More boards went up today. Some of the stragglers mnay have decided it's better to be safe than burned down. Downtown was quiet. Reports last night of the smoke shop near my house looted, but I am grateful they did not destroy the Walgreens again. Curfew tonight, mostly ignored by the protestors in Brooklyn Center, as far as I can see on the streams. Fireworks and objects thrown at the vehicles behind the barricade. Chanting. Seems to be enough National Guard to prevent spontaneous property redistribution.

Column from a guy up in Fargo:

McFeely: All quiet in the belly of the beast — Minneapolis

He went to a Twins game last week, and everything in town was fine.

Note the dateline on this column. We are reporting from the belly of the beast, mere blocks from the courtroom where Derek Chauvin is on trial for kneeling on George Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes.

Target Field is the location from where this is being typed, in a press box that gives a good view of the downtown skyline. It's a good location to view the fires.

What fires? Those fires conservatives and Republicans in St. Paul insist are burning in Minneapolis after Floyd's death last year. The ones the people on Facebook are talking about. That's the narrative, that Minneapolis is burning down.

"Note the dateline." Oh, I did. April 12. The day the riots started back up again.

Have there been inflammatory posts on the internet about Minneapolis? Yes. Are many of them from people who do not live here, but love to make dumb pronouncements from a comfortable distance? Yes. He couldn't be troubled to reprint some examples, but never mind.

Anyway, there are no fires to be seen right now. No flames. No smoke. Nothing. But surely they are coming. It's Minneapolis and it's on fire. That's the story.

Gotta admit, it's jarring to see so many non-existent things. There are a few businesses with plywood covering the windows, sure. There are fewer people and cars than before the pandemic because so many downtown employees are working from home. But a guy gets conditioned to expect a burned out hull of a city, overrun by roving gangs of malefactors. To not see any of it is eerie.

But it is happening. Really, it is. Facebook says so. It must be true, despite what the view says here in the belly of the beast.

Wonder if he’ll update the column. Poor fellow. Such bad timing.

I was amused by "a few businesses with plywood covering the windows, sure." That's some quality in-depth reporting there.









Turns out this guy has a lethal combo in the columnist game: he’s not very smart and he’s not very good.

McFeely: Why are Republicans afraid of everything?

This column is a masterpiece, really: it's like someone rolling around in a bubble like the Star Child at the end of 2001, huffing the gaseous emanations that results from a Taco John binge. It’s an tedius torrent of ignorance and self-righteous BS with one rhetotical gimmick: it conflates disagreement with terror.  

Perhaps you know people like this.  One can say, with a calm mien and civilized demeanor, that you regard the march of Gramscian theory through the universities with alarm, because the traditions of history and empiricism are being replaced with a boilerplate ideology that sees everything through a cracked, filthy prism that denies reduces everyone to tribal identities and denies the foundational precepts of the American experiment.


What? No. What are you talking about?


Really, I’m not exaggerating. The opening Graf sets the tone:

Afraid of Black people. Afraid of brown people. Afraid of red people. Afraid of yellow people. Afraid of women. Afraid of young people.

What may strike the author as a ringing series of J’accuses! might strike others as the obsessive mutterings of a meth-head with one leg jackhammering up and down, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.

Afraid of young people voting. Afraid of people of color voting. Afraid of voting rights. Afraid of democracy.

This rhetorical device - and by device, I mean some toothpicks glued together and passed off as a Swiss watch - will be repeated; it gathers up the litanies of terror and ends with a grand pronouncement. Afraid of Democracy!

Afraid of science.

Perhaps Mr. McFeely has never encountered any liberal anti-vaxxers. Perhaps he believes that opposition to GMOs and Nuclear Power has always come from the right. The enlightened Democrats, who face the scouring storms without a jot of fear, would implement SCIENCE everywhere, if not constrained by the pitchfork mob that wants to burn the witch who speaks the frightening science-words about Frankenseeds and China-Syndrome perils. (I APOLOGIZE FOR BLAMING CHINA FOR A PLOT DEVICE IN A JANE FONDA MOVIE I will do better)

One might say that the many people, right and left, are wary of scientism, but some people would knit their brows and wonder what that word means. Isn’t that what a scientist does? The scientism?

Afraid of medicine.

The most prominent and borderline obsessive anti-vaxxer on my timeline is a former Clinton-Gore advisor.

I’m snipping some stuff here, not because I can’t handle the truth, but because it’s like trying to argue with a stump on fire, as Lum and Abner used to say. Speaking of the truth:

Afraid of history. Afraid of the truth. Afraid of those who tell the truth.

Interesting slight of hand, and I’d think it was intentional if he wasn’t just typing whatever because he’s on a roll, baby.

Afraid of history. Hmm. The whole point of being a classical liberal / conservative is to be awed by history, because humanity has achieved magnificence in so many ways, and to be horrified by history, because it is also a record of what human nature, swirling into collective madnesses, can wreak.

The left is notable for claiming the mantle of history at the same time it disavows its lessons. It is utopian. It will solve history.

Afraid of the truth. Afraid of those who tell the truth.

Remember when that fascist Jack Dorsey shut down a Twitter newspaper account because he was afraid of stories about things?

Afraid of books. Afraid of newspapers. Afraid of objectivity. Afraid of facts.

Most people repeatedly jamming a Roman Candle up their hindquarters develop some sort of repetitive motion strain disorder, but not McFeely. Okay, let’s be charitable and see if there’s actually anything here.

Afraid of books. Are conservatives protesting bookstores for carrying a text they don’t like? Are they scouring the canon of Western Lit to look for doubleplus wrongthink? No. In the minds of the McFeelys, every library is threatened by censorious bluenoses who want to burn “Main Street,” because it is still 1952, and all the people chanting hey hey ho ho Western Civ has got to go really just want the English major to add James Baldwin to the requirements,

Afraid of newspapers. Uh huh. Terrified! Quaking! See, newspapers are sacrosanct, as they are run by people who have an almost fanatical dedication to objectivity, and see the world through a multivaried perspective that transcends their own established precepts. (Which they interrogate and challenge with regularity.) This is not a matter of dispute. If the Washington Post or the New York Times turns its gaze on something, the reporting is true, beyond reproach, the shining shaft of gold light in a dark cave, and any criticism of their reporting comes from a place of covering, shivering fear, much like an ape who trembles when the thunder peals.

Afraid of facts. Mr. McFeely may be unaware of the assertions that empiricism and objectivity are actually tools of system racism, and 2+2 does not necessarily equal four. Given his comments later on about being AFRAID of “the transgenders,” for example, one can assume that he believes it is an absolute fact that men can menstruate. I’m not sure he could mount a convincing explanation of modern gender theory, but based on a reading of his work I don’t think he could mount a toy horse that sits outside the Ben Franklin and gives a three minute ride for a quarter without someone giving him a boost up.

Afraid of wind towers. Afraid of solar power. Afraid of environmentalists. Afraid of the Green New Deal. Afraid of Greta Thunberg. Afraid of change.

Oh, that stinging whip-snap at the end. If you do not nod along with everything a scowling child says, you are afraid of change. If you have doubts that wind and solar can generate baseload requirements for the foreseeable future, you are afraid. If you argue against the economic impact of $6.00 a gallon gas, you are AFRAID OF GRETA.

Afraid of the Green New Deal. Well. Which iteration, my good fellow? Do you know? Do you care? Is it sufficient to append the holy word “green” to the venerable utterance of FDR (PBUH) and assume that any opposition is a manifestation of irrational terror?

Afraid of Twitter. Afraid of Facebook. Afraid of Google. Afraid of big tech. Afraid of the government. Afraid of the establishment.

I am not compounding different thematic assertions into one to distort his words. This is what he actually wrote.

Hold on, I have to be fair. It’s possible I’m missing some paragraph breaks. I mean, he can’t be that thick. I’ll be right back.

(Returns to original piece)

Gloriosky, he is that thick. He doesn’t see how that paragraph compiles.

He literally drew a connecting tendon between Twitter, Facebook, Google, Big Tech, the Government, and the Establishment.

Remember the olden days? The HUAC / Hollywood blacklist: fascism! Paranoia! Now: big tech shutting down discussion based on Twitter agita, resulting in cancellation and deplatforming is just a consequence of speech, and also awesome because everyone who liked a Jordan Peterson tweet is a Nazi.

The shade of this spreading chestnut tree is so nice and cool; I love BB.

Afraid of Democrats. Afraid of Black Lives Matter. Afraid of antifa.

Again, brilliant: Democrats are Antifa. 


Not having his city attacked by rose-emoji idealists, he’s free to believe that they are a force for Good. Why, it’s there in the name! Anti-fascist! If they’re firebombing government buildings in Portland for a month, the real problem is probably some true fascists who are hiding inside, perhaps in the restrooms, sending Pepe groyper memes.

Afraid of Bernie Sanders. Afraid of AOC. Afraid of Elizabeth Warren. Afraid of Nancy Pelosi. Afraid of Barack Obama. Afraid of Kamala Harris. Afraid of Joe Biden. Afraid of Mitt Romney. Afraid of Liz Cheney. Afraid of RINOs.

Again, “afraid” means “having an intellectual disagreement with the stated ideas and objectives” of someone. By this standard I am Afraid of McFeely. Note: I am not afraid of McFeely.

Afraid of athletes. Afraid of kneeling. Afraid of the NFL. Afraid of Colin Kaepernick. Afraid of the NBA. Afraid of LeBron James. Afraid of Major League Baseball.

If athletics had decided to go political in another direction, you suspect he would have detected echoes of Nazi Germany during the ’36 Olympics.

It would also be pure ad hominem to suggest that McFeely is terrified of NASCAR.

Afraid of Hollywood. Afraid of actors. Afraid of the Academy Awards. Afraid of musicians. Afraid of the Grammys. Afraid of Broadway shows. Afraid of late-night comics. Afraid of "Saturday Night Live.”

Well! Now we know who thinks SNL is an important contribution to the national discourse. You really have to stand back in admiration: “Afraid of musicians.” I assure him that conservatives do not mutter dark imprecations about musicians, but I wonder if he knows about the debate that rages concerning classical music, and its racist heritage. It’s just so white and colonial. It would also be interesting to see if his personal musical playlists are anti-racist, and represent the exact demographic makeup of Fargo. He might defend his choices by pointing out that some of his favorite bass players are Black.

(Fifty gibbering words snipped for brevity)

Afraid of Mexicans. Afraid of Asians. Afraid of Muslims. Afraid of Somalians.

Afraid of caravans. Afraid of refugees. Afraid of immigrants. Afraid of diversity.

Afraid of Asians is an interesting one, given the current tensions. I do wonder if he thinks Southern Bubbas are traveling in convoys to New York City to beat Asians in the subway on orders from Trump, who opposed the Chinese Communist government based on pictures that showed they had Asian physiognomies.

Afraid of caravans, refugees, refugees - madness, that; come one, come all. There is no intellectually defensible position for controlling the influx of non-citizens. Oh well there might be, but the right people have to make it, with the understanding that it will not be enforced.

Afraid of diversity. I hate to say it, but something tells me this fellow lards his work with buzzwords meant to signal something to the like-minded, without really thinking through what he is talking about. Hey, it’s possible. By diversity he might mean skin color and eye shape, the primary means by which some view the non-white. These attributes are sufficient to improve a place. Perhaps add some colorful native garb worn on holidays, which the paper covers with a big photo to show that the town is Diverse!

Does intellectual diversity count? What if the new “diverse” people were Nigerian Christians who abhorred homosexuality? Never mind, look at the vibrant fabrics they wear on their festival! Maybe one of them opened a restaurant!

(104 words snipped)

Afraid of the truthful past. Afraid of the truthful present. Afraid of the future.

The Truthful Past is the 1619 Project. The Truthful present is a series of crises that somehow manage to always need the intrusion of the State - oh and keep the faith brother, up against the wall, down with the Establishment. The future is a wonderful vista of possibilities that can only be attained by extirpating the dolorous past from art, architecture, literature, music, civics, politics, culture, morality, tradition, and whatever else the mob manages to toss on the tumbrel.

So afraid of the future. Why are Republican so afraid?

I’m not a Republican, so I can’t answer that, but as someone who just read two of his columns, I’m wary of any future that aligns with his view of the world. Possibly because he’s bad at the whole “thinking” thing, possibly because he’s a walkin’ talkin’ example of the Yeats line about the worst being "full of passionate intensity.” But mostly because he’s a bad writer, and this sort of lackwit always gets a plum gig in the state organs in the early days of the New Order. I mean, right now, reading him is purely optional. Imagine a future in which it’s required.

I’ll confess to being afraid of that.




It’s 1946. The post-war world is a busy place.


  Cline forgery trial: let’s just say there was more to this than faking someone’s signature.

It’s the plot of so very many old-time radio shows. Wonder how many of them took their inspiration from this. Or vice versa!

Alfred Leonard Cline (1888 – August 5, 1948), also known as "Buttermilk Bluebeard", was an alleged American serial killer responsible for murdering at least nine people.

Cline was born on March 12, 1888, in Kansas. He was never convicted of murders, as no supporting evidence was found. He married women of status, convinced them to will their possessions to his name, and persuaded them to drink a glass of poisoned buttermilk that contained powerful sedatives. After a fatal dose of drugs, a local doctor would issue a death certificate citing the cause of death to be heart failure.

Cline cremated his later wives to hide any evidence of murder. He acquired over $82,000 in possessions from eight of his wives. Cline was prosecuted for a murder charge, but jailed for forgery. He was sentenced to 126 years in Folsom Prison, California. Cline died of a heart attack in the prison on August 5, 1948.

Well, pat yourself on the back, Hearst Newspapers:

I’ve googled around and . . . it was complicated. Big scandal, though! Now forgotten.

But dig this, cats and kittens. That senator?

Capehart attained fame as the father of the jukebox industry. He worked for the company Holcomb and Hoke, which made record players and popcorn machines, until 1928. He started his own company in 1928, and was forced out of the company by investors in 1931. The company was taken over as one of the divisions in the new Farnsworth Radio and Television Company in 1939. In 1932, Capehart formed a new company called Packard. Packard developed the Simplex mechanism for automatic record changing, and sold the device to Wurlitzer. The entire company was eventually bought by Wurlitzer.

Red meddling:

General knowledge of  Iran leaders usually doesn't go back to these guys. Let us all learn something together, then:

He was again voted Prime Minister on 26 January 1946 with a slim margin in the Majlis of 52–51.The Majlis thought he would have the best chance of resolving the Soviet inspired rebellion of the occupied Azerbaijan province since Qavam was the largest property-owner in the region. Qavam did not disappoint. He ordered the Iranian delegation to the UN to negotiate issues pending before the Security Council directly with the Soviet delegation. He then flew to Moscow to discuss the issues personally with Stalin.

When the Soviets violated the terms of the Tripartite Pact which called for all foreign military forces to be withdrawn from Iranian territory by 2 March 1946, it drew a strong rebuke from Parliamentary Whip, Mohammed Mossadegh.

Qavam arranged a deal with the Soviets, granting an oil concession in the North contingent on the approval of the Majlis after the elections. Under the terms of the agreement with Qavam, Soviet troops began withdrawing from Iran. When the new Majlis was seated, they immediately voted against the proposed Soviet oil concession. This earned Qavam the congenial title, "The Old Fox”.

You wonder if the order went out sub rosa: Next time, boys, just put him down.

But there wasn’t a next time.

U.S. Marine Earl McFarland, 23, was arrested in 1944 for the rape and strangling death of "government girl" Dorothy Berrum at Hains Point, not far from the Mall.

The heavily decorated McFarland was in Washington to recuperate from wounds suffered in the attack on Guadalcanal, and on a warm October night, he took a walk along Pennsylvania Avenue. According to witnesses who say they saw him that night, he introduced himself to a petite woman wearing a red coat who was waiting for a friend. When the friend didn't arrive, McFarland hailed a cab and directed the driver to take them to Hains Point.

The next morning, the bloody body of the 18-year-old, who had come to Washington to help with the war effort, was found by park employees. A belt that police say McFarland left on the ground, led them to the Marine barracks and McFarland.

The night before his execution, McFarland ate a last dinner of fried chicken and corn bread. The next morning, he had a last breakfast of ham, eggs, toast and two cups of coffee.

He walked by himself to the electric chair, kicked off his shoes and lit a cigarette. He helped the guards adjust the helmet. He died on July 9, 1946.




Those were the days: today this would run with an opposing view, if it ran at all.


Good to know that the product names of the era seemed as silly to some as they do today:

It ran on the back page.


Finally, just some restaurant ads. These are marvelous, and speak to a world that’s gone and never coming back.

Because you suspect people dressed up to go there.


That'll do. See you tomorrow.




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