Thinking About Thanksgiving Through a 2020 Filter

The Idea of Thanksgiving is Both Challenged and Reinforced This Year

 

It is Still 2020

Boy, is this ever a year we will all be glad to close the books on. In some ways Thanksgiving is no exception. Plans and traditions are disrupted for most of us for this most American of holidays. Still, it is not too much of a stretch to reflect on how very much many of us can be grateful for, even this year. Let’s take a small inventory.

You Can Be Grateful If…

  • You don’t have and have not had COVID 19
  • No one close to you has died from the pandemic virus
  • If you are working and you still have a job (and health insurance)
  • You have access to some technology that lets you see and hear those you would like to be with in person.

Storytelling Vs Speechifying; The Difference is Important

How Someone Chooses to Communicate Tells a Lot. We See It in This Election

 

Reflections from the Last (Thankfully) Presidential Debate

More than enough has been written about the last Biden-Trump debate (including by me). That is NOT the focus of this little posting. But there is a bit of a connection, and a larger connection to the campaigns at large.

Like most people, I felt Biden had won that debate. I felt better about what he said, and remembered more of what he said. Why was that? I support the guy,

The Torture of Isolation or the Bliss of Solitude?

As We Enter the Long Stretch, People are Reacting to the Pandemic Differently

First Reactions, Then the Long Stretch

I am not a social scientist. Still, I find one of the most interesting things about this pandemic is how we as individuals are reacting to it. How we react as communities and as a country is a very different conversation. For now, let’s think about individuals. There are some fascinating differences to observe and to reflect upon.

The First Stage

When this thing first hit, most of us went through some quick rounds of doubt,

A Few Random Observations. Do They Seem the same to you, too?

Four Short Reflections on Some Widely Different Topics

 

Seen Much News Lately?

Last week was one of those (another one!) that just seemed all over the board in terms of news and matters of interest. Here are my takeaways for your consideration. By the way, I find the process of looking back over the week as the weekend dawns a useful thing to do. So much happens in so many directions these days, it is helpful to look in the rear view mirror to assure ourselves, as much as we can, that (A) We didn’t miss anything really important and (B) We take the opportunity to assess the priorities – decide what out of all this mess really counts.

Portland, Seattle…. Where Are We

So Many Different Stories are Mixed in All This. It’s Worth Keeping Track

What’s Happening on the Ground

I have written in this space before that Portland does have a history of problematic protests. If memory serves, this is the case in Seattle as well, although to a much lesser degree. I mention this not to besmirch the movements taking place there, but only to call out that there are mixed in these communities who welcome chaos and violence.

A fight with federal forces that draws blood would be fine with them. That they would play right into Trump’s hands is likely irrelevant to them.

The Pandemic Has Already Taught Us 3 Important Technology Lessons

We Have So Much More Technology Than We Had – And So Much Less Than We Need

 

A Dramatic Escalation of a Trend Already Underway

One of the byproducts of the pandemic has been the dramatic increase in adaptation by Americans of video teleconferencing and other online communications tools.

I say “adaptation,” which may be too strong a word. Some have indeed become quite capable and comfortable with this new venue. Others are using it only under great duress and reluctance.

The idea of replacing live meetings with video teleconferencing (VTC) is hardly new.

The Power of Social Pressure to Do Good

 

What We Are Beginning to Do with Masks Can Turn the Corner

Some Brief History Lessons – Starting with Tobacco

I grew up in the South, in a state that was largely agricultural at the time. That agriculture sector was dominated by tobacco, as was much of the state legislature. Smoking was thoroughly integrated into popular culture in dozens of ways. Even in later years, as a young Army officer, my C rations came with a small pack of cigarettes, because so many people smoked, and getting shot at from time to time inclined one to light up to relax a bit.

We Are Witnessing BIG History. Take Notes.

Some of This Will Inspire Us. Much of This Will Not Be Pretty

The following post was one I drafted back in early March, but never posted. It was bumped by other news and forgotten. At the time, we were just starting to experience the pandemic that now dominates so much of our lives. Little did we know back then just how big an effect we were about to experience, and how long this fight was going to be. Looking back on this post, it seems both prophetic and a bit innocent, almost naive. I don’t know about you,

Everyone Has Been Writing About Police Reform – There is A Reason I Waited

Sometimes Your First Reaction is Not Your Best Choice

Ours is a country in some turmoil today. The time around the 4th of July is, it seems to me, a most excellent time to remind ourselves that this country is less about what it is than about what it could be. We should be mature enough to admit our shortfalls, hopeful enough to believe in our promise.

Let’s talk about how we police in the USA. This issue has been a lightning rod for commentary, much of it loose on the Left and the Right Things are getting sorted out enough at this point that I think we can have a productive discussion.

The Question of the Day: WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

In Case You Missed Them, a Few Indications This Week That Our Species Has a Bell Curve

What a Week That Was

I generally have the next 2-3 blogs outlined a few days ahead of time. On occasion, events cause me to bump the order of things, but for the most part, the system allows me to give some time and thought to what shows up in your inbox. That was the plan for today.

I have indeed given much thought to this posting, but it is not the one I started with originally.