The Bookworm Beat — Waiting for Normal Edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingThe kids return to school on Wednesday and I have the hope — faint, admittedly, but still the hope — that my life will return to normal then. I’m not complaining about life during the summer. I’ve enjoyed sleeping in every day, I’ve enjoyed the freedom from schedules, and I’ve enjoyed the vitality that comes with having the neighborhood teenagers move into my house.

Still, I like normal too. I like being up and about early, I like that wonderful moment when everyone is gone and the house is mine for six hours, and I like the quiet rhythm that enables me to read, think, and blog. During summer, because my quiet time comes so erratically and lasts so briefly, I cannot seem to get in the groove.

Until normal arrives in my life (assuming it ever does), here are a few interesting links.

Making shocking comparisons about Obama, mainstream media turns racist

What’s shocking about WaPo editor Jackson Diehl’s post discussing Obama’s hubris isn’t how mean and angry the tone is. No.  What’s really terrible is that this WaPo editor is no longer comparing Obama to Lincoln or even Reagan; he’s comparing him to George Bush Jr. Wow. That’s hate speech.

Thomas Frank :  fool or plant

Steven Hayward points out that Thomas Frank’s advice for Progressives who want to make conservatives happy is to (a) ignore reality and (b) put into place the kind of agenda that conservatives have sought for decades. Hayward is correct that Frank is either as dumb as a post or a brilliant conservative plant.

The perverse pleasure of getting under a Leftist’s skin

One of my liberal friends posted on Facebook the fact that the autopsy report revealed that Michael “Big Mike” Brown, formerly of Ferguson, Missouri, sustained six gunshot wounds, two of which were in the head. He commented that this was an excessive number. His boyfriend chimed in — yes, excessive!

I wrote polite words to the effect that if, solely for the sake of argument, one accepts as true the shooting officer’s version of events, six is not an unreasonable number of bullets to put into a huge man who is charging towards you with apparently malevolent intent. Not all shots make their mark and a big man may keep moving long after he’s sustained serious, even fatal, injuries.

I added that the “shoot to wound” idea exists only in novels and movies. Real cops — and I’ve spoken with a few — know that, if the situation is bad enough to merit shooting, you shoot to kill. I got this delightful response, not from my friend, but from his boyfriend:

Sorry . . . that just doesn’t match up with the facts as reported. It’s nothing less than stupendous how those of you on the lunatic right become apologists for the very same fucking governmental forces you shriek are taking us into “socialism”, “tyranny”, and whatever other crap you come up with. How pathetic and embarrassing to all Americans. UNfuckingbelievable.

When I went to reply, I saw that my friend had deleted both my comment and his boyfriend’s response. I was so delighted with the boyfriend’s response, though, that I mischievously re-posted my original comment, adding that it was significant that the shots entered front-to-back and not vice-versa. It now appears one of the shots may have been from back to front, which raises the question of whether that was the first, kill shot, with the others coming as he lay helpless on the ground, or if it was a final shot as his body fell.

I thought it would be lovely to elicit another one of those tirades. When someone is so viciously paranoid, it’s nice to tease it out so that all the world can see him for what he really is.

Conservatives don’t hate gays

I’m part of a majority! Sixty-eight percent of Republicans would willingly vote for a gay candidate who shared their values. I’m in that 68%. Ever since I’ve been a child, I’ve been neither racist, nor homophobic, nor religionist, nor anything else but VALUES-IST. If you share my values, I don’t care about whatever else you have going on with you.

I’m also with those conservatives (60%) who would be upset if their children were gay. This isn’t because I hate gays, and I wouldn’t hate my child. It’s because gays are statistically less likely to live lives free from substance abuse, spousal abuse, depression, and suicide. It’s also because I’ve known many gays and their lives tend to be less stable and more inclined to excess than the straight people I know. In other words, it’s not the sexual orientation that would disturb me, it’s my deep worry as a parent that my child would be setting out on a potentially very unhappy and dangerous life path.

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel

Edward Snowden, who threw himself into Chinese and Russian hands with suitcases full of NSA secrets, dressed himself up in libertarian patriotism: I’m protecting you, the American people, from your government, he promised. As someone who fears overreaching government, I could fully understand those who argued that he was performing an important public service. But how do you explain away the fact that the vast bulk of data he stole related to national security, not homeland surveillance? It looks as if he may be precisely the type of “patriot” scoundrel Johnson was thinking of when he coined his famous saying — someone who covers up despicable acts by waving the flag.

The Left’s selective concern for victims of violence

Bernard Goldberg is singing an old, familiar song, but it certainly deserves a reprise — Leftists, including black Leftists, have no sympathy for blacks killed by blacks, or whites killed by blacks. Their outrage is reserved solely for blacks killed by whites, even though their number is exceptionally small, especially when compared to those blacks who die at the hands of their racial fellows. This outrage, then, has nothing to do with victims of violent crime, and everything to do with fomenting race wars.

Nobody cares about white victims

That Kung Pao something-or-other was delicious!  Now, what did you say was in that dish?

I wonder how Thomas Friedman is going to explain this one away in defending his beloved Chinese communist government: dogs are for eating, says Chinese government.


(Thanks, as always, to Caped Crusader, who has a knack for finding these great images and posters.)

Work boots not stolen

Thomas Sowell wisdom

All socialists sing the same song

No, Hillary is not a Nazi. The point is that all socialists sing the same song.



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  • Blick4343

    Don’t know where I saw it (maybe even here) but the comment was the City of Ferguson is dead. Who will want to move there? New businesses will not locate there. Anybody that can will move out. More rental housing. more vacant lots. Taxbase decline. crime rate increasing. more litter, more graffiti, more steel bars on storefronts. The riots have killed the community. It will be an suburban ghetto.

    • Ron19

      Just started reading

      Devil’s Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit (Vintage) by Ze’Ev Chafets

      The first few chapters, so far, expand on what you just said, and provide many examples.

      Recommended Reading.

      P.S.: “Robocop” was set in Detroit.

  • JKB

    I’m sorry was this part of your bait response or has someone actually proffered this theory?

    “It now appears one of the shots may have been from back to front, which raises the question of whether that was the first, kill shot, with the others coming as he lay helpless on the ground, or if it was a final shot as his body fell.”

    The ME who has spoken said the head shots were the fatal shot and they most likely were the last shots since he would have fallen from them.

    But in response to the to many bullets, 4 of those rounds failed to stop.

    One purportedly, a non-lethal arm shot, travelled from back to front. However, that shot may have be an issue but turns out the Missouri law permits shots after someone who has committed a felony, even though that is not in compliance with the SCOTUS ruling on the matter. So the officer may have been erroneously trained and the fault lies with the Missouri legislature for not correcting the law.

  • Caped Crusader

    Where’s the outrage:

    15 shot in NYC within 8 hours, 2 dead

    And “Rev” AL and Rev” Jesse go to Missouri to clean up the problem.

    Oh, I forgot only white on black counts, even though it is rare, it is still a genocide of young black men with a brilliant future!

  • Ymarsakar

    I don’t want to reprint various things I’ve wrote on this issue, so I’ll link to the points.

    The Facebook denizens are correct, if conservatives are really worried about government, we would be holding the police to account. And some of us are doing just that.

  • Ymarsakar

    “This outrage, then, has nothing to do with victims of violent crime, and everything to do with fomenting race wars.”

    The black caucus leadership isn’t fomenting a race war, although that’s inevitably the result of a civil war: death squads in the streets ala Iraq. They are going for the money. BLack thugs don’t have money. Black thugs killing black thugs don’t have money. Whites killing blacks… whites got money, so Jackson comes in to get the money. Like the lawyers usually do.

  • jj

    I’m not unreservedly a fan of the cops, but I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to go with them on this shooting in Ferguson. So far we’ve only heard one side of the story. The cops have been pretty silent, which I think is dumb – it hasn’t done them or Ferguson much good – but the side we do know isn’t really adding up.

    Much is being made, by some, of the fact that the cop didn’t know the kid had robbed the convenience store. People keep bringing this up, just as though it means something. I don’t know why they think that, but I’ll go with it. Okay: the cop didn’t know the kid had robbed the store and strong-armed the clerk – but the kid knew it. I haven’t heard anyone mention this yet. (Maybe someone has, I just haven’t heard it.) So, put yourself in Michael Brown’s shoes for a second. You’ve just robbed the store, you’re walking away, and a cop car slides to a stop beside you. What’s your first thought? Is it “there’s no way this guy could know,” or is it: “this guy’s after me?” I tend to the belief that most folks’ first thought would be the latter.

    Wherefore, being enormous, and in his own mind caught, he charges the cop. Which leads to the shots arriving in the front of his body. In fact he “bull-charges” the cop, with his head down, wherefore he gets shot in the part he’s leading with: the head. (Apparently one shot enters through, more or less, the top of his head. If that happened, it’s something that can only happen when the head is down.)

    Mr. Brown also violated Rule 1 of successful robbers, which is: don’t be doing something wrong while you’re doing something wrong. (After you’ve just robbed the bank and you’re driving away, STOP at the stop sign up the block, because if you blow through it some cop you didn’t even see, who knows nothing whatever about the robbery you’ve just committed, will pull you over to write you a ticket EVERY TIME!) Having robbed the convenience store, young Michael Brown and his pal were walking down the middle of the street, instead of down the sidewalk where they belonged. The cop pulled up to tell him to get out of the middle of the street. Knowing what he’d recently been up to, he reacted badly.

    Bad reactions all around. It’s sad..

    • JKB


      The cop problems in the Ferguson matter is the full-combat ready rollout for the protest. They’ve provoked some reaction by their appearance and the sweeping of the crowd with the muzzles of the sniper rifles.

      As to the initial shooting, it looks like it will be justifiable. Last I saw was after the initial telling them to get out of the road, Wilson was driving off, heard the robbery bulletin, then backed up to Brown and Johnson. Wilson then tried to get out of his vehicle, the door was shoved closed or otherwise blocked. Then Wilson opened the door, but Brown/Johnson jumped him. At some point after they grappled for Wilson’s gun, the gun discharged and the two attackers ran. Wilson pursued. Not a lot of detail about the other shots, but reports have been that two were fired while they were running away and the Brown turned back to Wilson and was shot multiple times.

      The bad luck for Holder and Obama is that the shots while they fled may be unconstitutional (although they were not fatal and only one might have grazed Brown), Missouri law permits police to use deadly force to stop someone they suspect of a felony(this is not aligned with the 1985 SCOTUS case). Apparently, Missouri law was not changed to align it with case law. Now, here’s the fun part. The officer has qualified immunity if he acted according to policy and Missouri law. So the federal investigation would fall on the state. Guess who was Attorney General of Missouri from 1993-2009? Jay Nixon, now governor, Democrat. Prior to Nixon was a Republican for 9 years and since he became governor, a Democrat.

  • sabawa

    Just once I would love to hear Obama, Holder, Jackson, Sharpton, anyone with a hint of black blood, lament the loss of Professor Feng Lui, UNC, murdered last month at lunch time while walking on a neighborhood street by two black youths for a couple of bucks. He wasn’t white. Not a peep.

    • SADIE

      And on this side of the coast … Rabbi Joseph Raksin, murdered in Miami on his way to Saturday morning prayers, while visiting in the area. The “youths” are very busy.

  • bkivey

    Several years ago I served on the board of the local neighborhood association. There was a police shooting, and at the next meeting the police chief and a couple of officers attended to answer questions. A member of the audience asked why the police didn’t shoot to wound, rather than kill. The chief started to answer, but I stood up and said I’d take the question (my motivation was that a citizen’s answer might carry more weight). The chief graciously allowed me to respond..

    I said that I practiced with pistol weekly, and that I practiced at a range of 15 – 20 yards (the approximate distance the cops shot the suspect). Shooting an object the size of a man’s leg is not easy at that distance under controlled circumstances, and very difficult in a live situation (cops nodding heads).

    The chief acknowledged what I’d said, and went on to explain that real life situations weren’t Hollywood.

    Bottom line: if you’re in fear for your life, aim center mass and pull the trigger.

    • Ymarsakar

      Shooting the joints out of a human so they collapse is a high level to inhuman skill level. It’s equivalent to a shinken sword fight where the enemy is trying to cut you, and you turn your blade so it hits them in the neck and collapses them. Chances of death is decreased, although not removed, and the chances of dying get higher as a result of using a more complicated technique.

      Since most humans don’t have godlike or inhuman levels of skill, they cannot use such even if they wanted to. People who can shoot from the hip and hit 6 targets at 21 feet moving at different vectors, right in the head, is something out of legend.

      • Caped Crusader

        Truer words never spoken, my friend. Only Marshall Dillon, Lone Ranger, Tom Mix, and Annie Oakley able to do this.

        • Ymarsakar

          There are humans that do have god level skill. People don’t generally hear about them. Which is why they aren’t SOP for most people as a rule set.

      • JKB

        The most important factor against intentionally shooting to wound is legal. If you feel there is time to try to intentionally shoot an appendage so as to hopefully not inflict a lethal wound, then you have a hard time making the case for the imminency of the threat. If the threat is not imminent, then the use of deadly force is not justifiable.

        Not to mention, the less-than-lethal nature of appendage wounds is a myth. Yes, some can be, but other not. And if the person you shoot is on blood thinners, then a graze can kill them. That is why there is no such thing as a warning shot as all shots are potentially lethal.

        Ironically, in the Brown case, he was shot 4 times in the arm and hand, yet that did not stop him and the last of two shot in the head was the shot that stopped the threat.

        • Ymarsakar

          Any force is potentially lethal. It doesn’t take any longer time for someone to shoot a person in the head vs the knees, via a hip technique. Intent is the same, lead time is the same, just the target is different.

          But in situations where people are fist fighting and pushing each other, they can still die. Same with a gunshot. Even if the intent is to miss, if it heads the artery and person bleeds out, user still faces lethal consequences.

          Justification for lethal force is thus based on what happens before the shot or the force is used, not on how the force is used or how long it takes. The police consider themselves elites on how to handle levels of force and when to justify lethal vs lesser force (which is still lethal, in all practical purposes). It’s easy for them to think civilians, that aren’t pros on the job, are incompetent or less skilled.

          Although in actuality, because civilians don’t have the force immunities of the police, they have an easier time justifying a situation in which force is utilized. The police go out of their way to stop, arrest, and Command people. This is in itself an aggressive action that is considered justified. But citizens “avoid problems”. They don’t go into places and then throw their weight around, waiting for when trouble finds them. Thus the SOP of the police itself is what causes most of these problems to begin with, based upon arrest, Obedience, and Non Resistance to Authority. But non resistance to authority is a problem when the Authority is the US Regime or evil.

          There is in fact, no way to tell whether a person intentionally shot at a limb or not. They may or they may not have. It can’t be tested. Did any officer take a polygraph on whether they intended to shoot to kill or intended something else? If not, then people don’t really care, at all about it. It’s like a civilian that is in self defense saying they killed the guy because he felt afraid. Is that true or not? Maybe he killed the guy because he left the bar and went down the alley ON PURPOSE, in order to get a justification to get kill the guy. The courts can’t find out True Intent via False Intent, if there is no evidence. So long as the shooter doesn’t tell all the truth, the courts have no power to find out, absent external verification (inconsistent reports or behavior).

  • Kevin_B

    A few words about the gay issue, Bookworm….

    Certainly, not all conservatives hate gays, and many don’t, even if they don’t approve of homosexuality. I agree with you on that one.

    However, Bookworm, I tink it would be mistaken to state that all conservatives are tolerant of homosexual people or hold sympathetic views towards them. I know that you have fairly pro-homosexual views, Bookworm, but that certainly isn’t a common denominator for all people or organizations that are supposedly conservatives. I have certainly come also across very unsympathetic views and views that are far less tolerant and accepting than yours, Bookworm. Certainly there are those ‘conservatives’ who think homosexuals deserve little or no place or standing in society.

    Also, there exist those people and organisations who believe homosexuality should not be a legitimate form of life and self-expression, but that homosexuality, or at least homosexual acts, should be subject to criminal punishment. Such views aren’t entirely uncommon, although a minority view, in the USA and the West. Some believe the punishments should be severe. Sodomy laws are something that I personally find rather hard to stomach, but a substantial number of people remain in favor of such laws.

    I have heard of the Lawrence versus Texas case in the USA, of course. I don’t know what the people here at Bookworm Room think about that case, but I have doubts about that decision. At the same time, I do not believe that sodomy laws are legitimate or righteous laws. However, even with the Lawrence vs. Texas decisions, a number of states doesn’t want to take them of the books. Would there ever be a chance through any form of a democratic process to repeal these laws, let alone without such a decision? Given that just this year, the Louisiana legislature refused to remove the law from the books, I doubt it.

    Is there any ‘more libertarian’ alternative to the Lawrence vs. Texas decision thinkable, that could have been worked out at the time? Also, could there be a libertarian or democratic solution to such laws in highly socially conservative states?

    • Bookworm

      You’re certainly correct, Kevin_B, that a substantial percentage of conservatives — almost 40% — don’t like gay people. However, to the extent that the majority do (>60%) that’s a telling rebuff to the Left, which tries to paint conservatives as homophobic. Moreover, as to that almost 40%, I suspect many fall into the “I don’t like ’em, but I believe they should be left alone” category.

      Meanwhile, 100% of Islamists think gays should be dead — but you never hear the Left going after them on that ground. Indeed, the Left sides heavily with Hamas, which has made Gaza a gay-free zone.

      I guess I’m saying that we don’t have to like or approve of everyone. We do, however, have to achieve a “live and let live” philosophy as best as we can. The moment one group starts to crowd and try to destroy another group, you can reasonably expect violence.

      • Ymarsakar

        How do people tell homosexuals apart from Leftists?

        That’s the more difficult quandary. The Left blames the world’s hatred of America’s power, which the Left used to destroy the world, on Republican war mongering. The Left blames Republican dislike of homosexuals on Republican X whatever.

        See a similarity?

      • Kevin_B

        Bookworm, I certainly agree with you that these particular data are a rebuff to the leftist rhetoric on conservatives and gays. I do not dispute that., but I do believe that a substantial portion of conservatives exist who hold negative and condemning views towards homosexuals – you can certainly find those views at sites like Free Republic and WND.

        I agree with you ‘live and let live even if we don’t agree’ view, Bookworm, at least to a large extent. There are things I believe are not fit for a ‘live and let live’ approach. Clearly, for me homosexuality is not one – but what I’ve read suggests that a substantial number of people believes homosexual acts should not be a ‘live and let live’ issue. A recent Gallup poll says 30% of the American questioned believe consensual homosexual relationships should not be legal. I suspect those numbers to be higher amongst conservatives/Republicans and in the South. I readily admit that many conservatives and most libertarians oppose sodomy laws and believe the government should leave homosexuals alone, but there’s also a substantial number of conservative individuals and organizations who still believe homosexuality should be a criminal offense and that it should be posible to prosecute homosexuals.. I clearly do not like the pro-sodomy law view that any number of people hold much and think homosexuality should be a ‘live and let live’ issue. That view clearly is not universal.

        A ‘live and let live’ issue to homosexuality might still not be very popular in the South, at least not amongst those campaigning to the legislature and those in it. I suspect it may have to do with beliefs and attitudes in those states. I don’t think Lawrence vs. Texas was the smartest approach, but achieving ‘live and let live’ without sodomy laws in the South through democratic means, especially in the short term, I think would be difficult. Maybe in the future. In the mean time, I guess the current status quo has to be accepted. I must honestly say that I would find it rather weird to have some kind of recognition of homosexual relationships in some states and possible prosecutions in others within one country. I wouldn’t know, but maybe homosexuals tend to congegrate in more accepting places?

        I suspect that perhaps the very in-the-face, intrusive and forceful approach of many homosexuals and homosexual organizations, especially those on the left (i.e. most of them) has something to do with the attitude of many (straight) people. In the homosexual community itself the ‘live and let live’ clearly also hasn’t taken much hold. Add to that the disgusting displays at gay pride parades and the tendency for public sex amongst a number of homosexuals, and I can understand why people don’t necessarily like them. I don’t think gay pride parades are smart or necessary, and the disgusting stuff and public sex should be prosecutable (which it should be for everyone).

        There is a lot of group thinking and identity politics amongst homosexuals. Giving their ‘abnormal state’, if I may call it that, I guess some form of congregating and community forming would and will always exist, but the current culture and community forming amongst homosexuals, which is highly conformist, I find weird.

        I also readily concur, Bookworm, that the Muslims (I don’t like the term Islamists) make it very clear that they want gays dead, whether they say so or not. It’s not just Hamas, there’s a lot more Islamic organizations and imams that preach anti-homosexual messages and violence towards homosexuals. So far we haven’t heard much about ISIS/IS and homosexuals, but I guess they are still too be busy with killing infidels and beheading journalists.

        I largely agree with your ‘live and let live’ view Bookworm, even for people we do not like. That view does raise questions, but nonetheless, I think it often is a good view. I do believe that it should not extent to certain behaviors. For example….I know many libertarians, including many here, believe drugs, or at least some drugs like marijuana, ought to be legalized. I personally do not believe that freedom and ‘live and let live’ should extent to any of the currently illegal drugs, including marijuana. Also, and even much more seriously that marijuana – Islam and Muslims. Freedom and ‘live and let live’ doesn’t seem like a very smart approach towards Islam and Muslims to me.

        • Ymarsakar

          Most of this is theoretical and based only on surface level propaganda. None of it has been tested and none has been simulated. It’s only fear factor used to manipulate weaklings.

          • Kevin_B

            What the hell are you talking about, Ymar?

        • Bookworm

          Kevin_B: I agree with you. There is still a lot of prejudice, although thankfully it hasn’t gotten to the stage of “kill them” or “torture them” or “refuse to employ them.” I also agree with you that the gay community’s excesses and witch hunts are harmful to the cause. It’s hard for a nice Midwestern family to feel any sense of rightness about people who have exceptionally perverse sex in the streets (San Francisco’s Up Your Alley Fair is a perfect example), and who seek to silence anyone who doesn’t embrace enthusiastically every bit of the gay lifestyle.

          People also have a problem with the gay lobby’s political agenda. I think more and more people in America are fine with an education system that teaches acceptance. Moreover, they’re fine with an education system that says “So-and-so was a pioneer in aeronautics/medicine/science/ art/etc., and, by the way, So-and-so was also gay.” What they’re finding difficult to tolerate — and therefore push against — is an agenda that seeks to celebrate people merely because of their sexual orientation and to encourage children to do gay experimentation. For reasons I outlined in my original post having to do with the tough road that LGBTQ people hoe in this life, most parents, even though not homophobic, would prefer that their children not discover that side of their sexuality.

          In other words, live and let live is an appropriate philosophy, but one that needs to be followed on both sides of the aisle. Also, one needs to distinguish between “I don’t like someone or something,” which is allowable in a free society, and “I want to kill/destroy/harass/ dehumanize/render unemployable someone” which should never be allowed.

          We also need to address something that’s usually ignored, but that I think about a lot since I’m around children and that’s children’s visceral dislike for homosexuality. I live in Marin, which is a most accepting society. By high school, the kids have learned not to be bullies about gays. But the fact is that, starting when the kids are as young as 7, “gay” or “faggot” are horrific insults, a tend that reaches its apex when the kids hit puberty. Again, they are not reflecting their parents’ culture. This seems to come from within the children themselves as they start making decisions about their own sexuality and the roles they want to play.

          If this means that humans have an innate hostility to homosexuality, that’s something that needs to be addressed, not by bullying (which is what the gay lobby does too often), but through education. As I said — and I’m pleased to say — by high school the kids self-police and do not bully.