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‘There’s Nothing Just About Nature. Nature Is Only About Survival.’

With its newest video Prager University continues to set the standard for Conservatism 3.0 New Media activism. Also: 150 interesting stories at PJM and around the web this week.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

October 16, 2013 - 10:50 am

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This is Week 2 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and interesting headlines at PJM and across the web.

In the previous weeks I’ve discussed 15 of my favorite writers and major intellectual influences in foreign policy, culture, and history. (At the bottom of each of these posts they’re all listed with links to their entries.) I’ll continue to add more authors to these sections but today I’m beginning another two categories of writers who I regard as core influences. Today’s entry and future ones in the coming weeks will feature writers who have most influenced my approach to New Media. I’ll continue to mostly focus first on PJM columnists and editors before moving on to other writers throughout history and today’s media.

The media innovators I’ll discuss are both blogosphere pioneers and those who have taken the medium to the next level to accomplish extraordinary things: Glenn Reynolds, J. Christian Adams, Ed Driscoll, Stephen Green, Richard Fernandez, Bryan Preston, Bridget Johnson, and Helen Smith. (Given the volume of posts — most of them on timely subjects — that they do, I’m also now going to begin to include links to all of Ed’s and Stephen’s posts in these rounds-ups alongside Bryan’s and Bridget’s. I’ll also be cross-posting more of their posts along with some of Glenn’s more Lifestyle-oriented Instapundit posts.)

The second category I’m planning to begin in the coming weeks is my list of top 20 conservative columnists. (Ann Coulter will be the first discussed; she remains #1 on the list, with her new book more than securing her position.)

But first, leading this section of New Media influences is not just a single individual but an institution: Prager University.

“Give us five minutes, we’ll give you a semester.”

I’ll soon get to writing about Dennis Prager and his ideas’ role in Conservatism 3.0. (Click here for my extended review of his recent book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.) He’ll be high on the top 20 columnists list.

But Prager University should be regarded as an entity unto itself. Prager’s spirit is infused into all the organization’s releases, but a number of others work very hard to inject the magic that makes the project so extraordinary. It’s indeed a team effort and a shining example of how to adapt what makes Prager’s radio show so effective into a medium that we can pass off to friends and family who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to talk radio.

Prager University releases multiple videos each month, 5-minute courses featuring some of the world’s most respected authors, professors, and thinkers. Each video is both factual and analyzes the world through a moral point of view. Subjects range from history to religion to philosophy and gender relations. These aren’t just videos to inform, they’re to persuade. Prager University’s is the only series of online videos that I’m aware of that has any chance whatsoever of winning over those wobbling on the edge of shifting from Left to Right, from secular to religious, from Democrat to Republican. Each video is a concentrated dosage of the best arguments for the Judeo-Christian value system, Americanism, and the interpretations of history and the present day that flow from them.

For a broader sample of what I’m talking about, see some of these potentially life-changing videos. Eleven of my favorites in religion and pro-Israel truth-telling are in these two previous posts:

6 Reasons Why Rational Thinkers Choose to Believe in God

A Black South African Proves Beyond Doubt That Israel Is Not an Apartheid State

Seriously — I know of no better presentation of American values than what Prager U puts out consistently. Their formula really needs to be imitated by every conservative, pro-American organization. They’re a light illuminating the path amidst the fog of media war.

prager university

I think it’s very appropriate that Prager University’s logo is a lighthouse. One of the most consistent themes in Prager University’s videos — an extension of one of Dennis’s core values — is the one in this week’s video that I quoted in the headline: we have to fight both our own human nature and nature itself.

Goodness does not come from the natural world. Without a higher power of some sort — whose nature we can debate about endlessly in theology discussions like the one from this weekend — then we too are just beasts.1374351_10101485832167428_1105374955_nshutterstock_51424156

PJ Media Story Round Up

Lead PJM Stories Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and this Weekend

Jonathan Spyer: Despite Nobel Prize, Full Removal of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Unlikely

Bill Straub: House Compromise Effort Slips; Senate Rushes Toward Deal

Bridget Johnson: GOP Congressman: Defund-Obamacare Caucus Not Conservative Because Conservatives ‘Know How to Count’

PJ Editors: Hot Topic: Should the NFL’s Washington Redskins Change Their Name?

Richard Fernandez: Under Obamacare, Unions Demand to Be More Equal Than Others

Victor Davis Hanson: Reading Among the Ruins

Bridget Johnson: White House Still Calls Just Minor Tweaks to Obamacare Demanding ‘Ransom’

Bryan Preston: ‘Sons of the Flag’ Burn Foundation Plans Historic Skydive to Raise Money for Burn Research

Jack Dunphy: Who Let the ‘Racist’ Police Dogs Out?

Ron Radosh: NBC Pitches Softballs to Bomb-Throwing Former Terrorist Bill Ayers

Charlie Martin: I Told You So (Obamacare Edition)

Roger L. Simon: ObamaCare Best Advertisement for Libertarianism Ever

Government sources report as few as 51,000 completed applications for ObamaCare in the first week. At least seven million must sign up for the program to stay afloat financially.

This, after months of preparation, for a website that cost approximately 100 million dollars. Apple CEO Tim Cook would be out on his derriere faster than you could say Kathleen Sebelius for anything resembling such ineptitude. (Apple, for the record, sold nine million of its new iPhone 5S in the first three days.)

And the ObamaCare website is the least of it. The actual implementation will be worse as premiums and coverage ricochet all over the lot and look to continue doing so.

Only government could be this bad. Well not only government, but almost always government.

In truth, especially in a big country like ours, the more the government controls healthcare, the worse that care is — and, ironically, the less democratic, the more discriminatory, it becomes. Where there are bureaucrats, there is favoritism. And the greater the bureaucracy the greater this favoritism and the more difficult to unmask, the more entrenched it is.

Rodrigo Sermeno: Step Aside, NSA: What are Private Companies Gathering About You, Then Sharing?

Ed Driscoll: Interview: Humberto Fontova on the MSM’s Love for Fidel Castro

Allen West: The Next Generation

Why must we stand up for the future? We currently are the first generation of Americans that will leave less for subsequent generations than we inherited. Reversing this tragedy is our challenge. Today, I am committing myself even more to taking this message across the U.S., in person and via media — an Allen West liberty and freedom road show of sorts is on its way. I intend to answer the call to arms for my republic.

Mike McDaniel: Jose Guerena Vindicated: Widow Receives $3.4M Settlement from Arizona Police

Bryan Preston: PHOTOS: Veterans Overrun the Barrycades, Liberate the Memorials in Washington!

Zombie: ‘Consider Reducing Your Income by Working Less’ to Get Obamacare Subsidy, says SF Chronicle

Tom Blumer: Obamacare: Mind-Boggling Incompetence

Michael Ledeen: Evil Lives: The Erich Priebke Story

Rick Moran: Chinese Want to ‘De-Americanize’ the World

Bryan Preston: About that NBC/WSJ Poll that Killed Republicans on the Shutdown…

Roger Kimball: Is Ted Cruz Wrecking the GOP?

Janice Flamengo: Tommy Robinson Exits the Field

David Solway: Living in the Age of Contradiction

Bridget Johnson: Deadliest Catch Captain Tells Congress He Can’t Fish Because of Shutdown

 

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page

Over the Weekend and This Week

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Bookworm: The Surprising Reason Americans Are Vulnerable to Moral Relativism

Paula Bolyard: Waiter, There’s a Government in My Beer!

Kathy Shaidle: Mark Steyn’s Muslim Nemesis Sues Another Free Speech Champion

Paula Bolyard: Juan Williams Suggests Buying Off Republicans with Campaign Donations to End Stalemate

Paula Bolyard: Veterans Cemeteries: You May Have to Keep Grandpa on Ice if the Shutdown Continues

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Queen Ann Advises Republicans: Always Listen to Mother

Andrew Klavan: What’s Wrong with Joel Osteen?

Theodore Dalrymple: When Doctors Decide Your Disease Doesn’t Actually Exist

Paula Bolyard: Despite Tea Party Opposition, Kasich Will Bypass Ohio Legislature to Expand Medicaid

The Weekend

Kathy Shaidle: Chicago’s Patriotic New Single Sounds Like a South Park Parody

Paula Bolyard: Ohio Insurance Director on Obamacare Glitches: ‘This Is What We Expected’

Walter Hudson: Why Christians, Jews, and Everyone Else Better Take an Interest in Heaven and Hell

Andrew Klavan: The Mystery of Elizabeth Smart

Joshua Sharf: No Good Excuses Exist for the Failure of Obamacare’s Expensive Website

John Boot: 4 Reasons Why Captain Phillips Is One of the Year’s Best Thrillers…

 

pjlifestyle

New at PJ Lifestyle on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday

Tuesday

Megan Fox: Ty Doohen, Another Victim of Single Motherhood: Fatherless and Beaten to Death

Theodore Dalrymple: Was Sir Winston Churchill Right About Exercise?

Anna Vu Tapson: 4 Kitchen Items That Will Get You Ready For Holiday Cooking

Becky Graebner: A Classy Tequila Experience (Yes, It Does Exist)

Monday

Paula Bolyard: Should Colleges Have Parent-Teacher Conferences?

Paul Cooper: What International Gendercide Can Teach America About Abortion

Robert Spencer: Child Marriage Comes to Australia

Sarah Hoyt: A Bullet to the Head Could Not Dissuade her From Learning

Sunday

Michael Lumish: Politics Vs Theology: Beginning A Debate With David Swindle

Charlie Martin: What to Do When ‘Just Sitting’ Isn’t Enough?

P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, #8: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Biblical Feminism and the Dirty Male Myth

Rhonda Robinson: Could You Find The Meaning Of Life Through The Stench Of Death?

Me: Why the Weight of Heaven Crushed My Christianity

Walter Hudson: Religion Ought to Be Divisive

tatlerlogo

New at PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser: More Dry Ice ‘Suspicious Package’ Action At LAX

Charlie Martin: I Told You So (Obamacare Edition)

Stephen Kruiser: Salon Poses A Question Every One Of Its Writers Should Ask Themselves Daily

Eileen J. O’Connor: Americans Begin to Meet the Unaffordable Care Act

Stephen Kruiser: Shocked Face: Hillary To Officially Endorse McAuliffe, Vince Foster Unavailable For Comment

Raymond Ibrahim: This Week in History: The Battle of Tours

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

So, Who’s On the Hook for all that Food that Welfare Users Stole in Louisiana?

Hot Mom Tries to Inspire Others to Lose Weight, Runs Into Whiners and Haters, Whips Out Awesome Non-Apology Apology

Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Thinks Obama Should be Impeached. Media: SHOCKED!

Another Criminal Found Among the Obamacare ‘Navigators.’ This One is an Illegal Alien.

Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher Talks to His Mom, Believes Obama is His God and Republicans Control His Health

Too many Americans depend on the government for some basic things. It would help the nation in the long run if we reduced that dependence and the mentality that fosters it. As that would not help the Democrats, though, expect it to happen right after never.

Texas Democrat Chairman Calls Veterans ‘Ugly’ in Vicious Attack on Sen. Ted Cruz

Sorry MSNBC, But Fox’s Megyn Kelly Really Is Crushing You

‘Sons of the Flag’ Burn Foundation Plans Historic Skydive to Raise Money for Burn Research

GOP House to Offer New Shutdown Compromise for Obama, Democrats to Summarily Reject

It’s Hard to Blame Cory Booker. Would YOU Want to Live In Newark?

JournoList’s Ezra Klein: Yeah, the Obamacare Site is a Disaster

VIDEO — CNN’s Candy Crowley Tries to Recruit Sen. Rand Paul to the Democrat Party

Why Is Venezuela Detaining Five American Oil Workers?

Our Government is Hopelessly Corrupt, Dangerously Stupid, Or Both

Former Obama Spokesman Gibbs: Obamacare Rollout has been ‘Excruciatingly Embarrassing’

Sheila Jackson Lee Has a Remedy for the Government Shutdown: Martial Law

Shelves in Two Lousiana Walmarts Cleared When Welfare Recipients Thought They Were Getting Free Food

Facebook’s Ad Algorithm Is A Poopy Head

Colorado’s Dem Governor to Anti-Gun Groups: Can You Stay Out of the Recall This Time?

NBC’s Bob Costas Bravely Tells Football Fans that the Redskins Name is a ‘Slur’

PHOTOS: Veterans Overrun the Barrycades, Liberate the Memorials in Washington!

Nate Silver: None of This Shutdown Noise Will Matter Much Next Year

From PJM’s Washington D.C. Editor Bridget Johnson

GOP Congressman: Defund-Obamacare Caucus Not Conservative Because Conservatives ‘Know How to Count’

White House Still Calls Just Minor Tweaks to Obamacare Demanding ‘Ransom’

‘Most Vulnerable’ Dem Gushes About His Bipartisanship in Shutdown Deal

House Republican: ‘It Shouldn’t Be Very Difficult to Reconcile’ Latest Offer with Senate

Eid Murbarak from President Obama

Hearing of the Week: Joint Venture to Demand Answers on ‘Arbitrary and Unnecessary’ Park Closures

Happy Columbus Day from President Obama

House Conservative as Deals Swirl: ‘We Have to Focus on Obamacare’

Manchin: Hope of Bipartisan Deal Not ‘Shot Completely or Killed’ by Dem Leaders

Reid: Republicans Responsible for the National Debt

White House: Merchant Marine Academy Canceling Classes Because of Shutdown

Pentagon: Congress is No Longer Keeping Us from Paying Dead Soldiers’ Families!

From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists

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From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,

Wednesday

In a Collectivized Nutshell

Most families will face higher — in many cases, much higher — out-of-pocket expenses. Wealthier people opting for the Gold or Platinum plans will have lower out-of-pocket expenses, and since they won’t be getting any subsidies, why not? So we have a situation where the middle class pays more, while the rich (or politically connected) get better and cheaper service.

And Liberals Claim Even the Name is Racist

To Sanction or not to Sanction

Required Reading

The Most Transparent Administration in History

Repeat After Me: It’s Not a Traffic Problem

Got Gavel?

Bask in the Schadenfreude

Tuesday

Blue State Blues

The Horror Stories Just Keep Coming

In It to Win It or Not

I’ve Run Out of Cute or Clever ObamaCare Headlines

The Law of Nothing But Unintended Consequences

Worst. Law. Ever.

Of course, it was never about health care; it was always about power. And ObamaCare does more than perhaps any law in American history to concentrate power in Washington. I’m trying to think of a worse example, but I’m coming up blank. The establishment of a peacetime draft by FDR, maybe? At least that was a “temporary” national security measure.

More Violent Rhetoric from the Left

Fill it to the RIM — With Fail

Another ObamaCare Mystery

Required Viewing

Driving You to Distraction

Monday

You Keep Using That Word

Another Solution is Alcohol

When Black Friday Comes…

Don’t Be Evil or Whatevs

Are We Exporting Food Inflation?

It’s Every Old Man for Themselves

Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket

Who’s Minding the Nukes?

Stop Driving Your Food

Weekend

Trolling TED

News You Can Use

Tom Clancy Drool-Fest

Not Coming Soon Enough to a Theater Near You

You Can’t Go Home Again

Sound Judgement

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From PJM’s San Jose editor Ed Driscoll

Tuesday

A Hayekian Teaching Moment

That’s what Steve Hayward is calling “The Obamacare Rollout Debacle” today at Forbes:

The debacle of the rollout of Obamacare is yet another moment for re-learning the fundamental truth about how little we know about what we think we can control.

That last phrase comes from F.A. Hayek, of course.  Hayek died in 1992, on the cusp of the World Wide Web and the explosion of the Internet, which has transformed our economy and our individual lives profoundly.  In one of his last interviews with Forbes magazine shortly before his death, Hayek was asked whether the rapid advances in technology and computing power made economic management—planning and regulation—more feasible.  Hayek was emphatic that no matter how big and how fast our computing power got, it did not change the fundamental defect of all centralized economic control: the problem is not simply mastering or processing a large amount of raw data.  Information and circumstances change too quickly.  More fundamentally, the data necessary for centralized decision-making is not available at all.

The Louisiana Heist

Quote of the Day

Monsters from the Libs

You Can’t Make an Omelet Without Frying a Few Eggheads

What Could Go Right?

Monday

Julia Has Become an Unperson

From Bauhaus to Ozzy’s House

Somebody Set Ayers Up the Bomb

Speaking from the well-heeled confines of the University of Chicago’s International House on Wednesday, Bill Ayers said he was “amazed” to see himself on TV “cast as some kind of public enemy” with close ties to Barack Obama during one of the 2008 election’s biggest controversies.

At the event meant to promote his new book Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident, Ayers slammed the “opportunistic media” and the “eager campaign staffs of the right, the middle, and even the moderate left” for resurrecting the Weather Underground, a radical far-left group Ayers co-founded which bombed government property and banks throughout the 1970s.

“Bernadine and I had hosted the initial fundraiser for Obama and uncharacteristically donated a little money to his campaign,” said Ayers, reading an excerpt. “We lived a few blocks apart and sat on a couple nonprofit boards together. So what? Who could have predicted it would blow up like this?”

— “Bill Ayers: Didn’t think Obama connection ‘would blow up like this,’” the College Fix, today.

Weatherman hagiographer Robert Redford could not be reached for comment, but John Nolte of Big Journalism could, after Ayers was invited to appear on NBC today:

Monday, after MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” spent about two hours blasting the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and Ted Cruz as bubbled, dangerous, and stupid — in other words, a typical Monday on “Morning Joe” — the show hosted Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist. To no one’s surprise, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Time’s Mark Halperin treated the co-founder of the Weather Underground and friend of Barack Obama with extraordinary deference as he hawked a new book.

Pat Dollard is succinct: “After Accusing Tea Party Of Terrorist Bombing, MSNBC Invites Bill Ayers On To Plug His Book.”

Quote of the Day

‘When Black Friday Comes…’

New Civility Watch

Birth of the Cool-Warmth

News You Can Use

How Badly Does NBC’s Bob Costas Hate the Dallas Cowboys?

This Weekend

Interview: Humberto Fontova on the MSM’s Love for Fidel Castro

Juicebox Mafioso Whacked

Photo of the Day

China Looks to Make After America a Reality

Veterans March on White House

Barack Obama, Fabian Socialist

Quote of the Day

The Obama Backfire

KIA Kabuki

 

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15 Interesting Stories Around the Web This Week

Found on Facebook:

1. Shock Mansion: The First Flying Car is Finally Here!

At Mediaite:

2. Andrew Kirell: Ann Coulter Talks to Mediaite About Issuing a ‘Fatwa’ for Conservatives, and Why She Mostly Watches MSNBC

Did you stop watching cable news after the election?

There was a six-month period where I didn’t read or listen to anything. About that time, I was going through my mother’s collection of Ann Coulter clippings — the largest in the northeastern United States, I should add — and there was a Time magazine write-up from 2004 after the midterm election. It was like a mirror image of after 2012 election. There was a big smiling picture of me, with a caption like “I’m a winner!” And then there was Michael Moore, sad, “I’m a loser.”

It made me remember how incumbents tend to win. Obama did worse than any incumbent in the last 100 years, according to the Brookings Institution. We probably feel the same way the Democrats did after they lost in 2004. Time to buck up.

Left of Center News and Opinion Sources:

At Talking Points Memo:

3. Bill Moyers: Let’s Call The Shutdown What It Is: Secession By Another Means

When the president refused to buckle to this extortion, they threw their tantrum. Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn down the place, sink the ship.

At The Nation:

4. Citizen Marx

Marx’s dying looks different in A Nineteenth-Century Life, slower and still attuned to the world around him. From Algiers, he goes to Monte Carlo, where he eyes the well-dressed women and ridicules the intricately absurd systems the gamblers use to try to beat the house—another moment passed over by previous biographers, although they had the same letters available to them. For those who see Marx as a contemporary, the end of his life may be the hardest part to write or even to imagine. It contradicts our preconceptions. The bad weather might almost kill him, and so might his cheap tobacco, but dying isn’t something that Karl Marx is supposed to do.

Right of Center News and Opinion Sources:

At Truth Revolt:

5. Brother of Crown Heights Riot Victim Slams Sharpton Advertisers

Now Yankel’s brother, Norman, says that advertisers, MSNBC, and President Obama should be ashamed to be associated with Sharpton. “Any person who does anything to legitimize Al Sharpton is doing a gross disservice to their own integrity, and in terms of Al Sharpton the individual, the greatest concern is they’re legitimizing a fraud and charlatan,” Rosenbaum said from Melbourne, Australia. He added, “He has never apologized, he has never offered any sincere remorse for the atrocious things he has done by way of terrible racist behavior and lies, for inciting racial events. Anybody who takes a look at that person and wants to spend advertising dollars on him should take a hard look at their moral stance in terms of their position in business, in commerce, and in the community.”

That Al Sharpton remains a respected member of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement tells you everything you need to know about the level of moral bankruptcy in each.

At National Review:

6. Andrew C. McCarthy: Funding Jihadists while Denying Military Benefits

And, you’ll be pleased to know, supporting the Syrian “rebels” is a high enough priority that it’s not part of the 17 percent of the federal government affected by the “shutdown.” America’s enemies are still receiving taxpayer-funded weapons, so that they can fight America’s other enemies, the Assad regime, to what Washington hopes will be a resounding victory. Er . . . check that — to what the administration hopes will be . . . a tie. The administration also let slip this week that it is arming our preferred jihadists so they can grind to a stalemate with Russia’s preferred jihadists — after all, we wouldn’t want to upset Iran’s ruling jihadists after they’ve just finally deigned to take, yes, a phone call from our pleading president after blowing him off in New York.

So support for the Syrian jihad remains unaffected by the shutdown, just like the Capitol Hill gym and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” website. Obama did manage, however, to cut off death benefits for the families of American troops killed fighting for our country. Or at least our conniving Alinsky-in-chief thought he’d succeeded in cutting off the military death benefits — along with forcible closures of war-hero cemeteries, national monuments, private homes, and the ocean.

It turned out he’d miscalculated.

President I Will Not Negotiate ended up negotiating, and then quietly paying bereaved military families, because he discovered, to his astonishment, that the public would hold him, not Republicans, responsible for this unspeakable breach of faith. He’d thought he had that covered. After all, as the Republican establishment repeatedly tells us, Obama’s media always blame the GOP — thus making it “delusional” for the GOP to stand up and fight about anything.

If I told you years ago that Obama would rather deny military death benefits than stop funding al-Qaeda you would have called me a crazy conspiracist.

At Breitbart News:

7. Sex-Selection Abortion Now an Option in Britain

Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, issued a statement regarding reasons why authorities decided not to prosecute two abortionists caught in an undercover sting agreeing to sex selection abortions.

CPS decided it would not be in “the public interest” to prosecute the doctors. Guidance issued by the British Medical Association (BMA) advised physicians “there may be circumstances in which termination of pregnancy on grounds of fetal sex would be lawful.”

“It is normally unethical to terminate a pregnancy on the grounds of fetal sex alone,” the guidance stated. “The pregnant woman’s views about the effect of the sex of the fetus on her situation and on her existing children should nevertheless be carefully considered.”

Starmer said that guidance for doctors should be updated amid widespread concern over practices in abortion clinics that do not appear to be illegal.

“The law does not, in terms, expressly prohibit gender-specific abortions,” Starmer said. “Rather it prohibits any abortion carried out without two medical practitioners having formed a view, in good faith, that the health risks of continuing with a pregnancy outweigh those of termination.”

“If Nothing is True then Everything is Permitted.” — Hassan i Sabbah

At Twitchy:

8. ‘Monumental stupidity’: David Frum says monuments must have guards to remain open

op·por·tun·ism

  [op-er-too-niz-uhm, -tyoo-]  Show IPA

noun

1.

the policy or practice, as in politics, business, or one’s personalaffairs, of adapting actions, decisions, etc., to expediency oreffectiveness regardless of the sacrifice of ethical principles.

2.

action or judgment in accordance with this policy.
Origin: 
1865–70;  < Italian opportunismo,  equivalent to opportun ( o ) (< Latinopportūnus;  see opportune) + -ismo -ism

Related forms

op·por·tun·ist, noun

At the Daily Caller:

9. Jeff Poor: Mediaite’s Christopher asks dumbest question in history of White House press briefings [VIDEO]

Reminder: Tommy Christopher is not his real name. It’s not a coincidence that he’s Mediaite’s most obnoxious, narcissistic, dishonest contributor and he doesn’t have to write under his own name. There are only a handful of pseudonymous bloggers whose work I respect. The difference between them and Christopher is that they’re upfront about writing under a byline other than their real name.

And always keep an eye on Jeff Poor – he’s one of the Daily Caller’s best.

Your Daily Dose of Postmodern Pop Culture Polytheism News and Opinion [Celebrity Gossip, Entertainment and Other Nonsense]:

At Buzzfeed:

10. 24 Badass Halloween Costumes To Empower Little Girls

r2d2daughter

The Star Wars enthusiasm has slowly dripped out of me until now little remains. I think the future of the franchise will come through embracing what it actually is: a giant commercial to sell merchandise. This is alright once you recognize and accept it.

Some day I hope I’ll have a little girl who I can help make a cute costume. But I like this matching set better:

PlEVHAO

At TMZ.Com:

11. DMX Spitting Bible Verses On the Street 

Note the way TMZ had to frame it — “spitting” Bible verses.

At Ain’t It Cool News:

12. Harry Knowles: 38th,39th&40th PICKS & PEEKS Columns: Vincent Price, Zombies, 3D Wizard of Oz & LITTLE MERMAID & Betty Boop & IRON MAN!

I’m not the pop culture polytheist I used to be but I still enjoy checking in with film nerd’s geek godfather Harry Knowles. His round-ups of recent DVD and Blu-Ray releases remain useful and entertaining. Here are a few from his most recent column that I thought worthy of comment:

worldwarz

The Wife and I got this from Netflix last week and watched over the weekend. She had read the novel and liked it quite a bit. (And we’d had the fun experience of meeting the novel’s author Max Brooks at a party a few months ago. He’s friends with one of her art friends and was quirky and entertaining.)

According to April the movie departs pretty heavily from the book. We found it watchable and entertaining enough but nothing special. 28 Days Later remains the best zombie movie of all time IMHO.

halloween

If 28 Days Later is the best zombie horror movie then is the original Halloween the best slasher movie? Admittedly its not a difficult world to rise to the top of, but still — there’s a reason why John Carpenter more or less started the genre with this one. The original is much scarier and easier to take seriously than the imitators.

wizardofoz

Best family film of all time? We meant to catch the new 3-D release in theaters but with April chugging along through her final year — the third — of grad school we don’t have the time or energy to make it out to the theater. The Netflix Blu-Rays and streaming queue suffice.

littlemermaid

At some point I’m going to get around to ranking all the films in the Disney animated canon. For reasons that I’ll articulate at another time, I regard The Little Mermaid as among the most overrated Disney films. It’s not the most overrated — that prize goes to The Lion King — but Ariel just is not as compelling a heroine as Belle and other Disney princesses. She’s a girl so dumb that she was willing to become mute so she could marry a man. I’ll take the bookworm Belle any day.

51fsG8JOaKL

I agree with Andrew Klavan — a funny, delightful laugh-fest with some good values from some of the most talented comedians making movies today.

exorcist

And now you’re all set for Halloween — 28 Days Later, Halloween, and The Exorcist — the three best horror films in their genres? One could throw in The Silence of the Lambs for top of the serial killer genre. Any others that I’m forgetting?

Closing Book Excerpt

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“The Roman decadence has never been matched in scale…” – Camille Paglia page 131 of Sexual Personae

 

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15 of My Favorite Writers And Most Important Intellectual Influences:

6 On Foreign Policy:

4 On Culture:

5 On History:

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shutterstock images courtesy / Linda Bucklin

What Books Does PJ Lifestyle Editor David Swindle Recommend for 2013? Click here to see his picks at the Freedom Academy Book Club

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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my roomate's mother makes $87 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her payment was $13386 just working on the laptop for a few hours. more information....WWW.Rush64.COM
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
my roomate's step-sister makes $79/hour on the computer. She has been without a job for eight months but last month her pay was $17477 just working on the computer for a few hours. this link.... WWW.Rush64.COM
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Contrary to the philosophy professor's assertion, nature is not "just about survival". Mourning is observed among elephants, communication and play instincts in dolphins. As we humans share something like 99% DNA with the great apes, you would be hard pressed to not find behavioral parallels. There is much that human beings don't even begin to understand about dynamics in all that out there, you might even say a form of justice far more evenly applied and known than some of the arbitrary systems humans have devised during their short tenure on Earth.

It's true, however, as Neytiri points out to Jake in Avatar:

"Our Great Mother does not take sides, Jake. She protects only the balance of life.".

Human beings don't start where "nature" leaves off. We are nature.

Moral behavior (sharing for example) has been observed in babies, beings far too young to have been inculcated with religious belief.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
If an elephant kills another elephant, is it murder?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have, alas, misunderstood the thrust of the professor. Nature is, well, nature, i.e., that which happens happens. There are many things that happen in nature, play instincts, seeming sorrow in elephants for the dead, some sort of solidarity amongst certain animals and so on and on. You mentioned examples. But that just happens naturallly, neither good nor evil, Nevertheless, the happening contributes to the survival of the life of a species or it does not. SURVIVAL is, hierarchically speaking, the sine qua non for the functions that you have mentioned. An alpha lion kills the offsring of the previous big guy. Certainly the mother lions try to hide or defend their offspring, but to no avail. Let us just imagine that a surplus of young male lions just kept killing themselves off re being an alpha boss, so much so that no offspring mature. What would happen? Well, that group of lions would not survive. So, survival is prerequisite #1 for all other happenings you mention. Let us examine this survival business between us humans.

I live in Germany where all the cultural norms are quite favorable to sex, sexuality, development of oneself as a sexual being and, if one is female, wow, what chances to develop a career. And, well, if sex ends up in pregancy here some 15 to 18%/yr are aborted each year (about 1/3 the rate of the US with the American 1 million+ aboritons each year). Female career making, marrying later, birth control, abortion and the justifying mores, if not ethics, of the nation, all this and more backs this all this "it just happens" up. Well, one clitch (to borrow a current Obama term) is there as an inevitable structure of nature. What glitch? Germans are dying out!!!

Germans produce ca 1.35 children per woman. 2.1 is necessary for reproduction of the species, i.e., necessary for "survival". That, Mr. tanstaaflo2, is the law of nature, survival is the prerequisite and the German mores (all of Europe really) mean that Germans will, like their Neantherthal forefathers, die out completely and totally within 200- years (West Europe too with the US beginning to catch up). That is the law of nature, "survival"!!! No? Germans and Europeans do not like this, complain about, seek to bribe women to have children, but, in the last analysis, a womping good night in bed is better than the SURVIVAL of the species. Is this good or evil? Or is it just what happens in nature IF nature is the only dimension for founding so-called normative behavior? Something to think about.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
My judgments of good and evil are not some arbitrary, unfounded personal views and do not necessarily presuppose the existence of God, as the professor claims.

If i as a student had to sit in his classroom today scribbling down his various arguments and tautologies, I'd go nuts.

Anyway, I'm perfectly willing to accept my own primitive brain and animal nature, deep down beneath my more recent cerebrum. I was deeply influenced by Lord of the Flies and an awareness of a (very) "thin veneer of civilization" and how easily that might be upturned in sufficiently stressful situations.

As for the declining birth rate in Germany (Italy and France as well) this is a very sad circumstance, springing from a kind of selfish hopelessness about the future and not unrelated to the rise of secularism.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for making my point. You used "I" over and over again. I find that revealing. I in no way doubt your "good" intent, an intent that excludes "evil". The declining birth rate in Germany and Europe (and now in the US) might indeed be sad to "you". But you use the term "selfish" as if it were condemnatory and as such implying a "should be" valid for all others, INalienably so! And this is my point, namely you remain within the individual pleasing and non-pleasing framework of your "I", a framework which cannot demand universal accord from all other "I's". Believe me, many a Himmler-man really liked ridding the world of "vermin", viz., Jews. I do not doubt in the slightess that a Himmler-man's pleasures could ever be yours (or mine). The Himmler-"I" is universally wrong and universallly evil. Humans (be they Jews, gypsies, Slaves, dissenters or anybody) have an INalienable right not to be so eliminated, even if the process had been seen as "the right thing to do" by the Himmler-men (and, alas, women too). Here is your task: Develop an argument which universally forbids as a categorical imperative the "Himmler-its-the-right-thng-to-do", irregardless of time, place and any "I". I in no way hold your judgments on good and evil to be arbitrary. But then neither were those of the Himmler-men. Himmler felt that the survival of the (Germanic) species demand eliminatory acts. Materially he was wrong. But, formally he was, from his point of view, correct. This point of view must be shown to be "necessarily" false for all times and places. Here your "I" or my "I" is in sufficient because my or your "I" (which you biologized as a brain--showing it to be of nature.) can lay no claim of proscribing categorically the "in-" in "INalienable". So, what is the justification of this "in-" in our inalienable rights?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
If a belief in a deity is necessary for moral behavior why are atheists the least represented group in prisons, while Xtians are the vast majority?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
> If a belief in a deity is necessary for moral behavior why are atheists the least represented group in prisons, while Xtians are the vast majority?

Straw man. The question is about the nature of morality itself. Is it objective, or subjective?

If morality is objective, it exists. It's there to be perceived. Of course atheists can perceive it and can be attracted to it.

Same as with anything objective. The statement, 'God created the earth', does not imply that you have to believe in God to perceive the earth.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your question is well intended, but rests upon an equivocation. Human beings associtae with each other according to certain behavioral pattern producing thereby a specific society. Without normative motivation of members of any society, said society of humans will not survive, short of a total dictatorship. Normative value, mores, morality or ethics is "necessary" for the natural functioning and SURVIVAL of any type of society. In this sense all societies are equal within nature. A monastery of God fearing believers is societally equal to a brothel of paying clients. A democratic form of gov. is equal to a dictatorial form (both Stalinism and Nazism had norms of "do and do not do" mores). Is this a refutation of a deity as "necessary" for moral behavior? I think not. A couple of thoughts:

There is an equivocation in the usage of "necessary" here. Any natural structure in its dynamics rests upon "necessary" features, even Auschwitz. Take the gas out of a car and it does not run. A certain Adoph Hitler here where I live was convinced relative to the "necessary" conditions of his preferred racist society that the Jews must go. There was a strong "moral" component to Nazism, so much so that the youth of Germany learned that DUTY to race, fatherland and Führer was the highest normative value, relative to which a failure of compliance provoked "guilt" feelings in the non-complier. Hitler and some, alas, IQ-intelligent supporters argued for the inferiority of Jews and for the ensuant moral imperative to eliminate them, one and all. I have no doubt that you, Mr. Bouncer71, are 100% against the Nazi moral stance. (By the way Hitler was an atheist--so too Stalin and his Gulag) The question is: Upon what do you base you moral objections that transcend the values of another society?

If all is relative (even moral evaluations) to the momentarily ongoing happenings in society qua nature, at all levels, but excluding any transcendent abolute, known as a deity, you may object personally to the cruelty of Hitlerism or Stalinism, but you can offer no absolute reason to assert that humans have "inalienable" rights not to be treated so by Hitler or Stalin. Nature cannot profer any absolute ground for normatizing certain behavior and rejecting other de facto normatized imperatives (e.g., kill Jews). Nature is relativistic to just that which happens to happen. Without transcendence as a ground, there is no INalienable rights, just relative societal rights that the individual may or may not find acceptable. But, so what? A "necessary" ground beyond the necessities of ongoing nature is logically a sine qua non for inalienable rights. In this sense, the term "necessary" has a meaning different from the necessities of a functioning natural system. Remove the eternal and the temporal will act willy/nilly as it just happens to act. No objections allowed, or?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because prison cons seek parole...
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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