The Spectacle Blog

Norwegian Muslims to Protect Oslo Synagogue

By on 2.19.15 | 11:58AM

Here is a silver lining.

In response to last weekend's terrorist attack at the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen which claimed one life, a Muslim woman in neighboring Norway began an online campaign on Facebook to protect Oslo's Bergstien Street Synagogue.

Hajrad Arshad, the 17-year old organizer said the aim is to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims”.  Arshad added, “We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,”

Following Saturday Shabbat services, people will gather around the synagogue and form a peace ring.

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Jeb Bush Goes on Defense When He Says “I’m My Own Man.”

By on 2.19.15 | 9:38AM

When Jeb Bush said, "I'm my own man," during a speech in Chicago yesterday it struck me as a mistake.

Why go on the defensive? Why the hurry to distance himself from both his father and brother? Is Hillary Clinton going to distance herself from Bill?

George W. Bush left office more than six years ago. Jeb should leave the distancing to Hillary who has a lot answer for during her tenure in the Obama Administration.

Then again it's probably better for Republicans to have a candidate who doesn't feel the need to go on the defensive where it concerns his family name be it Jeb Bush or Rand Paul. 

Scott Walker doesn't have to distance himself from anyone.


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Five Comments on Obama’s Islamic, Sorry, Violent Extremism Speech

By on 2.18.15 | 10:02PM

I would like to share five comments on President Obama's speech before the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

1. President Obama defines "violent extremism" in this manner:

By “violent extremism,” we don’t just mean the terrorists who are killing innocent people.  We also mean the ideologies, the infrastructure of extremists --the propagandists, the recruiters, the funders who radicalize and recruit or incite people to violence.  We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there’s no way to predict who will become radicalized.  Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths -- which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths.  It's not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.

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Five Observations of Obama’s Op-Ed on Islamic, Er, Violent Extremism

By on 2.18.15 | 1:20PM

Earlier this week, I made the case that unless President Obama's Summit on Countering Violent Extremism would be a complete waste of time unless he was willing to state that the violent extremism we are trying to counter is caused by an ideology based on Islam subscribed to by a small, but critical mass of Muslims.

Well, President Obama has penned an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times and nothing he has written inspires confidence. Here are five observations of the op-ed.

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Marie Harf: “I’m Sorry If You’re Too Dumb to Understand Me”

By on 2.18.15 | 1:10PM

The Obama Administration has chosen to treat the fight against terrorism as a community service project, imploring ISIS radicals to give up their violent Jihad in order to take a minimum wage job as a district IKEA manager in Syria or something. While that seems to misunderstand a basic principle of Jihad itself, the Obama Administration — and in particular, the State Department — seem rather pleased that they've discerned this winning strategy, sort of like how a two-year-old feels the first time he or she makes an appropriate deposit in a plastic potty chair.

Faced with quizzical looks from across the spectrum of media, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf took to CNN to explain the theory behind her proclamation that ISIS is driven primarily by unemployment, and if they only had real jobs, well, they'd be less likely to run rivers of blood into the Gulf. No, her explanation did not outline the more nuanced aspects of her theory. No, she did not offer evidence to support the idea. She merely posited that she was right and everyone complaining about her complete lack of situational understanding was just bereft of the intellect required to understand her.

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What Happens When You Wear a Yarmulke in Paris

By on 2.17.15 | 5:02PM

Take a look at the reaction when Israeli journalist Zvika Klein gets when he walks around Paris wearing a yarmulke.

When this man doesn't get called "Juif" or subjected to homophobic slurs, they spit it at him - man and woman.

This video is modelled on the one featuring Shoshana Edwards who walked around New York as a woman for 10 hours, a video of which I was quite skeptical.

It is certainly possible that one could level the same criticisms against this video with regard to editing and the neighborhoods selected.

The BBC was certainly skeptical. Quel surprise:

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Warren, Clinton Had a Secret Meeting in December

By on 2.17.15 | 4:23PM

While tens of Elizabeth Warren's most dedicated supporters were meeting over veggies and ranch dressing in quiet mid-western living rooms, to discuss how best to support their chosen candidate's inevitable progressive crusade against Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren herself was pow-wowing (as Elizabeth Warren is wont to do) with Hillary Clinton in her well-appointed DC living room. 

After six months of reaching out to Warren, following a chance run-in at a Martha Coakley rally - we'll call it a Missed Connection, and perhaps the most terrifying one that has ever existed - the two ladies chatted about income inequality and, probably, the latest iteration of The Bachelor over tea and cookies at Clinton's DC home in secret, as Clinton, apparently, looked to woo the Massachusetts Senator out of the competition. 

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz is so Awesome, She Might Run for Senate

By on 2.17.15 | 3:55PM

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, fresh off her appearance at the 2015 Grammy Awards, thinks she's doing a bang-up job at being part of Florida's Congressional delegation. 

She thinks she's so good, it seems that, later this year, when she inevitably steps down from her position as DNC chair, a job she's done so well that a 2016 nominating convention in Philadelphia will be her crowning achievement, she's considering going from a mere Congressional Representative to being a Senator, after Florida's current, more talented Senator, Marco Rubio, steps down from his role in order to run for President. 

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair, is strongly considering a bid for U.S. Senate, calculating that having Hillary Clinton at the top of the 2016 ticket would help lift her candidacy in a year-of-the-woman campaign.

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Joe Biden Moves In On New SecDef’s Lady

By on 2.17.15 | 3:31PM

How can we expect newly minted Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to defend our nation and its freedoms from the incursion of catastrophic elements if he can't even defend his own wife's earlobe from sweet nothings whispered by Vice President Joe Biden?

Apparently, when you're a Cabinet Secretary's wife, you get a free back rub with every swearing in.

If she plays her cards right, I bet he'll take her for a spin in his Trans Am later. They can listen to REO Speedwagon under the stars. 

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By the Numbers

By on 2.17.15 | 1:09PM

The New York Yankees have more non-working numbers than Ma Bell. The team has most recently announced that three more uniform numbers are going on the shelf permanently, those worn by Bernie Williams (51), Andy Pettitte (46), and Jorge Posada (20).

These are all worthy players, but all short of Hall of Fame credentials. And Pettitte didn’t even spend his entire career with the Pin Stripes. So, with no disrespect meant to these three fine ballplayers, it’s reasonable to ask, where does this stop? And at a certain point, what will the Yankees do for uniform numbers for current players?

Before this week’s announcement, the Yankees has already retired 18 uniform numbers, including all of the single digits (They’re all here if you’re curious — Derek Jeter’s #2 isn’t on the list yet but soon will be). Now the team is up to 21 numbers off the training table.

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