The Bookworm Beat (10/10/14) — Hanging on by a thread edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingReading the news lately is not conducive to good mental health. Obama has become a one man Murphy’s Law: on his watch, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. We are watching a train wreck in real-time. It’s as if someone back in the 1950s came out with a Twilight Zone-esque alternative reality movie that looks at what could happen if America ever ended up with America-hating socialists both in the White House and controlling some or all of Congress. I think it would have been a horror movie….

Finally: Nobel Peace Prize winners I can support

I’m hard put to remember the last time I wasn’t disgusted by the Nobel committee’s choices for Peace Prize winner. (So much so that, when I was in Oslo, I found it hard even to walk into the room where the Peace Prize is presented. This year, though, the Nobel committee finally got it right — the winners are Malala Yousafzai, the young woman who didn’t stop her anti-Taliban activism even when the Taliban shot her, and Kailash Satyarthi, who seeks to end child exploitation.

Sam Harris explains more about Ben Affleck’s attack against him on Bill Maher’s show

If you read one thing today, read Sam Harris as he explains that Ben Affleck was primed to attack both Bill Maher and Harris about Islam from the second Harris appeared on Maher’s show. Harris carefully explains his basic premise — the illiberalism of Islam — and expands on the fact that he is routinely a target for holding this view. I, of course, agree with Harris.

Leftism is a mental illness

Yesterday, I wrote about Jane Fonda and the attraction Leftism seems to hold for people with traumatic childhoods or mental illnesses (or both). In a comment, Charles Martel mentioned a video I’d already lined up to show you.

In this video, a profoundly disturbed, quite possibly mentally ill woman, starts shrieking about her “little girl” to some restaurant diners. It’s a very upsetting video to watch, not because I agree with the shrieker’s radicalism on animal rights, but because, as a humanist, I find it upsetting to see mentally ill people in action, with nobody able to step in and help:

I’ll add here, as I always do when the subject comes up, that I do not believe animals are equal to humans. I’m crazy about my dogs and call them my babies, but I know they’re not. They’re dogs. They’re loving and fun and have a lot of intelligence in a doggie way. They will never create anything, think any deep thoughts, or develop an existential sense of themselves or the world. When they die, at around 13 years, I will grieve terribly, and then got more dogs.

I like eating meat and, when I look at my teeth, my digestion, and my dietary needs, I know that I was created to eat meat. I’m fortunate in that I can also enjoy the fruits of the earth, but meat’s definitely part of my body’s health. I also know that the animals I eat, or whose eggs or milk I consume, have feelings. They can be happy or sad, in pain or comfortable. However, I am 99.9999999999% certain that animals do not suffer any existential anxiety.

Thus, the pig doesn’t stop rolling in the mud to think to himself, “Yeah, sure I’m having fun in the mud today, but what will tomorrow hold for me? Will I meet the love of my life or will I die at a farmer’s hands? Does what I do make a difference?” Likewise, the cow chewing cud is not thinking deep thoughts.

With this knowledge about animals, I feel it is my obligation, whenever possible, to buy meat from animals raised and slaughter humanely, and to use eggs and dairy products from chickens allowed to scratch the soil and cows allowed to wander through green pastures. And that’s the sum total of my responsibility to those lower in the food chain than I am.

Norwegian company in Canada offers more evidence of Leftism as a mental illness

If you want even more evidence that Leftism is a mental illness, check out the story of the Amaruk Wilderness Corp.’s response to a job candidate who graduated from a Christian school that doesn’t recognize gay marriage. Within the span of a few emails, Amaruk’s managers went from anti-Christian discrimination, to hatred for straight men, to a desire to f*ck God in the literal sense.

If you’re traveling to Canada and looking for a wilderness guide company, I recommend against Amaruk. It’s not just that they’re mean. It’s that they’re quite obviously mentally ill — and who wants to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with someone quite crazy?

Obama speaks foreign language known as “English”

Okay, this is petty of me, but I simply cannot resist passing on this video of Obama’s bizarre pronunciation of OB-GYN. Most people either say O-B-G-Y-N or they just say “gynecologist,” with a few outliers saying “ob-gyne.” Obama, however, comes up with a new one:

Gwyneth Paltrow proves my point about Barak-ian Gray

The other day, I had a little fun pointing out that Barack Obama’s face appears strangely untouched by time and scandal. I suggested that there might be a picture of Dorian Gray at work here.

I had to laugh, therefore, when I read about Gwyneth Paltrow’s reaction on coming face-to-face with Obama recently: “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”

I guess she hasn’t yet seen the picture in the attic.

Is the real threat to America Enterovirus D68?

While everyone’s attention is focused on Ebola, American children are dying from a polio-like virus. And isn’t it interesting that this deadly virus has hit America right at the time Obama opened our borders to tens of thousands of Latin American children, all un-vaccinated, and many ill with diseases such as . . . Enterovirus D68? It just doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the EV-D68 outbreaks track precisely the route those Latin American children took when Obama shipped them out into America’s heartlands.

There’s a reason the Secret Service stinks lately

The Secret Service, the organization charged with protecting the American president, has become a corrupt, inefficient joke. Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and current Republican political candidate, says the problem starts at the top with management. And isn’t that always the case?

Mike McDaniel takes a long hard look at the details of the Secret Service’s downfall, and views it (ironically) as one of Obama’s few success stories.

Anti-Semitism morphs yet again

Like the poor, anti-Semitism is always with us — it just keeps changing its shape to meet the needs of the anti-Semitic society relying on it to avoid looking at that society’s own sins and failures. The New Republic has a decent run-down on the core nature of anti-Semitism, no matter the guise it wears.

Cosby actress rejects politically correct labels

The first paragraph of the IJ Review story sums it up nicely:

Raven-Symoné, the famous Nickelodeon actress who also played Olivia on “The Cosby Show,” doesn’t want people to call her “gay” or “African American.” She wants to be looked at as an individual human being. Imagine that.

What’s almost as good as Raven-Symoné’s stand is Oprah’s horror upon hearing it. I loath Oprah who, behind the lovey-dovey affect, is a calculating Leftist who made her billions pushing a victim agenda and destroying rational thought in favor of useful-idiot emotions.

Another political victim of the IRS?

Are you looking for the all-purpose excuse for everything?

Have you ever felt that the excuse you have to offer just isn’t good enough? “But officer, I was only going five miles above the speed limit?” “But teacher, I wasn’t cheating. I just happened to glance blindly in the direction of Charles’ test answers.” “Honest, Mom, it was already broken when I picked it up.”

Well, worry no more. An Islamist seeking to deflect attention from ISIS’s abhorrent beheading tactic has come up with the first all-purpose, use-in-any-situation excuse. Go here to find out what it is. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

The beauty behind the iconic buildings

For sheer visual pleasure, take a look at these photos of the secret spaces behind some of England’s more iconic buildings.


A few more of Caped Crusader’s great poster round-up:

Margaret Thatcher on essential freedoms

Obama talks differently about 2nd amendment and Obamacare

Solving Ebola in two steps

Democrat prorities don't include Tamooressi

Drug cartels not guns kill people

Obama on billionaires at Rich Richman fundraiser

Liberalzheimer's and Jim Crow laws

Monsters aren't in bed but are in DC

The Bookworm Beat (10/10/14) — Mid-Morning Illustrated Edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI have been busy this morning. I made breakfast and got three teens off to school, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the mouse cage, washed and folded two loads of laundry, figured out parking for the USS America commissioning ceremony tomorrow morning, and talked to my mother. I’m now working on a round-up but, while it’s in progress, I thought I’d amuse you with some incredibly good cartoons, thanks to Caped Crusader, of course.

Speaking of Caped Crusader, you should know that he created the first two political cartoons in this list. You read that right. He didn’t just pass them on, he created them. I think that’s very cool:

President in action

President inaction

This is not Islam

White House lies about Hookers

The excuse is right

Captain Multiculti

My mom's a slut

Dead uncle votes DemocratObama on the future and slander of Islam

Yes spreading Islam should worry us

Obama's lies

Obama cancelled insurance invited Obama fears Republicans

Rick Perry on defending the border

Rock the vote

The Bookworm Beat (10/9/14) — The Illustrated Edition

Usually, my illustrated editions are also Open Threads. This time, however, I can’t make that offer because my site’s comments have temporarily vanished. They still exist somewhere, but they’re just not on the blog itself. Don’t despair, though. My wonderful webmaster will fix this.  Until then, please enjoy this marvelous poster collection, all thanks to Caped Crusader:

Detroit under Democrats

Poor cities are invariably led by Democrats

Global warming causes everything

Climate change is the excuse for everything

Multiculturalists and decapitation

Obama talks to his buddies in ISIS

Women who exploit actual suffering for political advantage

Racist is Mexican slang

Atheists do not exist

Progressives are just communists by another name

What happened at that Ebola apartment

TSA saves Americans from colo-rectal cancer

The Bookworm Beat (10/06/14) — The blah blah blah hmmm hmmm hmmm edition

Woman writingI was trying to think about posting today, and instead thought of two songs that really sum up how I feel about the news. After you listen to a little of each (or all of both, if you like), you’ll understand my post, which is that it’s all blah blah blah, hmmm hummm hummm same old same old.

Blah blah blah blah ebola.

Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm immigration and disease.

Tra la la la racism and ebola.

Tra-la-la, tra-la-la, blah blah blah blah great sexist political campaign ad.

Boom-da-da-boom, hey nonny non gay marriage and the Supremes.

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm blah Obama caused ISIS blah.

Feh feh feh ta-dum, ISIS is not on the run.

Tiddly um pom pom, tiddly um pom pom being a retired public university professor really pays off.

Blah blah blah blah Sharyl Attkisson the last journalist?

Shoo bob doo waddy, yippity I really don’t like Naomi Wolf and never did.

Chang chang changity–chang chu bop have students had enough of Obama?

La-di la-di la-di dah this is what happens at Marin’s most prestigious private school.

The end.

Phony scandals don't come home it body bags

Nationa portrait gallery

The Bookworm Beat (10/6/14) — another illustrated edition and Open Thread

“Book-Mom, I just got a call that I have to go to a new job training session today, and I won’t have time to change after school. Can you bring me my good pants?”

“Book-Mom, I forgot to bring the check to sign up for the PSAT and today’s the last day. Can you bring it?”

“Book-wife, can you bring me lunch from that new vegetarian restaurant?”

“Book-wife, come sit with me and keep me company. Oh, and bring me a glass of water while you’re at it.”

“Book-daughter, can you take me to the eye doctor?”

“Book-daughter, can you take me to get my glasses fixed?”

“Book-daughter, can you buy some supplies for me?”

“Book-daughter, everything on my iPad just vanished. What should I do?”

“Book-daughter, I forgot to tell you that my old friend’s husband died last week….”

“Woof! Woof, woof, grrr, woof!”

I haven’t been able to focus enough today to read or write anything. Thankfully, Caped Crusader and Sadie have been on the job. I’m also finally getting a moment to myself and am reading stuff. Yay!

Anti-racist equals anti-white

Big government is like alcoholic driving to drink self sober

Feminists once refused to be defined by vaginas

Obama also believes future belongs to Islam

Mainstream Britain needs to change for Islam

Welfare state as a con game

Keynesians enjoy war, disaster, etc

Haven't paid us for your freedom this month

Believing in auras not Bibles

Ayn Rand on rule by bureaucrats

Groundhog day

Whose side are we on in bombing Syria

How long have you been with the secret service

Soccer mom Open Thread

I could have written this morning . . . but I was just too tired.  That and doing the laundry, cleaning the kitchen, making breakfast . . . and being tired.

I’m headed out for soccer Mom duty, with a hundred mile round trip . . . which isn’t bad at all.  What I’m not looking forward to is the fact that it’s hot where I’m going.  Here, it’s in the low 90s; there, it will be in the high 90s.  I know that, for many of you, high 90s is ordinary, but for me it’s not.  Hot days and I have never gotten along all that well.  And that’s my whine for the day.

Here’s the good bit:  the parents I’ve met through this year’s soccer season are really nice people.  Since we see a lot of each other, that’s a good thing, and I am grateful.

Until my return (and recovery from the heat), I hope you find pleasure in an Open Thread.

The Bookworm Beat (10/3/14) — End of the week roundup and Open Thread

Woman writing

Ebola in America is a failure of Big Government

Yesterday I pointed out that, in all times and all places, protecting a population from epidemic disease is one of government’s core functions. (It’s irrelevant that these efforts often failed; government was still expected to make them.) Obama is failing that most basic government task. Not only do we have Ebola in Dallas, with exposures going into the hundreds, it appears that Ebola has entered Washington D.C. too.

What’s striking about Ebola’s spread into the U.S. is that it’s not just an Obama failure, it’s a Big Government failure. The Obama failure begins with his absolute refusal to protect our air, land, and sea borders. The Big Government failure goes to Obama’s certainty that he needn’t do anything special to combat Ebola because Big Government will be sufficient in and of itself to protect us:

The chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States are “extremely low,” Obama said. U.S. are working with officials in Africa “to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States.” And then this:

In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.

Obama added that in the unlikely event an Ebola case appeared in the United States, “we have world-class facilities and professionals ready to respond. And we have effective surveillance mechanisms in place.”

As Rich Lowry explains in the article from which I quoted, everything Obama assumed about his wonderful Big Government was wrong. Rather than blocking Ebola, Big Government just provided that many more cracks through which the virus could slip.

Scratch an anti-gun Leftist; find a blood-thirsty killer

When news about Ebola in Dallas broke, one of my old high school friends, who has had a political trajectory precisely the opposite of mine (from moderate guy to hard-core Leftist), voiced the wish that the patient had, instead, been in Austin (Texas’s state capitol) and that, while there, he had spread bodily fluids on the Republican politicians, starting with Governor Perry. When I politely pressed him for a reason, he explained that it was because these politicians had cut back government services, adding belatedly that he was just kidding.

Sometimes, though, Leftists go from “just kidding” to “let’s kill them.” Charles C.W. Cooke looks at anti-gun Leftists who want to use SWATting tactics to try to kill legal gun carriers. That is, when they see someone with legal open carry, they are proposing that they should call 911 and describe a dangerous situation in the hope that the SWAT teams will show up and, expecting the worst, just kill the guy with legal carry.

Indeed, Cooke, who spoke with gun-expert extraordinaire Bob Owens, writes at Bearing Arms, suggests that this is precisely what may have happened to John Crawford at the Ohio Wal-Mart:

[Crawford] was killed because, to borrow a phrase from Lisa McLogan Shaheen, a fellow shopper “called 911 so the cops could gun him down.” “If you sync the phone call to the footage,” Bob Owens tells me, “you’ll notice that Ronald Ritchie, the caller, makes claims that are not true.” Among those claims, the Guardian records, were that “Crawford was pointing the air rifle at customers,” that he threatened “two children,” and that he was recklessly “waving it around.” This does not appear to have been the case. Indeed, when the lattermost statement was made, Owens notes, “the gun’s muzzle was pointed to the ground.” So pronounced are the discrepancies between Ritchie’s story and the surveillance footage that John Crawford’s family is hoping to take legal action. “He’s basically lying with the dispatchers,” the family’s attorney, Michael Wright argues. “He’s making up the story. So should he be prosecuted? Yes, I believe so.”

“Who will rid us of these troublesome gun owners?” the radical Leftists cry out . . . and then use America’s police officers as their unwitting executioners.

Did Jerry Brown sign a good gun bill or a bad gun bill?

I am reflexively opposed to any government interference with gun rights . . . except that I’m wondering whether the bill that Gov. Brown just signed in California might actually have some merit. The new bill allows family members who are concerned about another family member’s gun possession to petition to the court to have the gun(s) taken away.

On the one hand, the bill is another erosion of gun rights and allows anti-gun people to wipe out the gun rights of their pro-gun relatives. Moreover, as we can see from the SWATting tactics above, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Leftist family members won’t take advantage of this law. On the other hand, when someone is becoming dangerous, the family is often the first to know, long before the medical or criminal justice systems catch up.

And then back to the first hand, which is that, if you give the government an inch to grab guns, it will take, not just a mile, but a thousand miles…. Which leads me to the thought that this may be a reasonable law, but one that can’t ever be entrusted to the government to effectuate.

Please tell me what you think. I’m quite obviously conflicted here, in part because I know of several young men who, in their 20s, become schizophrenic, with the family being the first to see that their sweet young boy was becoming scary and dangerous.

History has yet to be written

Jonah Goldberg often attacks the Leftists’ claim that they’re on the right side of history.  The old cliché that history belongs to the victors is at least somewhat more accurate, because it at least looks at history as a thing of the past not as a prediction for the future.

In his latest article, Goldberg points out that one of the problems with the “right side of history” argument is that it’s predicated on the speaker’s belief that events will unfold without any unexpected deviations from plan. When the plans change, as the best laid of them tend to do, the person betting on historic certainty looks foolish at best:

The dilemma for the president is that the once-solid facts that supported these views are suddenly crumbling under his feet. The argument that the fight against jihadism can be managed like law enforcement is easy to make when terrorism is out of the headlines and drones do the messy work out of sight. That same argument is very hard to sustain when the jihadis control territory equal in size to Great Britain and, when not beheading Americans, they vow to fly their flag over the White House. The idea that men who crucify Christians and bury women and children alive would somehow be dissuaded if we closed down the prison at Guantanamo Bay is almost perversely idiotic.

Obama’s love affair with a killer

In 2008, Obama sent an explicit, secret message to Iran, saying in effect “I love you, guys, and I’ll take care of you.” That was one promise he kept. Throughout his presidency, Obama, both actively and passively has worked hard to keep the mullahs in power and their nuclear program on track. He seems to believe that, if he can just be nice to them, they’ll respond by being nice right back to us.

It’s a pity that Obama hates Churchill so much. If he liked him better, Obama be familiar with Churchill’s famous aphorism that “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” That hope, of course, is invariably wrong.

Maybe real facts can bring Obama to see just how horrible Iran is. These harsh realities would include the fact that Iran hanged someone for doubting the story of Jonah and the Whale (something that would certainly see Obama hanged too), and the Mullahs’ continued execution of dissidents.

The only good thing to come out of that second report is this little tidbit (emphasis mine):

On September 29, [political prisoner Reyhaneh] Jabbari was seized by prison guards during her shower, forced to dress and told that she would be hanged in the morning. After the prison staff allowed her to make one last phone call to her mother, she was transferred to Rajai-Shahr prison and placed in solitary confinement to await execution at dawn.

Upon her daughter’s transfer, Jabbari’s mother, Shole Pakravan, rushed to Rajai-Shahr prison with her husband, two daughters and a few friends. In front of the prison a crowd grew quickly to protest Jabbari’s execution. Prison authorities ordered the crowd to leave and assured Jabbari’s family that she was not to be hanged — a statement the authorities commonly make before an execution so it can be carried out quietly, without incident.

That rope with which the mad mullahs hang dissidents may end up being the rope with which they hang themselves. It speaks to their waning power that Iranians will protest executions and that the mullahs will lie to pacify them, rather than just killing them on the spot.

And no, in answer to your unspoken question, I don’t think these news reports will actually change Obama’s mind. He is a hard-core ideologue and they just don’t change.  But I can still dream….

Bureaucracy kills the Secret Service

For more than a century, the Secret Service was a lean, mean fighting machine operating under the aegis of the Treasury Department. Then, George Bush transferred it to Homeland Security, where it became just another bureaucratic beast. Kevin Williamson writes scathingly about the way in which bureaucracy is slowly destroying the agency charged with keeping our president safe.

I share with Thomas Lifson the belief that it’s imperative to keep Obama alive.  His death in office, God forbid, could well destroy this country. And having written that sentence, I should add that no president, ever, should be assassinated. Assassination is not only cold-blooded murder, it is a psychic blow to a nation and the most profoundly anti-democratic act of all.

Transgenderism is only skin deep

The other day, I wrote about the importance of recognizing the substance that lies under any form, with special reference to transgender people. I argued that, when people make cosmetic, hormonal, and surgical changes to their appearance so that they look like a person of the opposite sex, that doesn’t change their genetic essence. While it’s kind and polite to address them as they wish to be addressed, we should never blind ourselves to the reality of who and what they really are.

One British man who had male to female gender reassignment surgery a decade ago, is petitioning the British health care service to reassign him to his original gender appearance. His argument echoes what I’ve been saying all along:

Chelsea, who used to be called Matthew, told the Daily Mirror: “I have always longed to be a woman, but no amount of surgery can give me an actual female body and I feel like I am living a lie.

“It is exhausting putting on make-up and wearing heels all the time. Even then I don’t feel I look like a proper woman. I suffered from depression and anxiety as a result of the hormones too.

“I have realised it would be easier to stop fighting the way I look naturally and accept that I was born a man physically.”

I wonder what the NHS will do. It’s wonderfully politically correct to withdraw funding from an old lady with cancer so as to give it to a young man who wants breasts. Where’s the political correctness, though, when the young man concedes that the problem was never with his appearance at all?

High educated liberals as low information voters

Roger L. Simon lives in the Southern California version of my Marin world: His neighbors are well-intentioned, affluent, and highly-credentialed people who almost invariably hew Left politically. Indeed, those few of my friends and neighbors who know I’ve become conservative point to themselves — affluent and educated — and ask how I can be conservative when the smart people support the Democrats.

Simon has the answer for that and, again, it echoes what I see in my world: These people may have degrees, know about wine, and have seen the capitals of Europe, but they’re fundamentally ignorant about the key issues shaping the world today.

California bans all plastic bags

California Governor Jerry Brown has banned plastic grocery bags from the entire state:

California has fired the first salvo in what could be a national war on plastic bags.

Governor Edmund Brown [sic, since he usually goes by Jerry] on Tuesday signed into law a bill that bans plastic shopping bags, making California the first U.S. state to officially prohibit stores from handing them out for free.

“This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” Brown said in a statement. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.”

The ban is a victory for environmentalists who say the 13 million plastic bags that are handed out each year in the state end up in waterways and landfills where they don’t break down for decades. Critics argue that the ban is misguided and will cost American jobs.

The new law goes into effect for large grocery chains and pharmacies beginning July 1, 2015. It will extend to convenience stores and liquor stores July 1, 2016.
Under the law, stores will be required to offer customers recycled paper bags or bags made of compostable material at a cost of at least 10 cents. Consumers buying groceries using California’s food-assistance program won’t have to pay for bags.

For me, the ban is nothing new, since it’s already enforced in parts of Marin. Corte Madera stores haven’t been applying either the ban or the “pay 10 cents” requirement, so I prefer shopping in Corte Madera over Mill Valley, which does ban plastic and makes you pay for paper.

I’ve written before about the fact that this ban steams me. I don’t mind if other people want to go around looking like bag ladies with their stacks of dirty cloth and plastic bags, but (a) I don’t want to look like a bag lady; (b) I’d have to use insane amounts of water to keep those bags from being salmonella and e. coli breeding grounds; and (c) even a 10 cent penalty is still a penalty and I don’t believe I should be penalized in this way.

It’s balm to my offended soul to read a PRI study saying that, as is the case with most of the Left’s wild hairs, they’ve got it wrong when it comes to the supposed virtues of banning disposable paper and plastic bags:

Proponents of bag-bans omit the most important consideration, which is what replaces the plastic bags? Other bags (including cloth) have even worse environmental impact profiles, and pose additional risks of cross-contaminating food and spreading dangerous pathogens among those who share the bags.

Increasingly, studies suggest that as with other poorly-thought out environmental intervention; banning plastic grocery bags reduces some harms, while increasing others.

And more environmental news about Leftist’s continued errors

Both these stories come to me thanks to Danny Lemieux. The first story says that, once again, scientists were wrong, this time with regard to the anticipated shrimp die-off in the Gulf following the BP oil spill. In fact, the shrimp seem to like that oil:

Looking at the abundance and size of Louisiana white and brown shrimp before and after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a scientific paper published Wednesday said the amount of shrimp actually increased in local estuaries through 2011 and that the size of that shrimp remained unaffected.


Van der Ham and De Mutsert’s study compared abundance and size of shrimp in estuaries that were heavily impacted by the spill with minimally-impacted estuaries, both before and after the spill.

It found that shrimp actually was more abundant in areas heavily impacted by the oil spill.

“The rebound to normal abundance and the absence of any effect on shrimp size agrees with the view that the spill may have negligible long-term effects on Louisiana shrimp,” the study concluded. “However, long-term effects of the spill on shrimp may manifest in other traits, such as compromised immunological or life-history traits.

Don’t you just love that last paragraph?  What the study’s authors could have said was “we are still studying whether there are other long-term effects on the shrimp.”  But they don’t.  Instead, they imply that there must in fact be negative long-term effects on the shrimp, just waiting to be found.  That’s the difference, I guess, between true scientific inquiry and ideologically-driven inquiry.

The second story is about those “green” wind farms.  They’re killing hundreds of thousands of precious bats (which fertilizer crops and are otherwise environmentally useful) because they mimic the wind pattern of trees.

One French woman deserves a medal for her bravery

Check out this picture and tell me if this isn’t one seriously brave French woman.

And one West African woman deserves a medal too

Fatu Kekula, a 22-year-old nursing student in West Africa, using nothing more than courage, common sense, and garbage bags, nursed three out of four stricken family members through Ebola without becoming infected herself. What an amazing story of intelligence and decency in action.

Watcher’s Council Weasel of the Week

Don’t forget to check out this Week’s winner in the Watcher’s Council Weasel of the Week contest.  My daughter came in as I was casting my vote by email.  She saw “I vote for ____________.”  She was shocked.  “But you hate ____________.”  When I explained the type of vote I was casting, it all became clear to her.


I’m not yet ready for an illustrated edition today, but this poster that a friend sent me is so good, I didn’t want to wait before sharing it:

Obama is my co-pilot


The Bookworm Beat (10/2/14) — World’s speediest writing and illustrated edition

Woman writingI did something wonderful today: I met Earl Aagaard and his wife, Gail. They had been visiting friends and managed to swing through Marin on their way back home. As is always the case when I finally meet someone with whom I’ve been corresponding for years, the simpatico feeling is instantaneous. Conversation was as easy as if we’d just been talking to each other the day before. Needless to say, Earl is everything you’d expect: smart, informed, funny, wise, and just plain nice. The only way in which Gail differs from Earl is that she’s incredibly beautiful. Earl is merely handsome. I look forward to seeing both again.

And now, I’ve got seven minutes to unload as much as possible on you before my evening driving rounds begin:

Neil deGrasse Tyson — not just dishonest, but foolish

I hadn’t noticed before in the discussion of the Cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson, but when Tyson falsely claims that George Bush, immediately after 9/11, said the Christian God named the stars — which was obviously (to Tyson) a dis against Islam — Tyson added something along the lines of “Ha! He’s wrong. Two-thirds of stars have Muslim names!” He’s an idiot, isn’t he? Not only does he get the attribution to Bush and the Bible wrong, Tyson doesn’t understand poetic license. God named all things because he created all things. Whatever names humans give to stars has nothing to do with God. Comparing Muslim names to God’s names is . . . well, I can’t think of a good metaphor, but it’s really dumb.

My friend Omri Ceren spreads the good news about Israel

I got to know Omri Ceren when he was on the Watcher’s Council. He is incredibly smart, and is one of the best informed people there is on all things Israel. That’s why I was so delighted to see that, in the October edition of Commentary Magazine, he got the cover story to tell the good news about Israel’s summer war against Hamas.

Maybe Obama should listen to this guy about Ebola

Back in 2005, a Senator made a pretty good speech about the avian flu scare, spelling out what a government should do to prevent an epidemic. Perhaps Obama should listen to this guy.

And if you watch the video, is it me or is the Senator giving the speech an incredibly wooden speaker without the aid of a Teleprompter.


I actually have more posts to write, but I’ve got to run now, so I’ll give you the fabulous pictures that I got from Caped Crusader and Don Quixote:

Do not disturb sign

Eric Holder won't talk about radical Islam

Amnesty math


Hillary on climate change talk about a denier

gun control ends well for those controlling guns

sharia halloween costumes

Richard Henry Lee on guns and liberty

Terrorism in Iraq workplace violence at home

Gun control protects us against ISIS

Liberals look for reasons to be offended

Remove the labels to get rid of stupid people

Girls drink like their fathers

The tingly feeling is common sense leaving your body

People taking how stupid question as a challenge

My crazy life Open Thread

I had a peaceful day planned, one that included a lot of blogging.  Then real life intruded.  Things started off well enough when I got a lovely hair cut, which is always a happy experience in my day.  Then, my Mom asked me to take her to a doctor we saw a couple of weeks ago.  As I discovered later, I ought to have inquired further.

I picked Mom up at her home, which is always a slow process, and got her to the doctor’s office, which is another slow process.  The receptionist was surprised to see us.  It turns out Mom’s appointment isn’t for another six weeks.  I knew about the six week appointment, but when Mom called and told me she had to go to this doctor today, I just assumed that she’d made herself another appointment because that’s what my mom does.  It was no harm, no foul, just a bit of lost time for me.

What was fascinating, though, was watching my mother deal with this problem.  First, she denied the error, until she was shown the appointment screen on the office computer.  Then she denied that she could have made a mistake entering it.  When I suggested that her failing vision might have caused the error, she conceded that this was a possibility.  During the car ride home, though, she said it was also possible that the receptionist wrote the date down wrong when she gave Mom the original appointment reminder slip.  I agreed that this too was possible.  By the time I got Mom back to her home, she stated with certitude, “It was those girls.  They gave me the wrong information.”

Wow!  How we got from possibilities to certainties, I do not know, but Mom quite obviously needed the psychological comfort of being far removed from the error.

When I got home, my daughter got me in a stranglehold and said “You have to drive me to my internship interview because the traffic’s really bad and I don’t know where I’m going and I don’t know where to park and I’m scared to drive to a new place for the first time when I don’t know where I’m going and I’m going to be late.”  I’m Germanic about punctuality and I understand the new driver’s nervousness about a new location on a short clock, so I agreed.  The round-trip was unexciting, but time-consuming.

Homeward to dinner preparations and eating.  I was then again besieged:  “You need to help me with my homework!”  My kids refuse to believe me when I say that, having been through high school once myself, I really don’t wish to relive it again.  Or more accurately, while I’d love to have the youthful part back, I don’t want to re-live the homework part.  Still, I wouldn’t be a middle class Marin helicopter parent with high expectations for my children’s academic careers if I didn’t pitch in.  True to type, I pitched.

So, here it is, 10:00 at night, and I’m finally ready to call it quits.  I’m too tired to blog and I keep getting called away, since one of my kids is dealing with a social crisis that, from an adult’s perspective is “meh,” but from a kid’s perspective is “Oh, my God.  This is awful!”  I remember that teenage perspective so, once again, I abandon my keyboard and heed the “Mooommmm” bleat.

I’ll be back tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise or the earth shake.  In the meantime please feel free to amuse yourselves — and keep me informed, enlightened, and entertained — with an Open Thread.

The Bookworm Beat (9/30/14) — Illustrated edition, and Open Thread

Blogging is a challenge today, because the high-speed internet for the whole neighborhood has a problem. Comcast is working on the problem, and believes it will fix everything by 6 p.m. For now, though, the internet comes and goes quite randomly, so I’ll try to squeeze in something quick while I can. Posters seems quick:

Marine negotiating warning

Obama lacks intelligence

Catch 22 with Islamic extremists

Instant gratification race

Your respectable gun carrying customer

Liberal logic on abortions

Obama's priorities re terrorists and citizens

If only the duck guys were in charge of security

No spending problem

Blame the Republicans

Fair taxes in America

Michelle and Obama voluntarily surrendered their law licenses

West on Blacks welfare and slavery

Andrew Tahmooressi unable to get into America from Mexico

Obama's rules of engagement

D'Souza v Ayers

ISIS wants a Bergdahl deal

If you teach a liberal how to fish

Many thanks to Caped Crusader and Sadie, who sent me all of these wonderful posters.

The Bookworm Beat (9/29/14) — The unpacked portmanteau edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI’ve got a lot of open tabs with all sorts of random, but useful and interesting, information. Here goes….

Whither Eric Holder?

The Watcher’s Council has a new forum up, this one examining Eric Holder’s resignation and his future plans. I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say that none of the forum participants believe Holder retired because he needed a break from the job.

Is it real or is it a satire?

When a friend sent me this link about Obama’s plans regarding ISIL, it took me a few seconds to decide whether it was real or satire. Now it’s your turn to spend a few seconds answering that question for yourself.

Men without women are dangerous

For years I’ve been harping away on what a very wise friend told me, which is that Islam’s fundamental quarrel with the West is about women: Islam wants to control women, and the West refuses to get with the program. Roger Scruton adds another dimension to the problem Islam has with women, which is that the women are being locked away from the young men who need them most. Between the whole burqa/locking up thing, and the polygamy that gives old men lots of young women, while leaving young men with nothing, the Muslim world has produced a huge population of young men with an enormous amount of unresolved sexual tension.  Combine this tension with the promise of its full resolution in the afterlife provided that you first kill non-Muslims, and you’ve created a whole lot of nascent murderers.

Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries?

It’s different because Obama’s crony capitalism has ensured that any benefits derived from the recovery have gone primarily to the rich people encircling his White House throne.

The Leftist dream about Common Core

The Leftists are slowly letting the cat out of the bag. It’s not that they believe that Common Core will educate children better; it’s that they believe that it will educate them equally. A lot of parents, though, are getting very worried that Common Core will leave children all equally uneducated.

By the way, when I watched the video at the link, I thought of this poster that I culled long ago from a Leftist Facebook friend:

Equality and Justice

A wonderful paragraph from Jonah Goldberg’s post about the endless feminist sense of grievance

Goldberg’s whole post is worth reading, insofar as it seeks to explain why American feminists, despite succeeding beyond any woman’s wildest dreams at any previous time in history, still complain bitterly about their victimization. I especially liked the following paragraph, though, about the way in which feminists discount objective facts merely because men state them:

Maybe it’s true that pointing out that women are doing much better today according to myriad measures somehow solidifies my rank in the cult of Priapus, but I’m at a loss to figure out how. And, even if it did, even if pointing out there is no rape epidemic on college campuses earned me an extra round of martinis at the men’s club with Mr. Monopoly and the Koch brothers, I cannot for the life of me see how that makes the facts any less factual. If I slapped my wife’s name on my column instead of my own, would the facts therein suddenly be more true? (“Hey don’t use ‘slap’ and ‘wife’ in the same sentence or they’ll compare you to Ray Rice.” — The Couch)

Note to Jonah: Logic is also part of the male hegemonic structure aimed at excluding women from power.

Matthew Continetti lets loose against journalists for Hillary

Continetti unleashes a wonderful stem-winder against a journalist class that can report no wrong when it comes to Hillary Clinton. This will give you a taste of his tour de force:

I am not entirely without sympathy. Mainstream journalists are under pressures that we are not. They have to pretend for example that David Brock is a serious person. They are implicated in the liberal Democratic project through family or sympathy or ambition. They have to take angry calls from the White House and congressional Democrats and candidates. One of Alana Goodman’s scoops involved a meeting at the D.C. bureau of the New York Times at which Hillary Clinton’s top lieutenants complained about the paper’s coverage of their boss, saying it was too intrusive and critical and that Clinton is not a public figure but an expectant grandmother. Leave Hillary alone, she’s under a lot of stress right now, she still has to wear those glasses at night, we have long memories, all she wants to do is swim, she hasn’t made up her mind about 2016, she’s putting the finishing touches on her book, dinner last Saturday was a lot of fun we should do it again sometime, she’s really a private person and doesn’t like all of this attention, why do you have to be so mean to her, I’m not going to write that recommendation letter for Sidwell Friends, Chelsea’s afraid the bad press may affect the baby, yes I’ll be at Hilary Rosen’s on Friday, we are totally uninteresting and unaffected and blameless and prosaic and apolitical but cross us and we’ll cut your f—ing knees off . . . Could you have been at that meeting and not laughed?