Tom Clyde: There’s only one explanation for Trump’s behavior |

Tom Clyde: There’s only one explanation for Trump’s behavior

The fallout from Trump’s meeting with Putin and the press conference that followed is still raining down. The wildest of the conspiracy theories, that Trump is being blackmailed by the Russians and is acting on their behalf, seemed absurd. He’s an ignoramus, but it seemed a stretch to get him all the way into “Boris and Natasha” land. Now, it seems entirely plausible. There really isn’t any other explanation.

On Tuesday, he read what some have called a “hostage tape” trying to “correct” his statements in Finland. He claims he meant to say “wouldn’t” and it came out as “would.” We all know that he struggles with the English language, but that two-letter correction can’t fix the rest of his comments. He was clearly rejecting the US version of the facts because Putin had told him that Russia didn’t interfere in the election. Who are you going to believe? Putin also probably told him to keep saying that, or he would call in a billion dollar promissory note secured with the pee-tape. Just stunning.

Our esteemed congressional delegation was quick to run for cover. Rep. Rob Bishop is in hiding, which is his usual position. Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Mia Love were critical, but not exactly pounding the table demanding to know what went on in the private meeting. And Rep. Chris Stewart said that Trump is not a Russian stooge. Stooges everywhere appreciated that. The Stooge Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying that they did not want to be associated with Trump in any way, and that he fails to rise to the minimum standards of stoogeness.

So that’s where we are. The President’s supporters are compelled to make official statements denying he is a Russian operative because it has become absolutely necessary to deny it. His conduct and statements are such that reasonable people could conclude that he is a Russian operative. Just ducky.

The Stooge Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying that they did not want to be associated with Trump in any way, and that he fails to rise to the minimum standards of stoogeness.”

Meanwhile, the wild raspberries are on. They are thicker than usual, and very sweet. The walk with the dogs is now delayed with frequent berry picking stops. Most years, I can get a couple of berries at each stop. Hardly a snack. This year, I’m getting whole hands full.

It’s a good thing the wild berries are on because my venture growing domestic berries has been a flop. I got a dozen plants in the spring. They arrived too early to plant — there was still a little snow in the yard—and so I planted them in containers. They thrived in the house, but didn’t survive the transplant. After a couple of months about half of them have recovered and are still more or less alive. It looks like I might harvest all of a half dozen berries. Maybe they will have adjusted and established enough of a root system to thrive next season. Or not. As we say in the farming business, there’s always next year.

Something has eaten all the pea plants. They came up strong, and at about 6 inches, the deer ate them all. So I replanted and put up a fence. The second batch came up about 4 inches, and were showing some promise, but last night, something nipped them all off at ground level again. I don’t know what got them. There are no obvious footprints in the mud. But the peas are done.

The miracle 64-day corn is actually coming along. That was the part of the garden experiment that seemed least plausible. The deer got the first planting of the corn, too, but the fence seems to have kept them away from the second effort. The plants are up a foot tall, which isn’t much for corn, but it’s a foot taller corn than anybody has raised here recently. We’re at mid-summer now, and in theory, they need another 35 days to mature. That’s a stretch, but if we can get 45 days before it freezes, I might get a few ears of corn out of the deal.

Thoreau spent way too much time on the economics of his beans in “Walden.” He was trying to prove that it was economically and morally better to grow your own beans than to buy them. He kept detailed financial records on it. I didn’t care. I wanted the peas because they are a great treat, the raspberries because they are $4 a cup at the grocery store and taste like plastic, and the corn just because I wanted to see if it could be done in this climate.

I’m into it about $100 for the dead plants and seeds, tools and the fence were another $200, plumbing to extend the sprinkler pipe to that corner of the yard was another $200. Assuming that I actually produce a couple of raspberries and an ear of corn, it will be the most expensive food ever raised. And that’s how farming works.

Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.

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