BRATTON…Save some trees, more about creating my book. GREENSITE… Gillian is on a break and will be back soon. SCHENDLEDECKER… A Call for Inclusive Emergency Planning and Response. STEINBRUNER… had an accident and will be back ASAP. HAYES…Democracy and the environment. PATTON…talking to each other. MATLOCK…right-wing rewrites, edits and reassessments. EAGAN…Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover WEBMISTRESS’…pick of the week. QUOTES…Thunder and Lightning”.
DATELINE February 27
SAVE SOME TREES. The involvement of the citizens in local politics is what makes and keeps Santa Cruz the lively and unique community it still is. So many of our debatable issues are between renters and home owners or looked at in another way between UCSC students and those folks who like to be around them. For a long time it’s been the city officials and developers versus the citizens who want to maintain the special and healthy way of life here. That means Save the trees next to the proposed library development.
Our Downtown Our Future sent this announcement Monday February 27 ….
“The Santa Cruz City Council will make a final decision on the Heritage tree appeal at its March 14th meeting or soon thereafter. Let’s ask them to save some of those trees on Lot 4! It’s good for the environment, good for Downtown, good for community. Enough with the anti-tree crowd!
Presently, developers plan to cut down 9 legally protected Heritage trees once the building permit for the Library, Garage, Affordable Housing project is issued. They have made no effort to preserve any of the trees. But 2 or 3 of these trees along Cedar Street can be accommodated by slightly modifying the building design.
Please come to the demonstration in favor of Saving Some Trees on Lot 4!
Saturday, March 4th, 11am to Noon
(Heavy rain cancels.)
Lot 4, Cedar Street, Santa Cruz
Music, speakers, open mic, actions!
Express your support for the trees!
The image shows the project with two Heritage liquidambars that can be incorporated as part of a courtyard entrance to the Downtown Library.
Our Downtown, Our Future is participating in the Save Some Trees Coalition that is organizing the demonstration.
Go here… to learn/remember what our Downtown, Our Future stands for.
MY BOOK, part 2. I’m still looking for a writer/publisher to create a book handling my very unusual and fulfilling life…we can make deals!! If you know someone send them to email@example.com
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.
UNLOCKED. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.4 IMDB). ???? ???? A crime film from South Korea starts off with everyone wearing masks and dealing with covid, but it’s forgotten about half way through. It’s about a lost iPhone that takes on a terrifying spy mission on its own power…or so we’re led to believe. Lives are ruined, jealousy, hate, and even a bit of sex is involved. You’ll rue the day or night or even the half hour you wasted wondering how this will turn out.
YOUR PLACE OR MINE. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (5.6 IMDB). ???? You need to be a dyed in the wool Reese Witherspoon fan to watch this unfunny comedy. Steve Zahn and Tig Notaro don’t add much to the plot about a couple who have split and each lives on opposite USA coasts…like LA and NYC. They actually attempt raising a kid and maintaining some bizarre friendship but I repeat if you’re not a Witherspoon fan and I’m not …don’t tune in.
MURDAUGH MURDERS. (NETFLIX SERIES) 7.2 (IMDB). A genuine up to date documentary about Alex Murdaugh (“Murdock”) who is facing many, many trial days right now! He’s accused with 99 financial charges, about three deaths he was involved in, and it’s all really about the legal influence his family has had in South Carolina and his drug addictions. It is three episodes long and I hung onto every scene…then went on all the news networks to see where the trial is leading and am trying to guess where it could lead. It’s a carefully and completely legal Netflix documentary and it’s anyone guess how it will end.
RRR (RISE ROAR REVOLT) (NETFLIX MOVIE) 7.9 (IMDB) As previously mentioned, India produces over 2000 movies each year. Some are totally serious and brilliant like Satayjit Ray’s films then there’s the Bollywood, and Tollywood and there’s also movies like RRR which combine a kidnapping of a child, the developing friendship of two buddies who are looking for him AND then there’s the mugging goofing and even singing which doesn’t go anywhere. Then again it’s one of the most financially successful films in India’s history.
HELLO TOMORROW. (APPLE + TV SERIES)(6.5 IMDB). Billy Crudup and Allison Pill take the leads in this so called comedy about our possible future lives living on the moon. Crudup is the moon real estate salesman and it’s all focused on selling Unreal estate. They watch new high tech images on ancient tv sets and the rest doesn’t make sense either.
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 many more than 100 movies.
LIDIA POET. (NETFLIX SERIES) (7.3 IMDB) Daughter Jennifer sent this one, and it’ll keep you glued. Based on the real life of Lidia Poet who was the first Italian woman lawyer. Each of the six episodes is a separate case that she handles. This was back in 1883 and the acting and costumes are near perfect. Her family especially her brother play significant roles and Matilda de Angelis the lead is a very beautiful 28 year old that we’ll be seeing much more from and soon.
SHARPER. (APPLE +MOVIE) (6.5 IMDB). Julianne Moore and John Lithgow do their usual fine character acting in this “who can out con the next sucker fastest?” near comedy. It’s mostly set in New York City and does indeed focus on role playing, lying, and stealing your way through life. It’s labeled as a crime drama thriller but it’s just another re-play of thieves making a living the only way they know how.
FAKES. (FARZI) (PRIME SERIES) (8.6 IMDB). A typical Indian film from Mumbai which means not too subtle and slow moving but fascinating characters. An artist loses his way, needs the money and gets drawn into a money counterfeit group. Then the focus shifts to a driven police officer who is determined to rid his territory of any and all criminals. Good photography, predictable plot and still worth watching.
STROMBOLI. (NETFLIX MOVIE) (6.1 IMDB). Absolutely no relation to the 1950 Ingrid Bergman-Rossellini classic except that it takes place on and near the same small volcanic island off the north coast of Italy. The story is from a book and centers on an absent minded woman who ends up accidently at this world famous spiritual self-help retreat. As you can expect all the patients at the retreat have problems and they take it out on whoever they happen to be sitting next to. The characters are weak, their stories are only half told and there’s no resolution.
Gillian is on a break and will be back soon.
|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.|
February 27 & January 17
A CALL FOR INCLUSIVE EMERGENCY PLANNING AND RESPONSE
Most disaster response systems and plans are designed for people who can walk, run, see, drive, read, hear, speak, and quickly respond to alerts and instructions. This presents challenges for adults and children with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. This population may suffer severe and less forgiving consequences without essential support. The margin of resiliency in emergencies is smaller and the impact is higher.
Individuals with access and functional needs include, but are not limited to those who have/are:
- Physical, intellectual, developmental and mental health-related disabilities
- Blind/visually impaired
- Deaf/hearing impaired
- Mobility impairments
- Chronic conditions
- Older adults
- Infants and children
- Living in institutionalized settings
- Poor or homeless
- Limited English proficiency or are non-English speakers
- Transportation disadvantaged
In December 2021, Santa Cruz made international news with the flooding of the Benchlands. While the reasons for people living there at that time are complex, I haven’t encountered a single person who argues that a floodplain is a good place for people living in tents to reside for any length of time, especially in the rainy season. What didn’t get covered was that up to 80 people were living less than a mile up the river in Camp Paradise (across the river from the Tannery), and that those residents were completely flushed out. I said then, and I still think, that it’s a miracle that no one died in that severe weather event.
On the night of that flooding, I went to the Benchlands to talk to residents, city workers, CERT volunteers, and other community members. I wanted to see for myself what the official emergency response was and how unhoused residents were faring. For me there are multiple truths: the city and county together did make an effort to respond and provide safer spaces, resources, and transportation for those impacted and at-risk. I also saw people threatened with tickets if they dragged their possessions out of the flooding area into the upper park but did not want to move further, which resulted in people moving back into their dangerous, official tent sites. I also faced the frustration (along with others, in turns) of trying to convince a very vulnerable person to move, with water lapping at the pallets under their residence, and having them put us off endlessly.
Like our housed neighbors, people who live outside, when faced with dislocation, can be in denial, procrastinate, or outright refuse help (sometimes with good reason, sometimes not), while others miss the outreach and assistance that they would gladly take. For me, the city and county responses were ultimately too little, too late, even though some heroic efforts were made.
After my site visits, I did some investigating into our city and county emergency response plans. Guess what? We really don’t have emergency response plans for people who live outside, or many other vulnerable groups. City Manager Matt Huffaker and Homelessness Response Manager Larry Imwalle were both new to their jobs in December 2021, so I cut them some slack, but County Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios and Emergency Services Manager Paul Horvat have been in their roles for years, with experience in multiple disasters.
Our multi-agency, county-led Emergency Management Council has no members explicitly representing the unhoused, non-English-speaking, elder, or disabled communities. Why hasn’t the county been more proactive in this aspect of disaster planning and response?
And in the year since those 2021 storms, why hasn’t the city been more proactive? Do city and county leaders actually think they did a great job for unhoused residents in 2021 (not to mention the 2020 CZU fires, or a dozen other emergencies past)?
This lack of planning is a form of neglect of community members most disproportionately affected by emergencies and is a result of decades of discrimination and neoliberal policies.
We are seeing these inadequacies play out most visibly this winter with unhoused people sheltering in doorways, parking garages, and risky wildland areas. Many other people with access and functional needs are out of sight and largely unrepresented in local governance.
Sadly, city officials continue systemic neglect and criminalization of people who live outside.
Through the diligent inquiries of DSA Love Boat members, we know that city shelters and safe parking programs are at capacity (even though the city website makes it appear that spaces are available), and that there are hundreds of people without access to those resources or safe, sanctioned spaces to reside. Like last year, many have gone upriver to Sycamore Grove, which was underwater for the New Year, and into the Pogonip.
In addition, Santa Cruz Cares organizer Reggie Meisler and unhoused residents have documented the city continuing to ticket and tow vehicles used as shelter during this series of storms, adding to the numbers of completely unsheltered residents.
There was a short-lived emergency shelter at Depot Park during the January storms, but with this ongoing cold, stormy, and wet weather, it was only last Saturday night that the Free Guide’s county-supported cold weather shelter opened at the Vet’s Hall downtown. (Did you hear the wind, hail, thunder and lightning the other night? Has the city forgotten the 2019 storm-related death of Deseire Quintero in the Pogonip?!?) This iteration of an emergency cold shelter will be open 8pm-8am, but there’s no information on how many spaces or for how long the shelter will remain open.
The weather forecast is for cold, rainy weather to continue for most of the next 10 days. As I write just after 2pm, there is yet another heavy rain and hail mix coming down. I guess people can just hang out in the library or parking garages all day?
We’ve experienced a lack of consistency from last year to this year and last week to this week.
We know that stability is key for all people. Lack of planning, response, and communication destabilizes housed and unhoused alike. In this climate of instability, it’s no wonder that many either give up, or become triggered and lash out in anger and frustration.
But there is no us and them. Look at that list at the top again, and notice that we all either have been, are, or will be a member of the expansive communities of people with Access and Functional Needs (AFN). In addition, we are all touched by trauma in one way or another, whether it’s complex trauma from adverse childhood experiences, an acute traumatic event, being unhoused, or living through the collective trauma of a disaster.
Here are some things we can do:
When there are predictions for extreme weather, it should not take squeaky wheels to get emergency resources going for those with disabilities and AFN. We should have well-defined triggers based on forecasts and best-practices. In the fortunate event that actual conditions don’t get that bad, standing up emergency response should be seen as good practice for the next, inevitable disaster – not a waste of time and money.
Emergency planning and response that is inclusive and trauma-informed is something that all of us need in one way or another, at one time or another. In my research for this piece, I found many excellent emergency planning guides, including from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. I also read something hopeful in the September 2022 Santa Cruz County Emergency Management Council meeting minutes: 1st District Community Representative Nancy Yellin reported on her ongoing work for the peer oversight workgroup, including recommendations to “adopt a “whole community” strategy and ensure AFN community members’ needs are met during an event.” Unfortunately, minutes from the November meeting are not online yet, and my request for them has not been answered.
Thank you, Nancy Yellin, and everyone else who works to create inclusive community safety – I know there are a lot of you!
Leaders should prioritize the disabled and AFN community by establishing and funding offices of access and functional needs and AFN stakeholder workgroups at the city and county levels. I don’t think we need to throw a bunch of new money at this problem, but reallocate funding away from things like military equipment for policing.
Let’s use the lived experience of our diverse community, along with easily accessible resources, to develop our best-practices. Let’s have more dialogue and cooperation between all levels of community and governance, to build the true collective care and safety that we all want and need. When we design for accessibility and inclusivity, we all benefit.
A few final thoughts:
Every so often, I read or hear a comment that we have empathy fatigue, as individuals or as a community, usually in relation to people experiencing houselessness. In my circles, the empathy fatigue I register is towards some of our elected and unelected community leaders or the minority of loud naysayers who repeat myths about homelessness on social media. Because vulnerable populations seem to be repeatedly neglected, or blamed and shamed, while one-time-funds are spent on projects with limited results, and boots on the ground workers remain overworked and underpaid, my empathy only deepens for our friends, family, workers, and neighbors experiencing houselessness, precarity, illness, disability, or unsafe working conditions.
I don’t dig deep into these conversations on social media any more. It’s all too easy to be misunderstood, to attack or get defensive, or to be ineffective when attempting to combat misinformation and community breakdowns. I don’t disengage completely, but tread carefully and try to make positive personal connections whenever possible. We need to remember that the people involved in any side of these stories have complex and perhaps contradictory experiences and understandings. The people that live outside may be at the same time abused and abusers, givers and hustlers. Those in helping roles may be doing their best and succeeding and failing at various things, they could be both highly empathetic and defensive jerks.
We should remember that our criticisms of systemic inadequacies and failures can feel very personal and cut frontline workers to the core. And I hope that those working within the system can see that community criticism comes from a place of love and deep frustrations. Our calls for the city and county to be more transparent, communicative, accountable, and responsive are legitimate. If our criticisms are sometimes harsh, unfair, or based on misinformation, it may be that we are cobbling together our facts as best we can, based on what we’re seeing and hearing in the community.
If you want to read a little more, here are some short essays on the recent storms, from the perspectives of people living outside in Santa Cruz.
A much shorter version of this column appeared in Lookout’s Community Voices on January 17, 2023.
|Joy Schendledecker is an artist, parent, and community organizer. She lives on the Westside of Santa Cruz with her husband, two teens, mother in law, and cats. She was a city of Santa Cruz mayoral candidate in 2022.|
Becky had an accident and will return ASAP.
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
DEMOCRACY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
I like the phrase ‘all politics is local’ and have coined a corollary phrase ‘war starts at home.’ We must find solutions that work at the local level, including resolving conflict. My twist on these issues has an environmental focus, and I want to illustrate our local situation in this essay.
If locals were judged for those they elect, how environmentally-minded would anyone think we are? I can’t think of a single local city council member who purports to prioritize environmental conservation. None of our County Supervisors advertises environmental conservation as a primary concern. Likewise, the local State Assembly members do not have strong environmental conservation platforms. Only when you reach the level of State Senator do we get an inkling that our local constituencies support environmental conservation: John Laird has long been an effective environmental conservationist, and conservation is one of his main priorities.
As we consider voting, how are we to be informed about which candidate might best serve environmental conservation? My experience has been that it is not easy. Unfortunately, there is no reliable environmental conservation organization informing local votes through their endorsement process. The Santa Cruz Group of the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club used to serve this important role, and the Group still ostensibly considers making endorsements – apparently only if a candidate seeks their endorsement. For 2022, the Group posted a list of endorsements, though without any analysis explaining their reasoning. Upon examination, most of the candidates they endorsed had little or no mention of environmental conservation in any of their election materials.
Lacking other means, you must follow environmental issues yourself and watch how politicians and political candidates react to those issues. Even if you track a single issue, you will find it helpful in illuminating for whom you should cast your vote. As a reminder from my past columns, priority environmental conservation issues for our area include: habitat protection for maritime chaparral and coastal prairies, creek and river habitat conservation, water pollution, and wildlife habitat connectivity/corridors. Of course, there are many issues to address when conserving rare and endangered species throughout our region, and those must be prioritized as well. If one of those priorities strikes your fancy, watch it carefully to see who is active and how politicians navigate to address them…and vote accordingly.
Environmental Advisors for Politicians
One of the ways environmental conservation conflicts might get resolved is through governmental advisory bodies. Locally, cities and the County have advisory bodies that ostensibly COULD advise on environmental matters. However, I cannot think of a time when City Council Members or County Supervisors sought out those advisory committees for advice, let alone acted on any of the advice otherwise offered by those committees. I suppose that’s a reflection of politicians’ assessment of how much local voters care about environmental matters. You might ask yourself, ‘are there environmental conservation conflicts locally?’ I hope you recognize that the answer is, ‘yes.’ The next question is ‘how are those conflicts being addressed?’ The answer is, ‘they are not.’ ‘Why?’ The answer to that question is ‘one side, the one in power…the one that destroys the environment…is winning.’ Why would anyone seek to resolve conflict when they are already winning? Two reasons come to mind: the primacy of environmental conservation for life on Earth and, consequently, avoidance of war which is the natural result of the degradation of the environment. All politics is local, and we’ve punted on this issue to our peril.
The following section lists the advisory groups that could be tasked to help resolve environmental conflicts, should politicians ever realize the importance of doing so.
City of Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz City Council has a Parks and Recreation Commission to advise the City Council. Unfortunately, as reflects the views of the politicians who appointed them, the majority of those advisors care so little for environmental conservation that they fail to address those issues as part of their advisory role. This is a shame because the City’s parks contain a wealth of biological diversity, including many rare and endangered species, and these advisors could be valuable in helping to address most of the priorities I outlined above.
County Political Advisors
The County curiously has two bodies to advise the Supervisors about environmental matters: the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission and the Commission on the Environment. The Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission membership historically has included a majority of experts with strong environmental conservation track records. After years of that Commission, there was the anomalous creation of a second advisory body, the Commission on the Environment – this one appointed with a majority of members without any environmental conservation interest, expertise, or experience. If you’ve got insight into why that second commission was convened when Supervisors could easily turn to the first, I’d love to hear from you.
Joining Together: Activism
Another way locals can affect change democratically is through organized activism. The list of environmental conservation groups acting at our local level includes the Valley Women’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley, California Native Plant Society, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Watsonville Wetlands Watch, Surfrider, Friends of the North Coast, Friends of the Greenbelt, Friends of Pogonip, Save our Shores, the East Meadow Action Committee, the Habitat and Watershed Caretakers and the Santa Cruz Group of the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club.
From time to time, other groups including Audubon Society, Earthjustice, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the First Amendment Project, Save the Redwoods League, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, and the Center for Biological Diversity have stepped into the Monterey Bay area to assist with environmental conservation.
Each of the groups above has a history of success in their own issue areas in our region. But, even with all of their work, major environmental crises still plague our area and are going virtually unaddressed. Those crises are getting worse. And, despite the work of all of these groups, we have the bleak political landscape that I outlined in the opening of this piece. Simply put, none of those groups has affected the political change we need to sustain environmental conservation in our region.
Rating Activist Groups
If we want to donate money or join a group, how do we know how effective it is? Unfortunately, there isn’t an organization that rates our local conservation groups for their effectiveness. Nationally, if you want to give money to a group for environmental conservation, you might use Charity Navigator to peruse groups’ effectiveness. But that group’s ratings don’t really reflect our local situation. For instance, if you looked at the Sierra Club, you might find Charity Navigator’s high rating for the Sierra Club Foundation, whose work (despite the nomenclatural similarity with the Sierra Club Santa Cruz Group) doesn’t address our local conservation issues. Here again, if you follow even a single local issue, chances are that you’ll get to witness the effectiveness of a local conservation group. I know the groups I’ve been impressed with…but, we have so much more to do!
Working Together to Healthy Nature and a Lasting Peace
Only by working together, through democratic institutions and processes, by supporting the leaders and groups that are most effective, can we create the local changes from which others can learn. Together, starting locally, we will create a world that embraces successful environmental conservation and achieves a lasting peace. I hope that you will do something to help.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Politico, the online magazine, suggests that there is a “surprising reason” that Europe came together, so quickly (and unexpectedly), to stand up against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Why did that happen? Despite our president’s suggestion that he was the one who was able to get everyone together, Politico gives the most credit to Google Translate.
A friend sent me a link to the Politico article – and here that link is, for you! As far as I know, no paywall will prevent anyone from reading what Politico has to say – and I think that the article is well worth reading.
Since Feb. 24, when Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine, we’ve heard from many quarters that Europe is united as never before. “Fifteen years ago, during the financial crisis, it took us years to find lasting solutions,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the European Union address to the European Parliament on Sept. 14. “But this year, as soon as Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, our response was united, determined and immediate.”
Apart from Hungary (which continues to pay Russian President Vladimir Putin obsequious court), Europe has indeed displayed an uncommon unity since the invasion began. Converging on Brussels within hours of the invasion, European leaders surprised the world by swiftly passing package after package of sanctions designed to crush Russian finance, deprive it of revenue from energy exports, hamstring its defense sector, punish its elites and shut down its propaganda organs.
Von der Leyen attributes this uncommon unity and efficiency to Europe’s “courage and solidarity.” The Biden administration attributes it to the president’s diplomatic prowess: Administration officials told the Washington Post that Biden had engaged “in discreet diplomacy with European allies, and in recent weeks he ha[d] encouraged them to take action.” One European diplomat attributed it to Putin: “Putin has done much more than any other to unite the Europeans and to go for a stronger European Union.” All of this is true. The prospect of invasion by Russia concentrates the mind wonderfully.
But there is another, less widely acknowledged source of Europe’s newfound unity: The latest version of Google Translate, which has turned the ancient dream of a world without language barriers into reality.
Putin and the War in Ukraine seem to be providing a confirmation, the way Politico sees it, that “talking to strangers” can have a powerful impact on what we do. Let’s take heed of what happened in this case, and start thinking about ways to use technology, and just plain old human interaction, to realize that John Lennon dream:
… Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
… Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace
… You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
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 email@example.com
RIGHT-WING REWRITES, EDITS AND REASSESSMENTS
Rhode Island Representative and ranking House Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, Seth Magaziner, says he is deeply disturbed that House Speaker McCarthy has given sensitive security surveillance footage from the January 6 D.C. insurrection to Tucker Carlson of FoxNews…“because it was promised.” A group of news outlets have enlisted the help of attorney Charles Tobin to request of congressional leadership all closed-circuit camera footage recorded both inside and outside the Capitol on that day be given to them, saying, “The incredible public interest in understanding what transpired on January 6 crosses party lines.” McCarthy has previously said reviewing the tapes would “let everybody make their own judgement.” So what are we to think if a photoshopped Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter are exposed as they carry a banner bearing an ANTIFA message? Or if Hillary is seen with Nancy Pelosi ripping up Trump posters?
The approximately 41,000 hours of footage will allow Carlson’s team to reassemble it in such a way to allow him to continue questioning the significance of that event, as well as carrying on with attacks on the House Select Committee investigation and its conclusions. Senate Majority Leader Schumer slammed Mac’s decision, accusing him of “needlessly” exposing the Capitol to further security risks by giving information to those who are planning future attacks. Attorney Tobin cited a federal appeals court case that found the government cannot selectively exclude certain outlets from information which might otherwise be available to the public. His letter to congressional leaders McCarthy, Scalise, Jeffries, Schumer and McConnell claims, “Without full public access to the complete historical record, there is concern that an ideologically-based narrative of an already polarizing event will take hold in the public consciousness, with destabilizing risks to the legitimacy of Congress, the Capitol Police, and the various federal investigations and prosecutions of January 6 crimes.” Tobin also sent an expedited request under the Freedom of Information Act on behalf of ten news organizations, as well as The Associated Press and The New York Times.
Announcing a lawsuit against McCarthy because his pillows were evidently over-fluffed, perhaps left out in the rain, is Mike Lindell of MyPillow fame. He let Steve Bannon know of his plans, and of his anger at the House leader for daring to favor Tucker Carlson by bestowing such a gift, claiming he is “injured” that Fox was selected over him, as Mac curries favor with the propagandist, and now he wants his due! So, maybe for once we can agree with this goofball…for our own reasons? Let’s also roll our eyes around a few times – as even the GOP seems to be doing.
As if the toxic East Palestine, Ohio train derailment wasn’t bad enough, The Former Guy felt the need to show up at the site last week, and it proved to be toxic to the ego of Mr. Trump. After the visit he did his usual braggadocio of what a success it had been, as he handed out Trump-labeled bottles of water along with McDonald’s delicacies. On Truth Social he crowed that his visit was seen by 180 million viewers on both social and traditional media…“numbers off the charts!” Interesting to note that NO major stations carried his visit. Your major coverage is coming, however, Donny! He added, “The visit meant a lot for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding communities. The trip gave them hope and raised awareness needed to combat the incompetence of the Biden Administration.” He failed to mention that relaxation of rail regulations during his term likely led to the unfortunate accident. No word on the number of paper towel rolls he tossed to the assembled for use in sopping up the mess.
The former prez is by now realizing that the DOJ Special Counsel, Jack Smith, is heavily into pursuit of indicting him in a criminal case, especially after three of his attorneys have testified against him before a grand jury. Now it turns out that an aide of Trump’s brought a box of additional classified documents to Mar-a-Lago after being stored at a leased office elsewhere in Palm Beach. With headlines screaming about the discovery of classified material at M-a-L, who or what figured the coast was clear enough to bring another stash to the scene of the crime? Malice, extreme negligence, or stupidity? Smith will have to make that determination, but somebody squealed, and it indicates that DJT’s people are cooperating with DOJ, with him squarely in the viewfinder.
Compounding this issue is discovery that the documents were found on a laptop recovered from the aide, according to attorney Danny Cevallos, a giant problem for Trump because the information could be transferred easily to thumb drives to serve whatever purpose Traitor Trump had in mind. The aide, not an attorney, was working for Trump’s favored Save America PAC, and being a governmental outsider is a clear national security issue. The hard copy classified documents were distributed among miscellaneous papers, such as schedules, McDonald’s menus, ketchup packets and napkins, but it is noteworthy that they were scanned with a phone by the aide upon being instructed to do so, then transferred to the laptop. Special Counsel Smith now has the documents, the laptop and a thumb drive, plus testimony of the aide. Get your popcorn, peanuts and Cocolas, ready!
The Save America PAC is The Don’s favorite, in particular because the actual name should be the Save Trump PAC, as we discover that more than ten million dollars of the sixteen million dollars spent on legal-related expenses went to the Former Guy’s legal bills in the two previous years according to filings. Some of the money was paid to lawyers representing witnesses in investigations related to Stop the Steal efforts, but about $10M went to law firms repping for Trump in a series of investigations and lawsuits…some related to Trump, Inc. So, who says Mr. T refuses to pay his attorneys? However, this poses the question about whether he can get away with this as a presidential candidate. “Payment by a PAC that exceeds the contribution limit are contributions to the candidate and are unlawful,” reports Jason Torchinsky, a campaign finance expert with Holtzman Vogel. For the current two-year political cycle, donation limits are set at $3,300.
Pomeranian Margie T. Greene yapped out her criticism of Joe Biden’s sneak visit into Ukraine recently, barking, “Put America First!!!” Calling Ukraine the 51st state, she has long denounced the billions in aid sent to that country in its battle against the Russian invasion. Referring to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “the shadow president” when he appeared before Congress, she called the visit “absurd,” with many in the far-right wing of the GOP in agreement. Malcontent Marge, in her brazen self-pity, laments her “low” congressional salary and the fact that the job is “practically year-round. Becoming a member of Congress has made my life miserable.” Po’ li’l thang! Folks, do we know a better way to spend $174,000? You bet! Let’s work on it!
Speaking of complainers…we find cartoonist Scott Adams, along with his long-extant ‘Dilbert‘ comic strip, may have hit the wall with his extreme-right wing comments calling Black Americans a “hate group, and White people should get the hell away from them.” He is well-known for his ideologies and Trumpist conspiracy theories, but became upset after reading a Rasmussen poll that found a thin majority of Blacks agreed with the statement “It’s okay to be white.” On his YouTube show, the 65-year old Adams blamed Black Americans for not “focusing on education. I’m also really sick of seeing video after video of Blacks beating up on non-Black citizens.”
This outburst prompted many newspapers to cancel his comic strip, and if Adams‘ prediction rings true, he will be down to “zero distribution by Monday,” suggesting he had done irreparable harm to his career…“There’s no way you can come back from this.” Darrin Bell, ‘Candorville‘ cartoonist, the first Black artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, said, “His racism is not even unique among cartoonists,” and compared him to having views held in the Jim Crow era. Upon cancellation of the ‘Dilbert‘ TV show, Adams in 2020 claimed, “It’s the third job I lost for being White,” and in 2022, he tweeted his intent to “self-identify as a Black woman.”
Recently dropped by the San Francisco Chronicle, ‘Dilbert‘ had “stopped being hilarious, to being hurtful and mean,” according to editor-in-chief, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz. “Very few readers noticed when we killed it, and we only had a handful of complaints.” Looks like R.I.P. (Reprints In Podunk), ‘Dilbert‘!
Oops! Texas and a gun in the news again! The elementary school superintendent in a school district near Abilene has resigned because a third grader found his forgotten pistol in a school bathroom. Robby Stuteville’s three decade service in the district, two years as the super, came to an end with “a grave mistake,” as he pointed out. In an interview he admitted the permitted gun was left unattended for about fifteen minutes before being found. “There was never a danger other than the obvious,” Stuteville claimed. Adding, “Guns (are) a considerable danger,” and that the child had done well “to be on the lookout for any unusual placement of a weapon or anything out of place.” Anybody else think Robby is unclear on the concept? Approval to carry guns came about after the Uvalde school shooting to ensure protection of students, terming it a ‘reassessment.’ Time for a ‘re-reassessment!’
COVID-19 pandemic is over!?! So, hopeful travelers are jamming the phone lines and websites of the airlines and ticket agents to plan getaways, plaguing the air carriers with a growing, four-wheeled problem in the form of – wheelchairs! A dramatic increase in wheelchair requests and wheelchair assistance has arisen. Is it that more passengers with physical limitations are flying? Or is it crafty, deceitful passengers attempting to be among the first to board a flight? Short-staffed airlines are having difficulties at handling such an abundance of requests for those seeking perks, which can result in late departures, and a resultant reduced operating profit in some cases. As the industry becomes more aware of this problem, many of the trips are called ‘Jesus Flights’, as the limitations seem to be ‘healed’ during the flight, wheelchairs are cast aside, and the passenger skips down the steps to the tarmac into their vacation site. Air carriers are reducing the number of summer flights, meaning sold-out flights, and a wheelchair issue coming to prominence, so prepare for delays and discomfort – and whatever your travel plans, don’t get on a plane transporting Margie or Scott, for sure!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 TimEagan.com you will find his most recent Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.
“THUNDER AND LIGHTNING”
“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work”.
“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake”.
“It is fascinating to watch legislators turn away from their usual corporate grips when they hear the growing thunder of the people”.
A piece on New York’s oldest chocolate company. I may have to order some chocolate from there and compare it to our local chocolatiers… for research!!! 🙂
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