Change of MindFreethinker Bob Froelich will join me to discuss the flexibility of the human mind.  Since college, have you changed your mind about anything significant?  Have you changed a political position, or at least changed the way you look at the issue?  If so, what triggered it?  Was it a sudden revelation, or did a change in your position evolve over time?

My hypothesis is that at a certain age it’s personal experience which has the best chance of changing a mind, not evidence.  As this study suggests, the mind does not necessarily take evidence and generate a change in thinking.  In fact, the resistance to change of thought, in my hypothesis, probably served a positive function in the survival of the species at some point in our evolution.  It may be neurological or otherwise biological – that what we perceive as delusional in others is the very same factor which generates our own seemingly rational intransigence – but in biological terms may be a “healthy” phenomenon rather than a disorder.  I will suggest that what may have been beneficial to the perpetuation of the species at one time is no longer the case, and to a certain degree the human race may have to transcend its own biology to survive.

Bob and I will throw out some particular issues as examples, but we will be directing the discussion to the general topic and not to any debates on particular issues.  I realize that will be very difficult for some, but I will be looking for a focused discussion.

From the Elan Firpo campaign:


Yurok Tribe Endorses Elan Firpo for District Attorney

The Yurok Tribe endorsed Elan Firpo for Humboldt County District Attorney at its regular council meeting in Klamath, CA, on Thursday, April 10.

“The Yurok Tribe’s court and justice system is growing, and we are looking forward to furthering our collaborative effort with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office, which will benefit our tribal members,” said Yurok Tribe Chairman Thomas O’Rourke, Sr.
The Yurok Tribe is the largest Indian Tribe in California with 5,989 tribal members. Several initiatives to benefit Yurok tribal members and surrounding communities are currently under way, including the construction of a visitors’ center, hotel and casino and a fiber optic high speed internet system.

“It is a great honor to be endorsed by the Yurok Tribe,” said Elan Firpo. “I intend to live up to this vote of confidence by strengthening the link between the DA’s office and the tribes and Rancherias as we make this a safe place to raise our families.”

Easter Egg Hunt

From the Dollison campaign:


TH_McKinleyvilleEUREKA, CA—District Attorney Candidate, Allan L. Dollison will be holding a Meet the Candidate event on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Azalea Hall located at 1620 Picket Road in McKinleyville.

Allan served in the District Attorney’s office for almost 6 ½ years where he prosecuted serious and violent felony cases, like People v. Brian Fiore, a home invasion marijuana robbery that ended in murder and attempted murder convictions. The victims had 14 pounds of Marijuana stolen from them at gun point, by Mr. Fiore and his Co-Conspirator.

Allan continues to serve in the Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel, and faithfully served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq, helping to rebuild damaged infrastructure, and reforming the justice system in Iraq. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge.

If elected, Allan will fight for additional resources, obtain grants that focus on violent crime, and bring organizational skill and management to a DA’s office that sorely needs it.

This event will be a great opportunity to Meet with Allan, find out more about him, listen to his priorities, and talk with him about your concerns for how the DA’s office should be run.

The citizenship test – you have to get 6 out of 10 right.  I got all 10 right, but as a lawyer and history major it would have been embarrassing if I hadn’t.
It’s probably not hard to study for these tests, although I wonder how a disabled person can pass any such test and even more to the point I wonder what passing such a test addresses.  For most people, it’ll be like high school – you learn it for the test and then forget it.  To the extent that it purports to require some familiarity with US history and political culture, the questions are lame.  I don’t think any test should be part of the requirement, but if I was going to agree on a test, the questions should be along the lines of the following.
1.  Which of the following are your rights guaranteed under the 4th Amendment?
2.  Which of the following offices can you vote to elect a representative of your choice?
3.  Under which of the following situations can the government legitimately deprive you of the right to freedom of speech?
4.  Which of the following laws/amendments protect your right to equality under the law?
5.  Which of the following is the youngest voting age?
6.  Under which situations are you guaranteed legal counsel at no cost to you?
7.  Which of the following are potentially lawful acts of Congress?
8.  Which of the following institutions may lawfully discriminate against you on the bases of race, religion, or national origin?
9.  Which of the following are the basic requirements for voting?
10.  With whom of the following government officials would you contact if you wanted a law changed?
As you can see, they haven’t consulted me.
Addendum:  A friend put this together for me, in response to Suzy’s post.   She’s not a fan of Internet discussion, so probably won’t participate more directly.
Doing it Right

Thanks to Scott Greacen for bringing my attention to this blog post about the lethal mud slide in the Cascades of Washington.  It appears to be well-researched, and if true a major property rights advocate who opposed any kind of development limitations which might have saved lives, may well have become a victim of his own ideology.  I take no joy nor do I claim there is any “poetic justice” in the matter – the events are pure tragedy – but maybe someone will learn that the universe is apathetic to our notions of freedom and justice.  That “big bad government” is trying to regulate you, it does not follow that the basis for that regulation is wrong.  And not all opposition to development is rooted in “alarmism.”

From the article:

In fact, the warnings of the state were not only ignored, but actually defied. For  in a strange twist, the law inspired some people to fight the state’s efforts to “meddle in the private affairs of residents”. As the news of the slide came out, it turned out that one of the main activists protesting the 2006 zoning law to prevent runaway building in hazardous areas was Thomas Satterlee. He was one of the leaders of the activist anti-government “Patriot” movement, organizing armed militias in the area to fight back against the “big bad Government.” In the 1990s, he tried to declare the area as “Freedom County” and hoped to run it without any oversight from state or federal law; all of his efforts were struck down, eventually reaching the Superior Court. Satterlee was also a big advocate of the “Sovereign Citizen” movement….


In the case of Oso, Washington, Satterlee was particularly active in fighting the 2006 zoning law, whose primary intent was to prevent excessive building in the region, especially in hazardous zones below the landslide. His acts of defiance influenced his neighbors, who also ignored the law and the warnings of expert geologists. Instead, they chose to live in a clearly identifiable area of great hazard. Some of the victims of the slide, who knew about the risks and openly ignored expert advice, are no “innocents” who had no warning. Those who never heard of the risk, however, bear no blame for staying in a danger zone. In another ironic twist, Satterlee apparently paid the ultimate price for his defiance of experts: he and his family are among the missing and presumed dead.


I’m sure the property rights advocates around here will find a million ways to distinguish the situation from their own circumstances.  I just hope their lessons are never as harsh – for themselves or anyone else.

There is much more about the history of the situation through the link, including some chilling before and after photographs.  And there’s a long history of warnings from those “urban environmentalists” so fun to demonize.

Lots going on, and as always, I will post all campaign notices (within reason).  I expect that this Saturday’s Arts Alive will be swimming with candidates for all sorts of offices.


Join host Kevin Hoover on KHSU 90.5 FM’s Thursday Night Talk tonight April 3rd as he interviews the two candidates for Fourth District Supervisor, incumbent Virginia Bass and challenger Chris Kerrigan. Phone in your questions to (707) 826-4805 beginning at 7 p.m.


Join the Kerrigan for Supervisor Campaign for an Arts Alive! open house, displaying art by local artist Suzanne Simpson onSaturday April 5th, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Wine and refreshments will be served.

For more information about the Kerrigan for Supervisor campaign, visit For questions or comments please contact Mitra at: or by calling 707-442-2220 and visit to support the campaign.

DATE: Saturday, April 5th
TIME: 6:00 – 9:00 PM
LOCATION: 427 F St. Suite 213, Eureka (Above the Sewell Gallery)


Several events starting tonight.


Tuesday April 1st  (5:30 reception) 6:00 – 7:30pm
DA debate at Trinidad Town Hall
sponsored by the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce and LWV

Friday April 4th  (5:pm recpetion) 5:30 public forum
SoHum D.A. Town Hall
Veterans Memorial Building, 483 Conger St, Garberville
sponsored by Elan Firpo

Saturday April 5th
Arts Alive corner of F St. and 2nd St.
Elan Firpo Booth, stop by for refreshments & meet the candidate

More info:

Sorry, I didn’t know this was happening!  You’ve still got just over an hour to get over there.

Chavez Event

April 2014
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