The Bookworm Beat 11-18-15 — “the mother of all round-ups” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have been collecting links for days and will try to share them all with you. Here goes:

Only conservatives are paying attention

In an attempt to deflect attention of Muslim depredations in Paris, the Left and its foot soldiers (all of whom seem to be my Facebook friends) immediately attacked Americans and other Westerners for failing to pay attention to a bombing the day before in Lebanon (an ISIS v. Hezbollah bombing, so it was Horrible People v. Horrible People). I eventually got tired of commenting on their posts to the effect that I have been paying attention to all of these attacks, primarily because they are all different manifestations of a single radical Islamic entity, and I’ve been trying to get everyone to pay as much attention as I do.

Emma Kelly says what I was too polite to say explicitly to these Leftists: The reason you didn’t know about these other attacks isn’t because the newspapers didn’t report them, it’s because you weren’t paying attention.

I’ll add something that Kelly didn’t, though: You weren’t paying attention because American and European media outlets don’t want you to see that Islam is a problem, so they report on these incidents, but downplay them. Meanwhile you get loud noise about Ben Carson’s alleged lies, Hillary’s brilliance, Republicans’ meanness, Donald Trump’s hair, and Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy.

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#BibiSpeech #NetanyahuSpeech — Open Thread

Netanyahu's 2015 speech to CongressHave you listened to Netanyahu’s speech yet?  It was a masterful speech (and I wish American conservatives would listen and learn from it). In clear, elegant, often clever English, Bibi explained precisely why Obama’s proposed deal with Iran is an awful deal, one that paves the way for Iran to have a nuclear weapon system on the sly in the near future or completely legally in a decade. Bibi reminded his audience that Iran isn’t just any state — it is now, and has been for 36 years — the largest single terrorism sponsor in the world.

If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s the video:

Or, if you prefer reading to listening, here’s the transcript.

Bibi made a point that every sane person understands: Rewarding a bad actor does not make him less bad, it makes him more bad.

Along the way, Bibi addressed a point that has troubled some conservatives: Israel is much more worried about Iran than it is about ISIS, while the American people are more worried about ISIS than Iran. I really think that part of the speech gets to the heart of what should be every civilized person’s concern about what’s happening in the Middle East and around the world:

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The Bookworm Beat 2-26-15 — the evening edition and open thread

Woman writing

Alan Dershowitz challenges the talk about boycotting Netanyahu’s speech

Read and enjoy Alan Dershowitz’s fiery denunciation of the Obama administration’s efforts to get Democrats — especially black ones — to boycott Netanyahu’s speech about the existential threat Obama’s policies pose to Israel.

I won’t comment on the article — it speaks for itself — but I will comment on a couple of peripheral things. Dershowitz is a Democrat, but he’s also an ardent Israel supporter. I therefore can’t help but think that, as Obama prepares to break with Israel and ally America with Iran, it’s not a coincidence that Dershowitz suddenly found himself swept up in the pedophile sex scandal involving Jeffrey Epstein.

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The Bookworm Beat 2-23-15 — Post-Vegas edition and Open Thread

Woman writingI do like Vegas. I love its manic energy, crazed corporate imagination, over-the-top shows, brilliant colors, and flashing lights. And then, after three days, I’m desperate to get away from the noise and smoke and, often, the desperation floating above the casino floors. In other words, I had a great trip there and then was glad to come home again. This time, coming home also meant going through about 800 backed-up emails (a lot of people got heartfelt apologies from me for delaying so long before responding to them), and finding some awesome things to share with you.

A glowing French eye-view of American troops

When we think of the French, we tend to think of hyper-critical people who look down upon Americans. That stereotype might be true on the Île-de-France, but it turns out to be untrue in the theater of war, at least as to one French soldier who served with American troops (Echo Company) in Afghanistan. If this doesn’t make you want to stand up and salute, I truly don’t know what will:

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The Bookworm Beat 2-13-15 — Friday evening round-up and Open Thread

Woman writingI love it when the younger generation shows wisdom. A young 20-something friend of mine just posted on Facebook something about the rash of traditionally religious bakers who are being persecuted for refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings. I won’t repeat what my friend said verbatim, but here’s the gist:

I don’t come down strongly on either side of this. I hate discrimination but the bakers own the business and say they reserve the right to serve any customers. The customers may have civil rights that should be protected, but a privately owned business should be able to operate as it wants and not be subject to huge fines. This is just another case of the so-called “business expert” government messing with America’s small businesses. If same-sex couples are offended by the business owner’s views, they don’t have to shop there and can tell their friends not to either. What they shouldn’t do is try to destroy the business.

Aside from cheering my young friend’s understanding of freedom (it probably helps that he’s a Marine), I also suggested that, because the freedom to practice our faith without government oversight shows up at the top of the Bill of Rights, in the First Amendment, if the religious person is asserting anything other than an Aztec human sacrifice, the default position in a battle of rights needs to favor the religious person.

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The Bookworm Beat 1-31-15 — the mammoth Saturday edition

Woman writingAfter a few days of what a doctor friend of mine calls the “crud” (it’s not the flu, thank goodness, but you still feel lousy), I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. More importantly, my energy is returning and with energy comes blogging. While I couldn’t rouse myself to write for the last few days, that didn’t stop me from collecting a few — well, not really a few, but a lot of — links to share with you.

If you’re enjoying a relaxing Saturday afternoon/evening . . . well, I was going to say that if you were relaxing, you could then enjoy reading this post. But honestly, so much of what’s in this post is depressing that it will just ruin your relaxation. Here’s the truth: If you’re miserable and want to stay that way, or are feeling relaxed to the point of inertia and want to get your stress going, then you should feel free to read this mammoth Saturday edition of the Bookworm Beat.

How to handle Marine haters

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about seeing an interesting by-play in Marin, when a Marine temporarily left his dress blue cover behind in a coffee shop. While the barristas didn’t know whether to fear or respect the cover, one guy knew what it was: a baby-killer’s headgear. He raved for a few seconds, and then fell silent. Rather typically for me, since I’m both cowardly and suffer terribly from l’esprit de l’escalier, I just sat there — and then I blogged about it.

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Did the State Department leak a phone call in which Obama insists that Israel unilaterally stop its surge into Gaza?

Obama on phoneThe Times of Israel has published what is alleged to be a transcript of a leaked telephone call between Obama and Netanyahu.  Both Netanyahu and Obama are denying its truth, but I wonder.  The substance is entirely consistent with Obama’s and Kerry’s public pronouncements, although much ruder, hectoring, hostile, and autocratic in tone.  My suspicion is that Obama is denying it because he’s worried that it makes him look bad, and Bibi is denying it for the same reason — to help Obama save face in return for which, one hopes, Bibi gets something.

Anyway, here’s the allegedly leaked transcript:

Israel’s Channel 1 publishes a Hebrew transcript of a portion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama’s telephone conversation Sunday, in which Obama is insistent that Israel unilaterally halt all military activities in the Gaza Strip.

The following is an English translation of the Hebrew account of the talk given in the report:

Barack Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities, in particular airstrikes.

Benjamin Netanyahu: And what will Israel receive in exchange for a ceasefire?

BO: I believe that Hamas will cease its rocket fire — silence will be met with silence.

BN: Hamas broke all five previous ceasefires. It’s a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

BO: I repeat and expect Israel to stop all its military activities unilaterally. The pictures of destruction in Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.

BN: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas military and diplomatic advantages.

BO: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza.

BN: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It’s impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.

BO: I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in the position that it can choose its mediators.

BN: I protest because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks –

BO: (interrupting Netanyahu) The ball’s in Israel’s court, and it must end all its military activities.

Monday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’m soon heading to yet another appointment intended to keep my musculoskeletal system from disintegrating entirely.  I’m hoping to be functional again by September or October, but it sure seems a long ways away.  Anyway, before I go, these are for you (and let me know if you have anything interesting for the rest of us):

I didn’t know that Arthur Koestler, though a socialist, was a socialist along the lines of George Orwell, who was willing to be honest about the totalitarian instincts inherent in socialism.  Neo-Neocon has a fascinating excerpt from Koestler’s Cassandra-like lament about the Nazis — and the blind eye that the rest of the world turned to acts too horrible for them to acknowledge could be real.


Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office has released the English transcript of his remarks on Yom Hashoah. It is worthwhile reading. Unlike the idiots and antisemites in America and Europe, Bibi remembers the past and refuses to go supine so as to create a Holocaust redux.


Given a place in which to share their experiences in America’s Leftist-run academies of “higher education,” more than 350,000 conservative college and university students viewed or weighed in on the hashtag #MyLiberalCampus. These youngsters seem to be aware of the irony behind the word “liberal” in that hashtag, since their tales of woe include variations on startlingly illiberal behavior.


We opponents of gay marriage (not of gays or civil unions, but of gay marriage) said that, once gay marriage cleared the gates, polygamy wouldn’t be far behind. This is not to say that gay marriage and polygamy are the same thing. It is to say, though, that once you erase marriage’s historic meaning in Western culture — one man and one woman — there are no further limits one can reasonably place upon it.


Perhaps someone in academia is finally climbing atop the barricades and hollering “Stop.” Brett Sokolow, director of the Association of Title IX Administrators, has sent a mailing out to similarly situated Title IX administrators saying that they’re violating Title IX, which requires even-handedness in dealings involving the sexes on college campuses.  It turns out that, whenever two students engage in a drunken coupling, the school blames the man. Sokolow suggests that, if both students are equally blotto, neither is to blame. Sanctions should arise only if the complaining student was incoherently blotto and the accused can be proven to have had evil on his (or her) mind.


Please enjoy the exquisite irony: Leftist Media Matters is opposing the unionization of its own employees.


A friend of mine who feeds me a lot of the more interesting information you read in my posts tipped me off last week to the assault that the Leftist thought police are waging in the land of Science Fiction writing. I meant to write on the subject myself, but kept getting sidetracked. Now, I don’t need to, since Glenn Reynolds has addressed precisely that issue.


This one is for the lawyers, or for the ones who have wisely decided not to become lawyers and, if possible, never to come within spitting distance of a lawsuit.


The DiploMad writes about the known fact that, in America, being a Democrat, especially a highly placed Democrat, means never having to say you’re sorry or lose your job, no matter how abysmal your failures (or how many people have died on your watch).


If you’re wondering why it’s a terrible idea to have the government manage anything beyond traditional government responsibilities (the military, waging war, providing basic infrastructure, etc.), this story about Medicare fraud may help you understand government’s extreme limitations.

Does Obama’s interview about Israel reveal a president who has finally broken free of reality?

Young Obama Young Bibi and Bib NetanyahuMano a mano, I’d bet on Netanyahu against Obama every time.  Nation to nation, though, Bibi has the misfortune to be facing off against a spoiled, Leftist, anti-Israel, pot-smoking adolescent who nevertheless controls the world’s greatest military and economic power.  I’m still betting on the Israelis, but it’s not a no-brainer — especially because Obama appears to have reached his conclusions by ignoring stubborn facts and, instead, substituting data that is entirely unrelated to any facts on the ground.

I bring this up because, although the headlines are about Ukraine, no Jew who cares about Israel can have missed Obama’s truly dreadful interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. In it, he made clear that, as far as he’s concerned, the only thing stopping Middle East peace is Israel’s peculiarly stiff-necked intransigence.

To reach this conclusion, Obama shows that he is as delusional about the Muslim Middle East as he is about the rest of the world.  In Obama’s world, Israelis have no interest in peace.  It is, instead, the Palestinians (who strongly support terrorism, who voted for Hamas when they had the chance, who celebrate Jewish genocide, who have never complied with past “peace” agreements, who openly demand a world without Israel, and who have refused to negotiate without preconditions by which Israel gives up her nationhood) who are chomping at the bit to get to the negotiating table.

Don’t take my word for it about Obama’s twisted view of the Middle East.  After you’ve read his own words, check out John Podhoretz’s masterly deconstruction of Obama’s fantasies — as well as his take on Obama’s threats.  It remains to be seen whether Obama’s fact-free preemptive strike against Israel bear fruit in the complacent media.  (I can’t believe I said that.  Of course they’ll bear fruit.)

Caroline Glick, a strong, logical, fearless voice for conservative Israelis, hitback swiftly, telling Obama that his threats cannot frighten a nation that has seen much, much worse.  She also took the time to expose some of Obama’s more reality-challenged statements.  Sadly, I don’t think anyone in the White House is paying attention to Glick.

I don’t expect the administration to pay attention to a Jew.  The administration likes only deracinated Jews who have replaced obedience to God with obedience to the Democrat party.  But maybe the Obama administration should listen to one of Islam’s most prominent spokes people.  Anjem Choudary is clear about the existential inconsistencies between Islam and the West:


If you don’t recognize Choudary’s name, Jim Hoft fills you in:

Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary blamed Lee Rigby’s murder on British foreign policy.

In 2008 Choudary gloated over the Mumbai terrorist attacks.


Anjem Choudary is a British-Pakistani, who lives on social welfare funds and supports jihad. Choudary takes in a reported sum of £25,000 ($37,770) per year from the British welfare program while soldiers earn only $24,000 a year. Something is wrong with the system.

I used the words “delusional,” “fact-free,” and “reality-challenged” to describe Obama’s approach to the Middle East and even included a link to a Washington Post editorial calling his approach to Ukraine a “fantasy.”  Up until this past week, I would simply have said that Obama has long lived in a Leftist bubble, which has guided his practical and moral approach to the world.  Those weren’t delusions, but grave ideological errors.  This past week, though, we are seeing Obama trading in his foul ideological glasses (which distort everything on which they focus) for actual delusional facts.  Has the bubble gotten so thick about him that our president is literally becoming deranged?

Pot can do that to you, so I’ll leave you with the very surprising words that came out of Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown of California, when asked about  his enthusiasm for legalizing pot in California (emphasis added):

Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work. The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay, but there is a tendency to go to extremes, and all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? World’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we needed to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the pot heads might be able to put together.