The Spectacle Blog

The Parable of the Pharisee Conservative

By on 4.17.14 | 11:58AM

I thank thee Lord that I am not like those other conservatives. 

Those xenophobes, nativists, obsessives about border security, drinkers of tea, and other bitter enders.

For I support comprehensive immigration reform.

I sup with the lords of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the chiefs of the AFL-CIO, and the titans of Silicon Valley.

I am welcomed at the editorial houses of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

I receiveith gold from George Soros, Bill Marriott and Mark Zuckerberg, and praise from the mainstream media, the Gang of Eight, and the princes of tourism.  

Although my labors would enrich the treasuries of Corporate Mammon at the expense of the “least among us” of my fellow Americans of all races and ethnicities by lowering their wages and increasing their unemployment—I trust in my own righteousness.

For I am the Pharisee conservative.

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Limits on Campaign Contributions Serve Incumbents

By on 4.17.14 | 11:44AM

Thomas Sowell knows why politicians on both sides of the aisle are so upset that the Supreme Court overturned limits on campaign contributions—because such restrictions hurt political challengers and protect incumbents. I think he hit the nail on the head:

The recent Supreme Court decision over-ruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says—free speech for everybody.

Opponents say killing these limits will lead to electoral corruption. What exactly do they mean? President Obama cries that removing restrictions “will open the floodgates for special interests.” Sowell explains, “Those unfamiliar with political rhetoric may not know that ‘special interests’ mean people who support your opponents":

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Morning Round-Up 4-17

By on 4.17.14 | 10:32AM

Feature of the Day: The Crashes That Changed Plane Designs Forever

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. Oklahoma Gay-Marriage Case Before US Appeals Court

Politico

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Pope Francis in Full

By on 4.17.14 | 1:19AM

Pope Francis’s recent remarks on clerical sexual abuse received plenty of deserved attention in the secular press. Less attention, however, has been paid to other no less emphatic comments he made in that same appearance, perhaps because they were so thoroughly traditional in reaffirming, in his words, “the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.”

What’s more, Francis decried all efforts at “educational experimentation with children,” noting that “The horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century have not disappeared.”

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Eugenics Makes a Comeback

By on 4.16.14 | 5:22PM

Shrouded in the garb of “reproductive freedom” and “equality," President Obama is launching a new eugenics initiative through a program designed to reduce pregnancies and births among teenage black and Hispanic women.

As reported by the Daily Caller, the Centers for Disease Control described the purpose of the program:

to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative, multicomponent, communitywide initiatives in reducing rates of teen pregnancy and births in communities with the highest rates, with a focus on reaching African American and Latino/Hispanic youth aged 15–19 years.

No doubt America’s teen pregnancy rate is too high, but the wording of this mission statement is clear: stop the pregnancies, but also stop the births. This isn’t a campaign for stronger families or abstinence, but rather for contraceptives and ultimately abortions intended to reduce the black and Hispanic populations.

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Hate Crimes? Me Too!

By on 4.16.14 | 1:44PM

Michael McGough of the Los Angeles Times offered some clearheaded thinking about so called "hate crimes" in his column yesterday. McGough wrote in the wake of the tragic killings allegedly perpetrated in Kansas City by Frazier Glenn Cross, an elderly Nazi sympathizer and contributor to the macbre mystique around creeps with three names. Cross will likely be prosecuted under hate crime legislation. His victims were not Jewish, but presumably he thought they were, as his targets were Jewish community centers. And so McGough made this provocative and rightheaded statement: "[T]hese killings are a reminder of the perplexities that surround hate-crime laws. No one would suggest that the loss of these lives would be any less horrible if the gunman had chosen his victims at random and without regard to their (assumed) religion."

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Morning Round-Up 4-16

By on 4.16.14 | 10:10AM

Feature of the Day: Why Are So Many Older Veterans Committing Suicide?

Morning Headlines

Domestic                                                          

Associated Press

  1. End of NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program Ended
  2. Detroit Strikes 2nd Deal With Its Retirees

Politico

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Zander Hollander, R.I.P.

By on 4.16.14 | 12:11AM

Sports journalist and archivist Zander Hollander passed away on Friday of Alzheimer’s. He was 91.

Those of you who put up with my numerous articles and blog posts on baseball can blame Hollander. The very first baseball book I read was Hollander’s The Complete Handbook of Baseball — 1980 Seasonwhen I was 7 years old. My Mom bought the book for my Dad. Somehow it never made its way into his hands. Willie Stargell, who was 1979 Co-NL MVP with Keith Hernandez, was on the front cover and 1979 AL Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan was on the back cover. Both men sadly are no longer with us. 

There are things from that book that I still remember like Detroit Tigers catcher Lance Parrish being a former bodyguard for Tina Turner, San Diego Padres pitcher John Curtis was an essayist, and future NBA great Danny Ainge was trying to make the grade as a second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Will Photo Radar Finally End in Colorado

By on 4.15.14 | 10:30PM

Here in Colorado, a Republican state senator is taking his third shot at banning photo speed cameras and photo red light cameras. In large part due to Democrats' concerns with privacy following the revelations about NSA spying, Senator Scott Renfroe now has key Democratic support, including the president of the state senate and the speaker of the state house of representatives.

The Denver Post recently published an editorial arguing (unconvincingly) that the use of photo radar should be limited but not banned.

In my current piece for the Denver Post, I strongly disagree:

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_25570965/traffic-cameras-are-about-increasing-revenue-not-public

UPDATE: In testimony to the Colorado Senate committee hearing the photo radar ban bill, the Denver Auditor implicitly skewers the city's program with a few facts:

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Advantage Jolly: Sink Won’t Run

By on 4.15.14 | 5:51PM

Democrat Alex Sink announced Tuesday she will not run against Republican Congressman David Jolly in November for the 13th Congressional district seat in the U.S. House. Sink, a retired banker and former one-term Florida’s former Chief Financial Officer, lost a special election to Jolly in March for the remainder of the term of former Congressman Bill Young, who died in office in October.

The March election was a close one, with Jolly taking the seat by a little less than two points, about the margin of registered Republican voters in the district over Democrats. Most in the politics industry thought Sink would run again. Her late departure from the race makes it difficult for Democrats to come up with a strong candidate to oppose Jolly, who is a capable campaigner with views that are compatible with the congressional district, which includes the city of Clearwater and most of St. Petersburg.

Candidates must file for the race by May 2. The only other Democrat to express interest in running for the seat is the Rev. Manuel Sykes of St. Petersburg. Sykes is pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church and president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP.

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