The Bookworm Beat (11/15/14) — Time warp edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingWhy is this a “time warp edition”? Because even though I’m publishing it on Saturday, I actually wrote it on Friday. The reason delayed publishing is because I’m spending all day Saturday attending part II of my CERT training. I expect the training to be more of the same stuff as last week: really nice, well-informed, generous people inefficiently teaching four hours of useful information over the course of eight hours.

Rather than leaving my blog fallow for that time, I thought I’d prep a post in advance. The only reason I’m mentioning the 14-hour lead time is to explain why, if something dramatic happens in the news tomorrow, you won’t read about it at the Bookworm Room. And now, it’s time for yesterday’s news today!

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The Bookworm Beat (11/14/14) — Emptying the inbox (and Open Thread)

Woman writingNo thoughts today, either profound or self-centered. Just a burning desire to share with you all the wonderful things that come my way:

Dr. Jonathan Gruber — the gift that keeps on giving

It seems as if every conservative writing is churning out good stuff about what Gruber said, who he is, and what it all means. I can’t add to what they’re saying, but I can pass it along.

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The Bookworm Beat (11/13/14) — Morality edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingAs you’ve probably noticed, I’ve spent a bit of the past two days doing housecleaning at my site: I’ve upgraded the comments feature (for the better, I hope) and I’ve rebooted the “read more” feature so that posts are truncated, requiring less vertical scrolling, but can easily be expanded and contracted without having to leave the home page. I’ve also done housecleaning in my house, with a much-needed pantry clear-out. Now, I’m cleaning out my inbox, ’cause there’s a lot of stuff in there that’s interesting. Who says spring cleaning can only take place in spring?

So, if you’re interested in this portmanteau post, click “read more” and you’ll see it unfold before you.

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The Bookworm Beat (11/12/14) — The “trigger warning” edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingIf I’ve written this post correctly, it should trigger discomfort in sensitive Leftists.  “Trigger warnings,” for those of you fortunate enough not to move in circles that use them, are warnings at the beginning of any information presentation, be it fact or fiction, written or oral, aural or visual. They tell people with certain sensitivities that the material following the warning might upset them. For example, The Cat In The Hat might be preceded by a trigger warning stating “Trigger Warning: This book contains references to cats, which may be triggering to people suffering from Ailurophobia; references to boys, which may be triggering to people suffering from Misanthropy; references to girls, which may be triggering to people suffering from Misogyny; and references to Things, which may be triggering to people suffering from fear of Things.”

These trigger warnings started amongst the feminists, who manage to hold simultaneously conflicting thoughts, the first being that they are roaring women (and you’d better hear them), and the second that they are such fragile flowers that anything can permanently damage them. I’m not so sure anymore that trigger warnings are just a malicious feminist virus.  Instead, to the extent that trigger warnings are taking over American college campuses, I think that they’re actually part of a fiendish plot that transcends lunatic feminists in Herstory Departments across America.

Think about it: For decades, the Left has carefully controlled the material available to college students. Just when young people’s minds should be in their most receptive, inquiring mode, these youngsters are shut off in an institution that spoon feeds them carefully vetted material pointing to a single world view. As a conservative I met today told me, his grandson, a UC student, proudly boasted that everyone at his college voted Democrat in the last election. That may be an exaggeration, but it’s close enough to the truth to disturb all of us.

The problem for Leftist control freaks is the fact that they only get the students for 4-7 years, and that even during that time there’s the chance that the students, during visits home, or while picking up a random magazine abandoned at a Starbucks might accidentally be exposed to facts or analysis challenging the Leftist paradigm. Even the most zealous Leftist academic can’t police students all the time. Moreover, there’s always the problem that an insufficiently indoctrinated student might be embarrassed at the sheeple-ness of it all (is there no rebellion left amongst the young?) and foment an intellectual revolution.  What’s an academic to do?

What the enterprising academic will do is vaccinate the students so that they develop antibodies that make them permanently resistant to any new information whatsoever. That’s what the “trigger warning” is. It inoculates brains against all ideas but for Leftist ones.  Mention preprogrammed words, phrases, or ideas — e.g., liberty, Founding Fathers, Constitution, decent men, rape fallacy, conservatives, Republicans, etc. — and the students are so sensitized that they instantly, and without any higher brain function, start screaming “It’s a trigger!” after which they fall on the floor in a sobbing heap, inconsolable until someone comes along and whispers in their ears restorative words such as Social Justice, right side of history, racism, sexism, etc.

As long as our young people are not just taught Leftism, but are taught to panic at anything that challenges Leftism, they are unreachable. They have been vaccinated against ideas about individual liberty, constitutionalism, morality, etc. Sad, but true….

But if you’re made of stronger stuff, if you can read ideas that might not mesh with yours, I probably have something to offer you in this little grab bag of links and pictures.

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The Bookworm Beat (11/8/14) — The illustrated edition (and Open Thread)

Since I spent yesterday learning CERT stuff (which is a good thing to do in earthquake country), I spent today, rather than my usual Saturday, being a domestic goddess. I’m pleased to say that, as a goddess, it was a good day. I got the laundry done; paid bills; cleaned the kitchen; went shopping; cooked dinner; took care of dogs, kids, and mother; and generally made myself a useful person.

About the only thing I didn’t have time for was reading, thinking, and writing. Rather than see this as a loss, I’ll look upon this weekend as a good opportunity to reboot my brain. The news has been overwhelming in so many ways lately that it’s probably good to take some time off.

Fortunately for me, given my nonexistent blogging output this weekend, Caped Crusader sent me a great batch of posters, with a special emphasis this time around on the Second Amendment. My favorite, though, doesn’t have to do with guns, but says a great deal about America’s culture, political parties, and elections. I’m placing it first, but all the posters are good:

Democrat lead in elections until Republicans get off of work

Gun How to say go away in every language

Missouri puts armed teachers in schools guns

Teddy Roosevelt on self-reliance

Carter G Woodson on the way welfare keeps blacks in the ghetto

If you don't believe in guns right to bear arms be a good victim

Spread the word about Gowdy and Cruz for Congress leadership

Gun is handheld wireless device

Gun forget dog beware of owner

Joni Ernst on the phony war on women

Gun control

Guns offend you prescription for two testicles

Clint Eastwood on fraud of Obama presidency

Gun you might break in but you won't walk out

Words of advice to the incoming Republican-majority Congress (and Open Thread)

United States Capitol BuildingIt seems to me that, as a political watcher and self-appointed pundit, I ought to offer some words of advice to the incoming Republican-majority Congress.  There are, after all, a lot of things it can do.  Yes, Obama has the veto, but his cries of “do-nothing Republicans” start sounding pretty hollow if the Republicans are passing bills like crazy (including the ones that Harry Reid refused to bring to the floor), only to have Obama veto every one of them.  Indeed, it might be better for 2016 if Obama does veto every single bill, because the country would finally get to see what Republicans and conservatives stand for, without having Obama, as executor, purposefully bollix up those initiatives in an effort to discredit the Republican brand.

Jeff Sessions has already promised that, if Obama goes ahead with his amnesty plan, a Republican-led Congress will do everything in its power to stop it.  The talking heads will cry “racist,” but I suspect that, given how unpopular amnesty is, Americans will recognize that it’s unconstitutional for the President to grossly expand his legitimate authority to issue pardons that he effectively co-opts legislative power. We know that the RINOs in Congress will use the opportunity to rebuke Obama as a way to enact some sort of immigration reform that includes amnesty, but any bills that are passed will at least have the virtue of having some checks against an unlimited, unconstitutional amnesty intended for no other purpose than to expand the Democrat brand for all future elections.

Speaking of those immigrants, a Republican-majority Congress, aided by the GOP, should spend the next two years education (not pandering to, but educating) minorities about the ways in which small government will benefit them.  With Obama’s six-year run as a backdrop — since it was a time during which minorities fell back by every measurement — Republicans should talk up the benefits of the free-market and individual liberty.  This is the time to explain that a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning that sometimes, contrary to Obama, it’s a good thing when the waters rise.

A Republican-led Congress can act as a counterweight to Obama’s embrace of Iran — especially given that Obama has already made it plain that he intends to circumvent Congress in order to enter into agreements with Iran that walk like treaties, talk like treaties, and act like treaties, with the only distinction being that Obama swears that they’re not actually treaties, so that Congress can have no say.  With Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, Obama could have gotten away with that kind of initiative.  A Republican Senate, one more jealous of its constitutional prerogatives, may actually push back a bit, saving the world from a nuclear Iran.

A Republican-led Congress can use its power of the purse to penalize countries that support ISIS and any other radical Islamists, and to support those that stand with America against radical Islam.  It can also send moral support to those in the field fighting against radical Islam.  As we know from those who were dissidents against the Soviet Union in the 1960s through 1980s, when you’re fighting a despot, moral support matters.  It’s the antidote to the cognitive dissonance that is ordinary life in a tyranny.

A Republican-led Congress should pass bills repealing Obamacare.  We know Obama will veto those bills, but it will show Americans which party is on the side of the people, because the people continue to hate Obamacare by significant majorities.  In addition to a blanket bill challenging Obamacare, Republicans should offer bills aimed at creating a true free market in medical care and medical insurance.  It is this free market that is most likely to ensure that all Americans, in fact, have affordable access to quality care.  Again, we know Obama will veto these bills, but the point is to educate the American public.

A Republican-led Congress should put serious weight behind investigations into the IRS scandal, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, and all the other scandals that Democrats have ignored and serious Republicans have been impotent to address.  It’s time for the American people to know what “the most transparent administration ever” has been doing behind closed doors.

If I had my way, a Republican-led Congress would appoint a committee to troll through existing legislation and begin repealing laws that are out-dated, irrelevant, burdensome traps for the unwary.  Indeed, shrinking the sheer volume of federal laws (and, with it, the even greater volume of federal regulations) could be the best gift a Republican-led Congress could ever give to the citizens of the United States.

And for my final word of advice to a Republican-led Congress:

Don't bungle this opportunity

The Bookworm Beat (11/4/14) — The illustrated edition (and Open Thread)

It’s hard being old. My mother is cold, but her sweaters are under the bed, where she can’t reach them. She says that the aides in her managed care facility won’t help, so I have to go there and get them for her. I’m going, but part of me is wondering how this scenario would play out if I didn’t live so close. Would she stay cold or would the aides help? And are they not helping now because they know I’m nearby or because she knows I’m nearby. Doesn’t matter. I’m off but, before I go, here are some pictures, many of which are from Caped Crusader, one comes from an anonymous friend, and a few of them, believe it or not, I found:

IRS harasses people who can't afford insurance

Not repaying student loan

Every good soldier needs a butt kitty

Ineptocracy

Kaci Hickox believes in her safety, not yours

Thomas Sowell on Obama's response to Ebola

Ebola Czar Ron Klain thinks we should depopulate the world

Kaci Hickox protected by AFL-CIO

Obama and Ebola both from Africa

Two kinds of good presidents

Eric Holder's priorities

Obama's won't give all their money to poor

Double standards on the word nigger

Super quick link plus a question (and Open Thread)

This has been a very busy day, with me being Mrs. Domestic — driving, shopping, cleaning, cooking….  I also attended a drill working out the bugs in a neighborhood emergency preparedness plan.  It was fascinating, and raised a question I wanted to ask of you.

But before I get there, I have to share a link to an article that is one of the best, most even-handed, intelligent, rational, appealing arguments in favor of Free Speech and against the censorship that hides behind the claim that no one should ever be offended — especially Muslims, feminists, minorities, etc.  I’ve shared the article with everyone I can think of and I hope you do the same.

And now my question:

The neighborhood emergency preparedness system is based upon a pyramidal flow, with block captains, who are on the ground, reporting to neighborhood captains, who are in a staging area.  The neighborhood captains write down all the information coming in (trapped people and injuries) and then they relay it to the medical team (mostly retired doctors and nurses) and the Community Emergency Response Training team (with both these latter teams also at the staging area) who then communicate with the town and county emergency services.

Things went smoothly enough at the drill, with people working hard and mostly knowing their stuff.  The drill was useful insofar as it revealed holes and raised questions.  One of the questions related to the fact that the neighborhood captains were writing everything down on paper and passing it on up the chain.  It was a lovely day but, even with the sun shining, an occasional gust of wind would blow the papers around, causing a certain amount of confusion.  The wind made us realize that a real emergency might not happen on a lovely, sunny day with only a light breeze blowing.  Instead, it could happen in the middle of a wet, gusty storm.

So here’s my question for you:  Do any of you have experience with a field situation in which you have to write down information and pass it on up the line?  We’ve figured out that covered plastic boxes can be used to store the papers before they’re in use or while they’re waiting to be passed along, but we don’t know how to deal with the time during which people are writing things down.  It’s virtually impossible to write on wet paper.  Any suggestions?