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The last post on you-know-what just slid off the bottom of the page.

Let’s try not to wake up the wabbit.

An interesting Op-ed piece in the Eureka Reporter by one Pete Mateu criticizing conspiracy theories. I don’t disagree with his larger point, but I do take issue with a few particulars.

First, he argues that conspiracy theories are “comforting” so as to avoid thinking about what he terms “real danger.” I’m not sure I’d take that line of argument. There’s nothing “comforting” about the perception that we are living in a fascist police state with the veneer of democracy in which there is a vast power structure used to kill off thousands of innocents in order to obtain a political advantage. If anything, I’d say that conspiracy theorists prefer to wallow in fear. Some of them find it exhilarating.

And actually I’d love to believe that the attacks could have been carried out by “just a dozen, hate-filled religious fanatics,” but I think it’s pretty clear that they required a network of many more people and a certain level of organization. While it may not have been part of a grand conspiracy by the powers that be, it wasn’t a random event either. I’d feel much more comfortable if it was.

I’m also not certain as to his linking conspiracy theories to utopianism. I’d say they are much more fixated on dystopianism.

Mr. Mateu then reveals some partisanship:

And why has no one leaked information to The New York Times? And, most of all, why have none of his political enemies (Democratic legislators, the ACLU, CNN News, George Soros, Al Gore, Amy Goodman [National Public Radio “Hypocrisy Now”], Nancy Pelosi or Al Franken) charged Bush with high crimes and begun impeachment?

CNN News in league with the ACLU? Who knew?

And actually, some of the people on the list have accused the president of crimes and have called for impeachment – just not for faking a terrorist attack.

Lastly, Democracy Now is affiliated with Pacifica, not NPR.

Meanwhile, lest Mr. Mateu truly believes the right wing is immune to conspiracy theories, the diagram includes a reference to Soros, among others. I think he is thought of far more often by right wingers than the left he is supposedly puppet-stringing. The diagram even links gay marriage and “political correctness” to the secret one-world government.

Diagram source. Click on the diagram to enlarge and again to clarify.

As I’ve said before, I can’t discuss the McKee case because I represent other owners of the Tooby Ranch property and I’ll be up to my ears in it if the current trial doesn’t resolve all of the issues. But Sohum folk should be watching the case closely. Having lost on the Williamson Act claim the county is trying to get at McKee with fines for unpermitted developments. Potentially, this could affect other subdivisions if the county ever gets a bug up its ass about code enforcement in the rural areas.

Meanwhile, the the argument is over whether any of the improvements can be tied to McKee. From the Eureka Reporter:

Wrapping up Glen’s testimony, Cohen put a total number to the alleged improvements and building construction since Buck Mountain Ranch purchased the property in 2000, which included 44 new road segments, 31 reconstructed roads, 60 new structures, 27 culverts, six ponds, three rock pits and 15 graded areas.

But during cross-examination, McKee attorney David Blackwell established quickly that Glen had no idea who had actually done the work on the parcels that were sold off by McKee.

Blackwell systematically returned to each previously submitted photo and map exhibit to ask Glen who had constructed each of the various houses, sheds, greenhouses and roads Glen painstakingly identified in aerial and on-the-ground photos during previous days.

“I don’t know,” Glen repeated with each question. “I was never asked to identify who developed it.”

McKee attorney Robert Moore told Judge W. Bruce Watson his fear was that none of the county’s five witnesses scheduled to testify could link any of the developments to McKee, with the exception of the few he already admitted to in previous testimony.

“If they have anyone who can testify to link McKee to the improvements,” Moore said, “let them do it.”

Cohen objected to the characterization and told Watson that Moore was only trying to conclude the entire case based on one witness.

I can tell you that it’s going to get even more complicated.

Not sure how I’ve managed to miss this one, but I tracked it through a posting in a thread below. HumCity Blog appears to be dedicated to musical entertainment locally. Looks like it’s been around for awhile.

And it has part of the line-up for this weekend, which I was unable to post in the Summer Arts Thread below because it’s on the Mateel site in flash form. I’m borrowing the list.

Melvin Seals and JGB – :
Peter Rowan and Crucial Reggae – :
Jr. :
Crown City Rockers – :
David Jacobs-Strain Band –
Copperwoman :
SambaDa – :
Lansdale Station – :
Delta Nove – :
Tempest – :
Alice DiMicele – :
Scott Huckabay – :
Druid Sisters Tea Party –
End of June – :
Ishi Dube – :
NightHawk – :
Black Sand –
The Non Prophets – :
Nucleus – :
Sub Sab – :
Yer Dog – :
Jefferson Parsons –
Top Dead Center –

Circus Nature – :
Freelove Circus – :
Cirkus Pandemonium – :
plus the first Great Benbow Puppet Battle

Mark Henson Summer of Love Tour – :

This is all the info I have on this event. There is going to be a press release this week.

Dodd and Richardson just announced that they won’t be attending. That leaves Biden, Kucinich, and Gravel – ironically the latter two being the farthest to the left of all the declared candidates. Even more ironic, the boycott puts the candidates at odds with the Congressional Black Caucus.

I’m not a fan of Fox News, but just from those two readings the boycott seems kind of silly.

The Yahoo version.

“I’ve been wondering why I’m killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to

I’ve been wondering why I’m killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush,” Sheehan told The Associated Press while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.” Sheehan told The Associated Press while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

“I’m going home for awhile to try and be normal,” she said.

Sheehan isn’t the most sophisticated of speakers, often letting loose words which her opponents jumped all over to call her everything from a cold-hearted ingrate to an anti-semite. But she was into her cause heart and soul, and spoke from there as well. The article also contains comments which suggest that she may have been burned out by the megalomania rampant within the peace movement as well.

The Democrats failed in their Sartrerian existential moment. Yeah, maybe they’ll put up a fight in September. And countless additional soldiers and Iraqis will die while we’re waiting.

Richard M. posted on the story this morning.

Her son would have been 28 today.

What’s the going tooth fairy rate these days? When I was a kid we got a quarter.

I received a telephone call from a KMUD listener who is upset about tonight’s programming. Michael Sherer is hosting controversial Rabbi Dovid Weiss at 7:00 tonight. This is the usual slot given to the Environment Show, but I guess there’s different programming for the 5th Tuesday of the month.

Rabbi Weiss is a Hassidic Rabbi who aggressively pursues the Neturei Karta line that the secular re-creation of Israel violates God’s law and that Jews should have been content to await the arrival of the Messiah for the formation of the new Kingdom of Israel. He has attended anti-Israel demonstrations regularly, prompting my previous notes about him. The ADL (itself a bit volatile in my opinion) has also chimed in, though I don’t believe Weiss has ever used the phrase “annihilation” to describe his wishes for Israel.

This argument dates back to the founding of Israel when the Haredic opposition was at its most intense. It is a subject of the Chaim Potok novel The Chosen (made into an excellent movie) in which Zionists and Hassidim end up in a physical brawl when one of the Hassidim taunts his opponent with the lines:

“You are worse than Hitler. While Hitler would destroy the Jewish body, you would destroy the Jewish soul.”

Most of the Haredic community has made an uneasy peace with its Zionist brethryn, and some are even Zionists, but Neturei Karta takes a militant view of the subject.

Weiss also earned some notoriety when he attended the recent Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. He doesn’t deny the Holocaust itself, but blames it on Zionists for “boycotting Germany” and thwarting rescue attempts in Europe. In his speech at the conference he had the following to say:

I am the living remnant of the people who died in the holocaust and I am here, I believe sent by God, to humbly say, simply to speak to the people here and say, “you should know that the Jewish people died, and do not try to say that it did not happen. They did die.” There are people throughout the Jewish communities, still alive in their seventies and eighties and every one of them will tell you their stories. It is something which you can not refute, but that being said, it doesn’t mean that the holocaust is a tool to use to oppress other people. And that is the most new unfortunate piece of the holocaust, why the holocaust is such a bad word, because the holocaust is being used today to oppress another people. But mind you, it is not being used by the Jewish nation. The holocaust is being manipulated and abused by a movement that refers to themselves as the Jewish nation, that usurped the name of the Jewish nation.

Hopefully it’s a call-in format. He has the right to speak, the ADL protestations notwithstanding. But you have the right to respond.

The photo is from Wikipedia.

Ecoshift, who has made one of the more productive posts in the thread below, has a blog to which he has been quietly posting. The blog is called The Visible Hand, a play on Adam Smith.

The blog contains detailed posts, sometimes of an esoteric nature, which focus on the economy and ecology particularly as the two interconnect. The posts contain links, sometimes requiring an excessive level of geekdom to digest, but all of which are quite comprehensive and useful to discussions such as whether the housing crisis can be addressed locally, statewide, or nationally.

Lots of stuff on carbon exchange, protectionism, international economics and politics, emissions regulations, and more. The blog slogan:

Irony is allowed, gentle humor much appreciated. Ideological inflexibility is discouraged.

Some interesting reads, less conducive to some of the mindless posts which grace some of the easier topics of my blog and others. As he points out, Salzman writes a piece about the housing crisis and appropriate responses, and the rest of us, myself included, fall into sectarian squabbling as the larger issue gets lost. The Visible Hand is a “higher thinking” experiment, and I’ll be watching the discussions closely to see how they play out. I expect a few of the usual cro-mag comments.

Strongly recommended.

Richard Salzman has an My Word piece in the TS. He rails against Rob Arkley, HELP, and an operative from Sacramento hawking the HELP suit and development in general as an answer to rising costs of housing (after all, it’s worked so well in the Bay Area). He’s already drawn a dozen comments attached to the online version of the column. He’s earned a contentious thread over at Fred’s.

He’s got a new business website. And he has an e-mail list with an archives webpage for his writing.

For those of you new to the area, Richard was a local player who worked electoral miracles until he fell from grace. I don’t believe that his transgressions were harmless, but I also believe in second chances. And whatever you think of him, he adds color to local politics.

We have a new election cycle brewing. Contrary to the assertions of one or two of the posts at Fred’s, Richard was deeply involved in the last election. I know it because I was there on election day. As we know however, it didn’t go very well. I attribute the results to several factors, not the least of which is his rift with Local Solutions. If progressives are going to regain the momentum they’ve built over the three elections prior, the two groups are going to have to work together, even if at arm’s length. They start fighting turf wars, and we have a November, 06 repeat. Every time.

Seat belts everyone!