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 Only old-fashioned war-mongering fascists will cling to the outdated notion that the military’s top priority is defending America against foreign enemies.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…]

If you’re feeling in a charitable mood today, a retired Marine and his family need your help

Jordan GoFundMe PictureI received an email from my local Navy League chapter asking for some help.  A retired USMC veteran with a wife and two young children was in a serious car accident.  He will recover, but it will be a long, slow process.

Jordan has a GoFundMe page but his friends haven’t quite been able to come up to the $12,000 estimated to cover his medical and family costs.  If you can add a few bucks to the money jar, that would help a lot.  Here’s the info from the GoFundMe page:

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 1/19/16 — the speed round-up and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Another day, another incredible collection of articles I think you’ll like, all of which I’ve tried to present in a way that’s both interesting and brief.

Yet another government lie. Is everything we think we know about the cost of living data false? And worse, is the actual cost of living increase we’re facing in the double digits in many cities? The Chapman Index says we’re the victims of a sustained lie hiding how much less our money buys.  In other words, inflation is much worse than you realize.

Rank and file Marines horrified by Obama orders. Actual Marines, not people who just pretend to be military experts for the sake of advancing the Obama administrations social re-engineering goals, are appalled by the demand that the Marines feminize everything, including the word “rifleman.” Incidentally, I found this link on the Facebook feed of a young Marine friend who raised in Progressive Marin. He noted that nothing can re-engineer the fact that, at a basic biological level, women aren’t as strong as men — and no amount of gender illusions will change that reality.

Conservative voters like Cruz. GOP establishment figures have always hated Ted Cruz, which I think is because he’s made them look like what they are — liars who told the voters one thing and then voted with Obama on just about everything. Now that the Republican primary is narrowing, the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” appears to be coming into play, and the GOP is starting to line up behind Trump (who has, like the GOP itself, a distinguished RINO record on many issues). It’s worth remembering, therefore, that ordinary people — voters, not players — like Cruz.

Thomas Sowell on elections.  Elections aren’t about revenge or anger or “making a statement.”  Instead, as Sowell says, “They are held to choose who shall hold in their hands the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans today and of generations yet unborn.”  My brain is always a better and smarter place after reading Thomas Sowell.  I wish more Americans, especially young Americans, would read him.  Sadly, it turns out that, thanks to 50 years of Leftist control over education, too many of America’s so-called best and brightest are a terribly ignorant group of people who know nothing about America’s history, constitution, or political structure.  (H/T Sadie)

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 1/15/16 — the “canine edition” and open thread

Before I start, if you owe quarterly taxes, have you paid them yet?  Good.  Now you can enjoy some pictures of troops and their dogs — some funny, some heartwarming, some sad.  I’ve written before that our culture’s love of dogs is an important advantage we have over Islam.  It’s not just that dogs help us, whether by tracking, guarding, or hunting; it’s also that our ability to form a loving relationship across species lines makes us a more compassionate group of people than those who look at an animal that has been a companion to humans for 30,000 years or so, and only sees something disgusting.

Troops and dogs 1

Troops and dogs 2

Troops and dogs 3

Troops and dogs 4

Troops and dogs 5

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 1/8/16 — the “world gone mad” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I don’t know how this happened, but in just three days of collecting articles on my cyber-spindle, I’ve managed to gather together almost thirty solid links I want to share with you. No time for chat, therefore; instead, I’ll plunge straight into my fascinating “world gone mad” edition:

If you only have time to read two things today

This is a meaty round-up. If you don’t have time to pursue all these links, I recommend two articles, both of which say things we already now, but each of which expresses those ideas with such clarity that you must read them:

1. Noemi Emery’s Obama’s Pass From The Press.

2. Kevin Williamson’s Mrs. Clinton is Professor Click.

The danger to America from Obama’s unconstitutional efforts to grab guns

Mike McDaniel didn’t need to hear Obama’s tearful press conference to know what was coming down the pike. Before Obama even opened his mouth, Mike spelled out the benefits of having a civilized and armed society, as well as the constitutional limitations Obama planned to (and did) blow past on his way to gun confiscation.

I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that Obama lied about guns in America

Oh, and just about everything Obama said during the press conference was a lie.

Indeed, the very first lie was about those 30,000 deaths annually, with the implication that these are 30,000 annual gun homicides. There aren’t:

At a Jan. 4 press conference, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, exclaimed that “30,000 gun deaths in America” was enough evidence for the administration to push past Congress to establish laws to combat gun violence.

“Thirty thousand gun deaths in America every year. Twenty thousand children under the age of 18 have been killed by a firearm over the last decade. Hundreds of law enforcement officers that have been shot and killed over the last decade. And in the face of all these statistics, what’s Congress done?” Earnest asked.

However, Earnest’s efforts backfired when Emily Miller, a reporter for WTTG and author of the book “Emily Gets Her Gun,” noted that 20,000 of those deaths were due to suicide.

Obama also ignore yet another truth: guns don’t just take lives, they save lives. It’s really beyond me why the NRA and other special interest groups don’t track down every single person who lives today because a gun protected him (or her) and have that person do a commercial: “Hi, my name is ___________. I’m here today because a legal gun saved my life. [Tell story.]” Finish with glowing images of survivor surrounded by happy loved ones.  These commercials should flood every type of media:  Television, print, and internet.

Was Paul Ryan more Machiavellian than we realized?

Conservatives in America were deeply disappointed when Paul Ryan pushed through a budget that fulfilled every Democrat’s dream. What the heck was he thinking?

What he might have been thinking about was repealing Obamacare. According to Rick Moran, the recent vote to repeal Obamacare was only possible because of the Ryan budget:

The key to this vote was getting a budget bill passed. Once that happened, reconciliation came into play – the first time since Obamacare was passed and Republicans were in the majority. Of course, there aren’t the votes to override the president’s veto, but the path forward for the people to take back control of their health insurance options has been cleared.

The question remains whether, over the long run, the Ryan budget will do more good than harm.

Culture can be a source for good

In America, of late, popular culture hasn’t done much for the public weal. It’s therefore nice to be reminded that something as simple as a song can be a source of profound good — as was the case with a Yiddish song that powered Jewish partisans during WWII, and that has frequently been recorded since then.

[Read more…]

Amongst my Progressive friends, an interesting trend forcing them to take an honest look at the military

Five branches of the American militaryAs my children and their friends have grown older, I’ve witnessed an interesting phenomenon: some of the sons are going into the military. Maybe if you live in the South, this is ordinary, but here in Marin it’s extraordinary.  Polite post-9/11 lip service aside, most Marinites, if asked to dig deep in their soul to say what they think about the military would echo John Kerry or Stephen King, which is to say that they believe the American military is for illiterate losers.

The boys who have chosen the military are all pretty much the same: they’re fundamentally decent kids, average students, and don’t know what to do with themselves. They’ve all tried junior college and found it lacking. They were also all old enough to enlist without parental permission but, because they have good relationships with their parents, parental approval mattered.

In each case, the boys have thrived in the military. No matter how Obama tries to feminize it, the military is still the last bastion of traditional manhood in America. No longer are the boys trapped in English classes where they have to talk about their feelings, or forced to listen to their feminist classmates insult them as male chauvinist pigs (even as the boys understand that to respond in kind is a way-one ticket to suspension). Instead, the boys are physically fit, proud, accomplished, and living with the type of camaraderie that transcends race, color, creed, and sex.

[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…]

[VIDEO] The death and life of Staff Sergeant Matthew James Whalen *UPDATED*

Staff Sergeant Matthew WhalenPlanned Parenthood’s obsession with death notwithstanding, ours is a country that values life. It’s in that context that I want to introduce you to Staff Sergeant Matthew James Whalen, who died on December 21, 2015 from a brain hemorrhage, leaving behind a wife, who is (or was) also in the service, and two young children. There is a GoFundMe campaign in place to help provide for Staff Sergeant Whalen’s wife and family:

On Saturday the 19th of December Staff Sargeant Matthew James Whalen fell ill. He was taken to the hospital with and was diagnosed with a hemorrhage in his brain. He did not recover. [snip.] His wife Hannah Whalen was by his side and now has two small children to provide for as well as hospital bills. There is never a good time for this, but this is one of the worst times. Matthew and Hannah both served their country, as STRIKE soldiers (2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division) with multiple deployments while in the army and now they need our help. We cannot bring back Logan, Mattix, and Sadie’s father, but we can help his wife and family, especially during this time of year.

The above describes the death of a young man, and clearly a good man, who left behind a wife and family to grieve for him at Christmas time. But I promised a story of life too.  Here is that part of the promise:  The sentence that I “snipped” out of the above quotation tells us that “On the 21st of December 2015 this hero served again, his organs were donated to two veterans in dire need of transplants.”

We are a society that values life. When one person’s life is beyond saving, we have an ethos that still allows that person to contribute to other lives.  Whether because of a joint decision they made long ago, or as a sign of Hannah’s strength right now, Whalen continues to live in others.  It’s true that he won’t be there to hold his children as they grow up, but perhaps he’s made it possible for other men or women to hold their own children in their homes

[Read more…]

[VIDEO] The most moral military in the world

Colonel Richard Kemp, who is a career officer in the British Army, has seen battle in many parts of the world.  His experience as an observer in Israel and Gaza last summer exposed him to something unique:  a completely moral military.  In this video, he provides the data supporting his conclusion about the IDF and urges the world to recognize this truth:

I figured out a while ago that Ashton Carter was trouble

Women marines pull-upsDefense Secretary Ashton Carter is in the news because he announced that women can now serve in all combat positions, including Marine infantry and special forces, including the Navy SEALS. He did that despite mountains of evidence that women lack men’s strength and stamina. This means that the only way to force this social engineering onto our military — which exists to defend us, not to carry out pie-in-the-sky Leftist ideas — is to lower standards. There will be blood.

Incidentally, to toot my own horn, I’m not at all surprised that Carter did this. Here’s what I wrote al,last exactly a year ago when Obama nominated him:

[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 10-27-15 — “it’s just another day” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve been going through my emails, with 200 down, 300 or so yet to go. Even though I’m only less than halfway through, I’ve discovered marvelous articles hiding in my email box thanks to friends from all over.

Did Merkel unilaterally doom Europe?

We no longer subscribe to the great man or great woman school of history. We’ve also abandoned the notion of high tragedy arising from the hubris of said great men or women. Perhaps, though, it’s time for us to revive that genre.

Daniel Greenfield convincingly argues that Germany’s Angela Merkel, with her mad plan to replace her country’s shrinking, aging population with Muslim refugees, will have single-handedly done to Europe what generations of Muslim conquerors have tried to do, which is to turn it into a part of the global Caliphate:

[Read more…]