The Bookworm Beat 9-27-2015 — the “things that make you think” edition and open thread


Boehner was merely an effective manager, rather than an effective conservative

Andrew Klavan is kind enough to point out that Boehner was in some measure a very effective House Majority Leader:

I can’t help but notice that under Boehner — and largely because of Boehner, because Boehner outsmarted President Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations — federal spending has declined over a five year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. And because of this, as the economy has struggled to a sputtering recovery despite Democrat mismanagement, the deficit has been sharply reduced…

Also under Boehner — and also largely because of then-minority leader Boehner (and the likewise much-maligned-by-conservatives Mitch McConnell in the Senate) — the disaster of Obamacare is 100% attributable to the Democrats. It hasn’t got a single Republican fingerprint on it.

As Klavan sees it, Boehner’s fall came about solely because he wouldn’t engage in a head-to-head fight with Obama over Planned Parenthood.  Boehner believed (and still believes) that fight will destroy chances for a Republican victory in 2016.  I have two points to make.

First, if Boehner’s right that the fight will fail it’s in part because he refuses to engage in the fight at the intellectual level.  Carly Fiorina is the first prominent Republican to frame the fight in non-religious terms, and boy did she make the Left squirm when she did so.  In other words, part of why Boehner can’t win the fight is because, even though he’s pro-Life, he has absolutely no idea how to fight against abortion at anything other than a monetary level.

Second, speaking of that monetary level, the fight really boils down to something James Taranto said three years ago, and it’s about the difference between checkbook Republicans and ideologically-driven conservatives.  The context was the fact that Paul Ryan seemed to understand a conservative vision of small, not big, government:
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The Bookworm Beat 9-8-15 — the “busy world” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My apologies for my blog silence yesterday. I hope to make up for it now with a substantial round-up, some of which I compiled, and some of which comes from a friend who insists on remaining anonymous:

Your daily “Hillary is toast” report

As you know, Hillary did a national interview — fairly softball really — with Andrea Mitchell, who has long been a Hillary fan.  Mitchell has now published her post interview take on it all (emphasis added):

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell said Tuesday she was concerned the Hillary Clinton campaign would have cut off her interview with the candidate if she asked too many questions about Clinton’s private email server at the State Department.

Clinton sat down with Mitchell on Friday and the main topic from the start was her use of a private, unsecured server as secretary of state, which has caused serious problems for her campaign with questions about her honesty, trustworthiness, and handling of classified material. While other presidential candidates have made dozens of media appearances, Clinton has given just threenationally televised interviews since her campaign began.

“We were told we had a 15-minute interview,” Mitchell said. “I asked more than 12 minutes on emails before I felt, out of concern that they would cut it off, obviously, that I had to move on, so I couldn’t ask everything that I did want to ask, but I think we did get a good chance to ask a lot of questions and discover that she did not have an answer for why she did the personal server in the first place.

Even members of the drive-by media are shaking their heads that Hildabeast has not come up with a believable lie for why she ran a personal server.  There is only one obvious reason, but they claim to be mystified.

Meanwhile, Hildabeast spoke at a Labour Day event that included this gem:

“We’re going to go back to enforcing labor laws,” Clinton said. “I’m going to make sure that some employers go to jail for wage theft and all the other abuses that they engage in.”

She has apparently gone full Lenin and business owners are the new Kulaks.  That said, there are two things Hildabeast should not be doing at this point: one is wear an orange jumpsuit, the other is use the word “jail.”

At NRO, Shannen Coffin has a great deal of fun with Hillary’s latest excuse for her private email, private server and numerous email shenanigans, that she simply “wasn’t thinking.”  My but she took a lot of actions unconsciously.

It seems the Hot Air crowd has reached the same conclusion that my friend did as soon as he saw the second review panel’s determination of the top secret information Hillary had on her server.  The argument had been that possibly they were discussing information that had somehow become available through public sources, such as a foreign news report.  That is no longer at issue.  It is now beyond question that Hillary committed multiple crimes and the DOJ cannot ignore it without applying a clear legal double standard:

The FBI and the Department of Justice will have to take some kind of action at this point. A federal grand jury will get them off the hook politically, at least for a short period of time, and that may be their best option under the weight of a presidential campaign.

Oh, one more thing:  Since it’s from the National Enquirer, we know it’s true that Hillary really is a lesbian (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Donald Trump exaggerates his tough guy capabilities

Donald Trump, who has the same military record as Obama, Hillary, Hildabeast, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, says in an interview “I always felt that I was in the military. . . . Trump said that his five years at the New York Military Academy provided him with “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

If you want to anger millions of Americans who have actually been in and understand the challenges and sacrifices, eh, couldn’t think of a better way to do it.  Having experienced an extremely tough military training, followed by actual infantry service at the front lines, my anonymous friend can assure you, there is only the tiniest of comparisons between even the toughest military college and the actual infantry — plus there is that tiny bit about not having people shoot at you or engaging in training events that could claim your life.

One can only imagine what the Iraq and Afghanistan vets are feeling.  Oh, and to put this in perspective, Trump got four deferments from the Vietnam Draft.

There’s nothing green about “green energy”:

I’ve been sounding the drumbeat for years — green energy is a resource hog.  In order to get to market, green energy products suck up fossil fuel, coal, food crops, and vast tracks of land — and that doesn’t even touch upon the tax payer dollars green energy gobbles up.

It is unlikely that solar power, wind power, or biofuels will ever compete with traditional energy sources.  Until we are willing to rely on nuclear power or until cold fusion is a reality, we have to figure out how to use existing energy sources in a more clean and efficient way, rather than wasting our time with the other stuff.

Anyway, that’s my story, and at the very least, Professor A J Trewavas, who represents Scientific Alliance Scotland, agrees with me:

Renewables use sun, water, wind; energy sources that won’t run out. Non-renewables come from things like gas, coal and uranium that one day will. But unless electricity and motorised transport are abandoned altogether, all “renewables” need huge areas of land or sea and require raw materials that are drilled, transported, mined, bulldozed and these will run out. Wind turbine towers are constructed from steel manufactured in a blast furnace from mined iron ore and modified coal (coke). Turbine blades are composed of oil-derived resins and glass fibre. The nacelle encloses a magnet containing about one third of a tonne of the rare earth metals, neodymium and dysprosium. Large neodymium magnets also help propel electric cars.

Currently China provides 95 per cent of rare earths; proven reserves of dysprosium will likely run out in 2020. Processing one tonne of ore generates about one tonne of radioactive waste, 12 million litres of waste gas containing dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide, sulphuric acid and 75 thousand litres of waste water. Baotou, in China, mines and processes much of the rare earth ores. The town abuts a five-mile-wide, toxic, lifeless, radioactive lake of processed wastewater. Local inhabitants have unusually high rates of cancer (particularly in children), osteoporosis, skin and respiratory disease. This unseen environmental destruction may be far off but no less damaging.

Read more here.

You may also enjoy watching Ted Cruz school two greenies who try to play gotcha with him.  They’re somewhat handicapped by the fact that their combined IQs don’t equal his.  It’s also rather scary to watch them stick to message like two cheaply programmed robots.  It’s quite obvious that Cruz’s straightforward, easy-to-understand information does not penetrate their sealed-off brain chambers.

Notes on Islam and the refugee issue

If you have only one article you can read today about Europe’s suicidal approach to the stream of Muslims storming her borders, read David P. Goldman’s “The Price of Europe’s fecklessness“:

In Luis Bunuel’s eponymous 1961 film, the young postulant Viridiana leaves her convent to claim her uncle’s rural estate, and creates a refuge for local beggars. They ransack her house in a bachannalia staged to lampoon the Last Supper, and a couple of them rape her. The classic film should be mandatory viewing for European officials caught up in refugee euphoria. This is going to end very, very badly.

The Europeans, to be sure, are a pack of cynical hypocrites. If they had cared about Syrians, they might have sent a couple of brigades of soldiers to fight ISIS. But not a single European will risk his neck to prevent humanitarian catastrophe. The last time European soldiers got close to real trouble, in Srebrenica in 1995, Dutch peacekeepers stood aside while Bosnian Serbs massacred 8,000 Muslims.

The horror has now piled up on Europe’s doorstep, thanks evidently to the skill of Turkish gangs who have turned the Turkey-to-Balkans smuggling route into a superhighway. Europe said and did nothing while the global refugee count exploded from 40 million in 2010 to 60 million in 2014, according to the UN High Commission on Refugees, but was shocked, shocked to find such people on its doorstep.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, although I’m not feeling the love for Hungary lately because its antisemitic elements have been growing strong, credit must go where credit is due: Hungary seems to be the only European nation that’s figured out that taking in massive numbers of Muslims, especially young men of military age, is not a good idea:

One of the few European voices of sanity comes from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (here, here) He has identified the issue with clarity, so, therefore and of course, he is being called right-wing, nationalist, and–wait for it–fascist. Orban has written that,

We must acknowledge that the European Union’s misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation. . . . We shouldn’t forget that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture. Most are not Christian, but Muslim… That is an important question, because Europe and European culture have Christian roots . . .

Daniel Greenfield, meanwhile, reminds us that the Syrian refugee crisis is not our problem because much of what we’re seeing is an illusion:

The Syrian refugee crisis that the media bleats about is not a crisis. And the Syrian refugees it champions are often neither Syrians nor refugees. Fake Syrian passports are cheaper than an EU politician’s virtue and easier to come by. Just about anyone who speaks enough Arabic to pass the scrutiny of a European bureaucrat can come with his two wives in tow and take a turn on the carousel of their welfare state.

Or on our welfare state which pays Christian and Jewish groups to bring the Muslim terrorists of tomorrow to our towns and cities. And their gratitude will be as short-lived as our budgets.

The head of a UNHCR camp called Syrian refugees “The most difficult refugees I’ve ever seen. In Bulgaria, they complained that there were no jobs. In Sweden, they took off their clothes to protest that it was too cold.

In Italy, Muslim African “refugees” rejected pasta and demanded food from their own countries. But the cruel Europeans who “mistreat” migrants set up a kitchen in Calais with imported spices cooked by a Michelin chefdetermined to give them the stir-fried rabbit and lamb meatballs they’re used to. There are also mobile phone charging stations so the destitute refugees can check on their Facebook accounts.

It had to be done because the refugees in Italy were throwing rocks at police while demanding free wifi.

This is the tawdry sense of entitlement of the Syrian Muslim refugee that the media champions.

I will add only that some Americans do bear moral responsibility for what’s going on, because they elected Obama, and it is his Middle Eastern policies — from his kowtowing to Iran, to backing off from his Syrian red line (in deference to Iran), to failing to support Iran’s Green revolution, to ousting Egypt’s Mubarak, to backing the Muslim Brotherhood, to destroying Qadaffi’s stable Libya — that created the utter chaos that is today’s Middle East.  I think these Americans should do penance, but that penance does not include inviting the Middle East’s murderous chaos into our borders.

There are some other lying liars, the ones who defamed Israel, which is the only stable, true democracy in the Middle East, and created false martyrs out of the murderous Muslims surrounding them, who also need to do everlasting penance for their negative impact on the Middle East.  But first, they need to be educated.  This video might enlighten them about the nature of the “concentration camp” they claim Israel created in Gaza (soundtrack is NSFW; images should be mandatory viewing for everyone in America and Europe):

Name-calling aside, it’s not conservatives who are racists

This PragerU video is almost a year old, but it’s been making the rounds again.  I gather that the combination of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the usual election-time slanders thrown at conservatives have renewed interest in the topic of alleged conservative racism versus actual Leftist racism. Here’s some intellectual ammunition for you as the Leftist rhetoric heats up:

Money laundering for the Left

A friend of mine points out that much of what the Left does is set up programs that launder tax payer money and then send it to Leftist coffers. Here are a couple of links that support that premise.

First, Labor Day is now yesterday’s news.  Starting today, let’s really do something for the working stiff.  Get rid of public sector unions.

Second, watch Obama’s un-elected administrative bureaucracy grow and grow and grow:

In 2014, 3,291 pages of new laws were passed by Congress – the branch of government with the constitutional authority to…

Posted by United States Senator Mike Lee on Monday, January 26, 2015

(If that FB post/video didn’t load, you can see it here.)

For an infinitesimally small minority, transgenders sure make a lot of noise

As a society, we are currently being asked to turn ourselves inside out for transgenders. Cops need to be trained to identify dead trans bodies in a non-offensive way:

The training comes two months after a Tampa transgender woman’s murder — and law enforcement’s handling of it — captured national attention.

After 25-year-old India Clarke’s body was found in a Tampa park July 21, law enforcement identified her by the name and gender she was born with even though she had identified as female for years. Backlash from across the country followed, surfacing a discussion about how law enforcement handle the identities of transgender people.

Officers can’t rely on anatomy or what is on a person’s driver’s license to identify them and generally they should use pronouns based on a person’s outward appearance — or avoid them if unsure.

You see, even when investigating murder — a particularly fact-based activity — ideology must trump reality.

Also, at a San Francisco school, all bathrooms are now unisex. I especially love the quotation that the school’s principal attributed to one parent:

“There’s no need to make them gender-specific anymore,” he said, adding there has been no pushback from parents. “One parent said, ‘So, you’re just making it like it is at home.’”

I don’t know about you, but my home bathroom doesn’t have stalls around multiple toilets, with the stalls open at both top and bottom for prying eyes. It makes you wonder what’s going on in San Francisco homes.

A friend of mine had the perfect solution: If you’re going to have group toilet facilities, you need to have one facility for those humans with penises and one for those without. End of story.

But I opened this by saying that we’re turning upside down for a very small group. How small? Well, I’m too lazy to research it, but I can tell you that even uber-Leftist Harvard, which must be lusting after trans students in the same way it once lusted after Fauxcahontas (boasting rights, you know), has only 6 students, or one-half of one percent of its entering class, identify as “transgender.”

Keeping those teeny-tiny numbers in mind, it’s one thing for us not to discriminate actively against people who are different (a type of prejudice Muslims feel comfortable engaging in); it’s quite another thing to turn our institutions upside down and inside out for people whose numbers as a proportion of the overall population probably hover around 1%.

The future is nearly here and it’s scary

This is an eye opening article on the capabilities of 3D printers to manufacture not merely guns, but eventually WMD.  It will mean that anyone having a bad day and access to a 3D printer, likely to become ubiquitous over the decades, will also potentially be able to kill a lot of people on that day.  I suspect the article it is a bit over-done as to the nuclear, since it would require many specialized materials not likely to be available on the open market, but perhaps not as to the bio and chemical.  And the DNA sequence for small pox is in fact openly available on the web.

Just so you understand what’s really going on with our immigrants

The illegal immigration movement in America and La Raza are not about making sure legal immigrants get equal treatment under the law, which would be a reasonable thing to do. There’s a different agenda at play.

When politics still involved intelligence and class

Nowadays, the premier Democrat candidate (that would be Hillary) is corrupt and clueless, and just wishes the American public weren’t so stupid. Meanwhile, the Republicans have arrayed themselves in their usual circular firing squad, using up all their ammunition on each other rather than challenging Leftist in politics, media, and society.

Once upon a time, though, pundits on both sides had a bit more to say — even though, already then, Alinsky tactics were the Left’s favorite approach to destroying the opposition. Never argue issues; always destroy people.

Incidentally, if you’d like guidance on standing against the Left’s Social Justice Warriors and their Alinsky tactics of personal destruction, check out Vox Day’s SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police. Except for the fact that it’s absolutely horrifying to read about Social Justice Warriors, it’s a great book, and one that every conservative should read. After all, none of us know when we won’t be the SJW’s next target.

And some fun stuff that’s NOT POLITICS

On the lighter side of the news . . .  a massive great white shark catching its lunch has Aussie tv presenters swear off swimming in the ocean:

Did any Leftist initiatives ever actually benefit the poor people, women, and minorities?

good-intentionsMy son has a hard time waking up in the morning and, over the years, I’ve fallen into a bad habit: When he doesn’t emerge from his room, I head up the stairs to remind him to wake up. Last Friday, I got my exercise heading up those stairs five separate times. This morning, I thought to myself, “My God! I’m acting precisely like a Leftist, depriving my child of the opportunity to take responsibility for himself.”

When I woke my son up, I said “This is the last time I’m coming upstairs this morning. If you fall back asleep, I will not wake you up and, when you’re finally ready to head to school, you’ll walk there with a note from me to the office explaining that you overslept.”

“Really?” he asked incredulously.

“Really,” I answered.

My son came down to breakfast in record time.  It turned out that by allowing him to rely on me, I’d preventing him from being able to rely on himself.

Thinking about the inadvertent damage I was doing to my son with my well-meant efforts to get him off to school in time, I then started thinking about Leftists, who claim to act for and represent the other 99%: the poor, the people of varying colors and sexual indentities, women, etc. And what I asked myself was this: “Do any current Leftist initiatives actually benefit the people Leftists claim to serve?”

So far, my answer to that question is “no.” As of my writing this, I’ve come up with the following list of Leftist cause célèbres (which is not in any particular order), and the deleterious effects they have on the Left’s claimed constituency:

1. The anti-GMO movement

As the Left phrases it, they are saving the world from Frankengrains and other foods that will destroy the earth, all in the name of Monsanto’s enrichment. In fact, the historical ignorance behind the movement is staggering, since humans have been messing with animal and plant genetics since the beginning of human kind.

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Quick links for Tuesday night (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesI have to return to my perpetual motion machine, but before I do, I wanted to throw out a few quick links to things I thought were interesting.

Second Amendment supporters cheered when the 9th Circuit (the 9th Circuit!!!) ruled that counties cannot concealed-carry licenses by reserving to themselves the power to determine whether someone is in genuine fear for his life.  The Marin County Sheriff finds this ruling offensive, primarily because no one ever schooled him on the Second Amendment:

Marin County Sheriff-Coroner Doyle criticized the ruling, saying it “essentially eliminates the authority of local sheriffs and chiefs of police to establish a ‘good cause’ standard for granting or denying concealed weapons permits that is reflective of the individualized community standards where they serve.” Doyle said he is a “strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but believe this latest court ruling unreasonably expands the scope of that constitutional guarantee, enabling people not only to arm themselves for protection inside their homes and businesses, but also in areas that are open to the public where possession of a concealed firearm has until now been a crime.”

Apparently Sheriff Doyle’s copy of Second Amendment reads as follows:  “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, provided that this militia is made up solely of government employed or authorized citizens, the right of the people to keep and bear arms inside their homes if they first get government permission based upon a bureaucrat’s determination that they might be in danger shall not be infringed.”

Me?  I think that’s a pretty lousy version of the Second Amendment and, thankfully, it’s not the real deal.  If Doyle and others would like to have the Second Amendment changed, they need to follow the Constitution’s amendment process, not simply misread the actual document.


Sometimes statements just demand a snarky, sarcastic response.  Take for example President Obama’s boastful statement that the stimulus worked, never mind the job-market contraction, sneaking inflation, rising food and fuel costs, etc.  Certainly Obama couldn’t care less about these picayune issues, for he said “Anybody who says we can’t compete when it comes to clean energy technologies like solar and wind, they have had to eat those words.”  (Emphasis mine.)  To which the obvious riposte is, yeah, and words are all that they’ve got left to eat, what with no jobs, no money, no fuel and no food.  I was going to say “What a maroon,” but Bugs Bunny’s favorite insult seems too mild when compared to this man’s arrogance and insensitivity.


I’m not making it up about rising fuel prices.  Dan Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) has a long, depressing post about the way the green energy movement, which has enriched the Leftist nomenklatura is leaving increasing numbers of people in the First World cold and hungry, with periodic bouts of death thrown in for good measure.


Doug Ross has a cartoon panel that eviscerates Leftist thinking in three frames.

Al Gore brings new levels of chutzpah to the expression that one should find a need and fill it

“Find a need and fill it.”  That’s great advice in a capitalist society and it’s how many people have gotten rich while improving other’s lives.

Al Gore has a different twist on that adage:  Use false data to create an artificial need, and then fill that need using pork:

The man who was within sight of the presidency 12 years ago has transformed himself, becoming perhaps the world’s most renowned crusader on climate change and a highly successful green-tech investor.

Just before leaving public office in 2001, Gore reported assets of less than $2 million; today, his wealth is estimated at $100 million.


Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money.

Please understand that I value a clean environment.  But proposing solutions for dealing with pollution is not how Gore got rich.  Gore got rich by creating an artificial panic structured around his hysterical insistence that human activity was turning the earth into a giant oven.  That’s fraud.  And using taxpayer created slush funds to fund his boondoggle is indecent — and it’s also Progressive politics as usual.

The destructive forces of green energy

Our travels this weekend took us over the Altamont Pass, home of one of America’s largest windmill farms.  The children were amazed by the endless vista of spinning windmills, and my husband waxed rhapsodic about the clean energy.  Being contrary, I mentioned that the windmills kill lots of birds.  Indeed, I said, there was something of a conundrum, because people who care about birds also care about clean energy, and here they were, faced with a clean energy source that kills birds.

It seems I’m not the only one who’s noticed that conundrum.  With exquisite timing, today’s WSJ has an op-ed on precisely that topic:

On Aug. 13, ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in federal court to killing 85 birds that had come into contact with crude oil or other pollutants in uncovered tanks or waste-water facilities on its properties. The birds were protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which dates back to 1918. The company agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees.

ExxonMobil is hardly alone in running afoul of this law. Over the past two decades, federal officials have brought hundreds of similar cases against energy companies. In July, for example, the Oregon-based electric utility PacifiCorp paid $1.4 million in fines and restitution for killing 232 eagles in Wyoming over the past two years. The birds were electrocuted by poorly-designed power lines.

Yet there is one group of energy producers that are not being prosecuted for killing birds: wind-power companies. And wind-powered turbines are killing a vast number of birds every year.

A July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, Calif., estimated that its turbines kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, also estimated that about 10,000 birds—nearly all protected by the migratory bird act—are being whacked every year at Altamont.

Altamont’s turbines, located about 30 miles east of Oakland, Calif., kill more than 100 times as many birds as Exxon’s tanks, and they do so every year. But the Altamont Pass wind farm does not face the same threat of prosecution, even though the bird kills at Altamont have been repeatedly documented by biologists since the mid-1990s.


Why aren’t wind companies prosecuted for killing eagles and other birds? “The fix here is not easy or cheap,” Mr. Lee told me. He added that he doesn’t expect to see any prosecutions of the politically correct wind industry.

This is a double standard that more people—and not just bird lovers—should be paying attention to. In protecting America’s wildlife, federal law-enforcement officials are turning a blind eye to the harm done by “green” energy.

On the subject of wind farms, a little imp also urged me to say that there must be a few other problems with them, since Teddy Kennedy refused to have them built anywhere within sight of his home in Hyannisport.  Mr. Bookworm first denied that this was true.  When I convinced him of its truth, he then said that it was perfectly reasonable for Kennedy to preserve his view and shift those ugly windmills elsewhere.  He did not concede that “elsewhere” might be less efficient or impair someone else’s view.  In fact, it’s perfectly possible that shifting them would be both more efficient and aesthetic.  I just enjoyed my spouse’s assumption that, if Kennedy said “no,” that possibility must be the reality.