The Inaugural Bookworm Room Podcast — plus the debates, Mueller, and obstruction

Check out the first Bookworm Room Podcast — or read its contents here: Marianne Williamson’s Leftism, Mueller’s picture, and Trump’s non-obstruction.

Bookworm Room Podcast
My podcast illustration.

I finally did it — after literally mulling the matter over (not in the Joe Biden sense, but quite literally) for at least a decade, I finally decided to start a podcast. For years, I’ve said that my dream job is to talk about things that interest me. Here, at my blog, I’ve spent 15 years writing about things that interest me, but talking about them is different. It uses a different part of my brain.

I’ve been waiting a lifetime for someone to pay me to talk. I finally realized that, with podcasts, I can start talking and then see if someone pays me. And even if no one pays me, there’s nothing to stop me from talking.

It wasn’t just the fact that this idea has been in my head for so long that got me started. Instead, I decided that the universe was trying to speak to me.

Last week, I visited with my father’s oldest friend. My father and mother are long gone, but the friend is still around, and I’ve sort of inherited him. He’s 99 now and was fortunate enough to end up with a wonderful caregiver. She’s an L.A. hippie, earth mother type, with Tammy Faye Baker makeup and a heart as big as the world. Everyone Lyra* meets is as a friend and my honorary uncle (for that’s how we treated him when we were children) is in better condition than he’s been in years. At 99, though, my honorary uncle is losing his memory a bit. I therefore spoke with him about stories I remember my dad telling us.

About halfway through the lunch, Lyra suddenly announced, “You know, normally when someone talks as much as you do….”

I froze, blushed hard, and apologized. Lyra was having none of it.

“No, no. What I was going to say is that, usually when someone talks as much as you do, my eyes are just rolling into the back of my head and I tune them out. You’re so interesting, though, I could listen to you forever. You really need to do a YouTube.”

I decided that Lyra was the voice of the universe, nudging me — finally — to act on something I’ve long yearned to do.

I’ve embedded below the link to my first podcast. It’s not too long (about 13 minutes) and, be warned, it is the beginning of the learning curve. I spent about 5 hours working on those 13 minutes, which is why I couldn’t bear to ditch it and decided, instead, to publish it. Next time, it will take less time and be better. I’ll be more fluid, cover more topics, have better audio inserts, etc.

For those who prefer reading, don’t worry: I fully intend to keep blogging. It is, after all, reading has always been my first love. The only thing that got me started listening to podcasts was the fact that, when my joints went and martial arts was no longer do-able, I started to walk for exercise and podcasts were the only things that kept me from going crazy with boredom. Also, on my recent journeys crisscrossing the U.S., podcasts have been a great way to while away 8-10 hour long driving days. There’s only so much Tejano music you can listen to (no matter where I was, my radio seemed to seek out Tejano music).

So, here’s the podcast (or, if your ad-blocker hides it, here’s a link). Scroll down a little, and you can read a full discussion of the topics I covered:

I start by explaining why I decided to do podcasts, along with introducing my dog, “Killer,” who will help provide color commentary. I then point out that Elizabeth Warren has gone off the deep end by insisting that America de-criminalize our borders:

Combine that with her demands for socialized medicine (plus every other pander she offers) and America is suddenly gone: No borders, no money.

But for sheer irritating craziness, there’s nothing like Marianne Williamson. At first glance, she sounds fun and funny, with all her spiritual gobbledy-gook:

There are two things, though, that keep her from being laughable. First, the audience ate it up, which means that she’s red meat for the base. Second, when you look at Williamson’s actual policies and cut away all the spiritual cover, she’s nothing but a garden variety Leftist, advancing the same policies as all the other candidates. For example, here’s the opening paragraph of her issues page on Climate Change, followed by her policy prescriptions, which come a few paragraphs later. The first paragraph is L.A. loon; the prescriptions are Warren-esque or Bernie-esque:

Every problem can be traced to a lack of devotion to things that matter most, and nowhere is this truer than in our relationship to the earth. Humanity’s spiritual disconnection from nature is at the heart of our climate crisis, and reminding ourselves of our moral responsibility to respect and protect the earth will resolve it.


Beginning with the appointment of a world-class environmentalist rather than a fossil fuel or chemical company executive (as is now the case) to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, I would fundamentally reverse the current misuse of the EPA, whereby it serves mainly the cause of profit maximization for fossil fuel and chemical companies, and return it to its original mission of protection and advocacy on behalf of our natural environment. The full powers of the executive branch of the US government would be put in service to this effort.

As president, I would immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Accords — while simultaneously working to expand talks to push for even more meaningful and enforceable agreements. In 2015, we were one of 195 countries to support this important agreement on Climate Change. We should not only re-enter, but also lead a new push for the global transition to reduce and even sequester existing carbon from the atmosphere. Our urgent goal is not just to hold temperature increases as close as possible to where they are now, but instead to reverse global warming back to more long-term sustainable levels. The current Paris Accords don’t go far enough, they may help stem off the worst of the worst consequences, but what we need to be aiming for is to restore health. We must put our full efforts behind continuing a global push to come into alignment on more robust goals and make the agreements enforceable, which they are currently not.


Furthermore, fossil fuel companies not only pollute our air and water, damage our health and accelerate global warming, they have also polluted our political system for far too long. As the result of energy industry lobbying and campaign contributions, the federal government supports the use of fossil fuels and hands out massive tax breaks and subsidies to companies that are already among the most profitable in the world. U.S. fossil fuel producing companies rake in hundreds of billions in revenue every year, with huge profit margins, yet the U.S. ranks the worst of all G7 countries by subsidizing fossil fuels the most—over $26-billion a year.


When it comes to energy, we must:

Expand investments in clean, green energy.

Reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest.

Mirror ambitious, but realistic, efforts in the State of California. This Nation needs to set a goal to transition to cleaner energy as quickly as possible. This will send a message to the US market, large businesses, and utilities.

Reinstate and expand energy and mileage efficiency investments. Conserving energy and making the most of our resources should not be a partisan issue. It is good for everyone. Our scientists and businesses are ready to help lead these efforts, but strong national leadership is essential.

Extend federal incentives and rebates for renewable energy.

Transition away from fossil fuel energy and halt all new fossil fuel projects. We must eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and instead make massive investments in, and provide subsidies for, clean green solutions.


When it comes to transportation:

Fossil Fuel Vehicles: By 2035 we will phase out the sales of new fossil-fuel vehicles. By 2050 we will remove fossil fuel burning vehicles from our roads. We may consider an exception for historical vehicles, schools and museums for educational purposes.

Electric Vehicles: We will accelerate the production of Electric Vehicles, invest in charging infrastructure, and continue efforts to maximize fuel efficiency until we can move away from internal combustion engines. All parking spaces on either private or public land would have to have access to electric charging stations by 2035.

Heavy-duty trucks: Will either use electricity or more sustainable bio-fuels by 2035. All diesel vehicles will be retired by 2050.

Railways: We will require electrification of all railways by 2030, both passenger and freight.

Public Transportation: We will also deploy federal transportation funds to fully empower our cities’ public mass transit systems and walkable and bikeable communities.

Airplanes: All new airplanes would have to use either hydrogen or bio-fuels by 2035.

Williamson is like a communist Wizard of Oz: Pay no attention to the communist woman behind the curtain and just gaze in awe on the wacky spiritualist spouting anodyne New Age wackiness. I consider her quite frightening precisely because too many people find her amusing. (You can see the same hard Leftism when you look at her other issues.)

From Williamson, I transitioned to Robert Mueller. Yeah, yeah, I know that was so last week, but I spent last week in a car and, by day’s end, was too tired to write. I did listen to podcasts and news shows, though, so I know that a lot of people, including conservatives, found Mueller to be rather pathetic. They felt sorry for him as he stumbled for answers and appeared befuddled at times. Even assuming that Mueller was just a rubber stamp without first hand knowledge about the investigation, he still seemed lost.

I did not feel at all sorry for him. To me, Robert Mueller is Dorian Gray. As you may recall from high school or college English class, the eponymous character in Oscar Wilde’s famous novel was a debauched creature who never aged, but always looked fresh, young, and handsome. It turned out that, hidden away in his attic, he had a portrait that faithfully recorded what age and debauchery were doing to him, creating a face that was a repulsive image of a morally damaged human being.

Mueller has managed to maintain an image for rectitude that is inconsistent with a man whose career has been highlighted by crude, brutal efforts to use his prosecutorial power to destroy those people he thought were guilty, regardless of the merits of his case against them, or to destroy people he believed were not sufficiently helping his case. He’s overseen wrongful imprisonments and tattered reputations, and bankrupted more people than I can count. He has an ugly soul and it — his portrait — was on display before the nation last week.

The last point I made also concerned the hearings. Deprived of “Russian collusion,” the Democrats harped endlessly on “obstruction.” Putting aside the fact that it’s not a prosecutor’s job to announce that someone is not not-guilty, there’s the little fact that the investigators in this case were manifestly part of the coup aimed at bringing down a duly elected president of the United States. While innocent people can obstruct justice by interfering with a valid criminal investigation — because we want to encourage people to help honest cops — no one should have to assist with his own destruction at the hands of a coup. Moreover, Mueller at least had the decency to admit that, despite his fulminations, Trump in fact obstructed nothing:

And that was my podcast.

Please check it out and let me know if you’d be willing to listen to it again or if you think others, those less inclined to read than you are, might listen to it. Also, provided that you’re not mean about it, I’d love any constructive criticism you have to offer . . . or maybe you should hold off on the criticism until I’ve got a few more podcasts under my belt and have ironed out the worst of the amateur glitches.
* Not her real name.