Friday, January 15, 2021

The Real Steal


There has been so much rant about stopping the steal, that I don't think most people really understand that there is a more tragic steal underway.

The pageantry and excitement of the Inauguration is being stolen from the president-elect and the American people by two forces. Those forces are the unchecked coronavirus combined with the force of chaos and anarchy.

The inauguration is a solemn and yet joyous occasion in which we celebrate something that makes us, as Americans, almost unique in the world--the peaceful transfer of power from one duly elected administration to another. It is the starting point for something reborn--the form of democracy that we practice in our republic.

This year, the outgoing administration has stolen the inauguration from the American people. They have stolen something that we cannot get back and it is incredibly selfish that, like a petulant child, the outgoing president continues to offend the will of the American people by attempting to take the ball and go home. The list of grievances does not matter anymore. Every president has them, remember the whole birther movement that President Obama faced, but true leaders rise above them and are effective. 

On Wednesday, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of these United States. And all of America should celebrate, not because they voted for or against him, but because it affirms the very principles upon which our country is based. I watched the inauguration of the current president and enjoyed the pageantry and celebration of American--the United We Stand America.

The steal needs to stop--too much has been lost already.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Time to Get Started


Out with the old and in with the new. That was supposed to be the mantra of the New Year, but we are not quite there yet. The old seems to be hanging on and creating difficulties related to its departure. 

Next week at this time there will be a new President for our country and a new path. I have great hopes or the future as our country begins to actually address the issues that face us and stop creating problems to disguise those at hand. 

Let's not forget that nearly 4,000 Americans are dying every day from COVID-19 complications. Over 385,000 Americans have perished and vaccination efforts have been sorely underplayed. 

We must move forward into the future by drawing upon the past. We cannot correct or change what has happened, but we can work to ensure that it does not happen again. 

It is time to get started, there is a lot to do and many lives to save.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

At the Feeder


Cooper's Hawk
Image by Chris
Elkridge, MD
January 12, 2021
Chris likes to feed the birds. 
Cooper's Hawk Near the Feeder
Image by Chris
Elkridge, MD
January 12, 2021

We have two feeders which attract a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. Usually the additional wildlife includes squirrels and deer with an occasional rabbit passing by to check-out the area.

Yesterday was a special. A Cooper's Hawk decided to visit the feeders. Of course, that is the surest way to drive away the other birds and even the squirrels. The hawk has been residing in the area for a couple of years and this is the closest that it has shown itself to us. We have seen this hawk flying around and heard its screech, but never have we been graced by so close a visit.

Although I was at work, Chris certainly did get to enjoy seeing this magnificent bird, up close.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Avoiding Entanglements

Presidential Medal of Freedom
Given the press reporting surrounding the multiple means the New England Patriots have used to gain an advantage over other NFL teams and the indiscretion of the owner which was widely covered in the news during late-2019, I was therefore surprised when the coach, Bill Belichick decided not to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bill Belichick Says He Won’t Accept Medal of Freedom - The Wall Street Journal

It has been widely reported that the president and Bill Belichick are friends. Belichick was reported as saying:

“Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients,” Belichick said in a statement. “Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.” 

I admit, I am not a fan of the New England Patriots, in fact my second favorite team in the NFL is usually whomever is playing the Patriots. However, I admire the football genius of Belichick and now he has demonstrated the ability not to become entangled in a politically charged web of deception. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Musings - January 11, 2021


1. Welcome to the second Monday of January and the second Monday of 2021. Have you gotten used to writing the year 2021 yet? Clearly I have not! I had to go back and edit the title after I published the item, but it does not change on Facebook. There are 50 Mondays remaining in the year.

2. Family NFL Playoff Results:

    Football Team loses to Buccaneers 23-31

    Ravens defeat Titans 20-13. The Ravens travel to face the Bills on Saturday, January 16th at 8:15 PM. 

    Steelers lost to Browns 37-48

Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins Captain
3. NHL Hockey season starts this week! Yay, another sport starting and one concludes its season. Go Pens!

4. The football heavy weekend is over. I am happy that the Ravens survived. The six football games over two days did provide entertainment for a cold winter weekend. 

5. I expect it to be another turbulent week as the Congress grapples with the aftermath of the presidentially-inspired insurrection. The New York Times reviewed the president's remarks that led to the mob action in an article: The Times analyzed the speech President Trump gave before his supporters rushed the Capitol.

6. Today in History. United States Surgeon General Luther Terry knew his report was a bombshell. He intentionally chose to release it on January 11, 1964, a Saturday, so as to limit its immediate effects on the stock market. It was on this date that, on behalf of the U.S. Government, Terry announced a definitive link between smoking and cancer.

House Prepares for Trump Impeachment Vote This Week - The Wall Street Journal

Indonesia Plane Crash Search Finds Human Remains, Debris - The Wall Street Journal

‘Our President Wants Us Here’: The Mob That Stormed the Capitol - The New York Times

‘It Became Sort of Lawless’: Florida Vaccine Rollout Turns Into a Free-for-All - The New York Times

As Trump leaves office weakened, Republicans wonder if his political wounds are fatal - The Washington Post

Capitol siege was planned online. Trump supporters now planning the next one. - The Washington Post

'No one cares. At all.' Trump staff lurch toward the end - Reuters

Northern Ireland hospitals under pressure 'like never before': health minister - Reuters

China reports biggest daily COVID-19 case jump in over 5 months - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Well, we began to carry a message to every corner of the Nation, a simple message. The message is: Here in America, the people are in charge. And that's really why we're here tonight. This electoral victory belongs to you and the principles that you cling to -- principles struck by the brilliance and bravery of patriots more than 200 years ago. They set forth the course of liberty and hope that makes our country special in the world. To the extent that what has happened today reaffirms those principles, we are part of that prairie fire that we still think defines America -- a fire of hope that will keep alive the promise of opportunity as we head into the next century.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Lies Cost Lives


I was confronted again yesterday by lies and fake truths. The Facebook post began This post is not open for debate,  as if Moses had come down from the mountain with the stone tablets.

It roils my blood when well-meaning people repeat and repost what they read without fact-checking and placing the information into proper context. 

Spreading untruths distorts reality bringing people into a false understanding of history.

So despite the statement that the post was not open for debate, let me tear apart some of what I was confronted with yesterday. And yes, despite the question to the contrary, I did read the post.

The Claim:

Trump is the first president that has not engaged us in a foreign war since Eisenhower.

The Truth:

Fact check: Trump joins Carter, Ford and Nixon among presidents without a new war

The Claim:

 Trump has had the greatest impact on the economy, bringing jobs, and lowering unemployment to the Black and Latino population of ANY other president. Ever.

The Truth:

No, Trump hasn’t been the best president for Black America since Lincoln

The Claim:

 Trump rebuilt our military which the Obama administration crippled and fired 214 key generals and admirals in his first year of office.

The Truth:

Trump’s False Military Equipment Claim

The Claim:

Trump turned our relationship with the Chinese around, brought hundreds of businesses back to the US, and revived the economy.

The Facts:

More pain than gain: How the US-China trade war hurt America

The Claim:

Biden has done nothing to improve anything in his 47-year political career. 

The Facts:

List of Joe Biden’s Accomplishments

So, one-by-one each of the touted accomplishments devolve into lies. And then, as we witnessed on Wednesday, the president incited an insurrection and an attack on the Capitol. Five people died! This was the culmination of months of lies about the free and fair election which, as Mitch McConnell noted, was not even close.

And although the president said he was going to walk with the crowd to the Capitol, he in fact retreated to the White House to view and enjoy the lawlessness he created. He used those people and sent them to do his dirty work and in doing so the president again demonstrated contempt for the Constitution, the Congress, the rule of law, and "We the People." Yet, some continue to defend the indefensible and spread lies and untruths about his supposed greatness.

81 million people agreed. It is time for the Trump presidency to end as the framers of the Constitution intended--through a free and fair election. That is the key of democracy. The people get to decide--not lawyers, not politicians, not those in power. 

So if I get emotional and excited when I continue to hear untruths spread by well-meaning, but uninformed people, forgive me. Yesterday I threatened to unfriend my Dad from Facebook--I own that statement and I made it. I will not, however, unfriend him. I need to stay on Facebook to educate the misled. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Good-bye Alex


Alex Trebek
Host of Jeopardy 1984-2020
Last evening, Chris and I said good-bye to a man we had never met in person, but had enjoyed probably hundreds of times in our living room providing us with the answers to the questions we needed to create.

Yes, we watched, with a great deal of sadness, Alex Trebek's last taped episode of Jeopardy. 

I have been watching Jeopardy since I was a boy and before it was a nighttime show. I remember watching it during the summer and when I was home sick from school. At that time it was hosted by Art Fleming. But, as an adult, I connected with Alex Trebek and 'the one true" host of the show. 

Although I knew that the last show was coming, since  Alex died in last November, irrationally I hoped that day would never arrive, but last evening it did. I am glad that the producers moved the show from its scheduled Christmas Day airing to last evening. It would have been a sad way to end Christmas Day watching his last show. 

And so it is over--but as he wished, the show will go on. As he said, closing the last show he taped: 

“Thank you ladies and gentlemen for spending the time with us,” he said. “We'll see you again next week.”

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, January 8, 2021

Happy Friday


Friday has arrived. 

Usually on Friday's at work there is a bit of excitement at the prospect of the weekend and some exciting plan. But, COVID has robbed us of that. No longer do I dream of heading off to some new place or returning to visit a favorite place. Or even driving north to visit family. These weekends are stretching into a COVID bland string of days. 

At least this weekend the NFL will provide some entertainment. But after a while the games become the same--devolving into moments of action punctuated by minutes of commercials. 

Maybe the the wine group will have Happy Hour tonight--by Zoom. There is something unsatisfying about a Zoom Happy Hour because the discussion between seven people can only be about one thing at a time rather than having multiple discussions happening all at once. And then there is the wine--I like being able to enjoy multiple wines and talking about the structure, taste, and one of each of them. It is hard to share a bottle of wine across cyberspace. More importantly though--we are all happy to be able to be together and break the monotony of another COVID week.

The pandemic remains unchecked. The infection rates and the numbers of Americans dying from the virus continue to be at levels no one would ever believe and the toll on their families is unbearable. The government is totally ineffective and even the vaccine program has been so underplayed that it us an embarrassment. 

It has been quite a week, however, and reflecting on what has transpired and how it will affect our country. I won't recount it--suffice it to write that I never saw what happened coming. 

But regardless--Happy Friday. 

Our happiness what we make it.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Bookend for the Administration


The Republic stands!

Capitol Under Siege
Washington, D.C.
January 6, 2021
It was a turbulent 24 hours which saw the first black elected to the U.S. Senate from Georgia; two Democratic Senators elected from Georgia shifting the balance of power in the Senate; the storming of the U.S. Capitol, which has not happened since 1814 by the British during the War of 1812; and Congress completing the 2020 Election by certifying the Electoral College results for Joe Biden. Whew!

And the flag still flys over the Capitol, a testament to the American spirit and the strength of our leaders who, despite the threats and lawlessness did not abandon the country and stayed to complete their solemn business in the "citadel of liberty."

That the president was behind the storming of the Capitol is, in my mind, an abomination. I was grieved to the innermost parts of my soul by the lawlessness. I support the right of people to protest--but, I do not support the wanton lawlessness that was on display yesterday. Even during the height of the Civil Rights Rallies and the Anti-War protests of the 60's and 70's--storming the Capitol was considered off limits. There is a distinct difference between legal protests and wanton lawlessness. And guess who still has not condemned the storming of the Capitol by his supporters?

The Washington. Post reports this morning that the president incited the lawlessness:

Trump issued a call to arms. Then he urged his followers ‘to remember this day forever!’

I will remember this day as it provides an apt bookend for the Trump presidency. Thirteen days to go.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Biking Away the Winter


Last month, to fight off the winter doldrums and to help maintain some physical fitness during the winter since I am not playing racquetball, I bought a NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

Riding Along a North Carolina Lake
S22i Studio Cycle
I reported on the purchase, but I have not written about it in the intervening weeks. 

Last evening, after work, as I was riding around a lake in North Carolina following my trainer I took a couple of pictures to demonstrate how the cycle provides the ultimate escape. 

Full Screen with Workout Details
S22i Studio Cycle Ride
The afternoon in Maryland was dark, dreary, and rainy. Not to mention temperatures in the 30's. Not a good afternoon for a ride. But yesterday, despite the weather outside of my home, my cycle took me on a 7 mile foundation ride along a lake during autumn in North Carolina. It was a beautiful ride and it was an easy ride after a difficult and challenging mountain climb the other day.

I was amazed at how much better I felt after getting outside, in the warm sun for a nice afternoon ride. I changed my mood and I got in some good exercise as well.

Most people have heard of the Peloton cycle, but when I did my research I was impressed with the extra features provided by the S22i--and it was significantly less expensive once all of the extra requirements for the Peloton were considered. 

I have ridden my S22i every day since I have had it--and I have had it over three weeks now. I definitely feel improved fitness and I actually look forward to the rides each day. I have build some personal rides using Google Maps around my condo in Florida--and it is always good to get back there and dream of the heat, humidity, and sweat during the dark days of winter. 

I am hoping to bike away the Winter and be ready for the Springtime.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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