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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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40 Of My Favorite Listicles From Last Year

Sunday, March 30th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See the introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. Kyle Smith: The 6 Most Disgusting Horror Movies On Netflix Streaming That No Sane Person Should Ever Watch

46. Kyle Smith: 10 Amazing Criterion Collection Films On Hulu Every Sane Person Should See

45. Charlie Martin: 4 Weight Loss Myths Exposed

44. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

43. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

42. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

41. Leslie Loftis: The 5 Most Under-appreciated Female Heroes

40. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

39. John Boot: 5 Reasons Childish Liberals Love Their Hunger Games So Much

38. Bonnie Ramthun: 3 Reasons Why Teens Today Can’t Find Jobs

37. Kyle Smith: 5 Ways Democrats Mythologize JFK

36. Megan Fox: 9 Secrets to Keep Your Daughter From Becoming a Slut

35. John Boot: The 4 Big Lies That Ruined The X-Men Movie Franchise

34. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

33. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

32. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

31. Kathy Shaidle: Why The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest

30. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

29. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

28. Kathy Shaidle: Do These 3 Things To Own Your Name on Google’s First Page

27. Walter Hudson: 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause

26. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

25. John Boot: 6 Kids Films Filled With Green Propaganda

24. J. Christian Adams: How 7 Crappy Green Products Threaten To Annoy Your Family

23. Kathy Shaidle: 6 Classic Songs That Almost Didn’t Exist

22. Robert Spencer: 5 Ways Reza Aslan Lies About Christianity

21. Walter Hudson: How 6 Green Lies Threaten To Starve Your Family

20. John Boot: 5 Destructive Ideas Matt Damon Devotes His Movies To Promoting

19. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

18. Walter Hudson: 5 Ideas You Need to Escape Poverty

17. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

16. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

15. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

14. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

13. R.J. Moeller: 6 Wars of the 20th Century Dostoevsky Predicted

12. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

11. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

10.-1 ????? To be determined in the next 2 weeks…

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Writing a Letter to My Friend in Heaven Upon Receiving His Final Book

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle
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Dear Barry, Your book just arrived in the mail. You already know that, of course, now that you’re in Heaven, one with the Divine, and now enjoying life outside of time. It must be wonderful for you now, knowing how The Story turns out in the end. Now I’m remembering why I haven’t managed to do a more thorough article yet about what you’ve meant to me. It’s been almost two months now and I guess a certain part of me is still in the denial phase. At one level I just want to pretend you’re having a long break while going through a rough chemo treatment. But that’s not an option anymore. It never should have been. Those of us who you taught have a responsibility to continue your tradition of scholarship, writing, and activism. Time to get back to work now. with respect, David Swindle

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What Is the Best Tea? And Where Can I Get Some?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

What is the best #tea and where can I get some? A question I submit to the universe. #experiment

I’m going to begin the search and report on my results here at PJ Lifestyle. Where to begin to move beyond the basics of grocery store English Breakfast and Earl Grey? Leave you suggestions in the comments or get in touch with me via email.

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2 Facts About the Film Industry That Should Blow Your Mind

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

2 Facts About the Film Industry That Should Blow Your Mind. Via The #Hollywood Economist by Edward Jay Epstein #history #movies #books #ideas

  1. The Hollywood Economist
  2. America 3.0
  3. Hollywood Cartoons
  4. Intellectuals

In my grandparents’ generation about 80% of the country took in the same form of entertainment each week. Today, given the increase in more advanced entertainment options, it’s down to 10%.

Related, the Wall Street Journal on our level of television watching today:

Americans watched TV for two hours and 50 minutes a day, a second-straight increase from two hours and 44 minutes in 2010.

The ability to first influence and then seize control of a culture is predicated on being the first and then the best to master a new technology. In battles both of politics and in military conflicts the victory usually goes to the side with superior firepower that both understands the weapons they have and then has the will to use them.

So what’s next?

She snoozes so contently #maura #siberianhusky Loyal #dog

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35 of My Favorite PJ Lifestyle Listicles From Last Year (Ranked In Order)

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See the introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. Kyle Smith: The 6 Most Disgusting Horror Movies On Netflix Streaming That No Sane Person Should Ever Watch

46. Kyle Smith: 10 Amazing Criterion Collection Films On Hulu Every Sane Person Should See

45. Charlie Martin: 4 Weight Loss Myths Exposed

44. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

43. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

42. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

41. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

40. John Boot: 5 Reasons Childish Liberals Love Their Hunger Games So Much

39. Kyle Smith: 5 Ways Democrats Mythologize JFK

38. Megan Fox: 9 Secrets to Keep Your Daughter From Becoming a Slut

37. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

36. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

35. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

34. Kathy Shaidle: Why The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest

33. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

32. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

31. Kathy Shaidle: Do These 3 Things To Own Your Name on Google’s First Page

30. Walter Hudson: 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause

29. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

28. John Boot: 6 Kids Films Filled With Green Propaganda

27. J. Christian Adams: How 7 Crappy Green Products Threaten To Annoy Your Family

26. Robert Spencer: 5 Ways Reza Aslan Lies About Christianity

25. Walter Hudson: How 6 Green Lies Threaten To Starve Your Family

24. John Boot: 5 Destructive Ideas Matt Damon Devotes His Movies To Promoting

23. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

22. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

21. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

20. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

19. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

18. R.J. Moeller: 6 Wars of the 20th Century Dostoevsky Predicted

17. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

16. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

15.-1 ????? To be determined in the next 3 weeks…

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Awesome! Jackson Pollock’s Mural Now On Display at the Getty

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

April and I are definitely going to go and see this exhibit soon. We need to go to the Getty more often.

The painting’s creation was dramatized in the 2000 biopic Pollock, directed and starring Ed Harris:

Alas, real life is less exciting than fiction, as the LA Times reports, many layers of the painting would have made a single night’s creative burst impossible:

Doubts that Pollock painted the 20-foot canvas in one sustained burst of all-night creative fervor, which was central to the artist’s myth promoted by his widow, painter Lee Krasner, had been growing for some time — most cogently in the work of Pollock scholar Francis V. O’Connor. As I wrote on Monday, Getty conservators have now laid that myth to rest, showing through careful scientific and other analysis how it was virtually impossible.

I can’t wait to see it for real.

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30 Provocative Lists On Everything From Culture to History to Family to Terrible TV Shows

Sunday, March 16th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See the introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. Kyle Smith: The 6 Most Disgusting Horror Movies On Netflix Streaming That No Sane Person Should Ever Watch

46. Kyle Smith: 10 Amazing Criterion Collection Films On Hulu Every Sane Person Should See

45. Charlie Martin: 4 Weight Loss Myths Exposed

44. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

43. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

42. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

41. Walter Hudson: 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause

40. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

39. John Boot: 5 Reasons Childish Liberals Love Their Hunger Games So Much

38. Megan Fox: 9 Secrets to Keep Your Daughter From Becoming a Slut

37. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

36. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

35. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

34. Kathy Shaidle: Why The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest

33. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

32. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

31. Kathy Shaidle: Do These 3 Things To Own Your Name on Google’s First Page

30. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

29. J. Christian Adams: How 7 Crappy Green Products Threaten To Annoy Your Family

28. Walter Hudson: How 6 Green Lies Threaten To Starve Your Family

27. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

26. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

25. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

24. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

23. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

22. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

21. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

….

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Making Media Mischief? 40 Products and Books I Recommend For Inspiration

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Today's product post coming shortly...

This year at PJ Lifestyle we’re going to try and increase the number of products that we review. This is version 3 of an ongoing list of the best books and products for self-styled “new media troublemakers.” I’m going to try and publish new versions with more products and photos regularly. I’d say daily but don’t want to over-promise yet. I’ll TRY for daily (Monday-Friday) with more product suggestions and original photos… Have a product you want to see photographed and reviewed in this space? Send me an email: DaveSwindlePJM {@} Gmail.com

Seven Writing and Media Tools I Use Daily

1. Morning reading spot of choice (when Wife hasn’t commandeered it): Sumo Gigantor - reviewed here, and named “The Giant Tribble” for its furry resemblance to a notorious Star Trek villain. It serves as background for many book photos.

2. Tablet of choice: iPad, a tool I use throughout the work day…

3. Tablet case of choice: Snugg - reviewed here. Have a better one I should try?

4. zebra stylus pen - I like having a real pen on one end and a stylus on the other. I need to order ink refills.

5. Moleskine Journal - I strongly recommend writing by hand and this has become my journal of choice over the years.

6. iPhone for taking and uploading photos.

7. Instagram for sharing images quickly.

Two New Books I’m Enjoying Reading Now That I’ll Review More Thoroughly Soon:

What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House by Tevi Troy. #Book that just arrived I am excited to read and review! #history #freedom #America #siberianhusky

8What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted by Tevi Troy

On the reading agenda this morning: Lisa De Pasquale's debut book #FindingMrRighteous

9. Lisa De Pasquale’s debut book Finding Mr. Righteous

Three Of My Favorite New Books I’m Going to Reread and Write More About Soon:

Very excited to finally get to read Glenn Reynolds's brand new book! The New #School How the Information Age Will Save #American #Education from Itself

10. The New School by Glenn Reynolds

Was Islam manufactured just to unify the Arab empire? Politically incorrect questions... #history #religion #war #god #empire #secular

11. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Prof. Ronald Rychlak’s Disinformation 

12. Robert Spencer’s Did Muhammad Exist?

Twelve Library Books on my Mind of Late:

10 books on #art #culture #history #WaltDisney #BillandHillaryClinton and #EVIL on my mind today.

13. No One Left to Lie To By Christopher Hitchens

14. The Wisdom of Maimonides by Edward Hoffman

15. Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William H. Chafe

16. Escape from Evil by Ernest Becker

17. Walt Disney’s Fantasia by John Culhane

18. Walt Disney’s Animated Characters by John Grant

#maura and me Sunday #book reading, jogging, and lunch at the park. Wish Wife was here. #siberianhusky

19. The Hebrew Republic by Eric Nelson

11 books on culture, #art, #poetry personality cults, hate, racism, and #Paganism ancient and modern. Picked up as holds from the library Friday afternoon.

20. Break, Blow Burn by Camille Paglia

21. In Search of Bill Clinton by John Gartner

22. Timothy Leary: A Biography by Robert Greenfield

23. Antisemitism and the American Far Left by Stephen H. Norwood 

"Whenever a person is haughty, the #Divine Presence wails over him." - Maimonides, Commentary on Pirkey Avot quoted in Edward Hoffman's The #Wisdom of #maimonides page 46 juxtaposed with cover of Ann Coulter's case against #BillClinton

24. High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton By Ann Coulter

Where to Get the Best Deals on Books? Library Book Sales. For $20.50 I Got These Ten Last Weekend:

Yesterday morning at this month's library #book sale I spent $20.50 and acquired these 10 finds - all hardbacks, ranging in price from 1-2.50 each. #Apple #ForbiddenKnowledge #Film #hate #founders #dog #Jefferson #Washington #Hamilton The wife was disappointed there weren't as many art books this month. Maybe next time...

25. Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate by Neil Baldwin

26. The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald

27. George Washington collected writings

28. Thomas Jefferson collected writings

29. Alexander Hamilton collected writings

(I really made off like a bandit with getting these 3 Library of America collections for only $8. Brand new they’re about $75 and even used you’re lucky to get them for under $30 not counting shipping.)

30. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

31. What’s a Dog For? by John Homans

32. Film: An International History of the Medium by Robert Sklar

33. Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography by Roger Shattuck

34. Barry Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative

Six Movie, Music and Talk Radio Recommendations To Have On in the Background While Troublemaking:

What are the 5 best #disney animated films? I am counting down my picks. I have concluded that #Fantasia is the greatest film Disney ever made. Why? I will explain in a future article...

35. Walt Disney’s Fantasia on Blu Ray

I’ve gotten in the habit of just having it on in the background some days while working…

)

36. Oceania by the Smashing Pumpkins, which Chris Queen blogged through track by track last year, is still my favorite go-to album when I need to focus and work.

37. Songza for classical music while working and something more energetic while running the Siberian.

38. Early Morning Talk Radio Recommendation: 6 AM-9 AM PST on Am 870 – The Morning Answer with Ben Shapiro, Elisha Krauss, and Brian Whitman

39. Late Morning Talk Radio Recommendation: 9 AM- Noon, The Dennis Prager Show

40. Late Afternoon Talk Radio Recommendation: 3-6 PM The Ben Shapiro Show on KTTH 770

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Maybe you have a product that you’d like to see featured or reviewed? Everything from food to books to tech gadgets and accessories to Giant Tribbles is fair game. And if I’m not the one to review it then another of the PJ Lifestyle contributors might have the expertise. Please contact me: DaveSwindlePJM <@> Gmail.com

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6 Shocking Authors I Seek to Syncretize

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

6 Shocking authors I seek to syncretize together: #robertantonwilson #RobertSpencer #Maimonides #AnnCoulter #camillepaglia and #IonMihaiPacepa The #siberianhusky #maura is eager for her evening run.

Books photographed on the awesome sumo gigantor beanbag…

So when I asked today’s PJ Lifestyle daily question about the best way to read, it was wholly with practical intent. I don’t read one book at a time; I’m always aways into dozens. It’s because my goal for many years now as a writer and editor has been to smash together ideas and thinkers to try to develop new approaches that transcend the stereotypes of Left vs Right, Believer vs Secularist, Liberal vs Conservative.

Here are six very different authors who I focused on last year and will continue dissecting this year to try to find fresh connections. The books of each of them will shock you in totally different ways. I recommend reading them alongside one another.

1. Counterculture intellectual and sci fi novelist Robert Anton Wilson

Page 7 of the introduction to the play Wilhelm Reich in Hell:

#RobertAntonWilson defines scientism and it's soul-smashing consequences on page 7 of the introduction to his play Wilhelm Reich in Hell. #science #dogma #secularism #secular #atheism #god #religion #freedom #history

Page 221 of Volume 2 of Schrodinger’s Cat: The Trick Top Hat

"The real secret is that you're not a member until it's too late to get out." - #robertantonwilson page 221 of Volume 2 of #SchrodingersCat The Trick Top Hat #Illuminati #magick #occult #selftransformation

2. Counter-jihad activist and religious scholar Robert Spencer

Page 139 of Islam Unveiled:

Robert Spencer explains the truth about the Crusades on page 139 of #Islam Unveiled.

Page 63 of Did Muhammad Exist?:

Reminder: #Muhammad is as historical as #MickeyMouse and was invented for the same purpose... #empire. Page 63 of Robert Spencer's Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins #religion #history #God #truth #Christianity #atheist #secular

3. Former Soviet Spymaster and Hero Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa

Was Islam manufactured just to unify the Arab empire? Politically incorrect questions... #history #religion #war #god #empire #secular

Page 207 of Pacepa’s memoir Red Horizons

How #Marxist #criminal tyrants duped the naive liberals in the West with #disinformation and bogus defense figures. An excerpt from page 207 of Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa's mind-blowing memoir #RedHorizons , a book that can transform one's understanding of history. Pacepa is highest ranking defector from the Soviet Union. He was the spymaster for Ceausescu, dictator of Romania. He now lives in the US in hiding with a bounty still on his head, writing books and articles and responding to interviews via email. His understanding of the world is unique and his insights have been important influences as I've developed my book. #history #freedom #Pacepa

4. The #1 Conservative Columnist and Most Provocative Cable News Pundit Ann Coulter

Edward Hoffman’s The Wisdom of Maimonides page 46 juxtaposed with the cover of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton:

"Whenever a person is haughty, the #Divine Presence wails over him." - Maimonides, Commentary on Pirkey Avot quoted in Edward Hoffman's The #Wisdom of #maimonides page 46 juxtaposed with cover of Ann Coulter's case against #BillClinton

Page 56 of High Crimes and Misdemeanors:

A reminder of who #BillClinton, defining icon of #babyboomer liberalism, actually is. Page 56 of High Crimes and Misdemeanors by #AnnCoulter

5. Foundational Thinker of Western Civilization and Jewish Philosopher Maimonides

Page 35 of Hoffman’s The Wisdom of Maimonides:

"Undesirable traits are acquired through association with the wicked." - #maimonides page 35 of Hoffman's The #wisdom of Maimonides

6. Cultural Critic and Literary Theorist Camille Paglia

Page 66 of Sex, Art, and American Culturean essay collection from the early ’90s:

Camille Paglia explains how she differs from the prominent feminists today. Page 66 of Sex, #Art and #American Culture. #feminism #feminist #liberal #conservative #radical

Page xiv from the introduction to Break Blow Burn, Paglia’s analysis of 43 significant poems from Western Civilization:

"Art is a revelation of the interconnectedness of the universe." - Camille Paglia, xiv introduction to Break Blow Burn, her analysis of 43 great, classic #poems of Western Civilization. #art #culture #camillepaglia #Shakespeare #god #sacred

What connections do you see between these various excerpts featured today? And what other authors and books that you like should I add to my studies?

Question this morning: do you believe in angels? #religion #God #mystic #Happiness

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34 Tools of the Trade For New Media Troublemakers

Monday, March 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I am going to try hard to do a product review post each weekday. #ipad #writing goals #newmediatroublemaker

This year at PJ Lifestyle we’re going to try and increase the number of products that we review. This is version 2 of an ongoing list of the best books and products for self-styled “new media troublemakers.” I’m going to try and publish new versions of this list with more products and photos regularly. I’d say daily but don’t want to over-promise yet. I’ll TRY for daily (Monday-Friday) with more product suggestions and original photos…

7 Writing and Media Tools

1. Reading spot of choice (when Wife hasn’t commandeered it): Sumo Gigantor - reviewed here, and named “The Giant Tribble” for its furry resemblance to a notorious Star Trek villain. It serves as background for many book photos.

2. Tablet of choice: iPad, a tool I use throughout the work day…

3. Tablet case of choice: Snugg - reviewed here

4. zebra stylus pen - I like having a real pen on one end and a stylus on the other. I need to order ink refills.

5. Moleskine Journal - I strongly recommend writing by hand and this has become my journal of choice over the years.

6. iPhone for taking and uploading photos.

7. Instagram for sharing images quickly.

2 New Books I’m Enjoying Reading Now That I’ll Be Writing More About Soon:

What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House by Tevi Troy. #Book that just arrived I am excited to read and review! #history #freedom #America #siberianhusky

8What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted by Tevi Troy

On the reading agenda this morning: Lisa De Pasquale's debut book #FindingMrRighteous

9. Lisa De Pasquale’s debut book Finding Mr. Righteous

3 Of My Favorite New Books I’m Going to Reread and Write More About Soon:

Very excited to finally get to read Glenn Reynolds's brand new book! The New #School How the Information Age Will Save #American #Education from Itself

10. The New School by Glenn Reynolds

Was Islam manufactured just to unify the Arab empire? Politically incorrect questions... #history #religion #war #god #empire #secular

11. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation 

12. Robert Spencer’s Did Muhammad Exist?

12 Library Books on my Mind of Late:

10 books on #art #culture #history #WaltDisney #BillandHillaryClinton and #EVIL on my mind today.

13. No One Left to Lie To By Christopher Hitchens

14. The Wisdom of Maimonides by Edward Hoffman

15. Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William H. Chafe

16. Escape from Evil by Ernest Becker

17. Walt Disney’s Fantasia by John Culhane

18. Walt Disney’s Animated Characters by John Grant

#maura and me Sunday #book reading, jogging, and lunch at the park. Wish Wife was here. #siberianhusky

19. The Hebrew Republic by Eric Nelson

11 books on culture, #art, #poetry personality cults, hate, racism, and #Paganism ancient and modern. Picked up as holds from the library Friday afternoon.

20. Break, Blow Burn by Camille Paglia

21. In Search of Bill Clinton by John Gartner

22. Timothy Leary: A Biography by Robert Greenfield

23. Antisemitism and the American Far Left

"Whenever a person is haughty, the #Divine Presence wails over him." - Maimonides, Commentary on Pirkey Avot quoted in Edward Hoffman's The #Wisdom of #maimonides page 46 juxtaposed with cover of Ann Coulter's case against #BillClinton

24. High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton By Ann Coulter

3. Music and Talk Radio Recommendations While Troublemaking:

What are the 5 best #disney animated films? I am counting down my picks. I have concluded that #Fantasia is the greatest film Disney ever made. Why? I will explain in a future article...

25. Fantasia on Blu Ray

I’ve gotten in the habit of just having it on in the background some days while working…

26. Oceania by the Smashing Pumpkins, which Chris Queen blogged through track by track last year, is still my favorite go-to album when I need to focus and work.

27. Songza for classical music while working and something more energetic while running the Siberian.

28. Early Morning Talk Radio Recommendation: 6 AM-9 AM PST on Am 870 – The Morning Answer with Ben Shapiro, Elisha Krauss, and Brian Whitman

29. Late Morning Talk Radio Recommendation: 9 AM- Noon, The Dennis Prager Show

30. Late Afternoon Talk Radio Recommendation: 3-6 PM The Ben Shapiro Show on KTTH 770

Siberian Husky Supplies

A spoiled #siberianhusky #maura and her defeated #yoda #starwars toy this morning after a good run.

31. Yoda plush

3 Food Picks Today:

A late lunch: 2 cups of tea, #peanuts, #roastbeef, #salami #broccoli #banana #pitachips #pear #stringcheese

32. From the platter of my Trader Joe’s lunch today my perpetual favorite remains their pita chips. I’ll attempt more interesting selections in future photos.

33. 2 cups of Trader Joe’s English Breakfast tea.

34. Underrated Girl Scout cookies: lemon flavored Savannah Smiles.

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Maybe you have a product that you’d like to see featured or reviewed? Everything from food to books to tech gadgets and accessories to Giant Tribbles is fair game. And if I’m not the one to review it then another of the PJ Lifestyle contributors might have the expertise. Please contact me: DaveSwindlePJM <@> Gmail.com

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25 of My Favorite PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013

Sunday, March 9th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See the introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year — 3 on Saturdays, 2 on Sundays, followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

 

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. Kyle Smith: The 6 Most Disgusting Horror Movies On Netflix Streaming That No Sane Person Should Ever Watch

46. Charlie Martin: 4 Weight Loss Myths Exposed

45. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

44. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

43. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

42. Walter Hudson: 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause

41. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

40. Megan Fox: 9 Secrets to Keep Your Daughter From Becoming a Slut

39. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

38. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

37. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

36. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

35. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

34. Kathy Shaidle: Do These 3 Things To Own Your Name on Google’s First Page

33. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

32. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

31. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

30. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

29. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

28. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

27. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

26. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

….

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18 Books and Products I Recommend For Other New Media Troublemakers

Friday, March 7th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I'm going to start photographing more products to blog about. Please get in touch if you are interested in a review. Everything - books, tech, food, practical products.

This year at PJ Lifestyle we’re going to try and increase the number of products that we review. This is the start of an ongoing list of the best products for self-styled “new media troublemakers.” I’m going to try and publish new versions of this list with more products and photos regularly. I’d say daily but don’t want to over-promise yet. I’ll TRY for daily (Monday-Friday) with more product suggestions and original photos…

Beginning a new morning #reading routine with #siberianhusky #maura

Writing and Media Tools

1. Reading spot of choice (when Wife hasn’t comandeered it): Sumo Gigantor - reviewed here, and named “The Giant Tribble” for its furry resemblance to a notorious Star Trek villain

2. Tablet of choice: iPad, a tool I use throughout the work day…

3. Tablet case of choice: Snugg - reviewed here

4. zebra stylus pen - I like having a real pen on one end and a stylus on the other. I need to order ink refills.

5. Moleskine Journal - I strongly recommend writing by hand and this has become my journal of choice over the years.

6. iPhone

Recommended Books on my Mind of Late:

10 books on #art #culture #history #WaltDisney #BillandHillaryClinton and #EVIL on my mind today.

7. No One Left to Lie To By Christopher Hitchens

8. The Wisdom of Maimonides by Edward Hoffman

9. Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William H. Chafe

10. Escape from Evil by Ernest Becker

11. Walt Disney’s Fantasia by John Culhane

12. Walt Disney’s Animated Characters by John Grant

"Whenever a person is haughty, the #Divine Presence wails over him." - Maimonides, Commentary on Pirkey Avot quoted in Edward Hoffman's The #Wisdom of #maimonides page 46 juxtaposed with cover of Ann Coulter's case against #BillClinton

13. High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton By Ann Coulter

Very excited to finally get to read Glenn Reynolds's brand new book! The New #School How the Information Age Will Save #American #Education from Itself

14. The New School by Glenn Reynolds

#maura and me Sunday #book reading, jogging, and lunch at the park. Wish Wife was here. #siberianhusky

15. The Hebrew Republic by Eric Nelson

What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House by Tevi Troy. #Book that just arrived I am excited to read and review! #history #freedom #America #siberianhusky

16What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted by Tevi Troy

On the reading agenda this morning: Lisa De Pasquale's debut book #FindingMrRighteous

17. Lisa De Pasquale’s debut book Finding Mr. Righteous

Siberian Husky Supplies

Today #maura #siberianhusky got groomed and a new blue harness arrived in the mail. She's now tired after our evening run and has assumed her post guarding our patio and monitoring the comings and goings in her neighborhood. Yes, her #Yoda #StarWars doll with a crushed skull in shot.

18. Yoda plush

Food:

Am I the only one who has a fondness for sour fruit? #citrusjunky

Trader Joe’s is current source of photographed foods. Their minneolas didn’t blow me away — as their fruit rarely does — perhaps these on Amazon would be better?

Or maybe you have a product that you’d like to see featured or reviewed? Everything from food to books to tech gadgets and accessories to Giant Tribbles is fair game. And if I’m not the one to review it then another of the PJ Lifestyle contributors might have the expertise. Please contact me: DaveSwindlePJM <@> Gmail.com

Beginning a new series of product reviews. #siberianhusky #maura co-starring.

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How Conservatives Can Conquer Hollywood

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Dear Roger,

I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with two points from you piece last week, “How Conservatives Can Take Back (Some of) Hollywood for Oscar Time.” First, let’s take a look at where you place the goal posts for conservatives to aim:

But as you run your personal boycott of Hollywood, remember this. Almost everyone else you know — be it family, friends, business associates and, most especially, your children — is not. They are consuming Hollywood entertainment in mammoth gulps. And politics, as the late Andrew Breitbart said repeatedly (and he was far from the only one), is downstream of culture.

You give up Hollywood and you give up the country. Game over. And as we all know, it’s almost over already. Want that? Well, if you do, you can skip the rest of this article.

So… for those of you that are left… now more than ever is the time for conservatives and libertarians to take back at least some of the entertainment industry. Someone recently told me that Hollywood is like one of those football blowouts with a score of 90 for the liberals and 10 for the conservatives. We have to try to make it at least 70-30 (still a blowout, but there’s a glimmer of hope).

70-30? Come on. Settling for a pittance of the country’s entertainment industry is akin to aiming for a passing grade. Conservatives should proclaim bolder objectives with their efforts to enter the entertainment industry: to become billionaires and dominate the entire field through redefining it.

I’ve been studying and blogging on Walt Disney with Chris Queen here at PJ Lifestyle for over a year now to try to understand the secrets of his success. What did Disney do to make his name synonymous with a new art form? He innovated — a principle you as the co-founder of PJM know well. For Disney, his path — which is worth recounting visually since we can easily thanks to YouTube — made the first big splash with synched-sound cartoons in 1928:

Then Flowers and Trees, the first technicolor cartoon, in 1932:

Then Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length animated film, in 1937:

And after World War II then leaping to television and theme parks simultaneously, using one to support the other, with the Disneyland TV show in 1954:

Nowadays Disney’s TV and theme park divisions make much more money than the studio films. (BTW, from David P. Goldman, commenting on my Facebook: “Factoid: The market value of Disney Corp is larger than that of the whole Ukrainian stock exchange. So much for Marxists vs. Disney.”)

Conservatives should be looking to the future and to new mediums of entertainment. Humans are not going to amuse themselves by sitting around staring at screens forever. I still believe in the Breitbartian idea that the battle for the culture is more important than the fight over political ideology. Where I’ve changed is in realizing that there’s actually a force more important and powerful to affect and control. Culture is driven by technology. Movable type came before the Gutenberg Bible. Edison’s film camera came before Hollywood. The techniques of animation had to be discovered by Disney and his animators through years of experimenting with Silly Symphony and Mickey Mouse shorts before Snow White could be achieved.

So yeah, politics is downstream of culture. But technology has the power to carve the shape of the river itself.

And conservatives are even more behind when it comes to applying technology to winning elections. J. Christian Adams in the symposium last week spells out how now targeting the broad, mainstream culture isn’t even necessary for winning elections when it’s cheaper to churn out the base rather than work to persuade the undecideds:

Modern elections are all about energy. Energy wins. Period.

The left has developed an election data tool called Catalist. The GOP has no functioning counterpart.  This database allows leftist groups, the DNC, and the Obama campaign to activate the far left base in ways that were never before possible.

How do they do it?  They collect massive amounts of data about everybody.  What you read, what car you drive, what you said in a poll, everything. A consortium of leftist users pump data in, and a consortium of left-wing customers extract data.

The data about Democrat voters allow institutions to flip a switch and ensure a massive base vote.

So what does this have to do with Ted Cruz?

Democrats have realized that modern elections are won or lost by mobilizing the base, period.  Remember the treasured independent middle? Bah. Romney won them overwhelmingly but still lost the election.

The left swamped Romney using Catalist. Romney’s counterpart base mobilizer, “Orca,” crashed and burned on election day – literally. While Romney was spending one dollar to win one vote in the middle, Obama (using Catalist data) was spending a dime to get one vote in the base.

So the Romney campaign was doubly damned. They were outgunned technologically. But what were they shot with from all angles? Unrelenting images of Mitt the heartless corporate businessman, a symbol of the decadent 1%, lapped up by cultures and generations raised on the image of the evil executive. As I wrote about in the summer of 2012, “Why This Election Year America Is Carmela Soprano,” today people no longer know how to recognize good and evil in their leaders or entertainment. When Americans celebrate crooks at the movies they’ll surely vote them into office too.

How to counter this? What sorts of stories can get people to understand that evil actually often appears harmless or even noble to try to deceive you? With films of military tough guys fighting wars in lands most Americans can’t even locate on a map? I have another idea, and Sunday night’s Best Picture winner victory speech inspired me.

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20 Of the Best PJ Lifestyle Lists From 2013

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See last week’s introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year — 3 on Saturdays, 2 on Sundays, followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

 

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

46. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

45. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

44. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

43. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

42. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

41. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

40. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

39. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

38. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

37. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

36. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

35. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

34. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

33. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

32. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

31. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

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7 Photos of a Siberian Husky vs. a Giant Tribble

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

When I agreed to sample the Sumo Gigantor, I didn’t realize just what would arrive in a matter of days.

I’d hoped it might suffice as a nice, new beanbag for Maura, our Siberian Husky, and could go in the corner of my office at home.

But when the Gigantor arrived squeezed into a huge box and we emptied it out and put on the fur cover, the majesty of the product revealed itself: the whole family, all three of us, could fit on it together.

Now the Gigantor rests in the living room, having replaced the love seat in our sofa set, which has migrated to the office, kind of finally tying the room together, as The Dude would say.

The Wife has been on a huge Star Trek kick for a while now, thus we have christened the new furniture family member “the Tribble.” And April now monopolizes it with Muara when she’s home. It has become a cozy nest while she works on her master’s thesis.

The #siberianhusky #maura considers The Giant Tribble that has invaded our living room. A review coming soon of #Sumo Gigantor...

#siberianhusky #maura happy with new living room fixture.

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It took a little coaxing at first but Maura the Siberian Husky does now like to come up on the Tribble. Here we are together:

Maura and me sitting on the Tribble. #siberianhusky #maura

I find it to be wonderful during my early mornings. I get up at 4 a.m. and it’s a comfortable spot to read while I do my morning stretching and ease into the work day. (That’s before surrendering once The Wife wakes a few hours later.)

I’ve decided that for future photos of books and other products the gigantor will provide a great backdrop:

Beginning a new morning #reading routine with #siberianhusky #maura

We plan to get more gigantors when it comes time to expand the living room in the future. These are superior to sofas; they’re much more versatile for lying, sitting, or snuggling with a Siberian Husky.

The Tribble is huge.

Order your Gigantor here; they come in a variety of colors and covers.

The Tribble and the #siberianhusky #maura

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Do you have a product that you would like to see featured or reviewed at PJ Lifestyle? Contact me at DaveSwindlePJM@Gmail.com

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A 13 Weeks Challenge: Say More, Write Less

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

My new weekday morning writing plan. Inspired by friends... #writing #blogging #newmedia #pomodorotimer #organization

Dear Charlie,

I find it fascinating the way we all seemed to suddenly crash with our ambitious writing plans at about the same time. Is there just some invisible wave, a disturbance in the force to kind of throw off a whole bunch of PJ Lifestyle writers, myself included? It seems like the past few weeks we’ve all gotten sick or had life events of some kind throwing off our blogging routines.

Is this almost a seasonal occurrence perhaps? We’ll figure it out someday. You’ll probably come up with some way to run the data and pick up on some pattern.

[In my case, looking back now, I realize that my consistent, daily blogging stopped on February 3, when learning about Barry Rubin's death. That explains it more than I would've liked.]

But in the mean time, how about we hit the reset button? Now’s the time to start transitioning in the direction that I emailed you and the other PJ Lifestyle regulars about earlier this month: more and shorter posts.

I came to PJ Media almost three years ago with the hope of learning as much as I could from Roger L. Simon. One lesson that he taught and that I’m still pushing to focus on: Do not overwrite. It is a sign that we are not confident in what we are saying when we feel the need to explain excessively.

Make the point in as few words as possible. Roger the Oscar-nominated screenwriter informed the style of Roger the new media editor.

So I’m going to try and do more short posts and I’ll be doing so with the methods you’ve explored in your 13 weeks and organizational series with Sarah Hoyt:

  • Morning Pages – I’ll do free writing in my Moleskine journal each morning
  • Pomodoro timer – I’ll give it 25 minutes in the morning, after my morning reading and running, but before I start the day’s PJM editing.

To these tools I’ll add four New Media practices:

  • InstaGram – photographs of book excerpts
  • InstaGram – handwritten posts
  • Twitter – Current news stories that I tweet about are the seeds of blog posts
  • YouTube – Music, video, lectures – to illustrate and augment posts. Blogs work when they juxtapose image, text, and video.

I’m going to start trying to do at least a post a day, drawing from something in my morning writing pages. Everyday I’ll dive into the editing day with a strong idea in concept and then will be able to quickly assemble a short, juxtaposed blog post from my various media piles, hopefully using a timely story as a hook. Just one or two pages, 100, 200 words – 600 max. Blog posts are best when they’re like jabs in a boxing match.

And I’ve already gone too long. Damn it.

Charlie, you’ve been such a leader and inspiration at PJ Lifestyle. How about jumping in on this style too when you’re ready? All the subjects you’ve been doing so well – health, science, Buddhism, pop culture and book publishing, and feel free to explore more – just aim to up the quantity of posts and decrease the word counts in them. (Sarah, you’re invited too when you’re done finishing up your big writing projects.)

So here’s my new 13 Weeks challenge, for myself and others: during the week we aim to up the quantity of posts, with an emphasis on current stories in culture. Monday-Friday I’m going to aim for at least one post (under 600 words and no more than 2 pages) making one point well. Longer pieces can be saved for our new list-focused weekends and written at a more leisurely pace later.

How’s that sound?

- David

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15 Culture Lists You Don’t Want To Miss

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See last week’s introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year — 3 on Saturdays, 2 on Sundays, followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

 

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

46. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

45. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

44. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

43. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

42. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

41. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

40. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

39. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

38. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

37. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

36. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

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Why Peggy Noonan Is Dead Right In Diagnosing House of Cards‘ Decadence

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

A great Peggy Noonan blog post today hits the mark, “Our Decadent Elites“:  

Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines? Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them? “House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity. Or maybe they’re just stupid. But it’s all vaguely decadent, no? Or maybe not vaguely. America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars. Suggesting this perception is valid is helpful in what way?

Read the whole thing. April and I are six episodes in to the second season and I’ve grown bored with it. Real life is so much more interesting. Some of my tweets in protest:   

“Decadent” really is the correct word to describe the show and what it symbolizes: the cultural twilight of Baby Boomer Liberalism.

Last year I began analyzing Camille Paglia’s books and cultural criticism. More than 20 years ago she predicted what we’re seeing now. Here’s an excerpt from page 3 of Sexual Personae:

“Romanticism always turns into decadence. Nature is a hard taskmaster. It is the hammer and the anvil, crushing individuality. Perfect freedom would be to die by earth, air, water, and fire.”

Where sexual liberation is demanded will sexual cruelty inevitably follow?Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia, pg 3.

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The Prime Minister of Israel on Barry Rubin: ‘He Will Be Sorely Missed By Everyone Whose Life He Touched’

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Shared today on Barry’s Facebook page:

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What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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What can I say? The infamous, all-powerful “listicle” is a FORCE OF NATURE.

In the online eco-system just promise a list of some sort in the headline and watch the clicks come in. Everyone online with a brain in their head does it whether they’re peddling political commentary or bikini slide shows.

There’s no big secret about why list articles are so popular and effective: they provide order to the chaos. Out of the seeming infinity of ideas, these particular items have been selected and put into this particular arrangement for your debate and amusement.

My favorite lists are the ones where the items are actually ranked in some logical order. Then it creates a whole extra level of debate and discussion: which item is best or worse? How do we weigh which we want to praise? What qualities do we want more of in the world and ourselves?

In the coming months at PJ Lifestyle we’re going to begin shifting toward a weekend list article emphasis. While during the week we’ll continue to feature many quick posts and articles on the subjects of the day, the slower pace of the weekends lends themselves to the longer lists. So on weekends in addition to brand new lists, I’m going to republish our best lists from last year and also article-compilations-turned-list-posts. (For example: check out this 9-part dissection of House of Cards from Becky Graebner, published last week compiling and reformatting her articles from last year.)

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year — 3 on Saturdays, 2 on Sundays, followed by an update of this post here with the newest rankings. Of the 10 that I’ve republished so far, this seems like a good place to start to get the discussion going:

 

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

46. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

45. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

44. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

43. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

42. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

41. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

 

In ranking these articles that my friends and colleagues have written, I’m judging them in much the same way that I’d rank movies, books, hamburgers, or any other subjectively-quantifiable work. Obviously some articles will have inherent advantages based on the subject matter — Walter’s inspiring article on being a black conservative hits a bit harder than highlighting memorable comedies on Netflix. But that’s alright. Comedies, dramas, and fantasy epics all get nominated for best picture and judged together, so too it should be with our New Media genre of choice, the Mighty Listicle.

So what do you think? Which pieces do you like? What lists would you like to see in the future? What debates about everything from culture to entertainment to war and God need to be had through the magic of the list format?

How would you change my ranking of the articles? (Feel free to copy and paste and rearrange and if there are any from last year you want to petition for now is a good time to link to them. I’ve already assembled a list of my 50 favorites but there are certainly some I’m forgetting…)

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Our Bieber President Barack Obama: ‘I Can Do Whatever I Want’

Monday, February 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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Ben Wolfgang at the Washington Times today:

President Obama has taken heat recently for working around Congress whenever he thinks it necessary to, among other things, delay Obamacare mandates and trim immigration enforcement.

But the commander-in-chief on Monday boasted of how, as president, “I can do whatever I want.”

Mr. Obama made the tongue-in-cheek remark as he toured Monticello, the Charlottesville, Va., estate of Thomas Jefferson, with French President Francois Hollande. The visit is part of Mr. Hollande’s three-day stay in the U.S. this week.

The president delighted in his ability to “break the protocol” and view the Monticello grounds from a private terrace.

“That’s the good thing as a president. I can do whatever I want,” Mr. Obama said.

Richard Nixon in 1977:

At the Washington Post today, again the Obama administration breaks the law by delaying a key part of Obamacare:

The Obama administration announced Monday it would give medium-sized employers an extra year, until 2016, before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers.

Firms with at least 100 employees will have to start offering this coverage in 2015.

By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans’ campaign to make political gains in this year’s midterm election.

Even the nation’s largest employers got a significant concession: They can avoid a fine by offering coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent starting in 2016. Under an earlier proposal, employers with at least 50 employees would have been required to offer insurance, beginning 2015, to 95 percent of those who work 30 hours or more a week, along with their dependents.

At the New York Daily NewsMichelle Obama advises Justin Bieber’s mom to ‘be very present in his life right now’

The mother-of-two offered some advice for the pop star’s mom, Pattie Mallette, after Bieber has been involved in a string of questionable activities.

“I would be very present in his life right now,” she continued. “I would be probably with him a good chunk of the time, just there to talk, to figure out what’s going on in his head, to figure out who’s in his life and who’s not, you know.”

She added that the 19-year-old singer, who was recently arrested on DUI charges and may face sanctions associated with the egging of his neighbor’s home, is “still a kid, he’s still growing up.”

Obama, 50, spoke out about the troubled Canadian star in light of a current petition aimed at deporting him.

Again: welcome to single mom nation. Bieber is 19 years old. Obama is 52. Neither of them ever had fathers who taught them the difference between Good and Evil.

At the Hollywood Gossip last week: Justin Bieber, Father Deemed “Extremely Abusive,” Totally High on Private Plane Ride 

Sources tell NBC News that Justin and his dad were among a group of about 10 on a chartered, private plane ride for Canada to New Jersey and that father and son were “extremely abusive” to a flight attendant on board.

She actually had to take refuse in the cockpit to get away from their rude remarks and behavior.

Moreover, law enforcement officials allege that Bieber and company were smoking so much pot that the pilots had to don oxygen masks.

“The captain of the flight stated that he warned the passengers, including Bieber, on several occasions to stop smoking marijuana,” says the official report of the incident. “The captain also stated he needed to request that the passengers stop their harassing behavior toward the flight attendant.”

The stewardess in question has refused to work any future flights involving Justin or Jeremy Bieber.

America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

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RIP Barry Rubin: You Changed My Life and Your Ideas Will Change the World

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

barry-rubin

Sunday, posted on Barry Rubin’s Facebook page:

Friends,
We felt it important to tell you that Barry has been in a coma since Friday. Thank you for all the warm wishes these past few months, you have all been very thoughtful. Please keep him in your prayers. We will keep you updated.

This morning:

Friends,
To our great sadness, Barry passed away this morning. He was surrounded by his wife and children. Your love, support, and prayers have been greatly appreciated. There will be shiva and a funeral, details to follow soon.

I wrote about Barry’s impact on me this past August as part of a series of my most important intellectual influences:

Barry Rubin is PJ Media’s Middle East editor. For the last least three years, his Rubin Reports blog has served as the roadmap to the Middle East that I rely on the most. Written from the center of the storm in Israel, his typical columns are densely filled with facts and fascinating observations. Perhaps the crucial insight that I’ve gained from trying to keep up with Barry all these years — he tends to publish his loaded analyses very prolifically, not that I’m complaining! — is the depth of complexity to the Middle East. The game is not a chessboard between two sides, and there are rarely easy answers given that there are so many different actors on the field.

But Barry has gone out of his way, dedicated his life really, to trying to help people understand better the chaos in the Middle East. Recently he decided to GIVE AWAY 13 of his books. These titles of his are available in convenient online and downloadable PDF reading. It’s a lifetime’s worth of scholarship in the history and politics of the Middle East:

The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict

Assimilation and Its Discontents

Cauldron of Turmoil

Children of Dolhinov: Our Ancestors and Ourselves

Islamic Fundamentalism in Egyptian Politics

Istanbul Intrigues

The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East

Modern Dictators: Third World Coupmakers, Strongmen, and Populist Tyrants

Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran

Secrets of State: The State Department and the Struggle Over U.S. Foreign Policy

The Truth About Syria

Tragedy of the Middle East

(Barry describes this as his favorite of his books that he’s written. Thus it’s the next on my to-read list for him after the one I’ve already started, below.)

Hating America: A History

The first of this haul that I’ve decided to dive into is Hating America: A Historywhich Barry co-wrote with his wife (a practice Ron Radosh has also engaged in and which I hope to explore with my own wife someday).

As the above list of Barry’s titles shows, he jumps all over the place in trying to understand the many different angles of the Middle East. I confess: foreign policy was what dragged me into leftist activism and then fueled my shift to conservative activism, but it was Barry’s writing above all others that turned me into a full-blown foreign policy geek. Because of him I feel like I could pick up just about any book on a Middle Eastern country, culture or an individual and be interested and excited to learn from it. For that — and for much else — I’ve thanked him privately and now I do so publicly.

Before he died Barry completed two books that are set to be published this year. From Broadside Books on April 1, Adam Bellow’s extraordinary conservative imprint at HarperCollins (publisher of Ben Shapiro’s Primetime Propaganda, Rich Lowry’s Lincoln Unbound, and Dennis Prager’s Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph), comes Barry’s history of ideology in 20th century America: Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural DominanceAnd from Yale University Press, out on February 25, Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

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My friend Jeff Dunetz at his blog Yid With Lid this morning wrote about how he was similarly taught and inspired by Barry:

Professor Barry Rubin, is more than one of the great intellectual defenders of Israel, he was my teacher and a friend. When we first met,  it was Barry who taught me to change from being a frothing at the mouth lunatic to a thoughtful commentator. He taught me to discern the quality of information coming from the trash.  In 2009 when I was leading the charge against Chas Freeman’s nomination to a key Obama National security spot, It was Barry Rubin giving me advice on future steps.

Barry was a consummate teacher.  When he first took Ill, he made all of his scholarly books available for free online because he wanted people to be able to learn from him even after he was gone.

You can read Barry’s last two PJ Media posts, from January 21, here:

Why the Arab/Muslim World Is Trapped

Imagine All the People Living in Islamist Hegemony: Why Lennon and Dylan Know All About Islamist Hegemony

Did you know Barry? Do you have any memories to share about how he or his words touched your life? Please send me an email: DaveSwindlePJM [@] Gmail.com.

When I’m feeling less like a crushed tin can I’ll write about getting to know Barry over the years, how his writings changed the way I see the world, and how now that he’s gone I will continue to fight his battles for a world where Jew, Muslim, Christian, and people of all faiths live together peacefully in mutual respect and prosperity.

Updates: I’ll be linking to various reflections from colleagues. Here’s Patrick Poole at the PJ Tatler.

Updated 9:33 AM PST: Here’s PJM’s co-founder and editor emeritus Roger L. Simon: Barry Rubin: Conscience of the White City

Updated 12:11 PM PST: A really wonderful piece from Lee Smith at Tablet, hat tip to Yair RosenbergLearning from Barry Rubin, A Lifelong Teacher

Updated 3:20 PM PST: Sent along from David Gerstman, who says his own reflections are forthcoming:

Meryl Yourish
Elder of Ziyon
Israelly Cool (and follow the link to the Gettysburg story)
Phillip Smyth

Another follow up from Gerstman:

Dave,

Here’s Barry’s Facebook page from his 01/28/2013 Birthday

https://www.facebook.com/barry.rubin.75/posts/10151373324469801?stream_ref=10

A year and a week ago we all thought he was out of the woods.

Bookworm Room

Rick Moran at American Thinker

Updated 3:36 PST:

Ron Radosh: R.I.P.: Remembrances of My Friend Barry Rubin

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s 10 Immortal Film Performances

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Generation X has lost another of its greatest acting talents. Academy Award-winning star Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead at 46.

What makes the news even more tragic is how predictable — and preventable — it was. When my wife told me the news while we were driving home from buying groceries at Ralph’s this morning I had only one question: “Was it drugs?”

He was found with a needle in his arm.

Here’s the blog post I wrote by hand in June last year:

Hoffman left behind some of the last two decades’ most incredible screen performances. Here are my [personal and biased] picks for the ones that have made him a Hollywood legend, immortal and iconic. Counting down to his most important work:

10. 2009: The Count, leader of Pirate Radio

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Michelle Obama ♡ Kerry Washington

Saturday, February 1st, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 4, day 2 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

1. At The Daily Mail: ‘I love Kerry Washington, she’s amazing’: Michelle Obama admits to binge-watching Scandal during her last vacation

Ms Obama’s revealtion comes more than a year after the National Enquirer reported that the First Lady had banned Ms Washington from the White House because she was ‘too flirty’ with the President.

The First Lady was said to have had a ‘watch list’ of women that were to be kept away from her husband, including Ms Washington – despite her honorary post on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

A White House official told MailOnline that the story is ’100 per cent false,’ adding that Ms Washington is a keen Democrat and campaigned for Obama in the 2008 president race.

I previously blogged about Scandal and its connections to today’s political culture on January 24, Who Wants Barack Obama As Her Baby’s Godfather?, in response to a gossip story claiming that Washington sought the president to be her child’s spiritual guide:

Last week my wife April and I finished watching the first two seasons of Scandal on Netflix streaming. It’s a show popular among Washington D.C.’s progressives, kind of an Obama-era fantasy West Wing only since they already have their dream president in office this time around it’s a wimpy, corrupt, center-right Republican president. (Added bonus: among the main villains is a married and gay chief of staff who does most of the President’s dirty work.)

The show is a celebration of political amorality and conspiracy theory culture. In it Washington plays a scandal fixer who runs an elite firm of dedicated super-lawyers while she maintains an affair with the president. Throughout the seasons both she and the President and his henchmen commit crimes that should put them away in jail for life. There are no heroes — both “sides” are equally corrupt and criminal. In future PJ Lifestyle pieces I’ll begin exploring some of the themes in the show, explaining how it promotes nihilism, postmodernism, and conspiracism with entertaining plots and badass characters. It’s truly a show of the Obama era, perfectly in synch with what I’ve begun describing as Single Mom Nation. Perhaps some PJ Lifestyle contributors would like to join me in dissecting another dark show poisoning American culture?

President Obama is also notably a fan of the similarly themed, everyone-in-Washington-D.C.-is-evil-and-corrupt political drama House of Cards, whose second season starts this month on February 14.

The Obamas being such vocal fans of television shows celebrating amoral politicians and the women who pretend to love them wouldn’t be so troublesome if the president weren’t so connected to what should be career-ending scandals of his own in Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS targeting of politial opponents, and the Big Lies of Obamacare. The media has largely dismissed all of these stories — that they would have impeached Republican presidents over — as just racist conservative fearmongering thanks to the real-life Oliva Popes doing their magic behind the scenes and in the media. (Yes, I am talking about people like Valerie Jarrett, who is a real life version of the wheeler-dealer, reality-twisting character Washington plays on the show. Except in real life she’s more like the president’s mommy rather than his lover and also wields the federal government power of Scandal’s chief-of-staff antagonist Cyrus Beene.)

zap-callie-torres-cameron-tucker-and-waylon-sm-019 + picture-23 =

Jarrett and Obama

?

Does anyone doubt that the reason why the Obamas love these shows so much is because the characters fantasize about how they’d like to be similarly ruthless themselves?

At the start of a meeting with tech industry CEOs on NSA surveillance, Obama quipped “I’m just wondering if [Netflix CEO Reed Hastings] brought advance copies of House of Cards,” according to a pool video camera in the room.

As the CEOs laughed and joked that Obama should make a cameo appearance in the series, the president continued to praise the series, which revolves around a power-hungry House Majority Whip played by actor Kevin Spacey.

“I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient,” Obama said in his first public remarks on the show. “It’s true. It’s like Kevin Spacey, man this guy’s getting a lot of stuff done.”

And don’t forget that Obama has admitted to fantasizing about the suicidal criminal Democrat played by Warren Beatty in Bulworth.

It’s hard to just laugh off the cumulative effective of stories like these when you have news like this:

2.Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler: Report: Malik Obama, the President’s Brother, Funds Hamas

On Tuesday we noted that Malik Obama is President Barack Obama’s half-brother, but the two are very close. Malik Obama was best man at the future president’s wedding, and has visited the White House during the Obama years. We also reported that Malik Obama posted a photograph of himself on the Barack H. Obama Foundation website in which he is wearing a scarf emblazoned with calls for Muslims to destroy Israel.

Wearing a scarf is by no means the full extent of evidence that Malik Obama is anti Israel and supports its destruction. According to anti-terrorism activist Walid Shoebat, Malik Obama raises money through an Islamic charity organization, and uses that money to support Hamas.

Hamas is a designated terrorist organization by the United States Department of State, and has been since 1997. Hamas’ original foundational charter explicitly called for Israel’s destruction. Hamas continues to insist that it will make no agreements that recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas officials were quoted in Arabic-language media last fall saying that “no usurper has any right to a speck of dust” of the territory that Hamas believes belongs to Palestine, which includes all of present-day Israel.

Along with being president of the IRS tax-exempt Barack H. Obama Foundation, which the IRS’ Lois Lerner fast-tracked to tax-exempt status and illegally back-dated so the foundation and Mr. Obama could avoid legal trouble, Malik Obama is executive secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization. That organization collects funds and sends them directly to designated terrorists organization Hamas. The funding goes toward attacks and “martyrdom operations” — suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are out to lunch on the stealth jihad and collaborating on further suicidal policies, as ably highlighted by Ann Coulter’s column this week.

3. Ann Coulter: GOP Crafts Plan to Wreck the Country, Lose Voters

According the 2012 National Asian American Survey, as well as a Kaiser Foundation poll, only 40 percent of the general public holds a favorable opinion of Obamacare, 42 percent unfavorable. Meanwhile, 51 percent of Asians have a favorable opinion of Obamacare, 18 percent an unfavorable one. Even Koreans support Obamacare by 57 percent to 17 percent.

Overall, 69 percent of immigrants like Obamacare, according to a 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

That same survey showed that only 35 percent of native-born Americans support affirmative action, compared to 58 percent of immigrants, including — amazingly — 64 percent of Asians (suggesting they may not be as smart as everyone thinks).

See Leslie Loftis and Walter Hudson in response to this column this week at PJ Lifestyle:

4. Roger L. Simon: A Modest Proposal for Immigration Reform

So here’s my simple — call it simple-minded, if you want — solution, my modest proposal.  Illegal immigrants, assuming they have lived here for a decent period of time and have not committed a felony, can have amnesty, but they can NEVER be allowed to vote.  They can do anything else that is legal, but if they want to vote — or run for office or practice law in our country, as just happened in California — they must return home and go through the normal immigrant application process, however long that may take until they have citizenship.

This is a humane solution that does not make a complete mockery of the rule of law (only a partial one).  You can live a satisfactory life without voting.  Many who have the right to vote don’t bother anyway.  (In 2012, only 57.5% of eligible voters voted in the presidential election.  Many fewer voted in other contests.)  It’s up to the individual illegal immigrant here:  He or she can enjoy the privileges of U.S. citizenship without voting or go home and wait in line.

This takes political motivations off the table in immigration policy and allows it to be about the lives of the people themselves, not the advancement of politicians and their parties.  If our Democratic friends mean what they say about their “compassion,” they should have no objection. If they do, they simply expose themselves as political opportunists with no real interest in the welfare of what they euphemistically choose to call “undocumented workers,” only in creating a voting bloc.

I think it’s a great idea. Walter Hudson’s arguments are also very thoughtful.

5. Bridget Johnson Here at PJM: Intel Chairman: White House Must ‘Strongly Confront’ Russia Over Apparent Violation of Nuclear Treaty

Do you have Bridget on your #ReadEverythingTheyWrite list yet? Are you following her on Twitter? She consistently reports on the most important of stories that all too often do not get the attention their subjects warrant. Here are two.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Russia’s apparent violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces  Treaty could thrust relations with the former Soviet Union back toward the Cold War era.

The New York Times cited anonymous U.S. officials as saying Russia has been testing medium-range nuclear missiles since 2008. Washington has reportedly brought up the issue with Russia several times and is now taking its concerns over compliance to NATO.

“News reports indicating Russia is in violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty are deeply troubling. The signing of that treaty in 1987 by President Reagan and Secretary Gorbachev, marked an historic turning point in the Cold War, and stood as the pillar of our post-Cold War relations with Russia,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

“Over the past year I have met with intelligence and policy officials to assess the intelligence surrounding the apparent Russian violation, and to urge the Administration to strongly confront the Russians and to keep our Allies informed. Russia has been pursuing a troubling and aggressive ramp up of military and intelligence capabilities in recent years,” Rogers continued. “The apparent violation of this treaty would put our allies at risk and be a major step backward in our post-Cold War relations.”

6. Bridget Johnson Here at PJM : Iran Could Have Enough Fuel for Four Bombs by July Under Administration’s Deal

WASHINGTON — President Obama heartily defended his nuclear deal with Iran at the State of the Union, vowing to veto a sizable bipartisan movement in Congress to keep sanctions pressure on the Islamic Republic.

“For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” Obama said, getting not as much applause as he may have hoped from the joint session.

The morning before he took the dais, though, a congressional panel heard that Iran has fully retained its ability to build a nuclear bomb that could be cranked out in as little as two months under the terms of the much-touted P5+1 agreement.

Gregory Jones, senior researcher of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittees on the Middle East and North Africa and Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade that the Obama administration has engaged in “mischaracterization of the deal’s benefits and the denial of the deal’s great flaw.”

“President Obama has said that the deal has ‘cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb,’” Jones said. “This is not true. Before the current nuclear deal, Iran could produce the highly enriched uranium — HEU — for a nuclear weapon in just six weeks. Over the next six months, the joint plan of action will increase this interval only slightly to eight weeks.”

7. AP, Hat tip AH: US prosecutors seek execution of marathon suspect

Seventeen of 30 charges against Tsarnaev carry the possibility of the death penalty, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

The 20-year-old Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty.

8. Brandon McGinley at Acculturated: How Gawker Promotes Rape Culture

In college, I thought rape culture was just another scary phrase made up by feminists further to guilt and to demonize men.  And then I found out a friend had been raped.  And then I heard about more people who had been victimized by thoughtless sexual boundary-crossing.  And then I realized that what I had already identified as a culture of male sexual entitlement was essentially the same thing that feminists call rape culture.

Now, there is a danger in defining a concept like rape culture so broadly that it collapses into meaninglessness.  Men taking up too much space on the subway is not rape culture.  But the purposeful transgressing of perceived sexual boundaries?  You bet.

This is especially true when we consider the muted reaction to Cook’s outburst.  No mainstream condemnation.  No even mild tut-tutting from anyone but a few conservative commentators.  No realization that this was a pristine example of a trend that was all the rage only a week ago: the dangers of being a woman writer on the Internet.

9. Religion News Service: Can atheists be spiritual? Sam Harris reignites long-running debate

Sam Harris, author of books like The End of Faith and one of the so-called “Four Horsemen of New Atheism,” has just announced his next book—ressurecting a long-running debate among atheists.

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, set to be published in September, will explore nonreligious spirituality. In 2012 Harris wrote that his goal for this book was “to write a ‘spiritual’ book for smart, skeptical people — dealing with issues like the illusion of the self, the efficacy of practices like meditation, the cultivation of positive mental states, etc.”

With Waking Up‘s impending publication, many in the atheist community will debate whether it makes sense for atheists to use the word spirituality. But this isn’t the first time this question has come up in recent years.

10. Hat tip SLM Goldberg, at The Forward‘SermonSlam’ Teeters on Edge Between Earnest and Cool -Trendy Jewish Spoken Word Hits Brooklyn Synagogue

Twenty-five-year-old Yaelle Frohlich’s winning performance — a religious take on Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” — told the story of a woman who wakes up one morning with the words “Holy to God” emblazoned on her forehead.

 

PJ Media Story Round Up

Lead PJM Stories

Bridget Johnson: White House Faced with Increasingly Likely Prospect that Assad Will Violate Deal

Make Employer-Based Insurance Taxable? Surprisingly, the Right Solution

Positive Environmental Report Means Admin Would Need Other Rationale to Kill Keystone

School Testers Earn an F

Claudia Rosett: Her Ladyship Marks Holocaust without Mentioning Jews

Port Authority Official Says Christie Knew About the Lane Closings

Alexander, Scott Unveil Bills to Redirect Funds into School Choice

PJTV’s Trifecta on ‘Executive Lawlessness: Obama’s Weapons of Political Intimidation’ (Video)

VIDEO: What Constitutes Reasonable Definitions of Lawlessness, Dictatorship, and Tyranny?

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page

Where Does the Left vs. Right Fight Come From?

Obama’s Great Jewish Conspiracy That Isn’t

Strength vs. Endurance: Why You Are Wasting Your Time in the Gym

pjlifestyle

New at PJ Lifestyle

Saturday

8 Ways to Fight Morning Sickness

The 12 Best San Fernando Valley Sunrises From January 2014

Friday

In the Role of Lex Luthor… Jesse Eisenberg?

Feathered Friday: If You’ve Never Met a Kakariki, You Should

Cute Animal Video: ‘Little Puppet Made of Pine, Awake. The Gift of Life is Thine.’

Book Plug Friday: Girl Genius Vs. Tor

Music for My Dad’s Guitar

Where Does the Left vs. Right Fight Come From?

The Enemy in the Classroom

2 Mysterious Shots of the Sunrise in the San Fernando Valley This Morning

Thursday

A Florida Sunset For Your Birthday

Boycott, Divestment & ScarJo: Pop Culture Questions #BDS

Why Would Someone in Colorado Keep Buying Weed Illegally?

Disney Parks From The Air Over The Years

How Not to Turn Into The Shining This Winter

Obama Plays SOTU Lip Service to Equality

Wednesday

How Could Google Become More Evil?

Dallas Buyers Club Could’ve Used More Hollywood

Forget LBJ’s ‘Daisy’ Ad. Watch Goldwater’s Campaign FilmChoice

tatlerlogo

New at PJ Tatler

Academic Poison: Professor Says Bin Laden Was A ‘Freedom Fighter’ In Required Textbook

Why on Earth Is Jeb Bush Still ‘Undecided’ on a 2016 Run?

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

Coburn, King Want to Sack NFL’s Tax Exemption

New Evidence that Should End the Race-Based Epistemic Closure of the Progressive Mind

If a Man Used the Word that Wendy Davis Used, Wendy Davis Would Probably Sue Him

Obama’s High School Pot Dealer Murdered Over ‘Flatulence’

Is This the Most Offensive Line in Obama’s State of the Union Address?

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

Priebus Urges GOPs to Stay Off MSNBC Until Network President Apologies for Tweet

Holder Confirms Obama Ready to Use Executive Order on Guns ‘in Absence of Meaningful Action’ by Congress

N.Y. Congressman Tells Capitol Reporter ‘I’ll Break You in Half’

From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists

stephengreen-2089051541

From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,

That’s a Feature Not a Bug

Another Big Lenovo Deal

Neanderthal Style

Sign “O” the Times

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

Another Body Blow for Nintendo

Who Do You Fear?

More Wargaming the Senate

Required Viewing

More News You Can Use

The Taper Tapers

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

Excuses, Excuses

Drunkblogging the State of the Union

eddriscoll-2089893401

From PJM’s San Jose Editor Ed Driscoll

Two Atlantics in One!

The Mini-Holodomor, Sacramento-Style

The Dangerous Men of New York Politics

Arrivederci, American Dream

It Takes a Potemkin Village

Quote of the Day

The Lie that Hangs over the State of the Union

Andrea Mitchell: Iran Really Dug the US Until W.

Just NBC the Hack Work

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