Things I Never Thought I’d See

I’ve seen the elephant, but nothing like this!


I use to watch The Twilight Zone, a television anthology series  created by Rod Serling.

The show pushed the limits of reality with psychological horrorfantasyscience fictionsuspense, and psychological thrillers, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist, and usually with a moral.

But as strange as Serling’s stories were they pale in the light of our 21st century realities.

Who would have thought America would some day be led by a racist man-child who thought it was okay to grab women’s vaginas?

Who would have thought America would become a laughingstock because we have a narcissist Liar-In-Chief leading us?

Who would have thought we’d be so close to a nuclear war with Korea? It’s a modern day Cuban missile crisis, but we have added the factor of two emotional stunted world leaders threatening each other.

Who would have thought that there would be a renaissance of racism in America in the 21st century, as the alt-right stepped into the lime light after Trump was elected?

Who would have thought that the American people would become so dumbed down by fake news that they would elect a greedy con man president?

Who would have thought something called the internet would change the world?

As It Stands, I’m 66-years old and have “seen the elephant as the oldtimers use to say, but nothing compares to today!


White House Stops Press Briefings, Refers Reporters To Fox and Friends


It’s official.

Since his presidency, Trump has watched Fox and Friends every morning before any security briefings, or news.

Republicans who have sworn fealty to his Orangeness in Office, have decided it’s time to fully submerge themselves in the administrations swamp.

House Republicans introduced a bill making it mandatory for all GOP members to watch Fox and Friends every morning before going about their day. The bill is expected to pass with the current GOP majority in the House and to move on to the Senate without any discussion.

Senate confirmation is a given.

White House staff members – especially the propaganda unit – are busy fighting all the fake news (everyone but Fox and Friends). By canceling all White House Press Briefings, Trump has taken another step to Make America Great again.

This is truly an exciting time for Americans. It’s been nothing but winning, winning, and more winning with Trump at the helm.

But wait! There’s more: All liberals will be required to wear a rainbow ID badge if Lying Ted Cruz has his way. He’s attached a rider to the Fox and Friends Bill that looks like it’ll go unchallenged.

As It Stands, you are now leaving the Twilight Zone, or just woke up from a nightmare!


Now What? Everyone’s on Vacation


One of the reasons that I have a blog is I like to write about politics.

But I’m up against a wall right now. Trump and Congress are on vacation, regardless of what Trump claims. That leaves less options. But there’s still news.

For example. 

A federal climate report says the United States is already feeling the effects of climate change, with temperatures rising dramatically over the last four decades.

That’s according to The New York Times, which acquired a draft copy of the report by scientists from 13 federal agencies. But don’t expect to see it.

Trump has made it clear he doesn’t believe in climate change. His administration is going to review the study and then make a recommendation. Do you want to guess what’s going to happen with that report?

It’s going to get filed in the round file, aka trash. That based upon what Trump has said and done, like getting out of the Paris Climate Accord which was signed by nearly every country in the world.

Here’s an perfect example of what science is up against: The Trump administration’s solution to climate change: ban the term

Moving on.

The U.S. is getting sucked into a nasty little war between the Philippine government and an ISIS affiliate who captured the city of Marawi. It’s a siege situation right now. We’ve given limited support thus far.

And on.

I read that USA Today is tracking Trump’s real estate deals, and readers are invited to help.

Since winning the Republican nomination, Trump’s businesses have sold at least 32 luxury condos and home lots for about $20 million to shell companies that shield the identities of buyers.

The identities of people paying Trump’s companies for real estate may come under a microscope as the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election expands his probe to examine Trump’s business transactions.

As It Stands, the best show in the house is always Trump, and our bumbling Congress.

An Old Expression/Response That Will Leave You laughing

portrait me & shirley

Got a big smile going on today?

If not, allow me to toss out a few crumbs of jocularity for your entertainment.

My wife and I (photo) have been married 43 years as of August 31st.  We’ve stayed together this long because we communicate and both have a good sense of humor.

One night, I remembered an old expression my Dad used and spontaneously decided to share it in a moment of frustration.

It was one of the funniest expressions for exasperation I ever heard. More on that in a moment. To this day, it still ranks in my top three retorts.

History. The whole family was in the car driving to the beach (1960) and my mother was thoroughly breaking Dad’s chops over trivial things:

Why can’t you speed up and go around that idiot?”

Why are you slowing down… the lights still yellow?”

The four of us kids were in the back seat, forced to hear the constant pick, pick, pick of my mother’s complaints. This went on for nearly an hour before Dad could no longer hold it in anymore.

It was a quick retaliatory response. Stunning in its directness;

“Margaret… would you shut up? Your ass sucks canal-water!”

There was a stunned silence, then we kids burst out laughing. My mother didn’t seem to have a response. She made funny little gurgling sounds (they may have been growls). I had trouble getting my breath, I was laughing so hard.

A moment in time.

Which brings us up to the time when my wife, Shirley, and I were working on putting together Christmas toys for our three boys. Bikes and benches. Hundreds of screws and nuts and bolts. No sleep until the job was done.

It was a recipe for disaster. For whatever reason I blurted out, “Your ass sucks canal-water!” At first I thought she was going to throw a wrench at me. But, to my surprise, she burst out laughing and wanted to know where I heard that expression?

With pride, I said my dad and told her the story. When it was over she said “That’s cute. Now don’t you ever say that in front of our boys!”

So much for tradition.

As It Stands, life is full of laughs, you just have to recognize when.


‘Can You Hear Me Now,’ and Other Silly Questions


If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, does anyone hear it?

The answer is, of course, the wildlife hear it really well, especially the ones that were living in that fallen tree.

If a blog hardly gets any traffic what is the answer?

More than likely, it wasn’t set-up properly and no one sees it on the web. This is especially true if you’re an amateur, like me. Blogging content is also obviously important.

I made a few adjustments yesterday, but I’m not sure they’re making any difference yet. Question:

By the way, how did you find my blog? Moving on…

What were the first words ever spoken on the telephone?

Mr. Watson–come here–I want to see you.”  – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

What would you have said?

I thought about a reply, or two. How about, “Hello! Can you hear me?” Or perhaps, “Hello! Do you deliver pizza?” 

Communication is so important.

The best communication takes place when two, or more people, are in the room and everyone is contributing.

When you see someone walking down the street and talking out loud in what appears to be a one-way conversation, what comes to your mind?

The person is crazy. Or, the person has an earbud in, and is talking with someone else on a cell phone. To determine which it is casually look at their ears – you should get your answer pretty quickly.

As It Stands, when I was younger (I won’t say how young) I thought animals could talk, but they only did it when humans weren’t around.


Blasts from the Past: Columns Shared

Controversial columns by Dave Stancliff


Hello everyone!

I thought I’d share some of my columns that ran in The Times-Standard in Eureka, California. My column, As It Stands, kicked off in 2008 and ran through 2014.

A Look Back 

As It Stands: This column’s genesis, anniversary and gnarly toes Good for a few laughs.

As It Stands: Getting Your Pet A Rabies Shot? Think Twice, And Get Advice

Note:This originally ran in the Times-Standard and this publication picked it up. Seen as controversial.

As It Stands: Meet ALEC: a wolf in sheep’s clothing

This column is still relevant. These guys are in charge of Congress.

As It Stands: ‘People Power’ is more than a slogan today

I discussed the killing of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black male, by a neighborhood watch captain. It  highlights the deep racial divide that existed (probably still does) in Sanford, Fla.

As It Stands: Speed Kills — so why is meth still scourging our society?

Sadly, this issue has only gotten worse since I wrote this column in 2012.

As It Stands, by now I’m sure you figured out that I’m keeping that column alive by morphing it into this blog. Hence, The Return of As It Stands. 

Old Gold Rush Town To Become a Pot Paradise


Back in 1973, a buddy and I went to Las Vegas with what could fairly be described as a “plethora” of illegal drugs aboard for personal use.

Think “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by the late great Hunter Thompson. In our remake there were two Hunter Thompson’s on a mission to gamble and to visit all the strip joints on the Vegas strip.

We had a worse time than the master himself did on our way to Las Vegas. As we hurtled towards what we hoped was Sin City in a little sports car with the top down, we somehow (surprise) made a wrong turn.

When we pulled into the tiny town of Nipton, we suspected something was wrong. It was all but dead.

Just a few people lived out there in the middle of nowhere. Turned out that we were 60 miles south of Las Vegas and 10 miles off the major highway that connects Nipton to Los Angeles.

When I recently read that Nipton, an old gold town, was getting an infusion of legal cannabis that was going to turn that town into a new boom town, I was excited. One of the nation’s largest cannabis companies bought the entire California desert town of 80 acres.

They have big plans. American Green, the new owner, is on a mission to build a pot paradise.  A solar farm that provides much of the tiny town’s electricity is going to get a boost.

The plan is to expand that farm and also bottle and sell cannabis-infused water from Nipton’s plentiful aquifer, joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one.

American Green is also reaching out to edibles manufacturers and other pot-industry businesses, hoping they’ll be interested in relocating to Nipton and bringing jobs with them.

Not in my wildest drug-induced dreams did I ever suspect that little town we were lost in would become a pot town with a promising future.

Oh, just for the record, we finally made it to Las Vegas where we lost most of our money that night.

As It Stands, I wonder if the new owners are going to change the town’s name to something like “Potsville or Green City?