The MSM is trying to make the Mueller Report exoneration old news, but it’s not, and even Chicago “justice” for Jussie Smollett won’t wipe that issue away.
After a manic weekend, I got the chance to put my all into this Bookworm Beat, which covers politics, homelessness, immigration, antisemitism, and more.
Oh, my gosh, but do I have a lot to share with you — and tonight I’ve got the time to do so. Go get a nice cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a few cookies or a little ice cream, find a comfortable chair, and let’s get going.
I should warn you before you begin that these snippets aren’t in any particular order. I’m writing them down in the order in which I first read them. It’s a little chaotic, but consider it a challenging brain teaser.
Trump is not a show-boater about his patriotism. Saturday was “Wreaths Across America” day, a day on which volunteers descended on military cemeteries all over America to decorate veterans’ graves with wreaths. Without fanfare, Trump showed up at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen. I’ll leave you with a few photos of this present and a past president:
By the way, I know that Obama sometimes carried his own umbrella and that gateways can be tough. Still, there was something about Obama and umbrellas…. [Read more…]
For years, the San Francisco Chronicle has been a reliable Leftist propaganda outlet — but one article and its surprising comments counter that narrative.
San Francisco is a Leftist city and, in the San Francisco Chronicle, it has a hard Left newspaper. I stopped subscribing to the paper 20 years ago because I found it impossible to be part of funding an anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-capitalist newspaper (and that was when I still called myself a Democrat). I still check it out online, but I like to think that my “Brave” browser ad blocker keeps me from sending too much money its way.
Still, even the San Francisco Chronicle occasionally has the capacity to surprise. For example, last fall, it had truly superior coverage of the fires ravaging the North Bay. In other words, when called upon to do actual, old-fashioned reporting, at least a few people can still do it correctly.
Today’s surprise was an article entitled In defense of Trump’s policies, written by Grady Means, a former adviser to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. As is de rigueur for anyone who wishes to be taken seriously in today’s journalistic circles, Means doesn’t hold back on the Trump bashing:
I didn’t vote for Trump, don’t understand him, don’t think he has a great grasp of the issues, don’t care for his style.
Trump’s rhetoric is at (most) times clumsy and harsh. . . .
Politics (derived from “poly,” meaning many, and “tics,” meaning blood-suckers) is an ugly business, and Trump certainly has not put any lipstick on that pig: His rhetoric and style demonstrate macro-aggression.
Yeah, yeah, we get it. You’ve established your bona fides. You’re not some crazed, hate-filled, racist, bigoted, homophobic Trump sycophant, we reasonable people are allowed to listen to you. Skipping past the ritualistic denunciations, though, one finds plenty of really good stuff in Means’ article: [Read more…]
Watcher’s Council members and their friends are at it again, writing insightful, entertaining posts about the situation at home and abroad.
A roll up for today to fill the void of Ms. BWR’s absence. The picture comes from People’s Cube and their latest magazine offering
Comey, Trump, the Justice Dept. and Special Counsel
Victor Davis Hanson, writing at American Greatness, gives an excellent summation of the progressive jihad aimed at toppling President Trump:
In every single week of the Trump presidency, the investigators and attorneys of FBI Director James Comey or, subsequently, of special counsel Robert Mueller, have leaked information that President Donald Trump was under investigation for either colluding with the Russians or obstructing justice—allegations so far without any substantiating evidence.
In the case of Comey, we now know that his office or sympathetic third-parties leaked to the press false stories that Trump was under FBI investigation at precisely the time that the careerist Comey was privately reassuring the president himself that he was in fact not being investigated.The appointment of Mueller was a concession to opposition demands that Trump appoint a Lawrence Walsh-type Special Prosecutor. The Comey-Mueller investigations and leaks occur simultaneously with House Intelligence member Adam Schiff’s passive-aggressive and often pompous announcements of evidence of Russian collusion—including raising the specter of a Grand Jury investigation—that are never followed by any evidence.
Since January 2017, the Congress ceased being a legislative body. It is now a Star-chamber court determined to decapitate the presidency.
Never in the history of the republic have there been so many legislative and political simultaneous efforts to 1) sabotage the Electoral College, 2) sue to overturn the presidential vote in key swing states, 3) boycott the Inauguration, 4) systematically block presidential appointments, 5) surveille, unmask, and leak classified or privileged information about the elected president, 6) nullify federal law at the state and local level, 7) sue to remove the president by invoking the Emoluments Clause, 8) declare Trump unfit under the 25th Amendments, 9) demand recusals from his top aides, 10) cherry-pick sympathetic judges to block presidential executive orders, 11) have a prior administration’s residual appointees subvert their successor, and 12) promise impending impeachment.And that is only the political effort to remove the president. . . .
Don’t let Paul Joseph Watson’s “conspiracy theory” language put you off. His video accurately diagnoses the Deep State’s dangerous death throes.
Paul Joseph Watson’s latest video, below, is a very good summary of the phony war the Deep State is waging against Trump. At certain points, he definitely sounds like an Alex Jones/Infowar conspiracy nut . . . except that when he talks about the Council on Foreign Relations, I have a good feel for what he’s talking about.
Back in the late 1980s, when I was a young lawyer, a Democrat, and fancied myself as an intellectual sophisticate, I went several times to CFR luncheon talks. Eventually, though, I stopped going because they didn’t make sense.
You see, even though I called myself a Democrat, I was always essentially conservative. I resented the anti-Israel tenor of the talks. Moreover, knowing European history as I did, I found ridiculous the claim that Europe could be smoothed into a vast federal entity akin to the United States of America.
The CFR did have an underlying agenda that sounded like a non-starter to me: It was to have a world governed by people all drawn from the same mindset. CFR speakers weren’t envisioning one world government under the UN, or anything apocalyptic like that (although I already loathed the UN’s antisemitism back then).
No, they just imagined a world in which the German leader and the British leader and the American leader and the Greek leader and all the other leaders would be drawn from the same intellectual pool: All these countries would be sort-of democracies. That is, the people would ostensibly have the vote, but the governing would be done by small cadres of really smart people who weren’t actually responsive to the voters.
The backdrop to my latest insane conversation with a Leftist is Brexit: The Movie. If you haven’t yet seen it, you should, because it explains how utterly unaccountable the EU’s decision-makers are to the people whose lives they control. It explains why the British wanted to leave this profoundly undemocratic entity.
In one small section of the movie, as a way to illustrate the overwhelming number of regulations governing every aspect of life in the EU, the film purported to follow someone from the time he woke up and looked at the number of regulations affecting him. This includes an allusion to a number of regulations governing pillows. You can see that bit starting at 32 minutes into the video:
When I was in law school, I applied for to myriad law firms for a job. I had good grades (and ultimately ended up with offers from prestigious law firms), but what remains in my memory forever is a rejection letter I got from one rather insignificant law firm:
Dear Ms [Bookworm]:
Thank you for your inquiry about a position at our firm. There are many reasons why we cannot hire you.
Many of my classmates agreed that this won the award for rejection letter of the year.
I am beginning to suspect that someone at the European Union must have gotten a glimpse of that letter. It’s certainly one way to explain the EU’s response when two scholars, one Israeli and one American, wrote to the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, asking why it was honoring agreements with Morocco that included extra-national territory it had occupied since 1975, while refusing to honor any dealings with Israel that include “occupied” territory:
Many Israelis have long felt that the European Union is biased against them. Two legal scholars – a former Israeli ambassador and an American Jewish international law professor — think they’ve found the perfect case to prove the claim: A new fishing deal, signed between the Europeans and Morocco, which applies beyond Morocco’s internationally recognized borders, taking in the territory of Western Sahara, even though Morocco invaded that area in 1975 and has occupied ever since.
The two scholars are now challenging EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to explain why the agreement, in not excluding Morocco’s occupied territory, doesn’t prove that the EU is holding Israel to a double standard.
The EU insists that any agreement it signs with Israel explicitly exclude the settlements in the “occupied” West Bank, the scholars noted in a letter sent last month to Ashton’s Brussels office. So why don’t the same constraints apply in the case of Morocco? This blatant inconsistency shows “an official double-standard practiced by the EU,” Professor Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University and Israeli ex-ambassador to Canada Alan Baker charged.
The EU’s response, written by one of Ashton’s minions, is identical in spirit to that long-ago rejection letter I once received:
The EU’s response, authored on Ashton’s behalf by the managing director of the union’s external action service’s Middle East and Southern Neighborhood department, Hugues Mingarelli, read: “With regards to the allegation of using double standards for Israel and Morocco, our analysis is that the two cases are different and cannot be compared.” No further explanation was given.
That is precisely the kind of rejection letter that comes from a bureaucratic entity that cannot bring itself to state the obvious: “With regards to the allegation of using double standards for Israel and Morocco, the answer is simple: we are both antisemitic and terrified of Muslims. Thank you for your inquiry.”
It’s no wonder Brits, contra Obama, want out of the EU. Aside from exerting nit-picky control over every aspect of British life, the EU makes it virtually impossible for Britain to stem the endless tide of immigrants coming in, legally or not, and immediately getting public benefits that are not available to the Brits themselves.
Here are two articles and a video regarding that problem.
First, a woman talks about living the lush life on her benefits.
Second, some fed-up Brits raise their voices in protest song:
Third, a shy, unlikely voice emerges to oppose, not just the welfare state, but the lies that the ruling class tells about the welfare state.
Here’s a Robert Samuelson article, “bye bye Keynes” that should give us all pause: the arguments he uses to write Keynes’ obituary are arguments that we all posited in our own excoriation of Keynes in years past, in response to a string of commentators, ranging from A to Z.
I’ve been reviewing our last few years at Bookworm Room and I think that we all deserve a round of huzzas and raised beer mugs or wine glasses, whatever is at hand. We’ve been so right about so many issues, be it “Keynesian”economics; anthropogenic global warming; the Islamist threat; U.S. fossil fuel reserves; “green” energy; Iraq; Obama; the EU’s collapse…and on and on und so weiter. Sometimes, our prescience has preceded events on the ground by years.
To all of you Bookworm guests and, especially, to Bookworm, our hostess: I’m so d*** proud to know you! I am so much smarter for having enjoyed the many experiences of your insights and commentary.
A few years ago, those in the know were telling us in no uncertain terms that the EU model was the future — and that America had better get used to playing second fiddle to the economic giant that a united Europe presented. I found it hard to imagine that Europe would ever be able to overcome rivalries and tribal allegiances that span centuries, even millennia. I also did not believe that the socialist model, which might work in a small, homogenous culture, would be able to sustain a vast economic federalism. Watching what is happening in Europe now tells me that my common sense was infinitely more valuable than anything scholars and economists had to offer.
The whole EU collapse has gotten me thinking about tribalism. One of America’s greatest strengths, right up there with the Constitution and the continent’s natural bounty — is that tribalism didn’t take hold here as it did in Europe. From the beginning, we were too fluid a society. As soon as we got a good hate going against one immigrant group (the Irish, for example), two things happened: First, America’s lack of a class system, economic flexibility, and geographic mobility, resulted in significant numbers of the hated group leveraging themselves up into the middle and working class. Second, a new hated class invariably came on board (e.g., Jews or Italians or Puerto Ricans or Asians), restarting the same cycle.
This malleable system, with hatreds that couldn’t last long enough to become entrenched, was aided by our participation in two popular 20th century World Wars. (I use the word “popular” to distinguish them from the Korean War, which was greeted with exhaustion, and the Vietnam War and Iraq, which the Left used to create social divisions.) As Israel proves daily, boot camp is the best melting pot of them all. During the World Wars, the Brooklyn Jew and the Minnesota Swedish farm boy might not have liked each other, but they came into contact in structured environment, and fought for the same cause.
One of the most poisonous things the Left has done to America in the past 40 years is to create institutional tribalism. Instead of a distant government that kept grinding on, whether old immigrants hated the Irish or the Jews or the Italians or the whatever, the Left got the government involved in designating victims. Suddenly, the government is focusing like a laser on blacks and gays and differently-abled and whoever else is the Leftists’ victim célèbre. We now have a government that doesn’t discriminate against blacks, it discriminate for them (and for all the other designated victim classes, women included), with equally heinous results. Government should be above the tribal fray, not creating it.
Before anyone calls me on it, I know perfectly well that our Constitution, as originally written, did get involved in tribalism by treating Southern blacks as a separate class. I don’t think I need to remind anyone, though, what a horrible outcome that official discrimination had. Both the early Constitution and the Jim Crow era (when the South decided to perpetuate the Founders’ original mistake) are perfect illustrations of the disasters resulting from allowing governments to pick one tribe and discriminate against another.
As an aside, the only reason women haven’t been destroyed by this government discrimination is because of kids. Children have needs that, so far, our government isn’t meeting, so Mom still has to act like a responsible grown-up.
Tribalism is dangerous. Legislated tribalism is disastrous.
Britain, which has shown a certain lack of spine when it comes to the Islamists on its shores, nevertheless stood up to Al Qaeda representative Abu Qatata. Britain, however, is no longer a sovereign nation. It handed over its sovereignty to the EU, which gets the final say in matters. And the EU thinks it was grossly unfair to prevent Qatada from getting his money:
European judges today overturned an order freezing the assets of Abu Qatada, the radical Muslim cleric, on the ground that its implementation breached his fundamental rights.
The ruling in the European Court of Justice is a further blow to the Government’s counter terror policies after the Law Lords’ judgment that suspects held under control orders must be given details of the allegations against them.
Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual ambassador” in Europe, was added to a United Nations sanctions blacklist freezing the funds of associates of Bin Laden, al-Qaeda or the Taleban.
The ruling today means that Qatada, currently being held in a top security prison pending deportation, will regain access to his accounts and any other assets in two months and ten days if the British Government does not appeal.
Even if one assumes the hypothetical that Abu Qatada is merely a British resident with bad ideas, and that Britain shouldn’t have deprived him of his money, I find it tragic that Britain is no longer a sovereign nation. Despite her stupidity in some things (the slave trade, letting her stubbornness lose America, siding with the Arabs in the Middle East, imperialism), she still had a shining moment as a light among nations (abandoning the slave trade, advancing the Enlightenment, holding out against Napoleonic and Nazi hegemony), and it hurts to see her as nothing more than a European vassal state.
UPDATE: By the way, will there still be an England when the women are swathed in mandatory Burkhas or when a Belgian bureaucrat sits at 10 Downing Street?
The quest for ever greater bureaucratic efficiency, especially in a Europe without borders, means that Britain’s local Big Brother database is probably going to be released to the whole of Europe:
Britons could find themselves forced to prove they are innocent of crimes abroad after the Government agreed to EU-wide access to its ‘Big Brother’ databases.
All 26 other member countries will be able to check against sensitive personal information held on driver registration, DNA and fingerprint computer systems.
Where there is a match, a suspect-could be extradited to face trial abroad or – at the least – be forced to explain their movements or provide an alibi.
I’m sure Brits are comforted to know that the EU is keeping an eye on things.
I won’t comment. You know what I’m thinking:
They have amused us, angered us and sometimes – just occasionally – they have actually made us buy something.
But now the end could be in sight for adverts which use sex to sell after they came under the unforgiving gaze of Brussels.
And, this being the EU, it is not simply raunchy advertising that is in danger. Any campaigns which are deemed sexist might have to go.
That could mean an end to attractive women advertising perfume, housewives seen in the kitchen and men doing DIY.
The new rules on sexism and inequality in advertising come in a report by the EU’s women’s rights committee which has been adopted by the European Parliament.
It wants anything which promotes women as sex objects or reinforces gender stereotypes to be banned.
Such a move would send shockwaves through the industry.
It would probably prevent images of models – male and female – in a state of undress, even when they are advertising underwear.
You can read more here.
And I changed my mind. I will add one comment. I think we live in a sexually saturated society, and I’d like to see that change. Having angry bureaucrats in Brussels, who have a victim mentality about women a la Gloria Steinheim, using massive government power to make that change really scares me.
People around the world are facing food shortages but, in the magical bureacracy that is the EU, food is being destroyed for being a millimeter off of Brussels regulations:
A market trader has been banned from selling a batch of kiwi fruits because they are 1mm smaller than EU rules allow.
Inspectors told 53-year- old Tim Down he is forbidden even to give away the fruits, which are perfectly healthy.
The father of three will now have to bin the 5,000 kiwis, costing him £1,000 in lost sales.
Speaking yesterday from the stall in Bristol he has owned for 20 years, Mr Down said: ‘It’s total nonsense. I work hard enough to make a living without all these bureaucrats telling us what we can and can’t sell.
‘They’re saying I’m a criminal for selling this fruit, but the real crime is that all this fruit will go to waste – all because it’s 1mm too small.
‘It’s a terrible waste, particularly when we’re all feeling the pinch from rising food prices and I’ve got to throw away this perfectly good fruit.’
This is life in a world regulated, not by the marketplace of real sellers and buyers, but by the government. This, incidentally, is what Barack Obama would like to bring to all of us, since his fellow travelers are all statists — people who want the government to play an overarching role in our lives, including in the marketplace.