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Michael van der Galien

Michael van der Galien is Editor-in-Chief of Dutch news and opinion website De Dagelijkse Standaard, a freelance journalist and columnist, and a regular contributor to several American websites among which PJ Media He can be contacted at mpfvandergalien@gmail.com.
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Stop the Professional Baby Killers of Planned Parenthood

Saturday, August 1st, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

As a Dutch Amerophile I will never understand why Americans are willing to let their youngest generation be slaughtered by the professional mass murderers of Planned Parenthood. Some accomplices in this genocide (ironically, mostly against black babies!) say that the victims aren’t actually babies, but they know better than that: the babies’ hearts are beating, and their body parts are  sold for experimental research. If they weren’t babies, you couldn’t use their organs.

It’s simple logic even a die-hard progressive can follow, I presume.

So what drives this continuing slaughter? I’ve read a lot of opinion pieces by leftists, and I’ve come to the conclusion that human life simply doesn’t matter to them. Oh yes, they go insane when a man-eating lion is killed, but they’ve got no problem with sacrificing human beings — babies even! — on the altar called progress. Worse yet, they seem to relish  it.

Now, I’m not a psychologist, but I can use deductive reasoning. My conclusion? This is pure self-hate in action. These progressives are consumed by hate; not hate for the rich, as such, but hate for all mankind. I don’t know what happened to them. Were they bullied as children? Did they just conclude that mankind is a cancer on this earth? I don’t know, but that’s all there is to it. They’re little more than psychopaths who have used male-guilt to get away with doing what they enjoy most: slaughtering human beings.

And how better to do that than by attacking the young and weak — those who aren’t able to defend themselves?

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The Meaning of Ramadan to Me: An Enlightened, Modern and Western Sufi Muslim

Friday, July 17th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is a teacher of Islamic law, jurisprudential principles and the prophetic tradition at Zaytuna College in Berkeley. He has taught at that school since 2007.

This week, he decided to write an opinion piece for Patheos about Ramadan, the 30-day fasting period for Muslims, ending in the Sugar Feast. Since I’m in Turkey, the festivities have already started (it’s one day earlier in Turkey then in the rest of the Muslim world).

Now, most people assume I don’t get involved much in Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr (the Sugar Feast), but I converted to Sufi Islam around eight years ago. So to me, Ramadan certainly is an important month… and these three days of festivities are something I’ve been looking forward to for weeks if not months. It’s basically our version of Christmas (which I celebrated as a youngster).

Back to Abdullah’s piece. In his article he explains what Ramadan is all about and what it’s supposed to do for Muslims:

Fasting is better for more than the simple health benefits that accrue to fasters. To limit the benefits of fasting to the material benefits is to strip fasting of its spiritual facets. Like all other acts of Islamic worship, one of the ultimate goals of rituals is to inculcate moral virtue. The prayer, performed with the correct understanding and awareness, contributes to deeper humility. Charity contributes to a number of virtues, like altruism, generosity and empathy with the poor. Fasting contributes to patience, self-control and endurance. The hajj is a consummate worship combining all the aforementioned virtues.

He adds that fasting isn’t only meant to be a physical experience, but also a spiritual one. It improves one’s virtues (perseverance, self-control) and makes one truly grateful to God for all one has (try not to eat and especially drink during the day, when it’s 40 degrees Celsius…. Trust me: it’ll make you very grateful to drink a glass of water in the evening). Although, he says, you can “buy off” fasting by giving to charity (literally: giving a poor person something to eat), it’s better for the Muslim to actually fast (it says in the Quran: “Fasting is still better for you if only you knew”).

As an enlightened, modern and Western Sufi Muslim (I adhere to the spiritual school in Islam, especially to that of Mevlana, who’s also known as Rumi in the West), my take on Ramadan and the Sugar Feast is similar in some ways, but different in others.

For, although I do recognize that fasting is incredibly effective if one wants to improve one’s virtues, I don’t think it’s the only way to “get there.” In fact, I usually only fast a few days and give to charity instead. The reason I don’t fast? I work during the day and have noticed that, when fasting, I work at a slower pace and the quality of my work is… let’s say, questionable. Fasting might be great for you personally, but it’s nothing more but theft if you don’t do what you’re paid to do. Obviously, I refuse to be guilty of theft while praising myself for withstanding hunger and thirst. The sin is bigger than the reward.

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See Someone With a Semicolon Tattoo? This Is What It Means

Monday, July 6th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

There are many different tattoos. Some are meant to symbolize something — a difficult time in a person’s life or his love for family and friends — others are purely meant as “decorations of the body.”

Recently, a new tattoo has become popular: a tattoo of a semicolon that people put on their wrists.

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This phenomenon started when Amy Bluel lost her father. He committed suicide after years of battling a serious depression. After his death, Amy decided that more attention should be paid to people who are struggling with depression and who have suicidal tendencies. Although it’s a very negative subject, she wanted to do it in a positive manner.

That’s why she came up with a semicolon tattoo.

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Later, she asked other people to do the same. The goal of the project was to raise awareness for depression — which is a serious psychological issue many people suffer from — and to help depressed people by making them understand that they’re not alone.

The tattoo symbolizes a beautiful, hopeful thought: a semicolon is used because it means that the author wants the sentence to continue. Of course, the author symbolizes the person himself (or herself), while the “sentence” represents his or her life. Where there is life, there’s hope.

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In the years since (Amy’s father took his own life in 2013, after which she founded Project Semicolon), an increasing number of people have put the tattoos on their wrists, thereby announcing they understand what it’s like to suffer from depression… while at the same time making clear that there’s still hope — for themselves and their loved ones.

It’s amazingly beautiful and I hope that many more people will follow in Amy’s footsteps. Although I’m actually not into tattoos myself, I’m seriously considering getting this one (we all have family members, relatives, or friends who have had to struggle with depression, or perhaps we even suffer from it ourselves).

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Take It From Me: Fitness Is Easier Than You Think

Sunday, June 28th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Several months ago I wrote that, after years of being a couch potato, I decided to start working out. The accompanying photo (of me in the gym, for the first time after all these years of inactivity) said it all:

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Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: that looks horrible. Well, true, but I can guarantee you that I felt even worse than I looked. I literally felt like I was dying three times during the workout and my personal trainer told me afterwards that he was seriously considering calling an ambulance because I looked like I would pass out. He wasn’t exaggerating: that’s exactly how I felt. I was exhausted and saw all kinds of strange spots in front of me; black and white. My vision was all blurred. I had to sit down for a 5 minutes break every now and then to prevent myself from falling down (and not getting up).

Sad — pathetic even — but I’ve got good news: in the months since (the photo was taken two months ago), a lot has changed. I’ve lost 10 kilograms (which is something like 22 pounds) in body weight, while I’ve gained some serious muscles. Click to the next page to see the photo I took yesterday…

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Veterinarian Kills Cat with Bow And Arrow; Doesn’t Get Prosecuted

Thursday, June 25th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

sick 3In what must be one of the strangest decisions in recent years, a Texas grand jury returned a “no-bill” in a case against a veterinarian who killed an innocent cat who happened to walk into the wrong garden — namely, hers.

After having heard the evidence in the case, the grand jury ruled there wasn’t enough  evidence to prosecute. This while the woman actually posted a picture of the dead cat on her Facebook account and bragged about taking it down with a bow and arrow.

I kid you not:

She was accused of posting a picture to Facebook back in April where she’s holding up a dead cat with an arrow through its head, bragging about her kill.

The Austin County Sheriff’s Office says they received an unsworn hearsay report that the vet was acting to protect her pets from a “potentially rabid stray cat.”

After a thorough investigation, authorities were not able to determine where or when the incident took place.

Because of the last problem, the authorities lacked probable cause to obtain a search warrant, the grand jury said.

After shooting the poor cat, vet Kristen L. posted a photo of herself with the cat, accompanied by the following bragging message:

“My first bow kill, lol. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head! Vet of the year award… gladly accepted.”

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See the photo on the next page.

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Going Dutch: 12-Year-Old Girl Kidnaps Pony. You Won’t Believe What She Did Next

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

May I present to you the weirdest story thus far of the year 2015?

A 12-year-old girl made headlines in the Netherlands because she first kidnapped the pony she takes care of in her spare time, and then took the (lucky?) animal for a train ride. Other train passengers, among them Jarno Moleveld, couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the girl nicely petting her pony in the train. Jarno filmed the rather adventurous trip with his phone:

Now, the story is rather entertaining, but there’s also a serious side to it. The girl doesn’t own the pony, she just takes care of it. This happens a lot in the Netherlands; that way, children (especially girls) who can’t afford a horse or pony can create a bond with one nonetheless. The pony’s rightful owner didn’t know anything about the girl’s plans. She just went to check on her animals and suddenly saw that one was gone. She immediately contacted the police, who eventually found the girl and the pony in Leeuwarden.

The girl had taken her pony on the train from the city of Sneek to Leeuwarden because her friends wanted to see the animal. The train’s engineer saw the pair getting on, but did nothing to stop them. He only tried to intervene when they arrived in Leeuwarden, but the girl got out of the train rather quickly; she was already gone. She then took the pony for a nice stroll through Leeuwarden… until she was apprehended by the authorities.

After that, the girl was brought to her angry mother, and the pony was taken back to its owner (in a trailer this time). And the engineer? He had the honor of cleaning up the train; the pony apparently didn’t know we use toilets in the train.


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Adopted Boy Gets Bullied at School. Then Something Amazing Happens

Friday, June 5th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

James Willmert is a fifth grader from Franklin Elementary School in Minnesota. Although his name sounds very American, he was actually born in Colombia. His mother, Margi, adopted him as a baby from an orphanage.

A terribly sad history, of course, but James’ story becomes even worse. The boy has a severe learning disability that caused him to be bullied by other kids. They were picking at him, making fun of him, and didn’t allow him to play with them. As a result, James was literally nervous to go to school and didn’t want to go outside during recess.

That’s when five of his classmates decided to step in. After seeing that James was being bullied again, Jack Pemble, Jake Burgess, Gus Gartzke, Tyler Jones, and Landon Kopischke went to the young boy and told him they’d have his back from now onwards. Whenever he was bullied, they’d come to his aid.

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And that’s not all — they also asked him to join them in their games. Yes, James may be a bit slower and physically weaker than they are, but that doesn’t matter to them; they play football and basketball with him and make sure he truly feels like he’s one of the gang.

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Beautiful, of course, but this story becomes even more wonderful. When the boys noticed that James didn’t own a video game system they decided to buy one for him. They collected their pocket money savings and asked their parents to help them out a bit, after which they gave James the best surprise of his life: a Playstation. Ever since, the boys have been visiting James regularly to play sports games together.

In return for their kindness, Jack, Jake, Gus, Tyler, and Landon have now been honored by the Mankato Area Public Schools with a Spirit of Youth Award. Best of all, the boys promise that they’ll continue to play with James, who calls them “the best friends anybody could ask for.”

Read more inspirational articles from PJ Media:

This Is Amazing: Blind Pregnant Mom ‘Sees’ Her Unborn Baby for the First Time with 3D Printing

Why Dad Will Not Give Up Another Child with Down Syndrome

Revival in Los Angeles High Schools

Betsy Starts: A Letter to My Newborn Daughter

Andy Murray Wrote Something Amazing on the Camera After Winning the Madrid Open

Don’t Mess With This Young Man’s American Flag

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Shocker: Morality Goes Out the Window, Americans Embrace Social Liberalism

Friday, May 29th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Same-sex relationships, having children outside of wedlock, having sex while you’re not married, having an affair with someone who — like you – is married, and even polygamy are now more acceptable to Americans than ever before. See here the results of Gallup’s  Values and Beliefs survey:

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Gallup explains:

The upward progression in the percentage of Americans seeing these issues as morally acceptable has varied from year to year, but the overall trend clearly points toward a higher level of acceptance of a number of behaviors. In fact, the moral acceptability ratings for 10 of the issues measured since the early 2000s are at record highs.

Now, I could pretend to be shocked by this, but I’m not. There’s a growing trend in the entire Western world toward social liberalism. This is especially true with regard to issues like homosexual relationships, but also with regard to abortion and a host of other supposedly moral issues. These social liberal issues are pushed relentlessly down people’s throats by activists, politicians and even popular culture. He who can resist it is very strong – or very stubborn.

As a libertarian, I’m in favor of legalizing gay marriage, allowing people to have children outside of marriage, and — yes — of not punishing them when they have an affair. It’s not up to the government to intervene in such matters. Gallup’s research shows most of you will agree with that.

There’s a “but,” however: that certain behavior has to be legal doesn’t mean it’s morally OK to indulge in it. With the exception of homosexual relationships (I truly don’t see how anyone can consider that “immoral”), many of these issues are morally unacceptable, or at the very least, highly questionable — and members of society should have the courage to say so.

Yes, you can have a child outside of wedlock, and no, you don’t deserve to be ostracized for it. But that doesn’t mean it’s morally on a par with having a child while married. There are major differences between the two, the most important one being that it’s good for children to have both a father and a mother who are involved in their lives. It’s of vital importance for society to make that clear — to defend marriage as the cornerstone of society.

The same can be said for abortion.

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The Science Is Settled: Cheap Wine Tastes Fantastic

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Have you ever had friends tell you they’d come over “in a few minutes,” only to realize that your last bottle of while was finished two weeks ago? If you’re like me, you most certainly have — and not just once, but several times.

So what do you do? That’s right, you quickly head to the supermarket and try to choose a wine that’s not too expensive, but that tastes good, nonetheless.

But how do you know which ones are good and which ones aren’t? You can’t taste them there, you have to act quickly.

Because I don’t want to end up with a horrific wine (but also don’t want to go broke), I often choose one that’s a bit more expensive than the average price. Well, good news: from now on, I (and you!) can buy the cheapest wine in the store.

Vox decided to see if there really is a major difference between expensive wine and cheap wine. Turns out, there isn’t!

In fact, even professional wine tasters only say they prefer the expensive wines when they’re aware they’re told the price. When they’re told the wine is cheap, they dismiss it; not because of its taste, but because of the price tag.

Tip? Next time you have friends or family coming over, just buy a cheap wine and tell them it’s a very special one. They’ll tell you it’s the best drink they’ve ever had — while you still have money left in your wallet.

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Son Comes Home with Bad Grades. Then His Father Decides to Give Him Some Tough-Love Motivation

Friday, May 15th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

What do you do when your child comes home with bad grades? Do you cuddle him (or her)? Or do you get angry and tell him he should do better? Or do you go further than that? Do you punish him by, say, not giving him pocket money or by grounding him for a few days?

One father decided to take it a bit further than that. When his son told him he failed his class, he gave his son a sledgehammer, threw his most prized possession (Xbox) in the garden and forced him to — completely and utterly — destroy it.

Like IJReview, I’m wondering what you think. Did this father go too far, or was it a great — although perhaps saddening — way to motivate his son to improve his grades?

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This Picture Shows You the Shocking Truth of What Happens if You Don’t Exercise for 7 Years

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

As a teenager, I was very much into sports. I loved playing soccer and baseball, and later started doing kickboxing. Now, I was never skinny, but I was in good shape; I could go on endlessly, wouldn’t get tired, and felt energetic.

That was then. This is now. This is what I looked like, age 30, yesterday when I exercised (fitness) for the first time in at least 7 years. Disclaimer: viewer discretion is advised. The photo is extremely shocking, not in the least because I look yellow, without energy, and — oh yeah — as intelligent as a cow.

The picture isn’t exactly flattering, but that’s precisely why I publish it here: I want you to join me on this new adventure to get back in shape. If you haven’t exercised in years, start doing it now. We’ll share our progress with each other and exchange tips on how to get fit faster.

Also read:

Losing Bodyfat or Gaining Muscle Mass: Which is More Important?

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[VIDEO] The Secret of Happiness Exposed in One Simple Equation

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

In life, our main goal is to become happy. Think about it: why do we work and try to make as much money as we can? Why do we try to spend time with our children and wife? Why do we buy certain clothes and not the other ones? Or in a more spiritual way: why do we go to church/synagogue/mosque/temple (strikethrough whatever doesn’t apply to you)? And why do some people use drugs, while others don’t even want to go near them?

I’ll tell you why: because we believe those things will make us happy. That’s all there is to it. My neighbor stays at home from work as often as he can because he believes spending time in front of the television will make him happy. The other neighbor doesn’t come home until midnight because he’s working overtime, hoping a higher income will result in more happiness for him (and his family).

Ironically, however, many of us fail in our attempt to reach this supposed perfect state of being, this profound happiness, and we’re actually unhappy or even downright depressed.

How is it possible that by striving for happiness, we create the opposite feeling?

In his latest video for Prager University, radio talk show host Dennis Prager explains why that is.

So, how would you like an equation to determine the exact amount of unhappiness in your life?

Well, I am here to tell you that I have developed an equation. It is U=I-R. U is unhappiness, I is image, and R is reality. The difference between the images you have had for your life and the reality of your life is the amount of unhappiness in your life, which gives you an idea of how powerful images are in hurting us.

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As Prager says, we all have an image of what our life is supposed to be like. “I’m supposed to make this amount of money, I have a perfect marriage with an understanding wife and loving children,” and so on. While it’s perfectly natural and healthy to have goals, these kinds of nearly perfect images actually destroy our chances of experiencing true happiness because most of us just can’t live up to them.  Well, perhaps that 0,01% of the population do, but the other 99,99% have to settle for something else. Prager says,

That’s the biggest part of what mid-life crisis is about. Images kill people. Think of anorexia. Some teenage girls and young women have an image of how they want to look, and in some cases, they will starve themselves to meet that image. This is true for whatever images we have in our life. People imagine family life a certain way, they imagine a spouse a certain way, they imagine their children a certain way, they imagine their job a certain way, they imagine a whole host of things, and then those images are very often shattered.

So what’s the solution for this age old problem? Simple: you either “develop a new image and enjoy that, or just celebrate the reality that you now have.”

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The former approach will work in most cases, but the second solution is absolutely bulletproof. By focusing on ‘images,’ we often forget that we actually have a pretty darn good life. By looking at reality and analyzing it, we realize that we have a lot to be grateful for: a spouse who generally supports us (even though we sometimes mess up), children who may cause us stress every now and then, but who are — at the same time — a great blessing, friends that care for us, a roof above our head, a car to go to work with, a job; the list is endless.

Prager is right: we don’t need images. Reality itself is enough to make us happy.

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Time to Worry: Americans Are Turning Away from Christianity

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

The last several decades, the Left has done its best to change America’s religious landscape. According to a new Pew study, they’re succeeding better than many thought possible:

The number of Americans who don’t affiliate with a particular religion has grown to 56 million in recent years, making the faith group researchers call “nones” the second-largest in total numbers behind evangelicals, according to a Pew Research Center study released Tuesday.

Christians are still the majority, but their numbers have fallen from 78 percent to just under 71 percent. The main reason? Increasingly, more Americans consider themselves “non affiliated” with any particular religion.

The good news? This doesn’t automatically mean that Americans have become atheists. There is a large group of people who consider themselves to be “spiritual” and who believe there’s likely a God, but who just don’t have a bond with any particular religion.

Sadly, that’s all the good news I’ve got for today:

Last year, 31 percent of “nones” said they were atheist or agnostic, compared to 25 percent in 2007, and the percentage who said religion was important to them dropped.

In short, there are fewer religious people and those who don’t consider themselves “religious” in the traditional sense are moving towards atheism — fast.

Although the Left will undoubtedly welcome that development, I do not. A society that loses its bond with God loses its morality. And I don’t just mean that as in the Ten Commandments, but in everyday values, too: personal responsibility, the importance of working hard and taking care of your family, and the need for civilized, decent behavior in society. It’s a cliché, but true nonetheless: when religion falls — especially enlightened Christendom — civilization ends.

This increasing secularization has me worried tremendously. One of America’s major strengths is that it is founded on what’s often called Judeo-Christian values. When those values are no longer shared by large parts of the population, the nation’s unity and morality are at stake. It’s of vital importance that religious Americans understand that and try to counter this secularization. The pulpit should be used for that purpose, but conservative columnists, bloggers, and politicians should also have the courage to point out the importance of faith when they share their views on politics and society at large.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Stream Joseph: King of Dreams On Netflix Today

Sunday, April 19th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

After having written about Prince of Egypt several readers told me I should also watch Joseph: King of Dreams. I did and, I have to say, you all were right.

Like Prince of Egypt, Joseph: King of Dreams is a must-watch because it touches on some very important things about our relationship with God:


1. It isn’t always obvious to us what God’s plan for our lives is, but we must have faith in Him nonetheless.

We will all face hardships, but that doesn’t mean that God has forsaken us. The opposite is true: God uses those terrible days to allow us to grow, become closer to Him and show us His glory. We are prepared for greatness by hardship.

2. God guides us, but it’s up to us to act.

Joseph used every opportunity he got to improve his lot in life. Even in prison, he told fellow inmates to tell the Pharaoh about his ability to explain dreams. We have to do the same. God can work miracles in our life, but only if we do our part. We are active participants in God’s plan to show the world His greatness.


3. Forgiveness is the most important act of love and is wholesome to ourselves.

Joseph grew spiritually in prison and when he became the Pharaoh’s main adviser, but he only truly became great when he forgave his brothers for their treachery. There can be no love – and no spiritual growth – without the ability to forgive. If anyone hurt you, the time to forgive them is now. If you don’t do it for them, do it for yourself.

Do yourself a service on this beautiful Sunday, and stream Joseph: King of Dreams on Netflix.

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5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Stream The Prince of Egypt on Netflix

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Dear Dave,

Yesterday evening you suggested I watch The Prince of Egypt, in your opinion the best movie inspired by the book of Exodus. Although I didn’t have time then, I got to it this morning. It impressed me mightily.

The top 5 reasons why I loved it — and why everybody who reads this article should watch it if they haven’t already — are:

1. Moses never doubts God, only himself.

This is a vital lesson for believers of all kinds; you can doubt your own abilities, but never doubt the most high God, who created everything, and without whom nothing would be.


2. The Pharaoh (or Moses’ adopted brother) initially has a kind heart (at least towards those he holds dear), but is hardened by pride and a blind adherence to tradition.

It’s not a story about evil people, but about evil values. There’s a difference between the two — those who worship God should be aware of that and act accordingly, which also means they have to reason in favor of good values.


3. The story isn’t merely one of victory or redemption, it’s a tragedy at the same time.

Moses does what God orders him to do, but he’s not doing it in order to take revenge. He’s acting out of love — for his people, and even for his adopted brother, the crown prince who eventually becomes the new Pharaoh.

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65-Year-Old Mom Pregnant with Quadruplets: Amazingly Beautiful or Extremely Egotistical?

Sunday, April 12th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

A 65-year-old German lady has told German newspaper Bild that she’s expecting quadruplets. This news story is the talk of the day in Europe. There are those who believe it’s a reason to celebrate, while others have a slightly different opinion. See, for instance, this tweet from a Dutch Twitter user:


“A women of 65 years old pregnant with quadruplets. This is loathsome. Incredibly egotistical.”

Her argument is that the mother is a) too old to take care of one new baby let alone four, and b) that she’s basically nearing the end of her life, thereby making it very likely that her children will lose their mother at a very young age.

As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing to be ashamed of, let alone to find “loathsome.” People are healthier than ever before and become older because of it. If this German lady wants to have seventeen kids, why shouldn’t she? She could live on for another 30 or even 40 years. Should she, then, be deprived of family bliss just because some folks consider her to be “too old”? What nonsense.

I want five children myself; I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than a big, happy family. Just watch this video and tell me this isn’t exactly what you want:

If I want that for myself, I’m not going to deprive another of having that feeling of happiness either — no matter what her age.

What do you think? Is the soon-to-be-mother of quadruplets extremely egotistical, or is this actually a beautiful, heartwarming story?

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Are Labradors The Cutest Dogs In The World?

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Last week, I wrote a short piece about Kelpies, an Australian dog breed that’s truly magnificent. Today I’d like to draw your attention to the breed I love above all others: labradors.

Just look at him. Isn’t this the sweetest dog ever?

If that doesn’t warm your heart, I’m afraid you just don’t have one.

I first fell in love with labradors when my parents brought home a pup when I was a teenager. His name was Duco, and he quickly became my best friend. Sadly, he died from cancer four years ago. The love Duco showed was truly overwhelming and I still miss him – every single day.

Here he is with my mother:


And here he is with me:


It’s amazing, but after all these years I still feel the loss of perhaps the best friend I’ve ever had – only The Wife excluded.

So tell me: do you think that labs are the sweetest dogs in the world, or is there an even cuter breed? If so, which one? It’s hard if not impossible to top the sweetness-factor in the image above, isn’t it?

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Australian Kelpies: Coolest Dogs Ever?

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

I was strolling through my parents’ village yesterday, when I suddenly saw a very sweet, active, and beautiful dog that I didn’t recognize. My mother told me that it was an Australian Kelpie. We spoke to its owner, while playing with the dog, and learned that they’re very active (they’re used as sheep dogs in Australia, apparently), but also extraordinarily obedient, loyal and kind-hearted.

Now, I’m a labrador guy myself, but I truly fell in love with this wonderful dog. What do you guys think? Here’s some information about Kelpies, and here are two photos I made of this wonderful, extremely social dog.


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Swarovski Here, Swarovski There, Swarovski Everywhere: A Hideous Monstrosity Or Pure Make-Up Art?

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

A photo posted by Pat McGrath (@patmcgrathreal) on

As I wrote at PJ Lifestyle yesterday, I’m a newlywed whose wife is very interested in make-up art. Although, as a macho guy, you always hope these things don’t rub off on you, but sadly, they do. So I now catch myself actually keeping an eye on make-up artists active on Instagram, hoping I can forward this or that tip to my wife.

Poor me.

In any case, today I stumbled across this  lipstick art by Pat McGrath, an internationally well-known make-up artist. However, before I let my wife know about it, I wanted to ask you ladies what you think: do you agree that this looks pretty awesome or is it too freakish for you, with those little Swarovski diamonds on the lady’s lips?

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Attention Ladies: This Kitty Cat Make-Up Art By Tal Peleg Is Astonishing

Saturday, March 28th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

A photo posted by Tal Peleg (@tal_peleg) on

My wife enjoys make-up videos a lot. They help her become creative with her make-up, trying new things, and improving her overall look. Yes, yes, it’s probably a bit pathetic that I, as her husband, am actually focused on it because of her as well, but what can I say? Marriage changes you – and not always for the better.

In any case after seeing these photos on Instagram, I’ll tell her to use that social network for inspiration as well. Isn’t this awesome?

Be sure to follow Tal on Instagram. She’s truly the Picasso of modern make-up artists.

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These Beautiful Photos Will Reignite Your Love For Our Gorgeous Planet

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

With all the bad news that’s filling up most websites all day long, it’s of vital importance for us to focus on good and beautiful things every now and then. And what’s more beautiful than the planet we live on?

Here are some photos to remind us that we are truly blessed. Life often is ugly, but our planet is absolutely wonderful.

Glacier National Park is a national park located in the U.S. state of Montana. Via Mohammed Magdy, photo Jordan Ek:

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 20.18.26

Another great photo, this one published by Wonderful Nature And Wild Life on Google+:

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This turtle is also enjoying the view. I can’t blame him. Just look at that. You could put me there with my Macbook and I’ll happily await the end of my days there. Photo via Ervin Metellari on Google+ (the best social network for beautiful, high quality photos, yes even better than Instagram):

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Purple, purple everywhere. It’s an LSD-like experience, but gorgeous nonetheless (via G+):

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And then God created the most beautiful of his creations: nature. Again, via Google+.

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I hope these wonderful photos improved your mood a bit. I know they sure did mine.

More photos of our amazing planet at Google+’s “Earth” Community.

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Should Pregnant Women Who Smoke Be Fined for Endangering Their Children?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Know someone who’s smoking while pregnant? They need to see this video made by Dr. Nadja Reissland, of Durham University. In it she shows that unborn babies of mothers who smoke may have delayed development of their central nervous systems.

Many people believe that abortion should be illegal — at least after a certain period — because it means killing an innocent life. Well, how about physically abusing one? Shouldn’t that be illegal, too? After all, you aren’t allowed to beat your born child until she has brain damage either. How’s this any different?

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These Amazing Photos Prove Antarctica Is The Most Beautiful Place On Earth

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Day 5 - Penguin Sex - Shack Shack

Professional HDR (High Definition Resolution) photographer Trey Ratcliff just posted this amazing photo, accompanied by the following text, on Google Plus:

This is the first in a series of photos I’ll post from the hut of the famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. I can’t believe we actually got to go inside and explore it… we flew in a chopper out to this remote location… how people lived in here, in the middle of Antarctica for so long is truly a wonder!

Here’s another photo, this time of the Howard Glacier:

Day 10 - Glacier

And that’s not all. Check out this amazing photo of a mighty ice mountain and another glacier:

Day 13 - Sunny Valley - The Mighty Peaks

Day 13 - Sunny Valley - Megalith-Recovered

These are the trails made by penguins when they slide on their bellies and use their flippers to turn right or left. How awesome is that?

Day 13 - Sunny Valley - Penguin Slide

And lastly, Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano on Antarctica, which only has two active volcanos. Erebus is always covered in snow:

Day 17 - Randy - Mt Ara

You’ve got to follow Trey on Google+. He’s a famous photographer many – myself included – consider one of the best HDR photographers in the world.

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This Traditional Turkish Coffee Beats The Heck Out Of Some Weak Italian Cappuccino Everytime

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

No Dave, Italian coffee definitely isn’t the best coffee in the world. That cappuccino you show looks like the same one you can get anywhere in Europe. There’s nothing even remotely special about it.

Want to see what real coffee is supposed to look like? Well, just take a look at this wonderful Turkish coffee I drank earlier today. Now that’s the kind of boost you need in the morning.

No Dave, THIS is what real coffee looks like

A photo posted by Michael van der Galien (@michaelvandergalien) on

Editor’s Note: Tweet or Instagram pics of your morning beverages to @DaveSwindle on Twitter or @DaveSwindlePJM on Instagram to be featured as we continue the search for the ultimate caffeinated wake-up.

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