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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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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…

*******

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 |

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 |

These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

4LAn4OqL

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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10 Tricks to Get More Organized With Your Online Writing

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This article was first published January 4, 2014 as “10 Rules For Keeping a Journal in the New Media Age.” I haven’t always lived up to its goals throughout the year but when I’ve most needed to get focused again in my creative routine I’ve returned to the structure and rules it provides. I’m republishing it again with my younger brother Jeremy in mind — he’s recently started writing more diligently, providing some popular articles for PJ Lifestyle. But there are other writer friends too who I’m thinking might find it useful too.

10 Rules for Keeping a Journal in the New Media Age #writing #journaling #selfimprovement

I have decided to accept my limitations. With the nature of my editorial work across the PJM network of sites and the unpredictability of the usual day with The Wife in her final year of graduate school it has proven difficult to stick to a daily reading/writing regimen. Some days the editorial load is heavier than others unexpectedly, other days where I intend an even reading/writing split one or the other might end up predominating. If I’m in a research groove, finding new connections across books and finally beginning to grasp difficult concepts then I’m going to run with it. Likewise when the writing muse bestows her blessings you don’t tell her to shut up.

There’s a factor in all this scheduling and productivity planning work that often gets overlooked: moods. So much of being a creative person is about learning to channel one’s emotions into art, writing, and communicating. We have to learn to recognize what state of mind we’re in at any given time and then take advantage of it. Reading, writing, editing, and publishing are all four different processes. And I’ve found that circumstances and subjective moods lend themselves to each task differently. The state of mind one needs to edit an article is not the same as for writing or for researching.

One thing I’m going to try and do more this year is focus on each individually. Helping me do that will be a closer focus on using the handwritten journal as a catalyst to organize the day and facilitate more writing. Here are 10 ways that I’m going to do it, in the style that I’m going to explore this year — creating combinations of photographs, blogging, and embedded video juxtapositions.

Nothing Sacred – links to titles in the photos will be featured at the bottom of each page…

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‘They Were the Ones Who Brought the Book to Life’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

See more of my friend Bosch’s great art work at his blog and follow him on Twitter. Also check out my article “10 Badass Moments from Bosch Fawstin’s The Infidel #2.”

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

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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Back in May I assembled this collection featuring “10 of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Greatest Hits.” Today I present a broader assortment of her writings organized by theme and subject. The first section gathers Susan’s analysis of Lena Dunham’s HBO show Girls. Through dissecting the show Susan presents her “Biblical Feminist” approach to cultural analysis and ideological activism. The root of Susan’s variation of Feminism comes through understanding the Torah in the context of A) the competing ancient Pagan value systems in the Middle East which the Israelites fought against, and B) their parallels today in postmodernism. The conclusion of her Girls series captures her ethos which I share:

The western world tends to see time in a linear sense as if we are always progressing towards perfection as we distance ourselves from our primordial past. The God of the Bible has a completely different perspective, beginning with his name: YHVH (the Tetragrammaton) has a literal meaning “I Am, I Was, I Will Be.”  In other words, there is no beginning nor end point for God. Likewise, the Israelites were given a yearly schedule that flowed in cycles known as seasons. We may have moved away from our agrarian roots, but theEcclesiastical lyrics put to song by The Byrds still apply: “To every thing there is a season, a time and purpose under heaven.”

As the western world embraced and assimilated what is essentially Biblical Hebraism, adopting a biblical faith in a Messiah and melding pagan practices with adherence to the cultural norms of ancient Israel known as “commandments,” we grew as a  society. We overcame disease, poverty, and ignorance in many areas of life. Not ironically, the same forces that demand we turn away from our biblical foundation have also managed to plunge us into a neo-Dark Age. Modern medicine now faces new plagues, radical governments threaten new poverty, and ignorance is more rampant than ever. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the popular branding of Girls as a show that empowers women.

Modern feminism has returned us to the chains of ancient pagan culture. These goddess feminists think they can get away with it because they’re sure we see the world as they do: in lines. We are marching, they think, farther and farther away from the evidence of our ancient past when, all the while, we are being led back into the same ideologies that bound us as temple prostitutes and mothers of the state thousands of years ago.

Susan takes this moral clarity and creative style to a number of subjects beyond trendy TV shows. She covers cultural controversies, debates within feminism, political hot issues, and ideological squabbles. She also has deep things to say on history and philosophy and the news from Israel and the Middle East. This past summer she also developed a sequel to her Girls series in her writings defining “pop culture polytheism,” the way in which some worship celebrities as the ancient Pagans once worshipped nature gods.

But Susan isn’t waging culture war all the time. The concluding sections collect links to her writings on music and wine. Also be sure and follow Susan on Twitter here and see her Instagrams here.

A Biblical Feminist Confronts the Girls Goddesses:

  1. June 6, 2013: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1
  2. June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls
  3. June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?
  4. June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn
  5. July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?
  6. July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect
  7. July 21: Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls
  8. July 28: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish
  9. August 4: Girl on Girl Action: Girls and the Female Gaze
  10. August 11: Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism
  11. August 18: Girls: As Famous as their Daddies
  12. August 25: 5 Uncomfortable Truths About Girls

More Biblical Feminist Culture Critique and Analysis

  1. Full Frontal Equality
  2. The Tale of Miley Cyrus in the Words of Allan Bloom…
  3. How Women Can Transcend the Equality Barrier
  4. Presidential Sex & Powerless Feminists
  5. ‘Choose Life So That You May Live’
  6. Let’s Talk About Sex
  7. We Are the XX: Feminism’s Branded Sheep
  8. Porn, Sex & ‘The Talk’
  9. Biblical Feminism and the Dirty Male Myth
  10. Chicks Dig Porn
  11. A Biblical Feminist’s Take on Porn
  12. Can’t Touch This: American Feminism’s Racial Ignorance
  13. A Job Many Women Would Kill For
  14. White Chicks be Pimpin’ their Black Hos
  15. Feminism Doesn’t Need Re-Branding, It Needs a Revolution
  16. Abused Language, Aborted History
  17. Feminists: What Color Is Your Character?
  18. Brains Not Boobs: Re-Formulating for Feminist Success
  19. Nazi Is the New Sexy
  20. Feminists Must Go on the Offense
  21. Men: Act Like a Lady if You Want to Get a Job
  22. Girls vs Downton Abbey: Feminism’s Body Politic
  23. Girls: Take This Tour and Shove It
  24. 10 Reasons Why Camille Paglia Is the Champion of the Feminist Right
  25. Feminism: A Rich White Girl’s Game
  26. HBO’s Girls Get a Much-Needed Dose of Reality
  27. What the MSM Isn’t Telling You About Medea Benjamin’s Tweet-Fest in Egypt
  28. Our Bodies, Our Only Sense of Self
  29. Purim: The Cure for Vashti Feminists
  30. The Girls Season Finale: Second-Guessing Steinem Feminists
  31. Turncoat Feminists
  32. Why Women (and Men) Need Biblical Feminism
  33. Matt Walsh Demonstrates Why Christians Need Biblical Feminism
  34. 11 Star-Spangled Super Women
  35. Reality TV’s 10 Biggest Lies About America
  36. 10 Romantic Comedy Myths About Women
  37. 10 Ways ’90s Pop Culture Destroyed the American Male
  38. Beyonce’s 10 Worst, Anti-Woman Songs
  39. 10 Reasons Why I Will Forever Love Joan Rivers
  40. Ross Douthat Loves Lena Dunham for All the Wrong Reasons
  41. Millennial Actress Refuses to Hyphenate her American Identity
  42. Republican Gardner Buries the War on Women in Colorado Senate Race
  43. Feminists: You Will Abort Or Die Trying
  44. What Makes The West the Antidote to Radical Islam?
  45. Why Politicians, Cops & Feminists Turn a Blind Eye to 1,400 Rape Victims
  46. The East Proves the West Needs Feminism
  47. ‘Yes Means Yes’ to a New Generation of Powerless Women
  48. Spare Me the Vergara Defense
  49. The Feminist Response to Ferguson
  50. Islamic State Sex Slavery: American Feminists Ain’t Got No Time for That
  51. Republicans Whine, “Chicks, Man.”

Valerie Jarrett

  1. Valerie Jarrett Takes Adviser Role to Prime Time
  2. Obama’s Creepy 3-Way Date Night
  3. Oh My Goddess: Picture Proof of the Valerie Jarrett Cult

Pop Culture Polytheism

  1. HBO’s Picasso Baby: Jay Z Raps the Cult of Celebrity
  2. Paul, George, Ringo & the Prophet John
  3. 12 Signs You’ve Sought Redemption Through the Religion of Pop
  4. The Top 10 Gods of the Pop Culture Pantheon
  5. How to Become an Official Dude in 10 Easy Steps
  6. 10 Lessons on Abiding in Everyday Life I’ve Learned from The Dude
  7. 11 Lessons About Religion I’ve Learned from Pop Culture Polytheism
  8. Going Oprah: Sarah Palin Gives Up
  9. July 4, 2014: Salon Crowns Obama Our Messiah

The Intersection of Judaism, Religion, and Pop Culture

  1. The Unproductive Obsession with Hipster Anne Frank
  2. The 5 Most Tasteless Hanukkah Gifts for 2013
  3. Pajama Boy Jewish According to… Marx?
  4. Slamming Torah: There’s an App for That
  5. Noah Flooded with Potential for Interfaith Battle
  6. The New Morality Makes Animals of Us All
  7. Thank God! Who Is He, Again?
  8. Why the Non-Stop Punchline Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise
  9. The Latest Outbreak of Golden Calf Syndrome
  10. Glenn Beck, The Church & the Real Secret to Disney’s Success
  11. A Jew’s Take on Jesus Movies
  12. Noah: A Good Jewish Boy’s Cinematic Drash
  13. Altruism in Religion’s Free Market
  14. Religion, Politics & Screaming at the Internet
  15. The #1 Strategy for Happiness
  16. 10 More Movies Projecting the Jewish Experience on Film
  17. 13 Jewish Women Who Changed the World
  18. Debunking the Jewish Mother Stereotype
  19. Gay Marriage: Get Over the Theology and Look at the Law
  20. Judaism’s ‘Chained Wives’ Facebook-Shame Delinquent Husbands
  21. The Church is Afraid of Islam
  22. Gary Oldman & the Right’s Latent Antisemitism

Israel and the Middle East

  1. Forget Freedom! We Have #IranJeans!
  2. Obama’s Great Jewish Conspiracy That Isn’t
  3. Boycott, Divestment & ScarJo: Pop Culture Questions #BDS
  4. 18 Reasons Why You Wish You Were in Israel Right Now
  5. The Battle Against Israel’s Orthodox Patriarchy
  6. AP Reporter Reveals the Story Behind Anti-Israel Media Bias
  7. Obama Moves to Defend Hamas
  8. ‘Miracle’ Wind Saves Tel Aviv from Hamas Rocket
  9. One Soldier’s Faith Saves Hamas Female Suicide Bomber
  10. NDTV Exclusive Footage: Hamas Preps Rocket in Hotel Backyard
  11. Pro-Hamas Activists Blockade Israeli Arms Factory in Britain
  12. IDF: Hamas Planned to Wipe Gaza Town Off the Map
  13. Will the Power of the People Fund the Iron Dome?
  14. “Angry Black Woman” Schools Students for Justice in Palestine
  15. How Israel is Winning the PR Battle Against Hamas

Life Advice

  1. Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives
  2. Student Survival Tactic: Think Big
  3. 15 Tricks and Tips for Getting the Most Out of College
  4. 10 Ways Not to Land Your Dream Job
  5. Liberty Island: Liberal’s Newest, Greatest Threat

A Series: Is Family Guy the Most Terrible TV Show of All Time?

Part 1: Boob Alert: Top 5 Side Effects of Watching Family Guy
Part 2: Totally Petarded: The Top 5 Masculinity Myths on Family Guy
Part 3: Who’s to Blame for Fueling Pop Culture’s 5 Worst Female Stereotypes?
Part 4: Quiz! What’s Your TV Sitcom Family Lifestyle? Family Guy Vs The Middle
Part 5: 4 Easy Steps to Pitching Your Own TV Sitcom

More TV Criticism, Appreciation, and Analysis

  1. Game of Downloads: HBO’s Bad Spin on Media Piracy
  2. Proud Member of the Cumberbatch Brigade
  3. It’s Not Porn, It’s HBO!
  4. The Goldbergs & Michael J. Fox Sending Millennials Back to the Future
  5. Nostalgic for MOM Power
  6. 3 Reasons to Get Addicted to Call the Midwife
  7. Pop Culture’s Sexy Double Standard: It’s Elementary
  8. HBO Girls Just Wanna Have Boys
  9. HBO Green Lights Men & Capitalism
  10. The #1 Worst New Sitcom for Fall
  11. The Ultimate TV Geek
  12. Seeking Relevance, Networks Broadcast Live
  13. The #1 Reason We Watch Call the Midwife
  14. NBC Declares Jerusalem Television’s City of Gold
  15. The 10 Most Cringe-Worthy TV Flops
  16. The 10 Most Underrated TV Comedies of All Time

War, History, and Ideology:

  1. A Punch in the Gut: The Aftermath of 9/11
  2. Technology & the Vertical Caveat in Generational Theory
  3. Queen Ann Advises Republicans: Always Listen to Mother
  4. The 2 Mitzvot That Can Restore Unity on the Right
  5. My 5 Favorite Ann Coulter Columns
  6. 5 Ways the GOP Screws Up
  7. 75 Years Later, You Can’t Forget What You Don’t Know
  8. 70 Years & Counting: Hitler Is Still Hot
  9. Conservative is the New Liberal
  10. Untold War Stories: My Family’s Secret Agent
  11. James Foley, Radical Islamic Terror, and How Quickly We Forget
  12. Survey Says Millennials Think Socialism is a Joke
  13. The Real Reason Why Liberals Are Scared of Women with Guns
  14. Putin Actively Trolls Your Favorite Websites

Analyzing Ion Mihai Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak’s Disinformation: Useful Intellectuals: Framing Marx for the Next Generation

  1. Red or Dead: How Stalin Re-Defined American Liberalism
  2. The Assassination of Patriotism: Intellectuals, Disinformation and JFK
  3. The Framing of Hitler’s Pope
  4. Sontag’s Kulture Kamp
  5. Jesus Was a Socialist: Soviet Liberation Mythology Invades the West
  6. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  7. Vietnam, Hippies & False Peace
  8. Political Gods: Framing a New Reality
  9. Nomenklatura on Free Speech: Duck That!
  10. The Winning Move in the War Against the Nomenklatura
  11. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge: Starting Down the Yellow Brick Road…
  12. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 1: The Mask of Marxism
  13. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 2: Getting to the Heart of Social Justice
  14. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 3: Who Needs a Brain?
  15. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 4: Are Conservatives Cowards?
  16. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 5: The Drug of Disinformation
  17. Transcending the Illusion of Left Vs Right
  18. The Dude Dissects Disinformation

Music Appreciation and Analysis

  1. Christmas Carol Classic: Romanian Style
  2. 6 Degrees of Separation: Phil Everly to Llewyn Davis
  3. Rolling Stone, Privately Traded Company, Advocates Millennials Share the Wealth
  4. The Story You Shouldn’t Miss Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. The Religion of Beatlemania Still Going Strong
  6. A Day in the Life of the Fest for Beatles Fans 2014
  7. Fifth Beatle Brian Epstein’s Unsung Revolution
  8. Those Silly, Savage Homophobes
  9. Paul McCartney’s New Video Aims at #GenerationHashtag
  10. 9 Essential Paul McCartney Music Videos
  11. 13 Reasons to Fall in Love with Lana Del Rey
  12. 15 Songs Millennials Must Listen to in Order to Understand the 1980s

Wine Appreciation:

  1. New Jersey Wines: Challenge Your Assumptions
  2. 5 Tips for Novice Winos
  3. Valenzano Winery and the Surprising Appeal of the Garden State
  4. Cold Soil White: The Finesse of German Wines, American Style
  5. Sip Spanish Style Wines While You Walk Leisurely Among the Vines
  6. Savoring Almondberry with My Cousin Vinny
  7. What Exit for Great New Jersey Wine? Old York, Of Course!
  8. A Revolution in High Class Winemaking
  9. 5 Indispensible Wine-O Tools
  10. Beneduce Vineyards: The Next Big Thing in Jersey Wine
  11. Give Thanks with these Jersey Wines
  12. Mulled Wine: Spice Up Your Holiday Table

 

Also check out my two previous collections of PJ Lifestyle writers:

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2 Free Apps That Can Help You Make Cool Videos Easily

Monday, October 6th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is my favorite “running at Dawn with the Siberian Husky” video that I’ve shot so far:

I’ve been experimenting with the new Hyperlapse and Lomotif apps. Hyperlapse allows you to shoot video and then speed it up to 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 times the speed. Lomotif’s primary reason for being is to allow you to easily download 30 second iTunes samples to give videos musical accompaniment. It has other very useful features too. I like the ability to add titles and splice together multiple video clips.

What I found with this video is a feature that I regard as a game changer: not only can one just overlay any music track on iTunes or in your own library, but it’s very easy to pick which specific part of the song you want to use and then to time it up with the action.

So what I did with the video above is download the sample of the Harlem Shakes’ “Sunlight” from their album Technicolor Health and synch it so that the sun shot matches with the chorus. Lyrics:

Sunlight, sunlight baby
We just let go of the night now slowly
We won’t dance, we won’t sing, we won’t talk
We just gonna watch how it bends

Anybody have any other ideas for great songs (ahem, Allston, I think this is your department) I should use in more Maura running videos?

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VIDEO: The Big Lebowski Pinball Prototype Has a Built-In White Russian

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Via Polygon.com:

The Dave Abides.

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The Real President Appeared on The Good Wife Last Night

Monday, September 29th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I haven’t seen this show yet but Dave Forsmark tells me it’s much better than House of Cards. Hat tip: Weekly Standard.

I made the case in January here that Jarrett isn’t merely the “senior adviser” to the president but the one making the consequential foreign, legislative, and strategic decisions.

What do you think? If she’s not the one most influencing the administration’s policies then who is? And how should they be defeated?

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Check Out Liberty Island’s New Satirical Public Service Announcement Video Contest

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Today our friends at Liberty Island announced their first video contest. Here are the guidelines of what they’re looking for:

Calling All Filmmakers! Liberty Island is hosting our first short film contest. Your assignment: to produce a politically-incorrect Public Service Announcement to encourage behavior that would scandalize polite opinion.

We are looking for entries which are irreverent, funny, and borderline offensive to the thin-skinned and uber-left. Think “Animals are Delicious”; “Fur is Warmer than Polyester”; “Ask Cary Grant: Smoking is Cool”.

Here’s the parameters:

  • Entries should be between 15 and 60 seconds long.
  • Stay away from profanity, nudity, and libel please.
  • You can use any format you like–live actors, animation, voiceover…we’re more interested in clever content than technical proficiency.
  • Contest is open to anyone, amateurs and professionals alike.
  • Entries must be submitted in QuickTime format.
  • We will select finalists from among the entries and feature them at www.LibertyIslandMag.com; the ultimate winner will be selected by fan voting.
  • By entering, you accept Liberty Island’s Terms of Use.

Entries are due by Friday, October 17, 2014. Please send entries by email to submissions@libertyislandmag.com.

For those looking for cinematic inspiration, I’d refer you to the first half of my 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time list. Part I here and Part 2 here. Or jump to read about one of the first 31 films included:

50. Disinformation: The Complete Series

49. Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

48. Yellow Submarine 

47. Dark City

46. By Brakhage, An Anthology: Window Water Baby Moving

45. Dog Star Man

44. Mothlight

43. The Dante Quartet

42. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

41. The Two Towers

40. Return of the King

39. Dick

38. The Avengers

37. Watchmen

36. Inside Man

35. Jackie Brown

34. The Last Temptation of Christ

33. Pink Flamingos

32. The Films of Kenneth Anger, Volume 1: Fireworks

31. Puce Moment

30. Rabbit’s Moon

29. Eaux d’Artifice

28. Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome

27. The Films of Kenneth Anger, Volume 2: Scorpio Rising

26. Kustom Kar Kommandos

25. Invocation of My Demon Brother

24. Lucifer Rising

23. The Man We Want to Hang

22. Crumb

21. Ghost World

20. Amelie

I hope to have part 3 done this week, perhaps part 4 too.

What kind of film could you shoot with your phone? Surely you can do better than this:

****

image illustration via shutterstock / Anatoly Tiplyashin

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

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

For many years now I’ve counted Dr. James Jay Carafano as one of the most trustworthy voices on national defense. His accessible, passionate, historically-informed, and morally-centered approach to analyzing the threats to global peace and prosperity is one that I hope more people can come to appreciate.

For almost a year now I’ve had the joy of working with Carafano to explore ways to get his analysis out to new and broader audiences. Lately he’s been developing a series using Hollywood war movies as a gateway to explore America’s history of military conflicts. I’ve asked him to expand and grow this series more in the future. Now’s a good time to see the progress he’s made so far and also catch up on his older pieces that you might have missed.

If there are any war films or military/cultural subjects that you’d like to see Carafano address in future pieces then please leave your suggestions in the comments or shoot me an email at DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com

7 Installments in Carafano’s War Movies Series

  1. The 10 Best Movies to Watch to Understand the Cold War
  2. 10 War Movies Guaranteed to Make You Cry
  3. America’s First Wars in 10 Movies
  4. 10 Movies For Understanding the Civil War
  5. A 10-Film Introduction to America’s Turn-of-the-Century ‘Small Wars’
  6. America Over There! A 10-Film Introduction to World War I
  7. Telling the Story of World War II in 10 Movies

3 Book and TV Reviews

  1. The Soviets’ Secret Weapon to Defeat America
  2. Bill Gates’ Summer Reading List Is So Lame. These 6 Books Are Much Better.
  3. 5 Reasons ABC’s Scandal Is Too Silly To Take Seriously

7 Essays on Contemporary Issues in Culture and National Defense

  1. The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall Again of Zombie Nation
  2. The Anti-Hero Rides Back into Washington
  3. Edward Snowden the Movie?
  4. Hollywood’s Benghazi?
  5. Why Hating Spies Is All the Rage
  6. The 10 Films You Should Watch to Better Understand the Benghazi Scandal
  7. What Could Terrorists Do to Vegas?

3 Lighter Movie lists

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The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part II

Friday, September 19th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Click here to start reading Part I of this list-letter to the CEO of Liberty Island with ideas for his team of creative counter-culture writers drawn from my years practicing “pop culture polytheism,” the worship of the images in mass media today.

Dear Adam Bellow,

As this series of films continues I’ll expand the opening index to include links to each of the films that have come before it. Here are links to the first titles I discussed, establishing the paradigm of celebrating both mainstream, big budget films and also more obscure titles that more traditionally conjure up the idea of counter-culture:

50. Disinformation: The Complete Series

49. Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

48. Yellow Submarine 

47. Dark City

46. By Brakhage, An Anthology: Window Water Baby Moving

45. Dog Star Man

44. Mothlight

43. The Dante Quartet

42. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

41. The Two Towers

40. Return of the King

39. Dick

38. The Avengers

37. Watchmen

I was nervous when publishing the first installment of this series, knowing that I was leaping off into the unknown again and certainly not going as detailed as I’ll need to when explaining these ideas in my book someday. A few commenters pushed back, with criticisms I anticipated — too long, all over the place, titles insufficiently “counter-culture” — and that are partially justified:

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.38.04 AM

How do I defend such a broad understanding of “counter-culture” that the term can include both experimental shorts with moth wings taped to the film and hundred-million-dollar blockbusters? The fourth title from my list of ”23 Books for Counter-Culture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards” remains my favorite definition and general history:

 

4. Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House by Ken Goffman and Dan Joy

Publication Date: September 13, 2005
Official Description:

As long as there has been culture, there has been counterculture. At times it moves deep below the surface of things, a stealth mode of being all but invisible to the dominant paradigm; at other times it’s in plain sight, challenging the status quo; and at still other times it erupts in a fiery burst of creative–or destructive–energy to change the world forever.

But until now the countercultural phenomenon has been one of history’s great blind spots. Individual countercultures have been explored, but never before has a book set out to demonstrate the recurring nature of counterculturalism across all times and societies, and to illustrate its dynamic role in the continuous evolution of human values and cultures.

Countercultural pundit and cyberguru R. U. Sirius brilliantly sets the record straight in this colorful, anecdotal, and wide-ranging study based on ideas developed by the late Timothy Leary with Dan Joy. With a distinctive mix of scholarly erudition and gonzo passion, Sirius and Joy identify the distinguishing characteristics of countercultures, delving into history and myth to establish beyond doubt that, for all their surface differences, countercultures share important underlying principles: individualism, anti-authoritarianism, and a belief in the possibility of personal and social transformation.

Ranging from the Socratic counterculture of ancient Athens and the outsider movements of Judaism, which left indelible marks on Western culture, to the Taoist, Sufi, and Zen Buddhist countercultures, which were equally influential in the East, to the famous countercultural moments of the last century–Paris in the twenties, Haight-Ashbury in the sixties, Tropicalismo, women’s liberation, punk rock–to the cutting-edge countercultures of the twenty-first century, which combine science, art, music, technology, politics, and religion in astonishing (and sometimes disturbing) new ways, Counterculture Through the Ages is an indispensable guidebook to where we’ve been . . . and where we’re going.

Why Counterculture Conservatives Should Read It:

The key insight in reconciling counterculture and conservatism comes when we define the term historically, beyond just the caricature of the 60s hippie counterculture.

A counterculture is just any group of people who choose to reject some aspect of a dominant culture and then live peacefully in opposition to it. The Jews were a counterculture. So were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. So were the Christians in ancient Rome. So were the Pilgrims. And the Transcendentalists. And the Mormons.

Counterculture Through the Ages presents an alternative way of understanding the West: what if “Western Civilization” was actually just the compilation of all the best countercultural ideas that worked? What if Western Civilization wasn’t really about places or people or things but about a process to understand ourselves, one another, and our purpose in the world? And how do we figure out what that purpose is?

So yes, I admit it — my list was a mess, and so it shall be going forward. (I can only un-messify Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson and their basis in Kabbalah and Tarot so much! Learning how to jump from mess to mess is kind of the point. God hides in the spaces between the letters and in the connections between the cards, in the invisible gap between my mind and yours.) Counter-culture is messy — it’s a big muck mixing and gurgling together. But that’s no excuse. I’ll employ the new media tool highlighted in the last segment in an effort to cut down on the word count in this and future installments. Here’s a basic start, as I’ve progressed through writing the list I’ve begun exploring new ways to utilize Instagram, Hyperlapse and other tools:

(I will try to improve the handwriting in future hyperlapses. Over the course of this list I experiment with a number of different configurations improving on that early one. I think for the next round I’ll pick up a white board and dry erase markers…)

In trying to define Western Civilization in broad we have to confront that WE are a mess. Americanism, the idea of the West — we are a mess of conflicting ethnic, religious, and philosophical traditions all crammed together.

But we must overcome our primitive tribal nature. Unfortunately some of film’s most glorified filmmakers rose to prominence through glamorizing and glorifying their tribal identity, building whole careers on mythologizing their tribe, obscuring the ugly truth of their primitive ideologies. The next three titles on the list are by filmmakers I once idolized, though now look at with skepticism. However, each still has a film in their canon that runs counter to their usual output and offer useful lessons for counter-culture crusaders.

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

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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Back in April I assembled this collection featuring “10 of Kathy Shaidle’s Greatest Hits.” Now today I present this collection organizing more broadly my favorites of her articles and blog posts by subject.

A realization dawned today: Kathy is the writer I’ve worked with the longest. We’ve had occasional breaks here and there as projects have shifted but it’s been five years now, with the last 3 at PJ. And Kathy has consistently churned out one memorable piece after another in service of a very substantive media and cultural critique. She’s become one of my biggest influences and inspirations on new media and culture. When young writers ask for suggestions in developing a writing career in today’s new media world I hold her up as a prime example. Her articles and her approach are filled with wisdom.

Get caught up on the pieces you may have missed below and don’t forget to follow Kathy on Twitter and visit her indispensable blog Five Feet of Fury:

Movies

  1. Make Way for Movies for Grown-Ups
  2. Movies for Grown-Ups, Part 2: Dodsworth and the Shame of Age
  3. Movies for Grown-Ups: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
  4. Movies for Grown Ups: Seconds (1966)
  5. Art, Lust, and Doing the Dishes: The Controversy of Scarlet Street
  6. 5 Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks
  7. God Bless America? Remembering 1993′s Falling Down
  8. Talk Sixties, Act Fifties: The Ice Storm
  9. 4 Ways My Moviegoing Habits Changed After I Grew Up
  10. Nurse Ratched, My Hero: 4 Female Movie Villains I Love
  11. The 3 Most Poisonous Movie Clichés of the 60s and 70s
  12. I Liked Scrooge Better Before: 3 Christmas Movies I Hate
  13. Special Effects Unplugged: Movie Magic Before Computers
  14. Yippie-Kay-25th-Birthday Die Hard
  15. I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half-Century Later
  16. Will Roger Ebert Biopic Be a Big Bust?
  17. 10 Movies Millennials Must See to Understand the 1970s

Music

  1. 6 Reasons The Who Is Better Than That Stupid Band You Like
  2. Vengeance Is Mine: The 5 Best Revenge Songs
  3. 6 Classic Recordings That Have No Business Existing (Part One)
  4. 6 Classic Recordings That Have No Business Existing (Part Two)
  5. The 5 Most Overrated Male Musicians, Part One
  6. The 5 Most Overrated Male Musicians, Part Two
  7. The 3 Most Overrated Female Musicians
  8. The Other Bono: Remembering Sonny (and the Pre-Crazy Cher)
  9. Keep Cat Stevens Out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  10. Give ‘Em Enough Rope Turns 35 (Part One)
  11. Give ‘Em Enough Rope Turns 35 (Part Two)
  12. The Once-Unimaginable Occurs: David Bowie Turns 67
  13. Neil Young Doubles Down on the Crazy
  14. Never Mind the Beatles: America Met the Clash 35 Years Ago This Week
  15. The Top 3 Myths About Beatlemania
  16. Rock Around the Clock: How 2 Movies Made Musical History
  17. 10 Obscure Songs That Should Have Been Hits

TV

  1. Why David Letterman Has (Almost) Always Creeped Me Out
  2. The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches (Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest)
  3. Lessons on Being a Grown-Up from… Vincent Price?
  4. Murdoch Mysteries: The Un-Breaking Bad
  5. Michael Palin: Monty Python Would Never Mock Islam
  6. TV’s 3 Most Admirable Post-Modern Cartoon Characters

Books

  1. Grown Men Don’t Read Comic Books: Here’s an Alternative (That Might Just Save America)
  2. Grown Women Don’t Read Twilight: Here’s an Alternative (That Just Might Save America)
  3. 3 Reasons Higher Education Is Broken — and How To Fix It
  4. ‘That’s the Ultimate Race, Poor People’: In Praise of Adam Carolla’s Brutal Honesty
  5. Ann Coulter’s Mugged: A (Mostly) Frank Monologue About Race — Part 1
  6. Mugged and Ann Coulter Derangement Syndrome, Part 2
  7. 5 Controversial Ways to Enjoy the Decline of America
  8. Conrad Black Still Loves You, America (In Spite of Everything)
  9. Conrad Black Still Loves FDR (In Spite of Amity Shlaes)
  10. Conrad Black, Nixon, and the Red Scare: The Flight of the Eagle Concludes
  11. The 11 Best Ideas in Adam Carolla’s Hilarious New Book

Punk Rock and Counterculture

  1. Kinkos Goes To College: University of Iowa Acquires Zine Collection
  2. The BBC Sex Scandals and the Birth of Punk
  3. Farewell, Pussycat: Remembering Cult Movie Actress Haji
  4. Takin’ the Freight Elevator to the Incinerator: Joe Strummer and 9/11
  5. Vampira: Beatnik, Goth, Punk
  6. Altamont: When the Hippies Were Expelled From the Garden
  7. Miley Cyrus: Punk of the Year? Almost. (Seriously.)
  8. Patti Smith: The Paula Deen of Punk?
  9. When John and Yoko Took Over the Mike Douglas Show
  10. Hitchcock’s Rope and Gay ‘Rights’
  11. Happy 59th Birthday, Nina Hagen
  12. What Is Your Damage, Heathers?
  13. A Life Based on ‘Crossing the Street’

Crime and Death

  1. Mommie Dearest, Brothers Grimm: Thinking about Cleveland’s House of Horrors
  2. Raining on the Nelson Mandela Parade
  3. Sound Familiar? Rapist-Murderer Complains He’s Misunderstood
  4. Is Death Still a Great Career Move?
  5. Dead Celebrities Pitch Beer, Chocolate, and Bad Taste
  6. ‘Hurricane’ Carter: Fact vs. Fiction
  7. If Jack the Ripper Was Jewish, Does It Matter?

Religion

  1. ‘This Would Be Heaven For Me’: An Evening with Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla
  2. Catholic Nuns: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone?
  3. The Imaginary Rabbi and the Dead End Kid: Another Evening with Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla
  4. Yelling at Each Other About Robin Williams, Ann Coulter, Death, and God

Stand-Up Comedy

  1. George Carlin Wasn’t Funny: The Top Five Most Overrated Liberal Comedians
  2. ‘Long Story Short’: Colin Quinn’s 75-Minute History of the World
  3. That’s Not Funny: The 5 Biggest Comedy Taboos
  4. Del Close Marathon Ignores Improv Guru’s Occult Obsessions
  5. Carolla vs. Kindler: When Jealous Losers Attack
  6. Sam Kinison Biopic Back on Track With New Star
  7. Stand-Up Comic vs. Air Force Colonel: Who’s the Real Joker?
  8. Behind the Scenes: Jerry Lewis’ ‘Holocaust Clown’ Movie
  9. Dave Chappelle and Heckling as the New ‘Racism’
  10. ‘Comedy Gives Back’ Proves People Can Make a Difference — But Not the Way They Expected
  11. Dean Martin Roasts: Remembrance of Zings Past
  12. Finally: A Comedian Who Refuses to Apologize
  13. BREAKING: Stand-Up Comedians Are Crazy

Relationships and Gender

  1. Mean Girls: Why Are Women Turning Against Tina Fey?
  2. How Women Ruin Romance by Talking Too Much
  3. 3 (Conservative) Reasons to Admire Helen Gurley Brown
  4. Shoes, Sheetrock, and the Skipper: 3 Surprising Things That Make a Man Sexy
  5. Meet Matt Graber, Your New Leftwing Heartthrob!
  6. Confessions of a Failed Slut
  7. How to Be the Perfect Wife in 3 Easy Steps

Life Reflections and Career Advice:

  1. Why Skipping College Was One of the Smartest Decisions of My Life
  2. Talent Isn’t Everything: 5 Secrets to Freelance Success
  3. In the Future Will Everyone Really ‘Have To Become an Entrepreneur’?
  4. I Kid You Not: The Top 4 Reasons I Don’t Have Children
  5. No One Is Ever ‘Just Kidding’
  6. If I Were Queen: My First 3 Acts Upon Becoming Your Beloved Empress For Life
  7. The Poor Get Poorer: 3 Character Traits That Undermine Prosperity
  8. The 47% Solution: Yes, If You’re Poor, It Really May Be Your Fault
  9. Jobs Are for Suckers: How to Be the Boss of You
  10. No One Who Works Indoors Needs a Union
  11. We All Wondered What Happened
  12. 50 Is the New Crappy
  13. 3 Things Getting Lupus Taught Me

Tips on Writing, Technology, the Internet, and New Media Success

  1. Steve Jobs: The Other Man in My Marriage
  2. 3 Rules for Handling the Online Trolls, Bullies, and Crackpots
  3. 3 Turning Points in the History of Blogging
  4. Gravity Doesn’t ‘Card’: Cyber Bullys and the Laws of the Universe
  5. The ‘Me’ in Social Media: The ONLY Online Etiquette Rule You’ll Ever Need
  6. 3 Tips for ‘Owning’ Your Name on Google’s First-Page Results
  7. How To Boost Your Blog By Going ‘Under the Hood’
  8. Know Your (Copy)rights: Tips for Writers and Bloggers
  9. The Chestnut Diet: How To Cut Cliches Out of Your Writing
  10. The 5 Best Security and Privacy Tools for Your Mac
  11. 3 Pro Secrets to Double Your Freelance Writing Income in 2 Years

Travel

  1. Kathy Shaidle’s Guide For Your First Visit to Israel
  2. New York City: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Canada

  1. 3 Weird Things About the U.S. This Pro-American Canadian Doesn’t Get
  2. Dispatch from Canada: 146th Birthday Edition
  3. Justin Trudeau: Canada’s (Future) Pothead PM?
  4. Canada Asks Muslims: When Will You Stop Beating Your Wives?
  5. An Unlikely Canadian Hero’s Tale of Non-Violent Defiance
  6. So I Guess I Have to Talk About Rob Ford, Huh?
  7. Economic Freedom: Canadian Province Beats Out All 50 States
  8. Father of the Canadian Flag Dies, Aged 96
  9. Is Canada Becoming the Proving Ground for Eco-Terrorism?

Generational Theory

  1. The Truth About The Greatest Generation
  2. The 3 Most Destructive Members of the ‘Greatest Generation’
  3. The 3 Biggest Myths About Generation X
  4. Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part One)
  5. Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part Two)
  6. Gen X Dream Girl Phoebe Cates Turns 50

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

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This summer Pierre Comtois, a nonfiction author with several books on comics and culture and a novelist for Liberty Island, began a series of articles exploring the comic book world. (See an interview with him here about his influences and goals.) After a really strong run with comics he’s going to start exploring more subjects across pop culture in the coming weeks.

Do you disagree with any of Pierre’s comics conclusions? Do you have counter-lists to his choices? Or perhaps you have suggestions for subjects you’d like to se him write about in the future. Please get in touch with me at DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com to build on the foundation Pierre built and carry on the comic book conversation. With Pierre focusing on cracking open the discussion on other subjects now more voices analyzing the medium’s past, present, and future would be appreciated.

  1. The 10 Lowest Points in Spider-Man’s Career
  2. 10 Heroes and Villains Not Yet Featured in an X-Men Movie But Who Should Be
  3. The 10 Greatest Comic Book Writers Of All Time
  4. The 10 Most Interesting Super-Hero Alter Egos
  5. The Top 10 Best Super-Heroes Of All Time!
  6. The Top 10 Most Overrated Super-Heroes Of All Time
  7. The 10 Most Successful and Controversial Comic Book Publicity Stunts
  8. 10 Reasons Why Howard the Duck Is Poised for a Comeback
  9. Top 10 Most Influential Comics of the 1980s
  10. The 10 Best Super-Heroines in Comics
  11. The Top 10 Most Evil Comic Book Villains
  12. The Top 10 Most Disturbing Moments in Comics

Three Lists on More Pop Culture Subjects

  1. 10 Too Close for Comfort Similarities Between Harry Potter and the X-Men
  2. The 10 Most Underrated Classic Science Fiction Films
  3. The 10 Best Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

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When the Grandchildren of the Atom Bomb Wake Up, There Will Be No More 9/11s

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

See my previous years’ 9/11 reflections. 2012: “9/11 Rewrote Our Lives in Ways We Are Only Beginning to Comprehend“ and 2013: “On 9/11 and Benghazi’s Anniversary, We End Conservative Pessimism and Right-Wing Apocalypticism

Last week, against my better judgment, I decided to do a PJTV show and argue some pretty kooky, outlandish positions. The subject in the video embedded above is speculating on the future of warfare in which robots might do the fighting for us. Scott Ott, Bill Whittle, and Glenn Reynolds took a more skeptical approach while I argued my overly optimistic, “Singularitarian” perspective, embracing Ray Kurzweil’s idea that in our lifetimes we’ll have robots with consciousness, be able to gradually merge our minds and bodies with intelligent machines, and eventually evolve into new hybrid species until we become pure energy (the Singularity).

See the film Transcendent Man for an idea of where I’m coming from:

In the meantime, on the road to getting there, I anticipate that in our lifetime wars will be fought between terrorist organizations and nation states primarily with drone assassins, rather than Phantom Menace robots or Terminator 2: Judgment Day-style exoskeletons running around.

I feel morally compelled at a serious personal level to call for and defend the development of weapons of overwhelming power and sophistication and then to call for their employment against all nation states and ideologies currently waging wars against any liberal democracy. Yes — an explicitly pro-war stance, counter to the sentiments of the idolized former Congressman and conspiracy theory peddler Ron Paul today. My reason goes to my very being: I’m in the same boat as three commenters who responded on Monday when we featured the new Prager University video, “Was It Wrong to Drop the Atom Bomb on Japan?.” War made us.

LakeMary:

My father was stuck in the Philippines waiting on Operation Downfall to become reality. There’s a good chance he and his buddies would have been casualties, maybe KIA’s. Which means I wouldn’t be writing this comment.

I don’t regret being born and don’t regret that we dropped that bomb so my dad could come home. End of story.

and Over50:

No it was not wrong to drop the atom bomb on Japan. My father was flying B-29 missions and my father in law was in the infantry in the Pacific. Given the the anticipated casualties for invading Japan, if not for the bomb, I guess there’s a fair chance me or my wife and our kids would not exist.

and Robbins Mitchell:

Those who claim it was “immoral” or whatever for the US to nuke Japan are clearly unaware that Japan was also working on its own atomic bomb…named the “genzai bakudan”…they were receiving uranium oxide from the Germans and had a working reactor on the Korean peninsula….had we waited till fall to invade the home islands,that would likely have been long enough for them to perfect their own nukes and they would have most assuredly used them against the invasion force…which would have included my own father who was with a US Navy occupation team on Okinawa at the time

How many Atom Bomb families are there today who only got a chance to exist because President Harry S. Truman made the correct moral decision? A similar question could be asked regarding his role in supporting Israel’s creation. From “23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards“:

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20 Suggestions Should You Stumble Into an Online Argument About 9/11

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This article was originally published in two parts last year on September 13 and 14, recounting a discussion I’d engaged in on that year’s anniversary of 9/11. I hope you might find it useful as some of these ideas and arguments no doubt reemerge again tomorrow. Warning: just a few bits of profanity and sexually profane insults flung at me…

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