Same old, same old, which I enliven with predictions for the next twelve months *UPDATED*

bored-baby

Here’s an old joke:

An established comedian invited a friend to join him at a very exclusive “comedian’s club.”  The guest instantly noticed something peculiar.  In the main room, a person would periodically stand up and shout out a number.  “57,” one would say, and a few people in the room would chuckle.  After a moment’s silence, someone would holler, “18,” and be rewarded with a chorus of good-natured “boos.”

This pattern continued for a while, until someone shouted out “77.”  While a few people let out a short bark of laughter, one guy in the corner was utterly beside himself.  He roared with laughter, until tears were rolling down his face.

The guest turned to his host and asked, “What gives?  What is it with these numbers?”

“Well,” the host explained, “it’s like this.  We’re all professional comedians here and, to be honest, there are only so many jokes around.  It got tiring and boring for someone to tell a joke that everyone already knew, so we started assigning them numbers.  It’s kind of like a joke short-hand.  People still laugh — if they want — but it definitely saves time.”

“Okay,” said the guest.  “I get that.  But what about that guy in the corner who collapsed with laughter when someone shouted out ’77’.”

Oh, him,” answered the host.  “I guess he hadn’t heard that joke before.”

Yes, it’s a surreal joke, but it also explains why I’m having problems blogging lately.  When I read a story about Obamacare, I can’t add much to posts I’ve written going all the way back to 2009.  I predicted then what would happen now.  “You’ll find that in posts 384, 943, 6749, and 34052.”  Events in the Middle East?  I foresaw those too, including Obama’s love affair with Iran, and Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s entirely predictable coming together against that common enemy.  “See posts 3489 and 9492.”  Government data manipulation?  We covered that too, as we did with gun control, amnesty, foreign policy, etc.

I’ve moved out of fresh and into “I told you so.”  As a writer, “I told you so” is boring.  It’s also especially boring for all of you, because you were right there with me, making the same predictions.  We all saw all of this coming.

The only thing that’s kind of newsy now is watching the oh-so-smart Leftists figure out that they’ve been had.  It’s not actually real news, of course, because we all saw this coming too, but it’s still fun to watch.  As to these Obamabots, it’s not just that a specific politician has “had” them.  Their entire ideology is disintegrating in front of their eyes.  Most, of course, will plunge into frenetic denial.  That’s old stuff too.  For 100 years, communists have been saying that communism is perfect; it’s the implementation that’s flawed.  When today’s Leftist’s rant against the president, the party, and the people, they’re foll0wing an old script.

A few Leftists, however, will draw back and say, “We were wrong.  We were wrong about everything.”  That’s been done too.  They’ll be joining David Horowitz, Michael Medved, Thomas Lifson, David Mamet, Sally Zelikovsky, the Power Line guys, and scores of other people who already had their Road to Damascus moment when they realized that Leftism isn’t poorly implemented; it is, instead, fundamentally flawed.  I certainly won’t think as highly of these new converts as I do of the older generation.  The older generation didn’t need to see America’s economic collapse and her fade into international irrelevance to see which way the wind was blowing.

Since everything seems to be “same old, same old,” except even more so, what would be new and exciting news for a blase blogger in the next twelve months?

1.  Obamacare’s repeal, although unscrambling that egg will be virtually impossible.  Even if they wanted to, huge institutions such as heavily-regulated insurance companies and hospitals cannot turn on a dime.  The somewhat functioning market will have been destroyed, which nothing lined up to take its place.  Worse, we know that Republicans politicians are incapable of using the headwinds of repeal to revitalize the free market.  (Remember:  Democrats have bad ideas and effective politicians; and Republicans have good ideas and brain-dead cretins in office.)

2.  A groundswell of popular support for Obama’s impeachment.  Of course, that would leave Biden in charge, which is not a pretty thought.  The likelihood is that, if he could, he’d move Elizabeth Warren into the Veep seat to stymie Hillary.  It would be amusing, but just as bad for America as Obama himself.

3.  Israel’s alliance with the Gulf States to launch a devastating attack against Iran’s missile systems and nuclear centers.  With strong American leadership, this could actually have a good outcome, freeing Iranians from decades of appalling Islamist repression and destabilizing tyrannies in a way that leads to genuine freedom throughout the Middle East.  With our current leadership, a leadership that will have made such an attack necessary in the first place, one can only imagine that the Middle East, the entire Middle East, will manage simultaneously to implode and explode.  The human costs will exceed imagination and, because of oil, those costs will encompass the entire planet.  Canada, Brazil, the US, and other places may be coming up as major oil producers, but losing Middle Eastern oil in a single day would have incalculable consequences on modern life.

4.  The 2014 elections resulting in a Republican sweep the likes of which has never been seen in America.  In a way, though, coming as it would midway through Obama’s so-far disastrous second term, this would also be ho-hum news, even if both House and Senate changed hands.  What would be more interesting would be to see places such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco jettison their Democrat ruling class.  I’m not holding my breath on that one.  The residents in those cities routinely use elections to double down on failure.

5.  Obama comes out of the closet.  (And, come on, you know he’s in there.)  That wouldn’t affect anything politically, but it would make for great headlines, especially if Hillary refuses to be one-upped and comes out too.

6.  Schadenfreude here, but I will enjoy watching New York in the first year of the de Blasio administration.  I should start running a pool taking bets as to how long it will take de Blasio to reduce New York to its 1970s status.  We all know that it’s easier and faster to tear down and destroy something than it is to renew and revitalize.

7.  The New York Times will declare bankruptcy.  I see that as inevitable, although would actually be surprised if it happened in the next twelve months.

8.  People definitively reject anthropogenic global warming.  As with the New York Times’ bankruptcy, this is inevitable.  I just don’t see it happening in only 12 months.

9.  Oprah recants and announces that she’s no longer calling for the genocide of “racist” people who don’t support Obama.

10.  Palestinians lay down their arms.  The previous nine hoped-for headlines all have a possibility, even a small one, of coming true.  This one does not, but it sure would be great news, and it would snap me completely out of my writer’s doldrums.

And, for those joining me in ennui, some music:

UPDATE: Hmmm. A James O’Keefe tweet suggests that tomorrow may bring some news we haven’t already heard before.

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.

There’s nothing new under the sun

I’ve always like Ecclesiastes.  The ennui can be a bit much, but it’s a good reminder that humans, like other animals, fall into patterns, and that the earth abides:

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Sometimes we need to remember that, although we are each individuals with a divine spark and the capacity for greatness, we’re also part of a greater whole that has been here before and that will be here long after each individual is gone.

If you’re wondering why I’m waxing poetic (and waxing Biblical), it’s because I’ve been at a bit of a loss lately when it comes to posting.  Part of this is because even I seem to have an upper limit on written output, and between writing for Mr. Conservative morning and evening, and doing legal work for a client in the middle of the day, both my fingers and my brain are tired.

But the real reason I’m not writing so much is because there’s not much to say other than what I’ve said before:  Obama is feckless; Islam is dangerous; Europe is antisemitic; schools are propaganda factories; borders are porous; Republicans like to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory; the media is dishonest; ObamaCare is a disaster; blah, blah, blah.  Here we are at Wednesday of this week, and I haven’t read anything in the news that strikes me as new or different from anything last week, or the week before.

And so I’ll leave you with a song and the hope that, either the world perks up or my brain does, or both:

Is it a good thing or a bad thing when you’re quoted in HuffPo?

HuffPo referenced me as “a blogger,” but I’m still in there in an article about yet another school that has gone after quite obvious toy guns:

Multiple conservative bloggers and news outlets have come out in opposition to the way the school handled the incident.

“In a sane world, if a teacher or school bus driver saw the little boy bring out his orange-tipped cap gun, the adult would have said, ‘Put that away, and if you bring it to school again, I’ll have to confiscate it,’” wrote a blogger on Mr. Conservative. “America’s public schools, though, are not sane, at least when it comes to toy guns.”

Interestingly, the five comments that are on the HuffPo article now all come out against the school, saying it went too far.  In other words, they agree with me. Hah!  I’m sure, though, that there’ll soon be hundreds of comments lambasting America’s gun culture and applauding a public school that’s doing its bit to undercut the Second Amendment.

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:

I think I’ve gotten rid of the autoplay videos

I hate autoplay videos as much as I do — but some of the videos I posted seem to have had autoplay code in them.  I’ve deleted the videos that I thought were the problem.  Please let me know if the problem persists — and,  most especially, which posts have that problem.  Since I’m not much of a code person, I’ll just delete them.

Trying out a totally cool plug-in

One of the great things about getting to know fellow bloggers is getting good tips.  I recently got to meet (via phone) Warner Todd Huston, a regular contributor at Breitbart.  Not only is he a very nice, and manifestly smart, guy, he also gave me a tip about a cool plug-in for WordPress.  It’s called PhotoDropper, and it gives you easy access to a library of millions of free images that don’t have any copyrights attached to them.  Seeing as I am both cheap and honest, I always try to use Creative Commons images so that I don’t have to pay or steal.  The problem is that it’s hard to find those images.  With this plug-in, though, they’re at my finger tip (or maybe I mean to say that they’re just a mouse-click away).

So, within seconds, I get a license-free image with Obama being disrespectful by showing the soles of his shoes.  (Proving, I guess, that he’s not a Muslim after all.)

The Obama's on election night 2008

Another click, and I’ve got Keanu Reeves (you guys know how I feel about him) — for free! It’s not a good picture, but it’s an honest one.

Keanu Reeves

I’ll still go out searching for other pictures. I love Victorian stuff, and I know that’s copyright free, but it’s kind of relaxing to know there’s something out there that relieves me of the worry that I’m cheating.

A slight change at the Bookworm Room

Here’s an update on the new gig I told you about.  For the foreseeable future, I will be the main original content provider at Mr. Conservative — a site that, unknown to most people by name, is one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the internet.  Unlike Bookworm Room, where I write about whatever interests me, and fill my posts with a lot of personal commentary, the pieces I write for Mr. Conservative’s site riff off of news stories.  In some, I’m just flat-out reporting.  In others, I add a little bit of me to the mix.

What I’m ending up with is a sort of Venn diagram, with an area of overlap between the me posts and the Mr. Conservative posts:

Overlapping post content

To the extent that there’s overlap — that is, I write a post for Mr. Conservative that is the same as a post I would write on my blog — I’m re-posting my work here and noting at the bottom that it originally appeared at Mr. Conservative’s site. I’m telling you this now so that you know that it is my work.  I could leave these posts only on Mr. Conservative, but I want to re-post those pieces here, at Bookworm Room, so that they can be part of the delightful, ongoing conversation that we have here.  I will also continue to post entirely original content, unique to Bookworm Room (such as this post).

For me, doing things this way means that I only have to write once about something that matters to me. Since I’m providing lots of original content that’s exclusive to Mr. Conservative, as well as the original content that is near and dear to my heart at Bookworm Room, it’s nice to cut a few procedural corners occasionally as to those things that overlap without actually diminishing quality.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this. I’m excited to be earning money, but the job does require a fair amount of work. Doing some post-sharing seems like the most efficient way to get the endless flow of words in my brain out to the right places.

Why I had a very good weekend

I wrote earlier today that something good had happened.  I won’t go into too much detail, because I don’t want to ill wish myself at this stage in the game, but I can tell you a little.

I’m trained as a lawyer, and I’ve worked as a lawyer — writing and researching — for more than a quarter of a century now.  During my first four years as a lawyer, I just hated it.  I had no idea what I was doing, and did not find mentors to help me out.  To make it worse, imbued as I was with a whiny mid-1980s feminism, I was not a cheerful employee.  Despite the fact that they were paying me ridiculous amounts of money for my negligible skill level, I felt that they owed me something, rather than the other way around.

After those first four years, I found a mentor (who, incidentally, helped pave my way intellectually for becoming conservative) and began to enjoy the intellectual chase.  Finding  just the right case law to help a client, and then writing a compelling, elegant brief was very satisfying.  Eventually, though, I got jaded.  Bay Area judges are moved as much by liberal navel gazing as they are by the law itself.  Eventually, I didn’t want to keep banging my head against that wall.

Meanwhile, I had children, and my energies first dissipated and, when they returned, they had shifted.  As my children grew up, I discovered that I was fascinated by politics and that I love writing about politics and social issues.  Honestly, it’s an incredible pleasure to write when the worst that can happen is that someone points out that you made a mistake.  In all my years as a lawyer, I’ve never gotten over the fear that I may make a mistake that results in my client being terribly damaged and in me being sued for malpractice.  The fact that I never have made such a mistake has not taken the edge away. In fact, in some ways it makes things worse, because I fear complacency.

Once I started my blog, and certainly after I’d honed this craft for a while, I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up:  become a paid writer.  Not a paid legal writer, but just a paid writer.  Probably to your great irritation, I’ve been trying to monetize this blog for years, but if I make enough to pay for one airplane ticket to the East Coast per year, I’m doing exceptionally well with my writing.

Things changed for me Friday.  I got an email out of the blue asking me if I wanted to provide content for someone’s blog.  I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t remember this guy’s  name, even though we’d been in touch a couple of times several years back. Embarrassed, but not surprised.  I have a chiaroscuro memory, dappled light and dark. I remember the copyright year of almost all the books I’ve read, I can list all the kings and queens of England from Edward III to the present day, I know the lyrics to an insane number of songs from the 30s and 40s, I’ll remember if you have children and what they do, but I won’t remember your name.  I’ve humiliated myself on more than one occasion with this gaping hole in my memory, and my response to this man’s email was no different.  “Excuse me, but who are you?”  Fortunately, he wasn’t offended by my memory failing or, if he was, he didn’t let it get in the way.

He has an up-and-coming website and, as he said, he needs help with content.  He’s a truly gifted salesman with a wide and deep understanding of how money flows in the blogosphere.  He’s been able to create crazy traffic levels, but writing is not his thing, and he’s exhausting himself trying to keep up with traffic flow.

This weekend was by way of an experiment. I wrote stuff for him to see if I could match my style to his needs, and he posted my work to see if it kept his readers happy.  So far, all is good.

My husband was a bit worried that I was providing all this content for free (asking, with reason, “How do you know that he won’t stiff you?”), but I explained (a) that I didn’t think this man would stiff me and (b) that my work was a loss leader and those can be risky.  Since I like writing, it was a financial risk, but not a painful one.  Here’s the irony:  After my husband and I finished this discussion, I opened my email to find out that the man had sent money, nice money, to my PayPal account.  I like it when my gut is right and my risks (which are usually small, because I’m not a gambler) are rewarded.

This weekend ended up being a bit chaotic, because I was fulfilling both the new blog’s needs and my family’s needs (which were very time-consuming this weekend).  Weekdays will be smoother because, in a way and for the first time in years, I’ll have a real job.  (That is, assuming this grand experiment works for both me and the other guy.)

Don’t worry, though, that I’ll give up this blog.  I may do some cross-posting (the posts I do for him cross-posted here, not vice versa), but mostly I want to keep Bookworm Room going because I’m so happy here.  The work I do for him is news reporting type stuff.  The work I do here is a conversation between me and you about wonky political issues, hot news topics, foreign policy, national security, social issues, education, etc.  Leaving here would be like walking away from my life’s party while I’m still having fun.

Still, I’m really, really happy.  I’ve always had this feeling, irrational though it seemed for many years, that all my blogging was leading somewhere.  I wasn’t getting paid, I was writing when I should have been doing that gosh-danged laundry, I ignored my kids a bit (benign neglect, of course), but this work seemed important to me.  I’d like to think that it was preparing me for a project that is good now and has the potential to get very much better.

Wish me luck, please.  With this guy’s enormous sales, marketing, and internet talents, my writing chops, and your wishes, something good might be happening here.

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….  😉

Yikes! WordPress is putting everyone’s comments in WordPress purgatory

Spammers have launched a major attack against Bookworm Room. I’m happy to say that the Azkimet spam control function in WordPress is working, in that it’s not publishing all those fake trackbacks and links.  That’s good.  The bad thing is that Azkimet, overwhelmed by the deluge of both decent and indecent comments, has decided to put every comment and trackback into the “pending” (or as I call it, “purgatory”) category.  This means that your comments will not publish immediately.  Instead, I have to approve each of them.

I’m in contact with my Webmaster, so I know this problem will be resolved, I just can’t say when that will happen.  Until then, please bear with the fact that your comments will vanish pending my approval.