Monday, June 30, 2008



As of tomorrow, you can't drive with a cell phone in your hand.

I drove around Eureka today with the thing at my ear constantly. Got to make hay while the sun shines!

Image comes from Mobile Phone Blog.

Addendum: Ernie's taken the discussion a bit further.


A little more information on the raids

Information is trickling in and Redheaded Blackbelt has a few more details.

And Cristina has more on the fires.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Mateel/PP/Dimmick settlement watch and miscellaneous topics thread - lots of alternative energy good news

Post questions and comments here. I'll monitor it. I just don't want Reuben's thread polluted.

This seems to be the thread to bring up anything about anything.

Code enforcement.

Nuclear satellites crashing into Saturn.

How many will believe the Corn Refiners Association when they tell you that high fructose corn syrup is good for you?

If you believe the mainstream media analysts, Obama is losing even though he's winning.

The Anglican Church war has begun. All over homosexuality.

The McCains are in default on their taxes.

Colin Powell to endorse Obama?

Free solar power?

A guide to nude beaches.

What are the lessons of 1968? Don't ask me. I was four years old. I think I learned not to carry a cat by it's tail.

"Two Visions of Democracy: Debating Liberalism, Multiculturalism, and the Question of Tariq Ramadan"

Your Brain Lies to You - or How Propaganda Works

Left winger turned neocon and practicing Muslim writer Stephen Schwartz' review of the NCJ article of several weeks ago entitled Seeing Red, about communists in Humboldt County:
I thought this was about the most pathetic thing I had ever read. It
was reprinted in Anderson's paper.
Schwartz often contributes to the AVA. He's kind of grumpy.

Addendum: Some more stories.

Cuba's urban farming program paying dividends. Not to sing praises for the Cuban government where it isn't due, but this farming approach may be a model to export. Meanwhile, Mexico City is experimenting with rooftop gardens to fight warming. And Kenya's developed a drought-resistant wheat.

A resource link center for the best solar panels and inverters, or so goes the PR.

Where the Obama-is-a-Muslim rumors started - the source discovered.

Beaming solar power down from space.

Mercedes to eliminate petroleum combustion vehicles from its line-up.

The US' first offshore wind farm.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Two weddings and one funeral

Today my neighbors and good friends John Rogers and Katherine Lobato were married at a gorgeous location in the Community Park. I was worried that the smoke would put a damper on the whole thing, but it actually gave the background a surreal mystical quality in the photos. Lots of water and an occasional aspirin keeps the smoke-induced headaches away. They both have great families and it was a great who's-who of the Sohum environmental activist contingent.

My son was the ring bearer and my daughter was the flower girl. Both did their jobs just fine. A great day.


I'd hoped to make it to Beginnings where my law partner and friend Roxanne was married to Ehren, but my son grew tired while my daughter was dancing up a storm so I had to take him home while their mom stuck around to let my daughter dance. There were others shuffling between weddings.

Roxanne and Ehren are celebrating their marriage as well as their newborn son (6 weeks old).

Congratulations to both couples. Nice to have some reasons for celebration after a very rough Sohum week.


Still smoky, but I can see the stars tonight.


Last week's fire

From Garth Epling:

On Friday, June 20th 2008, Reuben Mood's house in Garberville caught fire. Extensive fire damage destroyed the attic and the back half of the house, including the laundry room, Reuben's room and part of the kitchen. Smoke, heat and water damaged the living room and Reuben's son's room.

Reuben grew up in Oakland, CA. He moved to Salmon Creek when he was in Junior High and has lived here ever since. Reuben has worked at Chautauqua, Deb's Great American Hamburgers, the 707 and now is everyone's favorite Roast Master, roasting coffee for Signature Coffee in Redway.

Reuben's son, Raven will be turning 9 in July. He will be in the Fourth grade this coming September. His favorite sport is baseball. This year's baseball season was extra special for him since his dad was the assistant coach for the minor league White Sox's team that he played on.

Lost in the fire were their bikes, all the furniture, 6 fish tanks, Reuben's clothes, Raven's Bionicle collection, Mickey, Reuben's mother's antiques and so much more. What wasn't burnt up in the fire was made toxic by the smoke.

Hopefully the insurance will rebuild the home, but they still need help from the community. Donations can be made at the Community Credit Union under Reuben Mood's fire relief or acct #13851. If you have physical goods that you think may be useful, please call Angela (Raven's mom) at 223-0496. All help will be appreciated!

Thank you.

The photos of the fire and Reuben with his son Raven also came from Garth.


New fires and old fires

Yesterday an RV caught fire in Meyers Flat. This morning an outbuilding caught fire in Whale Gulch on Chemise Mountain Road. A slew of local volunteer fire departments got them both out. The causes of both are unknown, but this is a really bad time to be careless!

I got the reports from KMUD news who are updating at the top of every hour today. People have been posting harsh criticisms of the coverage of the big events this week. I suspect that some of the criticism has been agenda driven. But I just want to thank Terry, Cynthia, the rest of the KMUD staff, and volunteers like Behr who have really stepped up to the challenge and are working around the clock. They've adapted in response to early criticisms and their hearts are really into their work.

As to weather, the bad news is that precipitation is unlikely while lightning strikes could set new fires. The good news is that the wind isn't expected to pick up until midweek which will be a boon to the firefighting effort.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Heraldo has coverage of last night's Harbor Commission meeting

With some links.


Is that all smoke outside?

Please tell me there's some fog in that mix!


It's over - for now

According to the Eureka Reporter they finished up yesterday and will be leaving Humboldt today.

They did find brownies, but didn't confiscate them.

And they did read the blogs when the information was leaked to Heraldo prior to the busts.

And from the article as well as the TS article it does seem that conspiracy will be the central theme of the prosecutions when they happen. That could mean a lot of people being charged, and I wouldn't be surprised if smaller groups of law enforcement return for follow-up investigations.

Addendum: Thank Jah (audio archive link in the thread) and Heraldo have more information about "Buddhaville," some information more useful than other.

Second addendum: Thanks to a poster in the thread, here's a video clip of one of the convoys.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


A stroll through the Summer Arts Fair

I was looking for something else. Thought this might be of interest. Recognize any friends?

Here's another one. And there are others which pop up in the "related videos" list.

Here's a clip from last year's Festival.


The SF Mayor who set the stage for marriage equality

Not the one you're thinking about. A great post at Calitics summarizes the history.

Some highlights:
Along with Assemblyman Kenneth Cory, State Senator George Moscone authored what would become known as the Privacy Initiative. In November 1972, the Privacy Initiative was submitted to California voters as Proposition 11. It passed overwhelmingly.

Proposition 11 is remarkable in its simplicity. Aside from changing the sexist reference to "men" to "people," it added a single word to Article I, Section I of the California Constitution: privacy. Kenneth Cory and George Moscone's proposed amendment was as follows:

SECTION 1. All men people are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and pursuing and obtaining safety, and happiness, and privacy.

In their argument in support of Proposition 11, which appeared in the 1972 Ballot Pamphlet, Assemblyman Cory and Senator Moscone said: The right of privacy is the right to be left alone. It is a fundamental and compelling interest. It protects our homes, our families, our thoughts, our emotions, our expressions, our personalities, our freedom to associate with the people we choose. (emphasis mine).
More where that came from. Mayor Moscone was of course killed along with Supervisor Harvey Milk in one of San Francisco's saddest days, and replaced by Diane Feinstein. Opportunities lost.


The latest on the Buddhaville bust

Again, the authorities claim to have taken 10,000 plants which they value at 25 to 60 million. They also claim to have found machine guns.

Here's the ER coverage which like the TS is pretty much limited to the FBI press statement.

The blogs are quiet this morning. Unfortunately, Hank Sims is on a well-deserved vacation so there's no NCJ Blogthing activity to note. The Town Dandy is up online, but the information is already dated.

Last night KMUD aired the first interview of a sweep victim who contradicted some of the FBI claims and made them sound inaccurately grandiose.

So far no e-mails from direct witnesses of anything happening this morning. Cristina Bauss is looking for eye witness accounts of the busts for next week's Independent. Contact her if you can help.

Addendum: I believe Ed Denson's show is on tonight at 7:00 p.m., which will hopefully provide the first call-in comment opportunity since the raids began. Of course, there is also Thank Jah tomorrow morning.

Second addendum: According to Heraldo, KMUD is taking calls right now, until 9:30 or 10 depending on volume. One caller said that her neighbor was out fighting fires when his house was raided.


Reminder re the Harber District Commission meeting tonight

Hello All,

There will be a presentation of the Redwood Marine Terminal (RMT) Business Plan at the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District Commissioners' meeting this Thursday (June 26) at 7:00 PM at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka. Approval of the District's 08-09 final budget draft will follow.

Related links and notes:

HBHRCD 08-09 budget final draft:
Commissioner Pat Higgins budget analysis:

I was surprised to learn there is a 4-year waiting list for boat slips at the Woodley Island Marina and a 20 percent vacancy rate, which translates to over $100,000 of lost revenue per year. I also noted that of the $1.2 million budgeted for "recreation", $750,000 of that amount is a grant for repair of the breakwater at Shelter Cove.

Redwood Marine Terminal (RMT) Business Plan (final draft):
Letter from Goldman Sachs:
Humboldt Bay Watch blog:

Using optimum operating rates from the business plan makes it possible to project the number and frequency of freight trains. Bottom line: 8 to 10 freight trains going in and out of the RMT every day of the year. That's about 1 train every 2 1/2 hours 24/7 - around Humboldt Bay, through the ecoHostel, Old Town, the Marina Center, and the Eel River Canyon. Depending on load restrictions and peak usage, the frequency could increase to 1 train every 90 minutes. Good luck fitting passenger or tourist trains in that schedule.

More food for thought in opinion piece below. See you all Thursday night.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Fire thread

Somebody posted in the thread below that the Paradise and Red Mountain fires may be causing new problems. Please post news here.

Redheaded Blackbelt has some info on the Mendo fires, which are still burning. Evacuation orders have been made and Willits High School has been set up to take refugees. The fire map has been updated. According to the Willits News a "state of emergency" was declared. And a health advisory was made about the smoke.

There was a convoy of fire vehicles parked in Garberville this morning as I was listening to a representative on KMUD say that the Paradise fire was mostly under control.

Addendum: Thanks to AJ for bringing my attention to this blog post - 700 California Wildfires: Why don't we have enough firefighting resources?

The blog is Red, Green, and Blue, and appears to be based in Trinity County.

Second addendum: This Mendo blog is covering the fires down there.


All quiet in Redway this morning? (Update: not in Whitethorn!)

I've asked certain people to call or e-mail me if they see any sign of federal law enforcement. So far nothing.

There will be an interview on KSLG at 9:00 a.m.

The Times Standard has a story on the impact of rumors of the federal action beforehand, including brisk rental truck business. No word on whether the warning impacted the federal investigation.

Addendum: There has been considerable activity in Whitethorn and perhaps Whale Gulch. Nothing reported in town except for a report of a visit in Miranda.

Second addendum: I didn't get to hear the interview, but Heraldo did and has some info (not much) up. He reports that information will be given about the locations of the activities later on today.

Third addendum: Information is starting to trickle in and I'm not going to post all of it in the interest of privacy to the families. But I have my first firm report of a family who was investigated who fits the "hippie" definition (and the first whom I know significantly well). Anyway, in addition to Whitmore there were investigations (I'm not calling them "busts" right now because I'm informed that charges will probably not be filed against everyone whose belongings were investigated) on Redway Drive, Par, and Orchard in Redway and perhaps at least one residence in Garberville. I'm informed that a boat was seized from one of those locations.

It does seem that the investigations are more about the flow of money than marijuana per se, which means that anybody who has done business in which illegal money flowed could be investigated. Basically, that means pretty much any individual or business in the county I suppose.

Fourth addendum: I received the following report from a resident to our west.
Hi Eric, Thanks for the great blog. I wanted to let you know that 90 law enforcement vehicles were reported heading out to coast--45 towards Shelter Cove, 45 towards Whitethorn-- around 7:30 this morning. A report came in just now that they are out in Lost River, where they spent the day yesterday. Corralled a bunch of people who were out there (people who weren't on their warrant list), confiscated vehicles, and released all of them by the end of the day.

A contingent also spent yesterday at a location in Whale Gulch, where one person (who wasn't on the warrant list) had medical marijuana plants cut; at the same location a medical marijuana indoor (the person running it was also not on the warrant list) was cleaned out and the generator and lights taken away. So much for medical marijuana being honored! The person the warrant was being served on was not around, but they spent the day going through this person's stuff, and no doubt confiscating many belongings. There have been a lot of reports of things being confiscated: vehicles, ipods, computers, etc. I also heard that at least two homes were searched in Shelter Cove, with interrogations of key "suspects", and at least one person detained for "mouthing off" to the agents.
As the dust settles, I expect the accounts to multiply.

Fifth addendum: I don't think it's too soon to be calling for a public meeting. I'm sure CLMP is planning something as we speak. Probably not too soon to be discussing a legal defense fund either.

Sixth addendum: KMUD news just aired an interview with a sweep victim. It should be up soon after the broadcast. Everything from holding guns on children to refusing access to homes where animals may be languishing.

And right now Captain Brian Fesler of the Whitethorne Volunteer Fire Department is criticizing the Feds for their timing.

Apparently the whole investigation arose from a 2000 acre piece of land purchased in 2006 and sold off in parts with lots of nonpermitted construction.

More details are available in the latest Times Standard article.
Over the course of Tuesday's activity, officers located around ten thousand marijuana plants estimated to be worth between $25 and $60 million on the street. They seized 30 firearms, including fully automatic weapons, one vehicle, and more than $160,000 in cash.

No charges have been filed and none of the targets of the investigation were arrested during Tuesday's raids. However, FBI agents arrested one man for assault on a federal agent during the execution of the search warrants.


Charge Charlene B. Thornton. “It's a large-scale, for-profit, commercial business. The targets of our investigation are reaping huge profits while contributing to the crime and violence oppressing communities across the state.”

Beginning in early 2006, members of BNE's Redding regional office initiated an investigation into a California-based organization which had purchased a large parcel of mountainous land in the southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino counties, and was suspected of growing large amounts of marijuana on the land and selling it for profit. Due to the large scale and scope of the investigation, BNE invited the FBI to participate.

There are more details, some of which are being vehemently disputed by residents.


Is anybody starting to get a sense of Obama inevitability?

Yes, I know. The swift boating. But Clinton may have stolen the Republicans' thunder on all that.

And how often can the polls with bad news for McCain be called outliers?

Plus, does anybody really feel like McCain has his act together?

Don't get me wrong. Elections can turn around. Dukakis was up by 17 points after the Democratic Convention of 1988, but you never had that feeling that the Bush campaign was in trouble. The economy. The war. Effective Democratic campaigning for once. I've always had a feeling for the end results by mid summer, and I'm starting to get that feeling.


Boomers can't retire

The housing crash has apparently frustrated the retirement plans of many.
The median household headed by those between 45 and 54 in 2009 will have about 25% less wealth than the median household of that age in 2004, according to the report. That household's wealth will decline to $113,268 in 2009, from $150,113 in 2004.

And that's if housing prices remain at the level they were in March.
That means you younger folk won't be getting their jobs anytime soon!


Roger Rodoni crash investigation completed

Not much information. They don't know how the woman lost control of her vehicle. The CHP is recommending that misdemeanor charges be filed. It's been submitted to the District Attorney.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008



This blog set a record for visits and hits today. Over 2000 visits so far, and over 5000 hits.

Meanwhile, Ed Denson has some fire shots up at his blog. Ernie and Kym are maintaining fire news posts.

And Zeus died.

California unemployment hit 6.8 %.

Feingold will try to filibuster FISA. But it looks like a Senate vote won't come until after the July 4 break. Plenty of time to remind Senators of the 4th Amendment.


Operation Southern Sweep

From an e-mail from KSLG:

Tomorrow morning at 9:00 on 94.1 KSLG, John Matthews will receive an update on Operation Southern Sweep from FBI Special Agent Joseph Schadler.

I had no idea it was being called "Operation Southern Sweep." Suggests to me that they're here primarily for Sohum.

John does some great interviews. Maybe he'll actually get some answers. I don't know why the FBI and DOJ have bothered with the interviews they've conducted so far. They've said next to nothing.

And boy does the blogosphere owe Heraldo an apology!

Meanwhile, it's all quiet tonight. I guess no arrests were made today, just seizures of personal property. No confrontational incidents reported either.

Addendum: The Times Standard article has been updated to include a video of a couple of busts and as of this posting there are 138 comments attached. Also there's an online poll to chime in as to whether you support the action.

Second addendum: I think I've posted most of the relevant links, but if I missed any Rose probably has them here.

And KMUD has an audio of the pointless interview (not Cynthia's fault, the DOJ rep just wouldn't answer any questions) of this morning.

And there's a discussion about the action at

Heraldo is reporting that at least one medical marijuana clinic has been hit. He also reports that all 29 warrants have been served. Does that mean more are on the way?


FBI in Redway

Presumably the DEA too, although last week on KMUD they emphatically denied that they were here for busts. I just received a telephone call from a reputable source. I'll follow up.

The NCJ Blogthing is reporting on developments in the north.

Addendum: Apparently they're all over the county. It's being reported on KHUM as "the culmination of a two year investigation" against commercial grows and not medical marijuana. Authorities are claiming that they are acting on 27 warrants.

But I'd take any official statements with a grain of salt. They're supposed to be here for flying practice and a convention, remember?

NCJ Blogthing has an audio of a KSLG interview with Joseph Schadler of the FBI.

Second addendum: Redheaded Blackbelt comments on the NCJ blogthing - "KMUD is reporting many vehicles heading towards the coast with a “traffic jam” at Whitethorn." But right now I'm hearing Mary Poppins songs on KMUD. Supercalifragilisticexpiallydocious.

Third addendum: Andrew Bird is reporting at Heraldo's that a caravan went out Briceland Road just before 7:00, and that a "satellite truck" was seen on Alderpoint Road earlier this morning.

Fourth addendum: Confirmed. There is a bust at the south end of Whitmore Ave. on Redway. Four or five SUVs and DEA agents dismantling items out on the lawn.

Fifth addendum: Two individuals with FBI markings on their jackets were seen (by me) outside a home on Redway Ave. right near the intersection with Oak. I could not tell if they were in the process of a bust. They might have been checking addresses.

Sixth addendum: The Eureka Reporter has a story up.
FBI agents raided a house at 1658 Virginia Way in Sunny Brae early this morning. Around 10 a.m., agents combed through the trunk of a gray car parked in the driveway. The car had Oregon license plates.

A pile of equipment including lamps, triangular containers and hoses were spread across the yard.

It is not known if any arrests were made by agents at this time.

"I have no idea how long (FBI agents) were there," said Bob O., who lives across the street from the house that was raided.

He stepped outside his door around 8 a.m. this morning and saw eight agents around the house across the street, he said.

He said he prefers neighbors to unoccupied grow houses and the sound of children over silence.

"The pattern is no one's ever home," he said regarding the house that was raided.

And Hank is reporting that the FBI rep is insisting it's all one group. I don't believe that, but if it's true we are watching one of the more profound federal anti-trust actions in years.

Seventh addendum: From another blog's comments section -
Interesting coverage with the blogs and the radio participating together. Attorney, Ed Denson, just reported on KMUD that there were door to door searches going on in Redway and Garberville. Ed made the following suggestions:

1. Do not consent to search.

2. Do not talk or engage in conversation.

3. Do not try to physically obstruct them.
I've got KMUD on, but KHUM and KSLG are also covering the action. And Hank has a growing display of photos at the blogthing.

Eighth addendum: Redheaded Blackbelt is reporting on a bust in Salmon Creek.

Meanwhile, some roads are blocked off in the Whale Gulch area and to our east near Alderpoint and Harris.

Ninth addendum: The Times Standard has a story up.

Hank is reporting that most of the action seems to be down here.

I will be leaving the office shortly for paid work related business. I don't know when I'll be back on the computer, but feel free to post information as you get it.

Tenth addendum: Cynthia Elkins just played an interview with an FBI rep who answered maybe one or two of about 20 questions.

I'm leaving for a few hours. Please post freely, but responsibly.


Classic economy vs. environment concerns - the future of Benbow Lake

Read about it in the Times Standard.



Somebody posted this Mendo link for updates on Wildfires. Does anybody have a Humboldt equivalent?

Tims Standard coverage.

The Ukiah Daily Journal has coverage, and a map to locate fires. As of the reporting, Mendo has or had 131 fires taking out 85,000 acres.

Thanks to Kim Sallaway for the photo.

Addendum: Cristina made the following post in the thread below -
I just spoke with Calfire Laytonville; I believe anon above has correct information. There are three fires on Red Mountain, and they've got lines cut around two of them; the "immediate threat evacuation" is for the east side, NOT the Piercy side. I was specifically told there is no imminent threat to the Piercy side.

-Cristina, 9:48 a.m.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Oil and Water

Spent the weekend in the Bay Area. My father and brother celebrated their birthdays jointly in my parents' home in Guerneville. I took my kids and their cousins swimming at Johnson Beach. I forgot to bring some buckets so I could reclaim some of the Eel River water for Humboldt, but it went to good use down there. The campsite gets plenty of weekend folk from SF and Oakland and we swam with probably the most ethnically diverse outing I've ever seen in a rural camp setting.


On Sunday I took my kids to the SF Zoo. I'm not dogmatic about animal rights, but zoos tend to depress me, particularly with the higher intelligence animals including the gorillas who looked up at the crowd with apparent awareness and irritation of the situation. He or she didn't want to be gawked at.

I realize that most if not all of the animals are incapable, for some reason or another, of living in the wild. But the more self-aware animals, particularly the more intelligent primates, should be given some consideration in terms of privacy, particularly when their wishes can be so easily ascertained. Unlike Bill who always had the option to go into his back room slamming the door on our intrusions, this gorilla couldn't get in through the door.

My mother used to teach in SF and she took her class on a field trip to the zoo, back when what passed for the gorilla habitat was on a limited space surrounded by a moat. Some of her kids started acting out to tease the gorilla and he or she started throwing feces at them. When my mother shouted at them to stop, the gorilla sensed that she was their leader and came across the the circle to throw feces at her. That's complex cognition at work, no mistake.


No elephants at the zoo anymore. One of them died mysteriously and the other went into a depression and was sent to another zoo to be in elephant company. Captivity elephants are few in supply apparently.


My wife claims that holding her average freeway speed to 60 mph has increased her MPG by about 3 miles. I tried driving at 55 mph while on my way to SF yesterday. Try it sometime and learn what a hurry the world is in.

And for further experimentation try going out to the fast lane on an 8 lane freeway and try to keep to the speed limit of 65. You'll piss a lot of harried drivers off, and I'm not sure it's even safe!


Gasoline is probably permanently above 4 bucks a gallon. China wants oil and can pay for it. The offshore oil drilling is by some estimates bound to lower the price of gasoline a penny or two per gallon by 2030, but I suspect there's going to be an enormous push for it anyway. Time to pull out those old oil platform with the universal negation symbols to put on coastal business windows. You still see one or two of them in Eureka and the town of Mendocino from the last push of the 1980s.

Of course, it's all safe now with improved technology. Right? I want the Humboldt Coast to look just like Santa Barbara!

Oil rig shot comes from Photobucket.


Back again

I was in the Bay Area over the weekend sans Internet access. I'm back and I'll get caught up soon, particularly on the fires.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Make your calls now!

The FISA "compromise" is being pushed hard and may pass shortly in the Senate. It has already passed in the house thanks to the capitulations of Nancy Pelosi.

Many of the Senate Democrats are wavering, though some like Obama are trying to get the retroactive amnesty for telecommunications companies who may have violated your privacy out of the bill. Some Democrats are holding strong.

Boxer is also reportedly wavering. From a poster at Calitics:
I got this from one of our ACLU affiliates, if any of you are considering
writing up a post on FISA and the senate vote.

Boxer's staff is asking for letters / emails. Boxer is considering her
position NOW and, we are told, is still wavering. The best way to reach her
on this issue is to send a letter attached to an email to Dan Hammer at Boxer has not heard from her constituents on
the Hoyer/Bush deal. Her staffer told me that we were her first customer!
I don't know where Feinstein stands, but she's probably a lost cause. I'll post her contact information if anybody wants it.

It's very important that companies to whom you must provide personal information do not violate your privacy against the law simply because rogue governmental authorities ask them to do so. They should be charged with a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard your rights when it comes to the privacy you have placed into their hands. If they violated the law simply because they were following not even orders then they should pay the piper so that it doesn't happen in the future.

In the meantime, demand to know what your telephone service providers' policies have been and switch to those who refused cooperation without actual warrants. Think Working Assets.

Addendum: From Down With Tyanny:
The disgraceful piece of legislation known as the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 just passed 293-129. Although most Democrats (128) voted against it, 105, including Pelosi, stuck with Hoyer and Bush. Hoyer no longer represents a majority of Democrats in the House. He should hand in his resignation today. Only one Republican stood up for the Constitution (Ron Paul ducked the vote): Tim Johnson of Illinois. Here's the whole list of who voted which way.
Thompson voted nay!

Second addendum: Boxer's phone number is 202-224-4264. Feinstein's is (202) 224-3841

Third addendum: How I learned to stop worrying and love the FISA bill.

Fourth addendum: "Nancy Pelosi thinks you're stupid."


No DEA raids apparently

They're here to try the oysters.


Happy Summer Solstice

Practically a holiday around here.

I don't know what there is to celebrate. As of tomorrow the days get darker and it's all down hill from here.

The Celestial Sphere image comes from this University of Oregon site.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Sounds of yawning

Somebody just drew my attention to this early S&G video. Simon looks like he's trying to pump himself up to stay awake. Garfunkel has his hands in his pockets and looks like he's dying of boredom. The audience looks catatonic. Don't get me wrong. I think it's one of the most beautiful songs ever written. But they ought to at least look like they're having a good time.

Reminds me of that scene in Blow Up where the Yardbirds are singing Stroll On to an audience just glaring at them without so much as tapping toes, except for one colorfully dressed couple, before Jeff Beck breaks his guitar. Let's see if I can find that on Youtube.

Yeah, here it is. Never understood how that scene figured into the plot. Then again, I never understood how the plot figured into the plot.

I saw the film for the second time a couple of years ago and I wondered if maybe Pete Townsend had stolen the idea of breaking his guitar from the movie. But the movie is dated 1966, whereas Townsend actually broke his first guitar in 1964. Apparently it was an accident the first time.

Okay, I got bored waiting for a phone call which I guess isn't coming. Time to go home for dinner.


Who is Heraldo?

Hank is asking.

And asking.

Heraldo is basking.

Will there be a September Surprise?

And what does Carson Park Ranger know? (And when did he know it?)

Image of the last blogger's picnic comes from Photobucket. Can you pick Heraldo out? Click on the image to enlarge.


About that red and blue map towards the bottom of the left hand column

Or at the bottom of the page depending on your screen format. If you click on the map it'll take you to The webmaster there tracks all of the state polls for the presidential, Senate, and House elections. When you're at the site you just pass your mouse cursor over the state and the most recent poll data pops up. It provides a projected electoral college vote score and which is updated once per day. The page also contains a daily election news report, usually poll oriented, but also about VP developments, public perception of the candidates, and noteworthy campaign events.

What's interesting is that Obama is currently ahead in the four big swing states: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Obama is spending a lot of time in Michigan out of concern for the negative impact of the DNC allocation of delegates not representative of the primary election there where Obama wasn't on the ballot. For the moment he's comfortably ahead in Pennsylvania. And to everybody's surprise, he's slightly ahead in Florida, which many have written off to McCain. McCain has no chance without Florida.

Polls are closer than expected in a number of red states, which may be a dividend of Obama's "50 state strategy." He has organizations in every state and intends to visit even those states he really can't win on a climate saturation theory Howard Dean has proposed for four years. Clinton's people and others see the strategy as folly and believe all resources should be preserved for the "swing states." Some interesting discussions about it here, here, and here.

Obama is clearly benefiting from a post-primary "unity bounce." I expect it to get much closer. However, the words "landslide" and "blow-out" are being tossed around the MSM.

It's been a long road since last fall.


Harbor District news

I've intended to review the Redwood Terminal Business Plan which came out last week and draft up a post about it. I just haven't had the time to do it justice and I just have too much on my plate right now to get something meaningful up. But there is a meeting taking place next week, notice of which I received by e-mail from individuals organizing around the issue.
Thursday June 26 is D-Day on the Bay Commission. They'll be having their meeting at the Warfinger building at 7:00 pm.

Three issues:

1. The Plan for the Redwood Dock will take over ten years to come to fruition and is dependent on the rail through the Eel River line.

2. The Goldman Sachs deal is also a long term project, they are asking for 50 and 100 year leases at a time where most ports are balking at 25 year leases.

3. According to an analysis done by Commissioner Higgins, at the current rate of 500K deficit, the Bay District will be INSOLVENT in 5 to 7 years.
Heraldo posted on the issue a few days back.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


McCain's secret plan for the economy?

Exorcism. Hence his potential VP pick, at least according to some chatter.

Addendum: Utne Reader has a story on topic.


All Things Reconsidered Program Note

We'll be talking equality of marriage tomorrow night. I have Pat McCutcheon lined up as a guest. She and her partner Cheryl were the first couple to be married yesterday morning once universal licenses were being granted. She will discuss the importance of the "piece of paper" to her relationship, what appears to be a pivotal moment in public opinion, and the November initiative.

We'll also discuss the opposition, including developments in Kern County noted below.

And Ms. McCutcheon mentioned something that I'm going to have to research. It comes down to a sentence in Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
It limits Congress' power, but I'm sure there's been a case which applies it to the states. But basically, once these people are married, their rights are vested. It means that even if the initiative passes in November, these marriages can't be retroactively dissolved. Like I said, I have to research the question. The point is, make hay while the sun shines.

On the other hand, I think we may have turned the corner on this issue. In California anyway.

As usual, the show will start at 7:00 p.m. Phone in your questions and comments before Ron Davidson calls in to whine about how Webster changed the dictionary in 1974 to eliminated the definition of homosexuality as a perversion.


J.J. Memorial

On Sunday, May 18 we learned of the sudden death of our beloved programmer and volunteer, J.J. Hall, also known as KeKe on da Coconut Wireless Hawaiian Music show.

A memorial for and thank-you to J.J. will take place on Sunday, June 22 at 1:00 pm at Mal Coombs Park in Shelter Cove (that's near the Lighthouse).

This will be a potluck with pig roast, and we look forward to your favorite dish (Hawaiian or tropical) dish. Please bring water and/or other non-alcoholic drinks. This will be a celebration of sharing in the Aloha spirit.
For more info or to check the food list please call Debbie at 986-1167.
Aloha `oe!

Thank you for everything, J.J.

We will be missing you!

Everything comes from KMUD.


Sign of the times?

I don't often discuss work here, but I thought this might be of more broad interest. In my twelve years of practice here I've had maybe a grand total of five clients facing foreclosure, though Les may have had some as well. We currently have four open files for clients facing foreclosure. To my knowledge we've never had more than one open at any given time.

Addendum: The Times Standard is already reporting about local foreclosures.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Well, it didn't take long

Somebody was kind enough to post a link to the monkey doll in the thread below. I found the T-Shirt image as I was looking for a larger version of the doll.

The doll image comes from the Daily Voice. The Curious George image comes from Beta Afro. The latter link takes you to an article which says that the Curious George publisher might take legal action against the bar owner responsible, but quite frankly satire, however offensive, is fair use. I don't think they have grounds. And offensive speech is protected in the US even if it isn't in some other countries.

Probably the most offbeat part of the story is from the t-shirt creator himself, who denies it's racist and says he just sees a physical resemblance between Curious George and Obama.


360 degrees of Obama's Detroit rally of last night

Impressive. Don't go there if you're on dial-up or you'll probably freeze up.

It's where Al Gore gave a very impassioned endorsement of Obama. A month ago somebody might have cared. Unless you take yesterday's apparent snubbing of Clinton and put the two events together to speculate an Obama-Gore ticket.

"The outcome of this election will affect the future of our planet," Gore said.

"Future events such as these will affect us in the future," Ed Wood said.

Michigan is must win for Obama, unlike Florida. He's giving it a great deal of attention at the moment.

Addendum: The button being sold at a Texas Republican convention, which has made the media rounds.

Photo comes from Donklephant.


Celebrate Equality of Marriage with the Unitarians tonight

Received the following by e-mail. The Hall is out that road that winds behind Arcata out of Bayside. Hopefully you can find it in the phone book. I'll post the address later.

Don’t forget – The Celebration of Marriage is today, Tuesday June 17th @ 6pm @ HUUF

This is a potluck with lively entertainment, a cake and many dancing women.

Please be there at 6 pm so we can get things rolling.

If you want to bring musical instruments do so.

Addendum: The photo comes from the SF Chronicle. The ceremony is for Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin who have been together for 55 years. It was the only ceremony Mayor Newsom performed yesterday.

Second addendum: Kern County is refusing to perform any marriage ceremonies.


DEA raids of indoor grows on the way?

Humboldt Herald has some details and links. Apparently about 200 DEA agents are coming, possibly as a result of recent national coverage of the problems in Arcata, and about 300 houses have been targeted. I'm just speculating, but I'm wondering if the federal government is seeing the passage of Measure B in Mendocino County as a shift in political sentiments on the issue. Maybe even a backlash.

From Heraldo:
Rumors that every room at the Eureka Red Lion has been booked between June 23-30 may also have legs. One industrious Craig’s List user consulted in attempt to book rooms for those dates but the website said no rooms are available during that time.
Does this bring back memories?

Addendum: Humboldt News has more information.

If they are going to bust bona fide medical marijuana grows along with the commercial, this may finally bring the issue of the 10th Amendment into a court case, something the Federal Government has been avoiding for 12 years.

Second addendum: Let me just add having hit Heraldo's links, that blaming this on Kevin Hoover is just ridiculous. Blame it on the greed which has taken advantage of the good will of California voters who had a much different reality in mind, and blame it on the greed which is impacting the availability of housing for working people, and the fire endangerment of residential neighborhoods.

If you don't like it, vote for a different set of federal priorities in November, and push for some community solutions to the problem.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Clinton out as VP?

The blabbering heads are reading between the lines as Obama appoints Clinton's ex-campaign manager to his own team - which if Clinton is VP would essentially be a rehiring. From Joe Garafoli's political blog:
Buried in a list of new appointments the Obama campaign announced Monday was this: "Chief of Staff to the Vice Presidential Nominee: Patti Solis Doyle."

Remember Patti? She was Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, until she got canned in, left the campaign. Here's a good backgrounder on her departure from "Hillaryland" -- a term, which apparently she coined.

The reaction from Hillarylard. A Clinton insider told CQ: "Translated subtitles aren't necessary. There is no other way to interpret this other than '[Expletive] you.'"

Yeah, yeah, so this is inside-baseball stuff, right? Not really. If PSD is Obama's czarina of Vice Presidential Nominee, then guess who probably isn't going to get the nod? Uh-huh. And some of Hillary's peeps are p.o'd. Like San Francisco's own Susie Tompkins Buell. She told the Washington Post:

"It's a slap in the face," Buell said. "Why would they put somebody that was so clearly ineffective in such a position? It's a message. We get it." She said it was a "calculated decision" by the Obama team to "send a message that she [Clinton] is not being considered for the ticket."

Indeed. Even though Patti's farewell statement from Hillaryland said, "I have been proud to manage this campaign, and prouder still to call Hillary my friend for more than sixteen years," apparently the two haven't spoken since.

My question is more basic. Is it customary for the presidential nominee to select a VP Chief of Staff instead of the VP? Maybe he just wants it clear that he doesn't want Mark Penn or Terry McCauliff hanging around the office, or what's-his-name - that grumpy old man at the Michigan delegate hearing.

I'm in the minority here according to my earlier poll, but I happen to believe she would be a bad choice for VP.

Photo comes from MSNBC.


Equal marriage licensing begins today

Some great anecdotes in this SF Chronicle article, including this one:
When Senior Assistant Attorney General Christopher Krueger was leaving home to represent the state in opposing same-sex marriage during a historic hearing before the California Supreme Court in March, his wife kissed him on the lips and said, "Good luck, but I hope you lose."
In November, we'll learn if we've turned the corner.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Rich Somerville, Editor of the Times Standard, died

I don't quite know what to say about it right now. He'd done very well by the paper while he was with us. I'd almost met him on two occasions, but never had the pleasure.

His paper has the story.

Cause of death is unknown.


Reggae war over?

I look forward to eliminating the question mark. The rumors are confirmed. There is at least a tentative settlement. I have no details. I really don't care about the details to tell you the truth. Maybe the long community nightmare is over.

Let's await the details, get the inevitable whining out of the way, and then start the healing.

But maybe, just maybe, this will be the last "Reggae thread."

Dove image comes from Photobucket.

Saturday, June 14, 2008



I and my family attended our first Oyster Festival today. It was crowded, but not oppressively so. Turns out my son loves oysters, though my daughter was underwhelmed. We tried about 7 or 8 different booths. The best I tried was Curley's with the orange fennel sauce. Second for me was Folie Duce's wasabi shooter - which came courtesy of Bob Doran's generosity as he shared one of his.

Also really enjoyed Bless My Soul Cafe's fried oysters with mango-habanero sauce.

My son wasn't sure he'd like oysters. He liked them the last time he had them, but he was two then. I bought a plate of six of them from one of the vendors and handed the plate to my son. I met someone I recognized and became distracted with conversation. When I looked down my son had gobbled up five of them. By the time he was done today, he'd eaten between 15 and 20 of them, part of his sister's falafel sandwich (there's an Egyptian food booth making the rounds at local fairs, and they make a good sandwich), and some of my oyster chowder from Blue Lake Casino (the bread bowl left much to be desired, but the soup itself was very good - guess I'm spoiled by Boudin's bread bowl of chowder in San Francisco). He ate a big dinner too. He gets lots of exercise, but I don't know how he stays so skinny given how much he devours.

I'd intended to try the Bear River Casino's, since they took first last year, but the line was always way too long. I did try Tomo's, which were impressive.

We got to hear some of the kids' oyster calling contest, but my daughter needed a nap. We left via the Farmer's Market where we picked up some terrific large artichokes at 1.50 a piece.

Addendum: The photo comes from Bob Doran, who shares his oysters and his photos.


Your Dirt

The Real Dirt on SoHum!
~ A Presentation by the USDA ~

Tuesday, June 17, at Beginnings, 7 pm

Come and learn all about the dirt you live on!

The results of recent soil surveys and sampling will be discussed Tuesday, June 17, at Beginnings in Briceland, starting at 7 pm, when Natural Resources Conservation Service soil scientist Jennifer Berman tells us what she and others have learned about local soil composition and geology from a year-long survey of the Southern Humboldt area.

Soil is the foundation of Humboldt County's natural wealth. Understanding the soil properties of your land helps you conduct activities like road building, home building, septic or graywater system placement, and food and fiber production, while preventing erosion, maintaining soil productivity, and fostering biodiversity.

Draft soil maps showing the distribution of various types will be available for inspection at the presentation. Soil types and mapping to be discussed will mainly cover Leggett Creek, Seely Creek, Miller Creek, Salmon Creek, Briceland and surrounding areas.

Come and get all the dirt!


County Counsel Code Enforcement Confessions

Interesting development at yesterday's code enforcement task force meeting.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Tim Russert RIP

I've been away from all electronic media all day, so I just learned. Here's one article. If I come across anything else profound I'll post a link.

I'll post some of my own thoughts as they come.

Addendum: Paraphrasing Russert's physician paraphrasing Russert - "Tomorrow Doc. I know what to do. I'll start tomorrow."

I'm not one to talk.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


McCain's 54 second gift to the Democrats

Perfect for a one-minute add. What to do with the other six seconds? If Obama does it he'll have to say he approved the ad. But what will a 527 do with them?

Addendum: Hmmmmm.



From the SF Bay Guardian:
Carfree – it’s a word that is not part of the American lexicon. Even breaking the word apart – car free – won’t much help the average automobile-dependent U.S. resident intuit its meaning. If the concept seems foreign, that’s because it is.

The World Carfree Network started in Europe more than 10 years ago to, according to its mission statement, “bring together organizations and individuals dedicated to promoting alternatives to car dependence and automobile-based planning at the international level and working to reduce the human impact on the natural environment while improving the quality of life for all.”

But just as Americans begin to seriously grapple with global warming, high gasoline prices, and hopelessly congested roadways, the carfree concept and its adherents are establishing a beachhead here. The group’s eighth annual conference, Towards Carfree Cities, begins Monday in Portland, Oregon, the first time it’s been in the U.S.

Lots more info and links in the article. SF activists are looking to implement some of the ideas in their city, and they're getting an audience.


I'm back

I spent yesterday camping in the Mattole with my son's class. Don't have time to catch up on the 188 posts in the thread below as I have a strict deadline to meet, but I'll rejoin the conversation later.

The Mattole is extremely low. We saw a dead sperm whale at the beach. The Skyfish kids are a lot of fun to camp with. It was nice to spend a day away from computers and out of cell phone range. My son caught a bull frog.

More later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


County elections department says Johanna can file for a write-in candidacy - but the law probably says otherwise

Reported in today's Times Standard.

The more I review the law the more I think they're dead wrong. And still neither Crnich nor the Secretary of State is citing any law to support the position - and still no mention whatsoever of Elections Code section 8141, the runoff provision. The question is whether anybody will file a legal challenge.

Addendum: I don't have time at the moment to research this, but in a thread below "Jane Doe" brought my attention back to a case I had written off as inapplicable. I'm having second thoughts.
In the published decision Bradley v Perrodin, (2003) 106 Cal. App. 4th 1153, the court cited Edelstein:

"A runoff election, as Perrodin correctly points out, is merely the second round of voting in a single election. (Edelstein v. City and County of San Francisco (2002) 29 Cal.4th 164, 174, 126 Cal.Rptr.2d 727, 56 P.3d 1029.)
It appears to be dicta, meaning that it's a portion of an opinion which is not directly pertinent to the central point of the ruling. And it doesn't cite the legal authority for the runoff (ie. whether it's section 8141 or a Los Angeles municipal code provision). But as one poster below points out, the entire discussion of Bradley is state law.

I'm sorry, but I can't shake the feeling that there's a bit of laziness in play in the Secretary of State's office.

If somebody has the resources and time, look up the LA Code to see if they have their own runoff provision. If not, then the courts have an opinion about the issue that differs from the state and local elections departments.

Second addendum: More from the Bradley decision:
A runoff election, as Perrodin correctly points out, is merely the second round of voting in a single election. ( Edelstein v. City and County of San Francisco (2002) 29 Cal.4th 164, 174 [126 Cal. Rptr. 2d 727, 56 P.3d 1029].) [***14] If one of the candidates receives a majority of the votes cast in the primary election, there is no need for a runoff election. Where no majority is achieved in the primary election, only those candidates who qualify in the primary election may participate in the runoff election. There is no new filing period for a runoff election.
If they're talking about 8141, the election departments are dead wrong. Period.

Thanks to Jane Doe for making me take another look.

Third addendum: Kimberly Wear, who has been on the story for the Times Standard and worked overtime to clarify the issue over the past few days, has done the research for me and found that the LA Code does in fact have a charter which specifically eliminates write-ins for the ensuing election. Although Bradley didn't specifically cite the local statute, it didn't cite 8141 either. Here is subsection h of L.A. Code section 312.
(h) There shall be no write-in candidates allowed for General Municipal
Elections. The provisions of this section shall apply to write-in candidates in Special Elections unless otherwise provided by ordinance, except that there
shall be no write-in candidates allowed for Special Runoff Elections.
The argument is obvious, namely that if SF and LA thought they were covered by the state law they would not have bothered to provide against ensuing election write-ins in their own charters. The SF law was passed in 1973. I don't know about the LA law. I do know that section 6122, the predecessor of section 8141 was also amended in 1973, but I don't have easy access to that amendment. I also know that the state law which preceded 6122 had allowed for write-ins by specifying that that the candidates winning the primary shall be placed upon the ballot. That wording was removed in either 1961 or 1973. If the L.A. code preceded 1973 then it too may have been a response to the old code.

Again, the SOS has easy access to the legislative history for Section 8141. That would clarify one way or another.

Ms. Wear has gone out of her way here following my criticism earlier in the week, and I appreciate her effort.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Code Enforcement Task Force agenda for Friday's meeting

Code Enforcement Task Force Meeting
June 13, 2008 9:00 A.M until 1:30 PM
Humboldt County Board of Supervisor’s Chambers
825 5th Street, Eureka, CA 95501

Johanna Rodoni Second District Supervisor
Jill Geist Fifth District Supervisor
Phil Smith-Haynes Asst. County Office Administrator
Bonnie Blackberry Civil Liberties Monitoring Project
Liz Davidson Civil Liberties Monitoring Project
Wes Juliana Civil Liberties Monitoring Project
Dan Taranto At-Large Representative
Jack Bernstein At-Large Representative
Robert Vogt At-Large Representative
Staff (invited):
Wendy Chaitin Interim County Counsel
Richard Hendry Deputy County Counsel
Paul Gallegos (or designee) District Attorney
Kirk Girard Community Development Services
Brian Cox Div. of Environmental Health

Call to Order-Supervisor Geist
Continue Staff Response to Questions submitted by Bonnie Blackberry at
April 8th meeting.
Summarize Public Input from Board of Supervisor’s April 8th meeting.
Discussion of the Inspection and Warrants document, dated May 15, 2008.
Woods Ranch (this item may be moved after agenda item 6 and 7 at the
discretion of Task Force members).
Tasks, Finding and Recommendation Due Date – July 8, 2008.
Discuss Evaluation process, Recommendation and Report Findings format.
Discuss next meeting topics and date – Suggested date: June 27th.

Board of Supervisors, County of Humboldt, 825 5th St., Eureka, CA 95501
~ 707 476-2390 ~ Finalized 6/6/08

Sunday, June 08, 2008


From the Humboldt Democrats - Camp Obama

As Barack Obama says “This is our time!”

We cannot take for granted that this will be an easy election. It is time to come together and work together to elect a Democratic Presidential ticket in November!


Reply promptly to reserve your space.

CAMP OBAMA - Is a one day volunteer organizing training that the Obama campaign has taught all over the country. Obama campaign organizers from the Bay Area are going to be here to connect with us. We need to build a team of dedicated volunteers from Humboldt County who want to see a Democrat in the White House - Barack Obama.

The number of participants will determine the location so I need to hear from everyone as soon as possible. If you are traveling from out of town, we will find you a couch to sleep on if you need it. Just let me know.

Mary Ann Lyons
Barack Obama Campaign Coordinator, Humboldt County


Veep polls - blue and red

Who should Obama pick for VP?
Hillary Clinton
Ed Rendell
Katherine Sebelious
John Kerry
Bill Richardson
Claire McCasgill
Jim Webb
Sam Nunn
Barbara Boxer
Other (name)
Free polls from

Who should McCain pick for VP?
John Thune
Mike Huckabee
Mitt Romney
Marsha Blackburn
Kay Bailey Hutchinson
JC Watts
Tim Pawlenty
Condi Rice
Joe Lieberman
Other (name)
Free polls from


In all the political hoopla...

I forgot to post a note about the Beginnings story in last week's Redwood Times, which has a couple of nice photos.

According to the story, Peter and the group have raised 160 grand towards the expansion, over half the goal. Quite a feat in a very dry time for fund raising.


Bill M. v. Bill. O.

On the other side of this link is a video of a priceless exchange. I'm not posting the video here as I have a number of videos up already and it's been reported to me that I'm stressing dial-up folk out.

Anyway, Bill O'Reilly practices a guerrilla tactic in his journalism in which he sends an underling to harass some of the many people who won't give him the time of day in an interview. They're usually on the street, maybe on their way to work or home. He doesn't expect them to give in to an interview, but revels in the responses which are usually an irritated "no comment" followed by an increased pace of walking so as to create the impression that the target is hiding some truth or refusing to face America for some Fox-perceived transgression.

Well, they made two mistakes this time. They went after Bill Moyers, who understands the game and how to play it. The second mistake was to do it at the National Conference for Media Reform where there were bound to be camera people would record the event beyond the Fox editing. So the poor guy gets an earful of fatherly lecturing and advice from Moyers, then is treated with his own medicine by reform-minded reporters on their way out who were more than overtly aware of the irony and themselves reveling in the moment.

If only Bill O. himself had showed up!

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Bernie Sanders on the collapse of the middle class

Part of his letter:
Dear Friend,

As gas and oil prices soared and as the nation slipped into recession, I made a request to Vermonters on my e-mail list. I asked them to tell me what was going on in their lives economically. That was it. Frankly, I expected a few dozen replies. I was amazed, therefore, when my office received over 600 responses from all across the state, as well as some from other states. This small booklet contains a few of those letters.

You can download the booklet here.

Friday, June 06, 2008


And this just in...

For those of you wondering what happened at the private Obama/Clinton summit last night, all the news that's fit to spit!
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California got the call from Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday afternoon: Could she, would she let Mrs. Clinton use her home in Northwest Washington for a little sit-down with a certain senator from Illinois, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States?

Mrs. Feinstein had made the offer before and it was still good. And so a few hours later, at just about 9 p.m., Mrs. Clinton and Senator Barack Obama arrived for a face to face chat. No staff. No spouses. Just the two of them in Mrs. Feinstein’s living room.

The California senator had set up two chairs facing each other. She served them water. Nothing else. Two aides were sent to Mrs. Feinstein’s study. And Secret Service agents stayed outside.

And so it happened, The Meeting, that Democrats knew was inevitable, but for a long while thought would never come. It lasted about an hour.

And Mrs. Feinstein said she did not ask what was said. But in an interview outside the Senate chamber she said she hoped the two candidates had gotten some time to decompress and discuss the road ahead.
Wow! I feel informed. Do you feel informed? Water. Nothing else. Chairs in the living room. Got it. Did the aides in Mrs. Feinstein's study play video games? Did Mrs. Feinstein have anything besides Solitaire and Minesweep? Did the aides get any water? Was it served with ice?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Addendum: Um. Speaking of water. Six seconds that confused the world.


Second addendum: No wonder the fatigue set in. Obama visited 57 states.

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