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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 11/27/20

Good morning! I hope everyone enjoyed this strangest of Thanksgivings. As we all emerge from our turkey comas, I was thinking of a few things that I’m thankful for this year that I could not imagine a year ago would justify giving thanks:

  • I’m still alive and haven’t been hospitalized by a deadly virus

  • We had an election in America that didn’t result in a constitutional crisis and failure of our electoral system

  • We didn’t have widespread rioting in the streets as a result of (a) legitimate grievances about racial injustice, or (b) illegitimate grievances about “the election being stolen.”

  • It’s late November and the USC Trojans have won but THREE games. NOTE TO CHIP SELLERS AND OTHER NON-SPORTS FANS…USC has only played three games this year and won them all (if only barely). In a typical season, 10 games already would have been played and a 3-7 record would not be something to brag about.


Thanks to Abraham Lincoln (the man whom our current president might have done as much as he has for Black Americans) declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, the year of the emancipation proclamation and victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg (the site of the President’s most recent unsubstantiated attacks on the election this Wednesday). In the words of Heather Cox Richardson, “Lincoln established our national Thanksgiving to celebrate the survival of our democratic government.”

I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to acknowledge that this year, we should be giving thanks to the survival of our democracy against the flurry of venal and unsubstantiated attacks on our electoral system and against those people—elected officials, government workers, volunteers, and poll watchers—who are responsible for ensuring its accuracy and fairness. It was a close call but the system survived Rudy and Sidney and Rush and their minions.

And in the words of our President-elect, “Think of what we’ve come through—centuries of human enslavement; a cataclysmic Civil War; the exclusion of women from the ballot box; World Wars; Jim Crow; a long twilight struggle against Soviet tyranny that could have ended not with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but in nuclear Armageddon.” And then he said, “Faith, courage, sacrifice, service to country, service to each other, and gratitude even in the face of suffering, have long been part of what Thanksgiving means in America.”


We are now approaching gift-giving season (Christmas is a month away but Hanukkah is coming December 10th!). Anyone who needs to know my sizes or my desired list of books, let me know.

Seriously, though (well not so seriously), I looked to Facebook to see what it recommended I might want as a gift. As usual, it was of dubious help:

  • A pair of used Adidas tennis shoes

  • An F-150 pickup

  • A stretch limo

  • A camper

  • A beat-up motorcycle (FB apparently thinks I’m all-in on various modes of transportation)

  • “Metallic gold,” described as “7.2 gram miuki square 5mm 22 hole metallic gold iris tila beads” (HUH?)

  • A mechanical pencil

  • A “nose bridge clip” (which guarantees, “the nose is increased, so that you have a beautiful nose…” provided it’s used 2-15 minutes a day). Such things exist? And I need one? Pass…

As we head into the holiday season, I hope everyone has fun, celebrates, and gets presents that are a tiny bit more useful than these! Have a great weekend, Glenn

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