Needfully Obscure

Over the course of the last several months people have derided me for not supporting Donald Trump for President. Others lambasted me for failing to support Hillary Clinton as well.

Honestly, I haven’t publically supported a candidate for political office since 2005 when former Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons was running for office. I supported his candidacy openly because I know him personally.

My support garnered me one attack after another, until those who disliked my stance found a way to ‘publicly humiliate’ me by subjecting me to a full-blown ‘journalistic ethics review’ at the University of Nevada-Reno in which I was not invited to take part. The lesson was further engrained upon me, when Dean Heller, whom I supported because I know him too, turned out to be a Progressive Republican masquerading in Conservative duds.

(My apologies to Sharron Angle.)

And since I had people on both sides of this presidential election pissed at me for not saying who I would or would not vote for, I feel I did a good job at being needfully obscure. There is a reason for my obscurity: the truth.

While I said very little about who I would toss my ballot to, I did go in search of news and quotes (which I posted mostly to Facebook) that I believed best told the story from my Libertarian/Conservative/Constitutional slant. Oddly enough, I used the Progressive media to fulfill this quest.

And now that we are on the other side of the election, I can tell you that I was never going to support Clinton. Time and time again, I proved beyond a doubt that she is dishonest, power-hungry and generally dispossessed of good character to be anywhere near the Oval Office.

It was also a certainty that I wasn’t going to vote for an avowed Socialist (which is as good or bad as a Communist) like Bernie Sanders to hold sway over our federal life. Had the stars aligned properly — my choices would’ve been Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

Furthermore, I certainly was unwilling to throw my support to a third-party candidate not fully Constitutionally committed. Unfortunately, none of the third-party run-ups were ever in a position to garner enough votes, popular or electoral, to make much of a difference in the current structure of our nation’s private corporation’s political machinery.

That left one choice – Trump – which still gives me heartburn. I had to settle on one issue alone to help me push through what I still see as a very Progressive candidate, now President-elect. That issue came down to abortion and the fact that Trump made campaign promises to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

Yes, I know that campaign promises are jus’ that – promises, but I am a man of faith and I must have faith until proven otherwise. That brings me back to the subject of doing my best at obscuring my endorsement for Trump until the latter days of the campaign.

From where I am stand, I cannot see what his ‘game plan’ is moving forward as he builds his cabinet. After all, Trumps first move was to name a known Progressive Republican elitist as his Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, whom I prefer to call ‘Rinse Pubis.’

I can smell the ‘payback’ from here — can’t you?

Yesterday, Trump nominated Elaine Chao – the wife of Progressive Republican elitist Senator Mitch McConnell – for Secretary of Transportation. All I can see from this nomination is more pork-barrel spending on wasteful projects that feed McConnell’s ego and does nothing for the betterment of the U.S.

Making matters worse, Trump selected Steven Mnuchin, a man known for his direct connection with Goldman-Sachs, as his future Treasury Secretary. This becomes disconcerting as our nation continues to face financial problems brought on by the bailing out of such monetary institutions.

Plus, Trump keeps wining and dining Mitt Romney, another known Progressive Republican elitist, who not only lead a ‘never-Trump’ campaign, but bragged in 2012 about how his personally designed healthcare system in Massachusetts, where he was governor, became the blueprint for Obamacare. Couple this to the fact he purposely lost the third and final debate with President Obama, leading to his second presidential election, and you know the man cannot be trusted.

It’s because I cannot see into the future that I no longer endorse candidates. So much can go wrong afterwards and there is no way of taking the endorsement back once given with out a massive amount of egg on your face.

(Ask Joe Heck about this.)

Finally, I’m worried that we’ve been taken for fools again as Trump’s administration begins to take shape. It is also because of such foolishness with appointments and nominations among other stupidities (like attacking free speech) that I will never run short of material to wordify on as this country attempts to pull itself back from the chaos of the last eight, miserable years.

And while I don’t get what it is Trump is up too yet, we can always hope that he is true to his word.

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The Myth of Fidel’s Redemptive Qualities

Cuba’s literacy rate has only increase by 20-pecent between the 50’s and today, according to UN figures. Compared to El Salvador’s’ increase from less than 40-percent to 88-percent or Peru’s increase from 50-percent to 95-pecent or Brazil’s 50-percent jump to 93-percent and the Dominican Republic’s rate which rose during the same time period rose from under 40-percent to 92-percent.

As for healthcare Cuba’s made even less progress. In fact, by 2012, the life expectancy for most Cubans had dropped with Chileans, Costa Ricans and Mexicans living slightly longer.

Back in 1960, Chileans had a life span seven years shorter than Cubans, and Costa Ricans lived more than two years less than Cubans on average. In 1960, Mexicans lived seven years shorter than Cubans.

Meanwhile, U.N. Director-General Irina Bokova, still drinking the ‘cool-aid,’ offered condolences for UNESCO on the passing of Fidel Castro‎ Ruz. In a letter addressed to Dictator Raul Castro, Bokova recalled Fidel’s “leadership in steering his I country through difficult times, fighting for the right to education, harnessing the power of achieving free and inclusive education for all through his initiative, ‘Yo si puedo,’” which translates to ‘I can.’

On the other hand, the Reverend Franklin Graham didn’t mince his words when he wrote, “Loved by few, hated by millions, his communist revolution deposed a dictator, but ushered in a socialist police state that drove the entire Cuban nation into complete poverty and oppression and to think that Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Keith Ellison and others wanted socialism as a model for our country today!”

Graham also warned: “The socialists are regrouping in great number right now, and they will come back strong, organized, and more determined than ever. This battle isn’t over.”

As for me, and as one who has fought Communism and other non-Constitutional forms of oppression in various places around the globe, I’d like to add that I hope your new life in Hell is more miserable than the life you created for others while you lived. And don’t expect me to pray for your soul anytime soon, you dirty, rotten bastard, as I’ve seen what you’ve done!

What’s in My Wallet?

My son decided to treat me to a movie, “Dr. Strange,” which turned out to be a pretty good movie. Anyway, we parked in the back lot and walked the block long distance to the theater.

One of the things I am in the habit of doing is removing my wallet and putting it away while driving. I’ve found that if I sit on it, it causes my back to be off-center and adds to the pain that I experience everyday.

After the movie, we walked around the nearby mall window shopping and such. Once back at the truck, Kyle discovered that he’d forgotten to lock the passenger side door.

Instantly, I knew someone had been in the cab as my knit cap was on the floor board when I had specifically placed it on the seat between the driver and passenger seat.

Realizing this, I looked inside my wallet which was still in the center console where I had forgotten it. Everything, but the $101 in Christmas cash I’d managed to save over this year, was missing.

My immediate reaction was a desire to be pissed off at whoever did this. My next was to be angry at Kyle for no locking the door.

Instead, I decided to be mad at myself for leaving my wallet in my truck in the first place. Unlocked door or not, it is too great a temptation for evil-doers not to find someway to get into a vehicle to steal stuff.

Besides, Kyle lives in a world of electronic automatic locking car doors. And I drive a mid-sized dinosaur from the last century in which nothing is automatic, let alone electronic.

So the best thing I can do is learn from this mistake and move on, while trying to maintain a sense of humor about it all. Too bad GoFundMe won’t allow me to set up a donation site based on my stupidity.

Faded Glories

After reading one of my article’s that talked about Del Norte High School in Crescent City, California having an athletic hall-of-fame, my wife asked, “Weren’t you an athlete?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“Well,” she wanted to know, “When are they going to invite you to be a member?”

I smiled, “Never.”

“I don’t understand,” she replied.

With a snicker, I shot back, “Because I was only a sprinter and the school district lost money on the track program all four-years I was in school.”

Mom’s Portuguese Egg Pudding

After going through every box in storage, I finally found it.  This was one of my favorites that my mom used to make around Thanksgiving. I can taste it now…

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
Zest of half a lemon
3 eggs
Cinnamon (enough to cover top of pie)

Directions:

  • Place the milk, sugar and the flour in a saucepan. Whisk together and cook over medium heat. Add the lemon zest and stir until the mixture thickens to a cream consistency.
  • Turn off the heat, place the mixture in a large bowl and allow to cool until lukewarm.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Separate the yolks from the whites. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
  • Mix lightly the yolks with a fork, and then stir in the lukewarm milk, sugar flour mixture.
  • Gently fold in with a spatula the whipped egg whites.
  • Pour the mixture in a deep dish pie plate; sprinkle the top with cinnamon, enough to cover completely.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the top is well puffed and firm, even top may be cracked in a couple of places.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool to room temperature and serve.

Gene Clauson, 1955-2016

gene clausonSeveral of my friends and acquaintances have passed from this world this year. Most recently was country music artist Holly Dunn, whom I got to know more than 25 years ago when I was still doing radio.

And nearly four months ago, my friend as well as my son’s god-father, Gene Clauson passed away.  It happened suddenly and came as a shock that left me more than a little rattled as I found myself looking hard at my mortality.

And in all honesty, I’m jus’ now getting beyond the grief enough to write about him, though I had written a piece of fiction about him a few years back with the hope of snapping him back to his senses.  You see, Gene was an addict and his addiction had a strangle hold on him and he was in a deep depression.

It was during the height of his depression that he told me he was going to sell everything, buy a ticket to Europe, backpack around the continent for a year and then end his life with a ‘hot shot’.  After hearing this, I wrote that short-story sharing my idea of what this world would be like without him.

Moved by the reality I laid out, he decided he wanted to make a change in his life. That’s when he began the long, hard journey to get clean and I was so proud of him.

His three daughters and I are still in touch with one another through Facebook, which I’m thankful for nearly everyday. Anyway, I wrote Gene’s obituary for them as a way of soothing my hurt and taking some of the pressure off them.

Though simple, I’d like to share it:

Gene Clauson passed away suddenly at his home in Hayward, California on August 26, 2016 at the age of 61. He was born to Rosa Marie Haberman and Dale Larry Clauson in Hayward, California on March 12, 1955.

Gene attended various grade and high schools in the Bay Area. He worked radio broadcasting in Reno, Nevada and later as a club DJ in Tampa, Florida, before returning to California to continue his education as a substance abuse counselor.

Gene is preceded in death by his parents and step-parents. He is survived by his daughters; Elyse (Clauson) Fryling, her husband, Dustin and granddaughters, Alyssa and Rylee of Medford, Oregon; Lauren Clauson and grand daughters Sierra, Ella, and Kand of Lake view, Colorado; and Renee Clauson, of Central Point, Oregon.

If his death hurts like hell for me, I can only image how his girls must feel.

The Missing Bar of Soap

As a kid, I knew I’d been thoroughly punished after being forced to take a bite out of the Ivory soap bar for lying or some such similar act. It is a taste that doesn’t leave your mouth for a long while – and Ivory dish soap — if they still make it — is even worse.

Two days ago, as I was preparing to get in the shower, I got out a new bar of Ivory soap. I had unwrapped it and set it on the sink while I do other stuff.

Promptly – and as I’ve found happening more often – I forgot the bar of soap and proceeded to take a shower. Lucky for me I still had the sliver of the old bar in the shower still.

Following my shower, I toweled off and got dressed. Knowing it was on the counter, I wasn’t too worried because I figured it would still be there when I used the bathroom later.

It was slightly after noon when nature called and I finally walked back into the bathroom. That’ when I found the wrapper to the soap on which the soap had been sitting – sans the soap now.

Not to worry – I looked in the shower knowing that I sometimes do things that I’ve completely forgotten about later. But there was no Ivory soap bar where it should have been.

“Hmm,” I naturally questioned, “What the hell could I’ve done with it?”

That began the search as I back tracked my movements from throughout the morning. I mean I checked everywhere including the refrigerator and the dishwasher.

Still – no soap bar. I even resorted to digging through the kitchen trash and the garbage can in our garage, without positive result.

Like other things – my favorite pen included – I had to let it go and tell myself it had dropped into that ‘black hole,’ where objects disappear only to reappear at some point later. If I don’t play this little trick on my mind – I’d go bat-shit crazy.

(By the way – who decided bat-shit was the craziest shit? Anyone ever have to re-dig a used outhouse? Okay, I’m off topic…)

Forty-eight hour later, I am no longer concerned about the bar of soap. We have more in the hallway closet and life goes on.

That’s when I look outside and see our newest dog, Buddy, blowing bubbles out his ass. Upon closer investigation I can see his turds — filled with flecks of white, half-digested soap.

And while I feel bad for Buddy and his indigestion problem, I must admit that I am terribly relived that I really am not losing my mind and becoming frightfully forgetful. But then again, I concluded that I ought to write this all down before it slipped my mind.