Andrew Goff / Monday, March 13 @ 10:57 a.m. / Feel Sad
Sigh. Where were you on Saturday night? Hopefully you were doing something more constructive than making Fort Humboldt ugly. California Department of Parks and Recreations press release below:
Between 5:00 pm on Saturday March 11th and 7:00am March 12th, unknown suspect(s) cut the lock to the entry gate at Fort Humboldt State Historic Park and drove a vehicle into the park off the roadway causing damage to a large area of lawn.
California State Parks would like to urge anyone with information about this incident to please call District Headquarters: 707-445-6547, thank you.
Yesterday: 8 felonies, 16 misdemeanors, 0 infractions
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Monday
1580 Mm36 (HM office): Mud/Dirt/Rock
468 Mm254 (HM office): Trfc Collision-1141 Enrt
Mad River Union: Salmon runs collapse, closing North Coast fishing season
John Hardin / Monday, March 13 @ 8:36 a.m. / Op-Ed
When you hear people talk about how much the marijuana industry helps our local economy, you should remember that what’s “good for the economy,” these days, is really bad for you, our community, and the environment. Whether you build nuclear power-plants, frack for natural gas, make wine or produce black market marijuana, practically everything we do to pump-up the economy, destroys the environment, enslaves the community and kills people. The economy has simply gotten way too big.
After generations of mindlessly pumping-up the economy, we seem to have forgotten that the economy is supposed to serve our needs. Of course we need an economy of some sort, and up to a point, economic activity is a good thing. Up to a point, economic activity puts food on the table and keeps a roof over people’s heads. Up to a point, the rising tide of economic growth raises all boats, but beyond that point, economic growth becomes a tidal bore that destroys everything in its path. We have passed that point.
Look at us. We’ve gotten used to the violent crime, social problems and environmental devastation that come with the terrible racist injustice of the War on Drugs. We know it’s wrong, but now we’re afraid to let it go, because it might hurt the economy. We’d rather have dangerous violent criminals and homeless drug addicts on our streets, and let racist cops prey on people of color all over this country, than risk a possible downturn in the local economy. Could we possibly get any more depraved? …or stupid? What is so valuable about “the economy” that we’re willing to sacrifice our humanity, our community and our planet to protect it? Can’t you feel the economy tightening its grip on you, every day, wrapping its coils around you like a python and squeezing the life out of you? Why would you want to make it bigger?
Think about it. For the economy to grow, it has to get better at prying money out of your pocket. Think about how hard you have to work already, just to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. If you have that much money, these days, you are doing OK, but how does it help you if those things cost three percent more next year?
If you have a little more money than that, you probably have a long list of stuff that you want to buy. It’s not like people don’t already like to spend money, or that there aren’t enough things to spend it on, but as the cost of housing and food goes up by three percent every year, the amount of other stuff you can afford, goes down, so that doesn’t really grow the economy. To keep the economy growing, you have to find ways to force people to spend more than they want to spend on things they can’t afford to do without.
That’s why the health care industry has become so critical to economic growth. As people weigh the costs and benefits of working longer hours vs eating lower quality food vs going homeless, their health suffers, whichever decision they make. Deteriorating health, then motivates people to work more hours, eat lower quality food or go without housing in order to afford expensive medications. These medications have a higher profit margin than either housing or food, and in many cases, people feel a stronger and more visceral need for them, than they do for other basic necessities. As people find themselves unable to afford wholesome food and adequate housing, those high profit margins on drugs that people can’t live without, keep the economy growing, but it sure doesn’t make life better for people.
Now that so many of us are already maxed-out, economically, it becomes more important than ever, if you want to grow the economy, that is, to exploit the failing health of every American, effectively, efficiently, and most of all, profitably. Moreover, food and housing must become less affordable, and attainable, so that more young, healthy, people, do without. That way, they get sick sooner, and become so desperate for drugs that they’ll sacrifice their homes and nutrition to the more upscale, luxury market, who can afford to pay more. That’s what economic growth has planned for you, so don’t get too excited about it.
Greed is a disease. It’s a sickness of the soul that destroys and consumes the people infected with it as surely as greedy people destroy and consume the community and environment around them. No matter how much they have, they still feel that lack, that missing something, that drives them to acquire more. For many, what they lack is self-respect, and all of the drug money in the world won’t buy that for them. Whatever the cause, greedy people have a weakness of the spirit that makes them endlessly needy, but rather than treat them as though they need rehabilitation, we glorify that sickness, celebrate it, consider it a God-given right, and take pride in it as American citizens. Greed gave us President Donald Trump, nationally, and greed made us love the War on Drugs locally.
You cannot build strong communities with sick, weak, greedy people, and this economy makes us sicker, weaker and greedier every day. Everywhere I look, I see desperate people struggling to keep their heads above water, while they step over, and often kick their poor neighbors who have already gone under. Whether you are treading water, sinking, or have already hit bottom, the economy is where we are all going to drown if we don’t find a way to stop this disease.
When we care more about making the economy grow than we do about the people in our community, we have clearly lost our way. The greedy will always want more, and that desperation will destroy us all unless we stop it. Greed is a disease that preys upon the weak. The strong know that everything they need is available to them and have plenty to share. We need more strong people in our community, more than we need a strong economy.
To have strong people in our community, they need to be able to put food on their table and a roof over their head at a price that doesn’t make them work themselves to death, or do something they’re ashamed of. Thanks to the War on Drugs, we have entirely too many people around here who are all too eager to do things we should all be deeply ashamed of. Don’t let them contaminate your thinking with their sick, twisted logic. The economy isn’t helping you one bit, and anyone who says they are helping the economy, really means that they are helping the economy fuck you over. Don’t do anything to make it easier for them.
Andrew Goff / Monday, March 13 @ 8:26 a.m. / Crime
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:
On 03-09-17 at about 1115 hours Special Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant at a residence in the 100 block of First Street in the city of Rio Dell.
Located inside the residence during the service of the warrant were the home owner, 54 year old Jeffrey Edward Newell and 25 year old Samantha Jacobsen. The search revealed approximately 12 grams of methamphetamine, 1 gram of heroin, 5 digital scales, packaging material, a loaded 30-30 rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, and a loaded 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol with a 20 round magazine.
As a result of the investigation Jeffrey was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a residence for the purposes of distributing a controlled substance, being armed while possessing a controlled substance, and possession of a high capacity magazine. Samantha was arrested for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, possession of methamphetamine and possession of heroin.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.
Hank Sims / Sunday, March 12 @ 5:32 p.m. / Crime
From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a rash of vehicle burglaries that occurred on Sunday, March 12, 2017 in Mckinleyville between the hours of 2:30 am and 5:30 am. A total of 13 vehicles were reported to be burglarized on Little Pond Street, Silverado Avenue, Otis Ray Lane, Lynnea Court and Underwood Road.
HCSO would like to remind the community to remove their personal belongings from their vehicles including extra keys, garage door openers, and anything of monetary or personal value.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Humboldt Bay Fire Extinguishes Early-Morning Structure Fire on Pigeon Point Road, Two Dogs Die in the Blaze
John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, March 12 @ 3:49 p.m. / Fire
Humboldt Bay Fire Press Release:
At 0607 hours on 3/12/17, Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to a reported Structure Fire in the 2600 block of Pigeon Point Rd.
Humboldt Bay Fire responded with 3 engines, 1 Squad and 2 Duty Officers. The first arriving unit on scene reported a 30x30 ft. metal building fully involved with fire and the potential to spread to neighboring outbuildings.
The first arriving engine extended a hose line and began to extinguish the fire from the exterior. The second arriving engine established a water supply from a fire hydrant approximately 400 ft. away and Pigeon Point Rd. was shut down for the duration of the incident.
The fire was controlled in 30 minutes and the property owner was located in his residence on the property and stated that a family member and his two dogs had been living in the building but the family member was not home at the time of the fire.
Humboldt Bay fire units remained on scene for 2 hours to completely extinguish the fire and overhaul the contents of the building. The family member arrived on scene and stated his two dogs were in the building at the time of the fire.
The two dogs were located and perished in the fire. There were no Firefighter or civilian injuries. The estimated property damage is $10,000 including the building, its contents and lumber stored next to the building.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and Arcata Fire District provided 1 engine and 1 duty officer to provide coverage to Humboldt Bay Fire during the incident.
Humboldt Bay Fire reminds all property owners to clearly mark their address with visible and reflective signage so Firefighters and other emergency personnel can identify the address from the road at night and during poor weather conditions.
John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, March 12 @ 10:45 a.m. / LoCO Challenge
Humboldt County locals Musette and Vaughn Scott happened upon something very strange while collecting rocks below some recently slid out bluffs at Guthrie Creek yesterday.
“We were collecting rocks and my hubby found this laying on top of the sand near the water,” Musette Scott wrote on Facebook. “It measures approx. 1 1/4” - 1 1/2” diameter. Hubby thinks it may be a fossilized snail body. I think it’s a handmade necklace made out of the amazing clay out there and fired in a fire pit. WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS? Please HELP!!”
A couple of local biologists responded to Facebook query saying it might be the fossilized slime casing of an ancient sea snail, or maybe sediment that formed inside an empty shell. Other commenters are convinced it’s poo. But no one seems to know for sure.
So whada ya think Humboldt? Fossilized snail goo? Dino droppings? The remnants of a very proud caveman? LoCO Challenge starts now.
Barry Evans / Sunday, March 12 @ 8:25 a.m. / Growing Old Ungracefully
reason to listen to people who disagree with you is not so you can
learn to refute them. The reason is that you may be wrong.”
— William Deresiewicz
Eons ago during the 1988 presidential campaign, President George Bush, running for a second term, accused his rival of being a “card-carrying member of the ACLU” — as if that was a bad thing. Dukakis could hardly deny it — he was the one who said he was an ACLU member in the first place — but his polite Yale-schooled liberalism worked against him, and he lost in a landslide.
I’m a huge supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union — and yes, I’m a card-carrying member, just in case I’m asked to prove it. Coming from the UK, where there’s no Constitution, no Bill of Rights, just a mish-mash of common law going back to the Magna Carta of 1215, I’ve always been hugely impressed by the freedoms that the founders built into the law of the land. Especially that of the right to free speech and a free press, enshrined (I love that word) in the First Amendment.
Actually, I sharpened my free speech chops many years before arriving on these shores. At age 18, I was starting my civil engineering education at Queen Mary College (“dahn the Mile End Road, innit?”), a school within the University of London. The student union had invited Max Moseley to speak, and the debate — whether he should be disinvited for his far-right views — was acrimonious and lengthy.
Max Moseley is the youngest son of Oswald Moseley, leader of British “blackshirts,” a bunch of pro-Hitler thugs modeled on “El Duce” Mussolini’s 1930’s fascist paramilitary organization in Italy. Max’s father had once entertained the prospect of being Britain’s Prime Minister, and Max briefly took up the banner in the late 50’s and early 60’s under the guise of limiting immigration (sound familiar?) from Commonwealth (read: black) countries. We, the student body of QMC, ended up deciding to let the invitation stand, and Max Moseley did address us. We were hoping for fireworks, of course, but as I recall, it was more of a damp squib of a speech, nothing comparable to our current POTUS claiming, for instance, that Mexicans “…are bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” But this was England, 1963. (Max soon grew bored following in his father’s right-wing footsteps, finding Formula One auto racing more to his liking.)
Fast forward to the recent anti-free-speech display at Berkeley, where the venomous ex-Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos was denied a platform after being invited to speak; and last week’s alarming scenes at Middlebury College, Vermont, where Charles Murray was shouted down and prevented from speaking. Murray is co-author of the controversial 1994 book The Bell Curve, which claimed that 40 percent of intelligence is genetic, with the unsubtle sub-text that blacks are less intelligent that whites. (I tried reading it at the time, but got bogged down in statistics; the general consensus from reviewers was that the book was long on racism and short on hard facts.)
The plan at Middlebury was that Murray would be invited to take questions after his speech from Professor Allison Stanger, a left-leaning political scientist at the college and presumably a tough interlocutor for the right-wing Murray. (She’s been a member of the non-partisan Council for Foreign Relations think-tank for the past 13 years.) Didn’t happen. Instead, she ended up in the hospital after her neck was wrenched by a protester in a scuffle following the non-event.
I quoted above from an article by author and critic William Deresiewicz in The American Scholar, in which he mourns the self-righteousness of students at liberal colleges who have convinced themselves that theirs are the only views worth listening to — and hence right-wing views don’t deserve a hearing. The popular refrain “It’s not a question of free speech, it’s a question of hate speech” is a shallow and unconvincing defense for objecting to anything you don’t like.
Deresiewicz’s final paragraph nailed it, when he asked, of private (liberal!) colleges, if they “want to be socialization machines for the upper-middle class, ideological enforcers of progressive dogma? Or do they want to be educational institutions in the only sense that really matters: places of free, frank, and fearless inquiry?” His accusation is a bit unfair: in the case of Berkeley and Middlebury, the college authorities supported the right of controversial speakers to be heard. It was the students, apparently, who objected.
But that’s what I love about the ACLU. Sure, they support a bunch of leftie causes. But this is also the organization that supported the right of American Nazis to hold a rally in predominantly Jewish Skokie, Illinois in 1978 (losing many members in the process). The ACLU has argued in the Supreme Court for the rights of a fundamentalist Christian church and for the International Society for Krisha Consciousness. It supported Oliver North in the arms-for-hostages debacle of the fading Reagan presidency. And much more. The ACLU models the notion that you don’t have to agree with Nazi fascism, or Charles Murray’s racist claims, or the misogynistic bullshit of Milo Yiannopoulos, to stand up for their right to speak.
And of course, nothing’s as black and white as my title implies. No one, in my view, deserves a platform to encourage violence, or pedophilia, or any one of a thousand “gotchas.” I remember, years ago, a representative of the ACLU spoke to our group of nuclear-freeze advocates in Bellingham. I naively asked if it was obvious which cases the organization took on. “You have no idea how tough it is,” she said, “We never stop arguing about what to advocate for and what to leave.”
Mostly, though, in a democracy, all you and I have to do is simply support the right of those we disagree with to be heard. When political correctness trumps free speech, all of us, left and right alike, are in trouble.