How to End the Fake Fight Between Social Conservatives and Libertarians with Andrew Klavan's Wonderful Writing

For season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regimen, each weekday I juxtapose book excerpts with a selection of the previous day’s headlines and noteworthy excerpts. The goal is to make fresh connections between the events of the day and the bigger picture of humanity’s place in the universe. Each day also starts with highlighting the contributions of an important writer. 


Dear Andrew,

In the last entry of this ongoing series explaining how each of the PJ columnists has influenced me, I highlighted Roger Kimball’s primary intellectual focus (vivisecting postmodernism), his traditional prose style, and his success institutionalizing his literary abilities as publisher at Encounter Books and the New Criterion.

In contemplating why you too have emerged over the past years as one of my primary writing influences, I face the same challenge. I’ve learned so much from you that it’s difficult to pick the most valuable lesson! I could just as easily do multiple posts – one focusing on the important cultural arguments you regularly make, another highlighting aspects of your prose style that the freelance writers I edit should emulate, and a third on the career model you provide for those of us in younger generations also stuck between the worlds of political activism and creative cultural work, also still enchanted by old mediums (film, television, novels?) while experimenting with New Media (kudos to you for the very cool horror app!).

But I think there’s a common thread running across all three subjects, a particular virtue that you embody and that everyone should seek to emulate more: BALANCE.

Your article yesterday on Matt Damon, the perfectly titled “Damonic,” demonstrates your even-mindedness:

Damon’s a good movie star. So’s Clooney. Both are talented, obviously bright guys. Damon, I’ve heard from people who should know, is an all-around decent bloke. I’ve never heard anything bad personally about Clooney.

But the political stuff they do — it’s just so ridiculous. Why is that?  How is our culture failing or deceiving its creative class that such gentlemen as these should come to feel there is some virtue in creating art so in conflict with their lives and actions? Look, there’s always room for two political sides, I get that. I can understand disagreeing with the right about, say, abortion. It’s a tough issue. I can understand disagreeing with conservatives on gay rights. I disagree with them too. There are all kinds of discussions we could have, all kinds of compromises we might make.

But why should an actor think it’s right to take a $20-million payday (or whatever) to make a $100-million movie touting socialism in the hopes of turning a profit in the free market? What sense does that make?

I think it makes sense to Damon because he genuinely doesn’t think that his postmodern leftism is an ideology. Rather, his worldview is just the obvious way things are, the manner in which any intelligent/decent person should understand reality. Consider Damon’s response to critics pointing out Elysium‘s socialist themes:

“I don’t think it is trying to say anything. It just presents the issue – the distinct difference between the haves and the have nots,” he told FOX411 while promoting the flick. “A science fiction film will work if it is a whole new world, but speaks to the world that we live in, but not in a heavy-handed way. The first order of business for a big summer popcorn movie is to make a kick-ass movie with great action.”

Damon doesn’t get that when the film “just presents the issue” of class warfare, that counts as “trying to say something.” For Damon and so many ideologists — the problem is not just relegated to “leftists,” the Right has plenty of nuts too — they don’t even realize the root assumptions that frame how they see the world.

But you, Andrew, as an ex-progressive like many PJ contributors, have learned the folly of intense devotion to a single cause, of holding one value above all others to the point where it becomes invisible. The writings of your Klavan on the Culture blog show this attempt to balance your focus across both cultural and political subjects, both the very serious and the light-hearted (an especially important balance to maintain). Let’s take a look at the range this month:

August 15, Foreign Policy: What Egyptian Violence Says About Democracy

August 14, Religion: Bad Arguments for The Truth

August 12, Music: A Talented and Inspirational Singer

August 9, TV Criticism: You’re Killing Me, “Killing!”

August 4, Powerful Cultural Criticism: Katy Perry vs Reality

August 2, Religion and Culture Debate: Is Jesus Against Kooky Gay Guys?

This last article is your response to Red State’s Erick Erickson (someone I also admire even though we don’t always agree politically; he supported me in an important fight years ago with David Frum). Here’s another excerpt of yours that I especially appreciate as it models another kind of balance, between social conservatism and libertarianism, two ideologies supposedly at war now on the Right:

Now, I can think of many negative things to say about “a dude in a leather g-string, rainbow afro wig, and fairy wings glued to his back dancing down the street claiming he’s got pride.” For one thing, he probably doesn’t have much pride. Plus, depending where he is, he may be exhibiting a narcissistic disregard for the sensibilities of his neighbors. Plus, he’s defining himself in a materialistic way that will ultimately make him less, not more, spiritually rich and happy. Plus, he really ought to have something better to do with his life.

But none of these things is particularly my business. And while I can see where Jesus might want to have a chat with him about any or all of them, before I start thinking too much about what that chat might entail, I would do well to remember a question Jesus asked me one time: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” In other words, while I may not be wearing my rainbow Afro wig (I know I left it around here somewhere), I can’t help feeling I have unhelpful spiritual habits of my own that I could usefully look at before I trouble my sinful head with this dude’s.


Andrew, if more Christians defined their faith as you do, as primarily a spiritual exercise rather than a political cause, then more of the irreligious, spiritually questioning wanderers would be drawn back to God. (And that would, of course, eventually lead them to the anti-slavery party, the GOP.) And more would come to see that a “libertarian” approach to government and a “socially conservative” approach to culture and lifestyle don’t have to conflict. Being an American is about learning to check and balance our competing impulses and balance our conflicting values. And I’m sure that you’ll further explore these important themes in new creative ways.



P.S. One of my imbalances the past five years has been a bias toward nonfiction over fiction. You’ve helped to inspire me to return back to making time for novels and I look forward to the lessons of your fiction career — someday I will get back to novel and screenplay writing. I’ll start with The Identity Man


Thursday Morning Book Reading:

“How anyone can argue in favor of being non-judgmental is beyond me. To say that being non-judgmental is better than being judgmental is itself a judgment, and therefore a violation of the principle.” — a random thought from The Thomas Sowell Reader, page 403


Thursday News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories:

Roger L. Simon: End the Civil Rights Movement

End the civil rights movement. Now. Shoot the sucker and put it (and us) out of its misery.

It’s a relic of the 1960s about as relevant as bell bottom trousers.

When we are debating Oprah Winfrey’s right to buy a thirty-five thousand dollar purse or whether Barack Obama’s dog should be flown to Martha’s Vineyard in the canine’s own private state-of-the art military transport, you know it’s finished. Or should be.

It’s also time for the NAACP and the Black Caucus to close up shop. They are dinosaurs from another era, making life miserable for the very people they are intended to help.

Black unemployment is at record levels during the administration of the first black president and that horrible situation is aided and abetted by those organizations. They are determined to preserve the image of black people as victims — an insulting self-fullfilling prophecy. What was once a solution has become the problem.

Rich Baehr: Will Republicans Blow Their Senate Chances One More Time?

Michael Ledeen: IRS: The Mother of All Scandals

Bridget Johnson: Reports from Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Fresh Assault on Coptic Christians

Bryan Preston: Orange Shirt ‘Pro-Choice’ Fascists Antagonize Austin’s Summermoon Coffee Shop for Making a Choice

Barry Rubin: How Western Intellectual Values Have Gone Haywire

Let me tell you a story. In 1991 Senator Charles Percy, a man who was then highly regarded and considered himself something of an expert on the Middle East, said he didn’t understand why the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein didn’t withdraw from Kuwait. After all, said Percy, wouldn’t some intelligence chief or general tell him that he was going to be defeated?

This was abject ignorance. If someone had done so — told Saddam he was wrong — the man would have been lucky if he was only fired, and still pretty lucky if he wasn’t thrown into prison and tortured, of if he didn’t have his family punished or executed.

The supposed advantage of democracy is that the media, academia, and others speak — where did I hear this before? — truth to power. If you know you are not just going to be ignored, not just that you are going to be punished, but that nobody is going to hear you, that is a disincentive to doing so.

Ed Driscoll: Interview: Ben Shapiro Talks Bullies

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PJ Lifestyle Featured on the Main Page:

Walter Hudson: Has McDonald’s Declared War on the Middle Class?

New at PJ Lifestyle on Thursday:

Jon Bishop: 5 Ways To Defend Humanity With Anime Movies and Traditional British Philosophy

Sarah Hoyt: I For One Welcome The Beer Drones!

Becky Graebner: Baby Boomers: The Dark Horse of the Auto and Tech Markets

Chris Queen: Walt Disney’s ‘Boys’: Beautiful Music, Brotherly Disharmony

Sarah Hoyt: This Fish is A Danger to Your Manhood


New at PJ Tatler on Thursday:

Bryan Preston: Texas Governors Race: Tom Pauken Jumps In and Runs a Little to the Right

Bryan Preston: Egypt Death Toll Tops 500; Obama Interrupts Vacation to Speak (Updated)

Bryan Preston: Gallup: Obama’s Approval on the Economy Plummets to 35%

Bryan Preston: Miss Teen USA’s Webcam Gets Hacked, She Gets Blackmailed

Bryan Preston: Hispanic Group Launches Cheeky ‘E-Mail the Constitution’ Campaign

Bryan Preston: What Good Will Canceling Military Exercises with Egypt Do?

Stephen Krusier: Euphemismania: ‘Non-Performing’ Federal Green Tech Loan To Be Auctioned

Victor Davis Hanson: Pictures Do Lie

Bryan Preston: George Will Notices that Obama has Hacked the Constitution

Bryan Preston: Armed Texas Woman Takes On and Defeats Six Thugs

Bridget Johnson: Kerry Needs to Learn How to Prioritize Foreign Policy Problems, Says Chairwoman

Bridget Johnson: Critics of Egypt Aid Pounce, Say Time is Now to Suspend Assistance

Bridget Johnson: Reports from Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s Fresh Assault on Coptic Christians

Bryan Preston: Kremlinology and the NYT’s Hit on the Clinton Foundation

J. Christian Adams: Ideological Purge Urged at Washington Post

Sarah Hoyt: Two Newspapers in One! The Telegraph Gets Confused About Economics!

Bryan Preston: Democrat Filner’s Latest Accuser: A Great-Grandmother

Bryan Preston: Infographic: Gun Sales Up, Gun Crime Down


Bridget Johnson: Hagel Announces New Measures to Counter Sexual Assault; Gillibrand Not Satisfied

Bryan Preston: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star a Victim of New York Hotel’s Intolerant Facial Profiling

Stephen Kruiser: Robbing Peter To Pay Obamacare

Stephen Kruiser: Egypt Burns, Obama Makes Waffles

Stephen Kruiser: Rest Easy, America, the White House Is Getting Solar Panels This Week

Stephen Kruiser: Open Thread: New Carnivore Discovered In Cloud Forests Of Ecuador Hiding From PETA And Michelle Obama

Bryan Preston: WaPo Bombshell: When Obama Said NSA Wasn’t ‘Actually Abusing’ Its Powers, He Was Wrong

It turns out that the NSA did abuse its authority, it hid its abuses from the FISA court, and that court doesn’t even have the resources to oversee the NSA adequately and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. It even literally did listen in on phone calls.


Also Around the Web Thursday:

Via Drudge:

Reuters: Protesters storm Cairo building after bloodbath; Obama cancels war games

CNBC: Soros takes a bite out of Apple after ditching gold

CBS New York: NYPD: 2 Gay Men Attacked Outside Movie Theater In Chelsea

NME: Eminem reveals brand new song ‘Survival’ – listen

At National Review:

Victor Davis Hanson: Don’t Know Much About Geography

When in the state of Hawaii, Obama announced that he was in “Asia.” He lamented that the U.S. Army’s Arabic-language translators assigned to Iraq could better be used in Afghanistan, failing to recognize that Arabic isn’t the language of Afghanistan. And he also apparently thought Austrians speak a language other than German.

The president’s geographical illiteracy is a symptom of the nation’s growing ignorance of once-essential subjects such as geography and history. The former is not taught any more as a required subject in many of our schools and colleges. The latter has often been redefined as race, class, and gender oppression so as to score melodramatic points in the present rather than to learn from the tragedy of the past.

The president in his 2009 Cairo speech credited the European Renaissance and Enlightenment to Islam’s “light of learning” — an exaggeration if not an outright untruth on both counts.

At Mediaite:

Andrew Kirell: Russell Simmons Pisses Off Nearly Everyone with ‘Harriet Tubman Sex Tape’ Video

The video, titled “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape,” revisits the story of Tubman’s efforts to rescue hundreds of slaves by parodying her as having used her sexuality to outsmart slaveowners and obtain freedom for the enslaved. The video shows Tubman engaging in aggressive sex acts with a white plantation owner. “The implication is that the only way Ms. Tubman was able to free so many Black people was for her to sleep with their White plantation owners,” laments NewsOne.

“This our only chance to getting freedoms,” the actress playing Harriet Tubman says when asked by her male counterpart whether their plans will actually work.

The enslaved black man then hides in the closet and waits for the plantation owner to enter the room and proceed to have sex with Tubman. The slave films the bizarre proceedings, which is shown in a parodical way to the audience. Following intercourse, Tubman tells the slaveowner that she has “leverage” and will expose his “Negro-loving ways” using the video her friend just shot.

Andrew Kirell: Conservative Group Wrings Hands Over Fox’s ‘New Pro-Gay Agenda’ Led by Megyn Kelly

Evan McMurry: Olbermann Bashes Ex-Boss Al Gore: ‘A Clod’ Who ‘Underdelivered’

The journeyman news anchor is set to rejoin ESPN, which he left acrimoniously well over a decade ago, and where some reports say he will be contractually forbidden from discussing politics during his late-night anchor slot.

At Slate:

Why Don’t People Want to Read E-books on Tablets?

But Carr’s most intriguing suggestion is that the decline in e-book sales may be somehow due to the concomitant rise of tablet computing. As he explains, “With dedicated readers, pretty much the only thing you can do is buy and read books. With tablets, you have a whole lot of other options.” So readers may be leaving their e-readers behind in favor of multi-functional iPads or Kindle Fires. And there is evidence that tablets are indeed elbowing single-function e-readers out of the market (though it’s far from unequivocal).

But why would this lead to a decline in e-book buying?

The possible connection between an escalation in tablet computing and a decline in e-book sales raises questions about the nature of reading itself. It suggests that the medium through which a book is read somehow influences the reader’s experience.

Why Canned Beer Is Better Than Bottled Beer

How True is The Butler?

So how much of Allen’s real-life experience actually made it into the film?

Not much. According to Daniels’ foreword in The Butler: A Witness to History, a book by Haygood published to accompany the film, the movie “is set against historical events,” but “the title character and his family are fictionalized.” The skeleton of Allen’s story is there: the childhood on a plantation in the early 1920s, the interactions with several presidents. But the names have been changed: Allen and his wife, Helene, are called Cecil and Gloria Gaines. (They’re played by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.) At least one key character, Cecil’s son Louis (David Oyelowo), is entirely made up.

At The Huffington Post:

Why Millions Of Eligible Americans Don’t Sign Up For Food Stamps

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s enrollment has risen from 26 million in 2005 to 47 million today, pushing its annual cost to nearly $80 billion — but costs would be much higher if everyone eligible for benefits actually received them. In fact, contrary to the idea that America’s poor people are collectively gorging themselves on food stamps, they’re actually leaving food on the table.

Roughly a quarter of Americans eligible for federal nutrition assistance don’t sign up for it, according to the most recent data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, says that in fiscal 2010 nearly 51 million Americans were poor enough to qualify but only 38 million received benefits.


Adam Roach, 52, is unable to work because of chronic fatigue and mental disabilities, including bipolar, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. He gets by on $843 in Social Security Disability Insurance and a rent subsidy that helps him afford a one-bedroom efficiency in Falls Church, a Washington suburb. A few years ago Roach also received $33 per month in food stamp benefits, a little more than twice Virginia’s minimum monthly benefit of $16.

The meager amount of assistance, combined with the indignity of seeking help and the hassle of filling out forms, led Roach to give up when it came time to re-certify his poverty with the state, something Virginia SNAP recipients have to do every six months.

“They would ask everything. They wanted all the personal information you could give them about yourself,” Roach said. “I hated it.”

Roach felt frustrated by the Virginia Department of Social Services’ 18-page application form, which asks people seeking benefits a wide range of questions about their income, assets, family situation and expenses — standard information required from nutrition assistance applicants in any state. He particularly disliked a question about whether he owned a burial plot.

“I thought it was very unpleasant,” he said. “A very morbid question.”


At Deadline Hollywood:

Viacom Agrees To Stream Cable Channels On Sony Online Service: WSJ

At the Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: Explosive new book sets out case for impeaching Barack Obama over Benghazi, health care reform, immigration and spying scandals

Obama’s actions, the authors write, include sanctioning an alleged ‘arms-to-jihadist-rebels scheme’ in Benghazi, Libya that ‘aided an Islamist revolution and armed our most dangerous al-Qaeda enemies,’

Those terror groups include al-Qaeda militants fighting alongside Syrian rebels trying to topple dictator Bashar al-Assad.

The now-infamous ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ gun-walking program, as described in the book, was a stealth effort to generate new rationales for limiting U.S. citizens’ purchases of rifles and other long guns. And massive government purchases of handgun ammunition, the authors argue, was an attempt to limit the exercise of Second Amendment rights by ‘dry[ing] up the ammo supply.’

Klein and Elliott – like a growing proportion of Americans, polls show – are dismissive of the Obama administration’s international drone campaign, and question ‘the legality of leading a US-NATO military campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime without congressional approval.’

Mother ‘helped her husband sexually abuse their daughter, 3, and would even hold the child’s hand during it’

The man told detectives when he was arrested that he is a ‘sex addict’ and has gambling problems. He also said he was sexually abused as a child, as did his wife.

The couple would watch porn and have sex in front of the children.

The toddler’s father wrote her an apology letter, which court documents quote.

‘If you’re reading this, I am either dead or in jail. I am not proud of being here.

‘I also was touched as a child and repressed its memory as long as I could. When we moved, that nightmare came back and haunted me and I unfairly took it out on you.

‘I am sorry for what I have done and hope that you have a happy life wherever you end up.’

He also wrote: ‘I know you are going to have a lot of questions as to why this happened and I can’t tell you that at this time, I am not fully sure as to why this happened.

‘Please know that I want the best for you and I am going to get the help I need. My head is not right and hasn’t been for a long time.’

Is this the world’s oldest man? Bolivian herder’s records show he was born in 1890

At The Telegraph:

Teenager commited suicide ‘after being blackmailed on Skype’

 At Defining Ideas:

George P. Schultz: Losing the War on Drugs

As I have thought about this pressing and highly charged issue over the years, my attitude has become considerably more insistent that drug abuse should be treated as a health problem. We should carefully study the experiences of other countries with decriminalization—as distinct from simple legalization—of drugs. And the time has come to have an open, informed discussion and debate about the issues and possibilities associated with this daunting problem.

At Breitbart.Com:

Ben Shapiro: Family Releases Picture of Seven-Year-Old Boston Bombing Amputee

Jane Richard is just seven years old, but she bears the scars of the Boston marathon bombing attack that killed her brother, eight-year-old Martin. She is missing her left leg below the knee. The family has now released a picture of little Jane smiling and standing on her crutches. The picture is a marked contrast with the rock star cover of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev run byRolling Stonethis month.

Hamilton: The Limits of Techno-Determinism

Jobs, the new movie about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has received middling reviews from the critics, yet it’s still a worthy and important film.

Why is that? Because the events depicted in the movie–events that make Jobs look technologically brilliant and commercially visionary, professionally ruthless and personally nasty–were all part of perhaps the most important worldwide narrative of the 20th century: the coming of the Information Age.

Back in 1980, Alvin Toffler published The Third Wave, in which he argued that human history could be summed up in three waves of technological innovation. The first wave, reaching back to the dawn of human civilization, was agriculture. The second, starting about 1700, was industry. The third, beginning in the 1950s, was computers and information technology.

Each of these waves, Toffler argued, brought with it new kinds of social organization. Agricultural societies, for example, were characterized by tradition, hierarchy, and slow economic growth. Industrial societies tended toward centralization, a new mass society, and fast economic growth.

The Information Age, Toffler wrote, would be about decentralization, individualization, and much more rapid economic growth.

Friday Morning Book Reading:

What did Michelle Obama learn about race at Princeton? Page 30 of Richard Miniter’s Leading From Behind:

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Friday Morning News Round Up:

Lead PJM Stories:

Bridget Johnson: Two Dems Warn NSA Violations Just ‘Tip of a Larger Iceberg’

Bryan Preston: New Defense Policy Grants Some Marrying Gay Couples ‘Bonus’ Benefit, May Undermine State Marriage Laws

Nicholas Ballasy: Obama’s Sister: Obamacare a ‘Complicated Law,’ Should Eventually Show ‘Greater Clarity’

Andrew Klavan: What Egyptian Violence Says About Democracy

Beinart, though, is inadvertently raising an issue that really should be addressed more often: the cry of “democracy” as an excuse for oppression.

Democracy is not magic. The “demo-“, remember, stands for people, who are deeply imperfect. Democracy is simply the best method we know of for preserving freedom. When accompanied by a simple and brilliant constitution that restricts government power, guarantees equality under the law, and protects minority rights, democracy has been proven to preserve freedom for, oh, yea about 232 years or so. But when it doesn’t do what it’s meant to do, guess what?

Democracy is no better than any other method of stomping on people.


Patrick Richardson: The Five Pillars of Islam — in Kansas

David P. Goldman: America’s Problems in the Middle East Are Just Beginning

It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran, meanwhile, smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion Airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills a large number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would expect America to denounce the use of violence against a democratically elected government.

Such is the absurdity of both parties’ stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

Richard Fernandez: In Martha’s Vineyard, a Spectator to His Own Presidency

Bryan Preston: WaPo Bombshell: When Obama Said NSA Wasn’t ‘Actually Abusing’ Its Powers, He Was Wrong

Ed Driscoll: Big Media’s How-To Guide for the Obama Era

PJTV’s Afterburner with Bill Whittle: World Gone Mad (Video)

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PJ Lifestyle Featured on the Main Page:

Andrew Klavan: Why Happiness Makes a Lousy Case for Faith

Paula Bolyard: Best Moments from the Season Premier of Duck Dynasty

John Boot: 5 Ways Lee Daniels’ The ButlerRewrites History to Suit Liberals

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New at PJ Lifestyle on Friday:

Charlie Martin: Where’s My Jetpack?

Sarah Hoyt: The Secrets of Area 51 REVEALED!

Chris Queen: A New Way Of Looking At The Civil War

Sarah Hoyt: Where’s My Flying Car?

Kathy Shaidle: Gen X Dream Girl Phoebe Cates Turns 50

Charlie Martin and Sarah Hoyt: Son of Book Plug, Enter the Sasquatch!



New at PJ Tatler on Friday:

Bryan Preston: Clown Bureaucrat Writes Unfunny Denunciation of the Obama Rodeo Clown

Bryan Preston: It’s the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Day of Rage’ in Egypt

Bridget Johnson: Taliban Has the Muslim Brotherhood’s Back

Bryan Preston: [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO] PJ Goes One-On-One with Texas Lt. Gov. Candidate Jerry Patterson

Bridget Johnson: WH: Obama Learning About Egypt Between Golf, Bucolic Bike Ride

Bridget Johnson: RNC Unanimously Passes Resolution Against Partnering with CNN, NBC

Bridget Johnson: Call to Arms Straight from Morsi’s Party: Why We Should Burn Churches

Bryan Preston: Reince Priebus: One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward (Update: Correction)

Bridget Johnson: Under Primary Threat? Go Shoot Something

Bryan Preston: New Terror Threat: Exploding Ka-Boobs

Kidding aside, the thinking is that the terrorists build implants filled with a liquid explosive and implant them into a willing woman or, one supposes, man who won’t mind sporting moobs as his last act of jihad. If he’s wearing a burqa, it’ll all be between himself and his terrorist surgeon. At the appointed time, the bomber either injects themselves with a reacting agent or uses electricity or some other means to detonate their bra bombs.  It wouldn’t take that much of an explosion to blow a hole in an aircraft fuselage and take the plane and its passengers down. That’s what the shoe and underwear bombers were attempting to do. And, one supposes in a general way, if a fellow is willing to put a bomb in his crotch and light the fuse, others would be willing to become killer curves. Islamism is about as sick as it gets, always inventive in designing mayhem.

Bryan Preston: New Defense Policy Grants Some Marrying Gay Couples ‘Bonus’ Benefit, May Undermine State Marriage Laws

Stephen Kruiser: Liberal Media Watchdog That Only Criticizes Fox News Pretends There’s No Media Bias

Stephen Kruiser: Younger Demographic Losing That Obama Feeling

Bryan Preston: Attkisson: FBI Denies FOIA Request for Benghazi Docs

Stephen Kruiser: One GOP Obamacare Alternative

Stephen Kruiser: Team Hillary Gets A Raging Case of the Sensitives

Stephen Kruiser: Friday Open Thread: Tweets Of The Day

J. Christian Adams: Muslim Brotherhood Rioter Sports Obama T-Shirt

Also Around the Web Friday:

Via Drudge:

Christie Will Ease Kids’ Access to Pot With Doctor Notes

At National Review:

Mark Steyn: Idiot Big Brother

Perhaps this is unavoidable. A couple of months back, I quoted Tocqueville’s prescient words from almost two centuries ago: Although absolute monarchy theoretically “clothed kings with a power almost without limits,” in practice “the details of social life and of individual existence ordinarily escaped his control.” In other words, the king couldn’t do it even if he wanted to. What would happen, Tocqueville wondered, if administrative capability were to evolve to bring “the details of social life and of individual existence” within His Majesty’s oversight? That world is now upon us. Today, the king concedes he most certainly can do it, but assures us not to worry, he doesn’t really want to. “If you look at the reports,” said President Obama earlier this month, “even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden’s put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s e-mails. What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused.”

But that was a week ago. And the “prospect” is now a reality: “actual abuse” — including “listening in on people’s phone calls” and “inappropriately reading people’s e-mails” — occurs daily. In early 2012, “actual abuse” was occurring at the rate of ten “incidents” a day — and “incident” is a term of art that can cover hundreds of violations of thousands or even millions of citizens.


Andrew Stiles: Christie vs. the Pauls

At Mediaite:

Noah Rothman: The Hollywood Reporter’s Curious Beatification of Keith Olbermann

There are few who would challenge the notion that Keith Olbermann is a talented broadcaster, butThe Hollywood Reporter‘s coverage of him, which culminated in this most recent profile, would lead you to believe that all of the conflicts have been someone else’s fault and that he has been a principled lamb taken out to slaughter by big bad media companies. That is a notion that a mainstream publication like THR should challenge, but, based on the totality of its Olbermann coverage, likely will never do.

Noah Rothman: Fox & Friends Guest Rails Against ‘Virulent Anti-Semite’ Planning 9/11 Muslim March

“He is a virulent anti-Semite who talks about the 9/11 barbarism being a false flag for a Zionist operation,” Jasser said of Alam. “He’s just a whack job. But, at the end of the day, the silence of other American Muslim organizations in marginalizing him, I think, speaks volumes.”

At Slate:

At Twitchy:

Actresses Ellen Page and Martha Plimpton have had enough of Filthy Filner

At the Daily Mail:

Brave victims of ‘master manipulator’ drama teacher who sexually abused female students via a ‘cult-like theater program’ waive their anonymity to face him down in court

‘It’s not fair that the night before my wedding, I had a nightmare about him,’ she said of Dibble reported the Dispatch.Com

‘It’s not fair that when I woke up on the day of my wedding, he was the first person I thought of.’

Man spends $350,000 at Trader Joe’s in Seattle and resells it at a profit in Vancouver at his Pirate Joe’s

Hallatt usually spends $4,000 to $5,000 in cash a week and previously frequented Bellingham, Washington, but now drives further south to Seattle, Portland and even California. 

He will go to any lengths to get his groceries, one time even cross dressing in a leopard muumuu, earrings and flowered flip-flops but someone called the police.

‘My nail polish was not even dry when three cops showed up,’ Hallatt recalled.

Experts claim Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a strong case suing a Canadian business from the US, particularly as they’re making money out of him.

‘(And) on the flip side, Trader Joe’s is certainly benefiting from Hallatt purchasing the products,’ lawyer Greg Owen told ‘They’re making money off him.’


NSA broke privacy rules THOUSANDS of times a year and hid it from regulators, reveal new documents leaked by Snowden

In what the Post said appeared to be one of the most serious violations, the NSA diverted large volumes of international data passing through fiber-optic cables in the United States into a repository where the material could be stored temporarily for processing and selection.

The operation collected and commingled U.S. and foreign emails, the Post said, citing a top-secret internal NSA newsletter. NSA lawyers told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the agency could not practicably filter out the communications of Americans.

In October 2011, months after the program got underway, the court ruled that the collection effort was unconstitutional.

Via Memeorandum:

The Hill: GOP lawmaker accuses Clinton of lying to lawmakers about Benghazi

Former secretary of State Hillary Clinton shouted at lawmakers and deliberately lied to them in a private meeting about last year’s deadly strike on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Friday.

Speaking on Fox and Friends, Kinzinger said he and other members of Congress had a private meeting with Clinton about the Benghazi attack, and that the she became agitated when someone suggested it might have been a terrorist attack.

“Basically in a very loud angry voice she says, ‘it’s irresponsible to even suggest this is a terrorist attack, this is a YouTube video, we know that there are protests all over and we need to be very careful about how we say this,’ and basically chided this member of Congress,” Kinzinger said.

“I actually sat there in that meeting and said, well the secretary believes this is a YouTube video because of how passionately she’s arguing that,” he continued. “But now we found out … that they knew this whole time that it was a terrorist attack, including when it was happening.”

Michael J. Totten: The Truth About Egypt  —  Egypt looks dodgier than ever right now.

Friday Morning Book Reading

“A woman who is baarri is like a pious slave… If her husband is cruel, if he rapes her and the taunts her about it, if he decides to take another wife, or beats her, she lowers her gaze and hides her tears.” – Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the lives of Somali women, page 12 of her memoir Infidel




See the first six weeks of round-ups:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three


Week Four 

Week Five

Week Six

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