You’ll notice I have a different picture for today’s Bookworm Beat. I did something in the past few days that I’ve never done before — I forgot that my beloved cleaning ladies are coming today. Usually I remind everyone and we all start picking up the house so that the ladies can really clean. This week, though, I just forgot. I’ve therefore spent the last five hours doing all the picking up in one fell swoop. I’m also meeting two clients today (that’s a good, albeit wearisome thing), and one of my kids came home sick. The picture above and to the left gives some idea of my mental state. I told you guys yesterday that I felt discombobulated. It continues today.
I’m leaving in a few minutes to meet the first client, so I’m just going to throw some stuff at you. Please forgive typos. I really have to run and want to post more than I want to proofread.
Let’s start with the funny stuff
Two funny things, both from Duffel Blog, a military humor site. The first is a collection at Duffel Blog’s Facebook page of really exceptional Brian Williams posters. You get the feeling that the military doesn’t think highly of the man.
The second is from Duffel Blog itself, and takes issue with the Army’s decision to withdraw a tweet for including the phrase “a chink in its armor,” an ancient and honorable reference to medieval and early Renaissance military garb.
First lines I have loved
There are several great first lines with which we’re all familiar. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” “In the beginning….” Even “It was a dark and stormy night.”
People who dash off blog posts, which are really a form of speed writing, usually don’t have the time to craft incredible first lines or paragraphs. Sometimes, though, what they’re saying is so important or they are such good writers (or both), that the first lines are gems. Two blog writers outdid themselves a couple of days ago.
Here’s Roger Simon on Obama’s rank dishonesty, this time in his ongoing effort to pretend Islamic violence is nonexistent:
Unlike Nixon and Clinton, who lied in self-defense, Obama lies proactively, which is decidedly more dangerous. He will say practically anything to achieve his goals without regard to the truth.
I’ve often made the same point myself, but never with that brevity or clarity, and never in a way that so directly skewers the fundamentally dangerous nature of Obama’s lies.
And here’s John Hinderaker, who gets off a first paragraph that perfectly encapsulates six dreadful Obama years:
Americans everywhere are counting down to the end of the Obama presidency. The damage he has wreaked is beyond calculation. He has hobbled our economy, trashed the Constitution, eroded trust in government, politicized one federal agency after another, poisoned relations among the races, stifled opportunity for poorer Americans, weakened our armed forces, conducted a perverse foreign policy, made the U.S. a laughingstock abroad…the list goes on and on. And we have almost two years yet to go!
And speaking of Obama, let’s talk Islam
As I’ve noted before, I’m no longer going to try to divide Islamic categories when I write (e.g., sections or posts dedicated to Hamas, or ISIS, or Hezbollah, or Iran, or Boko Haram). Instead, I’m jumbling them all together because they are all the same thing; namely different branches of the Islamic tree.
Mark Steyn has written one of his most lyrical posts addressing the overarching commonality between these Islamic strains, which is “the glamor of evil” (an article that also encompasses those who commit evil themselves by pretending that there’s nothing to see):
On Tuesday the Islamic State released a 22-minute video showing Flight Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force being doused in petrol and burned to death. It is an horrific way to die, and Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh showed uncommon bravery, standing stiff and dignified as the flames consumed him. And then he toppled, and the ISIS cameras rolled on, until what was left was charred and shapeless and unrecognizable as human.
King Abdullah’s response to this barbaric act was to execute two ISIS prisoners the following morning, including the evil woman who was part of the cell that blew up the lobby of my favorite hotel in Amman, the Grand Hyatt.
President Obama’s response was to go to the National Prayer Breakfast and condescendingly advise us – as if it’s some dazzlingly original observation rather than the lamest faculty-lounge relativist bromide – to “remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ“.
On a related thread about Muslim depredations, you can learn about a genocide/Holocaust/jihad/massacre that we never mention in the West, which is the Muslim attack against India, and the profound change it wrought on traditional Indian Hindu culture:
The genocide suffered by the Hindus of India at the hands of Arab, Turkish, Mughal and Afghan occupying forces for a period of 800 years is as yet formally unrecognised by the World.
The only similar genocide in the recent past was that of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis.
The holocaust of the Hindus in India was of even greater proportions, the only difference was that it continued for 800 years, till the brutal regimes were effectively overpowered in a life and death struggle by the Sikhs in the Panjab and the Hindu Maratha armies in other parts of India in the late 1700’s.
The poster I put up yesterday doesn’t even touch upon that particular jihalocuast because it focuses only on the clash between Islam and Christendom, not between Islam and nations to the East.
A lot of people have been excited by Jamie Dettmer’s article saying that ISIS is riven from within. They believe that this will result in ISIS collapsing of its own weight. I’m not so optimistic. I think that, as happened with the French and Russian revolutions, the most vicious faction will emerge victorious, and then turn its malevolent gaze on the rest of the world.
And final, Jonah Goldberg has his say about Obama’s fatuous, cruel, stupid, uninformed, and dangerous “high horse” talk:
Obama’s right. Terrible things have been done in the name of Christianity. I have yet to meet a Christian who denies this.
But, as odd as it may sound for a guy named Goldberg to point it out, the Inquisition and the Crusades aren’t the indictments Obama thinks they are. For starters, the Crusades — despite their terrible organized cruelties — were a defensive war.
“The Crusades could more accurately be described as a limited, belated and, in the last analysis, ineffectual response to the jihad — a failed attempt to recover by a Christian holy war what had been lost to a Muslim holy war,” writes Bernard Lewis, the greatest living English-language historian of Islam.
As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly nefarious. For centuries, whenever the Catholic Church launched an inquiry or investigation, it mounted an “inquisition,” which means pretty much the same thing.