The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on The Death of a Palestinian Teenager

By on 7.2.14 | 3:07PM

The murder of 16-year old Palestinian Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir is prompting speculation that he was killed by Jewish settlers in retaliation for the three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were found on Monday after being held in captivity by Hamas for three weeks. Witnesses claim Khdeir was outside a mosque in East Jerusalem and that he was forcibly abducted by occupants in a van. Such speculation prompts Washington Post foreign affairs writer Adam Taylor to argue that this might prompt a "third Intifada".

If it does turn out that Jewish settlers were responsible for Khdeir's murder then they should be prosecuted and punished to fullest extent of the law.

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On This Day in 1776

By on 7.2.14 | 12:22PM

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the door to the United States of America opened even wider. Nobler pens than mine have graced this event with prose, but I think it is worthwhile to reflect that however impossible the American Dream might seem to us today, it seemed a great deal less plausible to the Founding Fathers then. I defer to John Adams, who penned the following letter (shown here in part) to his wife, Abigail, describing the tumultuous events he helped orchestrate.

Adams's view that July 2 would be a day of celebration ever after proved to be in error, but his other analysis is striking for being both prophetic and—238 years out—relevant.

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Governor Ganja: Gary Johnson’s Pot Products Are ‘Very, Very Pleasant’

By on 7.2.14 | 11:22AM

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is the new president and CEO of a Nevada-based firm developing marijuana products for sale in Colorado and Washington state, where voters have legazlied the substance.

Johnson will be paid $1 per year and will receive equity in the company, the value of which he expects to go sky high. “We think we have the creme de la creme of marijuana products.” he told Politico. “Couple of things hit you when you try the product. One is, wow, why would anybody smoke marijuana given this is an alternative? And then secondly, it’s just very, very pleasant. I mean, very pleasant.”

I hope he'll also serve as product pitchman on Colorado TV.

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Liberal Tolerance is on a Roll

By on 7.2.14 | 11:12AM

This week has been a bad one for the left. The meltdown after both the Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn cases yesterday put the tolerance of the left on full display. Liberals took to their Twitter and other forms of media to vent their frustration. Some even hilariously went after SCOTUSBlog, a privately run blog independent of the Supreme Court.

But now the “opened-mindedness” crowd has found a new target: black conservatives.

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Morning Round-Up 7-2

By on 7.2.14 | 9:41AM

 Feature of the Day: How the Supreme Court Changed America This Year

 

Morning Headlines

 

Domestic                                                          

 

Associated Press

1.   Suspected Revenge Killing Sparks Jerusalem Clashes

2.  Chechen in Syria a Rising Star in Extremist Group

 

Politico

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Hobby Lobby Becomes a Precedent as EWTN is Saved in Another Court Fight

By on 7.1.14 | 5:02PM

The Catholic media company Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) won a reprieve late Monday from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in light of the Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby. The Alabama non-profit is contesting the entirety of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, rather than just four of the required contraceptives as Hobby Lobby was. EWTN would have had to begin paying fines for contraceptives Tuesday while it pursues its own court case.

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The Curtain Goes Up for Russia in the Middle East

By on 7.1.14 | 4:49PM

Perhaps Americans have forgotten how much of the Cold War was fought in the Middle East, but Russia has not.

Recent events in the Middle East have offered numerous opportunities for greatness in foreign intervention, and Russia, perhaps in a bid to regain the sort of international friend network we now enjoy, has been taking advantage of them.

Syria was Russia's first move. While the chemical smoke cleared and the United States floundered among red lines, Putin benificently arrived with a diplomatic solution. Perhaps it was an atypical role for someone who had spent the last few months supporting Bashar al-Assad's murderous regime; we all know how Russia always hates to see Uncle Sam in a difficult spot. In any case, Putin's plan to remove the chemical weapons from Syria has been largely successful—last week it was hailed as an "unprecedented collaboration" and "success" by the Washington Post and others.

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Rand Paul Makes His Move

By on 7.1.14 | 4:31PM

Last night Rand Paul scored a major victory in securing his front-runner status for the 2016 presidential election. According to Politico, Paul announced that former Iowa GOP chair Steve Grubbs will be in charge of Paul’s RAND PAC.

This new addition is crucial to Paul’s push into Iowa, where Paul supporters just lost their footing and power in the state GOP executive branch. Per Politico:

The Iowa GOP central committee voted Saturday to fire the state party chairman and replace him with a fixture of the establishment.

Danny Carroll, removed on a 14-2 no confidence vote, will be replaced by Jeff Kaufmann, formerly the Speaker Pro Tem of the state House.

This was hardly a surprise, however:

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First-World Activism: The Paradox of Social Justice

By on 7.1.14 | 2:05PM

A recent satirical article titled “What I learned about capitalism by walking into a Starbucks and screaming ‘capitalism!’ at the Barista over and over until they had to call the police" was written in jest, but it spoke to a frightening trend. First-world activists have redefined themselves as anti-capitalist proponents of “social justice.”

Social justice is not justice in the traditional sense, but rather a fancy pseudonym for what liberal activists deem to be “fair.” Traditional justice means equality of opportunity, not the equalizing of economic classes.

In his book The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, Peter Dreier glamorizes what he calls “practical idealists,” a group of people who confuse fairness with equality of outcome, and hide their Marxist intentions behind the word “social justice.” 

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Will Obama Call Out the Supreme Court Again at the Next SOTU?

By on 7.1.14 | 12:07PM

Now that the Supreme Court has thoroughly embarrassed President Obama through a series of 9-0 decisions (i.e. overreach on the use of recess appointments and restricting the First Amendment rights of pro-life protesters) and in yesterday's 5-4 ruling in the Hobby Lobby case ruling the administration out of bounds on the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, it is only a matter of time before President Obama publicly rebukes the Supreme Court.

Obama is a man that does not take defeat well. I think the Supreme Court setbacks played a role in his angry Rose Garden address yesterday over immigration in which he basically told Congress to drop dead and that he would act alone. Methinks his future actions on immigration will be subject to future scrutiny by the Supreme Court.

In any case, I predict that President Obama will rail against the Supreme Court during his SOTU address next year as he did in 2010 when he lambasted the Court over the Citizens United decision. We all remember Justice Alito shaking his head and saying, "Not true."

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