I rode an easy 405 miles today, according to Google Maps’ measurement. It took about ten hours, adding in stops for lunch, water, gas, and rest. I could have made the last hundred miles to Arlington, but I decided to do that tomorrow. It would have been rush hour(s) when I got there, and I’d have been tired. Tomorrow is a holiday weekend and I’ll be fresh. 

Stopped to help a biker near Natural Bridge who had a broken rear brake line. It is the Code to always stop and help fellow bikers in need. 

Like the Pirate Code 🏴‍☠️, the Biker Code is more like guidelines. But there’s honor involved in keeping the Code. 

He was a nice guy from the Roughnecks MC, Tennessee. This is a public safety MC, cops and firefighters and such. As soon as he spoke to me I knew that he was originally from New York, and indeed it proved that he was headed back there to visit his daughter this weekend. 

Tomorrow I should see old friends and have good conversations. Also, grilled meats. The holiday will be honored with feasting as well as solemn observances. 

These People Just Hate Historic Flags

They hated the Confederate flag, sure. Then it was the Betsy Ross flag. Then it was the Gadsden flag. Then it was just the plain old American flag. Then it was that flag, upside down. Now it’s this one

One might say, well, they don’t like Biblical language. This, though, is a partial quote from Patrick Henry’s patriotic — or rebellious — and most famous speech. “An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!"

Henry had the phrase from Locke; it was well known in the era that when a government violated its obligations and just limits, the people still had the right to ‘appeal to heaven’ by taking up arms. As, indeed, they have. 

Riding North

This Memorial Day, I think I'll attend a motorcycle rally in Arlington built around Veteran riding groups and clubs. I don't know if Joel Leggett is around and is likely to be up there this year; we missed each other at the big Rolling Thunder rally of 2019. 

I'll probably start up Friday morning.

Admire the Effort

Almost every internal combustion engine would benefit from a turbo. Superchargers are usually not necessary. Air rams

Maybe not.

Recognizing the Imaginary

Norway, Spain, and Ireland took the unusual step of extending diplomatic recognition to a state that does not exist. They recognized "a" Palestinian state, but not any of the two entities that claims to be a government or a territory of Palestine. They are recognizing not any state that actually exists or has ever existed, but the one they wish existed.
Ireland said that it hopes its recognition will press Israel, the Palestinians and the international community toward a two-state solution, one that includes the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state drawn on the borders as they were in 1967, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

That long-imagined dream — the goal of generations of U.S. diplomats — has never seemed so far away.
The attempt to bring the wished-for into reality by an act of pure will is magical thinking. This sort of diplomacy is akin to holding a ritual under the full moon designed to summon an otherworldly being, except that one might more readily believe in the ability to summon demons than a workable and demilitarized 'two-state solution.' 

There's at least a chance that demons are real and able -- willing -- eager -- to be summoned. No one who might become a leader of that demilitarized second 'state' wants it or wants to be part of it. They are certainly not eager to summon it into the world. They've had every chance for decades, and have summoned this state of affairs into the world instead.

One might usefully list all the similar magical thinking going on so hot and heavy in the editorial pages: to summon 'gender' in place of sex; 'a woman' in place of a man who's on hormones; 'a vibrant President the young aides can barely keep up with'; inflation that is transitory... the incantations continue not only under the full moons but under every moon, by day as well as night.

The House Rent Blues

Yeah, Elvin Bishop. Sounds like he'd fit in here, or show up in a Grim novel. From Tulsa, studied physics at U Chicago, joined the Butterfield Blues Band. Got mentioned in a Charlie Daniels song, too.

A Genuinely Shocking Finding

The most astonishing thing in this congressional report on government conspiracy to censor and silence right wing media and views is that the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) was apparently an effective and enthusiastic part. As far as I know, this is the first time it’s ever been effective or enthusiastic; turns out they were really taken with silencing American citizens instead of doing their actual job. 

The GEC is assigned by Congress the role of aligning all American foreign communications in pursuit of national interests. This means diplomatic messaging aligns with Army psychological operations and CIA special activities of a communications sort; broadcasts of American state media align with the values and policies of the administration. 

Especially when Republican administrations have existed, the GEC is wholly uninterested in its mission. But even when Democratic heroes have held the reins, they’re ineffective. For one thing they’re entirely too small to actually perform the job effectively; for another, they are at State. Most of the communications infrastructure we have is military, and the military doesn’t respect the State Department. More, the State Department itself views actual diplomacy as its real job, and “public diplomacy” — that is, talking to ordinary citizens instead of other diplomats — has a lesser stature. 

So it’s a second-rate sinecure for bureaucrats who lack prestige, resources, or interest in doing the crucial job assigned to them. Occasionally they take meetings and accomplish nothing, which normally makes them one of the less harmful government bureaucracies. 

Give them a chance to play secret police and violate the constitutional rights of their own citizens, though, and apparently they were hot to trot. 

Broomstick on the Throttle

Flower of Scotland

Dad29 sends the story story of a priest from the Society of Jesus who ministered to his flock during those hours when Catholicism was banned in Scotland, then joined the Jacobite army that invaded England in the '45.
Fr. Alexander Cameron was a convert to the Faith who served the exiled Stuart king of England and Wales at his court in Rome. Cameron later became a Jesuit priest and returned to Scotland to minister to the illegal and underground Catholic Church in his native land. For four years he served as a “heather priest” in the Scottish Highlands, risking arrest and the harshest of weather conditions to provide spiritual succor and the sacraments to his outlawed flock. 

The "harshest of weather conditions" just means that he was a priest in the Highlands of Scotland.

The rest of the story is impressive, though.