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Pulp Fiction Cover Art of the Day: Black Room Murder in Los Angeles ‘The Lady Regrets’

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“Black Room Murder” (by alittleblackegg)

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First Superman Comic Book Expected to Fetch Millions When it Goes Up for Auction on eBay

A purportedly pristine copy of the first Superman comic book could fetch millions of dollars when it goes up, up and away in an auction at online marketplace eBay.

action_comicsA copy of Action Comics #1 in which the Kryptonian superhero made his debut in 1938 will be offered in an eBay auction that opens on August 14 and run for ten days.

“The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand.”

– CGC primary grader Paul Litch

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the most valuable comic book in existence and we look forward to sharing a piece of pop culture history with the global eBay community of 149 million buyers,” Gene Cook of eBay marketplaces said in a release.

The issue being put on the Internet auction block by collectibles dealer Darren Adams was touted as the “Holy Grail” of comic books and one of as few as 50 unrestored copies in existence. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple agrees to $400 million settlement in ebook price-fixing case

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Apple has agreed to an approximately $400 million settlement as part of the high-profile ebook pricing fixing case in federal court that would cover  consumer consumer damages and civil penalties for the 33 states involved.  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made an announcement today detailing the settlement that was also discovered in documents filed with the courts. Schneiderman noted the amount that Apple will ultimately pay of the $400 million settlement will depend on the outcome of  Apple’s still pending appeal of “the court’s July 2013 finding that Apple violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to artificially raise E-book prices.”:

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Illiteracy in Journalism, continued…

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For The Weekly StandardMark Hemingway writes: Someone I’m related to by marriage has written a superb column on the problem of media ignorance. The fact I’m not a disinterested observer shouldn’t stop me from noting that the column and the event that prompted it has attracted some attention. The piece is pegged to a much discussed interview talk radio star Hugh Hewitt conducted with Zach Carter, the Huffington Post’s “senior political economy reporter.”

[Also see - Mollie Hemingway on Media Illiteracy]

Hewitt asked Carter why he was spouting off various critical opinions related to Dick Cheney and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Certainly, Carter’s not alone here — the rise of ISIS has had liberal journalists queuing up to insist President Obama bears minimal responsibility for the disintegration of the situation in Iraq. Joe Biden bet his vice presidency Iraq would extend the Status of Forces Agreement, and had they not failed, it might well have prevented the current mess. But here we are.

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Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

“The problem is ultimately not Carter’s ignorance. The problem is that we live in an environment where you can become a “senior political economy reporter” for a major news organization at age 28.”

Still, perhaps there are reasons to criticize Cheney and the invasion of Iraq, but the trouble was that Carter couldn’t articulate any of them substantively, and what’s more, Hewitt asked a series of questions establishing that Carter doesn’t even have an acceptable baseline of knowledge to spout off on the topic. Some of the questions, such as whether Carter has read specific books, might seem pedantic. Others seemed to be a pretty basic litmus test about knowledge of al Qaeda and the U.S.’s involvement in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »


Five Marxist Books Katie Pavlich Found at NOW’s National Conference in Chicago

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For TownHall.com, Katie Pavlich writes: Typically people think about the National Organization for Women as a women’s rights group. It isn’t. NOW is a front group for the promotion of socialist and Marxist policies in America and I have proof.

[Check out Katie Pavlich's new book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women at Amazon]assault&flattery-cover

Last year I attended the annual NOW National Conference in Chicago (didn’t go to this year’s conference, I probably would have been kicked out anyway). Here’s a sampling of the material I found while I was there and a short excerpt from my new book Assault and Flattery:

“Marxist teaching is not a tiny fringe part of the modern, militant feminists’ agenda. It is its centerpiece.

From the time of Karl Marx through the 1960s and up until today, the progressive women’s rights movement has hardly been about women’s rights at all but instead about a transformation of American society and the transfer of wealth through government force. Women’s rights have simply acted as a veil to distract away from the true intentions of progressive activists.

Socialist literature sold at the annual NOW conference declares the family system as the origin of female oppression and lays out half a dozen fundamental “errors” of the family…” (read more) Katie Pavlich

1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

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Read the rest of this entry »


Book Rankings: Hillary vs. America

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[PHOTO] Henry Miller with Anaïs Nin

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[Check out the book Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love" - The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932) at Amazon.com]

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[BOOKS] The Poverty of Benevolence

Fifty years of the Great Society have made things worse for blacks, not better.

20140702-fsA half-century ago, the Great Society promised to complete the civil rights revolution by pulling African-Americans into the middle class. Today, a substantial black middle class exists, but its primary function has been, ironically, to provide custodial care to a black underclass—one ever more deeply mired in the pathologies of subsidized poverty.  In Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed”Jason Riley, an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal who grew up in Buffalo, New York, explains how poverty programs have succeeded politically by failing socially. “Today,” writes Riley, “more than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Only 16 percent of black households are married couples with children, the lowest of any racial group in the United States.” Riley attributes the breakdown of the black family to the perverse effects of government social programs, which have created what journalist William Tucker calls “state polygamy.” As depicted in an idyllic 2012 Obama campaign cartoon, “The Life of Julia,” a lifelong relationship with the state offers the sustenance usually provided by two parents in most middle-class families.

“Today, more than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Only 16 percent of black households are married couples with children, the lowest of any racial group in the United States”

For City JournalFred Siegel writes: Riley’s own life experience gives him powerful perspective from which to address these issues. His parents divorced but both remained attentive to him and his two sisters. His sisters, however, were drawn into the sex-and-drug pleasures of inner-city “culture.” By the time he graduated from high school, his older sister was a single mother. By the time he graduated from college, his younger sister had died from a drug overdose. Riley’s nine-year-old niece teased him for “acting white.” “Why you talk white, Uncle Jason?” she wantedplease-stop-helping-book to know. She couldn’t understand why he was “trying to sound so smart.” His black public school teacher similarly mocked his standard English in front of the class. “The reality was,” Riley explains, “that if you were a bookish black kid who placed shared sensibilities above skin color, you probably had a lot of white friends.”

[Check out Jason Riley's book "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed" at Amazon.com]

The compulsory “benevolence” of the welfare state, borne of the supposed expertise of sociologists and social planners, undermined the opportunities opened up by the end of segregation. The great hopes placed in education as a path to the middle class were waylaid by the virulence of a ghetto culture nurtured by family breakdown. Adjusted for inflation, federal per-pupil school spending grew 375 percent from 1970 to 2005, but revolt-massesthe achievement gap between white and black students remained unchanged. Students at historically black colleges and universitiesexplained opinion columnist Bill Maxwell, “did not know what or whom to respect. For many, the rappers Bow Wow and 50 Cent were as important to black achievement as the late Ralph Bunche, the first black to win a Nobel Peace Prize, and Zora Neale Hurston, the great novelist.”

[Also see Fred Siegel's book "The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class" at Amazon.com]

“Why study hard in school,” asks Riley, “if you will be held to a lower academic standard? Why change antisocial behavior when people are willing to reward it, make excuses for it, or even change the law to accommodate it?” Read the rest of this entry »


[BOOKS] F.H. Buckley: ‘The Presidency Has Turned Into an Elective Monarchy’

“Presidentialism is significantly and strongly correlated with less political freedom.”

The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in Americabuckleybook by F.H. Buckley, Encounter Books, 2014, 319 pages, $27.99.

For Reason writes: Try making sense out of what Americans tell pollsters. According to the Pew Research Centerfewer than one in five of us trusts the federal government. Gallup says that nearly three quarters of us consider it “the biggest threat to the country in the future.”

[Check out Buckley's book "The Once and Future King" at Amazon.com]

Yet by equally overwhelming margins, Gallup shows Americans agreeing that “the United States has a unique character because of its history and Constitution that sets it apart from other nations as the greatest in the world.”

[Also see Juan Linz's 1990 article "The Perils of Presidentialism"]

Apparently, we’re disgusted and frightened by our government as it actually operates. And yet we’re convinced that we’ve got the best system ever devised by the mind of man.

On both counts, no one’s more convinced than American conservatives. Few goquite as far toward constitutional idolatry as former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, who earlier this year proclaimed that God “wrote the Constitution.” But the superiority of our national charter, with its separation of powers and independently elected national executive, is an article of faith for conservatives.

It’s about time for some constitutional impiety on the right, and F.H. Buckley answers the call in his bracing and important new book, The Once and Future King. Buckley, a professor of law at George Mason University and a senior editor at The American Spectator, is unmistakably conservative. But that doesn’t stop him from pointing out that America’s not so all-fired exceptional—or from arguing that our Constitution has made key contributions to our national decline. Read the rest of this entry »


New Measure of Literary Unpopularity: ‘The Picketty Index’

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“Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty 

Yes, it came out just three months ago. But the contest isn’t even close. Mr. Piketty’s book is almost 700 pages long, and the last of the top five popular highlights appears on page 26. Stephen Hawking is off the hook; from now on, this measure should be known as the Piketty Index.

So take it easy on yourself, readers, if you don’t finish whatever edifying tome you picked out for vacation. You’re far from alone…

(read moreWSJ


Vintage Book Cover Art of the Day: They Tampered with Eternity ‘The Twisted Men’

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The Rejection Letters: How Publishers Snubbed 11 Great Authors

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For the Telegraph writes: From Gertude Stein and William Burroughs to recent rags-to-riches writers such as JK Rowling and Cassandra Clare, there have been brutal rejection letters to accompany most bestselling novels. Here are extracts from some of them:

1. “Overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian…the whole thing is an unsure cross between hideous reality and improbable fantasy. It often becomes a wild neurotic daydream… I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.”nabakov

Thankfully, for both Vladimir Nabokov and literature as a whole, Lolita wasn’t buried, but published in France after two years of rejections by New York publishers such as Viking, Simon & Schuster, New Directions, Farrar, Straus, and Doubleday. When Graham Greene got hold of it, shortly after its French publication, he reviewed it in The Sunday Times, describing it as “one of the three best books of 1955″.

Despite this, the novel still wasn’t published in the UK until 1957, because the Home Office seized all imported copies and France banned it. When British publishing house Weidenfeld & Nicolson took it on, it was at the cost of Nigel Nicolson‘s political career.

2. “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

One of the 15 publishers who didn’t think The Diary of Anne Frank was worth reading.

3. “First, we must ask, does it have to be a whale?

“While this is a rather delightful, if somewhat esoteric, plot device, we recommend an antagonist with a more popular visage among the younger readers. For instance, could not the Captain be struggling with a depravity towards young, perhaps voluptuous, maidens?”

Herman Melville‘s leviathan novel was rejected, as above, by Peter J Bentley. However, Richard Bentley, of the same London publishing house, eventually offered him a contract in 1851. Moby Dick was published 18 months later than Melville expected and at great personal expense, as he arranged for the typesetting and plating of his book himself to speed up the process. Young, voluptuous maidens never made the final edit.

4. “For your own sake, do not publish this book.”

One publisher turned down D.H. Lawrence‘s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, first published in 1928. Perhaps they had predicted the furore that was unleashed when the full novel did hit the British bookshelves in 1960. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Fund: Eric Holder Shows Unwillingness to Have Investigations of Administrations Wrongdoings

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…check out John’s new book, authored with Heritage’s Hans von SpakovskyObama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department

 NRO


40% discount on Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’


[BOOKS] Graphic Novel ‘Forgotten Man’ Offers a Fresh Look at The New Deal

The Forgotten Man

Liberals often have their way in the realm of entertainment, dominating film, television and music.

Breitbart News reports: The graphic novel realm can also lean left, but that didn’t stop the creators of The Forgotten Man. The new graphic novel, from Amity Shlaes and Paul Rivoche, tackles the Great Depression from a center-right perspective. The black and white book argues that the New Deal effectively prolonged the country’s economic hardships.

[You can order the book "The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition: A New History of the Great Depression" from Amazon]

The duo chatted with Ed Driscoll about their project, and the conversation soon shifted to the culture wars. They argued that liberty loving artists must take a stand with their work…(read moreBreitbart News

[You can also order the book: "A People's History of American Empire" from Amazon]

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Steven F. Hayward: Conservatives & Higher Ed

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A look at what has caused the dearth of conservatives in higher education, and why we should be concerned.

The New Criterion – Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a public lecture delivered to the Center for Western Civilization at the University of Colorado at Boulder last fall upon Steven Hayward’s accession as the inaugural visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy, a three-year pilot project to introduce intellectual diversity to Colorado’s flagship campus.

Steven F. Hayward writes: The social scientist Neil Gross made a splash last year with his book Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?, which, among other things, attempted to refute the claim that conservatives face ideological discrimination in academic hiring. There is some quantitative evidence (with more on the way soon) of ideological discrimination, which Gross grudgingly acknowledges, but he then goes to great lengths to argue that it is vastly overestimated.hayward-book

[Check out Hayward's book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents: From Wilson to Obama" at Amazon.com]

Steve-HaywardHe may be partly right, but not for the reasons his data-rich analysis lays out. Furthermore, Gross does not begin to reach the more important dimensions of the ideological shape of today’s humanities and social science departments that come into play before you even reach the fever swamps of race, class, and gender.

Liberals have pushed back against the charge of ideological discrimination in hiring with an entirely valid point: You guys don’t show up! There simply aren’t many conservative graduate students in the humanities and social sciences.neil-gross-book

[Check out Neil Gross' book "Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care" at Amazon.com]

If the top 200 universities set out to hire a conservative for each of their humanities departments, they’d run out after about 75; in some departments, they might run out of qualified conservative job candidates after about two. And if you can’t find newly minted Ph.D.’s for tenure track jobs, you have to poach the thin ranks of conservatives already in academia somewhere, leading to no net increase in conservative presence in universities. But while liberals can’t be blamed wholly for this, they can be blamed for acquiescing in, when not actively causing, the degradation of the humanities and social sciences in ways make academic track jobs repellent to many intellectual conservatives. Understanding what has taken place requires a three-part analysis. Read the rest of this entry »


The Rise and Fall of the Evangelical Left

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The Fate of Progressive Evangelicalism

Reviewing “Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter” for Books and Culture, Todd C. Ream writes: 

Shirley Hanson had little interest in politics. The suburban Minneapolis homemaker was committed to her family, serving in her local community, and, in particular, serving in her evangelical church. Aghast at the excesses of the late 1960s and early ’70s, she voted for Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972 but then was disillusioned by the Watergate scandal. As the 1976 presidential election approached, she became intrigued with a relative new-comer to national politics, Jimmy Carter. The manner in which his faith was so much a part of his identity compelled her to think anew about her interest and possible involvement in politics.

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When her three children returned to school that fall, Hanson went door-to-door in surrounding neighborhoods to generate votes for Carter. She then watched with considerable satisfaction that November as the peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, was elected as the 39th President of the United States.

[Order the book  "Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter" from Amazon.com]

Fast forward four years. Hanson renounced her support for Carter and cast an impassioned vote for Ronald Reagan. She was not alone in her decision: a grinding recession, gasoline shortages, and a hostage crisis in Iran that deeply wounded American morale left Carter vulnerable.

In Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter, Randall Balmer, a noted commentator on America’s religious past and present who serves on the faculty at Dartmouth College, seeks to make sense of this turn of events, situating Carter in the long arc of progressive evangelicalism and in particular its vicissitudes during the ascendancy of the Religious Right, a period detailed so well by David Swartz in his recent Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism(read more) Books and Culture

Reviewing the book “Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism”, in October 2012, For Christianity Today, Gregory Metzger writes:

In the Iowa caucuses of 1976, The New York Times reported on the surprising impact of a new force in American politics. This force propelled a relative unknown to victory in Iowa and eventually earned him the nomination of his party. The candidate was Jimmy Carter, the party Democratic, and the new political force evangelicals.

Carter’s shocking victory in Iowa would propel him to the Democratic nomination, and in the general election Carter would benefit from the active support of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Jimmy Allen, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, in his defeat of Republican Gerald Ford. Four years later evangelicals would prove to be a key plank in a Religious Right’s effort to defeat Carter and 51WLaHqPc6L._SX140elevate Ronald Reagan to the presidency. A new book tells the dramatic story of the grassroots movements of the evangelical left that formed in the ’60s and ’70s and helped pave the way for Carter’s stunning victory, and explains the forces that would leave those movements in ideological retreat in the ’80s and ’90s. It’s a complicated story told with great skill and clarity by David R. Swartz in Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (University of Pennsylvania Press).

[Order the book Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism from Amazon.com]

Swartz, assistant professor of history at Asbury University, did his studies at Notre Dame under the tutelage of first George Marsden and then Mark Noll, and his writing reflects the decades of careful evangelical scholarship that those two have pioneered. Swartz has produced a must read not only for those interested in American religion and politics, but also for students of global Christianity. In relatively short order (the book’s main text comes in at 266 pages), Swartz gives a richly textured narrative of some of evangelicalism’s brightest thinkers, most creative activists, and most controversial provocateurs. Read the rest of this entry »


The Golden Age Is Now

For all the world’s problems, human beings have never had it better

20140523-yfFor City Journal, Yevgeniy Feyman writes:  Bjørn Lomborg is well-known as a climate “skeptic.” He has frequently voiced concerns that money spent battling climate change could shift scarce resources away from more urgent global problems, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. But the most recent book by the self-proclaimed “skeptical environmentalist” does more than just voice concern; it attempts to evaluate the damage caused by a variety of problems—from climate change to malnutrition to war—and project future costs related to these same issues. In How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World?, Lomborg and a group of economists conclude that, with a few exceptions, the world is richer, freer, healthier, and smarter than it’s ever been. These gains have coincided with the near-universal rejection of statism and the flourishing of capitalist principles. At a time when political figures such as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and religious leaders such as Pope Francis frequently remind us about the evils of unfettered capitalism, this is a worthwhile message.51u6XmYkS-L._SL110_

[Order the book How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?: A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050″ edited by Bjørn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press) from Amazon.com

The doubling of human life expectancy is one of the most remarkable achievements of the past century. Consider, Lomborg writes, that “the twentieth century saw life expectancy rise by about 3 months for every calendar year.” The average child in 1900 could expect to live to just 32 years old; now that same child should make it to 70. This increase came during a century when worldwide economic output, driven by the spread of capitalism and freedom, grew by more than 4,000 percent. These gains occurred in developed and developing countries alike; among men and women; and even in a sense among children, as child mortality plummeted. Read the rest of this entry »


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