Thursday, January 29, 2015

Um, well, let’s see … his position is …


From page A2 | February 15, 2012 |

VOTE FOR JOHN, HE’S OUR MAN … the home phone rang on an otherwise delightful Friday afternoon … the caller wanted to speak with “Robert,” which is a name I’ve been called only by my mother, and then only when I was in trouble … I figured maybe it was somebody offering me a deal on solar panels so I could take advantage of global warming … “We were wondering if we can count on you to support John Garamendi for Congress,” said the female voice … “Depends on who he’s running against,” I responded … assuring me that her man was unopposed in the Democratic primary, the caller pressed on with her pitch for an endorsement …

Now, I think John Garamendi is a straight-up guy, but before signing on the bottom line, I asked if she could please tell me Congressman-to-be Garamendi’s position on that contentious health care mandate involving President Obama, contraception and the lack of a meaningful conscience exemption for religious organizations … I may as well have been talking to someone who just landed on Planet Earth 24 hours prior … “I’m not aware of his position,” she said, then added “what issue was that again?” … I could almost hear her whispering “H-E-L-P” to her fellow phone bankers … she finally asked if I’d like to talk to a campaign higher-up …

Onto the line came an older male voice … I repeated my question and got the same basic non-answer I had received from the previous voice … suggesting that this was perhaps some obscure issue, the male voice asked “Where exactly did you read about this?” to which I responded “The New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Davis Enterprise. It’s been the No. 1 story on the nightly news for a week now.” …

Stalling for time as he no doubt Googled the issue, the Garamendi Groupie launched into a recitation of the candidate’s time as California insurance commissioner, but was unable to give me any answer at all about the issue at hand … and then, condescendingly, he thanked me for “bringing this issue to our attention,” as if I were the only person in America thinking about it … I’m always happy to help …

A VOTER’S DILEMMA … my friend Bob calls it “Electile Dysfunction,” the inability to find a presidential candidate in either party who turns you on … on one side of the fence we have a president who seems to have lost all sense of respect for religious freedom, despite the protests of many in his own party, including the vice president, his chief of staff and the secretary of defense …

And on the other side of the fence there’s Mitt Romney, who is completely unapologetic about paying just 13.9 percent of his earnings in federal income tax … as if the rest of us are all dummies for paying more than that … and let’s not forget Newt Gingrich, who is the last man in America who ought to be lecturing anyone about family values … I mean, where’s Ross Perot when we really need him? …

GIMME THOSE OLD-TIME BLUE DEVILS … if you didn’t catch Bruce Gallaudet’s piece last Thursday about the undefeated 1962 Davis High School boys basketball team — members of which will be honored during tonight’s game at their old school — dig the newspaper out of the recycle bin and prepare to be inspired … by talking to many of the players involved, Gallaudet faithfully recounts the exploits of this 21-0 team that ended the season with a dramatic one-point win in the championship game of the prestigious Tracy Tournament … it may as well have been the state championship game …

I was an ardent fan at that game, sitting in the top row of the bleachers as the Blue Devils did us all proud … it remains the most exciting high school basketball game I’ve ever seen … far and away the star of the team was Ralph Villanueva, a multi-sport superstar who is clearly the greatest athlete ever to come out of Davis High School … from his early days in Little League to neighborhood pickup games to his legendary days in a Blue Devil uniform, everyone in town knew who you meant when you simply said “Ralph.” … he seemingly didn’t have — or need — a last name, just like Madonna … there hasn’t been another one like him since …

Ralph, looking as if he could still play the game 50 years later, will be among the honorees there tonight …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]





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Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

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