The Bookworm Beat 5-20-15 — the “I’m still standing” edition and Open Thread

Woman-writing-300x265Unlike Rand Paul, who is standing for a filibuster against the Patriot Act, my “standing” has to do with the fact that, after a long afternoon of shopping and doctors with my mother, I am still upright and reasonably coherent. His feat is the more admirable one or possibly the more lunatic — I can’t decide. While I think that one over (and please feel free to chime in with your opinions), I offer the following for your reading pleasure:

Honoring vets

Bruce Kesler, retired Marine extraordinaire, has a message of immediate concern to veterans and their supporters. Check it out here.

Our disingenuous president

When we were on vacation, one of my little Bookworms ran afoul of her father because, when he asked if she would bring him a cup of water, she took that request for an actual request, rather than a politely phrased order. Of course, she gave the wrong answer — “No.” Given the number of years I’ve been telling her that a request from her father is always an order, I wasn’t overly sympathetic to her claimed bafflement.

I mention this family vignette because Thomas Sowell points out something important, which is that when President Obama says he’s “asking” America’s more affluent people to pay more in taxes, he’s not asking at all. Instead, he’s planning something more forceful:

Despite pious rhetoric on the left about “asking” the more fortunate for more money, the government does not “ask” anything. It seizes what it wants by force. If you don’t pay up, it can take not only your paycheck, it can seize your bank account, put a lien on your home and/or put you in federal prison.

So please don’t insult our intelligence by talking piously about “asking.”

Since we’re talking about Thomas Sowell, you should read the whole article to learn more about disingenuous government phrases.

(By the way, while you’re in a Sowell mood, read his analysis of the con game the Clinton team routinely runs on voters.)

No, it’s not racist to call the bloody Waco brawl anything other than a riot

Kevin Williamson is rapidly becoming one of my favorite pundits. He’s extremely well-informed, and has a direct, slightly snarky, always interesting way of writing. Take, for example, his analysis of the MSM’s efforts to claim that white privilege is at play in stories about the Waco shoot-out:

The shootout between members of rival outlaw motorcycle gangs in Waco has brought out a great deal of stupidity on the left — too much stupidity to catalogue, in fact. But let us look at a few lowlights.

Making the comparison with Baltimore, many on the left — Salon’s Jenny Kutner, to take an example — demanded to know why the media did not describe the events in Waco as a “riot.” The answer, obviously enough, is that the event in Waco was not a riot — it did not represent a general state of civil disorder, there were no mobs targeting property for destruction, etc. What happened in Waco was accurately described — in the New York Times, the Waco Tribune, USA Today, and many other outlets — as a gunfight. Also chaos, biker gang shooting, the work of very dangerous, hostile criminal biker gangs, and, in case that is not strong enough for your taste, something akin to a war zone. What happened in Baltimore was not a gunfight. (It might have been a gunfight if it had been attempted in or around Waco.)

The cowardice driving the Left’s hatred for Pamela Geller

We all noticed that the same Lefties who would never dream of saying “she asked for it” if a woman got raped after walking naked into a biker’s bar in Waco have stumbled over each other in their fervor to blame Pamela Geller for inciting Muslims to murder, never mind that in America we enshrine free speech as an unalienable right.  Dennis Prager went one step further and asked what motivates the Left.  The answer is not pretty:

The first and most important reason is a rule of life that I wrote about in a recent column explaining the Left’s hatred for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

Those who don’t fight evil hate those who do.

This is a defining characteristic of the American Left. That is why the Left loathed President Ronald Reagan for labeling the Soviet Union an “evil empire”: He judged and confronted Communism, the greatest evil in the world after World War II.

Today, the world’s greatest evil is Islamism (the movement to impose Islam and its sharia on society). Just as the Left loathed anti-Communists, it loathes anti-Islamists, chief among whom is Netanyahu, the prime minister of the country that the Islamists most hate, the country that most confronts violent Islam — and not coincidentally the country the international Left most hates.

Read the rest here.

Obama and Israel hatred

I’ve already blogged about Obama’s euphemisms for crude government power plays and about the Left’s hatred for people and things that stand against evil. Add up those two and you get Obama’s duplicitous war against Israel, a righteous nation that is in the front lines of the battle against Islamist evil. Robert Avrech has a few things to say about Obama’s relationship to that tiny nation:

Ramadi has fallen to the IslamoNazis of Islamic State. Keep in mind that Ramadi was stable and secure when Obama came into office. But in his haste to scamper out of the Middle East, Obama has left a power vacuum that has been filled by the worst actors the Islamic world has to offer.

Under Obama, Syria has become a failed state, a Sunni/Shia slaughterhouse. Libya and Yemen are further examples of Obama’s failed foreign policy.

And of course there is Iran on its way to becoming a nuclear power — with Obama’s blessing.

One would expect an American President to embrace Israel, a stable and democratic state in a sea of monstrous tyrants. Instead, Obama has rejected America’s special relationship with Israel, gone out of his way to demonize and isolate the Jewish state.

Read more here.

Obama has damned America’s soul with his Iraq policy

When America left Vietnam, the blood of a million Cambodians stained her soul. When Obama pulled out of a stable Iraq, leaving the path open for Iran and ISIS to feast on that now vulnerable nation, he again opened the way to a permanent stain on America’s collective soul. Richard Fernandez talks about that “road to damnation“:

The president was never going to defeat ISIS, because that would require what he will not do. Despite the Post’s belated exhortations, America won’t come back to Iraq. If Baghdad pulls it together, it will be a minor miracle. But it doesn’t look like it. One hundred thousand refugees are reported on the road to Baghdad, fleeing the house-to-house reprisals of ISIS and running straight into the hands of waiting bloodthirsty Shi’ite militias.

Behind the tide of misery is the Islamic state, now in control of a supply route running from Syria to the Baghdad. “This is a very big threat to Baghdad. If [ISIS] controls Ramadi and Anbar, it gives them a big morale boost,” Iraqi General Najim Abed al-Jabouri told The Daily Beast. “The road between Syria and Ramadi is open, so they can always send more fighters to Ramadi.” The capital, consumed with suspicion and hatred, waits in suspense for the assault, unable to trust itself with guns, unable to unify its strategy.

On Lindsay Graham

I don’t have to quote from Ben Domenech’s article about Lindsay Graham to entice you to read it. All I need to do is quote the title: “Lindsey Graham Is An Unhinged Kook Who Shouldn’t Be Taken Seriously.” Now, go forth and read!

On Hillary Clinton

I always enjoy reading Noemie Emery, although her name confuses me when I type it, and I always get it wrong the first few times. My name-typing ineptitude notwithstanding, I’m willing to bet that I’m still more competent than Hillary Clinton, a woman who, Emery explains, has no accomplishments at all:

In 1993, then known as “Bill’s better half” and a new kind of first lady,” was given the task of designing a government takeover of health care. This had been planned as the jewel in the crown of the liberal edifice, but it proved a tough nut to crack. In September, 1994 the bill was withdrawn, but not before it had become the great cause célèbre of the upcoming midterms, in which Democrats lost control of both the House and the Senate for the first time in forty years. Elected to the Senate in 2000, thanks in part to her husband’s fling with an intern, she voted in 2002 to launch the war in Iraq, turned against it the minute it ran into trouble and then tried to atone by opposing the Surge, which in 2007-2008 made Iraq stable.

Named secretary of state by Obama in 2009 after having failed in her first attempt to be president, she began her term trying for a ‘reset’ with Russia, in which even finding the right Russian word became an embarrassment. She supported regime change in Libya that proved catastrophic, and failed to foresee, prepare for or deal with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2012 in Egypt and Libya that killed our ambassador and three other Americans. She insisted for over a week later that the riots were caused by a video made in America, which she surely had known was a lie.

Reading the above, I have a very funny association. In a charming movie called Two Girls and a Sailor, Jimmy Durante sings “Inka Dinka Doo,” accompanied by Harry James and his orchestra. Now I happen to adore Harry James, and think he’s one of the best trumpet players who ever lived. But in this particular shtick, he hits a completely unnecessary high note — just showing off, doncha know — and Durante takes him to task. Hillary’s career is made of those high notes and Emery is taking on Durante’s role of pointing it out. Here, just watch what happens at about 2:50:

The problem of black illegitimacy

I’m too lazy to look up which Leftist buffoon blamed the problems in Baltimore on slavery, an institution that ended in America 150 years ago (although it’s still alive and kicking in the Muslim world). I do know, though, that some buffoon definitely uttered those stupid words. Both Dr. Walter E. Williams and Lt. Col. Allen West, men who looks truth squarely in the face, disagree.  In their eyes, modern American blacks labor under something that is, in many ways, even more damaging to the human spirit than slavery — the curse of the fatherless family:

As Dr. Walter E. Williams writes for, “Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today’s black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. The fact is that most of the social pathology seen in poor black neighborhoods is entirely new in black history. Let’s look at some of it. Today the overwhelming majority of black children are raised in single female-headed families. As early as the 1880s, three-quarters of black families were two-parent. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black families were two-parent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children had the same mother and father.”

“Today’s black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” and was widely condemned as a racist. By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56 percent, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.”

John Nolte’s scathing indictment of the Leftist media

John Nolte has a 48-count indictment against the mainstream media, detailing the lies they’ve told the American people over the last several decades (and within increasing frequency in the last several years) in order to drive a hardcore Leftist agenda. I don’t want to quote bits and pieces here. You have to go to Breitbart and see the indictment in its fully, lengthy glory (and Nolte is not verbose).

Both Rand Paul and Ted Cruz seem to have figured out that they cannot rely on the media to assure them access to the American people. They are cleverly treating the media as a partisan party and using it as a foil to speak truths to Americans, rather than as a vehicle to relay those truths. Cruz is more mild about this than I would have expected, but perhaps he thinks a fairly soft, jocular approach will work better since he’s often accused, even by his own party, of arrogance.