Mauna Loa

from cousin Georgine overnight: This is the view of the new eruption from the Lanai of the Kawaihae House. The house is about a mile from the Mauna Kea resort. The eruption is actually close to 36 miles away and there is no threat to the house. It does create a new nighttime view.  The lava is flowing where no people live and there are no houses which is wonderful for the island. It’s amazing to live on a living island.

NOTE: “Lanai” is basically “porch”; here’s the google map location of Kawaihae: []

Mauna Loa Nov 29, 2022

If you’ve been to the Big Island, the link will give some location perspective.   We were guests at the house in December, 2015, and thus know exactly the terrain.

I recalled to Georgine, who met us at the airport in 2015, “I still remember, when we flew in at Kailua-Kona in Dec. 2015, asking about what I thought smelled like volcanic ash (or what I thought it was).  At the time, Kilauea was behaving itself, so I thought my mind was playing tricks on me.”   She responded: “When you visited, it probably was volcanic ash.  Kona has always been a geography that collects vog.

It happens that another relative has long lived in the area of Kilauea not far from Hilo.  There are many sources of information.  A good time to dust off your personal learning curve.

Comments welcome.

Next planned post will be December 7, a new remembrance of my Uncle Frank Bernard, my Dad’s brother, one of those who went down with the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Today in my religious tradition is the First Sunday of Advent. This seems a good day to introduce three topically related items for your reflection, if you are interested: 1) Journeying Towards Healing through Listening and Truth-Telling; 2) the new film, Till; 3) Frank Kroncke, “Captive and Captor”

Johan van Parys, Basilica’s Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts had an excellent column on the topic of Advent in todays Basilica newsletter.  It is here: Johan VP Advent 2022.


1.  Journeying Towards Healing…: If you happen to be in the Twin Cities, the morning of Dec. 3, my Church, Basilica of St. Mary, 1600 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, is having a retreat on the issue of race.

Details follow.  Note that registration is required.  I plan to attend.

Invitation: We invite you to attend an important event for our community as we listen and reflect together on this Advent.

Why attend? And Why hold this event now?
As members of the Basilica community, this event offers us a safe space to listen and think about how we see ourselves in the community with other members of our Catholic Faith. 


We will learn about aspects of our history that we may not know. We will listen, be curious, and reflect on the experiences of individuals who make up this spiritually rich community. As we move through Advent, we will be aware of and reflect on our beliefs, practices, and actions.

We are opening ourselves up to experience the fullness of community that is possible and needed now more than ever, uncovering the fullness of community that we need now more than ever.
What will I experience?

 There are three phases of the event.

 1.  Listen to Learn (Mind)

Come and learn about Minnesota and Catholic history that you may not know from the sought-after speaker Dr. Yohuru Williams at the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Williams will ground us in our Catholic Faith, guide us in understanding our history and context for our day, and invite us to embrace the stories of our brothers and sisters.  
  1. Listening in Prayer (Heart)
We will hear from fellow parishioners of color as they share their challenging experiences navigating parish life at the Basilica.
  1. Reflecting on our Heart and Mind (Action)
We will gather in smaller groups to reflect and process.
Gathering Details
Saturday, December 3, 2022, from 9 am to Noon 
Join us online or in person at Teresa Of Calcutta Hall, Basilica’s Lower Level
Register to attend at:

2.  Till.  We watched the new film “Till” Friday.  It is very powerful.  Details about the film are accessible here.

This is a film about American history, which continues in many ways to this day.  Perhaps ironically, it was also this year when Congress finally passed, and the President signed, anti-lynching legislation, motivated in substantial part by Emmett Till’s death at age 15 in Mississippi 67 years ago.

I always try to get at least a little personal perspective when dealing with matters of history and geography.  Emmett Till died in the summer of 1955, at age 14.

In the summer of 1955, I had just turned 15.  We lived in the country in southeast North Dakota.  We would not get television for another year.  The odds are almost zero that I would have heard, then, about Emmett Till.

It was also that summer, however, that we made our first ever long trip by car, to Chicago, to visit our Uncle and Aunt who had very recently moved to the near west side suburb of Broadview.  Life happens differently for everyone, so while its conceivable that Emmett Till had not left Chicago by the time we arrived for our short visit, we could have been there….

By the summer of 1955, I doubt I had ever seen a ‘black person’ though racism was no stranger to we country folk in the rural midwest.  The killing of Emmett Till only brought the horror to public view.  Forty years later, in 1995, I tried to summarize my own history: Race, a personal view.  

But that’s another story.  See the film.


3.  Frank Kroncke: Captor-Captive.  This is a 15 page extraordinary personal account of going from peace activist to prisoner, 50 years ago.  Frank is a good friend, and this is passed along with his permission.  This is very powerful.  I need say no more.


What our society will become is up to each of us.  What will your part be?

Thanksgiving 2022

All best wishes for a good Thanksgiving.  I have a great deal to be thankful for this year.  I hope the same for you.

from Rich, this morning: You might enjoy remembering reading this proclamation! ! It seems poignant today!

And another, from Heather Cox Richardson, here.

Friend Molly likes to send poetry selections to her list on occasion.  Here are her Thanksgiving selections: Molly’s 2022 Thanksgiving poetry selections


This year, I want to share, with his permission, a message from my nephew, Sean Maher, which I received on Nov. 18, 2022.  His message is below.

“The kids”, like Sean, and everywhere in the world, are the world’s future, and as my good friend, Lynn Elling, a difference maker, was fond of saying, the great efforts of Sean and others, Covenant House Texas is  “stepping up to the plate” to build a sustainable future for their client kids.  (Lynn died in 2016, at age 95.  I think he’d be very pleased with what Sean is doing.)

There are many ways to make a difference.  Sean’s is only a single example.

Have a great Thanksgiving day, and forward.


Sean: Hi everyone,

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

The Sleep-Out [Nov. 17] was a night to remember, and we were blessed to have many new sleepers and to hear new stories. Thus far, we have raised over $975K towards our goal of $1.25 MM. A record (and going)! [Later: they’re over $1,ooo,000]

I’d like to share something from the evening, so you can understand why I do this and why it is so important.

  1. Foster Care system: If every church in Texas took care of ONE foster child, then there would be no need for a foster care system. (This means aiding and supporting a family which takes in a foster child).
  2. Human Trafficking: There are more Massage Parlors that engage in Human Trafficking than Starbucks in Houston .
    1. 35,000+ Texas Children go to school within 1,000 feet of an illegal massage parlor
    2. Number of illegal massage parlors (as per Children at Risk)  has nearly doubled in the last 4 years.
  3. Mental Health: Nearly 100% of all homeless youth who walk through the doors of Covenant House have a mental health challenge; anxiety and/or PTSD.

YOU make all the difference.

I asked Angel, a resident of Covenant House Texas, who was homeless at 16 and lived in an encampment until she was 18, what she would say if I could channel her words to you. “Every little bit helps, and everything makes a difference.” 5 minutes of time, $5, 5 prayers, every little bit helps. Heart and “a little bit” was the message time and time and time again.We can save every starfish if we start with the ONE right here.

These KIDS are curious, these KIDS want to have a chance, and these KIDS have had worse days than we ever will. No one is looking for a handout; they are looking to be acknowledged, seen, and heard for their hearts, their passions, and their dreams. They are curious, they want to learn, and they want to grow.

At The Ion, there was a sign “Every Better Way Needs A Place to Be Better.” That is for our Innovation Hub at the epicenter of Houston (a must-see!) However, that is also what Covenant House is to all these kids.

God bless, thank you, and happy Thanksgiving. From my family to yours.


Sean’s page is here.

Sean M – iHeart Radio

Sean M – 104 KBRE

Kurt Nondorf and Steve Biegel – Newsmakers


Forwarded from Frank, via my friend, Kathy, Nov 23:


from Kathy, a recommendation, Jacks Basket, here.

from Rich: Happy Thanksgiving to you and all. Enjoy every moment today. We will gather at our daughters – My son-in-law is in the kitchen! I am in charge of appetizers. I have lots of memories on days like this. My mother was an exceptional cook and went out of her way to establish and maintain traditions that became the foundation for many memories.

BTW: I was playing driveway basketball in “light” sweatshirt in Minot on this day (Nov 24) in 1963. During the game, a neighbor opened the front door to tell us Lee Oswald had been shot. It is a strange way to remember an unusually warm North Dakota November day … and years later  … LOTS OF SNOW greeted my band in NY City for an appearance as Santa’s Band in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1989.

It’s always a good day for gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving, Dick.

from Marion: Watching the tv commercials for Covenant House, I’ve wondered if it was yet another charity with a CEO with a ridiculously high salary. Apparently not.

Dick’s Response: Covenant House did go through the scandalous times, but that was years back.  You can easily google the past.  It is highly reputable now.

from Brad: Happy Thanksgiving to you too Dick.  I hope it is a beautiful and warm one for you and family.

After a Holiday in Kauai with my brother Greg and SIL, it is a reminder how blessed Jeff and I are to share another Thanksgiving together.  I am reminded to share thanks and love in a time stress for so many in our country and world.  Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving was truly a national moment of forgiveness as well as affirmation of a Union of people. Thank you for sharing.

from Kathy:  David Hartman of CBS carried a powerful piece on Gratitude.  Here’s the link.

from Donna: This was our Thanksgiving table with the family from Afghanistan.  The kids make you realize how we are more alike then different.  We had a wonderful celebration.

Thanksgiving dinner 2022

“We, the people….”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  Check back for a specific Thanksgiving post Thursday or later.

When I last blogged about politics, Election Day eve, Nov. 8,  I knew nothing, intentionally, about the later results in my community.

Nov. 9-13 we were at a family event in New York state.  I don’t connect with the internet at such times, so what actually happened in MN was a mystery till after we returned.

Nov. 8, I said I’d report my own observations on Nov. 22.

Yesterday, forming this post in my mind, I kept thinking of two seemingly unrelated events.  I’ll briefly revisit both at the end of this post.

In July of 1949, we were at my grandparents farm, my Mom’s home, probably related to her 40th birthday.  Late at night a vicious wind came up, terrifying everyone.  I was nine, the oldest kid.  Morning light brought the verdict; the barn roof was gone; house escaped unscathed as did the occupants.  (In the photo, I think I’m the kid in the overalls walking away from the likely photographer, my Dad).

Residue of Busch barn, late July 1949, Berlin ND. Richard, and siblings and Mom in the photo.

Eight years later, September of 1957, at 17, I had the opportunity to see Louis Armstrong and band in concert in Carrington ND, pop. approx. 2,300.  The concert was fabulous, of course.  I’ve always wondered how someone like Armstrong would appear at the Armory in this tiny town.  And where would they stay?  This was 1957, after all….


Now to the business at hand:

Last summer, I decided to pay the closest attention to the 2022 elections closest to home – my own state Senate and Representative election – a piece of suburban geography with 56,624 eligible voters.

(Earlier, at the primary election in August, I aimed my attention solely at a local school referendum, which I wrote about here.  School District boundaries are different than legislative boundaries in Minnesota, thus size, shape and population differ.)

Below are the 2022 election results for my district, SD 47.  (If you are a Minnesota resident, here’s the data source for your district.)

Five of the our candidates were rookies; the 6th had been in the House of Representatives for two terms some years earlier.

Hi-lited are those I supported for election.   Congratulations to new Senator Nicole Mitchell and new state Representatives Amanda Hemmingsen-Jaeger (A) and Ethan Cha (B).

For Democrats in this district, and indeed in Minnesota, and nationally, it was a good night.  Voter turnout was high, near 70%, characteristic for this state. Our numbers seemed in line with earlier similar elections in this area.

There were no controversies of any kind, at least none of which I’m aware.


I have no idea about how any individual voted, unless they volunteered the information.

I have lived in the same dwelling in this suburban community for 22 years.  We are part of a metropolitan area of over 3,000,000 people, containing nearly two-thirds of Minnesota’s population.  I am not a hermit, and see folks in assorted contexts each day – though mostly they are people I don’t know.

For the past several years, we have not had a local newspaper.

We have had Republican Senators and Representatives in recent years.  Indeed, for some years we had an arch-conservative member of Congress for several terms.

This year there were far more campaign lawn signs for the Republicans (R) than Democrats (D).  But the “Republican” candidates did not seem to want to call attention to their party.  This was obvious from the signs themselves.  Their internet presence  was pretty minimal.  There were few mailings, compared with other recent elections.


My takeaway from this particular election is simple: people were quietly paying attention to the issues.

I get a sense, not only from the election results, but from the ordinary day to day interactions I see and hear, that people generally are satisfied with what happened Nov. 8.

They are tired of the violence – verbal and otherwise; intolerance; dishonest political discourse; a focus on  winners as individuals, belief rather than fact, division not unity; a fractured sense of community…on and on.

My colleague citizens sent a message, local, state and national, that they just want to see more of a community focus as opposed to an individual focus.  They just want our country and its smaller subdivisions down to and including families to work, and to be fair.

We, the people, really are the government we see at all levels.  Government is what we elect.  Government is “we, the people”.

If I was to make any recommendation, it would be to the reader to do the same as I did: do an informal assessment of what happened in your own basic political unit in your state.  It will give you a knowledge base.  Then set about helping educate other citizens about the importance of their informed vote.

Congratulations to my local successful candidates.  In my opinion, they deserved to win.  Now their work really starts.


Now, about that barn, and Louis Armstrong.

The barn was rebuilt, doubtless primarily with lots of voluntary community support.  It is my metaphor for community.  Grandpa had let the insurance lapse, I’m told, so he learned a personal lesson there.  Last time I was out, the barn still stands, but clearly on its last legs.  But it wouldn’t have survived at all without community.

As for Louis Armstrong, many years later I was watching the Ken Burns film on Jazz, and in one segment was a brief television interview with Louis Armstrong in Grand Forks ND, likely where his band had been the night before I heard him play.  In the interview, he was concerned about those children at Little Rock Central High School (as noted earlier, remember, this was 1957).  Nonetheless, Louis continued on, in a hopeful optimistic way.

That’s about it.


We have a great plenty of things to deal with, but Nov. 8 provides an opportunity to redirect to a better future, to add on increments, rather than tear down.]

I’ll close with my favorite Louis Armstrong tune, his rendition of Wonderful World.

POSTNOTE:  The 8th, and I believe final, episode of Rachel Maddow’s Ultra series is now available.  Here is the link.  I have listened to them all.  Very informative…and troubling.  Take the time.

Today is the anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy Nov 22, 1963.  I was in my first month as a teacher in Hallock MN, recently discharged from the U.S. Army.  Like all of us from that era, I will never forget that day and the days following.  Here’s Heather Cox Richardson’s commentary published late on Nov. 22.


from Joyce:  I think this blog post by Digby is relevant: here

response from Dick:  I agree with the concern.  Take time to read the commentary.  My greatest concern is that even in Presidential elections, about one third of eligible voters don’t even vote, and that’s just the beginning of the problem.  Too many vote only for President, or have not a clue of the qualifications of candidates for the other offices, etc. We are a very sloppy democracy, exploitable.

from Jermitt: Thanks for your message, Dick.  I enjoyed reading about the politics of your district, as well as your family and your story about Louis Armstrong.  We, here in Marquette County Wisconsin have a long way to go.  The Republicans out number us (The Democrats)  2 to 1.  The Marquette Democrats continue to message our values through radio, print, and social media.  We also knocked on hundreds of doors this year.  While we increased our percentage, we continue to lose elections although the democratic candidates have been outstanding, compared to the Republican candidates that have won in state elections.

response from Dick: Many thanks.  My only point, at this moment, is that every place is different and perhaps the best starting place is to get to understand our own district a little better.

from Len: Thanks for sharing your perspective and numbers of the results of the election. We will be talking about this one for awhile. 47 chose some good solid individuals for office. Quick studies and thoughtful individuals who will represent us well and will enjoy DFL majorities across the board in governing and the challenges of a rarity- a budget surplus. We need to be vigilant and help them in their decision making.


Week Ahead

I will be doing an opinion post on the 2022 election on Tuesday, Nov 22.  If you wish to include a personal commentary, I’d be glad to include it in the blog.  Send as an e-mail response.  (My e-address is in the upper left corner of this blog.)

There is a very relevant Human Rights program on Ukraine on Thursday of this week.  Register, and more information, here.  I am an active member of the Board of the sponsoring organization, Citizens for Global Solutions MN.  The program is free, but pre-registration is required.

Episode 7 of Rachel Maddow’s Ultra podcast is now available.  I have followed this since the first episode, and it is outstanding and informative about the near miss of our country with Fascism in the pre- and WWII years.

If you have even the slightest interest in the threat to democracy we have been living through, you are urged to listen to all 7 episodes thus far; if only one, listen to #7.  Those with any connection to North Dakota – Bill Langer and William Nye become key players….  A Minnesota Senator is centerpiece in Episode 1.

There is one episode following this one, I presume it airs next Monday.  Each episode is about 45 minutes or so and all are accessible on-line.

POSTNOTE:  We spent the last four days – Nov 9-13 –  in New York State at a family event.  No politics.  People from all over the U.S.  Most time in Rochester NY.  My personal favorite snapshot in the four days at American Falls at Niagara.

Niagara Falls, U.S. side Nov. 10, 2022. (Canadian side too obscured by mist for a good photo.)



The count begins: Clicking on publish, November 8, 2022, 6 p.m.  About now the first polls are closing and actual counting begins….

This morning I was on my usual walk at the local Sports center.  The usual crowd was gathering, mostly seniors like myself who know each other, like people do at such kinds of gathering places, not close kin, but not strangers either.

One lady pleasantly said “how’s everyone doing today?”  A man behind me said, in a normal sort of way: “I Don’t know.  I haven’t voted yet.”  Enroute home, I saw an older couple jay-walking, obviously going home from the nearby elementary school, a polling place.

24 hours earlier I was at breakfast with a retired teacher friend and colleague of many years.  We weren’t talking politics, but Kathy was remembering my homemade Christmas card from 2001, largely because it featured on its front, feelings about 9-11 from one of her 5th graders (who’d be in his thirties, today).  I used to send the homemade cards every year, and I saved 5 copies of each.  Here’s the front of the one she remembered.  It says it all, for me, today.  For me, today is like the day before 9-11-01, except back then we couldn’t have imagined 24 hours later.  Now we can, but nobody – I mean nobody – knows anything for sure what we’ll wake up to tomorrow and following days.

If you’re interested in the whole card: Christmas card Dec 2001 . (I voted last week; my wife votes today.)


One thing is for sure, today: I hope this is not an “oh, what the hell” election, where people really believe that it makes no difference who they vote for, or whether they vote at all.

I don’t know who the “call and response” people I saw this morning are voting for; nor for the jaywalking couple.  We have a secret ballot, but in a way it does feel like the Monday before 9-11-01….


Somewhere out east the first official tally of votes for the 2022 election has begun (I’m deliberately publishing this at 6 p.m. CST Election Day).  The speculation of many months will be confirmed…or not…over tonight and possibly the next weeks.  At some undetermined time, we’ll know what we decided as citizens, from the most obscure local office to our country’s leadership in Congress and Senate.  Truth will out.  There’s no do over, until the next election, which may be too late.

I’ll venture my personal opinions. about this year on November 22 – two weeks out.  Check back if interested.


A Personal Retrospective: The 2022 election season began, for me, May 28, 2020, the night Minneapolis and St. Paul were set on fire.

This was 2 1/2 years ago, over 7 months before the chaos of Jan. 6, 2021.

May 28, a relative called from North Dakota about how marauding gangs were coming to Minneapolis, about the same time reports were coming about burning buildings in south Minneapolis.  I succumbed to fear, and brought in the iron objects on our patio – weapons that could be used to break in.

Now I remember it as crazy behavior.  Which gang would pick my house among tens of thousands to break my windows and savage us?  But for one evening that furniture sat in our family room, and the next day I took the below picture.

May 28, 2020

Of course nothing happened at my house, my neighborhood, my community those nights.  You know how fear works.

But in Minneapolis and St. Paul, masked vandals (after all, it was at the worst part of Covid-19 and most people were masked), set lots of fires, including burning down my friends restaurant at 27th and Lake Street Minneapolis on the evening of May 29.

His lot is still vacant – I was over there on Sunday.

Gandhi Mahal block, 27th at Lake Street, Minneapolis MN Nov. 6, 2022 Gandhi Mahals vacant lot is the area fenced in by a reed fence, which has been there for over two years, and not damaged at all.

The post office, burned to the ground, is being rebuilt on the corner (to the photographers right), but the rest of the block is still vacant more than two years later.

There’s silence on indictments and convictions – my friend had security cam, but it burned along with the restaurant.

Because of the masks, we’ll probably never know who did the deeds in May 2020.  I can’t believe that it was the residents of the neighborhood who burned down their own locally owned businesses. Conversely, by no means is it a stretch, knowing what we now know, that this could have been orchestrated political gang activity.


In my trip to the site of Gandhi Mahal the previous Sunday, I saw one last, doubtless intentional, memory of the fire in the spring of 2020.

October 30, 2022. Gandhi Mahal would be to the left.

It is the only visible remnant of two nights of horror, May 28-29, 2020.

Commit to being more active than you’ve ever been, regardless of outcome.  Citizens are democracy, period.  We can build it, maintain it, or destroy it, just by the single act of who we elect.





24 Hours

For those who need info: Information for a Minnesota voter can be seen here.  National information here.  NBC has a Plan Your Vote site as well.

For folks who live in the same community I do: SD 47.  (The link is the local Democrat website.)


This morning (Sunday Nov 6) I was driving in to Minneapolis, and approximately at 3M headquarters, about 15 miles from downtown Mpls, a beautiful and almost magical view of the Minneapolis skyline appeared and held on the horizon.  It was almost like a mirage, perhaps a quirk of the morning atmosphere on a bright, chilly, breezy day.  It is the only view of the skyline I could see on my trip in.

No, I wasn’t hallucinating (at least, I don’t think so!)

In the 24 hours just passed I’ve been to downtown Minneapolis twice.  Last night to Minnesota Orchestra; today to Mass at Basilica.  Both days on the much maligned (per TV political ads) Hennepin Avenue, at night.  There were zero nervous moments, walking to a restaurant on Nicollet Mall; parking in a public ramp….

The Orchestra was its usual magnificent self, particularly with Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor for piano and orchestra.  Pianist Simon Trpceski, proud Macedonian, earned a standing ovation at the end of the piece, and did two encores.  Conductor Scott Yoo “born in Tokyo and now living in Connecticut” was superb.  There was a large crowd.  Afterwards, an evening crowd on Hennepin Avenue, and yes, an emergency vehicle at one of the bars on the street, where people were standing in line to enter.  Nobody seemed in panic mode.

A few hours later, to church at about 17th and Hennepin.  Attendance seemed pretty large this day.

The Sunday newsletter headlined “Realities are more important than ideas”.  (I first thought it said “ideals”.)  If you’re interested in the text, here it is: Realities Ideas. Personally, I think “Ideas” and “Ideals” are, in this case, synonymous.

The Pastor did his best threading the needle that is a divided church on the eve of the upcoming election.  I thought he did okay.  He made comments about a favorite song of his.  I think the song is Walk On by U2.  I looked it up, and it seems to fit the tenor of his comments.  Take a listen, here.  The emphasis seems on social justice, set in  Rio….

Hang in there.  Vote.  Then stay engaged.


  1. I expect to do a followup post about the time polls close on the east coast on Tuesday, purposely before the counting, which will go on for some days with endless analysis.  Then I’ll do my own post-mortem on Nov 22, two weeks after.  I likely won’t advertise either – just look back.  I may take some time away from computer, but comments are welcome any time.

2. I expect that Rachel Maddow’s Ultra series on America’s flirtation with Fascism will continue with episode 6 on Monday, with two more to follow on succeeding weeks.  It has been a very worthwhile and informative program.

3. Heather Cox Richardson’s near daily posts are outstanding summaries of what is going on in the national arena.  Here’s the most recent.

Have a good week.  Vote.


from Jeff:  I am watching the latest Star Wars series spinoff on Disney+   , it is called Andor.  About a the backstory of a character named Cassian Andor who dies in the movie “Rogue One” which came out in 2016?…. It starts with, and has some of the star battles, etc…but it is a much more nuanced and heavier toward dialogue and slow developing story.  Basically it is about how fascism infects and then overtakes systems, and one persons realization of how fascism works.    Excellent casting and good dialogue and character development.  The last 2 episodes, 8 and 9, which take place on a work camp for prisoners, are written by Beau Willimon, who was the writer and developer of House of Cards, on Netflix.  The slow pace and creativity of showing the evil of fascism from both sides (victims and oppressors) is brilliant.

I like the sci fi stuff, and I don’t usually recommend it, but this one transcends the platform.

One Week to Go

Eight days from now we’ll have some idea what we have decided through our own ballots.  We seem to have a fantasy that it is the politicians who make bad decisions.  It is the voters who elect them that make all of the decisions about who will represent them; most especially, those who don’t vote at all, or vote with no knowledge of the implications of their vote.  In the end we have only ourselves to blame.

I marked my own ballot on Sunday night, and mailed it on Monday.  I have exactly the same power as anyone else.  No more, no less.

Never in my life have voters had such a stark choice as this year.  We decide our fate.  We truly are stuck with it.


I live in Minnesota.  Google tells me I’m 15 miles from Wisconsin – a very easy freeway drive.  Maybe 20 minutes.   Most recently, I was there in September.  It seemed every bit as hospitable as here…you wouldn’t believe this from television ads – in both directions.

A few days ago my friend, David, sent a photo he took of Mandela Barnes, candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.

Mandala Barnes rally, Hudson WI, Oct 26, 2022.

David’s comment was brief, but succinct: We attended a rally for the “other” Mandela on Wednesday in Hudson. He’s a very sharp and articulate guy.”  Of course, as a Wisconsin voter, he already knew this.  Who will prevail in that race?  We’ll see in not too long.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are separate states – I have as much authority over Wisconsin policy, as my friends across the river in Wisconsin have on Minnesota.  We may as well be Ukraine and Russia.  Especially this year, the decisions one state makes may have stark impacts on the others.

We’re in the same media market, so those in Wisconsin see the hideous ads about my state, as I see the hideous ads about theirs…Lying ads apparently work, otherwise, why spend millions of dollars on them?

But every one can make a little difference, and a little difference is all we need to make.  There is a single week to go.


A final note: Joyce sent along a Tom Sullivan commentary about President Obama’s stump speech in Michigan a few days ago.  She said “Well worth reading and listening”.  Here’s the link.  It’s worth your time.  I had heard substantial parts of the speech live.


Many of you have voted, as I have.  If you haven’t, exercise your right to vote based on the positive qualities of the best candidate for each office. And encourage others to vote as well.

For the last time, here are the links if you need information:

Information for a Minnesota voter can be seen here.  National information here.  NBC has a Plan Your Vote site as well.

For folks who live in the same community I do: SD 47.  (The link is the local Democrat website.)


Episode 5 of Rachel Maddow’s outstanding Ultra series is now available on line. I listened last night. The series takes the blinders off about this nations very close call with fascism…and we are by no means out of the woods yet.

COMMENTS (more at end of post)

from Molly: very strong clip by Rachel Maddow, and very well & concisely spoken, about 5 minutes.  Re Paul Pelosi being attacked, and the depth of its significance.

wow. and sigh.
Hugs to each,