What are you thankful for?

It’s easy to want to forget 2020, thanks to COVID 19 and other global things. But Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. I’m thankful for:

-Our family.

-Our long and happy marriage.

-Our son’s latest adventure: Completing his first semester at Johns Hopkins University, where he’s majoring in biomedical engineering.

-Our friendships.

-Our Northern California lifestyle, in Nevada City and Lake Tahoe.

-Though our parents are no longer with us, we live near Shannon’s sisters and can get together.

-Our beloved dog Whiskey as she ages.

-Our extensive travel, which provides happy memories during a COVID-19 quaranteen.

-Swimming at the Yuba Club.

-Our local food.

Supreme Court sides with religious groups in dispute over Covid-19 restrictions

“In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court sided with religious organizations in a dispute over Covid-19 restrictions put in place by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that limited attendance at religious services,” as CNN and others are reporting.

“The case is the latest pitting religious groups against city and state officials seeking to stop the spread of Covid-19 and highlights the impact of Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Court. It comes as Covid-19 related cases are spiking across the country.

“In the late-night ruling, Barrett sided with the conservatives in the dispute, while Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three liberal justices in dissent. The ruling underscores Barrett’s impact on the bench, reflecting the Court’s rightward shift.

“The contentious order, released just before midnight on Thanksgiving eve, featured several separate opinions and some contentious language.”

The WaPo version is here.

The New York Times version is here.

The Los Angeles Times version is here.

In scathing opinion, judge tosses out Trump campaign lawsuit

“A lawsuit brought by President Trump’s campaign that sought to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results was dismissed by a federal judge on Saturday evening,” as The Washington Post and others are reporting.

“U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann granted a request from Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to dismiss the suit, which alleged that Republicans had been illegally disadvantaged because some counties allowed voters to fix errors on their mail ballots.

“The judge’s decision, which he explained in a scathing 37-page opinion, was a thorough rebuke of the president’s sole attempt to challenge the statewide result in Pennsylvania.

Brann wrote that Trump’s campaign had used “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” in its effort to throw out millions of votes.

“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state,” Brann wrote.

In a statement, Trump’s attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and legal adviser Jenna Ellis said they would appeal the decision and expected the case to reach the Supreme Court. “We are disappointed we did not at least get the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing,” their statement said.

The court’s opinion is here.

Nevada County COVID Community Webinar

“Nevada County has seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, with over six times as many new cases in the second week of November compared to the second week of October. Today, the State announced that Nevada County’s COVID-19 data meets the most restrictive Purple ‘Widespread’ Tier that will reduce the capacity and increase restrictions for local businesses.

“We know you have questions. Join us to learn how to protect and help our local businesses, get updates from Public Health and the local schools. This is a collaborative, all hands on deck, learning session for everyone who wants to be part of the solution and help get us headed in the right direction. Find more information at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus.”

—County of Nevada County

SpaceX crew docks at International Space Station

We’ve been watching SpaceX’s space capsule launch and arrival at the International Space Station — a 27-hour journey. Its been a welcome reprieve from the onslaught of depressing COVID-19 news. “The new global race to space” is here. Direct from America’s space program to YouTube, you can watch NASA TV live streaming here:

Grass Valley and Nevada City fire departments to merge

“On Tuesday November 10, 2020 the City Councils of both Grass Valley and Nevada City met in separate meetings but returned with unanimous decisions to support the full integration of their fire departments,” according to a press release.

“Beginning December 23rd the two formerly separate departments will have and a single fire administration overseen by Fire Chief, Mark Buttron.

“The new organization is tentatively being labeled the Grass Valley / Nevada City Fire Department. The name reflects the desire of each city to retain their identity and honor the long history and traditions of their fire departments. Grass Valley Fire Department was founded in 1853 and Nevada City Fire Department in 1860.

“Prior to becoming a unified agency, the two departments operated for nearly 20 years under an agreement that allowed for a drop boundary, closest resource response between the two agencies. Working closely over that period of time the leadership developed many programs and efficiencies that streamlined daily operations to the point it became natural for the two departments to become one.”

We pause on Veterans Day to reread “In Flanders Fields”

“In May 1915, Canadian military doctor, Maj. John M. McCrae, composed the poem In Flanders Fields after treating victims of a German chemical attack in Belgium,” as NPR reminds us. “It inspired the use of red poppies as a symbol of Veterans Day for many years in the U.S., and they’re still used in Great Britain.

“This seems like a good moment to recall McCrae’s words:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

NYT’s Dowd: We hereby dump Trump

“We expected more of Donald Trump,” Maureen Dowd writes in The New York Times.

“An epic, Jack Nicholson-in-the-Overlook-Hotel meltdown, not just Rose Garden-variety mewling. A conspiracy with grandiosity, not merely pathetic blathering about pointless lawsuits from his entitled children and oddballs Rudy Giuliani and Richard Grenell.

“The president has had all this time to hatch a spidery plot to ruin democracy on the way out the door, and this is the best he can come up with?

The election has been stolen!

“What’s your proof?

Because I’m losing.

“This, from the man who has been hailed as an evil genius of media manipulation?

“John Roberts was no doubt relieved that the president’s legal feints were so lame and threadbare that the Supreme Court would probably not have to do another indefensible Bush v. Gore decision to save their benefactor.”

The rest of the column is here.