Archive for August, 2016


August 28, 2016



This time it’s different.

Labor Day Weekend is straight ahead – a marker normally signaling the true start of an American Presidential campaign when typical citizens take a few minutes to actually notice their immediate environment.

This year it’s already over. Done. Finished. Gone.

Even as his national polling averages started their death spiral in late July, Donald Trump now calls Hillary Clinton a flat out “bigot” and predicts he will get 95% of the African American vote when he runs for reelection in 2020. And maybe deportation squads won’t boot out all 11.5 million “illegal immigrants” on Inauguration Day after all. Or possibly so. He’ll decide that when he needs to. Maybe. Could be.

Donald Trump has become a “Chuck Berry Existentialist.”

“Sometimes I will and again sometimes I won’t.

Sometimes I do and again sometimes I don’t.”

“Reelin’ & Rockin’” – Chuck Berry (1957)

Trump is understandably convinced by their addled adulation that his core supporters will endorse anything he does, says or thinks – everything he dreams, schemes or screams. This would appear tragically true.

After saying “You’re fired!” to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on June 20th, Trumpty-Dumpty just repeated the same thing to Paul Manafort on August 19th, then immediately appointed Steve Bannon as his new “Campaign Chief Executive Officer” – a title which has never existed before in the history of any party.

Bannon’s been running Breitbart, an extreme right-wing news and opinion website. A former Breitbart employee and mainstream conservative favorite, Ben Shapiro, has gone on record stating “Bannon is a nasty, vindictive figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies.”

Continuing his latest impetuous shakeup, Trump simultaneously appointed smiling, beguiling spin mistress Kellyanne Conway as his “Campaign Manager”. In admiration of Ms. Conway’s abilities to circumvent facts and cleverly cloud issues, legendary reporter Dan Rather told MSNBC: “This woman can talk the legs off a table.”

Even so, Ms. Conway found herself in a difficult position last Sunday when Chris Wallace asked her on FOX News whether Trump had acted properly in response to the horrid shooting death in Chicago of Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four and cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade. Learning of the travesty, Trump hastily tweeted: “Just what I’ve been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” Avoiding direct response, Kellyanne suggested we should all remember Trump did add his condolences in a new tweet a full four hours later.

And how will Campaign Manager Conway get along with CEO Bannon? Said Kelly to Chris: “Donald Trump chose me to run his campaign. I report directly to him.”


I still hold out hope that our Fourth District Congressional Representative, Tom McClintock, will finally ditch Donald. It seems Tom’s apparent certainty over gaining an easy fifth term in Congress running as a Republican in this crimson red district overshadows any need to be noble in the classic and classy sense of this word – i.e., “Having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.”

There is a determined David running against McClintock’s grinning Goliath.

Dr. Robert Derlet grew up in a working class Los Angeles neighborhood, selling newspapers to traffic at Santa Monica & Vine in Hollywood when he was eight. School and summer work continued through college with Bob handling jobs ranging from construction to cattle ranching and working in a merchant ship boiler room. He can handle the heat.

He eventually graduated with highest honors from John Marshall High School and the University of California in Santa Cruz, being the first in his family to attend a four-year college. After completing medical studies, Dr. Derlet spent his career as a Professor and Chief of Emergency Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, serving two terms as Chief of Staff.

Contemplating retirement and wanting to live year-round near the Sierra Nevada, Dr. Derlet moved to Twain Harte five years ago and became a front-line primary care physician at a Rural Health Clinic in Tuolumne City. Listening to the struggles of patients trying to navigate a complex health care system while staying economically afloat galvanized him to run for Congress as our Democratic candidate in the Fourth District.

Dr. Derlet will be speaking this Saturday in a special Labor Day Weekend Meeting of the Oakhurst Democratic Club at Denny’s on Highway 41 with breakfast at 8:30 and our program at 9:30.

Along with Bob Derlet will be another Bob – Robert Carabas – running for the Fifth California District Assembly seat currently occupied by Frank Bigelow.

Carabas, a graduate of UC Berkley with a degree in English, is the father of two and grandfather of five. A retired corporate credit manager from Sonora, this Bob’s particular area of concern is Global Warming.

See you Saturday!

“Expression Suppression”

August 21, 2016

Hillary Prison

Hillary Sign -- Back

Frances Hagen is an 84 year-old former schoolteacher and Gold Star Parent who lost a son in Viet Nam. Mrs. Hagen lives near the top of 425A (Stagecoach Road) in Oakhurst, where she has resided for more than forty years.

Frances’ father, legendary baseball great Bob “Dusty” Rhoads, threw a no-hitter pitching for Cleveland against the Boston Red Sox on September 18, 1908, becoming the first in team history to do so.

Her son, Eric Hagen, is Principal of Glacier High School and Mountain Home School Charter here in Oakhurst.

Mrs. Hagen has been active in our community for many decades and was a founding member of the Oakhurst Democratic Club.

She placed a “Hillary for President” sign at her driveway entrance last week. A few days later — hidden by the dark of night — in a cowardly effort to frighten and intimidate Frances — the sign was alarmingly defaced with the word “Prison” substituted for “President” on the front and filled with vile hate language on the reverse.

It was a message addressed to the “Nigga” who was so uppity as to have placed the sign — implying increased reprisals from the “Trump Gang” might be forthcoming for any future efforts expended in support of Secretary Clinton.

Thankfully, Mrs. Hagen’s life is filled with nearby friends who have made no secret of expressing their absolute disgust at this violation of property and propriety.

A neighborhood watch group on Facebook (“425A – Stagecoach Road”) has been unanimous in expressing their strong support for Frances and in vigorously condemning the incident with such observations as “To turn on each other is the last thing we need to do”, “I am not for Hillary, but I would never allow anyone to do that” and “Although I’m on the other side, one does need to respect the view of others.”

Upon being informed of the vandalism, Sheriff Jay Varney immediately initiated appropriate action and launched a formal investigation. Similarly, District Attorney David Linn personally called Mrs. Hagen to assure her that his office would do all it could in addressing the situation and protecting her against any further concerns of a threatening nature. These days you don’t mess with a Gold Star Mom in Madera County.

Mrs. Hagen’s disappointing discovery presents new evidence that this particular election cycle has reached a level of contentiousness previously unknown, extending even up here into the Sierra foothills.

In 2008 and 2012, Mrs. Hagen’s pro-Obama/Biden signage was left completely untouched when placed in exactly that same spot at the side of the road. This local escalation of angry, ugly, thuggish behavior has assuredly been directly generated by Donald Trump’s unprecedented plunge into his poisonous pursuit of the presidency.

Last week I offered our visiting Fourth District Congressional Representative Tom McClintock several promising alternatives to replace his unfortunate endorsement of the current, doomed-to-fail Republican candidate. I did this both in print and in person. Alas, I was scorned, although civilly so. During his Town Hall Meeting in North Fork, Tom passed on an opportunity to courageously scrape Donald Trump from the bottom of his boot. He then publicly called me a “Mother.”

Although mightily tempted to end my North Fork testimony right there and move on, fairness and decorum demand an explanation.

After earlier dismissing my brilliant suggestion to support Libertarian Gary Johnson and his efforts to reach a 15% polling average and consequential admission to the forthcoming “Great Debates” featuring Donald (in the huge orange trunks) and Hillary (in the true blue pantsuit), McClintock asked those attending if anyone knew what the “Mother Rule” might be. This was something to be invoked if “Mother baked a pie and her two sons had to decide how to divide it between them.” “Yes!” I gleefully exclaimed from my front row seat. “One cuts, the other chooses!” “That’s right!” said Tom, adding, “Thank you” — (pause for comedic effect) – Mother!”

Everyone laughed, including me. He really did that well. Touché!

It was a lovely, light-hearted moment in an otherwise sullen, somber election season.

Now if we can just punch up local business for the rest of the summer with one of those uniquely new, tourist attracting, excitingly different “Naked Donald” statues in the parking lot at Von’s.

They’re made of foam.

From right out of his mouth.
















“Dear Tom”

August 16, 2016


The following is an open letter to our 4th Congressional District Representative Tom McClintock. Congressman McClintock has two area appearances scheduled today — a restricted private meeting at 2:30 here in Oakhurst for Chamber of Commerce members only and a Town Hall meeting at 5 PM in North Fork to which the general public is invited.

August 18, 2016

Dear Tom,

Welcome back!

I haven’t written much about you lately. We are clearly polar opposites on virtually every national issue, although I remain pleased with your decision three years ago to support President Obama’s determination not to launch air strikes against Syria. I also congratulated you for resigning from the House Freedom Caucus last September and refusing to go along with its plans to shut down the Federal government over Planned Parenthood funding, even though you remain steadfast in your opposition to abortion. That was a bold, courageous, principled move.

I am asking that you use your visit today to make another one.

You are regarded by most professional observers of such things as being the most conservative member of the United States House of Representatives. Here in the Fourth District you are assured of safe re-election to a fifth term as our voice in Congress.

He is a clear and present danger. He is neither believed nor admired by Republican icons across the land. He is a babbling buffoon and a narcissistic fool. Please use your visit with us today to disavow Donald Trump.

I’m certainly not asking you to support Hillary, but I suggest there are two promising candidates who would each seem to offer an attractive option for your consideration.

Gary Johnson served two successful terms as Governor of New Mexico and is the Libertarian Party’s 2016 nominee for President. His running mate, Bill Weld, enjoyed the unique distinction of being elected Governor of Massachusetts, one of the nation’s strongest Democratic strongholds, then being re-elected in 1994 by the largest winning margin in state history. Mr. Johnson has recently been moving up in polling, currently averaging eight percentage points nationally and climbing into double digits in several states. As you know, this is of critical importance, Tom, since reaching 15 points will allow Gary to take part in the coming Presidential debates and place him in front of an audience in the tens of millions. Your valuable support might mean all the difference.

Although less well known and a more unlikely choice, Evan McMullin of Utah has seriously entered the race. McMullin is a graduate of Brigham Young University, later earning a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Serving with distinction in the Central Intelligence Agency for ten years in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, McMullin joined the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in 2011 where he gained substantial experience in the areas of technology, energy, consumer goods and biotech research.

Announcing his candidacy only last week in the face of Trump’s disastrous decline in popularity and severe threat to Republican candidates across the board, McMullin states, “In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up. It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

 Congressman McClintock, having heard you speak over a half dozen times and following your Congressional career with keen focus through the years, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump must be providing you at this point with both agonizing professional disappointment and deep personal disgust.

Given your widely acknowledged stature among fellow Republican conservatives and esteemed national reputation, you can make a move this very day here in Eastern Madera County that will ring around the world – presenting a new “Profile in Courage” in the finest traditions of both Ronald Reagan and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Save us from the beast.

Denounce “The Donald.”

 It’s never too late to do the right thing.














“President Poodle?”

August 7, 2016


With Donald Trump’s poll performance suddenly plummeting in gallows drop free fall, should Mike “The Poodle” Pence start preparing for the Presidency?

It’s no secret Trump’s recent stumbles following a wildly acclaimed Democratic Convention have Republicans scrambling for an alternative option, however exotically conceived.

This might include resorting to curious language in the official party rules which state that “The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which might occur by reason of death, declination or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States.“ Many suggest that “otherwise” is a weasel word intentionally inserted to cover unexpected contingencies that might arise during a campaign – in this case Trump’s ever more glaringly obvious unsuitability for office.

One scenario would see V.P. hopeful Mike Pence romp up to the top spot and have Poodle select his own running mate.

Acclaimed statistician Nate Silver projects that if the election was held today, Hillary Clinton now enjoys a staggering a 92.9% chance of becoming our 45th President vs. Trump’s 7.1%. Moreover, this represents an historic 50-point swing in just ten days for Silver’s “Now-cast” projection. On July 27th, Donald led Hillary 55.4% to 44.6%.

Swing states such as North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Ohio and Michigan are suddenly surging toward Secretary Clinton. Even Arizona, Georgia and Florida show significant motion in her favor.

We seem to be witnessing a cosmic convergence of historic proportion as a mountain of evidence piles up against Trump’s molehill mind.

Gold Star parents punished, a baby banished, Putin praised, Ryan rejected, an imaginary tarmac tale, a pathological inability to leave well enough alone – all of these things transpiring in less than a single week’s time. Mind-boggling? It’s Lucy and Ethel dipping those chocolates at Kramer’s Kandy Kitchen. You just can’t keep up.

And here’s a new one for you – possibly a Sierra Star exclusive.

Drawing upon my years in Rock & Roll Radio, did you know that Donald Trump’s official new campaign song – the one with which he closed his speech at the Convention and has been using ever since – is about picking up a hooker?

“All Right Now” by the English rock band “Free” (1970)

“There she stood in the street
Smiling from her head to her feet
I said “Hey, what is this?”
Now maybe she’s in need of a kiss”

 There’s a lot more. It gets even better. Go to Google.

Donald Trump was 24 years old in 1970, avoiding military service in Viet Nam with his fifth draft deferment. Melania was born that same year on April 26th.

Hillary Clinton was 23 in 1970 – in her first semester at Harvard Law School. She had obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree the prior year from Wellesley College where she received a standing ovation lasting seven minutes for her commencement address. This was covered by Life magazine. She then spent that summer working her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon at a fish-processing cannery in Valdez. The factory was shut down overnight after she complained about unhealthful conditions. Hillary was fired. And she’s often being treated unfairly to this day.

After Mrs. Clinton courageously faced a live, no holds barred interview with Chris Wallace on – of all places — FOX TV, the Washington Post unkindly presented her the following day with four “Pinnochios” – its highest score for flat-out fibbing. This judgment garnered immediate media coverage across the land — generally unquestioned by the press as though divinely documented.

I herein award the Washington Post with eight Pinocchios, ten Jiminy Crickets and a giant J. Worthington Foulfellow the size of Donald Trump’s ego – all of which being granted for headline grabbing gratuitous malfeasance.

Come on.

The FBI verifies the fact that of the more than 30,000 emails reviewed during more than a full year of investigation, only 110 were finally judged by others after the fact as containing classified material, although not one was ever labeled as such on Hillary’s watch. This evidently bears emphatic repeating: Not one was ever labeled as such.

FBI Director James Comey specifically stated: “We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information.”

Comey went on record affirming that classified information was sent.

At the same time it’s been irrefutably established quite possible — if not highly probable — that Secretary Clinton truthfully didn’t know it at the time.

These are not mutually exclusive concepts other than to those irretrievably lost in the haze and horror of tragic self-delusion.

 Such as Donald Trump and his poodle.