Keeper of Antiquities: Irish Sacrificed their Kings Horribly if Things Turned Bad in the Kingdom

A kind of early 'checks and balances,' if you will.
"The king had great power but also great responsibility to ensure the prosperity of his people. Through his marriage on his inauguration to the goddess of the land, he was meant to guarantee her benevolence. He had to ensure the land was productive, so if the weather turned bad, or there was plague, cattle disease or losses in war, he was held personally responsible."
There's a famous similar argument made by Þorgnýr the Lawspeaker in the Heimskringla. The pagan mythos has been bleached out, but the 'checks and balances' sentiment remains.
[Our king] wants to have the Norway kingdom laid under him, which no Swedish king before him ever desired, and therewith brings war and distress on many a man. Now it is our will, we bondes, that thou King Olaf make peace with the Norway king, Olaf the Thick, and marry thy daughter Ingegerd to him. Wilt thou, however, reconquer the kingdoms in the east countries which thy relations and forefathers had there, we will all for that purpose follow thee to the war. But if thou wilt not do as we desire, we will now attack thee, and put thee to death; for we will no longer suffer law and peace to be disturbed. So our forefathers went to work when they drowned five kings in a morass at the Mula-thing, and they were filled with the same insupportable pride thou hast shown towards us. Now tell us [king], in all haste, what resolution thou wilt take.

3 Dead Police in Dallas, 10 Injured

So I hear. More of the injured are in critical condition.

The point at which they started shooting cops was the point at which the police will no longer listen to arguments about adjusting their training to adopt a less-aggressive posture. The window for fixing the problem just closed, at least for quite a while. Nothing good will come from this.

Requiescat in pace.

According to the live feed at this link (local NBC), it was 11 officers shot of 100 total.

Regarding the Intellectual Arguments in Captain America: Civil War

Yes, this post is all of the horrifying things that title implies.

However, before I tear it apart, I'd like to say I really enjoyed this movie. I've gone to see it twice, now. Also, despite what I am about to say about it, I think it is about as balanced as a left-wing studio echo chamber can be expected to create. That said, I have some issues with it.

But first, the trailer:

Since this is kinda long, the rest is below the fold. Mild spoiler alert, mostly if you consider the intellectual side of an Avengers movie a spoiler.

A Point Worth Making Right Now

How to restore oversight, checks and balances? Vote Trump.
Think of it. A Congress that finally finds a spine in the face of the president. And that’s not just Democrats – even the posing goofs on the Republican side of the aisle would be falling over themselves to take a whack at the orange executive. What court would shrug and defer to El Presidente Little Digits? Even the mainstream media would rediscover the curiosity about West Wing wrongdoing that disappeared back in January 2009. Imagine their delight to once again be able to preen and strut while babbling about how they speak truth to power instead of groveling and bussing the rear of their White House master.

America will have never seen checking and balancing like President Trump would experience. And that is exactly, precisely what America must have right now.

Hillary Clinton will roll into office unhindered and unaccountable. We know what Clintons do when there is oversight; any sane person should shudder at the thought of them not merely unaccountable, but actively abetted by the entire elite.
Actually, that's two points worth making. The bigger point is that a Hillary Clinton administration would be the end of the Constitution, via her hand-picked SCOTUS, as well as the rule of law by her actively abetted acts of fiat.

The smaller point, but also important, is that Trump's likely foolishness will give Congress, the media, and the courts a chance to rebuild their atrophied muscles. By the end of Trump's term (which I still think would highly likely end in impeachment and removal from office, especially if he picks a VP that people like better than him), the next President will come into office with a clear example of the dangers of transgressing boundaries in front of their eyes.

With Clinton, if we even get to a President after her, the lesson would be that there no limits. Only power.

Reason: "Where's the NRA on Philando Castile?"

A fair question, although a fair answer might be, "Waiting until more facts come in before committing to a public position."

Still, the NRA could come out with a statement that doesn't take a position on the facts of the case, but that does reassert that police training should embrace the reality that there are millions more Americans lawfully carrying arms. The presence of a weapon should not be taken to indicate that the officer's life is in immediate jeopardy. Some new mode of training needs to be developed that doesn't go to DEFCON 1 at the first sign of a weapon.

An Old Man From Britain Has Some Harsh Words For "Generation Snowflake"

Here in the US, "Generation Snowflake" has borne the brunt of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- though plenty of my own generation made it out there too. Let's make sure to remember to carve out an exception for that element of the generation.

With that said, let's proceed with the verbal beatdown.

Hopefully he's right that, someday, they'll appreciate what has been saved for them.


James Comey was asked directly about whether there was an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Comey responded: “I’m not going to comment on the existence or non-existince of any other investigations.”

But when they asked if he had investigated whether Hillary Clinton lied under oath in her testimony to Congress -- committed perjury, in other words -- he specifically denied the existence of that investigation, and told Congress they'd have to request one. (They are going to do so.)

The other big news is that the FBI did not record Clinton's testimony, nor place her under oath. "Still a crime to lie to us," Comey noted, but now no one can prove that she did.

Mm, Hmm.

The quote is from a fundraising email she sent out on behalf of the DSCC.

Captain's Journal: Cf. Hillary and the New SCOTUS Ruling on Guns

It's been a while since I looked at Herschel Smith's page. I should drop by more often.

Whereas Hillary can skate on perceived reckless conduct when Comey himself acknowledges it is “a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way,” gun owners also deemed guilty of recklessness now face a “terrifying new precedent,” per a Conservative Review analysis of the Supreme Court’s 6 -2 decision in the Voisine case.

“[T]he court ruled that crimes of recklessness rise to the same level as ‘misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence’ which preclude individuals convicted of such a crime from firearm ownership by federal law,” the article explains...
But it gets even worse than that. As we’ve seen, in the words of Justice Elena Kagan, “… the word “use” does not demand that the person applying force have the purpose or practical certainty that it will cause harm, as compared with the understanding that it is substantially likely to do so. Or, otherwise said, that word is indifferent as to whether the actor has the mental state of intention, knowledge, or recklessness with respect to the harmful consequences of his volitional conduct.”

Notice the words intention, substantial likelihood, and recklessness.
That's just a matter of your fundamental rights as a citizen, the protection of which is the whole and only purpose of the government of the United States according to the Declaration of Independence. This was a much more important question of preserving Hillary Clinton's power.

Rep. Chaffetz to Comey: Expect a Referral from Congress on Perjury Charges

"You'll get one," he promised.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis: Comey, You Didn't Even Talk About These Other Crimes

Representative Lummis of Wyoming goes after Comey on Clinton's use of uncleared attorneys to review and destroy public records -- some of them classified.

Waiting for Backup

The pair of police shootings this week will make the upcoming DNC much more interesting, I don't doubt. By far the more disturbing case was that of Philando Castile, who had a concealed weapons permit and had informed the officer of that fact. The officer shot him while he reached for his wallet to produce it, as well as his driver's license. What makes the case most disturbing is that the officer then held him at gunpoint while he bled out, making no effort to render aid or assistance to the dying man, nor to verify his story by calling in his IDs, nor to do anything except wait for backup.

For me, this underlines the point I've made about these shootings in the past: they are about the way we train police officers, and teach incoming officers to think about their relationship to the public. The incident makes perfect sense if you follow the logic of the training. If the most important thing is to protect the officer's life, then you shoot as soon as hands go for something unseen. You don't render aid or assistance until you have full and complete control of the situation. That cannot happen until all the other parties are secured, i.e., handcuffed or locked in police cars. When there are multiple other parties (here there was a girlfriend and a 4 year old), the only thing you can do is maintain watch with your weapon covering the unsecured members of the public while you wait for backup to arrive.

Only then can you take steps to save the life of the man you shot.

If you watch the video, you can hear the upset and tension in the officer's voice. He's very highly strung on adrenaline and fear of what he's just done. He's not thinking straight under these circumstances. He's going to follow his training, and this is how he's been trained.

Which means that he, like other police in these cases, will walk. He will be found to have acted appropriately, because he will have done just what he was trained to do.

FBI Lets Us Down

After spending several minutes explaining that they had found clear evidence that Hillary Clinton met the legal standard for gross negligence, that she endangered Top Secret and Secret information, and that it is highly likely that our enemies gained access to her server...

...Director Comey recommends no charges. He says "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring them.

His conclusion does not follow from his premises, nor from the plain law.

This is a sad day for our nation.


The relevant law is 18 U.S.C. § 793(f). Gross negligence is the standard, and the FBI investigation proved it robustly by Comey's own statement. The shift to any other standard is a refusal to enforce the law. Those doing this for political reasons are asking us to entrust the enforcement of the law to someone whose continued freedom from prison depends solely on that refusal to enforce the law.

Clinton and her machine must be stopped.

That machine apparently includes the law enforcement apparatus of the Federal government.

James Comey: "To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences."

Indeed, I now have no choice but to expect to see the full weight of your organization brought down on her political enemies for much less.

Some Independence Day Thoughts Along the Right Line

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." -- Edward Abbey

A writer named Kurt Schlichter has some similar thoughts. I still think there is an outside chance that the fix isn't in, and that Clinton might be indicted as she manifestly deserves. But if not, it will be hard to argue against this logic.
There is one law for them, and another for us. Sanctuary cities? Obama’s immigration orders? If you conservatives can play by the rules and pass your laws, then we liberals will just not enforce them. You don’t get the benefit of the laws you like. We get the benefit of the ones we do, though. Not you. Too bad, rubes....

Who is standing against this? Not the judges. The Constitution? Meh. Why should their personal agendas be constrained by some sort of foundational document? Judges find rights that don’t appear in the text and gut ones that do. Just ask a married gay guy in Los Angeles who can’t carry a concealed weapons to protect himself from [OMITTED] radicals.

The politicians won’t stand against this. The Democrats support allowing the government to jail people for criticizing politicians and clamor to take away citizens’ rights merely because some government flunky has put their name on a list....

It’s not a social contract anymore – American society today is a suicide pact we never agreed to and yet we’re expected to go first.

I say “No.”

We owe them nothing - not respect, not loyalty, not obedience. Nothing.

We make it easy for them by going along. We make it simple by defaulting to the old rules. But there are no rules anymore, certainly none that morally bind us once we are outside the presence of some government worker with a gun to force our compliance.
Indeed, I would go further. I think anyone who believes that government workers with guns are going to be able to force compliance had better think again.

He's right about the judges, though. Clarence Thomas' recent dissent establishes that clearly.

"Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!"

Via Lars Walker.

The Spirit of Rebellion

Here is a link to last year's Independence Day essay. I reassert everything.

The View from Brexit

Well, I hope you are.

Ragged Old Flag

She's got a few more holes in her now. But we're not quite done.

More Talking About the Queen on Independence Day

From Vox, an article actually titled "3 Reasons the American Revolution Was A Mistake." The first two reasons are slavery and Native Americans, but the third reason is -- I kid you not -- that it would have avoided the horrible Constitution, or as they put it, "We'd have had a better system of government."

AVI was saying the other day something to the effect that members of the global elite -- journalists seem to believe that they qualify -- think of themselves as belonging to an international tribe of each other, rather than to the nations of which they are actually citizens.

I may have to make re-watching Unforgiven a regular Independence Day tradition.

Contemplate This on The Tree of Woe

Yesterday I did about 12 hours in the motorcycle saddle, crossing Neel's Gap across the shoulders of Blood Mountain, then up to the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina, then back over Unicoi Gap. I did the last one in the dark, which was a real experience. It was on the way up Blood Mountain, though, that I happened to reflect on a whole field of crosses in the elbow of one particular curve. How strange that we seek to chance death. I know why I do it, and I know the different reason why young men who haven't proven themselves do it. Still, what a strange feature of human nature.

During the ride I encountered more than one Tree of Woe. The first one I came across is at Neel's Gap. The Appalachian Trail crosses the highway there, as it also does at Unicoi Gap. Northbound hikers frequently abandon the quest after Blood Mountain. Others, though, abandon their gear -- an outfitter has set up shop in a early 20th century stone building up there, and does land office business selling ultra-expensive, ultra-lightweight alternatives to all that stuff you brought. They will even ship your old gear home for you. Many too-heavy pairs of boots have been abandoned there.

Southbound hikers, coming from Maine, often abandon their boots for a new pair too. These boots are frequently held together mostly with duck tape.

Boots at Neel's Gap

The second Tree of Woe is actually called "the Tree of Shame," and it stands at the Dragon. It is covered in motorcycle parts from bikes destroyed on the road. The "Tail of the Dragon" has 318 curves in its 11 miles, some of them quite extreme. The rugged and difficult passage over this arm of the Great Smoky Mountains has an interesting history. I've done it three or four times, and it never gets old.

"The Tree of Shame"

Independence Day weekend is a big occasion at the Dragon.  Lots of motorcycle riders are veterans, and the General Store was all decked out for the occasion.  They closed early yesterday so their employees could get over to see the fireworks show. 

Independence Weekend at the Dragon.

UPDATE: Below the fold, another shot of the dragon sculpture for Douglas.