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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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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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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The Bookworm Beat 11-17-15 — the “guest blogger” edition and open thread

Unknown personI haven’t had a chance to get much writing done today, but a friend who knows what interests me sent me such a chock-full-of-information email that I’m just going to pass it on to you.

Well, the gossip mags have been talking for two weeks about some male star HIV positive. Turns out it is Charlie Sheen. I don’t wish that on anyone, but color me not surprised. But here is the kicker: If rumors are true he has known for four years, during which time he has had unprotected sex with who knows how many women without warning them of his condition. He is concerned about his condition coming to light because he worries it will “hurt his career.” Lock him up, toss in a couple of starving honey badgers, then throw away the key.

Anti-Islamist protests are occurring all over France. Not exactly a surprise. What I do find curious is that they tag the protesters and Marine La Pen as “far right wing.” There is nothing “right wing” or conservative about her. She is a socialist and a nationalist. Honestly, even before people retake their countries in Europe, they need to burn down the press.

I listened to a Trump rally on the radio as I drove to the store to pick up some milk earlier. For the better part of 20 mins I heard him talk about how great he was going to make things, how the press hates him, and how wonderful he is. The guy could not be more superficial. He makes my skin crawl at this point. Anyone who is buying this travesty is our version of a 2008 Obama voter. I weep for our nation.

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Brief thoughts about today’s news #Paris #Islam #Mizzou #terror #Yale

paris-attackBefore I begin, I want to extend my sincerest condolences to the French people. This Mumbai-style attack is terrible and cruel.

Having said that, I feel obligated to point out that France, which has expended a great deal of energy trying to appease the Muslim crocodile (including trying to undermine Israel at every turn and punting on a moral nation’s obligation to protect its Jewish population) failed as signally at appeasement as Churchill implied would happen to all appeasers.

I was speaking to a friend who said that the Paris attack would almost certainly improve Marine Le Pen’s political prospects. Although she’s a socialist through and through, she at least understands that the medieval strain of Islam is France’s enemy, just as it is the enemy of all civilized nations. Thinking about Le Pen, I realized that we have a Le Pen too: Donald Trump.

Unlike a true conservative who believes in individual liberty, which can only be achieved through limited government, Trump, a former Democrat, is a Big Government guy in both theory and practice. And like Le Pen, the only thing that really distinguishes Trump from any other statist political figure is that he too is hostile to immigrants. They are both xenophobic nationalists.  Neither is a true conservative.

As it happens, I support Trump’s hard-line stance on illegal immigration. As it happens, my favorite candidate, Ted Cruz, is also a hardliner on immigration but — and this is why I like him so much — he’s also a true individual liberties kind of guy, one who believes federal government should fulfill limited functions that happen to include strong border and national security.

And of course, let me be one of many to comment that, last I heard, Obama still can’t make himself choke out the words Islam or Muslim.

Closer to home, I’m getting the feeling that the Mini Maos who have taken over America’s colleges and universities might have finally broken through the wall of ignorance behind which middle class parents have been hiding when it comes to the Leftist insanity they’re funding. I had three Progressive friends ask me today (because they know I follow the news fanatically) what the heck is going on. I was happy to explain.

Indeed, I’m wondering if today won’t be an inflection point — a “come to Jesus moment,” if you will — when mindless liberals finally realize that conservatives are not racist, censorial fascists, but have, instead, been the tocsin desperately shouting out a warning about the dangers of fascism at home and Islamism both at home and abroad. Certainly, every Progressive with even a few functioning brain cells should ask him or herself if things in Paris would have been different if the Parisians had concealed-carry. And those who have been watching events in Israel must surely have noticed by now that the best defense against a terrorist with a knife is a gun.

Yale madness: A little side note that nobody seems to have mentioned….

Yale-studentsI admit it. I can’t keep my eyes off the spectacle playing out at Yale and UMissouri, with side shows now taking place at campuses across America. I’ve been saying since my Berkeley days that American higher education is sick, sick, sick and, in a sad way, I feel vindicated. The rot that I sensed there in the early 1980s is finally working its way out from the center of the fruit, with the whole thing rupturing and spilling out its disgusting toxin. There are innumerable superb articles on the subject, and I’ll link to them below. I just wanted to point to one thing that I haven’t noticed anyone else mention.

When you read the articles about what happened at Yale, you’ll read that the Yale kerfuffle started when the “Department of Intercultural Affairs” (and God alone knows how much that department contributes to Yale’s hefty tuition) got the ball rolling shortly before Thanksgiving when it sent an email to all Yale students warning about the hidden dangers of Halloween costumes. And no, we’re not talking about costumes that (per elementary school lore) come from the undertakers and are soaked in deadly embalming fluid or costumes that make one blend into the darkness so perfectly that they raise exponentially the risk that a car will unknowingly crash into the wearer. Instead, the email warns about the horrors of costumes that — yikes! — might offend someone.

I believe this administrative email deserves to be quoted at some length, not just because it’s painfully, horribly, victim-centrically stupid, but also because of the Miss Nancy tone that I associate with the old Romper Room show from my childhood:

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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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[VIDEO] The college tuition con game

There’s only one thing that “free money” (which is never actually free) does: it creates inflation. Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to college tuition, which rises and rises in direct proportion to the student loans made available to fund those womyn’s studies programs, the puppetry classes, and the exponentially expanding administration that’s so focused on social justice and other Leftist causes. This excellent Prager University video explains what’s really going on when politicians purport to make college more accessible for more students:

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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[VIDEO] The death of the humanities

A few women, a few children, and a sea of military-aged men

A few women, a few children, and a sea of military-aged men

I contemplated putting this video on my “real me” Facebook page, along with a question:  “Do you think Heather MacDonald is right or wrong?”  I decided not to because I realized that only those who already agree with its premise would watch. The rest of my supposedly educated Progressive friends would enthusiastically cheer the death of the classic Eurocentric canon.  After all, they would say, even Europe has cheered the death of its own canon, so it behooves the European wannabes in America to do the same. And then they would turn deaf ears to me when I point out that Europe’s loss of faith in itself has led it to provide enthusiastic support to the same Muslims who have come to finish what their fore bearers began in 1683:  Europe’s complete conquest.

By the way, Heather MacDonald points to college as the genesis for the students’ closing minds. As you know from my earlier posts, English teachers in high school are already beginning the job, by spending their time teaching Leftist thought, rather than the glories of the English language or the opening of the Renaissance and Enlightenment minds.

Brave New World — the Pronoun Edition *UPDATED*

cousin itCousin It moved into my brain today when I read Jay Nordlinger’s extended rumination on pronoun insanity at America’s institutions of “higher” education. (And why, precisely, are we sending our children to be indoctrina… er, “educated” at places in which everyone is quite obviously too high to function normally?)  You remember Cousin It, don’t you? A part of the extended Addams Family, Cousin It was a chattering, gender indeterminate mound of hair.

After Nordlinger explains the newest Leftist lunacy, with its savage attack on traditional pronouns, you too will find that Cousin It has taken residence behind your frontal lobe:

Recently, Donna Braquet, the director of the Pride Center at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, wrote the following on the university’s website: “With the new semester beginning and an influx of new students on campus, it is important to participate in making our campus welcoming and inclusive for all. One way to do that is to use a student’s chosen name and their correct pronouns.”

Obviously, she thinks that “their” goes with “student” — which is very modern.

She had some advice for teachers. “In the first weeks of classes, instead of calling roll, ask everyone to provide their name and pronouns. This ensures you are not singling out transgender or non-binary students.” She also recommended that, at events where name tags are used, pronouns be printed beside names.

What are the optional pronouns, by the way? “There are dozens,” Braquet explained. These include “ze/hir/hirs,” “ze/zir/zirs,” and “xe/xem/xyr.” “These may sound a little funny at first,” said Braquet, “but only because they are new. The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up.”


What are PGPs, you ask? They’re “preferred gender pronouns.” I’ll let Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, Iowa, elaborate:

A preferred gender pronoun is a consciously chosen set of pronouns that allow a person to accurately represent their gender identity in a way that is comfortable for them. For example, a trans* person may begin using a gender-neutral pronoun prior to transitioning, and a gendered pronoun afterwards, or an agender, bigender or third-gender person may choose to use a neutral or invented pronoun.

Maybe fogeys have said this for millennia, but it’s not merely that I don’t quite understand the culture, I don’t even understand the language. That asterisk after “trans,” incidentally, does not lead to a footnote. That’s the way the word is spelled.

More from Cornell College: “Recognizing and accepting alternative gender pronouns helps gender-non-conforming people feel more comfortable with their gender identities and highlights the problems created by our cultureʼs strict gender binary.”

“Strict gender binary”? I have a feeling that this means men and women. I also have the feeling that it’s not strict enough.

Cornell has some recommendations for “normalizing” the exchange of PGPs. In other words, you give yours, I give mine. This ought to be normalized.

You can do this by “introducing yourself with your pronouns: ‘Hi my name is Dave, Iʼm a visiting professor, and my pronouns are he/him/his.” Then Dave is to “ask students to include their personal pronouns when introducing themselves as well.”

Here is advice for Dave and other professors: “When choosing readings for class try to include articles or examples that use gender neutral language or that feature gender-neutral or gender-ambiguous people.”

Sorry, my dear friends among the consciousness raising warriors on the Left, but it’s just too much to ask of me (a) to remember all those new pronouns (I always was bad at learning new languages) and (b) to know on any given day what pronoun a specific person felt applied upon awakening (and yes, you, the speaker, are supposed to know).

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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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