So glad you have signed up to receive the For Random Learning Comes Newsletter! This is the seventy-second edition, a special New Year's Eve edition.

Previous editions can be found on the blog's Newsletter page. I send it out weekly, so if you don't get my email on Saturday morning, please let me know! (Check your junk and spam folders too.)
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Happy New Year --or at least New Year's Eve-- to you all! My best wishes and felicitations for the New Year!

I created this edition of my newsletter not as a log of my latest new content, as usual, but as an homage to the year 2022.

I have collected my poems about or incidental to the top stories and happenings of the year, in my personal opinion. Most were written during this past twelve months. A few are a bit older.

The Stock Market

Anyone who has any investments will recognize that this has been a crazy year for the Stock Market. We personally had the added joy of trying to buy and sell houses during a period of rapidly increasing interest rates, as well.

The following two poems celebrate or decry the volatility many of us have experienced this year.

Economics 101
Shares

The War in Ukraine

In February a war crept into the consciousness of the American people and for the first time in a while, we made the decision to intervene beyond our borders.

As the months have slogged on, the US and Europe have contributed vast sums to this cause. The next four poems were written as the war developed and changed, as did our part in it, our reasons for being involved, and our excuses for not getting more involved.

Choice
Grateful
Sovereign
Summer Playground

The Dobbs Decision (overturning Roe v Wade)

This Supreme Court decision by our overwhelmingly conservative court took a right that many young women count on and tossed it out the window, or at least tossed it to the states to decide.

Local rule, or home rule, can be a good thing in many cases, but not necessarily in the case of human rights. The whole state's rights thing didn't go particularly well for the US back in the days of the Civil War, either.

Although I am far from a Constitutional scholar, I do have an opinion, and the following two poems give you some sense of it.

Litmus Test
Dystopia Today

The January 6th Hearings

After two failed impeachments, the January 6th hearings were just so much noise to half the population, and delicious scandal to the other half.

Now that the committee has wrapped up its work and sent it on to the Department of Justice, to possibly do something(?!) we can at least enjoy the moments of embarrassment this slow tedious process managed to cause the former president.

The following two poems are based on those hearings and the underlying issues they uncovered.

Deja Vu
Remarkably Indecent

COVID-Lite

Forgive my terminology here--there were still an inordinate number of people who got sick or died from COVID in the past year. But somehow, with vaccinations and a more friendly variant, we all started to live our lives again, anyway.

Rather than having half my poems discuss public health, as in the past several years, only two I can find did. One deals with China's polar-opposite take on the virus, until very recently. And the other tells us not to let our guard down quite yet.

Control
Black Diamond

The MidTerm Rout

Or so we viewed it, we Democrats who expected to be beaten soundly by the out-of -office-and-therefore-blameless Republicans. And yet, the status quo was more or less maintained.

Especially gratifying was the number of election deniers who went down to defeat. And the contest in Georgia, spitting distance from where I live, was decided most satisfactorily, with Reverend Warnock winning.

This occasion allows me to dust off my poem from last year, based on Warnock's maiden speech, as well as a more recent poem, also extolling the value to each of us, of our vote.

A Vote
Who Owns My Vote?

The New Year

Two poems I will leave you with.

One laments a relative taken much too early in her life, just a few years ago on New Year's Day. My condolences to those who miss her, as I do.

The other speaks of the unrelenting march of time, the trade of a life for a death, that goes on year after year. I put it in because it reminds me of the "Out with the Old Year, in with the New" imagery of the hoary old man and the brand new baby.

A Rose In Winter
In Kind

I hope this new year will be filled with good news for you and yours. Thank you, as always, for reading this newsletter whenever you can!

Happy New Year!

Andrea

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