Saturday, March 5, 2016

There Were Tether Ball Terrors Back In The Day Before Schools Banned the Game

Good Day World!

Today's a "remember when" day.

Do you remember playing tether ball in school?

It was banned decades ago, but when I was growing up in the 1950s every school yard had several tether ball setups that consisted of a long metal pole with a rope attached at the top, and a ball fastened securely on the end of the rope (tether).

The rules were simple. Two players stood on opposite sides of the pole. Each player then tried to hit the ball one way; one clockwise, and one counterclockwise.

The game ended when one player managed to wind the ball all the way around the pole so that it is stopped by the rope.

You'd be surprised at how much damage a tether ball can inflict. Bullies often dominated through intimidation. Look the wrong way for one moment and you'd find yourself eating that ball!

Trash talk contributed to the bullies seeming invincibility. I only saw one bully have to eat both his words and the tether ball, but it was very instructive.

The elementary school I went to in Southern California was a mix of whites and hispanics with just a few blacks. I felt sorry for them because they were picked on mercilessly.

In particular, there was one black girl named Sonya who was taller than most of the boys, and that included the school tether ball champion and bully, Peter.

Long story short; she challenged him to a game of tether ball and served up a can of whoop ass! She made that bully look like a fumbling fool.

Afterwards all he could do was leave, swearing profusively, as Sonya called for the next person in line!

Those were the days when we played red rover, dodgeball, kickball, freeze tag, and capture the flag. All banned now in 21st century schools.

The only thing that remains is the memories...

Time for me to walk on down the road... 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Growing Voting Bloc for Trump: White Supremacists

Good Day World!
All the remaining GOP presidential candidates are still looking for endorsements.
But when White Supremacists come calling, presidential candidates usually bend over backwards to disassociate from them, immediately disavowing everything they stand for.
Donald Trump has sent mixed signals about his feelings for the KKK and hatemonger David Duke.
Worse yet, no one in his organization is saying anything about another white supremacist who is openly endorsing Trump for president in numerous states.
William Johnson, head of the American Freedom Party, which promotes white nationalism, is sending out robocalls to Utah residents attacking Mitt Romney, who delivered a blistering critique of Trump Thursday.
Here's what the robo calls say:
"The American National Super PAC makes this call in support of Donald Trump. My name is William Johnson. I am a farmer and a white nationalist.
"This robocall goes out to all millennials and others who are honest in all their dealings. Mitt Romney has viciously attacked Donald Trump.
"Mitt Romney and his establishment conservatives are both mean spirited and dishonest. The white race is being replaced by other peoples in America and in all white countries. Donald Trump stands strong as a nationalist. Mitt Romney and his establishment conservatives pretend they don't care.
"Mitt Romney and his mean-spirited, establishment conservatives protect big moneyed interests where captains of industry reap billions in profits while the working man struggles to make ends meet in a rented apartment. Donald Trump is a populist. He cares about the working man.
"Vote Trump. Telephone: (213) 718-3908." 
It's obvious to anyone listening to this robocall that it's coming from a hate group. This group has already campaigned for Trump in Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Minnesota.
More than enough time for Trump's people to know white supremacists are a part of his voting block. Perhaps a BIG part. 
Trump has said he doesn't want their support (wink! wink! vote for me!) but he continues to appeal to their base instincts and outright racist creed.
One last thought; why do white supremacists like Trump? I think the answer is they know something that you and I don't!
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Unsolved Mystery: One Very Lucky Night in Vietnam

Good Day World!

The year I was in Vietnam (1970), American engineer units were turning over all of their heavy equipment to the South Vietnamese engineer companies.
(photo-Dave Stancliff-1970, Vietnam)

The United States was winding down the war. My unit, 31st eng battalion, 79th Group, was responsible for supervising on-the-job training for the modern equipment we were giving the South Vietnamese.

One night, after a day of showing the ARVN's how to operate a bucket-loader, I got roaring drunk with some guys in my squad and some ARVN soldiers.

We drank Tiger beer until the early morning hours. Passing out, one by one in the hooch that served as a makeshift bar. None of us were too concerned about the war that night.

We were near a bridge. Somehow, in my drunken state that night, I managed to stagger outside to relieve my aching bladder.

Like all the bridges in South Vietnam, there was some security.

In this case, security was a common anti-swimmer device consisting of concertina wire suspended from floating buoys and secured on the river bottom.

Tidal fluctuation, prevalent in most of Vietnam's waterways, caused the concertina to shift and agitate unpredictably, making it miserable for anyone who tried to swim through it.

There were also guards at various points and lights on the bridge itself. That night I was slowly staggering south of the bridge looking for a place to pee.

I vaguely remember going towards the water, my boots and pants getting wet, when suddenly someone grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the river bank.

It was a young Vietnamese boy. Maybe eleven or twelve years old with a grim look on his face. "Nguy hiem" (dangerous) he warned me. Then he disappeared and I passed out.

At daylight a guard found me sleeping on the river bank. When I told him what happened he shook his head in wonderment.

There were no civilians in the camp, and certainly no children. Who was my benefactor? For weeks afterwards I told my story to everyone I met, hoping I'd find out who the boy was.

I left Vietnam without finding out who saved me from being caught by that concertina wire and drowning in my drunken state.

It's one mystery I guess I'll never solve.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Where The Presidential Candidates Stand On The Issues Of Rape And Abortion

Good Day World!

Let's set aside all the silly drama going on with the Republican party and take a look at some real campaign issues.

Voters should know where the presidential candidates stand when it comes to abortion and rape.

DONALD TRUMP - His ex-wife Ivana claimed he sexually assaulted her during their marriage. When asked for a response from the Trump camp recently about the allegation, this is what his lawyer Michael Cohen said:

"You're talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, and private individual who never raped anyone. And, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."   

The fact of the matter is Cohen is 100% wrong. Go here for a full explanation.

So where does he stand (if only temporarily)? 

Donald Trump shocked attendees at the conservative CPAC conference in February when he declared himself pro-life after years of supporting the pro-abortion position. 

MARCO RUBIO - The answer is brief and bombastic: "There shouldn't be Abortion Ban Exceptions for rape." Period.

JOHN KASICH - This guy is cagey and doesn't want to be cornered into telling his real feelings about abortion.

He repeatedly refused to answer questions asked by the editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently about why he signed into law a budget that included a provision that prohibited state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring women to abortion services?

When pressed, Kasich said he would allow exceptions for abortion in the case of rape, incest or risk to the life of the mother.

TED CRUZ - He's very straightforward and believes there show be NO EXCEPTIONS for rape victims.

HILLARY CLINTON - Is also straightforward on her opinion: 

"I think abortion should remain legal, but it needs to be safe and rare. And I have spent many years now, as a private citizen, as first lady, and now as senator, trying to make it rare, trying to create the conditions where women had other choices."

BERNIE SANDERS - He's been a life-time defender of pro-choice. He co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act in 1993. In light of his voting record, Bernie has repeatedly received ratings of 100% from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

There you have it folks. I hope this breakdown helps.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Putting Life In Perspective: Things Aren't That Bad in America Today

Good Day World!

Is America going to hell in a handbasket or does it just seem that way?

Watching and listening to the news and social media outlets is like walking through a minefield of anger. It's a polarizing palable anger that stalks the land like a ravenous beast.

Because it's an election year, fiery rhetoric is stoking that anger to new heights. Presidential candidates claim our world is on the edge of collapsing into chaos

Politics of fear plague our country. Rants about crazed illegal immigrants taking over America, coupled with calls to ban all Muslims from our shores, embrace that anger like deadly lovers.

Contrary to what you've been hearing and seeing, things aren't all that bad in America today. They're not perfect. No society is.

I highly recommend you watch the following series to gain a real perspective on how far this country has come, and how terrible it was.

It'll help you put everything into perspective right now. This free YouTube link is an excellant documentary:

The Great Depression - Episode 1: A Job At Ford's 

I ended up watching the whole series and found it both enlightning, and encouraging, to know that we don't live in such bad times after all!
But don't just take my word for itSee what Warren Buffet thinks about the economy here.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, February 29, 2016

Best Example of Political Opportunism Yet In 2016 Election

Good Day World!

What better time is there to display the art of political flip-flopping than an election year?

Most of the presidential candidates have been caught flip-flopping on various issues throughout the election process because Google exists. All people have to do is to Google a pol's past and whamo!

The finest example of professional flip-flopping yet this year has to be Chris Christie's endorsement of Donald Trump. Only a few weeks had passed since he told the world Trump was unfit to be a president.

His abrupt about face freaked out Meg Whitman  (Hewlett-Packer CEO) his National Finance Co-Chair for his now defunct campaign. She called his swift move "an astonishing display of political opportunism."

An angry Whitman told reporters that Christie is mistaken if he ever thinks he'll get her support for anything again. She called on his donors and supporters to reject Christie and Trump outright.

Meanwhile a chorus of conservative commentors called his move  "irresponsible" and a "disgrace."

I couldn't agree more. If Christie is hoping for a VP spot with Trump for his defection...he better not hold his breath. Trump is the king of flip-floppers!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

If Elected President, This Man Promises To Weaken The First Amendment

Good Day World!

We're watching the Twilight Zone of politics this election year.

It's one thing being crude and rude, or to double down on lies, but when a front running presidential candidate promises to weaken the First Amendment...then we've entered the Twilight Zone!

Every news cycle day there's something new about Trump in the press. Give him credit, he knows how to get attention. But, in the last week he got more attention than he wanted from the press and his ego wouldn't stand for it!

Feeling butt hurt about recent reports of his fradulent University and the pending lawsuit against him has triggered Trump's famous temper.

"I love the free press. I think it's great," he said Saturday on Fox News Channel, before quickly adding, "We ought to open up the libel laws, and I'm going to do that," he threatened.

This is a typical Trump tactic; when he doesn't like something or wants to drag unfavorable court cases (or IRS audits) out he sues. 

Trump has no problem with being a hypocrite. On one hand he's telling his followers that he'd be tough on illegal immigrants, and on the other he's hoping you don't look into his past.

When he built Trump Tower he used undocumented immigrant labor (about 150 polish men) who were only paid a fraction of what others in the construction trade were being paid.

“They were undocumented and worked ‘off the books,’” Manhattan federal Judge Charles Stewart said of the workers after they became the subject of a 1983 lawsuit. “No records were kept, no Social Security or other taxes were withheld.”

During the 16-day non-jury trial, a number of the Polish workers testified that Trump underlings had threatened them with deportation if they caused trouble.

The judge ruled that Trump knew the Polish workers were working "off the books," that they were doing demolition work, that they were non-union, that they worked in unsafe conditions, that they were paid substandard wages with no overtime pay, and that they were paid irregularly if at all.

There's your good businessman, who also had to file bankruptcy four times. Trump last month threatened to sue the Post after the newspaper wrote an article about the bankruptcy of his Atlantic City casino.

The reason I feel like this is a Twilight Zone episode is simple; he's leading the polls for Republican candidates.
I can only hope his uneducated followers (Trump quote: "I love uneducated people!") and other followers wake up in time before it's too late.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...