This is the ninth of my reading/writing journals, a new routine of season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose book excerpts from my readings with the day’s headlines and then the next day write a reflection. See the first two week’s entries:
- Week One
- Monday, July 8: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“
- Tuesday, July 9: Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?
- Thursday, July 11: Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…
- Week Two
- Monday, July 15: Turning On Mankind’s Magical Machines To Battle Mother Earth’s Cruel Monsters
- Wednesday, July 17: ‘So, You Know How You Felt on 9/11? Yeah, That’s How We Feel When It Comes To Race.’
- Thursday, July 18: ‘… And There We Can Still Maintain Our Mysterious and Dreadful Freedom.’
- Friday, July 19: ‘Evil Always Takes Advantage of Ambiguity.’ – G.K. Chesterton
- Week Three
- Monday, July 22: ‘His Father Urged Him to Study Marxism, But Valentin Preferred Science.’
Monday Dawn Book Reading:
In Islam it was Judas Iscariot who was crucified instead of Jesus. Muslim tradition asserts there was a conspiracy to fake the Resurrection. An excerpt from page 88 of Not Peace But a Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam by Robert Spencer:
Morning News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories:
Roger L. Simon: What Do the Microscopic Rallies for Trayvon Mean?
According to Reuters, in New York a grand total of 2000 people showed up Saturday to protest in favor of Trayvon Martin in the George Zimmerman trial. That’s .00024257 of the population of our most populous city. More New Yorkers show up for pizza at Ray’s between 6:00 and 6:05 in the evening. (Well, who knows? But you get my point.)
In our second most populous city, my hometown of Los Angeles, the results were even worse, according to the Los Angeles Times. A measly 400 people demonstrated. The totals in Miami, closest big city to the event, were 300.
In other words, the turnout was somewhere between minuscule and puny — maybe, at best, fifteen thousand people nationwide in a country of 314 million. (You do the math on that one…. Okay, I’ll do it. That’s .00005 of the population.)
Bryan Preston: Because MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Couldn’t Find Earrings that Look Like Turds or Aborted Fetuses
It is at this point that historian Storrs uncovered the hidden truth about Leon and Mary Keyserling, a truth that undermines her own thesis, and comes as a revelation that many might have missed, if not for the Hawkes review: Both were not only secret Communist sympathizers and members of various Party front groups, but Leon Keyserling actually advocated violent revolution while he was in the New Deal writing reform legislation!
Mary Keyserling became enthusiastic about communism after she visited the Soviet Union in 1932, and wrote that she became “sympathetic to Communist not only as a Russian idea but as a feasible program when altered for many other countries.” She wrote home that “many of us have come round to an acceptance of the major elements of Communism- altho I think we or I shall work thru the Socialist Party for a while.”
As for Leon, Storrs notes that he became converted to the doctrines of Marx while studying at Columbia University. “Economically,” he wrote to his father from college, “socialism is probably sound … the rich and the poor should not be ‘equal’ before the law. The law should help the weaker party.”
In 1932 he supported Communist candidate William Z. Foster for president, and hoped that he would get two million votes that “will mark in the future the definite turn toward socialism in this country.”
As Hawkes writes of the findings made by Storrs, the first historian to make use of the Keyserling’s previously unavailable personal letters that somehow the FBI and the congressional investigators failed to find, “this new evidence resoundingly corroborates many of the investigators’ charges.” Indeed! Keyserling wrote his father that FDR’s victory was a good thing, but “without a revolution which transfers power to the workers and takes up a socialized state, little will be gained.”
While he was working for Senator Wagner as a legislative aide and working on the draft of the National Labor Relations Act that gave organized labor legal collective bargaining rights, Keyserling wrote in 1934 that “the country is recovering too rapidly. A few more years of depression would have promoted violence, and without violence fundamental reform is unlikely.”
Frank J. Fleming: Obama’s Terrifying Vision of a ‘Smarter’ Government
Currently, about the only thing protecting us is the fact that the government is stupid and plodding (“hey, this Snowden chap seems trustworthy; let’s tell him all our spying secrets”). The federal government is a lot like Godzilla — it’s big and dumb and smashes things without even thinking. Sure, it’s threatening, but at least we can always see it coming and scurry away. Now imagine a smaller, sleeker, faster Godzilla that doesn’t just smash every building it runs into but instead picks its targets intelligently. We wouldn’t even know it was there, and suddenly the power would be out all over the city. Yeah, that’s a much scarier beast, and that’s what Obama wants to make our government.
Janice Fiamengo: Teaching with Eyes Closed
Michael Ledeen: Save Ayatollah Boroujerdi
Ayatollah Boroujerdi threatens the regime for two reasons: he advocates toleration of all religious (and non-religious) beliefs, and, in keeping with Shi’ite tradition, opposes the involvement of religious leaders in politics. Years ago, he said “the regime is adamant that either people adhere to political Islam or be jailed, exiled or killed. Its behavior is no different from that of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar.”
He has repeatedly criticized the fundamentalist doctrines of the Iranian theocratic state, and has dramatically spoken about the most explosive issues in the Muslim world, including anti-semitism. In 2010 he sent Hanukkah greetings to the Jews of the world, saying “any religious belief that brings us closer to the Source (God) is the truth. This force will lead humanity towards enlightenment. On this great day, we celebrate the unity among the believers of God’s light.”
PJ Lifestyle Stories:
On Mondays we strive to offer some articles and blog posts with emphasis on families and parenting.
Kathy Shaidle: Kids of Tragedy: Suzi Quatro Regrets Her Abortion
So it isn’t that surprising that Suzi Quatro has now publicly admitted that she regrets her 1968 abortion — not a popular stance among today’s petulant pro-choice feminists:
‘When I get to those Pearly Gates, hopefully, this is the sin I will pay for. I am so sorry for it,” she said. “Years later, it still comes back to haunt me, and I don’t think I will ever get over it.”
Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children
Robert Spencer: Would You Strangle A Cop For Giving Your Wife a Ticket?
Paula Bolyard: 7 Objections to Homeschooling Teens
Rhonda and Paula write on a variety of subjects for PJ Lifestyle. On Mondays Paula advocates for home-schooling and Rhonda describes her family’s new found approach to infusing spirituality and diet. They both inspire me.
Also Around the Web Monday:
Katrina Trinko At National Review: David Brooks Praises Obama’s Martin Speech as ‘Highlight’ of Presidency
Up is down in the world of the establishment RINO Republican. Just incredible. A moment of absolute clarity in which Obama unifies himself with Al Sharpton and what’s the response of David Brooks, the preferred style of Republican for New York Times leftists?
“I thought it was a symphony of indignation, professionalism, executive responsibility, personal feeling. It had all these different things woven together, I thought beautifully.”
Evan McMurry At Mediaite: Rand Paul Staffer ‘Southern Avenger’ Resigns: ‘I Look Forward To Fighting These Battles On My Own’
As if it wasn’t bad enough that Rand Paul co-wrote his book with and hired a Neo-Confederate, once it was revealed he STOOD BY HIM. It’s only now that Jack Hunter is returning to “punditry.”
BTW: I think it’s time to retire the word “pundit” in reference to politics and the whole idea of “punditry” and the very occupation of “pundit.” Honesty in language is more appropriate. This isn’t “punditry.” This is ideological warfare between political cults.
Noah Rothman at Mediaite: Bret Baier Struggles To Preview Obama’s Economic Speech: ‘Boom And Bust’ ‘Economies Need To Stop’
“What will the president say?” Gretchen Carlson asked about Detroit.
Baier said that the president will be making an overarching economic address and say that “everybody needs to have a fair share.”
“What does that mean, exactly?” Carlson pressed.
“Essentially that means that the boom and bust, he says, economies need to stop,” Baier replied. “And what that translates too, Gretchen, I think is that the president would like to see higher taxes on some of the big wealthy makers in the country, and he’d like to see other things done that help the middle class move forward.”
“You know, we’ve heard these terminology — this terminology before, but it’s really not been defined that well,” Baier concluded.
Larry O’Connor at Breitbart News: CNN’S Lemon to Guest: You’re White, You Can’t Understand
Richard Epstein at Defining Ideas: Justice for Trayvon Martin?
CBS Los Angeles: Boy, 3, Tumbled Out Third-Floor Window While Playing Spider-Man
George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.
Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four — two parents and two children — trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route Route 46, police said. The crash site is less than a mile from where Zimmerman shot Martin.
By the time police arrived, two people – including Zimmerman – had already helped the family get out of the overturned car, the sheriff’s office said. No one was reported to be injured.
New Prager University Video On Labor Unions:
A.W.R. Hawkins at Breitbart News: New Black Panther Party, Concealed Carry Counterprotesters Face Off In Houston
Fox New York: Anti-Semitic incidents up across New York
172 of those incidents were in New York City, according to the statistics released on Monday.
“Jews are still being targeted in significant numbers across New York State,” added Gregg Mashberg, ADL New York Regional Board Chair.
The report compiled incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism. New York had the most anti-Jewish incidents in the country last year, according to the report.
“It is disturbing that we saw almost a 30 percent uptick in the total number of anti-Semitic incidents across the state,” said Etzion Neuer, ADL Acting New York Regional Director.
David A. Lehrer and Joe R. Hicks in the Los Angeles Times: Rhetoric, Race and Reality in America
Jesse Jackson said last year that blacks were “under attack.… Targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Last week he said, “A wave of nameless fear is gripping our country.” The musings of Martin Luther King III and the Rev. Al Sharpton echoing the same theme — America is a dangerous place for young black males — have been widely reported. Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP warned that black youth be advised on how to dress and talk, and talked of how hard it is to tell them to be “timid about asserting” their freedom. Tavis Smiley opined that the verdict was “just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men.”
We received a newsletter from an African American civil rights lawyer who wrote about walking into a convenience store last Saturday night: “Wow. All these people have heard the verdict. Do they now think that I am fair game? Will someone hurt me now that they know that Zimmerman walked?”
What is so insidious about this message of victimhood and division is its dishonesty. Despite the tragic death of Martin under circumstances that no one will ever know the true nature of, there is no “big business” of killing blacks in America. There is no wave of bigotry directed at blacks. All this talk is demagogic posturing, and it’s dangerous. Young people will absorb this message and view the “other” with suspicion and fear.
Shelby Steele at the Wall Street Journal: The Decline of the Civil-Rights Establishment
Today’s black leadership pretty much lives off the fumes of moral authority that linger from its glory days in the 1950s and ’60s. The Zimmerman verdict lets us see this and feel a little embarrassed for them. Consider the pathos of a leadership that once transformed the nation now lusting for the conviction of the contrite and mortified George Zimmerman, as if a stint in prison for him would somehow assure more peace and security for black teenagers everywhere. This, despite the fact that nearly one black teenager a day is shot dead on the South Side of Chicago—to name only one city—by another black teenager.
Tylder Durden at Zero Hedge: 25 Facts About The Fall Of Detroit That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head
9) An astounding 47 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
10)Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
11) If you can believe it, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
12) Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, but over the past 60 years the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.
13) The city of Detroit is now very heavily dependent on the tax revenue it pulls in from the casinos in the city. Right now, Detroit is bringing in about 11 million dollars a month in tax revenue from the casinos.
14) There are 70 “Superfund” hazardous waste sites in Detroit.
15)40 percent of the street lights do not work.
16) Only about a third of the ambulances are running.
New York Times: New Leader for Al Jazeera America
The announcement of Ms. O’Brian’s appointment follows a personnel search that began shortly after Al Jazeera acquired Current TV — the low-rated channel co-founded by the former Vice President Al Gore — at an estimated cost of $500 million. That acquisition, announced in January, provided Al Jazeera with something it had been seeking for years: access to tens of millions of American viewers.
Now Al Jazeera has to persuade them to tune in.
Ms. O’Brian, whose start date has not been determined, will inherit a mostly-formed news organization, with hundreds of new employees in New York, Washington and elsewhere. Those employees have been producing practice newscasts and preparing news stories and documentaries that will be shown after the channel has its debut on Aug. 20.
Daily Mail: Dennis Farina, former Chicago policeman and star of Law & Order, dies at 69 after suffering blood clot in lung
McDonald’s stock plunged Monday after sales missed expectations.
McDonald’s saw second-quarter profits rise four percent but warned that sales may not improve for the rest of the year after seeing global sales rise only one percent at stores open at least one year. McDonald’s shares dropped nearly three percent Monday on worries that the world’s largest fast food chain may be losing ground to competitors.
In the second quarter, McDonald’s earned $7.08 billion, a tick lower than the $7.09 billion expected by analysts, the real story is in lackluster store sales.
Daily Mail: ‘Go ahead and marry me off – I’ll kill myself’: Escaped Yemeni child bride, 11, posts harrowing YouTube video to explain why she ran away from home
Daily Mail: Porn depicting rape to be BANNED in crackdown on ‘poisonous’ websites as Cameron unveils protection for every home
The Prime Minister added: ‘I’m not making this speech because I want to moralise or scaremonger, but because I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come. This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence.’
Mr Cameron announced that in future deciding about family-friendly filters will be a required part of the set-up process for installing an internet connection.
When existing web users are contacted, family-friendly filters will be pre-selected.
Only an adult will be able to change the filter settings and the account holder will receive a confirmation email. Some ISPs are offering text alerts, in case children hack into the account.
One of my motivations for engaging in this exercise is to marvel at the strange juxtapositions of headlines across cultures. In the Muslim world child marriages remain a reality — and a difficult one to stamp out considering that the Prophet Mohammed engaged in the horrific practice. Meanwhile, in the Western world videos of rape are so prolific and easily available that the UK wants to dedicate government money to trying to make them more difficult to watch.
Daily Mail: Wyatt Earp was a prostitute-loving con man and not the hero vigilante as he is portrayed in movies, new book claims
Earp was, in fact, a con man – involved in one of the biggest sports fixing scandals in American history. He cavorted with prostitutes and murdered his enemies because he didn’t trust western courts, Mr Isenberg writes in an Essay for the Daily Beast.
Isenberg sums up Earp’s known moral failings like this: ‘As a young man, Earp was arrested for horse theft and consorting with prostitutes.
‘He was run out of a Texas town for trying to sell a rock painted yellow as a gold brick. He was drawn to police work not because of a devotion to the law but because, during the Gilded Age when public corruption was rampant, it was an easy source of cash.
Daily Mail: Aftermath of Benghazi: New details emerge of horrific attack that killed U.S. ambassador as support for Al-Qaeda grows in war-ravaged Libya
Pawn Stars has been one of my guilty pleasures these past few years.
Spengler: First Things Last
To be educated as a conservative intellectual in the United States during the past generation meant to learn natural right theory from Straussians like Harvey Mansfield at Harvard (or non-Straussian classicists like Yale’s Donald Kagan), or natural-law theory from Catholics Hadley Arkes at Amherst or Robert P George at Princeton.
If national suicide by infertility has become the new normal, though, what sort of nature is at work? How can we speak of political rationalism when most of the world’s nations will themselves out of existence? Has Duns Scotus triumphed at length over St Thomas Aquinas? The will trumps reason, when the will chooses nonexistence and preempts the opportunity to employ reason.
Other great nations have adopted some parts of the Western principles that define America and therefore something of what America loves. India, for instance, has become the world’s largest democracy by co-opting the parliamentary system of its former imperial overlord, and China is trying (though in service of a one-party state) to harness the free market. What the fall of Communism showed to be true remains true: States that suppress individual rights on behalf of some expression of the collective will fail, even as globalization and technological advance accelerate the pace of state failure. Those that support individual rights have some chance of succeeding.
What we might call “Augustinian realism” is this premise, borne out in the world around us. To the extent that other nations share the American love for the sanctity of the individual, they are likely to succeed. To the extent they reject it, they are likely to fail. Our actions in the world can proceed from American interest precisely because American interest consists of allying with success and containing failure.
My 2011 book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam is Dying, Too) expanded this thesis into a survey of civilizational success and failure past and present. It calls into question both classical political philosophy and natural law theory, the twin pillars of American conservative thinking. What can political philosophy tell us when the citizens of a polity refuse to bring a next generation into the world? The Greeks who invented “classical political rationalism” virtually disappeared during the half-dozen generations after Aristotle.
Lisa De Pasquale at Breitbart’s “The Conversation”: A Conservative Legacy for ‘Sex and the City’?
Let’s review where the series left the four characters. Carrie converted the ultimate “modellizer” to a man who would fly half-way around the world for a difficult, non-traditional beauty. Feminist lawyer Miranda realizes she and her out-of-wedlock baby belong with the father and that it’s worth making career sacrifices for the family. Serial slut Samantha allows herself to fall in love and experiences the first mature, secure and fulfilling relationship she’s ever had. Charlotte, the Rules-obsessed WASP, marries a Jew after pouring her heart out to him while asking for nothing in return and they adopt a Chinese baby.
It’s a conservative fairy tale and a feminist nightmare.
Matthew Boyle at Breitbart News: George Soros’s Former Chief Strategist Joins Zuckerberg Immigration Group
The former chief strategist for left-wing billionaire George Soros has joined Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in an effort to push amnesty for America’s illegal immigrants, Bloomberg reports.
Stanley Druckenmiller, who Bloomberg reports served as Soros’s “chief strategist” for “more than 10 years” as a client money manager, has joined Zuckerberg’s efforts at FWD.us to push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Druckenmiller served as the lead portfolio manager for Soros’ Quantum Fund from 1988 until 2000. According to Bloomberg, he “produced average annual returns of 30 percent at his hedge fund Duquesne Capital Management LLC” from 1986 through 2010.
In addition to hiring Druckenmiller, Zuckerberg funds former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s “Americans for a Conservative Direction.” According to the New York Times, that group has been one of the many special interests at the forefront of trying to push conservatives in the House of Representatives to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The Times wrote recently that Barbour’s Zuckerberg-funded group “has been running ads in Iowa lately that implore those watching to ‘stand with Marco Rubio to end de facto amnesty.’”
The Mexican government once paid Barbour to lobby on behalf of amnesty for illegal immigrants inside the United States.
Christian Toto at Big Hollywood: Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die Preps Propaganda Videos to Promote Obamacare
Tuesday Dawn Reading:
An excerpt today on angels and aliens from page 146 of Robert Anton Wilson’s memoir Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati which swallowed up my reading time this morning:
Quote of Note #1: “Our theories are all unproven. Socrates called it his daemon. Others call it gods or angels. Leary calls it extraterrestrial. Maybe it’s just another part of our brain, a part we don’t usually use. Who knows?” – Dr. Wesley Hiler, pg 163 of Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson…
Tuesday Afternoon Reflections:
“… any religious belief that brings us closer to the Source (God) is the truth. This force will lead humanity towards enlightenment. On this great day, we celebrate the unity among the believers of God’s light.” — Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi
“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.” — Robert Anton Wilson, quoted in the amazing foreword by David Cherubim to the new edition of Cosmic Trigger.
Today American counterculture remembers two events that took place on July 23 1973. The first: a very happy birthday to Ms. Monica Lewinsky, who turns 40 today.
The second, much less well known: author Robert Anton Wilson claims that on July 23 1973, the Dog Days of Summer, he was contacted by an extraterrestrial from Sirius. The purpose of Cosmic Trigger is then Wilson’s attempt to figure out if he really was contacted by aliens or if he was just hallucinating or if some kind of angelic, divine spirit communicated with him in the tradition and style of other mystics throughout history. In the end he’s not sure. So many paths seem potentially valid or useful.
One of the great conflicts I have known throughout my writing life — really all from the beginning since my first newspaper classes in junior high — is an uncertainty about beign a writer or an editor. I am perpetually conflicted over whether I want to spend my time promoting and developing the ideas of other writers or focusing on my own books and articles. Even when I do my own writing I gravitate toward promoting writers and trying to nudge them one direction or another. Editing is addictive, I guess. It’s thrilling to put an idea in another writer’s head and watch them run with it much further than you ever could.
Robert Anton Wilson was both a writer and an editor at various times too. And he was also deeply conflicted over the subjects of his books. He was all over the map with novels, nonfiction, experimental poetry, and polemical essays. But mostly what he did so well and what so many today value him for doing is acting as a popularizer and teacher of the ideas of dozens and dozens of writers and thinkers. Wilson explored philosophies and science from all across human history and cultures. And then he actually experimented with them — from Shamanic techniques to all varieties of psychotherapy to the 60s drug culture to a number of New Age and magickal systems. And 40 years ago today he caused what Aleister Crowley’s spells said would happen — you would receive your Holy Guardian Angel to guide you on the rest of your journey through life.
Cosmic Trigger explains how to do this except in much funnier, more skeptical language.
As I did yesterday in my blunt assessment of our human nature (we as a species are born primarily drawn toward evil) I’ll summarize what the Enlightenment and its esoteric equivalent “Illuminism” are really all about. The big secret is actually pretty mundane and most people will probably be disappointed at first.
I have practiced Wilson’s and Crowley’s ideas for the last 9 years now in various forms — but really I’m just getting started still. All occultism and “magick” do is provide a system to hypnotize yourself into recreating your personality so you are strong enough to overcome your own human tendency toward self-destruction. What happens in Fight Club — the whole imagining yourself as another person — you can really do that. That’s all that an occultist invoking angels actually does.
I like Wilson’s approach a great deal but he did not go far enough. I believe his successor, the RAW of the Boomer generation, is James Wasserman. Over the last decade he took the same politically incorrect steps that I gradually did on my own too: being an occultist who makes peace with Christianity, America, Conservatism, and the God of the Bible.
I am a post-postmodernist. I still accept postmodernism’s intellectual premise but reject its attempt at a real world application in politics, religion, and practical morality. Cosmic Trigger‘s ideas and techniques are still entirely useful and fun. They are methods through which one can play little mental games with yourself to change your personality and thus your entire perception of the world. But the postmodern false “revelation” of multiple perspectives and no way to perceive all things simultaneously fails to fully recognize that not all perspectives are equally useful for protecting human life and raising the species further on the path of perpetual evolution.
It is possible to pray to God and to invoke Spirits. Try it — the idea of Wilson and Crowley is simply that we should treat our religious experiences as though they’re scientific experiments. The human mind is a suggestible, malleable force. And once one realizes how easy it can be to reprogram one’s own mind through the controlled delivery of emotional experiences, then the political and cultural world takes on a new dimension. If we can change ourselves with tiny emotional jolts, then how much “Change” can be inflicted on the world with massive emotional shocks?