December 31, 2021
I have been reading your newsletter for a very long time and today's, for the first time, brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations, Mazel Tov, on the beautiful growth of your family, with all the love and worry, and always optimism that you bring to your newsletter and life. Ten years ago in my work as an Interpersonal Psychoanalyst, I would listen to young people talk about their fear of bringing children into this world for political reasons, as a defense against deeper more personal feelings. Don't get me wrong, not having children is an option for all young people and I am glad to see more people feeling freer to ponder this question, rather than automatically fulfill the expectations of society and their families and have children, AND, the "political" reason used to seem like a defense. That has changed. When young people tell me they are worried to bring children into this world because they are not sure if they will see them going to war over water and other resources, I share their worry, and support all outcomes, but am always (in most cases) secretly happy when they decide to take the leap of faith and bring another life into this world. As long as we live and breathe we need to bring more life into the world.
We have a long fight ahead of us. I agree with you Robert, we will win, but I have two caveats to that. I do believe that the arc of history moves towards progress, but it has a lot of very very deep lows, and I do not know if we are about to enter one of these. Whether democracy, decency and humanity comes out on top, depends on how much time humans have to live on earth. As you point out, it's not looking good. Thank you for your wonderful letter, and Happy New Year to you and your lovely family.
I promised myself and you in one of my emails to you that I would sign up. My gift to myself for the new year is that I just became a paid subscriber. As we are approaching Jan 20, the anniversary of Joe Biden’s inauguration, I thought I would open my first remark with song lyrics I wrote as I watched events on television that hopeful day. I am a songwriter. Someone mentioned that the lyrics don’t refer to that day and I replied that there is one special line that does but it passes real quick but it’s my favorite line.
Broken Roads and Broken Trails ( Inauguration Day)
Nothing more to say
Wrong from the first day
Wrong, till the last day you know the tale
Broken roads and broken trails.
He was ushered out
Left behind only doubt
Blinds up, the White House disinfected through and through
Sun up and skies are blue.
So you walk, past trees, by the reflection pool
Listen to the echo of gangs and fools
And ye shall know the truth
And the truth will make you free
They told that to me once back in school.
(All rights reserved @)
Your letters resonate clarity and balance. I am more than grateful for them. As thanks for your continued attention, I'm sending on a poem of mine (I'm a poet).
Foggy Afternoon Walk
A large number of ducks were involved
in a walking migration,
from the creek they inhabit by Richard’s Drive,
to the front yard of the empty house
on the far side. At least a hundred of them.
A congregation moving in smallish groups,
cacophonous and graceful,
dared the misty road, and sidled or trotted across.
Every time a car showed up through the fog
arrangements were improvised. Negotiations
varied with each encounter. Sometimes, the car
stopped and the ducks continued silent
through the wavering headlight beams.
Other times, the ducks retreated,
squawking with disgust.
At last a car came, driving fast,
swishing at eight or ten ducks.
I screamed from the sidewalk,
covered my face with my arms.
And the ducks flew away.
I had forgotten they could fly.
copyright Pam Burr Smith 2021
I am so grateful that you focus on the positive and provide great resources so we can be active participants in our democracy. What a gift you and your managing editor are. Happy New Year. P.S. As I write we are watching our Colorado fires just a few miles from us, just north of Standley Lake. We are getting to experience what your family endured with the CA fires.
Thank you so much for sharing your family commentary with all of us! We have been third-party beneficiaries in the truest sense of the word! Happy New Year to all the Hubbells, new and old(er)!
Robert a not so good year was made better everyday reading your newsletter and positive view on the world. I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and I am confident that 2022 will be the turnaround year for the Biden Administration
Robert, thank you for the time, energy, wisdom and passion you deliver to us each morning. I have come to rely on your positive approach as I begin each day, and often read passages aloud to my husband. We are so happy your cabin survived the fires and we hope you and your family enjoy many more summers there together. Let's hope 2022 brings us all together in a country we can once again be proud of. Best wishes to you and your family! Amie
Thank you, Robert, for all that you do for us, and for the nation. And thank you, Jill for lending Robert to us. They also serve who sit by and edit.
Happy 2022 to all.
Robert B. Hubbell, Lines from Today's Edition find themselves in the comments of subscribers to other newsletters. Your perceptions and inspiration travel well. Has any reader commented before, perhaps, someone closer to your age or older, that you are like a grandfather to them? Good health and cheer to you and your family in 2022!
You are a voice of reason and sustained hope in a dark season of American history. Thanks to you and others like you who are willing to believe in a better future and wisely hold onto the long-term perspective on everything political. May you and your family experience God's love and blessing as we move into a new year.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson last night on MSNBC….talking about his concern for science. A worthy few minutes!
Thank you Robert, for all your energy and passion, your commitment, and your ability to communicate it all!
Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for being here this year. I am so thankful to my friend who suggested you a little over a year ago. I followed the news of the Sequoia fires this summer as if your cabin was that of a friend or neighbor (in fact one of our condo neighbors has had a family cabin there for I think 3 generations), or as if it were Yosemite (the home of my heart). I have given more money to political causes I believe in this year, but not really more time. I am an un-activist at heart. Perhaps in 2022 I can change that in at least a small, but consistent, way. Wishing you and your family a new year filled with adventure, good health, and peace.
I'm sure you've already seen this article - https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/31/health/covid-omicron-lung-cells.html It's a great read.
One of our friends asked me how and why the Influenza pandemic subsided after 3-4 years. The science behind this article may provide some clues. The Omicron changes in the spike protein appear to have created preferential binding to upper airway epithelial cells – which are obviously quite different from lower tract cells. This is going to transform completely the understanding of resp infections – and may shed light on both the intense virulence of the 1918 H1N1 and how it was supplanted.
We’ve already learned more about the details of respiratory transmission in the last 20 months than in the previous 100 years. Now it’s gonna happen for respiratory pathenogenicity.
Nothing ever surprises me in medicine – we always learn how very wrong we were…. 😊
Thank you, as always, for your ongoing commentary. It's truly helpful in the midst of the hate and the fear to receive your calming voice that somehow manages to keep things in perspective.
Blessings to all. Have a joyful and safe New Year.
I join the chorus of thankyous for your newsletters. It is a lot of work - especially when one cares about accuracy, truth and balance. You inform us and you lift us up. Five days a week, you make my day. Happy Healthy New Year to you and yours.
Like you, Robert, I spent 2021 focused on the major themes: Democracy, public health, climate change and family. I was under no illusions, in 2016, seeing Trump winning as soon as HRC opened her mouth and uttered those three terrible words: "Basket of deplorables". I also knew his reign would be terrible, with his one great accomplishment in life having been building ONE skating rink in New York, "on time and under budget"-back in the 1980s. Thus, the events of January 6 came as no surprise-nor have the subsequent attempts by a blinkered pseudo-elite to cement their grip on power. The SOLE THING that will keep Republicans from oblivion is the persistence of corporate media in promoting their shared lies. That's fine; those of us who are intelligent enough to think on our own and do for ourselves will have work to do, this coming year and beyond. We'll get it done-the NYTs, Fawks Snoozes and WaPos of the world notwithstanding. Happy New Year, to you and family!
Robert, thank you for this beautiful and hopeful yet clear-eyed edition. Like a commenter below, reading about your family also brought tears to my eyes. While writing post cards just now, I listened to your podcast with Jessica Craven. It was awesome! So inspiring. I'm finally going to have to check out Tik-Tok! Thank you for bringing your many readers hope during this very difficult year. I wish you and Jill and your whole family and happy, healthy and BLUE New Year!