The Bookworm Beat 11-29-15 — the “tidy office-tidy mind” edition
Inspired by Marie Kondo’s advice that true organization begins with throwing out everything that is neither useful nor sentimental, I am continuing to plow through every nook and cranny in my house. This is the first organization system that’s made sense to me, which is why I haven’t already given up and relapsed into my usual vaguely tidy-looking mess. My mind is also a vaguely tidy-looking mess, but it’s still yielded these interesting links:
Ignore people who tell you Cruz is divisive and uncooperative
According to those rooting for candidates other than Ted Cruz, he’s an arrogant blowhard who won’t play well with others. In fact, Cruz’s work history proves that the opposite is true:
At the FTC, Cruz’s agenda could have been written by Milton Friedman.
Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers. Based on his early support of disruptive online companies, Cruz has some grounds to call himself the “Uber of American politics.”
Moreover, and perhaps surprising to some, Cruz sought and secured a broad, bipartisan consensus for his agenda. Almost all of Cruz’s initiatives received unanimous support among both Republicans and Democrats.
Ted Cruz a consensus-builder? He was, at the FTC.
Read the rest here. Cruz has the chops to make the best kind of President: True conservative values, love for America, phenomenal intelligence, and the ability to work and play well with others.
Paris is not George Bush’s fault
Progressives will never look to their own conduct when things go wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault. Case in point: the instant urge to blame George Bush for ISIS and what ISIS has wrought, especially in Paris. David French explains why (as always) Lefties are wrong. Aside from the fact that the Surge worked, demoralizing the Islamic terrorists, who would almost certainly have been pacified if we’d left a force behind, the basic fact remains that Jihad is embedded in Islam. Muslims have been attacking the West for centuries and America for decades.
Incidentally, if Obama knew anything about history, he might have been aware of another situation in which the occupying force was withdrawn too soon, leading to decades of misery. I speak, of course, of the American South. Reconstruction was actually going very well. Had Washington D.C. left a strong union presence in the South, the agony of the Jim Crow era, and the resulting racial pain, might have been completely avoided. History also shows that, when America did leave an occupying force, as in Germany, South Korea, or Japan, those nations recovered well from their bad behavior and stood tall as successful, democratic nations.
Syrians are not the same as Jews escaping from Nazis
We’ve said it before, and Jonathan Tobin says it again:
More specifically, no faction of the Jewish people had declared themselves at war with the U.S. and its way of life. To the contrary, their plight illustrated the stark differences between the democracies and their Nazi/fascist adversaries. While most of the refugees may be innocent victims of the war, a significant portion of their population is openly hostile to the U.S. and sympathetic to some of the same forces that are carrying out atrocities. It is only sensible that the U.S. strengthen its clearly inadequate vetting procedures before proceeding to let more Syrian refugees in.
Let’s also understand that while the refusal of the West to provide a haven for Jews was a significant factor in the death of millions, what’s going on now is nothing like that. The refugees are suffering but what they need is for the civil war to be ended so they can go home, not a mass exit to the West. The U.S. offer to let in tens of thousands is just a token gesture, not a meaningful effort to solve a problem that President Obama helped create.
The Muslim world needs to clean its own house. It is not inhumane for the West to refuse to relocate vast swaths of the Muslim Middle East — complete with all their misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-Western pathologies — right into the heart of the West.
But what other cheerleading can you expect from a media and political class that insist on pretending that, in Israel, the Jews are evil land-stealers and the Palestinians are merely innocent victims trying to get their homeland back?
Self-identified “good” Muslims have no shame
Have you noticed on your Facebook feed scads of American or European Muslims expressing outrage that they’re being treated badly by the West? “I’m not a terrorist,” they declare, “and you need to be ashamed of yourself for implying that I am.” You know what’s missing from all of these smug statements of personal innocence? Any shame whatsoever about their fellow Muslims’ acts, and any promise not only to continue to behave honorably themselves, but also to stand against radical Islam. David Suissa noticed this too:
If it were Jews who had massacred people in Paris last Friday night, I would be drowning in shame right now. I would be writing about that shame. I would be shaming my murderous Jewish brethren for dishonoring my religion and dragging me down in their gutter of darkness.
Here’s what I would not do: I wouldn’t defend Judaism as a “religion of peace.”
Maybe it’s a Jewish thing. Maybe it’s that old saying that Jews are responsible for one another. Whatever it is, when Baruch Goldstein murdered innocent Muslims many years ago, Jews didn’t stand up to defend Judaism. We condemned the act, certainly, but we also hung our heads in shame at the horror committed in our name.
Many of us asked: Where did we go wrong?
Jews have been asking that question, in fact, for millennia: Where did we go wrong? What can we do better? The holiest day of the Jewish year is devoted precisely to that task, not just personally but communally. We lay bare our flaws, our weaknesses and our sins—because that’s the only way to improve.
I thought about that when I read statements from Muslim organizations in response to the Paris massacres.
There was plenty of condemnation, but no self-criticism. Essentially, the message was, “This is not Islam.”
I’m not interested in self-righteous declarations of innocence. I care a great deal more about scathing denunciations of Muslim terrorists and promises from these smug Western Muslims to work actively with the West in order to prevent further terrorist attacks and to back Islam into a corner so that it must reform or die on the vine.
Israel is not the Arab world’s enemy
A Kuwaiti newspaper unexpectedly published an opinion piece pointing out that the ills in the Muslim world are not because of Jews. Jews are not the enemy the author points out (although, sadly, he still accepts the Palestinian position as legitimate, which it is not):
After seven whole decades, as Arabs, who is our real enemy today? Do all Arab states have only one enemy or each country or group of countries have an enemy who might most probably be a dear friend of another? The first step towards reform in the Arab world is to alienate the Arab nationalism concepts because facts deny them and those who believe they still exist are delusional.
Take Kuwait, for an example. Is Israel a real enemy of it? Has it ever invaded it? Has it fought it? Has it killed its citizens? The answer to all the above questions is a big fat NO. Why does Kuwait consider Israel as an enemy while it deals with Iraq, that already invaded and occupied it, as a friend, brother and neighbor? I do not wish that Kuwait antagonizes Iraq. On the contrary, it made the right decision because animosity is constantly changeable, particularly in politics where yesterday’s enemy can be today’s friend and today’s friend might become tomorrow’s enemy. This is a real fact.
Antisemitism at the UC campuses
Is there something about institutions that begin with “U”, such as the UN or the UC campuses, that predisposes them to antisemitism? The UN has been overtly antisemitic for decades now, but only recently has the UC system started being unashamed about the antisemitism that’s infected it for as long as I can remember. Even in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was at Cal, the antisemitism was there amongst both students and faculty, only it lurked in the shadows, rather than strutting around openly in the sunlight. By the 1990s, UC Irvine was a famous hotbed of antisemitism, a scourge that’s spread to all the UC campuses. The most recent outbreak was at UC Santa Cruz. Daniel Bernstein was on the receiving end of this antisemitism, and he wrote a Facebook post about his experience that deserves wide dissemination:
About two days ago, I received a Facebook message from someone I won’t name, instructing me to abstain from the vote about the divestment issue because I am the Vice President of the Jewish Student Union. Furthermore, I was told that members from the Stevenson College Council were concerned that I would be biased because I was elected with a “Jewish agenda,” as if my involvement in and passion for the wellbeing of the Jewish community, MY COMMUNITY, is something that I should be ashamed of, and something that will hold me back from representing my constituents fairly in the greater student assembly.
The implication that I, as a Jewish student and leader in the Jewish community, should not be allowed to vote on an issue that so deeply impacts the Jewish community, and that I should abstain because I cannot be trusted due to an alleged, “Jewish agenda,” echoes the racism Jews have faced all over the world throughout our history. I wish that me being subjected to anti-Semitism was a shocking new occurrence. But the truth is that I’m not shocked. I’m not shocked because this hatred and ignorance has followed me everywhere. I’m not shocked because Jewish students have been targeted with this vile racism all over the UC system for years, and especially since BDS became a major issue of discussion. Anti-Semitism today may not be the same as it was in the 1930s. But it has clearly evolved to become an inseparable part of campus politics right here at UC Santa Cruz and across the UC system.
This was evident when Rachel Beyda, at UCLA, was denied a position on the Judicial board because of her identity as a Jew, it was evident when my fellow AEPi brothers had swastikas painted on their house in Davis, and now I have had a firsthand experience that this volatile bile of racism is evident at UCSC.
Read the rest here.
I’ve been very clear on the subject since 1983: the UC campuses need to be burned to the ground and the soil sown with salt so that they can never rise again — or, at least, that’s what needs to be done to all departments but for the hard core science departments, and even they need a good purge insofar as they support the utterly corrupt “anthropogenic climate change” doctrine. What little good these institutions do is far outweighed by the moral and political corruption that be-slimes each campus.
It’s only “terrorism” when non-Muslims do it
Conservatives have noticed for a long time the Left’s refusal to mention the words “terrorism” or “Islam” when people professing the Muslim faith and hollering out the words “Allahu Akbar” slay non-Muslims by the tens and hundreds. This is true whether the murderers act as individuals, in little groups, or as part of large teams. It’s not Muslim Terrorism, it’s just the act of a few crazies.
The situation is entirely different when one manifestly crazy man, who has a long criminal history, who self-identifies as a woman, who’s a political independent, and who’s never mentioned a word about being pro-Life, takes it into his head to go hunting people. Then it’s terrorism:
The governor of Colorado, where a gunman killed three people and wounded nine others in a rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic last week, called the shooting a “form of terrorism” on Sunday and said that the country needed to ask why such shootings were happening so frequently.
I really hate the Left. They are the living embodiment of Orwell’s Big Brother, constantly perverting reality and truth.
Ted Cruz’s foreign policy adviser takes the long view of history
Garth Kant is a good friend to this blog. He’s also a writer at WND, where he recently penned a fascinating profile of Victoria Coates, who is Ted Cruz’s foreign policy adviser. Her background in art history also means that she has a solid background in Western history — she understands the West’s values and the ongoing war that Islam has waged against the West. Don’t get fooled into thinking, though, that Coates is a fuzzy magical thinking academic who views the world as a big painting. In fact, her incisive analysis is what elevated her out of the Ivy Tower and into politics:
One could call it providential serendipity, or one could say Coates is somewhat of an accidental foreign-policy expert, analyst and adviser.
Frustrated with liberal conformity as a professor in the academic ivory tower, the fine arts scholar vented by analyzing politics anonymously on the Red State website under the name “Academic Elephant,” and that turned into a second career.
As recounted in a recent profile in National Journal, a Coates blog post that “systematically dismantled” Bob Woodward’s book on the Bush White House, “State of Denial,” caught the eye of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who recruited her to spend four years helping write his 800-page autobiography, “Known and Unknown.”
From there she became foreign policy adviser to 2012 presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, and now serves Cruz in that capacity. A former Rumsfeld colleague called her “the most interesting Capitol Hill staffer” and “definitely not a neoconservative” but someone with a “well-informed peace-through-strength worldview.”
Her book, “David’s Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art”, due out on Oct. 27, combines her two specialties as a look at how “the societies that have made the greatest contributions to the spread of freedom have created iconic works of art to celebrate their achievements.”
I would love to meet Prof. Coates some day. She sounds like a delightful and fascinating person.
Kids who are half black are also half something else
I’ve long pointed out that Obama isn’t our first black president. Instead, he is our first black and white president. Genetically, he is split right down the middle between Caucasian and African genes. What I never expected, though, was to find that same sentiment coming from people who aren’t conservative, but who still fully understand that the Leftist insistence on calling black anyone who has a drop of black blood is exactly the same as the old slavery and Jim Crow formulation:
Taye Diggs is talking about something that has always boggled my mind: why we call biracial people (namely, Americans who have both black and white parents) black.
I’ve always wondered why we black Americans accepted that one-drop rule created by segregationist white Americans during chattel slavery: the rule that said that people who are born from black and white parents are black, and not black and white.
It was a rule created by slaver white Americans who didn’t want to contend with the mixed-race babies born out of rape (in part because they wanted to preserve the “sanctity” of the white race). They gave America this allergy towards allowing biracial people to think of themselves as biracial. It’s high time we revisit that one-drop rule. Diggs’ comments present a great opportunity.
He’s been on a press tour promoting his children’s book, Mixed Me, which talks about the experiences of mixed-race children, since his son is biracial.
Read more here.
Scientific consensus is never wrong — except when it’s super-duper wrong
The writer pays lip service to climate change’s validity, and then reams the scientific community a new one for refusing to be receptive to, you know, actual science. It’s an excellent article and one that deserves to be shared. I’ve done so on my real me Facebook. In order to ensure that my Progressive friends read the article, I told them it was a fascinating read about how the continental drift theory came to be accepted.
My hope is that my friends take the lessons learned from reading that article and begin to apply them to other subjects…. I know some of you think a mind cannot change, but mine did, as well as the minds of some of our best conservative bloggers and thinkers.
High schools prepare students for their dumbing down in college
Jonathan Haidt makes a good point, which is that American students, by the time they arrive at college, have already been exposed to hard core Leftism. White males are denigrated and disparaged. They’ve already been trained to stay in the dog house, and everyone else has been trained to be arrogant, self-centered, whiny, and demanding.
Insights into the Laquan McDonald case in Chicago
I’ve steered clear writing about the Laquan McDonald case in Chicago because I’m really not familiar with the facts. I know that the video of the event was held until after Rahm Emanuel’s election, and I know that this story comes out of yet another Democrat-run city. For some time now, while everyone else has been focusing on the police, I’ve noticed that all, or at least a majority of, these “blue on black killings” have taken place in Democrat-owned cities. That fact is much more interesting to me than the details of any given killing.
Anyway, if you’re interested in a more thoughtful analysis of the McDonald matter, please check out Mike McDaniel’s post about it. As a current high school teacher and a former policeman, he is perfectly situated to understand the intersection of law enforcement and out-of-control young people.