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Off the Record (December 28, 2022)

YOUR BASIC DELICIOUS IRONY, historical division: The FBI, founded to hound the left, and faithfully hounded the left for decades under the old blackmailing cross-dresser, Hoover, is now the darling of the libs because the Hoovers are now hounding the right. The FBI handed nearly $3.5 million of taxpayers money to Twitter to get the social media giant to continue to do its bidding. In an email from February 2021, an unnamed Twitter employee estimated that the company's Safety, Content & Law Enforcement had 'collected $3,415,323' in less than two years from the FBI for 'law-enforcement related projects.' The staffer was emailing then-general counsel Sean Edgett and then-deputy general counsel Jim Baker in the damning message. The subject of the email read: 'Run the business - We made money!' It was Baker, a former FBI lawyer, who met with the feds to discuss suppressing and discrediting the Hunter Biden laptop story, a month before the bombshell New York Post article was published, despite the agency knowing the truth and legitimacy of the reporting. When Baker wanted the story squashed after it was published, Twitter's 'safety moderator,' Yoel Roth, said that he wasn't sure if the story violated any of the company's policies: 'This feels a lot like a somewhat subtle leak operation.' An investigation into Twitter's behavior around the 2020 presidential election by the incoming Republican majority in the house has been promised with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling Fox News this week: 'This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.'


The Black Hawk! Central to the Jazz scene during the '50s, the Black Hawk was located at the corner of Turk and Hyde Streets. “A 'caged' area separated by woven wire fencing was provided for patrons under 21 years old who could not legally consume alcohol. This exception to the liquor laws was set up in an agreement between Black Hawk owner Guido Caccienti and Mayor George Christopher, and made it possible for young people to experience jazz.”

“Notable musicians who appeared there include the Dave Brubeck Quartet, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Vince Guaraldi, Stan Getz, Mary Stallings, Johnny Mathis, Art Blakey, Shorty Rogers, Art Pepper, Art Farmer, Gerry Mulligan, Horace Parlan and Russ Freeman. Art Tatum mainly did concert work in the last 18 months of his life; he played the Black Hawk in 1955.”

JOHN REDDING: Ted Williams had the gall to assert that the finances of the Mendocino Health Care District were in poor shape despite never taking the opportunity to delve into them with me. Yet every passing day demonstrates he has no clue about the finances for which he is responsible. Indeed, his comments here and in other places suggest that he believes he is just an innocent bystander to the implosion of the County. The County, if it isn’t apparent, is in a death spiral that will end in bankruptcy. There is not enough tax money to be raised to solve these problems. In fact, more taxes will only drive businesses and people elsewhere. Remember the adage — if you want less of something, tax it. Mendocino County needs a lot of economic development, but the BOS has made it increasingly harder to do business here. The fiasco over the budget and financial reports demonstrates that the current members of the Board are in over their heads.

John Redding, past Treasurer, Mendocino Coast Health Care District

* * *

TED WILLIAMS RESPONDS: County government is not heading toward bankruptcy, nor does it have the power to enact taxes. Ridiculous notions. We're ripping off bandaids and surfacing a long legacy of questionable financial reporting. Some choose to kick and scream on the path to regular, credible financial reports. Take note of the characters who object to a forensic audit.

Happy holidays. — Ted Williams

THE BIG DEMOCRAT MEDIA — Washington Post, NYT, MSNBC, WOLF BLITZER in the Situation Room — still haven't said a word about The Twitter Files, which began on December 2nd when Musk promised to release the company's internal dialogue regarding the suppression of the New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop story. Musk released unvetted documents to journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger. The leaks have now gone beyond the Hunter Biden story to show how Twitter worked with the FBI to suppress free speech. The most recent reveal showed how Twitter was paid $3.5 million by the FBI for the company's constant work in suppressing accounts and tweets at the request of the Bureau. Leaks also show that Twitter's deputy chief legal counsel was made aware of the Hunter Biden laptop story, and its legitimacy, a month before it was published.

TRUMP is clearly guilty of inciting the January 6th riot, which the Boonville weekly — get back! — still says was a riot and not an “insurrection,” as Jan 6th is routinely characterized by those pillars of integrity, Liz Cheney and Adam Schiff, not to mention Biden and his puppeteers. An insurrection would have seen armed Magas with a definite plan for attacking then holding the capitol. There was no plan, no armed attack. What we saw was an ugly riot incited by a coward and a bully getting other cowards and bullies to riot. It was an ugly riot, but have you ever seen a riot that wasn't ugly? 

A FRIEND told me he keeps 75 dollars in a savings account for the laughs he gets at his bank statement. “Interest accrued one cent. Low activity fee $5.”

LESS AMUSING is the 8.7% cost of living raise us geezers got for our Social Security as inflation was simultaneously reported at at least 8.7, meaning a loss for us of at least 8.7 percent.

IT'S AMAZING how three rogue Mendo cops — two only accused, not convicted — out of a hundred doing their impossible work every day with unblemished professional aplomb bring out the cop bashers as expressed by this on-line comment: “How do I avoid travel and business in Mendocino County? A fascinating story, and one has to wonder as to the plaintiff’s primary occupation… Bad cops assembled in a tight region, cities paying off claimants and ex-officers… Does this stuff happen everywhere? Cops should be able to provide footage and documentation of any and all on-duty encounters with citizens, for their own legal interest. Forcing someone to have sex with you when they are disabled or in a physically weakened condition or economic position should carry a long sentence… Threats of physical harm or prosecution from an LEO, or hell, just any deficiency in professional policy and procedure, should be reported without delay. Cops should be aware that there are cameras and recording devices almost everywhere… If this happened to you, how would you respond?”

BUT, BUT, BUT... we're a lean, mean killing machine, Miss Manners, as jarheads react to the news that the US Marine Corps are urged to stop calling instructors “sir” and “'ma'am” to be more gender inclusive and avoid being “offensive” by woke academics. The recommendation came in a recently completed academic report from the University of Pittsburgh, which was commissioned by the Corps in 2020.

THE OTHER NIGHT at the Chase Center, home court of the San Francisco Warrior's basketball team, play was stopped while Draymond Green complained to the referees that a foul-mouthed fan's insults had crossed the line, which means that not only was Green verbally assaulted but everyone sitting near the fan was also forced to listen to the creep. I was at a Warrior's game at the Oakland Coliseum one night when Mike Riordan jumped into the stands and slugged a guy in the mouth, which is the most efficient way to handle offenders, but lately the refs have simply kicked them out of the arena. I remember reading about a belligerent psycho who was banned from every arena in the country!

STEPH CURRY: “It was a distraction in terms of how long it took to handle the situation,” Curry said. “But Draymond showed composure in terms of letting everyone know what was going on. I’ve heard it’s happened a couple of times here in terms of fans saying wild stuff. I know it’s happening around the league. You want there to be some swift action around it.”

MENDO GUY WRITES: 19 years ago I was hooked on meth. I got busted, did about 3 months in the graybar hotel while I waited for a bed to open in Singing Trees. Did 6 months of inpatient there and 18 months of Drug court. Guess what? IT WORKED!! I’ve been clean and sober since January 2004. Drug court and inpatient is the ticket IMHO.

LET'S HOPE MINAL SHANKAR'S optimism is shared by Ukiah's bureaucrats. Ms. Shankar is the young woman who has set about reviving the long abandoned Palace Hotel in the center of our county seat. The best way Ukiah could help is to get out of her way when the Palace project kicks off in 2024, about the same time as our Superior Court begins to erect its new eyesore headquarters near the foot of Perkins Street in an internally lavish structure housing only them.

SO, CLASS, as an ambitious, idealistic young woman rehabs a stately landmark that once co-anchored a stately County Courthouse in the center of Ukiah, our over-large contingent of overpaid and underworked judges will move three blocks south, leaving the County Courthouse mostly abandoned. One large structure is revived, another dies, downtown Ukiah suffers. Only in Mendo could such a lack of civic planning occur.

LOCAL AUTHORITY — the county supervisors and the Ukiah City Council — such as it is, will say, “Well, golly, the state is building the new County Courthouse so there's nothing we can do about it.”

BY “THE STATE” is meant the State Judicial Council, another nest of overpaid lawyers funded out the exorbitant tickets and fees we all pay in traffic violations and court costs. It was this self-sanctioned San Francisco agency, assisted by the usual roll over of local authority, with a big helping hand from Northcoast Democrats who magically got title to the land off Perkins Street where the new County Courthouse that nobody wants will go. That land was owned by the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad but somehow is now the property of the publisher of the Press Democrat, Doug Bosco, a former Congressman who emerged from several terms in office a millionaire. Although the existing County Courthouse has served us well for more than a hundred years, and could be redone for half the expected cost of the new glass and steel monstrosity, it will become the new semi-abandoned hulk in the center of Ukiah.

MALCOLM MACDONALD: After another sell out, copies of Mendocino History Exposed, my collection of eclectic local stories, are back on the shelf at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. If you can't make it into their wonderful store on the corner of Main and Kasten Streets, give them a call at 707-937-2665 or check out the easy to use website for remote ordering: Add my novel, Outlaw Ford, to your holiday gift list to see how the real life shooting horse incident described in Chapter VIII of Mendocino History Exposed provided a catalyst to full length fiction.

STEVE HEILIG: ”Hapless” Paul Whelan was court-martialed for multiple crimes and lies and discharged from the Marines for bad conduct, then wound up in Russia with shady contacts and activities (he was also a big Trump fan). He was arrested with $80k in mysterious cash and was apparently trading in confidential info. Griner was caught with a gram of hash. Poor judgement on her part indeed, but while the “trade” may have been a bad deal and bad optics, at least the right American was freed.

GUNS ARE NOW the No. 1 cause of deaths among American children and teens, ahead of car crashes, other injuries and congenital disease. In other rich countries, gun deaths are not even among the top four causes of death, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found. The U.S. accounts for 97 percent of gun-related child deaths among similarly large and wealthy countries, despite making up just 46 percent of this group’s overall population.

If the U.S. had gun death rates similar to Canada’s, about 26,000 fewer children would have died since 2010, according to Kaiser. But the trend has been going in the opposite direction: Gun deaths among teens and younger kids have gone up in the U.S., while they have declined elsewhere. The victims are disproportionately people of color, most often Black boys.

Why is America such an outlier? Because it has many more guns…. The U.S. has more guns than people. This abundance of guns makes it much easier for anyone to carry out an act of violence with a firearm in America than in any other wealthy country.

— German Lopez (NYT)

“At one of my first Toughman competitions, some people were kind of laughing, saying, 'Look at this fat slob who is going to get his ass kicked.' Those same people weren’t laughing after I destroyed this body-building boy. I destroyed him. The following day, Showtime came to me and said, 'How many people did you bring to the fight?' I said 'Just my wife, why?' They said at least 30 people were out there with Butterbean shirts on.” 

— Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch


The Willits City Council and former Willits Police Chief Alexis Blaylock entered into a settlement agreement, effective December 21, 2022, for the dismissal of Ms. Blaylock’s lawsuit against the City in which she alleged that she suffered damages from racial and gender discrimination in her brief employment with the City. While the City disputes those allegations, the Council determined that the settlement, which avoids a potentially lengthy, uncertain and expensive jury trial is in the best interest of the community of Willits.

Under the terms of the agreement Ms. Blaylock releases all of her claims in consideration for the settlement and dismissal of the lawsuit…the City’s insurer will pay to Ms. Blaylock the sum of $250,000.

The Council met in closed session on December 14 and by unanimous vote “conditionally” approved the proposed settlement agreement that had been presented by Ms. Blaylock’s counsel. The approval was conditional because, under the terms of the agreement, Ms. Blaylock retained the right to reconsider her agreement and to withdraw her approval for a seven-day period following her signing, That period expired today resulting in the removal of the condition to the Council’s acceptance. The agreement is now fully executed effective today.

The entire settlement proceeds will be paid by the City’s insurer. As is the City’s practice involving personnel matters, no further comments will be made.

(Willits City Presser)

FRANCO HARRIS, the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back at the heart of one of the most astonishing plays in NFL history, has died, his family confirmed. He was 72. The four-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer passed away just two days before the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception”—his ludicrously improbable catch and touchdown in the dying seconds of the Steelers’ 1972 playoff game against Oakland which gave Pittsburgh their first playoff victory in the franchise’s history. His death also comes just days before Pittsburgh plans to retire his #32 jersey in a halftime ceremony at its game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Harris’ family confirmed his death to KDKA-TV. No cause of death was reported.

CHRIS SKYHAWK: Well, one of my childhood heroes has passed - guess I must be getting old…Franco Harris - I was a HUGE fan as a boy - I would often hold a football in my bedroom and pretend to be  Franco gloriously running for touchdowns, and smashing through would-be tacklers - I remember the Immaculate Reception (1972) I was at my pal Mike McGarrity’s house when Franco snatched that deflected ball out of the air and scored the touchdown that launched a 1970’s dynasty And Franco’s Italian Army; being 1/2 Italian I was intrigued by the biracial man - well everyone dies even our heroes.


[1] Slippery slopes being what they are, there can be no middle ground between free speech absolutism and effectively abrogating the First Amendment.

Yes, uninhibited free speech does open a Pandora’s box, and impressionable people will become convinced of many things that are false, more than a few of which are malicious.

But that is also true of today’s Corporate-State-managed “reality.” What makes this far worse is that much of the truth is kept from those wise enough to discern it, unavailable as an option for belief.

At least in an environment in which all positions can be expressed, that which is true is given a fighting chance of competing with falsehood. And that would be a huge improvement over today’s arrangement, in which the ignorance of the credulous is not nearly as much of a problem as the things they “know” that just ain’t true.

[2] Israel is an apartheid state. That doesn’t come from me, but from the UN.

Israel is a genocidal state. A nicer term than “genocide” might be “ethnic cleansing.”

A very large portion of its territory is land stolen from the original inhabitants. Israelis are taught from earliest childhood to hate and look down on Palestinians as subhuman. 

Furthermore, Israel is no friend to the USA. Israel tried to sink the USS Liberty and murder all of its crew. Israel has lied to and stolen nuclear secrets from the USA. 

These are simply the facts.

[3] I find the expression “gay mafia” a clunker. Like adding the Yeti or UFO’s to a well reasoned argument. You lose focus. You open yourself to easy flak. 

Not saying Yetis, UFO’s or gay mafias exist, or don’t. Mafias do exist. Most garden variety homosexuals wouldn’t know where to sign up to a gay one. 

There are other ways to describe the encouragement of depraved views by elites, maybe. Decadence? A jaded society harder and harder to shock? Setting up scapegoats? Wars on reality, biology, virtue signaling, Luciferian pride?

And homosexual people are not the tiny minority. We all know some, maybe in our own family or circle of friends. 10-20% may have that natural inclination.

As long as they sate it with other consenting adults, and not in our faces, I don’t see a problem with it, and I don’t automatically associate depravity and sin with gays. 

Most gays are normal people, except maybe for bad taste in clothes and music and in men, terrible haircuts in women, but what do I know… I’m a straight middle aged married man with grown children.

I do associate depravity with pedophiles, most transexuals, and those who bring perversion and scandal to young children and society at large, like crazed activist teachers, or that ghastly nuclear waste manager, or the so called “admiral”. Not the same thing.

[4] Too many men are just life support systems for a penis and too many women are easily bullied into a demented agenda. We are designed to work with each other and balance each other out. Unless we can get to this point, which I don’t think we ever will.

[5] It's been 53 years since we proved we could build powerful missiles better and faster than the USSR.

After 53 years, an ex-KGB man rules the ruins of the USSR and kills with impunity, while a substantial portion of Americans vote fascist. Their kleptocrats and our kleptocrats and China's kleptocrats compete for the largest yacht. The destruction of our planet's ability to support what has passed for human civilization is done, needing only a bit of time to come to fruition. Our streets are filled with lost souls begging.

Mars or the moon? Neither. It would be impossible to imagine a bigger waste of science and engineering talent, and money.

[6] If we could just for a few moments turn our attention to something other than cannabis and swapping political insults (don’t worry, we can return to these exciting topics very very soon), let us consider a) the possibility that the market for wine grapes is now saturated, recession or not? There were hundreds of wineries in the — what shall we call it? — the Ruby Quadrangle? — of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties? And 4700 wineries altogether in California, and 11,053 in the U.S. in 2021, according to Who is buying all this wine? Sure, it’s fun to spend a day winetasting, and everyone with a few million dollars to toss around would love to own a winery, but how much wine do people actually buy? so could it be the demand is shrinking while the supply is growing?? and b) according to the stats cited in this article, FOOD crops are gaining in value while also increasing in production? I don’t know about you, but I find it heartening that our Northcoast California farmers are getting into growing FOOD again. Food! Think about it!

[7] Too many men feel insecure and challenged by women, and too many women have been abused by men for too long. Yeah, take that you scumbags.

The ‘man’ shrivels before the intellectually dominant female, but the ‘man’ rises before the beautiful body.

Best to know the fit, best to rate the potential mate, copulate on many a date, ejaculate and lessen the need to speculate, see if her mind is refined, and designed as well as her behind.

The caveman with the club wants her barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen as the saying goes, with maybe some nail polish on the toes.

Yes, how can you tell, the match made in heaven, or the match made in hell? 

Men have made a mess of things, see them with the earrings and tattooed muscle, attaché case and Wall Street hustle, lies in suits and ties, gridiron brutes or effeminate lads of ill repute, men waging war and wielding law, needing power while wanting to deflower.

Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem have simply spoken up for themselves and their sex, and in doing so pummeled the insecure male from pillar to post.

Yes, some feminists have gone too far, but many men got what they deserved, a wakeup call as to what a woman is, what a woman wants and what a woman needs.

Dumb jerks thought it was all about them.

[8] Earlier I left a whine in here about a feminist ancestor. She started out being active in supporting both the Volstead Act and the Nineteenth Amendment. These were issues important to a lot of people in the 20’s. 

She was a sour and dour Presbyterian fundamentalist. To be a Christian in her mind there was to be no drinking, no dancing, no card playing or gambling, and *especially* no carousing going on around her. Chastity was of utmost importance. Unfortunately for her, she had a situation going on that involved in laws visiting at times who were beer drinking northern Catholics. We’re talking a pack of in-law uncles here. They had to bring their own beer with them because they were visiting a dry county in the Bible Belt. 

Well, they left a lot of beer bottles behind. Ole granny was afraid that the trash collection guys would see beer bottles in her trash cans. So she had all the bottles stored in a remote area in her huge basement. She went through the trash and pulled out all the beer bottles after the guys had driven off to the North. During her last year alive I was 8 years old and visiting her house. She hired me and one other child to drag all the beer bottles out of the basement and throw them down the steep wooded hillside behind her house. We had great fun as kids seeing how far we could throw them and trying to get them to bust on oak trees. Honeysuckle vines and underbrush hid them rather well at first. Decades later others were mystified as to where all the beer bottles on the hillside came from. They were covered by leaves, but a few still poked their heads out in winter every now and then. I never confessed to my role in throwing the bottles because I was afraid I’d be asked to root around in the woods, find them, and put them in the trash cans where they should have gone in the first place. 

This old feminist woman had cancer and knew she was dying. Yet she was worried about hundreds of hidden beer bottles in the basement. She was worried that after her passing, the house would be cleaned from top to bottom and the hidden bottle stash discovered. And what was much worse, the bottles might end up in the garbage can anyhow, which is why she had them hidden in the basement in the first place. 

She feared that after her death a city worker might discover that somebody in her home had been drinking a hell of a lot of beer. And that they might tell somebody. And it might get whispered around town. Image being a dying person with this sort of shallow minded nonsense going on in your mind. And you swear a couple of kids to secrecy and pay them to solve your problem. A problem that would sound hilarious to anyone today. Those bottles are still there right now, the land is an undeveloped steep hillside, and the leaves have covered the beer bottles up so completely you’d have to dig down a ways to find them by now. Until bulldozers bring them to the light of day, they’ll be there forever as a hidden monument to idiotic ideas and ideals.

[9] I think Zelensky wearing the sweats is in order to get folks to emulate him. He looks like he’s wearing prison garb. Kinda goes along with our prison mentality. Prison-looking schools, prison-looking stores, prison-looking churches, prison-looking hospitals. 

Why not just dress the part as well? We’ve seen where personal pride in dressing has gone in the past few decades: Down the drain. Sure it’s one thing to be dressed that way doing manual labor, chores, etc. but getting on a plane or going on vacation? Really? Have some pride in yourselves, people: Stop dressing like you’re in prison (even if we are).

[10] As an Aussie watching from far far away… It seems America now has a tradition firmly rooted:

1. Every generation starts a pointless war.

2. Work hard to convince everyone ‘who matter$’ that it’s a great Idea.

3. End it all in failure many years later after enormous expenditure in men and material.

4. Spend years afterwards trying to explain the unfathomable.

[11] ON-LINE QUAKE REPORTS on last Tuesday morning's big 6.4 west of Petrolia…

(a) Holy Moly that was a big one!! Definitely heard some things fall on my crystal shelf, but we are safe! I will have to check for actual damage in the daylight as we unfortunately just lost power. Everyone please be safe, check on your loved ones in the mountains and otherwise please! Wow USGS is saying 6.4 and it absolutely felt like that, my farm dog sensed it right before it hit, she started crying all crazy which is abnormal and I was worried so I went to check on her in her bed and then BOOM. Was literally holding on to the doorway to stand up during it. Definitely felt like I was riding the earth beneath my feet. So powerful.

(b) First place I looked right after USGS. You guys rock! Here near Weaverville it started out as a sharp shake and transitioned to a more gentle roll. I got a warning on my phone about 10 seconds before it started, that was actually helpful. I didn’t actually take cover or anything, grew up in so cal, seemed like this was a weekly thing when I was a kid. First real earthquake I’ve felt in decades. Hope everything is ok over there and no major damage has occurred.

(c) I live in a geodesic dome between Arcata and Blue Lake. The house usually has little movement except hopping up and down but this time it rolled kinda side to side and creaked like my joints. The dog embedded herself in my armpit and wouldn’t get out of bed. Power is out but my generator is up so I can have extra- early morning coffee. Everybody stay safe and pray no one was injured.

(d) My smart speaker sent an alert a minute before the shake. And the cat was sitting upright in the dark watching me for quite awhile afterward. That must have been the aftershocks she was following. In Fort Bragg.

(e) Hank Sims in Eureka: Well, that was quite a ride. Seriously, probably one of the top two or three this reporter has ever experienced in his 50+ years.

The good news is that there seems to be no major structural damage in Eureka following the early morning 6.4 quake that rocked the county and woke everyone up for a spell. Caltrans currently has Fernbridge shut while they inspect it for damage, but apart from that there don’t seem to be any major concerns.

The city of Eureka asks that you report structural damage to your Eureka building, if you find any such damage at this number: 707-441-4155.

Aftershocks are coming in hot and heavy, none of them particularly exciting. So far. Knock on wood.

Power is out all across the county, and the PG&E outage tracker — never a particularly reliable guide — is currently forecasting it’ll be out until 10 p.m. today. We’ll see.

Schools are closed across the county. Humboldt State is open to essential personnel only. 

We’ll be posting updates here. Stay safe, everyone!

(f) Kirk Vodopals: Called Mother just now to check on her and the family homestead in Ferndale. No answer. Phoned brother and he picked up and said she walked down the hill to the neighbors last night and is sleeping now. Apparently a slide on the driveway blocked the way out for the car.

Sounds like a mess up there, but not as bad as the 6.9 in 1992. Earthquakes during a wet winter are a double-whammy, though. Lots more slides when the ground is saturated.

(g) What a lovely arabesque my ceiling-hung lights did this evening! I sure do enjoy all the local entertainment post-COVID we have hereabouts. Even the raccoons applauded!

(h) I'm three miles up Airport Rd. in Little River. It shook the bed, rattled the wall a little and woke me up.

(i) I heard the alarm but never felt a thing in Little River.

(j) My cats picked up on it, when they freaked out and departed the bed ... I awoke and had a clue, but ... I haven't felt EQ or aftershocks. The aftershocks seem to be ranging across the southern end of multiple fault zones. Look to the top of the Juan de Fuca plate for future activity. IMHO ... earthquake watcher for ... many years.

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