Off the Record (Sep. 27, 2017)
by AVA News Service, September 27, 2017
I'VE WATCHED the first three installments of "Vietnam," the PBS special by Burns and Novick. The first 90 minutes were very good, and provide a clear, fair explication of the complicated politics of Vietnam beginning with the French colonialists. Even the Marxist in-fighting among the revolutionary nationalist Vietnamese groups was dispassionately and, from what I know of it, fairly presented.
PROBABLY like a lot of people I got a rueful laugh out of the sponsors of the series, a swinish Who's Who including some of the worst people in the country, from the Bank of America to one of the Koch Bros.
I’D READ that Burns had insisted that "kill" instead of "murder" be applied to the My Lai Massacre, a bad sign of things to come. But so far, so good.
RE THE FORT BRAGG gang punks who have recently distinguished themselves by beating up a guy in the Safeway parking lot with baseball bats. What's their citizenship status?
AS SCUMBAGGERY inexorably rises from sea to shining sea, can't the media at least spare us the photographs of murdered children? What's the point? A prose account is sufficiently unbearable. Public morale isn't helped by the Press Democrat's insensate editors running repeat photos of two children asphyxiated by their depraved father.
THE NFL has a problem a lot bigger than Kaepernick and protests by its players. Except for about four teams, the league is so unbalanced most of the games are boring as hell. And speaking of Black protests, if the mighty ava were at the helm of the sinking ship, SS America, we'd concede the obvious — that Black people are still screwed over every which way, that their history is uniquely awful and that special concessions, backed up with cash, are necessary if the mass of Black people are ever going to be fully included in whatever it is we have going here.
WHY DOES UKIAH need another motel? A Holiday Inn Express? Really? What's an express motel, one where you get half off if you don't require clean sheets?
SOCIAL MEDIA is alive with suggestions about what to do with the 400 oceanside acres of the Fort Bragg mill site now that it's been rezoned or is about to be rezoned. The conversation is, to say the least, premature. The Koch Bros own it. If they choose to erect a giant neon replica of Trump, that's what they'll do. The opinions of Fort Bragg, I daresay, are not high on their list of concerns.
FORT BRAGG is likely to pay a headhunter firm a lot of money to find the town a new city manager — "the national search for excellence," as the bogus process is known in Mendocino County as, typically, his or her excellency just happens to be someone's cousin, love interest, former drug buddy, therapy pal, or the person one desk over, which in Fort Bragg's case, would be the smart and capable, Marie Jones. The prob usually turns out to be that the smart, capable person at the power lever works for a collection of, ah, inattentive elected supervisors, council people, board members, so the smart person simply takes over in lieu of coherent direction, hence the reign of the departing Linda Ruffing. If the national search for excellence is turned over to an agency, Fort Braggers ought to know that the agency will be comprised of "professional city managers," mostly retired, who are likely to recommend a buddy, whether or not the buddy is right for the job. With Ms. Jones, Fort Bragg would get a known quantity, and could save a lot of money not out-sourcing the hiring task. Obviously she can do the job, as can other people presently laboring in City Hall, so why not spare the expense of the national search for blah-blah?
IF WE WERE UKIAH PEOPLE, we’d despair that the dispute between city government and the sanitation district serving much of it, has devolved into endless legal disputes. We’d also be wondering why the Superior Court, way back, didn’t order both parties into binding arbitration.
AT THIS POINT, four years later, we agree with KC Meadows’ assessment of the mess, as presented editorially in Sunday’s Ukiah Daily Journal. We hope the new guy in charge at the Sanitation District, Joe Tait, brings to his formidable task some basic reason and desire for sensible reconciliation, which would have to occur all on his side given the composition of Ukiah city government.
A READER WRITES: We won’t have to figure out a way to return to a culture of thrift over gratification if the orange menace sitting in the Oval Office has its way… It’s ABOUT TIME the city settled with the Ukiah Sanitation District, RE-affirming a couple of local Grand Jury reports that sided with the Sanitation District and recommended they bring suit against the City of Ukiah… had the citizens held their elected officials more accountable, MUCH less money would have been spent on Lawyers in a frivolous series of events. The ratepayers and residents of Ukiah suffered the financial consequences. On a side note, it’s funny that responding entities to Grand Jury reports generally say that most of the Grand Jury recommendations aren’t warranted and won’t be implemented… and then scurry off to go perform the Grand Jury recommendations. Current case in point is the inadequate response from the Mendo Parks and Rec District RE: the 2017 Mendo County Grand Jury report about MCRPD board finance mismanagement.
CAPTAIN FATHOM, disheveled and disoriented, wandered into our office late Tuesday afternoon. Whatever meds the famous founding father of the Albion Nation is on, he was off them, ebullient as ever but pretty much incoherent. He said he's 78, "same as you, chief.” He said Sheriff Allman had personally exempted him from further arrest, and "the angry young white men of Mendocino County are talking revolution." I said the angry young white men lack leadership and a plan, but I'm available to at least point them in the correct direction. The Captain eventually got around to the true purpose of his visit: "You got a twenty I can borrow? You know I always pay you back." Fathom tottered off in the direction of alcohol. And, an hour later, drunk, reappeared to ask for a ride to Bald Mountain. "I'll give you a thousand for a ride." Nope. "Ten Thousand." Nope. Fathom then lunged off into the night. I'm pretty sure he has his own place five or six miles up the Albion Ridge from Highway One, but he's in no condition, mental or physical, to be wandering around unsupervised. Fathom does best in the County Jail, where his celebrity is acknowledged and he enjoys regular visits from the Sheriff. The founding father of the Albion Nation is quite likely to also become the founding father of the Sheriff's in-county psych unit which, we hope, is voted into reality this November.
SPEAKING OF THE SHERIFF, we disagreed with nothing he said to the Supervisors Tuesday re marijuana production in the county. But we'd add that there has always been an unacceptable level of violence associated with the love drug all the way back to its outlaw beginnings, and the almost simultaneous realization by the thug community that ripping it and its growers off could be quite lucrative. The recent violence is really nothing new, especially at this time of year.
THE SHERIFF cited the recent honey oil explosion at a Willits property whose owners were licensed to grow but not brew up extract in a lab on the premises. The Sheriff said the lab contained $3 million worth of equipment. One would think that people with all the right gear would be able to manage production without blowing the place up, but it isn't called dope for nothing.
A LONG DAY last Friday for accused murderers began with Fred Geastel, Gary Blank, Michael Kane and Jesse Wells, the four remaining defendants in the Jeffery Settler murder who were arraigned on the information from the preliminary hearing which ended two weeks ago. Endorsed file copies of the information were passed out and the prosecutor, Deputy DA Josh Rosenfeld, announced that the People would not be seeking the death penalty. Judge John Behnke said that he would want that put in writing at some point, and the lawyers for the four defendants said they would be filing 995 motions (motions to dismiss) for their clients, and this would be heard by a different judge (one who had not been present at the prelim) on December 15th, the briefs to be all in by November 13th and the DA’s response by November 28th.
NEXT UP was Joshua Ruoff, accused of killing Timothy Sweeting and burying the corpse in a shallow grave on a pot farm near Dos Rios, before fleeing to New Hampshire. In a poignantly macabre twist, Timothy’s dog, desperately searching for his master, subsequently unearthed the dead on the property where he was murdered. Ruoff had tried to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, but after two psychologists interviewed him, this ploy failed and trial is now set for October 24th.
THEN CAME Steven P. Ryan, white, accused of shooting to death Chris Davis, black, who had been dumpster diving for recyclables near Ryan’s Ukiah apartment east of the Perkins Street exit on Highway 101. Defense attorney Carly Dolan complained about discovery issues and the trial will have to be reset sometime in the next two weeks when the materials requested have been turned over.
FINALLY, Caleb D. Silver, accused of using two weapons, a hammer and a knife, to kill popular Fort Bragg resident Dennis Boardman and stealing Boardman’s truck, and abusing his dog by leaving it abandoned in the truck with no food or water. Silver’s lawyer, Eric Rennert wanted this left out because he thought it would inflame the jury – also, Mr. Rennert wanted no mention of an inmate at the jail who Silver complained to about how hard it was to cut Boardman’s throat without a serrated knife. These issues were being discussed before Judge John Behnke when in mid-afternoon Judge Ann Moorman became available to help negotiate a possible plea deal. The terms prosecutor Deputy DA Tim Stoen made were 15-to-life, as opposed to 25-to-life if convicted by a jury. The two weapons allegations would add another year each, and the car theft would add three, for a total of 15-to-life, plus five. Rennert wanted credit for time served and Judge Moorman calculated that Silver would be eligible for parole in about 18 years. Silver asked for some time to think it over, and he was given until next Tuesday at 1:30.
AND ONE MORE, Jewel Dyer accused of killing his father with a baseball bat in Laytonville, Mr. Dyer's lawyer, Carly Dolan, said her client was 1368, that is, mentally incapable of participating in his own defense, and that trial too was postponed. (Bruce McEwen)
BRUCE McEWEN’S report that Caleb D. Silver, a native of Boonville, has been offered 15-to-life if he pleads out, or 25-to-life if he takes his case to a jury and is found guilty. 15-to-life, given the known facts, is the most generous offer from a DA I've ever heard of.
SILVER is accused of using two weapons, a hammer and a knife, to kill popular Fort Bragg resident (also of Boonville) Dennis Boardman and stealing Boardman’s truck, abandoning the truck and Boardman's dog in Ventura. Silver’s lawyer, Eric Rennert, asked that the cruelty to the dog be dropped because he thought it would inflame the jury, as if the terrible murder of Boardman wasn't inflammatory enough. Rennert also wanted no mention of an inmate at the jail who Silver allegedly complained to about how hard it was to cut Boardman’s throat without a serrated knife.
THE DEFENDANT will be back in court this week to reveal his decision. Silver is a killer, and a fool if he doesn't plead out.
DENNIS BOARDMAN'S MURDER outraged many of us. He'd become sober after many years deep in the bottle, but drunk or sober, Dennis was a kind and generous man. Considering that there are local men languishing in state prison for crimes there is no evidence they committed, an offer of 15 years for a particularly brutal murder that was committed is a pure act of prosecutorial charity.
INTERESTING SHOW last Thursday morning on KZYX with hostess Jane Futcher and Sheriff Allman. The Sheriff didn't come right out and say so, but he might as well have straight-up indicted the Supervisors for complicating county pot rules beyond all reason. If I didn't happen to know them and closely follow their functioning, I'd think that the Supe's pot rules were some kind of weird practical joke. If I were a grower I wouldn't even consider signing up with the county to buy protection against raids, which is essentially what the county is selling.
I DO THINK, however, that the county's pot rules should be radically simplified, maybe based on a flat rate — people growing between twenty and forty plants, ten grand. Larger ops, fifty g's, with all parties subject to local, state and federal environmental laws.
THE COUNTY saw local pot rules as a big boost to the county's general fund, but proceeded to create a process that discourages sane people from signing up, thus creating very little income for the county and total confusion for everyone else.
THE ONLY disagreement we have with the Sheriff's position is that the violent crime he laments, as do we all, would occur even if there were coherent rules and everyone was signed up and legal. The thug-brains learned early on that pot growers living and working in Mendo's vast outback were, in thug-think, easy marks. And since their crop was illegal, who were the ripped-off growers going to complain to? Although the cops long ago began responding to pot thefts, thugs still assume that growers are easy to take off. Not only do they have dope to steal, a lot of them keep lucrative amounts of cash on hand. Criminal attitudes aren't deterred by rules. I don't know any growers who aren't armed, hence the occasional shoot 'em ups that are a fact of rural life in Mendocino County, especially at this time of year, harvest time.
AS THE ONLY PERSON on the local flab glab wimp wamp pwog slog, non-existent left to debate, in public, the downside of the love drug — at one debate I was opposed by Dr. Peter Keegan of Ukiah — I also always caveat that as a committed juicer much of my adult life that I'm not here to make invidious comparisons between one substance as a means of consciousness alteration and another. Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and I've done some dangerous things under its influence, things I could have brought off a lot more efficiently if I hadn't been loaded. (Attention literalists: the last half of the foregoing was a joke.) Stoners mostly just veg out, soooooo of the two substances marijuana is less harmful. But I don't think anybody is about to argue that dope or booze has been good for what's left of our tattered society. If, however, you absolutely gotta get outta reality, pot keeps you harmlessly on your couch with a jumbo bag of Cheetos and the Grateful Dead. Alcohol of course is for the truly adventurous and tends to dispose its consumers to belligerence. Speed? Absolutely not. Hallucinogens? Purely dependent on your relative sanity prior to ingestion and, therefore, contra-indicated for at least 90 percent of Americans. Straight reality? Best of all because you don't miss a single act of the greatest show on earth.
MARIJUANA IS BAD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, and by young I mean people between the ages of ten and twenty. Our Nation's Future don't seem to be getting the information that pot is a lot stronger than it was in 1967, that smoking lots of it at a young age can screw you up big time for the rest of your life, and that's even if you don't go completely 5150 because your genetic legacy includes a tendency to schizophrenia that's ignited by marijuana use. Veering off here into Anecdote Land, I don't know a single kid in the Anderson Valley who started heavily smoking pot as a high school kid who didn't run all the way off the rails as an adult. Not one.
INTERIM THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR Georgeanne Croskey is our heroine of the week for reversing her vote to put the county's emergency services dispatch out to bid. The Supes, John McCowen sensibly dissenting, Supervisor Gjerde absent on vacation, had voted 3-2 to put dispatch up for grabs. And they did it in the face of all the county's firefighters, ambulance people and cops, the people who depend on efficient dispatch to save our lives begging the Supes to leave dispatch with CalFire.
AN OUTSIDE CORPORATION would have come in with the lowest bid if CalFire's dispatch work were thrown out there, which would have screwed things up royally over the short haul and, long term, steadily put the screws to Mendo for ever higher fees.
BUT GJERDE returned from vacation, pulled the subject back onto the agenda, and the issue was again discussed, with a parade of fire chiefs again pleading with the Supes to leave dispatch with CalFire, Ms. Croskey regained her senses, and dispatch will remain with CalFire on a 3-2 vote.
REMAINING INSENSATE and, worse, lamely excusing their stubborn votes to put dispatch out to bid were the dependably insensate Fifth District supervisor, Dan Hamburg, and the increasingly obtuse Carre Brown, both of whom said they wanted to remain with "staff recommendations" to put the dispatch contract out there where the corporate vultures feed. In the life and death context of getting police, fire, and medical help to disaster scenes, for Hamburg and Brown to remain loyal to errant staff recommendations is just plain irresponsible. Staff, at least in theory, work for the Supervisors, the Supervisors for us, and why do Supervisors have to fear what staff thinks?
THE NEW YORKER'S letter's section this week features one from my old friend, Greg King. Greg was rightly objecting to this statement by Burns: "The war was begun in good faith, by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings."
WHICH STANDS the historical reality exactly on its head. There was no good faith, there were no decent people at the power levers, and there were no misunderstandings about what we were trying to do there.
GREG WROTE: ”Ian Parker's Profile of Ken Burns offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a man who seems to have rewritten part of our country's history. Parker reports that Burns's new documentary series, about the Vietnam War, begins with the claim that the war 'was begun in good faith, by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings.' For anyone, much less a chronicler of American history, to make such a claim is incredibly distressing, given that there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The Pentagon Papers, released by Daniel Ellsberg, in 1971, revealed a pattern of deception and subversion by American leaders going back as far as 1945. Those documents clearly demonstrate that the people who initiated American involvement in Vietnam were neither decent nor acting in good faith. They understood exactly what they were doing: propping up French imperialism through force (by 1954, the United States was providing France with a billion dollars in military aid annually, an enormous sum at the time), then inventing the Gulf of Tonkin incident to generate popular support for entering the conflict. Any claim of good intentions at the outset of the war seems like dangerous revisionism."
YOU COULD SAY the same thing about the re-write of much of American history, especially the Bush Gang's destabilization of the entire world with its pretext lie to invade Iraq, not to mention Hillary-Obama’s destruction of Libya.
CALL ME stupid, insensitive, whatever, but the chapters I've watched don't reflect Burns's characterization of the war to the The New Yorker writer. I think it's a very interesting series but, like all Burns's films, a little heavy on the mawk. It certainly makes who invaded whom clearer than clear, and certainly doesn't go light on American atrocities. It also, by their own words, indicts the grand delusions and pure racism of American leaders. Hell, you don't have to be a Nazi to appreciate the brilliance of Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda films.
THE KEEGAN CASE will never get to trial. If there were a real possibility that it would, Keegan's attorney would have (1) sealed the grand jury transcript and (2) never would have allowed Keegan to testify. I certainly agree it's all beyond sad, and Mr. Hansem's surmise that Keegan probably flipped out and struck Mrs. Keegan with murderous force is probably what happened. However, in my experience with Mrs. Keegan, and I think my experience is widely echoed by everyone who knew her, what I saw was a prudent, conventional woman who I have a hard time believing would come home late at night (around 10pm), pop powerful downers and pound down an intoxicating amount of whisky on top of them. That's suicidal behavior, and the only person who has claimed Susan Keegan was suicidal is her husband. I was immediately suspicious at his claim that she was so loaded she fell and hit her head hard enough to kill her. The fatal wound was to the top of her head, and how you fall and hit the top of your head in a drunken swoon would seem to be impossible. (Maybe more experienced drunks than me will confirm my own late night tumbles under the influence, which have never been sudden drop-falls but more like a slow-mo swoon during which I've hit stuff on the way down but not with enough force to do any real harm. Drunks routinely survive car crashes, don't they?) I think it's interesting that Keegan blithely confirms he wrote dope scrips, just as blithely excusing himself as also a likely consumer. There's no evidence Susan Keegan was an oxy addict, or any other kind of addict. No one ever noticed so much as a hint that she was an habitual drunk or pill popper. As the only media in the county to even cover the Keegan case, that sad fact itself testifies to the media vacuum in Mendocino County. Back in the day, when Mike Geniella covered Mendo this thing would have been in front of a jury years ago. PS. A few days after his wife’s death, Keegan hired a criminal defense lawyer, Keith Faulder. If your wife dies in a home accident, you hire a criminal defense attorney?
ONE MORE THING: Keegan claimed to the GJ that "Bruce got his facts wrong." Which facts did Bruce get wrong? We take great pains to get our facts right, and if they aren't right we make corrections as quickly as we can. Try getting a correction into, say, the Chron or the PD; if they print it at all it will be so long after the fact that only the wronged person will remember the context. A reputable critic will say, "This is wrong, and here is the correction." Simply stating, "You got it wrong," is childish but often sufficiently damning in today's intellectual context, where much that is said and written would have embarrassed a sixth grader pre-FaceBook.
QUICK ANECDOTE: Years ago, when I was regularly pummeled by the Press Democrat, the only time I bothered to complain was when they ran a photo of an infamous Santa Rosa pedophile priest as a photo of me. The paper's correction? A couple of weeks later, they said it was all the LA Time's fault, that the LA paper had mis-identified the file picture they had of me! Saying something that transparently false (and stupid) managed to re-libel me and freshly libel the LA Times.
THIS YAPADAPADOODLE CHARACTER merely threatens to show up in Berkeley and the whole town has a nervous breakdown. Yes, he's repulsive and he's basically a fascist, but do you mean to tell me there's no one left on the left who couldn't dismantle this creep without breaking an intellectual sweat? He's got to be shut down? Ditto for Ann Coulter and Bannon. There should be a stipulation that the fascisti appear in debate formats, but the left, such as it is, ought to know better than to censor people they don't approve of — worse than censor, threaten violence against them. Who appointed Antifa to tell me who I could hear and who I couldn't hear? Yeah, yeah, yeah. These are bad people promoting bad stuff, but we're not in a Weimar political situation here, all the loose talk about fascism in the White House notwithstanding. The soft fascism we'll get here will come with someone like Billery, not Hitler and Mussolini.
ANTIFA lost me when the national news ran a clip of that Berkeley Antifa guy running up on a Trump fat girl and hitting her over the head with a battery in a sock. The fascist impulse is where you find it, and it seems to me a lot of these black-masked vigilantes are simply the other side of the same fascist coin.
ONLY TRUMP could manage to alienate NFL owners who, as a group, are the Koch Brothers squared. Now he's got all of Sports World denouncing him, and that's a huge world to estrange. Myself, I'd like to see the whole league go out in protest of the obvious owner's boycott they've slapped on Kaepernick. Older old timers will remember how Baseball boycotted Curt Flood when Flood held out for free agency, which made multi-millionaires out succeeding generations of ballplayers. And then owners and players turned their backs on the centerfielder from Oakland.
GOOD IDEA from Paul Krassner: Name hurricanes after climate change deniers. Why sully perfectly nice names like Irma and Harvey when you could name the big winds after the windbags whose ignorance has made them worse?
IF YOU WANT TO LOOK in our rearview, it’s lynchings and race war and genocide all the way back, from Hispaniola to Jolo Island in the Philippines to Mendocino County, California, where we nearly wiped out the Yuki people once upon a time. — Matt Taibbi
THIS SIMPLE statement of the obvious from Taibbi has caused much on-line yowling and retroactive mea culpas from Mendolib. Check that: Not mea culpa, THEY culpa. Mendolib wouldn't dream of committing atrocities, a comforting fact of local contemporary life you can test for yourself by getting between a local lib and a government grant. (Wear your old clothes and bring a gun.) Our history is our history. All that can be done after the fact is political good, and that isn't being done for the vics or anybody else by either political party.
US RIGHTEOUS ONES could agitate for a name change for the Hastings College of Law. Hastings, by far, is Mendocino County's all-time criminal, responsible for many more murders than Jim Jones, our over-achieving runner-up. The time is ripe. All over the country artifacts of the more unsavory events in our history are being torn down. Hastings is long overdue for a tear-down.
ONE MORE TIME, in brief: Hastings, California's first state supreme court justice, moved in on the Indians living in Eden Valley wedged in between Potter Valley and Round Valley east of Willits where, circa 1850, he established a horse ranch. His foreman, a 6'7" psychopath called Texan Boy Hall, promised the Indians that if they humped Hastings' furniture over from Mendocino, where it had been off-loaded from a ship up from San Francisco, he'd give them the shirts they especially coveted. Hastings and Texan Boy reneged on the deal so the Indians, in retaliation, killed Hastings' stallion. And Hastings, for the loss of his horse, got the California legislature to job out the destruction of all the Indians in the entire Eel River Basin.
ANOTHER MURDEROUS PSYCHO called Jarboe won the job. He formed Jarboe's Rangers to get it done. Jarboe and his gunmen were paid per scalp, including those of women and children. He falsified his invoice, and the state of California refused to make full payment. Jarboe’s Rangers killed several thousand Indians. Of course the Mendo slaughter didn't cease with Jarboe. Freelance killers continued to murder Indians until the Lincoln presidency when Abe became aware of the monstrousness of the crimes committed in the Eel River Basin and sent in the troops. Jarboe, incidentally, went on to become Ukiah’s first lawman.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: "Taboo," an Amazon series starring Tom Hardy. Not recommended for family viewing or persons disturbed by depictions of evisceration, incest, torture, bombings, child abuse, graphic sex, and a violent episode every five minutes. Lefties will appreciate the sub-theme of vicious rival imperialisms circa early 19th century, when the Brit East India Company was as powerful as the Crown and baby America. Wonderful acting as only the English seem capable of.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
If I haven’t mentioned it before let me take the opportunity right now. I utterly detest the expression ‘and I was like.’ That’s the expression in the past tense. In a variant that I will call the present past tense it is spoken as ‘so um like.’ I first began to notice this creeping into the speech patterns of primarily young people in the workplace about 20 years ago. Oh, how it grated on my ears. And then it got even worse. Full-fledged educated adults began using the expression. Before long the game was over. There was no stopping it. Any attempt to fight back by gently hinting that this expression made people sound like idiots was useless. That it made them appear short on vocabulary to actually describe the state of their minds but rather to only state what the state of their minds was ‘like.’ There were magazine articles written about it and before long academics with doctorates in linguistics who became apologists for the expression came out of the woodwork risking their reputations. They would explain how, after giving it much thought, the expression was not merely okay but perhaps even a stroke of communication genius. Oh my God, kill me. There are other locutions that have crept into American English that make me wish I would hurry up and die. One is up talk where nearly every spoken sentence, if you were to see it written out, would end with a question mark. At first it was a thing of the young but it has reached every age group and educational level. It is another sign of hesitancy and uncertainty about everything. It is not cool to speak as if you are sure about anything, especially your opinions. It is offensive and politically incorrect since others might hold different opinions and we must never offend. It’s so in your face to talk with certainty. Another is the speech of females of any age up to about 50 who sound like teeny tiny 3-year olds. Businesses have a penchant for using these little girl voices for recorded phone messages. It’s maddening! Have I lost my marbles or do these things bother anyone else?