The Spectacle Blog

The London Tube Bombings Ten Years After

By on 7.7.15 | 10:25AM

Ten years ago today, I woke up, turned on the TV to Fox News, and saw that London had been struck by Islamic terrorists.

The day before, Londoners rejoiced at being rewarded the 2012 Olympics. Less than 24 hours later, the city was recoiling in horror as 52 people had been killed due to explosions on three London Underground trains and one double decker bus. The attacks aboard the Tube were nearly simultaneous while the attack aboard the bus took place about an hour later.

There was heightened anxiety on this side of the Atlantic. On my way to work here in Boston, I remember the Green Line being evacuated. There was concern that an attack had taken place here. Although there was a collision between two trains which left several people injured, it was fortunately not an act of terrorism. Of course, Boston would have its day of Islamic terror.

Amanda Peterson, R.I.P.

By on 7.6.15 | 10:50PM

Actress Amanda Peterson was found dead in her Colorado home yesterday. A cause of death has not been announced, but her father indicated that she had a history of sleep apnea and other medical troubles over the past couple of years including pneumonia. She would have turned 44 on Wednesday.

Peterson was best known for her role in the 1987 teen comedy coming of age film Can't Buy Me Love co-starring Patrick Dempsey. Before he was Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy, Dempsey was cast in skinny nerd roles. In Can't Buy Me Love, the Dempsey plays Ronald Miller, the skinny nerd who pays high school cheerleader Cindy Mancini (played by Peterson) $1,000 to be his girlfriend for one month. An interesting enough premise and while no one will mistake it for Citizen Kane, both Dempsey and Peterson turned in excellent performances. Over the years, Can't Buy Me Love has become one of those films that has a found a life on late night TV. If I happen to come across it more often than not I'll tune in.

Illegal Immigration is a Serious Matter & Donald Trump Isn’t Helping

By on 7.6.15 | 9:18PM

A lot of left-wingers I know recoil at the very mention of illegal immigration. When it is brought up one is sure to be accused of racism and xenophobia.

But there is something terribly, terribly wrong with an immigration system in which a man can be deported five times only to come back again and kill a woman who was doing nothing more than taking a walk with her father. It illustrates not only the problem with our porous border with Mexico but the existence of sanctuary cities in which local governments can keep ICE in the dark regarding the whereabouts of illegal immigrants who have committed criminal acts. Kate Steinle's death was entirely preventable and the system failed her and her family. This state of affairs must change.

With that said, this state affairs will not change so long as Donald Trump insists on deploying demagoguery as he did when he launched his presidential campaign:

U.S. Women’s Team Makes History at FIFA World Cup 2015

By on 7.6.15 | 4:50PM

The United States women’s soccer team took home the FIFA championship last night in a 5-2 landslide win against Japan. It was a legendary win for the Americans, classifying them as the first team to ever win three FIFA World Cups.

Perhaps even more legendary than the win, were the goals scored during the game. The five U.S. goals scored during the game, made the team the first ever to score more than two goals in a Final. Of the five total goals, four were scored within the first 16 minutes.

The first goal, shot by U.S. player Carli Lloyd, happened within three minutes making it the fastest WWC goal in the history of the Final game. Lloyd’s following two goals within the next 13 minutes, the second in the fifth minute and the third in the 16 minute. The last goal shot by Lloyd was blasted from half field straight into the goal.

Lauren Holiday scored the third goal for U.S. by volleying the ball into the net in a single stride during the fourteenth minute. U.S.’s Tobin Heath scored the last goal of the game with an assist from Morgan Brian during the 54th minute of the game.

Health Care Premiums About to Spike Again

By on 7.6.15 | 2:11PM

The Affordable Healthcare Act is about to get a little less affordable. Again.

Health insurance companies have petitioned for insurance rate hikes of 20% or more, because all the people who've gotten health insurance under the law are the people they turned down for costing them too much before the law mandated they accept them. And, as a result, everyone has to pay more. A lot more.

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

Bernie Sanders Admits He’s a Socialist, Team Hillary Admits She’s Scared of Him

By on 7.6.15 | 1:43PM

Bernie Sanders happily took on the Sunday morning talking heads this weekened in an effort to solidify his position as Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare. Drawing crowds in Iowa - and not just from college students and hippies that wandered in off the street after catching the scent of marijuana wafting through the crowd - Bernie spoke his mind, or at least what was left of it after all these years, drawing a distinction between his own version of America and Hillary Clinton's.

In a move that will surprise no one who was not already familiar with Bernie Sanders, when he finally gets into office, America, he's going to raise taxes on the rich, raise taxes on corporations, and use the resultant largesse to provide you, the little people, with all the free stuff your little hearts desire.

Bernie Sanders says America's wealthiest individuals and large corporations would face tax hikes if he's elected president.

Chicago Has 47 Shootings, 16 Dead Over Holiday Weekend - But It’s Better Than Last Year!

By on 7.6.15 | 1:24PM

I had friends come to stay with me over the holiday weekend, and normally, when you welcome guests into your home, you go over some of the basics. Here are the clean towels, here's the extra toothbrush, don't let the dog out, etc. In Chicago, though, we the few brave residents, have to field a variety of questions about our relationship to the wave of gun violence sweeping the city: no, we're nowhere near the gangbangers, please don't arm yourself with an automatic weapon, don't wander the city after midnight, and there's only a 17% chance you'll die even if you do get shot, because its mostly teenagers and their aim is terrible. 

Nothing to worry about. Have a mojito.

This weekend, we actually had an improvement over last year: only 47 wounded! Only 16 dead! We're doing so well. 

Chicago was yet again riddled with a flurry of shootings this Fourth of July weekend, with at least 47 wounded and nine killed, according to multiple media reports. 

Taking Stock of Peter Brimelow

By on 7.6.15 | 1:18PM

You may recall that when I took Ann Coulter to task last month for erroneously stating that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley wasn’t born in this country, Peter Brimelow took me to task for not disclosing yours truly “is himself an immigrant.”

 Like Coulter, I gently pointed out that Brimelow was wrong. I explained that I was born in Canada, but have an American father which automatically made me eligible to exercise American citizenship which I did before moving down to the United States more than 15 years ago. Therefore I am not an immigrant to this country. I invited him to correct the record.

Team Hillary Ropes Off Reporters, They Meekly Comply

By on 7.6.15 | 12:03PM

Hillary Clinton, like most candidates for public office, spent the weekend marching in a bunch of Independence Day parades, interacting with the common people as they lined the streets of small towns in New Hampshire, eager to get a glimpse of their local marching band, but only slightly annoyed that they were subject to a campaign. 

There were some mistakes. According to a reporter on Twitter, Jeb Bush got trapped behind a Bernie Sanders bus that featured live chickens, because the entire Bernie Sanders campaign, including its local volunteers, lack foresight (and, it seems, a basic understanding of livestock), and as Queen Hillary waved to her people on a New Hampshire boulevard, Clinton campaign staffers held reporters back with a moving rope line, lest they accidentally violate her personal space by asking her a question.

Thoughts on AL & NL All-Star Starting Lineups

By on 7.5.15 | 9:15PM

Earlier this evening, the 2015 AL & NL All-Stars teams were announced. They are as follows:

American League

1B - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers 
2B - Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
SS - Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals
3B - Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
OF - Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
OF - Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
OF - Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
 C - Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

National League

1B - Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2B - Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
SS - Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals
3B - Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
OF - Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
OF - Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
OF - Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
 C - Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

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