Not Even Slightly Fake News

”Americans Excited To Celebrate Their Liberty While Confined To Their Homes By The Government.”
“I sure am glad I live in a free country," said one man in California as he checked his phone to see what the current unilateral mandates by his governor would allow him to do this year....

Guidelines released by governors across the country so far include the following:

Launching fireworks inside
Barbecuing inside
Watching fireworks on YouTube since they're probably illegal in your state anyway
Whispering "God Bless America" so as not to upset your neighbors
Wearing a mask while inside your home to muffle any patriotic songs or statements
Forgoing hamburgers and hot dogs in favor of more sustainable food products like bugs and tofu
Sitting in silence and contemplating how much you hate America

Ymar’s Post

Friday.

Climate Change: Also Racist

This one we should have been expecting.

Classical Music: Also Racist

Apparently there are no limits.

The Elite Eats Its Own

An article at American Mind suggests that we are just watching a street-fight among the elite's children, over the future of our nation, to which none of us are admitted.
A new study by Pew research says only 1/6 of the protesters are Black. Four out of five are Democrats. This is not the poor working class fighting for a livable wage. It’s an act of performance art staged and underwritten by our nation’s elite, in the tradition of Woodstock or Occupy Wall Street.... This is a generational fight within our ruling elite class. For decades, the elites have taught their children that America is a bad place. It’s an evil country, they say: To be patriotic is to be ignorant about America’s many sins. Be woke, the upper classes bark at their kids! Open your eyes to all that is wrong with the U.S. and its history.

America’s elites are scrambling to find ways to show they’re on the side of the oppressed so that they, too, can be considered victims.... One writer put it this way: This is a revolution that comforts the comfortable.
But it's almost Independence Day, and I'm not feeling it. I love my country -- not my government, but definitely my country -- and I'm not willing to give it up. I'm willing to run up the black flag, but not quite ready to give up the red, white, and blue one.

A Continuing Theme at the Hall-


Fake News Today?

BB:  New bodyguard hired for Epstein mistress.
Following the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell for sex abuse charges, the FBI is taking no chances in keeping her safe while she awaits trial. Sparing no expense, the FBI has hired top-notch Italian bodyguard Hiluigi Clintonelli.... Thanks to the particularly glowing reviews from high-profile individuals such as President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, all federal prison security checks were waived for Hiluigi....

Clintonelli also connected all camera feeds to her personal server to ensure that all recorded video was properly secured.
Do we want to run a death pool on how long this woman lasts in our prisons?

Bastiat

An essay.

Alert business owner

The police came pretty fast, but the business owner did a great job in the meantime.

Cyberpunk 2020

Since we are on the subject, and the year, here's an appropriate tune.



"Give me a reason to be... a woman." "I just want to be a woman." "It's all I wanna be, a woman."

Well you know, I can help you with that. I have an oath to respect, but I can make you feel like a woman. I know how to be a man.

More Mazzy



You probably missed them. Almost everyone did. She wipes her eyes at the end of that set, because it still moves her however often she's played it before.

This one was the one they had that was closet to a hit.

Speaking of Woodstock

Parts of it really do look appealing, even from this vantage. Yes, let us all go riding on horses with pretty girls (or the opposite, for those of you who prefer), singing songs in the country.



It's not hard to see how it took hold.

A Proposal for Republicans

I've always thought of myself as a Democrat, though my wing of the party -- the originals -- is largely dead. Republicans haven't been much good except for Reagan, not in office; some of them were good in uniform. But it's a difficult time, and perhaps reform is possible.



It's a three point plan.

1) Insist on absolute equality under the law: everyone has exactly and only the same rights. "A colorblind meritocracy."

2) Defend freedom of speech, and not just in terms of the First Amendment but broadly. "Americans have the absolute right to tell the truth."

3) Serve the interests of normal, ordinary people.

Number three is an interesting one; Jimbo has been bending my ear about it for years. It's true that as early as Woodstock -- earlier, I suppose, since the easy reference implies it had been in common usage -- it was ordinary for the American left to define themselves as "freaks." They've marched through a mainstreaming of a lot of what used to be considered freakish behavior: drugs, especially marijuana; radical feminism -- just last week the SCUM manifesto was in the news again; homosexuality, which is now as normal as being a married couple of any kind; currently they're running up on the rocks of the transgender problem, which is a thorny one because it is objectionable to both the feminists and the kind of gays who really did want to be accepted as ordinary married folks.

What if you just wanted to be a cowboy? Or just a guy who raised his family -- you know, the kind of family you produced naturally, with a real man and a real woman bringing forth ordinary children? Maybe you adhere to one of the ancient faiths that don't support all this freakishness, of which there are some several?

I personally have a soft spot for the freaks; I don't dislike them. They probably aren't the right people to have power, though, if indeed anyone is. The best thing is to reduce the incidence of power so that people are left minding their own business by default -- and if they choose freakish business, well, that's theirs and not mine.


Still I think there's something to be said for the proposal of defending normality, though it's a slippery philosophical project and needs limits. It's good to have left/right limits and freedom to maneuver at will between them; it's not good to have any sort of crushing conformity. The project to make people mind their business leads to room for the freaks, but also for the ordinary people who just want to do what they learned from their ancestors. Just let 'em be. They know what they're doing; they're doing the thing that worked for a thousand generations. They'll be all right.

The freaks probably won't be, frankly, because they're running against the received lessons of generations. But that's their lookout. If we can just get them to the place where they stop butting into everyone else's business, they can go run their hazards as they please.

A Tough Press Conference

Joe Biden has some admirers.

Don't Scare the Horses

As the younger generation loses our cultural metaphors from the old cowboy days, they lose a great store of practical wisdom. Also, sometimes they meet real horses.

Ymar's Post

Wednesday. It is Wednesday, isn't it?

Happy Canada Day to Our Friendly Neighbors

Canada has been a pretty good neighbor, and so to them I wish them a happy Canada Day.  I must confess that  I rather like their national anthem, and having heard it many times as a hockey fan, know it pretty well,

I did not know much about the history of New Foundland- that it was not originally part of Canada, but it's own Dominion of the Crown.  It raised a battalion to fight in WWI in the British Army, and that battalion, the St. Johns Regiment, had the misfortune to be part of the British 29th Division at Beaumont-Hamel, and in the battle of the Somme, suffered 80% casualties, essentially destroying the Regiment.

Thanks to Fr. Brad Sweet, I also found out about the memorial to their ill fated destiny in that battle, and as a fan of good monuments, am sharing it here with you- After the war, and thanks largely to Lieutenant Colonel Tom Nangle, the former Roman Catholic Priest of the regiment, a tribute to their courage was erected at the site of the battle- The Beaumont-Hamel New Foundland Memorial- 
It consists of a bronze Caribou rising proudly up off a prominence of New Foundland Granite and native New Foundland plants, overlooking the battlefield where they paid such a heavy price.

Clearly not the happiest event in Canadian history, but one that marks their valor, and thanks to the memorial, their fine aesthetics.

Protesting is Good For You

We've all noted the ways in which ordinary activities like visiting the beach, attending funerals or religious services, and dining in restaurants have been banned by executive orders as too dangerous; but protests have been allowed to occur in intense, crowded spaces for days at a time. Now the scientists would like you to know that not only are protests not risky for spreading viruses, they actually seem to slow the spread.
“We think that what’s going on is it’s the people who are not going to protest are staying away,” said Andrew Friedson, the CU-Denver professor who is one of the paper’s co-authors. “The overall effect for the entire city is more social distancing because people are avoiding the protests.”
Well, I'm certainly not going down to any of the protests, so maybe there's something to that.

Another Birthday

Dr. Thomas Sowell is 90 today.

Talking About the Queen Again

Mount Rushmore attacks the week of Independence Day? You guys on the left are feeling froggy, aren't you?

Happy Birthday, Ma'am

I honestly had no idea that Olivia de Havilland was still alive, but she is: 104 today. I think of her opposite Errol Flynn, who has been dead since before I was born.

8.3 Million More Guns

The June sales boost gun sales since the pandemic started to record-breaking levels.

"A Caste System"

Today's entry at the NYT makes a claim that is so ridiculous that I'm having trouble deciding where to begin addressing what's wrong with it.
A caste system is an artificial construction, a fixed and embedded ranking of human value that sets the presumed supremacy of one group against the presumed inferiority of other groups on the basis of ancestry and often immutable traits, traits that would be neutral in the abstract but are ascribed life-and-death meaning in a hierarchy favoring the dominant caste, whose forebears designed it. A caste system uses rigid, often arbitrary boundaries to keep the ranks apart, distinct from one another and in their assigned places.

Throughout human history, three caste systems have stood out. The lingering, millenniums-long caste system of India. The tragically accelerated, chilling and officially vanquished caste system of Nazi Germany. And the shape-shifting, unspoken, race-based caste pyramid in the United States. Each version relied on stigmatizing those deemed inferior to justify the dehumanization necessary to keep the lowest-ranked people at the bottom and to rationalize the protocols of enforcement. A caste system endures because it is often justified as divine will, originating from sacred text or the presumed laws of nature, reinforced throughout the culture and passed down through the generations.
The Indian caste system can be sensibly discussed in terms of 'throughout human history,' since it occupies something like the same scope. Nazi Germany was only around for a few years. The Nazi system wasn't a caste system anyway; it aimed to eliminate even Germans who had less-than-ideal traits (by the lights of the government). As Hannah Arendt's work on totalitarianism points out, the Nazi system was gearing up to purify Germans through eugenics just as soon as it finished eliminating Jews.

The United States, far from having a centuries-stable system, has passed through a number of systems in its relatively brief history: from fully legal slavery (which was still not a racial caste, since blacks could be free and own slaves); to Jim Crow (never evenly applied across states or regions); to informal prejudices against which specific legal barriers were erected; to the current system, which in fact aims to promote minorities and is currently bent sideways trying to figure out how to fix the remaining racial inequalities. Currently "the protocols of enforcement" are aimed especially at people who speak ideas that can be deemed racist, which will rapidly cost them their jobs, their advertisers, their homes, their friends, and so forth.

The author Isabel Wilkerson, by the way, is "a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal."

That's what I call a dining hall

College Hall in Westminster Abbey, built in the 1370s, is said to be the longest continuously used dining hall in London.  According to what is now usually called a "doubtful tradition," the long chestnut tables were built from wood salvaged from the wreck of the Spanish Armada.  Students at the Westminster School still take their meals there, presumably observing a standard of behavior that would forbid leaving their chewing gum on the underside of the tables. As early as the 16th century, diners aged 18 or more were fined a shilling if they called their companions "foole knave or any other contumelius or slanderus worde."

Gangster Rap

I suppose it's worth an introduction, in case some of you aren't familiar with the personalities active in the current debate.

The rapper in the last piece was Ice-T. This guy is Ice Cube. He was after Jake Tapper the other day, but Tapper is nobody compared to him.

This video is entirely covered by a language warning, but I provide it in case any of you really don't know who this guy is. BLM crawls after his opinon for a reason.



That guy at the far right of the diagram is Dr. Dre. He's hugely important too, for reasons many of you might not know. He was the driving figure in the mid-1990s gangster rap scene.

I imagine you've seen things like this.



The original of which is Dr. Dre's work:



Just an introduction, for those of you who care to know.

Capitalists vs. Antifa

You know who is committed to capitalism? The Crips.

Pretty much any street gang. They sell protection, after all. Other things, too.

A Silver Afternoon

The finest band of the 1990s, singing far from their best song.



They were heartbreaking, when everyone else was swaggering. The culture chose to follow the swagger. In the fullness of time they will receive their reward; but not yet. We are still very far from ready for them.

Fake News Today

While Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, barbecues, and merrymaking, Democrats celebrate Dependence Day by staying inside and weeping over all the freedom going on outside. The celebrations conclude with the reading of the Communist Manifesto and the singing of "Imagine".
H/t BB, of course. Their news isn't really fake anymore, though, is it?

"It's like Twitter in real life"

"Fifty shades of whey"--language warning.

Motorcycle Song

In honor of the young man who drove all the way back out to let me know he'd secured me a wrecker, a song by Arlo Guthrie. He looked a lot like this, except he had a mustache like D'Artagnan.

An Afternoon On, and Off, a Motorcycle

It seems like I just replaced the clutch cable on that bike, and I was just about to lubricate it again -- I bought a new bottle of cable lube on Saturday. But the clutch gets a lot of work in these mountains, and I see now that it has been almost two years since the last time I replaced it. So it is not too surprising that it snapped today while on a very remote road in Transylvania County. In the right country you don't even need a functional clutch to operate a motorcycle, but in the mountains the extra control it provides can easily be the measure of life or death.

Truly, for a mishap, it could not have gone better. The cable did not snap while traveling through twisty mountain roads, but just as I was re-starting the bike from a stop by Fork Creek above its confluence with the West Fork of the French Broad River. (The latter river's name always makes me think of Paint Your Wagon.) There was thus not even a moment of danger, just several hours of inconvenience. But what a place to be inconvenienced! There was no rain today, blue skies, a pleasant breeze, and dappled shade by the water. Unsurprisingly among such good fortune, I even found a four-leaf clover.

What I did not have was a cell phone signal. After a long time, a fellow passed by and allowed that he would call a wrecker once he got somewhere where his phone would work. Two hours later no wrecker had appeared, but two sets of bikers had stopped to check on me. The first set took my wife's number and promised to call her to let her know where I was, although I knew she wouldn't get the message until she got off work. The second set left me some water, which was a good thing to have in late June.

Finally in the third hour a fellow who looked like a young Arlo Guthrie but with a Musketeer mustache stopped his van to ask me if I needed help. I told him I was beginning to doubt that a wrecker had been called, and asked him to please try as soon as he got somewhere he could make a call. He was as good as his word, and in fact drove all the way back out there to tell me that he'd done it and that the wrecker would be by in forty minutes or so. Eventually it was, just as he said.

I had plenty of time to reflect on how smart it would be to carry a spare clutch cable in my saddlebags. I could easily have fixed the bike with the tools I carry on it if I'd had a spare. It wouldn't have taken five minutes. I shall do that from now on. Live and learn.

As we were headed up the mountains toward my house, I saw a blue truck go by that looked familiar. "That there," I said to the wrecker driver, "is my wife come looking for me." Sure enough it was. She said the bikers had left her a voice mail telling her which road I was on, but not exactly where, so she'd been driving around asking people if they'd seen me.

"You mean the scary looking guy with the braided beard and big muscles?" one group of young men replied.

"Yes, that's definitely him."

"Well, he's down by Fork Creek. I didn't stop to ask if he needed any help because he just seemed like he was relaxing by his bike."

As indeed I was, dear reader. Indeed I was.

Betrayed Again

Chief Justice Roberts turns out to be another of these establishment Republicans who pretended to want to repeal Obamacare until they had the power, then found ways to fail at doing it still. Only he has a lifetime appointment, so he doesn't have to pretend anymore.

We still have a 5-4 left-wing court.

Oh, Yale

This is funny. From the New Haven Independent, a call for Yale to change its name:

Slavery is as inseparable from Elihu as these paintings depict. Such a namesake is a liability for Yale the institution. By that I mean a billion-dollar brand, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, an affiliated college in Singapore, and a huge healthcare network. This “open secret” is a ticking timebomb. It is about to go off.

#CancelYale trended this past week on social media, having started as a trolling of liberal elites by conservative influencers.

One example: “For an institution that prides itself on its so called progressivism, why has Yale not yet distanced itself from its namesake - a notorious slave trader?!”

To Yale’s chagrin, they have a point. It must be difficult to take a cold, hard look in the mirror when your face is covered in blood.

The icing on the cake is all of the discussion of the author's own white privilege, a call to be on the right side of history, etc. And then the poll on what Yale's new name should be. Nice touch.

Death of a Rebel

One of the best motorcycle enthusiast sites of late has been The Aging Rebel. He fell and died recently, I gather. Sic transit gloria mundi; requiescat in pace.

Ymar's Post

Of a Monday.

The Translations are a Nice Touch

A stupid book that I have seen enthusiastically recommended by non-stupid white females with college educations (and graduate school ones at that) gets a brutal but deserved review.

It's quite hard throughout, but running the academic jargon through Google Translate was a punishing move.
DiAngelo’s writing style is pure pain. The lexicon favored by intersectional theorists of this type is built around the same principles as Orwell’s Newspeak: it banishes ambiguity, nuance, and feeling and structures itself around sterile word pairs, like racist and antiracist, platform and deplatform, center and silence, that reduce all thinking to a series of binary choices.... [they] make ugly verbs out of ugly nouns and ugly nouns out of ugly verbs (there are countless permutations on centering and privileging alone). In a world where only a few ideas are considered important, redundancy is encouraged, e.g. “To be less white is to break with white silence and white solidarity, to stop privileging the comfort of white people,” or “Ruth Frankenberg, a premier white scholar in the field of whiteness, describes whiteness as multidimensional…”

DiAngelo writes like a person who was put in timeout as a child for speaking clearly. “When there is disequilibrium in the habitus — when social cues are unfamiliar and/or when they challenge our capital — we use strategies to regain our balance,” she says (“People taken out of their comfort zones find ways to deal,” according to Google Translate).
This is a common flaw to a lot of these critical theories. You have to invest a lot of time and energy into learning the code, which is just a subset of the time and energy you have to spend learning the overarching system of interpretation. Along the way you probably have spent so much time and energy in just trying to learn the mode of interpretation that you have missed the fact that the problems the system alleges to uncover are actually baked into the mode of analysis.

Meanwhile, you've invested so much time and energy into it, it seems awful to just declare it dumb and walk away. But sunk costs are sunk, here as elsewhere. The wisest thing to do is to walk away rather than throwing good money after bad. Yet, here, there is so much social pressure; so much pressure to conform, to go along, to show that you are one of the good gals.

The courageous thing is to not.

I like Barr

I admire his professional performance as well as his skill in responding to hostile questions.  He knows why he does what he does, and he remains rational under fire.

Sometimes a judge gets one right

Woke Woodstock?  Go for it.  Jewish funeral?  Not so fast.

Goal posts on skids

The anxiety level in my county has jumped significantly, though I'm still not quite able to see a big change in objective danger.  Two articles today, one in Spectator and one by Avik Roy, put their finger on my frustration in reading about 20 headlines a day on the uptick in cases in June (say, what happened in June?), which is that reports focus almost exclusively on new cases.  Of course there are going to be more new reported cases if we test a lot more.  What we need to know is, are we getting more hospitalizations?  In particular, are we getting more serious hospitalizations, more ICU impact, enough hospital and ICU impact to overwhelm our medical facilities?  Ultimately, more deaths? Not only do the press reports avoid these issues, preferring to blame Republican governors for forcing people at gunpoint to crowd up against each other in bars and churches, but I'm finding it harder and harder to find good data anywhere on the burden on hospital resources.  Texas hospitalization rates are up, but why wouldn't they be, given that we made people delay elective procedures for several months?  A good number of all the people who show up for knee surgery will also test positive for COVID.  Is that what they're counting?  It's impossible to tell from any of the data sources I've been able to find.

The Spectator article does try:
There are no crises in hospital capacity anywhere in the country. Nursing homes, meat-packing plants, and prisons remain the main sources of new infections. Half the states are seeing cases decline or hold steady. Case counts are affected by more testing; the positive infection rate captured by testing is declining. The current caseload is younger, which is a good thing. The more people who have been infected and who recover, the more herd immunity is created.
Mind you. I'm not 100% persuaded this is a fair picture overall. For one thing, deaths lag case reports--but deaths lag serious hospitalizations a lot less, so I'd rather hear about the latter. Also, overall U.S. rates may obscure an impending problem in a particular area, such as the state that's nearest and dearest to me.

Still, for the last several months, there's been a very weird inability to keep our eyes on the original ball: hunkering down while the virus works its way through the population--something we never seriously imagined we could prevent--while protecting the people at highest risk and avoiding high-tech medical service crunches of the sort that initially terrified us in reports from Italy.

Somewhere along the way, people seem to have gotten the idea, first, that we could make the virus go poof! if we locked down long enough, and second, that we can really lock the economy down indefinitely.

Reformation

I normally enjoy the New York Post, but this is off-base:  "Democrats in Congress just doomed police reform."  There's no reason for the United States Congress to be involved in any "police reform" except as concerns federal police agencies like the FBI, which admittedly could use some work.  If a local police force work needs work, state and local officials should be taking care of it, unless we want to see results every bit an inspiring as those that resulted from federal reform of public schools.

The underlying red/blue political argument I do get, of course.

OK, now they're just having fun up there

Drones tire of keeping noses to grindstone, strike blow for freedom, teach themselves acrobatics.  Soon they'll be skateboarding instead of looking for jobs.

This just in

Groundbreaking research:
With beauty being a valuable commodity in our society, it's no surprise that women might use it to their advantage when competition heats up.
But only when competition heats up, mind you, which is why they found the phenomenon more pronounced in areas of "gender income inequality."  Get rid of the competition, and everything becomes a reimagined paradise.

Have they considered taxing the rich?