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6 Shocking Authors I Seek to Syncretize

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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

Books photographed on the awesome sumo gigantor beanbag…

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

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

1. Counterculture intellectual and sci fi novelist Robert Anton Wilson

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

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

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

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

2. Counter-jihad activist and religious scholar Robert Spencer

Page 139 of Islam Unveiled:

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

Page 63 of Did Muhammad Exist?:

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

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

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

Page 207 of Pacepa’s memoir Red Horizons

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

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

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

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

Page 56 of High Crimes and Misdemeanors:

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

5. Foundational Thinker of Western Civilization and Jewish Philosopher Maimonides

Page 35 of Hoffman’s The Wisdom of Maimonides:

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

6. Cultural Critic and Literary Theorist Camille Paglia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Michelle Obama ♡ Kerry Washington

Saturday, February 1st, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jarrett and Obama


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PJ Media Story Round Up

Lead PJM Stories

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

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

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

School Testers Earn an F

Claudia Rosett: Her Ladyship Marks Holocaust without Mentioning Jews

Port Authority Official Says Christie Knew About the Lane Closings

Alexander, Scott Unveil Bills to Redirect Funds into School Choice

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

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

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page

Where Does the Left vs. Right Fight Come From?

Obama’s Great Jewish Conspiracy That Isn’t

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


New at PJ Lifestyle


8 Ways to Fight Morning Sickness

The 12 Best San Fernando Valley Sunrises From January 2014


In the Role of Lex Luthor… Jesse Eisenberg?

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

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

Book Plug Friday: Girl Genius Vs. Tor

Music for My Dad’s Guitar

Where Does the Left vs. Right Fight Come From?

The Enemy in the Classroom

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


A Florida Sunset For Your Birthday

Boycott, Divestment & ScarJo: Pop Culture Questions #BDS

Why Would Someone in Colorado Keep Buying Weed Illegally?

Disney Parks From The Air Over The Years

How Not to Turn Into The Shining This Winter

Obama Plays SOTU Lip Service to Equality


How Could Google Become More Evil?

Dallas Buyers Club Could’ve Used More Hollywood

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


New at PJ Tatler

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

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

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

Coburn, King Want to Sack NFL’s Tax Exemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,

That’s a Feature Not a Bug

Another Big Lenovo Deal

Neanderthal Style

Sign “O” the Times

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

Another Body Blow for Nintendo

Who Do You Fear?

More Wargaming the Senate

Required Viewing

More News You Can Use

The Taper Tapers

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

Excuses, Excuses

Drunkblogging the State of the Union


From PJM’s San Jose Editor Ed Driscoll

Two Atlantics in One!

The Mini-Holodomor, Sacramento-Style

The Dangerous Men of New York Politics

Arrivederci, American Dream

It Takes a Potemkin Village

Quote of the Day

The Lie that Hangs over the State of the Union

Andrea Mitchell: Iran Really Dug the US Until W.

Just NBC the Hack Work

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Who Wants Barack Obama As Her Baby’s Godfather?

Friday, January 24th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle


This is Week 3, day 3 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

1. Seth Mandel at CommentaryObama Administration to Israel: Call Off the Jews, Please

I made a point to put this story on top because it’s the most important thing I read yesterday. It’s more chilling evidence of how the conspiratorial vision of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright shaped how Barack Obama leads the country:

The latest dustup in U.S.-Israel relations is one that makes you wonder if Obama administration officials have a shred of self-awareness. The Jerusalem Post reports that the president is unhappy with the Israeli government because his consistent opposition to sanctions on Iran is not meeting with universal approval from American Jewish groups. And why does this make him upset with Israel? Because he apparently believes that such dissent must be the product of foreign influence:

A US official close to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said both men are disturbed over what is being perceived in their inner circle as “Jewish activism in Congress” that they think is being encouraged by the Israeli government, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.

The official has informed Israeli government figures that the president and secretary of state are disappointed over repeated attacks made against them by leading members of the Jewish community in the US.

The president and secretary of state would like American Jews’ foreign handlers and sponsors to please stop riling up the Jews, because those Jews then practice their voodoo on members of Congress. Now, while this is obviously a very stupid thing for the president and secretary of state to believe–conspiracy theorists love the Walt-Mearsheimer dark tales of Jewish influence, but rarely do serious or intelligent people fall for it–it is even dumber to, you know, say out loud.

This is who our president actually is. He is a man who not only believes that those criticizing him do so because the Israeli government has directed them to do so, but will say it. He genuinely believes that there is a Jewish conspiracy and that it is a more malevolent actor against him and America, than say, the Muslim Brotherhood or Vladimir Putin.

One of the few things that comforts me about this is the knowledge that America has survived having antisemitic, paranoid, lying presidents in the past…

2. Bridget Johnson here at PJM: Carney: Just Ignore Iran; We Won’t Be Releasing Text of Nuke Agreement

White House press secretary Jay Carney brushed off the Iranian foreign minister’s claims that there is no dismantling of their nuclear program in the p5+1 agreement.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN during an interview in Davos that “the White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments.”

“The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again,” he said. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.”

Zarif urged the CNN reporter to read the agreement, but the White House won’t release the text — claiming that the P5+1 agreed there was some technical information in the document that should remain classified.

“We’ve said before that we expected the Iranian government to spin the commitments they made under the joint plan of action for their domestic political purposes,” Carney told reporters in today’s briefing.

Because Millennials wanted Obamacare and John McCain was too cowardly to talk about Rev. Wright —  he actually fired campaigners who did — Iran will end up with a nuclear weapon. Political failures result in military catastrophe.

3. Peter Beinart at The AtlanticRand Paul Is the 2016 Republican Frontrunner

Start with Iowa. Last May, Rand Paul gave the keynote speech at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. How did he secure this prize invitation? Because the chairman, co-chairman, and finance chairman of the Iowa Republican Party all supported his father. Rand Paul’s not the only potential 2012 candidate who will inherit a political infrastructure in the Hawkeye State. Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee also have networks left over from prior runs. But their supporters don’t play as influential a role in the state GOP. “RPI no longer stands for the Republican Party of Iowa,” noted arecent article in Politico, “but for Rand Paul, Inc.”

Because the Iowa GOP will elect new leaders next spring, it’s unlikely “Paulestinians” will so thoroughly dominate the party leadership in 2016. But Craig Robinson, former political director of the Iowa GOP, says that’s actually to Rand Paul’s advantage, since it will free up some of Iowa’s most powerful Republicans to run his 2016 campaign.

If there’s one thing that could obviate all this, it’s the possibility that Paul could suffer his own candidacy-crippling scandal. He’s already gotten himself into trouble for plagiarism and employing neo-Confederates. Who knows what the media will turn up when the real vetting that greets a presidential candidate begins?

That this story is written by Peter Beinart is significant, of course. Here was Ron Radosh a few weeks ago: “How Peter Beinart Defends the Repulsive Views of the Antisemitic Jew Max Blumethal.”

Rand Paul is unfit to be president for the same reason that Obama was: having an unrepentant antisemitic conspiracy theorist as one of  your core mentors means you are an evil person. And Rand Paul was campaigning for his father in 2008, invoking his father’s antisemitic mentors in 2009 during his Senate campaign, writing a book with a neo-confederate staffer in 2010, and defending him in 2013 after his fantasies of assassinating Abraham Lincoln were revealed.

What’s Jack Hunter doing now? Here’s the publication that’s decided to hire him…

4. Betsy Rothstein at the Daily Caller: Rare’s new motto: Pink is the Center

Well, today, Rare‘s newest editorial hire, Jack Hunter, who has reportedly judged wet T-shirt contests, worn a mask emblazoned with the Confederate flag and supported the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, both backed up and contradicted internal orders (depending whom you believe) by announcing Rare‘s extremely strong stance on gay marriage: They are all in and all for it.

As an aside, Hunter is listed both as Rare‘s Editor and a “contributing editor.”

“There is a civil war happening in the Republican Party over the issue of same-sex marriage,” he wrote. (A pretty strange metaphor for someone who has said repeatedly that he supports the slave-holding South’s independence.) “There are two sides—the winning side and the losing side. The winning side are those who believe the time for same sex marriage has come… The losing side are those who believe the country will somehow reverse course on this issue despite every single cultural indicator showing otherwise.”

Question: now that Rare has a gay-marriage-only editorial line will they continue to publish the antisemitic, very anti-gay marriage, paleoconservative Patrick Buchanan?

5. Ed Driscoll here at PJ Media: Why Does the Left Hate Hillary Clinton So?

Goddess worship. What more do you need?

6. Vanity Fair: Why the “Planet Hillary” New York Times Magazine Cover Is a Legitimate Dadaist Masterpiece

What a fantastic piece of art! Did you notice that all the cover lines are puns about space? “The gravitational pull of a possible campaign,” “the Chelsea quasar,” “the Friends-of-Bill black hole,” etc. Other, less rhetorical questions: why can’t planets have hair? Like, obviously planets don’t have faces and smiles, so our disbelief is already suspended. Why not just give her/it hair? She looks like Benjamin Button toward the end (beginning?) of that movie. (Full disclosure: we never saw Benjamin Button.)

Second question: why isn’t, say, “the Chelsea quasar” in the shape of Chelsea Clinton’s disembodied head? Why is Planet Hillary the only anthropomorphized astronomical entity? (“A quasar in the shape of a person? That’s stupid. But a planet in the shape of a person? Now that’s a metaphor.”)

Third question: if the boys over in graphics were going to turn Hillary into a planet, couldn’t they at least have made her an attractive rock planet? Why all the mountains and valleys to represent wrinkles? It’s an invented astral body! It’s not like the mountains and valleys correspond to actual geological properties of a real place. Also: in real life, Hillary Clinton’s eyebrows are notably well-maintained. Why the unflattering half-brows? Or are those mountain ranges framing her ocean eyes?

7. Dave Weigel at Slate: Important Hillary Clinton-as-Planet Meme


8. Ann Coulter’s New Column This Week: THE HEROISM OF WENDY DAVIS

Slater says Davis’ kids lived with Jeff Davis in Texas while she attended law school. Wendy Davis claims her girls lived with her during her first year of law school. Let’s say that’s true. Why not the other two years? And what was the matter with the University of Texas Law School?

Sorry, MSNBC, I know you want to fixate on how many months Davis spent in the trailer park and her precise age when the first divorce went through. And that would be an incredibly stupid thing for conservatives to obsess on, if they were, in fact, obsessing on it. But I’m still stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.

The reason Wendy Davis’ apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that’s not amazing.

I wonder what a private conversation between Hillary Clinton and Wendy Davis would sound like.


Schweizer, as Breitbart News has extensively reported, detailed some of the ways in which politicians legally extract wealth from Americans in his best-selling book Extortion. He revealed:

  • How Democratic Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) funneled at least $294,245 in campaign cash to herself by loaning her campaign money in 1998 at a staggering 18% interest rate and then letting the loan linger unpaid for 20 years

  • Top-secret “price lists,” known officially as “party dues,” that include the donation totals members of Congress must raise to land top committee spots and chairmanships

  • How leadership PAC loopholes allow members of Congress to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members

  • Allegations that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) bagged over $200,000 in donations from executives and companies prior to holding votes on three bills of critical importance to their industries

  • How President Barack Obama used a political extortion tactic known as a “double milker bill” to “milk” millions in donations by pitting Obama’s friends in Hollywood against his supporters in Silicon Valley to extract cash from both

10. The Daily Mail: The real Goodfellas: FBI arrest New York mafia suspected of carrying out the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist

This is the first time any accused member of the mafia has ever faced charges in connection with the crime.

The arrests of the five men follows a discovery by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of human remains at a New York property tied to James ‘Jimmy the Gent’ Burke last summer.

Burke, the suspected mastermind of the heist, died in prison in 1996 while serving time for the murder of a drug dealer. Actor Robert De Niro played a character based on Burke in the film.

Question: which is more morally objectionable and destructive, a bunch of mobsters who steal $5 million dollars in 1978 or a President who, to take just one example, enables his campaign supporters to legally steal $535 million in government loans before declaring bankruptcy?

11. J. Christian Adams quotes from the press release: Dinesh D’Souza Indicted By Eric Holder’s DOJ

In 2012, the Election Act limited both primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 for a total of $5,000 from any individual to any one candidate. In August 2012, D’SOUZA directed other individuals with whom he was associated to make contributions to the campaign committee for a candidate for the United States Senate (the “Campaign Committee”) that totaled $20,000. D’SOUZA then reimbursed those individuals for the contributions. By directing the illegal contributions to be made, D’SOUZA also caused the Campaign Committee to falsely report to the FEC the sources and amounts of those contributions to the campaign.

* * *

D’SOUZA, 52, of San Diego, California, is charged with one count of causing $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions to be made to a candidate for the United States Senate in calendar year 2012, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. He also is charged with one count of causing false statements to be made to the FEC in connection with the illegal campaign contributions, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

I’m not a D’Souza defender at all. I think his critique of Obama in both his book and film were wrong-headed. Naming Obama’s anti-colonialism and his father’s ideology as the keys to understanding him is like saying that the Filet-o-Fish and McRib are the most popular menu items at McDonald’s.

And it wasn’t the first time he’s been really wrong about a major issue. Remember his horrific book about 9/11 that claimed the “cultural Left” had inspired the Jihadists to attack us over our decadent Britney Spears society? Robert Spencer took him apart in a memorable debate.

12. At Salon: 6 reasons female nudity can be powerful

6. Self-defined public female nudity is a challenge to capitalism and its uses of women as products, props, assets and distributable resources. Nothing on Earth is used to drive sales and profits and display male wealth and status like women’s, often naked and semi-naked, bodies.  If you are thinking women make choices and are complicit, show contempt for other women because they are women — well, of course some of them do. That is a defining feature of misogyny. Until we have equal access to resources, and are not subject to constant predation, this is a no-brainer. In the meantime, when women refuse to sexualize themselves and use their bodies to challenge powerful interests that profit from that sexualization, the words we should use aren’t  “lewd” and “obscene”; they’re “threatening” and “destabilizing.”

Women who use public nudity for social commentary, art and protest are myth-busting along many dimensions: active, not passive; strong not vulnerable; together, not isolated; public, not private; and, usually, angry, not alluring.  The morality offense is misogyny, not nudity.

13. Graphic Images at the Daily Mail: Starved, tortured then throttled: The true horror of how Assad’s soldiers execute rebel prisoners is revealed in new images

More photographs showing the maimed bodies of alleged victims of ‘systematic killings’ in Syrian prisons have been released today.

The second cache of photos paints an even clearer image of the horrendous conditions and gruesome torture in government-run jails in Syria.

The images, some of the 55,000 leaked by a witness ‘tasked with recording deaths in custody’, were taken between 2011 and 2013.

14. Zombie at the PJ Tatler: Kiddie Porn Does Not Count as ‘Moral Turpitude’ to S.F. Govt.

A former high-ranking San Francisco government employee convicted of felony possession of child pornography will continue to receive his government pension because, according to city regulations, evidence of “moral turpitude” is required to revoke a pension yet viewing violent kiddie porn does not qualify as moral turpitude.

As reported here in the Tatler, Larry Brinkin, a prominent San Francisco Human Rights Commissioner and nationally known gay rights advocate, was arrested in 2012 for possessing and possibly distributing videos and images of babies being raped by adult men. Because of Brinkin’s “iconic” stature in the community as the person who pioneered “domestic partnership” laws nationwide, supporters at the time accused the police of framing him with false charges. But the evidence was so overwhelming that, after 18 months of legal wrangling, on Tuesday, January 21, Brinkin pled guilty to felony possession of child pornography, with various other more serious charges dropped as part of the plea bargain. He will serve just six months in jail and thereafter have to register as a sex offender.

On the second page of Zombie’s post he has some horrific excerpts of Brinkin’s comments about the violent videos he was sharing. Making them even more chilling is the way his racism expresses itself.

15. Daily Mail: Killer who kept six women as sex slaves in a home-made dungeon and murdered two of them is executed in China

During their incarceration he repeatedly raped them, forced them to have sex with other men for money and made them perform in pornographic web shows.

When you see a woman performing online how do you really know that she’s doing so by her own consent and that she’s 18 or older? You don’t. This is the real danger of internet pornography, far darker than the commonly discussed problem of men dropping out of relationships to retreat into a virtual realm. It’s a world where anyone can shoot a video and throw it online in minutes, perhaps not even breaking the law in the foreign country where they’re shooting.

16. Megan Fox continues her investigations here at PJ Lifestyle: In the Age of Information Orland Park Public Library Can’t Use Skype to Hear Expert on Library Porn

Kleinman has been waging this war against porn in libraries for 20 years now, largely on his own since his friend and SafeLibraries.org partner died several years ago. There is no one more well-versed in the ALA’s tactics, lies, intimidation techniques, and actual court cases involving pornography in libraries than Kleinman; refusing him the right to speak on behalf of children and parents who don’t want porn in libraries is nothing less than willful deceit of the public on behalf of the OPPL.

17. Kathy Shaidle here at PJ Lifestyle: Ted Nugent Did What?

That may explain why — until I read about it in the comments beneath Gavin’s article — I’d never heard of Ted Nugent’s relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Trying to get the truth about this felt like a game of “telephone,” with hysterical left-wing sites like The Daily Kos quoting Wikipedia quoting Spin magazine, circa 2000:

In 1978, 30-year-old Ted Nugent fell in love with 17-year-old Hawaiian lovely Pele Massa. To keep the hassle factor low, the Motor City Madman convinced the girl’s parents to sign documents that officially made Nugent Pele’s guardian. His pitch? Better a horny, rich, drug-free, right-wing bow hunter than a horny, poor, stoned high school student.

That’s the most authoritative citation I’ve found so far.

18. The Daily Mail: The 2,300-year-old torture chamber: Ancient dungeon containing a ‘bloody well and death rooms’ unearthed in Turkey

Archaeologists and the Bursa Muncipality plan to turn the dungeons and corridors into an open-air museum. Yimiz said torture tools will also be put on display, and the museum is expected to be ready by 2016.

The past is so much darker than we’re ready to accept but if we can overcome it then the future will be brighter than we can imagine.

19. Stephen Green on PJTV: Bill Gates: No More Poor Countries by 2035

20. Gossip Cop: Kerry Washington Asked President Obama To Be Baby’s Godfather, Claims Report

A so-called “informant” for the tab says, “Kerry’s been courting the President and First Lady for some time now because she wants to play Michelle in a movie.”

The purported “insider” goes on to allege, “She’s desperate to have someone as prestigious as the Obamas as her baby’s godparents and plans on casually asking Michelle at the next fundraiser they attend together.”


It seems like someone over at Star has been watching too much “Scandal.”

For some bizarre reason, the magazine and its sister publication the National Enquirer are intent on trying to link the actress to Obama, despite how obviously ridiculous the idea is.

In any case, Gossip Cop checked in with a source close to the situation, who laughed off the outlandish story.

April 2012 at the Daily Mail:

Michelle Obama has banned actress Kerry Washington from the White House because she it ‘too flirty’ with the President, it was sensationally claimed today.

The First Lady was said to have a ‘watch list’ of women that were to be kept away from her 50-year-old husband – but it’s a story one White House official claims it totally false.

According to an article in the National Enquirer, Mrs Obama, 48, planned to keep the actress at arm’s length – despite Miss Washington’s honorary post on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

“It always comes down to my gut, my gut tells me everything I need to know.” — Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, expressing the matriarchal credo.

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

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

PJ Media Story Round Up

Lead PJM Stories

Rodrigo Sermeno: Huckabee Tells RNC to Stop RINOing Each Other

Roger L. Simon: How Social Conservatives Are Saving Liberalism (Barely)

Rodrigo Sermeno: 8 Things in Washington That Could Hit Your Wallet This Year

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page


New at PJ Lifestyle

Shooting Through the Tall Grasses Into the Sea at Sunset Beach

A Cover Story

Can Nintendo Survive?

Repurposing a Plethora of Parsley

10 Reasons Why Camille Paglia is the Champion of the Feminist Right

We Shouldn’t Fear a Robotic Future

A Baseball Mom’s Take on Richard Sherman’s NFL Postgame Rant


New at PJ Tatler

Finally, GOP Begins to Focus on School Choice

BREAKING: Shocking Police Brutality in Ukraine; Riots Spreading to Major Cities

Pope Francis: Internet A Gift From God

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

Who Is Battleground Texas’ Lisa Wortham?

Greg Abbott Reacts to Video Showing Battleground Texas Activists Mocking His Disability (Update: Davis Reacts)

Rebuttal to Another ‘Why Won’t the Social Conservatives Just Shut Up?’ Post

Change: Moody’s Downgrades Insurance Companies, Because Obamacare

Liberal Sally Kohn Asks a Stupid Question

IRS Goes After Right-Leaning Group in Hollywood

Look At What Wendy Davis Leaves Out of Her Website

Bloomberg News: Americans’ Love Of Guns Makes It Really Hard to Vote

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

Administration’s Envoy to Muslims Leaving for Harvard

Dem Encourages Obama Action on Minimum Wage to ‘Energize the Base’ for Elections

Iran: Nope, We Never Said We’d ‘Dismantle’ Our Nuclear Program

Subway Partnering with Michelle Obama, Agrees to Make Kids’ Meals Like School Lunches

Ukraine Sends Chilling Text Messages to Anti-Government Demonstrators

Obama Establishes Task Force on Sexual Assault, Says Fathers Should Teach Sons Respect for Women

From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,

Fill it to the RIM — with Nokia?

How About Some Good Health News for a Change?

Stealth Libertarianism?

Cuomo Vs O’Keefe

Those Bastards — They Killed Kicking!

Remember The Facebook?

Required Reading

Texas Cleared for Execution of Mexican National

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day


From PJM’s San Jose Editor Ed Driscoll

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula Could Not Be Reached For Comment

Obamacare Advisor Departing White House for the Proverbial ‘Health and Family Reasons’

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Ever Try Re-Watching a Movie That You Didn’t Like?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 3, day 2 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

1. Andrew Klavan here at PJM: Does Her Deserve An Oscar?

But Her is not one of those movies. It’s bad. Its plot — a guy falls in love with the artificial intelligence of a new computer operating system — is an already played-out and unoriginal version of Pygmalion. (See everything from 2001: A Space Odyssey to 2002′s Simone). Its characters are collections of ideas rather than actual personalities — even the wonderful Amy Adams has to struggle to make her cliched nothing of a part come to life. And, most importantly, its central performance is just brutally dull.

Without that sort of skill from its lead actor, a film like Her is just a charmless display of intellection. Which is all right for critics, I guess, if they’re not very good critics. But for humans? Pass.

Andrew, I have to admit it: your review yesterday inspired me. Recalling our occasional disagreements over movies and TV — which I still attribute mostly to our differing generational perspectives — the thinking went something like: “If Klavan hates it that much then maybe I’ll really like it!”

Last night April and I went to the ArcLight. I suggested four potential movies: Gravity 3D in IMAXSaving Mr. Banks, Frozen, and Her. April picked Her — which really surprised me. And we both liked it — me more than her. She overall found it enjoyable — a good B-level movie worth seeing once but nothing special. I was more enthusiastic. As a singularitarian who thinks seriously about how biological and artificial intelligence will interact in the coming decades, I found it a thoughtful, well-shot fable.

And while you couldn’t relate to the main hero and his phone-based emotional life, I kind of could. It was great to go on this date with April last night; in the two weeks following our family Christmas visit we were separated while she put on a successful solo art show in the Bahamas and I hammered away at the book manuscript. So remember those scenes in Her with Theodore running around with the camera showing Samantha the world? That was me and our Siberian Husky running through the park the last few weeks, smart phone extended filming, sharing the emotional experience through a technological medium to connect with another person thousands of miles away. Where Her gets challenging is in taking the common experience we have today of using smart phones to channel our emotions and then asking the Turing Question: how do you know if the person you’re communicating with is a real person? What does it mean when you can no longer tell?

So what does it make me that Her is my best picture pick so far? Not a very good critic? Too influenced by America’s corrupt popular culture without even realizing it? Somehow less than human? You did say that humans should pass and I know that it was just a joke, but yeah, I’m a believer in Kathy Shaidle’s “nobody is ever just kidding” philosophy.

But that’s alright. I’m not offended. In my previous life as a film obsessive working at an art house movie theatre and writing weekly film reviews, the secret that came to me which I submit to you and everyone else for debate: if you don’t like a movie the first time you see it and a whole lot of other people (who are generally smart and thoughtful and whose advice you trust) do like it, then maybe you should just watch it again. Maybe you didn’t get it.

As I emailed you after your questioning review of Inside Llewyn Davis, I meant to write a blog post arguing that the Coen brothers are the primary example of this phenomenon. (They’re also my pick for your generation’s greatest filmmakers.) I didn’t like Fargo and The Big Lebowski the first times I saw them. It took a few viewings for them to unfold and for me to pick up on just how much they offer. All of the Coen brothers’ movies seem to be like that. Some — like No Country for Old Men and True Grit — hit you with their greatness immediately and obviously. But all the others just get better with each viewing. (Her‘s writer-director Spike Jonze falls into the same camp – Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Where the Wild Things Are reward repeat watching.)

And honestly, I think that’s my definition of what it takes for a movie to be great — it has to be one that gets better  each time you watch it. Is that a decent definition of what makes for great art in general? A painting you can stare at and always see something new, a song that always stirs the emotions differently, a book where each visit reveals new depth?

It seems that our mutual friend, the great activist-entrepreneur-writer-troublemaker R.J. Moeller, had a similar dismissive response to the film. In answering his longer criticisms, perhaps you’ll see why I’d encourage giving Her another chance.

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‘Perhaps It Makes More Sense to Speak of Solutions, Rather Than A Solution.’

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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

This is Week 3, day 1 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

1. Two excerpts from Glenn Reynolds’ essential new The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itselfthat I finished reading yesterday:

“… the fact is that the modern teenager is a modern phenomenon, and teenagers in previous eras were far more responsible — and far more integrated into society as a whole.” - page 69

"... the fact is that the modern #teenager is a modern phenomenon, and teenagers in previous eras were far more responsible -- and far more integrated into society as a whole." - Glenn Reynolds, page 69 of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American #Education From Itself, a phenomenal new book from one of my major intellectual and new media influences. #ReadEverythingTheyWriteWriter

During my miserable junior high and high school years I just knew in my bones that the factory-like school system was an anti-American aberration designed to create efficient drones to serve in the hive. Now Glenn’s book confirms it and lays bare the flaws at the base of this model imported from Germany during the Industrial Revolution.

A question for debate and discussion (particularly amongst my PJ Lifestyle co-conspirators): in declaring war against the false gods of pop culture polytheism and the educational establishment should we also reject the very idea of the “teenager” and the “adolescent”? For children with the aptitude to skip over the made-up, in-between period of tolerated, coddled irresponsibility, why not start treating them like genuine young adults as soon as they’re able?

On page 87 Glenn cuts to the essence of how an America 3.0-style libertarian-conservatism seeks to solve problems:

"... perhaps it makes more sense to speak of solutions, rather than a solution." - Glenn Reynolds, page 87 of The New School articulating the essence of America 3.0 problem-solving. One size fits all is dead. #education #freedom #readeverythingtheywritewriters

Glenn wrote the foreword to James C. Bennett’s and Michael Lotus’s manifesto America 3.0which lays out an exciting, realistic vision for how as American culture continues toward greater decentralization citizens will be empowered to pursue multiple solutions to their communities’ problems. Glenn’s book shows how this style of thinking can be applied to higher education and K-12 — which are more interrelated problems with common origins than are often discussed. In jump-starting the education reform discussion through reading it, I’d also argue that this model of thought should be applied to other issues too. There is no single, over-arching solution to America’s cultural, domestic, and foreign policy problems. Instead there are multiple potential solutions and the answer is to enable greater freedom so that they can be tested and explored. Still haven’t read An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths?



2. At PJTV: Glenn Reynolds Reveals the Future of U.S. Education to Michelle Fields (Video)

3. Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler: Fort Worth Star-Telegram Guts Unflattering Wendy Davis Exposé

Slater reported that the truth is far more complicated than Davis’ origins story. Davis divorced at 21, not 19. She only lived in the trailer for a few months. She was able to get her Harvard education thanks to her second husband, Jeff Davis, whom she left the day after he made the final payment on her tuition. He had cashed his 401(k) savings and taken out a loan to pay for her education.

I hope Davis continues to be held up as an icon of 3rd wave postmodern Marxist feminism. A woman who rose to media-fueled prominence defending late term abortion gained her Harvard education through abandoning her children and husband. And HE got the kids afterward, citing infidelity!

That’s what ideology does to people: it inspires them to sacrifice their family in pursuit of something they value as more important. You know, like defending a woman’s right to an abortion after 20 weeks.

4. Victor Davis Hanson here at PJM: The Last Generation of the West and the Thin Strand of Civilization

The universities were the great backbone of the West, from the Academy and Lyceum to medieval Pisa and Oxbridge to the great 18th- and 19th-century founding of American campuses. Not necessarily any longer. Too many are bankrupt morally, economically, politically, and culturally.

The symptoms are terrifying: one trillion dollars in student debt (many of these loans accruing at higher than average interest rates and even before students have graduated); a small Eloi class of rarefied elites who teach little and write in runes that no one can decipher;  a large Morlock class of part-timers and oppressed lecturers who subsidize the fat and waste of the tenured and administrative classes; graduates who are arrogant but ignorant, nursed on –studies ideology without the liberal arts foundations to back up their zeal; and a BA/BS brand that no longer ensures better-paying jobs, if any jobs at all.

In sum, apart from the sciences and medicine, most of the university coarsens rather than enlightens American life.

The current campus is unsustainable and we are beginning to see its decline, as online courses and for-profit tech schools usurp its students. The liberal arts are not nurtured and protected for another generation in the university. Instead, their umbilical cords have become cut with the cleaver of race/class/gender no-nothingism. Again the theme: the more bloated, exploitive, and costly the university, the more it lashes out it that it is short-changed, the victim of philistine budget cuts, and the last bastion of civilized life.

Each day when I drive to work I try to look at the surrounding communities, and count how many are working and how many of the able-bodied are not. I listen to the car radio and tally up how many stories, both in their subject matter and method of presentation, seem to preserve civilization, or how many seem to tear it down. I try to assess how many drivers stay between the lines, how many weave while texting or zoom in and out of traffic at 90mph or honk and flip off drivers.

Today, as the reader can note from the tone of this apocalyptic essay, civilization seemed to be losing.

I appreciate VDH tremendously, but as I wrote in framing my review of America 3.0, I can no longer indulge in the Apocalypticism so in vogue throughout political sentiment on both Right and Left.

There are many solutions to our problems out there. There just isn’t one single absolute answer. (And in fact it’s the pursuit of the belief that there is — what Bennett and Lotus define as America 2.0 — that has largely led America to many of these problems in the first place.)

5. Barry Rubin here at PJM: Why the Arab/Muslim World Is Trapped

While we see few occasions of consciousness–and certainly few publicly expressed–from Arab and Muslim intellectuals of what is really going on, they still do take place. For example, in a December 30, 2013, interview that aired on CBC TV, Egyptian novelist Youssef Ziedan said:

We should reconsider our notions regarding the Jewish question. We are not even aware how much this affects us. [Antisemitism] has become a common trade, benefiting all our politicians. Any politician who wants to gain popularity curses Israel, but when he comes to power, he has no problem with Israel.

That’s stupidity. That’s stupidity which is connected to the ignorance of the people. We should reconsider this. Nobody looks out for our interests. We should be aware of this.

In other words, Ziedan shows keen consciousness of political movements and how leaders manipulate them.

6. At the Daily Mail: ‘You are a colossal fraud. There’s only one thing left for you to do’: How the FBI tried to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into suicide with anonymous note

Former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover feared Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so much he sent the civil rights leader an anonymous letter urging him to commit suicide, it has emerged.

A new book has chronicled how the FBI under Hoover classified King as ‘the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country’ and went to extreme lengths – including breaking in and bugging his home, office and hotel rooms – to destroy him and his work to bring about racial equality.

After delivering his ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ at the 1963 March on Washington, the government’s interest in the leader intensified and Hoover allocated significant resources to monitoring King’s movements and eavesdropping on his conversations, according to ‘The Burglary: the Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.’

I wonder what Hoover would think of an NSA that has the capability of delivering reports on every single computer user’s porn preferences?

7. An excerpt from Kevin D. Williamson’s Encounter Broadside, What Doomed Detroit:

Cover with Siberian Husky:

I just finished this great 34 page broadside pamphlet about what destructive, racist ideologies doomed Detroit and what economic policies accelerated the bankruptcy of a once prosperous American city. Explains the facts well. #history #marxism

Excerpt from page 19:

"The model of government at the federal, state, and local level that emerged in the late 1950s and 1960s was built on a defective foundation: the belief that the postwar economic boom would last forever." - Kevin D Williamson, page 19 of What Doomed #Detroit an Encounter Broadside on #history #economics #racism and #ideology

Make a point to pick up this great analysis. It’s a quick read you can manage in a half hour or less and then have an understanding of the multiple factors that bled Detroit dry over decades.

8. Glenn’s USA Today column this week: Government conspiracy theories aren’t crazy

Spend a little while on Twitter or in Internet comment sections and you’ll see a significant number of people who think that the NSA may have been relaying intelligence about the Mitt Romney campaign to Obama operatives, or that Chief Justice John Roberts’ sudden about-face in the Obamacare case might have been driven by some sort of NSA-facilitated blackmail.

A year ago, these kinds of comments would have been dismissable as paranoid conspiracy theory. But now, while I still don’t think they’re true, they’re no longer obviously crazy. And that’s Obama’s legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.

What are the potential solutions to the NSA spying on all internet traffic and making backup copies of everyone’s email inboxes and g-chats? There really isn’t one, from what I can tell. Even if some law is passed saying the NSA needs to stop providing the ability to spy on your keystrokes to the 29-year-old Edward Snowden nutjobs they hire then abuses will still happen. And BTW, do you think Vladimir Putin has similar capabilities?

How about this: the genie’s out of the bottle here and there are bigger fights to have. Anytime you do something digitally, online you should just accept the fact that someone could be spying on you or could recover the data about what you did later. And then live your life accordingly. Want privacy? Write by hand in a journal or how about *gasp* on a computer or something that isn’t hooked up to the internet?

9. Ed Driscoll here at PJM: Volokh Conspiracy Takes the Boeing

“Very interesting day at The Washington Post. Left-wing Ezra Klein is out and the much-respected conservative legal blog,The Volokh Conspiracy,is in,” John Nolte writes at Big Journalism. Already the Jeff Bezos era is becoming an interesting one.”  John links to this press release from the Washington Post

The Washington Post today announced a partnership with The Volokh Conspiracy, a blog that covers law, public policy, politics, culture and other topics.

Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, founded the blog in April 2002, and it quickly became a regular destination for Supreme Court junkies, academics, and anyone interested in law and national issues.  Most of the contributors are law professors, and include some of the top legal scholars in the nation.

Great for them! I’ll make a point to start featuring more of their posts in my link round-ups.

10. The Daily Mail reporting on a disturbing viral story: ‘You ruined my life’: Brave woman, 28, posts video of her phoning female teacher who ‘sexually abused her as a 12-year-old’

A 28-year-old woman has posted online a video of her confronting the female teacher who allegedly molested her as a 12-year-old girl.

The shocking clip, which was uploaded to YouTube last Friday, shows a woman who identifies herself by the name Jamie X, talking about abuse that she allegedly suffered at the hands of a teacher at Chemawa Middle School in Riverside, California. 

Jamie X calls Alhambra Unified School District where she claims that her attacker is now an assistant principal. In the call, she tells the woman, whose name is not being released by MailOnline, that she did something terribly wrong.

It can sometimes be very difficult trying to find the line between internet justice and internet vengeance. Not so much in this case here. Just watch the video. The assistant principal has since resigned. See this interview of Jamie X:

Question: was this the best way to make sure that this assistant principal can no longer be in a position of power? What was the other, better solution? And as Jamie points out in the interview, she now expects others to come forward. Perhaps someone whose crimes were committed more recently so charges can be filed?

11. Bryan Preston: Has Wendy Davis’ Charmed Run for Governor Started to Implode? (Update: Meltdown)

All of this speaks to Davis’ honesty and integrity. If she cannot be counted on to accurately report her own history, she’s likely to run a slipshod governorship that remains at arm’s length with the truth. Asking legitimate questions about her veracity is not a personal attack, but the vetting that political candidates should expect to undergo when they seek high office and the power that comes with it. Her reaction to the publication of this story suggests that her skin hasn’t gotten any thicker since she blamed the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for her first political defeat and sued the paper for endorsing her opponent, back in 1996.

12. Time: Facebook Is About to Lose 80% of Its Users, Study Says

Basically, Facebook users will lose interest in Facebook over time as their peers lose interest — if the model is correct. ”Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,” write the researchers.

Are you someone who has given up Facebook recently in search of better solutions for keeping in touch with your friends and family? What are better social networking options? I’ve been upping my Twitter and Instagram usage lately.

13. Roger L. Simon: The Duranty Prize Is Back—with an Addition

On October  10, 2012, PJ Media and The New Criterion combined forces to give the first annual Walter Duranty Prize for journalistic mendacity, named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow bureau chief between 1922 and 1936. Duranty is notorious for having whitewashed Stalin’s atrocities, notably the forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians known as the Holodomor. Duranty’s cleansed reports were further responsible for encouraging Franklin Roosevelt to recognize the Soviet Union.

That last sentence there is the big, painful truth: American history for the 20th century was transformed because FDR, misled by disinformation in The New York Times, chose to recognize the Soviet Union, an evil criminal state built on torture, murder, and lies. That was when the floodgate broke down for the Marxist assault on America’s institutions.

14. Via Truth Revolt, Nick Gillespie at the Daily Beast: Ending the War on Pot is Obama’s Last Chance for a Legacy

With just three years left in office and a possible Republican landslide in the fall’s midterm elections, Obama must be in something close to panic mode. His health care plan seems like it’s imploding, his foreign policy and civil liberties record is awful, and the economy is still barely stumbling forward into an uncertain future. Enthusiastically winding down the federal war on pot would be popular with voters and, as important, wouldn’t require immediate cooperation from Congress.

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells Remnick that in 2007, Obama explained, “I have no desire to be one of those presidents who are just on the list—you see their pictures lined up on the wall. … I really want to be a President who makes a difference.” But Obama’s approval ratings are mired in the low 40s, a reality he partially—and unconvincingly—attributes to racism: “There’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.” As HotAir’s Ed Morrissey notes, the existence of rump racists completely fail to explain Obama’s two electoral victories and his 60 percent-plus approval ratings at the start of his presidency. A far better explanation is simply that he’s failed to accomplish much of anything the public likes.

Would it honestly surprise anyone if President Valerie Jarrett decided to do this? It’s kind of her Hail Mary Jane last resort, isn’t it? One final big, feel good invocation of the goddess to distract people while Iran goes nuclear. Is there a more important issue in the final years of Obama’s presidency than preventing the further rise of Iran as the world’s most dangerous global terror state?

Oh yeah, making sure you can buy cheap pot at Wal-Mart. Should marijuana be legal at the federal level, thus allowing individual states to regulate as their voters see fit? Of course, but let’s be sure and call it exactly what it is should Jarrett puppet Obama onto this path: an unneeded, wholly hypocritical act designed just to distract stupid people. Bread and circuses, as VDH would say.

15. Michael Walsh here at PJM: Mitt Romney and How the West was Lost

Like my PJ colleague, Victor Davis Hanson, I too am pessimistic about the future of our country. Like many of us, I fell into the trap of thinking that, during the election of 2012, the country would somehow come to its senses and evict from the White House an obviously unqualified charlatan with a threadbare act, and that we would begin the slow restoration of Foundational values to the Republic. Andy McCarthy, Roger Simon, Victor, Roger Kimball, Dr. Helen, J. Christian Adams — all wrong. And these are not stupid people; neither is Michael Barone, who also fell on his face.

Well… some of us were pretty pessimistic about Mitt “least-worst-option” Romney the whole time. What I wrote as the conclusion of my article “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology” on November 4, 2012:

Sitting here on this Sunday morning before the election, the Sun now up, reflecting back on these years scouring through dusty old Marxist books, trying to understand a president who built his career on a mountain of lies, I confess a peace with either electoral result on Tuesday. A part of me almost wishes that Obama steals wins reelection (as I anticipate he will). The thought of him quietly retiring to a mansion in Hawaii in January to live out the rest of his life in comfort and adoration should inspire nausea. Only if Obama wins reelection do conservatives have a chance to hold him accountable for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and all the crimes we don’t even know about yet. The man has blood on his hands and we can’t let him get away with it.

An ancient dictum popularized in recent years by the late Christopher Hitchens on the path forward, should Tuesday disappoint:

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Do Justice and Let the Skies Fall 


PJ Media Story Round Up

Nicholas Ballasy: Gates on Reid: ‘I Do Denigrate Him,’ But ‘I’ve Tried to Critically Appraise’ People in Washington

Stephen Green: Care versus Coverage

Tom Blumer: Don’t Feed Us This Mitt Again

Rodrigo Sermeno: EPA Administrator Says Coal Rules Necessary Because of ‘Devastating Impacts on the Planet’

Rick Moran: The Most Expensive, the Most Corrupt, and the Most Dangerous Olympics in History

Bethany Mandel: There Isn’t Enough Booze in the World, Dennis Rodman


New at PJ Lifestyle

Kathy Shaidle: Neil Young Doubles Down on the Crazy

Chris Queen: New Photos of Challenger Disaster Emerge

Theodore Dalrymple: Should You Vaccinate Your Children?

Barry Rubin: Why Lennon and Dylan Know All About Islamist Hegemony

Me: ‘Our Happiness Affects Others Profoundly. That’s Why Happiness is a Moral Obligation.’

Becky Graebner: Is that a Geoduck or a Parsnip?

These 3 Photos Fail to Do Justice For This Morning’s Southern California Sunrise


New at PJ Tatler

J. Christian Adams: Virginia Hustle: Governor Bob McDonnell Indicted

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

Sean Hannity Says He’s Leaving New York Following Gov. Cuomo’s Intolerant Statement Against Conservatives (Updated)

Democrats, Media Keep Revealing Their Totalitarian Tendencies

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

Mullen: Washington ‘Doing Handstands’ as If Grave Problem of National Debt ‘Has Gone Away’

Co-Chair of Russia Caucus Would Have ‘Trepidation’ About Travel to Sochi

More From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,

Juan Williams: Concern Troll

Required Reading

Smells Like Wii-U

Rocky Mountain High High

To Hell in a Heavily Armed Handbasket

“A Record Year For Killing Christians”

Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

News You Can Use


From PJM’s San Jose Editor Ed Driscoll

The Politico is Betting on Ezra

It’s Anthony Burgess’s World, We’re Just Living In It

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What Is Pop Culture Polytheism?

Monday, January 20th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 2, day 5 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

Last year I started experimenting with Instagram. Inspired by PJM columnist Zombie I decided to create an account to A) confuse the hell out of people, B) stir up trouble, and C) explore the truth of what people believe in the world today without the baggage of my existing politically incorrect identity clouding how they addressed me.

As with Zombie, with “Thoth and Ma’at Married” people can’t even tell if I’m a man or woman — the handle includes the names of both male and female Egyptian deities of writing (and thus serves as my stealth so-con way of promoting marriage too). They likewise can’t tell at first glance what my religion, politics, or philosophy are. I use the account to engage with people all across the spectrum of cultures and ideas to try to learn more about where their values come from and how they think. On January 10, one of the atheists that I follow posted a photo in which he asked for anyone to ask him his opinion about anything. I asked which side he supported in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here’s the exchange that followed and the revealing admission from an atheist about where he really learned right from wrong in our pop culture-dominated world today:

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So he simultaneously admits he knows nothing but expresses his preset ideological opinion that the governments are driven by money and the militaries by primitivism.

Here’s when I drop my counterculture conservative provocation, defining the evil in the issue and then seeing how he or any of his followers choose to react to the facts:

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Did my provocation catch any fish? Yes, two revealing responses. The first a somewhat innocent, naive idealist, and the second doubting my facts.


One thing that I’ve learned in these exchanges over the years is to try to cut to the key points you want to make. Don’t go on and on. Just give the link and state your idea. Over-writing is a sign that you’re not confident in what you’re saying.

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Here’s where I pose the question that really matters to me for my research and writing: if you’re an atheist, from where do you get your values? I then offer a number of possibilities. Usually I’ll try to throw out five or six, here just three:

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Sounds like a good punk rock song title, doesn’t it? “Let Me Stab to Be Corrected.” This is a much more cordial exchange than many that I have with more hostile secularists. But then again, with this particular meme it allowed for more of a thoughtful discussion. Perhaps I should start experimenting with using “Ask My Opinion” and “Ask Anything” type images to fish for more interesting questions…

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I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to remind atheists that there are multiple ways of reading the Bible is to start talking about Maimonides. See Douglas Rushkoff’s Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism for the accessible introduction that turned me on to the Rambam not just as a Jewish theologian, but as a foundational thinker of Western civilization and one of the inspirers of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and the founding of America.

And here’s where I got the kind of off-hand, not-even-thinking-about-it, honest admission that I look for when engaging in these kinds of exchanges:

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It’s hard for me to pinpoint with as much precision as @isaac_of_portage just which specific pop culture properties most influenced my values and understanding of good and evil. There are just so many from Star Wars to Super Mario to the Disney canon which shaped my childhood and initial adolescence much more than the irregular church attendance in mushy Methodism.

Though, as I mentioned in the exchange, seeing Schindler’s List in seventh grade — amidst the controversy of it being broadcast uncensored, commercial-free on NBC — did psychologically scar me somehow. But it’s a way that I needed to be scarred — it was one of the big beginning-to-wake-up-to-evil moments that would take a long time to process. Throughout my life in my obsessions with movies, books, comics, and video games, I understand that I’ve been influenced both for the good and the bad. Some pop culture properties derive from the foundational stories and myths of Western civilization, others are reinventions of the primitive, pre-modern death cults which one needs to understand in order to make much sense of the first five books of the Bible. (I’ve found from years of these kinds of exchanges that many secularists misinterpret the Bible to such an extent that they end up taking the side of the Egyptians and Canaanites, not realizing just what the ancient Hebrews were rebelling against — nature worship, human sacrifice and temple prostitution.)

So when I talk about Pop Culture Polytheism, I don’t do so with complete condemnation, because it is a religion that I have practiced to one degree or another all my life and still do to a lesser, more controlled extent today. Pop culture polytheists are those who use pop culture properties as substitutes – or supplements — to religion. You can be a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, secular humanist, etc. first and a pop culture polytheist second — many people are, more should be.

When pop culture is understood as a tool for us to better understand and engage with the world then it’s useful and valuable. When it’s held up as how we should model ourselves, when the figures dancing across the screen become like the gods on Mount Olympus, then we’ve got a problem. And that’s what we have to face and confront today. Pop culture polytheism can be a wonderful thing — my wife and I bond deeply over our shared Disney and Star Trek enthusiasms — but it is only a toolbox, not a foundation upon which to build a life. So in keeping with my third New Year’s resolution…

10 Headlines from Around the Web this Week

Starting With 6 Pop Culture Polytheist Idols of the Age

1.Mediaite: The Church of ‘Yeezianity’ Is a New Religion That Worships Kanye West

This is of course something that West has inspired since posing as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone. He put out the magick spell of himself as the Messiah and others took him up on his offer.

2. Jessica Winter at Slate: Did Woody Allen Molest His Adopted Daughter 22 Years Ago?

In November,Vanity Fair published Maureen Orth’s revisitation of the Allen-Farrow scandal, including the first-ever media interview with Dylan. The interview was a bombshell: Dylan (who now uses a different name) did not waver from the story she told at age 7 about Allen molesting and sexually assaulting her in the attic of her mother’s home in Connecticut, on Aug. 4, 1992. On her side is her brother, media-star-in-the-making Ronan Farrow. After Allen received a lifetime-achievement award at last Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony,Ronan tweeted, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute—did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”

So what should an outside observer make of the Allen-Farrow debacle, two decades after the fact?


In his June 1993 ruling, Wilk also denied Allen any visitation rights with Dylan or his older adopted child with Farrow, 15-year-old Moses. In May 1994, in a hearing considering custody or increased visitation for Allen, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court cited a “clear consensus” among psychiatric experts involved in the case that Allen’s “interest in Dylan was abnormally intense.”

Popular culture celebrates criminality — both on screen and off. Someday a lot of people are going to be very ashamed that they gave Allen the benefit of the doubt for all these years. I suspect that some day we’ll have a better idea of the full extent of the truth. If Allen is who his accusers claim he is then eventually more victims will emerge. And too many to be denied.

But will anybody care? They still listen to Michael Jackson songs, don’t they?

3. Uproxx: If The Posters For This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Movies Were Honest


Why does Martin Scorsese have to keep remaking the same movie about violent, sex-obsessed, macho jerks over and over again?

4. Buzzfeed: Why “12 Years A Slave” Star Lupita Nyong’o Should Be Your New Fashion Idol



5. …but also oozes goddess in this sleek, formfitting little black dress.


13. And don’t let the white man’s lighting fool you, HER SKIN IS A FLAWLESS BLANKET OF FLAWLESS.


So is it her fashion sense that’s being worshiped or her skin color?

5. Andrew Johnson at National ReviewABC Swoons: 50 Ways to Celebrate Michelle Obama’s Birthday

In preparation for the first lady’s 50th birthday on Saturday, ABC News hasserved up a fawning list 50 ways to celebrate the occasion.

It highlights Michelle Obama’s most memorable and glamorous moments. Below, ten examples from the list, which you can read in full here:

Dance to Beyonce

Move into a massive new house with your family and invite your mother to move in too

Make the cover of Vogue

Buy a Jason Wu dress

Hang out with your friend, Oprah

Same question.

6. Uproxx: 10 Better Ways Of Spending The $10,000 Jezebel Paid For Untouched Lena Dunham Photos

There are no winners here. Anna Wintour put Lena Dunham on the cover of Vogue, and Photoshopped out all the physical imperfections that make Dunham, y’know, a human being. Meanwhile, Jezebel offered $10,000 for the untouched photos, and within “two hours of offering [the money], [they] received six allegedly unaltered images.” But not without controversy: Brooklyn Magazine perhaps put it best, or at least the most succinct, with the headline, “Jezebel Offers $10,000 For Unretouched Lena Dunham Photos from Vogue; So, F*ck You Jezebel.”

The high priorities of the leading third wave feminist publication today.

Last night The Wife and I watched the first two episodes of the new season. What struck me as very awkward during the sex scenes is that with the new short haircut and her insistence on displaying her body she honestly looks more boyish than feminine. So these supposedly heterosexual scenes end up having this creepy homoerotic undertone to them. Hannah doesn’t look or behave like a mature woman; in both instances she’s a teenage boy. I knew too many Hannahs in college. She unfortunately is a voice of a generation.

That’s really the nature of the show and of many secular millennial pop culture polytheists: today’s politically correct ideology has pushed girls to aspire to be more masculine and men to be more feminine. In a bigger expression it’s what we see in Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett making the big decisions while hapless, wimpy Barack Obama goes out to whine that his approval ratings are tanking because people just don’t like the idea of a black president.

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Why We Need To Celebrate More Holidays

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 2, day 3 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

1. P. David Hornik Here at PJ Lifestyle today: Tu Bishvat, Israel’s Holiday of Trees

This Wednesday evening and Thursday mark the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat (the name refers to the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat). Also known as the New Year of Trees and as Israeli Arbor Day, it’s a minor, nonbiblical holiday, its source in the Talmud. But quite a to-do is made about it in Israel.

The Talmud specified Tu Bishvat as the day on which the annual agricultural cycle begins. Considering that the holiday falls in January or, at best, February, this—the middle of winter—may seem a strange time for agricultural rebirth. It is, though, the time in the Land of Israel when—amid the cold and damp, but with sunnier intervals—you start to see the first white and pink almond blossoms.

You also see packages of dried fruits (dates, figs, apricots, pineapple) and nuts, especially almonds, everywhere. In the Diaspora, Tu Bishvat was marked by eating fruits of the Land of Israel. In the European Diaspora with its cold winters, that meant dried fruits. Now, back in the Land of Israel, they’re ubiquitous at this time of year.

I admire my Jewish friends for all the holidays in their religion and how diligent they are in celebrating them. It’s a practice that we should all keep in mind regardless of faith or lack thereof — making time to just step apart from the world for a moment and reflect on who we are where we’re going.

Because it’s a dangerous, cruel place out there.  Here’s a decadent, crime-ridden collection of headlines for today. Sorry.

2. Daily Mail: Women who sleep around at university are ‘more likely to become depressed’

3. The Onion: Unemployed, Miserable Man Still Remembers Teacher Who First Made Him Fall In Love With Writing

Sheard, who has reportedly been unable to hold down any semblance of well-paid, full-time employment, constantly struggles to stay financially afloat, has thus far failed to make a living off of writing as a career, and has frequently spiraled into long periods of severe depression and unhappiness. “She introduced me to Faulkner, Vonnegut, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Joyce, and that’s what began my lifelong love affair with the narrative form. Those authors really opened up a whole new world to me, which ultimately inspired me to devote my whole life to the craft of prose. Mrs. Merriman was the catalyst for that; I’ll never forget her.”

For some reason Glenn Reynolds’ book The New School and all those literature and philosophy and religious studies majors all across America come to mind…

4. Chris Hedges at TruthDig: The Trouble With Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been Wall Street’s anointed son for the presidency. He is backed by the most ruthless and corrupt figures in New Jersey politics, including the New Jersey multimillionaire and hard-line Democratic boss George Norcross III. Among his other supporters are many hedge fund managers and corporate executives and some of the nation’s most retrograde billionaires, including the Koch brothers. The brewing scandal over the closing of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge apparently in retaliation for the Fort Lee mayor’s refusal to support the governor’s 2013 re-election is a window into how federal agencies and the security and surveillance apparatus would be routinely employed in a Christie presidency to punish anyone who challenged this tiny cabal’s grip on power.

Christie is the caricature of a Third World despot. He has a vicious temper, a propensity to bully and belittle those weaker than himself, an insatiable thirst for revenge against real or perceived enemies, and little respect for the law and, as recent events have made clear, for the truth. He is gripped by a bottomless hedonism that includes a demand for private jets, huge entourages, exclusive hotels and lavish meals. Wall Street and the security and surveillance apparatus want a real son of a bitch in power, someone with the moral compass of Al Capone, in order to ruthlessly silence and crush those of us who are working to overthrow the corporate state. They have had enough of what they perceive to be Barack Obama’s softness. Christie fits the profile and he is drooling for the opportunity.

The Romney campaign, which reluctantly agreed to Christie’s incessant demands for private jets, ungainly entourages and expensive hotel rooms in return for campaign appearances by the governor in behalf of the GOP nominee, decided against selecting him as running mate because, as the authors write, Romney’s vetters were “stunned by the garish controversies lurking in the shadows of his record.”

Hilarious. Christie is a third-world despot and we need to “overthrow the corporate state.”

5. TheWrap Beats Deadline Hollywood and Variety’s Web Traffic in December

The site’s growth milestone marks an all-time monthly high for both unique visitors and page views

TheWrap is pleased to announce that it has achieved its highest traffic month in the history of the site, surpassing both industry trades Variety and Deadline.

According to comScore, TheWrap scored 3.4 million unique visitors in December 2013, besting both Deadline Hollywood (2.6 million) and Variety (2.6 million) by almost 700,000 unique visitors each.

Among the four Hollywood industry news sites, the comScore ranking places TheWrap No. 2 behind The Hollywood Reporter which earned 5.7 million unique visitors in December, according to the ranking service.

Good for them!

6. E.J. Dionne also at Truthdig: Why Chris Christie Is Conservatives’ Worst Nightmare

What is the greatest fear of conservatives when they warn against the dangers of big government? It is that a leader or the coterie around him will abuse the authority of the state arbitrarily to gather yet more power, punish opponents and, in the process, harm rank-and-file citizens whose well-being matters not a whit to those who are trying to enhance their control.

This, of course, is a quite precise description of what happened when Gov. Chris Christie’s aides ordered the closure of some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge last September. Their motivation was political payback. The result: thousands of commuters along with emergency vehicles, school buses and pretty much the entire town of Fort Lee, N.J., were thrown into gridlock.

Using public facilities for selfish ends is the very definition of corruption, which is why this scandal bothers people far outside the conservative orbit.

7. Recode: AOL Finds a Home — Off Its Books — For Patch

Patch isn’t dead, and AOL isn’t officially done with it. But Tim Armstrong’s big bet on local news has come to an end: The AOL CEO is handing over Patch to investment fund Hale Global, which will run the network of news sites.

The deal is structured as a joint venture, and AOL will hold on to a small stake. But Hale will control and operate the company, and AOL will no longer have to fund Patch’s losses, which Armstrong had promised would stop by the end of 2013 but didn’t.

Hale specializes in turnaround projects and “special situations,” and normally that would mean that many of the 900 Patch sites would be shuttered — especially since that’s what AOL said it was going to do last summer. But AOL and Hale say all of the Patches will remain open.

Then what?


8. My friends Mark Tapson at Acculturated: Nymphomaniac: Artistic Courage or Humiliation?

I’ve avoided writing about Danish director Lars von Trier’s upcoming arthouse movie epic Nymphomaniac for two reasons: one, such blatant titillation is boring, and two, I didn’t want to give publicity to a film I feel certain will be a degrading experience. But the recent revelation that actor Shia LaBeouf secured his role in the movie partly because he sent pictures of his penis to the filmmakers has compelled me to comment.

If you’re not familiar with von Trier, he’s the provocateur behind such disturbing flicks as Dancer in the DarkAntichristDogville, and now the sexually explicitNymphomaniac – which, as the title suggests, isn’t exactly a Disney movie, and which is notable mostly for its unusually creepy marketing campaign consisting of posters of the actors in mid-orgasm. If you have ever found yourself wondering what The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo bad guy Stellan Skarsgaard looks like during sexual climax, well, now you know. As Midwestern storyteller Garrison Keillor once put it, “If it feels good, it probably doesn’t look good.”

I saw a whole lot — too many — of these “explicit sex in dramatic feature” independent and foreign films back in my film critic and art house movie days a decade ago. Most of them are really very, very boring. The only narrative films with explicit sex that seem to be able to work are comedies where the sex is for goofy shocks. Pink Flamingos and Shortbus come to mind which chuckles. “Kill everyone now!”

My conclusion: pornography and art are opposite in their purpose and effects. Art is Apollonian, pornography is Dionysian. One challenges you to rise up, to transcend your base nature; the other encourages you to dive down and wallow in your animality. The erotic — the mysterious, the transcendent — is where one gets beyond the false dualism. Erotica and pornography are not synonymous. The most erotic part of a woman’s body is her face. Example, from Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Marjorie Cameron, widow of notorious rocket scientist/occultist Jack Parsons, as the Scarlet Woman:

"She is what you call a powerful woman." - #KennethAnger commenting on self-proclaimed witch Marjorie Cameron, widow of legendary occultist and rocket scientist and naive fool Jack Parsons... #magick #occult #scarlet #babalon #scarletwoman #goddess #pagan #hermetic #thelema #aleistercrowley

I’ve had Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty on the brain today in my ongoing Disney studies. Perhaps she’s another example of this persona that Camille Paglia writes about? Think it’s a coincidence that the seductive demoness’ role in the story is to break up a family for 16 years? To divide a father from his daughter? (Yes, analyzing Disney culture through Paglia’s cultural approach seems a good approach for this year…)

Why be evil? Because it's so much fun! #disney #sleepingbeauty

But really all of this is nothing new. The cultural decadence has always been with America, it’s just more in the open now. But the old dirt is creeping out too…

9. Daily Mail: Jackie Kennedy ‘had an affair with ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and so did Bobby Kennedy’, new book based on interviews with Jackie’s ‘closest confidantes’ reveals

‘I am the sexiest man alive,’ he told a Danish newspaper before his death from AIDS in 1993. ‘Just ask Lee Radziwill. Just ask Jackie Kennedy. And if you don’t believe me, ask Bobby and John-John Kennedy. Nobody can resist me. Everyone who has gone to bed with me has fallen in love with me,’ he added.

The book details the lives of playwright Tennessee Williams and two of Jackie’s closest friends, authors Truman Capote and Gore Vidal.

‘I think Rudi systematically plans to seduce every member of my family, even my son when he grows up,’ the book says Jackie confessed to Capote. 

Capote was also said to be shocked to learn about Nureyev’s affair with Bobby Kennedy, whom the writer had long suspected of being a deeply closeted homosexual,’ says Globe.

An outraged Jackie only ended the relationship when she saw the dancer paying too much attention to her son, JFK Jr., writes Porter.

The truth about the Democratic Party is that it’s really just the political wing of a sex-and-death worshiping cult. Read Michael Walsh’s Encounter Broadside on the Party’s criminal history and origins if you haven’t already.

10. Daily Mail: Full-nude strip club loses license after allowing 13-year-old victim of a sex slave ring to dance on stage

The Miami strip club that lost its license in the wake of allegations that a 13-year-old sex slave had been forced to perform under the stage name Peaches has filed an injunction to get re-opened.

Miami Beach city manager Jimmy Morales suspended Club Madonna’s business permits for six months on Friday, while police investigate the circumstances around how a 13-year old girl was able to get a job dancing at the fully nude strip club.

But club owner Leroy Griffith has refused to take the decision lying down and on Tuesday went to federal court to file an injunction against the city.

That’s right. “Club Madonna.”

The three people accused of forcing the young runaway into a life of sex slavery after scooping her up off a Miami Beach street last month are Vilbert Jean, 36, Marlene San Vincente, 22, and DeWayne Ward, 18.

The trio forced her to have sex for money on at least one occasion, before forcing her to strip at Club Madonna on the South Beach Strip, according to an affidavit cited by the Miami Herald.

Slavery still exists in this world. But one day more people will recognize what evil is, where it comes from, and how we must fight to overcome it. And we will. And someday our descendants will look back and find it strange the way publications once flourished where stories of brutal crimes appeared next to cute Siberian huskies. (Apparently the Daily Mail and the Blaze are also doing husky videos, a perhaps necessary pick-me-up when confronted with the horrors of what humans will do to each other…)

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A Round-Up of Today’ PJM Stories…

On the Main Page

Ron Radosh: The Meaning of Putin’s Expulsion of Journalist David Satter

J. Christian Adams: Washington Post Defames Andrew Breitbart

Claudia Rosett: Instructing Iran in Terrorist Etiquette

Roger Kimball: The Evils of Capitalism

Jack Dunphy: Embattled L.A. County Sheriff to Retire

Mike McDaniel: The Truth About Sandy Hook


New at PJ Lifestyle

Paula Bolyard: The Touching Asperger’s Storyline on Parenthood

Kathy Shaidle: ‘American Experience: 1964′ Not As Biased As Expected, But…

Sarah Hoyt: 4 Reasons Why Our Entertainment Is Getting More and More Sex Soaked

Helen Smith: Please Take Me Off Your List of Hate

Walter Hudson: Has Fox’s Gotham Already Jumped the Shark?

Sarah Hoyt: 4 Reasons Why Our Entertainment Is Getting More and More Sex Soaked

Chris Queen: Japan’s Epidemic Of Hikikomori

Paula Bolyard: Is Harvard Law Using Ted Cruz to Pander to Conspiracy Theorists?

Another Beautiful North Georgia Sunrise


New at PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser: Liberal Media Continues Childlike Wishful Thinking on Obamacare Enrollment Demographics

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

Bipartisan Senate Report: Benghazi Attack Was ‘Preventable’

‘Stop Right There!’ — California School Tells First Grader to Stop Talking About the Bible

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

Lieberman: Benghazi ‘Obviously a Terrorist Attack by Any Definition of Terrorism’


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,

Chrysler Debuts New 200 Sedan

There Was an Old Space Station that Swallowed a Fly


Fly the Nosey Skies

The Only Recession-Proof Industry


From PJM’s San Jose Ed Driscoll

John Kerry Flashes His Radical Chic Freak Flag

And Thus, the American Experiment Concludes

Change: US No Longer One of the Top Ten Most Economically Free Countries

Soylent Green Liberals

To Be Fair, This Would Explain Quite a Bit

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Now Humans Can Breathe Underwater Like Fish With New Scuba Mask That Generates Oxygen From Water

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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

1. Minds.com: Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own


Hat tip Charlie Martin

2. Richard J. Epstein at Defining Ideas: How Democrats Kill Jobs

It is just fantasy to think that the addition of any new constraint to labor markets will make matters better than they are. Efforts to make workers better off by making employers worse off will not have their desired effect. It is of course easy to take employers down a notch. But the second half of the program is far harder to implement, given that employers have incentives to minimize their losses from regulation, and will do what it takes to avert the adverse effect of new external constraints.

3. At the PJ Tatler from Roger Kimball: The Truth About Benghazi and Obama

 4. Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler: The Fix Is In in the IRS Abuse Scandal

That strongly suggests states plainly that the White House counsel — political appointee Kathryn Ruemmler at the time — knew about the abuse before it was known to the public. That’s because it did: The White House counsel knew of the targeting very early on.

The IRS targeted more than just groups formed to oppose the president. It went after individuals, too, including Christine O’Donnell and Catherine Engelbrecht. Engelbrecht, founder of the election integrity King Street Patriots group, has had to fend off an alphabet soup of federal executive branch agencies. Who has the power to coordinate the activities of all those agencies, and send them after someone doing something that the president, by suing states that enact voter ID, has made clear that he does not like? The power to make all those agencies jump rests in the White House. Nowhere else.

Unlike Chris Christie’s Bridgegate, which hardly anyone cares about, a majority of the American people have consistently believed that the IRS targeting was deliberate and political. Obama himself said it “outraged” him, before he fake-fired the interim IRS chief and put the fix in place by appointing one of his own political contributors, Barbara Bosserman, to “investigate” it. Now his political contributor says “Nothing to see here, move along.” His Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, calls the abuse a “fake scandal.” So much for the president’s alleged outrage.

We had a good run as a republic, but if this stands and no one responsible is punished, then the Internal Revenue Service will be a tool of partisan politics for the foreseeable future. No one who criticizes a sitting president will be safe from harassment and abuse from a federal agency that can absolutely destroy lives.

5. Via my wife, doing research into the “natural hair movement,” from a blogger calling himself “Genuine Scholar”: White Men Appreciate Natural Hair More than Black Men: A Brotha’s Response

The reality is that a lot of Black men were raised and socialized to believe that hair textures matter and that one is superior to the other. It is also very easy to point the finger at Black men and call many of us horrible individuals for not embracing natural hair, but there has to be a very strong psychological root to this lack of embracement because there are a large number of Black women who feel the exact same way that many Black men feel.

I am writing this article to say that it is fine to date whoever you feel will appreciate you, but please do not label an entire race of men as being horrible or compare us to another race when the socialization, background, and circumstances are not the same. There are Black men who are very degrading to our natural sistas and that is not acceptable. But there are a lot of brothas who are mis-educated and need someone to enlighten them. The best thing we can do is to try to help educate more brothas and sistas about natural hair and pray they “get it”. If they don’t get it after being educated, then we can leave them drowning in their world of ignorance and keep it moving forward. One thing I have learned about natural sistas is that they do not need a man’s validation to know their worth but they appreciate when a brotha removes the blinders and embrace their natural beauty.

6. i09: Fox’s Gotham TV series is going to be Batman: The High School Years

Were you hoping that Fox’s Batman prequel TV series Gotham would be a tough crime procedural set on the mean streets of Gotham City? Or were you hoping it would be about teenaged Batman, The Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, and the Penguin all hanging out together? Because it’s the latter.

Sorry, I threw up in my mouth a little there. Fox chairman Kevin Reilly crushed the dreams of many a Bat-fan at Fox’s panel during the network’s Television Critics Association press tour earlier today. “This is all of the classic Batman characters,” Reilly continued. “It follows the arc of how they all became what they were. I’ve read the script its really good. It’s going to be this operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality.”

Apparently, the plan is exactly like Smallville, in that the show will show how each character, good and bad, become the hero or villain we all know today, and Reilly says the show will end when Batman puts on the cape for the first time.

I suppose in another lifetime I might’ve been mad about something dumb like this too. But Batman is a cartoon character. It doesn’t make much difference whether he’s in comic or tragic mode, does it?

7. Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler: Benghazi: Obama Administration Lied Before They Lied

No excerpt. just read the whole thing. Absolutely incredible.

I wonder how much of the “Innocence of Muslims” disinformation strategy was all Valerie Jarrett’s idea. Any guesses? Who do you suppose came up with this scheme? How come her name hasn’t come up that much in this scandal?

8.  Mediaite: ‘Wishful Thinking’: Limbaugh Wants Obama to Cheat on Michelle

Rush Limbaugh is tired of Chris Christie’s“Bridgegate” debacle and wishes this country could have sexy political scandals like France. The radio host brought up the recent allegations that French President François Hollande has been having an affair with a younger actress before suggesting President Barack Obama do the same.

“Why can’t we have scandals like that anymore?’ Limbaugh asked. “Why can’t we have Obama running around on Michelle or something?”

Here’s an idea for a movie: the reverse of Wag the Dog. What if to distract from creeping Benghazi investigations President Jarrett instructs Obama to insert a cigar into one of the interns and stain their clothing? (Gotta stay gender-neutral in our jokes these days… Wouldn’t want anyone to accuse me of being homophobic.)

9. Jezebel: Cops Raid Justin Bieber’s House Looking for Eggs, Find Cocaine Instead

Curiouser and curiouser... #disney #aliceinwonderland

“Curiouser and Curiouser.”

I wonder how long it will be until cocaine is legal and sold at Wal-Mart. Cocaine is being increasingly normalized and accepted as marijuana becomes domesticated.


Sorry, kids, there won’t be a jailbird “Beanie Baby” after all … the billionaire creator of the cuddly plush toys just got sentenced for tax evasion … and managed to escape jail time.A judge sentenced Ty Warner to 2 years probation — despite a bid by prosecutors for a prison sentence — after the 69-year-old admitted he failed to report more than $24 mil in income between 1996 to 2008.The judge said he went easy on Warner — who’s worth a reported $2.3 BILLION –partly because of his charitable “acts of kindness, benevolence and generosity.”

After one story after another of corruption how about a laugh? Beanie babies reminds me of this hilarious Crank Yankers bit with Jimmy Kimmel imitating Karl Malone:

PJ Media Story Round Up

Bridget Johnson: Probe Finds White House Wanted to Make Sequestration as ‘Painful as Possible’ for Rural Schools

Stephen Kruisher: Media Matters Admits Chris Christie Is Superior to Barack Obama

J. Christian Adams: Sherrilyn Ifill Suggests Mumia Abu Jamal Case Like To Kill a Mockingbird

Bridget Johnson: ‘Messianic’ Kerry Calls for ‘Reconciliation Among Peoples’ at the Vatican

Bridget Johnson: Bill Would Set Trigger for Obamacare Repeal if Number of Uninsured Increases

Tom Blumer: Phony Change.org Petition Protests Cuts to Part-Timers’ Hours at Staples


Rhonda Robinson: The Fatal Flaw Of Public Education and Why Homeschoolers Own The Future

Chris Queen: Will Volkswagen Make The Beetle Cool Again?

Theodore Dalrymple: Should the Age of Buying Cigarettes Raise to 21?

Cute Animal Video: Maura the Siberian Husky Vs 3 Birds at the Park

Andrew Klavan: Lone Survivor Is Intense — But Read the Book!

Susan L.M. Goldberg: The Story You Shouldn’t Miss Inside Llewyn Davis

Becky Graebner: How I’ll Make a Brussels Sprouts Believer Outta You!

Bonnie Ramthun: Hooray for Marijuana Legalization in Colorado!

I will learn how to write with a quill pen. #ResolutionsInspiredByDisney #magick #selfimprovement

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A Great Video to Explain the Folly of Big Government to Your Democrat Friends and Family

Monday, January 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 2, Day 1 of my new 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

Make a point to check out Prager University’s relaunch! Embedded above is the first video in their slick new style: “Why Rent Control Hurts Renter.” Great work, guys!

1. Lachlan Markay at the Free Beacon: Taxpayers Paid Nearly $175M for Penis Pumps Between 2006 and 2011 -Federal government paid more than double the retail price

“The fact that taxpayers have spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars over the past decade on penis pumps via Medicare is obscene and insulting – even more so when you consider that this is an arena of Medicare expenditures rife with fraud and where the government doesn’t even bother to assess medical necessity,” said Ben Domenech, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute.

“This is a perfect example of what happens when government becomes the be all and end all of human existence – a system where everyone has a right to a taxpayer-funded penis pump.”

Vacuum erection systems, which are used to treat impotence, are covered by Medicare Part B under its Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program.

Medicare payments for VES have swelled in recent years. The Department of Health and Human Services paid $20.6 million for 61,589 claims in 2006. It paid $38.6 million for 103,448 claims in 2011.

That increase came despite recommendations from federal watchdogs that HHS limit payments for certain DMEPOS claims, including those made for VES.

It begins with the federal government paying for them. Then before you know it Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will be calling it a tax when the federal government charges you for not buying them. Just kidding. Sort of.

2. From The WeekEverything you need to know about Japan’s population crisis

Why is Japan in trouble?

The Japanese now have one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, and at the same time, one of the highest longevity rates. As a result, the population is dropping rapidly, and becoming increasingly weighted toward older people. After peaking seven years ago, at 128 million, Japan’s population has been falling — and is on a path to decline by about a million people a year. By 2060, the government estimates, there will be just 87 million people in Japan; nearly half of them will be over 65. Without a dramatic change in either the birthrate or its restrictive immigration policies, Japan simply won’t have enough workers to support its retirees, and will enter a demographic death spiral. Yet the babies aren’t coming.

Why not?
The British newspaper The Observer recently caused an international stir by reporting that Japanese youth have lost interest in sex. The sensationalist conclusion was mostly based on a single statistic: a survey that found that 45 percent of women and 25 percent of men ages 16 to 24 said they were not looking to have sex.

3. My friend David Forsmark’s newspaper review of Ann Coulter’s Treason from 2003, which I read today as part of my research into the various strains of conservative thought:

While defenses of McCarthy have been published before, what makes “Treason” so provocative is Coulter’s assertion that it is legitimate to question the patriotism of mainstream political figures. After all, she says, liberals do it all the time.

When Phil Donahue says, “The real patriots are the protesters,” he is by implication questioning the intelligence and patriotism of those who don’t protest. The Dixie Chicks win praise for a thoughtless attempt to appeal to a foreign crowd, while Toby Keith and Charlie Daniels are merely knee-jerk, angry jingoists.

It’s about time someone challenged the notion that the real way to be patriotic is to express one’s hatred of America loudly.

A chapter titled “How Truman Won the Cold War During the Reagan Administration” shows how liberals went from hysterically declaiming Reagan’s insistence that America could win as a “radical departure” from other presidents to saying, after the Berlin Wall, fell that, “Reagan was just following the policies of other presidents who should get just as much credit.”

This is not just a historical point. Coulter thinks it is relevant that the same people who still say there is “no evidence” that Alger Hiss and Henry Dexter White, key aides during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, were Soviet spies also scoff at every case Ashcroft brings against domestic terror networks and see “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

“Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America,” Coulter writes. “They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant. Fifty years of treason hasn’t slowed them down.”

4. Allahpundit at Hot Air: Newest way to reduce teen pregnancies: Watching MTV?

I don’t know why parents didn’t trust the network responsible for “Jersey Shore” and “Catfish” to treat a subject like teen pregnancy sensitively rather than as campy reality-celebrity freak-show fun.

Strictly speaking, what the study shows is that the teen birthrate fell more steeply in areas where more teens were watching MTV. The idea that teens are being scared straight by the show “16 and Pregnant” specifically is an assumption, but a logical one. The sense I get from the NYT piece is that this is going to become a proxy for approaches to sex ed — for lefties, evidence that frankly confronting a taboo subject leads to more responsible sexual behavior, and for righties, evidence that deglamorizing sex by emphasizing its potential hardships is important in teaching kids.

5. Andrew Kirell at Mediaite: Ronan Farrow Pulls No Punches with Estranged Father Woody Allen on Golden Globes Night

6. Abby W. Schachter At Acculturated: Is Bitcoin the New Internet?

Bitcoin has been a true boon to entrepreneurs of all stripes because it makes getting funded by folks in different places a breeze, and let’s face it a whole new currency is just cool. There’s a new venture called Coinsetter which “is a high performance lever trading platform for bitcoin” owner Jaron Lukasiewicz explains. What he means is it’s a company to let people make Wall Street-type trades in Bitcoin. A young man in Chicago has decided to open the first bitcoin ATM in the Midwest. In Palo Alto, people can use their bitcoins at Coupa Café or pay for their java with dollars. On the more nefarious end of the spectrum, bitcoin was the currency of choice for a huge drug operation that was recently busted by the feds. But on the brighter side, bitcoin entrepreneurs in New York had a holiday party this year.

The folks over at Bloomberg were so excited about the possibilities of bitcoin that they charged reporter Matt Miller with the task of living what they called the 12 days of bitcoin in an effort to show how an electronic currency could replace traditional money. Miller explained what you can buy with itHe explained how the system works.And he even had his bitcoin stolen.

Miller had fun buying pizza and plane tickets along with reporting on the ups and downs of bitcoin’s value. It fluctuates all day, every minute, every second based on thousands of discreet transactions across the globe.

7. Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler: Whoa: Fast & Furious Was Part of a US-Drug Cartel Alliance?

Business Insider reported a bombshell this afternoon. It reports, by translating Spanish-language reporting from El Universal, that the US government has had a relationship with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel since the Clinton administration. That relationship/alliance was used to damage Mexico’s other drug cartels, but at a great price: Sinaloa alone imports about 80% of the illegal drugs that make their way to Chicago. The alleged deal allowed the cartel to import drugs virtually without fear of capture or punishment by the US government.

8. This morning I took Maura for a run at the park and finished reading the higher education portion of Glenn Reynolds’ The New School. It’s an extraordinary book that I’ll finish soon and blog about more.

Here’s an excerpt from page 31 quoting Benjamin Ginsberg on the corruption of an academic establishment that inflates the administrative bureaucracy while shifting to part-time faculty:

Corruption in #Academia : as the percentage of part-time faculty has increased the percent of administrators has shrunk. Page 31 of Glenn Reynolds The New #School quoting Benjamin Ginsberg. #education #college #highereducationbubble

9. Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler: Top Secret Benghazi Docs Prove that After Stevens et al Died, Obama and Clinton Lied

This is far more significant than the closure of a bridge. The Pentagon’s top brass knew, immediately, that the attack on the US facility in Benghazi, Libya on 9-11-2012 was a terrorist attack, and not a demonstration gotten out of hand. Fox’s James Rosen has obtained transcripts of top secret testimony on the attack.

10. Here’s an excerpt from page 48 of Eric Nelson’s The Hebrew Republicmy reading from yesterday while running at the park with Maura, inspiring a new habit, I think…

This book explains how a rediscovery of the Torah — and Maimonides’ interpretation of it — by Protestants during the Reformation and the Renaissance influenced the development of classical liberal political theory during the Enlightenment:

“To acknowledge God’s kingship is to be free; those who rebel against it necessarily enslave themselves to an idol.”

@yonatanbendavid777 how the #Torah influenced differing strains of Enlightenment thinkers. #God

She has been in that position mesmerized by squirrels for at least 20 minutes now, letting me gobble up this book. More than half done. #siberianhusky #maura #cutedog

"To acknowledge God's kingship is to be free; those who rebel against it necessarily enslave themselves to an idol." - Eric Nelson, page 48 of The #Hebrew #Republic This is the best summary in one sentence of why I have gotten so religious again in recent years. #God #Bible #atheist #occult #mystic Pagan #secular


PJ Media Story Round Up

Lead PJM Stories

Bridget Johnson: Obama Tells Congress to ‘Give Peace a Chance’ After Setting Jan. 20 Iran Deal Implementation

Stephen Green: Washington’s Addiction to Uncle Ben’s Funny Money™

David Steinberg: ‘TELEPHONIC SIGNATURE’? As of Jan. 1, Obamacare Forces States to Accept Applications ‘Signed’ by Voice

Victor Davis Hanson: The Rural Way

Roger Kimball: Meanwhile, Back in the Fatherland . . .

Bryan Preston: Girls Interrupted: Media’s Favorite TV Shows Suffer Ratings Suck


New at PJ Lifestyle

Stephen Green: In Defense of the Juggalos

Post-Polar Vortex Sunset in Ohio

Chris Queen: Hillary’s Hit List

Robert Spencer: The Hypocrisy of the Leftist Response to Ariel Sharon’s Death

Cute Animal Video: An Installment of Siberian Husky Batman Ear Vision

Paula Bolyard: Republicans Are Still Clueless About Technology

Bethany Mandel: Why You Should Shield Your Children From Social Media

Stephen Kruiser: Leftists Are Committed To Getting Their Grubby Ideological Paws On Your Kids Early

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Tweet Too Much? You’re a Narcissist (Unless You’re a Millennial — Then You’re Normal)

Friday, January 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 1, day 5 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media I encounter each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com.

1. The Daily Mail: Tweet a lot? Then you’re probably SELF-OBSESSED: Narcissists use Twitter the most because they crave approval

We all know someone who tweets about the minute details of their life every 10 minutes and now new research suggests that are displaying narcissistic tendencies.

U.S. researchers claim narcissists tweet more often than others and crave followers on Twitter to meet their need for approval.

They also found that narcissists update their Facebook status more regularly and vain adults prefer to post content on Facebook, rather than Twitter.

However, they did find that narcissism was linked to Facebook activity among adults, suggesting that narcissists on the social network are more likely to be of Generation X or baby boomers than Millennials.

They believe this could be because Millennials partly grew up using Facebook to communicate with others, just as previous generations used a phone.

However, older people who have gained access to the tool need more reason to post a status update and narcissism is one of the reasons to do so.

For my generation it’s normal to be a narcissist. If you do not worship God, then one of the closest idols at hand is oneself.

2. Epoch Times: ‘Hand of God’ Image Captured by Space Telescope


The new “hand of God” image shows a nebula that is 17,000 light-years away. It’s powered by a dead, spinning star called PSR B1509-58.

“The dead star, called a pulsar, is the leftover core of a star that exploded in a supernova,” NASA says. “The pulsar is only about 19 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter but packs a big punch: it is spinning around nearly seven times every second, spewing particles into material that was upheaved during the star’s violent death. These particles are interacting with magnetic fields around the ejected material, causing it to glow with X-rays. The result is a cloud that, in previous images, looked like an open hand.”

A mystery of the shape is whether the pulsar’s particles are interacting in a way that makes it look like a hand, or if it is actually shaped like a hand.

“We don’t know if the hand shape is an optical illusion,” said Hongjun An of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in a statement. “With NuSTAR, the hand looks more like a fist, which is giving us some clues.”

3. Gallup Politics: Liberal Self-Identification Edges Up to New High in 2013

The rise in liberal identification has been accompanied by a decline in moderate identification. At 34% in 2013, it is the lowest Gallup has measured, and down nine points since 1992. Moderates had been the largest ideological group throughout the 1990s, and competed with conservatives for the top spot during the 2000s. Since 2009, conservatives have consistently been the largest U.S. ideological group.

The percentage of conservatives has always far exceeded the percentage of liberals, by as much as 22 points in 1996. With more Americans identifying as liberals in recent years, and conservative identification holding steady, the conservative advantage of 15 points ties the 2007 and 2008 gaps as the smallest.

The more millennials get out of college and learn how the real world works the more their brainwashing will wear off when they start to realize they’ve been had.

4. The Atlantic: Where Life Has Meaning: Poor, Religious Countries

“Instead of relying on religion to give life meaning, people in wealthy societies today try to create their own meaning via their identity and self-knowledge,” the study reads. It then quotes Roy F. Baumeister’s book Meanings of Lifesaying, “creating the meaning of your own life sounds very nice as an ideal, but in reality it may be impossible.” Maybe that’s what the proliferation of happiness literature, as well as the study of happiness is, at least in part: an attempt to create the meaning of our own lives.

5. Roger L. Simon here at PJM: “Who Needs Ayn Rand? America Has Already Gone John Galt

Currently a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer looking for work. That’s almost one and a half times the entire population of France.

Although I admit to libertarian tendencies, I don’t think any of us can celebrate because of this.  It’s an economic disaster that should be blowing even Chris Christie off the front pages.

In fact, it’s much worse than that. It’s a human emotional disaster.

6. Bridget Johnson at the PJ Tatler:‘Full-Blown Heroin Crisis’: Vermont Governor Says Drug Surge Deadlier Than Cars or Guns

“What started as an OxyContin and prescription drug addiction problem in this state has now grown into a full-blown heroin crisis,” Peter Shumlin said of the 770 percent increase in opiate treatment in his home state since 2000.

The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has also reported the number of deaths involving heroin jumped 45 percent between 1999 and 2010.

7. At Fink or Swim, a positive conclusion to the Caleb Jacoby disappearing story: Three Things On the Lost and Found Teen and One Thing on the Parsha

Just like so many of you, I was distraught over the last few days as we hoped and prayed that Caleb Jacoby be found safe and unharmed. Thankfully, Caleb was returned to his family unscathed, at least physically. It shouldn’t matter, but because of my personal relationship with Caleb’s father (I spent some time with Caleb too) and my very close friendship with Caleb’s aunt, I felt very connected to this saga. Learning that he was found brought me to tears, in public, and I was so relieved that the most difficult part of the ordeal seemed to be over.

After suffering through a few days of agony, let’s not spoil the euphoric reunion with innuendo and speculation. More than a few people have offered their armchair psychological analysis and others have demanded a full report to the public. One person even asked me if the public has a right to hear the story because they prayed and volunteered their time in the search. I find this abhorrent. It’s not just nosy, it’s disrespectful. And I think it’s a symptom of a very base desire. One that we ought to reign in as best we can. It’s no secret. We love gossip. We love juicy details and nuggets of inside information. My father used to say that the idol of the late 20th century was the Fox, as in 20th Century Fox. We loved television and movies. But now we love gossip even more. Our idols are Perez Hilton and TMZ. We just need to know. And when we don’t know, we just throw out wild guesses. People might try to disguise their curiosity in moral terms or altruistic intentions. But really, it’s just plain gossip.

Of all the Torah portions, Beshalach is the most intense roller coaster ride of a parsha. We escape Egypt to safety, the Egyptians pursue us and we are trapped by the sea, the sea opens for us and we march forward, the Egyptians follow us and we can only assume they will catch us, the water crashes behind us and drowns the Egyptians thereby saving us, we sing a song of thanks, then we are thirsty, we are given water, then we are hungry, we are fed, then we want meat, we are given meat, we are given the gift of Shabbos, it is violated immediately, we were thirsty again, God gives Moses a secret well, Moses sins and is punished, then we are attacked by Amalek in a microcosm of the entire sedra, we can’t seem to stave them off, Moses lifts his hands and we start to win, then Moses gets tired and we start to lose, Joshua and Chur support Moses so he can lift his hands and we are able to defeat Amalek. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Time and again. Beshalach is a roller coaster ride and this week was also a roller coaster ride.

Hat tip to Bethany Mandel. Emphasis added by me.

8. From PJM writer Lauren Weiner, following up on the Walt Disney coverage at her blog, recalls Maurice Rapf, a Communist Disney animator who disputed the disinformation against his old boss, He’s Been Streep Slapped:

“Was he at all a Fascist sympathizer or anti-Semite?” Rapf is asked in an oral history.

Rapf answers:

“I never felt he was. He knew I was Jewish, too. But I don’t think he was an anti-Semite. I think he was a decent enough guy who was very conservative, and it got worse as time went on and as he got richer. When I worked for him, the Disney studio was not very [financially] solid. . . . Then, of course, the strike hurt him a lot, and that made him more reactionary because he felt the strike was Communist-inspired. He did believe that. His brother [Roy] must have convinced him, and he had a lawyer, Gunther Lessing, who was a leading anti-Communist ‘authority.’ So he was being fed all this stuff by his brother and his lawyer. On the other hand, he knew I was a Red, and he liked me and other Reds.”

9. I started two books today, the first, What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House by Tevi Troy.

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

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

“As Leo Strauss observed, the Founders combined the great traditions of Athens and Jerusalem, of reason and revelation.”

"As Leo Strauss observed, the Founders combined the great traditions of Athens and Jerusalem, of reason and revelation." - Tevi Troy, introduction page xvi to What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and #Obama Tweeted on the big differences between the leaders who created America and those who feel the need to "fundamentally transform" it today. #history #presidents #freedom

10. A video very much worth watching at the Right Scoop, SIMPLY DANA: Dana Loesch explains how she became a conservative on her new show on The Blaze TV

Dana explains that the two catalysts of her transformation from Democrat feminist goth chick into pop culture conservative hellraiser were the birth of her son and 9/11. Best wishes to her with the new show!

11. Fox News: Christians killed for faith nearly doubled in 2013, group finds

But North Korea — a country of more than 24 million, with an estimated 300,000 Christians — remained the most dangerous country worldwide for Christians for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Somalia, Syria and Iraq.

“Like others in that country, Christians have to survive under one of the most oppressive regimes in contemporary times,” according to a release on the report issued Wednesday. “They have to deal with corrupt officials, bad policies, natural disasters, diseases and hunger. On top of that, they must hide their decision to follow Christ. Being caught with a Bible is grounds for execution or a life-long political prison sentence. An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians live in concentration camps, prisons and prison-like circumstances under the regime of leader Kim Jong-Un.”

12. National Journal: How Millennials Have Already Reshaped Politics

Cultural affinity still provides a political edge for Democrats (millennials gave Obama two-thirds of their votes in 2008 and three-fifths in 2012). But to cement that loyalty, the party “has to make the economy work for more people,” says Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a Democratic group that studies the generation.

The larger issue transcends political advantage. Neither party is displaying sufficient urgency about a generational economic crisis that for too many young people will cascade through their lives with lower wages and diminished opportunities. The political system’s response to the millennials’ economic distress must be something more than, as a modern Marie Antoinette might put it, to let them smoke pot.

I know it’s morbid to say this but what’s going to happen at some point — it’s just an inevitability — is that America will be hit again. And it will probably be much worse than 9/11. And then it will produce a whole new generation of hawkish ex-Democrats who grudgingly shift to the Right.

13. The second book I eagerly started today, Glenn Reynolds’s just-released The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself,

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

Did you know that America’s educational institutions both in K-12 and academia are German imports? While the new system was great for churning out factory workers, it was not needed for a nation that was literate from the start:

During Revolutionary War the literacy rates were extremely high for the time. 60-90% of females in Vermont, dependent on area's level of development. Page 6 of Glenn Reynolds's The New School, examining where America started education-wise before public schools and industrialization. #history #education #school

I’ll have much more to say about Glenn’s book when I finish it. Among the experiences responsible for my shift from left to right was a year and a half working as a debt collector for federally insured student loans. I’ve seen the dysfunction in the system close up and it’s pretty horrifying. I’d regularly see people with accounts who hadn’t made payments in years, just keeping their loans in forbearance or deferment while they ballooned in size with the capitalized interest. Not a pretty sight. But more on that in future posts.

Best wishes to everyone for the weekend!


At PJ Lifestyle Today…

Charlie Martin and Sarah Hoyt: Book Plug Friday: Creativity and Creation

Stephen Green: Is This the Funniest Movie Since 1988′s A Fish Called Wanda?

Kathy Shaidle: Patti Smith: The Paula Deen of Punk?

3 Videos of Siberian Husky Maura Running at Noon, Evening, and Before Sunrise

Andrew Klavan: What Did I Miss About the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis?

James Jay Carafano: The Anti-Hero Rides Back into Washington

Chris Queen: Debunking the Disney Disinformation


At PJ Media…

Bridget Johnson: Lawmakers to Holder: ‘Inconsistencies’ in Reports of Swartz Prosecution ‘Require Serious Responses’

Jean Kaufman: You Only Thought You Wanted to Keep Your Hospital

Bryan Preston: BREAKING: Scott Turner Files to Run for Texas Speaker of the House

Ron Radosh: Race-Baiting, Anti-Semitic Ex-NJ Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka Dies, 79

Bridget Johnson: One-Third of House Dems Join GOP on Bill to Require HHS to Tell Public About Obamacare Breaches

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2 Reasons Why Meryl Streep Smeared Walt Disney as an Antisemite and ‘Gender Bigot’

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 1, day 4 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media I encounter each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com.

1. Fox News: Meryl Streep calls Walt Disney ‘gender bigot,’ Disney family organization fires back

According to Variety, Streep was presenting fellow actress Emma Thompson with the organization’s Best Actress award for her portrayal as “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers in the film “Saving Mr. Banks.” Along the way, Streep called Thompson “a beautiful artist” and “practically a saint.” And then she turned her attention to Disney, played in “Banks” by Tom Hanks.

Disney’s reputation has long been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism, but Streep focused most of her attention on Disney’s treatment of women, calling the legendary impresario a “gender bigot” and quoting longtime Disney animator Ward Kimball, who said his boss “didn’t trust women or cats.”

Streep also accused Disney of supporting “an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group,” believed to be a reference to the Motion Picture Alliance, and quoted a letter purportedly written by Disney’s company to an aspiring female animator which read, in part “Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men.”

Late Wednesday night, the Walt Disney Family Museum fired back at the actress via their Twitter account, suggesting that Streep needed to get her facts straight.

As usual, the attempts to defend Walt Disney from the Marxist disinformation that has dogged him since the early 1940s are inadequate. Nobody has yet to explain coherently how and why these rumors emerged in the first place. I’ve been piecing together the story the past few months in my research through the different Disney biographies and offer a few highlights at the end of today’s link round-up. I’m not finished with my research yet — there are still several more books I need to finish reading — but it doesn’t take long to find the names of the ones responsible.

2. From the Korea Herald, via the Epoch TimesKoreans become more conservative

Progressives are often associated with being doves in South Korea’s North Korea policies while conservatives are associated with taking strong national defense postures against the Stalinist regime.

The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs survey was conducted between January and June of 2013, as North Korea was escalating tensions by conducting a rocket launch in December 2012 and a nuclear test in February 2013. Kim Jong-un then unprecedentedly closed the inter-Korean Gaeseong Industrial Complex in April 2013.

“Our society itself has become increasingly conservative,” said Bae Jong-chan, chief director at Research and Research, an opinion survey company.

3. Today at PJ Lifestyle from Charlie Martin, exploring a theme I wrote about in September 2012 in a more optimistic way than I did: Is Phone Sex a Sign of Conscious Thought?

Her carries it on a little further, when the main character falls in love with the personality that serves as the front end for a new operating system. They eventually consummate their love in what is supposed to be a rather steamy, and apparently mutually satisfying, episode of what’s a whole new meaning of “phone sex.” (I say “supposed to be” because I haven’t seen the movie yet; in any case, this isn’t a review of the movie.)

So here’s a question for you: when Samantha, the operating system’s personality, has an orgasm, is it real or is she faking it?

4. Hat tip to Charlie’s piece for reminding me of this David Gelernter essay in Commentary that I mostly disagree with but that still has some worthwhile points and is admirable in stylistic dazzle, as is to be expected from the author: The Closing of the Scientific Mind

The Kurzweil Cult.

The voice most strongly associated with what I’ve termed roboticism is that of Ray Kurzweil, a leading technologist and inventor. The Kurzweil Cult teaches that, given the strong and ever-increasing pace of technological progress and change, a fateful crossover point is approaching. He calls this point the “singularity.” After the year 2045 (mark your calendars!), machine intelligence will dominate human intelligence to the extent that men will no longer understand machines any more than potato chips understand mathematical topology. Men will already have begun an orgy of machinification—implanting chips in their bodies and brains, and fine-tuning their own and their children’s genetic material. Kurzweil believes in “transhumanism,” the merging of men and machines. He believes human immortality is just around the corner. He works for Google.

Whether he knows it or not, Kurzweil believes in and longs for the death of mankind. Because if things work out as he predicts, there will still be life on Earth, but no human life. To predict that a man who lives forever and is built mainly of semiconductors is still a man is like predicting that a man with stainless steel skin, a small nuclear reactor for a stomach, and an IQ of 10,000 would still be a man. In fact we have no idea what he would be.

5. Openculture.com: An Introduction to the Political Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin Through His Free Writings & Audio Lectures

Berlin was enormously prolific, in print as well as in recorded media, and we have access to several of his lectures online. One radio lecture series, Freedom and its Betrayal, examined six thinkers Berlin identified as “anti-liberal.” Perhaps foremost among these was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his lecture on Rousseau above (continued here in Parts 2345 & 6), Berlin elaborates on his important distinction between types of liberty, a theme he returned to again and again, most famously in a lecture, eventually published as a 57-page pamphlet, called “Two Concepts of Liberty.” Berlin adapted much of the ideas in these lectures from his Political Ideas in the Romantic Age—written between 1950 and 1952 and published posthumously—a text that Berlin called his “torso.”

6. Book reading from this morning, Ann Coulter’s Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism:

“It is a fact that hundreds of agents of this blood-soaked ideology became top advisors to Democratic presidents, worked on the Manhattan Project, infiltrated every segment of the United States government.” – page 34

"It is a fact that hundreds of agents of this blood-soaked #ideology became top advisors to Democratic presidents, worked on the Manhattan Project, infiltrated every segment of the United States government." - #AnnCoulter page 34 of Treason: #Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the #War on #Terrorism #freedom #america #democrat #republican #communism #history

7. Noah Rothman at Mediatite: Dershowitz: Christie Should ‘Lawyer Up,’ Prepare for Criminal Prosecution over Bridgegate

Lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on CNN on Thursday where he insisted that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could be held criminally liable for the death of a 91-year-old woman who passed away after being caught in traffic resulting from the closure of two lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013. Dershowitz said that prosecutors could hold Christie liable for “willful negligence” and recommended that he be prosecuted in New York because of the governor’s “history of taking revenge.”

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin noted that Dershowtiz has already recommended that Christie “lawyer up” and prepare to face criminal prosecution over his involvement in the bridge closure. His argument centers on the death of a 91-year-old woman, but he also said that many others may have suffered as a result of the New Jersey government’s actions.

“Clearly the people who originated the traffic jams and approved them are guilty and probably guilty of crimes,” Dershowitz asserted. “Their actions led directly to very significant harms, particularly if they can demonstrate that the woman died as a result of the traffic jam.”

8. The Algemeiner: Actress Meryl Streep Blasts Walt Disney as Anti-Semitic; ZOA Condemns Actress Emma Thompson

Ironically, Streep’s nine-minute speech was to honor the actress who portrayed ‘Mary Poppins’ creator P.L. Travers in The Walt Disney Company’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’  Emma Thompson, who the Zionist Organization of America denounced on Thursday for her letter in the Guardian advocating for a boycott of Israel’s Habima Theater troupe, which is to perform later this year at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, in London.

Hat tip to Roger L. Simon.

9. Noah Rothman again at Mediaite: Press Agonizes over ‘Culture’ of Christie’s Admin After Dismissing ‘Culture’ of Obama’s White House

Follow the most fair-minded media critic online at twitter here: @NoahCRothman He’s one of the best non-ideological writers analyzing politics and the media.

10. Forbes: Is Meryl Streep’s Disney-Bashing Just Oscar Season Mudslinging?

It is perhaps a leap to believe that Ms. Streep intentionally set out to trash Walt Disney in a publicized speech with the implicit intention of harming Ms. Thompson’s Oscar hopes and thus raising her own chances of securing a nomination, with the side effect of boosting The Weinstein Company’s August: Osage County‘s box office as it expands this weekend. But Oscar season is one rife with politics and skulduggery, one where how a film is perceived morally is as important as how its perceived critically. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio aren’t working overtime to convince everyone that Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street is not an endorsement of Mr. Jordan Belfort for fun. And those unheroic allegations about the real Captain Phillips didn’t materialize out of thin air, much to Sony’s chagrin.

Streep’s news-making reiteration of Walt Disney’s long-alleged sins, in a speech intended to honor Emma Thompson, helps Streep while hurting Thompson. It would no different than Viola Davis giving a toast of Meryl Streep in January 2012 where she scathingly criticized the conservative politics of Margaret Thatcher. Ms. Streep’s Oscar chances and August: Osage County‘s box office prospects are now improved while Ms. Thompson’s Oscar hopes and thus Saving Mr. Banks‘s box office prospects (doing well with $60m domestic thus far but with much to gain from Oscar traction) are harmed.

Yes, that rationale makes enough sense. But who was actually behind the smears of Walt Disney that Streep is recycling in her campaign for another Oscar? And why do these rumors persist so long after Disney’s death? Who is to blame? In my New Year’s Resolutions list last week I announced my intent to finish researching it this year:

New year's resolution 5: to intensity my study of #disney culture, for the next 2 weeks I will have #Disney films and documentaries and #cartoons on in background the whole time I am working. This is experiment that I will then apply to others. I need to train myself to dig deeper into the history of media and culture to find old gems and new realizations. So much that is old can be made new again.

Disney himself was convinced Communists were behind the smears of him. Page 170 of Bob Thomas’s Walt Disney: An American Original excerpts a 1941 statement he made to a newspaper columnist about the lies printed against him at the time which still haunt him even today half a century after his death.

Walt #Disney was convinced Communists were behind the smears of him. Page 170 of Bob Thomas's Walt Disney: An American Original excerpts a 1941 statement he made to a newspaper columnist about the lies printed against him at the time which still haunt him even today half a century after his death. #Communist #disinformation sticks around.

Last year I read these two Disney biographies that promote the closet-Nazi smear:

My Disney Disinformation research is almost complete. I've now figured out the person most responsible for the smear of Disney as a Nazi-sympathizing antisemite...

I suspect this passage from page 211 of Leonard Mosley’s Disney’s World of being Soviet disinformation. It offers unsourced allegations and a fake sounding quote also without source. The way the smears of Disney appear match a number of the patterns that Ion Mihai Pacepa described in his book Disinformation about how the KGB sought to frame iconic figures after their deaths. Smearing of Pope Pius, Lyndon Baines Johnson (for JFK’s death), and Nicolae Ceausescu’s political enemies mirror the attacks on Disney.

I suspect this passage from a Disney biography of being Soviet Disinformation. Page 211 of Leonard Mosley's Disney's World offers unsourced allegations and a fake sounding quote also without source. The way the smears of Disney appear match a number of the patterns that Ion Mihai Pacepa described in his book Disinformation about how the KGB sought to frame iconic figures after their deaths. Smearing of Pope Pius and LBJ and Ceausescu's political enemies similar to the attacks on Walt #Disney.

“[Arthur] Babbitt evolved into a leftist intellectual given to a preachy style of speechmaking that many found grating.” – Steven Watts, page 217 of The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life. This animator was Walt Disney’s arch-nemesis who led the strike against the studio. He hated Disney his whole life after the bitter strike at the studio. In Marc Eliot’s Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince he is the source of the claim that Disney attended Nazi meetings. He was telling that as late as 1990, when Eliot conducted the interview. So for 25 years after Disney’s death he was smearing his old capitalist boss.

"[Arthur] Babbitt evolved into a #leftist intellectual given to a preachy style of speechmaking that many found grating." - Steven Watts, page 217 of The #Magic Kingdom: Walt #disney and the #american Way of Life. This #animator was Walt Disney's arch nemesis who led the strike against the studio. He hated Disney his whole life. In Marc Eliot's Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince he is the source of the claim that Disney attended Nazi meetings. He was telling that as late as 1990, when Eliot conducted the interview. So for 25 years after Disney's death he was smearing his old #capitalist boss.

The animators who led the strike against Disney were influenced by “the leftist culture of the Popular Front in California” according to page 207 of The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life:

The animators who led strike against Disney were influenced by "the leftist culture of the Popular Front in California" according to page 207 of The Magic Kingdom: Walt #Disney and the #American Way of Life by Steven Watts

A few years ago a novel that depicts Disney in his final days as a racist, antisemite, and sexually deranged narcissist was released. I read it recently and in addition to the attacks on Disney as a bigot it also recycles Babbitt’s whining about his boss not really deserving as much credit as he got and not being a real artist:

I finished it. Absolutely terrible and meaningless nihilism. The techniques of Disinformation are all over it. The blending of seemingly official material and apparent factual research with outright fabrications. Having read the various #Disney biographies recently I can see which aspects of the Disney smears he cribs from. And it's as though the ghost of Arthur Babbitt haunts the book. It almost gets repetitive the way his style of grievances about credit are repeated and exaggerated repeatedly. Sad that it's been made into an opera that will further spread the Communist smears of one of the 20th century's greatest Americans... #history #film #freedom

It has been recently turned into an opera — thus matching the technique used to smear Pope Pius with The Deputy play: aim at the high-brow intelligentsia and then just let the smear filter down to the masses.

What is it about Disney and his films that has driven Communists, progressives, and the elite of today’s Hollywood so mad for so long? I have my ideas about how Disney embodied the traits of Americanism in action more boldly and visibly than any other entrepreneur or entertainer in the 20th century. But there are still more books to read before coming to any conclusions.

Among the next titles on my list is what’s regarded as a more measured — but still Marxist — anti-Disney critique focused more specifically on what culture his films, TV shows, and theme parks actually promoted. So in the coming weeks and months I’ll hope to dive into The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art and Commerce of Walt Disney

5 books from my #Disney research pile. #hollywood #history

See At PJ Media:

Andrew C. McCarthy: Will Contrite Christie Save Combative Christie?

J. Christian Adams: NAACP Lawyer: ‘Absolutely My Honor to Represent Mumia Abu Jamal’

Bryan Preston: MUST-SEE VIDEO: Meet Scott Turner, the Former NFL Defensive Back Who Tackles Today’s Entitlement Mentality

Bridget Johnson: Christie Rolls Some Heads, Says He’s ‘Heartbroken’ by ‘Betrayal’ of Staff in Bridge Scandal

Bridget Johnson: CNN Host Grills Wasserman Schultz About Thinking Christie’s Hiding Something While Obama Always Claims to Be in the Dark

Mike McNally: Gangster Whose Shooting by Police Sparked London Riots Was Lawfully Killed, Jury Rules

PJTV’s Trifecta on Colorado and ‘Getting High in the Highest State’ (Video)

And Also At PJ Lifestyle Today:

Bonnie Ramthun: The Slacker Manifesto

PJ Lifestyle Cute Animals: What Ivan The Cat Used to Do When I Needed to Get My Work Done

Kathy Shaidle: The Once-Unimaginable Occurs: David Bowie Turns 67

Chris Queen: Disney’s Tasty, Controversial Turkey Legs

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Rolling Stone, Privately Traded Company, Advocates Millennials Share the Wealth

Becky Graebner: Your Feel-Good Youtube Video for Thursday

PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: A Michigan Polar Vortex Sunrise Courtesy of Dave Forsmark

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What Does Will Ferrell And This Tiny Paycheck Reveal About Misunderstanding Manhood?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 1, day 3 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media I encounter each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com.

1. From Veruca at Everlasting GOP Stoppers, a progressive blog, as shared by the Being Liberal Facebook page,: THIS Is What “Living” On Minimum Wage Looks Like


The post is meant to advocate for a higher minimum wage and who did they pick? Un-notated explicitly in the post is that this minimum wage earner’s paycheck is being garnished for child support. This is a man working on minimum wage and just over half of what he makes is going to his kids. He’s the one progressives want to hold up to make us feel sorry for minimum wage earners?

Unasked questions: how much money does this guy get from the government in assistance? Food stamps? How much does he make in off-the-books business transactions for cash?

What’s the real problem going on here? The fact that the law does not require businesses to pay people more per hour than they are capable of creating in value? Or that some men choose to abandon their children, forcing the government to garnish their checks to support them?

2. At the Daily Mail: ‘Serious and quiet’ teenage son of Boston Globe columnist goes missing


3. J. Christian Adams, cross-posted here at PJ Lifestyle: How the DOJ’s Radical Race-Based School Discipline Policies Will Outlast the Obama Era

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 InjusticeWhat 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.


According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, a senior staffer for Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) sent an email to a Port Authority official that seems to direct the official to jack up traffic in an area run by a Christie political opponent.

In September, two of three local access lanes from Fort Lee were closed on the George Washington Bridge, stymying commuters from the city. The mayor of Fort Lee had refused to endorse Christie’s re-election effort. For two months, the Port Authority was silent on why the lanes were closed.

This is the straw that breaks the camels back for Christie. There shouldn’t have been any more talk of him in 2016 at this point but any that remained should be shut up by this. New Jersey political thugs are only moderately wimpier than Chicago’s breed.

5. Politico: The HuffPo-ization of the Right

Even as the movement begins to cohere, it’s not all neighborliness and camaraderie. Over the course of numerous conversations, I heard the Daily Caller called “kind of a three-ring circus” and the Free Beacon, “a vanity site about Israel.” Breitbart and the Blaze get sniffed at as unserious.

Still, nearly all the conservatives I talked to said the new range of right-wing outlets is a good thing. “The only thing that I think is hurtful to the movement is if you didn’t have that kind of variety,” Domenech of the Federalist told me. During the Bush era, he said, the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina showed that partisan media’s failure to question its own leadership can lead to a collective lurch into the political wilderness. The remedy is an array of sites playing complementary roles—a “weaponized” hit piece here, a clicky slideshow there, anti-Obama video snippets nearly everywhere.

They don’t mention us. I suppose that means we’re not HuffPo enough to fit the narrative.

6. Ben Shapiro’s op/ed column this week: Why Socialism Is on the Rise

It took capitalism half a century to come back from the Great Depression. It’s taken socialism half that time to come back from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In New York City, avowed socialist Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that his goal is to take “dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities” — the gap between rich and poor. In Seattle, newly elected socialist city Councilmember Kshama Sawant addressed supporters, explaining, “I wear the badge of socialist with honor.” To great acclaim from the left, columnist Jesse Myerson of Rolling Stone put out a column telling millennials that they ought to fight for government-guaranteed employment, a universal basic income, collectivization of private property, nationalization of private assets and public banks.

The newly flowering buds of Marxism no longer reside on the fringes. Not when the president of the United States has declared fighting income inequality his chief task as commander in chief. Not when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said that America faces “no greater challenge” than income disparity. Not when MSNBC, The New York Times and the amalgamated pro-Obama media outlets have all declared their mission for 2014 a campaign against rich people.

So what is the moral case for capitalism? It lies in recognition that socialism isn’t a great idea gone wrong — it’s an evil philosophy in action. It isn’t driven by altruism; it’s driven by greed and jealousy. Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution. Socialism violates at least three of the Ten Commandments: It turns government into God, it legalizes thievery and it elevates covetousness. Discussions of income inequality, after all, aren’t about prosperity but about petty spite. Why should you care how much money I make, so long as you are happy?

7. Glenn Reynolds Interview At National Review about new book: The School of the Instapundit

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: So what’s the cocktail-party answer to what “the new school” is?

GLENN REYNOLDS: Both higher and K–12 education in America are based on models imported from 19th-century Germany. In 21st-century America, those models are woefully out of date.
LOPEZ: How is education like the newspaper business?

REYNOLDS: A decade or more ago, I used to have conversations with journalists who reflected that their industry’s business model was collapsing, but who somewhat sheepishly hoped the collapse wouldn’t come until they reached retirement age. Now I have the same kind of conversation with academics.


LOPEZ: How should higher ed “sacrifice for the common good”?

REYNOLDS: Back in the 1930s, economist John Hicks said that the best monopoly profit is “a comfortable life.” The quasi-monopolies that have been set up by unionized teachers in K–12 and the tenured professoriate in higher education have given the guild members a comfortable life, but at great expense to students and families. If you favor redistribution from the well-off to the less-well-off, then academics’ lives should probably become less comfortable in exchange for cheaper and more responsive educational models.


LOPEZ: Would you abolish the concept of teenagers if you could?

REYNOLDS: People think that teenagers act the way they do because of biology, but the teenager is mostly a modern social invention. We turned young adults into teenagers by taking away anything productive for them to do. A century or more ago, they were important parts of a family’s economic picture. Now they’re consumers, not producers. In pre-modern times, they were around mostly adults, and tended to try to act in ways that earned respect from those adults. Now they’re herded together with other teens, and tend to try to act in ways that other teens respect, ways that are usually a lot less constructive.

I cannot wait for my copy to arrive!

8. Jonah Goldberg’s column for the week at National ReviewMillennial Communists

The relevance of the Soviets’ effort to provide every goody imaginable isn’t to suggest they came up with the idea; it’s to demonstrate that when such ideas are put into practice and allowed to run their course, they fail — and often crush both kinds of freedom in the process.

Regardless, the failure of Communism didn’t put the debate to rest because the debate is eternal. Like those summer fireflies, it is a permanent fixture of the human condition, particularly among the affluent and fashionably rebellious young who are always eager to explain why this time is different.

9. Betsy Woodruff at National Review: Marijuana Group Rips into Cuomo’s Medical-Marijuana Plan

And Cuomo’s plan, per MPP, won’t do that. Instead, MPP expects the program — which reports indicate will let some hospitals give marijuana they receive from the federal government (or, if that doesn’t work, confiscated marijuana) to some patients — to be “unworkable and problematic.” They give a host of reasons for this. Among them: Hospitals, which are federally regulated, usually don’t want to break federal law (and marijuana is still federally illegal). Also, the program would actually cost the state money, instead of generating tax revenue. And the bureaucratic hoops patients and hospitals would have to jump through to get medical marijuana from the federal government are nigh insurmountable.

Something I hope to eventually write on more at length: I think that California’s model of medicinal marijuana is a better approach for easing a state culturally into a way of regulating the drug better than the full blown legalization of Colorado. As more states strive to figure out how to deal with this issue the fight that will count will be a cultural one. Is marijuana going to be just a party drug, a different kind of alcohol? Just another vice? Or are its medicinal qualities yet unknown and untapped? Just what is being regulated here? Defining marijuana as just a way to get high misses the plant’s potential.

10. Cinema Blend, Hat Tip to SLM Goldberg: Disneyland’s Long Rumored Tomorrowland Remodel Will Be Influenced By Star Wars Episode VII

Operating a theme park is quite a challenge. Guests have their favorite rides and love certain things about how the park looks now, but at the same time, change is exactly what convinces a whole host of other people to come back. These proposed updates would cost fans Autopia and the current version of AstroOrbitor, but if it means introducing a slew of new rides, I’m a big thumbs up on that. Progress has to be made at some point. Despite losing some great rides, I think we can all agree it’s better Disneyland doesn’t look exactly as it did when it first opened back in July of ’55. Besides, Tomorrowland looks like a dated mess anyway.

If the remodeling does away with Autopia then I say good riddance! Lousy ride that should have been phased out in the 1970s!

11. Walter Hudson here at PJ Lifestyle: 6 Lies Millennials Must Reject

Outrageous though it may seem to suggest, the American economy better resembles fascism than capitalism, with actors constrained by ever more intrusive controls. Like all words, capitalism does not mean whatever an author wants it to mean. It requires the condition of liberty, a condition unseen in American jurisprudence and made incrementally more elusive which each “progressive” reform. We cannot blame capitalism when no such thing exists in practice.

12. A newspaper write-up about my wife’s art exhibition in the Bahamas: ’Picky Head’ To Provoke Conversation Of Black Hair And Identity

APRIL BEY’s Hair has always been used by people to place her in a comfortable race category.

Her mother is white and her father is black. When growing up in the Bahamas, April was told and in some cases bullied into chemically altering her hair to conform to a euro centric notions of beauty while masking her blackness.

After educating herself by doing comprehensive research into black hair and identity, she decided to put together an exhibition provocatively titled “Picky Head”. It brings together a number of observations and features from her research. The exhibition is set for 5.30pm, Friday at the Liquid Courage Gallery, featuring 8 to 9 pieces of her work.

“The ironic part of this is that black women are the highest consumers of hair relaxer and to blend in with them you must straighten your hair to appear white. This seemed like the protocol to me until about the age of 23. It flabbergasts me that I spent over 17 years of my life having no idea what my natural hair looked or felt like because I chemically destroyed it to blend in with the black women I lived, worked and went to school with. Even more disturbing was that I wasn’t alone,” April told Tribune Entertainment.

I’m very proud of her.

13. Two excerpts from Jews, God and History, by Max I. Dimont, from page 140 and 142:

Perhaps these might be of use to my friend Rhonda Robinson who has been blogging on the similarities and differences in Judaism and Christianity for many months now.

“He became to Jesus what the Talmud became to the Torah – a commentary and a way of Life.” — Dimont on the Apostle Paul:

"He became to #Jesus what the #Talmud became to the #Torah -- a commentary and a way of Life." Max I. Dimont on the Apostle Paul on page 140 of #Jews #God and #History

“The schism between Jew and Christian was total.” — Dimont after explaining the theological changes Paul made to transform Christianity from a Jewish sect into a global religion made up mostly of converted Pagans:

How Paul divided Judaism and Christianity: through substituting #Jesus for the #Torah page 142 of Max I. Dimont's #Jews #God and #history

14. An excerpt from page 267 of Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae, the chapter discussing Goethe, and the seeds of Decadence in Romanticism, and their origins in Paganism:

"Horror films are most popular among adolescents, whose screams are Dionysian signals of sexual awakening." - #CamillePaglia page 267 of Sexual Personae, linking ancient #Paganism with modern #PopCulture explicitly. The main theme of all her work it seems?

15. Think Progress: What ‘Anchorman 2′ And Will Ferrell’s Career Tell Us About Masculinity And Feminism

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the sequel to director Adam McKay’s 2004 smash and cultural touchstone Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, is by no means a good movie. The film, which follows titular news anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) from San Diego to the big time in New York and the rise of cable news is too eager to repeat comedic beats from its predecessor, and is hampered by confused character motivations and a long diversion involving a not-so-tame shark. But what Anchorman 2 does do is solidify the most significant theme of Will Ferrell’s career: the ways in which masculine ideals harm men even as they help them, and the desperate need for a feminist movement that helps men figure out what they actually want out of life.

Gee if it wasn’t for a feminist movement and the progressive comedy stylings of Will Ferrell then what would men know to do with their lives?

Meanwhile recall the first story linked in this round-up wherein the check used to advocate for a raise in the minimum wage was of a father getting his paycheck garnished to pay child support.

How much more could so-called liberal feminists do to improve the world if instead of devoting their energies to analyzing dumb comedies and supporting male politicians who will give them free birth control, they instead stopped tolerating the millions of men who abandon the children they create and the women who chose to get involved with them in the first place?

See Also At PJ Lifestyle Today:

PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: A Rainbow at Sunset in Michigan

PJ Lifestyle Cute Animal Videos: 4 Videos of Maura the Siberian Husky Inaugurates a New Feature

Becky Graebner: I Had a Bad Day, So I Decided to Roast Something

Andrew Klavan: Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: A British Twilight Zone for the Digital Age

Helen Smith: What is the Difference Between Sociopathy and Psychopathy?

PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: Sunrise on Lake St. Clair, Just Outside Detroit


And At PJ Media:

Ron Radosh: Making Sense of the Left’s Obsession with ‘Income Inequality’

Bridget Johnson: Dems Claim Christie ‘Orchestrated’ Bridge Closure as Political Retribution

Bryan Preston: EXCLUSIVE: The Religious Freedom Case You May Not Have Heard About

Tom Blumer: A Chaos-Driven Path to Single Payer?

Abraham H. Miller: The Palestinians and Terrorism in Europe, Redux

Bryan Preston: Agonizing with Frank Luntz

Ed Driscoll: Time Magazine Swings Both Ways

Bridget Johnson: Who Is Kenneth Bae, the Longest-Held U.S. Prisoner in North Korea?

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20 Strange and Surreal Stories to Read From Tuesday, January 7

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 1, day 2 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com.

1. At Esquire, a profile of counterculture filmmaker Kenneth Anger, “Where the Bodies Are Buried”

In 1946, Parsons and Cameron practiced a magic ritual known as the “Babalon Working” to conceive  a “moonchild” as the Thelemic “messiah”.

The “scribe” for this ceremony was a man Parsons had met only a few months earlier, but who – so Parsons told Crowley – displayed distinctly promising occult possibilities. He was a science-fiction writer named L Ron Hubbard. The Babalon Working failed: Cameron did not conceive. Hubbard ran off with Parsons’ former mistress, a substantial amount of Parsons’ money and a yacht both men owned in a business arrangement.

The official Scientology version of Hubbard’s occult activities is he was working undercover to expose and destroy a “black magic cult”. But Hubbard, Anger says, was “a pathological liar, you can’t believe anything he said”. What Hubbard took from meeting Parsons, Anger says, was the blueprint of a hermetic brotherhood in which the acquisition of one layer of knowledge leads to the next. “The difference is, Scientology makes everybody pay. Hubbard told Parsons that inventing a religion was a good way to make money. But Scientology is a cult. The whole thing is what I call a racket.”

In 1952, Parsons was killed when fulminate of mercury exploded in his home laboratory. “There are various theories about whether he was responsible, or someone else did it,” Anger says. “Howard Hughes wanted Jack to go and work for him but Jack refused. And Howard Hughes was the kind of man you didn’t say no to, or if you did, there would be consequences.”

Following Parsons’ death, Anger lived with Cameron for two years, intensifying his study of Crowleyian magick. Anger describes his beliefs as “paganism” which, he says, “is just an appreciation of nature. It has nothing to do with so-called ‘black magic’”. For many years he has been a member of the OTO, but is reticent about his own “magickal” practices: the OTO, he points out, is after all a secret society. He is not, he says, “doing magic circles all the time, although I have done it on occasion”. But he follows Crowley’s practice of “Liber Resh”, a ritual meditation for greeting the sunrise. He affects a cheery wave: “Hello sun!”

2. At Epoch Times: “Eight Treasures Tea: An Elixir From Ancient China”

Of all the herbal tonics in China, none is as well known as the medicinal tea called the “Eight Treasures Tea” (Ba Bao Cha), the base of which was created during the Tang dynasty. However, it wasn’t until Li changed some of the ingredients and added a few more, that it really became one of the most traditional tonics in Chinese history.

“Eight Treasures” is popular in part because of its many health benefits. It is known as an elixir in China because it helps improve blood circulation, raise energy levels, boost the immune system, clear lightheadedness, aid liver function and breathing, help remove dark under-eye circles, hydrate dry skin, fight fatigue, and can help women maintain a regular menstrual cycle.

There are many different varieties of “Eight Treasures” with different recipes made in different dynasties and depending on the availability of ingredients. The more common ingredients according to Li are:

Green tea Jasmine green tea brings out a more floral flavor.
Dried chrysanthemum flowers: 1–2 tablespoons
Goji berries: 4–6 berries
Dried Chinese red dates: 2 fruits
Dried Dragon Eye (Longan): 2 pieces
Licorice root: 1–2 pieces
American Ginseng: 1–2 roots
Dried fruit: You can use 1–4 pieces of apples, oranges, or raisins depending on size.
Rock Sugar

3. At the New York Post: “Spitzer caught sucking Lis Smith’s toes in topless hot tub romp”

Sleazy Eliot Spitzer turned a resort hot tub into a steamy love cauldron over the weekend — kissing and sucking the toes of his topless mistress, Lis Smith, in front of families with children, mortified witnesses told The Post.

The still-married former Love Gov and Smith, Mayor de Blasio’s ex-mouthpiece, were spied frolicking near the family pool at around 4 p.m. Sunday at the Half Moon family resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“It was gross,” said a hotel witness, who was vacationing with her family. “She had her top off.”

The disgraced Spitzer — infamous for wearing his signature black knee socks while having sex with hookers — appears to have a bit of a foot fetish as well, according to onlookers.

4. Via Vodkapundit, At the Daily Mail: “Why was Tutankhamun mummified with an eternal erection? Study reveals religious reason”

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb almost a century ago threw up some serious questions and mysteries surrounding the young pharoah’s burial.

Among the most bizarre rituals found in the tomb was that the king’s penis was embalmed at a 90-degree angle – the only mummy to have ever been found with this feature.

Egyptologists from the American University in Cairo have now claimed that this may have been carried out on purpose to make the king appear like Osiris, the god of the underworld, in an attempt to frighten religious revolutionaries.

5. Bridget Johnson at the PJ Tatler: “Taliban Commander Sends 10-Year-Old Sister Out to Suicide Bomb”

Think terrorists have reached the lowest of the low? Meet 10-year-old Spozhmai from Helmand province. On Sunday night, her kin strapped a bomb on her and sent her on a mission.

6. Claudia Rosett here at PJM: “Dennis Rodman In the Court of Kim Jong Un”

Self-appointed basketball envoy Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea, bringing with him a group of fellow former NBA stars to entertain North Korea’s young tyrant Kim Jong Un with an exhibition game on Kim’s birthday, this Wednesday. This is Rodman’s fourth visit to North Korea, where, having sampled some of the luxuries of young Kim’s lifestyle, Rodman has pronounced the totalitarian state to be “not that bad” and decided that Kim is his “friend for life.” It’s all part of what Rodman describes as his personal effort to “help the world.”

The real question about Rodman’s visits to North Korea is not why Rodman chooses to go there, but why the U.S. government continues to allow it. Rodman may believe he’s just going to hang with his buddy Kim, and make the world a better place. But it is quite likely that to Kim and his circle of the North Korean elite (at least those he has not yet ordered to be executed), Rodman’s visits look like a gift of tribute from America. There is precedent for this. Recall the basketball signed by former NBA star Michael Jordan, which former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought with her to Pyongyang in 2000 as a gift to Kim Jong Un’s late father, Kim Jong Il — also a basketball enthusiast. Albright was hoping to get a deal putting an end to North Korea’s missile habit. She got no deal. But Kim Jong Il did get the signed basketball, which North Korea’s government keeps on prominent display in its Hall of Trophies.

7. At the Daily Mail: “Happy birthday Michelle from all of US! Taxpayers foot the bill for First Lady’s extended Hawaiian vacation… so she can celebrate her 50th in Oprah’s Maui home”

When President Barack Obama suggested that his wife should spend extra time in paradise as an early birthday present, he was committing U.S. citizens to pay for the gift, whose costs will likely spiral into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The White House conceded on Monday that the federal treasury will foot the bill to fly First Lady Michelle Obama back to Washington, D.C. on a separate government aircraft after she finishes her extended vacation at the palatial 12-bedroom Hawaii home of talk show legend Oprah Winfrey.

Dedicated vehicles, Secret Service costs, and security sweeps of the Winfrey estate on Maui will add considerably to the total tab.

A Fox News Channel reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday to clarify who would get the bill for Mrs. Obama’s travel, and the spinner landed on taxpayers.

8. Stomach-churning crime story of the day from the Daily Mail which seems to be the place to look on the web to see sadistic criminal cruelty displayed on a daily basis: “Purple Heart marine who served in Afghanistan gets two life sentences for sexually abusing his two children from birth – with their mothers’ approval”

The former Marine convicted of sexually abusing his two children will spend the rest of his life behind bars, after receiving two life sentences in Florida court today.

U.S. District Judge Roy B Dalton Jr. called what 26-year-old Jonathan Adleta did to his children ‘heinous’, saying he is reposible for ‘the destruction and scarring of his own children’.

During the trial it was revealed that Adleta started planning to abuse his children before they were born, telling his pregnant girlfriend Sarah Adleta, 29, that he would only marry her if she allowed him to have ‘daddy-daughter sex’ with their child.

I suppose it’s necessary to remember what is really going on in the world.

9. More evil reported At the Daily Mail: “I don’t give a rat’s a** what you think!’: Dennis Rodman has a meltdown during an interview about his latest North Korean trip and implies that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae ‘deserves to be in jail’”

‘The marshal is actually trying to change this country in a great way,’ Rodman said of Kim, using the leader’s official title. ‘I think that people thought that this was a joke, and Dennis Rodman is just doing this because fame and fortune.’ Instead, he said, he sees the game as a ‘birthday present’ for Kim and his country.

‘Just to even have us here, it’s an awesome feeling. I want these guys here to show the world, and speak about North Korea in a great light,’ he said. ‘I hope people will have a different view about North Korea.’

NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a statement Monday night.

‘The NBA is not involved with Mr Rodman’s North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department,’ Stern said.

‘Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them.’

Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in late 2011.

10. More on a different, more traditional kind of cult at the Daily Mail: “Man who thinks he’s Jesus… along with hundreds of young women who follow him across the world”

Most of the disciples who live at his church – mostly women – have followed Inri for decades, the eldest, Abevere, 86, has been following him for 32 years.

His youngest disciple is now 24 years old and first met Inri when she was just a two years old.

11. Confirmation from Your Tango: “It’s Science: Americans Watched The Most Porn In 2013″

If the United States takes the number one spot in the world that obviously means we’re home to the individual state that’s all about consuming porn the most at one time. Any guesses as to the winner? Well, before you get your brain in a tizzy, I’ll tell you: Mississippi.

At an average 11 minutes, 47 seconds of porn-watching sessions in 2013, Mississippi is number one in the planet! The duration is even up one minute, three seconds from last year!

12. Via WTF Magazine, as shared by my friend Ash on Facebook:



Too bad the human centipede movie didn’t take this as its premise instead…

13. Fox News: “Charlie Sheen says he got married but it seems he was just joking”

Did Charlie Sheen say “I do” yet again?

That’s what the unpredictable star claimed via Twitter over the weekend, posting a message that implied that he tied the knot with his ex-porn star girlfriend, Brett Rossi. But now the actor is insisting that he was just joking around, in typical Sheen fashion.

14. From Your Tango: “23 Signs You’re Obsessed With ‘Downton Abbey’”

5. You regularly quote Mrs. SassyPants herself, the Dowager Countess, on Facebook and IRL.


It’s kind of strange juxtaposing the way both prim and proper turn-of-the-century culture is popular alongside the mainstreaming of internet porn culture.

 15. At the Mary Sue: “In an Alternate Star Trek Universe, Worf Works on Wall Street”


I’m not looking forward to having to watch The Wolf of Wall Street, which I’m sure I’ll have to force myself to do eventually when I’m writing something about Scorsese’s movies… The idea of Worf just running through the film whacking at all the corrupt criminals with his Bat’leth sounds more entertaining to me.

16. Betsy Rothstein at the Daily Caller: “Is Rare really just a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Content Editor Matt Cover‘s last day at Rare was last week. He went to the Alexandria, Va. office for the final time on Friday. He’s one of four editors who have parted ways with the Cox Media Group-owned news outlet since its inception in April. Once billed as red meat for conservative readers, those who’ve worked there have experienced editorial policies that are anything but right-leaning.

“I left because I didn’t like the direction Rare was headed or the disrespectful way staff was treated,” said Anneke GreenRare‘s former opinion editor who quit in August. “We have enough conservative outlets — we don’t need to support a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And at the end of the day, instead of appealing to actual conservatives, it seemed the Cox people were more interested in Rare redefining conservatism to what they want it to be than reporting on what it is. I’m going on the record now only because I was so positive on the record when Rare launched and I’m disappointed such a great opportunity was squandered.”

I remember when Rare launched. Since then I’ve dropped by periodically out of loyalty to some of the people editing/writing there but it hasn’t made much of a positive or negative impression either way. They just seem to be another center-right news aggregation site that doesn’t distinguish themselves in any way. I checked twice today to try to find a link worthwhile to include from them in this round-up and came up empty handed. Oh wait, here’s something, apparently Rare chooses to publish the hatemonger Pat Buchanan, recently named by P. David Hornik as the sixth worst purveyor of antisemitism in America.

17. Victor Davis Hanson here at PJM: “Intelligent Populism vs. Mindless Progressivism”

Moreover by 1995, the huge expansion of the U.S. economy, globalization, and sweeping breakthroughs in technology radically transformed the prior idea of “poverty,” as I had remembered it in 1960 (we of the rural middle class a half-century ago all used the privy farm toilet when outdoors around the house, and shared a party phone line with eight other families). Today’s poor struggle with drugs, crime, shattered families, and malaise, but not outdoor privies, the lack of air conditioning and heating, dusty dirt roads, or a denial of access to a phone or TV. Deprivation now is almost defined as the absence of a free electronic tablet at school.

Urban riots do not break out over bread, but more likely about the nth model of Air Jordan sneakers. When I go to a local Quest lab for a blood draw, the waiting room is full of poor who suffer terribly from diabetes and kidney failure brought about by carbohydrate- and sugar-driven obesity, not malnourishment.  Too many calories are the scourge of America. There are no stormings of the local Wal-Mart to spread beans and rice around; occasional flash mobbing of electronics stores nationwide is prompted by desire for smart phones and pads.

18. From Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler, “Former SecDef Robert Gates Unloads on Obama”

In his forthcoming book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes the difficult relationship that he had with President Obama, Vice President Biden and many of the administration’s other top advisers. Gates kept a calm public demeanor while serving, as a Republican, so high up in a Democrat administration. But behind the scenes, he writes that he felt like he was “at war” with the rest of the administration.

He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

That’s monstrous. Yet Gates goes on to describe Clinton in the glowing terms typical of a Washington insider.

19. An excerpt from page 154 of volume 2, The Trick Top Hat, of Robert Anton Wilson’s satirical quantum physics sci-fi mysticism novel The Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy:

"Whoever controls our metaphors controls us." - #robertantonwilson Schrodinger's Cat page 154 #magick #occult #selftransformation

20. Finally, from me today: “Welcome to Single Mom Nation: In 2014 Acknowledge the Matriarchs Who Really Run America”

The realization that I came to in 2013 – one that others on the Right seem to be coming to as well – is that actually the person making most of the domestic policy, campaign strategy, and — most horrifying of all – foreign policy decisions is his “senior adviser” Valerie Jarrett. Now we know that actually Jarrett was the one with the political savvy who was grooming Obama all along so that she could use him to implement her agenda. Obama is just her mask.

I don’t think President Jarrett really cares to the degree that Obamacare succeeds or fails. If it’s helping any poor people, if it’s doing any amount of redistributing of wealth at all, then it’s a success in the Alinsky playbook. Anything she can do to stick it to the rich racists who don’t deserve to be wealthy the better. And years from now when Obamacare is really collapsing in flames and the Democrats are the ones leading the call for its repeal it won’t be her name on it. She’ll have moved on to the next million dollar Alinskyite, Soros Corporatist-Marxist hustle to rob from the rich, give to her preferred poor, and pocket some for herself.

See Also At PJ Lifestyle today:

PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: A Collision of Gray and Yellow As the Sun Sets Over the Chuska Mountains in New Mexico

Barry Rubin: Ideology: A Specter Haunting the World

Paula Bolyard: Survivors of the Blizzard of ’78 Mock the ‘Arctic Vortex’

Chris Queen: Girl Freezes Her Tongue to a Flagpole

Charlie Martin: 5 Surprises Coming in 2014 That Shouldn’t Be

Stephen Green: Texas Man Kills Bigfoot

PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: Sunrise in Michigan

And At PJ Media:

Bill Straub: Six GOPs Give Reid a Boost on Unemployment Insurance Extension

Stephen Kruiser: Thomas Sowell Exposes Yet Another Persistent Economics Lie from the Left

Richard Fernandez: The Ostrich of Pennsylvania Avenue

Bridget Johnson: Rodman Has CNN Meltdown Over His ‘Love’ for Kim Jong-un, Declares U.S. Hostage Must Be Guilty

Roger L. Simon: Confessions of an Oscar Voter

Bryan Preston: ‘Republicans Could Win It All This Year’

Bridget Johnson: Coptic Christmas Marked by First Visit from Egyptian Leader to Cathedral Since Nasser

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

10 Fascinating Things to Read from Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday, January 6th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle


“What wouldst thou know, my queen?”

This is Week 1 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at DaveSwindlePJM@gmail.com

1. At the Wall Street Journal: “Book Review: ‘Friendship’ by A.C. Grayling: In the era of Facebook and ‘the friend zone,’ are we forgetting the value of a true boon companion?”

Aristotle, Mr. Grayling notes, recognized a wider range of relationships. In the “Nicomachean Ethics,” he describes three kinds of friendships: those founded on mutual utility, those founded on pleasure and those founded on virtue. Churchill’s friendship with King George VI, with whom he had little in common, developed out of working toward a mutually beneficial goal. Conversely, Nick Carraway’s friendship with Jay Gatsby in Fitzgerald’s novel is all women, gin and cars.

It’s no surprise that friendships founded on shared virtue are of the highest order for Aristotle. Such friends, he writes, “resemble each other in excellence” and care for each other because of “what the other is.” One requirement of being a virtuous friend is a proper respect for oneself. Aristotle famously stated that a friend is “another self.” But in order for someone to love his other self properly—”wish what is good” for someone else—he must first wish what is good for ourselves. Only then can he love others rightly.

Hat tip to my friend of all three sorts: AH.

2. Ben Shapiro Starts his afternoon show on Mondays-Friday from 3-6 PM PST on KTTH. Listen Here. Read a profile of him here:

Now, Shapiro is bringing his unique rhetorical voice to Seattle. Today, his weekday afternoon show debuts on KTTH. Though only 29, Shapiro has been working in national conservative media since age 17, when he began writing a syndicated column. He has earned a reputation as a fair, intellectually curious social and fiscal conservative.

He’s looking forward to working in Seattle, especially, for its thoughtfulness.

“It’s a thinking market,” he says. “I like being in areas that tend to be more left leaning because I like the debate.”

3. Jeff Dunetz at Truth Revolt Today: “Is Rachel Maddow Running MSNBC?

Eliana Johnson’s article “Rachel’s Show” in Monday’s National Review Onlinecontends that Rachel Maddow has become the behind-the-scenes power at MSNBC. Johnson cites multiple insider sources who insist that Maddow, rather than Phil Griffin, is the true source of editorial direction at MSNBC, holding “considerable sway over personnel decisions.” In fact, one source even points to Maddow as the reason both Bashir and Baldwin were released.

4. A Quote of the Day from the Dennis Prager Show Today

"This life was not meant to be comfortable." - #DennisPrager on radio today. #Truth

5. The new trailer for Netflix’s House of Cards via Mediaite:

Whoever at Netflix is behind the rollout of House of Cards’ second season apparently has the same sinister sense of humor as the blackhearted show.

The new episodes were already set to drop on Valentine’s Day, which means couples less enthused by schmaltzy restaurant packages than coordinated murder can order takeout. Now some genius chucked the trailer into the ether on the same day Congress came back into session. If you were about to tweet about how evil those fatcats in Washington are, Netflix is here to remind you it could always be worse.

YouTube Preview Image

6. Also at Mediaite: “Rachel Maddow Calls National Review Profile ‘Categorically False’”

In an official statement, MSNBC said:

“The NRO story is absurd and full of inaccuracies from beginning to end. To start, Rachel has absolutely no role in network management decisions. Writing her show every night is more than enough work. She gladly leaves talent management to her bosses. We’re disappointed that the National Review would run a story with more anonymous, uninformed sources than you’d ever find on the gossip pages.”

7. This morning’s reading, Robert Spencer’s Did Muhammad Exist? page 208: “The earliest Arab rulers appear to have been adherents of Hagarism, a monotheistic religion centered around Abraham and Ishmael.”

"The earliest Arab rulers appear to have been adherents of Hagarism, a monotheistic #religion centered around Abraham and Ishmael." - #RobertSpencer page 208 of Did #Muhammad Exist? #God #Bible #Christianity #Judaism #Mystic #Occult #Magick

And page 215, ”… there is compelling reason to conclude that Muhammad the messenger of Allah came into existence only after the Arab Empire was firmly entrenched and casting about for a political theology to anchor and unify it.”

"... there is compelling reason to conclude that #Muhammad the messenger of #Allah came into existence only after the Arab Empire was firmly entrenched and casting about for a political theology to anchor and unify it." - #RobertSpencer page 215 of Did Muhammad Exist? #religion #God #Bible #secular #mystic #pagan #liberal #conservative #marxist #objectivist #Democrat #Republican #freedom

8. Glenn Reynolds at USA Today: “Consider alternative schooling“:

Public schools were designed to be rigid. Back in the 19th century, whenMassachusetts Board of Education Secretary Horace Mann toured Europe looking for models of public education to import to America, the one he chose came from Prussia. Inflexibility and uniformity were Prussian specialties, and when Mann brought Prussian-style education to America, those characteristics were seen not as a bug but as a feature.

School was practice for working in the factory. Thus, the traditional public school: like a factory, it runs by the bell. Like machines in a factory, desks and students are lined up in orderly rows. When shifts (classes) change, the bell rings again, and students go on to the next class. And within each class, the subjects are the same, the assignments are the same, and the examinations are the same, regardless of the characteristics of individual students.

This had its advantages back during the Industrial Revolution, an assembly-line era where uniformity was more important than anything else, when Henry Ford was happy to sell you a car in any color you wanted, so long as it was black. But this is the 21st century, and now times have changed. You can buy a thousand different kinds of shampoo, so why should your kid have only one kind of education?

9. Salacious story of the day from the Daily Mail: “Meth addict mom, 30, ‘raped three of her children and charged adults to watch before nine-year-old son escaped and turned her in to police’

A brave nine-year-old boy has given a graphic and detailed statement to Oklahoma police about his mother, who allegedly sexually and physically abused her three other children repeatedly as her friends paid to watch.

Authorities in Beckham county were alerted to the accusations against Natalie Lynn Webb, 30, in August after a Department of Human Services investigator spoke to the eldest child and reported that Webb was ‘selling sex’ with her kids to other adults.

According to the police affidavit – obtained by The Huffington Post and almost completely based on an interview with the nine-year-old  – the victims were an eight-year-old boy and his two three-year-old sisters.

10. At the Daily Mail: “‘Jihad Jane’ gets reduced 10-year prison sentence for terror plot to kill artist after telling judge she was once obsessed with militant Islam

LaRose, of Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, told the judge she once had thought about jihad from morning to night, saying she was ‘in a trance.’ ‘I don’t want to be into jihad no more,’ she said.

She was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus five years of supervised release.

And a new day begins. #sunrise in #california

See Also At PJ Lifestyle today:

Megan Fox: The Price I Paid for Fighting for a Library Free of Porn and Sex Offenders

Chris Queen: Book Review: The Forest of Assassins by David Forsmark and Timothy Imholt

Robert Spencer: The Hypocrisy of the Western Christian Response to Muslim Persecution of Christians

Susan L.M. Goldberg: U.S. Concentration Camps on Pravda’s List of Top 10 in 2013

Bonnie Ramthun: My Nomination for Worst Dad of 2014

Rhonda Robinson: The Existential Vacuum: Birth Canal of the Knockout Game?

Bridget Johnson: NFL Playoffs Wildcard Open Thread: Cold Bowl Doesn’t Ice the Niners

Slow down and LISTEN more carefully today and the secrets of the world will reveal themselves like diamonds buried in the ground... #disney #magick #selfimprovement #lifetips #lifehacking

And At PJ Media today:

Bryan Preston: Ta-Nehisi Coates Brands MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry ‘America’s Foremost Public Intellectual’

Barry Rubin: The Middle East, at the Beginning of 2014

Roger L. Simon: Gore and Kerry: The Perils of Presidential Losers (updated)

Ed Driscoll: Interview: Glenn Reynolds onThe New School

Stephen Green: A Tale of Two Rollouts

Andrew Klavan: The Left’s Cultural Jenga

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10 Rules For Keeping a Journal in the New Media Age

Saturday, January 4th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

10 Rules for Keeping a Journal in the New Media Age #writing #journaling #selfimprovement

Check Out the Previous Steps in My Self-Improvement Series:

December 31, 2012: 7 New Year’s Resolutions I Invite Others to Steal
February 1, 2013: The Plan So I Don’t Waste the Last Year of My 20s
April 10: The 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen
May 8: Every American Needs to Read Books to Understand Islam
July 6: We Must Read Tons of Books With A Clear Purpose
October 5: 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading
November 17: Half Through 13 Weeks For Radical Readers and Madman Writers, Turning Up the Heat
January 1, 2014: 7 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 I Invite You to Burgle From Me Bilbo-Style

And Don’t miss how Charlie, Sarah, and Rhonda are staring their 13 Week regimens this  year:

Charlie Martin: 13 Weeks: New Year, New Season, New Experiments
Sarah Hoyt: Selling Your Writing in 13 Weeks, Week 13: Bringing It All Together
Rhonda Robinson: 13 Weeks: Finding My Way Back To Creativity, And The Heart of My Daughter

I have decided to accept my limitations. With the nature of my editorial work across the PJM network of sites and the unpredictability of the usual day with The Wife in her final year of graduate school it has proven difficult to stick to a daily reading/writing regimen. Some days the editorial load is heavier than others unexpectedly, other days where I intend an even reading/writing split one or the other might end up predominating. If I’m in a research groove, finding new connections across books and finally beginning to grasp difficult concepts then I’m going to run with it. Likewise when the writing muse bestows her blessings you don’t tell her to shut up.

There’s a factor in all this scheduling and productivity planning work that often gets overlooked: moods. So much of being a creative person is about learning to channel one’s emotions into art, writing, and communicating. We have to learn to recognize what state of mind we’re in at any given time and then take advantage of it. Reading, writing, editing, and publishing are all four different processes. And I’ve found that circumstances and subjective moods lend themselves to each task differently. The state of mind one needs to edit an article is not the same as for writing or for researching.

One thing I’m going to try and do more this year is focus on each individually. Helping me do that will be a closer focus on using the handwritten journal as a catalyst to organize the day and facilitate more writing. Here are 10 ways that I’m going to do it, in the style that I’m going to explore this year — creating combinations of photographs, blogging, and embedded video juxtapositions.

Nothing Sacred – links to titles in the photos will be featured at the bottom of each page…

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7 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 I Invite You to Burgle From Me Bilbo-Style

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I am now going to announce my 2014 #radical #book reading plan, in preparation of my new year's resolutions post coming shortly today.

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My wife and I flew back to Indiana last week to spend Christmas with the family. We had a ball! Among the highlights was when we all went to see The Hobbit part 2 on IMAX 3-D. The whole family is pretty religious about Tolkien, the movies especially. Dad is the expert, capable of explaining the changes from book to screen while assuring us that Peter Jackson’s changes still make for an extraordinary film without messing up anything major.

Ever since I was a kid first encountering The Hobbit as a cartoon and as my Dad read it during bedtime I loved the scene of Bilbo talking with the dragon Smaug, buried amidst the endless piles of pilfered Dwarven gold. That fantasy of limitless wealth to swim in seems a recurring one from childhood. I loved how Scrooge McDuck had a money bin that he’d dive into and pass through as though it were water:

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I kind of imagine myself doing that these past few years editing PJ Lifestyle except instead of gold coins it’s the amazing writing of the PJ columnists, freelancers, and the authors in the books I’m researching. From family advice to tech news to TV and family commentaries to history/religion/ideology debates PJ Lifestyle has been accumulating a diverse range of exciting ideas and cultural challenges. Here was my attempt to organize this some last year via an ever-evolving self-improvement routine inspired by Charlie Martin’s 13 Weeks program:

December 31, 2012: 7 New Year’s Resolutions I Invite Others to Steal
February 1, 2013: The Plan So I Don’t Waste the Last Year of My 20s
April 10: The 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen
May 8: Every American Needs to Read Books to Understand Islam
July 6: We Must Read Tons of Books With A Clear Purpose
October 5: 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading
November 17: Half Through 13 Weeks For Radical Readers and Madman Writers, Turning Up the Heat

To give Lifestyle some degree of structure I’ve sought to organize some of the themes each week by day — when the story isn’t a timely, breaking news piece. I’ve applied this also to my daily reading plan, drawing from a different pile of books and shifting subjects to try and make fresh connections for stories to assign to PJ’s writers and work on myself. Here’s my reading plan for the next 13 weeks cycle — join us starting the week of Sunday, January 5 for week 1 — and then how they’re inspiring me to make changes in my own life.


I tend to hate Game of Thrones for the way it blends cruel violence with soft-core porn and romanticizes sex slavery but this meme is tolerable, I suppose, given its parenting subtext.

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William F. Buckley Jr.’s Birthday

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

This is Week 8 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.


The top book I just finished reading and will blog about more soon. I’m a third into Ann Coulter’s extraordinary polemic and just starting Gregg L. Frazer’s fascinating book defining the founders’ variety of religious beliefs as “theistic rationalism.” And of course Bennett and Lotus’s America 3.0, one of my favorites of the year, is always hovering in the background…

Check out National Review today for a host of pieces in memory of William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of the world-changing conservative publication that would play a pivotal role in defeating the Soviet Union for the first time. Yes, unfortunately we do have to beat them again, but it’s nothing Americans can’t handle, especially with the inspiration of Buckley and the dozens of writers he nurtured throughout his long career. Here are some highlights but read all three pieces in full:

James Panero: ‘Call Me Bill’

“There is never a good time for a busy man to take a vacation,” Bill once said. “And since there is never a good time, he might as well take it whenever we wants.” But Bill never vacationed, even on vacation. He never took weekends off, most likely because his greatest fear was boredom.

So Bill gave himself the assignment of writing a book each year during his stay in Gstaad.

David Brooks said that “for all of Buckley’s contributions to conservative ideas, his most striking contribution is to the conservative personality. He made being conservative attractive and even glamorous.”

Neal B Freeman: WFB, Mentor

The first lesson: There is no such thing as a fulltime job.

For Bill Buckley, the work day, the work week, and the work year were all infinitely expandable. He had a prodigious capacity for work. You have all heard the remarkable datum that Bill published 55 books over the course of his career. What is even more remarkable is that every one of those books was written while he was fully engaged in some other project.

Yogi Berra would no doubt say it more memorably than I, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you work hard every single day for 60 years.

If our conservative enterprise was to be a truly national force, in Bill’s view, we couldn’t be a platoon of second-raters, a pick-up team of part-timers. If we wanted to pull off something big, we needed good people, and lots of them.

My sense was that, until that night, Bill had always thought of himself as a protégé — as the beneficiary of guidance from his mentors, people like John Chamberlain and Willmoore Kendall and James Burnham and Frank Meyer. But at about that time — he was then in his early 40s — Bill took stock of his fledgling movement and accepted the most important role of his career. He became a mentor — and for the rest of his life dedicated much of his time to identifying and inspiring wave after wave of promising young conservatives.

NRO Symposium: Missing WFB

When I think of William F. Buckley, I often think of his friend Ronald Reagan and of a vital characteristic they shared.

One of Reagan’s greatest assets was his sense of humor. It helped to keep his rhetorical fusillades from coming across as shrill and overly combative. By the deft use of wit and amusing anecdotes, he could simultaneously soften his tone and sharpen his message. It was said of him that he “could get a standing ovation in a graveyard.”

I’ve had WFB on the mind quite a bit lately too. I’ve just finished his novel Getting It Right which I’ve been savoring a bit at a time over the past six months or so. The story is set in the early 1960s and the assassination of of John F. Kennedy takes place in the book as the lives of two fictional lovers — one working for the John Birch Society and the other Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Collective — intersect with the personalities and ideological battles that forged the conservative movement during the rise of Barry Goldwater. (And now the whole Kennedy Assassination story looks a bit different given Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s extraordinary revelations about Oswald’s knowledge of spy codes and the KGB Operation Dragon project disseminating conspiracy theories blaming the CIA and LBJ.)

The book is an excellent introduction to a number of important personalities and concepts that defined the conservative movement. It was because of the ideological battles on the Right in the 1960s that the foreign policy battles of Ronald Reagan in the 1980 could happen.

I’ll be blogging about Getting it Right more in the coming weeks along with other WFB and conservative titles as I continue attempting to sort the wheat from the chaff in arguing for which figures and books should be carried on to the next generation of activists fighting to defend American freedom. (Join the Freedom Academy Book Club — free — to see the titles on my reading-now shelf.)


Get to Know Everyone on the #ReadEverythingTheyWrite List!

21 of My Favorite Writers And Thinkers…

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Half Through 13 Weeks For Radical Readers and Madman Writers, Turning Up the Heat

Sunday, November 17th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle


Back on October 5 I announced the newest season in my reader/writer variation of Charlie Martin’s 13 Weeks Self Improvement regimen. My goal with this new season was to not just read more as in past seasons but now to up the pace on the writing with more regular, consistent posts connecting big books, important thinkers, and the hot stories in the daily news cycle. I’m pleased with the pieces that have emerged so far this season, which I’ll round up here for those who may have missed an installment:

  1. Tuesday, October 9 on Robert Spencer’s Vital Role in Creating Conservatism 3.0
  2. Friday, October 11 on Ion Mihai PacepaThe KGB’s War To Destroy the God of Israel
  3. Wednesday, October 16 on Prager University‘There’s Nothing Just About Nature. Nature Is Only About Survival.’
  4. Tuesday, October 22: Ed Driscoll: New Media Master and Cultural Conquistador
  5. Wednesday, October 30 on Dennis PragerThe 21 Most Evil News Stories from October
  6. Tuesday, November 5: 4 Blogging Weapons I Stole from Vodkapundit Stephen Green
  7. Friday, November 1 on Ion Mihai PacepaThe Silver Bullet to Kill Conspiracism
  8. Tuesday November 12: 6 Ways to Change the World Glenn Reynolds-Style

Where I’m disappointed in myself is in the quantity. I wanted to get to daily blogging output this season. And I’m not there yet. Well, it’s time to get more disciplined about it. Three of the great writers I discussed in the series — Ed Driscoll, Stephen Green, and Glenn Reynolds — each model every day how to do thoughtful blog posts that get to the point. I’ll set a maximum word count of 500 for the daily post. That’ll force me to focus on finding the most interesting idea to illuminate the maze of today’s modern media madness with these books.

Reading Goals for the end of the year…

Books I want to finish and blog about in the next few weeks alongside the day’s news stories:

  1. Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescus’ Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption
     by Ion Mihai Pacepa (153/426)
  2. Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism by Douglas Rushkoff (106/282)
  3. Schrodinger’s Cat by Robert Anton Wilson (vol. 2, 78/254)
  4. Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia (170/673)
  5. The Mohammed Code: Why a Desert Prophet Wants You Dead by Howard Bloom – available on SmashWords. (94/187)
  6. Getting it Right, a novel by William F. Buckley, Jr.(190/305)
  7. The Hermetic Link: From Secret Tradition to Modern Thought by Jacob Slavenburg (263/357 pages)
  8. A Trio of books about American leaders: Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency by Logan Beirne (74/322), Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Railsplitter Saved the American Dream–And How We Can Do it Again by Rich Lowry (32/240), and The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon Wood (102/246)

For more books that are on my mind right now, you can see the list of books on my “reading now” book shelf at the Freedom Academy Book Club, which you can join for free to access my book list and others. Maybe you’ll find something to get fired up about.



images courtesy shutterstock /  nexus 7

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6 Ways to Change the World Glenn Reynolds-Style

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle


This is Week 6 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.

From the primordial, pajamahadeen era of the blogosphere, Glenn Reynolds has been a tremendous influence on untold numbers of writers, bloggers, and New Media troublemakers. While others’ influence has waned and once-dominant voices have now lost their relevance, Glenn has grown brighter as a beacon of hopeful, future-minded light. Here are six ways to draw from his knowledge and experiences to make your own changes in yourself and your world:

1. Read Instapundit, the best news aggregation blog.

Everyone who uses Twitter or Facebook is Instapundit today. Glenn was just ahead of the curve. The format, style, and vocabulary that he developd with Instapundit is what just about every political tweeter does today whether they realize it or not. Glenn rose up through pioneering the New Media genre known as micro-blogging — the practice of doing frequent, quick updates of what’s new and consequential in the world.

The lesson of Instapundit, its rise and continued success is a recognition of the nature of today’s media and technological environment. If you want to grow the number of people who are listening to you then you have to start talking and you have to keep them engaged. Obviously everybody can’t go at the rate of posts that Glenn somehow manages. But the general principle applies for everyone interested in using New Media to do something. One should cast their line into the big black void of the web as frequently as possible. A blogger with a dozen great posts a week on a number of subjects is likely to grow a bigger following than the specialist who does a handful of excellent posts on the same subject each week. Flexibility and adaptability are vital to success in today’s New Media world.


2. Implement an Army of Davids-style strategy in your life

This 2006 manifesto by Glenn should be regarded as a founding document of Conservatism 3.0. New Media activists should start here, and Megan Fox did at PJ Lifestyle in her ongoing series about her push to stop the Orland Park Library’s tolerance of public pornography and sexual predators. In this part here she started by quoting from Army of Davids:

Power once concentrated in the hands of a professional few has been redistributed into the hands of the amateur many… Millions of Americans who were once in awe of the punditocracy now realize that anyone can do this stuff — and that many unknowns can do it better than the lords of the profession.

Megan is up against a library bureacracy that rather than dialogue with her would demonize her and defend the rights of men to watch hardcore pornographic films in the computer labs of public libraries. She did Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to discover that library staff had systematically been neglecting reporting crimes. Further FOIA requests revealed how library staff responded to her complaints.

3. Learn to master the op/ed column, and start by reading Glenn’s USA Today columns each week

Whatever field you’re engaged in in life, at one time or another you are going to need to fight for something you believe in. You’ll need to figure out how to persuade someone to come around to your position. In winning over your new ally you will have finite time — a limited word count. You will be in competition with distraction and perhaps even others with competing ideas.

Glenn’s weekly columns are models of how to argue effectively and persuade. Glenn is among the best models here of how to present freedom-based ideas to broader, general audiences beyond the conservative blog world. That is something I don’t hear discussed enough. I’m so sick of the standard right-wing, conservative boilerplate. With Glenn he’s always framing concepts in fresh ways that can’t be easily dismissed.

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4 Blogging Weapons I Stole from Vodkapundit Stephen Green

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle


This is Week 5 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.

Previously in this series on my favorite writers I named Ed Driscoll as the first in my trinity of blogging influences. The sophisticated humor, enlightening political-intellectual juxtapositions, clever visuals, and encyclopedic pop culture knowledge Ed brings to the web are innovations that I’ve sought to commandeer for my own new-media troublemaking.

Complementing Ed as the other editor-columnist on the breaking news beat is the Vodkapundit Stephen Green, PJM’s Denver editor. Stephen is another blogosphere veteran who really knows what he’s doing. Here are four weapons you can borrow from his armory:

1. Less is more.

Stephen excels at the short-form style of blogging, frequently doing posts that are only a few paragraphs or less in length. He does a great job of getting to the point and highlighting the most vital facts. It’s no surprise that he’s also one of PJM’s most effective Tweeters.

2. Cut deeper by stabbing with a smile!

One of the lessons that I’m always reminded of when reading Stephen’s posts is that one can get away with harsher critiques and stronger positions when they’re offset by some jokes and style.

3. Balance the blog — politics, cultural, personal, video, images, longer articles, and shorter blog posts

Of all the PJ columnists Stephen probably has the best all-around balance across subjects. I’m still largely sympathetic — even nostalgic — for the style of personal-political-cultural blogging that arose from 2000-2005. Stephen largely still operates in this mode of a blogger keeping a regular online diary with entries featuring both commentary on current events and discussions of hobbies.

4. Live-Blogging No, Drunk-Blogging Yes!

“Live-blogging” is the process of doing short blog posts about an ongoing event. Stephen takes this to the next level with the injection of well-prepared alcoholic beverages. I concur. Bloody Mary is my drink of choice:


Proposed New Media Rule: You’re not really a blogger until you’ve blogged drunk. (Obvious exceptions granted for Mormons and other religious teetotalers.)

PJ Media Story Round Up

PJM Stories on Tuesday

Bridget Johnson: Administration Plans to Placate Millions Who Have Lost Health Insurance with Outreach Program

Jen Kuznicki: Obamacare, Baseball, and the Public Trust

Let’s assume the Washington Post is correct in its estimation that the website cost around $174 million, and could reach as high as $300 million. (Excuse me for snickering at the thought that there is some sort of spending cap on this monument to hole-digging.) In that case, the Obama administration paid out, presumably in the last three years, more than the entire career earnings of Mariano Rivera. Don’t like baseball? Shaquille O’Neal’s estimated career earnings are a little over $292 million. Wayne Gretzky, Brendan Shanahan, and Steve Yzerman would have to pool all their earnings from their entire careers to fund this website that doesn’t work. (Why Brendan Shanahan? Because I like Brendan Shanahan.)

I’m not even talking net worth. I’m talking about all the money they have earned in their careers. If you consider how much money you’ve made in your lifetime, and then look at the stuff you have, you might get a little depressed. But the government doesn’t have such emotions, as unearned money is no object. They’ll just fill in the hole and start digging a new one.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Double-Dealing Middle East Is Double-Dealt

In sum, the American people think the Middle East is, well, the Middle East: support democracy and we are derided as cultural chauvinists, Western interventionists, and clueless about the nuances of Arab culture. Support the existing status quo, and we care only about oil, not the masses, and geopolitics rather than democratic reform. Stay out entirely and we have abdicated moral responsibility. Intervene and we are “nation-building” in the old colonial fashion.

It is hard for Americans to keep us with all this, much less take Middle East intellectuals seriously, given their lockstep and boring anti-Americanism. No wonder the American people seem to have become tired of this wink-and-nod con. Their exhaustion has proved a godsend to Obama, who can be naturally both weak and indecisive, and not necessarily in the short-term unpopular at home for such laxity. Again, for a variety of other reasons, he wanted to vacate the region and forget about violence against sympathetic Christians, Iraqi reformers, Afghan women, and anyone else who hoped for something better. Conniving Arab leaders and whiny intellectuals helped to give him his opening.

Paul Hsieh: Obamacare and the Wages of Spin

Before: “Death Panels” are just right-wing crazy talk.
Now: “Death Panels” are good!

In Slate, Adam Goldenberg declares, “Canada Has Death Panels — And that’s a good thing.”

Basically, when we all have to pay for one another’s health care, then patients should not be allowed to impose unlimited health costs on other taxpayers. Hence, the government has to decide who does — or does not — receive medical services. He explicitly argues that the government should “play God” with citizens’ lives. For the good of society, of course.

Stephen Kruiser: What They’ll Tell You the VA and NJ Elections Mean

Bryan Preston: Is the Obamacare Grinch About to Steal Christmas?

Bryan  Preston: VIDEO — Obama’s Lying About His Lies Now

PJM Stories on Monday

The Freedom Academy’s November Military History Challenge

Rich Baehr: Governors’ Races: One Contest and One No Contest

Stephen Green: The Week the Wheels Came off Obamacare

The pols and pundits can argue and fingerpoint until they’re blue in the — finger? — but Obamacare’s numbers paint a bleak picture of broken promises and outright lies. After a full month, nearly 40,000 people have successfully signed up for health insurance at HealthCare.gov, out of an administration goal of over seven million by the end of March. At that rate, the administration will have met its goal sometime in the autumn — of 2028.

Mind you, the goal of Obamacare was to provide coverage for some 47,000,000 uninsured Americans. So take those 15 years and multiply them by about seven. You’re gonna need a bigger calculator.

Ignored in those dreary statistics is the fact that people are being dumped out of their current coverage and onto the nonfunctional exchanges faster than the exchanges can handle them. An estimated 1,500,000 have lost their coverage, up against those newly insured 40,000. The best guess is that seven or eight million more face the same fate.

Bridget Johnson: Romney: Christie ‘Could Easily Become Our Nominee and Save Our Party’

Jean Kaufman: The Obamacare Prediction of the Week

Bill Straub: Post-Shutdown, GOP Finds New Fight Against Obama’s Nominees

Ed Driscoll: Interview: Virginia Postrel on The Power of Glamour

Rick Moran: New York Times: Your Insurance Policy Was Cancelled for Your Own Good

PJM Stories from Weekend

David P. Goldman: National Security and Economic Growth: A New Plan

Charlie Martin: Obamacare vs. Arithmetic

Claudia Rosett: Putin’s Nuclear Attack Drill a Sign of the New World Order Taking Shape in 2013

Rodrigo Sermeno: Cato Argues for Reducing U.S. Nuclear Capability to Subs Only

Lawrence Kohn: Soviet-Russian Continuity Reminds Us There Are Two Superpowers

Roger Kimball: ‘Racism, Inc.’ Comes to Football

Rick Moran: Can Cuccinelli Pull Off the Upset?

Bill Straub: Holder, Cops Clash on DOJ’s Decision to Ease Pot Enforcement

Ron Radosh: Why Are My Supermarket Workers Threatening to Strike? A Surprising Answer!

Andrew Klavan: Barack Obama’s Narrative Illusions

But in this left-wing country of the blind, even a one-eyed man can see: Obama’s political achievements, like Hillary Clinton’s political achievements, like Ben Kingsley’s role in freeing India from British rule, are all of a piece — a narrative illusion fostered on us by those who do not believe there is any truth to tell.

Klavan is really a extraordinary writer.

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page from Monday

Robert Spencer: ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children

Paula Bolyard: At Least We Don’t Have Marauding Hippos in the Streets of America

P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, #6: The Jobbik Party

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page from the Weekend

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

Andrew C. McCarthy: ‘The Great Achievements of Liberalism’ AKA ‘The Ponzi Scheme’ – A Response to Ron Radosh

A very compelling response from Andy, loaded with arguments.

Walter Hudson: Were Video Stores Better than Internet Streaming?

At some point I’m going to have to write something about the rise and fall of Blockbuster. I remember with such fondness how first videotape then video game then DVD rental stores used to be such a central part of my childhood and adolescence.

And now I can’t even remember how many years it’s been since I last used my Blockbuster card. (It might not even be in my wallet anymore!) But I do have a bit of schadenfreude — for as much as I adore Blockbuster for providing access to the cinematic world, I also hated it. On two separate occasions when I applied for jobs — once in high school and once after college — I was turned down. That was probably for the better I now realize.

Spyridon Mitsotakis: The UK Should Ignore the Mediocrities and Listen to the Pretty Lady


New at PJ Lifestyle


Helen Smith: Can Yoga Cure Anxiety?

Stephen Green: Omigosh Nikon What Have You Done?

David P. Goldman: Reports of Russia’s Death Are Exaggerated

Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation has fired up my interest in learning much more about Russia’s past, present, and future.

Becky Graebner: 3 Reasons Why Dating is Especially Hard in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Klavan: Peddling Trashy Books to Teens

Paula Bolyard: Dare You Not to Cry: Autistic Football Player ‘Big Mike’ Runs for a 31-Yard Touchdown


Chris Queen: Disney Plans To Phase Out Star Wars And Marvel-Themed Slot Machines


Paula Bolyard: The Most Important Candidates You Probably Won’t Vote For on Tuesday

Robert Spencer: ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children

Rhonda Robinson: If You Were Lost In The Abyss Of Your Own Soul, Would It Be A Happy Place?

Bonnie Ramthun: Battered Voter Syndrome


Chris Queen: Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania,Part 6: Unfailing Love

P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, # 5: The Guardian

Walter Hudson: Of Thugs and Men

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Can’t Touch This: American Feminism’s Racial Ignorance

Me: What To Do When Progressives and Conservatives Can’t Communicate: Part IV of Lumish Vs Swindle

Rhonda Robinson: Don We Now Our Gay Apparel Ugly Sweaters

Sarah Hoyt: Selling Your Writing To The Public

Megan Fox: Anyone Can Do This Stuff. Professionals Need Not Apply

I remain astounded by Megan’s new-media activism raising the alarm on an Illinois library’s sexually charged atmosphere.

Charlie Martin: 13 Weeks: The Hard Boiled Egg Theory

Jon Bishop: We Should All Be The Dude

Paula Bolyard: Could The Federal Government ‘Force-Place’ Health Insurance on the Uninsured?


New at PJ Tatler


Raymond Ibrahim: How Historic Revisionism Justifies Islamic Terrorism

Ron Radosh: The Tea Party and Alger Hiss

Raymond Ibrahim: Syria: Islamic Rebels Slaughter and Behead Christians, Steal Ancient Christ Icon


Rick Moran: Worrisome Security Breach at Healthcare.gov

Rick Moran: Remembering the Hungarian Uprising of 1956

J. Christian Adams: The Washington Post’s Crusade Against the Washington Redskins

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston


Two Acts of Fraud May Hand McAuliffe the Keys to Virginia

VIDEOS — Obama Losing His Grip on the One Cable Network He Could Always Count On

Obamacare Just Cost 73,000 in Maryland Their Health Insurance


Austin TV News Producer Goes Crazypants Trolling GOP Lt Gov Candidate

Guns & Ammo Editor Pens Editorial Supporting Gun Control

Photo of the Day: Sebelius Receives the Perfect Gift

I don’t think there’s going to be any kind of magical fix for the website in the coming months. This is an administration totally lost at sea, without a hope.

WH Spox Carney Mocks Concerns Over Obamacare Phone Enrollees, Then Admits that They’re Lying Again

Victims or Perpetrators? How Democrats are Waging Guerilla War Against Popular Voter ID Laws

Feinstein’s New Spin: We Meant to Say, You Could Keep Your Healthcare — Until We Passed Obamacare

Obamacare Costs Cancer Survivor Her Healthcare Plan


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


Conservative Advocacy Groups Urging GOP to Advance Immigration Reform Bill

Haley Looking at 70 Percent Premium Increases in South Carolina

Kerry Reviving Administration Push for UN Disabilities Treaty


Feinstein Shies Away from Armed TSA ‘Because TSA Is Up Close and Personal’

Holder Appears to be Backing Away from Civil Rights Charges Against Zimmerman

Honor Flights: World War II Vets Keep Streaming Through D.C.

Obama Stumps for McAuliffe, Says Cuccinelli Part of ‘Extreme Faction’ of GOP


D.C. Dem: TSA Death Shows Sequestration Bad for All ‘Unarmed Front-Line Federal Employees’


From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,


Your ObamaCare Fail of the Day

News You Can Use

Panic in the McAuliffe Camp?

Required Reading

Aim to Misbehave


Twitter Playing Partisan Politics?

The New Containment

Lighter Than Air

Fill It to the RIM — With Fail

News You Can Use


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Meet KitKat

The Empire Strikes Kinkade!

Every Combat Dog Deserves His Day



From PJM’s San Jose Ed Driscoll

Monday and Tuesday

Quote of the Day

Great Moments in Socialist Psychobabble

Watching the Wheels Come Off Obamacare

Barbara Walters: The View Isn’t a Political Show


Interview: Virginia Postrel on The Power of Glamour

Leftist Gets Mugged

All the News That’s Fit to Bury



Get to Know Everyone on the #ReadEverythingTheyWrite List!

18 of My Favorite Writers And Most Important Intellectual Influences:

6 On Foreign Policy:

4 On Culture:

5 On History:

2 On New Media:

1 On Talk Radio (beginning a ranking of the best hosts working today)

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The Silver Bullet to Kill Conspiracism

Friday, November 1st, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

*Language Warning*

This is Week 4 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.

Just because someone embraces a conspiracy theory it does not mean they are by nature a paranoid conspiracist across the board. I think veteran Republican political operative Roger Stone falls into this category. Normally he writes about men’s fashion and what a horrible person Eliot Spitzer is — subjects I very much appreciate. I also share his enthusiasm for the spirit — if not the policies and morals of — Richard Nixon. It’s tremendously badass that Stone got Nixon’s face tattooed on his back. I think if I ever had a Hangover-style escapade in Las Vegas and woke up with a tattoo it would be something comparable. Though I’d want Nixon’s immortal quote, the most badass ever uttered by a President, accompanying it:

So does that statement also apply to the vice President too?

Stone has a new book out this month with a surprising subject that he wrote about today at PJ Lifestyle: his thesis that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was orchestrated by Lyndon Johnson and the CIA.

I decided to publish Stone’s review comparing the new Kennedy movie with his LBJ-centric theory in order to provide a third perspective, the one I’ve come to embrace, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s.

How can we tell who was really behind Kennedy’s assassination? Maybe we should look at who was doing the most work to blame Johnson, the CIA, and right-wing American nationalists while obscuring Lee Harvey Oswald’s and Jack Ruby’s Communist connections.

I’ll just let Pacepa and his co-author Professor Ronald Rychlak tell the rest of the story. For the convenience of others in rebutting this Communist conspiracy theory, I’ve decided to make the excerpts a single image. Feel free to share these valuable, hidden facts and do read Disinformation to learn much, much more that will transform how you understand history, culture, and politics:PacepaJFK


See my previous link-round up from this week, of stories outside PJM: The 21 Most Evil News Stories from October


PJ Media Story Round Up

PJM Stories Thursday and Friday

Roger L. Simon: God, Lies, and Obama

Which bounces us back to the first factor — that religiously based moral code. Moral codes are almost all religiously based, even to agnostics, and Obama is not immune to this. These codes are imbued in early childhood, by the family and environment.

I suspect that Obama’s core belief — his key religious value, if you will — is an American form of taqiyya — the Muslim dictate that it is permissible to lie to non-believers for the preservation of Islam. He believes in left-wing taqiyya. (Ironically,taqiyya is largely Shiite and Obama wishes to negotiate with Shiite Iran, masters of the lie.)

Now I do not think for a second that Obama is a Muslim any more than I think he is a Christian. He is a typical postmodern agnostic who only goes to church — and then rarely — for political purposes. But he grew up in the Islamic world in the midst of the psychological climate of taqiyya, with preservation of the group taking precedence over even the hint of democracy. And that climate harmonized completely with his other influences — anti-imperialism augmented by Alinksyite methods, themselves anti-democratic.

He never had a moral basis for honesty. Lying, from the Choom Gang through Reverend Wright and beyond, was his lifestyle. And he had the consolation that he was lying for a better good. No one ever told him otherwise. If that goes on for long enough, you lose contact with truth. It becomes almost a non-existent phenomenon, an irrelevancy.

David Solway: Only a God Can Save Us Now

Rodrigo Sermeno: Changes in Security Clearance System Coming After Navy Yard Shooting, Snowden

Bill Straub: Budget Talks Open: Sequestration Likely to Go, Entitlement Reform Faces Uphill Climb

Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa: Lenin, Stalin, Ceausescu, Obama: How Marxist Leaders Conceal Their Pasts

No, glasnost is not a misprint or a typo. During the years I was at the top of the KGB community, glasnost was the code name for an ultra-secret intelligence tool of the KGB’s ultra-secret black “science” of dezinformatsiya. Its task was to transform the country into a monument to its leader, and to portray that leader as god himself.

Every glasnost I have ever known had the overriding task of concealing a ruler’s past by giving him a new political identity. Stalin’s glasnost concealed his horrific assassination of some 24 million people by portraying him as an earthly god, with his icon prominently displayed all around the country. Khrushchev’s glasnost was aimed at building a peaceful international façade for the man who shifted the KGB’s political assassinations over to the West. That was proved by the West German Supreme Court in October 1962, during the public trial of Bogdan Stashinsky, a KGB officer who had been decorated by Khrushchev himself for having assassinated Soviet enemies living in the West.[vii] Gorbachev, who had been a KGB informant when he was studying at Moscow State University,[viii] tasked his glasnost to lead attention away from his KGB past by portraying him as a magician who displayed a flirtatious “Miss KGB” to Western correspondents and pledged to transform the Soviet Union into a “Marxist society of free people.”[ix]

In 2008, when Senator Obama was running for president, his tax policies and voting records showed him as “the hardest-left candidate ever nominated for president of the United States.”[x] Remember? Running as a socialist, however, meant sailing in uncharted waters, and the senator decided to conceal his socialist image by presenting himself as a contemporary Reagan.[xi] After he was elected, President Obama further portrayed himself either as a present-day Lincoln[xii] or a new Teddy Roosevelt.[xiii]

Bridget Johnson: Paul Resolution Demands to Know Why NSA Spied on Pope Francis

Bryan Preston: The Emmanuel Goldstein-ing of Ted Cruz

Jack Dunphy: A Cop’s Worst Nightmare

More links on the next page…

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Ed Driscoll: New Media Master and Cultural Conquistador

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

How I start to see myself when thinking about the writers and bloggers who have most influenced me. But isn’t this just the way all bloggers are by the nature of the medium? We’re Frankenstein monsters assembled from pieces all over today’s cultural graveyard…

This is Week 2 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.

In the previous installment of this ongoing series I announced the next category of my favorite writers who I was going to introduce: my nine biggest New Media influences amongst nine of my PJ colleagues, both editors and columnists. Over the next few weeks I hope to explain why I appreciate the work of Ed Driscoll, Stephen Green, Glenn Reynolds, Helen Smith, J. Christian Adams, Richard Fernandez, Bryan Preston, Bridget Johnson, and the ever-mysterious Zombie.

I’m hoping to write about them in roughly that order. The first three are my main blogging influences who have most influenced my own approach to the medium. The remaining six are individuals doing very different but extraordinary things with the tools of New Media. I’ll explain why they’re on my #ReadEverythingTheyWrite list and why they should be on yours too.

First on the list is Ed Driscoll, PJM’s San Jose-based editor and prolific blogger-columnist. Foremost in the way Ed has influenced me is in his important work in founding PJ Lifestyle and launching it. And it was such a wonderful surprise when in spring of 2012 Ed offered to let me take over as PJ Lifestyle’s editor so he could focus on other PJ projects.

But Ed has provided many more influences. Here are four areas where I’ve borrowed from him and that I would encourage other New Media troublemakers to do as well…

1. The Greatest Juxtaposition Artist Online

What Ed does better than anyone else is artfully juxtapose excerpts from a variety of sources. Often times more than 75% of the words in an Ed post will be excerpts from elsewhere. And these pieces work so well. Ed’s versatility is in connecting the dots, often times going and comparing today’s news articles with stories from years past or from books. A few recent examples:

Flip-Floppers Embrace Hip-Hoppers

Time-Warner-CNN-HBO Spokesman: Conservatives Hate America

Abandon In Place

Sometimes when I look and see the old, “legacy” media continue its collapse I genuinely do think of we bloggers and New Media troublemakers as some kind of pirates or adventurers, hacking our way through a dying civilization. Ed with his precise cuts across media old and new has been carving his own path for years and it’s time others start to learn the methods he’s developed.

2. Ed’s Graphics Are Wonderful!

See a nice collection with commentary here: The Ed Gallery. I make images every now and then but don’t have Ed’s artistry.

3. Celebrate and Cherish Pop Culture (While You Chop It Apart, Of Course)

I take very seriously Ed’s commentaries and recommendations on culture, media, and their influence on politics. (This list of books was an influence.) There are very few other writers with a comparable breadth of both off-beat pop culture oddities and the ins-and-outs of the ideological wars of today’s political world. One who comes to mind is another writer who I’ll feature down the line in this series and who I know Ed appreciates too: Kathy Shaidle. They each come at the political-cultural nexus through similar Gen-Xer 70s centric modes, though with very different rhetorical weapons. (Kathy a Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! style kick, while Ed sneaks up with a Vulcan nerve pinch.)

Make a point to check out Ed’s Freedom Academy Book Club recommendations here.

4. Be Funny and Be Yourself

Ed is really funny. His writing has a kind of quirky, sly, high brow, winking fun to it.

From getting to work with Ed and spending time with him in the real world on occasion it seems like his blog really is genuinely an expression of his own style and personality.

There’s not many people online who are really able to do that and who can go across the whole spectrum of arts, culture, media, politics and also with wonderful personal pieces like this one. But Ed’s managed it for awhile now with his blog he’s created a perpetually, engaging, insightful New Media creation. I only hope that in the coming years more people can come to appreciate his unique take on culture, media, and politics.

[*Ed's also great hosting his web show!]

PJ Media Story Round Up

Monday and Tuesday Main Page PJM Stories

Andrew C. McCarthy: Jeb Bush Joins the Cruz Bashers — Suggests Surrender as ‘Common Ground’

The press fawns over Democrats who demagogue conservatives as “terrorists” and “hostage-takers,” and over Beltway Republicans who deride conservatives as “wacko-birds” and “tea party hobbits.” Obviously, political strife in modern America has nothing to do with a lack of civility. It owes, instead, to the lack of common ground – notthe inability to explore common ground but the non-existence of common ground.

We are not arguing here about the speed-limit on interstate highways or whether the ashy storm-petrel bird rates Endangered Species Act protection. With Obamacare, statists are trying, as President Obama has put it, to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Conservatives, by contrast, want to conserve the United States as constitutionally founded, which means preserving the individual and economic liberties that statists are effacing. There is no meaningful common ground between these polar opposites.

The statist side is enthusiastically championed by Democrats, and the conservative side by Republicans, albeit more reluctantly. Like the Democratic party, the GOP is run by Washington-oriented politicians and, thus, is more enamored of Washington-centered fiats than is the conservative base whose support Republicans need in order to be politically viable. In the vogue of establishment Republicans, Jeb Bush ostensibly directs his “Can’t we all just get along?” preachments at the Republican-Democrat divide. Clearly, though, as an all-but-formally-announced contender for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nod, he is more vexed by the widening disconnect between Republicans and conservatives.

I’ve already included McCarthy on the list of major foreign policy influences for Conservatism 3.0 but it’s worth keeping in mind too that he’s also very effective on domestic policy and ideological combat.

Michael Walsh: Empowering the Eloi: 10 USC § 311

A phenomenal piece about why everyone able-bodied and of sound mind needs to own a gun and know how to use it.

Bryan Preston: How You and Your Family Can Escape Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act runs more than 2,600 pages and now hundreds of thousands of regulations. No one knows every single provision that is in the law, which Congress did not even bother to read before passing it. Among its most controversial provisions is the mandate forcing Americans to purchase health insurance or face fines from the IRS. Those fines can even take the form of wage garnishment. Americans who fail to comply and pay the fine can end up in jail.

There is, though, a provision buried in Obamacare that provides a way out of having to comply with the individual mandate.Pages 107 and 128 of Obamacare stipulate that members of “healthcare sharing ministries” are exempt from the individual mandate.

Healthcare sharing ministries are non-profit entities created to allow Christians to pay into a fund and then tap that fund when they need to pay medical expenses. So there’s one catch — you have to be meet the healthcare sharing group’s membership requirements to join, and as ministries they maintain that you must be a Christian regularly attending church before you can become a member.

The Editors: Will HealthCare.gov Be Fixed in Time to Save Obamacare?

Absolutely not. Obama is totally screwed. It turns out that in the long debate about whether Obama was malevolent or incompetent both sides were right but the latter is about to win out as Obamacare sinks like a lead weight to the bottom of the sea. Even if Obama and co. really do want to Cloward and Piven the crap out of the American people they’re too pathetic to do it. All these people know is perpetual campaigning. They’ve never run a business or implement anything comparable to a bureaucracy like Obamacare.

Bridget Johnson: Obamacare Site for Spanish Speakers Has Never Worked

David P. Goldman: Jay Z’s American Fascism

An extraordinary analysis of popular culture, economics, culture, politics, and religion. See my entry in this series for Goldman: No to Corporate Neoconservatism, No to Paleo-Libertarian Anarchism, Yes to Augustinian Realism

Roger L. Simon: Rand Paul’s New Constitutional Amendment Should Be a Litmus Test for Who Stays in Congress

Roger hasn’t convinced me yet that this approach will be an effective strategy. And I’m pre-disposed to stand against anything Rand Paul does which may assist him in his efforts to continue duping Tea Partiers and conservatives to believe he isn’t a carbon copy of his palling-around-with-Holocaust-deniers poppy.

Bridget Johnson: New Alexander Bill to Require Weekly Obamacare Status Updates on Enrollment, Problems

Bryan Preston: Jon Stewart Rips Obamacare Rollout: Democrats Can’t ‘Spin This Turd’

Rodrigo Sermeno: Sticker Shock: Obamacare Increases Premiums in 42 States

Ed Driscoll: Abandon In Place

In his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman wrote:

What Orwell feared were those that would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us too much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would beoame a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.

As he remarked in Brave New World Revisited  the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”.

Michael Ledeen: What Explains the Intensity of the Attacks on Cruz and Lee?

There is one possible line of productive attack:  use the powers of the states to experiment with different kinds of solutions.  Several states have stayed out of the Obamacare fiasco.  Perhaps they will work out methods for better health care programs.  The current mess provides hope, and there are state leaders who seem to get it.

At the same time, we need an all-out war against corruption, from NSA to IRS to Homeland Security to HHS.  And corrupt leaders, whether elected or appointed, should be driven from office.

It’s a big fight, at home and abroad, and calls for civility (of the sort Jeb Bush and Karl Rove keep muttering) are entirely out of place.  We need a raucous, no-holds-barred debate to clarify the tough, painful and risky policies we must embrace–and be ready to change over and over again when we discover their shortcomings–if we’re going to win.

And we must win.

We will win.

Victor Davis Hanson: The Democratic Disasters to Come

Roger L. Simon: Relax, GOP — Obamacare Will Defund Itself

With only a small penalty for abstaining, the numbers for signing up not only don’t add up — they’re absurd. Here’s one of the supposedly attractive deals: “One option available only to people under 30 is a so-called catastrophic policy that kicks in after a $6,350 annual deductible. In Monroe County, you can buy that policy on the New York State of Health exchange for as low as $131 a month for single coverage.”

Over fifteen hundred a year for a sixty-three hundred plus deductible? What healthy thirty year old would waste his or her money?

Who invented this plan? Certainly not Obama or Pelosi, neither of whom was paying close attention, I would bet. (Pelosi admitted she wasn’t. All Obama wanted was something to put his name next to, something that sounded vaguely “progressive.”)

Bridget Johnson: McCain on Shutdown: ‘All of Those Involved in It Went on a Fool’s Errand’

Stephen Green: A Fifth of Doom

Michel Gurfienkel: Exodus: Migration of Jews Out of France Begins

Ed Driscoll: Oh, That Present-Tense Culture

 America education system summed up in two sentences:

Questioner: What was Auschwitz?
American College Student: I don’t know.

As part of her effort to promote her new Holocaust-themed novel 94 Maidens, Philadelphia-area TV personality Rhonda Fink-Whitman dropped in on the campuses of Penn State and Philadelphia’s Temple University, and asked the local college kids what they knew about the Holocaust and World War II. And based on the answers she received, as typed up by the Blogosphere’s Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, the answer is: not much.

Questioner: What was the Holocaust?
American College Student: Um…I’m on the spot.

Questioner: Which country was Adolf Hitler the leader of?
American College Student: I think it’s Amsterdam?

Questioner: What was Auschwitz?
American College Student: I don’t know.

Questioner: What were the Nuremburg Trials?
American College Student: I don’t know.

Questioner: How many Jews were killed?
American College Student: Hundreds of thousands.

In other words: the Holocaust Deniers have conquered America’s higher educations.

Weekend PJM Stories

Claudia Rosett: Who Should Replace the Saudis at the UN Security Council?

Having won a seat for the first time on the United Nations Security Council, Saudi Arabia turned around a day later and rejected it, citing the Council’s double standards and failure to uphold international peace, justice and security.

As UN moments go, this is a classic — if only for its sheer absurdity. It is precisely because of the UN’s double standards that a country such as Saudi Arabia can win a seat on the Security Council in the first place — with 176 of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly voting yes. As as friend of mine puts it, the Saudi move smacks of Groucho Marx’s joke that he would never join any club that would accept him as a member.

Obviously, the real problem is not a sudden Saudi aversion to UN double standards per se. If it were, Saudi Arabia would not still be running for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, in General Assembly elections to be held Nov. 12. As far as I’m aware, the Saudis — who with no evident concern about hypocrisy have served previously on the Human Rights Council  – have not dropped their bid to reclaim a seat.

Rick Moran: Clashing Worldviews Roil the GOP

Rick Moran: Is the White House Now Thinking the ‘Unthinkable’ about Obamacare?

Tom Blumer: The L.A. Times’ Fiscal Fantasies

It’s quite obvious that the vast majority of Bush 43′s presidency was marked by modest growth in public debt as a percentage of GDP, and that things did not begin to get out of hand until the first full budget year after the Democratic Party took control of the House and Senate. Absolutely all of Barack Obama’s presidency has seen catastrophic growth in that percentage.

There is almost certainly no end in sight in debt-to-GDP growth, despite Lauter’s contention, presented as if factual, that “the debt will tick down slowly to around 71% of GDP in 2018.”

Lead PJM Stories on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

J. Christian Adams: Kimberlé Crenshaw’s Toxic Race Tour at Cornell University

These are not just nutty notions, they are dangerous notions. They attempt to undo and unravel the meaning of words. They defy the truth. Treating people without regard to race is deconstructed to mean racism. Oceania has always been at war with East Asia, except when it wasn’t.

Beware: these nutty and dangerous notions aren’t confined to places like Cornell or  Crenshaw’s classroom in Los Angeles. They are en vogue among growing numbers of lawyers and those who hold power.

Ed Driscoll: ‘What Do America’s College Students Want? They Want to Be Oppressed’

PJTV’s InstaVision: Golf, Writing and the Bhagavad Gita: The Legend of Steven Pressfield

Michael Walsh: Most Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Janine Turner: Ted Cruz – The Paul Revere of American Medical Care

Bridget Johnson: Republican Winners of the Shutdown Standoff

Stephen Green: Shutdown Autopsy

It’s true that the president acted unseemly in his sour victory speech Thursday morning, but he’s always had a knack for saying outrageous things in moderate tones — and he’ll get away with it this time, too. Obama had his soothing tone and his shutdown theater, and by that time the GOP had… what, exactly?

If there’s a fourth question, it’s the one Republicans ought to be asking themselves right now.

“Why do we keep playing to Obama’s strengths?”

Why, indeed.

Roger Kimball: Remembering America

Tom Blumer: Obamacare’s Useful Idiots

PJTV’s Trifecta: Disaster! Embarrassing! Prominent Liberals Turn on Obamacare 

Bryan Preston: Great News: Hundreds of Thousands of ‘Non-Essential’ Government Bureaucrats Are Back on the Job!

Claudia Rosett: Assad’s Nobel Peace Prize?

Ed Driscoll: Mystery Seventies Theater 3000

Bryan Preston: Surrender: House Will Take Up Senate Plan to End Standoff

Patrick Poole: Jim Wallis Preaches ‘God Wants Socialism,’ Earns $200K-Plus Per Year

Bridget Johnson: Houston Chronicle Editorial Board Says It Regrets Cruz Endorsement

Bryan Preston: The Top 10 Reasons Why Obamacare Will Always Be Controversial

Andrew C. McCarthy: In New Jersey Senate Race, Lonegan Fights the Odds … without Help from the GOP

Bryan Preston: The Hellspawn of Demon Pass, or Why We Are Where We Are

High-risk pools aren’t perfect. Neither is imposing mandates. States were working out their own solutions. But they couldn’t work out some solutions, such as allowing insurance plans to be sold across state lines. They needed federal laws passed to allow that. Studies have found, and it makes economic sense, that allowing more competition by allowing plans to be sold across state lines would bring insurance prices down, making it more affordable, without government mandates or price controls. Those healthy young Americans who had the right not to buy insurance before Obamacare might even find it affordable enough to buy it, just in case they needed it.

In 1993, then First Lady Hillary Clinton devised a national plan similar to Obamacare. After many secretive meetings and a heated political debate, HillaryCare died in Congress. The American people still didn’t trust government to impose a single national health care system that would work.

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page

Monday and Tuesday

Theodore Dalrymple: Was Sir Winston Churchill Right About Exercise?

Me: Secular Political Ideology Vs. Biblical Moral Values: Continuing A Debate With Michael Lumish

Chris Queen: Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 4: The Unfaithful Lover

Chris continues with his Smashing Pumpkins series much better than I would have. One of the joys of being an editor: don’t have time to write the story you want yourself? Just assign it to one of your friends who can do it better than you.

Charlie Martin: A Year of 13 Weeks

Having edited every single one of Charlie’s 13 Weeks post I’m so thrilled to see him reach one year in with his experiment and to see such fantastic results. The 13 Weeks Method works — hence why Rhonda, Sarah, and I have adopted it to our own self-improvement pursuits.

Paula Bolyard: Ohio House Republicans Prepared to Sue Kasich to Stop Medicaid-Expansion Power Grab

Wednesday – This Weekend

Andrew Klavan: This Is The End: What Movie Would Jesus Watch?

This movie is hilarious and morally encouraging. Make a point to see it.

Walter Hudson: After Shutdown, Be Careful Whom You Call a Hypocrite

Paula Bolyard: Must Dr. Jekyll Eliminate Mr. Hyde in the GOP?

Kathy Shaidle: ‘Comedy Gives Back’ Proves People Can Make a Difference — But Not the Way They Expected

John Boot: 5 Cool Things About Escape Plan

Walter Hudson: Does the Tea Party Just Want to Watch the World Burn?

Walter does such first-rate Tea Party coverage.

Paul Cooper: What the International Gendercide Crisis Must Teach America About Abortion

Just as Walter keeps PJ Lifestyle abreast of the Tea Party perspective, I’m glad to have Paul Cooper back to bring the Pro-Life worldview. He’s really influenced me on these issues of the past few years.

Kathy Shaidle: Keep Cat Stevens Out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Builder Bob: How to Build a Picture Frame in 9 Easy Steps

Robert Spencer: Child Marriage Comes to Australia

Sarah Hoyt: Waiter, There’s a Government in My Beer!


New at PJ Lifestyle

Monday and Tuesday

Paula Bolyard: Shhh! Don’t Tell the President and Mrs. Obama This Awesomeness Exists

Theodore Dalrymple: Should Doctors Relax the ‘Dead Donor Rule’ to Increase Organ Transplants?

Robert Spencer: Burned Alive for $47

Paula Bolyard: Does Homeschooling Reduce Opportunities for Women in the Workplace?

Megan Fox: 5 Dating Rules for Single Moms That Could Save Your Child’s Life

Rhonda Robinson: Are You Worthy of Your Sufferings?

Rhonda’s new series exploring Victor Frankl is off to a great start.

Susan L.M. Goldberg: My 5 Favorite Ann Coulter Columns


Charlie Martin: Depression, Suffering, and Mindfulness

Paula Bolyard: Will the Tolerance Agenda Destroy Christian Higher Education?

P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, # 7: The Golden Dawn Party

David is on such a roll with this new antisemitism series.

Susan L.M. Goldberg: The 2 Mitzvot That Can Restore Unity on the Right

Susan jumps in on the spiritual/theological/political dialogue that I’m having with Walter Hudson and Michael Lumish.

Walter Hudson: To Know God, We Must First Confess Not Knowing Much


Ed Driscoll: Barack Obama, Fabian Socialist

Rhonda Robinson: Is the Star of Bethlehem a Myth or Actual Astrological Event?

C. Blake Powers: Bunkers, Trenches, and Calvados, Oh My!

Stephen Green: Leave the Nikon, Take the iPhone

Sarah Hoyt: Reasons to Brave the Indie Publishing Jungle


Ed Driscoll: Two Redfords in One

C. Blake Powers: A Hollywood Dream Crushed at Normandy

Stephen Green: Not Coming Soon Enough to a Theater Near You

I’m not sure why I’m not as excited about the newest DiCaprio/Scorsese movie. Maybe because one can only remake Goodfellas so many times?

Chris Queen: Want a Quiet Island Getaway? Try Tristan da Cunha, World’s Most Remote Inhabited Island

Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin: The First Hit Is Free


Charlie Martin: Infinity: Big and Bigger

Chris Queen: The Scariest Part of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

It’s great to have Chris back — this is such a funny, entertaining report of the odd things he saw one night on his recent Disney World trip.

Builder Bob: How To Hang Pegboard To Finally Get Your Garage Organized

Ed Driscoll: Johnny Carson, Bing Crosby, and the Birth of the Cool-Warmth

Becky Graebner: 4 Safety Systems Steering us Closer to Autonomous Cars

Stephen Green: Driving You to Distraction

Megan Fox: What to Do When Caught On Camera Doing Embarrassing Things? Claim Rape!

We’re living in a strange, matriarchal age when a co-ed is willing to have a frat boy pleasure her in full view of the public, film it, encourage him while he goes to work, and then later try to claim she was raped.


Helen Smith: The Soul Mate Myth: There is No One

Bryan Preston: Facebook’s Ad Algorithm Is A Poopy Head

Ed Driscoll: ‘Society Will Develop a New Kind of Servitude…’ — Alexis De Tocqueville

Becky Graebner: The Baby Boomer and Millennial Blame Game

I dissent: it’s mostly the boomers’ fault but the Silent generation has poured a lot of gasoline on the fire too.

Glenn Reynolds: 68% of Americans Believe Degrees Aren’t Worth the Money

I have a habit of ranting nowadays to all who will listen that instead of getting a degree 18-year-olds should start a business.

Chris Queen: Hooked on Oreos?

Stephen Green: Don’t Be Evil or Whatevs

Sarah Hoyt: Can Google Make You Sick?

At some point I really do need to unplug from both Google and Facebook…


New at PJ Tatler

Chris Salcedo: Obama is Responsible for His Own Opposition

Resident Obama consistently calls for civility from his detractor. Hypocrisy doesn’t come close to describing Obama’s hollow calls for a softer tone. Obama and extreme liberals who now run his government and party have partaken in the most un-civil discourse in modern American politics. Conservatives and Tea Party members have been called, “hostage takers,” “people with bombs strapped to their chests,” “arsonists,” “terrorists,” “extremists,” “racists,” and “anarchists,” all because we disagree with liberal extremism. Obama called those who believe as I do, “enemies.” Proving he has no sense of fairness, not to mention shame, Obama insists he be treated with kid gloves after he’s drawn a response from those he just beat-up.

Stephen Kruiser: Baby Steps: Media Matters Upgrades IRS Targeting From ‘Manufactured Scandal’ To ‘Controversy’

Stephen Kruiser: Going Full Creepy: Oregon Wants To Track And Tax Drivers Per Mile

Chris Salcedo: The Last Time I Could Say, ‘Obama Is Right’

Stephen Kruiser: Show This to Your Lib Friends: ‘The Psychology Of Barack Obama’

Matt Vespa: So, When Is Chris Christie Switching Parties?

Stephen Kruiser: IBD Lists ‘Anecdotal’ Obamacare Jobs/Hours Cuts

J. Christian Adams: James O’Keefe Sues Main Justice for Defamation

Stephen Kruiser: Onion Open Thread: Bloomberg ‘Takes Care’ Of Homeless In NYC

Seton Motley: Negotiating with Yourself Doesn’t Work

Stephen Kruiser: Pro Tip: Don’t Be The Cop That Gets Caught In The Prostitution Sting

Stephen Kruiser: More ‘Anecdotal’ Evidence: Another CEO Says Obamacare Is A Job Killer

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston


Colorado Ad Tells Bros ‘Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills.’ Tap Into Someone Else’s Money…

California Woman Liked Her Health Insurance, But Obamacare Won’t Let Her Keep It

Liberal Hates Obamacare Now, But Still Won’t Admit that Ted Cruz Was Right

Yet Another MSM Journalist Officially Joins the Obama Administration

Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson Attacks the Tea Party with a Burning Cross


Wendy Davis Set to Pick Up More DC Cash for Her Texas Governor Run

Obamacare Hotline Operator Admits to Hannity: No One Likes Obamacare

Poll: White House Blames ‘Volume,’ But Majority Believe Healthcare.gov’s Problems Hint at Broader Obamacare Problems

Culinary Union Thugs Insult Vegas Tourists, Call Woman Dying of Cancer a ‘B*tch’

VIDEO — Woman Realizes Obama is Using Her to Sell Unsound Product, Escapes as Fast as She Can

White House Touts Obamacare ‘Successes’ Who Aren’t

First Look: Team Dewhurst Releases ‘Texas Takes the Cake’ Video to Showcase Lone Star Dominance

Arsenal’s ‘Playstation’ Goal One of the Best Sports Moments of the Decade

VIDEO — President Barack Obama Delivers Convincing Obamacare Defense to a Skeptical Nation

‘Tech Surge’? Consumer Reports Says ‘Stay Away from Healthcare.gov For At Least Another Month’

CBS: Obamacare’s Problems Threaten ‘Credibility Death Spiral’ for Obama


VIDEO Montage: Kathleen Sebelius’ Many Assured Assurances that the Obamacare Exchanges were ‘On Track’ to Launch on October 1

Bizarre: Battleground Texas (@BGTX) Is ‘Ovary Sad’


CBS’ Norah O’Donnell: Obama was the ‘Adult in the Room’ During the Shutdown Standoff

White House Email: Hey, Look, Five People Have Signed Up for Obamacare!

In Case You Were Wondering, Ted Cruz Didn’t Go to Washington to Make Friends

Grand Theft Nation: Red States, Younger Americans See Highest Rate Hikes from Obamacare.

Cornyn Slams Obama’s ‘Crony’ Nomination for Homeland Security

USA Today: Obama’s Crowning Achievement Needs a ‘Total Overhaul’

Former Obama Official Scolds America: ‘Back Off’ Opposing Obamacare, Forget Reagan or People May Die!

Pelosi Admits Obamacare Website Needs Fixing, But Remains Delusional About Obamacare Itself


Wendy Davis Consultant Matt Angle Lies About Robo-Call Group

I’ve realized now that I find just Wendy Davis’s name alone stomach-turning. She’s made herself synonymous with third trimester abortion and revealed reminded the practice to be among the central rites of today’s neo-ancient Canaanite modern Democratic Party.

Scientists Pull Meteorite from Russian Lake, Immediately Break It

Attkisson: Deadly Mexican Drug Cartel Shootout Linked to US ‘Grenade-Walking’ Scandal

VIDEO — How Did HealthCare.gov Get Botched? The White House Doesn’t Know and Doesn’t Care

Battleground Texas Obamabots Rip Ted Cruz For Doing the Same Thing Barack Obama Once Did

NBC News: ‘If the ObamaCare website were a patient, it would probably be in intensive care by now.’

Obama: ‘When We Disagree, We Don’t Have To Suggest that the Other Side Doesn’t Love this Country.’ But Calling them Terrorists is Cool.

VIDEO — Obama Includes Attack on Bloggers, Talk Radio and the First Amendment in His Shutdown Touchdown Dance

Chuck DeVore: GOP May Have ‘Lost’ the Shutdown Battle, But Can Still Win the War to Repeal Obamacare

Bryan quoting from a friend of a friend:

The compromise bill ending the shutdown only funds the government until January 15, 2014 and only gives enough room on the debt limit until February 7, 2014.

This is not the full year’s budget Pres. Obama and Sen. Reid wanted. And, it is not the full trillion dollars in new debt authority.

This is big.

What is means is that Americans get to kick the tires on ObamaCare and its nearly-impossible to sign up for exchanges for another three months before the federal government funding fight may be refought – if Sen. Cruz and like-minded allies chose to do so.

The Houston Chronicle Missed the Entire Point of Ted Cruz’s Election to the Senate

Great News: Hundreds of Thousands of ‘Non-Essential’ Government Bureaucrats Are Back on the Job!

There do remain a couple of outstanding issues. We’re still on track to spend enough to land us in bankruptcy. The National Park Service unmasked itself as a brownshirted outfit that was a little too happy to lock old people in hotels and barrycade parking spots on the GW Parkway at their liege’s whim. Who knew that under those stiff-brimmed hats lurked the snarling face of raw statism? Like the IRS, the NPS needs to be cleaned out.

And Obamacare is a horrendous mess. It’s actually in full-blown crisis, though much of its crisis is a product of design. Sebelius needs to be fired, but that was true for her lawbreaking and for the abortifacient mandate. Now it’s just more true, because she’s a hacktastic flop who is such a failure that she can’t even properly manage failure.

Barack Obama has Picked Four Big Fights in 2013. How Has He Done?


Surrender: House Will Take Up Senate Plan to End Standoff

So how do you beat them? In the Republicans’ case, the divisions within their ranks didn’t help. “Wacko bird” didn’t help. Peter King spending more time assaulting Republicans than Democrats didn’t help. It also didn’t help to rant “you support Obamacare!” if you didn’t happen to agree with the strategy to stop Obamacare. A divided force will just about always lose to a unified force. The Republicans failed to divide the Democrats, while they went into the fight divided themselves.

‘Obamacare is here. Get used to it’ and Other Stupid Things Democrats Say

If we really took the president’s and Robinson’s logic to its full extent, the laws as they existed at the moment the United States was founded would still all remain the law of the land forever. All of them. Only landowners could vote. No female suffrage. And once a law was passed, it could not be repealed or changed in any way whatsoever until the end of time. Is that what Robinson wants, or is he just being dishonest?

With all due respect to the president and his man at the Post, their “Obamacare is here so get used to it!” command is idiotic. I mean, really, truly and deeply and profoundly idiotic. It’s unworthy of a president and doesn’t belong in serious, adult conversation.

Bryan does such a great job of hitting hard.

Mexican TV Announcer Goes on Epic PRO-AMERICA Rant After the US Saves Mexico’s World Cup Hopes

Budget Deal Not Even Done, Obama Whips Out Immigration ‘Reform’ Next

VIDEO — National Park Service Director Admits White House Was Involved in Closing Memorials

The Top 10 Reasons Why Obamacare Will Always Be Controversial

The Hellspawn of Demon Pass, or Why We Are Where We Are

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


White House Links October Shutdown to Stagnant September Jobs Numbers

Carney: Why’s There So Much ‘Fascination’ with Blaming Someone for Bad Obamacare Site?

After Debt Ceiling Raised, Restoration to Begin on the Roof

Human Rights Groups Accuse Obama of Sloppy Drone Strikes


Wikipedia Stunned That Companies Pay Users to Write Favorable Articles

GOPs Warns Constituents About Obamacare Site While Questioning Taxpayer Fix-It Tab

McCain on Shutdown: ‘All of Those Involved in It Went on a Fool’s Errand’

Unkindest Endorsement Ever? Paper Grudgingly Picks ‘Catastrophe’ Christie

McConnell Vows to Hold the Line Against Another Shutdown, Says It’s ‘Not Conservative Policy’


Hagel Loses His Press Secretary a Week After His No. 2 Resigns

Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young Dies Days After Announcing 2014 Retirement

Russia-Backed Expulsion of U.S. from Kyrgyz Base Moves Critical Support Point to Romania


Sickening Video from Kenya Mall Attack

Steve King: Shutdown Worth It for Drawing Out ‘Good, Strong’ Conservatives

Budget, Bacon and Eggs: GOP, Dems Start Negotiating Process Over Cozy Breakfast

House Stenographer Snaps During Debt Vote, Yells About Freemasons

A longtime House stenographer was pulled off the House floor last night during the debt-deal vote after walking to the dais the president uses for State of the Union speeches and yelling about Freemasons.

Todd Zwillich of Public Radio International captured the full audio of the woman, included at the end of the C-SPAN video clip.

“Do not be deceived. God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand,” the stenographer, identified as Dianne Reidy, yelled into the microphone. “He will not be mocked, He will not be mocked — don’t touch me — He will not be mocked. The greatest deception here, is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been… it would not have been… No. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons… and go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”


Booker Wins Senate Special Election in New Jersey

Boehner: ‘The House Has Fought with Everything It Has’

House Conservative: Boehner Emerging from Shutdown ‘a Hundred Percent Stronger’

Hagel Apologizes for Medal of Honor Recipient’s Mysterious Missing Paperwork

Houston Chronicle Editorial Board Says It Regrets Cruz Endorsement


From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,


Open Is Better Than Nothing

The Game the Whole Country Can Play

Your ObamaCare Fail of the Day

As a citizen, it’s somewhat difficult to get in compliance with the law, when the agency in charge of enforcing it doesn’t necessarily know what parts of the law it will be told to enforce, or which parts might be safely ignored. It’s even more difficult to stay in compliance when those goalposts, once shifted, might be shifted again just because a web site started working better. Or perhaps worse.

Coming to America

Chuck Todd Rips Jay Carney a New One


A Seven of All Trades

A Worthy Cause


Delaying the individual mandate is only evil when Republicans want to do it.

The Onion Wins the Internet

Absolutely hilarious.

Another ObamaCare Fail

MSNBC Panel Turns on ObamaCare

It’s Not a Lie If You Believe It!

Let It Burn

By the Numbers

Windows RT Pulled

This Is the End

Is There a Spanish Idiom for “Hand Caught in the Cookie Jar?”

Playing Catchup Thrice


News You Can Use

Mullahs Take a Leak

Bookmark of the Year

Winter is Laughing

Now That’s a Crossover [LINK FIXED!]

An Honest Question

This Is Why They Made an Internet

A Thousand Times No

Make Your Own Mario


Friday Night Videos

Paging Dr. Thomas Hendricks

The Future Just Got Closer

You’ve Been Had

Another Ringing ObamaCare Success

News You Can Use

Poll of the Day

This Is Why You Fail

What the Government Does With Your Data

Saudis Refuse Security Council Seat to Themselves

You Can’t Even Bribe Them Out of Power


Bring on the Heat

The Big Blue Blues

How ObamaCare Works Perfectly

News You Can Use

New Waivers for Government Motors

Required Reading

Shut Down Theater, He Explained

The Opacity of Wall Street

Congress Self-Emasculates

You Keep Using That Word


We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ National Security

Detroit Is in Recovery!

Leave the Nikon, Take the iPhone

In a Collectivized Nutshell

And Liberals Claim Even the Name is Racist

To Sanction or not to Sanction

Required Reading

The Most Transparent Administration in History

Repeat After Me: It’s Not a Traffic Problem


From PJM’s San Jose Ed Driscoll

Monday and Tuesday

Beware the Cupcake Menace!

Abandon In Place

First Bum, Now Bud

Oh, the Humanity!

As ad man (and Mad Men series advisor) Jerry Della Femina wrote over 40 years ago in his classic book on advertising,From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War, “There is a great deal of advertising that’s better than the product. When that happens, all that the good advertising will do is put you out of business faster. There have been cases where the product had to come up to the advertising but when the product fails to do that, the advertiser will eventually run into a lot of trouble.” Or to quote a commenter at Hot Air, “You owe Ron Popeil an apology. At least he delivered the goods.”

Heh, indeed.™

Socialism: If You Build It, They Will Leave


Obamacare: The New Vietnam

Meet the New Brutalism, Same as the Old Brutalism

RIP, Legendary NFL Coach Bum Phillips


Marker Called



Mystery Seventies Theater 3000

Two Redfords in One

‘Why Does Organizing For Action Hate the Mentally Challenged?’


Closing Book Excerpt


“The state is an organ or apparatus of force to be used by one class against another.” -Vladimir Lenin, 1917′s Will the Bosheviks Retain State Power? As quoted on page 77 of Paul Johnson’s extraordinary Enemies of Society.

Stay tuned for link recommendations from around the web in the next installment of this series. I think I’m going to start alternating between PJM round-ups and around-the-web round-ups…


Get to Know Everyone on the #ReadEverythingTheyWrite List!

16 of My Favorite Writers And Most Important Intellectual Influences:

6 On Foreign Policy:

4 On Culture:

5 On History:

1 On New Media:


images courtesy shuttertsock / Jeff Cameron Collingwood

Read bullet | Comments »

‘There’s Nothing Just About Nature. Nature Is Only About Survival.’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle


This is Week 2 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and interesting headlines at PJM and across the web.

In the previous weeks I’ve discussed 15 of my favorite writers and major intellectual influences in foreign policy, culture, and history. (At the bottom of each of these posts they’re all listed with links to their entries.) I’ll continue to add more authors to these sections but today I’m beginning another two categories of writers who I regard as core influences. Today’s entry and future ones in the coming weeks will feature writers who have most influenced my approach to New Media. I’ll continue to mostly focus first on PJM columnists and editors before moving on to other writers throughout history and today’s media.

The media innovators I’ll discuss are both blogosphere pioneers and those who have taken the medium to the next level to accomplish extraordinary things: Glenn Reynolds, J. Christian Adams, Ed Driscoll, Stephen Green, Richard Fernandez, Bryan Preston, Bridget Johnson, and Helen Smith. (Given the volume of posts — most of them on timely subjects — that they do, I’m also now going to begin to include links to all of Ed’s and Stephen’s posts in these rounds-ups alongside Bryan’s and Bridget’s. I’ll also be cross-posting more of their posts along with some of Glenn’s more Lifestyle-oriented Instapundit posts.)

The second category I’m planning to begin in the coming weeks is my list of top 20 conservative columnists. (Ann Coulter will be the first discussed; she remains #1 on the list, with her new book more than securing her position.)

But first, leading this section of New Media influences is not just a single individual but an institution: Prager University.

“Give us five minutes, we’ll give you a semester.”

I’ll soon get to writing about Dennis Prager and his ideas’ role in Conservatism 3.0. (Click here for my extended review of his recent book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.) He’ll be high on the top 20 columnists list.

But Prager University should be regarded as an entity unto itself. Prager’s spirit is infused into all the organization’s releases, but a number of others work very hard to inject the magic that makes the project so extraordinary. It’s indeed a team effort and a shining example of how to adapt what makes Prager’s radio show so effective into a medium that we can pass off to friends and family who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to talk radio.

Prager University releases multiple videos each month, 5-minute courses featuring some of the world’s most respected authors, professors, and thinkers. Each video is both factual and analyzes the world through a moral point of view. Subjects range from history to religion to philosophy and gender relations. These aren’t just videos to inform, they’re to persuade. Prager University’s is the only series of online videos that I’m aware of that has any chance whatsoever of winning over those wobbling on the edge of shifting from Left to Right, from secular to religious, from Democrat to Republican. Each video is a concentrated dosage of the best arguments for the Judeo-Christian value system, Americanism, and the interpretations of history and the present day that flow from them.

For a broader sample of what I’m talking about, see some of these potentially life-changing videos. Eleven of my favorites in religion and pro-Israel truth-telling are in these two previous posts:

6 Reasons Why Rational Thinkers Choose to Believe in God

A Black South African Proves Beyond Doubt That Israel Is Not an Apartheid State

Seriously — I know of no better presentation of American values than what Prager U puts out consistently. Their formula really needs to be imitated by every conservative, pro-American organization. They’re a light illuminating the path amidst the fog of media war.

prager university

I think it’s very appropriate that Prager University’s logo is a lighthouse. One of the most consistent themes in Prager University’s videos — an extension of one of Dennis’s core values — is the one in this week’s video that I quoted in the headline: we have to fight both our own human nature and nature itself.

Goodness does not come from the natural world. Without a higher power of some sort — whose nature we can debate about endlessly in theology discussions like the one from this weekend — then we too are just beasts.1374351_10101485832167428_1105374955_nshutterstock_51424156

PJ Media Story Round Up

Lead PJM Stories Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and this Weekend

Jonathan Spyer: Despite Nobel Prize, Full Removal of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Unlikely

Bill Straub: House Compromise Effort Slips; Senate Rushes Toward Deal

Bridget Johnson: GOP Congressman: Defund-Obamacare Caucus Not Conservative Because Conservatives ‘Know How to Count’

PJ Editors: Hot Topic: Should the NFL’s Washington Redskins Change Their Name?

Richard Fernandez: Under Obamacare, Unions Demand to Be More Equal Than Others

Victor Davis Hanson: Reading Among the Ruins

Bridget Johnson: White House Still Calls Just Minor Tweaks to Obamacare Demanding ‘Ransom’

Bryan Preston: ‘Sons of the Flag’ Burn Foundation Plans Historic Skydive to Raise Money for Burn Research

Jack Dunphy: Who Let the ‘Racist’ Police Dogs Out?

Ron Radosh: NBC Pitches Softballs to Bomb-Throwing Former Terrorist Bill Ayers

Charlie Martin: I Told You So (Obamacare Edition)

Roger L. Simon: ObamaCare Best Advertisement for Libertarianism Ever

Government sources report as few as 51,000 completed applications for ObamaCare in the first week. At least seven million must sign up for the program to stay afloat financially.

This, after months of preparation, for a website that cost approximately 100 million dollars. Apple CEO Tim Cook would be out on his derriere faster than you could say Kathleen Sebelius for anything resembling such ineptitude. (Apple, for the record, sold nine million of its new iPhone 5S in the first three days.)

And the ObamaCare website is the least of it. The actual implementation will be worse as premiums and coverage ricochet all over the lot and look to continue doing so.

Only government could be this bad. Well not only government, but almost always government.

In truth, especially in a big country like ours, the more the government controls healthcare, the worse that care is — and, ironically, the less democratic, the more discriminatory, it becomes. Where there are bureaucrats, there is favoritism. And the greater the bureaucracy the greater this favoritism and the more difficult to unmask, the more entrenched it is.

Rodrigo Sermeno: Step Aside, NSA: What are Private Companies Gathering About You, Then Sharing?

Ed Driscoll: Interview: Humberto Fontova on the MSM’s Love for Fidel Castro

Allen West: The Next Generation

Why must we stand up for the future? We currently are the first generation of Americans that will leave less for subsequent generations than we inherited. Reversing this tragedy is our challenge. Today, I am committing myself even more to taking this message across the U.S., in person and via media — an Allen West liberty and freedom road show of sorts is on its way. I intend to answer the call to arms for my republic.

Mike McDaniel: Jose Guerena Vindicated: Widow Receives $3.4M Settlement from Arizona Police

Bryan Preston: PHOTOS: Veterans Overrun the Barrycades, Liberate the Memorials in Washington!

Zombie: ‘Consider Reducing Your Income by Working Less’ to Get Obamacare Subsidy, says SF Chronicle

Tom Blumer: Obamacare: Mind-Boggling Incompetence

Michael Ledeen: Evil Lives: The Erich Priebke Story

Rick Moran: Chinese Want to ‘De-Americanize’ the World

Bryan Preston: About that NBC/WSJ Poll that Killed Republicans on the Shutdown…

Roger Kimball: Is Ted Cruz Wrecking the GOP?

Janice Flamengo: Tommy Robinson Exits the Field

David Solway: Living in the Age of Contradiction

Bridget Johnson: Deadliest Catch Captain Tells Congress He Can’t Fish Because of Shutdown


PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page

Over the Weekend and This Week

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Bookworm: The Surprising Reason Americans Are Vulnerable to Moral Relativism

Paula Bolyard: Waiter, There’s a Government in My Beer!

Kathy Shaidle: Mark Steyn’s Muslim Nemesis Sues Another Free Speech Champion

Paula Bolyard: Juan Williams Suggests Buying Off Republicans with Campaign Donations to End Stalemate

Paula Bolyard: Veterans Cemeteries: You May Have to Keep Grandpa on Ice if the Shutdown Continues

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Queen Ann Advises Republicans: Always Listen to Mother

Andrew Klavan: What’s Wrong with Joel Osteen?

Theodore Dalrymple: When Doctors Decide Your Disease Doesn’t Actually Exist

Paula Bolyard: Despite Tea Party Opposition, Kasich Will Bypass Ohio Legislature to Expand Medicaid

The Weekend

Kathy Shaidle: Chicago’s Patriotic New Single Sounds Like a South Park Parody

Paula Bolyard: Ohio Insurance Director on Obamacare Glitches: ‘This Is What We Expected’

Walter Hudson: Why Christians, Jews, and Everyone Else Better Take an Interest in Heaven and Hell

Andrew Klavan: The Mystery of Elizabeth Smart

Joshua Sharf: No Good Excuses Exist for the Failure of Obamacare’s Expensive Website

John Boot: 4 Reasons Why Captain Phillips Is One of the Year’s Best Thrillers…



New at PJ Lifestyle on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday


Megan Fox: Ty Doohen, Another Victim of Single Motherhood: Fatherless and Beaten to Death

Theodore Dalrymple: Was Sir Winston Churchill Right About Exercise?

Anna Vu Tapson: 4 Kitchen Items That Will Get You Ready For Holiday Cooking

Becky Graebner: A Classy Tequila Experience (Yes, It Does Exist)


Paula Bolyard: Should Colleges Have Parent-Teacher Conferences?

Paul Cooper: What International Gendercide Can Teach America About Abortion

Robert Spencer: Child Marriage Comes to Australia

Sarah Hoyt: A Bullet to the Head Could Not Dissuade her From Learning


Michael Lumish: Politics Vs Theology: Beginning A Debate With David Swindle

Charlie Martin: What to Do When ‘Just Sitting’ Isn’t Enough?

P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, #8: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Biblical Feminism and the Dirty Male Myth

Rhonda Robinson: Could You Find The Meaning Of Life Through The Stench Of Death?

Me: Why the Weight of Heaven Crushed My Christianity

Walter Hudson: Religion Ought to Be Divisive


New at PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser: More Dry Ice ‘Suspicious Package’ Action At LAX

Charlie Martin: I Told You So (Obamacare Edition)

Stephen Kruiser: Salon Poses A Question Every One Of Its Writers Should Ask Themselves Daily

Eileen J. O’Connor: Americans Begin to Meet the Unaffordable Care Act

Stephen Kruiser: Shocked Face: Hillary To Officially Endorse McAuliffe, Vince Foster Unavailable For Comment

Raymond Ibrahim: This Week in History: The Battle of Tours

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

So, Who’s On the Hook for all that Food that Welfare Users Stole in Louisiana?

Hot Mom Tries to Inspire Others to Lose Weight, Runs Into Whiners and Haters, Whips Out Awesome Non-Apology Apology

Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Thinks Obama Should be Impeached. Media: SHOCKED!

Another Criminal Found Among the Obamacare ‘Navigators.’ This One is an Illegal Alien.

Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher Talks to His Mom, Believes Obama is His God and Republicans Control His Health

Too many Americans depend on the government for some basic things. It would help the nation in the long run if we reduced that dependence and the mentality that fosters it. As that would not help the Democrats, though, expect it to happen right after never.

Texas Democrat Chairman Calls Veterans ‘Ugly’ in Vicious Attack on Sen. Ted Cruz

Sorry MSNBC, But Fox’s Megyn Kelly Really Is Crushing You

‘Sons of the Flag’ Burn Foundation Plans Historic Skydive to Raise Money for Burn Research

GOP House to Offer New Shutdown Compromise for Obama, Democrats to Summarily Reject

It’s Hard to Blame Cory Booker. Would YOU Want to Live In Newark?

JournoList’s Ezra Klein: Yeah, the Obamacare Site is a Disaster

VIDEO — CNN’s Candy Crowley Tries to Recruit Sen. Rand Paul to the Democrat Party

Why Is Venezuela Detaining Five American Oil Workers?

Our Government is Hopelessly Corrupt, Dangerously Stupid, Or Both

Former Obama Spokesman Gibbs: Obamacare Rollout has been ‘Excruciatingly Embarrassing’

Sheila Jackson Lee Has a Remedy for the Government Shutdown: Martial Law

Shelves in Two Lousiana Walmarts Cleared When Welfare Recipients Thought They Were Getting Free Food

Facebook’s Ad Algorithm Is A Poopy Head

Colorado’s Dem Governor to Anti-Gun Groups: Can You Stay Out of the Recall This Time?

NBC’s Bob Costas Bravely Tells Football Fans that the Redskins Name is a ‘Slur’

PHOTOS: Veterans Overrun the Barrycades, Liberate the Memorials in Washington!

Nate Silver: None of This Shutdown Noise Will Matter Much Next Year

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

GOP Congressman: Defund-Obamacare Caucus Not Conservative Because Conservatives ‘Know How to Count’

White House Still Calls Just Minor Tweaks to Obamacare Demanding ‘Ransom’

‘Most Vulnerable’ Dem Gushes About His Bipartisanship in Shutdown Deal

House Republican: ‘It Shouldn’t Be Very Difficult to Reconcile’ Latest Offer with Senate

Eid Murbarak from President Obama

Hearing of the Week: Joint Venture to Demand Answers on ‘Arbitrary and Unnecessary’ Park Closures

Happy Columbus Day from President Obama

House Conservative as Deals Swirl: ‘We Have to Focus on Obamacare’

Manchin: Hope of Bipartisan Deal Not ‘Shot Completely or Killed’ by Dem Leaders

Reid: Republicans Responsible for the National Debt

White House: Merchant Marine Academy Canceling Classes Because of Shutdown

Pentagon: Congress is No Longer Keeping Us from Paying Dead Soldiers’ Families!

From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists


From PJM’s Colordado Editor, Vodkapundit Stephen Green,


In a Collectivized Nutshell

Most families will face higher — in many cases, much higher — out-of-pocket expenses. Wealthier people opting for the Gold or Platinum plans will have lower out-of-pocket expenses, and since they won’t be getting any subsidies, why not? So we have a situation where the middle class pays more, while the rich (or politically connected) get better and cheaper service.

And Liberals Claim Even the Name is Racist

To Sanction or not to Sanction

Required Reading

The Most Transparent Administration in History

Repeat After Me: It’s Not a Traffic Problem

Got Gavel?

Bask in the Schadenfreude


Blue State Blues

The Horror Stories Just Keep Coming

In It to Win It or Not

I’ve Run Out of Cute or Clever ObamaCare Headlines

The Law of Nothing But Unintended Consequences

Worst. Law. Ever.

Of course, it was never about health care; it was always about power. And ObamaCare does more than perhaps any law in American history to concentrate power in Washington. I’m trying to think of a worse example, but I’m coming up blank. The establishment of a peacetime draft by FDR, maybe? At least that was a “temporary” national security measure.

More Violent Rhetoric from the Left

Fill it to the RIM — With Fail

Another ObamaCare Mystery

Required Viewing

Driving You to Distraction


You Keep Using That Word

Another Solution is Alcohol

When Black Friday Comes…

Don’t Be Evil or Whatevs

Are We Exporting Food Inflation?

It’s Every Old Man for Themselves

Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket

Who’s Minding the Nukes?

Stop Driving Your Food


Trolling TED

News You Can Use

Tom Clancy Drool-Fest

Not Coming Soon Enough to a Theater Near You

You Can’t Go Home Again

Sound Judgement


From PJM’s San Jose editor Ed Driscoll


A Hayekian Teaching Moment

That’s what Steve Hayward is calling “The Obamacare Rollout Debacle” today at Forbes:

The debacle of the rollout of Obamacare is yet another moment for re-learning the fundamental truth about how little we know about what we think we can control.

That last phrase comes from F.A. Hayek, of course.  Hayek died in 1992, on the cusp of the World Wide Web and the explosion of the Internet, which has transformed our economy and our individual lives profoundly.  In one of his last interviews with Forbes magazine shortly before his death, Hayek was asked whether the rapid advances in technology and computing power made economic management—planning and regulation—more feasible.  Hayek was emphatic that no matter how big and how fast our computing power got, it did not change the fundamental defect of all centralized economic control: the problem is not simply mastering or processing a large amount of raw data.  Information and circumstances change too quickly.  More fundamentally, the data necessary for centralized decision-making is not available at all.

The Louisiana Heist

Quote of the Day

Monsters from the Libs

You Can’t Make an Omelet Without Frying a Few Eggheads

What Could Go Right?


Julia Has Become an Unperson

From Bauhaus to Ozzy’s House

Somebody Set Ayers Up the Bomb

Speaking from the well-heeled confines of the University of Chicago’s International House on Wednesday, Bill Ayers said he was “amazed” to see himself on TV “cast as some kind of public enemy” with close ties to Barack Obama during one of the 2008 election’s biggest controversies.

At the event meant to promote his new book Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident, Ayers slammed the “opportunistic media” and the “eager campaign staffs of the right, the middle, and even the moderate left” for resurrecting the Weather Underground, a radical far-left group Ayers co-founded which bombed government property and banks throughout the 1970s.

“Bernadine and I had hosted the initial fundraiser for Obama and uncharacteristically donated a little money to his campaign,” said Ayers, reading an excerpt. “We lived a few blocks apart and sat on a couple nonprofit boards together. So what? Who could have predicted it would blow up like this?”

— “Bill Ayers: Didn’t think Obama connection ‘would blow up like this,’” the College Fix, today.

Weatherman hagiographer Robert Redford could not be reached for comment, but John Nolte of Big Journalism could, after Ayers was invited to appear on NBC today:

Monday, after MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” spent about two hours blasting the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and Ted Cruz as bubbled, dangerous, and stupid — in other words, a typical Monday on “Morning Joe” — the show hosted Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist. To no one’s surprise, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Time’s Mark Halperin treated the co-founder of the Weather Underground and friend of Barack Obama with extraordinary deference as he hawked a new book.

Pat Dollard is succinct: “After Accusing Tea Party Of Terrorist Bombing, MSNBC Invites Bill Ayers On To Plug His Book.”

Quote of the Day

‘When Black Friday Comes…’

New Civility Watch

Birth of the Cool-Warmth

News You Can Use

How Badly Does NBC’s Bob Costas Hate the Dallas Cowboys?

This Weekend

Interview: Humberto Fontova on the MSM’s Love for Fidel Castro

Juicebox Mafioso Whacked

Photo of the Day

China Looks to Make After America a Reality

Veterans March on White House

Barack Obama, Fabian Socialist

Quote of the Day

The Obama Backfire

KIA Kabuki



15 Interesting Stories Around the Web This Week

Found on Facebook:

1. Shock Mansion: The First Flying Car is Finally Here!

At Mediaite:

2. Andrew Kirell: Ann Coulter Talks to Mediaite About Issuing a ‘Fatwa’ for Conservatives, and Why She Mostly Watches MSNBC

Did you stop watching cable news after the election?

There was a six-month period where I didn’t read or listen to anything. About that time, I was going through my mother’s collection of Ann Coulter clippings — the largest in the northeastern United States, I should add — and there was a Time magazine write-up from 2004 after the midterm election. It was like a mirror image of after 2012 election. There was a big smiling picture of me, with a caption like “I’m a winner!” And then there was Michael Moore, sad, “I’m a loser.”

It made me remember how incumbents tend to win. Obama did worse than any incumbent in the last 100 years, according to the Brookings Institution. We probably feel the same way the Democrats did after they lost in 2004. Time to buck up.

Left of Center News and Opinion Sources:

At Talking Points Memo:

3. Bill Moyers: Let’s Call The Shutdown What It Is: Secession By Another Means

When the president refused to buckle to this extortion, they threw their tantrum. Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn down the place, sink the ship.

At The Nation:

4. Citizen Marx

Marx’s dying looks different in A Nineteenth-Century Life, slower and still attuned to the world around him. From Algiers, he goes to Monte Carlo, where he eyes the well-dressed women and ridicules the intricately absurd systems the gamblers use to try to beat the house—another moment passed over by previous biographers, although they had the same letters available to them. For those who see Marx as a contemporary, the end of his life may be the hardest part to write or even to imagine. It contradicts our preconceptions. The bad weather might almost kill him, and so might his cheap tobacco, but dying isn’t something that Karl Marx is supposed to do.

Right of Center News and Opinion Sources:

At Truth Revolt:

5. Brother of Crown Heights Riot Victim Slams Sharpton Advertisers

Now Yankel’s brother, Norman, says that advertisers, MSNBC, and President Obama should be ashamed to be associated with Sharpton. “Any person who does anything to legitimize Al Sharpton is doing a gross disservice to their own integrity, and in terms of Al Sharpton the individual, the greatest concern is they’re legitimizing a fraud and charlatan,” Rosenbaum said from Melbourne, Australia. He added, “He has never apologized, he has never offered any sincere remorse for the atrocious things he has done by way of terrible racist behavior and lies, for inciting racial events. Anybody who takes a look at that person and wants to spend advertising dollars on him should take a hard look at their moral stance in terms of their position in business, in commerce, and in the community.”

That Al Sharpton remains a respected member of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement tells you everything you need to know about the level of moral bankruptcy in each.

At National Review:

6. Andrew C. McCarthy: Funding Jihadists while Denying Military Benefits

And, you’ll be pleased to know, supporting the Syrian “rebels” is a high enough priority that it’s not part of the 17 percent of the federal government affected by the “shutdown.” America’s enemies are still receiving taxpayer-funded weapons, so that they can fight America’s other enemies, the Assad regime, to what Washington hopes will be a resounding victory. Er . . . check that — to what the administration hopes will be . . . a tie. The administration also let slip this week that it is arming our preferred jihadists so they can grind to a stalemate with Russia’s preferred jihadists — after all, we wouldn’t want to upset Iran’s ruling jihadists after they’ve just finally deigned to take, yes, a phone call from our pleading president after blowing him off in New York.

So support for the Syrian jihad remains unaffected by the shutdown, just like the Capitol Hill gym and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” website. Obama did manage, however, to cut off death benefits for the families of American troops killed fighting for our country. Or at least our conniving Alinsky-in-chief thought he’d succeeded in cutting off the military death benefits — along with forcible closures of war-hero cemeteries, national monuments, private homes, and the ocean.

It turned out he’d miscalculated.

President I Will Not Negotiate ended up negotiating, and then quietly paying bereaved military families, because he discovered, to his astonishment, that the public would hold him, not Republicans, responsible for this unspeakable breach of faith. He’d thought he had that covered. After all, as the Republican establishment repeatedly tells us, Obama’s media always blame the GOP — thus making it “delusional” for the GOP to stand up and fight about anything.

If I told you years ago that Obama would rather deny military death benefits than stop funding al-Qaeda you would have called me a crazy conspiracist.

At Breitbart News:

7. Sex-Selection Abortion Now an Option in Britain

Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, issued a statement regarding reasons why authorities decided not to prosecute two abortionists caught in an undercover sting agreeing to sex selection abortions.

CPS decided it would not be in “the public interest” to prosecute the doctors. Guidance issued by the British Medical Association (BMA) advised physicians “there may be circumstances in which termination of pregnancy on grounds of fetal sex would be lawful.”

“It is normally unethical to terminate a pregnancy on the grounds of fetal sex alone,” the guidance stated. “The pregnant woman’s views about the effect of the sex of the fetus on her situation and on her existing children should nevertheless be carefully considered.”

Starmer said that guidance for doctors should be updated amid widespread concern over practices in abortion clinics that do not appear to be illegal.

“The law does not, in terms, expressly prohibit gender-specific abortions,” Starmer said. “Rather it prohibits any abortion carried out without two medical practitioners having formed a view, in good faith, that the health risks of continuing with a pregnancy outweigh those of termination.”

“If Nothing is True then Everything is Permitted.” — Hassan i Sabbah

At Twitchy:

8. ‘Monumental stupidity’: David Frum says monuments must have guards to remain open


  [op-er-too-niz-uhm, -tyoo-]  Show IPA



the policy or practice, as in politics, business, or one’s personalaffairs, of adapting actions, decisions, etc., to expediency oreffectiveness regardless of the sacrifice of ethical principles.


action or judgment in accordance with this policy.
1865–70;  < Italian opportunismo,  equivalent to opportun ( o ) (< Latinopportūnus;  see opportune) + -ismo -ism

Related forms

op·por·tun·ist, noun

At the Daily Caller:

9. Jeff Poor: Mediaite’s Christopher asks dumbest question in history of White House press briefings [VIDEO]

Reminder: Tommy Christopher is not his real name. It’s not a coincidence that he’s Mediaite’s most obnoxious, narcissistic, dishonest contributor and he doesn’t have to write under his own name. There are only a handful of pseudonymous bloggers whose work I respect. The difference between them and Christopher is that they’re upfront about writing under a byline other than their real name.

And always keep an eye on Jeff Poor – he’s one of the Daily Caller’s best.

Your Daily Dose of Postmodern Pop Culture Polytheism News and Opinion [Celebrity Gossip, Entertainment and Other Nonsense]:

At Buzzfeed:

10. 24 Badass Halloween Costumes To Empower Little Girls


The Star Wars enthusiasm has slowly dripped out of me until now little remains. I think the future of the franchise will come through embracing what it actually is: a giant commercial to sell merchandise. This is alright once you recognize and accept it.

Some day I hope I’ll have a little girl who I can help make a cute costume. But I like this matching set better:


At TMZ.Com:

11. DMX Spitting Bible Verses On the Street 

Note the way TMZ had to frame it — “spitting” Bible verses.

At Ain’t It Cool News:

12. Harry Knowles: 38th,39th&40th PICKS & PEEKS Columns: Vincent Price, Zombies, 3D Wizard of Oz & LITTLE MERMAID & Betty Boop & IRON MAN!

I’m not the pop culture polytheist I used to be but I still enjoy checking in with film nerd’s geek godfather Harry Knowles. His round-ups of recent DVD and Blu-Ray releases remain useful and entertaining. Here are a few from his most recent column that I thought worthy of comment:


The Wife and I got this from Netflix last week and watched over the weekend. She had read the novel and liked it quite a bit. (And we’d had the fun experience of meeting the novel’s author Max Brooks at a party a few months ago. He’s friends with one of her art friends and was quirky and entertaining.)

According to April the movie departs pretty heavily from the book. We found it watchable and entertaining enough but nothing special. 28 Days Later remains the best zombie movie of all time IMHO.


If 28 Days Later is the best zombie horror movie then is the original Halloween the best slasher movie? Admittedly its not a difficult world to rise to the top of, but still — there’s a reason why John Carpenter more or less started the genre with this one. The original is much scarier and easier to take seriously than the imitators.


Best family film of all time? We meant to catch the new 3-D release in theaters but with April chugging along through her final year — the third — of grad school we don’t have the time or energy to make it out to the theater. The Netflix Blu-Rays and streaming queue suffice.


At some point I’m going to get around to ranking all the films in the Disney animated canon. For reasons that I’ll articulate at another time, I regard The Little Mermaid as among the most overrated Disney films. It’s not the most overrated — that prize goes to The Lion King — but Ariel just is not as compelling a heroine as Belle and other Disney princesses. She’s a girl so dumb that she was willing to become mute so she could marry a man. I’ll take the bookworm Belle any day.


I agree with Andrew Klavan — a funny, delightful laugh-fest with some good values from some of the most talented comedians making movies today.


And now you’re all set for Halloween — 28 Days Later, Halloween, and The Exorcist — the three best horror films in their genres? One could throw in The Silence of the Lambs for top of the serial killer genre. Any others that I’m forgetting?

Closing Book Excerpt


“The Roman decadence has never been matched in scale…” – Camille Paglia page 131 of Sexual Personae



Get to Know Everyone on the #ReadEverythingTheyWrite List!

15 of My Favorite Writers And Most Important Intellectual Influences:

6 On Foreign Policy:

4 On Culture:

5 On History:


shutterstock images courtesy / Linda Bucklin

What Books Does PJ Lifestyle Editor David Swindle Recommend for 2013? Click here to see his picks at the Freedom Academy Book Club

Read bullet | 10 Comments »

The KGB’s War To Destroy the God of Israel

Friday, October 11th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle


This is Week 1 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and how to use them to better understand the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.

It will take several posts to explain why I nominate Ion Mihai Pacepa’s and Professor Ronald Rychlak’s Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Attacking Religion, Undermining Freedom, and Promoting Terrorism as a substantial book for the fight to win the cultural and political battles of the coming decades. It’s a manual for learning how to recognize Soviet Disinformation in both history and today’s media. I enthusiastically agree with former CIA director R. James Woolsey’s introduction:

This remarkable book will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press, and much else besides. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking defector we have ever had from a hostile intelligence service. As chief of Romanian intelligence he was for many years in the key meetings with heads of state and a participant in some of the most sensitive discussions by our enemies during the Cold War.

The insights of the book can provide key corrections to the previous generation’s conservatism, and have some major implications for what I described earlier this week as Conservatism 3.0–the movement’s evolution over the next 20 years to both defeat our Jihadist enemies and undo FDR’s New Deal Nightmare.

I think conservatives of the previous decades fighting the Cold War misdiagnosed the nature of the Soviet Union. Pacepa and Rychlak convincingly argue that with the death of Stalin and the rise of Khruschev, Marxism was no longer really what animated the USSR’s leaders. Khruschev was not an intellectual or a Marxist true believer. He was a thug who only really cared about his own power. The USSR was communist, but more important it was criminal and committed to global mayhem on a mass scale. And the actor and driver of these crimes was the KGB.

Pacepa and Rychlak argue that Soviet crime was concealed through massively financed disinformation campaigns to transform the image of both great men like Pope Pius XII — described by Winston Churchill in 1944 as “the greatest man of our time”– and evil men like the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Disinformation was primarily image-based and targeted at those who are the least educated and literate — antisemitic cartoons depicting images of Jewish conspirators was a favorite technique in the Middle East, as it remains today. This picture-based worldview opposes what the Jewish tradition teaches, Western Civilization’s method for sorting truth from falsehood, good from evil. Among the foundational stories of the Torah is Jacob wrestling with the angel, afterwards earning the name Israel.


This archetype of man trying to reach upward, continually challenging himself, doubting, and questioning doesn’t just apply to God. As media theorist Douglas Rushkoff demonstrates in Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism It becomes an all-encompassing approach to life. In the study and endless debate of the Torah — the beginning of book-based religion — the children of Israel learn how to wrestle with a world dead set against their continued existence. In Rabbi Joseph P. Soloveitchik’s The Lonely Man of Faith this shifting between ideas is explained further as deriving from the fact that there are two creation narratives at the beginning of Genesis, each positioning man in a different kind of relationship to God. Soloveitchik argues that it’s in understanding and shifting between these two orientations that man transforms in according with God’s plan.

Thus KGB disinformation has limited utility for the non-image based, the book people who know how to dig deeper than the surface to find Truth. Those who only see the KGB-developed propaganda play The Deputy may come to believe Pope Pius was a pro-Nazi antisemite who ignored the Holocaust. And those inundated with images of dictators as sophisticated and cultured may buy into them. They don’t know how to read! Well, maybe these images will help.

Nicolae_Ceaucescu-si-Jimmy-Carter-April-12-1978 (1)

Getting the naive Jimmy Carter to believe Nicolae Ceausescu was anything other than a criminal was a successful disinformation campaign.


Yasser Arafat was trained by the Soviet Union and he too was given an extensive Soviet disinformation campaign.


KGB criminal Vladimir Putin was able to deceive George W. Bush into trusting him and praising him using an anecdote about a cross. Bush still doesn’t even realize he was duped.


Establishment Republicans really aren’t that much better…

assad 2 post

lovable dictator



There’s a reason why KGB head Yuri Andropov called his enemies “American Zionists.” We are book-based, word-based, law-based and thus an individual-empowering people — or at least we once were…

This understanding of antisemitic, image-worshipping criminals Vs a Bible-based, literate people is more accurate and bigger than the proxy ideological wars that so many people have dedicated their lives to perpetuating for fun, glory, and profit. Left vs Right, Liberals vs Conservatives, Democrats vs Republicans, Secular radicals vs Fundamentalist believer radicals — these baby boomer-dominated paradigms are oblivious to how the KGB has been a behind-the-scenes arsonist the whole time pouring gasoline to stoke hate all over the world. The Soviets didn’t need to defeat us militarily, they duped us into fighting each other. And our real enemies maintained power. The Soviet Union is no more but what difference does it make when KGB thug-billionaire Vladimir Putin is running a state that still murders and oppresses? (Yes, something Pacepa highlights that many people don’t know: Putin is the wealthiest man in Europe —  he’s got $40 billion dollars. Is he the wealthiest murderer in the world?)

As I write more about Pacepa and Rychlak’s book (and its accompanying documentary) there will be more revelations realigning thinking so we can win the wars for America 3.0. And for more titles next in line for this series check out my shelves of recommendations at the new Freedom Academy Book Club.

PJ Media Story Round Up, Wednesday-Friday

Lead PJM Stories

Bill Straub: ‘A Good Meeting’ with GOP at White House as Lew Warns of ‘Chaos’ on the Hill

Rodrigo Sermeño: Can Entitlement Reform Squeeze Its Way into the Grand Bargain?

Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr: Decision-Based Evidence-Making: More Disgrace From UN Panel on Climate Change

Charlie Martin: Why the Newspaper Business Is Doomed

As a business, newspapers do one thing: they sell advertising. All the content in the newspaper that isn’t advertising is just there because, the company hopes, it will attract people who will then see the advertising. All of the journalism-school preening about how Journalism Is A Profession is a self-important fantasy. So if we want to understand what’s happening to newspapers, it’s the advertising business we want to understand.

The tradeoff for newspapers, though, was that it actually cost a lot of money to print each paper — both a big fixed cost for the presses, and a pretty significant cost. Working very roughly from the New York Times 10K statement , we see they print on average a little more than a million copies a day, so 365 million copies a year at a total operating cost of about $2.1 billion. Which is about $5.75 a copy. The newsstand price is $2; per copy subscription price is much less. They need to bring in around $4 per copy per day in advertising if they hope to break even.

Of course, the Times has a lot of pages; according to a recent rate card, advertising in the “regional general” sections of the paper costs around $35,000 for a full page at the basic rate. With a million copies going out per day, that’s around 3.5 cents per copy for a full page ad. (Of course, there’s a discount for a big ad.)

And now we run into the traditional problem of advertising: as the saying goes, 90 percent of advertising is wasted. If you’re lucky, one person in ten sees your ad. Of those, only a few will respond to it, and of those only a few will actually buy something.

In junior high, high school and college I wrote and edited school newspapers. The blogosphere arrived as serious player when I was in college and with it internet comments and online debates. I recall suggesting the then-radical notion for the op/ed page columnists — of which I was among — start posting links to their sources in the online versions of their columns.

That’s one of the big transformations over print too — online if something in a story smells fishy you can check the links cited and quickly google to see if someone has already fisked the piece.

After graduating I wrote a few — very boring – freelance pieces for the Indianapolis Star but other than that it’s been all new media for 7 years.

Bridget Johnson: Lawmakers Strike at Obamacare’s Early Weaknesses

Patrick Richardson: Shutdown Follies: Guard and Reserve Families Hard Hit, Concerned About Readiness

Bridget Johnson: Pentagon Shake-up: Hagel’s No. 2 Hands in Resignation

Bill Straub: Ryan Rankles Right with Quest for Budget ‘Breakthrough’

Barry Rubin: If Libya’s U.S.-Backed Prime Minister Can Be Kidnapped, Why Should Anyone Trust America?

Roger L. Simon: ObamaCare: They Don’t Call ‘Em ‘The Stupid Party’ for Nothing

What would have been a winning strategy?

Well, here’s just one. Instead of voting not to fund ObamaCare or filibustering till the cows come home and closing everything down, don’t vote at all. Let the Democrats do all the new budget voting — CR, debt limit, etc. — in the House and the Senate.

Like the Barack Obama of old, the Republicans should just vote “present” — or simply not at all.

Let the Democrats own it all. Let them be entirely responsible for what happens between now and the 2014 election — ObamaCare, entitlements, deficit, the whole nine yards. The Republicans didn’t obstruct anything, didn’t close anything down or cost any government workers any jobs. They just didn’t approve it.

Trust me — the public will notice. And the Democrats, quite a number of them anyway, will be scared out of their wits.

Bryan Preston: Is the House About to Give In on Obamacare?

J. Christian Adams: Kirkland and Ellis Represents Shirley Sherrod Against Breitbart’s Widow … for Free

Absolutely horrific. This should make every decent person very angry. Disagree with a man’s politics? After he’s dead sue his wife and try and sabotage his children’s lives and their future education.

Claudia Rosett: Meanwhile, North Korea Fires Up Its Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor

Andrew C. McCarthy: Extortion—The Brotherhood’s M-O

 Egypt is a long way from anything resembling a real democracy, a culture rooted in liberty, equality, and a respect for minority rights. But those currently governing Egypt have figured out that you cannot have both a real democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood. Would that those governing the United States could figure that out.

PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page

John Boot: 4 Reasons Why Captain Phillips Is One of the Year’s Best Thrillers… and one reason why it’s leftist propaganda

1. When Phillips tries to suss out the motives behind the pirate attack, his captors tell him that it’s people like Phillips who forced them into armed robbery and extortion on the high seas.

One pirate explains that big commercial fishing operations have drained the seas near Somalia of all the fish, which frames the story as a kind of watery Occupy Wall Street. Should we be rooting for the pirates then? No. As Phillips explains, the ship is carrying, in addition to its commercial cargo, tons of aid for Africa.

The movie is just about perfect without this bit of Third World grandstanding, which appears to have been thrown in so thatCaptain Phillips can be positioned as not just a rousing yarn but as an Oscar-bait story of globalization’s unintended victims.

Here’s the Truth courtesy of Robert Spencer:

But while we praise their skill, let’s not lose sight of who Phillips’ captors were. His Somali pirate captors are Islamic jihadists, dedicated to the same goals as Osama bin Laden and other jihadists around the world.

In August 2008, when the pirates became especially active off the Horn of Africa, Andrew Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, declared that Al-Shabaab, a group of jihadists in Somalia, use piracy to fund their jihad: “According to our information, the money they make from piracy and ransoms goes to support al-Shabaab activities onshore.”

With ransoms for ships each bringing in at least $10,000 and some in multiple millions of dollars, and the pirates seizing ships at a furious rate (taking four in one forty-eight hour period last summer), piracy is a lucrative source of funding for the jihad. Journalist Stephen Brown noted in November 2008 that “security experts fear the ransom money the pirates are receiving will allow them to buy better equipment and weapons for larger operations.” And with astounding short-sightedness, European governments — with the notable exception of the French last week — have been paying these ransoms. In that light, the American refusal to do so, and the rescue of Phillips, is a welcome step in the right direction.

Becky Graebner: 11 Tips for Job-seeking Millennials

Stephen Kruiser, via The TatlerFrum Rhymes with… You Get It

Sarah Hoyt: Bring Back an Appreciation of Nude Females

P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, No. 9: Roger Waters

Kathy Shaidle: Canada’s ‘Gay Batman and Robin’ Freed from Egyptian Prison

Robert Spencer: Canada (and the U.S.) Welcome Polygamy



New at PJ Lifestyle

Stephen Green: Civil War Photographs, Colorized

Roger L. Simon: The Importance of Being Ibn

Being an apostate – someone who leaves a religion, ideology, political party, etc. – is rarely easy. You can lose friends and family, often a job. But for those who abjure Islam the problems are on a whole other level. You can lose your life. That is why Islamic apostates are some of the most courageous people on Earth.

One of the bravest of the brave whom I have met is a man who goes under the name “Ibn Warraq.” He is the author of Why I Am Not a Muslim, first published in 1995, that demonstrates how Islam is incompatible with “individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state.”

Warraq has just published a new book Sir Walter Scott’s Crusades and Other Fantasies, largely a collection of Internet essays previously published on Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and other sites. I highly recommend it. But be warned: Warraq is a true intellectual. These essays are serious and detailed, not the breezy stuff you’re used to reading online.

Coming to understand the Crusades better has been one of my preoccupations of late. I’ll be reading this one — and Warraq is a Counter-Jihad activist/writer/intellectual who I need to get caught up on.

Charlie Martin: Clown Car Web Design

Paula Bolyard: Do You Have to Be a ‘Progressive’ to Wear Progressive Lenses?

Stephen Green: Paint Those Blues Away

Joshua Sharf: No Good Excuses Exist For the Failure of Obamacare’s Expensive Website

Becky Graebner: The 8 Worst Commutes in the World

Builder Bob: How to Build a Picture Frame in 9 Easy Steps

This is the first in a series of pieces from Bob Jones, a man who’s been the hardware business for almost a decade and who I can report first hand is indeed very handy around the house (we were roommates for a year after college.)

Theodore Dalrymple: When Doctors Decide Your Disease Doesn’t Actually Exist

Richard Fernandez: The Death of the Phone Call

Bryan Preston: Pastor Rick Warren Embraces Islam — Yusuf Islam, to be Precise

Rhonda Robinson:Recovering The Lost Art of Biblical Medicine

Barry Rubin: ‘The Evil that Men Do Is Remembered After Their Deaths, But the Good Is Often Buried with Them.’ – Shakespeare


New at PJ Tatler

Matt Vespa: Americans Side With Conservatives On Debt Ceiling

Matt Vespa: So, Is Default A Paper Tiger?

Andrew Bostom: Hajj Amin el-Husseini’s Animating Ideology: Nazism, ‘Nazified Islam,’ — or Islam?

From the PJ Tatler’s Editor Bryan Preston

I’m Sure It was a Different Sarah Hall Ingram Who Visited the White House So Many Times

Exclusive VIDEO — Russian Immigrant Warns that America Is Following the Path of Russia

About that NBC/WSJ Poll that Killed Republicans on the Shutdown…

Nevertheless, we do have government workers heavily sampled, by more than twice the actual percentage of Americans who work for the government. Then let’s factor in the poll’s partisan sample, which was 43-32 Democrat, the percent that admits voting for Obama, which was 44 versus just 35 for Romney, and this looks like a left-heavy sample.

No Deal, Again

If you’re of a mind that the president wants this shutdown, and has engineered this shutdown, to achieve the goal of killing the GOP ahead of the mid-terms to win himself total power for his last two years in office, that poll suggests strongly that he is winning. It also suggests that he feels no pressure now to make any deal at all, other than one that grants him the equivalent of full and unconditional surrender. It puts megatons of pressure on the Republicans to find some way out of the current fight so they can regroup and start another fight on more favorable ground. Ahead of today’s meeting, Obama’s position was that he would only negotiate once he’d gotten what he wanted. That position doesn’t seem to have changed after the meeting. Obama “didn’t say yes, and didn’t say no” to GOP proposals to end the standoff. He may be just letting them twist to see if another poll confirms the NBC/WSJ. If that doesn’t happen he’ll be back at the table to not negotiate while he actually caves; if that doesn’t happen, well, let’s all hold hands and sing while the default deadline comes and goes.

The dynamics of all this are disturbing for the long-term health of the nation. All the dust from this exasperating cycle of name-calling obscures a hard truth: Obama and the Democrats were elected by their voters to do certain things, and Ted Cruz, Mike Lee et all were elected by their voters to do the exact opposite things. I stand on the Cruz side of things. Obamacare is a job-killing menace, but beyond that, it forces the blue state worldview down the throats of us red-staters who voted Cruz in to stop him. We repeatedly vote against that world view where I live. But that doesn’t seem to mean a whole lot. Democrats live to impose themselves on others, all in the name of fairness! and justice! and brotherly love! and all that crap they don’t really believe in. If they did, they would just leave people who disagree with them alone, rather than aiming the IRS and the NPS et al at us to force us to do what they want.

LOLCare: Healthcare.gov Signed Up Just 51,000 Applicants During Its First Week

FBI: We’re Still Keeping the Gun Purchase Background System Online

National Park Service Leaves Ritzy Golf Course Open During Shutdown

Duck Dynasty Stars: Producers ‘Told Us to Stop Praying to Jesus’ to Avoid Offending Muslims

McCain: Hey, Sorry About Calling Fellow Republicans ‘Wacko Birds’

Obamacare Forces Blue Cross to Cancel Most Individual Health Plans in Alabama

Treasury Secretary Lew Refuses to Assure the Markets on Debt Ceiling; Punts Decision to the President

Schools Ban Balls. All. Kinds. Of. Balls.

Just Seven Percent Say the Obamacare Rollout has ‘Gone Well’

Is the House About to Give In on Obamacare?

Obamacare’s Fabulous Failing 404 Web Site Cost Taxpayers Just $634,320,919

Jake Tapper Acknowledges, Minimizes Bias in the Media

Turkey’s Government Gets TV Host Fired for Showing Too Much Cleavage

Jay Carney Knows When President Obama Knew About the Military Death Benefits Fiasco, But He Isn’t Telling

Shocker: Liberals’ ‘Anti-Bullying’ Programs May Be Teaching Kids How To Be Better Bullies

Think Progress: What Obamacare Rollout Nightmare? THERE’S MELTING WATER YOU CAN’T SEE!!!

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

Dempsey Tells Subcommittee Posture Didn’t Allow Response to Benghazi Attack

Nobel Prize Awarded to Group Overseeing Assad’s Not-Eliminated Chemical Weapons

Pentagon Shake-up: Hagel’s No. 2 Hands in Resignation

Blue Dogs Express Waning Support for Piecemeal Appropriations Bills

Cairo: Decision on Egypt Aid Reveals Concerns About Washington’s Grasp on Regional Problems

D.C. Mayor Crashes Reid’s Presser, Reid Cryptically Tells Him to Behave

Obama to Meet with ‘Small Group’ of House Republican Leaders Today

Illinois Dem: Americans Being Misled by Lack of Transparency on Obamacare Abortion Coverage

“When we were debating the healthcare bill three and a half years ago here, I had stood up and helped to demand, and we got in the House originally, the Stupak Amendment. The language we have on abortion clearly is very different from what the Stupak Amendment said. And today we see that not only do we have the funding of abortion, but we really want to focus on, especially today, is the lack of transparency,” he said at a press conference.

“One of the biggest issues I remember in the whole healthcare debate was Americans deserve to have a clear, transparent understanding of what insurance companies are providing for them in their healthcare plans. That was one of the biggest priorities all along in talking about healthcare reform, health insurance reform. But we wound up with Obamacare.”

15 Interesting Stories Around the Web This Week

At News Aggregators:

Via Drudge:

Washington Examiner: New Ann Coulter book rages at GOP with ‘change or die’ theme

While she is most noted for skewering liberals in her weekly columns and nine previous New York Times best sellers, “Never Trust” puts her on a path for a head-on collision with the establishment Republican Party and even a favored 2016 presidential candidate as she urges the GOP to purge itself of failed tactics, lazy consultants, and gripless potential candidates.

The fashionable pundit pummels the party for wooing untested politicians for president. “Why are any congressmen or businessmen showing up in our presidential primaries? They are never going to get the nomination,” she says.

The solution is a governor, just like four of the last six presidents. “I don’t care if it makes you feel good, conservatives: Do not ever, ever considering running a presidential candidate who has not been a senator or preferably a governor. No, not even our beloved Ben Carson. What are we concentrating on? That’s right: winning.”

“Without Obama on the ticket, it won’t be magic again. The only people fainting at Hillary’s speeches will be chubby gals from NOW,” writes Coulter.

Variety: Jamie Foxx, Oliver Stone Eye Martin Luther King Film

Great. An anti-white racist and an anti-American antisemite want to tell the story of the civil rights hero whose legacy today they both work hard to destroy.

Via Fark:

BBC News: Man died after eating Hero Instant Energy Mints, says coroner

Is this the first caffeine overdose death ever?

Daily Mail: Boy, 15, kills himself after ‘facing expulsion and being put on sex offender registry’ for streaking prank at high school football game

I also saw this at the Daily Mail today:

Coach, 24, at elite boarding school jumps to his death from George Washington Bridge as police ‘investigated him for underage sex with a student’

This seems to be such a common story. One of my high school math teachers — a charismatic, friendly man in his late ’20s or early ’30s — shot himself the summer before my senior year for the same reason.

What can be done about Facebook fight club?

‘There are two kinds of people in the world; ones that brighten the room when they walk in and those that don’t,’ he said.

‘He was one that brightened the room when he walked in. That’s what I’ll always remember about Christian.’

His mother, Angela, thanked her son’s friends and said they could learn from his life, AL.com reported.

‘Remember to smile, don’t be afraid to do something goofy and remember the consequences of those actions, ask for help when you need it, ask for help if you think your friends need it if you don’t know what to do, be quirky, be happy, be smart,’ she said.

I’ve always enjoyed the revolutionary anarchist cult film Fight Club — even though I now recognize its ideology as destructive and a call to counter-Enlightenment primitivism. But I really do wonder how many people’s lives have been irreparably harmed or even lost in imitation of it.

At Mediaite:

Andrew Kirell: Fox’s Andrea Tantaros Suing Her Talk Radio Employer

Via Memeorandum:

Gallup: In U.S., Perceived Need for Third Party Reaches New High

Rush Limbaugh: Cruz and Lee Have Already Succeeded

I just saw a piece by Victor Davis Hanson that he published on his website.  He normally writes at National Review Online, and maybe it’ll get posted there, probably so.  But he makes the point that it’s Obama who’s looking incoherent, it’s Obama who’s looking small, it’s Obama who’s looking petty. And his point is that Obama will make a deal, sooner rather than later, if you just keep the pressure on.  We’re in the process.

People would say I’m abandoning my post here at reality if I were to say something like we are winning.  Maybe that’s not the case.  But we’re at a place where we haven’t been in five years.  We’re winning the public perception on Obamacare, but that’s not even a public perception battle.  That’s reality.  People are signing up and they’re finding it’s a disaster.  People are finding out that none of what they were told about it is true.  It isn’t cheaper.  It isn’t easier.  It isn’t anything that they were told.

The 26-year-old college student at the University of Michigan wrote she has been raped by this law.  Twenty-six, and she found out she’s now not covered by her parents policy.  It’s gonna take every disposable dollar she earns to pay for this.  Every disposable dollar.  That means… Well, what does that mean?  That means no streaming video from iTunes or whatever disposable income is spent on these days by 26-year-olds.  She made it clear.

She’s got two degrees, and she can’t get a job that’s longer than 32 hours a week because of Obamacare.  The jobs that she has pay $8 to $10 an hour because of Obamacare.  She’s got two degrees.  She’s working in a gymnasium.  Now, I don’t want to extrapolate and say this is happening all over the place, but it doesn’t have to be happening all over. It is going to at some point, as people sign up.  In Hawaii, they had to shut down and reset.

Nobody signed up.

Nobody could figure out how to do it.

In California, they’re talking greatly about signing up 16,000 people.  “Whoa, what a success rate: 16,000 people,” or some such thing.  This economy is in the tank.  It’s an absolute joke.  There is no growth taking place.  There’s nothing that’s anywhere reminiscent of a growing economy where careers are being created and opportunity is abundant.  It isn’t.  That’s reality.  People are living it.  They know it.  They don’t have to be persuaded of any of that.

Left of Center News and Opinion Sources:

At the Atlantic:

One Possible Future for Movies: Projecting Them in 270 Degrees

The wife and I had an annual pass for Universal Studios Hollywood for a year. This sounds like a less advanced version of the 3-D King Kong experience on the Studio Tour — which never gets boring doing again.

At The Nation:

What Obama Has to Do To End the GOP Shutdown

Oh what a surprise, the Marxists at the Nation, a publication that supported the Soviet Union for its entire existence, stand in support of Obama…

Right of Center News and Opinion Sources:

At AnnCoulter.Com:

Democrats to America: We Own the Government

A longtime Democratic operative, Karen Finney, explained the Democrats’ intransigence on MSNBC to a delighted Joan Walsh (aka the most easily fooled person on TV) by comparing House Republicans to a teenager trying to borrow his mother’s car. “No, I’m not negotiating!” Mother says. “It’s MY CAR!”

This wasn’t a stupid slip of the tongue that other Democrats quickly rejected. Finney had used the exact same metaphor to a panel of highly agreeable MSNBC guests the day before. (MSNBC books no other kind of guest.)

The left thinks the government is their car and the people’s representatives are obstreperous teenagers trying to borrow the government. Which belongs to Democrats.

That’s not how the Constitution views the House of Representatives. To the contrary, the House is considered most reflective of the people’s will because its members are elected every two years.

As a matter of fact, the Republicans who mistakenly assume they have something to do with running the government represent most of the people who pay taxes to run it. So it’s more like a teenager who is making the car payments, maintaining the car insurance and taking responsibility for registering the car being told: “It’s not your car.”

At Truth Revolt:

Steven Pagones: EXCLUSIVE OPINION: Man Falsely Accused of Rape by Sharpton: Advertisers Must Drop Support -”How can any type of commercial advertiser be comfortable with having Al Sharpton as a spokesperson?”

I remember very clearly the day I was first accused of being involved in the kidnaping and rape of Tawana Brawley. I was preparing to attend a Christening on a Sunday when my phone rang. I picked up the phone, and the person asked if I was Steve Pagones; it was a media member inquiring about team Brawley’s allegations about me. I didn’t know what he was talking about. Then he dropped the bombshell: the Brawley team had said I was responsible for raping Brawley. I stammered, disbelieving, “That’s absurd. There’s not a shred of truth to it.” For the next 24 hours, my phone didn’t stop ringing. I was on the front page of every major newspaper in the state, and many across the country. It was simply unbelievable that the allegations had been made – and that the Brawley team made them without any evidence or support whatsoever. As soon as his charges hit the media, I had to hire around-the-clock security. I received death threats on the phone, in the mail. I had to hire armed guards for my family, for my property. My whole life was turned upside down.

Worse, because of the atmosphere and the race-baiting going on, I had to prove my innocence, as opposed to anyone having to prove my guilt. It was draining, emotionally and physically. Eventually, a grand jury found not only that I hadn’t had anything to do with whatever happened to Brawley, but that the entire story was a hoax.

I don’t think very highly of MSNBC to begin with. But in spite of that, I was dumbfounded over their decision to hire Sharpton. Look at his history, his rhetoric, the damage to race relations that he caused — not only in my case but in other matters he was responsible for escalating – and now they’ve given him a platform anyway, a platform from which he can push his hatred. It may be disguised hatred, but it’s hatred nonetheless. I can’t help but question the philosophy and honesty of any network or advertiser that can give him access to such a huge audience.

Media Matters’ ‘Volatile and Erratic’ Founder David Brock


At Fox News:

Dr. Keith Ablow: Is Obama locked in a victim mentality?

President Obama’s rhetoric is finally coming closer to what appears to be his psychological truth:  Because America victimized him and countless millions of others, any person or party or movement that opposes his views and does not yield to him is not just his adversary, but abusive, predatory and even threatening.

Again and again, President Obama has described members of Congress who insist on fiscal responsibility as having taken “hostages,” “demanding a ransom,” using “extortion,” and threatening to “blow up” the government.

On Tuesday, in fact, the president used these exact words when speaking to the press, “What you haven’t seen before, I think from the vantage point of a lot of world leaders, is the notion that one party in Congress might blow the whole thing up if they don’t get their way,” he said.  Later he added, “you do not hold peoplehostage or engage in ransom taking to get 100 percent of your way.”

It is exceedingly difficult to come to terms with a person who sees you as his oppressor, his kidnapper, and someone terrorizing him who might well destroy him. You aren’t likely to consider whether your assailant and jailer and would-be killer has a few good ideas, after all.


As a young boy, Obama was, indeed, helpless.

He was helpless to stop his father from abandoning him.

He was helpless to stop his mother from leaving him with his grandparents.

He was helpless to stop his white grandmother and caretaker from communicating to him her fears of black people.

I’m not sure the president ever got over it.

The president’s victim mentality could contribute to dissolving the will of countless Americans who might otherwise see themselves as capable of summoning internal resolve and creativity to surge out of poverty.

An excellent analysis.

Concluding Excerpt:

From Page 102 of The Wit and Wisdom of Winston Churchill



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