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Not if it’s based on Rastafarianism. And Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. Sorry.

Well, I did it. I was alone for awhile, with a candle – a weird feeling to protest alone. It makes you feel awkward and…, well, oddly vulnerable. Talked to some kids and had some good conversations. One guy kept running by and blowing out my candle. Eventually I was joined by a couple of people. Someone else was up at the gate trying to hand out purple armbands. Pretty lame turnout compared to the ruckus on Thank Jah this morning, but it was short notice.

I was right last night. This is a generational thing.

Esteban, who protests each Friday at noon in Garberville, wanted to be there. He was going to try to talk Carol into getting us an audience with Banton. I don’t know that it would have accomplished much, but anyway Esteban was unable to make it due to familial obligations. Quite frankly, I don’t think I have a whole lot to say to the Banton anyways other than “stop being a dick.”

I wish I’d had time to get on the phone and coax more people out, but I had to cook tonight, and the kids needed some attention. I’ve never really been cut out for the activist role anyway.

Quite frankly I found the spokeswoman for Banton Estelle attempted to interview to be evasive, manipulative, and annoying. I really don’t want to hear about how “spiritual” Buju Banton is – Pat Robertson and Bin Laden are also spiritual. Nor do I care how great his music is. And I don’t think encouraging people to pour acid over homosexuals’ heads or burn them alive is in any way mitigated by the fact that he was motivated by some child molestation in the news. That he was 15 is mitigation, negated by the fact that he continues to sing it. Nor to I believe that his recent performances of the song are about telling us “where he came from.” Nowhere in her statement was there any indication that he feels badly about the song, nor its impact, nor any desire to reconcile with the people he’s hurt. And I’ve found nothing in any independent source to support her vague explanation of repudiation of the the song in 1992. I didn’t even hear any recognition from her that the lyrics are patently evil, mitigated by youth or not. And Amnesty International is not about to change their minds about the evidence against him in the bashing incident by coming to a concert and listening to his music.

Oh, and as I was listening to the full interview, Estelle took a call from Heather, Carol Bruno’s daughter. She claimed that Banton would not be making any apologies because he would face reprisals at home if he did so. Estelle saw fit not to report that, probably because it’s patently stupid. He’s not going to apologize because he hates homosexuals – plain and simple.

I’ll give Carol Bruno the benefit of the doubt that she was ignorant of all this when she booked him, and probably she heard from his attorneys after canceling the show. However, since yesterday I’m hearing that there have been incidents at Reggae on the River in recent years – such that organizers in one instance felt compelled to come onto the stage and apologize to gay and lesbian members of the audience. One person to whom I spoke said “it’s getting out of control.”

It’s a culture clash. I understand that some of these artists were raised with these bigotries. But we wouldn’t tolerate it from anybody else, and it certainly undermines the notion of “one love.”

Consider me seriously disillusioned.

Here are the lyric by the way.

Buju Banton – Boom Bye Bye
Boom bye bye

Boom [as in gun sound] goodbye, goodbye [as in we won’t be seeing you again, you’re dead]

Inna batty bwoy head
In a queer’s head

Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Rude boys don’t promote no queer men

Dem haffi dead
They have to die

Send fi di matic an
Send for the automatic [gun] and
Di Uzi instead
The Uzi instead

Shoot dem no come if we shot dem
Shoot them, don’t come if we shoot them [as in don’t come to help them]

Guy come near we
If a man comes near me
Then his skin must peel
Then his skin must peel [as in pour acid over him]

Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel
Burn him up badly, like you would burn an old tire wheel

I’m hearing through the grapevine that they were trying to get him to repudiate the song and make a public apology, but that’s apparently not going to happen.

I went to the People Productions site last night and the concert was clearly marked “cancelled.” Just went there and the cancelled sign is gone. My wife says that KHUM announced that Carol Bruno had received 500 calls from people who want the concert back on. They had their Friday night planned apparently, and that’s all that matters.

Meanwhile, Estelle let me hear her recorded interview with Buju’s campaign manager. Not one straight answer in about 20 minutes of conversation. I don’t want to scoop Estelle, so you can listen to the highlights tonight.

Next month at the Mateel, we’ll be booking David Duke and the Grand Wizards who’ll be playing a reggae version of Mammy’s Little Baby after reciting poetry based on the text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Maybe we can get Kinky Friedman to open.

Is anybody going to picket the concert tonight?

Update: I’ll be there at just before 9 tonight. If anybody wants to join me, I’d appreciate the company. Bring candles. It’ll probably be too dark for signs.

Ms. Muller’s follow-up article is up. The highlights:

1. Cardoza had not seen the memo from Gallegos to Keats about recusing themselves and Mr. Dikeman from the case until after the plea because it was was written 5 days later. Cardoza admitted the error stating that he had not reviewed the file in its entirely before commenting earlier this week. However, Mr. Cardoza vehemently insists that Gallegos had made no contact with him about the case prior to the plea, and that Gallegos did not realize that the plea had already been entered when he wrote the memo (which makes sense, or he wouldn’t have bothered, or if he wanted to be dishonest, he would have predated it).

2. Wes Keat admitted that “the other paper” got the information wrong in that he called the AG Office in San Francisco rather than Sacramento. He was trying to reach a particular woman, but spoke to a male associate instead. He believed that the call was made in mid-July, probably the 19th – the day the plea was entered. He did not know whether it happened before or after. He emphasized that Cardoza was acting independently throughout.

3. Cardoza complained about the “sloppiness” of the original story and said that he should have been contacted for it. As I’ve said, I certainly agree that it would have cleared up some facts about the plea itself, though he would not have been able to address the issue of the donation itself and the appearance of an impact on the plea agreement.

4. I don’t know what to make of this:

In an e-mail exchange with The Eureka Reporter, Cardoza explained that he had a busy court calendar, and added, “As far as my responsibility to the media is concerned, I invite your attention to the California Public Records Act, the California Rules of Professional Conduct, the American Bar Association Model Code of Professional Responsibility and the National Prosecution Standards. I will continue to fulfill my responsibilities as set forth therein to all media outlets, including yours. If you feel I am in violation of any or all of those directives, I suggest you file a formal complaint with the California State Bar.”

He followed up with some colorfully testy comments.

5. At least one of the charges to which Bowman pled involved a serious incident of violence against his mother-in-law with the assistance of his wife/her daughter. The allegations would seem to indicate that this guy has a history of violence against women.

6. The article references a “sidebar” containing some comments made by Gallegos, but they don’t appear to have made it into the on-line version of the article.


KMUD picked up on the story last night via Daniel Mintz. Estelle Fennel promised a follow-up tonight with an interview with Paul Gallegos on the controversy. The Graham trial jury is deliberating, or was at last report, so it’s conceivable that something could break there that eclipses the Bowman issue, but I’ll be listening at 6:00.

I only caught the tail end of the story on KMUD news tonight – the gist of which was that Carol Bruno of People Productions had pulled the plug on tomorrow night’s Bujo Banton concert set at the Mateel due to some homophobic remarks he’d made 15 years ago – or that’s how I heard it having missed the beginning. My first reaction was that people were overreacting. Everybody says stupid things, right? And we’re not all raised under the banner of political correctness.

Turns out it was a song, not random remarks. And the song is apparently quite disturbing. From Wikipedia:

Banton has incited a considerable amount of international controversy because of his 1992 song “Boom Bye Bye” which calls for violence against homosexuals – including shooting them in the head, pouring acid over them and setting them on fire. As a result, Banton was forced by his label to issue a statement; nevertheless he refused to apologize, citing his Rastafari religion, citing the Bible (Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13) as the basis for his beliefs. Banton still performs the song, notably at the Smirnoff Festival in Negril, Jamaica 8 August 2004. As a consequence, Banton’s concerts are often met with protesting crowds and calls for cancellation. His most recent scheduled performance in Seattle in the diverse neighborhood of Capitol Hill was canceled due to local outrage from the LGBT community.

I’m still uneasy about the censorship portion of the equation, but I do admire Carol for putting principle before her financial interests – and she will take quite a hit over this. Ironically, the tour has been dubbed “the Too Bad Tour.”

Estelle reported that she and Carol spent a couple of hours trying to get him or someone representing the band to make some kind of public apology, or indicate in some way that could be conveyed to the young people who listen to him that he’s had a change of heart. All the rep would say, off the record, was that they didn’t endorse violence.

According to the Wikipedia entry he was also implicated in a more recent incident of violence against homosexuals, but he was acquitted of those charges after posting bail. Give him the benefit of the doubt on his denial I guess – not much is said about the case. Amnesty International isn’t so sure of his innocence.

I haven’t thought it completely through yet, but I lean towards supporting the decision to shut down the concert. However, I would never attend a Bujo Banton concert sans a complete turnaround with overtures made to the gay and lesbian community. Actually, modern Reggae really isn’t my thing anyway. But I was troubled to hear Estelle’s interviews from younger members of the community who intended to attend the concert anyway. I certainly hope those opinions aren’t representative of the younger generation. Carol mentioned that the e-mails and telephone calls she’s received were divided roughly in half. I wonder if we have a generation gap in play here.

In any case, perhaps the topic of my last two radio shows is passe. Maybe we need to ask ourselves if Rastafarianism is a message of peace.

Update: There’s a heated discussion on Thank Jah (KMUD) as I’m typing.

Second Update: Estelle Fennel is working feverishly to get a statement from the artist himself for tonight’s news. She’s made it up to his manager, but they’re still being very slippery about it all.

The list is up at Daily Kos.

Gutless Democrats saying Aye:
Tom Carper (Del.)
Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
Bob Menendez (N.J)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Pryor (Ark.)
Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Ken Salazar (Co.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

Gutless Connecticut for Liebermans saying Aye:
Joe Lieberman (Conn.)

The only real surprises to me in the list are Lautenberg and Stabenow.

It’s unclear according to this DK poster as to whether the bill even prohibits rape and sodomy as an interrogation tactic. Certainly there’s nothing prohibitting the sustained chaining of prisoners naked with panties over their heads, but that’s not really sexual violence, is it?

The bill also clears up most of the prior violations.

Thing is, I don’t think this will even rate as a campaign issue. We’ve managed to hehumanize the enemy, and nobody thinks it could happen to anyone “innocent.” If it happens to a prisoner he or she must be guilty of something, right?

It’s reportedly at 1000 plus acres now, and finally at a point where the fire crews can do something about it. The area lacked roads so it was a matter of dumping water from the air and waiting. Earlier today the smoke was extremely heavy around here, though it seems to be thinning due to a southbound wind which means it’s Laytonville’s turn to breath the stuff for awhile. Probably means we’ll get more smoke from the Willow Creek fire.

Apparently one firefighter has already been treated in the SoHum Hospital emergency room.

Rumor has it the fire was started by hunters, but I haven’t heard about any arrests. It’s too far out to blame this one on the homeless – the official explanation for two earlier local fires.

Soccer games scheduled for Redway this weekend may be postponed. You should contact your coach before making any long drives.

And my secretary was happy to read some TS coverage this morning.

They’re demanding a retraction of Monday’s story about Gallegos and the Bear River Band donation. The article also contains a sharp denial from BRBR of any wrongdoing.

The decision to donate $10,000 to the Friends of Paul Gallegos was approved by a 5 to 0 vote of the tribal council,” McGinnis said. “Similar requests for contributions have recently been made by other candidates for elected office, and the tribe will not be intimidated into remaining silent about its support for selected candidates by irresponsible journalism.

Absent from the response was any kind of discussion about why they supported Gallegos so strongly. Richard Marks is asking that very question – again, like Muller he is asking, not asserting.

Heraldo’s posting about it, pointing out that Gallegos has no obligation to respond to any paper. True enough, but then Glenn Simmons was correct to note in yesterday’s editorial that it’s pointless then to complain about an article published without all the facts. The article is being slammed for what it seems to imply rather than anything actually stated. But as I’ve said twice now, the whole point was to highlight the appearance of impropriety created by the facts at Ms. Muller’s diposal. That Gallegos haters would seize on the implications to score political points isn’t an issue of responsibility for the writer. Simmons is right. Refusing to talk to a newspaper you feel is hostile does nothing to clarify the issue for the public. Note that President Clinton was willing to face down Fox News reporter Chris Wallace – literally. Comment – then if you’re misquoted or quoted out of context, scream about it later.

Believe me, I’m no fan of some of Gallegos’ critics – particularly some of the anonymous posters of local blogsville. I’ve been critical of the Eureka Reporter, and even Heather Muller on at least one previous occasion. However, in this case she was forced to publish without all the facts because Gallegos wouldn’t respond to her. Yes, he’s been trying a complex murder case, which is probably very consuming. But in two minutes he could have stated that he cleared the questioned procedure with the Attorney General and that he was pressed for time but could get back to her about the details once he’d had time to review the file. Or he could have referred her to Cardoza who negotiated the plea agreement (which was incidently approved by one of the more conservative-yet-streetwise local judges), so that she could know that she wasn’t putting the deputy on the spot for potentially violating Gallegos’ prior order about comments to the media – although I don’t believe that the order applies to cases being handled by the deputies.

I will admit that the article had a profound effect on me such that I was wonderinaterna, , ,
amlingspartiet återstår att se, men ambitionen att nå väljarna mellan valen är det inget fel på. Insikten är förstås att valkampanjen inför 2010 börjar nu.

Pingat på Andra bloggar om: , , , , ,

Update: Okay, I don’t know what happened at the end there. Don’t have time to fix it now. But no, I did not start typing in tongues.

Second Update: Okay, as Heraldo noted in the comments, the portion of my post that got cut off – looks almost like my post crashed into somebody elses on the information superhighway – dealt with the fact that upon reading the article on Monday and the report of Gallegos’ lack of response I was wondering if he’d actually slipped up, or worse. My gut level response, based on the fact that I know the man (a statement that garnered a bit of resentment from at least one anonymous poster), was that he was innocent of the wrongdoing. That crime would have outweighed all the previous allegations of incompetence, favoritism, and plagiarism combined at their worst. I simply didn’t believe he was capable of taking a bribe to let a rapist, even a mere statutory rapist, walk. But with the facts presented in the article, I had to accept the possibility on the intellectual level, although the facts as we now know were far from adequate to draw any conclusions. And in this instance Ms. Muller did the same. She presented the facts, as incomplete as they were, and hoped for the opportunity to follow up with a more complete picture. Instead, Gallegos gave the story to the TS.

I’m certain that’s more than I said.

I also made note of attorney Michael Acosta’s letter to the ER today (and I’m pretty sure I misspelled the name earlier). In it he explains that his donation was made before any of the issues would have come into play, and that it was based on his belief that Paul was the best candidate, even though he’d had some serious disagreements with the D.A. over cases including Kat Zimmerman. I suggested that there might have been some hypocricy from certain Gallegos haters who criticized him for other cases, but not that one. They’re sort of like the conservatives at the national level who slam the NY Times for the young gossip columnist they fired, but fall dead silent over the NY Times’ refusal to give the boot to veteran reporter Judith Miller for her deceptions in favor of the president’s Iraq war policy.

Coincidentally, Mr. Acosta got a mention on Ed’s blog yesterday.

Dr. Abdul Aziz will talk about Islam as a message of peace tonight on KMUD at 7:00 p.m. As usual we’ll be taking calls. Andy Stunich argued on last week’s show that the Koran taken literally can not reasonably be interpreted as promoting peace and in fact leads the more devout believers to commit profound acts of violence as an expression of faith. Dr. Aziz will offer rebuttal and will present his own understanding of both the Quran and the religion as a whole.

The debate was waged initially on the pages of the Eureka Reporter and the exchange continues there and on this blog – the latest entries can be found here.

Dr. Aziz is a professor of business administration at HSU.

You probably know Tom’s voice if you’ve listened to my radio show. He and I represented about half of the southern Humboldt folk who opposed Measure T last year, and more often than not we’ve found ways to piss off pretty much everyone across the political spectrum at one time or another. Among the eggregious topics was activistism – we read from the essay on a couple of shows. The feeling is that the majority of direct action and demonstrations taking place are at best a waste of time and on some occasions actually counter-productive. I intend to write something up in more detail about the over-use of the demonstration, and the lack of real thought on the part of the usual participants, but I wanted to touch on the topic while it’s fresh.

So for activistism:

This brave new ideology combines the political illiteracy of hypermediated American culture with all the moral zeal of a 19th-century temperance crusade. In this worldview, all roads lead to more activism and more activists. And the one who acts is righteous. The activistists seem to borrow their philosophy from the factory boss in a Heinrich Böll short story who greets his employees each morning with the exhortation “Let’s have some action.” To which the workers obediently reply: “Action will be taken!”

Activists unconsciously echoing factory bosses? The parallel isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem, as another German, Theodor Adorno, suggests. Adorno—who admittedly doesn’t have the last word on activism, since he called the cops on University of Frankfurt demonstrators in 1968—nonetheless had a good point when he criticized the student and antiwar movement of the 1960s for what he called “actionism.” In his eyes this was an unreflective “collective compulsion for positivity that allows its immediate translation into practice.” Though embraced by people who imagine themselves to be radical agitators, that thoughtless compulsion mirrors the pragmatic empiricism of the dominant culture—”not the least way in which actionism fits so smoothly into society’s prevailing trend.” Actionism, he concluded, “is regressive…. It refuses to reflect on its own impotence.”

On the other hand, the left also has a bad habit of brutalizing the English language by taking any noun, verb, or adjective and putting an ism on the tail end to create a catch-all word to describe some opposition to your own world view. But this time it’s okay because anything is acceptable if taken as irony. That’s my personal rule – ironyism.

So it’s with ironyism in mind that I make note of Tom’s letter to the Redwood Times in response to this article about a weekly peace vigil held at noon right here in Garberville. Unlike Tom, I do take comfort in the fact that they’re there even though my work schedule doesn’t allow me to participate. There is some importance to visibility. Tom is not impressed with the “honk for peace” sign that encourages a disturbing of the peace in the name of peace. However, it was another sign that really chafes his craw (do I have that metaphor right?). He writes to the RT:

But my glee must question itself, for in the middle ground of the photograph we read on another sign that, “The Terrorists are U.S.” Since I am a citizen of this country, I am apparently a terrorist. In spite of all my honking, I (like most readers of this paper) am guilty of horrendous crimes. Who would believe the honking of a terrorist? How do we distinguish between a terrorist honk and a peace-loving honk?

Tom is of course addressing the original sin approach to progressive politics, which applies to racism, sexism, imperialism, and every other ism worth fighting. We is it. And the only redemption is…. action. Action will be taken.

The demonstrators are all good people, and I consider some of them personal friends. But if Tom, a progressive whose politics border on socialist, is getting this message and responding as he does, imagine the impact on the vast majority of ordinary folk who are on the lunch clock as they’re driving by this very exclusive demo. As with every demonstration, the strategy should be considered. Whom are we reaching? How are we reaching them? How will we measure the success of the demonstration?

From the essay:

How does activist anti-intellectualism manifest on the ground? One instance is the reduction of strategy to mere tactics, to horrible effect. Take for example the largely failed San Francisco protest against the National Association of Broadcasters, an action that ended up costing tens of thousands of dollars, gained almost no attention, had no impact on the NAB and nearly ruined one of the sponsoring organizations. During a postmortem discussion of this debacle one of the organizers reminded her audience that: “We had 3,000 people marching through [the shopping district] Union Square protesting the media. That’s amazing. It had never happened before.” Never mind the utter non-impact of this aimless march. The point was clear: We marched for ourselves. We were our own targets. Activism made us good.

And maybe the good Paul Encimer and friends have thought these questions through, and have their answers, or at least some of them. Let’s just remember that a demonstration is not necessarily successful simply because it happens.

Oh, and I forgot to mention – the RT’s edit of Tom’s letter to change the spelling from minuscule to miniscule is technically erroneous. minuscule is the proper spelling.

Here’s the TS article. I’ll have more to say later. Feel free to comment in the meantime.

And once again, rent The Oxbow Incident. Or borrow it from the library.

By the way, Courtroom 7 is Judge Cissna. And here is a letter from Max Cardoza, the deputy D.A. who handled handled the matter.

Update: Okay, some closing thoughts. There are two basic lessons to be learned here – two points to remember which will make your lives much easier.

1. Don’t rush to judgment.

2. Eric V. Kirk is always right.

On a serious note, I still view the Heather Muller article as appropriate for the information she had – and she drew none of the wild conclusions that were being tossed around on blogsville, or if she did she was professional enough to keep them to herself pending more investigation. Maybe she should have contacted Cardoza, but she contacted the person at the top and she does live by deadlines. Paul G. could have avoided the story altogether by giving her two minutes of his time. Which brings me to another speculative conspiracy theory. Was the whole thing a set-up? The ER puts a story out that makes some implications. The TS then gets the story right. The grown-ups clean up the mess, and TS wins the round in the paper wars which is fine by Gallegos.

That’s just for fun people. I’m sure if you asked Paul, he’d say something like “really, I’m just not that clever.”

Anyway, I noticed over at Fred’s blog that some of the die-hards are trying to salvage their attacks on Gallegos. Feel free to carry on here as well. The drama’s much better than anything you’d find on Sex in the City or The Sopranos.

Further update: The ER has weighed in with an editorial pointing out the futility of complaining about an incomplete story when you refuse to answer the reporter’s questions that might fill in the gaps.


September 2006