This is the tenth of my reading/writing journals, a new routine of season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose book excerpts from my readings with the day’s headlines and then the next day write a reflection to encourage discussion. See the first two and a half weeks’ entries:
- Week One
- Monday, July 8: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“
- Tuesday, July 9: Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?
- Thursday, July 11: Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…
- Week Two
- Monday, July 15: Turning On Mankind’s Magical Machines To Battle Mother Earth’s Cruel Monsters
- Wednesday, July 17: ‘So, You Know How You Felt on 9/11? Yeah, That’s How We Feel When It Comes To Race.’
- Thursday, July 18: ‘… And There We Can Still Maintain Our Mysterious and Dreadful Freedom.’
- Friday, July 19: ‘Evil Always Takes Advantage of Ambiguity.’ – G.K. Chesterton
- Week Three
- Monday, July 22: ‘His Father Urged Him to Study Marxism, But Valentin Preferred Science.’
- Tuesday, July 23: ‘Perhaps The Final Secret of the Illuminati Is That You Don’t Know You’re A Member Until It’s Too Late to Get Out.’
Monday Night Book Reading:
Quote of Note: “Moses used serpents to prove that he was a more powerful magician than the Pharaoh’s magicians.” — Chapter 8 of Taboo: Sex, Religion, And Magick by Christopher S. Hyatt and Lon Milo Duquette
Tuesday Morning News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories:
Victor Davis Hanson: Lying in the Age of Obama
The attorney general of the United States lied recently to Congress. He said he knew of no citizen’s communications that his department had monitored. Lie!
In fact, Holder knew that his subordinates were targeting reporters. He also did not tell the truth about the New Black Panthers case. He had sworn that there was no political decision to drop the case. Not true; the decision came from the top. He again lied about the time frame in which he first learned of the Fast and Furious case.
The director of national intelligence also lied, likewise while under oath to Congress. At first James Clapper confessed that he had given the“least untruthful” account.
Nixon’s Washington used to call that sort of neat lie “a modified limited hangout.” Later, Clapper admitted that he had just flat-out lied to Congress. Was he disgraced? Fired? Further confirmation of his “largely secular” lie?
Nope. Nothing followed.
Elizabeth Warren simply invented an entire pedigree. That blatant lie helped to earn her a Harvard tenured professorship and a U.S. Senate seat. Ward Churchill was doing well until he dared the country to call out his lies. Who is to say that Warren or Churchill cannot be Native Americans by professing to be Native Americans?
Barack Obama, as is the wont of politicians, has lied a lot — and from the very beginning of his national career. He knew Bill Ayers well, Tony Rezko too. He lied about his decision not to seek the presidency as a newly elected senator, and lied about his willingness to take public campaign financing funds in 2008. He misled about what he would shortly do about most of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols. Obama lied about much of his own biography.
The political tides were such that the decision by the Sanford police not to arrest and charge Zimmerman could not be allowed to stand. Once Al Sharpton gets his No Justice-No Peace Hallelujah Chorus mobilized and in full throat, there are few politicians in the country of either party with a spine so stiff as to turn a deaf ear to the clamor. And Florida Governor Rick Scott dutifully fell in line with the appointment of Angela Corey as special prosecutor for the case. Corey would soon reveal herself as less than professional in the press conference (video here ) in which she announced the murder charge against Zimmerman.
She seemed just a bit too happy to be on television as she spoke of the “search for justice for Trayvon,” invoking the phrase that has become all too familiar. And in using that phrase she gave her game away, forgetting her obligation to seek justice for all concerned, including the defendant. As I wrote a year ago, the charging affidavit submitted by Corey’s office was a shoddy piece of work, one that Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz described as “if not perjurious, completely misleading.” I found it unfathomable that in a case as noteworthy as this one, prosecutors would submit such a poorly prepared document. Now we know it wasn’t an aberration.
Compounding her lack of professionalism, Corey tried to sandbag exculpatory evidence and fired the man who dared to reveal it. And despite Zimmerman’s acquittal, Corey arrogantly labeled him as a “murderer” in an interview with CNN (video here). “[Corey] was among the most irresponsible prosecutors I’ve seen in 50 years of litigating cases,” Dershowitz told Mike Huckabee, “and believe me, I’ve seen good prosecutors, bad prosecutors, but rarely have I seen one as bad as this prosecutor, [Angela] Corey.” I’ve only been a cop for 30 years, but even if I hang on for another 20, I doubt I’ll find cause to disagree with Dershowitz’s assessment.
Boris Zelkin: The Passion of Trayvon Obama
President Obama wasn’t just cynically fanning the flames of racial tension in this country. The “I am Trayvon” press conference was a much-needed opportunity to save his otherwise crippled second term agenda, which has been gelded by the IRS, NSA, Benghazi, and AP scandals. The New Obama is no longer the patriarch worried for his imaginary son — with “Trayvon Martin could have been Me,” now he is little Trayvon. He is the poor misunderstood young black boy walking home in his hoodie with a pack of Skittles in his hand. His agenda is as innocent as the cherubic face of the 12-year-old Trayvon the media keeps showing us. His opponents, meanwhile, become Zimmerman. A man without a first name who judges, profiles, stalks, and ultimately kills the innocent.
This presidential evolution from Trayvon’s father to Trayvon himself doesn’t just protect the agenda, it sets the stage for the tone of the discussion that will ensue as history looks back on this presidency. By becoming Trayvon, by portraying himself as the victim, Obama has virtually guaranteed that all discussion of his legacy be seen through the prism of his race rather than his accomplishments — or lack thereof. He wants the black community, which is the most affected by the Trayvon verdict, to see him as the young boy gunned down simply because he was black. Obama has guaranteed that real discussion of his legacy among that community becomes all the more difficult.
Bridget Johnson: Mired in Dysfunction, POW-MIA Recovery Falling Woefully Short
Aaron Hanscom: Introducing Comments on Instapundit.com
Ed Driscoll: Oh, That Death of the Grown-Up
The death of the grown-up was next documented by AP, which reported that “Hours after President Barack Obama delivered remarks about Trayvon Martin and the George Zimmerman trial, Jamie Foxx and Samuel L. Jackson addressed the racially charged case at Comic-Con in San Diego.”
Because yeah, nothing says “Serious, you guyz!!!!” like talking about an self-defense incident that’s been morphed into an extended racially-polarizing Two-Minute Hate by the president and allies in the MSM and Hollywood, at an event stuffed with permanent teenagers wearing Batman and Spider-Man costumes and Star Trek uniforms.
Also this weekend, a leftist MSNBC anchor wore tampons as earrings while on the air. No, really.
PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page Today:
Becky Graebner: Why We Love to Hate Politicians
Walter Hudson: Folly of the Jedi
Indeed, when you go back and view the original trilogy within the context of the prequels, the saga becomes an affirmation of rationally conceived familial attachment, and thus a damnation of the Old Republic’s Jedi. Think of it. A New Hope is literally born of the forbidden love between Anakin and his bride. Despite the best conspiratorial efforts of the remaining Jedi – Yoda and Obi-Wan – the familial relationships between Luke, Leia, and Anakin come to light and dictate each character’s behavior.
Recall that Yoda and Obi-Wan never change their tune. The latter outright lies — or tells the truth “from a certain point of view” — to keep Luke from developing an familial attachment to Vader. The former continues to encourage Luke to let go of attachments. As much as the original trilogy introduces Yoda and Obi-Wan as wise old wizards with a master plan, in the end, their effort turns on its head. Their plan to train Luke like any other Jedi and send him to destroy Vader and his emperor falls flat. Luke does not defeat Vader through serene detachment, but by channeling a righteous rage in defense of his sister. Following suit, the good in Anakin reemerges from the vestige of Darth Vader when drawn out by paternal attachment to Luke.
Becky Graebner: Move Over Cupcakes, Hello Pizza!
Chris Queen: Kolton Houston’s Dream Deferred
David P. Goldman Cross-Posted from Spengler: Congratulations to the Royal Family And Two Cheers for Monarchy
Since the conversion of the Visigoths in Spain and the foundation of the Merovingian dynasty in France around 700 C.E., though, the notion of monarchy in the West has derived in important ways from the biblical concept of monarchy, centering on the reign of King David — which we now know to be a historical fact, rather than a legend as an earlier generation of skeptical scholars falsely believed. And it is in the State of Israel today that the issue might be brought most clearly into focus, Wyschogrod argued.
Also Around the Web Tuesday:
Via Real Clear Politics:
Victor Davis Hanson at National Review: Facing Facts about Race
The president, I think, spoke out for three reasons: 1) He is an unbound, lame-duck president, with a ruined agenda, facing mounting ethical scandals; from now on, he will say things more consonant with being a community organizer than with being a nation’s president; 2) he knows the federal civil-rights case has little merit and cannot be pursued, and thus wanted to shore up his bona fides with an aggrieved black community; and 3) as with the ginned-up “assault-weapons ban” and the claim that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” Obama knows, as a community activist, that tension can mask culpability — in his case, the utter failure to address soaring unemployment in the inner city, epidemic black murder rates, the bankruptcy of Detroit, and the ways his failed economic policies disproportionately affect inner-city youth.
Besides, two developments over recent decades have made Holder’s reactionary argument about black/white relations mostly irrelevant. First, America is now a multiracial nation. The divide is not white versus black. And as the Zimmerman trial reminds us, it is no longer a nation where most of the authority figures are white males. We saw a female judge, a female jury, and an Hispanic in confrontation with an African-American; today those of various racial pedigrees and different genders interact in ways that transcend the supposed culpability of white males.
Second, the attitude of the so-called white community toward racial challenges is not so much political as class driven. White liberals have largely won the argument that massive government expenditure must be infused into the black community. Yet they have probably lost the argument that such vast government investments have done much to alleviate the plight of urban black youth.
Stranger still, there is no evidence in our increasingly self-segregated society that white liberals stand out as integrationists. The latter increasingly have the capital to school their children far from the inner city, to live largely apart from inner-city blacks, and in general to avoid the black underclass in the concrete as much as they profess liberal nostrums for it in the abstract.
No one seems to care that the children of our liberal elite, black and white, go to places like Sidwell Friends rather than to Washington public schools, where the consequences of 50 years of liberal social policy are all too real. If Chris Matthews wishes to apologize collectively for whites, then he should have long ago moved to an integrated neighborhood, put his children in integrated schools, and walked to work through a black neighborhood to get to know local residents. Anything else, and his apology remains what it is: cheap psychological recompense for his own elite apartheid.
I offer one final surreal footnote to this strange juxtaposition of reading the real news while listening to the mytho-history that a Eric Holder constructed from the death of Trayvon Martin to indict both the police and the public.
What were the names of two of the men suspected of being the ones who last week shot it out with the Santa Rosa jeweler as Eric Holder demagogued the Trayvon Martin shooting?
Traveon Banks-Austin and Alexander Tyvon Brandon.
And so the tragedy continues.
Dennis Prager: Fire Created and Stoked by the Left
–Rarely, if ever, mentioned the checkered past of Trayvon Martin, who had been caught with stolen jewelry and a burglary tool in his backpack; been suspended from his school three times; defaced a school door with the letters “WTF”; and had marijuana in his system the night of the confrontation with George Zimmerman.
–Fabricated the “iced tea” part of the “iced tea and Skittles” narrative. This is important because the drink he was actually carrying was AriZona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail. According to a popular recipe, that is the favored drink to combine with Skittles and prescription, or Robitussin, cough syrup to produce a potion for getting high known as “lean” and “purple drank” (and known among some as “the poor man’s PCP”). On his Facebook page, Trayvon Martin had discussed making lean.
36 Photos From Russia That Everyone Needs To See. It’s a scary place for LGBT people in Russia right now.
Real Clear Politics: Cornel West: Al Sharpton Is “Still On The Obama Plantation”
Now the good thing is it won’t settle down and I think it’s going to create some kind of division within our black political class because it’s just too humiliating it’s too embarrassing, you see it with Brother Sharpton; Sharpton probably deep down wants to be critical of the President, but he can’t because he’s still on the Obama plantation. Ah so he can’t say a mumbling word no matter how radical he wants to act and act as it were and deep down in his soul I think he really does feel a fire, but he cannot allow that fire in any way to spill over toward the White House.
John Fund at National Review: Obamacare’s Branch of the NSA
President Obama has had a poor record of job creation, but at least one small economic sector is doing well: community organizing.
The Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire an army of “patient navigators” to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling. These organizers will be guided by the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. “The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute and Stephen T. Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor, wrote in USA Today. No wonder that there are concerns about everything from identity theft to the ability of navigators to use the system to register Obamacare participants to vote.
This spring, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee lawyers were also told by HHS that, despite the fact that navigators will have access to sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and tax returns, there will be no criminal background checks required for them. Indeed, they won’t even have to have high-school diplomas. Both U.S. Census Bureau and IRS employees must meet those minimum standards, if only because no one wants someone who has been convicted of identity theft getting near Americans’ personal records. But HHS is unconcerned. It points out that navigators will have to take a 20–30 hour online course about how the 1,200-page law works, which, given its demonstrated complexity, is like giving someone a first-aid course and then making him a med-school professor.
On Wednesday, police in Austin arrested two Mexican nationals who reportedly participated in the gang-rape of a 13-year-old girl on June 29.
The girl, a runaway, who lives at the Settlement Home for Children, was picked up by three Latino men and driven to the Avalon Arms apartments, where she was raped by a large group of men for several hours, according to police.
As many as 13 men took turns sexually assaulting the girl. Many cheered and filmed the sickening crime on their cell phones, according to court documents.
Noah Rothman: UPDATE: ‘I’m Deeply Flawed’: Anthony Weiner, AKA ‘Carlos Danger,’ Now Admits Still Sexting
“Exclusive: Anthony Weiner is a sexual predator luring his victims,” blares the inflammatory headline at the gossip website,TheDirty.com. A new set of images from a chat session in which Weiner engaged in sexually explicit conversations with another woman from last summer threaten to derail Weiner’s campaign for mayor of New York City. In a statement responding to the allegations, Weiner admitted that the chat records were authentic. However, he said that he and his wife are now focused on moving forward with their lives.
“My source is solid,” the bombshell post at TheDirty.com begins. “She really thought Anthony Weiner and her were in love, they spoke on the phone daily multiple times a day for 6 months. Anthony Weiner played with her emotions and mind. Most calls were phone sex.
Washington Post: Zimmerman verdict poll: Stark reaction by race
The new survey underscores not only the gap between whites and blacks, but also how passionate many African Americans are about the case. Among African Americans, 86 percent say they disapprove of the verdict — with almost all of them saying they strongly disapprove — and 87 percent saying the shooting was unjustified.
In contrast, 51 percent of whites say they approve of the verdict while just 31 percent disapprove. There is also a partisan overlay to the reaction among whites: 70 percent of white Republicans but only 30 percent of white Democrats approve of the verdict. Among all whites, one-third say the shooting was unjustified, one-third say it was justified and the other third say they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.
Ashley E. McGuire At Acculturated: For Teen Girls, Getting Pregnant Is the New Black
Are these shows contributing to a rash of teen moms by making the mothers into celebrities? Or are we scaring teenage girls by showing them what happens when they make a bad choice? And on the subject of choice, I often wonder if we are helping or hindering the pro-life cause by portraying girls who have made the noble choice not to kill their babies? Maybe a pregnant girl sees one of these shows and is struck by the reality that what society tells her is a “fetus” unworthy of legal protection is a real baby with fingers and toes. Or maybe she sees the shows and the deadbeat dads and the new life of nursing tanks and eye circles and feels more inclined towards abortion.
I don’t know the answer. I do know that I recently interviewed a high school girl who told me that a slew of girls at her high school purposefully got pregnant so that they could try out for the MTV show 16 and Pregnant. None of them were selected. All were left with the life-changing reality that sex and the babies it produces are not a joke. Bad. But I also know if these shows were around when I was sixteen, they would have only fomented my decision not to have sex until I got married. Good?
Tuesday Night Reading:
“The distinguishing feature of modern life is the separation of the various spheres of life: politics, economics, religion, and kinship.” -pg 83 of America 3.0:
Wednesday Dawn Reading:
“The western mind makes definitions. That is, it draws lines. This is the heart of Apollonianism.” – Camille Paglia, pg 57 Sexual Personae…
Wednesday Morning Reflections:
The same conflict has raged across human history from the beginning of civilization. Do you worship down at the dead earth and inward toward ourselves or upward and outward at the transcendent energies emanating from the heavens? Are we as a species going upward or staying down? Is Nature a loving mother providing pleasure and abundance or a cruel matriarchal tyrant?
In ancient Greece this question manifested in the personas of two competing cult deities: earth fertility god Dionysus and solar wisdom god Apollo. Everything we celebrate about ancient Greece comes from the later, “Apollonian” tradition. It was this school of thought that pushed man to understand himself and rise above his baser instincts through thoughtful creation instead of an emotional orgy of destruction. Writing, art, music, philosophy, and the transcendent forms of Greek sculpture and architecture were the methods of invoking Apollo.
And what are Dionysus’ contributions? One worshiped Dionysus by getting drunk and having anonymous sex. We see their manifestation still today. Anthony Weiner’s serial predations of younger women who look up to him as a political cult leader. In their more raw forms they manifest in the tabloid crime stories linked at the Drudge Report and published at the Daily Mail:
As many as 13 men took turns sexually assaulting the girl. Many cheered and filmed the sickening crime on their cell phones, according to court documents.
Many people would like to think that males like Weiner who cannot resist pursuing immature girls even after it destroys their careers are somehow “sick” or “strange.” The criminals who take predation a step further to rape, we judge and label as monsters.
But history and culture — and the fact that most Americans greet the news of the likely future mayor of New York City’s ongoing extracurricular activities with a shrug before wondering when the next season of Game of Thrones starts – suggest something more disturbing: that sexual “deviancy” is rather the norm of human experience.
Who are the genuinely strange, abnormal males not just today but all throughout history? Those who would rather get married and lift up one wife above all others…
More reflections on Weiner and the Apollonian vs Dionysian conflict in our culture with tomorrow’s headlines….