The Bookworm Beat 2/11/16 — the “watching the political parade” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265As this election year’s craziness continues, I keep trying to keep myself from getting upset. My mantra is that I should save my energies for things I can change, either directly or through my own small contributions. For everything else, I need to relax and watch the passing spectacle. That’s what this post is all about.

Socialism’s shortages kill people.  One of the hallmarks of socialism is shortages, with Venezuela being the latest example.  Canada has socialized medicine.  (They also have cheap drugs, but that’s because American companies invest in R&D, costs they recoup by passing on to American drug purchasers, while the Canadian government helps supplement drug costs.)  That’s why a teenager in Canada who could have had a stem cell transplant died — the donor was available, but the hospital beds weren’t.

Unemployment is a core feature of a centralized economy.  The theory behind a centralized (i.e., government managed) economy is that everyone works and everyone benefits.  The reality is that the more the government manages the economy through taxes and rewards to cronies, the more it stifles individual initiative — and the result is unemployment.  With the Obama economy staggering into its eighth year, one can’t really blame millennials, who have never seen a functioning free market, for thinking that the best they’ll ever get is more government hand-outs, courtesy of Bernie.

The media is trying to ignore Ted Cruz to death, but he’s still the strongest conservative candidate.  The media willingly gave Donald Trump free advertising by covering him endlessly.  It wasn’t just that he was “so clever” that he played them.  They wanted to be played because they believe that, outside of his core 35%, he’s unelectable.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is scary.  After all, Rush anointed him the closest thing we’ll see to Reagan in our era.  Since savaging Cruz hasn’t been working, the media is trying a new tactic:  ignoring him.  That is, they are deliberately denying the American people a chance to hear from a top-ranking presidential candidate.  Gawd, but our media is corrupt.

Still, Ted Cruz plays the long game, and Fox News Latino thinks he’s still got game.  Philip Klein also thinks that New Hampshire is anomalous, since it’s kind of like Europe in that even its conservatives are Leftists.  Look at the rest of conservative America, and Cruz is still the last conservative candidate standing.

Trump is a Leftist.  Trump has found a dog whistle for frustrated, broke, frightened, un- and under-employed Americans:  our broken immigration system which, if fixed, might keep some jobs in America and might keep terrorists out of America.  Conservatives, whose politicians have been failing him for years, are understandably taken with someone who has the courage to stand up and point out these problems and, without a care in the world for political correctness, diagnosis one way to fix some of the problems.

What Trump doesn’t say, and his followers don’t recognize, is that the immigration system is just a single part of the huge problems in America.  If all we do is plug some of the holes in immigration, we’re still in bad shape unless we return to a constitutionally-balanced, small government, a free market, and strong national security.

What Trump’s conservative followers also miss is that he’s no conservative.  On everything from guns, to abortion, to eminent domain, to preferred candidates, Trump has spent his life on the Democrat side of the aisle.  This goes far beyond paying off politicians on both sides of the aisle, something a savvy (albeit unprincipled) business person might think is a wise thing to do.  The reality is that he’s a Big Government Leftist who’s plugged into and is manipulating the zeitgeist.

What Hillary did is a bazillion times worse than Plamegate.  I’m not going to give David Brooks or the New York Times a link, but Brooks recently made the laughable claim that Obama has run a scandal-free presidency.  The reality is that this is the case only because a cowed Republican Congress was too afraid to call him on the corruption rampant in his administration and the media worked hard to downplay anything that might stain Obama’s lily-white reputation.  (And yes, I did use that white privilege figure of speech deliberately.)

Obama’s administration is one of the most corrupt ever, with everything from Fast & Furious, to the weaponized IRS, to Benghazi (and there are more listed here).  The icing on the cake, though, has got to be the Hillary server national security scandal, which is infinitely worse than Plamegate.  But while the media never stopped talking about the latter, it’s as silent as it can be about the former.

After insulting Petraeus, Hillary demands others suspend their disbelief with regard to her.  In 2007, when General Petraeus reported, accurately, that the Surge was improving the situation in Iraq, this nothing of a woman sneered at him that he must be lying, because “I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.”  VDH explains why those words should haunt Hillary as she desperately tries to spin her way through the scandals engulfing her.

Obama’s speech at the terror-sponsoring mosque was grotesquely ill-informed.  Dennis Prager explains that, “In addition to reassuring Muslim Americans that they are as American as Americans of every other faith — a point that any president, Republican or Democrat, would and should make — President Obama spoke a lot of nonsense, some of it dangerous nonsense.”

Speaking of those rewards to cronies….  Welfare for able-bodied, childless adults is a form of crony fascism.  After all, as LBJ said about his philosophy to use welfare to co-opt blacks to the Democrat party, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”  Money talks, even for poor people.  There are ways, though, to make that money less attractive.  When you make welfare too costly for the claimants, they start working.  So the question Americans need to ask is whether we want incentives to benefit political parties or America (and Americans) as a whole?

Anthropogenic climate change is a myth.  It’s a useful myth for Leftists, in that it empowers government, enriches cronies, and transfers American wealth away from Americans.  But it’s still a myth.  This time, it’s a Nobel Prize winning physicist stating this truth.

No, you’re not imagining the fact that your kid leaves college dumber than when s/he started.  The “common reading” list that colleges hand out is, across the board, “parochial, contemporary, commercial, optimistic, juvenile, obsessed with suffering, and progressive” (emphasis in original).  Classics that have stood the test of time insofar as they examine deep issues common to all people are thrown overboard in favor of intellectual garbage.

With that kind of navel-gazing reading list, no wonder every student is a victim.  Sometimes, though, the claims of victimhood are actually funny, as was the case when Northwestern students claimed victim status after failing to get solos in a burlesque show.

Those selfish students never thought of the director’s plight.  If the “cut” students really were bad, putting them in the show would have been a punishment imposed on the audience which, in turn, could have claimed its own victim status.  It’s so difficult….

One woman in England (a Leftist, I think), is done with the victim culture that demands that everyone shut up.  The video at the link is on autoplay, but you should take time to click over and listen.  It’s short and that good.

My current favorite stupidity is the war against “cultural appropriation.”  Josh Gelernter takes on the insanity of cultural appropriation, a sin its acolytes claim occurs every time a person, almost invariably for flattering reasons, does or uses something that originated outside of American borders (or, within our borders, amongst indigenous people).

What’s so funny is that this outraged hollering is always done in English.  I think that, if you’re going to complain about cultural appropriation, you better do it in your language, not the one you’re stealing from me.  I love English, which is a brilliant language, and it’s a form of cultural appropriation to put it in the service of rank stupidity.

Stupid and antisemitism go together.  Any Jew-hating culture eventually fails.  That’s a fact throughout history.  Jew-hating is stupid.  Vassar is now high on the stupid list.  It was once a classy place for intelligent young women.  It’s now a snake pit for paranoid hysterics.  I’m sorry that I’m not giving a deeper analysis, but I’m short on time and it’s just exhausting to constantly provide chapter and verse on the overall stupidity driving American universities and the antisemitism that always shares a harness with that kind of blind idiocy.

Norwegian surprise:  “Norway recently decided to deport 824 Muslims with ties to radical Islamist groups. Liberals were of course outraged. They called the policy “racist”. The conservatives still pursued a policy to increase the safety of Norway from radical islamists [sic]. [snip] Violent Crime has dropped by 30%.”  Just kidding about the “surprise” thing.  I’m not surprised at all, but the Leftists sure were.

Conservativism works because it’s inherently pessimistic.  Ruth Wisse is a conservative Jew who is so good and so smart that she’s somehow managed to survive as a professor at Harvard.  How good and smart is she?  This is her philosophy:

“When I look at any policy, I ask myself: What is the worst outcome that can happen?” Liberals, she said, are fixated on the best outcome. The liberal outlook ignores history and reality.

Read more here.

Media bias:  “When the media thinks a story will show abortion providers in a bad light, the media are nowhere to be found but when they think a story will hurt the prolife movement, they show up in droves.”  Learn about it here.

Teaching young people about the damage flowing from big government.  The Independent Institute is a local (i.e., Bay Area) libertarian think tank.  It’s put out a five-part series of videos that are aimed at millennials in order to help them understand that big government is not their friend.  Here’s the first of the videos.  I’ve watched the others and they’re all quite clever: