Bookworm Beat 7/6/2018 — The post D-Day edition and open thread

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There are so many interesting things out there (apologies, pardons, STDs, war, etc.) that I had to do a Bookworm Beat to share all of them with you.

Samantha Bee apologizes as only a narcissist can. One of the surest signs that someone is a narcissist is the fact that he or she cannot offer a heartfelt apology. Narcissists only traffic in non-apology apologies.

For example, if a narcissist breaks your vase, the narcissist will not say “I am so sorry I broke your vase.” Instead, the narcissist will say “I’m sorry you’re upset that your vase is broken.” Translated, this means that the narcissist is sorry that you are angry at the narcissist. The narcissist, in his own mind, has done nothing to merit this anger. It was undoubtedly your fault, in some way as yet unknown, that the narcissist was forced to break your vase. And it’s a damn shame for the narcissist’s peace of mind you’re upset about it.

Samantha Bee is a narcissist. The appropriate thing for Bee to have done after calling Ivanka Trump the C-word, would have been to say “I am so sorry I called Ivanka Trump the C-word. It was crude and uncalled for. I did it for effect. I was not thinking and I am ashamed of myself for what I have done.” Instead, Bee, a true narcissist, essentially doubled down.

She first complained that people were mad at her. They should not be mad, she implied, because she is trying to reclaim the C-word.  Her mistake was in having momentarily abandoned this reclamation by wasting the word as an insult to Ivanka (who, Bee implies, deserved whatever insults came her way).

Having explained to her own satisfaction that people were too dumb to understand her feminist linguistic goals, Bee was ready to issue Phase 1 of the non-apology apology: “I crossed the line, I regret it, and I do apologize for that.” In other words, she’s not at all sorry that she launched a vile insult against Ivanka. She’s simply sorry that she got caught crossing the line.

It only got worse from there. Phase 2 was for Bee to say she was sorry that people didn’t understand that she was talking about immigration (how stupid of them). She was sorry that stupid people didn’t realize that her mis-use of the C-word (remember, she’s reclaiming it) obscured the fact that everything she did was “for the children.”

Bee ended by once again blaming Ivanka and all the other stupid conservatives for forcing her to issue the non-apology apology: “Civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions.”

As I said, she’s a narcissist.

Also, if you want to have fun watching a narcissist not apologize, I hope you’ve been following Bill Clinton’s travails as he tries to function in a #MeToo world.  You can just see him thinking to himself that nobody was demanding these ridiculous apologies back in the 1990s. Clinton is not sorry he destroyed Monica Lewinsky’s life — although she was complicit in her own seduction, Bill and Hillary went out of their way to destroy her reputation. He’s not sorry about Pedophile Island. He’s not sorry about assaulting and raping women. He’s just really, really sorry people nowadays keep demanding that he apologize.

Gay sex can be dangerous sex. If you have been following this blog for a few years, you know that one of the things I have been fairly vocal about is the fact that gay male sex is not like heterosexual male sex. This is not for the obvious reason. The obvious reason, of course, is that with heterosexual sex you have Tab A fitting into Nature’s specifically designed Slot B. You don’t have those interlocking puzzle pieces with homosexual sex. But that’s not where I want to go. What I see as the most important difference between men who are gay versus men who are straight is the extraordinary excess that often characterizes homosexual sex.

Obviously, there’s a bell curve here, with some gay men embracing moderation and some trying to be a one-man Roman orgy. There is a big bump, though, of gay men who have many, many, many more sexual partners than the average promiscuous straight man. I know about this statistical bump because of my work history.

Back in 1981, I got a summer job working in the virology department of a local hospital. The two doctors for whom I worked were putting together a paper about a bizarre collection of hitherto rare diseases, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis Carini, that were appearing in young gay men. As you’ve probably realized, this was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

Although the medical community in the early 1980s was still struggling to figure out what was going on with these young gay men, one thing was very clear: they were engaged in a level of promiscuity that the researchers, both of whom were straight married men, had never seen before. In San Francisco’s bathhouses, gay men were having dozens of sexual contacts per night. Moreover, this was normative behavior for a substantial number of sexually active gay males in San Francisco. It certainly was not normative behavior for a substantial number of heterosexual men even in the Swinging 1970s. Back then, a “man whore” was making it with a different woman (or maybe two) per night, rather than dozens per night.

By 1984, when AIDS was becoming a manifest problem, San Francisco’s government actually took the responsible step of trying to close the bathhouses. The City’s gay community was outraged, claimed discrimination, and successfully fought back. Eventually, the bathhouses did close because, politics aside, any idiot could see that they were a disease vector. With gays in San Francisco dying in ever-increasing numbers, common sense won out over identity politics. I lost a lot of friends through AIDS back then, and I still miss and mourn them.

Even in today’s world, one in which gay marriage is legal, gay men are still more predatory and promiscuous than heterosexual men. I won’t delve into why. It is what it is. That reality, though, is why it is no surprise to me to learn that in England, syphilis and gonorrhea are spiking hugely among gay men:

The new report reveals a 20% increase in syphilis cases between 2016 and 2017, from 5,955 cases to 7,137 cases, with the vast majority (5,592 cases, or 78%) in gay, bisexual, and “men who have sex with men” (MSM).

Help counter the war on men. Ignoring the adage that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” the Left has been waging relentless war on men to make up for “the patriarchy” of days past. This war ignores the fact that modern men suffer greatly. While modern women rarely die in childbirth, have voting rights, have full legal rights, and have access to equal pay for equal work (all good things), modern men have more suicides, more mental illness, and more substance abuse than women. They are injured and killed more in the physically tough jobs they do than women are in their less physically demanding job (including serving on the front lines in the military).

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When men make more money than women in the same job (such as being a lawyer), it’s because they put in longer hours. It’s no answer to say that pregnancy and child-rearing force women into shorter hours and lower-paying jobs in the same field. That’s a biological reality for which men cannot be held responsible.

The war on men is also a war on fathers, something that’s cut a swath of destruction through America, especially in black inner city communities. Girls without fathers are more promiscuous; boys without fathers are more criminal.

If you want to help change this culture, two entrepreneurs are trying to create a new media “that inspires patriotic, masculine and successful men.” The Kickstarter campaign began only today, and is just a few hundred dollars towards the total of $225,000 that the new media project — Lincoln & Grant — is trying to raise. There’s a drop dead date of July 31. If the project isn’t funded by that date, it will not come into being (at least on this first attempt at financing). If you’re interested in addressing a serious societal problem, check out the Kickstarter page and see if it inspires you to contribute.

America’s public schools push the white privilege myth. The same Lefties who attack men are also engaged in a sustained attack against whites — and they’re using your taxpayer dollars to impose this foul belief system on America’s public school hostages . . . er, students:

Blacks are beginning to reject victimhood. Over at Power Line, I learned about The high price of stale grievances, an essay that a philosophy student named Coleman Hughes wrote. It troubles me to have to add that Hughes is black, because race should be irrelevant to intellectual output, but his race is pertinent to what he wrote . . . because he writes about race. Hughes complains that black people as individuals like to take upon themselves the victimhood of past generations. They also apply “perpetrator-hood” to present generations of white people. Hughes points out that only blacks are allowed to use this generational grievance. It is denied to members of other cultural or racial groups that have been victimized at one time or another.

One of the things that Dennis Prager talks about in his wonderful Rational Bible: Exodus, is the way that, on Passover, Jews are encouraged to speak in the first person about the Exodus. We talk about God having freed each of us personally. If I understood him correctly, Prager says that this kind of personalization makes God’s miracle immediate and memorable, so that, despite the passage of thousands of years, we continue to be aware of our covenant with God and the gratitude we owe to him.

I do not think, though, that God would have wanted the Jews perpetually to wallow in the victimhood of having once been Egyptian slaves or to use that particular grievance in perpetuity against Egyptians. Using first-person repetition to remember the past and to express gratitude is one thing; using it perpetually to castigate and browbeat others is another thing entirely.

Trump’s masterful use of his pardon power. The media has been aghast that President Trump, at Kim Kardashian’s request, commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson, who has already served 21 years for drug trafficking. Paul Mirengoff is also aghast:

At Johnson’s trial, the evidence linked her drug ring with Colombian drug lords. She was convicted on cocaine conspiracy and money laundering charges.

Clearly, this was not a low-level drug dealer. Nor should she be considered a nonviolent offender. In all likelihood Johnson’s drug ring was responsible for more than a few deaths. Life in prison was just punishment.

As proof of Johnson’s unworthiness for commutation, Mirengoff points to the fact that Obama refused to free her. I think, though, that Obama had a different calculus than Mirengoff’s.

As Mirengoff points out, Obama freed between 1,000 and 2,000 drug felons. That was Obama’s huge statement. He did not care about the individual. Instead, he had made a political calculation that involved freeing drug felons en masse, without regard to any specific felon’s crime, the level of malice and vice behind that crime, or the individual’s conduct while in prison. Obama was a fundamentally lazy president. I doubt he was interested in looking at every single person’s record and making a decision.

Trump has also proven to be quite the political animal. What he’s ostensibly telling us is that this particular woman has paid her debt to society after 21 years or has been otherwise redeemed. In other words, she is a sympathetic individual.

More importantly, Trump is working very hard to further separate blacks from the Democrat party. Candace Owens was one of the big fissures in that black/Democrat relationship, because she is a vocal, funny, extremely pretty, energetic young woman with a gift for pithy sayings. The next big crack was Kanye West endorsing Candace Owens.

Now, Trump has reached deeply into the black community by saying that he will look at individual cases and make decisions that are fair in the here-and-now, rather at the sentencing phase 21 years ago. Combine this humanitarian outreach with the fact that black unemployment is at its lowest ever thanks to the Trump economy, and you have a very big headache for the Democrats. To prove my point, look at what Kardashian’s 65 million Twitter followers saw:

I hope that Alice Johnson is deserving of the great gift President Trump gave her. More than that, I know that American blacks, if they shift their allegiance political allegiance will benefit, just as they benefited when the Republicans took control of race relations in the 1860s and again in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Violence is a cultural problem, not a gun problem. I love Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams. They are both brilliant men who have an knack for explaining complicated topics in accessible terms without destroying the core issues by dumbing them down. No wonder leftists assiduously ignore them. That is, Leftists never challenge them directly (probably because they can’t); they just pretend they don’t exist at all.

Williams’ latest essay, written on the occasion of his 82nd birthday, talks about how violent certain segments of American culture have become, with his example being school shootings. He points out what we all know, which is that the issue is not guns, it is culture. Wait, I misspoke. Conservatives understand this. Leftists, who are desperate to seize our guns, deny it.

That is why leftists will ignore the evidence Williams adduces to make his point:

Guns haven’t changed. People have changed. Behavior that is accepted from today’s young people was not accepted yesteryear. For those of us who are 65 or older, assaults on teachers were not routine as they are in some cities. For example, in Baltimore, an average of four teachers and staff members were assaulted each school day in 2010, and more than 300 school staff members filed workers’ compensation claims in a year because of injuries received through assaults or altercations on the job. In Philadelphia, 690 teachers were assaulted in 2010, and in a five-year period, 4,000 were. In that city’s schools, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “on an average day 25 students, teachers, or other staff members were beaten, robbed, sexually assaulted, or victims of other violent crimes. That doesn’t even include thousands more who are extorted, threatened, or bullied in a school year.”

Trudeau, the media, and Leftists generally are nitwits. The leaks about the Trump White House really have to stop, but sometimes they offer wonderfully amusing insights into Leftist animus and ignorance. For example, back in May, President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a telephone tiff about the Trump tariffs. When Trump claimed that tariffs are a “national security” issue, Trudeau demanded some justification for questioning Canada’s national security threat level to the U.S. Trump quipped, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” He was referring to the war of 1812. Trudeau was confused.

CNN is also confused. It insists that Trump is an ignoramus because the War of 1812 was against the British. What CNN forgets is that Canada was still a British colony in 1812. Indeed, the British burned the White House in retaliation for American attacks on Canadian soil. You can read more about the immediate, and ill-informed, Leftist pile-on here.

Marijuana and chronic pain. On a personal note, I found interesting a Daily Caller article noting that “a vast majority of patients suffering with chronic pain will choose weed over opiods.” Because of my arthritis, I live with a fair amount about chronic pain (although my pain, thankfully, is not at the crippling level, just the irritating level). I adore Ibuprofen, but shy away from it because of the damage it causes to the kidneys and liver, and because of its association with serious deficits in old age. I hate opiates because they make me feel sick and I can’t stand the fuzzy feeling in my head.

What I recently learned about from a friend who had major surgery and who now suffers from serious pain is that topically-applied CBD — the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana — is a wonderful pain killer. I tried a little of her cream on my hand and experienced an instant lessening of pain.

I’ve always thought it was wrong that marijuana laws made it impossible to research the medical benefits associated with pot — and I say this as someone who tried pot once and found the experience unpleasant. My lungs were unhappy and I hated the feeling of being stoned. However, when it comes to researching marijuana’s medical uses all I can say is “faster, please.”

Amazing facts about D-Day. I was remiss this past weekend in not honoring the Battle of Midway and yesterday I failed to honor D-Day. Both marked turning points in WWII. The Battle of Midway began the painfully slow but inexorable defeat of the Japanese in the Pacific. Tens of thousands of men were injured or died in the years after Midway, but the ending was inevitable thanks to the fact that the Navy destroyed the Japanese fleet at Midway in 1942.

As for D-Day, Americans of a certain generation all know that it marked the end of the German military on the Western front. With the Russians pressing on the Eastern front and the Americans continuing to plug away at the Nazis along the Mediterranean, it needed only an American presence on land in Western Europe to end the war. Still, after D-Day, it took another year of incredibly bloody, violent, deadly fighting to bring the Nazis to their knees. The high death toll on D-Day was a sign of things to come.

That generation of American men, along with their British, and Commonwealth counterparts, was so brave it’s hard to comprehend. I have never been able to imagine how they could board those landing craft, let alone get off of them, seasick, under withering fire, wading into deep water while burdened with heavy equipment. My imagination just fails. It won’t go there.

Anyway, with that painful, momentous day in mind, here are six things you might not have known about D-Day.

And here’s a disheartening thought: For whatever reason (and I don’t know where blame lies), our modern Navy is not doing well.

(Believe it or not, it took me five hours to write this post. The whole family has been under foot lately, and I never get more than ten or twenty minutes of sustained work. Still, I can help but be charmed when my college-age children want my company.)

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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."