The Bookworm Beat 2/19/16 — the “it’s the end of the world as we know it” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265There is no sense of normalcy in the world for me when a committed old communist and a reality TV star are the leading contenders in America’s upcoming presidential election. My round-up addresses some of the craziness, as well as lots of other stuff.

Debunking Ted Cruz myths.  Like me, my friend Trevor Loudon supports Ted Cruz, seeing him as the candidate who is most deeply invested in returning American government to its constitutional framework.  He’s therefore posted at his site a detailed article debunking many of the most ugly myths and insults hurled at Ted Cruz.  Whether or not you support Cruz, you might find the post illuminating.  And no, Ted Cruz didn’t steal Iowa, isn’t in league with McConnell, isn’t a globalist, and doesn’t make his employees hate him.

Thomas Sowell endorses Ted Cruz.  Thomas Sowell is one of the greatest living economists and intelligent thinkers.  The fact that he endorses Ted Cruz — an endorsement given extra urgency with Justice Scalia’s death — should mean a great deal.

The trouble with Trump.  The South Carolina debate is long gone, and the primary is tomorrow, but if you have a minute, read Ace’s analysis of Trump’s attack on George W. Bush during the S.C. debate.  Ace offers an important analysis of the trouble with Trump, and it’s the fact that his ego leaves no room for anyone else’s.

On Trump and political blogging.  Neo-Neocon has written a really superb piece about the nature of political blogging when you’re a blogger like me:  you’ve been around for a long time, you have a wonderful crew of dedicated readers, you can’t get traction with a larger audience, and your thought process is just plodding enough when you think about a story that you miss the news cycle and the caravan has already moved on when you finally publish an important insight or factual data point.  (Neo-Neocon is a much better writer and thinker than I, so her story is sadder than mine.  She should have so much more traction than she does.)  Anyway, Neo-Neocon shares her insights into Trump’s hollering that “Bush lied and people died” — insights that are unlike any others out there, and that are also a whole lot better and more informative than you got from the first 24-hour news cycle.

Trump thinks he’s Bernie Sanders.  Trump went to MSNBC to have his ego massaged . . . I mean, to sell himself to the 360 Progressives who still watch that channel, and amused his small audience when he confused himself with Bernie Sanders.  Really.  Meanwhile, Cruz, Rubio, and Carson offered thoughtful political commentary at C-SPAN.

Polls.  By the way, according to the polls, Trump is surging, Cruz is surging, Rubio is surging, and Bernie is surging.  (No, there’s no explanation for how they can all be surging at each other’s expense.)  The only candidate who is not surging is Hillary.

Obama to skip Scalia funeral.  By the time many of you reach this, Scalia’s funeral will have come and gone — and Obama will have missed it.  Given his disgraceful behavior at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, maybe that’s a good thing.

Sexual sadism in Islam.  I’ve written for years, since I started my blog, that one of my smartest friends theorizes that a significant part of Muslim animus to the West is based upon Islam’s fanatic need to control women.  The West, with its promise of equality and sexual liberation, strikes at the heart of a belief system that is predicated upon complete sexual and physical control over women.  A rather surprising source of support for my friend’s theory comes from a recent New York Times (!) opinion piece about sexual misery in the Arab world.

Barack Obama again sticks his nose in another country’s business.  Barack Obama may have withdrawn from the Muslim Middle East, leaving chaos in his wake, and withdrawn from Eastern Europe, leaving Putin in his wake, but he’s still meddling in other countries’ business.  For most of his presidency, he’s been trying to bring down Israel’s Netanyahu.  It also turns out that he’s also meddling in English politics, because he’s trying to save the EU, even as increasing numbers of British voters resent having their national sovereignty taken from them.

Women shouldn’t serve as front line combatants.  Women serve in the front line when the enemy is at the gate, and everybody must either fight or die.  For a country that is not in extremis in that way, women fight only when men have given up — or so says Dave Carter, and I think he’s right.  David French also reminds us that Israel is not an example of women in front line combat.  As soon as it was able to do so, Israel withdrew its women from the front line, because their presence there damaged the mission and endangered lives.

Police are not slaughtering blacks, but that doesn’t automatically make them angels.  Conservatives shouldn’t become Manichean in their outlook, so intent on proving that police aren’t slaughtering blacks (which they are not) that they forget that not all police are angels, and that the bad ones still need to be held to account.  (Although reading about bad cops makes it clear that their fall from grace isn’t because they’re racist; it’s because they’re plain old power hungry and corrupt.)

“May the best man win” is not a racist concept.  It’s been a while now since Cam Newton’s spectacular flame-out at the Super Bowl, but I still enjoy reading Mychal Massie’s satirical post about the fact that Cam was a victim of racism.  Good satire is a great gift.

The brave new world of self-publishing.  Samizdat comes to America:  Because traditional publishing houses refuse to touch things that aren’t politically correct (however, PC is defined on a given day), self-publishing is becoming the new intellectual revolution — America’s Samizdat in the face of mainstream censorship.  The one thing I’ll say is that, as a self-published author you lack the marketing abilities that come with a big publishing house.  It can be very hard to make yourself heard.  Nick Cole is making headway though after HarperVoyage decided that a book he thought wasn’t even political was, in fact, too hot for them to touch.

It’s time for Ted Nugent to go.  Charles C. W. Cooke occasionally gets bossy — too bossy — but he’s right on this one:  If Ted Nugent used a deeply antisemitic image by mistake as part of his pro-Second Amendment campaign, he should acknowledge, apologize, and move on.  But he’s doubling down instead, and that makes him a very poor spokesman indeed for the NRA.

Is it good music?  Who cares!  It was shot in a zero gravity environment and is incredible fun to watch.