To me, a few good things have happened and are happening this year to get us back between the white lines on the highway. In no particular order:
- Jair Bolsonaro lost his bid for reelection in Brazil. As expected, he is pulling a Trump saying the election was stolen from him, but everyone else, including party leadership, are moving on. “But, I won by a huge margin,” he can be heard saying in Portuguese to the departing caravan of people.
- Boris Johnson was shown the door in the UK as Prime Minister. The only good thing about Johnson’s tenure is he got to oversee the Brexit mess he helped create before succumbing to a series of unforced errors, as they like to say in tennis.
- Not to be outdone, I was told before she was appointed by the Tories as new Prime Minister, that Liz Truss was not the best of replacements. She proved the author of this concern correct, lasting only 45 days in a mistake-filled tenure.
- In Australia, apparently climate change, environmental concerns and paid child leave are important as Conservatives who passed on these issues, were swept out of office over the summer with the new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese taking the oath. Between the wildfires and depleting barrier reef, rising temperatures is not a friend to the country/ continent.
- In Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is realizing what happens when someone stands up to a bully. Volodymyr Zelenskyy has shown what leadership looks like, while Putin has shown what autocratic rule looks like. Fortunately, Russians are starting to see what the world sees and his days may be numbered.
- And, at long last, with the Tax Fraud conviction by a jury of the Trump Organization and the investigation and released Executive Summary by the House Select Committee, the former president is starting to get his come-uppance as he truly spirals out of control blasting anyone who dares criticize him or not genuflect enough. Plus, there are other legal matters in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Mar-a-Lago that he needs to contend with.
- Joe Biden is far from perfect, but he has shown that things can get accomplished to help the greater good. I am very pleased the Respect for Marriage Act, some gun governance and an infrastructure and climate change bill were passed. Sadly, neither party seems to care about the debt and deficit, so some poor soul will have to get the blame for doing what is needed – raising revenue and cutting expenses – as the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan concluded, when the debt was about 1/4 the total it is now.
Have a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas. Stay warm and travel safe.
Thank you for a list of things to be grateful for. Sometimes we forget when we find ourselves consumed by the lasted social media outrage. Have a wonderful holiday, Keith!
Thanks Janis. Have a great holiday. Keith
Thanks for highlighting the bright spots in what seemed like a rather dark year here in the U.S. A good way to wrap up the year … remembering the things that give us hope for a better tomorrow!
Thanks Jill. Agreed on highlighting the bright spots. Be safe. Keith
I heard today that a large portion of NC is without power due to this storm … I hope you still have electricity! Ours is still on, despite the sub-zero temperatures for more than 24 hours now. Stay warm and keep safe, my friend.
Jill, thanks. So far so good, but it is still early in our cold weather snap. We had two sets of relatives in South Carolina lose power for a several hours, but it has been restored. Keith
Note to Readers: Another positive for the year is the response to the hateful comments by editorialist Jeremy Clarkson about Meghan Markle. Clarkson’s remarks were removed from the newspaper website after much push back from many people, including his own daughter. After reading his piece, my first reaction is why? What purpose does the vitriol serve in public discourse? He is entitled to articulate his opinion, but to do so on such a hateful manner is self-defeating.
Clarkson started out as the sort of ‘Club Bore’ encountered in an English Golf Club bar. However like Trump he was indulged by the media for being obnoxious (or the excuse being ‘A Breath of Fresh Air), he traded on that and sadly was indulged by the public. In particular on a show called Top Gear which was basically for middle aged men who had not grown up and wanted to play with cars.
He is part of the vanguard of England’s rather dirty little secret. That being the negative reaction to Meghan was essentially a racist one. Not that any of the public pundits have the guts to admit that’s what motivated them. A shameful episode.
This will grow into one of those pathetic situation where intolerant folk will bleat and free-speech and demonstrate their mean spirits by invoking the word ‘Woke’ as an insult.
Clarkson and his ilk are fooling no one, racist, misogynist and also anti-American (kind of racist but based on jealousy and snobbery). Sadly they will continue.
Roger, thanks for the context. While he has free speech, so do we to turn the page on his article or change the station. People can share their opinions without resorting to racism and hatred. There is no call for that. Keith
Very true Keith.
He is another odious little man (in the sense of character).
There have been 20,000+ complaints to the regulatory body of the UK press, and there maybe questions asked as to why the Editorial team failed to block him.
Well we know why. He is a loud bullying boorish fellow with money and a right-wing media base (who does that remind you of?), and thus no one had the character to tell him his column should have been going nowhere.
HIs daughter has distanced herself from him, may she be the first of many.
Roger, he is entitled to his opinion without being a a**hole about it. You would think someone would rethink his opinion and approach when his daughter publicly disagrees with both. Keith
He seems to have issued a public apology. How sincere remains to be seen.
4.45pm GMT here in the UK.
Christmas greetings to you and yours Keith on your Christmas morning .
Roger & Sheila
Thank you, Keith! There is hope for us all, yet. Happy Christmas and a peaceful 2023.
Thanks Steve. Agreed.
It says much that Johnson amongst this list is the least of them, and has been shuffled off as a liability to the structure of the Conservative Party.
That aside we hope you will prevail Keith and that the current weather system will not ‘visit’ you.
We wish you the best for the Christmas you hope for.
Roger & Sheila.
Thanks Roger. After typing my response to Jill, we lost power for four hours. Keith
I’m glad to read you have your power back Keith. There is something very unsettling when a basic service goes down.
Last year we lost ours for two + days, we had to be quite creative (by good fortune we had a gas supplied stove which was a source of warmth).
WE hope that is the last scare for you.
Happy Christmas for tomorrow.
Very true. I was worried about a cold night without it.
Indeed Keith, it is unsettling when it goes on. You do adapt but wonder, how long?
On that point, last year during our power cut I was reflecting that 150 years ago folk would have wondered just ‘what our problem was’. We had a roof, walls, clothes, food and a source of some heat. How times change and what we have grown used to, even rely on.
And more best wishes to you for the holidays.
Roger, true about how we get used to newer technology. Happy holidays my friend. Keith
I am happy that our new Government has made your nice list and that Trump is getting his comeuppance, at last. The Media – what can I say? They have lost their way – their moral compass swinging wildly. Independent news sources are among the few that I read and almost trust. Happy New Year and here’s to an even better, less divisive one.
Thanks Amanda on all fronts. I hope the new government down under is holding to its commitments. Best regards in 2023. Keith
The approval rating for the new government was pegs above the weakened opposition and just yesterday it was reported the government’s approval rating has surged 10% further ahead! Yay!
They have moved fast and delivered on almost all promises. The only criticism I can level at them is that the hearings of the independent corruption commission, they will establish, will be private, not public. I assume everyone has some skeletons they wish to remain buried.
Good to hear. You are likely right about the skeletons. Keith