Blasts from the Past: Columns Shared

Controversial columns by Dave Stancliff

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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

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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?

 

I Played Basketball On LSD…and There’s More

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It was the summer of 1971. Or, was it ’72? It might have been ’73.

Anyway…my buddy and I often played 2-on-2 pickup basketball games in gyms in Southern California. One day we dropped some really colorful Orange Wedge acid (could have been Orange Sunshine) and went to a gym to play basketball.

Acid heads know what I mean when I say we were starting to ‘Come on” when we challenged two guys to a game. Perhaps if we weren’t in a hazy state we would have noticed some odd things about them.

But we didn’t and the game was on. About the time one of them pulled up to take a shot I was getting “follow-ups.” The ball seemed to hang in the sky, coming down like a rainbow as it rattled around the rim and went in.

My friend looked at me, and shrugged. Then he started to get “follow-ups” while we tried to guard the basket. It was useless. We were moving like automatons. The game was over before we knew it. 10 – 0. A point a basket.

We took a break. Got some water at the fountain in the gym. We both were enjoying all the colors around us when I happened to look over at the other side of the gym and spotted one of the guys warm-up jackets…they were cops!

At that moment we we a white version of Cheech and Chong. Can’t remember all the dialogue (I’d be lying if I did), but I know we panicked hard for a couple of minutes.

It was a real bad thing to be caught doing drugs in the ’70s. People were getting life sentences for a joint.

Then something strange happened.

Perhaps it was pride. Perhaps we were a good team of two. We looked at each other and smiled. The two cops were taking shots at the basket on the far end of the court. We brought our Red-White-and Blue ball over and challenged them to a rematch.

They smiled so wide I could see their tonsils. We knew what they were thinking. Another easy game.

We got the ball first. I drove to the basket and when they both picked me up I tossed the ball to my friend. Swish! 1-0 us. They blinked for a moment then took the ball out. We played tough man-to-man defense, unlike the first game.

I wish I could remember the final score…but, I can tell you we won! Both men seemed shocked. They had to suspect we were flying higher than the balls we were tossing up from every angle.

What a victory. As soon as we got outside I threw my guts up – some orange flavored cereal from that morning – and then we went tripping on to our next adventure. It must not have been that good, because I can’t remember it.

As It Stands, this is a story I couldn’t have shared during my newspaper days. I’m glad I can now. Hope you enjoyed it.

 

Why It’s A Waste of Time To Worry

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Are you a worry wart?

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about what bad things could happen in the world around you?

You’re not alone.

Forty-two percent of Americans say they personally worry a “great deal” about race relations in the United States, up seven percentage points from 2016 and a record high in Gallup’s 17-year trend.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, divided sharply along party lines, are worried that the United States will become engaged in a major war in the next four years, according to results from the latest NBC News SurveyMonkey poll.

What good does it do for us to worry about things that are out of our control? Why worry about anything?

Psychiatrists say it’s part of human nature to worry; be it about health, finances, family, rumors of war, and relationships. We’re imprinted with a worry gene. In order to combat this situation we must actively identify our worries, then work on dispelling them.

  Roy T. Bennett  offers a simple solution: “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.

According to the avoidance model of worry outlined in Psych Central, individuals may worry in order to avoid feeling emotions that may arise in the event of the “worst-case scenario.

Whatever causes you to worry…it’s a waste of time.

That may sound heartless. It’s not. Worrying won’t solve your problem. All you’ll get from worrying is being stressed out daily. End result, a shorter life.

It’s your choice.

As It StandsAna Monnar sums things up nicely, “Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not.”

 

Poem: The Statue of Liberty Wept Today

A tear splashed down from Lady Liberties eyes

as Trump adviser Stephan Miller told outright lies

about immigration and what she stood for

claiming Lady Liberty was a political whore

The snake spun tall tales for the white house press

where they came from was anybody’s guess

Spin snake, spin, smiling slyly at his narration

Denying it’s a racist legislation

Coming from a White House limiting immigration

if you don’t speak English in Trump’s new nation

you aren’t going to get confirmation

to come to America.

 

 

What Is Trump’s October Surprise?

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Liar-in-Chief, Donald Trump, is preparing for an October surprise.

No, it has nothing to do with elections that are normally associated with the dictum. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with Halloween. Then what, you ask?

Trump plans to sabotage the nuclear deal with Iran.

The plot began two weeks ago when Trump was forced to sign and certify that Iran was in compliance  with its end of the deal after the International Atomic Energy Agency had confirmed Tehran’s fair play.

According to  Foreign Policy, Trump threw such a temper tantrum in the Oval Office it took the adults in the room—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster—to eventually calm him down on the condition that they double down on finding a way for the him to blow up the deal by October.

In summary, Trump has been advised to use the spot-inspections mechanism of the nuclear deal to demand access to a whole set of military sites in Iran.

Once Iran balks—which it will since the mechanism is only supposed to be used if tangible evidence exists that those sites are being used for illicit nuclear activities—Trump can claim that Iran is in violation, blowing up the nuclear deal while shifting the blame to Tehran.

According to The New York Times, the groundwork for this strategy has already been laid.

Here’s the takeaway:

The administration is committed to finding a way to claim Iran has violated the accord, regardless of the facts—just as George W. Bush did with Iraq.

As It Stands, I can’t help wondering what the rest of the world thinks about Trump’s plan to go to war with Iran, because it’s obviously no secret.

 

Truth Be Told: It’s Not Always That Easy

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“Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.”Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Have you ever met someone who always tells the truth, no matter what?

The people I know that have always told the truth can be counted on one hand. And that’s being generous. In 66 years, I have met a lot of people who claim to always tell the truth. Truth be told, 99 percent of those I’ve met in my travels, flirted with truth like a coy lover.

Confession. I have lied. Most of the time I tell the truth, but there have been times when I lied. The reasons didn’t matter. A lie is a lie. That may sound harsh but it’s true. There’s no such thing as a white lie in my book.

Unless a person is a saint, they’ll tell a lie to stay alive in a tight situation. Thomas Paine put it succinctly, “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”  I guess that makes me honest!

The lunatic notion of a “post-truth or “post-fact” society gained traction during the administration of George W. Bush, whose lackeys lied their heads off so spectacularly and for so long, with the aid of the effectively state-sponsored Fox News Network.

Philosophers are interested in any issue involving the concept of truth. The principal issue is: What is truth? 

It is the problem of being clear about what you are saying when you say some claim or other is true. 

Our Liar-In-Chief  wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him.

The most important theories of truth are the Correspondence Theory, the Semantic Theory, the Deflationary Theory, the Coherence Theory, and the Pragmatic Theory.

After studying these five theories you’ll know everything there is to know about telling the truth.

As It Stands, truth is a rare commodity among men and women, but animals are always truthful.