Rose Matchmaking

August 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Events

Rose Matchmaking

1700 Post Oak Blvd # 600, Houston, TX 77056

(713) 963-3663

www.RoseMatchmaking.com 

Rose Matchmaking is Houston’s premier boutique­style Matchmaking firm. We focus on providing

our clients with discreet and caring, one on one Matchmaking. Along with Matchmaking experts are

available to help in many areas:  Coaching and Counseling, Date Feedback, Image Consulting, Health

and Wellness, and Membership to private events.

 

REVIEW:

Rose and her staff are passionate about their work, well organized, experienced and dedicated to matching their clients with the perfect partner. The five star reviews of their current clients and past clients, who are now in relationships, are stating remarkable success with RoseMatchmaking. They report having frequent dates on a consistent basis matched by Rose and her qualified staff. When making the decision to become a client, you will go through an extensive interview process to enable the staff to find you a perfect match. You will also have the ability to take a peak at their current clients when making your decision. So, if you are desiring the perfect mate, RoseMatchmaking will help speed up the process and quickly filter your search.

Written by Christi St. Laurent

  CAMPING IN THE PRESENT TENTS 

August 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Dear Mom and Dad, Camp Wanakawa is really great. So is the food. I like my counselors and I’ve met a lot of neat guys. My two favorite classes are canoeing and starting a fire Indian-style with just flint, straw and napalm. Camp rules forbid having electronic gadgets such as smart phones, iPads, even stereos and satellite TVs. Luckily, our mattresses are lumpy. I seem to have left a few items at home, so could you please mail me shoes, socks, 2 sheets and Spot. I really miss him. Your son, Motley

PS: Please send a few dollars for the camp store.

Dear Mom and Dad, Camp is still great. The food is not so terrific, but I sort of like my counselors. Maybe the reason I haven’t been getting your letters is because Camp Wanakawa’s name has been changed. My counselors say this is necessary since the U.S. Dept. of Victimization has ruled “Wanakawa” is a Comanche word for “white babies’ scalps” and thus is insulting to the Comanches. The new name is Camp Empathy.

Dear Motley, we just received a letter from your counselor. He reports you are doing well in your various activities, although we didn’t know Camp Empathy taught tattooing. We are sure you will get the hang of bear wrestling soon. We have called FedEx to mail the items you requested, plus some you didn’t request like toothpaste and soap. Back at home, we miss you very much, but the family of gypsies that rented your room say you apparently never swept under the bed or emptied your fly traps, and are moving out.

Dear Mom and Dad. Yesterday we visited Camp Koo-Che-Koo-Me right across the river and took them on in softball, tennis, swimming and arm wrestling. We lost in every event. Our counselors called us “a bunch of wimps” and “total losers,” which made a lot of us cry and ask for our mommy and bankie. The food is not so great but just OK. However, gruel three times a day is getting monotonous. Our horseback riding classes have been suspended after PETA sued, accusing us of “unethical abuse of God’s creatures.” I didn’t know God owned our horses. Did I mention that Camp Koo-Che-Koo-Me is a girls’ camp? Exciting news! Sheriff’s deputies came to camp and arrested a counselor. What’s a pedophile? Your son, Motley

PS: Please send a few dollars to cover expenses at the camp store. Thanks.

Dear Mom and Dad. Camp is getting worse. The chef changed the menu after the food riot. I’m getting used to oatmeal for dinner. Today we went for a hike and almost everyone returned. My cabin mates have a new nickname for me, Drippy. You’d think they’d never seen a bed-wetter before. A letter from the U.S. Dept. of Victimization says we must start using the term “Native Americans” or “Those Defending Their Homelands” and stop using the word “Indians” as it violates the U.S. Code of Politically Correct Titles. My bunkmate, Ralph Little Eagle, says the U.S. government bureau dealing with Indian affairs is officially named the Bureau of Indian Affairs, (headquartered in the same city as the Washington Redskins), so he asks: what’s the problem? The food is much better now that we use John-Bob’s smart phone to order from Domino’s. Your son, Motley

Dear Motley, glad you are having fun at camp. We just received a letter from your counselor. He says you are an “exceptional” camper for the most part. He apologized for your stay at the camp infirmary but explained they have “a first-rate snakebite clinic.” He wrote you are getting along fine with your fellow campers outside of the occasional tar and feathering. He also wrote that he can’t understand why you would need money since items purchased at the camp store are paid by the parents at the end of camp. Sorry we could not send you Spot. He was run over by a FedEx truck. Love, Mom and Dad.

Dear Mom and Dad. The movie last night was “A Few Good Men,” which explains why I was given a Code Red treatment by my cabin mates. When I complained to the counselors they just laughed and said it was “a camp initiation rite.” PETA has allowed our horseback riding classes to resume, but now the horses ride us. In our Native American lore class we were told that Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not really Pocahontas. I have had to change classes just because I showed my ability to start a fire Indian-style with flint, straw and napalm. My bunkmate, Ralph Little Eagle, said that most Indians don’t start a fire while still in the canoe. When is camp over? Your son, Motley

Dear Motley’s parents. Enclosed is a bill for $1,200 for one canoe.

Dear Mom and Dad. They closed the camp mess hall due to health department violations. We were told that real campers could live off the land. I’ve lost 10 pounds. We went on an overnight hike to Lake Rancid where we put up tents, slept on the ground (fortunately, I brought my lumpy mattress so we could watch “The Bachelorette,”) and sat around the campfire telling stories, some about our parents. I wrote them down, and you won’t have to send me any more money. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Camp Empathy is being sued by the Wanakawa tribe, which claims it sold naming rights to the camp in exchange for 40 guns, a keg of firewater and a subscription to Netflix “to last as long as the rivers flow, the buffalo roam and the Great Spirit personally advises Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.”

Dear Motley’s parents. Please come get your kid. We’ll refund the fee.

Dear Mom and Dad. Camp has been over for a week. Isn’t it time you picked me up? My last letters have been returned, stamped: “Addressee Unknown — No forwarding Address.”

 

Ashby camps at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

MURDER MOST MYSTERIOUS

August 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

HUNT – This part of Texas along the banks of the Guadalupe River is one of the most beautiful in the state. Summer camps, homes with yards sloping down to the riverbanks, Indian raids. Yes, you and I are off on another historical mystery. (Did you ever notice that no one ever saw Edgar Allan Poe and John Wilkes Booth at the same time?) Now we are re-investigating what may have been the last Indian raid in Texas, or were they really Indians?

Let me set the stage: On Oct. 1, 1878, Jim and Susan Dowdy moved here from Goliad, arriving with some sheep and horses and eight children. At the time Houston had public schools, Dallas had a baseball team and Texas had A&M, but the Hill Country was still the frontier. On the morning of the fourth day after their arrival, four of the children were sent to a bluff a half-mile away to watch over a flock of sheep. There was a son, James, 11, with brown hair, large ears and a slightly sad expression; Martha, 16; Susan, 17, and Alice, 18 – girls with long, dark hair and pretty faces. A grown son, Richard, remained at the house so that he and a young friend, who was engaged to one of the girls, could eat an early lunch and then relieve the children so they could go back and eat.

The two men finished lunch about 11 a.m. and went out to find the children, but discovered them missing and sheep scattered. They raced back to the house to report. Their mother, Susan, hurried to the hills and there found the bodies of her four children. Two of girls’ bodies were lying together. The third was 200 yards away and James was some distance from her. All the bodies had been horribly mutilated with bullet, tomahawk and arrow wounds, but they were not scalped. A wagon took the bodies to the house of a neighbor, Mrs. “Wash” Floyd, who helped prepare the bodies. Her daughter recalled much later, “I remember Mama telling me Mrs. Dowdy said to her, ‘I can’t bear to see you pull out those arrows because I know it will hurt.’ The children were buried with the arrows still in their bodies.” Many other arrows were found along a hillside as though the children had been running along there, dodging a hail of arrows. The Indians had with them a herd of horses and had made their escape. A posse was formed, but that took a day or so to form, and no Indians were spotted.

End of a sad story. Almost. Yes, the first suspects were Indians. October was the time of the year when the dreaded Comanches came up from Mexico and from the Indian territories to the north. But they generally raided only during the light of the full Comanche Moon. There were arrows at the scene and tomahawk marks. But nothing was taken. One family member told me there were some horses stolen. And you can’t very well rustle a flock of sheep and make any kind of getaway. There were no reports that the girls had been raped. What was the reason for the raid?

Word began surfacing that the raid was not the work of Indians at all, but of U.S. renegades or Mexican bandits. “They just used those arrows and tomahawks to make the posse go looking for Indians,” an old timer told me. But now we have a new development, a newspaper clipping, misspellings and all: “Dallas Weekly Herald, 19 May 1881 – dateline San Antonio May 13. A letter from Kerville says last Sunday, as Deputy Sherriff Clemens, of Kervill County was returning from San Antonio with two prisoners, John Potter and William Dunman, he was waylaid by a party of unknown men near Kerville and both prisoners taken from him. The men stopped in the middle of the road with drawn revolvers. The deputy could do nothing but comply. Shortly afterwards Potter was shot down in the road. The deputy reported facts in town and an inquest was held on the body of Potter. Nothing is known as to who the parties were on the object of the killing. Potter had been arrested and was on his way to be tried for horse stealing.”

What’s the connection and who cares? The above mentioned Dunman was related to the Dowdy family. Potter supposedly boasted of his part in the massacre to Dunman while they were in jail in San Antonio, not knowing of the relationship. Dunman got word to the Dowdy family as to when Potter was to be taken by stage to Junction for trial. But we also have this version: When the stage got past Mountain Home, to the north, and reached the top of a hill, Dick Dowdy and another brother, Tom, stopped the stage, took Potter to a nearby tree and hanged him. Potter was buried there, but his body was later moved to make way for a highway, and today no one knows where it is. “He didn’t have anything to do with it,” a Dowdy once told me. “He was just bragging.”

In any event, Tom and Dick were tried for murder but were acquitted. An entire generation of Dowdys would not speak publicly of the tragedy. “That was so bad, so very, very bad, you can see why,” a resident finally told me. “One sister lived here the rest of her life, too frightened to leave her home. She became a total recluse. Even when the river would rise, neighbors would have trouble getting her to leave. And during the Comanche Moon….” At Mountain Home there is Sunset Cemetery, with small shell-covered graves for Susan, Allice (the gravestone seems to have two ls) James and Martha. All four have the same date of death, Oct. 5, 1878. Beneath each name is the word, “Murdered.” But who did it, and why?

 

Ashby is mystified at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

TAKE ME TO YOUR LITTER

August 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

THE OFFICE – It’s here somewhere, maybe under this pile of magazines which is under a pile of books. No, so I’ll look on this chair which holds some catalogues, more newspapers and printouts of articles I read online and want to keep. This time I am looking for “The Wit and Wisdom of Calvin Coolidge.” Is this your problem, too? I am on the receiving end of TMI. In the past TMI has stood for Three Mile Island, Texas Military Institute and, of course, Transmarginal Inhibition, but for me TMI stands for Too Much Information, which is also a song recorded by The Police and Duran Duran.

Don’t you love it when some paranoid friend says, “But the media won’t tell us.” Huh? We have more newspapers, magazines and online publications than we can handle. What do you read? I get my daily local newspaper, plus The New York Times and a neighborhood weekly freebee that tells me how much my school taxes will be increased. I used to get the Wall Street Journal, but it had too many jokes and cartoons. However, I do miss those “Donald Trump Is Almost Normal” editorials. Magazines? Four weekly or monthly, I think, although Texas Monthly seems to come daily, and it’s about 99 percent ads. They all pile up in my den, office, in my weekender in Varicose Valley. The fire marshals are worried. Unread books? I have them stacked around, and keep thinking if I just put some by my elbow I can absorb them through osmosis. Do you do this? Rip out a page from some publication with the idea that you don’t need to keep the entire paper, and you’ll read this article tomorrow, or at least next week. When the paper turns yellow, it’s time to read it.

Go to any Barnes & Noble and check out the magazine section. You will see dozens, scores, maybe a couple of hundred publications: Guns & Guts, Guts & Guns, Muggers Monthly, Fifth Wedding Gazette, DWI Digest. Something for everyone. If you don’t want to know the news from the country music scene, restaurants, taxidermy and home breweries, you may not have this problem. Maybe you don’t have cable or satellite TV, although almost 80 percent of American homes do. I get about 250 channels and watch 10 or 12 max. Bundling is the key. Congress (after a nice fund-raiser) decreed we really do need to take 250 channels, including the Esperanto Channel, Quilting Corner and Faux News. I tape programs to be seen later. Spoiler alert: Don’t tell me how World War II ends. We also have the Internet. Want to check on events in India? The New Delhi Times tells us: “Praveen Rana to replace Narsingh Yadav.” Now you know. The Chinese Reporter from Hong Kong on the PLA, or Peoples Liberation Army of China: “PLA begins live-fire drill near border with Myanmar.” And you thought the term “Chinese fire drill” was just an insult.

Americans may be a first: the first overly informed society in history. Or we could be, if only we kept up. According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 29 percent of Americans say they think that Obama is a Muslim, including 43 percent of Republicans. (I happen to know he’s a card-carrying Democrat.)

A poll commissioned by the American Bar Association found that only one-third of adult Americans can correctly identify the Bill of Rights, and less than 1 in 10 know it was adopted to protect them against abuses by the Federal Government, and – get this — it was a multi-choice question. Some 28 percent said the Bill of Rights was a preamble to the Constitution; 22 percent said it is any rights bill passed by Congress; 7 percent chose “a message of rebellion from the Founding Fathers to the British monarchy.” Ten percent said they didn’t know. Maybe TMI stands for Too Many Idiots.

So while we have access to an overabundance of knowledge, we don’t bother. Why? I think it’s because we have no curiosity or interest, in this case it’s the same thing. I once had an editor named Henry Hoffman who came to my desk one afternoon, handed me some papers, and said: “Put this together and do a story.” I shuffled through the pile and said, “I’m not interested in this.” He replied, “You should be interested in everything.” He didn’t add, “as a journalist,” but I got his drift. Millions of intelligent people over the centuries have loved opera and golf. I tried both and can pass, even if Tiger Woods is the lead baritone. I’ve never been much interested in poetry except for dirty limericks. Do you care about kale? It’s hot these days; celebrity chefs put kale in everything. I just used a semicolon, which is an unnecessary punctuation so I don’t care about it or them.

Maybe I’m just interested in the wrong things, like bagpipe music, the old Southwest Conference and of course, Transmarginal Inhibition. I spend too much time reading the fine print on aerosol cans, but do you know that Scrubbing Bubbles contains both corn starch and dimethyl oxazolidine? So I keep these founts of knowledge until I’ve read or seen them because they may contain interesting information. However, others may not share our need for absorption. We are called “pig pens,” “trashy” and “low down slobs who give pack rats a bad name.” (By the same token, be suspicious of people with clean desks and full wastebaskets. They are probably uninteresting themselves.) So I think we can all agree that there is a direct link between curiosity/interest and piles of untouched stuff. Call them “collectibles.” Keep that in mind when the fire marshal comes calling. But now it is time for me to start digging into my stuff. Here’s a newspaper. What’s this? Custer’s dead? Next thing I know a woman will be running for president.

Ashby is uninterested at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO RUN A GOVERNMENT

August 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

 

Our Congress is in recess. Again. They have more recesses than a kindergarten class and do less. At such times it might be a good idea to take a look at how we have done things here in Texas from the git-go. In a rented shack in Washington-on-the-Brazos Texans met in March of 1836 to set up a Texas that pretty well resembles the way our state government works today, except for part about barring preachers from holding public office, dividing up the booty from captured ships and being drafted for road work. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s set the scene and, no, this isn’t a history lesson, Pilgrim, it’s why you are no longer in Ohio and why today’s Congress members should take notes.

Texas leaders had been considering independence, without Santa Anna’s blessing, you understand, for some time. Finally word went out over social media – smoke signals, tom-toms and what somebody said at the tavern – for elected delegates to gather at a mud village along the Brazos River. On the first day of March, Texans – eventually numbering 59 — assembled in a convention. Twelve were natives of Virginia, ten of North Carolina, nine of Tennessee, six of Kentucky, four of Georgia, three of South Carolina, three of Pennsylvania, three of Mexico (including two born in Texas), two of New York, and one each of Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. Two, including Sam Houston, had served in the U.S. Congress. They met in freezing weather in an uncompleted building (no windows) rented for use of the convention by a group of Washington business men who, incidentally, never got around to paying the rent.

The convention declared all able-bodied men ages 17 to 59 liable for military duty and offered land bounties of 320 to 1,280 acres for service from three months to one year. Those men who left Texas to avoid military service, refused to participate, or gave aid to the enemy would forfeit their rights of citizenship and the lands they held in the republic. It authorized its agents in the United States to seek a $1 million loan and pledge land for its redemption.

In a matter of days, Texas’ forefathers wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston commander in chief of the military forces of the republic. Why so fast? Two reasons: Much of the wordage in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was directly lifted from the U.S. documents. (See; Trump: Melania) The other reason was during the proceedings the Battle of the Alamo was raging and soon word reached the delegates that the Mexican Army was headed their way, nooses and rifles in hand. For these reasons, and probably the lack of windows, the Constitution was brief (less than 6,500 words).

So what did these men agree on? The usual stuff when creating a brand-new nation: two houses of Congress — Senate and House — a president and judges. Ministers and priests were ineligible to hold public office. Because the delegates didn’t like bankers, debt collectors and IOUs, imprisonment for debt was abolished, and monopolies and primogeniture were prohibited. The document specified that the president would serve three years and could not succeed himself in office. So Houston served as the republic’s president until 1838, sat out a term, then served again from 1841 to 1844, all perfectly legal. That’s no doubt where Vladimir Putin got the idea to do the same thing. The president would be the commander in chief of the army, navy, and militia, but could not “command in person” without the permission of Congress. No doubt they put that in with Houston in mind. Members of Congress would serve one-year terms. Senators were to serve three-year overlapping terms, with one-third elected each year.

The constitution legalized slavery but prohibited foreign slave trade. Immigrants from the United States could bring slaves with them. Free blacks could not live in Texas without the consent of Congress. Citizenship was granted to all, with “Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted.” The amending process was so complex that none was ever adopted. Incidentally, Article Fourteen of the Declaration of Rights reads, “Every citizen shall have the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the republic.” None of this “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” foggy interpretation. Texans could pack heat. Period. A citizen who had not received his land grant was guaranteed “one league and one labor of land” if the head of a family; single men over 17 were assured of “the third part of one league of land.”

These guys weren’t through. (This stolen from Compano Bay Press): Later in 1836, from October through December, 44 men (no women present) convened in a drafty clapboard house in the town of Columbia. Many were the very men who had met back in March. It was the first session of the first Congress of the Republic of Texas, and the gang drafted some interesting articles. Again, no minister or priest could hold office in the national government. They granted Deaf Smith, Sam Houston’s trusted scout and spy, any house in San Antonio that was to his liking, so long as the government could find a legal reason to confiscate it. (Smith replied, “Eh? Eh? I don’t want a mouse.) Officers and men of the Texas Navy could divide booty amongst themselves after capturing an enemy vessel. They set the northern border of the Republic at the 42nd parallel, just south of present-day Wheatland, Wyoming, and “All free males, Indians excepted, between the age of 17 and 45 years” could be conscripted to work on the public roads.

And that’s how they did it. Quick and simple. Wonder what would happen if we told today’s Congress that the Mexican Army was on the way?

 

Ashby amends at ashby2@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOUR SEASONS RESORT PUNTA MITA PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE OCT. 31 – NOV. 4

August 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

image001Award-winning Beachfront Oasis Invites Photography Lovers to Experience Punta Mita through the Lens of Renowned Professional Photographers, Robert Caplin and Peter Lockley

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita will welcome photographers of all skill levels to the picturesque landscape of the Riviera Nayarit October 31 – November 4. The AAA Five Diamond property will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from American photographer Robert Caplin and American sports and portrait photographer Peter Lockley, in one of the most naturally beautiful beachfront destinations in Mexico.

Guests can participate in guided workshops, on-location shoots, one-on-one editing and constructive critique, as well as instructor demonstrations, all while enjoying the breathtaking scenery that Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has to offer. In between photography excursions, participants can bask in the luxury of their own spacious Mexican-style casitas, complete with tranquil views of the turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Additionally, guests are invited to indulge in an array of invigorating culinary experiences available at the resort, including custom tequila blending and new indigenous outdoor cooking classes.
“We are delighted to partner with such renowned photographers Robert Caplin and Peter Lockley to offer guests the chance to embark on a visual journey throughout the stunning and diverse landscape of Punta Mita and the Riviera Nayarit,” said John O’Sullivan, General Manager Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. “The workshop is created for photography enthusiasts of all skill levels to fuel their passion for finding beauty and magnificence through the lens of their camera, and we are positive they will find that here as they discover the wonders of Punta Mita.”
Professional photographers, Robert Caplin and Peter Lockley – known for their contributions to leading publications including New York Times, National Geographic, The Washington Times and ESPN the Magazine – will offer their guidance during daily photography adventures through Punta Mita’s most scenic natural settings. They will lead outings to charmed places including the vibrant town of Sayulita, the incredible nature preserves of San Blas, the energetic fish markets of La Cruz, and Punta Mita’s best secret surf spots, all while lending their combined expertise in editorial, commercial, and portrait photography. These outings will present a variety of unique shooting situations; from landscapes to portraits, to stories, utilizing natural and artificial light in order to help refine and develop participant’s skills. Throughout the week Caplin and Lockley will lead inspiring lectures and hands-on gear demonstrations, offering personalized, engaging feedback and analysis to further develop and refine participant’s abilities and leave them refreshed and eager to continue their personal photographic journey.
While polishing their photography skills and harnessing their creativity, guests are able to fully take advantage of all the resort has to offer, including unrivaled service, pristine white sand beaches, spectacular fine dining options, and new immersive culinary experiences. Photographers can trade in their cameras for mixing spoons and learn historically-inspired indigenous cooking techniques in the Iku Garden outdoor kitchen, try their hand at customizing their own tequila during a hands-on tasting and blending experience, or simply indulge in a seasonally flavored Mexican gelato or popsicles at the resort’s new beach front Gelateria.
Pricing for the workshop starts at USD $4,999.00 for a single participant, which includes all workshop fees, daily breakfast and Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita luxury accommodations in a Garden View Double Room. Ocean view and beachfront rooms are available for an additional cost. Participants will also enjoy a hosted cocktail reception upon arrival and gourmet farewell dinner at the close of the program. It is recommended that participants bring their own camera; however cameras and additional equipment will be available to check-out and purchase before, during or after the workshop. Reservations will be handled by Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita through http://www.fourseasonsworkshop.com/.

ANYONE BUT ONE OF THE ABOVE

August 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned this past July 11. Two days later, the Brits had a new prime minister, Theresa May. Across the pond, excuse the cliché, we Americans began this presidential campaign at the end of the last campaign in 2012, and already Sen. Ted Cruz in lining up his forces for 2020. (Incidentally, how many times in that campaign will we hear “20-20 hindsight” and “Cruz control” — a million? Currently we are suffering through an avalanche of campaigning until the first Tuesday in November. To get through the muck and mire, here are a few suggestions:
Muck & Myer is not a law firm but the way we run presidential campaigns ever since Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich crawled out of the swamp, but both political parties have “oppositional research departments,” which means these bottom-feeders delve back to the other candidate’s life and family tree seeking to discover any rotten apples or low-hanging ancestors who should have been hanged. Donald Trump made nicknames a part of his attack speeches: Crooked Hillary, Lying Ted, Little Marco and Energy Challenged Jeb. (Rick Perry didn’t last long enough to earn an insulting moniker.) No one on the Dem side has come up with one for The Donald. The Dems have no imagination. Anyway, be ready for ads and speeches without programs, policies or specifics, but filled with angry insults about the opposition. Lots of heat, no light, but that’s the way a candidate whoops up a crowd: using sure-fire applause lines. No sweaty mob at the Nebraska State Fair wants to hear a new plan for the national debt, global warming or immigration quotas.
Be prepared to hear of Benghazi constantly. (“Dad, what’s Ben Gazzi running for? I hear about him all the time.”) Also: “This is the most important election in our nation’s history!” That is self-important twaddle, making us feel our vote will decide the nation’s fate for the next century. We either get four more years of Obama or four years of Trump jokes. Anyone who has taken History for Dummies knows the outcome of 1860 was the most important. The election of Lincoln started the Civil War, which really did decide the nation’s fate, and for more than a century.
This is a unique election, since polls show many would-be voters prefer none of the above. Pollsters say a record majority of voters surveyed say they find both Hillary and Trump untrustworthy, loose with the truth, don’t have the temperament to be president and don’t even know all the words to “Hail to the Chief.” Of course, we all realize that, come Election Day, GOPers will grudgingly vote for Trump and Dems will stay home. There are 313 million Americans. Take away those who are ineligible to be president: under 35 years old, not natural born, have not lived in the United States for at least 14 years or have already served two terms (Bill and George W.). Subtract11-million illegal immigrants and that still leaves at least 100-to-200 million. Why did we get down to these two? Another point: How many times will we hear: “I give you the next president of the United States, (Trump or Hillary)”? Remember, that’s the way they introduced Henry Clay. William Jennings Bryan, Adlai Stevenson (twice) and John Kerry.
What we will not see or hear this election campaign: For the elephant, no mention of George W. His dad, yes. His mom, yes, but W. will be MIA. No mention of Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, the Iraq War (but the VA will get crucified), former Speaker Dennis Hastert, Ted Cruz. Mitt Romney and Mike Pence. Incidentally, I wish Trump would have picked Newt Gingrich for veep. That way, between them and their six wives they could have resurrected Family Values, but I thought Romney was the Mormon. In the donkey’s corner, don’t plan on hearing anything about Benghazi, the VA, Monica Lewinsky, LBJ, emails or Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Fox News will not bring up its former chief, Roger Ailes.
Presidential campaigns supposedly don’t really begin until Labor Day. During the summer, people are on vacation, checking out June’s back-to-school sales or getting inoculated against the Zika virus. Wrong. The campaigns are already shopworn, yet the candidates are on the trail non-stop. This brings us to the next point: money. Jesse Unruh, also known as Big Daddy, a California politician, said, “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” Big Daddy vastly underestimated the power of mother’s milk. Now, about the down-ballot candidates who desperately want to move up ballot. Congress has one of the lowest opinion ratings since pollsters started surveying us. Our lawmakers are never in session. (Currently the members are on yet another vacation which will last till September) and don’t do anything while they are in session.
Actually, most are very busy – raising money for their re-election campaigns despite a $174,000 annual salary. Studies show that in a typical 10-hour day, they might dedicate three hours to seeking cash. In election cycles, like right now, it might escalate to more than half of their time. That’s why it’s not only presidential candidates we are hearing from, but the lower hanging pols. About 80 percent of all donations goes to TV ads, then to the pockets of Disney, Viacom, Comcast and other mom-and-pop operations. Think of your political contribution as an “economic trickle up” operation.
Texas is such a red state that neither candidate will spend much time campaigning here, but that doesn’t mean they won’t visit. They come for the money. Texas is called the GOP’s ATM. The Dems would like to come here with a collection plate, but Texas doesn’t have many voters of the donkey persuasion, and most of them don’t have any money. So the nice part about this mind-numbing sport is that Texas will be a mere spectator – except for mother’s milk. Maybe David Cameron is available.

Ashby will write-in at ashby2@comcast.nets