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Fred’s Little Piece of Paradise

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082814_Paradise-RedwoodsWhen I read Fred’s latest – Fred and Marcy Sittin’ In a Tree… – and I thought about why I commented on his previous article (Why Repair Brick Chimneys?), it occurred to me why we are where we are in our Democracy. It would be nice to live in a utopian world, especially here on the North Coast. Good, decent, efficient, uncorrupt elected government representatives, just courts, police that protect and serve EVERYONE, an unpolluted bay and rivers, no homeless, no drugs and no bad effects of the decades-long criminal marijuana business. But, then that might be too boring for Paradise.

Thinking about how it is today in Eureka – Humboldt County actually – reminded me of how it was for my parents right after the war. My father was logging in Southern Humboldt, decided to buy a 40 acre piece of land that bordered a county road and build a home. So, he opened up a road to a place with a great view and began. No issues with connecting to the county road. Not long afterwards a PG&E truck pulled up, the driver wanted to know if my father wanted them to run a line to the house, a house he hadn’t even started building yet. Wouldn’t cost him a dime, all he had to do was set a pole for a meter box. Over a period of time my father, with some family and friends help built a beautiful home. He installed his own sewer system, water system and built a two car garage. Not one time that I can remember was he ever hassled by a county building inspector. He paid taxes on the home and property, so they must of signed off on the home at sometime. I don’t remember periodic inspections either. I know he often talked about making sure everything met building codes. Today that would be unthinkable. When I read Fred’s naivete I know why. The Planning Commission has become and institution unto itself.

The problem is that the more laws everyone is subject, not to mention the self-imposed laws the police subject everyone to, the more lawless everyone becomes. Then there are the so-called “good citizens,” like Fred setting standards for everyone with their brilliant opinions. They got their noses in everyone’s business. If they can’t tell you what to do they’ll tell you how to think and what to believe. No one ever grows up. And, so goes Paradise.

In my lifetime, paradise was for my mother’s and father’s generation. Growing up in those years, I can tell you, and you too Fred, IT WAS NOT BORING!

–Joe

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Another Knee-Jerker

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“Papers please,” they demand.

Another police tool.

Last week it was license plate scanner – a necessary police tool to track and document who you are, where you live, work, shop and play. Today it’s “Irrigation crackdown” in the Times-Standard. Another necessary police tool in the form of the law AB 2284 by Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata on the governor’s desk for signing. Chesbro says, according to Megan Hansen, “this legislation gives law enforcement new tools to protect public resource lands and private industrial timberland from harmful environmental practices. He defines the “practices” as “drug operations.” The “tool,” he says is, law enforcement (peace officers = Megan Hansen) would have to power to stop and question people transporting visible irrigation supplies through unpaved or gravel roads.

“Transporting visible irrigation supplies” sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it? Would that be “supplies” on a big truck or in the back of pickup? What’s next fertilizers, building materials? Maybe it’s permanent security check points at county lines or better yet one between Eureka and Fortuna, at Bridgeville, Garberville, Trinidad – you name it.

It’s always the same thing with Knee-Jerkers. There’s always some overriding need to supplant, ignore or parse long established law.

Is This Guy an MRE?

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I’m not sure Eric Kirk rises to the status of an “Elite.” As a younger person than I, recollecting upon previous statements of his, he came into the heart of the Emerald Triangle in its heyday. He’s worked in Southern Humboldt, supporting that community as a businessman and a lawyer. That community, with rare exception embraced the counterfeit prosperity brought in by a sub-culture of outlaw marijuana growers, sellers and exporters. While to local business people postured over the lawlessness of these criminals, they were certainly not loath to look the other way as they raked in all those cash dollars. The consequences are over 50 years of generational corruption, moral and ethical debasement.

This writer’s post, while certainly hilarious on it’s face, certainly, to those of us that have remained unstained by the stench of this feces, is without any doubt“Morally Repugnant”:

Giving growers a bad name

June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized | Tags:  | by  | 41 comments

Someone dumped a bunch of spent marijuana grow soil into the Arcata Bottoms, disturbing a very vulnerable habitat.  The Arcata Eye has the photos.We know nothing about the people who did the dumping, and I know there are much worse transgressions than this – but what is clear is that there is a certain nihilist element in the growing community which becomes evident with each headline.  This incident visually symbolizes what appears to be a decline of ethics and increase in self-centered disregard for community in an industry which is broadly trying to become legit.  This is what leads public figures to rail about “unholy alliances” and will certainly contribute to a very definitive backlash.

Maybe some values are simply not surviving from one generation to the next? [Emphasis added]

Giving Growers a BAD name? Did you read the comments? You’ve got to read the comments. Here’s how they start with one classic apologist’s comment:

Kym Kemp  June 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm
  A good chance is that they are first generation growers folks who moved here for the money not for the lifestyle.

“First generation growers” “who moved here for the money”? I wonder where she got that idea. I was there at that time and I can tell you “they” – most “they(s)” – didn’t move here for the money or “the lifestyle.” They were just trying to survive the only way they knew how. “Lifestyle” – That’s her romantic fantasy.

Hilarious, no? A symbol of “decline of ethics and increase in self-centered disregard for community“? You’ve got to be kidding me! What “community” is he talking about? I’d like to know what kind of “ethics” and “values” he’s talking about. Only a “self-centered nihilist” lawyer “elitist” would ever look at the corruption caused by the “unholy alliances” between the amoral business “community” and the morally corrupt pot grower and fifty years later ask if someone’s dumping “a bunch of spent marijuana grow soil into the Arcata Bottoms” is a “decline in social – community norms. In my book, that is a classic example of a “Morally Repugnant Elitist” as you can find anywhere.

[Source]

PS. If you’d like to know a little more about an MRE I suggest you read the following blog: Warmongers and the MRE blow.

–Joe

What’s Next for Indian Sovereignty?

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[UPDATE Below]

Kym Kemp, Redheaded Blackbelt, posts an interesting commentary on police raids on the Indian Reservation in Covelo, CA titled: Sovereign Nation Or Subject To Local Laws?Round Valley Marijuana Raids Bring Activists And Tribes TogetherPoses some interesting possibilities.

Are we looking at the no man’s land of Iraq and Afghanistan  in our backyard? More and more the police departments are filling their ranks with these war veterans. The Federal Government has successfully co-opted all the local and state policing authorities, producing a “us or them” mentality that is second only to a total state of paranoia. Notice what she says:

In raids reminiscent of earlier, more stringent law enforcement almost 20,000 plants, 2300 pounds of processed marijuana, 19 firearms and over $40,000 in cash were seized. Over 40 people were arrested. (42 actually)

Trippet describes the raids as very hard-hitting. She says there were “…three days of relentless helicopter noise, hovering at tree top level” over the Round Valley Reservation.  She calls these three days “…a prolonged terrorizing of the town but only the latest assault on Indian people.”

These people coming together should realize the potential consequences of their actions, “bringing activist and Indian tribes together. What do you think will happen when all any of these “Federal, state and local agents” need is to simply smell or get nothing more than just a hint of some kind of activity they can brand or label as some sort of a conspiracy? You already get that smell with the “sovereign nation” issue. What happens when these people determine to defend that sovereignty? These raids were in the light of day. What’s next? Some sort of extra-judicial hunter killer teams working in the dark of the night? 19 guns, 40 people, half of them probably women – what about the children and other innocent people?  The simple accusation of terrorism takes away all legal rights of citizenship.

What I’d like to know is how did they know who to go after?
[PressDemocrat’s October report]

[UPDATE :: Saturday, January 1, 2011]

Here is a copy of a rather interesting comment posted on the Kym’s article above:

Thanks for bringing this up Kym. The ugly face of racism shows it face again in Covelo.
From what I heard, this was more of a military raid on the Indians than a law enforcement action. Whilst those thousand pound crops in the hills go “unnoticed”, the tribes got pounded. Again from hearsay, it was my understanding that the helicopters were flying very low, with manned machine guns in the open sidedoors. They would never get away with doing that around SoHum.
Shortly thereafter the Laytonville Rancheria was subjected to the same low flying helicopters surveillance, but no raids.
I sincerely hope this gets some national press.

I don’t know what makes him think “they” would never get away with a military-style operation in SoHum. Maybe he should take a second look at how the Sheriff’s Department and local police departments are enforcing the law these days. Might start by asking someone that’s on parole how it is.

–Joe

Just Desserts?

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Bloomberg Businessweek published on MSNBC this rather all inclusive report about marijuana in California.

Reefer sadness for pot farmers

Marijuana growers in California find legalization could be worst thing that ever happened

It was the following excerpt that really pissed me off:

Jason says he clears $150,000 to $200,000 a year in profit from the land surrounding his house, depending on how good the crop is. He earns more from other plots he owns nearby. He doesn’t pay taxes on the income because he doesn’t file a return (“I don’t lie about it. That’s when you get in trouble”). Spending all that cash in the middle of nowhere can be a challenge. He and his wife eat all-organic, and he’s got a few trucks to play with as well as a $28,000 Kubota backhoe. Some of the money is “seasoned” slowly into a bank account, so as not to draw attention.

How long has this been going on?

The 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which legalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical use in California, ushered in a green golden age. *** The very vagueness of the rules created opportunity: Midlevel entrepreneurs such as Jason who were willing to live with the risks and ambiguities of a semi-legitimate market rushed in and thrived, though there are no reliable estimates of how many there are. [Emphasis added]

$200,000 plus tax-free dollars for 10 years or more? No wonder they can thumb their noses at us dummies that work for honest dollars. In all the years that I hired out as a logger or truck driver, even when the wife worked we were lucky to GROSS, in the beginning $20 to $30,000, later it was rare to even get close to $40,000. It wouldn’t bother me to see these people lose all of their ill-gotten gains.

Yeah! I know that just being spiteful. After getting it rammed in all the dark places for 50 years, you sometimes get that way. [Source]

–Joe

Marijuana Ballot Initiatives Unintended Consequences

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[UPDATE on Eureka council set to consider medical marijuana ordinance – Tuesday, July 20, 2010]

Do Marijuana Ballot Initiatives Help Democrats Win?

Interesting article in the Atlantic by Senior Editor Joshua Greene. He writes about how putting something on the ballot that actually means something to a certain segment of society moves that group, in this case younger people, under 35, to participate — vote.

Are there benefits for the Democrats, Republicans or or does any of this just plain help the people to have a say?

–Joe

Help name Firedoglake’s Marijuana Legalization Campaign

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[UDATE Below]   

Here’s the latest Joe Blow Report contribution the Marijuana Legalization Campaign

The following is copied from the FireDogLake website:

user   

Late Nite FDL 4/20: “Name That Pot Campaign” Contest!

By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday April 20, 2010 8:02 pm

It’s been a few years since the last FDL Late Nite contest allowed our readers to display their skill at doggerel. Four to be exact.   

Long-time FDLers will remember that in 2006, the Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, shot Harry Whittington in the face and then refused to talk to the cops about it for a day.   In order to commemorate that notable event, we held the Dick Cheney poetry contest — or “Dickfest” as we called it.  Hundreds of entries were submitted, our readers voted, and the prize went to 88 for this poem:   

If epitaphs were polygraphs,
This, terse and edifying,
Would crown the veep in final sleep:
Here lies Big Time–still lying.   

Dickfest was immensely popular, inspiring art, a t-shirt line, and even imitators. Since that time, we haven’t felt that there has been a moment quite so poignantly appropriate to display the poetic prowess of our readers til now:  We need a great name for our marijuana campaign.   

Some suggested that we simply appropriate the “yes we cannabis” slogan that other campaigns have used, but after perusing a bunch of old High Times covers I became convinced that our readers, inspired by the subject matter, could easily surpass that. So here are the rules:   

  1. All entries must be submitted in the form below by 8pm ET tomorrow night.
  2. Slogan must be no longer than 5 words — should be able to fit on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt.
  3. Semi-final voting will begin tomorrow night at 8pm, when we’ll be here at Late Nite once again to let everyone know what the entries are. Voting will close at 8pm the following night.
  4. The top 10 vote getters will proceed to the finals on Thursday Night Late Night, and voting will continue through the weekend.
  5. We’ll announce the Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists at Late Nite a week from tonight.

Remember — the campaign is not aimed at babes in bikinis roller skating on the Venice boardwalk.  Well, not exclusively anyway.  When marijuana legislation goes on the ballot in November and beyond, many voters  are older and likely to be persuaded more by pragmatism than stoner puns. But, hell.  Who are we to limit anyone’s creativity.   

We’ll also use the winning slogan (or slogans, as the case may be) for the campaign, as well as on t-shirts, bumper stickers and whatever else we decide might be good for getting the message out.   

If you’re looking for inspiration, the Marijuana Policy Project has a series of informative short videos on YouTube, the Drug Policy Alliance has a page on myths & facts, Students for Sensible Drug Policy also has a fact sheet, and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has great messaging on how the “War on Drugs” has backfired.   

We also have some special guests who have been working on drug policy for years who will be joining us in the comments.  So please help me welcome them as we celebrate 4/20 in fine FDL fashion.  It’s great to be back hosting Late Nite once again, and I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of everyone’s personal 4/20 celebration in the comments.   

Submit your entries here — and remember, 5 words or less   

    


 
There’s a Times-Standard front-page article on the local celebration you can read here.   

Interesting commentary by the Arcata Police Chief, Tom Chapman:   

Reputation, and all that comes with it, is a big reason for the increased enforcement folks saw firsthand Tuesday.   

It’s not just this event, it’s everything the event brings with it. There’s an influx of people, and the town gets overrun,” Chapman said, adding that his department annually sees increases in petty theft, vandalism, illegal camping and public intoxication in the weeks leading up to April 20. “It’s a national draw. People travel to Arcata for 4/20, and that’s what we want to stop.    *******   

“The main thing we’re trying to accomplish is to make this an unattractive event.”   

That’s message is clear as crystal. Arcata City Government and local business don’t want “these kinds of people” coming to their community for no kind of frolic in the redwoods. The police obviously just don’t like these people and what they represent. When you consider the report of their activities that day, they were there to simply harass these people. Even the Police Chief had to acknowledge that what they were doing had limits. Specially when people bring their children into a war zone “in strollers”.   

“Reputation?” What’s he talking about? Whose reputation? His or Arcata’s?   

The War on Drugs has failed. Heavy-handed law enforcement with the objective to beat undesirable people into submission only breeds systemic failure. The tide has turned; people everywhere are fed-up with being ruled over and victimized by dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liars. More and more the police are forced to make a choice. Political and business leaders should take a lesson.   

–Joe   

[UPDATE :: Friday, April 23, 2010]   

There’s a considerable amount of chaffing among Americans the the “media,” in particular the news media is more partisan, too liberal, not news, but propaganda, etc. This Report has observed that the local news media hasn’t escaped this trap either. The biggest complaint we observe is the constant drumbeat of prejudice propaganda and not so subtle dictatorial, authoritarian commentary telling everyone how to think and what to believe.   

Kevin Hoover of the Arcata Eye, a weekly newspaper and Internet site recently took offense at my usage of the words: “people everywhere are fed-up with being ruled over and victimized by dictatorial, corrupt, stupid, arbitrary liars” he said I was applying to Arcata, CA. A critical read of his commentary will show a rather convoluted understanding of what the Report actually said. Notice my words, “people everywhere”? But then, Kevin Hoover went on in his comments to define those very words and identify the “local” problem when he demonstrated the very same attitude reported in the Time-Standard.  

So, when I read Glenn Greenwald’s, “Various Matters” post on Salon.com this morning it seemed appropriate to copy and repost here. There are some other good commentary, but this one seems appropriate locally.  To show the comparative similarity the words “Humboldt County” were added in parenthesis.  


  

(6) Every now and then there are little vignettes that capture what Washington really is:  an insular, incestuous, fundamentally corrupt royal court, populated — as all sickly imperial capitals are — by political and media courtesans and other hangers-on.  One such vignette was a recent New York Magazine profile of Liz Cheney and her circle of friends, adeptly excerpted by Susan Gardner, which is well worth reading.  Another was just provided by Mark Leibovich in his fawning New York Times Magazine profile of his good friend, the Supreme-stenographer-servant to the powerful, Mike Allen of Politico:   

On a recent Friday night, a couple hundred influentials gathered for a Mardi Gras-themed birthday party for Betsy Fischer, the executive producer of “Meet the Press.” Held at the Washington home of the lobbyist Jack Quinn, the party was a classic Suck-Up City affair in which everyone seemed to be congratulating one another on some recent story, book deal, show or haircut (and, by the way, your boss is doing a swell job, and maybe we could do an interview).   

McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, arrived after the former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie left. Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren had David Axelrod pinned into a corner near a tower of cupcakes. In the basement, a very white, bipartisan Soul Train was getting down to hip-hop. David Gregory, the “Meet the Press” host, and Newsweek’s Jon Meacham gave speeches about Fischer. Over by the jambalaya, Alan Greenspan picked up some Mardi Gras beads and placed them around the neck of his wife, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who bristled and quickly removed them. Allen was there too, of course, but he vanished after a while — sending an e-mail message later, thanking me for coming.   

 If you ever find yourself wondering why there’s so little adversarial journalism and accountability for crimes and corruption in Washington (Humboldt County), just read Gardner’s post and that above passage.  Beltway denizens play various assigned roles — this one reads from the Journalist script, that one poses as a legislator, this one’s a Democrat and that one’s a Republican, the one over there is a regulator, this one is a lobbyist, etc. — but they all feed from the same trough, and their sole allegiance is to their decadent, insular, endlessly nepotistic, and deservedly dying pseudo-aristocratic culture, and to one another.  Chris Hayes captured the point nicely this week in a spontaneous one-minute television outburst.  

Any lessons learned here?

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