The Bookworm Beat — A little of this and a little of that (and an Open Thread)

Woman writingWe are at sixes and sevens today. Our house guest arrives and my twice monthly cleaning service. Between the two, we’ve purged the house of as much extraneous material as possible. I swear that, if you could put my house on a scale, it would weigh substantially less. There’s still much more I’d like to get rid of, but I’m happy for now.

Even rich people can be broke

I’m still reeling a bit from Robin Williams’ death. I didn’t know him, of course, but I saw him so often, including several live appearances, that he seemed much more real to me than the average Hollywood star. I also found exceptionally sad that money woes worsened his depression. It’s a reminder that, even if you have a $35 million dollar ranch, as long as your debts exceed your assets, you’re still poor. There’s a lesson there for individuals and nations. My great-grandfather, a banker, was wont to say “the man without debts is the richest man of all.”

Will anyone prosecute Hamas for war crimes

William Levinson has decided to stop waiting for others to act and has acted himself. He is filing a formal complaint against Hamas for war crimes.

Hillary’s posturing on Iraq shouldn’t feel fool anyone (but probably will anyway)

Too lazy and too rushed to look up links, but I find it hard to take Hillary seriously as a hard-liner against ISIS. She, after all, was the Secretary of State when the Obama administration pulled all troops out of Iraq. Pulling troops out, obviously, was mechanically a Department of Defense operation, but our relationship with other nations was Hillary’s responsibility. Her record as Secretary of State is a series of useless photo ops punctuated intermittently by appalling mistakes, ranging from the “reset” with Russia; to her criminal and moral negligence regarding Benghazi; to her willingness to preside over America’s abandonment of Iraq.

The only thing that worries me is that the American people will give her a pass. Yes, I know the media will, but really! How dumb do Americans have to be to forget history that happened in just the past few years? As Andrew Klavan wrote, it’s the American people who first elected Obama and then re-elected Obama. As a nation, you tend to get what you deserve.

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  • qr4j

    Ms. Book, you express my thoughts on Hillary quite well — accurately and succinctly. If she believed Obama to be wrong on Syria, ISIS, Iraq, etc., why didn’t she submit her resignation and refuse to go along to get along? Hillary, in the recent Atlantic Monthly interview (I believe it was), spoke of principles. Where were hers?

    People with limited resources may be put in difficult situations regarding their principles. Do I do what is right and risk losing my job and therefore my ability to live? Or do I do what is right and consequences be damned? (Usually there is a less black-and-white way to handle situations, I believe.)

    Hillary had no reason even to consider her resources. She’s stinking rich compared to most Americans! And she’s FILTHY stinking rich compared to most people in the world!

    Her criticism of Obama’s handling of foreign crises may be accurate. But they are disingenuous. She’s discovered CONVENIENT truths and now she can CONVENIENTLY lie about her past. Lovely! Just lovely!

    • Ymarsakar

      Feinstein is also making money by re directing military contracts to her husband’s owned assets.

      Their cry against the Military Industrial complex is solely to get rid of the competition, like A10 aircraft. They need the money to wage war on America.

  • Ymarsakar

    “Hillary’s posturing on Iraq shouldn’t feel anyone (but probably will anyway)”

    Typo alert, I think the word you want is “fool” not feel.

  • JKB

    “the man without debts is the richest man of all.”

    He is also the freest.

    Even if your creditor is benign, the debt controls you and hangs over you.

  • Libby

    “”…it’s the American people who first elected Obama and then re-elected Obama. As a nation, you tend to get what you deserve.”

    I’m not buying that Obama was legitimately elected in 2012. Not will all of the IRS shenanigans, etc. I don’t think we deserved to get another 4 years – it was engineered for us. Not sure we’ll get a clean election in 2016 thanks to Holder’s quest to destroy Voter ID laws, Obama’s mass immigration, etc.

    • Ymarsakar

      America’s elections serve the same purpose as Saddam Hussein’s. 97% of DC voted Hussein, after all.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Sadly, Libby, I readily concur with your points. I am not nearly as optimistic as my fellow conservatives seem to be.

  • Caped Crusader

    “My great-grandfather, a banker, was wont to say “the man without debts is the richest man of all.”

    Gee whiz, I’ve been rich since 1974 and didn’t even know it Thanks, I needed that! I hope your grandfather was right!

  • David Foster

    (open thread) Just reviewed a novel that some here might enjoy. The premise is that a feminist professor of literature, who is an expert in English industrial novels (Elizabeth Gaskell, for example) is enrolled in a program requiring her to spend Wednesdays with the managing director of an old metalworking plant. Review is here:

  • Ymarsakar

    Originally having money meant economic independence. People couldn’t make you afraid by withdrawing their patronage or using their assets against you or your family.

    Humans being humans, money doesn’t usually satisfy all the emotional or ancillary issues in life, because of how it is used. People become dependent upon income, rather than using riches to change themselves. Instead they use money to Change the World, and based precisely on that, they fall into darkness.

    A debt merely means you are beholden to another will outside your own, much as foreign nations dislike American aid or military protection but make use of it since it is easier than the alternative. There are strings attached though. Having money does not equal being independent, but an independent Will can veritably use money to form the foundation of power.

  • Libby

    Richard Fernandez has written (yet another) excellent post: A Ringside Seat to Our Own Destruction.

    Read he top-rated comments from both “Wretchard” (Fernandez) and Dr. Sanity ( I so wish she were still blogging). Iit’s a bit depressing, but still a good read,

    • Ymarsakar

      Indeed, it’ll be a seat.


    To Have and Have Not.
    Lauren Bacall died today, just a month shy of her 90th birthday.

  • Charles Martel

    Unfair, Sadie. I am sick of cleaning up the scorch marks on my living room walls, my eyes, and my libido whenever I watch that scene. It would have been something to be in a movie theater when an audience first saw Bacall deliver those lines. Whooee, talk about a great first impression.

  • Earl

    Shameless Plug (and if someone else has already mentioned this – sorry): If YOU have trouble with debt, regardless of your income, there is help. Dave Ramsey went bankrupt in his 20s, despite a multi-million dollar real estate “empire”.

    He reinvented himself as a financial adviser and has spent the last 20 years teaching people how to be successful with money. “Debt is dumb, Cash is king, and the paid-up home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status-symbol of choice.” to change your life for the better.