Taking A Brief Look Back On 2021

Here it is, the 365th day of 2021, meaning it is time to look back upon the previous 364 days. I can sum them up with a single sentence: Thank God 2021 is over!

It has not been a good year.

Here are some of the events, happenings, and observations from this past year, in no particular order:

- There is an incompetent dementia patient sitting in the Oval Office. Not that he was competent before the dementia kicked in.

- We have a vice president who is even less competent, likes the trappings and the perks of the job but doesn’t actually want to do her job, or more likely, is incapable of doing her job.

- The DNC is in the hands of the Communist Party...er...Progressive wing of the Democrat Party, pushing every Left Wing cause there is and working very hard to dismantle the US and create a new Soviet Union.

- WRBA (Whoever is Running the Biden Administration) has seriously mishandled Covid and is still trying to blame former President Trump for their inability to get a handle on it. That the definition of ‘Covid death’ being used is so broad has seriously inflated the death toll and been used as a club to take increasing control of the country, the economy, and eroding the Constitutional rights of the people and eroding federalism.

- The price of energy has skyrocketed, not due to actual market forces but as a response to direct interference by WRBA by banning new oil and gas leases on federal lands, threatening to cancel existing leases, and severely restricting fracking. The US went from being energy independent on January 19th to dependent upon hostile foreign sources (OPEC) on January 20th. It wasn’t a mistake. It was deliberate.

- Thousands of Americans working in Afghanistan and Afghans who were allied with US forces in Afghanistan were abandoned, cast aside like trash because WRBA didn’t want to be bothered with keeping promises made by previous administrations. To this day WRBA has done nothing to get the abandoned American citizens home or the get our Afghan allies out of Afghanistan. Many of those allies have already been imprisoned or executed by the Taliban.

- The media is still carrying a lot of water for WRBA, choosing to ignore the failures, the prevarications, morally and ethically bankrupt actions, and questionably legal/constitutional actions. However, we are starting to see cracks in that support as the media is finding it increasingly difficult to cover up the blatant actions by said WRBA.

- On a more relatable topic, the housing market went insane, some of it attributable to people leaving the ‘big city’ to get away from the aforementioned Covid pandemic and some attributable to others fleeing the increasingly oppressive blue states. Demand didn’t ramp up so much as skyrocket over a relatively short period, with demand far outstripping supply in some areas and supply far outstripping demand in others. (Some of the latter is taking place in blue states as people want to sell and relocate to red states but there aren’t enough buyers in those blue states.)

- Inflation is rampant, a lot of it caused by the government spending more money than it is taking and and paying for it by cranking up the proverbial printing presses to ‘11’. What’s worse is that WRBA is trying to portray the inflation as something good, even though everyone know that inflation hurts the middle class and really hurts the poor. They’ve taken a page out of Orwell’s 1984 to change the meaning of words so that even horrible things will be described as something good or beneficial.

- I found it interesting, but not surprising, that a large number of parents across the nation decided they weren’t going to return their children to public schools when those closed due to Covid reopened this past fall. Some decided to home-school their children and others to send them to private schools. Covid seems to have been the nudge some parents needed to pull their kids from the local indoctrination center masquerading as a public school. More than a few parents saw first-hand what their children were being taught when schooling was remote and didn’t want them anywhere near their school after that.

- One thing I’ve been watching online this year has been compilations of dash cam videos on YouTube showing all kinds of dumb driver actions and accidents. Some dumb actions and accidents were due to driver inattention. Some where due to driver inexperience. Some to weather. And some were deliberate. Road rage incidents and possible insurance scams abound in the dash cam videos. Probably the most common were so-called “brake checks” where a motorist will pass a vehicle, pulling in just in front of the car or truck with the dash cam and then slamming on their brakes. In a lot of cases the brake check vehicle is hit by the vehicle it passed. The ‘victim’ claims injuries and sues. However, the dash cam video shows what actually happened and the suit (and insurance claim) goes nowhere. Dash cam video has also exonerated or condemned other motorists even if the dash cam was in a vehicle not involved in an incident. Seeing these videos is one reason why I invested in a dash cam: self-protection. Even the best ones run less than $130 and are cheap insurance. Considering I have seen so many more people driving ‘dumb’ this year, at least up here, I figured it was a good idea to get one.

- Seeing the results of a number of state and local elections around the nation this year indicates to me that the Democrats are in deep trouble. With a few exceptions, Democrats lost quite a few of those off-year contests, even in nominally Democrat majority districts. It could be a precursor to the 2022 midterm elections. Let’s hope that is indeed the case.

- I have to admit that I am puzzled by the labor shortage. There are all kinds of jobs open, gone wanting for people to fill them. Our labor participation rate is lower than it was two years ago. So what are all the folks who left the workforce getting their money? Or did they get a big bag of government money so they don’t feel the need to work? I know the ‘extra’ unemployment stipend for those affected by Covid expired back in September, yet even though their jobs have started up again they haven’t returned to work. This is something we’ve seen across the board, not limited to one specific portion of the workforce.

- Speaking of jobs, one thing that has come to the forefront this past year is Work From Home. It became a thing in 2020, but even after employees returned to their workplaces, many employers (including mine) continued many of their WFH policies because they found productivity and employee satisfaction was up. It has also been a recruiting tool which has certainly helped my employer fill some open positions in our engineering department. Not every job lends itself to WFH, even mine. (I have to spend time in the electronic hardware, optics, environmental, and calibration labs. The paperwork I take care of from home.)

There are tons more I could have included in the list above, but I wouldn’t have been able to post this for a few more days.

Just one more horrible thought to ponder: 2020 was followed by 2020 Won. 2020 Won is being followed by 2020 Too.