She is an unabashed liberal. In a culture increasingly governed by Marxist Nomenklatura masking itself as “liberal”, conservatives should be bold enough to reclaim that much maligned political descriptor as one of our own. We are, after all, the ideological descendants of classical liberals, making the outspoken once Liberal Democrat, now Libertarian Camille Paglia the perfect match for contemporary politically conservative feminists.
Can’t possibly imagine the lady who, even when she smiles, gives you a look that says, “I know you’re full of s**t,” could possibly fit in the ranks of the right wing? Here are 10 reasons why you need to throw out the stereotypical baby with your lukewarm bathwater thinking and get hot for the fast-talking, heavy thinking, pop culture-loving Camille Paglia.
“The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster,” she says. “These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”
“We need a revalorization of the trades that would allow students to enter [manual trades] without social prejudice (which often emanates from parents eager for the false cachet of an Ivy League sticker on the car). Among my students at art schools, for example, have been virtuoso woodworkers who were already earning income as craft furniture-makers. Artists should learn to see themselves as entrepreneurs.”
“…it is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women. The routine defamation of capitalism by armchair leftists in academe and the mainstream media has cut young artists and thinkers off from the authentic cultural energies of our time.”
“In my view, comparing the evidence of the 20th century, that socialism in a nation ultimately does lead to economic stagnation and eventually of the creative impulse, in terms of new technology and other things.”
This is Week 5 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.
Previously in this series on my favorite writers I named Ed Driscoll as the first in my trinity of blogging influences. The sophisticated humor, enlightening political-intellectual juxtapositions, clever visuals, and encyclopedic pop culture knowledge Ed brings to the web are innovations that I’ve sought to commandeer for my own new-media troublemaking.
Complementing Ed as the other editor-columnist on the breaking news beat is the Vodkapundit Stephen Green, PJM’s Denver editor. Stephen is another blogosphere veteran who really knows what he’s doing. Here are four weapons you can borrow from his armory:
1. Less is more.
So the guy who couldn’t get past Romney’s veep vetting in ’12 is the guy Romney says can save GOP in ’16? Did I miss something?
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) November 3, 2013
Stephen excels at the short-form style of blogging, frequently doing posts that are only a few paragraphs or less in length. He does a great job of getting to the point and highlighting the most vital facts. It’s no surprise that he’s also one of PJM’s most effective Tweeters.
2. Cut deeper by stabbing with a smile!
In all fairness, Rob Ford did pledge to get crack off the streets of Toronto.
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) November 5, 2013
One of the lessons that I’m always reminded of when reading Stephen’s posts is that one can get away with harsher critiques and stronger positions when they’re offset by some jokes and style.
3. Balance the blog — politics, cultural, personal, video, images, longer articles, and shorter blog posts
Of all the PJ columnists Stephen probably has the best all-around balance across subjects. I’m still largely sympathetic — even nostalgic — for the style of personal-political-cultural blogging that arose from 2000-2005. Stephen largely still operates in this mode of a blogger keeping a regular online diary with entries featuring both commentary on current events and discussions of hobbies.
4. Live-Blogging No, Drunk-Blogging Yes!
“Live-blogging” is the process of doing short blog posts about an ongoing event. Stephen takes this to the next level with the injection of well-prepared alcoholic beverages. I concur. Bloody Mary is my drink of choice:
Proposed New Media Rule: You’re not really a blogger until you’ve blogged drunk. (Obvious exceptions granted for Mormons and other religious teetotalers.)
PJ Media Story Round Up
PJM Stories on Tuesday
Bridget Johnson: Administration Plans to Placate Millions Who Have Lost Health Insurance with Outreach Program
Jen Kuznicki: Obamacare, Baseball, and the Public Trust
Let’s assume the Washington Post is correct in its estimation that the website cost around $174 million, and could reach as high as $300 million. (Excuse me for snickering at the thought that there is some sort of spending cap on this monument to hole-digging.) In that case, the Obama administration paid out, presumably in the last three years, more than the entire career earnings of Mariano Rivera. Don’t like baseball? Shaquille O’Neal’s estimated career earnings are a little over $292 million. Wayne Gretzky, Brendan Shanahan, and Steve Yzerman would have to pool all their earnings from their entire careers to fund this website that doesn’t work. (Why Brendan Shanahan? Because I like Brendan Shanahan.)
I’m not even talking net worth. I’m talking about all the money they have earned in their careers. If you consider how much money you’ve made in your lifetime, and then look at the stuff you have, you might get a little depressed. But the government doesn’t have such emotions, as unearned money is no object. They’ll just fill in the hole and start digging a new one.
Victor Davis Hanson: The Double-Dealing Middle East Is Double-Dealt
In sum, the American people think the Middle East is, well, the Middle East: support democracy and we are derided as cultural chauvinists, Western interventionists, and clueless about the nuances of Arab culture. Support the existing status quo, and we care only about oil, not the masses, and geopolitics rather than democratic reform. Stay out entirely and we have abdicated moral responsibility. Intervene and we are “nation-building” in the old colonial fashion.
It is hard for Americans to keep us with all this, much less take Middle East intellectuals seriously, given their lockstep and boring anti-Americanism. No wonder the American people seem to have become tired of this wink-and-nod con. Their exhaustion has proved a godsend to Obama, who can be naturally both weak and indecisive, and not necessarily in the short-term unpopular at home for such laxity. Again, for a variety of other reasons, he wanted to vacate the region and forget about violence against sympathetic Christians, Iraqi reformers, Afghan women, and anyone else who hoped for something better. Conniving Arab leaders and whiny intellectuals helped to give him his opening.
Paul Hsieh: Obamacare and the Wages of Spin
Before: “Death Panels” are just right-wing crazy talk.
Now: “Death Panels” are good!
In Slate, Adam Goldenberg declares, “Canada Has Death Panels — And that’s a good thing.”
Basically, when we all have to pay for one another’s health care, then patients should not be allowed to impose unlimited health costs on other taxpayers. Hence, the government has to decide who does — or does not — receive medical services. He explicitly argues that the government should “play God” with citizens’ lives. For the good of society, of course.
Stephen Kruiser: What They’ll Tell You the VA and NJ Elections Mean
Bryan Preston: Is the Obamacare Grinch About to Steal Christmas?
Bryan Preston: VIDEO — Obama’s Lying About His Lies Now
PJM Stories on Monday
Rich Baehr: Governors’ Races: One Contest and One No Contest
Stephen Green: The Week the Wheels Came off Obamacare
The pols and pundits can argue and fingerpoint until they’re blue in the — finger? — but Obamacare’s numbers paint a bleak picture of broken promises and outright lies. After a full month, nearly 40,000 people have successfully signed up for health insurance at HealthCare.gov, out of an administration goal of over seven million by the end of March. At that rate, the administration will have met its goal sometime in the autumn — of 2028.
Mind you, the goal of Obamacare was to provide coverage for some 47,000,000 uninsured Americans. So take those 15 years and multiply them by about seven. You’re gonna need a bigger calculator.
Ignored in those dreary statistics is the fact that people are being dumped out of their current coverage and onto the nonfunctional exchanges faster than the exchanges can handle them. An estimated 1,500,000 have lost their coverage, up against those newly insured 40,000. The best guess is that seven or eight million more face the same fate.
Jean Kaufman: The Obamacare Prediction of the Week
Ed Driscoll: Interview: Virginia Postrel on The Power of Glamour
PJM Stories from Weekend
David P. Goldman: National Security and Economic Growth: A New Plan
Charlie Martin: Obamacare vs. Arithmetic
Rodrigo Sermeno: Cato Argues for Reducing U.S. Nuclear Capability to Subs Only
Roger Kimball: ‘Racism, Inc.’ Comes to Football
Rick Moran: Can Cuccinelli Pull Off the Upset?
Andrew Klavan: Barack Obama’s Narrative Illusions
But in this left-wing country of the blind, even a one-eyed man can see: Obama’s political achievements, like Hillary Clinton’s political achievements, like Ben Kingsley’s role in freeing India from British rule, are all of a piece — a narrative illusion fostered on us by those who do not believe there is any truth to tell.
Klavan is really a extraordinary writer.
PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page from Monday
Robert Spencer: ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children
PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page from the Weekend
Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World
Andrew C. McCarthy: ‘The Great Achievements of Liberalism’ AKA ‘The Ponzi Scheme’ – A Response to Ron Radosh
A very compelling response from Andy, loaded with arguments.
Walter Hudson: Were Video Stores Better than Internet Streaming?
At some point I’m going to have to write something about the rise and fall of Blockbuster. I remember with such fondness how first videotape then video game then DVD rental stores used to be such a central part of my childhood and adolescence.
And now I can’t even remember how many years it’s been since I last used my Blockbuster card. (It might not even be in my wallet anymore!) But I do have a bit of schadenfreude — for as much as I adore Blockbuster for providing access to the cinematic world, I also hated it. On two separate occasions when I applied for jobs — once in high school and once after college — I was turned down. That was probably for the better I now realize.
Spyridon Mitsotakis: The UK Should Ignore the Mediocrities and Listen to the Pretty Lady
New at PJ Lifestyle
Helen Smith: Can Yoga Cure Anxiety?
Stephen Green: Omigosh Nikon What Have You Done?
David P. Goldman: Reports of Russia’s Death Are Exaggerated
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation has fired up my interest in learning much more about Russia’s past, present, and future.
Becky Graebner: 3 Reasons Why Dating is Especially Hard in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Klavan: Peddling Trashy Books to Teens
Paula Bolyard: Dare You Not to Cry: Autistic Football Player ‘Big Mike’ Runs for a 31-Yard Touchdown
Robert Spencer: ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children
Bonnie Ramthun: Battered Voter Syndrome
P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, # 5: The Guardian
Walter Hudson: Of Thugs and Men
Susan L.M. Goldberg: Can’t Touch This: American Feminism’s Racial Ignorance
Rhonda Robinson: Don We Now Our
Gay Apparel Ugly Sweaters
Sarah Hoyt: Selling Your Writing To The Public
I remain astounded by Megan’s new-media activism raising the alarm on an Illinois library’s sexually charged atmosphere.
Charlie Martin: 13 Weeks: The Hard Boiled Egg Theory
Jon Bishop: We Should All Be The Dude
New at PJ Tatler
Raymond Ibrahim: How Historic Revisionism Justifies Islamic Terrorism
Ron Radosh: The Tea Party and Alger Hiss
Rick Moran: Worrisome Security Breach at Healthcare.gov
Rick Moran: Remembering the Hungarian Uprising of 1956
J. Christian Adams: The Washington Post’s Crusade Against the Washington Redskins
Raymond Ibrahim: The Kidnapping and Plundering of Christian Copts
I don’t think there’s going to be any kind of magical fix for the website in the coming months. This is an administration totally lost at sea, without a hope.
From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists
Monday and Tuesday
Get to Know Everyone on the #ReadEverythingTheyWrite List!
18 of My Favorite Writers And Most Important Intellectual Influences:
6 On Foreign Policy:
- Monday, August 5: ‘War, and Preparation for War, Are the Normal Conditions of Mankind, While Peace Is Extremely Rare.’ – Michael Ledeen
- Tuesday, August 6 on Andrew C. McCarthy: Muslim Brotherhood Operatives Have Infiltrated America’s Political and Cultural Institutions to Conquer Us from Within
- Wednesday, August 7 on Barry Rubin: First We Define Anti-Americanism, Then We Crush It Again Even Harder
- Thursday, August 8 on Claudia Rosett: The United Nations is a Corrupt Failure That Does Not Unite Nations
- Friday, August 9 on David P. Goldman: No to Corporate Neoconservatism, No to Paleo-Libertarian Anarchism, Yes to Augustinian Realism
- Tuesday, August 13 on Victor Davis Hanson: The Price We Pay for Our Ignorance of Military History Is Dead Americans
4 On Culture:
- Wednesday, August 14: 3 Weapons to Win the Culture War Courtesy of Roger Kimball
- Monday, August 19: How to End the Fake Fight Between Social Conservatives and Libertarians With Andrew Klavan’s Wonderful Writing
- Wednesday, August 21: Michael Walsh Names the Founder of the Criminal Organization Destroying America for Two Centuries…
- Sunday, August 24: The Most Valuable Writing Advice Roger L. Simon Gave Me…
5 On History:
- Tuesday, August 27: Ron Radosh: The Most Valuable Historian Exposing Marxism’s Long War Against America
- Thursday, September 5 on Ion Mihai Pacepa: How the Soviets Seeded Antisemitism Around the World and the Price We Pay with Syria Today
- Wednesday, September 11 on James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus and their essential book America 3.0: On 9/11 and Benghazi’s Anniversary, We End Conservative Pessimism and Right-Wing Apocalypticism
- Tuesday, October 9 on Robert Spencer’s Vital Role in Creating Conservatism 3.0
2 On New Media:
- Wednesday, October 16 on Prager University: ‘There’s Nothing Just About Nature. Nature Is Only About Survival.’
- Tuesday, October 22: Ed Driscoll: New Media Master and Cultural Conquistador
1 On Talk Radio (beginning a ranking of the best hosts working today)
- Wednesday, October 30 on Dennis Prager: The 21 Most Evil News Stories from October
Many thanks to PowerLine Blog for Monday’s post “The Presience of the Walter Duranty Prize.” The always thoughtful John Hinderaker recalled the winner of last year’s Walter Duranty Award for Journalistic Mendacity, Vogue’s Joan Juliet Buck and Anna Wintour for their unconscionable article “Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert.” Hinderaker excerpts from Claudia Rosett’s speech, juxtaposing with the photos of John Kerry dining with the mass murderer. I appreciated this one in particular:
Instead, Vogue showcased as a breathless scoop a portrait of Syria’s ruling couple as a pair of classy and benevolent aristocrats; the kind of couple any self-respecting member of the global elite could admire and endorse without violating standards of either morality or the latest trends in Parisian footwear.
Visit PowerLine to read more. (And I shouldn’t have to tell anyone this — you should know by now that the PowerLine guys should be on your #ReadEverythingTheyWrite list.)
In season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen on weekday mornings 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.
Yesterday, this interview at Salon with one of the old idols of my art-house-cinema, film-critic days jumped out at me. Filmmaker Paul Schrader is more well known as a screenwriter than a director. He established himself through his collaborations with Martin Scorsese in the 1970s, helping midwife the tortured masculinities of Travis Bickle and Jake La Motta in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. (In some ways Taxi Driver was semi-autobiographical.) That was about when Schrader’s career peaked. Since then he’s taken the sex-obsessed, disturbed male persona of those scripts and elaborated on it in a series of films about prostitutes, pornographers, and perverts.
Apart from his classic ’70s work, Schrader’s movies crossed my path in 2002 with Auto Focus, a film that played at the art-house movie theatre where I worked in high school and college. The movie depicts the rise and fall of Bob Crane disc jockey, sex addict, actor, and amateur pornographer — best known from his starring role in Hogan’s Heroes.Perhaps Schrader’s and Crane’s careers mirror each other a bit? Starting out doing popular work only to end up filming cheap sex?
His newest movie stars Lindsay Lohan and real life porn star James Deen and was scripted by Gen X nihilist king Bret Easton Ellis of Less Than Zero and American Psycho infamy. In this excerpt from the Salon piece, the interview doesn’t have the guts to ask the question honestly. He has to skirt the issue rather than ask outright, “How come you make movies about men obsessed with sex and death?”
Your career has been kind of varied — what common themes run through your work?
I think it’s true of every artist, and of every single person. We don’t change much. Watch something like “56 Up” — you realize how little people change. Now they’re all 56 and they haven’t changed at all! I don’t think anyone does! You do circle around the same things.
What are those things?
You start with how you were raised. I was raised in a Calvinist community. So you’re dealing with that. I was raised with moral responsibility and the idea that life has to have some meaning. When the fact that it doesn’t have meaning becomes apparent — how do you get out of that conversation? When you realize your life has as much meaning as your dog’s, that’s a conversation that’ll never end.
I can’t help but read Schrader’s comments equating human life with animals in the context of a president who left men to die in Benghazi, the girls tortured for a decade by Ariel Castro, and the disturbing cultural devolutions that have produced rampant criminality and illegitimacy in America’s inner cities.
Tuesday Book Reading:
Literacy changes everything. Heres an excerpt from page 57 from Doug Rushkoff’s Get Back In The Box. Word-based religions are dramatically different than image-based religions.
Wednesday Morning News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories From Wednesday:
Bryan Preston: Is Sharpton Blaming Trayvon’s Parents Now?
Claudia Rosett: Iran Sets Its Sights on UN Disarmament Committee
Andrew C. McCarthy: Why the National-Security Right Is Gradually Losing the NSA Debate
If there is a more convincing case to be made on the why question – why collecting huge amounts of data pertinent to innocent people is essential to detecting terrorist communication patterns – it must be made pronto. Again, reluctance on the part of knowledgeable people to say more than they have for fear of educating our enemies is perfectly understandable, even admirable. But national-security conservatives have to face facts: We are gradually losing this debate. Being right on the adequacy of the NSA programs’ structural safeguards, and being right on the law, will count for nothing if Americans are not convinced – quickly – that there is a real, material, comprehensible connection between the massive data collection and the prevention of terrorist attacks.
Rodrigo Sermeno: GOP Digs in Against ‘War on Coal’ Regulations
PJTV’s Trifecta: Democrats See the Shortcomings of Weiner and Huma (Video)
PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page:
Paula Bolyard: What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?
If voters took Bonhoeffer’s biblical principles seriously, we wouldn’t be choosing “the lesser of two evils” election after election. We wouldn’t have to weigh the positive outcomes of a Kennedy or a Clinton presidency against the moral failures that could have put the country at severe risk and behavior that wreaked havoc in the lives of their families and those who covered for them. Immoral men like Weiner would be disqualified from office, not made into celebrities with a shot at becoming mayor of one of the most important cities in the world.
Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Why Netflix’s House of Cards Is Such a Hit
1. Characters that are too good at “being bad”
Southern gentleman Frank Underwood is the first piece of genius in this show. I’ve pointed out in previous posts that no matter what Frank does, you still fall for his South Carolinian charm and charisma. He’s smooth-talking and has a soft side. He has the audience eating out of his hand and then, WHAM, he’s slapped with the title of “murderer.” Oh well, you still love him and you still want him to succeed. You just cannot hate Frank — his quips, smartass dialogue, and honest facial expressions make the audience laugh even in the darkest moments. Frank is the perfect bad guy who continuously baits the audience only to have them coming back for more.
New at PJ Lifestyle on Wednesday:
Becky Graebner: 4 Dumb TV Cliches I Hope Orange Is the New Black Avoids
Hannah Sternberg: Bad Advice: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Crisis
Most often when we feel stuck it’s because we aren’t really open to all the options around us, because we tell ourselves they’re crazy or unacceptable or beneath us, or simply because they never occurred to us. If you feel like tearing your hair out every day you work in front of a computer, try hunting down some non-office jobs. Some of them might pay less, but if you took advice #2 above, you might have an idea of how little you’re willing to make, in exchange for preserving your sanity and happiness.
If you feel like you can’t spend the rest of your life doing marketing/sales/research/computer programming/accounting/fundraising, then don’t. Even if it means “starting over.” If you have less than five years of experience, you don’t exactly have far to fall. And while you might even step down in salary too, you have decades to climb back up and surpass where you were. Even if you don’t, you mind find you mind less when you’re doing something you love.
Kathy Shaidle: Carolla vs. Kindler: When Jealous Losers Attack
Kindler’s attack on Carolla is much longer and more vicious than early reports indicated.
I’d like to apologize to everybody here, and everybody in America for going on Adam Carolla’s terrible, terrible podcast. I really had no idea. I just thought he was The Man Show, and he was — I didn’t know he was a terrible human being. I thought he was slightly amusing and kidding around. I had no idea that he’s a bigot with a capital NAZI. (…)
By the way, you know a white person is leaning toward racism if they start all of a sudden complaining about how much taxes they pay under Obama. (…)
By the way, anybody who goes on Celebrity Apprentice. You’ve got to either not know what’s going on, oryou’ve got to be a racist.
New at PJ Tatler on Wednesday:
Stephen Green:You’re Doing it Wrong
Bryan Preston: Wars On Women Among the Women in Weinerland
Stephen Green: Civilian Deaths on the Rise in Afghanistan
Stephen Green: Bloomberg Anti-Gun Group Committing Fraud
Bryan Preston: Washington Paint Vandalism Suspect is a Chinese National
Charlie Martin: Rachel Maddow Calls Obama a Liar
Bryan Preston: Obama Admits that He’s Just Not Up to the Job
Bryan Preston: Let’s Put These Two NSA Surveillance Stories Together
There’s no use discussing anything with this administration. It’s the most callous and dishonest government this nation has ever had.
Bryan Preston: SEIU Man: If McDonald’s Strikers Don’t Get What They Want, They May Contaminate the Food
I’m not one who hates on McDonald’s. You go there, you get what you want at a reasonable price and the product is consistent from coast to coast. Overseas, McDonald’s adjusts to its environment, so in Tokyo you can get a teriyaki burger (and they’re awesome). You can’t beat their price for ice cream sundaes.
The strike for $15/hour to flip burgers is stupid. Working the line at McDonald’s was never intended to be a full-time career. It’s an entry-level job at low wages to gain experience to help advance to the next, better, job. Obama’s wretched economy is forcing many Americans into underemployment, though, where benefits are scarce and wages are low.
Bridget Johnson: Benghazi Hearing: Special Ops Commander Said He Was Traveling, Had ‘Unreliable Communications’
Bryan Preston: Armed White Hispanic Man Pulled Over for Speeding in Texas, Gets Warning, Press Reports Non-Story
Bridget Johnson: Virginia Lawmakers: Hey, Don’t Leave for Recess!
Bridget Johnson: Graham: Special Ops, Intel Personnel Telling Him They Have Benghazi Leads, But Not Allowed to Chase Them
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said today that military and intelligence personnel are not receiving permission to chase down solid leads in bringing the perpetrators of the Benghazi attack to justice.
Graham noted that CNN recently interview Ahmed Abu Khattala, head of Ansar al-Sharia, and asked him about the attack on-camera, “but nobody from the FBI, the Libyan government has ever talked to him and he’s a person of high interest, according to our government.”
“CNN found him within two hours. Apparently we can’t find him. Maybe we need to contract out to the media to go get these suspects. But this is a pathetic effort to bring people to justice,” Graham said this morning on Fox.
The senator said he’s had “special forces operatives and intelligence community personnel come up to me over the last two months and say they’ve got great leads, know where other members who planned the attacks are located in Libya and can’t get approval to go after them.”
“This is not a phony scandal. This is a pathetic effort to bring people to justice. I think if you’ve got these folks, you would find out how terrorist-centered this attack was. It was not based on a video. Maybe they’re still looking for the guy from the video and that’s why they can’t find these folks. I don’t know. But my belief is the people who killed our folks are wandering around Libya in the wide open and we aren’t doing a damn thing about it,” he said.
Also Around the Web Wednesday:
Radar Online: Secret Sex Tape: Monica Lewinsky Caught On Explicit Recording Telling Bill Clinton, ‘I Could Take My Clothes Off…’
On it, she tells the 42nd President: “Since I know you will be alone tomorrow evening, I have two proposals for you, neither of which is you not seeing me.”
Lewinsky then orders the leader of the free world to use his secretary, Betty Currie, as a go-between and plan the presidential schedule so they could covertly meet without a formal record of her visit.
“Now the first thing that has to happen is that you need to pre-plan with Betty that you will leave the office at, I don¹t know, at 7, 7:30 so that everyone else who hates me that causes me lots of trouble goes home,” she tells Clinton.
“Then you quickly sneak back and then in the meantime I quickly sneak over and then we can have a nice little visit for, you know, 15 minutes or half an hour. Whatever you want.”
Lewinsky also bemoans how their previous “60 seconds” encounter “was just not enough even though you did look very handsome.”
The Hollywood Reporter: The Chilling History of How Hollywood Helped Hitler (Exclusive)
Eliana Johnson at National Review: E-mails Suggest Collusion Between FEC, IRS to Target Conservative Groups
Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online. The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law. Lerner, the former head of the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, worked at the FEC from 1986 to 1995, and was known for aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there, too.
Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian: XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’
The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.
“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.
US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”
But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.
XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as theirmetadata.
Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.
Alex Pareene: Jennifer Rubin has a new toy: Chris Christie
The first example in Welch’s piece, of course, was Chris Christie, who was heavily courted by the interventionist right in 2011 and 2012, when they hoped very much that he’d run for president. “I haven’t given any thought to foreign policy,” Christie told them. “Don’t worry about that,” said Henry Kissinger.
Having not given much thought to foreign policy in the past, Christie has now been given thoughts on foreign policy. Those thoughts are why he is suddenly talking like Lindsey Graham. And it’s working! “Is Christie the GOP’s best 2012 candidate?” Rubin asked a few weeks ago. (Her answer: yes.) Yesterday, in a post that still has an unfortunate stray apostrophe in the headline, Rubin again singled out Christie for praise, positioning him as the electable and acceptable alternative to those awful isolationists.
I’m not particularly looking forward to the ideological battle over the next few years between neoconservative GOP establishment ideologues and postmodern Paulastinian ideologues. A pox on both their houses. There’s a third option on foreign policy for conservaties that eschews both utopian nation-building in the Muslim world and the Pauls’ naive, neo-isolationsist surrender-mongering. It’s called Augustinian Realism and it’s defined in David P. Goldman’s book How Civilizations Die. See also Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy, the keepers of the flame of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy philosophy of “Peace through Strength.”
We can be pro-military and pro-intervention when necessary and above all HAWKISH. There are evil people in this world and they need to know that America is not to be F-ed with. The strategy for global peace is simple: attack us and we obliterate you. Not, attack us and we do nothing while CNN interviews you. What a global embarrassment this president has made of us — or rather, we have made of ourselves by electing this fraud twice.
Is it exhausting to continue to make works that are nihilistic?
I think “Auto Focus” is a hoot! I just sort of love those kind of characters! And the closest I came was the Elmore Leonard thing ["Touch"]. That was a comedy about a [person with stigmata] so I guess it’s not really a comedy. If I actually thought these things were dark, I don’t think I could make them. And I think everyone feels the same way. You talk to Bret, or Philip Roth, and they’re having a good time!
What has shifted so much?
My generation — we thought we could make a difference and make the world better. Bret’s generation thought they could make money. I don’t think that this current generation has any real aspirations. They’re making money, but I don’t think they’re that crazy about money. The characters make movies and they don’t like movies that much. They’re hooking up and they don’t like that much. The difference is, my parents and I always believed life would be better for the next generation. The current generation believes life is going to be worse for the next generation. It’s such a change for the future of humanity — the future is not something, now, that guarantees a better life.
It’s no surprise that Adam Carolla thinks his formerMan Show co-host and current best friend Jimmy Kimmel is poised to dominate the late night landscape. Appearing on HuffPost Live Tuesday, Carolla praised Kimmel and predicted he would be the “king of late night for the next 20 years.”
At The Blaze:
‘He Is a Progressive Radical Above All Else’: Glenn Beck Takes a Closer Look at Controversial ‘Zealot’ Author
“Aslan is not writing a book slamming Jesus because of his Muslim beliefs. He’s not writing it because he’s an amazing historian who uncovered incredible new facts,” Beck asserted. “Make no mistake, he is a progressive radical above all else. He wants to change our understanding of history and our relationship to God to create social change.”
Beck continued: “His goal is to cause doubt in believers of Jesus and ultimately have them leave the faith like he did – so progressives will have more devoted followers who do whatever their hearts desire…Change our history, change our traditions — that’s what this is really all about, and the good news for Reza, he’s not trying to do this alone.”
Bernard Henri-Levy: Where Is Egypt Headed?
In 2008 I started Straight Guise, a website and blog open to all who wish to read, post comments and have a dialogue about men who have sex with men. It explores the many reasons that men have sex with other men, only some of which have anything to do with homosexuality or bisexuality.
Many types of men engage in same-sex relationships, for a variety of reasons, which I will identify for you. Here are a few of them:
- Acting out early-childhood sexual abuse: This is also known as “homosexual imprinting.” These heterosexual men are not homosexually oriented. They do not sexually desire, nor are they aroused by, other men. However, they compulsively reenact childhood sexual abuse by male perpetrators through their sexual behaviors with other men. If a basically heterosexual boy is molested by a male relative, he may keep “returning to the scene of the crime” to defuse his emotional pain or desensitize himself to it. When his original trauma gets cleared up, the “homosexual” behavior he’s reenacting ceases. This isn’t about gayness; it is about sexual abuse.
At the Daily Mail:
Pornography producer Justin Ribeiro Dos Santos agrees: ‘As an industry, we have a massive influence over how men feel about their bodies.
‘Porn is now watched by so many people that, along with other media, we are changing how people feel about themselves.’
This could be said to be reflected in the increasing number of men going under the knife.
‘When I first started doing surgery around 10 to 15 per cent of my clientele were men,’ London-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Grant Hamlet told Alex.
‘But over the past six or seven years, it has grown to 60 per cent.’
The village where HALF the population are sex offenders: Florida community built for convicts banned from living near children
The 24-acre community was built in the 1960s to house sugar cane workers. In 2009 the late Dick Witherow, a pastor with the Christian group Matthew 25 Ministries, began making housing available to sex offenders.
Witherow came up with the idea for the village largely because of a Florida state law that prevents offenders from living within 1,000ft of a school, park, day care centre or playground.
Some cities and counties have extended that to 2,500ft.
The village does not allow offenders who are convicted of violent sex crimes against strangers.
Jerry Youmans, the intake coordinator for the ministry who is also a registered sex offender, told the BBC: ‘We try not to accept people with a history of violence or drugs, or to take any diagnosed paedophile – that is, someone who can only become sexually aroused by a child.”
Buzzfeed: 23 Libertarian Problems
3. “No, I’m not an anarchist… OK, maybe I am.”
At CNN via Real Clear Religion:
Stephen Prothero: 7 Things Reza Aslan Actually Says About Jesus
1. Jesus was a violent revolutionary
Many scholars have argued that Jesus was a political figure. After all, he was crucified by Rome, and crucifixion was at the time a punishment for political offenses. But these scholars often claim, as John Dominic Crossan did in “Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography,” that Jesus was a nonviolent revolutionary.
Aslan portrays Jesus as a man of war who worshiped the “blood-spattered God of Abraham, and Moses, and Jacob, and Joshua” and who knew full well that “God’s sovereignty could not be established except through force.”
2. Jesus’ kingdom was worldly
In the Gospel of John, Jesus famously says, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Aslan begs to differ. Jesus’ kingdom was neither purely nor predominantly spiritual. He preached “a physical and present kingdom: a real kingdom, with an actual king that was about to be established on earth.”
Patheos: The Very Worst of the Atheist Movement on Display: Major Atheist Orgs Attack Star of David Holocaust Memorial
The state of Ohio is planning to build the Holocaust memorial pictured above on statehouse grounds as a most appropriate, poignant, and vital reminder to “lawmakers and those who work in and around government of the important role and responsibility they have in speaking out in the face of hatred, anti-Semetism and genocide” because “The Holocaust did not begin in concentration camps in the ovens with smoke stacks and mass graves. It began in the halls of government with the passage of laws that targeted Jews, taking their properties, their businesses, their home, their freedom and ultimately their lives.”
But I am aghast, livid, embarrassed, ashamed, and offended to report to you that Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation has written a letter opposing this memorial under the false charge that it is exclusionary and violates the principle of the Separation of Church and State simply because it features the Star of David on government property and (only allegedly but not actually) omits other victims of the Holocaust. And David Silverman of the American Atheists has gone on FOX News also to attack this memorial on the same grounds.
Jonah Goldberg: Bending the Trayvon Martin Tragedy to Fit
Paul Mirengoff: The Christie-Paul Fight, And Other Fights to Come
I would like for neither to be president. Christie seems, on balance, only slightly right of center. Maybe that’s a function of being governor of a Blue State; maybe not. But his embrace of President Obama in the final, decisive days of the 2012 presidential campaign still disgusts me. I would have to hold my nose to vote for Christie in a general election.
Paul’s views on foreign policy and national security are largely antithetical to mine. He’s also agrandstander, a clown, and maybe worse. I’m not sure I could vote for Paul in a general election even holding my nose.
At one point in his fight with Christie, Paul said “it’s not smart” for Republicans to be attacking Republicans. He then proceeded to twist the knife, suggesting that the New Jersey Governor “forget[s] that we have a Bill of Rights, forget[s] about privacy and give[s] up on all of our liberty [so] that you have to live in a police state.”
Did I mention that Paul is a grandstander and a clown?
Hat tip Kathy Shaidle:
You had one trip to the salad bar. So dammit, you had to make it count.
In China, Pizza Huts are either take-out only or somewhat upscale sit-down restaurants that even serve steak. A while back, it became a fad of sorts to build enormous fruit and vegetable structures at Pizza Hut salad bars. The reason was that customers only got one plate and one trip to the salad bar, so they wanted their visit to be worth it. And was it ever.
Ann Coulter: O’Reilly Killing History
Does anyone read anymore? I mean, besides tweets from Anthony Weiner?
During his otherwise excellent commentaries on race in America, Bill O’Reilly, host of the No. 1 cable news show, claimed on Tuesday night that the one person who tried to help African-Americans more than any other was … Robert F. Kennedy!
No one laughed. I guess that’s what they’re teaching these days at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. (I can’t wait to hear how Ted Kennedy helped eradicate drunk driving!)
According to O’Reilly’s Bizarro-World history, Bobby Kennedy was “the guy who was really concerned about African-Americans” and “who really DID SOMETHING. … He went in with the federal government and he cleaned out the rat’s nest that was abusing African-Americans in the South.”
Although this myth has been polished to perfection by the Kennedy PR machine (requiring all Kennedy stories to illustrate either courage or adorableness), it is simply a fact that helping blacks was not the Democrats’ priority. Even the ones who wanted to, such as Bobby and John Kennedy, couldn’t risk upsetting the segregationists, more than 90 percent of whom were Democratic.
The job of actually enforcing civil rights and desegregating Southern schools fell to Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.
Black Americans may say hosannas to Bobby Kennedy, but they would have to wait for Richard Nixon to become president to win the promise of Brown v. Board.
Within Nixon’s first two years in the White House, black students attending segregated schools in the South declined from nearly 70 percent to 18.4 percent. There was more desegregation of American public schools in Nixon’s first term than in any historical period before or since.
Thursday Dawn Book Reading:
Is there a connection between Ayn Rand’s rejection of Plato’s “mystical hole” and her advocacy of absolute self-worship? Pg. 98 of William F. Buckley Jr.’s novel Getting It Right
See the first three and a half weeks’ round-ups:
- Week One
- 1. Monday, July 8: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“
- 2. Tuesday, July 9: Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?
- 3. Thursday, July 11: Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…
- Week Two
- 4. Monday, July 15: Turning On Mankind’s Magical Machines To Battle Mother Earth’s Cruel Monsters
- 5. Wednesday, July 17: ‘So, You Know How You Felt on 9/11? Yeah, That’s How We Feel When It Comes To Race.’
- 6. Thursday, July 18: ‘… And There We Can Still Maintain Our Mysterious and Dreadful Freedom.’
- 7. Friday, July 19: ‘Evil Always Takes Advantage of Ambiguity.’ – G.K. Chesterton
- Week Three
- 8. Monday, July 22: ‘His Father Urged Him to Study Marxism, But Valentin Preferred Science.’
- 9. 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.’
- 10. Wednesday, July 24: Is Anthony Weiner a ‘Deviant’ or a ‘Normal’ Male?
- 11. Thursday, July 25: ‘The Most Ancient Conflict in Western Culture, Between Jew and Egyptian, Continues…’
- 12. Friday, July 26: Weiner’s Wild Women: Are Sydney Leathers and Huma Abedin His Succubi?
- Week Four
- 13. Monday, July 29: Malcolm X: ‘The Jew Cries Louder Than Anybody Else If Anybody Criticizes Him.’
- 14. Tuesday, July 30: ‘My Father Was a White Man.’ – Frederick Douglass, the Archetypal Anti-Slavery Republican
- 15. Wednesday, July 31: Why Is It Evil to Murder Unwanted Children?
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker has voiced her support for the work of controversial British conspiracy theorist David Icke on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
When asked which book she would take were she to be an isolated castaway, the author of The Color Purple chose Icke’s ‘Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More.’
In the 750-page tome, Icke describes how the human mind is controlled from the moon.
The moon, he claims, is actually a “gigantic spacecraft” which sends us a “fake reality broadcast”.
This method of manipulation is said to work “in much the same way as portrayed in the Matrix movie trilogy”.
Icke, a former BBC presenter, drew mockery in 1991 when he pronounced himself the son of the messiah in an interview with Terry Wogan.
Since then, he has made a career as an author and public speaker.
One of his key ideas is that Earth is ruled by shape-shifting reptiles, including the Queen and President Barack Obama.
The only thing single mothers are “victims” of is their own choice to have sex with men they’re not married to. Liberals seem to believe that drinking soda is voluntary, but getting pregnant is more like catching the flu.
It would be hard to make the case that fast food, plastic bags and cigarettes do more damage than single motherhood.
– Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single mother.
– At least 70 percent of juvenile murderers, pregnant teenagers, high school dropouts, teen suicides, runaways and juvenile delinquents were raised by single mothers.
– A study back in 1990 by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that, absent single motherhood, there would be no difference in black and white crime rates.
So liberals don’t try to make that case. They just say they’re against “shaming” and then go back to shaming gun owners, non-recyclers, smokers and “Big Gulp” aficionados — while subsidizing illegitimacy.
I used to hate politics. Then I met Ann Coulter.
In case you haven’t seen PCU, allow me to explain: I am only one of many in my generation who grew into adulthood harboring a strong desire to avoid all forms of political discussion. For many of us growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, the deafening liberal attacks coming across cable news, talk radio, and then the internet defined politics as a source of talking-head tsuris and therefore best avoided at all costs.
The unavoidable reality hit when I enrolled in grad school and promptly learned the phrase: “Everything is political.” And that was before I got the chance to interview the prospective film studies professor who declared himself a communist without blinking an eye.
Critical theory, my chosen area of study, comes in many forms. The most memorable (and popular) being a series of schools based on race/ethnicity/gender/sexual demarcations that could easily be classified under the heading “White Men Are Coming To Get You Studies.” All theories are taught under the general pseudo-philosophical guideline of postmodernism. I could spend entire articles trying to explain that one. Instead, I’ll just let this handy little comic do it for me.
Nothing I learned made sense yet all of it was accepted as holy. Any time I would question these ideas I would receive furrowed brows, gobsmacked expressions, or simply be told in so many words that I just “didn’t get it.” These reactions probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much except for the fact that they were coming from the professor who would sign off on my thesis, providing me with the paperwork I needed to graduate and get the hell out of Dodge.
Hell. I was in hell. Instead of being taught how to think, I was paying to be told what to think. Waiting in the airport for my flight back to campus after winter break, I contemplated throwing in the towel. And then, I heard an angel’s voice and a bright light beckoned me to the bookstore in the terminal…
Okay, not totally. But I do know for a fact that finding Ann Coulter’s Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right on my way to the plane was a divine appointment. Three hours later I landed on solid ground and felt my feet beneath me for the first time in 18 months. Finally, someone was making sense.
Perhaps if conservatives had had total control over every major means of news dissemination for a quarter century, they would have forgotten how to debate, too, and would just call liberals stupid and mean.
Ann waited until page 2 to verbalize the crux of the problem I’d been facing: This liberal professor had total control and, therefore, could demean and dismiss me whenever he liked.
Or so he thought and so did I, until I met Ann Coulter.
Can you get a freelance job in five days? You definitely cannot get a freelance job in five days if you do not try.
People in their twenties (also known as People Most Likely to Be/Want to Be Freelancers) send me emails on occasion. Oftentimes, they want to know: How can I get a freelancing job?
Most of the time I don’t reply. I’m too busy freelancing.
TIP #1: You’re not unemployed
Recently, a twentysomething I know and like emailed me, and she was like, “I’m unemployed!” And I was like, “No, you’re not. You’re self-employed.” With this easy rhetorical trick, you can go from unemployed to self-employed in under 60 seconds.
Once upon a time, I was unemployed. Really, it wasn’t that long ago. The biggest obstacle between you and employment is your brain.
Side-effects of unemployment can include but are not limited to: low self-esteem, depression, loneliness, anxiety, and paralysis.
You don’t have to be unemployed to be a freelancer — that’s the great thing about freelancing: anyone can do it — but the unemployed may find the gravel shoulder on the journey to employment is made of freelance gigs.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Kathy Shaidle: Talent Isn’t Everything: 5 Secrets to Freelance Success
Religion, God, transcendence, spirituality: do these things exist independently of the human mind or are they products of neurochemical firings of the brain? When Saul had his revelatory experience on the road to Damascus, had he fallen under the spell of a seizure, as some have claimed, or was it a flash of the divine that caused his conversion to Christianity? When Fyodor Dostoevsky experienced the self-transcendent moment he describes below, was he momentarily elevated into a mysterious mystical realm or was he having a fit of temporal lobe epilepsy?
The air was filled with a big noise and I tried to move. I felt the heaven was going down upon the earth and that it engulfed me. I have really touched God. He came into me myself, yes God exists, I cried, and I don’t remember anything else. You all, healthy people . . . can’t imagine the happiness which we epileptics feel during the second before our fit . . . I don’t know if this felicity lasts for seconds, hours or months, but believe me, for all the joys that life may bring, I would not exchange this one.
Over at the Atlantic, two scientists and doctors–the renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and radiologist Richard Gunderman–are debating these fascinating questions.
In his new book Hallucinations, Oliver Sacks writes, “One must wonder to what extent hallucinatory experiences have given rise to our art, folklore, and even religion.” In his recent piece for the Atlantic titled “Seeing God in the Third Millenium,” he went on to argue:
Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin; they are part of the normal range of human consciousness and experience. This is not to say that they cannot play a part in the spiritual life, or have great meaning for an individual. Yet while it is understandable that one might attribute value, ground beliefs, or construct narratives from them, hallucinations cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain’s power to create them.
When I interviewed Sacks for a profile, his words were slightly softer: “There is always a brain basis for these various religious states, although this says nothing of the meaning or value of hallucinations. I don’t think it’s at all reductive.”
Continue reading at Acculturated.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws.
Their study controlled for age, sex, race, unemployment, retirement, poverty rates, state population, murder arrest rates, violent crime rates, and on and on.
The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.
Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.
You will notice that most multiple-victim shootings occur in “gun-free zones” — even within states that have concealed-carry laws: public schools, churches, Sikh temples, post offices, the movie theater where James Holmes committed mass murder, and the Portland, Ore., mall where a nut gunned down shoppers a few weeks ago.
Guns were banned in all these places. Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid.
If the deterrent effect of concealed-carry laws seems surprising to you, that’s because the media hide stories of armed citizens stopping mass shooters. At the Portland shooting, for example, no explanation was given for the amazing fact that the assailant managed to kill only two people in the mall during the busy Christmas season.
It turns out, concealed-carry-holder Nick Meli hadn’t noticed that the mall was a gun-free zone. He pointed his (otherwise legal) gun at the shooter as he paused to reload, and the next shot was the attempted mass murderer killing himself. (Meli aimed, but didn’t shoot, because there were bystanders behind the shooter.)
In a nonsense “study” going around the Internet right now, Mother Jones magazine claims to have produced its own study of all public shootings in the last 30 years and concludes: “In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun.”
This will come as a shock to people who know something about the subject.
The magazine reaches its conclusion by simply excluding all cases where an armed civilian stopped the shooter: They looked only at public shootings where four or more people were killed, i.e., the ones where the shooter wasn’t stopped.
If we care about reducing the number of people killed in mass shootings, shouldn’t we pay particular attention to the cases where the aspiring mass murderer was prevented from getting off more than a couple rounds?
It would be like testing the effectiveness of weed killers, but refusing to consider any cases where the weeds died.
Image courtesy shutterstock / Darren Liby
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
As every Jew will tell you, in the traditional Jewish calendar Hanukkah is not big deal. It reached its present status because it happens to fall at the same time as Christmas. Jewish parents, therefore, turned it into a gift-giving holiday so that their children didn’t feel completely left out from the happy, generous, celebratory Christmas season.
The fact that it’s not a big religious holiday, though, doesn’t mean that Hanukkah doesn’t commemorate an extremely important event, one that has enduring meaning to all freedom seeking individuals. For those who don’t know it, the story of Hanukkah is as follows:
Since time immemorial, nations have fought over that small patch of land we now call Israel. Considering that nature was less than generous in endowing Israel with fresh water or arable land, there must indeed be something special about the Holy Land, some transcendent aura, that has made it such a tantalizing prize to so many nations and people.
In 168 B.C.E., Greek soldiers located in modern-day Syria seized the great Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and defiled it by dedicating it to Zeus. Jews were appalled and offended, but still passively accepted this insult, for fear of incurring even greater wrath from the Greeks. Human nature, though, is human nature, and you cannot appease a tyrant. Heartened by Jewish passivity, the very next year, Antiochus, the Syrian-Greek emperor, mandated that any Jews who observed Jewish rituals would be put to death. Just to make sure he was completely clear, he also ordered that all Jews must affirmatively worship the Greek gods.
image courtesy shutterstock / Wally Stemberger
More from Bookworm at PJ Lifestyle:
President Obama’s bid to control what your children learn in school is surely one of the most important and disturbing of his many transformative plans. Not only is Obama’s attempt to devise what is in effect a national K–12 school curriculum arguably unconstitutional and illegal, the fact that most Americans have no idea that the new “Common Core” (a.k.a. Obamacore) even exists may be the most troubling thing about it.
Today’s Washington Post features an article on the controversy being kicked up by the new English curriculum that 46 states and the District of Columbia are just now waking up to. Not coincidentally, this new education war is hitting less than a month after Obama’s re-election, just in time to prevent the public from taking the most effective step it could have to block the changes. You have to get nearly to the end of today’s Post article even to get a hint of the fact that Obama is the real force behind the new curriculum. Following that link takes you to an article that more frankly lays out Obama’s role in commandeering the substance of what’s taught in the nation’s schools. The print version of this September 21, 2012 article featured a more revealing headline than the web version: “Education overhaul largely bypasses Congress.”
image courtesy shutterstock / Valerii Kotulskyi
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
The 79 million boomers alive today make up over a quarter of the entire American population. Last year, the oldest members of the generation turned 65. For the next 18 years, 10,000 boomers will turn 65 each day, according to the Pew Research Center. Today, the average life expectancy for women in America is 81 years old. For men, it is 76 years old. According to Gallup, the expected retirement age in the United States is 67. So, as Boomers enter into the retirement that precedes the end of their lives, will they find meaning and satisfaction as they age? Will they thrive, flourish, take a slow ride off into the sunset?
This is an enormously important question not just because of the implications it has on the happiness of real people, but also for the consequences it will have on society, social services, and our culture as a whole. As Pew points out, “By force of numbers alone, they almost certainly will redefine old age in America, just as they’ve made their mark on teen culture, young adult life and middle age.”
The baby boomers are becoming characterized by startlingly high rates of depression and pessimism. Boomers are more depressed and less satisfied with their lives than both those who are older and younger than them, according to a study published in the American Sociological Review in 2008.
Women, in particular, are suffering. In the American population generally, women tend to be more depressive than men, and this is true of the boomers as well. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 1999 and 2004, rates of suicide increased by 20 percent for 45-to-54-year-olds, a far greater increase than that experienced in nearly every other age group. Among women who were 45-to-54-year-olds, the increase was a staggering 31 percent. Suicide aside, boomers have found another way to cope with their doldrums: according to the National Institute of Health, between 2002 and 2011, the number of illicit drugs users aged 50 to 59 tripled.
What is going on? This is a generation that is better educated, more successful, and has better access to health care than the generations that directly preceded it. This is the generation whose women benefitted from the gains of second wave feminism.
Experts on aging, depression, and happiness are at a loss for what is causing the boomers’ funk. One explanation is stress. “Much of the research is pointing to daily stress as a precipitator of their depression,” according to Donald A. Malone, Jr., the director of the Mood and Anxiety Clinic in the department of psychiatry and psychology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
DON’T BE A DREAM CRUSHER!
This article is utter drivel.
Your article is b.s.
And Susannah Breslin should not be a writer.
Maybe one day you too will be a story teller as opposed to a blow hard braggart.
I’ve written about negative feedback here before: “This Is Why You’re Stupid, or How to Deal with Criticism on the Internet.”
For the most part, criticism of this sort doesn’t bother me. They’re responding to what I wrote, not me.
Plus, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve gotten used to it.
Supposedly, the web is a “conversation.”
Meanwhile, brands are obsessed with consumer “engagement” — but only so they can figure out how they can turn it into profits.
(I ought to know, I used to be a Facebook whisperer.)
I think the real reason people communicate online is because they are communicating with themselves.
It may look like a blog post, an article, a tweet, a status update, an infographic, a photograph.
But what you’re witnessing is someone engaged with, holding a conversation, communicating with themselves.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
The Papyrus of Ani was created in Egypt about 1250 B.C. It represents the best preserved, longest, most ornate, and beautifully executed example of the form of mortuary text known as The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Ani was an important Temple scribe. He and his wife Tutu chose from among some 200 available prayers, hymns, spells, and ritual texts the 80 that most appealed to them. Their completed scroll measured some 78 feet long by 15 inches in height. Their likenesses were painted among the elaborately crafted hieroglyphic vignettes. This individualized papyrus roll would be buried with them, with the intention of opening a gateway in the afterlife. If successful in persevering through the trials they encountered there, they would be free to eventually feast and dally with the gods.
As a magical, polytheistic religion, the Egyptian faith was alive with creativity and energy. It involved a continuous interaction between the individual and the various deities who constituted its elaborate and exalted pantheon. The dignity afforded the observant Egyptian was an invigorating state. One who had led an upright moral life, had shown respect to the gods, and been strong enough to proceed through the dangers and trials of the afterlife, was invited to join the gods—playing board games in beautiful fields, drinking beer, eating, even making love. The successful adherent would reach a stellar glory of his own, at last a member of that hierarchy he had honored throughout his life.
The prayers of The Egyptian Book of the Dead are connected to certain archetypal images. Thus an invocation to Osiris, the Lord of the Underworld, will be written within a painting (or vignette) of that deity. The meaning of the scene is a marriage of word and image, reaching well beyond the merely verbal level of comprehension. One of the best known examples is the Weighing of the Heart scene below. The heart (the moral integrity of the deceased, his conscience) is weighed against the feather of Truth and Justice. If the cumulative effects of a person’s life have allowed his soul to be as light as the feather of Truth, he or she is judged pure and allowed to continue on with the journey. However, if the person’s heart is weighted down with the burden of sin, his soul is flung to the great monster who awaits the recording of the verdict and is no more.
Plate 3: The Weighing of the Heart. (As restored © 1994, 1998 James Wasserman)
In 1888, Ani’s papyrus was acquired by Sir E.A. Wallis-Budge, assistant Keeper of the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum and author of numerous books on ancient Near Eastern civilizations. He described the Papyrus as the largest he had ever seen. “… I was amazed at the beauty and freshness of the colours of the human figures and animals, which in the dim light of the candles and heated air of the tomb, seemed to be alive.” Budge recognized the Papyrus of Ani was the greatest of such scrolls ever found.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
In the spring of 2008, when I was a junior in college, I was sitting in the student center, waiting to meet up with a friend—let’s call her Nicole—for coffee. Nicole was a freshman girl who had graduated from an elite northeastern high school at the top of her class. She came to school hoping to study economics. In the nine months that had passed since she first stepped foot on campus, she had become a different person. She talked less. She stopped exercising. And she started walking around with her eyes to the ground. The lively girl I had known in the fall, who reminded me of so many freshman girls I had met as editor of a campus publication and vice president of my sorority, had recently been placed on suicide watch by the university health clinic.
What had happened?
Not long after she arrived on campus in September, Nicole had started hooking up with a guy who belonged to one of the more popular fraternities on campus. As she explained to me over coffee that day, one night in the fall, she got drunk and ended up having sex with this guy in his dingy frat room, which was littered with empty cans of Keystone Light and pizza boxes. She woke up the next morning to find a used condom tangled up in the sheets. She couldn’t remember exactly what had happened that night, but she put the pieces together. She smiled, looked at the frat brother, and lay back down. Eventually, she put her clothes on and walked back to her dorm. Mission accomplished: She was no longer a virgin.
This was a routine she repeated for months. Every weekend night, and on some weekday nights, she would drink so heavily that she could remember only patches of what happened the night before and then would have sex with the same fraternity brother. One night, she was talking with someone else at the frat when the brother interrupted her and led her upstairs to have sex. On another occasion, they had sex at the frat, but Nicole was too drunk to find her clothes afterward, so she started walking around the house naked, to the amusement of all of the other brothers. She was too drunk to care. Eventually, everything went dark. Next weekend, she returned to the frat.
On that spring day, as Nicole told me these stories, she didn’t make eye contact with me.
When I asked Nicole if she was still hooking up with the same frat boy, she shook her head. She explained that the entire time she was having sex with him he never once spoke to her or acknowledged her outside of his fraternity’s basement. Not in the library, not in the dining hall, not at the bookstore.
“One time, I waved at him in front of the food court and said hi, but he just ignored me.”
“Was he with anyone?” I asked—as though that would make a difference.
“A bunch of his friends.”
I later told Nicole’s story to a close guy friend. “What a jerk, right?” My friend, also a frat brother, objected: “After the first time, it starts becoming the girl’s fault, too.” Nicole and the frat brother were just hooking up, after all—what didn’t I get?
Continue Reading at The Atlantic for Emily’s moderate, middle-ground solution…
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Lady Gaga: ‘I Quite Like the Transference of Strength I Feel By Submitting To a Man – Being Under Him.’
This month, I’ll be chronicling my life as a freelancer.
This is Day 1.
TIP #1: Timing is everything.
I spend several days and one therapy session trying to figure out what to do with my Forbes blog this month.
Last month, I didn’t post much at all. The month before that, I wrote about obscenity. Originally, this blog was about what happened after I got downsized.
My therapist tries to convince me that whatever I do will be good.
I wait until I have 30 minutes left in the day, EST, and then I start.
TIP #2: Work slower.
Have you heard of the slow food movement? It’s part of the slow movement. Apparently, there’s something called the slow work movement. Pete Bacevice is its philosopher.
I decide I’m a recovering workaholic. The slow work movement will be my Alcoholics Anonymous. I will take 30 days to become a slower worker.
In theory, if you work less, you are happier. I am not sure how to get there. But I will try.
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Not too long ago, I praised Miss Dunham’s critically acclaimed HBO show “Girls” for its candid depiction of the hook-up culture. With its painfully awkward and unerotic sex scenes, the Emmy-nominated show revealed just how grim and degrading sex in the era of post-feminism has become, especially for women.
The show’s message that casual sex leads to the objectification of women stood in direct contrast to the standard pop culture trope — found in shows like “Sex and the City,” magazines like Cosmopolitan, and movies like “No Strings Attached” — that sex with no strings attached empowers girls.
“I felt like I was cruelly duped by much of the television I saw,” Miss Dunham told the New York Times last spring on the eve of the debut of “Girls.”
“I heard so many of my friends saying, ‘Why can’t I have sex and feel nothing?’ It was amazing: that this was the new goal,” she said in another interview with The Times.
Sex, in other words, is not a casual thing. To act like it is leads to the objectification of women.
That was Miss Dunham 1.0.
To Miss Dunham 2.0, women really are just sexual objects, after all. They make important decisions, like voting for president, by consulting what goes on between their legs rather than by what goes on between their ears. As she advises in the ad, “You want to do it with a guy who cares whether you get health insurance and specifically whether you get birth control.”
Translation: The kind of guy you should have sex with (or vote for) is someone whose primary concern is not with who you are, what you want, or what you think, but with you not getting pregnant with his kid. To me, this guy sounds like a jerk. To Miss Dunham, this guy sounds like Barack Obama. This must be a joke right? “The video may be light, but the message is serious,” Miss Dunham tweeted last week.
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A grand and powerful woman I once knew died after two encounters with cancer and a devastating stroke took her from the realm of normal life into the storm tossed waters that surround us all on every side. She’d never been a religious woman and, growing up in a segregated South where so many churches and churchgoers defended a brutal system of institutionalized injustice and cruelty, she was always a rebel against the conventional piety and ritualized religious life she saw around her.
But late in her life when the winds around her howled and the dark waters were rising, she was driven to face the truth behind the illusions and the pretense, and told the person she loved best in all the world that “I’ve made my peace with God.”
That is something we all need to do. It involves a recognition of our helplessness and insufficiency before the mysteries and limits of life. Like the First Step in the Twelve Step programs, it begins with an acknowledgment of failure and defeat. We each try to build a self-sufficient world, a sturdy little life that is proof against storms and disasters — but none of us can really get that done.
Strangely, that admission of weakness opens the door to a new kind of strength. To acknowledge and accept weakness is to ground our lives more firmly in truth, and it turns out that to be grounded in reality is to become more able and more alive. Denial is hard work; those who try to stifle their awareness of the limits of human life and ambition in the busy rounds of daily life never reach their full potential.
To open your eyes to the fragility of life and to our dependence on that which is infinitely greater than ourselves is to enter more deeply into life. To come to terms with the radical insecurity in which we all live is to find a different and more reliable kind of security. The joys and occupations of ordinary life aren’t all there is to existence, but neither are the great and all-destroying storms. There is a calm beyond the storm, and the same force that sends these storms into our lives offers a peace and security that no storm can destroy. As another one of the psalms puts it, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Accepting your limits and your dependence on things you can’t control is the first step on the road toward finding that joy.
Via Meadia hopes that all our readers survived Hurricane Sandy with their lives intact and their property whole. And more than that, we hope that our readers will take the opportunity that a storm like this offers, step back from their daily lives, and reach out to the Power who plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. Getting the right connection with the highest power of all not only gives you a place of refuge when the big storm finally comes; it transforms daily life and infuses ordinary occupations with greater meaning and wonder than you ever understood.
Hat tip: A
Image courtesy shutterstock / dundanim
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Last week, I talked about Ann Coulter’s new book Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama.
Like all her books, this one is difficult to write about in a thousand words or less.
They’re always packed with quotable quotes, shocking discoveries from MSM archives, little-known historical nuggets — and infuriating stylistic tics (like speed-bumping serious arguments with sarcastic, and sometimes obtuse, jokes).
So I’m back with more about Mugged, along with an investigation into what I call Coulter Derangement Syndrome, or CDS.
You know what I mean:
Ann Coulter’s very existence sets millions of folks off.
(Some of those people even call themselves conservative.)
What’s that about?
And how does CDS impact the reception for, and potential impact of, Mugged?
Speaking as a foreigner, can I just say on behalf of the rest of the world that America should either have that “frank discussion about race” pronto – or shut the hell up about it.
Yeah, yeah, slavery, blah. We know.
But it is SO weird watching you guys from a distance, obsessing over a horrible thing that happened 150 years ago.
When the topic turns to race, the same nation that invented Hollywood, jazz, and manned space flight transforms, Hyde-style, into a shriveled hypochondriac with Tourette syndrome, nervously taking its “tolerance” temperature (rectally) every half hour and announcing the embarrassing results to all within earshot, between yelling “Selma! Juneteenth!! Tuskgeegee!!!” over and over again.
We kinda wanna slap you.
Is Apple (AAPL) a sin stock?
That’s the question Gerry Sullivan, portfolio manager of the Vice Fund (VICEX), raised in his interview with Forbes capital market reporter Abram Brown in “Guns, Booze and Gambling: Sinful Stocks for a Recession-Proof Portfolio.”
Brown asked Sullivan if the vice industries-focused fund was considering adding any new sin stocks.
Here’s Sullivan’s response:
I’d consider video games an addiction. Apple products too. We’ve actually gone through and asked, is Apple a vice stock?
So, is it?
I asked tech experts, sin stock specialists, and a Jesuit priest.
What’s a sin stock?
The Vice Fund concentrates on four sectors: alcohol, tobacco, gaming, and weapons/defense. Investopedia defines a “sinful stock” as “Stock from companies that are associated with (or are directly involved in) activities that are widely considered to be unethical or immoral.” More broadly, vice industries tend to have higher barriers to entry, may or may not produce products that are harmful or addictive, and could have complex legal and tax issues.
The way investor James Altucher sees it, Apple is a “spice stock,” somewhere between a vice stock and not.
“I would not think of [Apple] as a vice fund, but I certainly use the iPad as an escape, so it depends on how we define vice,” Altucher says in an email. “Although I guess the best thing would be if I just meditated on planes, instead of played Temple Run the entire time.”
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I sit outside on the Sprinkles bench. People stop and stare at the Cupcake ATM. Sometimes, they pose in front of it, holding up their box with a cupcake in it and smiling.
One of the selections from the Cupcake ATM is a Doggie Cupcake. It has a sticker on the box with a bone on it and a little edible bone on top of the frosting so you don’t get confused and eat it, thinking it’s for humans.
Later, I will show Jake the Doggie Cupcake. Jake will not be aware it came from a Cupcake ATM and will not care. He will smell it and smile widely. He is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and blessed with a sunny disposition. I will hand him the Doggie Cupcake, which he will take to his dog bed, where he will eat the cupcake with gusto. Finished, he will look at me expectantly, wanting more.
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Last month Dr. Helen blogged about the development of sex-robots.
Now Susannah Breslin — the most talented journalist writing about pornography today — has a fascinating report on an industry in transformation.
Fixx is the market research manager for the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network, an online adult company that bills itself on its website as “THE #1 ADULT VIDEO ON DEMAND THEATER IN THE WORLD!” Among other properties, AEBN owns PornoTube, an X-rated YouTube, and xPeeps, an adult webcam site that encourages users to “xpose yourself.” It also produces the product Fixx is hawking.
I stick my finger into the rubbery, flesh-colored slit on the side of a plastic grey peanut the size of a very large loaf of bread. This is RealTouch, an “award-winning male masturbator” designed by a former NASA engineer that syncs with adult movies to simulate sex for the male with which it is interacting through your computer’s USB port. The device retails for $325, and the package includes 120 RealTouch VOD minutes, anti-bacterial cleaner, and a 90-day limited warranty.
More recently, the company has begun marketing the RealTouch JoyStick, the lingam to the RealTouch’s yoni, which is to say it looks like a dildo. Available only to adult webcam models at this time, the joystick serves as a remote control for the RealTouch device, enabling users in remote locations to have “True Internet Sex™!”
Per Fixx’s instruction, Savannah Steele, a busty blonde porn star in a lab coat, moves the joystick, and the mechanism tightens around my finger and increases speed.
“It feels like having sex with a robot,” I announce. I extract my finger and wipe it off with a wet wipe from the box on the table.
Earlier this year I reviewed Doug Rushkoff’s graphic novel A.D.D Adolescent Demo Division. The sci-fi vision of a near-future with hyper media-savvy youth. He predicted this development and also the response many Millennials will have: