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Off the Record (March 10, 2021)

THE RE-DO of Ukiah's unplanned, chaotic State Street these days seems like some kind of a grand, unending practical joke, and it's not going to work when, if ever, it's complete. Narrowing the street to one lane in each direction with parklets abutting? ("bulb outs" in the tech language.) Fort Bragg wisely nixed this kind of street design years ago.

A NEW BOOK called "Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency" by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes says that Obama refused to support Biden for president because he was a “tragicomic caricature of an aging politician having his last hurrah.” Too bad that candor wasn't considered by the DNC before they foisted him off on the world.

BIDEN'S PUPPETEERS will, hopefully, heed the Democrats who want him to include recurring direct checks for Americans in his coronavirus recovery plan on top of the $1,400 checks included in the latest relief package. “We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan,” a Tuesday letter, spearheaded by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon, reads. “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.”

YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS but six Doctor Suess books- including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” will stop being published partly because of “racist and insensitive imagery” and partly for lack of demand for them. Used to be the rightwing agitating for book banning, now it's the fake left. Doc Suess, incidentally, wasn't always the benign author of children's books, he drew these two cartoons for California newspapers, circa 1939:

A READER ASKS, “You complain about liberals all the time but say you are one. Please define ‘liberal’ for us.”

WELL, CLASS, I complain about liberals because they, the Democratic Party, claim to represent the good and the true but don't. Obviously. Some of the libs — Bernie, AOC, Elizabeth Warren — are better than the Pelosi-Schumer-Schiff-DNC Axis, but as a party they're half the reason millions of Americans are unrepresented, and the whole reason for Trump. Here's a more concrete definition of liberal: KQED devotes a couple of hours of extravagant praise honoring the great comic, Dave Chappelle, although his performances would never be allowed on KQED or any public television station. Closer to home, conservative Democrats call the tune on the Northcoast, but a majority of Northcoast Democrats supported Bernie but got Biden.

WE'VE GOT ABOUT 900 generals for 1.3 million troops, plus them thousands of officer-rank personnel from colonel on down to lieutenant. But when a fast decision is needed the command structure seems to move with glacial speed. The head of the D.C. National Guard told Congress last it took more than three hours to get Defense Department approval to send National Guard reinforcements when the yobbos took over the Capitol. If the yobs had had guns, organization, and a plan… Yobbo spokespeople at Fox and other misinformation sites are still blaming the Benghazi fiasco on Hillary, but the prob obviously lies in the military’s cumbersome decision-making process. Why should it take hours to call up troops to beat back a mob? Why should the Secretary of State be required to make on-the-ground tactical decisions? Somebody on the ground in Libya should have sent in reinforcements as soon as it became clear the American ambassador didn't have enough protection.

SPEAKING OF THE YOBS, U.S. Capitol Police claimed last week that they had received intelligence reports that indicated “a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group” on Thursday (March 4.) The police claimed the intelligence was so “sensitive that we cannot provide additional details at this time.” O yea. And because it's pure wind, part of the general Democrat ramping up of police state measures to crush the Camo Buddies. And Thursday of last week, according to the wacko followers of QAnon was to be the day that Trump returned to power. 

ON THE HOT SUBJECT of law enforcement, I saw a clip on the national news the other night showing the arrest of Daniel Prude, a black resident of Rochester who died seven days after his arrest in the hospital. The next day I listened to a radio discussion where the consensus was that a “trained social worker” would have been preferred to the police when Prude was running naked down the street loaded on PCP, a drug that makes people a lot stronger than they are in their un-stoned state. It was Prude's family who'd called him in to the police.. He was a known mental the cops dealt with regularly. 

IT WOULD BE INTERESTING to watch a social worker talk down a crazed naked man doing late night wind sprints on a city street, but no sooner had Prude been restrained by a half dozen cops, strapped to a gurney and hauled off in an ambulance, an insta-mob was on site claiming the police had murdered Prude “in cold blood.” The police had placed, not “jammed,” a face mask over Prude's head because he was spitting at them. The Rochester coroner subsequently ruled that Prude died from “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” Watching the film of the cops placing the mask over his head and restraining him, I tried to imagine myself as the in-charge cop, concluding I would have done everything as they had done because there was no alternative in the context. Not to be too hard about it, but I'd say Prude killed himself.

THE UKIAH LIBRARY under covid, a reader writes: “Apparently the Ukiah library is semi-open for curbside pickups. So I tried reserving a book on-line by filling out the library’s catalog website forms. The next day a nice young library woman called and after a short discussion told me I could pick up my book which would be ready for curbside pickup at the Library on Friday at 11am. Simple enough. I drove down out of the hills and arrived a few minutes before 11, having negotiated the downtown construction mess a little easier than expected. I walked up to the glass library doors behind which I could see a large older woman and a young man who were arranging a cart and some paper bags inside the otherwise empty library. I walked up to the door and kinda yelled through the glass that I thought I had a pickup. The woman seemed irked that I had interrupted her routine and came to the door and gestured at some printed papers that were taped to the inside of the door facing outward which said something to the effect that the library was only open for pre-arranged pickups. I said, That’s why I’m here. She shook her head no, and again somewhat angrily pointed to the papers on the door. Fortunately, I had printed a copy of the email the nice young woman had sent me confirming my appointment and pickup date and time. I held it up to the window and pointed and said, Yes, that’s why I’m here. The woman grudgingly looked through the glass at my printout then grumpily turned around and found a bag with my name and book and stuck it out the door without saying anything then quickly closed it. I could only assume that I had annoyed the woman because I had arrived two or three minutes before the appointed time or that I had not waited at the sidewalk for the cart to be wheeled out. Maybe they were intending to roll the cart out with the pickups a minute or two later. Sorry, ma’am. I accepted the bag and tried to ask if there was any special procedure for returning it. Still behind the glass door, she said something about being open on certain hours and days but she was too muffled by the doors for me to fully understand. I wanted to ask her to repeat herself but decided against irritating her anymore and walked off with my book bag. Two weeks later I got an email saying my book was due back but offering no special return instructions. The next time I was in Ukiah I dropped it in their regular outside return bin which had no notice on it and appeared to work as usual. No further notices have been received. As much as I appreciated getting the book under these pandemic conditions, I do not want to go through that again. The woman would make a good courtroom judge, expecting people to arrange their lives to accommodate Her Highness’s own strict schedule.”

ON MONDAY, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced a 20-point guide to how to empower women. Timed to coincide with next week's International Women's Day, it dripped with all the usual insufferably patronizing self-righteousness that's become the hallmark of the couple's endless hectoring homilies to the world. Doubtless, we'll hear a lot more of this narrative during their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey. But then we woke up to a rather different narrative this morning. In a series of bombshell revelations in the UK's Times newspaper, Meghan stands accused of waging a systematic reign of bullying terror against her personal staff at Kensington Palace. The allegations were in an email written by the couple's then communications secretary Jason Knauf. The details of the Times story are jaw-dropping, outlining a litany of alleged bullying by Meghan towards her young female staff that reduced some to tears. It's too late for Oprah to ask them about it because her interview is in the can. The Times also contained a second shocking, and undenied, story: that Meghan wore a massive set of diamond chandelier earrings to a dinner during the Sussexes' tour of Fiji, which had been given to her as a wedding gift by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Three weeks before she wore them, Bin Salman ordered a hit squad to murder Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by sawing up his body into small pieces, because Khashoggi had dared to criticize the Crown Prince's brutal regime. But we're supposed to believe, as claimed by her spokesman, that Meghan, who has regularly spouted off about her horror at human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, didn't know anything about it because she doesn't read the papers. Take the hypocritical halos off, your royal highnesses - they're cracked. (Piers Morgan)

DR. SUESS, a reader writes: “Censorship. Pure and simple. Powell’s Books, one of the greatest depositories of books in the United States, and a source of pride for Portland, had Antifa thugs outside demanding that a book on Antifa not be sold. 1984. The next stage is book burnings and then Kristallnacht. Right out of ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.’ Interesting that a message from Kamala Harris some years ago surfaced wishing Dr. Seuss a happy birthday. Kamala Harris does not fit the image of one engaging in ‘A Conservative Backlash’."

CHRISTIE OLSEN DAY of Gallery Books in Mendocino: 

“I guess since it's my job, I gotta weigh in. 

No one has come for Dr. Seuss. The copyright holder, Seuss Enterprises, has decided to stop printing six of the titles. It isn't "cancel culture," it's individual freedom to stop selling one's own intellectual property. 

We have always periodically ordered EVERYTHING in the Seuss list for Gallery Bookshop, and these six titles are among the least popular. 4 of the 6 titles went out of stock in our store more than 5 years ago, and I didn't reorder, and no one has asked for a copy in all that time. The other 2 (Mulberry and Zebra) have been requested once or twice in those years, but haven't sold enough to actually keep on the shelf.

Let's move on!”

DISTRICT ATTORNEY EYSTER has resolved the no-love-lost dispute between former Supervisor McCowen and County CEO Carmel Angelo. McCowen has agreed to return County computer equipment and Angelo has agreed to return property belonging to McCowen which, it seems, she was holding until McCowen returned County property. Speculation that McCowen's County computer held incriminating material seems unfounded. The agreement, voluntarily brokered by the DA, apparently didn't involve County Counsel, who'd announced in open session that a small claims action was going to be filed against McCowen. The DA's timely intervention has spared taxpayers the expense of a legal struggle over petty issues arising from Angelo's and McCowen's mutual dislike. McCowen is famously unyielding. Angelo? You're either at her feet or she's at your throat.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY EYSTER and Chief Probation Officer Izen Locatelli are planning to appear before the Supervisors next Tuesday to “demand” that County Auditor Lloyd Weer return over $600k of “misappropriated” state funds to its original purpose, i.e., the Community Corrections Partnership and its independent board. The DA and Chief Probation Officer Izen Locatelli say that Auditor Weer wrongly plopped $600k-plus into CEO Angelo’s General Fund (probably at the behest of the CEO) when it was supposed to be used for specific law enforcement/probation purposes. When the Supervisors’ Tuesday agenda was posted late last Thursday, however, the agenda was suspiciously free of any reference to the alleged misappropriation. The DA and CPO could still appear before the Board on Tuesday under public expression however, so it may still come up. However, since the DA is known to have his ducks lined up and documented in such matters, we suspect that CEO Angelo is working hard behind the scenes to keep the embarrassing subject from coming up for public discussion. Apparently, the problem was pointed out to the CEO months ago but wasn’t corrected and that’s why the DA is reported to be planning an open session discussion of it. While the CEO is a formidable presence at the Supes meetings, if it comes down to a financial dispute between DA Eyster and CEO Angelo, our money, ahem, would be placed on Eyster. (Mark Scaramella)

FORMER UKIAH police officer, Kevin Murray was arraigned last Thursday on an array of felony charges involving sex, drugs and guns. Two women allege he extorted them for sexual favors, that he possessed methamphetamine during one of the alleged episodes, and the DA says Murray violated the terms of his no guns bail by secreting a weapon with a relative in Lake County. Murray's bond has been raised from $200,000 to $500,000. Further hearings have not been scheduled while Murray's just hired Santa Rosa-based legal assistance familiarize themselves with his case.

MURRAY'S DEFENSE? The two women accusing him of rape are “prostitutes,” the meth was “evidence” he hadn't yet checked in, and the gun stored at a relative's house was sold or given to the relative, not stored with him. Juries have been hung on a lot less.)

BIDEN has yet to hold a formal press conference after six weeks into his presidency. On Wednesday at a virtual meeting of House Democrats, he offered to take questions but was cut off by his handlers. “I'm happy to take questions, if that's what I'm supposed to do, Nance,” he said to Nancy Pelosi at the end of the online meeting. “Whatever you want me to do.” The feed then cuts off. The 78-year-old is coming under mounting pressure to hold a press conference and answer questions. On Tuesday night Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's press secretary from April 2020 until his departure, pointed out that both Trump and Barack Obama had met the press at this point in their presidencies. Obama held one 20 days after he was inaugurated and Trump took questions 27 days in.

 “GROW DOZER.” Now there's a useful term for those over-sized pick-up trucks driven at unsafe speeds by the dude community everywhere in the back country.

GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, ANDREW CUOMO: “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people uncomfortable.” Huh? How old is this guy? Just now learning basic sexual protocols? And why does he say “people” instead of “young women,” the objects of his lust.

WE WONDER what’s behind the County/CEO’s interest in hundreds of acres of ag and industrial land a couple of miles north of Ukiah after reading the following item in Tuesday’s Supervisors agenda packet:

“Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 - Conference with Real Property Negotiator - Property: APNs 152-090-05, 152-120-09, 152-150-03, 152-150-05, 152-150-08, 152-180-05, 152-180-09, 167-120-15, 167-120-17, 167-160-03, 167-160-06, 152-150-02, 152-270-01, 152-270-05, 157-200-01, 157-240-01, 169-010-01, 152-100-01; Physical Address. 537 Parducci Road, Ukiah CA 95482. Agency Negotiators: Carmel J. Angelo, Janelle Rau, and Darcie Antle. Under negotiation: Property Acquisition, Price and Terms.”

CLOSED SESSION is allowable under the Brown Act to allow for non-public negotiations of price and terms of potential real estate transactions. But the Brown Act does not say that the reasons for considering the purchase in the first place are legitimate closed session items. In addition, there have been no prior closed session items discussing any such purposes. How does a large and very specific real estate transaction get to the Supervisors without prior approval of the reason or need for the acquisition? The item says the County is already in discussion with a “real property negotiator” for 18 very specific rural parcels out on Parducci Road. As we said previously, available on-line realty info for that address says that 537 Parducci Road is owned by “McGehee Development Corporation (Robert & Elizabeth McGehee) a wealthy Ukiah couple who are apparently no longer in business. The property also has a substantial water right permit allowing appropriation of almost 300 acre feet per year from York Creek, a tributary of the Russian River. 

THE PLOT HAS THICKENED. After seeing our initial item, this weekend a reader with Ukiah real estate connections told us that former County Health Officer and current part-time Public Health Officer consultant Dr. Noemi Doohan owns neighboring property to the parcels in question via her family’s Ukiah area history. Dr. Doohan, who lives in San Diego but works for Mendocino in a high-paying and unusually cozy arrangement designed specifically to accommodate her personal living circumstances, is also known to be close to CEO Angelo. 

TO SUMMARIZE: another pre-packaged real estate deal similar to the earlier closed session plans to buy the real estate offices of Ukiah uber-realtor Richard Selzer is now presented as a done deal to the Supervisors for property which neighbors Dr. Deoohan’s with nothing left to discuss in closed session but price and terms? We think the public deserves an explanation of what is going on here.

BETSY CAWN WRITES: “There is a “private” campground at Lake Pillsbury called “Navy Camp” — the only story we have heard about it is that it was a place where “shell-shocked” Naval personnel were sent for “rehabilitation,” and rumors have it that some pretty strange things happened there that no one locally will talk about. Also, Clear Lake was designated as a military priority for landing those long-distance seaplanes when SF was fogged in, and it still hosts annual seaplane “fly-ins” that are a popular tourist attraction — or were before almost all events were prohibited by the pandemic. It seems strange that Lake County’s inland destination for air travelers has remained undeveloped all these years.”

GRAPE PRODUCTION in Mendocino County was way down for 2019 compared to 2018, according to the “latest” crop report from the Ag Department. We put “latest” in quotes because in typical Mendocino timing, we’re only now getting the 2019 crop report in March of 2021, only 15 months after the end of 2019. Of course, no reason or excuse is offered for the unusually long delay. The significant grape production decrease from 2018 to 2019 then is about 17-20% (depending on how you calculate it). Mendo’s crop report authors do not offer any explanation for the large drop, but Sonoma County’s crop report for the same year says the drop in grape production down there was attributable to a record breaking “bumper crop” in 2018. Over the years conventional news articles have also blamed wildfires and related smoke damage, but it’s hard to connect the fires in one year to the grape production in the next, much less the wine it the wine it may later become. It’s also hard to connect the per-ton price grapes draw year over year as tonnage goes up or down or as wildfire damage is accounted for. Mendo grapes sold for an average of almost $1700 per ton in both 2018 and 2019 compared to an average of almost $2900 per ton in Sonoma County. As usual, the most valuable varietal is pinot noir at almost $4,000 per ton in Sonoma County and almost $3,200 per ton in Mendo. Mendo has about 16,500 acres in grapes compared to over 57,000 acres in Sonoma County. The crop report says that about 5,500 acres of Mendo grapes are “organic,” but doesn’t mention that tons of toxic “natural” sulfur are applied to “organic” grapes every year. 

AS USUAL, the Crop report doesn’t mention marijuana. California does not consider pot growing to be “agriculture” according to Proposition 64 and therefore it’s not included, not even the supposedly legal pot being grown here and there. We have always agreed with former Mendo Planning Director Alan Falleri who said that “agriculture” is defined in county code as the production of food and fiber — which would exclude pot (but not hemp), grapes, horses, exotic birds, etc. 

THE AVA’s FAVORITE INSECT, the grapevine destroying glassy-winged sharpshooter, wasn’t mentioned in Mendo’s crop report and the Sonoma County crop report sadly said that SoCo placed 521 glassy-winged sharpshooter traps in nurseries and urban areas in 2019 and “none were detected in 2019.” We admit to being amused to find the only mention of marijuana was in the Sonoma Crop Report’s list of “exotic/invasive pest species intercepted” which included “Phodron cannabis,” aka the “Cannabis aphid.” Odd, considering that cannabis isn’t considered agriculture.

MENDO’S OTHER LARGE “CROP,” timber, was also down significantly in 2019 compared to 2018, decreasing from $132.5 million to $109.5 million which the crop report attributes to a downturn in home construction. “Stumpage value” for Mendo timber (the price of logs delivered to mills) was just over $500 per thousand board feet in 2019 compared to over $600 per thousand board feet in 2018. (Mark Scaramella)

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: “California Typewriter,” a documentary film directed by Doug Nichol, and don't say, “I'm already bored” because “California Typewriter” is much more than a technical paean to a not-quite-obsolete technology but is indeed a convincing paean to the machine by people still devoted to it, people such as Tom Hanks and Sam Shepherd and historian David McCullough, who point out how much history and tactile artistry is lost with cyber-tech. Also featured is the last business in America that repairs and rehabilitates the typewriter for sale. That is the eponymous, 70-year-old black-owned Berkeley business, California Typewriter, staffed by the Permillion family. Hanks makes the strongest case for typewriters over the impersonal computer, remarking that he simply deletes e-mail thank yous without so much as a glance but himself uses his typewriter to send meaningful messages of all types, messages as keepsakes. There's also the historian McCullough who insists that so much history is lost if it isn't typed or hand-written so we can see what the author was thinking, and Shepherd makes the case for typed creative work that shows us the drafts and the corrections that are the guides to the creative thinking of the author. And there's a genius sculptor who memorializes typewriters in amazing renditions of people and animals using only typewriter parts. Here's hoping the film will help keep the talented Permillion family in their unique business as the society moves inexorably on-line. 

MCN CHATLINE enthusiasm for 5th District Supervisor Ted Williams is shared by the Boonville weekly, but the interests of the indefatigable Albion solon might best be served by staying put rather than risk contaminating absorption by the rancid Democrat apparatus. Don't give the kid big ideas. We need him here. When the popular and locally effective 3rd District Supervisor, Cowboy John Pinches, ran for State Senator he was viewed in the great outside world as a mere curiosity. An independent Democrat on the Northcoast is probably impossible, and when's the last time us rank and file Democrats had any say whatsoever about who our candidates will be for any state office or Congress?

(1) I'd vote for him no question! I was actually saying this to friends during the election.

(2) Hear, hear!

(3) I'm nominating Ted Williams, currently Mendocino County 5th District Board of Supervisors representative, for President of the United States. I know you are thinking that is quite a leap, but we can skip over the boring steps in between like California Representative, California Senator,

(4) Governor of California, United States Senator for California, Vice-President of the United States and go directly to the top! Why waste time!

(5) The campaign slogan will be: I Like Ted! I think this will be relatively easy given Ted's "can do" attitude. He also has good hair which is always a plus. Support Ted Williams for President of the United States! Tippecanoe and Ted Too!

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] There can be no restoration of America without the necessary values and norms to provide the foundation of a culture. That is essentially what has been lost and I don’t see how anything like that can be accomplished with family and church so completely obliterated. The new dark ages will have to provide some way to allow families in small groups to continue the nucleus of cultural life along the lines of principles of order. We are further along in social disintegration than any other nation-state in the world.

Read Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ for an all too graphic description of what we could become.

another cold case

[2] I don’t understand what’s wrong with men having rights. 

I am a woman, a bit of a tomboy. But I’m not a man. My man is very different from me, much more powerful physically, and different in the way he thinks. Why would anyone suggest that a man shouldn’t have rights? He’s a human being, just like me in that respect.

Testosterone is a shockingly powerful substance. Believe it or not, testosterone played a large role in the development and industrialization of every nation. I’m glad that men exist, and I wish they were not berated for being men.

[3] The state of California spent $13 Billion in the last three years on homeless programs. The number of homeless people increased by 16% between 2018 and 2019. This is from the Legislative Analyst Office, which is bi-partisan and is very informative https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4152:

“The scale of the homelessness crisis in California is significant and even substantial investments in resources could quickly dissipate without demonstrating much progress if investments are made without a clear plan. We recognize that there is no obvious right answer as to how the state should address the homelessness crisis. That said, we find the Governor’s budget proposal falls short of articulating a clear strategy for curbing homelessness in California. In the absence of a clear strategy, state resources could be allocated in a less targeted/coordinated way. As a consequence, we believe the Governor’s proposed approach is less likely to make a meaningful ongoing impact on the state’s homelessness crisis. Additionally, we find that the details provided as part of the Governor’s 202021 homelessness proposal raise many important questions for the Legislature to consider.” 

As mentioned many times our homeless crisis is not completely driven by a lack of affordable housing, most people who have jobs and need housing assistance can eventually find housing or they move to a cheaper place. I think we all know people who left the area because it was too expensive and they could have a better comfort level in a cheaper location. No one I know chose to become homeless and live in an encampment and expected someone to hand them an apartment for free. Homeless people have other problems like drug addiction and mental illness. The reason why California has so many homeless people is that Martin v. Boise made it hard to enforce vagrancy laws - states not in the 9th circuit can enforce them - and we have Prop. 47 which basically allows people to steal items less than $900 so if you're a drug addict and you don't want to pay rent and can live off stolen food from Walmart, Walgreens, 7-11 and other convenience stores, California is the place to be - you can spend all your money - if you receive disability or unemployment - on your drug addiction. Drug addiction is a disease and it does control people but you can't force an addict into recovery, you can only minimize the harm they cause to society.

[4] A thought on the Dr. Seuss “controversy”…this may be a new style of advertising.

The ad mantra has long been “there’s no such thing as bad press”…perhaps they’ve now discovered (amidst the overwhelming maelstrom of people, products and ideas on social) that “bad press is still good, but it’s actually even better than good press”. 

Piss people off and you’ll get attention from all sides.

Notice that Dr. Seuss is topping the news cycles for days now. Not that they were in decline in book sales necessarily, but I’d imagine they’ll see a nice spike.

Nike figured out that half the country is annoyed by Kaepernick, but the other half may ante up product support more than before if they took a stance.

Every time some politician tries to ram through gun control, gun/ammo manufacturers and dealers make an absolute killing for the next year that otherwise would’ve likely been one of normal profitability.

And who gave a shit about Mr. Potato Head a week ago?

Just sayin’.

[5] Cancel culture. Banning. It’s not just what you can’t say or what books won’t be promoted in classrooms or libraries. It’s disappearing “wrongthink” down the memory hole forever.

Bezos. Owns the most Woke newspaper in the U.S., the Washington Post. Also owns this kinda prominent business called Amazon. You can buy most any book from Amazon. But you don’t own them, at least not in any sense we understand the term.

You buy a book from the bookstore, read it, and set it on your book shelf to reread whenever you want. You die, and in your will you bequeath your library to your son. (I was an early beneficiary of my older brother’s huge library of books when he died in 1971. A terrible event, obviously, but also a fortuitous one for me, as those books, still with me, changed my life at 15.) Books well-built will last for centuries, and of course are reprinted in many editions when the old ones molder.

Not so, from Amazon. They have the power, and most importantly under their terms — which you agree to as part of the TOS — the right to delete any and all books they see fit to from your Kindle. When (not if) this banning madness increases to levels which make the Dr Seuss issue seem mild, good luck preserving anything you value from electronic storage. And they’ll eventually not even stock anything “controversial” in the first place.

The book burning is, of course, the parallel issue, but a huge part of the average reader’s experience now happens through Kindle and other electronic reader devices.

[6] You sound like a germa-phobe. I hope you let your wife out of that giant ziplock bag now and then.

Actually, I share your compulsive obsessive disorder to a degree. I can’t drink from a glass or bottle someone else’s mouth has touched.

You are certainly free to wear a mask forever as far as I’m concerned. Wear two or three. But no one should mandate such intrusive and uncomfortable policies upon others.

The mask fogs up my glasses and makes me inhale the stale, low oxygen waste air I just expelled. As a result so many brain cells die, I suddenly feel like watching Rachel Maddow.

[7] Asbestos gets a bad rap. I have asbestos/cement siding on two houses. The stuff is great. I painted my house 30 years ago and it still looks good. Please don’t breath in the fibers, (common sense). Why would you want to? Same thing with lead paint. I wish I could still buy it. That stuff wears like iron. Why would you eat it? We all grew up with lead paint. My old motors still need lead. I shudder to think how smart my fellow commenters would be without the IQ points they lost from gnawing on windowsills. Most of this crap is just money in the bank for the abatement outfits. My prediction is this: Any pressure treated wood with arsenic in it must be removed before the sale of a house. Also all the soil under the deck must be tested and removed if contaminated. There is a fortune to be made by these mitigation businesses.

6 Comments

  1. Ryan LaPorte March 10, 2021

    Seriously… What is going on here? Can citizens call the FBI?

    “another pre-packaged real estate deal similar to the earlier closed session plans to buy the real estate offices of Ukiah uber-realtor Richard Selzer is now presented as a done deal to the Supervisors for property which neighbors Dr. Deoohan’s with nothing left to discuss in closed session but price and terms? We think the public deserves an explanation of what is going on here.”

    • izzy March 10, 2021

      Just a wild guess here, but from the location and surrounding activities, it looks like another potential cannabis operation of some sort is being planned.

  2. Jim Armstrong March 10, 2021

    “Bin Salman ordered a hit squad to murder Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by sawing up his body into small pieces,…”
    Jesus, Bruce or Mark or whoever wrote that, that is crappy journalism and makes reading the rest of this page really hard.

    • Bruce Anderson March 10, 2021

      Uh, simple statement of the fact of Khashoggi’s murders, although I believe he was dead by the time they reduced him to bite sizes to hide the remains.

      • George Hollister March 10, 2021

        That’s a lot of work, judging from the time it takes me to make stew meat from round steak.

  3. Jim Armstrong March 11, 2021

    Ordering “…by sawing..” instead of “..and saw..” are very different things. And neither is known for sure.

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