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Doug’s Rant

| Doug's Rants | December 27, 2018

John Boston:

A shout-out to John Boston, whose final column in the Gazette was last week.  I want to thank John for his five years of contributing to this newspaper with his very interesting history tidbits from our community’s past. As it is with many families and businesses this time of year, some changes and belt-tightening are necessary, and it’s no different with this newspaper. The good news is John’s columns will still be published in The Signal Newspaper and their Sunday magazine.

Is He Serious Right Now?

I woke up the day after Christmas with a sore back, a lingering sinus infection, leaves covering the bottom of our pool, the filter pump not working and a checking account left dry from the ill effects of Christmas, only to find Gary Horton’s column in The Signal newspaper smacking my eyeballs! I grimaced and groaned as I knew I would have to fight through my post-Christmas blues to counter back. I quickly recalled a nice Christmas letter I received from a fan of the rant, and in the letter, she proclaimed, “Gary Horton makes me puke.” With that fresh in my mind, I also received a text imploring me to go after “dipstick Gary.

Here We Go:  

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Horton: “What we’re being subjected to is little more than a chest-bumping match between our ego-baby-president and resistant Republican and Democratic senators double-daring-each other funding for said baby-president’s infamous border wall. Or his steel slat fence. Or just about anything vertical Trump can define as a wall and declare victory to his wall-panting base, assuring them he’s kept them safe from raping, murderous, drug dealing hordes of brown people from overwhelming our white homeland.”

Talk about an “ego-baby-president”; Obama wasn’t exactly a pillar of egoless maturity when it came to resisting conservative types and blaming Fox News for his woes. What gets me is if I would have called Obama a baby president, or any other names Trump has been called, cries of racism would have come flooding my way. As I have said before, let’s debate the issues and not resort to little kid-type name calling.

I’m not really sure what “wall-panting base” means and if we seek the President’s ability to keep us safe from “raping, murderous, drug dealing hordes of brown people overwhelming our white homeland.” All I know is if “wall panting” means we want to initiate a common sense way to help American white or any color, stay safe from any harm, by brown people or anyone that can easily scoot over the border, then so be it!    

I’m reminded of the Border Patrol supervisor I met, who oversees the border from the El Centro to Yuma areas, tell me how important it is to have the type of wall Trump is proposing and how it would really help in deterring illegal crossings. And yes, he told me there a many-a-bad-guy who are able to cross over to reek criminal havoc.  If someone this well-versed in border security truly thinks a wall is important to have, how can mere civilian types really have a clue it’s not?!

Proud of Our President:

I and millions of others are proud our President has the guts to stand up to the nonsensical idea that a border wall is immoral (says Nancy Pelosi) and a waste of money. It’s about time we had a President who sticks to his guns and doesn’t cave in, standing his ground as to what he thinks is best for us.

I have to believe folks like Gary Horton know deep down it makes for ordinary common sense to have an effective border wall. Do any of these opposing Democrats have a wall around their house, or at least their back yard? I bet many of them even live in a secure, gated community. Why? Because it makes perfect sense to have protection from bad people who to want do bad things to them.

Why can’t these intelligent Dems see past their lovingly liberal, feel-good emotions in opposing a wall so vigorously? And besides that, is it really all Trump’s fault the government is slowed down? It’s my understanding our President offered to compromise on the amount of dollars for the wall, but Dems wouldn’t budge. If that’s the case, who is really to blame for their alleged sky is falling, so-called government shutdown?     

Blasts From The Past:

Gary Horton wrote a lot more in his column that I would like to fire back on, but time and energy are taking their toll, so I’m going to take the holiday way out and reprise portions of some rants from this past year.

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I highly recommend the movie “The Post.” Even if you’re not a newspaper geek like I am, you should thoroughly enjoy it. Without giving it away, the publisher anguished over hurting a good friend’s reputation by publishing a very controversial article and also fretted over financial ramifications for the newspaper if the article ran.

As I sat there watching the movie in the Valencia theatre (because the one in Canyon Country rarely runs top-flight shows) I found myself relating big-time to what the publisher was going through.

I’ve been called a caustic, hard-line writer, an unsympathetic right-wing wacko, among other things. But, I can tell you there have been some really hesitant, uncomfortable times when I worried about what tough coverage in the Gazette would do to a friendly acquaintance that I liked and respected. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t want that person to think badly of me. Oh yeah, there have been some really awkward moments when coming face-to-face with those folks after a particular article had been published.

What’s even more difficult is when a story is being considered that could cause a financial hardship for us with advertising dollars being waylaid by way of some sort of angry boycott. I bare my soul by telling you there have been times this publisher has withheld an article due to financial ramifications that could have occurred. But hey, cut me some slack. I’m responsible for getting employees paid, paying the high cost of printing this paper, along with numerous other overhead costs, as well as providing for my family with ad revenue, which is the only thing that covers all of these expenses.

After seeing “The Post,” though, I come away with a conviction of needing to throw caution to the wind when those journalistic conundrums raise their ugly head, but doing so with fair and balanced reporting. Time will tell if I can live up to this conviction, but hopefully I’ll take away from what the publisher of the Washington Post did back then.

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While multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi drones on about the crumbs of more take-home pay and employee bonuses, there are other crumbs falling off the plate, onto the legal table in Washington. We now see indictments from Robert Mueller’s team, but all are without apparent misdoings of the Trump campaign or administration.

Those indictments seem to be crumbs compared to what’s brewing with the legal mess that is the investigations of the FBI and Department of Justice, and even the Obama administration’s shenanigans regarding spying on the Trump team.

Even if you’re not a fan of the “Sean Hannity Show,” I encourage you to watch, as with every show there is a panel of investigative reporters, attorneys and other experts that have been doing exhaustive research on this escalating scandal and are able to back up their claims with apparent facts. The more that is revealed from their investigations, the more it looks like a full-blown loaf of bread compared to the crumbs of a Trump/Russia collusion.

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As I was in line at the grocery store I glanced over and saw the cover of a Time Magazine with a headline of Women Changing the World. It had pictures of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, and a few I didn’t recognize. Now look, I’m not ripping on or discounting women here; I just think it’s a stretch that the three ladies I recognized on the cover are changing the world.

Sure, Oprah and DeGeneres are popular entertainers, but world changers? Are they supposedly changing the world because of their social views, political slants, sexual preference, and unabashed wealth? If these two women entertainers are changing the world because of those things, it’s a sad indictment of the world. If the liberals of the day think these ladies are changing the world, that explains a lot.

It reminds me of what rocker David Crosby (of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame) said about the group’s heydays in the early ‘70s. He said something along the lines of: “We were such fools back then, we really thought we could change the world with guitars and songs with impacting lyrics; now it’s laughable.

Mrs. Clinton is a different story; she sure could have changed the world if elected in 2016, but for better or worse, we’ll never know. But now, you’ve got to be freaking kidding me. All she’s doing to change the world is uttering Nancy Pelosi-like incomprehensible words.

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The Signal newspaper has “Our View” by their editorial board, published in the weekend edition each week, and it should come as no surprise my view differs from their view on this one. The piece was entitled “Sanctuary request needs research”: It was addressing Councilman Bob Kellar’s request for Santa Clarita to consider exempting itself from the sanctuary law thing. The request comes as momentum is starting to build with other cities, and even counties, to let Sacramento know they won’t put up with this liberal nonsense of a law putting their citizens’ safety at risk.

Their view: “Step away from the politics and find out if this a prudent move for the city. Would it be financially risky and most important of all—what do the citizens think?”

My View: I don’t know what other citizens think, but this citizen thinks nothing could be more prudent than for our city to do anything and everything it can to protect us from the potential danger that has engulfed unsuspecting Americans by the hands of illegal aliens that have no business even standing on our soil!

Their view: “What is the financial risk to the city if it is sued after declaring itself a non-sanctuary city? … Much more research is needed by city staff on the legal ramifications of breaking from state law. … We urge our city leaders to limit any rhetoric they may be inclined to engage in on the issue and instead spend their time studying it.”   

 My View: Screw “financial risks,” “legal ramifications,” “limiting rhetoric” and “spending time studying it.” It reminds me of the oak tree that protrudes onto Sand Canyon Road at Live Oak Springs, blocking the view of motorists trying to make a safe turn onto Sand Canyon, or where Soledad-Ruether-Golden Triangle meet the railroad tracks and motorists are often left straddling the tracks when the timing of the lights are out-of-sync. Will it take injuries or death of Santa Claritans at these intersections to make a move to prevent a tragedy after a bad accident occurs?

God forbid an illegal alien were to rape and murder a young mother next week, would that get the City Council’s attention and motivate them to act swiftly without regard to bureaucratic mud that covers up common sense? If elected officials in Orange and San Diego counties are brave enough to forge ahead, standing up to the state without seeming concern for collateral damage, why won’t ours?

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I can’t keep up! As I was putting the finishing touches on this rant, news was breaking like eggs being thrown from a rooftop. Mark Zuckerberg is squirming in front of Congress; President Trump is telling Russia and Syria he is in the mood for a butt-kicking; and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is telling us you can take this job and shove it. The stock market is as volatile as a teenager with their cell phone taken away; the price of oil is skyrocketing like the price of gas will very soon; and Gary Horton wrote one of his mind-boggling, twisted Trump-bashing columns in The Signal that I don’t have the time or energy to lash back at. I’m overwhelmed, dazed, confused and distracted, but somehow I’ll persevere through to the end of this.   

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Every Monday, as I start a new week, I think to myself, “This has to be the week not much is going to happen and it’s sure to be a slow news week so I can get to stuff I keep putting on the ranting back burner.” You think that ever happens? Heck no. In fact, just when I think it can’t get any crazier, it does!

This week, I’ve been flabbergasted at the hate that’s been coming from those who live on left side of political thinking. It’s actually a bit frightening and causes me to think back to the 1860s about the hate that split our country in two, resulting in a very deadly civil war.

When Madonna said last year, “YES I’m angry, YES I’m outraged, yes I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” we chalked it up to grandstanding in front a large crowd. When Kathy Griffin posed with a replica of a severed, bloody head of our president, we figured it was a comedy bit going the way of very bad taste (never mind that if a Right Wing comedian had done the same thing with an Obama head, he would have probably been arrested by the Secret Service).

But lately, come on! Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant just because she works for the President. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled so much by protesters at a Mexican restaurant, she had to leave. Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, was with her boyfriend attending a movie when they were descended upon by a group of harassers, and her security detail had to step in to protect her.

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I’ll give you another reason I enthusiastically support our president, and it relates to President Reagan and my mom and dad. No, they didn’t know Reagan personally, but oh my, did he have a profound impact on their lives that has lasted until today.

My dad supported our family (including my two younger brothers and I) with income solely from his commissions as an insurance agent. We weren’t destitute, but we sure lived a frugal existence from President Kennedy through Jimmy Carter’s time in office (I was out on my own in 1974, but watched the family struggle continue).

 Lo and behold, after Reagan was in office and introduced changes that ignited the economy, my dad’s business took off! The success he enjoyed enabled a comfortable life style for my mom and dad (including lots of travel), but best of all, provided him with the means to invest in the stock market and real-estate.

Those investments are paying off even today (Dad passed away in 2010) as our mother struggles with dementia and is financially able to live with great, loving care in a wonderful facility (that ain’t cheap).

So as Trump’s economy takes off, I can’t help but think of the many of folks out there who will financially benefit and be able to take care of their spouse for many years to come, the way my dad was able to under President Reagan’s time in office. Perhaps his haters should take into consideration the reality of what this economy is doing under Trump’s watch, and think about what it could mean for them and their families in years to come, and not resort to such unreasonable hate.

Letter to the Ranter: (Submitted 12/22/18)

Doug,

I enjoyed your Rant. (Re: climate change)  We do need to be good stewards of the environment; however we have observed similar changes in temperature on our neighboring planets. 10,000 years ago Santa Clarita was tropical and Detroit was under miles of Ice. Industrial type pollution is only about 150 years old.  Steve

 

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About Doug Sutton

Doug Sutton is the publisher of Santa Clarita Gazette, Canyon Country and Pet Me Magazine. Doug is active in Rotary Club of Santa Clarita, Heart of the Canyons Church, and a past board member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Doug and Jeannie have been married for 35 years, living in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 20 years, raising their 3 sons here.

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