Editor’s Note: This article was first published in three parts in April and May of 2013. It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the count-down? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months…
The “Academy of the Overrated” scene in Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1978) is meant to get us to hate Diane Keaton just before Woody Allen changes his mind and falls into bed with her.
Yes, as Mariel Hemingway’s character puts it, Keaton and her beau are “creeps” — but mostly because their “academy” inductees are so gauche, as is their decision to inflict their pretentious pillow talk onto hapless acquaintances on a public sidewalk.
Let’s face it:
Some artists really are overrated, especially today when words like “genius” and “classic” (and the current go-to empty-calorie adjective “iconic”) have been neutered by lazy, know-nothing writers.
First, we prick the inflated reputations of 5 rock and pop stars with XY chromosomes and little else to recommend them.
#5: Pink Floyd
Let’s tackle Roger Waters’ reputed antisemitism first, since it lets me put off having to actually talk about his dreadful “music” for a bit.
Waters made news most recently when New York City’s famous 92Y, under pressure by Jewish groups, cancelled his scheduled lecture.
I’m not a fan of anybody trying to get someone else’s public appearances cancelled, and not just because it’s happened to me.
What’s unusual about this particular instance, however, is that critics’ “accusations” against Waters are true.
Some will object that “anti-Zionism isn’t necessarily anti-Semitism” and if we existed on a pure and sterile plane of Platonic forms, they’d be right.
But here on planet Earth, anyone who’s engaged a rabid “anti-Zionist” in “conversation” knows that within moments, their opponent will slip up and spit out some slur upon “the Joooozzzz!!!”
I save myself time and simply assume that long-time anti-Zionists are Jew-haters, because life is too short and I have laundry and stuff to do.
Those who grew up with Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album “The Wall” will remember it as the perfect antidote to the crueller aspects of teenage life. Chronicling the mental breakdown of a pop star, the rock opera rages against suffocating parents, tyrannical teachers and social conformism. The story concludes with the hero hauled before a nightmarish court, where everyone in his life testifies as an adversarial witness. Before the defendant can say a word in his own defense, the judge bellows a guilty verdict: “The evidence before the court is incontrovertible. There is no need for the jury to retire!”
I was reminded of this scene Saturday while attending a session in New York of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a self-appointed people’s court that has met periodically since 2009 to sit in judgment of Israel. (…)
Another reason to be reminded of “The Wall”: Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s chief lyricist, was a member of the jury.
It was ubiquitous in my steel mill home town — a whining drone blaring from every paneled suburban basement and tricked-out Chevy van.
But those of us who’d discovered punk wanted nothing to do with the overproduced bellows of millionaire dinosaurs like Pink Floyd.
That doesn’t make Pink Floyd’s music any more palatable, however.
Had their efforts been presented matter of factly, I’d give them a pass.
But every Floyd album was held up by under-read, musically unsophisticated teenage boys as a deep, profound commentary on society (man!!!) as well as an example of superior performance and production.
They’d show off their stereo system using Dark Side of the Moon, sounding like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas:
“Check it out! One instrument comes out one speaker, and another instrument comes out the OTHER speaker!!”
Have you, now a sober adult, actually listened to Dark Side of the Moon lately?
Can you scrape off enough encrusted nostalgia to acknowledge that album’s sheer awfulness?
And while those Wizard of Oz weirdies aren’t Floyd’s fault, they’re not helping matters, either.
When I scream “The Who are better than that stupid band you like,” I’m thinking about Pink Floyd first and foremost.
On Thursday, Glenn Beck declared:
“Ask yourself the question: Why isn’t anyone talking about this? This is one of the most disturbing stories I have ever heard in my entire broadcast career,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “The FCC has now decided that they need to monitor the newsrooms. They need to figure out how story selection works in the newsroom.”
The renegade broadcaster’s vitriol comes in response to a Fox News story (covered by PJ Tatler’s Bryan Preston) on the Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN) proposed by the FCC last May that was supposed to commence this week in Columbia, South Carolina:
The FCC explained that it wanted information from television and radio broadcasters “to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN’s and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
The FCC has identified eight CINs, or key topics that the government believes should be covered.
According to the actual FCC report, the eight CINs are:
1. emergencies and risks, both immediate and long term;
2. health and welfare, including specifically local health information as well as group
specific health information where it exists;
3. education, including the quality of local schools and choices available to parents;
4. transportation, including available alternatives, costs, and schedules;
5. economic opportunities, including job information, job training, and small business
6. the environment, including air and water quality and access to recreation;
7. civic information, including the availability of civic institutions and opportunities to
associate with others;
8. political information, including information about candidates at all relevant levels of local governance, and about relevant public policy initiatives affecting communities and neighborhoods.
It is a story so bizarrely ridden with bureaucratic newspeak that it reads like a spoof from the pages of The People’s Cube. If only we were so lucky.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who first raised awareness of the CINs in the Wall Street Journal, warned:
The FCC says the study is merely an objective fact-finding mission. The results will inform a report that the FCC must submit to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.
This claim is peculiar. How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry? And why does the CIN study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?
No one but an Illinoisan understands the particular type of embarrassment that comes with having to admit you live in the most corrupt place on earth. Especially when a disgraced former Illinois Congressman, Mel Reynolds, is arrested in a foreign country for yet again having illegal pornography in his possession. Last time, he served time in prison for child porn and we all know a tiger doesn’t change his stripes. This is a guy who was luring school girls into his car and taking them home for photo shoots. You have to wonder who Bill Clinton’s other choices for pardon were when he selected Reynolds for reprieve. It must have been a pretty terrible list.
He was elected to Congress in 1992, and was indicted on charges of criminal sexual assault, obstruction of justice and child pornography in his first term.
He was convicted and jailed in that case in 1995 and was later convicted of misusing campaign funds and defrauding banks, federal crimes that earned him an additional prison sentence.
And then, my favorite part of Reynold’s story is shared (one that could be repeated for almost all of our disgraced politicians the minute they trade in their orange jumpsuit for street clothes),
After his release, Reynolds tried repeatedly to regain his congressional seat, including an attempt last year to succeed disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
It’s hard to choose between two disgraced
scumbags public servants.
We can only hope Zimbabwe justice might be a little more creative than ours. Castration anyone?
(This ongoing investigation into open pornography including child porn access at Orland Park Public Library and the lengths an out-of-control board will go to to keep it goes back to October of 2013. To read more about it, please see the following link: Child Porn Accessed At Orland Park Public Library, Staff Doesn’t Believe Witnesses)
After the Orland Park Public Library Board meeting on January 20th where they made up arbitrary and extemporaneous rules to silence public comment, I complained to the Attorney General for sanctions against the library for violating state law. This was the response I received in short order.
No one in the entertainment industry bears the brunt of ire like Disney. For decades, Walt Disney the man and the company he founded have taken hits from critics, reporters, and historians. On far too many occasions Disney has come up against agents of disinformation trying to tarnish its founder, and the company at large finds itself the target of media hatred. From the antics of its former child stars – as if the studio could be responsible for their personal behavior – to the recent attempts to deface Walt Disney that seem to come from out of nowhere, members of the media try to attach any scandal they can to Disney, manufacturing a type of guilt by association.
Two recent stories in the UK’s Daily Mail signal this trend. In one article, a trio of would be child molesters work for Walt Disney World, while in the other, a Disney voice actor displays his anti-Israel hatred for the world to see. Disney has no direct involvement in either case, yet the authors of both pieces go out of their way to make the Disney connection in the headlines and in opening paragraphs.
Disney fired the Arabic voice of Donald Duck after he published an anti-Israel tweet:
Disney has dropped the voice of Donald Duck in the Middle East after he said Israel should be demolished.
Wael Mansour no longer works for the global corporation – whose founder Walt Disney was famously accused of being racist and anti-semitic – after he tweeted: ‘I truly wish #Israel is demolished, I hate Zionism, I have so much hate inside me with every single child they murder or land they seize’.
He insisted his message was ‘anti-Zionist‘, claiming Israelis were ‘just a bunch of Polish / Ethiopian immigrants roughly 70 years old‘.
Note the dig at Walt in the second paragraph there – more on that later. Mansour sent the initial tweet in August of 2013, and he announced his firing earlier this month, also via Twitter.
He told his 5,000 Twitter followers: ‘Disney decided I am no longer the official voice of Donald Duck in it’s middle-east dubbed cartoons because of an anti Zionism tweet. Proud!’
His total has since rocketed to 30,000 followers.
At 9am on Wednesday, February 12th, I got wind of a Chicago Tribune article announcing the Orland Park Public Library was calling a last-minute “special meeting” on a legal holiday at 6pm to discuss and vote on continuing to allow access to pornography, including child pornography, on their computers, or to install filters as requested by both the public and the mayor of the village. This struck me as exceedingly strange because their regular meeting was already scheduled to occur the next Monday, the 17th. Why was there a sudden rush to vote?
The open position on the board was being filled at the “special meeting” as well. So they had decided to not only swear in a new member but also immediately vote on the most controversial issue their library had ever faced in a hurried, cobbled-together meeting giving the public one day’s notice. In the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA) it was discovered they possibly broke two provisions in calling this meeting. First, the public notice was in question. The OMA requires 48 hours notice be given to the public in an easy-to-find location on their website and in their building. The website homepage was empty of any such notice, the Events calendar was also devoid of any notice (even though the regularly scheduled meeting appeared there), their Facebook page did not include any notice and their Twitter account also did not tweet any notice of the special meeting. The only notice that appeared was buried many clicks into their website where no member of the public would think to look. These are the steps a person would have to go through to find the “public notice.”
Go to www.orlandparklibrary.org then click ABOUT then ABOUT US then scroll down and click on BOARD OF TRUSTEES and then finally find the PDF OF AGENDA.
There is no reasonable way to argue that this is easy for the public to find when normally, if the Library has something it wants people to know (like the “warning” they posted about me or Library closing dates) they put it on the Library’s home page, Facebook and Twitter!
Further, the Open Meetings Act in IL states;
“All meetings required by this Act to be public shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient and open to the public. No meeting required by this Act to be public shall be held on a legal holiday unless the regular meeting day falls on that holiday.”
In Illinois, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is a legal holiday and the government is shut down on that day. I found this out because I called the Attorney General’s office to report the illegal meeting and get an emergency injunction and they were closed (conveniently enough for the Library.) Chicago public schools also had the day off, Springfield government offices were closed and I found the law passed in Illinois by the legislature indeed making Abraham Lincoln’s birthday a legal holiday. The Library board held an illegal meeting.
Worse than that, they held all the controversial issues to vote on for this illegal meeting of which the public had no notice and were unable to attend. By provision in the OMA, special meetings are not required to allow public comment. The Board was able to vote on keeping obscene material available on their computers without having to worry about those bothersome taxpayers having anything to say about it.
Submitted by Hobbiest:
My favorite is the shoplifting dog. It looks like it might be another husky. He walked into the supermarket, headed straight to the pet aisle, grabbed a rawhide bone and then dodged the manager on the way out.
Editor’s Note: Spend your Valentine’s Day with Frank Underwood! Catch up on Netflix’s House of Cards with this collection of articles Washington D.C.-based Becky Graebner wrote analyzing the first season, concluding with her predictions of the highly-anticipated season 2 that becomes available on February 14.
Here’s a table of contents for the nine articles Becky wrote last summer and her season 2 preview from January; jump to the ones that interest you or just dive in from the beginning in this 9000-word collection:
Part 4: Why We Love to Hate Politicians
Part 5: Can Evil Sometimes Be Good?
Part 6: A Cast of Master Obfuscators
Ben Wolfgang at the Washington Times today:
President Obama has taken heat recently for working around Congress whenever he thinks it necessary to, among other things, delay Obamacare mandates and trim immigration enforcement.
But the commander-in-chief on Monday boasted of how, as president, “I can do whatever I want.”
Mr. Obama made the tongue-in-cheek remark as he toured Monticello, the Charlottesville, Va., estate of Thomas Jefferson, with French President Francois Hollande. The visit is part of Mr. Hollande’s three-day stay in the U.S. this week.
The president delighted in his ability to “break the protocol” and view the Monticello grounds from a private terrace.
“That’s the good thing as a president. I can do whatever I want,” Mr. Obama said.
Richard Nixon in 1977:
At the Washington Post today, again the Obama administration breaks the law by delaying a key part of Obamacare:
The Obama administration announced Monday it would give medium-sized employers an extra year, until 2016, before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers.
Firms with at least 100 employees will have to start offering this coverage in 2015.
By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans’ campaign to make political gains in this year’s midterm election.
Even the nation’s largest employers got a significant concession: They can avoid a fine by offering coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent starting in 2016. Under an earlier proposal, employers with at least 50 employees would have been required to offer insurance, beginning 2015, to 95 percent of those who work 30 hours or more a week, along with their dependents.
At the New York Daily News: Michelle Obama advises Justin Bieber’s mom to ‘be very present in his life right now’
The mother-of-two offered some advice for the pop star’s mom, Pattie Mallette, after Bieber has been involved in a string of questionable activities.
“I would be very present in his life right now,” she continued. “I would be probably with him a good chunk of the time, just there to talk, to figure out what’s going on in his head, to figure out who’s in his life and who’s not, you know.”
She added that the 19-year-old singer, who was recently arrested on DUI charges and may face sanctions associated with the egging of his neighbor’s home, is “still a kid, he’s still growing up.”
Obama, 50, spoke out about the troubled Canadian star in light of a current petition aimed at deporting him.
Again: welcome to single mom nation. Bieber is 19 years old. Obama is 52. Neither of them ever had fathers who taught them the difference between Good and Evil.
At the Hollywood Gossip last week: Justin Bieber, Father Deemed “Extremely Abusive,” Totally High on Private Plane Ride
Sources tell NBC News that Justin and his dad were among a group of about 10 on a chartered, private plane ride for Canada to New Jersey and that father and son were “extremely abusive” to a flight attendant on board.
She actually had to take refuse in the cockpit to get away from their rude remarks and behavior.
Moreover, law enforcement officials allege that Bieber and company were smoking so much pot that the pilots had to don oxygen masks.
“The captain of the flight stated that he warned the passengers, including Bieber, on several occasions to stop smoking marijuana,” says the official report of the incident. “The captain also stated he needed to request that the passengers stop their harassing behavior toward the flight attendant.”
The stewardess in question has refused to work any future flights involving Justin or Jeremy Bieber.
America’s chickens are coming home to roost.
1. The New York Daily News: Golden Globe Awards 2014: Ronan Farrow takes shot at Woody Allen tribute on Twitter
Woody Allen‘s Cecil B. DeMille lifetime-achievement tribute at the Golden Globes drew one big criticism — from his estranged son, Ronan Farrow.
2. At Tablet: Who Is Responsible for Dylan Farrow’s Pain?
Imagine if Mia Farrow had pressed charges and Allen had been convicted and gone to prison. Does anyone think, for one second, that he’d be the recipient of a Golden Globes lifetime achievement award?
And indeed, if anyone abrogated their civic duty, it was not the public. “That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” Farrow writes. “I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls.” She has one thing wrong here: *She* did not allow this; she was a child. But indeed, if we are to believe this story, her mother did—perhaps for entirely understandable reasons. But still: the person who, inadvertently or not, protected Allen from facing public judgment is the person who prevented him from ever being formally judged.
Dear Stage Parents,
I’m watching Justin Beiber’s public meltdown, but only because the headlines are so big. It’s a sure thing I’ve never actually listened to one of his songs, or at least not one all the way through. But I wonder if there might be a way for you to avoid having to watch your kids go through something similar.
What I came up with isn’t much. It might be enough though.
If you’re lucky enough to watch your kid have some success, take those earnings and put them in a blind trust. Let them have a generous allowance — enough to keep them comfortable, pay for tutors and college and all the rest. Just don’t let them have enough money to think they’re invincible and can load up the Ferrari with drugs and booze and yell obscenities at cops.
Because your kids aren’t invincible; they’re kids. Given that kind of power — and let’s remember that money is power — kids will almost always hurt themselves. We’ve seen it time and time again.
So put the bulk of that money in trust, where they can’t blow it all on booze and cars and whatnot. And keep it there until they turn 25. Or maybe even 30. Give them the opportunity to either transition gracefully and responsibly into adult stardom. Or should they fail that, give them the opportunity to learn to be responsible human beings before they come into a sudden fortune.
It’s the very rare child who can handle sudden wealth. It’s an even rarer child who ever becomes a real adult after acquiring it. And it’s rarer still for these grown child-adults to keep their fortunes.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of watching talented, beautiful kids grow up to become ugly adult addicts — if they live long enough to do even that.
-Your Friendly Neighborhood VodkaPundit
image via CBC News
Remember House of Cards? Well, lucky fans, season 2 will premiere on Netflix on Valentine’s Day 2014. I know, such a sweet holiday for such a sweet show! *Snort*
You may recall that I closed my series on season 1 with a few predictions for season 2. (Click here to read the original article.) After watching the trailer for the upcoming season, I decided that I needed to make a few more. Like season 1, season 2 is going to be brutal and people are likely to get whacked by the Underwood Power machine. I decided to take a leaf out of Beatrix Kiddo’s book and write my own “Death List Five” for season 2. My “Death List” is composed of the characters that, in my opinion, are most likely to end up dead by the final episode. I am open to suggestions.
Becky’s Death List Five:
1. AN ANNOYING OBSTACLE: Mr. Raymond Tusk
After watching the trailer, it looks like this man is going to find himself in Frank’s cross-hairs. Nobody comes between Frank and power.
Being BFFs with the President might make him seem untouchable, but nobody says “no” to Doug Stamper… there might be an unfortunate chain-saw accident on Tusk’s property. You just never know…
2. KARMA SUCKS: Zoe Barnes
One of my fellow, HoC watchers submitted Zoe as a possible dead body for season 2. They argued that “there was no way she could walk away from Frank (alive) after being in so deep.”
I could be persuaded to agree.
3. NICE BUT NOT A PIVOTAL CHARACTER: Lucas Goodwin
Lucas is a likable character, but with Janine as Zoe’s other sounding board and accomplice in “Operation Sink Underwood,” it wouldn’t be too upsetting to the plot if Lucas kicked the bucket. We all know the writers like to keep things interesting…
Would Zoe even bat an eyelash? Meh, maybe.
4. DANGEROUS WITH A PEN: Janine Skorsky
I think Janine is fairly likely to die because she is a) a nosy, outspoken journalist, b) already on Stamper’s radar, and c) underestimates the bad guys she is trying to expose.
Stamper and Underwood wouldn’t allow her to live long enough to write a juicy, tell-all story…
5. LOOSE ENDS GET SNIPPED: Rachel Posner
Of all the characters, I think Rachel is the most likely to end up dead. The trailer shows Rachel brandishing a butcher knife in front of Stamper (or, at least, it looks like Rachel). This might be a sneak peek of Rachel’s demise. Rachel is what Stamper calls “a loose end”–and we all know Stamper’s track record when it comes to cleaning up loose ends…
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 Commentary: Obama 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 Atlantic: Rand 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.
9. Tony Lee at Breitbart News: CNN PLANS TO SPEND YEAR FOCUSING ON REVELATIONS IN PETER SCHWEIZER’S ‘EXTORTION’
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
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
New at PJ Tatler
Greg Abbott Reacts to Video Showing Battleground Texas Activists Mocking His Disability (Update: Davis Reacts)
From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists
At the November board meeting of the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees, the American Library Association (ALA for short) sent 4 members to champion the cause of free porn in libraries regardless of the number of children present. Against its own policy, the OPPL board allowed two of those members to speak — even though their rules forbid more than one representative from an organization to speak at a meeting.
“Groups are asked to designate a single spokesperson.” (From Public Comment Policy section A 3.1)
That didn’t stop the ALA “group” from speaking with two spokespersons. This is not surprising considering OPPL’s long history of breaking their own policies (like not calling the police on sex offenders in the library).
In response to the ALA’s takeover of the November meeting, library law expert Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries.org planned to attend and speak at the December meeting via Skype (you know, that new-fangled do-hickey on the Internets that all the kids are crazy about. My four-year-old can set up a Skype call, and does so very often.) In the year 2013/2014, this is a simple matter of providing a laptop and Wifi (which are both readily available at OPPL). To this end, Kleinman called the library several days in advance and asked them to allow him to Skype into the meeting. It took a while for him to find someone in the building who could answer simple questions, but eventually the IT staff was certain this was possible technologically… but it would be up to the Board of Trustees to “allow” it to happen.
No, it isn’t “Bash Old Rockers” week at PJMedia.
But we need to talk about “Uncle Ted.”
This isn’t even about his headline-making rant at the Vegas Shot Show, in which he called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
Ted Nugent doesn’t need puny little Canadian me to “defend” his legal right to use that expression, even though I believe we should keep the adjective “subhuman” chambered until someone more like Dr. Mengele is in our sights.
Rather, I’ve been thinking about Nugent all week after reading a searing takedown of Woody Allen and his Hollywood sycophants by Gavin McInnes. (EXTREME language warning.)
McInnes has children; I do not — hence the “EXTREME language warning,” probably. That is: This difference likely colors my feelings about Allen, which remain frustratingly ambiguous and were better reflect by this piece in, yes, The Onion.
That’s because Woody Allen, like the Monty Python gang, were a gargantuan part of my often otherwise unpleasant childhood.
Allen’s impact was deeper, though, because his movies gave me a glimpse into another possible world, in which intelligent, creative people enjoyed deep yet witty conversations in gorgeous urban environs.
The scene in Annie Hall, in which Allen’s character travels back in time to his public school, surveys his unpromising looking classmates and declares, “Even then, I knew they were just jerks” literally changed my life.
I don’t remember my first kiss, but can easily recall that moment in the darkened downtown movie theater around my 13th birthday. I finally felt… understood.
An orphaned duckling imprints on the first creature it sees, however ridiculous its cloying affection for that indifferent St. Bernard looks to us.
And as far as I know, that imprinting can’t be reversed.
I could probably rewire my brain to hate Woody Allen, or any of the other dubious individuals who “imprinted” themselves on my impressionable young mind.
The thing is: I’m not sure I feel like bothering.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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…
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:
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
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?
Why does Martin Scorsese have to keep remaking the same movie about violent, sex-obsessed, macho jerks over and over again?
But you should also know her as YOUR NEW FASHION IDOL AND A GODDESS WALKING AMONGST US.
5. …but also oozes goddess in this sleek, formfitting little black dress.
So is it her fashion sense that’s being worshiped or her skin color?
5. Andrew Johnson at National Review: ABC 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
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.
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
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
strongly suggestsstates 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.
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?
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.)
“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
Chris Queen: Will Volkswagen Make The Beetle Cool Again?
Theodore Dalrymple: Should the Age of Buying Cigarettes Raise to 21?
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!
Insane Clown Posse and a few of their fans are suing — to get the FBI to stop labeling them a gang:
The suit stems from the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center classification of Juggalos as “a loosely-organized hybrid gang,” one with multiple affiliations. Lawyers for ICP and the ACLU claim that the profiling of Juggalos — based on their distinctive clown makeup and Hatchetman tattoos — lacks reasonable suspicion of gang affiliation. As a result, the “unconstitutionally vague” designation has since intimidated many from expressing themselves and denied them protection from unreasonable searches, according to the filing.
“The FBI had the impact they wanted: they scared people away from attending concerts and from affiliating together for the purpose of listening to music,” Saura Sahu, an attorney assisting the ACLU of Michigan, tells Rolling Stone. He cited the decline in turnout at the latest Gathering of the Juggalos, ICP’s annual five-day festival, where police last August arrested numerous people on drug-related offenses outside the event.
“We don’t fit in anywhere,” Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J tells Rolling Stone. “And when people don’t understand you, people fear you. All we’re trying to do is be like the Stephen King of music. We like to tell horror stories.”
I’m no ICP fan, unless perhaps they’ve recorded some of Cole Porter’s stuff and I’m just not aware of it yet, but clearly the FBI has overstepped here.
Three of the most popular “holiday” films share common cause.
In American Hustle, a corrupt FBI agent recruits a corrupt businessman to go after corrupt politicians in a mind-numbing series of acts of betrayal, greed, and lust.
In the Wolf of Wall Street, a corrupt stockbroker enlists his equally corrupt buddies to swindle honest people in order to fuel his company’s depraved, drug-fueled lifestyle.
In Inside Llewyn Davis, a selfish, dead-beat, second-string folk singer meanders around Greenwich Village accomplishing not much of anything other than letting down anyone who cares anything about him.
Each film trumpets the return of the anti-hero.
Nothing signals a shift in popular culture more than the return of one the most time-worn tropes of Western cinema.
The anti-hero is not to be confused with the lead character we love to hate, like the sleazy Gordon Gekko played by hair-slicked-back Michael Douglas in Wall Street (1987). Nor is an anti-hero the noble character with deep flaws such as Llewelyn Moss, the day-old beard, enigmatic welder (Josh Brolin) who runs off with the cartel’s cash in No Country for Old Men. Anti-heroes are not flawed, they are both intentionally amoral and the camera wants us to root for them anyway.
In the previous post on the possible rise of male sociopathy here, reader Gawains Ghost says he is not sure he knows exactly what sociopathy is. He is in good company. People seem to use a number of psychological terms interchangeably and it often gets a bit confusing.
According to this article, Robert Hare, author of Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us:
“suggests that the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy may primarily reflect how the person using these terms views the factors contributing to the antisocial disorder.” More apt to view antisocial behavior as arising from social conflicts, sociologists typically prefer the term sociopath. Whereas, psychologists use the term psychopathy to describe a psychological disorder that is the product of a combination of psychological, biological, genetic and environmental factors (Hare 1999).
To make it a bit more confusing, psychologists use the term Antisocial Personality Disorder from the DSM-5 to describe some of the traits of the psychopath though it is important to remember that one can have APD without being a sociopath or psychopath.
This article looks decent and might help you understand more about these terms if you wish to confuse yourself even further.
Last year I had a shift in my ideological interpretation of the political and cultural worlds. A theory for your consideration:
The First Lady was talking about healthy foods as part of her ongoing Let’s Move! initiative and made the slip when she was discussing how the demands of raising a family can leave little time for nutritious cooking.
‘Believe me, as a busy single mother,’ Obama said, before quickly correcting herself, ‘Or I shouldn’t say single – as a busy mother.’
Her remarks came the same day that the President was criticized for remarking that California’s Kamala Harris is the ‘best looking attorney general’ in the country.
Barack Obama in December of 2013, taking a “selfie” at Nelson Mandela’s memorial with the Prime Minister of Denmark, much to the annoyance of his wife:
— AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) December 10, 2013
The President’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in 2009 describing their relationship to The New York Times:
“We have kind of a mind meld,” Jarrett told me about Obama. “And chances are, what he wants to do is what I’d want to do.”
Valerie Jarrett speaking to a lay Episcopal gathering on September 21 2011:
We have to give people a livelihood so that they can provide for their families. And its a vision, I think his is a moral vision, it’s a vision based very deeply in values. And taking care of the least of these, and making sure that we are creating a country that is a country for everybody not just for the very very wealthy. We are working hard to lift people up out of poverty and give them a better life, and a footing, and that’s what government is suppose to do.
Eleanor Clift wrote about Jarrett’s history as a single mother and her relationship with Michelle Obama in 2010:
After First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made work-and-family balance one of her priorities both personally and professionally, Jarrett is a favorite ambassador to the many women’s groups that dot the nation’s capital, and indeed the country. Settling into a comfortable chair on a riser at a reception sponsored by the International Women’s Forum, Jarrett revealed that as a single mother, she felt like “I was holding on by my finger tips,” even though she had an enviable support system with her parents living just blocks away in Chicago. Her father took her daughter to school every day from kindergarten through high school, an admission that drew nods of amazement from the crowd of women.
In 1991, when her daughter was 5, Jarrett was pulling long hours working for Mayor Richard Daley. She hired a young lawyer named Michelle Robinson who had just become engaged to Barack Obama. A friendship was born along with a political partnership as Jarrett, a few years older and very savvy in the ways of Chicago, ushered the couple into the city’s power structure. Jarrett and Obama had a lot in common, each having spent part of their formative years living abroad. Jarrett was born in Iran, where her father was a doctor. She attended an elite boarding school in New England before getting a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford and a law degree from University of Michigan. Whip smart and seemingly fearless, she has been called Obama’s “north star,” keeping his political trajectory on course and staying close to the family in the White House.
Her daughter is 24 now and well on her way, but Jarrett hasn’t forgotten those days, and how hard it can be to raise children even when you have a family to back you up.
Andrew Stiles at National Review in November of 2013, in perhaps the best portrait of Jarrett yet written at article length:
Jarrett’s critics have no dearth of examples. She has been variously described by her critics within the Obama administration as the “Night Stalker,” on account of her general ruthlessness, as well as her tendency to follow the president into the White House residence after hours; “She Who Must Not Be Challenged”; and Obama’s “Rasputin.” Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who clashed often with Jarrett, likened her and senior aide Peter Rouse to Saddam Hussein’s maniacal sons, Uday and Qusay.
Over the past several years, a clearer picture of Jarrett’s role has emerged thanks to the plethora of books and articles published about the inner workings of the Obama White House. She is equal parts fangirl and enforcer, inspiring fear and envy in her (many) detractors, a true believer who was in on the ground floor of the Obama Cult and will be the last to leave.
Jarrett’s personal friendship with the president and first lady dates back more than two decades, before the couple was married, and before Barack Obama launched his political career in Chicago. The president has said he views her “like a sibling” and trusts her “completely.” As result, she enjoys “unlimited, almost mystical access” to the president, write Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, and is known as “The Keeper of the Essence,” the “defender, protector, and avenger” of all things Obama.
I spent much of the past few years reading books and editing articles that sought to explain who Barack Obama really was and what he believed and thus what he was trying to do with this country we love. I read the books he read when he was in his 20s, studied the mentors who taught him, and tried to make some sense of his life experience. But for what? I was wasting my time. We all were.
Editor’s Note: This is Part II of an ongoing series by Robert Spencer highlighting human rights hypocrisy and fraudulent peace activists. For Part I, see last week’s article: “The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam“
Last week, after jihad terrorists Mujaahid Abu Hamza and Ismail Ibn Abdullah (formerly Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale) were convicted of murder for beheading British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street, I had an exchange with the prominent British “moderate” Muslim spokesman Mohammed Ansar on Twitter. Ansar asserted:
Know that despite the claims of these killers, Islam does not allow for their actions. They are wrong in Islam. They are wrong in the law.
Knowing that Mujaahid Abu Hamza had invoked the Qur’an on camera moments after murdering Rigby, I asked Ansar:
Adbolajo invoked the Quran sura 9 right after the killing. Can you please refer us to an exegesis of sura 9 that refutes his views?
“Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings” a 512 page Islamic analysis by Qadri, that terrorism is unjust, evil + un-Islamic.
This didn’t really answer my question, as I was asking for sources giving a peaceful interpretation of sura 9, that is, Surat at-Tauba, the ninth chapter of the Qur’an, which Mujaahid Abu Hamza specifically invoked to justify his murder of Lee Rigby. Instead of offering that, Ansar referred me to Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri’s Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings. But as this massive fatwa is a monument of “moderate Islam,” I figured it was worth a look.
To be sure, I had never placed much stock in this fatwa as a genuine exercise in Islamic moderation, as Qadri was a chief framer of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, which have been used to victimize countless Christians in Pakistan. Still, his fatwa is often touted as the quintessential refutation of the “extremist” understanding of Islam, so it warrants careful consideration.