The Spectacle Blog

Saloon Series — A New Gin for a New Century

By on 11.12.15 | 2:16PM

Gin has had a weird and wild ride over the past 500 years. The Dutch were producing the piney drink in the 1500s, but adding herbs to liquor is a tradition that goes back further still to the tinkering of medieval alchemists.

Juniper berries, which give gin its characteristic scent, have been used as a spice since ancient times. When, precisely, someone first plucked them from the bush and plopped them in liquor is anyone’s guess. Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia (77 to 79 CE) included a recipe for a wine-based "proto-gin," reports Aaron Knoll in his entertaining Gin: The Art and Craft of Artisan Revival.

Clinton Celebrates Environmentalist Endorsement By Boarding Carbon-Spewing Private Plane

By on 11.12.15 | 2:09PM

Hillary Clinton has struggled to earn the support of the more extreme elements in her party, environmentalists included. A few months ago, she tried to pander to those who belive the Earth is melting faster than a chocolate bunny in July under the limited influence of mankind by attacking the Keystone Pipeline project, but the Obama Administration has already nixed that economic development project in the name of preserving the penugin population, so she's been out of luck.

Finally, this week, she caught a break from the League of Conservative Voters, who broke ranks with other environmental groups (all of whom have endorsed Bernie Sanders) to provide Clinton with a modicum of ecological credence. Clinton took LCV up on its offer to attend their most recent get-together, and used the opportunity to announce a sweeping "climate change" plan that included a "North American Climate Compact" designed to put Canada and Mexico on the same page as the US in limiting fossil fuel consumption.

Embattled #Mizzou Professor Melissa Click Got Grant to Attend Twilight Convention

By on 11.12.15 | 12:25PM

Yesterday, I penned a "think piece" on the subject of the University of Missouri, on how liberal professors, chancellors, university Presidents and, ultimately, coddling parents, were the ones responsible for Mizzou's complete civil breakdown. Now, to be fair, the students are also to blame - this wouldn't be happening if the students themselves had not decided to put years of education into practice rather than do something productive with their lives, like take their midterms - but it's becoming clearer and clearer that today's college students are being molded by a decidedly unserious environment.

Lou Brock Loses Part of Left Leg to Diabetes

By on 11.11.15 | 11:23PM

It broke my heart to hear that St. Louis Cardinals legend Lou Brock had to have his left leg amputated below his knee due to complications from diabetes

After all, Brock is synonymous with speed and stolen bases. The Cards stole him from the Chicago Cubs in the middle of the 1964 season for pitcher Ernie Broglio in what is considered by many baseball fans to be the most lopsided trade in MLB history. Brock was the last piece of the puzzle for the Cardinals who went to win the World Series that year and again in 1967 with one more NL pennant in 1968. In 21 World Series game, Brock hit .391 with 4 HR and 13 RBI along with 14 stolen bases.

WaPo Reporter Complains GOP ‘All Over The Map’ on Foreign Policy

By on 11.11.15 | 5:13PM

WaPo "reporter" Sean Sullivan thinks Republicans have a problem where it concerns foreign policy. In an article titled, "On foreign policy, GOP candidates are 'all over the map'", Sullivan writes:

Donald Trump is “100 percent” in favor of Vladi­mir Putin demolishing the Islamic State terror group. Jeb Bush thinks he’s “absolutely wrong.” Marco Rubio has written off Rand Paul as a “committed isolationist,” while Ted Cruz positions himself in the ideal “middle ground” between them.

Sen. Claire McCaskill Wants Men to Shut The Hell Up About Everything

By on 11.11.15 | 3:23PM

Sen. Claire McCaskill tried, unsuccessfully, to film a spoof public service announcement for Stephen Colbert a few days ago, ostensibly as a way to address "mansplaining," while letting us in on McCaskill's quirky side. Unfortunately, Claire McCaskill doesn't actually appear to have a quirky side, and the resulting video is less "poignant and hilarious cultural criticism" and more "prickly and outdated feminist overture from the embattled Senator of a Midwestern state." 

But that's beside the point: the product was a foregone conclusion as soon as they selected its star. What you should know, men of the Spectator, is that you are no longer allowed to speak on a seemingly random variety of topics because Claire McCaskill says so. 

Obviously, men can't also have an opinion on this video, as it play directly into Claire McCaskill's argument. So I'll break it down for you. According to Claire, gentlemen, you are no longer able to opine on the following topics:

Thank You, Bob

By on 11.11.15 | 3:17PM

It’s probably too late to save his hapless campaign. But I’m sure Jeb! was happy anyway to receive the endorsement Wednesday of former President Bob “Bob” Dole.

Oops. Sorry. As I now I remember, Dole is one of several establishment Republicans who failed to defeat a weak Democratic incumbent. In Dole’s case, Bill Clinton in 1996 — didn’t even make it close. Almost certainly Dole’s choice, the establishment Jeb!, if nominated, would join the growing list of “electable” Republicans who never made it to 1600.

Andy White, R.I.P.

By on 11.11.15 | 2:29PM

Drummer Andy White has passed away of a stroke on Monday at the age of 85.

White's claim to fame was to have played drums on The Beatles' first single "Love Me Do" as well as its B-side "P.S. I Love You". Ringo Starr played tambourine and maracas on these songs, respectively. White was only paid £5 for his work, but he can legitimately called one of The Fifth Beatles.

White also worked as a session drummer with the likes of Lulu, Tom Jones and Herman's Hermits and also toured with Marlene Dietrich. When The Smithereens recorded their Beatles tribute album in 2007, they recruited White to play drums on "P.S. I Love You".

Andy White might not have been a star (or for that matter a Starr), but he knew how to keep a beat.

Thoughts for Veterans Day/Remembrance Day 2015

By on 11.11.15 | 1:06PM

I would be remiss if I didn't share a few thoughts on this Veterans Day/Remembrance Day. Although I have now lived in this country for more than 15 years, I am still accustomed to calling November 11th Remembrance Day which is the term used to signify this day in Canada and throughout the British Commonwealth.

If you should ever find yourself in Canada in early November you will see people wearing poppies. The poppies refer to the poppies Dr. John McRae described in his poem "In Flanders Fields". Although I did see someone wear a poppy the other day, it is a tradition that has never caught on down here. But poppies or no poppies, Americans honor our military because we implicitly understand that our military is the most important organization on earth. Without it, there would be no liberty here or abroad.

Fox Business Channel GOP Main Debate Post-Mortem

By on 11.10.15 | 11:56PM

The GOP main debate which aired on the Fox Business Channel has finally concluded in Milwaukee and here is my post-mortem of said debate.

Before I evaluate each of the candidates, let me note the moderators on the Fox Business Channel did a much better job than the CNBC moderators late last month, notwithstanding Maria Bartiromo's question to Marco Rubio about Hillary's "excellent résumé."

Rand Paul - He did land a punch against Donald Trump when he pointed out that TPP did not include China and also made a good case as to why Congress shouldn't cede power to the President where it concerns fast track negotiation of trade deals. But he fared far worse against Marco Rubio when he challenged his child tax credit plan and against Carly Fiorina on Russian involvement in Syria and Ted Cruz on military spending. His penny pinching ways on military spending will simply not resonate with Republican audiences.