Tuesday, July 31, 2012

As It Stands, It's About Time


Finally, something worth your time to read that doesn't insult your intelligence!

Good job Dave.

It is my personal belief that when someone such as newspaper Editors, and other people given space such as Dave Stancliff, and apparently the new opinionator The Reverend Eric Duff are obligated to use that space for words of truth, honesty and value. In other words, write about subject matter that's important and substantive to the local reader. I had almost given up on Dave Stancliff when I noticed the face and name of The Reverend Eric Duff's From Time To Time writings appearing more and more on a regular basis. His latest is, “Fracking's effects to be felt globally.”

I don't know if Reverend Duff's articles had a positive influence on Dave or not, but I finally got my worthwhile article last Sunday, July 29, 2012, titled: Rhetoric and reality follow movie massacreWhat he writes about is pertinent and substantive. I honestly believe there just might be some hope for that man yet. One of the biggest problems people have, and my interactions with Dave revealed this issue, is that what people do and what they say, never the twain do meet.

To explain, when I decided to compliment Dave on his progress I began by looking for a current picture that would define the article and came across this picture above at the following link posted June 28, 2012, under: (Hope he doesn't mind reprinting it here.)
AS IT STANDS: An attempt to explain a column that doesn’t really have a category 
Good Day Humboldt County! 
I was talking newspapers with a guy, while waiting in a long line the other day, when I mentioned that I wrote a column for The Times-Standard. He asked what kind of column did I write? 
After hesitating a moment I said, “An opinion column.” But my answer seems incomplete in retrospect, because I didn’t always opine about things. Sometimes I tell stories about people and animals. I’ve also been known to examine physical and mental conditions, along with humorous and satirical takes on life. 
As It Stands is a combination of a poor man’s YOU INSERT YOUR FAVORITE SYNDICATED NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST HERE, and now retired, Gary Larson’s, Far Side comic strip. I like to write about odd and weird things whenever possible. 
I do enjoy getting up on my bully pulpit to protest corruption wherever I see it. I only take stands on subjects that I strongly believe in. Probably the best thing about my column is I write about anything I want to! With a wide variety of subjects explored, I’m bound to pick up some regular readers, whose comments, by the way, keep me writing. 
Longtime readers know that I’m a retired newspaper editor & publisher, and a Vietnam veteran with PTSD that doesn’t get out of the house too often. If it wasn’t for the World Wide Web, I would have lost contact with the outside world a long time ago. This blog, and my column, give me two more reasons to get up in the morning. 
As It Stands, there’s so many new things to write about every day, it really helps chase boredom away! (Emphasis added)
While his take on subject matter is dependent upon his definitions of value and substance, my question is does what he write “pass HIS smell test”? In other words does his writings produce the product he says he's making? This is what Dave says to everyone that come to his blog: “WELCOME TO AS IT STANDS. WE ALL HAVE OPPORTUNTIES (sic) IN LIFE TO TAKE NEW PATHS, AND TO EXPLORE NEW IDEAS. THIS BLOG OFFERS THE READER A CHANCE TO WALK DOWN NEW ROADS. I LIVE IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY. JOIN ME EACH DAY TO GO ON A NEW PATH WITH STORIES AND 0PINIONS THAT WILL STIMULATE YOUR MIND.” (Emphasis added)

As someone that Dave contested with for a period of time over the issue of mind stimulation, let see how he does next Sunday. Lets all hope he keeps up the good work and continues with relevant and pertinent thought provoking subject matter.

So, in Dave's words, “NOW, IT'S TIME FOR ME TO WALK ON DOWN THE ROAD...”

[UPDATE :: Friday, August 17, 2012]

Well, I'll be a ring-tailed cat! Our man Dave did it again, TWICE. His first article was about “Democracy in America: Going, going, gone!” and his latest is about, “AB 1536: Texters rejoice, rest fear for theirlives” both commendable.

When I read his comments on “American Democracy” I was reminded how his article was more of an indictment of the propagandized, indolent American Voter. He says the country needs “real leadership, but doesn't see it coming from either side of the aisle.” That's because, while he is right about the need, the problem isn't Democrat or Republican elected politicians, it is the people that do NOT want real leaders. A good example of that is what we've got right here in Eureka with the so-called “Interim” Chief of Police, Murl Harpham. We find out today that the people of Eureka made sure they kept and protected that 78 year old reprobate in office, putting aside the hiring of a new Chief of Police like they made everyone think they were doing, to make him a full fledged Chief so he can finish and establish his legacy in grand style. (See, "Eureka drops police chief hiring process; 'interim' to be dropped from Chief Harpham's title as city looks to fill post next year." Yeah! With a fine Murl Harpham protege. A sad day on Humboldt Bay.  

People get the Democracy they want, even when their voting for two Monarchies and their representative Kings they dutifully call President.

[UPDATE :: Monday, August 20, 2012]


I guess the past three weeks must of over-taxed our resplendent Opinionator's little gray cells. Sunday, August 19, 2012, waste-of-space “Contemporary art – it's not for everyone” pushes the limit when there are serious local issues that need to be aired out like Friday's headline reporting the latest coup by the Eureka One Percenters: “Eureka drops police chief hiring process'Interim' to be dropped from Chief Harpham's title as city looks to fill post nest year.” The push for a Harpham protégé rolls on.

But, alas! Such serious, pertinent and relevantly LOCAL issues are NOT a topic for discussion in the As It Stands world. Dave candidly talks about the need for leaders and leadership. Well Dave, here's your golden opportunity. Why don't you make the most of it?


Friday, July 27, 2012

Communist Censorship and McCarthyism

[UPDATE Below] [UPDATE II :: Natural consequence:  "Why don't American oligarchs fear the consequences of their corruption, and how can that be changed?"]

Totalitarians thrive in the dark. They operate in the dark realms of the voodoo believers. Force people to operate on superstitions, mythological traditions, or secular religious cults in one form or another, call them political parties or organizations and you easily control the general population. That is, as long as the "common man and woman" believes they have some relevant say in matters.

So the priority is to keep people in ignorance if they can't keep information silenced. In the computer and Internet age where there is widespread travel, movies and television this has become rather difficult. In America, specially after World War Two, college and university education came to the low-class masses in America – predominantly the men. It then became their goal to see their children go to college and upgrade their status in society. Problem was, the education their children were getting, to a large extent, contradicted their propagandistic brainwashed beliefs the war had forced upon them, so what to do. Information of any kind doesn't benefit anyone if they can't think. That required changing their priority from thinking motivated people to believing motivated people. All they had to do was make their children believe they were worthless individuals unable to think for themselves. Make them believe that whatever they thought or believed, whatever ideas they came up with equal to any adult was worthless nonsense. Fortunately, this sickness that pervades America and the World didn't afflict everyone. You can always tell who these sick McCarthyites are.

The first thing the totalitarian type does is attack dissenters, disbelievers or thinking people personally. Their attacks start out with the usual lying accusations of an emotional issue denigrating the legitimacy of your right or ability to any kind of worthwhile or valid idea, statement, or belief, i.e., “you're angry,” “you're sick,” or in extreme cases, “you're crazy.” In Russia they promptly shipped such people off to Siberia by the millions for “indoctrination” of their sickness  –  not agreeing. In America, they put you in the nether world of rejected silence, a place of nonexistence – the Siberian equivalent.

America is blessed with an interesting phenomenon, some might even say paradox, in that those championing and defending all American's inherent right to their personal freedoms of expression and religion against such tyrannical Communistic or Socialist censorship are the strongest defenders of it. Senator Joe McCarthy was a good example of this.
“Today the term (McCarthyism) is used more generally in reference to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character and/or patriotism of political opponents.”
Which we see utilized and enforced on a regular basis in these Internet blogs. What's paradoxical about such McCarthyite defenders of freedom are the very people you'd least expect. President Barck Obama is a good example. Glenn Greenwald speaks to this issue in his article, “Most likely to attack Iran.
*** Obama — by leading progressives and Democrats to support his embrace of Bush/Cheney Terrorism and civil liberties policies — was doing more to entrench those once-controversial policies as bipartisan consensus than Bush and Cheney themselves could ever have dreamt of doing.”
Of recent date, another one of these people has begun or at least tried to incite a similar Joe McCarthy mentality, some might say spirit, into my participation on blogs where he writes and makes comments. It's probably the very last person in Humboldt County you would expect, too. Here's an example of the latest: 

An Interesting Moment in the Senate by Eric Kirk

Eric Kirk said 23 hours ago:  Again Joe posts his default response to any news about the body politic. Again Joe, we know you think it’s all bullshit, and there are some posters who agree with you. But don’t you get tired of typing the same stuff over and over again?
Seems innocent or innocuous enough of a comment to say that all anyone posts is repetitious bullshit not fit to read. But then, look who is doing to talking. It is in this arrogant, self-righteous attitude that the roots of bigotry, bias, prejudice, and hatred live and feed.

This article is an update to the Good Ol' Boy Club below.

[UPDATE :: Tuesday, July 31. 2012]

Mind-numbing “body politic.” Local political junky and rhetorical propaganda enabler shows the way to what Glenn Greenwald explains in his latest article: Extremism normalized. If you want to know the root cause of what Greenwald is exposing, go no further than Eric Kirk's blog, SoHum Parlance II and his posts on the Humboldt Herald blog. Tune into the Comment Section and prepare to become inundated with boredom. It's comparable to those old science classes where everyone was forced to dissect for the umpteenth time those rotten smelling bullfrogs.

[UPDATE II :: Wednesday, August 1, 2012]

No fear. When I communicate with the likes of an Eric Kirk, a practicing lawyer in Humboldt County, the one constant that impressed me was his cavalier approach to the horrendous consequences descending upon the people of this country, including right here where we all live. Glenn Greewald puts it this way in his article: Chris Hayes on elite failure.
I see no evidence that “rich people are very, very afraid” — at least not by their actions. And that, to me, is the problem. That fear — a lot more of it — is necessary. Their ability to rope themselves off from the society they are degrading, combined with the para-militarization of domestic police forces (aggressively displayed in response to the Occupy movement and related protests), and the rapidly increasing domestic powers of surveillance and detention (designed to intimidate the citizenry and thus deter and guard against mass protests), have convinced them, I think, that they need not fear any protest movements or social unrest, that America can and will become more and more of a police state to suppress it. An elite class that is free to operate without limits — whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior — is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power.
The problem for these Fearless Fosdicks is that "nothing is ever as it seems" and they're in for a big surprise.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Good Ol' Boy's Club

What's going on with the Times-Standard's Opinion Page? It's bad enough that most of the news is canned Spam, and that the local news is mostly regurgitated press releases. To know what the featured national opinionators have to say, all that is required is to read one of their opinion pieces. Then the next time you see their name or names, you just pass them by since you already know what they are going to say. No originality, no imagination, no substance, nothing more than the same old self-justifying "talking points." The same is true of the ONLY local opinion writer, Dave Stancliff and his pablum filled As It Stands articles that dominates a half page of every Sunday Edition. That is until another face kept showing up on a regular basis taking up the My Word portions of the paper with his wordy nothingness. This is the Reverend Eric Duff, an "Episcopal priest and licensed clinical social worker." Just what we need, another "priest" telling everyone what to believe  indoctrinating every reader in the Editor's theological social rote.

My Word opinions are considered “Guest Editorials” by the paper. The newspaper say that: “My Words of 500-700 word are reserved for regional issues and related items of high local interest.” It doesn't take long to tell when reading some of these My Word commentaries that meeting this standard: “regional issues and related items of high local interest” resides ONLY in the “eye of the beholder.” In other words, as a “guest editorial” whatever you write must meet the same criteria as the newspaper's Editor or whoever it is that is responsible for the paper's editorial.

So, good luck getting something published if what you have say is both of a “regional issue” and or a related item of “high local interest.” All the newspaper cares about is filling their pages with gobbledy gook. You know what “gobbledy gook” is, don't you? Here's a good example I pulled at random out of my stack of old papers: “What exactly happened to everybody's sense of humor?” Seems like a substantive and criteria-meeting “item of high local interest,” right? Read the article and you see he has made his point, no one can talk to anyone today without committing some form of crime – let alone “make a joke.” Got a problem with your neighbor? You can get arrest for simply approaching him or her and asking them what their problem is? They just MIGHT FEEL threatened – a serious crime anymore. Never you mind that your neighbor ACTUALLY threatens to physically harm you, your family or property; a crime in any country. So, what was his solution? I guess he is following the newspaper editor's solution and directs everyone to the “other” always “entertaining” comedian, Dave Stancliff. (See the As It Stands: Who would you like to have lunchor dinner with?)

Since getting some of my priorities reorganized, I haven't spent much time reading As It Stands opinion. I do check him out and most always scan (speed read) through his commentaries. I really don't have much time to spend on someone as proven able and astute as Dave Stancliff when he spends or wastes his gift (a weekly, Sunday column) and talent writing about nonsense, always patting himself on the back and calling it and himself “entertaining.” Sadly, it seems, the same thing is happening to The Rev. Eric Duff's From Time To Time columns as well. His latest, Humboldt happiness: It's in the air really stretches the imagination to see how what he says is “an item of high local interest.” More like juvenile pablum served up by a hollow, empty, small-minded “newspaper” editor.

The problem is, these people, Dave Kuta, Kimberly Wear or Marc Valles DO NOT publish letters or My Word editorials that are relevant and substantive, in place of filling their pages status quo or standard “entertainment.” But then, no one would know anything about that, would you. They just quietly file such commentaries in the trash. What we need is someone with the guts and cojones that is adult enough to stand up to the substantive issues facing our community – what it actually takes to start talking to and about one another's juvenile conduct.

My problem with all of this Good Ol' Boy Club stuff is that we all know how it works in the “real” world of politics and business controlled by the 1%. In times past everyone believed that newspapers at least tried to stay above that corruption. Well, some of them did anyway. Here, with the Times-Standard you've got the one and only “retired editor” and a club of would-be “editors” vying for your attention. Check out some of the local blogs and you'll find the same Good Ol' Boy's Club practicing and engaging in the same kind of ingratiating, self-serving stroking. So read on for whatever it is worth.

tr.v. strokedstrok·ingstrokes
1. To rub lightly, with or as if with the hand or something held in the hand; caress.
2. Informal To behave attentively or flatteringly toward, especially in order to restore to confidence or win over.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Supervisor's Set Priorities – for the Vote that Counts

Was that the vote at the ballot box the 1,450 caregivers made when they voted for the current crop of County Supervisors? Or was it the vote some of the more wealthy property owners made with their dollar election support?

What strikes you when reading the front page of the Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Times-Standard newspaper? Aside from the fact that Shell's WindEnergy program isn't bringing any future business or jobs to Humboldt County or any tax dollars either are the two other headlines. First one is, Humboldt insists no wage increase forhome care workers and Supervisors approve adding moreWilliamson Act properties.

This is what the paper says about Home-Care workers:
“Negotiators for the county's In-Home Supportive Services workers -- who help aged, blind and disabled individuals remain in their own homes -- have been petitioning the county for increased wages. Care workers currently make minimum wage -- set at $8 an hour -- and don't receive any benefits.”
And this is what it says about the benefits for private landowners:
“The board voted 5-0 to accept new applications this year, allowing the county to enter into contracts with private landowners as a way to restrict land use to agricultural or preservation purposes. Participating landowners receive lower property tax assessments.”
County Supervisor priority speaks loud and clear. The picture caption of the Bulldog on the same page probably says it all about what your vote gets you – Whatta dog!