Welcome to the Canardvark

Welcome matAs you see, below, the Bookworm Room welcomes a new contributor, the Canardvark.  He used to blog regularly under his own name at a prestigious site, but the demands of his real-world life made that unsustainable.  After a few years of lying fallow, he asked if he could occasionally contribute to the Bookworm Room.  I jumped at the offer.

I’m not giving too much away about his super-secret identity when I tell you that the Canardvark is clever (hence the funny, punny name), thoughtful, well-informed, and knowledgeable about national security issues, among other things.  I’m absolutely thrilled that he will be writing here occasionally.  Indeed, I’ve urged him to ditch the occasional part and write regularly, but I’ll take anything I can get.

Woot! My post comparing Ted Cruz’s filibuster to the Spartan “300″ inspired Chris Muir’s wonderful “Day By Day” cartoon

I’ve long been a big fan of Chris Muir’s “Day By Day” cartoon.  It’s intelligent, witty, and sophisticated.  You can imagine, then, how thrilled I am to have inspired his latest cartoon, this one about Ted Cruz:

Chris Muir cartoon

(If you missed the reference to my blog, check the very bottom of the cartoon panel.)

Honestly, this is so cool.

The post to which Chris refers is this one, which I believe in more now than on the day I wrote it:

"I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare."

“I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare.”

Most people, whether Democrat or Republican, agree that Ted Cruz’s planned filibuster in the Senate is doomed. It will do nothing to stop Obamacare’s inexorable path towards implementation. (To understand precisely what the filibuster is about, Ace has a good, short explanation.)

Because Ted Cruz is nobody’s fool, I’m guessing that he too knows that it won’t stop Obamacare from getting fully implemented within the next few months. Why, then, is Cruz engaged in this quixotic effort? I think I have the answer, but you’ll have to bear with me, because it involves taking a little trip back, back in time . . . to the Battle of Thermopylae.

[snip]

Even now, 2,500 years later, the Spartans’ brave stand at Thermopylae still has the power to inspire us. Victory wasn’t the point. The point was to fight and to educate Greeks about their merciless enemy and its overwhelming drive for power. Leonidas and his men may have died there, but their ghosts led the Greeks to eventual victory.

Which gets me back to Ted Cruz and his buddies in the Senate. They’re not stupid. They know that this filibuster will be futile. But they know two other things as well: Filibusters grab headlines, which gives them a golden opportunity to lift the cone of silence that the mainstream media places between Republicans and voters.

Under the current media regime, Republican arguments and statements get to the voters only if small fry Republicans get arrested, or say something “provocative” about gay marriage or abortion. Other than that, most voters would be hard pressed to know what conservatives politicians and thinkers are saying.

“Come and take them.”

“Come and take them.”

Imagine someone as intelligent and articulate as Ted Cruz – a man who has a knack for clearly stating complex principles – speaking directly to the voters about Obamacare, without the media acting as his “interpretor.” And remember, if he does filibuster, he’ll be speaking to voters who, for the most part, are already beginning to realize that, with Obamacare, they’ve been sold a bill of goods.

Absent a miracle, Cruz will lose on the filibuster. The Republican establishment will start bleating out “I told you so” on every “news” show they can find. And Obamacare will go forward.

But here’s what Cruz also knows: Obamacare will be a disaster. We know that for certain. Indeed, the best evidence you need is Congress’s frantic effort to ward off Obamacare in its own marbled halls. If that’s not enough, look at the diminution in choice, the price increases for the middle class, the lost jobs, the lost insurance coverage, and the downward adjustments in working hours.  We, the people, are going to be badly hurt by Obamacare.

Americans aren’t going to learn about the nasty stuff hiding in Obamacare until they experience it first hand.  What was an abstract political fight in Washington, D.C. will become a genuine problem in their day-to-day lives.  And that’s when Ted Cruz will pop back up again and say (nicely, of course), “Remember me? I tried to warn you and I tried to help. Trust me to have the courage and the wisdom to fix this. But this time, you have to stand with me to win the battle.”

The filibuster is Cruz’s Thermopylae. He knows that, whether he wins or loses, in the long term he will be the victor.  When it all falls apart, Ted Cruz will be seen and remembered for coming down on the side of sanity and freedom.

Just a reminder about some good blogs out there

I’ve been up and  working since 6 a.m., and now it’s 5, and I’m still trying to finish the must-do tasks before I get to the I-want-to-do tasks.  Since I’m stalled, though, I wanted to remind you about two of my favorite blog friends, both of whom are also real world friends.  Here are the links so that you can peruse good stuff, from good, smart people:

To Put It Bluntly

Castra Praetoria

And of course, you should always consider visiting every member of the Watcher’s Council:

The 11th Annual Blogger Awards

I’m always a bridesmaid in these things, and never a bride, but I’m still beyond thrilled that John Hawkins included me as a nominee in the 11th Annual Blogger Awards for CPAC.  I’m right there under “Best Kept Secret Award.”  Indeed, right now, I’m so secret that the link is to my old WordPress blog.  I sent a note to John about that, though, so I know it will be fixed soon.

I was also delighted to see that a lot of my blog friends got nominated too.  I was especially happy to see The Mellow Jihadi as a People’s Choice nominee.  Navy One has been a friend of this blog since before he started blogging, and he’s become one of my personal friends as well.  I’m so delighted that he’s getting this kind of recognition.

Other friends of mine (meaning that I a lot of email correspondence with them) who have been nominated are YidWithLid, The Jawa Report, and Doug Ross,

Having acknowledged myself and my friends, let me say that John is spot-on in all of his selections.  Each of the blogs named is a high quality blogs that deserves recognition for providing a true form of alternative media.  If you blog, please consider broadcasting this list of nominees, since the more readership they get, the less believability the drive-by media gets.

The last thing left for me to do is to figure out how to lobby the CPAC voters for this one.  I’ve got their beer and party favors all lined up….  ;)

Hillary’s new glasses; or I have the smartest readers in the world

Yesterday, I received this email query from one of my world’s smartest readers:

I assume you have seen the pictures of Hillary Clinton testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Cmte.  Her glasses look odd.  I’m wondering if her illness/head injury was not more serious or other than what was disclosed.

Hmmm.  That’s interesting. So I went to Google images and looked at pictures of Hillary in glasses.  I concluded that Hillary’s glasses indeed looked peculiar — but I didn’t know what to do with that observation.  Even had I commented upon it, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere.  I would just have been noting an anomaly.

But my reader was right, not just that Hillary was wearing strange glasses, but that those glasses spoke of a probable injury, not just a changed prescription:

Clinton’s spokesman confirmed Thursday night she is wearing the glasses as a result of the fall and concussion she suffered last month, but he did not elaborate.

Experts told the Daily News that Clinton likely has a Fresnel prism placed on her glasses. The adhesive panel is used to treat double vision.

Do I have the smartest readers or what?

Another conservative information clearinghouse

Yesterday, I directed your attention to Ritely, which aims to be the conservative answer to Reddit.  Ritely is easy to use:  posting articles takes seconds and it’s got a clear format for finding other people’s posted articles.  Today, I get to tell you about Helen’s Page, a conservative information clearinghouse that Glenn Reynold’s wife started.  It too has an easy interface and straightforward format.

I strongly urge you to check out and use these two sites.  Right now, conservatives rely heavily on sites that are owned by very Leftist companies (e.g., Facebook, Google, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, etc.).  Most of the time, we don’t think about it, but the fact remains that these are privately run sites and they can — and do — censor at will.  Not surprisingly, their censorship trends to silencing the right, as Gates of Vienna recently discovered.  My email is rich with stories from fellow bloggers telling about being banned from Facebook or Twitter.

I’m planning on using both Ritely and Helen’s Page regularly.  I like the way they’re set up, I like the audience they reach, and I like the fact that they’re not going to censor me just because I’m a conservative.

Incidentally, this kind of networking — sharing both ideas and practical information — is precisely what conservatives need to do if they are serious about remaining politically viable.

Please welcome a new addition to the intelligent side of the blogosphere

An old friend of mine, a person distinguished by an open, intelligent mind, a large fund of knowledge, and wonderful writing skills, has just started a blog:  To Put It Bluntly.  As I expected, the early posts are smart and enjoyable. What’s also nice is that it’s a beautifully designed site that’s easy on the eyes.

If you’re looking for something new to read, please stop by To Put It Bluntly and say hello.

“Crazifornia”: A book that reveals the insane truth behind America’s most Progressive state

Those of you who were lucky enough to have started using the internet a few years ago probably remember Laer Pearce, who blogged at Cheat-Seeking Missiles.  Laer was one of my first blog friends, meaning that we corresponded by email and, eventually, we met.  He is precisely what you’d imagine him to be from his blog:  informed, analytical, brilliant, witty, and just an all-around great guy.

He stopped blogging a few years ago to devote his free time to writing a book about the insanity that is California.  Well, the book came out today!  It’s called Crazifornia. Here’s the Amazon book description:

When the agency responsible for state roads spends $4 million on new cars and trucks, then parks them unused for two years, that’s Crazifornia. When cancer warnings are required on buildings because they may contain estrogen or testosterone, that’s Crazifornia. And when a full-frontal governmental assault on business drives enough people out of a state in ten years to double the population of Oregon, that’s Crazifornia, too. Through tale after outrageous, funny, tragic tale, “Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State” explains why California is crashing, making it a must-read for all Californians and for anyone who fears California may be coming their way soon. That’s why nationally syndicated radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt called Crazifornia “The most insightful book on California’s perilous condition – ever.” Part One provides history and perspective, explaining how the PEER Axis – Progressives, Environmentalists, Educators and Reporters – took over the Golden State and work to keep it a leader in Progressivism, generation after generation. Part Two looks at the current state of affairs in the Tarnished State – bureaucratic ineptitude, anti-business policies, a failed education system, entrenched environmentalism, unsustainable pensions and a perpetually unbalanced budget, and considers California’s options for the future. “One rarely reads such a funny account of such a sad subject,” said California columnist and author Steven Greenhut. “This is a great book to read, tearfully, as you pack the house in Orange County and wait for the moving van to take you to Nevada.”

I haven’t read the book yet (I’m buying it as soon as I finish this post), but I can tell you in advance what you’ll find: it will be extremely well-informed; easy to read despite it’s serious subject matter; as Steven Greenhut said in the review above, it will be funny despite the depressing subject matter; and you will get a glimpse into America’s future if Obama is elected and he gets a Democrat Congress. Also, if you look carefully, you made find some references to a certain Bookworm you know.

It’s such a joy when a friend completes a major, and important, project, and is able to share it with the world.  So you can imagine the pleasure I have in sharing the good news with you.

(The link above is to the Kindle version of the book.  If you prefer to feel the weight of the paper book in your hand, you can find the print edition here.)

Help Megan Fox get a chance at talk radio

Megan Fox is a frequent contributor to PJ Media:  She’s a great, thoughtful writer who brings (dare I say it?) a domestic touch to conservative blogging.  That is, her interests aren’t just political, but also revolve around family and even crafts.  I have the pleasure of being on an email list with her and like her a lot.  I just got an email from her asking that her friends and admirers vote for her to get a chance to have a 2 hour talk show on WLS-AM, the biggest station in Chicago.  Unfortunately, the time for you to vote is short, as the deadline is tonight.  If you can, and if you’d like to, please go here, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and cast your vote.  You can read more about Megan here and listen to her sample show here.

Prayers and thoughts for Barry Rubin, please

I have long been singularly fortunate in that Barry Rubin periodically corresponds with me.  He is a light in the blogosphere:  informed, brilliant, objective, open-minded, decent, and kind.  Read any one of his posts about the Middle East, and you will learn more than you will learn in a year of reading the New York Times.  I always feel honored when I hear from him.

What I didn’t know is that Barry has been fighting cancer — at least, I assume it’s cancer, because he mentions chemotherapy in a recent post updating readers about the fact that he will be incommunicado for a while as his physicians work to drain fluid build-up from his longs:

i’m about to undergo an operation to attempt to drain the fluid from my lungs by inserting a tube. this will take 3-5 days and i will be in hospital. it is possible i will not be able to communicate during this time. they will then try to seal the lungs which if it succeeds will help me. we will then begin chemo and other therapies. the operation is said not be dangerous. please expect no correspondence or articles from me during this period. it is hoped that by next week i will be pretty normal and undergoing care. i have wonderful doctors. i hope and believe we will be together again in future. with all my gratitude for your being good readers and interested in my thoughts. i hope i have been helpful to you. please keep up the fight for what’s good and decent and right even when it costs us in personal and professional terms.

Please keep this lovely man in your thoughts and prayers.