The Spectacle Blog

Delay of Game?

By on 1.15.15 | 4:41PM

Baseball games get longer and longer, but this is not entirely, or even chiefly because batters spend so much time adjusting their batting gloves between pitches, or that some pitchers seem to go into extended meditative trances before delivering the ball.

A big game-extender is the new philosophy, popular in some dugouts, of going deep into the count in order to see more pitches and to run the opposing pitcher’s pitch count up. But probably the biggest time waster is the fact that so many major league hitters now have so much trouble making contact with the ball. So many strikeouts.

It’s not the length of the game but the pace of the game that matters. For fans it’s not nearly as entertaining to see batters waving at the ball and missing as it is to see the ball put in play. For this reason I’m only lukewarm on the idea of the pitch clock, which will be tried in AA and AAA ball during the 2015 season in hopes of juicing the game up a bit, and perhaps even getting fans home before the late-late show begins.

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Can Joni Ernst Make Obama Squeal in Her SOTU Response?

By on 1.15.15 | 4:41PM

Joni Ernst, the newly elected Senator from Iowa who gave the GOP the majority in last November's election, has been chosen to give the Republican response to the SOTU address on Tuesday.

I don't know if Ernst is planning to talk about hog castration in her response, but if her speech resonates it could make President Obama squeal.

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Heart Warming News

By on 1.15.15 | 4:28PM

Despite the full court press on the global warming fraud that we’ve endured over recent years from political, cultural, educational, entertainment, and now even religious elites (the climate hustlers have now even roped in a pope), a new CNN poll finds 57 percent of respondents saying that global warming is not a threat. Almost half say they believe any warming taking place is a result of natural forces.

Sometimes Everyman gets it right.

This is the more remarkable when one considers how relentless the sell on global warming has been. First they tried to convince us of the science — transparently shaky at best. Then they tried to shame us into falling in line by calling those who wouldn’t convert “deniers” and yahoos and worse. In smart circles it’s just bad taste — downright rude — to question any part of the entire fantastical package. The equivalent of passing gas at a wedding (that too is a greenhouse gas, by the way).

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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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