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Off the Record (June 8, 2022)

REMEMBER the three guys who showed up at Chris Brown’s Albion home in the early morning in December of last year, one of whom shot at Brown as he slept, the bullet narrowly missing his head? Brown returned fired and the three intruders ran off into nearby woods, where deputies found two of them cowering just after daylight. The trio had run off without the truck they’d arrived in. It was registered to an active outlaw named Angel Guzman, but as it turned out Guzman was in jail on another of his many matters and had apparently let one of the perps, Jose Aguilar or Roberto Chavez, “borrow” his vehicle, unaware of their plans for Chris Brown. The real shooter has now been identified as Jose Rodriguez who is in custody in Tijuana and extradition proceedings have begun. He will be charged with attempted murder. The other two people arrested on the scene but later released for more investigation are expected to be charged with assault and attempted burglary “in concert” and associated charges.

STEPHEN DUNLAP explains his tiny home project near Fort Bragg: “My six homes live in a designated RV Park (Sportsmans RV Park) in Noyo harbor that is only permitted for short term stays. My buddy TJ owns the park next door to mine called Snug Harbor that can do either short or long term, but he chooses to do long term only featuring new tiny homes. I have shown Fort Bragg City officials around both parks to help them understand the process of tiny homes. I have also asked TJ if he wants to do more long term stay places in the area. He would likely do them if the right situation arose. … I am very happy to give anyone a tour of my park and the park next door, and help however I can in any manner. Norm has suggested more of an apartment complex on those five acres which is also a good idea.”

THE APOCALYPSE NEARS: Three HUMCO third-graders are hospitalized after eating cannabis candy handed out by classmate during recess. The student who brought the gummies to Jacoby Creek Elementary School on Thursday claimed that he did not know that the candy was marijuana-infused.

JOHN FORD is Fort Bragg's new city manager. The guy has got to be relieved to be escaping Humboldt County where he was denounced regularly on that area's chat lines for his often thwarted attempts to administer HumCo's collapsed marijuana industry. Ryan Burns of the essential Lost Coast Outpost, comments: “Well, now we know where Ford is headed. Looks like the City of Fort Bragg is getting back at Humboldt for taking its former city manager, Tabatha Miller, who was hired last year as Humboldt County’s assistant county administrative officer and chief financial officer....” 

I WAS PLEASED to spot this recent headline in the Press Democrat: “Sonoma County Has A New AVA.” The more the better, I say.

INTERESTING, and maybe ironic, that Bernie Sanders was the second choice for president for lots of Trumpers. At the core of Sanders' campaign is the notion that everyone should have access to universal healthcare. His plan is designed to cost more than $6 trillion less than the current system over the next 10 years.

SANDERS' plan would create a federally administered, single-payer healthcare program. His proposal would run the gamut from preventative to emergency care. The idea is that patients will have the option to choose providers without having to worry about whether they're in-network, or how much it will cost to use their services. In fact, under Sanders' plan, co-pays and deductibles will be eliminated.

HOW TO PAY FOR IT?

37% on income between $250,000 and $500,000

43% on income between $500,000 and $2 million

48% on income between $2 million and $10 million

52% on income above $10 million

ONLY A TRUE ATHEIST could foul Lake Tahoe, but over the past year, recreational scuba divers have removed more than 25,000 pounds of trash from the famous shoreline. Nearly 200 dives later, they have picked up just about every piece of trash imaginable, from plastic bags and glass bottles to spent firework tubes and boomboxes.

A READER WRITES: “Trent James, last minute write in candidate for Sheriff, was on KZYX Tuesday morning, but obviously the Deputy had no clue who his listeners were. James was outspoken in his disdain for mask and vaccination mandates. And strongly in favor of average citizens arming themselves with assault weapons. Coast lib loved him as long as he was bashing other, higher ranking cops. But almost immediately the coast list serve was buzzing with woke coasties trashing James for his anti-vax/pro gun positions. [See below for typical example.] Days ago the same people were praising James for “exposing corruption” but the more they learn his true opinions the less they like him. James’s long shot chance at getting elected just got longer.”

TRENT JAMES, the phenomenon. I've watched his videos, I've read comments about him, I listened to his interview with Alicia Bales. My overall impression is that James is a conscientious young guy who should be a cop somewhere, if not Mendo where he seems to have torched all his bridges. When he functioned as a deputy mostly in the badlands of Covelo, his job performance was rated excellent. And he served as a Willits cop where he got himself fired for correctly refusing to build the Willits city treasury by ticketing locals which, in the eyes of his supervisor and former friend, Derek Hendry, himself recently fired by the Willits PD, amounted to insubordination.

OVERALL, though, the James interlude has been very unfair to Sheriff Kendall. He's collateral damage here, having had nothing to do with any of the bad stuff James alleges. Kendall is supported by his deputies and jail staff. He's totally accessible to anybody who has a complaint. He's done an excellent job as boss cop and doesn't deserve the in lieu of criticism he's gotten for the alleged sins of other people.

JEEZ. Even the normally sober BBC has reported on the Amber Heard, Johnny Depp case, a pair of high profile head cases whose squalid relationship manages to mortify anybody forced to listen to the sordid details. From the media coverage I'd say that Amber is more the injured party, Depp a total slob capable of anything. But you'd think both of them, even in these shameless times, would have more sense than to reveal the details of their rancid marriage to the millions of voyeurs out there. 

A SLOW news day produced this non-story: “Actor Kirk Cameron blasts America's public schools for becoming breeding grounds for far-left progressive agendas including CRT and gender ideology.”

LIKE ANYBODY CARES what this guy thinks on any subject? It annoys me every morning when Radio Government out of Philo notes the birthday of some obscure celebrity, but here we have major media outlets reporting what some silly ass entertainer thinks about school curricula. Name a public school district anywhere that's teaching “gender ideology”? (Whatever that is.) Critical race theory seems to inflame remedial readers, but it's only some dumbass academic's term for history, facts of, but those facts happen to include 400 years of donated capital accumulation from enslaved black people and the wholesale slaughter of native peoples which, when I was a kid memorizing stuff like Brazil's primary exports, was not mentioned in school rooms anywhere in the country. I honestly don't know why CRT upsets so many of my fellow citizens. It should make them even prouder of our fine, fat country for lasting as long as it has given its grisly beginnings.

LIB MEDIA has finally cracked. NBC is wondering out loud if Biden is on-task, which he clearly hasn't been since he was nominated and then sworn in to confront a series of rolling catastrophes that were rolling long before he took office. You might call them the structural insurmountables — big, complicated systems breaking down; a war in Europe; growing violence here at home that's keeping pace with growing fuel and food prices; global weather changes leading to drought and water shortages; major supply chain obstructions, millions of desperate people on the move on every continent. And Biden, clearly out of it, sitting dazed and confused at the ultimate power lever.

NBC: “Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign,people close to the president say. Crises have piled up in ways that have at times made the Biden White House look flat-footed: record inflation, high gas prices, a rise in Covid case numbers — and now a Texas school massacre that is one more horrific reminder that he has been unable to get Congress to pass legislation to curb gun violence. Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November, when midterm elections may cost his party control of Congress.

“They came in with the most daunting set of challenges arguably since Franklin D. Roosevelt, only to then be hit by a perfect storm of crises, from Ukraine to inflation to the supply chain to baby formula,” said Chris Whipple, the author of a book about White House chiefs of staff who is now writing a book about the Biden presidency. “What’s next? Locusts?”

“About three-quarters of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a recent NBC News poll found — only the fifth time in the last 34 years that so many Americans have been dissatisfied with the nation’s direction.”

THE ESSENTIAL Geiger's Market of Laytonville is hiring for its freshly purchased store in the old Hopland Superette where the Kong family successfully presided for many years. The Kongs had some kind of family disagreement and closed the market, and it has remained closed for several years. Geiger’s to the rescue. We used to sell an average of 25 papers a week under the auspices of the Kongs, a charming mom and pop operation quite popular in the area and still missed by many including the Boonville weekly. 

A READER NOTES: “I have a copy of the new county Behavioral Health org chart that has gone underground. They have like 30 openings. They have absolutely nobody in adolescent health. It's been at least January since I've been able to look at it because they have buried it.”

CORRECTING TRENT: In the latest Trent James interview posted by one of his biggest fans, the inimitable Autumn Faber, former Deputy James recalls his frustration with not having any kind of mental health backup on calls in Covelo where there was no crime involved and where he could only offer limited help, mostly to mentally ill homeless people. Fine so far, a common complaint from local cops. But then in an answer to a question about Measure B, he casually says “multiple people have told me they are not doing anything with it.” 

IT’S TRUE that Mendo has wasted or are wasting the bulk of Measure B money on grossly overpriced buildings, a subject we have hammered on about to no avail. But the crisis van is finally, after years of having been funded, in operation and three mental health workers are now responding with law enforcement on mental health calls. Most of the credit for that goes to incumbent Sheriff Matt Kendall who was the first Mendo official to get moving on the long-delayed crisis van (which still needs its own separate vehicles and a few more people on staff to cover more shifts, like an ambulance). James then added that he couldn’t say how much is being spent on the Crisis Van because “I don’t have access to the budget.” We all have access to the budget, such as it is, for both the Sheriff and Behavioral Health. 

JAMES CONTINUED, “The Board of Supervisors needs to figure out what to do about this because that needs to be dealt with like yesterday.”

There’s not much more for the Supervisors to do but stay on top of the Crisis Van status at this point, which they won’t do, of course. But again, this is not a campaign issue because Sheriff Kendall is already doing as much as possible on the subject given the current givens. And since the mental health technicians work for Dr. Miller at Behavioral Health, the process has taken and is taking way too long. 

Maybe Mr. James should run for Supervisor.

TRENT JAMES tried to “clarify” his position on vaccinations and assault rifles in his latest video for June 1 after hearing his KZYX interview where he implied he was anti-vax mandates and against a ban on assault rifles. He denied implying any such thing, saying he’d enforce applicable laws and that he is “not a gun guy.” Along the way he mentioned that he thinks that Mendo’s pot permit program is “a failure.” He has a simplistic approach to enforcing illegal marijuana grows involving contracting out most of the enforcement, but doesn’t seem interested in the details or implications of doing that with contractors, nor how they’d be managed or even if they’re available. 

JAMES ALSO COMPLAINED about Matt LaFever’s recent piece summarizing James’s positions on various topics, saying that LaFever “twisted my words around,” but declining to sway which words were twisted around. James isn’t much for writing, preferring his casual youtube style to any written position papers or statements. That style obviously goes over well with his fans who also tend to be averse to actual reading, preferring to watch videos which play into their existing perceptions about law enforcement. James said that LaFever offered him an opportunity to write a correction or statement but, “It wasn’t worth my time to do that. He’s not somebody I’m ever going to interview with again.”

COMMENTING on Tom Allman’s recent endorsement of Matt Kendall, James said that that just indicates that the Sheriff’s Office is afraid of James’s candidacy. “They are scared, they are threatened, they see their empires, their good old boys empire, in jeopardy and they are going to lose that, so they’re reaching.”

JAMES said people have sent him the recent letter by ex-Mendo Lieutenant Shannon Barney for comment but, “I didn’t read it because Shannon Barney is a liar. He’s part of the good old boys club.” Referring to Barney’s, ahem, sketchy history in Round Valley, James added, “He should be in prison. He was kept on because of his connections, he was involved in that little group. I don’t care what he says. I didn’t read it because he’s probably one of the biggest crooks that was ever employed at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office.”

(Mark Scaramella)

A READER WRITES: “Has the Trent James bubble burst yet? He claims to be running for Sheriff to bring transparency and accountability to the Sheriff’s Office. What a joke! James quit the Sheriff’s Office when they wouldn’t pay him the $20,000 bonus he demanded. He went to Willits but didn’t like his assigned duties like traffic patrol. He was suspected of hanging out at home when he was supposed to be on duty. He was eventually fired from Willits before completing probation. He claims it was retaliation but doesn’t say for what. He then applied to go back to the Sheriff’s Office despite all the command staff being (allegedly) corrupt and dirty. He claims the Sheriff’s Office refused to take him back, which is a flat out lie. The truth is that Mr. Transparency and Accountability withdrew his application when he found out he would have to complete the normal background check, including a polygraph examination. What does he have to hide? The Willits command staff only became dirty after they fired him. The Sheriff’s Office command staff only became dirty after they refused to waive the background check when he applied to come back. His tell all videos make lots of allegations based on rumor, hearsay and innuendo but are short on factual documentation. And with few exceptions have nothing to do with the current Sheriff’s Office. And mostly happened 20 or more years ago if they happened at all. In contrast, Trent James is blatantly lying when he says the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t take him back. He knows full well he pulled his application to avoid the background check. And despite his denials, it’s very clear he’s a disgruntled ex-employee who only turned on his former employers when he didn’t get his way. It says a lot also that his biggest supporter is John Sakowicz. But maybe Sakowicz can get his old job back at the jail?”

RYE N FLINT: “I have some news to share. Ever go talk to Caltrans workers about what they are doing? They never got the memo about loose lips sinking ships, and they will talk your ear off about the latest “Millions of dollars being wasted project” in Mendo County. They are usually sitting in their work vehicle on their cell phone, “Watching” the subcontractors and making sure they are doing their jobs safely, according to Caltrans protocol. Has anyone noticed the 2 concrete “Homeless temples”, as the Caltrans workers called them, under the Talmage overpass in Ukiah? Anyone notice the strips of land being cleared on both sides of the highway north of Perkins street? Guess what they are spending millions of dollars on? Surprise surprise, It’s a border wall to keep the Homeless from building “encampments” under the Orr Creek bridge on Hwy 101. The wall will be 3 feet deep, in concrete, 10 ft tall, and supposedly climbless and cutproof. The Caltrans guys said that it was built by the same company in Texas that builds the border wall there. How interesting. They also told me that the homeless will get a couple tools from the new Harbor Freight in Ukiah and cut through the fence the day after it is complete. What a huge secret waste of money, when we really just need our crappy Mendo roads fixed. Just remember what our DOT leader said to the SUPES… “Spyrock road is in great condition and has been paved half way up for a decade.” BAA HAAA HAAA HAAA! This county management is ridiculous. P.S – Matt Kendal is actually a good guy, with good political skills. No one will ever match The Mighty Tom Allman, but Trent is a libertarian hypocritical joke. I can see a good illiterate base voting for him though. The power of the con man’s voice lives on.”

MY FRIEND MICHAEL WEIST commented that he never thought he'd find himself agreeing with Kissinger. Me too. And Chomsky and Kissinger on the same page re Ukraine? Unthinkable. But there they are. They're correct, seems to me, in arguing that the Biden drift of more and more weapons to Ukraine without emphasizing a ceasefire and serious peace negotiations this abomination of a war constantly risks a nuclear exchange. I watched a jolly “scholar” on the BBC, her big white perfect teeth wreathed in a constant cannibal grin, saying that Biden's policy is correct, that Ukraine “must win,” and if Putin goes to the nukes, we go to the nukes! 

THE ABOVE MEME wafted into my computer, reminding me to tweak the gun community with the statement that hunting with any kind of enhanced rifle — scope, thousand yard range, high power— isn't the kind of hunting a reasonable person would brag about. Try bow hunting, camo buddies. Or try pig hunting like Ray Arujo did it in the Waipio Valley of Hawaii circa 1960. Ray would wait for his dogs to trap the pig in a surround before jumping on its back and cutting its throat. The guy's face looked like the pigs got in plenty of good shots, too. I saw Dyaks dynamite whole stretches of remote Borneo rivers to harvest finned protein. That was also in the early 1960s so they've probably made some eco-advances since. That was in a place where 12-year-olds thought I and my black partner, Al Johnson, were some kinda tag team ghosts. The kids had been peacefully tapping their longhouse's rubber trees when we appeared, putting a fright into the poor things they've probably never forgotten. Al had one of those new-at-the-time instamatic cameras, which made him king of the jungle for the few days we stayed over, with Dyaks coming from all over to have the magic man snap their photos. They hadn't heard of America, or at least were fuzzy on the concept, thinking we were odd emissaries from England, whose empire still included the Borneo states at the time.

CRUCIAL PARA FROM LINDA BAILEY: “But, Water? Potter Valley/Eel River Diversion came up a lot. This is not a new problem; it has been many years in the making. The Mendocino County Water Conservation Flood Control Russian River Improvement District (popularly known as Russian River Flood Control) holds and administers Mendocino County’s water right to Coyote Dam waters. For at least the first 30 years after the dam was completed it GAVE AWAY that water to anyone who wanted to pump it. Their rationale was that the property owners paid for the bond so they should get to use it for free. Sonoma County Water Agency charged their users; look at the different results."

NOW THAT diverted water's push has come to diverted water's shove, the Potter Valley cheap/free water forever gang is in quite a dither, such a dither that they are planning to place a straight-up welfare plea on the ballot, asking that the rest of us chip in to keep the diversion flowing so they can have radically discounted water forever, their birthright they seem to assume. Uh, tell it to the rest of the county whose incorporated residents pay mightily for water, and hundreds of others in the deep outback see their globally warmed streams and springs dry up. But all of this, assuming a deal can be worked out to maintain a reduced diverted flow, might be an opportunity to re-negotiate the howlingly one-sided deal with the Sonoma County Water Agency who owns most of the diverted water piled up behind Coyote Dam northeast of Ukiah. And sells it downstream for annual millions, stiffing Mendo! This is what happens when a modest early 20th century diversion project at Potter Valley via a mile-long tunnel hand dug by Chinese labor to electrify the fledgling little town of Ukiah via a portion of diverted Eel River becomes a literal 21st century life line for millions of people from Cloverdale to Sausalito. Not sustainable. (The next big quake, there goes the tunnel.)

TRENT JAMES shouldn't whine about being misquoted by Matt Lefever, and cops shouldn't whine period. It's unseemly. The interview all rang true. LeFever is a scrupulous reporter, and a valuable addition to the Northcoast's media. What often happens is, in our vast experience — a little irony for you there literal ones — is that people are shocked by what they actually said when they see it in print. “I didn't say that!” Yes you did, and here you are on tape saying it. “Uh ,oh.”

HAD TO LAUGH at the Warrior fans claiming Nancy Pelosi put the hex on the Warriors in their loss to the Celtics in Game One of the NBA championships. Back in the Seventies, when pro sports were still affordable by us ordinary shulbs, my late friend Roger Tolman and I would grab two or three of our kids and drive down to the Coliseum to watch the Al Attles-Rick Barry Warriors, down and back, tickets and fuel, about a hundred bucks for the outing. We were there one night when Joe Alioto was introduced, eliciting a chorus of boos, and even fans standing up to shake their fists at the smiling, unperturbed politico. And over at Candlestick, the Giants had to discontinue their infantile mascot, Krazy Krab, because even little kids were throwing stuff at it. You gotta love Bay Area sports fans.

THIS HED in Friday’s Daily Beast: "Oil Execs Cash Out Like Crazy While Gas Prices Soar." First, that story about the Schaflers gas prices in Mendocino has been recycled for a year now, this time around going international. Kinda pisses me off to see a hard-working local family globally pilloried in a price context they didn't create. Europeans have to buy gas in liters, and drive little tiny cars if they own cars at all because they also enjoy effective systems of mass transit. Europeans pay the true cost of what's left of dinosaur juice. We don't. We drive around in road combat-size tank-vehicles that consume preposterous amounts of fuel while we blindly bitch about fuel costs to haul our fat asses around in beast mobiles. Meanwhile, the oil combines rake off huge windfall profits. Biden could freeze fuel prices today, rolling them back at the same time, while smacking the oil dictatorships with huge and painful windfall taxes. But, natch, he won’t, and we’ll all soon be paying ten bucks a gallon, at least, as the whole indulgent show grinds to a halt.

AUTUMN FABER, WRITING ON THE MCN CHATLINE:

To clarify: I am not ‘Swooning’ over Trent James. I am actually of the mind that the police should be abolished. They are a remnant of colonization and originated from white supremacy. I would prefer to defund the police and refund our communities with necessary mental health safety nets and social services such as medical care and housing.

I am not looking for people's responses to this belief, I am just clarifying since Merrie felt the need to define my experience as ‘swooning.’

Does Trent James take a pro gun position? Probably. He is from law enforcement after all. He IS a cop. I don't know about his stance on masks other than that he said he would not enforce mask mandates and infringe on people's rights. He said a few other things that are red flags for me as well.

The reality is we have 2 choices: Trent James or Matt Kendall. Matt Kendall has a very similar stance to Trent James on the two issues mentioned above. But Matt Kendall also has been heading a department that is full of nepotism, corruption, and misconduct while Trent James has been calling these things out.

I will never forget or forgive Matt Kendall for submitting a picture of a hog-tied black man in his request for a budget increase right after George Floyd's murder by law enforcement. Out of hundreds of photos that he could have submitted (or none at all), he chose this photo to represent what law enforcement does in this predominantly white county. The man is tone deaf and is entrenched in the “old boy” network, he was not elected and he does not represent this community in my opinion.

I simply think Trent is the better candidate.

I don't think he is perfect, I am not ‘swooning’ over him.

I dislike Matt Kendall. I like Trent James better.

ED NOTE: Ms. Faber doesn’t seem  likely to be influenced by new information, but as incurious, intolerant, and under-informed as she and her echo chamber bipoc comrades are, she still might consider adjusting her “facts” to include the facts about the “racist” incident she blithely and falsely attributes to Sheriff Kendall. The black guy trussed up for the cops by a Laytonville dope farm crew, was part of a multi-ethnic — white, black, hispanic crew out of San Jose, all of them career crooks. (Autumn! Celebrate diversity!) We often point out if all the anonymous bodies buried in the hills of the Mendo outback were to rise and march south down 101, beginning with and led by the Northcoast’s mass-murdered Native Americans, supplemented by the numerous disappeared and the summarily executed at remote dope grows, the march would stretch from Eureka to the Golden Gate Bridge. For the record, this particular home invader happened to be black, and he was lucky not to have joined those thousands of disappeared. Sheriff Kendall pointed out that the trussers, rather than plant the guy where he’d never be found, did the right thing by holding him for deputies.

Further background: "Too Much About Nothing," by Jim Shields

WILL THE LIBS FIGHT? James Meek, writing in the current London Review of Books, raises the question: “…But the real danger might be that Trump and the Republicans loyal to him cheat and lie their way to a victory that is accepted by Congress, federal power passes to an autocrat, and, after a period of mass protest, most liberals just put up with it, judging it not worth the blood and damage to fight for democracy. If it is a real danger that civil war may threaten democracy, it is also a real danger that democracy may die because its defenders refuse to start one.”

HMMM. I'd guess that the libs would accommodate themselves to Trumpian tyranny as they've pretty much accommodated themselves to the recent wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing disaster of Biden, all of it, supported to the max by the present Democrat government and our lockstep Congressman. But so long as the country remains relatively fat and happy, a big if at this point, given that most libs are presently fattest and happiest while working people are living with the wolf permanently at their door, and who knows who they'll back in the crunch with their class enemies squeezing them from both sides. (Libs defined here as the millions of delusionals who vote Democrat on the assumption Democrats are the way forward.)

I THINK there's been a rolling civil war for years but just now threatening, with the return of Trump, to turn violent in unpredictable ways given the catastrophic backdrop of the growing climate crisis and the economic squeeze put on so many people via unchecked inflation. There's already plenty of idiot gun violence with the dumb asses shooting at each other in public places while the many mental cases gun down whole categories of innocents. All this in a country seemingly organized for mental illness. 

THERE WILL BE a kind of balkanization of the country, areas of white warlord-ism like Idaho, Montana, eastern Washington and Oregon, and all the small white towns of the Midwest. There could be real fighting in the South and there will definitely be fighting in the cities, but the prosperous suburbs — Marin, for instance — will be largely unperturbed. However the crack-up occurs, it's coming, and sooner rather than later.

MENDO'S pretty much in the lib camp but there are certainly plenty of blocs of armed camo-buddies, blustery comic figures, except for their arsenals, than threatening. The levels of actual violence in the coming crack-up will depend heavily on the loyalty of the police to democratic principles, and I'd guess the armed forces of the country, unless the Trumpers are able to subvert them, would not support truly heavy-handed measures like the imposition of martial law in areas of the country hostile to fascism of the Trump type.

“WALDO HUNTER of Eureka is a man with a long memory. He had never forgotten or forgiven that I once chided the natives up there for pouring catsup over their fried eggs, and has been plotting revenge ever since. Here it is in his own undeniable words:

“On our most recent trip to San Francisco, my wife and I had breakfast at one of those famous restaurants of yours down near Fisherman’s Wharf. Upon entering the place, my wife tripped over a plastic tube that pipes in brown gravy form the oil-reclaiming plant in Richmond. The scrambled eggs tasted like they had been hauled across the country from Ashtabula Ohio, in the trunk of a 1941 Studebaker. The toast seemed to have popped right out of the refrigerator freshly glazed with fireproofing compound for shake shingles, while the chef du jour, in an inspired flash, added a fillip of Dr. Snoramorfles’ Iron Mountain Spavin Liniment to the coffee Moral: Never go anyplace without a bottle of catsup.” — Herb Caen, 1976

THIS "REST STOP" is on Highway 101 near Leggett. Headed south one night after a long day in HumCo, I pulled in to use the facilities. It was about 9pm. It was like walking into that bar in Star Wars. There was one faint light illuminating a half-dozen men just standing around. I did an abrupt about face and got outta there. I've wondered ever since what the hell was going on there, but whatever it was I didn't feel like it was restful.

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] CLASS WARFARE, two on-line comments:

(a) “Let them eat cake”. Marie Antoinette never actually said that, but by that point it no longer mattered. We all know what happened to her. By then the people had suffered enough, and “there is always a way, when the rich are too rich and the poor are too poor”. The excesses of the French Revolution become clearer to me day by day, just hope I’m around long enough to see the return of the guillotine. I’ve got my knitting handy. I never used to feel this enraged or bloodthirsty. I’ve changed. I’m seeing too much suffering, and it’s only just beginning. A bas les aristos!

(b) Imagine if political parties were divided by rich and poor, instead of these fake moral issues like guns abortion and immigration…when the richest are too greedy, you get Bolshevism. When they realize they can live quite well on less you get European style Socialism, where there is less income disparity, and a healthy middle class.

[2] Four days into the long Memorial Day weekend and only one additional major shooting, a mere dustup in Oklahoma City OK, led by one apparently disgruntled shooter, killing one and injuring 7. Not to be outdone, out of the way Lincoln NE got in on some vehicular action, with a traffic accident spilling into a crowd of downtown spectators. Two dead, both in one of the vehicles, and 19 injured. Good efforts, but not nearly enough to gain entry into the mass shooting/killing playoffs, tentatively scheduled for late August. Come on now America, we can and must do better than this!

[3] You know, it always amazes me how so many people who profess to be Christians love to quote the OLD testament, and are so mean spirited and judgmental. Many people who get EBT work full time jobs at places like Walmart, where they get paid wages that can’t support a family. Or they’re disabled. Or old. 

Instead of disparaging the people on EBT, perhaps you could instead look to a government that gives tax breaks to huge corporations, and then allows them to create “jobs” that pay people a minimum wage that in many places hasn’t been raised since 2009. 

If Jesus were alive today and saw the state of his church, he would never stop throwing up.

[4] Yes, if I were to make any prediction at all about what the future holds for those living in the US, I would predict increasing lawlessness and crime – that life will become incrementally more dangerous, as it has for decades already. 

I think it’s a safe bet that people will continue to grow poorer and less secure, the dollar will lose more and more of its value, and more and more people will become desperate. 

I do have to say that surely city people would have to be pretty desperate to drive out to the country with the idea of robbing rural people. All my neighbors are well armed, and it sounded like most of them were out practicing with them on Memorial Day–as were we. 

And that is some very good fun–sitting in a sunny meadow on a nice day trying out my new AR with the family, and practicing with the pistols (a .38 and a .22). I have decided that I need a .22 rifle.

[5] Nobody seems to ask the question, “who says it’s Pride Month”?

I don’t remember a vote being held.

It’s like when someone tells me it’s National Doughnut Day, or some kind of international ‘awareness’ day.

Somebody on the morning news shows or their Yahoo feed tells them it is this or that “day”, and they just accept it as fact.

No, it isn’t one of those globalist corporate days.

Remember when holidays meant a day off work? The new slave class in America never gets a holiday.

[6] Tommy Wayne Kramer is obviously new to the South. When I first moved to rural Louisiana I too was struck by the affability of race relations. Mixed groups of employees enjoying lunch together, cordial greetings, friendly inquiries about the family etc. Quite a difference from California, with its broad geographic segregation. So it took some time for me to gradually recognize the vile background racism that permeated the community. The same local surnames shared by both races, but one group prosperous, the other still living in the kind of rural poverty that shocked Robert Kennedy 60 years ago. The same segregated institutions, particularly the churches. And all of it rooted in 19th century quasi-biological notions of racial superiority / inferiority that were widely assumed. I worked in a hospital, and as I became a familiar figure, white people began freely sharing their startling racial theories and metaphors, all of which, of course, served to explain the deep socio-economic disparities. I’ll shock you with one example, an elderly gentleman explained to me why racial integration could never work ” If you mix vanilla ice cream with shit, it’s all gonna taste like shit.” Racial prejudice in the South is like the weather, it’s everywhere, all the time. I can tell you the exact moment I decided to move away. We had our three year old in pre-school (100% white) and began to notice little odd things he would say. One day I took him to the public library. An African-American teenager was sitting on the steps reading a book. My son looked up at me and asked: “Dad, why is that man bad?” — Michael Turner, MD

[7] Come one, come all, step right up to the register and pay your share of Potter Valley Irrigation District’s new water welfare tax. The wine industry and farm bureau can’t wait to have all the residents of this county paying to maintain their water supply. It’s win win! You get dry wells, depleted aquifer’s and high prices for municipal water and they get all the surface water and also get to write the GSPs ensuring they get all the ground water as well. What a deal!

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