The Bookworm Beat 6-6-15 — the “I’m still standing” edition and open thread
I’m sorry for the long silence, but to quote Granny Clampett, “I was just plumb tuckered out.” Between escalating work demands and the usual family demands, I haven’t had either spare energy or spare time. It was only two days ago that I stopped being in denial and accepted that, for the time being at least, I have a 3/4 time legal job that requires a heightened level of commitment and organization. (Incidentally, I’ve found that, for managing large projects, Microsoft’s One Note, when combined with a good calendaring program, is very helpful.) I still intend to blog, but I just need to buff up my time management skills a bit.
And that’s it for the excuses. On to the post itself:
It’s not such a wonderful life
Victor Davis Hanson has scored another home run with his post examining at Obama’s new world order as another Pottersville:
Consider the Obama administration’s first six years as a prolonged counterfactual take on what the world might have been like for the last 70 years without a traditionally engaged American president dedicating our country to preserving the postwar Western-inspired global order.
Having set the scene, VDH lists one damning indictment after another showing how America is the world’s George Bailey — with it, things go reasonably well; without it, as Obama’s antics have proven, the rot instantly sets in:
Of course, France used to ankle-bite the U.S. on its Mideast policy, with the assurance that in the end American interests were about the same as French interests — and were backed moreover by eleven carrier groups. But now France has learned that the U.S. really does trust the mendacious Iranian theocracy (soon to be “a very successful regional power”), and that it wants a deal to restore a failed Obama legacy far more than it worries that nuclear-tipped Iranian missiles might one day reach central Europe, or that a nuclear Sunni-Shiite rivalry might characterize a brave new Middle East. It was once easy for France, with its own volatile Muslim population, to poke fun at neo-cons and an Israel-centric U.S. policy; it is perhaps not so reassuring to appreciate that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are now considered by America as co-equals with or preferable to democratic, Western Israel.
Japan and South Korea more or less took for granted the American nuclear umbrella. Not now, in the present Pottersville dream. Japan is rearming — and wondering exactly how far American indifference extends. South Korea has no idea what the current administration would do in the case of Chinese or North Korean aggression other than issue a red line, a deadline, or a step-over line. In comparison with the Obama nonchalance, the old days of an engaged U.S. president no longer seem so bad.
Sadly, I don’t see a benevolent Clarence stepping in any time soon to save the day.
The hysterical Dem objection to OTC birth control
I happen to think that the The Pill is an extremely dangerous drug that should be withdrawn from the market. Even though this incredibly powerful hormone has been around for 50 years, there’s never been a coherent study about its true effects on women, especially young women. I happen to believe that if you give a still-growing adolescent this potent hormone cocktail, you will interfere in some way with her development. But the same Lefty wackos who worry about what happens to girls when they drink milk from cows treated with Bovine Growth Hormones are totally mellow about stuffing their daughters full of birth control pill hormones.
But, hey! That’s just me. The reality is that the Pill is here to stay. Given that reality, one would think that the Left would be thrilled about a proposed move in the Senate to make the pill an over-the-counter drug. That’s not what’s happening, though. The Left is absolutely horrified by this development, because it comes from (gasp!) Republicans. Dems may be venal, but they’re not stupid. They recognize that making the Pill an OTC drug that does not require an annual doctor’s appointment does a few things: it withdraws a huge source of funds from Planned Parenthood; it stops Obamacare from being used to attack faith-based businesses; and it makes Republicans look like they’re waging a war on behalf of women. S.E. Cupp has more.
Is the campus rape hysteria peaking?
Given that Mattress Girl — Emma Sulkowicz — has just starred in her first porn flick . . . er, pardon me, her first artistic x-rated look at rape or bad sex (not sure which), and given that her alleged rapist’s (and actual victim’s) lawsuit indicates that she’s a lying liar who tells lots of lies, I’m thinking that Sulkowciz is pretty much discredited amongst anyone but radical feminists and the insane (but I repeat myself) as the poster girl for campus rape.
Likewise, the sorry University of Virginia debacle, which involved another case of dishonest, insane, vicious third wave feminism run amok, would also seem like something that discredits the campus rape movement. In other words, perhaps the campus rape delusion, like any mad, popular delusion, will soon run its course and fade away.
Unfortunately, even as the warped acolytes of third wave feminism are blowing themselves up before our eyes, anti-male feminism still has arrows left in its quiver. The most effective may be a movie called The Hunting Ground, which purports to show American campuses as the equivalent of fish in the barrel for the happy-go-lucky rapist seeking targets. The Left, from the White House down, loves the movie. As Emily Yoffe (writing at Slate!) points out, though, this influential movie doesn’t have a close relationship to reality.
Please note: Read the article only if you want to depress yourself with further evidence that the Left has destroyed not only our culture, but our ability to reason and to separate truth from lies.
Feminists are eating their own
The only good news recently is that modern feminism has become so completely insane that any feminists who still have some fragile hold on reality are becoming victims of the more extreme practitioners of their belief system:
The revolution always eats its own. That’s the lesson from a recent essay by Northwestern University’s Laura Kipnis.
Two students were so offended by her article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on why banning romantic relationships between faculty and students was silly that they filed a Title IX complaint against her.
Yes, that’s right, legislation that was originally supposed to combat sexual discrimination in public education and athletics is now being used to silence professors who write essays that contradict progressive wisdom.
The charges against Kipnis were dropped over the weekend, but not before she submitted to what she referred to as her “Title IX Inquisition.”
Read more here.
Microagressing the Lefts’ macroaggressors
Incidentally, I think it’s time to target the Lefties’ “trigger” and “microaggression” claims with some of our own. For example, when I’m aiming for elegant writing, I use “he” or “him” as my pronoun of choice when speaking about people generally (e.g., “If you’re working with a new employee, and he makes a mistake, try to be patient with him.”) In more casual writing, I might use “s/he” or “him/her,” or some other awkward formulation — something regular readers have seen me play with at this blog — but that kind of writing can become monstrously lardy when I’m writing a persuasive legal brief. And I will never use the gender-hip term “ze.”
And why am I so averse to this kind of bastardized feminist English? Because my father, may he rest in peace, was the one who worked with me endlessly on my grammar and who passed on to me his almost reverential love for the English language. When I write English well, my father lives again through me.
So if a Lefty ever challenges my old-fashioned pronouns as microaggression, I’m going to one-up that Lefty, and accuse him (not “him/her,” not “her,” and certainly not “zem,” but “him”) of microaggression. That attack on my writing will be nothing more than an insult to my memories of my father and one, moreover, that forces me to relive the grief I experienced when my language mentor died.
Heck, if I really get into it, I can probably squeeze out a few tears. After all, in our modern world, the actor’s intent or the standards by which a reasonable person would act are meaningless; it’s all about each person’s “feelings” — and I have very strong feelings about the English language.
Giving criminals incentives
The Left has a really hard time understanding incentives and disincentives, at least when it comes to some people. Leftists definitely understand that, with people just like them (spoiled middle and working class Americans, plus a few bazillionaires), the normal rules apply: people will continue a behavior that gets rewarded and avoid a behavior that gets punished. When it comes to poor blacks trapped in Democrat-run urban hellholes, however, all the ordinary rules governing human behavior from time immemorial fly right out the window. For these poor souls, Leftists believe that you need to fund dysfunctional behavior and, especially, remove disincentives for bad behavior. (I need to modify that: Leftist leadership understands that they’re creating a permanent underclass that will reliably vote for Democrats; Leftist sheeple, dozens of whom populate my real-me Facebook feed, actually suffer from such cognitive dissonance that they really believe they’re “helping blacks” by rewarding or failing to punish bad behavior.)
One of the disincentives for bad behavior, of course, is to arrest and incarcerate black criminals — you know, those guys (mostly guys, but a swelling number of gals) who prey on fellow blacks in their own communities. For the past several months, Leftists have used the faked Ferguson event, along with a variety of other interactions between police and black men (some of which involve genuinely bad police behavior and some of which don’t), to ensure that America’s police are being penalized for policing.
Since police are rational beings, the disincentives they’re receiving for doing what used to be their job has seen more and more of them stop doing that job. And because poor, young, black criminals are infinitely more rational than the average racist, paternalistic Leftist will ever give them credit for being, the inevitable has happened: criminals are partying in the streets, and more and more ordinary, non-criminals blacks who are trying to get through their days, are being destroyed.
Fortunately, some black Americans are figuring out that they’re a pawn in a much larger power game. These blacks want to be the players, not the played. One of those free thinkers is Pastor Corey Brooks, from the South Side of Chicago, who has extended an open invitation to all Republican candidates to come to his church and, at the very least, inform Chicago’s blacks about the other political options available to them. Both the blacks and the Republicans should take Brooks up on his offer; otherwise, all that’s left is Hillary’s revolting pandering.
Sure, let’s all draw Mohamed
The DiploMad wrote last week about Pamela Geller’s push to have people draw Mohamed, not as a way of ridiculing Mohamed, but as a way of showing that we, in America, have the right to draw whatever the Hell we want, without being murdered for exercising our free speech rights. Given my reaction to the smug audience when I saw The Book of Mormon, I especially appreciated this point in the DiploMad’s post:
My view on holding “Draw Mohammed” contests?
Sure. Why not?
If you can have a Broadway play that mocks Mormons, an “artistic” exhibition called “Piss Christ,” and any number of other art, including paintings, literature, and movies criticizing or mocking Judeo-Christian symbols and values (Monty Python, anybody?) why should Muslims be exempt from criticism or mockery? Is Islam not a religion like the others as its followers claim? If we can’t have depictions of Mohammed, do we need to destroy ancient Mughal art which, of course, has depictions of Mohammed? ISIS would respond, yes, but this is America; ISIS doesn’t rule here, not yet anyways.
The martyrdom of George Zimmerman
Mike McDaniel is one of the best writers around, especially when it comes to guns. Whether he writes about guns themselves (he knows a lot) or the intersection of guns and Leftism, he always has something interesting to say. Take, for example, his article at The Truth About Guns looking at what George Zimmerman’s life has become and what that means for the rest of us who believe in our right to self defense:
George Zimmerman was in the news again recently when the famous Floridian “was involved in a shooting.” Which he was – in the same sense that Abraham Lincoln and JFK were involved in shootings. Zimmerman was the subject of an assassination attempt. Once again, the Florida native’s experiences offered a lesson to those of us who carry firearms: a defensive gun use can be a life-changing event that reverberates for one’s entire life, for both good and ill. Given Zimmernan’s re-emergence and the benefit of hindsight, here’s another look at that now famous but scandalously misinterpreted defensive gun use . . .
I urge you to read the whole thing.
With Obamacare, Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t
More and more people are beginning to realize that, even if the challenge to Obamacare in King v. Burwell succeeds, there’s a good chance that Republicans will lose. Why? Because the subsidies have kicked in, and people are always angry when someone takes away their government money. Neo-neocon writes about the bind in which Republicans find themselves, as well as the totally unrealistic expectations of the American people.
This seems like a good place to throw in the fact that, a lot of the voters getting the benefits and calling the shots in elections, aren’t even citizens. Yes, voter fraud is that widespread.
What if Iran goes nuclear — against itself?
As Obama plots to ensure that Iran becomes a fully nuclear nation, every sane, thinking person, is terribly worried for Israel. It turns out, though, that Iranians might want to be worried on their own behalf:
Iran is an ethnically, religiously and tribally torn country, just like Iraq and Syria, and maybe even more. It has no majority ethnic group, and the Persians, because of the negative birthrate, have already become a minority, although they are the largest minority among all other minorities, 24%. The others are Azeris, Balochs (Sunnis), Tajiks (Sunni), Lurs, Turkmens (Sunnis), Kurds (mostly Sunnis), Arabs (Sunnis) and others.
[A] breakup and a Sunni-Shiite ethnic war and a war between different ethnic minorities is only a matter of time in Iran. The ground is already on fire, and there are constant conflicts between the Balochs and Ahwazi Arabs and the regime, which is oppressing them with an iron fist.
The only thing that is still keeping this huge disintegrating country together is the fear of the void that may be created instead of the hated regime. They are afraid to become Syria, but when the ethnic and religious impulses rage, that can no longer be stopped. That’s why it’s important for Iran to divert the attention to Israel – in order to hide this destructive internal hostility.
Imagine Iran falling apart like Syria, Iraq, Libya or Yemen in a civil war with armed militias and nuclear facilities all over the area – what a danger of mass destruction that will be. It doesn’t have to be ready bombs. With radioactive materials one can prepare “dirty nuclear bombs” or other means of horror, and we already know that there is no mercy between the Sunnis and the Shiites – they just don’t have a nuclear weapon yet.
I’m not religious, and I’m not Christian, but I believe there’s no doubt that, if there were an Antichrist, a lot of his actions might look like Obama’s.