backroom guidance for holiday celebrations


have a baloney sandwich &

a cup o’ coffee

& call it

a beautiful day


rawclyde’s ranch


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surfer girl dunks momma shark


fueled by hillary dunk

tulsi’s wave-catching campaign

paddles along


by lisa lerer & nicholas casey

new york times

nov. 19, 2019


Despite relatively modest support nationally, Ms. Tulsi Gabbard has delighted Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats who dislike the Clintons.

Sitting at a bar in the coastal New Hampshire city of Portsmouth, Ray Brunelle rattled off the qualities he admires in Representative Gabbard of Hawaii.

A retired air force veteran, he appreciates Ms. Gabbard’s military background. He praised her ”cool and calm” performance in the last primary debate. But the thing that most impressed Mr. Brunelle about Ms. Gabbard had less to do with what he likes and more to do with whom he dislikes: Hillary Clinton.

”They got in a little tit-for-tat clash there,” he said, referring to Mrs. Clinton’s recent suggestion that Republicans were ”grooming” Ms. Gabbard to be a third-party spoiler in the 2020 election. ”I’m trying to recall what it was that prompted Hillary to say that. Perhaps it was Tulsi’s moderate, middle-of-the-road politics.”

Even as other long-shot candidates in this historically large primary field have dropped out, Ms. Gabbard is standing strong, in spite of relatively modest support from voters nationally. She has managed to parlay her feud with Mrs. Clinton into an extended presence in the political spotlight, delighting Republicans like Mr. Brunelle and independents and conservative Democrats who dislike the Clintons…



Ms. Gabbard’s candidacy has drawn a modest following in New Hampshire, an early voting state that prides itself on a streak of flinty independence — and, importantly, that allows independents to register to vote in the Democratic presidential primary.

Her enduring viability underscores the fluidity of a packed Democratic primary that has produced a stable top tier but has still found room for little-known candidates like Ms. Gabbard and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang to spread their messages and develop a small — but devoted — following.

While Ms. Gabbard has long cast herself in opposition to her party, her barrage of attacks in response to the feud with Mrs. Clinton has given her campaign a fresh jolt of energy. After spending months polling at 1 percent, she’s now one of 10 candidates who have qualified for the televised Democratic debate on Wednesday night and is on the verge of making the stage next month as well…



”That whole thing was kind of odd to me but I think it probably helped her,” Kathy Sullivan, the former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said of Ms. Gabbard’s feud with Mrs. Clinton. ”There’s that sense of not toting any particular ‘party line,’ to the extent we have a party line. There are voters who like that.”

In a moment marked by fractured politics and the declining control of the political establishment, Ms. Gabbard’s nontraditional positions and willingness to take on a major figure in her own party are a large part of her appeal.

Supporters praise Ms. Gabbard’s unorthodox platform, a mix of noninterventionist foreign policy, liberal social policy and libertarian leanings on issues like drug decriminalization. On some topics, she echoes arguments typically made by Republicans, like her claim that her speech was stifled by the big technology platforms and her frequent complaints of media bias. She’s a popular guest on conservative media, collecting an eclectic group of supporters, including alt-right internet stars, white nationalists, libertarian activists and some of President Trump’s biggest boosters…



That unconventional mix plays particularly well in New Hampshire, a state where the primary system expands the base of voters beyond just committed Democrats. Under the state’s rules, independents can choose to become a member of a party just long enough to vote, and then re-register as an independent as soon as they finish.

Those independents make up a potentially decisive bloc: In the 2012 Republican presidential primary, the last primary with an incumbent president, nearly half the state’s voters were unaffiliated with a party, according to exit polls.

In that race, Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman, captured nearly a quarter of the vote in New Hampshire. Largely dismissed as a protest candidate, he finished second to Mitt Romney, the eventual party nominee.

Thomas D. Rath, a longtime New Hampshire Republican hand who served as a senior strategist to Mr. Romney, sees echoes of Mr. Paul’s candidacy in Ms. Gabbard’s appeal.

”There’s a group up here that prefers the unorthodox and maybe in her candidacy they find a voice for it,” said Mr. Rath. ”This kind of candidate, sometimes it almost becomes cult-like…”



Ms. Gabbard has recently risen as high as 6 percent in polls of likely voters in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. But that support has largely come from moderate and conservative voters, and from independents — not the liberals and partisan Democrats that compose the party’s base. In a Quinnipiac University poll this month, she was the choice of 6 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in the state, but only 2 percent of liberals. Among moderates and conservatives she pulled 9 percent support, and she was at 10 percent among political independents.

One analysis of Ms. Gabbard’s base found that her supporters are overwhelmingly male and more likely to fall outside of traditional Democratic circles, such as those who have backed Mr. Trump in 2016, hold conservative positions or identify as Republicans — particularly in New Hampshire.

Both polls qualifying her for the November debate surveyed voters in the state. Capturing at least 4 percent in one more survey will put her on the stage in December…



The likelihood of her remaining on the debate stage until next year has raised concerns among some of her rivals, who view her as an unpredictable adversary who can deliver withering attacks.

People close to the campaign expect her to try to target Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in this week’s debate. Last month, her efforts to quiz Ms. Warren on her qualifications to be commander-in-chief were aborted after the moderator moved to a commercial break. Ms. Gabbard’s campaign later claimed that she was ”cut off” by CNN, which was televising the debate, to ”protect Ms. Warren.”

Yet, while the debates have provided good moments for her campaign, perhaps nothing attracted as much attention as her high-profile feud with Mrs. Clinton…



The two women share years of animosity, dating to the 2016 election, when Ms. Gabbard quit her post at the Democratic National Committee to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont over Mrs. Clinton in the primary race. Former Clinton aides say that Ms. Gabbard lodged some of the toughest attacks against Mrs. Clinton during that contest.

She repeated some of those charges — calling Mrs. Clinton the ”queen of the warmongers” and the ”embodiment of corruption” — after Mrs. Clinton said on a podcast last month that Ms. Gabbard was a ”favorite of the Russians.”

People familiar with the campaign’s thinking say that many in Ms. Gabbard’s inner circle view Mrs. Clinton as part of a conspiracy of Democratic officials and the media aiming to destroy her reputation. They view an attack on her as a way to push back on accusations that Ms. Gabbard is being used in some way by the Russians, charges they believe are baseless and being pushed by allies of Mrs. Clinton…



They also see it as playing to their political advantage, keeping up a steady drumbeat of attacks on Mrs. Clinton and fund-raising off the controversy.

Even Mr. Trump weighed into the controversy, saying Ms. Gabbard was likely helped by Mrs. Clinton’s comments.

”She’s accusing everyone of being a Russian agent. These people are sick. There’s something wrong with them,” Mr. Trump said during a cabinet meeting at the White House last month.

Ms. Gabbard’s campaign declined to comment on its strategy.

Her campaign has tried to keep the controversy going. Last week, lawyers for Ms. Gabbard sent a letter to Mrs. Clinton demanding she hold a news conference to issue a formal retraction of her comments.

Mrs. Clinton has stayed silent: In recent weeks, some Democrats reached out to Mrs. Clinton’s team to urge the former secretary of state not to respond. Her aides did not offer comment about Ms. Gabbard’s attacks.

But for Ms. Gabbard, competing for attention in a field of 18 primary candidates, the political points may have already been scored.

Jon Pelletier, a 48-year-old from Hampton who commutes into Boston, took his shot at a pool hall in Portsmouth before he rattled off a foggy list of what he knew about Ms. Gabbard: She was an army vet and she had contrarian views to others in the party.

”The only thing other than that is the argument she had with Hillary Clinton,” he said. ”Hillary said she was being helped by the Russians. With the whole Trump world we live in now, it’s another quick headline you read and you go onto the next thing. You don’t know who to believe anymore.”






old timer chronicle


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3:10 to yuma

from rawclyde


Whatever is bothering you, get over it.  If you can’t get over it, live with it.  And if you can’t live with it, gracefully die without it, whatever It may be.  Amen.

The economics of staying alive is a reality with which you might want to partner.  The economics of staying alive ~ let us begin with that!  The economics of staying alive ~ I came up with that phrase just now.  Please congratulate me.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.

Way back when I was a tot crawling around in diapers, I decided to expend as little energy as possible on the economics of staying alive so that I could concentrate on more euphoric matters.  First, you need something else to believe in ~ like Jesus.  He embraced poverty ~ went full throttle for sleeping outside on the ground a time or two.  So I figured His was the best example to follow.  Men, and women too, slept on the ground a lot in old westerns.  So I watched a lot of westerns & gained a healthy admiration for the landscape ~ and the desert looked most beautiful to me.  So now I live in Yuma, a city in the desert.

When all is said or not said, and done or not done, I’d like to add: when you finally find a job, pay your Social Security every pay check you get.  And make sure you have Social Security to pay into while working.  Yes, make sure ~ by voting in this wonderful democracy that belongs to us U.S. citizens.  Then you too can be a partner with reality when you’re an old ne’er-do-well like me.

With a little luck, you can add to this bounty with a few years military service.  This might provide you free medical, later, while enjoying the stars.

Now, if you’re real down n’ out, can’t work, can’t get into the U.S. Army, get kicked-out of the emergency room of the local hospital for being a loud mouth with no manners, be comforted by the overwhelming & joyous fact that anyone can be a disciple of Jesus.  All you have to do is read scripture in the daylight hours & sing hymns in the moonlight.



text copyright clyde collins 2019

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by rawclyde!

Okay ~ there is to be no more crap from Clyde.  I am pushing 70 and I am tired of it.  And I have a hunch everybody else is tired of it too.  From now on it’s only what is and that’s all.

For example, I am sitting right now in a 300-dollar recliner in front of a 350-dollar-a-month window ~ and I just finished my morning coffee ~ which I drank from a styrofoam cup.  There.  That is what is and that is all.

There’s going to be a lot of I’s from now on, because I am the only one here.  More I’s than usual.  Oh well.

I’ve got a rather sweeping view of the historic “Yuma Crossing” outside this window, here on the 5th floor of Hotel San Carlos.  Most prominent is the freeway on giant concrete stilts curving across the view.  When the window is open, like right now, I can hear it ~ motorists zooming back n’ forth ~ sounds kind of like surf.  But ever since I took a long walk in the desert beside a freeway, I think of freeways as ribbons of death.  So that’s what stretches across my view here.

Well, actually, what’s really most prominent is the desert sky above everything ~ wisps of white mist floating along in all that blue.  What’s least prominent is what’s in the gulch under the freeway, which is actually a bridge across the Colorado River, which is what is hiding in the gulch.  And behind that curving concrete is an older trestle bridge with less traffic, and behind this older bridge is an even older trestle bridge made of thicker iron upon which the trains roll by, which are partially hidden by all this as they chug along.  All this is bunched up in front of my window.  And between this and the window, down below, is a beautiful water treatment facility, in which are huge square pools of water whose only diving boards and cheerful swimmers are in my mind.

This is what is.  This is reality.  And it’s all passing me by.  I sit here.  Excuse me.  I recline here, as history moves on, and I have long conversations with what sits still for years and years on the other side of the river, facing me on the summit of a little hill, located behind and above the ribbon of death ~

The Saint Thomas Indian Mission Church.


(text copyright clyde collins 2019)


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the self, the world

by sister juana ines de la cruz



For a little while, sad Thought,

let’s pretend I’ve a happy lot.

You may actually convince me,

though now I’m convinced I do not.


In feeling apprehension

they say the trouble lies:

if you’ll only feel you’re happy,

you needn’t be otherwise.


Let my intelligence serve,

for once, as a source of comfort.

Must wit forever remain

an enemy to profit?


The world is full of opinions

of what is or is not true;

whatever is black for one

will be white in another’s view


What one man finds attractive

will make another recoil;

while what brings one man relief,

another rejects as toil.


The man who is sad condemns

the cheerful man as inane,

while the cheerful are greatly amused

when they hear the sad complain.


Those two old thinkers of Greece

were always of opposite cheer:

what split the one with laughter

reduced the other to tears.


The centuries since their time

have echoed their difference of view,

but no one can ever decide

which opinion is false, which true.



If my wits are mine alone,

why must they always be

inept at doing me good,

adroit at harming me?


Reason, just like a sword,

can be wielded at either end:

the blade, to wound to the death;

the hilt, to provide defense.


If, well aware of the danger,

you insist on using the blade,

how can you blame the sword

for a choice you yourself have made?


It’s no wisdom to use one’s mind

for subtle but hollow display:

true wisdom simply consists

in choosing the sounder way.


To deal in portents of trouble

and ominous speculation

will only compound disaster

with a burden of expectation.


When it dwells on imagined troubles,

the mind is all tribulation;

later on, it will find real danger

less frightening than anticipation.


How happy in his unknowing

is the man unlettered yet wise,

who finds relief from suffering

in what no knowledge supplies.


The boldest flights of wit

will be buffeted by the wind;

though aspiring to thrones of fire,

in tombs of tears they will end.


Learning is one more vice.

Unless deterred, its ambition,

when the learned least expect,

will lead them straight to perdition.


If its course is not deflected,

on subtleties learning feeds,

impertinently inquisitive,

indifferent to genuine needs.



What mad ambition drives us

to forget ourselves, to our grief?

What use is all our learning,

when human life is so brief?


What we need is a seminar

with no other aim than showing

not the ways of human learning

but the comforts of not knowing.


Exempt from need for caution,

taking pleasure in all things,

we’d scoff at whatever threats

the stars’ influence brings.


Thought, let’s learn not to know,

since so plainly it appears

that whatever we add to our minds

we take away from our years.


translation by alan s. trueblood


editors:  spitball fury & frank freedom


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