» Dave Swindle

PJ Lifestyle

Dave Swindle

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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Is This Book Really ‘the Best Account of the Whole of the Human Experience’?

Monday, April 13th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

To my brother Jeremy,

I know I’ve already sent too many book titles to start sorting through and deciding what you like and what you don’t. But now here’s another to add to the pile. I’m going to try to grab this at the library this afternoon:

If you could have dinner with any three historians (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

William H. McNeill, the world historian (born 1917): because he has the largest vision of the human condition. Bernard Lewis, the Middle East historian (born 1916): because he knows best the region I study. Richard Pipes, the Russian historian (born 1923): because I have known and learned from him all my life.

What books are you reading now?

Pierre van Paassen, Days of Our Years (1939) and Rodney Stark, How the West Won (2014).

What is your favorite history book?

McNeill’s The Rise of the West (1963), the best account of the whole of the human experience.​

I haven’t read any McNeill yet, but I’m very inclined to dig in because Pipes is one of the historians who has influenced me the most. His focus is the Middle East, but I’d encourage you to start first with his book on conspiracy theories and their accompanying ideology, Conspiracism. You’d probably find that the most interesting and applicable to your explorations in popular culture. Conspiracy themes have often been popularized throughout movies and TV and Pipes’ book can be very helpful for picking up on some of the more obscure ones.

Best wishes, bro, thanks for your great, fun writing,

Dave

P.S. A discussion prompt and challenge for all of PJ Lifestyle and Liberty Island’s contributors: if you could pick 10 history books for every American to read what would they be? If every American family was provided by the federal government with the 10 best books to understand America and Western Civilization what would they be in your estimation? (Top 5? Or a top 20?)

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Behold ‘Cinnamon Bun Mode’: 3 Pics Reveal Our Siberian Husky’s Overwhelming Cuteness

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

The #SiberianHusky is in "Cinnamon Bun Mode"

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

We love her so much. #Maura #SiberianHusky #cute #dogstagram #dogsleeping

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

We call this "cinnamon bun mode." #siberianhusky #cute #dog #maura

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

Related: perhaps a hairstyle due for a comeback?

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Guess Which Decapitated Simpsons Character Is Now Our Siberian Husky’s Favorite Chew Toy

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

We picked up a new toy for Maura #SiberianHusky over the weekend: a decapitated Marge Simpson head… She loves it…

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

So is it feminist to have a Marge Simpson chew toy or a sign of sexism? I’m not sure any more… Do I need to put a “trigger warning”?

The #SiberianHusky #maura her morning nap. Like a hobbit, I suppose… Close-up of guarding her new toy.

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

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Marge and the #SiberianHusky guard the den….

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

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Maura Hearts Marge! Music: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll with @L0M0TIF.app #SiberianHusky #theSimpsons #cute #cutedog

A video posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

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Ok, now #maura #SiberianHusky is impressing me with her devotion to new toy…

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

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This Cappuccino From An Italian Instagram Acquaintance Looks Much Tastier Than Our American Motor Oil

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

My very first cappuccino ♥

A photo posted by Arianna Bonardi (@the_blair_witch) on

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How to Drink Like an American: In Defense of Cheap, Crappy Coffee Every Day

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

This morning I think I might write a defense of bad, cheap #coffee….

A video posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on


 

“American coffee is now and always has been revolting, and it behooves us to look deep into our souls to understand why we overpay for muck at Starbucks. There’s a sucker born every minute, and he’s almost certain to be American. We are boosters, enthusiasts, tent-evangelicals, fly-by-nighters, snake-oil salesmen and honky-tonkers as a people, and get swindled every time.”

Well, yeah. This is the way it’s supposed to be. The coffee so many of us drink reflects who we are.

Here’s something I’m going to argue that isn’t going to make much sense to many people: I don’t want my morning coffee to taste good. I *want* it to taste bitter and “disgusting” as hell. Damn right!

That’s part of its magic — the knock-you-on-the-tongue kick in conjunction with the caffeine rush and the heat at a reasonable price.

Coffee and caffeine #addiction continues! How do you take your morning villainy?

A video posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

I alternate between a tea routine and a coffee routine every six months or so, using one or the other to help keep energy up and stay focused throughout the day. Right now I’m usually on about one pot of coffee a day, generally done by noon. I haven’t decided yet which is better…

What about you? How much coffee or tea do you drink? How do you prepare it? What’s the best dollar-for-caffeine ratio? Bonus points for anyone who surpasses the wit of “The 3 Most Hilarious Comments Responding to Spengler’s Anti-Starbucks Rant.”

Have a coffee, tea, or other food/drink you’d like to see considered at PJ Lifestyle? Please get in touch: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

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The 3 Most Hilarious Comments Responding to Spengler’s Anti-Starbucks Rant

Friday, March 20th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

shutterstock_186889283

Yes, I agree with David P. “Spengler” Goldman that it’s “Time for a National Conversation About Why Starbucks Coffee Is Disgusting.”

I’ll try and have my rebuttal up shortly in defense of cheap, crappy coffee, [Updated: now here] but in the meantime, I found these 3 comments very amusing, in particular Fred Z’s:

What do you think? Is American coffee terrible? Is Starbucks a symbol of Americans’ pathetic palate or does it hint at something darker, our gullibility at being able to be manipulated into spending ridiculous amounts of money for a lame product? Or is Spengler just being his usual cranky self and expertly trolling you?

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image illustration via shutterstock / 

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Do Fairy Tales & Scary Stories Hide Secrets For Defeating Evil?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

I can’t wait to read Andrew Klavan’s new novel Werewolf Cop. #fiction #Culture #crime

A video posted by David Swindle (@daveswindlepjm) on

 

Dear Andrew,

I’m excited about your new novel Werewolf Cop. It looks like just the catalyst needed to start a new discussion about fantasy books and fairy tale culture. As I mentioned last week, The Wife and I have grown obsessed with the TV show Grimm on Amazon Prime. We’re almost done binge-streaming through the third season and will probably plunk down and pay for the fourth. (Amazon realizes that by providing all of a show’s first seasons for free they can addict the viewer such that we will regard it as an entirely reasonable deal to pay for a whole season’s worth of new episodes.)

 

Is anybody else as into the #Grimm TV show as @aprilbey_ & me lately?

A video posted by David Swindle (@daveswindlepjm) on

 

The show’s premise grows richer as the seasons progress: it’s a detective program except in each episode part of the mystery involves figuring out which supernatural, fairy tale creature has appeared in a real world version. The trick for doing this requires trips back to the hero’s aunt’s old trailer to begin rifling through the giant collection of antique journals written by previous generations of “Grimm” monster hunters in the centuries since the Crusades. (In the show’s mythos the original Grimms were Knights Templar…)

I guess the main reason I’ve come to like the show so much is that one can understand it in kind of a *literal* context too — that the Grimm fairy tales and folklore in general actually aren’t diversions, but instead they have ideas about culture and human nature and evil encoded in them. And that’s why they’re such powerful root stories that get remade again and again.

In the past I’ve often attacked “pop culture polytheism” — the way that many in our culture today choose to make TV and movie figures a kind of substitute pantheon of gods for them to worship. But there’s a positive side to this also — for shows like Grimm to really work they have to draw on real, historical evil and reinvent them in the show’s fantasy context. It’s hard to count the number of times in Grimm when the myth of child sacrifice has been redone in some fashion…

So as I start studying the original Grimm tales more, I’m also going to consider other “grimoires” of strange stories that might have more practical, real world application. I’ve been longing to get a handle on Alice in Wonderland for awhile, so for my fantasy-inspired video blogging, I’m going to start trying to make sense of them too:

Could this be a #secret to understand #AliceInWonderland Better?

A video posted by David Swindle (@daveswindlepjm) on

 

So in looking at the fantasy genre, I’m going to think about it in both past and present. On the one hand I’ll weigh the many stories of Grimm and Lewis Carroll and their hidden archetypal meanings. On the other, I’ll look at your novel Werewolf Cop, and also a very different, more female-centric fantasy, Hannah’s novel Bulfinch:

 

How can #fantasy and folklore stories be tools for victory in everyday life!

A video posted by David Swindle (@daveswindlepjm) on

 

And I’ll tap several writers I have in mind to start exploring these fantasy themes with me.

(If anybody wants to join in then send me an email to DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com, tweet your ideas to @DaveSwindle, or tag me in an Instagram video @DaveSwindlePJM.)

Oh, and I found your book on the doorstep yesterday after we arrived home from the art studio:

 

Andrew Klavan’s new novel Werewolf Cop arrived yesterday! #SiberianHusky #fantasy

A video posted by Thoth, Ma’at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

 

Best wishes and thanks for all your inspiration,
David

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Please join the discussion on Twitter. The Instragram video-letter above is the twenty-fourth in volume 2 of the cultural discussions between the writers of PJ Lifestyle and Liberty Island exploring the history of counter-cultures, the future of conservatism and the role of new, emerging counter-cultures in restoring American exceptionalism. Want to contribute? Check out the articles below, reach out, and lets brainstorm: @DaveSwindle

Volume II

  1. Frank J. Fleming on February 26, 2015: What Is the Future of Government? Why It Won’t Look Like Star Trek 
  2. Aaron C. Smith on February 26, 2015: What Is the Future of Superheroes? Why They Need To Start Killing Super-Villains
  3. Mark Ellis on February 26, 2016: What Is the Future of Gen-X Manhood? Adam Carolla Vs Chuck Palahniuk?
  4. David S. Bernstein on February 26, 2015: What is the Future of Fiction? You’ll Be Shocked Who’s Fighting the New Conservative Counter-Culture
  5. Aaron C. Smith on March 2, 2015: The House Loses: Why Season 3 of House of Cards Utterly Disappoints
  6. Michael Walsh on March 2: What the Left Doesn’t Get About Robert A. Heinlein
  7. Frank J. Fleming on March 3: 8 Frank Rules For How Not to Tweet
  8. Susan L.M. Goldberg on March 4: 7 Reasons Why Backstrom Is Perfect Counter-Culture Conservative TV
  9. Frank J. Fleming on March 5: What Is the Future of Religion?
  10. Aaron C. Smith on March 5: The Future of Religion: Why Judeo-Christian Values Are More Important Than Science
  11. Spencer Klavan on March 5: Not Religion’s Future: ISIS and the Art of Destruction
  12. Chris Queen on March 7: 5 Reasons Why Big Hero 6 Belongs Among The Pantheon Of Disney Classics
  13. Jon Bishop on March 8: Why I Am Catholic
  14. Frank J. Fleming on March 11: 6 Frank Tips For Being Funny On the Internet
  15. Becky Graebner on March 11: 5 Things I Learned In My First 6 Months As a Small Business Owner
  16. Frank J. Fleming on March 12: This Is Today’s Question: What Does It Mean To Be ‘Civilized’?
  17. Mark Ellis on March 12: The Future of Civilized Society: One World
  18. Aaron C. Smith on March 12: Why Civilization Is a Gift to Bullies
  19. David S. Bernstein on March 12: Nihilism & Feminism for Girls: Has Judd Apatow Let Lena Dunham Self-Destruct Intentionally?
  20. Susan L.M. Goldberg on March 15: Why I Am Jewish
  21. Chris Queen on March 15: Why I Am Non-Denominational Christian
  22. Allston on March 16: Counter-Culture Wars, Part 1: Why the Fellow Travelers Hijacked Folk Music
  23. Ronald R. Cherry on March 17: How To Untangle Orwellian Doublethink: 4 Secrets To Help You Spot BS

See the first volume of articles from 2014 and January and February 2015 below:

2014 – Starting the Discussion…

January 2015 – Volume I

February 2015

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Why Our Siberian Husky Has a Donut Head This Week

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

Why the #SiberianHusky has to wear a #cute #donut on her head to look like #Queen Elizabeth…

A video posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

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*Yawn* Oscar Nominees Announced Today and Nobody Cares? *Yawn*

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

shutterstock_119847376

The full list is here, in case anyone’s curious. I haven’t seen any of the films nominated. Any worth streaming once they make it to Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime, the two services that have now replaced our family’s film-going and cable TV-watching?

Wes Anderson should stick to making stop motion animated adaptations of Roald Dahl books. I haven’t seen his new one — which apparently is the favorite to win, this  year — but none of his previous live action films really inspire me to make the effort with this one. The only more overrated Generation X director is, of course, Quentin Tarantino…

But Fantastic Mr. Fox is still cute and fun!

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image illustration via shutterstock /

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What Do You Believe About Angels?

Sunday, January 11th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

Last week in this ongoing series of weekly discussions about Bible mysteries I asked, “Who — Or What — Were the Nephilim?” and considered the potential identities of the “giants” and their parents, the “sons of God” from Genesis chapter 6. The question considered: is this actually saying that there were some kind of supernatural, angelic beings who “fell” to earth in ancient times, or are we to regard these as references to normal human men who just became deified as false pagan gods later?

Perhaps we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Before we ask if there could be humans who interbred with angels, perhaps first we have to make sense of just what an “angel” should be interpreted to mean.

Maybe a good place to start is with what could be interpreted as one early reference to angels. In Genesis 1:26 who is the “us” in “let us make mankind in our image”?:

Who is the "us" in Genesis 1:26 who helped God make man? #religion #Bible #spirituality #angels

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

Is it useful to perhaps understand angels as the natural forces and energies God set into motion to help Him create the universe?

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Bible Mysteries: Who — Or What — Were the Nephilim?

Sunday, January 4th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

Last week, I asked for suggestions on where to begin in exploring the strange parts of Genesis: “What Are the Most Perplexing Mysteries at the Bible’s Beginning?” One of PJ Lifestyle’s most thoughtful commenters offered a suggestion that was on my list too:

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 8.08.23 AM

Here’s more context for the verse in question, photographed from the New Revised Standard Bible I’ve had since third grade:

Genesis 5:22-6:3:

Genesis 6:4-8:

Who were the Nephilim? #Bible #mystery from Genesis 6:4, the prelude to Noah and the flood

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

Some interpret these as references to human beings, others to supernatural creatures, angels, or “ancient aliens.” I like the way Darren Aronofsky portrayed them in Noah as rock creatures in the video above — angels of light that fell to earth and taught humans how to create things on their own, only to see people create war, decadence, and oppression.

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What Are the Most Perplexing Mysteries at the Bible’s Beginning?

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Here's a secret to help you believe in #God again. Why I try and see the #sunrise every day. #siberianhusky #Maura

A video posted by David Swindle (@daveswindlepjm) on

We’ve done a number of these “Bible mystery” posts on Sundays the past few weeks where I pose a question and open it up for debate across religious and theological readers.

Here’s what we have so far:

* What Terrible Thing Did Ham Do to Drunken, Naked Noah?

I think I’m going to try and make a regular series of it for the new year, as part of my New Year’s Resolutions. I think it best to start at the beginning, with untangling some of the challenging questions about the book of Genesis. Some of the authors I’ve studied the past few years — Maimonides, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Douglas Rushkoff, and Gerald Schroeder — have offered a variety of concepts helpful for grasping ideas about how to make sense of the often challenging metaphoric and poetic language. Here, from page 220 of Heschel’s The Prophets, is a revealing footnote about the significance of two different names for God appearing in Genesis and why we should seek to grasp them in the Hebrew:

“Maimonides saw the theological literal-mindedness of his peers as a form of idolatry, too.” – Douglas Rushkoff, page 142 of Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism:

From The Lonely Man of Faith by Soloveitchik, page 83, the idea that the conflicting names and aspects of God have the intentional effect of forcing man to perpetually oscillate between different natures and tendencies, continually growing:

From page 195 of God According to God by Gerald Schroeder, on how the two natures and the two first names of God mirror matter and energy in nature:

"The characteristics that we attribute to th

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

What debates would you like to have about Genesis first? Which passages confuse you the most? I don’t have the answers, but I’d like to explore to try and find them with you. Send me your ideas on Twitter @DaveSwindle or via email: DaveSwindlePJM@Gmail.com and I’ll try and plan out a schedule of topics for Sundays in January.

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The 6 Ghost-Lists of Christmas Past

Thursday, December 25th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I hope everyone’s having a wonderful Christmas today! This year I decided to re-publish some of the best PJ Lifestyle Christmas lists from previous years as the Ghost-Lists of Christmas’ Past. Here are links to them as well as the lists from this year. And be sure not to miss Walter Hudson’s wonderful new reflection “Christmas: He Laid Down His Right” from today.

2011

Chris Queen: The 10 Most Essential Christmas Specials and Holiday Movies

Megan Fox: 7 Last-Minute, DIY Christmas Presents

2012

J. Christian Adams: 8 Books That Make Great Christmas Gifts for Children

Paul Cooper: 5 Christmas Movies That Will Make You To Want to Be A Dad

2013

Stephen Green: The 5 Best Christmas Movies For Terrible People

Rhonda Robinson: 3 Family Christmas Books Both Kids and Parents Will Enjoy

And catch up on the new Holiday lists from this year:

Susan L.M. Goldberg: 12 Steps for a Perfect Pop Culture Christmas

Chris Queen: 10 Great Southern Destinations for the Christmas Season

Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Ways to Avoid Christma-fying Your Hanukkah

Chris Queen: 34 Holiday Gifts for the Southern Culture Lover on Your List

Spencer Klavan: The 5 Merriest Christmas Traditions from Ancient Greece

Chris Queen: 10 Reasons Why a Disney Christmas Is the Best Kind of Holiday

Allston: 12 Wonderful Christmas Songs

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Christians, Atheists, & Pagans Should Take a Sabbath Like Orthodox Jews Do

Sunday, December 21st, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

“Second, more than any other commandment, the Sabbath Day reminds people that they are meant to be free. As the second version of the Commandment — the one summarized by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy — states, “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt.” In other words, remember that slaves cannot have a Sabbath. In light of this, I might add that in the Biblical view, unless necessary for survival, people who choose to work seven days a week are essentially slaves — slaves to work or perhaps to money, but slaves nonetheless. The millionaire who works seven days a week is simply a rich slave.” — Dennis Prager, from his fantastic 10 Commandments video series.

So given the success of last week’s discussion about the myriad of ways to interpret the meaning of Genesis 9, the story of Noah cursing Ham’s son Canaan, I’ve decided to start a regular weekly series on Sunday presenting and discussing a variety of Bible-based mysteries.

This week’s subject for debate and inter-faith dialogue: what is the best way to observe the fourth commandment, to set aside one day a week that is holy? Does one particular group or theological denomination have better ideas and interpretations on this subject than others?

While for many of these Bible mystery questions I’ll just pose the question or lean in one direction or another, on this subject I do have a position that I’ve come to embrace more over the past few years that I’ll offer forward today: the seemingly radical approach that Orthodox Jews take to the Sabbath — a whole day of the week, sundown to sundown, of not even driving a car or using electricity and devoted solely to family and one’s spiritual development as a community — is the ideal that everyone should pursue for a whole host of reasons.

I don’t think the American Protestant Christian standard of just going for an hour long church service each week and then treating Sunday like any other day really cuts it.

Next: considering some insights from a book that I’ve been reading, Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbathand posing some inter-faith questions based on it. 

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Who Are the Top 20 Conservative Columnists of 2014?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Top20

Here was the list from last year:

10. Ross Douthat

9. Frank Gaffney

8. Daniel Pipes

7. Rich Lowry

6. Jonah Goldberg

5. Mark Steyn

4. Dennis Prager

3. Ben Shapiro

2. Thomas Sowell

1. Ann Coulter

And here’s where I explained why Charles Krauthammer wasn’t on it (and why he won’t be on this year’s either, so don’t even bother asking): “3 Basic Differences Between Conservatism and Neoconservatism.” Also remember: I’m strict about this list being A) a list of regular columnists who write articles — not bloggers, tweeters, journalists, radio hosts, or TV pundits. B) not including anyone that I currently edit here at PJM, and C) a way to define the values, principles, and stylistic techniques of Conservatism 3.0.

I still need to finish my review of all their columns, but I’m not aware yet of anything that any of the previous year’s 10 columnists would have done or written to warrant an exclusion from this year’s list. Are you? There might be a little shuffling of the rankings, though, and it’s entirely possible that someone could jump into the top 10 or even top 5…

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image illustration via shutterstock / 

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What Terrible Thing Did Ham Do to Drunken, Naked Noah?

Sunday, December 14th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Yesterday a friend and I were talking about some of the weird, perplexing things in the Bible, swapping quotes and links to try to make sense of a strange passage. I decided I’d throw it out there today and see what others thought.

Genesis 9:18-27 describes how after Noah lands the ark and makes a covenant with God he plants an orchard, invents wine, and gets drunk. Then his son Ham “saw the nakedness of his father” and told his brothers, who then covered their eyes so they didn’t see him, but went in and covered him. Afterwards Noah curses Ham’s son Canaan. What actually happened here? Why is this so important? Why does Canaan get cursed for something his father did? And why is it so bad to just see your Dad naked and laugh about it?

What is actually going on here?

There seem to be four popular interpretations:

1. The first is just a straight literalist interpretation — the crime really was just seeing his father in an uncompromising position and then laughing about it to his brothers.

The next three interpretations are a little more plausible and have been considered over the centuries:

2. Ham castrated his father.

3. Ham sexually molested or raped his father, shaming and dishonoring them both.

4. It was actually Ham’s son Canaan that did the crime.

These ideas see the curse being inflicted on Canaan for a few different reasons. First, if Noah was castrated then he couldn’t have more sons. Second, whatever the sexually dominating act was, it’s seen as a symbolic attempt to usurp Noah’s authority in the tribe.

The fifth idea, which we’ll explore on the next page, is much more of a leap from the literal but the one that ultimately makes the most sense when read against other usages of the language in the Torah and in the bigger context of the differing marital practices of Pagan tribes…

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My Growing List of 65 Read-ALL-Their-Books Authors

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Editor’s Note: We’re launching some discussions this winter in dialogue with the new fiction publishing company Liberty Island. See the previous installments: David S. Bernstein on November 19: “5 Leaders of the New Conservative Counter-Culture,”  Dave Swindle on November 25: “7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving Will Be My Last Day on Facebook,” and this collection of discussion starters from yesterday: “60 Questions to Provoke Debates About How to Fix Our Popular Culture.” To learn more about Liberty Island and their extraordinary writers see the collection “How To Join This Unique Team of 33 Creative Writers.”

Dear Jeremy Swindle,

I’d like to thank you for inspiring me with your PJ Lifestyle articles this fall. They confirmed for me something I already knew and now take extreme pleasure in bragging to others about: my younger brother has more natural writing ability than I.

You have a lot of potential, Jere, and lots of choices about where you’re going to choose to focus your creative energy and how you’ll refine your craft. In figuring that out I’m going to try to caution you against some of the mistakes that I’ve made over the last 15 years in my wanderings across culture, religion, and political ideology.

Your writing and your destiny is your own and it’s not my agenda to try to convert you to my positions. Rather, I want to try and give you a map of the territory that I’ve explored so far. Some of the books and authors I’ve gone through may be helpful to you as you continue do develop your own style and priorities.

I believe it’s important to study broadly across many subjects. Over the coming weeks and months my goal is to finish the giant-size recommended reading guide that I’m making the first part of my book. I’m planning on 365 books total, organized into 7 lists of 52 each. And as I’m writing each part in epistolary format with a specific reader in mind, for this opening section I’ve decided to write it to you, Jere. I’m trying to assemble an alternative college reading list, a Good Will Hunting, DIY, just-pay-the-late-charges-at-the-library, book-reading education. This is still the most entertaining scene of the movie, isn’t it?

At the core of the list there are several writers I’d direct more attention to than others. These authors are worth trying to take in in full. They range from famous, even legendary, long dead figures to writers only a few years older than you who I’ve worked with for years. All continually inspire me — just don’t assume that I necessarily agree with everything they write or that I’ve read all of their works yet. Here’s the list, I’ve written about most of these authors already and will be presenting the case for each of them. Some, like Aleister Crowley and Ann Coulter, are very misunderstood by many — don’t make the mistake of dismissing a writer just because some of their soundbites might throw you: 

  1. Howard Bloom
  2. Robert Spencer
  3. Michael Ledeen
  4. Daniel Pipes
  5. Kathy Shaidle
  6. Barry Rubin
  7. David P. Goldman
  8. Andrew C. McCarthy
  9. Leszek Kolakowski
  10. Paul Johnson
  11. Thomas Sowell
  12. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
  13. Stanley Kurtz
  14. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  15. Ben Shapiro
  16. Dennis Prager
  17. Joseph Telushkin
  18. David Mamet
  19. Robert Anton Wilson
  20. Camille Paglia
  21. Weston La Barre
  22. J. Christian Adams
  23. Shelby Steele
  24. Ann Coulter
  25. Adam Carolla
  26. Michael Walsh
  27. William F. Buckley, Jr.
  28. Andrew Klavan
  29. James Madison
  30. Roger Kimball
  31. Theodore Dalrymple
  32. Allan Bloom
  33. Roger L. Simon
  34. Douglas Rushkoff
  35. George Gilder
  36. Hannah Sternberg
  37. Frank J. Fleming
  38. John Waters
  39. Glenn Reynolds
  40. Helen Smith
  41. Ray Kurzweil
  42. James Wasserman
  43. John Whiteside Parsons
  44. Maimonides
  45. Niccolò Machiavelli
  46. Benjamin Franklin
  47. Aleister Crowley
  48. Booker T. Washington
  49. Israel Regardie
  50. Thomas Jefferson
  51. John Adams
  52. Ron Radosh
  53. Victor Davis Hanson
  54. Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik
  55. Franz Rosenzweig
  56. J.R.R. Tolkien
  57. Michael Barrier
  58. Frederick Douglass
  59. Alejandro Jodorowsky
  60. Lisa De Pasquale
  61. Shmuley Boteach
  62. Abraham Lincoln
  63. Gary Lachman
  64. Sarah Hoyt
  65. Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Jere, I hope to include you on a future version of this list…

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7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving Will Be My Last Day on Facebook

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Last New Year's #Resolution: write down your days more. Write what you want to make happen. Write how you want your #soul to transform. Then set about reprogramming yourself with the mass of word possibilities in front of you.

1. My New Year’s Resolution Fulfilled!

Dear Liberty Island Leaders Adam Bellow and David S. Bernstein,

Above you’ll see the concluding image from my list of resolutions. I’ve planned this all year — to make my 10th anniversary of joining Facebook also my last day using the service. I began weaning myself from Facebook then, removing the app from my phone and iPad and only using it when on my computer, justifying it as a tool for work.

Turns out that November 27, 2004, was when the addiction began — I was a junior in college at the time. One of the many counterculture thinkers I discovered would influence my understanding of culture, technology, corporations, the Bible, media, my own career direction, and now this decision to abandon the internet’s Coca Cola. (On my counterculture books list from 2012 I included several of his titles; more will appear in the expanded, giant-size counterculture conservative canon of books that have shaped and influenced me.) The primary, strongest arguments for why everyone should leave Facebook come from media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, who bailed in 2013. He identifies the prime problems; my case is an expansion of his.

2. The Douglas Rushkoff Reason: The Newsfeed Cannot Be Trusted.

I read this article on CNN from Rushkoff back in February of 2013 when it came out and couldn’t really argue with his reasons for quitting. I tried to in an email to Doug to justify my continued Facebook usage but all I could say was that it was convenient for my work as an editor. Here are two problems with what Facebook does with your data without your knowledge or permission. First, the reality is that now when you send something out to all your “friends” on Facebook, chances are only a tiny portion of them are likely to see it:

More recently, users — particularly those with larger sets of friends, followers and likes — learned that their updates were no longer reaching all of the people who had signed up to get them. Now, we are supposed to pay to “promote” our posts to our friends and, if we pay even more, to their friends.

Yes, Facebook is entitled to be paid for promoting us and our interests — but this wasn’t the deal going in, particularly not for companies who paid Facebook for extra followers in the first place. Neither should users who “friend” my page automatically become the passive conduits for any of my messages to all their friends just because I paid for it.

And second, the new advertising strategy of using your image and your likes to market to your friends:

That brings me to Facebook’s most recent shift, and the one that pushed me over the edge.

Through a new variation of the Sponsored Stories feature called Related Posts, users who “like” something can be unwittingly associated with pretty much anything an advertiser pays for. Like e-mail spam with a spoofed identity, the Related Post shows up in a newsfeed right under the user’s name and picture. If you like me, you can be shown implicitly recommending me or something I like — something you’ve never heard of — to others without your consent.

The essence of the Facebook experience is pulling up one’s newsfeed and scrolling through it to find something that interests us. Since Rushkoff laid out his case, we now know even more: that Facebook has in the past intentionally manipulated users’ emotions as part of an experiment.

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14 Mark Rippetoe Strength Training Articles & 3 Videos For Changing Your Life

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

 

I’d like to thank my PJ colleague David Steinberg for his great work in developing and editing these excellent fitness articles from the indomitable Mark Rippetoe. I was skeptical of Rippetoe’s approach at first — he challenged my routine — but it didn’t take many articles for him to win me over. I’m not running anymore and our recent move from the San Fernando Valley to Inglewood reminded me that it would be useful to have much more strength in my emaciated, workaholic writer’s skeleton frame.

In planning my next year’s Resolutions list, I’ll be formulating my own fitness and strength routine based on Rip’s books and these articles. Anybody want to join me?

  1. Strength vs. Endurance: Why You Are Wasting Your Time in the Gym
  2. Squats, Presses, and Deadlifts: Why Gyms Don’t Teach the Only Exercises You Need
  3. The 1 Reason You Aren’t Getting Stronger
  4. Forget What You’ve Heard: 4 Reasons Why Full Squats Save Your Knees
  5. Maybe, You Should Gain Weight
  6. The Deadlift: 3 Reasons Why Just Picking Up Heavy Things Replaces Most of Your Gym
  7. 3 Reasons Why You Need to Lift the Barbell Over Your Head
  8. ‘Training’ vs. ‘Exercise’: What’s the Difference?
  9. Why You Should Not Be Running
  10. You Only Need These 6 Things For a World-Class Home Gym
  11. Why Being Sore Doesn’t Mean You’re Getting Stronger
  12. Strength Training for People My Age
  13. Bodyfat and Age: Just How Important Is Thin?
  14. The 3 Most Effective Ways to Waste Time in the Gym

Also don’t miss David’s 3-part video series where he received some first-hand coaching from Rippetoe to put his method into practice, embedded on each of the next 3 pages:

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My Favorite Insane Tweet Today

Sunday, October 26th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Sometimes I like to ironically retweet Communist, anarchist, and other varieties of far left slogans. Often times the sentiments are anachronistic or conflict with the more prominent, popular progressive sentiments of the day. Occasionally some truth manages to get out. This one really provoked a smile in its honesty:

No matter what’s going on in your life or what decisions you’ve made that have gotten you there, there’s always someone else to blame! How is any ideology with this at its core not appealing?

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100 Visions Of the Sacred and Secular in Israel From P. David Hornik

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

pdavidhornik-239653294

Israel and Islam. What is it that really divides the the two, keeping the children of Jacob and Ishmael in perpetual war?

It turns out the difference stares us in the face, at the root of the words themselves. Clarity in understanding the wars of the Middle East comes when grasping the words in the original languages, Hebrew and Arabic, a point Dennis Prager explains in his book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

In Hebrew the word “Israel” means to “wrestle with God” or “to struggle with God.” Jacob was renamed Israel after spending a night wrestling with God’s angels. Struggling and arguing with the idea of God is what characterizes man’s relationship with Him in the Torah. Abraham talks back to God, arguing humanity’s case. This perpetual shifting and negotiating, new reaching out to the Divine is mirrored in the way the Bible is put together and how Jews and Christians learn to study it. We wrestle with God by wrestling with the text, trying to assemble the pieces in new and better configurations, building on the sages who have come before us. In Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchk’s The Lonely Man of Faith he shows how this movement back and forth is built into man’s nature as reflected in the two creation stories in Genesis. Both describe man’s orientation to God and it is our challenge to shift back and forth between them.

In Islam the idea of man arguing with Allah or debating the proper interpretations of the holy text is blasphemous. In Arabic the word “Islam” means to submit to Allah.

While the Bible is a document made of numerous texts across the centuries depicting many mysterious and often conflicting understandings of God and competing schools of interpretation, the Koran purports to be the revelation of one prophet who supersedes all the others. And his book has an easy cheat system for how to make sense of conflicting passages: when two parts conflict, just go with the later prophecy. Abrogation! The practical result of this is that the violent, later prophecies are still in effect for Islam. And where did its doctrine of “struggle” manifest? In its call to wage Jihad. The struggle is not primarily with a transcendent deity, but to impose Shariah law — a Caliphate — onto the entire planet. There’s no mystery between man and Allah in the Koran, the relationship is clear: we are his slaves.

The more one studies the history, culture, and contemporary conflicts between Israel and Islamic states and Jihadists the more evidence one finds for this root breakdown between a free people and an enslaved people. Two of my most important guides in coming to grasp these issues have been P. David Hornik and Robert Spencer who I’ve had the pleasure of of editing each week for years. Today I present collections of their work together, Hornik based in Israel and providing analysis of the news in the Middle East and the cultures influencing it; and Spencer connecting the Koran with the actions of its modern day adherents today.

If there are themes you’d like to see David or Robert explore then please get in touch with your ideas: daveswindlepjm @ gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter.

Click here to read “Begin to Understand Islam With These 118 Robert Spencer Articles

One of the understandings of Israel I’ve drawn from David’s writings is the paradox of the culture: that Israel is both very religious and very secular and that the range of religious expression varies widely within the country. David rightfully posits that this tendency lies in the Torah itself. I start this collection of David’s work with his “Abraham Ancient and Modern” series. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

Last year a study of Israeli Jews found that 84 percent of them believe in God. It came as a surprise to many. Israeli Jewry is commonly divided into “religious” and “secular” sectors, with the former making up only about 20 percent. It turns out, though, that a large majority of the “secular” are theists.

The “religious-secular” division of Israeli Jewry has roots in the Book of Exodus, which introduces laws about Sabbath observance, kosher eating, personal and ritual purity, and so on. “Religious” Jews in Israel are those who follow these laws — as further elaborated in subsequent books of the Bible, and interpreted and codified by the rabbinical tradition. “Secular” Jews in Israel usually follow some of the laws but are not committed to them as a whole.

For instance, and maybe most prototypically, “religious” Israelis stay home on the Sabbath, observing both the injunctions to “do no work” and “kindle no fire” on this day. Secular Israelis kindle their car engines and go for family outings, their Sabbath in some ways more similar to Sunday (the Jewish Sabbath falls on Saturday) in majority-Christian countries.

“Secular” Israelis, though, are mostly theists; they live in the Land of Israel and are usually committed to doing so, not infrequently to the point of life-threatening forms of army service; and they are generally responsive to the holiness of Jerusalem and other aspects of Jewish tradition. A “secular Israeli” myself for almost three decades, I’ve long thought that the “secular” or “nonreligious” tag fails to do justice to a more complex, interesting reality.

Looking beyond the Book of Exodus to the book that precedes it — Genesis, and especially one of its central characters, Abraham — may offer richer and more affirmative ways to think about the issue.

Click here to continue reading “Abraham, Part 1: Are ‘Secular Israelis’ Really Secular?.” In David’s own approach and body of work he embodies this approach too. This collection contains both the secular in his news articles and political polemics and series on the world’s worst purveyors of antisemitism, to the religious with his series on Jewish holidays, to the territory in between with his skeptical but sympathetic series on the emerging science of near death experiences.

I hope that through this collection more can come to appreciate David’s inspiring worldview and see how they can apply his insights about life in Israel to their own journey through the sacred and secular.

Abraham Ancient And Modern Series

  1. Abraham, Part 1: Are ‘Secular Israelis’ Really Secular?
  2. Abraham, Part 2: God’s Gadfly or Meek Servant?
  3. Abraham, Part 3: Do You Have to Marry a Jewish Girl?
  4. Abraham, Part 4: Does Holiness Get Lost in the Fog of War?
  5. Abraham, Part 5: Can The ‘Wild Man’ Ishmael Be Tamed?

Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations?

  1. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 1: The Whole World Against Us
  2. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 2: That Bird Could Be a Mossad Agent!
  3. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 3: From Woodstock to the Promised Land
  4. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 4: Why Is Israel So Lousy at Making Its Case?
  5. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 5: Whichever It Is, I’ve Married It
  6. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 6: Europe Loves Jews, Just Hates Judaism and Israel
  7. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 7: Syrians in Israeli Hospitals Fear ‘Monster-Jews’
  8. Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 8: Jerusalem Dig Strikes Rare Gold

Near Death Experiences

  1. What Near-Death Experiences Tell Us
  2. Near-Death Experiences: Two Books Provide More Compelling Evidence
  3. Near-Death Experiences—A New Take on Life, Part 1: Sam Parnia Explains Where the Field Is Leading
  4. What if They Gave a Review of Your Life and You Had to Come?
  5. Introducing: A Deity Who Makes Sense
  6. Near-Death Experiences—A New Take on Life, Part 4: Brian Miller’s Case Challenges the Skeptics
  7. Near-Death Experiences, a New Take on Life, Part 5: Can God and Evil Be Reconciled?
  8. 4 Amazing Facts Suggesting the Mind Can Exist Independent of the Brain
  9. ‘I’-Sight: When the Blind-from-Birth Can Fully See During Near-Death Experiences

 

Israel

  1. 4 Amazing Archaeological Finds in Israel This Past Year
  2. 4 Reasons Israel’s Future Looks Bright as the New Jewish Year Begins
  3. Farewell to a Fighter: Meir Har-Zion, Larger-than-Life Israeli Legend, Dies at 80
  4. Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day
  5. Israeli Independence Day, 2014
  6. Israel’s Embattled Pro-Israel Priest
  7. Israel’s First Astronaut: A Tale of Tragedy and Miracle
  8. ‘Nakba’ Concentrates Israeli Minds
  9. Obama’s Full-Court Press on Israel
  10. 5 Reasons Why Liberal Jews Will Never Support Israel
  11. A Review of David Solway’s The Boxthorn Tree
  12. 5 Ways Israel Keeps the Peace in the Middle East
  13. 5 of the Latest, Dumbest Statements About Israel by Jewish Liberals
  14. Why Is Washington Enraged Over More Homes for Jews in Jerusalem?

 

War in the Middle East

  1. Goldstone’s Mea Culpa and Israel’s Wars
  2. 3 Kidnapped Boys, But the Usual Cold Shoulder
  3. Israel Buries Sons, Mulls Response
  4. The 10 Most Disturbing Palestinian Propaganda Videos
  5. The Insane Hamas War
  6. 6 Videos That Show the Truth About the War in Gaza
  7. Why Israel Defeated—But Didn’t Crush—Hamas
  8. Next Round—Islamic State Vs. Israel?

 

Jewish Holidays

  1. The Shavuot Holiday in Israel: Joy in the Law, Joy in the Land
  2. Purim: A Wacky Tribute to Life
  3. 4 Things to Get Liberated From This Passover
  4. Tu Bishvat, Israel’s Holiday of Trees
  5. Chanukah: The Triumph of Light
  6. Simchat Torah: Dancing and Singing with the Law
  7. Sukkot, the Autumn Harvest Festival
  8. Israel on Yom Kippur: Renewing Life Amid Traumas of the Past
  9. In Israel, a Rosh Hashanah of Apples and Gas Masks

 

Israeli Women

  1. Israeli Women, Part 1: Ace Pilots Reporting for Duty
  2. Israeli Women, Part 2: Island of Progress in a Dark Sea
  3. Israeli Women, Part 3: The Jews’ Iron Lady, Golda Meir
  4. Israeli Women, Part 4: Great Ladies of Hebrew Song

Relationships

  1. Simone by Starlight: How to Lose a ‘Date’ But Gain the World
  2. Simone by Sunlight: Can People-Pleasing Save a Romance?
  3. 4 Things You Should Never Do to Find Lasting Love
  4. 4 Signs That You’re on the Way to Lasting Love

 

Life Reflections and Advice

  1. Memories and Mysteries of a Friend Dead at 40
  2. Sacred Places: Real, or Do We Make Them Up?
  3. What I See at the Secret Hour
  4. Why the Beasts Fail to Understand Israeli Happiness
  5. American? Israeli? Who Am I?
  6. How I Became a Conservative
  7. 3 Tips for Falling Asleep at Night
  8. 10 Ways My Life Improved Since I Moved to Israel
  9. 5 Realizations as My 60th Birthday Draws Near
  10. My Murdered Friend
  11. The 12-Step Guide for the Recovering Obama Voter

 

Music, Art and Culture

  1. Goodbye, Literature
  2. 4 Old, Dreamy Songs
  3. 3 Unwritten Short Stories Still Haunting This Ex-Fiction Writer
  4. The Wonder and Beauty of Israel’s Old, Old Mosaics
  5. How Great Jazz Artists Express a Peculiar Kind of Hebrew Happiness
  6. Master of Music, Bungler of Life
  7. David Solway’s Musical Debut: Blood Guitar and Other Tales
  8. Habibi: A Moroccan Poet Sings to His Love

 

The Ten Worst U.S, Purveyors of Antisemitism

 

The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide

 

Check out these previous compilations of PJ Lifestyle’s best writers:

  1. 100 Compelling Health and Medicine Questions Answered by Theodore Dalrymple

  2. 125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson

  3. These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

  4. 136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.

  5. 116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen

  6. 194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

  7. Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture

  8. 15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois

 

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Begin to Understand Islam With These 118 Robert Spencer Articles

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

spencer1

Israel and Islam. What is it that really divides the the two, keeping the children of Jacob and Ishmael in perpetual war?

It turns out the difference stares us in the face, at the root of the words themselves. Clarity in understanding the wars of the Middle East comes when grasping the words in the original languages, Hebrew and Arabic, a point Dennis Prager explains in his book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.

In Hebrew the word “Israel” means to “wrestle with God” or “to struggle with God.” Jacob was renamed Israel after spending a night wrestling with God’s angels. Struggling and arguing with the idea of God is what characterizes man’s relationship with Him in the Torah. Abraham talks back to God, arguing humanity’s case. This perpetual shifting and negotiating, new reaching out to the Divine is mirrored in the way the Bible is put together and how Jews and Christians learn to study it. We wrestle with God by wrestling with the text, trying to assemble the pieces in new and better configurations, building on the sages who have come before us. In Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchk’s The Lonely Man of Faith he shows how this movement back and forth is built into man’s nature as reflected in the two creation stories that start Genesis. Both describe man’s orientation to God and it is our challenge to shift back and forth between them.

In Islam the idea of man arguing with Allah or debating the proper interpretations of the holy text is blasphemous. In Arabic the word “Islam” means to submit to Allah.

While the Bible is a document made of numerous texts across the centuries depicting many mysterious and often conflicting understandings of God and competing schools of interpretation, the Koran purports to be the revelation of one prophet who supersedes all the others. And his book has an easy cheat system for how to make sense of conflicting passages: when two parts conflict, just go with the later prophecy. Abrogation! The practical result of this is that the violent, later prophecies are still in effect for Islam. And where did its doctrine of “struggle” manifest? In its call to wage Jihad. The struggle is not primarily with a transcendent deity, but to impose Shariah law — a Caliphate — onto the entire planet. There’s no mystery between man and Allah in the Koran, the relationship is clear: we are his slaves.

The more one studies the history, culture, and contemporary conflicts between Israel and Islamic states and Jihadists the more evidence one finds for this root breakdown between a free people and an enslaved people. Two of my most important guides in coming to grasp these issues have been P. David Hornik and Robert Spencer who I’ve had the pleasure of of editing each week for the past few years. Today I present collections of their work together, Hornik based in Israel and providing analysis of the news in the Middle East and the cultures influencing it; and Spencer connecting the Koran with the actions of its most zealous modern day adherents.

If there are themes you’d like to see David or Robert explore then please get in touch with your ideas: daveswindlepjm @ gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter.

Click here to read “100 Visions Of the Sacred and Secular in Israel From P. David Hornik”

Last year, inspired by James C. Bennett and Michael Lotus’s America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century—Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, I argued that the history of the conservative movement could be understood in terms of three phases, each defined by the most serious threat to the country, and one writer-activist in particular provided an intellectual foundation: “Robert Spencer’s Vital Role in Creating Conservatism 3.0

The 1.0/2.0/3.0 Bennett-Lotus model is applicable beyond the broad scope of their book. As America itself goes through the shifts from one era to the next so too do the cultures and institutions within it. So I will apply it to one of my preoccupations, political ideology. How does this sound?

Conservatism 1.0 = The Old Right, those who fought against the expansion of the federal government and US entry into World War II, often referred to as isolationists. This ideology was soundly refuted by US victory over the Axis. It turns out that foreign policy ideologies that assume muskets and months to sail across the Atlantic have limited utility in post-Hiroshima worlds. The heirs of this tradition today are the so-called paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan) and paleo-libertarians (Ron Paul) and their stealth advocate who has duped Republicans and infiltrated the Tea Party, Rand Paul. (My ax-grinding against all three will continue for the foreseeable future. These people should have been cast out of polite society long ago so they’d have more time to spend with their Holocaust-denying buddies.)

Conservatism 2.0 = The New Right, built by William F. Buckley Jr. and Barry Goldwater and institutionalized at the presidential level by Ronald Reagan. While adapting the Old Right’s traditionalism and opposition to the New Deal, the big shift came in reacting to the new foreign policy reality threatening human freedom: Soviet imperialism. The battle against murderous Marxism was what really animated Buckley, Goldwater, and Reagan more than anything else. (It was in reading the extraordinary Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America that this started to become more apparent.)

So I’ve come to conclude that what we call “the conservative movement” was really just the political/cultural wing of what began as anti-communism. Thus, the reason for the degradation of Conservatism 2.0 is that with anti-communism as the primary base the ideological tent could widen to bring in people who do not actually believe in American values. Opposing the Soviets for one reason or another does not require one to be an advocate of America’s founding principles. Thus with the removal of the Soviet threat — only for a time really, of course… — the Reagan coalition has collapsed as each faction now squabbles for power and attention.

Conservatism 3.0 = As anti-communism created Conservatism 2.0, Robert Spencer’s counter-jihad movement will provide a foundational justification for the shift to Conservatism 3.0. As previous generations were fueled by reports of the horrors within Marxist slave states, today the truth about Shariah slave states will gradually bring together people across cultures, borders, and ideologies. And I say Robert Spencer’s counter-jihad movement because he has been a leader in this war for over a decade, documenting not just what is happening but explaining why.

In my years knowing Robert and editing his work, I’ve gradually come to see that the depth of this war is actually deeper than any America has ever experienced. The Nazis and Communists were the 20th century’s institutionalization of 19th century European ideologies based in class and race. But this is a conflict that predates the colonization of the North American continent. I’ve come to see that it’s vital not just to understand the history of Islam and what the Koran teaches, but the central role that they’ve had in provoking the creation of our nation centuries before we existed. What initially inspired Westward exploration? Islam shutting off the trade routes to the East. We exist today because our ancestors would rather try and go around the Jihadists than to defeat them militarily.

In starting this collection of Robert’s PJ Media and PJ Lifestyle articles we begin with his all-time most popular article, one that received over 100,000 pageviews, “5 Ways Muslims Have Contributed to ‘Building the Very Fabric of Our Nation’“:

Last Sunday, in his message congratulating Muslims on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Barack Obama wrote: “Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.” That’s right: he said “manyachievements and contributions.” I could only think of five. Maybe you will be able to think of some more.

5. Getting us here in the first place

This one predates the United States as a nation, but without it, the United States would not exist. Every schoolchild knows, or used to know, that in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America while searching for a new, westward sea route to Asia. But why was he searching for a new route to Asia? Because the fall of Constantinople to the Muslims in 1453 closed the trade routes to the East. This was devastating for European tradesmen, who had until then traveled to Asia for spices and other goods by land. Columbus’s voyage was trying to ease the plight of these merchants by bypassing the Muslims altogether and making it possible for Europeans to reach India by sea.

So the bellicosity and intransigence of Islam ultimately opened the Americas for Europe – and made the United States possible.

Continue page 2 of the article here. To further grasp the chasm of differences between Western and Koranic values, consider the first of several series in this collection, a group of 13 articles in which Robert focused on how Islam molds men and women differently in its family structure. Also see Robert’s “Jazz and Islam” series which I’ve included next — these fights go well beyond the religious, political, and military realms, manifesting in how the competing civilizations regard art and the most intimate aspects of human life. Over the years Robert has consistently shined a light on these difficult truths, being banned from Great Britain and vilified even by self-proclaimed conservatives for his refusal to shut up as humans suffer. I hope with this collection if you may have shrugged off Robert’s interpretation of Islam in the past you’ll give him another chance.

How Islam Affects the Family and Male/Female Relationships

  1. Straight-Arrow Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Mama’s Boy
  2. How Mothers from Hell Raise Their Boys to Do Evil
  3. Why The Sword of Islam Cuts Apart Families
  4. Will Islam Make a Man Out of You?
  5. The Muslim Family: An Empire of Fear
  6. Can Parents’ Divorce Push a Teen to Join Al-Qaeda?
  7. Would You Strangle a Cop for Giving Your Wife a Ticket?
  8. Proving Their Manhood in Syria
  9. My Son Jihad: Glorifying Evil in France
  10. ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children
  11. Teaching Children Jihad in Dagestan
  12. How 10-Year-Old Boys Learn to Slaughter Infidels in Syria
  13. The 7 Ways Islam Kills Romance

The Real War on Women

  1. The Silent Tragedy of Child Marriage
  2. What Would It Take for You to Kill Someone You Love?
  3. Why It May Be Easy for Huma Abedin to Stand by Her Man
  4. Could the Rape Jihad Come to America?
  5. Canada (and the U.S.) Welcome Polygamy
  6. Child Marriage Comes to Australia
  7. Burned Alive for $47
  8. Daughters of the Jihad Death Cult
  9. 5 New Hashtags for Michelle Obama
  10. 7 Reasons Why the Oklahoma Beheading Has Everything to Do with Islam

The Jazz and Islam Series

  1. Why Did Lenin and Muhammad Hate Music?
  2. 5 Exhilarating Jazz Improvisations to Unshackle Your Spirit
  3. Blues for Sayyid Qutb
  4. 5 Jazz Women We Love
  5. John Coltrane and Bilal Philips: Two Converts’ Paths
  6. The Questions Nobody Wants to Ask About ‘Moderate Islam’
  7. James Holmes: It Serves Him Right to Suffer
  8. Innovators: 6 Unique Jazz Performances That Will Blow Your Mind
  9. How Miles Davis and John Coltrane Ruined Jazz
  10. Why So Many Jazz Musicians Converted to a Heretical Form of Islam
  11. No More Music for Muslims: The Spiritual Journey of Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Terrorism and Jihad

  1. See No Jihad: U.S. Still Treating Fort Hood Jihadis as Criminals
  2. The Real Lesson of Benghazi
  3. ‘Islamophobia’ and the Latest New York Jihad Plot
  4. 8 Reasons You Aren’t Safer than You Were 4 Years Ago
  5. Obama’s Dangerous Fantasy of Al-Qaeda Defeated
  6. Pork No, Killing Infidels Sí
  7. The National Guardsman’s Jihad
  8. 5 Things the National Guard Jihadist Wants You to Know About Islam
  9. 5 Things You Should Know About the Latest Military Jihadist
  10. 5 Truths the 9/11 Museum Should Tell About 9/11
  11. 8 Signs That ISIS Will Strike in the U.S. Soon
  12. 5 New Signs of the West’s Myopia About the Jihad Threat
  13. 4 Freedoms at Stake in Our Defense Against Jihad
  14. 10 Things We Should Have Done Since 9/11 to Defeat the Jihad
  15. 10 Acts of Jihad in America That Americans Haven’t Heard About
  16. 6 Reasons Why the U.S. Should Not Arm the Syrian ‘Moderates’

What Is Stealth Jihad?

  1. Investigate Radical Christianity!
  2. McCarthyism and Mohamed Elibiary
  3. Why Is the Pentagon Listening to Hamas-Linked CAIR?
  4. DC Comics Mainstreaming ‘Islamophobia’
  5. Obama’s Islamic Supremacist Human Rights Rep
  6. How Muslims Celebrated Islamophobia Awareness Month
  7. The Ground Zero Mosque and Media Sleight of Hand
  8. #MyJihad: CAIR’s New Twitter Campaign to Whitewash Islam
  9. The Jihad Against Christmas
  10. A Subway Murder and the ‘Islamophobia’ Industry
  11. Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger Hiss, Huma Abedin, Alger…
  12. What Is the Difference Between ‘Extremist’ and ‘Moderate’ Muslim Brothers?
  13. 4 Muslims Who Deserve to Be Under Surveillance
  14. 6 Elements of ‘Extremist’ Islam That ‘Moderate’ Muslims Endorsed as They Condemned the Islamic State

Antisemitism

  1. Islamic Antisemitism Enters American Electoral Politics
  2. The Worldwide Rise of Islamic Antisemitism
  3. Would a Palestinian State Bring Peace?
  4. Obama Throws Israel to the Wolves
  5. 7 Reasons Why the Palestinians Don’t Occupy the Moral High Ground
  6. 5 New Muslim Calls for Genocide of the Jews
  7. 6 Ugly Signs of Resurgent Worldwide Antisemitism

Europe

  1. Yes, You Can Tell the Truth About Jihad Violence in Britain (As Long As You’re For It)
  2. 5 Books That Will Get You Banned From Britain
  3. The 5 Latest Signs of Britain’s Imminent Demise
  4. Who Lost Britain? 14 Culprits

Censorship

  1. Is It Still Possible to Question Islam?
  2. Suicide of the Western Media
  3. The Muhammad Movie Riots
  4. U.S. Imams Call for Restricting Free Speech
  5. 2013: The Death of Free Speech
  6. Too Cowardly To Print Muhammad Cartoons?
  7. Building Bridges Between Christians and Muslims: A Case Study
  8. Conan O’Brien Discovers: Muslim Polygamy Is No Joke
  9. 5 Ways the Islamic War on Free Speech Advanced Last Week
  10. 5 Muslim Movie Reviews
  11. 5 New Victories for Muslim Enemies of Free Speech
  12. 5 Things the Media and Government Won’t Tell You About Boko Haram

Reza Aslan

  1. Why Reza Aslan’s Christian Relatives and Friends Aren’t Trying to Kill Him
  2. 5 Falsehoods in Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
  3. The Hypocrisy of the Left’s Commitment to ‘Peacemaking’
  4. 3 Times I Was Framed for Murder – And How You Can Be, Too
  5. 5 Ways Bill Maher Is Right and Reza Aslan Wrong About Islam

Hypocrisy

  1. The Media’s Double Standard for Muslims
  2. The New Left Fascists
  3. The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam
  4. The Hypocrisy of the Fatwa Against Terrorism
  5. The Hypocrisy of the Feminist Response to Islam’s Oppression of Women
  6. The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians
  7. The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death
  8. The Hypocrisy of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR’s ‘Islamophobic List’
  9. The Hypocrisy of the Huffington Post’s Praise of Muhammad
  10. The Hypocrisy of the Media Whitewash of Islamic Blasphemy Charges
  11. 5 Islamic Scholars Who Say They’d Demolish Me in Debate – But Don’t Dare Try

Shariah

  1. Muslim Journalist Challenges Sharia, Gets Accused of ‘Hate’
  2. Is Michael Bloomberg Secretly a Muslim?
  3. Muslims vs. Archaeology
  4. U.S. Army Solution to Afghan Attacks: ‘Avoid Arrogance,’ ‘Respect Islam’
  5. Now that the U.S. Is an Islamic State…
  6. Algerian Jihadists Wanted to ‘Teach the Americans What Islam Is’
  7. When Slaves Choose Their Slavery
  8. The Persecution No One Dares Name
  9. ‘It Never Occurred to Us that Muslim Neighbors Would Betray Us…’
  10. Behead First, Ask Questions Later
  11. 5 Sharia Atrocities for Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres to Protest
  12. 5 Stories from Last Week Revealing Sharia’s Spread in the West
  13. 5 Ways the Quran Explains Today’s Headlines
  14. 5 Non-Muslims Who Know More About Islam than the Caliph of the Islamic State

An excerpt from the appendix of Not Peace But a Sword summarizes the difference between Islamic and Biblical values:

 

****

Check out these previous compilations of PJ Lifestyle’s best writers:

  1. 100 Compelling Health and Medicine Questions Answered by Theodore Dalrymple

  2. 125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson

  3. These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

  4. 136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.

  5. 116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen

  6. 194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

  7. Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture

  8. 15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois

Read bullet | Comments »

125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

So far in this ongoing series compiling and organizing the best work from PJ Lifestyle’s contributors I’ve focused on critics and analysts of popular culture from all over the place. To the north in Canada, the punk rock capitalist canadian: “136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.” To the South, guaranteed smiles from a gifted Georgia writer: “116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen.” And to the East Coast, in the wilderness of New Jersey, taking back feminism: “194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Also check out these shorter collections from two newer contributors, focusing on war and comic books: “Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture” and “15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois.”

Today I highlight two more PJ Lifestyle writers who lead the way in other important fronts in the culture wars. What more appropriate way to promote the section’s family themes than to showcase the diverse perspectives from a mom and a dad? Paula Bolyard and Walter Hudson have both been inspirations to edit, learn from, and befriend over the past few years. They’ve both helped to shape my thinking for the day when I become a parent. Take a look at some of their articles and you’ll see why I’m so optimistic about the impact they can both have on the culture…

***

How is a father to raise sons in a popular culture as decadent as what we have today? Especially when it’s only going to get worse? What needs to be done politically to create a better environment to raise a family? What ideas do potential fathers need to embrace to become men strong enough to raise a happy, healthy family?

To try and figure out questions like these I turn to the deeply thoughtful writings on culture, politics, news, religion, and philosophy of my friend Walter Hudson.

Back in April I assembled this collection here, which is still a good introduction to the work of a writer/activist I admire a great deal: “10 of Walter Hudson’s Greatest Hits.” Among the pieces included in it is a series of four articles exploring a debate between Christians and the secular followers of Ayn Rand. Over the course of the pieces Walter began to develop a synthesis between the two approaches. This has been a regular theme in his work — the attempt to integrate and balance the conflicting ideological tendencies of the religious conservative and the secular libertarian. Just as Walter works to articulate ways to overcome ideological and religious divides, his prescriptions on racial controversies provide clarity and courage.

Walter also brings his combination of views to analyses of pop culture, in a sense bridging the family, political, and pop cultural worlds. Be sure and check out his writings on video games and film.

Which of these subjects would you like to see Walter explore more in future articles?  Please leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter: @WalterHudson and @DaveSwindle. And also check out new today: “These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You.”

 

Walter Hudson’s Guide For Making Peace Between Christians and Objectivists

  1. 5 Common Accusations Leveled at Christianity
  2. Christianity on Trial
  3. 6 Fatal Misconceptions
  4. Onward Christian Egoist

Fatherhood, Parenting, Marriage and Relationships

  1. What My Sons Teach Me About God
  2. BREAKING: Sex May Result in Children
  3. How Your Child’s Rebellion Mirrors Your Own
  4. Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?
  5. Learning from China’s Marriage Crisis
  6. Rise of the Thought Police: Bullying Your Children into Forsaking Their Values
  7. Study: Being Born Without a Father Leads to Anger, Hate, Suffering
  8. 10 Barriers to Healthy Relationships Explored in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon

Life Advice

  1. American Immaturity: How We Grow Up After We Grow Old
  2. 5 Ideas You Need to Rise From Poverty to the Middle Class
  3. 6 Warnings I Would Send My Younger Self
  4. 6 Lies Millennials Must Reject
  5. 10 Fiction Stories I Love, Which School Forced on Me

Religion

  1. Believing in Christmas from Santa to Christ
  2. Whose Morality Is It Anyway?
  3. The Distinction Between Sin and Crime
  4. What Zombies Teach Us About Human Nature
  5. The Gospel from Planet X: Why Aliens Ignite the Imagination
  6. The Church Shouldn’t Promote Self-Esteem
  7. Ariel Castro and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  8. What Price Will American Christians Pay for Their Faith?
  9. Why Christians, Jews, and Everyone Else Better Take an Interest in Heaven and Hell
  10. Religion Ought to Be Divisive
  11. To Know God, We Must First Confess Not Knowing Much
  12. Of Thugs and Men
  13. Why Not a ‘Foul-Mouthed’ Pastor?
  14. The Haphazard Theology of Louis C.K.
  15. Comedian Doug Stanhope Rails Against Christian Tornado Survivors
  16. 7 Ways Noah Turns the Bible Upside Down
  17. Altruism Has No Place in Christianity
  18. Love and Altruism Prove Opposite
  19. How Would Jesus Vote?
  20. This Christian Ministry Just Went Galt
  21. We Evangelize That Which We Love
  22. Should You Be Allowed to End Your Life?
  23. Do Religious Rights Require Religious Laws?
  24. A Christian on Coulter’s Ebola Comments

Critiquing Conspiracy Theory Culture

  1. The Red Placebo: Confessions of a Former Conspiracy Dabbler
  2. 10 Ways Jesse Ventura Ruined His Reputation (Without Chris Kyle’s Help)

Ideology, the Tea Party, and Activism

  1. Pouring the Tea into the GOP
  2. Our Idiot Brother: The Tea Party’s Relationship to Occupy Wall Street
  3. Tea Party Taboo: Tackling Social Issues
  4. Tea Party Taboo: The Atheism of Ayn Rand
  5. Hunkered Between Santorum and Paul Lies Peace Through Total War
  6. Killing Newborns Okay by Oxford Academics
  7. How Drama Queens Sabotage the Tea Party
  8. 8 Reasons Why Today’s Occupiers Are Tomorrow’s Tea Partiers
  9. The Ron Paul Machine vs. the Republican Establishment: 6 Steps Toward Unity
  10. Tea Party Reaction to Romney-Ryan as Fractured as Movement
  11. 6 Green Lies Threatening to Starve You
  12. Tread Upon: What’s Next for the Tea Party?
  13. Would You Meet Your Killer Halfway?
  14. 5 Lessons Worth Learning at RightOnline
  15. 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause
  16. 3 Ways Marijuana Sorts Conservatives from Libertarians
  17. The Number One Reason Why the Left Always Wins
  18. Ann Coulter Was Right to Tweak Libertarian Voters
  19. Should Small Government Be Our Goal?
  20. What’s the Libertarian Answer to ISIS?
  21. Hamas: A Litmus Test for Libertarians
  22. Confronting Antisemitism Within Our Ranks
  23. We Are All Radicals Now

Race

  1. On Tea Party, Morgan Freeman Should Follow His Past Advice
  2. 8 Ways Blacks Perpetuate Racism and the Only Way to Thwart It
  3. Paul Ryan’s Black Ex and the Art of Race Baiting
  4. Are Young Black Men Rejecting Obama?
  5. 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative
  6. Will Justice Outlast the Trayvon Martin Hysteria?
  7. What’s More Offensive than Blackface?
  8. Kanye West’s Ingenious Solution to Racism
  9. Martin Luther King’s Discriminatory Dream
  10. Why The Fantastic Four Casting Annoys This Black Man
  11. Why Would a Racist Vote Democrat?
  12. Is the DOJ Correct to Ban Religious and Racial Profiling?
  13. Obama Cites ‘Gulf of Mistrust’ Between Minorities and Law Enforcement
  14. Was Darrien Hunt Shot Because He Was Black?
  15. Dealing Honestly with ‘White Privilege’
  16. Ferguson: To Kill a Mockingbird’s Epilogue
  17. What if the Rioters Were White?
  18. Jesse Jackson Pivots from Ferguson Riots to Bigger Government
  19. Can a Dress Code Be Racist?
  20. No, ‘Illegal’ Is Not Like the N-Word

Movies

  1. Porn for Women: The Twilight Saga
  2. Greed Is Good: The Villainy of the On-Screen Capitalist
  3. 6 Punches Director Zack Snyder Must Land in Man of Steel (Revisited)
  4. Is Man of Steel the Year’s Best Sci-Fi Film?
  5. Killing in the Nolan Multiverse
  6. Matt Damon’s Elysium Takes ‘Occupy’ to Space
  7. Why M. Night Shyamalan Sucks (and How He Can Be Great Again)
  8. The Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies Coming in 2015

Star Wars and Star Trek

  1. Star Wars Games Which Need to Get Made Already
  2. Folly of the Jedi
  3. 7 Directions No Trek Has Gone Before
  4. Why Disney Brings New Hope to Star Wars
  5. Lucasfilm to Partially Reboot Star Wars
  6. Star Wars Casting: Is Disney Pulling a Jedi Mind Trick?
  7. Kevin Smith’s Read on the Future of Star Wars
  8. 10 Stand-Alone Star Wars Films Which Can Take Our Money Now
  9. The Top 10 Reasons Why the Star Wars Prequels Sucked
  10. The Top 10 Things Lucas Got Right in the Star Wars Prequels
  11. Top 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Star Wars Rebels

2014 Movie Trailer Series

  1. The 10 Most Popular Movie Trailers Released So Far This Summer
  2. Top 10 Most Popular Midsummer Movie Trailers
  3. The 10 Most Popular End-of-Summer Movie Trailers
  4. September’s 10 Most Popular Movie Trailers

James Bond

  1. The Top 10 Most Worthy Bond Villains
  2. The 10 Most Memorable James Bond Henchmen
  3. The 10 Most Remarkable Bond Girls of All Time

Video Games

  1. Star Wars: The Old Republic Delivers the Adventure and Excitement
  2. Bioshock Infinite Vs. American Exceptionalism
  3. 7 Real Life Lessons Learned in Video Games
  4. Game Over: 6 Horrible Choices Dragging Down Nintendo
  5. The Anti-Gospel of Bioshock Infinite
  6. Banning Video Games Will Not Save Children’s Souls
  7. Beating Back the Nazi ‘Sickness’
  8. Market > Microsoft: Unpopular Xbox One Features Abandoned
  9. Man of Steel the Video Game?
  10. What Zelda Teaches Us About Privacy
  11. This Ain’t Your Daddy’s Grand Theft Auto
  12. 5 Ways Grand Theft Auto V Makes You Feel Like a Criminal
  13. Game-Changer: The Next Generation of Gaming

Read bullet | Comments »

These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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So far in this ongoing series compiling and organizing the best work from PJ Lifestyle’s contributors I’ve focused on critics and analysts of popular culture from all over the place. To the north in Canada, the punk rock capitalist canadian: “136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.” To the South, guaranteed smiles from a gifted Georgia writer: “116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen.” And to the East Coast, in the wilderness of New Jersey, taking back feminism: “194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Also check out these shorter collections from two newer contributors, focusing on war and comic books: “Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture” and “15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois.”

Today I highlight two more PJ Lifestyle writers who lead the way in other important fronts in the culture wars. What more appropriate way to promote the section’s family themes than to showcase the diverse perspectives from a mom and a dad? Paula Bolyard and Walter Hudson have both been inspirations to edit, learn from, and befriend over the past few years. They’ve both helped to shape my thinking for the day when I become a parent. Take a look at some of their articles and you’ll see why I’m so optimistic about the impact they can both have on the culture…

*****

Paula is tremendously persuasive and compelling in her journalism exploring the world of home schooling. Her critiques of public school education and teachers unions have also shaped my perspective. When I have children someday they’ll be homeschooled. That’s Paula. She’ll change your mind too.

But Paula illuminates on a whole swath of issues. Our collaborations began when PJ was looking for an Ohio contributor in 2012. Paula provided very insightful, accessible coverage then and has returned to covering her home states’s news political controversies, and culture. Post-election I was eager to see Paula explore other topics. She’s had many successful articles on everything from parenting advice to religious commentaries to life reflections to goofy nostalgia pieces. Her pro-life articles are some of the best I’ve ever read — models of how to articulate values and win over fence-sitters.

After you check out a few of Paula’s articles please get in touch with us and let us know what kinds of ideas you’d like to see her explore in the future. Please leave your comments or hit us up on Twitter: @Pbolyard and @DaveSwindle

And now also check out today: “125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson.”

 

Education

  1. When Teachers Act Like Thugs ‘for the Children!’
  2. A Parent Guide to Teachers’ Unions
  3. Has a Century of Progressive Education Turned Us into Obedient Sheep?
  4. Should Parents Take Over Failing Schools?
  5. When Radical Teachers Occupy the Department of Education
  6. Can the Left and Right Find Common Ground on Common Core and High-Stakes Testing?
  7. Arming Teachers in Schools
  8. What is the Cultural Profile for the Class of 2017?
  9. Shelter-in-Place: This Generation’s Duck-and-Cover
  10. Weeping, Confession, and Hugs Replace Reading, Writing, and Math at School
  11. 10 Terrible Common Core Homework Assignments
  12. Should Colleges Have Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  13. Are We Getting Carried Away With Common Core Curriculum Phobia?
  14. 10 Things Your Kids May Never Read Because Common Core Neglects Cursive
  15. How Parents Are Winning the Common Core Debate
  16. Common Core: As Untested as the U.S. Speed Skating Suits
  17. How Can Parents Fight Back Against Federal Bleacher Bullies?
  18. Ohio Lawmakers Hold Common Core Repeal Hearings
  19. Terrorist-Supporting Kent State Professor’s Incendiary, Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts
  20. More Outrage at Kent State About a Sweatshirt Than a Terrorist Sympathizing Professor

Homeschooling

  1. Think You Could Never Homeschool?
  2. Ohio Gives Homeschoolers Equal Access to Sports and Other Activities
  3. Will Your Kids Grow Up to Be Weird if You Homeschool Them?
  4. What If All the Homeschoolers Suddenly Enrolled in Public School?
  5. 7 Objections to Homeschooling Teens
  6. How Common Core is Coming to Homeschoolers
  7. Are Elite Colleges and Universities Discriminating Against Homeschoolers?
  8. 4 Secrets from the Hidden World of Homeschoolers
  9. Does Homeschooling Reduce Opportunities for Women in the Workplace?
  10. An Open Letter to Grandparents of Homeschooled Kids
  11. Ohio Lawmakers Want Social Workers to Have Veto Power Over Decision to Homeschool
  12. UPDATE: Controversial Ohio Homeschool Bill Withdrawn After Grassroots Tsunami Opposes
  13. German Homeschooling Family Can Stay in U.S.
  14. Do Homeschoolers ‘Rob’ Public Schools of Tax Dollars?
  15. Strong Religious Beliefs Can Shape How Women View Homeschooling
  16. 5 Pro Tips for Homeschoolers
  17. The Top 10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-op
  18. The Top 10 Reasons to Avoid a Homeschool Co-Op
  19. Homeschooling Family Ordered to Follow Common Core Curriculum

Family and Parenting

  1. 4 Benefits of Marrying Young
  2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Your College Kid Home for Christmas)
  3. Raising Boys Who Grow Up to Be Men Who Go to Combat With Women
  4. 5 Busybodies Who Want to Parent Your Kids
  5. Stay-at-Home Moms: Will Your Kids Judge You for Choosing Them Over a Career?
  6. Small-Town Values and Two-Parent Families
  7. 7 Quick Tips for Parents of New College Students
  8. The 5 Best American Historical Fiction Books to Read Aloud to Your Kids
  9. What We Taught Our Boys About Girls Like Miley Cyrus
  10. Was Bad Parenting to Blame for the Sandy Hook Massacre?
  11. Is Your Child a Stealth Dyslexic?
  12. I Agree With Camille Paglia on This Kind of Family Planning for Teens
  13. Implementing Andrew McCarthy’s Proposed Compromise on the Marriage Question
  14. How Do You Survive When Your World Shatters?
  15. How Did We Survive Childhood Before the ’90s Safety Nannies Came Along?

Guns

  1. How I Evolved on Guns During the #BostonPoliceScanner Manhunt
  2. Evolving on Guns: Considering the Morality of Gun Ownership Now That I Refuse to Be a Victim
  3. Evolving on Guns: My First Foray into Gun Culture

Ohio

  1. How to Commit Voter Fraud in Ohio
  2. It’s the Gas Prices, Stupid
  3. Will We See a Florida Recount Rematch in Ohio?
  4. Does Obama Have the Stronger Ground Game in Ohio?
  5. Ohio: Somali Voters, ACORN Tactics, and Voter Fraud Allegations
  6. Ohio Post-Mortem: Glitz, Gimmicks, Sleight-of-Hand, and Witnessing Fraud
  7. Is Ohio Governor John Kasich the Chris Christie of the Midwest?
  8. Cleveland House of Horrors: Should Somebody Have Done Something?
  9. Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Sentenced to 1000 Years, Blames Victims
  10. Cleveland House of Horrors Demolished
  11. Ohio’s Ashland University Slashes Tuition by $10,000
  12. Ohio Paper Can’t Find a Single Person to Argue Against Legalizing Pot… Really??
  13. The Top 10 Things to Do in Cleveland
  14. Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Proposes ‘Win Tax’ for Cleveland Sports Teams
  15. Federal Judge Orders Ohio to Restore Early Voting on 3 Days Before Election Day
  16. Conflicted About LeBron’s Return to Cleveland
  17. Ohio Teachers Threaten to Strike Over Being Forced into Obamacare Exchanges
  18. Cleveland School Dumps FLOTUS Lunches for Chipotle-Style Burritos and Clam Chowder
  19. Cleveland VA Still Mired in Huge Backlogs

Nostalgia

  1. Hundreds of Drive-In Theaters May Close Permanently at End of Season
  2. The 1970s Culture Clash in 2 Songs
  3. 10 Modern Technologies We Lived Without in Primitive, Pre-Millennial America
  4. 5 Memories That Will Make You Nostalgic for the 1970s
  5. The 10 Most Terrifying Public Service Announcements from the 1970s
  6. The 10 Most Essential Women’s Shoes in the 1970s
  7. Whatever Happened to Our Top 10 Favorite Tiger Beat Cover Boys From the 1970s?
  8. 10 Comic Book Ads That Destroyed Your Faith in Humanity Before You Hit Puberty

Life Advice and Reflections

  1. Baseball: The Last Refuge from What Divides Us
  2. On September 11, Another Pilot Died in His Seat
  3. 9/11 as the Chilling Details Unfolded Online
  4. Things We Take for Granted
  5. Get Off the Phone!
  6. 5 Reasons To Remain Optimistic That We Haven’t Lost America Yet
  7. 5 Things to Grab When You Hear the Tornado Sirens
  8. The Sacrifice of One
  9. 10 Surprisingly Unconventional Uses for Your Crock-Pot

Religion

  1. Christian Churches Occupied, Shia Mosques Destroyed, Nuns and Orphans Kidnapped in Iraq
  2. Marco Rubio and the Progressive Atheist Orthodoxy
  3. Dear Sister Wives Star Kody Brown: Love Should Be Exclusive, not Divided
  4. The (g)odless Inaugural Prayer
  5. Is a Spiritual Revolution the Missing Link in Our Quest for a Political Revolution?
  6. New Great Awakening: Should Pastors and Churches Be Involved in Politics?
  7. New Great Awakening: America Is Not a Christian Nation
  8. New Great Awakening: Does God Promise to Heal Our Land If We Pray?
  9. New Great Awakening: When Politicians Speak for God
  10. The Atheist Who Silenced the Astronaut
  11. What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?
  12. Fal$e Teacher$ — Christian Rapper Shames Prosperity Preachers
  13. Is Your Church Too Old — Or Too Young?
  14. Why Liberals Hate Tim Tebow
  15. Should Christian Parents Send their Children to Public Schools?
  16. Will the Tolerance Agenda Destroy Christian Higher Education?
  17. A Model of Interfaith Dialogue: A Southern Baptist at Brigham Young University
  18. How about Celebrating Reformation Day instead of Halloween?
  19. At Least We Don’t Have Marauding Hippos in the Streets of America
  20. Right This Very Minute Someone Is Being Tortured
  21. Peace with God Amid Christmas Chaos
  22. Thanks to Our Atheist, Agnostic, and Liberal Friends for Their Help in the Liberty Wars
  23. Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?
  24. The Resurgence of God in Academia
  25. Will Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?
  26. Is Heaven Is for Real… Real?
  27. British PM David Cameron Emphasizes the Importance of Christianity in Society
  28. Where Was Jesus on Saturday Between His Death and Resurrection?
  29. Have You Done Enough for God This Easter?
  30. A Moment of Prayer on the Campaign Trail
  31. Sarah Palin: ‘Waterboarding Is How We Baptize Terrorists’
  32. 10 Quotes on Faith and Freedom from Eric Metaxas’ Hillsdale Commencement Address
  33. The Left’s Anti-Christian Bigotry Strategy 2.0
  34. Jesuit Priest Abducted in Afghanistan

Pro-Life

  1. Extreme Makeover: Planned Parenthood Edition
  2. 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers
  3. Can This Powerful Song Change the Hearts of Abortion Supporters?
  4. Blood on Humanitarian Icon Mandela’s Hands
  5. The 3 Deadliest Words in the World: ‘It’s a Girl’
  6. What Happens to America’s Aborted Babies?
  7. Is It True That 50 Years Ago Christians Didn’t Care About Abortion?
  8. Obama’s America: Abortion Deserts Across the Country
  9. Ohio Cracks Down on Unsafe Abortion Clinics

TV

  1. 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey
  2. Best Moments from the Season Premier of Duck Dynasty
  3. Who Are You to Judge Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson?
  4. The Touching Asperger’s Storyline on Parenthood
  5. Why We Will Miss Downton Abbey

Humor

  1. 10 Ladies’ Room Rules That Will Keep Other Women from Hating You
  2. The 10 Dumbest Fireworks Fails
  3. The 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos
  4. 11 Curious Spurious Correlations

Activism and Ideology

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