The Bookworm Beat 9-25-15 — the “bon voyage, Boehner” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”

I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.

Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.

I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.

And now to a few things that caught my eye:

If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill

I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.

Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.

But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people.  If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.

The thing is, though, that a corporate personhood designation is intended to protect the shareholders by protecting corporations from government overreach. The designation has a legal meaning.

In Jenner’s case, however, the legal system is simply supporting a man’s delusional behavior. Jenner’s children are now the miraculous offspring of a two-woman sexual union resulting in Chris’s being impregnated by Ms. Jenner’s female sperm.

A society that cannot traffic in the truth, but allows itself to become hostage to people’s monomania and delusions is a society that’s in trouble.

By the way, please do not think that I wish Jenner ill. In a free society, you should be able to live your life as you please, provided that your behavior isn’t injuring others. (This is separate, of course, from the vehicular manslaughter charge against Jenner, related to an accident in which he actually killed someone.)

But here there is an injury and it’s one that we, as a society, commit against ourselves by willfully and knowingly buying into delusional behavior.  Next thing you know, we puny humans will start to believe that we can control the atmosphere around us, cooling and baking the earth at will — never mind a historical record showing that the earth has done this for itself for billions of years without any help from us.

When even developing film is a racist act

The people at Upworthy, a Leftist site popular amongst my Facebook friends, have a new cri de coeur: Camera film development is racist!!! You see, in the early years, when the vast majority of Americans taking and developing pictures were white, Kodak used light skin as the standard by which to measure film development, and it did so even when the development took place outside of America!

This racist conduct meant that the features of darker-skinned people disappeared into even more darkness when the film was developed. Certainly, this was unfair to generations of darker-skinned people did not get a fair shake at having their features preserved for posterity.

In our modern age, companies are creating better standards for developing skin colors in photographs but the Left won’t let go.  They have erred again.  The top picture in the due below, which demonstrates human flesh next to black, white, and shades of gray, is acceptable.  Ah, but the bottom picture, which establishes developing standards when multiple colors are next to a variety of skin colors is eeeevil:

Cultural approrpiation wrong again

Apparently cultural appropriation is wrong even if you apply the right culture to the right genetic heritage because . . . well, because I have no idea. It’s just wrong. Got that?

U.S. Holocaust museum celebrates radical Islamists as new Nazi victims

When I went to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, while I was deeply moved by the annex itself, and appreciated how beautifully it had been restored and was presented, I had a big problem with the museum’s approach to the unique genocide that was the Holocaust — in an act of moral relativism, it blended it in with all the other slights people suffer in our victim led age:

Anne Frank’s house has become a thriving industry since I saw it in 1980. The remodel is splendid in that it channels traffic skillfully so that every visitor gets a chance to walk through the Secret Annex. (Buy tickets online if you go there. The crowds waiting to get in are horrific.) The museum around the house focuses in tightly on Ann, her family, and her friends. It makes the Holocaust very personal but, by doing so, fails utterly to educate people about the Holocaust or fascism.

At the end if the museum, there’s a room with very short videos, many of which are about special interest demands against a greater European culture that is not bowing to their dressing, immigration, or marriage requirements. The videos begin by focusing on a fictional young person with needs, and then, having personalized that need, gives a brief, shallow, fairly even-handed look at the issue, whether it’s veils in schools, forcing Christian civil servants to perform gay marriages, or allowing people to serve in the military while wearing religious garb.

Having started each video with the personalization, everyone knows what they’re supposed to think. None of the videos delves into the deeper issues. For example, are the veil-wearing girls embracing Dutch culture, or undermining it? (E.g., are they fifth columnists, like Maj. Hasan, or multicultural patriots?) If the veil is a symbol of religious faith, that’s one thing. If it represents the thin edge if the wedge for sharia, it’s another. By simplifying and personalizing the matter, the Anne Frank museum manages to say that a country’s desire to protect certain laudable institutions against a self-professed form of religious fascism is tantamount to Nazis killing Anne Frank.

I watched about ten or twelve videos, and the only nod to antisemitism was in the video about Holocaust Denial on YouTube.

The U.S. Holocaust Museum has gone a step further than downgrading genocidal antisemitism to a whole lot of nothing. It now identifies those who promote genocidal antisemitism as victims who need support from the U.S. Holocaust Museum:

Now the Holocaust Memorial Museum has rolled out an “Early Warning Project” to warn of the risk of mass killings and genocide.

According to the “Project,” Israel is not at risk of genocide. Its risk assessment is lower than the UK or Panama. If another Holocaust happens, it’s more likely to take place in London or Brazil. (But the EWP also claims that America and New Zealand are at a higher risk of mass killings than Cuba even though the Castro regime, unlike New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, actually engaged in mass killings.)

Despite the constant threats to destroy the Jewish State, Iran is also rated at low risk. Instead the Holocaust Museum claims that the real threat of genocide is in Egypt which is “experiencing a mass killing episode perpetrated by the current regime against the Muslim Brotherhood and oppositionists.”

Jews don’t face genocide in the Middle East. The Nazi-influenced Muslim Brotherhood does. Muslim Nazis are the real victims of a new Holocaust.

The Muslim Brotherhood was allied with Hitler. It distributed Arabic translations of Mein Kampf. Hitler’s Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who headed the Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliate in Israel, had personally met with Hitler, encouraged the extermination of the Jews and visited the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

The Mufti had preached genocide, encouraging Muslims to “get rid of this dirty race… Kill the Jews, burn their property, destroy their stores” making him one of the earlier promoters of BDS.

A Bernie poster raises a question about fetal rights

My Progressive friends on Facebook keep putting up these posters:

Bernie on abortion

Bernie’s phrasing, though, leaves me with a question: It’s all well and good that the women are able to control their bodies, but who is controlling and protecting the little bodies within them?

Bodies such as this one:

A Utah woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a cruise ship months before her due date said she wrapped towels around the 1 1/2-pound boy and kept him alive with the help of medical staff until the ship reached port.

And how can AP report this saved life as a miracle on the one hand while, on the other hand, pushing hard for women to have unlimited rights to terminate this same small life?

Let me reiterate:  As with the majority of Americans, I have a somewhat nuanced approach to abortion.  What I can no longer tolerate is the Leftist death cult.  It is driving me willy-nilly into the pro-Life column.

Comrade Pope

Writing in the context of the Pope’s shout out to Dorothy Day, a well-known Catholic Communist who enjoyed palling around with dictators, Mona Charen has written an excellent column about Comrade Pope Francis’ own ignorance about economic reality.

I’m genuinely disliking this Pope. A Leftist friend raved about him, claiming that he reminds her of the Dalai Lama, a man I consider profoundly stupid. Why am I so down on the Lama? Because despite the Chinese Communist depredations against his land, he freely admits to being a communist. To me, that’s a Jew in Dachau boasting about his allegiance to the Nazi party (“Don’t be stupid, be a smartie; come and join the Nazi Party.”)

If I had to sum up Pope Francis in a sentence, I would say that, judging by his painfully platitudinous utterances and his economic and scientific ignorance, he has the emotional depth of a Hallmark card and the wisdom of the fortune you find in a cookie.

But perhaps there’s more to Comrade Pope.  In a remarkably funny post, Eye of the Tiber suggests that, every time Frances mentions climate change, he’s speaking in code about abortion.

Mark Steyn smacks down the West’s palace guard

You may already have read Mark Steyn’s palace guard smack down after Donald Trump did not castigate an audience member for saying Obama is a Muslim, because it was nominated for the Watcher’s Council.  But if you didn’t read it — READ IT!!!  Here are just a few ripostes we all wish an intelligent conservative in politics or the media would state in real time:

1) Unlike Hillary Clinton’s under-attended “rallies”, a voter doesn’t have to undergo a background check or sign a piece of paper pledging to support her in the election before being permitted into a Republican candidate’s presence. So at our campaign events there are all kinds of people with all kinds of views – and it goes without saying I won’t agree with them all. If you find that odd, maybe you’ve been covering Hillary too long.

2) Why does one Republican candidate’s “scandal” get hung around the neck of every other guy’s? I’ll answer your question to me about Donald Trump’s ‘gaffe’ after you ask Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee and Joe Biden about Hillary Clinton’s server and how she handled Benghazi. Till then, get lost.

3) In the normal course of events, the President – who is supposed to serve as president of all the people, not just the half of the country that voted for him – should command a certain respect. But this particular president has compared the members of the loyal opposition to terrorists and to the more hardcore Iranian ayatollahs. And none of you media bigfeet huffing and puffing about lèse-majesté gave a crap about that. So, if you’ll forgive me, as someone designated a terrorist and ayatollah by Obama, I’m disinclined to rise to defend the President’s amour propre. Go hector someone else.

4) As to respect for the office, the President is so respectful of the papacy that his White House reception for Pope Francis will be filled with gay bishops, transgender activists and pro-abortion nuns. Apparently His Holiness is expected to have a thicker skin about dissenting voices than King Barack.

Read the rest here.

Jonah Goldberg on the endless VA scandals

I know that Jonah Goldberg lost fans when he came out against Trump. Because I find Trump’s refusal to bow to political correctness meritorious, but still consider him too self-involved, arbitrary, capricious, thin-skinned, and uninformed to attract me as a voter, I was not one of those lost to Goldberg.

Moreover, reading Goldberg about the VA’s endless failures, I was reminded why I find him such an appealing political writer:

One of the chief reasons so many people are angry at Washington right now is that government has become detached from democratic accountability. Obamacare really isn’t a piece of health-care legislation, it’s a huge permission slip for bureaucrats to design a system as they see fit. The same goes for large swaths of the federal government. Congress doesn’t make many decisions about environmental regulations; the EPA does. Moreover, the EPA makes decisions that no Congress would ever approve if the decisions were left to the elected officials. Congress likes it that way, because the politicians would rather complain about bad decisions than take responsibility for tough ones. That’s not how America is supposed to work. We elect politicians to make decisions. If they make bad ones, we get to fire them come Election Day. The growth of the federal bureaucracy is really a protection racket. It insulates both the bureaucrats and elected officials from the voters they’re supposed to work for.

A friend of mine would go further and say that the administrative government isn’t just a protection racket, it’s a money laundering protection racket that funnels taxpayer money into Democrat coffers through crony capitalism (or, as I call it, crony fascism) and government unions.

Muslim privilege

Why are Muslims in America allowed to get away with discrimination? They are neither prosecuted criminally or castigated socially.

 A little music to start your weekend