Tag Archives: New Year

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.

Preparing to embrace a new year like never before

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s just me, I suppose. Then again, there might billions of other human beings who share my view about what is going to transpire in just a few days.

They’re going to drop that ball in Times Square and we’re going to welcome 2021. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am prepared fully to embrace the new year in a manner I have never done in my life. Not ever!

The year we are about to kick into the crapper has been the pits beyond belief. You know to what I refer: the pandemic.

To be somewhat charitable toward 2020, I should note that we end this smelly armpit of a year on a hopeful note. Researchers have developed vaccines developed to eradicate the virus and doses of it are being injected into millions of Americans’ arms as we sit here tonight.

It will take time for the killer virus to vanish. Maybe another year? Or longer? I don’t know. Neither can even the most learned infectious disease experts say with any certainty when the virus will vanish.

We have lost more than 332,000 Americans. Many more are going to die from this disease. It has caused untold heartache, heartbreak, misery and agony. Those of us who have not been stricken by the virus have been forced to change our living habits. It’s been a bit of a struggle for many Americans.

What’s more — and this is unbelievable to me — the issue of preventative measures has become a political flash point. How in the name of medical safety can this happen? Oh, I know. It happens because the president of the United States has made it one. Donald Trump has denigrated those who wear masks or take other extraordinary measures to avoid getting sickened by the virus and his followers have taken his cue.


The old year is about to pass into history. Those who write about such things no doubt will attach plenty of superlatives to describe 2020: unprecedented, historic, without parallel.

I’ll add the term “miserable.” Accordingly, when the old year passes and the new arrives I might break with a recent tradition and stay awake long enough to cheer the end of the most heartbreaking year I can remember.

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.

Looking ahead to third decade of 21st century

We’ve put our Christmas gifts away, finished our dinner, we’re relaxing around the house.

And, by golly, I’m already looking ahead to the next year. It commences the third decade of the 21st century.

Wow! That’s about all I’ve got to say about that specific item.

However, the year coming promises to be one for the books. A U.S. president will stand trial for high crimes and misdemeanors, only the third one in the nation’s history. I shudder to think how the trial will turn out, so I won’t mention it specifically.

Then we’ll have a presidential election. Candidates and assorted politicians always tell us that the next election is “the most important in history.” This one actually might be the most crucial.

Donald Trump’s bid for re-election is fraught with plenty of peril. I don’t want him re-elected; but you knew that already. Another four years of this individual in the White House is bound to produce a volume of drama and chaos that will make the past four years seem like a game of patty-cake. It won’t be fun.

I just want a “normal” politician to take office. I don’t know who that would be, or should be among those seeking to replace Trump.

In a curious sort of way I am looking forward to the campaign. I just hope my sense of anticipation isn’t overtaken by a sense of dread that turns to nausea.

Trump will keep telling the lies about presiding over the greatest economy in human history, how he took over a military that was “decimated” by his immediate predecessor, how he is “making America great again” by stiffing and scolding our international allies.

Why are they lies? Because the economy isn’t doing as well as it did right after World War II; because our military always has been the most powerful such apparatus in world history; and his quest for American greatness has turned us into an international laughingstock.

We need to take stock of what we have gotten from this individual so far and we must decide whether we want more of the same. I do not want an acceleration of what we have experienced.

The new year of 2020 will give us a chance to perform a serious course correction.

Wishing the POTUS . . . luck in the new year

The new year is at hand. 2019 promises to be a doozy. Where it all goes remains anyone’s guess.

Of course I refer to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president of the United States. Mueller reportedly is getting ready to wrap it up and will present his findings to Congress and, hopefully, to the public.

No one knows what’s in the guts of his report. I do have this sense that it is going to present commentators, bloggers, pundits, editorial writers, columnists and just plain folks on all sides plenty of grist.

Whether it clears Trump of any misdeeds regarding his campaign and the Russians who interfered with our election or whether it implicates the president directly of wrong doing, the fecal matters is going to hit the fan.

Democrats are going to take the gavel in the U.S. House of Representatives later this week. Republicans will retain control of the U.S. Senate. Donald Trump will keep his fingers tightly on his Twitter buttons.

Most eyes will focus on how the Democrats respond to regaining control of one legislative chamber. Will they unleash the hounds on Trump? Will they churn out more subpoenas than we can count? Will they launch impeachment proceedings the moment Mueller’s report goes public? Will they even wait for Mueller’s report?

I would not want to be Donald Trump at this moment, not that I ever wanted to be Trump ever at any time!

The new year is going to present him with untold and unprecedented challenges. A guy who spent his entire adult life seeking to be master of his own destiny now finds himself at the mercy of others. Congress will be calling a lot of the shots now, once Robert Mueller finishes his examination and hands over his findings.

My feelings about the president are well-known to readers of this blog. I won’t waste my energy wishing him well.

I am left merely to wish him “luck” as he enters the new year along with the rest of us. It looks as though we’re headed for a rockin’ and rollin’ ride.


Hoping — yet again — for a turn for the better

I was so hoping that when 2016 disappeared that the next year might bring a brighter outlook.

It turned out that 2017 was no better than the previous year.

While it is true the world didn’t lose as many iconic figures in 2017 as it did in 2016, my hope was that a new president’s performance might not be as horrific as I feared.

I regret to say I was mistaken.

Donald J. Trump’s first year in office was worse than I feared.

He didn’t get anything done. He didn’t make America any greater than it already is. He didn’t unify the country. The president didn’t deliver on the vast bulk of his campaign promises — although he did make good on some of them; I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The president’s “America First” mantra has brought further isolation for the United States in an era that has produced a shrinking globe.

He pulled the nation out of a worldwide effort to curb carbon emissions; he scolded our NATO allies over whether they’re paying their fair share of defense against Russian threats; the president insulted key heads of state of allied nations; he has used his Twitter account to launch tirades against the media, pro football players, and to promote falsehoods on all manner of issues.

The tax cut? That’s a promise kept. The president is crowing about it and he has earned the right to boast. It remains an open question, though, about how it will succeed. Will millions of jobs be returned specifically because of the corporate tax cuts? Is the economy going to continue to accelerate as it has done during the year?

And will the tax cut explode the federal budget deficit, which used to be anathema to Republican politicians?

Yes, indeed, there’s also that “Russia thing.”

The investigation into alleged collusion with Russian agents seeking to influence the 2016 election outcome is getting hotter by the week. Trump calls it a phony story. Fine. Let it proceed and prove him correct, if that’s the outcome we get.

The year we are about to enter, I’m sad to say, doesn’t look any better than the one we’re about to set aside.


End of new year's resolutions

The older I get the more I dislike new year’s resolutions.

I haven’t made one in many years. I don’t intend to do so now in public. Having just turned 65 years of age, I figure that now that I’m officially a “senior citizen,” I can get away with going about my business as I usually do.

I’m sure I’ll see a few people at the gym when I return Friday morning. It works out that way every year. The “resolutionists” show up to make good on their pledge to get fit, lose weight and live a healthier life. It’ll tail off after about, oh, two to three weeks.

That’s one reason why I don’t make resolutions of that type. I am one of those who I’ve just described who have good intentions the moment they resolve to do something. Then they forget how committed they were, or they were just kidding all along. I’m never going to ask someone which is which.

Some of the pledges I’ve made I’ve done so privately. I don’t tell anyone. Not even my wife of 43 years. Heck, she knows me too well as it is. I can’t kid her.

So, the new year is upon us. That ball will drop in Times Square in a few hours. I won’t see from my living room. I’ll be asleep by then. I’m old, remember?

Resolutions? Not going to make ’em, at least not out loud.

I’ll just keep on keepin’ on, trying to be the best husband, father, grandfather, brother I can be to those I love.

All that’s left is to wish y’all a Happy New Year.

I’ll be back on this blog with more thoughts — some scathing, some not — in 2015.

Be safe out there.