The Bookworm Beat 1/26/16 — the “race heating up” edition and open thread *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265It wasn’t just women who were attacked on New Year’s Eve in Cologne.  When I first read about the hundreds of sexual attacks that Muslim immigrants perpetrated against women in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve, I only vaguely recorded the fact that the Muslims were also setting off fireworks.  It was only in the back of my mind that I asked myself “Are over-the-counter fireworks part of the European New Year tradition?” It turns out that, whether or not they’re part of the New Year tradition, they were definitely fired as part of the “We are Muslims and we don’t allow any other religions to function around us” tradition:

Barbara Schock-Werner, who served as cathedral architect between 1999 and 2012, was present at the well-attended religious service along with several thousand other worshippers. Shock-Werner told the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, that the cathedral experienced an unprecedented and massive rocket and ‘banger’ fireworks barrage that lasted the whole service.

“Again and again the north window of the cathedral was lit up red, because rocket after rocket flew against it,” she said. “And because of the ‘bangers’, it was very loud. The visitors to the service sitting on the north side had difficulties hearing. I feared at times that panic would break out.”

Cardinal Rainer Woelki, who presided at the New Year’s mass, also complained about the “massive disruptions.”

“During my sermon loud ‘bangers’ could be heard,” Woelki said in the paper, Die Welt. “I was already annoyed beforehand about the loud noises that were penetrating into the cathedral.”

Shock-Werner believes the religious service was deliberately “targeted for disruption” due to the attack’s timing. The mass took place between 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., which, she said, “is actually no time to be already shooting off New Year’s rockets in such great volume.”

If anyone tells you that more Muslims mean less violence, don’t believe them.  That’s a fable that belongs in the “Lies, damn lies, and statistics” category.  While nations under the jackboot of theocratic Islam may have less violent crime between Muslims within a given Muslim nation’s borders, the reality is that Muslims don’t play well with others (and “others” means everyone else in the world, including women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, gays, the wrong kind of Muslims, etc.).

Rome goes full dhimmi.  Iranian president Rouhani is heading to Italy and, in his honor, the Italians are temporarily wiping out their culture (or, at least, for now the wipe-out is temporary).  Here it is, the grandeur that once was Rome:

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[VIDEO] Larry Elder asks “Is America Racist?”

Larry ElderI first became aware of Larry Elder in 2008 when I saw his provocatively titled Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card–and Lose when I was in an airport, ready for a flight but with nothing to read. The book was an excellent read and put Larry Elder on my radar. I therefore wasn’t at all surprised to see him narrate this excellent video about racism in America:

[VIDEO] Elbert Guillory on Obama’s mission to disarm Americans in a dangerous world

Elbert GuilloryI am not exaggerating when I say that I have been in love (in a political way) with Elbert Guillory ever since I first saw him back in mid-2013, when he was still ostensibly a Democrat. That feeling has never changed and, indeed, my deep and abiding respect for his intelligence, humanism, and patriotism ratcheted up again when I saw this video he made in the wake of Obama’s anti-Second Amendment Executive Orders:

This is yet another video it would do every single person in Marin good to listen to — but the reality is that I’m not a totalitarian, fascist Leftist, so I don’t go around forcing people to listen to things.

Obama’s and the Left’s crocodile tears for the victims of gun violence

Obama tears up over gun controlThe Progressives on my Facebook feed are in a delighted tizzy. Obama actually cried — he cried! — when he spoke of his new unilaterally enacted gun control edicts limiting law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights. I quote:

“Bravo, Mr. President! Thank you so much for your leadership, your clear-headed thinking and your enormous heart.”

“I agree completely with Obama – if it prevents even one death, that life is meaningful.”

And finally, from “Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian” (in fact, a hard-Left Canadian comedienne), came this:

“If you find yourself mocking anyone who cries over murdered children, it’s Jesus’s way of letting you know you’re a sociopath.”

This was a sentiment that several of my Progressive friends “liked.”

There are so many things wrong with these statements that it’s a little hard to know where to begin. What I won’t discuss here are the specifics of the Executive Order — which apparently range from stupid, to dangerous, to vaguely helpful, but always unconstitutional. You can find several intelligent discussions at conservative sites. A few suggestions are Ace of Spades, Larry Correia, Bearing Arms, and AWR Hawkins.

Instead, what I want to discuss are those tears. I believe they are theatrical, and it’s not just because it’s possible that Obama “onioned” his eyes as a way to make them happen. Obama doesn’t needs onions to shed fake tears as a way of cementing a con — and his gun control push is a con, one that he’s probably deliberately running on the American people, although it’s conceivable he’s running it on himself too.

My “Obama is crying hypocritical crocodile tears” argument is best made through the filter of a 2015 HBO documentary, Requiem for the Dead.  Consider this argument a synecdoche, one in which the part is used to be illustrative of the whole.  My experience with a Leftist and Requiem for the Dead is America’s experience with Barack Obama and his acolytes.

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The Bookworm Beat 1/4/2016 — the “I’ve got a secret” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have sitting in front of me a piece of a very juicy story that’s happening in real-time — and I can’t do anything about it right now! Two things stop me: The first is that, as I said, I currently only have a piece, and I need more information to understand fully what is going on; the second is that I don’t know yet whether what’s happening is operating under a confidentiality agreement.

The fact that I got some of the information means that someone (and I know who) violated confidentiality, but the whole thing is too sensitive for me to charge into. I’m going to keep an eye on things, though, and I’ll let you know when/if I have a real story. Meanwhile….

On guns, using Alinsky against the Alinsky-ites

Saul Alinksy may have had an ugly ideology, but he was a master tactician. One of his mandates is that you have to make your political enemy play by his own rules. The Virginia GOP is making noises about doing just that, although I doubt GOPers will have the courage of their convictions:

Virginia’s radically anti-gun Governor and Attorney General were probably quite pleased with themselves when they spitefully severed concealed carry agreements with 25 states, including all but one of its neighbors.

They probably didn’t anticipate the backlash they’ve received, which includes calls to recall or impeach Attorney General Mark Herring, and pushes for legislation that will both strip elected officials of the ability to make such unilateral decisions, and get a little payback.

Herring’s announcement came three weeks before the start of the General Assembly session, which is controlled by Republicans. In November, a bill was filed that would require Virginia to recognize permits from other states. If approved, it would reverse Herring’s ruling.

Carrico said he’ll address the issue come January.

“A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my collegues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point,” he said. “I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.”

Read more here.

It would be fruitless and damaging to try stripping Hillary Clinton of her Secret Service detail. Having said that, it would be brilliant if, at every campaign stop, people ask her why, because she is such a strong anti-gun campaigner, she shouldn’t be stripped of that armed coverage.  And I’d love to see the same question asked of Obama at town halls.

I suspect both will reply that they need security because they’re targets.  Statistically speaking, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the average citizen of Chiraq is just as likely to be a target — the only difference is that the Chiraquian cannot defend himself (or have others defend him).

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The Bookworm Beat 12-17-15 — the “speed writing” edition

Woman-writing-300x265Are you familiar with speed chess? I learned about it when I was at Cal. Since I worked at the Bancroft Library, I had access to an employee break room. Every day at lunch, two men would sit there, chess board in front of them, timer at their side, and make lightning swift moves, wrapping up a single game in minutes, not hours. What I’m going for here is speed blogging. I’ve got more than 20 links, and I’m going to try to share them with you in less than half an hour of writing. Here goes….

In 2006, Thomas Lifson wrote what I think is one of the best political articles ever.  In it, he explained that there are two seasons in American politics — Attention Season and Inattention Season.  The former has a remarkable way of concentrating American minds.  Right now, with the election nearing and terrorism within our borders again, Americans are starting to shift from Inattention to Attention.  I suspect this will change the polling dynamics substantially in the next few weeks.

Trump is the bad boy of this political season, by which I mean that he’s the cool guy in the leather jacket that all the girls want to date and to domesticate. Eventually, though, the girls discover that a bad boy may have a James Dean charm about him, but he’s still bad, meaning he’s bad for the girl (and he’s equally bad for the guys who want to run with his pack).  Kurt Schlichter perfectly articulates why  Donald Trump is one of those bad boys, and explains that he’s going to be a heart breaker for those conservatives who think that this lifelong Democrat is someone to hold on to during trying times.  Rubio and Cruz are probably the best choice for the nice steady boys who will come in and save the day.

If you’d like a short but deep run-down of the last Republican debate, and one with which I happen to agree, check out Seraphic Secret’s post about the debate.

Millennials are not the next greatest generation:  they want to see American troops defeat ISIS; they just don’t want to be among the troops doing the defeating.  Having said that, I’m in no position to sneer.  I am an armchair warrior at best and a coward at worst, and have always been incredibly grateful that there are men and women who are willing to do the necessary fighting that I’m scared to do.

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The Bookworm Beat 11-29-15 — the “tidy office-tidy mind” edition

Woman-writing-300x265Inspired by Marie Kondo’s advice that true organization begins with throwing out everything that is neither useful nor sentimental, I am continuing to plow through every nook and cranny in my house. This is the first organization system that’s made sense to me, which is why I haven’t already given up and relapsed into my usual vaguely tidy-looking mess. My mind is also a vaguely tidy-looking mess, but  it’s still yielded these interesting links:

Ignore people who tell you Cruz is divisive and uncooperative

According to those rooting for candidates other than Ted Cruz, he’s an arrogant blowhard who won’t play well with others.  In fact, Cruz’s work history proves that the opposite is true:

At the FTC, Cruz’s agenda could have been written by Milton Friedman.

Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers. Based on his early support of disruptive online companies, Cruz has some grounds to call himself the “Uber of American politics.”

Moreover, and perhaps surprising to some, Cruz sought and secured a broad, bipartisan consensus for his agenda. Almost all of Cruz’s initiatives received unanimous support among both Republicans and Democrats.

Ted Cruz a consensus-builder? He was, at the FTC.

Read the rest here.  Cruz has the chops to make the best kind of President:  True conservative values, love for America, phenomenal intelligence, and the ability to work and play well with others.

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1960’s history being replayed at Yale and Missouri

Civil rights sit-inI’ve been watching events unfold at Yale and Missouri with no small amount of fascination. At Yale, students with foam-flecked mouths are screaming hysterically because an administrator suggested that they man up a little and face the fact that Halloween might result in their seeing costumes they don’t like. Rather than telling these mental marshmallows to grow a spine, Yale’s president made an abject, groveling apology.

Meanwhile, at the University of Missouri, the all-important football team went on strike because the President had failed to show insufficient anger in the face of racial slurs crudely daubed around the campus. The charge that the President showed insufficient emotion reminded me of nothing so much as the tears North Koreans shed when Kim Jong Il died — not necessarily because they were that sad to see a tyrant go, but because the failure to mourn with enthusiasm could result in a one-way trip to a concentration camp:

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You’ll be surprised to learn what happened when cops pulled over an armed black man in a hoodie

Steven HildrethSteven Hildreth, a black man, was driving in Tucson while armed. When he got pulled over, something amaz…. Never mind. I’ll let him explain:

So, I’m driving to my office to turn in my weekly paperwork. A headlight is out. I see a Tucson Police Department squad vehicle turn around and follow me. I’m already preparing for the stop.

The lights go on and I pull over. The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons.

“Yes, sir. I’m a concealed carry permit holder and my weapon is located on my right hip. My wallet is in my back-right pocket.”

The officer explains for his safety and mine, he needs to disarm me for the stop. I understand, and I unlock the vehicle. I explain that I’m running a 7TS ALS holster but from the angle, the second officer can’t unholster it. Lead officer asks me to step out, and I do so slowly. Officer relieves me of my Glock and compliments the X300U I’m running on it. He also sees my military ID and I tell him I’m with the National Guard.

Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date. He goes back to run my license. I know he’s got me on at least two infractions. I’m thinking of how to pay them.

Read the rest here. It will warm the cockles of your heart.  It is a testament to the virtues of mutual respect and cooperation.

You can learn more about Hildreth’s background here.

Moron Watch 10-23-15 — the textbook edition *UPDATED*

Dunce capLately, I keep finding the word “moron” on my lips. I know I’m not the smartest person out there but it seems that, with ever greater frequency, I find myself swimming in a sea of other people’s stupidity.

Unsurprisingly given my ideological bent, I’m more aware of the stupidity on the Left — but it’s out there everywhere. Being a moron is not the same as supporting what I consider to be a bad ideology. Instead, being a moron means that people get their facts wrong, their conclusions wrong, or their methodology wrong, no matter what ideology drives them.

Today’s example of moron thinking comes from a New York Times op-ed shrilly accusing Texas textbooks of advancing a racist narrative at the behest of evil Texas conservatives. The Left has been in high dudgeon about the fact that the Texas history book states that despite their horrible circumstances Africans enslaved in America were able to find joy in their lives and create a rich culture, often connected with their adopting Christianity.  This is true, of course, and speaks will of the indomitable human spirit.

The problem for the Left is that these facts run counter to the Leftist narrative that America wasn’t just a nation in the grip of bad ideas at certain time, but was and is irredeemably evil and must therefore be destroyed. Teaching that blacks triumphed over adversity doesn’t advance that narrative as well as having them painted as anguished, weak victims who could do nothing to alleviate their circumstances.

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Found it on Facebook — A series of posts looking at what passes for insightful commentary on the Left (part 1)

Dunce capYes, it’s that time again — when I go through my Progressive friends’ Facebook posts, culling the most stupid or irritating posters.  Before I do that, though, I want to quote John Hinderaker, who was overwhelmed by the mean-spirited, illogical banality of a Leftist’s tweet.

Before getting to the tweet, which was the usual thing saying that conservatives love murder because they won’t ban guns, Hinderaker had something important to say:

Liberals pursue many policies that cause people to die. They release felons from prison, or never incarcerate them in the first place; they make war on the police, causing murder rates to spike; they impede the ability of pharmaceutical companies to bring life-saving drugs to market; they drive up the cost of energy, exposing the poor to dangerous temperature extremes; they promote gun-free zones that turn innocent people into sitting ducks; they pursue weak foreign policies that cause many thousands to be killed by tyrants and terrorists.

These are just a few obvious examples. Yet conservatives don’t call liberals murderers. We extend them the presumption of good faith. We debate policy, we don’t assert that liberals are pro-death. But liberals are not similarly fair-minded. The latest case in point is Josh Marshall, proprietor of TPM, who tweeted:

And with that in mind, let me do the full front attack on liberal thinking that conservatives should do routinely. Because the Left’s simplistic thinking ignores facts and analysis, a brief poster results in a lot of writing.  I’m therefore breaking this post down into several posts, which I’ll publish over the course of the afternoon. Part 2, about gun grabbing, is already up here, while Part 3 (about abortion) is here. As always, I’ll lead with the poster and follow with my comments:

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Obama administration’s order to ignore Afghan pederasty is a new chapter in the smug racism of the neocolonialists

Old Afghan man kisses boy on mouthThe news about the Obama administration’s stand-down order to American troops when they are confronted with the Afghanis’ culture of pederasty brought to mind a post I wrote almost exactly five years ago, entitled “The smug racism of the neocolonialists.”  That post focused on the pass we give Muslims when they treat women in ways that we would consider intolerable here at home.

Our willingness to demand less of other cultures and races than we do of ourselves is framed as an enviable post-modern objectivity that refuses to acknowledge that our culture has any values better than any other culture (i.e., cultural relativism).  Despite deriding their own culture, it’s clear that the relativists believe that people with darker skin color are incapable of moral, law-abiding, decent behavior.  In 2010, I compared this toxic sludge of an ideology unfavorably to that practiced by the Victorians — whom Leftists disrespect deeply based on the Victorian’s deeply ingrained belief that theirs was a superior culture:

The exceptionally low standards we allow for Muslims and blacks are always phrased in terms of “respect” for the “other” culture.  “Respect,” however, is a misnomer.  True respect is impossible if we consistently assert that the “others” (who invariably have skin darker than ours) cannot hold themselves to the normative behaviors of which we’re most proud.

But I promised to tell you that the old colonialists were actually better than the neo-colonialists who inhabit our media airways and political space today.  Not all of them were, of course.  The ones who treated indigenous people with exceptional cruelty were as bad as could be.

Fortunately, though, there were other colonialists who looked at the less savory practices of the indigenous people under their rule, and said, “I don’t care the color of these people’s skin.  They are better than those grotesque practices, and I will hold them up to my standards, and not allow them to wallow down in theirs.”

The easiest illustration of this true respect for the native people trapped in the colonial web is Lord William Bentinck’s refusal to accept the common practice of suttee in India.  Suttee (or sati), for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the old Indian practice of requiring a widow to climb onto her husband’s funeral pyre and be burned alive.

In the late 1820s, faced with this barbaric practice, William Bentinck, Governor-General of the East India company, refused to bow to cultural relativism.  Instead, he insisted that, under British rule, suttee end.  The following passage may be written in the ornate, verbose, polysyllabic style of the 19th century, but the meaning is clear — Indians are people too and it is every moral person’s obligation to steer them away from barbarism:

The first and primary object of my heart is the benefit of the Hindus. I know nothing so important to the improvement of their future condition as the establishment of a purer morality, whatever their belief, and a more just conception of the will of God. The first step to this better understanding will be dissociation of religious belief and practice from blood and murder. They will then, when no longer under this brutalizing excitement, view with more calmness acknowledged truths. They will see that there can be no inconsistency in the ways of Providence, that to the command received as divine by all races of` men, “No innocent blood shall be spilt,” there can be no exception; and when they shall have been convinced of the error of this first and most criminal of their customs, may it not be hoped that others, which stand in the way of their improvement, may likewise pass away, and that, thus emancipated from those chains and shackles upon their minds and actions, they may no longer continue, as they have done, the slaves of every foreign conqueror, but that they may assume their first places among the great families of mankind? I disown in these remarks, or in this measure, any view whatever to conversion to our own faith. I write and feel as a legislator for the Hindus, and as I believe many enlightened Hindus think and feel.

Descending from these higher considerations, it cannot be a dishonest ambition that the Government of which I form a part should have the credit of an act which is to wash out a foul stain upon British rule, and to stay the sacrifice of humanity and justice to a doubtful expediency; and finally, as a branch of the general administration of the Empire, I may be permitted to feel deeply anxious that our course shall be in accordance with the noble example set to us by the British Government at home, and that the adaptation, when practicable to the circumstances of this vast Indian population, of the same enlightened principles, may promote here as well as there the general prosperity, and may exalt the character of our nation.

Call it enlightened colonialism, if you want.  In practice, it meant that Bentinck recognized the Indians’ humanity, and demanded the elevation of their conduct.

In this regard, Bentinck was infinitely better than today’s cultural relativists who refuse to speak out for the millions of women around the world brutalized by Islam’s restrictions, whether those restrictions are the forced wearing of imprisoning clothes, the humiliation of polygamy, the limitations on movement, the imprisonment in homes, the denial of education, or the more extreme physical punishments of genital mutilation, beatings, acid burnings, nose and ear removals, stonings, torture, honor killings and hanging — all of which are routine practices against women across the Muslim world, whether meted out by Muslim governments or just by Muslim men.

My old post popped into my mind again this week when I read in the New York Times that U.S. soldiers are being told to ignore the Afghani cultural practice that sees grown men raping young boys and keeping them as their sex slaves.  Pamela Geller pithily fills in what it took the NYT three years to acknowledge:

This is Obama policy. And it’s been going on for years. Last month I reported that the U.S. Army kicked out a decorated Green Beret after an 11-year Special Forces career, after he got in trouble for shoving an Afghan police commander accused of raping a boy and beating up his mother when she reported the incident.

Atlas readers are long familiar with the horrible murder of American hero Lance Cpl. Buckley. His murderer,  in one of a string of insider attacks, was Aynoddin, was the “tea boy” of Afghan District Police Chief Sarwar Jan. District Police Chief Jan, who supplied the assault rifle, most likely helped plan and certainly approved the attack was detained. Chief Jan was released and the Obama administration allegedly turned Aynoddin back over to the Afghans.  Buckley’s killer got off scot-free. I reported on this back in 2012 and have spoken and appeared many times with Cpl Buckley’s father several times. Watch the videos here and here.

What’s happening is nothing new to those following the Left.  Indeed, my journey from Leftist to conservative got a big boost back in the 1990s, during the Rodney King riots.  Back then too, Leftists strongly believed that environmental and racial factors are so strong that people are incapable of exerting self-control or making moral choices, a belief that, in America, is routinely applied to African Americans. My focus then was Damian Williams, one of the young black men who savaged Reginald Denny during the Rodney King riots. Although there was no doubt that he had tried to kill Denny, Williams was still acquitted.

In a newspaper interview, Williams explained away his conduct by saying that he was “caught up in the rapture.” Indeed, as the New York Times reported at the time, “Mr. Williams, a 20-year-old black man, was acquitted in October of most charges against him by a sympathetic jury.”

I’ve always believed that, had Williams been a white man who killed gays or blacks, that statement and the verdict that preceded it would have been held up by the Leftist establishment as disgusting, horrific and vile. As it was, my memory (and I’m open to correction here) was that the media piled on with a bunch of stories about young men, black rage, and mob identity, etc. In other words, being caught up in the rapture was a pretty acceptable excuse for trying to beat a man’s head in because he was the wrong color, in the wrong place. No one seemed concerned that a young man, a human being, had behaved like an animal, and no one seemed to expect better from him.

It seems that Leftists except no better from Afghans than they do from blacks.  Ironically enough, behind their pose of being the least racist people in the world, Leftists are instead the people most likely to advance policies premised on the theory that only Western whites are capable of higher moral conduct.