Bikers for Trump

There is a significant irony in having a bunch of bikers wanting to support you politically, and you telling them, "Sure, come hang out at one of my golf clubs."

On the other hand, it's working for him.
For a week every summer, tiny Sturgis, South Dakota mushrooms from a town of 7,000 to a metropolis of 500,000. Welcome to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, where hundreds of thousands of largely working class and middle-aged Americans make a pilgrimage during the first week of August to celebrate a particular subset of American culture.

Here, they can enjoy the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, and the sprawling majestic sights of nearby Black Hills National Forest. Harley Davidsons are the bikes of choice, classic rock and country music blare, the beer flows, and the politics runs surprisingly conservative. The mainstream media has picked up on the story, highlighting the degree to which this particular demographic has tilted, almost entirely, to Donald Trump....

Working class heartlanders are not voting on transgender bathrooms, or safe spaces, or gay adoption, or historical preservation, or protection of endangered species, or gender-neutral pronouns, or university “speech codes”, or any of the other things that blue state elitists tend to find their way to.

They are looking for a candidate who wants them to have more money in their pocket, who says what he actually believes, and who is not going to let the Stalinist mentality of political correctness pervade his candidacy.
Bikers don't like Stalinists. Remember that the Hells Angels volunteered to deploy to Vietnam to fight Communists if they could go as a unit. For some reason, the government didn't take them up on the offer, but I don't doubt they meant it sincerely.

I've said here before that Trump's communication style is something he picked up in his World Wrestling days. He's been talking for a long time, but he used to go on Oprah. Since WWE, he's learned to talk like Hulk Hogan or Macho Man Randy Savage. Bikers love that. A lot of people do, really. That's why WWE is a big money entertainment industry.

But there's more beyond that. There's something about being the new Hulk Hogan; about wearing the confidence of 1980s America. It's almost magic.

Just compare the rhetoric. "The greatest world champion of all times." "I don't think I've ever seen...." And then Trump: "These are the most beautiful bikes that anybody has ever seen." (They aren't. There is a better collection of bikes over in Maggie Valley; but nobody thinks Trump is supposed to know anything about this. Nobody even pretends that he ought to know.)

People respond to that confidence in authority. Maybe they shouldn't. Maybe we should all be much more suspicious of such claims. But they do, and they especially do when it seems to be working out. Hogan kept winning his matches; Trump keeps boiling the economy.

The Second Amendment Also Protects Knife Carry?

This is the argument being forwarded by the founder of Knife Rights, Doug Ritter:
One reason is Knife Rights, whose mission is “to ensure a Sharper Future for owners of one of mankind’s oldest and most commonly used tools” and uphold the Second Amendment, which, Mr. Ritter argues, applies to knives as well as guns.
“As you will note, the Second Amendment doesn’t say ‘firearms’; it says ‘arms,’ ” he said.
He cited a 2013 article in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform authored by legal scholars Dave Kopel, Clayton Cramer and Joe Olson, which makes the case for constitutional protection for knives.
I'd say he has a fair point there (pun intended).

They've been around for ten years, and have apparently done some pretty good work

Knife Rights also has an app that gives guidance on knife laws in all 50 states- which if you are travelling, or live in a place like California (as I do), could be pretty handy (though it does cost $1.99).

The Economy is Much Better

The effects of that, if it continues, are likely to be 'tectonic.'

What About That New Gender Studies Factory in Budapest?

Hungary's government orders that no more gender studies classes be offered at its universities, as the degree is "useless" in the job market.

Well of course it's useless. That's because gender studies is intended to be the highest truth. The highest thing isn't supposed to be useful for anything else; everything else is supposed to be useful for pursuing it.

Good Dragon, Nice Dragon

...and then there's the other dragon. The Chinese produce a film that sounds at first as if it were a Sino-centric version of Act of Valor.
Somewhere in the Gulf of Aden, Somali pirates hold the crew of a container ship hostage on the ship’s bridge. The ship is trailed by a frigate, and elite naval commandos are now stacked on the ladders leading to either side of the bridge. A helicopter from the frigate makes an extreme maneuver, allowing a sniper on board to attempt an impossible shot, perfectly timed with the detonation of breaching charges. It is not SEAL Team 6, but the Chinese Jiaolong (Sea Dragons).
It's a great movie, the review at the US Military Academy's Modern War Institute says, right up until the end. But then...
The second dragon emerges only from the shadows in the final minute of the film, almost as if it were added as an afterthought, as if the film were viewed by someone in power who decided that the tone was too cooperative and insisted on the addition. In fact, the scene shows no individual characters, just ships at sea. After the events of the rest of the film, and thousands of miles away in the South China Sea, a flotilla of PLAN ships approaches what appears to be a smaller US flotilla of one Ticonderoga-class cruiser and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conducting a freedom of navigation operation. Alarms sound on the PLAN ships and a voice comes over the loudspeaker repeating in Chinese and English: “Attention! This is the Chinese Navy. You are about to enter Chinese waters. Please turn around immediately!” The second dragon is the one that makes and aggressively enforces destabilizing maritime territorial claims. This is the China that creates its own rules by ignoring the existing ones. The second dragon is the one that much of the world hopes to see fly away in favor of the first.
Don't bet on seeing the end of that second dragon. It's the real one.

Extremists Training School Shooters in New Mexico

"Extremists" is loose language, since no one is merely extreme; they are an extreme something-or-other. In this case, the author is clear about just what kind of extremists they were.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj — son of radical imam Siraj Wahhaj, one of America’s most prominent Islamic clerics and Linda Sarsour’s mentor — kidnapped his own child in order to exorcise him of his physical disabilities that his father attributed to demonic possession.

A search for the boy led authorities to a remote compound in New Mexico, where local police found Siraj Ibn Wahhaj heavily armed. Court documents filed stated the compound served as a training camp to teach children to commit school shootings.
The author is herself a Muslim, one who isn't afraid to talk seriously about the issues her faith is facing. Indeed, joining the Clarion Project is a clear commitment to facing those issues head-on. She has, separately, some advice for Muslims running for office.

If Only There Were A Way of Aligning Pay with Perceived Value

Doctors make too much, argue the people who believe that fast food workers should be making $15 an hour.

Elite US Para-Athletes in Scotland

A friend of mine, Alexander "Tank" Armstrong, is over in Scotland right now introducing what he calls the 'adaptive' classes to Scottish Highland Games. Tank competes in Highland Games here in America, as well as in Strongman sports, in which capacity he won America’s Strongest Athlete with Disabilities this year. Born in Canada, he came to America to serve in the US Army before his injuries.

Normally one says something about how it's great to see people overcoming difficulties and not losing spirit in the face of serious injuries, and that's true enough. But for me Tank is always the guy who came to me when I was down and discouraged and buoyed me up. As is always the case with the best kind of men, he isn't just carrying his own weight even though his weight is heavy. Everywhere he goes, he's helping others to succeed also. That's what he's doing over there in Scotland, opening up an old tradition to a new class of competitor to whom it will mean a lot.


Glenn Reynolds: "The next step in criminal justice reform is fewer laws."

It's a great argument.

Empowering the Powerful

I've heard these people proclaim that they are on the side of the oppressed, but by definition you don't make people less oppressed by further empowering the powerful. Moves to silence opponents at best makes a new class of oppressed, but there's no reason to think it'll help the old class. Insofar as their interests differ from those of the powerful, they'll just become more oppressed than ever.

AVI often says that we never get to defend the people we'd rather, and that's true here too. Alex Jones is a lunatic. But the reason I know that he's a lunatic is that his speech was freely available for me to read and consider. If the first time I'd heard of him was today, I might think he had something good to say. Making him a martyr elevates him in a way that won't work to anyone's good.

Free speech has to be fought for. It's the best thing for everybody, even if some people think they're too powerful to need the guarantee.

America Should Be Happy to Have Sikhs

This affair prompts this most recent in the occasional Grim's Hall series on Sikhs. The Sikh faith is perfectly suited to America and her Second Amendment traditions.
One of the tenets of the Sikh religion is that adherents must carry on their person a knife, called a Kirpan. The Kirpan is a reminder that the carrier should have the courage to defend all those who are persecuted or oppressed.

In our enlightened, politically-correct times, however, this has caused some problems. The blade -- traditionally between six inches and three feet in length -- seems to be "intimidating" in the Age of the Common Man, and thus has been variously legally required to be "less than four inches", or blunted, or even sealed inside of its scabbard with glue.

I mention this because initial reports state that when Evil presented itself in his place of peace and began to slaughter those of his flock, 65-year-old Satwant Singh Kaleka did his level best to punch the ticket of the decades-younger murderer with what the Media has described as a "butter knife" -- a blunted blade, less than four inches in length.
Our stout-hearted Ambassador to the United Nations was a Sikh before becoming a Methodist. She is one of the shining lights of the current administration.

The US military has adapted its uniform code to allow for Sikh beards, as is right and proper given that Sikhs frequently seek out military service.

All people of the right should learn to recognize Sikhs and be glad to have them as part of our national experiment. Theirs is a faith with many excellent qualities, which produces fine people on a reliably regular basis. Make some room for them.

Testing Power & Privilege

There were some developments over the weekend in the NYT racism story. Noted African-American right-winger Candice O. posted exactly the same language that was used against "white people," except she swapped in "Jewish." Now according to the prevailing neo-Marxist "only the powerful can have racism" theory an African-American woman should be able to say whatever she wants without it being racist, as her group memberships mean that she is not privileged nor powerful. But she was suspended immediately, due to what Twitter in embarrassment later proclaimed was an 'error.'

Meanwhile, someone drew an interesting comparison between the cases of this writer and Papa John. Again, according to the prevailing theory, Papa John should have been too privileged to be held accountable: he was white, male, and extremely rich. Yet he was purged ruthlessly by his own company for mentioning a racial slur; she was promoted in spite of (or, a friend of mine mentioned privately, because of) hers. Who really has privilege here?

Iowahawk has a suggestion for evaluating these cases.