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Off the Record (November 23, 2022)

KEVIN TOBIE first appeared in Mendocino County in 2003 as a juvenile ward of Jack Graves' Boonville group home called LifeWorks. Tobie, 16 at the time, had amassed a lengthy criminal record in his home town of San Francisco. His juvenile record, which began at age 12, included felonies. Tobie continued to commit crimes as an indifferent student at Anderson Valley High School, including at least one sexual assault on a female student.

Kevin Tobie

TOBIE'S PUSHING FORTY and still committing serious crimes, one of which — car theft — he was arrested for this week in Ukiah where he has a child with a woman he's been arrested for battering.

I REMEMBER a poignant call from a Ukiah woman who identified herself as “elderly.” She said that Tobie was beating the young woman next door. “I can hear her crying. He does it all the time.” The elderly woman wanted to know if the police were aware of what a bad young man Tobie was. The local police were well aware of Tobie, and have been aware of him as he pops in and out of Ukiah, committing his first local crimes in 2004.

FRESHLY graduated from Boonville high school in July of 2004, Tobie was arrested and charged for felony assault when he repeatedly struck Paullen Severn-Walsh in the head with a pipe at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Severn-Walsh was in ICU for 14 days, required 383 stitches to close the wound, and underwent follow-up reconstructive surgery. Tobie claimed Paullen and his “redneck” pals had scratched his grandmother’s rental car. 

THAT SAME YEAR, 2004, Tobie’s brother had murdered a kid in San Francisco while Kevin Tobie was arrested in Ukiah for carrying a loaded Saturday Night special. Despite a probation report describing him as devious, violent and feeling no remorse for his attack on Severn-Walsh, the cretinous Superior Court judge, Ron Brown, ignoring Tobie’s prior criminal history and the murderous assault on Severn-Walsh, sentenced Tobie to 36 months probation.  He’s been in and out of prison ever since.

KENNY STOCKS, 76, called last week. I mention his age because, as he put it several times, “I'm too old to be living in my car.” Mr. Stocks is a long-time resident of the Mendocino Coast. He was a little scattered, and the sad story he told is complicated and involves lots of lawyers and courts, local, state and federal. Yes, that complicated. 

BOILED down to its essentials, what happened at the conclusion of a Mendocino foreclosure on an elderly couple. Somehow, a man Stocks characterized as a criminal, operating out of Shasta County, got the Stocks family evicted from their Mendocino home and got himself moved in.

STOCKS' EVICTION was so sudden that it left Stocks standing outside his front door in his bare feet, and left Mrs. Stocks, a former Coast teacher, in a kind of non-communicative paralysis.

NOT ONLY was Stocks evicted, he says that the criminal took possession of his home and all its contents, “right down to family photographs.” Stocks says his home's contents consisted of some five million dollars' worth of antiques, which Stocks, who once worked as a building contractor, sold and traded to supplement a meager retirement income.

“EVERY TIME I get into court I win, but here I am homeless,” the old man says.

HAVING LIVED in his car for two years now, Stocks says he has been consistently ill-treated by local authorities. He has a Texas lawyer trying to get him justice, but he says she's also been insulted by the local authorities who, Stocks says, operate more like the mafia than they do impartial guardians of civic processes. 

“I'M TOO OLD to be living in my car out in the cold,” Stocks says. “I've been seriously robbed.”

I TOLD HIM I'd call the lawyers involved to see if I could get their versions of these unhappy events, and we shall see what we shall see. Stocks’ Texas lawyer did not return my call, the local lawyer did to confirm that sad as all this is, boiled down, the Stocks’ fell behind on their mortgage payments and were foreclosed on. 

BIDEN thundering on about how the recent election was all about preserving democracy naturally left out the unencouraging fact that less than half people voted. I don't see what's democratic about excluding alternatives to the duopoly like Greens and  P&F, leaving us with a choice between bad and worse, a choice between one eye and sightlessness. I daresay that like most Americans, I feel totally unrepresented and choice-less at all levels of government beyond Mendocino County, and inside Mendocino County the organized, active Democrats have always functioned as an obstacle to progress. 

THE GREAT ORANGE GASBAG announced Tuesday night that he is running for president in 2024, attacked Biden and “radical left” Democrats. He said the country is “being destroyed before our very lives” (sic). “I order (sic) to make America great and glorious again, and I am today announcing my candidacy for president of the United States. This won't be my campaign, this will be our campaign. Just like I promised in 2016, I am your voice.” Trump filed the required paperwork with the Federal Election Commission just moments before he began his announcement speech to bused-in magas stuffed into his gold-trimmed ballroom as the magas chanted, “USA.” Trump said, “America's comeback starts right now.”

Dan Altieri

ELEANOR COONEY: This is a call for help for the widow of my dear friend and erstwhile coauthor Daniel Altieri. He and I wrote three internationally bestselling novels set in T’ang China back in the late 80s and early 90s.

A little over two years ago, on September 10, 2020, Dan died, four months after radical emergency open-heart surgery. He had struggled to recover, and his wife put every ounce of her strength and will into caring for him. Alas, he went from believing he’d made it and was on the road to full health to knowing his days were down to just a few. He’d been flown by helicopter from his home in northern California to a hospital in San Francisco, where they at first thought they could perform another surgery on him and implant an L-VAD (Left Ventricular Assistance Device). But he went into kidney failure shortly after he arrived, and they deemed him too frail to undergo the procedure. He died a couple of days later. He was 74, had always been athletic and healthy, an exerciser and a non-smoker, and came from long-lived stock. His death was a shock and a tragedy, to me and to his widow.

The writer’s life can be fickle. Despite the great success of the China novels, that was a while ago, and Dan was pretty much destitute when he died. His widow gets his extremely modest Social Security benefits. She struggles to pay her rent, eat and just survive. She wants very much to work, but doesn’t drive, due to vision problems, and their home is in a rural place with no real public transportation. 

Here's what your donation will be used for: To help her pay her rent, and if possible, get much-deferred and acutely needed dental work, for her health and so that she can get a job. She also wants to honor Dan’s writing and get to a point where she can organize his unpublished work and perhaps even publish some of it posthumously. She has a strong social conscience, and wants to be of service to humanity in these troubled times. Any amount would help. Every cent will go to Dan's widow, and you will have my great gratitude.

You can learn more about Dan and his work here:

NOTHING against young genius, but investing millions of real dollars in crypto currency via this kid seems to indicate that the birthrate for suckers is up from one a minute to multiples a minute.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

TWK has a column this week on smoking, reminding me of the couple of years I smoked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sarawak, east of the sun on the island of Borneo. The Brits had just left so the smokes were their import, Rothman's and Three 5's as I recall. Smoking was convenient during jungle treks because the native people measured distance by the number of smoked cigarettes it took to get places. You'd encounter some guy deep in the jungle and ask him how far it was to his longhouse. “Ampat sa batang,” he'd reply, four cigarettes. So I'd light up, and darned if I hadn't arrived by the end of that fourth fag. I visited longhouses where 12-year-olds had never seen a white man and had to be convinced I wasn't a ghost, a malignant ghost at that. Typically, it took a full day before the little ones would come out of hiding. The adults assumed I was either a member of the British Royal Family or their direct emissary. Portraits of the Royals were common in longhouses where, typically, nobody had heard of America.

BUT THEY KNEW about the Japanese whose severed, shrunken heads still hung in bunches from the common area's rafters; beneath these bundled mementos of the war years burned tiny smoky fires that did the shrinking and the preserving. I saw one bunch where a skull still wore its glasses and rising sun fatigue cap. When the Japanese occupied the Borneo states they initially sent 40-80 man patrols up the major rivers where British and Australian commandos had organized the Dyaks against the invaders. Those patrols never got back downstream; they were no match for the Dyaks' jungle stealth and poison darts. After a few up river contingents had disappeared, the Japanese confined themselves to the towns where, incidentally, they brutalized the people who had initially welcomed them as liberators from British imperialism.

I DIDN'T last overly long as a cigarette smoker because I couldn't help but notice that smoking wrecked my basketball stamina as I attempted to wow the locals with my Americano court moves.(The Malays played soccer, the Chinese basketball, the two communities at odds in many ways that occasionally became murderous.) The local Chinese hoopsters were great China chauvinists who would claim that mainland China produced the best basketball teams in the world. “Gentlemen,” I'd say, “we have rural high school basketball teams that would run China right out of the gym.” Which, at the time, '64-65, was probably true because China had just taken up the game in a big way. 

JON STEWART with some hard truths: “Dave [Chappelle] said something in the SNL monologue that I thought was constructive, when he says, ‘It shouldn’t be this hard to talk about things. I’m called anti-Semitic because I’m against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. I’m called other things from other people based on other opinions that I have, but those shut down debate… Whether it be comedy or discussion or anything else, if we don’t have the wherewithal to meet each other with what’s reality then how do we move forward? If we all just shut it down, then we retreat to our little corners of misinformation and it metastasizes. The whole point of all this is to not let it metastasize and to get it out in the air and talk about it.”

STEWART also mentioned Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, who is currently facing a team suspension after sharing a film featuring anti-Semitic content on his social media. “This is a grown ass man. The idea that you would say to him, ‘We’re going to put you in a timeout. You have to sit in the corner and stare at the wall until you no longer believe that the Jews control the international banking system’… We will never gain any kind of understanding with each other,” Stewart said. “Penalizing somebody for having a thought — I don’t think is the way to change their minds or gain understanding.”

DITTO for Kanye West: “Something Kanye said on his tour — he got interviewed by five different people because the media model is arson and conflict —he said, ‘Hurt people hurt people’,” Stewart said. “I’m afraid that the general tenor of conversation that this country has is ‘Cover it up, bury it, put it to the outskirts and don’t deal with it.’ Look at it from a Black perspective. It’s a culture that feels that its wealth has been extracted by different groups… That’s the feeling in that community and if you don’t understand where it’s coming from then you can’t deal with it.”

IDIOT VARIETIES of “woke” flourish in the more precious Mendo precincts, of course, but it doesn't seem pervasive to the point of oppressive. Not that we're likely to notice at the mighty ava, written off years ago by the, uh, righteous, aka fake left. Of course the degree of oppressiveness depends on who you choose to associate with, but it's sad to see liberal fascism get a foothold anywhere, least of all journalism. Whoever decided to get the Chron's writers to sign off with their gender identities… well, anybody who writes “he-him” after his name won't need to cut his nuts off to sing with the Vienna Boys Choir.

THERE’S NO QUESTION NANCY PELOSI will go down as one of the most effective politicians in American history. Effective at what, though, is the question. Like LBJ, the power-dressing Pelosi was a ruthless disciplinarian. In large measure, she succeeded in almost totally squashing any progressive resistance within her own party to the neoliberal agenda she relentlessly advanced. Another measure of Pelosi’s nearly unrivaled expertise at playing the political game on the Hill: Did any Speaker of the House do as well in the stock market as Nancy? Although she’s relinquishing her role as leader, Pelosi says she’s going to stick around for two years to “guide” her replacement, Hakeem Jeffries. Jeffries already seems to have absorbed her primary lesson: “I’m a Black progressive Democrat concerned with addressing racial and social and economic injustice with the fierce urgency of now. … There will never be a moment where I bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism.” — Jeffrey St. Clair

SAN FRANCISCO, ALWAYS ON THE CUTTING EDGE: People applying for San Francisco's new transgender low-income scheme must choose between more than 130 genders, pronouns and sexualities. Those who want to apply for the guaranteed $1,200-a-month package can fill out a 10-page form online which asks about contact details, income and social security.

I TRIED real hard to understand crypto currencies, doggedly reading up on it, conscientiously as all heck plumbing the research depths, but to little avail, finally concluding that value is established by the electrical power it takes to create it plus suckers willing to buy in with government-backed currencies of specific value. And come on, Bernie Madoff unfailingly offering 20 percent returns for years upon years as the SEC and the Wall Street Journal waved off skeptics? I think his investors should have gone to jail, not him. Ms. Holmes blood machine? Right up there in plausibility with the orgone box. Yes, I play the lottery every week. Why do you ask?

THE STATE Attorney General’s Office has turned down Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyster’s weasely attempt to hand off prosecution of defrocked Ukiah police chief, Noble Waidelich, for an alleged sexual assault, in uniform, on a former Ukiah girlfriend. Eyster has had the investigative findings on the charges for what, three months now? It's not a complicated matter: Did the then Chief attack the woman? If he did, prosecute him, if he didn't drop the charges. A third alternative might be to organize another show trial like the one arranged between the DA and the Superior Court for that other priapic Ukiah cop, Kevin Murray, a plea deal that got that multiple rapist and speed freak, probation. Of course letting another badged Ukiah rapist off the hook might be a little much even for Mendocino County, but join me in another chorus of, Mendocino County, where history starts all over again every morning, and you are whatever you say you are.”

RON EDWARDS, well known in Mendocino County for his marijuana advocacy, and a close look-alike of KGO’s weatherman, Spencer Christian, is in a tight race for a seat on the Healdsburg City Council with Brigette Mansell, with Edwards ahead by less than fifty votes. With all due respect to Edwards as a part-time Mendo guy, here's hoping Mansell beats him because she's the only candidate in that fast disappearing town alarmed at the crazy development of what was, only a few years ago, a pretty and coherent little place. It's recently been vulgarized and over-built by the wine industry in tandem with the usual bullet heads from So Co's chamber of commerces.

TWK WRITES: I went scrolling through YouTube earlier today and found the final game at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium played in late September of ’93 (Trigger Warning: Chisox win, 4-0). 

Among the milestones that got dragged through the memory mill was the fact Luke Easter hit the longest home run (477 feet) in the history of the stadium. This was when he was 35 years old, and during a Cleveland career that lasted a scant three years. 

Luke Easter

No need to go into the competition for longest homer honors, but I’ll trot out Mantle, Maris, Williams, Babe Ruth, Ralph Kiner, Harmon Killebrew, Rocky Colavito, Frank Howard, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Frank Thomas, etc. Municipal Stadium opened in 1931, went dark in 1993. (No one ever hit a ball into the centerfield bleachers, though I suppose 477 feet would have done the job.)

Also saw a quote from the Big Fella in response to some fan who told him that he’d seen Luke Easter hit his longest home run ever. Said Luke: “If it came down, it wasn’t my longest.” 

ED NOTE: I saw Orlando Cepeda hit a batting practice pitch so hard it knuckled all the way out to the left field fence at Candlestick. I could still see in those days, and that ball dipped and swerved and rose about five times with nary a rotation of its stitches. And as you will recall, as a little kid I saw the great Luke Easter pump one batting practice ball after another clear outta Seals Stadium into the park across 16th Street. 

Orlando Cepeda


The practically overnight collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has set off a host of questions about its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, and the future of cryptocurrency, which can all be very confusing to people who aren’t that smart. The Onion translates what happened at FTX into answers that even our dumbest readers can understand.

Q: What is FTX?

A: Something you were supposed to care about because it was considered the future, but now it doesn’t matter!

Q: Who started FTX?

A: Crypto whiz kid Sam Bankman-Fried, who has received widespread praise as the future of financial fraud.

Q: Where is FTX based?

A: The Bahamas, but strictly for tax evasion purposes.

Q: What led FTX to declare bankruptcy?

A: Like many Americans, FTX went bankrupt after being unable to pay the bills for their emergency stadium naming rights.

(The Onion)


[1] Who cares about the frigging elections. It’s just entertainment. Like rigging elections is something new, are we just figuring this out. There is nothing you can do about it. Obviously voting hasn’t really worked since the fate of the Kennedy brothers showed the world what happens if ya don’t play along. Protesting doesn’t work either, they just ignore it or stomp it out if it gains momentum. Organizing any sort of resistance will fail also because it is pretty certain as soon as you get more than three people one of them will be an undercover FBI agent or informant. So just be patient and wait it out. They are bringing about their own demise. Life goes on, still plenty of joy out there to be had.

[2] GRO PERMITS, an on-line comment: I tried jumping through the permit hoops to avoid being abated. I personally never wished abatements on anybody. My impressions were, I could stop growing, get abated, or get permitted, and continue. There was no clear indication of how the new law would shake out, and for sure, the permitting process is very unpredictable. For every permitee in the process I’ve talked to, each one has different unique bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. I think things have gone the way you predicted. Most of us Permit Pansy’s are with you not against you! Much of the process is a big double cross that is harder on honest players than well-heeled investors with a fleet of lawyers.

[3] Huh, it turns out the much hyped Rivian EV Truck — which is retailing at $81,000 per unit (basic model) is costing the company $244,000 per unit to manufacture.

It doesn’t pencil out, to say the least. I think within about two years this enormous EV grift (The EV Revolution!) will come crashing down, leaving millions of people carless, bankrupt, unemployed, and disappointed.

One of the promises we’ve been hearing for a few years now is “EVs will be getting cheaper as time goes on.” But just the opposite seems to be happening; prices are increasing as much as $8000 per quarter. For example, the Ford F-150 EV Lightening was initially billed as ‘Everyman’s Electric Truck’ at $40,000 — that was only a few years ago. Now the base models with no accessories carry a pricetag of $92,000. How are buyers financing these vehicles? 30 year mortgages? Long term auto loans payable until death?

[4] Everyone loves Ron DeSantis of Florida, but who will be the Ron DeSantis of ‘murica(!)?

After the big donors pass him around. After the big corporations write his platform's talking points? After the entrenched deep state intelligence and offense agencies pay him a visit? After the donors suggest one of their guys as an advisor or cabinet member?

The ship of DeSantis will be replaced plank by plank, of course he’ll still look the same and carry that same swagger, but the substance and the original timber will all be exchanged.

The election run-up is nothing but a swap-out.

No matter, you’ll all push your chips out front

Fooled again.

[5] I have a part time job doing store logistics. Unloading trucks and stocking shelves.

Nobody likes ‘ROACHES’. How can anybody responsible enough to hold down a job appreciate a freeloader. Sometime I would rather not like to work, but you do what you have to do.

They are in every day and some of my fellow employees even mistake people who are just in the store to get some time for themselves to be thieves, they get so sour.

We can’t confront them in any way. But we can get into customer service mode. Be helpful, ask them what they are looking for. 

Following with a feather duster or rag cleaning shelves works too. They usually just set down what they are carrying and leave the store.

Employee shrinkage is supposed to be a big deal, but I can’t imagine it is at our store. We seem to hire people who are into working for a living and doing their job. The job does not include biting the hand that feeds you.

[6] CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN, an on-line comment: Why does a progressive lawyer from Marin County, one of the wealthiest counties in California, represent Humboldt and Del Norte Counties? Why did the Democrats gerrymander a worm district which blobs Marin, worms up a narrow band of the Sonoma and Mendo coasts, and then blobs out in Humboldt and Del Norte. Is this fair since Paperbag Huffer is uber wealthy and reps the interests of fellow wealthy lefties but somehow can rep and feel the pain of economically poor Humboldt and Del Norte residents? I don’t think so. Gold spray paint works best for the planet, paper bag.

[7] I wish we had a super-international-assassin-vigilante man-hero who would go out and systematically disappear every last one of these evil, psychotic globalists. And then all the corrupt leaders and politicians in the major countries, and then the corporate hierarchies of Big Pharm, Defense Industry, Financial Industry, Health Industry; starting with the USA. It’s kill, or be killed. If we don’t rise up, become proactive, and stop these maniacs the lights are going to go out on Earth. You say you care dearly about your children and grandchildren and their future. Bullshit! Prove it!

[8] Marijuana Before The Fall: The solstice and harvest parties. The absolute best! It was an honor to experience. We would take rotations on the mountain who was going to host the next potluck. No pun intended. Fabulous feasts and incredible local musicians. Didn’t so much carry guns and have dust ups. If you were there it was because you were supposed to be. If you were not invited do not bother. Respect and common sense held the boundaries not found today. Outsiders weren’t really a thing. There were no trimmigrants. A lot would have family though that came from outside areas to assist through the season. The trimmigrant thing didn’t really start hitting hard until about 2008.

Large bowls of pre-rolled joints and loose buds on the buffet table. Gourmet dishes from around the world. The parties all wound down and everything was put away around January, through March the hills were empty, most were in tropical locations. Used to rain pretty much Non-Stop from January until April. The Tweekers that were around kept to themselves. The severe thievery, missing workers, slain crew members was never an issue like it is now. 

[9] I lived in San Francisco from 79 to 81. I went to Castro Street just about every day because that was where I changed trolleys to go to work.

They were pushing the hepatitis “vaccine” like you wouldn’t believe.

No internet back then, but it was on every bus and every bus stop, as well as billboards and radio ads.

They focused on gay men, because they were more likely to get hepatitis, or that’s what they said anyway.

And then came AIDS. 

I have a friend who believes in standard medicine, and she was an early adopter of the hepatitis vaccine. Then she tested positive for AIDS twice. She got called into the administrator’s office and given the bad news. She went a couple of weeks thinking she was going to die, but then they did a different test and told her that she didn’t have it. They said that the hep vaccine sometimes caused a false positive.

A false positive, huh? Or maybe the vaccine had to combine with the poppers used by gay men to activate into AIDS? 


(a) Social Security is arguably the WORST government run program in America. In 1983 my father passed away 21 days after he signed up to receive his SS benefits. He worked hard for 47 years. My mother died when she was only 51 and she paid into SS for 30 years but died before she could get the benefits she paid into. Since I was 30 years old and clearly not a dependent, all of the funds that my parents amassed were just gone…poof

(b) My parents were of the generation that saved and didn’t spend until they had saved enough to buy what they needed or wanted. If they had been allowed to save their money, on their own, they would have had the benefit of ALL of the money they earned. Now the government has the benefit of my parents combined 77 years of paying into Social Security. 

(c) Apparently some people think they should get their parents benefits when the parent dies. I wonder what those people think should happen if the parent lives to be 112? Should they get hit with the bill at some point.....say at age 85?

(d) “ The money did not disappear, it went to pay for benefits”

The benefits were paid to others.

They would have been better off putting their money in life insurance, then my father would have had the benefit of my mother’s hard work after her death and my father’s beneficiaries would have the benefit of his hard work.

“The purpose of social security is old age insurance”

But people don’t have a choice, it’s required, we don’t have an “opt out” choice that would allow us to make decisions regarding our own earnings.

(e) It is a national insurance policy. You don't get to opt-out of national responsibilities. There are no “others.” The benefits went for their intended purpose. The purpose is to provide a minimum level of survival for the elderly and for those who can no longer work and their minor dependents. I am sorry that your parents died relatively young, but they could have lived to a 100. That is how insurance works. I retired at 66 and started collecting then, but I also have other sources of retirement income. My wife is waiting to 70 to collect social security as the monthly check increases each year you postpone collecting until age 70. You can start collecting at 62, but the checks are much smaller and there are other restrictions. If you are likely not going to make it past 70, then you should start collecting early, but if you are likely to live until 90 or beyond, then it is best to wait until 70, if you can. It is insurance, not a retirement investment and some die young and never collect. On an individual level this may not seem fair, but the system is for the overall benefit of the nation so that we don't have millions of homeless elderly on the streets. 

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