The Spectacle Blog

Planning the Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.9.06 | 5:57PM

An editorial in the Saudi government daily "Arab News" today explained how representatives from 57 Muslim nations met in Mecca/>/> in December to organize their response to the Danish editorial cartoons that they believe blasphemed by publishing images of Mohammed. I read a passage from it this morning on the Laura Ingraham show. It has since disappeared from the Arab News website.

Fortunately, the same substance is still published on the IHT website. Here's the money quote, from the communique that was published at the end of the conference:

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Barr vs. Dinh

By on 2.9.06 | 4:08PM

Viet Dinh and our own Bob Barr had an interesting debate at CPAC this afternoon, moderated by RET. You can listen in over at my blog, where I've been podcasting.

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Get Along Home, Cindy, Cindy

By on 2.9.06 | 3:17PM

At long last, Cindy Sheehan, in declining a run for the Senate, has made a rationality-based statement:

"If I thought that running for Senate would bring our young people home more quickly I would do it in a minute, but I am not convinced that that would do so," she said.

What's next? Conceding that an all-volunteer military is comprised of individuals who have joined of their own free will?

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CPAC Moments

By on 2.9.06 | 3:01PM

After manning the AmSpec booth for a while and taking a spin around the Exhibit Hall at CPAC, I have a few thoughts. As with last year, it's amazing how big the "conservative" tent is. The ACLU's here, along with Conservatives for Peace, the Heritage Foundation, nativist groups, Americans for Tax Reform, and much more. If any group has ever been considered slightly conservative or Republican, they're here.

Best handout: Feminists are destroying the American family. Indeed.

Worst button: "Iraq" in a circle with an "x" through it. Fine. You're against the war. But against the country? Poorly worded.

Oh, and Sen. Rick Santorum's signing his ISI book. It appears as though he'll be there for a while, as there is a line of well-dressed young men and women (mostly guys in dark navy suits) earnestly waiting the senator's signature. He appears good natured about it.

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Iran and Ashura and 1914

By on 2.9.06 | 2:57PM

Spoke Tehran last eve re Ahmadinejad's standing among the poor and disenfranchised in Tehran and countryside. Ahmadinejad is considered a hero; he is most admired because he wears simple common clothes, is extremely pious, speaks flatly and to the prejudices of the mob. How popular? He is legendary box office popular. Ahmadinejad is front page news to the working man and his obedient wife and children. Ahmadinejad provokes expressions of chauvinism and defiance and bloodymindedness unto self-destruction.

Recognize that this is not on message with the Diaspora freedom fighters. However it is consistent with historical models. Nazis were never more powerful and popular than when they were under attack by UK and France before the war. During the war, the night and then day strategic bombing campaigns made Adolf a prince and god to the folk doing the dying in the cities. Suggest that the more Iran is isolated and under attack by West, by UN, by US, the more potent and aggressive Ahmadinejad and IRGC and mullahs can be at home and abroad.

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Well, well, well …

By on 2.9.06 | 2:15PM

AP is reporting that Sen. Harry Reid's staff is now confirming that it had contacts with the staff of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Reid's spokesman is denying that his boss, Sen. Harry Reid, of Nevada, Senate Minority Leader, and high priest of ethics (did we mention he was formerly seved on the Nevada Gaming Commission?) ever personally met with Abramoff.

Reid's spokeman might want to check with his boss about that denial to make sure it should be so definitive.

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EUnuchs Unter Alles

By on 2.9.06 | 1:58PM

They always find a way. The cartoon intifada hasn't even reached the Sudetenland yet, and they're already surrendering. This Reuters report describes the EU's plan to come up with a code of self-censorship to avoid further insults to religions. Franco Frattini, the EU minister for security and silly walks put it this way:

"The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression...We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right." Huh? Self regulation leaves the discretion to the person whose expression is being regulated. Frattini is talking about an EU law to limit free speech.

Can someone explain to me why supposedly free nations want to be part of this French bedroom comedy now that it is demonstrably unfunny?

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This Just in …

By on 2.9.06 | 1:41PM

Sen. Harry Reid is a liar, or at least extremely unsure of what he believes in. We'll go with the former.

Sen. Harry Reid, said this morning that he doubted the Judiciary Committee should have had jurisdiction over the asbestor bill that is currently taking up the Senate's attention. "I think there should have been a joint referral to the … Environment and Public Works Committee," he said. "I haven't spoken to the chairman of that committee, Senator Inhofe. I've been chairman on two separate occasions, of that committee. I'll bet Senator Inhofe is wondering why his committee hasn't had something to do with it."

But wait, what was he thinking when the asbestos fight was ongoing 18 months ago? In April 2004: "The only way I will ever feel comfortable about legislation dealing with asbestos is if it goes through the channels it is supposed to go through: the Judiciary Committee. … In short, the Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over this legislation, and this is from where the legislation should come that we deal with on the floor … It has to come out of the Judiciary Committee." (Congressional Record, 4/20/04)

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Benedict’s Door Prizes

By on 2.9.06 | 11:24AM

The pope exchanged gifts with First Lady Laura Bush today: he received a silver bowl with the presidential seal, but Laura and daughter Barbara received rosaries from Benedict. Handing rosaries to Protestants is like handing a Tim LaHaye book to a Catholic: "Um, thanks!" Hilarious. Hopefully he gave them instructions.

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Believing in God Doesn’t Make You Smart

By on 2.9.06 | 10:57AM

Iain Murray dismantles the evangelicals' silly jump onto the global warming bandwagon. They've botched the science altogether, Murray writes, from the existence of warming and its alleged human cause to the doomsday effects.

This time, they've bought the politically correct conventional wisdom hook, line, and sinker. Someone send them a copy of Michael Crichton's book. It's disappointing to see someone of Timothy George's stature and intelligence lending his name to such a document.

Other than him and Rick Warren (of Christian self-help fame... there, I said it, send angry emails to amspecblog -at- spectator.org), I don't recognize a soul on this list. Contrary to the New York Times touting "leaders" joining the global warming fight, the big names declined to sign.

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