Waiting for a miracle.

All the advice was to see “Dunkirk” in IMAX, so I googled around. Turned out there’s an IMAX screen at a multiplex in Royal Oak that I didn’t know about. Royal Oak is closer than the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, which is where I feared we’d have to go, so this was good news. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a regular theatrical-entertainment film in IMAX, only short science films like they show at museums. Bought tickets online, paid IMAX prices.

After the credit-card sale went through I looked at the tickets. “‘Dunkirk’ in EMAX,” they said. What’s EMAX? I thought, but figured it had to be some version of IMAX.

It wasn’t. It was just a wide screen. The theater is called Emagine, and sure enough, there’s no such thing as EMAX as a film format, it’s just the chain’s name for “PREMIUM LARGE FORMAT, bigger picture & maximum sound.” You can say that again; it was really, really loud. But the screen was nice and wide and oh well, at least for a movie like this you don’t generally have people talking throughout. And if they had, the soundtrack would have drowned them out pretty well.

And I can’t say I missed the IMAX, honestly. “Dunkirk” was an immersive experience in every sense of the word; it’s hard to see people wearing boots and heavy wool uniforms trying to swim in an unforgiving sea. A colleague saw it Thursday and panned its storytelling trick of multiple, non-synchronized timelines, but it worked for me. I imagine service in a war zone is a series of minutes-become-hours, hours-pass-like-seconds episodes, part of what makes it so disorienting.

You can read entire shelves of books about the Dunkirk evacuation, and thousands of words about this telling of the story, so I won’t add to it other than to say I liked the film very much and it made me want to sail our boat across the lake and rescue some Canadians. Or maybe the other way around. And I’ll also stand with David Edelstein, who took a pasting in the comments about his review in New York magazine, for writing that he assumed one chapter/timeline, titled “the Mole,” was about the anonymous soldier at its center, who has a prominent mole on his jaw. I did too! And I subsequently learned that “mole” is another term for a jetty, pier or breakwater, a structure that is very important in this story. I’ve read pretty widely and spent lots of time on or near water and boats, and I’ve never heard this before. Ever.

Before the movie, we visited a local brewhouse/restaurant. On the menu:

Proud to be an American.

I guess the next movie we’ll see in a theater is “Detroit,” about an incident in the ’67 riots, being commemorated this very week. Here’s a tick-tock by my former colleague Bill, roused from retirement to help the Freep staff. Lots of links within to other stuff, and sorry about the goddamn autoplaying videos, but that’s Gannett these days. And here’s the News’ editorial-page editor with the suburban take.

Over my years here, I’ve heard many personal recollections of that week, mostly bad ones. Some were grimly amusing; a guy on a local message board lived in St. Clair Shores, and remembers one of his mother’s friends knocking on the door late one night in a panic. She’d heard that gangs of black men were going house-to-house in Grosse Pointe, raping white women, and could she take shelter with them? He thought it was extra funny that he saw her a year later at a party his parents threw, and her escort was a black man. I always wonder, when I hear stuff like that, if there are people who deliberately start hateful rumors in the wake of chaos, for whatever reason. They were rife after 9/11, none backed by any shred of evidence.

This personal story isn’t funny at all, but it was written by a friend whose father was a Detroit firefighter in 1967, and it’s sad and worth your time.

As for the events from Washington, the Fall of Spicey and the rise of the next guy, Scaramucci, I leave it to the comedians.

Happy week ahead, all.

Posted at 12:10 am in Current events, Detroit life, Movies |

89 responses to “Waiting for a miracle.”

  1. Dexter said on July 24, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Yeah, the hurry up and wait thing was a constant complaint, and in the VFW monthly last year I read something that gave me pause, dealing with US combat troops and what percentage of days in their tours they came under fire and returned fire , comparing European theater soldiers to Vietnam US combat troops. I have seen this continually, unchallenged. This is from a site called aacc. “. The average combatant during WWII saw approximately 40 days of actual combat. … In Vietnam we saw an average of approximately 240 days of combat per tour.” US Vietnam War tours were 12 months…many US soldiers were in Europe in WW2w for 4 years. After watching “Hacksaw Ridge” I postponed seeking out “Dunkirk”. I don’t think we ever discussed Adrian Lyne’s “Jacob’s Ladder” here before. Perhaps most folks have a certain film which makes them uncomfortable, such as “The Exorcist” . ” Jacob’s Ladder” is a very creepy movie about a Viet-vet living in NYC. The star is Tim Robbins. There are some scenes in that movie that trigger flight-responses in me…I feel like leaving the room.

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  2. alex said on July 24, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Speaking of rescuing people in Canada with your sailboat, I might be calling on you the next time I go to Ontario if I ever do because I don’t think I could pass the customs official in this story without spitting nails. How the hell is a fucking freak like this even allowed to have such a job?

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  3. coozledad said on July 24, 2017 at 6:58 am

    alex: Another poor put upon white guy. He’ll have no problem blasting away at his fellow citizens. The police and the military are loaded with that dreck.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 24, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I see a little silhouetto of a man.

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  5. David C. said on July 24, 2017 at 7:25 am

    US border agents have always been assholes, at least compared to the Canadian ones who have always been courteous in a thank you for coming to my country and spending your money sort of way. But that story seems a little embellished if not full on bullshit, to me. My last border crossing was fifteen years ago, so I may be out of date, but I don’t recall they had time for a political harangue. If they had any suspicions, you were pulled off to the side for further scrutiny. The little detail of a copy of “Das Kapital” on the floor (because what good lefty doesn’t have a copy of “Das Kapital” on the floor, I know I do) just seems a little too perfect to be true.

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  6. coozledad said on July 24, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Now that he’s hired Scaramucci
    Trump’s come full circle Il Duche
    One way or another, he’ll hang with this brother
    Like Gotti in court wearing Gucci.


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  7. Connie said on July 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

    So here’s my kid view of the Detroit riots from the west side of the state. I grew up in a quiet small town on the far west side of the state. A few weeks before the 67 riot the Detroit Free Press did a Sunday feature on my home town, emphasizing its peace and quiet and illustrating it with a large photo of an empty downtown on a Sunday. During the riots I overheard a group of men (including my dad) in the neighborhood discussing how now that the Free Press had given away our secret existence the rioters were surely coming here next. Really.

    15 years later my then boss told me about his fear when his National Guard unit was called up and sent to the riots. His small town boy story was fascinating to me.

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  8. Connie said on July 24, 2017 at 8:26 am

    So what does happen if you ask Siri about a silhouette of a little man?

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  9. ROGirl said on July 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I lived in the northern suburbs. My father drove in to work every day and came home at night. I wondered why people who lived in Detroit didn’t just get on the Lodge and drive out to our area, not realizing that there were tanks on the streets preventing cars from getting on the expressway.

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  10. Icarus said on July 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I have to agree with David C @ 5….I’ll even buy that it is the compilation of several different encounters with different yet equally jerkward board patrol guards but I’m having trouble believing that was a word for word single encounter.

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  11. Joe Kobiela said on July 24, 2017 at 9:52 am

    The red flag for me on the border crossing story was the picture of Port Huron yet they were talking about crossing in Detroit, suppose it could have happened that way, but I have my doubts. Have crossed both in the air and on the ground and the border patrol have always been professional.
    Pilot Joe

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  12. coozledad said on July 24, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Bullshit. There are no border patrol agents in the air.

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  13. coozledad said on July 24, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Rule 1 of Stalin club: You cannot tongue Stalin’s ass hard enough or deep enough that he won’t put your head on the block to save his own.

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  14. nancy said on July 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Weighing in here, having done this crossing many times: The first part — pre-lecture — sounds entirely plausible. While crossing into Canada is nearly always fast and pleasant, coming back home is a crap shoot in terms of the sort of guard you’ll face. I have dealt with a shades-wearing, body-armored, just-back-from-some-war-zone type more than once. Usually not, but sometimes. They bust your ass for practice, I’m convinced. So the stuff about handing over passports correctly, etc., sounds dead-on. Some of these guys are simply pricks.

    The rest? Hmm, hard to say. When I cross, I’m either alone or with Alan, and we’re a white, middle-aged couple of shlubs.

    But it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Honestly, the only time anyone asked my occupation was coming into Canada at Port Huron a few years ago. The Canadian border guard was stunned I didn’t know the G20 were meeting in Toronto the next few days, and trouble was expected. I lamely stammered that I covered Michigan news only, and was going to Montreal on vacation. He shamed me, seriously.

    Oh, and the reason they don’t look at your passport? Because it has an RFID chip in it, and all your info pops up on his computer screen. You hand them over because that’s the rule.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on July 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

    There’s a heartbreaking story in today’s NYT about poor people in Virginia camping out for hours in advance to get free health and dental care. One even drove all the way from Hickory, N.C. One guy shows the reporter a pair of pliers he used to extract his own rotten teeth. These folks –they were 92% white– slept in cars and pickups and tents in sweltering weather for a crack at a mere modicum of care. And yet our Senate and House are working on ways to cut benefits even more so our Orange King can sign something of significance before Congress adjourns.


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  16. nancy said on July 24, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Oh, and I can’t believe anyone would bring a goddamn CAT along on a cross-border trip. He’s lucky it wasn’t impounded.

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  17. nancy said on July 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

    This is jogging some memories. Like this one:

    “Why were you in Canada?”

    “We had lunch in Chinatown.”

    “You came to Canada for lunch?

    No, we came to buy bomb-making supplies. After that, I decided to tell them I had gone to gamble in a smoke-free casino.

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  18. Sherri said on July 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

    The border experience out here is similar. Crossing into Canada is nice, coming back home is usually at best brusque, with a long line. A friend of mine, who doesn’t cross the border often, went up to Vancouver during the Olympics and got confused on the way back and got in the Nexus lane by mistake. She and her friend, white, upper middle class, middle-aged women were detained and harangued for 30 minutes and accused of being drug traffickers.

    The biggest problem with border patrol around here, which the ACLU has sued them over, is their habit of wandering around the state pulling over non-white people to troll for undocumented immigrants. And soon, unless something changes, no Washingtonians will be able to fly even domestically using a driver’s license as ID, because Washington issues the same license to undocumented immigrants. We’ll either have to use passports or shell out for the enhanced driver’s license.

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  19. David C. said on July 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

    As long as cats don’t look sick, or like Muslim terrorists probably, they’re cool.

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  20. Heather said on July 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

    It sounded like they were bringing the cat back with them after a stint of living in the UK, not that they took it with them for funzies.

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  21. Sherri said on July 24, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Speaking of border crossings, has anyone here signed up for one of Global Entry, Nexus, or TSA Pre (other than randomly getting it sometimes)? If so, which one, and why? I’m thinking of doing it, and can’t decide which one.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on July 24, 2017 at 11:15 am

    The cat was coming back with them from England, and he referenced other international travel experiences with it, so apparently they take it with them everywhere. That’s some dedication; maybe a bit deluded.

    We’ve definitely felt intimidated a few times reentering the US. We told our teenage son to not speak unless he was questioned, but he started to burble all over about his license (maybe he had just gotten it, maybe it was a learner’s permit, I don’t recall) and the officer got very irritated. All we had done was go to plays in Stratford and stay in a hotel, but suddenly felt guilty, guilty, guilty.

    Our daughter did have trouble getting IN to Canada once and had her laptop seized by border control. She was moving there to work but the church couldn’t get her the proper visa/permit and they told her to say she was visiting. Her entire car was packed full and she even had a microwave in the trunk that was going to be hard to explain. It was a dicey couple of hours before they let her go on her way. I guess they decided a pastor couldn’t create too much trouble even if she wasn’t strictly legal.

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  23. Suzanne said on July 24, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I know a pastor who years ago was serving a parish in Canada but got a church back here in the states. When they filled out the paperwork, they had 2 kids and his wife was pregnant. When they finally moved, that 3rd kid had been born. Sooo, the border patrol wanted to know who that 3rd kid belonged to.
    After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, they got it straightened out and laugh about it now.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on July 24, 2017 at 11:31 am

    We had a hilarious encounter with a border guard in Hungary, before it had entered the E.U. We were driving to Budapest with friends in a little Opel station wagon. They had their dog, Sidney, hidden in the tailgate area because we didn’t know the rules. Naturally, the dog began barking as we inched toward the checkpoint, but a few biscuits silenced him. When the guy got our passports, he looked us over one by one while calling out our state of birth: “New Jersey.” “Ohio.” “South Carolina.” And when he got to Johanna’s, it was “Florida,” followed by a long burst of laughter. I told her it was because even on the Hungarian frontier, they knew Florida was one wacky state.

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  25. ROGirl said on July 24, 2017 at 11:58 am

    If you’re crossing into Canada on business they get really particular because you could be taking a Canadians job. You need a letter inviting you to visit, even if you work for the same company . If you say the wrong thing they will turn you away. It’s been a while since I did that, they question you very carefully.

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  26. Jolene said on July 24, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    My only awkward border-crossing experience involved returning from a day trip to Nogales, Mexico during the years I lived in Tucson. My sister was visiting me, and we both took advantage of the occasion to pick up a couple of cheap bottles of Kahlua, which, of course, the local merchants were delighted to sell us.

    On our return, the border guards took a similar pleasure in watching us pour half of what we’d bought on the ground. We didn’t know–and, of course, they didn’t tell us–that we were only allowed one bottle each.

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  27. Connie said on July 24, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Oh Jolene, reminds me of the time I was 14 and my father made my mother and I hide M80 firecrackers in our bras as we walked back across the border from Tijuana.

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  28. Charlotte said on July 24, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    My brother used to have trouble occasionally crossing through Canada on his way back and forth from college in Vermont. He drove this old Plymouth Valiant, and often has a couple of shotguns because he was a hunter (Sterling College in VT encouraged such things). He had to ask our cousin, who he’d bought the car from, if her former boyfriend the drug dealer had anything hidden on the car, she swore he didn’t but did go check.
    Spookiest border crossing I ever went through was Ireland in 1984 — was still a hard border, with armed guards. The regular one on the highway was fine, but the little one we came across in the middle of nowhere was spooky. The IRA had just blown up the Tory convention at Brighton, and everyone was on edge.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on July 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    ROGirl, you’re so right about working in Canada. Sarah had also worked at a camp and there were all kinds of paperwork to prove she had a unique skill set that no one else in Canada had. Which is ridiculous for a summer camp director job; of course there would have been Canadians with the skills. They put up just enough barriers to weed out those who aren’t persistent.

    Over lunch I had time to read the Freep piece on the Detroit riots of 1967, and encourage you to also. Over the weekend I heard extended radio coverage, where I learned that in the black community the reference is not to riots but to the uprising or the rebellion.

    This event marked the beginning of my interest in news outside my own little world. I would have been not quite 11, and for some reason had no awareness of the Newark riots the previous week. But Detroit was discussed every night at dinner and I must have also seen the news reports of the fires and looting.

    My folks, as life-long Republicans and white people (ironically, my dad didn’t know he was 1/8 African-Canadian), took the view that “these people” had no respect for their own property and were just looking for an excuse to commit violence. Maybe five years later we drove through the city and saw mile after mile of burned out buildings, and they expressed disbelief that no one had rebuilt. It was along the lines of where is their pride.

    As I grew I realized that reality was much more nuanced, but until now I hadn’t attempted to understand the whole thing. And I still don’t, but I understand a little more.

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  30. jcburns said on July 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Speaking of Canadians, is your post title an homage to the Bruce Cockburn song/album?

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  31. brian stouder said on July 24, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Julie – superb post.

    I recall watching the news (mom never missed “Uncle Wally” – CBS evening news)…and I seem to have it in my memory (at some point in time or other) that my dad had to call police to let them know we (his family) would be on the streets (in a 4-door Chevy Impala!) after curfew – for some reason or other.

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  32. Peter said on July 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I haven’t crossed to/from Canada that many times, and it was usually done at odd hours, so my experience with US Customs is kind of like No Country for Old Men – except the US guy was like the sleeping Mexican border guard.

    When it came to scary customs agents, I’d put Indonesia at the top of my list – not so much the agents themselves, but there was only a flimsy chain link fence between Customs and adjacent areas, and there were some really shady people crowding in on the fence and staring at you the whole time.

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  33. Peter said on July 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    On a different subject – seems like Fearless Leader needed to get his tweet on big time last weekend – the one that put me in orbit was the comment about the GOP not supporting him enough, even “some that were carried over the line on my back”.

    I’m going to have to look and see if ANY victorious senator or congressman had a lower percentage of the vote in their race than Trump.

    This guy….

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  34. Jakash said on July 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    “It’s funny because it’s true.”

    “Actually, it’s not funny.”

    Actually squared, it’s not even true — it would be 38%. Still, gotta love Clay Bennett…


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  35. Peter said on July 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Well, what I won’t do to avoid work, but lo and behold, there were 5 states that Trump did better than the winning GOP senate candidate, but look at this list and see who can thank Trump for their margin of victory:

    Alaska – Murkowski 44%, Flaming Cheeto 51%
    Arkansas – Boozman 59.7%, Putin Jr. 60.6%
    Indiana – Young 52.1 vs. 56.8%
    Kentucky – Paul – 57.2% vs. 62.5%
    Missouri – Blunt 49.3% vs. 56.8%

    All except Young being incumbents.

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  36. coozledad said on July 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Two notes on a Sunday in the empire of white farts.

    Donald Trump in his latest attack:
    “I carried you all on my back!
    “At least dear old Putin reaches round before shootin’
    That’s the last time you ride in my crack!


    Said Mooch on the TV to Jake
    “That Russia collusion is fake
    Anyway, per my source, (on his jet to the course)
    All the documents drowned in a lake.”

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  37. Sherri said on July 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    ICE under trump: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-veteran-ice-agent-disillusioned-with-the-trump-era-speaks-out

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  38. brian stouder said on July 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I think Cooz has the limerick of the day, at 36!

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  39. Dexter said on July 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Once we crossed into Sault Ste. Marie for lunch. I was driving a Rent-A-Wreck station wagon with luggage, toys, and bicycles strapped atop, and a wife and two small children and more luggage inside. I was glad we were just waved through. Way different time. I remember having a great spinach-egg-veggie salad and leaving a fiver for the tip. The waitress was adamant…too large a tip for a family man to leave. I insisted she keep it. Once in a lifetime, for sure.
    The only time I was questioned at length at customs was at Cam Ranh Bay, when I packed my pipe. The agent believed it to be a device for burning that strong weed. I wasn’t that goddam fucking stupid! A convergence of noses of agents confirmed my declaration that it was for tobacco only. I began pipe smoking at a very early age.
    I may have told this before…co-workers went to Windsor for funsies, idiots had weed on them , detained ,and had the brand new car impounded. It took lawyers and money to finally get the car back.

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  40. Judybusy said on July 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve gone in and out of the country a few times, from Canada, Europe, Brazil, and Costa Rica. Coming from Canada, the agents were friendly, even that one time pre-911, in 2000, when I had lost my driver’s license. I was able to drive into Seattle to catch my flight, and it wasn’t a problem. I just explained to them what had happened. Ditto catching my flight, but I had to have my checked luggage X-rayed. Later, as I was unpacking, I discovered I’d put it in my back pocket when attending a concert and forgot about it. (Ochoa from Cuba! Great, great concert!)

    When we returned from Costa Rica in 2015, we had our naive, inattentive 18-year-old niece with us. We didn’t notice she’d gotten split off to another customs line, till we turned around and asked, “Where’s Emily?!” She didn’t think to say anything…the staff kept telling us to move along to the next area, which was out of sight. I stood my ground and firmly stated we weren’t leaving the area without our niece. We were all yelling at her (she was busily chatting with people in line, not a clue in the world) till we got her attention. She then got to come with us. She remained firmly between us until we got to the gate to fly to Minneapolis. I’m giggling now, but man, were my wife and I super irritated at the time. The customs staff were kinda dicks and it was a little scary for us to insist that we stay.

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  41. Jolene said on July 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Now that you mention weed, Dexter, I recall another border experience–this one returning to Seattle from Vancouver, BC. Long ago, in my days as something of a hippie, I visited Vancouver with a friend for a few days. Before returning, we stopped at Murchie’s, a famous place for buying every kind of tea. Each of us brought back multiple bags of loose tea of different varieties. The border guards did a lot of looking and sniffing, but eventually let us go, despite our long hair, granny glasses, and beads.

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  42. Peter said on July 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    One other border story – some years ago I had a job in Jakarta and I got there via Singapore. On the approach to Singapore the crew handed out the customs cards, and on the bottom, in bold black and red lettering, was: “THE PENALTY FOR BRINGING DRUGS INTO SINGAPORE IS DEATH!!” Well, that was enough incentive for me to double check every pocket.

    Well, while I was waiting in line they were playing a little tourist video. Two lovely ladies in sarongs talking about all of the wonderful things to do in Singapore. Then one of them matter of factly says “Before we talk about shopping in Singapore, please remember that the penalty for bringing drugs into the country is….DEATH.” Then the other one goes “Thanks for that reminder – now let’s talk shopping!”.

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  43. David C. said on July 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I remember the Grand Rapids riots, which started a few days after Detroit’s, more vividly. That’s just because they were much closer to home and hopped up the adults in my life that much more. That and my uncle was arrested. His father owned a business in downtown GR, but not near where the riots occurred He was there to “protect” it. How he would have done that, I don’t know. A couple of black men walked by and my uncle went apeshit screaming at them. The police were nearby and arrested him. Probably for his own protection as he was released without charges the next morning. The two men he yelled at were the pastor of the local AME church and his son.

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  44. Heather said on July 24, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    When I was in high school/college I dated my hometown honey for a few years who went to the U of M, and when I visited sometimes we would go to Canada. Once without me the border agents found some pot in the car (I think on the way into Canada), so every time we went after that he was always very careful, to the point of wanting me to change a print top because it was too “hippieish.” (This was in the early 90s.) I’ve never had any issues coming back into the U.S. but you still get nervous, especially after hearing all the stories. I read on Twitter (so take it with a grain) about an African-American who was pulled for questioning, she believes because she wore a scarf over her hair that day.

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  45. Sherri said on July 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Will a messy divorce kill snopes.com?


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  46. James Moehrke said on July 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Sherri – we’ve signed up for Global Entry, our TSA interviews are at LAX tomorrow afternoon. We started the process back in March, and finding out that we had to do in person interviews at specific airports we discovered that SFO, a mere 65 miles from home, was booked until September. We fly to England and then Norway in October, so that seem to cut it a little close. Our son lives here in Orange County, so we rolled a visit with him into the interviews. After all, it’s only 400 miles from home! I’ll let you know how the whole process goes after we get back from the interrogation. Wish us luck that we get someone who isn’t having a bad day.

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  47. Sherri said on July 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks, James. Researching some more, it looks like Nexus is probably best for us, since it encompasses TSA Pre and Global Entry while also speeding trips across the Canadian border, and is also cheaper than Global Entry. The main disadvantage to Nexus seems to be that the enrollment centers (sorry, centres, it’s Canadian) are only in cities near the Canadian border.

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  48. Joe K said on July 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    With my new job flying for wheels up I now have a known crew badge, no more tsa plus 20% off at the airport shops and eating places.
    Pilot Joe

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  49. Deborah said on July 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    James M, we’re thinking of going to Denmark. Norway and Iceland next summer. But the more I read about Norway and what all there is to do there it seems like we might fly to Copenhagen for a few days and then go to Norway, saving Iceland for another trip. After reading the Knausgaard books, it makes Norway even more interesting to me.

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  50. James Moehrke said on July 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Deborah, it will be our second trip to Scandinavia. We did a group trip to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden in ’14, a combination graduation/retirement celebration. This time it’s a round trip on the Hurtigruten coastal ferry from Bergen to Kirkenes and back, up across the Arctic Circle and across the norther tip of Europe. Northern Lights are promised. Norway was spectacular from the road; so many waterfalls, fjords, and tunnels. So looking forward to going back!

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  51. basset said on July 24, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    We’ve been thinking about going to Iceland next summer, maybe there’s a way I can get some fishing in while we’re there. First, though, I want to take Mrs. B to see some moose… Maine, Minnesota, Isle Royale, I dunno, anyone had any experience with nature trips up north?

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  52. Jolene said on July 24, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    basset, have you been to Alaska? If not, you might consider it as a place where you could both see wildlife and catch fish. Not sure what sort of fishing you like, but my sister and her husband have twice gone there and brought back many pounds of salmon and halibut. Of course, this involves paying someone who operates a fishing boat. There must be places where you can simply catch fish, but you’d still have to pay someone to pack it and ship it.

    The fishing boat expedition also offers an opportunity to be outdoors and somewhat active that isn’t too physically demanding. My sister is very fit and energetic, but her husband is quite a bit older and has pretty severe back problems, so this combination suits them well.

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  53. Deborah said on July 24, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    James M, we went to Finland and Sweden, a few of years ago and loved it. I could totally live in Helsinki.

    Basset, try Banff in Canada we saw moose and elk there. It’s beautiful.

    It’s raining in Abiquiu right now. Yay, we need it!

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  54. basset said on July 24, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Been to Alaska twice so far, Jolene, once to Seward and once to Ninilchik… did the halibut boat out of each, had a big time and there still may be a piece or two of fish in the freezer.

    Banff, hmmmm, we’ll look at that. thanks.

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  55. basset said on July 24, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    We did see moose in Alaska, in fact the first time we went we had to go to a known moose viewing area out behind the Anchorage airport and see some moose before we could check into our room.

    Saw a bear in Michigan, outside Cadillac a few weeks ago, that was a new sight.

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  56. Dexter said on July 25, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Damn, I had forgotten this, this little incident could have had me in really deep shit. At Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, this New Yorker named Artie decided we should go to Nuevo Laredo on our weekend pass. Artie raised hell at the rental agency because when they saw we were GIs they mysteriously had no cars. Finally Artie, his buddy Flaky, I and my bunkie Toad climbed into a Chevy Nova and headed south. Artie was driving, and he pulled off the road and took the tire iron and popped off the headlight ring and stashed a sizable chunk of hash-ish. I was nervous but I didn’t bail out…I assumed the hash would get burned in Mexico and that would be that. We had our fun in Mexico, lots of tequila got drunk and about half the hash was used. Next day, there was Artie popping off the headlight ring! Oh Jesus, he’s gonna bring that shit back across the border? No way. But Artie talked fast, no worries, no problem. OK Artie…and Flaky stood by Artie’s decision and Toad was nervous too but hell, we had to be back in San Antonio, so we accepted our fate at the US entry gates. Waved us straight through. Artie stopped again , retrieved the hash and bowl, and burned the rest of it before we hit San Antone. Artie was Jewish, from Manhattan, tall apartment tower, finance family. Flaky was a little scrawny farm kid from Kansas who looked like Woody Allen. And those two guys were as close as brothers.

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  57. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Where’s that high bar for treason again?

    Oh, I forgot. it’s “suck John McCain’s traitor crank day” today. Enjoy.

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  58. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 8:10 am

    A lot of the people who persistently indulge in the vacuity of “who would have stood up to Hitler” or “shooting him in his crib” have their fucking chance, now. It’s hilarious that the Republicans got away shamelessly with that pretense for a decade or two, even when their Nazi sympathies were etched in stone.

    This is the culmination of an ideology based in adolescent nihilism, and it ought to be wiped from the face of the earth.

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  59. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 9:16 am

    And here’s what repeal is all about. Waving that white dick in the face of the poor.

    Republicans are mobilizing against free elections. That’s the sole explanation for this.

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  60. Suzanne said on July 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I seriously just want to sit and cry about the state of our country. I saw a clip of Trump’s Boy Scout speech and it was sickening. Where are all the evangelicals who hate the Boy Scouts because of their stance on gays? I’m not hearing anything from them, are any of you?

    This is the end of our democracy and the end of any sort of credible Christianity in the USA.

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  61. Jakash said on July 25, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    “I was a Boy Scout for five or six years. The whole point of the experience was to teach kids not to grow up to be like Donald Trump.”


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  62. Deborah said on July 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Jeff tmmo, you should weigh in here about Trump’s Boy Scout speech as you did on Facebook. You had some excellent links.

    Joe, I’m always curious about what you think about things like this. And don’t tell us that Obama didn’t go to any of the jamborees during his tenure, we already know that, and why. Also Clinton went to one during his time in office, I’m trying to find a transcript. I don’t know about the Bushes, Reagan etc. Do you think it was appropriate for Trump to say the things he said? And what does that say about the man? This latest gaff of his is just the latest in a long, long string of things like it (mocking a disabled man etc). How much can you take?

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  63. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Americans should be careful— vertical power is quickly built, but it is hard to destroy.


    Manafort should be extradited to Ukraine, where he can face the death penalty.

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  64. Heather said on July 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Suzanne, go to the Boy Scouts Facebook page. There are thousands of comments from parents and Scout leaders who are furious about the Trump speech.

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  65. beb said on July 25, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Mark Salter for thread win (@61)

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  66. nancy said on July 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm


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  67. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    There’s some prion related illness involved, but part of what’s happening with Trump is the natural inclination of his team and the failure of GOP leaders like Ryan to set aside their natural sycophancy. If Trump has dementia, he’s the natural outcome of a party that has courted the worst of America’s soul rotted fringe.

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  68. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm


    “This is the problem with the leaking,” he said. “This is actually a terrible thing. Let’s say I’m firing Michael Short today. The fact that you guys know about it before he does really upsets me as a human being and as a Roman Catholic.”

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  69. Peter said on July 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Eight presidents have given speeches at the national jamboree starting with FDR – Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan did not.
    Nixon did go to two jamborees in place of Eisenhower, who did go to the 1960 jamboree.

    In fairness to Eagle Scout Gerald Ford, the scouts didn’t have a jamboree when he was in office.

    By thanking the 11 to 17 year old scouts for voting for him, does that put them in the 3 million illegal votes in the election? Beleagured AG must investigate!!!!

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  70. Joe Kobiela said on July 25, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Honestly Deborah, I haven’t been paying attention, told you before he wasn’t my first choice by any means, if your group would have run anyone but Hillary,you would have won no doubt. To be honest I’m spending all my time learning this new airplane and getting settled in the new flying job, haven’t been watching or reading the news

    Pilot Joe

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  71. Suzanne said on July 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I did visit the Boy Scouts Facebook page. Wow. Thousands of comments and a quick look found not one positive. If the BSA thought their stance on gay participants cost them members, this might destroy them altogether.

    But again I find myself wondering how what Trump said is a surprise to the people who invited him to speak. The past six months have shown him to be exactly what he appeared to be on the campaign trail.

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  72. Peter said on July 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Joe, I think your priorities are in the right order. We got the Trumpwatch part covered.

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  73. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Honestly Deborah, I haven’t been paying attention, told you before he wasn’t my first choice by any means, if your group would have run anyone but Hillary,you would have won no doubt.

    Remember, all he’s looking for is to piss you off, and all the old misogynists here eat his crap. Because he flies an a wo plain. Must be generation lead.

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  74. Sherri said on July 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Sorry, I can’t keep it straight. Did trump win because of Hillary, or because I’m a smug, elitist, condescending, coastal-dwelling liberal?

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  75. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Joe’s brother’s even come out here to tell us Joe’s an ass. he boasts about coming here to rile people up. It’s a circle jerk of condescension, and his enablers are just as much to blame as his pissy cognitive empathy paired with his creepy view of women.

    He thinks “I fuck your wife” is humorous. He’s a stupid schmuck.

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  76. Jakash said on July 25, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Sorry, Joe, but as Sherri points out, that’s revisionist history.

    “…the people like yourself that instead of talking too us talked down too us is the reason you lost the election, there were just more people in the correct places that were so tired of your condisending,higher than thou,you can’t possible think I’m wrong attitude, that we all got together and said fuck it were voting for Trump just to Piss people like you off.”

    No mention of Hillary. And *as if* you’d have voted for Bernie. But who can fault you for focusing on your new job? Your work as a citizen is certainly complete, having voted for the worst person ever to hold the office in order to piss people off. Why should you care what happens now?

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  77. beb said on July 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Sherri #74: Trump won because of Saint Comey, who brought up Hillary’s emails days before the election costing her 2-3% of the vote, enough to tip Michgan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The soviet interference seems slight in comparison. It’s Trump’s obsession about no one looking into his deals with the Russians that makes it sound like a major crime.

    Speaking of misogynism in politics, here’s Texas rep. Farentholt saying he has a problem with certain Republican women politicians who are opposed to the ACA-repeal going so far as to say that if they were men he’d challenger them to a duel. The man saying this is a fat, bloated, oily frog-face.
    I’m sure he has a problem with women in Congress all right, as well as women in general.

    Jeff Sessions is a despicable person by any and all measures. But at the moment I find myself hoping that he refusing to resign despite all of Trump’s effort to humiliate him into doing so, just to make it harder for Crooked Donnie to fire Mueller.

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  78. Jolene said on July 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    But again I find myself wondering how what Trump said is a surprise to the people who invited him to speak. The past six months have shown him to be exactly what he appeared to be on the campaign trail.

    The president is, by tradition, the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts. (If you google Obama Boy Scouts, you’ll see several photos of small groups of scouts delivering annual reports on activities of the Scouts.) I imagine they invite whomever is president to every Jamboree.

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  79. Heather said on July 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Not feeling like you have to pay attention to politics these days is really the ultimate privilege, one that I and many of my friends whose rights and health are threatened don’t enjoy.

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  80. Sherri said on July 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Comey deserves his place in hell for what he did, but that does not make the Russian interference slight. Russia has been waging a disinformation war, not just confined to the election, not just confined to this country, with the goal of undermining western democracy. A while back, I linked to this article by a UW professor who went back and re-examined the work she had done looking at the disinformation spread during the BP Horizon oil spill, and the ties to Russia and the alt-right: https://medium.com/hci-design-at-uw/tracing-disinformation-trajectories-from-the-2010-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-79e8116e08f4

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is a stone-cold racist, and I will not regard him as a martyr to the Rule of Law, or as any kind of hero for refusing to resign. He is as corrupt as his master, and just because his master turns on him, that doesn’t make him any better. trump will fire Mueller with or without the stone-cold racist in the way, because he’ll have to; otherwise Mueller will indict his thieving corrupt ass. And the Republicans in Congress will tut-tut and express their concern and do jack-shit, because they want their tax cuts for their corporate masters.

    The only option is to throw the bastards out, while we still can. The clock is ticking. ALEC, the Koch brothers’ organization for crafting legislation, is working to get rid of the 17th amendment: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/22/western-conservative-summit-american-legislative-exchange-council-denver-conservatives-unhappy/

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  81. Scout said on July 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I am dismayed that some of the very people who voted for a malignant orange ass tumor are now way too busy to even pay attention to its rampage over the very fabric of our democracy. But maybe that’s just me.

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  82. Peter said on July 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I was thinking that the Trump/Sessions fracas was kind of like Godzilla vs. Mothra, but it’s really more like Hitler/Ernst Rohm – and in looking it up, I noticed that ol’ Ernst was one of Adolf’s earliest supporters, and then of course got eliminated when he became a liability to Hitler.

    Maybe Jeff should be thankful Trump doesn’t know jack about history, or maybe he should keep an eye out for Jared or Don Jr. holding a gun.

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  83. Scout said on July 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    The perfect summary of today’s edition of This Is Not Normal, America.

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  84. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Well at least we’ll always have John McCain selling his fellow Americans out. Once a traitor, always a traitor.

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  85. Sherri said on July 25, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    The Rude Pundit nails it, concerning the mythical maverick John McCain. Don’t read if you’re sensitive to the f-word, but I think your sensitivities belong with the millions being screwed over by the Republicans.


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  86. coozledad said on July 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I’ve known enough officer’s kids and compulsive gambler/whoredogs to know what you’re looking at with John McCain. He’s a fucking rat, and the DC press would lick his cods for it. He’s a living lie.

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  87. Jill said on July 25, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Basset, I second the idea of checking out the Banff/Jasper/Lake Louise area. Incredibly beautiful.

    Sherri, I just have TSA Pre which is handy for my domestic travel. I have a Canadian brother-in-law; he and my sister and their kids got Global Entry because they travel up there from the Chicago area frequently. It’s been well worth the investment.

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  88. basset said on July 25, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Looked at the Rude Pundit site, and now I understand Cooz’s act a little better. How original.

    Meanwhile, if it wasn’t for more liberal regulation which ties the hands of honest business we would have had trucks like this in the USA years ago:

    I blame Hillary. Emails. Benghazi. Toyota.

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  89. coozledad said on July 26, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Liver spotted stick of margarine.
    Mortician’s handshake
    Glum hall monitor
    Gentleman’s wipes canister
    Adipocere putto
    Weepy deerblind habitué
    Armed depressive fog

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