Tuesday, October 31, 2023
THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 10/31/2023
Where this column, and I, come from
Readers looking for last week’s column should know that it was written, submitted and, due to issues beyond my control, failed to show up in the usual space. It is no small matter as, since the inception of “The Way I See It” in April 2005 (originally “News and Views”), there has never been a dropped, or unwritten column, in these nearly 19 years, in sickness or health, while travelling or at a physical home.
That’s 52 columns a year, each taking 5+ hours of a “labor of love” to write, rewrite, edit, and always shorten—perhaps totaling 5,000+ hours, or 7 to 8 months’ worth of time—uncompensated but for the initial $25 per column, soon dropped for “belt tightening”.
Last week’s column was posted, as usual, at Donpolson.blogspot.com and, for your edification, is reposted this morning; the blog is low bandwidth, free of adds, without viruses, “phishing,” etc. since 2009. Additionally, you’ll find several articles per day that should enlighten you beyond the state-approved content spoon-fed from networks, cable and major newspapers.
Current items shed light on the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson; the hysterical reaction to his Christian-based policies; Biden’s war drums; and “Green Dreams Going up in Smoke.”
This column began after the presidential election of 2004, when local Republicans asked then-editor Michael Griffin to include some conservative-leaning opinion pieces as it seemed that most items on the “Opinion” page leaned left. Since I had letters and opinion pieces published in the Sacramento Bee, the Chico Enterprise-Record, the Redding Record Searchlight and the Red Bluff Daily News, when Mr. Griffin asked for a submission in April, 2005, my initial column was accepted, beginning the run.
An origin story about the “I” in “The Way I See It” would begin in Normal, Illinois, on December 20, 1950. I was brought home to a newly-constructed basement built into a hillside by my dad. It contained the plumbing and electrical necessities while the home was built above.
Lord only knows how he accomplished that while working a day job; a small reservoir had been created behind an earthen dam, with a dock and rowboat. The property was dubbed “We Wanna Lake,” and grew orchards and riparian “jungles” in which I and my smaller brother rambled, our imaginations the only limitation to adventure.
My dad’s two sons from a previous marriage, terminated by a “Dear John” letter while he was at sea in WWII, gradually drifted away, perhaps out of discontent or animosity. But what did we kids know? Their mom held more of their devotion than our Mom, whom Dad married after learning about her while abroad in the Navy. We were Swedish on Dad’s side and German on Mom’s side (nee Gaebe), to great-grandparent immigrants during the great waves that probably saw Ellis Island at some point.
Exactly why Dad felt compelled to leave “We Wanna Lake” behind to purchase a motel, renamed “Motel 51” for its frontage on an Illinois state highway in Heyworth, is beyond me. However, his construction produced a modest home above a fully equipped basement for kindergarten through 2nd grade, all within walking distance in that idyllic small town of about 1,200 people.
Being kids, the burdens of work, nightly registrations, daily housekeeping, etc. were well over our heads; we were occupied playing in a “tent” made from a parachute, exploring the fields and seasonal creek behind the motel, and visiting our little friends. Other than childish pranks and foibles, it was as pristine a small-town life as We Wanna Lake had been for country living.
Many years ago, Barb and I included visiting We Wanna Lake and Motel 51 on a tour of her upbringing locations outside of St. Louis. Etched into a post in the basement carport were the height marks for my brother Steve and me (baby sister Bonnie came later). Much of the property was as I remembered, although I could hardly rely on said memories. The current owners were gracious and welcoming of my link to the past origins of their home.
In Heyworth, we were surprised to see that the multi-story elementary school remained, with its still usable upper floor fire escapes: large metal culverts with smooth surfaces that sat behind doors. In the event of a fire, children would line up as doors were opened and adults would lift kids and place them feet-first into the slanted, shiny tunnels, to slide safely down to the landing area. I can’t remember if we had drills but you’d think so; as the school still stood, apparently, they were never used in a fire.
Now with a population of about 2,700, Heyworth’s central district was still busy; the barber shop, where we were intimidated into good behavior by tales of wild animals in the basement, no longer there.
To come: Electric vehicles on Tehama County car lots—affordable (or not); COVID shots and boosters—good for you (or not); Pot shop—harmless (or not).
THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 10/24/2023
LaMalfa explains; Hamas starts a war
Local readers, consider a poll-based scenario: If the 2024 election were held today, likely results deserve acknowledgment—for confident Democrats and Dem-leaners, as well as Republicans doubting that anything will ever go our way.
I’m not “cherry-picking”; read polls for yourself at https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/ . Some favor Biden, some Trump; you should note that, since September 11, the average has Trump ahead consistently. Also, unless your head is in the sand, you’re aware of Biden’s abysmal approval numbers—in the 30+ percent range on most issues.
That translates, in this window of time, to a Trump landslide in the popular and Electoral College votes; or at least a solid win. In particular, note that most “swing state” polls give Trump an edge. Given that Trump overperformed the published polls in 2016 and 2020, presume his victory.
For local Democrats, take a sober dose of reality; your guy is losing, possibly “bigly.” Spare us talking points and self-serving rhetoric—you’re losing, deal with it. For local Republicans, it’s time to shed the pessimism and Trump-skeptics’ refrain that “Trump can’t win the general election.” He is winning, in spite of the indictments and 90+ percent negative coverage from the news media. Of course, the election isn’t today and polls are not votes, but Biden loses to Trump as it now stands.
On Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s explanation of his vote supporting Kevin McCarthy, I can’t fault him for honesty about his relationship; his long-term friendship persuades me of his sincerity. Keep fighting, Doug. Writers opine on the brew-ha-ha, for and against Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, McCarthy, the “gang of 8” and the 20+ dissenters apparently unwilling to choose anybody.
While Democrats are always in lockstep, the Republicans are a “diverse” bunch holding a variety of positions, seemingly cherishing their individuality above all else. To a fault, some would cut off their party’s nose to spite the unified face of things we all agree on. I’d like to slap some sense into them, to be honest.
However, I’ll not be endorsing the perspective of columnist Elwood Watson, posted here last Friday. As a professor of “Black studies, and gender and sexuality studies” he concludes that “the right-wing lunatics are running the political asylum.” I’ll flip that around: It’s the “left-wing, lunatic socialists and communists in the Democrat Party” that are running their circus of abominations in higher education, the media, Hollywood and much of the federal governmental bureaucracies. Touché, Mr. Watson.
Some say that Israel’s war on Hamas—which Hamas clearly, brutally, mercilessly started—is an “inflection point” for the world, our nation and every American who cares about a civilization of tolerance, peace and respect. True but that diminishes the conflict.
The bold, honest editorial, “Hamas attack is an act of terrorism,” published last Wednesday, in “all MediaNews Group/Tribune Publishing newspapers,” was commendable for its moral clarity and focus. Would that all news outlets—network, cable, print and governmental—had the same justifiable condemnation of the savagery witnessed on October 7.
Would that millions poured into the streets to protest the subhuman slaughter inflicted on Israelis simply celebrating at a music festival, peacefully and productively living and loving their lives in the kubutzes. The “pro-Palestine” crowd mindlessly chants “from the river to the sea,” which simply means “remove Israel and its Jews from the face of the earth.”
Hamas’ religious-fanatism and drug-fueled rampage of terrorist destruction cannot be comprehended unless it is translated to comparable American lives by multiplying all deaths, injuries and kidnappings by a factor of 40 (America vs. Israel’s population). How would you have reacted if, instead of about 3,000 Americans murdered by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, it had been around 56,000 dead (Tehama County=65,000); nearly 200,000 injured; over 8,000 taken hostage? Now comprehend the impact on that small nation of 9+million souls. Remember, 32 Americans were murdered on October 7 by Hamas terrorists.
For each Israeli casualty, there are dozens in families, work and social circles mourning their loss. Children of all ages, whose parents devoted their lives to birthing, raising, guiding and celebrating graduations, boyfriends, girlfriends, weddings and so on—all gone to a machine gun’s roar, an incendiary grenade’s flesh-melting explosion, a beheading, a gang-raping, or torturous kidnapping.
Parents are quoted hoping their child is dead rather than becoming the sexual plaything of jacked-up Muslim terrorists who believe their religion commands them to rape and torture.
Yet, we witnessed news media taking the word of Hamas that an Israeli missile destroyed a hospital, killing hundreds. Media then refused to admit their error and correct the record after the Israeli Defense Force 1) released recordings of the Hamas rocket misfiring onto the hospital; 2) proved it launched from a nearby cemetery; and 3) recorded phoned misfire admissions by Hamas. Witness the clearly burned parking lot and vehicles. Conservative media questioned initial reports and got it right.
Any dead Palestinians—a few or hundreds—have only Hamas to thank for aiming at innocent Israelis, but landing in Gaza, as so many errant Hamas rockets do.