The Spectacle Blog

Jacques Parizeau, R.I.P.

By on 6.2.15 | 11:06PM

Former Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau passed away yesterday following a long illness. He was 84.

An economist by trade, Parizeau would be a key figure in developing the Quebec Pension Plan and the nationalization of Hydro Quebec. Rene Levesque would name him Minister of Finance after the Parti Quebecois' election victory in 1976. Parizeau would have a falling out with Levesque in 1984 when he and several other cabinet ministers believed that Levesque had gone soft on independence following the loss in the 1980 Quebec Referendum and the establishment of the Canadian Constitution in 1982. Parizeau would become PQ leader in 1989 and would be elected Premier in 1994. 

Parizeau was in office during the second Quebec referendum in 1995. After initially leading the Yes campaign, he took a back seat to the more charismatic Bloc Quebecois leader Lucien Bouchard who had survived flesh eating disease nearly a year earlier. Bouchard galvanized the Yes forces and came within a few thousand votes of separating from Canada. 

Suspected Jihadist Shot Dead After Confrontation in Boston

By on 6.2.15 | 10:28PM

A suspected jihadist who had been under 24-hour surveillance was shot and killed this morning following a confrontation with a Boston police officer and a FBI agent in a CVS parking lot in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale.

The police officer and FBI agent approached 26-year old Usaama Rahim and Rahim pulled a military knife on them and forced them to retreat until they acted in self-defense. It is alleged that Rahim had been radicalized online by ISIS and had recently come to attention of the joint task force because of this activity. 

The fact that Rahim would pull a weapon when approached by law enforcement indicates he was an imminent threat and a danger to the public. This city does not need another Boston Marathon attack. 

Funny, Obama Doesn’t Look Jewish

By on 6.2.15 | 9:50PM

President Obama reportedly told David Axelrod, "You know, I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office. For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse,  anti-Semitic, it hurts.”

Funny, he doesn't look Jewish.

As for those hurt feelings, Obama could alleviate them by not insisting on lionizing Iran while villifying Israel. 

But this isn't the first time he's said that sort of thing. Three years ago, Obama claimed he knew more about Judaism than any of his predecessors. As Bill Kristol noted at the time, both John Adams and James Monroe could read Hebrew. I'd like to see Obama read Hebrew without the aid of a teleprompter.

MoveOn.org Abandons “Run Warren Run”

By on 6.2.15 | 12:36PM

Now that Bernie Sanders is in the race, there seems to be no need for two populist progressives with terrible hairdos to share the stage. 

Attendance at "Run Warren Run" events has dwindled from the teens to the single digits as the last vestiges of hippiedom turn their Rascal scooters towards the bright light of Bernie. Warren's committed cadre of lily-white liberal Democrats who consider themselves experts on knowing how poor people should run their lives have found a new king to serve, and one that is already doing the dirty work of moving Hillary Clinton back to her leftward roots with talk of hunger-inducing deodorant and expensive trainers. And as such, the Run Warren Run movement has finally lost its most committed community organizers, the employees of MoveOn.org.

Valerie Jarrett Secretly Lobbying Big Corporations To Support UN Climate Talks

By on 6.2.15 | 11:43AM

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett is quietly working behind the scenes to build a coalition of major U.S. corporations to back President Barack Obama’s goal of hashing out a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the upcoming United Nations summit in Paris.

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a letter  that outlines how, by the end of June, Obama is looking to build a coalition of businesses to show support for UN climate talks. After that, the White House will then try to grow this group of businesses to 250 in the run up to the Paris talks this November.

The way the letter is written, it’s likely being circulated by someone or some group on behalf of the White House. The source could not disclose who was circulating the letter on the White House’s behalf, but did confirm the business they work for was approached to support the Paris climate talks.

Hillary Clinton Takes Big Hit In The Polls

By on 6.2.15 | 11:32AM

A new set of polls spell bad news for Democratic Presidential front runner Hillary Clinton.

CNN ORC poll released Tuesday found that 50 percent of Americans view Hillary Clinton unfavorably, the worst the candidate has been viewed since March 2001. In a one on one match up with any top Republican contender, she’s closer than ever to losing.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of people don’t think Clinton is trustworthy, up from 49 percent in March, and only 47 percent believe she actually cares about them, down from 53 percent in July. On top of that, 50 percent say she doesn’t inspire confidence, up from 42 percent in March.

The loss of popularity comes mostly from Independents. A slew of scandals may have finally stuck to Clinton. Benghazi, her emails, Clinton foundation corruption and more have eroded the public’s trust.

Wisconsin Might Destroy Tenure For Professors

By on 6.2.15 | 11:28AM

Lawmakers in Wisconsin advanced a daring proposal made by Gov. Scott Walker that would eliminate state laws guaranteeing faculty tenure at state universities, a dramatic potential shift that has faculty and administrators up in arms.

The Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 Friday to approve a proposal that would eliminate tenure from state law and allow tenured faculty to be laid off even if a school isn’t in a declared financial emergency. The proposal would also weaken faculty influence in setting policy and would cut the University of Wisconsin (UW)’s budget by $250 million over the next two years, down from a $300 million cut that was proposed by Walker.

The elimination of tenure protections was first suggested by Walker back in February, but was considered a longshot proposal. The Joint Finance Committee, however, is tremendously influential, and its decision to send the rollback to the floor of the legislature is seen as making passage much more likely.

Supreme Court Vindicates Right To Say Insane Things On The Internet

By on 6.2.15 | 11:21AM

The Supreme Court Monday ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania man who was convicted in federal court for statements he made on Facebook, holding that current federal law is too broad in what it classifies as criminally threatening statements.

The case, Elonis v. United States, began back in 2010. After his wife left him, Anthony Douglas Elonis began posting surreal statements on Facebook, such as ”Enough elementary schools in a ten mile radius to initiate the most heinous school shooting ever imagined, and hell hath no fury like a crazy man in a kindergarten class.” Elonis also fantasized about slashing the throat of an FBI agent and torturing his ex-wife to death. When his wife received a protective order against him, he posted “Is it thick enough to stop a bullet?”

TSA Has 5% Success Rate in Locating Hidden Bombs

By on 6.1.15 | 5:39PM

Last time I traveled, I went through Fort Lauderdale Airport. Its sister airport, nearby Miami International, has tons of traffic, long security lines, and mile-long walks to get to your gate. Ft. Lauderdale, on the other hand, has a group of rabid TSA agents who take advantage of the relatively weak crowd around their security checkpoints to act like complete totalitarian lunatics. Typically, I'm happy to comply with TSA regulations. After all, they're just doing their job, even if I think they represent the jackbooted foot of the police state smashing the very foundations of our liberty beneath its heal. This time, molested and harassed, with my belongings spilling off the conveyor belt, I was pretty much ready to announce my one-woman crusade to abolish the Transportation Safety Administration before the end of the fiscal year.

California Adult Film Stars May Be Required to Wear Goggles

By on 6.1.15 | 5:02PM

If California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has anything to say about it, actors and actresses in California's adult film industry will have to have an extra layer of protection the next time they...ahem...get to work. 

The bill, prompted by concerns over HIV and AIDS transmission in the adult fim industry, hasn't made it very far in the legislature, but it covers (pun intended) a variety of safety precautions that adult film stars may now have to take to keep their bodily fluids mostly to themselves. The bill calls for compuslory condom use as well as employer-provided protective equipment including gloves for cleaning and, yes, protective eyewear so that when things get hot and heavy, everyone's vision is adequately defended. 

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