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I was asked in a thread below why I hadn’t commented on Dikeman finding a job, and the “official police report” regarding the Burgess killing.

The EPD, which is facing a lawsuit from the kid’s family, has proclaimed the killing justified. Gosh. How surprising. I guess that settles that then, right? I’m sure Cunningham will run to the Courthouse to file a dismissal.

And Dikeman got a job in El Dorado County. Good for him. Hope he’s happy there.

Am I caught up now?


Meanwhile, I saw the Documentary Game Over last night, wherein Gary Kasparov (and others) have accused IBM of cheating in the Deep Blue match back in 1997. I didn’t really follow the story as it was happening though I have been at times an avid chess fan. Basically, Kasparov saw a dramatic shift in the play from game 1 (which he won handily) and game two, in which Deep Blue all of the sudden made moves of a “human” nature that no computer had ever made up to that point – including a human-like error made, on which Kasparov couldn’t capitalize because he was so frazzled. It’s one thing to make moves like a human, but mistakes like a human? The theory is that Deep Blue’s play was supplemented by the intervention of another grandmaster – the moves Deep Blue started making being called in the film “Karpovesqe” (a reference to the former world champion who lost his title to Kasparov). However, according to Wikipedia similar subsequent programs have made the same mistake, as well as the same “Karpovesque” moves.

But it is fishy that IBM refused to release the program log after the game, refused a rematch (though Kasparov had granted one not long after Deep Blue’s first loss to him in 96), tried to bury the story during the match, and dismantled the machine (though it is allegedly outdated). And some in the film questioned whether such a steep upgrading of the programming could have taken place in 24 hours. And IBM’s stock went up 15% the day after the match and never looked back.

On the other hand, Kasparov has a history of extreme visceral reactions to losses, not unlike other world class players including Bobby Fisher who walked out of the 1975 championship never to play again because he didn’t like the lighting of the hall and the shapes of the pieces.

In 2003 Kasparov played the computer world champion of that year to a draw – the same year he lost a rematch with Anatoly Karpov. He retired from chess in 2005.

Does anybody have any information, links, sources on the controversy? Wikipedia is uncharacteristicly scant.

I didn’t have many expectations, and early on I thought Webb would turn out to be another milquetoast DLCer. I think I’m starting to like him!

From the Post.

At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia’s newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn’t long before Bush found him.

“How’s your boy?” Bush asked, referring to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”

“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

Webb was narrowly elected to the U.S. Senate this month with a brash, unpolished style that helped win over independent voters in Virginia and earned him support from national party leaders. Now, his Democratic colleagues in the Senate are getting a close-up view of the former boxer, military officer and Republican who is joining their ranks.

If the exchange with Bush two weeks ago is any indication, Webb won’t be a wallflower, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq. And he won’t stick to a script drafted by top Democrats.

“I’m not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall,” Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. “No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I’m certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is.”

In the days after the election, Webb’s Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill went out of their way to make nice with Bush and be seen by his side. House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sat down for a lunch and photo opportunity with Bush, as did Democratic leaders in the Senate.

Not Webb, who said he tried to avoid a confrontation with Bush at the White House reception but did not shy away from one when the president approached.

The mail-in precinct ballots (Fairhaven area) were counted yesterday. Neely picked up 26, and Flemming 24. Now let’s have everybody analyze these numbers and tell us what they do or don’t mean.

I guess they counted two ballots per day. The absentees and provisionals will allegedly be counted today.

Rumor has it they may have some results today, but they’ve got another week and the TS is reporting that they’ll do today what the TS previously reported they were going to do yesterday.

I’m posting these excerpts from Tom Tomorrow’s blog without comment.

Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.


““Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader,”” Lohse says. “If your world is very mixed up, there’’s something very comforting about someone telling you, ‘‘This is how it’s going to be.'””

The study was an advocacy project of sorts, designed to register mentally ill voters and encourage them to go to the polls, Lohse explains. The Bush trend was revealed later on.


The study used Modified General Assessment Functioning, or MGAF, a 100-point scale that measures the functioning of disabled patients. A second scale, developed by Rakfeldt, was also used. Knowledge of current issues, government and politics were assessed on a 12-item scale devised by the study authors.

““Bush supporters had significantly less knowledge about current issues, government and politics than those who supported Kerry,” the study says.

The story contains some criticism of the conclusions. Apparently Lohse himself is a conservative.

When I moved here in 1996 SoHum had one paper – The Life and Times, run by a very nice man who unfortunately had no stomach for covering controversy. In June of that year Garberville hosted a Rodeo Parade in which some geniuses decided to enter a float consisting of a car with an torso effigy of Judi Bari coming out of the hood and an effigy of Darryl Cherney being dragged behind by rope. According to a friend of mine, somebody got up from his seat in the Woodrose restaurant and went outside to take photographs where he was physically threatened by bystanders. Meanwhile, I was present with a child behind the crowd as the MC chuckled about it, and I decided to leave the event as I didn’t think it was an appropriate display for children.

The Life and Times refused to publish the photos and pretty much swept the matter under the rug.

Within a year or two I was invited to a meeting held at a picnic bench in Tooby Park. A group of locals wanted to start a paper that would actually provide some coverage of news other than announcements of Rotary Club events and high school sports scores. I volunteered some time to help set up a fictitious business name: The Independent. Within a few years the Life and Times shut down and the TS backed Redwood Times arrived thereafter. Both papers are willing to cover controversy and the community is much better off for it.

Sometimes there’s a bit of redundancy, particularly in the letters pages, but this week they seem to have tag teamed parallel stories. The RT covered the follow-up Mateel Board meeting and the 2005 ROR audit, while the Independent covered the Mateel censorship meeting – overlap in the players but two very different controversies.

I’ll have some thoughts on both stories later.

Kos has a post on what Bill O’Reilly likes to refer to as “San Francisco values.” As somebody who was born in and raised in and around SF, I’d like to know what these values are. In the meantime, Kos has some ideas of his own.

Since O’Reilly boycotts everything he hates, I look forward to his boycott of all Bay Area-origin products. Same with every conservative who bashes San Francisco and the Bay Area. So no iPods or anything Apple. No HP computers. No Google. No Yahoo. No eBay. Those conservative bloggers using Blogspot, MovableType, or TypePad? Sorry. Those products are Bay Area-based.

Also no Adobe or Macromedia products. No computers, either, since most run on AMD or Intel. No tax preparation using Intuit products. Cancel your Netflix subscription. Cancel your TiVo subscription. Remove your Network Associates or Symantec virus protection software from your computer. Unplug your Netgear wifi router.

Don’t wear Levis (or any kind of jeans), Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or buy your kids Gymboree. Avoid LeapFrog learning toys. Boycott Pixar movies. Boycott any movie using George Lucas’ ILM special effects shop. Stay away from Treos and other Palm devices. Don’t let Charles Schwab manage your portfolio. Don’t bank at Wells Fargo.

Actually, I’m all for not banking at Wells Fargo, but that’s a story for another thread.

Particularly amusing is O’Reilly’s reference to Nancy Pelosi as a “far-left secular-progressive bomb thrower.” Bomb thrower?

The Media Matters article linked above contains a local angle:

In 1996, Rep. Frank Riggs (R-CA) attacked his Democratic challenger Michela Alioto over her “San Francisco values.” According to a July 18, 1996, Roll Call article, “In one particularly pointed attack, Riggs questioned whether Alioto’s opposition to the bill to ban federal recognition of same-sex marriage represented ‘North Coast values’ or ‘San Francisco values.’ ” Riggs defeated Alioto.

Photo source.

This one looks new. Eye on Humboldt is keeping inventory on the Humboldt blogosphere, the blogger’s name is “Tazman.”

Also just found Forest Defender, which is also new and apparently active. As the title suggests, it’s about anti-logging direct action, with photos.

Came across Big Box Blog which appears to be dedicated to opposition to the proposed Balloon Track development, but it doesn’t look active. I’ll keep an eye on it.

There’s a colorful blog out of Arcata entitled Bohemian Mermaid Palace, which is named after the blogger’s clothing store. The current post is about her “day job” adventures selling buttons and non-pornographic 911 videos. Looks like she’s having fun (with the blog, not necessarily her day job).

Here’s a blog about local culinary adventures entitled Tastes of Humboldt, but it appears to be abandoned.

This one looks like it never got off the ground. It’s a blog for the Non-Prophets, a local rock band. Did the band itself get off the ground?

Not a local blog, but I found this entry by someone who recently visited Southern Humboldt and shared some impressions, however cliche they may be. And here are some travel entries from a couple, one of whom was raised in SoHum.

Update: No kidding! Paul does have a blog.

Some others as well from Axis of Drivel. We do not consent. Mark Konkler (but Mark, you’re not keeping it fresh!). Arcata Whacko. Arcata Radical.

And there is Mattole Wildlands Defense.

Soem of these look abandoned. I’ll check back and put some of them in my link list.

The Times-Standard is estimating Wednesday. The Eureka Reporter Thursday.

Captain Buhne is citing inside information that the Neely/Fleming race is a squeaker at the moment, although if the tallying doesn’t begin until Wednesday as the ER reports it would have to be based on impression rather than hard numbers. I looked for guidance in Buhne’s comments section but somehow the discussion of the election trailed off into a debate about sexual orientation.

Capt. Buhne also raises once again the issue of Kelly Sanders’ involvement in vote counting. It was first reported a couple of months ago in NCJ’s Town Dandy and she happens to be 4th District Supervisor incumbent candidate Bonnie Neely’s sister. As someone who supported Neely’s campaign (once the lone Democrat was absent from the race), I do have to wonder why Sanders did not recuse herself or why Lindsay McWilliams didn’t ask her to sit this one out.

It’s not that I would suspect her of wrongdoing, but public officials are supposed avoid not only actual conflict of interest but also the mere appearance thereof. In a close election like this where the losing sides or their supporters will be looking for anything to scream about, this amounts to a serious miscalculation.

However, Buhne once again references Mark Konkler’s “involvement,” which has been dealt with at length. What’s odd about Buhne raising the issue again is that he had already posted a retraction.

In any case, the break’s over. Back to screaming mode everybody!

Graphic from Rolling Stone.

So, does anybody else think the term “suicide bomber” is “romantic?” Besides Fox News I mean, which has taken it’s “homicide bomber” crusade so far that it actually doctors AP reports.

“Suicide bomber” is descriptive. I know what Orwell had to say about it, but a news agency should at least attempt to find language that informs rather than inflames.


Satire becomes reality.

While waiting in a live lobster tank to be sold and boiled live, these sentient creatures (who can look you in the eye) are starved with their claws clamped so that they cannot easily cannibalize each other in their state of starvation. The tank features bright lights with nowhere to hide after an intercontinental jet plane ride for these marine animals used to the dark ocean depths.

Not to sound like the average braindead anti-vegetarian, but the co-op has refrigerated shelves of dead animals which have been killed in all sorts of gruesome ways. I’m not sure boiling is the worst alternative. They say that when your head is chopped off you remain conscious with your head in the basket for several moments. Don’t know how “they” know that, but it’s what “they” say. Would Ms. Devine be happier if they turned down the lights? Should they stop selling crab altogether – I mean is it better if they’ve already been boiled?


On KMUD this morning, Kevin Hoover proclaimed himself “iconoclast” because he doesn’t like green bean casserole. I guess I have to join him, but then I’m not really a fan of any casserole (yes, all my nordic ancestors are rolling in their graves) unless you count lasagne. I’m especially not impressed with the ones with soggy potato chips. And my nordic relatives included, you can bet that as bland as that carbo-brick is they probably doubled their spices for your benefit.


The TS’ “toasts and roasts” includes a roast for voters who can’t follow instructions thereby holding off the results for weeks on end. Does that include the man/woman who folded a ballot into a paper crane?


The DOJ is suing states which have filed inquiries about the wiretapping program pursuant to state laws. The most interesting developments are in Maine where pressure was put on Verizon to come clean as to its cooperation with the NSA. Verizon issued some sort of statement for which Maine’s PUC requested clarification, and the DOJ is arguing that for Verizon to even verify it’s prior statement would endanger America’s security. Maine’s PUC has been dragged into the conflict (kicking and screaming) by a maverick PUC retiree who doesn’t think its been doing its job.


More potential good news for Democrats in the recent election results. Apparently, the Republican domination of suburbia is in question.


No news about yesterday’s Mateel Board meeting. Unfortunately, my day job’s going to keep me pretty well occupied for the next week and a half, so news is going to have to come to me if I’m going to post it.

A fair question. I did with hesitation support the invasion of Afghanistan, and I’m not certain it was the right decision. In retrospect I think it was of vital importance to push Iraq out of Kuwait, though I opposed the action at the time. I would have supported the WWII effort.

I think I would support international military intervention in Darfur. I have to agree with Eric Reeves as he expressed it in Dissent Magazine. It’s happening again.

We have seen all of this—or at least we might have. Certainly all the international actors of consequence know what is occurring in Darfur—and have responded weakly and irresolutely. As a direct consequence, what long ago became primarily “genocide by attrition” will continue indefinitely. Hundreds of thousands of people will die among the almost four million human beings the UN now defines as “conflict-affected” and in need of humanitarian assistance.

That Darfur’s genocide has been so conspicuously visible, and has generated so little willingness to undertake international action, makes for its own terrible history lesson—and casts a grim retrospective light on international failures to prevent genocide over the past century.

In truth, I haven’t followed the story – mostly because I find it overwhelming and it makes the Mateel/PP feud, the Arkley wars, and even the recent election battle for the Senate seem exercises in futility. It’ll resolve itself in a decade or so, and once again we’ll all scream “never again” knowing that we don’t really mean it.


November 2006