Cancel Yale

Not quite a petition, but a serious point (more or less).

Flavortown, Ohio

A petition.

Midwest cuisine must have gotten a lot better than I remember if that's even a serious discussion.


Grant Falls

I thought it would take longer to get to “Ulysses Grant, slaveowner.”

Fluidity, part two


"The image does not reflect our values" is a handy way to justify acts of symbolic extirpation of whatever group happens to be in the crosshairs on a given day, without having to explain any tortured so-called reasoning.  In the beginning of an iconoclastic movement, people make at least a token effort to explain that an image is stereotyped or otherwise insulting.  Now all that's necessary is to mutter "image" and "values," then destroy the thing while giving the stink-eye to whoever is presumed to have been associated with erecting it in the first place, or perhaps to anyone who objects or even acts befuddled about the rationale for its destruction.

It's important to conduct these ritual destructions quite often, according to increasingly bewildering standards, in order to keep everyone off balance and remind them who makes the rules.

The DACA decision makes no sense

I've read it now, and I've read the dissent.  The majority opinion is baffling.  The dissent is written in an English I can understand and seems to be making straightforward points.


If you happen to be one of the very many Americans who have never even heard of this holiday before, here's a writeup explaining it. It's a pretty obscure holiday until this year; although I've been aware of it since 1992, when I moved to Atlanta for school and encountered it there, I've gone several years at a stretch without hearing or seeing it mentioned.

Still, this year may be the year it becomes mainstream among Americans.


From a Scottish community group.

Good Treasons

George Washington's statute was destroyed in Portland last night, a logical development of the current effort to purge America of America.  Allahpundit writes:
Some of the skepticism about removing Confederate tributes is due to southern cultural pride but I suspect most of it outside the south springs from the understandable fear that lefties who come after Robert E. Lee today will come after George Washington tomorrow. A statue of Thomas Jefferson was toppled just a few days ago in Oregon, in fact. If the left insists on bundling the Founding Fathers together with the Confederate leadership and making racism, including slaveholding, the disqualifying factor in honoring influential Americans of the past then the public will feel it has no choice but to protect that entire bundle. We’re not giving up Washington and Jefferson, period. But if treason against the United States is the disqualifying factor then the Confederates can be unbundled and discarded.
If these people can’t or won’t distinguish between a monument to someone *despite* their view of slavery and a monument to someone *because of* their view of slavery then the righteous cause of purging the country of tributes to degenerate traitors will derail.
The problem he isn't grappling with is that Washington and Lee weren't just alike in having slaves; or in fighting for a system that preserved slavery; or in being Virginians; or in being generals of armies. They're also alike in being secessionists, i.e., traitors from the perspective of the governments they fought against.
This nation came out of a long tradition of beneficial treason, good treason, treason in the name of the best of the human condition. It was born of the tradition that fought King John at Runnymede and compelled from him the Great Charter of Liberties, Manga Carta Libertatum. It is out of the tradition that produced the Declaration of Arbroath in Scotland, in defiance of yet another tyrannical English king, which stated that "It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself." The Scottish national motto was Nemo Me Impune Lacessit, which means, "No One Touches Me With Impunity," or if you like, "No One Messes With Me Without Getting Hurt." That sentiment was also given in Scotland, as later in Alabama, in the words of John 20:17: Noli Me Tangere, usually translated "Touch Me Not," but also:

The values of this new nation are rooted in the principle of rebellion against authority. They are the values of a people who do what they think is right, and will hand you your heads if you try to force them to kneel to your judgment instead of their own. The Founders considered the philosophy of the Greeks. They considered the history of the Romans. They took stock of their reflections on the righteous judgment of God. Then they pledged their fortunes and their lives, and their sacred honor, and did what they had decided was right without fear.
Rooting out treason won't save America, because America as a project began in treason. What is important is to distinguish the good treasons from the bad ones. The good ones are the ones that advance the cause of natural right and human liberty; the bad ones are the ones that seek to violate natural rights, as the Marxists do but as the Confederates also did, or human liberty, as the Marxists think they don't but really do, and as the Confederates certainly did.

Washington and Jefferson were on the right side, almost. Lee's side was wrong. Yet that still isn't the right view of Lee, and it could be that the right view can't be had at this hour. Lee fought for Virginia to keep it from being destroyed. Sheridan's burning of the Shenandoah Valley is a practical example of what Lee feared, which fears caused Lee to take up arms to protect his home. Perhaps Lee was wrong there too; if he had taken command of the Union forces, as offered, he might have been better able to protect Virginia from men like Sheridan and Sherman. He was, as he has often been charged, too Napoleonic in his understanding of war; Sherman and Sheridan fought the way the Russians fought Napoleon, only they got to lay waste to the land of their enemies rather than their own. Lee never thought to do likewise to Pennsylvania or points north, to his moral credit but his strategic loss.

The North won because it was willing to do things that are now formal war crimes, war crimes they repeated against the Lakota and Cheyenne -- indeed, the same men repeated them. They repeated them against the Apache and others. Once Washington is purged for his embrace of slavery, they'll come from Lincoln and Grant. They'll come for Sherman and Sheridan. They'll come for the whole roster of the late 19th century for its brutality against the Native Americans, and also against the labor unions. And then they'll come for the 20th century too.

This whole project is a sort of treason itself, as a matter of fact. It's a levying of war against America by destroying everything that ever was America. There will never be a rock strong enough to hold against this tide, because America is and always was made up of human beings -- and human beings do wrong, all of us do. No one has clean hands.

We have to learn to live with that. The ones who are setting themselves up as judges of their ancestors won't have clean hands either; they too will rule with fire and war, as indeed they have already begun to do where they have managed to gain a foothold. There is no future of natural right and flourishing human liberty on the other side of their victory, should they gain it. There is only the show we have seen so many times before.

Ymar's Post

For Friday, close to the solstice.

Local Currency to Help Citizens and Save Small Businesses?

Tenino, WA, is printing its own currency to help local businesses. The town set aside $10,000 to back their local currency and are issuing it as a form of welfare for townspeople having trouble making ends meet during the pandemic. A key point is, only local businesses accept the currency. So, it helps two demographics.

Apparently, a lot of towns did something like this during the Great Depression. The article has an interesting history of the phenomenon.

Dropping like flies

Turns out COVID doesn't know how to tell why you're in a crowd after all

Houston protestors are starting to report COVID cases now.  Newsweek's approach is priceless:  starting with the brave declaration of one sufferer that she doesn't regret her courageous stand for an instant, and continuing with the Houston Mayor's explanation that it's too soon to blame the protests for the new outbreak, because the Texas governor "packed people into bars and restaurants."

The only thing they left out was some sniffing over the bitter clingers who plan to attend the Bad Man's Tulsa rally.

Wild Atlanta

The Atlanta police in zones 3, 4, 5, and 6 are not at work tonight. That’s the core of the city, minus only a couple of rich Republican zones in the north.

Guess we will know more tomorrow about how much the city needs them.  Fire dispatch is down too, reportedly.

Fake News Today

BB: “Activists Fight Racism By Driving All People Of Color Out Of Pop Culture.”

DB: “Military COIN experts claim they can stop protests in just 17 years.”

Another Felony Murder Charge in Georgia

This time against the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks. I stand by my earlier assessment of felony murder as a tactic by prosecutors hoping to avoid a trial. However, there is a twist in this case. The D.A. is a Democrat in a runoff election, and thus has a powerful incentive to charge aggressively in order to ensure the Democratic primary base in that heavily-black district will vote to re-elect him.

Going for a capital charge has a potentially huge downside if the officer defends himself rather than pleading to avoid the death penalty. You almost certainly can't convict an officer who shot a suspect while carrying out an arrest against a subject who had violently resisted for the underlying felony, without which you can't convict on the capital crime either. If these elevated charges go down in court, the Atlanta Police will face another riot.

Does the jury then convict to avoid the riots, and send an officer of the law to his death? That would be unprecedented in my lifetime, but so is much that we are seeing today.

Don't Know Much About History

As the comments point out, this comes on the heels of Tim Kaine declaring -- on the floor of the US Senate -- that the United States invented slavery, which is itself of a piece with the argument that the states had invented 'marriage' by passing laws to regulate the immemorial practice.

Destruction and Desecration of Statues

This is not our first rodeo, so I have a developed position on destroying statues:  I'm always against it.  I don't care who put the statue up, and I don't care why.  Preservation of art is a worthwhile project even if only for future historians, who will want to be able to encounter the art and examine the expression of values by ancestors they no longer otherwise know how to approach.  The Taliban was wrong, ISIS was wrong, and we're wrong to be doing it now.

I can appreciate efforts to 'recontextualize' statues, for example by putting up plaques that explain what you take to be the problems with their depiction.  That's useful to future historians as well as current citizens, and it deepens the discussion across the generations about what the right values are.

Extreme cases may even permit the relocation of statutes from highly public places to museums or warehouses.  Removing Nazi statues certainly may be justified; removing horrid modern art to make way for works of genuine beauty certainly is.  Even these things should not be destroyed, though, at least not works of art that entail actual working and/or actual art.

Just as there are extreme cases that may justify removal, though, there are also paradigm cases in which desecration or destruction is especially wrong.  The cause of human liberty was advanced a long way by Robert the Bruce and the Declaration of Arbroath, as has been frequently remarked here; and as far as I know, there is with the Bruce no admixture of tyranny (as there is, in the case of slave-owning, with Jefferson or Washington, two of Bruce's few near-peers in the cause of human liberty).  The argument that his heart being taken on Crusade after his death was the mark of some sort of racist bias versus Muslims is ridiculous.  "Race" wasn't a concept important to the 14th century; religion was, and the Muslims were waging war just as hotly on the Christians as vice versa.

It may be hard to say where to draw the line, but it wherever it is right to draw it is somewhere safely distant from Robert the Bruce.

Oh the Humanities

Trauma from George Floyd's death will result in students receiving higher grades... at Oxford.

Ymar's Post


Father’s Day

It’s almost here, for any of you so fortunate as to still have living fathers.

Blues Didgeridoo

When "Kill him!" turns to "Run!"

You've got to pick your victims carefully.

Congratulations to West Point

They have graduated their first Sikh female cadet. Normally these “first!” stories don’t interest me, but I am glad to see the military availing itself of the opportunity represented by Sikh culture.
“My grandfather was an armor officer in the Indian army, so I grew up hearing about tanks and his recollection of fighting in the mountains of northern India," Narang told Task & Purpose. “Everything he told me grew my interest in the military … he embedded that culture of service and giving back to your country.”
That is the kind of thing I wish more Americans of all stripes felt.

Treat it as an unplanned donation

Or an attack of undocumented shoppers.

Someone is going to have to sit these children down and teach them some of life's long words.

Progressives and the Guillotine

A retrospective.


Just for Fun

Biological Sex & SCOTUS

Interesting logic at work here from Gorsuch.
"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex," Gorsuch writes. "Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."
That's really plausible; the only issue is that mere statutory law should not be able to override constitutional protections for religious liberty. An Orthodox/Catholic/Muslim employer who declines to employ gays because they don't wish to provide material support their spouse is acting according to an ancient religious doctrine in each case. They're not motivated by mere animus, but by an attempt to live according to orthodoxies that are being declared illegal here -- exactly what Amendment One forbids.

The author of the piece has another bit of logic to advance.
To be clear, the court could deliver one of greatest legal protections for gay and transgender workers specifically because it acknowledges a fact deemed heretical by the most vocal woke activists: Namely that biological sex is real.

For years, the wokes have attempted to cancel everyone from right-wing trolls to liberal scientists for pointing out that biological sex is a scientific reality, one that specifically validates gay and transgender folks as a distinct class. And now the court has decided that because of that distinction, they're a protected class.... This is a victory for gay and transgender people, and hopefully one that puts to bed this hysterical canard that acknowledging the reality of biological sex is somehow hateful or dangerous toward transgender folks.

Emergency Lockdown

It is clearly a mistake to have given the government the idea that it can order people into house arrest for their own protection any time it decides to issue an emergency.
Shelter in Place

At the request of Lower Makefield Township Police Department, all residents requested to shelter in place due to a black bear sighting. Specifically the Yardley Hunt Development residents. If sighted please call 911 immediately. The Game Commission is en route.

— Lower Makefield (@LMTPD) June 14, 2020
First of all, black bears are really not very dangerous at all. If treated with respect, they will generally not harm anyone and will move along in their own good time.

Second, what is the legal mechanism for issuing lockdown orders to the community via Twitter? All Americans do not use Twitter; I wouldn't use it myself if I weren't required to do so. It's a poisonous hole of a website that any reasonable person would be wise to avoid. If one should encounter police, could one be arrested for violating a Twitter order? Is there some other mechanism for issuing these orders? Is there an adequate lawful basis for allowing the police to constrict basic rights on their own, without consulting even the governor, let alone the legislature?

Third, I hope the bear had a nice romp through the empty town streets.

Ymar's Post

On Monday.

To Be an Independent Mind in the University is Not Tolerated Today

There's an open letter going around, apparently from a professor in the history department at UC Berkeley, and it's not what you'd expect.  It's a very well thought through, careful, and serious letter about the current issues of race, policing, and the black community, and I highly recommend reading it (Pastebin deleted it, but the internet is forever).  As you might expect, it's not been well received by the rest of the UC Berkeley History Department, apparently:

Of course, that it wasn't well received is unsurprising, but that the *department* would openly come out and tweet a condemnation, and claim it goes against their values- without stating why or how- was a bit of an eyebrow raiser to me.  It's perhaps the most anti-intellectual thing I've seen in the University wars and the shutting down of the right on campus.  Typically, they do this via individual counter opinions and student uprisings, or bring in outside agitators to shut down campus speakers, or some other proxy.  To have a department come out like this is a bit shocking honestly.  Though the ability of anything like this to shock me diminishes by the day as we see more and more like actions.

Up the Militia in Minneapolis

The police being useless and on track for dissolution, armed citizens secure their neighborhoods.

Beverly Hills Cops

We just want to expose you to a conversation, and you get all tear-gassy.