In principle there's nothing wrong with Juneteenth. It's holiday celebrating some Texans kept in slavery being freed by Union troops, who arrived to inform them that their former masters had been forcing them to work after they'd been formally freed. Their freedom is good, and the fact that they were freed is worth celebrating. So too is the general idea that 'the truth shall set you free,' and that the lies of the wicked perish eventually.

As a substitute national holiday for Independence Day, however, it won't do. There's no reason not to celebrate both, but there is a definite reason to never allow the 4th of July to be replaced by it. Juneteenth is the holiday about the government freeing you. The 4th of July is the holiday about us freeing ourselves. It is the holiday about overthrowing tyrannical governments and that by force of arms. It celebrates the spirit of rebellion and lives as a defiance of all evil powers. 

That spirit is irreplaceable and ever necessary. May its flame be eternal in all free hearts; may any tyrant who ever seeks to quench that flame be scorched unto death.

The Power of HR

This begins as a long meditation on the rise of Communism and strategies for surviving it. It ends, shockingly, with the danger of Human Resources as a mode of human organization.

The abrupt ascendancy of HR as the central organizing power of society extends far beyond literature, of course. It has certainly overtaken philosophy, the academic discipline I know best. In the middle ages philosophy was said to be the “handmaiden” [ancillaris] of theology; in the modern period it became the handmaiden of science. Today philosophy is in many respects an ancillary of human resources (as here, for example).

In literature as in philosophy, we may at least comfort ourselves with the enduring existence of the treasures of the past, to which at least for the moment our information technologies continue to provide us access.

For the moment they do. Some of us still own libraries. If you don't, well, most public libraries sell older books that "nobody wants" anymore. I imagine you'll find the classics for cheap if you drop by. 

Wauking Song

Some ladies of the outer Hebrides sing merrily. 

Update on Communion

Apparently some bishops are still Catholics.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly voted, 168-55, to draft a document that they hope will prevent President Biden and other Catholic politicians from receiving Communion if they advocate for abortion rights, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Biden is the United States' second Catholic president and the country's most religiously observant leader since Jimmy Carter, per the New York Times. Enforcing the rule to deny Communion would be up to individual bishops.

Doubtless President Biden will find a bishop who is willing to grant him communion. Perhaps there is even one who will assure him that he is not in a state of mortal sin, such as that he should first confess (see 1385ff). Yet it must be telling that so large a majority was willing to embarrass a nominally Catholic President.

Speaking of abortion, the Southern Baptists voted to call for the outright abolition of the practice. One of my Baptists cousins told me that, only what she said was, "The Southern Baptists voted for abolition!"

"Aren't they about a hundred and fifty years late?" I answered in honest confusion. 

She's a good Christian. She'll probably forgive me someday.

If You Don't Like to Laugh

just ignore this post. Soooo... Southern quarantine:

A Sad Story

“Under the suggestion and guidance of the BIPOC members” of the group, a New Zealand youth environmental protest group inspired by teen activist Greta Thunberg disbanded, accusing itself of racism.

The racism is real enough. Both "BIPOC" and "Pākehā" will someday be treated as racial slurs, but they can't see it.

Prudence and Philadelphia

A good point on a reasonably good decision.
Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch were prepared to issue a sweeping decision...

To avoid a sweeping outcome that likely would have forced the court's liberal justices into dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts appears to have settled on a narrower ruling against the city of Philadelphia — one that could secure their support. That kind of consensus-building on the high court, with a potentially divisive case decided narrowly and with the broadest possible consensus, is a welcome model of how to govern in a dangerously polarized time.

But the larger reason why the decision deserves praise is that it upholds a key principle of political liberalism. The First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion.

This is the same point I was making about Manchin the other day, only applied to the conservative side trimming its wings in order to have a more prudential (and less destabilizing) outcome. 

I think the Court has also adopted this model because of the Biden court-packing scheme: unanimous decisions undercut the case for court-packing. If you believe you could add 2 or 4 new Justices and win every time, the non-prudent but tempting move is to pack the Court. If they're producing 9-0 decisions even on controversial social issues, it suddenly looks less realistic as a way of ensuring you get your way.

Prudence is one of the Aristotelian virtues, and in these unstable times we can see why it is. In more stable times it can seem like the vice of irresoluteness, a lack of firmness in pursuing a just cause. Yet here we stand on the verge of civil war, and these little acts of prudence help hold things together for a while longer. Perhaps, in the end, they will save things; but even if not, they gave us a chance to save things.

Fall Guys in Fulton County

The Georgia Secretary of State -- who has been steadfast in trying to prevent an audit of results -- has assembled a litany of problems in the Fulton County election. If you read through it, it's clear the results from Fulton are totally unreliable; however, it's also clear that they intend to claim it was just a combination of needing more resources and bad management decisions. 

Georgia needs a full, Arizona style audit. 

Austin Shooting

Fourteen shot in Austin, apparently by two people trying and failing to shoot each other in a large crowd. Reportedly the Bandidos MC secured the area so the defunded police — present for the crowded festival, but in much reduced numbers — could concentrate on rendering aid to the victims. The news reporters don’t confirm it explicitly, but I do see a whole lot of Harleys in the background of their shots. 

More on Atlanta

The neighborhood of Buckhead, in north Atlanta, by some measures the wealthiest (although it is definitely inferior to Druid Hills, a much older neighborhood designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, now merely the ninth richest). I have walked through Buckhead many times though it wasn't really my kind of place. I once saw Concrete Blonde at the Roxy theater there.  

It's full of restaurants and very expensive hotels, the city's wealthiest shopping district, a few very rich churches, and the kind of trendy nightclubs that you normally wouldn't see in the South. 

And now it's trying to secede from Atlanta over sky-high murder rates.
Homicides were up 63 percent across Atlanta from January 1 through May 23 and rape rates increased 108 percent.

Shooting incidents rose 45 percent, robberies were up 2 percent and aggravated assaults jumped 29 percent.

Adjusting for population, a person living in Atlanta is more likely to be a victim of a serious crime, including murder and aggravated assault, than in Chicago, where crime rates are higher, reported 11Alive....

The sharp increase in crime rates has prompted residents in the wealthy Buckhead neighborhood to form the Buckhead Exploratory Committee to create its own police force and look into the possibility of breaking away from Atlanta, after around 200 officers left the city's police force in the wake of the shooting death of black man Rayshard Brooks by a white cop in June 2020.  

There are now two bills in the Georgia State Legislature to have Buckhead secede from the city, but city officials have opposed the idea of separating the wealthy, largely white neighborhood from the rest of Atlanta, which is predominantly black, arguing it would siphon away much of the city's tax base.
Rich people are going to have their police, one way or another. The rest of the city might not be able to pay for as many services, but I suppose they can cut the police budget to make up the shortfall. 

John Stewart on the Lab "Theory"

He has a couple of pretty excellent points here.

The tent-peg

Isaiah (22:22-23) had a way with words:
{22} And I will put the key of the house of David over his shoulder, and he shall open and there be none to shut, and shut and there be none to open. {23} And I will drive him in as a tent-peg in a firm place, and he shall be a glorious throne for his father's house.

Biden Denied Communion

President Biden, who is in Europe for several high level meetings, is taking off the morning of June 15 to meet Pope Francis as President of the United States for the first time. The President's entourage had originally requested for Biden to attend Mass with the Pope early in the morning, but the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that President Biden receiving Holy Communion from the Pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16. The U.S. bishops are slated to vote on creating a committee that would draft a document about Eucharistic coherence. 

It's not just about the impact blah blah blah. The Vatican refused to have the President of the United States take communion with them. This is not the first time he has been denied communion, but it is a denial by the mortal head of the church.

For non-religious people, this isn't a big deal; it's a ceremony that didn't happen (or will, but without the President present). 

In fact, it is a big deal. I hope President Biden's soul is not endangered by persistent refusal to reform, though ultimately that is his choice and not my own. We should pray for him, as we ought to do for political leaders even when they are in less danger.

We are Not Amused

This Arizona business is getting interesting. When the state governments turn against the Feds, well, in our system they're more properly the sovereign ones. That is why the general police power resides with the states, not the Federal government.

As the gentleman points out, the US Constitution's supremacy clause doesn't change the fact that the Constitution includes the 10th Amendment. If -- as reported -- they have in fact discovered massive fraud, the state has every right to hold people accountable.

UPDATE: The Arizona Rangers have volunteered $250,000 in security service to protect the audit. 

Right Up Grim's Alley

I'm a bit late, but thought I'd give a shout out to VFW Post 5202 in Waynesville, NC, who had their annual Bikers in Boxers event a few months back. Video at the link, if, uh, you're into that sort of thing. No one's judging.

"An Outmoded Word"

The word is "retarded," in case you were wondering. Chuck Schumer said it, and he's a top Democratic leader, so it gets this wildly generous treatment. 

That word used to mean "developmentally disabled" or something like that. Now it means "stupid people." Nobody thinks he meant to refer to children with learning disabilities. He meant "people who disagree with me." It's rude, and he definitely does look down on you if you don't think like him. We can be adults and just admit that. 


The CDC is admitting there's an issue with the vaccine, at least for young men.

Lots of rumors are circulating about this stuff, which I hope are untrue. This is, however, why we we wait for a full Phase 3 trial before we approve a new vaccine for widespread distribution. Hopefully these things are going to be great and will have no bad long-term effects, or ones that are super-manageable (as treatment with ibuprofen would indicate). 

Hopefully, but not definitely. I wouldn't give any vaccines to anyone young at this time. The idea that we're going to start a Phase 2/3 trial for children is hugely alarming to me. I would never give a child an untested vaccine. The old can run their hazards as they choose, but children are likely to live to be 80 if you don't meddle with them. They can afford a year or two of waiting to see if this thing produces unwanted side effects. Let's take the time and get it right, says I.

UPDATE: Women too. 

Happy Flag Day


Audit Update


 “We found a ballot shortage, anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of the votes,” Josh Barnett, an audit organizer who led the affidavit drive to make the audit happen, tells NATIONAL FILE. “It looks like a couple hundred thousand ballots are unaccounted for. The ballots are missing.”

Oh, really? Two hundred thousand ballots allegedly counted on election day are... just not there? 


"The total number of absentee ballots whose chain of custody was purportedly documented in these 385 missing Fulton County absentee ballot transfer forms was 18,901, more than 6,000 votes greater than the less than 12,000 vote margin of Biden’s certified victory in the state," the report said....

"As we review the documents provided to you and our daily log. We noticed that a few forms are missing, it seems when 25 plus core personnel were quarantined due to positive COVID-19 outbreak at the EPC, some procedural paperwork may have been misplaced," she told the Star News.

A few forms are missing, you say. Like eighteen thousand legally required forms, without which we have no reason to believe the votes were legally cast.  [UPDATE: One in four, apparently.]

We used to say 'if it's not close, they can't cheat,' but it turns out that they can. There's no constitutional remedy for a stolen election, but perhaps some people could go to jail. 

80s Music

There was probably another song at some point. There was a whole decade. I'm not sure what it was.


Once upon a time I was walking through Atlanta, and I came across some sort of religious organization that was all black, but all dressed in white robes. A woman of perhaps eighty or ninety was among them, wearing glasses that were Coke-bottle thick. She rolled her eyes up at me, took me in, and shouted: "A Demon!"

That's where this lady is, only you're paying her to educate you about race. Seriously, her PayPal is on the board so you'll know where to send the money.

(I of course did the old woman no harm whatsoever. Perhaps real demons can be known by their fruits, like other things; the fruit of our interaction was entirely benign.) 

The Top Threat

Eeeeehhh.... maybe not Climate Change.
The military's top officer asserted on Thursday that the biggest threats the U.S. faces are China and Russia, a day after President Joe Biden recounted to American troops during a trip to the U.K. that military leaders told him climate change represents the "greatest threat to America."

"Climate change does impact, but the president is looking at a much broader angle than I am," Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional panel Thursday morning. "I'm looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I'm putting China, Russia up there."
I mean it's China, without question.


Oh, dear.

Quad Charts are Fun


A Spirited Response

It's been a minute since the Attorney General of the United States was threatened with state prison time

Atlanta Bleeds

Two of my ancestors helped Sherman burn the city where I was born, but at least they meant to destroy it. This time it's being destroyed by do-gooders who think they're helping. 
“It’s right up the street from us,” Mack said. “He told me ‘I love you’ and I said, ‘Love you too.’ But he didn’t make it there.”

Relatives discovered David Mack’s body while searching for him the following day. He’d been shot to death behind a public golf course about a quarter-mile from his southwest Atlanta home. He was 12.

David was one of more than 60 people in Atlanta whose lives were ended by violence this year.
May his death hang around the necks of the people who wrecked his home. Like a millstone on their way to the wine-dark sea.


Buckhead is one of the wealthiest parts of the city. What have they done?


A letter from one who was until lately a teacher.
Many pretend to agree because of pressure to conform. I’ve heard from students who want to ask a question but stop for fear of offending someone. I have heard from students who don’t participate in discussions for fear of being ostracized. One student did not want to develop her personal essay — about an experience she had in another country — for fear that it might mean that she was, without even realizing it, racist. In her fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking. This is the very definition of self-censorship.

...fear pervades the faculty. On at least two separate occasions in 2017 and 2018, our Head of School, standing at the front of Hajjar Auditorium, told the entire faculty that he would fire us all if he could so that he could replace us all with people of color. This year, administrators continue to assert  D-E’s policy that we are hiring “for diversity.” D-E has become a workplace that is hostile toward educators based solely on their immutable traits.

During a recent faculty meeting, teachers were segregated by skin color. Teachers who had light skin were placed into a “white caucus” group and asked to “remember” that we are “White” and “to take responsibility for [our] power and privilege.” 

Well done. You did indeed take responsibility, and use your power.  

Tears in Rain

I never once saw my father cry: not the day my son was born, not the day he died, not even the day when he realized he was going to die. Not one time, come what may, did he ever cry in front of me. 

The world is different now, for better or for worse.