The Bookworm Beat 2/9/16 — the “nothing about New Hampshire here” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265All of the posts I’ll link to pre-date today’s New Hampshire primary. This is a NH primary-free zone. You might find it refreshing. And now, to the good stuff:

Trump could destroy conservativism in America for decades.  I think Charles Krauthammer hits the ball out of the park on this one (not to mention hitting the nail on the head):

The threat to the GOP posed by the Trump insurgency is not that he’s anti-establishment. It’s that he’s not conservative. Trump’s winning the nomination would convulse the Republican party, fracture the conservative movement and undermine the GOP’s identity and role as the country’s conservative party.

There’s nothing wrong with challenging the so-called establishment. Parties, like other institutions, can grow fat and soft and corrupt. If by establishment you mean the careerists, the lobbyists, and the sold-out cynics, a good poke, even a major purge, is well-deserved.

That’s not the problem with Trump. The problem is his, shall we say, eclectic populism. Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.

Turning our military into a vast climate change boondoggle. The worst news this week was the announcement that, as Islamic jihad gets more aggressive around the world, climate change will become the military’s top priority. Only old-fashioned war-mongering fascists will cling to the outdated notion that the military’s top priority is defending America against foreign enemies.

A couple of comments. First, I’ve already seen this pivot to climate change in action during Fleet Week in San Francisco. The Navy ships I’ve visited, rather than boasting about their military capacity, boast about their carbon footprint (or lack thereof).

Second, this will turn the military budget into the greatest, and most corrupt, slush fund ever in the history of American government. The only good thing will be that, once the military is a giant green machine that can’t fight, but does use little batteries to power its tanks, we’ll stop hearing from inane Leftists horrified by the thought that their children, who enjoy the benefits of a nation under the protection of the greatest military in the world (and one, moreover, subject to constitutional control), might actually view our military as a blessing, rather than a curse.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 2/4/16 edition — “it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265It’s been some time since my last round-up so, without further ado:

A primer for those who need to be reminded why Hillary should be incarcerated, not inaugurated. Deroy Murdock has a knack for political parables. Using the example of the “Foggy Bottom Department Store,” he makes it clear just how heinous Hillary’s conduct has been in connection with her egregious national security violations.

And a primer on foreign trade and capitalism. Larry Elder has a truly brilliant piece about the benefits that flow to America from low tariffs and foreign trade — benefits that are very real even when it seems that American jobs are going away. I urge you to read it. (This is a different issue, of course, from the Democrats and Chamber of Commerce types manipulating and violating American law to ship in cheap labor at the expense of American citizens.)

One of the things I like about Ted Cruz is the long list of people who hate him. You can know a man by his friends and by his enemies. Strong conservatives respect Ted Cruz; RINOs (and RINO’s are the majority of “Republicans” in Congress) hate and fear him. That works for me. Spengler, aka David P. Goldman, has more to say about Cruz’s well-earned Iowa victory (it was a brilliant ground game, not cheating) and about Cruz’s rejection of the Washington establishment and embrace of ordinary conservatives — core conservatives — across America.

[Read more…]

[VIDEO] Best mash-up I’ve seen of old dances with new music

Uptown funk mashupThere are lots of enjoyable videos floating around that show clips of old Hollywood musicals put to a modern pop soundtrack.  This video, though, has the single best match-up I’ve ever seen, matching perfectly the pacing and rhythm of the old dances when compared to a modern song — the song in this case being Mark Ronson’s smash Uptown Funk.  Color me impressed:

Do they even listen to themselves? (The Nancy Drew edition)

Intrepid original Nancy DrewThe Hollywood Reporter has an article announcing that in the reboot of Nancy Drew, the eponymous main character won’t be Caucasian:

CBS’ new Nancy Drew will look very different should the network move forward with the reboot.

CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller revealed Tuesday that the network’s reimagining of the iconic character will be diverse.

Fine.  Nancy Drew was not meant to be great art.  She was written by a series of different authors to sell books.  The most important part of Nancy Drew isn’t the golden hair and blue eyes that the original books assigned to her, but instead the fact that she’s clever, independent, intrepid, and spunky.  Those qualities can and should exist irrespective of race.

So no, I have no problem with a non-white Nancy Drew.  What I have a problem with is stupidity.  Today’s dollop of Hollywood Leftist stupidity comes from Glenn Geller, explaining his thinking:

“She is diverse, that is the way she is written,” the executive told THR immediately following his time in front of the press at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Tuesday. While Geller said it was too early in the process to explain just what he meant by diverse — whether Nancy is African-American, Asian-American or Latino, he said it would hinge on finding the right actress for the part. “[She will] not [be] Caucasian,” he stressed. “I’d be open to any ethnicity.”  (Emphasis mine.)

Excuse me, Mr. Geller, but I think you’re a little confused.  Once you’ve “stressed” that “[She will] not [be] Caucasian,” are you really in a position to state in the next breath that “I’d be open to any ethnicity”?  I think not.  Apparently there’s one ethnicity to which you’re absolutely closed.

It’s just another day in Obama’s selectively multicultural America….

The Bookworm Beat 1/4/2016 — the “I’ve got a secret” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have sitting in front of me a piece of a very juicy story that’s happening in real-time — and I can’t do anything about it right now! Two things stop me: The first is that, as I said, I currently only have a piece, and I need more information to understand fully what is going on; the second is that I don’t know yet whether what’s happening is operating under a confidentiality agreement.

The fact that I got some of the information means that someone (and I know who) violated confidentiality, but the whole thing is too sensitive for me to charge into. I’m going to keep an eye on things, though, and I’ll let you know when/if I have a real story. Meanwhile….

On guns, using Alinsky against the Alinsky-ites

Saul Alinksy may have had an ugly ideology, but he was a master tactician. One of his mandates is that you have to make your political enemy play by his own rules. The Virginia GOP is making noises about doing just that, although I doubt GOPers will have the courage of their convictions:

Virginia’s radically anti-gun Governor and Attorney General were probably quite pleased with themselves when they spitefully severed concealed carry agreements with 25 states, including all but one of its neighbors.

They probably didn’t anticipate the backlash they’ve received, which includes calls to recall or impeach Attorney General Mark Herring, and pushes for legislation that will both strip elected officials of the ability to make such unilateral decisions, and get a little payback.

Herring’s announcement came three weeks before the start of the General Assembly session, which is controlled by Republicans. In November, a bill was filed that would require Virginia to recognize permits from other states. If approved, it would reverse Herring’s ruling.

Carrico said he’ll address the issue come January.

“A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my collegues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point,” he said. “I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.”

Read more here.

It would be fruitless and damaging to try stripping Hillary Clinton of her Secret Service detail. Having said that, it would be brilliant if, at every campaign stop, people ask her why, because she is such a strong anti-gun campaigner, she shouldn’t be stripped of that armed coverage.  And I’d love to see the same question asked of Obama at town halls.

I suspect both will reply that they need security because they’re targets.  Statistically speaking, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the average citizen of Chiraq is just as likely to be a target — the only difference is that the Chiraquian cannot defend himself (or have others defend him).

[Read more…]

John Oliver’s potty mouth ravings reveal what’s wrong with the Left’s approach to Islamic jihad

John Oliver on ParisJohn Kerry is a rather frustrating Secretary of State, not just because he’s uniformly awful, but because he’s so stupid there’s nothing left to parody. The guy parodies himself. Take, for example, his deep and profound statement following last Friday’s Islamic massacre in Paris. It is a tour de force of mental disorganization, banality, and incoherence.

The mere existence of a statement like this from our State Department attests to the depths to which our nation has fallen under the Obama administration. Even Hillary did a better job of saying nothing. And when I say that Kerry said nothing, I mean it. He especially had nothing to say about who perpetrated the massacre:

There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate. They kill Shia. They kill Yezidis. They kill Christians. They kill Druze. They kill Ismaili. They kill anybody who isn’t them and doesn’t pledge to be that. And they carry with them the greatest public display of misogyny that I’ve ever seen, not to mention a false claim regarding Islam. It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism – I mean, you name it. [Emphasis added.]

Did you get that? Our Secretary of State is baffled, completely baffled, by the Paris attackers’ motivation. The only thing he knows with certainty is that Islam had nothing to do with it. The killers’ cries of “Allahu Akbar” were a mere coincidence. They were probably just struggling to say something clever in French, along the lines of “l’état, c’est moi” or even “hinky dinky parlez vous” but, because they were hopped up on speed to facilitate the slaughter, were at a loss for words and used “Allahu Akbar” as their default statement.

John Kerry can be excused his meaningless fatuity because no one listens to him anyway. Most people tune out politicians. Instead, they listen to pop culture figures.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Two good things about the new James Bond movie #JamesBond #Spectre

James Bond SpectreLast night, I saw the new James Bond movie, Spectre. I enjoyed it, although I must admit that it lagged in places. The fight and chase scenes, however, were spectacular, and they went a long way to make up for the slow parts. I’ve also come to like Daniel Craig’s Bond. I didn’t at first — Craig is a funny looking guy, despite those amazing blue eyes — but I’ve come to enjoy his tightly-coiled, muscled Bond, which is much closer to the character in the original books than the other Bond actors have been.

Daniel Craig and the fight/chase scenes notwithstanding, Andrew Klavan observed correctly that the movie fails at a very fundamental level because it doesn’t reflect real-world concerns:

But more than that, as with last summer’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (a much better movie) — and with the last three Star Wars flicks (much worse), Spectre suffers as a result of the deterioration of American values since the original source material was made.

The Bond of Dr. No, like the Ethan Hunt of the original MI TV series, like the Luke Skywalker of the first Star Wars trilogy, knew what he was fighting for and what he was fighting against. The story — all those stories — took place with the presence of the Soviet Union and Red China in every viewer’s mind. We knew they were slave states who wished to impose their brand of slavery — called communism then, progressivism now — on the entire world. We knew we needed brave men and strong ideas to defeat them.

Where oh where could we find such villains today? Who holds to a slave philosophy now? Who wants to impose that philosophy on the rest of us? Why are they evil? Why should we oppose them?

The answers are 1. In the Middle East; 2. Islamists; 3. Also Islamists; 4. Because individual liberty is an objective good; and 5. Because if good men don’t fight evil, evil wins.

The people who make these movies live in a haze of such intellectual dishonesty that they have forgotten, or chosen to ignore, these answers. They aren’t honest so they can’t write honest plots. Their villains have no motives and their master plans are confusing where they’re not just laughable. Their heroes are merely an assemblage of characteristics from an earlier age: empty images that move and talk a certain way but have no virtue and so no power to thrill. They are, so to speak, merely spectres of their former selves.

I think, though, Klavan missed one very real issue that the movie did address, and that’s the fact that our governments spy on us constantly.  This is especially true in England, which has more cameras per citizen, I believe, than any other First World country.  George Orwell would not be pleased.  Given the English setting, it’s not surprising that a strong theme in the movie is a technocrat’s efforts to create a massive, worldwide information database drawn from all cameras and telephone calls trained on every individual. It may not be Islamists, but it’s a problem, so the movie isn’t completely in la-la land by recognizing it.  (For those who like exotic locales, England’s not the only place the movie shows.  It travels the world, with an especially strong opening sequence set in Mexico City.)

The other thing I liked about the movie — and I won’t develop on too much lest I give away a few fun plot points — is that the movie is like an NRA advertisement.  Bad guys have guns and the only way to deal with them is when the good guys have guns.  Indeed, there are two scenes in which guns are front and center.  In one it’s made clear that, even if one doesn’t like guns, they serve a useful and necessary purpose.  In another scene, it’s made just as clear that the mere fact that someone has a gun doesn’t mean that the person will use it.  Guns are tools.  Whether they are safe or dangerous depends on the user, not the tool.

For current events, Spectre gets (as Andrew Klavan said) a “B.”  For gun rights, though, I give the movie a strong “A.”

[VIDEO] Leftists with conservative values, and the virtues of Dancing With The Stars

bindi-irwin-02-800I’ve mentioned before my fondness for Dancing With The Stars, which I see as a weekly morality tale for conservative values. Sure, I like watching beautiful people dance beautifully, but the show’s real attraction is how gosh-darned hard the winners — and most of the losers — work.

The most recent example of the work ethic that creates winners is 17-year-old Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin:

Bindi Irwin delivered another sparkling performance on Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars” as she earned 28 out of 30 points by channeling Grace Kelly in her foxtrot with partner Derek Hough.

But rehearsal footage aired revealed something less glamorous: Bindi’s feet are a mess!

Irwin, 17, showed the cameras that her toenails are falling off and she has to use Super Glue to put them back on.

[snip]

Like she did on her show package, however, Irwin bravely downplayed the situation.

“It’s fine. You can keep going,” she declared.

When asked if it was painful, she admitted, “Yeah!” with a laugh, but quickly added, “It’s all right. Everyone gets like this. I just have to Super Glue them, and tape them up. It’s all good.”

Irwin then told FOX411 that her toenails aren’t all she has to deal with – there are also a lot of unsightly calluses: “There’s like holes—the skin rubs out so there’s actual craters in my feet. Every night I’m kind of like cutting all the skin off ’cause it catches. You know when you get a hangnail? Think about tearing a hangnail but dancing on top of it.”

That’s a pretty darn serious work ethic right there. Nor is Bindi the only star to perform despite physical injuries, illness, and exhaustion. It turns out that dancing all day is grueling work, and it takes a toll on a body unused to that exertion. In addition, many of the stars still have active performance schedules that require them to fly back and forth across the country, all the while trying to learn a brand new, challenging skill that takes the form of four or five hours of hard physical exercise a day.

[Read more…]

Found it on Facebook — What passes for insightful commentary on the Left (part 3, the abortion edition)

Dunce capFinally, here’s the third and last part of a three-part series in which I attempt to deconstruct the lies, misstatements, and illogical conclusions of posters popular amongst the Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed. Part 1 has a longer introduction about my goals, and analyzes a painfully misleading and quite vicious post about Paul Ryan. Part 2 tackles stupid gun control posters

And now it’s time for part three, the abortion edition. As always, I put the poster up first and then add my commentary:

Demand to defund churches

Excuse me Ms. Leftie, but do you understand that the government does not fund churches?  Yes, it’s true that churches don’t pay taxes.  This comes about because the power to tax is the power to destroy,n or at least to discriminate against something.  The First Amendment prevents our government from doing that.

Do you also understand that churches don’t have a political say over your body? That is, unlike a theocracy (say, Iran), the church does not run the government. Instead, it’s the parishioners who, applying religious doctrine as they understand it, use their rights as citizens of a representative government to vote for representatives whose views align well with theirs? No?  I didn’t think you knew that.

Having exposed your ignorance about religion and government in America, perhaps you can explain to me why we fund Planned Parenthood in the first place?  If Planned Parenthood really is just about women’s health,why do we fight over it with every budget rather than paying the same money to other neighborhood clinics that provide only women’s health care without also providing abortions?

Could it be because the real nudge-nudge, wink-wink going on is that everyone knows that those federal funds aren’t really for generic women’s health care but, in fact, meant to subsidize abortions? Keep in mind, little lady, that money is fungible. (Fungible is a fancy word meaning that one dollar can readily be substituted for another.) The fact that Planned Parenthood ostensibly applies its federal funds to manual breast exams — since the clinics don’t offer mammograms — and other basic health care means that the money saved on those breast exam appointments can be applied to other services . . . such as abortions.

[Read more…]

Bill Whittle eviscerates Disney’s “Tomorrowland”

My rule of thumb is that, if George Clo0ney’s in it, I’m going to hate it.  I dislike his bovine face, I dislike his smug acting, and I dislike his politics — politics that too often leak into movies that are being sold to our children as “entertainment.”  Take, for example, Tomorrowland, which Bill Whittle takes apart as a piece of Leftist garbage:

Apropos Brad Byrd, I used to know a lot of the people who worked with him. They were all kind, decent, and brilliant, and they were all hard Lefties, of the Nancy Pelosi variety. I understand that Byrd is cut from the same cloth — kind, decent, brilliant, and very, very Progressive. It was quite a surprise when that team came out with The Incredibles, a movie that is hostile to the dreadful leveling that is socialism as preached by America’s creative elite.