Press "Enter" to skip to content

Off the Record (March 9, 2022)

DENNIS CUNNINGHAM: San Francisco civil-rights lawyer Dennis Cunningham died of cancer Saturday night. Local friends of Dennis will gather at Big River Beach at sunset today (Sunday 3/6/22) in his honor. Dennis headed the legal team representing forest/labor activist Judi Bari, winning a $4 million jury verdict against the FBI and Oakland Police for trying to frame her for the 1990 Oakland car bombing that nearly killed her. He also represented the Q-Tip pepper-spray activists in their successful civil right suit against the Humboldt County Sheriff and Eureka Police. He was a co-founder of the People's Law Office in Chicago defending anti-war activists from charges in the riots outside the 1968 Democratic Convention. The list goes on. He was a friend and a very good man who dedicated his life to defending activists and suing bad cops on their behalf. — N. Wilson, Albion

ED NOTE: Not exactly. Bari fired her first attorney, the late Susan B. Jordon, for asking, one time too many, “How about the ex-husband? People are telling me he did it.” Bari, who knew what happened, applied to the FBI for partial immunity from prosecution; the FBI said no. Enter the infinitely elastic Cunningham who brought the federal suit, dictated to him by Bari and, ultimately, co-written with the Justice Department, to exclude any mention of what actually happened. Cunningham was a weak, rather pathetic character who couldn't be trusted to competently present the phony federal case. Enter Tony “Tony The Actor” Serra who did all the talking. The scam prevailed. Bari and Darryl Cherney had raised a lot of money on the Dupe Circuit — the Pacifica Network primarily, locally via KMUD and KZYX, promising that if they won their federal suit they'd do lots of good things for the environment. Cherney bought a dope farm near Garberville, the Bari estate further enriched Bari's wealthy daughters, and the true history of what really went down resides with the ava in its archives. 

PS. No one associated with this breathtaking fraud, including Cunningham, would ever debate me despite many invitations, and no mention of the case is allowed at “Free Speech Radio, Mendocino County.” 

STATE SENATOR McGuire, illusionist. McGuire has a talent for substituting the appearance of action for actual actualized action, hence his periodic announcements of the non-existent and never to be Great Redwood Trail, duly parroted by the Mendo branch of the Northcoast Democrats, with several stage-prop Ukiah Democrats occasionally posed with McGuire on the Ukiah stretch of pavement advertised as the first three miles of the Trail. (At a cost of roughly $3 million) 

ONLY 200 miles to go as soon as former Congressman Bosco, present owner of the Trail’s right of way in the form of the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad, which Bosco magically obtained in a murky process he steered through elected Northcoast Democrats, is paid the high-interest loans he provided to the old NCRA. 

ENTERING public service as a struggling, “liberal” attorney, Bosco, like Biden and so many other public servants, is now a multi-millionaire and owner of, among other properties, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. (He even lives in the former owner’s mansion.) If Ayn Rand had had a sense of humor she could have a comic sequel to ‘The Fountainhead’ called The Rainbird based on Bosco’s rapacious career. State Senator McGuire will have to hustle to catch up with Doug, but his “town hall” with Sheriff Kendall and Supervisor Haschak zooming in to join the senator is the kind of fail-safe non-event Bosco would admire.

BUT BOSCO did appear exactly once in an open meeting with the rabble when he was still representing corporations as our purely alleged federal representative. That meeting was held in the state building in Santa Rosa. A long line of angry constituents lined up to tee off on the Congressman for his pathetic record of craven votes for, among other things, nerve gas weapons. (Bosco ran as a liberal, of course.) What was absolutely wonderful about this event was Bosco losing it. After about the third consecutive person denounced him, with the assembled mob howling with laughter at the speakers ragging on him, Bosco started to shoot back, finally losing it altogether. “If you don’t like it, elect someone else!,” the righteous solon thundered before stalking off stage and out of the building. 

AND DARNED if the Peace and Freedom Party’s Darlene Commingore didn’t get someone else elected, drawing a big slug of Bosco’s usual libs to bounce him out of office, but only to be replaced by a non-entity of a Republican, Frank Riggs. The lesson Democrat party hacks seem to have learned from the Bosco election is that support for ciphers like McGuire, Wood and, to a large extent, Huffman, is that lib lab support is soft, that they stay in office in lieu of a Northcoast left. How much longer an utterly corrupt Democratic Party can last is anybody’s guess, but there’s no discernible energy from the left anywhere on the Northcoast. Or the country, for that matter.

ACCORDING to McGuire’s warm, fuzzy website, "Mike is a lifelong Californian. His family farmed the Golden State’s rich soils for decades and he was raised by two incredibly strong women, his mom and grandma," and apparently conceived without a male involved.

“MIKE and his mom struggled growing up. (Sic) He’s been working full-time since he was 16, helping put himself through college.”

WORKING doing what, going to college where? At what point did Mike and his mom stop struggling? Any news from Dad?

“MIKE is the third highest ranking member of the Senate and the youngest Assistant Majority Leader in decades.”

WHICH is like being the third tallest kid in a class of dwarves.

“HE’S been a champion for our kids and public schools. He went to the mat and won against President Trump on offshore oil drilling, led the charge in the legislature on wildfires, and is a leading voice in holding PG&E accountable. And no one has been more successful at securing resources to combat homelessness and build affordable housing in rural California.”

PURE BULLSHIT. California’s schools rank among the worst in the country, offshore oil prohibitions were achieved before McGuire was born, wildfires have always seemed indifferent to his opposition, PG&E remains unaccountable except to its shareholders, and there is no affordable housing in sight anywhere in the state. Or the country.

“MIKE and his wife Erika, an elementary school principal, call Sonoma County home with their lazy pug, Gertrude.”

HOW COZY. Hustling Mike lives in the wealthy enclave of Healdsburg with two strong women, and his… sorry. A full mawk alert prevented repetition of the dog ref. 

FROM THE SF CHRON: “Mayor London Breed on Friday reiterated her desire to have law enforcement play a role in addressing the Tenderloin’s drug crisis…” 

HAVING ceded downtown San Francisco to free range dope heads, criminals, and psychos, the Mayor belatedly concedes it’s time to arrest her way out of the Democrat’s great gift of the most expensive real estate in the world to the Thanatoids.

BIDEN’S REASSURANCE. One section of the website for nuclear explosions advises Americans: “Stay inside for 24 hours unless local authorities provide other instructions.” “Continue to practice social distancing by wearing a mask and by keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household.” It is not clear when this advice was included in the nuclear explosion page, but the webpage was last updated on Friday, February 25, 2022, according to a note at the bottom of the site. 

MENDO COUNTY COUNSEL CURTIS screwed up the Brown Act legalities the first time the Supes tried to give him more public money. So what did they do? They brought in a legal mastermind from San Francisco to make sure they didn't screw up this second attempt at a gift of public funds. If a guy can't even get his own unearned raise right, why does he deserve it? You can be sure that the Frisco lawyer-consultants  — two of them — cost us a pretty penny to zoom into make sure Curtis got his money. (We're filing a public records act request to see how much this expensive farce cost us, on top of the raise itself.) 

THE GOOD AND BAD NEWS. The most prominent opponent of Putin in Russia, Alexei Navalny, has called on people around the world to stage daily protests against Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine. In a string of tweets sent from his prison cell, the Russian opposition leader called Putin “our obviously insane czar” and sent out a call to action. “We cannot wait any longer,” Navalny wrote. “Wherever you are, in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet, go to the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays. If you are abroad, come to the Russian embassy. If you can organize a demonstration, do so on the weekend.” Navalny was imprisoned last year after he returned to Russia from Germany following his recovery from a nerve-agent attack by Putin assassins. 

IF PUTIN can be stopped, it will be Russians who stop him, which seems more and more conceivable as the Russian economy tanks and prominent, influential Russians publicly come out against the invasion of Ukraine. Putin's obviously indifferent to world opinion, and brutal as it is, Putin's invasion of Ukraine seems like a standard two-step military operation — first invade then if the invaded don't give up, destroy them. All this may seem crazy but it's clear he's been planning it for a long time. Remember what he did to the Chechens? They wouldn't stop their resistance so Putin leveled their cities. Ukraine is a much larger atrocity to bring off but Putin's already played his hole card, which is the threat of the nuke option, and the world is left with the terrible choice of giving up Ukraine or daring Putin to end all of us. 

THE LOCAL ANGLE. It was the Cuban Missile Crisis that brought Jim Jones to Mendocino County. Jones had read a famous piece in Esquire magazine that claimed Mendo would survive a nuclear war because of favorable winds that would prevent fallout from falling on the Northcoast. Jones herded his Indianapolis flock westward where he first landed at the old Golden Rule church premises on the west side of the Willits Grade. From there, with the Reverend himself taking a job as a 5th grade teacher in Boonville, the Jones parish soon had accumulated enough capital to buy a place in Redwood Valley where he latched onto dependent persons as a steady stream of government dollars and, as an early demagogue deft at wielding the politically correct arsenal of race-baiting, Jones denounced skeptics of his inter-racial congregation as racists, even then an effective means of stifling criticism. The Rev parlayed his alleged good works into foreman of the Mendocino County Grand Jury and on into all-round big shotism in Mendocino County's politically diffuse firmament. Of course he wound up murdering most of his rainbow congregation and ever after the lawyers, judges, Democrat bigwigs, and other of Jones' well-placed enablers have pretended not to know him.

AGAINST the widespread backdrop of domestic violence in our unhappy land, this on-line comment neatly sums up the depressing phenomena in our neighborhood: “Ah yes….the Emerald Triangle….where a woman with two black eyes is said to be hard of hearing.”

CBS: “Most who watched say the president struck the right approach to Russia in the speech. Although 3 in 10 didn't think he was tough enough.”

I LASTED a full hour of Biden's slurred Santa Claus promises before I wondered why I was watching and tuned him out. He's obviously impaired. Watching him is painful, knowing his shameful political history should make him generally unendurable, but there he is at the country’s helm at the worst possible moment.

“NOT TOUGH ENOUGH”? The one thing the committee running Biden is doing is playing Putin the only way they can. Get as much aid and ammo as possible to the Ukrainians and hope Russians rise up against their thug government. He can’t be stopped from outside, at least that’s the way it looks from Boonville’s Global Affairs Desk.

MITCH CLOGG on Old Guy-itis:

Mornings, I assemble myself for confronting the world as—could this be ME I’m talking about?—an old man. Glasses on window sill. Without them, I can see you but not read you. Put on glasses. Hearing aids, w/o which I can hear you but not understand you; I can hear a raven but not a robin. Dentures. Without them I can bite you (my top front teeth, the ones on view, are mine) but not chew you. Arthritis cream for right thumb and wrist. Wait for it to dry. Apply velcro wrist splint, w/o which I can shake your hand firmly but not turn a doorknob w/o a wincing jab of pain (it’s in the rotation).

This goes on, to the soles of my feet. They hurt, for some goddamned reason, and coating them with Vitamin-E cream puts that off. 

I’m tellin’ ya.

NO need to PROceed. Often, when the house is silent, Eleanor in her studio, the former detached garage, no sound audible to unaided me from outside, I go ear-unaided. I don’t need the ambient sounds of life. A dish, a pot, a pan, bumping another, is rudely loud. Hearing aids don’t distinguish. They amplify what I call “trash noise” as readily as the music of the spheres. Ordinary chores are noisy. One wonders, considering the superior hearing of, say, dogs and cats, what kind of cacophony they must tolerate. Likewise teeth. Oatmeal or scrambled eggs don’t need ‘em. OJ doesn’t, nor coffee. I can swallow my blood-pressure pill w/o teeth, my anti-depressant. I don’t yet have to have foreign objects rattling around in my mouth. Yet.

This is just the front row of accommodations I make to continue on. The wrist splint might go away. Annoyances come and settle in, it seems permanently, and, sometimes, they fade away. ¿Quién sabe? Hearing aids and false teeth are immutable for me. Canes are not, yet. 

My balance was shot by damage done to my ears when I had cancer. Aging didn’t help. I reluctantly started using a cane. On walks with Surely, I used two long, stout walking sticks. Balance and upward thrust for me auld legs, doncha know? (I’m descended from apes and Scots. Maybe. My family seemed not to give a rat’s fanny for our heritage. That disappoints my curiosity but delights my incipient, small-r republicanism, indifference to family pedigree. I can only be sure of the “apes” part. Germany and the UK seem to be the ancestral home—for recent hundreds of millennia, anyway. “Clogg” is not too common…)

OH! Right! I was talking about morning assembly. SO I DECIDED TO GIVE UP (mostly) THE STICKS AND CANES. The decision is still on probation. My reasoning was along the lines of: “Don’t compensate for shrinking capacity—reverse it!” So I’ve upped my exercise. My stupid legs are still stupid, and my lack of balance is funny except when I bump my head, but I entertain the possibility that I can feel a tiny improvement. If it is a deception, such self-deceptions can be salutary.

This has been a brief comment on old age. A longer version plays tiresomely in my head.

THE COAST DEMOCRATS ASK, “Can Progressive Politics Prevail In Mendocino?”



LONGER ANSWER: As one of these tiresome guys who asks people to define their terms, what do conservative Democrats mean by “progressive”? There are a lot of people on the Northcoast walking around thinking good thoughts, but defining “progressive” as enacted in public policy and elected to office to agitate for progressive policies, NO. Example: When a bona fide progressive, Norm Solomon, ran in the primary against conservative, machine Democrat Jared Huffman in 2012, Norm was not quite able to get enough votes to get into a runoff against Huffman, garnering, as I recall, just short of the only Republican candidate. (The primary was for a run-off between the top two vote-getters. Huffman got just 37.5%. Republican Dan Roberts got 15% and Solomon got 14.9%, just 173 votes short of what would have put him into a run-off with the other Democrat. The “stoner candidates” with absolutely no chance of winning — John Lewallen, Dr. Courtney, and Andy Caffrey — got almost 7,000 votes collectively, most of which would have gone to Solomon if they hadn’t thrown their bongs into the ring, allowing the electorate a real choice between a ho-hum Demo and a real progressive with a record to back it up.) I'd say roughly ten percent of the Northcoast electorate could accurately be described as “progressive,” fewer in Mendocino County. But if you count the Solomon and Stoner votes from 2012 the percentage would be closer to 20%.

THE ONLY SUPERVISOR who has ever taken the County budget seriously is Johnny Pinches of the 4th District, and he is the only supervisor in recent history who truly guarded the public purse. He certainly would have opposed this constant delegating of simple legal cases to expensive Frisco lawyers.

THE SORELY PUT UPON taxpayers of this county fund at least 8, maybe ten lawyers in the County Counsel's office; what do these people do all day? A wrongful termination beef is brain surgery gone wrong? You need to pay someone $300-$400 an hour to represent the county in cases where the CEO's tantruming winds up in court? Any hack with a law degree ought to be able to handle 99 percent of cases arising out of Mendocino County. 

PINCHES annotated the entire County budget, carefully marking every questionable expenditure, and carried that sucker — the size of a city phone book — around with him. Now? The five supervisors, at their every zoom, sign off on big amounts of public money for often nebulous purposes, or no defensible purpose at all, and do a lot of it via the automatic yes of their consent calendar. CEO Angelo has herself made straight up gifts of public funds, flagrantly when she hired her San Diego pal, Dr. Doohan, to be Mendocino County's invisible, un-tasked assistant health officer. 15 hours a week for a year for a hundred grand! And there's no evidence Doohan put in any hours.

THE SUPERVISORS themselves are obviously wayyyyyyyyyy overpaid. $84,000 a year plus a lush array of benefits, and this in a county where the average annual wage is $30,000 and half the county is on one kind of low-income aid or another. Two zoom meetings a month? I say peg Supe salaries to the average annual take of Mendo people, I say! 

UKRAINE, TODAY, an opinion from Boonville's Global Affairs desk: Within the next few days, Putin will be removed from office by patriotic elements of his armed forces who realize the invasion of Ukraine is not only catastrophic for the Ukraine, it's collapsing the Russian economy. Ukraine has already won but at terrible cost, and the longer Ukraine can resist as Putin indiscriminately levels their cities, the more likely Putin is to be removed than feed his conscripts into Ukraine street fighting. BTW, the “left's” stupid demos for NATO to cease its nuclear surround of Russia ignores the obvious fact that NATO is not the aggressor in this one, Yes, NATO should have been disbanded years ago. Hell, even Orange Man wondered why the U.S. was funding much of it as an arm of the post-Yeltsin neo-Cold War. The prob right now is to get Putin out before he goes to the nukes, presuming his generals would go along with the ultimate crime against humanity. Some people will recall it was a courageous Russian sub commander, Vasily Arkhipov, who didn't launch his nukes during the Bay of Pigs. Prediction: Putin is out by Friday.

VLADIMIR PUTIN BECAME ACTING PRESIDENT when Boris Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly on New Year’s Eve 1999. Documents published in 2020 include the transcripts of Clinton’s call to Yeltsin that evening, and to the new president Putin the next morning. Yeltsin explains to Clinton in their phone call “now I’ve given him [Putin] three months, three months according to the constitution, to work as [acting] president, and people will get used to him for these three months. I am sure that he will be elected….” (National Security Archive)

BARBARA ORTEGA OF FORT BRAGG: “Love the idea of a long term vacancy fine, as I have 3 houses on my street that have sat empty for YEARS. These are middle class homes right outside of town. I'd even be happy to see squatters move in at this point.’

HEATHER MEYER:” Mendocino County's Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) was sold to voters as a way to tax rich tourists who lodge in luxury hotels. Unfortunately the TOT applies to all temporary lodging accommodations including Camp Grounds! Hundreds of the poorest people in the county are now paying a 10% annual increase in rent due to the TOT! We represent some of the least financially stable members of society. New or single parents and people who are elderly and or disabled have no choice but to live in trailers in Camp Grounds. Renting in town or anywhere else is simply too expensive. The TOT is putting us at risk for further housing insecurity or loss. Not only is it taxing us money that we don't have; it is taxing Camp Grounds that are struggling to provide water, power, and sewer to hundreds of poor people who would be homeless otherwise. Taxing the low income housing providers and the low income people is exasperating the housing crisis! The county inspectors forbid Camp Ground residents from having: fences, any outdoor structures (however small); including: greenhouses, compost piles or chicken coops. We can't even have a tool shed or a small overhang (to cover a refrigerator that will not fit inside of a tiny trailer). We must live like transients in order to obey code enforcement rules that are bureaucratic overreaches which have nothing to do with safety. So with all these restrictions; why am I paying a TOT? Which means my already high space rent has gone up to almost $800/month? The TOT will equal $840 out of my hole filled pocket per year; and I can't even have a laying hen to help feed my poor overtaxed family! Democratic Socialists: your laws punish the poor; not empower us. Your taxes need to reflect what you preach: tax the rich.”


Skunk Train asks Coastal Commission for permission to lay new track from Laurel Street to Glass Beach along the Glass Beach headland. See the map below from the "Little Stinker" publication. 

On February 28, Mendocino Railway's attorney submitted an application to the California Coastal Commission, demanding a decision within 60 days, on a massive amount of proposed work on the existing Fort Bragg installation and the track and tunnel between Fort Bragg and Willits. 

Inserted in there is a proposal for "Track Construction of 1 mile on 480-acre parcel between the Pacific Ocean and downtown Fort Bragg." (p.7.) 

The application asserts that "that the FRA (Federal Railroad Authority) has determined, [that these actions] typically do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and ... generally do not require the preparation of either an environment impact statement (EIS) or an environmental assessment (EA)." 

All of the environmental impacts of working alongside Pudding Creek, where the City of Fort Bragg gets its water, by a company that asserts it is immune to state and local regulation because it is a railroad, and the Federal threshold for reporting oil spills by railroads is 1,320 gallons! 

But that is not the only threat to the human environment. Think about train engines belching diesel fumes and soot, blasting their air horns next to tourists and locals seeking a little peace and solitude walking by the ocean. This will kill the attractiveness of the Glass Beach headland for all but paying tourists from out of town.

Contact your Fort Bragg City Councilpeople, Supervisors Dan Gjerde and Ted Williams and ask them for resolutions from the City and County to the Coastal Commission opposing Mendocino Railway's application as written.

ANOTHER GIANT STEP forward for truth and justice. An insect formerly known as the gypsy moth has been changed to the “Spongy Moth” because its original name was associated with a derogatory term for Romani people. 

AS A KID and resident of a dive hotel South of Market in San Francisco — bathroom down the hall, clean linen every two weeks — a family of Gypsies occupied the ground floor commercial space. The men called me “boss” and were always trying to sell me stuff. “Boss, you need a transmission?” The women and their girl children sold corsages at night down on Fisherman's Wharf. I don't remember them being offended at being called Gypsies, but I just went with the flow, never having any reason to even wonder about their ethnicity.

AT THE MEREST HINT of compulsion, with mandatory running a close second, the Caring Professionals Industry immediately goes for their big rhetorical guns — “fascist” being the biggest. Mendo's 31-agency “continuum of care” continually convenes meetings to talk about what to do with unhoused, dependent persons and, it's fair to say, they do manage to deliver dubious “services” to the “reimbursables” among the walking wounded. But the people who need locked-door rehab, the unhinged people common on the streets of Ukiah and Fort Bragg, and have destroyed San Francisco's civic center, just try to corral them for their own good and the comfortably compensated helping pros drench everyone in sight with great rivers of croc tears.

SO HERE COMES Governor Newsom with a proposal he calls “Care Court,” which would create a mental-health-focused arm of the civil courts in every county. The state would require counties to provide mandated treatment to the free range junkies, drunks and psychotics to save them from themselves and to spare the rest of us — especially the vulnerable — the anxiety they cause everyone who ventures into public spaces.

WHICH MEANS the police would be tasked with rounding them up, and people like Mendo's royal family of privatized mental health services, Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder, would do the rehab, which won't happen here or any other place in the state unless the state provides the funding for psych sites and people to staff them. 

IN HIS PRESSER Wednesday, Newsom referred sarcastically to so-called compassion as people “die on its streets.”

“There’s no compassion with people with their clothes off defecating and urinating in the middle of the streets, screaming and talking to themselves,” Newsom said. “There’s nothing appropriate about a kid and mom going down the street trying to get to the park being accosted by people who clearly need help. I’m increasingly outraged by what’s going on in the streets,” Newsom said. “I’m disgusted with it.”

WE'LL see if the Governor's disgust is backed up with cash, but immediately the Caring Professional Industry said they feared “a return to institutionalization.”

WHY? How else can you care for several million people unable or unwilling to care for themselves? The old state hospital at Talmage was not only a boon to the people sentenced to live there until they got themselves together, it was a great gift to the small population of Mendocino County whose population of dependent people had a humane, even beautiful place to live while they recovered themselves.

CASE IN POINT. Boonville's one homeless guy is presently dying in the center of town. Locals help him with food and small donations of cash. He's a silent sufferer, seen early in the morning, teeth chattering, talking to himself, a cup of coffee courtesy of one of the early risers. I've never seen him worse. Meth-addicted, clothes in tatters, unbathed for years, but somehow gets himself out of the cold at night. He's not obtrusive, not a screamer, not in any way menacing. Would anybody seriously argue that he should not be compelled into treatment?

IT STRIKES ME that we’ve entered a stage of history where there’s not one figure of international stature with clean hands who won’t be perceived as acting in bad faith to negotiate a peace settlement: no Mandela, no Tutu, no Hammarskjöld, no Pauling, no Ali, no Bertrand Russell. — Jeff St. Clair


Dr. Coren says the mask mandate is being lifted at this time (despite a high level of new infections) "because our community has learned and continues to learn to cope with the pandemic." That sounds nice, but the truth is that an unacceptably high proportion of the population refuses to follow the mask mandate.

Dr. Coren (like Doohan before him) has relied on increasingly questionable declarations of "emergency" to issue orders but makes no attempt to enforce them. Enforcement, if any, is left to individual business owners which places an unfair burden on them.

The response from Federal, State and Local Health Authorities over the last TWO YEARS has frequently been bungled, contradictory and dishonest. Masking and vaccination have failed, not because they don't work, but because the health authorities have failed to convince people that they work. And they only work if a sufficient proportion of the population follows them. A large book could be written about the many mistakes that have been made which have empowered the anti-vax, anti-science morons.

Probably the single greatest impact of the Covid response (greater than the number of infections and deaths) has been the massive transference of wealth from the working/entrepreneurial/small business class to the Super Rich.

The net effect of the failed mandates has been to divide us, not protect us. So, yes, it's time to let the mask mandate go. But if we're standing in line at a store, I expect you to respect social distancing protocols! For much of the last two years, many small business owners/entrepreneurs had to struggle against arbitrary, confusing and contradictory government mandated restrictions and shutdowns that were not supported by science, logic or common sense. Ashley Cali was among the many local small business owners who came forward with very detailed, factual and well thought out protocols for safe re-opening of small businesses, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. It was very frustrating to me that local health authorities and a majority of the Board of Supervisors were indifferent to the plight of local small business owners and their families. Local small businesses and entrepreneurs are the social and economic life blood and creative force that defines and sustains our communities. And they are always deserving of our support.


So let’s see, a gallon of gas is about $5.50 and steadily rising, a bag of groceries will put you out more than $100, minimal housing has become unaffordable to three-fourths of the population and Bernie Sanders, among others, is concerned about baseball? Dave Zirin even laments that Biden missed an opportunity to address the impasse in the State of the Union address, as if that’s one of the most pressing issues facing America.

I’ve got news for Sanders, Zirin, et al; as a lifelong baseball fan I couldn’t care less. I’m done. The game I know and loved has been ruined by a clueless Commissioner and nonsensical rule changes designed to “speed up” the game, when in fact the average time of a game increased by 9 minutes last year. Strikeouts, home runs, defensive shifts that literally strangle the offense and limit the action have turned the game into a bore, something to be endured rather than enjoyed. And I haven’t even mentioned a massive cheating scandal that went virtually unpunished!

I haven’t gone to a game for years, not only because of the cost but the incessant, ear splitting, headache inducing bombardment of noise piped through the sound system. This latest lockout or whatever you want to call it has made me realize that if baseball goes away I won’t miss it.

I don’t know if I’m a lone wolf and fans will come streaming back once it returns (and it will), but I suspect baseball has damaged itself to the point where it will join hockey as merely a fringe sport. America’s National Pastime? That train has left the station. 

— Stephen Rosenthal

ED NOTE: Agree completely. During the last Barry Bonds years, steadfastly remaining seated when another chemically-induced baseball was propelled into McCovey Cove, I found myself disinterested in who won the game, enjoying most the play at shortstop by Omar Vizquel, then Brandon Crawford. I'd buy the cheapest seat I could find at the top of the ballpark from where I could scan much of San Francisco Bay between pitches, and I loved taking the Marin Ferry both ways, always picking up a sandwich in the Ferry Building rather than pay ballpark prices like $15 for garlic fries. It all made for a long day, but where else in the world can you spend a few hours in more beauty?

AS A SPORTS FAN, the only team I follow anymore is the 49ers, and by “follow” I mean read about. I haven't paid much attention to the Warriors since the Rick Barry days because I think the individual play these days is boring, although the Steph Warriors are still fun because they mostly play as a unit. I love track and field, but haven't seen a meet in person since Oregon but used to occasionally watch a high school event in Ukiah or Fort Bragg. It's a shame what's happened to baseball, a game I grew up on and played a lot of unto college where the Cal Poly records show I was even worse than I remembered, maybe because, by my second year, my childhood had belatedly ended and I was preoccupied with adult concerns without quite ever becoming one.


[1] Putin likely will go nuclear when he realizes he’s destroyed both Russia and himself. His attitude might be “F.U. If I’m going down you’re all going down with me”. The sanctions are cornering him. That’s my concern. Maybe someone in his inner circle will shoot him in the nick of time if it becomes obvious that he’s losing it

[2] ON-LINE COMMENTS re Mendo supervisors not returning to in-person meetings:

[a] Local government offices are here to serve the public. Our community was willing to put up with all the lock downs to get through the emergency but now as this pandemic becomes endemic it is time to reopen all government business as it was before covid. Please remember all the other essential businesses that never shut down to in person business during the height of this emergency. If they could stay open during the height of the danger then certainly the rest should now be able to safely get back to business as normal.

[b] It’s WAY overdue! Not only should the BOS be physically present for ALL meetings but the offices should also be opened! A locked door does not prevent Covid. County employees are public servants and they cannot properly serve the public with locked doors.

[c] Classic Mendoshitshow County Board and CEO . Out of touch with reality. Living in the real world families struggle to pay their bills and can’t afford to feed their kids. These guys sit at home and collect their nearly $100,000 paychecks virtually having their food delivered to the door. Carmel Angelo making more than Newsom. Yall should be ashamed of yourselves. Get your butts back to work. Ugh. The circular conversations that go on and on for years about the same subject never ending. Not really cost effective. They need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Unfortunately that is not the case. Never heard of Gjerde. But his clownish carbon footprint reduction comments have me praying that Tommy Lee Jones pays me a visit real quick.

[3] So the West has started seizing assets of the Russian “oligarchs”. Already several 100+ million dollar yachts have been seized. I would imagine the western “billionaires” ( don’t call them oligarchs) are salivating in anticipation for when these assets will be auctioned and they can scoop ’em on the cheap. Oil at $250 a barrel? Do ya think Billionaires (don’t call them oligarchs) give a shit. Perhaps they should all be scrapped in the interest of combating climate change. Well we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

[4] THE UKRAINIANS ARE NAZIS? That’s rich! It was Putin and his gang of thugs that started this Blitzkrieg against a weaker neighbor. And just like

Adolf in the ’30s he governs the same way; with all the trappings of a police state: murders of dissidents and unfriendly journalists, control of key industries, a compliant press and clergy, etc.

[5] Most people have a large supply of stored-up anger–usually without acknowledging the real causes of their anger, even to themselves. They are really very eager to have someone/something to direct their anger AT. They are on board with anyone who will give them an object for their anger. it can be rather pleasurable to indulge in anger.

Many bloggers play on this human foible. Karl Denninger (whom I greatly admire) is an example. It’s very easy to become an anger junkie. 

The anger junkie is on board with whoever is the first to supply them with their fix, and the MSM gets to most people first.


  1. Jon Spitz March 12, 2022


    Why didn’t the AVA publish my letter critical of your “Dead Dog Chronicles” column? Can’t take the heat?

    Jon Spitz

    • Bruce Anderson March 12, 2022

      We didn’t get it, that’s why, Jon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.