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Off the Record (Nov. 2, 2022)

A READER WRITES: “Despite searching for news everywhere on Coast recycling, no real info on Waste Management closing Pudding Creek, no place except Road 409 to recycle. People will not recycle if they have to drive two hours or whatever. If you come across any info, please mention in the paper. Thanks.”

THERE is talk of locating one in Albion, but Fort Bragg seems outta luck for recycling. And what happens to all the money accumulated from those five and ten cent supposedly redeemable bottles and cans? No place in the county to get your deposits back.

BUT ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE of what goes into the recycle bin is actually recycled. Roughly 5% of plastic is recycled, and if you exclude yard waste, only aluminum and certain kinds of cardboard is recycled, depending on the market at the time.. When China stopped accepting America’s “recycled” plastic a few years ago, the entire recycling landscape was redrawn to dispatch most of it to generalized trash. New content regulations have further reduced the percentage of actual recycling. If some Mendo person recycled beer and soda cans they could probably make money doing it in Willits, Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Unfortunately, most of what we toss in the recycling bin these days goes into the trash without a second thought.


via Tom Allman

MY ADMIRATION for Nixon grew some when I read that he and Chuck Colson discussed fire-bombing the Brookings Institute.

DITTO FOR TRUMP: ”We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in world war three,” the former president said. “And there will be nothing left of our planet — all because stupid people didn't have a clue … They don't understand what they’re dealing with, the power of nuclear.”

CHRIS HEDGES characterized Trump's assessment as, “You know we’re in trouble when Donald Trump is the voice of reason.” The Biden administration, whoever or whatever wherever it is, has no strategy, but plenty of leverage to compel negotiations, but what we're getting is a steady march to doom. 

A READER ASKS, “Did you know that in the state of Arkansas aperitif is a synonym for a set of dentures?”

ERIC KIRK offered, in last week's paper, the first assessment of the state judges I've ever seen. He likes all of them. Being a lawyer he tends to have a higher opinion of the justice system than I do. Bless him for his dogged investigations of the November 8 ballot. Death to the duopoly! 

I USED to run for this or that office myself just to get a few shots in. My theory was to make the entrenched deal with opinions from the left of them. One morning, I was promoting myself outside the Mendocino Post Office. A lady hustled past me, saying over her shoulder, “I don't have time for your bullshit today, Bruce.” Harrumph. I had no idea who she was and here she was calling me by my first name. Another guy, grabbing my hard-hitting leaflet, declared, “You're all crooks.” “Not me,” I yelled at his disappearing back. “All I'm asking is a chance to be one.” It's a humbling experience throwing yourself out there to our grand, masticating electorate. I'm almost sympathetic with the people who do.

ANDY McCAFFREY, no relation to the running back: “I ran into retired Earth First!er, now capitalist Darryl Cherney today. I got two updates re the Judi Bari bombing investigation.

First, the $50,000 Jail Hurwitz reward is kaput. The money for that was transferred to back the reward for finding the bomber. And that is kinda kaput too except that Darryl said if someone does have info that finds the bomber, he will personally run the maximum $25,000 each on two of his credit cards to personally pay the reward.

Re: Finding DNA on the bomb fragments. They did find a few partial prints but have not been able to get them analyzed because of weirdness between law enforcement and the analysis firms. Law enforcement won’t work with the labs they don’t work with and citizens can’t use those labs.

They also have DNA from the Lord’s Avenger letter. Apparently you can use DNA at to identify relatives of the person whose DNA you submit, but he doesn’t know how to do that with Ancestry. He is looking for help from anyone who can help him do that.

The original Lord’s Avenger letter was stolen from the now Doug Bosco (of Where's Bosco? infamy)-owned Santa Rosa Press Democrat. I didn’t know that Bosco owned it or that it was stolen after he bought it. So says DC”

UH, ANDY. Hate to break it to you 32 years after the fact, but the entire Bari-Cherney saga is a scam. Without going into my usually irresistible deconstruction of it, I'll limit myself to this: If Cherney has all this DNA what's preventing him from acting on it? And don't say he doesn't act because he's broke.

NO OPTION VOTING. I miss seeing the Peace and Freedom and Green parties on the ballot, not only missing them but, he sniffed, I didn't vote for any of the two candidates for each office, voted no on all the judges because they didn't deign to dip into their lavish salaries to tell us a little about their decisions, but I did vote on the propositions, which I had conscientiously — you'll have to take my word for that — researched.

“THE ALMEDA FIRE in Southern Oregon wiped out New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro, opened by Charlene and Vernon Rollins in 1989. The fire destroyed both the influential restaurant and the Rollinses’ home.” So sayeth this morning's NY Times, as Boonville old timers and not-so-old timers recall that the Rollins' fled Boonville in the middle of the night to elude creditors for debts incurred by the couple's New Boonville Hotel. The Rollins' soon established a new restaurant just over the state line outside Ashland, Oregon. Like their New Boonville establishment, New Sammy's Cowboy Bistro quickly became as famous as their New Boonville had been. The New Boonville Hotel iteration of the Rollins then reverted to the successful Boonville Hotel, which has been owned for years by Johnny Schmitt who shows no signs of fleeing.

THE COUNTY'S ANIMAL SHELTER is overcrowded, so overcrowded this Facebook post appeared, then disappeared: “Due to the spike in impounded animals this past week we are not able to accept animals from the public, as we do not have the space, and we’re looking at having to euthanize our animal guests.” Which sounds like poor old Rover is being held hostage. Adopt me or I die! What the Aarf?

FROM THE SAC BEE: “A magnitude earthquake 3.4 rattled off the Northern California coastline, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The 18-mile-deep quake hit near Petrolia in Humboldt County at 10:54 a.m. on Thursday, according to the USGS.”

UH, don't tell the Bee, but there's at least one 3.4 every week off Petrolia, considered the most seismically active area of the world.


FUNNY BIG FOOT STORY on MendoFever, especially funny if you think all these hallucinations or mistaken identifications are funny. Which I do, but they recur and recur as a kind of low intensity subtext to the whole unexplained occurrences genre dominated, of course, by UFOs. It wasn't enough for the Big Footers when that old logger up in Orick gave the media a tour of his garage containing all his Big Foot gear. He admitted that slipping into his Big Foot costume was his weekend recreation for many years. All by himself, this guy was responsible for many Big Foot sightings. 

THE PRIMARY MENDO MYTH, I think, is the one that claims there's a series of underground caves running east through Lake County and on up into the Sierras. I've also heard the liquid version of this one, which says there's an underground river running along the same route.

THE PELOSI ATTACK is shocking only because attacks on monied people are rare, and they're rare because money isolates and protects them from the random attacks by street nuts suffered by ordinary people every day everywhere in the country. The demoralizing increase in the incidence of street violence has been seized by the fascist party as one more effective weapon against the conservative liberals of the Biden-Clinton-Pelosi type who have ignored the increase in everyday violence until Fatso the Nudist turned up in Pelosi's house in San Francisco. Which will now result in big appropriations of public money for security for all officeholders while the rest of us remain fair game.

SO, MR. EDITOR, how would you handle SF's street crime? The cliched response to that question is usually a blithe, “Well, golly, you can't arrest your way out of it, can you?” I think you have to start with the assumption that mad dog capitalism has destroyed social bonds of all types, leaving US with millions of dependent Thanatoids who will have to be sequestered and cared for for their entire lives. Which won't happen because the political duopoly we suffer, surrounded by bodyguards and living in gated communities and heavily policed suburbs, has gotten us to a perfect two-tier them and us entropy that will only get worse for us. 

IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE: Japan said it would start subsidizing electricity bills to help families struggling with high food and energy prices.

THE STATE OF THINGS: Boris Johnson, representing western nations, supposedly sank a peace deal early on brokered by Turkey between Ukraine and Russia. Anthony Blinken does zero negotiating for peace, rather he’s constantly on tour to sell more weapons. At home, none of the political candidates recognize that “It’s the economy, stupid,” as they fight over abortion, gender and “standing with Ukraine.” And Xi has his predecessor manhandled out of a live televised ceremony. 

PLEASE SHUT UP and go away: Hillary Clinton said “extremist” Republicans — is there some other kind? — have a plan underway to steal the 2024 presidential election in a video urging Americans to vote for Democratic legislatures in their states. The two-minute clip urged Americans to look past the 2022 midterms and turn out to vote in their local elections, because she says the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court might give state legislatures the power to overturn results. “Right-wing extremists already have a plan to literally steal the next presidential election - and they're not making a secret of it,” Clinton claimed.

CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE, born in Kosciusko, Mississippi in 1944, presently a resident of Geyserville, is of Choctaw Indian descent, and is still going strong today touring the world as one of the mightiest harmonica wizard bandleaders of all time. He is also a wonderful guitarist and sings fantastic solo blues, which I love the best. His new Mississippi Son album is tearing up the charts as we speak. 

(photo thanks to Face Blues.)

THE LUXURY Four Seasons apartment building The Tower Residences in downtown San Francisco has sold just 13 of its 146 units in the two years since it opened. The apartment building features a $49 million penthouse — the city's dearest — and a host of amenities, and also sits right in the middle of the Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods, which have become hubs for open drug use in the city. San Francisco's infamous Tenderloin Linkage Center — set up to help wean abusers off drugs, before descending into an open-air drug market, sits just four blocks away. One prominent buyer poised to pick up an apartment was NBA player Stephen Curry, who with his wife Ayesha reportedly signed for an $8 million 2,800-square-foot 30th-floor condo in 2020. But as of October, not one of the 13 sales at the Tower Residences lists the Currys' name or LLCs associated with them, suggesting the basketball star abandoned his plans to move into the building. Crimes in San Francisco are up 7.4% from the same period last year, assaults are up 11.1% and robberies are up 5.2%, with much of that activity taking place in the blocks surrounding the building. Drug treatment centers in Tenderloin and SoMa have been blamed for drawing scores of drug users to the neighborhoods, converting them into open-air drug markets with encampments lining the sidewalks.

OUR NATION'S FUTURE isn't testing well. Math and English scores are way down, and I can't remember when they were up. But so what? The alleged flowering of the public school system was the 1950s, which was my cohort. A bunch went to college, the rest went to work. I drifted into the Marines for lack of specific ambition. The only reason I went to high school was to play sports. To that end I did just enough classwork to stay eligible. I can't remember a single formal learning experience from those four years, and only three teachers, all three of them coaches, two of them crazy as hell, one of them who said he'd like to be present “When you get yours, Anderson.” (I'd be love bombed these purplish days.) But I did a lot of haphazard outside reading, some of which was considered so dangerous to young minds my high school library kept it literally locked up in a big glass case. To check any of it out you had to have permission from home, easily obtained from my inattentive parents. The forbidden material, in my dim memory of it, was mostly vegetarian and pacifist tracts — considered “communist oriented” — but led me on to more interesting material. I took a test in the Marines, score lost to history and, at age 25, the GRE or Graduate Record Exam, which I aced without bothering with the math section. I refused to even think about questions like, “If a plane carrying 35 fat people left San Francisco, but 4 of the fat people got off in Omaha, what time would the plane arrive in Guam.” To summarize, I think most of us learn what we need to learn, what seems to us to apply to our immediate situations. I read a lot as a kid because I didn't trust adult informants, all of whom seemed either nuts or otherwise unreliable. I don't think academic scores have much meaning for most young people other than to aspiring engineers and surgeons, as technology eats the brains of all the rest. It would help the tech vics, the smarter ones anyway, if they had inspirational instruction of the type that got them into self-defense reading: “Turn that stuff off, punk, and look here at this print that will help you understand the chaos you're stepping into.” 


[1] I’m doubtful I will survive the coming shitstorm. Our generation is washing away by the tides of history. I’ve always embraced change, but I’ve never felt so alienated from our society. Now I know what it’s like to be locked up in an insane asylum. 

We are in a well-directed horror movie. The kind where the tension slowly builds, the music is ominous, and you know that any moment something terrible is about to be sprung on us on-screen. That’s how I feel about the coming elections. We’re pausing at the high point of the roller coaster, waiting for the plunge down the steep slope. In a thousand years, what will they say about our generation as they roast squirrels over the campfire?

[2] When I was 16 it never occurred to me to own a car. Very few kids that age had them. I had enough friends so that when we wanted to go out, one of the kids’ parents (including mine) would get the family car for the night. Mornings, I walked to school – a little over a mile away. I also worked weekends at a car wash as a car wiper and vacuumer (at $1.05/hr) to earn a few bucks, but I never thought about saving up the money to buy a car. Boy, are times different.

[3] If I lived in Pennsylvania, and if I thought that we had “free and fair elections” in this country, then I would check out the other candidates and find one whose positions on issues were closer to mine than those of the Dumbocrats or the Repugnicants, and vote for that candidate. And never vote R or D. If everyone did that, (and we had free and fair elections), donkeys and elephants would have to apply for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Of course the time for that has long passed.

[4] In LA & San Francisco, Portland & Seattle, Denver & Minneapolis, NYC & Washington … there are thousands of fellows like this DePape chap roaming the streets, living rough — delusional, dangerous & menacing — making our cities unlivable. I thank God every day I didn’t end up in one of these Urban American Sh#tholes, trapped like a rat with no way out. Pelosi probably thought he was safe, protected by his wealth, above it all. Well, they got to him too. Garcetti, Newsom, Pelosi, Breed and the rest of them have no problem with thousands of stinking vagrants living on the street; after all, it doesn’t affect them personally — or so they thought. It’s about time they feel the weight of the policies they push on the rest of us, which is why I was so pleased when Gov DeSantis shipped the illegals to Martha’s Vineyard, even tho part of my family came from there.

[5] So in 1973 we took a field trip from high school. We walked to a local downtown theater of which there were 2 in town. Both long closed. We saw Soylent Green starring Chalton Heston. It predicts the dystopian world of 2022, 50 years in the future. Well here we are. I copied this from a synopsis. Sound familiar? 

“By 2022 the cumulative effects of overpopulation, pollution and an apparent climate catastrophe have caused severe worldwide shortages of food, water and housing. The homes of the elite are fortified, with security systems and bodyguards for their tenants. The poor live in squalor, haul water from communal spigots, and eat highly processed food: Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, and the latest product, far more flavorful and nutritious, Soylent Green”

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