Blog Archives

December 13 – 19, 2023

Highlights this week:

Bratton…building heights in Santa Cruz, free classical concert. Greensite…will be back next week. Steinbruner…will also be back next week. Hayes…gone to the “outback of the Amazon” (Ecuador) will be back in January. Patton…Home rule (and attempts to rule it out). Matlock…carving the ninth circle into stone. Eagan…Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. Webmistress…pick of the week. Quotes…”Christmas”


TOUCHING UP JESUS AND FRIENDS. Behold the two women who actually sculpted this nearly life sized Last Supper in 1950. It shows Katherine Stubergh and her daughter, also named Katherine, touching up those guys on April 23, 1954. According to “228 Things to see in SC County” we can only view this wax sculpture the week before Easter at the Santa Cruz Memorial Park, but their website actually says:

“If you’d like to view The Last Supper, please call 831-426-1601, for an appointment Monday through Friday. Although there is no charge, donations are accepted.”

Do with that information what you will…

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

 DATELINE December 11

BUILDING HEIGHTS IN SANTA CRUZ. This press release says it all. We’ve already watched our city character stripped away by those developers and an uninvolved city council…read this once or twice to see the complexity.

Hey Santa Cruz City Voters & Supporters!

We got our measure letter!  


Measure M

If developers want to change our General Plan to build higher than current height limits, the people will have a right to vote!

This measure will also increase the ratio of inclusionary/affordable housing to 25% in large projects of 30 or more units.

Vote YES on Measure M in March!

Yes on Measure M      

March 5, 2024
More affordable housing – increase to 25% in large new buildings of 30+ units
More direct democracy – let Santa Cruzans vote when buildings exceed our General Plan & neighborhood height limits (limits which are already very high and allow for dense housing downtown)

We are not funded by wealthy, out-of-town developers.
We are ordinary Santa Cruz grassroots volunteers.
We need funds to buy signs, pay for flyers, door hangers, upgrade our website etc.

Sign up to help or donate here:

For more information on Measure M – click these links:

Santa Cruz Citizens Deserve a Voice in Shaping the Future of Our City

Let’s Not Fall for Falsehoods- This is what Measure M Does and Doesn’t Do

MUNCHING WITH MOZART AND FRIENDS. There’s a free noontime concert happening Friday, December 15, 2023 from 12:10 – 12:50 in the Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown Branch – Meeting Room upstairs. It’ll be “Bach and Chopin” with Lisa Spector at the piano. She’ll play Johann Sebastian Bach (arranged by Siloti) Prelude in B minor, Johann Sebastian Bach (arranged by Brahms for Left Hand) Chaconne, Frédéric Chopin Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No. 1,

Frédéric Chopin (arranged by Godowsky) Etude Op. 25 No. 1 in A flat Major “Aeolian Harp” and Frédéric Chopin Etudes Op. 25 No. 2 in F minor plus Op. 10 No. 12 in C minor “Revolutionary”. I promise you that there’s no munching of lunch noises. Most of the audiences don’t eat their lunch there anyways.

I search and critique a variety of movies only from those that are newly released. Choosing from the thousands of classics and older releases would take way too long. And be sure to tune in to those very newest movie reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.

A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY. (NETFLIX SERIES) (6.9 IMDB). **** I stayed up till after midnight to binge watch all six episodes of this absolutely brilliant production. It’s Swedish and tells the story of a teenage girl and her family troubles which lead us into a murder. Be careful of any “spoilers” the ending is very well done and even important. Matter of fact it’s probably the best movie I’ve seen all year!!

SUBURRAETERNA. (NETFLIX SERIES) (6.6 IMDB). **** Quite a history of the city of Rome around 20-30 years ago. It’s the complex story of the battles between the Vatican, the local police and the Mafia. Add to that there’s a group who want to build a new coliseum /stadium and among those battles there are the very contemporary protesters. Fascinating and will make you realize how much any/all city governments have the same battles…watch it.

CRIMINAL CODE. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.0 IMDB). *** The police of both countries, Brazil and Paraguay are forced to work together to solve a huge robbery and also a murder. There’s border issues, a secret gang member who poses as a policeman, and the early uses of DNA to track down the suspects.

SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, or PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.

BLOOD AND GOLD. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.5 IMDB). *** It happens in 1945 near the end of WWII in a small town being occupied/controlled by Nazi soldiers. Some focus is on a handicapped teenager and his mom. The Nazis are looking for certain bars of gold that the locals have hidden. It’s mesmerizing, go for it.

MARIE ANTOINETTE. (PBS SERIES) (6.5 IMDB) * Be sure you get the 2002 version with 12 episodes. Marie is the last queen of France just before the French revolution and this is a genuine costume drama carried out in Versailles and half of Europe. Madame du Barry, Louis XV and XVI, and court scenes galore fill the shallow plots.

(PRIME MOVIE) (6.5 IMDB). * X in the title stands for sex and there’s plenty in this semi comedy/drama. Lots of nudity and even religion and a murder as it slowly picks up speed. It’s near torture watching the beginning because it’s so bad but stay with it and watch the murders happen…they’re well done.

MAY DECEMBER. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (7.4 IMDB). **  A sensitive, subtle movie about the puzzling relationship between Natalie Portman (age 42) and Julianne Moore (age 63). Julienne is/was a teacher who had sex with a very young student years before and Natalie is interviewing her as a reporter turned actress about to portray Julianne. Watch it very closely.

FEEDBACK. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.1IMDB). *** This is a genuine pitch for AA or anyone with an alcohol problem. A Polish film with the hero being a hulking rock star who lives in Warsaw. He’s lost his son to the mysteries of the streets and attends AA meetings and has some scary interventions before they get back together. Go for it.

December 11

Gillian will be back next week.

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.

December 11

Becky will be back next week.

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


December 11

Grey went to Ecuador for a month…he’ll be back in January 2024.

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


December 11

#345 / Home Rule (And Attempts To Rule It Out)

The map above, from Wikipediashows those states whose fundamental governmental structure incorporates “home rule” provisions, meaning that cities and counties that are located in “home rule” states are able, themselves, to exercise powers of governance at the local level.

You can click this link to read Wikipedia’s explanation of the diagram. The color shown for California indicates that our state constitution does extend “home rule” governmental powers to local governments in California – at least with respect to those powers expressly delegated to such local governments. Up until very recently, one of the most important powers delegated to local governments in California has been the power to make land use decisions, deciding what sort of new development will be permitted, and where it will be permitted, and what conditions will be imposed when new developments are approved.

On November 5, 2023, in my local newspaper, a former City Council Member indicates that he believes that there are lots of “inconvenient truths” about this idea of “home rule.” It seems, though he doesn’t actually say so outright, that he objects to “home rule,” and thinks that the California State Legislature should provide a “brighter future” for communities like Santa Cruz, and “stabilize” local communities, by eliminating or restricting the ability of those local communities to make their own governmental decisions about land use and development.

For those conversant with the debates going on about this topic – and there are a lot of debates going on about it – it will not be a surprise to learn that the former Council Member who is advocating cutting back on the power of local elected officials to make decisions is employed as an “architect/developer.”

Local communities have often used their “home rule” powers to impose conditions upon proposed developments that the developers don’t like. In some cases, local elected officials and local voters have actually prohibited certain kinds of development. In Santa Cruz County, for instance, local elected officials and local voters imposed a set of “Growth Management” principles that: (1) Prevent the development of commercially viable prime farmland; (2) Demand that new development not “sprawl” into undeveloped lands at the edges of existing communities but that such new development be located inside existing urban areas; and (3) Require that whenever a developer built five or more new residential units, at least 15% of those units will be permanently price-protected so that they could be afforded by person with average or below average incomes.

In his recent column (a copy of which I have reproduced below, for the convenience of those reading this blog posting), the architect-developer arguing against “home rule” took me to task on multiple grounds, most of which were rather inaccurate, with respect to specifics. Still, the developer-columnist was generally correct in pointing out that when I was an elected official, which I was, for twenty years, I championed efforts by our local government and local community to exercise our “home rule” powers to help create the kind of community that the residents and the voters wanted to create. That specifically included imposing the requirements listed above on proposed developments. While it has been twenty-seven years since I last served in public office, the memories of the development industry are long!

To be clear, I am NOT in favor of eliminating or truncating the power of local communities, acting through their elected local governments, to exercise so-called “home rule.” Actually, “home rule” isn’t a term that I normally use. I call the principle involved “self-government.”

During the years I was most actively engaged in local issues, and during the twenty years I served on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors as an elected official, here are some of the actions taken by local voters and local elected officials that have fundamentally affected our community. It is only a partial list, but it is a pretty significant list of accomplishments. Maybe you can see why I call it “self-government.” Here is what our local communities did:

  • Preserved and protected virtually all prime farmland in Santa Cruz County, which has made it possible for our agricultural industry to survive and prosper, and which has also prevented the transformation of the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz County North Coast into sprawling residential subdivisions, car dealerships, industrial warehouses, exclusive resorts, motels, and other such proposed developments.
  • Stopped the proposed development of what is now Wilder Ranch State Park, which development would have come close to doubling the then-size of the City of Santa Cruz with just a single proposed development.
  • Slowed the pace of growth in Santa Cruz County. [In 1974, Santa Cruz County was the fastest growing county in the State of California and was the fifth fastest-growing county in the United States. That is no longer true.]
  • Stopped a proposed freeway from cutting right through the middle of the UCSC campus, to connect up Highway One, north of the City of Santa Cruz, to Highway One near the “Fishhook.”
  • Prevented the development of Pogonip, and provided permanent protection to that spectacular property.
  • Similarly protected the Arana Gulch area from development, turning the property above the Yacht Harbor into what is now a wonderful park, with nature preserved.
  • Stopped a proposed freeway going through Pogonip – the so-called “Eastern Access” – to connect the UCSC campus with Highway One near its intersection with Highway 9.
  • In Watsonville, established an Urban Limit Line that protects farmland and prevents sprawl.
  • Stopped the so-called “Beach Loop” freeway from using Chestnut Street to access the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, cutting through residential neighborhoods at the heart of the city.
  • Saved Lighthouse Field, preventing the development of a huge Convention Center complex that would have included a high-rise hotel, a shopping center the size of the Rancho Del Mar shopping center, condominiums for the extremely wealthy, and seven acres of blacktopped parking.
  • Stopped the high-rise development of the Seabright residential neighborhood.
  • Provided permanent protection of the open space lands of the Santa Cruz County North Coast.
  • Required all new residential developments of five or more units to include at least 15% of the new housing with a permanent price-restriction that would make the housing permanently available for purchase or rent by persons with average or below average incomes.

The development community did, indeed, find these actions “inconvenient,” at least for the developers. All of these actions were either directly approved by voters or were enacted by local officials who had been elected by voters on the basis that they would support such actions. None of these things would have been accomplished without engaged and active citizen/neighborhood/voter participation.

Like I say, I call this “self-government,” and the truth is that we can lose much of what was accomplished if we lose what the former City Council member/developer is calling “home rule.” Eliminating or restricting self-government provisions that give local communities power over future development will mean that the State Legislature, not local communities, will determine what happens in local communities up and down the state.

Be advised, development and business interests, generally armed with large amounts of campaign cash, are coming for our local communities. They get a warm reception in the State Legislature, where pesky community activists don’t really get heard.

Don’t believe that eliminating the powers of local self-government will lead to more housing and other developments that will benefit those who are now priced out of housing in Santa Cruz County.

Quite the opposite!


The Inconvenient Truths of ‘Home Rule’ by Mark Primack

I’ll soon be reporting on the brighter future opening up for us here in California, and the legislative roadmap that will help stabilize communities like ours. But we need to put old myths and superstitions to bed first, because we can’t solve problems with the tools that created them. That was brought home at a housing conference held at London Nelson recently. It was more of a reunion concert than a conference, more golden oldies than fresh tunes. But it made the point.

In introducing former Supervisor Gary Patton, Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley suggested that earlier settlers of Santa Cruz, those who welcomed the university to town, had assumed the newcomers would look just like themselves – presumably Republicans. But, according to Keeley, they were deer in the headlights of the civilizing elites who quickly brought culture and wise governance to this backwater of civilization. And for a while, under the firm leadership of Patton, all was peaceful and pastoral on the plantation, a golden age of “home rule.” Keeley warned that our Arcadian idyll is now being threatened by an imperious state Legislature — mostly Democrats as it happens – intent on forcing us to share our adopted birthright with a new wave of outsiders. It was a compelling narrative, the very stuff of myth.

Right on cue, Patton exhorted attendees to fight the good fight, to protect our community from outsiders – especially rich outsiders – and to not let the state dictate, through legislation, what happens in our community. We have the right to decide our own fate, to make our own choices, declared Patton, and we must defend this sacred right to home rule. Of course, the California Environmental Quality Act is state law, as is the Coastal Act. Patton seemed to have forgotten that he and his associates have for decades made a substantial living using those very state laws to thwart local land use decisions — the “home rule” Keeley extolled. Court challenges to environmental impact reports and appeals to the Coastal Commission are Patton’s weapons of choice, indeed his only effective weapons for overturning the decisions of duly-elected city councils and the board of supervisors. You know, the ones we choose to rule our roost. But it’s the victors who write history, and Patton is nothing if not history.

And what did UCSC have to add to this conference? An apology? An acknowledgment of the local damage they’ve done in the effort to do good by the state? No, they don’t have that in them. They may be eager to interrogate and critique plantation hegemony elsewhere, but not this close to home. So they played it safe, and studiously pointed fingers away from themselves. An exhaustive state-of-the-art student research project had revealed that poor neighborhoods are most likely to be re-developed. I was shocked to learn that there were still people on this planet who didn’t know that. But in this age of policy-based facts, the UCSC researchers let us know that Santa Cruz wasn’t growing to accommodate an expanding university, no, nor that were we experiencing the necessary and natural re-generation of city life. No, we are being “gentrified.” Us and Beverly Hills.

If you need an enemy to justify your existence, you probably are the enemy. Santa Cruz is not facing gentrification. Santa Cruz was gentrified in the ‘70s by the likes of Keeley, Patton and me.

Let’s start facing our inconvenient boomer truth. Those naive townies were neither stupid nor helpless. They fought off a nuclear power plant and saved Wilder Ranch long before we got here, and they knew we lacked the housing infrastructure to support a university. They warned us that, unless UC housed two thirds of its students and staff on campus, there would be hell to pay. That bit of native wisdom was lost on those who, to this day, refuse to zone a single lot in Santa Cruz for student housing.

If only we’d been a little less hubristic and a little more respectful, we might have listened and learned.

Mark Primack is an architect and former City Councilmember. Contact him at

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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

December 11


Well, here they come again…no letup from the Texas Christian Nationalist contingent. Expectant mother, Kate Cox, sought court protection through the courts to allow her to have an abortion for a non-viable pregnancy; and, after that was accomplished, eagle-eyed Texas Attorney General Paxton put the kibosh on the ruling by appealing it to the Texas Supreme Court, which put a hold on the termination as they confer for a final ruling. Ken Paxton narrowly escaped impeachment recently, yet another miscalculation by conservatives, who don’t seem to mind that their office holders are crooks. Not satisfied that his act was severe enough, Paxton then threatened hospitals and doctors with both civil and criminal penalties if they follow Judge Guerra Gamble’s temporary restraining order favoring Cox. Nancy Jones in her Daily Kos commentary had written before Paxton’s intrusion, “We’re fixin’ to find out just how far these ‘Christian nationalists’ and their sadistic allies are willing to go.” After Paxton raised his ugly head, she commented further, “How far are they willing to go? We don’t know yet, but we’ve already ventured well into Dante’s ninth circle of hell. Christian, my ass!”

While Ken Paxton was acquitted by the Texas Senate trial, he still faces a federal investigation into the corruption charges that the Texans determined were groundless, or of no consequence in their eyes. In the meantime, he continues to do everything in his power to continue the suffering of the citizens of The Lone Star State. Heartlessness made another appearance in Congress, as Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri attacked Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, and Senator Mitch McConnell for taking out an amendment in the annual defense bill, which Hawley had co-sponsored. The measure would have extended compensation to people exposed to radiation from US nuclear testing for another nineteen years, its exclusion exposing another fracture in the GOP ranks. This bi-partisan amendment passed the Senate with a supermajority in August, but was not included in the final version of the bill, ultimately being dropped. Hawley called its removal a “betrayal” of the country’s commitment to the victims of radiation in service toward our national security. Though Hawley was quoted as saying, “Morally, this is obscene. To tell me that we have a trillion dollars to spend on defense contractors but we have nothing for the people of this country who their own government has poisoned – it’s ridiculous.” We might have more respect for his statement if he would begin to simply look around and probe a bit more seriously into the DC miasma.

Conservative Christians continue in their efforts to coerce others to believe as they do, because so-called ‘Christian values and principles’ tend to be one of the following: 1) General values and principles based on our innate sense of empathy which are shared by all cultures worldwide, yet claimed by Christians who want credit for them as if they are the sole arbiters of morality, or, 2) Deeply immoral commandments or prohibitions portrayed as God-sent, but in reality are just created as a means to control people and justify discriminating against others. So, the problem is that Christians Claim Number One as ‘uniquely Christian,’ while demanding Claim Number Two must be followed because it is just as valid because they originated it. Are you listening Mr. Paxton? And pass it on to Speaker Johnson while you’re at it!

A few months ago, the Alamo defenders in Austin attempted to pass Senate Bill 1515, requiring the Ten Commandments (that is, the version most favored by US Nationalists), to be displayed prominently in every public school classroom in the Bluebonnet State. This attempt to inject religion into the school system was immediately pounced on by State Representative James Talarico, the video of which may be seen on YouTube. The bill passed the Senate, after which it fell to the House Education Committee for consideration. There, Candy Nobel, a co-sponsor argued that, “This legislation will bring back this historic tradition of recognizing America’s foundational heritage in both our education and our judicial system.” Talarico posted a video of the meeting to his TikTok account, where he stood up for LGBTQ+ rights, calmly explaining why, as a Christian, he feels the “bill is not only unconstitutional, it’s not only un-American, it’s also deeply anti-Christian.” He said, “A religion that has to force people to put up a poster to prove its legitimacy is a dead religion, and it’s not one I want to be a part of. It’s not one I am part of.”

He argues further, “Every time on this committee that we try to teach basic students values like empathy or kindness, we’re told we can’t because that’s the parent’s role. Every time on this committee that we try to teach basic sex education to keep our kids safe, we’re told that’s the parent’s role, but now you’re putting religious commandments — literal commandments — in our classroom, and you’re saying that’s the state’s role. Why is that not the parent’s role?” Candy Nobel, silent at first, stammered a bit before saying, “That’s really an interesting rabbit trail that you’ve gone on with that.” Talarico asked Nobel, “Do you believe schools are for education and not indoctrination?” to which she answers, “Absolutely.” Talarico caps his argument with, “I guess what I’m trying to figure out is why having a rainbow flag in a classroom is indoctrination, but having the Ten Commandments in a classroom is not.” Standing up for the rights of students is a pattern in Talarico’s history, having fought against Governor Abbott’s voucher programs, book bans, and for having Narcan available for school emergencies. His arguments against Senate Bill 1515 may have been a factor in its outcome, but in any event it died on the vine before it could receive a vote as reported by The New York Times.

We have the two loudest mouths in DC to thank for carrying the ‘Christian Nationalism‘ banner: Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, who speak as one on this subject, though one can’t stand the other, so they turn the other cheek — viewed on their backsides. And it’s not difficult to convince other lawmakers and candidates to follow their Pied Piper parade attacking the First Amendment…what fun! The only objections will be raised by heathens and pagans, like Jews, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and Muslims – and Greene is able and willing to spout from any platform offered her. Boebert, who George Santos considered to be a Constitutional scholar in his expert view, pronounces that, “The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church. I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk. This is not in the Constitution, it was a stinking letter and nothing like what they say it does.” Whoa, so Lauren, what’s that smell? Turns out she doesn’t like the content of a letter written by Thomas Jefferson who may have had a hand in writing the Constitution! So, if the gentleman was also a President, a vice-president, a Secretary of State, a lawyer and an architect, it hardly compares to Lauren’s GED from a Colorado high school, does it? Smells more like teen spirit, Lauren! Emanating from your ninth circle.

It’s reported that comedian Kathy Griffin had Mary Trump wincing after she detailed the one thing about Uncle Donald, that she believes “doesn’t get enough press.” She noticed “a distinct smell” during guest appearances on his ‘Apprentice‘ reality TV show. “It’s like body odor along with scented makeup products,” recalled Griffin. “But you can smell the hair products even outdoors,” she continued. Mary grimaced, but suggested someone should channel her uncle’s fragrance into a scented candle, “That’ll fly off the shelves at Christmas.” Might even outsell Gwyneth Paltrow’s famous candle!

The ‘Christian‘ part of ‘Christian Nationalism‘ hardly covers a lot of ground, being limited primarily to ‘fundamentalism,’ a carryover from the Nixon-Reagan-BushX2 years, with the ‘Orange Jesus’ corrupting it further. The ‘Nationalism‘ part of the term is also troublesome in that some equate it with patriotism. Where a true patriot might say, “I love my country and want it to be honorable, fair and just.” A Nationalist says, “My country, right or wrong.” It seems reasonable that the authors and signatories of the Constitution recognized that a theocracy is incompatible with democracy or republicanism, though with creeping religion holding sway over daily governmental affairs, we might be correct soon to call the US a theocracy.

A post on Quora says, “When a nation is dedicated and subservient to a divinity that has been absent for millennia, that divinity must then have its divine values interpreted by mere mortals. It follows that one or a few those mortals are then said to rule by divine right. That solves all problems. No need for voting, debate, or compromise. No need to form legislatures, congresses, or courts of law. The divinely appointed and anointed one is inspired from on high and therefore infallible. What made the US different from almost every other country that ever existed, and made it worthy of the patriotism it engenders, is that the founders said, ‘We are not buying this crap about the divine right of kings,’ as they gave the people the chance to determine their own destiny. No more failed theocracies, which is simply a power grab, being neither original nor likely to succeed!” No more ‘Orange Jesuses‘ — please!

Emo Philips had an interesting take on religionists: A guy was about to jump from the bridge when a Good Samaritan yelled, “Don’t do it!” Would-be jumper says, “Nobody loves me.” Good Sam says, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?” Answer is, “Yes.” Sam asks, “Are you a Christian or Jew?” Jumper answers, “A Christian.” Sam says, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” Reply is, “Protestant.” “Me, too! What denomination?” asks Sam. Jumper says, “Baptist.” Good Sam replies, “Me, too! Northern or Southern Baptist?” Jumper answers, “Northern Baptist.” Sam enthusiastically answers, “Me, too. Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?” Reply is, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” Excitable Sam says, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” Jumper answering back with, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” Hardly able to contain himself, Sam asks, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” Exhausted jumper answers, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” Good Sam says, “Die, heretic!” as he pushes the jumper over the railing.

Kevin Phillips, in his 2006 book, ‘American Theocracy’, quotes retired TV journalist and ordained Baptist minister, Bill Moyers, who broke with polite convention, by telling an audience at the Harvard Medical School that “one of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.” Phillips says, “I would put it differently. These developments have warped the Republican Party and its electoral coalition, muted Democratic voices, and become a gathering threat to America’s future. No leading world power in modern memory has become a captive, even a partial captive, of the sort of biblical inerrancy – backwater, not mainstream – that dismisses modern technology and science.”

Phillips said further, “The intensity of religion in the US has deepened. Its huge carryover from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries turns out to have seeded a similar evangelical wave in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Such was religion’s enduring importance in the US when it was trod upon in the 1960s and thereafter by secular advocates determined to push Christianity out of the public square, a mistake that unleashed an evangelical, fundamentalist, and Pentecostal counter-reformation that in some ways is still building. Strong theocratic pressures are already visible in the Republican national coalition and its leadership, while the substantial portion of Christian America committed to theories of Armageddon and the inerrancy of the Bible has already made the GOP into America’s first religious party.” Remember, Phillips made these observations in 2006!

The United Methodist Church Conference in north Georgia has allowed more than a third of its congregations to formally cut ties after years of disagreement over the governing body’s ban on gay clergy and same-sex marriage. The churches defecting will no longer be allowed to practice their faith without arbitrary prejudice based on random interpretations of a text written a couple of thousand years ago. Novel, eh? Hardly heretical.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”William Faulkner

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 stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was 6. Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.”
~Shirley Temple

“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa.”
~Bart Simpson

 “Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.” 
~Victor Borge

“You know you’re getting old when Santa starts looking younger.”
~Robert Paul


The Holderness family has been making videos for ten years now, apparently. I’m sure you’ve seen at least a few 🙂

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