Vet this, Mr. GOP presidential candidate!

Here is something to think about: The Republican presidential candidate, whose name I will not name because he already gets enough free print, says he will be tough on terrorism.

He says he will make sure those who come from places where terror is a problem receive “extreme vetting” before these immigrants are allowed to enter the United States. Whatever the term “extreme vetting” might mean. The term sounds like “extreme colonoscopy.” I mean, how extreme can a colonoscopy be. I am just being rhetorical here. Please don’t tell me.

The GOP candidate had, during his primary campaign, said that he would ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can find out what the hell is going on.”

But the latest terror attacks, I suppose that is what they are, seem to have been committed by American citizens. So how will this orange-colored fool tackle these problems, meaning how would vetting of citizens — presumably Muslim but people of other hues than white — not orange — be handled under this maniac?

Given the off-the-chart radical right-wing crap the Republican nominee said to beat his primary foes, his earlier statements should be as examined as closely as his recent one. What a piece of work this candidate is, this nominee from the “Party of Lincoln.”

Although I have grown way too tired during this campaign, it will be interesting to watch the first Presidential Debate next week. That is, whatever incarnation of this Republican candidate will we see, maniacal bully or toned-down demagogue?. In fact, whether the GOP candidate even shows up at all will be worth watching.

One day after Orlando. Release the sanctimonious hounds.

It is most likely that police and other authorities hadn’t cleared the Pulse nightclub of the remaining 40-something bodies before the two presumptive presidential nominees were clearly “making hay while the sun shined.”

Donald Trump, the likely GOP nominee, reiterated his call for excluding Muslims from entering the United States. Meanwhile, his counterpart Hillary rolled on an old familiar theme — gun control — while digging into a glimpse of her strategy to combat our terrorist foes such as ISIL.

Somehow the death toll from the early Sunday-morning shooting spree and hostage crisis in the Orlando gay club fell from 50 to 49. I have yet to hear how that happened, although it matters to history and in the hearts and minds of those who lost loved ones.

Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton talked on the increasing need for an assault weapon ban, a proposition that prompts the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to cackle Henny-Pennie-like that such measures will lead to the end of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. That is utter horse pucky. But the lies Trump is floating around seemingly know no boundaries.  Trump is even insinuating that Obama either  is incompetent or he is somehow involved. Perhaps Trump is re-living his glory days, when Trump was convinced the President was from the Muslim World. Yes, Barry Obama, Secret Asian Man, or African, or Hawaiian, I mean, it’s all the same to The Donald.

The president has been beaten up by the Republicans for not using the words “Radical Islamic terrorists.”

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism?” Trump tweeted as the president was speaking. “If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace.”

WTF? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I mean I have seen some silly politicians with equally ludicrous ideas, but I mean this whole thing over Obama not calling the terrorists with the “radical Islamic” prelude. That right there sums up the silliness of the Republicans and that silly son-of-a-bitch  Donald Trump.

Politicians like Trump, Clinton and that idiot-assed Lt. Governor of Texas Dan Patrick all are  to blame for starting up the Circus, well, starting it up even more. I know that politicians in general, but Republicans specifically, have well-honed hypocrisy to a calling. People like Patrick saying on Twitter the gays brought this violence on themselves, then he states he had meant that Bible quote for several days prior.

So on this day, when so many parents and siblings are grieving for their losses while other pray for other relatives to pull through from horrible injuries, we are left with the sanctimonious perhaps Muslims shooting it out with gays as sort of a win-win.

Let the pious be pious. Just leave me the f**k alone if you are plan to side with the Donald Trumps and the Dan Patricks of the world.

Border Patrol sure spends a lot of time on I-10

Hidy hi friends and neighbors. I realize it has been a week or so since I last published but, well, you probably don’t want to hear my lame-ass excuse so I will just leave it at that.

Yesterday, I traveled across the border —  of Texas and Louisiana — to Lake Charles for a visit with my brother. He is recuperating in a hospital following a quadruple coronary bypass.

Somewhere between the Texas-Louisiana border and Lake Charles, I spotted the tell-tale white and green SUVs used by the Border Patrol. I think they are called “Customs and Border Protection (CPB)” nowadays although the two trucks sitting in the median of I-10 bore the traditional name of Border Patrol.

I wondered what they were doing there in Southwestern Louisiana less than 30 miles from the Louisiana and Texas border. I see Border Patrol trucks in Beaumont once in awhile but never stalking motorists, at least in this part of the country.

A couple of scenarios about Border Patrol hanging out on I-10 in Southwestern Louisiana, came to mind. Perhaps they had intelligence about some truck coming out of Texas hauling illegals. Perhaps they were making stops of anyone with a brown or olive complexions. I would not be surprised if the agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, was out there to protect the homeland.

A CPB agent cuffs a Mexican national. Border Patrol photo
A CPB agent cuffs a Mexican national. Border Patrol photo

I found out by searching the Web that the Border Patrol has a station in Lake Charles because, like Beaumont, it is a port city. I also found that a “port of entry” station is located in Port Arthur that also serves Beaumont. The Border Patrol has a number of stations and checkpoints throughout the South and Southwest. Perhaps the most notorious of those can be found at Sierra Blanca, on I-10.

Since 1974 the Border Patrol or CPB as it is now known has maintained a checkpoint near the small town of Sierra Blanca, which is almost 80 miles southeast of El Paso — as the crow flies. Every car traveling east on I-10 must enter that station. It wasn’t much of a big deal from 1977 to 1984, the times during which I most traveled through the station. Back then, the exercise was much like entering back into the U.S. from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso. You didn’t come to a complete stop, most of the time, and would be on your way if you answered the question — Nationality? — from the border agent as “American.” Sometimes there were random checks. I never went through one there in Sierra Blanca, thankfully. I went through a not-so-random check once while riding as a passenger in my friend’s car returning to El Paso.

My friend, who is Mexican-American, said the Border Patrol kept a database of cars that had been involved in previous incidents such as a stop in which pot had been discovered. I don’t think he had ever been busted at the border, but perhaps a friend was wanted on some charge.

So in El Paso, the big German Shepherd dope dog sniffed all through my friend’s car. I knew with reasonable certainty that no pot that was carried back from Mexico. Brought into Mexico, well … ? The dog was sniffing like crazy at what was a portable bar in the trunk. My friend said it was possible some weed had been stashed in it at one time. The agents couldn’t find anything on the car or on us, so there we went on our merry way.

But that was then and this is now. The Border Patrol these days has dogs that supposedly can sniff out drugs of all kinds — and possibly explosives or gun powder — when a vehicle drives up. The people get caught, more often than not, with small amounts of marijuana. It is quite routine in Sierra Blanca, Texas.

Those with many famous names have been popped and eventually taken to the small courthouse in Sierra Blanca where often-overwhelmed deputies will many times write a ticket for possession for a small amount of pot. Among the celebrities were Willie Nelson and Snoop Dog. This process, and how it reflects on a portion of the drug war gone very badly, is told in this excellent Texas Monthly story written by Al Reinert. The writer, who co-wrote the screenplay for “Apollo 13,” was arrested with a small amount a couple of years ago and tells a very entertaining story though it depicts how millions of taxpayers’ dollars are doled out on small-time pot busts in Sierra Blanca.

The checkpoints are numerous in the Southwest. If you want to transport illegal drugs, you best go through one of the checkpoints without drugs and buy them somewhere like Kansas City and head to wherever it is you are going. Then good luck with all the small towns who all have their own drug dog.

I know the CPB does very important work and are a big part of preventing people like the San Bernardino terrorists from killing more Americans. Perhaps the current homegrown or self-radicalized terrorists we are facing like to get high, although it doesn’t seem like any self-respecting Jihadist would be your average pothead. Still, I hope those two Border Patrol trucks I saw yesterday on I-10 in Louisiana aren’t spending their time trying to bust a person with a small amount of marijuana. There are more serious tasks.

It also seems as if these days with all the danger we supposedly face in the homeland, a bong hit might not be the worst treatment for what ails you.

No more dollar menu from McGreedy. But maybe Santa will bring the Texans a Super Bowl and the world some peace.


So much sadness seems to surround our world these days. And I am not just talking about the Paris terrorist attack. For instance, fast food giant McDonald’s has announced it is parting ways with its dollar value menu. It is instead offering a choice of two items from a choice of the McDouble, McChicken, small fry and Mozzarella sticks. This comes after McDonald’s belittled the tamale in Mexico. Really, have you no shame ¿damas y señores?

Well while we are speaking of such a sad state of affairs, there was one brightened light last evening. I speak of the Houston Texans keeping their shirts together long enough to upset the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were one of an unprecedented three NFL teams that were undefeated. Those 9-0 teams are the New England (Cheating Scum) Patriots and the Carolina (Where the hell is that?) Panthers. Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer left the Monday evening game with a possible concussion shortly before the fourth quarter began. The Bengals led by two field goals in those waning seconds of the third period. But then as the fourth quarter began, in the sky, no on the field it’s … not Superman. But close enough for the Texans. Out of seemingly nowhere, came T.J. Yates — who is that? — lobbing a 22-yard touchdown pass at the end of his first drive. The catch by Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins sealed the deal.

Actually, anyone who even remotely has followed Houston Texans games should know who is this Yates — not Shelly, not Keats, nor Dickens — person. It was this T.J. Yates who substituted for first string QB Matt Schaub, and second-stringer Matt Leinart, during the 2011 Texans season. Yates chunked a short pass in the last two seconds of a match with — you guessed it — the Bengals. That resulted in the first round of playoffs, ever, in the Texans’ history during that 2011 season.

So now the Texans share an AFL South lead with Indianapolis. Both sport a very unspectacular 4-5 standing. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Just wait for the jolly old fat man with white hair and beard. I believe he will make it from the South Pole in December, or is it from the North Pole in January? Maybe St. Nicky will deliver the long-suffering Texans’ fans a playoff berth. And perhaps even a Super Bowl. If you are going to wish, you might as well go big.

While he is at it Santa might as well bring some comfort to our Parisian brethren, and serve it with some world peace on the side.

An au revoir to an old friend while terrorists murder in Paris

Here I am in the “Oldest Town In Texas.” That has been the claim many years here in Nacogdoches. I lived here, went to and graduated from college here, and worked here, nearly as many years as I lived with my parents before leaving my hometown for the Navy.

I have partyied like a big dog here in what some college kids and others called “Nacanowhere.” I bet many a person who complained of what a small, nothing town, they were in, now wish they could be back here and in college at the age in which they attended. I have also loved here. A few of those were serious and some not so much.

Best of all, I made many friends here–those in school, and others — from my working as a firefighter and later a news paper reporter. But I am not here to see friends, old flames or otherwise. I am here to remember the life of my friend, Rick, who died earlier this week at the age of 61.

I don’t think I could write a memorial or an obituary for Rick, although I am more than capable of doing so. I believe I could do a better job in writing of the things we did and shared at some later date. As in “the book” I have yet to write. Rick’s death, at 61, reminds me I need to get busy, on a book and on other matters. I say this as I turned 60 last month.

Hopefully, I will write more about this unusual, talented and very funny man. His obituary in the paper — the same one where I reported and wrote for nearly four years — reminded me of the many things he had been able to do such as his work as a nurse, a mechanic and not too long ago, owning a vending machine service.

I write this as all hell breaks loose with terrorists shooting down scores of people in Paris. It was a better day when Rick was here, not that he could do anything about the terror attack. But things were a bit better yesterday. Au revoir.