Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Slippery Lips of Obama

I appreciate what Quin is trying to say concerning President Obama's "Polish death camps" remark. But I simply do not agree with him when he argues that Obama made nothing more than "a harmless slip of the lip." The last time an American President made a slip of the lip concerning Poland we ended up with Jimmy Carter for four years.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Anti-Tea Party Pop Psychology

From time to time, you come across articles or studies which argue that conservatism is steeped in mental illness or a byproduct of so-called authoritarian personality. Last summer, this academic drivel was extended to the Tea Party.

Today, Dr. Justin Frank, a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center in D.C., penned an article in Time arguing the Tea Party fears contamination:
The fear-based purism of the Tea Party brings to mind the developmental phase we see in toddlers who insist on keeping separate the different foods on their dinner plate; in their quest fo certainty, a fleck of green parsley in their plain spaghetti will ruin the entire meal. The extremist drive for political absolutism is driven by a similar fear of contamination.
On a different psychological level we see a fear of being force fed - that the mother or father is going to make the child eat the spaghetti despite that speck of parsley. This perspective equates compromise with surrender, a recent theme in primary races with Tea Party candidates. Recently, Indiana Republicans defeated long-time stalwart senator Richard Lugar in favor of a man who promised never to compromise with any Democrat. Texas Tea Party Senate candidate ran ads portraying his Republican opponent as a "moderate", meaning he's someone willing to work across the aisle.
This anxiety is also expressed in adulthood as the fear of having to mix with people who are different from self. A high percentage of Tea Party extremists to whom (Alan) Simpson refers still can't accept someone as different from them as Obama as their president. And what goes far beyond a simple bit of parsley is that Obama is experienced as a living, breathing contaminant that threatens to force-feed his other-ness down the throat of America.
Fear-based purism? Tea Party extremists? It's not exactly the kind of detached, sober clincial analysis that one would expect of a psychiatrist. If Dr. Frank likens Indiana Republicans who voted for Dick Mourdock over Dick Lugar to children who refuse to eat spaghetti because of a speck of parsley then what of Democrats in Connecticut who jettisoned Joe Lieberman in favor of Ned Lamont a few years back? Or for that matter Texas Democrats who yesterday dumped longtime Congressman Silvestre Reyes? Indeed, it would seem that Dr. Frank is projecting his own biases and prejudices towards a group of people with whom he disagrees.

Speaking of biases and prejudices, Dr. Frank makes the not so subtle suggestion that Tea Partiers dislike President Obama because of the color of his skin (i.e. "the fear of having to mix with people who are different from self"). That Dr. Frank would make such a statement tells me that he has never met a Tea Partier in his life.

It would be great if a local Tea Party group were to invite Dr. Frank to join them for a spaghetti dinner with all the parsley he wants. That is if he's willing to break bread. I wouldn't want Dr. Frank to feel contaminated in the presence of Tea Partiers.

Out of Thune

Quin Hillyer isn't impressed with talk of South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune being Romney's number two. I second his motion.

I haven't been much of a fan of Thune since he opposed John Bolton's nomination as UN ambassador back in 2005. If Romney were to be elected, Bolton would be a leading candidate to be appointed Secretary of State.

Not that there's any rule that a V-P and a Secretary of State have to like each other. Still, I think if Romney were to make this pick it would be terribly out of Thune.

Polish PM Rips Obama Over "Polish Death Camps" Remark

While posthumously bestowing the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Polish WWII resistance member Jan Karski, President Obama made reference to "Polish death camps".

The problem is while there were death camps in Poland they were run by the Germans. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor issued a mealy mouthed apology stating that the President merely "misspoke".
This was simply not good enough for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk:
If these were "Polish death camps", then from whose hands did the uncle of the President of the United States liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp? When someone says "Polish death camps," it is as if there were no Nazis, no German responsibility, as if there was no Hitler - that is why our Polish sensitivity in these situations is so much more than just simply a feeling of national pride.
This truth about World War II is important and must also have importance for every other nation. I am convinced today, our American friends are capable of a stronger reaction - a clearer one, and one which perhaps eliminates, once and for all, these types of mistakes - than just the correction itself and the regret which we heard from the White House spokesperson. We take note of these words, but it seems it woul be even more important for the United States than for Poland to end this with class. That is how one acts with regard to tried-and-tested friends, but this is also how one acts in your own, well-defined interest. I believe our allies are capable of such behavior. Thank you very much.
This isn't the first time President Obama has insulted Poland. He did so in September 2009 when he cancelled the ballistic missile defense systems proposed by George W. Bush which were to be built in Poland and the Czech Republic in an effort to appease, er, reset relations with Russia.

President Obama has made apologizing for America's actions one of the hallmarks of his presidency. The time has come for President Obama to apologize for his own misdeeds. It's time for Obama to man up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Doc" Watson, R.I.P.

Guitar picking legend Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson has passed away of complications from abdominal surgery following a fall at his home. He was 89.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Exclusive Breitbart Tribute at RightOnline

In less than three weeks, on June 15 and 16, we'll be in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the fifth annual RightOnline conference, the premier new media event for 2012 - and I hope you'll join us! Click here to learn more and sign up today.
I'm excited to let you know that this year, in honor of the late Andrew Breitbart, long time friend and supporter of RightOnline, our 2012 event will kick off with a very special tribute honoring the tremendous impact Andrew Breitbart had on online activism and citizen journalism. Many of Andrew's closest friends will share their memories and stories, and breitbartyou'll have the chance to watch a sneak peak of an extended segment of the never before seen "Hating Breitbart" movie.
This year, we'll also be joined by the best and brightest new media experts from across the country. I'm excited to announce our newest confirmed speakers: Jonah Goldberg, author, columnist, and editor for the National Review Online, S.E. Cupp, author and political commentator, and Dana Loesch, radio host, editor for, CNN contributor, and blogger.
As you already know, also joining us are media experts Scott Rasmussen, Michelle Malkin, Guy Benson, Hugh Hewitt, Ann McElhinney, Lars Larson and Roger Hedgecock! Our exciting line-up of learnpanelists include Katie Pavlich, James O'Keefe, and Anita Moncrief.
Today is also your last chance to register for RightOnline at the early bird price of $79, covering your cost of admission, access to the general sessions and breakouts, and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday. Register before MIDNIGHT TONIGHT for this special price! RightOnline goes up to $129 tomorrow, so act now to reserve your place.
It's time to join together with hundreds of citizens and grassroots activists from across the country, as we train for online activism and work to make the difference for liberty and prosperity in our country. We'll see you in Las Vegas!

Tim Phillips
President, Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Monday, May 28, 2012

MD Legislator's Priorities Warped In What Life Is Worth Preserving

During the 2012 session, the Maryland State Legislature considered the abolition of the death penalty.

Opponents of the practice argued that not everyone receiving the sentence actually committed the crime of which the judicial system found them guilty.

However, having only carried out the practice five times since 1977, it is doubtful such miscarriages of justice have been perpetrated all that often in the jurisdiction under consideration.

State Senator Lissa Gladden, a sponsor of the legislation, said, "I think as a community and a government that we should not be in the business of killing people."

Senator Gladden certainly has a warped way of implementing that ethical assumption.

According to Maryland Right To Life Incorporated, Gladden voted for stem cell funding that placed no limits on the destructive harvesting of human embryos.

The legislator also voted against an amendment that would have limited taxpayer funding of abortions for reasons of mental health; in other words, for women in a panic that a pregnancy might leave them with stretch marks during swimsuit season.

So in her eyes, if you are a murderer or a rapist, Gladden believers your life is so precious that it is worth saving no matter the horror or carnage you may have wrought in other people's lives.

However, if you happen to rank among the most innocent or defenseless members of society, Senator Gladden has little problem with snuffing you out in the name of utilitarianism or convenience.

Proverbs 8:36 admonishes that those that hate God love death.

It may seem counterintuitive.  But the effort to eliminate the death penalty, when coupled with the effort to legalize homosexual matrimony, indicates that the hatred of the Almighty in this particular state is approaching levels that threaten to unravel those social conventions established from on high designed to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness founded on true virtue.

by Frederick Meekins

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Johan Santana Shines on Rusty Staub Bobblehead Day

I am spending Memorial Day Weekend in New York with my Dad.

We along with 28,743 other people are now the proud owners of a Rusty Staub Bobblehead.

To read the rest of this post, please click:

Friday, May 25, 2012

WaPost Criticizes Romney's Lack of Rhythm

First, The Washington Post went after Mitt Romney for an alleged bullying incident which took place nearly 50 years ago. Then they went after him for a massacre committed by Mormons in Arkansas 150 years ago. Now they've gone after him for his rhythm or lack thereof.

To read the rest of this post, please click:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warren Pulls Even with Brown in New Poll

For all the controversy around Elizabeth Warren's claims of Native American status, it would appear that it has not hurt her with Massachusetts voters.

According to a new poll released by Suffolk University, Warren has closed the gap between herself and Scott Brown. Warren trails Brown by only a percentage point (48% to 47% of likely voters). Back in February, Brown had a nine point lead over Warren.

The most significant part of the poll is that while 73% of those surveyed were aware of the controversy with regard to Warren claiming status as a Native American, 69% of those folks didn't see what the fuss was all about.

Of course, this is a by-product of living in a liberal state. Most folks here in the Bay State not only favor affirmative action but see nothing wrong with Warren's claims even if they are dubious. In which case, Scott Brown could be in a lot of trouble. If voters in Connecticut didn't care about Richard Blumenthal misrepresenting his military service, is it really a stretch to imagine that Massachusetts voters won't care if Elizabeth Warren lied about being Native American to advance her career?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quigley's Quixotic Defense of Liz Warren

Bernie Quigley's defense of Elizabeth Warren's claims of Native American heritage have been both widely and wisely mocked by the likes of Ace of Spades, P.J. Gladnick at Newsbusters and the triumvirate of Jonah Goldberg, Kevin D. Williamson, and Mark Steyn at National Review Online.
But before I pile on, it should be noted that Quigley cannot be completely dismissed as a left-wing crank. Back in July 2009, Quigley eviscerated President Obama for his snobbery in his handling of the Gates-Crowley affair. Quigley's evisceration of Obama won him praise from no less than Rush Limbaugh.
Having said that, I shall proceed to pile on. Quigley begins by writing:
Elizabeth Warren might be excused for wanting to be Native American. She can claim an old American soul, going back generations in Oklahoma. In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn't.
Well, if not Indian blood then perhaps high cheekbones will do. It is almost universal for us to want higher cheekbones and for those of us that have the means, your friendly plastic surgeon can make those dreams come true. But it won't make you any more Native American than the late Chief Jay Strongbow.
It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness.
If John Edwards is convicted then I guess he can appeal to a higher court and say that his conduct was only being representative of old-soul American consciousness.
The first poetic vision of Europeans in the new world was that James Fenimore Cooper, who conjured Natty Bumpo. He had an "Indian name" - he had several: Hawkeye, Deerslayer, Pathfinder - indicating that he had been "reborn" in the new world in the Indian spirit. It is the oldest and most important myth in the American canon of our folklore, from Lone Ranger, who died and became "born again" via agency of an Indian shaman, and Fox Mulder, who returned from the dead via Indian intercession in "The X Files," born anew with the past burned away in death, to enter a new age under the flag of the White Buffalo.
I mean if Quigley is going to go all out on a limb then why not conjure up an image of Kevin Costner on his hand and knees uttering, "Tatanka"?
So Warren's claim to be "part Indian" is correct in mythical terms. Every old-school white Oklahoman is in this regard even if this is nominally not true. But it is not a lie to want to be Indian and imagine your ancestors were.
Actually, it would be bald-faced lie. To put this matter in some perspective, I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario where there is a significant Aboriginal population both on and off reserve. I greatly admire Aboriginal culture and tradition. But I am not about to go around and claim to be an Aboriginal Canadian. To do so would be wrong and profoundly disrespectful. With that said, it is one thing to identify with Native Americans; it is quite another to identify yourself as a Native American. Even if it's only 1/32 Native American.
I hope Mitt Romney remembers this and incorporates Indian blessings and ritual in his inaugural ceremonies as Canadians do and as they did in those terrific Winter Olympics in Salt Lake in 2002. And I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn't back down on this, because wanting to be Indian, like Hawkeye, makes us in a deeper sense fully American.
I'm not sure which Canadian inaugural ceremonies Quigley is referring to exactly. Given that he mentioned the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics perhaps he was referring to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. But there weren't any Aboriginal blessings when Stephen Harper's Tory government was first sworn into office six years ago by Canada's Governor General at Rideau Hall. Besides, could you imagine if Mitt Romney were to suddenly claim Native American heritage? The Washington Post would call him Chief Flip Flop faster than you could say Bain Capital.

I do agree with Quigley on one thing. I hope Liz Warren doesn't back down on this either because as long as she doesn't then her credibility remains suspect. OK, so Warren wants to be Native American. I want to pitch for the Red Sox. That doesn't mean Bobby Valentine is going to take Daniel Bard out of the starting rotation and give me the ball on Memorial Day against the Tigers. And if he did, it wouldn't make me any more fully American than I am now.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Robin Gibb, R.I.P.

Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees has passed away after a long battle with colorectal, liver and pancreatic cancer. He was 62.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Debbie Schlussel Isn't Very Diligent

Debbie Schlussel is angry about the forthcoming joint cruise between TAS and National Review for amongst other things including Grover Norquist in the proceedings. Then she launched a lengthy tirade against TAS part of which I have highlighted below:
And as for the American Spectator, it's the same deal. Several American Spectator editors repeatedly attacked me for exposing Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih's Hezbollah family and the fact that her pageant bids were paid for by PFLP terrorist, immigration defrauder, and FBI Award revokee Imad Hamad. They also attacked me for pointing out that Lara Logan learned the true Islam when she was gang-raped by the Egyptian Muslim "democracy" protesters in Tahrir Square. This little, inconvenient fact got in the way of the magazine's strong support for the "democracy protesters" and the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (the Spectator's idiotic Aaron Goldstein actually quoted the New York Times pan-Muslim Marxist Nicholas Kristof to bolster their support).
Well, one can say many things about Debbie Schlussel. Being diligent isn't one of them.
I didn't quote Nicholas Kristof concerning Egypt. John Guardiano did. To which I replied:
Alas, Guardiano is content to dismiss the anti-Semitism of some of the protesters. Why? Because The New York Times says so. OK, maybe Nicholas Kristof saw only one anti-Semitic sign. Well, he can take a look at these others. Somehow I find it hard to believe there aren't more where those came from.
So I didn't quote Kristof on Egypt much less endorse any argument he was making. In fact, the only time that I have quoted Kristof was to critique an article he wrote concerning his questions for Bahrain's King Hamad.

With regard to Egypt, as John can attest, we disagreed quite sharply. I wasn't the only one here at TAS who took a skeptical view towards Egypt. For Ms. Schlussel's edification, I cite articles written by Ben Stein, Jed Babbin, as well as a thoughtful blog post from Jim Antle.

Sadly, this isn't the first time Ms. Schlussel has been inaccurate in her characterization of what I wrote (and probably not the last):
As his proof that the 200 Muslims who attacked Logan were operatives of Mubarak, Guardiano cites some Kapo token Spectator Jew, Aaron Goldstein. Goldstein's "proof" that the attackers were Mubarak "thugs masquerading as protesters"? Well, he links to the terse CBS statement announcing the assault - a statement which says no such thing, doesn't mention Mubarak, and says absolutely nothing he claims.
Here was my response to Schlussel:
If Ms. Schlussel is going to refer to me as "some Kapo token Spectator Jew" then should do me the courtesy of actually reading what I have written. Not only have I not asserted that the thugs who attacked Logan were pro-Mubarak but I criticized Guardiano when he claimed they were. I also criticized Guardiano when he suggested pro-Mubarak forces produced anti-Semitic signs seen during the protests.
I ended with that post by writing, "And with that I trust that Schlussel will correct the record."
Well, that was fifteen months ago and I'm still waiting.

Kerry Wood to Announce Retirement

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood will apparently announce his retirement later today.

The announcement may come following this afternoon's game at Wrigley Field against the crosstown rival White Sox as interleague play begins.

Wood, who turns 35 next month, has struggled this season. In nine appearances out of the bullpen, Wood has gone 0-2 with an 8.64 ERA surrendering eight runs in eight and a third innings pitched and has walked more than twice as many batters as he has struck out (11:5).

In a classy move by the Cubs, it looks like Wood will get to pitch one more time in front of Cubs fans before he hangs it up.

Wood was the Cubs first round pick in the 1995 MLB draft and would make his MLB debut in 1998. In his fifth big league appearance, on May 6, 1998, Wood set a National League record and tied a major league record held by Roger Clemens (and later Randy Johnson) by striking out 20 Houston Astros on a one-hit complete game shutout.

Wood won 13 games that season and was named NL Rookie of the Year as the Cubs won the NL Wild Card.

However, injuries would soon become Wood's constant companion. He missed the entire 1999 season due to Tommy John surgery. In all, Wood would be placed on the Disabled List 16 times including earlier this season due to a sore shoulder.

His best season came in 2003 when Wood won a career high 14 games and led the NL in strikeouts with 266 as he and Mark Prior led the team to the NL Central Division title. Of course, the Cubs were five outs away from going to the World Series in Game 6 of the NLCS until Luis Castillo hit that ball down the leftfield line. What is forgotten is that there was a Game 7 which Wood started. He even hit a two-run homerun in the second inning to tie the game at 3-3. Unfortunately, the Marlins took the lead in the fifth and Wood was removed in the sixth having given up seven runs. There would be no joy in Wrigleyville and Steve Bartman had nothing to do with it.

The Cubs converted Wood into a reliever late in the 2007 season and in 2008 would record 34 saves for the Cubs who won another NL Central title before being dispatched by the Dodgers in the NLDS.
After more than a decade in a Cubs uniform, Wood signed a two-year deal with the Cleveland Indians prior to the 2009 season. However, Wood would be traded to the New York Yankees in mid-2010 where he pitched effectively as an eighth inning set up man for Mariano Rivera. But after the Yankees declined to sign him in 2011, Wood returned to Wrigley.

If not for injuries, Wood could have been amongst the all-time greats. But he certainly had flashes of greatness and never made excuses when things weren't so great which made him one of the most popular players in Cubs history.

UPDATE: Wood came on in the bottom of the eighth to face Dayan Viciedo and struck him out on a curveball and bid baseball adieu. He was greeted at the dugout steps by his son and teammates amidst a standing ovation. Now that's ending things on a high note. Well, not completely. The Cubs lost 3-2.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Inge by Inge

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Oakland A's thirdbaseman Brandon Inge having the best week of his 12-year big league career.

Well, this week hasn't been so good. The A's have placed Inge on the 15-Day Disabled List due to a strained right groin.

No Moment of Silence for Murdered Israeli Athletes at London Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has rejected a proposal by Israel for a moment of silence at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in honor of the eleven Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Summer Games in Munich.

I cannot say this comes as a great shock. The IOC is probably no different than the UN. If the IOC were to have honored the fallen Israelis in this way then the Arab/Muslim bloc would have either threatened to boycott the ceremony or the Olympic Games altogether. The truth of the matter is that most of the Arab/Muslim bloc is delighted the Israelis were murdered forty years ago and would probably celebrate if the entire Israeli delegation were to be slaughtered again this summer.

Why Didn't Romney Demand Obama PAC Return Bill Maher's Million?

Both David Axelrod and Jim Messina put out the bait and unfortunately Mitt Romney took it.

Joe Ricketts, formerly of TD Ameritrade and whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, proposed putting together a series of Super PAC ads highlighting President Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Both Axelrod and Messina said that Romney should take a page out of John McCain's book and not focus on Wright. Well, of course, Axelrod and Messina would like that because, gee, McCain lost to Obama. Romney responded it would be "the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign."

So Axelrod and Messina got Romney to condemn ads that haven't been even made. Score one for Team Obama.

Now while one could certainly argue that Romney is better off highlighting Obama's three plus years in the White House rather than rehashing Reverend Wright, I think Romney took the wrong approach here.

What Romney ought to have said something along the lines of, "We'll take your suggestion under advisement. In the meantime, when is the Obama PAC run by Bill Burton going to return Bill Maher's $1 million?"

That would have put the ball back into President Obama's court instead of having Romney juggle a hot potato he shouldn't have touched in the first place.

Donna Summer, R.I.P.

Donna Summer, who had a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s, passed away today of cancer. She was 63.

I had no idea she was ill.

Born here in Boston, Summer was amongst the first artists who popularized disco in 1975 with the 17-minute song "Love to Love You Baby". She reached her peak in 1978 and 1979 with hits like "Last Dance", "Hot Stuff" and her cover of Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park" which had been a hit decade earlier for actor Richard Harris.

Summer continued to have hits in the 1980s the most notable of which was "She Works Hard For The Money" which became a staple of MTV in 1983.

I remember when she did a guest spot on Family Matters when she played Urkel's Aunt Oona from Altoona. Yes, Aunt Oona could sing.

UPDATE: Via Mark Steyn, Summer was apparently exposed to toxic particles in the air from the attacks of September 11, 2001 resulting in lung cancer. Yet another reason to despite terrorism committed in the name of Islamic fundamentalism.

Doug Dillard, R.I.P.

Bluegrass banjo player Doug Dillard passed away last night after a lengthy illness. He was 75.

Dillard began playing banjo as a child and idolized Earl Scruggs (who passed away back in March). After Scruggs replied to a letter he wrote, Dillard convinced his parents to drive him to Scruggs home in Madison, Tennessee. He knocked on Scruggs' door and asked the bluegrass legend to install his tuners on his banjo. Dillard was only sixteen at the time.

Dillard and his younger brother Rodney along with Dean Webb and Mitch Jayne would form The Dillards. They got their first break on The Andy Griffith Show as a fictional bluegrass band known as The Darlings and made regular appearances on the show between 1963 and 1966. Here they are singing "Dooley".

The Dillards were to bluegrass what Bob Dylan was to folk in that they were amongst the first bluegrass groups to play with electric instruments. Dillard liked the electric sound so much that he eventually left The Dillards to tour with The Byrds. He became close with Gene Clark and in 1968 they left The Byrds to form Dillard & Clark. They recorded two albums The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and Through the Morning, Through the Night. Neither album sold well but Dillard & Clark were an influence on country-rock acts like Gram Parsons, The Eagles and Poco and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Take a listen to "Why Not Your Baby" and you'll hear why Dillard & Clark were indeed on a fantastic expedition.

Building Closed: No Ice Cream Until Further Notice

There is a sign from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) which has been placed on the door of the ice cream stand at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle about 20 miles northwest of Boston. It reads:


Last weekend, DCR officers shut down the popular ice cream stand and stood guard to ward off anyone crazy enough to think about buying an ice cream cone on a warm day.

The ice cream stand was shut down because its owner Mark Duffy because construction had been done without local and state permits. Duffy, who operates a dairy farm and has operated the ice cream for more than 25 years, says he has been making improvements everyday without permission.

That isn't good enough for MCR Commissioner Edward Lambert who said, "I like ice cream as much as anybody, so it pains us to even temporarily close what is an iconic property, but we have to make sure people eating ice cream there are safe."

Safe from what exactly, Lambert didn't say.

This is a classic case of, "We're from the government and we're to help." Well, their help has forced Duffy to lay off 13 high school and college students who work for him, has affected the ice cream manufacturer in Attleboro which distributes their product to him and if the shutdown lasts much longer it may force Duffy off his farm. This weekend is due to be as warm as the one we had here last weekend and Duffy is being deprived of his livelihood from an unaccountable bureaucracy which applies its authority arbitrarily and capriciously.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Masked Hooligans Shut Down University Classes in Montreal

Law students at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) had their classes shut down this morning by masked hooligans who stormed the campus forcibly removing some students from the classroom as they shouted, "Scab!!! Scab!!!"

The law students had obtained a court injunction permitting their return to class. There have been more than thirty such injunctions around the province but they have been ignored by striking students.

Last Thursday, Montreal's Metro was shut down during rush hour after several UQAM students allegedly threw smoke bombs onto the tracks at several Metro stations.

The student strike has lasted more than three months and according to Michelle Courchesne, Quebec's new Minister of Education, CLASSE (the student union) is "hardening" their demands. The Quebec Liberal government of Jean Charest is contemplating measures which would hand down heavy fines to those involved with organizing and encouraging the disruption.

But I doubt it will be enough.  The use of the Sûreté du Québec (the province's police force) will probably need to be stepped up and if that doesn't work then Charest might need to ask Ottawa to send in the military. Of course, if students rioters are killed in the course of restoring order then Canada's left-wing media will crucify the authorities. Of course, I hope it doesn't come to that but I don't see a peaceful resolution in the offing.

Kevin Hickey, R.I.P.

Former big league pitcher and coach Kevin Hickey has passed away. His cause of death is unknown but he was a diabetic and had been found unresponsive in his hotel room in Dallas prior to Opening Day last month. He was 56.

Hickey did not have a distinguished big league career except to say that it is a minor miracle that he pitched in the big leagues at all. Born on the South Side of Chicago, Hickey worked in a steel mill and his spare time played softball and semi-pro baseball. In 1977, he was one of 250 players to attend an open tryout at Comiskey Park and was the only player offered a contract by the White Sox. He made his big league debut with the Chisox in 1981.

He pitched with the White Sox through the 1983 season. That year the White Sox reached the post-season for the first time in 24 years winning the AL West by 20 games over the Kansas City Royals. It marked the first of 14 post-season appearances for manager Tony La Russa. I remember the '83 White Sox well. Ron Kittle won AL Rookie of the Year on the strength of his 35 homeruns. Greg Luzinski, Carlton Fisk and Harold Baines also supplied power. There were the Laws - Rudy and Vance (no relation). And how many people besides diehard Chisox fans remember that Jerry Dybzinski was the starting shortstop?

Then there was the pitching staff led by LaMarr Hoyt, whose 24 wins would earn him the AL Cy Young Award. Richard Dotson quietly won 22 games. The starting rotation was rounded out by Floyd Bannister, Britt Burns and 40-year old Jerry Koosman of Amazin' Mets fame. The Chisox didn't really have a closer that season. Dennis Lamp led the team with 15 saves but Salome Barojas had 12 while Juan Agosto and Dick Tidrow had seven apiece. For his part, Hickey recorded five saves in '83.

I remember Hickey because he had long hair and a moustache. He looked like a lefthanded version of LaMarr Hoyt. Most baseball fans might not remember Hickey but George Brett sure does. The three time AL batting champion and Hall of Famer was 0-for-15 lifetime against Hickey.

But then Hickey disappeared. He was released by the White Sox prior to the 1984 season but re-signed with them days later. He would be traded that summer to the New York Yankees along with pitcher Doug Drabek (who would later win the NL Cy Young Award with the Pittsburgh Pirates) as players to be named later for Roy Smalley. Hickey would bounce around in the minors with the Philadelphia Phillies, back with the White Sox and with the San Francisco Giants before signing with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 1988 season.

I was shocked to see Hickey when he returned to the big leagues with the O's in 1989 after an absence of more than five years. His hair was much shorter but he still found a way to get lefthanded hitters out. That year the Orioles nearly went from worst to first in the AL East. Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays had other ideas. Nevertheless, Hickey was back in the bigs and would remain with the O's until they released him during the 1991 season.

In 1994, Hickey got some acting work and appeared in Major League II alongside Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen and ex-big leaguers Bob Uecker and Steve Yeager. After being out of baseball for more than a decade, the White Sox hired Hickey as a part of their coaching staff as a pre-game instructor/batting practice pitcher in 2004 and was on hand in 2005 when the Chisox won their first World Series in 88 years.

Don't Blame Wrigley Field

In an op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Rich Cohen argues that Wrigley Field should be torn down in order to put a merciful end to the Chicago Cubs' 104-year (and counting) World Series drought:
I'm a Roman, and to me, the expanse between Waveland and Addison on Chicago's North Side is Carthage. The struts and concessions, the catwalk where the late broadcaster Harry Caray once greeted me with all the fluid liquidity of an animatronic Disneyland pirate - Hello, Cubs fan! - the ramps that ascend like a ziggurat to heaven - it's a false heaven - the bases, trestles, ivy, wooden seats and bleachers, the towering center-field scoreboard - all of it must be ripped out and carried away like the holy artifacts were carried out of the temple in Jerusalem, heaped in a pile and burned. Then the ground itself must be salted, made barren, covered with a housing project, say, a Stalinist monolith, so never again will a shrine arise on that haunted block. As it was with Moses, the followers and fans, though they search, shall never find its bones.
Methinks Cohen is making a scapegoat of Wrigley. Now it's true the Cubs have never won a World Series in all the years they have played at Wrigley. But the Cubs haven't always been synonymous with futility and lovable losers. During their first thirty years at Wrigley, the Cubs were amongst the best teams in the National League. Between 1916 and 1945, the Cubs won six NL pennants. Only the New York Giants won more NL pennants during this period with seven. Of course, the Cubs went 0 for 6 in the Fall Classic during that period including The Called Shot by Babe Ruth during the 1932 World Series against the Yankees. Nevertheless, the Cubs were a perennial contender and had 14 consecutive winning seasons between 1926 and 1939.

So the Cubs trouble didn't begin with Wrigley but rather with The Curse of the Billy Goat. Before Game 4 of the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and the Detroit Tigers, Billy Goat Tavern owner William "Billy Goat" Sianis and his pet goat, Murphy, were refused admittance into Wrigley because of the goat's stench. Sianis appealed to Cubs owner Phil Wrigley to no avail. An enraged Sianis told Wrigley, "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field." The Cubs lost the '45 Series in seven games and haven't been back since.

Between 1946 and 1983, the Cubs had only eight winning seasons and the bulk of those came between 1967 and 1972 when the club was managed by Leo Durocher. The Cubs led the NL East for most of the 1969 until along came a black cat which crossed Ron Santo's path on the on deck circle. From that point forward, the New York Mets ascended to World Series glory.

Things have been better (or worse, depending on your point of view) since 1984 when the Cubs won the NL East only to lose to the San Diego Padres in the NLCS in five games after having a two games to none lead needing to win only one more. Before there was Bill Buckner, there was Leon Durham and a little spilled Gatorade. Since 1984, the Cubs have been to the post-season five times including 2003 when they were five outs away from winning their first NL pennant in 58 years. Who knew that a fly ball by Luis Castillo headed down the leftfield line would cause so much trouble?

So the next time the Cubs are in the post-season, for crying out loud, let in the Billy Goat, keep out the black cats, hide the Gatorade and publicly apologize to Steve Bartman. That would sure cost a lot less than to tear down Wrigley and build a stadium with a half a billion dollars of taxpayer money.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beckett Turns Jeers Into Cheers

Five days ago, Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett was booed off the mound after a dismal performance against the Cleveland Indians in which he gave up seven runs over two and a third innings en route to an 8-3 loss.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Bush Praises Arab Spring

Former President George W. Bush made a rare appearance in Washington, D.C. today on behalf of George W. Bush Institute which promotes universal freedom and houses the "Freedom Collection", an archive of video testimonial by activists in freedom movements the world over. Amongst those who provided testimonials include the late Czech President Vaclav Havel, Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Kang Chol-Hwan who survived a decade in a North Korean labor camp and wrote about his experiences in the book Aquariams of Pyongyang (which I highly recommend).

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

CNN's Standards of Rudeness

If Bob Tyrrell can be banished from CNN because describing President Obama as "a stealth socialist" is considered "rude" then one would must wonder what exactly CNN's standards of rudeness are.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Will The Last Person at CNN Please Turn Out The Lights?

That CNN would declare Bob Tyrell persona non grata and withdraw its invitation to him, of course, says a great deal more about CNN than it does about the esteemed Mr. Tyrell.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Donald "Duck" Dunn, R.I.P.

Bass player Donald "Duck" Dunn, best known for his stints with Booker T & the MGs and The Blues Brothers, died in his sleep following a performance in Tokyo. He was 70.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Those Ashamed Of America Shouldn't Make A Penny Off The Name

Though at one time barely considered worthy of the appellation of literature, scholars of popular culture have today established the thesis that comic books and other forms of media expression derived from these illustrated periodicals serve as a snapshot of the perspectives and assumptions prevalent at particular points in American history.

Certain characters and series evoke more reflection on certain aspects of culture and ideas than others.

For example, the Fantastic Four evoke reflection upon the loving but some times contentious relationship inside a family.  The plight of the X-Men have been compared to assorted struggles for civil rights and social acceptance.

Likewise, the two characters that most epitomize what it means to be an American are none other than Superman and Captain America.

Interestingly, in recent interpretations of these characters, creators have done nearly everything in their artistic power to disassociate these characters from the nation as a whole.

For example, as almost as iconic as his bright red cape and the oversized “S”-shaped insignia on his costume is the credo summarizing his never-ending struggle for truth, justice and the American way.

However, the film “Superman Returns” poopooed those noble sentiments when Perry White instead uttered “Truth, justice, and ALL THAT STUFF.”

Given that Superman is from another planet and suppose to be the epitome of humanity (hence the name SUPERMAN), one might at least understand that the renowned Kryptonian might want to remain somewhat aloof from taking sides in the common conflicts plaguing the world and instead focus on those threats far beyond powers and abilities of mortal men.

A character named “Captain America” doesn't have such a luxury.

Even if Captain America disagrees with a policy of the United States government at any particular time such as in the case of the Marvel Civil War where a law was passed requiring costumed adventurers to publicly reveal their secret identities, the character must be identified with those values upon which the nation’s foundation rests and which true heroes must call institutions back to.

If one if going to rake in a fortune off of a character with a name like Captain America, the least you can do is not to view the word “America” in the same category as the vilest of profanities.
However, producers allowed the option of dropping the name Captain America from the title in overseas markets.

This is the equivalent of not wanting to call Superman “Superman” because part of the name offends feminists or because the prefix “super” offends hyper-egalitarians and fanatic pluralists denying the existence of gradations of value.

The countries that were listed as taking up distributors on the offer included Russia, Ukraine, and South Korea.

Russia and Ukraine might be understandable.  

After all, both of these countries were once part of the Soviet Union and the totalitarian tendency at the heart of Communism in that part of the world is likely not as dead as Americans have been led to believe.

South Korea is a different story.

Since the 1950's, Americans have died and put their lives on the line to protect the lower half of that disputed peninsula.

If anything, South Korea ought to be at the front of the line pledging its support for Captain America being called “Captain America”.

Sophisticates might sneer down their noses at concern being expressed over a mere comic book character and movie.

However, it won’t be a laughing matter should those responsible for these forms of cultural expression undermine the perception of this nation as a shining city on a hill that is our last best chance on earth.

by Frederick Meekins

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chaos in Quebec

Charles C.W. Cooke has a good piece over at NRO about the standoff over the past several months between university students and the provincial government in Quebec over tuition hikes.

When I attended Carleton University in Ottawa in the 1990s, we envied university students going to school across the river in Quebec because they had the lowest tuition rates in the country. Well, guess what! They still do and even with the proposed increases they probably still would (with perhaps the possible exception of Newfoundland & Labrador). But apparently Quebec university students think the world owes them a living and are willing to commit violence to make sure it stays that way while Quebec's main student organization, CLASSE, claims it doesn't "have a mandate to condemn violence."

Well, yesterday, the Metro subway system in Montreal was shut down for several hours after three smoke bombs were thrown on the tracks almost simultaneously at several subway stations. While no one claimed responsibility, angry commuters pointed the finger at striking students. As of this writing, Montreal police are currently investigating four suspects (three female, one male). The three female suspects attend the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).

Although there were no fatalities from yesterday's event, it was an act of terrorism. It was designed to intimidate and scare people who have no dog in this fight to submit to the students' demands. Well, whatever sympathy the Quebec public might have had with the students is gone. Quebec doesn't want to become the Greece of North America.

UPDATE: The four suspects turned themselves in and are facing charges of inciting fear of terrorism. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Josh Beckett Tees Off Red Sox Nation

Last Saturday, Josh Beckett missed his scheduled start against the Baltimore Orioles due to a strained lat. Former Colorado Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook was called up from Pawtucket to fill in, got spiked and went straight to the DL.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

So When Will See Obama's College Transcripts? Or The Rashid Khalidi Tape?

I just got through reading Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz's "expose" of Mitt Romney's prep school days the centerpiece of which focuses on an alleged bullying incident of a gay student in 1965.

If the Washington Post and other liberal media outlets insist on getting the skinny on Romney's day to day life from the age of 12 to 18 then the very least they can do is to at long last release President Obama's college transcripts from Occidental, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Does it really have to take a $10,000 bounty to find about Obama's academic records?

And what about the Rashidi Khalidi tape the Los Angeles Times is still guarding with its dear life? What was said (or perhaps not said) by either Obama or by Khalidi, a onetime mouthpiece for the PLO, that is unfit to be seen or heard by the American public? Remember this tribute dinner for Khalidi happened in 2003 when Obama was in his early forties, a Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, an Illinois State Senator, and a year removed from making his national debut at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. So whatever was said (or not said) cannot be excused by youthful hijinks.

But getting back to Romney, let's suppose for argument's sake that every word Horowitz wrote is true. Consider this passage:
In later years, after Romney went on a Mormon mission, married and raised five sons, he seemed a different person to some old classmates. "Mitt began to change as a person when he met Ann Davies. He gradually became a more serious person. She was part of the process of him maturing and becoming more of the person he is today," said Jim Bailey, who was a classmate of Romney's at Cranbrook and later at Harvard.
In which case, are we to judge Romney by a single thoughtless act committed at around the same time The Beatles were recording Help! or are we to judge him by the man he's been since Ann Romney came into his life?

UPDATE: Needless to say, it would seem that every word Horowitz wrote is not true. So say John Lauber's sisters. But then again how can you be long bothered by an incident you only just became aware of? The New York Post even says, "Shame on The Washington Post." Not that it's stopping Martin Bashir at MSNBC. As far as the liberal media is concerned the facts be damned. They've got a President to re-elect

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama's Rapid Evolution on Gay Marriage

President Obama's slow evolution to supporting gay marriage took a rapid turn today when his Number Two Joe Biden decided to think out loud earlier this week. The long and the short of it is that President Obama has come out of the closet on this issue far ahead of schedule.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Vidal Sassoon, R.I.P.

Hairstyling mogul Vidal Sassoon died today of natural causes. Sassoon had apparently been battling leukemia for some time. He was 84.

Although Sassoon is synonymous with womens' hairstyling when I think of Sassoon I think of his role in Israel's War of Independence in 1948-49. Who says hairdressers aren't tough?

In 1982, he would later establish the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

Carl Beane, R.I.P.

Carl Beane, the voice of Fenway Park since 2003, was killed this afternoon in a car crash in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. He was 59.

The Red Sox are currently on the road in Kansas City but are scheduled to return to Fenway tomorrow night to start a four game series with the Cleveland Indians with heavy hearts. Beane's last game at Fenway was the 17-inning marathon against the Baltimore Orioles last Sunday.

Beane had a rich, booming voice that enveloped 4 Yawkey Way. Before getting the gig at Fenway, Beane was a radio announcer at WBZ Radio in Boston. Here's a short interview Beane did last year prior to a Cape Cod League game. During the interview, Beane was asked how much longer he expected to continue to be the Red Sox PA announcer. He replied, "I can do this until I'm on the other side of the grass." Sadly, that day came too soon.

UPDATE: The Sox will pay tribute to Beane tonight in a pre-game ceremony and by keeping the PA microphone silent during the game.

Krikorian: Not Neutral About Bachmann's Swiss Citizenship

Over at NRO, Mark Krikorian is decidedly not neutral about Michele Bachmann's decision to take out Swiss citizenship along with her family:
People obviously have multiple connections -- church memberships, community groups, fraternities, ethnic associations, professional societies, etc. But one's chief political allegiance is expressed through citizenship, through being a member of We the People -- and claiming membership in two national communities is like belonging to two different religions, which means neither is accorded the respect due it.
Nonsense. Krikorian readily acknowledges that Bachmann is a patriot - twice. The fact that she has taken out Swiss citizenship makes her no less a patriot than she was yesterday.
Bachmann also finds herself in pretty good company. Albert Einstein was also a dual U.S. and Swiss citizen.
Krikorian goes on to write:
And there is no justification for such a thing when we demand that foreigners seeking to become Americans take an oath that reads, in part: "I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen."
But this represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the oath of allegiance. A person who is sworn in as a U.S. citizen does not lose the citizenship of their land of birth. While the United States does not encourage Americans to become dual nationals it does not prohibit it either.

On a personal note, those familiar with my writing will know that I was born in Canada to a mother from Alberta and a father from the Bronx - an unorthodox combination to say the least. But unorthodox or not, me and my siblings had a claim to U.S. citizenship which all of us have exercised. I must confess though that I exercised my claim later than everyone else. During my NDP days I was guilty of harboring anti-American sentiment and initially declined to take out U.S. citizenship. But by 1999, the realities of the Canadian labor market had hit me like a blinding flash and that my stubborness was both counterproductive and closed minded. I reconsidered and took the oath at the U.S. Consular Office in Ottawa. In March 2000, I moved to Boston and have been here ever since. It's the best decision I've ever made.

UPDATE: I guess taking out Swiss citizenship wasn't the best decision Michele Bachmann made. She has requested the Swiss withdraw her status as a citizen.

Will Lugar Endorse Obama?

John Tabin thinks a cushy job on K Street is in soon to be former Senator Richard Lugar's future. While that is certainly a possibility, I have a feeling there might be bigger things on the horizon for the Hoosier who got dunked by Republicans in favor of Richard Mourdock in last night's GOP primary.

Erick Erickson describes Lugar as "Barack Obama's favorite Republican Senator." As Cornell University Law School Professor William A. Jacobson reminds us that during the 2008 campaign, Obama touted his work with Lugar in a campaign ad passing legislation to rein in nuclear weaponry. Not only did Lugar not object to being mentioned in his ad, Lugar praised Obama's approach on foreign policy and was even mentioned as a possible candidate to be appointed Secretary of State.

Well, Lugar can't be happy with how he was treated by Indiana Republicans. It would come as no surprise to me if Lugar were to endorse Obama for a second term and if Obama were to be re-elected, he would be rewarded by being appointed Ambassador to Russia. Given how our current Ambassador Michael McFaul isn't too happy with how he's being followed by the Russian media I don't think he's long for the job and the post is Lugar's for the asking.

In the meantime, I have a feeling Lugar is going to spend the day playing R. Dean Taylor's "Indiana Wants Me" over and over again

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hamilton Hits 4 Home Runs

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton became the first major league player in nearly a decade to hit four home runs in a game. Hamilton slugged four dingers and drove in eight runs en route to a 10-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Hamilton leads the majors with 14 home runs and 36 RBI and as of this writing is tied with Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a Ted Williams like .406 batting average.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Romney Prefers the L Word to the S Word

I read Jim Antle's observations about Mitt Romney's use of the word "liberal". Methinks Romney prefers the L word to the S word. During an interview with Bill O'Reilly back in December 2011, O'Reilly asked Romney if he thought President Obama was a socialist. To which Romney replied, "I consider him a big government liberal Democrat."

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

A Brief Reminder The War on Terror Isn't Over

Last week, as President Obama was dancing over Osama bin Laden's watery grave, I wrote a piece arguing the War on Terror isn't over. Here is the concluding paragraph:
I am well aware that we are a country weary from more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the uncomfortable truth is that there are still jihadists who wish to kill Americans here and abroad and have the means to carry out their evil intentions. We are only a box cutter away from a painful reminder that the War on Terror isn't over.
Or that might be a pair of briefs as word came late yesterday of the CIA foiling another underwear bomb plot via al Qaeda in Yemen. Fortunately, in this case, our intelligence remained one step ahead of the enemy. But new plots are being hatched and, heaven forbid, but next time we might not be so lucky. In the meantime, President Obama would be wise to stop gloating. However, as the election campaign unfolds, it will be plain to see that he is not in possession of such wisdom.

Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012. R.I.P.

Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator best known for the 1963 classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are, died today of complications of a stroke. He was 83.

I certainly remember Where the Wild Things Are as amongst the very first books I ever gazed my eyes upon and its images remain with me to this very day. That's about the best tribute I can give. Now I must bid adieu. A hot supper awaits me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Netanyahu to Lead Unity Government; No Early Election After All

It has been widely expected for some time that Israelis would be going to the polls this September. Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu put forth a proposal to dissolve the Knesset. But less than 24 hours later, Netanyahu forged an agreement with Shaul Mofaz, the new leader of the official opposition Kadima Party to form a national unity government.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Harper Steals Home

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper continues to impress me.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Red Sox Fall to Orioles in 17 Innings (Or Poor Darnell McDonald)

It was a crazy day at Yawkey Way.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Pujols Finally Hits First HR

Well, it appears a day off was just was the doctor ordered. Last night, Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia kept the struggling Albert Pujols out of the lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays. Entering today's action, Pujols was hitting .194 without a homerun and had only 5 RBI.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

UN Food Monitor to Investigate Canada?

Check out this article in the National Post written by Hillel Neuer, the Executive Director of UN Watch which is a NGO based in Geneva.

Despite the fact there is a food and water shortage in Syria, Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on Food, will be turning his attention to Canada. Beginning tomorrow, de Schutter will be north of the border for 11 days to promote the right to food for all Canadians. You know the UN has its priorities backwards if it's more concerned about access to food in Halifax than in Hama.

Is Harvard Covering for Warren?

Yesterday, The Boston Herald reported that Harvard University acknowledged they have one Native American professor in their faculty but would not say if that faculty member is Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren. (H/T Michael Warren of The Weekly Standard - obviously no relation).

To read the rest of this post, please check out The Spectacle Blog.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Adam Yauch, 1964-2012. R.I.P.

Adam Yauch (a.k.a. MCA), a founding member of The Beastie Boys, died today battling cancer for the past several years. He was 47.

Yauch directed many of The Beastie Boys videos as well as several documentaries. He was also a practicing Buddhist and was outspoken in his support for an independent Tibet. Here's a transcript of an interview Yauch did with the PBS program Frontline about Tibet in the 1990s.

I must admit I'm not a huge Beasties fan or hip-hop in general. But "Fight for Your Right" brings back fond memories of the ninth grade. I hadn't heard it since about 1987 which is perhaps fitting since the Beasties haven't performed it in concert since 1987.

The Beastie Boys have come a long way from throwing pies and last month were inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Does Julia Have a Winston in Her Life?

Over at NRO, Michael Walsh comments on the much mocked "Life of Julia" slideshow rolled out yesterday by the Obama 2012 campaign. He writes:
"Julia" appears to have no males in her life -- certainly not a husband when, at 31, she "decides to have a child" after disporting herself sexually, consequence-free in previous years, thanks to the wonders of Obamacare. (Where did "Zachary" come from - a test tube?)
Indeed, one must wonder if Julia has a Winston in her life. But then again that's so 1984. Julia is the proverbial fish who has no need for a bike. Although I'm sure Julia has had her daily dose of the two minutes hate shouting at some guy named Goldstein only to find herself at peace upon seeing President Obama as he calms Oceania.

Mariano Rivera Tears ACL

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tore the ACL in his right knee yesterday while trying to catch a fly ball during practice in Kansas City prior to last night's game against the Royals. Rivera could be out for the rest of the season, possibly a career ending injury.

Let's just say right off the bat that this is the biggest challenge the Yankees have faced in more than 15 years. Rivera has been the Yankees closer since 1997. The Yankees have missed one post-season in his entire big league career. Rivera has 608 career saves, the most in MLB history. The 42-year old Panamanian has been his usual self. At the time of the injury, he was 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and five saves.

Needless to say, who will the Yankees put out there in the ninth? Rafael Soriano did save 45 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010. Soriano struggled in 2011 and although he has pitched better in 2012 his walk totals are a little scary (six walks in nine innings). Being the closer might be shot in the arm he needs.

David Robertson has pitched well as an eighth inning set up man but is untested as a closer. Then again Rivera pitched well as an eighth inning set up man but was untested as a closer after John Wetteland went to Texas after the 1996 season. Robertson hasn't given up a run in 11 innings pitched this season and has 18 strikeouts to boot. But eighth inning success doesn't always translate into the ninth and Robertson is an unknown quantity in the ninth as is Phil Hughes who has struggled to regain his form of 2010 when he won 18 games. Hughes has had success in the bullpen as an eighth inning set up man during the Yankees World Series championship season of 2009.

The dark horse in all of this is Joba Chamberlain who dislocated his right ankle while jumping on a trampoline late in spring training. He just got put on the 60-Day Disabled List but could be back late in the season. If Soriano, Robertson and Hughes don't pan out and they don't trade for a closer then Chamberlain is an option.

In the grand scheme of things, losing Mariano Rivera is bad for baseball. He is a class act on and off the field and even Red Sox fans cheer for him. That would never happen with Jeter or A-Rod. Mariano Rivera is in a league of his own and it would be shame if this was the way his storied career ended.

UPDATE: Rivera, who had been pondering retirement after this season, vows to return in 2013.

Occupy Chicago May Day march pics you won't see in the establishment media

Marathon Pundit has compiled some of the most revealing photos from the Occupy May Day event, which the lamestream media won't print because they don't want to reveal how radical the protesters really are. Brilliant commentary accompany the photos. Click here for the post.

Workforce Participation at a 30-Year Low

Although the national unemployment rate fell to 8.1% for the month of April, the decline is due not to job growth but declining participation in the labor market. Simply put a critical mass of people have given up looking for work. Consequently, labor market participation is now at its lowest level in more than thirty years with only 63.6% of the adults in the workforce.

Some stimulus plan.

It's no wonder that President Obama is dancing on Osama's watery grave and telling people Romney wouldn't have called the tune. He is a song and dance man. But song and dance men know how to use smoke and mirrors. It's up to Mitt Romney to make sure this smoke doesn't get into the eyes of the electorate and find a clear way to tell people that Obama hasn't done the job he was elected to do.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jered Weaver No-Hits Twins

Last night, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins en route to a 9-0 victory.

Weaver's no-no comes less than two weeks after Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber tossed a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. The 29-year old righty was very nearly perfect. Only two batters reached base against Weaver. After striking out, Chris Parmelee reached first base on a passed ball by Angels catcher Chris Iannetta in the second inning. The only other base runner was Josh Willingham who walked in the seventh. Otherwise, Weaver was dominant striking out nine.

This no-hitter is the tenth in Angels' history and comes almost exactly fifty years after the late Bo Belinsky (better known for spending his nights with the likes of Mamie Van Dorenspun the first in franchise history against the Baltimore Orioles. Nolan Ryan threw four of the Angels no-hitters while Mike Witt tossed a perfect game against the Texas Rangers on the last day of the 1984 season. Witt would also get credit for pitching the last two innings of Mark Langston's no-no against the Seattle Mariners early in the 1990 season although those no-hitters would no longer count if they were thrown today. Prior to Weaver's gem, the most recent Angels no-hitter came last season when Ervin Santana tossed one against the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins have seen better days. They have not scored a run in 19 innings. On Tuesday, the Twins were shutout by journeyman pitcher Jerome Williams. It was Williams' first big league shutout since 2003. The Twins own the worst record in MLB. The Angels, of course, have had a rough start as well in 2012. But thanks to the Twins they have won three in a row for the first time this season.

As it turns out, Weaver's next start will also be against Minnesota on Monday when the Angels visit the Twin Cities. Could Weaver be the second coming of Johnny Vander Meer?

Even if Weaver doesn't throw back to back no-hitters, he has nearly half of the Angels' 10 wins this season. He is 4-0 and leads the AL in both ERA (1.61) and strikeouts (45). Weaver was the runner up to Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Cy Young Award balloting in 2011. I picked Weaver to win the 2012 AL Cy Young Award. We'll see where Weaver is at in September but he's making a good case for himself so far.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Junior Seau, 1969-2012. R.I.P.

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau died today of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Oceanside, California. He was 43.

After playing with distinction at USC, the San Diego Chargers made him their top pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. He was the fifth overall pick in the nation (quarterback Jeff George was the number one pick by the Indianapolis Colts that year). Seau played twenty seasons in the NFL with the Chargers as well as with the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. He was a 12 time Pro Bowler and went to the Super Bowl with the Chargers in 1995 and with the Pats when they went 16-0 in 2008 but did not earn a ring. Seau retired after the 2009 season at the age of 40.

Following his retirement, Seau starred in a short-lived reality series called Sports Jobs with Junior Seau which aired on Versus. Seau did things such as working as a caddy for an LPGA golfer, on a pit crew for an Indycar driver and as a bat boy for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In October 2010, Seau made headlines when he drove off a cliff and survived a fall of more than 100 feet. The incident happened only hours after he had been arrested on a domestic violence charge. Seau told authorities that he had fallen asleep behind the wheel but in light of today's events one cannot be so sure.

Early on in his playing career, Seau established the Junior Seau Foundation which has disseminated nearly $4 million in funds to organizations helping children and young adults. Under the circumstances, one can only hope this work will carry on.

UPDATE: As it turns out, Seau is the eighth member of the 1994 Chargers AFC Championship team to have passed away and the third member to have died in the past two years. When Natron Means learned of Seau's death he said, "Not again." What else could be said?

There's No "I" in Team Six

John Guardiano took the words right out of my mouth with his headline, "Obama's Latest Campaign Stop: Kabul, Afghanistan".

President Obama's address to the troops would have been fine on its own. But the fact that it comes while his campaign is asserting that Mitt Romney would not have authorized the raid which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden cheapens both the occasion and the office of the presidency. Our troops deserve better than to be used as political props by President Obama.

As former Attorney General Michael Mukasey noted in The Wall Street Journal, we would have never seen this sort of behavior from Dwight Eisenhower or Abraham Lincoln, whom Obama is fond of quoting and, for that matter, George W. Bush, whom Obama is not fond of quoting.

Mukasey also notes that if the operation had failed the buck would not have stopped with President Obama. There would have been a fall guy. In this case, it would have been left to Admiral William McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, to fall on his sword:
A recently disclosed memorandum from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta shows that the president's celebrated derring-do in authorizing the operation included a responsibility-escape clause: "The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out."
Which is to say, if the mission went wrong, the fault would be Adm. McRaven's, not the president's.
So much for that "new era of responsibility" President Obama spoke about when he was inaugurated. It seems to me that President Obama has a different understanding of what responsibility means than most of us. For Obama, when things go wrong he takes none of the blame and when things go right he takes all of the credit. It is the sort of thing you can expect of someone who thinks the world around him.

President Obama simply does not grasp that there's no I in Team Six.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Christian School Propagandizes On Behalf Of Trayvon Martin

At Clinton Christian school in the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington, DC, students gathered in hoodies at a makeshift prayer vigil in support of Trayvon Martin.

Does the school intend to hold a rally in support of George Zimmerman as well if it turns out Martin instigated the physical aspect of the confrontation?

More importantly, does the school intend to hold a rally in support of the elderly couple that fled their home following death threats after Spike Lee posted the incorrect address for what the racially obsessed film producer thought was the alleged gunman's father?

It must also be asked, with the way things are done in Christian schools in order to coerce mass conformity, what threats were leveled against students not wanting to participate in such blatant activism?

It was been reported that Mr. Martin vandalized his school with graffiti and may have possessed on school premises a bag containing marijuana residue.

Back in my day where I attended Christian school, the ENTIRE student body would be denied the “privilege” of expelling concentrated metabolic and digestive wastes at the preferred time of one’s own body over less.

Though it is regrettable that Trayvon Martin perished in an altercation he may have instigated, it is rather ironic that a Christian school would elevate as worthy of adoration and emulation a figure that in all likelihood would have been expelled for his behavior.

Devoted Christian parents spend good money to protect their offspring from the manipulative debasement of American culture taking place in the public schools.

Any private school that allows such one-sided grandstanding to take place before all the facts have been established has betrayed not only this financial trust but also the sacred aide parents plead for in assisting them to raise their offspring in light of values honoring to both God and country.

by Frederick Meekins

Bryce Harper Takes Some Swings at Environmentalists

What's a 19-year old single male with a mohawk to do in Washington, D.C. on a Monday night? Why look for a baseball game of course. Failing that crashing a softball game between the World Wildlife Fund and the Alliance to Save Energy would have to do. Well, that's if you're Washington Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper. It isn't quite Willie Mays playing stickball in Harlem but it's still pretty cool. 

Harper, of course, made his MLB debut with the Nats on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine to heavy jeering. Despite not getting the red carpet treatment, in his first two big league games, Harper has gone 2 for 6 with an RBI double along with a spectacular catch and a perfect throw to home plate. Needless to say, there will be a much friendlier reception for Harper when he makes his debut at Nationals Park tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Would Lesley Stahl Like to Offer KSM Milk & Cookies?

With today being the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, I have a piece up today on the mainpage concerning how Obama and company tout how Mitt Romney wouldn't have given the order to raid bin Laden's compound while at the same time negotiating with the Taliban and declaring the War on Terror to be over.

Prior to writing the article, I had seen Lesley Stahl's 60 Minutes interview with Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA Director of Clandestine Operations. I wanted to work it into my piece but I just didn't have the room. Nevertheless, the interview is worth commenting upon in its own right. Consider this question Stahl asked about the treatment 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed received at the hand of CIA interrogators:
Stahl: Did you make him wear diapers?
Rodriguez: Diapers? I don't recall specifically. But diapers is something that is approved.
Stahl: It's so humiliating.
Rodriguez: It's standard. Standard. Yeah.
When Stahl admonishes Rodriguez for humiliating KSM it's as if she's taking a teacher to task for being too hard on a third grader. Her grandmotherly tone made me think she wanted offer KSM milk and cookies to make him feel better.

For his part, Rodriguez wisely reminded Stahl that this was the man who killed Daniel Pearl:
He slit his throat in front of a camera. I don't know what type of man it takes to cut the throat of someone in front of you like that, but I can tell you that this is an individual who probably didn't rive a rat's ass about having water poured on his face.
As Rodriguez was saying this, a look of sadness came over Stahl's face. She closed her eyes and tightened her jaw. I don't know if she knew Daniel Pearl personally but it was only at that moment that she seemed to comprehend the vicious nature of KSM. Aside from that moment however, Stahl was full of the sort of sanctimony that has come to exemplify 60 Minutes and the mainstream media at large.

What is so troubling about Stahl's sanctimony is that if she were to offer KSM milk and cookies he would thank her by doing to her what he did to Daniel Pearl.