The Spectacle Blog

NATO Wakeup Call?

By on 11.28.05 | 8:26AM

Jose Maria Aznar -- the former Spanish PM tossed out of office days after the 3-11 Madrid train bombings -- is appealing to NATO members to wake up and smell the coffee, to join together to defend each other from Islamic terrorism. In a good -- but horrifically unrealistic -- piece in today's WSJ (sub req'd), Aznar says that NATO should be reorganized around fighting that threat because homeland security can no longer be differentiated from the broader concepts of national security. Here's the money quote:

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Re: Measurements

By on 11.28.05 | 7:23AM

Larry: No, it is 390-horsepower, but a good bit taller than 23 inches. But your idea of wringing it out on a track is not one I'll dismiss. Hmm. Speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, according to the specs, so about two hours would do it. If I can hang on that long.

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More fun with the 390 hp etc.

By on 11.28.05 | 4:55AM


Hmmm, 390 hp, ruby red, is it also about 23 inches high? Well, whatever, here's a solution. Have a flatbed tow truck take it and you to a private race track -- there are such -- and knock yourself out. Should take about 2 hours and 15 minutes, right?


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Germ Warfare

By on 11.27.05 | 9:20PM

Andrew Sullivan is fighting a germ insurgency. I'm stunned by the lack of pre-infection planning that has resulted in this quagmire. Though we may still win thanks to the bravery of the common white blood cell, it sometimes seems unlikely. The shocking revelations about abuse of imprisoned germs were particularly disheartening. Ultimately Sullivan's cold and flu medicine must be held accountable for its failure. That means drinking swampwater instead of medicine. Swampwater has struck a somewhat more gay-friendly political posture than medicine, but the suggestion that support for swampwater over medicine is about homosexuality, and not about the war on germs and other issues, is an unanswerable smear.

(Disclaimer for the humor-impaired: I hope Andrew feels better soon, and am not actually suggesting that he ought to drink swampwater.)

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Re: The 390-HP Lawn Ornament

By on 11.27.05 | 8:16PM

John: Methinks the dealership has about as much of a clue about how to deal with this as my 6-month old lab puppy. He, at least, would know to chew on the leather, and his attitude is vastly less arrogant and hostile than the service manager. I wouldn't try the jacks myself. Vibration of the car, at any appreciable wheel speed, could take it off the jacks and let fly across Loudoun County by itself. Which is one of the few things worse than letting the jokers from the dealership have it. No, methinks we'll play Dukes of Hazzard for a coupla days between here and our normally-distant haunts. And then take it to a real expert we know in Falls Church.

I trust that by week's end, we'll be laughing about it, remembering the nonsense only as a redundant proof of the Gipper's adage that government isn't the solution, it's the problem. Nevertheless, this is the most idiotic Catch-22 I've come across in many moons.

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Re: The 390 Horsepower Lawn Ornament

By on 11.27.05 | 7:52PM

Jed: Why would the dealership need to drive it around for a few weeks? Why not just lift all four wheels off the ground with a few jacks and set a brick on the accelerator for an hour or two, then refill the tank and repeat? They could clock the necessary mileage in less than a day.

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The 390 Horsepower Lawn Ornament

By on 11.27.05 | 12:21PM

Thanksgiving Eve was a joyous occasion in our household, and not only because of the arrival of two of the four twentysomethings (well, three if you count one young lady in tow). #4 son drove in from Laramie, Wyoming in my new supercar.

Having purchased it in September from its original owner in Colorado Springs, and registered it in the Commonwealth to get temporary plates, said registration had expired on his arrival. On Thursday afternoon, I dutifully drove it to our formerly favorite Ford dealer and delivered written instructions to perform an emissions inspection (a legal predicate to obtaining a permanent registration) and adjust the timing and other functions necessary for it to produce maximum power at this altitude (what one does for a car that operates at above 5,000 feet, as this had, is slightly different than for a car that operates here at near sea level.) Ay, and there's the rub.

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Re: The Sweet Science

By on 11.27.05 | 6:51AM

Wlady, it's because Ali refused the draft, was barred from boxing for a period, and then returned as a martyr. He attained designated worship object (DWO) status at that time. Interesting rhetorical questions: How many elements of DWO status (black, female, gay, HIV positive, labor union, communist, radical, etc.) does a figure have to have? Are there any absolute essentials? Would a Rocky Balboa-type white Ali have been possible? Poor Italian kid refuses Selective Service with the counseling of his religious leaders, and so forth?

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Re: Sweet Science

By on 11.25.05 | 8:14PM

Wlady: The NY Times’ William Rhoden had a similarly fawning piece on the Ali shrine earlier this week. At this point, I’m numb. I wonder what is next – an Ali monument on the Washington/>/>/>/> mall?

What’s most threatening to my turkey leftovers is that phrase from Clinton/>/>/>/>’s speech alleging that Ali was “a force for peace and reconciliation, understanding and respect.” Would it be asking too much if just one of those four terms could be true?

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Re: Sweet Science

By on 11.25.05 | 6:24PM

Paul: Your command of the fight game makes me doubly depressed to have to report on a column in today's Washington Post praising to the skies one Muhammad Ali, on the occasion of a shrine named after him in his home town. It's not to late to lose your Thanksgiving leftovers after you read what former president Bill Clinton said about Mr. Ali:

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