Bookworm Beat 12/18/18 — the new car edition and open thread

This Bookworm Beat isn’t actually about new cars. It’s about the Steele Dossier, Islamic terrorism, crazy California, Europe’s coming collapse, & much more.

Bookworm Beat Woman Writing American Left's FascismNo, I don’t have a new car, but I need one soon. I want a small SUV with all-wheel drive. My current top contenders are the Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX-5.

If you have opinions or information about either of those cars, or about comparable cars, I’m all ears. I’ve already spent time researching and driving the two cars, but I’m somewhat frozen, as is always the case for me before a big expenditure. That freeze seemed to extend to blogging today, but I’m ready to go now.

We always knew it, but know Steele confirms it. It’s been obvious for a long time that the whole Steele dossier, complete with unverified, and impossible to verify, scandalous information about Trump, was a fake. We also learned that Hillary paid for it. For the first time, though, I think Christopher Steele has stated, under oath, precisely why Hillary paid for it:

British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who wrote the Democrat-financed anti-Trump dossier, said in a court case that he was hired by a Democratic law firm in preparation for Hillary Clinton challenging the results of the 2016 presidential election.

He said the law firm Perkins Coie wanted to be in a position to contest the results based on evidence he unearthed on the Trump campaign conspiring with Moscow on election interference.

Let me rephrase that: Hillary paid money for a British man to collude with the Russians by introducing to America disinformation intended to bring down a properly elected American president. Somehow the mainstream media keeps missing the biggest scandal in the history of American elections.

Oakland Muslim assures everyone it was a joke. Sometimes we’re told that murderous Muslims are insane . . . and sometimes we’re told that they have senses of humor so deep and refined that ordinary people just can’t understand them when they joke about killing 10,000 people in the Bay Area and, in fact, try to work with ISIS to make it happen:

An Oakland man hoped to kill 10,000 Bay Area residents, according to court records that reveal a chilling plan of planting bombs around Oakland and UC Berkeley, blowing up a gay bar in San Francisco, setting arson fires around the Berkeley hills and distributing poisoned cocaine in local night clubs.

Amer Alhaggagi, whose last name is also spelled “Al-Haggagi” in court records, was caught on video discussing the plots with an undercover FBI agent.

Alhaggagi pleaded guilty in July to attempting to give material aid to a terrorist organization, stemming from when he helped set up propaganda social media accounts for people connected to the Islamic State, known as ISIL and ISIS. He also pleaded guilty to three identity-theft counts. He appeared in federal court Monday for a sentencing hearing, which was continued to next month.

“I want to make it to a point where every American here thinks twice or three times before he leaves his home,” Alhaggagi said on the video, which was obtained by KQED. “Like, ‘Is it necessary for me to leave right now?’ That’s how I want it to be.”

But in a letter to the court, Alhaggagi claimed the purported plots were fantasies he concocted out of boredom and said he had no intentions of committing terrorism.

“Everything was a joke to me, … I didn’t think anyone was taking me seriously,” Alhaggagi wrote to the court. “I do not support any terrorist organization, or any organization for that matter. It truly saddens me to acknowledge and own up to the fact that it took me to come to this calaboose to elevate my mind from the vacuous state that it was in. I feel really bad for the harm I’ve caused everyone and wasting the FBIs (sic) valuable time.”

Here’s a video with this stand-up comic sitting down to talk about his plans:

Your call — joke or not joke?

Toblerone decided to help me diet. As long-time readers know, I have a thing about chocolate. Chocolate is my meth. Sometimes, though, chocolate manufacturers decide to help me help myself. Such is the case with Toblerone, a Swiss subsidiary of Mondelez, which announced that it will conform all future chocolate bars to halal dietary laws.

I don’t blame the company for making that decision. It turns out that the company exports 97% of its bars to other countries, presumably a significant number of which are Muslim majority or have sizable Muslim communities that like chocolate.

I, however, prefer not to eat halal food. I feel that Islam is making sufficient inroads into the world without my food passing through Islamic Imam inspections. This is not ill-will to Toblerone or Muslims; it’s just a personal preference for non-halal food.

And so, I’d like to thank Toblerone for leading me out of at least a little bit of chocolate temptation.

Our local representative is a good soldier for the Left. Here in Marin, the limousine liberals sent Jared Huffman to the House of Representatives. Despite the fact that his hard Left focus is now meant to be national, he’s still keeping his little Leftist fingers in the Marin pie.

That’s why Huffman just descended from his rarefied D.C. perch to get involved in a local matter in one of the Marin towns. This town has a school called “Dixie School.” Marin’s Native Americans are proud of that school name because they contend that it is named after Mary Dixie, a local Miwok woman. Apparently, Dixie was an important Miwok name in this neck of the woods.

The virtue signaling Lefties with which Marin is overflowing, though, don’t care about history. The word “Dixie” is 2018’s “N” word and it must go. And that’s where Huffman’s nose sticks in. Huffman claims he needs to speak up because of the “ugly resurgence of neo-Confederates and white nationalists” (all 500 or so of them out of a nation of over 300 million people).

I didn’t vote for Huffman. I would never vote for Huffman. The political world would be a better place if Huffman did his rightful work amongst the ranks of used car salesmen, journalists, drug dealers, and other bottom feeders.

The best thing about the long article in our local newspaper is the comments section. Many of those who bothered to comment are hacked off by this expensive, time-wasting virtue signaling. Here are a few gems from the 138 comments:

From rupright: “Oh Wise One. While you protect the tender feelings of some, please don’t stop there. Prior to rewriting all of American History, there are many other names to change to protect the delicate. Magnolia Avenue! – so reminiscent of the South. Fairfax (a town in the Confederacy). Johnson St. (the name of a Confederate General). Buchanan St. (the name of the President who didn’t attack the South after they seceded). C Street – the first letter in Confederacy!

So much work to do to protect those so very delicate.”

From happy gilmore: “Pretty sure the rich white people of Marin will always be haunted by ghosts of racist past regardless if the name changes. It is just one more fake thing to have them pat themselves on the back for accomplishing while passing Marin City and ignoring the actual segregated communities of our county.”

From Bobster94901: “The name ‘Huffman’ is sexist and should be changed to ‘Huffperson’.”

From Winter Archer: “To quote one of the politicians:

‘Whatever the true origins of the name of the school district,” McGuire said, “there is no question that ‘Dixie’ is synonymous not just with the Southern Confederacy, but also with racism and deep psychic pain.’

So, the real origin of the name is not important to these carpet baggers, just how it looks based on their perceptions.”

StinkD: “SUCH a waste of time and money! Bunch of white people trying to feel better about themselves….over a school name that has NOTHING to do with racism, slavery or the south! Let it go! The kids had NO idea what “Dixie” even meant until the adults came along! Dixie Cups, Dixie Chix,…come on people! Stop the madness!”

There are also lots of comments supporting the name change, but I enjoyed the ones that opposed the virtue signaling.

It’s not just Marin; all of California is crazy. With the year drawing to a close, the San Francisco Comical did a round-up of the new laws that will be laid upon those long-suffering Californians who are at the mercy of the virtue signalers clustered in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. It’s a fascinating list. I’ve helped by labeling some of the new laws, below:

  • Climate salvation laws:
    • No plastic straws at sit-down restaurants unless specifically requested.
    • PG&E bills will go up because of the wildfires it caused, in part, to environmentalists blocking forest management that would normally have cut down flammable deadwood. (Actually, some wisdom seems to have descended on our Assembly, which also allocated money to future forest thinning.)
    • Prisoners can go vegan (and so can hospital patients) to help save the planet.
    • California must plan to have 100% renewable energy by 2050 — and be at 50% by 2025. Apparently no one read the article saying it’s impossible.
  • We are women, hear us roar:
    • Boards of publicly traded companies must have token women.
    • Any business with five or more employees (as opposed to the current 50 or more) will have to provide sexual harassment training. (My Dad’s sexual harassment training was easy: “If they bother you, kick ’em in the nuts.”)
  • All your children are belong to us:
    • Restaurants may offer only milk or water on children’s menus.
  • Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    • All law enforcement must have special training about sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Crime doesn’t pay; or maybe it does.
    • No more cash bail, with prisoners just being ranked by risk. (Apparently if you’re high risk, you stay in prison; if lesser risk, out you go.)
    • Employers can no longer asks about arrests that didn’t lead to conviction, or about anything related to pre- or post-trial diversion programs, or about dismissed or sealed convictions. (I don’t have a problem with this one.)
  • We don’t need no stinkin’ Second Amendment
    • People below the age of 21 are disarmed.
    • People convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence are disarmed forever.

They hate us; they really hate us. If you want to feel terrible about life, read Pamela Garber’s disheartening essay about being a single woman in Manhattan who supports Donald Trump. It will remind you that, for the Left, politics is a zero-sum game. They don’t just disagree with us, they hate us. They really hate us.

Michelle Obama: angry, guilty ridden Ivy League black princess. In 2008, I started to read Michelle Obama’s bachelor’s thesis from Princeton. I gave up after a few pages, because she wrote in a weird simulacrum of English that confused and exhausted me.

With Michelle hitting the trail to insult Trump, belittle everybody, and make noises that hit at a prospective run for 2020, David Goldman dug out the article he wrote in 2008 after he bravely made the effort to read the whole thesis. The result is sad, as it’s apparent that Michelle hates herself, hates Princeton, hates whites, hates the wrong types of blacks, etc.

Wait. I take that back. It’s not sad. It’s scary. It’s scary that such an angry, self-loathing, arrogant woman, who quite obviously has not mellowed in her views over the years, has a shot at returning the whole Obama ideology to the White House.

Bruce Bawer examines Paris. If I want to know what’s going on in Europe, I look to Bruce Bawer. He’s now turned his attention to the riots in Paris, which are a delightful amalgam of third worlders demanding money and Islam, native French people sidelined by those third worlders, and the small number of elite one-worlders who pander to the former group and abuse the latter.

Daniel Greenfield examines the UN. When I was little, I thought UNICEF was the best organization in the world. When I was in Model UN, I got the feeling that the UN was ineffective. When I was in my 20s, I thought it was a joke. Now, as a mature *mumble, mumble*, I know the UN for what it is: an incredibly evil, antisemitic organization that seeks vast power over all nations.

Worse than that, though, it is structurally Islamic, something that is bad for Israel, America, Jews, Christians, Women, Children, Homosexuals, etc.:

The United Nations resolution condemning Hamas was a typical example of the problem. Despite complaints about bias at the UN, the American resolution actually picked up a majority of the votes with 87 countries voting for the resolution, 57 countries voting against it and 33 countries abstaining.

It did not however manage a two-thirds majority because a bloc of Muslim and leftist countries voted against it. 38 out of 58, the majority of the votes defending Hamas, came from majority Muslim countries: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Gambia, Niger, Comoros, Guinea and Djibouti.

65% of the pro-Hamas votes came from majority Muslim nations.

Another 5 of the votes came from Muslim minority countries: Mauritius, Suriname, Nigeria, Congo and Mozambique.

That means 74% or three-quarters of the pro-Hamas vote came from majority or minority Muslim countries accounting for the vast majority of the total.

And then there’s Russia and China, which along with their satellites like Belarus, Latvia, Mongolia and Laos, backed Hamas. The Russians effectively created the “Palestinians” and are hostile to America so any other vote would have been unimaginable. And China also finds it useful to support Islamic terrorists in Israel even as it ruthlessly cracks down on its own domestic Muslim population. In a cynical tradeoff, Muslim countries don’t object to China’s Islamic repression as long it backs them on Israel.

But while Russia and China aren’t Muslim minority countries because their overall populations are so large, their Muslim minorities are still huge enough to be larger than some of the countries on this list with over 10 million Muslims in Russia (more in its areas of influence) and over 20 million in China.

Add Russia, China and their satellites to the list, and 49 out of 58, or 84%, the vast majority of the pro-Hamas votes, came from countries with large percentages or numbers of domestic Muslims.

Read the whole article, which is both fascinating and sickening. The only reason I can see for the U.S. to continue to legitimize (and fund) the UN is if we’re spying on other countries when their representatives are at Turtle Bay. Otherwise, we ought to treat the UN with the disdain it deserves by withdrawing from and defunding that foul institution.

A quick look at Europe’s new Muslim overlords. They’re not shy about their belief systems:

Again, you have to wonder if Merkel was a naive Leftist or a recently awoken communist sleeper plant who is working to destroy Europe from the inside. America follows Europe’s example at its peril.

Meanwhile, in Belgium, some are awakening, so much so that the Belgian government just fell over its open door immigration policies, as embodied in its willingness to sign onto the UN migration pact that essentially destroys all national borders:

Nationalist anger over migration brought down the Belgian government on Tuesday, forcing Prime Minister Charles Michel to offer the king his resignation.


Michel, who took office in 2014, lost the backing of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) over his support for the UN migration pact, a cause celebre for European anti-immigration parties.

The resignation comes two days after demonstrations against the pact in central Brussels descended into scuffles, with police forced to use tear gas and water cannon to restore order.

After a debate in parliament where opposition parties refused to agree to vote on planned reforms on a case-by-case basis until the May 26 election, Michel announced he would quit.

“I have taken the decision to submit my resignation and it is my intention to go to see the king immediately,” Michel said, jumping before lawmakers could push him with a motion of no confidence.

Why don’t these people ever lead by example? Clemson philosophy professor Todd May thinks the earth would be better off without humans. Ben Shapiro dissects his nonsense:

May begins by acknowledging that the experience of “humans coming to an end would be a bad thing” – or at least it would cause some pain. He is agnostic on the question of whether “human begins as a species deserve to die out.” The question May wonders about is whether it would be a “tragedy if the planet no longer contained human beings.” His conclusion: “it would be a tragedy and that it might be a good thing.”

You first, dude.

All I could think of after reading May’s nonsense is that oldC philosophy question about trees falling. You know the one: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If humans with their higher perceptions are gone from their earth, does the earth even have meaning anymore?

The perils of being woke. Except for the American Revolution, which was an exceptionally civilized revolution aimed at individual liberty, rather than shifting control from one tyranny to another, revolutions always eat their own. Today’s Exhibit A for that principle is Mt. Holyoke, an all-women’s college (although it makes an exception for biological men who claim to be women, meaning that it’s not at all an all-women’s college):

Mount Holyoke College (MHC) officials tried to commission a new logo for the school that included the initials MHC sideways, so that the “H” and the “C” formed the female gender symbol – known as the Venus symbol.

This angered students and alumni who don’t identify as women, and the school was forced to apologize and withdraw the logo design….

I’ve blogged about Mt. Holyoke’s insanity before, in connection with its ludicrous take on that woeful feminist play, The Vagina Monologues. It was one of my better posts, if I do say so myself.

Here’s Prager U’s quick take on the latest transgender madness and the damage it does to women:

Speaking of revolutions eating their own, a profound article about China. James David Banker, writing at Quillette, has written something extremely important about the Cultural Revolution in China, and the comparisons to today’s young social justice warriors is chilling:

“Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart,” wrote James Baldwin, “for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.” This observation has been confirmed many times throughout history. However, China’s Cultural Revolution offers perhaps the starkest illustration of just how dangerous the “pure in heart” can be. The ideological justification for the revolution was to purge the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the nation more broadly, of impure elements hidden in its midst: capitalists, counter-revolutionaries, and “representatives of the bourgeoisie.” To that end, Mao Zedong activated China’s youth—unblemished and uncorrupted in heart and mind—to lead the struggle for purity. Christened the “Red Guards,” they were placed at the vanguard of a revolution that was, in truth, a cynical effort by Mao to reassert his waning power in the Party. Nevertheless, it set in motion a self-destructive force of almost unimaginable depravity.


That chain reaction [of student activism] was accelerated by “working groups” of ideologues sent to administer schools. Under their tenure, schools became centers of activism rather than learning. Students were encouraged to create big-character posters exposing their own teachers, officials, and even parents. The accused were humiliated in daily “struggle sessions” in which their students and colleagues interrogated them and demanded confessions. The viciousness of these sessions rapidly intensified. Students beat, spat upon, and tortured—in horrifically creative ways—their often elderly teachers and professors. In one case, students demanded their biology professor stare at the sun with wide open eyes. If he blinked or looked away, they beat him. Even middle and elementary school students participated in the struggle sessions, sometimes beating their teachers to death with sticks and belt buckles.


Mao’s decision to use China’s youth as his vanguard was, by fortune or foresight, instrumental to the revolution’s initial success. The young may be pure in heart, but they are also high on emotion and short on life experience. Simply put, they are natural philistines. Still in their identity-forming years, China’s young had few barriers to a complete identification with the Red Guards. Conformity and intolerance of dissent followed naturally. When students were not attending rallies and struggle sessions, they spent endless hours studying and discussing Mao’s Little Red Book. As Lu Li’an, a former Red Guard, explained, “We were taught only about revolution so when we read the works of propaganda literature we really wanted to be at the head, at the vanguard of revolutionary history.” With undeveloped mental immune systems, their soft skulls were fertile ground for Mao’s secular Manichaeism. Manichaeism reduces society, with all the diversity and complexity of human experience, to a blunt dichotomy: light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong, radical and reactionary. “There is no middle way!” became a popular slogan. Ideologies like these are intellectually and morally vapid, yet their simplicity and certainty are alluring, especially to the young. Thus, Mao’s child revolutionaries could—with youthful exuberance and clarity of purpose—chain a teacher to a radiator and bludgeon him to death with an iron bar, or force a teacher to eat nails and feces, among other tortures.

I strongly urge you to read the whole thing. It’s chilling, but important.

It’s also a reminder that now would be a good time to rein today’s Red Guards, rather than bowing down before them. They won’t control themselves. Each victory feeds their madness. If we don’t want to go the way of China, we adults must assert ourselves and the norms of cultural civility.

I love glitter. You may have already seen this viral video about a glitter bomb for package thieves, but if you haven’t, I think you’ll enjoy it:

I did find it interesting that most of the thieves felt like victims. In only one case does one hear a friend of the thief saying something along the lines of “it serves you right.” Also, it’s not clear whether the glitter-bomb maker turned the culprits over to the police. I hope he did. They need to be stopped.