Saturday, January 15, 2022

Jukebox Saturday Night for January 15th, 2022: The Amen Sherman, Marla 227, and Great Nell Carter Edition -OR- I Need a Break

The dedicated makeshift jazz music stage in Lummus Park for this weekend's Art Deco Weekend festivities, Miami Beach, Fla., 9:30 p.m., January 14, 2022

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Since I'm taking a bit of a break (at least a week) from blogging (see below), and since it is Saturday night, I figured I'd have a Jukebox Saturday Night entry.


Above and below: Two more images of the ticketed-only jazz music area in Lummus Park that is part of ongoing Art Deco Weekend events. It features all kinds of food, drink, and craft pavilions along Ocean Drive -- which is a nice change from just having highly disruptively stuff built on the beach.

Predictably expensive -- you can't go anywhere without spending $20 -- but it is still nice. Unfortunately, I never enjoy things like this because, well, I just don't get along with anyone including myself.


You'll note how clear the sky is. We are presently in the "depths of winter" by Miami Beach standards with dew points around 45F and overnight lows as low as 52F or so right on the shoreline.

However, an unwanted big storm system is going to blow through tomorrow with yet another damn unwanted cold frontal passage -- and this one bringing strong northwesterly winds rather than the northeasterly winds with a more east-west elongated one (see animated forecast weather map directly below).


As for this Jukebox Saturday Night entry, I had the idea of featuring the upbeat, catchy, and even outright joyful theme songs of three great Black sitcoms of the 1980s. (Well, two were distinctly Black and one was an interesting mix starring a wonderful lady who died much too young. And two of them technically lasted into the 1990s.)

Let me note upfront, though, that two of these shows -- reflected in the first and third theme song videos below -- are now being shown on Cozi-TV during the day. This is why I have them on my mind.

First up ...

"Shine on Me" (Theme Song to "Amen"), 1986

On the air from 1986 to 1991, Amen starred Sherman Hemsley, who is best known for playing George Jefferson on The Jeffersons once it had spun off from All in the Family.

I'm glad Sherman Hemsley did this show precisely because it was so different from The Jeffersons and allowed him to demonstrate his ability to play different characters and general comedic acting skill. This is true even if there are underlying similarities in terms of the Napoleon-like swagger and bombast).

The show is set in Philadelphia, which was Sherman Hemsley's actual home town. The church featured in the opening is the very real Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

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Next up, a show that is always wonderful to find somewhere in reruns...

"227" Theme Song with vocals by Marla Gibbs and supporting choir, 1985

Marla Gibbs, of course, is best known for her role as Florence Johnston on The Jeffersons, where she was the foil to Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson.

But I think Gibbs had a much more versatile and richer role on the under-appreciated TV sitcom 227. The show had great story lines, likeable characters in real families (yes, even if Jackée was sometimes drag queen-like over-the-top), and a lot of great physical comedy (which was often done in costumes). It was so much better than the vastly overrated and insufferable show The Cosbys.

The show was set in Washington, D.C., at the fictitious address of 227 Lexington Place, which gave it the name "227." However, this address had no directional quadrant (i.e., NE, NW, SE, SW) appended, which every address in D.C. has

Ten years ago when I was still firmly a D.C. resident, I wrote this entry about the show and trying to find the location of the row house as suggested in the opening sequence. It was part of an even longer New Year's Eve 2012-themed post.


However, at the time, I didn't realize (1) that the show was supposed to be set at 227 Lexington Place and (2) that there is an actual Lexington Place NE in the Capitol Hill section of D.C. close to Stanton Park. However, it is just a snippet of an east-west running side street (not part of the main alphanumeric street grid) that exists only between 6th and 7th Streets NE -- hence, it is only a 600 block NE.


Gibbs is now 90 years old and last year had a star added on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last July (when she was overcome and almost fainted). She also made some nice comments about Betty White -- who died on New Year's Eve just 18 days shy of her 100th birthday. (In fact, White would have been 100 this Monday).


Marla Gibbs and Betty White together on the set of Hot in Cleveland for an episode "Cleveland Calendar Girls" that aired on April 22, 2015.

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Lastly, here is a theme song that not only do I love, but I also greatly admire and respect the star of the show who sang it ...

"Gimme a Break!" Theme Song, Season 1, with vocals by Nell Carter, 1981

In the case of Gimme a Break!, there are at least three different versions of the theme song -- with vocals by Nell Carter. I happen to like the very first one, which was featured for the first part of season 1 in 1981-'82

As for Nell Carter, I'm a real fan of hers. I deeply admire her both for her amazing singing ability that dazzled the world in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' and and her acting work she did to include Gimme a Break!

I also know that she had a difficult personal life marred with serious tragedies, violence, and adversity that was cut way too short by her weight-related health problems. Carter died in Jan 2003 at the age 54. In fact, I could easily write an entire entry about her.



By the way, the ever-useful IAMNOTASTALKER website has a webpage dedicated to the location of the house featured in that first season opening sequence.


The house -- pictured above both in 1981 and 2020 -- is located in, of course, Los Angeles at 515 S Norton Avenue in an area called Windsor Square, not far from Wilshire Blvd. The house is today painted a light green but there is no mistaking it.

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As a brief update ...

Apologies but as I alluded to at the outset, I'm probably not going to update this blog for at least a week.

I'm totally burnt out on this blog and even trying to write it -- I just sit here basically paralyzed on what to write and, of course, always being overloaded with inputs from whatever I happen to be reading.


What's more, as much as I would like to write an entry tonight on all sorts of things -- weather, that Tonga underwater volcanic eruption and the resulting (small) tsunamis on the U.S. West Coast, politics, Covid crap, a personal update including on an impending visit by a friend from back in the "DMV" plus other visits and plans -- I just can't do it.


Above: Tim and I at Monty's here in Miami Beach on Thursday evening (yes, at sunset). Below: A short while earlier, Tim holding a small dog belonging to an elderly lady we passed. Even though she was masked and elderly, Tim managed to strike up a friendly conversation with her and suddenly, we were holding her little dog.

I can never do stuff like that.


I just can't keep up this blog for the time being because it is a such a vexing and pointless time sink. I also have a great deal of work to finish for my job (one of those periodic sets of desktop financial monitoring reviews for a set of five state Grantees), and I need to have at minimum three done by the end of January and preferably four with the fifth to follow that first week of February.


OK, that's it for now. Again, barring something major, my next entry likely will not be until next weekend.

--Regulus

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Mystery & Tragedy as Comedy -OR- Musical Theme and MAD Lib: Posting the July 1991 Devil-In-Parody "Unsolved Miseries" Piece of the Robert Stack-Era Unsolved Mysteries TV Series

Early winter evening view across Government Cut toward Fisher Island, Miami Beach, Fla., 4:48 p.m., Jan 9, 2022.

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OK, this is a topical but non-political entry ...

Starting when I was about 10 years old and into my teenage years, I would regularly read Mad ("MAD") Magazine.

It came out monthly or bimonthly, and I would purchase it or have it purchased for me). This was in the period of about 1981 - 1991, although I continued to read it ever-less frequently into the 1990s when I was in my 20s until finally, at some point, I just stopped.

Needless to say, back then, it was only in print edition since the stupid, socially destructive, and all-around-garbage internet and all its malevolent platforms didn't exist.

Sorry, no politics.

Anyway, in July 1991 MAD Magazine produced a three-page hand drawn parody of the Robert Stack-era Unsolved Mysteries TV series called "Unsolved Miseries."


This was in issue 304 -- the cover of which is shown above and, yes, that's supposed to be Madonna. (This was already 8 years into her pop stardom -- and now, 31 years later -- she's still hanging about. That's 40 years.) But I digress.

Now if you have read this blog at all in the past several months, you know what a fan I am of the Robert Stack-era Unsolved Mysteries.

And thanks to one particular and obscure channel that is part of the FilmRise streaming network that I get on my Samsung TV Plus-based internet streaming channels, those are aired basically on a 24/7 loop. I discovered this shortly after I moved here to Miami Beach.

Except for some of the more brutal unsolved murder mystery reenactments, I love show's various themed segments with their reenactments including the supernatural and paranormal, missing persons, and lost loves, in particular, those with happy endings facilitated by the show itself.


The show itself facilitated literally hundreds resolutions of the several thousands crimes and mysteries featured over the life of the series. Even today, there is a website for the show that includes any updates since the segments first aired.


To clarify, I always specify "Robert Stack-era" because Unsolved Mysteries has had multiple incarnations with various hosts across 15 seasons and nearly 600 episodes including Raymond Burr of Perry Mason eternal fame in the VERY FIRST episode aired Jan 20, 1987.


There was even a period when Virginia Madsen was a co-host (see image directly above). I will forever associate Madsen with a small but memorable role she had in David Lynch's epic 1984 movie adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune saga. In it, she played Princess Irulan, eldest daughter of the 81st Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and provides an unforgettable opening scene-setter. (BTW, that entry remains one of my two most popular ones ever in terms of Google search visits.)

In the most current Netflix reboot (2020), there is NO host, and you suck, Netflix.


And, of course, I absolutely love the Unsolved Mysteries instrumental theme.

Quoting from this July 2020 Los Angeles Times article, that theme features a dissonant "exponential tritone extravaganza" -- that is, the much-feared diabolus en musica (Devil in Music) -- combined with a "heavy dose of synthesizers" (the synth-pads) to create "sweeping, sliding pitch bends" and resulting "wailing, siren-like sound and a chilling effect" topped with a "killer drum sound."


Above: I'm reposting from an early entry (linked above) of the nearly 10-minute long, information-packed, and all-around fascinating explanatory video by Adam Neely on "The Devil in Music: An Untold History of the Tritone."

The theme seems to have been changed to a more subdued one toward the end of (or for at least a period during) the Robert Stack-run (and I have no idea what it is today).


So where am I going with all of this? Well, I actually kept a copy of that Unsolved Miseries parody, although it is in one of the folders that I boxed up and sent to my uncle in New Jersey just before I left D.C. and moved here to Miami Beach. I kept it all those years because I thought it was hilarious.


A few days ago, randomly Googling "Unsolved Miseries," I found an electronic version of it on a Reddit page. And so, without further ado, here is that electronic version of that long-ago parody. Since the panels aren't readily, I have reworked each of the panel "segments" with the purpose of making them larger and hence more legible.

One last point before I post the associated images: Keep in mind that like most MAD parodies, it can be brutal in its mockery of people, but it was shaped in another time.

Pg. 1 - Full

Page 1 - Top Banner

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Pg. 1 - Intro Text and Picture

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Pg. 1 - Intro Text - closeup

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Pg. 2 - Full

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Pg. 2 - Pamela Chinstrap, missing socks in laundry

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Pg. 2 - Gus Shimkin, naked daughter, '84 Buick

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Pg. 3 - Full

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Pg. 3 - Danny Danielson, Jehovah's Witnesses

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Pg. 3 - Hy Neck, Trump U, and Bob Bertolini

Yes, Donald Trump via his Trump University even gets mentioned in this nearly 31-year old magazine parody.

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Pg. 3 - Closing Panel

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And on that note, I will end this entry. My next planned posting won't be until the weekend.

--Regulus

Friday, January 7, 2022

Friday Night Creature Feature: Rainy Weather, Yes, Yachting With Rich People, Of Course Not; Branch Covidian Baudrillardian Hyperreality Mixed with Supreme Stupidity; & Democrat Deep State Totalitarians Achieve Their Inner Cheney

An undated picture I found online of a rainy evening in Milan, Italy

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Friday night, intermittently rainy, warm, and humid.

It was another wasted day in terms of trying to be productive work-wise.

About that, I am probably going to have to take a full week (maybe longer) break from blogging because I desperately need to catch up on some work. I've been in a low-productivity rut for about three weeks.


This picture and the next three that follow were taken by a coworker friend in her backyard somewhere in Silver Spring on Jan 3, 2022. More on the "DMV" snow this week a bit below.

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I continue to feel unwell with persistent low-to-medium grade cloudy-headed-like headaches (not to mention those infrequent aural migraines). Added to this are those weird "mini-strokes" inside my head that always raise the specter of a fatal brain aneurysm.


Despite my non-productivity, I am spending too much time in front of a computer in a small, darkened, air conditioned room. It really is dramatic when I go outside and the sudden bright Miami Beach daylight really makes me feel cloudy-headed.

Also, thanks to all the air conditioning plus a fan at night, I also have an occasional feeling of dust or some other irritant going into my throad and making me cough.


As for today, I was supposed to go out on a big, fancy yacht with this wealthy couple -- an American and his much younger second wife from Southeast Asia -- I know down here. They are one of those couples you meet in the South Pointe area of Miami Beach with money who have migrated down here recently, if not specifically as a Covid refuge into the Free State of Florida, then just because of the tropical climate.

They had taken me out to eat on Christmas Day, and I was going to take the husband for an after-dinner drink. However, I discovered I didn't have my wallet, and I freaked out, thinking I had lost it at Call Me Gabi. It turned out I left it home in my apartment. Anyway, that ruined the night -- and the husband ended up paying for that, too. Not that he couldn't afford it.

They really are wealthy with diamonds and quarter million dollar watches.


About the Covid refugees and the dramatic change it has made to Florida's voter registration roles in just about 21 months, I direct you to this article in PJ Media [link embedded]: 'Jaw-Dropping' Gains for GOP in Florida as COVID Refugees Register RED.


Above is an infographic containing the key takeaways to include the massive shift toward Republicans in statewide voter registration from a +288,635 or 2.10% Democrat advantage to +37,863 or +0.26% Republican advantage. While the Republican percentage increases only from 35.28% to 35.86%, the Democrat one plunges from 37.38% to 35.59%. These are enormous changes for a jurisdiction the size of the State of Florida with its estimated 21.8 million (legal) people in less than two years.

I'm counted among one of those +R numbers.

View from the top floor of this apartment building looking to the southwest in a heavy rain shower, Miami Beach, Fla., 3:52 p.m., January 7, 2021

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Anyway, the yacht outing was supposed to be with them and the husband's first family, who are visiting. But when I texted yesterday -- after not having seen or heard from them since Christmas -- I just got a curt and garbled response something had come up. So, that was that.

Chris T. in Atlanta said I am reading too much into it and should wait until they are in the proper state of mind (never mind how) for a reinvite. However, I have since deleted their number and the entire text thread. Having said that, I will admit that I wouldn't take me out on a yacht, either. And I simply cannot hold up a normal conversation -- to say nothing of a friendship -- as the odd middle-aged gay man out in a straight married couple, especially one like that.


But the drenching convective showers -- they weren't quite thunderstorms -- that developed may have ruined the afternoon boat outing anyway. Should I feel badly for them??

And that brings me to the weather ... It was a warm and humid day under mostly cloudy skies with heavy convective showers earlier this aftenroon right over the Miami Beach area and adjacent ocean waters with the cells forming overhead and moving west-to-east. As of 8 p.m. at KMIA, it is 75F with a 69F dew point with some scattered showers.

KAMX radar image looped 1944 - 2047 UTC 07 January 2022

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The weather has been quite dry for the past month, but it seems to be shifting into a wetter pattern.

The stormy weather is due to a cold front attempting to clear the peninsula, but it is forecasted to stall in east-west elongated fashion from the "GoMex" along the Florida Straits and into the Bahamas.


An Arctic high to the north moving into the western Atlantic will set up a strong pressure gradient with breezy / gusty easterly to northeasterly conditions for several days. This will be reenforced by yet another weak frontal passage that washes out again in the Straits of Florida.

I actually like that.

There will also be a chance of showers each day with moisture in place from the fronts.

NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra satellite view of the Mid-Atlantic region showing the snow cover the day after the snowfall event of January 3, 2021

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Of note, it snowed again back in the D.C. area. The snowfall on Jan 3rd and last night / this morning were the first measurable snowfall of the season at the three main airport ASOS stations -- known in their ICAO codes as KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD (but for airport travelers under the IATA code, DCA, BWI, and IAD). The Jan 3rd totals were:

KDCA: 6.9"
KBWI: 6.8"
KIAD: 3.9"

The snowfall totals for today were as follows (with the seasonal totals in parentheses):

KDCA: 2.6" (9.5")
KBWI: 3.0" (9.8")
KIAD: 4.0" (7.9")

The Branch Covidian monomaniacal hysteria that has engulfed the "DMV" combined with the snowfall have resulted in in-person schools closed and locked down for four days now -- including yesterday highs in the D.C. area were around 44F and roadways were clear and even dry.

Above and below: An image from this morning that my mom sent me from her apartment near Easton, Maryland.


This is very much in keeping with that Baudrillardian "hyperreality" that -- combined with suffocating WOKENESS via a demented top-down driven Maoist Cultural Revolution -- are causing the self-destruction of those places.

About the Twitter-based Covid casedemic hysteria, it continues to climb into new absurdist heights as the Testing Industrial Complex reaches its Omicron Orgiastic Climax over the next one to two weeks with three-quarters of a million new and wholly meaningless "cases" per day out of about 2.5M tests per day.


By the way, SCOTUS earlier today heard three hours of oral arguments on one of the Biden Regime's vaccination edicts -- that for all businesses with 100 or more people -- using an absurd OSHA pretext.

The arguments were actually broadcast in audio, and the real shocker is that Justice Sonia "Wise Latina (Latinx?)" Sotomayor is a shockingly stupid woman, and quite possibly just a whack-job, who lives in an epistemically closed Leftwing Big Media misinformation bubble and hence has numerous basic facts about the "Omicron variant" completely wrong.


Here is what Jordan Schachtel had to say [link embedded]: Aiding Biden's attack on American rights, Supreme Court justices peddle endless streams of COVID misinformation. Below is an image from that article.


But it also turns out that Justice Stephen Breyer is a Branch Covidian hysteric who -- two years into this shit show -- gets basic facts all wrong and can even assert such Alice-in-Wonderland things such as:

The OSHA mandate will prevent 100% of all daily Covid transmissions ....

...and 750 million people contracted Covid yesterday in the United States, which is only three orders of magnitude and more than twice the entire U.S. population off.

At this point, the decision will come down to the usual ideological split -- and and depending Justice Amy Coney Barret, the likely 5-4 since Chief Justice John Roberts is functionally now a Deep State Liberal.


Directly above and below are few Phil Kerpen tweets and retweets on the matter.



It’s been clear for a while now that you have five conservative Supreme Court justices, one left-leaning squish, two liberals, and one absolute nutjob. That’s not to say that Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan aren’t also incredibly terrible at their jobs, but it is to say that Sonia Sotomayor is in a class by herself.


Meanwhile, in all the other post-democratic Western societies, the Branch Covidian monomania continues to morph steadily into an outright biosecurity (biofascist?) police state centered on Chinese-style authoritarian, if not outright totalitarian, mandates for the wholly ineffectual vaccines and an ever-shifting array of arbitrary, capricious, vindictive, and wildly counterproductive "NPIs" to include lockdowns, capacity restrictions, internal movement passports.

Bluntly stated, countries such as Australia, Austria, Germany, and even a Canadian province such as Quebec are only two to three steps away from simply exterminating "The Unvaxxed" for the sake of "The Science" (TM).


As for Australia with its Covid concentration camps, it is presently holding world tennis champion Novak Djokovic as a hostage in some filthy and squalid location because he went to Melbourne to play in the Australian Open unvaxxed while attempting to get an exemption to the country's Covid-Kafka theatre. While I realize this is more a fuction of the totalitarian state government of Victoria, it bears stating the obvious: Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison really is a POS.

Australia is a lost society that will soon be just a Chinese military province along with its little ass-hat satellite nation just outside Sydney Harbour known as Nu XiLand.


Oh, and FWIW, Australia's "Zero Covid" policy is a more farcical and catastrophic failure each day that passes (see image directly above). But that's exactly why the ruling classes and their bureaucratic managerial class double, triple, and quadruple down on them. Remember that.

As a final point on Covid Monomania and what now looks like negative vaccine efficacy vis-a-vis the Omicron variant (something Alex Berenson has noted with data from Denmark, the UK, and Ontario), I want to post three links to three pieces by the Substack writer Eugyppius.

Among the non-paywalled pieces with links embedded:


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The title notwithstanding, this follow up piece to the first one is a philosophical treatment of why and how we have the open-ended Covid hysteria of governments through their mid-level managerial class bureaucracy and the "para-religious" support of the upper middle class professional classes.

The result is what Eugyppius terms a "semi-stable international ideological consensus driving containment" configuration. Bottom line: This is going to go on for a number of years to come -- I would say probably through the 2020s.


And as for the vaccines' now-obvious negative efficacy with respect to Omicron: With Omicron: Negative Efficacy Like Never Before.


OK, I was going to have an entry dedicated to what Gov Ron DeSantis accurately called the "Charlie Foxtrot" (clusterfuck) of the Ruling Class's "January 6th Insurrection One-Year Anniversary" commemoration shit-show. But it's waaay too much -- and I'm spending too much time in the glare of this computer and it is giving me a migraine (see above for health comments).


Instead, I'll just post some in links in between the transcript in three image files of what Gov DeSantis said (seemingly off-the-cuff) at a press conference yesterday:

I will note the tweet from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on what a hateful, vindicative, all-around ass-holey speech Biden gave at the Capitol yesterday. He did so with the hateful cackling harpy along side him to give her deeply inauthentic and not-genuine but intead always-inappropriate remarks.


About Sleepy, Drooly Joe Biden, here is a good quote from a far leftwing perspective about the odds of him being primaried from the Left if he even thinks about running for reelection in his dementia-addled state:

He’s deeply unpopular. He’s old as shit. He’s largely been ineffective unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms.

People will smell opportunity, and D.C. is filled with people who want to be president.

-- Corbin Trent, co-founder of No Excuses PAC and former communications director for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), via Fox News (remember to double click on the URL bar to get around the "You Don't Have Permission" page).





Above: This headline tonight from Yahoo News -- which I try avoid like the plague -- is extraordinary: It explicitly features GOOD NEWS about Covid in the context of Omicron rather than the usual 24/7/365 screaming and societally destructive fear porn of the past two years.

Somethings up.

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Alex Berenson, his Substack site: On Jan. 6, a warning to my fellow journalists



Above: Fox News headline regarding a critically important change that New York has made to its Covid hospitalization reporting system.

Below: About those hospitalizations, surprise but no surprise, it turns out that only half the hospitalizations in New York City are "from Covid" versus people who checked in for whatever reason and happened to test positive "with Covid."


And here is an intense and disturbing piece by Matt Taibbi from his Substack site entitled "A Tale of Two Authoritarians" that explains why the Democrats now love Dick Cheney, whose undead carcass made an appearance at the Capitol yesterday.

Here is a short excerpt from the piece with key points -- broken up by images of Jesse Kelly's January 6th-related tweet thread.


Cheney’s reappearance and the outpouring of loony commentary describing 1/6 as a “coup” or an “insurrection” (instead of something closer to the American version of a soccer riot) are related.


The types of policies that Cheney instituted relied upon the idea that government was capable of making unassailable decisions about, say, who was a real terrorist and who was just a taxi driver or a small-town cop in Yemen.


He was successful in taking the courts out of the business of reviewing the detention of human beings because he argued that when it came to terrorism, our “professionals” didn’t make those errors.


Cheney’s idea of justice was the same kind of insane authoritarian whack-off fantasy as the “surgical strike,” only even more dangerous because it had wider potential applications.


“Professionals” do make errors, about everything from terrorists to viruses. In fact, a fair number of the people seeking this enhanced authority are dumber than average. You don’t have to like Donald Trump to recognize the dire threat represented by a clique of mediocrities with just enough brains to use their offices to organize the criminalization of their opposition.


Cheney's appearance and having Democrats thunderously cheer him is like having Satan himself show up at the Holy Eucharist part of an Easter service -- the journey into Pure Evil complete and the "Christian pilgrims" (and their spiritual leaders) now just part of the demonic hordes of Pandemonium.

OK, on that note, I'm going to wrap up this entry. For the weekend, I want to try to be outside a fair amount. And as I said at the outset, my next entry probably won't be for at least full week.

The coconut palms in the outdoor deck area of The Savoy Hotel & Beach Club, 12:29 p.m., December 29, 2021

This isn't exactly the same picture as the lead in the previous entry.

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What's more, my friend Mike G and his younger son are visiting Miami Beach next Sunday through Tuesday, and that may also limit blogging. I'm also hoping that Chris T visits later this month.

--Regulus