The Spectacle Blog

Downes and Out

By on 11.29.05 | 11:26AM

Leave it to the New York Times to turn the death of the well-liked Pat Morita into an occasion of grievance against the "lousy system" in which Morita had prospered. "It's distressing to think that the life's work of one of the best-known, hardest-working Asian-American actors is mostly a collection of servile supporting roles," Lawrence Downes writes in a special op-ed. But if Morita was "servile," how could he have been the font of Eastern wisdom in the wildy popular "Karate Kid"? Was it "servile" of Morita to appear at the Democratic convention in 2000 to sing the National Anthem (a happy event not mentioned by Downes)? There he was, an American interned during World War II, charming the Staples Center audience and, as I recall, even sporting a pony tail! And, unlike Bill Clinton earlier that week, he never bowed to the delegates.

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Alito’s Way

By on 11.29.05 | 11:24AM

Judge Samuel Alito's confirmation process continues apace this week, and there should be some news. According to Senate leadership sources, the Senate Judiciary Committee expects to receive in the next couple of days his questionnaire. One expects it will be complete and pass muster with Sen. Arlen Specter. Also, word out of the Department of Justice is that there may be a data dump of sorts on Alito in the coming days, as well.

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Back to Muhammad Ali

By on 11.29.05 | 9:10AM

In the New York Sun today, Daniel Pipes explains why President Bush's bestowal of a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Muhammad Ali "represents...the nadir of his presidency." Did the president really have to praise Ali for "his beautiful soul" and as "a man of peace"?

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Newsflash: Homosexuality Divides Denominations

By on 11.29.05 | 7:52AM

Read all about it. The Globe spans faiths in anticipation of the release of the Vatican document today restricting active homosexuals from the Catholic priesthood.

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Abortionist as Hero

By on 11.29.05 | 7:48AM

The L.A. Times profiles Arkansas abortionist Dr. William F. Harrison. Brace yourself before reading this gruesome article. The piece is a shadow of objective journalism in its depiction of Harrison as one front in the abortion wars. But the author, Stephanie Simon, makes sure that the reader comes away with a benevolent view of the good doctor -- 20,000 abortions under his belt, and not a one in the third trimester -- and seeing abortion as the only option for his young "patients."

Still, there are a few moments of honesty. The author depicts being in the room during an abortion, bringing out the inhumanity of it all. And amazingly, Dr. Harrison admits he is "destroying life."

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Books Galore

By on 11.29.05 | 7:14AM

Sen. George Allen, Fred Barnes, Roger Ebert, Grover Norquist, Al Regnery, RET, and others have a few suggestions for your Christmas shopping. Don't miss TAS's annual Christmas book list.

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A Sad Day for the Republic

By on 11.28.05 | 7:05PM

Rep. Cunningham resigned from office after pleading guilty to taking bribes today. While it's a sad day for citizens who trust elected officials, there are two bright aspects: 1- Justice is apparently being served, and 2- Good for him for owning up to it like a man. These low standards shouldn't be so laudable, but that's the world in which we live.

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Bethell on WJR Detroit Tomorrow

By on 11.28.05 | 3:43PM

Catch Tom Bethell, TAS senior editor and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, on WJR 760 AM in Detroit tomorrow morning from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on the Frank Beckmann Show.

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Abortion Survivors?

By on 11.28.05 | 3:42PM

Yesterday the Sunday Times brought attention to the tragic fact that about 50 babies are born in Britain each year due to failed abortions. The likelihood of a baby’s survival increases with every week of gestation. Medical experts are now suggesting Britain no longer allow abortions beyond 18 weeks (6 weeks lower than its current 24 weeks) to avoid the risk of child survival.

The article also notes that it is not a crime when a fetus is successfully aborted inside the womb. But when the abortion fails and the child dies due to complications outside the womb, it is punishable as murder. Incidents like this highlight the grisly standard of when it is lawfully acceptable to terminate a life: only so long as it is inside a mother's womb. But should location of the body at the time of death be sufficient to determine what makes or doesn't make the act homicidal?

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