The Spectacle Blog

Great Burke Quote

By on 4.20.06 | 9:53AM

Courtesy of reader Bob Keiser of Wilkes Barre, PA, in response to my column yesterday about coarseness in American culture and especially on the Left, comes this wonderful, wonderful quote from the great British statesman Edmund Burke: "Manners are of more importance than Laws. Upon them in great measure the Laws depend. The Law touches us but here and there, and now and then. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, invisible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. They give their whole form and colour to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals, they supply them or they totally destroy them."

I just thought the quote bore repeating, and I thank Mr. Keiser for sharing it.

Gates at Hanoi

By on 4.20.06 | 9:48AM

Spoke to source in Hanoi last evening, and she reported the Communist 10th Party Congress tyros of Vietnam are most excited that Bill Gates arrives this weekend for a fete with the leadership. The sons of the NVA are looking to America and especially to IT to lead them out of backwardness and corruption. The theme of the 10th Congress is that every official in Vietnam is for sale at least once a day and that nothing is trustworthy.

At the same time, another commercial source tells me that Vietnam is most attractive compared to mainland China. The factories are clean, the workers are quick and eager, the management is well-spoken, English-skilled, and convincingly pro-American.

Too many ironies to count in all this, though I am compelled to mention that it will not take thirty years for Iraq to shake off the label of righteous victim of American aggression and beg for Gates to fly in to start IT plants and so forth. I mention that there is no presence at the 10th Party Congress in Hanoi of either Jane Fonda or the Sheehan fan club: they've moved on to fresh fairy tales.

PRC organ-harvesting protests at Seattle

By on 4.20.06 | 9:37AM

Spoke to Falun Dafa source at Seattle last evening, and she reported two days of most successful demonstrations at Seattle.

Falun Dafa (aka Falun Gang) protesters were at Hu's hotel at all hours, a twenty-four hour presence, at the four corners of the hoptel, speaking loudly in protests in Mandarin and English and other languages, against the criminal abuse of millions inside China today and around the world today, including in the United States.

Source reported that the protesters were present at the Boeing airport, at the hotel, at an intersection near the Gates Mansion; and that she saw Hu look at the demos as his limo passed in Gates's land on Tuesday evening.

Source also reported new efforts to inform the public about the news of Chinese government approved organ harvesting from concentration camps. She reported that they have information of doctors in China letting people know they should get their transplants before July 1, because the organs are going to be harder to get atafter that date. No special explanation as to what July 1 represents, except that the PRC tyros are feeling pressure from outside publicity of their crimes.

Lady votes for Corallo

By on 4.19.06 | 5:04PM

By the way, I would be remiss if I fail to note that earlier today, long before the Hotline's mention of Corallo, I received an e-mail from the mysterious Lady G., who sometimes posts her brilliant insights here, to the effect that her personal recommendation for McClellan's replacement would be "Mark C." And almost two months ago, the Lady recommended on this site that the White House communications shop be beefed up.

Re: Let Corallo be McClellan

By on 4.19.06 | 4:15PM

It would be great for Mark to get that job. But my money is on Torie Clark (who was superb at the Pentagon) or Tony Snow (who has been great since the days of 41).

Let Corallo be McClellan!

By on 4.19.06 | 3:05PM

Well, the Hotline mentioned Mark Corallo here. Corallo was my replacement in Rep. Bob Livingston's office nearly a decade ago. A straight shooter with unimpeachable integrity, smart as they come, and very very well respected by the DC press corps.

McClellan’s Replacement

By on 4.19.06 | 1:34PM

Hotline On Call has a rundown of candidates. In addition to Tony Snow, who has been widely reported to be in the mix, they look at Rob Nichols, Dan Bartlett, Victoria Clark, Dan Senor, Brian Jones, and Ron Bojean.

Hear, hear, Quin

By on 4.19.06 | 11:59AM

I'm with you on John Batchelor's prognostications, Quin. I've listened to John's show a long time, and I think he regularly reveals information virtually nobody else has, or pays attention to, and that's important. I take the trouble of driving my car to the nearest high ground so I can tune in WABC to listen to him most nights, I consider his show so important (Boston radio doesn't carry him any more).

But you're right, he's short on solutions. For a fact-filled long read about Iran and its relationship with the U.S., both past and going forward, see Edward Luttwak's Commentary essay here.

Luttwak is fairly sanguine -- and makes a good case -- about how soon Iran could develop The Bomb. He overlooks the possibility that China or the Norks could short-circuit that laborious process and move the Persians much closer much quicker. But his analysis of the historical interest of Russia in Iran is fabulous, as is his lengthy reminder of why Iran is so important to the U.S.

McClellan Out

By on 4.19.06 | 10:27AM

As press secretary. Probably a smart move on a few levels.

Solutions, John???

By on 4.19.06 | 10:07AM

To John Batchelor -- You keep posting informative (and very scary) reports about Iran. The next question, though, is: What do you recommend the United States (or anybody else) DO in response???!???! Please enlighten us.