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Reeder: RIP Betty Lynn

October 21, 2021

I’m sad to report that on Saturday, actress Betty Lynn died at 95. She passed away peacefully in her sleep. Beloved as Barney Fife’s girlfriend Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” her death leaves Ron Howard as the last surviving major cast member of that classic show.

While she was most famous as Thelma Lou, she had a long acting career, stretching from movie roles as a teenager alongside such stars as Bette Davis and Maureen O’Hara to many TV roles (do you remember her as Andy Griffith’s secretary in the first season of “Matlock”?)

TV writer/blogger Mark Evanier was very close to Betty, having grown up next door to her. He wrote, “You never met a sweeter, kinder human being than Betty Lynn.” She was like an aunt to him, so his blog has many posts about her life and his memories of her. This is a great example from his childhood of just how nice and caring she was:

https://www.newsfromme.com/2021/10/12/a-story-youll-like-2-2/

Here’s his link to what he thinks is the best obituary, put out by the Andy Griffith Museum in his hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina:

https://www.newsfromme.com/2021/10/17/all-about-betty/

She loved Mayberry fans and was known for attending fan fests and conventions. Fans would line up around the block for a photo and autograph, and she often remembered their names and asked about their family members by name, even if she’d only met them once, years before. Her love of Mayberry and what it stood for led her to retire to the closest thing to the TV town, Mt. Airy, where she became a beloved local celebrity and appeared regularly at the Andy Griffith Museum to greet fans and pose for photos.

I know you depend on me to tell you things that most obituaries won’t mention. So here's one from Mark Evanier: “She was deeply religious and apart from acting, the only profession she had ever contemplated was to become a nun.”

Also, Don Knotts left the show after five seasons, and so did she, since she believed Thelma Lou and Barney belonged together. But Knotts returned for a later episode about a reunion dance where Barney is distraught when Thelma Lou arrives with her new husband. Betty was so upset at the writers when she saw the script that she said the only way she could get through it was by telling herself that Thelma Lou was only pretending that a platonic male friend was her husband to save face. Personally, I tell myself that, too, when I watch it.

Fortunately, that misstep was rectified in the 1986 made-for-TV movie “Return to Mayberry,” where Barney and Thelma Lou finally got married. As God intended!

Rest in peace to a fine actress and a wonderful lady who will continue winning new generations of fans far into the future, especially with so many of us looking at the sorry state of the modern world and wishing we could “return to Mayberry.”

The death of Colin Powell

October 20, 2021

One of the most depressing aspects of modern politics is the way that people see the death of a fellow human being not as a time to set politics aside and show respect but as an opportunity to score cheap political points. This ranges from the sewer scum level of Twitter trolls gleefully celebrating a political opponents’ death to sanctimonious attempts to utilize the deceased as a weapon to attack others.

There’s been a lot of the latter around the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Probably the slimiest, not surprisingly, came from CNN’s Chris Cilizza, who used Powell’s death to smear the entire Republican Party. He wrote an article called “The Colin Powell Republican No Longer Exists.” But if the point is that Powell was a moderate who rejected “extremism,” then I could just as easily write an article called “The Colin Powell Democrat No Longer Exists.”

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-chris-cillizza-colin-powell-death-lecture-republicans

Powell obviously had his personal reasons for starting to vote for Democrats (which he did with Obama, long before Trump entered politics.) I can disagree with that decision without attacking him or millions of others, but that’s beyond some people.

Naturally, there was also sniping back and forth over the big topic of the day, since Powell was fully vaccinated but it was initially reported that he’d died of complications from COVID-19. Everyone was trying to score points over that, pro- or anti-vaccination. In fact, his vaccination status was irrelevant. Powell was 84 and suffered from several conditions that make people more vulnerable to COVID even if they are vaccinated, including a form of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. A study found that 55% of sufferers fail to fully respond to vaccination because of their limited ability to produce antibodies.

There are many tributes to Gen. Powell online and there are many criticisms. You don’t need me to point them out to you. But I will link to this column by Kurt Schichter, who is also a military veteran. While not a Powell fan, he recognizes his accomplishments, balances his praise and criticism, and does a good job of explaining why Powell might have moved from Republican to Democrat, and why it had to do with his own personal viewpoint and larger changes in government and the culture rather than tens of millions of Republicans being horrible people.

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2021/10/19/colin-powell-and-the-crisis-of-the-boomer-elite-n2597632

UPDATE:

I’m disappointed that former President Trump used the occasion of General Powell’s death to air grievances he had with General Powell. There are times, when it’s best not to say anything than to say something that is harsh, especially when the target of the comments is deceased. Even if you’re a former President.

Democrats keep pointing to polls showing that a majority of Americans support their $3.5 trillion spending orgy bill. But the same polls show that most Americans don’t actually know what’s in it. We’ve tried to correct that here by pointing to several stories that detail some of the horrors within, like this:

https://banks.house.gov/uploadedfiles/final_reconciliation_.pdf

But today, let’s take a look at two very specific things that would directly affect most of you if that monstrosity passes. For instance, it would greatly expand the size, powers and reach of the IRS. Democrats claim that’s just to make the rich and corporations pay their “fair share,” so why does it allow them to snoop into every bank account with at least $600 in it?

And here’s something they haven’t told you: The IRS is most likely to audit people who have income that isn’t reported or that doesn’t match what’s in their bank accounts. The people that most closely describes are the working poor, such as handymen, bartenders and wait staff. According to journalist Saager Enjeti of the “Breaking Points” podcast, under this bill, the IRS would be THREE TIMES more likely to audit someone making less than $25,000 than someone in the top 1% of earners.

https://www.westernjournal.com/bidens-irs-plan-working-class-americans-3-times-likely-audited-rich-elites/

As the linked article points out, it’s not just the threat of audits that should worry you but also the intrusive nature of IRS snooping, allowing the government to see every purchase and donation, and potentially use that information to try to categorize and intimidate you into behaving the way they want you to (Think that’s hyperbole? Do you not want to get vaccinated? How’s that working out?)

Also hidden in the dense verbiage of that giant bill are various measures to vastly enrich and empower the labor unions that make up one of the Democrats’ biggest support groups. This is inspired by California’s disastrous AB-5 law that just about killed the gig/freelance/contract worker economy.

That doesn’t just harm people who prefer working freelance, from Uber drivers to people who work at home via the Internet. Derek Hunter at Townhall.com has a column about how tragically unqualified Pete Buttigieg is to be Transportation Secretary, and at one of the few times that job is vital, during the supply chain crisis.

https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2021/10/19/secretary-mayor-pete-is-a-disaster-n2597631

In it, he makes the point that Biden’s order to unload cargo 24/7 at the L.A. port is pointless because there aren’t enough truckers to take it anywhere, because AB-5 outlawed independent contractors, which were most of the state’s truckers.

https://www.westernjournal.com/dumb-idea-trucking-industry-reportedly-no-confidence-bidens-plan-solve-shipping-crisis/

In short, one of the big reasons why we’re facing potential empty store shelves is the idiotic leftwing law passed by California that the Democrats want to take nationwide via their $3.5 trillion socialist utopia wish list bill.

Will “free government-paid day care” really seem all that attractive when you don’t need day care anymore because your job was eliminated?

More video from the January 6th Capitol protest has been released, and as with the first video that the government tried to suppress, it doesn’t exactly support the claim that this was a violent insurrection. The new video appears to show someone opening a door, people walking inside, and police standing aside and letting them come in. If they were “forcing their way in,” they don’t appear to be aware of it.

https://redstate.com/bonchie/2021/10/18/new-january-6th-surveillance-footage-further-calls-into-question-the-entire-january-6th-narrative-n458811

If the House Democrats are having trouble finding actual footage of violent rioters attacking police, I know where they can get some. Unfortunately, it wasn’t taken in the Capitol on January 6th.

In a related story, former President Trump is suing the Congressional committee “investigating” the January 6th Capitol riot to block them from obtaining White House records that he says are protected by executive privilege.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2021/10/19/trump-sues-january-6-committee-to-block-release-of-records-related-to-capitol-riot-n1524990

The Democrats claim that those records might prove that Trump was talking to aids about planning a violent insurrection, which is ridiculous on the face of it. It’s more likely just a fishing expedition to try to find anything to accuse Trump of. Trump asked Biden to respect his executive privilege and refuse to comply, but of course, Biden said no because “TRUUUUUUMP!!!!”

This led some legal scholars to warn the Biden White House that they’re making a serious mistake. There isn’t likely to be anything in those records that will show Trump plotting an insurrection, but the fact that Biden failed to stand up for executive privilege could set a precedent that makes it harder to assert for future Presidents, as well as for himself if Republicans win Congress in 2022 and start launching investigations into the Biden White House.

But then, planning ahead and thinking about longterm consequences aren’t proving to be this Administration’s strong suits.

Inconceivable

October 20, 2021

The literary world in Spain is in chaos and feminists are up in arms after acclaimed female thriller novelist Carmen Mota won a prestigious book award – and the three men who secretly write under that pseudonym came up and accepted it!

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/17/europe/spanish-female-writer-revealed-intl-scli/index.html

They had created an entire backstory for her, done interviews as her, and “her” works had even been included in selections of feminist writings.

It’s interesting that they’re being greeted with such anger and accused of being frauds and scammers. I thought that if a man identified as a woman, that made him (sorry, her) a woman. Obviously, these three guys are extremely good at identifying as a woman. And if their books are good enough to win awards, what difference does it make who wrote them? In fact, if we can be anything we "identify" as, then doesn't that negate the entire concept of identity politics?

Recently, we’ve seen controversies in the US in which authors had contracts cancelled because they weren’t the same ethnicity as their main character, as if the job of novelist (which requires using your imagination to see life through other people’s eyes) can only be performed by someone exactly like the book's protagonist. Returning a book because you find out the author isn’t exactly who you thought is like when people loved Milli Vanilli’s album until they found out the guys on the cover didn’t really sing on it, then they demanded refunds. Did the music in the grooves somehow change for the worse? And are these award-winning books now bad just because they were written by three men instead of one woman?

Next thing you know, someone will be telling me that Mark Twain wasn’t Samuel Clemons’ real name!