The Spectacle Blog

Many of Today’s Black Activists Sully Rosa Parks’ Legacy

By on 12.1.15 | 3:42PM

Sixty years ago today, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began when Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat. It should be noted that Parks was actually sitting in the "colored" section of the bus, but that section was moved by the bus driver behind Parks once the bus had an overflow of white passengers. It was then that she refused to give up her seat and was arrested for it. Although she was not the first to do so, her act would capture national and eventually global attention and would begin in earnest the process of desegregation of public accommodations and facilities in this country.

Barack Obama In Paris: Mass Shootings Don’t Happen Outside of America

By on 12.1.15 | 2:16PM

The news media is fairly sure that a man who lived in a shack in rural Colorado, who terrified his neighbors and routinely attracted the attention of law enforcement, was definitely motivated solely by a swath of videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials "donating" baby brains over glasses of merlot, when he shot a bunch of people in the general vicinity of a Planned Parenthood facility. Our elected leaders, though, have been more careful about ascribing the actions of a madman to talk radio hosts and bloggers. 

Latest Hillary Clinton Ad: “44 Boys is Too Many”

By on 12.1.15 | 1:43PM

Hillary Clinton will, eventually, make her entire campaign about her gender rather than her merits.  She has to, after all, since her only merit is basically her gender (at least as far as the #waronwomen voters are concerned). I mean, did you expect her to run on her foreign policy record? Her political experience? Her winning personality?

She no longer seems to be struggling with opposition in her own party, since Bernie Sanders appears to have reached critical mass (there are only so many people who are fine with socialism, and those people usually have their college final exams right about this time), and Martin O'Malley has no significant presence to speak of, so Hillary Clinton is now happy to lay the groundwork against her forthcoming Republican opponent who will, likely as not, be a man. And according to her latest campaign ad, 44 men in office is more than enough.  

NY Post in 2001: New Jersey Arabs Celebrated 9/11

By on 12.1.15 | 11:33AM

In the ongoing tussle over Donald Trump’s insistence that there were celebrations in the Muslim community of New Jersey on 9/11, reader and talk show host Edward Woodson calls attention to this article in the September 14, 2001 edition of the New York Post. It is an opinion column written by columnist Fred Siegel titled “The Issue is Radical Islam.”

Deep in the column Siegel writes this (bold print for emphasis mine):

Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attacks in New York and Washington. But Mayor Giuliani (who has been tireless and magnificent in this crisis) rightly warned New Yorkers that it would be wrong to take their anger out on the city's Arab and Muslim residents. Attacks on Arab-Americans in Paterson or elsewhere are utterly indefensible.


By on 12.1.15 | 9:19AM

From Paris, Barack Obama is telling the world that not only is climate change a bigger threat to the West and the rest of the world than anything else, but that if we contain climate change we will have defeated terrorism (he means the Islamic kind but won’t say so).

No, no, I’m not making this up. It’s in all the papers. Look it up yourself. (Could this perhaps be a super subtle military strategy? I’m sure IS fighters made aware of these claims are laughing too hard to be effective on the battle field. And almost nothing makes these stone killers laugh.)

In more than a half century of following politics I’ve seen a good deal of really bad policy, some motivated by political cynicism, some by delusion (this strikes me as an example of both). Too much of this bad policy has been implemented. But this latest is a dimension beyond. For the first time, I and millions of other red-blooded Americanos are now obliged to seriously consider whether the president of the United States is clinically insane.

Pay the Piper — And Let Only the Piper Call the Tune!

By on 11.30.15 | 6:16PM

On NPR this morning I heard the president of Planned Parenthood lament the fact that women’s health care is “politicized.” I agree that such politicization is lamentable. But such politicization is an inevitable consequence of government subsidization of, regulation of, and involvement in health care. And the more health care is subsidized by, regulated by, and meddled in by politicians and their deputies, the worse this politicization will be.

Thoughts on The Muslim Teenager in Missouri Beaten For Not Wearing a Hijab

By on 11.30.15 | 4:01PM

A former University of Missouri assistant professor by the name of Youssif Z. Omar was arrested last week following an incident at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri involving a 14-year old female relative.

Omar became enraged when he saw the girl was not wearing the hijab. He accosted the girl, grabbed her by the hair, forced her into his car and slapped her. Local police arrested Omar, charged him with suspicion of child abuse, but he would be released on a bond of $4,500.

Ben Carson Feeds Into Premise That “Extremists” Caused Planned Parenthood Shooting

By on 11.30.15 | 3:32PM

Earlier today, I completed an article comparing the Planned Parenthood shooting with the August 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council's headquarters in D.C. If it is not up by later today, hopefully it will be up tomorrow.

The article does not mention Dr. Ben Carson's comments on the Planned Parenthood shooting so I thought I would comment on them here instead. During an appearance on ABC This Week, Martha Raddatz asked Carson if he agreed with the assessment of Planned Parenthood's Vicki Cowart that "extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country." The good doctor replied in this manner:

Unfortunately, there's a lot of extremism coming from all areas. It's one of the biggest problems that I think is threatening to tear our country apart. We get into our separate corners and we hate each other; we want to destroy those with whom we disagree.

It comes from both sides. So, you know, there is -- there is no saint here in this -- in this equation.

Paris Climate Change Conference Expected to be Major Contributor to Climate Change

By on 11.30.15 | 11:57AM

This week begins #COP21, the United Nations Climate Change "Conference of Parties," destined to save us all from death by a thousand sunburns. Or possibly melted ice caps. Or more solid ice caps. Or snow. Or possibly no snow. Or something. They'll figure it out and then they'll tell you what to fear. No worries.

Anyway, this weekend, 150 separate world leaders flew in from all corners of the globe to attend the conference, which aims to keep global warming at "under 2 degress Celsius," a significant feat considering that the Earth has, according to the same body, warmed 0.85 degrees since 1880, and also because the planet travels around a very large, superheated body that is continually evolving and changing throughout its life cycle, thus affecting weather patterns and climate temperature on Earth. Later this week, around 20,000 individual delegates from 195 countries will arrive in Paris for the talks, by train, plane, car, bus and bike, burning over 300,000 tons of CO2, their primary ozone-depleting concern, by the end of the week.