The Spectacle Blog

Misery Instead of Miracles at Fenway

By on 7.8.14 | 2:47PM

In my article today about the 1914 Boston Braves (known as the Miracle Braves for coming back from last place in the National League on the Fourth of July to winning the World Series), I noted that the last place Boston Red Sox were 39-49.

Make that 39-50. I went to the game against the Chicago White Sox last night with an old friend. The game was delayed by 45 minutes because of rain. We had to stay beneath the grandstands and, boy, did it get hot down there. They might as well have postponed it because the Red Sox played as if they were still in the clubhouse. The Red Sox were lethargic with few exceptions namely Dustin Pedroia. My friend pointed out that when Petey tried to throw the ball around the horn after a strikeout nobody else in the infield was paying any attention.

Send to Kindle

Ukraine is Going Somewhere, But Where?

By on 7.8.14 | 10:44AM

Ukrainian separatists have withdrawn from a number of their strongholds in recent days, retreating to, and fortifying, the regional capital of Donetsk and a few other cities, in what is being described as a tactical decision. After Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gave up on a cease-fire with the pro-Russian rebels, a Ukrainian offensive, facilitated by an apparently revamped military and American aid, has effectively cornered the separatists in what has been called the People’s Republic of Donetsk.

Send to Kindle

Yoga Is Racist

By on 7.8.14 | 10:26AM

The Atlantic has the story:

Thick, glossy copies of LA Yoga, Yoga Journal, and Yoga Magazine cover the rickety folding table in the lobby of Green Tree Yoga and Meditation. The magazines share tales from Malibu, Santa Monica, and Pasadena. Nearly every spread features a thin woman, usually in slim yoga pants and a tight tank, stretching her arms toward the sky or closing her eyes in meditation. Nearly all of these women are white.

But in South Los Angeles, where Green Tree opened last year, fewer than one percent of residents look like the people in those pictures.

“You can look at all those journals and you'll not see one woman of color,” said Raja Michelle, herself a white woman, who founded the studio. “We associate yoga with being skinny, white, and even upper class.”

“You go to classes and you’re the only black person, or there are very few,” said Robin Rollan, who practices yoga in New York and D.C. and runs the popular blog Black Yogis. “People who find my blog say, ‘I thought I was the only one.’”

Send to Kindle

Morning Round-Up 7-8

By on 7.8.14 | 9:50AM

Send to Kindle

The Case That Could Dismantle Obamacare

By on 7.7.14 | 4:10PM

A high-profile, yet little-covered case is making its way through the D.C. Circuit Court. The ruling in that case could topple the bureaucratic behemoth known as Obamacare. The case rests on the legal and textual interpretation of a section of the law.

According to Newsweek:

It all started in 2011, when Jonathan H. Adler, a conservative law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, shot an email to his friend Michael Cannon, a health policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. Adler thought he had spotted an error in Obamacare that could unravel a significant portion of the law.

Over at Cato, the argument is clarified:

Send to Kindle

Meet Sam Alito — From Phillies Fandom to the First Amendment

By on 7.7.14 | 3:54PM

The political press is going through a Samuel Alito renaissance in the wake of last week's high-profile Supreme Court decisions (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn), both of which were authored by the amiable associate justice.

"Samuel Alito’s moment," proclaims Politico.

"Meet Samuel Alito, the Most Important Conservative in America Today," runs the headline at National Journal.

Forget them. If you really want to understand Sam Alito — from his Phillies fandom, to his New Jersey roots, to his judicial philosophy of originalism with interpretation — read my colleague Matthew Walther's recent cover story on the man, who sat for a multi-hour interview with The American Spectator. It begins this way:

Send to Kindle

Biblical Treasures on the Chopping Block in Iraq

By on 7.7.14 | 3:28PM

Arguably the Bible's most successful evangelizer was the prophet Jonah, whose story is told in the biblical book of the same name. Despite a brief bout of cowardice and disobedience that ended in repentance thanks to the belly of a large she-fish, Jonah preached to the wicked people of Ninevah. Every inhabitant of Ninevah heeded Jonah's warning of certain destruction within forty days, and "that great city" was spared (Jonah 3:2).

Whether the city of Ninevah, located in what we now call Iraq, will find similar salvation today is questionable.

Send to Kindle

A Conservative Case for Organized Labor

By on 7.7.14 | 1:54PM

The Daily Beast declares that “the right has good reason to keep organized labor alive.” They are correct, which is surprising, but they miss a few things worth thinking about, which is perhaps less surprising.  

Responding to the Harris v. Quinn Supreme Court decision, James Poulos argues that Justice Kagan’s dissent points to the imminent issue in labor politics: the purpose of unions’ existence.

Send to Kindle

Thoughts on the Arrests of Six Israelis in Murder of Palestinian Teen

By on 7.6.14 | 8:58PM

Six Israelis have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Palestinian teen last week in apparent retaliation for the murder of three Jewish teens who were kidnapped by Hamas.

Of course, these six Israelis are entitled to due process. But if they are convicted for the crime which they have been accused I think this can be said with certainty. Israelis will not be naming their schools, streets and soccer fields after these men. Nor have Israelis taken to the streets to hand their children candies. Israelis do not consider the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir cause for celebration. 

Send to Kindle

We’ve Not Heard The Last of Eugenie Bouchard

By on 7.5.14 | 1:07PM

I know Roger Kaplan does the tennis beat around here, but I would remiss if I didn't make note of the stellar performance of Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon. Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam final, but lost in straight sets to Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-0. This was Kvitova's second Wimbledon title having won it previously three years ago when she defeated Maria Sharapova. 

Bouchard is in her second year on the WTA tour. Prior to Wimbledon, Bouchard reached the semi-finals at both the Australian and French Opens. At 20, Bouchard is just beginning to come into her own and despite being dominated by Kvitova today we have not heard the last of her. It will be interesting to see what Bouchard does at the U.S. Open later this summer.

Send to Kindle

Pages