The Spectacle Blog

Re: The End for Tookie?

By on 12.12.05 | 3:38PM

From the article you linked:

Williams has maintained that he is innocent. His plea for clemency was based on his transformation while in prison for almost a quarter-century. He and his supporters argue that he has changed his life since his gang days, writing children's books and warning youths about the perils of the gangster life.

If he's maintaining his innocence, what is it he claims to have transformed? Was the transformation just something he felt he needed to go through since he was in prison anyway?

The presence of Jamie Foxx and company hardly lend legitimacy to his claims, but it's upsetting to know that in the next few months, during which a screenplay doubtless will be written, Tookie will undergo yet another false transformation into a messianic figure. Yet what makes heroic deaths poignant is the higher principle being preserved. What on earth is Tookie's higher principle?

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The End for Tookie?

By on 12.12.05 | 3:01PM

His chances for appeal appeared to run out today, as the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected his appeal and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would not stay the execution. He's due to be executed at 12:01 a.m. PST. The 9th Circuit en banc or the U.S. Supreme Court could still stop the execution.

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Ugly in New York

By on 12.12.05 | 2:18PM

New York Republican county leaders are strongly urging Jeanine Pirro to drop out of the Senate race. Time's a-wastin' for a serious challenge to Hillary there, since it appears that Pirro's not that candidate.

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China Mix

By on 12.12.05 | 2:06PM

Here's one more reason to read John Tabin's article, which sheds light on how we can remain competitive with China. Remember that it wasn't long ago that the U.S. was particularly reluctant to share its super-computer technology with certain states, such as China, who is now rising rapidly in tech exports. The market has room for China's participation, certainly, but meditate on a combination of their growing technological prowess with military applications, and recent Pentagon reports critical of how they have obscured their defense spending -- this is certainly mixed news, at best.

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Re: Wicked-Pedia

By on 12.12.05 | 1:40PM

Wikipedia is definitely worth using -- as I said, it has plenty of arguments on its side. But it is alarming that there is no governing authority on content. Factual information can disputed, or just tagged as disputable. I'm more than happy to abide by it, but when a friend was compiling an article for Wikipedia, he found too many people offering arbitrary criticism without concern for the information presented. That's not just anecdotal. Type in controversial issues, and see for yourself. (Try "Violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 2004.")

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Re: Wicked-Pedia

By on 12.12.05 | 1:12PM

I'm of the anarchy-with-results crowd on this. So there was a bad bio. Big deal. It's been corrected. Most information sources get big stories wrong on a much more frequent basis. Ask anyone who deals with reporters: the majority of stories have at least one detail wrong. The Wikipedia model, if not abused for propaganda, allows folks with more knowledge to contribute to the project, usually producing a more complete entry that would require hours of searching by the lone web surfer. And when there is incorrect information, it's usually quickly fixed. Millions of readers means millions of editors. Granted, the risks are high. But the users should take Wikipedia for what it is: a highly accurate committee product. All readers should use it with a sense of caveat emptor -- and double-check sources and claims. To that end, nearly every Wikipedia claim is backed by a footnote.

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New RSC Website

By on 12.12.05 | 1:03PM

Our (or at least my) favorite folks in Congress, the House Republican Study Committee, launched a revamped website today. It's pretty slick and nimble with a new online resume bank, updated members list (with the newest member, Rep. John Campbell), and comprehensive links to white papers. I hope that their next move is to link directly to sponsored legislation, rather than pdfs listing it, as well as a more interactive "Money Monitor."

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Cold Comfort — On Second Thought…

By on 12.12.05 | 12:33PM

Forget the bacteria-addled pen; we shouldn't be limiting cold medicines because of the pro-community business development that can happen as in one Kentucky woman's case. But then again, the late Maggie Bailey never let the law stop her from distributing her own home-cooked recipes. RIP.

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Wicked-Pedia

By on 12.12.05 | 12:32PM

As much as Wikipedia has shown itself to be a valuable instant reference, there's an air of suspicion there. CNET's Daniel Terdiman explicates that suspicion, explaining that even the site's founder feels like his monster has gone beyond his control. Too bad, since Wikipedia has some very strong arguments on its side. But you can't rely on an ever-changing encyclopedia that permits anonymous users to modify articles without any kind of governing authority; anarchy tends to destroy information, not convey it.

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Cold Comfort

By on 12.12.05 | 12:31PM

Coming from Connecticut, I have absolutely no understanding of the popularity of crystal meth, but when I overhear that Congress is planning on placing limits on cold medicines, I wonder why we even bother with state legislatures anymore. I have a feeling that the Reason crowd will be entirely against this terrible violation of privacy rights, what with having to sign your name to a cold medicine log. All I have to say about that aspect is that I'll use my own pen, thankyouverymuch.

I'm reminded of my high school physics teacher, a Georgian immigrant, who found NyQuil potent enough that he felt it should be sold in six-packs.

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