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Off the Record (September 29, 2021)

COVELO always seems to exist in a state of tension, but tensions over last week's shooting of a young Whipple by a young Lincoln are higher than they've been since the tribal infighting of the late 1990s, which resulted in the famous trial of Bear Lincoln who was found not guilty of the murder of Mendocino County deputy, Bob Davis, himself a Native American and former Navy Seal. A week ago Wednesday, near Covelo's Buckhorn bar, Dino (Lincoln) Blackbear and Carina Carillo apparently got into an argument with Mr. Whipple, whose full name has not yet been released. Whipple died from gunshots presumed to have been fired by Lincoln. Lincoln was subsequently arrested in Fort Bragg and booked into the County Jail on murder charges. Both suspects are in custody. 

Blackbear, Carillo


The Hopkins Fire is an awful tragedy that we all dreaded happening as drought and heat grip our community this summer. My heart goes out to all of you that have lost your homes and sustained damaged on your property. For those of you in your neighborhood east of Calpella, the blackened landscape is a grim reminder of this awful event. The most important thing is that no one was hurt or lost their life. We thank our first responders who moved quickly to evacuate everyone safely and to contain the fast moving fire. The fact that this is the result of arson makes the event all the worse to bear. Thanks to all who respected the traffic control measures and stayed out of the area while the public safety team secured the area and removed hazardous situations before allowing people to return to their homes. 

Now begins the long road of recovery for those affected. This morning the Board of Supervisors declared the Hopkins Fire as a local emergency as well as a local health emergency due to the potential of contamination from the fire in our water shed to move into our drinking water supply. Our hope is that this will allow the County to receive state and federal grant funds to clean up home sites, put in erosion control measures, remove destroyed cars and hazardous substances from the area. There has already been considerable work done to remove hazardous trees and restore utilities to the area. 

We also adopted an urgency ordinance to allow for the use of travel trailers on site for those who need an alternative place to live while their homes are rebuilt or repaired. The fees will be waived for the permit by the Mendocino County Planning and Building Services Department. 

These are small steps to helping recover from the very unfortunate events that have changed so many peoples’ lives. Be assured that we want to help you recover and we are here to help if we can.

If you haven’t already, please check the county’s website on the Hopkins Fire which lists information and numerous resources.


If you live in Mendocino, Humboldt, Sonoma or Lake County, and you have never ventured to Shelter Cove— you need to. Come see the “Lost Coast.” A community of strong people who know that they can be cut off from the outside world in an instant, with an earthquake, a tsunami or a wildfire. This community is strong, smart and prepared. It is my honor to help protect and prepare this community. 

There are several nice restaurants (usually closed Mon/Tuesday). There is a great RV Park (year round) and there are several nice motels available 7 days a week. 

P.S. The danger of visiting? You won’t want to leave.

IN THE EARLY 1980s a man calling himself Larry Livermore began publishing a 'zine called The Lookout out of his house on Spy Rock Road near Laytonville. Elements of the community reacted harshly to “Whoever this Livermore character thinks he is.” The liberals, predictably, accused Livermore of “divisiveness.” Outlaw marijuana growers threatened to kill him, and the town's gentry, insofar as it can exist in outback populations, non-personed him and his 'zine. A blustery character called Piano Jimmy assaulted Larry one night when Larry appeared in town with his breakout punk band, The Lookouts. But among the young, Larry was all the rage.

LOTS OF NORTH COUNTY people said they hated the Lookout, but they all read it. Couldn't help reading it since Larry placed it free around the public areas of town and similarly spread his lively prose views up and down the Northcoast and, soon, all over the country. His 'zine, I'd thought, was the first, but LL said, “No, Aaron Cometbus was first, and he's still doing it. He started in Berkeley as a high school kid and now lives in New York where he's a book dealer.” (Cometbus is highly recommended, btw. Cometbus is always smart, always lively.)

HAVING experienced much the same community reaction that Livermore's Lookout did when I took the wheel of the SS AVA, Livermore and I became friends and allies, joking about which of us might first achieve community-wide “mpf,” maximum piss-off factor. We ran neck and neck, but I had the advantage of publishing every week in a community where I was something of a known factor and also enjoyed a radically inflated reputation for violence, which was not a handicap in the newspaper business if you're publishing material likely to enrage its targets. Livermore, however, made his home in a lawless place deep in the hills north and east of the dusty little crossroads of Laytonville, a “community” of sorts but one where unpopular community members have been known to disappear, as have just regular people-people.

THE LOOKOUT 'ZINE, as I recall its trajectory, also began publishing articles about music. Then playing it as a band called The Lookouts, which segued into a musical money machine called Green Day. As a guy who tuned out mid-Sinatra, I wasn't interested, but LL went on to become a famous figure in music, and made so much money he could probably buy all of Spy Rock, from 101 to the Eel.

BUT we always stayed in touch, and wasn't I delighted to see the man himself making his puzzled way to our new inner sanctum? (We're in re-org mode.) Since he came down from the mountain, LL has become a citizen of the world, traveling throughout Asia and Europe with a permanent home in Brooklyn. He's presently studying Mandarin. “Hardest thing I've ever done,” and had stopped by on his way north to visit Spy Rock, as wild and untamed as ever, and then Hank Sims in Eureka at the Lost Coast Outpost. We exchanged memories of the vivid personalities we'd known and congratulated each other on our longevity, and the ground floor punker promised to see me before we both turned up our toes, and drove on, heading north and deeper yet behind the green curtain.

SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS WRITES: “Last weekend, Mendocino county residents picketed Dr. Andy Coren's home because they do not support his latest public health order. While these residents have a right to picket and Dr. Coren never attempted to stop this action, I would ask that you please express yourself during the week, rather than imposing on Dr. Coren and his family at his home, on the weekend.

I hear that residents might return to Dr. Coren's home this coming weekend. Please reconsider any weekend action at Dr. Coren's home. I would ask that you express your position during the week, and maybe, at a county building, rather than Dr. Coren's private residence.”

SUPERVISOR MULHEREN: “Last Sunday [September 19] I was prepared to do an advertisement for Sheriff's Office recruitment but it turned out they were too short staffed to do the project.” 

A PAIR of quotes stuck early in my young mind, both representing what seemed to me to summarize my political feelings. The first was from George Orwell's Homage To Catalonia, which he wrote after fighting for the Spanish Republic (taking a bullet in the throat) against the combined forces of fascism: “The revolutionary atmosphere remained as I had first known it. General and private, peasant and militiaman, still met as equals; everyone drew the same pay, wore the same clothes, ate the same food, and called everyone else ‘thou’ and ‘'comrade’; there was no boss-class, no menial-class, no beggars, no prostitutes, no lawyers, no priests, no boot-licking, no cap-touching. I was breathing the air of equality, and I was simple enough to imagine that it existed all over Spain. I did not realize that more or less by chance I was isolated among the most revolutionary section of the Spanish working class.”

AND, as a perfect statement of political principle, this from Ernest Hemingway, also based on his experience with the Spanish Republic: “You felt, in spite of all bureaucracy and inefficiency and party strife something that was like the feeling you expected to have and did not have when you made your first communion. It was a feeling of consecration to a duty toward all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrassing to speak about as religious experience and yet it was as authentic as the feeling you had when you heard Bach, or stood in Chartres Cathedral or the Cathedral at Leon and saw the light coming through the great windows.”

IN 1936, it was a matter of rolling back the forces of darkness, and now it's a matter of rolling back darkness itself. Please excuse the pontification, but I think the UN's Secretary General, Antonio Guterres' phrase the other day in his irrefutable summary of where the world presently stands made the case that if we don't reverse course we're finito: “With humanity on the edge of an abyss, and moving in the wrong direction, the world must wake up.” The Secretary General described the rolling catastrophes as “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes” — which include the covid pandemic, the climate emergency, and upheaval in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen.”

THAT'S THE SHORT LIST. Poor Old Joe, leader of the free world, Christ save us all, isn't the guy you want at the helm in a time of cascading crises. Every time he slurs his way through a teleprompter address, I think to myself, “We are totally screwed. My grandchildren — everyone's grandchildren — will be stepping into a violent chaos. The leadership class of this country has never been less capable — contemptible, most of them.

I FEEL SORRY for POJ. No way he's up to it, but “they” keep shoving him out there, like they did the other day with England's roving clown, Boris Johnson, POJ's handlers cutting off Poor Old Joe like a child who can't be trusted to answer questions “appropriately.” So Boris the Clown, always a step ahead and much smarter than anybody grilling him, was left alone to talk on, as Poor Old Joe shuffled dutifully off stage.

SO NOW the whole world is on POJ's case for the chaos at the border, with the limousine libs of his own party blaming him for the illiberal visuals of white horsemen rein-whipping desperate Haitians back across the river. The limo libs have produced zero ideas for devising orderly immigration policies, if orderly is even possible when you have millions of poor people on the move towards Western democracies because of murderous conditions in their home countries. POJ, a credit card company bagman his entire political career, and barely a liberal on his best days, can no more provide the necessary leadership to beat back cascading crises than Trump was.

CLOSER TO HOME, George Dorner wonders what crimes will be revealed when County CEO Carmel Angelo retires. Indictable stuff? Doubt it. But to take one example of the CEO's operating m.o., we have the redundant public health officer, Ms. Doohan, at a hundred thou a year. What does she do for all that money in a situation where the number one health officer Dr. Coren, who also seems marginally competent and adds to the covid confusion with his every public utterance which, fortunately for Mendo, isn't often. Doohan, a resident of San Diego, is a straight-up beneficiary of a large gift of public funds, most places an indictable offense.

WHAT WE HAVE in Mendocino County (and everywhere else in the land) is a large apparatus of well-paid bureaucrats pulling down three to four times the average annual salary of most of the people they allegedly serve presiding over a local government whose line workers are radically underpaid, and most of whose agencies suffer major personnel shortages, meaning they can't efficiently provide the services they're supposed to provide. And lots of the people employed by the County leave when they can for greener pastures. 

JOHN McCOWEN asked if I'd publish his views on the Bari Bombing lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department and the FBI. I said I wasn't interested. McCowen used to follow me around calling me a liar at public forums. The lies alleged were either mistakes needing correction or a fact he and the rest of the Bari claque claimed was a lie, such as Bari's attempt soon after the bombing to get limited exemption from prosecution from the FBI, a fact that would indicate to rational people that she knew what happened to her. A lie is a deliberate falsification and should be easily refuted. The Bari Cult, and McCowen, simply make the assertion of lying without explaining what the lie is. Darryl Cherney, a co-conspirator in all this, dismissed me as a liar again at the kickoff event for a month of hagiographic lying by the Bari Cult at the County Museum in Willits, during which no one has been invited to present the dissenting opinion. McCowen, incidentally, has never explained his role in these events, beginning with his renting his property at 106 Standley, Ukiah, to self-certified environmentalists where, in my opinion, the federal government monitored Redwood Summer events.

OLD TIMER ERNIE BRANSCOMB: “I must admit that I am no expert on this subject. I only know what I see and hear. I have seen many drunks in my life, and possibly many more cannabis users. There may be some benefit in parking your brain for a few hours, but it is not wise to park it while you may need it for thinking. Not being particularly religious, I can’t trust in God to take care of me while my brain is in park. From that standpoint I never drink more than a 12 oz. beer, and I will never use ANY mind altering chemical that will take away my ability to protect myself and my family and friends. Alcohol predictably leaves your system rapidly. After smoking one joint a day for a period of time, cannabis stays in your system and is detectable for up to 30 days. For me that is not good. I have heard many stories about how peaceful cannabis users are and how violent drunks are. However, I have been in many situations where some things are just plain worth fighting for. 

All of society is in serious trouble right now, we no longer have a clear sense of the future. I keep hearing about the new fad called critical thinking. What good is critical thinking if all of the “facts” that you gather are ones that you select to believe. I’ve seen it too many times. So the advice that I have for everyone is to keep doing whatever you do and remember the wise council ‘Moderation in all things’.” 

GROWING OLD IN MENDO: "This Is About Hearing Aids. I just got news that has floored me and left me in tears. I'm 87 years old, disabled, hard of hearing, and live on nothing but Social Security, so I am classified as poor. I need new hearing aids. So I went to an Audiologist in Ukiah seven months ago, got a hearing test, told them I can't afford to pay but am covered by insurance. Of course I gave them the details. Remember: this was seven months ago. Today I get news that my insurance doesn't qualify and I'll have to find a provider that takes my insurance. My insurance is United Health Care. I am covered by Partnership. They had told me on the phone before I ever went there that they took Medicare. Now, seven months later, when the aids were due to finally be delivered to me, they tell me I need another provider. What kind of way is that to treat old people? Why in god's earth didn't they check the details of my insurance before they even tested me? So, since I don't want anyone else to have to go through this, I plead with you, if you need hearing aids, do NOT, EVER, go to Mendocino-Lake Audiology, on South Dora Street in Ukiah. I repeat: Never go to Mendo-Lake Audiology! Because they will promise you aid and comfort and then seven months later, drop you down a dark hole! I am devastated." (Annie Green)

ANOTHER TOILET PAPER SCARE? The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach currently has 62 cargo ships waiting to dock. The port normally moves 40 percent of containers in the U.S. but now there is a huge backlog of ships waiting to dock. The backup is attributed to a combination of peak a shipping period and a pandemic-induced buying boom and labor shortage. These two ports serve as the entry point for a third of imports into the US, and are the main import point for goods coming from China. Meanwhile, FedEx announced that about 25 percent of packages going into its shipping hubs, like the one in Portland, Oregon, are being diverted. The hubs are operating with 65 percent of their usual staff as the shipping company struggles against the national labor shortage. Costco announced Thursday it was bringing back limits on purchases of items like toilet paper, paper towels and bottled water. Transportation problems are causing delays in deliveries to stores despite suppliers having enough stock. Pandemic-driven port congestion and labor shortages have forced retail chains including Costco to spend more on transportation.

FURTHER PROOF that critical thinking ability has abandoned local media lies in this headline from today's Press Democrat. The accompanying story is a cynical fantasy spun by state senator McGuire, Congressman Huffman and ancillary Democrat-dominated elected bodies up and down the Northcoast. Why this manufactured coal train hysteria is being whipped up by the Democrats is not yet known, but we suspect it has something to do with the Democrat's ownership of the abandoned rail line.

AND FORMER CONGRESSMAN BOSCO and friends also own the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, stenographer to press release reporting from the paper on the specter of this non-existent coal train chugging through the Eel River canyon and other fantasies pegged loosely to McGuire's chimerical Great Redwood Trail. “…McGuire estimated the North Coast could one day see as many as four trainloads of coal, each a hundred cars long, per day, with four empty trainloads returning. He reached the estimate using current commodity prices to calculate how much coal a company would have to ship to meet a minimum return on investment that would be demanded by federal railroad regulators before they would approve such a venture, he said.”

APOLOGIES for the constant repetition, but it would cost billions to rehab the track through the Canyon when any scheme to move coal from the east through Eureka makes no economic sense when there are other ports on existing rail lines.

IN TIME, we'll either see what the scam is here or it will simply be forgotten, as so much is routinely forgotten on the Northcoast, where history starts all over again every day and you are whatever you say you are.

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT not only functions as steno for elected Democrats, it loyally touts the industrial wine industry in language fostering the delusion that the industry is all pluses for the Northcoast. Of course the paper derives large ad revenues from the booze biz which, imo, a social and ecological disaster for the areas it has occupied and now dominates. Sooooo, this headline from the PD was consistent with the paper’s wine genre: “New study confirms less water usage in vineyard can result in better grapes…” Grapes were dry farmed for a thousand years, weren't they? But leave it to the PD to reassure their wine padrones that the industry is at least thinking of less profligate water usage. 

KEN BURNS' latest documentary is an absolutely fascinating eight-hour series on Muhammad Ali, arguably the single most renowned figure of the 20th century and, to radlibs like myself and my Sixties comrades, easily the single most attractive character of the 20th century. We were instantly drawn to him while jock world marveled at his unrivaled — previously unseen in boxing— athletic gifts. 

THOROUGHLY despised by white America in his first years on the national scene for what seemed to be his outrageous vanity, his “I am the prettiest fighter ever” gimmick that Ali admitted he got from the famous wrestler of the 1950's and early sixties, Gorgeous George, annoyed people no end. But the posturing led to multi-million dollar gates. 

ALI then doubled down on the hatred by refusing to fight in Vietnam, a stance that cost him four years and millions of dollars when he was in his prime. I confess I thought when Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and claimed to be devoted to a crank cult like the then-Black Muslims (still a racist, anti-Semitic cult) it was a scheme designed to sweeten the pot, get the suckers to pay lots and lots to see his fights. Nope, he was a sincere convert and, as he lived on, a true man of principle. And then a revered world figure.

BURNS doesn't pull his punches. He tells the whole Muhammad Ali story, including his at times terrible cruelty, especially towards Joe Frazier whom he maligned as “White America's Champ.” Frazier never forgave Ali for years of undeserved insult. 

THE CLIPS from the Ali-Frazier fights are hard to watch. They almost killed each other. Twice. And I remember the “rope a dope” fight in Zaire with heavily favored George Foreman when Ali took a terrific beating before coming back to knock Foreman out. No one, including apparently his cornermen, knew Ali had planned to absorb a half hour of terrible punishment as Foreman punched himself out.

ALL THE BEATINGS he took over the years probably caused the Parkinson's that made Ali's last years so painful, and it was always hard to see this remarkable man suffering like he did. The sharks around him had kept him fighting way too long, but in his prime he was truly the greatest fighter ever, and smart, funny and principled into the unique person he was. 


As of Sunday morning (09-26-2021), there have been 150 views on the AVA you tube channel. A view is apparently recorded only when watched from beginning to end.

The last portion, the 2002 interview with Steve Talbot IMO is devastating to Cherney & Company's money grubbing, mythological revision of the truth. See the AVA for Bruce McEwen & Marilyn Davon's coverage of the Cherney SCAMARAMA at the museum in Willits this past week.

The link for the AVA's copy of the 1991 “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” is: “Who Bombed Judy Bari” (1991 documentary) followed by 2002 interview with filmmaker Steve Talbot 


1. “More Cannabis Crap!! Wasted money!! Mendocino County’s problems are so far worse than freaking Cannabis!! Do they think they’re throwing this at us to try to get our minds off this county’s “Real” problems!!! STOP IT!!

2. I agree, that’s all I hear. Roads have gone to the dogs and some [pot]holes are a menace. Homelessness, bad drugs, shootings, water problems, businesses shutting down. Rudeness too! What has happened to the communities! Forgot stealing and break-ins too!

A READER WRITES: "An observation. Some of us don't see Andy Coren as a leading anything. But he was my mother's doctor after we moved her to Ukiah when she began to slip. My wife and I round the good doctor competent, caring and practical. My mother was adamant do not resuscitate. She was struck with a stroke one day. Coren came to the nursing hospital, examined, and took me aside and calmly explained the likely scenario. If I abided by her wishes, and let nature take its course she would likely die within 24 hours. She did. It was not an easy decision. But it was the right one, and I appreciated Coren's assessment, and his demeanor. He displayed good judgment. That was the end of my involvement with Coren. My wife continued on for several more years as a patient. She is the strong, sturdy type so there were no issues of note. Criticism goes with his public position but the anti-vaxers and assorted whack jobs are way off base in my opinion. He is doing his job as I see it."

CORRECTION: While local historian Katy Tahja was very pleased with a review of her book recently by Brad Wiley she wanted to correct a mistake and point out that “An Eclectic History of Mendocino County” was published in 2019, not 2002. The history book covers the years 1852 to 2002 in its contents.

THE PARTIAL BACK STORY: Devin Lamar Johnson, 20, is the kid arrested as the one and only suspect in the terrible Calpella arson called the Hopkins Fire. He's caught on video emerging from behind a building just as a fire looms behind him. Another camera captures a rather poignant shot of him gazing out towards the fire as it exploded up the hill and on into dry Lake Mendocino where it ignited brush that would normally be under water, taking out nearly forty homes as it went. 

The boy was fresh out of the County Jail for burglaries (plural). In jail. Johnson was assaultive. Staff thought he was probably 5150 or, at a minimum, not mentally all there. He grew up in the area and was raised by a grandmother, not an unusual circumstance ever since the late 1960s as parents defaulted and continue to default and grandparents find themselves raising children again. 

Devin Johnson

At an early age Johnson got into heavy marijuana use and seems to have developed the schizophrenia that destroys so many young people who overindulge in their formative years.

LOCALS certainly appreciate the more frequent appearances of the CHP in The Valley. Thank Sheriff Kendall next time you see him. It was pressure from Kendall that got the CHP to come over here more often, although the guy I saw getting a ticket for sliding through the stop sign at 253 and 128 probably isn't particularly appreciative.

THE RECENT CHRON story on Usal could have been written by any shocked person who's been out there over the past quarter century. Or, as a reader puts it, “I'm glad you reposted the Usal story. It's a bummer that people are so disrespectful of such a beautiful, historic spot. The timing of the decline is interesting. The Army Corp of Engineers seemed to let Lake Mendocino facilities really slide as well after the 2008 recession. Campgrounds shut down, day use areas were undermanaged, garbage accumulated, storm damage never got fixed, etc.” I'd like to see the state erect a barrier out on Highway One that kept vehicles out of Usal. Campers could hike in, which right there would keep out the wahoos. And what's with the American flags flying on so many of the vandal's high-rise tractormobiles? It's patriotic to destroy one of the most beautiful areas in the country?


[1] I REMEMBER 2009… My Happy House Hubby had retired a few years earlier, he was over a decade my senior, and I had a great job as a support engineer at a company named Rent-One-Online, a predecessor to VRBO, and AirBNB. We lived in the Santa Cruz mountains up in the redwoods and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an idyllic life. The company's major source of profit was selling insurance to the home owners to protect them from the inevitable stupid things that renters do. The insurance company they used was TravelGuard. A fully owned subsidiary of AIG. Perhaps you have a fuzzy recollection of how AIG helped make the 2008 crash possible?

See, the folks on Wall Street had been completely deregulated and found a way to slice crappy loans into great big AAA packages called Tranches. Well, when it became clear this was a bomb that would have to blow up sooner or later, AIG volunteered to insure the Tranches, in something called a Credit Default Swap. Because business was great and AIG was making money faster than it could count it. Then the fan and the poo danced. And the stink was fierce. What a mess. And everyone and their third cousin was looking down the barrel of fiscal implosion and lots of jail time to go around. So President Obama printed up enough money to wallpaper the planet and tried to plug the hole in the world with it. To a degree he succeeded. We aren't all enjoying the permanent camping life. But it changed America Forever.

My job evaporated, my company evaporated, the entire sector evaporated, and jobs like mine went away for a very long time, especially for 50 somethings. I muddled through, worked at a couple startups with friends, for part time pocket change compared to what I was making before the crash. Then in 2012 my Husband passed away from cancer. Between the medical debts and the loss of his retirement (we had to cash in his investments at pennies on the dollar during the crash just to stay afloat), things got really hard. Really hard. There was a short time, I was sleeping in my car, in the parking lot at work, and cleaning up in the morning in the restroom there. Just a few weeks mind you, but it was an amazing education. I have another friend who told me of a time in her life where selling blood in San Francisco was the difference between eating and not. Our new Gig Society has found ever better ways to use people, to make a small group rich, at the cost of the continued poverty of many.

I have a crazy strong work ethic. Got it from my Dad. Things like skill, talent, and dedication just don't mean anything when people are reduced to labor units. This is going to get a lot worse as jobs go away permanently. We best come up with answers and soon, because the natives have been restless for a while now. 

[2] Why Is Santa Going to Drop A Bomb on Biden? So this is the insanity of the last 40+ years. Why HW Bush called Supply Side “Voodoo Economics” when running against Reagan for President in 1980. Every time this recipe had been used, the economies of the nations employing it went into ever bigger and bigger Boom-Bust Cycles until those economies imploded. Have you been paying attention to What has happened to the American Economy like clockwork since 1980? How many more cycles do you think America has before we go belly up? I'd be deeply surprised if the next Bust leaves an America we recognize. 

Moreover, this is precisely how the wealthy have been bleeding America dry for 40 years. Invest, Boom... harvest the cream, stick it in offshore accounts... Bust, buy up assets 5 cents on the dollar... Boom, make a killing, harvest the cream, stick it in offshore accounts... Wash and repeat. Until, the dollar is toilet paper, and there are only two classes... trillionaires and peasants. 

Add to that, every TV Station, Radio Station, Magazine, Newspaper, and neighborhood bird cage liner, has been bought by a media syndicate. They've been changing what you can hear, Who can talk, and What people can say in a public venue. The Government has been trying hard to lock down the internet in exactly the same way. So far to no avail, but moneyed interests keep trying to turn it into just another pay per view channel owned; lock, stock, and barrel by the very same group of media moguls. 

The failure of American Education isn't a mistake or accident... The biggest threat to any despot is an informed electorate. Since the 60s and the hell Government paid fighting well educated young people, there has been a quiet strategy to dumb America down, to keep us in check, prevent us from being able to demand our birthright, or even appreciate that it had been stolen from us. Let's be clear, Half our nation now runs on “Faith Basis”, which is doublespeak for superstition handed down from a man of religion cuz Gawd Said So. No critical thinking, no rigorous checks on power, less than no holding our representatives to account. Just two big fat Sock Puppets duking it out for our tribal delight and entertainment pleasure, as they just keep stacking the deck against us. 

I don't know how this ends. I do know that our freedom and our world are in peril, and the people who call the shots these days, don't care about either of those things. 

[3] Heard something on the radio this morning that gave me pause. The Death Rate in Ohio over the last year has exceeded the Birth Rate... So first, it appears in certain places, where COVID has been allowed to run unimpeded, having it's wild and wooly way with those communities, It has indeed become a tool that at least stops population growth, and selectively culls the herd. Who knew? That said, the Delta Variant that has accomplished this feat is nearly an order of magnitude more contagious and virulent than the original infection, so it still seems the original COVID (COVID Light), wasn't up to the task of changing the population density, save killing off the sick and elderly. If you had made that claim, that COVID was designed to infect everyone, and kill off the “Social Dead-Weight”, you could have absolutely made a serious case for that. At least it would have had some logical grounding. Anyway, I thought this new datapoint was very interesting... not trying to start any new conspiracies, but if you can get past the sheer horror of this, the way it unfolds truly is fascinating. — Marie Tobias 

[4] We’ve decided to home school our boy, kindergarten starts next fall. The schools are nuts right now. Not everyone is able to do that, but we both work at home, so we figure what’s the difference to our daily lives if we take on that responsibility. There are many local groups for child socialization with other like-minded families.

Wish it were different though…there was a lot of good that came from going to public school when I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. Just ain’t that way anymore…or at least not at the moment. I know we’re not alone in this belief. Pushback is going to be real, the schools will begin to empty.

Best wishes for your kids’ friends who are suffering at the moment.

[5] Granted that Prop 64, like most propositions, sounded like a well-intentioned effort to solve a problem, but was in fact always bankrolled by big business. But the voters didn’t see past “legal weed – yay!”, and now we’re stuck with it. Similar can be said for the unintended consequences of Props 47 and 57.

But…. An economist might look at the economy of Humboldt over the last 40 years and determine that it was a false economy based on some specific and faulty factors: a) weed was illegal and hence expensive, and b) despite all the tales of CAMP and the HCSO, enforcement was more lax here than anywhere else, as was the likelihood of prosecution. The only reason the emerald triangle became what it was is that, relatively speaking, your chances of getting away with it were far greater than anywhere else.

My point is that even if big-business weed wasn’t a thing the local market share in the weed game would have plummeted. Even if there were, say, a statewide 2000 sq. ft. limit (random number for the sake of argument) there’d be growers all over the state in the game, and there are a lot of cheaper and easier places to grow than Humboldt. If I can buy ag land in the Central Valley with water and warm temperatures for 1/2 what I would pay here why would I stay here?

And don’t forget tax incentives. Yeah, Humboldt County has been greedy, unrealistic, and inefficient in the permitting process. But even if that weren’t that case there’d still be some other county incentivizing people to grow there to draw in the business. Just as if it were an Amazon distribution center, but on a way smaller scale.

Our weed economy was propped up by factors that don’t exist anymore. We have 3 times (rough guess) more capacity than the market can handle. The old days are over, people are going to suffer, and the hills will depopulate. Only re-criminalization will change that.

[6] Oh it’s depressing as hell, no doubt and after serving the public for the last 6 years I should be chronically depressed myself. Fortunately for me I expected this and after putting forth a super-human effort only to confirm the fact that Americans actually embrace corruption as a way of doing business, well you reap what you sew.

Personally I have been blessed with a wonderful and productive life. I will have earned just about $2M dollars and have lived my 67 years living the life of a king. I am thankful and grateful to God for all He has done for me.

Watching my nation decay and collapse, sometimes even physically is what is so disturbing. How anyone can embrace the dirty, old sock in the White House as a good thing shatters my faith in my fellow humans. I am certainly sad at watching this farce play out, but not to worry, it’s not bothering me in the least, I saw it coming.

[7] Ah, the Boomer lament. You are the classic example of why your generation needs the hook off the world stage. Your statement reads almost like a satirist wrote it as it is filled will the usual tropes and the eye-rolling conclusion, “I saw it coming.” 

The thing is your generation has detached itself and takes no responsibility for the mess you’re generation helped to create, support and reinforce. 

But yeah, you saw it coming and did nothing. Like many it seems earning that $2 million got in the way.

[8] Just returned from an epic two week road trip from Georgia to Cody, Wyoming, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole and back. Several observations:

1. Most people we came across were not masked up; even employees at hotels and restaurants. Our upscale lodge at Jackson Hole had a notice posted that you couldn’t enter without a mask. Fully 75% were not masked and I believe 15% more were just too chicken to rebel.

2. America is a vast and beautiful country. No wonder China wants our farmland. The fruited plain in Middle and Western America was ripe with harvest and a butt load of beef on the hoof. Corn was being harvested, hay and alfalfa was being baled. It was a beautiful thing.

3. America doesn’t run on Dunkin’ runs on fossil fuels. Farmers are farming on tractors, truckers are trucking. As long as the spigot is open America is open for business.

4. Jackson Hole is a shit hole. the Tetons are beautiful but stay away from town. Nothing but cheap souvenir shops and expensive art galleries, although there were a couple of awesome craft breweries. We were asked to leave a shop because we refused to wear a mask. My husband was about to don his Wyatt Earp hat and pull his six shooter before I could hustle him out. He does not go quietly!

5. And finally, America is fat. We traveled through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming and marveled at the fat people we came across at restaurants, rest stops and hotels. It’s almost as if they were being fattened up for slaughter. Imagine that!

Thanks for reading this far. One reason we didn’t fly out West is that my husband refused to leave his guns behind. Our truck was well equipped with AR15, shot guns, Glocks, .45…and plenty of spare ammo. In fact we took a 1 hour detour in order to avoid Illinois, We were unable to completely avoid it as we had to cross the Mississippi somewhere, but we were able to cut our time from one hour to ten minutes.

I vacillate between despair for our country and encouragement when I encounter the thousands of normal folks out there who just want to live their lives in peace. Can we?

[9] It is a common misconception that marijuana was “legalized”. It was not, not really. What did happen is it was regulated and taxed in an attempt to deliver it to corporate and state control and profit. We were only allowed 6 plants under certain limited conditions. In this situation those conditions were not met and so even 4 plants becomes illegal. It is confusing to many because our group denial is so very strong that still many- even (perhaps especially) the media insists that we “legalized” cannabis and so we are more free and progressive and such crap. The repeated public insistence has led to much confusion. We did not “ Free Mary Jane” or ourselves. We handed an already existing multi-billion dollar industry (built by the underground public) to the corporate investors and the already-rich investment brokers while starving out the little people. And we celebrated this obscenity.

[10] I think the vast majority of marriages would remain intact if both parties simply held up their end of the deal. In most of the divorces I have been reasonably familiar with in my lifetime–which is a lot at my age of 73–the majority were due to the husband's abandonment or non-support of the family. I've known of a couple of cases where the husband was still providing and was not violent or abusive, but had descended so far into alcoholism (extremely drunk 24/7) that he was intolerable. 

I've known of a couple of cases where the wife ran the couple deeply into debt. Spending totally out of control. I know of a couple of cases of the husband doing this. One couple married in their sixties, just as the husband retired. He gambled away his entire, very substantial, retirement within a year or two. 

A couple of cases of abandonment were because hubby went to prison. 

My point here is that divorce is rarely because of lack of emotional and spiritual support, but because of a very serious–let's just spit it out and say “existential”–responsibilities.

Most people will put up with little rubs and incompatibilities, as long as they're not looking at financial ruin. A wife who is the sole support of the family over a period of years due to hubby's refusal to get a job, is also likely to get fed up–although, interestingly, I can only think of two such cases, and neither couple divorced. In one case, hubby eventually got a job, after about five years as a layabout. In the other case, hubby (who had never worked over the entire 20-year marriage) eventually got a job due to dire financial straits when the wife lost her job and had to accept a lower-paying one. He has been bitching about it on Facebook ever since. The “capitalists” are screwing him over, dontcha know. 

I think the real question about the reason for the high divorce rate is, why has the ability to accept responsibility declined so steeply? To the point where this non-acceptance of responsibility goes existential? You didn't see this in the 1950s, which was when I grew up–or at least not as much of it. You saw some pretty disordered homelife situations, but rarely did you see a long-term unemployed and shiftless husband, and when you did it was usually due to alcoholism.

(11) I’ve actually been spending too much time in SF...

Drive out 16th between South Van Ness and Castro...

Or just about anywhere in the Bay Area...

Lived in Yuba City and Vacaville at times too...

Now, Lakeport is cleaner than The Mission, and the Lakeport police roust the bums, put 'em in handcuffs and search them, and drive them out past the City Limits...

Tolerance for “alternative lifestyles” is the problem, and, hey, they arrested a 30 year old woman North of Redding who allegedly started the Fawn Fire with her lighter...

Jeeze, ten miles off the Highway isn't looking far enough out any more, but at least my neighbors aren't living in tents and piling up their garbage...

A gal who lived near me, apparently had Cancer, didn't tell anyone, and was subsequently found unresponsive in the home she had bought after retiring from a major corporation... She expired a few weeks later, but in the interim, when her friend showed up to look for her purse and cell phone etc, it was discovered that the inside of the house was trashed and stacked with boxes of her stuff, which was never put away. Bags of food not put away etc...

Eventually, apparently also intestate, her heirs were located, an unbelievable stench was coming from her property, and when the heirs finally showed up after 5 months, they dug through her possessions, tossed cardboard boxes all over the place, and left. One presumes that anything

considered valuable was removed, and, now we are waiting for probate to clear so that somebody will come back, clean up, and sell the place...

So, it's always something...


  1. Pat Kittle September 30, 2021

    As a life-long member of the “working class” I’ve always had a problem with that designation.

    Someone who endures the challenges of medical/nursing school to become an ethical professional who greatly reduces suffering isn’t “working”?

    Someone who masters the challenges of astrophysics to vastly increase our understanding & appreciation of reality isn’t “working”?

  2. Michael Koepf October 1, 2021

    “The Bari Cult” Phrase often used by the editor of this paper to distance himself from the candid fact, that he and he alone first brought Bari to gushing prominence in the pages of his paper. If Bari was a “cult” he was the founding father.

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