Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sailing Good Bye: In Memory of Marilyn Drew Bennett

I lost my aunt Marilyn this month. Her full name was Marilyn Drew Bennett and she died of cancer on November 15, 2018. I don't know how, if at all, the world will remember her. But I know how I will remember her.

Marilyn Drew Bennett with her son, Larry Bennett, 
aboard the Nightengale, a 34 ft. ketch, in 1968
Even as a child, I appreciated her conscientiousness. I must have been five when we celebrated my birthday at her house. I don’t remember the meal…only the decorated cake. She lit it up with five little candles. I remember her outstanding qualities as perfectionism, kindness, warmth and encouragement. I never heard an unkind word from her. My earliest memories of her are surrounded by my awareness that she saw me as a child of wonder. I knew I was precious and loved by her.

As I grew older, she displayed the wisdom we get from aunts and uncles, the advice that is too risky for our parents to release. With less responsibility - and perhaps greater objectivity - I have found that my various aunts and uncles have been the people in my life who have been most supportive of my big plans, my willingness to take large risks, and my eagerness to pursue my dreams.

Her encouragement, of course, had a special authority. In 1968, she and her second husband, Tom Bennett moved with their son, Larry, onto the Nightengale, a 34 ft. ketch and cast off for a major Pacific cruise. Without the aid of modern satellite and navigation technology, they sailed down the coast of California into Mexican waters where they harbor-hopped for about three months before
venturing west into the brood Pacific. the next several months they visited many South Pacific Island groups including the Galapagos Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Tuamotus Islands, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and Touga. As I understand it, some of her last words included a suggestion to her husband that they buy a boat and just sail away. 

During the moments when I was frustrated with my own parents, I saw Marilyn as a useful example of a bold, confident and adventurous life that I hoped to lead myself. I saw her as more sophisticated, intelligent, and worldly than any of my other relatives on either side of my family. I have said before that I considered her son Larry, who she adopted in 1962, to be a fifth brother. What I have left out previously is that when I was most eager to run away from home my fervent wish was that she and Tom would adopt me too. 

Like me, Marilyn valued an active, meaningful social life. While she lived in Paso Robles, CA participated in the Paso Robles Women's Club, the American Association of University Women, the Paso Robles Art Association, and the Republican Women's Club. She held senior office positions in these organizations from time to time. As an adult, she and I shared a commitment to conservative politics. We both hoped for Romney to win and were ecstatic at the election of Donald J. Trump.

I knew more of her back story than most…at least more than my own brothers. I think her willingness to take on risky adventures was born, in part, from a chaotic childhood and a series of close calls with death. I knew from my father, Richard Drew, the stories of how their mother was deeply depressed and impulsive. The worst of it, as I remember, is that their mother made suicide attempts in front of my dad. According to him, he once held the car door closed as his mother tried to jump out of the car. To compound the discomfort, my dad never understood why his father did not just stop the car.

Married right out of high school to her first husband, Marilyn survived a car accident in which the vehicle rolled over. She emerged unscathed despite the fact that there were no seat belts in the car. She almost died herself from a miscarriage in which she lost twin children. I cannot imagine the pain she suffered from all of these experiences. 

Marilyn also touched my heart because she was something of a spiritualist. She reportedly once saw the ghost of Tom Mix outside her parent's house in Glendale. (It was next to a cemetery.) According to my Grandpa Drew, the neighbors were quite. Later on, she told me she saw the ghost of her mother too, shortly after her death. 

This other-worldly sensitivity was perhaps somewhat genetic in origin. I remember I broke away from a post-graduate program in statistics at the University of Michigan to visit with her relatives. Half were down to earth skeptics. The other half, however, were as odd as the characters in a Harry Potter book. Many of Marilyn's mid-west relatives were extraordinary mystics, open to the world of coincidence, unconventional spiritual beliefs, witnesses to extraordinary psychic experiences. They brought to my attention an element of my own father's faith. As I recall, he once prayed for God to give him $20,000. Sure enough, he received a check in the mail for that exact amount about two weeks later. It was a story, perhaps, too good to check.

As a child, of course, I was shielded from the complete story of her life. As an adult, however, I had to take into account that her second marriage was associated with some considerable damage as her new husband, Tom, left behind three children aged 4, 8 and 11. At the funeral, one of her stepchildren, Tom, called her heroic for her willingness to take on these step-children, care for them on an extended vacations, and contentiously remember to send presents for their birthdays and at Christmas. 

Even with this qualification, I don't think you can conclude she was some reckless libertine. She was devoted to her husband. They were, as Larry said, joined at the hip. I see a large measure of atonement in the fact that the second marriage took and she spent 56 years with her new husband. Likewise, her son Larry said: "She always had my back." 

Earlier this week, I stood at her grave side as a man of 61. I have reconciled and come to appreciate my own parents and the benefits I gained as a child. Still, I'm far older now than she was when she made me my favorite and most memorable birthday cake…a white frosted steamboat…complete with two decks…a paddle wheel…and little windows made of silver sugary beads. For me, the past is not dead. It is not even past. I wish I could hold her and tell her how much I loved her and how much I will miss her.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dr. Drew's MAGA Voter Guide for California 2018

California Statewide Ballot Propositions 

Proposition 1:
BOND for specified housing assistance programs.
Dr. Drew says NO. 

Proposition 2: 
BOND for housing of homeless with mental illness.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 3:
BOND for water supply, wildlife and groundwater sustainability.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 4:
BOND for children’s health care hospital improvements.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 5:
Transfers of property tax base to replacement property.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 6:
Gas Tax Repeal - Repeals 2017 road repair and transportation tax increase.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 7: 
Allows legislature to adopt yearlong daylight saving time.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 8:
Regulates outpatient kidney dialysis clinic charges.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 10:
Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control.
Dr. Drew says NO.

Proposition 11:
Requires private-sector EMT/paramedics to be on call during work breaks.
Dr. Drew says YES.

Proposition 12:
New standards for confinement of farm animals.
Dr. Drew says NO.

California State Office Recommendations

GOVERNOR: JOHN COX

LT GOVERNOR: no recommendation; musings instead...

Obviously both of the candidates are leftist Democrats. Ed Hernandez, however, might the slightly better choice.

SECRETARY OF STATE: MARK MEUSER

CONTROLLER: KONSTANTINOS RODITIS

TREASURER: GREG CONLON

ATTORNEY GENERAL: JUDGE STEVEN BAILEY

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER: STEVE POIZNER 

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: MARSHALL TUCK
Tuck is open to charter schools.

U.S. SENATOR: No recommendation; musings instead...

Feinstein is somewhat more moderate. The 85-year old Sen. Feinstein is clearly already out of it mentally as the Kavanaugh hearing demonstrated. For example, she didn't even understand the meaning of Sen. Flake's last minute deal. Strategically, an old, worn-out Democrat dog is better than a young Democrat puppy.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Not Too Sad to Laugh: Funniest Jokes About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat
candidate for Congress.
Nothing is built in America anymore. My new TV says "Built in Antenna." Where the hell is that?

If owning a gun was a right, it would be in the Constitution.

I don't like the Electoral College and I would never send my kids there.

BREAKING: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she will consider debating Ben Shapiro if he doubles his offer from $10,000 to $15,000.
"If free speech was a right, it would be in the Constitution." 
“I’m against studying civics in school unless we also study other cars.”
"I promise I'll fight for ALL illegal immigrants. Especially those who came here legally."
“If you are a teacher you should keep your security clearance.” 
Note: If you have any that really make you laugh, please add them in the comment section below.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Did Trump Really Save America from Socialism?

There is a lot of material out there right now encouraging folks to check out Dinesh D’Souza claims in Death of a Nation. I have already seen the film and I probably need to go back and watch it again to make sure I got all the details.

Among the pieces promoting the movie is a terrific article by Steve Baldwin, a former California assemblyman (1994-2000) and minority whip, which appeared in The American Spectator called, "Did Trump Really Save America From Socialism? This article makes a comprehensive and convincing case that ties together a number of stories to leave us with the stone cold truth: Barack Obama was attempting to turn the U.S. into a socialist utopia. Frighteningly, his major goal was to turn the U.S. into a one party state where a Republican would never again win the office of president.

Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice.
Baldwin asserts that the key element of this strategy was bringing in illegal immigrants to vote for Hillary Clinton. It is scary to reflect the extent to which Obama almost achieve his objective if not for the surprising, seemingly impossible election of Donald Trump. This article appeared came to attention through an old Google alert which scans for on-line articles that mention both my name and Obama's. Below, I have marked the part in bold where Baldwin uses my little data point to help nail down a key point about Obama's long-standing commitment to socialism.

However, Americans were so propagandized by the media concerning Obama’s “mainstream Democrat” background that very few know the real truth about who he really is. But the evidence of Obama’s socialist background is overwhelming.
Researchers have dug up quite a bit about him since he burst onto the national political scene over a decade ago. Four books in particular have ripped off the propaganda cover: Aaron Klein’s The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and other Anti-American Extremists; Paul Kengor’s The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, the Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor; Trevor Loudon’s Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, and lastly, Stanley Kurtz’s excellent Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. These authors have exhaustedly documented Obama’s involvement with numerous groups dominated by communists and socialists.
(Note: My take on young Obama is featured in the works by Kengor, Loudon and Kurtz.) 
Indeed, Obama launched his political career at the house of former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who calls himself a “small c communist.” Obama’s mentor at Harvard was Charles Ogletree, a radical Marxist professor, former Black Panther, and leader of the nutty “reparations” movement.
We now know his father was a socialist economist and that his boyhood mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying Communist Party member who, according to his FBI file, was engaged in espionage. Davis even appears on the FBI’s Cold War era “watch list” of people to be rounded up should the Soviets launch a war against the USA.
We also know that Obama spoke at the funeral of leading Marxist theoretician Saul Mendelson. We know that in the 1996 he actually joined the New Party, a Marxist party in Illinois. And we know the Communist Party itself lavished praise on Obama, boasting of how they “actively supported Obama during the primary election.” Upon Obama’s 2008 victory, Sam Webb, the president of the U.S. Communist Party, announced we “now have a friend, a people’s advocate and the first African American in the White House.”
Former Communist activist John Drew attended Occidental with Obama and says not only that Obama was a well-known “Marxist-Leninist” on campus but that he actually said “There’s going to be a revolution” in the USA. And there has been of sorts.
One cannot dig into Obama’s background without stumbling into Communists and other assorted socialist revolutionaries everywhere one looks. And much of the media knew this when Obama ran for the presidency in 2008 but decided Americans didn’t need to know. But they covered every mistake and every shady relationship that Donald Trump ever had. Nor is there any evidence Obama ever modified his views. His background and his legislative legacy demonstrates contempt for America; its history, culture, constitution, and political system. All of this is consistent with Obama’s Marxist worldview that he took great pains to disguise. As Stanley Kurtz wrote, “Obama has made concerted efforts to hide his socialist convictions from the voters who put him into office.”
Although I think it is over-the-top to say I was a Communist at the time, I have to admit that I was well versed in Marxism and had been rooting for the USSR to win the Cold War. Nevertheless, this is a really helpful article for making sense of the Obama legacy and the story of how we barely escaped losing our country for good. You can read the entire article by clicking on this link to Baldwin's article, Did Trump Really Save America From Socialism? If I was hired to teach a political science class, this article would be on the syllabus. 

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Big on Quora: Do You Know Any Pro-Trump Comedian?

Clearly, the best of the best is Evan Sayet. He is a former writer for Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect. Evan was born in New York and went to school in Rochester, New York. He moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian, television writer, and eventually video producer. However, post 9-11, he rethought his political and social beliefs and became a conservative. In this video, you see him at his funniest.



He’s a genius. Sayet is at his best when he tears into liberals who get into to liberal professions, all of which require they "do nothing". Sayet asks: “Why does the liberal flock to academia? Because "the academic doesn't do anything."
"The job of the academic," Sayet says, "Is for someone who doesn't do anything to lecture to children, who don't do anything, about the people who do things and did things, and the things that they did and they do."
The situation, according to Sayet is evident in Hollywood too. "The job of the actor is to pretend to be doing things," Sayet says, " The actor is all talk, but no action, which is interesting, because in order to get the actor to start talking, the director yells 'action', but the second there's any action, they send the actor to his trailer to talk with his entourage and they bring in the stuntman." Sayet then pointed out that stuntmen are overwhelmingly conservative in Hollywood, because they work in a job that requires them to do something.”
Evan has become the nation’s leading conservative, political comedian, an in-demand Master of Ceremony for Republican and conservative events. Evan Sayet also has a serious side that is worth listening to. He is the author of The KinderGarden Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.
Probably his most famous contribution to our politics was his speech to the Heritage Foundation.


It is so good that Andrew Breitbart said Sayet’s Heritage Foundation Speech was ‘one of the five most important conservative speeches ever given.’
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.