The Bookworm Beat 6-3-15 — the “cluttered life” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve been on the go since 7:30 this morning, and this is my first chance at the computer. Lots of good stuff:

How Leftists think

One of the my Leftist Facebook friends was outraged that the Republican-controlled House repealed a law requiring meat to have a country-of-origin label. He and his friends instantly started talking about evil Republicans trying to poison Americans. They were taken aback when I pointed out that the article makes clear that (a) the existing law was about to be gutted anyway by the World Trade Organization; (b) that the problem involved the WTO’s claim that the existing law was unfair to Mexico and Canada; and (c) that this wasn’t a repeal but was simply a committee vote, with all but six Democrats on board.

What really confused my Facebook friend, though, was when I suggested that the market could handle this one without the government. Thus, I said, meat suppliers that are targeting people who care about meat’s origin will label their product voluntarily as part of their effort to sell the product. This whole voluntary thing, especially when tied with the wisdom of the marketplace thing, just didn’t compute.

Bruce Jenner may not end up as happy as he hopes

Although Bruce Jenner has opted to leave his mini Bruce alone, he’s certainly had a boob job and who knows what else (lower rib removal?) to make himself look more feminine. I really couldn’t care less what Bruce does (that is, I’m neither for or against his journey), but I do wonder how happy he’ll actually be.


Walt Heyer, an early male-to-female transsexual, who than went back to being a male, shares my doubt. In very simple language, Meyer explains the scientific fraud that underlies Bruce’s belief that surgery and hormones will do away with his obviously painful and demoralizing sense that his body and self-identity are at odds.

Thinking about it a bit, I suspect the Bruce will be happier than most. Putting aside whether he’s a boy or a girl, what Bruce really is is an exhibitionist — and that part of his psyche is getting incredible strokes. As long as he can keep attention focused on himself, he’d be happy even if a surgical mishap ended up with him looking like Cousin Itt.

Did Axelrod and/or Obama call Jews objects rather than people?

Speaking of “itts,” am I the only one who noticed something peculiar about the language David Axelrod used when he reported on the claim that Obama — friend to Israel haters and hater of Netanyahu — made that he is the first Jewish president? Read this language:

“You know,” he allegedly told Axelrod, “I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office. For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse, anti-Semitic, it hurts.”

Accepting Obama’s or Axelrod’s strained syntax, the correct language still should have been, “I think I am the closest thing to a Jew who has ever sat in this office.” As written, the statement is not only grammatically ugly, but it seems to say that Jews are things, not people.

Yes, yes, I know I’m being picky and have a 19th century grammarian’s expectations for a 21st century semi-literate political team, but it still sounded wrong to me.

Oh, by the way — in the article to which I linked, Ben Shapiro explains why, at a substantive level, Obama’s statement was also just plain wrong.

Yes, the Democrat party is more radical

One of the points of dispute between me and Mr. Bookworm is about labels. I acknowledge that I’ve changed political labels, although I point out that, with the exception of my volte face on the Second Amendment, my core political ideology is pretty much what it’s always been: I want the government to leave me alone as much as possible and to keep the world as safe as possible for me. (I know. I know. That’s a very simplified version of my views, but I’m working on the KISS principle here.)

Meanwhile, Mr. Bookworm has kept the same label — he’s still a Democrat — but he’s become vastly more radical in both his social and political views. And yes, it’s amusing to see an upper middle class white man mouth the platitudes of black female 99 percenters.

Because his label is still the same, Mr. Bookworm believes that it is I who betrayed our marital understanding that we would have the same values. I contend that I haven’t betrayed anything at all adding that, if anyone has changed, he has.

Interesting linguistic debate, nu?

Anyway, Mr. Bookworm wouldn’t read anything from Commentary, but I’m happy to report that Peter Wehner, if dragged into a mediation between my husband and me on this issue, would side with me: The Left has moved dramatically left.

Heck, the only evidence you need to prove that point is Bernie Sanders’ growing popularity. My Facebook page is flooded with his hardcore socialist demands for universal free college educations, 90% tax rates for the rich, and the forced contraction of our economy by making manufacturers make fewer products because doing so will somehow benefit children. Sanders is a dodo, but his political traction amongst Democrats, even though he is an open and avowed socialist, tells you a lot more about Democrats than anything Mr. Bookworm can say proves anything about conservatives.

The revised AP US history curriculum helps explain the Democrat party change

The media is the most obvious evidence of the Democrat party change, but I’d say the root of the evil lies in the hard Leftism of American campuses. Moreover, those campus radicals are now coming to a high school near you, and they’re trying to co-opt America’s best and brightest 11th graders through a hard-Left AP United States History curriculum. The only saving grace of the curriculum seems to be that it’s so confusing and boring that students will tune it out.

Feminists eat their own

Speaking of colleges, it’s interesting to see how Laura Kipnis, a former hard-core academic feminist herself, is beginning to see the light about the completely totalitarian mindset of modern feminism, which has nothing to do with legal equality and everything to do with total control.

I was going to add that the craven administration at Northwestern is bowing down before the radicals harassing Kipnis, but that’s wrong. In the 1960s, college administrators were indeed craven. Nowadays, college administrators, from the president on down, mostly agree with the radicals and are happy to be part of the purging process.

American Muslims are not shy

The media loves to tell us what American Muslims think, and usually what they think is exactly the same thing as Democrat members of the media.  Ami Horowitz decided to bypass the media and go straight to the Muslims — in this case, Somalian Muslims in Minnesota.

After denying that they are victims of Islamophobia here in America, the people he interviewed had a lot to say about sharia law, their societal preferences, and the place they’d like to call home. The MSM members who profess to speak on Muslims’ behalf might be surprised by the actual thoughts going on in many Muslim heads:

An elegy for Sweden

The Sweden Report is a long-running blog written by a person who was born and raised in Sweden, who then came to America, and after that returned to Sweden again. Or more accurately, the Sweden Report was a long-running blog. It’s being shut down because the blogger is leaving Sweden. He writes quite the elegy for a country that was once principled and well-run, and is now lowering itself to Third World standards as its smug socialism becomes increasing dysfunctional.

Democrats and the Horse Feathers theory

In Horse Feathers, Groucho Marx sings that timeless song, “Whatever you’re for, I’m against it.” The Democrats seem to have taken that on as their party platform. How else can one explain the fact that they’re objecting vociferously to a Republican plan to make birth control pills more widely and easily available by having the Pill reclassified as an over-the-counter medicine?

I think there’s a second fear at work too: Birth control pills are one of the most commonly purchased controlled substances in America and, moreover, they’re a product that is bought everywhere, by all women, regardless of race, color, creed, income, country of national origin…. We know that product prices drop and drop fast once something is allowed to hit the free market. When that happens with the bill, a whole lot of people all over the world are going to get a fast education in basic economics.