Happy Day.

I started wearing contacts when I was twelve.  In those days, hard contacts were so thick they were like little pebbles in ones eyes, but I didn’t care.  I was finally out from behind my coke bottle-bottom glasses.  Over the years, I switched to soft lenses, which didn’t correct my astigmatism, and finally ended up with gas permeable lenses:  more comfortable than hard lenses, with all the vision correction lacking in soft lenses.

For 24 years, I wore contacts from morning ’til night.  Then I got pregnant and things started going wrong with my eyes.  Apparently pregnancy triggered dry eyes.  I could still wear contacts, but it was an effort, because they just hurt too much.  By the time my son was born, I gave up.  I retreated behind my glasses again.  Glasses worked — no pain, good near and middle vision, adequate far vision. For martial arts, I got a very special pair of expensive soft contact lenses that sort of corrected my vision without interfering with my dry eye.

Early this year, three things changed.  My astigmatism worsened, I got to the point where I needed bifocals (or trifocals, depending on my vision goals), and I started taking Omega 3, ’cause a friend’s doctor recommended it to her after Lasik surgery.  My new options seemed to be limited to ever more complicated glasses, whether bifocals or trifocals, or two or three pairs of glasses.  Since glasses for me are always hellishly expensive, and since my health care eye benefits don’t kick in for several months, I decided to see what could be done in the contacts world.

It turns out that a lot could be done.  The Omega 3 treats my dry eye so well I effectively have no dry eye.  That dramatically increases the types of soft contact lenses available for me.  (My eyes are still too sensitive ever to return to gas permeable.)  I ended up walking out with contacts that, while they don’t directly correct my astigmatism, nevertheless mask its effects.  Also, to solve the long range/short range problem, my dominant eye is corrected for long range vision, and my other eye is corrected for close vision.  For the first time in over a decade, I can see both far and near without putting glasses on or taking them off.

Next week, I go back in to check if my eyes are happy with the new arrangement.  I know that I’m happy.  I don’t think I’ll ever again be able to wear contacts 12 or 16 hours a day, but I might be able to wear them a significant part of the day and see really well, whether I’m doing far sighted things such as driving a car or watching ballet, or near sighted things such as reading a book or working at my computer.

There are a lot more crow’s feet around my eyes than the last time I seriously wore contacts, but I’m still thrilled at the thought that I’ll be able to wear eye make-up again.  I’ve always liked eye make-up (applied with subtlety, of course), and I’ve missed it for the past decade.

So this has been a very happy day.

“Two minutes of pure delight”

The post title is from Sadie’s email, bringing this charming little video to my attention.  Wouldn’t you like to know what those boys are saying?

Wisconsin Republicans need your help

The screaming SEIU members may no longer be on the front page, but the union agenda continues in Wisconsin.  We can’t let short memory syndrome derail conservatives yet again.  Remember:  Wisconsin Republicans need your help.

There’s a reason I’ve been so quiet today

Pardon my vanishing act, but I did my final big push today to get my book published.  With luck, I’ll be linking to it this coming week, and sending out groveling blegs all over the place.

Lousy law professor, but lots of money and power now

She was the third worst professor I had at law school.  The first worst was a guy who was hopped up on Quaaludes.  The second worst was a guy who spent 9/10 of the year on a single case, and then crammed the rest of the book into that last 1/10.  And then there was Elizabeth Warren, who was almost uniquely unintelligible.  Or maybe, as this article indicates about her communication style, it was just that I didn’t believe her lies.

Michael Ramirez

I didn’t blog today because I did something fun:  I went into the City to hear Michael Ramirez give a talk at a luncheon that the Pacific Research Institute hosted.  The lunch took place at the Ritz-Carlton, which is indeed a very ritzy hotel, so that was quite the inducement (not to mention having a very good parking lot nearby).

The real draw, of course, was Michael Ramirez himself.  I’ve learned to love his editorial cartoons through the Investor’s Business Daily editorial page.  They are amazing cartoons.  The first thing one notices is that they’re beautifully drawn.  Ramirez is a gifted artist.  Visual beauty, though, won’t go very far if one wants to make a career as a political cartoonist.  One needs a depth and breadth of knowledge, wit, and the ability to distill complex ideas into very short phrases without losing anything.  Ramirez does it all.  It’s no wonder that he’s won two Pulitzer Prizes.  Although I don’t think much of the Pulitzer lately, Ramirez’s wins give it some cachet.

The fact that a person is a gifted artist and satirist is no guarantee that he will be a good speaker.  I went in hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.  I got lucky, in that Ramirez realized my hopes, rather than confirming my fears.  He is a delightful speaker:  informed, funny, elegant, passionate and fluid.  He talked about Reagan’s greatness, about the media’s dishonesty, about Obama’s ineptitude, and myriad other subjects in between.

In the small amount of time remaining at the end of his talk, he showed some cartoons from his recently published book Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion.  We in the audience roared with laughter, we groaned with political pain, and we fell silent at the moving cartoons that acknowledged the big tragedies that have hit the Western world.

If Ramirez comes to your town, make the time to hear him speak (even if he’s not speaking at your local Ritz-Carlton).  He’s a master at the art of editorial cartooning, and a delight as a speaker.  So, really, can you do better than that?  Oh, and of course you should buy the book.

“I don’t care. Obama is awesome”

I’ve written a couple of times now about the Left’s absolute refusal to hear facts that don’t jibe with their world view.  This video nails it.  It also feels as if someone has been eavesdropping on my home life:

Hat tip:  Power Line

“Don’t confuse me with facts”

I blogged the other day that liberals do not want to know facts that might challenge their conclusions.  (That same idea has long been the motto for my blog.)  Ann Coulter makes the same point, only, being Ann, she’s more cutting and amusing.

Right Wing News is glamorously beautiful

If you’re not regular Right Wing News readers, you wouldn’t know that the site has updated its appearance.  It’s really beautiful now.  Check it out.

What happened to English?

I’m probably the last living person who doesn’t split infinitives, so I know I’m fussy.  Nevertheless, this kind of bad grammar from a paper that thinks it’s the gold standard irks me:

Ms. Taylor won her second Academy Award for her performance in the film adaptation of the Edward Albee play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” in which she portrayed a character 20 years older than her.

That is some seriously ugly, ungrammatical writing.  When I got to the last word in the sentence, I wanted to ask “Older than her what?  Her mother?  Her antique collection?  Her car?”

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

I never quite grasped the Elizabeth Taylor mystique, but even I understood those beautiful eyes.  Rest in Peace, Ms. Taylor, dead today at 79.

I need your help

I’ve mentioned before that I’m planning on epublishing a book consisting of my favorite old posts.  The book represents the faint hope that, after seven years of compulsive writing, I’ll be able to make a little money.

I’m actually on on track for getting the book out in the next couple of weeks.  I’ve got most of the editing done and am now concentrating on the actual publishing which is, of course, confusing.  One of the confusing thoughts was figuring out to create a good cover.  Thinking about the cover made me realize something I’d forgotten:  I don’t have a name for the book.  Even worse, I don’t have the imagination to come up with a name for the book.  I want it to be a name that is catchy, imaginative and at least somewhat descriptive.  (The last is important, because I’m hoping to get buyers who may not be familiar with me.)

Don Quixote had a good, clever idea — Out of the Blue — but I’m a little worried that people will think it’s about flying, rather than a conservative in liberal land.  Also, the book isn’t really about my experiences as a conservative in liberal land.  I mention it (indeed, my first essay is on the topic), but it really is my usual smorgasbord of opining on everything from politics, to education, to presidents, to media, etc.  I can see titling the book Out of the Blue followed by a colon and a descriptive clause, but I don’t know what that clause would say.

You all have proven over and over that, when it comes to word play, you’re the professionals and I’m the piker.  Any suggestions?

Also, if you were looking for a book of political and social essays to while away several hours of reading, how much money would you be willing to pay?  The e-purchaser, unless he or she is already familiar with the writer, is gambling that he (or she) isn’t just throwing away money.  This is always true when buying books, but it’s especially true in the self-publishing ebook world.  People who self-publish don’t give the buyer the Simon & Schuster or Random House assurance that the book is even written in intelligible English.  (I’ve downloaded a lot of free Kindle books that were completely unreadable.)

I can’t price too low (e.g, the 99 cent level), because I’ll never achieve enough volume to make that low price worth my while.  Likewise, I can’t price too high (e.g., the $10 level), because I don’t have a publishing house or reputation at my back.  I was thinking $5.00, which struck me as a price that some people might be willing to gamble for a long read.  What do you say?

Ben Howe does it again with a great video about debt

Losing my feedback fix

As you can see, my blog still works.  A technical glitch at the WordPress end, however, has locked me out of my stats.  I’m now in serious withdrawal.  I didn’t realize how hooked I was on stat checking.  I’m still writing, but it’s enormously frustrating to me that I can’t see the numbers or links coming in.  They’re never staggeringly high (no one will confuse my stats with those at HotAir or HuffPo), but they make me happy.  I feel like a mouse that keeps tapping the little bar, but doesn’t get the cheese or cocaine, or whatever the heck they give rodents in lab studies.

Long day

My mom had a mild TIA today.  She’s doing well now, and they’re checking her meds to see if they contributed to the problem.  I’m optimistic that, while she is aged enough to be ever closer to her Maker, today is not going to be the day.

The whole experience reminded me of something about myself:  I’m good in a crisis, so long as the crisis is not one of my own making.  If the bad thing that happens is my fault (an accident, unpaid bill, missed deadline, lost motion), my whole fight or flight system goes into overdrive.  I neither fight nor flee, trying instead to undo the bad thing I’ve done, but I get the full range of panic responses:  accelerated heart beat, breathlessness, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, cold sweat, and guilt, guilt, guilt, coupled with heavy doses of humiliation, embarrassment and shame.

In a crisis that’s not of my making, though, one that doesn’t see me feeling guilty or responsible, I’m cool as a cucumber.

When I told this to DQ, I said it was embarrassing that I was so self-centered that I only broke a sweat when it involved me.  He said it wasn’t so bad:  it just shows that I’m most troubled when I feel I should have (or should have had) some control over the situation.

Be that as it may, I’m now scrambling to meet work deadlines, dealing with the kids’ needs, and preparing to head back to check on my mom later, so blogging for the remainder of today will be nonexistent.

A crazy man and an anti-capitalist paradigm

Crazy people — really crazy, the ones with serious schizophrenia or other mental illnesses — reflect the times.  (And yes, you’ve heard me say this before.)  In a pre-scientific era, they heard voices from God or the Devil.  In the post-WWII era, the men from Mars spoke to them, and they paraded around in tinfoil hats.  That’s why I found it unsurprising that a manifestly delusional 24 year old, after hearing the anti-capitalist voices in his head, took a gun to a local bank so that his “manifesto” could be heard:

Anthony Lee, 24, told police that he had planned to protest the bank on March 14 because 3.14 is the number for pi, according to a court affidavit filed by Twin Cities police Detective Cheryl Paris.

“Lee said he felt that everyone deserved a piece of the pie in reference to the amount of wealth in the United States,” Paris wrote.

The affidavit also provides excerpts from a manifesto Lee wrote in the hopes of garnering publicity for his cause.

“goal: change the capitalist monetary system (non-violently); gain national media coverage,” Lee wrote.

“suppliez: poster board w/ writin on it, pizza money, BB gun, backpack full of water, sheetz w/ subject content (az evidence) 2 discuss with the bank president, n maybe a rolled up blunt w/ an ipod the boredom-az well az a positive frame of mind.

“when: 3.14, before the House of Reps makez the final decision, n the government shutz down (unemployin millionz)-2 pay off the $14 trillion deficit…”

This was not a terrorist act:  That is, this was not a sane person deliberately using terror to advance a specific political/religious agenda.  This was a truly crazy guy, whose craziness takes on the coloring of the world around him.

An update on Michelle Malkin’s missing cousin

Michelle Malkin’s family continues its non-stop search for her cousin, Marizela.  As Michelle’s update explains, in addition to a dedicated website, there’s also a Paypal link to help defray mounting expenses.

Another question regarding the nuclear power problems in Japan

Please, somebody explain this to me.  I’ve heard it reported that the original problems with the reactors were caused by the power going off when the earthquake hit.  Of all places, wouldn’t one expect a nuclear power plant to have a failsafe emergency backup power generator?  Was there no such backup power or did it fail, too?  Or did the report I heard miss the mark completely?

“We have met the enemy and it is US”

The two competing news stories — Japan’s nuclear reactor and the unstable narrative in the Middle East — provides the best illustration I’ve ever seen of the fears that move Progressives and conservatives.

Progressives fear us:  Westerners.  They fear our technology and our values.  The nuclear reactors, while currently just a dreadful problem, are imminently apocalyptic to them.  They have visions of Neville Shute’s On the Beach, which saw a few atomic bombs depopulate the entire world because of drifting radioactive clouds.  Unsurprisingly, they’ve even tried to tie the earthquake, a natural and ancient phenomenon tied to moving tectonic plates deep underground, to man-made climate change.

On the other hand, I (and, I believe, conservatives generally) fear them:  the Easterners, appearing before us in the form of Jihadist Islam.  Even as Mr. Bookworm, the liberal, is mesmerized by Japan, I’m terrified by what’s happening in the Middle East.  The most radical Islamic tyrannies are hanging gamely onto power; the slightly more moderate tyrannies have fallen, leaving a vacuum for Islamists to fill; and the people with bombs (nuclear and otherwise), oil, natural gas, and deep hostilities to Israel and America, are lining up aggressively, facing off against each other and, of course, against us.

Perhaps the fact that those zany Islamic Middle Eastern aggressors have us in their cross-hairs explains Obama’s eerie passivity.  After all, he, being a good Progressive, fears us more than them.  At bottom, “they” are his allies, not “us” at all.

Raymond Davis freed

Accepting as true the narrative that Ray Davis is indeed a CIA contractor, and was working undercover in Pakistan, one of our most dangerous “friends” in the world, I am very happy to report that Davis is free and heading home.  (I say “accepting as true” because, even assuming Davis is CIA, there was clearly some very deep game afoot here, so every statement uttered falls into the maybe/maybe not category on the truth meter.)

An analogy to life under Obama?

Or just an incredibly sweet and funny video?  You decide.

Why I’ve never been interested in drugs

I just finished reading a Zombie post about Owsley Stanley, the man who popularized LSD.  The post reminded me why I’ve never been interested in drug culture.  Back in 1974, when I was an impressionable young teen, my father, a very old-fashioned German man, went back to school to get his Masters in English.  There, he met a true Berkeley free spirit.  She’d hit Berkeley in 1964, right along with the Free Speech Movement, and become completely involved in the counter culture.  By the time she met my Dad, she was withdrawing from that same culture, and her wit, intelligence, and vivacity were why this young Hippie and the middle aged German man became friends.

As I mentioned, this gal was pulling out of the drug culture when we met, and she told me why.  She and her friend got extremely stoned one night and — yes — they discovered the secrets of the universe.  So impressed were they with their mind-expanding wisdom, they dragged out a tape recorder to memorialize it.  The next day, they discovered that they’d recorded an hour long tape filled with long silences, punctuated by one or the other say, “Like, wow, man….”  She said she pretty much stopped smoking after that and I, hearing that story, decided never to start.

What I could have seen from my house

Someone took this video from a point almost directly opposite the Bay from my house.  Had I been looking out the back window, I might have seen the same thing:

Question of the day

Why are so many people who are unwilling to do anything to stop Iran from getting and intentionally using nuclear weapons so freaked out at the possibility of a nuclear accident?

Random thoughts

I’ve had a series of random ideas following me around for the past few days, and will just throw them out in a single post.  Considering them food for thought (or bones to chew or bury).


My husband finally got around to watching HBO’s Reagan documentary.  I missed the beginning, but got to see the second half, during which Reagan was repeatedly damned with faint praise and praised with faint damns.  Americans come off collectively as pretty stupid for thinking Reagan was such a good president.

One of the things that was interesting was the way in which the people interviewed kept saying that the Reagan myth doesn’t represent the “real” Reagan, meaning that conservatives are lying when they preserve and build upon his best ideas.  I found this amusing coming from people who worship both FDR, who shared Reagan’s charisma, but almost completely destroyed the US economy; and JFK, a charming, unscrupulous womanizer and fairly inept president during his short tenure, who brought the US closer to a nuclear war than it’s ever been before or since.  People who live in glass hagiographies shouldn’t throw rhetorical stones.


One of the frequently reiterated points in the Reagan documentary, and one that I kept hearing during the Wisconsin stand-off, is that conservative free-market policies aid only “the rich.”  This is a very 19th century formulation, which considers the rich to be a completely static group — as was true in old class-based societies.  What Progressives and their ilk miss is the a free-market, class-free society is incredibly fluid.  As Daniel Webster said, “there’s always room at the top.”  During the good times, lots of Americans get rich and, yes, the richer get even richer.  But there’s huge money movement.

The fluidity also means that there are many new poor, but what all the Progressives miss is that the nature of poverty changes in a thriving economy.  A dynamic, truly competitive marketplace makes for cheaper products.  Just compare the price of flash drives eight years ago, when they sold for hundreds of dollars, and today, when businesses give them away for free to customers, the way they once gave away pens.  Or look at the iPhone.  The one I bought several years ago for $300 now retails for $39.

What this means is that the American poor, even though they’re below the government-drawn poverty line, still have access to America’s resources, in a way unheard of in the old class-based world that still provides the Progressive’s mental landscape.  The poor have electronics, food (even if only McDonald’s), clothing (courtesy of Wal-Mart or one of my favorites, Goodwill), health care (albeit at the drab free clinic), etc.  Their poverty cannot be compared to the poverty of old — and yet that’s precisely what the Progressives do.  This ties in tightly with my regular complaint that Progressives are always fighting the battles, not of the last century (the 20th), but of the one that came before.  (Think abortion or think unions.)


A few days ago, I posted about Patterico’s insane email and tweet conversation with an NPR ombudsman who refused to listen to an original source (the O’Keefe/Schiller videos), because she had a secondary transcript.  I’ve been mentally worrying over that scenario a lot.  One would think that, in a media-rich age such as ours, people would always go to the original source, but that’s not the case.  When it came to the NPR ombudsman (and Paul Krugman), the decision to ignore original sources is due to a combination of laziness and lack of curiosity.  However, I think for a lot of us, it’s a processing problem.  There is way too much information out there, and it’s simply easier to have a trusted source winnow it down, give you the highlights and tell you what it means.  Certainly this is why so many people are wedded to the MSM — it’s the CliffNotes version of news.  The problem arises when people refuse to consider the original source even after they’ve had proven to them the fact that the secondary source is corrupt.


On a totally different subject, I also caught a bit of Modern Marvels today.  Have you ever seen that show?  It’s on the History Channel, and it’s probably one of the best things TV has to offer.  Episode after episode, Modern Marvels explores the wonders of, well, things:  paint, trucks, cement, rice, airplanes, fountains, rubber, steel, etc.  The episode I watched today was about industrial grease.  The most fascinating segment took place aboard the super carrier USS Nimitz.  It focused on the wires and hydraulic systems that are used to launch and catch the jets that take off and land from those teeny strips in the middle of vast oceans.  It was riveting.  The men and women who make that happen, both the pilots and all the other technical people, are much to be admired.


I attended a social function last night.  Really, really nice people (as always).  I ended up in conversation with two men, both of whom made statements that could be construed as conservative (one about Libya, one about the economy), and both of whom blanched at the words leaving their mouths.  Both also instantly recovered by insulting George Bush.  I giggled to myself.  Then, consistent with my belief that praise is more effective than confrontation, I ignored the Bush insults and, instead, lauded and expanded upon their conservative observations.


Obama is discovering that one of the perils of “leading” the parade from behind is the mountains of horse poop you end up carrying along on your shoes.  He’s in deep horse poop with his handling of Middle Eastern affairs.  One really doesn’t expect the leader of what was, until two years ago, the most powerful nation on earth, to hide on the golf course when the world is reeling from one crisis to the next.


Speaking of Obama, do you think this horrible pun was intentional or unintentional?

President Obama sent his condolences to the people of Japan over the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake, and declared that the United States stands ready to offer aid because of the “unshakeable” bond between the two nations.

I never thought of him as a very punny guy, unlike our dear Sadie, so I’m thinking those were the crude words of a insensitive boob.

A couple questions Bookworm would never ask

Who is at fault in the NFL labor dispute?  And how will it all end?

Conservative travel

I’m having a surprising amount of fun over at my new Facebook page, Conservative Travel.  If you haven’t yet checked it out, take a second to do so.  (And if you like it, please hit that “like” button.)

I continue to be receptive to your amazing Americana travel suggestions (places, activities, food, etc.), which you can leave as comments here, put as wall posts at Conservative Travel itself, or send to me in an email (bookwormroom*at*gmail.com).

If you’re in Seattle, don’t forget to look for Michelle Malkin’s cousin.

Michelle Malkin’s family is still suffering the agony of looking for a lost, beloved child.  If you’re in the Seattle area, keep your eyes open for this vivacious and pretty young woman.

Another disconnect for Ugyur’s world view

Yesterday I posted about MSNBC talking head Cenk Uygur, who couldn’t accept that black separatists are a terrorism risk.  I’m sure he’d have equal problem acknowledging the risk posed by radical environmentalists.

The irony with this latest report is that the environmental wacko sent his threat, using his own email address, either to DiFi or Babs Boxer, both of whom are on his side politically.  Not just a radical terrorist environmentalist, but stupid too (not to mention being a sex offender to boot):

A convicted arsonist and sex offender has been charged in federal court with sending an e-mail in which he allegedly threatened to kill a U.S. Senator if she didn’t oppose legislation that would end environmental protections for wolves, court records show.


Berg wrote, “I’m going to shoot you with a high-powered rifle and bomb your house with poison gas the way wolf hunters do if you don’t do everything you can to oppose legislation that would eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across the country RIGHT F- NOW!” the complaint said.

In December, a group of Republican members of Congress sponsored a bill that would remove gray wolves from the endangered species list and turn over regulation of the species to individual states.

Update on Michelle Malkin’s cousin

Michelle Malkin’s cousin is still missing.  The police are currently disinclined to call her disappearance foul play.  However, because she has been on anti-depressants, there seems to be a concern that she might have harmed — or be contemplating harm to — herself.  Merely taking anti-depressants doesn’t mean one has suicidal desires, but she may be sufficiently unhappy that she’s gone off to think about things.  Young people sometimes forget that others worry about them.

Here’s the information about where she was last seen, as well as her appearance and clothing:

Name: Marizela “Mei” Perez

Date Missing: Saturday March 5, 2011; Last seen between 1-2 P.M.

Last Seen: Safeway in University District (4732 Brooklyn Ave NE Seattle, WA 98105)

Possible Routes: Sound Link Light Rail stations, downtown/Chinatown areas, UW Seattle campus, U-district

Description: Asian female, 5’5” tall, 110 lbs, skinny build, asymmetrical bob with short bangs and brown/red highlights hairstyle, tattoo on left inner arm with the words ‘lahat ay magiging maayos’, last seen wearing a dark jacket with hood, denim jeans, light brown suede laced boots, possibly wearing green eye contacts, possibly carrying a plaid backpack with a Macbook Pro laptop, taking medication for depression.

Please contact if you have any information regarding this person:
Jasmin: 609 – 742 – 2360
Edgar: 609 – 646 – 0905
Melinda: 206 – 760 – 1822
Joy: 609 – 742 – 2336

If you’re in the Seattle region, and you think you’ve seen Marizela, please make the call.

Michelle Malkin needs help

Michelle Malkin’s cousin, who lives in Seattle, has vanished.  Michelle is asking for help locating her.  Please go here for specific information.

Remember, all it takes is one person to make a difference.

My prayers are with Michelle and her family.

A matched set about the social, political and economic realities of the digital age

This is a lovely matched set, because I know the New York Times editors would be horrified to realize that they’ve perfectly proved Bill Whittle’s point.  First, watch Bill Whittle, who is about 90% right.  (What he misses, I think, is that while consumerism is diffused amongst individuals, manufacturing, to be cost effective, still has to be concentrated in corporations.)

After you’ve watched the video, read this NYT article explaining how computers are cutting out lawyers when it comes to document processing in large cases.  I’ve worked on cases where we’ve used computers to speed document review.  In those cases, lawyers were still necessary for analysis.  I don’t know how much more time will pass before the computers can do it all.

Sheen versus Gaddafi

I don’t normally look to the U.K. Guardian for humor, but this time, the Guardian has hit one right out of the park.  If you go here, you can find a quiz that has you trying to figure out whether Gaddafi or Sheen uttered such unforgettable lines as “I have defeated this earthworm with my words – imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists.”