Blog Archives

June 6 – 14, 2022

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Dirty Little Secrets re-print, How to vote NOW! Correction re Johnny Depp’s Brother’s Santa Cruz book store, Correction on local Starbuck’s organizer name. GREENSITE…will return next week. KROHN…”A Death Foretold”, Ballot counting, ballot suggestions. STEINBRUNER…Tax on fire risk areas, tax on solar power, laws on well permits, paying water bills, Aptos library gone, and Aptos bike lane. HAYES…Will return from vacation next week. PATTON…Time travelers arise! MATLOCK…Thoughts and prayers while cleansing the doors of perception. EAGAN…… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. WEBMISTRESS… celebrates her Swedishness with some language lessons…QUOTES…”Ballot Boxes”

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GOOD OLD SANTA CRUZ, 1892.  Note the Pacific Avenue trolley and trolley tracks later removed for so called progress. See also the Town Clock high atop the ODD Fellows building in the distant left. With all the decorations it must have been just before or after a holiday. On the far left was Don Yee’s original Tea Cup restaurant upstairs where Jamba Juice and Verve Coffee sit.                                                    

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE June 6

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET GREENWAY MEASURE D BULLETIN. In addition to printing James A. MacKenzie’s railbanking dirty little secret in last week’s column I sent it out as a bulletin just to be sure  everybody would read it. The reactions were numerous and wonderful. Here again is that news about pro Greenway land owners and future profits if Greenway passes. 

HOW TO VOTE…WHO TO VOTE FOR!! Once again, a genuine and huge thanks for your thanks to the printing of the how to vote list in the last few weeks. With media and such huge amounts of money being spent on ads and mailers and the charges, lies, and dubious claims it’s just about impossible to trust any source. As per usual when our ballots arrive there are so many offices and candidates we’ve never heard of and have not the vaguest idea of their background.  That’s why I asked and searched my trusted politically aware friends to create this list. 

Take out your ballots and vote the following…as soon as possible!!

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Governor GAVIN NEWSOM
Lieutenant Governor ELENI KOUNALAKIS
Secretary of State SHIRLEY N. WEBER
Controller STEVE GLAZER
Treasurer FIONA MA
Attorney General ROB BONTA
Insurance Commissioner MARC LEVINE
Member, State Board of Equalization District 2 SALLY J. LIEBER
United States Senator ALEX PADILLA
United States Senator Partial Unexpired Term ALEX PADILLA
United States Representative 19th District JIMMY PANETTA
Member of the State Assembly GAIL PELLERIN
Superintendent of Public Instruction TONY THURMOND
County Supervisor, 3rd District JUSTIN CUMMINGS
County Measures
Measure B Yes
Measure C Yes
Measure D No
Measure E No
Measure F No

There were/are a lot of questions, decisions behind the above list. If you know things we never encountered, please tell me/us at bratton@cruzio.com as rapidly as possible. And the main principle and deciding thing is to be sure to vote. Democrats are traditionally lazy about voting in these off-season times, just go vote!!

CORRECTIONS RE JOHNNY DEEP’S BROTHER IN SANTA CRUZ. Luckily Rita Bottoms got in touch after reading last week’s column about Johnny Depp’s brother and the bookstore he owned and operated here on the westside back in 1993. After more research I learned that Johnny Depp was the youngest of four children. He was born in 1963. Rita tells us that the bookstore was named The Frugal Bookworm and his brother/owner’s name was Dan. Dan’s wife was named Nazee and Rita knew her when Rita was the head librarian at the McHenry library at UCSC. 

CORRECTIONS ABOUT STARBUCKS REVOLT. The name of the lead Starbucks organizer here in Santa Cruz is Joe Thompson, not Thomas. The press release stated “Joe Thomas, a Starbucks shift lead and organizer for the union at the Ocean Street store”. Thanks to Nora Hochman for correcting this.

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 streaming 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. 

TOP GUN: MAVERICK. (CINELUX CAPITOLA MOVIE). Almost anyone and everyone could have predicted that this Tom Cruise remake/update of the 1986 Top Gun would be the number one hit in the USA box offices…and they are right. It’s a genuine Hollywood action movie, and Cruise fits the bill. It was filmed in 2018 and covid delayed. Plenty of in cockpit action when the Navy tries to stop uranium being shipped to some unnamed place which is probably Iran or Russia. Old Val Kilmer is dragged into it and good actors Ed Harris and Jon Hamm are rarely and poorly seen. Not my favorite movie, then again I don’t like war.

NIGHT SKY. (AMAZON SERIES) (7.5 IMDB). It’s good fun to see J.K Simmons (now 67) in a role other than as an insurance agent in those infinite TV commercials. He’s paired with Sissy Spacek (now 73).  They are an aging couple who have a secret underground door to a room with a view of being on another planet…or are they? It’s touching, surprising and audiences are begging for another season.

LA OCTAVA CLAUSULA. “The Deal” (AMAZON MOVIE) (4.5 IMDB) An unbelievable hammy, contrived Spanish movie. A very rich couple brings in a lover and the three of them get involved in murder. Much sex, poor acting and monotonous posing by stereotyped poor actors. Do not watch.

DISAPPEARANCE AT CLIFTON HILL. (PRIME VIDEO MOVIE) (5.5 IMDB). It takes place in the tourist section of Niagara Falls in Canada. A little girl age 7 thinks she sees a kidnapping and is haunted for life as she tries to relive and even confront the guy she suspects. But she isn’t completely believable in her older years and has problems convincing both herself and the people she confronts.

JUNE AGAIN. (AMAZON PRIME MOVIE). (7.2 IMDB). A deep, sensitive, well-acted and 

emotional story of a 65 year old Australian woman with dementia. Her senior care center scenes will ring tears from those of you who have dealt with dementia. She is then struck with a long bout of complete sanity and awareness and her family has to figure how to deal with her new reality. She wreaks havoc on their lives and is heart breaking. Watch it.

OUSSEKINE . (HULU SERIES) (7.2 IMDB). It’s a sad and true story of an Arab boy who is chased and killed by police in Paris. It could have easily have been about so many police fighting protesters here in the USA. The boy was innocent and the police go to subhuman lengths to frame him and save their reputation. Excellent film do not miss it. 

FLAG DAY. (PRIME VIDEO)(5.1 IMDB). This is a full on Sean Penn production. He directed it, he stars in it, his daughter (with Robin Wright) Dylan Penn is his co star. Sean plays a counterfeiter, a bank robber and a wasted human. Josh Brolin is in it too. It drags on and on, strange flashbacks, hammy acting, run of the mill photography and not worth your time.

 

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 Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.  

VERDICT. (AMAZON PRIME SERIES). It takes place in Sao Paulo Brazil in 2019. The lead Camila Morgado is a fine actor and she’s a female District attorney dealing with the Brazilian police and the legal system.  Complex plot, good deep peek into the characters and their complex lives. Only one season so far so wait a while…if you have the patience.

THE TIGER RISING. (HULU SERIES).This hammy, silly symbolic attempt at recreating a child’s upbringing stars Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid. A little boy runs away and discovers a caged tiger a house or two away. More than that the kid makes a friend at school and I turned it off after 32 minutes. Be very aware!!

MEMORIA. (DEL MAR THEATRE). (NO MASKS REQUIRED). Tilda Swinton both executive directed and stared in this baffling mystery. A woman from Scotland goes to Colombia and has dreams/nightmares/hallucinations/ memories that confuse her and us viewers. Deep, beautiful, nearly profound, and even memorable. AND not easy to understand or even get a grip on…but you won’t forget it either!

OLD. (HBO MOVIE). We need to note that this movie was directed by M. Night Shyamalan and we should never watch a movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan, they have always been terrible. This mess stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Rufus Sewell. It’s the silly horror story about some couples go to an island where they start aging and dying by the minute. The editing, photography, and weird style of acting is beyond watchability. I had to stop viewing even 38 minutes before it ended! 

CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS. (HULU SERIES). It’s all in Dublin, Ireland and centers on the relationships both family and love type that young adults can develop. One American girl and one Irish local evolve into a complicated friendship that we can all relate to. A third woman who’s a writer enters the picture and further complicates everything. A good movie.

THE GETAWAY KING. A more or less true story of the most famous robber and prison escape artist that took place in Warsaw, Poland’s history. It’s light hearted and even has dancing and music behind all his darting about. Diverting but not great viewing.

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SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Present their rescheduled concert “Gabriel Fauré and His Circle of Influence, Part II”. Playing those dates will be the Nisene Ensemble. The Nisene Ensemble are: Cynthia Baehr-Williams, Concert Director and Violin, Chad Kaltinger, Viola, Kristin Garbeff, Cello and Kumi Uyeda on Piano. The dates are Sat, Jul 9, 7:30 PM, and  Sun. Jul 10, 3PM.at the Christ Lutheran Church • Aptos, CA. Go here for tickets and details…

CABRILHO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Celebrates its 60th Anniversary Season and Returns to In-Person Concerts on July 24-August 7. Yes, Cristian Macelaru the music director is returning and will be conducting. The concerts will include three world premiere commissions; the live orchestral premiere of Jake Heggie‘s INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and violinist Benjamin Beilman; and works commemorating women’s suffrage in America and exploring the recent impact of drought and wildfires in the Western United States. Tickets are on sale now!!

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June 6

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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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 June 6

A Death Foretold?

Primary Elections, June 2022

I will be brief. You may be reading this a day or two after the June 7th primary, really, it’s now the May 10-June 7th, primary election. It’s the first all-mail ballot election primary, meaning all 101,000 Santa Cruz registered voters were mailed a ballot. By May 26th, the information I had said that only 7% of the ballots had been returned, which might mean to the casual observer that perhaps some races were wide-open and depended upon which proponents for candidates and measures could get their voters to actually go out and vote. No easy task in these daunting times. Precinct walkers for various campaigns fanned out across the county knocking on doors seeking to engage voters whose ballots were sitting within view of the door-knocker…on the coffee table or couch, or worse stuck on the side of the dog bed or under a pile of Trader Joe’s and Safeway snail mail ads. Sometimes the voter remembered receiving the ballot, but that was so long ago and they had to retrace their steps to find it again, but most, in those casual front door conversations, said of course they would vote.

So Many Questions

How many will cast their ballots in this election? You can know after reading those words if you go to votescount.com If past is prologue, not so many, not even 50%. But, would the great bafflement initiative, “Yes Greenway,” bring out the masses as some previous primary initiatives had? Surely the Governor’s contest, or State Board of Equalization race would not be much of a draw. Gov. Gavin Newsom already won his race back when he beat the recall, and as for the Board of Equalization, raise your hand if you even knew that was an official state office before perhaps glimpsing it on your ballot. (and if you did, what are they in charge of?) Answers to important and far-reaching electoral questions may reveal themselves in the coming days…who will be the next 3rd district supervisor? Will the city of Santa Cruz move towards direct election of mayor and six district system? Do voters in Santa Cruz have enough confidence in the current city council to pass a 1/2 cent sales tax? I should say, since the political folks I run with don’t do polling, I have few clues to how the electorate will vote in this election. Oh, but that other side, the side with tons of money, aka Yes Greenway, have been polling and they must find themselves losing because their relentless ad campaign has only been super-charged as we headed into the final week of the campaign. For example, a young friend who left Santa Cruz long ago and now resides in Detroit working on electric vehicles, told me she’s been called not once, not twice, but three times by polling firms concerned with the Santa Cruz election. Needless to say, she will not be casting a ballot in our county, but I say, follow the money.

Addendum

Will we know the election results on Wednesday morning, June 8th? Maybe, and maybe not. The past few elections have been decided within the 30-day period allotted the County Clerk in counting ballots. If any of the races are close, it is likely Clerk Tricia Webber will use that entire period, so hang on to your ballot receipt.

My hope-filled Predictions for a Much Better Santa Cruz

Knowing the ballot box is but one way of civic participation in making our county a better place to live, work, and play I offer these suggestions on city ballot initiatives:

Yes, on B and C. These are two respectable initiatives that may improve the quality of life here in Santa Cruz County. Measure B raises the county hotel tax and adds even more tax on Airbnb’s. Measure C calls for sharing the current .25 fee charged by businesses on disposable cups, with the county and using the revenue to keep beaches clean, reduce pollution, and keep hopefully make our water cleaner.

No on Measure D, the so-called, “Yes Greenway Initiative.” Follow the $$$. Simply, have a look at this group’s financials and you will see that the spending on this initiative tops all previous Santa Cruz County ballot measures. You have to wonder, what is behind the curtain that we are not seeing? It’s all a bit murky, even for the closest of observers. Besides, it just makes no sense to bury the rail line. It would be a premature decision with results we would have to live with forever.

No on Measure E, district elections and direct mayor vote. First, I am not necessarily opposed to district elections or a directly elected mayor, but voters have never been asked to approve the move to districts from the current at-large system. A vote to change the city charter is necessary and right if we are to change the current system and that vote never took place. Secondly, it is a power grab by the current city council majority that is seeking to seize an opportunity for consolidating its 5-2 council majority stranglehold by including some newfound mayoral powers. It is wrong, mainly because the community has not weighed in, while this measure was being crafted by the few insiders interested in furthering real estate, hotel, and for-profit housing developers.

No on Measure F, means no on approving a half-cent sales tax. Why the city council revenue committee did not go in the same direction as the county in placing a hotel tax in front of voters, to shore up existing essential services, is because the current council is sharing its power with real estate, developer, and hotel interests (see each councilmember’s past election financial statements).  Also, the fact remains that a sales tax is a regressive tax and falls on the backs of low-wage workers who already face great odds in being able to stay living in this city.


A Tweet from Tio Bernie, and it is the reason why I am not making endorsements in California statewide races because “the fix” often seems to be in, and the Dems often act like the Reps in order to somehow out-capitalist them while losing sight of the bigger picture: the people.

“In my view, the goal of corporate America and the billionaire class of this country is to create a two-party system, made up of Democrats and Republicans, in which both parties are responsive to the needs of — who else — corporate America and the billionaire class. Unacceptable.” (June 3)

This is another brilliant, yet visually horrifying piece by local artist, Russell Brutsche. It depicts the continuation of the already widening gap between our county’s rich and poor. The billionaire class is led by Reed Hastings, Miles Reiter, the Ow Family Trust, and the once Silicon Valley Golden Boy, John “Bud” Colligan. The poor have names too, John, Maria, Julio, Pete, and Melissa come to mind. Will their current tent city give way to an impoverished, Potemkin Village, sort of Cardboard Castletown of shanty shacks along the San Lorenzo River?

Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and a Santa Cruz City Council member from 1998-2002 and from 2017-2020. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. On Tuesday evenings at 5pm, Krohn hosts of “Talk of the Bay,” on KSQD 90.7 and KSQD.org His Twitter handle at SCpolitics is @ChrisKrohnSC Chris can be reached at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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June 6

PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION WANTS TO TAX RURAL RESIDENTS IN HIGH FIRE RISK AREAS TO UPGRADE POWER GRID

In a couple of related actions, it seems the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) wants to charge new fees to make us pay for improvements that utilities have put off for years, to the detriment of those living in the high-fire risk areas.

Please read what the Rural Counties Representing California (RCRC) has to say:

CPUC Seeks Input on Whether to Impose a New Fixed Charge on Electrical Customers Living in High Fire Threat Districts | Rural Counties

Submit your comments on the CPUC Docket here

GOVERNOR WANTS TO LIFT CAP ON PUC MONTHLY SURCHARGES TO ENABLE FUNDING POWER GRID IMPROVMENTS IN HIGH FIRE RISK AREAS THAT INCLUDE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
According to the Rural Counties Representing California (RCRC), Governor Newsom has added a trailer to the energy bill that would lift the current $10/month cap of the amount of money the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) can legally charge utility customers, opening the door for a new tax that would help fund power grid improvements in areas the CPUC has deemed “high risk”.  

This is statewide, but includes areas of the CZU Fire burn scar, and extends along the Summit area south, all the way to the Monterey County border.

What would this new money accomplish?  Take a look:

Governor’s Trailer Bill

  • The Strategic Reliability Reserve Fund is hereby created.
  • The Distributed Electricity Backup Assets Program is hereby created.
  •  The Demand Side Grid Support Program is hereby created

So, why is the Governor expecting the people to pay for the over-due infrastructure improvements that the utilities have put off doing?

Contact your State representatives with your thoughts:

Senator John Laird
Assemblyman Mark Stone   

THE PUC WANTS TO TAX YOUR RESIDENTIAL SOLAR POWER SYSTEM
According to Mr. John Kennedy at The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC)  the PUC has recently placed a hold on the idea to tax residential solar power systems because the State Administrative Law Judge required more information.

Here is the Judge’s order to set aside the former proposed ruling, and ask for further limited public comment

In order to limit number of pages that legal parties can file and to extend public comment period from June 24 to July 1, 2022

Send in your comments! 

EXECUTIVE ORDER IMPOSES NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR WELL PERMITS
On March 28, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-7-22, yet-another mandate to impose more control over local water resources.  Elements of the Executive Order require that anyone applying for a well permit (new or rehabilitation of existing well) will first have to get a hydrogeologist to sign off to verify that the well will not adversely affect any wells nearby or cause adverse impacts to the aquifer.  That will be an expensive claim to verify, and could be impossible, given the fact that locations of all wells are unknown.

Until now, the County has exercised ministerial approval over such applications, but now must make applicants get expensive studies to meet the new State requirements.  The odd thing is that the well permit applications must now also pass through approval of the local MidCounty and Santa Margarita Groundwater Agencies…how will that work?

See page 16, Paragraph 9b to learn more   

ONE-TIME HELP FOR THOSE WHO ARE BEHIND ON PAYING WATER BILLS
If you or someone you know is behind on their water or wastewater bill payments, for any reason, a new program to help with a one-time payment is launching this month.  

Let’s hope the City of Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek Water District administrators sign up to participate in this program!

Your household may qualify if:

  • ?Your total household gross income is at or below 60% of the State Median Income (see table) or a household member is a current recipient of CalFresh or CalWORKs;
  • You have a past due amount on your water or wastewater bill;
  • ?You receive service from a community water system or wastewater treatment provider (private wells and septic excluded); and 
  • Your water or wastewater system opted into the program. 

California Department of Community Services & Development
2389 Gateway Oaks Drive
Sacramento, CA 95833-4245

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

APTOS LIBRARY DEMOLISHED…SALVAGE MATERIALS GOING TO MEXICO?
Demolition crews made quick work of removing the Aptos Library a couple of weeks ago.  Was anything salvaged?  

According to conversation with Mr. Damon Adlao, Project Manager with the new County  Community Development Dept. (aka Public Works), the demolition crews were able to successfully salvage more than the 50% required by the State’s Green Initiative.  

He’s still checking to confirm that initial report, but feels there was good attention given to salvaging as much as possible from the structure as it was demolished. 

He said the salvaged materials will be going to Mexico.  Isn’t that amazing?

He also mentioned there have been some permitting issues that have caused the Project delay, but hopefully, construction will get started soon. Here is an article from the Aptos Times, showing what that new Library will look like  

FINALLY…THE BIKE LANE IN APTOS IS CLEAR AND SAFER
Many thanks to County Public Works for clearing the wicked Himalayan blackberry vines that had completely covered the eastbound bike lane on Soquel Drive in Aptos. 

The berry vines caused bicyclists to dart into the lane of traffic or risk being injured by massive thorns. Members of the public had requested for many years that this hazard be cleared for safety …and it finally got done.  Hooray!

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK BY JUST DOING SOMETHING.

Cheers, Becky

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 KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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June 6

Grey is on vacation and will return next week.

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: www.greyhayes.net

Email Grey at coastalprairie@aol.com

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FROM GARY A. PATTON  From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website…

May 30

#150 / Time Travelers, Arise!

 

If you read my blog posting yesterday, or my blog posting the day before yesterday, you will have concluded that I think that global warming poses an immense (and immediate) danger to human civilization, and to all living creatures on Planet Earth, definitely including both you and me. You will also have deduced that I think that we need to do something about it, and that we need to act now, taking dramatic action to try to avoid the catastrophe to come. 

So, where does Adolf Hitler fit in to this picture – or am I off to a new topic? 

I am not off to a new topic. Same topic today as yesterday. Same topic as the day before that: Global warming is a clear and present danger to Planet Earth, and particularly to human beings and to human civilization. The “human world” that we have constructed within the World of Nature is in grave danger, and we need to do something about it.

What though, should we do? 

Well, here’s the pitch, which I heard from a friend of mine who has a similar view of our human situation, insofar as global warming and climate change are concerned. Because of the potentially world-ending catastrophe we face, we need to act as the “Time Travelers” that we truly are.

Please bear with me as we bring Hitler into the conversation.

Since we who are alive now, and who know the past, know all about Hitler and his rise to power, and about what happened after Hitler took power, we are thus privileged to possess information that was not known by the German people in the 1920s and the early 1930s. 

But what if we were “Time Travelers,” and could go back to the Germany of that era, still possessing the knowledge we have today? That’s a hypothetical, of course, but let’s suppose we could, as a thought experiment. What would we do, then, if we were back in Germany, before Hitler took power, knowing what would happen if he did take power? 

Would we “stay in our lane,” as my friend put it, and keep our heads down and our mouths shut, and continue on with business as usual – which would certainly be the easiest thing for us to do. Or, more heroically, would we be willing to do everything we could to disrupt and stop what we could see was happening all around us, as the Nazis built their political power? Would we risk our lives, and our fortunes, and our sacred honor to try to prevent the holocaust that we would absolutely know was coming if we took no effective action? Or, would we let history just happen to us, in exactly the way that we, as “Time Travelers,” knew it would?

As “Time Travelers,” we would possess, because of the information we would have about the future, a choice not available to others. We would know the horrible future that would fall upon the world if we could not somehow convince ordinary Germans to take a course different from the one they actually took. Would we dedicate our lives to preventing this forthcoming tragedy, or would we, even though we knew what was coming, not stick our necks out and “stay in our lane?”

Well, we can’t go back and stop what happened in Germany, and Europe, after Hitler came to power, but aren’t we, actually, “Time Travelers” today? 

That’s the pitch. 

Isn’t it true that there are many persons who are privileged to possess information about what global warming and climate change will mean for the future (as those who read and believed my blog posting yesterday, for instance, and the references cited therein)? Aren’t there quite a few of us who actually KNOW that there will be death and destruction beyond, almost, what our human imagination can conjure if we don’t stop the processes that are moving us towards what the climate scientists are telling us is an inevitable climate catastrophe, and that this catastrophe will, in fact, occur unless human beings make massive changes in what they are doing now?

That’s the pitch. 

We ARE, in fact, in the same position as the hypothetical “Time Travelers” sent back to pre-war Germany. Some of us – those who have been paying attention – do possess information that is not known by the general public. There are a lot of us who possess this kind of information, too. We don’t disbelieve it. We haven’t insulated ourselves from it. We know that it’s true. We are in the same position as the “Time Travelers.” We know what is coming. 

And…. since we do know what is coming, isn’t it time for us to “get out of our lane” and pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to changing the conditions that are putting human civilization, and life on this Planet, in imminent peril?

That’s the pitch!

Time Travelers arise!

To Subscribe Just Click This Link

 

 

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 www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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June 5

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WHILE CLEANSING THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION

It’s all coming to a head this week with local and state elections in California, but a major Prime Time event begins at 4 p.m. PST on Thursday, June 9, as the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riot in D.C. kicks off its eagerly anticipated televised public hearings. “The committee will present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power,” the panel said. Additional information about witnesses will be released in coming days prior to the hearing, which is expected to zero in on former president Trump’s role in the violence in the Capitol for the purpose of disrupting the official counting of votes before a joint session of Congress. The House committee argued it has “a good-faith basis for concluding that [Trump] and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States,” as stated in a civil court filing in March. Panel chairman, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson said the hearings will include testimony from witnesses not heard from previously, and with over a thousand interviews conducted, we can expect to be engrossed well beyond the committee’s televised run. 

A teaser-prevue of sorts has been making the rounds on MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets in the person of Denver Riggleman, a former Republican House member from Virginia, who was hired by the J-6 committee for his investigative expertise, acquired when he worked in the intelligence community with the NSA, and on USAF Special Projects. He remains close-mouthed regarding the methods and procedures, but he was in charge of arranging funding, and hiring investigative teams who then developed analyses of their findings, derived from interviews, texts, and emails which link all three branches of government. The results so far (Riggleman says another year would be needed to wade through all 20-million lines of data gleaned), point to “a damnable coup attempt, a Holy War, verging on a fantasy novel” and reaching into the highest echelons of the Trump administration…“stunning that some individuals are in such high places of power.” His initial “bemusement turned into horror” as he delved into the textual evidence, pushing him to step away from his computer to calm his dumbfounded outrage at the revelations from the largest data investigation in Congressional history. 

Interestingly, he credits Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows with providing “a road map for structuring the investigation” from material that he turned over to the House committee. He even goes so far to say, “Meadows is the MVP for the committee, and the committee should consider paying him for his contribution.” Surprising words in light of Meadows’ continuing refusal to cooperate further in the inquiry, and after noncompliance with a subpoena to appear for testimony. A recommendation to the Justice Department to prosecute him for his refusal, was declined, along with that of former White House social media director, Mark Scavino, for his noncooperation, and contempt of Congress after being subpoenaed. Committee chair Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney called the DOJ’s decision “puzzling, and hoping for more clarity” in a released statement. Yet, the DOJ, earlier on the same day, made the decision to arrest Trump’s White House trade advisor, Peter Navarro, for contempt of Congress after denying the committee’s demands. Navarro has been loose-lipped in interviews and as seen in excerpts from his upcoming book, ‘Taking Back Trump’s America: Why We Lost The White House, and Why We’ll Take It Back,’ so good luck in court defending yourself, Peter. As George Orwell wrote in his personal diary, “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves,” and Navarro’s, at 72, is still a work in progress. 

Newsman Anderson Cooper, quizzed Riggleman on Trump’s complicity in the events of January 6, who only said that the committee was looking into whether the Prez was propelled along in the current, led by the nose, but a willing participant; or, a willing participant with situational awareness; or, part of the command-and-control of the rioters. Riggleman goes on to say that texts between Meadows (Chief of Staff to the U.S. President), Ginni Thomas (wife of a Supreme Court Justice), and Connie Hair (Chief of Staff to Congressman Gohmert and friend of Ginni) were particularly alarming. Attorney and political activist, George Conway (husband of Kellyanne) says, “This was a multi-faceted conspiracy to do whatever it took to stop the counting of electoral votes on January 6. And that has to be a crime. If that’s not a crime, nothing is under these statutes.” Reality says it was several crimes: fraud, forgery, assault, attempted extortion, sedition and treason. Luckily for us, VP Pence refused to get into that ‘rescue’ vehicle, sparing us (as rumor has it) the seating of Senator Charles Grassley before the assembled Congress in order to refuse recognition of the Electoral College votes. See George Orwell quote above, Chuckie. 

So, lay in a good supply of popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks for the upcoming extravaganza. And, maybe a box of Jujubes, some M&Ms, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Raisinets, and Twizzlers. Save the champagne for later…the best is yet to come…fingers crossed!

Despite the ongoing accusations and recriminations following the Uvalde, Texas school massacre, a bipartisan Senate committee led by Connecticut’s Chris Murphy has met several times in an effort to work out a deal on gun reform. Disappointingly, Murphy says any new legislation will not include an assault weapons ban or ‘comprehensive’ background checks, but hopes to show the country that progress is being made to reverse the status quo. Republican Pat Toomey says the group must “be realistic” in the face of so much opposition within his party, but hopes at least half his Republican colleagues will support a potential deal. Across the aisle, House Minority Whip, Steve Scalise says he will not support legislation on red flag laws, calling them “unconstitutional” and a non-solution to the broad debate on curbing gun violence. Ted Cruz seems to have provided a catch-phrase for his party in the post-Uvalde atmosphere – “Guns? It’s the DOORS, stupid!” Several of his followers, including the former president, have picked up on his claim that our schools have too many doors! And, too many unguarded doors, needing protection by armed AR-15 marksmen, at that! Jimmy Kimmel is suggesting that we put our unneeded, unused, or unnecessary doors in a pile on Cruz’s lawn. If the collection grows big enough, maybe the senator will so confused he’ll never find his way out of his yard…one problem solved!

Cruz appears to have a god-complex, or a god-in-waiting-complex, but it’s more fitting to crown him as Goozma, the Slime God from Total Calamity Mod Wiki games. The Roman god, Janus, guardian of doors, gates and transitions, would be more to his liking, and fittingly, as a two-faced god, that almost works; but, alas Cruz has lost, or never had, the forward-looking face and is left with his backward gaze, glorifying a past which never was, while destroying a future for the youngest among us. Ibid. – George Orwell, Teddy!

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”, wrote English artist/poet William Blake in ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,’ wherein he argues that both good and evil are equally valuable in the world. Hmm…not sure that justifies our having a president who burns or flushes legal documents, uses burner phones, hires disreputable employees, harasses adversaries, bullies women, and runs a crime syndicate to overthrow the government. Time to go to the videotape and watch Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” – great monsters in fantastic door escapades! A good cleanse before facing reality in Thursday’s House committee video revelations! 

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: cornerspot14@yahoo.com

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    “The Ballot Box”

“No one went to the ballot box to vote for something worse than the status quo”.
~Konnie Huq

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David Hogg

“No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people”.
~Walter Lippmann

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