The Bookworm Beat (11/19/14) — It was a dark and stormy day edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingThat global warming sure has caused global cooling with a vengeance. My thoughts are with all of those who are suffering the brunt of this blast (or vortex?). Stay warm and safe, please.

Here, I’m happy to say, it’s raining! Considering that Marin is constantly hovering just a few gallons away from water rationing during this drought, rain is always good news. Equally good is the fact that it’s supposed to rain for another day, and then rain again in five days. Woo-hoo!!!

The only downside to this marvelous weather is that I’m going to a fancy party in the City tonight, and am trying to figure out how best to get there without breaking the bank on parking and without looking like a drowned rat — which is the inevitable consequences of a far-away, cheap parking lot on a rainy day.  I might Uber this, since I got a discount coupon from a friend.

And if you’re wondering how someone as cheap as I ended up attending a fancy dinner event, the answer is that I was invited. I’m quite flattered, because the person who did the inviting said that he was trying to gather interesting people for the table he had purchased. Drowned rats are not interesting, so I’d better figure out something soon….

Enough weather talk! It’s time for all the interesting stuff I’ve tagged:

The rich are different from you and me — they pay more

The entire 99% trope during the Occupy Wall Street furor was that the top 1% of Americans are parasites sucking wealth off of the bottom 99%. And yes, the concept of a “bottom” 99% is highly oxymoronic, which is something we should expect from the moron crowd.

Anyway, not only was the moron crowd wrong as a matter of basic logic, it was also wrong as a matter of fact. The CBO’s latest numbers simply reiterate what all of us have known for a long time: America’s top money earners pay a hugely disproportionate amount in taxes compared to what everyone else pays.

The Obamacare scam

Back in 2009, when Obamacare was being (dishonestly) debated, I discussed it with a physician who works for Kaiser. He loved the Obamacare idea because it would force people to buy insurance, which is a benefit to insurance companies.

Let me make very clear that this doctor was not speaking officially on Kaiser’s behalf. He was merely an ordinary employee with an opinion.  To the extent that his employer is both insurer and provider, he saw any mandated healthcare plan as being a good thing insofar as it would mandate new customers for insurers. More customers, of course, equals more money.

This doctor wasn’t the only one thinking along those lines.  The cat is finally out of the bag: Insurers love Obamacare. As was obvious from the start to constitutionalists, it forces people to buy a product, with the product in this case being insurance.

Of course, it’s a pact with the Devil for both the Democrats and the insurance companies. From their base’s viewpoint, it’s clear that the Democrats have sold out. And from the insurers’ viewpoint, this is an unsustainable situation. Currently, a federal slush fund is offsetting the deficit that insurers are facing because people haven’t rushed to sign up for policies that offer way too much, for way too much money.  When those funds go away, though, and when insurers are no longer insuring for risks but are instead pay for all medical services, those companies will discover that the system is unsustainable. Bye-bye customers! Bye-bye insurers!

The “climate change” lies are stacking up

There’s nothing new in Jeff Dunetz’s “lies of climate change” post.  Nevertheless, it’s still a post worth reading because Jeff has done yeoman’s work to distill the many lies into 12 accessible and understandable points.

Social Justice has nothing to do with “Justice”

Larry Correia is back again within another post about so-called Social Justice Warriors (“SJWs”). The topic is getting some attention lately, not because of what SJWs routinely do to conservatives, but because, as is true for all revolutionaries, they’re starting to eat their own. Going after open conservatives — such as Michelle Malkin or Larry Correia — has proven to be an exercise in futility, unless one simply enjoys being a bully for the sake of being a bully. After all, open conservatives have already surveyed the landscape, figured out who their real friends are, and accepted that they’ll be pilloried. When they are in fact pilloried, they just shrug and keep on going.

Of late, therefore, the SJW revolutionaries have started attacking those they deem doctrinally impure or, worse, those who have failed to pay attention to any doctrine whatsoever. In this regard, although they thankfully haven’t yet taken up swords or auto de fe (having confined themselves instead to character attacks, constant harassment, efforts to destroy livelihoods, etc.), SJWs are indistinguishable in motive from the French Revolutionaries, the Russian Revolutionaries, or the Islamists spreading their net across the world.

The lie about the legacy of slavery

Dancing With The Stars concludes next week. The remaining four contestants will compete for the fabulous mirror ball. Each of the remaining four has proven to be a superb dancer. No matter who wins, I’ll think that it was an honestly achieved victory, and no matter who loses, I’ll feel sad, knowing that the three losers could just as easily have won. It’s been that kind of season.

But when the season ends, my definite favorite will be Alfonso Ribeiro, known for his role as Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. Maybe it’s all an act, but Alfonso comes across as just a wonderful person: thoughtful, optimistic, hard-working, kind, intelligent . . . you name it. He also has a wonderful, very deep, speaking voice, which he uses to speak the King’s English — despite having been born and raised in the Bronx.

Will you be surprised to learn that this apparently quite wonderful man is black? Some of you might be.  After all, the man I’ve described doesn’t sound like the types of black people populating our TV screens in telecasts from Florida and Missouri and whatever other place is the momentary flash point for the professional African-American grievance mongers.

Where Ribeiro differs from these blacks is his parentage: His folks are from Trinidad and Tobago. In other words, he’s yet another of those Caribbean black people who are as successful as their white (or Asian or whatever) counterparts. Their skin color is not a barrier. One can therefore deduce that white Americans aren’t opposed to the color of black peoples’ skin; they are, instead, affected by the types of behaviors many American blacks display (see above references to Florida and Missouri).

I mention all these because Thomas Sowell has written a short, pointed article challenging the myth that American blacks are permanently downtrodden either because of their skin color or their ancestors’ slavery. The data shows something different:  American blacks have been tainted by Johnson’s “Great Society” and the welfare state that flowed form it — something Caribbean blacks have avoided. Here’s just one of the many pertinent facts Sowell offers:

The murder rate among blacks in 1960 was one-half of what it became 20 years later, after a legacy of liberals’ law-enforcement policies. Public-housing projects in the first half of the 20th century were clean, safe places, where people slept outside on hot summer nights, when they were too poor to afford air conditioning. That was before admissions standards for public-housing projects were lowered or abandoned, in the euphoria of liberal non-judgmental notions. And it was before the toxic message of victimhood was spread by liberals. We all know what hell holes public housing has become in our times. The same toxic message produced similar social results among lower-income people in England, despite an absence of a “legacy of slavery” there.

Please welcome another conservative Marinite to the blogosphere

Last week, to much acclaim, I published an open letter to Jonathan Gruber that an anonymous Marinite had forwarded to me. That anonymous Marinite has now set up a blog called AFAWKES. The site is still in its infancy, with few posts, but what’s there is good. If you would, take a minute or two to visit AFAWKES with an encouraging word for more such writing.

America is not the only one worried about illegals entering from the South

According to this wonderful satiric piece, Canada has it’s own worries about illegal aliens slipping across its southern border.

On writing

Mike McDaniel, political and gun blogger extraordinaire, is also an English teacher. When I read his thoughts about writing and teaching, I’m terribly sorry that my kids are way too far away from him ever to benefit from his insights. Still, I do try to get them to read what he has to say about what makes a writer and about the benefits young people receive from making the effort to write. Here are Mike’s latest ruminations on the subject. If you have any reluctant English scholars in your life, you might want to pass it on. Booga, booga! (And you’ll know what I mean by that when you read the post.)