The Bookworm Beat 1/19/16 — the speed round-up and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Another day, another incredible collection of articles I think you’ll like, all of which I’ve tried to present in a way that’s both interesting and brief.

Yet another government lie. Is everything we think we know about the cost of living data false? And worse, is the actual cost of living increase we’re facing in the double digits in many cities? The Chapman Index says we’re the victims of a sustained lie hiding how much less our money buys.  In other words, inflation is much worse than you realize.

Rank and file Marines horrified by Obama orders. Actual Marines, not people who just pretend to be military experts for the sake of advancing the Obama administrations social re-engineering goals, are appalled by the demand that the Marines feminize everything, including the word “rifleman.” Incidentally, I found this link on the Facebook feed of a young Marine friend who raised in Progressive Marin. He noted that nothing can re-engineer the fact that, at a basic biological level, women aren’t as strong as men — and no amount of gender illusions will change that reality.

Conservative voters like Cruz. GOP establishment figures have always hated Ted Cruz, which I think is because he’s made them look like what they are — liars who told the voters one thing and then voted with Obama on just about everything. Now that the Republican primary is narrowing, the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” appears to be coming into play, and the GOP is starting to line up behind Trump (who has, like the GOP itself, a distinguished RINO record on many issues). It’s worth remembering, therefore, that ordinary people — voters, not players — like Cruz.

Thomas Sowell on elections.  Elections aren’t about revenge or anger or “making a statement.”  Instead, as Sowell says, “They are held to choose who shall hold in their hands the fate of hundreds of millions of Americans today and of generations yet unborn.”  My brain is always a better and smarter place after reading Thomas Sowell.  I wish more Americans, especially young Americans, would read him.  Sadly, it turns out that, thanks to 50 years of Leftist control over education, too many of America’s so-called best and brightest are a terribly ignorant group of people who know nothing about America’s history, constitution, or political structure.  (H/T Sadie)

If you support Israel as a general principle, does this matter? Trump, who loudly supports Israel, won’t expressly support recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Hey! Did you hear about the 40-year-old mother of six who was stabbed to death in front of three of her children when a Palestinian burst into her home? No, I didn’t think you did. Unless you follow Israeli media, the American and International press are pretending that this brutal terrorist act never happened or, which is even worse, claiming she had it coming to her as a part of the tit for tat in Israel — you know, the one that has Muslims running around murdering people and Israelis arresting them and, if they’re wounding, taking them to the hospital and patching them up. That tit for tat. Incidentally, her murderer is being hailed as a hero amongst Palestinians because nothing says hero like slaughtering an unarmed woman in front of her children.

Hillary, antisemitism, and GoFundMe all in one package. It started when the State Department released documents showing that Sidney Blumenthal was promoting his son, Max’s, writings about Israel to Hillary, and Hillary was impressed and wanted to know how to use that info. It continued when Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote an article pointing out that Max Blumenthal is an antisemite’s antisemite — something that ought to concern all Israel supporters when they contemplate a Hillary presidency. It escalated when Max tried to silence Boteach on the grounds that the latter was committing slander. What could Boteach do but spell out in spectacular detail the facts supporting the verity of his initial contention that Max is an antisemite and a liar. Now, GoFundMe has yielded to antisemite Max’s insistence that it shut down a GoFundMe site to raise money for pro-Israel advertisements. Because of the gay marriage fight, conservatives already know about GoFundMe’s overwhelming political bias. Now Israel-supporting Jews are about to learn the same lesson. It’s time for an alternative to GoFundMe: a crowd-funding site that supports conservative causes and freedom loving nations.

And does Hillary even know what classified means?  It turns out that she had on her personal server emails from the most highly classified programs.

Israel’s critics are all hypocrites.  In fighting the most recent Gaza war, Israel went to extraordinary lengths to save civilians and not to destroy Gaza’s infrastructure.  She was nevertheless reviled by every world institution including the Obama administration.  In Iraq, though, when Ramadi is practically leveled to fight a different Islamic terrorist group, all you hear from the usual suspects (the UN, the Obama administration, etc.) are crickets.

Political fanaticism. I’ve complained constantly about the fact that it’s very challenging to have a substantive political discussion with the Progressives who inhabit my world. Bring up facts and you’re told that the facts are irrelevant because the Leftist principle is correct and everything else must fall before that. David Gelernter argues compellingly that, because the state replaces God for Progressives (most of whom are atheist or agnostic), challenging them is tantamount to religious heresy — and we only have to look at Medieval or Renaissance Europe, or any time in Islamic history, to know what happens to heretics.

Is being anti-gun the equivalent of an IQ test? This article has been kicking around for a while, but I have to mention it here. A reporter at the Baltimore Sun finds guns so repugnant that she wants gun owners to have to register with a searchable database, a la sex offenders. It’s for the children, of course. Only in this way can she protect her child from gun risks. Asking the other parents about guns or teaching her child gun safety doesn’t seem to occur to her. Nor is she swayed by constitutional considerations, nor the fact that such a register also tells every burglar and rapist which homes don’t have guns.

Ammunition when your Progressive friends are being stupid. John Hawkins has put together a very useful guide debunking the most common falsehoods Progressives like to hide behind to justify their policies.  And while we’re at it, no, “right-wing” extremists” with guns have not killed more of their fellow countrymen than terrorists have.

In the coming jihadist war, all defense is local.  If a Democrat becomes president, our federal policy will continue to deny jihad.  Even if a Republican or conservative (the two are not necessarily the same) becomes president, our government has become so dysfunctional thanks to Obama’s makeover that it may be a long time before we have a national defense in place against homegrown (or imported/immigrated) jihad.  That’s why J.R. Dunn is correct that every one of us is a line of defense.  He offers helpful tips for holding this line.  Remember, the Founders created the Second Amendment because every citizen is a militiaman in defense of his (or her) own community and nation.

ISIS stays true to historic form.  The Ottoman Empire was famed for kidnapping young boys and turning them into elite fighters known as Janissaries.  ISIS is planning on creating the same elite core.  It’s going the extra mile, though, to make sure those poor little boys have the proper fighting spirit:  ISIS fighters are raping those boys who won’t get with the program.  And yes, they’re doing it even as they throw off of tall buildings men accused of being  gay.  Just remember:  Under ISIS, you’re not a sadist homosexual pedophile when you rape boys; you’re just a disciplinarian and, in ISIS-land, that’s a good thing.

The push for densely built cities drives out the poor.  It turns out that, all liberal theories to the contrary, building up a city at the expense of suburbs doesn’t create more poor people  housing, it creates more rich people housing.  There’s a surprise — another Progressive theory that doesn’t work in the real world.

The climate is a’changin’ and, sadly, we can’t stop it.  No, I haven’t become a climate changista.  That is, I don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change.  We humans just aren’t that powerful.  We can destroy a specific region through pollution or strip mining, but we can’t change the solar system.  The climate realty is that the solar system is going through one of its regular cycles right now and we are bidding adieu to safe, fecund warming and entering the dangerous world of bitter cold.

It’s true . . . because it’s true.  One of my favorite lines from the Simpsons is when Homer watches something perfect obvious that’s meant to be a joke, and invariably, after laughing, says “It’s funny because it’s true.”  Sarah Hoyt has a deeper insight:  Most people will believe something to be true if they already know it to be true.  That’s not the tautology it seems.  It’s about playing into people’s preexisting belief systems, and the best politicians  — or, should I say, demagogues — are masterful at this game.

Watcher’s Council members look into their crystal balls. Watcher’s Council members and their friends put on their robes and turbans, dragged out their crystal balls, and made some predictions about 2016. See what you think.

A nonentity?  An idiot? An absent-minded person?  Who knows?  But I do love this story about the woman who participated for hours in a search party before realizing that the party was looking for her.

A fun little find in the dictionary.  Well, not really in the dictionary, but at (which has replaced paper dictionaries for most people).  I was speaking with a friend about the proper way to pronounce words when I got to the word “flaccid.”  Almost all of us pronounce it “flas-sid,” but once upon a time the standard pronunciation was “flak-sid.”  Just to confirm that I was correct, I checked out’s “flaccid” page and learned that the standard today is that both pronunciations are correct.  What really gave me a little kick, though, was one of the illustrative sentences:  “In our less sexist age, Barack Obama has nevertheless found his Syria policy called ‘flaccid’ and ‘impotent'” (quoting Obama and Syria: Fighting the Wimp Factor, by Gil Troy, September 17, 2013). Do you think there’s a conservative mole at