Tragic Week

 So, this week was tragic for Outlaw Country because we lost two of the greats. Jerry Jeff Walker died, and then Billy Joe Shaver.

Both of these men deserve stories told about them in their honor. There are two in those links; but you can find a lot more about both of them, and maybe especially Billy Joe. 

No, definitely about Billy Joe. 

Jerry Jeff did a bunch of good songs. Probably the most famous was Mr. Bojangles, but I always liked this one.

Billy Joe wrote a ton of songs, many of them great. You can listen to Waylon Jenning's best album, "Honky Tonk Heroes." He wrote almost every single one of those songs. Here's my favorite.

But this one is better, even if I don't like it as much.

That's Billy Joe in the white shirt. If you ever followed "Tales from the Tour Bus," Billy Joe has an episode devoted to him. The first season of that is fantastic. 

"Recruiting Challenges"

 A US Attorney asks people to please consider becoming police officers at this difficult time:

Challenge to recruit qualified police officers is real. Departures exceed recruits by large margin. National narrative, defund efforts and assaults on those in “Blue” dramatically harm recruiting.
I'll say it's challenging. Passing by Asheville on I-26 today I saw a billboard advertising immediate openings for new or transferred police officers —- in Fort Wayne, Indiana, four states and more than five hundred miles away.

Plausible deniability

The phrase that may define Biden's career as "modified limited hangout" defined Nixon's. There's still a nearly complete traditional press blackout of this story, the only exceptions being the New York Post and Tucker Carlson's show on Fox.

Flavors of political violence

You guys have probably already seen this AVI post, but I think it's brilliant, so I'm going to link it here. I've never gone deeply into "hole up and wait for the bad guys" territory, but I have to admit that I'm much closer to it this year than I've ever been before. I've never felt quite this betrayed by so many supposedly protective institutions at once. The press somehow managed to plumb deeper depths by memory-holing both the riots and the Hunter Biden bag-man-for-my-dad story more thoroughly than even I believed possible. I never believed elected officials could get away with wantonly destroying this many jobs at once. The craziness feels like it's mushroomed obscenely and is knocking even now at my front door. My neighborhood doesn't have a militia yet, but I'm beginning to wonder if we should. In past years, I suppose I always thought it was enough that we were ready to form one if needed. Well, hey, we have a terrible local prosecutor, but she'll be gone in a couple of months and will be replaced by a much better public servant that we went to a lot of trouble to find. So at least we don't have a Soros plant to contend with. We have a Sheriff about whom probably the worst thing you could say is that he's reluctant to use his power to the fullest to get repeat offender predators under control; in every other way he appears to be a good Joe who doesn't believe the government should overstep its bounds. Our county leadership is feckless and secretive but normally not too intrusive or power-mad. That won't help too much if the national leadership goes full psycho, but it may delay things for a while.


One of the benefits of faith is that you need not trust in the powers of the world, because you can always hope for a miracle. If it turns out that a matter of honor saves our almost-fallen Republic, whose sons and daughters have all but forgotten honor's very name, it will be a miracle Tolkien himself would have appreciated. 

Bread still on my mind

THE BRONX, NY—AOC blasted election officials this week after discovering that people were actually waiting in line to vote rather than to receive bread from the government. According to sources, people are sometimes waiting up to 2 hours at polling stations, but are able to get bread within 5 minutes due to America's evil capitalist system.

An exceptional candidate

Congratulations to our newest Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett. She's not the first Justice to serve alongside a Justice for whom she had clerked--that was Gorsuch, who clerked for Kennedy--but she's the first one to have been sworn in by that Justice (in this case, Clarence Thomas). I'm not convinced Justice Barrett is a conservative in the usual sense of the word. I think she's a textualist, which will lead her to many results embraced by conservatives and some that will drive conservatives crazy. Her decisions may also remind us that some changes are supposed to be brought about by legislation and, if necessary, by constitutional amendments, rather than by judges.

Mountain Folk, II

 You know, this sounds pretty familiar too. 

Mountain Folk

If you've been around the Hall for a long time, you've read about shootings before. I heard about another one today, a man up by Bates Gap who shot his own nephew. They were McCalls, I hear. Allow me to reproduce a bit of that history:
This is a derivation of the personal name "Cath-mhaol" which translates as "Battle Chief", or in this case "son of Battle-chief". An Alternate possibility is that it may be a variant of the patronymic Mac Cathail, "the son of Cathal" from the Olde Welsh "Catgual" meaning "war-wielder". Either way it is clear that the first nameholders were very much descendants of fighting men. The 'modern' surname is first recorded in Scotland in the latter half of the 14th Century, and is very much connected with Dumfriess. Early examples of recordings include Finlay MacChaell, who was bailie of Rothesay in 1501, and Finlay Makcaill, who was recorded in Bute in 1506. In 1607 Matthew McCall of Mayhole, Dumfriess, was charged with assisting the rebels, probably the Clan MacGregor, who had been outlawed by King James V1 of Scotland for persistent acts of violence against the government.
Now that about tells you what you need to know about this part of the country, which was settled by Scots who drove out most but not all of the Cherokee. The toughest bunch of them, the Eastern Band, are here yet. Good people, both sets.

I can't say too much about it. My grandfather once chased my cousin out of his house with gunfire from a .38 revolver. The old man was right, and the boy had it coming. I don't let him come around here. 

The neighbor who told me about it turned it into a disquisition on "White Liquor," which was apparently made everywhere up here in the old days. It still is, on a smaller scale. I know a neighbor I can walk to who has a still. I brew mead out of the local honey myself -- legally, of course. Picked a bunch of cider apples this week. 

Asheville Gallery of Art

 My wife’s work is now hanging there, if any of you pass through. 

Johnny Motorhead

"If somebody hates you for no reason, give that sucker a reason."