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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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The “self-appointed PC ayatollahs”

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When I read Tim Martin’s thoughts about a particular class of Arcatans I was struck by how easily he could be writing about a slew of local blogs and their resident commenters.

051614_T_MartinHere’s a thought: What color’s the sky in your world, Arcata?

Tim Martin Eureka – Times Standard
Posted:Sun May 18 01:18:36 MDT 2014 –  Times-Standard.com

I’ve never been accused of being a lackey for the Republican Party. To the contrary, I’ve been a loyal
supporter of Democrats since I was old enough to vote. But what I experienced during the 20 years I lived
in a college town has me wondering if, in the end, liberals are no different than their conservative
counterparts.

Talk to a passionate liberal in Arcata, say, a haughty former mayor or an arrogant ex-newspaper editor or
some like-minded individual with over-sensitive, myopic Pollyanna views and a superior attitude. They will
more than likely offer this lofty opinion of their citizenry: “Democrats are the most rational people in this
country. Republicans only care about themselves. They eat meat, don’t recycle or compost, and drive gas
guzzlers.” Blah, blah, blah, rag, rag, rag, get the picture?

Their complaints have become like Eminem lyrics that way.

Arcata is the most sanctimonious town in Northern California. It’s a hotbed of lofty musings and
self-deception. Many of its residents are as essentially naïve about the real world as George H.W. Bush
was when confronted with his first supermarket scanner.

Of course, not everyone in Arcata is bathed in a fine mist of bias and insensitivity. There are plenty of
residents untouched by HSU’s ivory-tower smugness. Yet a good number of those in charge — city
leaders and self-appointed PC ayatollahs — are mired in a self-righteous rut that runs roughshod over
such heinous criminals as cigarette smokers and tree-fallers and (gasp!) skateboarders. Their list of
dissatisfactions with anything right-wing related is nearly despair-grade.

Case in point: I recently wrote a column about the need for conservationists and the timber industry to
work together. You would have thought I had suggested slaying senior citizens. A few of my Facebook
friends (mostly Arcata residents) were choked with fury. One labeled me a “traitor.” Another person stated
that my recent move to Fortuna had turned me into “just another dumb redneck.”

Arcata government is so hilariously prone to arrogance that it has become immune to any sort of
self-awareness. The most influential among the ruling elite actually feel an obligation to project their
political views, gender bias, and moral authority on everyone else in the county. I have a suspicion that
this kind of snobbery takes place in every college town in the United States.

Sure, everyone does a little innocent judging from time to time, but the high command in Arcata takes it to
the limit. They paint with a broad brush and create feelings of anger and resentment in other Humboldt
residents. They want you to believe that conservatives eat their children, foreclose on your homes, and
put good people out of a job. They chastise anyone who doesn’t fit into their cultish, narrow-minded
perception of the universe that is Arcata.

These folks give higher education a bad name.

According to a poll by the New York Times, conservatives donate more to charity than liberals do. Believe
it or not, they also volunteer their time, give generously to their communities, and help feed the poor. Their
representatives are not immune from taking money from big-wig donors or free from the influence-peddling, but neither are liberal politicians. The truth is people are people. Not everyone who lives in Arcata is a long-haired, unemployed hippy. And not everyone who resides elsewhere in Humboldt County is a white-trash pickup-driving moron with a truck horn that plays “Dixie.”

Liberals and conservatives alike generalize. They are inclined to reduce people who have different
religious, environmental, political, and sexual beliefs into some type of caricature. It’s pathetic that after all
we’ve accomplished in the areas of civil rights, women’s rights and worker’s rights, we’re still divided by a
deep chasm of ignorance and mistrust. Even the most educated among us — those who teach at our local
colleges and lead our nation — are clueless as how to unite the people in this country.

I think it’s time for a call of honesty and wisdom of the heart from everyone. We can start by practicing
humbleness instead of preaching superiority. That’s the sign of a great leader, you know — humility.
Arcata’s most out-of-touch citizens might want to begin by wiping that condescending smirk off their faces,
stepping outside of town once-in-a-while, and developing a better understanding of those in their
community. You know, like blue-collar workers and conservative voters. We’re all negotiating the sea of
life here in Humboldt. And despite what one ex-town mayor might think, we’re not all dumb rednecks.

Tim Martin resides in Fortuna and writes this column for the Times-Standard.

–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

Don’t Rake Those Leaves

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Improve your soil by raking less

by Terry Ettinger

no_rake_leavesIf you dread the annual fall leaf-raking marathon, we have good news for you: Raking and collecting leaves every autumn is a tradition without scientific basis. Read More…

This article came along just at the right time. I was planning on using the grass-catcher to pick up all those leave the neighbor’s tree deposits all over my lawn the next time I mowed, but now I’m just going to mulch. GREAT!

Might as well put a plug in for the Fine Gardening website. It’s been a great source of “how to” information for me.

How to Reduce Maintenance

Some time-saving tactics can make your garden easier to care for

by Sydney Eddison

This is a great article for older gardeners — lots of help and great ideas here.

–Joe

Written by Joe Blow

November 3, 2009 at 3:29 am

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