The Bookworm Beat — August 16 Saturday Night Special

Woman writingYesterday, the phone or the doorbell rang every 10-20 minutes all afternoon and evening. We had a rotating cast of characters for dinner, one of my dogs hid for the day, and the other dog barked itself into laryngitis. I have no complaints, as I like a social house, but there’s a lot to be said for just a little less sociability.

Today has been relatively quiet, so I was able to do six loads of laundry and take care of a good 300 emails. I still have my snail-mail inbox to clear out, but overall I feel remarkably productive. The dogs are happy too.

I don’t know if a review of the news will result in any happiness, but it’s still a task I feel compelled to perform.

Ferguson reveals seemingly intractable problems in modern American cities

The more I read about events in Ferguson, the more I know that two principles I hold are correct, even though I don’t know how much either principle applies to the specific events in Ferguson. The first principle is that the police are and should be people’s servants, not their military masters.

Separating military and police

The second principle is that the “wilding” that blacks turn to when the police offend them solves nothing about their dismal situation throughout America’s Democrat-controlled cities, but definitely makes it reasonable for police to seek protection behind military gear.

Police brutality and Slim Jims

This is a nasty chicken and egg dance, with blacks complaining (illogically, but it still drives their behavior) that police brutality drives them to resist arrest and run riot through cities, effectively destroying their own communities, and police complaining (more credibly) that with blacks running riot, the only way a sane person would become a police officer is to bury himself behind massive armor and weaponry.

Mark Steyn certainly finds much to blame on both sides of the dispute raging between Ferguson’s blacks and its police force.

Even as cops and blacks blame each other, both should be blaming Democrat/Progressive Big City politics

The only place that neither blacks nor police are looking in order to place blame is the one place that ought to be blamed: The urban Democrat/Progressive political machine. Kevin D. Williamson, who has traveled to most of America’s major cities, the vast majority of which are Democrat-run and being run into the ground, explains just how badly the Progressive experiment is playing out in these places:

Progressives spent a generation imposing taxes and other expenses on urban populations as though the taxpaying middle class would not relocate. They protected the defective cartel system of public education, and the union money and votes associated with it, as though middle-class parents would not move to places that had better schools. They imposed burdens on businesses, in exchange for more union money and votes, as though businesses would not shift production elsewhere. They imposed policies that disincentivized stable family arrangements as though doing so would have no social cost.

And they did so while adhering to a political philosophy that holds that the state, not the family or the market, is the central actor in our lives, that the interests of private parties — be they taxpayers or businesses — can and indeed must be subordinated to the state’s interests, as though individuals and families were nothing more than gears in the great machine of politics. The philosophy of abusive eminent domain, government monopolies, and opportunistic taxation is also the philosophy of police brutality, the repression of free speech and other constitutional rights, and economic despair. Frank Rizzo was not a paradox — he was an inevitability. When life is reduced to the terms in which it is lived in the poorest and most neglected parts of Chicago or Detroit, the welfare state is the police state.

I would recommend Williamson’s article as a must-read and, if your Leftist friends can be brought to read something published in — gasp! — National Review, it’s an article that you should share with those who haven’t already seen the conservative, individualist, small government, small-l libertarian light.

Resisting arrest is asking for trouble

Bob Weir, a former police officer, explains that “brutality” is not an unreasonable response to get from a police officer if you make the decision to resist arrest.

And of course, there’s always the media to fan the flames

Sadie send me this image, along with some of her pungent, trenchant commentary:

The media's role in all this

A reprise of the Trayon Martin summer hit of 2012. Rev. Al and Rev. Jesse once again, play themselves. Benjamin Crump, Esq. has been recalled to the stage. Rioters, looters and extras, against a backdrop of staged outrage are seen running, dancing, shouting – looting included. Audience members and media are encouraged to bring a cell phone to record the experience.

Ferguson is making for some pretty strange political bed fellows

A young Marine friend of mine (who grew up in an incredibly liberal Marin household) posted this excellent Matt Walsh article saying that the police officers aren’t to blame for the anarchy in Ferguson. A young entrepreneur I know here in Marin, whose Facebook posts hew liberal, but who has a libertarian streak, liked the article, commenting that you have to “suck up reality.”

Events in Ferguson are making for some strange political bedfellows. Perhaps we might see a paradigm shift coming soon….

Obama, the bored, disaffected, disenchanted, disengaged American President

I’m not a Joe Scarborough fan, but I agree with Pete Wehner in thinking that Scarborough was correct when, on the Hugh Hewitt show, he stated that Obama has simply checked out of the presidency. Although motives are irrelevant — all that matters is the fact that Obama’s not playing president any more — Wehner still speculates as to his motives, and I still find the speculation interesting:

What could possibility explain this attitude? It may be that Mr. Obama was drawn to the job not for the right reasons but because he viewed the presidency as a new mountain to climb, a prize to win, as a way to feed his unusually large ego (even for a politician). It may also be that Mr. Obama, with his presidency crumbling, is like a petulant child who wants to pick up his marbles and leave. He was fine serving as president when he was adored and well liked; now that things are going south he appears to have emotionally “checked out,” to use Scarborough’s phrase.

The curse of the golf course

Daniel Greenfield has noticed that Obama starts wars when he’s on vacation near a golf course, while bad actors seem to time their bad acts to coincide with Obama’s golf game. The incessant golf games, which once were a sore point only for grumpy conservatives, are beginning to dismay everyone.

There’s something unseemly about our president’s obsession with golf. Of course, the golf games are perfect fodder for political cartoonists, who see the golf course as a metaphor for Obama’s singular absence from and disinterest in a world in flames around him. Don’t believe me? Just check out Steven Hayward’s cartoon round-up for the week.

The terrorist negotiating strategy

No, I haven’t forgotten poor, beleaguered Israel, even though I chose not to lead with it in this round-up.

My very first item about Hamas put me strongly in mind of Jeff Dunham’s Achmed The Dead Terrorist, whose catch-phrase whenever things don’t go his way is “Silence! I kill you!”

Hamas has now issued an ultimatum regarding its peace talks with Israel.  Paraphased, it amounts to “Accept all our conditions or we kill you!” Last I heard, that’s not how good-faith negotiations are supposed to work.

The world doesn’t care about dead JEWISH kids

A bereaved Israeli mother, whose teenage daughter died in a terrorist attack during the Second Intifadah, reminds us that the world doesn’t inevitably shed tears when children die in war. For example, when her precious daughter was one of hundreds who died in attacks deliberately targeted at Israeli/Jewish children, the world had nothing to say.

The IDF has a photo-gallery summing up this summer’s war

The IDF has collected 17 photographs summing up the reality of the Israel/Gaza war. Some of them show the bombs bursting in air over Israel and how frightening and destructive those bombs are, Iron Dome notwithstanding. Others show Gazan residents lined up as useful idiots and human shields for Hamas, as well as the fact that Israel treats these poor fools with incredible decency. Still others show the depth, breadth, and imaginative destructive power of the Hamas armory in Gaza.

It’s like a joke . . . “This Travis County D.A. walked out of a bar, dead drunk….”

The Rick Perry indictment is a joke. That’s no surprise to me, frankly.  Travis County is famous for its corrupt legal system.

Back when I was in law school, three Texas Supreme Court judges were under investigation for accepting bribes. Indeed, at our annual musical review, which spoofed the movie Grease, I distinctly remember that one of the songs had lyrics that referred to a scam in which attorneys appearing before the court had bribed the judges with lavish trips:

We go together like V&E [Vinson & Elkins], F&J (Fulbright & Jaworski), and Jones & Day
We’re graduating and going on to sweat and cram for the July bar exam
We’ll clerk for judges and
Fill their briefs with legalese, and Vegas trips with attorneys.

I mean, jeez, if an Obama stalwart like David Axelrod is unimpressed by the indictment, you know it’s shaky. For more solid legal reasons, Eugene Volokh also thinks the indictment is unsustainable. So good for Rick Perry to fight back, and I hope he fights back hard.

For those of you new to this story, Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County D.A. got arrested for drunk driving, pleaded guilty, and served 45 days. I’ll let Duane Paterson pick up the story:

Rick Perry thought her to be a disgrace, and wanted her to resign. She didn’t. So he took the next step and threatened to veto funding for her office. In response, a grand jury handed down an abuse of power indictment for coercive use of a veto late this afternoon. So the woman who was belligerent and intoxicated stays, Rick Perry is the bad guy and needs to go. Right. Got it.

By any standard, Lehmberg’s behavior was disgraceful. She pleaded guilty to a .23, almost .24, blood alcohol level (almost three times the legal limit), was oppositional with the arresting officers, and tried to use her political heft to avoid the charges.

Here’s the arrest video:

And here’s the video of her doing her “do you know who I am and who my friends are?” routine:

And for those who aren’t conversant with that blood alcohol level, Ace has a handy-dandy (and funny) cheat sheet.

Gene Simmons fights back against political correctness and in favor of immigrants learning English

I hate Gene Simmons, the KISS rocker. (It was the snake-like tongue that did it for me. I hate the tongue in Miley Cyrus too.) However, I very much admire Gene Simmons, the American immigrant who courageously speaks truth to political correctness. His latest outburst is about the criminally wrongful act of insisting that immigrants to this country shouldn’t be forced to learn English.

As a sort of aside about political correctness, my daughter said that she tried to watch Robin William’s movie Hook. She thought that the premise — Peter Pan returns to Neverland as an adult — intriguing, but hated that the casting was manifestly done to meet a racial quota. There were carefully calibrated numbers of Asian, black, white, and Hispanic boys. She said “The acting was awful, even for a 90s movie, so it was obvious that they didn’t choose the best actors; they just chose actors to be the right race.”

All I could do was agree with her. I found the movie unwatchable back in the day and for the same reason. I added, because I can never resist moralizing, that political correctness destroys everything it touches: art, humor, free speech, creativity, education, etc.

What patriotism used to look like in the mainstream

Back in 1970, John Wayne hosted a July 4th special celebrating America. Can you imagine something like this being made nowadays for mainstream TV, staring mainstream stars? I can’t. It’s simply impossible to imagine:

Modern feminism has nothing to do with freedom or equality

My wonderful sister-in-law reminded me of a Tumblr site I’d meant to mention, but then forgot. It’s called Women Against Feminism, and has women explaining why they feel empowerment comes about when they’re not feminists.

I was speaking to a young Swede today who expressed surprise that I chose to stay home as much as possible to raise my own children, rather than go to work and have the state pay for some other women to raise my children. He said that, because of “equality” women are expected to work. He was even more surprised when I suggested that forcing women to work is just as bad as the old days, when women were refused the right to work. Both deny women the freedom of choice. That thought had never occurred to him.


(Thanks to Caped Crusader for this amazing picture round-up.)

The Tea Party Conspiracy

Hamas speaks to Israel and CNN

Obama tells tales about Iraq

Slavery in Africa

Emperors foreign policy

Eisenhower on total security

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    “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America, a Latino America, an Asian America, There is a United States of America.” – Obama’s 2004 DNC speech.
    AND… Osama bin Laden is dead, but ISIS is very much alive making everyone in their path DEAD.

    The truth is that anti-Semitism in Europe never went away, it just went underground like the Gaza tunnel system, making them both SEWERS!

    What side of the hyphen are you? African or American. If it’s the former, there’s an entire continent to return to. If it’s the latter, drop the hyphen and attitude and get with the program.

    Thank you for listening and you may return to your regularly scheduled program.

    • JKB

      The hyphen is signifies the caste designation. The group you are born into that to the DemProgs defines the individual. Without the group/tribe/family, the individual is nothing. It is a very pre-modern concept, but one many keep trying to reinstate. Your caste defines your beliefs, sometimes your acceptable employment, acceptable marriage partners, etc.

      Now, as to American. I’ve come to the belief that their are citizens of the United States, defined by birth or naturalization, and there are Americans, defined by beliefs outlined in our founding documents, as well as, for those who are citizens of the United States, allegiance to the Constitution. I believe that many can be and there exists many who are Americans but have never set foot in the United States. They’ve come to believe that all men are created equal and have inalienable rights.

      Long ago, I stopped pledging allegiance to the flag, except when publicly leading the act. If you give the whole thing some thought you will see that allegiance to the flag is the wrong place to place your allegiance. Allegiance is to an individual or entity, in our case the Constitution of the United States, not an object The flag is a representative of the country and the country is subordinate to the Constitution. As long as that remains, all is well. However, the country, the government, could abandon the Constitution and take the flag along with them. Where is your allegiance then? I took to substituting “to the Constitution of the United States of America and the republic that it governs”. It clarifies things for me and reminds me that if a conflict arises, I could, to maintain my fidelity, have to become an enemy of my government, even march against the usurpers of the flag. I suspect I might be on one of the government’s lists for my radical views.

  • Ron19

    It’s like a joke . . . “This Travis County D.A. walked out of a bar, dead drunk….”

    Here’s the arrest video[s}

    If you didn’t know who she was and ignored the fact that she was obviously drunk, she looked just like a media person being told to leave McDonalds.

    If you just listened to the conversations without thinking too much of the visuals, it was like watching several conservatives trying to have a conversation with a liberal.

    For a county D. A., she seems woefully ignorant of police procedures.

    And all of her troubles, including the ruining of her career, no one is to blame except everybody else.

    Maybe President Obama can give her a recess appoint to a federal judgeship.

  • Ymarsakar

    John Fing Kerry: “Do you know WHO I AM?” when cutting in line at DC Starbucks.

    The Left, ain’t they great compatriots and companions, Book?

  • Ymarsakar

    P Gates. “Do you know who I am? I’m not just any ordinary black boy, I’m the friend of the US President, the new Obamaca that will take over America!”

    Paraphrased thoughts of Gates when arrested for breaking and entering.

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  • raymondjelli

    Nothing says the difference between the black middle class and the black underclass like their attention span. The black middle class can actually take the time to comprehend how a corrupt government can lead to inner city despair.

    The underclass black just looks at the cop picking up the mess and sees immediate gratification in a riot. No wonder the left loves them. They are perfect pawns and don’t want to be more than that. If I was a collectivist I would love that population.

    With that said it terrifies me to think that n the future that kind of military hardware could fall into the hands of a city with a majority Moslem population. We could have some serious problems.

    • Bookworm

      “With that said it terrifies me to think that n the future that kind of military hardware could fall into the hands of a city with a majority Moslem population.”

      Yikes! I never even thought of that one. Just another nightmare to add to my long roster of nightmares.

    • Libby

      Yeah, that’s an unpleasant thought, raymondjelli. I had kinda found all of the mega-mosques being built in major cities to be unsettling given their history of using mosques as armories in other countries…

  • Ruth H

    On Feminism – It always occurs to me to wonder why people who advocate women go to work to liberate themselves fail to realize that those who work as maids, housekeepers and babysitter, for those liberated, usually female, are not very liberated.

  • Charles Martel

    It’s highly unlikely that the heavily armed Muslim-city police force will ever come to pass in America. But say it did in a place like Dearborn. Does anybody honestly believe that Muslims make good warriors? Sure, they’re great at mass murder and beating up on queers, women, and unarmed civilians, but are incapable of besting an adult fighting force, such as the IDF or the National Guard, in an armed confrontation. When you do your thinking with your Willy, you’re easily outsmarted by men who use their brains.

    • Ymarsakar

      The problem is normally that the State will find the citizen neighborhood defense force and blast it to smithereens, because 1. they are easier to find than Islamic death squads and 2. they are an easier target.

      So the issue isn’t Islam vs the citizens. It’s Islam vs citizens vs American Regime. When the Regime takes the side of Islam all the time.w

    • raymondjelli

      Trouble is they wouldn’t be using the hardware to attack the USA in general. Instead they would be using it to “protect” themselves from “Islamophobia”. As Islamists get more powerful their demands of victimhood increases. I could see a scenario where an anti-Islam protest was called a riot and the town came in with the hardware. Of course the protest would be against illegally shutting down liquor stores, ordinances against dogs. Sudden zoning against non-Moslem places of worship etc. First thing a Muslimist area would do would be to use intimidation.

  • Ymarsakar

    “and the other dog barked itself into laryngitis. ”

    Need to retrain that dog. It’s probably the new one.

    It doesn’t know how to accept strangers into the power hierarchy and update security while at it. When a dog keeps barking when everyone in the pack already knows there’s a new arrival, that’s neurosis pretty soon. The dog needs to learn how to give up that role to the human.

  • Caped Crusader

    Now I know this sounds crazy, but believe me it works!
    I came upon this deductive revelation after studying wolf behavior. Dogs are descended from wolves and are pack animals and genetically very similar even today. When a wolf returns to the pack after an absence, the pack stands in a circle and howls to welcome the returning member back into the pack. We had one dog who responded only to this. Try it, it works! The errant dog will realize the stranger belongs to his pack .Your guest will think you are crazy, but the dog will hush.

    • Caped Crusader

      If the dog relapses, or is stupid, simply repeat the howling until he gets it! It also brings the family closer together and you will grow to like it and have a lot of fun and laughter. Maybe we were once pack animals, if you go back far enough. They certainly are in most of the world, for in discussing today’s middle east, individual tribes and their loyalty always comes up as a factor. Hell, maybe we should try this in the middle east, for nothing else works! Force them to stand in a circle and howl until they get it and stop fighting!

      No, I have not been drinking!

  • Caped Crusader

    Just in case you need instruction in wolf howling:

    • Ymarsakar

      Have you seen the Russian video where they took wild dogs with high standing ears, domesticated them for one generation, and then the ears became floppy?

      • Caped Crusader

        Interesting, have not seen the video. The last four dogs we have had were Standard Manchester Terriers which can be either flop or prick ears. In my experience it is mostly due to the parents genes. All of ours have been prick eared.

  • Caped Crusader

    It is also important that you throw your head back exactly as the wolves. If your dog is near they may start to howl along with the wolves.

  • Libby

    That “Women Against Feminism” site is a hoot. Really intrigued by all of the younger women represented there, especially the ones who outwardly appear to be hipsters (tattoos, piercings, etc.).
    Here’s another reason to be against feminism: NYC career women are having egg-freezing parties:

    “The pressure is off, and I feel so empowered,” [EggBanxx’s marketing director Leahjane Lavin, 34} said of her feelings after she socked away her eggs for a later date. “I can now concentrate on my career and becoming who I want to be before having children!”

    How empowering – to be chasing toddler around the house in your forties or fifties, and dealing with them as teens when you’re in your late fifties or sixties! Yay feminism!

    • SADIE

      Nothing like the pitter patter of little feet running into your walker.

      • Ymarsakar

        They are supporting Hussein so that they can import a lot of Mexican proxy momas and birthers. These women will be paid to take the egg and raise it.

        See how the Left’s slave economy works now?

  • Ron19

    “Obama, the bored, disaffected, disenchanted, disengaged American President”

    Breaking news: President Obama will not be on vacation today!

    No word yet on how First Lady Michelle feels about her husband and Valerie Jarrett being together at the White house, trying to run the country without her.

    We will have more as this story develops.

  • erisguy

    Explain to me exactly again why people think lawyers are smart?

    Yes, I know the hostess is lawyer. Let’s do induction: “Bookworm is smart,” ….. uh, one smart lawyer doesn’t account for why anyone thinks lawyers are smart. The percentage of smart lawyers in the House of Representatives probably shows the true proportion and should end the hateful stereotype today.