Category Archives: news and politics

Seed ’em for Freedom

seedy bud

The other day, I found myself stuck behind two, empty, 25 yd dump trucks, returning to Redway, waiting for two more 25 yd dump trucks, full of soil, to clear the one-lane bottleneck in the middle of the redwood grove between Lower Redway and Ruby Valley on Briceland Rd. Between the four of them they completely engulfed that remarkable fragment of ancient forest in a thick cloud of diesel exhaust. Ah, the smell of a Spring day in the forests of Humboldt County.

on a clear day

I must have passed two dozen trucks, of various sizes, loaded with soil, or components thereof, in my sixteen mile trek into town. It reminded me of fire season, with soil trucks instead of firetrucks. You can literally watch our roads crumble beneath their weight. Meanwhile, the forests echo with the crass flatulence of chainsaws, bulldozers and ATVs all day, and the endless roar of generators, that fuel the UFO-like glow of brightly lit greenhouses, all night.

ufo like glow

This is crazy! I love marijuana as much as the next guy, but it’s not worth destroying the planet over, and it’s not worth destroying Humboldt County over, either. It’s just pot, for God’s sake. If it weren’t for prohibition, you could hardly give the stuff away. If our pot had seeds in it, weed would be sprouting up everywhere by now, and everyplace in the country would have its own variety, adapted to the local environment and local tastes.

cannabis sprouts

Pot doesn’t need special soil. I once found a fully mature sinsemilla plant growing in the expansion groove of a sidewalk in downtown Akron, OH. Thousands of people must have trampled on that plant over the course of the Summer. No one watered it, fertilized it, or mulched it. No one brewed tea for it, dusted it’s roots or sprayed it with neem oil, and no one strung lights over it, turned a fan on it or put a heater near it. It grew there, all on it’s own. Why? Because pot used to have seeds.

pot seeds hand heart

Weed should be as common as blackberries, and as full of seeds. No one should ever get shot over it, go to jail for it, or fork over a days wages just to enjoy a taste of it. By the same token, no one in their right mind would bulldoze a forest, trash a truckload of plastic film and sink a lot of money into soil and amendments, thinking they were going to get rich off of it, either. Our entire cannabis industry is built on the lunacy of prohibition. It was born crazy, and it’s only gotten crazier.

crazy twice

We shouldn’t build on prohibition. We should end prohibition. We shouldn’t white-wash the black market. We should end the injustice of it and let nature take its course. We can replace the trucks and the soil and the generators and the lights and the pollution and the growers and the dealers and the cops and the lawyers and the prison guards and the laws and the prisons and the money with the gentle motion of the breeze and a card on an album cover. Pot for the people, period. Anything less is a graceless scam that needlessly destroys habitat, generates pollution and creates poverty.

pollution and poverty

A lot of people around here have no appreciation for this place at all. They measure everything in dollars, so they know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. They know that the price of marijuana is high, all over the country, right now, and the risk of going to jail for growing a lot of it here in Humboldt County, is low, and that was all they needed to know about Humboldt County.

greenrush1

Salmon streams and old-growth forests don’t interest them one bit. Deer, bear, raccoon, skunks, gophers, rats and mice all fall under the category of: “pests,” and the rest of the community of life is just “roadkill,” dead stuff that got in the way. For them, regulations serve no purpose. To them, regulations are nothing more than bureaucratic “red tape” to be avoided, resisted, and opposed politically, rather than complied with, and because of them, regulations will not protect wildlife, preserve habitat or even insure our rural quality of life. Regulations won’t stop this madness. Regulation created this insanity in the first place, and new, more or better regulations will only make things worse. This is a concocted problem with a natural solution.

natural solution

If you love living in the forest, and you’re sick of the green-rush, grow some seedy pot this year. Let a patch of your favorite seed-stock go feral on your land. Seed ’em for Freedom! Seed ’em for Freedom, because it’s the only way we’ll ever really put prohibition behind us. Seed ’em for Freedom to put cannabis in the hands of the people who need it the most, and wrench it from those who would rather destroy the world first, and Seed ’em for Freedom because seeds are life, and life knows what it’s doing.

life knows surrender

 


My Impressions of 2nd District Candidates Debate in Garberville

bud rogers v estelle fennell t

What planet is Estelle Fennell from? She sure isn’t from anywhere near Southern Humboldt, that much was apparent at last Wednesday’s 2nd District Candidates Debate. Bonny Blackberry’s Rights Monitoring Project hosted the debate, and Bonny Blackberry herself moderated the event. She still calls her organization the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project, but if you’ve listened to her radio show on KMUD lately, you know that Bonny Blackberry doesn’t really care much about people’s rights anymore.

screw your bill of rights

Back during the War on Drugs, I used to think the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project was one of KMUD’s best shows, a unique shining example of what community radio should be. Bonny challenged the police and held them to account. She stood up against profiling, invasive surveillance, illegal searches, and code enforcement inspections. She taught people how to invoke their rights, preserve their rights and demand their rights. She helped this community hold the police state at bay, and her work made a huge difference in how the cops around here treated people.

clmp

Not any more. Lately, Bonny just whines about the Supervisors and the Sheriff not doing enough to protect the income of so called “Mom and Pop” growers. It’s about time she changed the name of the show, or better yet, took it off the air to make room for something else. We need a good show about civil rights around here, that’s for sure, but it’s a shame to see the CLMP show go so lame, and I’m afraid it’s time to put it out of its misery.

Let's Put This Out of its Misery

That said, I do appreciate that Bonny put together this forum so we could hear the two candidates competing to represent us on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Side by side, in a room full of SoHum people, the contrast was remarkable. We have a unique culture here in Southern Humboldt. We look at the world differently, and we think differently. We look at the world differently, and we think differently, because we smoke the best weed in the world, all day long, every day, or at least we did, for long enough. For all of our many differences, cannabis unites us, enlightens us, and makes us who we are.

goodbuds

Which leads me to wonder: Where is Estelle from? Even during her long tenure as the voice of KMUD’s Local News, Estelle sounded so unlike anyone else I’ve met in SoHum that I could scarcely believe the News was really local. I knew that the stuff she reported happened around here, but I didn’t know anyone around here who talked like her. Listening to Estelle at Wednesday night’s debate reminded me of her days as KMUD’s news anchor.

estellefennell kmud news

On the News, Estelle spoke in complete sentences built for efficiency. There were no flowery hippie colloquialisms, no Rastafarian religious references, no expletives or imitation ghetto slang in her reports. She asked relevant questions and sometimes even follow-up questions. No one around here does that, and no matter how many strange occurrences she reported, Estelle never suggested that the freemasons, Jewish bankers, the Catholic Church, Skull and Bones, the CIA, FBI, aliens, or even an alignment of celestial bodies was responsible. Who was she protecting?

protecting

More importantly: Who was she working for? Estelle lost her job at KMUD because of her blatantly slanted coverage of the Reggae Wars. Estelle went to the mat for crooked concert promoter Carol Bruno, in an embarrassing, unsuccessful attempt to quell public outrage over the fact that Bruno had just swindled the Mateel Community Center out of a quarter of a million dollars. Estelle’s hidden agenda only became too obvious to ignore when she dove deep into the muck in that last ditch effort to save Momma Moneybags.

carol bruno

I told you last week what I thought of Journalism. Well, the only people who lie more than journalists, are lawyers and politicians. Estelle decided to skip law school. Instead she found a new puppet master in a cadre of greedy developers who used their money and her slick low-key delivery to take over the Board of Supervisors.

hum cpr lee estelle

Once there, she helped them secure gigantic subsidies for their McMansion developments, and raised taxes on the poorest people in the county to pay for it. Then she screwed over the back-to-the-landers, who put her in office in the first place, and sold out to greedy mega-grow greenrushers, giving them a green light to destroy the environment and ruin our quality of life with the recently passed medical marijuana ordinance.

med mj ordinance

That’s her record. She’s a liar for hire, and just like when she worked at KMUD, she draws a paycheck from us all, but she only really works for the ones who pull the strings. She’s been playing the rest of us for rubes for decades. Why would she stop now?

why stop now

Bud Rogers, on the other hand, revealed himself as a true man-of-the-people at last Wednesday’s debate. His sentences may run on for weeks without reaching conclusion, but you can tell by listening to him that Bud Rogers smokes a lot of really good weed. We need someone who smokes a lot of good weed on the Board of Supervisors. The Supervisor from the Second District should have a bong on his desk (I know I would). We should insist that our Supervisor use it, religiously, before every meeting.

jesus bong

It’s hard to lie convincingly when you are stoned. Most stoners are too lazy to even try. That’s the beauty of cannabis. Cannabis reminds you that telling the truth is easier than lying. We should insist that the 2nd District Supervisor get absolutely wrecked on some of SoHum’s best cannabis before every Supervisors meeting, just to keep them honest. Bud Rogers could handle it. You know he could.

bud rogers crop

 

We need more Bud on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. We need an honest stoner to represent Southern Humboldt. If you don’t smoke weed every day, all day, you have no business representing this community. You just don’t get it. You’re not one of us. Bud Rogers is one of us.

one of us

Like you, Bud Rogers smokes a lot of really good weed. Like you, Bud Rogers loves living in the woods. He doesn’t want to go to the courthouse in Eureka any more than you or I do, but unlike you and me, Bud Rogers is willing to drive to that goddamned courthouse every fucking week, and listen to everybody’s complaints, and do his level best to make the best sausage possible for the people of Southern Humboldt, because he cares about us, and he cares about this place.

della reese quote

Bud has graciously made this sacrifice for the people of Southern Humboldt because no one else would step up to the plate. You can tell by listening to him how much Bud loves this community, and he doesn’t like what’s been happening around here with Estelle in the driver’s seat. None of us do. We’re sick of the mega-grows and the generators and don’t like the new ordinance that encourages them. We’re sick of the war against the poor, and endless hand-wringing about our lack of housing, and we’re sick of greedy land developers pulling the strings of our elected representative in Eureka.

puppet-master-

We need Bud Rogers now more than ever. It’s time we put one of our own in the 2nd District Supervisors seat, instead of some slick-talking alien with a hidden agenda. With Bud Rogers in the Supervisors seat, SoHum will never again be taken unawares by Annunaki lizard people bent on enslaving humanity. Bud Rogers is hip to their M.O. He knows who’s seeding the clouds and he recognizes the secret handshake of the New World Order. Don’t let anyone tell you that these are not concerns for the County Board of Supervisors. The Illuminauti work at every level, and Bud Rogers is the only candidate willing to face their looming menace.

illuminati

I don’t know why, but I just feel the spirits calling Bud to shake off the old paradigm and lead our consciousness to a whole new spiritual level. Like the Lion of Judah, Bud Rogers will smite the lies of Babylon with righteous herb and bring peace, justice and freedom to Jah people of SoHum. Shit man, you gotta vote for Bud bro, he’s your homeboy. However you say it, Bud Rogers is the best choice we have for 2nd District Supervisor, and it’s up to us to give him the job.

outside the box

You still have time to register for the June 7 election.

register to vote


Did You Celebrate Earth Day?

Celebrate Earth-Day

Did you celebrate Earth Day last Friday? Me neither, and I don’t blame you a bit for letting it slip by. Earth Day has quickly become our most depressing holiday. A lot of people find Christmas depressing, especially if they spend it alone. Memorial Day is a real bummer, if you lost friends or loved ones in a war, but compared to Earth Day, these quaint celebrations seem naively joyous.

memorial day sad

Even if you think of Christmas as the mythical origin of the Christian tradition of clerical sex abuse, and Memorial Day as a glorification of technological warfare, which I do, the blackness of Earth Day overshadows them all. Earth Day is more like Good Friday, except that there’s no Easter to follow it up. For people who believe in science and technology, democracy and civilization, Earth Day is a day to observe the crucifixion of their savior, in real time. Nobody wants to see that.

Crucifixion-9841-2203

Earth Day didn’t start out as a depressing holiday. When we first established Earth Day, we thought that a day to celebrate the environment would help us re-prioritize our values and change our culture to meet the challenges of the looming crisis. Those were hope-filled times. We were all really high on LSD, and we thought we could do anything if we just celebrated it enough.

hippy on lsd woodstock

Forty years later, we can’t say “We didn’t know.” Today, the truth stares us in the face. We know we’re killing the planet. We know that we’re destabilizing the future, and we know that it’s killing us, but we don’t know how to stop. Forty years ago we had some ideas about how we could apply the brakes, and turn things around, perhaps even before it was too late. Today, we’re out of ideas. Nothing we’ve tried works. We’ve won a few battles, but we’re still losing the war, and losing it faster than ever. A recent survey estimates that we’ve lost half of the Earth’s biodiversity since the first Earth Day.

threats to biodiversity

 

Not only have we failed to stop the environmental destruction, we’ve failed to slow its acceleration. We have failed, as a culture, to meet our most pressing existential threat. Knowing is not enough. Understanding does not help, and the more we know, the more we realize that it’s worse that we feared, and harder to change than we ever imagined. Against the hard truth of the environmental crisis, the myths of our culture unravel like a cheap sweater.

sweater unravels stars

Today, we can look back on the whole history of civilization since the agricultural revolution, and project forward our global environmental impacts. From this perspective, we can see, pretty clearly, I’m afraid, that the costs of civilization far outweigh the benefits. What’s worse, the benefits of civilization lie mostly in the past, while the costs of civilization loom large over our future. After centuries of secular skeptical scientific inquiry and bold technological innovation, the only thing we know for sure is that everything we know about how to live on planet Earth is wrong.

everything you know is wrong

How do you turn that into a holiday? …that doesn’t make you want to kill yourself? Some people still do the Earth Day festivals, but, you know, any excuse for a party. So go ahead, enjoy the music,

earth-day-on-the-national-mall

eat the organic veggie hippie food,

watermellon

shop for fair-trade, creatively recycled handicrafts…

recycled handicraft

…and try not to think about it too much, because, believe me, you don’t want to know.

'Do not look within. Trust me, you don't want to know what's in there.'

We don’t need another depressing holiday to remind us of how we’ve failed as a culture. We need to pick a day to take back our lives from the economic machine that consumes us all, and the environment around us. We need a global Day Off, just to remember what life is all about, and if people like having a Day Off, just to enjoy life, maybe we can stretch it to a week.

take a week off tree


A Step in the Right Direction

step in the right direction tip toe

I read recently that HumCPR has agreed to purchase a number of shipping containers that they intend to convert into emergency temporary housing, and that a HumCPR member has agreed to host this emergency housing facility on his property in Eureka. It’s about time Humboldt County landowners stepped up to the plate on this issue, and even though this is a baby step, it seems like a baby step in the right direction, for a change.

baby steps change everything

 

Until now, I’ve seen landowners take a mostly punitive approach to poverty and homelessness. They’ve used their political power to pass a regressive sales tax (Measure Z) which unfairly burdens poor and working families, and then made sure that the county uses that Measure Z money to harass Humboldt County’s poorest citizens. Eureka’s new, grossly unconstitutional, panhandling ordinance is another example of local landowners pressuring county government to directly and intentionally violate the human rights of people who lack the resources to defend themselves within the system.

measure z homeless-family

Landowners should remember that the right to free speech, which includes the right to ask for help, the right to assemble, the right to protest, and to seek redress for their grievances, are inalienable human rights. These rights, among others, are not bestowed by any government. Human rights precede the Constitution, and they supersede all government regulation. Every human being on Earth was born with these rights, and every human being has a right to fight for and to claim these rights using any means necessary.

any means necessary malcolm x

Property rights, on the other hand, are a contrivance of government and have no meaning outside of it. Your right to own property only exists so long as the government which grants those contrivances enforces them. Government enforcement costs money, and it costs substantially more money when large portions of the population do not consent to be governed and actively resist government control.

libertarian circular reasoning

It costs a lot of money to send a cop out into the street to harass poor people. It costs even more to arrest, book and charge someone for violating an unconstitutional city ordinance. On the other hand, any poor person can take revenge for these violations armed with nothing more than a rock, a pack of matches or even their own excrement, and are completely within their rights as a human being to do so.

destroy cop car

As long as landowners use government to oppress the poor and deny them their basic human rights, landowners should expect the poor to make war against them. In fighting this guerrilla war against oppression, all private property becomes a fair target and violence is completely justified. As long as Humboldt County landowners pursue a punitive approach to poverty, this guerrilla war will continue to escalate. As the government sends more cops to violate people’s rights, more people withdraw their consent to be governed, and instead seek to undermine government control, destroy private property and claim their inalienable rights by any means necessary.

oppression creates war

Landowners cannot win this war. That should be obvious, by now, to anyone with their eyes open, but the sooner they recognize this, the better. Landowners can only lose this war. Every time someone calls the cops on people for hanging-out, talking to their friends, sharing food, smoking, imbibing, asking for help, trying to sleep, or any other ordinary activity of normal life, for which poor people endure endless harassment, they create enemies. Every time they create an enemy, they escalate the war. Every time they escalate the war, it costs them more money to protect themselves and their precious private property.

poverty mandela

 

As this war escalates, frustrations rise on both sides. The more landowners and merchants express this frustration, in conversation and in public forums, the more they lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the community. It’s nearly impossible to complain about poor people without sounding like a complete boor, and few people who attempt it, pull it off gracefully.  Nobody with any class wants to hear you complain about poor people, any more than they want to hear you complain about (insert racial epithet here). This kind of talk does no good whatsoever, and it turns people off. On the other hand, it’s hard to criticize someone for helping the poor, even a little bit.

help poor mother theresa

So, I won’t even try. Instead, I’ll take it as a rare sign of intelligence. Maybe local landowners have finally come to their senses, and realized that it makes more sense to solve the problem than it does to fight the war. Here’s hoping we see more steps in this direction in the future.

each step in the right direction


An Open Letter to Willie Nelson

Dear Willie,

willie nelson norml

I write to you today on behalf of marijuana smokers across the US, of which I am one, and on behalf of my community here in Humboldt County, California. I write to you because I read recently that you intend to market, or at least license your name to, a brand of cannabis products. I’m glad to hear it. I wish you enormous success on your new endeavor, and look forward to trying your weed.

WilliesReserve-

I know that you’ve been working for legalization since at least the Carter administration.

willie nelson jimmy carter

I’ve been working for it for a long time too.

me

Now that it looks like we have finally done it, here in California, the people who profited so much from marijuana prohibition, politicians and black market drug dealers, are working together to keep marijuana expensive through excessive regulation and taxation.

babylon bucks

This policy of high taxes and anti-competitive regulation insures that the black market for cannabis remains strong because cannabis in the legal market stills costs more than it does on the street. The black market for cannabis is destroying my community, not to mention some of the last great forests in the lower 48. We have grown pot for a long time here in Humboldt County. However, the recent dramatic expansion in cannabis cultivation here, has had serious impacts on spotted owl habitat, endangered Coho salmon and the Pacific fisher, not to mention the quality of life for the people who live here.

endangered in Humboldt County

The black market economy has had a corrosive effect on my community. The black market for marijuana has the effect of devaluing all other forms of work. Kids here expect to grow up to become drug dealers, like their parents, and they start young. This creates special challenges for our public school systems. Violent crimes, like home invasion robbery, murder, and violent assault have become commonplace in our small rural community, and we have some of the highest suicide and drug overdose rates in the state. Despite the supposed “economic benefit”of the black market marijuana industry, it produces a very deep kind of poverty in this community.

get the fuck out

Sure, there’s more money around town, thanks to the black market, but that money mostly goes into the pockets of the very worst people, and the promise of black market money brings more of these greedy bottom-feeders to Humboldt County every day, where they chop down trees, poison wildlife and convert local housing into grow operations in order to coldly exploit marijuana prohibition in the rest of the country. Believe me, the money that the War on Drugs has brought to Humboldt County has done more harm than good, and the harm the black market marijuana industry does to this community is expanding at an astronomical rate.

pot farms destroys forest

 

Humboldt County became a popular place to grow marijuana because of its remoteness, and because of the cover the forest provided. Today, drug dealers from all over the country come here to grow weed, but thanks to our work to legalize cannabis, they no longer need to hide under the forest canopy. They know that here, the county government loves their money, the Sheriff will ignore them, and that we have the infrastructure to supply them with all of the soil, fertilizer and grow supplies they need. However, the land here is steep, heavily forested and very poorly suited to agriculture. Marijuana farmers use incredibly wasteful production methods, and our remote location makes everything here more expensive. There’s no reason you couldn’t grow pot that was every bit as good as we grow here, for a hell of a lot less money, somewhere else.

cannabis-farm

That’s why I’m writing to you today, Willie. We have turned the tide in the War on Drugs, and we have forced the politicians to change the laws, but politicians and drug dealers remain as greedy as ever. We can’t let them continue to rip-off pot smokers. Pot smokers deserve deserve a break after all of these years, and it’s time for the legal business community to serve cannabis consumers with safe, reliable cannabis products at prices that put black market dealers out-of-business.

drug-prohibition

Pot is not difficult to grow. I’ll bet you could grow a hell of a lot of it in Texas, and I’ll bet you could grow it cheaper there, than we can here, even if you have to haul your water all the way from Louisiana. This nation needs weed, Willie, and Americans need reliable cannabis that they can afford. Thus far, the licensed legal growers in Washington, Colorado and Oregon have not begun to quench this nations’ thirst for cannabis. As cannabis becomes more reliable and accepted, the demand will likely rise as well. Also, as the price of cannabis falls, the demand will increase as people devise imaginative new ways to use cannabis. What that means, Mr. Nelson, is that this nation needs an enormous amount of weed, and we are counting on you and your company to produce it for us.

willie_nelson_better america

I know that you might feel tempted to smoke another joint and think about this for a while, but my community needs relief today. We need to stop this disease now, before it wipes out the last wild salmon, before it drives the spotted owl to extinction and before the last Pacific fisher dies of rodenticide poison. What’s more, we need to drive this insatiable greed out of our midst before we lose any more of our community to the War on Drugs.

no drug causes the fundamental ills of society

You have the opportunity to make a LOT of money for you and your investors, create jobs for American workers, and make marijuana affordable for the people who need it most. At the same time, you would save our environment, my community, and put violent drug cartels and greedy criminal gangs out of business. We should have done this back when Carter was president, but we absolutely need this ASAP, PDQ and NOW!

asap pdq now

It shouldn’t cost as much to sit on the front porch and smoke a doobie while you strum your old guitar, as it does to go out to a bar and have a couple of beers. American workers should not have to work an extra day each week, just to pay for the pot it takes for them to enjoy a joint at the end of a long day at work. Americans need the stress relief that cannabis provides, and they don’t need the extra stress of ridiculously high, prohibition-era prices, when they can barely keep a roof over their head and food on their plate as it is.

american workers struggle

When we started fighting for the legalization of marijuana, it wasn’t because we wanted drug dealers to be able to legitimize their illegal profits. We worked to legalize marijuana because we love marijuana and we don’t think that anyone should go to jail for it. The American people deserve marijuana, and after all that marijuana smokers have been through because of prohibition, we deserve safe, reliable, high-quality marijuana at a price we can afford. I hope you can make that happen, Willie, before it’s too late for my community.

Make-it-happen-

Sincerely, John Hardin

jh at bfr crop

 


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