Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Musings - January 18, 2021


1. It is the third Monday of January. It is also Inauguration Week 2021. And I even typed the year correctly this week. Maybe I am finally getting it.

2. Family NFL Football Results:

    Steelers - lost last week, out of playoffs

    Football Team - lost last week, out of playoffs

    Cowboys - Did not make the playoffs

    Ravens lost to Bills 3-17 in the Division round. 

    All of the family teams are out of the playoffs.

Morning Sunlight on the Trees
Elkridge, MD
January, 17, 2021
3. The sunlight yesterday as it moved down the bare trees outside my window caused me to take the image. It was a beautiful sunrise and the sunlight reminded me that it is mid-January and in about 90 short days, I will be opening my pool and preparing for the swimming season.

4. No word on the MLB season yet. I had heard that the MLB told the teams to prepare for an on-time season kick-off, but that leaves Spring Training up in the air.

5. The Inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, the 59th Inauguration in the history of this great country is occurring this week. Inaugurations are a celebration not just for the winners, but for all Americans. It confirms our unique place in the world, and I have celebrated the inaugurations of presidents for whom I did not vote. Elections should not be a contentious as this one has been. There have been others in our history, but generally the inauguration is a celebration for all Americans, and we should remember that.

6. Today is the day we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was the preeminent leader of the American Civil Rights Movement which advocated nonviolent means.  

7. Is anyone else really amazed at how law enforcement has been able to track down the insurrectionists? 

8. "Leadership, at its core, in my view, is about being personal. . . You always put yourself in the other person's position, and then also to understand where they're coming from, whether it's a major foreign leader or a friend whom you have a disagreement with. And it's also being willing to share credit, give recognition, and share in the benefits as well as in the losses if you're in an endeavor together." - Joe Biden in Inc.

9. Today in HistoryOn January 18, 1919, in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world meet to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War.

Leaders of the victorious Allied powers—France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy—would make most of the crucial decisions in Paris over the next six months. For most of the conference, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson struggled to support his idea of a “peace without victory” and make sure that Germany, the leader of the Central Powers and the major loser of the war, was not treated too harshly. On the other hand, Prime Ministers Georges Clemenceau of France and David Lloyd George of Britain argued that punishing Germany adequately and ensuring its weakness was the only way to justify the immense costs of the war. In the end, Wilson compromised on the treatment of Germany in order to push through the creation of his pet project, an international peacekeeping organization called the League of Nations.

Troops, Blockades and Eerie Quiet Pervade a Locked-Down Washington - The Wall Street Journal

Blow to Business Travel Is Expected to Last for Years - The Wall Street Journal

A Year of Coronavirus Devastation: How the U.S. Ensured Its Own Failure - The New York Times

NASA’s Mega Rocket to the Moon Faces Setback After Test - The New York Times 

The Jamaican connection: Kamala Harris’s father, a proud islander, made sure his daughters know their heritage - The Washington. Post

North Korea could become one of Biden’s biggest challenges — and not just because of its nukes - The Washington Post

Portugal's health system on brink of collapse as COVID-19 cases surge - Reuters

Biden to cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit on first day in office: CBC - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The time has come for a new American emancipation--a great national drive to tear down economic barriers and liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country. My friends, together we can do this, and do it we must, so help me God.-- From new freedom will spring new opportunities for growth, a more productive, fulfilled and united people, and a stronger America--an America that will lead the technological revolution, and also open its mind and heart and soul to the treasures of literature, music, and poetry, and the values of faith, courage, and love.

A dynamic economy, with more citizens working and paying taxes, will be our strongest tool to bring down budget deficits. But an almost unbroken 50 years of deficit spending has finally brought us to a time of reckoning. We have come to a turning point, a moment for hard decisions. I have asked the Cabinet and my staff a question, and now I put the same question to all of you: If not us, who? And if not now, when? It must be done by all of us going forward with a program aimed at reaching a balanced budget. We can then begin reducing the national debt.
            Second Inaugural Address of Ronald Reagan - MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 1985

-- Bob Doan Elkridge, MD

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Pivotal Week

No matter who you voted for during the November election, this is the week we have been waiting for--it is Inauguration Week!

This week we truly start the new year by changing administrations in Washington and hopefully the tone in America. We must get past the exclusive to become inclusive. 

Sadly, the outgoing administration refuses to let go the lies that it has created and that has turned the Capitol into an armed camp. How can anyone think that this is a good thing? I remember four-years ago when the current administration's biggest concern was about the size of the crowd. Now, because of that same administration there will be no crowd, except for 25,000 National Guard troops to ensure peace after the insurrection of January 6th.

while we have been robbed of an important day of celebration--we will not let that dampen the spirit of democracy and the hope for a new beginning. 

This is a pivotal week for America. It is a time to evaluate the path that we have been taking in the world and make reasoned choices about the future. It is time to tackle the coronavirus head-on with the first order of business being to stop losing 3,000 to 4,000 Americans per day to COVID-19.

Let the bells ring as we again affirm the peaceful transfer of power in America, even if we need 25,000 national guard troops to ensure it!

God Bless the USA1

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Covid-19 Celebrations


Luke's Birthday Cake
Elkridge, MD
January 14, 2021
Trying to maintain a sense of normalcy during the pandemic remains a challenge. 

Chris and I celebrated our grandson Luke's birthday the other evening. It was a much smaller and more subdued celebration than normal. I have to admit, I have really enjoyed some of the things we have done and seen associated with his birthday celebrations and many of them are documented in this blog. Wall climbing, visiting a nature center, and playing laser tag at a gaming center are among the recent highlights. January birthdays are not conducive to outdoors activities, but the indoor ons we have enjoyed have been very special. 

This year, it was a small, family gathering to enjoy some pizza and to sing Happy Birthday. The birthday cake was spectacular, but the singing was a bit off-key. Well, we are always a bit off-key but it seems to be highlighted during pandemic celebrations when there are not enough people singing to make it seem like a chorus. 

I enjoyed the celebration and the time with Luke. During the pandemic, small celebrations are they key. 

Keep celebrating--even during the pandemic, just celebrate responsibly and know that everyone who used to be there would still like to be there if the circumstances were different.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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

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