Bookworm Beat 1/26/17 – Life in Trump’s America round-up

President Trump's America oath of officeYou’ll notice that the title of this post — Life in Trump’s America — echoes previous round-ups I did called Life in Obama’s America. Those old posts were dystopian; in this, the new Age of Trump, things are a lot more cheerful when viewed through the prism of patriotism, rationality, and fealty to the Constitution. Yeah, the Left is going batsh*t crazy, but that’s proof that Trump, in his first seven days in office, has been doing just about everything right. Don’t believe me? Just check out these links:

Opening with a little deserved snark about the idiocy underlying the much vaunted Women’s march. Col. Richard Kemp, if you’ve forgotten is the retired British military officer who loudly explained over all the mewling antisemitism from Europe and the UN, that he’d never seen a military put itself at such great risk to protect enemy civilians as Israel’s military. He’s now weighed in rather brilliantly on the stupidity behind that women’s “empowerment” march:

What?! You haven’t met Big Joe yet? You must. Big Joe found himself accidentally in the midst of one of the women’s marches and he had a lot to say on the subject, all of it delightful:

Vagina-less females suffering discrimination. This is old news by at least five days, but I’ll throw it in anyway for those who might have missed it. Pro-Life women weren’t the only ones left out of the Women’s March last Saturday. Women without vaginas also suffered discrimination, what will all those pink knit caps and the ladies dressed up as lady parts. Oh, in case you’re wondering what a woman without a vagina is . . . well, in the old days, we would call that person a man. Nowadays, it’s someone who, rejecting biological reality, has picked “women” as his chosen identity.

There is something truly delightful about watching the Left eat its own.

Three reminders that those women marching are whiners, not victims. One of the sickening things about the Women’s marches was to see a sea of educated, affluent, healthy, well-fed, coddled white women scream about their suffering. Here are three reminders that they don’t know what suffering is. All three of these reminders make for tough viewing or reading, so if you don’t want to have that with your breakfast, you may want to scroll past them a little quickly:


[Warning: Graphically tragic image ahead.]


It’s all about abortion. When you get right down to it, the core issue uniting those screeching, whining women and beta men was abortion. Everything else was imaginary fears and the acting out of sore losers. But abortion — that’s where it’s really at.

In keeping with the marches’ theme, the latest attack on the growing pro-Life movement in America came in the form of a ridiculously unscientific article in The Atlantic attacking modern sonograms, which show babies in remarkable detail in the uterus. Per The Atlantic, these insights into the womb create the false notion that those fetuses are actually alive. Michelle Malkin knocks this fatuous argument out of the park. As for me, the whole thing makes me think of three things.

First, I too lived for years with the cognitive dissonance that fetuses were not really lives. Moreover, I’m precisely the kind of woman that The Atlantic article fears because what changed my mind was in fact a sonogram. When I saw my 14-week-old fetus’s spine, which was like a strong of pearls, and beating heart, I had to abandon the notion that the thing in me that was making me so desperately ill (Gawd, was pregnancy hard on me) was not a parasite but was, in fact, a baby. My “a ha!” moment of acknowledging reality increased when my children were born and the fetus turned into a baby, the baby became a toddler, the toddler a child, the child a teen (which is, yes, maybe a vaguely sub-human phase although I mostly enjoyed the teen years), and the teens have become rather interesting young adults.

Of course, being a Lefty means you can embrace all sorts of ridiculous notions. Examples are the absolute faith in climate change, never mind that the computer models on which the Lefties so desperately rely have all been proven false. Lefties also leave science and reality far behind when they accept unquestioningly that a person’s sex (or race) is a choice, not a biological reality. This leads to interesting things such as “vagina-less females” (i.e., men) complaining about discriminating against their womanliness, or lefties contending that Rachel Dolezal (genetically white) is black, while Allen West (genetically black) is a deracinated white person.

Conservativism came to me as an enormous relief, because it allowed me to accept the world as it is, science and all, rather than having to lie to myself daily about utterly fake “scientific” principles that are necessary to ward off the hard truths about the world in which we live. One of those hard truths, as I discovered, is that, even if having a baby is a miserable experience, that fetus is still a life. Moreover, when it comes to life and the law, both statutory and moral law do not allow us to go around murdering people just because they make us sick or suck up our time or destroy our plans for our own future or are generally inconvenient. And that’s the real inconvenient truth.

Second, this is a great poster:


Third, whenever I think of the fact that fetuses are alive — and the horror that Progressives will undoubtedly feel when they finally acknowledge that truth — I irresistibly think of this moment:

Allen West and Mike Huckabee both have great rants about the Women’s march.

Here’s Allen West’s.

And here’s Mike Huckabee’s. (I’ve never been able to warm up to Huckabee, but I definitely like this one, although I continue to think that conservatives are wrong to echo the screaming, vulgar women who claim that Trump admitted to assaulting women. What Trump said, accurately, is that when you’re a star, women will let you grab them by their genitals. Lord knows, Bill Clinton has proved that often enough. Aside from the principled women he actually raped, assaulted, or harassed, women over the decades have been delighted to let him grab them anywhere he wants.)

For those who fear government, look not at Trump but at what Obama did. Bretigne Shaffer has been bemused by the Left’s screaming, hysterical, neurotic, paranoid collapse since Trump got elected, something that accelerated immediately before his inauguration (and hasn’t slowed down since). Shaffer takes a look at the facts on the ground, however, and concludes that it was the Obama administration that chipped away at the Constitutional protections that the Left suddenly holds so dear:

1. We no longer have a Fourth Amendment, nor the right of habeas corpus (you remember: it was kind of the foundation of our justice system). Yes, the demise of these fundamental protections has been a long time coming, but President Obama delivered the death blow when he gave himself (and all future presidents) the right to imprison indefinitely or even assassinate any human being on the planet with no due process whatsoever.

Number One should be enough. Any normal person should look at the first item on this list and say “OK, I guess that’s a little bit worse than making fun of a disabled reporter.” (And I say this as the mother of an intellectually disabled daughter.) But, because I know it won’t be enough, I’ll continue…

2. Obama has bombed more countries than George W. Bush did, and his drone strikes have killed more than six times as many people as those under Bush, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (killing unintended victims 90% of the time.)

3. He has given himself (and all future presidents) the power to wage war without Congressional approval.

4. He has greatly expanded the mass surveillance of American citizens.

Read the rest here. It’s as good a summary as you’ll ever get of Obama’s use of executive powers to disregard the Constitution.

Oh, and to those Lefties who say Trump’s executive orders are just as bad — they’re not or at least most aren’t. While Obama made it up as he went along, in total disregard of both the Constitution and federal statutes, the bulk of Trump’s orders to date simply reinstate the pre-Obama status quo, when we still had law and a constitution that actually garnered some respect.

No, you’re not a hypocrite to want to see Trump mete out retribution. Even if you think Trump is crossing too many lines and utilizing more power than he should, you’re probably not the hypocrite the Left tries to make you think you are.

The Left has always used conservative standards as a cudgel against conservatives and their principles. If our political leaders deviate even slightly from the straight and narrow, both they and everything they stand for get attacked and discredited.

Lefties don’t have that problem, of course, because hypocrisy is built into their system. As Wolf Howling likes to say, “If Lefties didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.”

Writing at Ace of Spades, Warden notes that this has been the year in which conservatives have been liberated from their usual standards. Thanks to Obama’s abandonment of any fealty to the Constitution and his one-man rule, things have changed:

There’s a frustrating game that the left plays with conservatives. It’s an Alinksy tactic called, “Make them live up to their values.” Now, living up to one’s values isn’t a bad thing, but setting high standards ultimately means that you’ll sometimes fall short.

The left loves to exploit these shortcomings–every Christian who falls short of perfection is a hypocrite; the social values candidate you voted for just got arrested for drunk driving. Haha, everything you believe and advocate is now discredited.

They got away with it for years, waving away the lies, hypocrisy, indiscretions, and criminal behavior from their own politicians while beating the right mercilessly with the missteps of their own. It’s effective because the right always maintains a baseline of integrity not displayed by the left, as evidenced by comparing what happens to Republican politicians when they’re caught in criminal behavior with what happens to Democrats. Republican voters and politicians reluctantly dump the malefactor while Democrats defend their guy and launch an offensive against those who demand accountability.

And then came along Trump, a guy just ripe for demonization by the left. I think it’s fair to say that even his early supporters worried that the Democrats would successfully make him toxic to the general voting public with his boorish behavior, vulgarity, multiple bankruptcies and very public divorces.

But something strange happened. Not only did Donald Trump not care about attacks on his character, neither did anyone else. We saw this new paradigm assert itself over and over during the primary throughout repeated media predictions that this time he’s gone to far and he’s cooked.

This same indifference that helped Trump carry the election has continued into the early days of his administration. With it comes a refreshingly freeing state of mind. Personally, I don’t feel in any way responsible for Trump, nor do I feel compelled to defend him against attack.

Why? Because I voted for retribution.

Again, you won’t regret clicking over and reading the whole thing.

Yeah, it was a damned big crowd. The media started it when it compared pictures of the mall from the height of Obama’s inaugural ceremonies with a picture taken at least an hour before Trump’s ceremony began. Oh, and of course there were all the protesters blocking entrances to the mall, preventing many people from getting there at all.

The Left has been laughing itself sick over Trump picking a fight about the crowd. Worse, the fearful Right, as always, has joined in saying “See, he’s making us look bad.”

Both the Left and the cowardly ones are wrong.

First, let’s be clear that the media picked the battle by lying and lying hard — and worse, since NPR started it, by using the taxpayer dollar to create and spread the lie. Trump’s crowd may not have been as big as Obama’s (Obama was, after all, the first black president, which is something in itself; his inauguration took place in a city with a huge black population; and no one was prevented from getting to the mall), but it was still a damn big crowd. The Trump administration’s rule is that it will never let the media get away with even a smidgen of a lie and that’s as it should be.

Second, by forcing the crowd size issue, Trump is forcing the media to cover the crowd at the annual March for Life — or to admit the real truth, which is concede that it doesn’t care about crowd size at all; it only cares about pushing a Progressive agenda.

Third, with all the sound and fury about this, Leftists are missing the substantive stuff. Which leads me to my next item. . . .

Trump wants the media and Leftists (but I repeat myself) to miss the substantive stuff. Glenn Reynolds figured out the game that Trump is playing:

The press’s “insider” status — which it cherishes — is going to fade, with Trump’s press people even talking about moving them out of the White House entirely, and ignoring their existing pecking order in press conferences. (This is producing waves of status anxiety, as are many other Trump-induced institutional changes). And, having abandoned, quite openly, any pretense of objectivity and neutrality in the election, the press is going to be treated as an enemy by the Trump administration until further notice.

 In fact, Trump’s basically gaslighting them. Knowing how much they hate him, he’s constantly provoking them to go over the top. Sean Spicer’s crowd-size remarks on Saturday were all about making them seem petty and negative. (And, possibly, teeing up crowd size comparisons at this Friday’s March For Life, which the press normally ignores but which Trump will probably force them to cover).

Trump knows that the press isn’t trusted very much, and that the less it’s trusted, the less it can hurt him. So he’s prodding reporters to do things that will make them less trusted, and they’re constantly taking the bait.

And — yes — this is another article you should read in its entirety.

Whatever you’re for, I’m against it. I admit that I do a lot of “whatever you’re for, I’m against it.” Aside from the endless factual errors with so-called climate change, I knew it was bad immediately because Al Gore was shilling for and getting rich off of it. If he was for it, I was against it. If the Left wanted Hillary, I wanted nothing to do with her. (And nothing will change my mind about that one.)

The Left has its own version of this mindset. Because Trump refused to insult Putin — the same man to whom Obama made the “reset” and “flexibility” promises, and the same man to whom Obama handed the entire Middle East — suddenly Russia became the devil. (If only Progressives had felt that way during the Cold Way.)

And because Trump is pointing out that China is a troublemaker, both in terms of trade and in terms of South Sea aggression, the Left has decided that China — a statist nation that still routinely imprisons dissidents and that only recently backed off of its murderous one-child policy — is the great hope for a free, liberal world. China, being a very smart nation, is playing to the Progressive crowd. Don’t let yourself get hornswoggled.

(Having said all that, I spent a fascinating day in Beijing a few weeks ago. Beijing, like Vietnam, shows no signs anymore of being a communist economy. Capitalism is bursting out all over. Having said that, the omnipresent military and police all over Beijing, while not precisely threatening — which the military and police were when I was in Prague in ’87 — were a constant reminder that this is not a free nation and that mass killer Mao is still revered. Treated right, perhaps China will join the community of free nations. Given its head, though, and allowed to grow its worst, militaristic instincts . . . well, that’s a bad thing.)

Obama administration abandons principled whistle blower. My Facebook feed is filled with Leftist posts mourning the departure of St. Obama from the White House. Except he wasn’t a saint. Just ask Stefani Butler, whom administration flunkies tried to destroy when she blew the whistle in the Census Bureau. Nor was this meaningless jiggery-pokery:

Data falsification is no small matter. This past presidential election turned on how people felt about the economy versus what we were being told was happening by Census data-gatherers. And policies are made in Congress, at the Federal Reserve and in corporate boardrooms based on what leaders are being led to believe.


The importance of the Census Bureau shouldn’t surprise anyone. When Obama took office in 2009, one of his first moves was to try and get the bureau to report to him and not Congress. He failed.

But at the time, with the big 2020 census coming up that would determine how much representation states would have in the House and how much tax money they get from Washington, the logic of that power play was clear.

Let’s look at the one case that set Butler off — the cheating done by Buckmon, who is now deceased.

Buckmon would complete more than 100 cases in 10 days — more than three times his peers.

It turns out that Buckmon wasn’t actually surveying people. He was making up data and collecting overtime to account for the time it would have taken to get those interviews.

And this one man alone was cheating on such a large scale that it could affect the national jobless numbers since the bureau’s Current Population Survey is scientifically weighted and each response counts as 5,000 households.

So Buckmon’s 100 cases equaled 500,000 households — and he wasn’t the only one caught faking data, Butler said.

No, punching Richard Spencer is not a good thing. The Left is incredibly excited about the fact that, during the Women’s march, one of its own jackbooted thugs brutally punched Richard Spencer. Spencer, as you no doubt recall, is a true, hardcore, Nazi. There is nothing good about that young man. He has set his feet on an evil pathway and seems determined to follow it to its conclusion.

Having said that, punching him just proves (at least in his mind) his myriad points about the degradation of American society.

Most importantly, though, this fight doesn’t have the smell of freedom versus tyranny. Instead, it’s reminiscent of the fight to the death that the communists and fascists waged in the late 1920s and early 1930s in Germany, before Hitler definitively beat the communists and starting shipping them to Dachau. This is a war in which both sides need to lose if liberty is to survive.

Ann Coulter explains just how bad Obamacare is. Two or three Christmases ago, a drunk little Progressive man-boy tried to physically intimidate me into believing that only people who were stupid would rebel against paying more for insurance that offered them fewer doctor and hospital options while forcing them to pay for things they didn’t need. I was still very active in martial arts back in the day, and the only reason I didn’t take him out was because it wouldn’t have been a fair fight — and I might have gotten my hands dirty.

I thought of that moron when I read Ann Coulter’s description of her endless travails with Obamacare. While the Left is wailing that the 19 million who weren’t insured will lose the Medicaid they got under Obamacare, hard-working Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that the free market will once again work to their benefit — and, frankly, the benefit of everyone else once the government releases its death grip on the marketplace.

Education may see a rebirth too.. I’ve detailed the horror of my Little Bookworm’s Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College here and here. Berkeley, which I attended in the late 1970s/early 1980s, looks in retrospect like a calm, reasonable, centrist, and definitely mature kind of place in comparison. Tomorrow I’m attending a PRI event about Leftism on American campuses, which should be interesting.

David Gelernter reminds us of something heartening, which is that these overpriced institutions are on their way out. New media will kill them. Yay! To which I’ll add only that the process may be a whole lot faster if the Trump administration stops the endless flow of dollars to these institutes of indoctrination.

School choice is good for students. Good teachers don’t need to hide behind those awful public sector teachers unions. They, like my Dad decades ago, understand that unions are antithetical to good teaching. A marketplace in education is what makes a real difference: