Learning how to drink responsibly is a basic lesson in growing up — as it is in wine-drinking France or in Germany, with its family-oriented beer gardens and festivals. Wine was built into my own Italian-American upbringing, where children were given sips of my grandfather’s home-made wine. This civilized practice descends from antiquity. Beer was a nourishing food in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and wine was identified with the life force in Greece and Rome: In vino veritas (in wine, truth). Wine as a sacred symbol of unity and regeneration remains in the Christian Communion service. Virginia Woolf wrote that wine with a fine meal lights a “subtle and subterranean glow, which is the rich yellow flame of rational intercourse.”
What this cruel 1984 law did is deprive young people of safe spaces where they could happily drink cheap beer, socialize, chat, and flirt in a free but controlled public environment. Hence in the 1980s we immediately got the scourge of crude binge drinking at campus fraternity keg parties, cut off from the adult world. Women in that boorish free-for-all were suddenly fighting off date rape. Club drugs — Ecstasy, methamphetamine, ketamine (a veterinary tranquilizer) — surged at raves for teenagers and on the gay male circuit scene.
Alcohol relaxes, facilitates interaction, inspires ideas, and promotes humor and hilarity.
image via shutterstock / Pressmaster
How does your day look in comparison? What’s the best way to get organized?
Fred Phelps Sr., a fierce opponent of homosexuality whose protests at military funerals prompted two federal laws, died early Thursday, his daughter Margie Phelps says. She didn’t give the cause of death or the condition that recently put him in hospice care. He was 84.
Phelps headed the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., and was occasionally involved in politics. He gained national prominence for organizing protests against gays and Jews, including at military funerals.
The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a small virulently homophobic, anti-Semitic hate group that regularly stages protests around the country, often several times a week. The group pickets institutions and individuals they think support homosexuality or otherwise subvert what they believe is God’s law.
Incorporated in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization, WBC considers itself an “Old School (or Primitive)” Baptist Church. WBC’s leader is Fred Phelps and several of his children and dozens of his grandchildren appear to constitute the majority of the group’s members. WBC has no official affiliation with mainstream Baptist organizations.
While WBC members have protested at Jewish institutions over the years, such institutions were not a major focus for the group until April 2009. Since then, WBC has targeted dozens of Jewish institutions around the country, from Israeli consulates to synagogues to Jewish community centers, distributing anti-Semitic fliers to announce planned protests at these sites. WBC has also been sending volumes (in some cases dozens over the course of a week) of faxes and emails with anti-Semitic and anti-gay messages to various Jewish institutions and individuals.
In addition, in April 2010, the group began mailing a virulently anti-Semitic DVD to Jewish organizations and leaders. The DVD also attacks President Obama, describing him as the anti-Christ, and is filled with anti-gay and anti-Catholic vitriol.
Kathy Shaidle, September 13, 2011: Ever seen those ‘God Hates Fags’ guys and wondered: why doesn’t somebody mess with those mo-fos?
Well, guess what I did at the WTC?
If you were born in the middle of the 1960s, the Manson family imprinted themselves on your brain.
The girls looked like this.
I finally saw, up close, those (registered Democrat) Fred Phelps “family” members, with their “God Hates Fags” signs, outside the WTC memorial ceremony.
We wandered over to the location, knowing it was invitation only, but got as close as we could to the loudspeakers and giant TV, outside of Brown Brothers Harriman.
So did the Phelps gang.
I am not joking.
Same long straight brown hair, although mostly casually “up” in ponytails that morning.
And worst: the same creepy, post-orgasmic, beatific smile of every gnostic heretic; the one that says, “I know something you don’t know: God loves me SO much more than you.”
The cops told them to pack up. They put their signs back into the extra large black artist portfolio cases I now know they carry them in.
And the cops herded them away. Right past me.
So I stuck out my foot and tripped one of the girls.
Yeah, it felt fabulous.
She recovered herself, put her weird “I’m in a cult” smile back on and said, “Ha! Subtle!”
(This from a chick who’d been holding a “You will eat your babies” (?) sign.)
Her friend behind her, this old hag who looked like if the school librarian who’d been trapped in a fire, got in my face and with the most twisted expression you can imagine growled:
“You’ll go to hell for all your violence!”
“See you there,” I managed to croak.
images via The Guardian and ADL
CHICAGO – Best-selling author Kevin Trudeau, whose name became synonymous with late-night TV pitches, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for bilking consumers through ubiquitous infomercials for his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”
As he imposed the sentence prosecutors had requested, U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman portrayed the 50-year-old Trudeau as a habitual fraudster going back to his early adulthood. So brazen was Trudeau, the judge said, he once even used his own mother’s Social Security number in a scheme.
“Since his 20s, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain,” Guzman said, adding that Trudeau is “deceitful to the very core.”
Daily Mail: Best-selling author Kevin Trudeau jailed for TEN YEARS as judge calls him an ‘uncontrollable huckster’ for selling fake weight loss tips
He sold more than 850,000 copies of the weight-loss book, generating $39 million in revenue, prosecutors say. And the judge agreed with prosecutors that the amount of loss stemming from Trudeau’s deception was more than $37 million — nearly the amount in revenue.
But in remarks Monday asking for a sentence of less than two years for his client, defense attorney Tom Kirsch said the harm Trudeau caused was minor compared to fraud in which some people are cheated out of their life savings.
‘A 10-year sentence might be appropriate for a defendant who destroyed lives,’ Kirsch said. ‘(But) Trudeau — if he swindled anyone — swindled them out of $30 (the price of the book).’
His claims include: ‘The sun does not cause cancer. Sun block has been shown to cause cancer.’
Another one of his statements is that Aids is ‘one of the greatest hoaxes and deceptions ever perpetrated on the American public’.
image via USA Today
If you have say, a 200-page novel or nonfiction book, what is the best way to read it in order to understand it?
1. Read the whole book in one sitting, even if it takes hours? Is it important to read a book in one go?
2. Read it in, four, 50-page chunks over a couple of days?
3. Read one of its 10-page chapters each day and finish in about 3 weeks?
4. Read two pages each day and finish in about 3 months. Would marinating on the ideas slowly ofter that much time help?
5. Read one 40 page chunk at the start of each week and finish in 5 weeks? What about focusing on a single section at a time?
Or how does this change when the book becomes much larger? What about reading 400, 600, 1000-page novels too? Is it better to savor it
My tentative answer: in some cases, some books might require multiple readings. The first read could be quick and focused and then a follow-up read more leisurely. Or likewise it might be best to take a year with a single book as a daily companion then once done read it straight through to make new connections. What do you think?
Page 63 of Did Muhammad Exist?:
Page 208 of Did Muhammad Exist?:
Page 338 of Disinformation:
On the to-read list: Wealth and Poverty by George Gilder
A photo from PJ Lifestyle contributor Chris Yogerst’s Facebook, along with the comment, “Here is my glamorous view of dissertation research!!”
Chris writes on film and media for PJ Lifestyle and teaches at Concordia University in Wisconsin. These books are from his dissertation research for his Ph.D.
Via Policy Mic: M&M’s or Skittles? Here’s What Your Favorite Candy Says About Your Politics
Pollsters Jennifer Dube and Will Feltus of National Media Research, Planning and Placement LLP previous charted the politics of beer and Americans’ favorite TV shows. Now on Valentine’s Day week, they’ve released this chart showing whether Americans’ political preferences have any bearing on their favorite sweets.
This chart, though, isn’t as easy to decipher as their previous work on brands that marketed themselves as lifestyle choices (like hybrid cars, or Budweiser and Chik-fil-A). When’s the last time you saw candy marketed as a way to reinvent yourself?