving the last word to two anti-hunting activists. (Incidentally, just who were those "Cheney critics" the story refers to but makes no effort to identify in any shape or form?)

More interesting was ESPN.com, which on its home pages linked to an AP report via this headline: "Vice president accidentally shoots fellow hunter." In its view it was, in short, a sporting mishap.

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Syrian-Iraqi Border — New Reports

By on 2.12.06 | 11:32PM

Speaking Monday with source from Beirut who is just returned from the Syrian-Iraqi border, where he found U.S. force commanders reporting a sharp drop in jihadists infiltrating from Syria to Iraq. No single explanation. Speculation includes remarks that the Syrians are training the jihadists at Syrian bases; also it is possible that there is a seasonal lull in jihad recruiting. Also it is possible that the Sunni clans that live on smuggling and robbery are weary or pacified or cooperating with Baghdad pay-offs.

Note that Zarqawi has been on air since the Amman attacks of last November. Zarqawi said to be reorganizing. The Zarqawi program in Iraq has now been exported to other theaters, such as Top in Southeast Asia.

Note also that Saddam Hussein and his fellow accused beginning hunger strike. Not unusual. Regime henchmen live in denial, transform themselves into victims. Iraq choosing new cabinet means that there is now someone to hang Saddam Hussein quickly. However, it is not a deep tradition in the ummah to execute rival sheikhs.

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Re: Bush’s Svengali

By on 2.12.06 | 9:14PM

Another one for the "I don't think it means what you think it means" file:

"It's going to be a menace trying to clean it up," said Mayor Scott T. Rumana in Wayne, N.J. [of the record snowfall this weekend.]
A menace?
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Guttmacher References

By on 2.12.06 | 2:31PM

Whenever the media refers to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, it ought to mention that it's Planned Parenthood's research arm. Instead, like the Post today, many references identify AGI as "a nonprofit organization focused on reproductive health issues." That's the party line from AGI.

The AGI website gives a bio that any enterprising journalist should find useful. Unfortunately, many journalists are lazy or pro-abortion, like AGI.

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Bush’s Svengali

By on 2.12.06 | 2:21PM

Is Karl Rove, according to the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, in his item today on White House fundraising. I've only heard "Svengali" as a term of derision, since it means "one who attempts usually with evil intentions to persuade or force another to do his bidding" (Webster's). Now, Rove as Svengali is the left's caricature, but Cillizza's column is ostensibly reporting only, not opinion.

I've emailed Cillizza asking if he knows what Svengali means. I'll let you know what he says.

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Allen Wins CPAC Straw Poll

By on 2.11.06 | 6:15PM

In the Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates straw poll, here's how CPAC attendees came down on the question of who is most likely to be the Republican nominee:

George Allen - 22%
John McCain - 20%
Rudy Giuliani - 12%
Condoleezza Rice - 10%

Told ya so. By the way, I didn't go to CPAC today, but I gather Blogger's Row was cleared out before the results were announced, as I can't find them yet via Technorati; I had to go to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, which mischaracterizes the straw poll as a straight preference poll.

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Dershowtiz Dems Warn the Clintons

By on 2.11.06 | 4:01PM

Talk cable provocateur Alan Dershowitz told me clearly while discussing his new book, Preemption, that he will not support Hillary Clinton unless and only if she supports preventive war aganst Iran when the time comes.

Dershowitz is adamant. He does not fudge this one. I heard a fury and impatience with the Democratic machinery that will not vanish in the fog of war. I speak routinely with Dems who have similar short, bilious tempers.

Significance to me is that the Clintons have no room to maneuver on the right. If the Clintons aim to veer leftish for early '08 primary season in Iowa and NH and New York, then the Dershowitz Dems will holler on air and damage the trust factor for the general campaign.

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