Thursday, October 26, 2006


The lines are drawn

"Nothing like a dead child to start a war." -Line from John Sayles' Matewan

Of course, it's not a new war, but rather a new front on an old war.

And somebody's almost as bad a speller as yours truly.

Oh, and the photo's from this morning's ER.

Six feet tall, 180 pounds ! I'll go with a juvenile or young man but not a "child".

And Eric what is the old war you are referring to ?
The local culture/political war. The one that has anonymous posters from all sides yelling at me all the time.
OK what is the "local culture/political war". I didn't go to law school, you're going to have to essplane it to me.
Well, did you just move here? Maybe you've missed the past few elections? The discussions on the blogs?

I mean, we're just about the most polarized community I've ever lived in, and that's saying something.
The counterculture war against mainstream Humboldt people that came along with counterculture people and their political ideas.

The influx of thousands of back-to-the-landers, many of whome, I among them, benefited from Bob McKee's seeming largess to his potential customers but which only smoothed the relationship between land baron and the new land squires he sets up, each on their 40, 80, acre piece of heaven. Meanwhile, through this process thousands of acres in SoHum are carved up with new roads to service homestead parcels. Each dirt access road then bleeds mud and silt into SoHum creeks and clogs up the deep fish spawning holes as this dirt road mud makes all the creek beds shallower in general. Then come the people, thousands of them, all naive about ecological living, bringing with them their dogs and cats and in general making rural watersheds that were priviously virtually free of human activity except for very infrequent intrusions, into the new "homestead sprawl" where sons and daughters of the urban-suburban sprawl people move out to the country and sprawl all over it practicing the worst group ecological lifestyle in Humboldt County. And these are the same people who are the major financiers for Humboldt activist orgs busily attacking mainstream Humboldt citizens and their living needs. Such a crock of hypocrisy it boogles the mind that our local SoHum smarty-pants don't say a word about it. EPIC does in private but being the profound hypocrites they are, they rarely speak up in public about homesteaders, the people they rely on for donations. "Environmental protection information" doesn't seem to apply to the homestead movement until it's too late to do much about it. And who cares, when Arkley and Hurwitz are there to be the scapegoats taking the environmental flak and lawsuits while homesteaders go scott free of criticism or lawsuits to continue their destructive lifestyles with only whistle-blowers like yours truly to call them on what they and Bob are doing to the wildlife populations of SoHum, the real "silent majority" and legacy for our future generations.
Future generations of Humboldt citizens living more ecologically in clustered communities, i.e. our small towns and cities, won't have nature at the borders of town to take their children to go see.

The wildlife populations will all be vastly decreased because the rural hills surrounding Humboldt towns and cities have been carved up into homestead parcels with people living on them, thousands of them.

This is already happening and yet local enviros are using funding from the new eco-destructors in order to politically attack corporate capitalists.

This is the SoHum essence of that "local culture-political war" eric stated above.
And I'm glad to be part of it.
The great irony of the modern homestead movement is that it is following the fate of the first homestead movement in Humboldt County that happend in the later 1800's. 160 acre homesteads were established all over the place here but given time the inevitable fate occurred which was the second generations becoming sick and tired of the homestead lifestyle and its lack of opportunities for social interaction and personal ambition. The second generations moved to the towns and cities to find work and opportunity.

Also, most of the original homesteads couldn't make it economically in the long run and they sold out to ranchers and timber outfits who joined the homestead parcels together to form the ranches and timberlands that later land subdividers like Bob McKee would again carve up into homestead parcels starting the next homestead cycle.

My kids all left the homestead lifestyle and most of the kids of my counterculture friends have too except some for who growing pot is enough, and it cannot be said growing pot by ambitious young men isn't a highly lucrative job. But it isn't a permanent lifestyle and so we have aging hippies in the hills who will be forced by nature to move to town and their kids only interested in the homestead land for its ability to grow pot.

Meanwhile, unseen to most of us thousands of native animals and plants die off or are not reproduced each year from lack of summer water that has been diverted for homestead consumption. Then the creeks are filled with silt and no salmon can spawn, salmon being one of the key ecological species for a healthy environment in SoHum.

So, what's the point of pointing out history of homesteading in Humboldt County? So that we won't make the same mistakes again but it looks like nobody really cares, no in SoHum at least.
War is too much fun for some people and others like military personnel, ride social warfare to positions of higher social status, like yours truly who became, briefly, a real live newspaper regular columnist. I didn't make C.E.O of Palco nor did Sparky become Lord of the Universe, our altruistic goals for the community, but what the hey, there's always tomorrow..
Just thought you all might need to think about something else for a while and let the agencies involved do their things..
Well, that's one take.
Q.E.D. culture wars, I'd say. Just to mention them is to have a flare-up. However, I'm not so sure that people being upset over police killings is part of the culture wars up here unless you feel that the legacy culture members all support the EPD. How many violent deaths have there been in Eureka this year, and what percentage of those are EPD killings. For a small community like Eureka, 2 people dead at the hands of the police in one year is alarming, and probably alarming to everyone, not just the people who have moved here in the last quarter century.
Yes, maybe. But the political fallout is going to be led by the same anti-corporate, anti-police Leftist-leaning, love that word, activists.

That's what counterculture activists do. They exploit any little bit of political vulnerability of those targeted as enemies of progress, Leftist progress that is which means mainstream community regress. It doesn't matter about the emotional damage involved, e.g., David Chain's family exploited to the max, they're just pawns in a dirty political game.

I hope to see myself proved wrong but I won't be surprised to see the police raked over the coals as much as they possibly can be before this thing's out. After all, there's distraction about Gallegos' character in office to accomplish and image damage to repair.

part of it myself although strickly unintentionally and far against my better judgment.
What the hell was that tail end stuff..?
Let's talk about all of our citizens who have died as a result of swimming, drunk driving, meth, accidents, suicide, boating, ocean waves, and that's just this past week.

Should we be protesting out in the streets for those senseless deaths?
If you want to see the police raked over the coals, attend the Eureka City Council meeting on Monday. Word is already out on the list serves that anyone who thinks cops are killers should turn up.
The police "raked over the coals" ? You mean mindless idiots, meth freaks, wife beaters, and other misguided folks ranting and raving, looking like fools? Yes it will be fun. I think they should video tape the whole thing and then play the video in a couple of weeks, after the toxicology report comes back, and after Brugess's criminal record is revealed, and some information on his family life (or lack there of) comes out. Why don't you wonderful folks make more threats while you're at it?

I knew a cop that was a killer ! He could kill a pint oa Hagen Daz Vanilla Swiss almond at one sitting.
If you show up Monday make sure to wear a bullet proof vest. I realize that they pack bullets which go through them, but it's worth the try anyways.
Oh 9:25 you are soooo clever. You're so bright I bet your mother calls you sunny? Oh, but you probably don't know who your mother is.
Does this "murder" make it Chris Kerrigan's fault that the EPD did not all have non-lethal weapons?
Well, I won't be in Eureka Monday. Question is whether I'd really want to attend this meeting if I was. Sounds like it's going to be a barrel full of monkeys.
Monkeys ? Is that what you call them?
Something to think about. Police shooting incidents occur in large and small cities. Ugly things happen all over in large & small good & not so good cities. Just in tonights Valley News .... police chasing a violent felon and the bad guy head on'd a good person killing both (just outside Chico) and in Redding Police pursued a murder suspect when he stipped and shot himself (dead) as the cops walked up to the car.

Point being Eureka has been kind of sheltered from ugly incidents, things.
Well, two in one year in a town this size is unusual for a town the size of Eureka. And of course the intensity is magnified in an election year in such a polarized community.
Just because there were two in one year doesn't mean the cops are murderers. The cops were called or sent to these situations. I guess many would prefer cops that hang out in the office and avoid responding to potential violent situations. That is unless you or a loved one is the victim of that situation or in need of help. Then cops are OK, maybe even great, at least for the next day or two.

Here's a concern (the cop haters will love it) but with all this press and personal attacks on officer Liles and the EPD what if: an officer is faced with a serious injury or death situation and he/she hesitates, gets hurt or killed because in the back of their mind they don't want to take the abuse Liles is taking, they hesitate. It has happened elsewhere. But from reading Fred's blog and the papers I have no doubt that there are those in the community that would relish hearing about a cop being killed.

I read the campaign stuff from the Eureka council race. Most candidates comment on the police department, under staffed, under paid, bad moral, retentioin (as in quiting to take other police jobs in other cities). If I were a Eureka PD cop I would be looking for a job somewhere else, outside of Humboldt County. The pay isn't very good, many of the community are just hostile to cops period. Critical of everything. Housing is almost as expensive as the bay area. Why work in Eureka? Or Humboldt County?

My fear is that this atmosphere of hatred towards the EPD, then on to the Sheriffs, and so on will cause many of the senior officers to retire early or quit and go to another department. It's been happening, that's why the retention problem, and it will only get worse. A university policeman makes more money that EPD does but doesn't do 15 to 20 % of the work, seldom deals with real felons or violent crime? Look at the statistics for calls for service!

What's going to happen is EPD will be gutted as more and more of the experienced officers leave for greener pastures. What you will end up with is young kids just starting out with no experience or those that can't get jobs any place else because of some problem in their life, similar to the situation the DA's office now faces.

What's going to happen when that thin blue line cracks? With limited law enforcement and virtually no prosecution?

An one more thought. Just over a year ago a EPD officer shot and killed a guy on B street two blocks from the police department. The EPD cop used a rifle, three shots to the chest. The criminal was coming at the officer with a kitchen knife. The officer received a minor cut on the arm. I have no problem with the officer killing the guy, after all you go after a uniformed cop with a knife what the %%# do you expect? That Officer was treated as a hero, which is OK cause he stepped into a serious situation and did the right thing ! No mention of that incident. Is it because that guy was in his 20' or 30's or could it be because he was a Mexican? A similar situation, about a year apart but one has certain folks outraged and the other causes no response? The Mexican suspect didn't have an arrest warrant and he wasn't on probation. Is it just the age, the race, or is it something else?

I am not a EPD cop as some morons will assume. You don't have to be a cop to see what's going on.
anon 11:53, deputies and officers are leaving because of Gallegos and his lack of support.

Also, the depts can't pay as well as other depts can. I am trying to convince my husband to leave this shithole and find a better community that doesn't think all officers are the devil and should be killed.

I hate knowing he is out there, "helping" assholes that treat him like he is a piece of scum. I worry that some prick will decide to shoot him just to get back at "The police" for catching him breaking the law.

This place sucks for officers.
12:31 PM

Redding, CA. Good pay, the community supports the cops, and the DA's office is top notch.
Yes, please do go to Redding. And don't let the door hit you on the way out.

What's scary is how little regard you people have for the poor of Eureka.
Rich or poor, black or white, Democrat or Republican (or Green, Independent)...
Most of us are not tweaked out on our drug of choice on a daily basis...
Most of us don't threaten police officers with weapons (knifes, guns, etc.)...
Most of us don't run from law enforcement officers...
and most of us comply with law enforcement, especially when a pistol is pointed at our heads.
Just because there were two in one year doesn't mean the cops are murderers.

That is of course not what I said.
Unfortunately, reading the blogs can cause 'tunnel vision'-you can think there are more people out there with the same opinion as one poster or another. The rants are from a couple or a few people within a small minority of folks-the family, friends, associates of the kid with bad choices...

Just don't blow it out of proportion and think all citizens are against public safety officers or figures of authority.

If that were the case we would have looting/murder/mayhem every day-and we don't. Facts are going to come out in the next couple of weeks that will shed light on this unfortunate tragedy-one that has touched the lives of many, many people-more than you know.

We still have a bunch of teenagers running around getting their news from friends instead of even reading the papers-and we all know papers have their own slant on things. BTW they ARE in the business of selling papers.

What sells papers the most? Conflict, tension, suggestions of this, that, and the other to keep you hungry for the next little tidbit-and right now they don't have any tidbits until the results of toxicology come back.

Of course the officer has to give up vital fluids to investigators-not just the 'suspect' who is dead now.

Of course you will get your meeting at cityhall and be able to vent and cry-but the facts will be known in just a couple weeks. This isn't going to be a drawn out thing-so relax.

This isn't just a tragedy for this young person and his family. This is a tragedy for the officer who in a split second changed two lives forever-the boy's and his own, both families, all acquaintances, friends, coworkers, bloggers, readers of the newspaper, teenagers all over Humboldt County whether they ever knew this kid or not...

But it did not effect us all the same way. Yes some people are pissed off, hurt, scared, incredulous, disbelieving. But some people understand how this can happen/does happen and still wish the officer and his family well. For those of us, me included, I say, "I am sorry this happened".

I hope too that it doesn't mean we lose another good officer, we can't afford it. God help us to do better all the way around.
Nice post. I have a slightly different take on some of the issues you raise, but I wish more would post as thoughtfully.
Yes Eric you have different views, you don't like cops. You try to camoflauge it but you don't. You tend to be left of left. You do like dope growers, socialist's, Paul Gallegos, and being the smug elitist.
That 16-year-old was an animal. He assaulted a deputy with a deadly weapon and that deputy had the right to shoot him. The deputy did us all a favor. I cannot help but wonder how many crimes will not be committed because this animal was put down. Anyone who is not stopped by pepper spray and who insists on resisting arrest with a deadly weapon at age 16 is headed for an illustrious, violent career in crime. We were spared that life of crime, but the looney left, of course, must respond in its usual knee jerk way.
6:o4 just reminded everyone why the 2nd amendment is so important. Those with guns win. If Cherie Moore or Chris Burgess had a pistol or semi-automatic they may very well be alive today.
Yo 7:25 PM, you retarded POS, a pistol is a semi-automatic.
Yes Eric you have different views, you don't like cops. You try to camoflauge it but you don't. You tend to be left of left. You do like dope growers, socialist's, Paul Gallegos, and being the smug elitist.

Damn! When I set up my own blog format someday, I'm gonna put that one on my masthead!
Good idea Eric/
OMG 7:25 - by implication if Chris Burgess were alive today the officer would be dead. You don't REALLY think that's a good thing!
Anon 741 - that's the equation that's going to be challenged no doubt.
Eric, explain your 8:09 comment?
The equation being whether the choice was to shoot or be killed. We have the officer's word for that only. Second hand.
Well what do you expect, an A&E documentary complete with video footage.

The officer's word is good enough for me. Besides all the forensic, physical, and witness statements will confirm what he said. Once the emotion and Ms. Burgess's greed wears down the facts and common sense will shine through, that's my opinion.

And I think the choice was shoot or be stabbed, who knows if the officer would have died had he been stabbed, quite possible. Who knows how many times he might have been stabbed, remember Eric you said the guy was obviously mentally ill. But the cop can shoot to protect himself from deadly force, it doesn't mean he has to prove(or know in advance) it would have been sudden and certain death.

Lawyer Kirk, would you let someone slice your face, your throat, or poke your eyes with a big knife if you had a pistol in your hand ? Even if you won't admit to it you would shoot. In the same circumstances Joe Citizen would be justifed in shooting, even an obnoxious lawyer.
That's fine that you're willing to take the officer's word for it. I assume you know him very well.

I want to see the full report with all of the information available. Somebody was killed by a state-backed gun.

Did the officer have to go down into the gulley without backup? Maybe he did and maybe he didn't. I can conjecture that his decision was warranted. I can conjecture that it wasn't. But we haven't heard anything about the basis for that decision.

If someone lunged at me with a knife from 5 to 7 feet away (which should be confirmed by the forensic evidence if true) I'm certain I would shoot. I've already said that the decision at that very moment was probably the right one, although in your frantic rush to defend the police, any nuance to you is inappropriate. You have to attack a grieving family, and frame the discussion in terms of oversimplified politics. And you have to attack anybody who isn't convinced simply on the word of somebody they've never even met. Apparently wearing a badge makes you incabable of bad judgment, biased memory, or even falsehoods.

I mean, maybe we should just simplify the whole process. Any police shooting is justified. Let's just leave it at that and give the state carte blanche.

I find it amazing that conservatives are so ready to slam as corrupt and incompetent all aspects of government except those departments that hold the basic power of life and death over citizens. Will you accept the word of the next pol accused of reaching into the till? His word should be gold, right?
Besides all the forensic, physical, and witness statements will confirm what he said.

Missed that sentence in the first reading. Do you have any information about this?
No Eric I don't know the officer very well, as you assumed. But then again many of your assumptions and statements are wrong, but in your mind if you type it out IT's FACT! You make the comment "your frantic rush to defend the police". That's funny coming from you, as the same could be said about your frantic absolute defense of Paul Gallegos! No matter how he screws up you're ready to spin, defend, escuse, whtiewash. Hypocrite ! Oh well I guess that is what free speech is all about.

In reading todays ER I'm happy to see other citizens writing in support of Officer Liles and the EPD.

Maybe they ought to drug test anyone attending the "special" city council meeting. You know the one called to get votes for LaVallee !

And I am amazed that you assume that everyone that is supportive of the police or thinks that Ms. Burgess is even somewhat to blame for her son's upbringing is a conservative and supportive of what political fraud/campaign fraud.

Just goes to show that 5:33 was right ! You Eric just don't like cops. You responded to the comment but did not deny it. I guess you deserve some credit for not making some wishy washy BS middle of the road answer. I guess we're even because I don't like lawyers. And in the grand scheme if you check it out there are all kinds of people that don't like cops but I'm sure there are more that don't like lawyers ! And don't go assuming I'm a cop, I'm not.

So Eric I hope you have the day you deserve.
That's funny coming from you, as the same could be said about your frantic absolute defense of Paul Gallegos!

You're obviously very new to this blog, or you have a very selective and short memory.

I would never assume you were a cop. In fact, I'm quite certain you aren't. A cop would be arguing a much different line.

And I don't assume that everyone who is critical of the Burgess family and supportive of the officer is conservative. Just you.

The part about you knowing the officer was a point of irony, which you obviously missed.
Well I am conservative, but that's not a reach.

Missed your irony? Guess us simple folk just don't understand you edumacated peeple.
Just you actually. I think most others got it. It really wasn't that complicated.
Well Eric I'm just one of the uneducated mass.

Are you going to attend tonights riot? The thrilla from manilla ? You would probably enjoy all the cop hate crap that is bound to come out.
No anon. I'll be carving jack-o-lanterns with my kids thank you very much.
Why would you do that Eric?

According to you and others on this blog, whether a child turns out to be a good person has nothing to do with the parenting.

It's whether the "system" succeeds or fails with the child. So all that stuff you blog that you do with your children, according to this reasoning, is a waste of your time and will have no bearing.
According to you and others on this blog, whether a child turns out to be a good person has nothing to do with the parenting.

I'm sorry, I missed that post. Could you please point it out to me?
Maybe the kids can teach daddy some manners.
Rich or poor doesn't matter. Old or young doesn't matter.

What matters is this:

If a police officer tells you to stop running, STOP RUNNING.

If a police officer tells you to drop your weapon, DROP IT.

If only Chris Burgess had done that, he would be alive today.
Eric, you wrote in part: "I mean, maybe we should just simplify the whole process. Any police shooting is justified. Let's just leave it at that and give the state carte blanche."

-> Those words, and the others in the entry that accompanied them above, lend credibility to your detractors.

Your comments DO appear to favor an anti-law enforcement position.

The mocking tone of your words gives the lie to your protestations of impartiality.
Uh, how so?
Hearing Marjorie Burgess tell the City Council, "It takes a village to raise a child" was, for me somehow, heart-breaking.

She admitted she had not been able to raise her family by herself, and so had asked for help. She now feels the help she was given was not enough or not the right kind.

No matter what we may think of what happened to her son, or the way she has been acting since then, her pain is so real, no one is fool enough, or cruel enough, to mock her. At least, they are wise enough not to do it to her face.
SOMEBODY SAID: Maybe they ought to drug test anyone attending the "special" city council meeting. You know the one called to get votes for LaVallee !

I SAY: If LaVallee had been trying to use the meeting to score political points, he would not have treated every speaker with equal respect and given each speaker the same exact amount of time.

LaVallee ran that meeting in a way that did Eureka proud.
The mocking tone of your words gives the lie to your protestations of impartiality.

9:53 PM

Eric V. Kirk said...
Uh, how so?

10:09 PM

Don't you think you were oversimplifying and mocking the position of the people you disagree with? (I enjoy ending the occasional sentence with a preposition. I'm a wild man!)

Eric, just read that post again. If you fail to see that you were mocking the pro-police point of view, (perhaps unconsciously) I will be surprised.
Actually I heard from a pretty conservative attendee that LaVallee did run the meeting as it should have been run. My beef is that the meeting was run at all. The mayor just getting some last minute FREE campaining in. Shameful.

Vote for Bass, vote for Donald Duck, just don't vote for LaVallee.
Anon 10:24 - well, I was mocking the position that we should accept an explanation for a killing on the word of the officer alone. I think that's a very dangerous position.
Eric maybe you should accept the word of Margie Burgess or the "friend", they weren't there but they KNOW what happened. Or the guy that wrote the letter to the editor from Rio Dell? He wasn't their, he was in Rio Dell but he knows what really happened and what he says is "fact". Alot of credible folks. But you will not accept the word of the police and challenge the police simply because they are the police. The police are the only ones that have to have a background investigation and lie detector test to get their job. Did you have a background or lie detector test to become a lawyer ? Hell no if lie detector tests were required for lawyers we'd have 95-98 % fewer lawyers in California alone.

A "very dangerous position", Eric you putz. Is there any reason not to beleive him? Other than the fact that you and your buddies Paul and Ken don't like EPD? Do you really think cops go out looking for people to gun down on Monday afternoon? Do you think the admin leave is a vacation for the officer? I'm sure he and his family are having a great vacation.

Oh well Eric, what can be expected of a SoHum lawyer!
Personally, I am gratefull for an Officer like Liles...

and to him and his family, I say, "thank you!"
ditto 8:12AM, and thanks to the rest of the cops too. Piss on Ken Miller.
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