Dean Clough

June 30, 2021

Portico Darwin: Exit Las Cruces + A Question

You are in for a real treat:  as today is a travel day - we are heading back to SF  - my post will be short.  
But first, some brief-ish housekeeping:

  • Here is our photo album from the trip, for those that have too much time on their hands.  I would be remiss if I did not thank Dr. Davis Fladgate and Mrs. Melynda Fladgate for hosting us for what I'm sure felt like 2 years to them.  But it was really only 2 weeks, I swear.

  • Next up:  a 3 night jaunt to San Diego on July 9, to visit SF deniers Andy Jones and his increasingly pregnant better half, the wellness industry titan Libby Baines Jones.  We're going to help them break in their lovely new home there (they've got a beer tap at their outdoor kitchen, for crying out loud), and steer them towards a nice name for their baby boy, due in late September.  I think "Dean Jr." has a nice ring?

  • And then it's on to a highlight of this season's social calendar, the massive Marina/Michaels nuptials in Boulder, later in July.  We're preceding that extravaganza with a 4 night visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, further lengthening our lead in terms of National Park, etc. visits over the bridegroom's mother, Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels, and the gift basket fortune gold digger, Primo Harvey, PhD.   

  • Yeah, I know.  This song fully encapsulates my travel philosophy for 2021.  

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

On Monday evening, Dr. Fladgate (a conservative by any definition) and I were solving the world's problems over Japanese whiskey, a decent Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, and then a fine 20 year-old tawny port.  Davis's preference to not fault America for much of anything brought this to mind.

In the ethical philosophy of John Rawls, the veil of ignorance asks us to judge the justice of a society by whether we'd join it without knowing our place in it.

So I ask my very gracious host Dr. Fladgate and everyone: 

Would you join American society today not knowing in what economic class you'd be placed? 

I do apologize from my prolificity Monday, but I was glad to hear the late photo I posted of Julie, Lucy, and Davis warmed reader Dr. Doreen Down's heart:

"Adorable photos like this restore my faith in humanity." 

And birthday girl extraordinaire Fi Deuce (49?  She's actually screwed because we had the honor of attending her 50th in Tuscany - yeah, it was rough) wrote simply

"Great photo!"

But it was The Big Lie post that brought the heat and justifiable anger.  This profane but extremely wise reader shall go nameless, but put me down as 100% in agreement.

"Fuck Bill Barr.  He’s trying to rehabilitate himself and distance himself from the Big Lie by agreeing to this article, but nowhere in it is he owning up to his own role in laying the foundation for the Big Lie by pushing the narrative that mail-in voting is full of fraud and abuse.  If you feel it is appropriate to do so, please remind your readers of this fact before they give him a pass after reading the Atlantic article.  Bill Barr is in the same category as Roy Cohen;  two Devil’s advocates cut from the same cloth."

Thank you and done.  Bill Barr, try as he might and like any Trump enabler, will never be able to remove the taint from doing Trump's bidding.  Ask Sean Spicer and everyone else Trump has used, chewed up, and spit out.
Not going nameless is the blissful retiree and music video producer Arthur, who took the journalism ball and ran with it to the end zone.  Arthur was kind enough to share a link to the media bias tracking organization, Media Bias/Fact Check.   Here is the complete URL:  It's an amazing site that I hope you'll use.  

"This seems to be a pretty accurate rater of media bias.  Really the only well-known u which are considered least biased are the wire services, Reuters and Associated Press.  After following them both for years, I consider Reuters least biased.  Though I sometimes watch PBS NewsHour, they are rated as moderately left, and I agree.  Actually, I don't believe any video news source unless I corroborate it with the wire services, if for no other reason than they have an inherent conflict of interest: They must keep eyeballs on the screen by catering to a specific audience, otherwise they have no source of funding/advertising.  The wire services get paid for their stories by nearly every media outlet from CNN to OAN, so they do not have that pressure, only that they get the scoop first."

Thank you, Arthur - although I will say not "believing any video news source" seems a bit draconian.  But I too, like Arthur, rely upon Reuters and AP as my preferred vehicles for the objective reality on-ramp.  Please jump onboard!

Lastly, a shout out to fellow Albanian and very longtime friend Steven Simon - in looking at my Picacho Hills CC photos, it brought him to reminisce about the time we played The University of New Mexico South golf course, in Albuquerque, together about a million years ago.  Steven, a lifetime golfer who has played on many of the world's finest tracks, says UNM South remains one of the best he's played - which is really saying something. 

Fun fact:  Steven was the best golfer on our 5 person varsity golf team in high school.  I was the worst on the team, but at least I had a bad temper and threw my clubs after shitty shots.  Later, I was relegated to caring for the course I had torn up.  Yes, that's me on board a mighty Toro Groundsmaster 72, and yes, those are acid-washed jeans.


Thank you to any one that is reading this blog.

One of Davis's many criticisms of my beliefs is that he feels I want to unnecessarily change America.  Indeed, I do seek perpetual change - how do you improve yourself or a country otherwise?  So here is Yes, and their early masterwork, "The Yes Album".

P.S.  Here's a fun new reference (at least for me, so I don't repeat suggestions, like I did with "Sketches of Spain").  Wouldn't it be great if every album I've suggested were compiled into a sortable list?  Done!  And it's also at should you somehow not remember this particular post.

P.P.S.  See?  I told you spectacular skies are in no way unusual here.  This was last night.


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.