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Off the Record (September 30, 2020)


"Hello Everyone, Thank you again for all your support , shared stories, and condolences. This has been one of the most difficult weeks of my life so I appreciate your patience. I've gotten a lot of the same questions over the last week, so I wanted to answer them here rather than answer each one in DM's. 1. What was the cause of Paul's passing? In short: heart failure. He had cardiovascular hypertension which likely contributed to his condition. That's about has much detail as I feel like sharing on social media, as this is still very raw for me. 2. What happened to the dog, the border collie? We are taking care of Willie in Elk right now. I check in and play with him nearly every day when I'm not driving up and down the coast taking care of things. That dog has been through a lot, and I am still deciding on the best course of action for him. 3. What will happen to MSP? This has been a tough one. It's undoubtable that MSP has provided a valuable resource to the community, and its absence has left a hole where news once was. It would be a waste to let it languish, But if continued it simply would not be the same. A group of folks have volunteered to split the posting to MSP, should I decide to keep it going and share access. So what do you all think? Would you be okay with MSP continuing, as a community effort? Let me know below. If support is overwhelming, we will go from there as best we can. Thank you for your continued support and patience. Best, Shane McCarthy"

KYM KEMP of Redheaded Blackbelt on Paul McCarthy: " I run my own online website and Paul was so generous with information and photos. If he had images from the scene of a rescue or a crash, he would secure permission for me to use them. I always tried to return the favor but it was rare I could beat him to info in his beloved Mendocino Coast. Since his death, there have already been occasions when something was going on in Mendocino County and I didn't have his site to turn to to see what he already knew about the subject and I've teared up not just for the personal loss of Paul, but the loss to the whole community of his service. Paul, thank you for your kindness to me and for keeping your community so well informed."

FRANK HARTZELL: “It was just a week ago when I heard sirens outside my home north of Fort Bragg. One, two, three, more and more sirens. Could it be a fire? Yikes! I thought of the best way I knew to find out: check Mendocinosportsplus. Sure enough, while the first responders were still howling north, Paul McCarthy was already reporting a head on crash in the Westport area. Tragic the crash was, but Mendocinosportsplus on Facebook (or Mendocino Sports Plus on the spiffy new website) often provided this kind of valuable information quickly. Then came the jaw dropping news, the 66-year old reporter gone seemingly while still reporting. McCarthy, a one man news operation with more than 25,000 followers, died Friday of still unknown or undisclosed causes.”

"In my years with conventional newspapers, we always refused to print scanner information until verified -- and with good reasons. Yet Paul tackled and wrestled these important news dabs out in a way no print newspaper I’ve ever seen. He sometimes stopped by my old warehouse in Fort Bragg in years past and we usually talked and laughed both news and Gloucester, MA, where I lived as a kid. We knew some of the same people from there! Paul had a gift for what seemed like omnipresence, humor and a talent for getting people to tell him their stories. Much of what he did I would not or could not think of doing like that. Yet, he made us all think a lot about what the news was, is and should be. Truly colorful characters like Paul are priceless for confronting conformity, robotically selected and written news and all of our beloved news conventions. Paul did all that with style."

HAVEN'T paid any attention to the Giants this so-called season, and the NBA's playground style of play bores me. But I can't resist tuning in the Niners, and wonder why the NFL can't admit a minority of socially-distanced fans to these vast stadiums. After the disastrous win over the Jets last Sunday, disastrous because key guys were seriously injured and are out for the season, coach Shanahan said that the artificial turf was a major topic on the sideline. “Guys talked about it the entire game,” Shanahan said. “That was as many knee injuries, ankles and stuff, guys getting caught on the turf, as I’ve ever seen.”

THE NFL OWNERS — every one of them a Trumper, of course — are beyond rich and could vote back real turf. They could also pay for expanded rosters. And their own stadiums. But the lives and limbs of the boys who make them wealthy beyond Croesus are replaceable, and artificial turf is cheap to maintain, and suckers everywhere tax themselves to build them stadiums.

WHEN JUSTICE Scalia died in 2016, Obama nominated a judge named Merrick Garland, by all professional assessments a good choice to replace the rightwing frother, Scalia. But the Republican-majority Senate refused to hold a hearing or vote on the nomination, insisting that whoever won the election should get to choose the nominee. That election was still eight months away. The Garland refusal inspired the Democrats to correctly argue, in vain, that it was the constitutional duty of any President to nominate a Supreme Court Justice regardless of when a vacancy occurred. The Republicans refused to yield and, after 293 days, Garland’s nomination expired on January 3, 2017, and Trump installed Neil Gorsuch. Now, the situation is reversed. Republicans are demanding the right to nominate Ginsburg's replacement before the election, demanding the very right they refused Democrats in 2016. The hypocrisy on both sides is breathtaking.

AMONG their many deficiencies as Mendocino County's supervisors, defects obvious to the handful of us who, out of professional obligation, regularly tune in their stumbling deliberations, count an utter lack of basic, mannerly consideration offered the occasional citizen who takes the time to address them. Case in point: at today's zoom-in, Barbara Schora of Brooktrails appeared to complain that a neighboring property owner was allowing his tenants to operate an illegal atv park with all the dust and noise and erosion that come with the enterprise.

PRIOR to the plague, Ms. Schora would have devoted half a day, at least, driving to and from the Supervisor's chambers to appear in person with her complaint that the county's authorities were allowing a major nuisance in an area it's not zoned for. Ms. Schora delivered her case, board chair Foont, er, Haschak, said, “Thank you,” and that was it. None of the five, including her alleged rep, Haschak, offered to look into her complaint with the relevant agencies, or in any way indicated the slightest interest in her matter — or even bother to do the polite thing and feign interest in her matter.

IT WON'T be any consolation to Ms. Schora that she's not the first constituent to suffer rude dispatch by these people; we're well into the second generation of bores occupying these lush, undemanding sinecures. On the other hand, if she's like me, maybe she's accustomed to boorish behavior. I was actually startled the other day when a teenager addressed me as “Mr. Anderson.” Usually from all ages it's, “Hey, Bruce.” Not that I go all to pieces at the prevalent absence of basic manners because their absence is simply more evidence of The Great Slide, but prior to the feral-ization of the population, the basic niceties were instilled in the young out of a social consensus that basic manners eased social intercourse, made the old day-to-day go a little better.

AMONG the notes wafting out of cyber-space last week, one says, “The next hotbed of covid might come from the (Name Withheld) Winery. Their Friday night drinkathon has about 100 people.” And, “Hey, you guys missed a Janet Jackson minute at Tuesday's meeting of the Supervisors when CEO Angelo….” The message went on to say one of the zoomer participants at the meeting offered an inadvertently (we assume) bared breast as she spoke which, I guess, is a hazard of going live from one's bedroom. The bared breast caused much merriment Wednesday among County staffers who'd tuned in.

NOT SURPRISED that Supervisor Gjerde didn't say anything. He seems to have gone mute, and his seat might as well be occupied by one of those ballpark cutouts for all his participation. Gjerde benefits from distance. Because he represents the Coast, mostly Fort Bragg, his constituents, like the rest of the county's constituents actually, have no idea what he's doing in Ukiah, which turns out to be nothing, not that anybody's the wiser.

WHAT A CREW! With their terrible tempered CEO, the six of them rake in a million bucks a year in salary and lush perks. And what does Mendo get? But they're no less capable than elected reps at all levels of government, as the Evening News reminds us on a daily basis. The diff between our Supervisors and, say, Congress, is that Congress is a little more glib, a tad more presentable in their faked sincerity. T.S.? Is T.S. in the house? Yes, there he is, the very picture of 19th century propriety. Mr. Eliot would you mind putting into poetic form what I'm getting at here? “Certainly, Mr. Anderson. I offer my prescient poem, The Wasteland.” Thank you, Mr. Eliot but it's a little long for us. You know, short attention spans and all. Thank you, though.

THE LAYTONVILLE HOME INVADERS must be the tip of a much larger iceberg because their bails are set very, very high, much higher than the twenty pounds of bud they ripped off and their related hijinks of firing guns to frighten the invaded, who included a small girl. Mr. Edmonds' bail is $2.58 million, Mr. Watson $1.58 million, Bagliere Jr. $830,000 and so on with a couple at $710,000, Mr. White at $310,000 while the apparent mastermind of this bumbling project, Bagliere Sr., inexplicably cited and released into the fall winds, will have to come up with $1.58 million before he resumes his life as a Senior Citizen home invader. Bagliere Jr. has said he will pay for a private attorney, as will Mr. Stewert. The two-and-a half million dollar man, Edmonds, has signed on with a public defender, and Villalona is going with Al 'Al The Trumper' Kubanis. A young woman lingering at the gate while these characters did their thing is assumed to be affiliated with the child terrorizers, a kind of dumb guys' gang girl. She wasn't arrested but probably should have been if mopery were still a crime.

AN ADJOURNED MEETING of the Fort Bragg city council was held Monday evening in the city hall. Present were Mulson, Shafsky, and Fuller. Absent were Mero and Brown. An ordinance was introduced by trustees Shafsky and Fuller to prohibit wiggle dances in the city of Fort Bragg. Ragging, the Grizzly, Tango, Turkey Trot, Bunny Hug and a number of the other late dances are included on the list. The ordinance is to take effect 30 days after its passage — if it passes. The Star Athletic Club was granted a license for three months to put on boxing contests. — Fort Bragg Advocate, Sept. 17, 1913

WHERE’S THE MEASURE B COMMITTEE MEETING VIDEO? According to their agenda they were supposed to meet on Wednesday, September 19. But as of late Saturday, no video of the meeting has been posted on the County’s youtube video channel. Was it cancelled? Is it a techno glitch? Could they be hiding their embarrassing selves? Or, more likely, the usual incompetence associated with just about everything related to Measure B?

MASTER SHOWMAN that he is, it's hard to say if Trump is just woofin' to deliberately stir up the libs or if he's serious about not leaving office. Whatever he's doing he's already managed to convince the yobbos, his “base,” that the vote will be rigged, although it won't be rigged if he happens to win. For the millions that view Trump as The Great Beast of the Apocalypse come to life, he has created huge election anxiety, although if he loses and refuses to leave the Secret Service will simply drag his jive ass outtathere and feed him to BLM. No way he can stay illegally because the military doesn't like him, and without their guns he's gone. But last week, doubling down on his threats to not recognize the results of the election, he said, “You know, you have to be careful with the ballots. That’s a whole big scam … We want to make sure the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be with this whole situation. Millions of unsolicited ballots… That's the only way we're going to lose, is if there's mischief. And it'll have to be on a big scale. So be careful. And we do want a very friendly tradition [transition?]. But we don't want to be cheated and be stupid and say 'Oh let's transition’."

ALMOST everything Trump says is open to interpretation because he's typically incoherent, but he and his surrogates have repeatedly made claims of widespread mail-in voting fraud, of which there is no evidence. And as the ongoing riots in so many cities work to Trump's advantage, not to mention Sleepy Joe's evident unfitness which we'll see in full flower Tuesday night…

AN INTERESTING BOOK just out is called "Will He Go?: Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020" by Lawrence Douglass. The review in the NYRB (part of which we provide below) may be more interesting than the book as it enumerates both the stay-strategies Douglass describes supplemented by those the reviewer, Pamela Karlan, comes up with. There are a bunch — everything from Electoral College monkey business to electronic whizbangery. We'll see. But if Trump and his fascistas lose the election in an undeniable landslide for Sleepy Joe and attempt to remain in power we're looking at a straight-up insurgency that could break the country up into something like Yugoslavia.

TRUMP'S Supreme Court nominee is advertised as a "strict constructionist" in the mold of Scalia, who she apparently idolizes, both of them claiming to be devoted to the founding document written by white male aristocrats and slave owners who didn't want non-property owners to vote let alone elected to office. Because "strict constructionism" fits perfectly with 21st century Yob-ism and its standard bearer, Trump, hence rightwing enthusiasm for Amy Coney Barrett, clearly an admirable person in her private life with her family's adoption of two Haitian orphans but not, by any definition, a person of broad understanding. If it weren't for the Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments, the Constitution would be more antiquated than it is, and often not applicable to contemporary issues. In a fundamental way, though, people like Barrett and Trump's other picks truly are the solid psychic descendants of the founding bro's.

WHAT? Female drill instructors are heading to all-male Marines boot camp in San Diego as the Corps moves to make coed boot camp a “top priority.” Excuse another Rip Van Old Guy riff, but I can't, as they say, quite wrap my head around this one. I managed to emerge traumatized but intact from Marine Corps boot camp, 15 weeks worth, in 1957. Then, physical violence by drill instructors was routine, verbal violence incessant, the idea being to break down the recruit so far that he automatically did what he's supposed to do — kill people. Most of us wanted to kill them, and some of us probably would have — plenty of psychos join the Marines — if the drill instructors didn't take a break while we trained with live ammo. If a female DI had beat on me and, as my male DI often did, called me "a California queer sent to sabotage my Marine Corps," I would have laughed. Sorry, I just can't imagine women in this role.

THE LOOMING ELECTION is unique for lots of reasons, but one reason shared by millions goes unspoken, and that is nobody, Democrat, Republican, Green, Flat Earther, Whatever, expects things to get better with either Trump or Biden, and millions of us know in our bones that it's probably chaos from here on until the warmed globe wipes us all out.

TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER'S must-read Sunday column in the Ukiah Daily Journal this Sunday morning neatly describes local lib hypocrisy, especially its Ukiah branch where you have some lawyers, oodles of therapists, hard-hitting members of Mendo College's confederacy of dunces, er, faculty, and, natch, several self-alleged poets, demanding an end to his column and every other opinion they don't agree with. The AVA of course has long been a target of these bringers of light, as nasty a crew on a personal level as you'll encounter anywhere up to and including the Klan. The only caveat I have about my esteemed colleague's indictment of all the correct people is his casual indictment of socialism as defined just as carelessly by conservatives around the country, not a single one of whom apparently has the slightest informed knowledge of what it is. As a democratic socialist myself, and exhausted after years of trying to teach the unteachable the distinction, he said with a martyred sigh, let me define it in basic terms, so basic even all you C students out there will get it. Ready? It's the deployment of a small part of the national treasure, garnered via taxes on the super wealthy, for national programs that benefit the vast majority of Americans — housing, jobs, education, medical care, transportation. We had it once under Franklin D. Roosevelt, an aristo himself whose aristo cousin, Teddy, denounced his peers — “the malefactors of wealth” — as the menaces they are to political democracy, and they've never been a greater menace to even a semblance of democracy than they are now and as represented by both political parties. (The PBS documentary on the Roosevelts is wonderful and highly recommended by Boonville's beloved weekly.) Into the Eisenhower years the malefactors of wealth were taxed up to 90% and way over 70%. But then Americans got fatter and dumber, and here we are.

UNSOLICITED ADVICE for Biden at Tuesday's debate, as if his handlers might solicit advice from Boonville. Since it's impossible to debate a guy like Orange Man, especially you, Joe, with your obvious old age-caused verbal deficits, shouldn't even try. Maybe an occasional sarcastic shrug cast his way, but otherwise ignore whatever topsy turvy nonsense Trump’s saying. Treat him like he's cuckoo, not quite all there, and stick to your script of whatever false promises the DNC has prepared for you. Big mistake trying to engage Trump in this format. Kicking off Tuesday's farce, Trump said Sunday he wants Biden drug-tested before the debate, which made me laugh but it's the kind of thing Trump does well, like it's all professional wrestling. Come off terse, sober and responsible, Joe, and even you can beat him.

ACCORDING to Adam Goodman in his book The Deportation Machine, Goodman estimates that some 57 million people have been deported from the U.S. since the 1880s, far more than the number of immigrants who were allowed to stay. "Officials have long used everyday policing, immigration raids, and mass expulsion drives to remove unauthorized immigrants from the country, but they have also relied on rumors and publicity blitzes surrounding these initiatives to spur self-deportation."


[1] One of the best reasons, imho, to vote in person is that you can be flexible and respond to the latest news up til the minute you submit your ballot on election day. I suspect part of the reason the Dems are so keen on getting people to vote by mail far in advance of election day is that once they submit their ballot, that’s that! So even if Biden decides not to debate or he can’t put together a coherent sentence in said debate, or criminal charges are brewing against him or he is replaced on the ballot, all of those voters are now locked in voting for the Dems as opposed to Trump.

[2] Regarding the efficacy of face masks – for what it's worth (probably not much): I have read so much conflicting info about face masks that it has left me very much a skeptic about their efficacy. We keep several face masks hanging from key hooks near the front door. When I'm going out I usually grab one of these masks since I know it will be required wherever I'm headed, such as Stop and Shop or the Drug Store. Any mask I grab has been used over and over and I have even detected residual 'mask breath.' Yuck! I put it on at my destination but I often cheat by not covering my nostrils because, frankly, when I wear the thing properly I feel like I'm gonna suffercate. In the midst of my mask dilemma the pro football season got started and I've watched several games. I wondered what precautions they would take. Some games have no fans in the seats while others have greatly reduced fan seating (15 – 20K) socially distanced. I forgot to look and see if these fans were wearing masks but I presume, yes. The interesting part was the protocols along the sidelines among players and coaching staff. I would call the adherence to proper mask wearing at best perfunctory. Key amongst these 'for show only' wearers was Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahocks head coach. It was on and off at least a hundred times during the game. If Carroll was heatedly yelling at an official he would rip the mask from his face so as not to impede his volume. This was exactly when the mask was most needed to thwart outbound water droplets. If a youtube of this game exists, take a gander. Seattle played the NE Patriots. Google it.

[3] Seattle apparently is going ahead with its “Defund the Police” program, at least partially. What to replace it with? Well, the City has hired a Street Czar, a former pimp, who was convicted of luring white suburban teenage girls into Seattle, impregnating them, then forcing the girls into the work. The new “Street Czar” says that was all part of a past life, no longer relevant. The job pays $150k per year, with full benefits.

[4] They should see if Son of Sam is available. He might be able to advise women on personal safety in urban environments. Although New York State has a Son of Sam law that makes that illegal. Anyway, this is all remarkably stupid and insane. I have a theory that a lot of these people on the Left, the politicians and theorists, have antisocial personality disorders such as narcissism and sociopathy while the idiots in the streets have some kind of ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and this case is just an expression of their hatred for and resentment of the normal people who feed and care for them and keep the air-con running. In other words, this is the infantile Left hacking up a huge golly and spitting it straight into the faces of the people who hold civilization together.

[5] Why are we even having this conversation? It is surreal that we are even seriously discussing whether or not the sitting president will leave office if he loses the election. Of course he will have to leave office, like every loser who came before him. The very fact this topic is now even up for discussion shows how far this Republic has sadly fallen. An international poll out today shows that virtually every country around the world — including the U.K., Japan, Australia, and Germany — has the lowest opinion of the United States they’d ever had since the surveys began. They “feel sorry for us” as our republic slowly crumbles before their — and our — eyes. I want my country back. This November may be our last chance.

[6] ON-LINE COMMENT ABOUT THE CENSUS: I have never experienced such a mismanaged government procedure, filled with many duplications of effort, misinformation, and a woeful lack of information they should have known. I filled out the report online when it was first issued. Since that time, no fewer than five (5) different people have come to my house, not knowing that I had already successfully completed the census online and asking the same questions that I had answered to the census takers preceding them. At least one of them referred to a living space that was on the property of a neighbor across the road. How much did the county have a part in this?? Whoever was/is in charge of planning this operation with its lack of competently reported, retained, and/or shared information is responsible for wasting a great deal of the taxpayers money through poor communication and tracking within the system.

[7] ANOTHER ON-LINE COMMENT ABOUT THE CENSUS: Almost exactly my experience, except with “only four “visits” afterward. After filing on line on March 22, I was visited “only” four times, once when I was not at home. At the first “visit”, when I was out, the clown contract worker left a packet tied to my front screen door, then trespassed into my back yard AND left another packet on the railing of the causeway connecting house and two-story garage, where it lay waiting for the Wyoming wind to blow it away. I tossed both, as instructed in the confirmation page (as I had tossed the mail-in form that arrived after I filed on line). The next visit was from an old woman, who insisted on repeating her questions (the same ones I had answered on line) and was not at all interested in seeing my printed copy of the on line confirmation page. I answered none of her questions, and finally she left. Next visit was from a retired game warden. I had seen him parked in front of the house of my neighbor to the north and heard him holler to the neighbor across the street that he was next on his list. Since my neighbor to the north lives at 211, and the neighbor across the street lives at 208, I breathed a (short-lived) sigh of relief. The contract worker drove away after speaking with the neighbor across the street. After lunch, he returned to “visit” me. At least he looked at the confirmation form and looked puzzled. I told him I had assumed I was not on his list since he had left earlier. His response was to tell me that then his radio telephone-computer-camera- flashlight had informed him of my on line filing, but that, after lunch, it did not show the confirmation (apparently the whole mess was contracted out). He was puzzled and left. The last “visit” was from another old retired guy. He explained that the problem was that they needed to know who lived on the second story of my garage (an unfinished storage area that has electrical wiring as its only improvement and serves me just fine as a storage area for items I rarely use). I, as calmly as I could, explained that to him and he left. This last contact was on August 24, but I am still keeping my crossed with regard to another “visit”, probably from Fatherland Security. In short, I am convinced that this census is not valid and I am fed up with government contracting for work that could be done at less cost by government employees. Screw the Professional Managerial Class (PMC)! — Harvey Reading

One Comment

  1. James Marmon September 30, 2020


    God I’m glad I missed that.


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