Bookworm Beat 8/13/2018 — the holding out against Leftists edition

This Bookworm Beat has it all: Leftist racism, Russian conspiracies, the Cold War, cops, Hercule Poirot, education insanity, crazed campus co-eds, and more.

Bookworm Beat logoThe Trump Tower set-up and other Russian collusion fantasies. You have to be a Leftist to claim that Trump’s son walking away from a meeting at Trump Tower with Russians without promising anyone is collusion, while the fact that federal law enforcement, the DNC, and Hillary’s campaign worked closely with myriad Russians close to Putin to destroy Trump is not collusion.

Lee Smith helps clarify for the confused.

And if you’re still confused, Thomas Lifson reminds us of the staggering double standard that saw the federal government and the media cover for DiFi’s grotesque carelessness with (and profiting from) the Chinese government, while those same institutions are endlessly trying to destroy Trump because . . . something, something Russians, something something:

The contrast with the treatment received by the Trump campaign when a Russian spy was merely suspected (on the basis of what appear to be ginned-up concerns over Carter Page, an FBI informant)  is so stark as to raise serious question as to the integrity of the FBI counterintelligence operation.  The NSA’s ability to monitor every form of electronic communications except ham radio [footnote omitted], was mobilized to spy on the presidential campaign of the opposition party to the Obama administration. No notification to the campaign was offered, unlike Feinstein’s treatment.

The entire incident is being presented to the public as no big deal. That is a classic example of the fake news of which President Trump so vocally complains.

Finally, VDH looks at the insane Russianism driving the Left, some of whom have become true believers, and many of whom are cynical operatives trying to protect either their power bases or their ideological hold over American institutions:

Robert Mueller was tasked with investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election. He was supposed to find proof that Trump campaign officials deliberately collaborated with Russian agents to subvert the election and thereby achieve through foreign subterfuge what they could not secure through votes.

Yet that mandate was jettisoned just weeks after Mueller began, apparently once his lawyers sensed what Peter Strzok (soon to be on his investigatory team) already knew when he had texted Lisa Page, “There’s no big there there” —an impression that both James Comey and James Clapper later shared when they confessed that they had no evidence of Russian collusion.

After a year and a half, Mueller so far has been reduced to indicting some Russians operatives for cyber crimes and a few former Trump officials on charges that have had nothing to do with collusion.

But out of the Mueller conundrum and congressional investigations arose damning information that Obama national-security officials illegally unmasked and leaked to the press the names of those surveilled. In addition, DOJ and FBI officials deliberately misled either gullible or partisan FISA court judges to obtain surveillance warrants on American citizens, on the basis of an unverified dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

Discredited FBI officials lied to federal investigators. The former FBI director leaked confidential memos written on FBI time on FBI devices, and he probably worked with CIA Director John Brennan (who had previously lied twice under oath to the United States Congress) to monitor the Trump campaign, including but not limited to implanting government informants among Trump employees.


In sum, Russian collusion is a 2016 election construct. The hysteria over it serves a palliative for hatred of a presidency that so far cannot be stopped before 2020. Had Hillary Clinton won the election as experts assured the nation she would, there would be no Mueller investigation, either of Trump or of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. Now-fired or reassigned FBI grandees like Andrew McCabe or Peter Strzok and DOJ officials such as Bruce Ohr would have thrived. If anything, embracing conflicts of interest and bias to successfully warp an election would be seen as a sacrifice to be rewarded, not culpability to be punished.

The Cold War reminds us that socialism is bad. A new poll came out showing that Democrats adore socialism, which they think is better for people than capitalism. This view, of course, means that they’re looking, not at National Socialism (aka Nazis), or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (aka the Soviet Union), or the completely socialists Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka North Korea).

Instead, what it means is that they’re looking at that rosy view of Western Europe from the 1960s through the 1990s. Of course, they’re totally missing the fact that Europe, despite its claim that it was “socialist,” wasn’t socialist at all.

What supported Western Europe’s cradle-to-grave socialism was America. We paid for their military costs and accepted their outrageous tariffs, all to help them to recover from WWII and to prevent them from once again falling into an apocalyptic conflagration. Europe may have art and architecture, but the 20th century proved that it had little in the way of actual civilization.

Anyway, if you know a Leftist stupid enough to think socialism is the answer, this video might (maybe, perhaps, just possibly) help you educate that person (h/t Seraphic Secret):

Big Tech is so bad, even Noam Chomsky objects. This comes from the wonderful world of “even a stopped clock is right twice a day“:

Responding from his official MIT email address, Chomsky wrote, “What I’ve seen of what he does is outrageous, but unlike many civil libertarians here and especially in other countries, I don’t think that the right way to deal with
‘hate speech’ and crazed fabrications is to ban them; rather, to confront them, and to seek and confront the reasons why anyone pays a moment’s attention to them.”

Who knew that the arch-Leftist Chomsky was a fan of the marketplace of ideas and free speech? (And no, I did not miss the fact that he accused “civil libertarians” of advocating censorship. I have no idea what he’s talking about, since the essence of libertarianism is that we don’t bring the government’s heavy hand down on things.)

Leftists hate blacks who aren’t Leftists:

A real person looks at Trump. She’s not Antifa, she’s not the media, she’s not a Hollywood bazillionaire, she’s not an NFL multi-millionaire, she’s not someone who sees herself as a member of a victim class. She’s just a real person — and she sees something very real in Trump:

Trump has a way of clarifying things. It’s no surprise that the woman in the video above took to Trump. As Don Surber explains, Trump has an almost uncanny knack for causing people to reveal their true colors — colors that are usually pretty off-putting:

It turned out that most of the neocons who pushed for the Iraq War were not about protecting our borders at all, as they oppose the wall. Trillions for defense but not one cent to keep terrorists out.

It turned out the national intelligence apparatus isn’t about detecting foreign terrorists before they attack; instead the FBI uses these tools to engage in political espionage.

It turned out free trade is not free at all but rather about securing trade deficits that keep communists in charge in Red China.

It turned out Republicans really didn’t want to repeal Obamacare after all.

It turned out the Internet Oligarchs are as evil as the Russian Oligarchs. Power corrupts.

President Trump has not brought out the worst in people. He only revealed it.

Samantha Bee’s use of the C-word — and Time-Warner’s approval of that use — to describe the First Daughter reveals the misogyny in the entertainment world, an industry that protected predators like Harvey Weinstein for decades.

I strongly suggest that you read the whole thing. It’s enlightening.

NeverTrumpers really don’t like you. Kurt Schlichter has the measure of those NeverTrumpers who prated for years about conservativism but, when we finally got a president who puts conservativism into practice, are suddenly shrieking like maiden ladies confronted with a stripper.

They hate you because you refuse to honor and respect them, to validate their cheesy status within the Beltway hierarchy, and to acknowledge them as your betters. Your pig-headed uppityness has disrupted their scam. The old paradigm, the model of go-along/get-along and feed the crackers out there in America articles about lib outrages to keep them writing checks, no longer cuts it. You’ve stripped them of their status by holding them accountable for their failure to fight for conservatism, and for us.

And it is such a pathetic status – maybe they are fighting so hard because the stakes are so low. For some, it’s a mention on the masthead of an anorexically thin magazine that now publishes only because some zillionaire keeps handing its boss wads of cash, the actual subscribers to the cruise-shilling brochure having abandoned ship after the seven hundredth “Trump Is Icky!” expose.


For decades, they fed us articles, columns, and books about the left’s campaign to muzzle the right, but suddenly Conservative, Inc., has discovered that it is all for muzzling of what it deems the wrong people on the right. And the best part is this revelation comes after nearly three years of their non-stop lectures about principles. Their only principle is themselves.

Leftists will sacrifice you to feel good about themselves.

We don’t exist to make government rich. In a seriously smart, accessible article about the economy, Dan Mitchell points out that, when pushed, even Paul Krugman, the former economist, admits that the Laffer curve makes sense. Mitchell’s discussion about the Laffer curve, standing on its own, makes his post worth reading.

What I really loved about the post, though, was the point he made about government revenue:

I have two thoughts about this debate. First, if the revenue-maximizing rate is 70 percent, then why did the IRS collect so much additional revenue from upper-income taxpayers when Reagan lowered the top rate from 70 percent to 28 percent?

Second, I don’t want to maximize revenue for government. That’s why I always make sure my depictions of the Laffer Curve show both the revenue-maximizing point and the growth-maximizing point. At the risk of stating the obvious, I prefer the growth-maximizing point.

That’s exactly the right way to look at things. We taxpayers do not exist to enrich government. We exist to provide the lowest amount of funds necessary to have a functioning constitutional government that supports a healthy, free-market economy in which individual liberty thrives.

The problem isn’t cops; it’s culture.

Since Antifa is in a race to the bottom, I’m not surprised it allies itself with pedophiles. This video came out last fall, but it seems worthwhile reposting it simply to remind you who Antifa is and what Antifa wants.

Hungary blocks the gender studies scam. I keep saying that America’s colleges and universities are Ground Zero for much that is wrong with America. Gender studies, which isn’t a study at all, but is a buzz saw existential whine from Leftists aimed at tearing down Western culture, isn’t just an American problem; it’s a worldwide problem. Hungary has had enough and will no longer allow state funds to be used to promote this attack on core Western values:

Hungary’s populist government is stopping universities from offering courses in gender studies, saying there is no need for graduates in the labor market and they take taxpayer money away from other programs.


“There is no economic rationale for studies such as these, and so we have reason to presume that it was not created in response to labor market needs, and equally not to furnish students with skills that can be readily and directly converted on the labor market,” he said. It is also questionable to what extent studies with admittedly such low student numbers are economical and sustainable.”

And speaking of academics, Sowell has something to say:

We need to make a college woman version of Fatal Attraction. You remember Fatal Attraction, right? Happily married man Michael Douglas stupidly has a fling with the apparently normal and attractive Glenn Close, only to have her boil bunnies and try to kill him and his family.

We need to make a version about today’s college women and have all young men heading to college watch the movie. That way they might be a little more savvy about the crazy that is today’s indoctrinated co-ed. You need to read the whole linked article to understand the horrors of campus Title IX administration policies, but I’m going to quote at length here the undisputed factual narrative, which shows a young man who wanted sex (of course) and a young woman who wanted to destroy his life once she started feeling bad about her own decisions:

John and Jane had previously been casual acquaintances. On October 4, 2014, while at a party at CMC, Jane called John and asked him to meet her. The two had both been drinking, and Jane would later claim that John had encouraged her to take some shots of vodka earlier in the evening. John denied seeing her prior to her asking him to meet up.

The two met up and began kissing after a few minutes of talking. John asked if Jane wanted to go back to his dorm. The two returned to his room and, according to John, undressed each other and attempted intercourse with a condom but John had difficulty. Jane then claims he got frustrated and became rough with her sexually, so she asked him to stop. She told CMC investigators that he removed the condom and continued, at which time she struggled to get out from under him. She said she kept asking him to stop but he wouldn’t, so she waited until he passed out and then left the room.

John, on the other hand, says in his lawsuit that he and Jane mutually agreed to remove the condom, attempted “numerous sexual positions,” and that Jane never objected. He says he does remember her seeming tired and not “super into it” since she had previously made an effort when he was wearing the condom. John says in his lawsuit that Jane performed oral sex after intercourse and asked if they would be “friends with benefits” before she left. He said “yes.”

After this encounter, Jane called several friends “distraught” and asking for them to go with her to purchase the morning after pill. They told the CMC investigator that Jane was upset that she had unprotected sex, but made no mention of sexual assault.

Jane and John texted the next day, and Jane said they needed to talk. John asked if he assaulted her, and she responded: “No haha you did not” and only mentioned the lack of a condom. John says in his lawsuit that he pretended not to remember the night before so that he wouldn’t give Jane the wrong idea about his feelings for her.

The two met up later that day and John gave Jane pregnancy tests. She gave him a comic book. They continued texting that day, but later on Jane said she was so sore she couldn’t walk and needed to see the school doctor. She said he had been “a bit rough.” When Jane went to the doctor the next day, she listed the reason for the pain as “excessive sex over prolonged period of [time] in a dorm room at CMC.” The doctors asked if she had been sexually assaulted and she said no. She was referred to another doctor and still didn’t say she was sexually assaulted.

She later texted a friend: “[T]his is gonna ma[k]e a [g]ood story one da[y]” and “[I] just want [John].” She added: “Haha but I really don’t know if that’s gonna happen. I can hope but I don’t want to get my hopes up. Hope for the best but expect the worst.”

Jane then texted John to come over because she wanted to “explain everything.” At that time, she still didn’t claim to be sexually assaulted.

On October 7, she texted about superheroes. Jane texted a friend that day that John was “so HOT.” Jane would later tell campus investigators she pretended to be interested in John so her friends wouldn’t think she was promiscuous.

On October 9, Jane attempted to meet up with John at a party but couldn’t. She texted him about it, and later told investigators this upset her.

Later that month, John joked that he had sex with Jane “so hard that he put her in the hospital” and joked that he was the “bone hammer.” He used this nickname with Jane and even asked her to send him a copy of her medical report as proof — in January 2015. She sent it and they both said it was “hilarious,” according to court documents.

Around Valentine’s Day, the joke continued, with one of John’s friends referring to it in a joke Valentine’s gram. John thought Jane sent it, and asked her about it. This upset Jane, who texted a friend claiming that on that night now four months earlier, John had sex with her after she asked him to stop.

On March 4, Jane asked John to meet in the evening. He asked if they could meet in the morning, which upset Jane. The next day she reported him to Scripps College (the school she actually attended). Scripps contacted CMC, which started an investigation.

Dear young men: Don’t get drunk. Don’t do hook-ups. Control your libido long enough to find a nice young woman with whom you have a committed, monogamous relationship. Treat her with great respect. Never talk about her in disrespectful or compromising terms. If you break up, do it kindly and, again, be discrete and respectful in everything you say and do. And then maybe, just maybe, you’ll be safe.

We can be more than victims. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has a very uplifting post about the way in which we can control our own narrative. Sure, the Left wants everyone to be a helpless victim, angry and dependent on others for identity, money, security, social standing, etc., but we don’t have to be that person:

How can you be a victim and yet not see yourself as a victim without being guilty of denial, or deliberate forgetfulness, or wishful thinking?

The answer is that uniquely — this is what makes us Homo sapiens — in any given situation we can look back or we can look forward. We can ask: “Why did this happen?” That involves looking back for some cause in the past. Or we can ask, “What then shall I do?” This involves looking forward, trying to work out some future destination, given that this is our starting point.

There is a massive difference between the two. I can’t change the past. But I can change the future. Looking back, I see myself as an object acted on by forces largely beyond my control. Looking forward, I see myself as a subject, a choosing moral agent, deciding which path to take from here to where I want eventually to be.

Both are legitimate ways of thinking, but one leads to resentment, bitterness, rage and a desire for revenge. The other leads to challenge, courage, strength of will and self-control.

WANTED: Kenneth Branagh for the murder of Agatha Christie (or Hercule Poirot). Mr. Bookworm likes HBO in significant part because of its hard Left program. I dislike it for the same reason. Because this is a pluralist household, though, HBO is part of our line-up. I therefore occasionally find myself watching it because it shows relatively new movies I didn’t see in the theater. So it was that, last night, I found myself watching Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Like all Branagh movies, it’s super pretty, with a nice eye for period detail (it’s set in 1934). And like most Branagh movies, it’s got a big name cast. If those are enough for you, by all means, see the movie.

But if you are an Agatha Christie or Hercule Poirot fan, whatever you do, do not see the movie. First, there’s Branagh’s unconscionable attack on poor Poirot. One of the defining characteristics of the written Poirot is his mustache, which is big and black. Branagh got the big part right, but it’s a gray mustache, which is just so wrong. It’s like Harry Potter without the glasses or Superman wearing hot pink. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Poirot as written is also decidedly non-physical. He would not be getting into fist fights or chasing suspects. And yet that’s what Branagh does. It’s awful. Again, Spiderman in a kitty-cat outfit.

And then there was the relentless virtue signaling about race. Certainly Christie had the prejudices of her time and place. I have no problem with erasing those from current productions. What made me crazy was the fact that the movie, about every 15 minutes, had to tell us America is/was racist or make a point about how racism was bad. It was distracting, in that it added nothing to the movie. It’s whole purpose was to show that the saccharine Branagh (who clearly has no respect for Poirot or for Christie’s taut, clever writing) is a “good person.”

All around, I thought it was a boring, busy, messy, offensive movie. I do not recommend it.

BØRNS cheers me up. Yesterday I blogged about how drab youth music is. BØRNS, though, has this nice bit of technopop (although you still can’t really sing along with it):

My Little Bookworm enjoyed both the group and the song, although he expressed very un-PC confusion about BØRNS’s gender. No matter how well you train the kids, they know the differences lurking under people’s clothes.