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Off the Record (April 7, 2021)

JOE WILDMAN: It is with a very heavy heart that I relay to you the news that Joe Louis Wildman passed away this morning (4/4). His health has been problematic of late and a recent change in his medications possibly created an additional burden on his system. Regardless of the cause Joe will no longer be able to either grace us or enrage us with his formidable presence. My last visit with him a couple of weeks ago was to present him with the plaque honoring him as the Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee’s 2020 Democrat Of The Year. We also discussed his and Kayla’s plans to sell their Potter Valley property, replacing the Big Ass Van and the state of Democratic Party politics. All was what passed for normal in Joe’s world at that time; politics, family and a touch of chaos.

A memorial of some sort may be organized in the future, but it’s too soon to know any details.

Please pass this news on to others in your circle and beyond who may have known Joe. He touched so many lives in communities from Chicago to California to Georgia and well beyond that he won’t soon be forgotten. — Jim Mastin

AS BEATDOWNS GO, the one of Mr. Magdaleno by five Ukiah police officers, was ugly but, except for pointless (and harmless) punches by one cop, inevitable and not all that bad in the circumstances of a large, strong, drug-fueled, rampaging naked man in the parking lot of a business where he might well have harmed passersby of all ages if he hadn't been somehow suppressed. The tenor of comments makes it seem as if this episode was Mendo's version of Rodney King. Please.

WHAT WOULD YOU have done if you were that first responding sole cop in that circumstance? Me? Alone? Probably maced him and tazed him in the hopes he could be handcuffed or at least stunned into temporary stasis until back-up arrived and he could be group-bull rushed into submission. Which is what happened, apart from the gratuitous, futile punches of that one young cop. 

REAL VIOLENCE is always upsetting to witness, and police violence — statistically rare — in these politically charged times, inevitably brings out the critics.

I REMEMBER when former Sheriff Allman said he always carried a blanket, and encouraged his deputies to also carry them as a means to restrain the berserkers. Good idea if the crazed person isn't all that big and strong, but if he's the size of Mr. Magdaleno and combative under the influence, it would take a big, strong cop with a king-size blanket to stop him.

WHAT THE MAGDALENO episode truly reveals is that Mendocino County, population 90,000, with its 31-agency “continuum of care,” doesn't care, at least for Mr. Magdaleno, probably because he's not “reimbursable,” as the helping professionals dismiss the most intractable cases like Mr. M's. The cops, in lieu of the local continuum of un-care, have to repeatedly deal with this guy, and many others like him, and will deal with him again when he's cycled through the County Jail and the courts. And his family will again call the cops to deal with him when Mr. M again decides that methamphetamine is more fun than whatever downers he's on.

I'M NOT TRYING to be a smart ass here, but those ineffective several punches delivered by that Ukiah cop reminded me that there are punches and there are punches. Jack Dempsey once hit an opponent so hard that the guy spun completely around and broke his ankle! Magdaleno was not hit with any real force, not for lack of trying, and was unscathed in the incident. (His photo is a previous photo from Mr. M, a frequent flier.)

RYAN FLINT: RE: A FEW MILES north of Cloverdale on Highway 101 a big rig overturned last week, spilling debris (recycling materials) Waste (Mis)Management Corporation doesn’t pay Mendocino county residents their CRV fees back, because they have stopped the buyback recycling service. It’s been over a year of this scam now. They are pocketing millions of dollars in recycling, first under the guise of “China won’t take it anymore, were back stocked,” to “Sorry, COVID restrictions, we can’t accept them right now,” both of which are invalid excuses. They are also claiming all this unsorted recycling as “addition refuse” and getting even more money from the county for its disposal… which is what was in the overturned truck. The Mafia runs the waste disposal in Italy… what’s the American equivalent?

SPONGEBOB CANCELLED: Two episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants have been pulled from streaming on Paramount+ and are no longer available to purchase on Amazon Prime. In one episode, characters are tossed in a freezer after being forced to quarantine due to an illness at the Krusty Krab. In the other episode, three of the characters break into a woman's home and steal her underwear.

OUR ALL-TIME FAVE press release came from the State Attorney General's office back around 2000, when AG Lockyer announced that the state and federally-funded Campaign Against Marijuana Production (CAMP), confiscated more pot in Mendocino County this season than in any other county in the state. 63,107 devil weed plants were seized during 57 raids. The oddest part of the press release? “Attorney General Lockyer calculated that the seized plants were the equivalent of 219 million joints.” Only a heartbroken toker would even bother to make that calculation.

THE FAMILY-OWNED Mendocino Redwood Company, formerly L-P, formerly Masonite, got off to a good public relations start in 1998 by hiring local, planting a lot of trees, repairing roads, cleaning up streams, and always answering the phones when the pesky public had a question. No more. Every woodsworker and even most people who border the Fisher Family's vast holdings complain about MRC now, but the company's refusal to pay their fair share of the local fire protection share was typical of the Fishers' approach to public relations, typical you might say if people who amassed their initial fortune off the trapped labor of Asian seamstresses.

ROD JONES, the Mendocino-based attorney, once floated the idea of creating an environmental fund out of which legal challenges to especially damaging projects could be mounted. But as it was, and still is in Mendo, every watershed has its own little cadre of powermongers and info hoarders (and would-be media stars) who, for fear of losing whatever control they think they have over whatever it is they think they are doing that when destructive projects get under way the enviros are literally a day late and many dollars short. Of course any criticism of the self-anointed saviors of the wild things is disallowed in any of the venues where the precious ones do their thing, but in my experience in Mendoland (and I've hugged a tree or two over the years all the way into jail), the biggest obstacle to both environmental sanity and progressive social policy is the petty vanity of the self-appointed leadership. Some of these people would clearcut the world to get a mention in the Press Democrat.

BEFORE THE PLAGUE closed the schools, some parents were complaining that their kids were “risking back injury” because their books are too heavy to carry around. A load of back-packed textbooks couldn't weigh more than 30 pounds even if every class piled in a few more. The complaints arose at some schools when enrollment exceeded locker capacity, forcing some youngsters to store their books in their backpacks. But even if the books weighed 50 pounds it would be physiologically advantageous to the typically inert, sugar-fueled, TV-raised, phone-addicted child if he had to hump his books home and back every day. The average kid doesn't get nearly enough physical activity, what with their parents driving them everywhere and shoving Big Macs and Pepsis in them, gut prep for lives of negative food value dining. Carrying five or six books fifty feet to the bus stop isn't likely to cripple the kid, is it?

MY COLLEAGUE, The Major, putting the textbook burden in historical context, says he recalls a strict textbook-toting protocol at his old high school in Fresno. The Major claims he was a straight-A student who'd grown up watching Ask Mr. Wizard on television, so we're talking about a guy who has toted his share of textbooks. “Boys,” he recalls, “had to carry their books under their arm no matter how many or how heavy they were. Under one arm, I emphasize. And not only in the halls of the high school but all the way home. Girls were permitted to carry their books to the front and with both arms. Any male spotted in the act of transporting books in any way other than under one arm was… well, it just wasn't done.”

I CAN'T remember carrying any books anywhere until I was about twenty and carried a book or two to ingratiate myself with the more bookish females. I'd tote a big paperback novel in a side pocket of my corduroy sport coat, title visible, which I thought signaled the bookish ladies that I was  their kind of guy. As for textbooks, I don't remember reading or even consulting a textbook the entire time I was in high school, let alone carrying one anywhere. The only books I can remember from that era are the few that students had to have a note from a parent to read. These were books the school authorities considered “subversive.” (Then as now school people were not book readers. If they were, there would be no such thing as a textbook. Textbooks destroy forever the intellectual curiosity of millions of America's youth at every school. I do recall my high school history textbook asserting that slavery was actually a very good deal for black people, what with the free room and board and all. So, I suppose, the correct exam answer was, “Yes, slavery was good for black people because they got free room and board.” That book was written, I believe, by the great Harvard drone, Morrison. These days textbooks deliver a sort of purplish, multicultural fog which, in its own way, is just as untrue as the version of history written by the old Harvard white boys. Anyway, the dangerous books at my high school were kept in a big, locked cabinet behind the librarian's desk. Naturally, because they were sequestered, there was a large demand from the more estranged students to read them. I read all of them, most without understanding a word, on the safe assumption that any book deemed dangerous by school people had to be worth reading because school people, then and now, were less than committed to the truth of things. But almost all of the forbidden lit consisted of pacifist and vegetarian tracts and fiction like ‘Peyton Place,’ a book that was readily available out in the world anyway and which I'd read when I was about twelve simply because I'd been told not to read it. 

BUT there was one truly subversive book in the big glass case — ‘Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo.’ 

It was later banned entirely in the United States along with Wilhelm Reich's ‘The Mass Psychology of Fascism.’ (American fascists didn't trust Americans to read either one.) ‘Johnny Got His Gun,’ since converted to an awful movie that manages to eliminate entirely the powerful effect of the novel, is told from the point of view of a kid vegetable-ized in a war fought for no reason that he can discern. The book had a powerful effect on me as a 15-year-old because I'd never read anything that strong. It was exactly the kind of book a young person should read, but in class we were wading through five feet of Longfellow and the rest of the ancient canon. I thought ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ was some kind of publishing fluke. I'd had no idea literature could be good. And heck, the darned thing must have weighed a full 8 ounces, but it helped me get where I was going — old and broke in Boonville, as it turned out.

BIDEN’S $2 TRILLION infrastructure plan is obviously inadequate to the magnitude of need, and a lot of it is directed to low-priority and even pointless projects. Biden says it will be funded by tax hikes — including a paltry 7% rise in Capital Gains Taxes from 21% to 28%.

THE HOMELESS? The enormity of the prob is clearly beyond the ability  of any single municipality or lightly populated rural jurisdiction like Mendo's to solve by itself, even if the  public money were freed up to seriously have a go at getting everyone  off the streets who is unable or unwilling to care for himself.  Proposals, like Biden's, to lightly boost the income tax on everyone with incomes over $400,000 has  naturally been widely denounced as pure bolshevism by the lab rats of the  corporate media who manage to overlook the fact that the graduated  income tax brought to America by FDR's New Deal has been eroded to the  point where the rich either don't pay taxes at all, or pay a piddling  amount relative to their incomes. Any truly patriotic American with the  big income should be happy to turn over a big hunk of his booty to make  America a better place, no?

DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF. George Hollister says: “'Any truly patriotic American with the big income should be happy to turn over a big hunk of his booty to make America a better place, no?' Yes, but only an idiot would give it to the federal government. Back to original statement: 'THE HOMELESS? The enormity of the prob is clearly beyond the ability of any single municipality or lightly populated rural jurisdiction like Mendo’s to solve by itself, even if the public money were freed up to seriously have a go at getting everyone off the streets who is unable or unwilling to care for himself.' This is mostly false. Single municipalities and lightly populated rural jurisdictions like Mendo’s did more effectively deal with indigent substance abusers, with less money in the past because they did it out of need not out a desire to make money. The mentally ill are another matter altogether. But there is no evidence that sending more tax dollars to Washington will better this problem, in fact the evidence is the opposite. Bruce, let go of your faith in a socialist central government state. I know that is a hard thing to do. Faith has a way of clouding people’s judgement. And it does not matter how smart they happen to be."

ED REPLY: When Mendo’s population, circa pre-WWII, was a third the size it is today, the county farm out on Low Gap Road, not far from the county hospital, both institutions well serving the county, a state hospital was built at Talmage because even then there was a public need to humanely house and treat the dependent population, ranging from alcoholics to the dangerously insane, a population that has grown exponentially because, and excuse the simple-minded generality, capitalism drives people crazy, especially the unregulated capitalism we have going. It’s ironic but not surprising that Mendo’s contemporary “helping professionals” — God help you should you fall into their hands — are currently talking about a rural site for the Measure B facility unlikely, at this pace, ever to be created. Back to the future! Americans, except for the mega-rich, used to be pretty much on the same political page, hence the broad support for FDR’s New Deal, which saved big capital from itself. I’m encouraged that old, slow Joe is at least thinking big, that it’s obvious to them that has has got to tote their fair share of the social load. Whether or not it’s too late to save this sucker from collapse is the overall question. I’ll bet most Americans would agree right now that restoration of state hospital systems would be a good thing. Mendo, County of, having lost its way years ago when the hippies came down out of the hills after their interlude of hairy grabass to take over Mendo's public apparatuses — everything from the courts to animal control — ushered in the hopeless entropy now characteristic of public policy in this county. Thank you for listening, George, and have a nice day, which began in Boonville about 1am this morning with the grotesquely intrusive frost fan din, an annual gift to the Anderson Valley from the unregulated wine industry.

THE DOG WASHERS, a comedy (I think) on Netflix by Carlos Moreno. Absolutely brilliant film outta Mexico pegged to the drug trade. Wonderful acting but, ahem, not for people whose idea of entertainment is Singin' in the Rain. This one has it all — graphic sex, violence, enough politically incorrect dialogue to traumatize millions of snowflakes, and a filmic body count in the high two figures. Terrific movie!

THE COUNTY'S Mental Health effort, despite the annual millions spent on it, has always been in ineffective flux. This is the agency that got all the way behind the non-existent Satanist Child Abuse hysteria of the 1980s, to give you an idea of the sophistication of the people dominating the agency at the time, and has remained rudderless ever since, maybe becoming worse, maybe better, who knows? Nobody asks, nobody answers if anybody does ask. 

MENDOCINO COUNTY gave up even trying to do mental health, and turned it, and the twenty annual millions that accompanying it, to Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder’s a private business. Which reminds me, and probably isn't fair to bring up, but when the agency was in one of its usual confused phases, there was an episode at an open meeting of the supervisors that might still serve as a kind of metaphor for the county's mental health functioning. Early in the 2000s, a newly appointed mental health director, at no visible provocation, suddenly began weeping, which in turn caused the supervisor from Fort Bragg, Patti Campbell, to also burst into tears. Everyone else in the room was of course nonplussed, but the two women managed to get a grip before anybody had to run downtown for a huggy bear. (The Satanist hysteria was most intense in Fort Bragg, a full account of which is available from the ava at our website under Special Series.)

AS IT'S TURNED OUT, the cops, then and now, do the county's heavy mental health lifting, and the County Jail serves as a mental health holding area. A deputy told me some time ago that almost all the calls he got were mental health-related, and mostly involved otherwise sane people doing crazy stuff under the influence of hard drugs, but the cops have always been the go-to mental health staffers, and the annual mental health funding really ought to go to them.

THE MONTH OF MARCH brought another impressive drop in new Covid cases for Mendocino County. 

Cases/Deaths per Month (Mendocino County):

  • 229 / 9 (Jul)
  • 392 / 8 (Aug)
  • 260 / 2 (Sep)
  • 210 / 2 (Oct)
  • 420 / 2 (Nov)
  • 964 / 4 (Dec)
  • 876 / 11 (Jan)
  • 382 / 5 (Feb)
  • 131 / 3 (Mar)

ACCORDING TO last week's Independent Coast Observer almost $6 million was distributed to the South Coast area under last year’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). ICO Reporter Susan Wolborst said that the nearly $6 million translated to “a total of 729 jobs supported through the PPP in this area including 458 jobs in Gualala, 153 in Point Arena, 113 in The Sea Ranch and five in Annapolis.” Gualala Supermarket owner Chuckie Sorensen said the loans helped his business keep 39 employees working. Dozens of other South Coast businesses said they were each able to keep dozens of employees employed and that the money was very helpful. Most helped were construction companies, retail stores, and "accommodation and food services." At the end of the article, reporter Wolborst added, “The Independent Coast Observer received $73,090 protecting 14 jobs including the job of the reporter bringing you this story.” (Mark Scaramella)

RESPONSE TO COCKBURN on pot — The Dominoes Are Falling

Cockburn rightly identifies the first boom — taking the land away from the Indians who also got into the act and grew marijuana. Some Indians are still growing it. Members of every ethnic group have grown weed. 

Some growers did significant prison time. Dennis Hunter — five years in federal prison. But then he became the CEO of a cannabis company.

On the law enforcement side of the story, Cockburn leaves out Operation Green Sweep when active duty troops from the 7th Infantry Division, who had taken part in the invasion of Panama, were deployed in Humboldt. Locals protested — a violation of their civil rights, they said. Troops parachuted into backyards. Kym Kemp has told this story which she witnessed first-hand. It's worth retelling which she has done. Cockburn is off on the price per pound, but I don't fault him for that. The price per pound depended in part on how close or how far from the pot patch. The closer to the patch usually the less expensive the weed. The further from the patch the more expensive the weed. Cockburn might have written about the illegal export of Humboldt weed all around the country which is still going on. Dennis Peron deserves much of the credit for Prop 215, as Cockburn points out, but others were also involved including Valerie Corral, Dale Gieringer, Bill Panzer and Tod Mikuriya. 

At the end of his piece Cockburn suggests that legalization would put an end to the pot boom. It is now 5 years since the passage of Prop 64 which sorta legalized weed and opened the doors to taxation and regulation. The black market is robust, to say the least, in 2021. The pandemic kicked off an increase in the demand for cannabis and suppliers responded generously (ha ha ha.) One of the latest tricks of the trade is the bifurcated market whereby growers sell legally and also as they put it “out the back door.” Cannabis has deep, deep roots in Humboldt and Mendo and networks that are decades old, with sons and daughters, inheriting the family biz and carrying on. Uprooting long standing business practices, and breaking the lines of succession will take a lot more time. How do you end a culture, a way of life and an economy? Clearly not through law enforcement and federal troops. In the last week or so, New York and New Mexico both legalized “adult” use. As one grower said to me two days before Easter 2021, “The dominoes are falling.” I like the image.

— Jonah Raskin

LOOKING BACK at newspapers from 2000, I came across a re-print of an intriguing display ad that appeared in the Willits News that year: “Got Noise? If anyone has any information regarding a low decibel hum (vibration) that usually begins around 10 p.m. and lasts throughout the night. This noise can be heard all around Brooktrails, from Poppy Drive through Troll Ridge and 1st, 2nd, 3rd Gates. If you've heard this unusually low decibel frequency (resembling the lowest note on a bass violin), please call 459-4436 and leave your name and phone number so we can try and find out where this sound originates from. Carol Orton. 459-4436.”

SO, LIKE, was the source of the mysterious hum ever discovered? Laz? 

LAZ OF WILLITS PROMPTLY REPLIED: "There were a few theories floating around. There was speculation a rather eccentric grower was using a sound system to generate the basic sound of the universe. Om or Aum was being piped over her weed… to mellow it out… The tinfoil hat crowd said it was the government, something to do with airplane contrails. My fave was the UFO rap. Apparently, a couple left the Third Gate area for good after they saw a saucer land in their meadow, and 3 small grays got out and walked around the spaceship. Personally, because of the era, the noise was likely a large generator, or several generators, bouncing their sound waves around the nooks and crannies of Sherwood Forest. Generators were relatively new to the grows in those days. Interestingly, during this time, Sasquatch sightings were being reported on HWY 20 from Willits to Bragg. Sasquatch, Small Grays, Aum? Believe in everything but have a little doubt…"

LOOKING BACK at the Bear Lincoln trial of 1998 was described by the junior DA shoved forward to try it, as “capital murder or nothing.” But the case against Lincoln presented by Williams was a confused mish-mash of a case which could have, and should have been clarified simply as, Did Bear Lincoln come back up the hill knowing he was now shooting it out with two Sheriff's deputies? Williams was alone at the prosecution table against Tony Serra's traveling legal circus of researchers, script writers, and assistant defense attorneys. DA Susan Massini, who should have tried the case herself, ducked it.

THE FAMOUS shooting had begun, some of us will recall, when Lincoln and his friend Leonard Peters, both carrying long guns, were walking up a hill west of Covelo from the Lincoln place when they walked into gunfire from two deputies, Dennis Miller and Bob Davis. Lincoln and Peters assumed that a rival Covelo family had attacked them. Peters died instantly, Lincoln retreated back down the hill, returning a few minutes later for a second round of fire, during which Deputy Davis was shot and killed. 

THE ENTIRE series of deadly events had begun earlier in the day with the shooting death of Gene Britton in the parking lot of Covelo High School. 

A KIND OF HYSTERIA, and certainly command confusion, characterized the police response to the murderous events of that cold, April night, the moon often disappearing behind skittering rain clouds, as police from various agencies poured belated, wild, gun fire down the hill in the general direction of the Lincoln home, a home occupied by Lincoln's mother and several children. The next day, a helicopter appeared over Covelo, out of which a dozen camo-clad fantasists rappelled down onto the valley floor to no tactical purpose. Police swarmed the rez as tribal residents complained of harshly rude encounters with the forces of law and order.

BEAR LINCOLN survived the hunt for him, which almost certainly would have resulted in his death if the law posse had found him but.… How did he escape the full court press? Lincoln has never said how he eluded the massive police search, but we've been told, on reasonably reliable authority, that he escaped north on horseback deep into the deep outback of Humboldt County where he was sheltered by "hippies." Four months later, the fugitive was surrendered by attorney Serra at a media conference at Serra's office on the Embarcadero in San Francisco where the Mendo authorities were compelled to sign an affidavit that Lincoln was uninjured when he was turned over to Mendocino County.

THE LINCOLN TRIAL went off in some unusually futile directions, one path leading to the editor of the Boonville weekly when he was charged with contempt of court. The DA wanted a letter-to-the-editor written from the County Jail by Bear Lincoln. I said No, that communications to newspapers were privileged, that no way would I give the original to the DA who, of course, was traditionally hostile to me but suspected that the letter had been edited and typed before it was sent off to Boonville by Ukiah attorney, Phil DeJong. If newspapers function as an adjunct of law enforcement nobody would trust newspapers, not that anybody does anyway. My case was fast-forwarded to the State Supreme Court where I lost, natch, but received one vote of support from the late, great justice, Stanley Mosk.

THE RUB? Letters from jail are handwritten in pencil. Bear Lincoln could not have typed a letter from jail because typewriters are not available to prisoners. DeJong obviously vetted Lincoln's handwritten original and typed it before he sent it on to me, removing any statement that might be inimical to Lincoln's defense. Soon after losing my appeal, I found myself in a County Jail iso cell, ordered there by Judge Jim Luther until I coughed up the original of the Lincoln Letter. (As the world has turned, these days retired judge Luther is a regular contributor to my newspaper.)

I FORGET how many days I was in that claustrophobic cell — 13 I think — but so long as I had a regular supply of books the time flew by, and I'll always remember the kindness of one of the jailers who walked me down the hall to a pile of paperbacks where I grabbed as much of the quality lit as I could find. A week or so later, I was released. My only regret is that I'd been jailed for what Lincoln's lawyer, Phil DeJong, had done. DeJong had re-typed that handwritten letter and had sent it on to Boonville. 


[1] Yep, there’s the problem with depleting oil, and also its inconvenient placement in some dusty locales run by some bearded and robed fellas with some truly retrograde ideas. But we have other problems, mainly those of our own making, for example, a multi-decade head-long charge away from reason and common sense. And not only that but a whole-hearted embrace of the most howling fool-assery, some truly preposterous notions dressed up with jargon and abstruse terminology to sound like wisdom. Apparently the smartest among us forgot that if something sounds like gobbledygook, then that’s what it really is. Every day you can see folly coming from the bastions of what we laughingly refer to as “higher education”, which by any realistic assessment don’t produce anything resembling “education” never mind “higher”. One outcome was this stretch of sheer lunacy where the “elite” consensus – with academic backing – was that financial markets needed de-regulation. So, Horn-dog Bill saw to it, that is, when he could find the time, when he could get away from indulging a sharp and refined (sarcasm) taste for sin, listening to a small coterie representing views of monied interests. Well, Wall Street had its way, Wall Street has been having it way for a long time now, having bought and paid for those same bastions previously referred to and also both factions of the ruling Party. And, lest Republicans think that we don’t know, it was largely their thinking, if you can call it that, that underpinned much of this foolhardiness. So far be it from Dubya to get in the way. And so Wall Street insisted on playing Russian Roulette. Despite warnings that those pistols had real ammo, Wall Street kept at it. Inevitably, Wall Street blew its brains out. Remember? And then Barry and his administration, also in tight with Wall Streeters, came running, putting Wall Street into intensive care, finding no lack of time nor money. Nor lack of justifications either for turning a blind-eye to the most egregious criminality no matter the abundance of evidence. “Too big to jail” they said. Me, in my touching innocence, thought “too big to NOT jail”. Then Barry O hired Mary Jo. Truly remarkable, this astounding silliness, a real side-splitter, hiring former counsel for Wall Street financial firms as regulator of those same firms. You could be forgiven for thinking, what’s next, mob lawyers as police commissioners? You don’t have to look too hard. The ruinous results are right under your nose, and if you can’t see it, then you’re willfully blind, or maybe in the pay of those same monied interests. I think it’s trite but true, that old saying, people won’t see things if their paycheck depends on their not seeing them.

[2] J’Biden released his $2.2 Trillion infrastructure plan today in which he shows he still believes in magic. We’ll see if he announces infrastructure week every two weeks like the previous prez did. J’Biden wants to subsidize big oil and big gas industries with gimmicky subsidies for carbon capture that put money (cash not tax offsets) directly into oil and gas industry pockets. Not different from the previous prez. It has been more than 40 years since the first Earth Day and the free market has failed to solve the environmental crisis. J’Biden fantastically thinks (wishes) that the free market will save us, and fails to take crucial and ambitious steps toward phasing out fossil fuels. Same as the previous prez. J’Biden says he is going to run in 2024 (as does the previous prez), maybe on this infrastructure spending plan. But $2.2 Trillion is not enough, even if we tax the rich to pay for it. J’Biden’s conservative infrastructure plan is setting the stage and making it easy for a future presidential run by AOC.

[3] It does seem to be magic with money, dollar prestidigitation worthy of a David Copperfield. Maybe it’s voodoo economics , a term George H.W. Bush used referring to Reagan. Maybe he was right about Ronald, what with zombie thrifts and all, and the huge savings and loan scandal of the eighties. Although economists say you can’t continue to just print up money, we keep on defiantly doing that magic trick with unknown consequences. A number of money mavens think that it’s not the actual level of debt or the deficit, but how that level is trending in relation to GDP that’s important. It seems to be a simple formula that makes sense, that if economic output minus borrowing costs is greater than taxes minus spending, debt as a % of GDP should decline. Thus sustainability. These mavens also say that if there is no real growth, deficits have to be reduced or inflation has to be created by the Fed. What, it was half the price yesterday! Anyway, at times it all seems so dreary, and I like to think that I’m riding on a magic carpet of greenbacks that can turn into gold when I navigate correctly towards the sun. Well maybe I am, but without the gold. Here we are in unchartered financial territory, already being held aloft by the ceaseless conjuring up of cash. It’s a magical mystery tour de force.Is that a thread unraveling in the carpet? How do I get off this thing? I’m gonna have to do a D.B. Cooper. But wait, I don’t have any kind of parachute, let alone a golden one. Geez, that’s a long way down, isn’t it…..

[4] Let’s see. How much additional grid capability is needed for two EVs in every driveway. The current household usage in the USA is 13,000 KW per year. An EV driven at 50% of its range uses say an average of 25 KW so two EV in every driveway would add about 50 KW per day per household. So let’s say each EV is used 5 days a week so that would be 52 weeks times 5 or 250 time 50 KW per year .That comes out to an additional 12,000 KW per year. So that means that the electric grid needs to roughly double in the next 10 years. That’s not only the grid but the power generation needs using green energy while replacing 80% of our current usage with green energy. And that means that we need to increase green energy production from current levels of around 20% a full order of magnitude or 10 fold.Is it doable? – perhaps but it is a long shot. Is it affordable? I doubt it.

[5] Let’s see. How much additional grid capability is needed for two EVs in every driveway. The current household usage in the USA is 13,000 KW per year. An EV driven at 50% of its range uses say an average of 25 KW so two EV in every driveway would add about 50 KW per day per household. So let’s say each EV is used 5 days a week so that would be 52 weeks times 5 or 250 time 50 KW per year .That comes out to an additional 12,000 KW per year.

So that means that the electric grid needs to roughly double in the next 10 years. That’s not only the grid but the power generation needs using green energy while replacing 80% of our current usage with green energy.

And that means that we need to increase green energy production from current levels of around 20% a full order of magnitude or 10 fold.

Is it doable? – perhaps but it is a long shot. Is it affordable? I doubt it.

[6] It's not a lack of water, it's overpopulation that causes our problems. ABAG whistles and local carpetbagging (definition "an outsider, especially a politician who presumptuously seeks a position or success in a new area.") our politicians quake in their boots and continue to try to build an affordable house for everyone who chooses to come here. It's our duty we're told. Ignore our antiquated roads, our limited water supply, our inability to actually teach our children (for now, indoctrinate them) our overcrowded beaches, our loss of freedoms? Vague memories of scenic views that used to soothe our souls.....? before the ridges sprouted hotel size homes.. Our obviously failing electric grid. Now because of the sins of the "planning" crowd we will be harried, shamed, lectured and made miserable this summer. Couldn't one of our 5000 county employees see the obvious result of unchecked development? Probably they did, but hoped they'd be on the retirement gravy train before the obvious chickens had come home to roost.

 [7] “It’s Easter and there is no God.” ‘I know this for a fact because … and I know for a fact that the multitudes whom God has revealed Himself are all delusional or bat-shit crazy … because … if there Really were a God, he would’ve revealed Himself to me by now!’“Ehhh … what a maroon!” – Bugs BunnyYou can’t know that God doesn’t exist. You can think it. Suspect it. Argue so. You can even have Faith that He does not exist. You don’t know. Science discovers that God is within you and without you. Science discovers God from the cosmos to the atom. And you go, “See!” while The Truth zips Right over your head like a hawk. Jesus did rise from the dead. Jesus left this world as a slaughtered lamb. Two more days (2,000 years) and He’s coming back to judge the living and the dead. He’s coming back to mete out Truth & Justice as a lion. Judgement Day. Then, on the 7th day, the souls in the Book of Life rest [Jesus’ 1,000 year reign!]Of course, we’ve got 7 years of Trials & Tribulations first. Buckle up, Christians, martyrdom ain’t pretty. Happy Easter! He is risen!

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