Bookworm Beat 3/29/17 — web design and teaching an old dog new tricks

I have been a bit remiss in blogging the past few days, but that’s because I’ve been caught up in web design and lose track of time.

Web design NYC Tech ClubI’m creating the web as a companion piece to my app project. Learning web design provides me with fun and frustration in equal measure.

If you’re thinking of designing your own blog, I highly recommend the DIY videos from NYC Tech Club. The videos clearly walk you through each step for building a website, from getting a domain, to finding a server, to designing a WordPress site.

This is my second site build — I did the first for our local Navy League chapter — and there’s been a huge leap in website design in just the last couple of years. This means that I’m starting at square one.  As an old dog, learning these tricks can be time-consuming. I also lose track of time. If the dogs didn’t bark me off when it’s time to feed or walk them, I’d never look up from the computer.

Still, I always do sneak in some reading and I’ve got posts I want to share with you. In no particular order:

Stop panicking about politics. The Left is in perpetual panic/aggression mode since the election, but conservatives are doing a good job of panicking as well following the first attempt at healthcare and the endless claims that Trump committed treason with the Russians.

Regarding health care, Scott Adams says, “Don’t worry. Trump is a systems guy and the systems are working just fine.”

And on the subject of Russia, Charlie Martin, one of the most intelligent thinkers and analysts, has this to say:

Folks, doing business with Russia isn’t illegal.

Being a lobbyist who lobbied for Russia in the past isn’t illegal. For Democrat NeverTrumpers: You don’t want to push this, since John Podesta did quite a lot of lobbying with Russians, and the Clinton Foundation did a lot of business with the Russians. It’s not illegal to talk to Julian Assange. It’s not illegal, it’s not even cooperation, to say: “Hey Russia, why don’t you release Hillary’s emails?” And frankly, it would take a complete nincompoop to think that Trump was illicitly coordinating with the Russians by saying something in a press conference.


Judges are morons. To any of my readers who are judges or have are associated with judges, I’m sorry for saying this, but it has to be said. Judges — at least if they’re Progressive — are morons. Evil too.

The latest example of how dreadful Progressive judges are comes from the Supreme Court of the State of California. In a move that actually impresses me in a bizarre way, a Republican governor managed to put into place a Chief Justice who is more stupid and harder Left even than the infamous Rose Bird.

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice for the California Supreme Court, now claims that it violates the rule of law to enforce immigration policies. Yes, indeedy. She’s precisely that intellectually stupid and corrupt:

[O]n Monday, Cantil-Sakauye used her annual State of the Judiciary address to argue that the rule of law was being “challenged” amid the administration’s immigration crackdown.

Without mentioning Trump by name, she told the state’s lawmakers that “the rule of law means that we as a people are governed by laws and rules, and not by a monarch.”

“We are living in a time of civil rights unrest, eroding public trust in our institutions, economic anxiety, and unprecedented polarization,” she said. “Our values, our rules and our laws are being called into question, and all three branches of government and the free press are in the crosshairs.”


She criticized recent raids by immigration authorities that had taken place at or near courthouses, saying they would shake people’s trust in the judicial branch.


“When we hear of immigration arrests and the fear of immigration arrests in our state courthouses, I am concerned that that kind of information trickles down into the community, the schools, the churches, the families, and people will no longer come to court to protect themselves or cooperate or bear witness,” Cantil-Sakauye said. “I am afraid that will be the end of justice and communities will be less safe and victimization will continue.”

She argued that sweeps by immigration authorities had already created tension between the judicial branch and government agencies. Courthouses, she said, should be treated like hospitals or churches — places where immigration enforcement is “the exception, not the practice.”

In other words, don’t you dare enforce laws I don’t like near places where I, and those like me, work. It hurts people’s feelings and doing so is unlawful.

Typically for a California judge, Cantil-Sakauye seems incapable of understanding that it was Obama who violated immigration laws and that Trump is doing nothing more than actually enforcing laws already on the books. She’s a nominal Republican, but there’s something about the California judiciary that rots the brain and all moral principles.

Gawd, but I hate judges. They are enormously responsible for the decline of the rule of law in America. I wish a bee would sting Cantil-Sakauye right in the middle of her forehead as a sign from the Heavens that she’s an idiot.

I bet the Chief Justice gets her news from the WaPo. The WaPo is quickly overtaking the NYT as the worst, most stupid, biased newspaper in America. Lately, it’s not even pretending to report news. It’s just offering crackpot theories.

The paper’s latest theory is that Trump is reversing Obama’s climate control diktats (none of which he could get past Congress), not because every bit of so-called “science” behind anthropogenic climate change has proven to be absolute garbage, but because he’s a Nazi-esque white supremacist.

And once again, I have to assure you, I’m not making this up. This theory is what passes for reporting at the WaPo. Even Ben Bradlee would have expected more than this:

Really, though, Trump’s policy reflects a deeper truth. Climate change denial is not incidental to a nationalist, populist agenda. It’s central to it. And that’s not a coincidence.

Combating global warming requires international cooperation, multinational agreements and rules. Done right, no country is exceptional, and some might have to sacrifice for others. In other words, it strengthens the international order that Trump and his team are so assiduously trying to dismantle in the name of “America First.”

As Andrew Norton, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, explains:

“Climate change is a highly inconvenient truth for nationalism, as it is unsolvable at the national level and requires collective action between states and between different national and local communities. Populist nationalism therefore tends to reject the science of climate change however strong the evidence.”

That reality is reflected in populist platforms around the world. In France, for example, the far-right National Front traffics in climate change skepticism. They’ve rolled out a “patriotic” environmentalist platform that opposes international climate talks as a “communist project. “We don’t want a global agreement or global rule for the environment,” the party’s Mireille d’Ornano told the Guardian.

Did you know that the people most likely to fall for fake news are college educated Leftists? That’s because people who are college educated Leftists no longer know how to think, reason, or analyze. They are micro-brained drones who believe anything, no matter how stupid, if it supports their ideological leanings.

School employee unions are not about education. This story, from Marin, is not about a teacher’s union. It is, instead, about a union for the other staff:

The Tamalpais Union High School District shut down its print shop, laying off two staffers, in December. The California School Employees Association’s contract forbids outsourcing for 39 months after a classified staff position is cut — so the paper is stuck without a printer.

The obvious takeaway is that this staff-centric deal means that the children, instead of learning a (once) useful skill, are now spinning their wheels. T

here’s worse. Are you wondering why the two staffers got laid off? This is why: “Christensen said the print shop ran at an annual deficit of $183,681 per year for the past eight years.” You need to read the whole thing to truly feel the insane burn.

The worst thing about the Maryland rape. According to someone who lives there, to the extent residents of this upscale D.C. suburb can even be brought to care about the issue, they’re drawing all the wrong lessons and are lying to themselves as fast as they can:

The neighbors say in their first reactions: counsel kids on consensual sex. Assume your kids could have done something that horrible too!

They say, don’t dwell on the immigration status of the rapists. Keep politics off the neighborhood website! A resident interviewed by Tucker Carlson was disparaged for posting her interview about the crime on the website, and thereby politicizing it.

They say, there is nothing abnormal here: An 18-year old in 9th grade. It happens all the time! At my daughter’s classes at another MoCo school, I saw girls and boys play in integrated physical education classes. In touch football she, along with most other girls, sensibly shied away from the football and the charging boys. The “game” was quite a farce, but what did the boys learn by blocking and hitting girls?

They say, the schools are peaceful. But MS-13 killings have rocked the area, including one involving a 17-year old girl from another MoCo high school in a neighboring town. The mother of one MS-13 victim had moved from Central America to flee the gangs.

They say, this episode shouldn’t affect the current welcoming policy. This supercilious attitude comes through full-throated in the statements of the MoCo Superintendent of Education and the President of the Rockville City Council, complete with denunciations of racism. Of course some local publications have defended officials or simply failed to report dubious statements harmful to the cause of multiculturalism.

Putting poison in our children. Everyone was up in arms about the government poisoning citizens in Flint, Michigan, but nobody seems sufficiently outraged when local or state government allows young women to take powerful hormonal treatments to stop them from getting pregnant. There’s a terrible story out of Oklahoma, where a “sex education” field trip ended with a 16-year old having a Norplant device put in her arm without her mother’s knowledge or consent. In the crazy, mixed-up world of government interference with child rearing, Mom needed to consent to the field trip, but not to having her daughter loaded up with hormones that change every aspect of a young woman’s body and brain.

What happened wasn’t illegal because, even in Red state Oklahoma, 12-year-olds can get these toxic devices inserted into them. But it was offensive and, I believe, unethical.

Here’s a list of side effects from The Pill: Nausea, vomiting, headache, bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of the ankles/feet (fluid retention), breakthrough bleeding, increased risk of venous thromboembolism (including deep vein thrombosis [DVT] and pulmonary embolism [PE] (which happened to a friend of mine when she was in her 20s), increased risk of ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction, increased risk of blood clots, depression, hypertension, and gallstones.

And sucking in those dangerous chemicals is what we’re letting 12-year-olds do to themselves. Without parental permission, they can’t see an R-rated movie, they can’t get their ears pierced, they can’t go on a field trip, they can’t enroll in school, they can’t drive, they can’t drink, they can’t buy a gun . . . but we hand them something that, if the girl is unlucky, is poisonous.

Moreover, because it’s politically incorrect to research the Pill, we don’t even know, aside from depression, what messing around with an adolescent’s hormones do to her mental and emotional development. It’s crazy and terrible.

Harvard is failing in its job. To its credit, the Harvard Crimson actually ran an opinion piece from two Harvard grads who now work as defense lawyers. They are trying to stop Harvard from enacting “affirmative consent” policies. They point out, accurately enough, that these policies have nothing to do with how the real world operates.

Speaking personally, if Harvard really wants to stop the imaginary rape epidemic it should ban alcohol use. Any person who is enrolled at Harvard and is discovered to have used alcohol should be kicked out. I think the rape “epidemic” would end about ten minutes after the policy went into place.

It goes without saying that, by turning a blind eye to drinking, facilitating a hook-up culture, attacking men, and using false data to scare women, Harvard is failing in its job when it comes to protecting students. However, the opinion piece reveals something else: It also fails at basic education.

While I agree with the opinion piece in principle, the writing is terrible: “Requiring verbal consent seems that it would simplify proof in sexual assault accusations, but it doesn’t.  We have seen multiple cases where the complainant acknowledged that they said yes, but claimed that they did not mean it, or that they non-verbally withdrew the consent later.”

I acknowledge that I make many mistakes at this blog, but that’s because I’m pounding posts out between all the other activities in my life. I’m not preparing an opinion piece for a newspaper. After all, even a Harvard student newspaper carries a faint shadow of its former cachet. I think these lawyers may have done their best. They just don’t know any better and that’s quite possibly the saddest thing of all.

Solving a 5,300 year old crime. Ötzi, the Ice Man recovered from the Swiss Alps during a thaw, did not die a natural death. Researchers called a cold case specialist in to see what his theories are about Ötzi’s death. There’s no way, of course, to prove whether the theories are correct, but they’re still interesting.