The Spectacle Blog

EPA’s New Fuel Regulations Will Avert 0.0026 Degrees Of Warming

By on 6.22.15 | 9:58AM

The EPA’s new carbon dioxide regulations for heavy trucks is meant to help the U.S. meet its goal of reducing emissions to fight global warming.

There’s just one problem: CO2 regulations on heavy trucks will have little to no impact on global warming over the next 85 years, according to the EPA’s own analysis.

The EPA says limiting carbon dioxide from heavy trucks will reduce emissions by more than 1 billion metric tons by 2050. Cutting CO2, the agency says, will create up to $34 billion in “climate benefits” along with up to $40 billion from reducing traditional pollutants. Regulating heavy trucks are part of the Obama administration’s goal of reducing U.S. CO2 emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Sounds like Obama administration regulations will accomplish a lot. Well, not really. The EPA’s own analysis found that by 2100 “the global mean temperature is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.0026 to 0.0065°C, and global mean sea level rise is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.023 to 0.057 cm.”

The Confederate Flag Is Not To Blame UPDATE

By on 6.21.15 | 4:27PM

In the wake of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina at the hands of a white supremacist which left 9 people dead, one of the flashpoints of discussion has been the Confederate flag which flies over the state legislature in Columbia.

There have been renewed calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol by liberal publications such as The Atlantic and Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush have joined the call. If the people of the Palmetto state want to address this matter whether through the state legislature or by popular referendum and decide they want to remove the flag  then fine by me. 

Hollywood Against Big Government: Vince Vaughn’s Prescient Words About Gun Ownership

By on 6.21.15 | 1:16PM

Hollywood has long had a hypocritical relationship with guns. While strutting around with armed bodyguards, they staunchly oppose the right for ordinary Americans to enjoy the same security guns provide. While starring in blow-’em-up action movies and flashing guns in every scene, they speak out against the glorification of firearms.

Vince Vaughn isn’t buying it.

After the recent tragedy in a Charleston church, it’s time that all Americans — and yes, that means even those who live in Hollywood — think soberly about how the second amendment can provide protection against unimaginable evil. Vaughn’s interview in the British Gentlemen’s Quarterly, conveyed common sense not often found in Hollywood about the topic. Though he was interviewed before the Charleston shooting, his prescient interview resonates even more strongly today:

Max Scherzer No-Hits Pirates; Narrowly Misses Perfect Game & Becoming Our Generation’s Johnny Vander Meer

By on 6.21.15 | 12:08AM

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer tossed a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon. Scherzer actually came within a strike of throwing a perfect game, but with two strikes plunked pinch hitter Jose Tabata. Scherzer got Josh Harrison to fly out to end the game. Scherzer fanned 10 batters and the Nats won 6-0.

Scherzer's no-no is the second of the 2015 season. Eleven days ago, San Francisco Giants rookie Chris Heston no-hit the Mets. Oddly enough, the only baserunners he allowed were via hit by pitch as well.

But it has really been a remarkable week for Scherzer. Last Sunday, Scherzer took a perfect game into the 7th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers when Carlos Gomez hit a bloop single up the middle. That was the only hit Scherzer allowed and the only other batter to reach was Scooter Gennett on a walk in the 8th. Scherzer struck out 16 batters in that game.

The President’s American Exceptionalism

By on 6.20.15 | 5:15PM

After Dylann Roof, a troubled 21-year-old kid on anti-psychotic drugs, opened fire on people in a Charleston, SC church, President Obama asserted that “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Three days later, a 26-year-old Austrian man ploughed his car into crowds of people. He then got out of his car and began stabbing them with a knife. He killed at least 3 and injured 30. Ten are in hospital with serious injuries, with one in critical condition. The killer is described as a professional driver, married with 2 children. He’s thought to be psychotic.

Mental illness happens everywhere. And the mentally ill don’t need a gun to kill and hurt a lot of people.

Is Osama bin Laden’s Son a Deather?

By on 6.20.15 | 5:13PM

Abdulla bin Laden, son of Osama, wrote to our embassy in Saudi Arabia asking for his father’s death certificate. He was informed that there wasn’t one.

The Administration has also denied other requests for proof of Osama’s death, such as photos of his body or burial.

Abdulla would be well advised to keep pressing the Administration on this matter. After all, look how long it took them to come up with a birth certificate for Obama.

Thoughts on Love & Mercy: The Love, Life & Genius of Brian Wilson

By on 6.20.15 | 2:44AM

On Friday night, my roomie Christopher Kain and I went to see Love & Mercy: The Love, Life & Genius of Brian Wilson.

I have to admit I was unsure how well this would work as the legendary genius behind The Beach Boys was played by two actors, Paul Dano and John Cusack. Now Dano looks so much like Wilson it is frightening. I was more concerned about Cusack's portrayal, but as the older Wilson he his Wilson's facial mannerisms down pat. Cusack's performance was understated yet very powerful.

Given the chaotic nature of Wilson's life it does make sense for two actors to have played him. Bill Pohlad, who is better known as a producer of films such as 12 Years a Slave, directed this film. Like Brian Wilson's character, Pohlad's direction was chaotic but not contrived. 

This Racist Act Does Not Make Us a Racist Country

By on 6.19.15 | 6:24PM

There is now little room for doubt that Dylann Roof killed nine people at Mother Emanuel AME Episcopal Church on Wednesday night because they were black.

It was an act of racism. It was an act of evil.

Evil will always be among us and racism is one of its more virulent strains. Unfortunately, this means racism will always be among us. The best we can do is to inoculate ourselves against racism from an early age and if an outbreak does occur to stop the disease from spreading. More often than not this country has succeeded in this regard over the past half century.

Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof Tells Police He Almost Didn’t Go Through With It

By on 6.19.15 | 3:45PM

I learned, in the wake of the Newtown shooting, that responding to mass tragedies on the Internet is best left to the professional news organizations, at least for the first 48 hours. We have a tendency to have strong personal feelings that color our interpretation of events, and with opinion journalism, that can lead down some dark roads that will, eventually mean a lot of regret. Social media is the worst place in the world in the wake of a tragedy, and politics shows itself to be a cesspool of losers, trying to score cheap political points as families grieve and tears are shed.

Newt Gingrich Reviews the Apple Watch

By on 6.19.15 | 1:26PM

I was considering buying the Apple Watch until I found out that you have to have your phone in your pocket for it to operate most of the applications. Since I already pretty much have the phone in my hand all day, it seemed pointless to have something in my hand that was also on my wrist. Also, until I can video-call someone Dick Tracy style, there's no point in owning a watch that also takes phone calls.

Anyway, since it's Friday, I'll let Newt Gingrich explain the Apple Watch's drawbacks instead of boring you with more of my unnecessary observations - yes, that Newt Gingrich. Here's his first tech review for

Verdict: not cooler than a moonbase.