The Spectacle Blog

Two U.S. Servicemen Thwart Terror Attack on Train Bound for Paris — UPDATE

By on 8.21.15 | 8:03PM

Two U.S. Marines have thwarted a terror attack on a train bound from Amsterdam to Paris.

The Marines, dressed in civilian clothes, heard the suspect load a weapon in the bathroom and surprised him upon his exit. One of the Marines was seriously injured in the attack as were two other people. French authorities detained a yet to be identified suspect of Morrocan origin who it is safe to say does not subscribe to Presbyterianism. This suspect was armed with a Kalashnikov, a knife, an automatic pistol as well as cartridges. He is known to French authorities and is believed to be an ISIS sympathizer. The Marines were praised by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve who said they were “particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very difficult circumstances." Cazeneuve added: "Without their composure we could have been confronted with a terrible incident.” I shudder to think what could have happened if not for these Marines. They are heroes. Let's pray for a speedy recovery for the injured Marine.

Savers Oppose ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Obama Labor Department Claims Will ‘Protect’ Them

By on 8.21.15 | 4:50PM

“A fundamental shift in Wall Street culture” is what the Department of Labor is aiming for with the “fiduciary rule.” That’s what DOL Deputy Assistant Secretary Tim Hauser said in an interview with during recent hearings on the proposed regulation that has been called “Obamacare for Your IRA.”

But the vast majority of comments submitted on the rule—most of which came far away from Wall Street—called on the DOL to change its own culture of paternalism, an analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute shows. Many of these comments took aim at the DOL’s explicit contention in the rule, which I have written about here and elsewhere, that individuals can’t “prudently manage retirement assets on their own,” and that they “generally cannot distinguish … good investment results from bad.”  

Time for a New Army Motto?

By on 8.21.15 | 12:40PM

Continuing what appears to be an unrecoverable spin into cultural incoherence, I see that the U.S. Army Ranger School has graduated two women soldiers. How narrow-minded of every generation for all millennia of human history to assume that warriors were men.

There’s an opportunity here. Recent Army mottos — “Be all you can be,” “An Army of one” — have just not gotten much traction. (And why should they? They’re vague and insipid.) With this progressive break-through (how many does this make now on Obama’s watch?), perhaps it’s time for a new motto. I suggest we consider: “Army — where the men are men — and the women are too.”

Back to School Lunch Scares

By on 8.20.15 | 6:52PM

It’s back to school season, which for many parents means spending money on new clothes, shuttling young people from sports games to ballet, and increasingly, worrying about the kind of nutrition their kids are getting when they’re away from the home.

This is understandable since they are inundated with hyperbolic headlines like “sugary drinks kill,” “death by salt,” and “processed meat causes cancer”. It’s enough to add a few gray hairs to any parent’s head. While it’s important to teach kids about proper nutrition and make sure they’re eating a balanced diet in and outside of the home, this kind of inflammatory rhetoric doesn’t help parents make healthy and realistic choices for their children.

Trump, Ford, and Trade Policy

By on 8.20.15 | 3:45PM

I don’t think anyone likes the idea of responding to all of the various statements that Donald Trump makes, but when he says something vaguely – emphasis on vaguely – substantive on an issue, a short response might be of value. In a recent interview with Chris Cuomo, Trump talked about trade policy, and had this to say (starting around the 7:00 mark) about Ford doing some of its manufacturing in Mexico:

Trump: … Ford is building a $2.5 billion … manufacturing plant for cars, trucks, and parts in Mexico.

Cuomo: How do you keep them?

Trump: Uh you keep them by…

Cuomo: … ‘cause the labor’s cheap that’s why they go.

Trump: For one thing, you keep them by talking to them. But I would say you keep them … if they go there, you know… they’ll make cars, and they’ll sell them to the United States no tax, no nothing. Just come right across the border. …

Cuomo: …and they say the labor’s cheaper over there.

John Kasich Wants to Abolish Teachers Lounges Instead of the Dept. of Ed.

By on 8.20.15 | 1:55PM

John Kasich has had a difficult time differentiating himself from the Republican field. Not only are there other, more recognizable moderates, but John Kasich is basically the kind of entity that ghosts in and out of things like debates. He never says anything really right and he never says anything really wrong. In a sense, he's like the state of Ohio: it's there. You'll visit it if you have to drive through it, but you wouldn't go out of your way.

Yesterday, though, at a New Hampshire "Education Summit" for "The 74" education advocacy group, Kasich came up with a novel and unconventional idea to address problems with education in this country. While other candidates like Bush, Jindal, Christie and Fiorina explained their comprehensive plans to address the need for education reform, John Kasich wants to abolish the teachers lounge - because we can't have people fraternizing on work time.

Phillies Trade Utley to Dodgers; Reunited with Rollins

By on 8.19.15 | 9:12PM

The Philadelphia Phillies have traded second baseman Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers. 

Utley has played with the Phillies since 2003. The trade reunites him with his double play partner Jimmy Rollins who the Dodgers acquired during the off-season. Utley and Rollins were part of a Phillies team which won five consecutive NL East titles, two NL pennants and a World Series title in 2008. The impetus for this trade was a hamstring injury to Howie Kendrick earlier this month. Both the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Angels were interested in Utley as well. The Giants regular second baseman Joe Panik is also on the DL while the Angels wanted an upgrade over Johnny Giavotella. 

Spanish Concert Organizers Apologizes to Matisyahu; Re-Invited to Perform This Weekend

By on 8.19.15 | 8:35PM

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how organizers of Spain's Rototam Sunsplash Reggae Festival disinvited Jewish hip hop, reggae performer Matisyahu from performing this weekend after Matisyahu refused to denounce Israel. After outrage ensued the promoters have publicly apologized to Matisyahu and reinstated their invitation to perform this weekend. As of this writing, Matisyahu has not indicated whether he will accept.

BDS has largely pressured artists, athletes and academics not go to Israel. But here we had the BDS demand the expulsion of a Jewish performer at a festival in Europe simply because he is Jewish. This proved to be a bridge too far.

Hillary Clinton “Happened” To Get Material That Was Later Classified. Or Something

By on 8.19.15 | 7:40PM

Allahpundit is trying to parse Hillary's spokeswoman's statement out, translating it from "Clintonese" but that's probably a losing effort.

The best can do with this statement from Brian Fallon, on a "press only" conference call this afternoon, is that Hillary Clinton did have classified emails on her server, and it's just the result of friendly aides and associates passing things around between themselves, not knowing that Hillary Clinton's server password was, in fact, "password." Hillary just happened to be the Chappaqua Hipster of Classified information: she was always in possession of it before it was classified.

Or something.

Iran Will Inspect Its Own Nuclear Site, Of Course

By on 8.19.15 | 7:07PM

If you thought that the Iran deal couldn't possibly get any worse for Americans, it's probably because you were confident that the public deal, released by the Obama Administration last month, gave the outside boundaries of the deal. Perhaps you were confident that the Obama Administration, which has yet to make much headway on its agenda, despite being only a short 18 months from exiting power, would be loathe to get such a bad deal past Congress, or you had a bizarre and unwavering faith in the International community, which while not entirely opposed to wiping Israel off the map, would be concerned that "more valuable" countries (like the ones that produce the majority of our alcoholic beverages) might find themselves on the receiving end of a pretty nasty nuclear accident.