Tag Archives: 2020

2021 channels 2020?

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

— Roger Daltrey, singing, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It seems like a lifetime ago. We said goodbye and good riddance to 2020. Remember that? I do!

Then we welcomed the new year with the hope that turning a calendar page meant we could turn the page on an era of tumult, turmoil, tempest … the works.

The pandemic had killed many thousands of Americans; we endured the nastiest presidential election campaign in memory; then we watched the outgoing president foment the Big Lie about the election outcome being the product of political thievery.

The pandemic muted many traditional celebrations. Times Square was not full of revelers on New Year’s Eve.

Then the new year arrived.

To be candid, 2021 seems to have just continued the misery we felt in 2020. The nation endured the insurrection at the Capitol Building; five people died. The House impeached the outgoing president for the second time; the Senate then “acquitted” him by failing to get enough votes to meet the high threshold required to convict him of inciting the riot.

That all happened within the first month of the new year.

Then came the Storm of 2021. We in Texas are suffering from this event.

I am merely venting. I mean, what else is there to do? I cannot make the weather change, other than wish it would as I desire. Perhaps a prayer or two will help.

That all said, I won’t dwell on the misery we are experiencing in this new year. I am going to look forward. For one thing, the weather is going to improve. Spring is on its way. The grass will turn green; flowers will bloom; the temperature will warm up; the ice will melt.

The pandemic infection rate is beginning to decline. I get that too many Americans are dying and my heart continues to break over it. More of us are getting vaccinated, protected against infection.

A new president will not lie incessantly. He is going to act the part of head of state and commander in chief. The POTUS will function the way the holder of that office is supposed to function. As we turn the corner from the pandemic, my sincere hope — and belief — is that our economy will rebound.

The new year looks a whole lot like the old year … so far. It is testing my patience, but my reservoir of hope is deep.

Can new year be worse than the old year?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Millions of Americans welcomed 2021 with gusto, bidding 2020 a not-too-fond farewell and good riddance.

We wished for a better year.

But then the feces hit the fan just six days into the new year. This past Wednesday the world witnessed a frontal assault on our nation’s Capitol Building when angry Donald Trump mobsters stormed Capitol Hill to launch what has been called a coup against the government. It was at least an insurrection against the very government that Trump swore to defend and protect.

Instead, he exhorted the mob to march to Capitol Hill and do what they did, which is to seek the destruction of our national government.

The year 2020 was bad enough. The world is still fighting the pandemic. It has killed more than 370,000 Americans. Our national response has been pitiful. Our lives have changed and not for the better.

The year 2021 dawned with the hope of vaccines on the way. My wife and I are on waiting lists hoping to get a call that our turn has come up, that we’ll be protected against the virus.

We do have a new president and vice president set to take office in 11 days. Trump will be gone, never to be seen on the national political stage ever again. That gives me hope that the new year will be better than the old one.

If only we can avoid a repeat of the hideous rebellion we witnessed unfold inside halls of the building that houses our precious government.

I mean, at this moment on Day 10 of 2021, the new year isn’t looking so good.

Out — and in — with a bang!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Silly me.

I had this apparently wildly unrealistic expectation that the cold, rainy, sleety, miserable weather in North Texas would keep the New Year’s revelers inside. That they would be content to cuddle in front of fireplaces, swilling hot totties while bidding an angry farewell to the most miserable year in memory.

It didn’t turn out that way.

They were out. They were blasting away with fireworks until the not-so-wee hours. They got me borderline angry. They surely upset Toby the Puppy, who was traumatized at a fireworks show we attended on the Fourth of July, 2019. He hasn’t gotten over it yet. He likely won’t ever put it behind him, either.

I can understand why these partiers braved the elements to ring in the new year. The old one was for the birds, you know. Given that I am now too old to do that kind of thing, I was hoping against hope that others would follow my lead … and stay the hell home!

Whatever, the old year is now gone. The new year dawned about like I thought it would. We didn’t see the sun rise in the morning. We knew it was above the horizon and behind the cloud cover because, well … it wasn’t dark this morning when we rolled out of bed.

With that, we’re going to take it easy again today and probably for the foreseeable future. They still haven’t gotten rid of that damn virus, so we’re going play it safe, employing what has come to be known as an “abundance of caution.”

Let’s all do the same thing. Shall we?

Happy new year!

Awaiting a new blog year, too

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Much of the world is awaiting the tick of midnight and the dawn of a new year.

A good bit of our good Earth already has welcomed 2021. Not yet in the U.S. of A.

I look forward to the new year as an American patriot, a father, grandfather, husband, brother, cousin and uncle who worries about the health and well being of his extended and immediate family.

Moreover, I look ahead to 2021 as a full-time blogger who spends a lot of time commenting on issues of the day. Yes, it is clear to everyone that Donald Trump has dominated this blog. He has consumed much of my waking hours as I look for ways to provide some context to the conduct of this individual.

Even though Jan. 1 is just around the corner, Donald Trump will remain as president until the 20th of the month. Then he steps aside and President Joe Biden takes the reigns of power. I will continue to provide comment on this blog on those issues and on how the new president deals with them.

I cannot offer a pledge cast in stone on the tone and tenor of this blog, but my sincere hope — and that’s all it can be — is that I will be able to look more constructively at the actions of our new administration.

Donald Trump was a lost cause in that regard from before he took office four years ago. He is unfit for the office. Trump remains an impeached president. I consider him to be a danger to our system of government. I have said so over the years and I make no apology for anything I have written about him.

However, at noon on Jan. 20 Donald Trump becomes irrelevant. He will tweet this and that. I intend to ignore his blathering, bloviating and bluster. I also intend to focus instead on how President Biden intends to repair the damage that Trump has left for him.

I hope to awake in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. The old  year really sucked, man. The new year? We have nowhere to go but straight up.

Yeah, good riddance … 2020!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I cannot take credit for thinking this up, but it cracks me up so much I want to share it here.

A Facebook meme showed up that reminded us that when the new year commences in a few days, that “no one is going to write the wrong year on our checks, I can effing guarantee that.”

Yep, no doubt we are going to say so long, farewell, sayonara, good riddance to 2020. I will gladly and without a single solitary moment of hesitation write the new year on any document that requires it.

Bring it on, 2021!

Hurry up, 2021

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I know for a hard-and-fast fact that I am far from alone in wishing this, but I’ll put it out there anyway.

The year 2020 cannot disappear fast enough!

This has been arguably the most miserable year in many people’s memory. We’ve had the pandemic. It has killed more than 250,000 Americans. It has struck friends of my wife and me. It has caused untold misery to families and to entire communities.

And yes, it has also has befallen our great nation. Our economy has collapsed. Our hospital ERs are filled beyond capacity. Our first responders are despondent as they struggle against an enemy that takes no prisoners.

The 2020 presidential election campaign unfolded ominously. Donald Trump began savaging everyone in sight. Meanwhile, he ignored the pandemic and ultimately paid the political price by losing his bid for re-election. So, there’s justice to be cherished by that result.

Still, the year has been a major-league downer. I want it to end.

Mom used to advise me against wishing my life away. Sorry, Mom, but I cannot help myself. If she were here to suffer through this year she likely would be among those of us who are wishing our life away by wanting the new year to arrive as soon as possible.

The year that’s about to pass into history has been a serious downer.

Wanting to banish 2020 … be gone!

I am not one to wish away entire years.

Usually I take them as they come, slogging through the events as they transpire. I then wait for the ball to drop in Times Square and welcome the new year.

This year is vastly different. 2020 has been a serious downer, as in uber serious, man.

Right around the first month of the year we began getting word that some folks in China had been stricken by something called a “coronavirus.” Then … just like that it became a pandemic.

Donald John Trump, the “very stable genius” who runs the executive branch of our government, blew it off. It’ll disappear like a miracle, he said. Fifteen cases and — poof! — it’ll be gone. Well, it hasn’t just vanished. It has killed more than 115,000 Americans. Many more will die. The economy shut down, sending us into a recession. Trump resisted the seriousness of it. Then it dawned on him: Hey, we’d better do something; I mean, I’ve got a re-election campaign to run and those jobless numbers won’t look good as I campaign for another term.

And then came George Floyd’s death. The Minneapolis cops killed him after arresting him for trying to pass a counterfeit bill — allegedly. His death has ignited a firestorm of protest and recrimination. It’s still blazing out of control.

I want the year to end. First things first, though. We have this election coming up. I want Trump to be defeated by Joe Biden. I want POTUS gone from the White House. My preference would be that he escorted by the cops, maybe even the Marines who guard the White House.

I do have a serious concern about that election. It is that the coronavirus pandemic is going to frighten folks, keep them from voting. That plays in Trump’s wheelhouse. He proclaims a phony belief in “rampant voter fraud” if we vote by mail, which is his way of covering his a** against a big turnout that would boot his sorry backside out of office.

States should enact policies that enable voters to cast their ballots in a safe and secure manner. Texas isn’t likely to be one of them, as we are governed by Trumpkin Republicans who are faithful more to the man than to the Constitution they all swore to protect.

We’ll get through it. I just want the election to turn out the way I prefer. The rest of the year? I want it gone.

Blog about to close out a record year

The year is about to pass into history. We’re getting set to enter the third decade of the 21st century. What a year it has been.

With that I want to take a moment to look back on High Plains Blogger’s year.

For starters, I set another record for page views and visitors to this blog. It’s my fourth year in a row setting records from the previous year. Two stupendous months in early 2019 set the pace.

I cannot predict if another record will fall in 2020. Some of that depends on the news that will unfold.

We have an election coming up. We’ll have a trial in the U.S. Senate (eventually!) to determine whether Donald Trump remains as president. My guess is that he will. So he’ll keep this blog full of grist on which to chew for the coming year. That’s how the president rolls. He craves being the center of attention, so he’ll likely be at or near the center of this blog’s attention.

I also want to thank those who have chosen to read this blog’s musings. Some might call it spewage. It all depends on whether you agree with yours truly’s world view of politics and public policy.

Moreover, take my word for it that I appreciate the constructive criticism I get. Some of it, though, isn’t so constructive. Some folks prefer to scold me. That’s OK, too.

All told, though, critics keep me humble. They serve to remind me in real time that the world is full of diverse points of view. Some of us choose to express our view out loud and for the record in forums such as, oh … blogs!

I appreciate those who take the time to read this blog. I appreciate even more those who spread the blog’s word among their own social media networks. All told, I have posted more than 12,800 blog items during the life of High Plains Blogger.

Let us proceed toward a new year with a tinge of optimism. That’s how I prefer to look toward the future. If it disappoints, though, I’ll be ready to unload my frustrations through this venue.

We’ll all just be able to enjoy the ride.