The Bookworm Beat 2/11/16 — the “watching the political parade” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265As this election year’s craziness continues, I keep trying to keep myself from getting upset. My mantra is that I should save my energies for things I can change, either directly or through my own small contributions. For everything else, I need to relax and watch the passing spectacle. That’s what this post is all about.

Socialism’s shortages kill people.  One of the hallmarks of socialism is shortages, with Venezuela being the latest example.  Canada has socialized medicine.  (They also have cheap drugs, but that’s because American companies invest in R&D, costs they recoup by passing on to American drug purchasers, while the Canadian government helps supplement drug costs.)  That’s why a teenager in Canada who could have had a stem cell transplant died — the donor was available, but the hospital beds weren’t.

Unemployment is a core feature of a centralized economy.  The theory behind a centralized (i.e., government managed) economy is that everyone works and everyone benefits.  The reality is that the more the government manages the economy through taxes and rewards to cronies, the more it stifles individual initiative — and the result is unemployment.  With the Obama economy staggering into its eighth year, one can’t really blame millennials, who have never seen a functioning free market, for thinking that the best they’ll ever get is more government hand-outs, courtesy of Bernie.

The media is trying to ignore Ted Cruz to death, but he’s still the strongest conservative candidate.  The media willingly gave Donald Trump free advertising by covering him endlessly.  It wasn’t just that he was “so clever” that he played them.  They wanted to be played because they believe that, outside of his core 35%, he’s unelectable.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is scary.  After all, Rush anointed him the closest thing we’ll see to Reagan in our era.  Since savaging Cruz hasn’t been working, the media is trying a new tactic:  ignoring him.  That is, they are deliberately denying the American people a chance to hear from a top-ranking presidential candidate.  Gawd, but our media is corrupt.

Still, Ted Cruz plays the long game, and Fox News Latino thinks he’s still got game.  Philip Klein also thinks that New Hampshire is anomalous, since it’s kind of like Europe in that even its conservatives are Leftists.  Look at the rest of conservative America, and Cruz is still the last conservative candidate standing.

[Read more…]

The New York Times reminds us that its highest purpose is as birdcage liner

New York Times reporter Israel objectivity Diaa Hadid

The New York Times, despite its Jewish progenitors, was always too Progressive to be pro-Jewish or pro-Israel. The New York Times was written by and for Jews who like to throw around a few Yiddish words (“nosh,” “meshugganah,” etc.), and who may even go to synagogue once a year, but who think religion is a primitive, backwards approach to the world. They are clean and bright and shiny, and Jews — real Jews — are dirty, backwards and, in Israel, imperialist occupying forces. That’s why you should never believe a word that the New York Times says about Israel, unless it’s a surprisingly positive word, in which case you’ll know that an enterprising philosemite snuck into the newsroom at night and messed with the computers.

I mention the above as a preclude to this story, which the inestimable CAMERA first caught:

[Read more…]

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…]

The Bookworm Beat 12-10-15 — the “Islamic terrorism” edition *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265A few words about Donald Trump’s campaign success

Donald Trump is the ordinary American’s id. The id, of course, is our most basic intelligence, the one that gives us the atavistic reflexes that recognize danger and act on it to stay alive.

Trump has cut through the political correctness that prevented all politicians, including Republican ones, from speaking the cold, hard truth: Muslims are a problem. While we know that not all Muslims are a problem, until we figure out a way to separate wheat from chaff, we are insane to invite them in without limitations.

If you pay attention to what Trump said, as opposed to what the media says he said, Trump actually made a sensible suggestion, although framed in his typical inflammatory way: America needs to press the pause button on admitting Muslims until we can formulate a policy that’s aimed at separating bad (i.e., jihadist or otherwise fundamentalist Muslims) from good Muslims. Here, in his own words, with my emphasis added:

Donald Trump evoked outrage from across the political spectrum Monday by calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., a proposal that taps into voter anxiety about the recent spate of terrorist attacks yet likely runs afoul of religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. “It is obvious to anybody the hatred [among Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Mr. Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” His campaign said he would keep the ban intact “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” including the facts around the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last week. Syed Rizwan Farook, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, a legal immigrant who had a green card, were killed in a shootout with the police after the massacre.

[Read more…]

The New York Times’ latest attack on Ted Cruz backfires, highlighting his virtues

Ted_Cruz_14Early last week, the New York Times published Frank Bruni’s overwrought essay, Anyone But Ted Cruz. The piece is clearly meant to assassinate Ted Cruz’s character by explaining why conservative voters should hate and fear him as much as Progressives do.

As a preliminary matter, of course, any conservative who accepts advice from the New York Times about preferred Republican candidates is a fool. The Times does not have Republicans’ best interests at heart, and the past fifteen years make it highly questionable whether it has America’s best interests at heart either. Listening to the Times’ advice about Republican candidates is kind of like taking dating advice from Ted Bundy.

But back to Bruni. . . .   After opening with some quick character assassination from the Left, Bruni works hard to explain that it’s not only the obvious suspects – i.e., Leftists – who dislike Cruz, but Republicans as well. His opinion piece is basically a “Dear Conservative voter” letter, claiming that, if these savvy Republican political figures hate Cruz, you, the voter, should too.

Bruni’s problem is that his explanations for Cruz’s unpopularity with Washington D.C.’s “in-crowd” Republicans manage to establish that Cruz has dedicated his entire adult life to advancing American constitutionalism and exceptionalism, notions that mainstream Republicans abandoned long ago. Thus, for anyone who rejects the Leftist and establishment assumptions underlying Bruni’s hit piece, it’s obvious that, during these troubled times at home and abroad, Ted Cruz is not ballot box poison.  Instead, he is the best man to return America to her core values of personal liberty, economic freedom, and national security policies that benefit America and her friends.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 10-21-15 — the “purging papers” edition

Woman-writing-300x265My Kondo-mania continues unabated. The task I’ve assigned myself now is to get rid of all but the most necessary papers in my house. And of those, unless the paper itself has some historic, emotional, or legal value, to scan what remains. I’ve been sorting and shredding all day, and am only taking a break now because my son refused to believe me that our little home shredder would jam if he fed in more than three pages. He stuffed in nine, and is now using tweezers to clean out the shredder. Meanwhile….

The bloodless Muslim takeover of Europe

Daniel Greenfield’s article about the Muslim invasion is best summarized in this paragraph:

Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its shrinking birth rate by working and paying into the system so that its aging population can retire. The Muslim migrants however expect Europe to subsidize their large families with its welfare state while they deal some drugs and chop off some heads on the side.

Mr. Bookworm, incidentally, couldn’t understand my dismay when I learned he’d donated $100 to help the refugees. He tried to analogize the situation to Jews fleeing Nazis, and castigated me for being the person who wouldn’t help the Jews. He couldn’t understand what I meant when I said that these refugees, by virtue of being Muslims from hard-core Muslim countries, are Nazis fleeing worse Nazis. I don’t want to help either group.

Rebutting the lies about Israel

If everyone read Ron Dermer’s Ten Deadly Lies About Israel (and kudos to Politico for publishing it), the world would be a better place. Israel would be treated as a nation among nations, and the Palestinians would be unfunded and unfriended. An example:

Ninth: The reason the conflict and the violence persist is because the Palestinians don’t have a state.
False: The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to accept a nation-state for themselves if it means accepting a nation-state for the Jewish people alongside it. In 1937, the Palestinians rejected the Peel Commission report that called for two states for two peoples; in 1947, they rejected the U.N. partition plan that did the same. In 2000 at Camp David and again in 2008 the Palestinians rejected new proposals that would have created a Palestinian state. The Palestinians rejected peace both before and after the creation of Israel, before Israel gained control of the territories in 1967 and after Israel vacated Gaza in 2005. The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict remains the persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders.

Armed Jews would have made a difference during WWII

Ben Carson may have been a little too optimistic when he said that, if Jews had been armed, they could have stopped the Holocaust. What is certain, though, is that Jews would have been harder to capture and less yielding had they been able to challenge the Nazis — and the Nazis knew this because the first thing they did when they decided to destroy world Jewry was to disarm all Jews within reach (as all tyrants do when they’re ready to destroy their chosen victims). William A. Levinson explains what the Nazis did and how important small arms are to partisan resistance (something for Americans to consider in the fight to grab our guns).

If you attack cops, you’re likely to die

Trust Thomas Sowell to cut through the Leftist shower of fecal matter about police shootings, starting with a teenager’s recent death after the teen went crazy during a routine traffic stop:

”He was only a kid” is an almost automatic reaction of the parents and the media. “He didn’t deserve to be killed” over a traffic violation, or because he didn’t drop a toy gun when ordered to, or some other minor infraction.

Are we so addicted to talking points and sound bites that we can’t be bothered to use common sense? If you are killed by a teenager, you are just as dead as if you had been killed by the oldest man in the world.

It doesn’t matter how minor the law violation was that caused the young guy to be stopped. He wasn’t shot for the violation — which could have been jay-walking, for all the difference it makes. He was shot for attacking the police, after having foolishly escalated a routine encounter into a personal confrontation.

Irrational statements by the young man’s parents may be understandable when they discover that their son is dead. But for media people to make such mindless statements to a nationwide audience is just grossly irresponsible.

Income inequality is not an economic issue

The Democrat presidential candidates were obsessed with economic inequality. They are obsessed, of course, because it gives them permission to rob from a smaller class of Americans and give to larger class of Americans, thus ensuring them perpetual power. Dennis Prager, however, points out that, while the Dems are giving themselves a political and financial power card based on their “inequality” rallying cry, inequality is actually a moral, not an economic, problem:

It depends, first of all, on the economic status of the poorer members of the society. If the bottom percentile of society has its basic material needs met, then the existence of a big gap between its members and the wealthiest members of the society is not a moral problem.

But if the members of the bottom rung of society are in such an impoverished state that their basic material needs are not met, and yet there is a supremely wealthy class in the same society, then the suffering of its poorest class renders that society’s inequality a moral problem.

And what most matters in both cases is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth honestly or corruptly. If the wealthy have attained their wealth morally and legally, then the income gap is not a moral problem.

Second Amendment links

America is not the top Western nation for the number of people per capita killed in mass shootings. You’d be surprised which countries are higher up the list.

Gun free zones are nothing more than honey pots for people crazy enough to kill, but not crazy enough to want to be stopped before they’ve had a good long time with their victims.

Obama — America’s greatest warmonger — and the Left doesn’t care

With Obama being the greatest warmonger ever to occupy the White House (wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, not to mention all those drone strikes, mostly on civilians), there have been only minor exceptions to the anti-War Left’s eerie silence since 2009. Noah Rothman posits that maybe, just maybe, they never were an anti-War Left. Instead, they were an anti-Bush Left and, to the extent the wars were framed as serving America’s needs, an anti-American Left — which is what we here said all along.

Speaking of which, someone has gone to the effort to imagine what it would be like if Romney stood in Obama’s blood-stained combat boots.

Israel needs to ignore the world and do what’s necessary

If you’re going to be damned if you do and damned if you don’t, and if doing benefits you, just do! Evelyn Gordon explains that, despite yielding constantly to demands from the US, Europe, and the Muslims, Israel is in no better shape than she would have been had she gone ahead with her preferred actions vis-a-vis settlements and other issues. That being the case, Israel should just stop trying to be the best little nation in the world, and do what she and her citizens need her to do.

XXX

For a brief while, I was trying to be a bankruptcy attorney. It turned out not to be my cup of tea. I did learn, however, that it’s often very useful for a business to declare bankruptcy, shed most of its debt, restructure, and start again. Kevin Williamson suggests that the U.S. may have to benefit from this procedure. I just doubt whether the world can weather a bankrupt America shedding most of its debt.

Viewing Muslim men with appropriate caution

One of the aides at my Mom’s care facility is trying desperately to break away from her Muslim husband. I don’t know the details, but I do know I’ve heard countless stories of Western women being charmed by romantic Muslim men, only to discover that there’s a big difference between a Muslim boyfriend and a Muslim husband. The latter tends to like to assert his cultural and sharia prerogatives, usually with the children as his hostages in some lovely country like Qatar or Saudi Arabia. That’s why, rather than being outraged by the young lady in this video, I thought she was pretty wise. Unless you’re certain that your Muslim guy is someone like the amazing and wonderful Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (or like a completely Westernized Muslim man I know, who is an utterly dear person), you need to know very clearly what you’re getting into — and a street pick-up isn’t the way to do it.

What the media means when it dismisses Jewish injuries as “moderate”

Netanyahu wasn’t wrong when he talked about the Mufti and Hitler

Netanyahu stirred up a hornet’s nest when he suggested that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who got Hitler going on the idea of a Holocaust, as opposed to exiling or enslaving Europe’s Jews. Some people think that Hitler got the idea from Stalin, after his troops saw how effectively Stalin liquidated his own people. But there’s no reason to believe Netanyahu was wrong. The Mufti enthusiastically supported liquidating Jews and there’s no doubt that he and Hitler had a common fanatic hatred for the Jewish people. Certainly, my mother ended up in Indonesia because, when she was living in British-mandate Palestine, British officers told her father that, if they couldn’t hold out against Rommel (and they were dubious that they could), every Jew in Palestine would be slaughtered. Both Nazis and Arabs would participate, with each group egging the other on.

Anyway, Melanie Phillips has lots more data about the Mufti, who was by any measure an exceptionally evil man and Hitler’s soul mate.

[VIDEO] An almost perfect video about media bias against Israel

ISIL and Palestinian terrorists are the sameThe only problem with this otherwise excellent video is that it is aimed at those who already know what’s really happening — i.e., a knife intifada that sees Palestinians stabbing to death as many Israelis as possible, combined with a world media that assiduously focuses on Palestinian deaths with no regard whatsoever for the attacks preceding those deaths.  This means that those who only read, watch, and listen to the mainstream media, both at home and abroad, will not understand the nature of the falsehoods shown in this short video’s second half.

The Bookworm Beat 10-14-15 — the hot quick links edition, and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265So much to share with you, and so many demands on my time. I’ll make it quick, tantalizing you with short links to wonderful things:

We know the other media outlets are hostile to Israel, but is it possible that Fox News is also turning on Israel? CAMERA has caught it doing exactly the same thing as CNN or the BBC — blaming Israel, the only pluralist, democratic, modern, humanitarian country in the region for the ferocious, malignant, blindly hate-filled upsurge in terrorism unleashed against ordinary Israelis. (As you know, a Saudi owns a significant share in Fox TV. Israel’s friends have long been concerned that this might affect Fox’s objectivity with regard to Israel. I’m not saying that this ownership explains Fox’s slip-ups, though. I just note the ownership in passing.)

Here’s the deal:  When Fox News and John Kerry are agreed about something, you know that (a) Fox is in error and (b) there’s the possibility that something is very, very, very wrong over at Fox.

For those who like stories about dystopian futures, Richard Fernandez has a humdinger, imagining the year 2030 in a world lost to Obama’s foreign policies.

Just this past weekend, a national conference for teachers and administrators convened in Baltimore to discuss what’s really wrong with America’s education system. If you thought they were focusing on fatherless families, union depredations on school districts and students, and meaningless, politically correct education, you thought wrong. It’s you — you, the white person over there, hiding in the corner — who is what’s wrong with education. Zombie explains what’s going on, but you’d have to be crazy or a Leftist really to understand the dynamic.

[Read more…]

Let’s talk about the bloodshed in Israel.

Stop killing JewsThose who consume only the mainstream media do not know what’s going on in Israel. The media is lying to America through selectively presented news.  News reports are careful to lead with headlines about Palestinians killed or wounded, only mentioning deep in the article that Palestinians met these misfortunes only after they tried to slaughter Jews. Bret Stephens says it best:

If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back.

Other Palestinian attacks include the stabbing of two elderly Israeli men and an assault with a vegetable peeler on a 14-year-old. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man ran over a 19-year-old female soldier at a bus stop, then got out of his car, stabbed her, and attacked two men and a 14-year-old girl. Several attacks have been carried out by women, including a failed suicide bombing.

What’s going on is a fraud against Americans’ knowledge and intelligence, as well as against their ability to participate properly in our representative democracy.

Two videos emerged from Israel today which give just a feel of the violence ripping through that small, pluralist, democratic, quite civilized little country:

WATCH: Raw footage of the moment of terror when a Palestinian attacks two Israeli security officials. Israel has faced a wave of stabbings this week — but the world is silent. Israeli civilians and officers are left alone to defend themselves and each other. —> Demand action against Palestinian terror. Add your name at IsraelIsUnderAttack.com

Posted by The Israel Project on Monday, October 12, 2015

(If the above video doesn’t load, view it here.)

WARNING: Graphic contentThis morning, a terrorist went on a violent rampage in Jerusalem with a vehicle and a butcher’s knife. This is the danger we face. This is the result of Palestinian incitement.

Posted by Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

(If the above video doesn’t load, view it here.)

And where is Obama?

Dumisani Washington, who is not Jewish but supports Israel, has the answer:

Did you read/see the President’s statement condemning the Arab Palestinian violence and murdering of Jews in Israel?Me neither. #RebuketheOppressor

Posted by Dumisani Washington on Monday, October 12, 2015

(If the embed doesn’t show, go here.)

Incidentally, the use of the knife, and the world’s silence, are not new. Here’s a shocking picture from 1947 — before there was an Israel, before there were 1967 lines, and before the PLO had even formed — showing an Arab stabbing a Palestinian journalist, even as the British watch quietly from the sidelines. (My long-standing fondness for the British and their history took a deep, deep nosedive when I realized how much they contributed to the Muslims’ and Arabs’ fanatic anti-Israel activities.)

Arab stabbling Asher Lazarin Jerusalem 1947

StandWithUs (whose Facebook page all friends of Israel should like and follow) explains what you’re seeing in that picture:

Before Israel united Jerusalem in 1967 and regained the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa, before the re-establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, Jews were in Israel, and Jews in Israel suffered under terrorist attacks even then.

This photo, from 1947, is of an Arab stabbing a Jewish journalist, Asher Lazar, in Jerusalem, while British forces looked on and did nothing to stop the attack, according to the man’s daughter.

Terrorism is not a reaction to Israeli actions, no matter how right or wrong they are. Terrorism, the terror that we saw today, is the product of the indoctrination of hate. A hate that teaches children that it’s heroic to murder Jews.

Decades have passed but the problem remains. #StopIncitement

Photo via @ArikBender

And just so you know that the British did nothing, ask yourself where that photograph originated. Yael Lazar, Asher’s daughter, explains:

The man being stabbed is my father, photo was taken by british soldiers who did nothing to stop the attack

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, right?

There is a full blown intifada going on here and it is accelerating. It is stoked by mullahs, and imams, and children’s TV shows, and UNRWA (which we help fund), and the general culture of the West Bank and Gaza, both of which are the world’s largest, most corrupt, and most deadly welfare states. Israel is bleeding and the world doesn’t even shrug, which would imply that it’s paying some kind of attention. Instead, it ignores entirely what’s happening or, fed by the media’s lies, it blames a very real, very true victim. (None of your “he looked at me funny” victims here. The blood, pain, suffering, and death are real.)

I’ve assembled some of the best posters I’ve found on Facebook regarding what’s going on, since I think they make good points. If you’re active in social media and if you care about Israel, please, please share the posters and videos in this post. Remember, what’s happening in Israel is what happens to any culture unlucky enough to rub up against florescent Islam. Just ask the Christians in ISIS’s path. Or the childr…. Oh, never mind. The children in ISIS’s path are dead.

Israeli Jews under siege

Palestinian rocks

Dry Bones on Israel's resolve

Rogue American government vis a vis Israel

Palestinian activists fighting for tyranny

ISIL and Palestinian terrorists are the same

Why no peace in Israel in 1966

The Bookworm Beat 9-25-15 — the “bon voyage, Boehner” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”

I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.

Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.

I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.

And now to a few things that caught my eye:

If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill

I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.

Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.

But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people.  If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 8-26-15 — the “gruesome GoPro” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265The revolution will be televised — thoughts on the shooting in Virginia

Back in 1969 or 1970, during the height of the 1960s era upheavals, Gil Scott-Heron wrote a poem/song claiming “the revolution will not be televised.” The lyrics implied that the media would be so anodyne that, while revolution was on the streets, those watching their TVs would see only pabulum. What Scott-Heron couldn’t perceive was that, thanks to technological advances, the revolutionaries would create their own television spectacles. We see that most dramatically with ISIS, which enjoys filming and televising its trail of murder, rapine, and destruction, as well as with the American activists who turn life’s frictions into catalysts for riot and revolution.

And today we saw something that managed to have roots both in a protest against life’s friction and in ISIS’s sadistic voyeurism: It turns out that Vester Lee Flanigan, the man who murdered TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, and seriously injured Chamber of Commerce representative Vicki Gardner, (a) committed the murder in part because Parker allegedly made racist comments before Flanigan and Parker ever worked together and (b) GoPro’d the murder:

Murderer's eye view Flanigan Parker

The revolution will be televised, and it will be the revolutionaries, especially the sadistic voyeurs, doing the televising.

Oh, and because the usual suspects have used this horrible murder as ammunition in their war on the Second Amendment, you might want to have as your own talking point the fact that gun crime has dropped 49% since 1993, something the vast majority of Americans do not know.

Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos

I do not like Trump. I do not believe he’s a conservative. I do believe he’s a megalomaniac. I sincerely hope he burns out soon, so that more serious candidates (my current faves are Cruz and Fiorina) can get their rightful place in the limelight.

Having said that, I totally understand why people are so enthusiastic about Trump’s demagogic candidacy. Part of it the support comes from people’s sense that a lawless administration needs to be reined in about illegal immigration.

Incidentally, I just made an important point, if I do say so myself. Contrary to Leftist claims, those who support Trump are not xenophobes, trying to lock Hispanics out of the country. They are, instead, ordinary lawful citizens who are horrified by the fact that the current executive branch in this country is willfully violating laws that Congress passed to preserve this country’s sovereignty. It’s not racist to ask your government to enforce its own laws. But back to Trump….

What people like about Trump is his absolute refusal to play by the PC rules that Leftists have long used to stifle conservative speech and action. Ramos was out of line to use his Hispanic heft to muscle into a speech at the Donald’s press conference, and the Donald rightly put him in his place. Then, when Ramos played by the rules and waited his turn, Trump again put him in his place by answering in straightforward fashion questions about the border, pnce again blogging Ramos’s speechifying.

Leftists are bullies who work hard to control speech and thought through whatever means are available. In Trump, they’ve met an even bigger bully than they are.  While I’d hate to see Trump in the driver’s seat at the White House, it’s a pleasure to see him out bully the Left on the campaign trail.

Daniel Pipes on the possibility that Tehran rejects the deal

To those of us watching Obama work hard to hand billions of dollars and unlimited nuclear capacity to the Iranians, it seems inconceivable that the Iranians might reject the deal. Moreover, if that were to happen, I think most of us would have, as our instinctive first response, the thought that it’s good to see Obama humiliated in such a way.

Daniel Pipes, however, argues that the possibility is real that Tehran could reject the deal and that, absent some careful groundwork, if it were to happen, it could have unpleasant ramifications, not for Obama, but for Israel and other opponents of the deal:

Leaders of fanatical and brutal government such as Khamenei’s invariably make ideological purity and personal power their highest priorities and he is no exception. From this point of view – its impact on the regime’s longevity – the deal contains two problems.

First, it betrays Ayatollah Khameini’s vision of unyielding enmity to the United States, a core principle that has guided the Islamic republic since he founded it in 1979. A substantial portion of the leadership, including Khamenei himself, hold to a purist vision that sees any relations with the United States as unacceptable and bordering on treachery. For this reason, Tehran has long been the world’s only capital not seeking improved relations with Washington. These rejectionists disdain the benefits of the deal; they refuse it on grounds of principle.

[snip]

Second, Iranian opponents of the JCPOA worry about its eroding the Islamist values of Khameini’s revolution. They fear that the businessmen, tourists, students, artists, et al., perched soon to descend on an newly-opened Iran will further tempt the local population away from the difficult path of resistance and martyrdom in favor of consumerism, individualism, feminism, and multiculturalism. They despise and dread American clothing, music, videos, and education. Khamenei himself talks of the U.S. government seeking a way “to penetrate into the country.” From their point of view, isolation and poverty have their virtues as means to keep the Iranian revolution alive.

[snip]

Back in the West, opponents of the deal will, of course, rejoice if Khamenei rejects the deal. But his doing so also presents them with a problem. After claiming that Obama has given away the store, they must confront the awkward fact that the Iranian leadership turned down his offer. As Obama emerges as an apparent hard-liner who protected American interests and out-bargained the bazaar merchants, their argument collapses. His accusation about their “making common cause” with the Iranian rejectionists will look newly convincing and terribly damning. Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, currently in Obama’s dog house, is especially at risk of being dismissed as foolish.

To avoid this fate, the deal’s opponents must immediately prepare for the possibility of an Iranian “no.”

Read the whole thing here.

The 14th Amendment is not intended to extend birthright citizenship to people who are here illegally

The 14th Amendment’s reference to birthright citizenship was intended to give American blacks citizenship. Blacks did not come to America voluntarily. Whites brought them here forcibly, and then kept them captive. The least America could do was make them and their children citizens of this country.

The 14th amendment was not intended (a) to provide an incentive for people to make a voluntary illegal journey here and then to use the subsequent birth of their children as an anchor to stay in perpetuity or (b) to entice monied people to come here solely for their child’s birth, before returning to their own country. It’s not complicated; it is, instead, a grotesque perversion of our Constitution to hold otherwise.

I actually have thought a fair bit about birthright citizenship because my father was the child of a German Jewish woman and a Polish Jewish man of Romanian decent. His mother had been in Germany for centuries and was a German citizen. His father was a legal immigrant in Germany, but retained his Polish citizenry. My father, although born in Germany in 1919 to a German mother, was a Polish citizen. That’s why, when he and my mother sought to immigrate legally to America in the 1950s, it took him years to get a visa — America wasn’t thrilled at the time about getting more Polish residents. I always thought it was unfair to my father, that he was born in Germany to legal residents, but was a Pole.

The same does not hold true in my mind for people who should not be here in the first place. They weren’t invited, they weren’t forced here, and they didn’t follow the legal process to get here. They are, to my mind, non-people under American law and they should not get any of the benefits that either the law or the constitution extend to people born here, invited here, forced here, and legally welcomed here.

Of course, the media is doing its best to hide from everyone the fact that birthright citizenship is not the reward for every cheat who enters this country.

Yet another blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt

Okay, the story below isn’t really a blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, because a media that (a) worships Roosevelt and (b) isn’t going to let Americans get a glimpse into the sordid side of Roosevelt’s personality and presidency will never cover it.

The fact is, though, that Roosevelt was either a racist or an exceptionally petty man — or both. Certainly Roosevelt didn’t care that Jews were being slaughtered. He didn’t integrate the WWII military. And he refused to congratulate Jessie Owens in 1936:

Back home, ticker tape parades feted Owens in New York City and Cleveland. Hundreds of thousands of Americans came out to cheer him. Letters, phone calls, and telegrams streamed in from around the world to congratulate him. From one important man, however, no word of recognition ever came. As Owens later put it, “Hitler didn’t snub me; it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send a telegram.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, leader of a major political party with deep roots in racism, couldn’t bring himself to utter a word of support, which may have been a factor in Owens’s decision to campaign for Republican Alf Landon in the 1936 presidential election. FDR invited all the white US Olympians to the White House, but not Jesse.

“It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close,” Owens once said about athletic competition. He could have taught FDR a few lessons in character, but the president never gave him the chance. Owens wouldn’t be invited to the White House for almost 20 years — not until Dwight Eisenhower named him “Ambassador of Sports” in 1955.

The gay rights movement is not the same as the civil rights movement

I have to admit to being surprised (rather pleasantly) to see the New York Times run an op-ed from someone pointing out that the gay rights and civil rights movement are not the same. John Corvino is a philosophy professor, so his writing made my eyes role into the back of my head (I could almost see my brain), but I appreciate his careful effort to explain that, while the movements share similarities, they are not the same and that it’s an error to impose draconian government speech restrictions on those who, for reasons of faith, aren’t anxious to embrace gay marriage. Indeed, Corvino makes an argument I’ve been making for years, which is that the civil rights movement saw individuals protesting government conduct while the gay rights movement is using the government to enforce private conduct:

When civil rights laws were passed, discrimination against blacks was pervasive, state-sponsored and socially intractable. Pervasive, meaning that there weren’t scores of other photographers clamoring for their business. State-sponsored, meaning that segregation was not merely permitted but in fact legally enforced, even in basic public accommodations and services. Socially intractable, meaning that without higher-level legal intervention, the situation was unlikely to improve. To treat the lesbian couple’s situation as identical — and thus as obviously deserving of the same legal remedy — is to minimize our racist past and exaggerate L.G.B.T.-rights opponents’ current strength.

Leftists are so damn smug

I’ve had the link to this video on my spindle for about a week now. In the elapsed time since I first tagged it, but didn’t get the chance to write about it, it’s gone viral, even to the point of Ellen Degeneris sending out a tweet. In it, a father videos himself celebrating the fact that his little boy got a “Little Mermaid” doll at the toy store.

Why did I tag it to bring to your attention? Because the father is so smug. Smug is not the right response to a personal family decision. Instead, it’s apparent that this guy knew precisely what kind of traction this video would get and desperately wanted his 15 seconds of fame.

Leftists are so damn greedy

You’ll know without my comments what to make of a lawyer saying that blacks and other oppressed people should steal from big retailers, because the fact that retailers have insurance means that it’s not a crime. Separate from the immorality and racism of what he says, he needs an economics lesson courtesy of Bastiat.

Even Israel supports sharia law

One of the hallmarks of a free society is free speech. One of the hallmarks of a sharia society is that, whether through word or deed, you’re not allowed to criticize any aspect of Islam, especially the pedophile prophet. Yet in Israel, a free country chronically under attack by the pedophile’s followers, the government enforces sharia on Islam’s behalf:

Israeli police arrested a fourth person for calling Mohammed a pig. Avia Morris, the first person arrested described being taunted with cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “Kill the Jews” along with signs of support for ISIS. But it only became a legal matter when the twenty-year-old woman retorted, “Mohammed is a pig.”

Daniel Greenfield has a great deal more on Mohammed’s piggishness and on Western government’s enthusiastic willingness to become an arm of the sharia police when speakers point out Mohammed’s many, many failings:

The response to Muslim violence has been greater extremes of censorship. There is a direct connection between the amount of protective censorship imposed on any criticism of Islam and Islamic violence. The Clinton administration rant about Tatiana’s cartoon took place after the World Trade Center bombing. And yet it would have been unthinkable then to lock up a Mohammed filmmaker, as Hillary and Obama did after the Benghazi massacre. Each new atrocity creates new momentum for censorship.

The Israeli police behave the way they do because the authorities are desperate to keep some kind of peace and it is always easier to censor, arrest and control non-Muslims than Muslims. That is also why the authorities in European countries are far more willing to lock up those who burn the Koran or criticize Islam than the Salafis who patrol the streets as Sharia police and call for a Caliphate.

This is not tolerance. It’s appeasement. It’s cowardice and treason.

Need I point out that these are the same governments that are entirely comfortable with Christs in urine, Marys in elephant dung, and horribly antisemitic pictures of Jews?

No matter how nice Obama makes with Cuba, Cuba is still a nasty place

We have diplomatic relationships with all sorts of nasty regimes. What’s disgusting about Obama and Co. is that they’re pretending that Cuba isn’t a nasty regime. Cracked, of all sites, points out that the Left is lying — Cuba’s a bad place, let by ugly, violent people.

Income inequality and poverty are not the same thing

Writing at Forbes, Harry Frankfurt makes a very important point in response to hysterical screams about income inequality, all of which end up with demands for government mandated wealth redistribution:

It isn’t especially desirable that each have the same as others. What is bad is not inequality; it is poverty. We should want each person to have enough—that is, enough to support the pursuit of a life in which his or her own reasonable ambitions and needs may be comfortably satisfied. This individually measured sufficiency, which by definition precludes the bur­dens and deprivations of poverty, is clearly a more sensible goal than the achievement of an impersonally calibrated equality.

[snip]

It is not inequality itself that is to be decried; nor is it equality it­self that is to be applauded. We must try to eliminate poverty, not because the poor have less than others but be­cause being poor is full of hardship and suffering. We must con­trol inequality, not because the rich have much more than the poor but because of the tendency of inequality to generate unac­ceptable discrepancies in social and political influence. Inequality is not in itself objectionable—and neither is equality in itself a morally required ideal.

Ben Shapiro and my sister sort of agree

My sister is a rather indifferent libertarian who pays as little attention to the news as possible. However, we had a conversation when I spoke about the fact that voters cannot make informed decisions when the media deliberately hides data. My example was the Planned Parenthood videos showing Planned Parenthood facilities engaging in the sale of human body parts in a way that (a) appears to show them violating laws against profiting from that sale; (b) appears to show them failing to notify the women having the abortions what will be done about those body parts; and (c) makes it clear how revolting the traffic in fetal body parts really is.

When I described the videos to her, my sister was horrified. Libertarian she may be; secularist she may be; government out of my womb she may be — but she understands that there is a moment when that fetus is a viable life and at that moment she believes, as do most Americans, that it’s murder to vacuum it out of a woman’s body and kill it without a damn good reason for doing so. Although she won’t watch it, she would find herself agreeing with Ben Shapiro’s video:

More climate lies

Just in case you wanted to know, NOAA committed the usual acts of climate-based scientific fraud with Oklahoma temperature data.

If you need some inspiration today…

Corporal Todd Love will inspire you.

Dubai — impressive or disgusting?

I’m not a fan of conspicuous consumption, so I find Dubai’s excess disgusting. Having said that, it’s disgusting in a kind of fascinating way.