Or are there two creeks?

Loco reports on a biologist raid on properties at “Sprowl Creek.”   Biologists can be pretty mean!

It says “roughly west of Richardson Grove.”  The Nielsen Ranch?

My work address for years was 293 Sprowel Creek Road, Garberville.

This map shows a “Sprowl Creek Road” and a “Sproul Creek” and a “Sprout Creek.”

And the Sprowel Creek Music Studio, located in my former office at 293 is spelled with the e.  But this yellow page listing puts it on “Sprowl Creek Road.”

The election season is over with ideologically split results locally. Humboldt County is one of the most politically polarized counties in the state. Local business woman and sometimes conservative activist Liana Simpson will join Eric Kirk for an open and respectful dialogue about where the community goes from here on Thursday Night Talk, January 22, at 7:00 p.m.

This parody of Fox News by French comedians is going viral.

Here’s a little more of an explanation.

Selma was officially released in limited theaters on Christmas Day, but the real release was this weekend (has to be released in 2014 to qualify for Academy Awards, but I suspect they wanted the big release closer to the MLK holiday).  I went with family to the 9:00 showing at the Broadway last night.  It’s probably the most important historical drama released to major theaters since Lincoln.  I estimate the attendance, mostly older, was between 10 and 15 people.  It’s a great film!  But with attendance like that, it may not even last to the MLK holiday a week from tomorrow locally.  Unfortunately, I’m starting to wonder if the bulk of the surviving social consciousness around here is limited to fighting science and resisting land regulation.

To be fair, I hadn’t heard about the movie until I read a column published several days before Christmas and written by a whining LBJ supporter who didn’t appreciate the portrayal.  The writer, I don’t remember his name, says that LBJ actually invented the Selma marches.  Anyway, he felt that the film should be boycotted (the history of the interactions between King and then President Johnson are disputed by various participants, and honestly I suspect that conversations between two professional pols are all very calculated and open to interpretation).  So naturally I planned to see it.  But for his rant, I might also be among the many apparently unaware of a very strong film.  It may be the fault of weak marketing.


In any case, I strongly recommend it.  It has a few flaws in my opinion, which I’ll share.  But this is a strong film.  Maybe too strong for some white people, and yes, I mean to put it that way.

Read the rest of this entry »

MandelI know there’s a lot of crap in the news to post about.  There always is.  But I’m taking a little break from all that right now.  Finally got some book shelves up and pulled my books out of storage.  Came across Bill Mandel’s Saying No to Power, which I received from Mandel a few years back after I interviewed him on KMUD.  He aired a show about Soviet/Russian issues for decades on KPFA.  He’s in his late 90s now.  I tried to contact him through his website, but his son informed me that he is of severely diminished capacity now – unable to conduct an interview.

So I’m reading through his book.  Lots of very important history, including his somewhat defiant HUAC testimony which got him blacklisted and cost him a job.

I always thought he was on the dogmatic side, until 1992 when he freaked out his old time CPUSA KPFA audience by announcing that he was convinced that central planning of an economy was an inherently bad idea.  “Whether or not you think it is desirable to centrally plan an economy, it is simply impossible.”  He advocated that the communist movement fight instead for a western European style social democracy.  He had been an advocate for Lenin.  He was now an advocate for Kautsky.

He had also separated from the Communist Party as a result of the Kruschev revelations – a bit later than many, but also before many.

From what will obviously have been his final book, this passage about his HUAC testimony.

“James Allen immediately preceded me as a witness.  That, at least, was the name under which he lived and wrote his books, and it was the name under which the questioning began.  Midway through the public hearing, Senator Mundt, knowing the answer he would get, because it was already in the record of the executive session, asked him to state his real name.  The reply was: “Sol Auerbach.”  The entire audience gasped.  The meaning of that gasp was unmistakable to any Jew:  “That dirty kike, hiding behind an Anglo-Saxon name!”
I was standing in the back of the packed hearing room waiting to be called.  I grew livid, but understood that I now had the chance to rally the country’s Jewish community behind me.  So when Roy Cohn, the committee counsel, opened with the routine question as to my full name, I shot back:  “My name is William Marx Mandel, and to save you the trouble of bringing out any possible pseudonym, as you did in the matter of Mr. Auerbach, I would like to make clear that I am a Jew.”
Cohn, totally flustered, had no meaningful rejoinder:  “That you are what?”
“That I am a Jew.”
Cohn:  “So am I, and I don’t see that that is an issue here.”
I replied, “A Jew who works for McCarthy is thought of very ill by most of the Jewish people in his country.”
(Later) McCarthy was finally reduced to saying, “If you put on a campaign against the Committee, you will not put on the campaign within the Committee room.”
I responded, “Poor Senator McCarthy.  You can dish it out, but you can’t take it.  O.K.”
—-William Mandel, Saying No to Power
Here are some clips of the 1953 testimony.
That wouldn’t be the last time he raised his voice at a HUAC hearing.  In 1960, for whatever reason, they called him to the hearings they held at City Hall in San Francisco.  Between the defiance inside the chamber, and the protest outside, it was HUAC’s last gasp.  The fear it needed to thrive was gone.  It limped along for a few more years before it was nixed in the mid to late 60s.
It’s not available on youtube, but you can watch it through this link.

I’ll be reviewing the north coast news of 2014 with a player to be named.  Join me at KHSU at 7:00 p.m. if you aren’t too hung over and looking for quiet intelligent conversation.

Addendum:  Confirmed – Hank Sims will join me.

The story here isn’t the the Sheriff Association’s complaining nor the the tournament organizers’ gutless cave.  The story is a phenomenal group of young women willing to sacrifice for principle.

Kym Kemp reports on the girls’ banning from the tournament because of the priority they place on justice and freedom of expression.

It would be great if the Fort Bragg Advocate received a flood of letters in support of these remarkable kids.  I intend to write one.

In my opinion, the Sheriff Association’s use of the death of Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino to back up their attempt to suppress these girls’ expression is both irresponsible and cheap.  Deputy Fiorentino had nothing to do with Eric Garner’s death, nor are the situations comparable as Garner never threatened any officer’s life.  And in fact the actions of the NYPD officers have made law enforcement more dangerous everywhere as will any act which makes troubled people even more fearful of arrest.

Mendocino Girls Team

Addendum: The story makes Nation Magazine, complete with a very lame excuse from the Fort Bragg High School Principal.

From the article:

If you want to call Fort Bragg High School and register your disappointment, the number is (707) 961-2880.

If you want to call Mendocino High School and show them some love, the number is (707) 937-5871.

Second addendum:  Fort Bragg High has a change of heart!

Promo for this week’s KMUD show:

“In the spirit of the themes of the season, local thinkers Bob Froelich and Julia Minton will join Eric Kirk to discuss, from atheist/agnostic perspective, the best arguments for the existence of God, from scientific to philosophical. Join the discussion on All Things Reconsidered on Thursday night at 7:00.”

CoronerHow important is it that the coroner’s office retain some independence from law enforcement?  Maybe it’s not all that big of an issue, but in national news a coroner’s report bucked the police account in designating Eric Garner’s death a homicide.  Obviously it didn’t phase the Grand Jury, but it certainly has been cited in public discourse and callst  for police reform.  If the NYPD had oversight of the report, would the word “homicide” have survived to public release?  Who knows?

What I do know is that when the issue of coroner independence came up five years ago, it had been an issue in the 2008 Supervisor campaign and there was considerable opposition to it when it came up.  I was accused of suppression of the issue on this blog to protect Clif even though, as stated, it was one issue on which I opposed Clif and sided with Estelle.  If you read the thread through the link, you’ll find that anonymous posters accused Clif of being in Bonnie Neely’s pocket on the issue.  But when it came to the vote, Clif, and only Clif, voted for the consolidation.

But both Estelle and Mark reversed their positions last week, and the opposition seems rather quiet.  Yes, it’s a downtime in politics.  But someone posted anonymously way back when and said:

clendenan (sic) showed what kind of supervisor he will be on his first major vote.

He BLEW IT. He was the only supervisor to Vote for consolidation……he was completely OUT of TOUCH with the people of Humboldt county and voted on behalf of his special interests

So, to that poster and the others, what’s changed?  Have you changed your minds as well?


Also reported in the LCO article – there was some whining from Supervisors about having to release prisoners under Proposition 47, with at least two Supervisors suggesting that the voters really didn’t know what they were voting for.  One of the Supervisors suggested that if we hadn’t passed Measures Z and Q there would be a “tsunami of desperation by our public.”  For the record, it passed in Humboldt County 66 percent to 34.

Basically, the comments came as it was reported that petty criminals had been released – not quite at the numbers reported by Supervisor Bohn, but significant.  No discussion of the money we’ll save, and it’s not like perennial incarceration has kept property crime rates down.

Seriously, they sound like Queen (“Lady”) Jane’s council must have sounded as she was releasing all the prisoners… about 3 minutes 50 seconds into the clip of an excellent movie which has unfortunately fallen into obscurity.


Speaking of Measure Z, the Board also voted to create a nine member “citizen’s” advisory committee to advise the Board on how to spend the Prop Z money pursuant to the measure.  I put “citizen’s” in quotes, because the Board decided to give voting representation to the fire and Sheriff interests.  I really think it’s a conflict of interest to give voting representation to agencies who are going to receive those funds.  And given the force by which these agencies lobbied for representation, I expect that their participation will be equally forceful.

But, nobody asked me.

JentriFree Speech Movement veteran, perennial activist, and local writer Jentri Anders will join me at 7:00 p.m. on KHSU this Thursday evening to discuss the history of the Bay Area new left and its importance to activists today.

She has a blog about Sohum:  Sojourn in the Land of Shum

And she has a blog dedicated to the social history of Berkeley in the 60s.

Author of Beyond Counterculture: The Community of Mateel

And interviewed as the “token follower” in Berkeley in the documentary Berkeley in the Sixties, which is available on Netflix Instant.

The show is intended to commemorate today’s 50 anniversary of the protest at Sproul Hall and Mario Savio’s famous gears speech.

March 2015
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