The Spectacle Blog

Et Tu, Ben? [Updated]

By on 3.4.15 | 5:03PM

[UPDATE: I've made no changes to the text below. I'm just adding a personal thought here. On the rare occasion that I write about social issues, even knowing that my audience on these pages is more socially conservative than I am, I'm struck by the sharpness of the comments. People are so sure that being gay is a choice even though I bet they wouldn't say that their being heterosexual is a choice. People use words like "deviant" and compare homosexuality to pedophilia. I know I'm not going to change the minds of people who believe and say such things, but for the record I find those comments reprehensible and ignorant.]

I'm a big fan of Dr. Ben Carson as a spokesman for conservative principles. I'm not such a fan of his running for president.

But whatever he does, if he intends to be in the public's consciousness and to try to influence public opinion, he needs to be credible.

And for those conservatives who want to really make a difference in American politics, they need to be especially credible with moderates, independents, and Millennials.

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Alex Johnson, R.I.P.

By on 3.4.15 | 4:25PM

Former big league outfielder Alex Johnson passed away on February 28th of cancer. He was 72.

A native of Detroit, Johnson signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 and would debut with the team in 1964. That was the year when the Phillies collapsed in the final two weeks of the season to be eclipsed by the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL pennant.

The Phillies traded Johnson to the Cardinals prior to the 1966 season along with Pat Corrales and Art Mahaffey for one time NL MVP Dick Groat, future NL President Bill White and future cultural icon Bob Uecker.

Johnson did not distinguish himself with either the Phillies or the Cardinals. But this would change when he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds for Dick Simpson prior to the 1968 season. Johnson hit .312 with the Reds in 1968 and .315 with the Reds in 1969 finishing fourth and sixth in the NL batting race, respectively. His teammate Pete Rose would win two of his three career NL batting titles in both of those seasons.

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Even Al-Arabiya Thinks Netanyahu is Right

By on 3.4.15 | 4:24PM


To get an idea of just how successful Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress yesterday was please take a look at this editorial in Al-Arabiya written by Faisal J. Abbas:

It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does.

However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.

The Israeli PM managed to hit the nail right on the head when he said that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that “terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum” during a recent ceremony held in Tel Aviv to thank outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz for his role during “challenging” times.

In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region.

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DOJ Ferguson Report Vindicates Officer Darren Wilson

By on 3.4.15 | 4:14PM

Last week, the DOJ quietly closed the chapter on its investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri incident that sparked protests across the US. Turns out, as with the Zimmerman case in Florida, the DOJ was unable to find any indication that Officer Darren Wilson had violated Michael Brown's civil rights when he confronted and shot Brown in what he claimed to be self-defense following an altercation. 

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How Long?

By on 3.4.15 | 3:47PM

Europeans may as well try pacifism and bone-idleness, as starting two world wars that killed more than a hundred million people didn’t work out so well for them (or for the rest of the world, come to that). At least all those idle hours gives them more time to think of things to criticize America for. Those on the Left like to refer to this America-derangement-syndrome as sophistication. I call it penis envy.

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Scott Walker Causing Stir in Wisconsin With Too-Hot Spokeswomen

By on 3.4.15 | 3:41PM

The media has not yet come to learn that Scott Walker is driven by his loyal opposition. Everything they do, Scott Walker gobbles up like he's collecting the souls of the faithful departed. And with each passing "scandal," Scott Walker only grows stronger. Their anger, their fear, their aggression. They are mother's milk to the second term Wisconsin governor.

Unable to pin on him the ludicrous claim that he believes teachers unions and ISIS are one and the same - based on a throwaway comment he made, it seemed, specifically to draw media ire - the local media in Wisconsin have turned to more pressing, nearby matters, such as why Scott Walker's spokeswomen are just so darned hot.

Isthmus, an alternative weekly newspaper out of Madison, raised the allegation in Tell All, a regular advice column.

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Is The NYT Letting Hillary Hang Out to Dry?

By on 3.4.15 | 10:20AM

What I find most intriguing about the Hillary Clinton e-mail story is that it was broken by The New York Times.

If the NYT was vested in getting Hillary elected to the White House would it feature such a story?

Of course, the NYT wants a Democrat to succeed Barack Obama, preferably a woman. But Hillary isn't the only one who can fill those shoes now with the emergence of Elizabeth Warren.

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Obama Admits He Doesn’t Trust Iran, But Still Wants to Make a Deal Anyway

By on 3.3.15 | 5:06PM

I got to see President Obama's response to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech while I was eating lunch. I'm surprised I managed to keep my food down.

Obama spoke to the media in the Oval Office before meeting with new Defense Secretary Ash Carter. While the headlines from Obama's response was that Bibi offered "nothing new" and had "no viable alternatives" to the administration's present course of action, I was struck by something else Obama said in response to a question from Julie Pace of the AP about the appropriateness of Netanyahu's speech. Here is the part that caught my attention:

And I think it's important for us to stay focused on the problem at hand. And the specific problem that is being debated right now is not whether we trust the Iranian regime or not -- we don’t trust them. It's not whether Iran engages in destabilizing activities -- everybody agrees with that. The central question is, how can we stop them from getting a nuclear weapon.

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Nancy Pelosi “Near Tears” After Netanyahu Speech

By on 3.3.15 | 5:01PM

Benjamin Netanyahu is basically a badass. His speech today, in front of a joint session of Congress, delivered what was expected and, hopefully, has changed the focus of the conversation over Iran from one of whether the speech was appropriate, to whether the administration's actions can possibly have any effect on Iran's nuclear weapons program. The answer to the later is, quite obviously, from Bibi's speech and elsewhere, pretty much "no."

But not everyone was as positively impacted by Bibi's speech. Nancy Pelosi, for example, who sat in the chamber and rolled her eyes through Netanyahu's speech rather than skipping it like some of her colleagues, was "near tears," but not in a good way.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, saying the Israeli prime minister's speech to Congress was an "insult" to the country.

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Make That 51 Democrats; Elizabeth Warren a No-Show to Bibi’s Speech

By on 3.3.15 | 4:18PM

Last night, I listed the 50 Democrats who wouldn't be in attendance in Congress to hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech.

Well, Elizabeth Warren made it 51. I can't say I'm surprised given her opposition to sanctions against Iran.

This is something we should remember if she decides to run for President.

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