The Spectacle Blog

The Say Hey Kid, Yogi, Spielberg & Babs Among Those to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By on 11.16.15 | 4:51PM

The 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients have been announced.

They include the likes of Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor. I imagine that's for being good Democrats than anything else. Well, as long as it keeps JT out of Paris.

Other recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Itzhak Perlman, Gloria Estefan, former Democrat Congressman & 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton.

The two names on the list which excite me the most are Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra who passed away in September.

Sadly, Yogi won't be hand for the ceremony which takes place at the White House on November 24th. He won't be able to tell President Obama to take the fork in the road.

But perhaps the Say Hey Kid can bring the crowd to its feet as he did in the 1954 World Series.

Nick Bockwinkel, R.I.P.

By on 11.16.15 | 4:13PM

Former professional wrestler Nick Bockwinkel has passed away at the age of 80 of complications of Alzheimer's.

Bockwinkel played football at the University of Oklahoma when a knee injury derailed his career. Instead, he followed in his father Warren's footsteps and he became a professional wrestler in 1954 beginning a career that would last more than three decades.

Bockwinkel is best known as the four time American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Champion. Based in Minneapolis, the AWA was run by Verne Gagne, the man who he first beat for the title 40 years ago this month, who also passed away earlier this year.

Trump is to The Left of France’s Socialist Minister of the Interior on Shutting Down Mosques

By on 11.16.15 | 3:01PM

Donald Trump says this country has to consider shutting down mosques.

Not surprisingly, the Left is outraged. Madeleine Davies of writes, "The United States should fight violent religious extremism with prejudiced religious oppression, according to presidential candidate Donald Trump." Amber Phillips of The WaPo declares, "Talking about mosques in the wake of the Paris attacks is just the latest iteration of this kind of thing from Trump. He has often gone further on these matters than many other in his own party — and found a devoted base of people who eat it up."

But then what to make of Bernard Cazeneuve, France's Minister of the Interior and member of the Socialist Party?

Harvard University Evacuated After E-Mailed Bomb Threat

By on 11.16.15 | 2:25PM

Several buildings at Harvard University as well as much of Harvard Yard have been evacuated following an e-mail threat of a bomb on campus.

Two other colleges here in Massachusetts - Cape Cod Community College and Fitchburg State College - were also evacuated following bomb threats.

Chances are it is a hoax. Bomb threats at schools aren't that uncommon. I remember one when I attended high school in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There will always be people who cause mischief. But given the Paris bombings, nobody is taking any chances.

After Paris, Obama Will Not Change Tactics on ISIS

By on 11.16.15 | 1:20PM

Obviously, President Obama has had a tough weekend, what with a terrorist attack on a major ally and then a long flight to Turkey for the G20, so I suppose we can give him a pass on his foot-stomping tantrum this morning at the world summit in response to questions about how the US will respond to a freshly motivated Islamic State. 

But why would we do that?

Although the attacks in Paris came just hours after the President claimed ISIS was "decapitated" and "contained," and although even liberal allies in the New York Times and elsewhere are calling for a greater focus on defeating, not just controlling the advance of ISIS on the Arab penninsula, Barack Obama spent most of his first G20 press conference insisting that there would be no change to US policy

Obama Does Have Religious Tests For His Compassion

By on 11.16.15 | 1:01PM

While at the G-20 summit in Turkey, President Obama said that giving priority to Syrian Christians over Syrian Muslims is "shameful.":

And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who's fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that's shameful. That's not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.

These remarks appeared to have been aimed mainly at Ted Cruz who said over the weekend, "There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror."

The Donald’s Captain Queeg Speech

By on 11.16.15 | 12:54PM

For those who have an hour and a half to abuse, you could listen to what I call the Donald’s Queeg speech here. I’m not saying I recommend it. In any case, you’ve probably seen clips on TV of what for almost any other candidate would be a political-career-ending rant. (Howard Dean hit the skids over one lousy scream in 2004 — Trump’s speech was Dean-scream-squared.)

At least Captain Queeg’s unraveling came under tough questioning from a take-no-prisoners prosecutor. Trump’s performance here is unforced.

The Patriots & Giants Played One Hell of a Game — Again

By on 11.16.15 | 12:18PM

While I was writing my article about yesterday's rally in the Boston Common for those who perished in Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, I had the Patriots-Giants game on and I'm glad I did.

It proved to be a most welcome distraction from the subject matter at hand with the Pats winning 27-26 on a 54 yard field goal by Steve Gostkowski with one second remaning in the game. The victory puts the Pats at 9-0. The Pats are one of three undefeated teams in the NFL as the Carolina Panthers are also 9-0 and the Cincinnati Bengals could boast a 9-0 record with a victory tonight against the Houston Texans.

Was The Bataclan Considered a Jewish Target?

By on 11.15.15 | 1:06AM

On Friday night, I spoke with my father during the Paris terror attacks. As the details were still being sorted out he wondered if there were any Jewish targets as was the case when Hyper-Cacher was targeted back in January (despite President Obama's insistence that it was random) or the Chabad-Lubavitch House during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. 

Well, according to The Times of Israel, it appears that the Bataclan may have been targeted because its owners were Jewish and held pro-Israel events at the facility. It should also be noted that The Eagles of Death Metal performed in Tel Aviv this past July. The Laloux family sold The Bataclan in September. Not that it would have mattered much to the attackers.


CBS Iowa Democrat Debate Post-Mortem

By on 11.14.15 | 11:31PM

I have just finished live tweeting the Democrat debate which aired on CBS from Des Moines, Iowa and here are my observations.

Before I get to the candidates, I will say I thought John Dickerson did a competent job in moderating the debate. He and the panelists (who were Iowa print and broadcast journalists) challenged the candidates without making the show about them.

Bernie Sanders - He was very uncomfortable talking about foreign policy in the wake of the Paris attacks. While Hillary and O'Malley spent their entire opening statements on the Paris attacks, he spent about five seconds on it before moving to the more familiar terrain of millionaires, billionaires, Wall Street and the rigged economy. To give you an idea how out to sea he is on foreign policy he actually said climate change causes terrorism. Tell that to the people of Paris.