Daily Bread for 1.1.21

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy, with some snow this evening, and a high of thirty-two.  Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:32 PM, for 9h 07m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 93.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is both the one thousand five hundred fifteenth and the fifty-sixth day. 

  On this day in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Simon Tisdall writes Trump fed our worst instincts. His global legacy is toxic and immoral:

How much damage did Donald Trump do around the world, can it be repaired, and did he accomplish anything of lasting significance? Assessing the international legacy of the 45th US president is not so much a conventional survey of achievement and failure. It’s more like tracking the rampages of a cantankerous rogue elephant that leaves a trail of random destruction and shattered shibboleths in its wake. Last week’s wild pardoning spree is a case in point.

First, the big picture. Trump’s confrontational manner, combined with his “America First” agenda, seriously undermined transatlantic relations and US global leadership. Joe Biden promises to set this right, but it will not be easy.


Trump encouraged authoritarian “strongman” leaders such as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egypt’s dictator Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and hooligans such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. He coddled autocrats such as Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman and Russia’s Putin. Worse, his lies eroded trust in democracy and the rule of law, at home and abroad. Yet even as, properly and electorally vanquished, he slowly departs, he continues to antagonise and divide – and to be lionised by the right.

Maybe it’s not that hard to see why. Trump’s personal brand of viciousness appealed to every worst human instinct, justified every vile prejudice, excused every mean and unkind thought. His is a blind ignorance that resonates with those who will not or cannot see. Falsehood is always easier than truth. For these reasons, Trump’s global legacy is Trumpism. It will live on – toxic, immoral, ubiquitous and ever-threatening.

Melanie D.G. Kaplan writes John Steinbeck’s classic travelogue showcases man’s best road trip buddy:

Fourteen years ago, I decided to drive across the United States. This came after a childhood of cross-country rides in the back seat of my parents’ car, visiting my grandparents in Southern California. But in 2007, when I was a full-fledged grown-up, my grandmother worried about this trip well before my departure. My mother wanted to know where I would sleep. My sister said she couldn’t imagine driving all those miles by myself.

“Don’t you wish you had someone there to share it with?” she asked.

Reminding them about my four-legged travel buddy did nothing to quell their unease. “I’m not alone,” I said, time and again. “Darwin will be with me.”

Perhaps I carried an extra air of confidence when I reiterated that statement about my co-pilot and explained that this trip was wholly different from a solo adventure. I had just read John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley: In Search of America,” and it spoke to me. Loudly.

“I took one companion on my journey — an old French gentleman poodle known as Charley,” Steinbeck wrote. He described Charley as a born diplomat, expert sniffer and poor fighter. He was an early bird, a good watchdog and friend who “would rather travel about than anything he can imagine.” The pair set off on their journey in September 1960.

Darwin was also a good friend — a sassy, independent beagle, occasional growler and regular howler who loved road trips second only to eating. In 2007, we traveled 8,800 miles in 30 days.

 Maniacal Squirrels Declare War Against New York

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