The Bookworm Beat 10/9/2018 — the American life edition and open thread

Here it is — a round-up about American life in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings, with everything from politics to plumbing thrown in.

American Life Bookworm BeatThis will be my last big post before my week-long hiatus (during which, as I said, I’m sure something big will happen). Fear not, though, because my friend, the brilliant and inimitable Wolf Howling will be holding the fort in my absence. Meanwhile, here’s some stuff about American life that you can chew on while I’m gone.

But before I get to that, I wanted to update you on the dog situation. Mr. Bookworm finally conceded that our aged, demented, blind, deaf, arthritic dog with an anxiety disorder was (a) miserable and (b) unreasonably burdensome. When she began needing walks every 90 minutes to stay ahead of the incontinence, and even that wasn’t always successful, he made the appointment at the vet. And when she started keeping us up all night long, panting, restless, unhappy, and incontinent, he said he wouldn’t dream of canceling the appointment.

So it was that yesterday our little dog made the journey over the rainbow bridge to doggy heaven. The vet did everything she could to make it a comfortable experience, including having a special cushion for the dog, rather than a scary metal table. She also provided premium doggy treats and our little gal happily munched through those treats to her very last breath.

It was what I call a “Bing Crosby death.” As some of you may recall, Bing Crosby was an avid golfer. It was his favorite pastime. He died of a massive heart attack while golfing on a lovely course in Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean. I always like imagining Bing in the midst of a good round, winding up for a massive swing, and being felled in an instant, with his last conscious thought before Death claimed him being “I am happy.”

Many thanks to all of you who chimed in with your stories and opinions about when to put a beloved pet down. I don’t think I clearly conveyed in the comments how grateful I was for all the wisdom you so generously shared with me.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Bookworm Beat round-up:

Kavanaugh inflamed the moderates. My friend Neo is one of the smartest people blogging today. It’s no surprise, therefore, that she had an incredibly brilliant insight about the reason Kavanaugh’s confirmation process was an earthquake, rather than a temporary tremor. She makes nine specific points, all of which are worth reading, but I want to focus on her last three points:

(7) At that point, it was the moderate wing of the GOP that was galvanized. They suddenly discovered that the rules they thought they’d been playing by all this time, the ones they thought at least some of their Democratic colleagues shared, meant nothing to the opposition.


(8) And that’s why it was the moderate side of the right that stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods in the Kavanaugh fight. Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, all of them harshly vilified in the past by the more conservative wing of the party, found themselves uttering words that those who had previously reviled them were now cheering.

(9) Those words from the RINOs had more power to rally the base than if the same messages had been delivered by senators further to the right. The factor of surprise made for a much more attention-getting story. Lindsay Graham’s tirade was much more newsworthy because it came from Graham rather than, for example, Ted Cruz.

I clipped a lot from the above quotation, because I want to encourage you to read the whole thing. Neo will help you understand the catharsis in the Republican party over the last two weeks.

The things we’re learning about Christine Blowsy-Fraud. Blowsy-Fraud hit the public scene so quickly that there was little time to learn who she was. On the insane Left, all the energy went to destroying Kavanaugh, which meant that those supporting Kavanaugh (as well as Due Process, Congressional norms, and the core value that someone is innocent until proven guilty) kept a tight focus on Blowsy-Ford’s allegations, not on learning more about the woman herself.

Regarding Blowsy-Ford, we were told only that she was a respected academic (more on that in a minute). Her social media footprint was practically invisible, though, so it was impossible to get many insights about her, beyond the fact that she was a Hillary supporter and Pussy-Hat marcher — with the latter fact, standing alone, being something I think that should automatically disqualify anyone from being taken seriously.

That absence of social media ought to have tipped people off instantly that something was going on. Neo points to it as an indicator that Blowsy-Fraud was part of a sophisticated endeavor:

One of the strangest aspects of Ford’s story is that, by the time her identity was revealed, much information about that identity had been removed from the internet with an unusual degree of thoroughness for a layperson, indicating the participation of someone who knew exactly what he or she was doing, not an amateur such as Ford herself. How was this done, and who did it?

For me, one of the most curious aspects of all is that her high school yearbooks disappeared from their online site as well, not long after almost all of her personal information was scrubbed . Ford did not have the power to do this because the yearbooks were not displayed at her site or social media pages. So who did it for her, and why, and at whose behest? What’s more, the site that claimed to have archived and displayed the yearbooks disappeared as well not all that long after.

It takes quite a bit to get me into conspiracy theories, but this has been extremely odd. Are the yearbooks that were displayed at that site authentic? If so, why did the site that offered them disappear without any explanation? The yearbooks revealed massive drinking and partying by the young ladies of Holton Arms, including Ford herself. I’d love to get some clarification on all of this.

Blowsy-Fraud’s academic career was also unexplored. I think the emphasis on Palo Alto was meant to make people think she was affiliated with Stanford, the most prestigious Palo Alto institution. It turns out to be anything but. As this video, out of Ottawa, reveals, Blowsy-Fraud works at a social justice institution. Seriously, even though it’s ostensibly a school to train therapists, its primary goal is social justice:

Given more time, it’s going to become blatantly apparent that this whole Blowsy-Fraud thing was a con from ig to zack.

From top to bottom, the Left wants war. No matter where one looks, the Left wants war. Just watch what happened in Portland, when a compliant mayor let Antifa take over the streets:

You’ve already seen the video of the crazed leftists banging and clawing on the doors of the Supreme Court, while screaming in incoherent rage. You’ve also read about the enraged Google manager demanding the death of the GOP and the elementary school teacher seeking people to assassinate Kavanaugh’s death.

While all this crazy has been going on, the Democrat leadership has been silent and that’s foul. Democrat leaders ought to have been out there telling people to calm down. Telling them that this is how a representative democracy works. Telling them to vote if they want change. But none of them did.

Oh, wait! I’m wrong. One of them did speak up — to encourage more violence. That would be Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, former Secretary of State, and former two-time Democrat party presidential candidate:

The fish rots from the head and the Democrat Party fish has been rotting non-stop since the Clinton administration.

The horrors of Fourth Wave Feminism. First wave feminism was about getting the vote. I support first wave feminism.

Second wave feminism was about equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities to get jobs for which women were/are manifestly qualified. I support second wave feminism.

Third wave feminism has been about women as victims. It’s loathsome.

There’s now something I’ve seen called “fourth wave” feminism. Linda Fox’s post does not use that phrase, but she does call today’s feminism the “Bitchy insistence that Womyn are the Queens of the Universe, and ALL MEN should Bow Down to Them.” This feminism is also loathsome — and the fact that Normal women are not amused may help explain why only Blue city Leftists got hysterically on board with Blowsy-Fraud’s manifestly false accusations.

For the Left, no matter the problem, the solution is control. My friend Earl sent me a link to a post about the now-forgotten Ice Age panic of the 1970s. Earl’s accompanying comment adds the necessary context:

Note the “cure” for “global cooling” . . . straight from the news of the day.

Less freedom (get RID of that automobile), more power for the government.

When “the worm turned” near the end of the ‘70s, and it began to warm a bit, suddenly no one was talking about The Coming Ice Age, it was all We’re Going to BURN!!

But the solution was the same: Less freedom (get RID of that automobile), more power for the government.

And THAT was when I knew for sure that this was political, and not scientific.

The consequences of scorched earth politics. My friend Patrick O’Hannigan has a rare knack for looking underneath social and political trends and seeing the profound moral shifts they represent. In a short, extremely rich essay, entitled Scorched earth and its consequences, he examines the damage wreaked by Progressive ideas that have interwoven themselves into America’s consciousness.

A 1987 movie foresaw today’s dating scene. Today’s news is filled with stories about the end of romance and the beginning of micromanaged sexuality. Campuses are telling students (men, of course, not women) that they need permission for every step they take in a romantic or sexual encounter. “May I touch your arm?” “May I hold your hand?” “May I kiss you, without tongue, for no longer than 5 seconds?” There are even apps for it.

Intrusive, almost-state-mandated creepiness has been substituted for romance. No wonder then that sex robots are something some men think are a really good thing.

But here’s something really funny: It turns out that a little-remembered 1987 comedy sci-fi movie called Cherry 2000which is set in 2017, predicted all this:

Oh, Brave New World!

Remembering the Yom Kippur war. I vividly remember October 6, 1973. I was just twelve-years old. It was a beautifully sunny Saturday and I was sitting my room — done in bright yellow, orange, and white — re-reading Gone With The Wind for the first time when my Mom came into my room, white as a sheet. “Israel’s been attacked,” she announced.

Our family was glued to the television set in the coming days, although I didn’t really understand what the news was reporting. Afterwards, I met young men, both Israeli and American, who had served in that war. They didn’t want to talk about it.

Now I know that Richard Nixon was a great help at the time because, while he had the casual antisemitism common in most of the world (disdain, but not virulence), he was also a Cold Warrior. Israel needed help and he made it happen. The real people who made it happen, of course, were the Israeli soldiers. Ari Lieberman has a short rundown of Israel’s amazing victory and of the Arab’s pathological inability to understand, to this day, what happened to them.

Signing off for now. I’d hope to write more, but we’ve had a little plumbing crisis when a hose exploded. That’s not as bad as it sounds. Had this little plumbing crisis happened after we left for our trip, it would have been a disastrous plumbing event that could have destroyed our house. As it was, with help from our blessed wet vac, plus a lot of rags, plus a lot of running around frantically, finished off with a visit from the plumber . . . all is good.

The whole event was a reminder (which we might have remembered on our own) that you should always turn off the water before you leave for an extended period of time, even if it’s only for 24 hours. Our plumber told us a hair-raising story about a guy who’s pipe exploded back into the dry wall and destroyed the entire house over a long weekend while he was out of town.

Add to the above mini-crisis a frantic call from a client with a short-term research issue and my blogging is over for the day.