October 23, 2017

The Bookworm Beat 3/27/17 — the living in a world of lies edition and open thread

Pinocchio Lies Lying Liars

In a world in which Leftism and Islam have joined in battle for ascendancy, lies are the coin of the realm and truth is a rare and precious commodity.

The posts to which I’ve linked today, for the most part, illustrate the lies that permeate modern Western culture.

Law written in stone versus law written on sand. The Gorsuch nomination process revealed more clearly than usual how devoted the Left is to a “living” Constitution — that is, they dream of a Constitution the meaning of which is determined, not by its actual words and principles, but by whatever their current needs are. You can call it a Narcissists’ Constitution.

Jonah Goldberg has points out with exceptional clarity something point I should have seen a long time ago, which is that the Left does have its own immutable founding document. It’s just not the Constitution:

Consider Dianne Feinstein’s performance during the Gorsuch hearings in the Senate. “I firmly believe that our American Constitution is a living document, intended to evolve as our country evolves,” Feinstein said. “So, I am concerned when I hear that Judge Gorsuch is an ‘originalist’ and ‘strict constructionist.’”

Yeah, okay. But at the same time, Feinstein prattled on about how Roe v. Wade is a “super-precedent,” which I assume is a version of what Senator Arlen Specter (D., R. & I., Republic of Jackassistan) called a “super-duper precedent” — which actually sounds more intelligent when sung by Young Frankenstein.

After noting a bunch of court cases that reaffirmed Roe, Feinstein went on to make an additional point: “Importantly, the dozens of cases affirming Roe are not only about precedent, they are also about a woman’s fundamental and constitutional rights.”

I’m a bit fuzzy about what she sees as the distinction between fundamental and constitutional rights, but that doesn’t matter. Clearly her bedrock belief is that the process of constitutional evolution stopped with Roe v. Wade. One might say that instead of being a 1789 originalist, she’s an originalist of 1973.

Lies from the British police. The Metropolitan Police in London sent out this typically Leftist, entirely disingenuous tweet:

Why? Really? Why?

The Left cannot acknowledge the straight-line connection between Islam and death. Bruce Bawer can and does:

Islam is a religion of hate. But when that hate manifests itself in jihadist terror, the proper leftist move is to turn away from the reality of that hate – which last Wednesday sent several innocent people to a hospital or a morgue – to the purported “hate” of decent, law-abiding individuals who have had quite enough of murderous jihadist hate. Instead of acknowledging that a large minority (if not an outright majority) of British Muslims support sharia law in the U.K. (and that more than a few privately applaud terrorism), you’re supposed to invoke the fantasy of a Britain in which all citizens, infidel and Muslim, share the same values and live together in harmony – except, of course, for the horrid Islamophobes, who, simply by mentioning the Islamic roots of Islamic terror, are exploiting terrorism, dishonoring its victims, and subverting social harmony.

Lies about Islam’s anti-Western political roots. To the extent conservatives respect religion, the Left tends to use Islam’s references to Allah as a weapon against conservatives. For the best and latest example, just look at Hawaii District Court judge Derrick Watson’s execrable ruling against Trump’s executive order. Watson claimed that, although the order is unexceptional on its face, the fact that Trump had said that Muslims were a risk meant that the order was intended to violate the religious rights of people who don’t even live in America or have citizenship here.

The reality is that Islam is not a religion. It’s an imperialist political system with a slight religious gloss to help the political leaders prove to those they oppress that theirs is a legitimate regime. Andrew McCarthy wrote a very good article separating political Islam from religious Islam — and the fact that the latter isn’t competing for spiritual hearts and minds but, instead, is competing for total political control:

There is diversity in Islam, including millions of Muslims who adhere only to its spiritual elements or see themselves as more culturally than doctrinally Islamic. But when we speak of Islam, as opposed to Muslims, we are not speaking about a mere religious belief system. We are talking about a competing civilization — that is very much how Islam self-identifies. It has its own history, principles, values, mores, and legal system.

Islam, thus understood, is not non-Western. It is anti-Western.

Like the conversion of Masood, the conversion of Birmingham has been a function of this defining Islamic attribute. Individual Muslims may assimilate, but Islam doesn’t do assimilation. Islam does not melt into your melting pot. Islam, as Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna proclaimed, is content with nothing less than political, cultural, and civilizational dominance.

As Soeren Kern relates in a comprehensive Gatestone Institute report on Islam in Britain, the metamorphosis of Birmingham, along with several other U.K. population centers, signifies this resistance. When the Islamic presence in a Western community reaches a critical mass, Islam’s hostility to Western mores and demands for sharia governance result in non-Muslim flight. Marriages between Muslims resident in the Western community and Muslims overseas tend to result in childbirth rates and household growth that dwarfs that of the indigenous population. Arranged, intra-familial, and polygamous marriages, endorsed by Islamic mores, drastically alter the fabric of communities in short order. Birmingham, in particular, has been ground zero of “Operation Trojan Horse,” a sharia-supremacist scheme to Islamize the public schools.

“The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” My Lefty friends are at it again, with all sorts of “Christian” posters demanding socialism:

I’ve stopped responding to those posts by saying that Jesus was speaking about individual obligations. I made no headway and got too frustrated to justify an endless unavailing effort to educate people uninterested in education.

You and I know, of course, that Jesus was not preaching that Rome should demand more money from prosperous Citizen A in order help Citizen B. Instead, Rome was kind of like the Democrats. To the extent the government took money from wealthier citizens through taxes, a great deal of that money went to bread and circuses intended, not to alleviate poverty, but to ensure that the poor supported whichever government was handing out goodies.

As data consistently shows, conservatives are more generous at an individual level than are Lefties. Moreover, that’s true even though, thanks to Progressive governance, conservatives are still being forced to hand money over to the government so that, after cuts are made for graft and waste, a small portion of their hard-earned money can inefficiently contribute to maintaining poverty and Democrat votes in America.

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Jeff Jacoby is still fighting the good fight against stupid Leftism and its misuse of Christianity. Thus, he has had it up to here and beyond with the Left’s sudden obsession with scripture and he makes a wonderful point:

[T]he Bible is a sacred text, not a Cliffs Notes for federal budgeteers. No one can deny that Scripture is replete with exhortations to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and be compassionate to the downtrodden. But those injunctions are personal, not political. If they constitute a moral mandate, it is for the action of private individuals guided by conscience, not for government programs created by the state and collectively imposed through the pains and penalties of law.

Brandishing Scripture to promote a partisan political purpose ends up tarnishing the one without elevating the other.

I would never argue that American politics should be devoid of religious influence. This has always been a nation of Bible-readers and churchgoers. “In God We Trust” is the nation’s motto. God appears four times in the Declaration of Independence. His blessing is entreated in every state constitution, and in countless presidential proclamations. It is altogether fitting and proper that religion has played so prominent a role in America’s great social movements, from independence to abolition to equal rights.

But the nation’s deep current of religious influence does not mean that public policy can be made by pointing to Bible verses. It is reasonable to read (for example) Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 — “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me” — as a reminder that the ethical test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members, and a call to each of us to extend a hand to those in need. It is not reasonable to claim that every faithful Christian must therefore endorse Meals on Wheels or defend public housing vouchers from budget cuts.

Correcting some of the SPLC’s lies. Charles Murray is a brilliant, intellectually honest libertarian. But to hear the Leftist mafia at the SPLC tell it, he’s a rabid racist and misogynist, doing his best to return blacks to the fields and women to the kitchen.

After barely missing being assaulted at Middlebury College, something that happened in large part to SPLC disinformation about him, Murray took some time to correct the SPLC’s record. He’s created a brilliant deconstruction of the half-truths and out-and-out lies the Left uses to destroy reputations and indoctrinate people.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but, if I had read the SPLC’s “bio” in the 1990s before I read The Bell Curve, I would have skipped the book and been a much less informed, thoughtful person than I flatter myself I am today. Plus, I still would have been a Leftist.

In 1994, I read The Bell Curve because it was on the bookshelf at a special San Francisco library that, at least in the 1990s, still believed in having a broad range of material available and it looked interesting. I instantly understood that it was not about race but was, instead, about structural deficiencies that our system made worse, rather than better. That was one of the stones across my own personal Rubicon from Left to Right.

People are tuning out the media’s lies. The media is still lying as fast as it can (here’s a recent example) and the polls are doing their best to destroy Trump’s reputation. However, Saleno Zito is on to something when she says neither the media nor the polls will dissuade Trump voters from supporting him. Instead, they’re just hardening their own reputation for being liars:

Live in an urban, minority or college setting, and Donald J. Trump is underwater in the polls in a big way; he gets a frosty 29 percent approval rating in the cities, 35 percent approval in the urban suburbs, in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal survey.

But, live in the second ring of suburbs outside the cities, or the exurbs or the third and fourth rings that comprise rural America, and the president gets a 53 percent to 59 percent job approval rating in the same poll.

[snip]

And, in all likelihood, that effervescent support will continue for a very long time. Why? Because the people who live in those outer rings of cities aren’t just separated by geography; they’re separated by culture, traditions and aspirations that differ from those of their city cousins.

They also are so tired of being ridiculed by the political class over the notion they’re digging in for Trump, more so than they normally would. Especially when they read (yes, they do read) columns in New York Magazine by former theater critic Frank Rich who takes a deep swipe at Trump’s base, writing: “While you can’t blame our new president for loving ‘the poorly educated’ who gave him that blank check, the rest of us are entitled to abstain. If we are free to loathe Trump, we are free to loathe his most loyal voters, who have put the rest of us at risk.”

Such broad swipes at their lives, their beliefs and their intellects — which they imagine Rich and his ilk chuckling over while sipping chardonnay — are what pushed them away from an increasingly elitist Democratic Party in the first place.

As I said, Zito is on to something. Speaking for myself, while I use my Leftist Facebook friends both for blog fodder and to keep me from getting trapped in a conservative information bubble, I really don’t appreciate being told constantly that I’m stupid, racist, sexist, homophobic, and a pawn of the Russians.

The transgender lie will destroy women’s sports. Let me say right up front that there is no such thing as trangsenderism, a word that implies that the people claiming that status do magically cross sex demarcations. Aside from an infinitesimally small cohort of people with genetic mistakes that leave them suspended between the sexes, those people who claim transgenderism are biologically one sex or the other. There is no evidence that their brains or their hormones or their genes or their biological makeup differ in any way from the person of the same sex standing right next to them.

What differs is their mental make-up, much in the same way that an anorexic person’s mental make-up differs when she looks her emaciated frame in the mirror and sees herself as morbidly obese. This is mental illness, not biology.

What is biology is that men are stronger than women. While there are weak men and strong women, on the great bell curve of life, men have bigger bones and bigger muscles. The average man can easily out-muscle the average woman. That’s why men and women compete in different divisions of the same sport.  Go to the Olympic records and you will see that the strongest, fastest women in the world cannot out-ski, out-swim, out-run, out-weight lift or out-anything else the strongest, fastest men.

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That reality is why women, especially feminists, should stop pretending that “transgender” is real, and that a man who announces that he is a woman is, in fact, a woman. He’s not, and that’s true even if he slices off his penis, has breast implants, and starts taking hormones that compete with his own natural hormones.

World Net Daily has an unusually good post on the subject of those men who have decided to compete in the world of women’s athletics:

Biological males are joining women’s teams, smashing records and dominating in sports such as weightlifting, softball, cycling, track, wrestling, football, volleyball, dodgeball, handball, cricket, golf, basketball and mixed martial arts.

The movement for “equality” has apparently inspired transgender athletes to join teams of their preferred gender. And that often means biological males are competing against biological females on women’s teams. But in the world of sports, critics argue, equality between the sexes simply doesn’t exist. Physiologically speaking, there’s a gender gap between men and women that cannot be erased.

It’s a maddening post to read, but it’s also almost funny when one considers that what the Communists used to try to do in a sneaky way back in the 1960s through 1980s, in order to win in international competitions, is now a cool thing that you must accept lest you be branded “transphobic.”

Pretending that “transgenderism” is real means participating in a mass delusion that harms women and children. It’s time to stop this merry-go-round and speak the truth about what’s going on here.

Icky parents, icky children. The Leftist media rap is that the children of Republican presidents are evil, mentally ill people. To Leftists, it’s not attacking children to point this out. It’s a necessary truth.

Meanwhile, when it comes to children of Democrat presidents . . . we’ve all seen the massive build-up the media is trying to do on Chelsea Clinton’s behalf. Given her almost mind-boggling lack of actual accomplishments, they’re reduced to pointing to her tweets as signs of her serious intelligence and political chops. Let’s just say that the media has given itself a Sisyphean task.

And then there are the Obama girls. Aside from photo shoots, the younger daughter, Sasha, has been invisible. I have no problem with that.

The older daughter, though, Malia . . . that’s a different story. She’s out there following in Chelsea’s path, getting the elite girl treatment with high profile internships and admission to a college devoted to her father’s politics. That’s okay. That’s how the world works, especially if you belong to the elite party.

What’s more interesting is what an unpleasant child she is when she gets away from her handlers. She smokes pot, which is stupid and illegal. She comes by it honestly, though, as a second generation “Choom Gang” member.

She’s also a mean drunk (and her drunkenness, of course, is also a sign of illegal conduct):

Saturday, March 25, 2017, found Malia Obama, the 44th President’s oldest daughter, at the Parlor, an exclusive Soho club, for a 21-and-over event.

[snip]

The minor had been rubbing shoulders with other guests all night until she spotted the Gateway Pundit’s own White House correspondent Lucian Wintrich. She was quick to confront him:

[snip]

Multiple witnesses watched as Malia Obama, Obama’s oldest daughter, ran up to Wintrich with the intent of stirring up controversy. Wintrich believes at the point of altercation she was intoxicated, which should bring everyone back to those other moments of infamy when Barack’s daughter decided to “act out”.

Wintrich attempted to snap a picture of Malia before she ran up to him furious. She asked Wintrich to confirm who he was before accosting him and saying: “If you wanna have a conversation, let’s sit down, let’s have a real conversation.”

[snip]

Wintrich responded in kind by welcoming the invitation: “Absolutely. Let’s sit down and have a conversation.”

This positive response from Wintrich sent Malia into a tailspin with the former President’s daughter saying, “I think you’re disgusting.”

“You’re disgusting” seems to be the insult of choice from half-white, spoiled rich girls attending (or on the verge of attending) elite institutions. You can see it thrown about here, during the infamous Yale Halloween debacle in 2015 (and if you watch the whole video, you pretty much see the whole awful Malia class of elite infants spread out before your eyes):

Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown proves me wrong. Yesterday, I wrote a post about the lies Leftists tell regarding immigration. One of the things I discussed was the different kinds of fences in the world. When it comes to borders, there are fences that keep bad people out and good people safe versus fences that wrongfully create prisons around good people. In that context, I wrote the following:

Progressives treat Trump’s proposed Southern border fence (the fence that a bipartisan vote in Congress already passed into law back in 2006) as if it’s the second type of fence, the evil prison fence, meant to imprison people, rather than protect them. If you ask a Progress which people are being imprisoned where, you will not get a straight answer. Instead, you will be told that you’re a racist.

When I wrote those words, I hadn’t been paying attention to California governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. It turns out that, according to him, California is as much a prison state as East Berlin or Cuba:

Here’s Governor Brown on President Trump’s proposed border wall.

GOV. JERRY BROWN:

The wall, to me, is ominous. It reminds me too much of the Berlin Wall. When I see that 30-foot wall, I worry somehow, “Are they trying to keep me in, or keep them out?”

I really think people ought to be careful because there’s a lot of odor here of kind of a strongman, kind of a world where you want the ultimate leader here to be doing all this stuff. And having a wall locking the people in is one of those characteristics. I think Americans ought to be very careful when we make radical changes like a 30-foot wall keeping some in and some out.

I know California has some issues, but is Brown really under the impression that the wall is meant to keep out Californians fleeing to Mexico?

We’re not going to sit around and just play patsy and say, “Hey, go ahead. Lock us in. Do whatever the hell you want. Export– deport 2 billion, 2 million people.” No, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to fight very hard.

Lock us in? Is Jerry Brown still insisting that the wall will keep him from finding freedom in Mexico? Please, go. No one will stop you. Or miss you.

No matter how low you predict Progressives will go, you’re always wrong. They always go lower than one could have imagined.

And to end on a fun note. . . .

About Bookworm 537 Articles
Bookworm came late to conservativism but embraced it with passion. She's been blogging since 2004 about anything that captures her fancy -- and that's usually politics. Her blog's motto is "Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts."