- More Rain
- Overlay Plan
- Enforcement Contract
- Pot Czar
- Kai Case
- Social Media
- Cleanup Watch
- Taco Jack
- Supe Platform
- Potter Water
- Excellence Found
- Little Dog
- Plowshares Future
- Cannabis Tourism
- Gieringer Interview
- Dems Cave
- Yesterday's Catch
- Native Tongue
- Self Knowledge
- Cynical Naivete
- Huffpost Community
- Pinky Swear
- FBI Questions
- Piano Concert
- Water Protest
OVER AN INCH of rain fell over Anderson Valley yesterday (Monday) with more wind and rain forecast for tomorrow (Wednesday). Yorkville has now logged more than seven inches in 2018.
IT TURNS OUT, Mendo is wasting a lot more than $50k on their pot regulation planning/zoning consultant. And it’s more of a waste than we thought. The County is paying $142,000 to Michael Baker International to help with the process. You can double your rate if you put “international” after your name, and if you bill yourself as the Michael Baker International Group, you can triple your Mendo take.
THE IDEA of paying this guy lots and lots is to create pot friendly zones in areas and neighborhoods (basically the dope-saturated communities of Laytonville and Westport) that would otherwise be zoned for no pot growing. In theory, it’s supposed to work the other way, too, with some neighborhoods prohibiting pot growing where it would otherwise be allowed. But that’s a much tougher nut to crack because unpermitted pot growers don’t care about “overlay zones,” and existing permitted grows in areas where zoning allows for it will be hard to remove under the permit system, and restrictions on the size of grows in non-pot-friendly neighborhoods will be nearly impossible to monitor, much less enforce.
IN OTHER WORDS, the entire “overlay zone” idea is an unfunny joke that will do nothing but further complicate an already overly complicated regulatory scheme that has so many loopholes it’s more like the bogus “fish friendly farming” guidelines the wine people pretend to follow.
PREDICTABLY, Baker International is way behind in coming up with a plan. There’s a decent chance the whole thing will collapse of its own unwieldy weight before Baker does anything but submit a preliminary bill for services rendered.
RETIRED UKIAH COP Trent Taylor’s consulting contract as Chief Code Enforcement Officer for pot permits is increasing from $150k to $500k. The reason for the proposed increase is not clear. It could be for keeping him on longer, but there’s no info in his contract amendment (on the consent calendar for approval this week) about duration of service. Mr. Taylor’s primary method of “code enforcement” is what he has frequently called “self-abatement,” where the pot grower harvests his crop and sells it, thus “abating” it, as opposed to doing the same thing but without “code enforcement” or “abatement” added to the description.
WHICH BRINGS US again to the question of how all of this is supposed to benefit anybody, particularly the County itself. They seem to be spending money like stoners in Bali on pot legalization and regulation without any idea how much it’s taking in, while at the same time producing regulations that make it harder and harder for pot growers to enter the permit process. When is somebody going to ask for some revenue and expense charts for the pot permit program? Reportedly they just hired a new pot czar under the Ag Commissioner, but we haven’t heard a word about it or from the person since. (A discussion of the subject is on Tuesday’s Supes agenda; maybe we’ll Meet The Pot Czar.) The new Pot Czar’s first job should be looking at how much this is all going to end up costing the County. At this point, especially after all the additional money they’re spending on Baker International and Trent Taylor, it looks like like the County is running a significant deficit.
AN INTERESTING STORY in Sunday’s Press Democrat described the recent bust of Old Kai, a Ukiah cannabis company. Old Kai “thought they had an open path to operating legally in California’s new marijuana marketplace. They thought wrong, and the pot industry is closely watching their case.”
I THOUGHT the PD’s writer, Julie Johnson, did an excellent job on this one. Ms. J points out in the story that the Mendo supervisors control the Sheriff’s budget, as if it were a possibility they might take him on for undermining the County’s cockamamie licensing process. It's highly unlikely that our Supervisors dare take on Sheriff Allman or DA Eyster. Allman is the most popular political figure in many years in far-flung Mendo, probably the most popular since the legendary Sheriff Standley at the dawn of the 20th century. Allman's known from Gualala to Covelo in a county whose average resident has only the haziest notion of who his or her supervisor is. Eyster runs a distant second to the ubiquitous Allman who appears at community events, including birthday parties, from one end of the county to the other. Put it to a vote, both Allman and Eyster would have high approval ratings. Put the Supervisors to a vote — fresh off an entirely undeserved raise they just gave themselves and their top gofers — and, among the minority of people who pay attention to them, you would have negative approval ratings, as would county government generally. The Supes simply don't have the political juice to take on the ethics of recent pot busts, not to mention the confusion over local legality inspired by the Supes themselves, whose overly complicated application process changes every time they meet. Then there's the fact that pot busts generate a lot of money for local law enforcement who can always rightly claim that so long as it's illegal at the federal level it's gotta be illegal here, too. The cops have zero incentive in the present context not to bust the pot brigades. And the Kai people, especially their man Seymour, should have known Seymour wasn't street legal before he set out with his big load of Mendo weed. People not involved in the pot business don't have a lot of sympathy for all these crooks, er, farmers, anyway. Now that lots of them are frantically trying to get legal after years of tax-free income their constant whining simply irritates most of us. The County thought they could garner a lot of registration money from legalization but have made it so difficult to qualify only the big boys of the business even try and, like Seymour, are liable for arrest, legal in Mendo or not. Seymour bought a misdemeanor from Eyster last time he was popped. He's absolutely screwed this time because he was still on probation from that one.
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
THE ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE DEPARTMENT is preparing something they are calling “social media protocols.” Apparently, at a recent incident, a dispute developed when an onlooker was observed filming the incident, which may have then been posted on-line. AV Fire Chief Andres Avila wants to make sure that local first responders are prepared for social media issues arising at an accident scene.
According to a website called “fireengineering.com” the problem has been around since at least 2010 when: “It is possible that the habit of snapping a quick picture first posed a problem for fire departments on July 17, 2010. On that day, a 23-year-old woman named Dayna Kempson-Schacht ran off the road in a single-car accident. When the fire department arrived, the victim was already dead. Firefighter Terrance Reid took out his phone and shot a video of the victim, complete with graphic commentary, while she was still in the vehicle. At first, Reid shared the video only with firefighters with whom he worked, but the situation quickly spiraled out of his control. The next night, a firefighter who had received the video went out to a bar and began sending the video to the phones of other patrons at the bar. One of those patrons then put the video online; from there, it went worldwide and was posted on as many as 800 websites at one point. The video made it back to the parents of the 23-year-old woman. The pain of seeing their daughter mutilated and lifeless was almost too much for them to bear. Then, all eyes turned toward the fire department and others responsible for putting the video out there for all the world to see.”
IT’S HIGHLY UNLIKELY that our volunteers would be so insensitive as to take photos like the one described, and then share them with a gang of leering bar drunks (and necrophiliacs), but in times like these Chief Avila is only prudent to spell out policy.
LEE HOWARD, the outspoken Ukiah Valley contractor who has been keeping an eye on the Redwood Complex fire clean-up project, wants to know why he was arrested for simply photographing the debris cleanup being done by the Army Corps of Engineers’ contractors. A meeting with the Corps was soon arranged, and everyone, including Howard, emerged with the amiable agreement that Howard, an experienced contractor of many years himself, was welcome to observe the Corps’ work.
THE MYSTERY OF WALMART GOLDFISH. For the second Wednesday in a row I stopped in at WalMart hoping to buy some cheap-o goldfish. And for the second week in a row the sign on the fish tank said "No fish for sale before 8pm." I asked a stooped lady clerk who looked too old to be working full time, "Excuse me, but can I buy some goldfish, the $1.98 jobs?" She tottered over to the tanks. "I'm sorry, sir, not until 8pm." She suddenly whirled to a man in a wheelchair. "Do you have a question?" He said, "No, I'm talking to myself because I'm the only one who understands me." The elderly clerk, turning back to the thwarted goldfish buyer, said she was pretty sure if I came back at 8 I could buy goldfish. I suspect the clerks just stick that sign up there because it's a bummer for them to fish the things out of the tank. One afternoon a fat kid broke into a sweat trying to scoop up the ten fish I wanted. The net was way too small and there were only 11 fish in a large tank. Netting them required serious hand-eye coordination, which he did not have. "Can I try?" I asked. "Sorry, sir, there are liability issues. We can't allow it." I told him I'd try again another day. He was much relieved.
LAST WEEK I'd noted the defeated army of the homeless clustered between WalMart and Taco Bell. It's not Taco Bell, it's Jack In The Box, although nutritionally there's no diff and both will kill you.
(Photo by Marshall Newman)
RANDY BURKE OF GUALALA WRITES: “Skyhawk for District 5 all the way.”
THE MAJOR REPLIES: Based on his website’s vague generalities, Skyhawk looks like Hamburg Lite to me. I’m open to being convinced otherwise, though. But he hasn’t attended a Supes meeting that I know of, has taken no position on a myriad of recent controversies, has no list of specific objectives and seems to be appealing only to that specific demographic (old hippies) known as the Albion Nation, not the broader range of 5th District concerns. It’s a decent electoral strategy in the Fifth, to stick to lib-lab platitudes, but not for a serious campaign. Hawk shows no knowledge of the Supes role in the County either, drifting into “platform” statements like “We must be creative and courageous in finding resources to fund affordable projects.” And, “A healthy ocean is essential for our tourism.” And, “I will work closely with local government and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that the 5th District gets the law enforcement coverage that it needs.” And, “I support a Public Bank that will enable us to keep our money out of corporate hands.” And, “…we must maintain a competitive position in the emerging legalized marketplace.” And, “I will advocate that County staff work closely with cannabis cultivators in this time of regulatory transition to encourage business development, economic certainty, and environmental protection.” Pick up your game, kid!
IF YOU CAME in late, real late, much of inland Mendo's water originates in the battered Eel River before it's diverted through a hand-dug, mile-long tunnel at Potter Valley — the work of Chinese labor early in the 20th century — and flows through Potter Valley and on into Lake Mendocino. Almost all the water stored in Lake Mendo is owned by Sonoma County who, in turn, uses some and sells the rest downstream to customers as far south as Sausalito. Sonoma County uses no water for domestic purposes from Lake Sonoma. When Supervisor Pinches tried to create interest in re-writing Mendo’s non-deal with Sonoma County he couldn't get any support from his fellow Supervisors, although in any kind of fair water contract with Sonoma County, Mendocino County would be owed millions.
BUT the Chinese diversion tunnel, originally constructed to illuminate Ukiah, and your basic anachronism almost from the day its generators began whirring, conveniently flows through Potter Valley whose noble sons of the soil have enjoyed virtually free water since the dawn of the 20th century. So much as a hint that the present water arrangements might be altered mobilizes inland ag to beat back even the discussion of such a possibility. Potter Valley, and its ag allies in Redwood Valley, control the 1st District Supervisor seat. It will be interesting to see who they put up to replace water loyalist Carre Brown.
MENDO’S TOURISM COMMISSION hustled out a pious presser in response to the news that their director, Alan Humason, has been charged with embezzling upwards of fifty grand in his previous job as Yolo County’s tourism promoter. “Humason was hired following a long and thorough search via a professional placement agency. During that process, the firm conducted due diligence including completing a thorough reference and background check on the candidate. At this point, there is no indication of impropriety with Humason’s work or professionalism at MCTC and he has performed well as executive director” and blah, blah, blah. In fact, the guy’s perfect for Mendo where every day history starts all over again and you are whatever you say you are.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Celebs? Lots of 'em in my family. The RCA dog is a distant cousin. So's Rin Tin Tin. Skrag says, ‘I'm here. Now. Like, what else is there?’”
PLOWSHARES DECISION AN OPPORTUNITY
It’s unfortunate that Plowshares Community Dining Room has been forced to suspend its evening meals at because of a lack of resources, both human and financial.
Plowshares has been an important component of our local safety net for a long time and having its doors closed for part of the day, even temporarily, will be a jolt to the low-income and homeless population.
However, this situation also provides a good opportunity for the Plowshares board of directors and staff to look at its services and operations and see where changes can be made.
This community has changed considerably since the legendary Sister Jane Kelly and others took on the daunting task of feeding the hungry in our community.
Today we have a homeless problem that has generated a great deal of discussion and controversy. Many local residents feel our community should begin distinguishing between transients mooching off the generosity of places like Plowshares, and the truly needy locals in our community.
The county is also in the midst of creating a new homeless service center at the south end of town which, it is hoped, will improve homeless services in general.
The local Food Bank is planning to improve its nutrition services and create a grocery store-like atmosphere for its customers.
The needs of low-income families in this community continue to grow and the recent fire has created other needs this community is still trying to meet.
Some of our cherished institutions, like Plowshares, have lots to think about as they try to navigate to the future of fund raising and volunteer services.
We’d like to open this up to the community. Tell us how you see Plowshares developing its mission in the future. What is important and what is not? How can they improve what they do and get the community more involved in it?
(KC Meadows, Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal)
POT TOURISM TO THE RESCUE?
Community brainstorms possible tourist attractions
by Jane Futcher
Cannabis tourism might well rejuvenate Willits' ailing economy and help small farmers stay in business. that was the conclusion of eight panelists and the keynote speaker at the CannaTourism forum Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Willits Little Lake Grange.
“Farmers are in the most difficult situation and don’t know what to do next," said the event's organizer Annie Waters, referring to cannabis cultivators who lack the financial resources to get county and state licenses as costs soar and the wholesale price of cannabis plummets.
“Willits is suffering, even bleeding from the Bypass,” said Waters, noting that even a CalTrans employee she knows recently missed the exit for Willits. “How many of you missed the exit today?” A few hands went up.
More than 100 people from Mendocino County, Humboldt, and the Bay Area were on hand Sunday to brainstorm ideas for cannabis tourism in the county and beyond. After the speakers, the audience broke into small groups to address tourism issues and ideas, such as creating: cannabis farming and herbal medicine classes; a commercial cannabis kitchen and/or restaurant and cooking school; bud and breakfasts, cannabis Air B&Bs, and cannabis farmers’ markets.
“A lot of my friends in Willits have closed their stores,” Waters lamented, urging the audience to share creative and attractive cannabis tourism ideas.
Keynote speaker Brian Applegarth of Emerald Country Tours and the new California Cannabis Tourism Association, is already running cannabis tours in Sonoma County. He presented impressive statistics on the hundred of millions of tourist dollars pouring into the Bay Area every year. He urged a region-wide Northern California "Cannabis Trail" approach to tourism from Santa Cruz to Arcata, emphasizing the region’s “unique Bohemia,” heritage and culture.
“I can see the magic of Mendocino,” Applegarth said. “Sonoma gets more tourism than Mendocino. How do we get people up here?" His tours highlight Northern California --he's only conducted 12 so far--focusing on Sonoma's cannabis heritage's, including the back-to-the-land movement, arts and crafts, and the spiritual dimensions of cannabis.
“At this stage, I’m here to support Mendocino County,” Applegarth said.
The diverse panelists who proceeded Applegarth offered dreams of their own. Richard Jergensen of Willits has collected more than 1,000 pieces cannabis memorabilia that tell the history of cannabis in Mendocino County. He thinks a cannabis history and education museum and multifaceted event center and hotel or camping site in Willits would be a tourist magnet.
Amanda Reiman, a cannabis policy expert and vice president of Flow Kana in Redwood Valley, underscored the importance of creating the right type of tourism atmosphere, particularly if cannabis consumption is involved. “If someone gets too stoned, it is not a good experience," Reiman said. "People are coming for vacation. You want them to come back and tell their friends. You can’t undo a bad experience. We’re staring at a whole new level of education. Take it seriously. Further the cause of reforming marijuana prohibition. Turn the stigma around.”
Reiman said during a break that farmers who grow a few plants for personal consumption but don't have permits can invite cannabis tours to visit their farms. They are allowed to give away, but not to sell, up to an ounce of their own cannabis. They could offer cannabis medicine classes to tourists or teach tourists to make cannabis-infused organic meals during their visits and would not need a cultivation or tourism permit.
Cannabis tour operators, Reiman said, would need state tourism licenses and permits but would not need a cannabis business or cultivation permit because they themselves would not be directly handling, selling, distributing or dispensing cannabis.
Local appellations and Mendocino County terroirs will also peak interest and draw visitors, said Janine Coleman of the Mendocino Appellations Project. Senate Bill SB94, she pointed out, requires the Department of Food and Agriculture designate the county of origin of permitted cannabis and allows licensed cultivators to establish appellations. She said tourists are intrigued by appellations and terroirs such as Champagne and Roquefort in France. But drawing tourists is challenging and takes time. “We need strategic partnerships helping develop agricultural tourism," Coleman said.
Brooke Horowitz of the Emerald Exchange sees permitted farmers' markets as a great way to lure travelers and cannabis lovers, allowing them to meet local farmers and participate in “lifestyle” events that might include yoga, health and wellness classes and an introduction to the healing benefits of the cannabis plant.
Karen Byars of Mendocino Cannabis Resource provided some permitting information, stating that cannabis farmers' markets and event organizers need event permits from the state for every event they put on. Applicants must apply 60 days in advance and host the event at a state-approved facility -- a fairgrounds or an approved agricultural association site. Several panelists said that the state needs to expand the venue options for cannabis events, making more venues available.
Humboldt Cannabis Tour founder Matt Kurth, 33, a former river guide, said he doesn’t think small cannabis farmers with half-acre farms can survive financially without tourism because of falling prices and the expenses of permitting. "Farmers who can't make it," he said, “can move into tourism. They would be the perfect guides. I'd hire them."
The always entertaining Swami Chaitanya of Swami Select brand out of Laytonville said many local residents don’t realize that Mendocino County is known all over the world for its cannabis. He said he was traveling in Goa, in Asia, some years ago when he met a traveler who said, “I know Laytonville. I used to trim there.”
“We have to turn trimmers into tourists,” said Swami, who agreed that former cultivators are “perfect docents” to lead tours.
Nikki Lastreto of Swami Select underscored the attractiveness of Mendocino County to new as well as experienced cannabis users and tourists. “People are Jonesing to come up here,” she said. “It’s a wonderful weekend trip.”
“We don’t give up, and we don’t stop," Lastreto said. "And we just keep going."
Participants appeared upbeat and energized by the event, but when Waters asked for a volunteer to organize a follow-up meeting on cannatourism in Mendocino County, she had no takers.
(Jane Futcher is host of The Cannabis Hour radio show on KZYX. Brian Applegarth will be her guest on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 9 a.m.)
* * *
CANNABIS TOURISM THURSDAY ON KZYX! Dream of opening a commercial cannabis kitchen or restaurant? Would you like to visit a heritage farm or learn how to make tinctures or other medicines from a cultivator-herbalist? How would you like to take a spiritual journey with a cannabis shaman? Want to visit a museum of cannabis culture? Thought about turning your guest cabin into a Bud and Breakfast? On the next Cannabis Hour I'll be talking with Brian Applegarth, founder of Emerald Country Tours and the California Cannabis Tourism Association. We'll talk about the possibilities for drawing visitors to the Emerald Triangle and for sharing Northern California's unique culture with the curious traveler. Please, join us at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, on KZYX! Hear the archived version at jukebox.kzyx.org. See you on the radio!
CAN’T PUT THE POT GENIE BACK IN THE BOTTLE
An interview with Cal-NORML’S Dale Gieringer
by Jonah Raskin
“Marijuana seems to interfere with short term memory recall, and there’s evidence that it can interfere with the acquisition of new memory,” Dale Gieringer said. “But it doesn’t effect permanent storage of memory.” The Director of California NORML — the oldest cannabis lobbying organization in the world — Gieringer has accumulated mountains of information about marijuana that go back to the 1960s, when he lived in Cincinnati, Ohio which had, he says, “a mini, mini Haight Ashbury.” Gieringer’s sharpest memories are of the campaigns to decriminalize and legalize marijuana. “I was surprised by how many friends of mine who had been long-time pot smokers suddenly came out of the closet with the passage of Prop 215 — the Compassionate Use Act — that legalized medical marijuana twenty-one years ago,” he said. “Suddenly, healthy people had all kinds of health issues. I never regarded myself as a medical marijuana user and I resisted going their way.”
Gieringer worked with Dennis Peron, a Vietnam veteran and gay activist, for the passage of Prop 215, and then felt embarrassed when Peron came out and insisted that all marijuana was medical. “I thought it was unseemly from a PR point of view, though I didn’t think it was immoral,” Gieringer said. “The net result of 215 was positive. It helped reduce arrests and it made many Americans feel comfortable with the sale of pot to adults.”
A Harvard graduate with a Ph.D. from Stanford, Gieringer became the Director of California NORML in 1987 when the future of legal weed looked dark. “I told myself, ‘now’s the time to get involved when the movement is at rock bottom, and then ride it to the top,’” he explained. For Gieringer, the cause of marijuana has always been about personal freedom and the unconstitutionally of the drug wars. Moreover, northern California was, for him, the place to be. “I feel in love with the wilderness and thought that the CAMP raids with helicopters and troops were desecrating it.”
The way Gieringer sees it, the tipping point for legalization came about in 2008, right after the election and before Obama moved into the White House. “Under Bush, people thought the cause was hopeless,” Gieringer said. “Then, with Obama’s victory they started to say, ‘we can do it.’ Indeed, we legalized adult use in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and California. Sometimes you have to wait for the wave to come before you can ride it.”
His pot prognosis was upended when Trump won the 2016 election. “I expected that Hillary would be elected and that her victory at the polls would lead to a change in the federal government,” he said. “If someone had said in 1996 that federal law would be the same twenty-one years later I would have been dumb-founded.”
The present isn’t yet past, but Gieringer had a few thoughts about the contemporary events that might make their way into his memory bank. “Sessions isn’t an advance over anything,” he said. “I believe that he’d like a crack down on marijuana and I wouldn’t be surprised if the feds initiate law suits against the industry.” Gieringer added, “They can arrest California growers who are shipping out of state, but thousands of growers are doing that. They can’t stop them all. As I see, it the California cannabis industry will continue full speed ahead in the next year or so, with the black market as strong as ever.”
Gieringer expects to be around for the battles yet to come. “The feds can’t put the pot genie back in the bottle,” he said. “Marijuana use is so wide spread and so widely accepted we can’t go back to the days of reefer madness.”
(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)
DEMS CAVE (AS USUAL)
Senate Democrats accepted a deal to reopen the government on Monday, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to take up immigration legislation – including a permanent fix for the controversial DACA program – in the next three weeks. The Senate bill has one final test, a fresh vote in the House of Representatives, but quick passage is expected over House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's objections. The final 81-18 tally was a far cry from the crashing failure of a similar measure on Friday that saw handfuls of Senators from both parties crossing the aisle but fall well short of the 60 votes needed for passage. When the dust settled, 33 of the 49 Democrats had voted to turn the lights back on. Republican Sen. John McCain, ailing with brain cancer, was absent.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 21, 2018
ADOLFO ABONCE-GUZMAN, Willits. Failure to appear.
ANDREW GREBIL, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.
JESUS MACIAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ANGELA RIVERA, San Diego/Redwood Valleyt. DUI-drugs
TIMOTHY SALO, Fort Bragg. DUI.
TREVOR SHUSS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
BRANDON STRASSER, Willits. DUI, suspended license revoked for drunk/refusal of chem test, prior driving offenses, evasion, failure to appear.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
I made the remark that it ought to be a primary mission in education to teach proper spoken English — because without that ability, kids might not be able to learn anything else. This is just basic common sense. My parents were Italian and when my older sister got to Kindergarten, she could not speak English. The nuns told my parents to stop speaking Italian to their children. Three weeks later in school, my sister was speaking English. So I am not a believer in bi-lingual education for young children, although I do believe that learning a second language is very beneficial. When I started to visit Italy regularly as an adult, I learned to speak proper Italian since my parents spoke a dialect. I did not expect my relatives to speak English to me even though many of them knew the language. How can you survive, let alone prosper without a good understanding of the native language? A wise person I knew once said that you only need two things in life – good grammar and good teeth.
INCOMPETENTS NEVER KNOW
The key to the conundrum surrounding the mysterious behavior of our unlikely president can be found in a Jan. 18, 2000 article from that bastion of fake news, the New York Times. David Dunning, then if not now a professor of psychology at Cornell University, and his research assistant, Justin Kruger, came up with a common-sense conclusion: most incompetent people don’t know they are incompetent.
“Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it,” Kruger and Dunning had written in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The Times article said: “Asked to evaluate their performance on (a) test of logical reasoning, for example, subjects who scored only in the 12th percentile guessed that they had scored in the 62nd percentile and deemed their overall skill at logical reasoning to be at the 68th percentile.”
Hmmm. While there is lots of room for error and misunderstanding in such studies, one thing seems clear. The 45th president is very fond of saying he’s the smartest person we’ll ever meet. That’s one way of saying that he’s the smartest person that he will ever meet.
MASSIVE WAVE at Tillamook lighthouse, Oregon coast this weekend
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I’m amazed at the cynical naivete of Republicans. Apparently they haven’t noticed, since its inception, the political agenda of the FBI and the entire State Security apparatus?
Seriously, if the Right in America didn’t know the IRS, FBI, NSA, CIA and the entire Justice Department is a network of political police, then they’re so stupid, or disingenuous, they deserve it.
Ask anyone who supported Civil Rights, opposed the Vietnam War, opposed nuclear weapons, or supports women’s right to medical care unfettered by religious dogma. Anyone with any leadership role in those social arguments has long been audited every year by the IRS; has had staticky, echoey, clicky phones; received mail that had obviously been opened; has had odd “inconsistencies” in their bank records; the works. Going back to the 1930s.
Now, only now, these “snowflakes” figured this out? Such indignities must have until now only been visited on their political opponents? Why would that be, one has to wonder?
It must be hard to one day grab the knife by the wrong end after years of use. You’d have to feel as if you should have known better.
THE REALITY IS...
The reality is that if you are to the left of The Nation and other Democratic Party enablers – Lucy: “I really promise that THIS time I won’t take your freedom football, Charlie Brown” – then you have an ever-narrowing number of outlets. This despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population supports positions that are anathema to both parties, such as ending U.S. wars abroad and instituting healthcare for all.
The closing line of the HuffPost email was the brightest piece of bullshit I’ve read in a long time:
“Thanks for being an integral part of the HuffPost community. Your bold, thoughtful contributions to HuffPost’s contributor platform have helped to make us what we are today, and we are so grateful and proud to have had you with us in this endeavor. Sincerely, The HuffPost Team”
Yeah, we really loved your “bold, thoughtful contributions” (did you read them?) and are really “grateful,” but now Fuck Off!
Yours sincerely, love and kisses…..
The moderators of only appropriately pro-Democratic Party postings (because we don’t have enough Daily Kos’s, Move-on’s, etc. already) — Andy Thayer
LITTLE DOG'S NOT THE ONLY ONE
HUFF DOES THE RIGHT THING
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) issued the following statement about his decision to vote against the short-term continuing resolution, which will re-open and fund the federal government through February 8th, but which failed to be accompanied by definitive action by Republican leadership to protect Dreamers and deliver on bipartisan-backed priorities:
“Four months into the fiscal year, as we face a fourth ‘continuing resolution’ from the Republican majority, one thing is clear: this is a colossal failure to govern.
“Some Democrats will vote ‘yes’ on the latest CR to fund government for two more weeks based on pinky-swear promises by our Republican colleagues that we’ll finally have votes on a full-year funding bill; that it will finally include not only children’s health insurance, but also community clinics and a compromise on spending caps; that we’ll finally pass the supplemental disaster bill pending in the Senate; and that we’ll finally have votes on bipartisan legislation to protect the 750,000 Dreamers who are about to face deportation because of President Trump’s heartless termination of the DACA program.
“Other Democrats, including me, will vote ‘no’ because we’ve already seen too many broken promises from President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress and we’re skeptical that these new pinky-swear promises will be kept.
“But while our votes today may diverge, make no mistake that House Democrats are united in condemning the Republicans’ failure to govern, and in declaring February 8th an absolute acid test on whether they have any intention to keep their word and govern this country. Time is up. No more delays, extensions, or excuses.
“President Trump and the Republicans control all branches of government. That carries a responsibility to govern, and that means when they need Democratic votes they must negotiate in good faith and keep their promises. I hope my Republican colleagues will stay true to their word and finally deliver on these bipartisan-backed priorities, but if they don’t, there will be another Trump Shutdown on February 8th and no amount of alliterative blame shifting will allow them to evade responsibility.”
by James Kunstler
Is there any doubt that the Democratic Party will be blamed for the government shutdown brought on by the DACA showdown? They insisted on a DACA deal that would have enabled everybody-and-his-uncle in a DACA person’s family to migrate to this country, a formula known as chain migration. Did they really believe that would go over? Or is it just more identity politics posturing?
I’m not the first observer to point out that it looks like the Democratic Party puts the interests of non-citizens above everybody else in the country. That’s what will be remembered about this gambit at the polls in November. It also looks like an engineered misdirection away from the more ominous fast-developing story about political corruption at the highest level of the Justice Department and its subsidiary, the FBI.
Unlike the allegations in the slow-cooking Russian Collusion story — allegations so far uncoupled from evidence — there’s plenty of evidence that FBI leadership deliberately mishandled several concurrent Hillary Clinton inquiries and, along with other players in the giant NSA matrix, launched the Russia Collusion story to derail Donald Trump’s legitimacy in office. Former President Obama and his White House aides are implicated in these machinations. Whether you’re a Trump fan or not, this ought to raise troubling questions about the legitimacy of the FBI.
On Sunday, the FBI revealed that it had lost five months of text messages between Trump antagonists Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The agency offered a lame explanation that “software upgrades” and “misconfiguration issues” interfered with the app that is supposed to automatically save and archive communications between officials on FBI phones. This was the couple who chattered about an FBI-generated “insurance policy” for the outcome of the 2016 election with Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. When will these three be invited to testify before a house or senate committee to inform the nation exactly what the “insurance policy” was?
The bad odor at the FBI seeps into several other areas of misbehavior involving Hillary Clinton, her campaign, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and members of the permanent Washington bureaucracy. Did the Obama White House use the Christopher Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton Campaign, to obtain FISA warrants against her opponent in the election for the purpose of conducting electronic surveillance on him? Was the FBI abetting a Democratic Party coup to get rid of Trump by any means necessary once he got into office? Did the FBI conduct a stupendously half-assed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server by dismissing the charges before interviewing any of the principal characters involved, granting blanket immunities to Obama White House officials, and failing to secure computers that contained evidence? Does the FBI actually know what then Attorney General Loretta Lynch discussed with Bill Clinton in the parked airplane on the Phoenix tarmac? Did the FBI fail to investigate enormous contributions (roughly $150 million) to the Clinton Foundation after the Uranium One deal was signed? Did they look into any of the improprieties surrounding the DNC’s effort to nullify Bernie Sander’s primary campaign?
These are some of the big questions that a nation not 100 percent distracted and misdirected will want some answers to. The even greater question is whether the USA’s institutional justice system remains sturdy enough to fairly inquire into all these things. It probably can’t happen without a deep house-cleaning at the Department of Justice and the FBI. For the moment, Trump is just observing the scene like the Cheshire Cat in his tree. Considering what a dope he is, it is one of the many miracles of his long and (so far) lucky life to have his enemies look even dumber.
One thing I wonder is how long this toxic political struggle can go on before the financial markets notice what it says about the country.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
LARA AT THE PIANO!
Ukiah Community Concert Association Presents Pianist Lara Downes At Mendocino College, Center Theater
"A unique blend of musicianship and showmanship" -NPR
Performer, Entrepreneur, Cultural Visionary and critically acclaimed pianist Lara Downes is recognized as one of the most exciting and communicative classical artists of her generation. Her artistry has been called “luscious, moody and dreamy” by the New York Times and “ravishing” by Fanfare Magazine. Lara Downes will perform at Mendocino College, Center Theater on Sunday February 4, at 3:00 pm. Come early and socialize with the UCCA Board members. The concert will feature American Music, from traditional tunes to George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and various other American composers. She will bring music and songs that reflect our American life, which as Lara says: “has a complicated history, full of contrasts and contradictions, just like my own, and I’ve learned that what is most beautiful about me comes down to my contradictions and contrasts.” She is a laureate of the 2016 Sphinx Medal of Excellence award and was awarded the Innovator of Year award in 2017 by University of California, Davis. Born in San Francisco and raised in Europe, Lara’s roots are diverse and distinct. Her recent chart-topping release A Billie Holiday Songbook has been called “possibly the most intriguing Holiday tribute” by Jazz Weekly. Her 2016 release, America Again was in many ways the coming-of-age memoir of an artist who has found her own way and carved her own path through American music. Her upcoming Sony Music debut album FOR LENNY, a Leonard Bernstein centennial tribute, was awarded the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award. It will be released February 9, 2018. The recording features guest artist from across genres and generations: opera legend Thomas Hampson, roots singer Rhiannon Giddens to beatboxing superstar Kevin “K.O.” Olusola. The Ukiah Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947. This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also their goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community. Advanced tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company and Dig! Music in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits or www.ukiahconcerts.org.
Adult Single Tickets are $30 and Youth (under 18) $10.
For more information call 707-463-2738.
ON THE BEACH
Live from Waikiki Beach
Following yesterday's continuously witnessing a steady stream of aggravating and stupid thoughts, until late last night when the mental factory finally just shut down, today was spent relatively serenely. Whereas there is literally no limit to witnessing thoughts, regardless of their content and regardless of how long they manifest, the mental factory at some point just shuts down. This is very important. Meditation teachers for years have been wisely informing the public that the key to all of their aspirations, be it global peace & justice, or "saving the earth", or simply providing oneself with a secure and safe situation, is to practice mindfulness. The key is to witness the thoughts and therefore stop identifying with both the body and the mind altogether, and thus be non-attached. It is still a big leap for many to do this, because of the false belief that one has so much invested in one's life. However, by performing the basic spiritual practice of witnessing thoughts, it is realized that one is not the body and one is not the mind. And then one knows precisely that one's true spiritual identity, is the witness of everything. So today, a sunny cool morning at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, shirt off, walking toward Diamond Head, enjoying the picture postcard perfect view. No thoughts! Meandered freely, finally sitting awhile in a community garden across from the big park. There were lots of cats there. And in the area next to the garden were lots of roosters. And in the area beyond that were lots of tourists. In this world but not of this world. What is one's mission here? Being awake, and aware of all that is immediate, and also informed of events far away. This is the fundamental social condition shared by everyone. Technology has delivered the whole earth plane into every living room. Not identifying with the body and not identifying with the mind, the mystical reality which manifests as the witnessing consciousness is all of us. Attended a Catholic Mass at Saint Augustine's By the Sea, which featured an Hawaiian choir, and an Hawaiian priest, and Hawaiian culture predominated. Received Holy Communion, and with the strains of Hawaiian singing echoing in the lovely church, crossed the street to Waikiki Beach, walking into a panoramic sunset with sail boats and cruise ships and jet planes taking off, and the evening surfers catching the endless waves. The soft warm trade winds complemented the ukulele players and the tiki torches along Kalakaua Avenue, and again the question arises: What is everyone's unique mission here? Allowing the body and mind to relax, flowing along "luxury row" past the ultraexpensive shops, under a dark red sliver of a moon. What is real? What is unreal? Not the body. Not the mind. Now that you know the mystery, what are you going to do?
Craig Louis Stehr
STOP TRUMP'S WATER PLAN:
Take Action for the Trinity and Sacramento Rivers January 23
by Dan Bacher
Klamath River Tribal Members, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, commercial and recreational fishing groups and Restore the Delta will hold a rally on Tuesday, January 23 in Sacramento to protest the Trump Administration’s plan to maximize Delta exports, followed by a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation public meeting to receive oral/written comments.
The rally will take place on the sidewalk outside 650 Capitol Mall at 1 p.m., while the public meeting will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Stanford Room, 650 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814.
A new proposal by the Trump Administration to maximize water deliveries to the Central Valley Project (CVP) and increase Delta pumping comes at a time when salmon runs and Delta smelt numbers have reached record lows. This proposal could impact flows on the Sacramento, Feather, American-San Joaquin, Trinity, and Klamath rivers.
“Last year, commercial and recreational salmon fishing were severely curtailed in California due to poor Klamath and Sacramento River salmon returns,” according to the organizers. “The Klamath River suffered the worst salmon return in history, which also effectively shut down Tribal subsistence and commercial fishing for California’s largest tribes.”
“The Delta smelt could be the first fish species to become extinct in the United States since the Endangered Species Act was signed in 1973. With only two Delta smelt identified in the last fish survey, state and federal agencies need to focus time, money, and energy on restoring smelt populations instead of turning up the pumps,” they said.
”The Trump Administration’s recent announcement to increase Delta exports to Central Valley farmers poses an imminent threat to California’s fish species. The Delta smelt is our small but mighty canary in the coal mine; it is an indicator of the health of the Delta ecosystem. If it goes, the future impacts to the health of humans and to other Delta fish and wildlife would be devastating,” they stated.
For more details on the public comment meeting January 23rd in Sacramento at the Capitol Mall, click here.
Noah Oppenheim, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, 415-561-5080, firstname.lastname@example.org
Annelia Hillman, Klamath Justice Coalition & Yurok Tribal Member, 707-499-6061, email@example.com
Regina Chichizola, Save California Salmon, 541 951-0126, firstname.lastname@example.org
Press inquiries about impacts to fish should be directed to Noah Oppenheim
Press inquiries about impacts to Tribal members and Klamath fisheries should be directed to Annelia Hillman.
Press & advocate inquiries on rally and meeting logistics should be directed to Regina Chichizola.
In addition to the public meeting on the Trump water proposal to be held in Chico on January 23, the Bureau will also hold a public scoping meeting in Room 210, Bell Memorial Union, CSU Chico, West 2nd St, between Hazel and Chestnut
on Thursday, January 25, 6pm to 8pm.
Written public comment due by February 1, 2018
Written public comment on this proposed water grab of Northern California and Delta water by the Trump administration and San Joaquin Valley growers is due on or before February 1, 2018.
You can sign this petition right now to stop the Trump administration plan that will kill the salmon, steelhead and other fish populations on the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Trinity, Klamath and other rivers: www.change.org/...
On December 29, the Bureau of Reclamation announced it will conduct an environmental analysis of potential modifications to the operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP), in coordination with California’s State Water Project, to “maximize water deliveries” and “optimize marketable power generation.”
In other words, the Trump administration wants to increase water exports to agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin Valley at a time when the Delta smelt are near extinction and winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species are struggling to survive after decades of massive water deliveries.
“The CVP is a major water source for agricultural, municipal and industrial, and fish and wildlife demands in California,” according to the announcement from Reclamation. “State and federal regulatory actions and other agreements have significantly reduced the water available for delivery south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. This project will evaluate alternatives to restore water supply in consideration of all of the authorized purposes of the CVP.”
What Reclamation didn’t mention was that this proposal comes at a crucial time for fish populations on the Delta and the West Coast. In spite of a record water year in Northern California in 2017, the abundance of Delta smelt recorded in the state’s annual fall midwater survey (FMWT) is the lowest in the survey’s 50-year history.
Only two Delta smelt were collected at Delta index stations in October. One was from Suisun Bay and the other from the confluence of Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, reported James White, California Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist, in a memo.
The agency collected the smelt, along with other five other pelagic (open water) species, in trawl nets at 100 index stations throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, from September 1 through December 13.
Maligned by agribusiness groups and San Joaquin Valley Republican Congressman as a “small minnow” supposedly standing in the way of deliveries of Delta water to irrigators, the Delta smelt is in fact a indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Delta ecosystem like the proverbial “canary in the coal mine.” More information: www.dailykos.com/…
A Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), “Revisions to the Coordinated Long-term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, and Related Facilities” was published in the Federal Register, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 and can be accessed at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/current#reclamation-bureau.
Reclamation, headed by Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, is the lead federal agency and will request other agencies to participate as cooperating agencies. Reclamation is seeking comments by Feb. 1, 2018, that will be used to develop alternatives to the proposed action. Public scoping meetings will be scheduled for mid-January.
Written comments are due by close of business, Feb. 1, 2018, by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Katrina Harrison, project manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814-2536; fax 916-414-2439; or email email@example.com. For additional information, please contact Harrison at 916-414-2425 (TTY 800-877-8339).
Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown continues to forge ahead with his environmentally destructive Delta Tunnels plan, a project that would likely result in the extinction of Delta and longfin smelt and Central Valley salmon and steelhead, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.