The Bookworm Beat 11-24-15 — the “a little help from my friends” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My day has spiraled so wildly out of control, I despair of ever getting it back. Fortunately, a good friend who knows well how I think sent me an email that says much of what I would have said today if I’d had the time. So, here is the “Bookworm friends” edition:

On the subject of white guilt, let me paraphrase Alan Dershowitz who calls today’s tenured faculty the biggest wusses he’s seen in 50 years.  All of them are unable to respond to the outrageous demands and tactics of perpetual grievance groups, paralyzed by the white guilt.  What Dershowitz doesn’t say is that the victimization these groups are claiming as justification is nothing more or less than the tenured faculty has been trying for decades now to inculcate in them.  I think Mary Shelly wrote a cautionary tale about this . . .

Also, Bret Stephens places blame firmly where it belongs when it comes to those monstrous students — on their Progressive parents and faculty members, who are themselves the spawn of the Greatest Generation who, flush with winning the war and dominating the peace, forgot to parent.

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Maybe Obama can re-energize by leading a fight to ban swords and knives

Robert Tracinski wrote an excellent article calling Obama the worst president ever. I urge you to read it. His opening point, which is that Obama is bored by the disasters he’s let loose in the world,and excited only about fighting to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights got me thinking. Combine that with today’s story about the swordsman in the Apple store, and I ended up with a snarky post:

President Obama seems bored lately. It’s no surprise why. Once he determined that Islam has nothing to do with massacres in Boston, Kenya, Mumbai, Paris, Mali, etc. (all committed with weapons that are already illegal in the U.S.), he was left with nothing to say. If you watch his lifeless statement after the Paris massacre, you can almost see him thinking “Same old, same old. I can’t even pretend emotion by this time.”

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[VIDEO] The always wrong, always mean Obama

obama-angryEverything Obama has touched during his presidency has turned to dross. I’d like you to look at this video, not as a Ted Cruz campaign video (which it is) but as a really short, savage indictment of Obama’s awfulness, from his boasting, to his anti-Americanism, to his vicious personal attacks on fellow Americans. What an awful man and a worse leader Obama is:

Obama cares deeply about civilians — just not about American civilians

Obama blindfoldedWith France now following in Russia’s lead and going after ISIS in Syria, people are asking why Obama is not being more aggressive in his approach to taking out ISIS. The French air attack on ISIS’s Raqqa headquarters, munitions depot, and recruiting station revealed that America has excellent intelligence on ISIS because it provided necessary satellite data. America had compiled this data for a drone attack on a target of one: Jihadi John.

American intelligence about ISIS in Raqqa

Our military could have dealt a fairly devastating blow to ISIS by dropping an extra bomb or two just a block away from Jihadi John’s location  — but it didn’t. What exactly is going on here?

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The Bookworm Beat 11-18-15 — “the mother of all round-ups” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have been collecting links for days and will try to share them all with you. Here goes:

Only conservatives are paying attention

In an attempt to deflect attention of Muslim depredations in Paris, the Left and its foot soldiers (all of whom seem to be my Facebook friends) immediately attacked Americans and other Westerners for failing to pay attention to a bombing the day before in Lebanon (an ISIS v. Hezbollah bombing, so it was Horrible People v. Horrible People). I eventually got tired of commenting on their posts to the effect that I have been paying attention to all of these attacks, primarily because they are all different manifestations of a single radical Islamic entity, and I’ve been trying to get everyone to pay as much attention as I do.

Emma Kelly says what I was too polite to say explicitly to these Leftists: The reason you didn’t know about these other attacks isn’t because the newspapers didn’t report them, it’s because you weren’t paying attention.

I’ll add something that Kelly didn’t, though: You weren’t paying attention because American and European media outlets don’t want you to see that Islam is a problem, so they report on these incidents, but downplay them. Meanwhile you get loud noise about Ben Carson’s alleged lies, Hillary’s brilliance, Republicans’ meanness, Donald Trump’s hair, and Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy.

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Democrat paralysis in the face of radical Islam

ISIS drowning prisonersThe Obama administration and the current crop of Democrat presidential candidates have backbones of steel when it comes to their refusal to finger “radical Islam” as the perpetrator of violent terrorism around the world. If England and America had practiced that same policy back in 1939 and 1942, we would all be speaking German right now, and the Muslims (staunch Hitler allies) would be enjoying the wonders of a Jew-free world.

What the Democrats will not acknowledge is that when evil comes calling, only three things can happen: You oppose it, you join it, or you die from it. Their silence means that Democrats are not opposing it, forcing America to be complicit with it or die from it. Sensible Americans are appalled by this policy approach. Progressives, however, know their candidates are doing what needs to be done.

Thus, Progressives are convinced that, if we just throw enough “love bombs” at Islam, the radical Islamists will be charmed by what deeply spiritual and kind people we are, throw down their guns, and return their home-made explosives to their original purpose as fertilizer. One wonders how in the world the Progressives got it into their collective heads that people who auction off prepubescent girls and boys as sex slaves, crucify children, toss gays off of off the tops of buildings so as to stone them at the bottom, and glory in decapitating, drowning, burning, and blowing up Christians and prisoners of war are likely to be beguiled into harmlessness because an old hippie croons “I still love you.”

In a must-read article, Caroline Glick nails everything that’s wrong with the Leftist approach to radical Islam, all of which starts with its insistence that there is no such thing as radical Islam:

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After Paris, will Obama actually do anything to halt terror attacks?

President Obama in Turkey at G20Appearing at the G-20 summit in Turkey, President Obama made appropriate noises about responding to ISIS in the wake of the violent attack in Paris on November 13, just two weeks after ISIS shot down a Russian passenger aircraft over the Sinai Desert, killing all aboard.

Obama murmured about an “attack on the civilized world” and spoke poetically about “skies [that] have been darkened.” He promised to stand with France in addressing the savage attack. To date, that promise meant that the U.S. shared with France data about ISIS strongholds in Syria.

Yesterday, using this data, France obliterated ISIS’s Raqqa command center, recruiting center, and ammunition storage. Interestingly, despite the U.S. having possession of this information, and indeed, using it for an expensive surgical strike against “Jihadi John,” our military made no effort to take out these same targets.

Obama also promised to stand with Turkey and Europe generally to stop the overwhelming flow of migrants. Nevertheless, speaking through Ben Rhodes, the English and Poly Sci major turned Obama foreign policy adviser, Obama (in common with the three Democrat candidates for president) has promised to continue unabated the flow of Middle Eastern refugees into the United States. To assuage people’s fears, however, the administration did promise that these refugees would be subject to “rigorous” vetting.

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The Left’s inordinate fear of speaking Islam’s name #Paris

Immediately after radical Islamists slaughtered at least 128 people in cold blood, and wounded more than double that number, my Facebook feed lit up with posts and posters expressing solidarity with the people of Paris.  I’m posting here a sampling of the images included in the posts.  As you scroll through them, think about what’s missing:

Damien in Le Figaro

The world stands with France

Prayers for Peace Around the World

Le Petit Prince Officiel mourns Paris

Blaming gun violence

(Yes — the posters included things this dumb)

San Francisco City Hall

What the world needs now is love sweet love

Crying Eye

Mark Ruffalo idiocy

In addition, Facebook added a feature so that people can have a French flag layered over their profile picture.  Here’s an example of an overlay that several of my Facebook friends used:

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The Bookworm Beat 11-5-15 — Guy Fawkes edition, Part 2

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve still got a few more things I want to share with you tonight, so consider this Part 2 for the day (with Part 1 here).

The coming (and inevitable) Leftist implosion

Every time I read a Kevin Williamson article, I like his writing and thinking just a little bit more. In one of his latest outings, about the inevitable fissures on the Left (as exemplified by (1) the way Black Lives Matters activists are attacking old, white Bernie and Hillary, and (2) the way the black/Hispanic majority in very Leftist Houston nevertheless voted down men in women’s restrooms), Williams has the following wonderful lines:

The challenge for the Left is that while the Republican party is mainly a coalition of ideologies, the Democratic party is mainly a coalition of interest groups, and the current model of Democratic politics — poor and largely non-white people providing the muscle and rich white liberals calling the shots — is unsustainable. The social attitudes of non-white voters are pretty plainly not those of white liberals, and, at the same time — and probably more significant — the economic interests of white liberals are pulling away from those of the people in whose interest they purport to act. Hispanic immigrants and urban blacks make below-average wages; public-school administrators and other government employees make wages that are well above average. There aren’t a lot of people in Cleveland’s Glenville who give a fat furry rat’s patootie how much interest Caitlyn from Bryn Mawr is paying on the student loans that financed her women’s-studies degree. If you’re wondering why Democrats lean so deeply into the racial rhetoric — Joe Biden’s shameful “They want to put y’all back in chains!” etc. — that’s a big part of your answer.

Rich Lowry’s article nails why I don’t trust Rubio

Marco Rubio is bright, articulate, focused, conservative, and telegenic. I ought to like him . . . but I just don’t. I’ve been pfumphering around for a while trying to put my finger on my problem with him and I think it really does boil down to his support for amnesty:

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The Bookworm Beat 10-28-15 — the speed dial edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My challenge to myself is to give you as many links as possible in the ten minutes I have left before I have to go to the veterinarian with my dog. This will be my fourth doctor’s visit this week, which is quite impressive considering that I am in the pink of health.

The mullahs send Obama a signal

You know the old joke about the man who goes up to a beautiful woman at a swank party and asks, “Would you sleep with me for $1,000,000?”

The woman blushes and coyly whispers back, “I’m so flattered. Why, yes, I think I would.”

The man asks a follow-up question: “Would you sleep with me for $10?”

The woman turns red, slaps the man in the face, and asks angrily, “What do you take me for? A whore?”

Answers the man, “We’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just haggling about the price.”

Keep that joke in mind as you read about Iran, having taken Obama’s measure and gotten all the benefits of the bargain, is making sure to show Obama just what the mullahs think of him and his country.

Antisemitism goes mainstream

If you’re an antisemite, this link showing people all over the world flashing antisemitic signals in the places most likely to disrespect Jews and their memory will delight you. All moral, decent, honorable, kind, and good people will be disgusted.

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The Bookworm Beat 10-27-15 — “it’s just another day” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve been going through my emails, with 200 down, 300 or so yet to go. Even though I’m only less than halfway through, I’ve discovered marvelous articles hiding in my email box thanks to friends from all over.

Did Merkel unilaterally doom Europe?

We no longer subscribe to the great man or great woman school of history. We’ve also abandoned the notion of high tragedy arising from the hubris of said great men or women. Perhaps, though, it’s time for us to revive that genre.

Daniel Greenfield convincingly argues that Germany’s Angela Merkel, with her mad plan to replace her country’s shrinking, aging population with Muslim refugees, will have single-handedly done to Europe what generations of Muslim conquerors have tried to do, which is to turn it into a part of the global Caliphate:

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The Bookworm Beat 10-1-15 — the “clearing the spindle” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed and wounded at Umpqua Community College today. I have only three things to note: Obama immediately demanded gun control; the campus has a “gun free zone” policy; and the shooter started to ask people their religion, but started shooting before they could answer.

Without more information, I have nothing else to say nor conclusions to draw.

What it’s like to experience an Islamic terrorist attack

Foreign Policy has a truly horrifying minute-by-minute timeline of what happened during the horrible Islamic attack on the Nairobi’s Westgate Mall two years ago.  The article pieces the story together based on conversations with survivors and Kenyan officials, as well as information derived from mall security tapes.

My two takeaways are that Islamic terrorists are monstrous people by the standards of any place and any time in world history; and that when seconds count, the authorities are not only minutes or hours away, they seldom have enough information to handle the crisis in any event.  The front-line defendants, if any, are those people who, through sheer happenstance, find themselves at the center of a terrorist attack.  If they are armed, the attack is more likely to be limited in scope.

When all guns in private hands are outlawed (which is President Obama’s most devout hope), only outlaws and terrorists will have guns.  The rest of us will have targets painted on strategic parts of our bodies.

Dirty organic food

Marin County is fanatic about its organic foods. Perhaps, as with so many things, Marin is on the wrong track:

The permitted “organic” pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article: “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones. No matter what anyone tells you, organic pesticides don’t just disappear.”


Organic foods are highly susceptible to it. According to Bruce Chassy, professor of food science at the University of Illinois, “organic foods are recalled 4 to 8 times more frequently than their conventional counterparts.” This is hardly surprising. Aside from the presence of pathogenic bacteria, organic grains are particularly susceptible to toxins from fungi. In 2003, the UK Food Safety Agency tested six organic corn meal products and 20 conventional (non-organic) corn meal products for contamination with the toxin fumonisin. All six organic corn meals had elevated levels—from nine to 40 times more than the recommended levels for human health—and they were voluntarily withdrawn from grocery stores. By contrast, the 20 conventional (i.e., non-organic) products averaged about a quarter of the recommended maximum levels.

Obamacare — more people should read my blog

Over at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog there’s a conundrum:  Why don’t 33 million people have health insurance in this glorious Obamacare era?  There are some easy answers to that question according to FiveThirtyEight:  To begin with, around 4 million of those “Americans” without insurance are, in fact, illegal aliens.  Another three million are immigrants and Medicaid gap people who don’t have coverage.  Take away that crowd, and one is still left with 29 million uninsured people.  You can then peel away the 7.7 invincible or unemployed young, who view insurance as unnecessary or too costly, especially given that they’re propping up Obamacare.  Even after that, you’re still left with around 14 million uninsured Americans, 75% of whom are adults who ought to be Obamacare subscribers.

At this point, FiveThirtyEight is baffled:

It’s hard to say why these 14 million people weren’t insured, but the administration will have to figure that out if it wants to come close to the universal coverage the law intended.

May I suggest that the FiveThirtyEight people stop thinking like the middle class and start thinking like the lowest class? Once again, I turn to my friend who, though coming from a middle class background, lives amongst the poorest of the poor, many of whom are second or third generation members of that class:

[My friend] and her husband, the only middle class people in a sea of poverty, are the only people she knows, amongst both friends and acquaintances, who have signed up for Obamacare.  The others have no interest in getting health insurance.  Even with a subsidy, they don’t want to pay a monthly bill for health insurance.  Even a subsidized rate is too onerous when they can get all the free health care they need just by showing up at the local emergency room.  Additionally, the ER docs are usually better than any doc who’s willing to belong to whatever plan they can afford.  Nor are these people worried about the penalties for refusing to buy Obamacare, since none of them pay taxes.

Not only are the people in my friend’s world refusing to buy Obamacare, they resent it.  According to my friend, someone she knows abruptly announced that she’s getting involved in local politics, something she’s never done before.  Until recently, this gal was one of those people who just floated along, getting by.  Now, though, she’s fired up.

The reason for the sudden passion is unexpected:  She’s deeply offended by a law that forces people to buy a product they don’t need — never mind that she might benefit from the product, that she would pay far below market value for the product, or that she’s too poor to be penalized for ignoring this government diktat.  The mere fact that the diktat exists runs counter to her notion of individual liberty.  Her view of government is that, while it’s fine if it hands out welfare checks and food stamps, it goes beyond the pale when the government uses its power and wealth to coerce activity.

Our ideologically blind, narcissistic president

Barack Obama’s appalling speech at the UN resulted in several very good articles about his delusions. My favorite is Bret Stephens’ An Unteachable President:

Finally, Mr. Obama believes history is going his way. “What? Me worry?” says the immortal Alfred E. Neuman, and that seems to be the president’s attitude toward Mr. Putin’s interventions in Syria (“doomed to fail”) and Ukraine (“not so smart”), to say nothing of his sang-froid when it comes to the rest of his foreign-policy debacles.

In this cheapened Hegelian world view, the U.S. can relax because History is on our side, and the arc of history bends toward justice. Why waste your energies to fulfill a destiny that is already inevitable? And why get in the way of your adversary’s certain doom?

It’s easy to accept this view of life if you owe your accelerated good fortune to a superficial charm and understanding of the way the world works. It’s also easier to lecture than to learn, to preach than to act. History will remember Barack Obama as the president who conducted foreign policy less as a principled exercise in the application of American power than as an extended attempt to justify the evasion of it.

Elliott Abram’s thoughts about Obama’s “surreal” speech are also well worth reading.  He contrasts each statement Obama made, about the Middle East, Cuba, or anything, with the facts on the ground.  Obama is either a delusional fabulist or he really thinks everyone in the world is as stupid as his Progressive fans.

The camera never lies, at least not when it comes to Putin and Obama

Recent headlines make it obvious that Putin is running rings around Obama and positioning Russia as the new world power.  I’m actually not sure how long Putin can keep this dominance going.  Back at home, his country is being weakened by an utterly corrupt government; a weak, oligarchic economy; rising AIDS and alcoholism; and a declining population.  Putin is definitely ready to lead, but may eventually have too few followers and too little money.  If he’s forced to retrench, though, we know he’ll leave havoc in his wake.

But back to Putin and Obama.  If you want to know what’s going on, check out this chart.

A handy-dandy guide to rebutting BDS lies about Israel

YNet has published an article that provides actual facts to counter the lies the BDS movement relies on in order to further its antisemitic goals.  For example:

The Lie: “Palestinians who live in Israel are second-class citizens.”

The Truth: Israeli Arabs are citizens with equal rights. Arabs serve as Members of Parliament, as judges in courts, including the Supreme Court, as professors and doctors. In the past there were incidents of discrimination, and sometimes there still are. But according to any objective measure, the condition of Israeli Arabs is far better than that of Muslim minorities in Europe.

The head of the panel of judges who sent former Israeli president Moshe Katsav to jail, for example, was an Arab judge. The chairman of the Central Election Committee in 2015 Elections was also an Arab. There are numerous examples of the ways in which Israeli Arabs are integrated in the culture, art, economy and academia of Israel.

A handy-dandy guide to the Planned Parenthood videos

Meanwhile, at the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway summarizes the contents of the various undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in human bodies.  One doesn’t even have to watch the videos to find the contents extremely disturbing.

That Republicans are still funding this utterly corrupt organization — one that launders money for the Democrat party, spends taxpayer funds on boondoggles for high ranking employees (something only Fox seems willing to report),  and derives profit from selling body parts — is a disgrace.  Planned Parenthood is not the only game in town for women’s health care, and it’s time for us to stop pretending that it is (especially in this age of Obamacare).

Someone on a closed Facebook group to which I belong had a good observation:  How can Planned Parenthood (and other lefties such as the execrable Bill Nye, the un-science guy) claim that before birth a fetus is not human, while at the same time harvesting those same fetal body parts for sale as “human organs”?

Well, you know what they say:  If Leftists didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.