The website features delicious-looking high-quality jerky and a pint of dark beer. Unfortunately, it also has a word illusion. Uncle Andy’s Jerky is a craft jerky company based in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The website features photos of high-quality ingredients and an appealing small-business model:
The vision for Uncle Andy’s Jerky was born late in the Fall of 2012 with a credit at a local hardware store. Never having been a fan of jerky, Andy used the store credit for a meat slicer and decided to try to make batch of his own. Combining his favorite aspects of different jerky’s to create the first 4 flavors. Inspired by the craft beer industry, Uncle Andy’s Jerky continued to experiment and evolve, exploring the possibilities of what jerky can be.
I learned about Uncle Andy’s Jerky because it was featured in the latest issue of Country Living.
Notice the URL. Uncle Andy’s Jerky dot com. Or is it?
A child looking at the magazine with me noticed it was actually Unclean D-Y-S Jerky. That’s right, unclean jerky.
Holy bad website startup choices Batman, especially for a product like dried meat. We couldn’t stop laughing.
I reached owner Andy Hanenburg by telephone to ask him about Unclean Jerky.com. “Yeah, we just never saw it,” he told me. He had clearly faced this question before. Hanenburg was a good sport about the whole thing. “Country Living even put in the wrong URL. We have a dash now — its uncle-andys-jerky.com.” The email for the company still uses the old Unclean DYS Jerky.com domain. “It’s just easier to say,” Hanenburg noted.
Children can see the hidden things. Take the logo for FedEx…
When young children are asked what they see, many see an arrow. Yep, an arrow. See it right there between the “E” and “x”?
Children see unclean jerky and arrows where adults do not.
So if you’re looking for some craft jerky, be assured, Uncle Andy’s is clean. They’ve added a dash of dashes.
The influence of the Beatles on the culture of the 20th century, and beyond, is second to none. Even 50 years after most Beatles songs were released, dozens continue to play daily in every United States radio market, on television, and in movies. Anyone who doubts the extent of the cultural impact of the Beatles should read this Daniel Levitin piece in the Guardian. He provides a haunting image of a world most of us will never see:
One hundred years from now Beatles songs may be so well known that every child will learn them as nursery rhymes, and most people will have forgotten who wrote them. They will have become sufficiently entrenched in popular culture that it will seem as if they’ve always existed, like Oh Susannah, This Land Is Your Land, and Frère Jacques.
There will simply never be another Beatles. The Beatles arrived in that 40-year window when electronic media encircled the globe and allowed an act to penetrate every corner of world culture, but also arrived before the fragmentation of culture that the internet has caused.
“Hey Jude,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Love Me Do,” and “Let It Be” surely top the list of tunes universally recognized and with cultural longevity as extensive as anything ever produced. But what Beatles songs are underrated and rarely heard? People forget about how small the Beatles catalog is. Essentially thirteen stand-alone albums of original material exist, in addition to some single compilations, remasters and outtake anthologies. Of those thirteen albums, there are great underrated songs we rarely, if ever, hear. Scott Greenstein, are you listening?
Note, nothing appears below from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band because nothing about that album could be considered underrated.
10. “And Your Bird Can Sing” (Revolver, 1966)
The swirling guitar duel between McCartney and Harrison sounded like little else in 1966.
Before the Academy Awards ceremonies, we see lots of lists — best movie ever, best movie by decade, and so on. But after Hollywood’s big night, the lists go dark. To brighten things up, here are the six absolutely worst, ever, Best Picture winners. I’ve seen them all, and though they might have been Best Picture on Oscar night, these are stinkers:
6. The Lost Weekend (1945)
Before The Lost Weekend, moviegoers hadn’t seen sloppy drunkenness on the big screen. Billy Wilder’s binge more than made up for two decades of big-screen sobriety. By the end of the movie, you’ll want to get on the wagon. What carried such shock value in 1945 is a long, boozy bore.
This summer Rush launches the R40 tour celebrating 40 years as a band. The Canadian trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, years after other acts like ABBA, Jefferson Airplane and Grandmaster Flash were inducted. Unlike those era-centric acts, Rush has 24 Gold, 14 Platinum and three multiplatinum albums spread across 40 years. Their most recent studio album, Clockwork Angels, debuted at #2 on Billboard’s 200 album chart in 2013. Only the Beatles and Rolling Stones have more consecutive gold and platinum albums.
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart have been producing music since they they first took the stage together at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in August 1974. Peart was the new guy in the band then, but has since become its voice, penning lyrics that made hipster critics cringe – touching on, in chronological order – Tolkien, male baldness, the Solar Federation, starship Rocinante, forced equality of outcome, FM rock, automobile bans, Space Shuttle Columbia, concentration camps (Lee’s parents survived Auschwitz), Enola Gay, China, clever anagrams, chance, AIDS, the internet, expectations shattered by 9-11, more expectations shattered and finally, carnies. It’s hard to find a list of rock’s greatest drummers that doesn’t include Neil Peart.
Over the decades, hipster critics praised acts like Elvis Costello, Tom Waits and the Talking Heads while they mocked Rush. But 40 years later, Rush fills arenas and tops album charts, forever reinventing a sound that defies categorization. It’s just Rush.
This summer, you can catch Rush in hockey arenas as well as lots of outdoor venues starting May 8. Here’s a PJ Lifestyle ranking of the six most important (and best) Rush albums.
6. Roll the Bones (1991)
Roll the Bones is the album where Rush got its groove back. The first Rush album to hit the Billboard Top 5 since Moving Pictures (eventually going Platinum) Roll the Bones marked the end of a ramble through the electronic wilderness where the songwriting and the sonic grandeur returned. After Moving Pictures in 1981, Rush released a series of roaming (yet often very good) albums dabbling or drenched in synthesizer and driven by aural tones rather than raw guitar energy. Grace Under Pressure, for example, was a very good, but very alienating work. By the time Hold Your Fire was released in 1987, the biggest rock power trio was drowning in synth. Presto in 1989 broke free from the trend with excellent songs that were shrunken by timid production. It was Roll the Bones where it all finally came together.
“Dreamline” received massive radio airplay in an era when massive radio airplay mattered. “You Bet Your Life” is about how everyone rolls the bones on their life, they take their chances and either win or lose. “Heresy” might be the only rock song about the fall of Soviet Communism:
The counter-revolution/ at the counter of a store/ people smiling through their tears/ who can given them back their lives/ and all their wasted years?
The album is simply filled with good songs, period.
Highlights: “Dreamline,” “Bravado,” “The Big Wheel.”
We travel in the dark of the new moon
A starry highway traced on the map of the sky
Like lovers and heroes, lonely as eagle’s cry
We’re only at home when we’re on the fly, on the fly
Patriots partisans are deflating the deflation controversy by arguing that their impermissible deflation of the footballs wasn’t what allowed them to beat an overmatched Colts team. Perhaps. But a new statistical analysis reveals that if it weren’t for deflation of the footballs, the Patriots might not have even been playing a series of home playoff games as the top seed. Careful analytics reveal that suddenly in 2007, a strange and statistically impossible phenomena began to occur at Patriots games. (fumbles, fumbles lost, and more).
Sharp Football Analysis has a statistical analysis that backs up the conclusions of football legends Fran Tarkenton and Jerome Bettis: the Patriots’ success over the last decade is due in some (or large) part to cheating. This is bad news for the NFL and for fans of every team that has been on the losing end of Patriot schemes, particularly the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were denied multiple trips to the Super Bowl by the Patriots in AFC Championship games during the height of the first Patriot videotape cheating scandal.
Sharp Football Analysis analysis looked at the rate of fumbles by the Patriots offense over the last decade. The analysis had a number of shocking conclusions. First, the Patriots fumble only at a rate of once every 187 offensive snaps. As Sharp’s puts it, this is literally off the charts. It is a statistical outlier right from a statistics textbook.
Sharp Football Analysis:
One can CLEARLY SEE the Patriots, visually, are off the chart. There is no other team even close to being near to their rate of 187 offensive plays (passes+rushes+sacks) per fumble. The league average is 105 plays/fumble. Most teams are within 21 plays of that number.
The odds of such a statistical distribution were calculated at one in 16,233. That’s a comma, not a decimal. Sixteen thousand two hundred and thirty three to one.
Patriots partisans might crow — well, what good does deflating a football do? Simple. It creates angles on a football that didn’t exist when playing by the rules and allows a runner, passer, center, and, most importantly, a quarterback to better grip the ball. With the avoidance of turnovers being so central to winning football, a deflated football helps you win.
But it gets worse for Brady and the Patriots. Sharp Football Analysis was able to trace the emergence of this phenomena to a bright-line date: 2007. Starting in 2007, the Patriots suddenly began to hold onto the football at a statistical rate likely to occur 1 time in 16,233. A rational person might conclude this is the moment when someone on the Patriots cooked up the scheme to illegally deflate the ball:
As you can see, the Patriots won their Super Bowls having a below average rate of fumbles lost given today’s average of 105 plays/game. But in 2007, something happened to propel them to a much better rate (you’ll remember, that just so happened to be the same year they went 16-0 in the regular season). But even looking at these numbers, its clear how insane the 187 number is: they are almost running 100 MORE plays without a single fumble as compared to the 2002-2006 period when they won 2 of their 3 Super Bowls.
To further illustrate how these numbers are astonishing, the below graphics lay out clearly how far off the Patriots are from the rest of the league. Its evident to the eye how far removed they are from the norm. Whether we look at a histogram laying it out, where the Patriots and their 187 plays/fumble is far from the “bell shaped curve”:
When you consider that the Patriots play in cold, messy weather much of the season, having an advantage that visiting teams do not have creates even further separation from the rest of the NFL on game day in New England. The Pats have performed like a domed team in the worst of conditions.
Could the Patriots be so good that they just defy the numbers? As my friend theorized: Perhaps they’ve invented a revolutionary in-house way to protect the ball, or perhaps they’ve intentionally stocked their skill positions with players who don’t have a propensity to fumble. Or perhaps still, they call plays which intentionally result in a lower percentage of fumbles. Or maybe its just that they play with deflated footballs on offense. … But regardless of what, specifically, is causing these numbers, the fact remains: this is an extremely abnormal occurrence and is NOT simply random fluctuation.
Unlike Barry Bonds and other baseball cheaters, Brady and Bill Belichick are certain to wind up in the Hall of Fame someday. But they’ll never be able to escape from the data that will follow them there.
[Update: in response to the comment below -- each team in the NFL uses their own chosen balls while on offense. Sometimes these balls even have the logo of the team on them. Thus, the advantage would NOT flow both ways.]
Editor’s Note: This article was first published as “8 Great Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Children“ in 2012 and is now resurrected and republished as part of the Ghost-Lists of Christmas Past Series.
It’s late in the holiday shopping season, and you are short on ideas for that child, nephew, niece or grandchild who loves to read. As someone who has perused quite a number of books for kids, I can tell you that there are good ones and bad ones – and I don’t mean quality. While some of the bad ones are obviously bad, sometimes it is not so clear. So here are eight PJ-approved gifts for kids, while there is still time to get them:
1. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.
This is probably the most beautiful children’s book I have ever read. It is the story of Jewish immigrants to the United States and tells the tale of an article of clothing owned by those immigrants turned into a quilt passed down one generation to the next. It is a story of traditions, family, goodness, celebration and America.
A video shows what Toronto Maple Leaf fans do with the Star Spangled Banner after a microphone malfunction.
Big Country rocketed up the charts on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1980s with a very big sound. They were nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1984 (Best Rock Group, Best New Group). They joined other monster acts in playing Live Aid in 1985. “In a Big Country” and other songs still receive regular rotation on multiple SiriusXM channels and the band is considered one of Scotland’s best live acts. The sound of Big Country matches the name – soaring, enduring, expansive.
PJ Lifestyle had the opportunity to interview Bruce Watson, the group’s guitarist and one of the founding members.
PJ: You are starting a tour this fall that commemorates the 30th anniversary of Steeltown. You have dates all over the UK — Manchester October 31, London November 28, along with Squeeze at Weyfest this coming weekend. What can people expect on this tour?
Watson: It’s the 30th anniversary of the release of Steeltown back in 1984. So we are doing gigs all over this coming fall. We will play most of the songs off Steeltown, then take an intermission and then come back out and do a lot of the older catalog. We are mostly doing weekend festivals. We just travel up and down the country.
PJ: In preparing for this interview, I talked to my friend Jim Dispirito who did the drumming for Rusted Root. I learned about a quote regarding touring — “the road is a very hard place for an active mind.” Did the band, or particularly Stuart Adamson, experience that?
Watson: We’re the kind of band that never really writes on the road. There’s a lot of down time and we do tend to read a lot. It’s not like you can sit in the bus and write songs. Every day, your day is mapped out. You have to be at the venue for sound check. Then the show, back to the hotel, get as much sleep as you can and then do the same thing the next day. It’s Groundhog Day. It’s very hard to write songs.
Dejan Kovacevic has this poetic and wonderful piece at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on the passing of Chuck Noll, the greatest NFL coach, ever.
Noll won not just by being the greatest coach in football history, with all due nods to Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, Don Shula, Bill Belichick and all others whose ring count is lower than four. He did so by being the quintessential Pittsburgher.
But Kovacevic’s piece isn’t about comparing the greatness of NFL coaches against each other. It’s about describing the greatness of a man, an introspective, brilliant and understated man who saved a city.
Saved a city?
If you don’t see a correlation there, chances are excellent you don’t have first-hand familiarity with what truly made those Steelers of the 1970s so Super.
It was a terrible time. The steel mills that employed nearly half the city were closing en masse. The surrounding businesses were failing with them. Pittsburghers were out of work, out of luck and, soon, out of town: From 1970-80, the city’s population was slashed by 96,179, per the U.S. Census. Almost 20 percent! Some fled for the D.C. area and government jobs, others for new economies in the South and West, others just for sanity’s sake.
We were Beirut without the bombs, Chernobyl without the radiation. . . . This was just how it was going to be, they’d say. Pittsburgh had its time. Now that was done.
Crazy thing would happen every Sunday during football season, though.
Yeah, on those days, all was well. Because Pittsburgh ruled.
Kovacevic is right. On Sundays during football season, a city stopped and witnessed an amazing run of four Super Bowls in just six seasons – a feat that no team is ever likely to match again. It wasn’t just that the Steelers had a swarm of Hall of Famers starting – Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, the ferocious headhunter Jack Lambert, Mel Blount and Joe Green – and more. They also had a coach who was unlike any other. They had a coach who tapped the best in players and called them to find the purpose of their life, even if it wasn’t football.
If the stories of President Obama swapping five Taliban detainees for the possible deserter/traitor Bowe Bergdahl still have you nauseous, here is a book that tells the story of American servicemembers who didn’t leave their post. Valor: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front (Taylor, 2014) introduces America to the people who represent the best of the military.
From the jacket:
Criminal and ethics investigative attorney Greenblatt provides nine compelling tales of the bravery of U.S. military personnel facing extreme duress and mortal danger. The author uses insightful interviews with each subject to supply details of the background and motivation that enabled these marines, sailors, and soldiers to prevail in grave life-and-death situations. Voices range from a hard-hitting marine who volunteered to piggyback an injured ‘brother’ through an Iraqi insurgent shoot-out to an inexperienced army specialist in Afghanistan whose determination and quick thinking prevented an ambush on his base—even after he sustained a devastating injury. Many of these stories have received relatively little publicity. The author explains that it was his desire to demonstrate that the men and women of today’s armed forces possess courage and selfless character comparable to military heroes of the past.
Valor doesn’t contain any stories of servicemembers reaching out to the Taliban, walking off posts or playing badminton with the enemy. The Amazon link is here.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in January of 2013 as “7 Crappy Products, Courtesy of the Green Movement.” It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months… Click here to see the top 25 so far and to advocate for your favorites in the comments.
In the good old days, consumers got what they wanted. Supply and demand, not causes or ideology, governed product design and manufacturing. That’s why we have great American icons like the 1969 Chevy Camaro, the charcoal-burning Weber grill, and DDT.
But things have changed. The Green Movement’s worship of scarcity has changed the consumer landscape for the worse. Instead of big, powerful, and, most importantly, effective products, in 2012 consumers must suffer with pansy products. Sure, they are designed to save energy and make you feel good. But they just don’t work as well as the old, and usually cheaper, versions.
Below are seven crappy products we must endure, courtesy of the Green Movement.
1. Low Water Toilets
Any article with the headline above must start with low water toilets. Many of you will remember an age before the government decided water was scarce, when toilets could be counted on. In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, and President George Bush signed it. It mandated a maximum flush capacity for toilets. Naturally, the 1992 version of the Green Movement was behind the law, and behind the Republican sponsor – Representative Philip Sharp of Indiana. Since Bush signed Sharp’s legislation, plunger sales have sky-rocketed. Sharp’s bad idea has caused some of the most embarrassing moments of people’s lives, especially when they are visiting someone else’s home.
More proof of Karma: Tommy Christopher has been fired at Mediaite according to the Daily Caller.
For the many who don’t know who Christopher is, he is a front line hack for the Obama administration. He is best known to me for defending Eric Holder’s indefensible dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. To Christopher, facts didn’t matter, and he told me so.
From my book Injustice:
The left seemed determined to defend the DOJ’s dismissal of the case simply as a function of defending President Obama regardless of the merits of the case. Consider an email sent to me by Tommy Christopher at the blog site Mediaite. After I testified to the Civil Rights Commission, Christopher wrote me, “Mr. Adams—Did you ever have conversations with any member of the Commission, or their staff, regarding the political implications of your complaint? If so, with whom, and what was the substance of those conversations?” Of course I had no such conversations—I was concerned about stopping voter intimidation, not the “political implications” of my complaint. I asked Christopher whether it would make any difference to him if Coates confirmed my allegations under oath. He replied, “As for Coates, without a stronger case up front, no, I don’t think his testimony is necessary.” To Tommy Christopher and his ilk, the facts of the case were irrelevant—what mattered was circling the political wagons. By September 2010, Chris Coates had concluded the DOJ was falsely describing the dismissal of the Panther case.
Coates would soon testify and corroborate my story, as I knew he would. Coates described an open noxious climate at DOJ where civil rights laws were viewed as protecting only one race and corners were cut to push that philosophy. But as Christopher said, to Obama flunkies in the media, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was defense. And when it comes to race, Christopher gives Obama a pass, no matter how dirty the deed.
At CPAC a number of years ago, Andrew Breitbart and I were having lunch at a crawfish joint in D.C. when Christopher plopped himself down next to us. He was silent about all the nasty and dishonest stuff he threw my way defending Eric Holder and the Panther dismissal. I guess that’s just the sort of fellow he was, and Mediaite is better off without him.
image via real clear politics
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in January of 2013. It is being republished as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists of 2013. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months. Click here to vote for your favorites in the comments.
Downton Abbey has jumped the shark, over and over and over again. Either writer Julian Fellowes is toying with viewers by presenting an undercover farce, or “Julian Fellowes” is really a 15-year-old girl using devices common to her age, such as sudden plot lurches, melodrama, tortured simplicity, and outlandish improbability. What started in Season One as a measured, engrossing, and beautiful series has become a weekly, preposterous chore.
Is Laura Linney in on the gag? Has she seen the episodes she is introducing?
Fonzie only jumped the shark once. Here are seven times Downtown Abbey has jumped the shark.
1. Downton Becomes a Hospital
Downtown’s grandest shark jump took place when the estate was turned into a hospital for World War I wounded in Season Two, Episode 3. The subtleties and grandeur of the drama were replaced by noise, racket, bandages, beds, and scores of visitors. To believe this disruption, one must believe that the village is an efficient destination for the war wounded. One must also assume there aren’t other barns, churches, banquet halls, or any other building closer to a railhead capable of handling the casualties. The Downton-becomes-a-hospital frolic and detour sucked the life out of the series and led to even more absurd, improbable plot twists such as the return of Thomas to Downton, the liaison of the maid Ethel and Major Bryant under Lord Grantham’s roof, and the patently impossible return of the terminal William to both die and marry Daisy. Downton as hospital also produced a plot twist so ridiculous it deserves its own shark-jumping moment.
A few years ago, Ray was deep in his position at a major law firm when he approached me and Hans von Spakovsky and asked how he could do more. He wanted to write. He wanted to preserve and protect the country that he loved. He wanted to act. He had done his time in the Navy, but wanted to do more.
Ray wrote for PJ Media and the American Spectator. He wrote this spectacular piece about my litigation in Guam for the Washington Times. He had keen insights into the strategic importance of the island that I did not know before I filed the case.
At Christmas time this year, he sent me his final piece, a touching “Christmas Eve Message to the Troops.”
There is nothing that grates me more than someone emailing me or commenting on an article of mine by saying: “Someone should….” It grates me because I knew people like Ray Hartwell. Ray didn’t wait for someone else to do it. He didn’t suggest someone else write an article or someone else say this or that. He wrote it. He said it — all the while working for a top-shelf D.C. law firm.
That raises another point. D.C. is a town where lots of folks are in very comfortable positions. There are lots of D.C. lawyers who don’t want to rock any boats, don’t want to take any stands and don’t want to ”jeopardize their careers. ”
Ray proved you could act to preserve and protect this country while not jeopardizing a career. In the end, Ray knew what was more important than any career anyhow. He loved this nation. He loved liberty. And he wasn’t afraid to defend it.
Today the Drudge Report covers the Justice Department’s racialist attack on school discipline policies. The DOJ policy is based on the idea that school discipline policies are racially discriminatory because black students comprise a greater percentage of students disciplined than their percentage in the general population. Call it exceeding the bad behavior quota.
That this four-year-old federal policy exists wasn’t news. I covered it in my 2011 book Injustice. What is newsworthy is how these radical racialist education policies will outlast the Obama administration, and Republicans are ill-equipped to reverse it even if they win the White House.
As I wrote in Injustice:
The DOJ’s reasoning goes like this: if minorities face school discipline at rates greater than their overall percentage in the population, then the school is engaging in racial discrimination. As Civil Rights chief Tom Perez explained, “Black boys account for 9 percent of the nation’s student population, but comprise 24 percent of students suspended out of school and 30 percent of students expelled.” This preposterous racial bean-counting is an affront to the very concept of individual responsibility.
In January 2011, Perez announced that the DOJ would use a “disparate impact” analysis on school discipline cases to determine whether discipline policies were racially discriminatory. Thus, if blacks were disciplined in higher percentages than their share of the population, the DOJ would bring a lawsuit to stop the discipline policy. The new policy was on display at a DOJ conference on September 27 and 28, 2010, entitled “Civil Rights and School Discipline: Addressing Disparities to Ensure Educational Opportunity.” Attorney General Holder addressed the gathering and sought to “better understand the causes, and most effectively remedy the consequences, of disparities in student discipline.” Perez then complained that minority “students are being handed Draconian punishments for things like school uniform violations, schoolyard fights and subjective violations, such as disrespect and insubordination.”
Some might argue American schools have already allowed far too much disrespect and insubordination among students. That Tom Perez gives quarter for these acts illustrates the cultural demographic he and his fellow Obama political appointees seek to protect—the disrespectful and insubordinate.
We’ve come to expect this sort of policy from Eric Holder of protecting the lawless and misbehaving. The New Black Panther voter intimidation case dismissal was mere prologue.
Republicans in Congress have shown minimal skill in stopping these radical racialist programs. Instead of defunding the components of the DOJ that perpetrate these lawless policies, they continue to vote for spending resolutions and budgets that fuel them.
And even if the GOP takes control of the Justice Department in 2017, it will take an Attorney General willing to roll up his or her sleeves and clean out the mess inside the Civil Rights Division that is fueling these nutty and lawless policies. Only a few GOP figures understand the scope of the problem and have the courage to correct it. Among them are people like Representatives Louie Gohmert or Trey Gowdy, Senators Jeff Sessions or John Cornyn.
Here are three reasons why even these four would struggle in 2017 to reverse this lawless nuttiness:
Just four days after Christmas 1940, Hitler turned London into earthly hell. December 29 was London’s longest night, the night Hitler tried to burn London down and incinerate the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral.
At sunrise the dome of St. Paul’s stood, though surrounded by a smoldering warscape of total destruction. The salvation of St. Paul’s Cathedral from the inferno uplifted British spirits and is a Christmas story worth retelling seventy-three years later.
By December 1940, nearly all the democracies of Europe had fallen to the Nazi menace. Germany itself started the process in 1933 when an enlightened democracy suffered the sudden concentration of power into an ideologically driven central state. Mania followed. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, France, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands all fell to Hitler.
By Christmastime 1940, Britain stood alone against the evil which had consumed Europe.
Hitler aimed to break England’s will. He wanted England to be content with Nazi control of continental Europe.
On December 29, 1940, fire was his weapon of choice.
The Luftwaffe’s air war over England had raged for months. Londoners had grown accustomed to the wail of air raid sirens and nights sleeping underground in tube stations. The Blitz first focused on military targets, then strategic targets, and then conventional bombings which affected civilian areas.
But on the night of December 29, Hitler attempted to terrorize and eradicate the civilian population of London with a gruesome deliberateness he would also employ against continental Jews.
London was under blackout orders, so Hitler’s first wave of bombers enjoyed the use of two radio beacons beamed from France. When the beams intersected, the bombers were over their targets – the civilian, publishing, and garment industry neighborhoods of East London.
Instead of explosions, Londoners heard the dull thuds of objects hitting rooftops.
No explosions, just thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.
These were incendiaries hitting rooftops then igniting. Over the next few hours, waves of German bombers dropped over 10,000 incendiaries and created a firestorm that destroyed London all around St. Paul’s. Waves of bombers followed through the night, dropping conventional bombs and blasting the firemen battling the firestorm the incendiaries started.
London firefighters, including Leonard Rosoman, battled the fires all around St. Paul’s. Rosoman would later paint images of firefighters he knew dying that night, some of which now hang in the Imperial War Museum.
But it was futile. The devious Nazis had timed the attack to coincide with low tide on the Thames, limiting the supply of available water. The fire created wind, and the wind created a firestorm.
Realizing that nothing could extinguish the firestorm, Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave the order: “Save St. Paul’s!”
What Books Does PJM Legal Editor J. Christian Adams Recommend for 2013?">What Books Does PJM Legal Editor J. Christian Adams Recommend for 2013?
After weeks of Miley Cyrus, Bookmarks, the new album from Five for Fighting, couldn’t come soon enough. The twelve songs remind us pop music can be about family, love and life rather than twerking.
John Ondrasik’s latest project follows previous tunes woven into American memory such as “100 Years” and “Superman.” That’s where Five for Fighting always shines – capturing that sense of life, joy, and small moments which taken together are grand. Bookmarks is no different.
Ondrasik always seems to be up to something grand, even if it isn’t obvious. His music, like Bob Dylan, U2, Van Morrison, is about bigger things, in everyday form and gently presented.
The album beings with the explosive and uplifting “Stand Up“:
If your dreams put you asleep/ If you have to paint your face/
and you’re not a clown/ If you’re naked lost in space/
and all you wear’s a frown/
Stand up Stand up/ Cause you’re falling down.
“What If,” the song’s first single is a story of empathy:
Imagine all the pain that might be forgiven/
What if I had your heart/
What if you wore my scars. . . /
What if your hand was my hand/ Could we hold on and let go?
Bookmarks is about permanent and good things, not vain and transient ones.
Editor’s Note: I’ve decided to cross-post together these four PJ articles about the NSA PRISM surveillance program. My colleagues J. Christian Adams, Bryan Preston, Ron Radosh, and Richard Fernandez each deliver compelling analyses and I agree with their conclusions. I’ve been disappointed as many conservatives and Republicans have sought to minimize the severity of what PRISM is, even siding with Democrats to support the program while encouraging focus on the IRS and other Obama scandals. They’re wrong.
At this point the Ron Paul radical anarchist Edward Snowden who initiated this story in the most irresponsible means possible has overextended his 15 minutes of fame. He has ceded any scrap of moral authority he may have once had. Everything about him is a distraction from what really matters. In the coming weeks let’s hope the sad tabloid story about him and his personality can pass and we can get to the serious discussion about the necessity of limiting the powers of government surveillance. - David Swindle
I feel compelled to revise my earliest comments on the NSA Prism leaker, the man we now know as Edward Snowden. My first draft on Snowden, before we knew who he was, and more importantly, his travel plans, said:
The whistleblower who blew up PRISM is an American hero who joins others who have kept the republic alive like Joshua Chamberlain and Harold Agerholm — which probably means the corrupt and dastardly attorney general will prosecute them.
That conclusion deserves revision, which I’ll get to in a moment. But the rest of the original piece still stands, including:
Yesterday we crossed a line. What once seemed kooky is now happening. I figured this would be a fight for a future generation, but it is ours. The frightening future has arrived. The American government has never done anything as sinister as PRISM.
Prism is invading constitutional liberties and appears to have accomplished next to nothing, except invading our constitutional liberties. And for revealing this massive institutional invasion of freedom, whether treasonous or not, we are better off.
Loving the sinner and hating the sin is a concept familiar to many. With Snowden, the reverse is appropriate. We should be thankful we know about Prism, but should pursue the scoundrel to the ends of the Earth. Unfortunately, that means a journey to countries known more for the oppression that Snowden purports to disdain.
For starters, Snowden’s first destination, Hong Kong, is under the effective control of the Red Chinese, the same gang that kills Catholics and hacks America regularly.
Then he exercises doubly bad judgment by boarding an Aeroflot flight to Moscow for refuge. Putting aside Aeroflot’s safety record, Russia is now a nation more known for oppression of political opponents than transparency.
Of all the foreign intelligence services, is there anyone who would want to “debrief” Snowden more than China and Russia?
Not content to visit only a pair of oppressive regimes, Snowden’s plans also included Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador.
Simply, Snowdon is a fool. He professes to care about liberty, then flees to nation which opposes it. He professes to care about transparency, then flees to nations with active secret police. Snowden is a traitor to the nation, even if his treason might help save it.
Ultimately, this story is not about Edward Snowden. It is about the government behavior he revealed.
Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan’s Battle With Environmental Extremists and Why it Matters Today (Regnery, 2013) by William Perry Pendley, describes how radical environmentalists sparked a revolution against federal land regulation led by head rebel Ronald Reagan. Today, high fuel and energy prices, formerly caused by Carter administration policies, have returned with a new President to blame. Pendley’s book provides valuable lessons for the next Sagebrush Rebel who might try to end the environmentalists’ stranglehold on energy production and American economic potential.
Sagebrush Rebel details Reagan’s history as a conservationist. Conservationism was the original environmentalism. Conservationists considered humans to be stewards of natural resources. As a conservationist Reagan believed in a moral obligation to protect resources for future generations. Conservation’s elevation of human needs is a value thousands of years old and is described in the Old Testament:
You have given him rule over the works of your hands/ putting all things under his feet/All sheep and oxen/ yes, and the beasts of the field/The birds of the air/ the fishes of the sea/ and whatever swims the paths of the seas. (Psalms 8, 6-9)
Throughout the 1970s and culminating in the heavy handed policies of the Carter administration the human-centered conservation movement morphed into the environmentalist movement which revered inanimate objects and animals. The beasts of the fields and fishes of the sea were on par with human needs, or even superior to them.
Charles C. Johnson is the author of Why Coolidge Matters: Leadership Lessons from America’s Most Underrated President. Coolidge presided over the roaring 1920s, which saw massive technological and economic expansion. He provided a model of the presidency squarely at odds with the current occupant of the White House. Charles sat down with PJ Media to discuss his book.
Calvin Coolidge is one of our most underrated presidents and among our very best, both by what he achieved and by what he knew about the American republic. He was our last classically educated president and one of our most well spoken. And far from being Silent Cal, as so many think today, he was, in fact, silenced by New Deal historians like Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who disliked both his political philosophy and its attendant success. The thinking went that if Roosevelt was to be the hero of the Great Depression, Coolidge, who had presided over the roaring 1920s, must have been its villain. Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that, but that’s what we’re so often told in our public schools. Rather than rebut Coolidge, these historians tried to caricaturize him in much the same way they tried to with Reagan. It was only after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed that Reagan got his just place in history.
Far from being silent, Coolidge ran for office nineteen times and won election to eighteen offices, working his way all the up from city councilman of Northampton through the presidency of the Massachusetts state Senate and governorship, all the way to president of the United States. He was a career statesman who was always aware of the issues facing the local population because he worked and lived alongside them and admired them.
He wrote three interesting collections of speeches, gave over 500 press conferences, wrote a thoughtful autobiography, and wrote a very interesting post-presidential column.
I set out to write the sort of book about Calvin Coolidge that I wish I had read and to report faithfully what he did. As an investigative journalist, I love puncturing myths that are out there about the world, especially political history. To paraphrase Reagan, there’s so much we know that isn’t so and that’s principally because of how the political left controls our understanding of history.
It’s hard to know if this video is a Spinal Tap style farce, or a freakish collection freeloaders glorifying the retrogression of human progress. They are living as humans in the west lived in the 18th Century, except without the work ethic.
They get free food, produce little, lounge around in tents, pee into hay bales, dumpster dive for food and beg. We know them here in the United States as hobos, bums and the people under the bridge.
One woman says “it wasn’t really a conscious decision” to live like this – how could it be!?
But they’ve adopted the “Eco” label. Eco-This, Eco-That, which buys good press for what is otherwise a shameful waste of time and talent. Their “Eco-village” dispenses with one of the most important human inventions to aid good health: sewage systems. The village represents an environmentalist crusader’s dream – humanity reduced to low impact animals with minimalists footprints. A side benefit, according to one Eco-Hobo, is a “peaceful solution to the problem of humanity.”
Sure it is.
h/t to the Man on the Nag.
I received an email, which I publish below in full. Huff Post contributor and Occupy enabler David DeGraw is involved with the preposterously and ironically named ”Manhattan Project for the Evolution of Society.” The invitation to hop aboard the “Magical Mystery Tour” [brackets all my commentary]:
Friends & Allies
It’s been a year and a half since many of the Occupy camps were broken up, and it’s been almost that long since I last helped organize anything or published content on a consistent basis. So what have I been doing all this time? Other than being a father of two young boys and moving to Los Angeles, I’ve been intensely strategizing behind the scenes with some of the most inspiring, brilliant and influential people on the planet.
As grandiose as this may sound, we now have an extensive five-year plan [Good God why are Stalinists forever drawn to plans spanning the same number of years!?] that people are referring to as the “Manhattan Project for the Evolution of Society.” We are very excited to announce that initial aspects of The Plan will be rolled out through several phases over the course of the next three months.
Through Anonymous, Occupy and the 99% Movement, we collectively proved that decentralized self-organizing networks of like-minded people rallying together can set the world on fire. [After all it is the Manhattan Project!] However, we lacked an exit strategy and the resources required to build a self-sustaining movement that can truly achieve the change and evolution of society that we all know we need. [As David Horowitz described, Degraw offers "destructive rage against the world he inhabits."]
We believe we now have that exit strategy. With funding and resources finally coming in, we are on the verge of having a truly self-sufficient and thriving infrastructure that can maximize all the energy around us. [Do tell who is funding this? Let's all guess... ] We will operate in service to all of the people and organizations that are providing alternatives and solutions to the vast societal problems that are byproducts of an archaic and obsolete system of domination and disempowerment. [No doubt they will "operate" quite differently against everyone else.] An empowering, sustainable and prosperous future is within reach. [Isn't it always to the utopists?]
The road ahead will be intense. Another tour of duty in this nonviolent decentralized war awaits. Obviously, one never knows how these things will turn out, but the initial battle plan is set. The wind, for once, is at our back. The future is ours to win!
Over the next month, while we prepare to launch our first campaign, I will be posting frequently to my personal website and experimenting with some initial concepts. While it will be incredibly hard work, we plan on having a lot of fun in the process. It’s going to be a wild summer!
Looking forward to catching up with you. If you want help in bringing attention to your work, email me here.
Join this email list to stay in the loop.
Hop aboard the magical mystery tour!
PJ Media had the opportunity to interview The Amazing Kreskin of TV talk show fame about being a real-life mentalist and guru of predictions. But our time with Kreskin included discussions ranging from the psychology of mobs, the modern American entitlement class and much more. PJ Media also obtained four predictions about the future of America from Kreskin and spoke with him about his new book Conversations With Kreskin.
PJ Media: What is your new book about?
Kreskin: This is one of the most exciting delights I’ve done in my life. I’ve written 19 books and this is one is like a dream. It has behind the scenes of my record 88 shows with Johnny Carson and other hosts. The middle part has 8 pages of a comic by Joe St. Pierre of the first incident in my life that defined what I was going to do with my life. One of the passions of my life is to make predictions. This includes predictions based on the power of human suggestion.
I’m not a psychic; I’m not a fortune teller. But I predicted the outcome of the presidential primary election one year and four months before the election. I’ve done 71 interviews about it. I wrote out who I thought would be picked by the Republican Party for Vice-President a year in advance. I picked Paul Ryan. I’ve been asked endlessly how I did this. I jogged the night before my prediction and this name kept popping in my head. I knew the Democrats were going to win in November and I knew the person who would be picked for Vice-President.
PJ Media: You do lots of shows around the world, what is your wildest in-flight experience and did you know how it would end?
Kreskin: I’m on a plane, I’m flying to Sacramento from NBC in Los Angeles. It’s an hour after we should have landed. The flight attendant tells us we can’t get the landing gear down and might have to foam the runway. I went to the back of the plane to use the restroom. Back in my seat, I hear grinding noises and they announce that the gear was finally put down.
I’m the first to get off the plane, and at the bottom of the steps are the pilots. They thanked me. They said that the nervous passengers saw you walking around the plane and figured that if you were calmly walking around, that they knew the plane would be fine.