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PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Every week day a book excerpt, video, news story or some combination thereof to provoke spirited debate on controversial subjects. Have an idea you'd like to offer up for discussion? Email PJ Lifestyle's editor Dave Swindle: DaveSwindlePJM [@]
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Is It Time to Give Up Facebook?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

From the International Business Times, “Why Facebook ‘Real Name’ Policy May Drive LGBT Users To Ello“:

What do the drag queen Hedda Lettuce, cEvin Key of the industrial-music band Skinny Puppy, and a woman with an abusive ex and a fake name on Facebook have in common? Each one is affected by the social-media site’s controversial decision Sept. 11 to institute a “real name” policy, which requires a user to either employ a “real name as it would be listed on your credit card, driver’s license or student ID” or risk having the relevant account deleted. Drag queens such as Heklina and Sister Roma, whose real name is Michael Williams, were the first to voice their protests against the policy when their accounts were suspended by Facebook.

In an infamous and much-circulated quote that Michael Zimmer, a privacy and Internet ethics scholar who is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, posted on his blog, Facebook Inc. Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told “The Facebook Effect” author David Fitzpatrick, “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” Many commenters said Zuckerberg’s position as a powerful white man led him to disregard those who might need fake names.

“Regardless of sexuality or gender expression,” one woman wrote in response to the real-name policy and to Zuckerberg’s disdain for someone with a fake name, “women are subjected to the violence of men online. When you’ve been privileged by your place in the hierarchy your whole life, I know it can be hard to imagine receiving rape threats and having random online stalkers ask to see you at your job. But this is our experience.”

Related, #2 from “7 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 I Invite You to Burgle From Me Bilbo-Style“:

New Year's #Resolution 2 give up #Facebook by the end of the year after extracting anything I want to save. 10 years is enough and I'm ready to explore the capabilities of other #newmedia formats.

Update: Facebook apologizes

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Who Is More Annoying? Rosie O’Donnell Vs Whoopi Goldberg

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Hat tip to Kathy Shaidle, at the Daily Mail:

A nasty showdown erupted on the set of The View last Thursday when the show’s moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-host Rosie O’Donnell got into a heated spat in front of the studio audience.

Rosie was upset because Whoopi cut her off on a ‘Hot Topic’ subject that O’Donnell indicated she was passionate about backstage before the show. The segment ran out of time and Whoopi had to cut to a commercial, a show insider tells MailOnline exclusively.

The ‘Hot Topic’ was on spanking and the segment was running long, so producers told Whoopi it was time to go to commercial break in her ear. Rosie refuses to wear an ISD monitor in her ear so the control room is unable to speak to her. 

‘Well I just don’t appreciate you saying that you were going to do something and not doing it. It makes me upset and I just don’t want to have to go through this,’ O’Donnell continued.

Goldberg, looking annoyed, shot back: ‘I said this was not the time Rosie.’

Not phased by the Oscar winner’s petition to leave matters alone until after the show, the 52-year-old comedienne continued to vent about Whoopi’s actions.

The View moderator then fired back to Rosie: ‘F*** it, I told you to leave it alone and you just don’t want to listen. If you want to go there Rosie, I will dammit. I’m really sick of your s***!’

A hush fell over the studio.

Read more.

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When Did The Simpsons Jump the Shark?

Monday, September 29th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Speculation from last year when producers teased that the start of the 26th season would include the death of a major character:

So who died? A very disappointing pay-off today, as The Daily Mail reports:


It has been almost a year of anxious speculation.

But when the moment came for a ‘major character’ on The Simpsons to be killed off, viewers were less than impressed.

It was Krusty The Clown’s father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky.

Which character would you have axed instead? Or is the show just long passed its expiration date? When did you stop watching? Can you pinpoint the season when the show went off the rails?

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Are Millennials Actually Any More a ‘Generation Wuss’ Than Boomers and Xers?

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Via Drudge today, Bret Easton Ellis at Vanity Fair goes after the millennials, whom he christens “Generation Wuss”:

My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move. These are late-end Baby Boomers and Generation X parents who were now rebelling against their own rebelliousness because of the love they felt that they never got from their selfish narcissistic Boomer parents and  who end up smothering their kids, inducing a kind of inadequate preparation in how to deal with the hardships of life and the real way the world works: people won’t like you, that person may not love you back, kids are really cruel, work sucks, it’s hard to be good at something, life is made up of failure and disappointment, you’re not talented, people suffer, people grow old, people die. And Generation Wuss responds by collapsing into sentimentality and creating victim narratives rather than acknowledging the realities of the world and grappling with them and processing them and then moving on, better prepared to navigate an often hostile or indifferent world that doesn’t care if you exist.

One objection, pointing toward the experience that made the Greatest Generation more masculine than those that would follow:

Do you agree or disagree? Is war an essential experience for a boy becoming a man?

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Was Julianne Hough’s Dress on Dancing with the Stars Too Revealing for a Family Show?

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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Do You Prefer Cats Or Dogs? Or Does Another Pet Bring You More Joy?

Friday, September 26th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

From yesterday’s discussion question, “What Is Your Favorite Candy?“:

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 6.36.40 AM

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What Is Your Favorite Candy?

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Music: “Savoy Truffle” from The White Album

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What Are You Most Worried About Today?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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What If You Didn’t Have to Eat Food Anymore?

Friday, May 9th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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Which Is Better: Coffee or Tea?

Thursday, May 8th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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How Can You Tell If You’re Addicted To Social Media?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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How Old Should You Have to Be to Buy Alcohol?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question


From the author of Sexual Personae and Glittering Images:

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.

Read the whole thing.


image via shutterstock /  Pressmaster

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What Do the Words ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ Mean To You?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

"The problem of the last 20 years is that people think that 'liberal' and 'conservative' mean something." - Camille Paglia in 1991, page 250 of Sex, Art, and American Culture

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Which is More Rational: Belief in God or Atheism?

Monday, April 7th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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What Dance Was Most Controversial When You Were Young?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

The waltz was once a very controversial dance. Excerpt from Page 284 of Dr. Richard Lewinsohn's A #History of Sexual Customs, page 284 - a fascinating book from 1956 from a German author I'm really liking.

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How Did Benjamin Franklin Organize His Day?

Monday, March 31st, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question


Click here to see more. Hat Tip David Kahane.

How does your day look in comparison? What’s the best way to get organized?


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Why Was Karl Marx So Wrong About Religion?

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Why is #KarlMarx dead wrong about religion? Page 9 of Weston La Barre's The #Ghost Dance: Origins of #Religion explains easily. #history #god #Pagan

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What Is Antisemitic Cult Leader Fred Phelps Experiencing Right Now?

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Pastor Fred Phelps pictured in 1998

USA Today: Fred Phelps, anti-gay Westboro Baptist founder, dies

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.

From the ADL:

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.

They are the Manson girls.

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.

Read the whole thing.


images via The Guardian and ADL

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What Role Did the Crusades and the Church Play in the Spread of Prostitution?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

What role did the Crusades and the Church play in the spread of prostitution? Surprises... Page 145 of Dr. Richard Lewinshown's A History of Sexual Customs, published 1958. #war #crusade #christianity #history #church #prostitution

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Should Snake Oil Salesmen Go to Jail? For 10 Years?

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question


Fox News: TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for bilking customers

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

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What Did Your Parents Most Want You To Be?

Monday, March 17th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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What Does It Mean To Be a Righteous Man In Today’s America?

Friday, March 14th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

What does it mean to be a righteous man in America today? Question of the day. #manhood #masculinity #God #men #women

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What is the Best Way to Read?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

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

Sitting amidst his book piles, PJ Lifestyle Editor Dave Swindle ponders after reading Hannah Sternberg’s post about the future of reading in a world where apps promise to increase the speed:

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?

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Timothy Leary Vs. Bill Clinton: Who Inflicted More Harm?

Monday, March 10th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Daily Question

Who damaged America more: Timothy Leary or Bill Clinton? #history #ideology #counterculture #questionoftheday

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