Blog Archives

April 17 – 23, 2024

Highlights this week:

Bratton… is back!…Greensite …Gillian will soon return with her regular weekly piece… Steinbruner…the county’s broke… Rio Del Mar Flats…. Hayes… meanderings in nature… Patton…the in-between… Matlock…on repentance and Marjorie Taylor Greene… Eagan…Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. Webmistress…the new drug talk… Quotes….”Drugs”


SANTA CRUZ BEACH FRONTAGE 1960. Lots for sale, and it’s hard to believe that development hadn’t hit harder along West Cliff Drive by 1960. This is long before The Dream Inn and the Sea and Sand Inn and what seems like hundreds of cookie cutter apartments covered and defaced every square foot of this photo.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE April 15, 2024

DON’T BLAME PG&E, PAL. I’ll bet that if you ask “SIRI” she’ll play you the record I made with our Goodtime Washboard 3 of “Don’t Blame PG&E, Pal”. It’s on a Fantasy record label album and single. [Here’s the song on YouTube] We made it in response to PG&E trying to build a Nuclear Power Plant in Bodega Bay back in the ’60s. We beat them but then they tried to build another in Davenport back in 1970 – we stopped that one too. What brings all this history to mind was another power outage just last Wednesday. It was only about 20 minutes but watch out for their usual reaction…they be asking for another raise in our rates. What, why and how can the state of California even under different party governors and majorities allow PG&E to screw us over so continuously in view of their refusal to deal fairly with our environment and politics? Ask your representative, there must be an end to this statewide crime.

SWEAR WORDS. Rarely is the listening public ever made aware of the words that are NEVER supposed to be heard on radio. Just listing them sends tiny shivers down my spine having spent a major part of my life being on the air. Mind you this list doesn’t apply to television or for sure not the movies we watch in our homes with the little kids bouncing around. Check out…  shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and t-ts! Just typing them out and reading them seems to create an unusual shiver. What’s the point? Well, seeing and hearing any/all of above words so often in our homes makes the restrictions/and pressure on radio stations seem ridiculous and futile.

UCSC AND WHAT? There’s little doubt that UCSC influences all vibes in Santa Cruz. We can easily say that it certainly makes Santa Cruz what it is. But due to budget items UCSC has almost completely eliminated it’s cultural attachment to the community. Gone are Shakespeare Santa Cruz, dozens of plays and concerts that drew so many of us to the campus and probably lots of sports attractions as well.

CROOKS. Netflix Series (7.0 IMDB). **- A German film made mostly in Berlin. Taking a deep look, after much thought, it’s a deep look at the psychological makeup of two gangs of bank robbers with their opposing points on what life is all about. They both get involved in a very complex robbery, not of jewels as we are led to believe, but of a very valuable coin. It really centers on one robber who wants to go straight, but is tricked into helping the two gangs. Complex, tricky, well done and well worth puzzling through.

ONE DAY. Netflix Series (8.1 IMDB). *** Let’s face it every one of us has had or will have had deep meaningful relationships. This series is titled a comedy by Netflix but you’ll go much deeper than a laugh watching this introspective, meaningful insight.  Two people meet on their graduation night and we all spend the rest of the story watching what go through, NOT being together but keeping each other in their thoughts, and hearts. You’ll be forced to project and identify with many moments in this beautifully produced drama, except for the ending. Don’t miss it.

SHIRLEY.  Netflix Movie. (6.3 IMDB) *** If you’re into politics, which most of us are, you’ll be delighted to watch this saga about Shirley Chisholm’s role in the 1972 presidential campaign. Chisholm was the first black USA congresswoman and was elected in 1966. But this movie is all about her 1972 run for president and takes us back to those very different political times. We see Huey Newton, George Wallace and other sad reminders of the Vietnam War. She lost to Richard Nixon and Regina King does an amazing job of portraying Shirley.

ROAD HOUSE. (6.2 IMDB) Another remake to the ever growing list of trying to make a sure buck on a one time hit. This one has Jake Gyllenhaal replacing Patrick Swayze in the 1989 hit. (Swayze died in 2009!) It’s amazingly violent boxing wise and Jake has some real violence in his past. There’s crime thugs, secret love affairs and not any other reason to see this bloody copy.

RIPLEY. (7.9 IMDB). Again a remake of another near 1999 classic. Andrew Scott (Morarity in the Sherlock Holmes/ Benedict Cumberbatch masterpiece). Dakota Fanning is in it too but it doesn’t matter much. It’s deep, filmed all in black and white and with a plot so twisted, and complex you wouldn’t believe it. Go see this as soon as possible

 SALTBURN.. (7.0 IMDB). A very class conscious drama (also listed as a comedy) about a young student at Oxford who gets completely involved with an odd and driven “upper class” family. There’s romance, mystery. Rosamund Pike has a deeply involved role in his too unreal view of life among the super rich. Don’t give up anything important to watch this one.


Gillian will soon return with her regular weekly piece!

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.


Last week, the Santa Cruz County Land Trust announced that their paid signature gatherers successfully achieved gathering 16,049 petition signatures and the petitions have been submitted to the Santa Cruz County Elections Department for verification.  They need 10,417 qualified signatures to get their quest to have the countywide $87 Special Parcel Tax on this November’s ballot.
Many feel it is worrisome that this Special Tax would not require a 2/3 voter approval, as other special taxes require.  When asked about this at a recent presentation to the County Water Advisory Commission, Land Trust staff said it was “because of the Upland Decision”.
That was a California Supreme Court case decision in 2017, known as the California Cannabis Coalition vs. City of Upland that allows tax measures placed on the ballot by the voters to be allowed to get approved with a simple majority, not the 2/3 majority required under Prop. 13.

“In concept, that opened the door for more tax revenue votes based upon a simple majority, rather than the 2/3 majority. That led to Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1, introduced in September 2023 for a vote in the 2024 general election. If passed, it would lower the bar for new taxes from the 2/3 super majority to 55%. On the flipside, Prop 13 supporters introduced “the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” for the 2024 ballot to, among other things, restore two-thirds voter approval for all new local special tax increases. Indeed, the newsletter for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association specifically cited the Cannabis lawsuit as motivation.”

California Prop 13 Faces New Challengers in 2024 and Tough Questions of Equity

Many thanks to my friend Bruce for letting me know that the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) has an initiative qualified to be on this November’s ballot, the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act” that, if passed, would allow initiatives like the Land Trusts’ measure to be effective for 12  months, then must be reaffirmed by a 2/3 majority after that to remain in effect.  The HJTA initiative is under legal attack in the California Supreme Court (Case S281977) by the California legislature and Governor Newsom: Appellate Courts Case Information
Keep your eye on this.
Every five years, all cities and counties must update the Housing Element portion of their General Plans to accommodate new regulations and report to the State the status of the compliance with the State-required affordable housing numbers, known as the Regional Housing Number Allocation (RHNA). RHNA FAQ

The latest eight-year cycle of the RHNA updated this year, and greatly increases the number of housing units in general that the State mandates all jurisdictions approve and include in planning their Housing Elements.

If cities and counties do not get their Housing Element portions of their General Plan approved by the State Dept. of Housing & Community Development (HCD), developers can use what is known as “Builders Remedy” to force their projects to be approved, regardless of size and impacts, as long as the projects include 20% of the units as affordable.

This year, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks proposed AB 1893 that would address some loopholes they claim local governments are using to avoid giving up control over their local building environment. 

“As a perk to developers, the bill would reduce the number of affordable units that builder’s remedy projects must set aside, to 10% from 20%, making it easier for a project to pencil out financially. As a nod to housing-hesitant cities, it would also limit projects to two or three times the current zoned densities to prevent developers from proposing the mega-projects that generate the most controversy.”

Some developers think this will actually weaken their power because their mega-projects would no longer be a threat to leverage power over the local government planning agencies.  
I think it is counter-productive to lower the affordable housing requirement to only 10% and dilute the amount of affordable housing getting built.

In Santa Cruz City, this likely will not apply because the State has blessed the City’s Housing Element and Governor Newsom designated the City as one of three additions last August to the State’s Pro-Housing List.  Governor Newsom Designates Three more California Communities as Prohousing for Strides Made to Accelerate Housing Production | California Department of Housing and Community Development
Builder’s Remedy could be invoked in Scotts Valley and Capitola, and perhaps the County of Santa Cruz, where the Housing Elements are not yet approved by the State.
Keep your eyes open for more on this in the future and be on the lookout for taller and taller buildings without the infrastructure to support the residents who might live there.
Toto, I’ve got the feeling we are not in Kansas anymore…..
Last Tuesday, the Board  of Supervisors received a very dismal report from the County Administrative Officer (CAO) Mr. Palacios, and his assistant, Mr. Marcus Pimental.  They warned that this year’s necessary borrowing of a record $85 million to make ends meet for the next couple of months is a harbinger of the doom that is to come within the next couple of years.
What neither mentioned was the massive unfunded CalPERS pension liability the County is facing, which Mr. Palacios has warned the Board of in previous years but not now.
Maybe the Board should not have gone along with the CAO’s empire building strategy, purchasing the large West Marine Building in Watsonville to create a new South County Government Center, purchasing a 38-acre parcel for a new South County Park on Whiting Road that is far from urban centers and has no public transportation to serve it, and purchasing the building adjacent to the County Sheriff’s complex on Soquel Avenue Frontage Road to create a new children’s crisis residential center.  Now, none of those parcels will bring any property tax revenue at all.
Is it fiscally responsible to continue buying shiny new objects when the County is broke and can’t maintain the buildings, roads and parks it already has?
Take a look at the information and listen to the presentation here (click on  “video” at the top of the agenda, and on Item #7 to go directly to the Budget Hearing): 2024/04/09 09:00 AM Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting – Web Outline – Santa Cruz County, CA

Please send your thoughts on this matter to the Board of Supervisors, and ask for a meeting if possible before the May 21 and 22 Budget Hearings begin.  Once there, the dog and pony show will go live, so try to get through to your Supervisor before then and talk sense.  How do you want them to spend your money?
Last  Tuesday’s County Board of Supervisors meeting was interesting in that there was a real division in the vote and active discussion rather than rubber-stamping approvals.  The Board had approved “in concept” the County Ordinance for motorized bicycles on March 26, and a second reading of what finally got worked out was on the April 8 Consent Agenda as Item #15.
However, Supervisor Koenig had received alot of correspondence from the mountain biking community and other residents who felt the County’s Ordinance should ban electric bikes from trails in local parks, and also from sidewalks.  He pulled the item for discussion and explained the concerns that had been brought to his attention, and asked that the Ordinance not be approved just yet.
Supervisor Zach Friend took umbrage.  “I think we have something that is workable, and should not be delayed just because of special interest groups.  This feels sort of weird, since you and I originally brought this forward together.”  He made a motion to approve the second reading of what had been approved in concept last month.

County Parks Director Jeff Gaffney stepped to the podium and essentially declared his support of Supervisor Friend, and declared he felt he already had the tools to handle any future problems with electric bikes in County parks.

“Well then, I make a substitute motion to have more work on this Ordinance to have language prohibiting these bikes on trails in the parks.” said Supervisor Koenig.  That brought about some very lively discussion, including from members of the public who want explicit language included to prohibit the electric bikes on sidewalks.

The substitute motion was passed 4:1, with Supervisor Friend casting the only NO vote.  His initial motion was dead.
It was a rare and refreshing event to witness, and hearkened back to memories of the Board of Supervisor lively debates that happened regularly in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Santa Cruz County CA | Agenda Item | DOC-2024-260
Also at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor meeting was the public auction of the parcel adjacent to the former Seabreeze Tavern in the Rio del Mar Flats area.  The County had refused to allow Seabreeze owner Mr. Rich McGinnis to get a permit for the vacant lot he owned at the time so that he could have outdoor dining and project outdoor movies on the side of the Seabreeze.  His frustration led him to speak out publicly about the problems in the Planning Dept., and that Supervisor Zach Friend was no help at all.
It all spiraled in Mr. McGinnis running for Supervisor to challenge Supervisor Friend publicly on the matter, and resulted in police raids of his business.  The empty lot was taken somewhat under duress by the County in 2016, with claims the sewer system pump station nearby could use the space.  
That never happened.  Instead, Parks Director Jeff Gaffney announced to the Parks Commission that the space would be used as a park, and a vendor for beach items and snacks would be soon arriving on the scene.  The County paid to install rock and picnic tables…but the chosen vendor rarely appeared on weekends.
Now, coming full circle, the County has decided this parcel is surplus property and wants to sell it for $240,000.  The public auction during the hearing brought no offers from anyone, and no written offers had been received by the Clerk.
The Board authorized lowering the price and trying again.  Maybe the current owner of the parcel where the Seabreeze Tavern used to be will feel like taking the risk to buy it and ask the Planning Dept. for a permit for outdoor dining if a new restaurant gets built?  Maybe this time, the Planning Dept. might say yes?  Maybe not.
The County Administrative Officer Mr. Palacios always attaches some Strategic Plan accounting key number to all Board actions so that there is an appearance of accountability and progress in meeting the nebulous County Strategic Plan.  This particular item is key-coded “6.C  Operational Excellence: County Infrastructure.”

Hmmmm…I think that needs to be added to the sewer.

Santa Cruz County CA | Agenda Item | DOC-2024-302
With State Farm Insurance whittling down 72,000 policies in California, many property owners in Santa Cruz County and beyond have been receiving letters informing them their insurance will soon be cancelled.  Are you one of them?
The Santa Cruz County FireWise Coordinator, Ms. Lynn Sestak, organized a great presentation recently on this topic and it is well-worth taking time to watch it.
Mr. Joel Laucher from United Policy Holders gave an excellent presentation, explaining the California FAIR Plan…the policy of last resort.

What should you do and NOT do if you get that dreaded letter from your agent, notifying you that your  property insurance will soon vanish?
Take a look at this excellent presentation video and learn more.

Many thanks to Ms. Lynn Sestak and the Santa Cruz FireSafe Council for  good work to help so many better protect their homes and property from wildland fire by becoming FireWise Communities, which also earns discounts on insurance premiums if you are within one.  FireWise USA Recognition Program
Sign up now for free brush chipping to reduce your fire risk with improved defensible space.


Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at

April 14

Meanderings in Nature
I had the luck to take some recent walks in nature, and have some field notes to share with you that I hope will inspire you to get out and look around.

The biggest mammal news of many hikes and observations lately is the preponderance of coyotes in wild areas of Santa Cruz County’s North Coast. Coyotes are one of two local wild dog relatives, and the other is such a distant relative that it almost shouldn’t count: the grey fox. Coyote prints in the mud are common and seeing coyotes isn’t unusual. In the 1990’s, one could hike at Wilder Ranch State Park and hear what sounded like large groups of coyotes giving choruses. Then that music tapered off. I wonder if large groups will sing again, but now they sing alone or in pairs.

Wildland coyotes eat berries, acorns, insects, birds, rodents… and a lot more. At least at Año Nuevo, they’re even starting to eat things on the beach. But, there’s a lack of acorns and berries right now, so they must be eating the other things more. I’ve seen then snuffling about looking for rodents, and there are lots of holes from them digging in the grasslands – looking for gophers or voles, maybe. Whatever they are eating, all the individuals I’ve had a good look at are healthy looking. Unfortunately, our State wildlife agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, doesn’t seem to have any readily available reports about population trends that I can share. City coyotes seem on the rise, from what I hear from those who live in Santa Cruz.

Great Blue Heron – a Rodent Killer
In the meadows of the North Coast, I frequently see great blue herons hunting rodents. They slowly stalk, seeming to tip toe gently through areas of livestock-grazed short grass. Then they stop. Sometimes they seem frozen, their beaks slightly down, body low, and neck coiled to strike. And, sometimes they seem to be relaxed, enjoying the view, and then pounce from an upright position. This video shows a great blue heron hunting gopher after gopher, and when it eats one – what a difficult swallow! Set against the brilliant green grass, the great blue herons in breeding plumage sure are especially beautiful! One wonders if some birds specialize in terrestrial hunting and some hunt mainly in aquatic areas, or if they switch around.

The flush of spring wildflowers is under way from sea level to 2,000 feet elevation across Central California. In short-grass prairies, rafts of sky lupines have opened in the past two weeks. Whorls of blue-and-white flowers rise up in sweet-smelling spikes. In taller grass prairies, in shallow soil areas, patches of flame orange California poppies are aglow. In wet areas, huge umbels of bright-white cow parsnip flowers are showing off. Tassels of gold-green live oak flowers are dangling and dancing from branch tips. A hundred variations of grass flowers bob and toss about on flexible stalks in the Spring breezes. Old farm fields are dazzling with yellow mustards and oxalis, lovers and friends sending their partners to stand in the show for photographs in pullouts along Highway 1.

In the forest understory, the iris display is underway as is the currants, snake roots, oxalis, trilliums, and cicely. Wild blackberry vines twine, displaying huge 5 petaled white flowers. Along the forest edges, poison oak has leafed out with shiny red leaflets and clusters of white-green flower buds. Along dark, moist forest trails, the 4-petaled milk maids are blossoming white.

With millions of blossoms, the bees are trying to catch up. Honeybees give their familiar buzz, showing off their nectar-filled, honey-colored beautiful striped bodies; I am pleased to see them pollinating orchard tree flowers. Black-tailed and other, bigger bumble bees (subgenus Pyrobombus) make a deeper buzz, bobbing black and yellow hairy bodies clumsily from blossom to blossom. At the base of the California poppy’s orange petals, the bigger bumble bees encounter parties of small black beetles that have beaten them to the food. Other fuzzy bees, but not quite bumblebees zip around: digger bees! In hopes of providing a home for native bees, my neighbor erected what looks like a bird house, but it is packed with a variety of diameters of straw-like tubes- something more to visit on exploratory outings. Maybe more people should own homes for native bees.

Water and More Water
If you do nothing else in the coming weeks, get to a creek, river, or pond! Streams and rivers are moving, and they don’t always do it this well. There were years of drought, and the streams slowed down (or stopped!). Now, after two years of good rain, water is flowing again, and it flows most strongly and cleanly in the spring, in intervals between the gentle late rainstorms. Ponds are full to the brim, chorus frogs hopping around their margins, pursued by garter snakes. Below the pond surface, clusters of egg masses- toads, frogs, and salamanders- wriggle, writhe, and hatch. Through the water column, a myriad of water beetles and clouds of zooplankton dance and swim and dart. I somehow forget how enriching looking into living water can be. I bet it will do you some good to do the same.

Wherever you go in nature, go early and take a moment to be really quiet. The spring bird chorus is providing some amazing song, which is strongest at dawn, but continues longer into the morning than at most times of the year. Many birds are just arriving from the tropics, new birds every day. The new birds sing, and the old birds sing, and together they make quite a musical ruckus. Maybe with the warming days, you can leave your bedroom window open so you can year the dawn chorus even if you are still in bed.

Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild, and his occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Visit his website at:

Email Grey at


SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2024
#105 / A Guest Book Review

I have previously mentioned Hadley Vlahos and her book, which is titled, The In-Between. If you would like to read my earlier blog posting, here is where to click. In that earlier blog posting, I commented on a conversation between Vlahos and New York Times writer David Marchese. Marchese superintends the “Talk” column at The Times, which appears in the newspaper’s Sunday magazine. The column focusing on Vlahos is dated October 21, 2023.

Vlahos is a hospice nurse, but my earlier discussion didn’t really center on that. My attention was captured by Vlahos’ assertion that she often had the feeling, after one of her patients had passed, that the world was unaware of the significance of that person:

There’s this moment, especially when I’ve taken care of someone for a while, where I’ll walk outside and I’ll go fill up my gas tank and it’s like: Wow, all these other people have no idea that we just lost someone great. The world lost somebody great, and they’re getting a sandwich.

I was struck by that observation because it is my belief that we very seldom understand the point that I think Vlahos was recognizing with her comment. We are all great. We are all important. We don’t even recognize that ourselves. Generally, I cite to Ugo Betti when I say this. Click right here to find out something about Betti that you won’t get from the Wikipedia article that I have linked to his name.

At any rate, my earlier blog posting didn’t really get into Vlahos’ work as a hospice nurse, nor did it much feature the main thrust of The In-Between, which is accurately described on its front cover as a book containing “unforgettable encounters during life’s final moments.” My lack of much comment on the central message of Vlahos’ book, in that earlier blog posting, is of course quite natural, since I had not read the book. All I had read was just the Marchese column.

In what was a pleasaant surprise to me, someone who had read that earlier blog posting of mine went out and got Vlahos’ book, and then sent me an email to thank me for drawing her attention to it. She did read the book (which I hadn’t done), and the email I received constituted what might be thought of as a “guest book review.” Here it is:

I want to tell you about the Hadley Vlahos book you mentioned in your blog #334 from last year, “We’ve Just Lost Someone Great.”

I’d bought it online [and] I think it is a fantastic book, in part because it is accessible to most people who have any interest in death, whether natural or forced by circumstances to finally have to face it…  Actually I couldn’t stop reading it, though I tried to manage it in measured doses like my antibiotics. I think she’s done a profound thing in a very simple format, which normally would make me judge it to be less-than-serious….

So – I’ll bet your local library has a copy, since it was on the NYT bestseller list for weeks last year, according to that NYT interview you referred to in your piece. I’d say it’s an easy read … but I don’t think it’s lightweight. I am profoundly grateful to you for bringing it to my/our attention!

Well, given this review, I thought I had better read Vlahos’ book for myself! And so I did, and I am glad I did! I am writing this blog posting to say that I absolutely agree with my “guest book reviewer.” Vlahos’ book is, I think, profound.

Take it from me, or from my guest reviewer. Hadley Vlahos’ book is recommended!

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at

Email Gary at



Well…seems that most of us are still standing after Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene warned after the 4.8 magnitude earthquake centered in New Jersey was a warning from God for our citizens to “repent,” whatever that means. Mentioning the upcoming eclipse, she said, “God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent…earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come. I pray that our country listens.” While earthquakes are still unpredictable, we have all been informed about common occurrences of eclipses long before they happen. Her faith, and reliance on conspiracy theories explains complex or tragic events for her, a self-described “Christian Nationalist” who calls anyone who doesn’t agree with her an “America and God-hater.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has called out “white Christian Nationalism” as extremism that stands against Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community, and other minority groups. Greene’s current temper tantrum is directed at House Speaker Johnson for dealing with Democrats on the budget, and over his waffling on the US aid to Ukraine issue, prompting her to file a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair, and throwing the House into turmoil once again. ‘House Screamer’ Marge compared Johnson to Senate Minority Leader McConnell, saying, “People are fed up with Republicans that say one thing and turn around and literally join the flock and just continue the same old crap everybody’s tired of…Johnson has turned into Mitch’s twin, and worse, he’s a Democrat. There’s not even any daylight between him and Nancy Pelosi at this point.” Whew! Last week’s meeting between Johnson and former president Trump at Mar-a-Lago may cause her to repent and temper her tantrum after Trump praised the speaker’s efforts. As for ousting Johnson from his speaker position, Representative Matt Gaetz cautioned that in doing so, “We may end up with a Democrat in that slot,” recalling the difficulty in landing Johnson in the spot. And, Greene could never qualify for the position, as much as she probably desires…indeed, who could possibly fill the ‘screamer’ position? Marge may not be the dumbest person on the planet, but she’s probably glad that Lauren Boebert is still standing.

Actually, a non-office holder who would certainly qualify for that ‘screamer’ title would be comedian Roseanne Barr who distinguished herself recently at a Mar-a-Lago fund raiser for Arizona’s senatorial candidate, Kari Lake. Facing the camera and holding her glass of wine, she said to college students in particular, “Hey, Old Row, how are you doing? I’m here at Mar-a-Lago supporting Kari Lake, and it was a fantastic evening. And our Trump is here being the DJ, and I’ve just danced and everyone’s amazed. So, I’m just saying to you, please drop out of college, because it’s going to ruin your lives. Do me a favor, drop out, they don’t teach you nothing good. Email me, or Twitter me, or whatever you want, call me and I’ll help your with your life, but you gotta get out of college ’cause it isn’t nothing but devil-worshiping, baby-blood-drinking Democrat donors. Love ya.” Ms Barr is known for her support of QAnon and delving into political conspiracies, especially the alleged secret plot by the ‘deep state’ and a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles opposing Trump. It is known that Barr dropped out of school at age 17, and about the same time she sustained a traumatic brain injury from being hit by a car which led to her hospitalization in a Utah mental health facility for several months. In 2012, she went after the Green Party’s presidential nomination and eventually received votes from the Peace and Freedom Party. Upon Trump’s entry into the 2016 presidential race, she supported him, saying, “I think we would be so lucky if Trump won. Because then it wouldn’t be Hillary. I like Trump because he financed his own campaign. That’s the only way he could have gotten the nomination. Because nobody wants a president who isn’t from Yale or Harvard and in the club.” Barr was fired from her self-titled ABC network show in 2018 after posting a racist tweet about former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett, and last year she had a YouTube podcast pulled for screaming hate speech about Jews and the Holocaust. Maybe she can get an endorsement from Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Peach and Freestone Party now.

With no heavenly, or MTG, retribution following the big eclipse event, Stephen Colbert made light of news coverage of the celestial happening. A CNN broadcast ran the chyron “Animals at Dallas Zoo react to total solar eclipse,” about which Colbert joked, “Thank you, CNN. That is news you can use. I wish they’d give more animal takes on current events. I want to see “Breaking: Ringtail lemur reacts to RFK Jr.’s VP pick.” An item about an ostrich laying an egg brought his response: “No offense but laying an egg is one of the things that ostriches do. Not sure if that’s news. Call me when an ostrich poaches an egg.” He then called out FoxNews for having “the dumbest coverage of this event.” The cable news channel declared that immigrants were dressing in dark clothing and using the eclipse to sneak across the US-Mexico border. “They won’t get another opportunity like that until tonight,” Colbert smirked. Of course our former president had to be called out for running a fan-base-created ad of a photo-enlarged Trump head slowly eclipsing the sun, making the occurrence “all about him.”

Another made-to-order event for citizen Trump popped up at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta last week, all arranged by Michaelah Montgomery, a conservative activist and founder of Conserve the Culture. The organization recruits and educates college students and young alumni at Atlanta’s historically Black colleges and universities, mainly Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, which have turned out many prominent and influential graduates, as well as Clark Atlanta University and Morris Brown College both of which have been strongholds pre-dating the Civil Rights era. The area is noted for supporting Democrats, and the GOP is making a thrust to win Black support based on Trump’s messages criticizing Biden’s economic and immigration policies. The campaign’s playing on racial stereotypes, emphasizing Trump’s $399 sneakers, and stressing the many felonious charges against Trump, has offended the African American community from which support is needed. Michaelah Montgomery says, “People find it hard to believe that there are young Black people who would have loved the opportunity to meet Trump,” and she moved quickly upon finding that he would visit the Vine City neighborhood during a fund raiser. Notifying a group of like-minded students, she found interest in gathering at Chick-fil-A to meet the president’s entourage, and she is offended by the media’s depiction of the meeting as a coincidence.

Bill White, a businessman and friend of Trump felt the entire day was a success and bodes well for events across the country aimed at Black voters. Jasmine Harris of the Biden campaign criticized the restaurant meet-up, saying, “Thinking Black voters relate to Donald Trump because he spent twenty minutes handing out freebies at a fast food restaurant is yet another insult to our intelligence – and perfect example of just how disingenuous Trump’s outreach to voters continues to be.” Nevertheless, the ostentatious visit was not met with accolades by students on campus, or in the local community, while Montgomery denounced the criticisms of those she had brought together for the gathering. “They are claiming that the students made a mockery of their institutions and saying that they are disrespecting their ancestors. It is really, really bad,” she lamented. Trump’s argument that he is a victim of political persecution has culminated in his comparing himself to the likes of Nelson MandelaAlexei Navalny, and Jesus, with his comment, “And a lot of people said that’s why the Black people like me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against. It’s been pretty amazing but possibly, maybe, there’s something there.” Bryan Tyler Cohen’s website, @Advocacy, reports, “A video of a Trump supporter who hugged the presumptive Republican nominee and shouted out support during a visit to an Atlanta Chick-fil-A turned out to be a Republican operative according to social media posts reviewed by Meidas Touch: ‘Nothing about Trump and his campaign is authentic. Every event is carefully set up ahead of time and staged. They all fit into the same pattern every single time. On every road trip to an event or rally, the campaign sets up an excursion to a fast food restaurant either before or after his speech. It is all supposed to craft an image that there is a groundswell of spontaneous support for Trump from the grassroots. But it’s all staged.’ Well, color us shocked, folks.” And we shouldn’t be shocked that he ordered 30 milkshakes for patrons and promised food, but no mention about whether he actually bought and paid for any of it…the last time he made a big fuss about paying for people’s food at a restaurant he didn’t.

Social media comments were quick to appear, with one posting, “How much do we bet that he walked out without paying??” Another wrote, “Better enjoy ’cause I heard prison food sucks.” Gen-Z celebrity Jake Paul was promoting his upcoming celebrity boxing match with former heavyweight champ, Mike Tyson, saying during an interview, “I’m probably gonna be at Chick-fil-A with Mr. Trump trying to gain weight for this fight.” One social media poster remarked, “Must be serious…He broke out the regular Coke and what could be cocktail sauce, which I think throws stronger than regular ketchup.” Former Trump employee Cassidy Hutchinson has said that Trump’s peculiar preference for Heinz glass ketchup bottles is linked to his fear of being poisoned, using the small bottles because he wants to hear his server make the small popping noise as the cap comes off. Some observers have noted that Trump has a fitter figure of late, with one commenting that, “Ozempic does wonders.” And speaking of wonders, even Stevie Wonder can see that everything Trump touches turns to crap despite his King Midas fixation.

Claiming the Outrageous Trophy last week was the state of Arizona as the state Supreme Court revived a near-total abortion ban from 1864, when only White men could vote, slavery was not fully abolished (slavery was disallowed in Arizona and it was illegal to entice Black people to leave the state to be sold into slavery), most women couldn’t own property, and the age of consent was only nine-years old. We can only conclude that ban was adopted in the dark of night since there were no light bulbs in existence, which offers no excuse for the way our current US Supreme Court is operating, as an aside. For instance, Justice Alito for the majority wrote in overturning Roe v. Wade“Roe’s failure even to note the overwhelming consensus of state laws in effect in 1868 is striking.” Laws from the 1860s in our states and territories, as was Arizona at the time, were enacted decades before the suffrage movement was even a glimmer; however, those precedents led the Supremes to the “inescapable conclusion…that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.” Therefore, the Court concluded with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, in overturning Roe v. Wade, that the 1970s idea that women shouid have certain rights harkened back to the 1860s giving the states jurisdiction…leaving a patchwork of abortion-rights states and abortion-ban states. So, Arizona’s knuckle-dragger Republican-appointed Supreme Court concluded the old law is valid because the state legislature “has never affirmatively created a right to, or independently authorized, elective abortion.” Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs, citing the decision as “a dark day for Arizona” called on the Republican-led and -controlled legislature to repeal the 1864 law, but both state House and Senate leaders are both supporters of the old law, being active in the court case. The Civil War era law would ban nearly all abortions, except to save the life of the mother, carrying a prison sentence for abortion providers, although the state’s Democratic attorney general issued a statement saying it would not be enforced…despite the court’s ruling that it “is now enforceable.”

The law as written reads: “[E]very person who shall administer or cause to be administered or taken, any medicinal substances, or shall use or cause to be used any instruments whatever, with the intention to procure the miscarriage of any woman then being with child, and shall be thereof duly convicted, shall be punished by imprisonment in the Territorial prison for a term not less than two years nor more than five years: Provided, that no physician shall be affected by the last clause of this section, who in the discharge of his professional duties deems it necessary to produce the miscarriage of any woman in order to save her life.” So wait a sec! “Imprisonment in the Territorial prison?” Consider that Arizona is now a STATE! And the former location of the territorial prison is now a STATE PARK! Does that mean prisoners will be provided with a tent or perhaps a small RV, with privileges at the park store for supplies, and maybe a can of bear spray per month?

President Lincoln signed the act creating the Arizona territory in 1863, appointing judges to administer it, one of whom was native New Yorker William T. Howell. The appointed governor, John Goodwin, saw that the territory’s laws, based on those of New Mexico, weren’t adequate, so ended up appointing Howell to write laws and procedures with the assistance of Coles Bashford, a former Wisconsin governor. Toward the end of 1864, the Howell Code came into existence, now the bane for 21st century womanhood in Arizona. Other parts of Howell’s output point to a legal framework for a frontier territory…such as sanctions for refusing to join a posse and rules governing citizen’s arrests. One section establishes a process for holding elected officials accountable where third parties can level accusations of misconduct against office holders, forcing them to appear at a hearing. Barring admission, a jury can be assembled, possibly ending in a trial that forces the person from office. Now we’re talkin’ – let’s see how long that one remains in effect! You can take your 1864 and….

Perhaps Philip Bump of The Washington Post says it best: “It isn’t that the law is old that makes it a dubious fit for the moment. After all, the Bill of Rights is old and it contains rules and guidelines that deserve to be maintained. Instead, the point is that the Howell Code was a product of its time and its time’s morality, a point that is made more obvious when considering other elements of the law that clearly do not conform to 2024 beliefs.” Time for the courts to repent!

Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky school of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email:


EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner-view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.


“I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”
~Salvador Dali

“A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a license to behave like an asshole.”
~Frank Zappa

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~Jim Morrison

“So, now I’ve been to see a drug counselor who told me I need to lay off the drugs and talk about my feelings, and a shrink who heard what I had to say and immediately put me on drugs.”
~Libba Bray

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~Richard Nixon

“LSD is a psychedelic drug which occasionally causes psychotic behavior in people who have NOT taken it.”
~Timothy Leary


A serious video today… this is so scary, and I am absolutely not a “the sky is falling” type of person. My daughters are grown-ups (how scary is that!), but I have 3 grandkids that will be teenagers at some point… As one of the people in the video says, “Everyone should know what a Fentanyl overdose looks like, and everyone should know how to administer Narcan.” Watch this, and educate yourself. Things are different from how they used to be.

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