Belated postcards.

And now we have returned. It was a nice trip, a too-short trip, but we’re back, and I guess I’m as happy as one can be, when one has returned from a warm, light-filled climate to a cold, dark one. Not that the weather was perfect when we were there. It was warm, but overcast, and when it was sunny, it was chilly. “Chilly” is a relative term, of course; say… 64 degrees.

In Key West, you can spot the locals because they’re the ones wearing down puffer jackets when it’s 64 degrees.

They also ride bikes everywhere. The last time I was there, literally 40 years ago, it was more of a ramshackle place, and there were cars and parking spaces to go with them. Now the big money has flowed in, and money changes, and ruins, everything. Not that Key West is ruined, but it’s definitely a richer place now. There’s far less parking. And here’s the big thing: Everyone locks their bikes now. I don’t remember this from 1980. The bikes were crap — single-speed things that didn’t even have handlebar grips, half the time. They’re not much better now. But you still better lock it up.

Mostly, it was nice to get away. I know it was irresponsible, but it was as responsible as travel can be now, I guess: Tested negative ahead of time, masked through the entire airport/flight, drove down in a car, stayed in a condo, masked here there and everywhere, etc. Alan got his day of flats fishing, I did some reading, it was fine and fun.

Of course I told myself I was going to try to unplug from the news for a while. Of course this was impossible, after Wednesday. About which I have little to add, except that I’m so glad this horrible era is ending, kinda. More or less. A new chapter, anyway.

How about some pictures?

Here’s a Hemingway cat, displaying what makes him special.

Chicken in a tree:

The line — yes, the line — to take a picture at the Southernmost Point:

Two final notes before the weekend arrives: Let’s keep the best thoughts, the best prayers, for Dexter’s wife, who is in intensive care with Covid. We wish her the very best.

Finally, a history of the Trump era through stories about toilets. Yes:

From the very beginning, the First Couple experienced the White House primarily as a place with dissatisfactory facilities for depositing their bodily waste. Melania delayed her move into the residence, former senior adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff revealed, because she “didn’t want to move to the White House right away in part because she didn’t want to have to use the same shower and toilet as former first lady Michelle Obama.”

The president soon began to take pride in the elegant appearance of the White House lavatories. Trump “has an odd affinity for showing off bathrooms, including one he renovated near the Oval Office,” reported the Times in 2017.

What wonderful people.

Posted at 8:57 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

74 responses to “Belated postcards.”

  1. David C said on January 14, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    God, I can’t wait to see photos of tRump’s Oval Office shitter. Tacky as the man himself and probably not the best transition to the stainless steel toilet/sink combo in his future accommodations.

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  2. Mark P said on January 14, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    That enchanted evening, they saw each other across a crowded room. He slowly approached her. She looked down shyly, trying to see which pocket he kept his wallet in. He said hesitantly, “I saw you and I wanted to grab your …”

    “I know,” she said. She giggled like a little girl. “But your hands were …”

    “Yes,” he said. “Too small.”

    He leaned towards her, bumping her with his stomach, and whispered into her ear. “You’re … you’re …” He couldn’t finish. “I’m …” He was giddy with hope.

    “Yes,” she said huskily. “Me, too.”

    “You’re a …” He dared not hope.

    She melted into his arms. “Yes, my darling.” She wanted to shout it to the room. “I’m a racist!”

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  3. Ann said on January 14, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Best wishes to Dexter’s wife. It’s hard to imagine that there is news that’s pushed Covid-19 off the front pages, but here we are.

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  4. beb said on January 15, 2021 at 12:45 am

    Welcome back.

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  5. Deborah said on January 15, 2021 at 5:04 am

    So did the Key Westers wear masks? Did you have any good food? Isn’t this fresh shrimp season?

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    • nancy said on January 15, 2021 at 8:11 am

      Yes. There’s a masks-everywhere order in effect now. Every store and indoor space, needless to say, but also outdoors. You won’t get stopped if you’re walking down a deserted residential street with your mask around your chin, but on Duval Street, which is almost always crowded, the foot-patrolling police were enforcing it.

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  6. alex said on January 15, 2021 at 7:47 am

    I learned about fresh shrimp season during a January vacay in Flalaland one year. Went to a seafood place in some harbor where there were shrimp boats, expecting to be served the freshest catch anywhere, but our server disabused us. She said none of it is served fresh anywhere anymore. It’s all flash-frozen and shipped and processed in far-away states and then comes back to the Florida coastline the same way it arrives to any other merchant in the entire U.S.

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  7. Alan Stamm said on January 15, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Trump bathrooms nonsense, you say? But wait, there’s more this week.

    Instructed not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house, the Secret Service detail assigned to President Trump’s daughter [Ivanka] and son-in-law spent months searching for a reliable restroom to use on the job, according to neighbors and law enforcement officials. After resorting to a porta-potty, as well as bathrooms at the nearby home of former president Barack Obama and the not-so-nearby residence of Vice President Pence, the agents finally found a toilet to call their own.

    “But it came at a cost to U.S. taxpayers. Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date — to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbor of the Kushner family.”Washington Post yesterday |

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  8. Suzanne said on January 15, 2021 at 9:19 am

    So this was posted on Facebook yesterday by a woman who owns a business in my area:

    “How interesting is this!!
    read this history lesson……..This was sent to me form a very reliable person in Washington
    POTUS Trump will NOT be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th. POTUS Trump WILL be sworn in as the 19th president of the United States of America on March 4th.
    Allow me to explain . . .
    You believe you live in a nation called the United States of America. That nation has not functioned or been operational since 1871 when this country became, additionally, a corporation owned by the City of London (every time you see an American flag with gold fringe and gold tassels attached to it, it represents The Corporation and NOT the country).
    This is the reason that you can never seem to get ahead financially. This is why the law seems to always be stacked against the average citizen while the wealthy and elite literally get away with murder or worse.
    If Biden, Harris, Pence, Pelosi, etc. are arrested for their crimes before the 20th of January, there will be nobody to assume the presidency.
    Since POTUS Trump was not certified as the presidential winner by Congress, he cannot remain POTUS.
    If on the 20th of January, there is no POTUS, the corporation known as The United States of America WILL BE DISSOLVED.
    Our military will be The Guardians of The Nation during this transition period.
    The American People and The World will be shown irrefutable proof that the election was stolen by foreign entities and the POTUS Trump was chosen by The American People by a landslide.
    POTUS Trump will then assume The Presidency as the 19th POTUS following the last POTUS elected before America became a corporation, Ulysses S. Grant.
    Now, I don’t know all the particulars involved, however I do know the end goal has always been the destruction of the 1871 corporation and the return of The Republic, America, to We The People as the constitutional republic it was originally founded to be.
    The following six weeks are going to be chaotic. Be certain to have plenty of food, water, and candles. You may be shut down for a time. Comply with the National Guard and the United States Marine Corps. They are here to help. They have sworn an oath to The Nation, not the corporation founded by the Act of 1871.
    Be Vigilant. Pray. Your nation is depending upon you. Your nation is about to be returned to you.”

    So, yeah. We are supposed to engage in meaningful conversation with someone like this??

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  9. Julie Robinson said on January 15, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Alan, you beat me to it. I was shocked but not surprised to read that Princess Barbie wouldn’t allow the agents to use her bathrooms. Goodness, with six, they could have designated one as just for agents. They don’t even have six people in their family. Somehow the two of us are limping along with one tiny bathroom. Sometimes one of us has to wait. It’s not the end of the world.

    Are the Hemingway cats still feral? That adorable kitty has beautiful fur and looks well cared for. I want to pick him up and snuggle him.

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  10. basset said on January 15, 2021 at 10:42 am

    A “corporation owned by the City of London”? That woman is insane.

    Freshest shrimp we ever had was in Port Aransas, Texas – went to the docks and met a shrimp boat coming in. Been a few years, though.

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  11. Linda said on January 15, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Hey Suzanne @8 you know what’s really crazy? When none of that happens, she will shift her beliefs to another crazy theory, but not to reality.

    So sorry for Dexter’s wife. Praying for her.

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  12. Andrea said on January 15, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Best wishes for a speedy return to health for Dexter’s wife.

    And wow, Suzanne. That is batshit cray-cray stuff right there. But there is no way to connect with people who believe that stuff — right up there with the end times people, etc. Sadly, there is a disinformation and conspiracy industrial complex out there dedicated to creating and amplifying this bullshirt and gullible fools born every day who want to believe it.

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  13. Mouse said on January 15, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Got a guy that goes out all night Friday and nets shrimp. Saturday morning he parks along the road about a 1/4 mile from my house in front of the KOA and set up shop out of the back of his pickup.$20 for an iced down 2 1/2 pound bag of boat run(unsized)shrimp.Fresh—you bet!!

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  14. LAMary said on January 15, 2021 at 11:51 am

    The Vanity Fair facebook posting about Ivanka’s toilet issue used a photo of her wearing that weird white elongated oval hat, sort on the side of her head. This of course got the discussion going about how much it looked like a maxipad, but one guy said it looked like a slice of turkey that was stuck to the ceiling had fallen on her head. I want to know what that guy’s life is like.

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  15. Deborah said on January 15, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    How do we “Unite” with people like Suzanne described? In Germany they found after Hitler that they needed to contain and isolate the citizens who still supported the nazi line. Keeping them off of social media (when they’re violent) is going to be important. How you keep the crazy off of social media is another story.

    The only thing I remember fondly and miss about growing up in Miami is fresh seafood. We used to go to a place called Bayfront Park to buy fish right off the boats. My dad’s favorite was red snapper, he liked to grill it. Also fresh shrimp, we’d put newspaper on the table, dump boiled shrimp on the newspaper and have at it, we took the shells off, left that on the newspaper, easy clean up, no plates or flatware, just used our fingers. I rarely order fish anymore it just doesn’t taste the way I remember it.

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  16. David C said on January 15, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    The owned by the City of London people are the same ones who think Liz Windsor is a shape shifting lizard person and a drug dealer. How does anyone hear that and say that sounds right?

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 15, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been hearing about the evils of Admiralty Law and the “true” meaning of gold-fringe on the United States flag for nigh unto two decades. And the Nephilim (in the phrase of the day on social media, “research it!”) have been thrown at me on earthworks tours about the same duration. The peak crazy, or what I pray is peak from last week, isn’t a sudden all new pile of bizarre but a bazaar that’s been open for business and growing in customer foot traffic steadily for some time. It just got empowered and powered-up in the last four years by an unscrupulous idiot who didn’t realize in many ways how much voltage he was messing with. That’s to excuse nothing, just that I’m thankful he’s shown no ability to really channel or make use of what he’s tapped into.

    The shock for me is that I’ve known a long, long time these views were a constant 10-15% background noise. To find they’ve crept up to 25-30%, plus another 5% crass opportunists riding shotgun, was something that I just didn’t see coming, and now I’m asking myself if it was denial, distraction, or if it really is a short-term bubble of new adherents who will move on to a new distraction . . . but the 10-15% certainly won’t be disappearing, even in the best case analysis.

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  18. LAMary said on January 15, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    We had a house out on the far north end of Long Island and between having lots of farmers as neighbors and an amazing variety of seafood in the by directly in front of the house we ate very well. Clams, scallops, bluefish, flounder, blackfish, striped bass, porgies, oysters, mussels. All right there and very abundant. Seasonal yes, but there was always something good in season. We had a bushel basket inside an inner tube with a rope tied to it. One of us would put on a swim mask and tie the other end of the rope to our swimsuit and get a half bushel of cherrystone clams in very short order. They were that abundant. Eat them on the porch with lemon and red horseradish. That no longer has any scallops at all. Warm water and over fishing. I hope the mussels and clams and oysters are still there. The lack of scallops made the NYT because that part of the island has become the place to be (the farms are all wineries or McMansions now).

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  19. Deborah said on January 15, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    This video is long but worth watching the whole thing. Two comedians from Brooklyn went to DC on Jan 6th expecting to make a comedy video, instead they ended up making a horror video. It’s very scary, terrifying actually. Very much in keeping with the current thread topic here of insane people in this country. Really insane is the only word.

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  20. Deborah said on January 15, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Be warned if you watch that video on you tube you may be subjected to a creepy ad first. You can skip the ad at some point and believe me, you will want to.

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  21. Sherri said on January 15, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Is anyone surprised that Dave Ramsey fires women who have premarital sex, but doesn’t fire men who who have extramarital affairs? Will anybody be surprised when news breaks of Dave Ramsey’s sexual misbehavior?

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  22. Mouse said on January 15, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    LAMary the Gulf fisheries are going to hell too.Bad water, over fishing,too many damn people ,stupid restrictions,etc. Pine Island where I live was a fishing village for many generations back but most of the families have been driven out of the business.Small guys don’t have a chance anymore.Not being an East coaster,I never realized Long Island being like that,sounds like a great place to grow up!

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  23. Mark P said on January 15, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    I have never liked Dave Ramsey’s religiosity and self righteousness. Now I find out he’s actually evil. The article makes a convincing case that his business is a cult.

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  24. Jim said on January 15, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Jeff (the mild): the idea of Nephilim for most of social media is likely more influenced by popular shows and books, including Magic the Card game.

    From Wikipedia:

    The name and idea of Nephilim, like many other religious concepts, is sometimes used in popular culture. Examples include the gothic rock band Fields of the Nephilim, The Renquist Quartet novels by Mick Farren, The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Last Hours, The Dark Artifices and other books in The Shadowhunter Chronicles series by Cassandra Clare, the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick, and TV series The X-Files and Supernatural. In the video game series Darksiders, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are said to be nephilim, wherein the nephilim were created by the unholy union of angels and demons. The main characters of the game DmC: Devil May Cry (2013), a reboot of the popular original series Devil May Cry, Dante and Vergil, are also referred to as Nephilim; being the offspring of the demon Sparda and the angel Eva. In the trading card game Magic: The Gathering, the Nephilim are interpreted as Old Gods from before modern society.[56

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  25. Suzanne said on January 15, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    So today, I find myself in agreement with David Brooks. Or maybe he’s been woke and agrees with me.

    “One core feature of Trumpism is that it forces you to betray every other commitment you might have: to the truth, moral character, the Sermon on the Mount, conservative principles, the Constitution. In defeat, some people are finally not willing to sacrifice all else on Trump’s altar.

    The split we are seeing is not theological or philosophical. It’s a division between those who have become detached from reality and those who, however right wing, are still in the real world.”

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  26. Sherri said on January 15, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    White conservative evangelicals have never had a commitment to reality. Conspiracy theories have always found fertile ground there.

    I think people believe conspiracy theories because they are afraid, and white conservatives evangelicals are all about fear. They talk about the certainty of knowing where they will spend eternity, but the thing is, they’re never *really* sure they’re saved. They hear an endless stream of sermons about the importance of being saved, and every one ends with an invitation to walk down the aisle and be saved. Maybe I wasn’t really saved last time? Maybe I need to rededicate myself to the Lord? I saw so many people walk that aisle multiple times.

    I think they like that fear, or at least, get used to operating in fear, and don’t know how to operate any other way. They are afraid of everything. Conspiracy theories convince them they are right to be afraid.

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  27. Deborah said on January 15, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    I usually avoid David Brooks, I don’t like to give him clicks, but that was interesting, Suzanne. And I had never heard of Dave Ramsey until I read Sherri’s link about him. What a creep. It’s sad when people get caught up in cults. My husband’s younger daughter got caught up in one, an evangelical Joyce Meyers. My husband’s daughter who is bipolar, left her husband and child and moved to St. Louis where Meyer’s operation is. We’ve lost touch with her, it’s very sad, especially for my husband’s granddaughter.

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  28. Mark P said on January 15, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Dave Ramsey’s financial advice is not bad for people who don’t have any idea how to be responsible. Don’t buy a car you can’t afford. Pay off your debts, smallest to largest. Make a budget. But he dresses everything up in evangelical terms. Of course he has become very wealthy in the process, and he’s very satisfied with himself over that. He would have a hard time if Jesus came back and told him to give it all up and follow him. I think in his heart of hearts, he’s very glad Jesus is not coming back.

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  29. JodiP said on January 15, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    I had no idea Ramsey was an evangelical. In the early 2000s, I read a couple of his books and they were helpful getting me on the right financial track. If there had been any whiff of religiosity, I would have declined to read them.

    Well, signing off for the week to go skiing at a nearby golf course that is groomed for XC. Catch you all next week!

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  30. David C said on January 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    The thing with Brooks’s column is he pretty much ignores all tRump’s atrocities before last Wednesday. Everything was just swell when it was tax cuts for him and shitty judges. That he got down to his final straw on tRump’s final week is pretty damned convenient. Next Thursday, his strategic forgettery will kick in and he can start find/replace-ing Joe for Obama in his old columns and we’ll get to read “Why can’t Joe reach across the aisle and work with the Republicans”.

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  31. Sherri said on January 15, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    We’ve discussed Ramsey here before, but I think he’s a grifter. His basic financial advice isn’t bad, but it’s nothing you can’t find in a zillion places, either, and dressing it up in Christian terms gives him a ready made market of church members to sell to. Lots of Christians will buy anything from someone at church.

    (We had an issue with the buying stuff from people at church thing with my MIL, when someone at her church was trying to sell her long term care insurance. I don’t think he was trying to swindle her, but she also didn’t need the insurance.)

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  32. Deborah said on January 15, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I thought the NRA had filed for bankruptcy a while ago? Now they’re moving their operation from NY to TX. NY must be happy.

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  33. David C said on January 15, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    My aunt and uncle got themselves involved in a pyramid scheme through a church friend. Not a MLM pyramid scheme but a old-fashioned Ponzi type that was taken down by the Feds. They got in early so when it was unwound they had to pay back lots of money to the late arrivals. They still get wound up about it. He was a good Christian man and if the government hadn’t involved themselves he would have been fine, they say.

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  34. Julie Robinson said on January 15, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    The article about Dave Ramsey confirmed everything I thought and more. His classes were very popular at our church and we were urged to join, so I did some research. I agreed with many of his basic financial principles about living within your means, since we had learned those lessons early in our marriage.

    However, it seemed that getting into his system meant you were going to be bombarded with exhortations to use his “preferred services” for insurance, mortgages, even cleaners. These were supposedly good Christian companies that he had vetted, but several looked shady to me. Needless to say we never took any of his classes, and it’s been five or more years before they were offered at our church.

    But learning about his foul language, frequent use of threats, bragging about carrying a gun, and all the rest? He’s despicable.

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  35. Colleen said on January 15, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Suzanne at 8, that is truly bat.crap.crazy. I mean, do they even LISTEN to themselves? (Rhetorical question) How are we to reach an understanding with people who have no grip on reality?

    Ramsey sounds like a jerk. I’m not that surprised. We took a Ramsey course years ago…husband’s workplace offered it. Good fundamentals, but unnecessarily wrapped in God stuff. He always struck me as smug.

    Getting my second Covid shot tomorrow. My parents had their first shots last week. Maybe we will be able to visit in person soon. I haven’t seen them since March.

    Dexter, good thoughts coming your way. You all have really been through the wringer….

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  36. Sherri said on January 15, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    The Financial Peace University classes were regularly offered at my church, run by one couple. After the 2016 election, I was talking with this couple, whom I considered friends, and realized they were Trump supporters. They insisted that Trump wasn’t racist and that he treated women impeccably.

    I always knew they were more conservative than I was, but I never dreamed they could be okay with Trump. Not long after, I stopped going to church.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 15, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    The pics of the My Pillow guy going into the Oval Office today, who doesn’t realize just how good the resolution is these days on press cameras when it comes to reading your sheaf of notes you casually wave along the sidewalk, has brought a series of comments on social media with a common link which would certainly please Mr. David Simon, for whom no language alert is needed:

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  38. alex said on January 15, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Deborah, I’m surprised Joyce Meyer hasn’t been a topic here previously. Not that most of this audience watches tacky televangelists, but I’ve come across her more than a few times while channel flipping and became simply mesmerized by her schtick. She no doubt has lots of rubes sending her money.

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  39. Sherri said on January 15, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Jeff(mild), those same comments apply to the social media posts of the insurrectionests.

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  40. Sherri said on January 15, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    The message of white evangelicals: you’re chosen, you’re special, and you’re a victim.

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  41. Colleen said on January 15, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    This essay by Jon Pavlovitz really drew my interest:

    Essentially he is saying the right is full of big babies who, despite being comparatively spoiled and catered to all their lives are now seeing themselves as being put upon and under siege.

    Earlier this week I was listening to the podcast In The Thick, in which it was pointed out that these right wing nuts believe that every time a woman or person of a different ethnic group achieves something, they are taking the rightful place of the white male. The sense of entitlement is mind blowing.

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  42. alex said on January 16, 2021 at 3:38 am

    Big babies is right. When they call anyone a snowflake it’s projection. Didja see where the QAnon Shaman’s mommy tried to intervene with his jailers to make sure they cater to his arbitrary dietary preferences? He won’t touch anything that isn’t “organic.”

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  43. Dexter Friend said on January 16, 2021 at 4:54 am

    LA Mary, amazing that seafood was so abundant right there where you lived. I am a big fan of bluefish, pan-fried. I always order it whenever I am on the eastern seaboard if it’s on the menu. When we stayed with Lori’s family for 10 weeks in 2003, in a gated community near New Bern, NC, I made fast friends with the gatekeeper as he was at the recovery meetings in New Bern, by the Neuse River. He had just retired from the Sag Harbor village police department. He made it sound like a wonderful summer place. As far as climate change, it’s the middle of cold January, and in Sag Harbor, at the tip of Long Island, it is currently 46F.
    Keep the thoughts and prayers coming for Carla Lee. The staff at Mt. Carmel are doing a great job with monitoring her systems, her oxygen intake and everything possible. She is totally sedated as I understand with the ventilator keeping her alive. Of course I am barred from visiting because of policy, and the dispensation they give family for a short good-bye visit will be only for the daughters as I cannot enter because of co-morbidities , susceptible to Covid19. We as a family are holding together well as we can, though. Me as well; and grateful I am than I quit boozing 28 years ago or I likely would be a sodden mess by now.
    And then, oh yeah, law enforcement seems to be ready this time, all over the country for Wednesday. I just finished “Social Dilemma” on Netflix, so timely, as Social Media’s perils are discussed. The whole hour and a half was completely spellbinding. Must see TV.

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  44. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Coleen, that link was excellent. I find the entitlement staggering. I’ve been trying to find a way to comprehend how the insurrection could have happened and that article summed it up clearly. Entitled, misinformed people feeling aggrieved for no reason, being inflamed by a tyrant who knew he could manipulate them to do his bidding. And the entitled had no concept of the possible consequences of their actions. Entitlement.

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  45. David C said on January 16, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I heard a lawyer who has been involved in special diets for prisoner cases. He says they’re usually ended by the availability of ramen at the prison commissary.

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  46. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Sorry I spelled your name wrong Colleen. It always bugs me when people spell my name as Debra, I hate it when I do something like that to others.

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  47. diane said on January 16, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Here is a clip of Amanda Gorman from last April.
    I thought it was lovely and uplifting and am very happy that the Biden team has chosen her to be the poet at the Inauguration. The difference between how the Biden team does things and how the Trump team does things could give a person whiplash.

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  48. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    That link made me curious what poet Trump had read at his inauguration. Can you guess? None. Neither did W or HW, Reagan or Nixon. Obama had a gay Cuban American gentleman read at his first inauguration and that poem blew me away, I don’t remember who he had at his second. And I remember Clinton had Maya Angelou at one of his. So it must be a Democratic thing, I think it’s an excellent tradition.

    Correction: it was Obama’s second inauguration.

    Richard Blanco was the Cuban American guy, I just looked it up.

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  49. susan said on January 16, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Deborah @48 — And Robert Frost at JFK’s inaugural.

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  50. Sherri said on January 16, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    I’ll admit, I was pretty negative about Biden being the nominee, because his record did not inspire me to think he would do what would be needed. But almost everything he’s proposed is much bigger and bolder than anything I would have expected, and I’m hopeful.

    I’m still not optimistic that he’s going to be up for the structural changes that are needed, but it’s amazing to see the economic and climate plans he’s come out with. His appointments are good, and it’s hard for me to find much to complain about!

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  51. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Susan, I had forgotten that Robert Frost read at Kennedy’s inauguration. My husband also just reminded me that when Frost was reading his poem the sun got in his eyes and he couldn’t see clearly, so he started saying things extemporaneously but it was still beautiful. My husband said the tradition started with Kennedy, don’t know if that’s true.

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  52. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Ok, my husband was a bit wrong about Frost, this is what the Internet says: Robert Frost recited “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural. Frost recited the poem from memory after he was unable to read the text of the poem he’d written for the inauguration, “Dedication”, because of the sun’s glare upon the snow-covered ground. But my husband now says the words that Frost spoke were different than the poem “The Gift Outright” that had been published earlier. So my husband was sorta right about Frost being extemporaneous.

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  53. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    I could swear I put up a link to Richard Blanco’s Obama inauguration poem in my comment @48 but I don’t see it so I’ll try again there’s a video after the text of the poem of Blanco at the inauguration. I recommend you watch it and hear him read the poem himself.

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  54. diane said on January 16, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Sherri @50, I agree. Biden was practically my last choice (edged out by Tulsi Gabbard and maybe one or two others) back when we had two nights of stages full of Democratic candidates debating. I was still very bitter about the Anita Hill hearings and feeling just over moderate old white men but he is doing much more and better than I expected. I think he probably was the right choice after all for the Republic in the state it is in now.

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  55. LAMary said on January 16, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    W Bush appointed Billy Collins poet Laureate so I give him some points for that. This is a Billy Collins poem I like. It’s not deep. It’s one of his lighter works:

    Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House

    The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
    He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
    that he barks every time they leave the house.
    They must switch him on on their way out.

    The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
    I close all the windows in the house
    and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
    but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
    barking, barking, barking,

    and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
    his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
    had included a part for barking dog.

    When the record finally ends he is still barking,
    sitting there in the oboe section barking,
    his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
    entreating him with his baton

    while the other musicians listen in respectful
    silence to the famous barking dog solo,
    that endless coda that first established
    Beethoven as an innovative genius.

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  56. Sherri said on January 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    There’s nobody left who doesn’t loathe Ted Cruz.

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  57. Suzanne said on January 16, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    From a perusal of social media links to articles and a quick browse of several newspapers & blogs, it appears there is now a cottage industry of mea culpa opinion pieces similar to the David Brooks I posted. They mostly boil down to “I thought the Never Trumpers were hysterical fear mongers who just hated that a conservative beat Hillary. Boy, was I wrong!”

    I still can’t understand how people didn’t see this coming. And we are not out of the woods yet by any means.
    Read this & weep:

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  58. LAMary said on January 16, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Ted Cruz has held his place on the most punchable face list for a long time. He’s had some strong competition: Donny Jr., Jared the K, Stephen Miller. I’d add Mark Meadows based on his stupid grin in the video of Donny Jr and company from last week.

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  59. LAMary said on January 16, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Most of the versions of this video have edited out the part where Mark Meadows shows up. It’s got some great dancing from Kimberly Guilfoyle too. And Donny Jr. never fails to deliver.

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  60. dull_old_man said on January 16, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    My memory is that James Dickey read some of his poetry at Carter’s inauguration.

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  61. Sherri said on January 16, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    I don’t want to punch Stephen Miller in the face. I want to kick him in the balls. Is there a German word for that?

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  62. David C said on January 16, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    The Rs don’t much like poetry that doesn’t start “There once was…” or Casabianca for the sophisticates.

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  63. susan said on January 16, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Robert Frost reading The Gift Outrightat JFK’s 1961 inauguration. I remember watching that live, on teevee, and how tense I got seeing him stumble over the dedication to the poem.

    Those days are long gone….

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  64. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Susan, thanks for that link, that was moving. A kick in the nuts in German, Sherri.

    I read on Twitter that the United Church of Christ put out a warning that their churches may be targeted for violence in the next few days, for being “liberal”. Jeff (tmmo) isn’t that your denomination?

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  65. LAMary said on January 16, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    ein Tritt in die Eier means a kick in the balls (literally eggs in this phrase)

    Ich hau’ ihm eine in den Sack means I’m going to kick him in the nutsack.

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  66. Deborah said on January 16, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Watched “One Night in Miami” tonight, I recommend it.

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  67. Dexter Friend said on January 17, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Daughter Lori pulled some strings and made it to Carla Lee’s bedside. A decision was made to put her in the prone position for less lung stress. A Zoom call was set up for a chaplain to anoint her . Most of the family made the Zoom call. We all spoke words to her, although of course she is heavily sedated and breathing solely via the ventilator. Lori works with Covid19 patients daily back in Las Vegas; her assessment was that her mom was holding strongly as possible. Me…well, a shock rolled through my entire being at first sight of the area. It took me a couple minutes to talk after that, then I was OK. Daughter Sandi is flying up from Florida today in 11 hours. From general knowledge, we know what Catholic last rites are, and we were raised as Protestants, and I was led to believe that anointing a sick person was not utilized in quite so dramatic a turn…but a few hours ago, I wondered.

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  68. Deborah said on January 17, 2021 at 6:39 am

    I’m so glad Lori made it to her bedside, Dexter. So sorry this is happening to her and to you.

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  69. Julie Robinson said on January 17, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Dexter, what a horrible thing for you to go through. I think there’s a good chance Carla Lee didn’t receive last rites, but was annointed in a healing ritual (one of seven sacraments in the Catholic church). Hope that will be a bit of a comfort to you. My prayers continue.

    Just listened to the Will Shortz quiz on NPR this morning. The sharp as a tack player is 92, and they mentioned his birthday is Wednesday. How will he celebrate? “Watch the inauguration and cheer”.

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  70. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 17, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I’m UCC adjoining; they were part of my ordination, but I’m Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Directed church camps for the Ohio UCC for over a decade, and used to teach their history & polity along with the Disciples to conference groups and at the Methodist seminary down the road that serves most of Ohio’s mainline folk. So no, but yeah. Saw the notice; this am haven’t heard about any vandalism or actions against Ohio churches whether UCC or DoC, but it fits the QAnon template, so I see why there were worries.

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  71. Suzanne said on January 17, 2021 at 10:56 am

    This is quite enlightening:
    “QAnon grows on the wild misinterpretation of random data, presented in a suggestive fashion in a milieu designed to help the users come to the intended misunderstanding.”
    “This is not a loner on the internet that started dropping a few posts and suddenly went viral. I’ve met those people. I’ve been on those projects. It doesn’t happen like this.
    This is a media campaign. This is a coordinated propaganda campaign.”

    Dexter, sending as many good thoughts and prayers as possible. You and your family must be exhausted.

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  72. basset said on January 17, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    And the same from us.

    Already started forwarding that QAnon story around.

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  73. Dexter Friend said on January 18, 2021 at 1:45 am

    Daughter Sandi arrived from Florida and was allowed a visit with her mom, as Vanessa also was allowed in. No mention of a possibility of coming off the vent, as we wait. Can medical science and expertise pull her through, will it take a miracle? See, we just don’t know. The world is full of others like Carla Lee and families. Another FaceTime call from the hospital tonight. Basically, she’s the same as yesterday. Thanks for prayers and positivity.

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