The Bookworm Beat 9/8/16 — the “my dog is crazy” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265The older of my two dogs is very high-strung and she got so frightened by the wind that carried the fog in tonight that I’ve had to sequester her and me in my home office so that Mr. Bookworm, who needs to get up for work tomorrow, can sleep. She shows no signs of settling, so I’m blogging.

No matter how you slice it, Trump is the less risky gamble. Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Publius Decius Mus quite graphically presents the issue that I have been arguing all summer:

2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.

Precisely. Trump, with all his flaws, is better than Hillary. Up until a few months ago, one could argue that Hillary is just another garden-variety Leftist and that the American republic will survive despite her.

That’s all changed now. Knowing as we do of her extraordinary corruption — whether in running the State Department as a Pay-for-Play profit center for herself, her husband, and her daughter, or deliberately exposing all of America’s state secrets to try to hide her gross malfeasance — electing her to the presidency means that America has fully embraced banana republic status.

In the wake of a Hillary victory, thanks to Comey and the American voters (including all those #NeverTrumpers), there will no longer be a rule of law in America that applies equally to all citizens. We will in one fell swoop have destroyed a legal system that goes back 1215 when England first put into writing in the Magna Carta a policy saying that no one, not even a king, is above the law. As of now, Hillary and her cronies are above the law and it will be a disaster if the American people put their imprimatur on that utterly corrupt, anti-democratic principle.

One more thing: As Publius Decius Mus explains, Hillary’s been wrong about every single policy stance she’s ever taken (including the ones where she’s changed her stance repeatedly according to the latest poll data), while Trump, in his fumbling, bumbling way, has been right about all of the most important policy issues facing America. So maybe he’s not so bad after all.

If Donald Trump is a racist, so is Jesse Jackson. Even when I was a Democrat, I couldn’t stand Jesse Jackson. His cadences are wrong, making it hard to listen to him. Nevertheless, for those who are concerned about Trump’s alleged racism, it’s worthwhile pointing to the praise Jesse Jackson heaped upon him a couple of decades ago:

The great thing about being a Leftist is that you never need to apologize for the past; to the extent it’s a problem, it simply doesn’t exist.

By the way, on the subject of the media’s libelous attacks against Trump on the trumped-up grounds of racism, I highly recommend Roger Simon’s ruminations about the Democrats and race.

The KKK has finally won. What did the KKK, which was woven into the warp and woof of the post-bellum Democrat Party, want? It wanted “segregation now and segregation forever” and, even better, it wanted blacks, once they were no longer useful as slaves, to be shipped off of America’s shores.

Here it is 2016 and, with a black president in the White House, the KKK has won. American blacks, supported by the 21st century Democrat party, want segregation now and, even better, to be divided from America into their own country.

Big kudos to the KKK for taking an utterly reprehensible, hate-filled policy and getting the targets of that policy to embrace it. (That was sarcasm, by the way. I do not approve of the KKK or segregation or peeling off separate nations from America according to people’s skin color.)

Deliberate Balkanization is national suicide. Balkanized nations disintegrate — logically so because there’s nothing to hold them together. Diverse geographic regions have to have something in common to make a go of the whole “nation” thing. Lots of nations have tried to weave together those diverse geographic regions through brute force. Eventually, the force breaks and balkanization leads to internecine struggles and the nation’s disintegration.

Thanks to the Left, America has tried a different Balkanization experiment:  It’s taken a country that has held together beautifully for over a hundred years, thanks to a common culture and common values, and, over the last twenty years, deliberate Balkanized it, not by geography, but by race, gender, and sexual orientation. Victor Davis Hanson explains just how disastrous this approach is to national integrity.

The money-man behind the Balkanization.  It’s not often one can point the finger at a single person behind a nation’s decline. Thanks to recent hacks, though, we can trace many of America’s current problems — specifically, those problems tied to the creation of special interest groups that are then instructed in the art of grievance and victimization — to one man:  George Soros. There are lots of smoking guns lying about in plain sight (so no need for imaginary conspiracy theories) but, typically, the mainstream media is assiduously ignoring the data, so the vast majority of Americans are unaware that the social ills they see that disturb them so greatly can be traced to a single source.

Leftism practices the politics of personal destruction. If you want to make your blood boil, read David Harsanyi’s compelling essay about the war waged against Jack Phillips, a baker in Denver whose religious beliefs meant that he could not in good conscience participate in any way in a gay wedding ceremony. As you read the essay, you will see (a) that the gay mafia is deliberately targeting Christians (not Muslims, but Christians) for economic destruction and (b) that the real problems with minority or special interest groups always begin when the state gets involved.

Absent state involvement, the marketplace would quickly deal with the question of providing services to same-sex marriages. After all, there are already people out there who are anxious and, indeed, delighted, to bake cakes, or arrange flowers, or take photographs for same-sex weddings. If these projects prove to be profitable gigs, more people will want to do them. Those whose religious principles — the ones protected by the First Amendment — prevent such activity will either vanish naturally from the marketplace or occupy their own, less-profitable niche.

However, just as with Jim Crow, when the state gets involved, it’s no longer a matter of money or societal principles or the Bill of Rights. Instead, the state uses its coercive power to tax and imprison to destroy the livelihoods of those people the state deems “less worthy.” Yesterday it was blacks. Today it’s Christians. Tomorrow, who knows?

All I know is that the more power one vests in the state, the more likely one is (and by that I mean anyone is) to become a victim of that same state power.

I know one other thing: If Hillary is elected, her Supreme Court (which she will create in one fell swoop by nominating Scalia’s replacement) will destroy the First Amendment swiftly and completely.

One more reason to love Penn and Teller.  I love Penn and Teller — I love their skilled magic, their humor, their unerring instinct for seeing and calling out BS, and their commitment to constitutional freedoms. I was therefore absolutely thrilled to see that they’re turning their attention to the Palestinians:

Specifically, Penn and Teller aim to shine a critical lens on the notion of Palestinian nationhood, the historicity of Palestinian claims to indigenous status, Palestinian denial of a Jewish connection to the Holy Land, the misleading application of terminology such as “occupation” and “genocide,” and numerous other features of Palestinian advocacy. “We’re not even going to spend a lot of time on the violence and intimidation that characterize so much of pro-Palestinian rhetoric, especially on college campuses, but that will get a mention, because it has to,” explained Jillette, to nods from Teller. “Millions of people are walking around with this stupid image of Palestinians as these poor native victims of imperialism, but it’s a load of bullsh**t, and the more it spreads, the farther the world gets from the possibility of resolving this conflict peacefully.”

Whereas the original series episodes ran 28-30 minutes each, the special revival episode will run four times as long. “There’s enough material to make it ten hours if we wanted, and we wouldn’t cover the same ground at any point,” noted Jillette. “But that would be overkill, so we’re going to cap it at 2 hours.”

I can’t wait until this episode of Bullsh*t! is released.

That which the government enables it destroys. Naomi Schaefer Riley has written what seems to be a very important book: The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians. Jay Nordlinger has reviewed it and it’s clear from his review, without even reading the book, that any community that comes under the government’s aegis is destroyed.

Those one million Indians scattered throughout reservations bear no relationship to the plaster saints that the Left has constructed over the past few decades, noble thinkers who live in harmony with each other and the land (the Comanches and Apaches, with their predilection for savage attacks and gleeful slow tortures, would have laughed themselves silly at these representations). Instead, leached of purpose and pacified with cheap welfare, too many of those Native Americans who elected to rot on reservations are, frankly, both pathetic and grotesque:

Early on, children are instilled with a sense of historical grievance — a sense of terrible victimization. This is poisonous to the child. Justifiable or not, grievance is a poison to individuals and societies alike. It blocks progress, constantly.


For decades, federal policy toward Indians has been money and pity, laced with guilt, and accompanied by the blind eye. What I mean is, nobody really wants to know what goes on on Indian reservations. Naomi says that these places give us “a microcosm of everything that has gone wrong with modern liberalism.”

I think of James G. Watt, President Reagan’s first interior secretary — and the most controversial and lampooned member of that cabinet. In 1983, he said, “If you want an example of the failure of socialism, don’t go to Russia, come to America and go to the Indian reservations.” The world condemned him roundly. And he was right.

Reagan liked to quote FDR, much to the annoyance of Democrats. In his State of the Union address for 1935, Roosevelt said, “The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”

The Indians are not afforded “relief” by Washington; rather, they are doled a permanent and rotten way of life. And the effect on their spirit is not subtle but blatant.


Have you ever heard of the Indian Child Welfare Act? It must be one of the worst-named laws ever. The Indian Child Abuse Act is more like it. There are people in this world — trust me — who would rather Indian kids were raped on reservations than ensconced in loving homes with white parents.

Naomi’s pages on the ICWA will make your blood boil.

Her pages on sex crimes are unbearable to read. I will be very brief: Little kids are raped by adults; in turn, they rape each other. If you see this and try to report it, you may be hushed or ostracized — because you are a threat to tribal solidarity.

That’s if you’re an Indian. What if you’re white, and learn of these horrors? You may think, “I have no standing to raise an alarm. Think of what we have done to the poor Native Americans, over the centuries! Plus, don’t they have their own law enforcement, their own mores? Their own culture?”

Naomi makes an astute comparison to recent events in Rotherham, England. There, the widespread rape of children was ignored, because good progressives were loath to criticize Muslims.

A distinct lack of gratitude. I’m going to repeat here a poster I published yesterday:

socialism destroys gratitude Dennis Prager

Entitlements aren’t limited to citizens, of course. In our new era, people who we graciously allowed in here so that they could escape conditions they deemed intolerable in their home countries, are showing a distinct lack of gratitude as well. Today’s example is from Pennsylvania:

Ungrateful refugees in Pennsylvania are suing the local school district, claiming the education they are receiving isn’t good enough.

The students, who range in age from 17 to 21, hail from Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burma, and are being represented by the Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU has clearly forgotten it was established to protect the civil liberties of Americans — not the ability of foreign refugees to make demands of those states gracious enough to house them.

“The refugees hoped to enter McCaskey High School, known for its superior academic program, but instead were sent to Phoenix Academy, an alternative high school for ‘underachieving’ students in the district,” Fox News reported last Thursday.

These students were placed in an “underachieving” school because they are, by any objective measure, underachievers compared to the advanced students of McCaskey.

These demands remind me of a debate I had a long time ago with a Progressive about immigrants in America. He has nothing but disdain for the notion of “incrementalism” — that is, the old-fashioned notion that immigrants come here and, lacking English language abilities or high-level skills, work in low-paying jobs and live in poor neighborhoods. Their children go to school and master skills sufficient to move them into working or lower-middle class careers and neighborhoods. Their grandchildren end up in the upper middle class or even higher. It’s a three-generation process from lowly immigrant to prosperous American life.

For the Progressives, though, this is unjust. According to their view, immigrants are entitled instantly to all of the benefits America has to offer, even if they are incapable of earning or contributing to those benefits.

No job skills? Who cares? They should get $15 per hour or more. Their children can barely read? It doesn’t matter. They deserve to be in top academic schools. And on and on. Thanks to Leftist indoctrination, both in their home countries and from the moment they set foot in ours, for too many immigrants, especially Hispanic and Muslim immigrants, there’s no room for gratitude that they are in a free country where, through hard work, they, or their descendants, can crawl out of poverty and despair. Like Veruca Salt, they want it all now:

Veruca was once a joke; now she’s the standard.

More deaths to be laid at Obama’s doorstep. You know already that Obama is putting Americans at risk by importing en masse unvetted Muslims from Syria — 10,000 so far, a percentage of whom are statistically likely to bring death and destruction in their wake. At the same time, he is utterly abandoning the primary victims of those Muslims in Syria; namely, Christians:

The most persecuted peoples in Syria are Christians and Yazidis. Obama has officially resettled 9,144 Syrians. 9,077 of them are Muslims. A mere 47 Christians and 14 Yazidis managed to slip through the nets of his careful screening process.

Remember those people on television pleading to be saved from genocide and mass rape? Obama took in barely a dozen of them.

8,984 of the poor oppressed refugees are members of the genocidal Sunni Islamic majority in Syria. That’s 98 percent.

That’s not a statistic. It’s a war crime.

A dozen from the victimized minority… and nine thousand from the genocidal majority.

When Obama talks about how thoroughly the refugees were “screened”, this is what he means. He and his people thoroughly screened out the Christians and the Yazidis. They kept out anyone who isn’t a Muslim. Christians make up 10 percent of Syria and 0.5 percent of Obama’s resettled refugees.

Obama is a very bad man — and he’s likely to use the last six months of his presidency to be an even worse one.

The less colleges teach, the more they cost. I’ve been ranting for some time now about the garbage coming out of America’s colleges — and the cost for that garbage. The Cato Institute has proven (again) that one of the main drivers behind these obscene prices for Leftist indoctrination is the explosive growth in college administration. That is, there are no more teachers or better facilities than there were when colleges cost less. Instead, there are more Assistants to the Assistant to the Chair of the Title IX Compliance Department, or the Chair of the Womyn’s Studies Department, or the Chair of the Intersectionality Department, etc.

All of which reminds me of an old joke. A man went to a famous hunting lodge which not only rented out cabins but also hunting dogs. The first year he went, he was given a dog named “Teacher.” Teacher was extraordinary. From dawn to dusk, he worked hard and intelligently making sure the man got the best out of his hunting experience.

The man went back the next year and asked for “Teacher” again. He was told that “Teacher” had performed so well he’d been re-christened “Principal” and that his price had gone up by 50%. The man felt the dog was worth it. Under his new name, Principal was still a joy, although he didn’t bring quite as much pep to the job as he had the year before. Still, it was happy hunting and the man went home satisfied.

When the man returned for the third year, he asked for “Principal” again. The folks at the lodge told him they were sorry, but Principal was no longer available.

“What happened?” asked the man. “Did he get hurt or die?”

“No, something worse,” said the lodge folks. “We were so pleased with his performance, we changed his name to ‘Department Chair’ and increased the fee for him. That was a terrible mistake. Ever since that day, all he does is sit on his ass and bark.”

If it were up to me, I’d raze the colleges and sow the soil with salt. As colleges teach less, indoctrinate more, and cost much, much more, what do you get for your money?

A national watchdog group uncovered what it called a “disturbing trend” of anti-Semitic behavior on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with several students’ social media posts denigrating the Jewish faith and praising Adolf Hitler, The Algemeiner reported.

Canary Mission blamed the so-called “cesspool” of anti-Israel behavior on the university’s branches of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association, according to last Thursday’s report.

One student, Jordan Welsh, was accused of making anti-American statements while bragging about his assault weapons and posting a photo describing Hitler as “The Original Emo Kid.”

A sophomore with ties to the MSA, Hesham Annamer, reportedly tweeted in 2014, “Hitler had a lot of great ideas. We need a guy like that in the white house.” A member of SJP named Mohamed Ali tweeted in 2012 that he’d written about Hitler for a class “cuz he’s a boss.”

Did the Yorkshire Ripper find Allah in prison? I’ve always been strangely fascinated by the Yorkshire Ripper and for a very specific reason. One of his last victims was Jacqueline Hill, a student at Leeds University, whose body was found in the grounds of the Lupton Residences. Nine months later, all unaware, I moved into the Lupton Residences. Only once, quite by accident, did I find myself walking along the area where Jacqueline’s body was found — a path everyone in the Lupton Residences avoided. It was an eerie and frightening experience, whether because of my over-active imagination or because a tragic spirit haunted that path, I do not know.

It was therefore with some interest that I read that the Yorkshire Ripper is converting to Islam. Apparently, though, it’s not a “principled” conversion, if any conversion to that totalitarian theocracy can be called “principled.” Rather, this brutal serial killer is acting out of base self-interest in response to the standard Islamic threat: He’s been warned by Muslim prisoners that, if he doesn’t convert he can expect to be disemboweled. I’m a bit mystified by the forced conversion, frankly. Even the basest Islamic fanatics can’t really take pride in calling Sutcliffe one of their own . . . can they?

I’m a bit mystified by the forced conversion, frankly. Even the basest Islamic fanatics can’t really take pride in calling Sutcliffe one of their own . . . can they?