The Bookworm Beat (9/21/14) — Illustrated edition

I’ve managed to cross only half the items off my to-do list today, and I’ve been at it non-stop since 7:30 this morning.  I keep waiting for things to slow down, but they never do….

Still, the good thing about my own Facebook page (which has lots of Israel-friendly links) and about good friends like Caped Crusader (who provided the bulk of the illustrations you see below) is that, even when I’m too backed up to write anything interesting, I still have wonderful content for you.  I am assuming, of course, that you like these posters as much as I do.  I very much enjoy it when complex ideas can be reduced in an intelligent and amusing way to a single sentence or two.

Who's killing Muslims

Minimum wage workers

Marines get the terrorists to God

Capitalism v socialism

The Crusades weren't so stupid after all

More horrified by Merry Christmas than beheadings

Racist to recite facts re obamacare

The TSA versus securing our borders

Who knew Obama was an Islamic scholar

Obama administration defines war and not war

Who was Karl Marx

Democrats slaves and illegal immigrants

Clinton gets away with hitting women

Obama needs to be held up to same standards as a white president

Clinton and Obama tell the big lies

The US traded for Bowe Bergdahl but not James Foley

Opportunity is disguised as hard work

Voter ID laws are not racist

Arming the good Syrian rebels

What people are willing to stand for

Islam doesn't promote real God

Obama voters idiots or traitors

How coexist really works

Batman on what's Islamic

Military casual Friday

The idea that evil deserves a fair chance

Charlie Daniels on the MSM

Change who you send to Washington

Madison on complicated laws

Hillary born a poor black child

Hillary is morally bankrupt

Rushing out the door Open Thread

Thought-Bubble-White-Board_8296556I was in perpetual motion yesterday, driving teenagers all over the place, to both sports and social activities. My day ended at 11:30 at night, by which time writing was no longer an option. Today is moving in the same direction. I’m leaving now for several hours of rec soccer and shopping, all of which are 40 miles from home. Still, I wanted to share a few things with you and leave you with some music.

Thing 1: As the Middle East gets worse and worse, with President Obama saying that he’s going to be, not just Commander in Chief, but the only commander, Leon Panetta breaks his silence to say that it was Obama’s idea — against the military’s best advice — to pull completely out of Iraq, creating the vacuum that the Islamic State has now filled. The only good thing I can think that’s coming from the current situation in Iraq is that, with Muslims from the world over answering the Islamic State’s siren song, destroying self-styled the Islamic State should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Too bad our military leader, instead of blowing up the whole damn barrel at once, plans to extract each individual fish with tweezers.

Thing 2: As the Democrats hammer away at the meme that American colleges and universities are more dangerous for women than South African slums, Glenn Reynolds has the answer:

The real problem, which the Democrats having created wish to ignore, is that parents and taxpayers are still funding colleges and universities that have abandoned their in loco parentis role. An 18 year old doesn’t have the sense to be released into the world without some oversight. Universities once gave that oversight. Now they just promote the myth that one in five women are going to be raped, without changing their anarchic culture of co-ed dorms, male and female binge drinking, and an administration that springs into action only after the fact, when it can persecute and, without due process, prosecute young men.

Thing 3: Beautiful, spooky, mystical pictures from panorama shots gone awry.

Music 1: A rock song with a country lyric: “I used to be love drunk; now I’m hungover.”

Music 2: A classic, from Harry James and Helen Forrester:

The Bookworm Beat (9/18/14) — The Non-Islamic Edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingYet another day where I start with an apology for not writing more or writing sooner. I had what I think is a fairly severe arthritis flair-up, loaded myself up with anti-inflammatory meds, and took a long nap. Thankfully, I’m feeling better and moving easier, so it’s time to write! Here goes:

Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s slo-mo rush to not-war

After years of hiding his head in the sand, Obama has suddenly realized that there are dangerous people out there, and they’ve got their guns aimed at us. He’s now desperately trying to rush us slowly into something that looks like war, acts like war, and talks like war, but isn’t actually war, and he’s not going to listen to any advice from old fogies like generals or admirals. Jonah Goldberg suggests that, given Obama’s ignorance, reluctance, denial, and ineptitude, Obama might want to slow that “rush” down a little:

We are through the looking glass when it is okay to say that opposition to requiring elderly nuns to pay for birth control is part of a “war on women” but airstrikes and coordinated ground attacks by allied militias aren’t like a “war” on terrorists.

Although we shouldn’t forget that there is one man brave enough to step up and say there is a war go on — John Kerry! Yes, John “Jen-jis Khan” Kerry, has announced that there is a indeed a war going on, between ISIS and . . . not not the United States or the West. (Fooled you!)

Instead, John “yes, there is a war” Kerry has announced that ISIS is at war with Islam. No wonder the folks at Power Line are wondering whether John Kerry is actually a GOP agent, working hard to discredit the Democrats.

Also on the subject of not-War, you can’t afford to miss Daniel Greenfield’s “Don’t Mention the War.

The horrors of war by lawyer

When I reviewed Bing West’s One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War, I said:

[I]f the Marines sought to engage in any more than a running skirmish in response to shots fired while they were out on patrol, a battalion, not of fellow warriors but of lawyers, had to review the proposed fight plan first to make sure that it didn’t violate the ROEs.  Even knowing about this bureaucratic, legalistic twist on warfare, reading about it in One Million Steps is still a shock.  It’s just mind-boggling that lawyers were calling the shots in a genuine ground war (as opposed to the lawyer’s usual field of battle — a courtroom). Wars are fluid, dynamic situations; lawyers are stolid, cautious, and risk-averse. To make fighters in the war dependent on lawyers is insane.

It’s not just on the battlefield that the lawyers’ innate caution is bolloxing things up with it comes to fighting a fast-moving, deadly, and determined enemy. Daniel Henninger explains that way up the line, at the Obama command level, lawyers are also interfering with what should be battlefield strategies (emphasis mine):

The complex elements of modern American warfare include not only sophisticated ground-based troops but air power, unmanned drones, electronic surveillance, and the capture and interrogation of enemy combatants. Every one of those elements of U.S. military power has become a litigation battleground.

[snip]

However intellectually interesting these disputes over our rights and values, each adds another thicket of legal consideration before, or even during, military action. There are now 10,000 lawyers in the Department of Defense. The legal staff assigned to Gen. Dempsey alone could fill a law firm. No one goes to war in this country until those DoD lawyers—plus lawyers at the Justice Department and White House—define in detail the parameters of battle.

The U.S. military has become a giant Gulliver wrapped in a Lilliput of lawyers.

Indeed, the White House has just announced the our nation’s top lawyer himself — that would be Harvard Law Review editor Barack Obama — will have to sign off on every single strike in our not-war against Islam:

The president hasn’t yet given the green light for an attack on Islamic State militants in Syria, but the U.S. military campaign against the group there is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control–going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes.

Do you remember Jodi Kantor, in The Obamas, telling about Obama’s devotion to his own skills:

Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” (p. 66.)

Now we can add something new to Obama’s list: In his own estimation, Obama is a better military adviser than people who have actually studied and gone to war.  This is what happens when a man of few distinguishing qualifications starts believing the media’s PR about him.  He’s not just a “black Jesus,” he’s also the second coming of Alexander the Great.

Funny illnesses cropping up all over

I mentioned at the top of this post that I might have had a serious arthritis flare-up. It’s entirely possible, though, that I’m actually getting sick. A lot of wacky illnesses are circulating, not the least of which is the hitherto “unknown in America” mystery virus hospitalizing kids all over the place, which is not a common “back to school” feature.

A Power Line reader has suggested what we’re all thinking: Is this a byproduct of the sick, illegal kids the Obama administration has been shipping all over the US? Perhaps what we’re seeing here is the indigenous people’s revenge: after 300-400 years, they’re going to wipe us out as surely as Europeans did back in the 16th and 18th centuries, when they exposed vulnerable indigenous populations to diseases that had become tolerably endemic in European cities.

The Israel yardstick

I told my mother that an ideology’s approach to Israel tends to be an extremely accurate way to measure whether it’s a good ideology or not. Look anywhere in the world, and wherever you find Israel-haters, you’ll find racism, totalitarian impulses, homophobia, misogyny, a fondness for euthanasia against any vulnerable populations, etc. Knowing this, it’s worth thinking about the implications flowing from the Democrat party’s ever-increasing hostility to Israel.

More evidence that, when he scratch a Leftist, you find an antisemite

Etsy.com, an online sales collective for artists, recently banned the sale of any goods that reference the Washington “Redskins” on the ground that the team’s name and logo are so offensive it would pollute the site to carry them. Etsy, however, is perfectly happy marketing swastikas. Read all about Etsy’s peculiar biases and preferences here.

I’ve never shopped at Etsy, nor had I planned ever to shop there, so I can’t make a statement by boycotting the site. But if I did shop there, I’d immediately stop doing so.

One Leftist anti-Semite just got the recognition she deserves

Over at the Watcher’s Council, council members have voted for this week’s weasel, a Leftist anti-Semite and all around idiot. You’ll have to visit the site to see which specific Leftist, antisemitic idiot won, though.

Jewish gun organization surviving in different form

I believe every Jew should own, or at least know how to fire, a gun. (I also believe all Jews should know self-defense.)

I only recently learned that there was a Jewish pro-Second Amendment in the US, called Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership. Unfortunately, through a disastrous combination of ill-health and health-related fatalities, the JPFO looked as if it was going under. Fortunately, though, those still able to manage the group realized that they needed to reach out for help. The JPFO is now merging with the Second Amendment Foundation, a forty-year old organization with 650,000 members. Yay.

More evidence, if you needed it, that climate change is faith, not science

We’ve discussed here before the fact that, because climate change is a non-falsifiable theory, it’s religious in nature, not scientific. If you’d like further evidence of the fact that climate change must always be accepted as core truth, no matter how the data changes, get a load of this AOL news headline: “Global warming likely to cause colder and snowier winters, scientists say.” And yes, the “news” story attached says just that: global warming means global cooling — Praise be to Gaia!

The scientific consensus was wrong AGAIN

I’ve never liked artificial sweeteners, since I think they taste nasty. Also, while I’m not one of those people who insists on all-natural, all-organic food, I viscerally felt that the body handles real sugar better than fake stuff. In my mind, it was better to eat real sugar in smaller amounts, rather than to load up on artificially sweetened food.

A doctor acquaintance of mine ridiculed me. His argument? If you ever go to a medical conference that offers both sugared and artificially-sweetened soda, the doctors will all go for the artificially sweetened stuff.

Well, in another blow to conventional wisdom amongst scientists, it turns out that artificial sweeteners mess with the body’s chemistry, contributing to obesity and diabetes among other things. Let’s just say that I’m not surprised, either about sweetener’s dangers or about the scientific community being wrong again.

The Orwellian nature of campus “free speech” zones

You and I like this poster:

America's first amendment area

Over at Penn State, however, the campus authorities wouldn’t like anything about that poster. Although they have a “free speech” area, it turns out that they only allow such speech as they’ve previously vetted and permitted to occur in that area. And we wonder why American college students come out dumber than they went in, despite their glossy patina of Marxist catch-phrases.

A lost America

Caped Crusader sent me the link for a beautiful elegy for an America lost:

We, largely rural kids of the small-town South, represented without knowing it a culture, an approach to existence, and a devastating principle: You can’t impose decency, honesty, good behavior, or responsibility. They are in the culture, or they are not. If they are, you don’t need laws, police, and supervision. If they are not, laws won’t much help. And this is why the US is over, at least as the country we knew.

Read the whole thing here.

I should add that the kids in my community have a good culture too. They don’t run to gangs, they work hard in school, and, except for drugs and alcohol, they’re generally law-abiding. But rather than seeming like the face of America, they often seem like an aberrant group, peeled out of the 1950s, with a stop-over in the 1960s to pick up on the drug culture.

Andrew Klavan takes on Obama’s contention that ISIS/ISIL/IS is not Islam

This isn’t one of Klavan’s best, and I’m not surprised. The administration has cut itself adrift from reality, and it’s hard to parody lunacy. Nevertheless, Klavan gives it the old college try and it’s still a fun video:

The Bookworm Beat (9/17/14) — The Science Edition and Open Thread

Woman writingEarl Aagaard send me some cool science-related articles so, before I start writing up a post that came to me in a dream (and that’s always a bad sign), I wanted to head these items your way:

Federal money drives bad science

Dr. Patrick Michaels points out that part of the reason so many of the world’s real and faux scientists are wedded to their climate change theory, despite that theory having been proved wrong at every turn, has to do with money. That is, they’re not just blind ideologues; they’re greedy ideologues. Worse, the lust for hard cash in the sciences is contributing to dangerous amounts of shoddy work.

Not news: EPA corrupt

We’ve all figured out that the EPA is a corrupt bureaucracy staffed with people who have an agenda and are not about to let facts, economic reality, or honesty get in their way. If you need further proof of that, a new study reveals that the EPA, which should be operating transparently, has been secretly colluding with hard core environmental activists.

Yup. That sounds about par for the course in Obama’s America. Let me echo again Danny Lemieux’s concern that Carter’s failed presidency did not destroy American institutions, while Obama’s failing presidency has sunk deep, poisonous roots into America’s administrative and bureaucratic structures. That’s going to be hard, if not impossible, to fix.

And fracking? It’s not so bad

Part of the government’s corruption is to deep six reports showing that fracking is not bad for the environment. The administration’s preferred solution is to have us continue to prop up corrupt oil supplying nations around the world and, when their reserves run out, for us to retreat to a new Dark Ages, lightened intermittently by seasonally-functional solar panels.

It’s therefore quite remarkable that two bastions of Progressivism — the New York Times and the BBC — have suddenly published articles (one a news report and one an opinion piece) saying “Hey, fracking’s not so bad after all.” Oh, and look! I just saw a pig fly by.

Progressives’ most admired scientist is a serial liar

Progressives love Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’s black, telegenic, a physicist, and seriously Leftist in outlook. What’s not to love?

Well, maybe one of the things that’s not to love is Tyson’s distant relationship with the truth. Sean Davis has become a bloodhound, tracking down one Tyson lie after another.

When Earl sent me the above link, I asked him to name just one conservative who is a serial liar. When you think of serial liars, you think of Obama, of course, Biden (plagiarist), Cory Booker (fake autobiographical details), Hillary Clinton, etc. I can’t come up with a comparable conservative list.

Earl reminded me why this is so: when it comes to conservatives, the press actually fulfills its function of keeping politicians and public figures honest. One lie out of a conservative, and s/he’s savaged so badly in the press that there’s nothing to do but apologize and either sin no more or abandon public life entirely. Such is not the case on the Left, where the media assiduously goes deaf, blind, and dumb whenever a Leftist public figure mouths a lie.

An appropriate video

Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science”:

The Bookworm Beat (9/16/14) — Clearing The Spindle Part 2, and Open Thread

Woman writingNo time for throat clearing. I’m just going to throw myself into the final phase of spindle-clearing:

Obama’s Alinsky Rules: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Kevin D. Williamson uses the administration’s latest ad hominem attacks on Bill O’Reilly to remind us that Obama’s administration is unique in American history insofar as it targets and attempts to destroy private citizens and enterprises. Think about it: No other administration has ever done that. It’s lackeys may have done it, but the administration stayed dignified.

I wish Obama would hate America’s overseas rivals as much as he hates American conservatives

A friend and I were exchanging emails about Obama’s dismal, half-efforted plan for engaging with ISIS. I was moved to comment that it might be better if Obama does nothing at all, since his half-hearted response may just madden the already crazed Islamic beast even further, without actually destroying it. The question, of course, is whether a half-hearted war is better or worse than no war at all — especially when the times and the enemy call for aggressive action.

I mention this because Walter Russell Mead is yet another opinionator who finds disconcerting that, even as he sounds the call to arms, Obama seems to be engaged in an act of preemptive surrender.

Israel understood vengeance

Unlike Obama, in the years after the Munich Massacre, Israel fully understood how important it was to wreak vengeance against the men who cruelly and deliberately murdered eleven of her citizens.

Why Obama could say with a straight-face that al Qaeda was on the run

If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise. Truer words were never spoken than when it comes to a presidential administration that, through a combination of politics, in-fighting, and incompetence, failed to go through the documents that SEAL Team VI, at great risk to its members, recovered from bin Laden’s place the night they executed him.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. President, ISIS (or ISIL or the Islamic State) is totally Islamic

Can we ever recover from a corrupt bureaucracy?

Danny Lemieux raised an excellent point in a comment to an earlier post, which is the fact that, while Jimmy Carter was a rotten leader, the American government was still pretty uncorrupted. After 5.5 years of Obama and Eric Holder, though, our federal administrative system has become completely politicized, with the IRS, the Justice Department, the EPA, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Agriculture Department, the judicial system (now with a majority of Democrat appointees), local prosecutors, etc., all acting as branches of the Democrat party. While we could recover from Carter’s failures, it remains to be seen whether we can recover from an administrative and judicial system that has the same ethos as the average bureaucracy in any banana republic.

Oh — and Republicans might not take the Senate

Can you imagine two more years with more of the same things that we’ve been suffering from for the last six? Yes, it’s now looking entirely possible that Harry Reid will continue to control the Senate.

There’s a price to pay for Palestinians who don’t hate Israel

I happen to think that Ted Cruz did the right thing in revealing that Arab hated for Jews transcends the Muslim/Christian divide. Nevertheless, it’s useful to remember that, for many Arab Christians, failing to follow the Islamic “Israel-hatred” mandate can be deadly.

This weekend, I had a very nice conversation with a Maronite Catholic from Lebanon. She is terrified for her family, friends, and co-religionists back in Lebanon. Nevertheless, it came as something of a surprise to her to think of Israel as an ally in the war against Islamic depredations against her faith, rather than as another enemy. I had disarmed her initially, I think, by being knowledgeable about the ancient Christian sects in the Middle East and by agreeing completely that ISIS needs to be stopped before it kills again.

Currently, the Lebanese are trying to ridicule Islamists, and I wish we would do the same thing (although I suspect our presentation could be more sophisticated):

Why do Islamists behead their victims?

A lot of people, myself included have sought to explain why Islamists choose beheading as their execution method of choice. I think it’s to depersonalize their victims, although it’s highly likely I’m wrong, because David Brooks has the same theory. Others, such as Michael Rubin, think that beheading is a religiously mandated method of execution. A lawyer friend of mine, who blogs anonymously at To Put It Bluntly, has a very different, and quite intriguing, theory. I’m not sure I’m totally on board with it (sadly, I can’t shake my allegiance to my and David Brooks’ theory), but I do think it deserves serious consideration.

Is Rotherham a tipping point in England?

A political organization in England called “Britain First” has a Facebook page that’s adding more than a thousand visitors a day. It has over 450,000 likes as of this writing. It’s promising an October 4 protest as part of a movement to shame all involved in Rotherham, to get justice for the victims, and to “take our country back.”

The question is whether this is a genuinely patriotic response to a social/political crisis in England or if this is a fascist nationalist group seizing a headline for its advantage. I really have no idea and am not currently inclined to research it further.

What I will say is that, somehow, when it comes to European (and EU) nations, patriotism somehow always has ugly fascistic overtones. Whenever one scratches a nationalist group (“We love our country”) one finds racist fascism hiding behind it (“and we hate you!”). A young Swedish man was telling me that Sweden is so paranoid about the European nexus of patriotism and racist fascism that it’s terribly declasse for people to voice straightforward expressions of pride in their country, such as waving flags or chanting “Sweden!” at soccer games. He’s envious of the comfort with which Americans show their patriotism.

Pat Condell explains just how horrible Rotherham was and how badly it reflects on England’s ruling bureaucratic class

When it comes to Rotherham, the one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that England’s Leftist, multi-culti, PC, relativistic, self-loathing government class royally and criminally screwed up. Pat Condell gets it, of course:

Germany refuses to tolerate ISIS support on its soil

A friend directed me to a website that says that, after ISIS supporters tried to use force to create sharia enclaves in Germany, Germany enacted legislation banning any German residents from supporting ISIS. Neither my friend nor I were sure whether this web page was accurate, but it seems to be.

Part of me is glad Germany is squishing ISIS. The American, First-Amendment part of me, though, finds distressing any legislation that quashes speech. What I’d rather see is robust speech and action countering ISIS supporters.

Of course, in our morally relativistic world, whether here or abroad, instead of getting a powerful defense of our own nation, culture, and values, we get mealy-mouthed speeches purporting to interpret Islam. Already back in 2002, before Obama’s election made groveling to Islam an official government policy, Tom Elia was imagining what would have happened if law enforcement had thwarted the 19 Al Qaeda operatives before 9/11.

California investigates more ways to destroy its middle class

California is a big state geographically. In expensive urban areas, people who want the American dream of home ownership often make a serious lifestyle sacrifice: So that their kids can go to save schools and play in green parks, the parents will live far from their work and daily spend hours in the car driving from home to work and back again.

With gas prices rising, this has long been an expensive proposition, but it’s still a sacrifice parents are willing to make. These parents should be aware that California is planning on making the financial burden behind that sacrifice even harder: it’s looking into taxing people by the mile.

This plan will not screw the rich, who can also afford electric cars once government (i.e., taxpayer-funded) incentives have kicked in, who have company drivers, or who telecommute. Instead, it will place an undue burden on those who can least bear it: the working poor, working class, and middle class, all of whom have willingly accepted long hours in their cars to give their children a better life.

California’s always been at war with Eastasia . . . and is losing by less than before

Yes, that’s a cryptic caption. What brought it about is an opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee noting that, in Obama’s America, while the promise was that Obamacare would lower insurance rates, the current California boast is that insurance rates are going to increase more slowly than feared. Even worse, the promised 2015 increase only looks good because in 2014, some insurance rates increased by as much as 88%. It’s a good editorial explaining the grotesque bait-and-switch that is Obamacare.

There’s nothing wrong with morally-conducted modern agriculture

A lot of my oh-so-hip-and-with-it real-me Facebook friends are Luddites when it comes to agriculture. They fail to understand that, despite their fear of modern farming techniques, the entire world eats better and lives longer than ever before. To them, modern farming is an abomination that can be remedied only by returning to the practices of the past. One farmer’s had enough of that nonsense. Just as capitalism is the best system when leavened by Judeo-Christian morality, so too is modern agriculture when it too has a large dollop of decency.

Is there anything bees can’t do?

Bee bacteria might save the world.

The Bookworm Beat (9/16/14) — The Illustrated Edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingI learned something today: our local indoor shooting range, Bullseye (a most delightful place), will not allow unaccompanied people to rent guns. When I first told I needed a companion to rent a gun, I thought it was because I had “amateur” written all over me. It turns out, though, that this is a suicide prevention measure. The theory is that, if you own a gun, you won’t drag yourself to a range to commit suicide and that, if you don’t own a gun, someone showing up with a friend is unlikely to be a suicide.

Fortunately for me, I did show up with a friend: Charles Martel. I’ve got to tell you, if you ever want the perfect shooting companion, take Charles. It was like having my own spotter and cheering section. He is a delightful person to be around at all times, but really especially perfect for a still-insecure gun novice. I hope that, next time I’m feeling flush (renting guns and buying bullets ain’t cheap), Charles is willing to join me again.

I’ve pretty much cleared out my inbox now and am working on a long portmanteau post. In the meantime, thanks to the kind offices of friends (mostly Caped Crusader, but all Earl and Sadie), I’ve got pictures to round out the blog for the time being:

Missing Muslim protests

Israel is behind you

Minimum wage and our troops

Free Tahmooresi

Ted Cruz on Israel

Getting the government to demand wage increases equals loser

The logic of Obamacare

Muslim slavery

Feminism

We've gone from bad to worse

The myth of the moderate

Taxpayers paying more for healthcare

Obama supporters

Unconstitutional illegal actions

The Bookworm Beat (9/16/14) — Clearing the Spindle Part 1, and Open Thread

Woman writingI’m working away at my inbox backlog, and have lined up the first batch of interesting things I’d love to share with you.

ISIS’s dangerous appeal to disaffected Westerners, Muslim and non-Muslim alike

Both Daniel Greenfield and Caroline Glick warn that there’s something very unusual and extremely dangerous about ISIS: It appeals to the formerly nice, and currently disaffected, Muslim living next door — or to the equally disaffected non-Muslm who’s looking for a combination of meaning and power in his (or her) life.

And here’s something interesting for you to chew on: You’re not the only one noticing that many of the non-Muslim’s taking up the standard of radical Islam are red-haired. When I was growing up, red hair was just another hair color. In today’s world, redheads are the new n*****. For reasons that are unclear to me, they are picked on something awful, and it’s entirely possible that radical Islam provides them with the ultimate revenge.

Obamacare policies worse than pre-Obamacare policies

In addition to forcing people to buy insurance, Obamacare also insists that, even if they want a Ford, they must buy a Rolls Royce. Except that it turns out that what people are really being forced to buy are the Rolls Royce equivalents of Potemkin Villages. You see, it turns out that, as any free market supporter could have told Obama, policies obtained on the open market, rather than on the government-controlled market, had a tendency to be cheaper, more readily available, and with greater options that could be better tailored to an individual’s needs.

(The car reference in the above paragraph comes from a Soviet-era joke:

Man One: Come the revolution, we’ll all be driving Rolls Royces.
Man Two: But I don’t want to drive a Rolls Royce.
Man One: Come the revolution, you’ll have to.)

Should private employers be forced to accommodate religious beliefs?

The government is getting involved in the case of a Seventh-day Adventist who claims he was fired from Dunkin’ Donuts for refusing to take a Friday night (i.e., Sabbath) shift. While I believe that the First Amendment means that the government cannot unreasonably impose itself on people’s religious practices, I do not believe that the government should be forcing private businesses to accommodate those practices. For one thing, once you start doing that, you’ve opened the tent to that camel’s nose, and you suddenly have the government siding with one private party (a Seventh-day Adventist, a Muslim, an Orthodox Jew) in a religious dispute with another private party which is, in and of itself, a wrongful interference in religion. For another thing, no one ever said that committing oneself seriously to religion wasn’t going to entail some sacrifice — but it should be your sacrifice, not your employer’s.

Michigan government makes Arabs feel at home

Here’s an excerpt from a post you might find interesting about the inroads Muslim immigrants have made in Michigan:

Muslim men are allowed to have as many as 4 wives. Many Muslims have immigrated into the U.S. And brought their 2-3-or 4 wives with them, but the U.S. does not allow multi marriages, so the man lists one wife as his, and signs the other 2 or 3 up as extended family on welfare and other free Government programs!

[snip]

So now in Michigan when you call the Public Assistance office you are told to “Press 1 for English. Press 2 for Spanish, or Press 3 for Arabic”! CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF – Here is the number 1-888-678-8914.

Looking for a good income? Sign up for welfare.

Longtime readers are all familiar with a story I heard when I lived in England in 1981. A friend of mine spent the summer before university doing the worst kind of scut work at the local zoo, everything from driving the little train filled with screaming children to cleaning out the elephant and lion enclosures. His sister, meanwhile, spent the summer on the dole, watching telly and swanning about with her friends. At summer’s end, she had more money that he did.

Add thirty years, and my story about England in 1981 is the story of America in 2014: welfare is the best entry-level job there is. And let me just add, looking at Britain today, we know how well going down that road turned out.

MSNBC once again tries to re-write history

Eugenics in the 20th century was a purely Leftist phenomenon, from Sanger, to H.G. Wells, to (yes) Hitler. MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, while rightly decrying it, seems a little unclear on its Leftist roots. This is not a big story, because no one today would be rocked by a headline screaming “MSNBC host is stupid and uninformed.” I include it here only as a reminder that we have to be vigilant at all times against the Left’s habit of perverting America’s past in order to control her future.

A quiz for you about life in the Roaring 20s

During the Roaring 20s, the papers seemed to carry stories daily about gangland style killings. Mobsters and related bootleggers killed each other with picturesque relish, a killing spree that seemed to culminate with the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. So here’s a quiz for you: During the 1920s, when guns were legal, was Chicago more or less violent than it is today, when guns are pretty much outlawed? Think you know? Check your answer here.

Fun and informative items at the Watcher’s Council website

There are a couple of posts I recommend to your attention at the Watcher’s Council. First, you can read an excellent forum about the response that Council members and their august friends (including Seraphic Secret) had to President Obama’s ISIS speech. Second, you can see the names of the weasels that Council members have nominated as the weasel of the week.

Yes, the UN is unfair to Israel

You and I already know the answer to the rhetorical question Anne Bayefsky asks, which is whether the UN is unfair to Israel. However, because Anne is temperate and informative, this is a good video to spread to your social media friends who may not know the correct answer.

Je suis ennui — but you get an Open Thread

Louis XIIIAccording to Alexandre Dumas’s delightful and timeless The Three Musketeers, Louix XIII of France, burdened by the duties of kingship, would frequently draw aside favored courtiers and complain to them “Je suis ennui [I am bored].”

I am almost never bored . . . unless I’m overwhelmed.  In that case, my brain shuts down and my defensive emotion is boredom.  Thus, back in high school, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the mountains of homework I somehow failed to do; I was, instead, bored with my work.  I had exactly the same emotional response as a young (and, thinking about it, old) lawyer when I was staring down a big brief.  Right up until the moment sheer panic hit, bringing with it a useful burst of adrenalin, my overriding emotion was a sense of ennui that left me completely paralyzed.

That’s how I feel today.  I’ve managed to gather over 200 emails in each of my inboxes, my homemaker tasks keep piling up, and I have so many things to say that I’m paralyzed.  So what’s my overriding emotion?  Je suis ennui.

So, here’s my plan:  In a few hours I’ll have finished caring for my mother, my children, my exchange student, and my housework.  I’ll sit down and bring my inboxes under control, fold the last of the laundry, and cook dinner.  I’ll then think about two socio-political points I want to make and start drafting them.  At 9:00 p.m., I’ll tune into the season premier of Dancing With The Stars, a show I love because I love dancing; I love watching beautiful professionals dance; and because I get genuine pleasure out of watching the “stars” (can B-listers be stars?) working hard and improving over the course of several weeks.

Having done all this, I assume that I’ll be mentally refreshed and that, having escaped the feeling of being overwhelmed, I’ll also stop being bored by Obama’s failings and depredations, by ISIS’s killing spree, by the world’s rising antisemitism, by the Progressives’ constant attacks on the stabilizing force of Judeo-Christian values, and myriad other distressing stories in the news and, instead, find all of them to be inspirations for writing.

Until then, don’t get stuck being ennui with me.  Instead, here’s an open thread — please express yourself.

Also, since I’m talking history, a friend reminded me that we might be better off if Obama was conversant with a little more history; or, at least, the non-Marxist variation on history:

Obama does not do history

And while we’re on the subject of that golf game, do you recall (yes, I’m sure you do), the ridicule heaped upon President Bush when, after hearing about the attack on the Twin Towers, he spent another five minutes finishing a book he was reading to children, before getting down to the business of governing? It’s like Obama is Bush’s evil Doppelganger, but the media refuses to notice.

The Bookworm Beat — 9/13/14 Illustrated Edition (and Open Thread)

Being a domestic goddess is exhausting. After a day spent shopping, cleaning, driving, folding, and cooking, I sat down to watch the surprisingly delightful On Approval. It’s a short movie (only 90 minutes), so I thought that, after it was done, I’d fold some laundry and write some blog posts. I actually have a lot of ideas in my head. Unfortunately, my dog crawled into my arms, tucked his little head in my neck, and started to snore. What else could I do? I started to snore too!

I’m now drying the last load of laundry before I go to bed for real (otherwise it mildews by morning). I have an early day and a long drive tomorrow (Fall soccer season is wearing on parents), but really do have high hopes that I can write upon my return, around 1 p.m. PST. Until then, I have a really delightful batch of images. Most are from Caped Crusader, but a few originated with my Facebook friends. I hope you enjoy them:

Science and faith

100 years of income tax

The minimum wage strategy

No boots on the ground in Iraq

Mass shootings and Democrats

Liberals and college costs

Corruption at the IRS

The silent Muslim majority

The 28 percent who are happy

Why people are angry with the government

ISIS learns from Obama that it's not Islamic

America's first amendment area

Obama's CYA with Congress re war

The real deniers

How to unload a pro sports team

9-11 means mall cops

When guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns

That's us in ten years.

These men should never meet

Can't get out of bed

Obama Twilight Zone

Saturday Open Thread

Thought-Bubble-White-Board_8296556

I’ve been a domestic goddess today, driving kids to sports activities, doing laundry, cleaning the house, washing the dog, etc. I’m pleased with my accomplishments, but I have to admit that I would rather have blogged. Blogging, however, will have to wait until this afternoon, when the soccer game is over. Until then, please bring meaning to the space below:

 

 

 

 

Thank you.