Saturday, June 30, 2007
Looking for something to do?
Wish I could have stayed down there.
So stop posting and get down there. Hospice needs money, and you need food, fresh air, and good company!
I believe I've rejected about twenty posts, which is about par for the course anyway. The only difference is that under the open format those posts might have been up for a few hours or overnight before somebody called me up to complain about them.
The traffic hasn't slowed. If anything it's slightly increased. That surprises me, because I really thought the blog was going to slide into obscurity as had happened to other blogs which adopted the moderated format or excluded anonymous posts. Most days, I'm on or near the computer at least twice, and very often all day.
Personally, I think the discussions have taken a turn for the better. Some even tell me they think I'm being too liberal with what I'm allowing.
And like I said, anybody can start one of these things. So far, a couple of new blogs have popped up, but they aren't taking anonymous posts. Obviously the posting traffic is very limited there. I have no idea about reading traffic.
For those who are curious, I average from 400 to 600 "visits" per day, about a thousand "hits," and about 1500 "page views." Apparently if you come and you don't hit any links or enter any comments sections your stop doesn't register, so I have no idea how many people are coming.
Oh, and I'm getting complaints that e-mails to me are bouncing. You can also send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or is it just yahoo.com? One or the other.
Save Ancient Forests has some stuff. Feel free to comment here or there. I'll come up with something deep to say about it sometime down the road.
Photo courtesy of an online magazine entitled "Redwood Empire" where you can find some more gorgeous shots of the grove.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Mr. Tort Reform himself suing for a trip and fall?
Hey, I'm not saying his case lacks merit. The irony is simply to rich to pass up. If he filed suit, he's probably not happy with the insurance adjuster.
To be fair, his injuries were serious. But prior to this accident, had he read about a similar account in the paper, do you think he would have been sympathetic to the plaintiff?
It reminds me of Rush Limbaugh's born again conversion to the right to privacy in his last run-in with the law, something he previously argued was "legislated from the bench" by "activist liberal justices" at the behest of the ACLU - who also went to bat for him.
What is it they say about liberals who've been mugged?
I mean, despite my quasi-hippie airs, I'm not against a moderate amount of consumption. Technology is mostly good. Commercialism does help the economy to a certain extent. But I don't quite know what to make of this..., whatever it is.
"The weird thing,'' he said, "was that there were all these people crowded around the store when I came out. It was the feeling of having won a big award. They were all cheering, and I hadn't really done anything except buy a phone.''
It appeared that the true believers were gathering in Palo Alto, where the Apple Store became a destination site for techno-pilgrimages. Atkinson, who left Apple in 1990, said he just dropped by Thursday night to check out the line and ended up sending his daughter home for a sleeping bag.
"You know, I missed Woodstock,'' Atkinson said. "But I wanted to be a part of this.''
"I was in line for 36 hours,'' Taylor said. "But it was worth it. I got a T-shirt.''
Huh. When I die, will I regret having missed it? Or has Palo Alto really become that boring? Doesn't Wozniak have something better to do with his time?
Call me a smarmy liberal elitist, because that's obviously what I am.
Excerpts and photo of the happy man courtesy of the SF Chronicle.
Yet another local blog
Ever the boy scout!
By the way, my title is figurative. I was in 4H, not the Boy Scouts.
Barely a trickle
I missed the drought years of the late 1980s and early 90s. Was it this low then?
Eel River photo is from americansouthwest.net.
Received my periodic e-mail scripture excerpt today. I figure that this is as good a post as any to put it.
The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed
robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have
extorted from the alien without redress. And I sought for anyone
among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach
before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it;
but I found no one.
- Ezekiel 22:29-30
Thursday, June 28, 2007
As promised, the Town Dandy link.
Foolish me. Somehow I mentally filed away the RFFI as a kumbaya group, a talk shop with big, unattainable dreams of getting beyond the Timber Wars through community land ownership. Harwood I knew to be the real deal — a visionary, in his unassuming way, and a man the late Judi Bari could count as a colleague and a friend. But the RFFI seemed just another addition to the sea of organizational initials, and I didn’t think it odd when no news emerged from that quarter for years. Until the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy. And then until a couple of weeks ago — June 14 — when it rocked the world.And a link to the Usal Forest plan itself.
On that day, at a press conference in San Francisco, the Redwood Forest Foundation announced that it had acquired just over 50,000 acres of timber land in northerwestern Mendocino County — the so-called “Usal Redwood Forest,” which borders on the Sinkyone Wilderness. The $65 million deal was fully financed by Bank of America, which a few months earlier announced that it had created a $20 billion fund “to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate change.” RFFI announced that it would pay back the loan through the sale of conservation easements, and through sustainable logging practices that adhered to the organization’s “three E’s”: environment, economy and social equity. The sale was covered in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times, and several major financial publications are apparently working on their own stories.
But what's wrong with kumbaya groups? We could use some more kumbaya groups.
The map is from the RFFI site. I think it'll get bigger if you click on it. Haven't tried it yet.
Update: Okay, that didn't work. It got smaller! Well, follow the RFFI link, and you can make it bigger.
North Coast Post quiz
Teen Challenge a cult?
Senate kills the immigration bill
The governor of Arizona thinks this could cost the Democrats the election next year. Seems a bit melodramatic.
KMUD to hold meeting about Reggae Rising coffee sales funds
Meanwhile, Berk Snow's memorial has been set for July 8 at the Community Park beginning at 4:30. There will be a pot-luck dinner at 6:30. People are asked to wear bright colors to celebrate his choices of garb, which were usually quite colorful. Car pooling is urged, and volunteers are needed.
Meanwhile, the KMUD website gallery is gathering Berk photos.
Addendum: Thanks to Juna who has posted the time of the meeting which is 10:00 a.m. out in front of the studio.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Myrtletown labor push
And it appears there's yet another blog to add to my links.
Redwood Acres raves and blues
Well, for your first time they let you try some of their sauces to help you decide what to order. I tried the gravy for the pineapple ribs (which I ultimately chose), Kalua pork, and shoyu chicken - all of which dazzled the taste buds with complex and fun flavors. You make your entree choice, which is poured over a bed of shredded cabbage and along side two large scoops of rice and a scoop of excellent macaroni salad (not the best place for Atkins dieters!). I can put down a large meal, but there was too much for me!
And get this, fir the "Big Kine" i.e. the large portions, the meal prices range from $6.75 to $8.75, most of them in the lower range. There are plenty of alternatives on the menu, including sandwiches, salads, and noodle dishes.
The price is probably based on the atmosphere or lack thereof (and the volume they must move during the events). The building consists of two large rooms, one of them dedicated to the horse betting (more on that below) and the other set aside for conferences and apparently the restaurant. There are fake roses on every table, and there's a boom box playing Hawaiian music.
Oh, and because of the location, this one earns 4 stars on my kid-friendly scale, although there is one offset in that department which I'll discuss shortly.
Lastly, they sponsor KMUD, specifically Da Coconut Wireless - our own Hawaiian music show aired Tuesday afternoons. I was there at the suggestion of my partner who had read about it in the NCJ, but I don't remember the review! It's a great find in any case.
On to the downside. My partner and I took our food into the horse betting room. There are like a thousand screens on all four walls showing the horses from all different angles or stat charts incomprehensible to a boy scout gambling virgin like myself. On the north end (or is it the west end?) of the room are the booths where you place your bet.
You know, the movies always depict the horse racing rooms as full of passion and festivity. Much like they depict casinos and bars. I find all three gloomy, with the exception of a few colorful bars.
There were about a dozen people there, holding their cards. Very little socializing and almost no discernible passion about what they were doing. The older folk seemed to be there to pass time, and the younger participants seemed lost. We were there for one race, which was announced over a loudspeaker rather than any of the televisions. I didn't watch the screen, I watched the people (I know that at least one poster has pitched a virtual fit when I reported doing so in the past, but I find people interesting to watch. Sue me.). They all stared at a chosen screen silently, with one exception chanting: "Number three! Number three!" Even that cheer seemed forced. Obligatory. Number three won and he went to the window to collect what looked to be about 40 bucks. He's probably lost it by now. Nobody else said anything.
They marked off their cards and pulled up new cards and waited for the next race, all in unison except for one woman clutching a small dog. I wasn't sure whether she was a participant or just there to accompany her husband, who could have been the gentleman at a table a few feet away.
I had the same experience in a casino in Reno as a kid traveling with my family. We were staying in a hotel room upstairs, but I was kind of fascinated with all the lights and sounds which artificially suggested life in the proceedings. But really, the gamblers all had that same passionless look about them. The guy at the booth in the middle was offering free nickels and nobody was bothering to take him up on it. Today's experience was more pronounced, for the lack of lights, music, and wringing bells.
They don't seem to experience a great deal of passion at winning, and frankly, nor profound disappointment at losing. The experience seems to deaden feeling rather than enhance it.
Anyway, my next trip for the food I'll be in the music and fake flower room.
Make sure you read this week's Town Dandy
I will link to the piece when it becomes available online.
Another moment of irony
Hey, if it's about medicine, it's the medicine.
Tony Blair out
I haven't followed the politics. Will there be a change in Iraq policy?
More on his replacement.
Meanwhile, over here the president has lost another key supporter of the Iraq war. Is Lugar for real, or are the Republicans thinking about 2008?
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Bill the Chimp on his deathbed
I hope he has a living will.
Here's his story. Here's some of his art work. Here's some more.
The image comes from the zoo site.
Update: Bill is gone.
Second update: Bill had a memorial. There's a video at the online edition front page.
My son is very saddened by Bill's death. It occurs to me that this is his first experience with the death of somebody he knows.
Open thread on the KMUD meeting
The KMUD site has another great photo of Berk by the way.
Addendum: overheard at Coffee and Chocolates a few minutes ago:
Young woman: Are you going to Reggae?They had the wisdom to change the subject right there. It's not limited to Sohum.
Young man: Reggae on the River is dead!
Young woman: There is Reggae Rising.
Young man: Please!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Is Humboldt County a piroshki free zone?
So anyway, I was hungry and purchased a piroshki, literally the first I've had since I moved here 11 years ago. As I pointed out a year ago as of tommorow, there were no piroshki's available anywhere in Sohum. Not even the mass-produced frozen kind. The situation has not improved. Harvest actually had two kinds!
Then it dawned on me. I've been to pretty much every deli in Nohum. I mean, Lost Bagels sells knishes, which are similar. But I've never seen a piroshki anywhere in Humboldt County. Was an ordinance passed or something?
There's a great deli for piroshkis in the city right outside the park near the Hall of Flowers. Next time I'm down there I'm making a special trip.
Corporations have more free speech and students less after the latest Supreme Court decisions
More when I have time.
Never get busted!
Of course, he's "not just into it for the money." It's about the love.
Addendum: Well that's funny. Lot's of people are hitting the link, but nobody's commenting. Hmmmmm.
Wow! I'm touched!
My appreciation letterOf course, I don't remember performing those services. Must have been my alter-ego performing them in my sleep. Maybe my new partner in Hong Kong did all the work for me. Should give him/her a larger share of the cut?
So far so good,I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from Hong Kong. Presently I'm in India for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.
Meanwhile,I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how. In appreciation of your assistance I have mapped out as a compensation and wrote on your favour a check worth of Us$750,000. So,you can now contact my secretary in Benin republic, Tony Sebookili on his e-mail address (email@example.com)
Ask him to send you the total of $750,000 which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts a nd attempts to assist me in the matter.Bear in mind that ther $750,000 is in draft,not cash, so you need to send to him your full names and address where the draft/check will be posted/delivered.I appreciated your efforts at that time very much.
So feel free to get in touched with my secretary Tony Sebookili and and furnish him with the below information to enable him send the Bank Draft to you at your own expense as I have done enough by allocating such huge amount to you. Even my current partner is not happy that i have to allocate such amount to you bearing in mind your non chalant attitude to the transaction at its crucial stage. And make sure that you furnish him with the following information:
(1) YOUR FULL NAMES
(2) YOUR HOUSE ADDRESS
(3) YOUR DIRECT CELPHONE NUMBER AND HOUSE PHONE WITH FAX IF ANY .
In the moment,I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand.Finally , bear in mind that I had forwarded instruction to my secretary to mail the draft to you once receipt of the above information.Here is his email address again (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hon Morrison Mogaji
Good old Tony. He can take care of it for me.
Heraldo has new digs!
He seems to be using a service known as "wordpress." Hopefully he'll elaborate on the benefits of the new format. Or maybe it was just a whim?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The Other Lounge
I should note again that Reggae and Stuff was rebooted, not to eliminate the posts that were made, but I believe to address an issue that actually had been addressed earlier. It's a little convoluted, but the same blogger has started up again with the name Mendoville. There's no mention of a moderation policy. I assume that he or she will play it by ear.
I will add The Other Lounge to my list of links. I'm not sure if Irieangel intends to maintain the Reggae Rising forum as well.
Update: Okay, nix the Reggae Rising forum. Irieangel wants her forum to be neutral territory.
It wasn't much, but it was that definitive rolling sensation, ever so briefly. My sensory perception was just confirmed by the "new age dominatrix" on KHUM. It was 5.1, centered off the coast of Trinidad.
Two lessons of the recall election
When I do my radio shows I tape them anachronistically with cassettes (or I did until KMUD started posting the archives online). For the 6 years of my show I've been throwing the tapes into a box in my office, often not even labeling them. This weekend I finally decided to organize them which means I was listening to them long enough to ascertain the subject matter and the names of any guests.
I came across the show I did in the immediate aftermath of Davis' recall. It was a contentious program. I proposed that the results put to rest two common assumptions of the left.
The first is that high turnouts necessarily result in progressive wins. I remember a Mother Jones article way back during the 1984 presidential campaign. The cover consisted of drawings of Reagan, Mondale, and I think Gary Hart - all with expressions that could be described as deer looking into headlights. The title of the article was "What if they gave an election and everybody came?" The premise was of course that if only the masses could be empowered enough to come to the polls we could elect somebody like Jesse Jackson or maybe even Angela Davis. The premise was based on the assumption of a hidden majority out there who don't vote because they are so discouraged by the corporate control of the political process they feel that their vote "doesn't count."
Related to that assumption is that the two party system has a stranglehold precisely because they lock the other parties out of the debate. If only the Greens could participate. Then the message would reach the masses and resonate with them since they already agree with our superior consciousness based platform even if they don't quite know it yet.
Well, the recall provided the turnout. I don't remember the numbers, but it was the highest in years. And Camejo, who carried the Green banner, was allowed to participate in the debate. He's about as articulate a representative that they have, and it was easily the most watched non-presidential race debate in television history.
In short, everybody heard him debate and they came out to vote. He got less than 3 percent of the vote - less than half the percentage he'd received in the scheduled election of a year earlier in which he was not allowed to participate in the debates.
Now I'm all for allowing all of the candidates who qualify for ballot status into the debates. But that's not what's keeping voters from voting Green. Voters don't vote green because very few of them share the Green political vision. Bottom line.
My point isn't to criticize the Green political view. I agree with at minimum 80 percent of the Green platform in any election. I believe that the world would be a better place if those policies were implemented. But I also realize that most Americans don't agree with me. This post is somewhat related to the last one, because what the recall election (and nearly all the rest) tells us is that we have yet to persuade. And in order to persuade it's not enough to feel righteous. In fact, it gets in the way. To persuade, you have to be open to persuasion. You have to to hear if you expect to be heard. It's hard for anybody to hear if you're chaining yourself to some part of their property or even just screaming at them with placards. There are certainly moments when you need to get somebody's attention, but as a long term strategy "direct action" is at best useless, and probably counterproductive.
Direct action might work if indeed we are in an oppressive system in which the majority will is constantly confounded with the will of a small handful of evil corporate lackeys constantly imposed. But that's not the case. People vote for candidates in the two main parties because at the present time the two main parties push and implement policies which at least satisfy the majority.
Also, the majority of nonvoters may not be disempowered by the lack of political choices. They may be too overwhelmed by the burdens of life to pay attention to politics, particularly if they're poor. They may be satisfied, so they don't bother to vote for change. They may be disengaged because they are lazy, self-centered, and/or just completely disinterested in anything not immediately in their perception. Political engagement is not a virtue in every cultural context and some people just want to be left alone. And some people forget.
In any case, the left is often at a disadvantage in politics not just because of the difference in money, but also because left wingers don't often understand politics, whereas right wingers most often do. Right wingers understand that you have to create a cultural climate for your ideas. They write their representatives. They write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces. They call into radio and television shows. They argue with their neighbors and co-workers. They get their ideas out there, and sooner or later some event or change in reality comes along which causes their ideas to resonate. They do it consistently. We have flashes of brilliance, and then we repeat the tactics over an over again with diminishing returns until they work against us (think tree-sits).
I voted Green enthusiastically in 2002, when I wrote this article. I have not voted Green since the recall election.
Reflections on the "Weatherman Temptation"
Dissent's Jon Wiener discusses the phenomenon and reviews some more recent novels that play on the young activists' romanticising of the urban revolutionary. He describes it as follows:
For anyone who has ever tried to change a government policy through political organizing and political action, it’s all too easy to understand the Weatherman temptation. It goes like this: the issues are crystal clear to us, but change seems impossible. The people in power are causing immense destruction, but the system seems impervious to challenge. The government is supposed to be democratic, but the American people are so distracted by the media or blinded by ideology or bought off by consumerism that they will never wake up.The importance of the group is often overstated by both admirers and haters, some of whom think they all should have been executed for treason or something anyway. Some argue that the fact that all of their many actions were non-lethal was dumb luck rather than indicative of any mitigating virtue. However, they were instrumental in warning occupants of the buildings they bombed. Certainly this is of cold comfort to the victims who had no influence on the policies the Weathermen opposed, who were terrorized considerably.
But a few of us see what’s going on. We know that the hour is getting late, that too many people have died, and that it’s time to get serious—no more fun and games. Although we are few, we are not powerless. Because we are white and privileged, we can strike back in the heart of the empire. And by the strategic use of targeted violence, we can make sure our actions are not ignored. Our violence will create images that will be irresistible to the media, and we will thereby turn the ideological weapons of the powerful against them. We will reveal the system’s vulnerability. We will bring a bit of fear to the hearts of the rulers. We will show them they will pay a price for their crimes.
The oppressed and the excluded will see the same thing; we will show them that they are not alone, and not as powerless as they have been told they are. And although we are few within the United States, we act on the global stage, where “we” are many; we act in solidarity with the great majority of the world’s suffering people. Those who are queasy about violent tactics need to understand that our violence is mostly symbolic; it is nothing compared to the daily mass murder practiced by those in power. Therefore our cause is just, and our actions are necessary: this was the Weatherman temptation in the early seventies.
But the temptation has manifested itself more recently in what has been referred to as "eco-terror," and this time individuals aren't making out well in the legal system. The discussion is important for younger "direct action activists," and I'll have some more thoughts tomorrow or soon.
It may be that the temptation is also a failure of the older progressives who should be called upon to convey a little bit of acquired wisdom where it is willingly received. When was the last time we heard about a "teach-in?" They're just forums now, with factual information mixed with vague platitudes rather than vision or wisdom. Wiener closes his article on point.
The Weatherman temptation remains a perennial problem for the left, however, if only because “These things take time” is not as stirring a slogan as “Death to Amerikkka.” But the opposite of Weatherman bombing is not apathy; it’s the steady work of political argument, persuasion, and organizing. As Rebecca Solnit argues in Hope in the Dark, you have to keep trying to win people over, because you can never be sure the forces of darkness will triumph; the most impossible things sometimes happen.I have a more to say, but the fatigue is starting to set in.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
My first queen sacrifice in rated play!
Of course, I know of only one reader who's going to take any interest in this. But queen sacrifices don't come along very often. At least not ones that work.
Here's the game. You can actually play out the game by clicking on the moves in box on the right. Please ignore my numbhead moves in the beginning which cost me two pawns. My opponent started to play a bit conservatively after that. Maybe he assumed my pawn losses were some esoteric sacrifice.
Addendum: You did know I was talking about a chess game, right?
Second addendum: Just played through it again when I tested the link. I winced at those early moves. But for my shining close (yes, I'm humble too), I should be pretty embarrassed about this game. Really good players would have resigned after he took my king pawn and chalked it up to a day I should've stayed in bed.
Stephen's post about Zionism, Abraham, Hinduism, imperialism, Jewish secret societies, peace swords, and precious bodily fluids
Unfortunately, the edit function doesn't tell me which thread a comment is in. But if I find these posts in the wrong threads I'll transfer them as soon as I notice.
Berk Snow's post has been updated
Friday, June 22, 2007
Mateel Summer Arts Festival redux
Earlier there was a discussion in which somebody said that nobody was buying anything. Apparently Bohemian Mermaid did quite well.
She has some photos.
And is anybody missing some hand-cuffs?
Zionism in the 21st century
Itzhak Epstein is a veteran socialist activist. He writes:
The few of us who follow the esoterica of intra-Jewish ideological give-and-takes should note that the publication of Defeating Hitler, Avraham Burg's latest book, and the brouhaha surrounding it will be probably noted as landmark events. The book was just published in Hebrew and I have not yet seen a proper review of it, much less read it. For most of those who read Hebrew, the recent interview/rebuttal by Avi Shavit in Haaretz is the nearest thing to the book. An abbreviated English version of the interview is what others have been reading: http://www.haaretz. com/hasen/ spages/868385. htmlThese are two very good reads. The first link contains the following dialogue, and I strongly recommend a reading of the whole conversation which is riveting.
JJ Goldberg's essay in the Forward provides additional insights: http://www.forward. com/articles/ avraham-burg- s-new-zionism/
While I agree with much of what Burg seems to communicate, I do not necessarily share all of it. I am including the above information for educational purposes. His views are much more complex than what partisan polemicists may want to make of them.
I was outraged by the book. I saw it as a turning away of an Israeli colleague from our shared Israeliness. I saw it as a one-dimensional and unempathetic attack on the Israeli experience. Still, the dialogue with Avrum was riveting. We got angry at each other and raised our voices at each other and circled each other warily like two wounded gladiators in the arena. You can't take away from Avrum what he has. You can't take away the education or the articulateness or the ability to touch truly painful places. Maybe that's why he is so infuriating. Friend and predator; brother and deserter.
Avrum Burg, I read your new book, "Defeating Hitler," as a parting from Zionism. Am I wrong? Are you still a Zionist?
"I am a human being, I am a Jew and I am an Israeli. Zionism was an instrument to move me from the Jewish state of being to the Israeli state of being. I think it was Ben-Gurion who said that the Zionist movement was the scaffolding to build the home, and that after the state's establishment it should be dismantled."
So you confirm that you are no longer a Zionist?
"Already at the First Zionist Congress, Herzl's Zionism was victorious over the Zionism of Ahad Ha'am. I think that the 21st century should be the century of Ahad Ha'am. We have to leave Herzl behind and move to Ahad Ha'am."
Does this mean that you no longer find the notion of a Jewish state acceptable?
"It can't work anymore. To define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It's dynamite."
Details as I get them. Probably best to tune in to KMUD if you live on the Nielson Ranch or Old Briceland Road.
Update: The vehicles continue to pass as of 5:00.
Second Update: Estelle is reporting that the fire is indeed on Nielson Ranch. I'm just getting answering machines of people I know out there.
Third Update: Estelle is reporting that it's a vegetation only fire, which has spread about an acre and should be contained shortly. Apparently no buildings are in immediate danger.
Nothing like an act of providence to pull the Sprowell Creek community back together. It's all about perspective.
Final Update: Well, I heard from an individual in the know that we really can't credit this one to providence. It was a knucklehead thing. But then I guess most fires probably are.
Some end-of-the-week notes
My son who is into superhero cartoons these days for the most part asked if he could watch Mary Poppins yesterday. He said he wanted to see it because he was "forgetting the songs."
I watched the other night for the first time in my life The Mouse that Roared (available from the Garberville branch of the library once I return it). I knew the premise and obviously everything is very dated, but it was moderately entertaining. Peter Sellars was fine in his multiple parts, but obviously it was no Dr. Strangelove which I'd put into my list of the to 10 best political movies of all time.
I think maybe it's particularly dated in the sense that the idea that a small country can defeat a superpower is no longer a novelty.
This week's Town Dandy discusses a debate raging on the pages of the Press Democrat about the the relationship between marijuana and murders on the north coast. Our own CLMP rep Ellen Komp is quoted. It seems that some of that debate had spilled onto this blog recently, when I was asked to compare grass related murders to speed related. I don't remember which post, but if I do I'll link to it.
Heraldo's latest post gives a brief history of the Humboldt lumber strike of 1935. A good read.
In case you missed it Mendoville's back up.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Gallegos doesn't want to be rushed on the Moore killing investigation
”Heat? I've been taking heat ever since I've been in office,” he said. “It's a comfortable place for me. Yes, I have a responsibility to do it as quickly as I can, but it must be nailed down not only on the facts of the law, but the reasons for the final decision.”The most he'd say about the lingering questions:
But, he said, they involve two main issues: The lack of a decision-making process from the top down -- particularly regarding the timing of the raid on Moore's apartment, and whether he or the grand jury should decide if the shooting rises to the level of a criminal act.I'm sorry. I've supported Paul, and I'll probably support him for re-election again. But he's dropping the ball here. Moore's family has filed suit, and really the decision to prosecute should have been made before that happened.
Gallegos said he needed to go beyond the investigators' reports on some points and talk personally to experts “so that my mind can be resolved one way or the other.”
The original Nacho Mama's reopens on Monday!
The burrito photo is not of one of their "surfing burritos" but it looks like one. The photo comes from The Robotic Gormand.
All Things Reconsidered tonight
Don't make any assumptions about the opinions you'll hear. Cristina has a very nuanced take on the whole thing.
Addendum: Hank Sims notes in the comments herein that he will be discussing the recent immigration raids on his KHUM show at 6:00. He'll also have Rodoni on and a bee guy.
Second addendum: Just received the following Biblical quote by e-mail. I'm assuming it's about this post.
When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in
the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for
the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God
may bless you in all your undertakings.
- Deuteronomy 24:19
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Maxxam petitioning the court for bonuses
It's called hubris. I'm sure they'll get it.
The petition will be heard on July 13.
Thanks to the Alliance for Ethical Business for the link.
Sprowell Creek Rising?
One of the dissenting individuals resigned from the crew, but then apparently started calling the landowners not present at the meeting in order to get a new vote. I'm not certain what's happening except that they will be holding another meeting.
The question is whether the dissident owners are going to break away from the existing organization and start their own in time for Reggae Rising.
Details as I get them.
Update: There was another SCFD meeting last night. They voted to clarify their decision making process, but also to maintain the decision - no RR stand. There was some discussion of maintaining the stand and giving half the proceeds to the Mateel. I wonder if that option will be proposed in other NPO internal discussions.
New local blogs
I finally took the plunge and started a blog. The festival season is here, with Harmony and Sierra Nevada coming up, Oregon Country Fair, Reggae, Burning Man, and Earthdance to name a few. Reggae is my favorite. To say it's a big deal for folks around here might be a bit of an understatement. That's why I wanted to share some thoughts, create a forum for comments, and hopefully provide some helpful information so we can all have a great time.So now I'll have a basis for comparison as to the level of discourse. I don't know what "Mendoville's" moderating policies are, if any.
Addendum: Sally Then has also started a blog entitled Reggae Rising.
Second addendum: Bob has posted an interview with Warren Smith.
Third addendum: Humboldt DJ has yet another local Reggae themed blog called Massive Respect. This one's about the music.
Fourth addendum: Reggae and Stuff appears to have disappeared. I don't know why. I'm sure we'll hear some theories.
Fifth addendum: Mendoville has changed the name and address of his/her blog. It is now Mendoville.
Teen Challenge approved by the Eureka City Council
The Times-Standard has the story. Please fill in the gaps.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Barry Commoner at 90
A nice tribute to Commoner in the NY Times.
Before Al Gore became synonymous with global warming, Barry Commoner was warning the public about the delicate condition of planet Earth. Long associated with the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College, Dr. Commoner has for decades been agitating to restore ecological balance to the biosphere, whether by outlawing nuclear testing or spreading the practice of recycling. Time magazine once nicknamed him “the Paul Revere of the environmental movement.”Not a very flattering photograph accompanying the article though.
Dr. Commoner, who turned 90 on May 28, is enjoying something of a resurgence. The M.I.T. Press has just published a new biography, “Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival,” by Michael Egan. In August, he will be the subject of “Science, Democracy and Environment,” a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York. He is also writing a book on the subject that first brought him to public attention almost 40 years ago: whether DNA alone is responsible for an organism’s traits.
Commoner is known for his "four laws of ecology" which he presented in his book The Closing Circle.
1. Everything is Connected to Everything Else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.He was green before it was fashionable, and broke a great deal of ground. Make hay while the sun shines.
2. Everything Must Go Somewhere. There is no "waste" in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.
3. Nature Knows Best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is, says Commoner, “likely to be detrimental to that system.”
4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. In nature, both sides of the equation must balance, for every gain there is a cost, and all debts are eventually paid.
Photo comes from this cool site.
You know, I was in high school when Khomeini issued the first one, and I thought he'd have been killed by now. The guy must have nerves of steel!
I wonder if our government will stand up to Pakistan for the suicide bombing call from one of its own.
You can catch Rushdie on Colbert here.
Photo source is The Modern World.
Maybe if I'd woken up earlier I would have heard Rod Serling's voice
So anyway, I fell asleep on top of the covers, still in the buff. I woke up at about 2:30 in the morning with the TV on and the doorway to the outside wide open. I quickly ascertained that my wallet, keys, computer, and law files were all present and intact. It wasn't windy and I really thought the door was closed shut. I have no idea if anybody walked by the room during my three hours of sleep.
I guess I should check for a surgically implanted a metal plate in my skull.
Addendum: I remember what I was watching now. I was alternating between Taxi Driver and Rocky 3, neither of which I'd seen since at least the 1980s. The Rocky franchise went downhill immediately after the first movie, each successive sequel getting progressively worse. The original was good (somebody obviously decided that the story wasn't good enough unless he won), but really Taxi Driver should have taken the 1976 Academy Award. I can't stand to watch a movie like that when it's broken up with commercials however. Rocky 3 was pure garbage, the Mr. T character obviously representing Muhamed Ali whom apparently a lot of white guys fantasized about throttling. I fell asleep as the film alternated between the traditional inspiring Rocky music and Eye of the Tiger. '
Did anybody see Rocky Balboa? After the last Rocky movie, I'm afraid to put it onto my Netflix queue even as a lark.
By request - Impeach Cheney?
Here's the the link which was e-mailed to me which contains some interactive material. The essential text:
On April 24, 2007, U.S. House Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced H.Res. 333, calling for articles of impeachment to be sent to the U.S Senate with regards to Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
If you believe that Vice President Cheney should be impeached, then vote "Yes" below.
The grounds of the proposed impeachment are that the Vice President:
The text of the resolution, the articles of impeachment, and all supporting references can be found at http://kucinich.house.gov/spotlightissues/documents.htm.
- fabricated a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,
- purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, and
- has threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States, all in detriment to the national interest of the United States.
The one click form on this page will send your personal message to all your members of Congress, with your vote on the the question "Should Vice President Cheney be impeached?" At the same time it will send your personal comments only as a letter to the editor of your nearest local daily newspaper, if that option is selected below.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The liberty of power
But the current issue contains a column by Steve Kubby who plans to run for the Libertarian slot in the presidential race. The column is predictable by libertarian standards, paying obligatory homage to the marijuana crowd before slipping in a gun rights reference and closing with vague platitudes about "freedom."
Actually he starts with them as well in the form of a quiz about how you feel when a highway patrol car is behind you. Do you feel secure or nervous and afraid? You shouldn't feel afraid of your government. Yada, yada.
Thing is, I do get nervous when a patrol car is behind me, or at minimum very self-conscious. The worst is when they hover in your blind spot in the passing lane obviously checking you out. But it's not the government per se that I'm afraid of, but more so the discretion afforded a well-armed individual. If anything, I find comfort in the recourse afforded me by the governmental system should the individual abuse that discretion. But not all the libertarian policies in the world are going to make me feel easier about the power conferred onto that individual.
A local woman, a friend of a former secretary of mine, trained to become a CHP officer. She told stories about riding with officers who made very arbitrary choices about whom to pull over - with decisions based on everything from high school rivalries to the color of vehicles. It put her off naturally. Later she was assigned to Redwood City where she was partnered up with a hardcore misogynist who made her life miserable until she quit. What happens when that guy pulls over women? Is the misogyny the product of the policy or the power?
I remember one blind spot incident in Santa Cruz when I was in college. I had a sign on my window registering my opposition to the invasion of Grenada and this one vehicle followed me for a good 15 minutes, in the passing lane, slowing when I was slowing, speeding up when I did. Finally, I figured he was going to find some excuse to ticket me so I just pulled over. He passed me at that point. Messing with college students probably carries some risks as you never know who "Daddy" might be. That's pretty much the second worst run-in I ever had with "the law" (the worst is the subject for another post), but again, this wasn't the law. It was an individual a bit cavalier about his duty of restraint, trying to teach a smart-assed college boy a lesson. The problem is that it's the type of maneuver that tends to bring out the belligerence in the same.
The point is that I was the victim of an individual's agenda, not the state's. But for the state's restrictions on his power, I could have been in some real trouble. Kubby and the Libertarians tend to miss that point. The issues is power and its containment, not some metaphysical nature of "government." Libertarians (apologies to Fred) tend to ignore power not vested directly in the state. Economic power and its abuse doesn't even register, and any checks on economic power is viewed as infringement of "liberty."
It's said (I say it, so it's "said") that socialism was born when the first clan intervened in a struggle between two members over a kill. I imagine that had he the vocabulary, the stronger of the two would have lamented the death of incentive and initiative in the new order.
Berk Snow left us
Berk was among many things a Board member at KMUD. I worked with him while I was on the Personnel Committee. He served with passion and grace.
Estelle will have more details on KMUD in about 10 minutes.
Thanks to Pernel Thyseldew for the photo which may be found here.
Addendum: Here's a full report of Berk's death.
This latest photo comes from the Kate Wolf Festival site.
Nick Wilson has a portrait.
Here's a discussion of him on an aviation forum.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Until further notice...
It's not just Reggae on the River. I'm 99 percent certain I am immune for posts made by other people, however, there's always the occasional attorney ready to try for a loophole. I don't really need a lawsuit right now, but it's not at the top of my worries here. The fact is, I keep thinking the discussion can't get any worse, and in fact the ALP thread led to a very productive discussion at first, though I'm concerned about the one-sided turn the discussion has taken and my vision of this blog is about debate not just one side's agenda. I don't blame anybody for the way it played out. It just didn't work out as I'd hoped.
But in another thread, not even about reggae, a rumor has been posted which is cryptic and only capable of generating more yelling and screaming.
Add to this the relentless anti-semitic postings of one particular individual, the constant Nick Bravo baiting, and the constantly negative tone of nearly all the threads has me worn out. I don't have the time nor energy to babysit. I've got three trials in July, kids who need my time and attention, and life in general on my plate as well.
I'll allow most posts, even negative posts, through. But I want rumors backed up with something concrete, preferably names of sources.
Your input is appreciated.
Rodoni's marijuana gambit
Estimating that marijuana brings some $5 billion into the Mendocino County economy, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors recently sent out an impassioned letter demanding that marijuana be legalized and taxed for the benefit of local governments.
It's a request that quickly gained traction in Humboldt County through 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni, who said a revolution in the thinking about marijuana laws and enforcement is long overdue.
The first step toward legalization, Rodoni said, is to get the conversation started. Raise awareness, make noise, build pressure -- and then progress can happen, Rodoni said.
Rodoni said that when he first took office, he couldn't even bring up the subject. Now serious discussions can occur, because some progress has already been made.
As for the political realities of Washington, D.C., Rodoni said the federal government just needs to butt out and abide by the 10th Amendment. (Emphasis added)
Why couldn't he bring up the subject when he first took office?
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Watch what you type!
The is funding a $10 million project at the Rutgers University Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science and the Center for Dynamic Data Analysis (DyDAn) (both at Rutgers University) to develop software that can track the content of political speech in internet blogs and on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, with the stated intention of identifying "anti-American" sentiment. Rutgers University along with , the University of Pittsburgh, and the are also working with the to effectively monitor and interpret massive amounts of data (such as financial & personal transactions, passports, and visas) to extract "suspicious" people and plans based on behavior patterns that they determine "Un-American" . (Emphasis added)Of course, it'll only be used to fight terror, right?
http://www.offourca mpus.blogspot. com/
Speaking of boycotting non-profits
From the Guardian:
A senior Vatican cardinal said yesterday that Catholics should stop donating to human rights group Amnesty International because of its new policy advocating abortion rights for women if they had been raped, were a victim of incest or faced health risks.
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, accused Amnesty of turning its back on its mission to defend human rights.
"The inevitable consequence of this decision, according to the cardinal, will be the suspension of any financing to Amnesty on the part of Catholic organisations and also individual Catholics," said a statement from Cardinal Martino's office yesterday.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Hot off the e-mail press - KMUD work party
Yes, it's late notice! But perhaps you heard some of this on the CSAR...
Saturday, June 16, there's a gathering at KMUD, 10 til 2 or so.
Here's what I've been able to learn:
General Manager Brenda Starr will be grilling burgers and turkey sandwiches for folks willing to help do some cleanup around the MUD (post-coffee booth at Summer Arts, post-block party, etc.) - and maybe also for folks coming to the meeting, I would guess, and I'm not calling her back because she's busy.
Meeting: There will be a volunteers' and programmers' meeting at noon, including meeting Brenda and Jomama, the new Programmers' Rep (she was the only nominee for that board seat). People will still hear any input on whether KMUD should do a coffee booth at Reggae Rising if it happens. Non-programmer members who are interested in serving on the board can be nominated (until the Members' Meeting June 26). New committees will be discussed: the Grievance and Mediation Committee and the Management Evaluations Committee. And whatever folks bring up.
Hope you're well and happy.
Viva la MUD,
Some odds & ends
The Town Dandy notes that Cheri Moore's relatives filed suit in Federal Court. Dennis Cunningham's firm is providing the representation.
And this Gallegos supporter is calling on the D.A. to either conclude the criminal investigation against the officers involved, or issue a public explanation as to why it can't be concluded at this time. It's well over a year, and it's hanging over the heads of the EPD officers, Moore's family, and the community.
There was an immigration raid in Fortuna earlier in the week. Was this the first in Humboldt County? I'm not up to speed. Please feel free to comment.
I hear that Rodoni was on KMUD discussing the Mendo supervisor's letter re pot legalization. When I have time I'll go to the KMUD site and listen to it. He's obviously begun his re-election campaign. There are far too many single issue marijuana interest voters who have helped to get him elected, as well as his rancher/libertarian counterpart to our immediate south. He's obviously making a play for that vote again as changing demographics in Fortuna may alter the complexion of the campaign.
Meanwhile, is there a candidate in the wings to run against him? Stay tuned.
Does anybody know why they're building a new bridge over 10 mile river? It's the last truly pristine river on the California coast. I hope they aren't planning to mess with it in terms of development.
Lastly, I spent the last few days listening to the KOZT, a classic rock station out of Fort Bragg similar to our own KHUM. I haven't really been listening to KHUM lately for no particular reason.
I notice there's a new Roger Watters' song out which pretty much offers nothing knew by capitalizes on some of his old gimmicks. He's lost his edge. Not that I've been a fan since I was tripping out on his concept albums in high school. As an adult I got tired of listening to him whine about how mean all the women have been to him and how rough it is to be a multi-million dollar rock star.
Also heard Joan Osborn's version of My Back Pages and an a cappella version of Gloria Gayner's I Will Survive (and I think the same group did a version of Heart of Glass). All of them were enjoyable, but does anybody else agree with me that the best songs being released these days are remakes of old songs? I think we're in a Children of Men type of situation when it comes to musical creativity (which itself effectively relied on a remake of the Stones' Ruby Tuesday).
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I certainly hope you're going to continue with the writing Cristina! More flex time for that, somewhat.
We camped at MacKerricher State Park just north of Fort Bragg. Gorgeous place. I may camp there again with my family.
Didn't catch any fish in the lake, but there were always 4 or 5 osprey hovering and diving to pull out large trout. But getting the kids up early enough to catch them when they're biting is a bit of a chore.
My son wanted to "live here forever" for the first couple of day, but was missing his mother by last night. Beginnings sponsored the trip of course. They do very well by their students.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I'll be gone for a few days
I am leaving my password with certain people and my wife will monitor my e-mail in case something comes up. I will be checking in on a daily basis. If somebody wants to post something appropriate to the main page arrangements can be made. I'll probably be back online again sometime tonight, but then not again until Thursday.
Try not to mess the place up while I'm gone please!
A conspiracy of silence?
Governments clamping down on bloggers
In the two years since he started writing political commentary on his Web site, Syrian blogger Ammar Abdulhamid has called President Bashar Assad a thug, a dictator, Mr. Bean, the village idiot and Fredo Corleone—the bumbling mob-family brother from "The Godfather." A 41-year-old novelist and the son of Syria's most-celebrated screen actress, Abdulhamid wants Assad's regime replaced by an elected government. Like hundreds of other dissidents in the Arab world, he began blogging with bluntness during a brief window of liberalization that opened after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But geography sets him apart: Abdulhamid writes from his home outside Washington, D.C., having been forced into exile by the Syrian government in 2005. In recent months, he has watched as regimes from Tunisia to Iran jailed bloggers and intimidated others into ditching their keyboards. Now he's working with another Arab blogger to establish a group to protect the dissenters. "If the regimes are allowed to shut us out of the blogosphere, we have nothing left," he tells NEWSWEEK.Obviously bloggers here won't be jailed for the most part. But if the government wants to shut the medium down it can repeal the immunity for website owners who allow public comments it has granted, which in light of veiled threats such as those on this very blog could pretty much put an end to it. I suppose there are those who believe it would be for the better.
For those who've encouraged me to ban anonymous blogging, certainly we can agree that it does have certain virtues?
Here's a link to Abdulhamid's blog. And here's the Tharwa Foundation Manifesto. Whether neo-cons are involved, the language certainly isn't exclusive to them.
Just a note slightly off topic, check out this sentence which appears late in the the article:
By the time regimes took notice, the pressure to liberalize coming from Washington had waned, a result of the crisis the Bush administration faced in Iraq.So much for the notion of the Iraq war as being fought for freedom in the Middle East.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Local girl makes good with science
From the Times-Standard:
The 12-year-old, who earned first place at the Redway School Fair and the Humboldt County Science Fair, used 15 household items that people studied for 30 seconds. They were then given two minutes to list as many items as they could remember.
Kloiber tested preschool children up to seniors, in an effort to see if people who claimed they couldn't remember because they are too old were telling the truth. Her results concluded they were and the age groups with the best short-term memory was the 11-to-21 and 21-to-40 age groups.
Way to go Ashley! On the other hand, I'm a little put off by your conclusions. I'm 43 and I feel perfectly..., um.
What was I typing about? Huh.
Anonymous Reggae war analysis
I think that the community will be better served by a clearer understanding of what is at stake on July 11 and a brief analysis of the dispute.
The main issue on the 11th is TD's claim that he is entitled to summary adjudication (an early finding without need for trial) of his claim that he had the legal right to terminate the Mateel's lease of his property where ROR was to be held for the next several years. That is the heart of the issue on the 11th. That question is at issue because TD filed a motion asking for such a determination from the referee (a referee is basically an arbitrator). My analysis follows, but in all fairness to readers, I want to disclose that I side with the Mateel because, amongst other reasons, I believe the Mateel was wronged. I openly challenge someone to analyze this case that supports TD and PP. Especially someone that has the ability to professionally analyze the case so that we can begin to debate the issue in a more professional manner that may shed light on the case and allow for the general public to follow the case more closely and understand it better.
It is highly improbable that even a trial on the merits will result in a finding that TD had the right to terminate the lease with the Mateel and even more improbable that the referee will find, as a matter of law, that he had the right to do so such that it is not even necessary to have a trial on the merits.
While it is a little more complicated than what follows, the crux of the issue is whether the Mateel breached the lease with TD when it declared PP to be in breach of the contract between PP and the Mateel and terminated PP's role as Producer of ROR. If the Mateel’s termination of PP was a breach of the lease, then the issue becomes whether it was a material breach or a non-material breach. If it was a material breach, then TD may have had the right to terminate the lease depending on the court's authority to look at the matter and say it would be unjust under the circumstances to terminate the lease. A finding of a breach appears unlikely for too many reasons to discuss here. Even if a breach is found, however, it is extremely unlikely it will be found to be material given that TD's only damage claim is the claim that he might sustain some hypothetical harm if an incompetent Producer organized and managed ROR. Much of the harm TD allegedly fears is harm covered by liability insurance. Regardless, his claims of allegedly feared harm are a very thin claim of potential damages to begin with. That claim is all the more inherently incredible given that the replacement Producer, 2B1, had over a decade of prior ROR experience by and through Boots H. and had produced bigger events than ROR.
Even an objective analysis of the facts without any presumptions applied reveals that TD has a difficult position at best. Common sense alone would suggest that it is inherently incredible to argue that in a vast nation of approximately 300,000,000 people that PP and Carol Bruno are the only ones that can competently produce a music festival. It is an even bigger world and there is no law that states the Producer must be an American company. Only a partisan could find TD’s claim that only PP can produce the event credible. In fact, his contract contemplates that there might well be a different producer and, if so, he must be given notice. He was properly given that notice.
It gets even worse for TD and PP supporters. California law holds that forfeitures of long-term leases that are valuable to the person or entity that leases the property are to be heavily frowned upon and avoided whenever possible. Here, there is obvious severe financial harm to the Mateel if the lease is canceled because the Mateel has no where else to hold ROR. The Mateel will also lose hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in infrastructure on TD’s property if the lease is terminated.
Finally, TD and PP were, at a minimum, discussing the desire to eliminate the Mateel from the ROR equation long before the Mateel terminated PP. PP was in a fiduciary role to the Mateel and it was a massive breach of that fiduciary duty for PP to be discussing and, possibly, planning ways to oust the Mateel. This is especially true when the conduct occurred with the leaseholder (TD) of a lease that was crucial to the Mateel's ability to continue ROR uninterrupted.
California law heavily frowns on such behavior by fiduciaries such as PP and I suspect that a final trial on the merits will find that PP made a mockery of its fiduciary duties to the Mateel and that PP and TD breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in their respective contracts with the Mateel. One only has to look at the results. TD and PP have maneuvered events such that they are now holding the reggae festival with, if they are to be believed, no obligations to the Mateel. Anything can happen in court as there is a certain lottery effect in any litigation, but if there is any justice in this world, TD and PP will be found to have massive financial liability to the Mateel.