The Bookworm Beat 9-1-15 — the “doggone it days of summer” edition and open thread *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265There’s no rain in sight for the next fifteen days, but with August at an end and September beginning, this still feels like the last of the summer to me. Even as summer ends, though, the crazy goes on, and I’ve got the links to prove it (and many thanks to a friend who wishes to remain anonymous for his help assembling some of these links):

Not that the Left will listen to Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney is weighing in on the Iran “Deal,” saying the obvious, that it makes war more, not less, likely.  Unstated is the 1930’s lesson, that the costs of waiting for war until Iran is far better armed and has nuclear weapons will make the cost in blood and gold rise exponentially.

Hillary reduced to name calling and insults

James Taranto’s BOTW today is a great one analyzing Hildabeast’s decision to begin making outlandish accusations and allusions to terrorists and Nazis.  She is flailing:

“Terrorist groups” and “boxcars” do not appear to be mere gaffes. If you watch the videos of Mrs. Clinton’s comments, you will note that both inflammatory utterances are preceded by pregnant pauses, suggesting that she chose the words deliberately—that her intent was to inflame. Why?


Is the ugly rhetoric really necessary? Maybe so. In an interview with the Register, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon offers this explanation for the Sanders surge: “Voters right now are flocking to the angry, authentic outsiders and moving away from the cautious or calculating establishment insiders.” (One might add that also describes Trump and the Republicans.) Mrs. Clinton is no outsider and will never be described as authentic, so she has to try extra hard to appeal to anger.

And it’s nothing new for her. When Bill Clinton was president, Mrs. Clinton played Agnew to his Nixon. She, not he, blamed his sex scandals on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Until last week, her campaign rhetoric had been decidedly bland, and it’s hardly surprising she’d feel the need to spice it up. But as Jonathan Haidt observes in “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion”: “You can’t have a cuisine . . . based primarily on bitter tastes.”

Higher education continues to sink ever lower

This from Elizabeth Foley at Instapundit on the latest from a college that needs to be burned to the ground and the earth salted:

THEY OUGHT TO BE FIRED: It’s back to school time, and progressive professors at Washington State University are gearing up to suppress speech they personally find “offensive,” such as saying “illegal alien,” using the terms “male” or “female,” or failing to “defer” to the “experiences of people of color”:

In his “Introduction to Multicultural Literature,” for example, professor John Streamas informs students in his syllabus that he expects white students who want “to do well in this class” to “reflect” their “grasp of history and social relations” by “deferring to the experiences of people of color.”

The taxpayer-funded critical studies professor also writes in his syllabus that Glenn Beck is a member of a group of “insensitive whites.”

Streamas, who obtained his Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University, is most notable because he told a student who supports limits on illegal immigration: “You are just a white shitbag.” . . .

A second Washington State faculty member, Selena Lester Breikss, warns students in her “Women & Popular Culture” course this semester that they risk “failure for the semester” if they use the terms “male” or “female.” . . .

The Associated Press stylebook is purely an advisory publication for professional journalists. It has no force of law whatsoever. . . . Public university students who dare to use the phrase “illegal alien” “will suffer a deduction of one point per incident,” Fowler warns.

Apparently these sensitive little snowflake professors cannot tolerate any disagreement. For their failure to tolerate a diversity of views and engage in actual teaching (rather than proselytizing), they should be terminated for “cause.” Parents and students should avoid this university at all costs, unless/until the University’s administration takes appropriate disciplinary action to ensure that all viewpoints are welcomed, even those that are “offensive.” It’s called “free speech,” and yes, it protects offensive speech, too.

And someone at Univ. of Tenn. is pushing that same nonsense.

The actual roots of mass murder (and it’s not about gun control)

Charles Krauthammer wrote such an intelligent column about mass murder that even some of my Leftist friends gave it a like.  Although Krauthammer seems to support gun control in principle (something I oppose), he points out that it doesn’t work.  Most importantly, though, the real problem is that, since the 1970s, we’ve let crazy people roam the streets:

Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty hasdeclined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyonearound Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated.

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

And speaking of ineffective gun control

The geniuses at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab probably put in a lot of work to reach a conclusion that most sensible people already reached within seconds of thinking about the problem — criminals don’t go through the background check process when they get their guns:

A recent study that was conducted by the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab has learned that Chicago criminals do not acquire their guns from gun shops, gun shows or the internet.

The study examined and interviewed inmates in Chicago’s Cook County Jail who are either facing current gun charges, or have a background consisting of firearms related convictions.

The study learned that virtually zero criminals have ever used the internet or gun shows, because that method is easily traceable. It’s much safer for a criminal to acquire firearms on the streets where they’re harder to keep track of, and that’s most criminals method of choice.

Moreover, criminals have also figured out what mush-minded Progressives seem incapable of accepting which is that, in a shootout, if you’re the one without the gun, you’re also the one who’s dead:

Furthermore, University of Chicago Crime lab co-director, Harold Pollack, said that criminals “were less concerned about getting caught by the cops than being put in the position of not having a gun to defend themselves and then getting shot.”

The same holds true in Europe, which has gun laws even more restrictive than those in Chicago:

Black markets thrive where legal availability is restricted or forbidden. “The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms,” French police union official Philippe Capon told Bloomberg back in January. “They are everywhere in France.”

“According to the French Interior Ministry drug dealers and terrorists have been acquiring these weapon in increasing numbers,” The Independent reported after the recent incident.

In fact, off-the-books weapons are so pervasive throughout Western Europe that they render irrelevant the official gun ownership figures relied on by most of the folks tut-tutting over America’s crime rate and widespread civilian gun ownership. “The US is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations,” Vox recently insisted.

 Maybe. In reality, “[t]he research community has been unable to reach a consensus as to whether a relationship between guns and crime exist,” Xavier University’s Matthew Lang, assistant professor of economics, wrote in 2013. Lang also acknowledged that U.S. gun sales have soared since 2007 even as crime has decreased.

Why the Left likes gun control

As many have said before, gun control isn’t about controlling guns at all.  It’s about transferring all weapons to the government and then using that unilateral power to control people.  The problems really start when you get genocidal megalomanics in power, something that happens all too often in statist societies that don’t diffuse power amongst the people.  I don’t vouch for the precise accuracy of the facts stated in the email I received below (specific years or mortality rates), but I do vouch for the general accuracy, since it comports well with facts with which I am familiar:

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control:

From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control:

From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938:

From 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935: From 1948 to

1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Guatemala established gun control in 1964:

From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970:

From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956:

From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
56 million defenseless people were rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control.

You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

With guns, we are ‘citizens’; without them, we are ‘subjects’.

During WW II, the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

Gun owners in the USA are the largest armed forces in the World!

If you value your freedom, please spread this anti-gun control message to all of your friends.

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense.

The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either.

Or, as Stefan Molyneux explains:

Gun control is really government control

Ann Coulter still has something to say about illegal immigration

I get that Ann Coulter appreciates that Donald Trump is making sense about the Obama administration’s refusal to enforce American immigration laws. And I get that she appreciates that The Donald isn’t playing the media’s game and refuses to be politically correct. Heck, I appreciate those things too. Other than that, though, I’m not a fan of the Donald, who seems to have thought very little about American policy and politics other than to the extent they aided him in going from millionaire to billionaire status. It makes me wonder, therefore, about Ann’s total head-over-heels love for the Donald. What’s with that, Ann?

That love affair, though, doesn’t mean that when Coulter sits down to write a serious book, she’s lost her edge. My friend Patrick O’Hannigan has a review of her latest book, Adios, America. His conclusion . . . well, I’m not going to tell you beyond saying that he thinks the book is worthwhile. Other than that, check out his review which is, as is always the case with Patrick’s writing, thoughtful and interesting.

No, marijuana is not safe

One of the biggest laws the marijuana lobby foisted on America, especially on America’s young people, is that marijuana is “safe.” That might have been the case once upon a time when it was weaker than it is now or when people lit up on the weekend, but it’s not the case when people are constantly inhaling incredibly potent variations on the marijuana theme.

Several young people I know have become terribly, terribly ill because of their marijuana use. Their illness is now so common, it has a name — cannabinoid hypermesis syndrome — and it’s not pretty:

A bizarre syndrome that makes heavy cannabis users violently ill and leads them to take frequent hot baths to ease the pain has been reported by doctors.

Symptoms of the illness include severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting – and bathing in very hot water up to five times a day for relief.

At least two cases of the syndrome which involve multiple visits to accident and emergency have been reported in the UK and worldwide the conditions is ‘increasing acutely’.

But doctors in the UK warn that the failure to recognise CHS is likely to be draining hospital resources as it is being wrongly diagnosed.

I’d heard about the syndrome some time ago from doctor friends of mine. It’s interesting to see it hit the mainstream.

Yet another Leftist apocalyptic prediction is wrong

It was just a few years ago that NPR was running radio spots warning us that we’re all going to die because bees are dying off, which will destroy the world’s food crops. It turns out that the end-of-days hysteria was premature. In the US at least, bees are doing just fine:

You’ve heard the news about honeybees. “Beepocalypse,” they’ve called it.Beemageddon. America’s honeybees are dying, putting honey production and$15 billion worth of pollinated food crops in jeopardy.

The situation has become so dire that earlier this year the White House put forth the first National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, a 64-page policy framework for saving the nation’s bees, butterflies and other pollinating animals.

The trouble all began in 2006 or so, when beekeepers first began noticing mysterious die-offs. It was soon christened “colony collapse disorder,” and has been responsible for the loss of 20 to 40 percent of managed honeybee colonies each winter over the past decade.

The math says that if you lose 30 percent of your bee colonies every year for a few years, you rapidly end up with close to 0 colonies left. But get a load of this data on the number of active bee colonies in the U.S. since 1987. Pay particular attention to the period after 2006, when CCD was first documented.

[chart in original]

As you can see, the number of honeybee colonies has actually risen since 2006, from 2.4 million to 2.7 million in 2014, according to data tracked by the USDA. The 2014 numbers, which came out earlier this year, show that the number of managed colonies — that is, commercial honey-producing bee colonies managed by human beekeepers — is now the highest it’s been in 20 years.

So if CCD is wiping out close to a third of all honeybee colonies a year, how are their numbers rising? One word: Beekeepers.

UPDATE:  Zombie sent me a link that I couldn’t keep myself from passing on to you:  It’s about the latest “Up Your Alley Fair” in San Francisco, an annual street fair of extreme perversion — except this year, the perversion’s taken on, dare I say it?, a cuter cast.  THIS LINK IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK.  UNLESS YOU WORK IN A PORN SHOP, YOU’LL PROBABLY BE FIRED IF IT SHOWS UP ON YOUR WORK STATION COMPUTER.  Having said that, given that we’re in America’s LGBTQ decade, there’s a certain virtue to understanding the activities that a sizable subsection of the gay world engage in.