I confess my confirmation bias on the original:

An FBI investigation found that the “noose” discovered in black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage on Sunday had been there as early as October 2019; Wallace was not assigned to that garage until last week.

The Morning Dispatch

Everybody knows Yeats’ Second Coming, which always seems to fit. Too few know Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron.

Reading The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. So far, the emphasis is on patience, which was astonishingly central. 📚

The Activist and the Do-Nothing Congress

I’m glad David French put in writing his remarks from Monday’s Advisory Opinions podcast.

He describes how activists, including him, pursued the “deliberate and rational political and legal strategy” of suing people and institutions because *the courts must decide cases*, and might act in your favor (whereas the do-nothing Congress will do nothing to redress your grievance).

Do yourself a favor and read The Decline of American Democracy Is Partly My Fault

Why did I book a truth-teller?

Eric Metaxas had English conservative journalist Peter Hitchens on the show to condemn England’s response to the coronavirus, but Metaxas just wanted to talk about Black Lives Matter. He tried to put words in Hitchens’s mouth, but Hitchens wouldn’t let him do it. Hitchens said he is opposed to Brexit and rejects the populism of Trump’s friend Boris Johnson. Metaxas got on his hobby-horse about how the American Left is influenced by “cultural Marxism,” but Hitchens, a true conservative, rebuked him for his use of this phrase and essentially told Metaxas that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Metaxas squirmed. Finally, Hitchens said that Trump is “ludicrous” and mentioned how John Bolton’s book will expose Trump’s incompetence. At one point, Metaxas compared Trump to Winston Churchill and Hitchens came just short of laughing at the suggestion. Metaxas didn’t seem to know what to do with all of this and was probably wondering why he booked Hitchens, a writer who does not fit very well with the pro-Trump propaganda machine that is the Eric Metaxas Show.

Monday night court evangelical roundup | the way of improvement leads home

I’ve got butterfly-keyboarditis really bad (and the MacBook Air isn’t very old). With a nice big new monitor for Father’s Day, I think I’m going to spend most of my (diminishing) computer time in the den with an external keyboard. It’s so nice to know I still type just fine.

It is surely more serious, or at least much more dangerous, for man to deny original sin than to deny God.

George Beranos, via Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Judgment and a Fallen People.

Three weeks ago, The Violence of Modernity. Today an echo from neuroscience, The Soft Totalitarianism Of The Left Brain. Together, congruent advice on how to be more fully human (and Christian).

Major pet peeve: confounding “scatology,” “obscenity,” and “profanity,” invariably calling all “profanity.” There is nothing one can say to profane the subject-matter of scatology.

Finished Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence. 📚 I won’t hit my original 52-books-this-year goal and I don’t remotely care. Quality over quantity now.

He went cold turkey for months, but he just had to have a hit, and he’s getting it today in Tulsa.

The American Soviet Mentality

None of those who joined the chorus of condemnation, naturally, had read the novel—it would not be formally published in the USSR until 30 years later. But that did not stop them from mouthing the made-up charges leveled against the writer. It was during that campaign that the Soviet catchphrase “*ne chital, no osuzhdayu*”—“didn’t read, but disapprove”—was born: Pasternak’s accusers had coined it to protect themselves against suspicions of having come in contact with the seditious material. Days after accepting the Nobel Prize, Pasternak was forced to decline it. Yet demonization continued unabated.

Some of the greatest names in Soviet culture became targets of collective condemnations … But the practice wasn’t reserved for the greats alone. Factories, universities, schools, and research institutes were all suitable venues for collectively raking over the coals a hapless, ideologically ungrounded colleague who, say, failed to show up for the “voluntary-obligatory,” as a Soviet cliché went, Saturday cleanups at a local park, or a scientist who wanted to emigrate …

[I]t wasn’t until the past couple of weeks that the similarity of our current culture with the Soviet practice of collective hounding presented itself to me with such stark clarity ….

Izabella Tabarovsky, The American Soviet Mentality ( Tablet Magazine)

Once … stories of hard leftists becoming staunch conservatives were common … These days the most frequent conversion stories go in the opposite direction as thinkers raised on the American right move to the left as they age and mature. It is hard to blame them ….

Jake Meador

The gang at the dispatch podcast is brilliant. They correctly identified today’s top North American language crimes:

  • the overuse of “impact” as a verb and
  • the disappearance of “fewer” in favor of “less.”

Bonus points for identifying the confusion of “raising the question” and “begging the question” and avoiding cliché by changing ship names in Shuffling Deck Chairs on the Lusitania

This decision hands LGBT activists the coercive machinery of civil rights law.

R. R. Reno, A Striking Display of Sophistry.

“Coercive machinery”? Right. “Striking Display of Sophistry”? Not so fast buddy!

“[I]f we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.

Donald Trump quote in The Morning Dispatch

Again and again, he only sees the world through the “how does this make me look?” lens.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about today’s Bostock decision, but all I have so far is “I told you, Leftist Cassandras and Rightist Pollyanas, that conservative justices were not going to be lackeys for just anything the Religious Right wants.”

[Denver Riggleman] betrayed the very Republican Party Platform he swore to uphold.

Accusation of Bob Good in How Bob Good Beat Denver Riggleman.

Is this really a thing? Do Republicans swear to uphold the party platform?

Single-minded to a fault

I don’t agree with Cotton’s view. I know of nobody at The Times who agrees with it. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page doesn’t agree with it. Ditto for much of the mainstream media, at least its more liberal precincts.

Then again, isn’t this the biggest problem these outlets have faced in recent years — being of a single mind on subjects that sharply divide the nation? Isn’t that how we got into trouble in 2016, with our rock-solid belief that Donald Trump couldn’t possibly win?

Bret Stephens, What The Times Got Wrong

A black man was shot dead in Atlanta for public intoxication.

Okay: public intoxication followed by fighting when startled awake by police, grabbing a taser, and starting to run away.” As justification of lethal force, it still boils down to “shot dead for public intoxication.”

This might be funny if it were in The Onion.

If you have access to the Wall Street Journal, don’t miss Arnold the Grammarian. A sweet remembrance of a pair of Savannah Covid victims.

Most of my news sources are conservative, so David French, The Wokening vs. the Trumpening came as a helpful course-correction: the conservative-lamented wokesters have equally common and toxic right-wing counterparts.

Damon Linker on the woke revolution in American newsrooms

[T]he woke revolution in American newsrooms is … disheartening … because it’s yet another sign of the hollowing out of the nation’s public life, as individuals and institutions burrow ever-deeper into ideological enclaves. It is a victory for narrowness and dogmatism, for unearned certainty and facile simplifications. Which means it’s also a defeat for the American mind, which finds itself ever more alienated from reality itself.

The woke revolution in American journalism has begun

“Speaks out” is journalese for “officiously mouths off in way we approve.”