The Bookworm Beat 12/18/14 — The illustrated edition and Open Thread

I’ve finally figured out how Caped Crusader is able to feed me this inexhaustible supply of wonderful social and political posters. You see, he went on a walk through the woods one day and came across a very old lady gathering wood, and muttering to herself, “I must have wood to heat my cottage this cold, cold winter.”

Taking pity on the lady, Caped Crusader offered to help her fill her basket. She immediately agreed, and handed the half-filled basket to him. Caped Crusader was surprised by how heavy the basket was for one seemingly so frail but set to work with a good will. Peculiarly, the basket never seemed to get more than half full. It did, however, get heavier and heavier.

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The Bookworm Beat 12/17/14 — Hanging in by the skin of my teeth edition and Open Thread

Woman writingI sometimes wonder if my family’s entered into a secret compact to keep me away from my computer. I’ve gone from having five hours or so to myself every day from Monday to Friday to having perhaps two hours to myself for the entire week.  It’s hard to think sometimes.

Of course, my week’s gone a whole lot better than Sony’s week. It isn’t every day, is it, that a whole studio is forced to cave to blackmail and threats? While I don’t think Sony should have caved (more on that in a minute), I think much of the blame for today’s end game belongs with news outlets that should have assiduously ignored the hacked information.  By paying attention to it, they signaled to every hacker in the world, whether individual, NGO, or government, that hacks can be used to blackmail institutions, because the media will gleefully participate in the hack by disseminating stolen information.

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The Bookworm Beat 12/17/14 — The illustrated edition and Open Thread

Another day, another trip to the doctor with my mother. This is a trip that, I hope, should leave her feeling much better. She has no cartilage left in one of her shoulders, so any movement means that her bones are grinding against each other. Indeed, when I hold her hand to help her get in and out of the car, I can feel that grinding bones vibrate down her arm. It’s creepy for me and extremely painful for her. Today, though, she gets a cortisone shot, so she should be feeling much less pain in a couple of days.

Meanwhile . . . posters and cartoons, with the usual thanks to Caped Crusader:

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The Bookworm Beat 12/16/14 — Smells like Tuesday edition and Open Thread

Woman writingThe 21st century version of “The dog ate my homework.”

We have two new entries today in the continuing saga of Ivy League and affluent college students trying to delay taking exams on account of their being traumatized by Darren Wilson’s acquittal and Eric Garner’s deaths and their being exhausted by the physical and emotional burdening of taking to the streets to protest those two traumas. The first entry is an overwrought, horribly written, and horribly reasoned essay by a young man who styles himself as a third year Harvard Law Student and editor of Harvard’s Law Review. John Hinderaker fisks this horrible effluvia, so I don’t have to.

I have only one thing to add . . . well, actually two. First, Obama was once a third year Harvard Law Student and editor of the Harvard Law Review. Second, if those two law students — who are separated by more than 20 years — are representative of Harvard Law School I have been right all along in believing that people go into Harvard Law reasonably smart and come out manifestly dumb and, too often, unprincipled.

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The Bookworm Beat 12/15/14 — The truth and only the truth edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI finally got my Christmas cards out, which is always such a Herculean task. It shouldn’t be, since I do the whole thing online. Moreover, I actually like sending out cards. The reason I delay is because I always hope that I’ll find that perfect picture of the children. At a certain point, though, I realize it’s not going to happen, and I just go with what I’ve got.

And speaking of what I’ve got, I’ve got links!!

The lying-est administration ever

I’ve been harping on Obama’s pathological lies since he was on the campaign trail in 2007 and 2008. Since institutions tend to rot from the top down, it shouldn’t be a surprise, therefore, that the entire administration is riddled with lies. Indeed, the entire Democrat party is, thanks in part to a great head start with the Clinton administration. While this rank, pervasive dishonesty is nothing new, I particularly like how Daniel Greenfield puts it:

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The Bookworm Beat 12/14/14 — Sunday round-up and Open Thread

Woman writingI’ve been going through my email, as well as through my “real me” Facebook today, and I find some interesting — and surprising — things. Here goes:

The Islamic hostage crisis in Sydney

My thoughts and prayers are with the hostages trapped in the Lindt Cafe in Sydney, Australia’s historic Martin Place. The main indication that the siege is Islamic in nature is the fact that the hostage taker has forced the hostages to hold in the window the Islamic Shahada statements, which contains the Koranic verse asserting Allah’s and Mohammed’s preeminence: “There is no god but Allah, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Despite the Shahada’s centrality to Islam (merely saying this credo is all that’s necessary to convert to Islam), Australia’s Muslims are professing complete bewilderment at the way in which some people around the world are saying that, given the Shahada’s role in the hostage crisis, the crisis is probably tied to Islam in some way:

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The Bookworm Beat 12/12/14 — Grabbing at headlines edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI was talking with a friend of mine about the totally false alleged rape epidemic on America’s college campuses. While the epidemic may be false, the destruction wrought on young men is very real. Moreover, as false accusations crowd out the real ones, those young women (and men) who are genuinely raped are going to have an infinitely harder time getting taken seriously.

Thinking about this, I told my friend that past generations were probably wise to insist that sex wait until marriage and that, before marriage, young women should be chaperoned, rather than left alone with young men. It wasn’t just to protect the women’s virtue, it was also a way to protect the men’s honor. After all, since time immemorial, the truth about what happens between two people tends to be a mystery.

My friend had a better idea. Harking back to Obama’s recent insistence that all police have body cams, he suggested that all college students have body cams! I liked that idea.  Moreover, if the students can’t have a body cam, perhaps the next best thing (certainly for young men who don’t want to be falsely accused of rape) is the “Good2Go” app that makes explicit consent as easy as participating in an Instagram conversation.

We live in strange times. But as I often say, strange and difficult times make for good writing — so I’ve got a lot of good writing to bring to your attention:

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Big storm Open Thread


I’m so sorry about the long silence today. In the morning, I took care of family matters. In the middle of the day, I went and heard Stephen Moore speak in San Francisco.

Since returning from that lunch talk, I’ve been prepping for the big storm: I shifted stuff in our back yard that could blow hither and yon, damaging the house; made a last-minute shopping run to make sure we will be comfortable should it be a couple of days before I can get food again; and cooked, cooked, and cooked. My goal was to have a whole bunch of stuff that wouldn’t require refrigeration or heating. I’ve made pies and breads and chicken soup (which does require some refrigeration, but which can easily be reheated on our outdoor grill if the power goes out). I have cans of soup, crackers, bags of gorp, boxes of cereal, jars of peanut butter, loaves of bread, etc. Given the gargantuan appetites of some of those living in my house, this bounty should last us up to 5 days.

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