Editor’s Note: To learn more about the recently-launched new media publishing platform Liberty Island check out PJ Lifestyle’s ongoing series of author interviews and story excerpts. The first fifteen can be read in this collection here; the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth are here, here and here. Find out more about Liberty Island’s new writing contest here, running through the end of April. Please check out this interview Sarah Hoyt conducted with CEO Adam Bellow here to learn more: “It also has a unique mission: to serve as the platform and gathering-place for the new right-of-center counterculture.”
Here are links to eight new stories released this week across genres and styles:
1. Karina Fabian: “Beautification Claws: From the Case Files of DragonEye, PI”
She stood on my doorstep wearing hot pink shorts and a blouse that looked like an art fair threw up. I almost breathed fire on her just to put her out of my misery. Nothing cures the aftermath of an ethanol binge like dragon-style pyrotechnics. But I played nice. After all, she might have a job for me, though with that artificially whitened smile, I doubted it. Her type didn’t have much use for dragon detectives.
2. Michael Sheldon: “Better than Fresh Apricots”
Two slender figures were approaching, each with a heavy canvas bundle–half her size and weight–strapped to her back. They were young, beautiful. The kind you expect to find shopping Fifth Avenue, not out here, alone, fishing in Grizzly Canyon.
3. Pierre Comtois: “There Are No Regrets in Skyview Towers”
Stoney Vander sighed as he gazed out over the towers of the aging Municiplex. It was an unusually clear day and he was not only able to see the massive foundations on which Skyview Tower and its neighbors had been built almost three centuries ago, but far in the distance, a hint of the green wild beyond, where civilization ended and unsupervised nature began. What was out there? Stoney wondered.
4. David Churchill Barrow: “A Soul Restored”
Color Sergeant Edmund Findlay Churchill, Company E, 18th Massachusetts, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps, Army of the Potomac, was wondering why the hell the withdrawal from the battle lines had to be at 9:00 that night. He was tired — more bone weary than he’d been his whole life; and the last few years had been some life. It’s not like the march would be any big military secret. Everybody, up to and including the Johnnies, knew that they always pulled back behind some river to lick their wounds after taking a beating like that.
5. Ouisie: “GreenGro”
The Obama administration announced yesterday a series of sweeping regulations intended to improve the bottom lines of grocery stores and ensure the health of all Americans. The reforms are also widely expected to reduce the environmental impact of grocery stores and enhance multicultural awareness.
6. Paul Clayton: “2038: San Francisco Sojourn – The Wrath of God”
I never thought I’d meet God in person. Actually, I never thought much about him. Nobody did anymore, or mostly nobody. But one day it happened.
7. Mike Baron: “Free Gershwin”
Sully was on a Boy Scout camping trip in New Hampshire the first time he heard Rhapsody in Blue. It was after lights out, although the boys continued to giggle and pass a rubber rat from bag to bag. As they dropped off one by one into sleep, music floated in the rustic window from a counselor’s cabin, faint, mysterious, and overwhelming. Sully poked himself with his Boy Scout knife to stay awake for fifteen minutes after the performance, so he could learn the name of the piece.
8. Sabrina Chase: “Inscription”
I wish there were another way to do this. You didn’t have any warning and now I’ve changed your life, just by writing the words you are reading. Your situation won’t get much worse if you read the rest, though, so if you can do so without getting caught, I’ll try to explain. It might help you survive.
image illustration via shutterstock / Linda Bucklin
Have you ever gazed into the eyes of a newborn? Could you feel the pull of your soul into hers?
Hold your answer. We’ll get back to that.
At the sincere behest of a respected reader, I’ve begun a new series; the exploration into the works of Ernest Becker. Our introduction to Becker begins with Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man.
At first blush his point seems overly simplistic.
“[D]ualism of experience–the fact that all objects have both an inside and an outside…It is one of the great mysteries of the universe, that has intrigued man since remotest times. It is the basis of the belief in souls and spirits. Man discovered it and elaborated it because of his own self-reflexivity, the real and apparent contradiction between the inside of his body–his thoughts and feelings, and the outside…These are hardly new or startling thoughts, but they help us to introduce the problem of man’s distinctive interiority…”
Becker goes on to explain that this reality “presents a poignant problem that dogs us all our life.” I would suggest that not only does it “dog us” it also imprisons or sets us free. How we view the “inside” of man, is directly related not only to our own value and happiness but our right to pursue that happiness.
Bill and Hillary have a notorious reputation for maintaining enemies and holding political and personal grudges. Now, a forthcoming book reports that Hillary Clinton kept a spreadsheet with a list of enemies on it following her loss in the 2008 presidential campaign. HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen is set for release on February 11, and its authors reveal the details of the “hit list” in the book.
The so-called “hit list” reportedly was entered into a Microsoft Excel document at the end of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid. In one draft, Democrats in Congress were even given a rating, from 1 to 7, with 7 being the worst.
The list of who’s naughty and who’s nice — in their eyes — was largely based on who endorsed then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, who endorsed Clinton and who sat out the race.
The list was made not just to keep track of those who betrayed the family, but also to keep track of those who did right by them, for the purpose of returning political favors.
An excerpt from the book goes into detail as to who made the list and why:
“We wanted to have a record of who endorsed us and who didn’t,” said a member of Hillary’s campaign team, “and of those who endorsed us, who went the extra mile and who was just kind of there. And of those who didn’t endorse us, those who understandably didn’t endorse us because they are [Congressional Black Caucus] members or Illinois members. And then, of course, those who endorsed him but really should have been with her … that burned her.”
For Hillary, whose loss was not the end of her political career, the spreadsheet was a necessity of modern political warfare, an improvement on what old-school politicians called a favor file. It meant that when asks rolled in, she and Bill would have at their fingertips all the information needed to make a quick decision—including extenuating, mitigating, and amplifying factors—so that friends could be rewarded and enemies punished.
“Artist” is one of those words that can mean one thing by the speaker and then transform mid-air into something completely different for the person hearing it. For example, in my corner of the world, around Nashville, when one speaks of being an “artist” they seldom mean it in the traditional sense of drawing, painting or sculpting. It’s usually a safe bet to assume they are talking about a recording artist.
In the book The Artist’s Way the author Julia Cameron is referring to all art forms but her specialty is the blocked writer. The heart and soul of writing, as it is in the creation of all artwork and music, is creativity. The point of conception of a brainchild is deep within the human spirit.
If we are made in the image of God, the creator of the universe, then creativity is part of our DNA–our spiritual DNA.
“For most of us, the idea that the creator encourages creativity is a radical thought. We tend to think, or at least fear, that creative dreams are egotistical, something that God wouldn’t approve of for us. After all, our creative artist is an inner youngster and prone to childish thinking. If our mom or dad expressed doubt or disapproval for our creative dreams, we may project that same attitude onto a parental god. This thinking must be undone.
What we are talking about is an induced–or invited– spiritual experience… We undertake certain spiritual exercises to achieve alignment with the creative energy of the universe.”
We are all gifted with it. The problem is that many of us became creatively paralyzed at some point in our formative years by harsh criticism or discouragement. Then again, many of us simply succumb to the demands of adult life, and our creative spirit becomes crippled under its weight, its voice becomes too weak for us to hear.
The author offers two essential tools to begin your “creative recovery.” This week my daughter Emily and I began using both; they have become a vital part of our lives.
Month after month we sat in the doctor’s office, hoping he would give us our life back.
After suffering a pulmonary embolism his doctor could not in good conscience allow my husband to return to work as a police officer. She believed it too dangerous to be on blood thinners in law enforcement, citing the need to avoid blunt trauma at all cost. In her opinion, a profession that required a bulletproof vest as part of the daily uniform was no longer in his best interest.
Regardless, law enforcement was all he knew. After almost two years of recovery, the days seemed to run together and Mike began to spend more and more time in bed.
Concerned his condition had started to return, I mentioned my observation at the next office visit. With a sincere concern, the doctor asked if Mike needed a prescription. Noticing our puzzled expressions, she clarified, and offered an antidepressant.
We both desperately wanted her to write something on that little pad of hers that would make all of our troubles go away. All she had to write was, “Released to return to duty.” He would have been overjoyed.
Returning to the work in which he found meaning and provided for his own family–that is what he desperately needed. That is what the entire family needed.
Would a pill make the situation acceptable?
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.
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:
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
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…
See Pacepa’s newest PJ Media article: Lenin, Stalin, Ceausescu, Obama: How Marxist Leaders Conceal Their Pasts
“This remarkable book will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press, and much else besides.”
– R. James Woolsey, Chairman, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Former Director of Central Intelligence.
“Here is a work that many of us have been waiting for, a book that—dare I say—history has been waiting for.” Paul Kengor, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Grove City College.
Most politicians, people in the academic world, and the media believe that disinformation is an obsolete Cold War phenomenon. As late as 1986, however, the word “disinformation” was not listed among the three hundred thousand entries of Webster’s New World Thesaurus, or even in the twenty-seven volumes of the New Encyclopedia Britannica. It is widely—and erroneously—believed that the word is simply a foreign synonym for misinformation. Even the Microsoft Word 2010 software used to type the draft of this book underlined the word disinforming and suggested replacing it with misinforming. In reality, disinformation is as different from misinformation as night is from day. Misinformation is an official government tool and recognizable as such. Disinformation (i.e., dezinformatsiya) is a secret intelligence tool, intended to bestow a Western, nongovernment cachet on government lies. Let us assume that the FSB (the new KGB) fabricated some documents supposedly proving that American military forces were under specific orders to target Islamic houses of worship in their bombing raids over Libya in 2011. If a report on those documents were published in an official Russian news outlet, that would be misinformation, and people in the West might rightly take it with a grain of salt and simply shrug it off as routine Moscow propaganda. If, on the other hand, that same material were made public in the Western media and attributed to some Western organization, that would be disinformation, and the story’s credibility would be substantially greater.
In April 2003, the Western media were inundated with hundreds of horror stories about the looting of the National Museum in Baghdad. Television stations around the world showed the weeping deputy director of the museum blaming the Americans for allowing the destruction of “170,000 items of antiquity dating back thousands of years.” That was a piece of disinformation. Eventually it was reliably reported that museum employees had hidden the supposedly looted treasures in a safe place long before the Iraq War started, and at the end of hostilities they were safe, in American protective custody. Museum officials later listed only twenty-five artifacts as definitely missing. But the damage was done. Countless people around the world still talk about the devastating images of empty display cases repeatedly shown on their television screens, accompanied by accusations that the Americans had allowed that to happen.
Book Plug Friday!
Indie authors — and not so indie authors — are always desperate for ways to publicize their novels. For some of us, the best way to do it turns out to be giving away free samples.
For years, Baen Books experimented with this. Baen’s Free Library, started out years ago giving an author’s book absolutely free in e-format. At the time all the publishers predicted total doom and failure for this experiment. Turns out they were wrong. Most of the more fervent Baen fans got their start in the free library.
In fact, in 2004 when we put my collection Crawling Between Heaven And Earth in the free library it jumpstarted paper sales. I’ve taken it out now, because it’s old enough not to be representative of my current work (though I still sell it on Amazon, I didn’t want people to think it was the best show of my work), but for a while it was a great advertisement.
One of the ways writers publicize their work is to write/post novels in chapters on their blogs. This week, Charlie and I asked people to send us links to the novels they’re serializing for free.
So, Pam Uphoff sent us this:
Did you ever wonder what a rough draft looks like?
Brace yourself! I post chapters on my website, and my masochistic wonderful fans tell me what’s wrong with them. Some times I take their criticism to heart, and sometimes I ignore them. More often I shriek “How did I miscommunicate *THAT* badly!!!!!”
But if you have a strong stomach, and don’t flinch from rampant typos and brutal cruelty to the innocent comma . . . I’m seventeen posts into _The God of Assassins_. Here’s the first post. Genetic engineering led to ESP, telepathy, telekinesis . . . in a fight between magic and machinery, does anyone win? Set in the world of Outcasts and Gods.
Fantasy not your cup of tea? Then try Celia Hays’s historical Westerns:
This is – an amusing trifle I am calling “Lone Star Sons” – it’s a re-tooling of The Lone Ranger franchise, but with all the identifying marks scrubbed and scraped off. I’m posting them as I write – eventually this will be a YA adventure aimed at tweens and teens: Lone Star Sons free samples!
And from Kiti Lappi, all the way in Finland,
I’ve started posting sample chapter of the novel I’m currently writing too, so here are the links to the first two. I’ve been planning to put up several, although I will propably take most down once I publish the novel. These are not edited, and there are some big info dumps in the beginning so especially the first two chapters may not be an ideal example of my writing, and perhaps this is not that good an idea, but I had also planned to put the edited chapters up, for comparison, once I get there. Getting started seems to be one of my problems, info dumps seem to be something that help there, I’ll then slim them down when I edit. Chapter One and Chapter Two.
And if you feel particularly adventurous, I’m posting a steampunk fantasy a chapter every Friday on my blog. This is Rogue Magic.
Meanwhile, if you’re an indie writer, do not just give ALL your work away for free. It’s fine to give the first draft away, but the polished stuff, make them pay for it. People don’t value what they get for free. So polish, get them covers and put them up for sale.
And meanwhile, writer or reader, consider one of the fine books below. Most of them will let you try a sample first.
The first taste is free!
Remember, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for guidelines. The basic rules: TITLE, AUTHOR, AMAZON LINK, and a SHORT blurb. Try not to put much formatting in the blurb, and do keep it short — we’re going to start sending long ones back to the submitter for editing.
When Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan come across a corpse that looks like the queen, their immediate thought is that it’s a plot of Cardinal Richelieu’s. Truth turns out much stranger than that, and in their fight to discover the true murderer, the four must brave death, injury, dishonor all while performing superhuman feats and keeping their honor and their loyalty to each other.
When Aramis’ mistress is killed in a locked room that contains only himself and her, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that he killed her. Nonetheless, his friends, Athos, Porthos and Aramis stand by him and try to find the real murderer. Meanwhile Aramis, exiled from Paris and forced to return to the ancestral home, finds far more than he wished to know about his family secrets… and their possible connection to his predicament.
“Surprise!” Greer’s mother says with her unannounced arrival. What Victoria Swope is doing in town is a mystery but they quickly find out and no one is pleased.
When Greer demands to be home-schooled with Talia, the lessons at Bittersweet Farm aren’t restricted to dressage, cross-country and show jumping. If the half-sisters can’t get along, one of them will be sent abroad to finish high school. Unable to bear leaving the farm’s trainer, Lockie Malone, or her horse, CB, Talia grits her teeth and tries to move forward.
It’s soon obvious that everyone at the farm faces changes and challenges. Solving them is difficult and maybe impossible.
“You tell and next time you won’t even be able to crawl away.”
Neal Marchal lived with this threat for the next eight years. When she finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.
She rebuilt her life and now Neal has everything to live for–music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.
Then Joe comes home. Neal knows Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago because she told. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different.
When Robert Temple proposed to his college girlfriend Portia the last thing he expected was to find himself following her home to El’Ori. Especially considering her home is an island kingdom in another universe; a kingdom that is part of the much larger Rhavinian Empire.
Unfortunately the two of them find their new home in troubled times. For a small kingdom it has more than its share of problems. For starters there is the horde of part demon barbarians who have begun raiding the island from the sea. To compound matters the Rhavinian Lord Deputy of the island, in his paranoia and greed, believes the raids to be the work of rebels. He refuses to provide aid while enforcing the ban on personal weapons and stripping the island bare of its wealth and resources.
Seeing no relief in sight Temple decides that his only choice is to risk everything he has grown to love by forming a warrior brotherhood known as the Blackthorn Knights. It’s a desperate gamble, for even if they drive off the invaders they’ll still risk their fates at the hands of the Rhavinian Empire as rebels. In a land of scheming nobles, wizards, powerful empires, and ancient monsters can one man save everything that he holds dear? With his bow in hand Temple is determined to try.
Blackthorn Knights is a 35,000 word novella from the author of Carrier and Offerings. The sequel Thorn in the Side is soon to be forthcoming.
Here are funny and insightful narratives by fictional “nobodies” who worked for or otherwise served famous people. We meet Horatio, “a sort of muse” for a grieving Will Shakespeare; Mose, a masseur and bedtime reader to bisexual pirate Anne Bonny; and Parson, a spiritual advisor to Davy Crockett. You’ll enjoy the stories of Buffalo Hump Woman, who served as General Custer’s hairstylist and more, and young Mimsy, a tea party assistant to aged Lewis Carroll. Pretty Antoinette served as a maid for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and rotund Louie was a food-loving press aide for President Taft. Burnt-out Jean was Marilyn Monroe’s fortuneteller, and then there’s Percy, who became a spy for Vince Lombardi. And then there’s Solly, Meyer Lansky’s trivia research assistant in Miami Beach.
Find out why Klout is to the social media and digital world what credit scores are to your finances – the higher the Klout score, the more ‘clout’ you have in your business world. This book is a step-by-step guide that explains:
What Klout is
How to get started using Klout
Why engaging your customers on social media will increase your Klout score while maximizing your digital influence and bringing you more exposure online.
On the last day of school before summer vacation started two boys ended up at Pirates Cave. John found an old bottle in the sand that he thought was just some junk. That had washed up on shore But Jason knew better and he took it home to study it.
Who was this man they meet on the beach? He told the boy’s he was a Pirate named “Mad Dog” John wasn’t so sure, but Jason was curios and that’s what lead him back there to Pirates Cave.
When Jason turned up missing this man “Mad Dog’ was the prime suspect. But he was no where, to be found. Everyone turned to John for help, but all the information he could give could not help.
It wasn’t until Detective Lenny Waters did some research on Pirates Cave until they came up with some leads to where Jason might be.
What if a multinational corporation had total control of its employees in space through the supply of oxygen? The workers would receive the same harsh treatment inflicted on disadvantaged workers since ancient times.
The corporation would recruit workers who use the least oxygen (small women) to be the brains controlling robots doing the heavy lifting. With no exposure to Earth’s gravity, the workers would be physically weak. They’d be crushed into blind obediency with no exit but death.
What happens when the persistent human habit of taking advantage of the weak collides with the incredibly resilient human trait of hope?
Meet the loxies—the space race.
Another day, another crisis survived. Rada Ni Drako and Zabet dodge angry parents, irate timeship owners, corrupt businesses, and a passive-aggressive King-Emperor without too much stress (or loss of money). But when Rada puts loyalty ahead of court rank, scales spray and the fur flies!
Lieutenant Commander August Micholson lost his first ship, the wooden frigate USS Northport, in reckless battle against the rebel ironclad CSS Virginia. However, Flag Officer Andrew Foote offers the disgraced Micholson a chance to redeem himself: he can take the ironclad gunboat USS James B. Eads on an undercover mission to destroy a hidden rebel boat yard, where a fleet of powerful ironclads is being constructed. But dangers far more sinister than rebel ironclads await Micholson and his crew. On the dark waters of the Yazoo River, they become entangled in a plot devised by a slave and his master to summon African fire spirits to annihilate the Federal armies. Micholson must battle devils both internal and external to save the lives of his crew, sink the Confederate fleet, and foil the arcane conspiracy.
Magic worlds. Dreamworlds. Wonderlands. Parallel universes?
Laura had dreamed of them most of her life. Worlds with unicorns, and dragons, and heroic men fighting monstrous foes with swords, beautiful damsels who might be rescued or be the rescuers themselves, and kind wizards in long robes who counsel wise kings or tell a humble farm boy that he is the lost prince. Where one could forget worrying about the price of gas, or getting stuck on the phone when every choice leads just to another automated answer telling you to press 1, 2 or 3, or ending up sitting next to the drunk smelly guy in the crowded bus stuck in a traffic jam… and finding a parking spot because one can always find a place to park a horse.
With a life which had not been exactly well managed reading, watching and dreaming of such worlds had offered her one of the few reliefs. But then, one ordinary evening when she is walking across the parking lot to her so called car the parking lot, the car and everything else is suddenly just gone. And what she gets in their place does include unicorns, and maybe dragons, and magic, and handsome men with swords (and the minor annoyance of some very beautiful local damsels).
And monstrous foes.
Laura could have done without the monstrous foes part. Especially since they seem to have taken a special interest in her. Her realized dream is no longer a dream, it has turned into a nightmare. And in order to survive she has to become the hero. If she can.
Tikka worked as a tavern wench, but she did not want to be one for the rest of her life. She wanted security, a family and a husband with a stable income, and she though she might have a chance for those since not only was she pretty, due to accident of birth she was also quite well educated for somebody of her class. So she dreamed of somebody like a trader, a potter, a stoneworker or even a tanner (they smelled bad but the money was good), now a blacksmith would have been just perfect, or… almost anything but a mercenary warrior. A man who would most likely end up dead or a cripple after saddling her with a bunch of children and, probably, lots of debt (everybody knew they were never any good with money).
Instead, in a dark and dangerous world of demons, ghosts, ancient cities and cursed families she falls for a man who is not only a mercenary, but also a barbarian from the far north. Not that she is willing to admit she’s in love, no matter what her friends keep insisting.
But when he disappears she can’t just let it be. She has to find what has happened to him. No matter where her search will lead her.
Her life is about to become very interesting.
Contains violence, but no detailed descriptions, and a little bit of (sweet) romance.
Have you ever heard a child say “I can’t wait until I grow up so I can do whatever I want.”? You may have said it yourself or at least thought it.
What an irony. When you think about it, at no other time in our lives than childhood do we have more real freedom. Our days are spent in self-indulgence, playing, learning and growing into who we are meant to be. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to go.
Children tend to bristle under rules, testing their validity usually by breaking them to see if consequences will follow. Some of mine bucked up against them on a daily basis. In a child’s eyes, adults make the rules. Their narrow view of life makes incapable of understanding the multitude of laws adults abide everyday.
Since most traffic laws are color-coded, children catch on to what means stop and what means go fairly quick. When the rambunctious toddler doing the back-car seat driving squeals to “Go faster!” the sign along the side of the road or the police car you just passed, makes a good visual aid for explaining the law you are currently trying to follow.
However, not all laws are as visual or as well enforced. A society runs on a host of laws. There are moral laws, social and criminal laws. All must be followed, the extent to which they are written or enforced does not, in any way, negate the law.
The same goes for dietary laws. Our heavenly Father put them in place. I don’t believe they are meant for our salvation, but for our health and happiness. Much the same way we as parents place rules in our homes for our own children.
Being our human condition lends us with a natural bent toward rebellion, most of us would prefer to roll the dice on our health. Then when the consequences — such as pounds or a frightening diagnosis — we cling to the newest fad diet hoping it will serve as a get out of jail free card.
When the late Andrew Breitbart asked me in the fall of 2009 to start a new website called Big Journalism, the first thing I looked for in potential contributors was a sharp wit and a way with words. Luckily for me, one of the first people who signed on was Steve Grammatico, who quickly carved out a place for himself as our house satirist par excellence – the scourge of leftist cant, pious liberal nonsense and pie-in-the-sky progressivism.
Steve began his rise to punchlines and punditry in a typically 21st-century way, as the commenter “Sagman” on the influential lucianne.com website, where his sparkling insouciance quickly won him a loyal following. Wrote one fan: “writing good political satire involves more than wit and words; it requires exceptional knowledge of personalities, politics, and policies.”
Satire, as the great playwright George S. Kaufman famously noted, is what closes on Saturday night. As someone who, under the nom de plume of “David Kahane,” has written a fair amount of satire myself, I would amend that wisecrack to “bad satire.” Good satire – biting, crackling and always on target, but never simply mean and insulting – is what plays and plays. Because, at its heart, everybody knows its true. And even when it’s not, it is anyway.
If you doubt me, consider this: The Beggar’s Opera, a work of the English musical theater which skewered contemporary politicians, manners and mores has been playing, more or less continuously, since 1728. Yes, you read that right: for nearly three hundred years, both in its original form by John Gay and Johann Pepusch, and in its German incarnation by Bert Brecht and Kurt Weill, “The Threepenny Opera.” And you know what? It’s still funny.
Hence, this book, drawn from Steve’s work for Big Journalism and elsewhere. Chief among these pieces are the series of the Obama War Room parodies, in which all the villains of the administration are given free rein to express their innermost thoughts to a largely bewildered and clueless Barry, with the fun almost invariably ending when Michelle breaks into the room to berate the hapless president, her tirades ending with the words, “You hear me, Barack?”
In short, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder aloud, “what the hell were we thinking?” in electing Barack Hussein Obama president in 2008 and again in 2012. “My goal,” he says, “is to get people to laugh, to see my scenarios as a warped and often not so warped reflection of reality. For me, incongruity is at the heart of satire.”
So sit back, relax and enjoy this parade of poltroons, hoist high with their own petards. You’re in the hands of a master.
“You can always tell a first time mother,” she said, as we sat in the kitchen sipping our coffee. “They’re always jumping up, running after the baby, worried about every little thing she touches. By the time the third one comes along, she’s like, ‘Oh look, the baby’s licking a shoe–isn’t that cute?’”
A quick glance at my toddler revealed the source of my friend’s caffeinated blurt of wisdom–my eight-month old daughter, sitting quietly at my feet was teething on a sandal.
No, I didn’t give it to her; she slipped it off my foot without me noticing. And no I didn’t think it was cute, but I didn’t panic either.
She was right.
You might be tempted to say a mother of several children just gets lazier. I say, she gets wiser or she won’t survive.
It always seemed curious to me that children in small families, living in town with mothers that kept immaculate homes and doted over them– were constantly sick. I noticed these families because, well in some ways, I envied them.
Although I couldn’t stand the thought of raising a large family in a subdivision, raising kids in an old farmhouse was a lot of hard work.
Open windows welcomed the dust in from the fields, and a constant stream of little feet imported dirt and mud from every corner of the yard. It was hard enough to keep the house clean, but keeping it sterile was not an option.
Oh, and their favorite place to play? The barn. Followed closely by the large eight-by-eight foot sandbox under a magnolia tree. The boys built
treetop shanties tree houses and played army barefoot in minefields of manure the pasture.
In this week’s reading of Jordan S. Rubin’s The Maker’s Diet I found the reason my kids were seldom sick. To this day, even as adults– it takes a lot to knock them down. I used to think it was because I was such a good mother. Wrong. It was because God is such a good Father.
Rubin explains how science is just now discovering how the Creator designed our environment to keep us healthy. Which, it turn, also explains how we’ve messed up the process.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate to cook? If I haven’t, I’d be really surprised. I say it often. In fact, I’ve said it so often, that at one point, my husband fired me from cooking for the family.
It’s true. Although he did do it nicely. He offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse. “You keep the kitchen clean” he said, and then promised, “I’ll do all the cooking.” What fool wouldn’t jump on that? Especially since, at the time, we had four young children and I owned and ran a small business.
Mistakenly, I took his offer as a sign of his love and appreciation. When I excitedly thanked him with a kiss on the cheek, the truth fell out: “I’m just tired of the [expletive] you’ve been feeding us.”
He was right — it was bad. My motto at the time, “If I can’t nuke it, or pick it up in a hit-an-run, we don’t eat it.” When asked, what do you want for dinner? My children would call out names of their favorite restaurants rather than actual food.
His cooking and my cleaning arrangement only lasted until I closed my business to take care of our growing family full time. Once back on my own, and without the means or excuses for eating out all the time, I began complaining again — this time to the neighbor.
She didn’t offer me the same deal.
However, she did make me her pet project. Her new goal in life: Teach me to cook and love it. She only partially succeeded. Much to my family’s delight, she taught me how to cook venison, make homemade pizza and twice baked potatoes. But most of all, she showed me the happy faces of my children around a dinner table.
After expressing my sentiments on cooking to a recent houseguest, she looked at me in total disbelief. In fact, if she wasn’t such a lady, she might have called me a liar.
She may be right, and I just really didn’t notice the change. Preparing food for my family has taken on a completely different meaning now. It has become a life saving medicine for my husband, and a new way for me to see God’s provisional hand in every area of our lives. Taking extra pains to be sure we have meals that are as rich in nutrients as they are in flavor has become a small pleasure.
In this week’s reading of Jordan S. Rubin’s The Maker’s Diet I realized why what we eat, and eating together, actually brought joy to a drudgery I hated. The author has a scientific explanation:
We all have a “second brain” in our gut that controls more than we think.
Nothing gave me a better glimpse of the Father’s love for me than looking into the face of my newborn. Only then did I understand what it meant to love someone else more than myself.
The first time my boy got sick it broke my heart. Lying in my arms his limp little body radiated heat. His eyes seemed glazed over with a sheet of pink glass. I thought to myself, “I wish it were me and not him.” At that moment, I realized I would gladly give my life for his. Almost instantly, I understood why God described Himself to us as our Father, and why Christ would die for us — unconditional love.
Then came the toddler years. Although my love never changed, how I expressed it sure did. I made rules. Most of the time, he really couldn’t understand why I said no. That’s perfectly fine with me. I didn’t need him to understand that the big brown “boat” swirling in the water was not put there for him to play with. He’ll get it later when he discovers the meaning of gross, and eventually he’ll understand the concept of germs. Until then, I just expected obedience.
He’s 35 now. It’s not an issue. Although he’s never thanked me, I’m pretty sure he’s glad I never let him splash in the toilet, or eat everything he found on the floor.
In The Maker’s Diet the author Jordan S.Rubin, makes a strong case that the dietary laws given to God’s chosen people, is His hand of protection. Apparently God knew that with enough barbecue sauce we would happily lick a toilet.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
CS Lewis Mere Christianity
In Kosher Jesus, Rabbi Boteach agrees with Lewis. At least in part: Anyone claiming to be God, would have been considered a lunatic. However, by claiming to be the Messiah, Boteach explains, Jesus was making a political statement more than a religious one.
We’ve all seen the charlatans, from snake oil salesmen to traveling “preachers” pulling actors out of wheelchairs. They pepper history with shameless fraud, preying on the frail and the weak– those with no hope.
When Jesus walked the earth, he performed miracles. He calmed the seas, cast out demons, and fed multitudes. An impostor performs to be rewarded; Christ healed to demonstrate love.
Physical healing is extremely personal. That is to say, the true impact of healing is only felt by one person– the one who is healed. The exception is those who are forced to watch someone they love suffer or die. Then the healing is parallel, as the physical pain is healed for one and the emotional pain or grief is turned to joy in the other. Therefore both are healed of their suffering.
I know the searing pain of grief. The depth of that sorrow is directly proportionate to the love held. Grief is the bloody hand that rips love from the lining of your soul and turns it inside out. I can only begin to imagine the depth of joy the parents of the dead girl must have felt, after watching their precious child suffer and die, when Jesus told them she was not dead — just asleep.
How could you keep that a secret? How could you not tell someone? If this is true, how is it not proof that He was sent from God?
As I continue to read Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Kosher Jesus, I’m struck at how the author acknowledges Jesus’ miracles as truth.
This is the fourth of my reading/writing journals, a new routine of season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose book excerpts with the day’s headlines and then try in the afternoon to make sense of the chaos of the day’s news. So far I’m not doing as well as I hoped. See last Monday’s entry: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“ And Tuesday’s entry: “Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?” And Thursday’s 4-page, double-barreled collection “Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…” On days when I don’t finish then I’ll plan to do a two-or-three-parter the following day.
Thursday Night’s Reading:
I received a copy of the newest edition of Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati, Robert Anton Wilson’s memoir of his mystical experiments, and returned again to one of my favorite book’s preface:
Quote of Note: “The notion that ‘reality’ is a noun, a solid thing like a brick or a baseball bat, derives from the evolutionary fact that our nervous systems normally organize the dance of energy into such block-like ‘things,’ probably as instant bio-survival cues. Such ‘things,’ however, dissolve back into energy dances — process, or verbs – when the nervous system is synergized with certain drugs or transfmuted by yogic or shamanic exercises or aided by scientific instrutments. In both mysticism and physics, there is general agreement that ‘things’ are constructed by our nervous systems and that ‘realities’ (plural) are better described as systems or bundles of energy-function.” — Robert Anton Wilson.
Friday Morning Book Reading:
I didn’t have time to read very much of my Disney’s World biography that I’ve been enjoying so much. But I did take a few minutes to start the chapter on the decision to film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
Quote of Note: “Consequently, he began to regard Snow White as the most testing ordeal of his career whose failure could not only cost him his fortune his marital happiness as well. It had to succeed and be the most acclaimed and entertaining movie he had ever made.” – Leonard Mosley, page 157 of of Disney’s World.
Friday Morning News Round Up
Lead PJM Stories:
J. Christian Adams:What’s In Eric Holder’s Wallet? His Real Race Card
This week, Judicial Watch released documents demonstrating that the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service was deeply entangled in New Black Panther-led rallies and protests in Sanford, Florida, against George Zimmerman. These are the same rallies during which the New Black Panthers called for a bounty on George Zimmerman, and released “dead or alive” posters. The New Black Panther leading the rallies was the same New Black Panther Eric Holder sprang free in the voter intimidation case in Philadelphia.
Bill Straub: What Happened to Congress’ ‘Fast and Furious’ Fury?
Nicholas Ballasy: Giuliani to PJM: Dems Scared Obamacare Will Cost Them in 2014 Midterms
Michael Ledeen: Enough Already! Holder Must Go
Dear General Holder,
Get out of here. Please. Yesterday will do fine. Your command at Justice became intolerable in your first big public statement, four and a half years ago, the one in which you laid out your hateful view of American society:
…in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.
You were telling us two things: First, you intended to inflame political racial conflict in the United States. Despite some boilerplate language about overcoming racism and becoming “one nation,” your speech demanded that we focus on our alleged obsession with racial differences. You said, quite rightly, that it was intellectually misguided to talk about “black history” as something separate from “American history,” but you didn’t mean it. Indeed, you insisted that Black History Month be used to do just that — to treat black Americans separately from the others.
The president’s irresponsible comments came at a time when the media still played on George Zimmerman’s identity, either not identifying him racially at all or ascribing him to a newly made-up category: “white Hispanic.” The media’s antics allowed an incorrect image of Zimmerman to solidify, that of an older white male rather than the 28-year-old mixed man he is in reality. Obama’s comments also came at a time when he needed to shore up his base vote to ensure his re-election. Obama’s comments took the false racial narrative that the media and the hustlers had been constructing and planted it firmly on the White House lawn.
And now we know, behind the scenes, the Eric Holder Justice Department was working hand in glove with the protesters to apply the pressure that eventually forced Chief Lee from office and brought the charges to bear against Zimmerman.
As the trial has wound toward its conclusion, threats of violence have exploded online. I wish I could share Bob Owens’ optimism that there will be no violence regardless of the verdict, but the sad fact is that we have riots over sports championships in this country now. When we have a government working behind the scenes to exert undue pressure on local officials to placate the Al Sharptons of the world, we have a government dangerously taking sides with a man who has shown before that he doesn’t mind a little blood if it furthers his career. Sharpton, now a host on MSNBC, came to fame orchestrating the Tawana Brawley hoax against an innocent man. He fomented a race riot that resulted in death at Freddie’s Fashion Mart in 1995. Violence and the threat of violence have been in Sharpton’s tool box from the beginning of his long, disgraceful career. Obama and his Department of Justice sided with the media and Sharpton, and against the local police, and against the rule of law.
President Obama owes it to the American people to speak out against the possibility of violence but he is unlikely to say anything. What can he say at this point? That he no longer believes his hypothetical son would look like Trayvon? That the Department of Justice’s role early in the controversy was conducted by more “rogue employees.” Obama’s government took a side, and it was the side of racial strife, division, and ultimately the threat of violence if the jury hands down a politically incorrect verdict.
Friday’s PJ Lifestyle Stories:
Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin: Book Plug Friday
John Boot: 5 Movie Stars Whose Careers Are in Trouble
Walter Hudson: Why M. Night Shyamalan Sucks (and How He Can Be Great Again)
Kathy Shaidle: Raining on the Nelson Mandela Parade
Idealistic kids eagerly embraced Mandela as the Gandhi they never had, a Martin Luther King of their very own.
Of course, the real Nelson Mandela was, like those two men, flawed. Arguably moreso.
At least Gandhi and King had preached and practiced non-violence.
During my youth, Mandela’s criminal past was, if you’ll pardon the expression, whitewashed.
And when Mandela was arrested, the authorities claim to have uncovered “210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminium powder and 1 ton of black powder.”
Governments around the world, such as the U.S. and Great Britain, placed the ANC on their terror lists, along with the PLO, the IRA and the FLQ.
So when the Left adopted the destruction of apartheid as its new fashionable cause in the late 1980s, the organizer of that “Free Nelson Mandela” concert, Tony Hollingsworth, knew he needed to “personalize” the cause, and give that particular person a big makeover, pronto.
Hollingsworth now admits that the all-star extravaganza, “had everything to do with ridding Mandela of his terrorist tag and ensuring his release. (…) Mandela and the movement should be seen as something positive, confident, something you would like to be in your living room with.”
Mandela danced out of prison less than two years after the concert.
Oh, and not long after that, he was filmed singing an ANC song about killing white people…
Charlie Martin: Emmet Kelly, Harold Lloyd, and Edward Snowden
So then the Chinese get a look at what he’s carrying, and they say, hey, this isn’t worth the trouble. They let Snowden “accidentally” slip out of Hong Kong to Russia because of a “bureaucratic slip-up”.
Snowden arrives in Russia, and at first Putin seems to be inclined to help — then he cools on him, finally saying that if Snowden wants to stay he’s got to stop leaking information about his great friends to Americans. My guess? They also got a look at Snowden’s information and realized that a chance to look like Obama’s friend was worth more than the information.
Bruce Bawer: The Lion in Winter: Gossipy Lunches with Orson Welles, Hollywood’s Original Badboy Filmmaker
Welles and Jaglom also wander into politics. Jaglom (none of whose movies I’ve ever seen, as far as I can remember) comes off as a standard showbiz lefty, who has no apparent trouble with Hollywood Stalinism but despises director Elia Kazan for “naming names” in 1952 to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Welles can’t forgive Kazan either (even though he forgives German and French entertainers who performed for Nazis during the war), but at least he makes a point of mentioning the newspaper columns he wrote in the 1940s, in which he attacked Stalinist Russia “at a time when everybody thought God was smiling on Stalin.” He says he begged HUAC unsuccessfully to let him come to D.C. to explain to them “the difference between a Communist and a liberal.” And he says that in his experience “right-wingers” are “usually nicer people than left-wingers.” When Jaglom, coming off as a parody of P.C., says he’s “tormented” daily by his privileged life while children starve in Africa (“I should feel guiltier than I do”), Welles punctures his posturing: “Oh, the irony of these kinds of conversations is that they end with: ‘Do you want some berries?’”
Also Around the Web Last Week:
Thomas Sowell at National Review: Who Is Racist?
Over the generations, black leaders have ranged from noble souls to shameless charlatans. After the success of the civil-rights insurgency, the latter have come into their own, gaining money, power, and fame by promoting racial attitudes and actions that are counterproductive to the interests of those they lead.
None of this is unique to blacks or to the United States. In various countries and times, leaders of groups that lagged behind, economically and educationally, have taught their followers to blame all their problems on other people — and to hate those other people.
This was the history of anti-Semitic movements in Eastern Europe between the two World Wars, anti-Ibo movements in Nigeria in the 1960s, and anti-Tamil movements that turned Sri Lanka from a peaceful nation into a scene of lethal mob violence and then decades-long civil war, both marked by unspeakable atrocities.
Ann Coulter: This Year’s Duke Lacross Case
This week, instead of attacking a Hispanic senator, Marco Rubio, I will defend a Hispanic citizen, George Zimmerman, on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. (Zimmerman would make a better senator.)
It’s becoming painfully obvious why no charges were brought against Zimmerman in this case — until Al Sharpton got involved. All the eyewitness accounts, testimony, ballistics and forensics keep backing up Zimmerman. We should send a big, fat bill for the whole thing to Sharpton, courtesy of MSNBC.
Kruidbos said that, when he printed a 900-page Florida Department of Law Enforcement report from Martin’s cell phone in late 2012 or early 2013, he noticed information was missing.
Concerned that attorneys did not have all the information they needed to prepare the case, he said, he reported his concerns to a State Attorney’s Office investigator and later to prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda.
Kruidbos said he generated a report that was more than three times the size of the one that had been handed over.
For example, Kruidbos said that 2,958 photos were in the report given to the defense but that his report contained 4,275 photos.
Kruidbos also said that he has been told to not put specific case-identifying information into internal e-mails.
Friday Evening Double Date With The Wife and Friends:
I agree with Stephen Green’s review, cross-posted from Vodkapundit:
I can’t wait to see the movie again — Guillermo Del Toro’s movies tend to reward repeat viewings, I’ve found. Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy films are favorites. So since Friday night I’ve had the humans-in-giant-machines-fighting-for-their-lives against cruel monsters motif in mind as the ideological factions of our country continued beating on one another…
Weekend Readings on Spirituality:
From page 144 of Jacob Slavenburg’s The Hermetic Link: From Secret Tradition to Modern Thought, a book I’m reading to study the spiritual ideas that inspired the development of modern science during the Renaissance:
Quote of Note: “When someone asked Hermes what God is, he answered: ‘The maker of the All, the all-knowing Consciousness, for eternity.” — The Hermetica
Later, from page 160:
Quote of Note: “Life is the making-one of Mind and Soul; accordingly Death is not the destruction of those that are at-oned, but the dissolving of their union.” — Jacob Slavenburg.
On Sunday I failed to stick with the usual reading routine but got caught up later in the evening when I read some more of Shmuley Boteach’s Kosher Jesus, the subject of Rhonda Robinson’s ongoing blogging series. Here’s an excerpt from page 43 in which the Orthodox Rabbi discusses the gospel of Mark, noting its similarities to Jewish teachings and rabbinical practices:
Quote of Note: “In multiple instances Mark relates Jesus going so far as to order those who witness his healings not to tell others. He feared — rightly, as it turned out — that his followers would highlight his personality at the expense of his calling.” – Shmuley Boteach
Weekend Headlines at PJM:
Bryan Preston: Occupy Site Organizing Trayvon Martin Post-Verdict ‘Actions’
Howard Nemerov: Maryland’s Highest Court Promotes Anti-Gun, Pro-Criminal Agenda
In 2010, Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled that residents need a state permit to take a gun outside the home, upholding the conviction of a man who committed no other “crime” than publicly possessing a firearm.
This week, the same court voided a five-year mandatory, no-parole sentence for gun possession by a convicted felon. When the defendant was convicted of “drug distribution,” the same jury also found him guilty of being a felon in possession, and the judge added the five-year sentence. Maryland’s Court of Appeals voided the felon-in-possession enhancement and ordered re-sentencing because, according to Maryland law, the defendant’s non-violent earlier conviction enabled him to qualify for a more lenient ruling.
The felon in possession was arrested for crimes committed in Baltimore. This ruling means a lighter sentence for a drug dealer who has no problem breaking federal law against felons owning guns. Drug dealers often use guns to further their “business.”
Roger L. Simon: Obama Big Loser in Zimmerman Trial
Forget the over-zealous prosecutors and the repellent state attorney Angela Corey (who should be immediately disbarred or, my wife said sarcastically, elevated to director of Homeland Security) and even the unfortunate Trayvon Martin family (although it is certainly hard to forget them — they have our profound sympathies), the true loser at the Zimmerman trial was Barack Obama.
By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.
It is also the work of a narcissist who thinks of himself first, of his image, not of black, white or any other kind of people. It’s no accident that race relations in our country have gone backwards during his stewardship.
Bryan Preston: Double Jeopardy: NAACP Wants DOJ to Pursue Civil Rights Violation Charges Against George Zimmerman
Bridget Johnson: Obama: ‘We are a Nation of Laws, and the Jury Has Spoken’
Bridget Johnson: Black Caucus Responds to ‘Devastating’ Verdict: ‘Turn Your Pain Into Passion, Purpose’
Last year, when the Trayvon Martin story first broke I began blogging about it at the PJ Tatler and created this image:
I still need to finish defining the 10 Commandments of Postmodern Blackness… Something on the to-do list…
Self Improvement-Saturday at PJ Lifestyle:
Rhonda Robinson: Keeping Afloat With A Budget
Barry Rubin Cross-Post: The Battle of Gettysburg Refought, 150 Years Later
Charlie Martin, 13 Weeks: Do Americans Get Enough Salt In Their Diets?
Religion-Themed Articles on Sunday at PJ Lifestyle:
P. David Hornik on Claude Debussy: Master of Music, Bungler of Life
Charlie Martin: Heaps of Buddha
Paula Bolyard: New Great Awakening: When Politicians Speak for God
Walter Hudson: Marriage: From Sacred Bond to Status Update
Susan L.M. Goldberg: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect
Monday Headlines at PJM:
Victor Davis Hanson: President Obama’s New American Vocabulary
Robert Wargas: No True Hispanic
In practice, the Whiteness Studies game works as follows: All bad things are labeled “white supremacy,” which is defined as a complete and total system of “white” bourgeois logic, law, custom, etc. This system is so pervasive that even when a non-white person does something ostensibly racist, he is only acting according to “white logic,” thus his or her racism is actually white racism. Much of this derives from the theories of the pseudoscientist Frances Cress Welsing, whose definition of racismwas white supremacy. Again, word games.
Whiteness Studies works exactly the same way classical antisemitism works, and still does work. Jews are said to be controlling absolutely everything, including people’s consciousness. The Jew is responsible for everything bad, because everything bad is, to the antisemite, the definition of Jewishness. There is no way out of this logic, which is total and pitiless, once its initial premise has been granted. It is a conspiracy theory and thus immune to reason and argument.
Clayton Cramer: The Race Card: Democracy’s Parasite?
Mike McDaniel: Zimmerman Closing Arguments: Detailing What the Mob Ignores
Relevant Headlines From Around the Web Today:
Charles C. Johnson at Daily Caller: Conservative filmmaker: Trayvon Martin protesters in Oakland ‘slugged me,’ ‘kicked me’ in the head
Christian Hartsock, a conservative journalist and filmmaker, says he was assaulted and beaten down to the ground by a mob with repeated strikes to the face while reporting at a Trayvon Martin rally in downtown Oakland Sunday night.
“I have interviews and I have footage of [Trayvon protestors] chanting ‘no justice, no peace—fuck you pigs in your sleep,’” Hartsock told The Daily Caller. “One of them was an elementary schooler chanting with his mom.”
Los Angeles Times: LAPD clashes with Trayvon Martin protesters, 1 arrest made
Today’s Parenting and Family Articles at PJ Lifestyle:
Robert Spencer: Can Parents’ Divorce Push a Teen To Join Al Qaeda?
David P. Goldman: What Do You Do When The Oppressed Are Their Own Worst Oppressors?
The leaders of what used to be a civil rights movement want to talk about everything but the main problem afflicting black people in the United States. That is the breakdown of the black family.
Just 29% of black women over the age of 15 were married in 2010, according to the Census Bureau’s comprehensive Current Population Survey. That compares to 54% of white women. At all ages, black women were about half as likely to be married as white women. That is an astonishing number.
The percentage of out-of-wedlock births has risen from 18% in 1980 to 40% in 2010. Twenty-nine percent of white births were non-marital, against 73% for black births. That’s nearly three-quarters of all black births.
Here’s an argument I had over the weekend with a progressive Facebook acquaintance and his friends about the Trayvon Martin case. I haven’t seen this guy in years. We knew one another circa 2004-2005 in undergraduate poetry class when at the time we had comparable postmodern progressive views. He hasn’t changed a bit and nowadays likes to claim that I’m just a terrible, sick person who doesn’t care about children. On Friday he called out both me and another conservative acquaintance and I played along throughout the weekend. Names of the innocent and the guilty erased.
This is only going to get worse before it gets better. In Pacific Rim both the number and size of monsters that emerged from the hole under the ocean to wreck mayhem and destruction for NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER only increased. It was only humans followed the advice of Sun Tzu — know thy enemy — and figured out they needed to take the fight directly to the monsters’ home turf that the good guys discovered a way to defeat the vicious creatures emerging to wage a genocidal campaign…
I present an email exchange (in full, unedited) that I had Friday afternoon from an email received via the PJ Media contact form, reprinted with permission from the sender. Consider this a warning to all who would seek to study the work of Whittaker Chambers and urge others to buy copies of his stunning, historically important memoir Witness using blogs and New Media. PJ Lifestyle will no longer discuss or quote from Whittaker Chambers, out of sincere respect for the author’s descendants’ wishes. Plenty of other books I’m eager to read explore similar ideas about history, courage, ideology and extraordinary lives that I’m currently researching for my own books and ebooks.
So I will cease my study of Chambers — I’ve read enough to get the idea… And I will now give other figures in the history of the conservative movement the attention they deserve. I’m also burnt out on Ayn Rand, the author I was reading juxtaposed with her nemesis Chambers on Thursdays. I’m 116 pages in and was expecting by now to be so hooked that I would’ve ignored all other books in favor of following Dagny Taggart and John Galt. It’s a fun book and I agree with most of its general points (minus the atheism) and individualist spirit but I guess my fanatical radical capitalist train already left the station. I already delight in shocking my Democrat friends and family by proclaiming we have no need of Social Security and the goal of my generation over the course of the next 20 years should be to dissassemble about 85-95% of the New Deal and its demonic government grandchildren, the Great Society and Obamacare… Perhaps it’s time to move on to reading Marvin Liebman’s Coming Out Conservative: An Autobiography and William F. Buckley Jr.’s novel Getting It Right for my Thursday study of Conservative Movement history.
PJ Lifestyle is also still very interested in studying and promoting the stories of ex-leftists, ex-Marxists, ex-Communists, ex-”Liberals”, ex-Muslims, ex-Secularists, ex-Democrats, as well as any other individual who has escaped a cult or poisonous political, religious, or cultural ideology. Please contact me at DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail [.] com to share your story and your book recommendations. I’m currently accepting additional suggestions to add to my 7 piles in my Radical Reading Regimen. And if you are a publisher and would like excerpts from your book featured at PJ Lifestyle (or reviews of your book by our authors) then please contact me. I am a lifelong book enthusiast raised by a librarian mother and seek only to encourage all humans to read widely and deeply every day of their lives of the books that can improve and transform both them and their country…
Subject: [PJM EDITORIAL] Please contact me
Date: June 7, 2013 1:49:58 PM PDT
FROM: David Chambers
Dear PJ Media,
Please contact me regarding continued quotes from Whittaker Chambers by “PJ Lifestyle.”
He was either wanting to discourage my promotions of Witness or offer some kind of assistance or collaboration. I responded already knowing that my attempt at celebrating a heroic figure’s memory had likely already been misinterpreted:
——– Original Message ———
Subject: Re: [PJM EDITORIAL] Please contact me
From: “Dave Swindle”
Date: 6/7/13 5:01 pm
I hope my use of quotes from Witness has not caused any offense. Is something wrong?
David Swindle Associate Editor
Follow me on Twitter:http://twitter.com/DaveSwindle
David Chambers responded quickly…
Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson appearing on MSNBC to equate the significance of the Boston bombers’ religion with their musical tastes:
While some black studies professors are busy indoctrinating students in strident anticapitalism and racial supremacism, and other inhabitants of the Ebony Tower are preaching only somewhat less extreme versions of the same ideology, a very different message about race has been resonating with ordinary, hard working black Americans. In recent years, the comedian and actor Bill Cosby has been speaking to audiences in black churches and other community centers, lamenting the prevalence among black Americans of unwed teenage mothers and absentee fathers, violent and misogynistic gangsta rap, and black on black crime. He has been calling on young black people to reject these self destructive social pathologies and to embrace traditional American values of self respect and personal responsibility.
In an Atlantic article about Cosby’s crusade, TaNehisi Coates maintains that Cosby’s call for “hard work and moral reform” rather than “protests and government intervention” resonates with “conservative black Americans who are convinced that integration, and to some extent the entire liberal dream, robbed them of their natural defenses.” Coates points out that in 2004, the New York Times found that black parents in Louisville, Kentucky, the site of a historic battle over school desegregation in 1975–76, were now “more interested in educational progress than in racial parity.” Coates also cites a survey showing that 71 percent of American blacks consider rap “a bad influence.” Coates quotes lines from one of Cosby’s speeches in which the comedian assails some black Americans’ uninformed image of themselves as Africans: “We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans. They don’t know a damn thing about Africa— with names like Shaniqua, Shaliqua, Mohammed, and all that crap, and all of them are in jail.”