The Bookworm Beat 3/23/16 — the “catching up” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Bush didn’t, Obama wouldn’t, but the next president should: Call into the Oval Office the leaders of Muslim communities throughout America to say, “Because of the First Amendment, the fact that you and the people in your community practice Islam is irrelevant to us in America. Your faith is your business. What is relevant to me as leader of this nation is whether you support America or not. When all of you leave this office, you need to carry a single message to your communities: ‘You are either supportive of America or working to undermine America. If you’re in the latter category, you are on notice here and now that my administration will use every constitutional means available to track you, capture you, prosecute you, and imprison or deport you.’ End of story. Thank you for coming. Goodbye.”

Having got that off my chest, I’m about to engage in a speed round-up, because I’ve got about 40 articles — really good articles — to share with you.

A Cruz convert explains why.  The most interesting point is that Trump started with something no other Republican has had since Reagan — vast name recognition.

Slowly catching on to the fact that Trump is the Republican Obama.  I’ve been saying from Day 1 that Trump is a white Obama.  He promises hope and change by using government power to shape America to his will.  And let me say, that is my sole problem with Trump:  That he’s all about big government, precisely as Obama is.  I find that unacceptable.  Jonathan Tobin is another one who’s finally figured out the whole Obama  Doppelgänger thing.

Trump is a special interest candidate.  And that special interest is Donald Trump.

Is the media sitting on big Trump stories?  Ted Cruz thinks that there are some horrible stories to be told about Trump, which wouldn’t surprise me given his sordid personal life and . . . ah . . . colorful business life.  Once Trump is the candidate, says Cruz, the media will “suddenly” discover stories that make Trump unelectable.  I think Cruz is right because we all know the media, don’t we?

Trump’s enemy list makes me like him.  George Soros has given money to 187 different special interest groups that are attacking Trump.  (To be honest, a lot of them are attacking Cruz too. Indeed, on Sunday, I heard a New Yorker news hour on NPR during which the speakers agreed that Cruz is the more dangerous of the two leading Republican candidates because he actually believes in the Constitution.) In other words, here’s a list of 187 Soros-funded organizations that try to destroy anything conservative.

Will Trump win the nomination?  Scott Elliott, an extremely astute election watcher and a man with a history of accurate election predictions, is not a Trump fan.  He’s therefore created the “Stop-Trump-O-Meter,” which tracks the outcomes of state primaries and projects the outcome at the convention.  Even if you’re a Trump fan, you’ll like Scott’s meter, because, if you ignore the name, it tells in a clear way where the candidates stand in the Republican primary.

If you destroy the polite people, you create room for the impolite ones.  Glenn Reynolds points out that the GOP, RINOS, and the Leftist media establishment did everything possible to destroy the happy, tidy, law-abiding Tea Party.  Now they’re horrified that destroying the Tea Party left rage in its place.

USA Today editors question Hillary’s fitness for office.  USA Today, in its quest to be “America’s newspaper,” the one read in more hotel lobbies than any other paper, is careful about taking strong partisan stands.  That’s why it’s impressive that the editors see Hillary’s penchant for secrecy, and the security-evading steps she took in pursuit of her paranoia, as a serious impediment to the presidency.

Why it matters to hold off on replacing Scalia.  Before the Democrats discovered Borking, there wasn’t really a litmus test for Supreme Court judges.  Now that there is, and with the Court’s political make-up hanging in the balance (for years, it hung at a stable 4 conservatives, 4 Leftists, and 1 swing), it makes sense to see which political party the people select before allowing Obama to turn the Supreme Court to the hard Left.  That’s what Cruz says and I agree.

Different takes on Obama’s now-infamous Atlantic interview.  By this time, I’m assuming you’re familiar with Obama’s really quite amazing interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, in which he explained his foreign policy.  His malignant narcissism and ego are on full display, and are both repulsive and frightening.  These are my favorite articles analyzing that article:  (1) Max Boot’s A Cringe-Worthy President; (2) William Galston’s The All-Spock-No-Kirk President (which is behind a paywall, but you might be able to reach through Google); (3) Matthew Continetti’s President Obama is a Political Narcissist (something I’ve been saying since early 2008); (4) Caroline Glick’s The Obama Doctrine, Unplugged; and (5) Jackson Diehl’s The costs of Obama’s Syria policy are apparent to everyone but him (from the Washington Post, no less).

No, Bernie Sanders will not be the first Jewish president.  Or if he is, he’ll also be the first antisemitic Jewish president.  SultanKnish figured that out even before Sanders’ disgusting homage to Palestinian terrorists in lieu of an appearance at AIPAC (fittingly covered at HuffPo).

Rules for Presidents.  Victor Davis Hanson has a set of ten rules for good governance if one is an American president.  He freely admits that he arrived at his list by looking at everything Obama has done and then counseling the opposite.

Another rule for good presidents.  Immediately after a mass terror attack in Brussels, which almost certainly took several American lives (although the administration is hiding that fact), don’t cheerfully participate in “the wave” at a Cuban baseball game.  The best tag line for “the wave” comes at Weasel Zippers:  “Looks less like a wave and more like surrender…”

How bad is the Obama administration?  This bad — 1,063 examples (and counting) of lying, law-breaking, corruption, and cronyism.

HuffPo and antisemitism.  No, you’re not imagining it.  The Huffington Post has become a forum for all sorts of antisemitism and incitement.  Not surprising, of course.  HuffPo leans Left and the American Left is increasingly open about its antisemitism.

A Brit gets it about Zionism.  I certainly didn’t expect a British writer in a British newspaper to write a lovely homage to Zionism’s importance in today’s world, but here it is.  I especially like the paper’s point that everyone else has a “political movement,” so why shouldn’t the Jews — especially because they need it more than most movement groups.

eBay founder attacks Israel.  Rabbi Shmuley Boteach rhetorically asks why eBay’s founder, Pierre Omidyar, is pouring so much of his vast wealth into anti-Israel causes — and then gives chapter and verse about those causes.  Silly question.  Omidyar is Iranian.  I don’t use eBay.

Andrew McCarthy on radical Islam.  Andrew McCarthy has written one of the best articles I’ve seen about radical Islam and the fact that we need to fight it and that we can fight it without being “Islamophobes.”  I’m going to break away from the telegraphic style of this post to quote just a little of what he wrote:

Habitually, I distinguish between Islam and Muslims. It is objectively important to do so, but I also have a personal reason: when I began working on national security cases, the Muslims I first encountered were not terrorists. To the contrary, they were pro-American patriots who helped us infiltrate terror cells, disrupt mass-murder plots, and gather the evidence needed to convict jihadists. We have an obligation to our national security to understand our enemies; but we also have an obligation to our principles not to convict by association—not to confound our Islamist enemies with our Muslim allies and fellow citizens. Churchill appreciated this distinction. “Individual Moslems,” he stressed, “may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen.” The problem was not the people, he concluded. It was the doctrine.


Sharia rejects freedom of speech as much as freedom of religion. It rejects the idea of equal rights between men and women as much as between Muslim and non-Muslim. It brooks no separation between spiritual life and civil society. It is a comprehensive framework for human life, dictating matters of government, economy, and combat, along with personal behavior such as contact between the sexes and personal hygiene. Sharia aims to rule both believers and non-believers, and it affirmatively sanctions jihad in order to do so.

Even if this is not the only construction of Islam, it is absurd to claim—as President Obama did during his recent visit to a mosque in Baltimore—that it is not a mainstream interpretation. In fact, it is the mainstream interpretation in many parts of the world.


Three weeks before Christmas, a jihadist couple—an American citizen, the son of Pakistani immigrants, and his Pakistani wife who had been welcomed into our country on a fiancée visa—carried out a jihadist attack in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people. Our government, as with the case in Fort Hood—where a jihadist who had infiltrated the Army killed 13 innocents, mostly fellow soldiers—resisted calling the atrocity a “terrorist attack.” Why? Our investigators are good at what they do, and our top officials may be ideological, but they are not stupid. Why is it that they can’t say two plus two equals four when Islam is involved?

The reason is simple: stubbornly unwilling to deal with the reality of Islam, our leaders have constructed an Islam of their very own. This triumph of willful blindness and political correctness over common sense was best illustrated by former British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith when she described terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.” In other words, the savagery is not merely unrelated to Islam; it becomes, by dint of its being inconsistent with a “religion of peace,”contrary to Islam. This explains our government’s handwringing over “radicalization”: we are supposed to wonder why young Muslims spontaneously become violent radicals—as if there is no belief system involved.

This is political correctness on steroids, and it has dangerous policy implications. Consider the inability of government officials to call a mass-murder attack by Muslims a terrorist attack unless and until the police uncover evidence proving that the mass murderers have some tie to a designated terrorist group, such as ISIS or al Qaeda. It is rare for such evidence to be uncovered early in an investigation—and as a matter of fact, such evidence often does not exist. Terrorist recruits already share the same ideology as these groups: the goal of imposing sharia. All they need in order to execute terrorist attacks is paramilitary training, which is readily available in more places than just Syria.

The dangerous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own version of Islam is that anyone who is publicly associated with Islam must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate policy-making organs of the U.S. government, not to mention our schools, our prisons, and other institutions. The federal government, particularly under the Obama administration, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization—notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand it as “largely secular”—thereby giving it a clean bill of health. This despite the fact that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda.

I urge you to read the whole thing.  And then send it to your friends.  For more on the Koran’s relationship to the violence we see today, go

For more on the Koran’s relationship to the violence we see today, go here.  Not all Muslims are radical Islamists, but all radical Islamists find what they’re looking for in the Koran.

I do not love the UN and hope it fails.  Anthony Banbury was a true believer who worked for years for the UN and truly believed in its mission.  Even he has realized, though, that the UN is a bureaucratic nightmare incapable of doing good and too often making situations worse.  He wishes it could be fixed.  I hope it will be destroyed.

The difference between human rights and government welfare.  Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and, to its credit, the HuffPo published an article making clear the distinction between true human rights and government welfare:

The idea of human rights has become so expansive and that there is no longer any rational basis for determining what is and what is not a human right. But to preserve their meaning and what enforcement is possible, human rights need to remain clearly defined and apart from politics. What legislatures decide about taxation in order to protect the vulnerable and needy is a matter of politics. Protecting that process itself, and other basic political freedoms, is the challenge of human rights.

Leftists double down on failed public transit.  Monies spent on public transit in cities without traditional transit infrastructure are monies wasted.  So what do you do if you’re a good Leftist?  You double down on spending that money on failed public transit.

Obama wants to hand the Library of Congress over to a librarian.  I like librarians.  I once wanted to be one.  But I understand that the community library is not the same as the Library of Congress, which is our nation’s premiere repository and research institute.  Carla Hayden, the Obama administration’s nominee for head of the Library of Congress, isn’t clear on that point, something made glaringly obvious in a commercial the administration prepared to advance her proposed promotion.  It’s just embarrassing, that’s what it is.

Students are unteachable.  Eileen Toplansky has written a tragic article about the fact that students arrive at college incapable of learning.  While they’ve been suitably propagandized so that they can be good little activists, they cannot read, write, analyze, or think.

What happens when the university world view invades the military.  The Obama administration is working hard to make the military an agent for social justice, complete with its insistence on abandoning biological notions of gender and other key aspects of reality — and the Hell with the military’s actual mission to fight wars against America’s enemies and, God-willing, to win those wars.  Terminal Lance gets what a problem this is (and be sure to read the post as well as the brilliant cartoon).

Society fails young women.  Interesting article in which a young woman describes going to a frat party where she and her friends knew no one, got extremely drunk, met another extremely drunk young woman, left the party with this drunken stranger to prevent a possible rape, and were shocked that, in the absence of a colorable rape story, the police were upset about underage drinking. The whole essay is about blame — it blames men who rape (complete with the fake 1 in 5 statistic, which makes American colleges scary than Johannesburg), police who are unfeeling, college administrations that don’t care, a culture that makes girls act sexy, and stories of Emma Sulkowicz and other girls famous for being assaulted.  The one thing this young woman doesn’t address is responsibility.

My message to my daughter has always been “Don’t get drunk.”  When you’re drunk, you are out of control and vulnerable.  No matter what any other person does to you, actions for which that other person is responsible, you have a responsibility to avoid those other people.  “Don’t get drunk” is advice that’s just as sensible as “Don’t jaywalk across a busy freeway.”  But this young woman doesn’t go there.  It’s always everyone else’s fault.

Real rape culture.  And then there’s Sweden, where real rape, as opposed to an imaginary university rape culture, has become a chronic problem thanks to Sweden’s refusal to acknowledge that there is in fact a real rape culture, one embedded amongst Islamic men from that swath of Islam reaching from Africa to Afghanistan.  Interestingly, when forced to choose between two of the Left’s favorite victim classes — Muslim refugees and women — Sweden is pandering to its newest residents and, instead, telling its women “It’s your fault; change your behavior.”

And things in Germany and Sweden aren’t that great anyway.  Leftists love to say that, if we governed as they do in Germany and Sweden, we’d be as wrapped in wealth and luxury as they are in Germany and Sweden.  Except Germany and Sweden aren’t doing that well.  If they were states, they’d be in the bottom half of the American economy.

Colonel Harlan Sanders was a fascinating character.   I assume that most of you who read this blog remember the real Colonel Sanders telling us that the Kentucky Fried Chicken he created was “finger lickin’ good.”  It turns out that the real Sanders was a fascinating character with an “only in America” history.

Don’t waste your money on organic food.  Our food supply is safe.  Organic foods are, as often as not, the products of clever marketing.  Also, organic techniques don’t utilize land well and, if they become normative, will lead to hunger.  If you like going to your local farmer’s market, by all means go; just don’t make yourself crazy.

A weekend movie?  The critics are panning London Is Falling, which has Gerard Butler as a super human fighter who takes down Muslim terrorists.  While the critics claim the movie is cheesy and unbelievable, that’s just a feint.  We all know these action movies are cheesy and unbelievable.  What the critics really hate is that the movie shows that the West’s enemies are Islamic Muslims, not Lex Luthor-esque madmen or renegade corporations.  Mark Tapson says audiences, ignoring critics, really like the movie, so you might like it too (if you like action flicks).

Coen Brothers get two thumbs up.  I’ve enjoyed over the years watching most Coen Brother’s films.  I like their wacky, mordant sense of humor.  I like them even better knowing that they are uninterested in conforming to political correctness when they cast movies.  I may even forgive them for their insistence on casting the bovine, hard-Left George Clooney in so many of their movies.  (Honestly, Clooney’s face always makes me think of cows.)

Please take your shoes off before coming into my house.  I try not to be too much of a germophobe, but the reality is that I was raised in my mother’s house, and my mother was OCD.  So an article about the dirt on people’s shoes really resonates with me.

A nice story about nice people doing nice things.  Sometimes a missent text can reap real dividends in goodwill.  I dare you to read this Facebook post (and look at all the pictures to get the story) without smiling.