The Spectacle Blog

In Praise of the 12 MPs Who Voted Against Britain’s Anti-Israel Resolution

By on 10.15.14 | 12:15PM

In follow up to my post about the British House of Commons vote against Israel, here is the list of the 12 MPs who voted against the resolution. Among the 12 were six Tories, five members of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland and one Liberal Democrat MP. There's not a Labour member to be found. Not that the Tories have much to be proud of as their MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution. Nevertheless, these 12 MPs deserve recognition for be willing to buck the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments now front and center in the UK.

Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Beith, Liberal Democrat

Bob Blackman, Conservative

Jonathan Djanogly, Conservative

Nigel Dodds, DUP

Mike Freer, Conservative

Dr. William McCrea, DUP

Nigel Mills, Conservative

Dr. Matthew Offord, Conservative

Ian Paisley, Jr., DUP

Jim Shannon, DUP

David Simpson, DUP

Robert Syms, Conservative

Send to Kindle

Thoughts on the British House of Commons Disturbing Anti-Israel Vote

By on 10.15.14 | 11:37AM

The other day the British House of Commons voted to recognize a Palestinian state. Although the resolution, introduced by Labour MP Grahame Morris, called for the recognition of “the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel”; it was, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than an exercise in anti-Israel demagoguery.

David Hearst, editor of Middle East Eye, wrote the following in the U.K. edition of The Huffington Post:

For Israel, an umbilical cord carrying the lifeblood of the state extends between it and Washington. Just imagine the speeches in the British Parliament that voted to recognize Palestinian statehood on Monday being uttered on Capitol Hill. They would have been unrepeatable in the US Congress

Philip Weiss, founder of the anti-Israel website Mondoweiss, echoed similar sentiments:

Send to Kindle

Is Moppery a Crime?

By on 10.15.14 | 10:44AM

I had heard that one could be arrested for mopery, but this is the first I'm hearing of criminal moppery

When John Thornton visited the Double Tree Hotel in Bristol, Connecticut, on Monday night, he apparently did not like the mop job being done by a female employee.

So he allegedly grabbed the mop from the woman and began, in the words of the police report, “mopping aggressively.”

Send to Kindle

Hillary Clinton Slams Student Debt at $225K Speech at UNLV

By on 10.14.14 | 4:43PM

Hillary Clinton headlined a lavish fundraiser for the University of Nevada Las Vegas last night, at the posh Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip. She graced the crowd with her presence for a full 90 minutes and made a short speech, for which she earned a hefty $225,000 payout.

In her keynote speech, Hillary Clinton assailed higher education's high cost and slammed the concept of saddling college students with insurmountable student debt, telling the crowd that higher education shouldn't be a luxury reserved to the few and the privileged, all as guests chowed down on $200-per-plate meals. 

Send to Kindle

Californians Won’t Have Water to Wash Their Mandatory Reusable Grocery Bags

By on 10.14.14 | 4:10PM

California recently passed a ban on those plastic bags they give you at the grocery store to hold all the food you buy. Obviously, those bags, which are recyclable, reusable and generate 80% less waste than paper, are damaging the environment, so California is now mandating that you bring your own reusable grocery bags to the store with you (or buy them there). 

Opponents of the bag ban have begun a referendum push, but they need over 500,000 signatures from residents to qualify for the statewide ballot, and so far, that's been an uphill challenge, though they maintain the majority of clear-thinking California voters are on their side (though there may not be that many clear-thinking California voters).

Opponents of California’s newly-signed ban on single-use plastic bags have been cleared to begin collecting signatures for a referendum, state elections officials said Friday.

Send to Kindle

Alison Lundergan Grimes Loses DSCC, Still Won’t Say She Voted Obama

By on 10.14.14 | 3:31PM

Alison Lundergan Grimes is having a terrible week and it's only Tuesday. 

Starting with her appearance before the Louisville Courier-Journal, poor Alison has been asked repeatedly whether she voted for Barack Obama. Instead of answering yes, like everyone who has ever come into contact with Alisan Lundergan Grimes in the media or elsewhere expected, Alison - literally - twiddled her thumbs (so much it'll make anyone watching the footage nervous) and mentioned that one of our great freedoms in this country is the privelege of the secret ballot. And Alison repeated her performance last night in Kentucky's Senatorial debate.

Send to Kindle

Chip Hale Hired as New D’Backs Manager

By on 10.14.14 | 3:20PM

Yesterday, the Arizona Diamondbacks named Chip Hale their new manager. Hale signed a two-year deal worth an undisclosed sum. He succeeds Kirk Gibson who was fired during the final weekend of the regular season. At 64-98, the D'Backs had the worst record in MLB. And yes, these are the same D'Backs I picked to win the World Series this year.

Hale is a familiar name to D'Backs fans. He managed in their minor league system from 2000 to 2006 before joining the big league club as a coach under Bob Melvin. He would later join the New York Mets coaching staff before reuniting with Melvin in Oakland in 2012.

How Hale does will in great part depend on what Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart give him. Of course, it will be interesting to see what La Russa and Stewart do during the rest of the off-season. Outside of Paul Goldschmidt, I'm not sure if anyone on that team is safe.

Send to Kindle

New York Times Now Offers Affordable Tours of Iran

By on 10.14.14 | 12:36PM

The New York Times may no longer be able to sell you papers, but it's hoping that it can sell you on an ill-advised trip to a foreign nation that routinely expresses its hatred for any Westernized nation.

For a mere $6,995 (plus taxes, fees and extras like upgrades), you can now, thanks to the brilliant minds at America's finest newspaper, take a luxurious, 13-day tour of Iran, complete with "insights into the life and accomplishments" of the always-charming Ayatollah Khomeni (on your Day 4 tour of the "mountain villages"). One assumes his prowess at hostage-taking and undercover nuclear bomb manufacturing go unaddressed.

Journey 2,500 years back in time to discover the ancient secrets of Persia on this 13-day itinerary incorporating some of most well preserved archaeological sites in the world. Welcome to the once-forbidden land of Iran.

Send to Kindle

It’s All Metro

By on 10.14.14 | 9:18AM

This is turning out to be one of the most splendid years of the American Republic. I’m referring, of course, to the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the question of same-sex marriages, which has been taken as a decision that they are legal. But that’s not the only thing. There’s also the new Silver Line, the extension of the D.C. subway out to Dulles. And there’s Citizens United, and the scandal of Republican money in politics.

Far away, other things are happening. Iraq is falling apart, and we’re looking at the prospect of a repeat of the 1975 U.S. exit from Saigon (except this time the enemy has stinger missiles). Then there’s NATO, which is crumbling in the face of a determined foe in Vladimir Putin. And the Fed has continued its easy money policy, creating an artificial stock market boom that has deepened income inequality.

What’s really important, however, is the progress we’re making on the rights of transgendered people. Yes, the president rules by executive decree, and refuses to enforce the country’s laws, but recall that we no longer offend Native Americans by calling Washington’s football team the Redskins.

Send to Kindle

Thank You Mount Sinai Hospital!!!

By on 10.13.14 | 7:28PM

While there are pressing matters concerning ISIS and Ebola, my mind has been otherwise occupied for the past several days. 

What was supposed to be a family vacation in New York this weekend became a crisis when my Dad suddenly required emergency triple bypass surgery. Dad hadn't been feeling well for the several weeks with a persistent pain in his back. He thought it might have been his gall bladder and saw a gastroenterologist, Dr. Peter Chang, who thought his heart might be the culprit and recommended Dad undergo a stress test. The stress test revealed nearly complete blockage of his arteries. He would require immediate treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital where he would undergo the triple bypass procedure. Dad is recovering with his characteristic sense of humor. When he saw me with my brother and sister, he said, "Let's go out and play some ball."

Send to Kindle