The Spectacle Blog

Baltimore is Burning!

By on 4.27.15 | 10:29PM

Baltimore is burning!

It would seem that everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake finally called in the Maryland National Guard. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan did not indicate when Rawlings-Blake made the call. While Hogan tried to be diplomatic he made a point of saying that he was waiting for her call. He must have waited a long time.

Yet as of this writing the National Guard are nowhere to be seen. Mayor Rawlings-Blake will impose a curfew tomorrow night. That's a day late, a few million dollars short and possibly some lives needlessly thrown away. Rawlings-Blake can call the rioters behavior "idiotic" but it was her idiocy which gave "those who wished to destroy things the space to do that" on Saturday night. With the police outnumbered and in retreat, he has now given the rioters the space to destroy Baltimore as we know it. 

Mayor of Baltimore: “We Gave Those Who Wish to Destroy Things Space to Do That”

By on 4.27.15 | 5:51PM

As I write this, the city of Baltimore is inching ever closer to martial law. Following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man who died of injuries -including a spinal injury - sustained in an arrest after police did not get him timely medical care, violent protests, which started Saturday night but had temporarily calmed, resumed. On Saturday, according to the New York Times, 31 adults and several juveniles were arrested, six police officers were injured and tens of thousands of dollars of damage was done to residential and commerical property.

Rushdie Blasts Writers Boycotting PEN Ceremony Honoring Charlie Hebdo

By on 4.27.15 | 12:58PM

Salman Rushdie has blasted several writers for boycotting PEN's ceremony next month in New York honoring the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with a freedom of expression courage award. Muslim terrorists stormed Charlie Hebdo's headquarters in Paris killing a dozen people including seven members of the magazine's staff.

Rushdie stated, “If PEN as a free-speech organisation can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organisation is not worth the name.”

He also tweeted, "The award will be given. PEN is holding firm. Just 6 pussies. Six Authors in Search of a bit of Character."

Among the six writers (or as Rushdie puts it, six pussies) is Canadian author Michael Ondaatje, best known for writing The English Patient for which he received the Booker Prize and was, of course, adapted into the Oscar winning film.

Camden Yards Briefly Locked Down Amid Rioting Over Death of Freddie Gray

By on 4.25.15 | 11:18PM

I learned of the rioting going on in Baltimore while watching the Red Sox-Orioles game. It came about during protests against Baltimore PD over the death of Freddie Gray while in their custody earlier this month. 

In the eighth inning, Red Sox play by play man Don Orsillo drew viewers attention to the scoreboard which informed fans to remain in the ballpark after the conclusion of the game on orders by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 

The game went into extra innings which the O's won in the bottom of the 10th on a walk off HR by David Lough. It's too bad the game didn't last a little longer because the fans could be preoccupied with something other than rioting. When the MLB Network showed Lough's HR, Scott Braun said that his homer "sent the fans home." I shouted at the TV, "No Scott. It didn't."

Fortunately, the lockdown was shortlived and fans were allowed to leave, but to proceed cautiously.

Now there's no question the Baltimore PD fibbed when they said that Gray was "arrested without force or incident". Gray had his spinal cord severed. If that isn't an incident then I don't know what is. Gray died of his injuries a week ago.

Hillary and The Dog That Didn’t Bark

By on 4.24.15 | 7:17PM

In the famous short story Silver Blaze, super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes is tipped off by "the curious incident of the dog" -- namely that a dog which often barked was, on the night in question, silent.

This is the context in which one should consider the assertion by former Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez that Hillary Clinton "never intervened" in State's decision to approve the sale by a Canadian firm of the controlling interest in one of the United States' most important uranium mines to the Russian government.

Huntley Schaller, R.I.P.

By on 4.23.15 | 11:03PM

This afternoon I learned that my friend Huntley Schaller lost his battle with cancer in late January. He was only 58.

Huntley was a professor of economics at Carleton University in Ottawa. We met through the NDP back in 1997 when we were both selected as delegates to the party's federal convention in Regina, Saskatchewan (where Huntley grew up) and got to know each other during the convention. 

Clinton Foundation Donors Also Got Big State Department Awards

By on 4.23.15 | 4:17PM

This isn't as damning as the Clinton story from this morning. Or that other story from this morning. Or that one from last week. Or that one from the week before. Or any of those Clinton stories in that book that's coming out. But it does substantiate the argument that Hillary Clinton wasn't completely removed from the Clinton Foundation's accounts receivable department.

It turn out that, if you, as a corporation, wanted to get a swanky award from the State Department while Hillary Clinton was in charge, just to commemorate your commitment to global humanitarianism, what you really had to do, aside from the occasional global humanitarian project, was to write a nice, fat check to Hillary Clinton's foundation. From Cisco to Coca-Cola, nearly every company nominated for or currently polishing a State Department award, gave big bucks to the Clinton non-profit enterprise. 

Suspected Iranian Arms Ships to Yemen Turning Around

By on 4.23.15 | 4:10PM

Fox News is reporting that "a convoy of Iranian ships" which are suspected to be carrying weapons for Houthi rebels in Yemen have turned around after US warships moved to the area to intercept them. The US and Iranian ships never made contact.

While some might suggest this represents Iran "blinking" in the face of American strength, the real reason is something else entirely:

The nuclear deal which President Obama is about to hand to the ayatollahs is so beneficial for the murderous Islamofascists' regional hegemonic ambitions by, as Bibi Netanyahu correctly put it, paving their way to having nuclear weapons, that they dare not risk throwing a wrench into the ongoing negotiations through confrontation over a much lower short-term priority. After all, supporting international radical Shi'ite terrorism will be just as available to them tomorrow but how often can you completely bamboozle the world's sole superpower?

Carly Fiorina Likely to be Next Presidential Campaign Launch

By on 4.23.15 | 1:29PM

It looks like Carly Fiorina will beat Dr. Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee out of the gate: she'll declare her intention to run for the Republican Presidential nomination on May 4th.

The former CEO of Hewlett Packard will, apparently, follow in the footsteps of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio by announcing with an online video and following up with a call for national press, according to the Wall Street Journal. If the reports are true, she will be the first Republican woman candidate in the field.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will launch her presidential campaign on May 4, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Fiorina, a Republican, will announce her campaign online, according to the WSJ.

Hillary Clinton Might Have Helped Russia Get Uranium in Return for Donations

By on 4.23.15 | 1:12PM

This story is a tad bit complicated, but I can boil it down for you a little. Maybe. Bottom line? Hillary Clinton's foundation took a heck of a lot of money from a company that basically gave Russia our Uranium. Which is a problem. 

When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, Russia, which was, at the time, looking to buy a lot of Uranium for some unspecified reason, made a deal with a Canadian Uranium company that controlled about 20% of America's Uranium deposits. Russia used a state-owned company to buy the Canadian corporation. At the same time, the Clinton Foundation coffers conveniently - or inconveniently - swelled with cash with the Canadian corporation. Oddly enough, Hillary Clinton's office, which had to approve the merger, happiliy signed on the dotted line.

And none of this is weird, right?