The Bookworm Beat 1/26/16 — the “race heating up” edition and open thread *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265It wasn’t just women who were attacked on New Year’s Eve in Cologne.  When I first read about the hundreds of sexual attacks that Muslim immigrants perpetrated against women in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve, I only vaguely recorded the fact that the Muslims were also setting off fireworks.  It was only in the back of my mind that I asked myself “Are over-the-counter fireworks part of the European New Year tradition?” It turns out that, whether or not they’re part of the New Year tradition, they were definitely fired as part of the “We are Muslims and we don’t allow any other religions to function around us” tradition:

Barbara Schock-Werner, who served as cathedral architect between 1999 and 2012, was present at the well-attended religious service along with several thousand other worshippers. Shock-Werner told the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, that the cathedral experienced an unprecedented and massive rocket and ‘banger’ fireworks barrage that lasted the whole service.

“Again and again the north window of the cathedral was lit up red, because rocket after rocket flew against it,” she said. “And because of the ‘bangers’, it was very loud. The visitors to the service sitting on the north side had difficulties hearing. I feared at times that panic would break out.”

Cardinal Rainer Woelki, who presided at the New Year’s mass, also complained about the “massive disruptions.”

“During my sermon loud ‘bangers’ could be heard,” Woelki said in the paper, Die Welt. “I was already annoyed beforehand about the loud noises that were penetrating into the cathedral.”

Shock-Werner believes the religious service was deliberately “targeted for disruption” due to the attack’s timing. The mass took place between 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., which, she said, “is actually no time to be already shooting off New Year’s rockets in such great volume.”

If anyone tells you that more Muslims mean less violence, don’t believe them.  That’s a fable that belongs in the “Lies, damn lies, and statistics” category.  While nations under the jackboot of theocratic Islam may have less violent crime between Muslims within a given Muslim nation’s borders, the reality is that Muslims don’t play well with others (and “others” means everyone else in the world, including women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, gays, the wrong kind of Muslims, etc.).

Rome goes full dhimmi.  Iranian president Rouhani is heading to Italy and, in his honor, the Italians are temporarily wiping out their culture (or, at least, for now the wipe-out is temporary).  Here it is, the grandeur that once was Rome:

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 1/19/16 — the speed round-up and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Another day, another incredible collection of articles I think you’ll like, all of which I’ve tried to present in a way that’s both interesting and brief.

Yet another government lie. Is everything we think we know about the cost of living data false? And worse, is the actual cost of living increase we’re facing in the double digits in many cities? The Chapman Index says we’re the victims of a sustained lie hiding how much less our money buys.  In other words, inflation is much worse than you realize.

Rank and file Marines horrified by Obama orders. Actual Marines, not people who just pretend to be military experts for the sake of advancing the Obama administrations social re-engineering goals, are appalled by the demand that the Marines feminize everything, including the word “rifleman.” Incidentally, I found this link on the Facebook feed of a young Marine friend who raised in Progressive Marin. He noted that nothing can re-engineer the fact that, at a basic biological level, women aren’t as strong as men — and no amount of gender illusions will change that reality.

Conservative voters like Cruz. GOP establishment figures have always hated Ted Cruz, which I think is because he’s made them look like what they are — liars who told the voters one thing and then voted with Obama on just about everything. Now that the Republican primary is narrowing, the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” appears to be coming into play, and the GOP is starting to line up behind Trump (who has, like the GOP itself, a distinguished RINO record on many issues). It’s worth remembering, therefore, that ordinary people — voters, not players — like Cruz.

Thomas Sowell on elections.  Elections aren’t about revenge or anger or “making a statement.”  Instead, as Sowell says, “They are held to choose who shall hold in their hands the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans today and of generations yet unborn.”  My brain is always a better and smarter place after reading Thomas Sowell.  I wish more Americans, especially young Americans, would read him.  Sadly, it turns out that, thanks to 50 years of Leftist control over education, too many of America’s so-called best and brightest are a terribly ignorant group of people who know nothing about America’s history, constitution, or political structure.  (H/T Sadie)

[Read more…]

[VIDEO] When human hyenas circle their prey, having this helps *UPDATED*

Thug with weaponA video has emerged from France purportedly showing a gang of Muslim immigrants armed with rocks and truncheons, descending upon a lone French man.  The way these human predators slowly close in on the Frenchman reminds me of nothing so much as hyenas encircling a wounded lion or elephant.  If this video is real, the Frenchman was fortunate in that he was armed and made it clear he was willing to defend himself.  Not all Europeans are so lucky — especially, of late, European women, who are completely at the mercy of the hyenas in their midst:

In situations such as this, guns save lives. And if the situation had escalated, and (assuming the video is what it purports to be) the Frenchman had been forced to fire at the thugs, killing one or more, it would have saved the life worth saving. As for the other lives . . . well, in a civilized society, you shouldn’t be stalking and threatening ordinary people. If you do, in a sane society, you’re assuming the risk that you, the bad guy, may not walk away from the encounter.

UPDATE: Danny Lemieux, who is fluent in French, provides further, even more disturbing, information about this video:

Book, there was an error in translation: the news commentator makes clear that the person carrying in the video was a policeman (obviously plain clothes). Ordinary citizens in France are not allowed to carry – the people that he was protecting would have been completely vulnerable. The other things to note are that: a) this happened in plain daylight; b) this was apparently a fairly nice section of the town and c) ordinary traffic in the background was totally unaffected by what was happening and d) the police felt powerless to call back up, crack heads and make arrests. This is really, really bad…far worse than I imagined. It tells me that the violence has now spilled out of the “zones sensibles” (“no go” zones) into the communities at large.

Obama’s Middle Eastern policy is a bad replay of Woodrow Wilson’s post-WWI efforts (and we know how that ended)

Arrogant ObamaYesterday, I got around to reading Michael Crowley’s ‘We Caved’ : What happened when Barack Obama’s idealistic rhetoric collided with the cold realities of war and dictatorship in the Middle East and beyond. I recommend it. It’s a depressing look at what happens when the Progressive Ivory Tower meets the real world. Or if you don’t have time to read it, I can sum it up in one sentence: The Ivory Tower loses every time.

The article is filled with statements reflecting the fatal combination of cluelessness, hardcore ideology, and arrogance characterizing the Obama administration from its first day in office, and from the top man down. Even those who weren’t blinded by seeing their own glorious brilliance reflected back from the Ivory Tower’s windows were too damaged in other ways to change the horrible Obama dynamic.

The article begins with Obama’s many missteps in Egypt: First telling Mubarak, a long-time American and Israeli friend to leave because, despite his fair dealings abroad, he was a horrible man at home. Then inviting in Morsi, who was an enemy to America and Israel, and a horrible man at home. And finally trying to kneecap Sisi, despite the fact that he was once again a friend to America and Israel (although, as with all Egyptian leaders, a horrible man at home), as well as one of the few prominent Muslims to speak in favor of Islamic reform. Get a gander of this paragraph:

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 1/8/16 — the “world gone mad” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I don’t know how this happened, but in just three days of collecting articles on my cyber-spindle, I’ve managed to gather together almost thirty solid links I want to share with you. No time for chat, therefore; instead, I’ll plunge straight into my fascinating “world gone mad” edition:

If you only have time to read two things today

This is a meaty round-up. If you don’t have time to pursue all these links, I recommend two articles, both of which say things we already now, but each of which expresses those ideas with such clarity that you must read them:

1. Noemi Emery’s Obama’s Pass From The Press.

2. Kevin Williamson’s Mrs. Clinton is Professor Click.

The danger to America from Obama’s unconstitutional efforts to grab guns

Mike McDaniel didn’t need to hear Obama’s tearful press conference to know what was coming down the pike. Before Obama even opened his mouth, Mike spelled out the benefits of having a civilized and armed society, as well as the constitutional limitations Obama planned to (and did) blow past on his way to gun confiscation.

I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that Obama lied about guns in America

Oh, and just about everything Obama said during the press conference was a lie.

Indeed, the very first lie was about those 30,000 deaths annually, with the implication that these are 30,000 annual gun homicides. There aren’t:

At a Jan. 4 press conference, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, exclaimed that “30,000 gun deaths in America” was enough evidence for the administration to push past Congress to establish laws to combat gun violence.

“Thirty thousand gun deaths in America every year. Twenty thousand children under the age of 18 have been killed by a firearm over the last decade. Hundreds of law enforcement officers that have been shot and killed over the last decade. And in the face of all these statistics, what’s Congress done?” Earnest asked.

However, Earnest’s efforts backfired when Emily Miller, a reporter for WTTG and author of the book “Emily Gets Her Gun,” noted that 20,000 of those deaths were due to suicide.

Obama also ignore yet another truth: guns don’t just take lives, they save lives. It’s really beyond me why the NRA and other special interest groups don’t track down every single person who lives today because a gun protected him (or her) and have that person do a commercial: “Hi, my name is ___________. I’m here today because a legal gun saved my life. [Tell story.]” Finish with glowing images of survivor surrounded by happy loved ones.  These commercials should flood every type of media:  Television, print, and internet.

Was Paul Ryan more Machiavellian than we realized?

Conservatives in America were deeply disappointed when Paul Ryan pushed through a budget that fulfilled every Democrat’s dream. What the heck was he thinking?

What he might have been thinking about was repealing Obamacare. According to Rick Moran, the recent vote to repeal Obamacare was only possible because of the Ryan budget:

The key to this vote was getting a budget bill passed. Once that happened, reconciliation came into play – the first time since Obamacare was passed and Republicans were in the majority. Of course, there aren’t the votes to override the president’s veto, but the path forward for the people to take back control of their health insurance options has been cleared.

The question remains whether, over the long run, the Ryan budget will do more good than harm.

Culture can be a source for good

In America, of late, popular culture hasn’t done much for the public weal. It’s therefore nice to be reminded that something as simple as a song can be a source of profound good — as was the case with a Yiddish song that powered Jewish partisans during WWII, and that has frequently been recorded since then.

[Read more…]

On Syrian refugees: Risky until proven safe

Media IslamAlthough the question of Muslim refugees is no longer front page news, the Left is still keeping up the relentless drumbeat that those of us who oppose unfettered Syrian and Islamic immigration into America are racist, “Islamophobic,”* and unconstitutional.  We’re told it’s wrong of us to judge the many by the bad actions of a few and that we’re running counter to our legal system’s insistence that people are innocent until proven guilty.

This is misdirection.  We are not as a nation trying to obtain a criminal conviction against today’s immigrant because of a specific terrorist act committed by yesterday’s immigrant.  Instead, we are engaging in intelligent risk analysis which is consistent with American law and tradition, with sanity, and with national survival.  We aren’t doing anything that shames us.

That we shouldn’t be embarrassed hasn’t stopped the Left, of course, I keep seeing posts and articles by or about this good Muslim or that group of good Syrian Muslims. Today’s example, from the WaPo, is about Syrian refugees in England who helped out when floods hit:

According to reports in the Guardian newspaper and elsewhere, a group of Syrian refugees has been working in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, shoveling sand into sandbags to help avert more flooding.

“We saw the pictures on TV and wanted to help,” Yasser al-Jassem, a 35-year-old teacher, told the Guardian, adding that the people of Greater Manchester had been good to him and others in his group and that they wanted to help in response.

Good for those guys!  That’s precisely what people who have been given refuge in another land should be doing.  I wish all of them were moved by that spirit of gratitude.  I’d love to see thousands of stories precisely like that one.

In addition to the “watch these Muslims being good citizens” stories, I also keep seeing posts and articles in which Muslims state “I, personally, am a good person, so you need to get off my back and start using my example as a reason to stop judging all Muslims as potential terrorists.”  The most recent example of that phenomenon, again from the WaPo, was the stridently self-righteous post from Rana Elmir, the deputy director of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU, saying that she is not her Muslim brother’s keeper:

[Read more…]

Our Constitution : Now More Than Ever

Constitution We the PeopleOften, when a movie or a novel wants to use a truly vapid slogan for a pretend political campaign, the writers will fall back on the phrase “Now more than ever.”  It’s so broad and vague as to be utterly meaningless.  Yet it’s precisely what popped into my mind today when I thought about the pressing need for educating the public, both young and old, about the wonders of the United States Constitution.

The first thing that reminded me how important our Constitution is came from a New York Times video about the mob slaughter of a 27-year-old Afghani woman named Farkhunda Malikzada.  Despite surprisingly brave police efforts, a howling mob beat Farkhunda to death for burning a Koran and then, in a bow to the modern world in which these savages live, used smart phones to video the attack:

Afghanistan, a Muslim country, has nothing close to our Constitution. There is no freedom of speech (which our Supreme Court long ago said included burning symbolically significant items, provided the burner isn’t destroying someone else’s property); no freedom of religion (in Islamic countries, apostasy means death and members of other faiths are killed, enslaved, exiled, or subject to second class treatment); and no due process. Mobs exist everywhere, of course, but the ethos in America is (or used to be) freedom of speech and religion, as well as due process.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 12-17-15 — the “speed writing” edition

Woman-writing-300x265Are you familiar with speed chess? I learned about it when I was at Cal. Since I worked at the Bancroft Library, I had access to an employee break room. Every day at lunch, two men would sit there, chess board in front of them, timer at their side, and make lightning swift moves, wrapping up a single game in minutes, not hours. What I’m going for here is speed blogging. I’ve got more than 20 links, and I’m going to try to share them with you in less than half an hour of writing. Here goes….

In 2006, Thomas Lifson wrote what I think is one of the best political articles ever.  In it, he explained that there are two seasons in American politics — Attention Season and Inattention Season.  The former has a remarkable way of concentrating American minds.  Right now, with the election nearing and terrorism within our borders again, Americans are starting to shift from Inattention to Attention.  I suspect this will change the polling dynamics substantially in the next few weeks.

Trump is the bad boy of this political season, by which I mean that he’s the cool guy in the leather jacket that all the girls want to date and to domesticate. Eventually, though, the girls discover that a bad boy may have a James Dean charm about him, but he’s still bad, meaning he’s bad for the girl (and he’s equally bad for the guys who want to run with his pack).  Kurt Schlichter perfectly articulates why  Donald Trump is one of those bad boys, and explains that he’s going to be a heart breaker for those conservatives who think that this lifelong Democrat is someone to hold on to during trying times.  Rubio and Cruz are probably the best choice for the nice steady boys who will come in and save the day.

If you’d like a short but deep run-down of the last Republican debate, and one with which I happen to agree, check out Seraphic Secret’s post about the debate.

Millennials are not the next greatest generation:  they want to see American troops defeat ISIS; they just don’t want to be among the troops doing the defeating.  Having said that, I’m in no position to sneer.  I am an armchair warrior at best and a coward at worst, and have always been incredibly grateful that there are men and women who are willing to do the necessary fighting that I’m scared to do.

[Read more…]

[VIDEO] When it comes to Progressives and terrorism, some things never change

This video is from 2007, when George “Islam is a religion of peace” Bush was still President, but it could have been created yesterday, and been just as accurate. Indeed, in light of Obama’s frantic efforts Sunday night to avoid placing the word “Islam” anywhere near the word “terrorism,” the video is probably even more pertinent today than it was then:

The Bookworm Beat 12-7-15 — Pearl Harbor edition and open thread

It’s ironic that on the eve of the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, our President announced that the only thing that is infamous is (a) the Constitution (with primary focus on the 1st and 2nd Amendments) and (b) the apparently boundless (but surprisingly never acted upon) racism, Islamophobia, and gun-loving violence of the American people. Honestly, if this were December 7, 1941, he’d be telling us that Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with Japan and that we need to examine our consciences to understand why an unaffiliated group of Japanese people in Japanese military aircraft would attack our arrogant, imperialist military. And on that note, here are the posters:

Pearl Harbor

Loretta Lynch free speech

Loretta Lynch will prosecute anti-Muslim speech

Loretta Lynch and free speech

Loretta Lynch grinch kills free speech

[Read more…]

Obama’s oval address, sadly, contains no surprises

Obama oval office address 12-6-15One doesn’t have to be psychic to predict what Obama will say. It’s always the same old Leftist pabulum. Although finally forced to acknowledge that the San Bernardino attack was terrorism, he worked desperately hard to stick to that old “lone wolf” narrative. (I won’t repeat my take on the “lone wolf” issue. Instead, if you want, you can read it here.)

While the FBI is “still gathering the facts about what happened” in the attack on a county holiday party at the Inland Regional Center by Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, Obama said that “so far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.”

“But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs,” he said. “So this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”

Please note, too, how Obama worked hard when he discussed San Bernardino to keep the words “Islam” or “Muslim” from appearing anywhere in connection with “terrorist” or “terrorism.” God forbid the two should be conflated. You can see the same pattern when he finally acknowledged other, prior Islamic terrorist acts:

[Read more…]

To the extent that there is increasing anti-Muslim feeling in America, I blame Obama and the Democrats

648x415_syed-farook-tashfeen-malik-deux-tueurs-san-bernardinoAlthough we’re hearing a lot from Muslims claiming to be worried about potential anti-Muslim feeling in America, the reality is that their worries are inchoate fears that aren’t grounded in real life experiences.  Indeed, John Hinderaker points out that despite fourteen years of Muslim-related fears, the vast majority of Americans have managed to restrain their alleged Islamophobia:

The FBI’s latest statistics, for 2014, show a total of 1,140 religion-based hate crimes in the U.S. Only 16% (182) were directed against Muslims, about one for every 44,000 Muslims living in the U.S.

Actually, Muslims are more likely to perpetrate hate crimes than to be victimized by them. In 2014, more than half of the religion-based hate crimes–58%–were directed against Jews, and in many instances were perpetrated by Muslims.

I will admit, though, that if I’m to judge by my own Facebook page, which is knee-deep in Progressives, more and more Americans, however unwillingly, are beginning to connect the dots between Islam and terrorism.  Again, they’re not frothing at the mouth with undifferentiated Muslim hatred. Instead, they’re doing what I usually do, which is to distinguish between radicals and everyone else.  Still, they’re finally figuring out that Islam has a problem.

Meanwhile, our President, his party, and his media (let’s not pretend that Obama doesn’t own the mainstream media) continue to deny a connection between Islam and terrorism.  That may change when Obama speaks tonight, although many suspect that the President will use tonight’s speech not only to downplay the Islamic connection to terrorism, but also to try another gun grab.

If, as I suspect, Obama doesn’t change his tune but, instead, continues to pretend that Islam and terrorism are entirely related, I blame him for any future and actual Islamophobia in this country.  Obama has created a leadership vacuum that the American people, who are rightfully fearful that ISIS is in our borders and gaining new recruits from among Syrian refugees, will fill.  And when the masses fill a vacuum, they often do so in crude, mob-like ways.

Obama would protect American Muslims much better if he’d acknowledge the problem with radical Islam and give Americans a detailed plan for dealing with that problem — one that includes requiring the American Muslim community to work with law enforcement to expose and expel the terrorists among them.  Americans then wouldn’t feel that, if they want to protect their lives and liberty, they’re going to have to take Islam on themselves.

Think of it this way:  Obama is the pilot of the plane called America.  We, the People, are the passengers.  We can’t see the captain, but his periodic announcements tell us that he’s up there in the cockpit.  Suddenly, we become aware of a disturbance on the plane.  We look anxiously at the speakers above our heads, waiting for Captain Obama to tell us what’s wrong and how he’s going to fix it.  Instead, we get either silence or a bizarre rant from the cockpit about the bright sunlight outside the plane.

Now imagine you’re on the plane:  Given that your captain has just shown himself to be either absent or insane in the face of a clear and present danger, are you going to continue to sit peacefully in your seat hoping for the best, or are you going to unbuckle your seat belt, search for anything that can possibly be used as a weapon, and go to face the problem yourself?

Captain Obama is failing in his job.  If the American people step up to do what he won’t, and if he doesn’t like how the American people handle the job, he has only himself to blame.