Corb Lund Interviews a Grizzly Expert


A Story and a Song


Speaking of Police

Who gave this guy a mike?

A Rochester police captain takes the usual tired questions about "more gun laws," and expresses his own theories about what's causing the problem:  a removal of social consequences that starts with irresponsible child-rearing and continues with "bail reform"--basically treating grownups as children and being being bad parents to them.  He talks mostly about enforcing the gun laws that already are on the books, but I hear a different message:  what concerns us is not the guns but the actions of people with guns.  He points out that he can't think of a case of gun violence committed by a registered owner that wasn't justified.  The problem is that the gun violence committed by unregistered owners isn't justified, and isn't effectively punished or deterred.  The problem isn't that we're not punishing illegal gun ownership, it's that we aren't distinguishing between crime and self-defense, and are if anything obsessing on gun ownership instead of on whether a crime is occurring along with the gun ownership.  On top of that, we keep excusing the crime, on the basis of some kind of half-baked political theory about roots causes of robbery and murder, and distracting ourselves with the problem of the weaponry--no matter how clear the evidence is of how weapons are used differently by criminals and non-criminals.  It's as if we thought social nirvana were achieved by making people weaker and weaker until they lack tools to do any more harm.

The police captain's message throughout is that we can't solve problems if we keep lying to ourselves and each other about what's happening right in front of us.

The video link doesn't say, but the captain is Frank Umbrino.  He was involved in early decisions not to release information about the death of Daniel Prude, video of whose arrest sparked riots when it finally came out months later.  He's still standing after the decapitation of the police department leadership and the indictment of Mayor Lovely Warren on campaign fraud charges.  Was Umbirno wrong?  He accurately predicted the effects of the video, and it's easy to understand his decision, but it was futile.  You can't keep a lid on in-custody deaths, and shouldn't, no matter how clearly you see the consequences in a tinderbox like the present one.

I Think I've Got Paycheck on This One

 Merle Haggard, 1968:

Paycheck, 1977:

Happy Leif Erikson Day

 The White House calls for a day of Viking adventure. 

What to believe?

It's an article of faith among a certain excitable contingent that COVID is rapidly fatal in 100% of cases, ergo there appears to be no way to process the President's experience. AceHQ notes that some of the press are having trouble settling on a conspiracy theory:
First conspiracy theory: Trump really doesn't have covid, he's lying, this is a sympathy play.
Second revised conspiracy theory: Trump is actually dying of covid, they're covering it up.
Third revised conspiracy theory: See First Conspiracy Theory. It's a classic for a reason.

As someone noted earlier today, a surprisingly swath of the President's inveterate enemies are channeling Pat Buchanan's attitude towards people unlucky enough to contract AIDS in the 1980s:  the wages of sin is COVID.  But as Paula Poundstone said, "I imagine the wages of sin is death, but by the time you take out the taxes, it's just more of a tired feeling, really."

If we weren't in the grips of rampant black-and-white thinking, we might remember that COVID is a sporadically cruel and dangerous disease that can kill quickly and rather unexpectedly in all age groups, though particularly in the elderly and infirm, while at the same time in the vast majority of cases it is not terribly serious.  Even among patients of the President's age, it spares 95% or more of sufferers from the ultimate penalty.

Free Americans


If any of you are interested, I have published a collection of political philosophical essays. You can get it on Kindle now, and in paperback after I've seen the proofs -- I learned that lesson the hard way from the Arthurian novel. 

However, you can also read almost all of it for free on the SSG website, since the essays are lightly edited versions of things already published. Only the first chapter is really new, and I'd be happy to send it to any of you who wanted to review the book.

My wife did the Veterans Exempt flag for the cover. She's a much better artist than that, though. If any of you are in Asheville, her paintings will be in the Asheville Gallery of Art from next month.

Not sissies

I don't remember ever reading about Teddy Roosevelt's being shot in the chest a month before his election.

Johnny Paycheck vs. Dolly Parton

 I've done Jonny Paycheck a disservice.  I always thought he stole the basic idea of this song from Dolly Parton.  In truth, he recorded this in 1971. 

Parton got around to this in 1973.

Parton was still way better.

The World vs. Donald Trump

"Sose the Ghost," a self-described former member of the Crips street gang, current member of a 1% ("outlaw") motorcycle club, black Puerto Rican, talks about why he loves and respects Donald Trump.

This is not what you've been told to expect.


Stand-downs and self-defense

 H/t Glen Reynolds, an analysis of politically motivated police stand-down orders as a refutation of the argument that the 2d Amendment is moot in a time of effective police protection.

No cowering

The President seems more vigorous while fighting COVID than his ostensibly infection-free opponent, who called another "lid" at 9:15am this weekend. 

“Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea that presidents should isolate themselves from the citizenry for safety’s sake.”
* * *
Nor will it soon be forgotten that Trump hatred reached its creepy crescendo when the man became gravely ill.
As Trump said from his Walter Reed office suite:
I was given that alternative, stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the oval office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people, don’t talk to people.… This is the United States. This is the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe.… We have to confront problems, as a leader, you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that.

Meanwhile, for all the cackling about karmic retribution against a political enemy, it remains unclear how useful lockdowns are in bending the virus transmission curve, especially considering their catastrophic cost.

Fact check: True

 From a Neo commenter:  "[T]omorrow the media will be filled with accounts from doctors who had patients who rallied from being at death’s door to releasing youtube videos and working at a desk only to die the next day."