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Off the Record (May 26, 2021)

A WILDLAND/VEGETATION FIRE broke out in rugged slash and timber in steep terrain off Tomki Road southeast of Willits around 10am last Friday morning. By Friday evening the “Tomki fire” lines were holding at around 20 acres with an estimated 20% containment. Winds were high but fortunately the terrain, wind direction and relative humidity in the area helped keep the fire from spreading fast. No structures were threatened or burned. An air attack plane from Redding was dispatched to add to several helicopters, water tenders and local engines. Cal Fire expected to remain on the scene for two or three more days to mop up. 

AN OLD GUY living and working in a serene, safe rural hamlet called Boonville, California, shares his hopefully not too tiresome thoughts on last week’s headlines: 

KIDS TODAY. The same as the kids yesterday, I thought, as I read Kym Kemp's account of fights between high school kids from Fortuna and high school kids from South Fork, middle HumCo and Southern HumCo. The scene was a swimming hole on the Eel near Miranda, in Southern HumCo. One kid suffered a seriously broken jaw. The comment lines are buzzing that Fortuna kids are rougher than South Fork kids and, since Miranda is near South Fork, the Fortuna contingent must have been provocatively trespassing. This one will play out in deluges of mutual recrimination for weeks, but few of us male-types will recall similar events from our testosterone-crazed youths.

IN DALLAS, a berserk black 18-year-old broke into a neighbor’s apartment where he dragged a white 4-year-old outside and stabbed the boy to death, an unspeakable crime certain to raise ethnic tensions everywhere it is reported. Which was everywhere.

THE ISRAELIS claim they showed Biden the evidence, “the smoking gun,” that the building the Israelis blew up yesterday housing AP and Al Jazeera also housed Hamas terrorists. Showing Biden evidence of anything is like showing a three-year-old a maintenance manual for your car.

REPUBLICANS are claiming that the Justice Department is blocking an investigation of Arizona voting in the last election. Trump and his dittoheads still say Trump won the election and that Arizona vote fraud is the tip of the voting fraud iceberg in an election pitting the two worst candidates for president ever in this country's long history of improbable, indefensible candidates.

MAJOR AIRLINES are considering proposals to weigh obese passengers, and charging them by the pound.

A BLACK homeowner in Indianapolis got her white friend to host a property appraiser. The appraiser doubled the value of the black woman's home entirely on the assumption that the homeowner was white.

GASOLINE PRICES around the country have risen dramatically over the past month. In Ukiah, the cheapest I saw Monday was $3.84, at more than $4 as we go to press this week. The talking chuckle heads say inflation is under control, but food prices are up dramatically, especially meat and chicken.

KAMALA HARRIS said she is “studying” the causes of mass human migrations. She's Biden's special envoy to our border with Mexico where people from many countries of the world have arrived, fleeing violent hopelessness where they come from. This ages-old fact needs studying?

ON THE WEEK, in various areas of the country, men, mostly white, murdered their families, a terrifying and socially demoralizing occurrence more and more common.

TRUMP'S former Secretary of Defense said Trump's pre-election goals were to avoid a major war; elude a military coup; keep the Army from occupying the streets of major cities. One wonders if the military has ongoing plans to “occupy the streets.”

HARRY AND MEGHAN were ubiquitous, prompting me to wonder if public figures and celebrities of all types have ever been, collectively, this repellant?

SOUTH CAROLINA will give the condemned the choice between the electric chair (Ol' Sparky) and a firing squad.

KARMA, an aptly named police dog working the Canadian border, was found to be wrong “one hundred percent of the time” during dope searches of suspect vehicles

BILL GATES. Who could have guessed that beneath his blandly nerdy facade lurked a priapic predator?

ORDINARILY, the construction of a kid's playset in Ukiah wouldn’t be of much public interest. But Ukiah’s new “sound garden” project — part of the chimerical Great Redwood Trail — might actually be interesting, especially if it includes one of those late night game cameras to catch the two-legged wildlife that dares to walk the two miles of treeless pavement through industrial Ukiah's backyard. 

UKIAH'S WOKEST DEMOCRATS have hung miscellaneous hunks of junk metal for passersby to beat on, maybe even rhythmically, hence a “sound garden,” described as “a variety of sound making elements including the innards of two pianos, dozens of hanging bamboo poles, acetylene and propane tank ‘gongs,’ metal percussion ‘instruments’ and striking mallets mounted on wooden posts, and a colorful ‘tubulum’.” The “Grand” opening of the “sound garden” featured a couple of performances of “Opus for Sound Garden and “Concerto for Slide Tubulehorn” as the backup bangers accompanied Ukiah’s poet Laureate Melissa Eleftherion Carr’s reading of her poem “Etude for Spoken Word.” The “sound” was described by Ukiah Daily Journal writer Carole Brodsky as “sometimes-cacophony, sometimes rhythmic, sometimes Balinese-gong sounds” undoubtedly puzzling “the random cyclist or walker who happened upon the event.” 

THE CALIFORNIA Natural Resources Agency had put out a call for grant projects, and somebody in Ukiah — rural California headquarters for grant writers, and probably also  rural home to more grant-driven non-profits per capita than any other place in the world — prepared a grant application describing the hunks of suspended metal as an park/orchestra, and the Resources Agency funded it. 

THE DEFENDERS of the “Great Redwood Trail” who think that the grant grabbers involved are seriously interested in building even a small part of an actual trail will have a hard time defending this kind of waste. But unfortunately this is a perfect example of the mentality of those involved from the state all the way down to the local promoters. (Mark Scaramella)

THE PILOTS and other military people talking about their UFO experiences on Sunday’s 60 Minutes seemed plausible enough, but at least one of the film clips struck me as a bug pacing back and forth on the camera lens, not a UFO. And I don't care whatever galaxy you might be from, if you got here by defying the everywhere immutable laws of physics and gravity well, move over God. Oh, you say the extraterrestrials are so advanced they've learned to work around the basics? These boys saw what they saw, but I doubt they're from outta here. Interesting, though, that the people who believe UFO’s are from Outtahere are at a loss as to why they haven't landed, a sure sign of extra-galactical smarts.

NEVER HAVING met a self-identifying “woke” person, and being fuzzy on the qualifying specifics, is there a local woke agency where a guy might get himself tested for woke quotient? Clearly there are lots of people in this county who seem to consider themselves woke, assuming that woke simply means you're on board with the basic conservative-liberal catechism as represented, say, by Kamala Harris. But if you happen to be woker than Harris-Biden, if you're a Bernie person, or even to the left of Bernie and agree mostly with AOC but stubbornly insist that there are only two genders, can you still be woke, or are you consigned to a kind of woke purgatory until you're fully awake?

THE DAILY BEAST announced this morning that a movie is in the works about that woke, white lesbian couple who secretly abused the six black children they'd adopted then murdered them by driving themselves and their children off the bluffs north of Fort Bragg into the Pacific. Who'd watch a movie like that? Me, for one, if for no other reason than to see how the filmmakers handle the Mendo angle, the inevitable Mendo angle I'm tempted to say. If this “family” had decided to live on in a clearly woke place like Mendocino County… Well, they'd have been hard to top, woke-wise.

RALPH NADER ON NPR: “I find the features and the collaboration with other investigative groups, such as Pro Publica, very enlightening. One piece about Amazon’s warehouses was especially memorable. Moreover, Scott Simon and David Brancaccio are so capable as to be considered under-challenged.” 

FIRST TIME I've ever disagreed with Ralph. On anything. But Scott Simon “under-challenged”? NPR on Saturdays with Simon as host is purely awful, as Simon, unsuccessfully faking feeling he doesn't feel, is so excruciatingly phony as he drops his voice to its octave basement to say of an obviously unreadable novel to its obviously learning-challenged author, “Sure, this is about parakeets, but it must have been awfully hard for you to write about them growing old and dying.” Simon chokes back a faux sob then shouts, “And now for sports!”

ON ONGOING argument here at the ava bunker is, Who's phonier, David Muir of the ABC News or Scott Simon of NPR? Simon trumps all.

BRUCE MCEWEN ADDS: “Why do the NPR people sound like they’re all wearing Mickey Mouse hats? Melissa Block and Scott Simon sound especially cutesy, but the others seem to be smirking just as smugly behind their microphones, as if they all belonged to an elite club of some kind. What’s up w/ that?”

THE FOLLOWING is an edited version of a presser from the Ukiah Police Department: “On the morning of Monday, May 17, about 9:30, UPD officers were dispatched to a reported assault that occurred at Wal-Mart. Dispatch advised the suspect was a female pushing a shopping cart being followed by a witness. A second caller reported that the suspect had stolen merchandise from Wal-Mart, and that an employee had been assaulted by the suspect as well. A UPD officer located Racheal Seivertson, 32, of Ukiah, in the 1300 block of S. State Street. Ms. Seivertson is, as they say, “known to law enforcement.”

Racheal Seivertson (R-2016)

“THE OFFICER attempted to detain Seivertson, but she kept walking away. When the officer attempted to physically detain her she punched the officer in the face with a closed fist. Seivertson was “placed on the ground” and detained without further incident. (“Placed on the ground.” There's a nice euphemism right there.)

Seivertson had gathered a shopping cart full of miscellaneous merchandise and had attempted to exit the store after passing all points of sale. A female Wal-Mart loss prevention employee tried to stop her from leaving the store with the stolen merchandise. Seivertson punched the employee, and when a second, “elderly” female Wal-Mart employee also attempted to prevent Seivertson from exiting the store, Seivertson punched the elderly female in the face as well. Seivertson then exited the store with the stolen merchandise. 

“THE LOSS prevention lady complained of pain and later sought medical treatment at the Ukiah Hospital. The elderly female victim suffered a visible injury to her face as a result of being punched by Seivertson but did not seek medical treatment. Seivertson was placed under arrest for robbery, elder abuse, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest. The estimated total value of the stolen merchandise was $161. The merchandise was returned to China, er, Wal-Mart, and Ms. Seivertson was booked at the County Jail where she is being held on $150,000 bail.” 

A NOVEL could be written about this event and its cast of characters. As you can see from her contrasting booking photos, Ms. Seivertson has been steadily deteriorating, mentally and physically, going from what appears to be a demure, more or less normally functioning young woman to a grinning, skinhead, homeless lunatic in less than five years. I hope she or someone who knows her will provide us with her back story, although it's probably the usual one that begins with premature, and heavy, marijuana use as a pre-teen and on into crank by high school, which I'd guess accounts for Miss Seivertson's unrepentant, slightly maniacal booking photo. (I'm assuming Miss Seivertson is a “Miss,” but surely a Miss with plenty of suitors from among Ukiah's permanent population of outdoorsmen.)

IT'S INTERESTING that the store's loss prevention lady checked in with the for-profit Mendo medical monopoly at Ukiah’s Adventist Hospital, although she'd been struck in the face hard enough for it to show, did not, and there we have another story, common throughout the United States, about a society that forces millions of the elderly to work until they drop. Of course if you get to be elderly in this country you're probably a lot tougher than Miss Seivertson's generation of phone-addicted, non-verbal, dope-soaked softies.

MISS SEIVERTSON is obviously deranged so there won't be a prosecution, or if there is a prosecution for the sake of appearances, Miss Seivertson will be shunted off to one or another of Ukiah's plethora of helping professionals to be checked out for reimbursable potential. Assuming she's not “reimbursable” because the violently crazed aren't ordinarily the docile reimbursables the helping pros prefer, Miss Seivertson, if she is indeed violently insane, will wind up in jail or prison. 

THE COPS do ALL the mental health heavy lifting in this county, which is a good thing because the cops tend to be smarter, kinder and, generally speaking, are persons of understanding deriving from their wide experience with aberrant behavior and, of course, their citizenship in a country where much public (and private) behavior is aberrant. This county's helping pro apparatus, in my experience of it, are dramatically not persons of understanding, and god help you if you or members of your family fall into their cold, unfeeling hands. Besides which, if it comes to it, the cops can gently place the mentally ill on the ground whereas the helping pros call the cops to place a psycho on the ground. My guess is that Miss Seivertson will come down from the drugs she's on in jail and be back at WalMart no later than the first week in June.

THE “DEEP STATE.” Now there's a tiresome concept preferred by the conspiracy minded. The deep state is really just the career, upper-echelon government bureaucrats who stay on no matter who's prexy, but Trump upset enough of them, especially the generals and the “intelligence” people, that they went after him from the git, to Trump's credit, the only credit he deserves. I see Biden-Harris as not exactly a lateral move from the orange fat man but of course they are much more acceptable to the deep state whose false assumptions they share. As Brecht put it in 1936 or thereabouts, “He who laughs has not heard the terrible news.”

A FORTHCOMING BOOK by Edward Dovere is called, “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats' Campaigns to Defeat Trump,” which sounds pretty dull other than a quote from Obama accurately describing Trump as a 'madman,' a 'racist, sexist pig,' 'that fucking lunatic' and a 'corrupt motherfucker.' Dovere writes that Obama, like a number of Democrats, liked the idea of Trump being the Republican Party's 2016 presidential nominee, believing he would be easier to knock off in the general election than Ted Cruz, a Princeton and Harvard Law School graduate, alleged “prestigious” institutions of higher learning, which Cruz’s surname must have gotten him admitted to. 

BERNIE SANDERS says he will introduce a resolution of disapproval for the $735 million American arms sale to Israel. The resolution aims to halt the planned sale to Israel by the Biden administration of JDAMs, or Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and Small Diameter Bombs. (A tentative cease fire was declared today [last Thursday] after 11 days of a ruinous assault by Israel on the Palestinians. 

BERNIE'S resolution needs only a simple majority to pass the Senate, but if it's vetoed by Biden, it would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to take effect. 

"AT A MOMENT when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza," Bernie said, "and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate."

WILL OUR CONGRESSMAN vote for Bern's resolution? Huff? Are you there, Huff? (Huff’s on the phone with Pelosi. He’ll let us know when she tells him what to do.)

ON TUESDAY May 19th, a HumCo task force raided a Myers Flat dope gro visible from Highway 101 for nearly a decade. “During the service of the warrant, deputies located approximately 29 greenhouses with growing cannabis plants inside. Deputies eradicated approximately 7,934 growing cannabis plants. Deputies seized and destroyed approximately 12 pounds of cannabis bud and over 600 pounds of cannabis shake. Deputies also located and seized four firearms, one of which had been reported stolen. Six individuals were detained and later released on scene.”

SIMILAR grows have sprouted virtually everywhere on the Northcoast.

AN INTERESTING EXCHANGE last week on Redheaded Blackbelt: “Come to Eureka!!!! See our famous drug addicted homeless do battle on Second Street with knives and broken off pieces of pallet!! Photograph the Carson Mansion and return to your car to find the window broken and your suitcase stolen!! Buy weed in one of our 37 dispensaries and revel in the joy of violating federal law!! Try your hand at the “gauntlet of death,” drive around near H and 6th and see if you can pass through unscathed!!! Join the courthouse protesters demonstrating against this week’s outrage which happened 2500 miles away but which still riles up the indignant!!"

THE REDHEADED BLACKBELT HERSELF, Kym Kemp, responded: “I’m the last person to say there isn’t crime in Humboldt but… I’ve lived here for 61 years. I go to town and shop. I go to the parks and hike. I go to tourist attractions and…not once have I been a victim of a crime. I have however, seen breathtaking views while having tears of joy stream down my face, I’ve been enchanted with adorable kids in the park, visited with friendly locals, loved our festivals, eaten amazing food both in our restaurants and from locally available treats. I’ve been to multiple places in my relatively long life and only Ireland and the coast of Maine came close to the beauty and touristing experience found here.”

MEDIA WORLD is like a giant Little League banquet. Everyone gets a trophy, with the large circulation press getting most of them because they employ full-time people whose job it is to fire off the applications. The Press Democrat wins a bunch of awards every year from an association of newspapers just like it. Reporting this morning because no one else would, the PD jubilantly announced that it “won a record 32 awards, including five top honors for print and digital journalism in a statewide contest that recognized the newspaper and its website for coverage of the 2020 wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic, protests of racial injustice and incisive stories about local politics and government.”

"WE'RE NOT in this great profession because of awards, but it means so very much when peer journalists review our work and say favorable things,” said Richard Green, editor of The Press Democrat and chief content officer for Sonoma Media Investments, its parent company. “Overall, the company’s publications won 66 awards.”

ONE doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, but the guy probably believes himself.

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE printing and distribution center in Chicago is being sold to a hedge fund, along with The Baltimore Sun, The New York Daily News and others. The Hedge Fund is called Alden Global Capital, based in New York City and operated by a young bullethead named Freeman. They also own what's left of the Ukiah Daily Journal; The Willits News; The Fort Bragg Advocate/Beacon. 

WHEN THESE VULTURES —vulture capitalists is a description they seem proud of — took over the Northcoast papers that they bought up at fire sale prices, they sold the real estate housing the papers then laid off most of the staffs, leaving the skeleton crews woman-ing the Mendo papers today. Alden is still able to squeeze some money out of Mendo via what's left of their advertising and their legal ads. Mendo, unlike many areas of the country which have no newspapers — still boasts three privately owned local newspapers — the Mendocino County Observer operated by Jim Shields and his daughter, Jayma; the Independent Coast Observer owned by the intrepid Steve McLaughlin; and the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

TRUMPIAN TOUGH TALKER, Ted Cruz, who never served, said the military is being turned into “pansies” by “woke” policies. Cruz was criticized by veterans after he compared American and Russian Army recruitment videos. In an interview with Fox News on Friday the portly chicken hawk declared, “American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were the most ferocious fighting force on the planet. The job of the military is to kill the bad guys. And it is to strike fear in the enemies of America,” he said. “People sign up to join the military because they want to keep us safe, they don't want to sit around a circle, emoting and passing daisies back and forth.”

WELL, the Texas chickenhawk has a point. I read a story the other day about a couple of women who completed Marine boot camp. Nothing against these ladies, but no way they would have made it through in '57 when boot camp was 15 weeks of unrelenting verbal and physical violence of recruits. Which I, for one, thought was counter-productive then and still think it was. I left boot camp wanting to kill drill instructors, not abstract “enemies of America.” But, no, I don't think women have any business in the combat branches of the military.


[1] ollllllol. Darwin Awards all around. Hippies on a Bluff! ” Honey bear, let’s go hiking – and get lost on some rocks when it gets cold and dark!” “Sounds good, my little CBD muffin.” Millions of taxpayer dollars wasted every year on local yokels, college buffoons and fat tourists who do not know how to walk in the wild or even tell time. “The sky is getting dimmer, I wonder what that means?”

[2] I suppose it could be considered a useful training mission for the Coast Guard. But “stranded” by itself seems rather a poor excuse if they weren’t in danger of anything but being inconvenienced by having to wait for daylight or the tide to go out.

[3] Men and women of our fantastic Coast Guard again put at risk for a rescue of two hikers that could have returned when they realized it was starting to get dark. They could have waited until morning, and the tide was out to continue. I hope they don’t try that trail again!

[4] I hope these youngsters appreciate the help and demonstrate their appreciation by making a hefty donation to one of our local VOLUNTEER search & rescue organizations.

[5] I see a lot of opinions here but not much in the way of facts. 30 year-olds generally are not considered “youngsters.” Hippies? I see nothing to suggest that and this might be one of those you-had-to-b- there situations. And besides, there ain’t no Starbucks out there for morning coffee. Thank you to the Coast Guard.

[6] Until around 36 hours ago, I would have seen a report like this and thought, “Those fools, they shouldn’t have gotten stuck out there!” And then… It’s a nice day, makes you feel ambitious. You have a hike in mind that you tried once before with relatively high success. It looks like the tide will be low enough for long enough that you can make it from one trail that hits the beach to the other. You tell your hiking partner about this hike. They are skeptical of the elevation gain and distance, but you encourage them, telling them you think they can handle it. And then… You get on trail, but go much, much slower than you thought you would. Like multiple hours behind where you want to be. You get to the beach. All is good, at first. Then you come to a point where there is a 25 foot high rock in front of you that is getting hit directly by waves, and behind it is a steep hillside of scrub brush that, while thick, looks passable. Going back the way you came would be another 5 miles. Plus no guarantee that the tide hasn’t come in far enough now that you’re trapped in both directions. You planned for a dayhike and have an extra layer, but not more than that. No shelter or fire. So perhaps best to scramble behind the rock. You get to the top of the first rock. There are more that are still higher in front of you. You try again, and again. Now you think you might just be able to walk uphill until you get to the road and get out that way. Meanwhile, the vegetation is worse than anything you’ve ever walked in. Scrub and thorns assault your entire body. The further up you get the more spruce there is, the bigger and woodier some of the stems get. You reach a small plateau, perhaps 100sq ft. Your partner says that they have cell signal, should we call someone. You are still trying to think your way out of this now very difficult situation. You agree to a call, fully expecting that you will speak with some emergency personnel who will tell you to wait until morning, or go back the way you came. They remind you that descents are more precarious than ascents, tell you not to move and that they will come for you, that very night. 

[7] The people of the US Coast Guard and local search and rescue are truly heroes. I believe that there are parts of our government, especially our military, that are way overfunded, but the Coast Guard is an absolute exception to that. And it is a crime that our local SAR groups are volunteer. When you go to thank the rescue swimmer for putting himself at risk and hoisting you, he says, “no, thank you guys. I am getting transferred in a few months and I was worried I wouldn’t get to do anything else that was fun before I left!” It can be really easy to make assumptions about how people end up in situations like this. Until you find yourself in one. I’m glad I went for this hike. I didn’t know I would learn quite this much, but I’m glad I went.

REMEMBER ALL THAT SPIRITED MALARKEY about rejoining the community of nations and taking a multi-lateral approach to foreign policy? Biden has intervened on Israel’s behalf to block four UN ceasefire resolutions, allowing the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) to target media facilities, refugee camps, apartment buildings, water supplies, hospitals and COVID testing and vaccination facilities. At this point, Biden is as culpable as Netanyahu and the rest of the Israeli political and military leadership for the war crimes that have transpired over the last week…  Many American liberals have convinced themselves that the latest attacks on Gaza prove the need for a “two-state” solution. However, a two-state solution depends on both states being able to elect the government that they want, secure their citizens, protect their property, homes, businesses and lives. Israel will never tolerate such conditions in a Palestinian state, even in the mangled condition it has currently been reduced to. Co-existence when one country (the one with nukes) gets to the set the political terms for the other is impossible–these neo-colonial dictates will always be resisted and should be. Thus the only real solution is one state, composed of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, where all of the citizens are entitled to the same basic rights under law, administered by a democratically-elected government, where every citizen over the age of 18 is allowed to vote, regardless of age, religion, or ethnic identity. The only real solution to an apartheid state is the demolition of the framework of apartheid. 

— Jeffrey St. Clair

THE 4TH AND 5TH DISTRICTS are home to a small group of anonymous people who variously call themselves by different names — Black Lives Matter, Bipoc, SURG and, lately, South Coast Organizing for Racial Equity Encouraging Independent Performance and Fiscal Audit of the Sheriff's Department. 

Because Supervisor Williams represents the main body of the self-alleged good and the true he's arranged for their irrelevant demand for an audit of the Sheriff's Department to appear on the Supervisor's agenda this week, where it will get slam-dunked 4-1 or 3-2, 3-2 if Dan Gjerde, who also represents a small group of anon "activists," throws them a courtesy bone of a yes vote. 

I'VE TRIED to contact all of the above. No response. I want to ask them, for publication, who they are and what are their credentials for making moral and ethical judgements. Way, way back a young white person, or a white person of any age, could be inspired by, say, Martin Luther King, an obviously courageous man whose dream of racial harmony one could get behind because one could trust him and his judgement. Mendocino County? Buyer beware.

I KNOW most of the activists in this county, the older ones anyway, and I wouldn't follow any of them across the street with a green light. Safely generalizing here, the names that pop up in association with this or that righteous cause are… Well… they have each other, I suppose.

WHAT'S BAD about Look At Me "activism" is that it works to the advantage of true bad, tangible bad because true bad simply points at the Look At Me "activists" and says, "Deadbeats and loons," and the general public says to itself, "Yup, I'd say so."

A SERIOUS reformer would not only identify him or herself, he/she would step right up to argue, to fight publically for la causa. (cf the late Judi Bari. Whatever you thought about the old girl, she was never, ever anonymous.) But around here we get — and not to put too fine a point on it — phonies.

THE LA TIMES, in a puffaroo called “40 road trips for the comeback summer of 2021," has the Northcoast as the primo destination we all know it is.

THE TIMES rightly says the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett is the “handsomest” of the three drive-through redwoods, that the Avenue of the Giants in SoHum offers vistas of virgin redwoods, that Redwood National and State Parks in Humboldt and Del Norte counties have countless “specimens” of residual redwoods, that Glass Beach in Fort Bragg is a likely site from which to carry off bits of sea-washed detritus left over from the not-too-distant past when Fort Bragg dumped its trash in a wooden chute reaching out over the Pacific. Wrong, LA Times. You're no longer allowed to carry anything away from Glass Beach. It's a protected area of the State Park system.

JAMES MARMON with some useful history: "With Telecare as the PHF operator things might work out better than they did in the 90s when the Sheriff’s department was dropping off dangerous criminals at the Mendo PHF. That’s why they couldn’t keep it staffed. A good friend of mine who was an RN at the Low Gap PHF had her arm seriously broken just prior to its closure. With the new mental health wing at the Low Gap jail, those criminals should be able to be cared for there.

Remembering Doug Rosoff — “As Mendocino County’s Mental Health medical director back in 2000, Rosoff made news when he complained to county officials about jail inmates being sent to the county psychiatric health facility, the locked facility known as the PHF, or “puff,” where the mentally ill in crisis were sent for evaluation and stabilization. At the time, the PHF was having trouble staying open because of a shortage of qualified nurses to staff it.

At the time, Rosoff said that sending inmates to the PHF meant that other patients were being sent out of county for care at great expense to the county.

He also said that inmates were sometimes sent to the PHF unnecessarily and on the orders or advice of judges and defense attorneys, not mental health professionals – something that did not endear him to local defense attorneys. He complained of prisoners being cared for in the PHF for months while they awaited trial, an unnecessary situation he thought simply provided the inmates with more comfort.

“You can lounge around watching television, making phone calls, playing ping pong,” he said. “If I was in an inmate’s shoes, I would prefer to do my time in a psychiatric facility instead of a correctional setting.”

— James Marmon

INEPTOCRACY - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers .


[1] It seems that once you get past barter, e.g. I’ll trade you one of my goats for a bushel of your wheat, commerce becomes an abstraction. Beyond this-for-that exchange, has the economy ever really been anything more than a contrived illusion? If I’m correct that money is just a marker for receiving goods or services in the future, we’ve all had to agree about what has value. As long as we all agree that a financial derivative product has value, is this any different that agreeing a bar of gold has intrinsic value? I wonder how our current predicament is any more precarious than in the past.

[2] But anybody who was anybody knew what bollocks that was because they knew full well that the Russian angle was full of shit from top to bottom, that it served as pretext, that the real intent was to find ANYTHING to oust Trump from the presidency. Barring that, to delegitimize his election win, you know, where there’s smoke there’s fire, they wouldn’t be investigating if there was nothing there, all that crap we’ve heard a thousand times. And to impede the conduct of his administration, to bog down the Trump mammoth in a tar-pit of investigative obstruction. 

And what did they find? Bugger all. Trump survived. No indictments even though we were many, many times assured by people who assured us that they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that indictments were coming. How many times did we hear that they turned a corner, that the walls were closing in? How many times did the evening news announce a “bombshell”. 

Bombshell after bombshell, but how many were retracted as inaccurate after the passage of a day or two? Collusion? It is to laugh. Interference? Just as ludicrous, far from an election bought by Putin, amounting to a hill of beans in a multi-billion dollar campaign. 

So, after all that noise, nada. Yeah, ominous sounding verbiage in the report. And from the vaunted media and “thinking-class”, a bunch of stuff about road-maps to impeachment. But it was all talking cock.

And an astonishing thing that was given that Trump spent his life in two notoriously mobbed up industries, casinos and real estate. Either Trump is as clean as a hound’s tooth or Mueller and his boys were the most incompetent gang of fools set loose on what should have been a target rich environment. 

There’s a whole bunch of things that can be simultaneously true, in seeming contradiction only because political divides in the US preclude rational thought. The vehemence is such that it is beyond the self-control of almost all Americans of opposing affiliations to dispassionately assess Trump, who he is and how he got there. Can’t be done. 

What you can’t say because nobody will listen is that he’s a mixed bag, he was no traitor, he had some valid policy goals, but that he was in no way, shape or form cut out for the job. He just didn’t have the leadership or managerial chops, nor the character nor the intellect. 

And, especially, he had no Deep State institutional support. Trump is as red-hot an iron as abortion or evolution. Mention his name and to the barricades we go. 

In my view the Mueller affair was a fiasco. Hard to say it any other way. It was harassment of someone not expected to win, and a fiasco, a disgrace, a debacle, an epic fuck up, and it was an illegitimate attempt to overturn an election. And it failed.

[3] From what I’ve seen this covid thing is real and spreads much like the common cold. Unless you’re superman or you live in a plastic bubble, it’s not a question of IF you catch a cold but WHEN. Same with covid. From what I’ve seen it can kill. It can make you damn sick even if you’re young and otherwise healthy. If you’re old it’s lethal. 

From what little I know of biology and the branch of biology dealing with evolution, when a lifeform finds a new ecological niche, be it a new land-mass, a new food source or, like the covid virus, a new host species, they have a tendency to mutate, i.e. evolve pretty fast.

One well known example is whales, for which fossil records of evolution are pretty darned good. About 50 million years ago there was a fully terrestrial shore-line dwelling creature on what was the edge of a stretch of water between Asia and the then island continent of India. That shore-line critter was something that looked like a wolf except it had hooves. And after about a million years it had evolved into an unmistakably aquatic animal. That’s the thumbnail sketch. The point is that evolution in the case of whales was fast.

Faster even is it for microbes. Those fuckers multiply quick and mutate quick. Now that covid found a new food source in humans look for it to change quick. And we’ve actually seen that happen, with new and apparently more contagious and deadly varieties. Nothing happening IOW that you wouldn’t expect.

Am I parroting the party line? Make up your own mind. Use your own eyes and ears and wits. If you want this to be a contest between the rock-ribbed, gun totin’, rootin-tootin, granite-jawed, freedom lovin’ American and the useless-as-tits-on-a bull, bi-coastal, gender confused, college miseducated pussy be my guest. 

Do you trust drug companies? Do they deserve trust? Remember those non-addicting opioids? You have a choice between possibly or probably catching covid and the vaccines. Take your pick. Nobody said life is fair.

[4] Harris is a personification of the Democratic credo. No ideas, no action, spend all your time making up excuses for inactivity, create an enemy to distract folks with. To make it all work, you must have that enemy, politicians know that as a given. 

Harris will continue doing nothing. The strings moving Biden originate somewhere else.

I wonder if Biden has official tasters for his food and drink. The Secret Service certainly have him bottled up in the WH. I do notice that Harris is always with Biden when he graces us with his presence. Do you think he 's maybe obeying the adage,

Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer?

[5] Good News! The Trans Parade, cancelled last year because of Covid, is on!

It’s part of Pride Week. Local TV stations give the event comprehensive, all day coverage. The main attraction in the parade are outrageous 300 lbs. men on floats, dressed up like divas, with big bouffant hair, heavy makeup, black fishnet stockings, glittery dresses and flashy jewelry, gyrating to Alicia Bridges “I Love the Nightlife”, broadcast at 120 decibels. I caught some of it from a boat on the Connecticut River a few years ago. It's billed as a family event. I suppose it's harmless enough.

Supposed to be a warm weekend, the first of the spring, which usually signals the start of Shooting Season in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. The 2021 season is predicted to be epic.

[6] Sadly, corporations have the time, incentive and money to develop never ending ways to dominate any market they choose. They aren’t emotionally attached to cultivation of cannabis like you are. Sure, you will have your niche customers that appreciate the love you put into it , like the small farmer is appreciated at the farmers market but let’s face it, corporate weed will dominate in the end, just like corporate vegetables do. And as far as the consumer is concerned, in the end all that will matter to most is how high the weed got them. I assume corporations are probably working to produce super high THC varieties.

Likewise they are probably working on breeding super high CBD varieties to dominate that market.

The die is cast. I don’t like what’s happened but isn’t this what happens to everything in America?

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall listening to corporate/politician secret meetings plotting their take-over. They weren’t going to ignore the multi-billion dollar cash cow that was there for the taking.

Yes, you will survive and struggle like the small veggie farmer but make no mistake, corporate weed is going to ultimately take over with the most products for the vast consumers that don’t really care where that product came from as long as it gets them high or eases symptoms. Sad truth…


(a) My question is , with every dirt farmer in the world growing marhiuana, who buys it all? I quit smoking dope after the summer of love in 1967 and I don't know anyone who is still addicted, those friends are long gone to the penitentiaries and graveyards. Thank you, I’ll take my answer off the air.

(b) Armies of people smoke weed all day every day. An ounce a week all year is over 3 pounds a year. A decent sized farm that pulls in 300 pounds is only providing head for 100 or 200 people. And there’s a battalion of dealers and dispensaries to provide that weed, one small baggy at a time. America’s appetite for weed has never been fully sated. Not all weed heads look like Cheech and Chong.

[8] (b) Well, let’s embarrass the pot farmers until they pay up!

Mendocino has some interesting approaches to “compliance”, but the best way to improve the situation would probably be to directly fine property owners and then follow up with impounding real property.

Mendocino County has few teeth, but in actual fact, it is the county that embarrasses itself, over and over…

It would take the National Guard, or Black Ops, to restore sense and order in Mendo, and the likelihood of engaging the real offenders is minimal…

Good luck, Mendo! Great copy and content, poor quality government overall…

(b) Newsom is the Cat’s Paw of the wealthy. The recall effort should be very entertaining, and could possibly result in another Schwarzenegger-type Gov-Fest…

Mendocino, on the other hand, is its own apparent experiment in incompetent government by the crooked, corrupt, and the folks who hire their friends, neighbors and family members…

Mendo public employees are poorly paid, marginally qualified, and they frequently come up with silly programs like attempting to embarrass the pot farmers…

Pot farmers are primarily concerned with accelerated growing methods, polluting the heck out of the environment, and liquidating their products before the Sheriff and CDFW show up… Pot farmers waste water, steal everything not welded to the wall, spread poisons and divert every tributary and stream, they cut down any tree which will get them “more light” and build shacks to live in, dig holes to throw garbage in, they spill gas and diesel liberally all over the place, and generally act like pirates, whenever they are not speeding and careening all over the roads in their jacked-up pickups!

Anyone who has ever gone to Mendocino County knows to avoid the place in Summer! Ukiah is a mess, Willits is uninhabitable, and Fort Bragg should always be avoided at any cost!

Mendocino County has been known to hire clericals to run Health Services! This guy who is the current “Code Enforcement Officer” should be damn careful where he is recognized, and exactly where he goes and lives… In my opinion, his life is in grave danger, but, he is bravely attempting to embarrass the growers into “compliance”, whatever that is…

Good luck, Trent! Be well…

(c) I wonder if they will head out to Covelo to hand out abatements? 810 plants is the biggest grow they abated? Weak sauce. Quit being wimps, picking on the elderly and backyard growers, they are not the problem. Grow a sack and go serve an abatement on a 20,000 plant 20 greenhouse cartel grow in Covelo, that’s where the problems are, go solve them. The abatement program in Mendocino is destined to be less successful than the Humboldt Abatement program. Wasn’t a 29 greenhouse 8000 plant grow busted yesterday? Didn’t the county say they got rid of those? Yeah the abatement program is dead, not a single one sent out in almost 13 months. They got their ass sued and not only have to pay back Measure S money, but unlawful abatement money as well. How are they going to pay back those illegal growers? With your tax dollars. Oh yeah, not as much money for enforcement this year either, they gotta pay back all those growers somehow. Good thing there is a gag order on the lawsuit otherwise the word would really be out. What a waste of everyone’s time. If the government stayed out of it, the $300 pounds would’ve put more people out of business than any enforcement or abatements ever could’ve.

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