Politico Magazine: Derek Robertson- ‘How Howard Schultz Created a Personality Cult at Starbucks’

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Source:Politico Magazine– Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Source:The Daily Review 

I’m not interested in Howard Schultz’s so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it’s a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.

Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they’re not actually speaking to anyone or don’t have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven’t seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.

Coffee house coffee whether it’s Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it’s not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it’s not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.

Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they’re ways of living. It’s a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. “Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they’re in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are.” Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we’ve been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I’ll let be the judge.

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Source:60 Minutes: Scott Pelley- Howard Schultz: When He Was Starbuck’s Star– Howard Schultz, before he was a narcissistic wannabe politician

Graham Brown: Life Is About Choices- We Are What We Choose To Be

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Source:Success Magazine– Great Graham Brown quote

Source:The Daily Review

“Maxime Lacoste-Lebuis and Maude Plante-Husaruk Husaruk, both filmmakers, were researching their upcoming trip to Central Asia when they first heard a man named Raïmberdi talk about plants. “We stumbled upon a French TV program about [Tajikistan] where Raïmberdi had briefly appeared, and we immediately thought he was a very interesting man and that there was definitely more to his story,” Lacoste-Lebuis told The Atlantic.

Months later, the pair arrived in Tajikistan through the deserted region of the Pamir Mountains. “We started inquiring about the old Kyrgyz man who had built his own hydroelectric power station,” Lacoste-Lebuis said. They didn’t know his name, or even whether he was still living. But they got lucky: A German researcher happened to be traveling through the remote area at the same time. He pointed the filmmakers in the right direction.

Lacoste-Lebuis and Plante-Husaruk’s short documentary, The Botanist, is an elegant, meditative portrait of Raïmberdi, his culture, and his life’s work. Raïmberdi descends from a tribe that lived a nomadic lifestyle in a particularly hostile environment. “Therefore, they were completely dependent on the fauna, flora, and climate of the region,” Plante-Husaruk said.

“Old Kyrgyz people knew how to use plants to make herbal remedies for pains and aches,” Raïmberdi says in the film. “I discovered everything about roots, stems, leaves, flowers, etc., and how to use them … Each plant accumulates organic substances its own way.” Read more: The Atlantic

“The Botanist” Husaruk was directed by Maxime Lacoste-Lebuis and Maude Plante-Husaruk. It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.”

From The Atlantic

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Source:The Atlantic– From Atlantic Selects

Anyone who says that they have no regrets or have never made any mistakes, either is bullshitting you to your face and perhaps thinks you’re an idiot as well, or perhaps hasn’t really lived at all. Perhaps spent their entire life in an institution where everything was done for them and was always told what to do. Maybe they spend their entire time in their house and don’t even ever cross the street for fear of falling or getting hit by a car. For someone like this they have to be so cautious and so conservative in the sense that they never take any risks, because they’re always afraid of making mistakes and screwing up.

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Source:Brainy Quote– Great Steve Jobs quote

As Graham Brown says here, “life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt forever. The message: we are what we choose to be.” Being human is about making choices and then living with the consequences of them for good and bad. Enjoying the rewards from the good decisions that we make, but dealing with the consequences for our bad choices. Anyone says they’ve never made a mistake in life and has no regrets, is either bullshitting you and thinks you’re an idiot, or hasn’t lived a life outside of an institution where they’re always told what to do and everything is done for them. Perhaps spent their entire life in a coma. Which is I guess one way to honestly live without regrets. But who the hell wants to live in a coma simply to avoid having regrets and making mistakes?

It’s not about whether we make mistakes in life and life with regrets, but the question is what do we do about it. Do we bitch about life being unfair and too hard, we can’t go on and simply give up not just on life, but ourselves as well, or do we use our regrets and mistakes as learning opportunities. And look at them as opportunities to improve ourselves and look at where we failed and how not to do what we were trying to do there and learn how to do it right the next time so we don’t make the same mistakes again. We all screw up, we’re all wronged at some point in our lives, many times life is unfair and hits us si hard that it almost knocks us out. But as long as we’re alive we’re never knocked out and always have the wheels and power to move forward and to get better. As Graham Brown said we are what we choose to be base on the decisions that we make in life for good and bad.

National Review: Opinion- Victor Davis Hanson: ‘Did 1968 Win The Cultural War?’

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Source:National Review– Grant Park in Chicago in 1968 

Source:The Daily Review

Not sure if 1968 won the Cultural War, simply because I don’t see how a year could win a war. Wars are won by groups of individuals generally countries through their militaries and their people that back them. I’m being a little coy here, but Victor Hanson’s basic point being that did the people from the 1960s especially the late 60s, the young people who were a big part of that era with all of those young Baby Boomers coming of age in the 1960s and graduating high school, starting college and even graduating college in that decade, did those people and the cultural and lifestyles, political views that they represented especially the Hippies, did they win the Cultural War? I believe the obvious answer to that question is yes.

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Source:Townhall Magazine– 1968 demonstrators 

As a Gen-Xer who was born in the mid 1970s and just one generation up from the Baby Boomers, I obviously don’t remember 1968, but that’s only because I wasn’t even born yet. If I were born even in the early 1960s perhaps I would have some memories of that time. So what I have to do to familiar myself with that decade is to listen to, read, and watch the people who were not only alive through that period, not only lived through that period, but were major part of it. The new cultural and lifestyle changes from that decade, all the personal freedom and individualism that came from that decade, the anti-warmovement, the women’s movement, the gay movement, civil rights movement, etc. One of the advantages of history is that you can’t forget it because people are always reporting on it as it happens, but then later on with books and documentaries.

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Source:American Greatness– 1968 demonstrators 

There two main factions in the 1960s cultural movement. One being perhaps the most famous the New-Left socialist revolutionary movement that not only wanted to get America out of the Vietnam War, wanted to fundamentally change how the American economy and government worked. Even in that movement you had at least two factions. The Socialist Revolutionaries lead by groups like The Weather Underground, Students For a Democratic Society and then later in the early and mid 1970s the Symbionese Liberation Army that’s famous for kidnapping San Francisco area heiress Patricia Hearst, who wanted to rob banks to take care of the poor. And then you had the peaceful demonstrators who were part of the anti-warmovement and were simply interested in getting America out of the Vietnam War, but not trying to overthrow the U.S. Government through violence.

The socialist revolutionary nonsense ( tis the season to be generous ) I don’t have much if any respect for as someone who believes in the rule of law and only believe in using violence in self-defense and to protect the innocent. But the Hippies who were growing up in the 1950s and remember that era well who wanted a new life that was different from their parents and grandparents, who wanted to make their own decisions, who loved their families, but didn’t want to be dominated by them and be able to live their own lives even if their parents disapprove of their lifestyles, as a Liberal myself who believes in individualism and free choice, personal freedom I have a lot of respect for that movement.

By not even 1968 but really 1965-66 and perhaps even 63-64, America was changing drastically culturally, racially, and ethnically. The Anglo-Saxon Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle from the 1950s was becoming a thing of the past at least in Real America even if Hollywood was still producing shows that looked like they were from 1955. Instead of the husband walking in the door every night and saying, “honey, I’m home!” with his devoted wife staying, “hi dear, how was your day?” having his paper and favorite drink ready for him, the woman in many cases was just getting home from work herself. Because you had these Baby Boom Hippies and lot of them women who didn’t want’t to be housewives and in some cases didn’t want to get married or even have kids. Who instead wanted to go to college, get a degree and start their own lives and be independent with the same freedom that the men have.

The so-called Cultural War from back then and today are fought by two factions. The Christian-Right, who believe the 1950s was the golden age for America and who’ve been trying to get every single American into some national time machine and take us all back to that 1950s Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle. And the New Americans ( let’s call them ) who believe that Americans should be free to be Americans, who are a very diverse people racially, ethnically, religiously, and culturally who believe Americans should be free to be Americans and make their own lifestyle and cultural decisions. Even if that offends people who are a lot more conservative religiously. And the New Americans having been winning this Cultural War really since the 1970s at least with all the personal freedom that Americans have today.

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Source:Black Pigeon Speaks: ‘The Left Won The Cultural War: Here’s Why’– The Blaze’s Tomi Lahren

TIME Magazine: Chris Bailey- ‘Why Being Lazy is Actually Good For You’

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Source:TIME Magazine– The good lazy?

Source:TIME Magazine: Chris Bailey- ‘Why Being Lazy is Actually Good For You’

I see the point that Chris Bailey is making here. He’s not arguing that people should sit on their asses and do nothing all day expect to pick up their I-Phone to order pizza or other takeout, including groceries and then sit on the couch and watch TV all day. And then after we do that for a few months, we’re now sitting on our fat lazy asses unless we run out of money and decide to become productive again and go back to work. If he was arguing that, I would have no respect for that argument.

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Source:TIME Magazine– Overworked?

What Bailey is arguing here is that of course people should work and productive with their day and their time, but that we shouldn’t be consumed with those activities and make time to just chill-ax. There’s time for work and then there’s free time to do nothing that’s work and substantive. When you’re sitting on your couch watching a movie or just watching the tube, you should just be doing that. Perhaps eating as well and hanging out with your wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend or friends, family, but not hanging with just yourself or your people while also working, flipping through your iPhone or computer. That there’s work time and then there’s free time and that you shouldn’t combine the two.

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Source:Now Let’s Going– From Chris Bailey 

I’m sort of the opposite of Chris Bailey on this, but I think I’m getting better. I work at home in my office and I write one blog article a week, but when I’m not doing that I’, doing other things that are related to my blog. Like looking for other things to blog about for the next coming weeks. updating older posts, doing research for future posts, talking to other people about what I’ve written and what I’m going to write about in the future. And as I’m doing this I got the news on as I’m working in my office to keep up with what’s going on during the day and seeing if there is anything else I should be commenting on for that day.

And then when I’m done for the day which now is around 9PM sometimes 7 nights a week, but as I said earlier I’m getting better at this and no longer working pass 11 five nights a week, I’m ready for dinner and just sitting back and watching the tube. Which is generally the news and hearing about what happened that day and what’s the most important stories for that day. What I’m working on now is once my workday is over and I’m ready for dinner is to turn off the news all together and just watch movies or classic TV, documentaries and sports that have nothing to do with what I’m working on or about to start working on. What I’m trying to do is completely separate my workday from my free nights and time in general and leave the news for the rest of the world and get back into it when I’m back at my desk the next day.

As great as new technology has been without how convenient it makes life for so many people, to also has at least two negative affects. It makes people obsessed with new technology because of how cool it is and how tied it has become to pop culture. The more you’re into new technology and the more knowledgeable you are about new tech, the cooler you are and since we have so many people obsessed with pop culture and being seen as cool and we have so many faddists in America now, we also have a lot more lazy people in the bad sense, because we have so many people that don’t think for themselves. Who are experts on the superficial like who their favorite celebrity is dating, what rehab they’re at, or why they’re in jail, what’s the latest i-Phone, when it’s coming out, what you have to do to be one of the first 5 people to purchase it so you can share that on Facebook, like you just won the lottery or something.

And because of this we have a lot of lazy people in the bad sense that they don’t think for themselves, because they’re so into to what’s the latest fad and being seen doing whatever the latest fad is and right now one of those fads is not just having the latest i-Phone, but being on it all the time. People don’t even watch football games or movies anymore without staring at their i-Phone while they’re doing that. Because they feel the need to respond to every single text when as soon as they get it, or someone else’s Facebook update or tweet, or responding to what someone else to said on their favorite social network. We have so many people who simply can’t relax, because they’re mind is always focused on several different things at one point. Even when they’re just watching a ballgame or movie, having out at their coffee house, they got multiple things going on with them at the same time.

Myself, I would like to work 8-10 hours a day or even more, but when work is over it’s really over and I don’t even feel the need to tweet a photo or plus it on Google+, or Facebook about what I’m doing after work. I would like to give up my social network habit even on my phone once I’m done with work during the day and just eat a good meal and enjoy a good movie or documentary, classic TV before I need to go to bed and be ready for the next day. It would be nice to take Saturday and Sunday completely off and not doing anything work related then, but even when I’m on vacation I actually need to be doing some work because I’m a blogger and get a lot of email. That’s just the life of a blogger and perhaps anyone who works in the media at all. But during the day, bike ride, work, and then be free at night and live the good lazy life. Not the the life of a lazy ass, which is different.

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Source:Seeker: Julian Huguet- ‘Why Laziness Can Be A Good Thing’– Bad lazy?

Vanity Fair: How NYC’s Richest Socialites Were Scammed By Anna Delvey

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Source:Vanity Fair– Great question!

Source:The Daily Review

If you’re familiar with The Billionaire Boys Club that was lead by Joe Hunt in the early and mid 1980s that was based on Los Angeles, the Anna Delvey story should sound familiar. Except that Anna Delvey was not an investor not even a fake investor like the BBC and Delvey hasn’t murdered and spending the rest of her life in prison. What’s she’s apparently guilty of is scamming rich New Yorkers out of their money. Looks like she was supporting herself by just hanging out and partying with rich New Yorkers. With not a real job or income of her own.

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Source:The Cut– Anna Delvey

What she does have in common with Joe Hunt and the BBC is this need to be seen with what’s known as the beautiful people. Very attractive, sexy successful, hip yuppies in New York who have the best of everything when it comes to material. The best looking and most expensive clothing, best homes, cars, go to the best restaurants, hang out and party with the most popular people, as is she’s part of this crowd and his also a very successful yuppie in New York as well. When the fact the only thing she has in common with these people is a need to be seen living this lifestyle with these people. But someone on her own would struggle to pay for gas in her car and pay for a motel room at the Motel Six or some other place. Perhaps Bob’s Motel and Diner in New Brunswick, New Jersey or whatever the location.

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Source:The Cut– Anna Delvey on the right and a friend?

The main problem that Ann Delvey had is that she had first class expensive taste, but with an income that couldn’t even pay for a coach seat. The way she paid for her first class lifestyle was by convincing some I guess some seriously gullible New Yorkers that she was also very successful and wealthy on her own. Perhaps these people believe in Santa Clause as well and not sure about who murdered President John Kennedy. You would think people for their educational and professional backgrounds, would be smart enough to not get fooled by someone like this. And just see her as a wannabe celebrity party girl, groupie ( to use another term ) and just blow her off, but that didn’t happen here.

Vanity Fair: How NYC’s Richest Socialites Were Scammed By Anna Delvey

ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Burt Reynolds: 12/02/1980

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Source: ABC– Actor/comedian Burt Reynolds 

Source: The Daily Review

Burt Reynolds, sharing a great story about fame and what the movie executive he was talking to about the kind of money that he could make for his movies. And this meeting must have happened in the 1970s perhaps even before Smokey and The Bandit which came out in 1977. With the movie executive telling Burt that he could make a million dollars for each movie that he does.

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Source: ABC– ABC News anchor and correspondent Barbara Walters 

If you go back to 1970 and what million dollars was then it would be 6.5 million dollars today. Today a million dollars for a movie would be a great living for most people who aren’t shopaholics, or alcoholics, addicted to illegal narcotics, don’t have multiple wives and families, aren’t gambling or adrenaline junkies, and are fairly responsible with their income. But back then that would be an insane amount of money. It would mean you would only have to do one movie a year and not even have to do any work for the rest of the year and maybe just appear on TV shows and do interviews with the rest of your time.

And this guy telling Burt that he could make all of this money simply for acting in movies and Burt reacting like he just won a 100 million dollar lottery or something, perhaps without even playing the lottery and has all of this money that’s now coming to him and he simply can’t believe it and doesn’t know how to respond to it. So he does what any other normal person would or perhaps just Burt Reynolds and he hyperventilates over it. As crazy as this may sound, actors are also humans and not everything they do is acting. They have the same emotions and reactions that everyone else does and perhaps they just hide them better or in Burt Reynolds case perhaps not as well. Telling someone who came from a humble beginning that Burt came from and that they could make so much money simply from acting, would catch a lot of people off guard even the best actors like Burt Reynolds.

ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Burt Reynolds: 12/02/1980

Skeptic Magazine: Rachel Bloom- How Rachel Bloom Became a Card-Carrying Skeptic

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Source: Skeptic Magazine– Comedian Rachel Bloom 

Source:The Daily Review

I believe anyone who is a realist and just doesn’t call themselves a realist because they have some need to have people believed they’re smarter and more advanced than they really are, but literally lives by the attitude or practice of accepting situations for what they are and not over or underplaying things, but seeing everything for what it is based on the best available information at the time, is not just going to be a skeptic but a natural skeptic. As well as one of the least romantic people you’ll ever meet. Not a bad person, necessarily but not someone who doesn’t have big dreams generally.

A skeptic is Probably not a fan of romantic comedies and certainly not romance novels and not someone you want to spend a day watching a holiday movie marathon of romantic comedies on The Hallmark Channel or some other network. Not someone who is going to say, “dreams really do come true.” But instead will be the person that not just tells you what they know and what they’re thinking and will kick your butt verbally when you need it because they’ll tell you when you screwed up and perhaps tell you how you can fix the problem or problems. They’ll tell you what you don’t want to hear, because they know its medicine that you need to know to improve yourself.

According to Wikipedia- skepticism is generally any questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief. A skeptic will be the last person who is going to get screwed over by someone or something, because the skeptic doesn’t automatically take everything that they hear from someone else at face value. “That person must be telling the truth because they would’t hurt me or are not stupid.” Really? That might be true but if that person just happens to tell the same thing to a skeptic, the skeptic won’t automatically take whatever that person said at face value, especially if what that person said doesn’t match up very well with reality. Doesn’t match up with the best available facts and evidence on the ground.

I believe skeptics are people who have generally been screwed over by others in the past and simply hate that feeling to the point that they don’t want that to happen to them again. So a wealthy man lets say who perhaps isn’t the best looking man around who has a history of being involved with beautiful sexy women who later get a lot of money and other property from the man and perhaps even win judgements against the man, that guy especially if they’re still a wealthy man even after dating all the gold diggers, will have hopefully have learned their lesson. Especially after already being played by 3-5 gold diggers in the past and will think long and hard about getting involved with another beautiful sexy woman in the future, especially a younger woman and make preparations in the future. Especially if that guy already has kids who are grown up.

Now, someone who doesn’t have a history of being screwed over but has been very skeptical all along just from being on Planet Earth especially in America and knowing that there are a lot of Americans who want the truth to be better than it is, as well as having a habit for telling people what they want to know instead of whatever the truth is, that is the person that you want to get to know. Even if you do love romance and even romantic comedies and holiday movies, because you’ll always know where that person is emotionally, what they’re thinking because they’ll tell you. And you’ll end up learning a lot from that person. You also might come down with a case of depression, because a lot of news in the world and what’s going on can be tough to hear. But if you’re a mentally healthy intelligent person, you’ll not only get a lot from that person but be able to handle that information as well.

I’m not saying people should be negative or positive, optimistic or pessimistic. I’m saying they should be real and always live on Planet Earth. Unless they’re an astronaut and then I guess there will be times when they leave the real world. But seriously, always know what’s going on so you can make the best available decisions and adjustments that you possibly can. The three most valuable tools that any person can have in life are their health, time, and information. Without your health, you really can’t do anything and you might not even be conscience anyway. Without time, well you can’t do anything either because you’re always out of time.

But without valuable credible information even if you’re healthy and manage your time well, you’re going to make a lot of mistake simply because you don’t know what the hell your’e doing. A person that Rachel Bloom might call can asshole. Someone who is skeptical or is a skeptic, will simply make the best decisions they possibly can because they’re always operating under the best information. Thats all.

Skeptic Magazine: Rachel Bloom- How Rachel Bloom Became a Card-Carrying Skeptic

AlterNet: Opinion- Liz Posner: ‘8 Things That Are Probably True About You if You Identify As Spiritual But Not Religious’

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Source: AlterNet

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

When I hear someone tell me that they’re spiritual, but not religious, my first reaction if I’m not smirking is something generally like, “really?”

Someone who is religious believes in a God who is a superhuman controlling power and a belief in something greater than them self.

Someone who is self-described as spiritual, but not religious is someone who believes in the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul, as opposed to material or physical things. Sort of sounds like the definition of a Socialist, but that might be for a different discussion. According to Wikipedia the term spirituality originally developed within early Christianity.

Someone who is religious is also spiritual. I mean, what do you think houses of worship are for. You could be someone who practices a certain religion but doesn’t believe in God or is simply neutral when it comes to God like an Agnostic and be spiritual in that way. There’s this growing movement with young people (meaning Millennial’s) who don’t want to be religious or at least seen as religious with people they hangout with or respect, because they believe those people will think they’re not cool or something, but they also don’t want to be identified as Atheists either. So they try to thread the needle (so to speak) and self-identify as spiritual.

Spirituality is very common and popular with hipsters especially in Hollywood who believe religion is not cool, or at least their followers believe religion is not cool, but they’re not comfortable identifying themselves as Atheists, because they come from religious families or perhaps just don’t want to be known as an Atheist. In case it isn’t obvious, Hollywood is about perception and not reality. Style over substance, which is something that they have in common with politicians.

If someone tells me they’re an Atheist, I can respect that. I mean really, who can honestly actually say they’ve seen God before, let alone met the man. I mean, we don’t see any sightings of Jesus Christ, or Moses, or Allah, except maybe around Halloween.

Its the fundamentalist Atheists who I have a problem with who look down upon people who are religious simply because they’re religious. Or the faux Atheists who claim to be Atheists, but only critique Christianity especially fundamentalist Protestant Christianity because of hard-core stances that Evangelicals take on social issues and bigotry that they show against gays and other religions, women’s place in the world, but never critique other religions that have similar, if not identical stances on the same issues.

Or so-called Atheists who label people as bigots even when they accurately critique Muslims for their regressive views on the same social issues that Evangelicals are known for having. And of course I’m talking about how the so-called politically correct Far-Left went after Bill Maher a few years ago for his stances against Islam. Bill Maher is a real Atheist and doesn’t just call himself to sound cool with hipsters.

I’m an Agnostic myself simply because I don’t know if there is a God or not. As a Liberal I base all my political beliefs as well as non-political beliefs on reason, evidence, and facts. Instead of having faith in some so-called higher being who supposedly always has my best interest at heart. Even though I never met this supposed person. And I’m someone who tends to not have faith in things or people, unless there’s good reason and evidence to have faith. But just because you don’t know that there is a God, doesn’t mean you know there isn’t a God. Which is where I separate from Atheists.

A big problem with America especially with young people (I know I sound like a grandfather now) is faddism. This need to be seen following whatever the current trend is especially with whatever fad young cool people are following. If walking down the street or showing up to work wearing nothing but a t-shirt, underwear, and cowboy boots, became a regular thing with whoever the current hot celebrities are supposed to be, you would see thousands if not millions of young Americans doing the same thing. And we would probably see a spike in the unemployment rate as a result, at least with young adults, because those people would get fired right on the spot for completely breaking the company dress code. Spirituality along with Scientology, is a Hollywood hipster fad and when its no longer seen as cool is when it will disappear. But not a movement that I respect or even take seriously.

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Source:

John Birch Society: Opinion- John F. McManus: ‘Hugh Hefner and Moral Decline’- Hugh Hefner: A Champion For Individualism

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Source: John Birch Society

Source: John Birch Society: Opinion- John F. McManus: Hugh Hefner and Moral Decline

Similar to Hugh Hefner like Ayn Rand, is an example of why the Far-Left and Far-Right in America are like an arguing fighting married couple who you would think are bitter enemies out the door headed for divorce when you see them, but who actually love each other. Similar to Al and Peggy Bundy, from the great sitcom Married With Children. Or Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, from the great movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The Far-Right and Far-Left have both Ayn Rand and Hugh Hefner in common, as far as people they both not just oppose, but hate.

Hugh Hefner represents what the Christian-Right and now Christian-Nationalists on the Far-Right and the Socialist-Left and in some cases now Communist-Left, hate about about America which is individualism and personal freedom. The ability for one to pick their own lot in life and live with their own decisions. Chart their own course in life and live the way they choose, not how Big Government decides for them, because they believe people are too stupid to make their own decisions. And that free adults are essentially children and mental patients, without the knowledge and judgment to make their own decisions in life.

I mean, H\ugh Hefner created Playboy Magazine. He didn’t create the lifestyle, but he made it mainstream, along with the Baby Boom Generation and the 1960s. Pre-Hefner and Playboy, America was still the 1950s Father Knows Best, honey, I’m home! America! Where Dad of course worked and where Mom stayed home. Women of course were allowed to work in America, but could be denied employment simply because of their gender, or lose their husband if they choose to enter the outside workforce.

Thanks to Hefner and others, in the 196os Americans finally saw the memo that America is about freedom and the individual. That Americans can actually make their own decisions in life and not have to live in Big Bother’s basement anymore and go out in the world and decide for themselves how to live and what the American Dream means for them.

That men didn’t necessarily have to get married, nor did women. That men and women didn’t even have to get married in order to have kids. That they could actually do those things together without getting married. Even if the Christian-Right labeled their kids as bastards. That women could build careers for them and then perhaps later on if they met the right man and wanted to, they could settle down and have kids. Instead of setting out to get married and have kids and soon as they’re out of college.

Not saying I approve of Hugh Hefner’s lifestyle and that lifestyle isn’t for men. But what’s great about America along with our diversity and equal rights and what actually makes America exceptional is our individualism. The right for free adults to be themselves. That even porn freaks and men who can’t get it up in a traditional way and fine just one beautiful sexy woman boring, have a place in America.

And of course the Far-Left hates Hefner not just because of his individualism and the personal freedom that millions of men and women in America finally felt that they had, but they believed Hefner was an exploiter of women because of the pornography that his magazine represented and even produced. Apparently unaware that American women actually have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to get involved, or in bed even with someone like Hefner and pose for playboy and other pornographic publications, or decide not to. I guess the Far-Left as much as they claim to be champions of feminism, apparently see American women actually as stupid and not able to make these decisions for themselves.

Hugh Hefner and Playboy, represent choice in America. The freedom for people to choose their own course and life and make their own choices. You don’t like pornography, don’t associate with it and keep your kids away from it. Freedom and responsibility, instead of Big Government making these very personal decisions for everyone else. Similar to guns in America, you don’t prosecute people for having guns, but shooting innocent people with those guns. Well similar to pornography and the playboy lifestyle, you don’t prosecute people simply for living a non-traditional lifestyle. You prosecute people when they hurt innocent people with what they’re doing. Rape being and sexual assault, being excellent examples.

And of course the Christian-Right would argue that Americans have a right to self-defense under the 2nd Amendment. And I agree with that . And they would also argue we don’t have a right to pornography and to live our own lifestyles as we choose. Well, we do have the First Amendment which covers free speech and expression, free press. And we also have a right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, as well as property rights under the Fifth Amendments. All three of these amendments cover a lot of ground and give Americans a lot of freedom to make their own personal decisions in life. And with that freedom also comes a lot of responsibility. Individualism, personal freedom, and responsibility, is what I believe Hugh Hefner represents.

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Source: Scott Bradley Common Sense: Hugh Hefner and a Moral and Religious People

Vanity Fair: David Friend- Monica Lewinsky Opens Up About The Year That Changed Politics & Her Life Forever

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Source: Vanity Fair

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Looking back at it now twenty years later (think about that for a second) the difference between the 1960s especially the early 1960s with President John F. Kennedy and the 1990s with President William J. Clinton, has to do with the internet age and media culture. The personal scandals that Bill Clinton was involved both real and fake in the 1980s and 1990s, aren’t that different in seriousness from the real scandals that President John Kennedy was involved with in the early 1960s.

President Clinton, had a short-term affair with a White House intern. President Kennedy, had affairs with mob girlfriends, women who were still involved with their mobster boyfriends and would then tell those men about their involvement with President Kennedy. Judith Campbell was one of President Kennedy’s White House girlfriends. She was Italian mobster’s Sam Giacana’s girlfriend as well. Bill Clinton while as Governor of Arkansas in the 1970s and 1980s, had an extra marital affair with former model and now writer Gennifer Flowers. Jack Kennedy when he was Senator Kennedy in the 1950s and after he married his wife Jackie, had multiple affairs with multiple women, which continued while he was President in the early 1960s.

So what’s the difference between the affairs that Jack Kennedy had in the 1960s and the affairs that Governor and later President Bill Clinton had in the 1980s and 1990s? Only one difference really which is the media.

If you wanted to watch TV back in lets say 1963, you had three channels to choose from. In some big markets maybe there would be an independent station that wasn’t affiliated with CBS, NBC, or ABC. PBS didn’t even come around until the late 1960s. Forget about satellite, there wasn’t even cable. You wanted to read a newspaper of magazine, you had to subscribe to one and it would be mailed to you physically, not electronically and you would probably get it once a week. Same thing with a newspaper but it would be sent to you everyday. Or I guess you could actually leave the cocoon of your house and get some fresh air and go down to your local convenient store and pick up a magazine or newspaper.

You could also get news on the radio and have serval choices there. Cable TV and satellite, didn’t come around until the mid 1970s. And probably wasn’t universal until the mid or late 1980s. The internet, what the hell is that back in 1963. That didn’t come around until the early 1990s and wasn’t mainstream until 1995. Smartphones unless you include Blackberrys, have only been around since 2007.

My point here is (and yes I have a point) is the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton affair of the mid and late 1990s, was not new at least as far as how serious it was. Yes, both people especially President Bill Clinton who is old enough to be Monica’s father and of course was married, but then the fact that he’s President of the United States having a White House affair with a 20 somethingWhite House intern, showed horrible judgment here and have been paying a price for it ever since. The difference being is that we knew about everything that Bill Clinton was involved with by late 1991 and certainly into 1992 and for his whole presidency, because of new technology and the information age.

No longer just network news, radio, and the newspapers. Not just 24 hour news networks, but online publications (that we call blogs today) Americans simply having the ability to find out everything that they wanted to find out whenever they wanted to by only having a laptop or desktop, or a smartphone. As well as a new media culture that instead is run by lets gets the truth before we put it out, even if that takes longer, is now about having to get something out there before their competitors do, or it will cost them money. Especially ratings and advertising. Not sure that attitude has dominated network news as much as cable news and online publications, but others probably know that better than me.

Not saying the Clinton-Lewinsky affair wasn’t serious and shouldn’t have been paid attention to. How serious it was and what should’ve been the consequences for it, are really up to the people involved especially the people who were directly hurt by it. Most notably Bill Clinton’t wife and daughter. And to a certain extent President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky herself. Not by some religious cult thats from the 1950s and got caught in some Star Trek time warp and suddenly finding themselves living in the 1990s and deciding that since they’re now in the 90s that they’re going to not only bring their lifestyle and culture with them, but try to force every other American to live like them. And of course I’m referring to the Clinton haters that Hillary Clinton correctly labeled the vast right-wing conspiracy.

My point is what happened between Bill and Monica, is not much more serious and consequential if at all to the political and sexual affairs of the 1960s. What made Bill and Monica and different is the time and technology in which their affair happened.

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Source: TED Monica Lewinsky: The Price of Shame