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PJM Lifestyle

Tebowmania Concludes in Denver

Monday, March 19th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

36 year old Peyton Manning chooses the Denver Broncos as his next team, which means that likely Tim Tebow is on the trading bloc, Mike Silver of Yahoo sports reports:

Two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history just hooked up on a “Go” route for the ages, and there’s no question which one feels like walking around with his arms raised to the heavens in celebration.

No matter what Peyton Manning does as a Denver Bronco, John Elway just threw the executive’s equivalent of a game-winning touchdown pass.

Elway, since taking over as the Broncos’ top football executive 14 months ago, has been looking for a quarterback befitting of his Hall of Fame legacy, or at least someone doing a decent impersonation. Instead, thanks to an against-the-grain decision by the prior regime and a stunning series of dramatic developments during the surreal 2011 season, he got Tebowmania – and it wasn’t going away.

And thanks to Manning’s equally extraordinary divorce from the Indianapolis Colts, Elway saw an opening – a bold, emphatic way to rid himself of Tim Tebow without causing an insurrection in the Rockies.

True to his nature, the old gunslinger seized it, going all out in his pursuit of Manning, with whom he surely connected on a level none of us can understand.

On Monday, Elway learned that he’d found his target, with Manning choosing the Broncos over the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. To say the reaction at the Broncos’ Dove Valley training facility was one of jubilation would be an understatement. Sure, the notion of landing one of the greatest players in league history was a pick-me-upper. However, there was also a decided ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead strain to the exultation, as unfair and irrational as that may seem.

“Peyton Manning allows John Elway and the Broncos to wash their hands clean of Tim Tebow,” the headline above Silver’s story blurts out with an obvious anti-Christian dig, even though Silver, a former Sports Illustrated writer, does a pretty good job of controlling his own biases in the article.

In a way, Elway’s career has come full circle — he was the successor to Craig Morton, the former Dallas Cowboys starter, who was released when Roger Staubach emerged as a superstar in the early 1970s. After stopping for a cup of coffee in New York, Morton found redemption with Broncos, taking them to their first Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 1977 season (where they lost to Morton’s former team). Now Elway as the Broncos’ general manager is placing his team’s current Super Bowl aspirations on the arm of another 30-something quarterback, who may or may not be damaged goods.

Will Elway get the job done and end his playing career, as Elway did, with another Super Bowl ring in Denver? And what will happen next with Tebow? Did Tebow’s religious proselytizing speed his demise with a team he took into the playoffs?

Toss the rhetorical pigskin around in the comments below.

(Thumbnail on Lifestyle blog homepage assembled from multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

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‘If This Is War, It is War on Men’

Monday, March 19th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

So says Sarah Hoyt, author of Darkship Thieves in a post about women’s demands for free birth control:

If you truly believe refusing to force employers to pay for birth control is a war on women, then you are fragile little flowers who deserve to experience life practically anywhere else in the world. You are also unleashing a monster. Get the government to force this and NOTHING is out of bonds. Forget selling you the rope to hang you with. The government will eventually force you to pay them to hang you….

I know! Let’s make war on men, and refuse to listen to them when they’re abused, ignore their claims to their children, take away their right to choose if they want to be fathers (and pay for it) or not, design the school system so it doesn’t fit either their learning style or their development and oh, yes, drug them so they don’t act like boys AND all the while scream that they’re the ones hurting us.

Read the rest of the post, Hoyt has good insight into what is truly happening to men in our society. But while talking is good, action is better. What men don’t understand is that this is a cultural war and it is being waged by women and their “Uncle Tims” in government and elsewhere against the average American male. Men have a hard time fighting back because they cannot psychologically go against the women they have been taught to protect, but that is changing and it should.

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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

‘Tis a simple formula for St. Patrick’s Day: One man, five ounces, four minutes, the world of the Blogosphere at your doorstep:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned:












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John Carter: Old-Fashioned Sci-Fi Leaps to Life

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 - by Chris Queen

A few weeks from now we’ll find ourselves knee-deep in the summer blockbuster season, inundated by a gaggle of loud, bright, overdone action movies. It seems like every year these big studio barn-burners appeal to the lowest common denominator, shortchanging plot and character at the expense of cheap special-effect thrills. But in early spring, movie lovers get a chance to treat themselves to a different breed of sci-fi action film — Disney’s John Carter.

I’ve already written about the background of John Carter and the hundred-year journey from the novel’s original publication to the movie’s release. Edgar Rice Burroughs published the first John Carter novel in serialized form in 1911, a few years before the Tarzan novels which earned Burroughs his fame.

John Carter‘s story begins when Carter (Taylor Kitsch) sends his nephew, a young Burroughs (Daryl Sabara), a

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter

telegram summoning him for a vist. When Burroughs arrives, Carter has died and left him his estate, including his valuable collection of artifacts from throughout the world, his unusual tomb, and the secretive journal of his adventures.

As Burroughs delves into the journal, Carter’s tale unfolds in flashbacks. In the Old West, the enigmatic Carter, a captain in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, searches Arizona Territory for a cave of gold. When Carter and an Army officer find themselves caught in the crossfire of a skirmish between Apaches and American soldiers, they hide in a cave. Once inside, Carter discovers unusual markings and begins exploring. He sees a strange-looking man in the cave, shoots him, and steals his medallion. The next thing Carter knows, he is on Mars.

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Oooh! Oooh! Space Porn!

Friday, March 16th, 2012 - by Charlie Martin
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Three out of Ten Young Adults are Living with their Parents

Friday, March 16th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

Three out of ten young adults are now living with Mom and Dad:

After graduating from Brown University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and completing a Fulbright scholarship in Brazil, Cassie Owens was left with a few dollars on her stipend and no job in sight. So, Ms. Owens returned home to her mother in Philadelphia…..

Take Owens. Because well-paying jobs are hard to come by, she says, “a lot of people are going where their heart is and trying to have a good experience. In the past, they would have been content settling for a [traditional job]. Now no one’s willing to make pennies at a job they hate, so a lot of people are pursuing the stuff they really love….”

“Will a ding to their wages at an important juncture haunt them for years? Will a generation that has been told they can be and do anything – without many challenges as of yet – be resilient enough to withstand this setback?” she says. “Only time will tell.”

So many young adults are living with parents because they don’t want to take a job they might not like or that doesn’t pay as much as they think they are worth with the Brown degree that everyone probably told them was the path to riches, or at least the good life. I wonder what will happen when the generation of parents that support these kids who are too busy chasing their dreams to actually work are gone? Who will support their dreams then? Or will the new dream be just to put food on the table?

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Slide Show: 5 Hollywood Horses Plot Revenge After Third Fatality Cancels HBO’s Luck

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

The International Business Times Today:

HBO’s new series “Luck,” has been cancelled unexpectedly after growing safety concerns for its equine cast members boiled. The show, which starred Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, was responsible for the death of three horses in its short production span.

On Tuesday, a horse was injured and euthanized at Santa Anita Park racetrack, according to USA Today, and HBO agreed to suspend filming at the request of the American Humane Association, a group that oversees Hollywood productions.

HBO’s “Luck” had seen the death of two horses during shooting prior to Tuesday’s incident, both of which generated outrage from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).  PETA sent a letter to L.A. District Attorney Cooley one day prior to the death of the third horse.

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Bill Maher Finally Explains Himself

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - by Jehuda

Breaking News: It’s Ok when Bill Maher is a misogynist. But I’ll let him explain:  Bill applies misogynist language to women who happen to be politicians, while Rush Limbaugh attacked a ‘civilian’*.

I had the feeling someone sooner or later would excuse Maher’s conduct towards female conservative politicians in this manner.  In fact, I’m surprised he didn’t do it himself earlier (I guess he’s starting to feel the heat of Alinsky Rule 4 now).

But this isn’t much of a defense or excuse, as far as such things go.  After all, what Maher is ultimately getting across here is that there are circumstances under which misogynist hate is perfectly acceptable (and – unfortunately and evidently – many a Leftie would agree).

Then again, that’s precisely what is implied by his conduct towards Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann – and by anyone who’s ever given Maher a pass for it: it’s ok to hate some women.

Contrast with the reaction to Rush and one can only conclude that all the Fluke vs. Rush brouhaha is not about respect.  It’s about silencing dissenting voices.

In other words, it’s not a double standard.  It’s the party line.

*I’ll leave the implications of distinguishing people in militaristic terms for others to ponder; but, if I remember well, Lefties frown on the use of violent imagery in political rhetoric…except when they don’t.

UPDATE: David Axelrod is also feeling the heat of Alinsky Rule 4.  The result is about as non-sensical and pathetic as Maher’s excuse.  You could say the ‘War On Women’ has jumped the shark…

Cross-posted at The Rhetorican.

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Murder, Incorporated: Bruce Springsteen Goes All-In with #OWS

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - by John Boot

You expect rock stars to be liberal, even stridently leftist. Like movie stars, they don’t experience reality the way you and I do because they are hedged off from it behind phalanxes of security guards and ridiculous income levels. And their heedless naivety is, in a way, part of their childlike Peter Pan charm; they never outgrow their angry-high-schooler phase because in most cases they went directly from high school to show business.

Take Bruce Springsteen, who has been a professional musician since his late teens and has never held any other meaningful job. Springsteen sees himself as a liberal tribune of the working class in the mold of John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie, and his humble working-man shtick is appealing enough. His increasingly politically pointed songs aren’t his best work, but he has every right to perform them, though they threaten to cost him fans who don’t necessarily go to a rock concert in pursuit of nakedly partisan and somewhat droning appeals.

What he should not do is what he does on his latest album, which is to advocate violent revolution, class-and-politics-based bloodshed, and the murder of bankers and perhaps other capitalists.

Surely I’m exaggerating? I wish I were.

The Springsteen album released March 6th contains some of the most inflammatory and inexcusable rhetoric ever heard in a major pop star’s work. Even the 1960s upheavalists were rarely this reprehensible.

To celebrate the ascendancy of Barack Obama, in 2008 Springsteen wrote a song in praise of, and to, the then-presidential candidate. In “Working on a Dream,” Springsteen sang, “Out here the nights are long, the days are lonely I think of you and I’m working on a dream.” It’s a bouncy ditty — not much of a song compared to his shadowy epics like “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” — but even those who didn’t vote for Obama hoped he would be a good president.

Now Springsteen evidently feels his dream has been betrayed, and instead of blaming Obama, the “you” he sang to in 2008, he blames…Wall Street.

The new album quickly proceeds to a series of savage denunciations and explicit calls for violence.

On the second track, which is called “Easy Money,” Springsteen sings:

There’s nothing to it mister, you won’t hear a sound
When your whole world comes tumbling down
And all them fat cats they just think it’s funny
I’m going on the town now looking for easy money

I got a Smith & Wesson .38
I got a hellfire burning and I got me a taste…

True, Springsteen has written many times about lowlifes and crime — songs like “Atlantic City,” “Johnny 99” and “Meeting Across the River.” Often these songs are in the first person. But it was always completely obvious that a character, not Springsteen, was talking. Springsteen himself has never been a gangster, never urged these songs on his audience as imperatives.

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7 Mistakes Women Make with Men

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 - by John Hawkins

Women are complicated because they have: A) a layer of logic, B) laid across that a mood, and C) on top of that an ever-fluctuating stream of emotion. If men are like checkers, then women are like chess — except the pieces are all kittens hopped up on catnip with broken glass taped to their paws.

I’m puzzled listening to my female friends tell me they don’t understand men. This is like a rocket scientist telling you she can’t figure out how a flush toilet works. Men are fairly simple; so how can we be so confusing to such comparatively complex creatures? How can women not already know these things?

1) Sleep with him too soon.

Setting aside moral concerns for the moment, let’s talk about when a woman should have sex with a man she views as long-term relationship material. There’s actually no wrong answer per se. If the guy is really clicking well enough with you, he’s probably going to stick around regardless of whether it happens on the first date or your wedding day.

However, women should understand that after just 3-4 dates, they probably don’t really have much of an idea of what’s going on in a guy’s head. He may be a player who’s saying what you want to hear in hopes of getting laid. Alternately, he may be perfectly sincere, but he’s just a lot more on the fence than you realize because he’s weighing that he thinks you’re really hot and sweet against that when you yelled at him last week, it reminded him of his ex — and he’s bored to death with you monotonously reciting to him what you did today. Of course, he’s probably not going to come out and just say that and after just a few dates, you won’t know him well enough to tell something’s wrong.

So, if he flees the relationship like you just contracted Ebola after you sleep with him and that’s going to upset you, well then, you should probably wait a little longer to make sure he intends to hang around. It’s also worth keeping in mind that to you, going out with a man three times, sleeping with him, and never hearing from him again may be a disaster, but to him it’s probably going to be viewed as a win. Not saying anyone’s right or anyone’s wrong with that, just noting a big mentality difference.

No, I'm not kinky. The handcuffs are because I want to talk about getting engaged right after we're done.

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What is the Equivalent of Abortion for Men?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

I read with amusement the article entitled “Women are Facing Sexual McCarthyism” at Politico making the rounds in the blogosphere:

Guys, I’m thinking it’s hard for you to imagine what it’s like to have your most private decisions made for you. By women.

Let’s put it this way: Imagine that you need Viagra. Imagine that a law passed by an 80 percent female Legislature mandates that to obtain a prescription, you have to procure an affidavit from a sexual partner verifying that you are indeed incapable of an erection.

Or maybe, before obtaining a vasectomy, you have to undergo an ultrasound on your testicles — wherein a technician must apply gel and press a hand-held transducer on your private parts.

I have to laugh because over the past few weeks, I have been writing a chapter for my new book on the lack of reproductive rights for men. What the writer of this Politico article should be stating instead is:

“Girls, I’m thinking it’s hard for you to imagine what it’s like to have your most private decisions made for you. By men and women.”

Women have absolutely no concept or understanding of the lack of reproductive choices that the average guy has in this country. Maybe, if they came up for air from every once in a while from their narcissistic quest to turn the country into a female-centric one (congrats, it already is), they would have a bit of empathy for how the other half lives. But don’t count on it.

Imagine, if you will, that you are a 13-year-old boy and the 34-year old lady down the street decides to seduce you or the 25-year old babysitter pushes herself on you against your will or with your blessing–doesn’t matter. And she gets pregnant. What’s the outcome? You are stuck paying child support for at least 18 years. Don’t believe me, check out Professor Michael Higdon’s paper: Fatherhood by Conscription. In his research, he found that not one court let a kid off the hook, even if the woman committed a felony by having sex with a young boy. Imagine if a 13- year-old-girl was forced to have a baby by the courts against her will. All hell would break loose. But boys, no one cares. After all, they have no feelings or rights and most of all, no lobby.

Now imagine you are a guy who finds out that a baby you thought was yours is found through DNA evidence not to be. Think you off the hook for child support? Of course not, you will be using your body for the next 18 years to pay for that child. The law says so, and there is no one to look out for you and while you toil and spend your time paying for this betrayal, society will make sure you pay up. If you don’t you will go to jail against your will. There are up to 50,000 men on any given day in jail right now on child support arrears, the majority poor and destitute, but no one cares, only women matter.

I can go on and will go on when my book comes out but the main point I want to make is this: Women have reproductive choice, men essentially have none.

In a perfect world, there would be laws that would give men the reproductive equivalent of abortion. So, I ask readers, what would that be, if women have abortion, what should men get so that we don’t have sexual McCarthyism for men?

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Lost ‘Three Stooges’ Home Movie Turns Up on YouTube

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston
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The film was shot by George Mann in 1938, at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. It’s like a two-minute time machine: Full color film, not colorized, with beachgoers in the background having a good time while the original Stooges play their parts. Plus, it’s Atlantic City in its heyday. Atlantic City was the vacation spot on the eastern seaboard at this point. Today it’s a mere shadow of that old, rambunctious self.

This wasn’t a commercial film. It’s a home movie that happens to have been directed and shot by a professional, using professionals who would become legends. And it happens to follow the basic storyline of nearly every Three Stooges film ever made.

According to this site, it’s among 50 reels in the archive left by Vaudeville comedian George Mann. He is the tall Ric Ocasek look-alike that appears in the film as the Stooges’ foil. He was half of the Barto and Mann duo, and was a big deal at the time. You can see a photo of the pair, with George in a fetching evening gown, here. Here’s a photo of George and Moe, probably from the same moment in time: It’s 1938, and Moe is already doing his Hitler bit. Moe appears to be wearing the same shirt as in the home movie. Maybe one of the other Stooges, or the woman in the film, took the photo.

The woman is George Mann’s wife, Barbara Bradford. The YouTube posting says Taylor was a successful model who appeared in Coca-Cola ads and was voted the most beautiful woman in New York in 1937. She had also appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan, so she was already famous when this film was shot. She and George might have been the Brangelina of the day, though hardly anyone today is even aware that they ever existed.

Barbara was either tall as models tend to be, or the Stooges were really short. Or both.

The Three Stooges would have been about five years into their long film careers when George shot this home movie, so they might have been recognizable to the people on the beach. Five of the most famous celebrities of 1938 were thus captured here, and now have a kind of immortality on YouTube. One YouTube commenter notes that at about 1:17 it looks like some on the beach have started watching the filming. In the still above, it does look like one woman on the right is watching. Even if the stooges weren’t familiar faces (they really became popular when their films started appearing on TV in the 1950s), the sight of a group of people clowning around for a film camera might have been enough by itself to attract attention, in 1938. Movie cameras, let alone one capable of shooting in color, were exotic at this point in time. But the camera and the film were harbingers of things to come: Feature film took over and crowded out acts like Barto and Mann, who would dissolve their partnership five years after this film was taken.

Another YouTuber has taken the time capsule and done the one thing to it that could possibly improve it: He added the Stooges’ theme and sound effects.

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*The model’s name is Barbara Bradford, not Taylor as I originally wrote. I cross-Googled myself.

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Liberal (In)Tolerance: First Facebook, then the Airwaves?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

This new survey from Pew finding that liberals are the least tolerant of differing opinions, at least on line was not surprising at all to me:

Politics can be a sensitive subject and a number of SNS users have decided to block, unfriend, or hide someone because of their politics or posting activities. In all, 18% of social networking site users have taken one of those steps by doing at least one of the following:

10% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because that person posted too frequently about political subjects
9% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics or issues that they disagreed with or found offensive
8% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they argued about political issues on the site with the user or someone the user knows
5% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they posted something about politics that the user worried would offend other friends
4% of SNS users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on the site because they disagreed with something the user posted about politics
Of course, that means that 82% of SNS users have not taken any steps to ignore or disconnect from someone whose views are different – or have not encountered any views that would prompt such a move.

Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.

It reminded me of the work of psychology professor Jonathan Haidt, author of the new book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion who found that conservatives understand liberals much better than liberals understand conservatives.

It seems that conservatives can put themselves in the shoes of liberals but it often doesn’t work the other way around: hence conservatives often have a thicker skin and a more tolerant attitude than liberals and are less likely to kick someone off their Facebook page. This does not concern me much, for kicking someone off their blog or Facebook is acceptable. But trying to use the government to kick people like Rush Limbaugh or media outlets like Fox News off the airwaves because liberals disagree with them is unacceptable and exposes the left’s lack of empathy and tolerance. I often question how far liberals will go in their inability to accept other points of view. If their handling of Andrew Breitbart’s death is any indication, Facebook bans are the least of our problems.

Update: Oops, I see that Bryan Preston wrote about this topic this morning. I am late to the party.

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The Porn You Will Always Have With You: California’s Condom Cops

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

Rule 34 is bunk.

You know that rule of the internet: “If it exists, there is porn of it”?


One, because if there were “cellulite porn,” I might very well be typing this beside my infinity pool in a double gated community somewhere south of the 49th parallel.

(Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t be typing this at all…)

Two: last year I asked my blog readers if they’d ever heard tell of “Mountie porn,” and got one measly link to a low-rent “sexy Halloween costume” vendor.

Which seems bizarre, and not just because all those chicks dug Due South.

After all, uniforms have been a porn staple forever. As P.J. O’Rourke famously said:

I have often been called a Nazi, and, although it is unfair, I don’t let it bother me. I don’t let it bother me for one simple reason. No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.

Yep, that Hugo Boss guy has a LOT to answer for:

It was one of Israel’s dirty little secrets. In the early 1960s, as Israelis were being exposed for the first time to the shocking testimonies of Holocaust survivors at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a series of pornographic pocket books called Stalags, based on Nazi themes, became best sellers throughout the land.

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Now while I wouldn’t call them fascists, our RCMP has burned a few barns in their day.

(And tasered a guy to death for having a nicotine fit at the airport. Then there was the time they stole all that dynamite…)

So: pretty badass. But still (almost) no Mountie porn. Hmmm.

All this to say:

My attitude about pornography is as subjectively personal as anyone else’s.

In my case, it reflects my experiences as a Canadian female of a certain age, steeped in the anti- and pro-porn “wars” that preoccupied feminists in the 1980s.

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HBO’s Game Change Treats Palin Like a Punching Bag

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 - by John Boot

There can’t be much doubt that HBO’s Sarah Palin movie Game Change, which debuts March 10, gives the former governor the beatdown of a lifetime. Somewhere, the shade of Richard Nixon is cringing and saying, “Yikes. At least they credited me with basic intelligence.”

As played by Julianne Moore with an overly heavy midwestern accent and a dazed expression, Palin is seen being ignorant of what World War II was about and not understanding that the prime minister of Great Britain, not the queen, is the head of government.

Famously, Palin seemed lost for an answer when asked by Katie Couric to name a single newspaper she read (instead answering, as though this were possible, “all of them”). But even assuming she’s a rank illiterate — wouldn’t she have come across a few TV shows and movies that could have told her about the Allies and the Axis? Didn’t she see Hugh Grant playing the prime minister in Love, Actually? Could Palin have ever been elected grade-school hall monitor, much less governor of her state, if she were such a ninny?

Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes is on record as saying he was “struck by how smart Palin was” when he and a boatload of other conservative pundits visited Alaska in 2007. Moreover, Palin has been a public figure for the better part of a decade now, and acquitted herself ably enough in her debate with Joe Biden, which led to no memorable gaffes. How did she pull that off if she’s such a mental midget?

According to Game Change, whose major source is apparently John McCain’s campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, she did it by borrowing some genius from…Steve Schmidt. Schmidt (played by an increasingly furious Woody Harrelson) is seen giving up on Palin’s ability to master policy details and deciding to simply supply her with 25 answers to the questions she’d be asked at the sole 2008 vice presidential debate. Reasoning that she was a great actress, he ordered her not to think but simply to memorize the answers. But could he really have predicted what questions were coming?

Even those who aren’t Palin fans may find Moore’s portrayal broad and harsh, though it allows her a few thrilling moments. The famous Republican convention speech in which Palin became an instant superstar (despite losing the services of her teleprompter) is treated with the awe it deserves, and a scene in which Palin is shown making a real connection with citizens afflicted with Down Syndrome shows off her magical personal touch.

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Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre, dead at 72

Friday, March 9th, 2012 - by Charlie Martin

If you don’t remember Firesign Theatre, you should.

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Story here.

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The 10 Best Disney Songs by the Sherman Brothers

Friday, March 9th, 2012 - by Chris Queen

Chances are, you’re familiar with a few of the songs written by the Sherman Brothers, even if you don’t know who they are by name. Richard and Robert Sherman were one of the most prolific songwriting teams in history. If you’re cleaning the house and find yourself singing a tune like “I Wan’na Be Like You,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” or “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” you’ve experienced the inimitable music of the Sherman Brothers.

Robert Sherman (pictured, left) passed away on March 5 in London. He was the older brother and the quiet one: younger brother Richard appeared in public more often and granted more interviews than did Robert, especially after Robert’s wife’s death in 2001. In addition to his work as a composer, Robert was a World War II hero and an accomplished painter.

The Sherman Brothers composed the scores for dozens of films, TV specials, theme park attractions, and stage musicals. They even wrote a song that became a #1 hit for Ringo Starr:

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But fans and critics alike know Richard and Robert Sherman best from their Disney work. For half a decade, the Sherman Brothers held the title of Staff Composers at Walt Disney Studios. They were Walt Disney’s go-to guys for fun songs and enjoyable film scores, and Walt affectionately referred to them as “the boys.” After Walt’s death, they worked off and on with the Disney organization on various projects, from movies to theme parks to London and Broadway productions.

To honor the life of Robert Sherman, here’s a list of the ten best Disney songs by the Sherman Brothers.

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Are You Living in a Class Bubble?

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 - by Helen Smith

I discovered I “don’t even have a bubble” after taking a quiz as part of Charles Murray’s new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.

The quiz asks a series of questions and then gives you a score to see if you are part of a new upper class that is isolated and ignorant about the rest of America, having never interacted with others outside their class. Apparently, with my score, I should be heading to NASCAR and fishing every other weekend. The description in Murray’s book for my score is “A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and moviegoing habits.” This was the lowest class one could be in on this particular quiz. Fine with me.

The questions asked were things like “have you ever ridden on a long-distance bus” (yes, from Knoxville to California and back and many other places as a teen and into my twenties), “How many times have you eaten at an Applebees, Denny’s, IHOP Chili’s etc. in the past year” (too many to count), “During the past month, have you voluntarily hung out with people who were smoking cigarettes?” (of course)and “have you had a friend who was an evangelical Christian?” Depending on the definition of friend, I’ve had many.

The test was kind of fun, and frankly, if you have never done any of the things listed, you must really live in a bubble.

Take a short form of the test here yourself and report back on your score if you like.

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5 Problems with Gen-X Attachment Parenting

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 - by Megan Fox

The topic of mothering is fraught with danger.

I do not claim to know anything other than what I’ve experienced. Each child is different from the next and requires a unique approach. This makes a mother’s job much like guessing how many jellybeans sit in a jar.

There’s no guarantee of reward for your efforts. Further, any criticism stings like a knife in the heart — one of the most difficult parts of motherhood. Anyone with a disapproving mother-in-law or even a stranger on a mommy chat board can relate. It is not the intention, therefore, of this article to pick on mothers and their choices (especially methods that work for them) but to ask the beleaguered and exhausted, much like Dr. Phil would, “how’s it workin’ out for ya?”

Like shoes, methods for raising kids come in and out of fashion and each generation adopts its own style. Mine, Generation X, has embraced Attachment Parenting with engaged mothers (a record number stay at home) hyper-focused on positive discipline, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, nursing, and many other child-centered theories. I’ve practiced many of the Attachment Parenting principles and find most of them wonderful. However, certain aspects of this child-rearing philosophy are not always good for families and can result in unhappy moms, too much mommy-guilt and stress, not enough sleep, and husband-neglect. (All of which I am guilty.) The following are some of the roadblocks that keep me from completely embracing my generation’s idea of good parenting.

First, did you grow another appendage or is that a baby under your shirt?

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‘This Would Be Heaven For Me’: An Evening with Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

Dennis Prager, Adam Carolla (photo by Robert Werner)

I’ve been fortunate enough to see both Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla when they’ve appeared live in Toronto. When I heard they’d be taking the stage together for one night in California, I could only envy the folks who’d get to attend.

For the rest of us who couldn’t make it, Carolla’s team has put out an audio recording of their February 25 shows. (After the initial 8pm event sold out, they added a second for 10:30.)

Pairing up these two broadcasters for a “between two ferns” evening of “wit and wisdom” seems counterintuitive only if you’ve never listened to either of them at great length.

Superficially, Carolla and Prager couldn’t be more different.

West coast atheist Carolla grew up in an atmosphere of semi-benign neglect by a welfare mom and a passel of “step” relatives; he cared more about football & partying than grades, and barely finished high school; and at the age of thirty, he muscled his way into showbiz (The Man Show, Loveline and now the world’s most downloaded podcast) via the unlikely route of boxing and construction work. (Carolla relates the long, familiar and still entertaining tale during the show, prompting Prager to remark, “After hearing that story, if anybody should not be an atheist, it should be you.”)

Prager, a native New Yorker, intellectual, 0ne-time yeshiva student who has traveled the world, speaks a dozen languages, hails from an intact and loving Jewish family — and, as Carolla likes to say, “is practically a rabbi.”

Prager famously hosts somber weekly advice segments called “The Happiness Hour” and the “Male/Female Hour,” whereas Carolla is better known for his tips on strip club etiquette and home improvement.

Yet as Prager realized when they first chatted together on each other’s shows last year, these two men share many of the same values: patriotism, family, capitalism, and freedom.

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Proving that great minds think alike, they teamed up for an “evening with” event on February 25.

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Breaking: Indy Colts and Peyton Manning will ‘Part Ways’

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

ESPN is reporting today that #18, the face of the Colts for the past decade plus, will be a Colt no more. The team will make an official announcement Wednesday.

With Peyton Manning running their offense during the past 14 seasons, the Colts were perennial contenders and won a Super Bowl. Without Manning, who was injured all of last season, the Colts were just 2-14. Their dismal record earned them, if you want to call it that, the first pick in the upcoming NFL draft. They’re expected to pick Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

On the field and off, Peyton Manning has been a champion and an ambassador for the game and for his team.

The question ahead is a double: Will Peyton Manning play football again, and if he does, where? Reports over the past month have indicated that his arm strength is back after several procedures to repair injured nerves in his neck. His football brain is among the best the NFL has ever seen. If his arm is really back, several teams will be interested in him either as a back-up or even a starter. He would certainly make for a fantastic mentor to a younger QB. Manning is likely to look for a team that will contend, if only to try to match his brother’s two Super Bowl wins.

Where will the great Peyton Manning end up?

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Andrew Klavan: At the Corner of Hollywood and New Media

Monday, March 5th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll (L) Andrew Klavan (R), during the November 2011 NR Cruise.

Novelist, screenwriter, GBTV.com and PJTV contributor and PJ Media columnist Andrew Klavan and I spoke on Sunday for a 22-minute long podcast interview, in which we discussed:

I’ve admired Andrew’s work ever since seeing True Crime with Clint Eastwood in a San Jose theater back in 1999, and have featured his PJTV material numerous times on PJM’s Sirius-XM show during its run. But I had never spoken with Andrew before the National Review Cruise this past November. So it was great to ask him some thoughts on new media, Hollywood, conservatism, and the future of the movie industry.

Click below to listen to our interview:

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(22 minutes long; 22 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right-click here to download this show to your hard drive. Or right-click here to download the 7 MB lo-fi edition.

If your browser/Internet connection balks at the Flash player above and/or downloading the audio, click on the player below, or click here to be taken to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip.  Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

For the rest of podcasts at the PJM Lifestyle blog, start here and keep scrolling.

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Milk and Cookies For The Science Fiction Reader

Monday, March 5th, 2012 - by Sarah Hoyt

I know it’s become fashionable to say something or other is “chicken soup” for the “something or other” soul.  I almost said that about Temporary Duty, then I realized it wasn’t true.  Ric Locke’s book doesn’t heal you as such.  Instead, it perks up your sense of wonder and sets you dreaming as you did when you were very young and had just discovered science fiction.

I first became aware of  Ric Locke’s book, Temporary Duty, through a mention in Instapundit and I emailed Ric — I don’t even remember why.  He sent me his book.  I read it, thought “wow,” and set it aside.

Then I met Ric at Fencon, and he asked me for a blurb for TD.  At which point I thought I might as well do a review.   So – here’s the review which would fall under “pimping my friends” and might if I meet Ric a few more times.  Right now, we’re just friendly acquaintances.

Ric Locke’s Temporary Duty is science fiction for the soul.  Not that it’s in the slightest bit spiritual or about the supernatural.

It is about the first contact between an interstellar-faring species and humanity.  The humans who get contacted are officialdom and eventually two low-ranking military men get assigned to serve in the alien ship, to prepare the ship for the detachment of troops who will go with the aliens on a voyage.  (Here you must excuse me for using – I’m sure – all the wrong terms.  I’m having trouble accessing notes on my kindle, and the reason I never write anything even vaguely military is that I make a salad of official designations.)

Through an intentional bureaucratic trick, the two end up staying aboard and visiting other worlds with the traders.

This is the barest of schematics for the novel, but Ric actually has a few surprises build in there that I don’t wish to give away.  We’ll just say that reading the novel brought back the sense of wonder I thought had vanished from science fiction.  It made me feel about 12 or maybe 13, in a good way.  I felt the same wonder and amazement I used to feel while reading The Adventures of Captain Morgan.

To an extent, it is because it’s the same type of book.  It taps into the “young man makes good” mythos going all the way to Babylonian legends.

In another way it’s a serious book of social analysis and critique, all of it wrapped in a bang up adventure.  And I liked the way his aliens answered pervasive story telling like Star Trek.  Let’s just say there is a reason that Temporary Duty is one of the finalists for the Prometheus Award.

All that said, let me say I know why it wasn’t bought by one of the major houses.  The beginning is pure wonder and takes time to develop our understanding of the world, as the main characters learn the language, etc.  A lot of the golden-age SF worked that way.  The sense of wonder was built slowly, by layers, while the characters discovered things they didn’t know about themselves and their environment.

These days, story telling requires a gun held to the head of the character in the first page – metaphorically if not realistically.  There has to be something hanging over your head.  Or, of course, it has to be a long disquisition on post modern philosophy with the barest trappings of fiction.  Thank heavens, Ric’s story is neither of these.  And thank heavens we have indie publishing which allowed this story to be published and allowed me to read it.

Now, kindly, go and buy his book, so that he’ll feel inspired to write the second one.  You see, he left a lot of puzzling hints, including an implication humans came from the stars (made me feel about 12 and reading Space Engineers) and I want him to write more about that universe and explain at least some of it.

So, go get it.  You won’t regret it.

*crossposted at my blog According To Hoyt*

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Rutting Beasts and Horny College Kids

Sunday, March 4th, 2012 - by Brian James

“You and me baby we ain’t nothin’ but mammals so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel. Do it again now! You and me baby we ain’t nothin’ but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.  Gettin’ horny now!”  ~The Bloodhound Gang~

YouTube Preview ImageWho would have ever thought that the theme for Obama re-election campaign would be the Bloodhound Gang song, “The Bad Touch”?  But here we are.  He can’t run on his record.  That would be like sprinting into the DNC headquarters wearing an explosive, terrorist suicide vest.  He won’t run on reducing gas prices (despite his 2008 promise), because he and his administration have said they favor the sort of pain at the pump that acts on the budgets of middle American families like a flesh eating virus.  He can’t run on Obamacare because even in polls that oversample Democrats, the government takeover of the healthcare system is still extremely unpopular.  So what is plan B?  They found a random college chick with enthusiastic sexual habits and pinned all their hopes on the unfertilized eggs in her basket.

For those who have not been introduced to Sandra Fluke yet, she is the victim dejour for the liberals who are trying to pretend that Republicans want to ban all contraception.  She is a Georgetown University student who testified about her sex life to the Democrat members of the House of Representatives.  According to Ms. Fluke, she runs through over $3000 worth of contraception a year while satisfying her sexual appetites.  Or were they run through her?  I guess that doesn’t matter.  The truth is that she attends college in Washington D.C and free condoms are available to her from a score of clinics.  So she really shouldn’t be whining about the cost of safe sex.  For her D.C. should be like trick or treating at Bob Guccione’s home.  Despite this she is insisting that insurance companies pay for her contraception.  So that is Sandra Fluke.  If you are a single guy who lives on the East Coast, you probably already know her.

Sandra is getting her turn on the American Idolesque stage of identity politics that defines how liberals run for office.  The formula is simple:  find someone you can pretend is a victim and try to blame their pain on anyone who doesn’t agree that Planned Parenthood is the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.  The difference with Ms. Fluke is that they are not fighting for the poor or the rights of minorities (in truth they never fought those battles either, but that is another issue), what they are going to battle for is her right to have somebody besides her foot the bill for her lifestyle of unlimited nookie.

Let’s start with the undeniable fact that there is no legislation that has been offered (or even hinted at) that says Ms. Fluke can’t have all the safe sex she wants.  Nobody is trying to deny her access to birth control.  She can use all the contraception she wants so long as it doesn’t violate any international treaties or the laws of time and space.  She just may have to pay for it herself.  If she attends or works for a religious institution whose beliefs prohibit providing her birth control, their verifiable first amendment rights trump her imaginary right to get her freak on.  Despite this, the left is trying to make the argument that the insurance companies (to whom the religious organizations pay their premiums) should be mandated to violate the first amendment and provide birth control to those covered under that religious institutions insurance policy.  The constitution is to be stepped on in favor of a phony woman’s health issue.

Only a person with the IQ of a fiddler crab would call insurance provided birth control a woman’s health issue.  Well that, or somebody who is so hopelessly to the left that they have given up on the constitution in favor of mob rule and free welfare cheese.  Insurance is there for life’s medical emergencies and things that are way out of our control.  If you hear the words “there is a shadow on your lung in the x-ray” insurance is meant to cover that.  If you trip over your wiener dog and break your arm,  Insurance is meant to cover that.  Even if you eat yourself into a rampaging case of diabetes, insurance covers that too.  To assume that insurance should cover Ms. Flukes’s birth control pre-supposes that she is a mindless rutting beast who is physically and intellectually incapable of saying “no” to sex.

Sandra Fluke complained that the price of her birth control was becoming burdensome.  The truth is that her sexual activity is purely recreational.  In other words, sex is her hobby.   Nobody should be mandated to pay for contraceptive devices  that she can easily provide for herself.  If insurance companies are mandated to start providing the accessories for our hobbies than shouldn’t they pay for my D&D supplies as part of a men’s health initiative?

In the end, there might be more going on here than just “health”.  By piling up more mandates, the government forces the insurer to pass the expense on to their customers.  If the premiums get so high that people can’t afford them, their business will evaporate and obviously an insurance company would go bankrupt.  If they try to keep up with every silly little mandate without raising prices, they will hemorrhage cash until they eventually close their doors.  Either way the outcome is the same.  Eventually the choices will become so few that most will wind up enrolled in Obamacare by default.  Who would have thought that the “death by a thousand cuts” approach to killing the healthcare industry would start with something wrapped in latex.

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