The Spectacle Blog

Voices of the Faithful

By on 12.12.05 | 7:55AM

The big talk among Voices of the Faithful is that they want a more "Democratic" Catholic Church (without the "Roman" attached to it).

If Democracy and so-called "freedom of choice" is now their rallying cry, they must be aware that there is already a church here in the United States desperately looking for new members: the Episcopalian Church. Given the politics and what they are fighting for, they couldn't find a better fit, and they deserve each other.

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Going Constitutional

By on 12.12.05 | 7:51AM

On the Alito nomination we aren't there yet. But there will be a lot of buzz around this morning's Washington Post article quoting Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist that the Constitutional Option, or as the Democrats and the MSM call it, the "Nuclear Option," is still a very real part of the landscape if Democrats decide to filibuster the nomination.

Democrats are saying this kind of tough talk is unnecessary, but if folks have been paying attention, they'd know that the Democrats and their minions have been talking about a filibuster for weeks now. It's good that Frist is drawing lines in the sand now, rather than a month from now with nomination on top of us.

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Voice of the Faithful

By on 12.12.05 | 7:21AM

Protested the Vatican's new document (not new policy) on homosexual priests yesterday. Joining them was Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.). Voice of the Faithful was a particularly outspoken group, active in Massachusetts, during the sexual abuse scandal a few years ago. While the mainstream media typically portrayed them as good-natured, concerned laity, their long-term agenda was largely hostile to church teaching as this protest displays.

The Globe article fails to note that some local bishops have declared VOTF persona non grata in their parishes. Deal Hudson has the full story on this group.

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Tookie Foiled

By on 12.12.05 | 7:13AM

The California Supreme Court unananimously rejected Stanley Tookie Williams' appeal yesterday, letting stand his execution planned for tomorrow. Now Arnold's on the spot.

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HarperCollins to Keep Digital Files

By on 12.12.05 | 7:08AM

This seems like a good compromise in the Google book battle: Harper will hold on to the digital files of its books, but make copies available to search services. This could pressure the other major publishers into similar arrangements.

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Illegitimately Illiterate?

By on 12.11.05 | 5:08PM

Prof. Sean Wilentz of Princeton has a great piece in the New York Times today, discussing the broadening chasm between literature and politics. Here's a snippet:

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Going Home

By on 12.10.05 | 9:48PM

KUWAIT CITY:We spent about half the day yesterday at the Iraqi military academy about fifty miles from Baghdad. It's a tough place, and not just for the curriculum. More on this later. The bus to the plane is leaving in about two minutes, so I'll have to be brief. We saw a lot at the IMA that was encouraging. Motivated students, a great faculty and if they can keep things going they will help transform all of Iraq.

The C-130 carrying us back to Kuwait City last night had two very special passengers. Two American soldiers -- one man and one woman -- who had been killed in action lay in flag-draped coffins along the aircraft centerline. On landing in Kuwait, we waited until they were about to be taken off, and stood in line with the soldiers saluting them as they were taken off the aircraft. Let's remember them and their families. These two, and more than 2,000 others, have made the ultimate sacrifice in this war. Now is no time to quit. The Iraqis don't want us to leave until the job is done. It isn't yet.

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Sen. Eugene McCarthy, RIP

By on 12.10.05 | 6:41PM

The 1968 Democratic, anti-war presidential candidate and Minnesota senator died today. Other obits: Washington Post and Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

So did Richard Pryor.

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Re: Re: BBSes

By on 12.10.05 | 6:06PM

You know, John, now that you mention it, he does overdramatize, but I think that's a necessary consequence of geek memory. What I take most issue with is his reference to BBSes as havens for the oppressed -- suppressed is more likely; people with a computer and a modem had a leap on others, and the understanding of how it worked even more so. I don't recall too much of a scintillating underground, such as the , but I was raised in Stamford. No doubt, Julian and his hax0r (hacker) friends were clearly into more interesting boards.

I never had that Damascus experience Julian's talking about -- I doubt others did. When we first started dialing into these things, we were poking around thinking we were really smart for getting those kinds of sounds out of our computer. Sure, John, you may have created your own, but did you suddenly feel as though God had struck you dumb, your metanoia allowed you a new identity?

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R.W. Bradford, RIP

By on 12.10.05 | 5:53PM

The founder of Liberty, where I was an editorial intern in 2002, has died. Read the tributes by Jesse Walker and Brian Doherty, who knew Bill longer than I did.

Working at Liberty was often terrible -- Doherty's line about it being "more like being manservant to a wealthy eccentric than a journalism intern" is dead on. And I did the job very poorly, ultimately quitting midway through my internship with an email. But the long conversations with Bill were well worth the experience. He was a walking encyclopedia of the internal wranglings within the libertarian movement; he knew everybody, and had their number. (Murray Rothbard did not invent libertarianism in his living room!) I'm very, very glad to have known him, and sad to hear that he's gone. My condolences especially to his wonderful wife Kathy.

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