The Bookworm Beat 1/26/16 — the “race heating up” edition and open thread *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265It wasn’t just women who were attacked on New Year’s Eve in Cologne.  When I first read about the hundreds of sexual attacks that Muslim immigrants perpetrated against women in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve, I only vaguely recorded the fact that the Muslims were also setting off fireworks.  It was only in the back of my mind that I asked myself “Are over-the-counter fireworks part of the European New Year tradition?” It turns out that, whether or not they’re part of the New Year tradition, they were definitely fired as part of the “We are Muslims and we don’t allow any other religions to function around us” tradition:

Barbara Schock-Werner, who served as cathedral architect between 1999 and 2012, was present at the well-attended religious service along with several thousand other worshippers. Shock-Werner told the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, that the cathedral experienced an unprecedented and massive rocket and ‘banger’ fireworks barrage that lasted the whole service.

“Again and again the north window of the cathedral was lit up red, because rocket after rocket flew against it,” she said. “And because of the ‘bangers’, it was very loud. The visitors to the service sitting on the north side had difficulties hearing. I feared at times that panic would break out.”

Cardinal Rainer Woelki, who presided at the New Year’s mass, also complained about the “massive disruptions.”

“During my sermon loud ‘bangers’ could be heard,” Woelki said in the paper, Die Welt. “I was already annoyed beforehand about the loud noises that were penetrating into the cathedral.”

Shock-Werner believes the religious service was deliberately “targeted for disruption” due to the attack’s timing. The mass took place between 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., which, she said, “is actually no time to be already shooting off New Year’s rockets in such great volume.”

If anyone tells you that more Muslims mean less violence, don’t believe them.  That’s a fable that belongs in the “Lies, damn lies, and statistics” category.  While nations under the jackboot of theocratic Islam may have less violent crime between Muslims within a given Muslim nation’s borders, the reality is that Muslims don’t play well with others (and “others” means everyone else in the world, including women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, gays, the wrong kind of Muslims, etc.).

Rome goes full dhimmi.  Iranian president Rouhani is heading to Italy and, in his honor, the Italians are temporarily wiping out their culture (or, at least, for now the wipe-out is temporary).  Here it is, the grandeur that once was Rome:

The grandeur that once was Rome

Several Rome statues depicting nudity were covered ahead of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit this week, so as not to offend his Islamic sensibilities, Italian media reported Tuesday.

If it were me, I’d be tempted to drag more Roman sculptures into the hallways, not cover the ones already existing.  To people like Rouhani, the Italians have made it very clear how weak they are.  You can’t afford courtesy with predators.

Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz!  Yesterday, I published my magnum opus (which sank like a stone) explaining why the Constitution is at serious risk in this election, and why I think Ted Cruz is the candidate most likely to preserve American exceptionalism through fidelity to the Constitution.  Today, I’ll spare myself some effort and direct you to other people’s essays explaining why Cruz is the best man for the job in 2016.

My good friend Bruce Kesler is a man who is so intelligent and has such a strong history of putting his values into play that he always deserves our attention even if one ends up disagreeing with him.  As it happens, I seldom disagree with him, especially now, when he has come out strongly in favor of Ted Cruz as a principled constitutionalist and, therefore, the best candidate for president.

Another conservative whose voice always deserves attention is Larry Correia.  He is unimpressed by Trump, considering him an opportunistic Democrat, and believes that Ted Cruz is the strongest conservative candidate in the 2016 primaries.

Also, Neo-Neocon notes that Ted Cruz was talking strong borders long before Trump came in hollering that he’d build a wall.

Finally, David P. Goldman says that we don’t have to get swept away in Trump mania — and adds that there’s no better support for Ted Cruz as the perfect conservative candidate than the fear-filled laundry list Robert Reich published about Cruz detailing all of Cruz’s dreaded classic conservative stances.

Trump’s apparently better at hiring people for business than he is at hiring them for politics.  Leon Wolf has one of the best opening paragraphs I’ve read in ages:

One of the things Donald Trump is always touting is his ability to find quality people and put them in the right spots. It’s basically the entire answer he has to the objection that he lacks any sort of experience at all. Meanwhile his campaign is staffed largely by flaming trainwrecks, and none is more flammable than his national spokesperson Katrina Pierson.

The post lives up to the lede.  If Pierson is an example of the kind of people that Trump plans to hire as this nation’s chief executive, we are in serious trouble.

Frankly, if I were one of Trump’s supporters, this remark would have deeply offended me.  The thing about megalomaniacs is that they don’t respect the people who support them.  Instead, they see them simply as useful pawns who exist solely to aggrandize the megalomaniac.  Case in point:  Trump stating “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”  That may have been meant as a jocular remark, but it was also meant.  That is, Trump thinks his supporters are without brains or morals, and will mindlessly follow him to the brink, any brink.  I prefer a leader who thinks well of those who cast their lot in with him.

The Republicans don’t need a circular firing squad this year; Trump will take care of everyone.  Wolf is also off to a good start when he writes about the fact that Trump’s enemies list has a lot more conservatives on it than it does Democrats:

One of the more bizarre things I hear about Trump, from people who support Trump, is that he attacks liberals with more gusto than anyone else in the field. It’s bizarre because every time I turn around, I hear Trump attacking a conservative Republican. On the infrequent occasions that he attacks liberals, he does so offhandedly and with little conviction. “I would love to run against Hillary because her policies are so bad” is basically all he ever says about Hillary, when he does mention her.

It’s not just the Republican party showing its cracks; antisemitism on the Left is a problem and Jews — who are Democrat stalwarts — are starting to notice.  The media loves to point out that the Republican party is cracking up, but it turns a blind eye to the fissures on its own side of the aisle.  Some, though, are catching on.  For example, one gay Jewish man who lives on the Left is figuring out that parts of the LGBTQ community are so invested in antisemitism that they will attack Israel — the only safe haven for the LGBTQ community in the Middle East — and ally themselves with the Palestinians who routinely kill those it identifies as gay.

You’re not imagining it:  Obama’s administration is anti-Israel (which means antisemitic).  Jennifer Rubin provides chapter and verse explaining just how hostile to Israel the Obama administration is.  The latest entry in the antisemitism pantheon is its enthusiastic support for the EU’s decision to help the BDS movement by labeling goods from Israel.  And regarding my claim that this anti-Israel activity is based upon antisemitism, the head of Doctors Without Borders, a charity I refuse to fund based on its anti-Israel stance, finally let the cat out of the bag.

Frederica Mathewes-Green has written one of the most thoughtful pro-Life articles I’ve ever read.  Given my Democrat upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area, you won’t be surprised to learn that I started out as a fervent pro-abortion person.  None of my childhood friends, whom I follow on Facebook, have moved away from that viewpoint.  I have moved, however.

Having had children, and having seen the death cult that is the Democrat party, I simply cannot unreservedly support abortion.  I recognize that there are situations in which it’s appropriate, but the reality is that few abortions take place in those urgent situations.  Instead, they take place to interrupt pregnancies that are either inconvenient or embarrassing.  Mathewes-Green, like me, has undergone a turnaround on the issue, and has written one of the best posts I’ve read on the subject:

We expected that abortion would be rare. What we didn’t realize was that, once abortion becomes available, it becomes the most attractive option for everyone around the pregnant woman. If she has an abortion, it’s like the pregnancy never existed. No one is inconvenienced. It doesn’t cause trouble for the father of the baby, or her boss, or the person in charge of her college scholarship. It won’t embarrass her mom and dad.

Abortion is like a funnel; it promises to solve all the problems at once. So there is significant pressure on a woman to choose abortion, rather than adoption or parenting.

Despite raising two rather nice children and having spent the last almost twenty years surrounded by children, I don’t like children or babies very much. I can no longer live, however, with the notion that, while every Democrat initiative is “for the children,” it’s perfectly all right for us to slaughter the babies.  (UPDATE:  Videos such as this one, especially the “month three” moment with the sonograms, help explain why it’s harder to support unlimited abortion now than it was when fetuses had no faces.)

Harris County is back to its old political prosecution tricks.  By now, you’ve read that the Harris County grand jury indicted the filmmakers behind the Planned Parenthood videos, rather than indciting Planned Parenthood, which profits off of baby parts.  Here are a few things you might like to know:

First, it’s hard to imagine a more politically motivated grand jury system than that in Harris County found in parts of Texas, the state that went after Tom Delay and Rick Perry.  Second, it turns out that the prosecutor’s office has ties to Planned Parenthood.  Third, the main charge seems to be tampering with government documents, something that never seems to raise much of a ruckus when illegal aliens or college students use fake ID (which they do all the time).  Fourth, a conservative Facebook group to which I belong thinks this may backfire on Planned Parenthood because it will put the videos right back in the spotlight, where they shine a very ugly light on the abortion industry.

Paul Ryan?  I had a good impression of Paul Ryan when he was named as Romney’s running mate because I thought he was a true small government conservative.  That impression didn’t survive the campaign season.  Watching him collapse in front of Biden during the VP debate left me feeling he was too weak to do anything.  Watching him as the new House Speaker giving the Democrats their dream budget didn’t improve that impression any.  Matthew Continetti, however, writes compellingly that Ryan, having cleared the decks, is finally finding his mojo.  I just wonder if that’s his “small government” mojo or his “Democrats’ best friend” mojo.

Sarah Palin has jumped the shark.  I just want to chime in with those who say it was appalling for Palin to excuse her son’s domestic violence by blaming Obama is at fault for handling war badly.  I’ll be the first person standing in line to say that Obama has handled badly everything he’s touched, but Palin’s son is responsible for his own vile and violent behavior.  (A Marine of my acquaintance adds that Palin’s attitude is completely non-conservative.  The conservative ideology says we take responsibility for our own behavior.  Only Leftists treat every person who has served in the military as someone who is simultaneously a victim and a time-bomb.)

Car dealers see no future in electric vehicles.  I’m the proud lessee of two electric cars.  One is fully electric and has a range of about 60 miles on a good day.  Charging stations are few and far between and, even on the fast charger, it takes hours to fill the battery.  The other has an electric battery and a hybrid engine and it’s a bit more useful, since you can do short (very short — 20 mile) hops on the electric battery and then, for long trips, have a somewhat less than powerful hybrid engine. The car has no trunk space, though, so while the engine can go for a long drive, you can only make a big trip if you don’t pack anything.  Given the problems with electric cars, it’s small wonder that dealers are not very excited about them and refuse to get with Obama’s “electric car” program.

MSN, surprisingly, has a very positive article about a pro-gun rape survivor.  Kimberly Corban challenged Obama’s anti-gun stance by saying that she feels that, if she’d had a gun on her, she would not have been the victim of a horrific rape attack.  In the face of her story, Obama had no good answer to defend his gun grab.  That’s not surprising.  What’s surprising is that MSN news, which is at the vanguard of Leftist news, reprinted a surprisingly sympathetic article from the Washington Post about Corban’s ordeal and her pro-gun stance.

It’s the biology stupid! I’ve been doing one form of martial arts or another for more than a decade. I’ve seen plenty of good fighters over the years, both male and female. I’ve learned that size matters. I’m small and I have to work really hard and have a lot of tricks up my sleeves, not to beat a bigger fighter, but simply to avoid being beaten by a bigger fighter. In all the years I’ve been doing martial arts, I’ve only seen one woman who could land a kick as heavily as a man — and the last I saw of her, she’d broken a bone in her foot doing so.

All of which is to say that, contrary to what the feminists and the transgender people are spouting, biology matters, and nowhere more than in battle. As Kurdish and Israeli women have shown, women can and do fight when the battle is at their doorstep. But if it isn’t at ones doorstep, it’s a very bad idea to water down male combat units with female infantry-people, since doing so just provides blood sacrifices to the gods of political correctness.

To a hammer, everything’s a nail, and to Social Justice Warriors, everything is racism (or sexism, or whatever -ism).  Has “Nextdoor” come to your neighborhood?  It’s a website that allows people to create private social networks for their neighborhoods.  Think of it as a community bulletin board where people can post things for sale, ask about resources for their children, plan emergency preparedness drills, etc.  In an age in which people drive, rather than walk, they don’t get to meet their neighbors too often. Nextdoor fills this void by bringing everyone together around issues of common concern and interest.

At least, that’s what naive people think.  Social Justice Warriors know better:

Nextdoor, the popular neighborhood social networking site that people use to share neighborly news too often reflects the racial biases and prejudices of its users, says a watchdog group that wants the racial profiling on the site to end.

The problem is that people concerned about crime are posting informational posts on Nextdoor — and sometimes these informational posts report that young black men are rather unexpectedly being seen in a given neighborhood.

Here’s some advice for those who don’t want young black men to be perceived as criminals:  Work within your community to get young black men to stop committing crimes.  Don’t blame the messenger; work to control the actor.  Not only would it leave so-called “racists” with no ammunition, it would save black lives and property — since the most common victims of young black males are other blacks.

The last honest Leftist.  I used to belong to the Mechanics’ Institute, a darling little private library in downtown San Francisco.  I found many good books there, including Arthur Schlesinger’s The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (Revised and Enlarged Edition). Schlesinger, of course, was a lion of the old Democrat party, so it meant a lot back in the day when he looked at nascent political correctness and realized it was unraveling America. It’s been 25 years since his book came out, and Fred Siegel has a nice rumination about what Schlesinger got right and what he got wrong. (What he primarily got wrong was that he didn’t imagine how toxic multiculturalism would become.)

And make no mistake — multiculturalism is leading to the resegregation of America.  Victor Davis Hanson talks about the lunacy inherent in the current black push for resegregation so that it can feel safe at a time when blacks head American government, and the media bows down before them.  Patrick O’Hannigan has his own take on the damage from multiculturalism, which he illustrates by looking at the debate between Whoopi Goldberg, a segregationist, and Stacy Dash, a pluralist.

It’s funny looking at all this to think that just 44 years ago, I was bused from a high-quality white middle class school to a lesser-quality white middle class school all in the name of mixing America’s races up a bit.  All that seems to have happened is that, where we once had a lot of whites not liking blacks, we now have a lot of blacks not liking whites.  The only difference is that, while the hate-filled whites were properly shamed and denigrated, the hate-filled blacks are lauded and applauded.

America once made sheepdogs; now it makes sheep.  The Art of Manliness has an interesting post about the three kinds of people in this world:  Sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves.

During the height of the Gulf War, conservatives repeatedly pointed out that the sheep survive only because the sheepdogs act.  Our Leftist-controlled educational institutions, however, are very busy training young people to be sheep.  A case in point is the 8th grader who listened to am asthmatic classmate’s desperate efforts to breath, and then ignored the teacher’s order to sit still while she patiently waited for the school nurse to respond to her email.  For acting to save his friend’s life in the face of a bureaucrat’s inaction, this young man was . . . suspended.  I read elsewhere that he’s going to be home schooled in future.

How to handle yourself around downed power lines after a car accident: Although this video looks as if it’s going to be yet another PSA about driving while cell phoning, it’s not. Instead, it’s a very informative video about what to do if you find yourself in a car that’s in contact with downed power lines. I highly recommend watching it and sharing it: