A New Year

19 days remain until Joe Biden is inaugurated as President of the United States.  As we all know, this is not a peaceful transition in the American tradition.  It’s anybodies guess what will happen between now and January 20, and after

I strongly support President Biden and Vice-President Harris.  My primary ask was for a change in “tone” from the office of President: a United States of America, not competing individuals in tribes.  Biden brings great experience in office from local to U.S. Vice-President for eight years.  The job of President is an incredibly difficult one under the best of circumstances – everything is wrong in someone’s point of view.  The departing President had no experience and no apparent interest in learning.

Tone matters.  And experience.

Biden/Harris were elected with over 81 million votes; their opponents received 7 million less.

Almost a third of all eligible voters in the United States – about 80 million – did not vote for anybody in Nov. 2020.

I – indeed everyone of us – are the proverbial grains of sand which in aggregate make a beach.  We aren’t noticed, but without us there is nothing.  We have to be the change we seek in this country of ours.

Best I can do is witness to my own beliefs about what is best for my country and our world.

Each individual counts…but we need to be on the court to succeed.  A note pad someone gave me years ago says it well:

Change will come if we work for it.  We begin from a position of strength, not weakness.  My side got 7 million more votes.


(My comments on the past four years were published December 31, 2020.   Take a look.)

A tip for 2021: A group of which I’m a long-time member, Global Solutions MN,  has embarked on a series of Third Thursday movie discussions.  Participants are asked to watch a selected film at their home and at their leisure, then on the third Thursday, if they wish, to participate in a one hour zoom conversations.  Here are the details for January:

Citizens for Global Solutions, Minnesota is proud to present the “Third Thursday Global Films Discussion Group.”
Each month, CGS-MN will share the name of a film or documentary with a global perspective, chosen to expand our horizons and educate us about the world.
Film (2011) | Running time: 1h 47 min
Director: Dennis Gansel
Available at: Amazon and YouTube
**A high school teacher’s experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship
**Watch the movie on your own and then join us to discuss the film.
DATE: Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 7pm (Central Time – USA)
RSVP to me receive the zoom link
COMMENTS (more at the end):
from Carole Lewis Anderson: a long reflection that deserves its own space as a blog this day, here.
from Marion: “Best I can do is witness to my own beliefs about what is best for my country and our world.”  There’s no better “best,” Dick.  Keep at it.

from Laura: Thank you so very much, Dick! Your words are so well-written. Of course I concur with them all.

As I prayed for you this morning, I also am thankful for your friendship and your support for me.
I would join your discussion on Thursday the 21st, except it’s zoom for one of my  book clubs, and I’m the coordinator that evening. Of course I’ll watch the film anyway. By the way, the book I’ve selected that we’re discussing is called The Women of Copper Country, about the 1913 copper strike in upper Michigan. It’s excellent, so you may want to pick it up.
from Len: Happy New Year to you and your wife and family. I am counting on 2021 being a better year and wish you all the best.
9 replies
  1. norman hanson
    norman hanson says:

    Thanks, Dick. I agree that we all will have to do what we can to try to help get America back on track again after the four disastrous, damaging and dangerous years of Trump. a self-proclaimed great American patriot and, modestly, the smartest and greatest president ever! The insecure man who wanted to MAGA but who dodged the draft five-times and called any and all service men and women who were wounded, captured or killed let alone who served in the military service of our country as suckers and losers. As one of the millions of Americans who are veterans including the two fellows that I was commissioned with as a USAF officer who were killed in Viet Nam, I find such characterizations as appalling from the commander-in-chief! Granted, he was my president as was Obama, Bush, Clinton and so on although I disagreed with his actions, decisions and behaviors as the POTUS. That included we (that is, his) against them approach meaning against all of the folks and groups that you mentioned. As I said, he was my president and our president as elected by the people and I accepted that even if I worked to get Biden elected to replace him ASAP. I pride myself as not being one of those clowns who say in person or on bumper stickers or whatever that “he is not my president as I did not vote for him!” Since America does have only one president, I always wonder who is their president? Putin? Kim? Some government in exile? Other?

  2. Mike McDonald
    Mike McDonald says:

    We need to hold the new administration’s feet to the fire. Some real change is possible, but seeing congresses override of the defense bill leaves me uncertain. If Georgia goes our way we have half a chance.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      Thanks, Mike. One of the great dilemmas, especially about the military, is that the body politic generally, this includes Democrats, are not of one mind about military. We have never been, and probably never will be. The comment right below this one, from Norman, illustrates the dissonance even among us. As you know I’m a Vet for Peace (yes, I paid my dues for next year), and I’m a believer that war is insane. But this battle (an unfortunate war metaphor) is one of inches, not quantum leaps! And the elected politicians are in the middle of the fray, always. Just my opinion. Thanks again for yours. Happy New Year.

  3. Peter Barus
    Peter Barus says:

    Dear Dick,

    Thanks for years of new years from your generous heart!

    Not that voting is irrelevant; but IHMBAO, the Democratic Party protected the plutocrats, again.

    I reviewed a book by a professorial friend and two other scholars that clears up a lot of confusion, here:
    Book review — who needs conspiracies when the truth is so much worse? A review of “Levers of Power”

    It’s about just what it says in the title. I kept slapping my forehead — I knew this! What was I thinking!? — while watching the delusion melt away, that the voting public runs the country. It proposes the brilliant distinction, “capital strike.” A rare glimpse into the structures of our system.



  4. Peter Barus
    Peter Barus says:

    – Just to flesh this out a little, from my review of “Levers of Power”:

    It’s the real story of the conflict itself — not between flamboyant personalities or entrenched ideologies (although many familiar names are named), but a structural one between established institutions of power. It’s the financial world versus public health and safety, peace and prosperity. And it’s a glimpse into the shifting balance of forces between those at the top of the heap, and everyone else. The stakes are, as always, class survival. To most people, aka “the 99%”, survival means food, water and shelter. To “the 1%”, it means continued assurance of the unassailable privilege of ownership, and of limitless profit. That’s what really determines government policy — not the “Illuminati”, but this abusive structural relationship. And it is quite Shakespearean enough without any added plot-twists.

    Whenever the Wall Street Journal, or the head of the Fed, or just about anybody in the whole network talks about “Confidence”, you know (especially after reading the book) that there is a negotiation going on, and it’s painfully simple. They’re talking about Investor Confidence. In our capitalist culture, investor confidence in turning a profit drives the economy, so it is what people’s lives depend on. Wall Street has the whole economy as a bargaining chip. What’s happening now, at the height of the global pandemic, is a massive, unprecedented capital strike. Wall Street has taken all the marbles — the bailout intended, so we were told, to start the economy back up — and gone home. What is it doing with all that moola? Sitting on it. We, the people, are effectively under siege. Our livelihood is at stake, until the corporations get their way. If they don’t get “confidence” — whatever way they define it — we don’t eat.

  5. Dave Thofern
    Dave Thofern says:

    Yes, “our side” got 7 million more votes. A couple of caveats, however. The “other side” had 75 million people vote for more of the same. And, plenty of “our side” voters don’t favor liberal/progressive/Democratic policies but were so disgusted with Trump as president that they voted against him rather than for Biden. This fact is supported by the results in down ballot races. Democrats lost seats in the house, failed to take the senate, and made no headway in state legislatures or governorships. Trump actually increased his vote total among Black and Hispanic voters.

    This doesn’t bode well for the Democrats in future elections. Their strategy of counting on demographic shifts in the voting public isn’t enough. They (we) need policies and messages that resonate with folks outside of urban areas and whose lives aren’t centered around politics. Democrats have allowed themselves to be defined as the party of identity politics and supportive of unpopular slogans such as “Defund the Police.” when, if fact, bedrock Democratic policies such as improved healthcare, increased minimum wages, consumer and worker protections, would improve the lives of a broad swath of Americans.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      Five lines above my quotation you include in your first line, was this statement, also mine: “Best I can do is witness to my own beliefs about what is best for my country and our world.” “Democrats” are and have always been a big unruly tent. If you looked at my Dec. 31 post, you’ll see some statistics from the 2000 election, which will immediately bring back other memories. Even in the comments here, and above, there are differences of opinion. That’s a good thing, except when it isn’t. We need to follow the playground rule, play well with others, including our own. Thanks again.

  6. norman hanson
    norman hanson says:

    Thanks all but for me the tell all about who Trump is as a person let alone as a president is that as a five-time draft dodger, he had the gall to characterize any and all veterans and especially those who were wounded, captured or killed in the military services of their country as suckers and losers. Coming from the commander in chief of those forces, that is just appalling to me and tells me all that I need to know about that pathetic and insecure man-child.


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