SPOILER ALERTS: House of Cards, Season 3, Episode 7 — after jumping the shark, show goes full anti-Israel

House of CardsHaving now watched episodes 6 and 7 in House of Cards, I’m done with the show. I’m freeing up several hours of my life to read books, write, visit with friends — indeed, do anything but watch something that’s turned into yet another boring, polemic, Leftist wish factory.

BEWARE — HERE BE SPOILERS. If you haven’t given up on House of Cards, don’t read past this paragraph. You’ll regret it if you do.

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The Bookworm Beat 2-26-15 — the evening edition and open thread

Woman writing

Alan Dershowitz challenges the talk about boycotting Netanyahu’s speech

Read and enjoy Alan Dershowitz’s fiery denunciation of the Obama administration’s efforts to get Democrats — especially black ones — to boycott Netanyahu’s speech about the existential threat Obama’s policies pose to Israel.

I won’t comment on the article — it speaks for itself — but I will comment on a couple of peripheral things. Dershowitz is a Democrat, but he’s also an ardent Israel supporter. I therefore can’t help but think that, as Obama prepares to break with Israel and ally America with Iran, it’s not a coincidence that Dershowitz suddenly found himself swept up in the pedophile sex scandal involving Jeffrey Epstein.

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The Bookworm Beat 2-23-15 — Post-Vegas edition and Open Thread

Woman writingI do like Vegas. I love its manic energy, crazed corporate imagination, over-the-top shows, brilliant colors, and flashing lights. And then, after three days, I’m desperate to get away from the noise and smoke and, often, the desperation floating above the casino floors. In other words, I had a great trip there and then was glad to come home again. This time, coming home also meant going through about 800 backed-up emails (a lot of people got heartfelt apologies from me for delaying so long before responding to them), and finding some awesome things to share with you.

A glowing French eye-view of American troops

When we think of the French, we tend to think of hyper-critical people who look down upon Americans. That stereotype might be true on the Île-de-France, but it turns out to be untrue in the theater of war, at least as to one French soldier who served with American troops (Echo Company) in Afghanistan. If this doesn’t make you want to stand up and salute, I truly don’t know what will:

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The Israelis are waking up to Obama’s anti-Israel agenda

Back in 2010, in a prescient interview for the New English Review, Richard Rubenstein, PhD, predicted with quite amazing accuracy the approach that Obama would take to the Middle East in the coming years. You and I suspected this all along but what makes this prescient video quite fascinating is that it’s starting to make the rounds amongst Israelis. I received it from an Israeli cousin who has gone from a lifetime of being a Leftist (his mother was a Communist to the day she died) to fearing Obama and, for that reason, supporting Netanyahu.

I understand Obama’s “love” for America

Obama and the mirrorHey, all!  I’m back . . . finally.  Our trip was great, and I’ll have more to say about it (or at least one part of it) later.  Because I have legal work awaiting my attention, though, I can’t really write at length.  I therefore just wanted to say something briefly about Obama’s “love” for country.  To do so, I have to take a quick side trip to my adolescence.

I think that, objectively speaking, both my sister and I were fairly pretty when we were young.  We certainly weren’t ugly, and we had all the nice middle class attributes of straight teeth, contact lenses, fairly good skin, etc., not to mention the ultimate physical attribute — youth. Both of us, however, have now and have always had incredibly low self-esteem when it comes too looks.  I’ve sometimes wondered about this, because I do remember my mother always saying “I love you.  You’re so beautiful.”

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If you read just one article today about ISIS, read Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants”

Why is militant Islam Like EbolaI can’t imagine that you’ve traveled anywhere across the conservative internet today without coming across a link to Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants.” It’s a long article, but so informative and important that it would be a good thing if everybody took a few minutes out of their day to read it.  Indeed, I’d make everyone in Obama’s administration read it often enough to have it memorized.

A lot of what Wood has to say is familiar to all of us who haven’t been pretending that ISIS is just a JV Team of malcontents taking the name of Allah in vain. Wood destroys any claim that ISIS isn’t Islamic:

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Two things that are deserving of your attention

ScalesIt is, of course, only my opinion that these two things are deserving of your attention but, since it’s my blog, I guess I get to have the final say on that point.

The first thing is an article I wrote of American Thinker:  Obama, Jon Stewart and Progressivism’s Bodyguard of Lies

The traditional courtroom oath used to require the witness to state “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” To emphasize God’s role in this oath, the witness would place his hand on the Bible.

When a witness took that oath, even if he was only a moderately religious person, he could not escape the knowledge that he had put his soul on the line. If he got creative in his testimony, he wasn’t just lying to the court, he was lying to his Maker. That’s serious stuff.

For the past many years, though, the oath has been abbreviated in American courtrooms. Now, witnesses about to testify keep their hands in their laps and state only “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The end.

Can’t you just hear the nefarious, knowing snicker a less-than-honest witness inaudibly tacks on to the end of that oath? “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me . . . whatever . . . giggle, giggle.”

Sure, a really peeved prosecutor might come after the witness for perjury, but having spent almost 30 years in the legal field, I’ve only known that to happen once. While God’s eye may be on the smallest sparrow, our legal system really doesn’t care.

What many non-religious people forget is that original oath lies, not in the courtroom, but in the Bible. Lying is anathema to God, who made “Do not bear false witness” the ninth of his Ten Commandments. Dennis Prager neatly sums up why God’s mandate about how men must speak to each other is such an essential part of a functioning society:

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The Bookworm Beat 2-12-15 — “Been there done that” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingPart of my mother’s behavior as a drama queen is to try to take on the borrowed glory of other people’s suffering. When my sister has a cold, my mother calls me to say “You don’t know how worried I am. What if it turns into pneumonia? What if she dies? I can barely eat I’m so upset.”

Recently, my mother called to tell me that she was beside herself because one of her recently widowed friends is holed up in a hotel room and having a hard time figuring out how to pay her bills. That sounds kind of sad, doesn’t it? But what I and my mother both know is that this woman made the grasshopper, in the Aesop’s fable about the “Ant and the Grasshopper,” look like model of sober rectitude and long-term planning.

For years, with accelerating force as the friend’s husband became increasingly ill, my mother dutifully nagged this friend to learn how to drive, balance a check book, make peace with her children, check on insurance, and all the other daily life tasks that people need to survive on their own. Every time, the friend told my mother, “I’m not that type of person. I don’t need to worry about the future. I need to be free.”

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