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Dave Swindle

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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Valerie Jarrett Lives In the Obamas’ Private Quarters?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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I haven’t read Edward Klein’s Blood Feud yet, and take its anonymous sourced-claims with a sizable salt chunk, but this in the Blaze’s coverage jumped out:

While followers of the White House are aware of Jarrett’s sway as the president’s closest consigliere, the extent of this closeness is somewhat staggering based on “Blood Feud.” Klein writes that Jarrett was more powerful than Rahm Emanuel and William Daley, the president’s first chiefs of staff — in fact according to Klein she is the most powerful presidential adviser since Harry Hopkins of FDR’s White House. Jarrett is so close to the Obamas that she reportedly “moved permanently into a room in the family’s private quarters, referred to by the White House staff as “the Residence.”

Jarrett’s nickname as “the nightstalker” — which she acquired for her habit of following the President and first lady back to their private quarters — seemed innocuous. But this goes to a whole other level of creepy, so much so I have a hard time believing it’s true until more sources back it up. Could Jarrett have really been living with the first couple for Obama’s whole presidency and the story is just now getting out? Or did she not move in until after the second term started?

Is there any time in history a supposed “senior adviser” has actually moved into the first family’s private quarters? What’s actually going on here?

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4 Books By George Gilder About Achieving Power, Wealth, and Freedom

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

1. The Israel Test: Why the World’s Most Besieged State is a Beacon of Freedom and Hope for the World Economy

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How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed

Sunday, June 29th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Jason L. Riley Reveals How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed... #culture #politics #racism #ideology

Thursday night at the Tatler I published another one of my annual, e-book-length, giant-size list articles:

30 Books For Defeating Valerie Jarrett’s Cult of Political Criminals

I broke it down into eight categories which I’ll be unspooling and expanding on more in the coming weeks here at the Tatler:

  • 3 on disinformation by former Romanian spymaster Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
  • 3 on terrorism by former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy
  • the final 2 by the late Barry Rubin, scholar of the Middle East’s history, culture, and politics
  • 3 on Islam and the Jihad today
  • 5 on racism and how to overcome it
  • 3 on Marxism, its roots, its spread in the 20th century, and how it made a foothold in America which would one day bring it to presidential power
  • 5 on cults, idol worship, and the origins of religion
  • 5 on American history and its revisionists
  • Concluding with an introduction to one of the next subjects of my writing and research, which ties together the themes of all 30 books with Jarrett and Michelle Obama’s favorite TV show…

Jason L. Riley’s book was number 15 on the list and I explained why and featured an excerpt here. Really make a point to read this book and to send copies to your friends and family who are still making the world worse by voting Democrats into office to maintain the failed polices and cultural values that have wrought such pain, crime, and poverty for generations.

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30 Books for Defeating Valerie Jarrett’s Cult of Political Criminals

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I just finished Ben Shapiro's new book and it's a phenomenal must-read that makes the case as it needs to be made: criminality is what matters, not ideology or personality. A longer piece forthcoming...

Almost 2 years ago I offered my picks for “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology” as my final case against the President before the election. These were the titles I selected and still recommend everyone read, today’s new list of 30 books is an expansion of this original list:

1. Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism by Stanley Kurtz

2. Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities by Stanley Kurtz

3. Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department by J. Christian Adams

4. Subversion, Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers by Matthew Vadum

5. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

6. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

7. Dreams from my FatherA Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

8. Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss

9. Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground by Jonathan Kay

10. Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II)

11. The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew C. McCarthy

12. Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin

13. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics by Thomas Sowell

14. Sex Rebel: Black, Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet by Bob Greene (pseudonym for Frank Marshall Davis)

15. Afrolantica Legacies by Derrick Bell

After summarizing some of the points from the books and their real-world impact in the administration’s policies, I concluded:

Sitting here on this Sunday morning before the election, the Sun now up, reflecting back on these years scouring through dusty old Marxist books, trying to understand a president who built his career on a mountain of lies, I confess a peace with either electoral result on Tuesday. A part of me almost wishes that Obama steals wins reelection (as I anticipate he will). The thought of him quietly retiring to a mansion in Hawaii in January to live out the rest of his life in comfort and adoration should inspire nausea. Only if Obama wins reelection do conservatives have a chance to hold him accountable for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and all the crimes we don’t even know about yet. The man has blood on his hands and we can’t let him get away with it.

An ancient dictum popularized in recent years by the late Christopher Hitchens on the path forward, should Tuesday disappoint:

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Do Justice and Let the Skies Fall

Over the course of 2013 my views evolved about who seemed to really be making the decisions at the White House. By January this year I began arguing that Obama’s mentor, Valerie Jarrett, was the real power-broker and the one responsible for most of the terrible policies that the administration implemented. From my article “Welcome to Single Mom Nation: In 2014 Acknowledge the Matriarchs Who Really Run America,” where I presented some of the evidence and my conclusions:

Now we know that actually Jarrett was the one with the political savvy who was grooming Obama all along so that she could use him to implement her agenda. Obama is just her mask…

My prediction: when the history books are written the real decision-maker will start to emerge more fully as Jarrett. As people try and make sense of an administration adrift they’ll start to realize that this is a federal government essentially being run by two single moms pulling the strings of the performer son of a single mom with a basic goal of just trying to make America a less “mean” place for other single moms. It’s a matriarchal administration running on emotion and instinct, like a mother crocodile snapping to protect her eggs. This is what happens when a culture that rejects the importance of the Judeo-Christian, nuclear family model takes control of the Democratic Party and the federal government…

President Jarrett has been so successful because she has implemented the most effective of Saul Alinsky’s Chicago gangster community organizing tactics at the national level. (And centrist-corporatist Clinton narcissist Democrats in the primaries and neoconservative-corporatist boomer Republicans in the general elections didn’t even realize what hit them.)

Conservatives should strive to defeat Jarrett the same way that the feds eventually managed to get her ideological predecessor, Al Capone: not for the big crimes but for the small ones like tax evasion. Activists should aspire to discover conclusive, bulletproof evidence of acts she has engaged in which would force her to fall from power, no longer able to implement her across-the-board policies of American weakness.

So of course I’m thrilled with the approach my friend Ben Shapiro chose for his new book, which I’ve recently finished reading. Rather than continue to see the Democrats merely as a rival political party with differing solutions for public policy problems, Ben puts Left vs Right aside and instead makes the case for criminal prosecution of individual members of the Obama administration, structuring each chapter with opening and closing arguments:

Here are the 7 #criminal charges Ben Shapiro lays out against the Obama administration in his great new book.

1. The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration by Ben Shapiro

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve observed in so many activists over the years is seeing politics and ideology as the end-all-be-all of how to fix the world. A certain mentality seems to predominate amongst many activists and writers that creates a tunnel vision. If we can just elect the right people and pass the right laws then we can fix America’s problems. Campaigning and activism arise as the paramount solutions.

But sometimes they’re not. Political opponents who embrace the legitimacy of America’s political traditions can be defeated through superior campaign tactics and more inspiring candidates. But criminal organizations willing to subvert the rule of law and do anything to maintain power — like let Americans die at terrorists’ hands rather than look bad during an election, like use the IRS to muzzle and harass opponents, like distribute guns to a Mexican drug cartel in order to further gun control legislation — cannot. The game has been rigged and trying to win it is as foolhardy as playing Monopoly against someone pocketing $500s from the bank when you’re not looking.

The realization that I hope more activists are starting to make as we round the corner into the last fourth of Obama’s presidency: the Democratic Party isn’t a political party that allies with criminals, it’s a criminal organization that has hijacked a political party. Ben lays out the evidence on 7 crimes, any of which individually would have been more than enough to impeach any other president unprotected by a friendly media.

Part of the reason why I agree with Ben’s thesis so strongly is that I’ve continued reading so many other books on related topics that support it, revealing misunderstood concepts in politics, culture, and history. Here’s a list of some of them that are most on my mind this summer as I continue to piece together the tactics and historical predecessors of the criminal organization that’s conned its way into the White House. Some of these are new books just released that I’m reading for the first time, others have been out for years and I’m just getting to them, and some are ones that I’ve already read and am returning to again to read more closely and to guide future research. For each book I’ll explain in brief why it’s a useful piece of the puzzle for understanding an aspect of how our government has been subverted by lifelong, committed activists who do not care if Rule of Law stands in the way of implementing their egalitarian fantasies.

Here’s an index of the 29 more books introduced here in support of shifting to a criminal justice approach rather than an ideological activist protest in the twilight of the Jarrett-Obama presidency; I would encourage you to jump to whichever subject or author interests you most:

  • 3 on disinformation by former Romanian spymaster Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
  • 3 on terrorism by former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy
  • the final 2 by the late Barry Rubin, scholar of the Middle East’s history, culture, and politics
  • 3 on Islam and the Jihad today
  • 5 on racism and how to overcome it
  • 3 on Marxism, its roots, its spread in the 20th century, and how it made a foothold in America which would one day bring it to presidential power
  • 5 on cults, idol worship, and the origins of religion
  • 5 on American history and its revisionists
  • Concluding with an introduction to one of the next subjects of my writing and research, which ties together the themes of all 30 books with Jarrett and Michelle Obama’s favorite TV show…

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VIDEO: Why We Must Stop Iran From Getting The Bomb

Monday, May 12th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

See more Prager University videos here. This one on The American Trinity is a good place to start.

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37 Articles and Blog Posts From Last Week at PJ Lifestyle I Request That You Please Consider Reading

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

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Cross-posted from PJ Lifestyle

As we start shifting in the coming months to increasing the quantity of content at PJ Lifestyle I’m going to start doing a weekly summary linking to everything and offering a few comments to encourage others to start following the work of these unique writers.

Click here for issue #1

Monday, June 24

Pork No, Killing Infidels Sí by Robert Spencer

The opening of Robert’s article this week:

Last week in the central Pennsylvania hamlet of St. Marys, a 25-year-old man named Joshua Lee Coffey did what no 25-year-old man who is still living with his mother should ever do: he expressed his dislike for the dinner she served him. It was pork, you see, and as a pious convert to Islam, Coffey considered pork unclean, and his mother inconsiderate for having served it.

But “inconsiderate” is understated. A war of words escalated quickly – at least as far as young Coffey was concerned. He complained to his mother that she was trying to “poison” him with the pork, reminding her that Islam forbade the consumption of The Other White Meat. His fury rising, he soon threatened to kill her, as well as her boyfriend, Mark Blair, who was also present for the fateful pork dinner.

Obama Echoes KKK in Ireland Anti-School Choice Comments by Paula Bolyard

Scientists Have No Explanation for the Evaporative Qualities of My Low-Carb Brownies Recipe by Sarah Hoyt

Three Random Observations on the Mad Men Season Six Finale by James Lileks

Many thanks to Ed Driscoll for preparing this first-rate piece from the always entertaining James Lileks.

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Tocqueville Believed there was a higher rate of insanity among Americans than Europeans! Pg 57 of Tocqueville on American Character by Michael Ledeen.

Tuesday, June 25

Conrad Black Still Loves FDR (In Spite of Amity Shlaes) By Kathy Shaidle

Part 2 of Kathy’s engaging commentary on the life, ideas, and new book of Conrad Black. Part 3 was published today.

How to Simultaneously Fuel Both Your Car AND Coffee Addictions By Becky Graebner

The first part of Becky Graebner’s guide to driving destinations around Washington D.C.

Can We Actually Even Tell if Humans Are Affecting the Climate? By Charlie Martin

We decided to feature this erudite article from Charlie on the day of the President’s phrenology climate change speech…

What Do Southerners Think of Paula Deen? by Chris Queen

Chris has continued to keep up with the Paula Deen story.

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

RIP I Am Legend Author Richard Matheson by Ed Driscoll

Paula Deen Vs Quentin Tarantino By Ed Driscoll

*****

I decided to group together and cross-post four pieces on Edward Snowden:

Edward Snowden, Part 1: Hate the Traitor, Love the Treason By J. Christian Adams

Edward Snowden, Part 2: A Saga Without Heroes By Bryan Preston

Edward Snowden, Part 3: An Anti-American in Limbo By Ron Radosh

Edward Snowden, Part 4: What He Didn’t Know by Richard Fernandez

From introduction of Reagan: In His Own Hand.

Wednesday, June 26

Bad Advice: Slack Off More By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah offers advice that many of us know we should take…

A Satire on Living, Loving, and Surviving in Washington, D.C.: A Drink at the Bar by Becky Graebner

Becky takes a break from House of Cards this week and begins her analysis of D.C.’s dating culture.

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

Bye-Bye, DOMA, Bye-Bye by Stephen Green

‘The Majority of Service Members Who Are Sexually Assaulted Each Year Are Men…’ by Helen Smith

Dr. Helen does such a great job of finding fascinating excerpts…

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Thursday, June 27

The Science of What Is and Isn’t Happening with the NSA’s Phone Surveillance by Charlie Martin

Thursdays we try and aim for more of a geek culture theme. Last week Charlie really established his science bonafides beyond dispute IMHO with this debut Thursday science geek article. It’s essential reading to grasp the science behind what the NSA is actually doing.

The other three geek culture posts of the day — Theme Park Geek Chris Queen’s River Country memorial, Video Game Geek Walter Hudson’s thoughts on the challenges of a Superman video game, and Gearhead Car Geek Becky Graebner’s ongoing skepticism of electric vehicles — are a bit less disturbing than the realization that the government really is spying on us all. Stephen Green also had some great tech geek posts on Microsoft and Apple.

Forgotten Walt Disney World: River Country by Chris Queen

Man of Steel the Video Game? by Walter Hudson

The 90-Second Tesla Battery Swap: Misleading and Far From ‘Magic’ By Becky Graebner

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

Another Smart Move by Microsoft By Stephen Green

Apple’s New Ad is a Minus By Stephen Green 

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Friday, June 28

Roy Disney: The Not-So-Silent Partner By Chris Queen

Chris continues his fascinating blogging exploring Disney film history. I can’t wait to read some of these books that he’s writing about.

Killing in the Nolan Multiverse By Walter Hudson

Walter’s done a lot of writing lately about villains, now he considers how the new Batman films consider the morality of heroes who kill.

Cross Posts from the Tatler and PJ Columnists:

Why Hollywood Loves Guns By Stephen Kruiser

Why Blu Ray Failed By Stephen Green

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Saturday, June 29

On Saturday we’ve got three different approaches to self-improvement. Charlie Martin has another installment of his health and weight loss 13 Weeks regimen. Rhonda Robinson announces the start of her weekly efforts at budgeting and increasing family revenue. And Sarah Hoyt continues her plans to maximize her creative organization — advice for freelancer and everyone who works from home continues.

How You Can Gain 10 Pounds in 5 Days By Charlie Martin

5 Rules For Lifting Your Family Out of Economic Hardship By Rhonda Robinson

The Case For Making Lots of Lists By Sarah Hoyt

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Sunday, June 30

Each Sunday PJ Lifestyle strives to offer a variety of religious and ethical perspectives on cultural issues:

Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn By Susan L.M. Goldberg

New Great Awakening: America is Not a Christian Nation By Paula Bolyard 

Israel’s First Astronaut: A Tale of Tragedy and Miracle By P. David Hornik

Life Sucks By Charlie Martin

How Your Child’s Rebellion Mirrors Your Own by Walter Hudson 

Cross Posts from the Tatler and PJ Columnists:

Church Without God? By Ed Driscoll

Have any suggestions or feedback about PJ Lifestyle? Want to write a letter to the editor for publication? Send me an email at DaveSwindlePJM {@} gmail.com

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What Did You Miss Last Week at PJ Lifestyle?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

Cross-posted from PJ Lifestyle, as this weekly content summary will be each week…

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A Southern California sunrise Instagram from my window.

As we start shifting in the coming months to increasing the quantity of content at PJ Lifestyle I’m going to start doing a weekly summary linking to everything and offering a few comments to encourage others to start following the work of these unique writers.

Monday

Monday’s lead articles strive to focus on family and parenting issues.

The Muslim Family: An Empire of Fear by Robert Spencer

Each week at PJ Lifestyle Robert Spencer applies his deep understanding of Islam to exploring how the Muslim family model differs from the Western style of parenting. This week he explains some of the problems with Dinesh D’Souza’s efforts to woo “socially conservative” Muslims.

Think You Could Never Homeschool? by Paula Bolyard

Paula Bolyard is going to start exploring homeschooling each week, explaining her family’s experiences.

Humanity’s Destiny? Howard Bloom: ‘Garden The Solar System, Green the Galaxy’ by Dave Swindle

This article is another effort from me to blend two rival subcultures together. I explain why the secular/science/futurist minded need to listen to the Bible thumpers if they want to have any hope of their space colonies surviving. Humans can — and will — colonize the cosmos over the course of this century. But to get there we need to pursue it with the same attitudes as the religious radicals who colonized America — with Bible in hand.

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

Is California Doomed? by Andrew Klavan

The new book The Beholden State from the smart thinkers at City Journal sounds like essential reading.

Hollywood ‘Completely Broke.’ But That’s Good News, Right? by Ed Driscoll

Did you know that DVDs made up 50% of Hollywood’s profits? Game over.

It was a Diamond-Crusted BlackBerry by Stephen Green

Vodkapundit highlights a shameless example of DNC workers engaging in insurance fraud.

‘Fathers Haven’t the Same Sentimental Appeal That Mothers Have.’ by Helen Smith

Who made Father’s Day a National Holiday?

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One of the new hobbies I’ve explored this spring: hummingbird watching.

Tuesday

On Tuesdays we’re going to begin exploring more international and regional perspectives on culture. The Canadian Kathy Shaidle and British Theodore Dalrymple will set the focus but in coming months PJ Lifestyle will feature additional perspectives reporting on culture and lifestyle from around the country and the globe…

Conrad Black Still Loves You, America (In Spite of Everything) By Kathy Shaidle

Kathy Shaidle begins a new series exploring the fascinating — and sometimes downright bizarre — ideas of author and former media mogul Conrad Black. Part 2, coming tomorrow is fascinating. Kathy explains how the very pro-American and generally conservative Black still defends FDR in spite of Amity Shlaes’s scholarship.

Are Antibiotic-Resistant Diseases Mother Nature’s Revenge? By Theodore Dalrymple

Each week Theodore Dalrymple explores health and medicine controversies. This week: the problem of diseases that develop resistance to treatments.

Thumbs Up to a Tech Solution for EBT Fraud by Timothy Imholt, Ph.D. and David Forsmark

My friend Dave Forsmark usually reviews books for PJ Lifestyle but last week he teamed with a friend to make the case for how to use technology to dramatically reduce the ability of criminals to scam the government.

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists and the Tatler:

China: Snowden Case Like Shawshank Redemption By Bridget Johnson

Men On Strike at the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Helen Smith 

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Wednesday

On Wednesdays Hannah Sternberg and Becky Graebner lead the pack with starting the conversation about friendships and relationships.

Bad Advice: Stop Chasing Your Dreams By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah’s weekly advice column gets better and better each week. If you haven’t discovered yet then this week is a good one with which to start.

4 Reasons Why Netflix’s House of Cards Is Such a Hit by Becky Graebner

Becky’s ongoing series dissecting the themes and relationships of House of Cards is almost finished. This is part 7. Here are the previous installments:

May 8: 3 Washington D.C. Stereotypes House of Cards Hits Too Close for Comfort

May 15: The House of Cards Vision of Infidelity: More Fact than Fiction

May 22: Seduce Your Way to the Top? Meet The Anne Boleyns of Washington, D.C.

May 29: Why We Love to Hate Politicians

June 5: Can ‘Evil’ Sometimes Be Good?

June 12: House of Cards, Part 6: A Cast of Master Obfuscators

Hot Disney Rumor: Is Star Wars Land Coming To Disney’s Hollywood Studios? By Chris Queen

Chris is my partner in Disney fanaticism. After he submitted this one it occurred to me that in the coming years with Disney’s recent purchase of all things Star Wars that he should collaborate with Walter Hudson, our resident Star Wars philosopher. I emailed them both on Wednesday and urged my friends to get their heads together.

How To Avoid Very Painful Kidney Stones by Clayton Cramer

A thoughtful, useful piece from Clayton. I hope he’s feeling better now!

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

RIP Vince Flynn by Andrew Klavan 

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Maura, the beloved Siberian Husky.

Thursday

Thursdays aim to explore various aspects of “geek culture.” Chris Queen focuses on DisneyWorld and theme park news, Walter keeps up on video game news. Other writers will start in the coming weeks and months.

Horizons: Walt Disney’s Lost Futuristic Legacy by Chris Queen

Market > Microsoft: Unpopular Xbox One Features Abandoned by Walter Hudson

Daily Question: Does Obsessing Over Zombie Apocalypse Reveal a Lust to Escape Modernity?

I’d saved this excerpt from Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock for the weekend of World War Z’s release.

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

RIP James Gandolfini, TV’s Tony Soprano By Ed Driscoll

Friendships with Fictional Characters by Richard Fernandez

With the death of James Gandolfini after years of drug abuse I’m reminded of this post I wrote at the beginning of June commending Philip Seymour Hoffman for checking into rehab after falling back into addiction

I remember getting into an argument with one of the commenters who insisted that celebrities should NOT be praised for seeking help in treating their addictions…

I wrote about my dislike of The Sopranos last year and connected the show’s embrace with the country’s tolerance of Barack Obama’s malevolence: Why This Election Year America Is Carmela Soprano

Big Pill to Swallow: Taxpayers to Pay for Illegal Immigrants’ Med School By Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball is always reliable for highlighting the new extremes of the academic postmodernists and utopians.

Man of Steel: ‘I’m As American As It Gets’ By Stephen Green

I still haven’t seen Man of Steel yet but sympathize with Stephen’s points. With my wife in the Bahamas this month on an art trip my usual moviegoing companion has not been available. Perhaps we’ll see a matinee this weekend — she gets back on Friday, finally.

Cross Posts from the Tatler:

‘Sexual Jihad’ in Syria by Roger L. Simon

Washington State Dems to Holder: Don’t Tread on Our Pot Legalization By Bridget Johnson

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Books I picked up at the library on Friday. The Tocqueville book from Ledeen is AWESOME. The Walker Percy titles were at the suggestion of a reader.

Friday

Begin each Friday with John Boot stepping on Hollywood. Leading into the weekend we like to focus on books, movies, history, and ideas on Friday.

5 Sure Signs Brad Pitt Is in Paycheck Mode by John Boot

John explains why World War Z is Brad Pitt at his most brainless — very unfortunate when he’s capable of so much more.

The Dark Side of Paula Deen? by Chris Queen

Chris is the man I turn to for understanding Southern culture. With the Paula Deen controversy I knew who to email.

Bad Advice for Zombie Apocalypse Survivors by Hannah Sternberg

I’ve asked Hannah to expand her Bad Advice column to start providing advice to fictional characters too…

Is Man of Steel the Year’s Best Sci-Fi Film? By Walter Hudson

OK, So Not Everything Walt Disney Touched Turned To Gold… By Chris Queen

On Fridays Chris is going to explore the history of the Disney, figuring out what ideas and values enabled the company to become the most influential American culture advocate of the 20th century.

Reprint: What Does Killing Zombies Teach Us About Being Human? by Walter Hudson

This article from Walter’s Video Games, Villains and Values series seemed an appropriate one to think about again on this Zombie themed day. Here are the others, which I plan to collect soon into another compilation:

The first grouping of Walter’s articles can be found here: Walter Hudson’s Guide For Making Peace Between Christians and Objectivists

The NBA Belongs to LeBron James By Rick Moran

I speak sports with the same level of fluency as Swahili. It’s great to have Rick helping out on the subject.

Cross Posts from PJ Columnists:

Uh-oh: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Daughter’s Name… by Ed Driscoll

James Gandolfini’s Legacy By Stephen Green

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With a hat tip to Vodkapundit Stephen Green.

Saturday

Charlie Martin and Sarah Hoyt are the leaders of Self-Improvement Saturday. They’re developing the 13 Weeks Method, figuring out how to use technology and New Media to track life changes. I plan to join them in coming weeks as I get back into more diligence with my 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen.

Is Obesity a Disease? By Charlie Martin

Organizing Your Creative Life In 13 Weeks by Sarah Hoyt

After 13 weeks of novel writing advice Sarah decided to expand her focus for the next season. Now she’s developing a method for all creative homebound workers. Here’s how to start to get organized to create.

2 More Roadblocks For Electric Vehicles By Becky Graebner

Becky has been providing great coverage of cars and technology the past few months. In the future I’ll start featuring more of her car posts on Thursdays with the other “geek” coverage.

Sci/Tech News Flash: New Technique Promises a Petabyte on a DVD by Charlie Martin 

New Great Awakening: Should Pastors and Churches Be Involved In Politics? by Paula Bolyard 

Mea culpa: this post from Paula, expanding on her article two weeks ago on the push to inspire another Great Awakening of religious belief was meant for publication on Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday. But I goofed and scheduled it a day early so it was a lead-in to religion-themed Sunday… I won’t make that mistake again. Hopefully.

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Maura at the park on Sunday.

Sunday

Sundays will explore religion from a variety of perspectives and traditions. Susan L.M. Goldberg is currently analyzing popular culture through her lens of Biblical Feminism and P. David Hornik contemplates the balance of sacred and secular from his perspective in Israel. In the future I’ll present collections of some of the articles they’ve written over the last six month — both are really developing some rich themes.

Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want? By Susan L.M. Goldberg

This is part 3 of her ongoing series. Parts 1 and 2 can be read here.

Near-Death Experiences: 2 Books Provide More Compelling Evidence By P. David Hornik

I never paid much mind to these kinds of stories in the past but the science is starting to catch up with the spirituality…

Food Network Cans Paula Deen By Chris Queen

BREAKING: Sex May Result in Children by Walter Hudson 

Walter Hudson is going to explore the connection between God and fatherhood on Sundays. Check out his piece last week in which he started exploring this theme: What My Sons Teach Me About God

Militant Buddhism by Charlie Martin

And Charlie brings some Eastern wisdom each week as he develops a new approach to Buddhism.

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Let’s drink to a great work. I’ll be back next Monday with another collection of this week’s articles…

Have any suggestions or feedback about PJ Lifestyle? Want to write a letter to the editor for publication? Send me an email at DaveSwindlePJM {@} gmail.com

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3 Reasons Why I’m Joining the Republican Party Today

Friday, November 9th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

I’ve resisted this for awhile. The past three years I’ve readily identified as an ideologically conservative, pro-Tea Party, ex-leftist. But I resisted joining the Republican Party, preferring to focus on the war of ideas, the battles of Left and Right, Marxist vs Classical Liberal, rather than Democrat vs Republican.

When Mitt Romney secured the nomination I naively thought, “well, he’s got that corporate competence. Surely they’ll be as smart at growing a campaign as they would building a business, right? Even if they can’t articulate Americanism at least they’ll maximize on the basics of Get Out the Vote and fundraising and all the boring, professional stuff, right?”

Wrong, as Bethany Mandel reports at Commentary. Turns out we’re not looking just at the broader cultural problem of a 5% raise in nonreligious voters, but also a Republican Party unable to compete in the technological arms race or even run a competent Get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation:

The story of how monumental a failure Project ORCA was on Election Day was first reported by a volunteer, John Ekdahl, on the Ace of Spades blog. After tweeting the article, I was contacted by several other volunteers who were eager to explain in greater detail just how many things went wrong with Project Orca on Tuesday.

I spoke with one volunteer in a rural Virginia county who had a similar experience to the blogger on Ace’s site. Shoshanna McCrimmon signed up to volunteer on Romney’s website several months ago. She was contacted by Dan Centinello of the Romney campaign and underwent online and phone training that lasted for several hours in order to volunteer locally on Election Day. Because of secrecy concerns, the application itself was inaccessible until the morning of the election. From the outset there were failures of organization.

…..

Was ORCA’s failure the reason why Romney lost Virginia by almost 116,000 votes, Ohio by 103,000, Iowa by 88,000 or why Florida is still, days later, too close to call? It’s impossible to know what a Romney campaign with working GOTV technology would have been able to accomplish. Ekdahl explained that with the failure of Project ORCA’s organization and its later meltdown on Election Day “30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc.” The possibility that all of the efforts of Romney’s campaign, all of the enthusiasm, went unharnessed and dormant on Election Day when they could’ve at least led to a closer election result, if not a victory, is becoming beyond frustrating for thousands of his staffers, for the millions of Americans who gave their time and money to elect Mitt Romney president as they come to learn just what a disaster ORCA seems to have been.

This is my tipping point. Will it be for anyone else?

1. Today I’m joining the Republican Party because I recognize that it’s not enough to take back the culture. We could spend four years pushing the culture and expanding the base and then it would be all for naught because incompetent GOP establishment hacks cannot run a campaign.

2. Today I’m joining the Republican Party because over the coming years as ideological factions compete for influence the antisemitic elements within the party — Ron Paul’s Paleo-Libertarian, Old Right, Anarcho Capitalist, Conspiracy Theory cult coalition — threaten to gain greater power.

3. Today I’m joining the Republican Party because as I’ve returned to Bible-based religion and a faith in God during the past year I’ve come to understand the story of the ancient Israelites rebelling against slavery and idolatry as the basis for Western Civilization, our ancestors’ flight from Europe, and the founding of this nation. The Republican Party was founded as the anti-slavery Party. It still is today.

 

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shutterstock images courtesy patrimonio designs limited /

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Quantifying the ‘Contrarian’ Narcissism of the 3rd Party Voter

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Yesterday, Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic and protege of Andrew Sullivan, offered an explanation for why he chose to spend months blasting Mitt Romney as more evil than Barack Obama but will still vote for Gary Johnson instead. He titled the piece “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama“:

Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can’t bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution, and they’ll nod along. Say that you’d never vote for a politician caught using the ‘n’-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney’s flaws, which I’ve chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.

Don’t they see that Obama’s transgressions are worse than any I’ve mentioned?

I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.

Nope.

Emphases added. In the first three paragraphs Friedersdorf references himself five times — all without need.

How much more does Friedersdorf talk about himself as he lays out the case that the death of 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (in the drone strike that killed his Jihadi father) morally disqualifies Obama from a second term in office? The 1798-word piece contains 35 variations of I. Among the most narcissistic passages:

If I vote, it will be for Johnson. What about the assertion that Romney will be even worse than Obama has been on these issues? It is quite possible, though not nearly as inevitable as Democrats seem to think. It isn’t as though they accurately predicted the abysmal behavior of Obama during his first term, after all. And how do you get worse than having set a precedent for the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens? By actually carrying out such a killing? Obama did that too. Would Romney? I honestly don’t know. I can imagine he’d kill more Americans without trial and in secret, or that he wouldn’t kill any. I can imagine that he’d kill more innocent Pakistani kids or fewer. His rhetoric suggests he would be worse. I agree with that. Then again, Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret.

One should also note that in his explanation for why not to vote for Obama the only killings that Friedersdorf mentions as a concern to him are those done by America to defend itself. So little surprise that he never gets around to the question of which candidate will do a better job protecting American lives.

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How Critical Race Theorists Define ‘Rule of Law’

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, Second Edition by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic

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Stories also at PJ Media, which of course have nothing to do with a presidential administration, political party, activist movement, and Department of Justice united under such a definition:

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Aurora Mass Murderer’s Self-Description of His Political Views Revealed

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Apparently the shooter is a “No Labels” kind of guy. TMZ found his Match.com page:

The profile also describes his religious views as “agnostic” — not uncommon for a science-minded, Ph.D. student.

TMZ earlier uncovered a profile on AdultFriendFinder.Com revealing the shooter sought casual sex hook-ups.

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More coverage at PJ Lifestyle:

Jail Employee: James Holmes Shows No Remorse

The Aurora Shooting Victims

What Does Israel’s Prime Minister Have to Do With the Horrific Dark Knight Shooting?

Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn

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10 Tips for How to Talk to a Marxist Who Thinks He’s a Liberal (If You Must)

Friday, June 8th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Over at PJ Lifestyle today I have a review of Dennis Prager’s book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. My piece is titled 7 Reasons Why The Right Should Not Seek to Convert The Left. Within the review I make my case through a series of excerpts from a debate I had with a history grad student. I decided to convert these excerpts into a graphic presentation with my suggestions for how to engage with those who think they’re liberals but actually rely on Marxism for their world view. I hope everyone enjoys it.

 *Apologies to Ann Coulter for borrowing her title.

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Paying the Price For Keynesian Quackery

Monday, June 4th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

 

David P. “Spengler” Goldman today in a must-read post on the European economic collapse:

The Obama administration, George Soros, the International Monetary Fund, and liberal opinion in general believe that no crisis should be wasted: an enlightened supranational bureaucracy should emerge as the ruler of Europe.

I find this repulsive for the most elemental of reasons: the further that government is removed from the electorate, the more prone it is to abuse. The Brussels bureaucracy is responsible for the catastrophe in the first place, and one doesn’t normally give the gasoline monopoly to a bunch of arsonists.

As an old investment banker, though, I think that consolidating all the European scams into supranational entities will fail disastrously. The lifeboat itself will sink under the weight. Some of the scams are simply too outrageous to be rescued. The same Keynesian quackery that has kept the US in recession for the past four years festers among the Eurocrats.

image element courtesy shutterstock/Daniel Alvarez

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Memo to Meghan McCain: Al Sharpton is an Antisemite With Blood on His Hands

Sunday, May 27th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Meghan McCain opens her column “Cut It Out, Internet Bullies!” at The Daily Beast:

Last week, I went on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show PoliticsNation to talk about extremism in the Republican Party. As a socially liberal Republican, this happens to be a topic I know a lot about. On the show, I told Sharpton that many Republicans treat me like a freak, especially the extreme-right members of my party. I went on to say that I don’t understand the appeal of extreme bloggers such as Michelle Malkin and the late Andrew Breitbart.

Going on Al Sharpton’s show to talk about “extremism in the Republican Party” is as offensive as appearing on a David Duke program to talk about fire safety and tying proper knots. Last summer Jeff Dunetz at Yid With Lid remembered the 10 year anniversary of the Crown Heights riots, an antisemitic pogrom provoked by the MSNBC host and Democratic Party consigliere who earns kinder words from McCain than the “extreme bloggers” who tweet things she doesn’t like.

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Breitbart’s Legacy: Vetting Obama Also Requires Confronting the Conspiracy Theories

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

At Breitbart.com the Vetting continues: Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollak: “Exclusive Document Debunks Myth About Obamas Columbia Years”

**OBAMA COLUMBIA DOCUMENT RELEASED**

Breitbart News’ discovery of the 1991 biography distributed by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, which stated (incorrectly) that Obama had been “born in Kenya,” confirmed what we have been saying for months as we pursued “The Vetting” project. Much of what the country ought to know about Obama, but does not, is hidden–often in plain sight–yet the mainstream media covers it up or spins it away to protect him.

The errant biography is only the most sensational example of a pattern of behavior in which Obama and his supporters manipulate or even fabricate his life story. And because Obama and his campaign have refused to provide other, relevant facts–and because the mainstream media shows such little interest in finding them–conspiracy theories flourish.

Some of these are easily debunked by conducting some very basic research.

The image above–never before released–is from public records at Columbia University that prove that Obama did, in fact, graduate in 1983 from the Ivy League school. Contrary to some conspiracy theories, Obama was a student within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences–not the less selective, “nontraditional” Columbia University School of General Studies (which only merged with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1990).

While he was alive Andrew Breitbart rarely got the credit he deserved for standing up to the conspiracy fringe. In 2010 he took a stand against two ghosts of Conservatism Past: Birtherism (the contemporary expression of John Birch Society paranoia) and homophobia.

Vetting Barack Obama means more than just unearthing new documents from the President’s lifelong journey through the hidden corners of American socialism. The task also requires carrying Breitbart’s legacy of diligence in confronting the narratives advanced by those with less sincere motives. (How come we’ve seen conspiracy theories gain so much traction in the age of the internet? Because it’s a great business model. Conspiracy theories are second only to sex on the list of subjects guaranteed to generate web traffic.)

And so in 2012 Pollak and Ben Shapiro, John Nolte, Dana Loesch, Mike Flynn, Larry O’Connor, and the rest of the Breitbart News team follow their founder’s lead and provide an example of what it means to be journalists first, activists second: Just telling the truth about your political opponent’s history, record of expressed views, and character of the men he proclaims his mentors is more effective than trying to drop a “gotcha” story (like about cutting a gay teen’s hair against his will 50 years ago…)

But the real challenge is getting people to care once the facts are staring them in the face about the nature of who this President has chosen to empower.

Barry Rubin in March:

President Barack Obama is continuing his love affair with Turkish Islamist leader Recep Erdogan. As Erdogan continues to undermine Turkish democracy, throw hundreds of moderates into jail, destroy the nation’s institutions, help Iran, throw hysterical tantrums about how much he hates Israel, promote Islamism in the region, and is fresh from still another meeting with Hamas leaders, Obama continues to use Erdogan as his guru.

When the two men met at the Seoul, South Korea, Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, Obama practically slobbered over the anti-American ruler, calling Erdogan his “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.”

When Erdogan goes to elections or is criticized by the opposition he uses statements like this to “prove” that his policies aren’t radical or anti-Western at all. Here’s a man whose regime can help terrorist groups organize a violent confrontation with Israel, preside over a virulently anti-American media, insist Iran isn’t seeking nuclear weapons and has a wonderful government, and then be lionized by the president of the United States.

Obama adds:

“I think it’s fair to say that over the last several years, the relationship between Turkey and the United States has continued to grow across every dimension.  And I find Prime Minister Erdogan to be an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues.”

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Touré: ‘There’s More to Blackness Than Bludgeoning People With Memories of Past Atrocities’

Friday, May 11th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Introduction: Post-Modern Blackness in Theory and Practice.

Part 1: Why Black Jesus Wears a Hoodie Today

Part 2: Spiritual Liberation Comes Through Worshiping Skin Color

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“The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, you know, there’s a reaction that’s been bred in our experiences that don’t go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way, and that’s just the nature of race in our society.”

 images courtesy shutterstock: Jovanovic Dejan, Daleen Loest

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Obama and Romney Discuss the Merits of Stating One’s Honest Position on Gay Marriage

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

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Touré: Spiritual Liberation Comes Through Worshiping Skin Color

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle
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Introduction: Post-Modern Blackness in Theory and Practice.

Part 1: Why Black Jesus Wears a Hoodie Today

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The song running over the credits of 1999′s sci-fi epic The Matrix from Rage Against the Machine, “Wake Up.”

 

I love the Matrix for giving us Black people being brilliant & in leadership positions. The Oracle, Morpheus…

— Touré (@Toure) May 17, 2011

In Afrolantica Legacies Derrick Bell utilized many occult themes — from racializing the legend of Atlantis, to extraterrestrial encounters with the sexy alien goddess Chiara, to a continued reliance on conspiracy theories, the man who blurbed books by both Louis Farrakhan and Barack Obama knew his esoterica.

And in Bell’s follow-up we understand why. After a small radical publisher released Afrolantica Legacies in 1998 a more mainstream, respectable house — Bloomsbury — blessed the world with his next book in 2002, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth. The chapter on spirituality includes the passage in the above illustration.

Bell rejected the principles of ethical monotheism that make up the foundation of the Judeo-Christian tradition and its political expression in classical liberalism. Instead of understanding human nature as flawed and man as separated from God he embraced the Gnostic conception: “To know self at the deepest level, they believed, is to know God.”

The practical result of this is self-worship, a form of idolatry and the practice the second of the 10 Commandments confronted.

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Why Black Jesus Wears a Hoodie Today

Monday, May 7th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Introduction: Post-Modern Blackness in Theory and Practice.

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Post-Modern Blackness in Theory and Practice

Friday, May 4th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

My previous blogging series explored Critical Race Theory founder Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies and its connections to current events and the Obama administration’s public policies.

Bell was born in 1930, and his generation would go on to lead the ’60s campus revolts and the various components of the New Left. (See Ron Radosh’s memoir Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left for the stories of Bell’s radical peers.) By the early 1970s this Silent Generation cohort produced not only their pivotal works (Bell’s Race, Racism and American Law came in 1973) but also the children who would some day gain the name Generation X.

Touré was born in 1971, and now 40 years later you can read how his generation of writer-activists has updated Bell’s political theology.

My motives for reading Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness remain as selfish as for Afrolantica Legacies: I want to know “what it means to be black now.” Or rather: who counts as black today? Do those with one African-American and one Caucasian parent count as black? What about one grandparent?

What do those in multi-racial families need to know in order to raise the next generation of mixed race children? How do you explain “blackness” and “whiteness” to a child who falls into neither category?

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Video: WLBT-Jackson on DOJ Employee’s “Disgusting and Shameful” Facebook Post

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Based on the reporting of PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams.

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I Don’t Expect to Read Anything More Badass Than This Paragraph All Year

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Ann Coulter quotes from the book Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams in her column recounting the courageous battles Southern blacks fought to defend themselves against the KKK with the help of the National Rifle Association:

In the preface to “Negroes With Guns,” Williams writes: “I have asserted the right of Negroes to meet the violence of the Ku Klux Klan by armed self-defense — and have acted on it. It has always been an accepted right of Americans, as the history of our Western states proves, that where the law is unable, or unwilling, to enforce order, the citizens can, and must act in self-defense against lawless violence.”

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How Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert Reacts to the Call for a Second Holocaust

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

MJ Rosenberg might have left David Brock’s Media Matters for America, but Breitbart.com Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro has discovered another progressive with a long history of shilling for genocidal antisemites, emphasis and graphic added:

Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert, one of the faces of the organization, has a dicey record when it comes to Israel and the Jews. On September 11, 2001, he wrote a piece for Salon.com defending American Muslims from the supposed anti-Muslim hysteria brewing. In that piece, he recounted a Muslim rally in Paterson, New Jersey:

“We won’t rest until all the Jews are dead,” said a burly young man. “Shame on America,” said another bitter-faced youth. “For helping Israel to kill Palestinians,” said a third.

In the wake of the WTC attacks, however, those brash sentiments were muted.

“We won’t rest until all the Jews are dead” is not a “brash sentiment.” It is open genocidal anti-Semitism. But not to Eric Boehlert, apparently.

Boehlert’s bias in favor of anti-Jewish terrorists didn’t stop there. In 2002, he wrote a piece for Salon.com in which he lamented the fate of Professor Sami Al-Arian, former North American head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This is the same Al-Arian who proclaimed, “God cursed those who are sons of Israel … Those people, God made monkeys and pigs … Let us damn America, let us damn Israel, let us damn them and their allies until death.” When Al-Arian was suspended from his teaching post at Florida Atlantic University, Boehlert defended Al-Arian as an “innocent professor.”

In Professor Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies, his chapter “Shadowboxing: Blacks, Jews, and Games Scapegoats Play” defended and downplayed the antisemitism of Nation of Islam cult leader Louis Farrakhan. Similarly, President Barack Obama describes Recep Erdogan, the Islamist, antisemitic leader of Turkey as, a “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.” And of course, we have to continue to remind on the subject of a certain video tape that’s racking up quite a late fee:

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These aren’t anomalies. This is the Democratic Party today.

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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Barack Obama?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle
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As a transition from my previous series on Afrolantica Legacies to the next sequence of blogging on political books and their relation to current events, consider this excerpt from The Derrick Bell Reader in which the founder of Critical Race Theory defines the controversial term.

Just as important as what Bell says is how he says it. “Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?” is a familiar formulation, that intentionally inspires readers to imagine the ideology — and those who promote it — as a wolf.

From pages 78 and 79 (next page) with illustrations added by me:

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The Hatred of Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

 From March 19 through April 13 I blogged through Afrolantica Legacies, analyzing the arguments and connecting them with current events in the political culture. This compilation collects and re-edits those 21 posts. It’s 9800 words and features more than 30 photographic excerpts from the book.

As a 28-year-old student at Harvard Law, Barack Obama supported the activism of Professor Derrick Bell and urged his peers to open their hearts and minds to the words of Critical Race Theory‘s founder.

But what did Bell believe and how could his ideas have any relation to the president’s policies today?

The answers to these questions reside in Bell’s 1998 book Afrolantica Legacies, published by Third World Press.

The myth of the rise and fall of Afrolantica — a kind of Atlantis where only African Americans can live — opens the book and provides Bell with a way to tie together his essays, fictional dialogues, and political parables written through the ’80s and ’90s. From seven of these essays, Bell extracts these principles to serve as “rules of racial preservation”:

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Afrolantica’s Haunting Conclusion: ‘Let’s Get Back to the Struggle’

Friday, April 13th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith

Part 17: Doing the State Some Service

Part 18: Why Derrick Bell Saw Thurgood Marshall As a Sex Slave

Part 19: The Black Sedition Papers Conspiracy

Part 20: Strange Sex & Human Sacrifice in Bluebeard’s Castle

This is how Derrick Bell concludes Afrolantica Legacies, a final discussion with the idealized female version of himself, Geneva Crenshaw:

“Let’s get back to the struggle” are the final words in a book in which Bell has:

A) Named his utopia “Afrolantica” and decreed it a land where only African-Americans could survive. Thus, in Bell’s imagination utopia is a world without Jews. Bell described the sensation of living in such a place “a euphoria of Freedom.”

B) Defended Louis Farrakhan, antisemitic conspiracy theorist and leader of the Nation of Islam, and promoted the blood libel of Jewish control of the economy.

C) Urged Jews to remain loyal to the progressive cause above defending themselves from antisemitism.

D) Named the Stalinist artist Paul Robeson — who lied to the world about the Soviet murder and torture of Russian Jews — one of our “greatest heroes.”

The word “struggle” finds itself featured prominently in other genocidal antisemitic movements. The infamous title of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography:

Also, the term “Jihad,” defined courtesy of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan:

What were these men, scattered across cultures but united in antisemitism, struggling with “inside ones self”? Warning: the graphic answer on the next page quotes from material containing profanity and disturbing content.

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Afrolantica, Part 20: Strange Sex & Human Sacrifice in Bluebeard’s Castle

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith

Part 17: Doing the State Some Service

Part 18: Why Derrick Bell Saw Thurgood Marshall As a Sex Slave

Part 19: The Black Sedition Papers Conspiracy

The last of Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies explicitly labels the law professor’s life program as a faith:

To illustrate his political dogma, Bell uses another literary reference. He titles the essay “Bluebeard’s Castle: An American Fairy Tale” and borrows Bela Bartok’s opera. The plot summarized via Wikipedia:

The basic plot is loosely based on the folk tale “Bluebeard“, but is given a heavily psychological reworking—some would say psychoanalytic or psychosexual, (see Bruno Bettelheim and The Uses of Enchantment).

Place: A huge, dark hall in a castle, with seven locked doors.
Time: Not defined.

Judith and Bluebeard arrive at his castle, which is all dark. Bluebeard asks Judith if she wants to stay and even offers her an opportunity to leave, but she decides to stay. Judith insists that all the doors be opened, to allow light to enter into the forbidding interior, insisting further that her demands are based on her love for Bluebeard. Bluebeard refuses, saying that they are private places not to be explored by others, and asking Judith to love him but ask no questions. Judith persists, and eventually prevails over his resistance.

The first door opens to reveal a torture chamber, stained with blood. Repelled, but then intrigued, Judith pushes on. Behind the second door is a storehouse of weapons, and behind the third a storehouse of riches. Bluebeard urges her on. Behind the fourth door is a secret garden of great beauty; behind the fifth, a window onto Bluebeard’s vast kingdom. All is now sunlit, but blood has stained the riches, watered the garden, and grim clouds throw blood-red shadows over Bluebeard’s kingdom.

Bluebeard pleads with her to stop: the castle is as bright as it can get, and will not get any brighter, but Judith refuses to be stopped after coming this far, and opens the penultimate sixth door, as a shadow passes over the castle. This is the first room that has not been somehow stained with blood; a silent silvery lake is all that lies within, “a lake of tears”. Bluebeard begs Judith to simply love him, and ask no more questions. The last door must be shut forever. But she persists, asking him about his former wives, and then accusing him of having murdered them, suggesting that their blood was the blood everywhere, that their tears were those that filled the lake, and that their bodies lie behind the last door. At this, Bluebeard hands over the last key.

Behind the door are Bluebeard’s three former wives, but still alive, dressed in crowns and jewellery. They emerge silently, and Bluebeard, overcome with emotion, prostrates himself before them and praises each in turn, finally turning to Judith and beginning to praise her as his fourth wife. She is horrified, begs him to stop, but it is too late. He dresses her in the jewellery they wear, which she finds exceedingly heavy. Her head drooping under the weight, she follows the other wives along a beam of moonlight through the seventh door. It closes behind her, and Bluebeard is left alone as all fades to total darkness.

For his essay Bell casts America as Bluebeard and black Americans as Judith. Then he labels all the great Civil Rights victories (the Emancipation Proclamation, the post-Civil War Amendments to the Constitution, desegregation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) as akin to doors in Bluebeard’s castle: false improvements leading toward a truth too evil to comprehend.

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Afrolantica, Part 19: The Black Sedition Papers Conspiracy

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith

Part 17: Doing the State Some Service

Part 18: Why Derrick Bell Saw Thurgood Marshall As a Sex Slave

The previous chapters revealed Afrolantica Legacies’ reliance on a conspiracy theory world view.  In the second chapter’s Marxist parable of the Citadel, Derrick Bell imagined a conspiracy to allow the advancement of a handful of “lowlanders” in order to deceive the masses. In the third chapter Bell defends the antisemitic conspiracy theorist Louis Farrakhan and advances his own version of the “Jews control the economy and will run you out of business if they want to” conspiracy. And yesterday the excerpt from the fifth chapter showed Bell’s embrace of Robert L. Allen’s conspiracy theory that whites in America had effectively “colonized” the black community, installing fake black leaders who would actually sabotage black interests.

For the sixth Afrolantica Legacy Bell goes all in on imaginary conspiracies.

Bell titles his Critical Race Theory fiction “The Black Sedition Papers” and describes a plot to use a series of studies by various “race traitors” to blame black Americans for their proletariat class status:

“Under the ground rules, the papers are to focus on black pathology, describing it in detail and condemning those afflicted with it.”

In the essay’s conclusion, Bell imagines an academic friend investigating the Black Sedition Papers conspiracy and reporting back to him on a text suspected of being part of the evil white scheme. He then lays out the strategy I’ve employed in this analysis of Afrolantica Legacies.

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Afrolantica, Part 18: Why Derrick Bell Saw Thurgood Marshall As a Sex Slave

Monday, April 9th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith

Part 17: Doing the State Some Service

Following his full-throated defense of the Stalinist singer Paul Robeson, Derrick Bell chose to provide another icon with a less flattering portrayal. To illustrate the fifth Afrolantica Legacy, Bell borrowed Margaret Atwood’s “classic” 1986 Marxist feminist-dystopian novel The Handmaiden’s Tale. Throughout the essay Bell compares Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to the novel’s protagonist Offred, a women kept as a sex slave in a nightmare future.

He does this to demonstrate that even though — in his view — Marshall’s Civil Rights victories failed to lift up black Americans, and even though racism will endure forever, we should keep up the hope like the hero of the novel and carry on in the “struggle” regardless because:

Bell needs an explanation for how the apparent improvement in black lives over the last 50 years is actually an illusion. He needs to reveal Marshall’s life work as fraudulent. He does so via a conspiracy theory mirroring the parable of the Citadel in the second Afrolanica Legacy.

From Page 130 Bell embraces the thesis of Robert L. Allen’s 1969 book Black Awakening in Capitalist America:

“… what we deem as progress measured by the number of blacks who have moved into management level positions, is quite similar to developments in colonial Africa and India. The colonizing countries maintained their control by establishing class divisions within the ranks of the indigenous peoples. A few able (and safe) individuals were permitted to move up in the ranks where they served as false symbols of what was possible for the subordinated masses.”

Juan Williams in June last year — responding to Ann Coulter’s book Demonic — discussed the divisions within the Civil Rights movement over tactics:

The left often has a simplistic view of the civil rights movement as monolithic. The truth is that Marshall and King represented very different approaches to ending the bitter history of segregation. Marshall favored using the law while King favored bold demonstrations to gain media attention.

History tells us that both the demonstrators and the lawyers played vital roles in bringing about the end of segregation in America. But Marshall’s more conservative view of how to create lasting social change is often forgotten because he never wore a dashiki or patronized the idea of race riots as helpful to achieving racial equality. He was seen by many of the 60’s activists as a boring, law and order, establishment judge who deeply believed in the Constitution, loved America and was a social conservative.

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Afrolantica, Part 17: Doing the State Some Service

Sunday, April 8th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith

Following the long defense of Louis Farrakhan’s antisemitism in the previous chapter, Derrick Bell presents an essay illustrating the fourth Afrolantica Legacy, another of the dogmas in his political religion:

For his proletariat martyr Bell names one of the saints of the faith. His title: “Paul Robeson: Doing the State Some Service.”

Here’s an excerpt from page 111:

There’s something chilling about Bell arranging his chapters in this way. The previous essay “Shadowboxing: Blacks, Jews and Games Scapegoats Play” defended Louis Farrakhan and denied his antisemitism. Now in this chapter Bell holds up the Stalinist icon Paul Robeson as “one of our greatest heroes.”

Robeson too, had his own history of supporting lethal antisemitism. Wikipedia summarizes and even generously provides the justifications of Robeson’s defenders:

In June 1949, during the 150th anniversary celebration of the birth of Alexander Pushkin, Robeson visited the Soviet Union on a major tour including a concert at Tchaikovsky Hall. Concerned about the welfare of Jewish artists, Robeson insisted to Soviet officials that he meet with Itzik Feffer a few days earlier.[14] Robeson had first met Feffer on July 8, 1943, at the largest pro-Soviet rally ever held in the United States, an event organized by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and chaired by Albert Einstein. Robeson then also got to know Solomon Mikhoels, the popular actor and director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater. Mikhoels also headed the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the Soviet Union with Feffer as his second. After the rally, Robeson and his wife Essie had entertained Feffer and Mikhoels.

According to an account by Paul Robeson Jr told to Robeson biographer Martin Duberman,[15] in the 1980s, Robeson was disturbed as to why he could not find his many Jewish friends when he returned to the U.S.S.R. in June 1949. After several inquires, Feffer was brought to Robeson’s hotel room by the State Police. He and Feffer were forced to communicate through hand gestures and notes because the room was bugged. Feffer indicated that Mikhoels had been murdered in 1948 by the secret police[16] and intimated that he also was going to be killed. Feffer in fact was executed along with 14 other Jewish intellectuals three years later.[17]

Upon returning to the United States, he denied any persecution of Jews and other political prisoners, stating that he “met Jewish people all over the place… I heard no word about it.”[17] Historians Martin Duberman, Philip S Foner, Marie Seton, Paul Robeson Jr and Lloyd Brown concur that Robeson had a long standing mistrust of the US government and that he felt that criticism of the Soviet Union’s internal affairs by someone of his immense international popularity would only serve to shore up reactionary elements in the U.S. .[28] Robeson is on record numerous times as stating that he felt the existence of a major socialist power like the USSR was a bulwark against Western European capitalist domination of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

According to Joshua Rubenstein’s book, Stalin’s Secret Pogrom, Robeson also justified his silence on the grounds that any public criticism of the USSR would reinforce the authority of anti-Soviet elements in the United States which, he believed, wanted a preemptive war against the Soviet Union.[28] A large number of Robeson biographers, including Martin Duberman, Philip S Foner, Marie Seton, Paul Robeson Jr and Lloyd Brown also concur with Robeson’s own words, that he felt that criticism of the Soviet Union by someone of his immense international popularity would only serve to shore up reactionary elements in the U.S., the same elements that had lifted his passport, blocked anti-lynching legislation, and maintained a racial climate in the United States that also allowed Jim Crow, impoverished living conditions for all races and a white supremacist domination of the US government to continue.

And recall in the previous Afrolantica post, one of my translations of a statement by progressive Jews who Bell had quoted to try and mask his antisemitism: “Translation: defending the progressive faith is more important than defending the Jewish faith. When the two conflict, Jews should embrace the former.”

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National Review Fires John Derbyshire Over Racist Column

Saturday, April 7th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Editor-In-Chief Rich Lowry:

His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation.

“A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” — WFB

 

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Afrolantica, Part 16: The Progressive Faith Vs The Jewish Faith

Friday, April 6th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

After “The Citadel,” the third Afrolantica legacy comes in “Shadowboxing: Blacks, Jews and Games Scapegoats Play,” a chapter I discussed previously in Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism. (The shootings of four Jews in Toulouse, France seemed an appropriate time to highlight the lethal effect of tolerating antisemitic ideologies.)

And so having already diagnosed the antisemitic views in the chapter, now let’s consider Bell’s bigotry in the context of his Marxism.

Why the indifference to antisemitism? For the same original reason as Karl Marx himself, because Judaism disrupts the establishment of utopia.

Here’s how Bell chooses to conclude the chapter on page 108, with a quotation from Albert Vorspan and David Saperstein:

Let’s translate the quote line by line:

We can find no safety in turning inward upon ourselves, severing our links with the general community.

Translation: More lethal antisemitism will come if Jews continue remaining Jews. Jewish identity must be watered down.

We can find safety only if we help America deal not only with the symptoms — hatred, rage, bigotry — but with the root problems of our society — slums, powerlessness, decay of our cities, and unemployment, which spawn the evils of bigotry and conflict.

Translation: To end antisemitism we must end crime and to end crime we must end economic inequality. (Vorspan and Saperstein appear to share Bell’s contention discussed in Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers.)

Our task as Jews must go beyond the defensive job of countering the attacks of anti-Semitism to helping bring about a just and peaceful society.

Translation: defending the progressive faith is more important than defending the Jewish faith. When the two conflict, Jews should embrace the former. And today in America the majority do.

The Huffington Post reported this week on continued Jewish support for Bell’s admirer, President Barack Obama:

More Jews (46 percent) named a “commitment to social equality” as the factor most important to their Jewish identity, followed by 20 percent who said “support for Israel” and 17 percent who said “religious observance.”

The poll also showed Jewish voters’ strong support for Obama. Twice as many said they would vote for Obama over a GOP candidate. That level of support is nearly unchanged from the same point during Obama’s first presidential run.

Kenneth Wald, a political science professor who studies Jewish voting patterns at the University of Florida, said he has heard the political chatter that U.S. Jews are so upset with Obama’s treatment of Israel that they will move away from their traditionally Democratic leanings and vote for a GOP challenger — but the survey doesn’t find evidence for that.

“About three out of four American Jews voted Democratic in 2008,” Wald said. “Something relatively similar is likely to occur in 2012.”

I would like to wish my Jewish friends a happy Passover this weekend. Thank you for keeping your tradition alive in spite of all the threats lined up against you and all the challenges that remain ahead.

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Afrolantica, Part 15: The White Bourgeoisie Conspiracy to Dupe the Black Proletariat

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

On Page 72 Derrick Bell continues his Marxist parable, the ruler of the citadel conspires to dupe the lowlanders into believing they’re free when actually their oppression continues:

“By admitting a few of them slowly, we will appear fair and open-minded.”

“We will win… by admitting the error of our past policies. Only by ostensibly renouncing them, will we ensure their continued viability.”

Hmm… An advocate for the antisemitic cult leader Louis Farrakhan draws on conspiracy thinking to explain how so many black Americans could rise up in incorrigibly racist America. Surely no connection exists between the two opinions?

Stay tuned here at PJ Tatler for more on Bell’s attraction to conspiracism in the concluding installments of this guided tour through Afrolantica Legacies.

Related: Shelby Steele at the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

In fact Trayvon’s sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America’s civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well. His death was vindication of the “poetic truth” that these establishments live by. Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect. Better to break the rule than lose the effect. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth.

The civil rights community and the liberal media live by the poetic truth that America is still a reflexively racist society, and that this remains the great barrier to black equality. But this “truth” has a lot of lie in it. America has greatly evolved since the 1960s. There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation. And blacks today are nine times more likely to be killed by other blacks than by whites.

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Afrolantica, Part 14: The Marxist War Within the Multi-Racial Family

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin

Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

On page 61, the second Afrolantica Legacy begins, a parable titled “The Citadel” told to Professor Derrick Bell by his female idealization of himself, the civil rights lawyer-activist Geneva Crenshaw. (We also learn that actually Geneva was the alien prophetess Chiara from the previous chapter.) The story serves to illustrate the second of Bell’s dogmas: “Service in the cause of truth and justice is no less worthy of praise because it is misunderstood, misused, or condemned.”

The story depicts a world of class conflict: the rich residents of the Citadel oppress the noble commoners who live in the hills below, the so-called lowlanders. The Citadel’s current master, the iron-fisted Xercis, encounters opposition from his idealistic daughter Tamar who longs to end the abuse of the lowlanders.

Page 67 presents one of their arguments:

“the price of maintaining power over others is the continuing risk of their revolt. But we must abide by the teaching of our forebears. Whatever its cost, we must maintain dominance.”

Bell’s fairy tale reinvents the Marxist understanding of bourgeoisie vs proletariat into Citadel vs Lowlanders. This mythology of class warfare defining human existence — life as a zero-sum game where one “side” must always lose in order for another to benefit — serves as one of the foundational dogmas of his Critical Race Theory. “Blackness” and “Whiteness” remain locked in permanent conflict and we don’t need it spelled out which side professor Bell has cast as proletariat for his morality play.

Out in the real world there exists an often forgotten piece of “collateral damage” in this class war. Genuine victims, harmed by those inflaming racial divisions.

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Afrolantica, Part 13: The Roots of the War on Meritocracy

Friday, March 30th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Part 1: A Guided Tour Through Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies

Part 2: A ‘Euphoria of Freedom’

Part 3: What Could it Mean to Be White?

Part 4: The Wages of Antisemitism

Part 5: Thomas Jefferson, A Symbol of American Racism

Part 6: Why Meritocracy Must Die

Part 7: Unemployment Creates Crack Dealers

Part 8: We Have a Right to Your Property

Part 9: The Birth of ‘Blackness’

Part 10: Apocalyptic Prophet of Racial War?

Part 11: The Brown-Skinned Joan of Arc

Part 12: Critical Race Theory’s Distortion of Trayvon Martin 

From Page 50 of Afrolantica Legacies, an alien prophetess confirms Derrick Bell’s belief that tests scores also play their part in the white supremacist conspiracy:

The source Bell cites to support Chiara’s claim that “these pen and paper tests actually measure past opportunity better than future potential”: Susan Strum and Lani Guinier, “The Future of Affirmative Action: Reclaiming the Innovative Ideal,” 84 California Law Review 953 (1996).

For a summary of Strum and Guinier’s views, consider a different article with a similar title published in 2000 in the Boston Review. The subtitle summarizes their objective:

Promoting diversity in education and employment requires us to rethink testing and “meritocracy.”

Related: See part 6 of the Afrolantica series for analysis of Bell’s attacks on meritocracy.

Here’s Srum and Guinier’s argument:

We think it is time to shift the terrain of debate. We need to situate the conversation about race, gender, and affirmative action in a wider account of democratic opportunity by refocusing attention from the contested periphery of the system of selection to its settled core. The present system measures merit through scores on paper-and-pencil tests. But this measure is fundamentally unfair. In the educational setting, it restricts opportunities for many poor and working-class Americans of all colors and genders who could otherwise obtain a better education. In the employment setting, it restricts access based on inadequate predictors of job performance. In short, it is neither fair nor functional in its distribution of opportunities for admission to higher education, entry-level hiring, and job promotion.

Question: if you need a high-risk, life-or-death operation would you choose the surgeon with the highest GPA or the one who made it in via affirmative action and just barely managed to graduate?

Here are some of the books on my to-read list in the coming months that relate to this subject:

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