Bookworm Beat 11/6/16 — the “election countdown” edition and open thread

ballot-boxI’m going to try here to throw in as many good links as I can to help you to prepare for the upcoming election — and to understand the bizarre cultural Marxism that underlies so much of the battle in America today, as well as dislocations in the Middle East which are driving many pathologies throughout the Western world. Here goes:

No matter how bad Trump is, Hillary’s worse. One of the most infuriating things (at least for me) about this election is the grotesque hypocrisy on the Left. (Yeah, I know — what else is new?) This time, the hypocrisy takes the form of blackening Trump’s reputation in the most obscene way, while pretending that Hillary is a woman without stain. At least conservatives honestly acknowledge Trump’s personal weaknesses, only to focus on the strengths he brings to his candidacy. Meanwhile, on the Left, a substance-free St. Hillary is running against Satan incarnate. Thankfully, Ann Coulter has, with her usual élan, totally destroyed the Left’s line of argument. If you’re wavering, read it.

Hubris and ugliness. In fact, Lefty lies to the contrary, Hillary is deeply flawed. She lacks the humanity that would make an interesting epic character but, boy, does she have the hubris and arrogance that’s brought many people down. Couple that with Weiner’s compulsions and Comey’s cowardice and you have an election that, on the Democrat side of the aisle, reads like a badly written Green tragedy.

Will chaos theory still control the election? With Hillary being buffeted by Wiki- and Weiner-leaks, is she the chaos candidate in this election? And in that regard, I don’t think Comey’s reiterated decision not to recommend her for prosecution matters. Once he created an entirely fictional “lack of intent” standard and read it into the controlling statutes, unless there was an email standing, “I, Hillary Clinton, intend to violate national security laws because I’m stupid, for my convenience, and to hide the flow of illegal cash into my false charity and my very real deep pockets,” there was no way Comey could ever find anything that would justify referring her to the DOJ. That’s why he was able to get his team to “review” 650,000 emails in just a few days. But back to chaos theory. Neo-Neocon thinks that as Trump begins to look like the more stable candidate, the crown that Hillary managed to wear for much of the campaign season, he seems like the safer bet.

If you think Hillary’s bad, wait until you see Tim Kaine. I assume that, if Hillary wins, she won’t be in office long, as she’ll either die from whatever disease is bedeviling her or she’ll be arrested or impeached. Her departure from the White House won’t make things better. If you think Hillary’s an antisemitic Leftist, you ain’t seen nothing yet: Tim Kaine is much worse.

Linda Tripp — Hillary is worse than you imagine. Almost two decades after the Blue Dress, most people tend to think of Linda Tripp solely in the context of being Monica Lewinsky’s confidante. In fact, she pretty much sat right outside Hillary’s office, and had a front row seat to the true horrors of Hillary’s personal style and her politics. Given that Hillary’s corruption and pathologies have gotten worse in the intervening decades, we have to assume that everything she is and does will be exponentially worse.

The end of the rule of law. One of the reasons I think Hillary cannot win is because putting her in the White House sets the seal to the end of the Rule of Law in America. Since the Magna Carta, the Anglosphere has operated on the principle that no one is above the law, not even the King (or President). If Hillary gets the White House, we’ve abandoned that ancient, liberty-based principle and, in effect, created an American emperor. And if you’re wondering just how different the standards are for Hillary versus everyone else, just look at this nice graphic comparing her to General Petraeus.

If there were a rule of law, this would be the Hillary indictment. Comey may have abandoned the rule of law with regard to Hillary, but Lisa Schiffren stands ready to make the case. It makes for hair-raising reading. Remember, Hillary’s vision is Big, all-controlling government/unaccountable leadership. I don’t think there’s anything Trump can do that could be worse.

The merits of an open mind this election. One writer had the opportunity to go to back-to-back Hillary and Donald rallies. He entered with an open mind and came out with his mind made up. You should check out what he has to say and what conclusion he reached, based not only on the candidates but on the candidates’ supporters.

The Russkies. Whenever I think of the Russians and American politics, only three things spring to mind: (1) Obama abandoned the Middle East by handing the external power role to Putin; (2) Hillary gave away 20% of American uranium to the Russians; and (3) Podesta has significant business dealings with the Russians. Yet the Democrats have managed to create a scenario in which Trump, of all people, is Putin’s lap dog. I mean, take a look at this disgusting, slanderous New Yorker cover. (I know it’s not actionable slander, because Trump is a public figure, but it’s still slanderous.) I’m not the only one struck by the hypocritical posturing. Jim Geraghty has a great article about the Leftist double-standards when it comes to the Russkie’s.

Why do #NeverTrumpers hate us? The Z Man has some theories about why not just the Democrats, but also ostensibly conservative #NeverTrumpers hate the pro-Trump crowd. As always, it makes for interesting reading. Incidentally, he wrote his post before David Brooks, the New York Times‘ resident (ahem!) “conservative” had this to say about Trump supporters:

“Basically, less educated or high school-educated whites are going to Trump,” Brooks told host Judy Woodruff. “It doesn’t matter what the guy does. And college-educated going to Clinton.”

“Sometimes, you get the sense that the campaign barely matters,” a dejected Brooks said. “People are just going with their gene pool and whatever it is. And that is one of the more depressing aspects of this race for me.”

When you’re getting that kind of language from someone who palls around with people who believe in abortion and euthanasia, you better start worrying about whether they’re going to add eugenics to their list of desirable government programs. This time around, they won’t be getting rid of alcoholics, mentally handicapped people, or “brown” people (as the Hillary campaign coyly calls them). They’re going to go for the old-fashioned patriots who believe in a Constitutional America.

And on to the culture wars that gave birth to this election. . . .

Microaggression defender willing to commit macroaggressions in the cause. At Princeton, a librarian was outed as a macro-aggressive warrior in the micro-aggressive cause. It makes for funny reading until you consider that she’s an employee at a university that, undeservedly, still has a great deal of prestige and turns out brain-dead youth who get positions of responsibility, especially in the social media that controls so much of the American mindset today.

The weirdly licentious neo-Victorianism on American campuses. The terrible punishment visited on the Harvard men’s soccer team, which did when normal, heterosexual men do when confronted with women (thinking about them as potential sexual partners), elicited an excellent rumination from David French about American colleges that encourage the worst kind of licentiousness and then punish sexual or gender wrong think with a ferocity the Puritans would admire.

Leftist aggression made one Columbia student a Trump supporter Most students, sheep-like, instantly get on board with the aggressive Leftism at their schools. Some, though, find it so grating that they head in the opposite direction, as this Columbia student did. I certainly headed as far from Berkeley’s ethos as I could, although I was too uninformed to realize that Berkeley was pushing Marxism. Had I known that, I would have become a conservative at least a decade sooner. The one thing that Berkeley did was give me a great moral compass: If the Berkeley crowd was for it, I knew it was wrong.

Campus “diversity” is a lie. Using old-fashioned logic, Anthony Esolen shows that “diversity” demands on America’s campuses are a disguise for a culture of deep narcissism. I found this paragraph particularly telling:

Everything is about ourselves. We don’t want to study other cultures. We want to make other people study about us, and from our preferred point of view. I say to students, “Here, let me teach you about Milton,” the author of the greatest poem in the English language. The students reply, “No, let us teach you about us.” Dear Narcissus, there is a great and beautiful world beyond that pool.

That kind of thinking of course, is antithetical to the original mission of universities which was, as the name implies, to expand young people’s minds, to make them universal, rather than to reduce everything to the desires and morality of me, myself, and I.

Mark Tapson on the tyranny of feelings. Are you tired of reading my words? Do you need a little break? Watch Mark Tapson explain how dangerous the Left is having empowered feelings as the ultimate gauge by which morality and free speech are measured:

On that subject, I want to discuss something that happened on my Facebook feed. A friend — a very Leftist friend — approvingly posted an Prager U video about the fact that American schools are failing boys, because the schools view boy behavior and boy interests as inherently bad. There were several positive comments on the video. However, a reliably Leftist woman, gazing at her own apparently less than happy girlhood, not only said that the pendulum hasn’t swung far enough in favor of girls at school, she attacked one of the male commenters, whom she does not know, for having “white male privilege.” He, bless his heart, gave as good as he got, citing this great article on female privilege that I missed when it came out in 2011.

The exchange got me thinking about the Judeo-Christian which, thanks to the Bible, is individual centered. This is not just to say that it values life in the abstract, which many conservatives translate to a pro-Life stance. It also means that individuals matter. From Abraham, to Moses, to David, to Jesus, to the Apostles . . . they are all vividly rendered people. God is abstract; people are real, and that’s reflected in Western history, a history in which extraordinary people pop up (for better or worse) and change the world’s fate.

Socialism, of course, is antithetical to individualism. And that’s how you end up with a young woman who sees herself as an individual but places everyone else in categories defined by culturalism Marxism. She’s pretty much the American Leftist paradigm, isn’t she? “I, individually, matter, and my experiences shape my politics, but everyone else is a classification whose worth is measured by the most useful victim construct for my personal advancement.” Yuck.

This same self-referential quality explains why Leftists think that Jon Stewart won in a Twitter exchange he had a few years ago with Donald Trump. I don’t know why Trump got involved in a tweet war with Stewart, but he seemed to feel that, for some reason (probably nefarious) Stewart was hiding his Jewish heritage. As far as Stewart and his self-referential, individual hating followers are concerned, Stewart totally won that tweet war. And how did he win? He called Trump “F***face Von Clownstick.” Yeah, that’s witty repartee on those whose world view stopped in 3rd grade. (Incidentally, Trump certainly didn’t cover himself with glory in the exchange. I just wanted to point out how puerile the Leftist world view is, one measured by the distance from ones belly button to the nearest stereotype.)

There are no prisoners or offenders in Washington State. One of the things you see on the Left is the way in which they keep changing words to hide things that just can’t be dressed up nicely — like “prisoner” or “offender.” In Washington State, so as not to hurt the feelings of those convicted and imprisoned for felonies, Washington state employees must now call them individuals, students, or (yes) patients. There’s actually a sort of loopy logic here. Every parent knows that, if you call a kid stupid, they’ll internalize that label and go through life considering themselves stupid and giving themselves license to behave stupidly. But the reality here is that the label “offender” or “prisoner” is inextricably tied to a past deed that landed someone in prison. No matter how you dress it up, that fact just keeps sticking its head through the prison bars.

Moving on from the election and culture to miscellaneous things that interested me. . . .

ISIS is not the end of this. We’re doing it again: Pretending that this or that Islamist entity is the enemy and that defending this or that Islamist entity will return us to a lion-lying-down-with-the-lamb world. Reading Sultan Knish (Daniel Greenfield) will disabuse you of this notion:

ISIS doesn’t matter. The idea of ISIS does. And the idea of ISIS is Islamic supremacism.

The organization we think of ISIS has transformed and rebranded countless times. Even now our leaders vacillate between calling it ISIS, ISIL or, more childishly, Daesh, while it dubs itself the Islamic State. We have been fighting it in one form or another for over a decade. It would be unrealistically optimistic to assume that the war will end just as this old enemy has shown its ability to strike deep in our own cities.

The bigger error though is to think that we are fighting an organization. We are fighting an idea. That is not to contend, as Obama does, that we can debate it to death. It is not the sort of idea that argues with words, but with bullets, bombs and swords. But neither does it just go away if you seize a city.

The havoc Obama can wreak on Israel. Many who love Israel are very worried about the terrible things Obama can do to that small, liberal democracy in a dark, dangerous part of the world. Ari Lieberman has an excellent analysis. When I linked to it on my “real me” Facebook page, one of my Jewish lefty friends was offended that I would accuse Obama of something he hasn’t done yet. It was no solace to him to explain that Obama’s past conduct is a predictor of future action. He was also unmoved by the thought that warning against something can often deter it (as happened with the Y2K crisis that we averted following a panic).

The cynicism of Democrat pardons. Democrat pardons are in the news because Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, after a Court told him he couldn’t pardon 60,000 felons in one go because each pardon deserved separate consideration, signed 60,000 separate slips of paper with no more consideration than before, so as to release 60,000 felons (i.e., Democrat supporters) on the election. It’s precisely the same disrespect for the substance of the law that allows Democrats to announce that they’ll respect the Second Amendment by allowing Americans to keep their guns — they’ll just make bullets illegal.

Of course, this kind of Democrat cynicism about pardons is nothing new. I mean, just think of Clinton and Marc Rich. Or think about Obama and the possibility of a Hillary pardon. Mike McDaniel’s certainly thought about it a lot and what he has to say is worth your time.

Julian Assange — the only honest man in a corrupt world. I’m with Roger L. Simon: I never thought I’d say this, but this year’s election has revealed that Julian Assange, of all people, is one of the few honest men in a deeply corrupt world:

Meanwhile, the true hero of this election is the mainstream media’s polar opposite, Julian Assange, the man whose life is literally endangered while living under virtual house arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy in London,   It is he—and his organization—that truly reports the news undistorted and unbiased through undisputed primary sources. It is he who has revealed to our country and the world how power works.

Originally, I was more than skeptical of Assange and would have agreed with Marco Rubio that paying attention to such a man is dangerous for obvious reasons of privacy and national security, not to mention, as Rubio notes, the shoe could be on the Republican foot in another election.  I no longer believe that.  What Assange has shown us is that the situation is far worse than any of us imagined, that the power of global elites is so great that political parties are almost irrelevant. These elites endanger our republic and the world to such a degree that transparency is mandatory.

How can people so dumb have so much power? Reporters may have power, but they’re really, really stupid. Get a load of this exchange between a reporter and Ace (of Ace of Spades). The reporter cannot comprehend that the First Amendment protects reporters only from government censorship, harassment, imprisonment, or torture (protections honest reporters in places such as Russia, Turkey, or the Palestinian territories would love to have). These morons think that the First Amendment means that the people whom they attack and deceive cannot challenge the reporters’ reprehensible behaviors. Morons.

American Jews have deep roots in American history. While Obama was busy singing paeans to the unknown Muslims who are the very fabric of American history, lots of known Jews were making a big difference in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a short article about them, along with a truly gorgeous portrait. Click over just to see the portrait, which looks as fresh as the day it was painted in 1831.

And that is all.

Photo by FutUndBeidl