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Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…

So many stories to hit the heart this week...

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

July 11, 2013 - 10:30 am

This is the third of my daily reading/writing journals, a new routine of season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose two book excerpts with the day’s headlines and try in the afternoon to make sense of the chaos of the day’s news. See Monday’s entry: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“ And Tuesday’s entry: “Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?

I didn’t manage to finish Wednesday’s round-up yesterday — a few unexpected editorial meetings popped up as they’re known to do — so today’s is a two-page double helping as I continue to try and radically reorganize my reading routine to make new connections between ideas and thinkers past and present.

Tuesday Night Book Reading:

A deeply sorrowful, beautifully written passage from George W. Bush’s memoir about the effect the death of his 3-year-old sister had on him at 7 years old versus the way it hit his parents. Very sad…

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Wednesday’s Dawn Book Readings:

Currently on Wednesdays, I’m reading the books of Camille Paglia and Robert Anton Wilson. Here’s an excerpt from page 31 of Paglia’s Sexual Personae:

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Quote of the Day #1:

“I will argue that high culture made itself obsolete through modernism’s neurotic nihilism and that popular culture is the great heir of the western past. Cinema is the supreme Apollonian genre, thing-making and thing-made, a machine of the gods.” -Camille Paglia

Related, my analysis of the mythological and religious themes in superhero films from January: 

10 Secret Reasons Why The Avengers Is the Best Superhero Film

From Page 168 of the satirical science fiction trilogy Schrodinger’s Cat:

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Quote of the Day #2:

“All schizoid types have these fantasies of floating off into space, of astral projection, of weightlessness, etc. This merely indicates an abreacted cathexis of the Oedipal desire to return to the womb and float within the protective amniotic fluid.” – Robert Anton Wilson

Wednesday Morning News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories:

Bob Owens: Disorder: Judge Recesses Zimmerman Trial, Excludes Damning Evidence

The key facts in this development:

  • Trayvon Martin’s phone was password-protected. The password-protection starts automatically after being left unattended for a certain amount of time.
  • The “stealth” app designed to further conceal Trayvon’s conversations about weapons, fighting, drugs, and pornography had an additional layer of password protection. He had to log into the phone first, and then to this app to access these conversations or delete them.
  • There were thousands of messages, texts, photos, tweets, Facebook posts, and other bits of evidence hidden this way.
  • People who participated in these conversations are all documented by screen name, real name, phone number, social media personas, etc. They are all easily identified and could be deposed – if the defense is given time to do so.
  • The State hid this evidence until right before the beginning of the trial, when the prosecution’s Wesley White came forward to present testimony that the State was hiding and may have destroyed evidence. The defense has had no time to recover this data and to depose every witness — as they should be able to do as a basic matter of giving Zimmerman a constitutionally fair trial.

This led to the showdown between incredulous defense attorney Don West, who can’t believe what he’s hearing, and Judge Deborah Nelson, who puts the court in recess and exits — as the defense is still trying to talk to her.

Michael Walsh: Freedom for Me, Not for Thee

Tom Blumer: Sorry, Agendized Academics: The Recession Began in June 2008

Barry Rubin: Why Does Obama Idolize Turkey’s Racist Prime Minister?

Revolutionary Islamism is an innately anti-American and racist doctrine. Usually this manifests as anti-Semitic or anti-Christian views (since in the case of Islam, religion now seems to have been reintepreted as race when convenient), yet sometimes it arises in different but not highly publicized examples — such as with the racism employed against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Palestinian and other Arabic newspaper cartons.

President Barack Obama has endlessly flattered the radical Turkish leader Recep Erdogan, ignoring his insults and his subversion of U.S. interests. Obama presents Erdogan as his ideal Middle East leader, a “moderate Islamist,” and Obama has turned over U.S. Syria policy to Turkish regime direction.

This is despite the fact that the increasingly repressive Erdogan has publicly blamed the opposition to him on … a Jewish plot. Perhaps with the U.S. government supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, anti-Semitism is no longer a detriment to Obama administration backing.

But what does Erdogan really think of Obama?

Despite Obama’s pro-Islamist policy, Erdogan now is blaming him for the fall of Egypt’s government.

I guess part of the reason why I’m starting to experiment with these posts is to  encourage more people to start to see politics and culture in the macro — to start connecting the dots to understand how an ideology manifests itself in competing spheres. What does Barack Obama’s use of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman shooting as a political tool have to do with his foreign policy’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood?

David Solway: Reflections on History and America

Bryan Preston: Pro-Abortion Protesters Shout ‘F*** the Church!’ in Austin

Bridget Johnson: Lawmakers Jump on Obama, Hagel to Back Out of Mi-17 Contract with Assad’s Arms Supplier

A Few Relevant News Headlines From Around the Web Wednesday:

Via Drudge:

CBS: San Francisco Police Still Looking For Person Who Poisoned Meatballs To Kill Dogs

Yahoo Finance: Apple colluded on e-book prices, judge finds

Reuters: Obama Claims Broccoli is His Favorite Food

Yeah. Right. Keep dreaming…

Today Show: Dreams delayed or denied, young adults put off parenthood

Daily Mail: Baby bust? National birthrate hits an all-time low due to weak economic recovery

Via Memeorandum:

Reuters: Texas House approves sweeping abortion restrictions

Politico: Immigration reform heads for slow death

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Mediaite: Piers Morgan To Marc Lamont Hill: How Would Things Be Different If Trayvon Was A Young Black Girl?

Breitbart: Polls Show Marked Shift From Pro-Choice to Pro-Life

Slate: Snowden’s Latest Leak Details U.S. Spying in Latin America

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And Some Headlines and Videos from the World of Entertainment, Arts, Technology and Culture:

Yid With Lid: Premium TV For Dogs?

Buzzfeed: 30 Signs You’re Almost 30

#15. You’ve definitely lost the enzyme that lets you digest Taco Bell.

Breitbart: Pacific Rim Continues Liberal Summer Movies

*****

A few unexpected editorial meetings yesterday meant I didn’t have time to finish the day’s round up of stories. So that means a double helping today… Click the next page for today’s news links, book excerpts, and my mentally exhausted conclusion…

Wednesday Night Readings:

From page 56 of Paglia’s Glittering Images on Bronzino’s Portrait of Andrea Doria as Neptune:

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Quote of the day #1: “The classical nude provided an ambiguous precedent: in Greek art and culture, a small penis was valued as a mark of intellect; a large penis was thought comical and animalistic.” — Camille Paglia

Today’s Dawn Book Readings:

From page 23 of William F. Buckley Jr.’s novel Getting It Right, on a Mormon missionary’s seduction before the Hungarian Communist revolution:

Quote of the Day #2: “Once more she turned the radio off, and beckoned him back to the bed. ‘Once more, Woodroe. For the revolution.’” – Getting It Right, by William F. Buckley Jr.

From page 115 of Michael Ledeen’s Tocqueville on American Character, explaining how our nation’s history of voluntary associations starts with the family:

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 Quote of the Day #3: “Even in ‪Puritan‬ New England, two generations before ‪Tocqueville‬ arrived, some 30 percent of all births were premarital. But ‘premarital’ means that they invariably got married, because otherwise father, mother, and child would have suffered an enormous social stigma. Nowadays that stigma has vanished, and we no longer hear about ‘shotgun marriages’ in which the impregnating male is compelled to save the honor of the woman he got pregnant.” -Michael Ledeen

Today’s Morning News Round Up:

Today’s Lead PJM Stories:

Mike McDaniel: The Backwards Trial: Zimmerman Prosecutors Stumble as Defense Wraps Up

Judge Deborah Nelson continues to give the defense worthwhile arguments for appeal, if necessary.

After a Tuesday night that saw her decidedly injudicious rant and her storming off the bench as the defense tried to address her, Wednesday morning arrived with little improvement in Nelson’s temperament. Nelson excluded text messages and tweets from Trayvon Martin’s phone referencing attempts to buy and sell illegal guns, fighting — including at least one message about punching people in the nose and making them bleed, and a large number of messages about Martin’s drug use. In her frantic commentary on admissibility late Tuesday evening, Nelson expressed concern that someone else could have sent the text messages and social media posts made by Martin, so she wasn’t going to allow any of them.

She also ruled that the animated video commissioned by the defense would not be allowed into evidence (the defense can use it in their closing argument, but the jury cannot have it for deliberations). She gave no substantive explanation for her rulings other than to suggest that she read the Lumarque case.

Bridget Johnson: Customs Deal Gives Big Advantage to UAE Over U.S.

Abraham Miller: The BART Strike: A Microcosm of Progressive Power and Policy

Howard Nemerov: Gun Control Mantra: Castle Doctrine Laws Increase Violent Crime

Nicholas Ballasy: Boehner Going to Take ‘Incremental’ Approach on Immigration Without Majority of the Majority

Bill Straub: Senate Dems Determined to Block 20-Week Abortion Limit

Andrew C. McCarthy: Zimmerman Trial: Reversible Error Before We Even Get a Verdict?

Thursday’s PJ Lifestyle Stories:

Charlie Martin: L’affaire Snowden and (Computer) Security

Chris Queen: Who Are Disney’s Most Evil Villains?

Walter Hudson: Star Wars: The Market Strikes Back

Kathy Shaidle: Kinkos Goes To College: University of Iowa Acquires Zine Collection

Hannah Sternberg: Bad Advice for Hobbitses

Morning Reflections…

“Robin’s death made me sad, too, in a seven-year-old way. I was sad to lose my sister and future playmate. I was sad because I saw my parents hurting so much. It would be many years before I could understand the difference between my sorrow and the wrenching pain my parents felt from losing their daughter.” — George W. Bush.

My friend and ancient philosophy research partner Susan L.M Goldberg, who has started a wonderful series on Sundays at PJ Lifestyle dissecting HBO’s Girls through her perspective of Biblical feminism, posted this on my Facebook page yesterday:

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This made me laugh. It’s one of those sentiments that’s both true and false at the same time. It’s true in that yes, I do know what I’m doing — I’m doing many things. I’m editing articles, responding to emails, answering phone calls, juggling instant messages, taking care of the dog…. So I guess when I don’t know what I’m doing, when I’m too frazzled from juggling, I can always fall back on whatever it is that counts as “research.”

But what am I researching with all these books and news stories? How American families make war over how they deal with death. Humans have conflicting methods for coping with death. And clever political operatives know how to exploit these divides.

The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman tragedy has been fueled by a president and his allies in the corporatist media to exploit the American people’s instinctive need to defend their children. Recall how originally the pictures of Martin made him look like an innocent boy. Now in the trial we find the truth, hidden by a judge who does not want Martin’s crime/guns/sex-filled cell phone entered into evidence.

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And what does the Democrat Party and corporate media’s racial invocation of a dead child distract Americans from uncovering?

Another dead American, his murderers still on the loose, apparently less worthy of concern because he’s not the right age or skin color:

chris-stevens-death

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image courtesy shutterstock / Gualberto Becerra

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.

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David,

Is it fair to say that sometimes, in the interests of the writer being not just original, but authentic, it's possible to lose the reader? I find, in the main, your columns to be evocative and elegantly written. This time I'm 'grasping.' Not because you haven't said something, it's just that I can't get there.

Such are the risks. Looking forward to your next one. T
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Get where? Where do you think I was trying to take you by providing you, the reader, with an assortment of links and excerpts to explore? Not all who wander are lost, as Tolkien said. :) But I'll aspire for more clarity in future round up posts. Still experimenting with this format and trying to get back into a daily writing routine -- which is a challenge as I strive to put my editorial tasks ahead of my own writing.

Thanks, Terence.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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