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3 Weapons to Win the Culture War, Courtesy of Roger Kimball

A celebration of postmodernism's preeminent antagonist introduces this collection of headlines.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

August 15, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Kimball 4

For season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen, each weekday I juxtapose excerpts from book readings with a selection of the previous day’s headlines and noteworthy excerpts. The goal is to make fresh connections between the events of the day and the bigger picture of humanity’s place in the universe.

Last week I named the first five writers who made the biggest influence on my understanding of foreign policy, the issue that fuels my political activism: Michael LedeenAndrew C. McCarthyBarry RubinClaudia Rosett, and David P. Goldman. In concluding the list this week, I double-dipped, insisting that Victor Davis Hanson’s writings should be understood as an intellectual bridge between the worlds of foreign policy and culture. Through understanding and embracing Western culture we also come to comprehend the Western way of war. We can win wars by understanding how our ancestors have won (and lost) wars in the past – and that includes understanding the cultural values that drove them and nourished their cultures.

In shifting gears this week to talk about culture-focused PJ columnists, I also shift the emphasis. Whereas the foreign-policy scholars provide important analysis for making sense of the world, these next four writers are each in the culture-war trenches fighting to try to change it. In addition to their regular PJ writings, they are also culture-creators themselves, aka artists. From each of them personally and also from their writings, I’ve extracted some of the key lessons that inspire me and that I hope will convince others to dive into their writings.

To begin the discussion of American culture in the dog days of 2013, my primary intellectual influence on culture is Roger Kimball. For decades as author, critic, editor, and now publisher and PJM blogger, Kimball has been waging a vital defense of Western values on a much-neglected front. Whereas for most of these profiles I’ve sought to focus on a single contribution from the writer, in Kimball’s case there are three that one needs to understand together.

1. What is postmodernism? We need to understand this destructive ideology in order to fight back and win.

Kimball provides both the authoritative analysis of postmodernism’s corrosion of American cultural institutions and the answer for how to regain what’s been lost. In 1990 Kimball began his critique focused on academia with Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education. In 2000 he turned to the 1960s with The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America. The next year Kimball focused on postmodern philosophy itself with an essay collection titled Experiments Against Reality: The Fate of Culture in the Postmodern Age. (Don’t miss the excerpt I’ve included below today.)

But what is postmodernism and why is it so dangerous? The subject of two more Kimball books provides a vivid way to illustrate the problem: Art’s Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity and The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art.

In postmodernism, nothing is true and all claims are relative. Our perceptions of what is “good” or “bad,” “ugly” or “beautiful” are all just socially conditioned and on the table for permanent deconstruction and endless application of critical theory. There’s no such thing as “good” or “beautiful” art. One person’s tastes and opinions are just as good as another’s. Trash and art functionally become synonymous. The distinctions between “high culture” and “low culture” no longer exist.

Those who embrace this attitude on matters cultural will also apply it to bigger subjects. If we cannot judge a traditional oil painting hanging in a museum as a higher human expression than the graffiti spraypainted on the slums down the block then we are likewise paralyzed to distinguish between the Muslim liberals who want to join the 21st centuries and the Muslim Brotherhood operatives striving to implement Sharia law.

Kimball’s books and his PJ writings are an inspirational revolt against this rejection of the Western art tradition and the values inspiring them that have evolved over the centuries. (And don’t forget the journal he edits, The New Criterion.) But he doesn’t just do it through argument and evidence…

2. Learn to write elegant, exciting literary prose.

When younger writers and freelancers ask for examples of great writers, I point them toward Kimball first and then the next three writers on this list. It’s not because Kimball is the best of the four – I cannot rank them since they each embody different styles. (Who would compare a classical violinist to a jazz saxophonist?) Kimball’s is the one that every writer should strive to master first, an approach to writing summed up in the word that also embodies Kimball’s mission: traditional.

Reading Kimball’s prose is like being transported back in time 100 years or more. And oh, is it ever a refreshing voice that should turn any writer’s eyes bright green. Today he carries the torch of the high-style conservative polemical tradition that William F. Buckley, Jr. ignited. This is both figuratively and literally true since Kimball both edited and published Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations: A William F. Buckley Jr. Omnibus, a 552-page book behemoth.

3. Institutionalize your knowledge and skills. Example: Encounter Books.

In 2005 Kimball took over as publisher at Encounter Books. The result is that while most of Encounter’s covers don’t have Kimball’s name on them, you might as well regard them as though they did. The two qualities above, a vigorous confrontation with Truth and its enemies presented in elegant high-culture style, manifest in each Encounter title. Check out some of these recent releases:

Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America From Colonial Dependence to World Leadership by Conrad Black 

Native Americans: Patriotism, Exceptionalism, and the New American Identity By James S. Robbins

Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream — And Why It Matters By Helen Smith

Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency By Logan Beirne

America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century — Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come By James C. Bennett & Michael J. Lotus

Why Coolidge Matters: Leadership Lessons From America’s Most Underrated President By Charles C. Johnson

In this age of high-speed digital media and tweet-sized attention spans, the literary tradition Roger Kimball faithfully maintains has been under assault for decades. But I have no doubt that he will ultimately prevail through continuing to inspire others to follow him and embrace both the modern world and the traditional values that made it possible. And the next generation has already arrived: make a point to follow the gifted writing and editing of the New Criterion’s managing editor, Emily Esfahani Smith, a regular contributor at The Atlantic and editor of Defining Ideas and the Acculturated pop culture blog.

 

Wednesday Morning Book Reading:

 An excerpt from page 23 of Roger Kimball’s Experiments Against Reality: The Fate of Culture in the Postmodern Age

Monday Morning News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories:

Bridget Johnson: Report: DOJ ‘Elevated Its Charges’ Against Swartz Because Internet Community Rallied on His Behalf

Michael Walsh: Obama, the Media, and Dog World

Tom Blumer: America’s Three Worst Pravda Press Organizations

Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack: Benghazi: Arabic-Language Media Implicates Egypt’s Fallen Muslim Brotherhood Regime

Claudia Rosett: Just Another Day in the Expanding North Korean Nuclear Program

Bryan Preston: So We’ve Got a Little Kid Praying TO Barack Obama Now

New at PJ Lifestyle on Monday:

Sarah Hoyt: Abandoned Children as Game Show Prizes In Pakistan!

Paula Bolyard: 7 Quick Tips For Parents of New College Students

Robert Spencer: Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger…

Chris Queen: A Once In A Lifetime Meeting Of Disney Songwriting Legends

Becky Graebner: Another Tragedy that Illustrates Mental Illness Still Taboo

Rhonda Robinson: 2 Recipes for Eating Your Way to Back to the Good Life

Becky Graebner: A Gourmet Food Store Worthy of Harry Potter

Sarah Hoyt: Destroying Ariel Castro’s House — A Ritual Cleansing?

But given the sensational and sexual nature of Ariel Castro’s crime, how many of those attracted by the house would be drawn by a frisson of sympathetic interest? I know if I were the mother of a daughter in the neighborhood I’d feel far less safe with that type of attraction down the street.

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New at PJ Tatler on Monday:

Bridget Johnson: Volunteers Lining Up to Serve Bradley Manning’s Sentence

Bridget Johnson: Code Pink Promising to Dress Up Like Drones for Conference Protest

Bridget Johnson: Obama Diligently Hits the Golf Course for a Week

Bryan Preston: Is American Soccer Coming of Age?

Bridget Johnson: USDA Wants ‘Campus Ambassadors’ to Talk Peers Out of 3 a.m. Taco Bell

Stephen Green: Drug War Time Out

Stephen Green: ObamaCare Just a Stop on the Road to Single-Payer

Bryan Preston: Mitch-Slapped! Matt Bevin Rips Sen. Mitch McConnell on the Andrea Tantaros Show

Myra Adams: New Photo Caption Contest: Send in the Clowns

Bridget Johnson: Russia Confirms It Will Enforce Anti-Gay Laws at Olympics

Bridget Johnson: Paul Glad That Holder, Obama Following His Lead on Sentencing Reform

Bryan Preston: So We’ve Got a Little Kid Praying TO Barack Obama Now

Matt Vespa: Pizza Chains Suffer Under Obamacare’s Third Most Onerous Regulation

Yes, not even pizza is safe from the crosshairs of Obamacare.  The Obama administration’s massive federal power grab has the National Restaurant Association (NRA) – and the American Pizza Community (APC) – feeling something of buyer’s remorse for their part in lobbying for Section 4205, which is an onerous regulation that calls for restaurant chains with more than twenty locations to label their menus with nutritional information.  For example, it’s going to cost each Domino’s location around $5,000 a year.  There are 5,000 locations. You do the math.  It’s also sucked in convenience and grocery stores into this maelstrom of government idiocy.

I had the chance to speak with American Pizza Community representative Jenny Fouracre-Petko, who works for Domino’s, to discuss the details of the third most onerous regulation in 2010, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

In all, the Affordable Care Act will cost us $2.7 trillion dollars in the first decade, with roughly 80 million man-hours spent to comply with all of the regulations.

Also Around the Web Monday:

Via Drudge:

New York Observer: Abusing the System: Facebook Standards and the People Who Violate Them

Again I returned to the rules of conduct, to see if I could decipher what I was doing wrong and how I could make it right. The clue was at the bottom of the “community standards” page, in a paragraph titled “Reporting abuse”: “If you see something on Facebook that you believe violates our terms, you should report it to us.”

In other words, someone has been complaining about me to Facebook, reporting abuse on my part. This person clearly doesn’t like what I have to say–which is always from a conservative viewpoint–and has come up with a way to silence me through bullying.

It is actually he or she who is violating Facebook standards, not I. But there is nothing I can do about it, other than go on the defensive, and so far not very effectively.

This is exactly how the enemies of Israel operate. They repeatedly accuse the Jewish state of acting in an illegitimate fashion, thereby placing the burden of proof on the unwitting defendant. It is a brazen and shameless tactic. And it works like a charm.

Telegraph: First dog Bo is airlifted to Obama holiday home

At Mediaite:

Andrew Kirell: GOP Congressman: House Would Have Enough Votes to Impeach Obama

Evan McMurry: The President Who Knew Too Much: MAD’s ‘Privacy’ Issue Spoofs Obama

Josh Feldman: Glenn Beck Mercilessly Mocks ‘Sad’ Olbermann Over…

On Monday, Beck laughed as he mused about how much the dog’s feelings must have been hurt, and then went far beyond that to remind people about Olbermann’s past, saying “nobody on the left liked him” and calling the former MSNBC host “sad.”

One of Beck’s co-hosts piled on, calling Olbermann a “pathetic, pathetic man.”

Tuesday Morning News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories:

Victor Davis Hanson: The Mother of All Scandals

The election of 2012 may well have been altered by the Benghazi cover-up, in ways that transcend debate moderator Candy Crowley’s puerile and unprofessional efforts to shield Obama from Romney’s questioning about the deaths. Imagine the fallout on voters had we been told from the very beginning that an al-Qaeda affiliate had stormed our consulate — ill-prepared and unable to obtain needed beefed-up security, reliant for safety on local suspect tribal militias, in a country that had deteriorated into a failed society after our Libyan bombing — and slaughtered four Americans, apparently stationed in Benghazi to help in some way a covert CIA operation.

So here we have it: a beleaguered “consulate” that was refused additional security and relied on local militias, apparently due to administration worry over destroying an Obama campaign narrative of a reborn Libya and dying al-Qaeda. A CIA operation of some sort supplied something to someone, but what and why and to whom, we are not supposed to know. Four Americans, the very best the country had to offer, are dead, denied assistance when assistance could have saved them — the why and the how and the when of it all we are not told. We fear it might have been a crackpot cost-benefit analysis: four lives versus another Mogadishu and an Obama November defeat.

We know only that the dead were far more heroic than the leaders who chose not to aid them.

Charlie Martin: Who Benefits from the Public Schools?

Jack Dunphy: A Bronx Tale

J. Christian Adams: Eric Holder and Three GOP Attorneys General Sue To Block US Airways/American Merger

Stephen Kruiser: ThinkProgress: Doctor Who Is Too White or Something

When you have chosen to place an almost religious faith in government, you begin to seek depth in the shallowest of places, like a television show, albeit a very intelligent and good one. And when you’re always manufacturing racism and sexism in even the most benign situations, you will find that the joy gets sucked out of almost everything.

PJLifestyle Featured on Main Page on Tuesday:

Hannah Sternberg: 4 Childhood Activities You Should Never Give Up

Robert Spencer: Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger…

For standing by her putative man, the exposed Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin has for the first time received some negative press attention amid the avalanche of coverage calling her “smart,” “accomplished” and “elegant.” But still off-limits has been any discussion in the mainstream media of her numerous ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s not that the evidence is lacking. It’s that the politically correct elites have forbidden examination or discussion of it. Even to question whether Abedin has any connections with the Brotherhood, and whether those connections had any influence over Hillary Clinton’s decisions as secretary of State, is to demonstrate that one is a bigot, a racist, an Islamophobe, and a hatemonger, as well as a hysterical paranoiac.

Indeed, one infallible way to determine a stranger’s political positions on just about anything is to ask if he or she thinks Huma Abedin has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. If the stranger responds with righteous outrage, you’re dealing with a doctrinaire, mainstream liberal. If, on the other hand, the response is, “Yes, that is something that should be investigated,” you’re face-to-face with a Tea Partier.

New at PJ Lifestyle on Tuesday:

Rhonda Robinson: How to Shift Your Broken Paradigm in 3 Simple Steps

Sarah Hoyt: Drink Your Chocolate! It’s Good For You!

Walter Hudson: Has McDonald’s Declared War on the Middle Class?

Kathy Shaidle: Canadian Jackass: Before Johnny Knoxville, There Was Cap’n Video

Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Tips for Novice Winos

Chris Queen: Keep An Eye On That Troublemaker Next Door – He Could Turn Out To Be The Next Business Success

Theodore Dalrymple: Does the Sleep Aid Zolpidem Impair Driving the Next Day?

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New at PJ Tatler on Tuesday:

Bridget Johnson: McConnell Implores CMS to Not Open Obamacare Exchanges While Data Vulnerable to Thieves

Matt Vespa: Psst! Wendy Davis Is Running For Governor

Bryan Preston: Obama Harrangues Tweeps on Climate Change

Bryan Preston: Democrats Make Tax Reform Debate Top Secret — Literally

Bryan Preston: Whistleblower’s Attorney: 400 US Missiles Stolen in Benghazi

So, here’s another aspect of the Benghazi mysteries that, for the most part, the media won’t ask WH spokesman Jay Carney about. Powerline notes that skepticism of this story is warranted. True enough. But it does fit with earlier stories about SAMs gone missing in Libya, and with tales that Ambassador Chris Stevens was trying to round those missiles up, and with rumors that the US was covertly shipping missiles and other arms to the rebels in Syria. Benghazi would have been a poor place to warehouse missiles given its instability and the building al Qaeda presence there in the months leading up to the 9-11 attack. The Obama administration has been know to make poor foreign policy choices, though.

Bridget Johnson: Army Faces Challenges to Develop Drone Programs Including Budget and Bandwidth

Bryan Preston: Republican Town Hall Meetings Suffer ‘Cooling’?

Bryan Preston: Having Solved All of California’s Other Problems, Gov. Jerry Brown OK’s Boys Using Girls’ Bathrooms

Bryan Preston: Rubio Blackmails the GOP Base on Immigration

Stephen Kruiser: Grocery Bills Too High? Blame The Climate Cultists

Zombie: Clown who looks like Obama gets banned for life after public outcry over insulting antics — EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Bryan Preston: Leftists Go to Court to Allow Out-of-State Students to Vote in North Carolina

Bryan Preston: Organizing for Action Goes 0-For-2 Today

Buzzsawmonkey: Buzz Ballad: A Rodeo Clown

Bryan Preston: Gen. Weasley Clark Leaves His Wife of 46 Years

Bryan Preston: San Diego Hooters Bans Bob Filner

Buzzsawmonkey: Buzz Broadside: Matt Damon vs. Eliza Doolittle

Stephen Kruiser: Dept. Of Obvious: Google Says Gmail Users Have ‘No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy’

Bryan Preston: @YouTube Pulls Video of Ashton Kutcher Praising Hard Work (Update: It’s Back)

Bryan Preston: Shock: Satirist Depicts the President as a Monkey

Stephen Kruiser: Useless Head Of Useless Climate Change Hysteria PR Agency Wants To Dictate Drone Policy

Stephen Kruiser: We’re BAAACK! Tweets Of The Day Open Thread Returns

 

Also Around the Web Tuesday:

Via Drudge:

CBS San Francisco: George Lucas & Mellody Hobson Welcome Baby Girl

Tampa Bay News: Rev. Patrick Dowling comes forward as ‘mystery priest’ who prayed at Missouri car crash scene

Sky News: Jetpack Gets Permit To Begin Test Flights

At Breitbart.Com:

Breitbart News: Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments Hits #1 on Amazon

John Nolte: Politico Publishes Media Matters’ Attack on CNN’s ‘Rightward Shift’

And what is Brock’s evidence? A single hour devoted to Benghazi, not enough coverage of Global Warming, and “hyping Texas Governor Rick Perry’s claim that a 20-week abortion is ‘reasonable.’”

That is it. That is all he has got.

Sixty to eighty hours a week I monitor this dreadful network (Tapper O’clock excepted), and other than a single hour out 168 devoted to Benghazi last week, Brock should be shining Jeff Zucker’s shoes.

But the genius of the left is to never concede, never be satisfied, and to fabricate a reality that does not exist so you can keep pushing-pushing-pushing.

William Bigelow: Director Lee Daniels Says ‘The Butler’ Represents ‘a Movement’

John Nolte: Race Hoax? Oprah ‘Apologizes’ After Accused Racist Calls Her a Liar

At The Blaze:

Sharona Schwartz: Biblical Archeology Filmmaker Blasts Jesus Book Author Reza Aslan for Suggesting Jesus Called His Country ‘Palestine’

At National Review:

Thomas Sowell: Not for the Children

At Mediaite:

Andrew Kirell: CIA Finally Admits to Snooping on Noam Chomsky

Noah Rothman: Where GOP Can Disorient Democrats in 2014 by Agreeing with Them

At Slate:

Will Oremus: Believe the Hyperloop

At Salon:

Pat Buchanan: Leave Putin alone!

Horrific. Self-described conservative publications still proudly print Buchanan’s words, now in defense of criminalizing homosexuality and pro-gay speech as they have in Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet Russia.

At Twitchy:

Touré: Don’t assume I’m endorsing Fidel Castro just because I won’t condemn him

Via Memeorandum:

Politico: Hillary Clinton’s next act: The family foundation

Daily Beast: Porn Professor Hugo Schwyzer Comes Clean About His Twitter Meltdown and Life as a Fraud

At Powerline Blog:

John Hinderaker: The Long, Hot Summer of 2013?

Today’s race stories are odd in that they don’t seem to have much to do with race at all. First on the list, of course, is the George Zimmerman murder trial. The case was cast as one that was all about race, but it wasn’t, as the jury recognized. It was a case about a misbehaving teenager who had been suspended from high school for burglary and thought he was a tough guy, who made the mistake of attacking a man who was carrying a gun and beating him to a point where he was in fear for his life. The encounter would have ended the same way had Trayvon Martin been white or, like Zimmerman, Hispanic. And yet America’s “civil rights” leadership grabbed hold of the Martin-Zimmerman case like a life preserver.

For season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen each weekday I juxtapose excerpts from book readings with a selection of the previous day’s headlines and noteworthy excerpts. The goal is to make fresh connections between the events of the day and the bigger picture of humanity’s place in the universe.

Wednesday Morning News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories on Wednesday:

Bryan Preston: Obama Pushes Cell Phone Rate Hike, without Congress

Mike McDaniel: Vindictive: Now George Zimmerman’s Wife Faces Perjury Charge

Bridget Johnson: N.Y. Dem: America Less Competitive Because Talent Sitting Behind Bars

PJTV’s Trifecta: Go, Dog Go! The Obama Family Dog Gets Airlifted to Martha’s Vineyard at Taxpayer Expense (Video)

Rand Simberg: Hyperloop, Tesla, SpaceX, and the Usual Elon Musk-Bashing Nonsense

Ed Driscoll: Oprah Vu: A Fable Too Far

Ron Radosh: Bradley Manning and the Rosenbergs: U.S. Traitors, Different Eras

Is there an apt comparison to be made between Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who went to their deaths in Sing Sing prison’s electric chair in 1953 for “conspiracy to commit espionage,” and Private First Class Bradley Manning, who was convicted on July 30 of 17 of 22 charges of espionage and theft?

Most people would immediately say “yes.” Writing in the Los Angeles Times, the Rosenbergs’ youngest son, Robert Meeropol, says of Manning: “I feel a kinship for him.”

The Rosenbergs provided military and atomic information to the Soviet Union of Joseph Stalin, both during the years of World War II and in the days of the early Cold War; Manning violated his oath to the United States when he gave classified secrets to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks. Both Manning and the Rosenbergs endangered American national security out of a misguided belief that they were serving the higher interests of humanity. The Rosenbergs believed that the world working class, whose interests were protected by the Soviet Union, deserved any military secrets they desired. Manning believes that there should be no secrets, and hence any data he had access to rightfully should be told to one and all.

….

First, Manning provided the names of individuals who opposed authoritarian regimes, and whose disclosure puts them at risk of attack and death in their own countries. For example, he disclosed the names of judges who were willing to take part in a trial in Lebanon of those responsible for the death of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who had been assassinated by Hezbollah and its Syrian patrons in 2005. A cable from the U.S. ambassador stated: “These persons are at risk of being threatened or assassinated for agreeing to act as tribunal judges.”

Did we need to know their names, Robert?

Another cable given to WikiLeaks by Manning named two brave human-rights activists who were giving information about the horrors of the Assad regime in Syria to the United States.

How does that serve “humanity as a whole”?

There are scores of similar items cited in Kirchick’s article. But even more important, Kirchick writes, “is the vast chilling effect that Manning’s treachery has had, and will continue to have, on American diplomacy.” Opponents of Iran’s move to obtaining a nuclear weapon, for example, will now find that the leaks greatly interfere with our diplomats gaining information and acting wisely, since those who previously might have come forth now will wonder whether Manning’s leaks have compromised them.

New at PJ Lifestyle on Wednesday:

Hannah Sternberg: Bad Advice: Abandon the Hot Mess?

Chris Queen: Will ‘Charlie Hustle’ Come Out Smelling Like A Rose?

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Game of Downloads: HBO’s Bad Spin on Media Piracy

Sarah Hoyt: An Act of Radical Virginity

Bryan Preston, Cross-posted from the PJ Tatler: Gen. Weasley Clark Leaves His Wife of 46 Years

Becky Graebner: Orange is The New Black‘s Creator Doesn’t Seem To Be a Big Fan of Men…

 

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New at PJ Tatler on Wednesday:

Bridget Johnson: Gowdy: ‘It’s a Shame’ Holder ‘Doesn’t Enjoy His Job More’

Bridget Johnson: Trump: Republicans Might Get 2008-Style Victory if They Let an Unknown Emerge

Bridget Johnson: Anger at Release of Kiki Camarena’s Killer: Drug Lord ‘Should Have Faced a Firing Squad’

J. Christian Adams: Maryland Election Official Ignores Dead Voters on Rolls

Bridget Johnson: Kerry Congratulates Pakistan on ‘Continued Advancement as a Stable Democracy’

Bryan Preston: NBC News Notices that Obamacare is Creating a Part-Time Nation

Bryan Preston: Agence France Presse Excuses Muslim Bros. Persecution of Egypt’s Christians

Roger L. Simon: Government Says Debt Unchanged, but Debt Clock Keeps Rolling?

Bryan Preston: Stay Classy, Matt Yglesias

Rick Moran: Egyptian Security Forces Crack Down on Pro-Morsi Protests

Rick Moran: Obama’s ‘Body Man’ Says He Played Cards with the President During Osama Raid

Bryan Preston: Tatler Interviews Texas Lt. Gov. Candidate Jerry Patterson, Has Gun Pulled On Him

Bryan Preston: Fail: MSNBC Flunks Geography

Bryan Preston: Wait — Isn’t Obama Already Defunding Obamacare On His Own?

Bryan Preston: A ‘Million Muslim March’ on Washington on 9-11?

Stephen Kruiser: Obamacare Suffers Another Cheerleader Defection

Bryan Preston: Orange Shirt ‘Pro-Choice’ Fascists Antagonize Austin’s Summermoon Coffee Shop for Making a Choice

Myra Adams: Photo Caption Contest Winner: Send in the Clown (Before He is Sent to Reeducation Camp)

Bryan Preston: Attkisson: More Fast and Furious Guns Turn Up at Mexican Crime Sites

How many and what crimes and murders they’ve been involved in will probably never fully come to light, thanks to Obama covering Holder under executive privilege just as the scandal got a little too hot for both.

Bryan Preston: Performing Artists Mock Politicians

Stephen Kruiser: Those Who Can’t, Teach: Hillary Weighing Academic Offers

Stephen Kruiser: Yay! Obamacare Should Make NSA Creepiness Seem Minor

Stephen Kruiser: Glenn Beck Gets AR-15 Gift, Talking Points MemoGets Teh Sadz

Stephen Kruiser: OK, Kittens Are Cute Open Thread

 

Also Around the Web Wednesday:

Via Drudge:

Wynton Hall at Breitbart: NY Times: Clinton Foundation Rife with Cronyism

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran a blistering investigative report revealing the Clinton Foundation as a nonprofit rife with crony capitalist conflicts of interest and multi-million dollar deficits despite raking in at least $492 million from 1997 to 2007.

In 2007 and 2008, the Clinton Foundation, which is soon to be renamed the “Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation,” ran a $40 million deficit. Last year, it ran a deficit of over $8 million despite the Foundation and two subsidiaries generating $214 million in revenues.

At Breitbart.Com:

Ben Shapiro: WH Tweets Biden with Camel as Egyptian Military Cracks Down

Tony Lee: Piers Morgan: I Don’t Want All American Women Armed With Guns

At The Blaze:

Anthony Weiner Vows ‘Single-Payer Health Care System’ for NYC

At National Review:

Andrew C. McCarthy: Obama’s Gay-Rights Hypocrisy

Cynically mounting his high horse last week in the cozy confines of Jay Leno’s late-night TV comedy program — a venue popular with his ill-informed admirers, one where hypocrisy won’t be noticed, much less challenged — the president declaimed, “I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate or are harmful to them.”

This was his purported human-rights rationale for canceling a summit meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who in June signed an anti-gay law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Obama told Leno that “making sure people are treated fairly and justly” is a “precept that’s not unique to America” and “should apply everywhere.”

Seriously?

Does the president truly mean what he said? Or was he just pandering to dreamy millennials and the Hollywood glitterati, who are too uninformed or in the tank to mark the chasm between his righteous finger-wagging at Putin and his kowtowing to Islamic leaders? The answers depend on whether he finally condemns sharia’s oppressive and often brutal strictures against homosexuality, which are zealously enforced in most Muslim countries.

At Mediaite:

Noah Rothman:MSNBC’s Now Parodies Itself With Tortured Claim Boston Bombers Were Right-Wing

Noah Rothman: When Did Oprah Become a Racial Lightning Rod?

Noah Rothman: Newt Gingrich Attacks GOP ‘Culture’ That Rewards ‘Vicious’ Attacks But Not Ideas

At Slate:

Woody Allen Is a Pimp in New John Turturro Movie

Fading Gigolo stars John Turturro, who also wrote and directed the film, as a man who decides to become a prostitute as a favor for his friend, Murry, a failing bookseller played by Woody Allen. Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara play two clients who apparently become interested in a threesome.

That sounds like a fairly silly male fantasy, and the trailer reinforces that impression—while also making the movie look like a Woody Allen knockoff possibly elevated by the presence of the actual Woody Allen.

At Salon:

Alex Seitz-Wald: Alex Jones Duped Esquire

At Twitchy:

‘Literal pogrom’: Churches set ablaze, vandalized by Morsi supporters in Egypt [photos]

Parenting expert Amanda Marcotte: ‘What’s the harm’ in letting kids have sex at home?

At Deadline Hollywood:

Darren Aronofsky In Talks For Fox Espionage Tale ‘Red Sparrow’

At the Daily Mail:

Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife weep as they are sentenced to prison for tax fraud and misusing $750,000 in campaign funds

EXCLUSIVE: Boston bomber’s Muslim convert widow could still face charges and the FBI ‘want to know what she knows’

Thug man who paralyzed and blinded a father-of-one after punching him in an ‘unprovoked’ attack walks free from court

Army Sergeant mother is ‘devastated’ after four-month-old baby Bo died when she left him in a hot car for FIVE HOURS – as she is charged with manslaughter

Man arrested for third time in a month for sex with minors ‘after posing for photos in a Justin Bieber-style wig to look younger and arranging a meeting with 13-year-old girl’

At The New York Daily News:

James Kirchick: Romney was right about Russian foe 

Tuesday Morning Book Reading:

How did religious tolerance reduce religious violence in America? See this excerpt from page 138 of America 3.0 by James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus (and published by Encounter):

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See the first five weeks of round-ups:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four 

Week Five

Week Six

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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It's more than just a tool or a style. In art, yes, postmodernism is a style/period, but in intellectual history and philosophy in particular, it's more a cultural movement, bred out of the "acids of modernity," as Walter Lippman put it. One can criticize a cultural movement like post-modernism just like one can criticize the Enlightenment or modernism (which, of course, overlaps with the Enlightenment). To say that it's just like iambic pentameter indicates that you may not understand it as much as you think you do.
34 weeks ago
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All Comments   (18)
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as Howard explained I didn't even know that people can get paid $9952 in one month on the computer. have you seen this web site http://7.ly/Txe
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I quit working at shoprite and now I make $35h - $80h...how? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn't be happier. Heres what I do,go to this site home tab for more detail--->>> WWW.JOBS31.COM
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
my roomate's half-sister makes $83/hr on the internet. She has been out of work for nine months but last month her paycheck was $17999 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site.... http://www.cnn32.com
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Goldman and Rubin are as often as not either propagandists who leave out facts, or sloppy writers who don't know them in the first place. Their credibility is such I can't read them without a very large grain of salt. My first recommendation would be for them to stop writing about Egypt, since they don't know squat about it.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who do you believe understands foreign policy (and Egypt) better than Goldman and Rubin? And who do you believe they are propagandizing on behalf of?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
If anybody isn't reading the New Criterion, Kimballs publication, may I strongly recommend it. Subscribe or ask you library to do so.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
YES!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"2. Learn to write elegant, exciting literary prose."

Exciting prose is not literary; ask any of the "literati."
Literary prose is seldom elegant and never exciting; see the above.

See also B. R. Myers's "A Reader's Manifesto:" : http://www.amazon.com/dp/0971865906/
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"we are likewise paralyzed to distinguish between the Muslim liberals who want to join the 21st centuries and the Muslim Brotherhood operatives striving to implement Sharia law."

All Muslims want to implement Shariah law. If someone does not want to implement Shariah law, they are not a Muslim.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Last week I named the first five writers who made the biggest influence on my understanding of foreign policy, the issue that fuels my political activism: Michael Ledeen, Andrew C. McCarthy, Barry Rubin, Claudia Rosett, and David P. Goldman. In concluding the list this week, I double-dipped, insisting that Victor Davis Hanson’s writings should be understood as an intellectual bridge between the worlds of foreign policy and culture. "

Not to nit pick or anything like that, but you might try adding at least one person who was in the military to that list (as far as I know none of them were). I would suggest John Bernard and if any of them disagree with John Bernard, go with John Bernard.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a list of PJ columnists.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or if you want a short cut, just find out what John McCain thinks and go with the opposite.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those of us who revere the truth, especially the truth that only art can reveal, should say a special prayer of thanks to Hilton Kramer.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reason: To be kept rational it has to make constant contact with reality.

Which is why I prefer the company of engineers.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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