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Turncoat Feminists

Monday, April 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
The real problems facing American feminists today.

The real problems facing American feminists today.

Commentary has printed some brilliant feminist insights by Jonathan S. Tobin on Brandeis University’s refusal to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

We have heard a great deal in the last couple of years from liberals about a “war on women” that was supposedly being waged by American conservatives. That meme played a crucial part in President Obama’s reelection and Democrats hope to repeat that success in this year’s midterms. Liberals have tried to mobilize American women to go to the polls to register outrage over the debate about forcing employers to pay for free contraception, a Paycheck Fairness Act that is more of a gift to trial lawyers than women, and attempts to limit abortions after 20 weeks. These are issues on which reasonable people may disagree, but what most liberals seem to have missed is the fact that there is a real war on women that is being waged elsewhere around the globe where Islamist forces are brutalizing and oppressing women in ways that make these Democratic talking points look trivial. It is that point that Hirsi Ali is trying to make in her public appearances.

But instead of rising in support of Hirsi Ali’s efforts to draw attention to these outrages, leading American feminists are silent. The only voices we’re hearing from the left are from men who are determined to justify Brandeis.

I recently commented on the nastiness that occurs when political passion jumps the shark into idol-worshiping territory. One need look no further for evidence as to how ugly and narrow-minded political idol worshipers can get than the quotes Tobin pulls from left-wing sources hellbent on defending Brandeis’s decision. A search of both Jezebel  and Bitch Magazine websites turned up zip on the controversy, once again proving the theory that feminism really is all about white, upper class “rich” chicks and their pop culture fanaticism.

Hirsi Ali wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.

The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.

The fact that the mainstream feminist movement has no use for Hirsi Ali’s brave fight for women’s rights should come as no surprise. Her global campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and abuse of women within radical Islam is so far out of the realm of #FirstWorldProblem Feminism that it doesn’t even ping on their radar. Which is precisely why feminism is a joke and women continue to be the laughingstock whipping boys of Democrat men who keep them well oiled and distracted during election season before shoving them back under Oval Office desks where they belong. What can I say except submission sells.

Perhaps Muslim women aren’t the only ones who are being targeted and abused because of their gender after all.

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Religion, Politics & Screaming at the Internet

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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David Swindle has entered the ongoing  discussion on altruism, religion and politics here at PJLifestyle. In doing so, he’s issued a number of great questions I’ve been wrestling with over the past few weeks. Jumping back in, I’d like to address them one by one, beginning with:

Walter, Susan, Lisa, and anyone else who’d like to join the discussion: am I going too far when I say that for a good number of people “Conservatism” is a form of idolatry?

No. I’ve had a hard, sad reminder of that through some of the commentary I’ve received on a number of articles in the past few weeks. There are some wonderful, insightful people out there who I’d love to have dinner with some day. And then there’s the passionate base who has time to issue verbose rants: Contradict popular line and you can “F-off”. You know this segment of the population; they are the reason stereotypes exist. But, they also prove the point that there are people out there who worship Conservatism above all else. Ironically, they’re as abusively passionate as those “liberals” they are taught to hate.

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A Jew’s Take on Jesus Movies

Sunday, March 30th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

BiblememeAcculturated‘s R.J. Moeller has penned an excellent commentary on faith-based films in light of the Christian controversy surrounding Noah:

…no one who doesn’t already believe in God will go see Son of God. And many who do believe in God and who do go see it are, like me, plopping down $14 or $15 purely from a sense of solidarity with the well-intentioned creators of such projects. There are other, better “Jesus movies.” A dramatic reading of some of the more risqué and exciting parts of the Bible by the likes of Morgan Freeman would interest me more than sitting through Son of God again.

And while neither option likely interests your secular, non-religious co-worker, neighbor, or relative, all of them will go see something like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. This is why I, as a Christian, am infinitely more excited about Noah than any other “faith-based” film in a long time – regardless of the theology or worldview found in it. I can actually talk to my non-Christian friends about it because they will actually pay U.S. currency (or BitCoin) to go see it.

…what I am suggesting is that while we work to inspire and equip new generations of artists who share our values to boldly venture into the pop-culture fray, we must not miss opportunities to introduce our worldview into the cultural conversation. … Art has the power to transcend and speak to the soul. But it must be able to meet people on their level before pointing them upward.

Upon first read I knew Moeller went out on a limb with his commentary, precisely because what he says is the truth. And truth doesn’t always gel with religious dogma; I’m a Jew, I should know. One advantage I do have over my Christian brothers when it comes to faith is that my Jewish culture encourages — and is built on — wrestling with God’s word. These matches stray far from the polite scenarios common to gentile Christian faith. However, they have resulted in a similarity between us, in that they have developed and sustained a religious culture that reveres commentary as much as the actual Word of God.

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Glenn Beck, The Church & the Real Secret to Disney’s Success

Monday, March 24th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Last week, alternative media mogul Glenn Beck announced that he was going to focus on “taking back” American culture through the power of nostalgia:

In the future, Glenn Beck’s focus is going to be more on influencing culture and less on politics and news. After all, news is only “what the culture allows,” he said in a recent interview with National Review’s Eliana Johnson.

…“Beck is nostalgic for an America of decades past, and his cultural projects will aim to resurrect and revive it,” Johnson writes. “It’s an America where duty trumped desire and Americans were bound together by a sort of civic religion created by that sense of duty. ‘I want to impact the culture in the way that people see good again,’ [Glenn] says.”

Beck’s goal is admirable, to a fault. The period he seeks to resurrect was one in which concepts like “good” and “duty” were defined by a Biblical religion, not a civic one. Any history student will tell you that Marx had his own take on the American Revolution; you can show someone Frank Capra movies until you’re blue in the face and they’re still going to see Mr. Smith as the ultimate community organizer if that’s their moral outlook.

As Amy Kenyon notes, there are pitfalls to what passes for nostalgia these days:

…the historical meanings and usages associated with nostalgia were finally mangled beyond recognition until its chief purpose became the performance of sentimentalism, the parceling out of discount memory via television, advertising, heritage theme parks, and souvenir markets, all aspects of what we might call the “nostalgia industry.” As such, nostalgia became kitsch, trivial and reactionary: hardly the stuff of a meaningful engagement with the past or the workings of memory.

Simply put: Glenn Beck needs to do more than embrace the facade of America, circa 1940. Beck needs to dig deeper, to America’s Biblical heritage, to understand what re-taking the culture truly means.

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The Latest Outbreak of Golden Calf Syndrome

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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There’s this great story in the Torah that goes a little something like this. The leaders of Israel went up on a mountain for a private conference with God, per His request. With the bosses away, the Israelites decided to throw a party. Grateful to their God for freeing them from slavery, they shaped a golden calf to symbolize Him, worshipped the calf as God, and partied on. When the leaders came back down from the mountain, they were less than pleased. Tablets were smashed, God rained justice, there were a lot of irreversible layoffs. The common understanding of the tale says that God destroyed the Israelites because they worshipped the calf as a god. In reality, their sin was creating an image of God that suited their own liking, then worshipping Him as they wished.

Hollywood, and American culture in general, suffers from Golden Calf Syndrome. Whether you blame it on the instant gratification of social media or simple human impatience, God doesn’t communicate every 5 seconds in 140 characters or less. That’s not enough for us as a culture, so we’ve made a nasty habit out of satiating our need for the Almighty by forcing Him into a box of our own liking. Habit has become trend to the point that we don’t even realize when we’re trying to force God into our mold.

Take, for instance, the conservative Christian idol-worship of Matthew McConaughey for “daring” to use the name “God” in a sentence at the Oscars. Upon remarking on the huge stretch of the imagination performed by Christians (and some Jews, I’m sure) in thinking that McConaughey’s use of the G-word somehow referenced the God of scripture, the common, rather lackluster response I received was best phrased as, “Take it where you can get it.”

One comment, however, caught my eye.

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Purim: The Cure for Vashti Feminists

Sunday, March 16th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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There are a lot of great lines in the megillah of Esther. The one most often quoted comes from Mordecai: “Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position for such a time as this.” It smacks of drama and makes for an excellent movie poster catchphrase. But, it wouldn’t hold half its meaning without the point-blank observation of evil Haman’s wife, Zeresh.

Upon listening to his frustration over Mordecai’s refusal to bow to him, Zeresh tells her husband to hang Mordecai. But, when she finds out Mordecai is a Jew, she does a complete 180 and admits:

If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is a Jew, you will not get the better of him; on the contrary, your downfall before him is certain.

And this is before Esther convinced the King not to massacre the Jews. It’s refreshing to know our reputation precedes us. But it isn’t a reputation we Jews are always glad to have; we aren’t exactly in it for the fame. In fact, like Esther, our first instinct is to keep our heads down and fit in with the rest of the crowd.

Speaking of “the crowd”, modern feminists have managed to twist the humble Jewess into the villain of the tale, instead opting to celebrate the Persian Queen Vashti for her refusal to appear before the King at his whim. Think: Her body, her self, Persian style. Docile, compliant Esther, meanwhile, is a mere pawn whose beauty comes in handy to persuade the patriarchy to let her live another day. This simplistic interpretation, totally ignorant of the promise and perspective of God, relies on the feminist myth that a woman’s worth is in her ability to manipulate her body to her advantage. Esther could never be considered a hero to these women, because she was inspired by a sense of purpose that outweighed the importance of her own skin.

“Don’t suppose that merely because you happen to be in the royal palace you will escape any more than the other Jews. For if you fail to speak up now, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from a different direction; but you and your father’s family will perish,” Mordecai warns before adding, “Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position precisely for such a time as this.”

Vashti Feminists like to think the story is about Esther using her body to pursue the King’s favor. In reality, Esther pursues God’s purpose for her life and the life of her nation, Israel. She didn’t choose to sacrifice her body to the Persian King’s whims. On the contrary, Esther chose to devote herself, body, mind and spirit, to the living promises of God. The King, the death decree, even evil Haman, all of them were nothing more than plot devices in the ongoing love story between God and Israel. Esther, Queen of the Shadchans (Matchmakers) arrived on the scene as a reminder that “relief and deliverance will come”.

Esther was just a regular Jewish girl, redirecting her focus away from herself and onto the bigger picture of God’s plan for humanity. Crowned with the desire and humility to walk in faith, she is remembered as a Queen among her people. Vashti-feminists are oblivious to this plan and the honor it bestows, because their focus remains on the image in the mirror, not the person within, let alone the others who may be around.

Thank God, Esther decided that fitting in with the crowd was a bad idea. Had Esther followed feminist mantra, she would have dismissed Mordecai’s warning and followed the example of Queen Vashti, only to wind up exiled or dead. Instead, she trusted that God’s plan involved every part of her, including her beauty, and used all of her gifts to that end. Typical feminists favor Vashti because they worship tragic beauty; Biblical feminists admire Esther because she plays to win.

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Thank God! Who Is He, Again?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Matthew McConaughey thanked God for his Oscar win last night and the conservative crowd went wild.

McConaughey’s speech sparked a feeding frenzy for conservatives to outdo each other when it came to applauding him, while simultaneously taking shots at liberals. Rick Perry tweeted Monday morning, saying, “Texas boy counting his blessing.” His tweet linked to a Breitbart piece titled “Matthew McConaughey Praises God in Acceptance Speech, Hollywood Crowd Grows Quiet.” On Twitchy, Michelle Malkin’s site, the speech ran as “Matthew McConaughey rattles Oscar crowd, wins hearts by thanking God.” Fox News got in the game with the headline, “Matthew McConaughey one of few to thank God in Oscar acceptance speech.” And so on.

As the Daily Beast points out, McConaughey’s God-nod was most likely reassuring to a Christian population that’s been ostracized more than not:

In recent decades, religious figures are often found more often in niche movies, wrote Cieply, or if they are in major pictures, they “are often hypocrites and villains, driving plot lines that make, at best, a token bow toward the virtues of a faith-based life.”

One need look no further than a recent episode of the hit Scandal, in which the evangelical female vice president who murdered her gay husband claims she is not culpable because the devil made her do it.

Fair enough. I’m sure the Son of God giddiness also contributed to the Tweetfest, despite the fact that McConaughey never did specifically go beyond the name “God,” let alone drop “Jesus” during the speech. He did, however, express conviction that Miller Lite is served in heaven, which I’m sure won over the Duck Dynasty crowd.

What most conservative Oscar watchers failed to lavish with praise wasn’t the mere thanking of God, but the praising of Him by singer Darlene Love. The career backup singer celebrated 20 Feet From Stardom’s Best Documentary win by singing the refrain from the hymn His Eye Is on the Sparrow:

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

The refreshingly simple, faith-laced, joyful lyrics made up the majority of her acceptance “speech” and were received with a full-house standing ovation led by an incredibly enthusiastic, non-religious Bill Murray. Where’s the barrage of Tweets about that?

McConaughey returned to his pot-smoking, bongo-banging self by the end of his speech, concluding with:

…whatever we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is we’re chasing — to that I say, alright, alright, alright. And then I say, just keep livin’.

It’s a generic statement that illustrates God is “whatever” and “whoever” and, therefore, “alright, alright, alright.” I have yet to read a conservative commentary that points out the many ways this level of ambiguity has eroded our nation’s ability to put faith in the God of our ancestors, let alone have faith in ourselves, both as a free nation and as individuals with free will. But hey, that’s cool; an actor said the G-word on stage and it got captured by social media, which makes it count.

Alright, alright, alright.

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The New Morality Makes Animals of Us All

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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First exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon in 1765, Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s ”A Girl With a Dead Canary” was designed to evoke much the same emotion as PETA member Sarah Segal’s proposed memorial to chickens who were killed in a truck accident last month in Georgia. It seems like a tacky comparison that may even be read as an insult to a well-done and even pretty (if bizarre) work of 18th century art, but the bottom line is that both pieces were created for the same purpose: To tug at viewers’ heartstrings while affirming the moral superiority of a particular cultural class.

According to British historian Simon Schama, ill-fated French King Louis XVI introduced the “cult of nature” to the throne, “replacing couches and courtisans with [the] tenderness and simplicity” of Marie Antoinette’s toy farm and the well-crafted embrace of wildlife in art. “Tears were especially prized as evidence of feeling,” Schama explains, noting that, “people wept when they saw” Greuze’s painting. “Feelings …the shallow kind were embraced by the fashionable elite.” It was the attempt of a king and class to portray themselves as perfect, superior human beings.

So it goes with the Roadkill Memorial, albeit in a much more blatantly political format. A tombstone designed to dwarf roadside memorials to mere human victims of vehicular death, the proposed memorial is intended to remind all drivers to approach all of their animal relations with reverence:

Cascada said the tombstone’s visibility would make drivers’ more wary of people and chickens alike, thereby helping to avoid unnecessary accidents and preserve the lives of chickens in transport. …But Cascada acknowledged the reality of the chickens’ final destination, making the “Go Vegan” phrase a key takeaway.

“The more people who go vegan, the fewer chickens are in this situation to begin with,” she said.

Simply stating that “meat is murder” isn’t enough anymore. For PETA, the time for mere sloganeering is over. Humans are animals, don’t you get it? You’re all slabs of meat now, and some are much more important than others.

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Noah Flooded with Potential for Interfaith Battle

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

All week I’ve been seeing anti-Noah posts popping up on Facebook from Christian friends who are convinced that the not-yet-released Darren Aronofsky epic must be a liberal, secularist perversion of the biblical story, morphing Noah into a drunk and spouting an anti-human, pro-environmentalist message. Where’d the controversy come from? According to Jordan Hoffman at the Times of Israel, entertainment trade mag Variety needed to drum up readership on a slow news day:

A strange agenda group for “faith driven consumers” sent out a push-poll asking if people who hadn’t yet seen the film if they were “satisfied with a biblically themed film… which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?”

In other words, a bunch of opt-in Christians were asked if they were ready to see what some scarf-wearing artiste from Jew York City had cooked up with his liberal and probably homosexual friends when, you know, they weren’t drinking blood and hoarding gold. Some 98% of respondents said that, no, they were not satisfied.

It would have been a nothing story had the press release not been picked up by Variety (one of the main entertainment trade publications) on a particularly slow news day. The Internet ran with headlines that basically read “98% of Christian audiences are enraged by ‘Noah!’” forcing Paramount, which has already had plenty of tsuris with this film, to issue an explanatory press release of their own.

The stereotypes Hoffman plays with in his commentary entertainingly highlight the unspoken rift between Jews and Christians when it comes to biblical epics. We, for the most part, stand back while Christians re-interpret our history, our people, our nation, and our sacred text in light of their own slightly Aryan (why are ancient Israelis consistently blue-eyed Brits?) Sunday School memories. This time, however, a Jewish writer/director has paired with a Jewish writer to bring a Torah story to the silver screen. That interpretation has caused Christian uproar, something the filmmakers prepared for when they sought out production partner Rob Moore, who is both a vice chair at Paramount and a devout Christian who supports the film.

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What Is Pop Culture Polytheism?

Monday, January 20th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 Headlines from Around the Web this Week

Starting With 6 Pop Culture Polytheist Idols of the Age

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

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

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

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

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

….

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

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

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

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

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

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

But you should also know her as YOUR NEW FASHION IDOL AND A GODDESS WALKING AMONGST US.

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

….

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

BOW. DOWN.

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

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

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

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

Dance to Beyonce

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

Make the cover of Vogue

Buy a Jason Wu dress

Hang out with your friend, Oprah

Same question.

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

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

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

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

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

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Girls vs Downton Abbey: Feminism’s Body Politic

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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This week both critics and fans of Girls and Downton Abbey sounded off on the treatment of women on screen, highlighting the horrifying potential of 21st century feminist groupthink.

It all began on January 9 when TV critic Tim Molloy stepped in hot water by posing the following question to Lena Dunham:

I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you, particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones, but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.

Dunham deflected the remark with her usual snotty response that boiled down to nudity is realistic and if you don’t like fat bodies, that’s your problem.  Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, the show’s producers, supported Dunham’s remarks with their own politically correct, vitriolic comments about misogyny and female oppression.

Although Molloy’s question never did receive a direct answer, the exchange generated even more critical angst and bizarre philosophizing. For example, Megan Gibson at Time feels the nudity on Girls has nothing to do with “titillation” and everything to do with comedic value and expressions of non-sexual intimacy. It is questionable whether the primary audience for Girls, those “white dudes over 50,” would agree.

One telling thing critics didn’t bother to notice: All the uproar over Molloy’s question, even from Apatow and Konner themselves, wasn’t to defend Dunham’s honor — but to defend awkward bodies, female sexuality, and women’s rights under the umbrella term of “feminism.” In other words, if Hannah Horvath jumped off a bridge naked, she wouldn’t be a pathetic individual who succumbed to her psychoses, she’d be a mere statement about feminism in the 21st century.

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Barbara Walters: We Expected Obama to be the ‘Next Messiah’

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

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And by “we,” she means herself and pretty much everyone else in the media.

Walters made the admission in a chat with another member of the media’s Obama faithful, Piers Morgan.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?

BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.

Walters hastened to follow up with an encouraging note for the faithful: Obama still has a couple years, so he can turn this whole thing around!

Hey, even Jesus had to die before he could be resurrected. If Obama can turn his polls around, well, he’ll be a miracle worker too…

Walters’ comment explains quite a bit, doesn’t it. On the one hand we had the media elites tripping over themselves and each other to wave palm branches as they heralded their new messiah with his Greek columns and his total lack of experience. They were never going to vet him to question him. On the other hand, we had elites like Peggy Noonan who call themselves conservative but who care more about their standing with the liberals they associate with than about any actual principle. It has taken each five years to come to their crisis of faith. Walters admits that Obama just might not be the chosen one (but he still could be!). Noonan finally realizes what many of us saw years ago — that Barack Obama is incompetent and has brought forth a regime that is incompetence all the way down.

Noonan probably came to this conclusion some time ago, but only now does she have the courage to state what has been obvious for half a decade at least.

Walters is holding out prayerful hope to see her messiah rise once more.

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Cross-posted from the PJ Tatler

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21st Century Gnostics Keeping Us Safe, One Gnome at a Time

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 - by Ed Driscoll

Yet another attempt by our 1930s-era cargo cult administration to go Barack to the Future, as spotted by Richard Epstein at the Hoover Institute:

This past week in Washington DC, the President made a speech about the state of the economy and about his determination to reform it. But much as things change, so they remain the same. A great deal of what he said there was reminiscent of a major address he gave two years ago on economic policy before a friendly audience in Osawatomie, Kansas. The President there talked with dizzying rapidity about the lost greatness of America’s past, and his plans to restore that greatness in the future. It’s worth revisiting some of the basic themes of his speech since they obviously continue to inform his policy decisions today.

As is common in speeches that romanticize history to advocate change, Obama’s address contained an unforgivable level of jingoistic nationalism: He claimed, “It was here in America that the most productive workers, the most innovative companies turned out the best products on Earth…. Today, we’re still home to the world’s most productive workers. We’re still home to the world’s most innovative companies.”

No one, not even the United States, can be that good. In fact, our present national status will only become worse if we do not understand that the American position has eroded from its glory days, in part because of the very policies that the President champions as the solution to our issues. But where to begin? The President manages to pack so many economic and historical falsehoods into his speech that it is nearly impossible to take them all on at the same time.

“A rehash of failed progressive policies will not return the United States to greatness,” and while I was tempted to quote that last sentence and snark, “talk about breaking news from 2009,” the reason why the cycle won’t be broken anytime soon is that it’s not policy — it’s religion. Or as Derek Hunter writes at Townhall, “In Government We Trust” is most assuredly “The Progressive Religion:”

What has happened is Democrats’ previously uncheckable lies are now fully checkable. It’s real now. You can’t keep your doctor or insurance, no matter how much you like them. And this hurts in the wallet – a lot. Now that we know this does not qualify as a practical solution, certainly not to health care anyway, Democrats –with all the credibility of a used-Pinto salesman – now embrace “morality” as the reason to embrace Obamacare.

In a column reeking of desperation on par with a kid hoping for a unicorn under his Christmas tree, the Washington Post’s Ryan Cooper complied a list of reasons “Why millennials will come around on Obamacare.” Aside from a desperate lack of understanding of health policy and how people work, the second reason Cooper lists stands out. He writes, “Going without health insurance is morally wrong.”

I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.

This pathetic attempt to manipulate the unthinking into an overwhelming sense of guilt that forces them to capitulate may work on those with fewer IQ points than fingers, but it won’t work on those with a third-grade education.

Cooper explains, “The only way insurance can work for everyone is if everyone is in the system so risk can be pooled. This one doesn’t carry much weight yet, since the system isn’t even operating. But as time passes, this will become an important norm — and for young people, the norm has outsized importance (older people already have a reason to get coverage; they get sick more easily). Getting insurance will be part of living in a decent society where everyone chips in when they can afford it, and free-riding is frowned upon — and over time, young people will come to see this as part of being a responsible citizen.”

Those 108 words are an incredibly inefficient way of rephrasing “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Cooper’s appeal wouldn’t be noteworthy were it a lone cactus in the desert, but it’s not.

Also this week the buffoonish Ed Schultz, MSNBC’s angry Fred Flintstone clone, mused about how God would feel about Obamacare. “I’ll tell you what I think God thinks of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a big amen!”

Not to be outdone in the office pool of idiocy, Charlie Brown’s illegitimate child, Chris Matthews, had an offering on this theme. Matthews temporarily snapped out of his loving gaze while interviewing the president Thursday and put the cherry on top of one of this planet’s worst displays of sycophantism to utter what was supposed to be a question: “You know, Mr. President, your — your remarks the other day on economic justice to me, as a Roman Catholic, was so resonant with what the Holy Father, Francis, has been saying. Talk about that common Judeo-Christian or, even further, Muslim background to the belief we have a social responsibility, a moral responsibility to look out for people who haven’t made it in this country.”

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Sontag’s Kulture Kamp

Friday, November 29th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
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In a 1966 interview Beatle John Lennon said, “We’re more popular than Jesus.” He would later clarify, “‘My views are only from what I’ve read or observed of Christianity and what it was, and what it has been, or what it could be. It just seems to me to be shrinking. I’m not knocking it or saying it’s bad. I’m just saying it seems to be shrinking and losing contact.’”

See the previous parts of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s blogging on Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation

Red or Dead: How Stalin Re-Defined American Liberalism

The Assassination of Patriotism: Intellectuals, Disinformation and JFK

The Framing of Hitler’s Pope

Susan Sontag, who characterized the KGB’s disinformation play about Pope Pius XII as “an excellent theatrical idea,” spearheaded the transformation of the intellectual movement in the 1960s. New York Magazine described Sontag as “the last significant member” of the New York intellectual crowd (which included the likes of Lionel Trilling) and the source of its demise. What Irving Howe would come to define as “the new sensibility” would usher in the conquest of high culture in the name of pop and the metamorphosis of the intellectual class from theological Marxists into a nihilistic oligarchy.

While Sontag was by no means alone in her endeavor, as an academic she pioneered the already closing gap between high and popular cultures by essentially defaming Matthew Arnold, the Victorian father of modern literary criticism. Arnold defined culture as “a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world.”

Susan Sontag declared this notion “historically and humanly obsolescent.” According to art critic Hilton Kramer,

“The Matthew Arnold notion of culture,” she wrote, “defines art as the criticism of life – this being understood as the propounding of moral, social and political ideas.” This was deemed abhorrent on several grounds.  It took literature, with “its heavy burden of ‘content,’ both reportage and moral judgement,” as a model, and this would no longer do.

Sontag embraced late 19th century aestheticism. Beauty would no longer be the source of moral value; according to Sontag’s stylistics, beauty — or, rather, the pleasure one received from viewing or listening to a piece — would be the only way to value a piece of art. Arnold’s concept of content as character building was thrown out the window along with Arnold’s definition of art. Kramer details,

The people no longer had an interest in distinguishing between Arnold’s implicit high and low cultures. Rather, as Sontag wrote, “the feeling (or sensation) given off by a Rauschenberg painting might be like that of a song by the Supremes.”

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Battered Voter Syndrome

Monday, November 4th, 2013 - by Bonnie Ramthun

I know the answer to the questions conservatives have about the devotion of President Obama’s supporters. How can liberals give such overwhelming, blind support to a political leader who lies to them time and time again? How can they ignore the evidence of economic disaster, the loss of personal freedom, an incompetent foreign policy, and the government healthcare debacle that is Obamacare?

How can liberals continue to support this president?

I know why, and you might be surprised at the answer. The answer is love. Love, the most wonderful and terrible of human emotions. I came to understand the terrible side of love when I worked in a battered women’s shelter when I was in college. People who are in an abusive relationship (there are men, too) love their abuser and desperately hope that things will get better. They cling more fiercely to their beliefs the more they are battered, until there is a snapping point.

This snapping point can take a terrible turn when a battered woman murders her spouse. “Battered woman syndrome” is a known disorder and can be used in court as a mitigating factor in a trial. More often, sadly, the battered woman ends up dead in a domestic violence incident that police officers hate more than almost any other call. Some women end their abusive relationship the right way by leaving and seeking help with a women’s shelter like the Safehouse I worked phones for in Wyoming.

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Jay Z’s American Fascism

Monday, October 21st, 2013 - by David P. Goldman

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Ich kann gar nicht so viel fressen, wie ich kotzen moechte: I can’t eat enough to puke as much as I want to. The words of the  great German-Jewish painter Max Liebermann as he watched the Nazis march through the Brandenburg Gate came to mind as I saw Ron Howard’s Showtime documentary about Jay Z’s 2012 “Made in America” festival. We’ve seen this all before: the emotive orator with a twisted face evoking surge of rage from a mass audience that responds with rhythmic arm gestures. I’m late to this discussion, to be sure:

This is the face of American fascism. Compared to the confessed crack dealer and knifer Jay Z, to be sure, Adolf Hitler was a man of high intellect and deep culture. Jay Z, our most successful and wealthiest performing artist, honored White House guest and proprietor of a pop-culture empire, is no Hitler: he lacks the talent to field a political movement, and, fortunately, does not appear to hate Jews. Fascism, though, is not ipso facto directed against Jews. Mussolini began as an anti-clerical socialist with support from a great deal of Italy’s small Jewish community, and did not persecute Jews until Hitler told him to.

Who would have believed that a performing genre (it is a stretch to call it “music”) dominated by convicted and confessed criminals, brutally misogynistic, preaching and practicing violence, would come to dominate American popular culture? Jay Z, who brags of dealing drugs and shooting an older brother in his youth, and pleaded guilty to stabbing a record producer, could “help shape attitudes in a real (sic) positive way,” according to President Obama. Jay Z texts regularly with the president and is a regular White House visitor after opening Obama campaign rallies.

Jay Z’s message to the Philadelphia crowd that Ron Howard filmed last year is the same thing he puts on the airwaves — for example:

We formed a new religion
No sins as long as there’s permission
And deception is the only felony
So never fuck nobody without telling me
Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real.

Music, Jay Z told Howard’s cameramen, can unite people in a way that politics and religion cannot. Everyone is a genius, everyone is oppressed. He is the prophet of a new religion: African-American music has gone from Thelonius Monk to felonius priest. Violence is not only a legitimate form of expression: it is the only manly form of expression, as in his rap “D.O.A.”:

This might offend my political connects

My raps don’t have melodies

This should make niggas wan’ go and commit felonies

Get your chain tooken

I may do it myself, I’m so Brooklyn!

I know we facing a recession

But the music y’all making gon’ make it the Great Depression

All y’all lack aggression

Put your skirt back down, grow a set man

Nigga this shit violent

The explicit call to violence (including chain-snatching as a form of political expression) is a playful challenge to his “political connects,” namely the president. One should not conclude from this that Obama favors criminal violence, but rather that the popular response to Jay Z’s evocation of felonious rage is so great that Obama finds it convenient to exploit it. There is nothing at all new in any of this: we heard it before from Nietzsche in his evocation of the “blond beast’s” life-affirming violence, from George Sorel, from Mussolini’s call for “creative violence.”

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20 Tips for Talking with Your Anti-American Acquaintances When They Say Dumb Things on 9/11 (Part 2)

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

Click here for Part 1 of this online dialogue I had about the causes of the September 11 jihad terror attack with a pack of secularist, postmodern progressives.

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Are Public Schools Modern Altars for Child Sacrifice?

Monday, September 9th, 2013 - by Megan Fox

child sacrifice to Canaanite gods

We started school in my house on Thursday, and, as usual, the freedom homeschooling offers still takes me by surprise. I’ve been at it for 3 years now (well, 7 if you count all the pre-pre-school that happens before school age.) We have a new grammar curriculum, Shurley English, which I think I’m going to love but when I started teaching the first lesson I realized my daughter already knows this information and I don’t want to waste her time re-teaching it. So I set her up with writing exercises while I perused the book and found the first 5 chapters are a waste for her. So guess what? We’re skipping them! If she were in class with 25 other kids, some of whom don’t know the same information she does, she would have to sit through 5 whole chapters which would take up several weeks of re-learning redundant information. What a waste of her time and talents! Instead, we can just skip ahead and get to the new stuff right now.

Many kids hate school and just get through it as quickly and as mediocrely as they can. Perhaps it’s because their specific likes and dislikes or personal learning styles aren’t taken into account. How can they in a system that has to cater to such a large group of children? Recently, a controversial article was written entitled, “If You Send Your Kids to Private School, You are a Bad Person” by Allison Benedikt that laments parents who want, and can pay for the best education their kids can get. Benedikt supposes all children should be in the public system even at their own detriment:

“Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.”

This is the ultimate child sacrifice, next to abortion, that calls for the educational execution of your children for some unidentifiable future children you should care more about than your own “spawn”, as Benedikt calls them. This is a classic argument from progressives, that those of us who choose not to use the public schools are the reason they are failing. How anyone can come to this conclusion when the state still gets the money allocated for my child even though I bear the entirety of her educational expenses is beyond me. I am actually paying double. I pay for a student (or maybe more, who knows?) in public school with my property taxes and I pay for a privately-educated child from my personal expenses. How the public school’s failure to produce readers is my fault is a head-scratcher.

Benedikt thinks all that is needed is parents like me to enroll my children and then engage in the fight to make the public school better. Yeah, okay. I would be every principal’s worst nightmare. Believe me, I am doing the public school a favor by not insisting that they not show movies during class time, that they not read books about sexuality to minors and that science not include dubious global warming “scientific” tall tales. Trust me, the public school has no use for me or my children and I feel the same. Luckily, we still live in a moderately free society where a person like Benedikt (who also admits to being ignorant thanks to her public school education) has no authority over my personal choices about educating my daughters. For people who presume to be so non-judgmental over other lifestyle choices like homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion-as-birth-control and other favorite progressive sacraments, they’re awfully judgy about private-schoolers and people who want their children to have better than the “lame education” that Benedikt suffered.

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Girls: As Famous as their Daddies

Sunday, August 18th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
From left to right: Zosia Mamet (father, David Mamet, screenwriter), Jemima Kirke (father, Simon Kirke, drummer of Bad Company), Lena Dunham (father, Carol Dunham, artist), and Allison Williams (father, Brian Williams, newscaster).

From left to right: Zosia Mamet (father, David Mamet, screenwriter), Jemima Kirke (father, Simon Kirke, drummer of Bad Company), Lena Dunham (father, Carol Dunham, artist), and Allison Williams (father, Brian Williams, newscaster).

Check out the first 10 installments of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s ongoing series dissecting HBO’s Girls:

June 6: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1

June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?

June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn

July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?

July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect

July 21: Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls

July 28: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish

August 4: Girl on Girl Action: Girls and the Female Gaze

August 11: Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism

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Lena Dunham is probably the one girl in the bunch with the least famous parentage. Nevertheless, she’s super-sensitive to the criticism that HBO’s Girls stars four white girls with super-privileged entertainment industry backgrounds:

“The whole ‘kids of famous people’ dialogue…that is one that I really can attribute to jealousy. Because, why else would anyone say that? Why else would you be so horrified by the children of creative people continuing on to do creative endeavors, unless you felt that there was something you were owed that you weren’t getting that they were getting.”

Her sharp commentary came off as rather, well, “Republican” in this era of entitlement. It also smacks of sheer blindness when it comes to the relationship between audience and auteur. What is it that we the people demand of our entertainment gods and goddesses? And why? After all, thousands of teachers are the children of teachers, as are lawyers, doctors, firemen, and policemen. In fact, inheriting your parents’ profession is nothing new. So, why are celebrities held to a different standard when it comes to making it big in their field?

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Fal$e Teacher$ — Christian Rapper Shames Prosperity Preachers

Sunday, August 11th, 2013 - by Paula Bolyard

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Much has been said recently about the social problems plaguing the inner cities — crime, out-of-wedlock birth, lack of education. We can trace the problems, to some extent, back to the breakdown of the family in those communities. But along with that is a more systemic problem of a breakdown in the churches — a failure to teach right theology and biblical truth at a time when it is most desperately needed. In particular, the “prosperity gospel” preachers have taken advantage of some of the most vulnerable in our society — the poor, the elderly, the sick — by falsely teaching that Jesus is some sort of lucky charm sitting up in heaven waiting to grant our wishes for material wealth and physical healing.  They claim the only thing holding God back is our failure to send enough money to some big-haired Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) star sitting on an ornate, fake throne.

The prosperity preachers say that all that stands between a poor (or sick) person and a huge payday (or good health) is a lack of faith and a donation to the ministry of the preacher. They perform before massive crowds, including Joe, sitting in his living room in Paducah, Kentucky, and claim that God is telling them — right at that very moment (or later if you’re DVR’ing the show)— exactly what He wants each and every member of the audience to do at that very moment. It’s preposterous, but these charlatans find easy prey in those who are in dire financial circumstances or who suffer with physical ailments. John MacArthur has said that it “is no different from the lowest human religions—a form of voodoo where God can be coerced, cajoled, manipulated, controlled, and exploited for the Christian’s own ends.” It’s no different than the way state lotteries take advantage of the poor with promises of a life of ease for the small price of a Powerball ticket — except that the preachers claim to be speaking for God, which is sobering and tragic at the same time.

Earlier this year Reformed (as in Reformed theology) rapper Shai Linne called out some of those preachers in a song called “Fal$e Teacher$“. And he names names — Benny Hinn, Paula White, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and others — acknowledging in the song that “today the only heresy is saying that there’s heresy.”

His music is startling in a hip-hop culture known for profanity and violence. Linn raps about hardcore Christian theological truths that many seasoned Christians can’t speak about intelligently — limited atonement, amillennialism, the hypostatic union.

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Muslim Brotherhood Operatives Have Infiltrated America’s Political and Cultural Institutions to Conquer Us from Within

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

For season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen, each weekday I juxtapose excerpts from my book readings with a selection of the previous day’s headlines and noteworthy excerpts. The goal is to make fresh connections between the events of the day and the bigger picture of history and humanity’s place in the universe.

In yesterday’s collection of the weekend’s headlines and excerpts, I announced my plan to begin opening each of these weekday link round-ups by highlighting one of my favorite writers and explaining how one of their key ideas could be used to better understand the day’s events. I opened this series with the intent of naming the five men and one women — all PJ columnists — who have most shaped my foreign policy views. I began by proclaiming my appreciation for PJ columnist Michael Ledeen and his books. To understand Monday’s headlines, I invite others to consider The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew C. McCarthy – excerpted below — and also his PJ Media Ordered Liberty blog and National Review archive. McCarthy is one of today’s most important advocates for a strong, focused national security policy that recognizes and defeats America’s enemies.

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Back in November, I included The Grand Jihad in my list of the “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology.” The book is particularly valuable for understanding a vital reality that the majority of people across the political spectrum either know nothing about or work very hard to ignore: for decades the Muslim Brotherhood has worked very hard developing front groups which train operatives for the purpose of subverting America and someday conquering us from within. These activists pretend to be moderates but actually work to advance the interests of Islamic supremacists who seek to implement Sharia. They intentionally obfuscate their real views. So far it’s been working very well.

McCarthy is one of the most incisive and credible analysts of this phenomenon. He is unique amongst other writers on Islam in that he is a former federal prosecutor, responsible for convicting the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. He’s not someone who can be dismissed as promulgating “crazy conspiracy theories” like the Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein recently attempted. There really are criminal conspiracies and they’ve been convicted in court. Want documentary proof that the Muslim Brotherhood created the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for the purpose of duping people into supporting Muslim supremacists? This document recovered from the Brotherhood — “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America” — was entered into evidence by the FBI during the Holy Land Foundation trial. It’s a good place to start and an important piece of evidence that McCarthy explains. Here’s the excerpt from which the title of the book emerged:

memorandum

This isn’t conspiracy mongering. It’s a well-established historical fact that during the Cold War the Soviet Union funded spies and subversive cultural groups to try to destroy America from within. Today’s Islamist groups draw from this tradition. The various strains of Islamism we see today across the Middle East from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Saudi Kingdom to the Iranian mullahs all infuse orthodox Islam with aspects of Marxism and fascism. (Hence one of the reasons why I choose to use the term “Islamism” much to the consternation of some of my more hardline counter-Jihad colleagues. An “Islamist” is someone who uses modern day political methods — violent or nonviolent — in order to establish an Orthodox Islamic state that runs according to Sharia law. The Islam of Mohammed’s age is the goal, but modern tools from modern weapons to postmodern ideology are the means.)

Having come to understand the criminal techniques utilized throughout the 20th century, we can see them implemented today. Consider the subject of Robert Spencer’s monday PJ Lifestyle article: Why Reza Aslan’s Christian Relatives and Friends Aren’t Trying to Kill Him.

With the understanding in mind that America’s totalitarian foreign enemies have throughout history sought to disrupt the foundations of America’s cultural values, we can begin to connect the dots:

Fact 1: Reza Aslan is an advisory board member of the National Iranian American Council, an unofficial lobbying organization and apologist for the current terrorist-sponsoring regime.

Fact 2: Aslan has advocated for the U.S. to negotiate with both Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah

Fact 3: Aslan is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. He wrote that “the Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt. And that is good thing” and has spoken regularly at events sponsored by the MSA and CAIR.

Fact 4: Aslan, an ex-Christian who returned to Islam, claims that Jesus of Nazareth was an illiterate, revolutionary zealot and that the gospels are all distortions of who Jesus really was. In Aslan’s telling, Jesus is reminiscent of Mohammed. Where have we heard this before? Aslan agrees with the dominant Muslim interpretation of the Koran, which claims that the Jewish Torah and Christian gospels are perversions of what Moses and Jesus actually taught. His evidence for an illiterate Jesus? This interview from the Wall Street Journal demonstrates Aslan’s preferred creative writing method of historical analysis — stereotyping — and then his outright dismissal of the importance of the individual:

In the book you say that Jesus was “very likely” illiterate, and there’s “no reason to think” he could read or write. But a lot of Biblical scholars disagree. In Luke 4:16, we see Jesus reading. [“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”] So where do you get that from, saying Jesus is illiterate when in the Bible he is seen reading?

Well, first of all, it may sound shocking to some people, but just because the gospels say something doesn’t mean it’s actually factual. The Gospel of Luke was written 60-70 years after Jesus had died, when Christianity was quintessentially a Roman religion and no longer a Jewish religion and the gospel writers were very interested in making Jesus someone who would appeal to a non-Jewish audience. But the facts of history speak for themselves. And I would say the vast majority of Biblical scholars would agree that the illiteracy rates in Jesus’s world were somewhere around 98 percent. 98 percent of Jesus’s fellow Jews could neither read nor write. The notion that a tekton, as Jesus is referred to in the Bible, a woodworker, which would make him the second-lowest rung on the social ladder in his time just above the slave and the indigent and the beggar, the notion that he would have had any sort of formal education, let alone the kind of education necessary to debate theological points with the scribes and the Pharisees, is difficult  to reconcile with what we know of the history of the time.

But examining the broad sweep of historical trends of a particular time doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about an individual person.

It tells you everything about an individual.

This ideology — that believes “historical trends” are more important than the individual — is the perpetual enemy of America, constantly returning with new masks. We have beaten it many times throughout our history and we will defeat it again.

Monday Morning Book Reading:

“Misogyny is particularly cruel when it comes to the barbaric practice of stoning. Both men and women can be stoned to death, but men have some chance of survival…” -pg 83 of Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War Against the West by Michael A. Ledeen

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Monday Morning News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories From Monday:

Roger L. Simon: The Rise of Al-Qaeda and Why the Administration Lied about Benghazi

For nearly a year, we have had no answer to why the administration lied about Benghazi — why it told the world, not to mention the parents of our murdered SEALs at the funeral of their sons, that the cause of that fatal conflagration was an anti-Islamic video no one saw, when the various arms of our executive branch (White House, State and intelligence) already knew, or strongly suspected, it was a terror attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates.

You only have to read the now infamous talking points to know that.

That this lie was deeply immoral is obvious. What still eludes us is the cause of that lie, other than the equally obvious desire to avoid embarrassment weeks before a presidential election.

But what was this embarrassment about? Recent events have supposedly unearthed a tie to secret arms shipments to Syrian rebels, but as the always cogent Barry Rubin points out, anyone paying attention to the story has known this for some time. Rumors of such shipments filled the Internet even before the Benghazi fireworks.

Furthermore, as Rubin also indicates, if that information had been immediately revealed or leaked to the public soon after the event, it would have been met by a national shoulder shrug that was firmly ratified by Obama’s loyal media claque. It wouldn’t have impacted the election much, if at all.

No, something more problematic was involved and I suspect I know what it was. No one wanted to admit — or probably face for themselves — the extent to which the president, and therefore his administration, the State Department, the CIA and even the military, was in bed with Islamists. That the Benghazi consulate (or whatever it was) was guarded by al-Qaeda types who surely either turned on the people they were supposed to be defending that night, or simply gave safe passage to the enemy, is only tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Richard Fernandez: Is Al-Qaeda Dead, or Alive? Mr. President?

Michael Ledeen: Releasing Prisoners, Appeasing Enemies

Frank J. Fleming: Toward a Post-Racial Society — or Maybe Not

If anything, it seems that the election (and re-election) of the first black president has actually aggravated racial issues in America. If you want my opinion on why — and you probably don’t — it’s because we specifically elected a black president instead of a president who happens to be black — i.e., his election was more because of racism than a triumph over it.

Hopefully this is just a growing pain on the way to that fabled post-racial society of the future. Being an integrated society is new territory for us; everything is a learning experience. And we’re learning. Maybe.

But the Trayvon Martin shooting and George Zimmerman trial have illustrated the big divide we still have to overcome. A lot of people saw it as a purely defensive shooting — and maybe George Zimmerman made some bad choices, but there was nothing racial about it. On the other hand, some people are absolutely certain the incident was white supremacy in action — but even if they’re right, the incident still shows progress, as it’s now a more inclusive white supremacy that also incorporates Hispanics.

Another thing that demonstrates the divide is voter ID. For the majority of people, it’s common sense to at least try to prevent voter fraud. For others, it’s the most racist thing ever and the return of Jim Crow — which I can’t even comprehend. I guess if you have to present a photo ID, then people can see what race you are in the photo and then discriminate against you… or something.

Ed Driscoll: All Hail the Amazon Post!

Andrew Klavan: Katy Perry vs Reality

“They don’t even know what consensual sex is,” said Rehtaeh’s aunt of the boys. “They don’t even know that the other person’s supposed to be participating and wanting it.”

Pictures of the rape “ended up online,” to use the phrase from Katy Perry’s unrelated song. Rehtaeh became the target of bullying. Seventeen months after the event, she hanged herself — and died later, when she was taken off life support.

Next Generation: Right to Free Cell Phones? Sen. David Vitter Speaks with Michelle Fields of Next Generation TV (Video)

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PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page:

Robert Spencer: Why Reza Aslan’s Christian Relatives and Friends Aren’t Trying to Kill Him

When an Islamic scholar, Suliman Bashear, taught his students at An-Najah National University in Nablus that the Qur’an and Islam were the products of historical development rather than being delivered in perfect form to Muhammad, his students threw him out of the window of his classroom. So why aren’t any Christians trying to kill Aslan, or at least throw him out of a window? If he had been a Muslim who had left Islam, believers in such statements as this one attributed to Muhammad could have confronted him: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). Because the Qur’an stipulates that Muhammad is the “excellent example” of conduct for Muslims (33:21), in all things to be imitated, this command became normative in Islamic law. The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that a sane adult male who leaves Islam must be killed. They have some disagreements about what must he done with other types of people who leave Islam, but they have no disagreement on that. The Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and thoroughly mainstream exegesis of the Qur’an, says this about Qur’an 2:217: “Scholars disagree about whether or not apostates are asked to repent. One group say that they are asked to repent and, if they do not, they are killed. Some say they are given an hour and others a month. Others say that they are asked to repent three times, and that is the view of Malik. Al-Hasan said they are asked a hundred times. It is also said that they are killed without being asked to repent.”

Chris Queen: Who Are Disney’s Most Evil Villains?

Becky Graebner: How Sweet 16 Parties Killed the SUV

Kathy Shaidle: I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half-Century Later

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New at PJ Lifestyle on Monday:

Paula Bolyard: Small Town Values and Two-Parent Families

Rick Moran: Major League Baseball Finally Lowers the Boom on Steroid Cheats

Helen Smith: A Family Friendly Guide to Allergy Free Cooking

Charlie Martin: Free Science Fiction Stories from Tor.Com

Susan L.M. Goldberg: HBO’s Picasso Baby: Jay Z Raps the Cult of Celebrity

New at PJ Tatler on Monday:

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Bryan Preston: BBC Claims that Boston Bombers had ‘Right Wing’ Literature

Bryan Preston: WaPo Misleads on Online Gun Sales

Bridget Johnson: Broken Record: Senators Again Urge Obama to Show Sense of Urgency on Iran

Stephen Green: Late Night Comics Turn on Obama

Bryan Preston: Al Qaeda’s on the Run, but America’s Closing Down…

Bridget Johnson: Rubio, Landrieu, GOPs Back Town Sued for Opening Council Meetings with Prayer

Bryan Preston: Bad Ads: Condom Ad Tells Men to Use Their Product or Life Will Be an Endless Misery of Kids Punching You in the Crotch

Stephen Kruiser: Follynomics-The World Of Paul Krugman

Bryan Preston: Smart Diplomacy: Germany Scuttles Cold War-Era Cooperation Amid NSA Spy Fears

Bryan Preston: Discovery’s #SharkWeek Jumps the Shark Nukes the Fridge

Bryan Preston: Benghazi: CNN Reporters Now Afraid of Losing ‘Access’ to the White House

Stephen Green: Weiner Pursues Vital Ecuadoran Vote

Bridget Johnson: Senators Protest ‘DoD’s Seeming Blindness’ on Contract with Assad Arms Supplier

Bryan Preston: Lawless Washington

Stephen Green: WaPo Sold to Bezos for $250 Million

Bridget Johnson: Wendy Davis Tells Press Club She’ll Run for Her Seat or for Governor

Bridget Johnson: State Department Sits Down with Muslim Brotherhood

Bryan Preston: 10 Things that Cost More than the Washington Post

Myra Adams: New Photo Caption Contest: Governor Chris Christie — Hot or Not?

Stephen Kruiser: Another Day, Another Bit Of ‘GOP Is Falling Apart’ Drivel from the MSM

The GOP is a party in transition and that is a very good thing. A little ideological throwdown between people who might be running for president in THREE FREAKIN’ YEARS is hardly a cause for concern. And anybody who says that it’s getting more personal than ever really isn’t well-versed in American political history.

True, the Democrats used to bicker more. They also used to be a party that brooked dissent. As the ’60s era progressives began to have more influence, the hive mind began to take over. Now they view any disagreement between members of the same party as a sign that the apocalypse is nigh.

Bryan Preston: Late-Term Abortion Champion Wendy Davis, Democrat, Doesn’t Know What Happened in the Gosnell Case

If she truly doesn’t know what happened in the Gosnell case, her opinion on the law she opposed is worthless. In fact, everything she tells the Standard after admitting her ignorance is empty rhetoric, not fact. Does she really know anything, or not?

If Wendy Davis cared about women and children, she could read up on what happened in the Gosnell case and why he will spend the rest of his life in prison. She could read up on the women who died or were injured at the hands of Kermit Gosnell. She could read up on the body parts of babies kept in jars. She could read up on how a lax, really nonexistent, state inspections regime allowed Gosnell to get away with running an abattoir for years. She could come to understand that politics allowed Gosnell to go on killing viable, born babies for more than a decade.

Also Around the Web Monday:

Via Drudge:

WTOP: Century-old Danville church vandalized

DANVILLE, Va. — Danville police are investigating the vandalism of a century-old church.

Media outlets report that someone spray-painted an upside- down cross, several other symbols and Latin words that translate to “Hail Satan” in red on the rear outside wall of the Schoolfield Church of the Brethren.

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TMZ: WEINER’S SEXTING PARTNERSTRIPS NAKED In Hardcore Porn

The New York TimesThe Last Temptation of Tina Brown

Given that the two publications lost more than $30 million in the previous two years, he asked, why was it a good idea to put them together? And if The Beast was on schedule to break even in 18 months, how much longer would it take now that Newsweek was part of the mix?

Ms. Brown says she has no recollection of that particular meeting, but half a dozen employees who say they were present said the atmosphere immediately turned awkward. The famous editor gave no ground. The target, she said, remained 18 months.

More than two and a half years later, Ms. Brown has missed the mark. Synergies have long since slipped away. After the magazine hemorrhaged tens of millions of dollars, Barry Diller, the billionaire media mogul whose company owns both publications, publicly called the purchase of Newsweek “a mistake” and the original plan to save it “stupid.” On Saturday, the company announced that it had sold Newsweek for an undisclosed amount to the digital news company International Business Times.

….

But many of her colleagues say that going back into print brought out Ms. Brown’s tendencies toward chaotic management and indecision, running the enterprise in what one former editor who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, described as a state of panic.

Employees also say that the newsrooms never really merged. Instead of using Beast writers to fill Newsweek, she turned to her Rolodex and hired expensive talent like Simon Schama, Michael Tomasky and David Frum.

Mr. Boyer, a fan of Ms. Brown, said, “There was an awful lot of frustration on the part of the young beasties who were so good, half a dozen really good writers and reporters who weren’t making it into the magazine, and that was a mistake.”

At Mediaite:

Evan McMurry: Tina Brown Strikes Back At Howard Kurtz On Twitter: ‘Didn’t I Fire You For Serial Inaccuracy?’

Noah Rothman: Fox Contributor: John Boehner ‘Purposely Suppressing Anything About Benghazi’

Caddell alleged that CIA agents were using Libya as a transit point to move weapons from North Africa into Syria without congressional approval. He added that the revelations surrounding the large number of CIA agents on the ground in Libya in 2012 was part of an operation that Boehner supported and approved.

Turning to the details of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, Caddell concluded by saying that he can “guarantee” that the details surrounding that scandal go “directly into the White House.”

Noah Rothman: The Other Benghazi Scandal: Journalists Worry Covering The Attack Threatens White House Access

At Salon:

My two husbands: Everyone wants to know how my polyamorous family works. You’d be surprised how normal we really are

My family is very ordinary to me. We eat dinner together. We gather in the living room and watch movies. Last weekend, we went on a camping trip and sat around the campfire making s’mores, the grown-ups enjoying a few beers while my 9-year-old daughter challenged us with endless rounds of “would you rather?” It all feels so wonderfully mundane that sometimes I have to remind myself that most people view us as strange at best, depraved at worst.

I’m polyamorous, which means I believe you can love multiple partners at the same time. I’m in a relationship with my husband of nearly 17 years, and my boyfriend, with whom I celebrated my second anniversary in May. (In polyamorous lingo, our relationship is known as a “V”; I’m the “hinge” of the V and my two partners are the vertices.) People often say our lives sound complicated, but the truth is, we’re quite harmonious. We often joke that we’d make incredibly boring subjects for reality TV.

At Breitbart.Com:

Jon Cassidy: David Brock Never Retired From the Hitman Game

The whole basis of Brock’s respectability is his repentance for his underhanded tactics, yet he is every bit as devious, deceptive and malicious in his attacks on Fox News as he was 20 years ago.

So why does anyone think it’s OK to quote him or invite him on a TV show?

There’s one influential journalist who hasn’t been fooled, though.

Despite his ubiquity in national media and his embrace by star Democrats, Brock is not welcome in the pages of The New York Times. Since Jill Abramson took over as executive editor of the Times nearly two years ago, Brock has been quoted in the paper exactly once, and that was to talk about campaign fundraising, according to a search ofLexis-Nexis.

His only other mention in the paper in that time was in a review of his book and a related letter to the editor. His organization, Media Matters for America, has been cited in just a handful of stories.

Journalists elsewhere may have gradually and unthinkingly accepted the notion of Brock’s respectability, but Abramson knows his duplicity too well.

Abramson and her then-colleague at The Wall Street Journal, Jane Mayer, wrote a meticulously researched book, “Strange Justice,” in 1994, on the Thomas/Hill affair, a book intended to clear up many of the lies and distortions that Brock created with his own book and sensational articles in The American Spectator.

“I never saw his credibility as being strong, because when his book came out I saw that factually it was shot full of holes right from the start,” Abramson told Howard Kurtz in 2001. “I could see the flaws in the book, but it was presented as, you know, a very carefully researched book.”

John Nolte: Matt Damon Refuses to Put Kids in Los Angeles Public Schools

At Twitchy:

Larry Elder blasts deceptively-editing Touré; Sums him up with one term

At The Daily Caller:

Charles C. Johnson: Imprisoned ‘Innocence of Muslims’ producer Nakoula Nakoula: ‘I want the world to see the truth’

In his first interview since his supervised release from prison, the filmmaker behind “Innocence of Muslims” told The Daily Caller that he “has no regrets” and promises more films and books about Islam.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is the only person who has been imprisoned in the aftermath of the organized Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed. He was wholly unconnected to the attack and was imprisoned on technical probation violations.

“The first reason I am writing this book is to tell the world we never forget our heroes and the second reason is to tell [everyone] that I’m not afraid,” Nakoula writes in a foreword obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

….

He also disputed characterizations of his film as anti-Muslim. He says it is against the terrorism culture so often expressed in the Islamic world.

The film is “more political than religious,” he explained. Nakoula claimed to draw on more than “a thousand books written by Islamic scholars and a lifelong study” of Islam in Egypt to make each scene.

“I have many Muslim friends,” Nakoula told TheDC. “They do not believe in terrorism culture like many others. We have to keep fighting against this culture to protect our future generations and our civilization. This war does not use weapons but minds. … I am talking about how much the world will suffer because of this culture if we do not stop it as soon as possible.”

….

“I love U.S.A. as my wife and I love Egypt as my mom,” he writes, turning to his native Egypt where Christian Egyptians are second-class citizens. “Fourteen hundred years ago the Arabians attacked Egypt and in the invasion they gave the Egyptians three choices: convert to Islam, pay extortion, get killed. The poor Egyptians converted to Islam because they were poor in faith and money. The middle class of Egyptians get killed but the rich Egyptians paid the extortion.”

More great writing from Charles C. Johnson, one of my generation’s most important, effective of journalists. There aren’t very many writers under 30 worth reading regularly but he’s one of them.

At the Daily Mail:

Forget crosswords – having an ORGASM is more effective at giving the brain a workout, claims leading scientist

Inside the sleazy Panama sex den hotel owned by the husband of Simon Cowell’s pregnant lover as cheating wife’s friends warn that ‘he’s no angel’ either

Andrew Silverman, the real estate mogul whose socialite wife Lauren is pregnant with Simon Cowell’s baby, co-owns a hotel in Panama that is known for prostitution, it emerged today.

Silverman’s company took over the Veneto hotel – which one travel website claims has been a ‘Panama sex destination for decades’ – in 2007 for $90 million.

The revelations come as sources close to Silverman’s estranged wife told MailOnline that he is ‘no angel’ – even though friends have tried to paint him as an injured, innocent party.

Chinese doctor ‘sold newborn baby boy to human traffickers’ after telling mother her son was too ill to survive

Via Memeorandum:

Paul Krugman: Republicans Against Reality

Washington Times: Newt Gingrich sees major Mideast mistakes, rethinks his neocon views on intervention

ABC News: Lady Gaga, Madonna Facing Punishment in Russia

At National Review:

Kevin D. Williamson: The Front Man

Conservatives have for years attempted to put our finger upon precisely why Barack Obama strikes us as queer in precisely the way he does. There is an alienness about him, which in the fever swamps is expressed in all that ridiculous Kenyan-Muslim hokum, but his citizen-of-the-world shtick is strictly sophomore year — the great globalist does not even speak a foreign language. Obama has been called many things — radical, socialist — labels that may have him dead to rights at the phylum level but not down at his genus or species. His social circle includes an alarming number of authentic radicals, but the president’s politics are utterly conventional managerial liberalism. His manner is aloof, but he is too plainly a child of the middle class to succumb to the regal pretensions that the Kennedys suffered from, even if his household entourage does resemble the Ringling Bros. Circus as reimagined by Imelda Marcos when it moves about from Kailua Beach to Blue Heron Farm. Not a dictator under the red flag, not a would-be king, President Obama is nonetheless something new to the American experience, and troubling.

….

In total, it amounts to that fundamental transformation of American society that President Obama promised as a candidate: but instead of the new birth of hope and change, it is the transformation of a constitutional republic operating under laws passed by democratically accountable legislators into a servile nation under the management of an unaccountable administrative state. The real import of Barack Obama’s political career will be felt long after he leaves office, in the form of a permanently expanded state that is more assertive of its own interests and more ruthless in punishing its enemies.

…..

In a similar vein, President Obama has refused to cut off foreign-aid funds to the Egyptian government, though he is required by law to do so in the event of a coup d’état, which is precisely what happened in July in Egypt. It might be embarrassing for the president to punish the Egyptian military and the grand mufti of al-Azhar for their overthrow of the unpopular Mohamed Morsi, but the law does not make exceptions for presidential embarrassment. The president is not legally empowered to assassinate American citizens, but he has done so, after going through the charade of drawing up a legal argument under which he judged himself entitled to do what the Constitution plainly prohibits.

Betsy Woodruff: Adam Kokesh, 2020

Perhaps the strangest element of all of this, though, is that the whole thing looks pretty profitable — a veritable cottage industry of anarcho-paranoia. In the same way that Alex Jones preaches against the dangers of fluoride in water and also sells filtration systems to remove said fluoride, Kokesh shills a variety of T-shirts (one says “IF THE TROOPS DEFENDED FREEDOM THEY’D ATTACK THE GOVERNMENT” and another says “Being offended is F***ING BULLSH**”; no asterisks in the original). And at the bottom of the YouTube description of the video that precipitated his arrest, after a long screed calling for “The Final American Revolution,” there’s a little ad of sorts, urging: “Buy agorist! Get your metals from http://agoristmetals.com.”

Katrina Trinko: Today’s Bachelorettes

Welcome to the curious appeal of the Bachelor and Bachelorette series: In an era when marriage rates are declining, Americans are fascinated by a show that is unabashedly about finding a lifelong spouse. And these long-running reality series are not the only example of this phenomenon: How I Met Your Mother, a series about a man telling his children about his long search to meet their mother, is about to begin its ninth season.

But if the statistics are any indication, more Americans are like How I Met Your Mother’s Ted Mosby, who has spent eight years pining for a spouse without finding Miss Right, than like Sean Lowe, the most recent Bachelor, who is happily engaged. Americans are getting married later than ever: According to a 2011 Pew Research Center study, the average age is 27 for women and 29 for men.

And overall, marriage rates are declining. That same Pew study shows that 51 percent of adults are married, down from 72 percent in 1960.

At the Mary Sue:

The Geography of Disney Movies in One Map

At Click On Detroit:

Detroit pastor, father killed after asking neighbors to quiet down

Tuesday Morning Book Reading:

An excerpt from page 121 of Andrew C. McCarthy’s The Grand Jihad describing the roots of the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to infiltrate academia:

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See the previous four weeks’ link round-ups:

Read bullet | 16 Comments »

Malcolm X: ‘The Jew Cries Louder Than Anybody Else If Anybody Criticizes Him.’

Monday, July 29th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

This is issue #13 of my reading/writing journals, a new, experimental routine for season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose excerpts from my book readings with the day’s headlines and then the next day write a reflection trying to make connections. The goal is to consider the events of the day in the bigger picture of human history and our place in the universe. See the first three weeks’ issues:

Week One
Monday, July 8: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…
Tuesday, July 9: Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?
Thursday, July 11: Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…
Week Two
Monday, July 15: Turning On Mankind’s Magical Machines To Battle Mother Earth’s Cruel Monsters
Wednesday, July 17: ‘So, You Know How You Felt on 9/11? Yeah, That’s How We Feel When It Comes To Race.’
Thursday, July 18: ‘… And There We Can Still Maintain Our Mysterious and Dreadful Freedom.’
Friday, July 19: ‘Evil Always Takes Advantage of Ambiguity.’ – G.K. Chesterton
Week Three
Monday, July 22: ‘His Father Urged Him to Study Marxism, But Valentin Preferred Science.’
Tuesday, July 23: ‘Perhaps The Final Secret of the Illuminati Is That You Don’t Know You’re A Member Until It’s Too Late to Get Out.’
Wednesday, July 24: Is Anthony Weiner a ‘Deviant’ or a ‘Normal’ Male?
Thursday, July 25: ‘The Most Ancient Conflict in Western Culture, Between Jew and Egyptian, Continues…’ 
Friday, July 26: Weiner’s Wild Women: Are Sydney Leathers and Huma Abedin His Succubi?

Weekend Book Reading:

Saturday:

A great, sad irony: Islam, the most misogynistic ‪religion‬ on the planet, could never have been founded and grown if a 25-year-old Mohammed had not married a rich 40-year-old woman… From page 45 of The Mohammed Code by ‪Howard Bloom:

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Hermes Trismegistus prophesied Egypt’s downfall and conquest in the Corpus Hermetica. From Pg 197 of The Hermetic Link: From Secret Tradition to Modern Thought by Jacob Slavenburg:

Today it’s estimated that 91% of Egyptian women undergo genital mutilation.

Sunday:

Constitutions made the colonies unique from England. Pg 105 of Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People:

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American ‪Badass‬ Ethan Allen suffered torture at the hands of the British during the Revolutionary War. Pg. 69 of Blood of Tyrants by Logan Beirne:

Weekend News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories Friday and this Weekend:

Roger Kimball: A Culture, Consuming Itself: The Higher-Ed Farce Deepens

The problem is that they are part and parcel of a concerted assault on the fundamental civilizational values of our culture. By some strange process of moral entropy, those institutions which had been the bearers and preservers of our cultural inheritance have mutated into its deadly enemies. It was Williams College, once again, that prompts this melancholy thought. Just last month, the college sponsored “Worlds of Wonder: The Queerness of Childhood,” an “interdisciplinary workshop” that basked in the imprimatur of a dozen college entities from the Dean’s office to the “Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity” and the “Queer Student Union.” Among the festivities were “Lessons in Drag,” a performance piece, and papers on such pressing subjects as “Queering America’s Progress Narrative: The California Ruins of Leland Stanford Jr.,” “What Does it Mean to Be an Adult if We Queer the Child? Laws of Consent in Comparative Perspective,” and “Sex Panics, Child Prostitutes, and Global Sporting Events, or: How to Save a Sexually Precocious Child and Get a Luxury Hotel for Free.”

I have had occasion before to quote Kingsley Amis’ wise observation that much of what is wrong with our culture can be summed up in the word “workshop.” But even a satirist of Amis’ asperity, I suspect, would have been at a loss when confronted with “The Queerness of Childhood.” “This workshop,” the program reads, “brings together a group of scholars and clinicians working at the intersections of childhood studies, psychoanalysis, psychology, pedagogy, and queer theory in order to have a conversation about queer children and the queerness of childhood.” Really?

Bridget Johnson: Obama: Ho Chi Minh Was Inspired by Our Founders

Bryan Preston: Conservative Hispanic Society Rips ‘Overt Pervert’ Weiner and the Democrats’ ‘War on Women’

Ed Driscoll: Death Wish: Mr. Bronson’s Planet

Stephen Kruiser: Death Penalty Off the Table to Persuade Russia to Turn Snowden Over

Rick Moran: The GOP’s Alamo for Obamacare

Bill Straub: Budget Process Stokes Debate About Sequestration’s Toll

The PJ Tatler: (UPDATED: RNC Responds to PJ Media) EXCLUSIVE: RNC Operatives Join Holder’s Campaign Against Texas, Several Other States

David P. Goldman: Dumb, Dumber, Dumberer in Washington

Obama and the Republican mainstream — John McCain and the Weekly Standard — united in their misplaced enthusiasm for the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011, as I reported in a Tablet magazine essay May 20 titled “Dumb and Dumber.” They have learned nothing from the collapse of the so-called “Spring” into civil war in Syria, Islamist terrorism in Tunisia, and state failure in Egypt. Such is the power of ideology. If the most practical man of business is the mental slave of a defunct economist, as Keynes said, the most practical politician may be the mental slave of a defunct political philosopher.

….

The “political philosophy” that has guided so many diligent and clever analysts into absurdities does not address the definitive political phenomenon of our time, namely cultural suicide.

Nicholas Ballasy: Dem Lawmakers: Tighter Border Security Means More Illegal Immigrant Deaths

Ed Driscoll: Behold: the Last City, and the Last Democrat

Just as Detroit is the terminal destination for America’s “Progressively” governed-cities, Anthony Weiner is the endgame for leftwing politicians. He had no experience in business or in the military before entering politics straight out of college, initially as a staffer for another leftwing political lifer, Chuck Schumer. He has zero charisma as a public speaker. He has no vision for where he’d like to see the nation go. He’s in politics strictly for himself, because, well, what else is he going to do?

As Kyle Smith noted in April, what business would hire him? Other than MSNBC, I guess. He’s running for the mayor of New York simply because that’s what you do when you have no other career prospects. Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg, and we’ve said plenty over the years, but at least he had a lengthy business career, first at the bond-trading firm Salomon Brothers, and then forming his own diversified company, before deciding to run for mayor of one the most important cities in New York.

For Weiner, that’s just what you do next, after resigning from Congress in disgrace.

Claudia Rosett: Remember the Free Market?

Michael Ledeen: Whither Egypt? Whence Syria? (Wrong Questions)

As I try to penetrate the fog of the future, I keep reminding myself that we are in a big war, and that the big war is very similar to the Second World War and the Cold War:  we are being attacked by a series of countries that support a messianic mass movement.  Just as we broke the ideological spine of fascism and Nazism and Communism, we, or others, can do the same to jihadism.  Since much of the appeal of such movements rests on the followers’ belief that the future belongs to them, the ideological consequences of defeat are enormous.  You can see that in the case of our defeat of Iran and al-Qaeda in Iraq.  It became much more difficult for bin Laden and Zawahiri to get waves of new recruits once it became evident that they had no chance to defeat us.  Now they’re back, worse than ever, but that’s our fault.  We didn’t — and still haven’t — come to grips with the unpleasant fact that it’s a big war, and we’ve got to win it on a big scale, not just in one place (after which we pack up and leave the future to our enemies).

If the jihadis are beaten in Syria, it will be bad news for the Brothers in Egypt.  If Iran and Hezbollah are defeated in Syria, it will strengthen the anti-jihadi forces in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.  And if Iran should implode, it would gravely weaken their proxies throughout the region, and their “Bolivarian”allies to our south.  Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.

We have skin in all those games, and we have numerous moves available.

Gordon G. Chang: The Korean War Continues

Bryan Preston: Change! Obama Website Deletes Promise to Protect Whistleblowers

Rick Moran: Senator Coburn: Effort to Defund Obamacare ‘Dishonest’

Patrick Poole: A Bad Week for the Muslim Brotherhood

Bridget Johnson: Admin Keeps Calling for Muslim Brotherhood Inclusion as Islamists Incite, Inflate Protest Tolls

Rich Baehr: Bored with Obama

The president’s declining approval numbers are not the only worrisome numbers for the White House. Support for Obamacare, the president’s signature legislative “achievement” of his first term, is sinking to its lowest level yet, just months before implementation of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion are scheduled to occur. The delay in the implementation of the employer mandate seemed like an unspoken acknowledgement by the administration that the requirement may have slowed job growth for several years and accelerated the shift from full-time work to part-time employment (under 30 hours per week).

Every month, it seems, the president convenes a meeting of liberal bloggers to give them their new marching orders on how to sell  that “all is well” with Obamacare and we just need to give it a little more time before everyone recognizes its greatness. Writers like Jon Cohn and Ezra Klein have been shilling so long and so hard for Obamacare that they are at least as invested in its success as the president is. Whenever there appears to be an ounce of “good” news on the premiums in the exchanges in certain states, it is heralded as an achievement on a par with the Red Sea parting.

PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page on Friday:

Rhonda Robinson: Restoring Our Judeo-Christian Culture

Chris Queen: Forgotten Walt Disney World: River Country

Walter Hudson:BREAKING: Sex May Result in Children

Though atheistic, Rand condemned a few choices as sin, including the refusal to think and the rejection of reality. Detaching the sex act from its natural consequence commits both. Sex may result in children. Competent adults know that going in, and stand responsible for the lives of any children they may produce regardless.

There exists a certain irony in the fact that, while Rand’s overall philosophy remains on the fringes of popular culture, her views regarding sex, reproduction, and parenthood have been roughly and broadly adopted. Granted, most abortionists arrive at Rand’s view in parallel through a haphazard adoption of ideas, not a thoughtful consideration of her (or any) philosophy.

Jon Bishop: 5 Rules for California-Roll Conservatives

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New at PJ Lifestyle:

Books and Movies, History and Philosophy on Fridays:

Walter Hudson: New Robocop to Resume Original’s Satire

John Boot: How 4 Loony Leftist Lies Ruined the X-Men Movies

Kathy Shaidle: I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half Century Later

Chris Queen: Pixar’s Alternate Universe?

Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin: Answering The Call To The Writer’s Journey

Self Improvement on Saturdays:

Sarah Hoyt: Getting Cozy With Murder in Mid-20th-Century Manhattan

Chris Queen: Victory For Georgia Football Player Kolton Houston

Rhonda Robinson: How to Remove the Shame From Your Financial Struggles

Sarah Hoyt: How to Tame Your Subconscious

Charlie Martin: A Meditation on Diet

Religion, Spirituality, Ethics, and Morality on Sundays:

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish

Sex played a different, but nonetheless important role in Biblical illustrations of pitfalls that can ruin female friendship. Sarah, nervous and ashamed that she is unable to bear children for her husband Abraham, gives him her slave girl Hagar as a concubine to bear children in her name. Years later, when God’s prophecy to Sarah is fulfilled and she gives birth to Isaac, she evicts Hagar and her son Ishmael in a jealous fury, fearful that Ishmael will receive the firstborn blessing meant for Isaac. The same ugly jealousy rears its head between two sisters, Rachel and Leah, both married to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. Leah despises Rachel for her beauty while Rachel despises Leah for her ability to have children.

In both instances these three matriarchs illustrate every stereotype associated with female friendship (or the lack thereof): cattiness, jealousy, rage, envy. Above all else, they illustrate a gross amount of selfishness spurred on by the limitations of gender-based thinking: If I am not physically attractive, if I cannot have a child, I am worthless, therefore I hate anyone who can – even if they are my sister.

In contrast we have the gentile Ruth. Widowed by the death of her young Israelite husband, Ruth could have followed her Moabite sister-in-law Orpah into the safety of a second marriage within her own clan. Instead, Ruth gives up everything she has ever known to follow Naomi, her mother in law, back to Israel. A stranger in a strange land, she has no one for whom to be beautiful or fertile; she gives of herself, gleaning the leftovers while being harassed as a suspected outsider. Impressed by her unique strength of character, Boaz the rich Israeli goes out of his way to marry the foreigner who would become the grandmother of King David.

Rhonda Robinson: Dietary Laws: Did Jesus Model or Dismiss Them?

Paula Bolyard: What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?

Charlie Martin: Buddhists Have No Souls

P. David Hornik: How I Became a Conservative

I don’t remember when he first “called” me on the stuff I was saying about “the war.” It’s likely, though, that we were both lingering at the table after supper; we were always the only ones present for these discussions we began having. He said what he said quietly and seriously, manifestly giving me the feeling that I was free to respond and anything I said would be considered fairly.

He told me that the people we were fighting over there were totalitarians no different from the Nazis who, if allowed to take over, would commit mass atrocities. He told me the war was part of a larger effort by the Soviet Union to extend its power and ultimately overcome American power. He told me that when South Vietnamese civilians fled a war zone, they invariably fled south—not north into areas the communists had supposedly “liberated.” He told me that diverting money from the war effort to America’s social problems wouldn’t accomplish anything; the social problems—particularly in the inner cities—stemmed from a breakdown of family structure and that was something the government didn’t know how to solve no matter how much it spent, and in fact had helped cause with its meddling.

I was stunned and dazzled. If I had heard some of these points before, it was in shouting matches between jocks and freaks. I had never heard political positions set forth with precision, nuance, and a logic that flowed like music, like Mozart. Living with my father for seventeen years, amid his journals, books, and tobacco smoke, I had never before heard him speak at length about these matters that so occupied him.

Also Around the Web Friday and this Weekend:

Via Drudge:

Broadcasting and Cable: TCA: NBC Orders Hillary Clinton Miniseries - Diane Lane to star as former First Lady; network orders three other longform projects

NY Post: Weiner’s campaign chief quits as sext pal’s ‘sugar daddy’ past emerges

Danny has left the campaign. He did a remarkable job,” Weiner said

“We have an excellent staff. More people have come on frankly. We’ve gotten more volunteers and more people coming over to help the campaign since the least several days since anytime since the campaign started.”

….

Leathers was a gold-digging social climber who trolled Internet “sugar daddy” sites for wealthy men — and was not above taking a few Benjamins just for “talking,” according to her online chats and profiles, as well as school pals.

She went for Weiner, but her friends say cash was her real turn-on.

“She used sugardaddy.com to meet men,” said a 27-year-old former girlfriend from Chicago who requested anonymity. “She met a few guys on that site when she was visiting me. She wants the lifestyle without working for it.”

Leathers called herself a “22-year-old SugarBaby,” according to her profile on the SugarDaddyForMe dating Web site.

Last summer, even as she was sexting the married and already scandal-scarred ex-congressman, Leathers used her friend’s condo as her home base for dating wealthy Chicago men, according to her ex-pal, who said Leathers “was actively seeking men out to pay for her.”

NY Daily News: Weiner campaign paid private eye $45,000 to investigate own 2011 Twitter ‘hacking’ lie, reports show

Deadline Hollywood: ‘Wolverine’ Howls For $21M Friday And Will Whimper For Weakening $56M Weekend

At Mediaite:

Evan McMurry: Greenwald Claims Private Contractors Can Spy On Calls, Emails: ‘I Defy NSA Officials To Deny’ These Capabilities

Greenwald described the capabilities of the program, accessible not just by NSA officials but by low-level private contractors:

“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and email in their databases. What these programs are are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things: it searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered; and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or connected to that IP address do in the future. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”

Greenwald noted that while “there are legal constraints on how you can spy on Americans,” there’s nothing stopping, or even detecting, abuse of the program.

“The real issue here is that what the NSA does is done in complete secrecy,” Greenwald said. “Nobody really monitors who they’re eavesdropping on. The question of abuse is one that the Congress ought to be investigating much more aggressively.”

Evan McMurry: CNN’s Don Lemon Backs Up Bill O’Reilly: ‘He Doesn’t Go Far Enough’ In Criticizing Black Culture

Josh Feldman: Maher Takes On Evangelical Minister: Bible Clearly ‘Hates Fags,’ God’s A ‘Psychotic Mass Murderer’

Maher told Wallis that it’s hard for someone to say God is “perfect” when there’s a lot of twisted morality in the Bible itself.

“It’s pro-slavery, pro-polygamy, it’s homophobic, God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer–I mean, there’s so many things in it, and I always say to my religious friends, you know, if a pool had even one turd in it, would you jump in?”

Wallis explained how he found there to be 2000 verses in the Bible talking about the poor, but two more times Maher called him out for not answering the question. At one point, he quipped to guestEliot Spitzer, “This guy’s an even better politician than you.”

Wallis argued he’d only like people to take the Bible literally “when it says love your neighbor as yourself,” and when Maher shot back about the Bible commanding people to kill neighbors who work on Sundays, he brushed it aside and said Jesus didn’t want that. A confused Maher tried to understand. “So Jesus is correcting the Old Testament, which is by his dad, who’s really him. I don’t…”

Noah Rothman: When Did Obama Decide That The Scandals He Once Thought Were Serious Are Now ‘Phony’?

Or maybe the president meant the scandal surrounding the administration’s response to the attack in Benghazi. Did he mean when the administration sent Susan Rice, then the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, on every Sunday news programs to blame the attack on a spontaneous upraising resulting from an inflammatory YouTube video? A response which State Department officials testified seriously damaged American relations with the nascent post-Gaddafi Libyan government, and directly resulted in the delay of FBI investigative teams being able to access the scene of the attack. Which agency officials made the determination to send Rice out to make this claim remains unclear.

Americans also do not yet know who determined that minimal security for that threatened consulate was acceptable. “I am intent on making sure that we do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like this from happening,” Obama said in May, shifting blame for that lack of embassy security to a lack of funding and mismanagement by Congress. “But that means we owe it to them and all who serve to do everything in our power to protect our personnel serving overseas.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) later echoed this claim in a fiery speech on the Senate floor. Boxer’s claim, and Obama’s by extension, that Congress was to blame for the light security footprint in Benghazi was given three Pinocchios from Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. During testimony before a congressional committee, one State Department official asserted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted to convert that temporary post in Benghazi into a permanent American diplomatic facility – she was to make this announcement in December of last year on a planned trip to Libya. Was this why the facility needed to be manned with high-level diplomatic personnel, including Libyan Amb. Chris Stevens, even though the consulate was not sufficiently hardened against attacks?

Noah Rothman: MSNBC’s Touré: Zimmerman A ‘Peruvian-American, Not A Hispanic’

Touré said that conservatives were “in their mansions” preferring not to attend a racial violence summit in Chicago because they don’t really care about the issue of inner-city violence.

“This is a 90 white party and everything that they need to do is to stoke white racial anxiety to bring more white people into the fore,” the MSNBC host added.

Noah Rothman: Limbaugh: ‘Muslim Women’ Like Huma ‘Don’t Have Any Power,’ So Weiner Can Get Away With Anything

“Huma is a Muslim,” Limbaugh declared. “In that regard, Weiner ought to be able to get away with anything.”

“Muslim women don’t have any power, right?” he asked. “Muslim women are beheaded, stoned, whatever if they drive, have affairs.”

“In certain countries, Muslim women, if they’re raped, are killed – it’s their fault,” Limbaugh continued.

He dug into the media commentary which has noted that Huma has been an aide to Hillary Clinton since the 1990s.

Noah Rothman: Pro-NSA GOP’ers, Like Chris Christie, Make A Terrible Case For The Post-9/11 Surveillance Programs

At Breitbart.Com:

Joel B. Pollak: Chris Hayes Compares Bill O’Reilly to Neo Nazi

Spitzer Knocks Weiner for Being a Bad Husband

At CNN:

Robbers tell man: ‘This is for Trayvon’

“This is for Trayvon Martin,” one of the three black men told a white man as they approached him early Saturday, according to Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Anthony Clay.

The alleged robbery happened two weeks after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

The men kicked the adult white male as they took his iPhone and wallet, Clay said Sunday.

1,200 inmates escape Benghazi prison

The public humiliation of Huma Abedin

Bionic fashion: Wearable tech that will turn man into machine by 2015

At the Daily Mail:

Girl, 15, blamed in teen bullying suicide for ‘encouraging three boys to rape drunk classmate, take pictures and post them online’

Award-winning music video director jailed for 90 years for fathering six children with his own daughters

Aswad Ayinde, 55, of Paterson, NJ, was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday after being found guilty in the second of five expected trials in which he is accused of repeatedly raping his six daughters, resulting in six children being fathered. Mr. Ayinde was found guilty in his latest trial of having intercourse with a daughters when she was as young as eight-years-old. The second sentence adds to the 40 year sentence Mr Ayinde received in a 2011 trial for sexually assaulting a separate daughter.

Mr. Ayinde is known for directing the music video for the Fugees 1996 smash hit ‘Killing Me Softly.’

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Warren Buffett’s son says charity fuels a ‘perpetual poverty machine’ and rich people giving money away eases their conscience but doesn’t solve the problem

Fort Hood shooter accused of killing 13 and wounding 32 speaks out ahead of trial to claim America has a ‘war against Islam’

‘My complicity was on behalf of a government that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah to be the supreme law of the land,’ Hasan said in the lengthy statement released to Fox News on Saturday.

Russian neo-Nazis torture gay teenager they tricked into meeting them as part of online scam

Via Memeorandum:

President Obama calls the United States and Europe ‘developing countries’ in latest embarrassing gaffe

Obama Says Income Gap Is Fraying U.S. Social Fabric 

barack-obama-martin-luther-king-jr-and-malcolm-x-ylli-haruni

Monday Morning Book Reading:

Reminder: Malcolm X was an antisemite: “When there’s something worth owning, the Jew’s got it.” Pg. 246 of Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention:

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Monday Afternoon Reflections:

“He went on to argue that Jewish money controlled civil rights groups like the NAACP, pushing Negroes into adopting a strategy of integration that was doomed to failure.” — Manning Marable describing Malcolm X’s controversial Playboy interview, which you can read all of here

From CNN last week, reporting polls on the racial divide of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin verdict:

The Washington Post/ABC News survey, which showed 41% of Americans approving and 41% disapproving of the jury’s ruling, also showed sharp division among Americans in their views of the verdict. For example, 86% of African-Americans disapproved of the “not guilty” finding, while 51% of whites approved.

That closely aligned with a Pew Research Center survey released Monday, which showed 86% of African-Americans disagreeing with the verdict.

Another relevant statistic: 29% of the black population in this country hates Jews. As of 2011 that’s 14% higher than the general population’s 15%. How did that happen?

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On November 4, 2012 I published my tentative conclusions about which political, religious, and cultural ideas had most influenced Barack Obama: “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology.” I drew the comparisons between the President’s memoir — now debunked as fictional by his own political supporters — and Malcolm X’s, also revealed to be fraudulent by otherwise sympathetic Marxist activist scholars. The fact that both of these men produced intentional fraudulent life stories to bolster their otherwise meager reputations is one level of cultural problem. That they were unmasked as pathological liars by their own supporters and nobody cares is something else entirely. Both Malcolm X and Barack Obama spent their key years under the influence of conspiratorial antisemites.

My progressive and Democrat friends do not care. Nor do they care that Nelson Mandela is a Communist with blood on his hands.

But let’s take it one step further: REPUBLICANS ACROSS THE SPECTRUM DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE RISE OF ANTISEMITIC POLITICIANS EITHER. Whether it’s John McCain RINOs refusing to make an issue of Rev. Wright during the 2008 campign, or neoconservatives aligning with Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt, or Tea Partiers deluding themselves into thinking Rand Paul isn’t a carbon copy of his paleocon antisemite dad Ron, my conclusion after almost 4 years now of this new media activist editing: those who are most concerned about the Democrats vs Republicans, Left vs Right, Conservative vs Liberal, and 2016 presidential battles will all too often be the most blind to what Michael Ledeen calls the “big war”, the war of the messianic totalitarian death cults to impose their will on the world’s free people…

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Peter Robinson Interviews Tom Wolfe, Documentarian of the New Antiquity

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 - by Ed Driscoll

Ricochet’s Peter Robinson begins his new interview with Wolfe by reading from the central leitmotif of Wolfe’s latest book, Back to Blood:

A phrase pops into his head from out of nowhere. “Everybody… all of them… it’s back to blood! Religion is dying… but everybody still has to believe in something. It would be intolerable— you couldn’t stand it— to finally have to say to yourself, ‘Why keep pretending? I’m nothing but a random atom inside a supercollider known as the universe.’ But believing in by definition means blindly, irrationally, doesn’t it. So, my people, that leaves only our blood, the bloodlines that course through our very bodies, to unite us. ‘La Raza!’ as the Puerto Ricans cry out. ‘The Race!’ cries the whole world. All people, all people everywhere, have but one last thing on their minds— Back to blood!” All people, everywhere, you have no choice but— Back to blood!

Beyond Wolfe’s own introduction, I thought John O’Sullivan had one of the best takes on Wolfe’s new book, (hidden behind the National Review subscriber paywall, alas) describing it as a battlefront report on the warring “Tribes of Post-America:”

Wolfe’s vision of the America emerging from the chaos of modernity is eerily similar to the Rome of Antiquity before Constantine. Where that antiquity was pre-Christian, this New Antiquity is post-Christian. Its original brand of Protestant Christianity no longer influences the politics, institutions, and laws of the nation it once shaped. The WASP elites, for whom Protestantism was long a mark of respectability and soundness, no longer even pretend to believe. It is a genuine religious faith for only a tiny number of people. Its secular expressions, “American exceptionalism” and “the American Creed,” are in only slightly better shape. The former provoked President Obama into an embarrassed meandering as he sought to reconcile his cosmopolitan disdain for it with its popularity among the rubes; the latter has been redefined into its opposite, an umbrella term covering a multitude of tribes and their different customs, namely multiculturalism.

This transformation from the Great Republic to the New Antiquity has happened in large measure in order to accommodate the growing number of immigrant groups forcing their way into the metropolis. It is a colder and crueler world: Inside the cultural ghettos, the new tribes of post-America retain much of their old affections and loyalties; outside them, they treat others with wariness and distrust. And they are slow to develop a common attachment to their new “home.”

“As mainline WASP Christianity shrivels,”O’Sullivan writes, “other cults flourish in its place: the ethnicity cult, of course; the arts cult for the very rich; the sex cult for the young; the celebrity cult for professionals; the psychology cult for billionaire clients; a religion cult (non-traditional religion, of course) for the perplexed; and the cult of wealth for everyone. Only the Gods of the Copybook Headings are missing from this teeming agora through which Wolfe’s characters pursue their fantasies and flee from their anxieties.”

Robinson asks Wolfe about this passage. Also in the interview he asks Wolfe about his process as a writer (which he cranks out on a manual typewriter or even a pencil, considering how difficult it is for him to keep a typewriter in proper repair), and the importance of taking notes and jotting down ideas as quickly as possible while in the field reporting, before the brain’s memory decay erases the tiny details of a scene that adds verisimilitude to his writing.

Needless to say, watch the whole thing.

******

Cross-posted from EdDriscoll.Com

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Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls

Sunday, July 21st, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Check out the first six installments of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s ongoing series dissecting HBO’s Girls:

June 6: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1

June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?

June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn

July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?

July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect

*****

The majority of critical discussion of Girls revolves around Lena Dunham’s body. Without it or, rather, without her willingness to continually use her body as a plot device, Girls wouldn’t have half the following or 3/4 of the critical acclaim. While the show may discuss a variety of issues facing Millennial women, critics continually revert back to Dunham’s naked antics, turning discussions about body fat into the stuff of high art.

How deeply does the cult of goddess feminism impact our understanding of the individual woman? How does the idea of goddesses, reinvented in our popular culture today, undermine rather than enhance women’s happiness in their practical, day-to-day lives? How do women’s lives fall apart when they choose to idolize aspects of their feminine identity and parts of their body? 

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