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Shoppers pass Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, an open Disney Store that is still partially boarded up from recent vandalism on Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile shopping district. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

A brightening Black Friday, and beyond

Not many years in living memory have been as bleak as 2020, but Americans are doing their level best to dispel the gloom during the season of giving. The coronavirus pandemic that dampened Thanksgiving celebrations from coast to coast only sharpened enthusiasm for the ensuing shopping spree of Black Friday. The unfolding holiday period demonstrates there is little market for misery during the most spirit-filled time of the year.

This combination of photos shows logos for social media platforms, from left, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  (AP Photo)

Don't leave Facebook, Twitter to the left

Buckminster Fuller, the eccentric architect, inventor and author, once opined, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change things, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." But Fuller, who died in 1983 at the age of 87, didn't live long enough to see the advent of social media.

New Year's Day is seen on a 2021 calendar Friday, July 10, 2020, in Overland Park, Kan. 2020 is barely halfway over. That hasn't stopped many people from declaring the year canceled and wishing it would end. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

What Americans should be doing now for the future

With Thanksgiving now passed, Americans have entered into their yearly no-man's-land until the mid- to late-December holidays. Psychologically we are in a similar state of limbo, as we wait for both a new presidential administration (as of this writing not a done deal) and COVID-19 vaccines to flow into the American bloodstream. All this waiting, especially with the onerous lockdowns taking place in many parts of the country, is maddening.

Former president Barack Obama and formver vice president Joe Biden are shown in this undated photo. Mr. Obama is expected to soon formally endorse Mr. Biden, according to a report April 14, 2020. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Joe Biden's Obama retreads

A refurbished product is seldom as desirable as a brand-new one. Joe Biden must be assuming Americans can't tell the difference. Even as President Trump battles uphill to overturn the results of the recent presidential election, faces familiar during the earlier Age of Obama are reappearing in President-elect-apparent Biden's pantheon of power.

Stephanie Grant holds a "Stop the Tyranny" sign during a protest of Gov. Gary Herbert's mask mandate and new COVID-19 restrictions outside of the Governor's Mansion in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

Voices opposing government COVID-19 restrictions must be heard

One thing the left does much better than the right — other than shut down city blocks for days at time — is agitate for their needs. They grab the megaphone, collar the media outlets and raise Cain. Consequently, they find the odds that their grievances are acted upon increased. It's a nice little cycle, or racket, which is why it has been in the liberal playbook forever.

The Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower ship that brought the Pilgrims to America 400 year ago, is docked in Plymouth, Mass., days after returning home following extensive renovations, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. A disease outbreak that wiped out large numbers of the Native inhabitants of what is now New England gave the Pilgrims a beachhead in the "New World." So, some historians find it ironic that a pandemic has put many of the 400th anniversary commemorations of the Mayflower's landing on hold. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Mayflower Compact's enduring impact

The American electorate's apparent decision to replace their leadership amid a tumultuous pandemic is adding energy to progressive ambitions worldwide to engineer "a Great Reset," a reordering of society along socialist principles. Enthusiasm is no substitute for wisdom, though, and the current apostles of radical change will be hard-pressed to surpass the prudence of the intrepid sojourners who disembarked from the Mayflower 400 years ago this Saturday to found a society unmatched in history.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, file photo, President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. For nearly four years, President Trump has inspired a cadre of liberal-leaning religious activists to organize, mobilize, protest and pray in opposition to his policies regarding refugees and asylum-seekers, Muslims, white supremacy and health care. While gearing up for the inauguration of Biden, whose vice president will be a Black woman and who has already promised to expand the number of refugees next year by a factor of 10, these activists are wrestling with how to keep their momentum. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A Biden redux of the Iran nuclear deal

Iran wants something from Joe Biden that Donald Trump took away. The Islamic Republic is pressuring the presumed president-elect to return to the terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal, and also to "compensate" Iran for the errors of U.S. ways. Mr. Biden campaigned on a pledge to re-enter the deal, but now that rhetoric is giving way to reality, any new agreement must contain added conditions that better safeguard U.S. national security.

Stephanie Grant and Rebecca Olson protest Gov. Gary Herbert's mask mandate and new COVID-19 restrictions outside of the governor's mansion in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

Civil disobedience and COVID-19

The concept of civil disobedience, defined as the peaceful refusal to follow a particular law, is most often associated with its greatest practitioner, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But it's an old notion, and it's been followed by Americans since the start of our country. The desire to demonstrate upset with perceived government injustice by means that do not topple society, is, in a decisive respect, very American.

Miami-Dade Elections employees and campaign observers inspect and count ballots during a manual recount for state Senate District 37 between Republican Ileana Garcia and Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez, at the Miami-Dade Elections Department on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Miami. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)

U.S. electoral system, including Electoral College, beats Russia's antics hands down

During a difficult American election season, one can always count on Kremlin criticism of our nearly 250-year-old democracy for a laugh. This time commentary came from Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, who quipped that our "electoral system is the most archaic of all that there exist in countries of at least some importance around the world," adding "if the Americans are prepared to stick to a tradition that considerably distorts the expression of people's will, it is their right."

President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Conservatives, beware: The politics of retribution begins now

Conservatives, beware — the politics of retribution and score-settling are upon you. If you think for a second that your vote to reelect President Donald Trump was interpreted as a ballot cast for the candidate you believe best championed your everyday concerns of life, liberty and the pursuit of justice, former First Lady Michelle Obama begs to differ. According to her and, one might assume, the DNC apparatus, "tens of millions" of you voted for the president even though it meant "supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division."

Of the 25 U.S. counties reporting the highest number of new COVID-19 cases during the current surge, 21 had mask mandates in place before August. (Associated Press/File)

A Biden mandate to mask

The man behind the mask is Joe Biden. As a candidate for president, Mr. Biden has spoken strongly in favor of face mask mandates as a means of suppressing the spread of COVID-19. With the coronavirus spiking again, a coronavirus task force appointed by a President Biden is likely to urge states to implement orders that masks must be worn outside the home. While the coverings foster a sense of personal protection, there is little to reassure Americans that such directives will bend down the upward curve of disease.

A man watches results come in on a screen set up at an election night gathering at Independence Mall , Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Pennsylvania makes sport of the presidential election

Hold the confetti. America has spoken, but the final outcome of the 2020 presidential election is still a secret. Most of the credit, or discredit, goes to Pennsylvania. Rather than a keystone from which it takes its nickname, the commonwealth has tossed a brick at the fragile U.S. election system. Americans pondering their future course can do nothing but wait.

The American flag is seen at the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Strengthen the ties that bind, America

At the time of this writing much of America is heading toward the polls. Then they are heading home, sheltering in place and waiting. Fear and uncertainty are high, especially for small shopkeepers in major U.S. cities who have — in anticipation of unbridled anarchy and rioting by those on the left — boarded up their storefronts. If President Trump is reelected, they know the carnage nightfall could bring.

Debbie Sorensen inserts her ballot into a drops box Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A day for choosing and gratitude: The democratic process, though imperfect, is still unmatched

Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away, but the chance to have a say in the nation's leadership is not to be overlooked as an occasion for gratitude. The fact that over most of the nation, Election Day dawned bright and crisp — perfect elements for poll lines — is all the more reason for a hat tip toward our shared good fortune. Weather may remain beyond human control, every American adult is endowed with the privilege of casting a vote no less weighty than any other.

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