The Bookworm Beat 5-18-15 — the “but wait, there’s more!” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingI’m still going through my emails and finding fabulous treasures. Let’s so how many I can fit into this post:

Revolutions always eat their own

Assuming one survives a revolution, one of the most enjoyable spectacles is seeing the second generation of revolutionaries turn on the first. Just today, there are two examples:

First, ardent Leftist, “Sovietologist,” and Duke University professor Jerry Hough, has suddenly found himself engaged in heated battle with the thought police he once counted as his allies. His sin? He pointed out, accurately enough, that once beleaguered Asians didn’t become victims, they became success stories, a transition blacks have utterly failed to make. He’s right, of course, but in typical narcissist fashion, he fails to understand that it was his political establishment that infantilized the black community.

Second, the feminists are turning on Obama. They’re not angry about his failure to pay women in his administration the same wages that he pays men. Noooo. His sin is microaggression: He called a woman by her first name. This kerfuffle, which is a delight to watch, gave Glenn Reynolds the opportunity to introduce USA Today readers to the noxiousness of identity politics.

California: from Golden State with a Golden Gate to a Democrat rust belt

Over the past twenty or thirty years, the California legislature has worked diligently to turn California into a third world country. It’s quixotic stand against non-existent climate change is just one manifestation of that insanity, although it may be the most damaging yet. Joel Kotkin explains.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard needs to have her Road to Damascus moment

All I want to know is when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq vet and a Democrat representative from Hawaii, will have her Road to Damascus moment and realize that she should be aligned politically with conservatives, not Democrats?

One of the toughest critics of President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat who represents his home state of Hawaii.

Gabbard has taken the administration to task for refusing to use the term “radical Islam” and called for the White House to be more aggressive.

In an interview with The Hill, Gabbard said she has spoken to the White House about her criticism, though she has yet to speak with Obama himself.
“The president hasn’t called me. I’ve had a number of ongoing conversations with different people in the administration about some of these issues, both one-on-one, as well as in smaller, classified group settings,” she said.

“I’ve never been asked directly to not do my job. So obviously, there are areas where we’re going to agree to disagree.”

Gabbard, 34, one of the youngest members of Congress, is a Hawaii Army National Guard captain with two deployments under her belt, including a year in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit.

She later served in Kuwait as a platoon commander for a military police unit that accompanied a brigade running convoys. Those experiences have shaped her views on the fight against ISIS and given her credibility as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

It seems appropriate to add here that military watchers are noting the significant damage that Obama’s politically correct Pentagon is inflicting on America’s military readiness.

A refresher course about guns, war, and the Bible

If you want to be a pacifist — well, that’s your decision, but at least make it for the right reasons. Most importantly, don’t misunderstand the Bible as the reason for your pacifism. A few years ago, Rabbi Dovid Bendory carefully explained that God’s commandment condemns murder, not killing. This is a very important distinction, and one that should be remembered in the upcoming political season when national and individual self-defense become campaign issues.

Fossil fuel — it’s good for you!

I’ve mentioned before at this blog that, when gas-burning cars came along, people were thrilled that they were clean. No longer did city dwellers have to wade through ankle deep, soggy swamps of horse feces and urine in order to cross a street.

Alex Epstein, however, has gone many steps further than I imagined. He argues that fossil fuels are, to borrow from Martha Stewart, a good thing:

Alex said the key with his arguments in favor of fossil fuels is to start by asking what maximizes the well-being for human beings.

“They key is getting what energy is. Most people have no idea how valuable energy is. So energy is our ability to use machines to improve our lives. Every human being in the United States has an average of 96 machine servants doing work on his behalf. You know, we ourselves are very weak. Physically we’re very weak. That’s why we have a life expectancy of 30. We can’t do much work. If we have machines that do work for us. We can get so much done. We can build hospitals. We can build roads.”

“If you get that everything in our lives have improved by machines, if the machines don’t have fuel, they die. They don’t work. They’re like us. So fossil fuels are the best source ever of machine calories. They give all of our machines the calories they need to work. If those calories become scarce or expensive or unreliable, everything starts to shut down. Certainly Mercury Studios. But a lot of stuff besides it. The agriculture shuts down. And every cent you add, say to the price of oil, that means the diesel fuel and the tractor that grows our food becomes more expensive. That means our fertilizer becomes more expensive. So energy is fundamental.”

What makes Alex’s arguments different from those that the environmentalists advance is that Alex thinks humans have value.  Wow!  What a concept.

Even when citizens win against the government, they lose

I’ll just quote the first paragraphs of this article:

Two months ago, U.S. Attorney Steve West told Lyndon McLellan that any attempt to garner publicity about his civil forfeiture case “doesn’t help. It just ratchets up feelings in the agency. My offer is to return 50% of the money.”

Yesterday, just two weeks after the Institute for Justice took on the case and brought it to the attention of the nation, the IRS and Department of Justice moved to voluntarily dismiss the case and give Lyndon back 100% of his hard-earned money.

“I’m relieved to be getting my money back,” said Lyndon McLellan. “What’s wrong is wrong, and what the government did here is wrong. I just hope that by standing up for what’s right, it means this won’t happen to other people.”

Even after he recovers his bank account, Lyndon is still out tens of thousands of dollars, thanks to the government’s actions. Lyndon paid a $3,000 retainer to a private attorney before IJ took the case on pro bono, and he also paid approximately $19,000 for an accountant to audit his business and to provide other services to help convince the government he did nothing wrong. The government is refusing to pay those expenses. And the government also is refusing to pay interest on the money.

Read the rest here. That, folks, is what bureaucratic, administrative tyranny looks like.

College tuition and the big house theory

When I lived in a small apartment, I never had enough room to store things. I was certain that, in a larger apartment, everything would have a place and there’d be room to spare too. There wasn’t. I next thought that, when I moved into a real house then I’d finally be organized, with a place for everything and no clutter. How wrong I was. Indeed, I’m pretty darn certain that even Buckingham Palace is bursting at the seams. It turns out that things expand to fill the space available.

I thought of my housing storage theory when I read that — who except a conservative would have guessed? — the more government money you pour into higher education, the more bloated and costly that education gets.

What Jews fear — the antisemite inside everyone

When I was young, my parents, who were not religious, nevertheless told me that I must marry someone Jewish. Why? Because they assured me that, if I married a non-Jew, I could be certain that one day, in the heat of an argument, my husband would turn to me and say something along the lines of, “You dirty Jew.” Ironic, really, that I married someone Jewish who’s openly antisemitic. But whatever….

I mention this little bit of family history because of a story out of Kentucky: A Democrat campaign consultant working for a Jewish candidate went on a disgusting antisemitic tirade (with a small dose of anti-Christian rhetoric thrown in for good measure). The consultant immediately denied being antisemitic although I’m willing to bet he’s proudly “anti-Zionist.”

Interestingly, this grotesque bit of racism didn’t make the MSM. They do protect their own, don’t they?

A business that makes a statement

If you’re in the Cleveland, Tennessee, region, and you need concrete, I suggest a company called Bradley Concrete. Here’s why.

Public school is a form of child abuse

We used to say public schools were a form of child abuse because the students emerged without any meaningful knowledge, including such basics as Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic. Well, as is typical of all abusers, some public schools are upping the ante. In Fairfax, the school district is threatening to teach middle and high school students all about transgenderism so that students can make an informed decision about their inner gender identity, without regard to picky little things like biological reality.

I’m all in favor of teaching children not to discriminate against people who are different, whether because of race, religion, country of national origin, sexual identity, etc. That should just be a blanket ukase. I am, however, deeply opposed to schools that want to use their overwhelming power to deny reality in favor of the politically correct flavor of the day.

Some students withstand the indoctrination

Having read the immediately preceding story, here’s a palate cleanser:

Peyton Robinson said he got the bad news from a school administrator Wednesday morning.

The 18-year-old senior at York Comprehensive High School was told he wasn’t allowed to fly his American flag and POW-MIA flag in the bed of his pickup truck.


He told WBTV that at some point Wednesday, a school official unscrewed the bolts securing the flags to his truck and laid them in the bed “when I wasn’t even there.”


“I’d understand if it was the Confederate flag or something that might offend somebody,” he added. “I wouldn’t do that. But an American flag — that’s our country’s flag. I have every right to do it. I don’t see a safety issue. I mean, I understand it’s a big flag — it’s 4 by 6 — but nobody has ever complained about it being in their way or anything.”

So Robinson hit his Facebook page Wednesday and let everybody know what was happening — and fellow students quickly took up the cause, driving back to school that night with flags flying from their vehicles.

How could I not have known about “Cows With Guns”?

Maybe it’s just my sense of humor, but I find this video incredibly funny: