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Off the Record (May 24, 2023)

DIANE KEARNEY, aka TR FACTOR, has died at age 89, a month shy of her 90th birthday. Ms. Factor lived for about ten years on the upper Mendocino Coast, and was a regular contributor to the ava in the 1980s when her bete noire was then-Fort Bragg City Manager, Gary Milliman, whom TR routinely referred to as “Gary Middleman” for Milliman's murky associations with Fort Bragg's sketchy city council and even sketchier businessmen, one of whom is strongly suspected of being the organizer of the 1987 Fort Bragg Fires, during which, in one combustible night, the town's justice court, library and the Piedmont Hotel were destroyed by fire. Ms. Factor moved to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast where she remained until her final year when she became a resident of an assisted living facility in nearby Seaside where she died last week.

BUILDING a better Boonville, finding solutions, moving forward. That's us, and I hope the Channel 7 chuckle buddies don't mind if we appropriate a little of their magical thinking.

PRESS RELEASE OF THE WEEK: NPR drops bombshell, reveals that it’s quitting Twitter permanently over Twitter owner Elon Musk’s “exceptionally harmful” and “dangerous” decision to shamelessly and inaccurately label NPR as “government-funded media.” In a scathing press release, NPR accuses Musk of “undermining” its “credibility” by “falsely implying that we are not editorially independent.” Here is NPR’s full statement: “We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence. Actions by Twitter or other social media companies to tarnish the independence of any public media institution are exceptionally harmful and set a dangerous precedent.”

IF BULLSHIT were a capital crime, everyone at NPR from the suites to the mailroom would be in line for Old Sparky. NPR, CNN, the NYT, Washpo, MSNBC are obviously extensions of the Democratic Party. Know how to tell real quick? They all present Biden every day as if he weren't a diminished-capacity case, whispering occasionally that maybe, just maybe Biden is too old for a second term. Fox and NewsMax are extensions of the Republican Party. Know how to tell real quick? They've always presented Trump as a plausible character, and not the oafish blowhard that he is.

IT WAS A WITCH HUNT. Special Counsel John Durham found that the FBI did not have enough “factual evidence” to investigate allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, in a scathing report released Monday. The report says that “based on the evidence gathered in the multiple exhaustive and costly federal investigations of these matters, including the instant investigation, neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.” “FBI records prepared by Strzok in February and March 2017 show at the time of opening Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI had no information in its holding indicating that any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in contact with any Russian intelligence officials.”

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: “Clarence and Ginni Thomas — Politics, Power and the Supreme Court,” a Frontline documentary. I hadn't known anything about Thomas's early years and his education, but I couldn't help but sympathize with his travails as a young man growing up Catholic in a mostly white, seminary-like context during which, made clear in the doc, he racked up a lot of justified grievances from which he drew the wrong political conclusions. Thomas, as a Supreme Court justice, is now getting his revenge for all those humiliations. 

GINNI THOMAS was raised by Birchers and, given her limited brainpower, the girl couldn't help becoming a neo-fascist of the MAGA type. She's even more extreme than her Republican-sponsored husband, whose grievance temperature went through the roof when Anita Hill revealed him as the oaf that he is, with political opinions to match. Mrs. Thomas has written that the MAGAS should arm themselves “for what's coming next.” 

MY FELLOW LIB-LABS, these people aren't playing. It's not going to be enough to beat them in elections, and we can count on the Democrats to put up someone that Trump can beat, someone like the walking corpse presently pretending to be in charge, but we should at least understand that the MAGAS want to end us, and US.


(from a Press Release from State Senator Mike McGuire)

Just when you thought that the Great Redwood Trail rhetoric had already gone way to far, in March State Senator Mike McGuire issued a new press release going further, claiming that:

“The Great Redwood Trail will be a transformational economic engine in Northern California.

“Total annual benefits from the Trail: $102,568,000

“New recreational, tourism and retail economic benefits: $61,693,000

“Average trip on the Trail will generate: $64 in food/meals, $60 in retail, $93 in lodging

“New annual tax revenue coming to our communities: $5,490,000 

“Total new walking/hiking trips per year: 5.3 to 7.9 million

“Total estimated new bike trips per year: 900,000 to 1.3 million

“Annual trips generated by local residents: 4.1 to 6.1 million

“Annual trips generated by visitors: 2.1 to 3.1 million

“The above figures do not include local hiring, construction, materials, and maintenance of the Trail, and represent only the portions of the Trail in Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt counties. The southern portion of the Great Redwood Trail, in Marin and Sonoma counties, is being built by the SMART Train and will have significant additional economic benefits for the entire region.”

If you believe that, you’re either Ukiah mayor Mari Rodin or Second District Supervisors Maureen Mulheren.

PS. According to McGuire: “A copy of the full Economic Benefit Assessment can be found here:

ADAM GASKA on the Great Redwood Trail (GRT):

The state put out a report estimating that the cost of the GRT would be $5 billion. $1 billion plus for build out and $4 billion for environmental remediation.

According to a state written feasibility report construction would cost $1 billion if built in 2020. The cost has risen and will likely continue to rise.

I think a few stretches could be worthwhile to develop. I like the idea of developing the stretch in Hopland from 175 south to 101. It could incorporate in Old River Road to make a loop people can do. Develop a parking lot across 175 from the gas station and Baptist Church. to do a loop down the tracks to 101, to Old River Road then back is just shy of 4 miles. When the Coastal Conservancy/GRTA does the EIR/CEQA, factor in all the impacts including the amenities, the lemon-aid stands, that owners might want to do. Come up with a community develop plan that lays it all out in code on what landowners can do so it streamlines the permitting. We don’t end up with piecemeal development if we develop a comprehensive plan. Do outreach and community workshops to get input so the community has buy in.

Maybe identify a few places, ideally loops, where there are willing landowners who want to cater to some out of town guests and accommodate agritourism.

I can even see developing the stretch in Redwood Valley from Laughlin Way to School Way to make it safer and easier to ride your bike to the store.

I do think we should leave the option open to restore rail service for transit and freight. SMART plans to be in Cloverdale by 2027. With the cost of fuel and carbon reduction goals, it makes sense to expand our options beyond getting in the car and driving. North of Willits isn’t feasible but Willits south to Cloverdale does.

Putting the GRTA through the bushes in remote areas seems like a formula for disaster. Fire, access to remote areas by first responders, trespass onto adjacent private property, vandalism, vagrancy, costly maintenance with little economic benefit to support it are all valid concerns.

LARRY BENSKY writes to demand our explanation for the three-page Easter message that appeared in the April 5th edition. Bensky thoughtfully enclosed the three-page ad he complains about, which arrived here on Wednesday, 17 May, mis-addressed and with 24 cents postage due. It took a while for the Post Office to figure out the letter was for us.

“Who is this ad for?” Bensky demands. (Christians, probably.)

“Did ‘they’ pay for it?” (Sure did, and mightily, too, and in a timely manner. Honoring their commitments is among the many virtues I've noted among my Christian friends here in the Anderson Valley. Not a deadbeat in the bunch, which is more than I can say for our left comrades.)

“What was the process involved in selling & printing it?” (The usual. They sent the copy, we set it up on the page, the printer printed it, and the Christians promptly cut a check for the full amount it cost.)

“If the Taliban paid for four pages?” (Only on the condition they not beat my sister for appearing in public without her hijab.)

“Putin?” (Only on the condition that he immediately withdraws from Ukraine and commits suicide.) 

HISTORICAL AMNESIA is nothing new in this country, but collective memory loss is an extra hoot lately as so many media people, liberal and conservative profess shock that the FBI went full-on partisan to stop Trump from being elected. 

AS IF THE FBI wasn't founded as a partisan political police force to stomp the left all the way back to the IWW and lefties like Rosa Luxembourg Emma Goldman — Hoover himself saw her off the day she was deported — on up through Hoover's FBI pursuit of communists, real and imagined, and on through the targeting of the black leadership of the Civil Rights movement — Hoover and his federal army went after Martin Luther King big time — and on into the alleged War on Terrorism and, now, running smear ops for the DNC. 

THEN CAME TRUMP, and Hillary and the DNC aimed the entire “intelligence” apparatus at stopping the Great Orange Beast. As if the Beast wasn't bad enough on his known record, the FBI and the CIA conjured up his participation in perv-o-ramas and alleging that the Beast was in league with Putin. None of it was true, and here's Beast, bolstered by the tsunami of lib lies about him, back again with a viable shot at resuming his subversive presidency!

AND HERE WE ARE with weasel lips like Anderson Cooper and the rest of the Democrat media saying, for almost four years, versions of what Cooper said: “Whatever is going on is something. Perhaps benign, perhaps ill-judged, perhaps all within the president's constitutional and legal authority — or maybe not. Just what kind of something it is, we don't know. Two presidents do however: President Trump and Vladimir Putin.”

THE MCN LIST SERVE is a dependable source of unintended laffs, especially lately with a lot of worried talk about at last getting the site somehow monitored to keep out computer chronophages and their endlessly vile exchanges of insults. Kinda late, ain't it? Crazy people have dominated the site for years, and most of us learned long ago to simply scroll on by.

FORMER CIA director John Brennan has admitted that a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials that sought to discredit reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop was “political.” Brennan, the CIA chief during Obama's administration, admitted to the House Judiciary Committee investigators in a four-hour closed-door deposition that the letter, which falsely claimed that emails on Hunter Biden's laptop were Russian disinformation, was indeed “political.” Brennan's deposition comes as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is expected to give testimony Wednesday, May 17). Both Brennan and Clapper signed a letter by 51 former intelligence officials who claimed Hunter's laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” An email shows Brennan agreeing to have his name added to the letter of signatories by the then-acting CIA Director Mike Morell.

FOOD NOTE. Last Friday I enjoyed the best hamburger of my life at Perry's Delicatessen, Fairfax, marvy Marin. I've bought to-go sandwiches at Perry's for years, packing them to the ballpark to avoid ballpark food prices. As an old guy in the very last quartile of the actuarial charts, I've downed my share of America's preeminent food item, but never one as good as the one on sale at Perry's where a second plus is the portly chef in a greasy shirt and nobody on staff paying any attention to the phone that never stops ringing. Nothing slick or up-market about the place, but I'm here to tell you if you don't like the Perry burger I'll reimburse you.

I MUST SAY I was startled by this relationship between Noam Chomsky and the late, reviled pedo, Jeffrey Epstein: Chomsky apparently had asked Epstein for financial advice and Epstein subsequently moved $270,000 between Chomsky's accounts.


Defendant Timmy Kent Cooper, age 61, formerly of Ukiah, was sentenced Friday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court to 33 years to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Timmy Cooper

As previously reported, a Mendocino County Superior Court jury found Cooper guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon and personally inflicting great bodily injury by breaking the victim’s arm, said verdicts being returned in February following deliberations that lasted less than a half an hour.

ED NOTE: Who defended this guy? The jury was out for a half hour? 33 years for a bum fight? Broke the other guy's arm? Yes, he's got priors, but he's 61 and will die in prison for what should have been a misdemeanor assault.

MORE AMERICANS are struggling to make ends meet NOW than in the aftermath of the pandemic — new survey shows nearly 40% of US households can't pay expenses.

The revelation comes from the Census Bureau's latest survey, which shows some 38.5% of adults, or 89.1 million people, experienced difficulty paying bills this month.

MIKE GENIELLA WRITES: Regular AVA readers know I hold Editor Bruce Anderson and our pal Tom Hine aka Tommy Wayne Kramer in the highest regard. So, it may surprise some to know I strongly disagree with their journalistic contentions as printed in today's edition.

I will start with the Editor's pronouncement that the ACLU's legal challenge of DA Dave was frivolous because he refused for more than a year to comply with the request for public information surrounding the implementation of the state's new Racial Justice Act. DA Dave is a master of collecting, and in some cases posting public information on the office's website. He has time to write his own press releases, heavy on legalese. So why would he waste taxpayers' money by dragging his feet with the ACLU data request, and only complying after litigation was filed? The editor's slap at Matt LaFever’s reporting on the ACLU issue, and his linking of DA Dave's selective use of the Brady List, is undeserved. Yes, Ms. Carley may have initially lied during the domestic violence investigation involving the former probation officer and her then-lover Ukiah Police Officer Noble Waidelich. It is common for victims to initially try and protect the perpetrator, usually for reasons involving fear and economics. DA Dave went after her with the Brady hammer but for still unexplained reasons he failed to use it on former Sgt. Kevin Murray when it was discovered the officer lied about an assault on a disabled veteran. Former Fort Bragg Sgt. Chris Awad was twice named ‘Officer of the Year’ before he had a falling out with one of DA Dave’s prosecutors. While he acknowledged questionable behavior in handling a young woman’s DUI case, he never lied on the witness stand. His behavior fell fall short of Murray’s, and other documented cases of cops who have escaped DA Dave's selective use of the Brady List.

Mr. Kramer's continued defense of the Murray sentencing staggers, given his professed experience as a journalist and criminal investigator. The facts are the court ignored tougher sentencing recommendations by Sonoma County authorities who conducted an outside review of Murray's case. In a special note in their report, Sonoma probation officers said they were limited to making a one-year jail sentencing recommendation because the DA's Office for still unexplained reasons failed to turn over all investigative reports relating to Murray's actions. They suggested if reports had been turned over for review, they likely would have recommended an even longer jail term for Murray. In short, a formal probation office report calling for at least a one-year jail term was ignored, and Murray instead was placed on probation by the sentencing judge. This happened after the DA agreed to a sweetheart plea deal with Murray's high-profile defense team from Santa Rosa, which called for three serious felony sexual assault charges to be dropped against the former Ukiah cop. It also dropped a misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine charge. Mr. Kramer cites his journalistic background, but perhaps he ought to get his facts straight.

ED NOTE: I didn't swipe at LaFever, that was a commenter who did the swiping. I think Feve does a good job. I've always been a lukewarm ACLU guy from way back when my youngest brother refused to register for the draft as his protest of the War On Vietnam. When he approached the ACLU for legal representation, they turned him down because, imo, he wasn't eminent enough like, say, David Harris. Bro went on into the federal pen at Lompoc while the ACLU went on representing front page cases that made them big bucks as fundraisers. I think their non-case against Eyster is more show biz. “Look at noble us. We're fighting racism because this guy won't give us the stats about how many Mexicans and Indians he prosecutes. What is he hiding?” The ACLU implication is that Mexicans and Indians are getting Mendo-arrested out of proportion to their numbers, the further implication being the DA is persecuting those sectors of the Mendo population, for which there is zero evidence, as the County Jail's daily intake proves beyond all doubt. I'll bet the DA doesn't even keep race stats, and he shouldn't. As for Murray, the timeline in his case seems to indicate that he was finished as a cop, so there wouldn't be any point in Brady-listing him.

TOM HINE REPLIES to Mike Geniella: Mike Geniella continues his long, tired jihad against Dave Eyster, his former boss, by again brandishing the case of an ex-cop’s light sentence. Geniella goes on most recently to call my “defense” of the sentencing “staggering” and question my bonafides as both journalist (22-plus years) and criminal defense investigator (34 years.).

This will be the third time I’ve written about the Murray case, and for Mr. Geniella’s benefit I will type real, real slow:

I’ve offered no opinion as to whether the sentencing was reasonable. My point, made repeatedly and now for the third time, is that I utterly disbelieve Geniella’s insinuations that Murray was the beneficiary of a sweetheart conspiracy of a backroom deal brokered by Judge Ann Moorman and District Attorney Dave Eyster. 

There is no conceivable theory, other than in Geniella’s feverish imaginations, by which a highly respected judge and our longtime tough-minded DA would risk careers and reputations to benefit a crooked cop. 

Geniella can’t offer any evidence to bolster his preposterous claim, so he changes the subject and accuses me of defending Murray's sentencing. Never true, then or now. 

Based on my years in the justice system I can suggest hypothetical circumstances that might impact a sentence. Witnesses sometimes change their stories, and witnesses sometimes disappear. It happens. Did whacky facts come into play and affect this case? Who the hell knows?

Once more: 

The Judge and the DA didn’t hatch a plan to circumvent justice.

Whether the sentence was appropriate I have no opinion. I wasn’t present when the deal was hashed out and neither was Geniella. 

Finally, I resent Geniella’s snide comments deriding my professionalism and experience in both journalism and the legal system. Thomas Hine (aka TWK) Ukiah, sometimes

LOOKING AT THE MURRAY PLEA DEAL from the outside, it’s clear that Ukiah police Sgt. Kevin Murray got off light, considering the charges and the known evidence. Your ordinary perp in a similar situation would be facing jail or prison time and probably be required to register as a sex offender. Whether you call it a “sweetheart deal,” a “slap on the wrist,” or just a light sentence, most defendants without Sonoma County’s top team of Andrean and Co. for the defense would not get such a deal. We doubt there was any “conspiracy” involved. What we don’t know is what went on during discussions between the DA’s office and the defense attorneys. (“Attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply to the DA, does it?) In general, prosecutors don’t like to go to trial with problematic cases because the defense might be able to use motions and delays to exclude or minimize certain evidence and testimony thereby jeopardizing a conviction. If the DA doesn’t get a conviction at trial on at least some of the charges, they don’t get to come back later with more evidence. But it looks bad when the DA doesn’t explain how an obvious light sentence came about, especially in a high-profile case where the defendant is a (former) law enforcement officer. To this day we don’t understand why the plea deal didn’t at least include some jail time and sex registration for Murray. The DA’s credibility is undermined when such deals are unexplained and the public is left to assume that bad (former) cops get lighter treatment than bad civilians. It looks to us like the DA concluded that a conviction wasn’t certain enough and just wanted the case to go away. (Mark Scaramella)


The Animal Shelter on Summers Lane in Fort Bragg is closing next month due to lack of funding…remaining animals will be transferred to the overcrowded Ukiah shelter… they face the possibility of euthanasia…hopefully they will get adopted prior to being shipped over! Once again… the Coast eats it on losing an essential service due to lack of funds…County funds… deemed more necessarily spent inland! With a Supervisor seat coming up in our district…perhaps Candidates will give some thoughts on how they will change this and fund services on the Coast!

* * *


Re: Coast Humane Society

The Mendocino Coast Humane Society (MCHS) is not closing. It is the small County Animal Care Services, Fort Bragg, just next door to MCHS that is closing. We fought 8 long years to reopen the shelter after losing our battle to keep it open. The County claims that it costs $250,000 to run the shelter and our County is broke.

The women running and operating our Fort Bragg shelter have done a bang up job caring for and adopting out animals and many of us are crushed to see the shelter close. With our County in such debt and our infrastructure what it is, the shelter on the coast is low on the totem pole. Interesting reference to totem poles since animals, most often, hold the highest positions in such carvings.

What we need to look at is what we can do to help keep the number of orphaned and abandoned animals at a minimum. It's time we understand that animals are living, breathing, feeling beings entrusted to our care. We must spay/neuter our animals and encourage all our friends, neighbors and family members to do the same. We must encourage our supervisors to find a way for Care-a-Van, the County's mobile spay neuter clinic to visit the Coast on a regular basis. With the limited number of vets in our area and the Humane Society backed up for months to assist with spay/neuter, we MUST get Care-a-Van here to help.

We often hear when we speak of humane care and compassion for animals that we are not taking care of community members in need of help. I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. I believe the time to close the doors of a shelter is when there is no need for the shelter and that time will come when we truly understand animals are not expendable.

Carol Lillis, S.O.S.- Networking for Mendocino Coast Companion Animals

THE GUERNEVILLE CHAPTER of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence has been disinvited by the Dodgers from its June 16 Pride Night. (Does every community now have a chapter?) The Dodgers also took back a “Community Hero Award” the Southern California chapter of the Sisters was to receive. 

THE SISTERS were never funny, and they were never “heroic,” and fifty years later they're just plain tiresome, not to mention that their exhibitionism is pegged to belittling Catholic nuns, who've done nothing ever to warrant the ridicule. Truly brave parody would be the Sisters ridiculing Islam, but that’s dangerous soooooo the Sisters stick to their tired Catholic-bashing. 

THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY administration, back in the day, declared that traffic on the unpaved 50 or so miles winding over Mendocino Pass between Covelo and the Sacramento Valley did not merit a $100 million investment in pavement. At best, surveys indicated, maybe 280 vehicles a day might use Forest Highway 7 linking the Sacramento Valley with Round Valley if it were paved. Lots of people still think a better road between Covelo and inland I-5 would bring more people to the Mendocino National Forest, the least visited national forest in the United States, including the national forests of Alaska. A paved road would also be a boon to Covelo's perennially struggling businesses. 

FORMER MENDO COUNTY CEO ANGELO was infamous for her sudden psychotic breaks, swooping down on some unsuspecting County administrator to fire him or her for the vaguest of reasons or no reason at all. (Mommy Dearest's chosen successor, Darcy Antle, seems much less volcanic.) A bunch of wrongful termination suits against the County are still pending from Angelo's tenure, and the complainants, every one of them, will win a big pile of Mendo money the County doesn't have. 

THE FIRST WRONGFUL TERMINATION SUIT of the vivid type I can remember was when the County had to pay former prosecutor Dave Eyster $18,000 to shut up and go away because his then-boss, Susan Massini, had fired him for not supporting her failed bid to become a Superior Court judge. Eyster filed a wrongful termination suit against Massini, who had offed the exuberant prosecutor the day of her '97 election loss. (“Somebody had to pay, and you, Mr. Man, have been asking for it!”) The DA even went so far as to post an armed investigator at Eyster's desk while he cleaned it up and cleared off the premises. After months of wrangling, the County, rather than fight Eyster, paid up. There oughta be a law that compels the person who did the firing to pay the damages him or herself if the firing is found to be arbitrary.

THE FOLLOWING MEME wafted in from cyber-space this morning. 

True enough, but I daresay a large majority of Americans given the choice between being Bezos and Musk and me and Craig Stehr, they'd opt for Bezos and Musk.

AS A NEWSPAPER PERSON, I’m on the receiving end of a lot of insults and cliches. The insults don’t bother me. In fact, I enjoy them if they’re creatively rabid. But the cliches get to me. “Yellow journalism” is a cliche and is inevitably inaccurately applied to some perceived offense by the AVA. When the term arose around the turn of the century as Hearst the First and Joe Pulitzer battled for readers on the East Coast, yellow journalism was the term the ruling class applied to some very good populist writing about the real life struggles of ordinary people. The RC thought wage workers weren’t worthy subjects for newspapers in a time most papers were written for the minority of people who considered themselves genteel. Hearst and Pulitzer took newspapers out to everyone.

TODAY, deep into the post literate age, your generic college grad, barely literate in many cases, thinks he’s really getting off a sophisticated zinger when he calls the AVA up and invokes yellow journalism. Or lacking in objectivity, another naive knock. If you think a writer’s class origins, his present social class, his education, his innate intelligence, his life’s experience and, most importantly, his employer, don’t influence what appears in print, well, you’re an irredeemable boob, maybe even too stupid to read newspapers which, after all, are written so 8th graders can understand them. 

SO, CLASS, the AVA is non-objective yellow journalism while the New York Times, owned by multi-millionaires who vet your information of the wider world for you, gives you the truth and nothing but the truth day after day, year after year.

WALTER KIRN: “But the heart of the story is out, despite all that, and pretty baldly stated: Hillary Clinton started the whole RussiaGate gag to take the heat off her own turpitudes. The federal agency heads and their lieutenants avidly used Hillary’s concocted falsehoods to foment malicious prosecutions and drive the naively accommodating President Trump out of office, and stopped at nothing until they succeeded.” 

YUP, that's what happened, the Democrats did it, and their media stenographers signed on, a couple of those stenos even winning Pulitzer Prizes for linking Trump and Putin. Not that Trump also didn't try to rig an election, and on it goes as the political darkness falls all around us.

LOCALLY, we have the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors trying to rig a supervisor's election by endorsing the unknown Trevor Mockel solely because State Senator Redwood Trail Scamarama signaled that their endorsement would make Senator Redwood Trail Scamarama real happy. This is my surmise, of course, but if you have a more plausible one, let's hear it.

GOVERNOR NEWSOM says he won't include a $5 million bailout for BART and the SF Muni. Amid steep ridership declines, both transit agencies are in trouble. Why? Because a lot of people are afraid to step on board because of an overblown fear of who might be among their fellow passengers, especially late at night.

BART will probably need to consider service cuts and layoffs next spring when its board adopts a budget for the 2025 fiscal year — when the rail agency’s huge deficit begins. BART management hopes that improvements in safety and cleanliness will bring ridership back up. Muni has been in crisis mode for years, but it, too, will be reducing the number of routes and increasing the intervals between trains and buses.

FORMER 49ER FULLBACK BRUCE MILLER to Congressman Swalwell when Swalwell complained that Miller was threatening him with ultra-vi: “I was content with trolling corrupt politicians in my (direct messages), but since you want to make a story out of it then that’s what we’ll do. That was in no way a threat to you or your family,” Miller tweeted. “I am not a threat to you or anyone else for that matter. However, you and the uniparty are a threat to the country and to the world.” (The old fullback's got that right.)

A CALLER BEGAN, "I won't tell you my name because I don't want to be in the paper, and this isn't a hostile question. I appreciate what you do, but why are you always pounding on the Democrats? Aren't you a Democrat? Don't you think that your constant criticism of them works to the advantage of the Republicans?"

I'M A DEMOCRAT by default. If there were a party of the left I'd be in it. I think both parties are utterly contemptible, especially their leaderships, but I'd concede the Democrats are slightly less contemptible one placed against the other. I criticize Democrats because they claim to represent all that's good and true when it's obvious they're simply Republican-Lite on the basic issues, and they haven't represented ordinary people since, since.....LBJ, I'd have to say. Apologies for ragging on you like this.

THE CALLER REPLIED, “I mostly agree with you but I think it's more important to stop Trump.” 

GOOD NEWS FOR LAUREL KRAUSE of Fort Bragg, sister of Allison Krause murdered by the National Guard at Kent State during an anti-war protest on the 4th of May, 1970. Alec Baldwin has announced he will star in Kent State, a film about the tragic shootings on the campus of Kent State University back in May 1970 that left four unarmed students dead and nine others injured.

Members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire during a peace rally opposing the expanding involvement of the Vietnam War into Cambodia by the United States military forces as well as protesting the National Guard presence on campus.


[1] As a 75 year old disabled woman, I no longer ride BART (San Francisco Bay Area's version of the subway). The reason? Fear of being trapped underground in a sealed tube with an out of control, violent, crazy and/or homeless person (they now live/sleep in the cars 24/7). I would rather drive by myself, even if it pollutes the atmosphere. Columnists can decry the death of Mr. Neely but his early death was assured by a system that puts people in a revolving door of care and treatment. There was ample evidence, criminal and otherwise, that Mr. Neely was in serious need of mental health treatment. If Mr. Neely hadn't refused service, he would be alive today. Much is made of the NYPD prohibition against chokeholds. However, Mr. Penny is not a trained New York police officer, he's a 24 year old trained ex-Marine. Everyone also glosses over the fact that there were others in the car (including the oh-so-brave videographer) who did nothing to help Mr. Neely. While the Manhattan DA has brought charges against Mr. Penny, it may be impossible to empanel jurors in Manhattan who haven't been trapped in a subway car with someone who is acting out. These comments are proof enough that there aren't enough peremptory challenges and I can't see the judge disqualifying everyone who's ever ridden the subway. Bottom line, people shouldn't have to live in fear of using public transportation.

[2] If right-wing populist D. J. Trump goes up against left-wing populist R. F. Kennedy Jr., it would be the best choice for America, not least because it would drive the “elites” crazy. It would be the best show in town, and that points to why it could happen.

[3] Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has chosen former congressman Dennis Kucinich to manage his 2024 presidential campaign, uniting the two famously idiosyncratic political figures in a long-shot attempt to defeat President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary.

[4] I don’t get you people. Isn’t it obvious that ANYONE running for office is emotionally warped? This is one reason I don’t vote. I remember reading a science fiction story where no one could run for election. Instead, a computer picked out a citizen who would be president. That person, whether an office worker, an electrician, or a truck driver going about their business had to serve as president for 4 years, whether they wanted to or not. In real life, this concept probably wouldn’t work, but the story made a point. Trump, DeSantis or RFK, Jr. – the choices make me sick.

[5] My young colleagues at work cannot last five minutes without discussing drag queens, TV shows, Marvel movies, TikTok, horror films, music videos, action flicks, anime, or Netflix. It is non-stop from the moment they arrive in the morning until 4 pm. It isn’t safe to discuss politics or the news so I get it but I find this obsession with fantasy to be very bizarre.

[6] DOPE. “If You Got A Warrant I Guess You’re Gonna Come In” Truckin – Grateful Dead 

One lesson to be learned (and why doesn’t everyone know this by now?) if the Sheriff is at your door or gate with a warrant, they ARE gonna come in – it’s not gonna get better if you delay or resist. The best you can do is try fighting it in the courts after the fact.

But it’s kinda like TRB said – everybody is in the wrong – or at least could have done things differently to produce a different and better result. 

But here we are seven to nine years into the travesty of state legalization and no one can say what’s legal or not.

[7] No justice will happen in this Country until the truth about the corruption and the lies and the evil behind the scenes dealings of our political elite are brought to light for the majority to see and to know. 

Even then, I wonder if it will do any good. I don’t know what America has become. The people are lazy, stupid, fat, ignorant, selfish, greedy, decadent, amoral, non-religious, anti-God, porn loving, drug addicted, food binging, slobs. A pathetic group of people. 

I was sitting outside of my daughter’s ballet practice the other day, waiting for her to finish her class. As I sat there I played a game using a pad of paper and a pen, to pass the time. I started counting all of the obese people who were coming and going. Not counting the children, 92% of the women were obese. I only saw three dads and two out of three were obese. It was stunning to me. There is something definitely wrong with people and I blame the television. 

Even if the corruption were exposed, fat Americans wouldn’t give a fuck as long as they can sit and watch “The Bachelor” or the NBA finals and stuff fat and chemical laden potato chips into their gaping cake holes. 

Yeah, we are doomed. There is no way out of this mess.

[8] MARIJUANA, an online comment: 

When I began growing my sales were direct to friends. Adults who smoked a little bit. Then I got into a circle where I was selling my weed primarily to people in the music business- performers, managers, especially the crews the lighting and sound and stage carpenters, roadies, etc. Again adults who made the choice and did not sit out their lives from being too high. So I had no moral dilemma. By the late 90’s the scene was blowing up and the markets were increasing and we were all selling to brokers and our weed went…well, we didn’t even know. Still I mostly sold to friends and folks in the music business but I questioned where all the other weed was going and ‘Were we still doing a good thing?”. I saw for the first time people who smoked themselves into oblivion repeatedly. That’s why I stopped growing for a few years. I had to check myself and my own moral compass. It IS an issue that many want to ignore! I do not think cannabis should be allowed to buy billboard space or TV ads and should be treated like alcohol and cigarettes in that regard. We should not be glorifying it to children. The curious ones will still find some- like me and my friends did. But allowing the corporate juggernaut to take it and advertise it publicly is wrong and harmful to most kids. But “legalization” opened the doors to corporate profits and they will create, expand and fill any market they are not restricted from…there is certainly zero moral compass with them

[9] DOPE, an on-line comment: “Legacy” growers is a crap term. I’ve seen greenrushers grab onto that and represent themselves as such because what-they got here in ’94? LMFAO! How about that “terroir” there, brother? Oh and the “appellation” and umm…”boutique” strains of “cannabis” grown by “farmers” who “stepped into the light”. What a load of bullshit all over this county LOL…Almost forgot about the people who survived CAMP raids as “traumatized victims”. It’s just really hard to stomach without laughing out loud in all the faces of these posers and permit pansies….

One Comment

  1. Brunorue May 24, 2023

    Surely you mean Emma Goldman, not Rosa Luxemburg, was kicked out of the country by Hoover. That is interesting that J. Edgar himself saw her off – I assume that part is right !

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