The Spectacle Blog

On Meeting Fred Lynn

By on 4.12.16 | 1:08PM

A short while ago I got a chance to meet Fred Lynn.

For those of you outside of Boston or not of a certain age, Fred Lynn was the man in 1975. He was first player in MLB history to win AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP honors in the same the year. Only Ichiro Suzuki has achieved the distinction since. In 1975, the Red Sox would win an AL pennant and play a classic World Series against the Cincinnati Reds falling short in seven games. Lynn would also win the AL batting title in 1979.

After the 1980 season, Lynn signed as a free agent with the California Angels. He would go on to play for the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers before finishing his playing career with the San Diego Padres in 1990.

Chicago Gig

By on 4.12.16 | 12:43PM

Spectator friends in the Chicago area are invited to a presentation I’m giving Thursday evening at the Heartland Institute, 3939 North Wilkie Road, Arlington Heights IL 60004, 312/377-4000. It’s a 5:30 to 8:30 pm event and if you can make it please come up and introduce yourself to me. I’ll be speaking about my new book, on how the rise in income immobility is the key to the election and how it’s the Democrats and their friends who have made us a class society.

Proof That Politicians Say the Same Things ALL THE TIME

By on 4.12.16 | 12:33PM

The more you pay attention to politicians, the more you realize like a broken record… they say the same things all the time.

Sometimes, as in the case of Marco Rubio in his worst debate performance ever, it’s a mini-stump speech which you can agonizingly re-watch here.

But how much do politicos actually use the same words?

In honor of Freedom Day, which was co-founded by Frayda Levy and celebrates the meaning of freedom and its relevance in modern society, Quorum, a data analytic startup in Washington, D.C., analyzed just how much certain words were used by politicians and by whom they were used.

Quorum analyzed every press release, floor statement, tweet, and Facebook post from all 535 members of the 114th Congress looking for the use of the following words:

  • Freedom
  • Liberty
  • Justice
  • Equality
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • Civil Rights
  • Fairness
  • Capitalism
  • Socialism

Here’s how the top 5 ranked:

Gains: Or What’s in a Book Title?

By on 4.11.16 | 3:54PM

Saturday’s mail brought a copy of Peter Lindert’s and Jeffrey Williamson’s new book, Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700. I’ve not yet read as much as the first page, but I’m already eager to read the whole book.

But … but … I here register a cavil. The main title irritates me. If this book is about the economic growth of America over the past 300+ years, the title suggests that the dominant feature of that growth — the essential and most notable outcome of that growth — is that it has been unequal. This title mistakenly suggests that the main story of America’s economy is inequality.

China Must Confront Its North Korea Problem

By on 4.11.16 | 3:22PM

Great powers usually have client states. Although a sign of influence, the latter often are more trouble than they are worth. North Korea increasingly appears that way for Beijing.

The Chinese-North Korean relationship was oft said to be like lips and teeth, forged in blood during the Korean War. But even then, the relationship was fraught with tension.

Today those look like the “good ol’ days.” There is little doubt that the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has lost the support of Chinese public opinion.

Academics and analysts outside of government also show little love for China’s one ally, which only takes and never gives. Top officials no longer attempt to disguise their frustration with the North’s behavior.

The Kim regime has returned ill-disguised contempt. Emissaries from the People’s Republic of China came and went as the North Korean leader failed to make even a pretense of listening.

Thoughts on The Trump Campaign’s Pathetic Accusation of “Gestapo Tactics” Against Cruz

By on 4.11.16 | 12:27PM

In an interview with NBC's Meet the Press yesterday, new Donald Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort claimed Ted Cruz was using "Gestapo tactics" at various state GOP Conventions including Colorado where Cruz swept Trump over the weekend.

Somehow I doubt Cruz hired an army of blond men to rouse Republicans out of their sleep and tell them to vote for Cruz or never see their families again. Invoking the Nazis is utterly pathetic, but pathetic is what I have come to expect of the Trump campaign.

Manafort also claimed that Cruz "wasn't playing by the rules." No, Cruz is absolutely playing by the rules. If the Trump campaign had actually bothered to study delegate selection procedure at the state GOP level instead of threatening riots at the RNC, they wouldn't find themselves in this situation. A situation of their own making.

Our Friends at CEI Face a Subpoena Over Climate Dissent

By on 4.10.16 | 9:44PM

The campaign to attach legal consequences to supposed “climate denial” has now crossed a fateful line. On Apri 7:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organization’s materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore….

The subpoena requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.

Canada’s NDP Takes a Leap & Ousts Thomas Mulcair

By on 4.10.16 | 6:27PM

Today, delegates at the Federal NDP Convention in Edmonton voted to oust leader Thomas Mulcair and have a race for a successor. Mulcair appealed to delegates to remain as leader. Although a simple majority of delegates would have technically kept his job, but in February outgoing NDP President Rebecca Blaikie (basically the equivalent of being Chair of the Democratic National Committee) said Mulcair needed 70% of support from delegates to carry on. Mulcair will remain leader until his successor is chosen. 

The Attack on Mark Levin

By on 4.9.16 | 11:12AM

Well, this is just great.

Amid the usual clamor of a hot presidential primary season, over here at the Conservative Tree House, someone named “sundance” posted this:

The Senate Conservatives Fund (PAC) purchasing massive quantities ($400,000) of Mark Levin’s books in exchange for favorable candidacy political opinion. Conveniently Hidden by the radio host who avoids mentioning the financial conflict created.

Then again, Levin never informed his audience of his family working within the Staff of Senator Ted Cruz either. Does Levin’s endorsement, when contrast against the crony-constitutional advocacy, clarify with a little sunlight? You decide.

OK, Sundance. I’ve decided.

Ross Stripling Stripped of Chance To Throw No-Hitter in MLB Debut

By on 4.9.16 | 3:00AM

The Los Angeles Dodgers did not know what to expect of pitcher Ross Stripling in his MLB debut.

Stripling, who was named the Dodgers' fifth starter after injuries to Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon Beachy and Mike Bolsinger, would exceed all expectations by not allowing a hit against the San Francisco Giants.

However, Stripling was deprived of the chance to become the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his MLB debut since Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bumpus Jones in 1892 when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed Stripling after walking Angel Pagan 7 1/3 innings into his masterpiece. Even Giants fans booed Stripling's removal.

Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher promptly gave up a game tying hit to Trevor Brown. Minutes later, Roberts was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. It was the first time in nearly 20 years as a player or coach that Roberts had ever been ejected from a game. Somehow I have a feeling he won't go 20 years before his next ejection.

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