The Spectacle Blog

Re: BBS Revisited

By on 12.9.05 | 4:07PM

J.P., like any self-respecting nerdy kid I too frequented bulletin board services in the early '90s. Now that I think of it, I've been using the Internet for political debate since 1994, when I frequented local BBS's in Missoula to favor Sen. Conrad Burns in his reelection bid. Otherwise, most services had fun games, etc.

But priests telling folks to gather 'round the computer? Bite your tongue! These are pastors -- men of the cloth but not the collar.

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Bulletin Board Services Revisited

By on 12.9.05 | 3:11PM

Julian Sanchez has a great story up (I was late in getting to it, though I try reading him often) about our Internet's humble and cultish origins. Here's an excerpt:

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Mitt Romney’s Balancing Act

By on 12.9.05 | 2:51PM

Pro-life or not? Gov. Romney is having a hard time making up his mind. He advertised himself as pro-abortion friendly to get elected in Massachusetts, then earlier this year sent signals to the right that he's an undercover pro-lifer. Now he's vacillating in the same week. Earlier this week, he supported an exemption in the new requirement that hospitals distribute the Plan B morning after pill for hospitals that objected on moral or religious grounds (i.e., Catholic ones). After his lieutenant governor slammed the position, Romney's legal counsel interpreted the statute yesterday so as not to exempt such private hospitals.

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Lions and Witches and Wardrobes, Oh My!

By on 12.9.05 | 1:29PM

True to Lewis. True to the story. Most of all, true to the best spirit of movie-making.

Last night's lucky audience at the Springfield AMC Theater -- the first people in the DC area to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe -- were not disappointed. Cheers, laughs, chills and lumps in throats abounded. One of those rare movies that will be a "must buy" when it is released on DVD.

The performances were A-one (the four kids were perfect and the Cockney-accented Beaver was spot on), as were the effects, the landscapes, the score and the dialogue which hewed closely to that of the book. On film. it remained one of those true children's stories that can engage and enthrall the adult imagination as well.

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For Posterity

By on 12.9.05 | 1:05PM

I was tracking down a web location for the Kerry spokesman's now-infamous comment about Ken Mehlman and Rush Limbaugh. It was read aloud on Wolf Blitzer's show Tuesday. The transcript is here.

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Garden State Produce

By on 12.9.05 | 12:50PM

New Jersey's governor-elect Jon Corzine came through the other day by tapping Rep. Bob Menendez to fill his vacated Senate seat. Some partisans opponents of the nomination couldn't be more outraged. But the New York Times? Listen to its editorializing:

... since entering politics as a corruption-fighting mayor of Union City, N.J., Mr. Menendez has become a proponent of business as usual....Most recently, Mr. Menendez has failed to answer questions about his relationship with Kay LiCausi, a young former aide of his. He has helped her get hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying contracts and political consulting work....The last elected governor, James McGreevey, had to resign over such a situation. And Mr. Corzine got involved with the head of a union representing state workers, then forgave her a loan of more than $400,000 when the relationship ended....

Not since Rome has a one-party state had so many main squeezes on the imperial payroll.

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Simmering Scandal

By on 12.9.05 | 12:17PM

The Abramoff octupus has many tentacles. The Sacramento Bee today covers one of them involving a former congressional aide turned lobbyist who already has invoked the Fifth Amendment in front of John McCain. Although not charged with wrongdoing, he has apparently yet to explain why he billed his membership in Washington's University Club as an expenditure to be covered by the Mississippi Choctaws. Meanwhile, for an under six-figure fee from each he has brought millions in federal money to two Sacramento-area towns, which couldn't be happier with his good work. Nothing illegal there. So why the story?

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Our Next Jimmy Carter?

By on 12.9.05 | 11:48AM

In light of Bill Clinton's Dubai comments undermining American foreign policy, this news is particularly disturbing: the former president is headed to Montreal today to speak at a United Nations climate change conference.

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Re: Computer Christmas

By on 12.9.05 | 10:18AM

Dave, that reminds me of the time everyone thought using the com-pu-ter would enable them to work from home every day, exhibiting the endless possibilities of that old dream, virtual reality. The idea of a DVD supplanting church is ridiculous; the idea that "megachurches" would forsake their obligation of worship on Christ's birthday is quite another. This reminds me of a conversation I had once with an evangelical family member of a friend. When I asked her what denomination she was, she said "Just Christian. I don't like to get all caught up in the dogma." Far be it for me to criticize someone who found her faith, but isn't dogma important too, particularly, say, when it comes to attending church on Christmas?

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Mayor Daley on the Couch

By on 12.9.05 | 9:59AM

Chicago scandals have left the good mayor in need of a hug:

"I wish I could be, but I'm not ... on top of everything. I'm not Superman. ... I don't have eyes in the back of my head. ... You delegate responsibility and, when it happens, you correct it. You can't dwell on it. ... It happens in the public sector. It happens in the private sector. When it happens, you try to do the best you can," Daley said.

"People give me a public trust. ... When [corruption] takes place, I get mad at myself. You get depressed. You get upset. But you lift yourself up. ... It's been a difficult, tough year. But you don't collapse. You don't fall down and stay down. ... Just because there's a challenge there and an obstacle, you don't collapse and give up. ... You keep your vision strong. ... These challenges I have today, I'm gonna overcome those challenges."

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