Pacific Fishers, Owls, and Talking Gorillas

Pacific-Fisher horz

This week, two radio programs that I co-produce with my beloved partner Amy Gustin, will air on our beloved community radio station KMUD. First, at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 27, KMUD will air the latest episode of wildlife Matters. I just put the finishing touches on it this morning. Wildlife Matters #3 will focus on the Pacific Fisher (Martes pennanti) an elusive, formidable, and unbelievably cute forest carnivore.

fisher in tree

Mourad Gabriel, fisher expert, and Executive Director of the Integral Ecology Research Center generously invited us into his home, and allowed Amy to interview him at length.

Mourad_fisher_UCDW-716x1024

He told us everything we needed to know about fishers, and the crisis they face due to extensive use of rat poison by marijuana growers, hiding-out in the fisher’s deep-forest habitat. We spent more than an hour seated around the dining room of his family’s home, while his wife, also a biologist, Greta Wengert, also a Ph.D biologist, attended to their infant child in another room, to give us some quiet time for the interview.

greta wengert

The show came out great! We had more good material than we could fit in one half-hour show, so in next month’s show we will talk more about the problems associated with rat poison. Last Friday, we recorded a presentation by Maggie Rufo, representing two groups: The Hungry Owl Project,

hungry owl project

and RATS (Raptors Are The Solution).

raptors are the solution

Maggie Ruffo came to Arcata to address the Redwood Region Audubon Society, about the impacts of rat poison on owls, hawks, and other raptors, and to advocate for the use of owl boxes, wooden boxes constructed to owl-nest specifications, to attract owls, as part of an integrated pest control program.

owl box

In other words, encourage owls to move in, and they can help solve your rodent problem. Then you don’t need to spend money on rat poison.

owl eating rat

She gave an excellent talk, and as a bonus, the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center brought some of their ambassador birds, so we got to mingle and chit-chat with a live: red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl, and a western screech owl. It was a noisy room, but I think we have enough good material that we can use a little from column A and a little from column B to make another good show about the effects of rat poison on entire ecosystems, and we’ll look at the campaign to ban the sale of dangerous rodenticides in California.

poison eco consequences

The other show of ours to air this week, really deserves it’s own blog post.  Teaser:  It involves an interview with Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael.


Daniel Quinn Talks To Us About His New Book, The Teachings That Came Before and After Ishmael

danielquinn

On Sunday November 30, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, at 9:30 am on KMUD Redwood Community Radio, you can hear my lovely partner, Amy Gustin interview the world-renowned, author and thinker, Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael, My Ishmael, The Story of B, Beyond Civilization and many other books.

cover ishmael-horz-vert

Daniel Quinn has a new book, titled: The Teachings That Came Before and After Ishmael.

cover the teachings

Quinn realized that, while many people have read Ishmael, most people have missed the material he covers in his other books. In The Teachings… Quinn condenses the ideas from all of his other writing into one book, the perfect companion to his central work: Ishmael.

ishmael cover open

If you haven’t read Ishmael yet, you absolutely must read this book. Every responsible adult who can read, owes it to themselves, and to the future of Planet Earth, to read Ishmael. Some people look at the title, and get a load of the zealous people telling them to read it, and think that Ishmael must be some kind of weird religious mumbo-jumbo that brain-washes readers into joining a cult.

ishmael tattoo

True, you’ll find some biblical stuff in there, like a pretty good explanation for the story of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, and after you read it, you may want to join a cult, but there is nothing religious, about Ishmael, and it contains absolutely no mumbo-jumbo. Ishmael is a good book to help you understand exactly what went wrong.

ishmael teacher seeks student

If you want to know what caused the environmental crisis, read Ishmael. If you want to understand overpopulation, read Ishmael. If you want to know why you spend so much time at work, and why it sucks so much, read Ishmael. Ishmael can help you understand where you stand. If you understand where you stand, you can figure out what to do. So, before you do anything else, read Ishmael.

read ishmael

…And pick up Quinn’s newest book, The Teachings That Came Before and After Ishmael to go with it. The Teachings… contains condensed versions of The Story of B and My Ishmael, as well as excerpts from Tales of Adam, Beyond Civilization, The Book of the Damned, Providence, The Invisibility of Success, and If They Give You Lined Paper Write Sideways. Even if you can’t read, you can listen to Daniel Quinn himself explain his work to you so you can see for yourself why so many people feel so strongly about a short novel about a talking gorilla.

ishmael gorilla

Please tune in on Sunday November 30 at 9:30 am Pacific Time for a very special episode of The Living Earth Connection featuring a new interview with visionary author, Daniel Quinn recorded just this week…I can’t tell you the details of it because the interview hasn’t happened yet, but we expect to talk to him tomorrow. You can hear the show on the radio, if you live within the KMUD listening area, or you can stream the show live, or at anytime thereafter on the KMUD archive at www.kmud.org

kmud logo

You can also stream or download both Living Earth Connection #13 featuring Daniel Quinn talking about his new book as well as Wildlife Matters #3 featuring Mourad Gabriel on fisher ecology and rat poison at Amy Gustin’s blog The Living Earth Connection.

living earth connection


RIP County Coroner

coroner

Who keeps an eye on the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department? Do we have a single investigative journalist around here? We sure could use a few, but of course, investigative journalism costs money that our local news outlets would rather not spend. Who can blame them? So long as they can fill the spaces between ads with press releases from local non-profits, endless editorializing, our gruesome police log, and an obligatory report from the Board of Supes meeting, why should they bother holding anybody’s feet to the fire?

feet to the fire

Besides, people around here don’t care about government corruption. In fact, we like corruption. We like knowing that justice is for sale around here. We would rather not know the gristly facts, or have to disclose them. We just want to know that if we have enough money, it can all go away. That’s the American Way, right?

american way rich folks-tile

Here in Humboldt County we want the the criminal justice system to reward successful criminals and to punish honest poor people. That’s why funds from the county’s new sales tax will go into the coffers of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s department, and its, more than two-hundred, overpaid, trigger-happy thugs, instead of the Humboldt County Coroner’s office, an understaffed team of 5 forensic investigators trying to solve an epidemic of drug-related murders and police shootings.

police brutality-tile

We really don’t mind murderers walking the streets among us, especially if they kill poor “transients,” and we don’t care if out-of-town families ever find out what happened to their missing family member. If we did care, and we didn’t want murderers walking the streets of Humboldt County, we’d fund the coroner’s office, and our elected County Coroner would not have resigned, and the Board of Supervisors would not be dumping the coroner’s budget, as well as his responsibilities into the Sheriff’s Department.

ParrisDowney

Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!

Fox_henhouse02

We don’t mind murderers in Humboldt County, because they tend to keep a low profile, but we’re damn sick and tired of seeing poor people hanging around, talking to each other and smoking cigarettes, and we hate that they have the nerve to do it in public. That’s why the Supervisors have decided to cut funding for solving murders, and increased the funding for armed thugs to terrorize poor people.

copvsgangmember

Let’s face it, every day they hear from local people who say: “I’m sick of seeing these filthy dirty hippies carrying everything they own on their backs, sitting in front of my store that sells nothing that anybody really needs.” They hear that all the time, from people who vote, and make political contributions. Only once a week or so do they hear from the bereft relative of a murder victim, asking for justice, and usually they’re calling from out of state, so fuck ‘em.

fuck em1

Now that the Coroner’s Office has been folded into the Sheriff’s Department, it will be much easier for Sheriff’s Deputies to handle more murders “in house.” By “handle” I mean “commit, and/or frame people for” not “solve” in case you were wondering. Sheriff Downey has promised to make room in the county jail for homeless people accused of petty crimes. This new arrangement will make it easier for the sheriff to transfer some of that overcrowding to the county morgue.

overcrowding_documented

On a related note, I know that sheriff Downey hates to lose a good deputy. I presume that’s why it took him nearly a year to fire Deputy Daniels after a woman came forward with a credible accusation that he had taken her into custody illegally and raped her while on duty. Deputy Daniels remained on active duty, and five months later, a second woman came forward with accusations of serious sexual assault.

daniels sargent

Daniels was only removed from active duty two months after the second assault. How many other women did he rape? Who trained him? What does this say about the culture of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department? Sounds like a job for an investigative reporter.

investigative reporter-text

Anyway, if you are poor, or have a vagina, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department is looking for you, and now, they can do it all “in house.”

relax we can handle this in house


The Ganjier’s Circular Reasoning

ganjier_

Lately, I’ve noticed a new circular tucked into the North Coast Journal, from our local SoHum cannabis dispensary, Wonderland Nursery. Even though we live in the heart of the marijuana industry, we were one of the last places in California without a dispensary, until Wonderland opened up a few years ago specializing in potted cannabis seedlings. I see from their circular that they now also dabble in edibles and concentrates.

shatter

I’ve never been to Wonderland, but I always enjoy hearing “The Ganjier” of Wonderland Nursery, Kevin Jodrey talk about marijuana. In my lifetime so far, I have listened to way too many people talk way, way, waaaayyyyyyy toooooo much about marijuana. Really, I love marijuana,and I’ve grown marijuana, but I don’t find gardening particularly interesting. I’m more interested in getting high, and when I get high, the last thing I want to hear, is some idiot drone on about how awesome this new strain of marijuana is. I get it. I’m stoned. It’s good pot, now shut-up about it.

shut up and smoke

But it’s different with The Ganjier. Kevin Jodrey really knows his cannabis, and he’s very articulate and well spoken. When I have the opportunity to hear him talk about marijuana, I take notes. So, of course, I read the editorials that appeared in the Wonderland Nursery circulars. I don’t think I’ve ever read an editorial in an advertizing circular before, but I’ve also never seen a circular advertizing marijuana plants before, so the Wonderland Nursery insert struck me as novel for a couple of reasons.

kjodrey-

Anyway, the first editorial I read from the Ganjier pointed out that as we move towards legalization of cannabis, the interests of the “cannabis cause” will diverge from those of the “cannabis industry.” I appreciate the heads up Kevin, but I’ve seen the cannabis cause, and the cannabis industry, and I don’t think the two could be any more divergent. The cannabis industry loved prohibition because prohibition made an easy to grow weed more valuable than gold.

marijuana-money1

The cannabis cause was made almost entirely of marijuana consumers. The people I met through High Times Freedom Fighters and Mass Cann all had jobs. Back then, people from the “cannabis industry” only joined the “cannabis cause” after they got busted. Some of us grew our own weed, but we supported the legalization movement with money we earned AT WORK, and we attended rallies, wrote letters, and went to meetings in our “free” time, AND we bought marijuana at outrageously high black market prices.

need money for weed

Thankfully, Jack Herer came along. Jack sold books, bumper-stickers and T-Shirts and taught people all over the country how to sell legalization. Thanks to Jack Herer, and his book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, marijuana legalization became a business, and anyone could open a franchise. Jack taught us to sell legalization, and pretty soon, some people were making a living from it. That’s what turned the tide towards legalization. The cannabis industry had almost nothing to do with it.

Jack Herer at Ann Arbor Hash Bash 1990

The cannabis industry was busy making money, from us, the cannabis cause. They were buying big diesel generators, damming creeks and putting out rat poison. They were breeding better marijuana. I’ll give them that, but when it comes to legalization, the cannabis industry was not a big help, except for the fact that marijuana smokers everywhere really, really, resented the high prices, and that resentment motivated them to work for legalization.

too damn high

So, now that legalization seems inevitable, and the cannabis industry begins to rise up out of the muck of prohibition, it’s not asking “How may we help you?” Instead, it’s warning us that it may no longer have our best interests at heart. The Ganjier warns those of us who want to “free the weed” that the cannabis industry prefers to “expensive the weed.”

cost of cannabis

In the second editorial, however, The Ganjier laments all of the bad publicity that the cannabis industry has experienced lately. Why does the press always focus on the habitat destruction, the murders, the stream diversions, and the rat poison when there’s so much more to the cannabis industry than that? Look, one dispensary uses electric cars, the Ganjier tells us.

hemp car

The Ganjier thinks that the cannabis cause should help the cannabis industry with its little image problem. I don’t think so. Here’s why:

why1

First, People should know that Humboldt County is a terrible place to grow cannabis. People should know that this is not farmland. We live in a forest. The land here is steep and poorly suited to agriculture. You cannot produce cannabis here economically, without the huge government subsidies known as prohibition. This is not a place for farmers. This is a place where criminals go to hide their criminal activity. Now that cannabis is going legal, the cannabis industry should move out of the closet known as Humboldt County.

come out of the closet

Second, people should see the ugliness and the stupidity behind the current cannabis industry. People get killed. People get hurt. Lots of people get ripped off. Besides that, people in the cannabis industry do a lot of really stupid shit, like setting a camper on fire on the side of the road, or dropping a refrigerator off of the Alder Point bridge or leaving a truck full of diesel fuel parked in the riverbed.

truck in river

Finally, the cannabis industry has all of our fucking money. If the cannabis industry gave a fuck about anyone but themselves, not only could they have legalized pot, they could have financed a guerrilla army that would have already liberated this nation from the capitalist police state, once and for all. They don’t give a fuck. Instead, they want bigger trucks, wider TVs and newer smart phones. So fuck ‘em.

fuck em paccino

Listen, if the newly emerging legal cannabis industry wants help from the cannabis cause, the cannabis industry damn well better find a way to produce marijuana at a reasonable price. No marijuana is worth more than $50 an ounce, and I’d much rather see the current cannabis industry collapse as support the environmental destruction, violence, and stupidity that defines the cannabis industry today.

drug dealing dog


Go Vote!

Well Tomorrow is Election Day. Win or lose, this will be the last time I write about Measure Z. Believe me, I’m as sick of it as you are. I cannot think of a single topic more boring than tax policy, or an activity more pointless than voting, but this blog remains the highest ranked Vote No on Measure Z page on the internet, so I have a job to do.

jobs suck

We’ve dropped a few places since I first reported this phenomena, but lygsbtd remains the only Vote No On Measure Z web site to show up on the first page of search results. However, if you do a google image search, you’ll discover that my Vote No on Measure Z memes dominate the image search results, with seven of the top ten images sourcing from this blog. In the image war, I am kicking their ass!

vote kiss ass

Unfortunately, this battle won’t be decided by a google image search. This battle will be won at the ballot box, so here I go again, trying to find an entertaining way to motivate you to go to the polls and VOTE NO ON MEASURE Z.

go vote give a fuck z

I don’t like telling you to vote. Usually I tell people that voting is for suckers, because voting is for suckers. It takes a special kind of stupidity to believe in democracy. Think about it. How many years did you stay up all night on Christmas Eve, before you realized that Santa Claus was a fraud? Now ask yourself: How long has it been since you’ve seen democracy actually solve a problem or prevent an expensive, pointless war? We have a word for that kind of stupidity. We call that kind of stupidity: “religion.”

Religion EAP

Democracy is just the latest fraud religion. Like all fraud religions, it was concocted as a means of extracting money from your pocket, and putting it in someone else’. That’s exactly what Measure Z is all about. Humboldt’s greediest bloodsuckers are counting on Humboldt’s dumbest morons to help them pry more money out of your pocket.

morons

They know that ALL of the greedy bloodsuckers in Humboldt County will vote for their regressive tax measure, because greedy bloodsuckers love to take advantage of people. Even the Libertarians around here (I’m looking at you Fred) can’t say NO to screwing poor people. So, they’ve got the bloodsucker vote wrapped up.

vampires-de-salem

The big problem will be liberals and progressives. Liberals and progressives are the snake handlers and castration cults of the fraud religion known as democracy. They are the dumbest of the dumb. At least the bloodsuckers know that democracy is a game, and they play to win. Liberals and progressives think that democracy has magical powers to solve intractable social and environmental problems, something it has never, ever, done.

I-love-america-this-love-will-never-work-out-72c63e

Liberals and progressives worship democracy and believe it has supernatural powers. They believe that if the government has more money, its magical powers to solve problems grow stronger. That’s why liberals and progressives like paying taxes. They like to think about all the cool things that government would do if it had more power. Like:

more power scotty

Solve global climate change with electric cars and solar powered bullet trains.

MITSUBISHI MOTOR SALES OF AMERICA, INC. CYPRESS CHARGING STATION

Find a cure for cancer, Ebola, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.

ebola41

End poverty and homelessness.

Homeless-Family-i wish

I’ve got news for you. Government is never going to do any of that stuff. In reality, democracy empowers bloodsuckers to rape the Earth, pollute the environment and take advantage of people, and democracy prevents the rest of us from interfering with it. That’s what democracy does now, and that’s what democracy has always done, but liberals and progressives look back at democracy’s almost 250 year history in the US, and they say, “It still looks good on paper. It really should work this time.”

looks good on paper

No, it won’t work, not this time, not next time, not ever. Democracy will never work. Jesus is not coming back, and Santa Claus does not exist. I’m sorry to disappoint you, if I’m the one to break it to you, but professional wrestling is phony too. These are just the facts of life.

pro wrestling

Still, these three great frauds, democracy, Christianity and consumerism continue to define our culture, and sometimes it’s just easier to just say “Merry Christmas” than to yell, “Santa is dead!” When someone says “bless you” after you sneeze, it’s not always helpful to say “Fuck you! Your religion is a fraud and you are an idiot!” By the same token, you can hold your nose, go to your polling place, and cast your ballot to stop this whole evil system from stealing even more of your life, even though you know the system is a complete fraud.

fraud_alert2

Go ahead. Get it over with. Vote NO on Measure Z.

get_it_over_with z


The Curse of Measure Z

frightened woman

As this campaign season moves into its final frightening week, I feel the curse of Measure Z looming around me. I resent that I must unmask this this diabolical ripoff scheme yet again. For Halloween 2014, I offer this terrifying tale:

VictorVictoriafeature

No one really knows the depths of the evil that resides in Humboldt County, but the existence of a very well funded, and deeply entrenched community of vampires cannot be disputed. Vampires love Humboldt County because we get lots of fog. Vampires love fog. You can build a castle in the middle of nowhere (like, where else would a vampire live?), and people in town don’t ask too many questions. Vampires like to keep a low profile. The remote location, underground economy, and corrupt constabulary provide plenty of cover for these soulless bloodsuckers.

dracula

No one around here bats an eyelash when a hapless young wayfarer disappears into the forest never to be seen alive again. We’re used to it. Kids come. kids go…missing. What happened? Who knows? That’s life in Humboldt County. Sometimes, the kids have families that care. They hire private investigators, because you sure can’t trust the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Dept to investigate a murder, but that usually doesn’t help either. These hills keep their secrets.

scary hill

More often, kids disappear and no one comes looking for them, because no one cares about them. That’s why they came to Humboldt County in the first place. They had no prospects, and no place to go, so they came here. Someone lured them out to the middle of nowhere with the promise of a shitty illegal job, and then took their life. It happens all the time, but that’s nothing compared to the evil of Measure Z. Today, Humboldt County’s most ravenous vampires plan to suck all of us dry, and they plan to use Measure Z to do it.

vampires-de-salem

The vampires in Humboldt County comprise a small portion of the electorate, but they contribute the lions share of campaign contributions, and today, they hold a majority of the seats on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. You’ll notice that they keep the lights quite low in the Supervisors Chambers, and you will find no mirrors anywhere inside.

supes chamber

The leading order of vampires in Humboldt County goes by the name of Hum CPR. Vampires often use CPR to extract the last few drops of blood from their victims, and that’s exactly what they plan to do to us, with Measure Z. They’ve already mined all of the gold, fallen all of the trees and exploited marijuana prohibition to the hilt. Now they want your blood.

vampire_bite

Do not fall prey to the vampire’s seductions. Vampires lie. You cannot trust them. What do they tell you about Measure Z? They tell you that the Sheriff takes two or three hours to respond to a 911 call because the Sheriff doesn’t have enough money. What a load of bullshit! It takes the Sheriff two or three hours to respond to a 911 call because:

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A. The Sheriff doesn’t give a fuck about your 911 call. He’s too busy looking at google Earth and trying to figure out which giant industrial grow scene will net the most booty, and which ones to avoid because he’s personally invested in them.

downeys grow

B. The Garberville-Redway Chamber of Commerce has already made 30 calls to the Sheriff today, about the same six people eating lunch and talking on the sidewalk in Garberville, and all of those calls will get answered ahead of your emergency.

garberville-redway-chamber-of-commerce

C. Sheriff Mike Downey is an idiot! Just because we pay the guy a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year, doesn’t mean he’s not the same dumb redneck who thought it’d be fun to swab pepper spray in kids’ eyes, sein’ as how they was chained-up an’ all. The guy doesn’t know how to handle the resources he’s got. Giving him more money won’t solve anything. The guy is doing a shitty job as Sheriff, because he’s as dumb as a box of rocks. Sending more money his way will only allow him to fail even more spectacularly, and expensively.

downey sheriff

Think about it. What if I told you that if all of my readers pitched in a hundred bucks each, it would turn me into Leo fucking Tolstoy? Would you believe me? Of course not. Each of you should give me a hundred dollars, because you enjoy my writing, as it is, and you want it to continue. I mean really, if you don’t like my work enough to support it, then what the fuck are you doing here but freeloading.

freeloaders

On the other hand, you should not give money to Sheriff Mike Downey, because he sucks, and giving him more money won’t make him any better at his job. Sheriff Mike Downey should be replaced, not rewarded. Mike Downey is a grunt. He has no taste. He has no sense, and he has no idea how to spend money.

Downey-deputies

You want to know I know so much about Sheriff Mike Downey? I’ll tell you:

horror-story

One year, Mike Downey’s wife stopped at my booth at Winter Arts Fair, with her husband in tow, to “hint” in the most direct and obvious way possible, that she would very much like to receive one of my lanterns as a Christmas gift. Later, dutifully, then Deputy, Mike Downey returned to my booth, unaccompanied, and began perusing my selection. He looked them over, blankly, checking all of the price tags, then he shrugged, and pointed to the cheapest, and ugliest lantern in my entire collection.

ugly lantern1

I knew then, that Mike Downey was one of the dumbest men on Earth. If he had any taste at all, he would have picked out a nicer lantern, and recognized that it was worth five or ten dollars more. If he had any sense: First, his wife wouldn’t have had to “hint” at what she wanted for Christmas quite so obviously. Second, even if he had no clue why his wife liked my lanterns, he could have asked us. We knew which one his wife liked, because we pay attention, something Mike Downey apparently, cannot afford. Finally, think about how much that decision cost him:

pay up

Mike Downey disappointed his wife at Christmas. For ten dollars more, he could have gotten her exactly what she wanted. She would have been thrilled. She would have known that he loves her. She would have seen that he pays attention, and that he cares, and she would have known that she married the right guy. Instead, he saved ten bucks.

bloody room z

That’s how stupid Mike Downey is! Do you think he’s any better of a manager than he is a husband? No! Mike Downey is a goon who gets paid to protect the vampires, and he does what he’s told, but Measure Z will allow Mike Downey to suck blood directly from the poor people of Humboldt County, just like those HumCPR vampires he serves. That’s what’s so scary about Measure Z Vote NO on Measure Z.


Wildlife Matters #2 Airs This Thursday

This Thursday at 5pm on KMUD, catch the latest episode of Wildlife Matters, the new public affairs program my partner Amy Gustin and I produce. Amy and I are still in the midst of hammering it out, but it’s going to be a great show. On this show we’ll cover coyotes, the singing dogs of North America.

photo by Talia Rose

photo by Thalia Rose

As usual, Amy has done a lot of research, and we’ll have some great guests as well:

coyote howls

We’ll have Dr. Marc Bekoff, who studied coyotes for years talking about emotions in animals and the significance of play in canines.

marc bekoff with coyote

Dr. Michael Soule, the ecologist talks about the important role coyotes play in ecosystems.

Dr Michael Soule

Monte Merrick, Co-Director of the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center talks about attitudes towards coyotes locally.

monte merrick

Congressman Peter Defazio rails against the pointless, cruel, and government subsidized slaughter of thousands of coyotes every year by Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA. We’ll also hear a bit from the coyotes themselves.

peter difazio

Like I said, It’s going to be a great show, but we still have about ten minutes of it to hammer-out, so I better get back to work.

get back to work


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