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Is Harvard Law Using Ted Cruz to Pander to Conspiracy Theorists?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Republican Senator Ted Cruz Speaks At The Heritage Foundation

In case you missed the official announcement:

From now on conspiracy theorists will no longer be receiving their memorandums, instructions, and dispatches (including “red meat” and “dog whistles”) via listservs, talk radio, blogs, or newsletters. Neither will rumors or conspiracy theories be whispered to them at the secret cabal meetings, effective immediately. All members of the vast right-wing conspiracy, the bitter clingers, the “conspiracy nuts” and tea party members have been informed that they will hitherto be apprised of important subversive announcements, apocalyptic instructions, and other missives via the Harvard Law Review.

Yes, you read that correctly.

According to Ben Jacobs at The Daily Beast, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is now using the Harvard Law Review, “bastion of liberal elitism,”  to communicate with  ”those on the far right concerned about Agenda 21, NAFTA superhighways, or any of a range of other conspiracy theories.” Cruz has apparently signaled this shift in right-wing strategy by penning a 10,000 word essay titled “Limits on the Treaty Power,” inspired by the Supreme Court’s consideration this term of Bond v. United States, a Tenth Amendment case.  Jacobs seems baffled that Cruz somehow managed to convince the editors of the esteemed publication to give him space to make the case for limits on the powers of treaties, and implies that there must be some nefarious secret message buried within the essay “replete with 181 footnotes, against the scale and scope of the modern federal government.”

The phraseology Cruz uses, according to Jacobs, “serves as red meat to those on the right concerned about the United Nations, especially those who believe that Agenda 21, a non-binding plan for sustainable development is a Trojan horse for instituting world government.”

[Note: At least the left is now acknowledging that those on the right are literate.]

In the essay, Cruz argues that, “The president cannot make a treaty that displaces the sovereign powers reserved to the states.” Citing Missouri v. Holland, a 1920 Supreme Court case dealing with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, Cruz warns that, “if Justice Holmes was correct [that Congress has plenary power to implement any treaty], then the president and Senate could agree with a foreign nation to undo the checks and balances created by the people who founded our nation.”

Such language is pure “red meat” for the right, according to Jacobs.

And then there are these secret code words embedded in Cruz’s essay: “We must jealously guard the separation of powers and state sovereignty if we are to preserve the constitutional structure our Framers gave us.”

Cruz is blowing a “dog whistle for conspiracy nuts” with this constitutional crazy talk, says Jacobs.

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The Unproductive Obsession with Hipster Anne Frank

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg


I first came to the attention of Hipster Anne Frank thanks to the Forward. I don’t Tweet much and when I do, I’m not exactly looking to hook up with faux profiles. Like most pre-tech dinosaurs (currently known as “the work force”), I can barely keep up with the real friends I have through the ‘net. Most of us still catch up on each other’s news the old-fashioned way — through talking, preferably in person. I found this out this weekend when three folks I collided into at a friend’s wedding all asked me, “So, what are you doing lately?” I did not respond, “Don’t you read my Facebook?” Why not? Because that would’ve been, well, weird.

Unfortunately, most folks don’t have such a laissez-faire relationship with social media. In fact, in the world of 24 hour news and instant Internet, news agencies rely on technology to provide them with fresh material around the clock. Hence a Twitter profile for Hipster Anne Frank became big news in some big publications including Ha’aretz, The Atlantic, and Time. Jumping on the trend, Renee Ghert-Zand proffered her opinion at the Forward: “Nonetheless, I maintain that there are better ways to get young people to learn about Anne Frank’s legacy.”

There absolutely are, and by pointing out that fact, Renee Ghert-Zand has missed the point of Hipster Anne Frank. This Twitter account, as with most faux-Twitter profiles, doesn’t exist to educate or inform, but to feed off the postmodern millennial belief that everything is nothing and can therefore be manipulated at will for the ultimate currency: hits, followers, re-tweets.

“I fear that this kind of tasteless misappropriation of Anne Frank’s memory and legacy, and that of other historical personalities, will only increase now that people can hide behind Twitter handles,” Ghert-Zand remarked.

Exactly. That’s the point.

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Making Lemonade From Divorce Lemons

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 - by Andrew Klavan

The lovely Chris Niles is a long-time and very dear friend of mine — and an extremely talented colleague as well. Recently, after 21 years of wedded something-or-other, Chris’s husband walked out on her. This, of course, was extremely bad news for Chris, but she’s making it sort of interesting for the rest of us with one of the best written blogs I’ve ever seen. The blog is called WHATSTHATYOUSAYMRSROBINSON and, largely through a series of character sketches, chronicles Chris’s completely unsavory and probably unwise attempts to deal with her heart-wrenching  situation. Well, as I say, she’s a friend of mine, so unsavory and unwise come with the territory. Here’s a sample:

The Jamaican. The worst flirt in the Western Hemisphere, hands down. Well over six feet tall, good looking, and with a voice like Barry White overdosed on Valium, the Jamaican is the mayor of my local bar. He likes the corner stool, next to the door, so he can ogle the women and size up the men.

The Jamaican’s sex appeal is weapons’ grade; this point cannot be over-emphasized. But, bless him, he doesn’t sit back and let his considerable physical assets do all the work. Did I mention that he’s the worst flirt in the Western Hemisphere? Hold onto that thought and imagine being steamrollered by charm.  You’re so steamrollered you cannot think straight; you can’t even remember your own name. Normally I have the resting heart rate of a coma victim. About three feet from the Jamaican it began doing a fairly solid impersonation of a jackhammer.

There didn’t seem to be any doubt that it went both ways. Perhaps it was the fact that he liked to sit so close to me our thighs touched. Or the time he put his hand to the clasp of my bra and said, grinning. “When I was 22 I could have got that off with one hand.”  For a few seconds—I was a little slow on the uptake because I was trying to recall my name—I thought he might actually do it.

If the above horrifies you, you can stay here with me — I couldn’t remove a bra with both hands and a power drill. But if you love good writing, sardonic humor and post-separation insanity, I really recommend this. It’s great stuff.

Cross-Posted from Klavan on the Culture

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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl Season 2 Debuts

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Via Daily Dot | “Awkward Black Girl” talks second season:

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl goes against everything the mainstream media knows about making a hit TV show.

Issa Rae directs and stars as Jay, a black woman who is not a size zero, as she navigates through life’s many awkward and embarrassing moments. Through YouTube, Rae has found a huge international audience, proving that you don’t have to be a white man to be an entertainment success.

“[J]ust because she’s a black female lead doesn’t mean you can’t relate to her,” Rae once told NPR. “And I think that that speaks more to mainstream media because there just is this sort of perception that, you know, if a black person is in the lead, then it has to be for black people.”

From faking phone conversations in order to avoid coworkers, to dropping a tampon out of her purse in front of a date, there’s now no doubt that Jay’s awkward moments are universally relatable. Today, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl has 450,000 viewers, a Shorty Award for Best Web Show, and funding from rapper Pharrell Williams’ creative company, iamOTHER.

It’s a far cry from last summer, when Rae and her cohorts were concerned that if they couldn’t meet their Kickstarter goal, they wouldn’t be able to afford the second half of the season. That all changed when Williams contacted her, Rae told Essence.

Read the rest of the story, written by Lauren Rae Orsini and check out more of her writing. Orsini is a self-described “otaku journalist” who covers fandom and pop culture cults.

Hat tip on Orsini: Susannah Breslin who highlighted her at Forbes.

Here’s the first episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl in season 2:

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I’ll have to watch a few more episodes before making any solid judgments about the show but this seems to be a variation of the same genre as Lena Dunham and Girls on HBO which I wrote about yesterday. And my reaction is the same: I’ve known too many people who are just like this. So yes, it’s entertaining and clever — but watching it is more an awkward stumble down memory lane, not a lighthearted escape.

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Badass Video: Blogger Confronts Newspaper that Stole His Article with $500 Invoice

Monday, May 14th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Duane Lester is the proprietor of All-American Blogger and a regular contributor to both PJ Media and here at PJ Lifestyle (where he covers the superhero/comic book beat for us).

Recently he wrote an article for his blog that a small town newspaper reprinted without permission or attribution. Duane explains the story here and presents the screenshots demonstrating the undeniable plagiarism. So what did he do? Duane went and confronted them and — in blogger fashion — took a video camera along with him.

As both his editor and a peer in the new media world a sense of pride sweeps over me while watching Duane calmly, professionally LAY DOWN THE LAW and GET PAID:

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Duane’s an inspiration for bloggers everywhere.

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3 Rules for Handling the Online Trolls, Bullies, and Crackpots

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

“Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.”

It’s arguably the most famous opening line in 20th century fiction. The predicament in which Franz Kafka’s “Joseph K.” finds himself is even more chillingly relevant today than it was in 1920.

Not only was Kafka lucky enough to have died before the Holocaust he’d intuited was on the horizon, but he missed far, far lesser scourges, like internet trolls and slanderers.

If Kafka were alive and writing on the web today, he’d have dozens of online stalkers, making fun of him for living with his parents and having really big ears.

He might even be subject to “lawfare” for his “controversial” blogging.

A while back I wrote about the particular abuse women in general — and conservative women in particular — attract on the web. The good news is that there are ways to dial down this annoying din, and these methods work for everybody.

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When Business Gets Personal: Is Blogging Any Job For a Woman?

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 - by Kathy Shaidle

At Forbes, Larissa Faw takes a frank look at the business side of the female blogosphere. What she discovers shouldn’t shock anyone familiar with the old “80/20 rule”:

“You can break it down like this,” says BSM Media’s Maria Bailey and author of Power Moms. “There’s the top 10% who make six figures, who write books, and have deals with the Food Network. Then there’s the bottom 20% who are only doing it for the love and not making anything.”

“This leaves 70% of women bloggers — some 13.2 million — who blog for some modicum of profit. While no two bloggers are alike, they all receive money from similar opportunities. And free merchandise in exchange for a blog review is often considered the gateway towards serious monetization.”

Since Faw’s column is primarily focused on business models and profit, she rightly sidesteps the non-monetary hazards women face when they blog: being insulted and threatened, for instance, or losing jobs for writing about stuff that’s either too personal or too political.

Of course, those hazards dog male bloggers, too. But in my experience, women get judged more harshly for stating their opinions.

Come on: Is Ann Coulter really more heartless and obnoxious than P.J. O’Rourke? Yet who gets attacked on campuses?

Does Glenn Reynolds get rape threats, or is that just Dana Loesch (and me)?

Another Forbes columnist, Susannah Breslin, argues that being frank and female doesn’t have to be a career-ender any longer.

Breslin, whose old sex blog was called “Reverse Cowgirl,” is now, well, writing for Forbes.

In the era of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, is Breslin onto something — or does writing about/participating in sex earn women the kind of “hall pass” that delving into politics never will?

Image courtesy shutterstock and Kletr

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The ‘Cult’ of Attachment Parenting?

Friday, April 27th, 2012 - by Rhonda Robinson

From the discussion on Elisabeth Badinter’s controversial new book The Conflict at Slate:

Badinter places the guilt over breast-feeding into a larger cultural and historical context. Modern women have given themselves over to the cult of what she calls “ecological parenting.” It’s not just breast-feeding on demand, but the fad for doulas and natural childbirth and our horror of epidurals and formula. Many of us do not fall for all these trends, and we may even make fun of them, but they are in fact our current ideals—the markers of perfect motherhood. “Beware the woman who takes even a small glass of champagne at a birthday party,” Badinter writes, hinting at the sinister modern framing of motherhood as a constant trade-off between the needs of the child and the selfish desires of the mother.

Gearing up for a football game, my son Tom once wrote 33TOM across his cheek. When he turned from the bathroom mirror to show his sisters, their laughter confused him. In reality, he wrote MOTEE.

Badinter and her brand of feminists have tattooed their own MOTEE across the foreheads of women for generations. And their love affair with the mirror has permanently distorted their ability to seereality.

Many of the so-called “cultish” trends that the author claims modern women have given themselves over to have existed at least thirty plus years. No, wait – I believe natural childbirth and breast feeding existed a bit longer.

Trends, fads and cultish behavior are the byproducts of new ideas. Giving birth to your child without unnecessary intervention and  bonding with her on an intimate level (such as co-sleeping or breastfeeding on demand) are only new ideas in the minds of women who have embraced feminism as a form of external power.

In reality, the “trends” bemoaned by the author are actually a slow recovery that started a couple of decades ago when many of us embraced our femininity. We discovered that our bodies are a spectacular design that didn’t end with sex. When given the chance we are capable of almost unimaginable strength, resilience and an inner power no movement can give.

Personally, I find it refreshing that there is a new generation that has rejected the decaying ideology that claims children undermine our “status.”

Natural childbirth, nursing, doula care, healthy eating habits — are all these just cultish trends? Or is it that this generation has refused to embrace the shallow values of the “me” generation?

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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Saturday, April 7th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

One Vodkapundit, five ounces, five minutes, the entire Blogosphere:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned:











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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Friday, March 30th, 2012 - by Stephen Green

Somehow, despite the paucity of news this week, our Friendly Neighborhood Vodkapundit found something going on in the Blogosphere:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned in his video:












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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

‘Tis a simple formula for St. Patrick’s Day: One man, five ounces, four minutes, the world of the Blogosphere at your doorstep:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned:












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Andrew Klavan: At the Corner of Hollywood and New Media

Monday, March 5th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll (L) Andrew Klavan (R), during the November 2011 NR Cruise.

Novelist, screenwriter, GBTV.com and PJTV contributor and PJ Media columnist Andrew Klavan and I spoke on Sunday for a 22-minute long podcast interview, in which we discussed:

I’ve admired Andrew’s work ever since seeing True Crime with Clint Eastwood in a San Jose theater back in 1999, and have featured his PJTV material numerous times on PJM’s Sirius-XM show during its run. But I had never spoken with Andrew before the National Review Cruise this past November. So it was great to ask him some thoughts on new media, Hollywood, conservatism, and the future of the movie industry.

Click below to listen to our interview:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(22 minutes long; 22 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right-click here to download this show to your hard drive. Or right-click here to download the 7 MB lo-fi edition.

If your browser/Internet connection balks at the Flash player above and/or downloading the audio, click on the player below, or click here to be taken to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip.  Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

For the rest of podcasts at the PJM Lifestyle blog, start here and keep scrolling.

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From PJTV: The Week In Blogs

Friday, March 2nd, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

You give Stephen Green five minutes and plenty of clear alcohol, he’ll send you around the world! Err, wait a second, that didn’t come out right. How ’bout, around the Blogosphere, instead?

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentions in the video:











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Farewell, Happy Warrior: Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 - by Jehuda

Andrew Breitbart has passed away.  May he rest in peace.

Here’s a brief In Memoriam from Andrew’s very own BigHollywood; and a longer piece from what is essentially one of Andrew’s hometown newspapers, The Hollywood Reporter.

I never met the man, but he was an inspiration.    The dextrosphere revolution Andrew helped kickstart just a few years ago has grown to become an established alternative to the Old Guard press and Leftie websites.  He was instrumental in its rise.  And for that many Americans owe him a debt of gratitude.

The dextrosphere will most certainly live on, but we shall never forget the feistiness; the strategic and tactical brilliance; and the leadership Andrew brought into it – and that he so generously shared with the Tea Party movement and all liberty-loving people across America.

Farewell, Happy Warrior!  Your warrior spirit will keep on fighting in all of us.

UPDATE: And make sure to read Roger Simon’s lovely eulogy, too.


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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Saturday, February 25th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

Five minutes; five ounces. Coincidence? We think not:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve referenced in his video:











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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Saturday, February 11th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

One man, four ounces of clear liquor, five minutes of video, and millions and millions of blogs. It’s a beautiful thing:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve Green mentions in his video:












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Why Men Are More Likely to Be Geeks Than Women

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Author and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff in an interview about his new graphic novel from D.C./Vertigo, A.D.D.: Adolescent Demo Division, on why the worlds of video games and geek culture are so male-dominated, emphasis mine:

“I think to some extent it’s harder for the forces that be to hypnotize women the same way they hypnotize men,” Rushkoff said. “Women were just as susceptible to the marketing of objects. In the 1950s, when they started marketing to women in America after World War II and trying to increase consumption, that’s when kleptomania was first diagnosed — and it was a women’s disease, because they were so marketed to that they would go in and steal stuff from the department store. I’m not saying women are not programmable and susceptible, they are. But it tended to be more for ‘the real.’ I’m finding, at least, that boys and men are more susceptible to the attraction and hypnosis of ‘the virtual,’ whether it’s pornography or video games or ideas. They seem to be more susceptible to these abstract forms of manipulation. Maybe men are more visual and less tactile; there’s probably some old evolutionary biology reasoning for it. Men were hunting, so they had to stay at a distance; women were gathering, so they had to feel the berries in their hands. Who knows what it is, but it doesn’t seem, for the most part, that these worlds are quite as compelling in the same way to women as they are for men. They are compelling — now, the numbers are changing, and I think the number of women involved in social media is greater than the number of men. As the applications change, certainly the gender biases change as well. But this ADD video phenomenon thing does seem to be more boy than girl.”

This of course has something to do with the angry emails and comments that are still coming in from Star Wars enthusiasts more militant than I who could not stand the fact that Kathy Shaidle does not share our pop culture faith.

And to put it in terms that PJM’s regular readers may recognize: publishing Five Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks is done for the same reason why Comedy Central should allow South Park to depict the prophet Mohammed. If we can’t laugh at our idolatry then we’re in trouble.

Nobody should be emailing to complain because Kathy wrote a self-evidently hyperbolic sentence like, “Successful, mature men do not play computer games, attend ‘cons,’ and get excited about overrated science fiction movies from the 1970s.”

We all have silly hobbies. It’s very silly how regularly April and I go to DisneyLand and how much we enjoy goofy rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. (Kathy, have any funny mean things to say about DisneyLand obsessives?)

But even sillier than our hobbies is getting emotionally upset when others judge us for them.


David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media and writes a post each day on news and politics at PJ Tatler and culture and entertainment at PJ Lifestyle. He can be contacted with feedback and story tips at DaveSwindlePJM[@]gmail.com and on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He enforces commenting guidelines on his posts — rude, off topic and ad hominem comments will be deleted.

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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

One pundit, plus five minutes, four ounces of vodka and two olives = millions of blogs:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned:












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From PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week In Blogs

Friday, January 20th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

One man, four minutes of video, three ounces of vodka = millions of blogs, all boiled down to one video:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned:












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PJTV: Vodkapundit’s Week in Blogs

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

One man, one Martini, four minutes, millions of blogs:

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentioned:











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Audio: Dr. Helen & Amy Alkon on Men’s Issues

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 - by Helen Smith

My interview with Advice Goddess Amy Alkon on men’s issues is now up at Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to us discuss paternity fraud, men’s reproductive rights (or lack thereof), domestic violence, and how men can learn to survive in a female-centered world:

Listen to internet radio with amyalkon on Blog Talk Radio

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From PJTV: VodkaPundit’s Year In Blogs

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 - by PJ Lifestyle

You give Stephen Green seven minutes and 30 seconds and a swanky Rat Pack-era shawl-collared tuxedo, and he’ll show you what the entire Blogosphere was up to in all of 2011. In video form. Is that a bargain, or what? (Don’t everybody flash their uptwinkles at once…)

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Here are the links to the items that Steve mentions in his video:

10.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZi4JxbTwPo&feature=player_embedded%23at=73

9. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/another-reporter-utters-gibberish-on-air-after-suffering-medical-issue/


8. http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2011/08/25/photoshop-of-the-year/

7. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/03/video-crossbow-shooting-machete-redefines-dangerous/


6. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/how-bad-is-the-employment-picture-this-bad/

5. http://www.breitbart.tv/occupywallst-protesters-epic-meltdown/

4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12725646

3. http://jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com/2011/05/weiner-meltdown.html



2. http://www.downtwinkles.com/#

1. http://www.killingtime.com/Pegu/2011/12/15/johnnie-walker-knows-marketing/

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Questions Needed for Blog Talk Radio on Men’s Issues

Friday, December 30th, 2011 - by Helen Smith

I will be a guest on Amy Alkon’s radio show on Sunday, January 1st at 4:30 Eastern and our topic will be men’s issues with a focus on paternity rights and relationships. For example, why do men have so few paternity rights? Should you get a DNA test? Why is fatherhood so unpopular that young guys don’t want to be dads? Why do women have so many reproductive rights but men have few or none?

Do you have any questions or comments that you would like us to discuss regarding men, relationships, culture or sex? If so, drop them below and we will pick out some to discuss on air. Thanks!

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The 10 Biggest Failures Of 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 - by John Hawkins

10. The Walking Dead: Season 2: The first season of The Walking Dead was the best thing to happen to sci-fi fans since Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air. People loved the series so much that the second season premiere set a ratings record. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. A group of disparate people desperately trying to escape hordes of zombies is exciting. A group of disparate people hashing out their feelings about each other on a relatively safe farm while they venture out to put down the occasional stray zombie they run across is not. At this point, the show is like a relationship that’s going bad. It starts out magnificently, but then you slowly realize it’s not as much fun as it used to be, but you’re still hoping against hope that things will turn around before you have to break it off. If the Walking Dead keeps this up, a lot of its fans are going to have a “It’s not you, baby, it’s me” conversation with the show.

9. Righthaven: Righthaven is a group of “copyright trolls” that have been the scourge of bloggers and forums across the world. Its modus operandi is to buy the right to stories from various newspapers and then use a loophole in the law to sue anybody and everybody it can for “copyright infringement.” There are no requests to take the material down, no harm done to the papers, just demands for ridiculous cash sums under dubious legal circumstances. After profitably settling a number of cases, Righthaven started losing in court. Happily, things have gotten so bad that “$225,000 in attorney fee awards have been assessed against Righthaven. Righthaven has pleaded poverty and said that it may be forced to file for bankruptcy, but the court in the Hoehn case issued an order allowing the seizure of Righthaven’s assets to satisfy the award.” Personally, I’m rooting for everyone associated with Righthaven to end up eating out of garbage cans. It couldn’t happen to nicer guys.

(Update: Righthaven’s URL is being auctioned off here. Bidders are expected to be mostly defendants trying to keep the Righthaven name and everything about it out of circulation. — Ed Driscoll.)

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