I had another Bleat ready to roll but I’m holding it for tomorrow, because there have been Events. Reading Twitter for the last 72 hours proves my lame adage: nothing is true and everything is plausible. It’s like events are a high-speed train moving on tracks that occasionally narrow, diverge, and cross - everything keeps moving forward, somehow, but there aren’t any straight rails. The calm voices make sense. The skeptical voices make sense. The furious voices make sense. You feel as if you should be more suspicious of what you think you know, just to keep yourself honest. You feel as if you should resist doubting what you believe because there’s pressure to conform.

In times of ideological chaos you want to grab a lamppost and hold on tight while winds from either side pull at you, but the lamppost snaps in the gale. Well, that must mean it was rotten, decayed! But does that mean it never shed light?

Now and then, you just have to laugh:


First of all, there is no town called Lake Calhoun. There is a lake called Lake Calhoun. I used to live right by it. I’m also aware of the story. A resident told the police that 30 Somali men came through the neighborhood, lighting off firecrackers, and threatened to rape her. The link is gatewaypundit.com, where the comments are . . . zesty!

I would start by perhaps desecrating or burning the local mosque. Hold a mohammed pedophile comic festival, and publicly burn some korans. A firehose might work well for crowd control if there are too many invading your neighborhood. Perhaps someone could hold a free public pig roast right in the middle of the muslim neighborhood. Be sure to invite plenty of law enforcement and gays to the pig roast, or maybe hold a gay pride parade on pig roast day, too. If they could be angered enough to get violent, maybe the police will take action, if not, the use of firearms in self defense is certainly constitutional.

Dial it back there, cowboy. Folks might think you’ve been gaming this wonderful day in your head for a while.

Anyway, I remember this story, because it blew up and went away. The video on the website is from KSTP, but it’s not on YouTube, not KSTP’s site; it was removed by the station. On my nextdoor.com discussion board, there was a lot of chatter about the event, and someone posted this:

When we heard this story through KSTP on July 6th and couldn't find any reference to it at all anywhere else, we contacted KSTP and this is the response we got:

So a police report was filed on this and Minneapolis Police tell us they were investigating. About a week ago I touched base again with the victim we interviewed and she told us to take the video down. I asked why and she was very awkward about the situation. She even said “what if I made the whole thing up?”. So she could have been lying to both me and the police department. That’s the only update I have on the situation but as far as I’m concerned there haven’t been any other issues since our report.

That’s a paraphrase of what the TV station said. The story appeared nowhere else. Okay but this stuff does happen. Look at Sweden. Okay, so fake but accurate’s a good thing now, if it serves a meta narrative? It’s possible to be concerned - really concerned - about domestic terrorism and still find it important to call out dubious stories. In fact it’s quite necessary.

The Coulter tweet was in response to people who were telling stories of Muslim immigrants who had done good things for America; she responded with the stabbers and rapers, as if the latter denies the truth of the former. Her message is unavoidable: <ripleyvoice> Ban Muslims. It’s the only way to be sure. </ripleyvoice>

The Scott Adams theory of the Master Persuader tells us that Trump plays footsie with the idea of Muslim Database, then backs away, then issues an EO which appeals to those who intuited a Ban Muslims line, then makes Trump seem reasonable when he modifies his stance, while a certain percentage of his base, chomping the chum of his unofficial explainers like Coulter, knows what he’s really about, just as supporters of President Obama knew he really wasn't opposed to gay marriage.

Y’know, I’m just not . . . persuaded. Even though I support bigly vetting of people coming into the country, why must I ignore the emanations of the penumbras we heard before the election? Is it unreasonable to ascribe the evasions and obfuscations to a general philosophy, instead of intellectual incoherence? Does everything reset with the dawn of a new day, and those of us still nodding over the antiquarian tomes of interviews from last May are just . . . bitter clingers?

This weekend, one could say, was one of those situations where the “pedal to the metal, throw the chaff into the fan, the libs will riot, Americans will rally to us because they don’t like the hairy hippies” approach to governance by EO shows its deficiencies.

1. I’ve supported the Trump administration EOs that reset institutional behavior to comply with the law. I am well aware of the legal foundation of this EO and the actions of previous administrations. This was a clusterfarg rollout that guaranteed miserable optics.

I know it’s old-fashioned to think about the optics of these things; crappy optics mean you must be doing something right, because the people you don't like are upset! But that’s about the worst blanket assumption you can make, because you are giving yourself permission not to think, only validate your partisan hoorahs based on who looks angry.

2. I found myself thinking, well, yes: it is utterly reasonable to suspend immigration from certain places until the means by which people are vetted are honed and focused. Because it is. (Ask Jimmy Carter.) There’s a time frame: 120 days. But how will I feel if 120 days isn’t enough, and at the end of the period the Administration says “we need more time to work on this.”

Would I think “that’s probably not true, but whatever,” suspecting that the initial declaration of a time frame was a sugared lie, or protest that the lie was intentional and unacceptable? Or just go on with life because it was spring and these things sort themselves out?

The argument that all of this won’t matter in a week because we’ll be on to something else seems true and depressingly cynical, as if winning matters 100X more than the substance of the accomplishment as long as the other side lost, or the means by which it happened. The cumulative effect of smash-mouth governance is exhaustion and acquiescence for some, rude empowerment among the worst, and emboldened contempt for those who hold up norms from a more temperate time.

3. Never ascribe to malice what you can chalk up to incompetence. But never forget that something can be both.

4. The idea that we let in everyone from dangerous places whose culture is antithetical to American ideals is insane.

The idea that we don’t let in Iraqis who assisted the US is insane.

5. Well, that’s one way to get the Mexico story off the front page.

Had to get that off my chest, whatever it was. Bothered. Fun stuff now.

That's how the Western mags described their Missing Persons volumns. Here's something that has the sound of tragic romatic mystery:

There were many ships named after President Grant; Mrs. Beers probably meant this one, later the USS Harris; it plied the Pacific Route. You imagine her grief over thinking her brother had been swallowed up by the enormity of China, but if she was worried about how history might remember her she'd have moved. Googling Beers and Daytona Florida isn't very useful.



Not the most legible title:

It's about a plan to counterfeit, not a fake plan. A good deal of the picture takes place in a mansion - a castle, really - occupied by a former forger who’s gone straight. Apparently he made enough to buy this pile -

. . . and no one found it odd? Anyway, he’s visited one day by Max, a Bad Man.

The film began with a brutal ambush that freed Max from his guards as he was being transported to jail, and it sets a tone the film can’t maintain. Because it’s about engraving.

And then it’s about distributing the products of distribution. They throw in a murder an hour into the film to keep you on your toes, and of course there’s Romance of a sort, but it’s a 1950s low-budget British movie. My limited experience suggests that this not a recipe for excitement. It doesn’t help that the score is all library music, which doesn’t exactly add a distinctive personality.

Anyway: the bad gy was Ray Scott, who's career was on the slide. Interesting notes:

American leading man of suave or sinister roles. A collateral relative of George Washington and William Barclay 'Bat' Masterson

Though he received great acclaim for his performance, Scott was not particularly well promoted by Warners, and his subsequent films declined in prestige. In 1950, a divorce and a rafting accident, in which he was badly injured, sent him into a depression.

So never mind the movie and the sad stories. Let's look at some fake newspapers. Here's a headline you never see any more:

I wonder if guillotines ever felt cheated. BTW, Max Brant was convicted of a murder in France, which is why he going to have his head chopped off.

The Daily Echo started publishing in 1888, and they're still around.

Computer, enhance:

"Reds say U.S. Funds Helped Finance Revolve of Workers in . . ."

Any guesses?

The Daily Mail:

Here's a headline that requires some context:

The movie was made in 1957, a few years after the bad string of Comet planes falling apart while flying.

Some inadvertent documentary:

Computer, enhance:

Jeyes Fluid! What a delightfully strange and English name. No doubt gone now, right? No.

At one point a telegram arrives at the house:

Loseley Hall. Could it be?

It was. And is:

The story of Loseley Park begins with the purchase of the Manor of Loseley during the reign of Henry VII. As Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex the purchaser, Sir Christopher More, was a man of considerable influence and power, yet it was his son, Sir William More, also a direct ancestor of the current owner, who first began building work in earnest.

In the centuries that followed the fortunes of the More-Molyneux family waxed and waned. As in every ancient family, there were unfortunate marriages and political successes, times of influences and times when it seemed the family and the house might finally be parted.

Anyway, it's okay. But when I'm more interested in locations and newspapers, it says something.

That'll do for today! Don't miss my Sunday newspaper column! Just click on the Star. You know: The big green Startribune Star.



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