The Spectacle Blog

Without A Trace Of Irony

By on 7.3.06 | 12:28PM

Today the Washington Post, in its lead editorial, praises the Supreme Court's Vermont ruling on campaign finance because appears to preserve "the court's long-standing doctrine that appropriately crafted contribution limits can survive constitutional scrutiny."

In the next editorial, it praises Senator Mitch McConnell for voting against the flag-burning amendment. It approvingly cites McConnell's website which states, "No act of speech is so obnoxious that it merits tampering with our First Amendment. Our Constitution, and our country, is strong than that."

Umm…is the WaPo familiar with McConnell's position on campaign finance regulation?

North Korea thretens Nuclear War

By on 7.3.06 | 9:44AM

Kim Jong-il's government has -- according to one report -- threatened us with annihilation and nuclear war if we take out the ICBM Taepodong-2 missile they've prepared for launch. I'll be on the Big Show with John Gibson tonight about 5 EDT to talk about this. Hope you can catch it.

Muslim Conservatives

By on 7.1.06 | 3:35PM

Michael Totten interviews moderate Islamists in Kurdistan, who sound less like theocrats and more like the Muslim equivalent of Christian Conservatives. If these are Islamists, then perhaps Andrew Sullivan's use of the term "Christianist" isn't so offensive after all, though Totten's reporting does highlight the fundamental problem with a political taxonomy that blurs the distinction between people whose religion influences their public policy views and those who actually want a religious state.

July 4th Long Weekend Break

By on 7.1.06 | 12:49PM

While we'll continue blogging all weekend, Monday, and Independence Day, our main page postings will resume first thing July 5. See you then. Let the fireworks begin.

And you might keep the New York Times in your thoughts. This time its honchos really have gone too far, sabotaging national security on behalf of their own delusional, puerile egos. As the Wall Street Journal reminded the world in its memorable, historic editorial yesterday, back on September 24, 2001, the Times itself instructed the Bush administration to create a SWIFT like program. "Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities." Is the Times beyond redemption?

Re: Will Conservatives Seize the Opportunity?

By on 6.30.06 | 8:22PM

David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey have a Wall Street Journal op-ed today (not available for free online) making the point that the silver lining of Hamdan is that he Court affirmed that military tribunals would be okay if authorized by Congress (some opponents of military tribunals were hoping the Court would completely proscribe them). And yes, the political dynamics of a debate over a law establishing military tribunals for al Qaeda member do very much favor the GOP.

This doesn't touch on the Court's view that the Geneva Conventions apply to al Qaeda; I'm still not sure what the practical effect of that might be.

Big Ben’s Not Quite a Misconception

By on 6.30.06 | 8:09PM

John: You are correct about the law, as Brandenberg v. US proved. Hate speech is indeed still legal. But Ben was right about the tenor of our times. And the self-imposed censorship we suffer is much more dangerous than anything the government has ever thought of doing.

Case in point: how many media outlets, other than Brit Hume's show (and, I recall vaguely, John Gibson's) showed the Danish Mohamed cartoons? Which newspapers, or even websites, reprinted them? I can't recall a single newspaper and only a few websites. Why? Because of the fear that the radical Islamists had engendered.

Intimidation is the enemy. What Ben pines for is what we all wish to recur: a resurgence of American pride and conscience. Yes, banning flag burning isn't the highest priority that should occupy our 535 members of congress. Yes, we must always be wary of limits on free speech. But no, we cannot allow the evolution of political correctness into intimidation that is now befalling us.

At this rate, it may be the most American thing to insult someone on the 4th of July. I have a long list of likely targets. I'd better get busy.