C'mon Brexit

These are our brothers overseas. Of course, I was on the side of Scotland separating from Britain too. The bigger governments are always worse, but you have to balance that against the danger of invasion from abroad. Right now, Europe couldn't invade Vanderbilt. Small is the way to go.

Rolling Stone: Democrats Will Learn All The Wrong Lessons from Sanders

They have no choice, because they never understood him to start with.
Nobody saw his campaign as an honest effort to restore power to voters, because nobody in the capital even knows what that is. In the rules of palace intrigue, Sanders only made sense as a kind of self-centered huckster who made a failed play for power... [T]he theme of this election year was widespread anger toward both parties, and both the Trump craziness and the near-miss with Sanders should have served as a warning. "The Democrats should be worried they're next," he says.

But they're not worried. Behind the palace walls, nobody ever is.

Petraeus to Launch Gun Control Group

Well, of course. Nobody's more intense about gun control than the Armed Forces.
Veterans Coalition for Common Sense to encourage elected leaders to "do more to prevent gun tragedies." The group will feature veterans from every branch of the military who are urging lawmakers to toughen gun laws, the organization said in a news release.
This group won't accomplish more than giving false narratives to the media for propaganda use. Nevertheless, that's still harmful. Sort of like "only" revealing classified information to your mistress. It's not as bad as putting it on an easily-hacked private server with no proper encryption protocols. But your country won't thank you for it, all the same.

Thunderbolt Iron, Redux

King Tut isn't alone. Here's some American thunderbolt iron.

Ranger UP Addresses Male Body Image

Archaeology Confirms Viking Saga

Archaeologists working in Trondheim in Norway are amazed by the discovery of a human skeleton in the bottom of an abandoned castle well. The skeleton provides evidence that confirms dramatic historical events mentioned in the Sagas....

In 1197 King Sverre Sigurdsson and his Birkebeiner-mercenaries were attacked and defeated in his castle stronghold, Sverresborg, by his rivals, the Baglers. According to the Saga, the Baglers burned down buildings and destroyed the castle’s fresh water supply by throwing one of King Sverre’s dead men into the well, and then filling it with stones.

Now, following a trial excavation in the well, archaeologists can confirm this dramatic story. Archaeologists managed to retrieve part of the skeleton they found in the well in 2014. A fragment of bone produced a radiocarbon date that confirmed that the individual lived and died at the end of the 12th century, the same time as the incident described in the Saga.

Reducing Sexual Assaults: Self Defense Works Best

In a study surprising only in that it comes from Canada, researchers found that women taught to defend themselves suffer fewer sexual assaults.
The four-year study tracked nearly 900 women at three Canadian universities, randomly selecting half to take the 12-hour “resistance” program, and compared them to a second group who received only brochures, similar to those available at a health clinic. One year later, the incidence of reported rape among women who took the program was 5.2 per cent, compared to 9.8 per cent in the control group; the gap in incidents of attempted rape was even wider.

The discomfiting part: Potential victims are still shouldering the burden for their own safety.
I don't see why that should be "discomfiting." I've spent a great deal of my life learning to defend myself, my family, and those around me. I make it a point to always be armed, though often only with a knife, to help ensure that I am always capable of rendering an effective defense. I regard it as a source of pride that I am strong and capable in these areas, and that those I love are safer with me around.

I would regard it as shameful to depend entirely on others for my defense. I would regard it as slavish to accept that my only proper defense was to trust that others wouldn't hurt me.

Far from being discomfited by the thought that I should have a hand in my own defense, I think that taking charge of your own defense is virtuous and ennobling. If I had a daughter, I would hope that I could teach her to do the same.

National Reconnaissance Office Patches are Awesome

Take a look at these mythic beauties.

Not Some Fairytale

Picture this. A Muslim leader reaches out to a group of Christians and invites them to his country. The Christians happily accept the invitation, while the Muslim leader prepares his people for their arrival. This is the first time the two communities have met in an official delegation. Matters of state, politics and religion are the topics of discussion. The two groups see eye-to-eye on most issues, but also agree to disagree on theological issues. If one phrase can best describe their meeting, it is “mutual respect”.

At the end of their talks, the Christians tell the Muslims, “It is time for us to pray”. The problem for the Christians is that there is no church nearby to worship. Instead of letting the Christians pray on the dirty street, the Muslim leader tells the Christians, “You are followers of the one true God, so please come pray inside my mosque. We are all brothers in humanity.” The Christians agree to use the “Islamic space” as their own. A bridge between these religious communities is made in the name of peace and goodwill.

This story is not some fairytale. It is a historical fact (I did, however, make-up quotes based on how the interaction might have played out). The Muslim leader of the story is Prophet Muhammad and the Christians are from Najran, or modern-day Yemen. The event happened in Medina in 631 AD. This moment in time represents one of the first examples of Muslim-Christian dialogue, but more importantly, one of the first acts of religious pluralism in Islamic history.

Now fast forward to 2016 in Damascus, Syria. The city – and much of the Middle East - has plunged into darkness. Pastor Edward Awabdeh leads a prayer in a Church despite threats on his life by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group. Pastor Awabdeh maintains the Christian faith, although many of his religion have fled a country which is now ranked the fifth most dangerous country in the world to be a Christian.

The militant group regularly persecutes religious minorities in the large swathes of Syrian territory it has taken, and its ultimate aim is to destroy all traces of Christianity in the Middle East.

But to put it bluntly, the daily abductions, murders, beheadings and destruction perpetrated by IS fanatics on the vulnerable Christians of the Middle East directly contradict Prophet Muhammad’s vision of an Islamic state.
It doesn't fix everything wrong with Islam's vision of how it relates to Christianity, but this understanding would mark a significant change for the better.

Law and Order

I've written a number of times about my thoughts on the rule of law. Where ordinary people are concerned, the law ought to be a tool for creating a peaceful and harmonious order. That means it should be well considered, and it should be enforced if it has to be. On the other hand, enforcing the law is not an end in itself. Officers of the law should be focused on the peace and harmony, rather than on ensuring that every documented violation of the law is paid for in court.

However, I have also written, I think that those entrusted with the power to enforce the law should be held to the law exactly. The extra power over the lives of others that they are granted should be matched with a stricter standard of personal adherence to the rules they enforce.

Instead one often sees the opposite. No one drives faster than police do, and not just when responding to a call. No one parks illegally more cheerfully than the government vehicle whose driver assumes there is no danger of a ticket. No one abuses the power of their office more readily than an ally of President Obama's, whether her name is Lois Lerner or Hillary Clinton.

It would be one thing to excuse a momentary lapse of judgment from a career official with an otherwise stellar record. It is another when one is excusing a pattern of behavior that was intentional, illegal, and immoral.

In the case of Clinton, as her history proves, there is always another abuse.

My Favorite Part About This is the "Tradition" Argument

The 9th Circuit says there's no Constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon.

OK. Open carry is fine with me.

But my favorite part is the argument:
“The historical materials bearing on the adoption of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments are remarkably consistent,” wrote Judge William Fletcher, going back to 16th century English law to find instances of restrictions on concealed weapons.
Mrs. Clinton made this argument during her recent failure to identify a right to keep and bear arms in the Constitution. She also spoke of "our history from the very beginning of the republic" in terms of identifying restrictions on the carrying of firearms. Nathan Deal said something similar in his veto of campus carry this year.

OK. We had a tradition about what constituted "marriage" too. It lasted from about a thousand years ago until last summer. You remember what you had to say about "tradition" as an argument then?

Not that I'm unwilling to accept such arguments now. I just would like an agreement that we'll accept them across the board.

Hey Boss, You Know You're An Idiot?

Yeah, I know.

I could almost bend my thumb normally today, although it's still bruised as hell, so of course I decided to finish laying in this new gate. Naturally that involved chainsawing the posts, pouring the concrete, stretching the wire, hooking it up to the posts, and hammering the staples.

Cuts off a section of the property that was otherwise enclosed, so as to effectively create a new pasture. Avalon was impressed with her new range, as it was full of grass we've been letting grow with this project in mind.

Also my apple trees. Hopefully her little herd won't steal too much, but as little rain as we've had this year I wasn't going to get much out of them anyway.

Now, excuse me if I have a drink. My hand kind of hurts. Because I'm an idiot.

Congress Must Move to Appoint a Special Prosecutor

The President of the United States just endorsed a woman under investigation by the FBI for corruption and violating national security law. It was bad enough when the prosecutorial decision was going to be made by an office that had donated $75,000 her campaign this year.

Nothing could make clearer that the legitimacy of the law is being thrust aside for political reasons. Nothing could more clearly underline the need for a special prosecutor in this case.


A neuro-scientist proposes a partial theory of consciousness. It doesn't get at the Hard Problem, but it does offer a suggestion for how consciousness might have come to be, and a predictive model for what sorts of other animals might have it.

The Twelfth of Never

When the State Department was asked when they would turn over to the public Clinton's emails related to her negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they actually said "November 31st."

D29 points out that this is exactly equivalent to 'the Twelfth of Never,' or at any rate not until after it's of any use to you.

Want to read her aides' emails? How does 75 years from now sound?

Poor Whites Are The Future of Poor Blacks

For now the Clinton campaign is sticking to the rhetorically strong but intellectually weak argument that 'Make America Great Again' means something like 'Restore Racism as a Guiding Principle.' Sooner or later, however, the machine Democrats backing Clinton over Sanders are going to have to grapple with a reality they are refusing to accept. The Washington Post touches the point without recognizing it.
Gallup asks people to rate their current lives on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst possible life they could be living and 10 is the best. Crucially, they also ask people to imagine what their lives will look like five years in the future.

Among the poor, whites are the demographic group least likely to imagine a better future for themselves, Graham found. Poor Hispanics were about 30 percent more likely to imagine a better future than poor whites. The difference for poor blacks was even larger: They were nearly three times as likely to imagine a better future than poor whites.

The difference in optimism between poor blacks and poor whites is nearly as big as the difference between the poor and the middle class overall: "The average score of poor blacks is large enough to eliminate the difference in optimism about the future between being poor and being middle class (e.g. removing the large negative effect of poverty)," Graham found....

The past 30 or 40 years have seen striking economic and health gains for non-white families -- in part, this is a result of the rolling back of discriminatory policies that kept minorities locked out of middle-class life. But working-class whites may look back and see no similar pattern of gains, in part because they weren't as broadly discriminated against in the first place.

Part of the optimism gap is indeed because of "a shrinking pie of good jobs for low-skill/blue collar workers," Graham said in an email. "Whites used to have real advantages (some via discrimination) that they no longer have ... they are looking at downward mobility or threats of it, while poor blacks and Hispanics are comparing themselves to parents who were worse off than they."
Here's the problem the Post doesn't see. If you look at discrimination in the workplace '30 or 40 years ago' -- that is, reaching all the way back to the mid-70s -- you can see that almost all of the good for poor minorities to be had from ending workplace discrimination has been had. Forty years ago the blue-collar economy was strong enough that it was willing to pay a premium for its racism. Today, it's quite common here in Georgia for me to see 'help wanted' signs printed only in Spanish. Corporations have learned to compete with each other through globalization, importing foreign workers, and yes, through hiring American minorities who live in poorer neighborhoods (and who thus have lower income requirements, and can take lower wages).

This 'ending of racism' is something corporations have congratulated themselves about quite loudly, preferring to see it as a kind of personal enlightenment. Some of it was that: Coca-Cola markets its role in making Atlanta 'the City too Busy to Hate' back in the Civil Rights era, and they deserve the credit. But much of what has happened since the mid-70s has been done not for moral reasons but because the end of corporate racism meant the opening of whole new fields of action for depressing blue-collar wages.

For now it looks like poor blacks and poor Latinos are on the way up, but the truth is that workers of their class are on the way down. It used to be a worker could raise a family. Then it was true that a married couple could raise families if they both worked. Then it was true that probably only one of them could find work, so it was better if it was the mother raising the kids alone -- then she could at least draw welfare. Now it's lucky, in much of what used to be blue-collar American communities, if either of them can find work.

What all that means is that the despair in poor white communities today is the despair of poor black, Latino, and Asian communities tomorrow. For now it looks rosy only because the last 40 years have been a wealth transfer from poor whites to poor minorities. But the game is grinding to a close: poor whites don't have much left to lose. Over time, the same forces that have been spiritually crushing the poor white community will destroy the hopes of other American poor as well.

This is something that Trump and Sanders both seem to grasp, although they have very different plans for approaching it. Maybe neither plan was much good, or was much of a plan, but they were both at least aware of the problem. The Clinton camp denies that the problem exists.

And no wonder. As proven by her actions while Secretary of State with regard to donations to her foundation, the Clinton camp is government for the highest bidder. The highest bidder can be Russian as readily as American. She is the favorite of the Davos crowd, not just the candidate of Wall Street. She personally negotiated the TPP that she now pretends to oppose, just as her husband is the #1 name associated with NAFTA.

For now, the Democratic machine's racially coded language is masking this reality. The coming pain is the dashing of the rising hopes of American minorities. They will be leveled with poor white Americans in a way they didn't expect: by seeing their hopes and dreams equally diminished.

Clinton gave a speech about the inequality between rich and poor the other day, while wearing a twelve-thousand dollar jacket.

This last week, I've read tons about how big a racist Donald Trump is. Maybe he is. But he's not the one profiting from racism. These racially coded appeals are helping a band of thieves swipe an election, so they can sell the power of their office to the highest bidders.

Good for Bernie

Going to take it to the convention. Sanders supporters are allegedly a non-specific risk to AP reporters for its blatant attempt to depress turnout in the CA elections, but the anger is pretty justified. The media is throwing themselves into Clinton's tank this year.

Meanwhile, California's alienation from Republicans is now so severe that it is sending two Democratic candidates to the general election for US Senate.

Two Young Men Doing Right

The story of two Swedes in America who stopped a rapist and held him for police. The case has gotten some fame for the injustice of the sentence. It's good to reflect on the positive aspect of the young men who stepped up to stop a crime, and to see that the villain did not simply escape.

Trump and the Press: A Metaphor

Kind of an insightful point buried here.
For every ugly or threatening thing Trump has ever said about press, he’s gotten back ten-fold from reporters. If this is war, it’s surely been an asymmetrical one, with Trump tossing stones as the press lofts cruise missiles. Carl Bernstein, the New Republic’s Jamil Smith, and Robert Kagan have called him a fascist. David Remnick, Jill Abramson and Andrew Sullivan have likened him to a demagogue. Dana Milbank, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith and the Huffington Post have labeled him a racist....

It sounds alarming enough, but the anthropologist in me views the Trump-press contretemps as the endemic and persistent warfare associated with the stylized combat sometimes observed between tribes in the Papua New Guinea Highlands: The two sides pair off, shouting insults and derision at one another, claiming the other side started it. Much noise and many insults are traded, grudges are captured and preserved. Skirmishes break out here and there, followed by temporary truces until the cycle begins anew.

A lot of people pay attention. Only rarely does anybody die.
In Iraq we used to say that "Violence is a form of negotiation." That was to remind us that actual violence, like rockets being shot in our laps or bombs being placed outside our gates or a machinegunning in the night, shouldn't be taken as a commitment to war-to-the-knife. Much more often in that tribal environment, it was an expression of displeasure at something we'd done or were expected to do. With the right negotiating tactics -- which could also include some violence -- we could restore a working relationship.

The metaphor here isn't to war like in Iraq, which was already better than war like in Stalingrad. It's to a stylized form of war in which the consequences have almost completely been replaced by demonstrations. And this is less violent than that: it's a metaphor of what is already just a metaphor of war.

Californian Completion

The California state Senate voted 28-8 Wednesday to exempt itself from the pointless gun-control laws that apply to the rest of the populace. Legislators apparently think they alone are worthy to pack heat on the streets for personal protection, and the masses ought to wait until the police arrive.

Is the Spiking Crime Rate in Some Cities a Function of Incarceration?

For the most part, US crime rates remain very low versus 20 years ago. Some major cities, however, are seeing spikes in violent crime. This has gotten some media attention lately.

So what I wonder about is the downward curve in these BJS figures for incarceration. The prison population seems to have peaked around 2009, and then entered a decline. Federal prison population kept rising for a few more years, but is now on a downward curve too.

I'm not sure how much the overall trend of not locking up as many criminals directly leads to more crime, although it's not implausible prima facie. I'm thinking particularly about the failure to enforce the Federal laws on gun carrying by felons. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, whose city has seen the most famous increase in violent crime, has been calling for more robust prosecution of these violations.

It's the one kind of gun control that the NRA has generally completely supported. Instead of trying to prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns, why not prevent criminals from having guns? On the other hand, there is legitimate concern about the mandatory minimum aspect of the Federal law -- especially the way that the offenses can quickly 'stack' so that a first-time offender is treated as a multiple-time offender. A 25 year mandatory minimum sentence is draconian if the offense is just carrying a gun, even if it is while selling drugs or while a convicted felon.

Of course, it may not be that there's one simple fix. It could just be that the society is trending more chaotic and competitive as economic times get harder. If so, increasing prison populations may merely be a band-aid for the real issue.


An ongoing column on elite lies in the media, this one treating Katie Couric and the State Department's erasures.

By the way, fun report in the AP yesterday evening that the election was over -- right before election day. We'd all heard that the press was going to call it for Clinton tonight no matter how the elections turned out. Apparently they decided they couldn't wait for people to vote.

Dangerous, letting people think for themselves.

A Crack at the Bone-House

It's easy to forget how fragile the human body really is. Most of the time I feel pretty tough. I can lift big weights, I can raise an 800 pound motorcycle with one hand, I can split logs and what have you.

Yesterday, however, I got smacked on the thumb with the fiberglass handle of a mattock I was using. I don't think the finger bones broke, but the thing has swollen up enormously and bruised. It hurts to touch anything. Just one little touch, the contact lasted less than a second, and for a while all my strength is gone. I can't grip anything with that hand.

Such a strange world. You forget how strange, sometimes. This is a minor complaint that will soon heal, I suspect, but it reminds me of how precarious life in the bone-house really is.

It's Obiously Sexist to Run Against Hillary

A New York Times reporter has a question for Bernie.
“What do you say to women that say you staying in the race is sexist because it could get in the way of what could be the first female president?” she asked. It is unclear which women believe that it is sexist for the 74-year-old to continue running for president against Clinton.
Oh, I think it's pretty clear.

"99% of Women Are Happy With Sharia"

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board says that no changes to Islamic law will be tolerated, and that it's totally cool to divorce your wife by text message.
Asked about talaq messages being sent by WhatsApp and SMSes, Zehra told Hindustan Times, “At least the woman has a proof in the form of WhatsApp message or an SMS that she has been divorced. This proof will help her in charting out a new course in life. But in other religions, women are just being abandoned by their husbands. For such women, there is no help forthcoming.”
Indeed, if only women in other faiths had the benefit of a text message to prove their legal status.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

The Islamic State joined world leaders and veterans organizations Saturday in numerous ceremonies throughout the caliphate honoring WWII veterans through mass genocide and unchecked, forcible expansion into neighboring countries.

Sources report that ISIS simply continued its current takfiri doctrine and changed absolutely nothing to pay homage to the intolerance and megalomaniacal ideologies tacitly accepted by most nations almost 80 years ago.

“While they are of the kuffar, we can’t help but admire their methods,” ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani told Duffel Blog. “That whole ‘exterminate the Jews’ and appropriating land thing? I know they would never admit it, but I could tell someone had been studying their Al-Anfal and Prophet Muhammad’s letters.”
From the DB, of course.

Rasmussen Hints Trump Will Win

Nearly a quarter of voters won't say whom they prefer. Why not?
Undecideds in single digits are not unusual at this stage of the election season, but when nearly one-in-four voters say they’ll vote third-party or stay home, it’s time to wonder why.

Are they really looking for another candidate? Are they still trying to make up their minds between Clinton and Trump? Or are they just not telling the truth?...

From general experience when we poll on highly controversial topics (e.g., a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country), it’s not unusual to see a higher number of undecideds. This suggests that many of these respondents don’t want to publicly state their position on this topic, fearful perhaps of being branded anti-PC, just to avoid controversy or maybe, who knows, because they think the NSA is listening in. It wouldn’t be surprising if many voters regard support for Trump that way: It’s the topic you don’t bring up at the dinner table because you don’t want to argue.

Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

This is becoming something of a theme. Trump University is a scandal. It really is. But it's dwarfed by the Clinton for-profit-education scandal.
Bill and Hillary Clinton’s attack on Donald Trump over Trump University could invite increased scrutiny of the Clintons’ involvement in a for-profit education scandal in which a company that runs shell colleges paid Bill Clinton $16.5 million to be its pitchman.

While the Clintons were collecting millions, Hillary Clinton’s State Department funneled at least $55 million to a group run by the college company, Laureate Education Inc., according to Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash” as Breitbart reported.

Clinton abruptly resigned from his post as “honorary chancellor” in April 2015 when the disclosure was publicized.

Documents uncovered by Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch show Laureate Education paid the former president through a “shell corporation” pass-through account that evidently passed State Department scrutiny while Hillary was secretary of state.

Further, in a story showing how for-profit colleges encourage huge student debt, Forbes found the biggest borrower on the for-profit college list is Laureate Education’s Walden University, whose grad students borrowed $756 million in 2014.
Every time I read something and think, "Wow, this guy really should not be President," a little later I find out that the Clintons did the same thing but worse.

A Victory Lap...

...without winning.

F-35 Update: Still No Good

Via Bob on the FOB, who says of it, " It's as if the project was specified and managed by the VA."

This Is Hilarious: Scott Adams Endorses Hillary

I will just post the first three paragraphs to get you started, but the whole thing is great ... in a really dark and twisted, it's better to laugh maniacally than scream in terror sort of way.

I’ve decided to come off the sidelines and endorse a candidate for President of the United States.

I’ll start by reminding readers that my politics don’t align with any of the candidates. My interest in the race has been limited to Trump’s extraordinary persuasion skills. But lately Hillary Clinton has moved into the persuasion game – and away from boring facts and policies – with great success. Let’s talk about that.

This past week we saw Clinton pair the idea of President Trump with nuclear disaster, racism, Hitler, the Holocaust, and whatever else makes you tremble in fear.

Step One Is What Now?

I think this looks like an awesome project, but I can't get past the first step.

Questions Candidates Have Trouble Answering

For Trump, as we were just discussing, it's whether his opinion about a judge of Mexican ancestry makes him a racist.

For Clinton, it's whether or not she is prepared to recognize that the Second Amendment guarantees a real right.

Clinton's answer was apparently to reject the idea, adding that if hypothetically it did she would still be free to regulate it. Well, not just her: she thinks that this hypothetical Constitutional right should be subject to regulation by every level of government: the Federal government, yes, but also "states and localities." Not that she admits that there is such a right.

And Did You Mean It, Did You?

Obama calls for an end to Catholic schools, apparently. You can see where he's going with the point he's trying to make, but it seems he didn't think this all the way through.

The Lost Voice of Ancient Britain

A flattering reading of Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Chicago Gangsters, Amateur and Professional

The professionals wear suits and hold political office.

H/t: Instapundit.

Oh, Good

Headline: "Elite's AI Created Super Weapons and Started Hunting Players. Skynet is Here."

Amusingly to me, I'd never heard of this game but knew immediately what they were talking about because I played the original back in 1984. I was Elite, once.

Range 15

The Athens, Georgia show has locked in. If any of you are close enough and want to come, I have a few extra tickets.

Erik Erickson: Trump is a Racist

The issue, I think, isn't whether or not Trump is a racist. It's whether there's a home left for non-racist beliefs.
Even the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Trump again steered his pirate ship into uncharted waters, firing off personal and racially tinged attacks against a federal judge”

These were not racially tinged or racially charged attacks.

This was racism plain and simple.

The partisan press has long muddied what is and is not racist in this country and now confronted by actual racism cannot bring itself to use the word lest it be judging Trump.

The attacks are racist. To claim that someone is unable to objectively and professional perform his job because of his race is racism.
We've been talking here about Trump's attempt to build a white voting bloc to match the Democrats' black, Latino and Asian voting blocs. I think it's a terrible idea in the sense that it will formalize and cement hostility among Americans, and make it impossible to pursue common goods instead of tribalism. I also think it will likely work, because it is a kind of division people seem naturally to prefer. We will end up with a politics like Brazil's.

The alternative isn't clear, though. Justice Sotomayor made essentially the same argument Trump is making, albeit with the polarity reversed, in her frequent and infamous remarks on the value of having "a wise Latina" on the bench. The argument is that there's something about this quality -- which may not really be race, but is certainly ethnicity -- that will inform one's judgment. All Trump is saying is the same thing. He's just portraying it as a bad thing instead of a good thing.

The Democratic Party portrays itself as anti-racist, but in fact it is the party that has led us here by building its electoral success around racial voting blocs. It continues to try to divide white Americans by class because that prevents a majority voting bloc from forming against them. Everyone else it wants to vote their 'racial interest' by joining the D-majority voting bloc. What Trump is saying is that America should just go all the way to a polity divided by race. What would be wiser would be to break up the extant racial voting blocs, not to finish the work of dividing the nation this way.

Again, though, I don't know how you accomplish that. We probably can't do it until we can speak clearly about it. It won't do to let the Democrats' conduct slide while portraying Trump and his white bloc as some kind of especially wicked racists. He is making a racist appeal. The trick is, so is everyone else. Yet somehow, we continue to talk as if only Trump's version of this electoral strategy is racist. We can't fix the problem unless we acknowledge how much bigger it is than him.

UPDATE: Power Line makes an allied point.

Indian Motorcycles and Combat Bikes

In the video for "Sellout Song" Grim posted, I saw one of the men wearing an Indian Motorcyles t-shirt, and it piqued my curiosity. Clicking around, I found the following video on their website, along with a photo of a recently custom-built "Indian Military Scout Bike" (yes, I want one, complete with Thompson) that replicates some of the bikes used in WWII you can see in the video:

That reminded me of a time I was in Japan and was able to attend a demonstration by their Ground Self Defense Forces. I really don't remember much I saw that day, the typical tanks and helos, marching formations and whatnot. But one demonstration did stick in my mind. A squad of men on  mountain bikes raced down a mountain. As they approached the bottom, they locked their handlebars in place and, maintaining speed, unsheathed rifles and assaulted through an imaginary enemy at the base of the hill.

Wikipedia tells me this may have been the bike they were riding, the Honda XLR250R, although I don't see the rifle sheath. Maybe my memory is faulty; maybe the rifles were slung. Or maybe it was a different bike. Anyway, here's a photo from Wikipedia:

This reminds me of bicycle infantry units. Maybe I'll do a post on that next.

All Right, Let's Have This Fight

Just understand what's at stake if we lose this fight.

Maybe there's no choice, though. Maybe we just have to fight this one out.

Saturday Night AMV

I want to remind you of one of Eric Blair's earlier contributions.

We're down now to Clinton or Sanders or Trump. In other words, we're down to the Crime Syndicate, the Communist, and the Egotist.

I don't know where we are going with this. I'm not going to presume to know. I think I know that Clinton is the worst of them, because she has organization. But they're all pretty bad.

If you're reading this page, we're damned to the opposition for the next four years at least. There won't be a superhero intervention. Look to your arms, and your virtues.