This is issue #13 of my reading/writing journals, a new, experimental routine for season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose excerpts from my book readings with the day’s headlines and then the next day write a reflection trying to make connections. The goal is to consider the events of the day in the bigger picture of human history and our place in the universe. See the first three weeks’ issues:
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…
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
Monday, July 22: ‘His Father Urged Him to Study Marxism, But Valentin Preferred Science.’
Tuesday, July 23: ‘Perhaps The Final Secret of the Illuminati Is That You Don’t Know You’re A Member Until It’s Too Late to Get Out.’
Wednesday, July 24: Is Anthony Weiner a ‘Deviant’ or a ‘Normal’ Male?
Thursday, July 25: ‘The Most Ancient Conflict in Western Culture, Between Jew and Egyptian, Continues…’
Friday, July 26: Weiner’s Wild Women: Are Sydney Leathers and Huma Abedin His Succubi?
Weekend Book Reading:
A great, sad irony: Islam, the most misogynistic religion on the planet, could never have been founded and grown if a 25-year-old Mohammed had not married a rich 40-year-old woman… From page 45 of The Mohammed Code by Howard Bloom:
Hermes Trismegistus prophesied Egypt’s downfall and conquest in the Corpus Hermetica. From Pg 197 of The Hermetic Link: From Secret Tradition to Modern Thought by Jacob Slavenburg:
Today it’s estimated that 91% of Egyptian women undergo genital mutilation.
Constitutions made the colonies unique from England. Pg 105 of Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People:
American Badass Ethan Allen suffered torture at the hands of the British during the Revolutionary War. Pg. 69 of Blood of Tyrants by Logan Beirne:
Weekend News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories Friday and this Weekend:
Roger Kimball: A Culture, Consuming Itself: The Higher-Ed Farce Deepens
The problem is that they are part and parcel of a concerted assault on the fundamental civilizational values of our culture. By some strange process of moral entropy, those institutions which had been the bearers and preservers of our cultural inheritance have mutated into its deadly enemies. It was Williams College, once again, that prompts this melancholy thought. Just last month, the college sponsored “Worlds of Wonder: The Queerness of Childhood,” an “interdisciplinary workshop” that basked in the imprimatur of a dozen college entities from the Dean’s office to the “Committee for Human Sexuality and Diversity” and the “Queer Student Union.” Among the festivities were “Lessons in Drag,” a performance piece, and papers on such pressing subjects as “Queering America’s Progress Narrative: The California Ruins of Leland Stanford Jr.,” “What Does it Mean to Be an Adult if We Queer the Child? Laws of Consent in Comparative Perspective,” and “Sex Panics, Child Prostitutes, and Global Sporting Events, or: How to Save a Sexually Precocious Child and Get a Luxury Hotel for Free.”
I have had occasion before to quote Kingsley Amis’ wise observation that much of what is wrong with our culture can be summed up in the word “workshop.” But even a satirist of Amis’ asperity, I suspect, would have been at a loss when confronted with “The Queerness of Childhood.” “This workshop,” the program reads, “brings together a group of scholars and clinicians working at the intersections of childhood studies, psychoanalysis, psychology, pedagogy, and queer theory in order to have a conversation about queer children and the queerness of childhood.” Really?
Bridget Johnson: Obama: Ho Chi Minh Was Inspired by Our Founders
Bryan Preston: Conservative Hispanic Society Rips ‘Overt Pervert’ Weiner and the Democrats’ ‘War on Women’
Ed Driscoll: Death Wish: Mr. Bronson’s Planet
Stephen Kruiser: Death Penalty Off the Table to Persuade Russia to Turn Snowden Over
Rick Moran: The GOP’s Alamo for Obamacare
The PJ Tatler: (UPDATED: RNC Responds to PJ Media) EXCLUSIVE: RNC Operatives Join Holder’s Campaign Against Texas, Several Other States
David P. Goldman: Dumb, Dumber, Dumberer in Washington
Obama and the Republican mainstream — John McCain and the Weekly Standard — united in their misplaced enthusiasm for the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011, as I reported in a Tablet magazine essay May 20 titled “Dumb and Dumber.” They have learned nothing from the collapse of the so-called “Spring” into civil war in Syria, Islamist terrorism in Tunisia, and state failure in Egypt. Such is the power of ideology. If the most practical man of business is the mental slave of a defunct economist, as Keynes said, the most practical politician may be the mental slave of a defunct political philosopher.
The “political philosophy” that has guided so many diligent and clever analysts into absurdities does not address the definitive political phenomenon of our time, namely cultural suicide.
Ed Driscoll: Behold: the Last City, and the Last Democrat
Just as Detroit is the terminal destination for America’s “Progressively” governed-cities, Anthony Weiner is the endgame for leftwing politicians. He had no experience in business or in the military before entering politics straight out of college, initially as a staffer for another leftwing political lifer, Chuck Schumer. He has zero charisma as a public speaker. He has no vision for where he’d like to see the nation go. He’s in politics strictly for himself, because, well, what else is he going to do?
As Kyle Smith noted in April, what business would hire him? Other than MSNBC, I guess. He’s running for the mayor of New York simply because that’s what you do when you have no other career prospects. Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg, and we’ve said plenty over the years, but at least he had a lengthy business career, first at the bond-trading firm Salomon Brothers, and then forming his own diversified company, before deciding to run for mayor of one the most important cities in New York.
For Weiner, that’s just what you do next, after resigning from Congress in disgrace.
Claudia Rosett: Remember the Free Market?
Michael Ledeen: Whither Egypt? Whence Syria? (Wrong Questions)
As I try to penetrate the fog of the future, I keep reminding myself that we are in a big war, and that the big war is very similar to the Second World War and the Cold War: we are being attacked by a series of countries that support a messianic mass movement. Just as we broke the ideological spine of fascism and Nazism and Communism, we, or others, can do the same to jihadism. Since much of the appeal of such movements rests on the followers’ belief that the future belongs to them, the ideological consequences of defeat are enormous. You can see that in the case of our defeat of Iran and al-Qaeda in Iraq. It became much more difficult for bin Laden and Zawahiri to get waves of new recruits once it became evident that they had no chance to defeat us. Now they’re back, worse than ever, but that’s our fault. We didn’t — and still haven’t — come to grips with the unpleasant fact that it’s a big war, and we’ve got to win it on a big scale, not just in one place (after which we pack up and leave the future to our enemies).
If the jihadis are beaten in Syria, it will be bad news for the Brothers in Egypt. If Iran and Hezbollah are defeated in Syria, it will strengthen the anti-jihadi forces in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. And if Iran should implode, it would gravely weaken their proxies throughout the region, and their “Bolivarian”allies to our south. Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.
We have skin in all those games, and we have numerous moves available.
Gordon G. Chang: The Korean War Continues
Patrick Poole: A Bad Week for the Muslim Brotherhood
Bridget Johnson: Admin Keeps Calling for Muslim Brotherhood Inclusion as Islamists Incite, Inflate Protest Tolls
Rich Baehr: Bored with Obama
The president’s declining approval numbers are not the only worrisome numbers for the White House. Support for Obamacare, the president’s signature legislative “achievement” of his first term, is sinking to its lowest level yet, just months before implementation of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion are scheduled to occur. The delay in the implementation of the employer mandate seemed like an unspoken acknowledgement by the administration that the requirement may have slowed job growth for several years and accelerated the shift from full-time work to part-time employment (under 30 hours per week).
Every month, it seems, the president convenes a meeting of liberal bloggers to give them their new marching orders on how to sell that “all is well” with Obamacare and we just need to give it a little more time before everyone recognizes its greatness. Writers like Jon Cohn and Ezra Klein have been shilling so long and so hard for Obamacare that they are at least as invested in its success as the president is. Whenever there appears to be an ounce of “good” news on the premiums in the exchanges in certain states, it is heralded as an achievement on a par with the Red Sea parting.
PJ Lifestyle Featured on PJ Home Page on Friday:
Rhonda Robinson: Restoring Our Judeo-Christian Culture
Chris Queen: Forgotten Walt Disney World: River Country
Walter Hudson:BREAKING: Sex May Result in Children
Though atheistic, Rand condemned a few choices as sin, including the refusal to think and the rejection of reality. Detaching the sex act from its natural consequence commits both. Sex may result in children. Competent adults know that going in, and stand responsible for the lives of any children they may produce regardless.
There exists a certain irony in the fact that, while Rand’s overall philosophy remains on the fringes of popular culture, her views regarding sex, reproduction, and parenthood have been roughly and broadly adopted. Granted, most abortionists arrive at Rand’s view in parallel through a haphazard adoption of ideas, not a thoughtful consideration of her (or any) philosophy.
Jon Bishop: 5 Rules for California-Roll Conservatives
New at PJ Lifestyle:
Books and Movies, History and Philosophy on Fridays:
Walter Hudson: New Robocop to Resume Original’s Satire
Kathy Shaidle: I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half Century Later
Chris Queen: Pixar’s Alternate Universe?
Sarah Hoyt and Charlie Martin: Answering The Call To The Writer’s Journey
Self Improvement on Saturdays:
Chris Queen: Victory For Georgia Football Player Kolton Houston
Rhonda Robinson: How to Remove the Shame From Your Financial Struggles
Sarah Hoyt: How to Tame Your Subconscious
Charlie Martin: A Meditation on Diet
Religion, Spirituality, Ethics, and Morality on Sundays:
Susan L.M. Goldberg: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish
Sex played a different, but nonetheless important role in Biblical illustrations of pitfalls that can ruin female friendship. Sarah, nervous and ashamed that she is unable to bear children for her husband Abraham, gives him her slave girl Hagar as a concubine to bear children in her name. Years later, when God’s prophecy to Sarah is fulfilled and she gives birth to Isaac, she evicts Hagar and her son Ishmael in a jealous fury, fearful that Ishmael will receive the firstborn blessing meant for Isaac. The same ugly jealousy rears its head between two sisters, Rachel and Leah, both married to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. Leah despises Rachel for her beauty while Rachel despises Leah for her ability to have children.
In both instances these three matriarchs illustrate every stereotype associated with female friendship (or the lack thereof): cattiness, jealousy, rage, envy. Above all else, they illustrate a gross amount of selfishness spurred on by the limitations of gender-based thinking: If I am not physically attractive, if I cannot have a child, I am worthless, therefore I hate anyone who can – even if they are my sister.
In contrast we have the gentile Ruth. Widowed by the death of her young Israelite husband, Ruth could have followed her Moabite sister-in-law Orpah into the safety of a second marriage within her own clan. Instead, Ruth gives up everything she has ever known to follow Naomi, her mother in law, back to Israel. A stranger in a strange land, she has no one for whom to be beautiful or fertile; she gives of herself, gleaning the leftovers while being harassed as a suspected outsider. Impressed by her unique strength of character, Boaz the rich Israeli goes out of his way to marry the foreigner who would become the grandmother of King David.
Rhonda Robinson: Dietary Laws: Did Jesus Model or Dismiss Them?
Paula Bolyard: What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?
Charlie Martin: Buddhists Have No Souls
P. David Hornik: How I Became a Conservative
I don’t remember when he first “called” me on the stuff I was saying about “the war.” It’s likely, though, that we were both lingering at the table after supper; we were always the only ones present for these discussions we began having. He said what he said quietly and seriously, manifestly giving me the feeling that I was free to respond and anything I said would be considered fairly.
He told me that the people we were fighting over there were totalitarians no different from the Nazis who, if allowed to take over, would commit mass atrocities. He told me the war was part of a larger effort by the Soviet Union to extend its power and ultimately overcome American power. He told me that when South Vietnamese civilians fled a war zone, they invariably fled south—not north into areas the communists had supposedly “liberated.” He told me that diverting money from the war effort to America’s social problems wouldn’t accomplish anything; the social problems—particularly in the inner cities—stemmed from a breakdown of family structure and that was something the government didn’t know how to solve no matter how much it spent, and in fact had helped cause with its meddling.
I was stunned and dazzled. If I had heard some of these points before, it was in shouting matches between jocks and freaks. I had never heard political positions set forth with precision, nuance, and a logic that flowed like music, like Mozart. Living with my father for seventeen years, amid his journals, books, and tobacco smoke, I had never before heard him speak at length about these matters that so occupied him.
Also Around the Web Friday and this Weekend:
Broadcasting and Cable: TCA: NBC Orders Hillary Clinton Miniseries – Diane Lane to star as former First Lady; network orders three other longform projects
Danny has left the campaign. He did a remarkable job,” Weiner said
“We have an excellent staff. More people have come on frankly. We’ve gotten more volunteers and more people coming over to help the campaign since the least several days since anytime since the campaign started.”
Leathers was a gold-digging social climber who trolled Internet “sugar daddy” sites for wealthy men — and was not above taking a few Benjamins just for “talking,” according to her online chats and profiles, as well as school pals.
She went for Weiner, but her friends say cash was her real turn-on.
“She used sugardaddy.com to meet men,” said a 27-year-old former girlfriend from Chicago who requested anonymity. “She met a few guys on that site when she was visiting me. She wants the lifestyle without working for it.”
Leathers called herself a “22-year-old SugarBaby,” according to her profile on the SugarDaddyForMe dating Web site.
Last summer, even as she was sexting the married and already scandal-scarred ex-congressman, Leathers used her friend’s condo as her home base for dating wealthy Chicago men, according to her ex-pal, who said Leathers “was actively seeking men out to pay for her.”
NY Daily News: Weiner campaign paid private eye $45,000 to investigate own 2011 Twitter ‘hacking’ lie, reports show
Deadline Hollywood: ‘Wolverine’ Howls For $21M Friday And Will Whimper For Weakening $56M Weekend
Evan McMurry: Greenwald Claims Private Contractors Can Spy On Calls, Emails: ‘I Defy NSA Officials To Deny’ These Capabilities
Greenwald described the capabilities of the program, accessible not just by NSA officials but by low-level private contractors:
“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and email in their databases. What these programs are are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things: it searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered; and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or connected to that IP address do in the future. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”
Greenwald noted that while “there are legal constraints on how you can spy on Americans,” there’s nothing stopping, or even detecting, abuse of the program.
“The real issue here is that what the NSA does is done in complete secrecy,” Greenwald said. “Nobody really monitors who they’re eavesdropping on. The question of abuse is one that the Congress ought to be investigating much more aggressively.”
Evan McMurry: CNN’s Don Lemon Backs Up Bill O’Reilly: ‘He Doesn’t Go Far Enough’ In Criticizing Black Culture
Josh Feldman: Maher Takes On Evangelical Minister: Bible Clearly ‘Hates Fags,’ God’s A ‘Psychotic Mass Murderer’
Maher told Wallis that it’s hard for someone to say God is “perfect” when there’s a lot of twisted morality in the Bible itself.
“It’s pro-slavery, pro-polygamy, it’s homophobic, God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer–I mean, there’s so many things in it, and I always say to my religious friends, you know, if a pool had even one turd in it, would you jump in?”
Wallis explained how he found there to be 2000 verses in the Bible talking about the poor, but two more times Maher called him out for not answering the question. At one point, he quipped to guestEliot Spitzer, “This guy’s an even better politician than you.”
Wallis argued he’d only like people to take the Bible literally “when it says love your neighbor as yourself,” and when Maher shot back about the Bible commanding people to kill neighbors who work on Sundays, he brushed it aside and said Jesus didn’t want that. A confused Maher tried to understand. “So Jesus is correcting the Old Testament, which is by his dad, who’s really him. I don’t…”
Or maybe the president meant the scandal surrounding the administration’s response to the attack in Benghazi. Did he mean when the administration sent Susan Rice, then the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, on every Sunday news programs to blame the attack on a spontaneous upraising resulting from an inflammatory YouTube video? A response which State Department officials testified seriously damaged American relations with the nascent post-Gaddafi Libyan government, and directly resulted in the delay of FBI investigative teams being able to access the scene of the attack. Which agency officials made the determination to send Rice out to make this claim remains unclear.
Americans also do not yet know who determined that minimal security for that threatened consulate was acceptable. “I am intent on making sure that we do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like this from happening,” Obama said in May, shifting blame for that lack of embassy security to a lack of funding and mismanagement by Congress. “But that means we owe it to them and all who serve to do everything in our power to protect our personnel serving overseas.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) later echoed this claim in a fiery speech on the Senate floor. Boxer’s claim, and Obama’s by extension, that Congress was to blame for the light security footprint in Benghazi was given three Pinocchios from Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. During testimony before a congressional committee, one State Department official asserted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted to convert that temporary post in Benghazi into a permanent American diplomatic facility – she was to make this announcement in December of last year on a planned trip to Libya. Was this why the facility needed to be manned with high-level diplomatic personnel, including Libyan Amb. Chris Stevens, even though the consulate was not sufficiently hardened against attacks?
Touré said that conservatives were “in their mansions” preferring not to attend a racial violence summit in Chicago because they don’t really care about the issue of inner-city violence.
“This is a 90 white party and everything that they need to do is to stoke white racial anxiety to bring more white people into the fore,” the MSNBC host added.
Noah Rothman: Limbaugh: ‘Muslim Women’ Like Huma ‘Don’t Have Any Power,’ So Weiner Can Get Away With Anything
“Huma is a Muslim,” Limbaugh declared. “In that regard, Weiner ought to be able to get away with anything.”
“Muslim women don’t have any power, right?” he asked. “Muslim women are beheaded, stoned, whatever if they drive, have affairs.”
“In certain countries, Muslim women, if they’re raped, are killed – it’s their fault,” Limbaugh continued.
He dug into the media commentary which has noted that Huma has been an aide to Hillary Clinton since the 1990s.
Noah Rothman: Pro-NSA GOP’ers, Like Chris Christie, Make A Terrible Case For The Post-9/11 Surveillance Programs
Joel B. Pollak: Chris Hayes Compares Bill O’Reilly to Neo Nazi
“This is for Trayvon Martin,” one of the three black men told a white man as they approached him early Saturday, according to Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Anthony Clay.
The alleged robbery happened two weeks after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the 2012 death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.
The men kicked the adult white male as they took his iPhone and wallet, Clay said Sunday.
At the Daily Mail:
Girl, 15, blamed in teen bullying suicide for ‘encouraging three boys to rape drunk classmate, take pictures and post them online’
Award-winning music video director jailed for 90 years for fathering six children with his own daughters
Aswad Ayinde, 55, of Paterson, NJ, was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday after being found guilty in the second of five expected trials in which he is accused of repeatedly raping his six daughters, resulting in six children being fathered. Mr. Ayinde was found guilty in his latest trial of having intercourse with a daughters when she was as young as eight-years-old. The second sentence adds to the 40 year sentence Mr Ayinde received in a 2011 trial for sexually assaulting a separate daughter.
Mr. Ayinde is known for directing the music video for the Fugees 1996 smash hit ‘Killing Me Softly.’
Warren Buffett’s son says charity fuels a ‘perpetual poverty machine’ and rich people giving money away eases their conscience but doesn’t solve the problem
Fort Hood shooter accused of killing 13 and wounding 32 speaks out ahead of trial to claim America has a ‘war against Islam’
‘My complicity was on behalf of a government that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah to be the supreme law of the land,’ Hasan said in the lengthy statement released to Fox News on Saturday.
President Obama calls the United States and Europe ‘developing countries’ in latest embarrassing gaffe
Monday Morning Book Reading:
Reminder: Malcolm X was an antisemite: “When there’s something worth owning, the Jew’s got it.” Pg. 246 of Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention:
Monday Afternoon Reflections:
“He went on to argue that Jewish money controlled civil rights groups like the NAACP, pushing Negroes into adopting a strategy of integration that was doomed to failure.” — Manning Marable describing Malcolm X’s controversial Playboy interview, which you can read all of here
From CNN last week, reporting polls on the racial divide of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin verdict:
The Washington Post/ABC News survey, which showed 41% of Americans approving and 41% disapproving of the jury’s ruling, also showed sharp division among Americans in their views of the verdict. For example, 86% of African-Americans disapproved of the “not guilty” finding, while 51% of whites approved.
That closely aligned with a Pew Research Center survey released Monday, which showed 86% of African-Americans disagreeing with the verdict.
Another relevant statistic: 29% of the black population in this country hates Jews. As of 2011 that’s 14% higher than the general population’s 15%. How did that happen?
On November 4, 2012 I published my tentative conclusions about which political, religious, and cultural ideas had most influenced Barack Obama: “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology.” I drew the comparisons between the President’s memoir — now debunked as fictional by his own political supporters — and Malcolm X’s, also revealed to be fraudulent by otherwise sympathetic Marxist activist scholars. The fact that both of these men produced intentional fraudulent life stories to bolster their otherwise meager reputations is one level of cultural problem. That they were unmasked as pathological liars by their own supporters and nobody cares is something else entirely. Both Malcolm X and Barack Obama spent their key years under the influence of conspiratorial antisemites.
My progressive and Democrat friends do not care. Nor do they care that Nelson Mandela is a Communist with blood on his hands.
But let’s take it one step further: REPUBLICANS ACROSS THE SPECTRUM DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE RISE OF ANTISEMITIC POLITICIANS EITHER. Whether it’s John McCain RINOs refusing to make an issue of Rev. Wright during the 2008 campign, or neoconservatives aligning with Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood over Egypt, or Tea Partiers deluding themselves into thinking Rand Paul isn’t a carbon copy of his paleocon antisemite dad Ron, my conclusion after almost 4 years now of this new media activist editing: those who are most concerned about the Democrats vs Republicans, Left vs Right, Conservative vs Liberal, and 2016 presidential battles will all too often be the most blind to what Michael Ledeen calls the “big war”, the war of the messianic totalitarian death cults to impose their will on the world’s free people…