Two traumatic TV moments for me as a kid. They involve GOOD TIMES and HAPPY DAYS. They are not my most traumatic. I'll write about the most traumatic one some other time -- maybe tomorrow.
GOOD TIMES was a sitcom about the Evans family. Florida and James had three kids: JJ, Michael and Thelma. They had a wacky next door neighbor Winona who would eventually take in the battered child Penny (played by a very young Janet Jackson). As the show went along, James would leave. John Amos is a great actor and the show felt it when he was gone. When I was older, I'd learn that he left because of conflicts with the storylines. I applaud him for the stand he took.
And then Florida left. Esther Rolle was important to the show. But for some reason, when she left, it was really hard for me. She died on the show. and I was heart broken. I didn't know if she decided to leave or what. I was watching the show in syndication, so there wasn't any ongoing news coverage and I didn't ask. James had already left so it just seemed like people on Good Times died. And maybe it was because it was the second death on the show or maybe because it was the mom that really hit me. I would've dropped the show if Penny hadn't come on. I liked Thelma and JJ and I thought I was Michael but the show just wasn't the same after Florida died.
Now for HAPPY DAYS. That truly was one of the worst shows in the world. And I watched. Religiously. I watched during the day adn I watched at night. (Daytime was syndicated reruns, night time was the new episodes.) I loved for the moment Fonzie said "Ayye."
That was the first major catch phrase of my life. Even more than "Whattch talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (DIFF'RENT STROKES) and "Nah-Nu-Nah-Nu" (MORK AND MINDY). If Fonzie said "Ayye" it was a great moment.
Watching the daytime shows, I remember being shocked at how Fonzie didn't have the leather jacket at first. He wore a red windbreaker -- like James Dean in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
And at the beginning, it looked like they were trying to make Potsie the cool character.
But it was a dumb show. Watching it today -- when I do -- I'm amazed that I was so caught up in it as a child. The only three things that really work for me if I watch today are Joanie, Chachi and Jenny Piccolo. Cathy Silvers brought some life to the show. Joanie and Chachi were poorly written but the two actors had good chemistry together. I'll also give Ted McGinley credit for the latter years.
So what was my big trauma with HAPPY DAYS?
She was brought on the show as Pinky Tuscadaro. And she was great. I remember seeing her motorcylce at a car show and you would have thought I was looking at the Jackson Five. :D
She was perfect on the show. They got rid of her after the big build up and several episodes.
And that really ticked me off. They'd bring on Leather, her kid sister. And Leather just grossed me out. Pinky had this snap thing she did with her fingers and fist. So Leather would slap the sides of her leg. Was that supposed to make her like Hoss on BONANZA? I had no idea but she was creepy. She walked around with a chip on her shoulder all the time. There was nothing cool about her.
And it just reminded me that Pinky wasn't on anymore.
In the 90s when I went to college and the net was becoming a thing, one of the first searches I ever did was on Roz Kelly. And I remember being shocked that she and Henry Winkler (Fonzie) did not get along and she didn't get along with the rest of the cast.
So, her being a guest star, she got axed. Huge mistake. She was very popular. Girls at school would walk around doing her snap thing and playing like they were her.
Be sure to read Ava and C.I.'s latest ""Media: Theater of the Absurd."
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
For two years the left has championed policies of surveillance and exclusion in the form of: punitive vaccine mandates, invasive vaccine passports, socially destructive lockdowns, and radically unaccountable censorship by large media and technology corporations. For the entire pandemic, leftists and liberals – call them the Lockdown Left – cheered on unprecedented levels of repression aimed primarily at the working class – those who could not afford private schools and could not comfortably telecommute from second homes.
Almost the entire left intelligentsia has remained psychically stuck in March 2020. Its members have applauded the new biosecurity repression and calumniated as liars, grifters, and fascists any and all who dissented. Typically, they did so without even engaging evidence and while shirking public debate. Among the most visible in this has been Noam Chomsky, the self-described anarcho-syndicalist who called for the unvaccinated to “remove themselves from society,” and suggested that they should be allowed to go hungry if they refuse to submit. 
In Jacobin, a magazine claiming to support the working class in all its struggles, Branko Marcetic demanded the unvaccinated be barred from public transportation: “one obvious course of action is for Biden to make vaccines a requirement for mass transport.”  Journalist Doug Henwood has scolded the unvaccinated with: “Get over your own bloated sense of self-importance.”  But Henwood has championed shutting down all of society in the name of safety, while refusing to engage counter-arguments – a combination that suggests a bloated sense of self-importance of his own.
Other left intellectuals, like Benjamin Bratton, author of a Verso book on the pandemic called Return of the Real, are notable for hiding amidst academic blather: “the book’s argument is on behalf [of] a ‘positive biopolitics’ that may form the basis of viable social self-organization, but this is less a statement on behalf of ‘the political’ in some metaphysical sense than on behalf of a governmentality through which an inevitably planetary society can deliberately compose itself.”  This is, as the late Alex Cockburn once said, “what dumb people think smart people sound like.”
Even the American Civil Liberties Union – long a bastion of objective thinking and civil liberties absolutism – has supported the mandates, lockdowns, and censorship. David Cole, the group’s legal director, debased himself in the New York Times with a tortured op-ed explaining how everything the ACLU stood for over the last 100 years suddenly did not apply during the season of freakout and overreach. 
In the second year of the pandemic, the chief executives of the top US corporations are on track to set new compensation records while the wages of their workers were reduced. This is the conclusion drawn by several analyses of pay data submitted by a group of S&P 500 corporations to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of their annual filing requirements.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that median pay for CEOs rose to $14.2 million last year, up from a record $13.4 million in 2020. The report said that half of the companies reported median wages for their workers increased in 2021 by 3.1 percent. However, this is less than half of last year’s inflation rate of 6.7 percent, and it means that these workers took an effective paycut.
The Journal report noted, “Most CEOs received a pay increase of 11 percent or more, and pay rose by at least 25 percent for nearly one-third of them.” It also reported that for one-third of the companies, median employee pay declined last year.
These figures are based on a review by the Journal of “pay data for more than half the index from MyLogIQ LLC.” MyLogIQ is a provider of SEC compliance services and has access to the government agency public filings database.
In recent days, a longstanding investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ) into the taxes and financial affairs of Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has become the subject of prominent news reports in the mainstream press. The reports, nearly all citing anonymous sources within the DoJ, confirm that the investigation, which began during the Trump administration but was not disclosed by Hunter Biden until December 2020, has broadened in scope.
As of this writing, no official charges have been made against Hunter Biden or any other member of the Biden family.
Prominent articles on the federal investigation into the younger Biden’s international business dealings began to appear in mid-March. On March 16, the New York Times reported that the president’s son recently paid off an outstanding tax liability of over $1 million. Nevertheless, “a grand jury continued to gather evidence in a wide-ranging examination of his international business dealings, according to people familiar with the case,” the newspaper wrote.
Subsequent reports, citing sources within the DoJ, confirmed that witnesses with close ties to Hunter Biden, including former business and romantic partners, are being interviewed by a federal grand jury located in Wilmington, Delaware. Among them is former business associate and fellow Yale University alumnus Devon Archer.
Archer was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment in February for his participation in a fraud scheme, following his conviction in 2018. The operation involved defrauding the Oglala Sioux tribe of roughly $60 million in bonds.
While Hunter Biden was not involved in Archer’s fraud case, the former friends and business partners both sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, which, the DoJ has confirmed, is under investigation.
Hunter Biden was appointed to the Burisma board, despite having no experience in the field, during the period when his father, then vice president, served as the point-man for the Obama administration’s imperialist operations in Ukraine following the US-backed Maidan coup of February 2014.
Burisma paid Hunter Biden roughly $50,000 a month between 2014 and 2019. The money was wired to a Delaware-based corporation called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, which was owned by Archer and registered by him on February 13, 2014. The company, according to a September 2020 report by Senate Republicans, acted as “a shell entity” to receive an estimated $3.5 million in payments from Burisma to Archer and Hunter Biden. In the same report, the Republicans detailed Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China.
In yet another major effort to escalate NATO’s proxy war against Russia, the Biden administration is seizing upon claims by Ukrainian officials of a massacre by Russian forces in the Kiev suburb of Bucha to implement a new round of sanctions and undermine any effort at a peaceful settlement of the war.
“I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” US President Joe Biden said Monday. “Well, the truth of the matter, you saw what happened in Bucha. He is a war criminal.” Biden added, “We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need in order to fight.”
The American government, along with the media, proceeds according to the principle: first the conclusion, then the investigation. Biden, who more than one year after the January 6 coup attempt cannot make up his mind whether Trump is guilty of a crime, has already decided that Russian President Vladimir Putin is guilty of “war crimes” in Bucha.
The actual facts, however, do not prove the conclusion. Russian troops withdrew from Bucha right after the Kremlin promised to dramatically reduce its forces in the direction of Kiev in peace negotiations last Tuesday. For days, no significant civilian casualties were reported. On Saturday, Ukrainian forces—including members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion—entered the town, and a torrent of reports were unleashed in the Western press about alleged atrocities.
The images shown widely only indicate that bodies were found, but not who killed whom, when and under what circumstances. While video evidence has emerged of Ukrainian forces executing and torturing unarmed people, no similar evidence has emerged for Russian troops.
Given the systematic use by the United States of false allegations of atrocities to justify wars all over the world, and absent clear and convincing evidence, there is no reason to view the claims of a massacre in Bucha as anything other than war propaganda, aimed at enraging the population to justify military escalation.
Even if it were established that Russian troops fired on civilians—and that has not been established—that would not mean that they were acting under the instruction of the Russian government.
A number of Democratic Party strategists spoke to The Hill seven months ahead of the November midterms. One of them concluded the party is doomed.
With record gas prices and four-decade high inflation pricing some Americans out of basic commodities, party insiders weighed in. The consensus was President Joe Biden and Democrats are in serious trouble.
Worried about not only losing a majority in the House, but also in the Senate, top strategists spoke of the issues Democrats face in convincing Americans to turn out and vote for them in the fall.
Bill Galston, who advised former President Bill Clinton, said Biden’s approval numbers can only go so high right now.
“My hypothesis is that, unless and until inflation comes down appreciably, that there’s going to be a ceiling on his job approval that’s a lot lower than the White House wants it to be,” Galston said.
Gallup senior editor Jeff Jones concurred. “High gas prices are one of the biggest anchors on presidential approval,” Jones said.
Biden’s approval rating is hovering at a round 40 percent. The RealClearPolitics average shows 41.0% approve of Biden’s job performance, while 53.8% disapprove.
The Biden administration has repeatedly attempted to attribute pain at the pump to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. There was a consensus among experts that the message is not helping the president with voters.