‘The Most Ancient Conflict in Western Culture, Between Jew and Egyptian, Continues…’
A round up of Wednesday's headlines and excerpts in the battles of words vs images, reason vs feelings, and polygamy vs marriage...
July 25, 2013 - 1:00 pm
This is the eleventh 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. See the previous 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.’
- Wednesday, July 24: Is Anthony Weiner a ‘Deviant’ or a ‘Normal’ Male?
Wednesday Morning Book Reading:
Quote of Note: “Words are the most removed of human inventions from things-as-they-are. The most ancient conflict in western culture, between Jew and Egyptian, continues today: Hebrew word-worship versus pagan imagism, the great unseens versus the glorified thing.” – Pg 61 of Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia.
Wednesday Morning News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories:
Hans A. von Spakovsky: Harry Reid, Obama Sell Myth of GOP Obstructing Judicial Nominations
Andrew Klavan: Eric Holder’s Proposed New Law: ‘Lie Down And Die’
Stephen Kruiser: Weiner Danger: New York Times Tells Him to Go Away
Weiner’s schtick is wearing thin even with the crowd that was willing to believe his nonsensical babbling when he was claiming he was hacked two years ago. To a less biased observer, Weiner’s behavior prior to the scandal was a cause for concern. As this piece points out, this all would have remained a private matter for the couple had this arrogant megalomaniac been able to get help for his inner attention whore in therapy too.
The editorial board is wrong when it says it’s difficult not to feel for Ms. Abedin. She’s obviously very power-hungry and willing to endure all sorts of public humiliation taking the long shot that he will one day be redeemed or, more likely, using the dutiful wife charade to launch her own career. As a confidante of Hillary Clinton, she’s been mentored by the best in this area.
Michael Walsh: Free Detroit City!
But we have become so corrupted by the Marxist blatherings of the Frankfurt School and their baleful ilk that we have in part accepted the left’s argument that things like symphony orchestras and museums and art galleries are examples of unearned “privilege.” (Who, one might well ask, was the Prime Mover of this imaginary “privilege”?) Their childish, immature and wholly resentful notion of “critical theory” — which basically amounts to a prolonged cry of “Whaaaaaaaa!!!” — has infested academe (where no idea, no matter how absurd, is treated with respect as long as it’s “progressive”) and corrupted the minds of several generations of students, some of whom are now political leaders. In fact, I can think of one right off the top of my head …
Ed Driscoll: ‘Detroit: A City on the Move’…into the Abyss
Bridget Johnson: Rangel: Weiner Should Stay in the Race, Sexting Story Will Fade
Leftists bill themselves as science-based in their thinking. It’s a convenient pose they’re willing to scrap when it gets in the way, though, as Melissa Harris-Perry proves. In a segment on — not making this up — the royal baby, Harris-Perry lays out when she believes that life begins.
“When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling – but not science,” Harris-Perry said on her show Sunday. “The problem is that many of our policymakers want to base sweeping laws on those feelings.”
That’s some dangerous thinking, opening the door even further to infanticide. But it’s typical of a political philosophy that rejects facts in favor of feelings. It is odd, though, considering that Harris-Perry is on the record stating that parents do not have any rights over their own children. In Harris-Perry’s world, parents determine when life begins but then have no inherent right to direct how that child is raised. You can birth ‘em, but the state will raise ‘em.
Andrew C. McCarthy: Our Iraqi al-Qaeda Enemy Springs Our Syrian al-Qaeda Ally from Prison
Bridget Johnson: Carney Calls IRS Targeting ‘Phony,’ ‘Pretend’ Scandal
White House press secretary Jay Carney said this morning that President Obama’s pivot back to jobs means steering the focus away from “phony” scandals such as the IRS targeting of conservatives, the AP phone records seizure and Benghazi.
“It’s certainly not about poll numbers, except for when it comes to Americans’ frustration with what’s happening in Washington. If you look at where the president is versus where Republicans in Congress are, I think you have a very clear understanding of where that frustration is focused, one,” Carney said this morning on MSNBC.
He noted Obama’s trip today to Galesburg, Ill., “to deliver a speech about where we need to move the economy, what we should be focusing on here in Washington.”
“And it shouldn’t be on the skirmishes that caused grid lock. It shouldn’t be on the phony scandals that have consumed so much attention here, all to come to naught,” Carney added.
“It should be focused on what we can do to strengthen and grow the middle class because, when the middle class is thriving, when the middle class is growing, our economy is at its best. And that’s what we need to do as we move forward in the 21st century.”
When asked about what he labeled a “phony” scandal, Carney said “what we’ve seen is inappropriate activity that the president came out and forcefully said he would not tolerate and that he installed somebody at the IRS to take care of.”
PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page Wednesday:
Robert Spencer: Would You Strangle a Cop for Giving Your Wife a Ticket?
Becky Graebner: Orange Is the New Black: Can a Women-in-Prison Sitcom Succeed?
“What happened to your hair?”
“I had to give it to a transvestite so she could make a weave.”
New at PJ Lifestyle on Wednesday:
Hannah Sternberg: Bad Advice: It’s Okay If Your Friends Date Losers
Kathy Shaidle: Will Michael Moore’s Divorce (Finally) Destroy His Career?
Also Around the Web:
New York Times: Weiner Admits Explicit Texting After House Exit
Speaking amid the cramped cubicles of a vacant Chelsea office, Mr. Weiner, alternately chastened and defiant, vowed to press ahead with his campaign. His wife, Huma Abedin, stood by his side, at times smiling at him, but at times staring at the floor or at the cabinets behind her.
Publicly airing the couple’s private pain, Ms. Abedin said her decision to stay with Mr. Weiner was “not an easy choice,” and said, “Anthony’s made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after.”
“We discussed all of this before Anthony decided he would run for mayor, so really what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him,” she added.
Ms. Abedin, a longtime close aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, spoke haltingly about the ups and downs of her marriage, making it clear that reconciling with Mr. Weiner after the scandal was a long and difficult process. “It took a lot of work, and a whole lot of therapy, to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony,” she said, reading from a prepared text that she slowly unfolded at the lectern.
On Monday, Reuters reported Apple has been testing an iPhone screen larger than 4 inches and an iPad screen slightly smaller than 13 inches with its Asia suppliers. The current iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen and the iPad has a 9.7-inch display.
Brody File Exclusive: Ted Cruz Says America Needs A Spiritual Revival
KPBS San Diego: Third Woman Comes Forward In Filner Harassment Scandal
The Hill: Poll: Obama approval nears record low
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late Tuesday finds Obama with 45 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval.
Daily Mail: Putting on a brazen face: Anthony Weiner hits the campaign trail and ignores calls for him to quit ‘for the sake of his wife’ after he’s plunged into new sex message scandal with Obama campaigner, 23
Sydney Elaine Leathers, 23, is a progressive liberal blogger from Illinois who worked as a field organizer for Obama’s presidential campaign. According to her Twitter account, she also volunteered for Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 senatorial campaign.
It appears she is an admirer of Anthony Weiner, as he’s listed third on a list of ‘heroes’ that she posted on her website, after President Obama in first place and Bill Maher in second.
Her other heroes include Bernie Sanders, Julian Assange, Keith Olbermann, Alan Grayson, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart and Charlie Sheen.
On her ‘about me’ section on an old personal website, she features Weiner alongside quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.
In June 2011, she posted on her Facebook page that Weiner’s political record meant he could ‘continue sending d*** pics every single day for the rest of his life.’ Two months earlier, she posted a video of Weiner with the caption ‘Hero.’
Josh Feldman: Juan Williams Fights Hannity And Allen West Over Zimmermam: Don’t Kid Yourselves, Case Was All About Race
Noah Rothman: The Lies Americans Were Sold In 2012 Exploding In 2013
But can Weiner still win? You’re kidding, right? The way it works these days, his poll numbers willjump 5-7 points as a result of this latest revelation. The thought process from Weiner supporters is the following: If his wife–who must really, really want to be First Lady of New York–can continually forgive him, why shouldn’t they?
At last check, both Spitzer and Weiner were leading their respective races and showed no signs of relinquishing those leads. But now that today’s news is out…Weiner might as well start measuring the drapes at Gracie Mansion right now.
At the Daily Mail:
America’s biggest deadbeat dad with 22 kids by 14 women to get his own reality show after boasting in viral video that ‘ladies don’t like me, they love me’
Magistrate Scott Rosenberg said that the 33-year-old dad would have to work three of four full-time jobs to come up with the unpaid child support he owes.
However, Shaw said that his criminal record makes it difficult for him to land a stable, well-paying job.
‘I play the hell out of the Tennessee lottery,’ he boasted. ‘I don’t block my blessings.’
‘What joy to set police speed guns off’: Spanish driver whose derailed train killed at least 80 people while travelling at 120mph in 50mph zone posted boasting Facebook photo of speedometer
Awkward! Huma’s essay on loving Anthony and the price of campaigning comes out right after his latest round of sex chat revelations
When her husband Anthony Weiner launched his campaign to run for mayor of New York City two years after resigning from Congress amid a Twitter sexting scandal, he said that there were other women who would come forward with allegations against him.
Opening up: Huma Abedin wrote an essay in the upcoming issue of Harper’s Bazaar about how she decided to forgive her husband and supports his run for mayor
In the essay, she said that in addition to being the ‘smart, caring, and dedicated person’ he has always been, ‘he is now something else- a better man’.
What Abedin likely didn’t know was that one such woman would release screen grabs of her virtual conversations with Weiner and the naked pictures he sent of himself- just days before the Harper’s Bazaar issue hit newsstands.
Mary Chastain: Huma Stands By Her Man
Abedin is not like other scorned wives. She is very close to the Clinton family and was Hillary Clinton’s top adviser when she was Secretary of State. Rumor has it the Democrat nomination for president is all Hillary’s in 2016; this could help Abedin if she has political ambitions of her own.
It’s all about him. Obama used the word “I” or one of its derivatives some 46 times in an hourlong speech. It’s as though the first term of Barack Obama never existed; he’s still dreaming of a fictional future without reference to his own failed past. Which is why he’s dooming America to repeat that past.
But, Obama assured Americans, this isn’t about Barack’s dream: “We haven’t just wanted success for ourselves – we’ve wanted it for our neighbors, too. That’s why we don’t call it John’s dream or Susie’s dream or Barack’s dream – we call it the American Dream. That’s what makes this country special – the idea that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from or who you love – you can make it if you try.”
If only he believed it. Sadly, Obama’s windbaggery doesn’t match his actual policies, which detract from individual liberty and success in favor of collectivism and failure.
Daniel Pipes: Islamism’s Likely Doom
As recently as 2012, it appeared that Islamists could overcome their many internal dissimilarities — sectarian (Sunni or Shiite), political (monarchical or republican), tactical (political or violent), and attitudes toward modernity (Salafi or Muslim Brotherhood) — and cooperate. In Tunisia, for example, Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood types found common ground. Differences between all these groups were real but secondary, as I put it then, because “all Islamists pull in the same direction, toward the full and severe application of Islamic law (the sharia).”
This sort of cooperation still persists in small ways, as shown by a recent meeting between a member of Turkey’s ruling party and the head of a Salafi organization in Germany. But Islamists have in recent months abruptly and overwhelmingly thrown themselves at each others’ throats. Islamists still constitute a single movement that shares similar supremacist and utopian goals, but they also have different personnel, ethnic affiliations, methods, and philosophies.
Thomas Sowell: Words of Wisdom
“There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief.”
— Edmund Burke
“We do not live in the past, but the past in us.”
— U. B. Phillips
“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be to-morrow.”
— James Madison
Renegade National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied to join a group of former Russian intelligence and security officials, according to the group’s director.
Participation in a union of former KGB security, intelligence, and police officials, would likely change Snowden’s status from that of a whistleblower seeking to expose wrongdoing, to an intelligence defector who has changed sides.
Alexei Lobarev, chairman of the group called “Veterans of the Siloviki”—literally “men of power”—told a Russian news outlet on Monday that Snowden, who has been staying in a Moscow airport transit lounge for a month, applied for membership in the group.
The state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday that the Russian Federal Migration Service issued an official paper to Snowden that will allow him to leave the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport as part of an agreement with the Border Guard Service.
Alana Goodman: Americans Support Bolstering Defenses Against EMP Attacks
Thursday Dawn Book Reading:
Quote of Note: “Those who are constantly looking for the ‘root causes’ of poverty, of crime, and of other national and international problems, act as if prosperity and law-abiding behavior are so natural that it is their absence that has to be explained.” – The Thomas Sowell Reader, pg. 6
Thursday Mid-day Reflections:
Lewd tweets aside—there’s a line we never thought we’d write— Anthony Weiner ought to drop out of the New York City mayor’s race simply because of what he’s forced his wife to endure. Watching the elegant Huma Abedin stand next to her man Tuesday as he explained his latest sexually charged online exchanges was painful for a normal human being to watch. Mr. Weiner is not a normal human being.
This idea seems to be the standard talking point today amongst mainstream baby boomer conservatives in response to the Weiner scandal — a concept I rejected in yesterday’s link-and-writing journal entry. My favorite talk radio host, Dennis Prager, said much the same thing on his show this morning and PJM’s editor emeritus Roger L. Simon wrote this in his take on the controversy:
Weiner is no mere adulterer as described by Flaubert, Tolstoy and thousands of lesser writers. Or even a compulsive womanizer à la Bill Clinton. He is a genuine weirdo, straight out of the pages of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, the kind that really do jump out of the bushes in public parks.
How and why did that happen in our culture? What has changed the atmosphere?
What is the sexual behavior of a “normal human being” supposed to look like today? Here’s one of the unintended consequences of the gay rights movement: “queer” became synonymous with “normal.” The idea of having “queer” sexual tastes in not just homosexual but in just about any way came to be acceptable. (50 Shades of Gray for housewives…) Also along with it the idea came to become culturally dominant that one’s sexual tastes are essentially hard-wired and unchangeable. The idea of “sexual orientation” came to apply to those who regarded themselves as straight. To be “weird” in the bedroom or to have odd fetishes is no longer something one can be criticized for because supposedly you were just “born that way.”
So the idea has become politically correct gospel for everyone in America: we have no control whatsoever over our sexual impulses and desires. If a man like Bill Clinton or Jack Kennedy or Anthony Weiner feels compelled to pursue younger sexual partners, well, that’s just the way powerful, charismatic, world-changing implementors of social justice are made and we should all just look the other way. After all, if his Muslim-Brotherhood-stealth-jihadist-Alger-Hiss-But-Hot wife will tolerate his extracurricular activities then why can’t we? If the women were all consenting then who are we to judge other people’s “weirdness”?
More tomorrow on how the ancient Egyptians and Israelites fought over this and how we’re just repeating history’s perpetual story…