The Spectacle Blog

Belgian Police Did Not Waffle in Face of Islamic Terror

By on 1.15.15 | 3:58PM

Kudos to Belgian police for killing at least two members of a terror cell in Verviers linked to ISIS that was apparently planning a "Belgian Charlie Hebdo".

Unfortunately, there's plenty more where that came from. But at least it can be said that today Belgian police did not waffle when faced with Islamic terror.

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Valerie Jarrett: We Handled that Paris Thing Pretty Well, Huh?

By on 1.15.15 | 3:50PM

John Kerry is en route to France for a long weekend as I type, which I'm sure France is utterly thrilled about, and the White House has moved on to pursuing other, more important projects than the immediate threat posed by global terrorism, like whether the Commander in Chief will have sufficient appetizers on hand to watch every NFL playoff game airing this weekend. 

And, of course, if anyone deserves some time off, it's the White House. After all, they think they've done a banner job handling all of this Paris nonsense, at least according to Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, who appeared on CNN this morning to sing the praises of the Administration's approach to foreign affairs.

CNN HOST: Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Paris, he says he wants to share a big hug with the French people, do you and President Obama regret not sending someone to Paris sooner? 

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Egyptian President Sisi’s Religious Revolution Appears To Be On Hold

By on 1.15.15 | 3:36PM

At the beginning of year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for a "religious revolution" within Islamic thinking. He asked, "Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?” Sisi went on to say "This umma (Islamic world) is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

As Raymond Ibrahim wrote in a column that was reprinted here at The American Spectator earlier this month, "In other words, Islamic terrorism and chaos is not a product of grievance, territorial disputes, colonialism, Israel, offensive cartoons, or anything else the West points to. It’s a product of their “own hands.”

Ibrahim originally published his column on January 7th, the same day the Charlie Hebdo murders took place in Paris.

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Washington Post Reporter to Stand Trial in Iran

By on 1.15.15 | 1:03PM

While negotiations between the Obama Administration and Iran (along with the other P5 + 1 nations) have resumed over Iran's nuclear program, Iran has seen fit to put a reporter for The Washington Post on trial.

Iran's state news agency announced that Jason Rezaian, who serves as the Post's Tehran correspondent, will stand trial though they did not disclose the nature of the charges against Rezaian.

Rezaian was arrested back in July along with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi although she was subsequently released in October.

Charges were laid against Rezaian last month. At the time, Secretary of State John Kerry put out the following statement:

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Justin Bieber Crashes CA Log Cabin Republican Meeting

By on 1.15.15 | 12:57PM

Who says Republicans aren't actively attracting the attention of popular culture? 

Well, me. But at least Justin Bieber is interested, for better or worse. Unconcerned that State Social House's private dining area, the Attic, had already been reserved by the Los Angeles chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans for their annual meeting, Justin Bieber waltzed in and chatted away with a small group of friends while the group discussed gay rights and listened to a talk by Ronald Reagan's personal assistant Peggy Grande. 

He prides himself on being something of a hunk - if his latest Calvin Klein shoot is anything to go by.

So Justin Bieber probably won't take too kindly to being mistaken for a girl when he dined out at one of his favourite restaurants this week.

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Thoughts on the 87th Academy Award Nominations UPDATED

By on 1.15.15 | 11:51AM

The nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning and the following seven movies were nominated for Best Picture:

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Of the seven movies nominated, I have only seen one - Boyhood. I saw it last August with my brothers in Toronto. None of us liked it all that much. I mean the concept of shooting a film over 12 years is unique. But when the movie ended I felt like 12 years of my life had passed and not in a good way. I simply didn't find the story to be very compelling.

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Oh No! Ted Cruz Was Once Ticketed for an Unopened Case of Beer

By on 1.14.15 | 6:49PM

With a burgeoning primary comes Freedom of Information Act requests, and three reporters at Buzzfeed (three reporters), were apparently tasked with using FOIA to reveal the horrors of Ted Cruz's adolescent years. Pursuant to that mission, they came into possession of Cruz's 2003 application to be Solicitor General of Texas. 

In a shocking revelation from the documents that surprises absolutely no one who spent any fraction of their late teens in the company of other people in their late teens, it turns out Ted Cruz was once ticketed for possessing alcohol as a minor, after a 1987 police stop that revealed an unopened case of cheap beer in his trunk. The Presidential contender then pled guilty to the misdemeanor. And then, decades later, an Internet news organization is utterly scandalized.

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Boston Marathon Bomber’s Lawyers Unsuccessfully Move to Delay Trial Over Charlie Hebdo

By on 1.14.15 | 4:24PM

Lawyers for Dzohkar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber, moved to have yet another delay of their client's trial citing the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

However, it is clear that Tsarnaev's attorneys are merely the forestalling the inevitable. Federal judge George A. O'Toole, Jr. was wise to it and denied the motion and jury selection will proceed. The trial is scheduled to begin on January 26th.

Now when I attended the Je Suis Charlie rally in Boston Common on Sunday, the Boston Marathon bombings did come up in a conversation I had with a friend of mine who I had not seen in years. He is a rare breed: a conservative who lives in Cambridge. Anyhow, he told me how his son had attended Cambridge Latin & Rindge with him and knew him slightly. His son would see Tsarnaev at parties and basically described him as a stoner.

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Jimmy Carter Approves of Your Kids Listening to Beyonce

By on 1.14.15 | 4:21PM

Just in case you were wondering, in addition to Jimmy Carter's bewildering comments about France and Israel, he's also expressed some vocal opposition to Mike Huckabee's theory that Beyonce is tearing at the delicate social fabric that joins our proud nation together. According to Jimmy Carter, whose opinions are still surprisingly interesting to the news media despite his disasterous track record on basically everything except running a non-profit (and that includes peanut farming), the Obamas are not terrible parents because they support their daughters' choices in music. 

Because, obviously.

Former President Jimmy Carter defended Barack Obama's parenting skills Wednesday, after former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee expressed dismay that the President would let his teenage daughters listen to singer Beyoncé.

"I think the President is doing a good job," Carter said when TMZ caught up with him to ask about Huckabee's comments.

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Obama Admin & Iran Resume Nuclear Talks

By on 1.14.15 | 3:37PM

Perhaps in an effort to make the world forget about the American absence during Sunday's rally in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif have resumed nuclear talks along with the other P5 +1 nations in Geneva.

The parties failed to reach an agreement twice last year. The current deadline is June 30th.

The Obama Administration wants an agreement more than life itself. If the Obama Administration was prepared to drop its demands of Iran not to enrich uranium and dismantle its centrifuges, Lord only knows what they will give in on this time around. Meanwhile, Iran is perfectly happy to string the Obama Administration along. I say no agreement is better than a bad agreement. If Iran does sign a nuclear agreement next summer, it won't mean anything if they've developed a nuclear weapon.

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