Posts Tagged ‘2020’

Want My Vote? Who Won in 2020?

Friday, October 20th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

408D0046-5CB4-4AC5-A1AD-C3B82315CD7D     It may be a little early, what with Election Day still more than two weeks away, but I’m ready to announce my vote in any local, state or national office up for grabs: The Democrat.

      Any Democrat. Well, any unindicted Democrat, let’s say. Straight ticket. No Republicans. No contest. No need to drop off anymore campaign literature, local candidates. Save your pens for the undecided or uninformed potential voters out there. My mind’s made up.

     The decision was simple. After six decades of considering candidates’ positions on a variety of issues and trying to decide which one (of any political party) I preferred, my litmus test has come down to one, basic question: Has the candidate publicly declared Joe Biden as the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election?

     Since every Democrat has done this, this is only a trick question for Republicans. Basically, it means going on the record and saying Donald Trump is a lying sore loser, a threat to democracy and should never hold public office of any kind again

     I know that might be a little difficult for some local Republicans to tell their constituents, even though they believe it, but you know what Harry Truman said about the heat and the kitchen. (Google it if you don’t.)

    Local Republican candidates everywhere, not just in my little corner of slightly upstate New York, have been coasting on the Trump question for seven years now. Either they’re with him or they’re agin’ him. Keeping quiet just to get elected or reelected won’t cut it. That’s how Trump got where he is today and that’s how the Republican Party got where it is today: Unable to even pick a Speaker of the House of Representatives in which it is the majority party because too many Republicans were afraid to stand up to a small group of ignorant Trump acolytes, who know nothing and care not a whit about bipartisan governing. 

     Silence is consent. And who wants to vote for a candidate who is afraid to speak his or her own mind?

      If the Republican Party has any hope of ever again being considered a legitimate, pro-democracy organization, it must rid itself of Trump and Trumpers. Sitting and waiting for the courts to possibly do it is the cowards’ way out.

     Otherwise, it can just continue on the path to Fascism, depriving certain groups of people of the vote, operating through fear and retribution, lying, cheating and threatening those who stand in its way. Vladimir Putin couldn’t ask for a better ally in his worldwide campaign against democracies.

      What has this got to do with my local county legislator or town councilman? Everything. That’s where it starts. Quiet coverups. Special favors. Refusal to compromise. And, in this case, failure to uphold long-standing Republican Party principles because the party needed bigger numbers. Failure to say, “We don’t do that.”

     The once unacceptable becomes accepted, commonplace, routine, expected. It works its way up the chain. It sells its soul to ignorance and avarice in exchange for perceived power and glory. Democracy be damned.

      It says a serial liar, twice-impeached, four times indicted narcissist facing 91 felony counts is the best person to carry the beacon of democracy for America

      I say, if you’re a local Republican candidate and you don’t believe in all that, I’ll look at your record and views and consider voting for you. Not until then. You don’t have to knock on my door to do it. Just post it on your Facebook page.

      And keep your Trump buttons.

Here’s Looking at You, World

Friday, December 24th, 2021

By Bob Gaydos

Post-op. Coffee and a buttered roll. I.R. Photography

Post-op. Coffee and a buttered roll.
I.R. Photography

“You were nearly legally blind in that eye and now you’re 20/20.”

     In fact, in both eyes. For the first time since, well, ever. Merry Christmas.

      The 20/20 score was reported to me by a technician who had just asked me to look at the eye chart and tell her what I could see with my left eye. I started at the bottom. I am one of the 2 million or so Americans who had cataract surgery this year. Virtually all the procedures were successful, as usual.      

     I can now write this column, look out the window, stare at the clock in the other room, just look without thinking about what I’m trying to see and I find it all just amazing because it is so commonplace today.

             You lay back on a table, stare without blinking into a bunch of bright lights (into a second bright light if you elect laser as well), they remove the cloudy lens in your eye and replace it with a new, clear one. Voila! Rest a bit, have some coffee, get dressed and go home. Take the eye drops as prescribed. Don’t drive immediately, but move about freely in the world.

        And boy is it a bright, colorful world. The impact was remarkable, especially for someone who had worn strong prescription eyeglasses since the first grade, from get-out-of-bed to go-to-bed. No more. I’m grateful.

        Indeed, it regularly amazes me how we take for granted so many scientific advances in our lives, barely give them a second thought much less a moment of gratitude, yet at the same time doubt or dispute science when it doesn’t fit our preconceived beliefs, often based on nothing but self-serving pronouncements from non- scientists. Only when the science hits home do some, reluctantly, notice what an incredible world we enjoy.

         This year, I had an inflamed gall bladder removed without surgeons having to open my whole midsection. I had lenses removed from each eye and replaced with new ones, with no pain or discomfort. Everything’s working fine.

          Not so in the Fifth Century B.C., when the first cataract surgery was performed without benefit of anesthesia or sterile conditions. A sharp needle was used to push the lens out of the viewing axis. It was called “couching” and the outcomes were terrible.

           This went on until 1747, when French surgeon Jacques Daviel actually removed a lens from an eye, using a special knife and spatula. Post-op was a cotton dressing soaked in wine placed on the eye and the patient resting in a darkened room for several days. Complications were common.

           Not until after World War II was the second half of the operation — placing a new lens in the eye — possible. Research in the 21st century has developed better lenses, safer techniques and the use of lasers for incisions. Today, the procedure is not only commonplace, but regarded by most people as routine. 

          And I see that as remarkable.

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at





Streaming My Way Through a Pandemic

Friday, January 1st, 2021

By Bob Gaydos


George Clooney and Brad Pitt, streaming in one of the “Ocean’s” movies.

George Clooney and Brad Pitt, streaming in one of the “Ocean’s” movies.

    Apropos of nothing, the list below represents a significant portion of my at-home viewing entertainment in 2020, the year of the pandemic. If it’s representative of anything, it’s what I did when I wasn’t writing about you know who.

      I don’t see any pattern in the list, except maybe that George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Paul Newman, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington all appear more than once. What the offerings all have in common is that they were not on television. All were streamed, thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Disney Plus. If the stock market is reflective of anything, it appears a lot of other folks were passing the time streaming 2020 as well.

      Everything on the list is a movie, not a series. (I’m counting “Mangrove” as a stand-alone.) There were a few of those, too, as well as varied educational offerings, which I have been told will help to keep my mind razor sharp.

      But these are all one-shot features, some old, some new. I’m not critiquing any, but I do welcome any comments or questions you may have on the list as well as recommendations for 2021. I’m serious. I found this to be one of the few things that people could talk about last year without arguing and that I could write about without using the word, “Dotard.” …

     Darn. Habit. Happy New Year and happy streaming.

The List:

The Laundromat

The Pianist

The Commuter

Book Club


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy


The Danish Girl

The Peacemaker

The Coldest Game

Ladies in Lavender

A Serious Man

An Inspector Calls

The Rainmaker

Where the Money Is

Hail, Caesar!

The Double

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Nobody’s Fool


Minority Report

Rocket Man 

To Catch a Thief

The Gardener

Ocean’s Twelve

Ocean’s Thirteen

The Social Dilemma

Secret in Their Eyes

Cafe Society

The Departed


My Octopus Teacher 


Man of the Year


The Dressmaker

Cookie’s Fortune


Margot Fonteyn

Uncle Frank


Deja Vu

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Diana: The Royal Truth


Amazon Empire

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at