The Bookworm Beat 9/21/16 — the “I’m mad as Hell” evening edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I can’t say too much lest I breach Little Bookworm’s privacy, but suffice it to say that, after only two weeks at her Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College, she has already taken a giant step in the direction of moronic, damaging Leftism. I have refrained from berating her because that would be counterproductive. Instead, I provided her with objective information about the direction she has taken and she, with all the confident arrogance of an uninformed youngster, has refused to reconsider. I’m not feeling the love today.

I hope blogging helps me vent my spleen. Otherwise, if you read tomorrow that a woman suffered a deadly attack of spontaneous combustion during the night . . . well, that just might be me.

Preachy Leftist “comedians” may be harming Hillary. Mr. Bookworm adored Jon Stewart and was endlessly certain that, if I just sat and watched for a while, I’d be riotously amused and return to the Democrat fold. His confidence in Stewart’s powers of persuasion was misplaced. I found Stewart intentionally both ill-informed and dishonest.

When Stewart resigned, Mr. Bookworm transferred his allegiance to John Oliver and Samantha Bee, both of whom are even harder Left than Stewart, and both of whom have the same shtick: They say something insulting about a Republican or conservative, following it with a strained analogy, and then pause for the adoring audience’s laughter. It’s like a call-and-repeat in the Church of Leftism.

Mr. Bookworm has suggested that I lack a sense of humor, which may well be true. I prefer a bit of wit and intelligence to flavor political insults, so I’m probably expecting too much from the current generation of humorists. I, on the other hand, have tried suggesting to him that these smug Leftist harridans simply aren’t funny.

Ross Douthat might agree with me on that last point. He also thinks that these cultural avatars, along with the Lefties on football teams and at award shows, have pushed themselves into such an extreme political corner that they’re leaving no room for Hillary Clinton to survive:

The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line.


First, within the liberal tent, they have dramatically raised expectations for just how far left our politics can move, while insulating many liberals from the harsh realities of political disagreement in a sprawling, 300-plus million person republic. Among millennials, especially, there’s a growing constituency for whom right-wing ideas are so alien or triggering, left-wing orthodoxy so pervasive and unquestioned, that supporting a candidate like Hillary Clinton looks like a needless form of compromise.

Thus Clinton’s peculiar predicament. She has moved further left than any modern Democratic nominee, and absorbed the newer left’s Manichaean view of the culture war sufficiently that she finds herself dismissing almost a quarter of the electorate as “irredeemable” before her donors. Yet she still finds herself battling an insurgency on her left flank, and somewhat desperately pitching millennials on her ideological bona fides.

Isn’t that just delicious? All I can say is, from Douthat’s essay to God’s ear.

Thoughts on the Hillary-Trump debate. Rumors are swirling that Hillary is planning to cancel the first debate on health grounds. That would be interesting.

If she doesn’t cancel, though, the plan for the first debate is for it to cover three abstract topics that sound like one of those anodyne campaign slogans Hollywood used in movies from the 30s and 40s that were about politicians: “America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America.” Daniel Henninger thinks that the no matter where the commission tries to push the debate, it will inevitably have to be about a typical week in Obama’s America: Two jihadist attacks and a raging race riot (the last of which took place when a black cop shot an armed and dangerous black man waving a gun around).

No matter what Trump does, of course, he will be accused of bullying Hillary because she’s a woman. I hope that actually comes up during the debate itself, maybe from a moderator, because I trust that Trump will have the perfect response: “If she can’t even handle me, how in the Hell is she going to handle dealing with hostile foreign leaders?”

I know that, when my Lefty Facebook friends, as they inevitably will, put up posts about Trump bullying Hillary because she’s a woman, I’ll ask the same question, although more disingenuously. There’s only so long the Left can have it both ways, and Trump’s the candidate to say that this double standard stops now.

Other than that, I’m with those who say that Trump merely needs to appear vital and alive and to sound reasonable to gain ground at the debates. Thankfully, he’s already shown that he can meet that bar. Hillary has a harder task. She also has to appear vital and alive, something she hasn’t managed to do since she started on the campaign trail, and she has to appear likable, something she’s never achieved before, no matter how many times she reintroduces herself to the American public.

Hillary’s “ick” factor isn’t because she’s a powerful female (she isn’t, she’s a carpetbagger riding in on male coattails) and it’s not even because she has that hectoring, school marm-ish delivery. It’s because people are responding to the fact that she’s a genuinely unpleasant, dishonest, paranoid, angry person.

More on analogies — and Skittles. As I said above, every time John Oliver or Samantha Bee tries to make a joke, the pattern is “insult plus really stupid analogy.” What’s fascinating is that the Left will allow crude and stupid analogies only when used on the Left. When Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted out the same Skittles analogy that many of us have already seen (including on this blog), the Left went crazy, explaining that refugees are not, in fact, Skittles.

After reading the above, can’t you just imagine the Lefties in the media and their other cultural enclaves scratching their heads and asking each other, “Why would he call Syrians Skittles? Syrians aren’t Skittles, they’re people. Skittles are a candy that ET liked. Hey! Wait a minute. Did Trump Jr. just say something racist? Yeah, it’s got to be demeaning to call people candy, especially poisonous candy. Only racist, bigoted, homophobic baskets of deplorables would ever compare people to candy, let alone poisoned candy.”

Yeah, that’s what I can hear them say. Except that as Breitbart discovered, they weren’t saying that just two years ago when the Left was comparing conservatives to poisoned candy:

Let’s all of us say it together, now: “If the Left didn’t have double standards, it wouldn’t have any standards at all.” Oh, and also: “Leftists can be painfully stupid, which makes it all the more offensive that they are in the

Oh, and also, let’s speak out loud the depressing truth: “Leftists can be painfully stupid, which makes it all the more offensive that they are in the ascendant in our news media, our colleges and public schools, and our entertainment industry. They should be doing simple physical labor, not dictating this country’s direction.”

David Brock — Money launderer?. David Brock was a Republican and then he switched to being a Democrat, when he Media Mutters, the Progressive media attack dog that provides most of the talking points for the Leftist cultural fascists who pretend to be late night comedians (see above). He’s a vicious man. He may also be a criminal man who’s been laundering money for his personal benefit. ZeroHedge has a guest post spelling it out and, I must say, it makes for compelling reading, supported by actual documents.

Call me cynical, but I’m no longer surprised when I learn that someone who purports to represent the “little people,” and works to consolidate money in government hands because capitalism is evil, has his own hands buried deep in the cookie jar.

Yes, the Obama administration is antisemitic. The Obama administration is now openly supporting the antisemitic BDS movement. I was going to say that January 2017, when Obama leaves office, can’t come fast enough. But if Hillary steps into his shoes, it’s only going to go from bad to worse. No matter what else Trump is, he’s a true Israel supporter. In this, he is entirely distinct from the Weasels on the Left who pay lip-service to supporting Israel, even as they do everything in their power to undermine her.

The science is never settled. When the science in question doesn’t involve the doctrine of climate change in the Church of Leftism, there are still people out there who have enough sense to look at manifestly stupid scientific conclusions and to challenge them. Such is the case with the long, painful effort (by some seriously tired people) to obtain the underlying documents behind a Lancet claim that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be cured with exercise and a specific time of psychiatric therapy. In fact, the data showed the opposite. Of course, intelligent people would have figured out after the Lancet perjured itself during the early days of the Iraq War that nothing it publishes can be trusted.

Infantilizing college students continues apace. I came back from Little Bookworm’s orientation at an Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College railing about the fact that it’s a well-groomed cesspool. Exhibit A was the fact that, after a mere two hours of orientation, the children were given a wellness break with therapy dog. When the college counselor told parents that over 35% of incoming freshman have mental health problems, my first thought was that, by graduation 100% of seniors are probably afflicted.

It turns out that it can be worse. At California State University-Northridge, as part of a week-long effort to instill Progressive NewSpeak into  students (including pretending that there is no difference between legal immigrants, whom we like, and illegal immigrants, whom we do not like), the school made available a ball pit (of the type seen at some MacDonalds for the toddler set to play in to burn off some energy for the next phase of the drive somewhere) so that the students could cope with their psychic pain.

Again, I’m becoming more and more certain that the Alt-Right, which can be cruel and stupid, is the inevitable and logical pushback against the infantilizing totalitarianism in which the Alt-Righters have been marinated since childhood.

If this is true (is it true?) it’s disturbing. My glasses cost as much as a small country. It’s not the frames that are so expensive — although they invariably are because my prescription can be supported only by one or two specially-sized frames in any optical store — it’s that the aforementioned prescription is a miracle of modern science, one that accommodates extreme myopia for any distance vision (starting at about 3 inches from my eyes), extreme astigmatism and, as I age, age-related hyperopia (far-sightedness) which kicks in between 3 inches and 10 inches from my eyes.

Every time my prescription changes, I thank my lucky stars that I live in 21st century America. Otherwise, my world would be very limited. I don’t complain about the price of my glasses.

But for the rest of you, the ones with just ordinary bad vision . . . well, it’s possible that you’re getting the short end thanks to a hidden monopoly in the world of eyeglass frames, lenses, optical companies, and insurance. As I said at the start of this section, I don’t know if the video below is accurate but, if it is, we’re seeing what happens when government, which shouldn’t control the market but should police it for problems, allows a monopoly to gain control in an industry:

As I’ve said before, if you enjoy one-stop shopping for a grab bag of information, be sure to check out WOW! Magazine, the collaborative online magazine from the Watcher’s Council and its friends.