Sunday, September 30, 2007


Clif Clendenen vs. Roger Rodoni

Heraldo has the details. I can't think of a candidate who has a better chance against Rodoni. He takes 1/3 of the Fortuna votes and he's our Second District Supervisor.

So gee. What's Clendenen's position on marijuana legalization?

Then let's hear about his views on local development?



I'm back. Spent the past 5 days offline. Felt a little withdrawal at first. Turns out the Buddhist monks at the Green Gulch Zen Center actually have wi-fi, even if they don't have cell phone reception. I had to walk out to Muir Beach to make phone calls.

You know. Some of these discussions aren't healthy. I'm all for freedom of expression. But really.

I'm probably going to reduce my responses. I'll continue to make posts. Argue points. But I'm withdrawing a bit from personal involvement in these threads. Whenever somebody makes a point really worthy of a response, I'll play.

But that last thread - it didn't just get unhealthy. It got boring.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The apology

According to the ER, it was Rob Arkley who released the e-mail. To them anyway.

Here it is. Decide for yourself whether it's adequate.
Dear Larry,

I owe you an apology. Last night was neither the time nor the place for me to bring up how your words and deeds have caused great hurt to my family, specifically my daughters. It was impulsive of me. Unfortunately, when I am impulsive, I tend to be single minded (loud) and empathic (louder). I am counting on you as a father and as a political veteran to understand and accept this apology.

I will not belabor the point that I was trying to make to you last night. As you know, I am more than willing to face the slings and arrows that come my way, especially here in Eureka. It is hard for me to express the pain and outrage that I feel when my wife and daughters are needlessly brought in, as you did. I obviously need to adopt a different and better approach when trying to convey to others why I think that it is unfair that my wife and daughters need to suffer because of this.

Again, my apologies for last night.

Larry Glass responded to the ER as follows:
Glass confirmed by e-mail that he originally received Arkley’s letter on Sept. 6. He said it isn’t a “real apology.”

“It should say, ‘I’m sorry I ... 1. physically attacked you twice. 2. I’m sorry I disrespected you by calling you ‘nothing’ and a ‘liar.’ 3. I’m sorry I threatened to destroy you if you didn’t vote for my project. 4. I’m sorry I threatened to destroy your business. 5. I’m sorry I paid to have you followed. 6. I’m sorry I threatened to sue you.’ I feel a real and complete apology would offer some promise of behavior modification for the future. Anyone can plainly see it doesn’t contain any of these. I am still waiting.”
Then Glazer, the new PR guy, reiterated the previous denials of any physical aspect to the confrontation. So far, the only eye-witnesses who have chimed in are Glass, Gans, and one anonymous witness.

I do have to make a few comments. Larry didn't bring Arkley's wife and kids into the fight. But they're in it now. And while it is clearly an apology, when you're apologizing for inappropriate behavior, you don't try to justify it. You just apologize. And Larry is right, there is no promise to refrain from similar behavior in the future. He's almost suggesting that he has no control over it.

But it is an apology. Where to go from here?

Addendum: The TS has a little more detail.

Glass said he found it important that the same day Arkley sent the apology, Gans told The Eureka Reporter -- which is owned by Arkley -- that Glass was acting like a “publicity-seeking politician.”

”You have to weigh that in context with the lack-of-apology apology,” Glass said.

That is certainly odd.

Glass said the topic of Arkley's daughters didn't come up until about halfway through Arkley's “tirade,” and then Arkley only made a passing reference to them.

”He mentioned it, but it was certainly not the paramount thing that he was talking about,” Glass said.

And then Glazer continues the counter-attack.
The conversation at the Avalon, Glazer said, centered around Glass' treatment of Arkley's daughters. First, Glazer said, Glass distributed anti-Arkleyville stickers and T-shirts at his shop, then was insensitive when Arkley's daughters came to talk to him about it. He said Arkley accused Glass of being a liar because Glass said he would stop carrying the anti-Arkleyville paraphernalia but didn't for several weeks.


Glazer also asked why Glass didn't distribute the e-mail to local media after receiving it, called Glass' citing the e-mail's accompanying disclaimer as playing a game and accused Glass of misleading the local media by not owning up to having received the e-mail.

”It's bewildering and somewhat appalling,” Glazer said. “It gives that odor that it's all about politics and manipulating the media.”

If anyone's manipulating the media, Glass said it is not him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My postings over the next few days will be sporadic

I'm off to a mediation seminar in the Bay Area. I'm not sure when I'll be online. But I'll try to throw something together here and then.

Enjoy your week.

Photo source.


Breaking news: Glass releases Arkley e-mail

Yet another blogger not on my list - Capdiamont has apparently scooped everybody.

According to Capdiamont Glass was waiting for clearance from the city attorney. Glass also confirmed that he'd posted the boilerplate wording on Heraldo's blog.

Not much else to tell right now.


More Zionist-environmentalist propaganda

In fulfilling my mission as Zionist-minion sent here by AIPAC to destroy John Campbell and Pacific Lumber, I'm posting the following missive from my masters in Tel Aviv.
(ANSAmed) - MILAN, AUGUST 27 - Poor in hydrocarbons but with remarkable solar radiation, Israel is at the forefront of the development and application of mirrors for the production of solar energy, a segment which already allows the country to save 3% of the combustible imports. According to the reports of Italian economic daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Israel, after having reduced the costs of solar energy production by using a particularly fine film over which the photovoltaic cells are situated, is studying systems which would be capable of concentrating 1,500 volts of solar radiation over a new small plate. The system comprises a parabolic mirror with a surface of some 100 square metres, a result of a research of Sde Boker carried out in the Negev Desert by Professor David Faiman. Currently a local company is seeking to create an industrial prototype, the first step to commercialization. (ANSAmed).
Seriously though, this could be a big deal in the development of alternative energy. Israel has already spent funds developing small versions such as the one pictured above and discussed in this article which is also the photo source.

Addendum: And as long as I'm singing Israel's praises, here's a great Nation article on a very progressive paper in Israel.
In Israel, spirited debate was once a cultural imperative. Now it is a rare, if precious, resource, as is Ha'aretz and its emphatic liberal consciousness. Though Palestinian suicide bombers and Hezbollah rocket attacks have all but muted Israel's high-decibel, hydra-headed politics, there is Ha'aretz, arousing and provoking with its pro-peace apostasy. Not only does the paper challenge its readers; it makes money doing it. The depth, passion and wit of its reporting recalls the best of the long-extinguished Washington Star or Britain's once-sassy Independent. The paper routinely scoops its larger rivals, the tabloids Yediot Ahronot and Ma'ariv, particularly when it comes to US-Israeli relations, and it is the closest thing the Middle East has to an indispensable read. (It is also the only major Israeli daily with an editorial page; in June Yediot Ahronot dropped its editorial section and, like Ma'ariv, now restricts itself to signed opinion pieces.)

Ha'aretz's opposition to Israel's most controversial policies--the occupation of the West Bank and the incarceration of Gaza behind a fortified wall, the systematic discrimination against Israel's Arab citizenry, last year's war in Lebanon--makes it a life raft for anyone who despairs of the Jewish state's rightward lurch but who is too afraid to criticize it openly for fear of being tarred as an anti-Semite, an appeaser of terrorists or a self-hating Jew.

Of course, they support Israel's right to exist, which is an abomination in some peoples' eyes.


A new blog in town

Adding to the short list of Mendo blogs I have to link to, let me introduce to you Shankar Wolfananda. I'll let him speak for himself.
I have just decided to start a blog on a whim. I would like to focus on local issues in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, world affairs, the Indian Subcontinent, Spiritual Growth, World Travel and Adventure and what ever else comes to mind.

I currently live in Ukiah California. I am 27 years old and employed as a social worker.

I would like this blog to act as a forum for people with similar and conflicting world views to debate, share, and commune.

His latest post is about Buddhist protests in Burma.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Since we're talking about the Middle East...

Andy S. brought my attention to this website, Arabs for Israel, dedicated to Arabs and Muslims who support the right if Israel to exist. The principles are as follows:
We are Arabs and Moslems who believe:
  • We can support Israel and still support the Palestinian people. Supporting one does not cancel support for the other.
  • We can support the State of Israel and the Jewish religion and still treasure our Arab and Islamic culture.
  • There are many Jews and Israelis who freely express compassion and support for the Palestinians. We Arabs also express reciprocal compassion and support.
  • The existence of the State of Israel is a fact that we accept.
  • Israel is a legitimate state that is not a threat but an asset in the Middle East.
  • Every major World religion has a center of gravity. Islam has Mecca, and Judaism certainly deserves its presence in Israel and Jerusalem.
  • Diversity is a virtue not only in the USA, but would be beneficial around the world. We support a diverse Middle East with protection for human rights, respect and equality under the law to all minorities, including Jews and Christians.
  • Palestinians have several options but are deprived from exercising them because of their leadership, the Arab League and surrounding Arab and Moslem countries who have other goals besides seeing Palestinians live in harmony with Israel.
  • If Palestinians want democracy they can start practicing it now.
  • It will benefit Arabs to end the boycott of Israel.
  • We can resolve our conflicts using non-violent means. Sending our young people on suicide/homicide missions as a form of Jihad is a distortion of Islam. We can do better.
  • We are appalled by the horrific act of terror against the USA on 9/11/2001.
  • It will be better for Arabs when the Arab media ends the incitement and misinformation that result in Arab street rage and violence. We support the Arab media providing coverage of ways that people of all religions are and can live together in harmony.
  • We are eager to see major reformation in how Islam is taught and channeled to bring out the best in Moslems and contribute to the uplifting of the human spirit and advancement of civilization.
  • We believe in freedom to choose or change one’s Religion.
  • We cherish and acknowledge the beauty and contributions of the Middle East culture, but recognize that the Arab/Moslem world is in desperate need of constructive self-criticism and reform.
  • We seek dialogue with Israel. We invite you to join us on a path of love.
I'll see what I can find in terms of background on the group later. It probably gets slammed by both sides. I can relate.

Addendum: Here's a video of a couple of their representatives, one of whom is founder Nonie Darwish.

Second Addendum: Well, the group is pretty one-dimensional. I expected it to be pro-Israel, because, well, that's in the name of the website. But there's little nuance in the articles, although this one is kind of interesting. It doesn't blame the Palestinians, but rather "Arab meddling" for the perpetual crisis, with an interesting perspective on the history.

Still, it's an interesting political development. Let's see how they play into other reconciliation efforts.

Third Addendum: I was hoping the organization would be more focused on gestures like this one.


Ahmadinejad visits the friendly town

He was in New York speaking at Columbia University. At this point I only know what's in this article and what has been posted in threads below.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks and defended the right to cast doubt on the Holocaust in a tense appearance Monday at Columbia University, whose president accused the hard-line leader of behaving like "a petty and cruel dictator."

Ahmadinejad smiled at first but appeared increasingly agitated, decrying the "insults" and "unfriendly treatment." Columbia President Lee Bollinger and audience members took him to task over Iran's human-rights record and foreign policy, as well as Ahmadinejad's statements denying the Holocaust and calling for the disappearance of Israel.

Mark has e-mailed something to me. I'll review it and comment later.

I will credit him for one thing - not isolating himself and staying composed. It would be nice if he stopped beating, jailing, and killing his opponents at home.

Addendum: Here's a video clip link from Mark. I don't have the software here at work, but I'll watch it at home. It's probably on Youtube by now as well.

Second Addendum: From the UK Guardian: "What Michel Foucault and Jean-Paul Sartre have to teach us about how to respond to President Ahmadinejad's US visit."

Third Addendum: Here's the Youtube of part of Bollinger's opening remarks. Meanwhile, the Columbia Dean says that he would have invited Hitler to speak under similar circumstances. All about the right not just to speak, but to hear.

Fourth Addendum: There is mitigating context to the "Israel should disappear" comment. It's not calling for somebody to destroy Israel, but sort of suggesting that "like the Soviet Union" it will fall from its own lack of viability. From Wikipedia:
On December 12, 2006, Ahmadinejad addressed the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust, and made comments about the future of Israel. He said, "Israel is about to crash. This is God's promise and the wish of all the world's nations." He continued, "Everyone must know that just as the U.S.S.R. disappeared, this will also be the fate of the Zionist regime, and humanity will be free."
However, the "wiped off the map" quote is a little more troubling, though the translation of that phrase is in dispute. Juan Cole believes, again, it was not about physical destruction, but about hoping the regime would "collapse."


People vs. PALCO "fully briefed"

Rose has the docket info and link.

So now, unless the panel or one of the parties requests oral argument, it's we wait. Well, we wait anyway, but you know what I mean.


Tip regarding Redway mail and Netflix

As previously discussed and as Redway residents are aware, the Post Office boxes are closed to the box holders after 8:30 p.m. on weekdays, and after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, meaning for instance that when I couldn't get to the post office before noon on the Saturday of Labor Day, I had to wait until Tuesday to get my mail. For those of us who actually work for a living and have kids who need meals and have to be put to bed, the new policy is a hardship.

But that's not what I'm whining about today.

Normally, if I've gotten my Netflix movies into the mail by pick-up time in Redway it it's gotten to the warehouse in San Jose by Monday, or Tuesday in the event of a holiday. There is a sign on the Redway slots which request that you place your Netflix movie into the "local" slot rather than the "out of town" slot, something which I did dutifully for a couple of weeks. But in both of those weeks the movie did not make it to San Jose by Monday, which means it did not leave Redway until Monday. The movie didn't make it until Wednesday meaning I didn't get the new movie until Friday.

So I experimented. For two weeks in a row I have placed my movies in the "out of town" box. Last week my movie made it by Monday, and I just confirmed the same for this week.

I'm more than happy to accommodate the local Post Office workers so that their jobs are easier. But in return I would request that they do me the courtesy of making sure my mail gets out on time.


Meanwhile, it looks like the Fortuna Post Office is upsetting at least one of its customers with what the individual thinks might be an ADA violation.

Does Fortuna have home delivery? Because I'm thinking that Redway residents should start demanding it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Powell then, Petraeus now

An interesting read from Media Matters essentially suggesting what we all know - the media fawns over a uniform.
Did that voice inside you say, "I've heard it all before"?

In August, Sidney Blumenthal noted similarities between Gen. David Petraeus and former Secretary of State Colin Powell:

As Gen. David Petraeus prepares to deliver his report in September on the "surge" in Iraq, he is elevated into the ultimate reliable source, just as former Secretary of State Colin Powell's sterling reputation was exploited for his delivery of the case for invasion before the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, a date that will live in mendacity, for every statement he made was later revealed to be false; Powell regretted publicly that it was an everlasting "blot" on his good name. ... He was Petraeus before Petraeus, the good soldier before the good soldier, window-dressing before window-dressing.

As Blumenthal observed, Powell, like Petraeus, enjoyed a "sterling reputation" that was used to enhance the credibility of his case and to discourage scrutiny.

It is impossible to overstate just how thoroughly the vast majority of the media bought what Powell was selling. Without pausing to examine his claims or the credibility of his evidence, they declared his U.N. address a home run. The media's swift and fawning reaction to Powell's speech is one of the true low points in their coverage of the Bush administration and the Iraq war -- and that is no small feat.

I remember Powell's presentation well. It was much later reported that he was angry about having to present it, screaming at his handlers the night before. In one of those precious twists of irony, Powell's people requested that the Picasso painting Guernica on the UN's wall be covered up for the presentation. And even as the European press was already fact-checking and would be taking his story apart within hours of its delivery, the American media were reporting a "slam dunk."

As the French ambassador was delivering the rebuttal, CNN's Paula Zahn, who had been talking to some Hoover Institute flak, tuned in just long enough to realize he wasn't going to tow the line. She donned her patented grimace of disgust and asked rhetorically, "didn't he listen to what General Powell said?"

Again the American media is dropping the ball, after years of profuse apologies for dropping it in exactly the same way before the war.

The image comes from Juan Cole's site.


Hillary Clinton will be the next president - episode 259

She won't have my vote, not in the primaries anyway. But she won't need it. The link takes you to a summary of her performance on the news shows. She knows what she's doing. That family knows how to win elections.

And as long as voters fail to penalize candidates for refusing to answer questions, candidate like her will win every election. Every single one.

I suppose if the economy turned around, or the public could be convinced that we could "win" in Iraq, whatever that means, she could lose without a major implosion. But that's not likely. Neither is an implosion.


Walk in the Park fundraiser happening as I type

I just came home from the event. My daughter needed a nap, but the rest of my family is still down there having a ball. There's still plenty of food, kids' activities, music from Steel Toed Slippers, and good company. Head down there if you're looking for something to fill the rest of a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Addendum: Okay, that's not the right image, but I guess it'll do for now.

Second Addendum: It was a great day! Mellow. Kids all had a great time. Nobody intoxicated. The community could use more events like this.


Documentary on Pete Seeger coming out shortly

I'm looking forward to it. He's got to be in his 90s by now, but even though he's "retired" I keep hearing about performances he makes. From the Variety review:
As certain to get auds singing as the man himself, "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" is a terrific, multilayered portrait of a singer whose legacy extends beyond music and into every major social action movement since the 1940s. With unprecedented access to family and colleagues -- even Bob Dylan appears -- helmer Jim Brown follows Seeger's career from the hit parade to the blacklist, encompassing civil rights and environmental activism. Always enjoyable, this docu proves that a few rare people actually deserve the hagiography treatment. Perfect for PBS, the pic should find fervent fans on regional arthouse screens and DVD.

"He's a living testament to the First Amendment," proclaims the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines, about the man called the "high priest of folk music." Combining a calm, innate dignity with an ego-free temperament, Seeger is impossible to dislike, his righteousness always paired with respect and thus utterly disarming. Even now, in his late 80s, he can be seen not just on the concert stage but on the street corner, protesting the Iraq invasion as Joe Citizen and not Mr. Celebrity.

Somebody sent the link to me in an e-mail. It jogged an old memory of a documentary about the Weavers entitled "Wasn't that a Time?" which contained clips from the 1950s as well as their late seventies reunion at Carnegie Hall shortly before Lee Hayes died. It's not yet on DVD I'm afraid.

Can't even count the number of times I've seen him whether at ticketed concerts, political demonstrations, or Lincoln Brigade reunions. His music is sort of a staple in the upbringing of any red-diaper baby, or in my case a red-diaper grand-baby.

He was a Communist Party member until the 1950s, and found it in himself to slam Stalin decades later. He did show some independence in the early 1980s when he put his name on a public petition in support of the Polish Solidarity Union, but was browbeat by hard-lined activists until he asked for it to be removed. Recently he's reportedly opened up a dialog with commie-turned-conservative Ron Radosh.

A living icon however. As he was quoted in the documentary Seeing Red, "pity not the man who fought and failed. Pity the man who just didn't give a damn." Or something like that. I can't find the quote at the moment.

Photo comes from the Harvard Square Library.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


The privatization of war

Apparently the Iraqi government has a Blackwater incident on tape. And there are allegations of other incidents as well.
Khalaf also said the ministry was looking into six other fatal shootings involving the Moyock, N.C.-based company in which 10 Iraqis were killed and 15 wounded. Among the shootings was one Feb. 7 outside Iraqi state television in Baghdad that killed three building guards.

"These six cases will support the case against Blackwater, because they show that it has a criminal record," Khalaf said.

Khalaf said the report was "sent to the judiciary" although he would not specify whether that amounted to filing of criminal charges. Under Iraqi law, an investigating judge reviews criminal complaints and decides whether there is enough evidence for a trial.

So, exactly when did the media concede the exchange of the term "contractor" for "mercenary?"

But if you want to consider the upside, the government action against Blackwater does indicate that at least some elements of the government are independent. I'll be curious to see how the administration plays this.

According to this blogger, where I got the above photo of Blackwater operatives, the "contractors" exceed the number of troops in Iraq. That seems incredible to me, but then we have no way of knowing for sure. Obviously we won't have any statistics on their deaths, and probably not the harm they inflict. If you remember the Fallujah incident from a few years back, war supporters slammed anybody who asked whether they might have done anything to provoke such a reaction from the mob who lynched them. It seemed like "blaming the victim," but there haven't been comparable actions against regular soldiers.

Meanwhile, the Nation has a partial transcript of Jeremy Scahill's testimony before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. It begins as follows:
My name is Jeremy Scahill. I am an investigative reporter for The Nation magazine and the author of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. I have spent the better part of the past several years researching the phenomenon of privatized warfare and the increasing involvement of the private sector in the support and waging of US wars. During the course of my investigations, I have interviewed scores of sources, filed many Freedom of Information Act requests, obtained government contracts and private company documents of firms operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. When asked, I have attempted to share the results of my investigations, including documents obtained through FOIA and other processes, with members of Congress and other journalists.
Update: Apparently, the Iraqi government has been pleading with ours to do something about Blackwater for some time. The US-drawn regulations don't allow the Iraqi authorities to do anything about them. And they aren't regulated by the US military system. They are literally above and outside the law. Can't be touched.

Second Update: Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice and the Iraqi president pretty much avoided each other at the UN.


The Arkley family responds

Not about the incident specifically. But one of the Arkley daughters is slamming Glass, saying he was "insensitive" in their discussion about the stickers a year ago. And the new PR guy is framing the confrontation in terms of "an angry parent."

As they say about the best defense.

Addendum: Heraldo covers a radio interview this new PR guy, Steven Glazer, made. It's all a counter-attack. Well, maybe I'm seeing this wrong. I've been wrong before. But I think Arkley is making a huge mistake here. The pro-Marina Center forces had the high road and a surprising level of support coming out of last fall's election. They're squandering it.

Friday, September 21, 2007


ACLU press release re surveillance cameras in Arcata

Thursday, September 20, 2007


For Immediate Release

ACLU Expresses Dismay At Arcata Spy Cam Plan

At the regular monthly meeting of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU Board of Directors today, local civil rights leaders condemned the 3-2 vote last night by the Arcata City Council to move forward with plans concocted by Arcata Police chief Randy Mendosa to install a high-tech surveillance camera system on the Arcata Plaza.

The Council unanimously defeated this same plan back in 2001 after a massive public outcry over the civil liberties implications of spying on local residents as they work, shop, protest and play in their town square, said Redwood ACLU chair Christina Allbright. Their flip-flop in favor of an intrusive and ineffective spy camera system will not go unnoticed in our community.

After several public comments against the plan by ACLU spokespersons and local residents, including former councilmember Dave Meserve, the City Council did agree to bring back to a future meeting a policy under development by city manager Michael Hackett. Thankfully there are members of the City Council such as Paul Pitino and Harmony Groves who see the danger to civil liberties inherent to this proposal. We thank them for their strong stand against a repeat of this foolish idea.

The Council also repeatedly referred to a 28-page page report prepared this summer by the ACLU of Northern California which provided detailed research on how public surveillance camera systems have proven ineffective and prone to corrupt uses such as racial profiling.

"Government-run video surveillance can radically alter the relationship between law enforcement and the public. By itself, pervasive video surveillance threatens privacy rights. But even more disturbing, the threat multiplies when government combines cameras with emerging technologies", stated the report. "Surveillance cameras will not improve public safety, and limited funds can be better spent on programs that are both proven effective and less invasive, such as improved lighting, foot patrols, and real community policing."

In response to the forthcoming Arcata public surveillance policy, the Redwood ACLU plans a series of public forums in Arcata to disseminate the report's findings, provide an account of the previously defeated spy cam plan in 2001 and promote community input prior to the adoption of the new policy. "A diverse set of Arcata residents from across the political spectrum mobilized to put a stop to this scheme six years ago, and we were successful," said Redwood ACLU vice chair Greg Allen. "We did it before, and apparently we will have to do it again since some of the councilmembers subsequently elected just didn't get the message. "

Local ACLU leaders also expressed particular concern with the appearance of a conflict of interest on the part of councilmember Alex Stillman, who owns several properties on the Plaza and who even stated last night that she was considering installing a substantially similar private surveillance system at her own expense and on her own building, that is, unless the City of Arcata spent public tax dollars to do much the same thing. Stillman cast the tie-breaking vote to move in the direction of a policy that would by her own admission materially affect her property and her business affairs, said Allen. The appearance of conflict under the Brown Act and under Arcata's own Code of Ethics makes it clear she should step aside when this policy comes back for a vote later this year.

The state affiliate of the ACLU has made their report, entitled "Under the Watchful Eye: The Proliferation of Video Surveillance Systems in California," available for public viewing on their website, For more information about the Redwood Chapter's forthcoming public forums on local surveillance issues, call Arcata attorney Greg Allen at 825-0826, or call the Redwood ACLU hotline at 215-5385.


Israel attack on Syria confirmed

According to this Guardian article.
The leader of the rightwing Likud party said he had given the prime minister, Ehud Olmert, his backing for the attack, which Damascus said took place on September 6. Before that, the Israeli government had enforced a news blackout on the story.

Asked during a TV interview, Mr Netanyahu said: "When a prime minister does something that is important and necessary to Israel's security ... I give my backing." He refused to give further details.

Shades of Israel vs. Iraq, circa 1981. The Syrians claim to have chased the Israelis off. The US and others claimed the attack was aimed at nuclear industrial items related to North Korea's program. Syria denies it.

I've said before that I've had mixed feelings about the attack on Iraq in 1981. And every nation has the right to defend itself. But if you're going to attack another country, you owe the rest of the world an explanation.

Addendum: this blogger tracked down some more details.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Some random news items

I'm working a late nighter on a brief due tomorrow. I took a break and found some interesting items for discussion, but I don't have the time or energy to put together any profound thoughts.


Bull Connor may be gone, but thousands came to Jena, New Orleans to protest arbitrary prosecutions. What's weird is how one of the school board members described to Amy Goodman how the D.A. basically took over their meeting and prevented the board from asking questions about the incident before deciding on the expulsions. Attempted murder does seem excessive for the facts that have been described in the media. But as I've said in other contexts, I won't second-guess a prosecutor based on media reports. But the conduct with the school board is bizarre, as if he was afraid of something. He shouldn't have been present, let alone presuming to advise the Board on how it should conduct its business.


Yeah, global warming is a hoax perpetrated by eco-frauds who want to undermine Stephen's Heartlands Project. But somehow, the polar ice that melted this summer exceeds the area of Alaska and Texas combined.


Norman Hsu is being accused of a Ponzi scheme.


Domestic police agencies will now receive satellite surveillance data from Homeland Security. Feel safer now? From the article:
Quite simply, spies don’t have to ask permission to eavesdrop on foreign targets. They have incredibly broad latitude under American law to gather information about our enemies and allies abroad. But Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan on December 4, 1981, bars the intelligence community from most forms of eavesdropping at home.

Domestic law enforcement operates under entirely different constraints. The Constitution guarantees Americans the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. So if, say, the NYPD wants to bug a suspected drug dealer’s phone, they have to convince a judge that they have probable cause.

It would defeat the purpose of our current safeguards if domestic law enforcement authorities could simply ask the CIA for intelligence it was legally barred from collecting on their own, or vice versa.


And from Dissent, a brief history on the term "neocon." Now you can know when to use it. Or avoid overusing it.


Okay, back to work.


Obviously with plenty of time on its hands, the Senate strikes a bold blow for justice

Apparently, it wasn't enough to fawn over the general. You've got to condemn his critics too.

Give her some credit. Hillary Clinton was not among the 20 Democrats who voted for the thing. Webb (not a huge surprise actually) and Leahy (a big surprise!) signed off on it as well. The resolution claims that attacking the general is to attack the "integrity and honor" of all of the soldiers.

You know, it wasn't the most constructive ad (apologies to the father of my friend and fellow Sohum resident who put it together). But hyperbole is an integral part of rigorous debate on controversial policies. And here, Glass is being called a "whiner" by his detractors for his claims of physical assault and battery.

The text and names of those who voted for the resolution can be found here.

MoveOn's response.

Meanwhile, also in the story linked at the top, the Democrats couldn't override a Republican filibuster against legislation that would have mandated a timeline for withdrawal. Oh, and would have mandated that soldiers get as much time at home as they have to serve in Iraq. So who's not supporting the troops again? How much do you want to bet that the average soldier would rather have the time with their families than the dubious honor afforded them by an anti-MoveOn resolution?

Addendum: Calitics has a great discussion of the controversy, Diane Feinstein's vote, and the ad itself.

Update: MoveOn is apparently fund raising quite well as a result of the senate vote.


Liberals are smarter than conservatives

It's scientifically proven folks!
Why Liberals Are Smarter than Conservatives

By Erica Schickel, HuffingtonPost. com

Posted on September 19, 2007, Printed on September 19, 2007

http://www.alternet .org/story/ 62436/

Once again science has confirmed what we already know: liberals and
conservatives think differently. Neuroscientists at NYU and UCLA
conducted a simple test on college students all along the political
spectrum.They were seated in front of computers and given the simple
task of pressing a key every time the letter "M" flashed on the screen.
Here's the hitch: every once in a while the letter "W" would flash and
the subjects were told to not push a key when they saw "W."

Both groups recognized the letter "M" accurately. But when that pesky
"W" popped up the conservatives just couldn't help themselves and --
DOH! -- they pushed the key! They simply could not recognize any letter
not being "M." They continued to dogmatically stab away at the keyboard
not seeing the letter so plainly in front of them. Everyone, of course,
was hooked up to electroencephalogra ms, and liberals EEG's lit up like
pinball machines while apprehending and considering all the subtle
differences between "M" and "W." They made fewer mistakes and
demonstrated a greater subtlety of mind. Conservatives, ever the
partisans, just declared "W" was "M" and called it a day.
Hit the link for whole article, which goes on to describe additional research which shows that "liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy."

Brain image comes from

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Tased and Confused

Well, for those of you who haven't seen the video, you can access it here. Is it custom and practice to taser people when they're on the ground with hands cuffed behind their backs?

Granted, the guy was obnoxious. As someone who's helped to organize many a forum, I find the dweebs - who refuse to ask the question but instead trail on forever on their own pet topic at the expense of a captive audience who really came to hear someone else speak - annoying (edit). The sense of self-importance and complete disregard for everyone else is unfortunately an extension of the politics of the me-generation.

But this kid really hadn't been up there that long. He made a short speech and his questions weren't really intended to generate meaningful answers. And he was quite animated. But those officers were really quick to get up there, and he obviously wasn't any kind of threat to anyone.

Now just imagine if those cops had been around for last year's Mateel meeting!

You can read more about the Gainesville incident here. That's also where I got the photo. There are more.


Reminder - Hank Sims will join me tomorrow (Thursday) night

We'll talk county politics, probably starting with his meeting with the Arcata Mainstreet gang over the NCJ cover of a few weeks ago. We'll probably discuss the Avalon incident and perhaps the Harbor Commission campaigns along with the port/rail issues which will probably define the campaigns.

And we may also discuss the NCJ cover story of the week which covers the failure of Fortuna Mayor and PALCO official John Campbell to disclose income from PALCO on his annual statements of economic interest as is required of many public officials in California. Some excerpts from the article which will be available online tomorrow and on Sohum stands by Friday.
Campbell said last week that there has been no need to disclose his payments under the deferred compensation plan. He said that as he understands the law -- California's Political Reform Act -- he has no obligation to, as his plan qualifies as a type of retirement fund exempt from disclosure. A guidebook published by the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state body charged with enforcing the Political Reform Act, states that officeholders are not required to disclose payments received from a 401(k) retirement plan, and that many assets in individual retirement accounts are likewise exempt from reporting requirements.

But in one way, at least, the terms of the deferred compensation plan contract between Campbell and Pacific Lumber are unlike those of any individual retirement account or 401(k): It obligates Campbell to the company for as long as the plan is active. According to the contract, Campbell is required to provide services to Pacific Lumber in his retirement if the company so desires, and he is required not act in any way that would adversely impact the company's interests.

"If the Board determines that any Participant, during the period when he or she was an employee of the Affiliated Group or thereafter, was guilty of an act of Material Misconduct, then such Participant's entire undistributed Deferred Compensation Account (and all rights with respect thereto) shall be forfeited," reads section 4(g) of the contract. "The term 'Material Misconduct' means any act or omission which materially and adversely affects the best interests of Pacific or any other member of the Affiliated Group or any person with whom Pacific or any such member has a substantial economic relationship." Later in the same paragraph, it is noted that the company's board of directors has the "sole and absolute" discretion to determine whether or not a participant in the plan is guilty of material misconduct.

Campbell said last week that Pacific Lumber had never exercised a section of the contract that would require him perform consulting services for the company. And he maintained that despite the contract's seemingly clear language concerning "misconduct," the only thing that would trigger forfeiture would be going to work for a competitor, or somehow disgracing the company by committing a crime. He pointed to language in the contract that describes a participant in the deferred compensation program as having a "vested" interest in the account.

I'll link to the article as soon as it's up. As always, All Things Reconsidered airs at 7:00. Call-in format.

Addendum: The article's up.


SF Bay Guardian editorial: 3 point plan to save San Francisco

Despite the fact that real property values are plummeting, rents are going through the roof in San Francisco. It seems like a paradox, but there are reasons for it.

The "free market" approaches the mayor Gavin Newsom has proposed and implemented aren't working because all of the new construction is higher end. The Bay Guardian analyzes the existing policies for their inadequacies then proposes some radical approaches to affordable housing. I don't have time to summarize them at this moment, but needless to say developers and conservatives aren't going to like the proposals.

Thing is, I think progressives ought to consider similar proposals here, tailored to the local economy since in fact San Francisco's economic base is pretty well shored up while ours is fading fast.

Images of the ugly Rincon Hill come from this real estate site.


Pat Higgins' press conference

The ER covered it.
Higgins, who has a background in business and is a fisheries professional, said he supports promoting realistic and desirable development while protecting the environment and quality of life.

Additionally, Higgins said he supports the development of a Humboldt Bay bike and pedestrian trail system.

A trail system would attract tourism and play an important part in the economy, he said.

Higgins also described himself as an avid fisherman, and said he would work to strengthen aquaculture and fishing industries as well as to maintain facilities.

As a fisheries professional, Higgins said he would also increase the role of the harbor district in restoring the bay, by reconnecting watersheds and wetlands and improving the fish habitat, while also creating living-wage jobs.

“Let’s diversify,” he said.
Have at it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Another Republican contender for president

Since Alan Keyes did so well in the first two runs, and in his run for the Illinois Senate position (moving from Maryland to Illinois to run just a few years after slamming Hilary Clinton as a "carpetbagger"), he's hoping the third try will be the charm.

I wouldn't have much against the guy except for his horrible treatment of his daughter Maya. Maya came out as a lesbian (and an anarchist) and her father basically disowned her. She has a blog of her own. She was a teenager when he turned his back on her. There's no excuse.

I'll expand on this post more later on. I've got a few things to say about it all.

The photo above comes from an old In These Times article about his senate run.

Maya's photo comes from her blog. She's a very remarkable young woman, and potentially a brilliant writer. Her consciousness apparently diverged from her father's view after volunteering her time with teenage AIDS victims. While she has abandoned her father's politics, she remains very much a Christian and pro-life.

More later.


Arkley the Kingfish?

Rich Somerville makes the comparisons. It's not altogether a negative association. Huey Long did a lot of good for his constituents, corruption aside. Thinking of the line from Evita, "and why not do one or two of the things we promise too."

Long had some great quotes:

“One of these days the people of Louisiana are going to get good government - and they aren't going to like it.”

“The time has come for all good men to rise above principle.”

“Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.”

Of course, his corruption was legend, as well as his "Share our Wealth" associations such as the anti-Semitic nutjob Father Charles Coughlin. The SOW Silvershirts were considered the American manifestation of the international fascist movement - the equivalent of the German Brown Shirts and Mussolini's Black Shirts.

This wasn't really Long's agenda however, and some left wing historians have some grudging admiration for his willingness to take on prevailing power. From Spartacus:
Long quoted research that suggested "2% of the people owned 60% of the wealth". In one radio broadcast he told the listeners: "God called: 'Come to my feast.' But what had happened? Rockefeller, Morgan, and their crowd stepped up and took enough for 120,000,000 people and left only enough for 5,000,000 for all the other 125,000,000 to eat. And so many millions must go hungry."
Obviously you can only carry the analogy with Arkley so far.

The photo comes from the Spartacus page linked above.


An old photo

Not that old actually. It's from the big Eureka anti-war demo circa March of 2003, taken from the vantage point of the Courthouse steps. I believe my mother found it at Indymedia.

What she noticed in the photo was me, my kid (then about 1.5 years old) and my dog. After you click on it to enlarge it, you should notice to the left of the center of the photo you'll see a guy in a red jacket (me) with my son in a backpack on my back, and an Australian shepherd/spaniel mutt on a leash (my dog Yuri).

FYI, in the foreground the Women in Black are sharing the Courthouse front yard with a counter-demonstration, with at least one participant most likely in the John Birch Society (nobody else is really obsessed with the UN). I remember the moment well. As I walked by there were a couple of arguments but nothing intense. It was, and remains, the largest anti-war demonstration in Humboldt County history. A good day for the First Amendment if nothing else.


Monday, September 17, 2007


OJ all the way!

OJ, well... yeah right. You really think I'm going there?

Due to a family emergency I'm in the Bay Area. I had to endure about 45 minutes of OJ coverage on Fox News yesterday - most of it Geraldo's!! I mean, it's one thing to be a right wing power-hungry wantabe media overlord, but what possessed Murdoch to give this guy a camera and microphone!

I have to admit, there were some amusing moments; such as when Mark Fuhrman's crypto-fascist mug popped onto the screen in a box with a caption that read his name followed by "Fox News Analyst." They forgot to mention his history with OJ. I guess they had a lot on their minds. You can't write better satire, you just can't!

Okay, get it out of your system because I'd just as soon dedicate all of my posts for the next month on Britney Spears' new baby as spend any time on this. This is your OJ thread on this forum. Make hay while the sun shines.

Gawd! Can you imagine what the blogosphere would have looked like if it had existed, what is it now, 14 years ago?

I subbed at his high school a few times. He went to Galileo High School in SF, located near Ghiradeli Square. I'd been told that he'd attended Woodrow Wilson, but no, they just had a big painting of him in their library. I hope the district sold it for some good money.

Not that I'm going to pay much more attention, but let's hope that the Las Vegas Police are a little more competent than L.A.'s, who proved so inept they couldn't frame a guilty man.

Photo comes from ESPN's Black History Month article on race in sports politics, a good read actually.


Pat Higgins press release

Note - as always, all candidates are welcome to send announcements which I will post.

Pat Higgins press conference has been moved to Tuesday 12:15 PM.

Come down to the foot of F Street - the Boardwalk - in Eureka to support Pat Higgins at his Humboldt Bay District campaign kick off Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 12:15 PM!

Fisheries professional and North Coast businessman Pat Higgins will formally announce his candidacy for the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District at 12:15 PM on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the foot of F Street on Eureka's waterfront.

Higgins, who on Thursday received the endorsement of the Humboldt County Central Democratic Committee, is running for the Fifth Division commission seat. Pat is running against a 16-year incumbent.

Higgins seeks to pursue a realistic and balanced approach to the District's harbor, recreation and conservation elements.

Pat understands the important role our bay can play in our economy and is committed to the creation of living wage jobs. He will use his business and fisheries experience to help diversify and strengthen bay commerce while protecting the environment and our quality of life.

Pat will emphasize greater access to Humboldt Bay for recreational use. In particular he will prioritize the development of a bay bike and pedestrian trail system and improved fishing access infrastructure.

Higgins will also push for a more active role for the district in pollution prevention and cleanup as well as needed wetland and estuary restoration.

Thanks for your support for Pat Higgins for Humboldt Bay !

Kier Associates, Fisheries and Watershed Professionals
P.O. Box 915
Blue Lake, CA 95525
mobile: 498.7847


Arkley/Glass from the offline public

The reviews are coming in.

Yesterday's TS editorial tentatively steps in line behind Hank Sims in suggesting that the allegations are serious - which seems to move a little bit beyond the "let's be nice" theme of last week's editorial.

This letter to the Times Standard says that Glass was right from the beginning and lists off various nefarious Arkley acts.

This letter's title tells both antagonists to "grow up," but then the author proceeds to call Glass a "cry baby."

Meanwhile, last week's ER posted yet another conspiracy theory letter.

No sage words from the ER editorial department yet.


Two Restaurant incident reports and an etiquette debate for a quiet Monday morning

Reportedly happened at Emmy's in San Francisco:

A noticeably dissatisfied female customer is complaining about the vegetables. They aren't cooked enough for her. She asks for some vinegar and a very patient Chinese waiter smiles and responds.

"Yes. Winegar."

Woman: "That's vinegar please!"

Waiter: "Yes, winegar. One moment please."

Woman: "Sir. It's pronounced vvvinegar."

The waiter stops smiling and goes to the back. He comes back out with the vinegar, slams it on the table, startling her, and says with a raised voice: "Wwwwwwinegar!!"

No more complaints.


At breakfast at a restaurant in Lynden, Washington, a few years back.

A woman is there with a friend and her toddler who is fussing. She is unable to satisfy him. The noise disturbs the couple at the next table. The male half turns around and says, "Madam! Would you please be a mother to that child so we can enjoy our breakfast?!"

The woman cocks her head, pauses, then responds: "I beg your pardon?"

The conversation goes downhill from there. Since it was reported to me (I don't have more facts, so don't bother asking for them), I have debated with various acquaintances which of the parties was more appropriate (or less inappropriate).


Sunday, September 16, 2007


Local thinker on the "meaning of matter"

Some of you may know Douglas George, a good friend of mine and a former resident of Sohum now inhabiting Eureka (his wife Bonnie Burgess now gracing the airwaves of KHSU with her early music collection, having formerly done the same for KMUD). He is working on a paper entitled Vacuum Density Gradients, Spheroidal Singularities, Black Holes, and The Meaning of Matter.

His thesis is essentially that matter is nothing. Or more precisely, matter is simply a manifestation of space itself.

Please don't start with the spiritual-babble which became trendy in the 1980's with the distribution of books like The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu Li Masters, or more recently with What the Bleep - in which the Aquarian Conspiracy types claimed that science in the form of quantum mechanics had merged with eastern spirituality. Most of the adherents were heavy on the spiritual-babble and facile with regard to the science, greatly oversimplifying what they didn't understand. Despite the Zenesque implications, Douglas is pretty much a materialist in his view of the universe. He won't want to hear about how his thesis, if true, reinforces your spiritual views. If he's feeling polite, he'll try not to yawn.

I don't follow much of the paper (and I have no idea what the diagram above represents - click on it to enlarge), but maybe there are some out there who can follow it all and give him some useful feedback.

His site has some other interesting stuff as well.


New documentary on Dalton Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo was among other things a screenwriter famous for Johnny got his Gun and famous or infamous, depending on your point of view, for his refusal to testify for HUAC earning him the honor of contempt of Congress (spent nearly a year in jail) and a blacklisting which would earn him a spot in the Hollywood Ten. He would revive his career somewhat when he produced Spartacus (which unfortunately inspired a long series of cheap imitations including Gladiator and Braveheart), the epic which was designed and had the effect of breaking the back of the Hollywood blacklist. He didn't get along with the writer, Howard Fast, whom he considered to be dogmatic and narrow-minded. But the movie was made using a number of blacklisted individuals and it made the difference.

Through the experience Trumbo wrote,"This blacklisting is going to collapse because it is rotten, immoral and illegal. I am one day going to be working openly in the motion picture industry. When that day comes, I swear to you that I will never sign a term contract with any major studio. I will, proudly and by preference, do at least one picture a year for King Brothers, and I will try to make it the best picture that I have it in me to do." (from Trumbo's letter to the King Brothers, in The Penguin Book of Hollywood, ed. by Christopher Sylvester, 1998)

He was a member of the Communist Party for about 5 years, most of them during the war. But he was what Marxists refer to as an "idealist" and really had no interest in reading Marx or pontificating about class struggle. He was attributed with the statement, "I never considered the working class anything other than something to get out of."

He also bucked the party line when it came to his forgiveness of Hollywood figures who did squeal, such as Elia Kazan (who had been friends with Arthur Miller, the latter of whom took a couple of decades to forgive). Trumbo viewed them as victims of McCarthyism rather than collaborators.

The L.A. Times reviews the documentary, entitled simply Trumbo. Since I'm plugging their review, I won't feel guilty using their photo.

I'm not finding a website for the documentary, but IMDB has this page up.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Three day bombing blitz planned for Iran

From the UK Times:
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.

Now the right thing's the wrong thing,
No more excuses to come.
Just one step at a time
And the war has begun.

Just a roll, just a roll....

From Sloth by Fairport Convention

Photo comes from War Resisters International.


"An ass-kissing little chickenshit" - real quote?

According to the article, written by Gareth Porter, the conflict between General Petraeus and his superior officer General Fallon is "one of the most intense clashes between U.S. military leaders in recent history."

From the Inter-Press Service:
WASHINGTON, Sep 12 (IPS) - In sharp contrast to the lionisation of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the U.S. Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus's superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.

Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" and added, "I hate people like that", the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

That extraordinarily contentious start of Fallon's mission to Baghdad led to more meetings marked by acute tension between the two commanders. Fallon went on develop his own alternative to Petraeus's recommendation for continued high levels of U.S. troops in Iraq during the summer.

The enmity between the two commanders became public knowledge when the Washington Post reported Sep. 9 on intense conflict within the administration over Iraq. The story quoted a senior official as saying that referring to "bad relations" between them is "the understatement of the century".

Fallon's derision toward Petraeus reflected both the CENTCOM commander's personal distaste for Petraeus's style of operating and their fundamental policy differences over Iraq, according to the sources.

The policy context of Fallon's extraordinarily abrasive treatment of his subordinate was Petraeus's agreement in February to serve as front man for the George W. Bush administration's effort to sell its policy of increasing U.S. troop strength in Iraq to Congress.

In a highly unusual political role for an officer who had not yet taken command of a war, Petraeus was installed in the office of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, in early February just before the Senate debated Bush's troop increase. According to a report in The Washington Post Feb. 7, senators were then approached on the floor and invited to go McConnell's office to hear Petraeus make the case for the surge policy.
There's more where that came from.

I should note that a National Review blogger regards IPS as a "lefty 'news' service, the extent of the rebuttal being "
Hey, I’m sure this must be true. No doubt IPS reporters have great military sources."

Another right wing blogger has this to say:
The left just cannot help themselves. They are now repeating a completely unsourced, anonymous allegation that Admiral William Fallon called Petraeus “ ass-kissing little chickenshit.” I normally would edit that remark, but I think in this case the full effect needs to be put out there.
I should say that I'm not finding the story on any of the mainstream media nor, so far, the more prominent leftist periodicals. However, I'm not finding any denials either, nor any serious attempts at deconstruction. And other than the very illustrative language, it's not inconsistent with other reports in a very under-covered story.

I'm also not quite sure what a source "familiar with reports of the meeting" is. Doesn't sound like a direct witness. Would a statement like that have been included on a written report, even a confidential one?

Just asking questions.

Gareth Porter is renowned as a journalist and historian and doesn't have a history of exposed falsification. The biggest controversy seems to the that he was in denial of the Kmer Rouge mass killings for a brief time, but admitted his mistake in 1978, much earlier than left figures like Jim Wallis or Noam Chomsky. He's got some very dramatic quotes, and it seems unlikely that he would conjure them up. Then again, he could be over-trusting of his sources, as Dan Rather was.

Please forward any information to me, because if Porter's sources are on the up-and-up, this is a pretty big story.

Addendum: Here's a Washington Post article re Fallon v. Petraeus.

Second addendum: This blog references a memo which reads:
Thanks for your inquiry.

The story is inaccurate. Admiral Fallon and General Petraeus have an
outstanding relationship.

LCDR Scott Miller
CENTCOM Public Affairs
Gee. I guess that's that.


Green wheelin'

Courtesy of Mark K.:

Green Wheelers,

Next Thursday, September 20th, Green Wheels will be hosting the fifth annual Car-Free Day celebration. That is right, the international celebration of sustainable transportation is happening again! Last year Humboldt State University's Car-Free Day was a huge success: over 200 riders participated in the Tour d'Arcata bike ride, 300 bikers and bus riders enjoyed a delicious community sponsored breakfast, movies were watched, games were played, and B-Street was transformed into a beautiful, walk-able pedestrian thorofare.

You can participate by riding in the Tour d'Arcata, a massive community bike ride, followed by a community sponsored breakfast. Use chalk to create a giant mural down B-street, or simply walk up the middle of the street and enjoy. You can also participate by coming to Arcata's first ever bike-in/walk-in movie. Admission is free. Check out our website, for more info.

Of course we can't do this with out the support of volunteers. Here is what we need help with:

6:30am-7:30 Tour d'Arcata Traffic Monitors- ride ahead of group and stop traffic. Monitors needed for all starting locations: Mad River Community Hospital, Bayside Grange, and a few folks at The Plaza. Perks include a sweet vest and breakfast.

6:15am-8:30 Breakfast set up, serving, and clean up. - Perks include making 350 hungry sustainable transporters very happy, breakfast for yourself, and if you would like, a vest. I have broken this up into hour shifts so If you can only make 6:15-7:30 (set up), 7:30-8:30 (server), or 8:30-9:45 (clean up) that would be no problem

8:00am-5:00pm Pastels on B-Street monitors. One hour shifts of monitoring B-street. All you have to do is stand at the top and bottom of B-Street and let emergency and handicap vehicles though. Perks include a sweet vest and a walkie-talkie.

All volunteers get an awesome Car-Free Day sticker and a high five for helping make the fifth annual Car-Free Day a success. Lastly (and for me the most complicated), here is a link to a Car-Free Day Volunteer Spreadsheet. This is an easy way to see what positions we still need filled:

Please email me ( or Green Wheels HSU ( to sign up.

Again check out our website for more info at

Thanks and Hills Yeah,

Sara Dykman

Green Wheels

Friday, September 14, 2007


KMUD notes

I was briefly interviewed for tonight's news. I was asked to read Penal Codes section 71 and 85 and comment on them from an attorney's perspective. I explained the sections then offered up possible defenses based on Glass' allegations.

Also, Hank Sims will join me on All Things Reconsidered next Thursday night (7:00 p.m.) to discuss local politics. I'm sure the Occurrence at Avalon will come up.


More adolescent behavior from alleged adult community leaders reported

Richard Marks reports that Division 5 Harbor Commissioner Charles Ollivier was "going Arkley" on Division 2 candidate Carlos Quilez at a recent public event. I believe Sohum votes on the Division 2 spot (according to Rose, the numbers correspond with the supervisor districts). Pat Higgins is running against Ollivier in the 5th.

Already the posters are arguing about who started it and who deserves what. This years Harbor Commission elections are bound to be contentious in light of the port/train pipedream politics of recent months.

I confess that I haven't followed the matter closely. I can't find a district commission map and the elections department doesn't have anything up yet. I'm thinking about dedicating a radio show in October to the candidates. Any information would be helpful.

Addendum: Thanks to someone off forum for this link to the profiles of the commissioners.

And so far Hank has provided the only media coverage of the races which came up in a quick Google search.

Here is Carlos' campaign web page. Can't find one for Roy Corless but I did come across an ER story about his re-election campaign kick-off.


Humboldt Hills, Bluegrass and Beyond

Renamed from "the Hoe Down" because the former name drew such a... sorry ... bigoted response from its detractors.

Saturday, September 29th

MCC presents
The 3rd annual Humboldt Hills Bluegrass & Beyond

Where: Southern Humboldt Community Park

$40 MCC members/ $42 adv./ $45 at the gate

A benefit for the Mateel Community Center & Southern Humboldt Community Park.


Should candidates do background checks on donors?

Somebody posting here keeps asking me to comment on Norman Hsu. I've responded, but I guess the poster wants front page billing. I've asked for a link to a story of interest to the poster, but so far have received none. So here's an L.A. Times story about how the campaigns are responding to the rash of tainted donations - they're conducting criminal checks on their donors. Today's ER has a cartoon about just that.

So, oh, I guess I'm supposed to comment. Campaign finance controversies in the middle of a presidential campaign. Maybe the candidates haven't been completely honest, but as always nobody really important will get nailed. Woo hoo.

Anything else?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Cotton death cause established

It wasn't LSD.


Photo of the week

Okay, I can't post the photo itself because it's at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution site as part of a media-flash program rather than a jpg. It appeared in yesterday's Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. I don't usually gush over photos designed to manipulate emotions, but this one is spontaneous and it did water up these jaded eyes. The shot is of a soldier-mom home from Iraq being greeted by her three-year-old daughter in the airport.

Take the link and have a look. I think it's the first photo on the slide show.

Update: Thanks to Bob Doran for locating and sending me a jpg to post. Clicking on it makes it a little bigger.

Addendum: By the way, the woman's name is Terri Gurrola. Her daughter's name is Gabrielle. As my son pointed out last night, in this shot she looks very much like my own daughter.


Kerrigan taking leave of absence from City Council to work for Edwards Campaign

The ER has the story and a photograph of his press conference where he's flanked by several of his fellow council members, at least one of whom is a Republican.

Speaking of the mayor, why are her eyes closed in the photo? Is she praying?

Maybe the ER won't mind if I borrow the photo. There. I think it gets bigger if you click on it.

If Kerrigan makes well with his connections, will he challenge Thompson in a primary some day or wait until Thompson croaks over?

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